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#055: Ben Watts about how automation is helping wool growers on farm

Ben Watts from Bralca at Wool Academy Podcast 055 1200x630

Ben Watts is a wool grower based in Australia who is using automation technology to help him run is farm more efficiently and more effectively. Drones, RFID tags or automated scales all help Ben look after his sheep, the farm, ensure the health of his stock and improve is production and therefore his overall business. Ben explains in this episodes how the different technologies work and how they aid wool growers, sheep and consumers. As Ben saw so much success with the new types of technologies he also started his own consulting and training company, Bralca, to assist other wool growers achieve the same goals. Listen to the fascinating world of automation on farm.

About Ben Watts

Ben has been working in the merino industry over the past 25 years, in this time ben has managed sheep farms for corporate business’ up until 2005 when he and his wife Fiona purchased their second farm and began to focus on utilizing automation.

In this time Ben has developed commercial applications for a number of technologies to better utilize skilled labour by reducing repetitive tasks, providing meaningful live information and identifying individual animals within large commercial flocks.

Traditionally data collection has been based on manual processes to collect mob based information. Utilising individual electronic ID, Ben uses remote data collection for live monitoring of animal body weights, matching ewes to lambs and recording animal treatments.

In the past two years, Ben has incorporated the use of Drones to track stock, monitor water and measure pasture growth. This has provided a new level of automated monitoring to assist in management.

Connect with Ben Watts from Bralca

Bralca website

Ben Watts LinkedIn profile

Key Time Stamps

[01:24] About Ben Watts

[02:10] About Ben’s farm

[04:34] The three income streams of Ben’s business

[06:30] How drones can help in day to day tasks on farm

[09:24] Walk-over scales

[13:09] Improved animal welfare through technology

[15:00] How to get more out of ear tags

[17:25] What is the return of investment

[21:01] How much knowledge is needed to run the technology

[22:56] Options for training and learning

[23:58] How can the available data inform retail?

[26:00] What are the current challenges that exist?

[27:25] What will wool growing look like in the next 5 to 10 years?

[30:09] How can technology help the environment?

[32:28] How to connect with Ben Watts and his business Bralca

 

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About the author, Elisabeth

Elisabeth is the founder and host of the Wool Academy Podcast. She also runs her own consulting business where she supports wool industry businesses with strategic communications and project management.
Elisabeth used to work as the Secretary General for the International Wool Textile Organisation where she developed her passion for wool and the wool industry. Her previous education and work experience equipped her also with a broad set of communications skills.

Elisabeth vision is to see the wool industry thrive which is why she supports wool industry businesses communicate successfully.

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