A scheme aimed at encouraging sheep farmers in Wales to overcome barriers to electronic recording is proving to be a resounding success.
Preliminary findings from an Electronic Identification (EID) project launched at the end of last year suggest that around 80 per cent of the farmers involved have found using the readers to record flock information relatively easy.
“Our latest feedback indicates that many Welsh farmers are not only getting to grips with the technology but are enthusiastically looking at a wider range of functions and into maximising the benefits from the equipment,” says Dr Julie Finch, corporate strategy and policy manager with Hybu Cig Cymru, the Wales-based red meat development agency which is running the project.
“The demand to take part in the project was extraordinary and feedback has been extremely positive, meaning that funding originally set aside to recruit farmers was converted into additional project vouchers so that 1,700 farmers were able to take part – some 200 more than expected.
“A series of case studies has been developed to demonstrate how project farmers have explored the potential benefits of EID recording in commercial and pedigree situations,” added Dr Finch.
“Some had not used EID before but once started and into a routine it became easier.
“Using the software to download and use the information gathered was the most difficult element for most of the participants.
“A new leaflet has been produced which we will use at farmer meetings during the autumn and the full case studies are available at the project website, www.ewemanage-IT.org.uk.
“We hope these will encourage more farmers to consider EID recording to help them to manage their flocks”.
The full project findings and two new information resources on EID recording will be available later this year.