'Fitbit for cows' set to revolutionise beef industry from paddock to plate
An electronic tracking ear tag being developed for cattle could forever change the way graziers manage both livestock and farmland.
Researchers from James Cook University (JCU) in Townsville are collaborating with the Queensland Department of Science, the CSIRO and commercial partner Ceres Tag to adapt GPS technology for small, affordable livestock ear tags.
Computational chemistry expert, Ian Atkinson said the project would ultimately enable more accurate assessment of livestock condition.
"The idea is we'll have a Fitbit for cows that will measure behaviour and temperature and things," he said.
"The microelectronics that the huge companies use has led to a huge amount of research and development and that's driven down cost. The microelectronics that the huge companies use has led to a huge amount of research and development and that's driven down cost".
Before such a level of specific livestock monitoring can be developed, Professor Atkinson is aiming to refine geolocation of animals through the prototype ear tag.
"The group at CSIRO that are working with Ceres Tag and JCU on this project are working on a really low-powered GPS device," he said.
"It'll fit in the same form as the current NLIS (National Livestock Identification System) tags." Read more
Tom Major - ABC Rural - 28 Mar 2018