Opportunities for smart efficiency with tagging

Shane Brooker, of  Farmquip, and CRT's Colette Strowger discuss implementation of the national...
Shane Brooker, of Farmquip, and CRT's Colette Strowger discuss implementation of the national animal identification and tracing system. Photo by Sally Rae.
Opportunities for more efficency exist with introducing of the National Animal Identification and Tracing (Nait) system, farmers are hearing.

The system will provide lifetime animal traceability, assisting with biosecurity and management of disease outbreaks.

From November 1 this year, cattle must be tagged with Nait-approved tags, with deer to be tagged from November 1 next year. There is a three-year exemption on the tagging of capital stock that do not leave the farm.

CRT recently held a field day on an Oamaru farm, bringing speakers from Nait, Gallagher, Farmquip and Zee Tags to answer farmers' questions. There were equipment and technology demonstrations.

CRT's North Otago district manager, Colette Strowger, said while it was mandatory for farmers to use the radio frequency identification device (RFID) tags, there was an opportunity to use technology to improve farm management systems.

Shane Brooker, from Farmquip, a Napier-based animal-handling equipment business, said a lot of the company's products were designed around automation.

With the use of electronic tags, there was an opportunity to make animal management easier. That was important, given that farmers were getting older, had fewer staff and more work to do.

Nick Abbott, from Gallagher, displayed scales, tag readers and an automatic sheep handler. He agreed the scheme's implementation would create opportunities.

By using available technology, farmers could work smarter and more efficiently to improve production.

"The paybacks are all there," he said.



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