The adage "you cannot manage what you do not measure" is true. Keeping production records is becoming ever easier with the introduction of web-based record keeping programs and Bluetooth-enabled technologies and smartphones. Advances in genetic testing (DNA marker-assisted selection) and declining laboratory costs are providing additional means for producers to assess their animals and make decisions. For producers looking to incorporate genomics into their operation it is important to recognize that "Phenotype is King", which means, that phenotypic records (weights, dates, etc) are very important to have in place prior to any genetic evaluation.
While production records are important, the collected data must be analyzed and reviewed before it has any value in decision-making. Similarly, purchasing software, applications and technologies for record keeping but never using them is also not useful.
Through an extension event and webinars this project demonstrated the technologies available to assist with data capture and analysis.
We are very thankful to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture's Agricultural Demonstration of Practices and Technologies (ADOPT) Fund for providing the financial support to carry out this project.