First launched in 2019, Optiweigh, an automated in-paddock weighing system that provides livestock farmers with a smart, fast, reliable and cost-effective method to remotely monitor and measure the weight of livestock in their mobs, is now available across every state in Australia.
In commercial cattle operations, monitoring the weight of animals regularly is crucial to optimising profitability and costs. Regular weighing helps farmers decide when to sell cattle to achieve the target weight and avoid penalties, as well as optimise the feeding regime, which is a major cost of the operation. Traditionally, weighing cattle is a manual and time-consuming process, which involves mustering and yarding the mob. Ultimately, this means there is a limit to how regularly data can be gathered, which limits the ability for farmers to accurately optimise their feeding regimes and the timing of sale to hit target market specifications.
The Optiweigh remote weighing system enables farmers to obtain accurate weight readings at regular intervals without the cost, time and live-weight loss associated with manually weighing cattle. Optiweigh’s self-powered system weighs the front two feet of the animal and uses highly accurate algorithms to generate whole body weights, which are sent to the farmer in real-time to view on their smartphone or laptop. The system is highly portable and can be towed from one paddock to another with ease. Within 2-3 days of deploying the device, the farmer can receive an accurate snapshot of the weight of individual animals and the entire mob – all without time, labour cost and weight loss associated with taking the cattle to the yards. Moving it from mob to mob and back again over time allows the ongoing performance of a number of mobs to be monitored.
The system is enabling farmers across the country to save costs and add value to their operations by weighing their cattle in-paddock, according to the company. It describes the resulting data as game changing in its ability to enable more precise management, and thus improve the profitability of the whole operation.
“We are getting fantastic feedback from our customers,” said Bill Mitchell, founder and CEO of Optiweigh. “Some customers are using Optiweigh to pick up changes in weight gain trends in less than a week – which is allowing corrective action to be taken well before the trend would have become evident by just looking at the animals and the paddock,” he continued.
“Other customers are using Optiweigh to fine tune their sales program by being able to make better decisions about how many animals to sell and when to sell them. The high accuracy of this data and the low cost of gathering it means that our customers are universally generating a positive return on their investment.”
Optiweigh was launched in 2019 and now has 75 units placed across every state in Australia.