Kansas State University agricultural economics and veterinary medicine staff are taking their knowledge on animal record-keeping to mobile phones with an app that is now available in app stores for IPhone and Android devices.
K-State livestock economist Ted Schroeder said the app, called CalfDex, is free to download. It was developed by agricultural economist master’s graduate Jake Hefley (who now works at the University of Missouri), master’s candidate Audrey Marchek, K-State veterinarian Bob Larson and Schroeder.
The project was funded by a grant from the USDA Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program.
“Our team is eager to provide users with a convenient and easy-to-use modern animal data management tool to keep pace in an ever-changing industry,” Schroeder said. “Considering the growing importance of information exchange in the beef supply chain, there is value in an application that has the ability to store and upload data at the whole-herd and individual animal levels, while also facilitating easy downstream data sharing.”
The app is designed for use in the field even where cell phone service is not available. Schroeder said CalfDex enables producers to maintain efficient and accurate calving, weaning and treatment records – mitigating the risk of clutter, data loss and misplacement that is commonly seen with paper records. The data is also stored across calving seasons for easy access.
Schroeder said the app allows users to protect information with a unique email address and password, established by the user.
“Because it has the capability to track multiple herds and individual animal information, CalfDex is tailored to meet the needs of all sizes of calving operations, from large purebred enterprises to a 4-H or FFA student beginning their first beef breeding project,” Schroeder said.