Dimitra: Digital Advancements in Cattle Management

Published on Sun, 01/08/2023 - 10:11am

Dimitra: Digital Advancements in Cattle Management.

 By Maura Keller.

 Livestock farms are constantly under pressure to ensure their cattle operation is profitable. As one of the leading Agricultural Technology companies in the world, Dimitra and its team of experts understand the nuances and challenges that livestock farmers face daily, trying to improve the accuracy of their data collection and increase the profitability of their businesses for generations to come.

The company was founded with one solid goal in mind. They believe that every farmer, regardless of economic standing, should benefit from simple, beautiful, and useful technology because when farmers thrive, entire economies thrive.

Dimitra is making a significant impact on the livestock management systems that are available today. They are working to continually understand how best to evolve the current systems for producers of all sizes.

Basic App Features
Jon Trask, CEO and founder of Dimitra and his team recognize that one of the most common challenges among cattle producers is maintaining accurate records of their input costs, health records, feed records, performance records, and others.

Dimitra Livestock Guru is the all-in-one platform that empowers livestock farmers to improve their herd’s profitability through accurate record keeping. The cloud-based platform allows farmers to optimize costs and production inputs as well as improve genetic and reproductive selection. In addition, the system gives cattle farmers the tools to manage animal health and veterinary records,  optimize performance, farm inventory, scheduling, and resource planning.

It also offers a satellite-based Pasture Management tool to analyze pasture health. As a result, Dimitra has cracked the code to increase the value of livestock by streamlining the protein value chain and improving animal life cycle traceability.
Animal Records
Cattle can be registered on the system with various IDs such as barcodes, RFID tags, branding, or any other unique identifiers. Farmers can group cattle on the farm based on their maturity or gender, such as grouping sires, dams, steers, calves, etc. This grouping helps in operational excellence and enhances report generation.

Not only does Dimitra Livestock Guru optimize costs and production inputs, but the program also helps in genetic and reproductive selection by tracking animal performance throughout its lifecycle. By breeding high-performing livestock, farmers can increase the value of dairy and beef cattle.

The platform also maintains a record of the cattle’s progeny and pedigree, creating a family tree for all of their livestock. This family tree lets farmers check the cattle’s history, allowing the farmer to gain a better understanding of their genetic potential and traits of interest.

“Having all cattle data compiled in one place with the ability to generate a detailed analysis makes decision-making on the farm quicker and less risky,” Trask says.

Health Records
Dimitra Livestock Guru helps farms keep track of every diagnosis, treatment, vaccination, and each aspect related to cattle health. With this information, farmers can intensively monitor sick cows and post-treatment recovery, provide better individual cow treatment, and save time and costs. The platform also maintains a drug inventory in real-time to help farmers know which medicines they have on hand and stay proactive with animal healthcare.

The system maintains an accurate record of all animal vaccinations. It also enables users to organize and plan upcoming vaccination schedules, manage withdrawal dates, and prepare information for vaccination certificates.

“As more farmers use Dimitra Livestock Guru, more data will be accumulated, providing actionable insights and recommendations. As multiple generations of data are captured, we can help with breeding decisions and provide genetic worth calculations,” Trask says.

Cattle Performance
Dimitra Livestock Guru Cloud maintains real-time tracking of animals’ weight gain and milking performance. As a result, farmers can analyze their herd’s daily, weekly, and monthly performance and make informed decisions that affect their bottom line.

In addition to production performance, the system tracks changes in size, body condition scores, carcass data, and behavioral data and monitors animal activities. Regular assessment helps in estimating their breeding values and keeping a record of their behavioral patterns.

Pasture Management
Another component of the Dimitra Livestock Guru Platform that helps cattle farmers achieve their goals is pasture management. Dimitra uses satellites to measure pasture health, allowing for month-over-month and year-over-year comparisons.

These reports create a feed wedge and evaluate paddocks relative to pasture availability for farmers to optimize their grazing strategy and rotations. Using satellites to monitor pasture health reduces scouting costs and human error and provides measurable time-based analysis.

When a farmer can look at their land over time from the past to the present, those valuable insights provide actionable data. For example, The Pasture Management module allows farmers to discover and implement the right grazing strategy for their land. In addition, it helps optimize factors like water consumption and nutrient distribution, ensuring better profitability.

Feed Management
One exciting module, the Feed Management module, enables the formulation of balanced rations according to the nutrient requirements of livestock and feeding strategies. It is a centralized place to monitor and analyze farm performance by using the reporting features, facilitating effective management of feed inventories. The platform transforms cattle and farm data into actionable insights to help farmers make more and spend less. It also reduces record-keeping time and helps data-driven decisions across a farm or ranch.

The quality and quantity of nutrients in the feed also must be closely monitored to ensure optimal balance. As a comprehensive feed management system, Dimitra Livestock Guru allows farmers to supply, track, and diagnose the dietary needs of their livestock during maintenance, production, and reproduction phases throughout the farm.

Specifically, within the realm of feed management technology, these innovations have made it possible for farmers to understand their income over feed costs for dairy cattle and the efficiency of the feed used for beef cattle. Moreover, it helps farmers optimize the creation of feed rations and accurately track their inventory. As a result, they can avoid running out of feed or storing too much feed, which requires both storage space and capital and risks spoilage.

To accomplish the above, Dimitra Livestock Guru’s feed management includes nutritional intake guidelines for registered livestock; feed inventory control; ration formulation; feed cost management; optimal feed scheduling; and feed effects on cow and herd health.

Environmental Impacts
Today’s farmers and ranchers are embracing technology like never before – eager to keep up with the growing demand for protein while also using technology to improve their environmental impact positively.
Of course, the increased focus on “being green” and lessening the impact on the environment is also top of mind for today’s producers, as well as consumers – many of whom are increasingly interested in all facets of food production, including how animals are commercially raised.

As Trask explains, the global demand for protein is growing, but so are the environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas emissions, agricultural land use, and freshwater use.

“These impacts create new challenges for how we produce and consume beef, dairy, and other protein products in a way that reduces their environmental impacts while still keeping up with demand,” Trask says.
Dimitra’s Impact
Record keeping is essential to a farmer’s success with cattle health and cost, diary performance, and breeding programs. Food safety, food security, animal husbandry, and veterinary requirements pressure farmers to maintain accurate records.

Historically, farmers and ranchers had prioritized livestock feed to increase their livestock performance since the early 1900s, when issues such as quality feed ingredients, war-time rationing, droughts, and pasture land challenges, made feed management a cumbersome issue across the globe.

“This goal has encouraged the scientific community to partner with livestock specialists and farmers and see how they can improve cattle nutrition programs,” Trask says. “These cattle nutrition programs have evolved over the years, allowing farmers to get increasingly closer to optimizing performance.” Farmers and ranchers understand nutrition’s key role in animal health and production. In fact, nutrition represents the largest input cost in animal production. So, managing feed supply and optimizing nutrient delivery is vital for a farm to reduce cost, improve production and mitigate risk.

Dimitra’s Livestock Guru is already offering great cattle management capabilities.  Their team of over 125 is constantly developing additional features. Advanced features in feed and dairy management will be available over the next few months, and integrations will be available for sensors.  

So, who is Dimitra’s platform most appropriate for? Quite simply, any farmer or rancher who wants complete livestock records, health monitoring, feed cost management, feed inventory control, pasture management, and cattle performance management, to name a few outputs.

Streamlined efficiencies are vital to the success of any size farm or ranch. To help producers in their daily activities, Dimitra’s team specifically developed a program that is truly an “all in one” platform that empowers livestock farmers to increase the profitability of their businesses for generations to come.

“Cattle farms have to handle constantly evolving data that requires close monitoring to update accurately,” Trask says. “Being able to log the data is one thing, but it is even more important to be able to analyze that data to make accurate decisions.”

Dimitra’s data-driven precision agriculture helps farmers increase yield, reduce cost, and mitigate risk. Dimitra uses a data-driven approach to farming to provide farmers with actionable insights.
Register for a free 45-day trial at https://dimitra.io/livestock-guru/