Old 03-20-2012, 09:27 AM   #1
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Default Intensively Extensive, or Extensively Intensive?

Cow Collar Texts Ranchers When Animals Are Sick, In Heat

Even cows can benefit from having a mobile device. A new collar being developed for cattle ranchers could send cow health updates to farmers’ cellphones. The device could help ranchers save money in the long run, monitoring the health of their animals and prevent accidental deaths.

The Silent Herdsman collar will track the movements of the cow using the same type of sensors found in Wii devices. That data is relayed to the rancher via a cellphone using a variety of technologies including 3G. This technology could also send farmers instant notification if their animals are in heat, going into labor or in distress.

Researchers also hope to determine which movements the sensor will pick up to determine when cows are in heat.

The collar is being developed by researchers from the University of Strathclyde, Morrisons, Scottish Agricultural College, Harbro, Well Cow, National Milk Records (NMR) and Embedded Technology Solutions. A three-year grant for the project co-funded by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board equals roughly more than $2 million.

The project is taking place at Morrisons farm and Dumfries House for technology research in Scotland.

As reported on, David Alvis, director of the Technology Strategy Board’s sustainable agriculture and food projects, said, “Addressing animal health and welfare challenges and improving animal performance monitoring are vital pieces of the food security jigsaw. The technologies developed through this project have the potential to benefit farming communities in the UK and around the world and we wish the partners every success.”

This isn’t the first invention to connect cattle to monitoring technology. As the world population expands and the need for sustainable food sources grow, solutions involving technology and urban farming become more prevalent.

Find the video here:

GPS Collars Track Cattle On Range

Lee Farren May 1, 2008 12:00pm

In 1981, Doug Johnson began studying the way grazing animals move around their pastures. Twenty years later, he added a new twist.

“We started using GPS collars on animals,” says Johnson, an Oregon State University rangeland researcher.

Although his GPS technology is not ready for practical application, it could be used to compare the grazing strategies of different species, examine the effects of mixed-species grazing and identify grazing efficiencies, says Johnson.

“Ranchers have a good idea of their animals' behavior,” he says. “We have been trying to ‘put numbers to the process’ and compare different breeds and species. For example, we have found that cattle select the least-energy-cost pathways between feeding stations and water. This means that we can predict routes that livestock are likely to use and plan range improvements more effectively.”

Because commercial GPS collars cost $4,500, Johnson's research team builds its own. The collars can collect a location point every second and have remote downloading capability. They're attached in the field or in an alley or chute.

“We try to be as gentle as possible since we are examining normal behavior and try to keep the animals calm.”

He has studied cattle, goats and elk. The cattle study logged each animal's location, with the date and time, every 30 seconds. He could see when an animal came to water and when it left, the amount of time it spent loafing, where it went and how it got there. Herd leaders and followers could be distinguished from their movements.

Do you believe such technologies have a place in the Rangelands, especially in the pursuit of Total Grazing Pressure management?
Turning red to green, a million acres at a time.
Ben is offline WA Australia   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2013, 06:58 AM   #2
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not sure why you would want to use SMS to do this, it would only add to the cost of having a sim card per animal per month etc.

Far better to use wifi and run a server on the farm to collect "triggers" which can then be displayed on a website or emailed etc.
Dean.Collins is offline Not in Australia Undisclosed   Reply With Quote

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