Fonterra, LIC to launch online farm performance tool next month
Fonterra Cooperative Group and Livestock Improvement Corporation, both farmer-owned cooperatives, are set to launch a new online farm performance tool in mid-February called Agrigate.
The tool, first announced in July 2015, creates a single site for farmers to access core data such as milk production and quality data, herd data, pasture data, local weather forecasts, among others, in a bid to build efficiency.
"A key outcome will be enabling farmers to make the most efficient use of their resources, which is important in both tough and better times," said LIC chief executive Wayne McNee in a joint statement with Fonterra. According to the two cooperatives the tool was developed in response to a request from farmers given an ever-increasing range of technology and information.
A prototype was trialled last August and the aim is to fully launch it next month.
A Fonterra spokesman said the tool will be subscription based and the cost will depend on what information farmers want to include. "The intent is to keep the cost to farmers as low as possible and we are working with industry partners to sponsor farmers onto the platform which will reduce the cost further," he said.
The tool was trialled last August with 50 farmers. It will be subject to ongoing development and, according to the Fonterra spokesman, there is "significant interest" from a wide range of agri companies and data providers that want to be involved.
The tool will initially only be available to New Zealand farmers but as the project progresses it will be investigated if the tool can be adapted for use outside of New Zealand, he said.