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Unleashing the benefits of remote weighing in New Zealand livestock farming

Monday, 12 June, 2023


As more farmers seek to harness the power of real-time information and data on-farm, Gallagher Animal Management has partnered with an emerging cattle management business to unleash the benefits of remote weighing for New Zealand livestock farms.

Irish-Canadian based StrongBó Agritech has developed a remote front foot weighing system which allows livestock to be weighed in paddocks, rather than having to walk into the yard. Cattle are enticed onto the platform with a mineral or molasses block, and the weight data is analysed and converted to full body weight locally with the full body weight data then transmitted to the Cloud and sent to the farmer’s computer or device. In the software dashboard farmers see average weight and average daily gain of the mob as well as individuals which enables farmers to make strategic decisions based on real-time data.

Sarah Adams, General Manager of Strategy and New Ventures for Gallagher Animal Management, says the partnership reflects Gallagher’s commitment to addressing the pain points farmers face, while also enabling innovative technology to come through. “We had been investigating adding remote weighing into our suite of animal management offerings for a while. It’s always been our preference scan the market for potential partners first before starting the development process from scratch,” says Sarah. “We looked around the world to see if there was a remote weighing solution that we could partner with, and when we came across StrongBó we were really impressed with what their team was doing and the potential of the technology.”

Originally based in Ireland, the StrongBó remote weighing system was suited to feedlot farming, so Gallagher worked with them to develop one suitable for pasture. Sarah says the potential for StrongBó in New Zealand’s pasture-based farming system is huge.

“Now more than ever, farmers are looking for technologies that enable them to farm more efficiently and profitably. Being able to regularly weigh livestock while in the paddock can mean real savings in labour output and potentially down the track it may enable them to track the more feed efficient animals and lower greenhouse gas emitters. Traditionally, you might weigh your herd monthly to 3-monthly, and only in the yards. A lot can happen in three months, in that time you might have missed that a cow has been losing weight and needs their feed adjusted, or there’s perhaps another issue such as a parasite burden." She says remote weighing also keeps cows on-feed 24/7, allowing them to maximise weight gain, therefore reducing the need and stress from traipsing up to the yard for weighing.

StrongBó co-founder Ivan Wahlrab says the team is excited to partner with Gallagher to introduce the benefits of remote weighing into New Zealand’s pasture-based farming systems. “We’re really proud to be aligning with Gallagher in this way; it’s a partnership that has been beneficial for us as we’ve gained enormous insight into the agribusiness sector and what is involved in taking an innovative, technology-driven idea into the prototype phase, and ultimately out to market. We also extend a big welcome to Sarah as she joins our board of directors, and we look forward to working with her and benefiting from the extensive experience and expertise she has in agricultural business development.”

Lisbeth Jacobs, Gallagher Animal Management CEO, says partnering with StrongBó is one of the ways Gallagher is anticipating the needs of the farming sector in the future, and coming up with practical solutions to solve real customer problems. “StrongBó complements our growing line up of animal performance and traceability solutions that supports farmers to make good decisions and run their operations more efficiently and productively. Our investment with StrongBó, and Sarah’s board-level involvement, demonstrates our wider commitment to partnering with innovative businesses and technologies, all for the future benefit of our farmers and the wider agricultural sector.”

StrongBó has also recently participated in the Sprout Agritech Accelerator programme, New Zealand’s renowned agritech accelerator designed to equip emerging businesses and people with the skills and support needed to advance in the agricultural sector.

Gallagher staff will be available to discuss the StrongBó system at this year’s New Zealand National Fieldays at Mystery Creek, 14-17 June 2023, site D72.