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Beef Stocker USA 2013 Survey of the Animal Identification Industry

Responding Company: GrowSafe Systems Ltd.
Survey Section:
System Cost 

The following question was posed to each company:

Your firm has just been contacted by three different producers interested in incorporating individualized animal identification using RFID in their beef cattle operation. The three different herd sizes are 50, 100, and greater than 250 head.

Please recommend EXACTLY what individual hardware (brands, models) and software components (and associated costs) each producer would need to purchase in order to employ your recommended complete RFID system.

Following is their response:


 

Company:

GrowSafe Systems Ltd.    

 

Hardware

Recommended for 50 Head
  

An operation of 50 head or less can probably keep good records without RFID tagging animals; but as soon as those cattle move from the farm, to reliably track them will require a universally acceptable identification method.  So, for the good of the industry and/or until you are mandated to do we would tell you to RFID tag all your animals.  Consider participating in a source verified program or similar that might add value at sale time. 

Good recordkeeping makes sense for any size operation, but for an operation with 50 head or less investing in a complex IT infrastructure beyond a simple computer, spreadsheet and/or database might not make financial sense.  There are several good recordkeeping systems available for free download from University extension and government websites.  Many vets and nutritionists provide customers with good RFID ready recordkeeping systems.

The level of automation an operation requires should be based on a cost to benefit analysis, and perhaps the technical expertise your operation has.  An operation less than 50 head might not cost justify a reader. 

Recommended for 100 Head
  

Same recommendation as for 50 head producer.  Invest in RFID reading technology if it has a positive return on investment for your operation,  either in reliability or labor savings. 
   

Recommended for >250 Head

  

In our opinion, an operation with more than 250 head would likely consider RFID reading equipment within their cost benefit analysis.  

The type and quantity of equipment you need hand held reader, chute reader etc. is determined by the data you want to collect and where you want it collected.

There are many challenges to RFID based automation; out of the box solutions rarely fit every operation.  Extracting value from your RFID system requires matching performance and other data to the ID in a timely manner.

Ensure your vendor has integration experience, and the solution they offer fits your situation.  Technical support should be a major determinant in selecting a vendor.      

 

PDA:

Recommended for 50 Head
  


   

Recommended for 100 Head
  


   

Recommended for >250 Head

  


   

 

RFID Reader:

Recommended for 50 Head
  


   

Recommended for 100 Head
  


   

Recommended for >250 Head

  


   

 

RFID Tags:

Recommended for 50 Head
  


   

Recommended for 100 Head
  


   

Recommended for >250 Head

  


   

 

Scale Head and Load Bar:

Recommended for 50 Head
  


   

Recommended for 100 Head
  


   

Recommended for >250 Head

  


   

 

Software

Recommended for 50 Head
  


   

Recommended for 100 Head
  


   

Recommended for >250 Head

  


   

 

Central Database:

Recommended for 50 Head
  


   

Recommended for 100 Head
  


   

Recommended for >250 Head

  


   

 

Total Costs:

Recommended for 50 Head
  


   

Recommended for 100 Head
  


   

Recommended for >250 Head
  
  


   

 

Comments

 As an individual animal identification method RFID tags make good and necessary sense for the industry overall.  To make use of any RFID system an operation needs more than just tags and readers.  The operation will also need an IT infrastructure that enables capture, transmission and analysis of data in a time frame responsive enough to make management decisions from. 

View other Responses for this company:

Company Info - Tags - Hand Held - Stationary - Scale Head - Software - Data Storage - System Cost

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