21 Feb Press and Journal Article
Coverage in Press and Journal following presentation of the Stockman at the ONE Future Farming event:
Hoping to officially launch at the Royal Highland Show later this year, the Stockman weighing system developed by Herd Advance was previewed yesterday at an Opportunity North East (ONE) workshop in Oldmeldrum.
Murdoch Duncan and Jilly Grant presented their newly patented efforts designed specifically for beef farmers.
The couple – using their inside knowledge – have developed the technology with help from ONE Enterprise Fund and Scottish Enterprise.
They explained that the Stockman system captures the weight, water intake and, by using a thermal camera on the eyes, the temperature data from a herd using an entrance gate structure.
Mr Duncan explained that it automatically sorts animals, adding: “It can move animals from one pen to another – reducing handling stress and labour.
“With this real-time weight data you can get an accurate predicted window for finishing – you could even phone ahead and book the slaughterhouse to save time.”
He added: “One evening, for example, we selected all animals over an average 480kg to be separated – they were all standing waiting for us in the morning when the lorry arrived.”
Using multiple criteria choices, data analysis can provide real-time information on the herd’s best and worst performers – and is easily accessible on a smart phone app.
Ms Grant outlined the benefits including a “stress free” environment for the cattle.
She said: “The Stockman uses zero handling which reduces disruption to growth. Real time health monitoring alerts can identify a sick animal and provides early detection.
“Less handling also means improved health and safety for stock people – crucially important where there are likely to be fewer people working.”
The couple have worked on their prototype for two years and, after having filed patents, they are getting the product ready for market.
Ms Grant said: “We are hoping to launch it at the Highland Show.
“We wouldn’t have got this far without some tremendous support and great professional link ups.”