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The Wonga Plains 'Penrider App' Innovation

Clever ideas and innovations that have been incorporated into day-to-day feedlot operations have been entered into the ALFA Award for Innovation 2021, proudly supported by Integrated Animal Production (IAP).

The winner and runner-up will be determined by popular vote and announced at the ALFA Industry Awards Ceremony on October 20.

To vote for this entry, simply click the 'heart' button at the bottom right of this page. The innovation with the most votes wins, the second highest voted innovation will be named the runner-up. Voting closes 3pm, 20 October.


What's the issue/challenge?

On an operations level, pen riding is one of the most important functions to ensure that animal health and welfare is sustained to the highest level. We have found that there is a significant gap in the ease of communication of cattle information from feedlot management and the PC based StockAid system to the staff in the pens. Accurate and detailed communication would involve carrying around a dozen sheets of paper, and multiple phone calls to office staff to get the information needed, it’s just not practical.

To close the gap and ensure that animal welfare and health is the highest priority and work productivity is at the most efficient level, Camm Agricultural are developing an application that can be downloaded on any smart phone. It would ensure that live data is available all times for pen riders, hospital attendants and the feedmill team.

How does the innovation/idea work?

The app’s goal is to enable fast and efficient access to information that isn’t readily available to the livestock team on horses in the pens currently. The initial build will consist of six different tabs; Feedlot Map and Pen Layout, Lot Number, Vet, Dashboards, Pen Movement and Daily Schedule. As well as a visual ID search bar.

The Feedlot Map and Pen Layout tab will identify high risk problem pens with a colour based system on severity and issues within that season i.e., heat stress. This tab will be tailor made to individual feedlots through google maps and can identify any major high risk pens and or issues. I.e., early days on feed pens, mixed vendors to easily identify high risk pens that aren’t acclimated and high-risk animals. There will be a add function per pen to be able to alert maintenance crews of any repairs and maintenance that need to be carried out and based on a priority of high, medium, or low.

The Lot Number tab will contain all information relating to the lot number/s in the pen. Including: DOF, vendor, number of head, tag colour, current ration, kill schedule and dates to ensure that the correct health treatment protocol is administered based on DOF and WHP and the home pen. Health data very similar to the stock person #2 report would include such things as mortality and morbidity. This tab will have FeedBunk data coming through so that pen riders can identify non eaters and track how the cattle are responding to the rations with the feed intake and 5-day FeedBunk consumption information available.

The Vet tab is where the hospital treatment protocol, which the feedlot veterinarian prepares, will be readily available. It will have all treatment applications per ailment, ESI and WHP dates, treatment days prior to being sent home, what each drug is used for, the SDS and safe handling of all drugs and store the feedlot animal stewardship information.

The Pen Movements tab enables the pen riders to move cattle from the pens directly to the hospital and provide a pull reason to the hospital attendants, which is sometimes hard to identify once they are in a crush. This pen movement function will also enable a flag to FeedBunk so the Feedmill understand the new head numbers for each pen and hospital to ensure that the correct amount of feed can be allocated and the correct ration.

The Dashboards tab will be an indicator of the most likely time frame for diseases or viral infections that could be occurring in the pen depending on the feeding stage and DOF. This will help experienced pen riders know what they are looking for in each individual pen as well as aid beginners who are still learning the different alignments.

This dashboard will also accumulate data for how the feedlot is tracking ie. Mortality rate, morbidity, weight gain and can trend if there is a decrease in feed intake and pulls, as well as pen vs hospital deaths. This information will aid the pen riders in identifying which tasks need their attention and prioritising their day.

The Daily Schedule tab is uploaded by the livestock manager/supervisor and it details the jobs for the day or even a week ahead. It will hold the information that is needed to complete daily tasks. Pen riders will be able to check off tasks in the app to ensure that procedures are carried out and any tasks not completed will automatically roll over onto the next day.

The Visual ID Search Bar will mirror the search animal id which is utilised in StockAid. Including all of the same data to identity individual animals, home pens if stray, pervious hospital treatments or if a high risk animal.

The app would have the function to be able to be live linked to StockAid and FeedBunk enabling it to be updated with the daily roll over.

The possibilities for the app are endless, future ideas include a Questions tab which is linked directly to management and the feedlot vet to ask non-urgent questions as well as a Training tab for new pen riders and hospital attendants.

Cost of Innovation:

Initial build will cost $20,000 with upgrades totalling up to $30,000.

Enter your innovation/idea into the ALFA Award for Innovation 2021 for your chance to win prize money, and bragging rights! Entries close 1 September 2021 and can be submitted at

With thanks to our long-term supporter of this award, Integrated Animal Production (IAP)


To vote for this entry, simply click the 'heart' button at the bottom right of this page. The innovation with the most votes wins, the second highest voted innovation will be named the runner-up. Voting closes 3pm, 20 October.



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