PalmCow animal enrolment training and data collection

During July-September, 2019, the PalmCow animal production team visited project research sites across all three provinces (Riau, East Kalimantan and South Sumatra) to enrol cattle into the Commcare system for future animal production research activity. Dr Yeni Widiawati (ICARD) and Mr Arthur Cameron (NT DPIR) provide more details on the enrolment process.

The PalmCow animal production team recently completed Field Officer training in the process of enrolling cows into the Commcare data management system.

Commcare will be used to store all of the data generated by the project. The cattle enrolment process follows on from Household Surveys. Cattle are enrolled against households surveyed for the project.

Mr Arthur Cameron completing pasture yield assessment, South Sumatra, August 2019.  Photo: Kieren McCosker

Mr Arthur Cameron completing pasture yield assessment, South Sumatra, August 2019. Photo: Kieren McCosker

As part of the initial training activity, the team visited one site in each province. The Field Officers received practical experience in tagging cattle and in the use of tablet devices to enrol cattle into Commcare.

These practical tests also allowed any minor problems with the app questionnaires forms to be troubleshooted and resolved.

Baseline performance data were recorded for each animal, including pregnancy testing and expected calving date, body condition score, and lactation status. The farmers were happy to receive information on the pregnancy status of their cows.

While the team enrolled cattle into the project, Arthur Cameron and colleagues Dr Iwan Herdiawan and Dr Endang Sutedi (ICARD) completed assessments of pasture yields under oil palms of different ages, and identifying cut and carry forages provided to the cattle.

Following the initial site visits, PalmCow Field Officers have continued with animal enrolment, working with local farmer groups to weigh and tag cattle and record these details in Commcare. Target enrolment numbers depend on how extensive cattle production is in each of the PalmCow research sites.

Field Officers will be instrumental in collecting data on the physiological attributes of cattle into the future, to monitor their performance over time.

Field Officer Ms Henni Rahmawati collecting animal production data in Riau, September 2019.  Photo: Yeni Widiawati

Field Officer Ms Henni Rahmawati collecting animal production data in Riau, September 2019. Photo: Yeni Widiawati

The project team during animal enrolment activity in Riau, July 2019.  Photo: Arthur Cameron

The project team during animal enrolment activity in Riau, July 2019. Photo: Arthur Cameron

Weighing cattle, Gading Sari village, Kampar district, Riau, September 2019.  Photo: Yeni Widiawati

Weighing cattle, Gading Sari village, Kampar district, Riau, September 2019. Photo: Yeni Widiawati