Records Tracking: Do You Really Know Your Operation?

Written by: Sara Kleyer, Form-A-Feed Livestock Records Specialist

Today, many producers love the opportunity to ‘talk shop’ with other producers about how their production is going. I have seen this firsthand from sharing early Saturday morning coffee with local farmers. Some of their banter is harmless fun, but do today’s producers really know how well their production is doing? What contributing factors of their production could be changed to aid growth and maximize performance in their facilities? Not only being raised on a farm but being part of the industry for a few years, I have seen firsthand how one simple change can make such a difference to improve performance and lower investments costs.  

Tracking is very important to today’s producers because it maximizes performance by identifying how their livestock production is doing on an individual basis. Tracking is studying the data that all plays a part in making your facility operate -  from the little expenses, to the large payments of buildings and equipment. With all of the technology we have available today, it would be detrimental to a producer to not utilize all the information available to them, such as individual carcass data, milk production, meat quality, etc. This data alone is not powerful, but placing it into a format that helps producers better understand and capture value makes it extremely powerful.  In most facilities, there is some form of tracking or record keeping, but many producers just estimate here and there while forgetting to add in a few expenses. All things have a cost whether they are costing you now, later, or they have been previously paid for.

Producers may claim their facility is doing great and that their numbers are above average, but when you ask if they actually tracked their production numbers many reply with, “well, not exactly”. The reality is that if you have no data, you truly do not know. This is a common situation for producers who do not use tracking. The first step in tracking is knowing how each aspect of the operation is effecting your bottom line. Tracking is valuable for data examination, keeping great records, and facility refinement, and is an important tool for maximizing production outputs. 

If you have questions or would like assistance tracking your production, please do not hesitate to contact your Form-A-Feed representative, or myself at sarakleyer@formafeed.com.