As a non recipient of EU CAP Entitlements, the strongest driver of my own investment in technology was to create a more even playing field with established CAP recipient sheep producers, many of whom were yet to embrace the benefits of EID & technology. I therefore looked to New Zealand sheep farmers to see how they were tackling efficiency & flock performance improvement post subsidy loss.
Back in 2013 I invested in a Combi Clamp, TruTest weigh scales, EID Reader & XR3000. That was the easy part & it did help improve management of the flock along with monitoring conformation improvements from rams carefully selected for speed of growth & muscle depth. The prime lambs from the ewes improved sufficiently to be accepted as Scotbeef's M&S Preferred Farmer product. Scotbeef in turn was increasingly improving its feedback & Benchmarking Tools to its producers. I really value this model of mutual support between producer & processor.
I identified as a weakness my own failure to invest sufficiently into understanding how to make maximum use of what turned out to be already outdated technology although sufficient for my simple requirements at the time. Cue Agricultural Apprentice Lawrence. Lawrence had IT skills & he progressed the monitoring & management in a few months, far beyond my capabilities. He now works 3 days a week as my sheep contractor. I await the arrival of an XR5000 & both of us look forward to the next stage in our journey to contribute to improving our productivity & our bottom line.