The capability of Halter’s virtual fencing technology is only restricted by a farmers’ own limitations on how to use it, Pokoru dairy farmer Pete Morgan says.

“The main paradigm shift is how we think. We become the limiting factor.”

He now thinks first of the outcome he is after, from pasture eaten, to how people work onfarm, to environmental goals, and then works out how he uses the technology to achieve it.

“To do that you have to let go of just about everything, and it’s quite liberating.”

Pete and his wife Ann Bouma milk 630 cows and have always been staunch on a low-cost, simple system and have resisted investing in expensive products or technology.

They’ve always used industry Apps that were available, but they have always put investment decisions through a rigorous decision process.

They saw Halter as a game changer, especially as they want to step back from the daily hands on work in the near future while remaining closely connected to the management.

They calculated significant payback on the investment from increased pasture utilisation, through to meeting environmental goals, improved animal health, easier logistics onfarm and improvement of people’s work/life balance.

The first big win Pete says is being on track to increase pasture eaten by 1.5 tonnes/hectare this season, from better allocation which results in less wastage and reliably hitting residuals to help grow more grass.

Another win is Pete and his team of five staff have been getting up at a leisurely 6am throughout calving, instead of the 4am starts of old.

All staff have the Halter app on their phones, where they can see every animal live and adjust feed breaks at any time to meet the cows’ intake needs. The staff can also communicate in a chat group in the App.

A staff member can be in the paddock with the cows at 11am and make a decision to increase the cows’ grass allocation, and if they want to run their decision by Pete, they quickly can, with Pete having full view of what is happening in the paddock.

“It enables staff to learn so fast, they are getting to be an effective part of the team.”

Staff are learning the fundamentals of how important the right grass allocation is for cows, which they can take to any future job, he says.