Technology and cattle: merging two worlds to create the 21st century rancher
RAPID CITY, S.D. — South Dakota cattle ranchers gathering in Rapid City this week for the 73rd Cattlemen’s Association Convention and Trade Show.
Wednesday was the last day of the event and the morning featured presentations from several South Dakota State University Extension Specialists.
One specialist, Adele Harty, focuses on mineral consumption, which is a major area of concern for producers. Harty and others at SDSU’s Extension recently launched an app where ranchers can track mineral consumption across different pastures.
“If we can monitor consumption, we can kind of see some of those changes and use that app as a tool to help us see when those changes are occurring so we can change things up as needed,” Harty says.
The app has been available since March, but doesn’t track data for individual head of cattle. However, it can track multiple pastures, giving producers a reference point for monitoring their herds.
“It’s really focusing on helping beef cattle producers make better management decisions regarding nutrition – specifically mineral nutrition – and then that will equate to improved health performance of their cattle,” Harty adds.
Harty and rest of the SDSU Extension team are working on the development of other apps that will give producers new tools in the ever-changing landscape of 21st century ranching.