A ‘fit­bit’ to help keep track of stock lo­ca­tion

Central and North Rural Weekly - - RURAL MENTAL HEALTH -

CSIRO, Australia’s national sci­ence agency, and ag tech start-up Ceres Tag have cre­ated a new type of “fit­bit” to help farm­ers keep track of where their live­stock are and what they are do­ing.

The new tech­nol­ogy, which takes the form of a smart ear tag, pro­duces sim­i­lar data to that de­liv­ered by con­sumer smart­watches.

Us­ing the de­vice, farm­ers can track where their herds graze, if an an­i­mal has es­caped or been stolen and even un­usual move­ments that could in­di­cate an an­i­mal is giv­ing birth or sick.

The smart ear tag was suc­cess­fully tri­alled on 100 cat­tle at CSIRO’s Lans­down Re­search Sta­tion near Townsville, Queens­land, last week.

The aim is to save farm­ers time and money com­pared to the costs of man­u­ally track­ing their herds us­ing ve­hi­cles or air­craft.

“Ceres Tag gives greater trans­parency over graz­ing man­age­ment, al­low­ing farm­ers to lo­cate and mon­i­tor their an­i­mals to re­duce risk and op­er­at­ing costs, im­prove ef­fi­ciency and as­sist with trace­abil­ity,” Ceres Tag chief ex­ec­u­tive David Smith said.

“The tag is GPS-en­abled, al­low­ing farm­ers to track the lo­ca­tion of in­di­vid­ual an­i­mals re­motely, via In­ter­net of Things (IoT) ca­pa­bil­ity.”

Us­ing on-board ac­celerom­e­ters, the tag can send out alerts for un­usual ac­tiv­ity pat­terns that could be trig­gered by events like theft and other dis­tur­bances of the herd.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

AG TECH: A cow sport­ing the new CSIRO Ceres Tag.

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