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December 24, 2021 Innovation & Technology

Tech Talk: Herd management goes digital

Developing digital options to support beef producers has been slow, but Alberta-based company Flokk Systems is taking a bold step forward. Their digital beef herd management and traceability system, now undergoing field testing, is receiving attention from producers and entrepreneurs alike.

“Flokk will provide cow/calf producers with the ease of use and functionality for their operations that grain and oilseed producers experience with their in-cab consoles,” says Mark Olson, president of Flokk Systems. 

Enhanced traceability is playing an important role in beef industry sustainability, market access, and disease outbreak management. Flokk applies built-for-purpose hardware and cloud services to digitize herd management, and seamlessly integrates enhanced traceability.

“Flokk brings an innovative approach to digital herd records and traceability reporting. We are delivering a solution that will integrate into everyday herd operations and operate as a stand-alone system in all kinds of weather,” Olson says.

The system involves a handheld device, herd management software, and periodic internet access. The device contains sophisticated herd management software and an integrated RFID tag reader, allowing most operations to be completed single-handed.

Built for outdoor use, Flokk collects livestock data updates and traceability movements in the field. Producers later plug into a laptop or desktop to access and update records in a spreadsheet. Traceability data can also be sent through the cloud when an internet connection is available. 

The herd management software included in the system allows producers to maintain records, collect vital information, and complete Canadian traceability reporting. It offers a variety of functions, from collecting and maintaining animal records to recording animal location, movement and dispersal. It can also record animal health conditions, pregnancy test results, vaccinations, medications and more.

The website Flokk.ca offers software updates, device configuration, backup and data sharing options. Producers can also use it for system training, data analysis and reporting.  

Flokk was selected as a finalist in the “AgTech Meets BioTech” category of the 2021 Inventures Startup Pitch competition. It’s an innovation event that brings together investors and entrepreneurs to launch creative ideas and offers a $10,000 prize in each category.

Olson anticipates Flokk will be available for purchase in spring 2022 at a price comparable to other herd management systems. Learn more at: www.flokk.ca

This article was first published in Volume 1 Issue 4 edition of ABP Magazine (November 2021). Watch for more digital content from the magazine on ABP Daily.

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