Volatile agricultural markets, high input costs and rising capital requirements for farm operations highlight the importance of timely, accurate records in helping pork producers make effective risk management decisions.
That’s why Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach swine program specialist Mark Storlie is offering a workshop on the latest version of Group Tracker, a Microsoft Excel-based software program that compiles production data into summary reports to better define business and production parameters.
The workshop will be held April 4, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Borlaug Learning Center, 3327 290th St., Nashua, IA. There is no cost to attend, but preregistration is encouraged to ensure adequate materials. Current Group Tracker users, as well as those interested in this software, are welcome and invited to attend. Call the Fayette County ISU Extension and Outreach office at (563) 425-3331 to preregister.
“We are excited to announce the newest release of IPIC Group Tracker with version 1.50,” Storlie says. “Group Tracker was developed to provide standardized reporting formats and is designed to accommodate different types of feed manufacturing/diet receiving/deliveries for flexible recording and ease of use.”
Input reports help producers, growers and lenders in determining better marketing strategies and production benchmarks, Storlie says. The software can be purchased on a data-sharing basis, as well as a non-sharing basis.
“Submitting individual closeouts to the regional swine specialist allows a database to be established for each producer, with benefits of the ability to benchmark, make comparisons and look for trends,” he says. “We can make comparisons within a farm’s buildings, genetics, nutritional programs or management practices. With an adequate number of closeouts, we can make comparisons with the entire Group Tracker database, assuming data sharing is included.”
The Iowa Pork Industry Center is the main access for Group Tracker and other software programs (see this page ) although Group Tracker will be available for purchase at the workshop.
Producers interested in taking their closeout records to the next level are encouraged to attend. Current and potential users of Group Tracker are welcome. Please contact Mark Storlie at (563) 425-3331 or email [email protected]  for additional information.