You spoke, we listened, and here’s the result…

 

Creating a solution to a problem is one thing, creating a solution to a problem that is simple, reliable and enjoyable for the end user is another. It’s a challenge made even more testing when your technology is being exposed to some of the harshest of environments. We’re talking wind, rain, intense sun and mud... we’re talking farming.

At surface level the process of developing an app may seem simple, but if you’ve ever tried to develop an app that manages the relationship between a farmer, the farm, the environment and hundreds of cows you may find yourself rethinking that very quickly. As farmers you’re dealing with extremely varying conditions that are not only outside of your control, but at times unpredictable and without warning. So what does that mean for you? And what does that mean for us when designing the Halter app? We asked our Lead User Experience and User Interface Designer Olivia Dobrowolski to give you a peek into a few insights from farmers that have helped shape the development of the Halter app.

 
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Adjustable systems are key to optimising pasture

“Break fencing is often compromised due to the time it takes and the resource required to do the job well. Providing an alternative to break fencing, one that is adaptable to suit farmers paddock shapes and sizes, and that can easily be adjusted depending on conditions will enable farmers to manage their pasture more simply and precisely. The break creation tool now gives farmers the ability to edit and adjust breaks on the go, which is especially useful when the conditions change. As you create a break you can see the exact size of the break, enabling precise pasture allocation.”

 
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There are never enough hours in a day

“Working on the farm means long hours, 4:30am starts spent shifting the girls to the milk shed is time consuming. Enabling farmers to shift their cows to and from the shed and between breaks within a paddock will save time and resource - farmers will be able to meet the girls at the milk shed every morning. When dropping a break fence a farmer can select from multiple different options as to where they want Halter to shift their mob to. Farmers can watch the cows as they move around the farm on the live map view within the app.”

 
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Farmers lack visibility of their farm

“Currently a lot of time is spent monitoring and checking cows, paddocks, and staff which is time consuming. Providing farmers with a solution that gives them full visibility of their farm, from anywhere at anytime will enable them to quickly and easily see where every cow is, which breaks are active, and which breaks are next in order to be grazed. The map home view enables farmers to view every virtual break they have created on the farm. This tool gives farmers the ultimate birds eye view of their farm for better visibility and traceability.”

 
 

Talking with farmers and spending time on their farm, learning about the subtleties between different farms and regions has been, and to this day still is, our biggest priority. Understanding farmer workflow and how Halter will feed in and help within this space has influenced every part of the apps development, from understanding where farmers see Halter adding value, to informing the way in which the app functions for farmers and is interacted with daily.

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“On-farm testing across all conditions such as rain, wind and mud gave us insight into how a farmer interacts with the app and how we can make the process and interactions as seamless and as simple as possible”

Using the Halter app you will have the ability to shift cows to and from the milk shed and between breaks, have your milkers meet you in the shed in the morning or shift your herd to higher ground in the event of a flash flood. Use the app to set up virtual fencing for precise pasture allocation all while receiving alerts should Halter detect a cow to be on heat, lame or calving.

We’re passionate about developing something that makes a genuine and valuable difference to you, your cows and our environment, and your feedback continues to influence our decisions every step of the way. You spoke, we listened and we hope you’re excited about the results!

 

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