Fonterra, LIC set to release farm performance system
Fonterra and Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) are in the final stages of developing an online tool, Agrigate, designed specifically to help farmers improve their farm performance through the use of their existing data.
Agrigate has been developed by the two farmer-owned co-operatives to make it easier for farmers to access key information about their farming business in one place; identify areas where they can benchmark their performance on a scale; and manage environmental information like nutrient management.
Fonterra and LIC, the country's largest herd improvement company, combined their expertise and resources to develop Agrigate following requests from farmers for a single site to access their core data, such as milk production and quality data, herd data, pasture data, and local weather forecasts.
"Agrigate will add value to dairy farmers' day to day lives and businesses by saving time and improving the quality of their information experience," LIC chief executive Wayne McNee said. "Having data in one place and working in real time makes it easier to make comparisons, see trends and make better management decisions. A key outcome will be enabling farmers to make the most efficient use of their resources - which is important in both tough and better times."
"The ultimate goal of this project is to support our farmers by giving them a tool to help maximise their on-farm performance, productivity and profitability," Fonterra Farm Source's chief operating officer Miles Hurrell. "As a simple, easy-to-use tool, Agrigate is a great example of dairy industry innovation. It allows farmers to identify areas of their business where they are performing well and areas where improvements can be made."
A prototype of Agrigate was trialed with 50 farmers in August 2016 and feedback from this group was invaluable in developing the platform further. The product is now undergoing testing with a small group of farmers and is due for a full release next month. Post launch feedback from farmers will continue to inform the ongoing development of Agrigate, with additional features added as new data partners come on board.