Many management decisions on dairy farms are made standing out in the barn with the animals. Having complete information cowside can help you make more informed and timely decisions that can increase the profitability of your farm. Pocket Cow Card (PCC) and VAS PULSE Platform are two commonly used tools on dairies that manage their herd with DairyComp.
PCC and Platform were both developed by Valley Ag Software (VAS) and differ slightly in functionality. Not sure which tool is the best fit for your farm? Here is what you need to know about PCC and Platform as you decide what will work best on your farm.
PCC is a handheld device with software designed to specifically work with DairyComp. Connect PCC to an Android device to work through lists, look up cows, and perform other tasks out in the barn. PCC must be brought back into an office with DairyComp and Wi-Fi to synchronize any actions back to DairyComp.
Platform is a cloud-based system used to manage data from your DairyComp, FeedWatch, WeighComp and more. With Platform, you can access all your data from one central site and share it with people on and off your farm. Platform data can be accessed with a web browser or mobile app. The browser is typically used for larger management decisions whereas the app is geared towards the work and time spent out in the barn. To learn more about how Platform can fit into your dairy, visit VAS PULSE Platform – What is is and how does it fit into my dairy.
Here are the top three differences that may help you decide which tool would better suit your farm.
Devices and compatibility
The main difference between PCC and Platform is the devices you can use them on. PCC works exclusively with Android devices whereas the Platform app can be used on any device, even Apple products. Many farms will chose to have dedicated Android devices owned by the farm to run PCC on. This reduces the risk of employees damaging or losing their personal devices.
Because Platform can run on any operating system, it tends to be a more popular option to set up on personal employee devices. If you would prefer to have employees using farm devices, you might consider having the farm purchase tablets or used phones for employees to use on the farm. Keep in mind that regardless of the device being used, each Platform user will have a unique set of permissions associated with their login. Learn more on how to add your team on Platform here.
Allflex Livestock Intelligence Monitoring (SCR)
If your farm uses Allflex Livestock Intelligence monitoring systems, commonly known as SCR, you may want to consider using PCC. With PCC you can scan ID tags with a wand and assign them to animals. This cuts the time spent cleaning off tags and writing down numbers to bring back to DairyComp. It also eliminates some of the potential human error that comes with that. With Platform, you can still pair your app with many wands to find animals. Platform will not assign and marry SCR tags or collars to animals in DairyComp, however it can marry many general RFID tags you may use.
The way in which PCC and Platform sync back to DairyComp is another large difference. When you are out in the barn with PCC you can collect and enter data on the device as you work through worklists. If there are multiple people using PCC, the devices will work independently from one another. After you are done, you will have to go back into the office and connect to the Wi-Fi or the IP address to sync the data back to DairyComp. On the other hand, because Platform is cloud based, as you work through worklists in the barn the worklists update every five minutes on any other Platform interface as well as to DairyComp. Using Platform keeps your team connected in real time and eliminates the need to go back to the office and sync up the work you have done.
There are many nuances with both PCC and Platform. At Dairy One, we can advise farms and help them determine what works best for their situation. Platform works well with most dairies and is continuously coming out with more capabilities. If you use Apple devices on your dairy, Platform will be the way to go. If you need SCR matching capabilities on your dairy, PCC will fit your needs. We also see some farms that use a combination of the two! Both tools are great resources on farms and enable herdsmen to make good cow decisions faster
There is only so much time each day. You already carry your phone with you, why not also carry your cows? Having complete cow history while out with the vet, knowing how many times an animal has been bred while you’re talking to the breeder, or being able to pull up DIM while walking cows can help you make informed decisions for the best interests of your animals and your farm.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-375-9963 to talk more about the capabilities of PCC or Platform and how they may fit into your dairy. Both are included in your DairyComp licensing fee and are easy to get started!
The Dairy One Integrated Farming Solutions Support App can be downloaded on your mobile device from the Google Play or App Store. Submit your issues through the app and we send them to the right person for direct and timely support.