Individual Animal Management (IAM) in Kenya! Who would of thought? It’s happening and they are measuring production from it. Fortunately (or unfortunately) they need herdsmen to stay with the stock every day to avoid predation from lions, hyena and stock theft. Stock are locked up in ‘Boma’s (portable yards) every night. Due to this reason, it is fairly routine for commercial farms to mark calves at birth and most document genetic relationship with mother and father.
Each calf will get a card where records will be kept for future joining and calving dates. Cows are culled on inter calving period making sure they are not taking too long to get back in calf. The potential for these farms to do some further measurements is a realistic one to improve profitability.
The thing that has been most interesting to me Over the past two weeks is that regardless of the industry, the best farms are measuring production. It comes back to the theory that if you don’t measure, it is hard to really know what the biggest factor is that is limiting improvement – apart from making a fairly educated guess.
Below is a group of pictures collected over the past two weeks in South Africa and Kenya and all have one thing in common – all measure to manage.
What I’ve been asking myself as a result of this common observation between industries – how do we make our inputs work for us? My conclusion is – through accurate and relevant measuring we can select for efficiency.
A New Zealander showed me a picture of two mobs of sheep and asked me which one I thought earn’t him $20,000 more – visually I couldn’t tell and it emphasised how important this concept is. If we are going to have sustainable farming businesses into the future – inputs need to be turned into outputs as efficiently as possible.
To finish up, some of the animals of Kenya that have to exist together – and this is a only a snap shot!
Heading to Russia – will be interesting to see if the trend continues……..
How exciting is agriculture!!?