In the feedlot business, as elsewhere, necessity is the mother of innovation. So when Stronks Feedlot at Picture Butte, Alta., couldn’t find software to fit its operation, they invented it.
On this season of the TechTour, together with Dow AgroSciences, we’re shining the spotlight on on-farm innovations and inventions that improve efficiency and productivity.
Hampered by the double entry required with existing software and challenges with accurately and quickly tracking feed ingredient use, Ed Stronks worked with several partners to develop their own feedlot management data collection system, known as SSG Fusion.
“We were pretty frustrated when we went to the market trying to find what we were looking for,” he explains.
Alongside nutritionist Darryl Gibb and developer Cannon Smith, they designed SSG Fusion Software to track almost everything that’s measurable within a feedlot. Rather than importing/exporting data between programs or entering values multiple times, the program links data from scales, feed trucks and office computers. It can be remotely accessed and automated to keep vets, nutritionists, suppliers and customers informed, collecting more than 100 points of data for each animal.
“There’s probably no input at the feedlot that we’re not capturing,” he says. “If there was, we’ll find a way to capture it. If a customer has an issue and says we’re not grabbing a piece of data, tell us and we’ll build it.”
With growing demand to capture data to meet government regulations, customer requirements, and verification programs, Stronks’ software has become increasingly valuable, and is sought after by cattle feeders across North America.
Know of an on-farm invention that we should highlight? Email [email protected] or send us a tweet @realagriculture.