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Livestock

Bloat app available for android

The Bloat Alert app can let producers know if there is an increased risk of bloat in their area.

A Charles Sturt University phone app to help beef producers with the management of bloat has now been released for android users.

The Bloat Alert app, launched in July last year, was developed as part of the university’s research into bloat in southern beef production systems and already has more than 250 users.

Professor Bruce Allworth is leading the bloat research and said the app provided producers with an early warning system.

“Producers who download the app can be notified when bloat is reported in their area, thereby giving them the heads-up that they need to check their cattle and possibly initiate or increase preventive measures,” Prof Allworth said.

“Importantly, producers that report bloat won’t be specifically identified.

“The Bloat Alert app only reports the postcode where the bloat occurs, not the exact location, so producers can report cases to assist fellow producers without being identified themselves.”

There were more than 30 reports of bloat using the app last year, even though 2021 was not considered a bad bloat year.

Prof Allworth said the feedback from producers was very encouraging.

“Bloat has not been an issue yet this season in southern NSW because of the grass-dominant pastures, and I am hoping it will be another low-risk year for bloat,” he said.

“But having the Bloat Alert app will help producers know immediately if that risk increases in their district.

“Typically, July and August are the highest risk months for bloat, so we were very keen to get the android and updated iPhone versions out now so producers can be in the best position to know what’s going on in their district.”

Bloat Alert can be downloaded for free from the App Store for iPhone users and the Google Play Store for android users.