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Producer Application Committee:

Mobile Apps That Make Cents
for Cattle Producers

by Kasey Brown, associate editor, Angus Journal®


OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (June 13, 2013) — More people are accessing data via a mobile smartphone than a desktop computer. That includes beef producers, Rick Rasby, beef specialist for the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (NU), told participants of the 45th Annual Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Research Symposium and Convention in Oklahoma City June 12-15. Rasby addressed the Producer Application Committee.


Rick Rasby
Rick Rasby

The beef industry needs to develop ways to get information to producers via smartphones, Rasby said. He illustrated three apps designed by the NU Beef Cattle Production program to help producers with body condition scoring (BCS), udder and teat scoring, and calculating costs.


The NUBeef-BCS app has three components: written, learning and scoring. The written component shares an Extension circular explaining body condition scoring and its importance.


The learning component is interactive. It has photo examples, sketches and explanations for each score. Producers can swipe through the whole scale (1-9) and see examples of what each score looks like, and they can test their skills with a scoring game. Tap the “label,” and it will show you the areas to look at when scoring cows.


Finally, the third component is scoring your own animals. You can take two pictures of a cow (side view and rear view), then assign an identification number to her and the time of year you are scoring. The assigned body condition score is saved, and you can add information to that cow later.


“This is a much better way to evaluate your nutrition program than body weight,” said Rasby.


NUBeef-UTS (udder and teat scoring) is set up much like the NUBeef BSC, though without the written component at this point.


“The older you get, convenience traits like udder and teats become more important,” he explained. In its learning component, the app explains udder suspension and teat scores that go along with BIF guidelines. It also allows you to score your females much like the previous app.


Both apps are available for Apple and Android phones. They also can fully function once downloaded onto your phone, though the learning component does require Internet.


The third app he mentioned is still being tested, but NUBeef Cow-Q-Lations will help producers calculate feed cost, dry-matter conversions, cornstalk use and gestation. It should be available soon.


Return to the Newsroom for links to the audio to this presentation as well as links to two YouTube videos — a 2-minute video providing an overview of the NUBeef-BCS app and a 4-minute video explaining udder and teat scoring for beef cow operations.


Click here for an article published earlier this year announcing the release of NUBeef-BCS and NUBeef-UTS.


Editor’s Note: This summary was written under contract or by staff of Angus Productions Inc. (API). Through an agreement with the Beef Improvement Federation, we are encouraging reprinting of the articles to those who will adhere to the reprint guidelines available on this site. Please review those guidelines or contact Shauna Rose Hermel, editor, at 816-383-5270. PowerPoints are posted with permission of the presenter and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the presenter.

API's coverage of the event is made possible through collaboration with BIF and sponsorship of LiveAuctions.tv. For questions about this site, or to notify us of broken links, click here.

Headquartered in Saint Joseph, Mo., API publishes the Angus Journal, the Angus Beef Bulletin, the Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA, and the Angus Journal Daily, as well as providing online coverage of events and topics pertinent to cattlemen through the Angus Journal Virtual Library.


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