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InterHerd

InterHerd is a cattle production and health recording system which is suitable for use in dairy, beef and mixed enterprises. It provides a secure storage of comprehensive production and health records for each animal; a day-to-day action lists for the efficient management of herds; a longer-term analysis of herd performance to identify problems and their causes; a financial analysis of livestock and other enterprises, with forward budgets; and it has a user-friendly operation under Windows 95® or Windows NT®

Program features

Event definitions

A basic set of event definitions (calving, service, drying-off etc.) is provided as a default. However, users can add definitions for any other events required, including numerical recordings such as measurements of blood parameters. Events can be recorded either as having taken place or scheduled to take place in the future, and these scheduled events will appear in action lists.

Event definitions can include scheduled follow-up events so that when an event is recorded as having taken place, a sequence of follow-up events will be scheduled. For example, the "service" event definition can specify that whenever a "service" event is recorded, a "check oestrus" event will automatically be scheduled for 21 days later. Events can have different results, associated with different sequences of follow-up events. For example, a pregnancy diagnosis could have three different results: positive, negative or doubtful. A positive result could produce scheduled "drying-off" and "calving" events at 222 and 282 days (from conception). A negative result could a scheduled "check oestrus" event, and a doubtful result a scheduled "pregnancy diagnosis" event.

Farm Budgets

Costs and drug usage can be recorded for each event. This allows analysis of costs for each animal, and accounting for usage of drugs, semen and other inputs at individual animal or herd level. Stock balances can be maintained with re-ordering at pre-defined levels. It also allows the automated preparation of itemised invoices for farmers when the system is being used by service providers. If required, default costs and drug usage can be defined for each event result. This reduces the time needed for data recording, but the default values can be over-ridden in any particular case.

Other features

InterHerd uses Microsoft Access® tables for the storage of data. This provides a very powerful and efficient data interface for the program, and also means that users familiar with the Access database program have full access to their data for additional analysis and reporting not provided by the program. InterHerd also has a facility to export raw data in forms suitable for statistical analysis programs.
InterHerd is multi-lingual. The operating language can be changed at any time by the user. All of the text used on screens and print-outs can be edited and saved while the program is running, which allows authorised users to create translated versions of the program for any language or dialect (left-to-right text only).

The program can import data from files provided by milk recording services, and on-farm recording equipment such as milking parlours, automatic feeders and weighing machines. The emergence of international standards for livestock data interchange will greatly facilitate this process.

While the capabilities of the system are very wide to cover all cattle production systems, it is important to emphasise that the system can be configured to show only the information and facilities relevant to a particular application. Moreover, it can operate with a bare minimum of data, even though it has the capabilities to store almost any data that might be required in specialist applications.

The system is very flexible, but access to configuration options is controlled. Users identify themselves by name and password, and the system manager can specify the facilities available to each user.

One data file can contain data from any number of herds. Therefore reporting and analysis can refer either to a single herd, or any selection of herds that the user specifies. Groups and lots of animals can be defined within herds, so analysis and reports can also be restricted to specified lots or groups.

 

InterAgri, School of Agriculture, Policy & Development, Earley Gate, Reading RG6 6AR, United Kingdom
Telephone: 0118 9264888 Fax: 0118 9262431
Email: info@interagri.org