BIXS set for cow-calf producers’ use nationwide

The Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) is officially live nationwide for cow-calf producers’ use heading into this year’s fall calf run.

“BIXS is the result of the (Canadian Cattlemen’s Association) recognizing how an improved flow of information between producers and packers can enhance industry competitiveness,” CCA president Travis Toews said in a release Thursday.

“In time, producers will benefit by understanding what production-enhancing decisions they can make to better meet market demands and packers will be able to source product that meets their specifications.”

BIXS allows cow-calf producers to use individual animals’ ID numbers from the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) to record herd health management protocols, vaccination records and other data, and later, to call up “detailed carcass information.”

“This type of information will help producers refine production methods to produce cattle with specific attributes that the market demands,” the CCA said in a release.

To take part in the voluntary program, cow-calf producers will need to keep records of their animals’ CCIA tag numbers and birthdates — either a calving start date or an actual birthdate — even if the cattle are sold.

That information is required at BIXS’s cow-calf level for the animals’ producers to take part and, in turn, get carcass data later on as the cattle move through the system.

“Complete picture”

Offering her own experience as an example in CCA’s release, producer Judy Madden of Dawson Creek, B.C. said the system will allow her a “more complete picture of how her animals measure up” by providing data on weaned calves. She can then add that to individual animal records already kept on birth, weaning and sale weights.

“What we’re missing is information on how those calves feed out and how they slaughter,” Madden said in the release. “If we have that information to put with the rest of our information, then we could see what work we need to do on our breeding program.”

Madden also noted the system’s “ease of use” for any producer who wishes to take part. Those who don’t have ready access to the internet can have a third party enter their data in the BIXS system, she said.

The CCA has previously said it’s working on tools for use within BIXS tailored to auction markets’ use. The association also has tentative plans to allow markets to provide “strategic messaging” on pending sales and events to producers who have specific animals and protocols, or are in “specified geographical areas.”

A feedlot interface with BIXS is also in development, the CCA previously said. 

Related stories:

BIXS cattle ID system soon to go live, Aug. 24, 2010

National cattle record-keeping system phase-in begins, July 6, 2011

Lee’s Insight: BIXS is born… ugly dad but a real cute baby, Oct. 12, 2011

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