Editor’s note: This is second in a two-part series on how the dairy industry is embracing smartphone technology. This month, we hear from a fifth-generation dairy producer getting ready to move to the next generation of technology.
Scott Moes farms with his brother and father on a 1,500-cow dairy in northeast South Dakota. They also keep busy by running a trucking company and custom feed company. Scott Moes currently uses a Blackberry with an email alert system that tracks his bulk tank filling. The tank sensor alerts him at the same time every day, so he can also tell immediately if they are gaining or losing milk from day to day.
They have 11 cameras throughout the farm, and with an app he can glance at his phone and check those cameras at any time. But what he’s really excited about is how much faster that camera app will be once it’s on his new Android operating system, which he expects to upgrade to sometime this year.
“PCDART is in the process of switching their programs over to an Android system,” Moes said. “So, now the information I collect on a Pocket PC — individual cow’s daily milk output, what she’s been treated with, when she’s due to calve, when she should be bred — I’ll have all that on my phone.”
Moes is also testing a tablet for the company, which he uses mostly for preg-checking. “I can enter all the information right there, cow-side, versus having to go back to the computer and enter the data. Smartphones and tablets are great tools to increase efficiency, it’s tough to imagine how we used to work without them.”
Technology changes rapidly, and it’s young producers like Moes who are leading the pack to change with it. “I know technology will continue to change the way dairies are managed,” he said. “It’s important to keep up with new technology to stay ahead of the game and survive.”