Fonterra and Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) are in the final stages of developing an online tool, Agrigate, designed specifically to help farmers improve their farm performance through the use of their existing data.
Agrigate has been developed by the two farmer-owned co-operatives to make it easier for farmers to:
- Access key information about their farming business in one place
- Identify areas where they can benchmark their performance on a scale that they have not been able to in the past
- Make smarter and faster decisions
- Manage their environmental information (e.g. nutrient management)
Fonterra, New Zealand’s largest dairy company, and LIC, the country’s largest herd improvement company, combined their expertise and resources to develop Agrigate following requests from farmers for a single site to access their core data, such as milk production and quality data, herd data, pasture data, local weather forecasts and more.
“Agrigate will add value to dairy farmers’ day to day lives and businesses by saving time and improving the quality of their information experience,” says LIC Chief Executive Wayne McNee.
“Having data in one place and working in real time makes it easier to make comparisons, see trends and make better management decisions. A key outcome will be enabling farmers to make the most efficient use of their resources – which is important in both tough and better times.”
“The ultimate goal of this project is to support our farmers by giving them a tool to help maximise their on-farm performance, productivity and profitability,” says Fonterra Farm Source Chief Operating Officer Miles Hurrell. “As a simple, easy-to-use tool Agrigate is a great example of dairy industry innovation. It allows farmers to identify areas of their business where they are performing well and areas where improvements can be made.”
A prototype of Agrigate was trialled with 50 farmers in August 2016 and feedback from this group was invaluable in developing the platform further. The product is now undergoing testing with a small group of farmers and is due for a full release in February 2017. Post launch feedback from farmers will continue to inform the on-going development of Agrigate, with additional features added as new data partners come on board.