Cow-Calf Production Record Software

March 2017


Producers who have computers frequently ask about the availability of software programs to handle
cow-calf production records. Before purchasing a software program, it is important to analyze the value of such a system with regards to making better management decisions. Producers should evaluate their existing records to determine the types of information sought from a software program. Are inventory records important? Are summary reports of primary interest? By considering specific record needs, the producer is better equipped to choose an appropriate software package. The hardest steps to valuable recordkeeping are (1) making time for recordkeeping, (2) determining the herd information that is economically feasible to collect, and (3) summarizing the herd data for use in the decision-making process.

If the cow-calf operator is not currently keeping any records on herd performance, a good starting point may be some basic calf crop records, cow information (if individual identification is used), calving and weaning percentages, inventory numbers, number of females exposed to the bull(s), etc. Seedstock and commercial cow-calf producers have different needs. Also, herd size can influence the degree of detail that a producer is willing or able to assemble on the cattle.

Meaningful cow-calf records may be handwritten or computerized. Monthly calendars, journals, and Integrated Resource Management Redbooks are a few examples of handwritten record systems. The choice of programs, features, and cost of software are the “fine-tuning” portion of recordkeeping. In the following summary of nine commercially available cow-calf software packages, the features are described under six headings:

• Cow Information

• Sire Information

• Calf Information

• Herd Information

• Computer Requirements

• Additional Considerations

The program purchase costs range from $149 to $600. Many software companies offer program demonstration copies for free. Programs have various computer requirements such as minimum processor type and speed, minimum RAM, operating system, hard disk space, and monitor needs. Most programs provide comprehensive cow, calf, and sire data entry fields, as well as herd production summaries.

Many of the programs accommodate both commercial and seedstock cattle needs. Seedstock producers should check with their breed association for software package availability and recommendations prior to purchasing software for registered cattle records.

Before purchasing any software, determine the level and cost of software support that will be provided by the company. In addition, some programs have specific cattle information that is required before the program will work. Sorting applications and the type of reports generated may vary, but in many cases producers have the opportunity to customize reports to meet specific needs. Another important feature may include the ability to query or search the data for specific animal information. Every cow-calf operator must determine the amount of time available to devote to practical recordkeeping and weigh this commitment against software costs, data entry features, and desired summary reports.

Information provided about the following programs was taken from a questionnaire completed by a software company representative. Oklahoma State University does not endorse the software programs listed in this publication, but the information is believed to be true. The summary does not cover all available packages or individual program features. Programs may have other capabilities that are not described in the summary. Producers should contact the respective companies for purchase information, details on features, and specific hardware requirements.

Acknowledgements

Authors want to recognize Dr. John L. Evans, Dr. Sally L. Northcutt, Christina Higgins, and Randy True who had significant input in previous versions of this Extension publication.

Farm Works Stock

Farm Works Software®

A Division of Trimble

P.O. Box 250

Hamilton, IN 46742

E-mail: sales@farmworks.com

Website: www.farmworks.com

Phone: 800-225-2848

Fax: 260-488-3737

Contact: Scott Nusbaum

Livestock Manager Software

Cow Calf 007

1436 W. 4020 S.

Salt Lake City, UT 84123

E-mail: livestockmanagers@gmail.com

Website: http://www.livestockmanagers.com

Contact: Teri Vaughn

Phone: 1-800-570-9155

Cow Sense®

Midwest MicroSystems, L.L.C.

3100 O. Street, Suite 7

Lincoln, NE 58150-1532

Phone: 800-584-0040 / 402-323-6969

Fax: 402-323-6968

E-mail:info@cowsense.com

support@cowsense.com

Web Site: http://cowsense.com

Contact: Tim Davis, Vice President

CattleMax Online

Cattlesoft, Inc.

P.O. Box 2647

College Station, TX 77841

Phone: 800-641-2343

E-mail: howdy@cattlemax.com

Web Site: http://www.cattlemax.com

Contact: Penny Miller

THE Beef Cattle fIRM

University of Tennessee

Extension

315 John R. Rice  Blvd. Ste 101

Murfreesboro, TN 37129

Phone: 615-898-7710

Fax: 615-898-7999

E-Mail: kferguso@utk.edu or kferguson@utk.edu

Web Site: http://economics.ag.utk.edu/firm.html

Contact: Kevin Ferguson

CattlePro

Global Livestock Management Systems, LLC

1725 Dryden Road

Sadieville, KY 40370

Phone: 800-204-2002/859-234-2002

Email: support@cattlepro.com

Website: www.cattlepro.com

Contact: Kathie Williams

Prime Plus: Registered with interface

Prime: Registered

Choice Plus: Commercial with interface

Choice: Commercial

Standard: Small Registered

Select: Small Commercial

Wolf Creek Cow/Calf (Commercial, Commercial with Report Writer, and Production)

Wolf Creek Software

203 West 7th Street

Miller, SD 57362

Phone: 605-553-0136

Email: cowcalf.assist@gmail.com

Contact: David Van Heuvelen

Benyshek and Hough Consulting Services, Inc.

GEM Data Management Capability

1860 Barnett Shoals Rd., PMB 103-453

Athens, GA 30605

Phone: 706-296-9757 or 706-202-5538

Email: Larry_Benyshek@benyshek-hough.com

John_Hough@benyshek-hough.com

Website: www.benyshek-hough.com

Contact: Larry Benyshek

Bridging Intelligence

294 E. Mill St. # 209

Elora, ON N0B

Phone: 1-855-246-2333

Fax: 519-767-2502

E-mail: service@biotrack.ca

Web Site: http://www.bridgingintelligence.com

Contact: Betty-Jo Almond

 

Cow Information

Sire Information

Calf Information

Herd Information

Herd Information cont’d

Computer Requirements

Computer Requirements cont’d

Additional Considerations Page 1

Additional Considerations Page 2

Additional Considerations Page 3

Additional Considerations Page 4

• All programs have on-screen or printed input forms, as well as on-screen/printed summary reports available.

• Almost all of the programs are designed for both commercial and registered (seedstock, purebred) cow herd types.

• Free-format comment areas (note pages) are available.

• User defined fields, when available, allow input of data not otherwise specified. For example, if the vendor representative indicated ‘no’ for ‘management code,’ a user-defined entry field could be added for these data.

Other Resources

Some of the programs generate Standardized Performance Analysis (SPA) production values. Additional information on SPA is available in this OSU Fact Sheet:

AGEC-222, Cow-Calf Standardized Performance Analysis (SPA)

Helpful Web sites

Farm Financial Management Resources:

http://www.agecon.okstate.edu/farm.asp

Quicken materials for farm financial records:

http://www.agecon.okstate.edu/quicken/

Animal Science Resources:

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu

 

David Lalman
Extension Beef Cattle Specialist

Brent Ladd
Assistant Extension Specialist, Agricultural Economics

Damona Doye
Extension Economist and Regents Professor

 

DASNR Extension Research CASNR
OCES  Contact
OCES
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Oklahoma State University
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