The Lamb and Goat Market Forecast app for iPhone helps producers pick the best time to sell by projecting marginal revenue per head.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the San Angelo State University information technology department developed the predictive program.
“This app addresses the basic question producers face: ‘Should I sell them now, or do I retain ownership and sell them a little bit later down the road? And if I do wait, what would be my reasonable expectations for change in value?’” said Bill Thompson, AgriLife Extension economist, San Angelo.
Using eight years of statistical data, the app helps optimize gross revenue per head based on the time of year, animal weight and cost of gain. It also provides current market values. Although there are many apps for cattle producers, this app is the first of its kind for lamb and goat producers, said Thompson.
The Lamb and Goat Market Forecast app started as an interactive excel spreadsheet that Thompson and Redden developed as an online tool for people to determine the ideal market weight. That idea inspired Waldron who suggested if an assumption could be made about the amount of weight an animal would gain, then a statistical matrix could be created that would predict what the change in relative value would be from month to month – assuming an industry standard rate of gain.
The app allows you to predict the change in value of an animal as it gains weight, and it allows ranchers to input their own cost of gain, as this is highly variable given feed resources available, said Redden.
The app allows users to select if they want information on sheep or goats, then a series of easy prompts guides users through the process. The cost of gain slider bar allows users to see the effect of costs on the marginal revenue bar graphs.
Through the application of science-based knowledge, AgriLife Extension creates high-quality, relevant continuing education that encourages lasting and effective change.