JCU test­ing new cat­tle tags

Aus­tralian hi-tech tag­ging will rev­o­lu­tionise in­ter­na­tional in­dus­try

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE RURAL - Jes­sica McGrath Jes­sica.Mcgrath @south­bur­nett­times.com.au

AUS­TRALIAN cat­tle farm­ers will soon have ac­cess to the next gen­er­a­tion of smart ear tags.

Ceres Tag CEO David Smith said the ear tags con­tained minia­ture mo­bile phone tech­nol­ogy to solve com­mon is­sues within the live­stock in­dus­try.

James Cook Univer­sity re­searchers are cur­rently de­vel­op­ing the tags which will give farm­ers the power to mon­i­tor stock with­out hav­ing to re­place bat­ter­ies, he said.

“Tech­nol­ogy has ad­vanced so much, it’s the first time it’s put to­gether in such a small pack­age and im­ple­mented into the in­dus­try,” Mr Smith said.

The tags will be NLIS (Na­tional Live­stock Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Sys­tem) com­pli­ant, and con­tain GPS tech­nol­ogy to mon­i­tor mus­ter­ing ef­fi­cien­cies and track where, and which, an­i­mals are leav­ing, due to stock theft or wild dog dis­tur­bances.

Through com­bin­ing the smart ear tags with other tech­nolo­gies, farm­ers could pin­point which an­i­mals are fat­ten­ing up, to start de­ter­min­ing pas­ture man­age­ment.

“It’s a com­plete man­age­ment tool to im­prove the whole op­er­a­tions of what you do with your an­i­mals, all of that ul­ti­mately leads to more profit for the pro­ducer and a higher qual­ity for the end con­sumer,” Mr Smith said.

He said he tags would al­low farm­ers to start using their an­i­mals as true as­sets, as data col­lected from the tags could prove their cat­tle his­tory and pro­vide cer­tainty of num­bers.

The project has been in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Meat and Live­stock Aus­tralia, CSIRO, and Ad­vanced Queens­land.

This sup­port means the Ceres Tag would be ro­bust, Mr Smith said.

“It pro­vides us with the de­vel­op­ment ca­pa­bil­ity of a trust­wor­thy prod­uct, that is guar­an­teed to work,” he said.

Mr Smith said the tag was un­der­go­ing test­ing and was pro­jected to be on the mar­ket from 2020.

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