Tag tracks cows

By Country News

CSIRO and agtech start-up Ceres Tag have created a new type of fitness tracker to help farmers keep track of their livestock and save the time and monetary cost of manually tracking their herds.

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

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

Ceres Tag chief executive officer David Smith said the product gave farmers ‘‘greater transparency over grazing management.’’

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

CSIRO group leader Dr Ed Charmley said the technology would be a great support for Australian farmers.

‘‘We are pleased it has taken less than a year for this technology to move from the research phase into development for a real-world trial on cattle,’’ Dr Charmley said.

‘‘Our focus for future iterations is to create a smaller and lighter tag, as well as added functionality such as a temperature sensor, which could alert farmers to illnesses at an earlier stage.’’

CSIRO and Ceres Tag aspire for the tags to be the world’s first smart ear tag accredited for provenance to international traceability standards, including Australia’s National Livestock Identification System (NLIS).