Faster TSi2 processor improves productivity and reduces labour time
Strict selection criteria for weight, fleece, worm resistance and carcase analysis are part and parcel of the ongoing success of this high performing farm.
Toland Merino 808ha (2,000 acres), Violet Town, Victoria, Australia
4,500 poll & horned Merinos
Annually sell: 200 rams & 110 bales of 18-18.5 micron fine wool
Toland Merino is a leading performer in sire-evaluation schemes and Sheep Genetics. The highly specialised operation markets around 200 rams (all with full ASBVs) and 110 bales of elite, 18-18.5 micron fine wool annually.
To achieve this, the business has strict selection criteria. Measurements are vital, including animal weights, fleece details, worm resistance and carcase analysis.
Anna Toland, who runs the 808-hectare (2,000-acre) business at Violet Town in north-east Victoria with her husband Simon Riddle and father Phil Toland, says they continually select sheep for conformation and doing ability under competitive grazing conditions.
“It’s important that our measurements and record keeping are accurate. The tools we use for this are a TSi2 Livestock Manager, HR5 Hand Held EID Tag Reader & Data Collector, Sheep Auto Drafter and EID Tag Reader Controller BR, which are all from Gallagher.
“We’ve previously used an original version of the TSi, which was really powerful in allowing us to draft animals on any data set we record, and took the paper out of the ‘paperwork’ to give us detailed information on every single animal on the property.”
Faster and easier
Anna says with its faster processor, the TSi2 is not only quicker, it’s easier to use.
“The TSi2 starts up quickly, and takes no time to restore from the USB once you have backed up from your computer. It connects using bluetooth really easily; once it knows the device it’s trying to find, you press the bluetooth button on the home screen and it automatically connects.
“Speed wise, it’s a lot faster than the TSi. You can flick between sessions quickly and easily without it having to do too much thinking.
"You can change session defaults a lot quicker too; for instance one of the defaults when weighing sheep is maximum speed or maximum accuracy. Once the sheep enters the Sheep Auto Drafter, you can choose when the weight is recorded and locked in by what percentage ‘drop in weight’ is measured. It then releases them and the next animal files in. If we’re weighing 800 sheep, we can speed up how quickly it releases them. Just being able to change things like that and navigating around the home screen is quite quick."
“Filtering out animals in the office screen is also easy. Because of the faster processor, you can choose whatever filter you want, and then it spits out the animals you’re trying to find straightaway. That’s really good, because if you’re out in the yards and you’ve just weighed a heap of animals and you want to identify the much smaller ones, or those of a different management group, or whatever it is you’re wanting to filter on, it’s easy."
“We weigh fleeces and do a lot of classing using the TSi2; the TSi enabled us to do that a lot quicker than previously, but the speed of the TSi2 has certainly sped the process up even more.”
Anna says the TSi2 has improved Toland Merino’s productivity.
“I can do draft lists really easily once we have weighed a group of sheep. Because of the processor’s speed, I can do this in the yards in the office screen, while they are being brought around again rather than detach the TSi2 from the Sheep Auto Drafter and take it inside back to the computer.”
Improved bottom line
Anna says with the TSi2 they are able to identify animals that aren’t performing well and class them out at any stage.
“I can create notes or a particular area for these animals to be placed, then, when it comes time to draft them out using the TSi2, it’s simple. It saves a lot of time rather than walking up and down the race trying to find individual numbers.
“Making the TSi2 faster is one of the best parts about it. Usually you don’t have much time in the yards to look animals up before they get drafted out, but using the new TSi2 is easy and quick. I know I’ve said this so many times, but it really is the best.”
Intuitive software, easy data transfer
Anna says the integrated Animal Performance Software APS (Professional version) that comes with the TSi2 is highly useful.
“APS Professional is great. You can filter out anything you wish and find animals easily by the filter system.” APS Professional is perfect for record keeping and creating any reports needed for analysis.
“Now that you can delete more than one session at a time, and transfer data easily over to the HR5 [the Hand Held EID Tag Reader & Data Collector], it is quick. The HR5 is incredibly compatible with the TSi2. It’s easy to download the sessions on to APS Professional and upload draft lists to the HR5 for classing in the race. This certainly reduces time and effort searching on manual printouts!”
Anna says for those who are transferring stock, it’s easy to upload information using the NLIS exchange software.
“Because our business relies on accurate data, we record a lot of information and have created several custom fields on the TSi2 — we certainly use it to its full potential, which is vast. Whenever I’ve needed help from tech support, I nearly always need it there and then. I can call them at any time when I’m in the yards and they respond straight away — so I don’t have to muck around trying to get it going again! They’re very good.
“Overall I love the Gallagher gear and swear by it. Because of what it allows us to do, we can run our business the way we want: making fully objective decisions on animals to ensure our productivity remains excellent.”