1.) What are the biggest trends and innovations that is happening in the livestock scales and weigh systems industry that producers should be aware of? How has the technology improved over the years?
Not many years ago, farmers and ranchers had to estimate livestock weights in the field and then take them to market and see actual weights of their stock or they had to pre-weigh on local vehicle scales at coops or other facilities with high-capacity scales. Now, scale manufacturers are utilizing the latest in scale technologies to bring the weight and data collection devices out directly into the field for monitoring livestock growth performance. This enables the owner to properly manage weights and their livestock’s readiness for the everchanging market prices today.
2.) Can you tell me more about what your company offers in this area.
Cardinal Scale Manufacturing, centrally based in Webb City, Missouri, has incorporated our factory’s engineering teams and valuable distributor’s knowledge from the field to develop scales for any livestock application, no matter how large or small. Whether the owner’s operation requires a scale for single animals performing vaccinations or large group scales in feed lots, Cardinal Scale has developed many different types of livestock scales for all animal weighing categories. The most popular scale today is Cardinal Scale’s highly-mobile livestock scale, the Weight Wrangler LSM series. This mobile livestock scale can be easily pulled behind a truck to the rancher’s fields in minutes for getting accurate weights and then documenting those weights. This allows for continual monitoring of livestock herds for the scale owner to be assured of timely sell dates for attaining the best revenue possible. The most important feature for the owner is the Weight Wrangler’s mobile weigh center and printer/data collection that is fully powered with an onboard battery. The scale can also be powered by an optional new solar panel for absolutely no interruption in the weighing process.
3.) What should producers keep in mind when evaluating livestock scale and weigh systems?
The producer should evaluate their weight needs closely to invest in the proper scale for their operation. For example, perhaps they require a portable group scale to place it within their corral systems in the field, or maybe they need to take the scale to the field where the livestock is located. It’s important to order the scale with easy-to-use weight indicators for getting average weights and dates for tracking animals all the way through to maturity. Since feeds and field requirements are such a significant investment, the proper scale can be implemented and used regularly to ascertain usage and movement of livestock from one location to another.
4.) Are there any common mistakes you see farmers/ranchers make as it relates to selecting scale/weigh systems?
Some possible mistakes a producer should be aware of is they need to have support from a local scale distributor. Since these scale systems can take a real beating during use out in the field, a knowledgeable servicing distributor can make simple adjustments and service maintenance to keep their investment in optimal weighing mode. Another crucial point is recognizing the technology of the weight centers and future needs they may have as their operation increases in size or data collection demands change. You’ll want to purchase the scale that will cover your needs immediately, but also plan for future expansion. Size of the scale in relation to herd numbers is very important. For example, Cardinal Scale’s Weight Wrangler LSM mobile scale can be purchased in two different sizes: the larger 18’ long unit can weigh between 15-18 head at a time to get average weights quickly in the field, and there is also a smaller size available, too.
5.) What do you think the future holds for these systems? Any innovations coming down the road that producers should be aware of?
When considering a livestock scale it is most important to understand the manufacturer/supplier’s ability to provide optional electronics and weight center hardware as technology advances. One leading example is Cardinal Scale’s continuing advancements in data collection via mobile devices and Cloud-based applications. We believe that this industry is going to greatly improve from the needs and demands of the operator and market demands for livestock information in advance, even to the meat processing companies contracting livestock suppliers. Cardinal Scale monitors these demands closely from the field to enable us to meet these ever growing business trends.