Sow Group Tracker Software Development

Larry K. McMullen, Swine Field Specialist, Southeast

Problem Statement:

Niche swine production is one segment in the pork industry that is typically small independent producers who have a farrow to finish operation.  Achieving breeding and farrowing efficiencies tends to be a problem for these small swine operations.   A need for breeding and farrowing records is a must to improve efficiency.  Therefore, there is a need to have a simple method of maintaining breeding and farrowing records but still be complex enough to provide the needed group and individual sow records in a data base format.  Consequently, a software program was needed for the niche and small swine producers that would compliment the Iowa Pork Industry Centers existing Group Tracker (Finishing) and Sow Tracker (Large Commodity Operations) software.

Programmatic Response:

Work began on a breeding and farrowing software program that would meet the needs of the Niche and/or small swine producer in February 2007.  Three goals were established: a) be a simple, user friendly software program b) if desired, be able to track sow breeding and farrowing by group status only c) also, if desired, using the same program be able to track sow breeding and farrowing by individual sow basis.  Dr. Garland Dahlke, ISU Animal Science Software Specialist, programmed the Sow Group Tracker software from the inputs of Larry McMullen, ISU Swine Field Specialist. 

Impact / Outcome:

In December 2007, a completed Sow Group Tracker software program was available to be released in January 2008 as a beta-test version.  The Sow Group Tracker software was simplistic and user friendly, could be used as a group only or as an individual sow program.  The program is capable of tracking five sow groups, provides production planning, track breeding and farrowing records, provides a management calendar, provides printed reports, and allows for inventory tracking.  The program is in an Excel format.  Five niche producers are currently using the beta-test version and are providing feedback to make changes and improvement in the software.  The Sow Group Tracker program is currently available to the public for a one-time fee of $100.00.

April 25, 2008

158  Production Systems and Practices

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