Thursday, 4 December 2014

Video proving a useful tool on the farm

In livestock farming, the word ‘viral’ normally instils fear for animal health. But in this era where the internet has seeped into every aspect of our lives, even the term ‘viral’ has gone digital.

Video has become an important internet tool, as organisations are able to share content with audiences all around the world almost instantly. Here at EBLEX we recognise how valuable this could be to farmers, and earlier this year introduced EBLEX TV, a free online channel which allows us to share video content with the industry.

Easily the most popular videos that we have produced to date are our ‘how to’ videos, which show industry experts demonstrating the best-practice methods of delivering everything from ram MOTs to body-condition scoring and preparing for lambing.

They are useful because farmers are able to watch them either just before or while they are carrying out their management tasks, and can pause, rewind or re-watch the videos as necessary.

Also popular are videos that contain industry experts delivering updates on the market and the industry. Our market intelligence senior analyst, Debbie Butcher, is a regular contributor, and EBLEX sector director Nick Allen finds it a useful way of communicating with farmers too.

The emergence of smartphones and tablets means that many people are walking around with access to EBLEX TV in their pocket, meaning the resource is rarely more than a couple of clicks away. We are aware of the issue that some farmers face with poor internet connectivity in rural areas, and have started developing a solution to that. From early 2015, a selection of the videos will be available on the EBLEX mobile app, which is free to download. Users will be able to download the videos that are relevant to them onto their phone or tablet when they are near a Wi-Fi or other internet connection, and then watch them later without the need to be online.

As farming is such a seasonal industry, much of the content on EBLEX TV reflects that, even though it is available all year round. For example, earlier this year we worked with wholecrop expert Andrew Strzelecki to produce eight videos that demonstrate how farmers can identify the right time to harvest wholecrops, including spring barley, wheat and oats. There was only a small window to get the timing right so that the contents of the crop-heads had the right texture and consistency, but the finished videos should prove useful to farmers across the country year-on-year from now on.

We welcome any suggestions for content that you may have. It could be a ‘how-to’ video that you want to see, or a story that you want to share with the farming community. Share them with us by email and we’ll get in touch.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to receive notifications when new videos are added.

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