Leading online auction platform FarmGate Auctions has integrated an autonomous in-paddock weighing and data collection system to give the entire supply chain access to real time data on livestock.
This first for the Australian livestock industry has been made possible by Armidale producer Bill Mitchell, who developed Optiweigh, the winner of the 2021 Meat and Livestock Australia Producer Innovation Award at Beef Australia in Rockhampton, Qld.
FarmGate Auctions client relationship manager Kate Gooden said this development allows traders, lotfeeders, processors and exporters to see a sale lot’s average mob weight and average daily weight gain in the lead up to auction, giving real time data on the stock they are looking to purchase.
Ms Gooden said the integration between the online auction platform and Optiweigh allowed buyers to make more informed purchasing decisions.
When Optiweigh is used in conjunction with the FarmGate Auctions platform it can be used as an effective tool for planning of contracts and budgets.
“Lotfeeders can access accurate data on average daily weight gain during the backgrounding phase to assess future feedlot performance and accurately estimate how long they would need to feed the stock,” she said.
“Combining Optiweigh and the FarmGate Auctions platform allows sellers to market their livestock to a national audience.
“Sellers can also use the data to make informed breeding decisions, giving them the ability to assess what stock perform and make longer term business plans.
“As stock are on the platform for an extended period of time, it allows for increased marketing to drive demand.”
FarmGate Auctions chief executive officer Nigel Gosse said Optiweigh was already a leader in in-paddock weighing, with more than 90 units operating Australia wide from Kununurra in WA to Tasmania.
“Optiweigh lots will be listed on the FarmGate Auctions website for a longer period of time enabling buyers to monitor weight gain and assess the potential of the cattle for their own contracts or feedlot situation,” Mr Gosse said.
“Providing more in depth information will give those purchasing online even greater confidence.
“Australia is leading the world in this technology and it will be a global first so it’s pretty exciting.
“Normally stock are listed for 10 days before our weekly cattle sales but with Optiweigh we will allow longer because of the weight gain information coming through.
“We could have a sale 30 days away and that weight gain information would be populating leading up to the sale so potential buyers can see the data.
“There is no work for the producer as those weights will be coming through to FarmGate Auctions automatically.”
Founder of Optiweigh Bill Mitchell said Optiweigh data was now available for direct integration from the farm paddock to the FarmGate Auctions platform.
“This creates opportunities for the farmer to use the data in ways that potentially bring them better value,” Mr Mitchell said.
“We are opening another way for the farmer to reduce costs associated with selling stock and take more advantage of market opportunities when selling stock by having real time liveweights out of the paddock.”
The data generated by Optiweigh is independently verifiable information on weight gain trends and weight range composition of the mob.
Using a solar powered portable unit in the paddock, livestock weight can be constantly monitored from a desktop computer or mobile phone app with no extra fencing or animal training required.