Our presence over many years in the curriculum of the leading Agribusiness focused universities, tertiary colleges and secondary schools has ensured students get access and training on the farm management software that they will see in their future workplaces.
Typical of most educational licencing options offered by Microsoft and other software providers, the Phoenix Educational Licencing scheme also provides software into educational institutions at very easy to manage prices. Phoenix is modular and scale-able to meet your learning outcomes. We are available to work with your Ag Department to help you meet the curriculum outline and achieve your students learning needs. You will enjoy ongoing support, train the trainer courses, and our trainers can conduct workshops in your facilities.
An example of what we can provide
Each year our team visits the Marcus Oldham campus in Geelong to provide a two day firehose session where we expose the first year agribusiness and farm management students to the tools that are available to them in their future workplaces. We look at both compliance and management using Financial, Budgets, Mapping, Livestock and Cropping software.
The training is at the introductory level and made very relatable for the students. The software is made available to every student on their laptops and is in their hands for 12 months. They are also provided with a workbook to continue their learning after the course and can take it back to the farm or with them to their future employer.
Some examples of student learning outcomes can be seen on Facebook where the students shared their property maps;
- Download the full Grazing Production Workbook PDFFood, Fibre & Agricultural Educators Conference on Wheels workshop notes.
Recording and Reporting Grazing Productivity Workbook
Produced for the Food, Fibre & Agricultural Educators Conference on Wheels 2021
The information in these workshop notes and any information given by AGDATA Australia is provided as a convenient service to our clients for the optimum use of the Phoenix Farm Management products.
This information is in no way a professional opinion or specific advice.
Clarification on accounting, taxation and management issues should be obtained from the Australian Taxation Office, your financial advisor, agronomist or farm consultant.
This information helps to develop skills to use Phoenix software to prepare documents and files to aid in communication between you and these authorities, advisors, consultants, employees and other interested parties.
- Navigating the Livestock Panel
- Selection Panel
- Animal Panel
- Activity Panel
- Feed Demand
- Move Stock
- Production Map
- Analysing your Livestock Operation
- Livestock Summary
- Grazing Chart
To work with the exercises and examples presented in this workbook, you will need a Windows computer with a copy of Phoenix installed on it. These examples will work generally with Phoenix version 8.0, or later. All reporting and navigating functions will work whether the Phoenix program is activated or is running in trial mode. In trial mode, new transactions may not be able to be entered, and some edits may not be possible. All navigating around the program and reporting will be available.
Launch Phoenix, select Example Data from the first selection window that appears, then click on the Livestock module button on the toolbar.
Phoenix can record livestock as individual identified animals or as named mobs of unidentified animals. For simplicity, this workshop will only consider individually identified animals. Click on Individuals in the top left corner of the screen if it is not already highlighted.
Navigating the Livestock Panels
The three panels which appear in the Livestock screen are Selection Panel, Animal Panel and Activity Panel. Between each of these is a vertical splitter bar. In the Selection Panel and Activity Panels there is also a horizontal splitter bar. By moving the cursor over a splitter bar, the size of the panels can be changed to make viewing or recording information easier.
This panel acts as a filter for the animals that are displayed in the Animal Panel.
- There are two tabs at the top of the Selection Panel. Location/Class and Status/Property. By default, Location/Class is displayed when opening Phoenix Livestock and all the Properties available to Livestock are selected.
- Note the information displayed in the Animal Panel.
- With the cursor over the list of Properties and Paddocks right mouse click then left click on Expand All. Note all paddocks for all properties are now shown and if ticked their associated animals are shown in the Animal Panel.
- Right click over the Properties and Paddocks list and left click on Untick All. Left click in the check box for Barcoolah/Lagoon and note the Animal Panel now shows the 223 steers and heifers in that paddock.
- Right click over the Properties and Paddocks list and left click on Collapse All.
- Right click over the Properties and Paddocks list and left click on Tick All.
- Untick Cattle and Sheep in the Animal Types field. Note the Animal Panel entries.
- Right click over the Animal Types list. Left click Tick All to remove the filter.
- Select the Status/Property tab and note the options available for display there.
Note; In the tree view structure, there may also be a 'greater than' or 'down arrow ' symbol next to each Property or Animal Type. These can also be used to expand and collapse the tree view.
The selections made in the Selection Panel determine the animals displayed in the Animal Panel with each line representing an individual animal. There are five columns displayed by default – Mgt Tag (Animal Identifier), Class, Feed Demand, Paddock (Location) and Days (Number in that Location).
- Tick Barcoolah in Selection Panel.
- Select Tools on the menu bar then Options/Animal Panel.
- Tick and untick some of the options for display and note the changes in the Animal Panel.
- Select the button to the left of Tick in the column heading and note that the same options are available here.
- Select the line between two column headings
- Hold down the left mouse button and drag to the right to make the left column wider or narrower.
- Click on the individual column headings to display the Animal Panel in different orders.
- The order of the columns across the Animal Panel can be changed by dragging and dropping.
- Click on a column heading and with the left mouse button held down drag to the left or right until two green arrows appear. Release it.
- Sort the Animal Panel in Paddock order then tick the first record for Holding. With the Shift key held down click on the last record for Holding.
- This will select all the animals in the Holding paddock.
- At the bottom of the Animal Panel is now displayed the total number of animals selected and the total number in the Animal Panel.
- Untick All to clear the panel again.
- Click in the Search field at the top of the Animal Panel and enter 2001.
- Note the information displayed in the Animal Panel narrows as you type.
- The only animal now showing is the Calf whose Mgt Tag number is 2001.
- Click on Clear Search button to clear the Search Field.
- Right mouse click menu, allows you to Tick All, Untick All and Invert Ticks.
The Activity Panel displays a selected animal’s history. The history displayed in the Activity Panel is for the animal in focus i.e. the one highlighted in red in the Animal Panel. At the bottom of the Activity Panel is a history summary grid. By default, the most recent activity is displayed.
The Activity Panel is used to record new information and to view previously entered information.
- Right click in the Selection Panel over the list for Properties and Paddocks and select Tick All.
- Right click over the list of Animal Types and Classes and select Tick All to display all animals in the Animal Panel.
- In the Animal Panel sort by Mgt Tag order and click on Mgt Tag 330.
- Alternatively, use the Search function to display only Mgt Tag 330.
- Select Mgt Tag 330 in the Animal Panel so it is highlighted red.
- Note the Activities which have been recorded for this animal at the bottom of the Activity Panel.
- The most recent activity details will be displayed at the top of the panel unless a different activity is selected.
- Select different activities in the summary grid to see the details of the activities.
- Select Activity 737 – Births 2022.
- Scroll across using the bottom scroll bar to see the full details of the calf with Mgt Tag 2022 which was born to the MA Cow with Mgt Tag 330.
- Select the Edit button.
- Note the check box which now appears beside Apply changes to all animals in this activity and that 239 animals from the original activity are selected.
- Click Cancel as no changes need to be made.
There are nine types of Events. They are: Apply Devices, Replace Devices, Treatments, Feeds, Liveweight, Shearing/Crutching, Tests, Comments and General Events.
There are multiple scenarios that affect the Applying of Devices to animals. Animals can have just one or any combination of up to three identifiers, Management Tag, NLIS ID and RF ID so it is very important to manage these identifiers carefully. Being able to identify animals and so report on those animals in a variety of ways is the cornerstone of managing a livestock enterprise effectively.
With the widespread use of electronic readers now it is less common to set up devices and then apply those unused devices to an animal, although it can be done if entering animals manually rather than through File Import. It is more common now for the required devices to be applied to an animal, the animal scanned, additional information added to the file at the time of scanning and then the file imported, creating the device in the process of recording the animal/s in the system.
Replace Devices is used for applying a device to an animal which has lost or damaged its original device. This can be done manually or through File Import.
The animals to which a treatment is to be recorded can be selected manually through a combination of choices in the Selection and Animal Panels or through File Import. For this exercise File Import will be used.
The animals for which a Feed event is to be recorded can be selected manually through a combination of choices in the Selection and Animal Panels or through File Import. File Import will be used for this exercise.
The animals for which a Liveweight event is to be recorded can be selected manually through a combination of choices in the Selection and Animal Panels or through File Import. File Import will be used for this exercise.
- Select Events on the tool bar and select Feed Demand.
- For Date enter 01/07/2020.
- LSU was selected as the Feed Demand Unit when the Animal Classes were set up.
- If a different Unit is required, it must be changed in Setup/Animal Classes.
- Note that you can set or change the Feed Demand for any class of animals as at the date entered. Set a FD for the Trade Steers of around 1.3.
Note: The Feed Demand calculations will begin from whatever date is selected. Normally the date chosen will be the first time animals are allocated to a particular Class and would then be updated as required. See Feed Demand in Phoenix Livestock Help for more information on Feed Demand and Feed Demand Units.
Shifts are used to record the physical movement of animals from one location to another and the movement of animals between classes. The two types of Shifts are; Change Class and Move Stock. Change Class will be used when moving animals from one class to another, such as calves to heifer or steers, or heifers to cows etc., depending on how the livestock enterprise is run. It can also be used when moving animals from one animal type to another.
Move stock records the physical movement of animals from one location to another. It also identifies animals going on and off feed which assists in reporting for feedlot operations and auditing purposes. As with other exercises the animals involved can be selected manually or through file import.
This exercise won’t be able to be saved running a trial version of Phoenix Livestock
- Right click over the Properties and Paddocks then Tick All.
- Right click over the Animal Types and Classes then Untick All.
- Tick Heifers. You may need to expand the Cattle type.
- Right click in the Animal Panel and Tick All.
- Select Shifts on the tool bar and select Move Stock.
- Enter the Date as 10/12/2020.
- Tick Agistment to see the addition of an Agistment Cost field to record the cost per head for a selected period.
- Untick Agistment as a shift to agistment won’t be used in this exercise.
- Note the check box for On Feed.
- Note the field for Vendor Dec should it be required when recording a move due to sale.
- Tab to the Property field and note the properties that are available, select Barcoolah.
- Tab to the Paddock field and select Box.
- Select OK.
An alternate method of recording livestock movements is by using the Production Map.
- Close the Livestock module and click on the Px App in the top right hand corner of the Phoenix suite screen.
- Select Production Map, Mixed Farming then Paddocks.
- Note that a map of the farm will appear with graphics showing where there are animals, and how many.
- Click on the Steers, and drag them to Leapardwood paddock. You may need to hover the mouse over different graphics in order to find the Steers.
- Enter the movement date as 31/11/2020 and click move.
- Note that the graphics now represent the current stock locations.
- Click on a graphic for any group of animals. Note that in the sliding panel that appears, there are options to feed and treat those animals.
- Click on the X in the top right corner of the sliding panel to put it away.
- Click Back to suite in the top right corner to leave the production map and return to Phoenix proper.
Note: For those people running Phoenix Live (on the cloud) there is an option to have an app running on a mobile device that can display the current status and record certain events. The mobile app, available on iOS and Android, looks very similar to the Production Map.
Analysing Your Livestock Operation
Having captured the Livestock information, evaluations can now be made of the performance of the current Livestock system. From this you can determine the performing and more importantly, the nonperforming elements of the current operation.
By developing a complete historical record of a Livestock system, trends can be noted which will assist with anticipating future variability. Identifying these trends will enable you to make better, timelier, operational decisions. These decisions may include fundamentally changing an entire livestock system to ensure business sustainability or just making minor adjustments to management practices.
A variety of reports depending on the type of livestock management style being employed are available to help you understand your livestock enterprise better and make the necessary decisions.
For most livestock producers, their business is producing kilograms of livestock. Their future viability is based around how efficiently they can do this. It is therefore important to measure all elements of their production system – good and bad.
To derive key performance indicators (KPI’s), you will need different reports for grass fed operations as opposed to feedlot operations.
- Select Reports on the toolbar.
- From the Reports menu select Livestock Summary.
- Note the other reports available.
- Select Animal Types to access the menu.
- Right mouse click anywhere on the Animal Types menu and left click on Untick All.
- Tick the checkbox for Cattle.
- Click on Options and change the Date Range in the Options menu to 01/07/2019 to 30/06/2020.
The Weights report will enable the key performance factors of the livestock operation to be isolated. By examining influences such as genetics (breed, parentage, property of origin), location, etc., a clear picture of the common traits that are delivering the best and worst performances can be gained. From this clear, critical management decisions can be made.
- On the Reports toolbar select Reports and Weights.
- Note the report options have changed. They will be different for each report so ensure the correct options are chosen to produce the information required.
- Select Activity History note all activities available. We will not be selecting by activity this time.
- Click on Animals to reveal all animals currently on the system. Click on the heading Class, and tick the boxes for Heifers, Steers, Feeder Steers and Trade Steers.
- For the Dates range enter 01/07/2018 to current date.
- Select Options and Group by: Class.
- Leave the defaults for all the other selection options.
- Select Options.
- For Group By: select Breed. Sort by Overall ADLG. Select Descending. For Show select Summary.
- Select Options. For Group By: select PIC of Origin.
Grazing Charts used by planned grazing system practitioners provide a record of paddock stocking rates and rainfall which will assist in the planning of future grazing.
- On the Reports toolbar select Reports and Grazing Chart.
- Select Locations and select Barcoolah.
- Select just Cattle under Animal Types.
- Leave all Classes selected.
- For the Date range enter 01/01/2020 to 31/12/2020.
- Tick LSU – Livestock Units for Units but note the other options.
- Under Options leave the defaults selected.
- Close the Grazing Chart, Reports and Exit Livestock with Grazing.
- Open Mapping.
- Select Mixed Farming (Tahoma & Barcoolah) and Open.
- Under View select Grazing Productivity.
- For Start select 01/01/2020 and for End select 31/12/2020.
Contact us to explore your curriculum requirements and to arrange a quote for your Phoenix Educational Licensing.