The BCS Tracker allows you to score cows in the field on your smartphone and have ready access to the results.
It also takes the hassle out of recording BCS data on paper and then transferring it to a computer, it can now all be done electronically.
With the following features, this app is proving to be a popular tool for farmers and staff.
- It allows for viewing herd scores and seeing change over time.
- Multiple herds can be scored and reported on.
- Cows can be flagged for a range of reasons (lame, mastitis etc) and along with their tag numbers can recorded for later reference.
- The app also contains the popular BCS field guide, so there is ready access to information and images on accurate assessment.
Guide: Uploading BCS App data to MINDA, using the import liveweight tool
Export the BCS data from the App
- Open the App
- Click on reports in bottom right corner
- Use the drop downs at the top to select the herd you want to report. Note that if you have scored the same herd on multiple dates, all those dates will be included in the report file - you can delete them later if need be.
- Click send in bottom right corner
- Select email. A pre-formed email should open with the file as an attachment - put in your email address and press send. If an email doesn’t open, check that you have the email programme on your phone enabled.
Preparing the file for upload
- Send the data from the App to your email address.
- Open the App file (it is a csv file but will open in Excel). Remove the first and third columns (highlight them, right click, delete). Change the titles so that it looks like this - note that an extra column has been added just by adding the title 'liveweight':
Cow Number BCS Date Liveweight 3 4.5 25/10/2015 6 4.5 25/10/2015 9 4 25/10/2015 12 4.5 25/10/2015 15 5 25/10/2015 18 4.5 25/10/2015 21 4 25/10/2015
- Remove old BCS data if you only want to upload the most recent scoring event - the oldest records will be at the top of the file; highlight the data, right click and delete entire rows.
- Save it somewhere easy to find - click 'yes' when the message about compatibility comes up.
Import the file via MINDA desktop
1. If you have multiple herds in Minda, you need to be in the herd which was scored.
2. Use Import Liveweight wizard to import modified BCS App file.
3. Click next to confirm you are uploading the file to the correct herd.
4. Create a name for the BCS event:
5. Click browse to find the BCS app file.
6. The BCS App file is a CSV file – change the Files of Type drop down to CSV.
7. Locate the file and click open, then click next.
8. Click the tick box to confirm the file includes a header row.
10. Follow the instructions to confirm file layout, i.e. identify what each column in the file is. Note that it only imports columns which contain data or a title - if you haven’t added the liveweight column/title, the import will not succeed.
11. Click to start import.
12. If import is successful, you should see a message that ‘X liveweights assigned OK’ and when you click finish, they’ll appear in your unsychronised events.
Are you having data storage problems?
We have discovered that heavy users of the BCS Tracker app can run into problems with data storage.
This has come about because of two factors:
- The original design spec was aimed at a farmer level of data recording
- The later versions of Apple and Android operating systems allow for less local storage than previous versions
We are working on our options for updating the app to resolve this problem, but in the meantime to avoid any data loss, our app developer has recommended the following:
App users should aim to keep their BCS app data storage just under 3MB (out of the 5MB limit).
To find out how much BCS data is stored in the app:
- For iPhone: Settings > General > Storage > iPhone Storage > Scroll down through the list of Apps, and click on the BCS Tracker App
- For Android: Settings > More > Application Manager > Scroll down through the list of Apps, and click on the BCS Tracker App
Where storage is above 3MB, our advice for users is to export old sessions via the ‘Send’ report feature, email it themselves, and then save the csv files on their desktop/laptops for later reference. Then you can delete older sessions on the app - by selecting the Delete Scores option from the app home page or menu.