Tuesday, 20 November 2018 06:17

CSIRO develops smart tag to keep track of cattle

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A cow sporting the new CSIRO Ceres Tag. A cow sporting the new CSIRO Ceres Tag. Supplied

Australia's national science agency, the CSIRO, has created its own version of "fitbit" to help farmers keep track of their livestock.

A statement from the agency said the technology took the shape of a smart ear tag, built by a company known as Ceres Tag, which generated data similar to that which was produced by smartwatches.

The CSIRO said the tag had been successfully tested on 100 cattle at its Lansdown Research Station near Townsville, Queensland, last week.

The device aims to save farmers time and money in tracking their cattle; manual tracking involves the use of vehicles or aircraft.

Ceres Tag chief executive David Smith said: “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.

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

“Aussie farmers need every bit of help they can get right now so 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,” said Dr Ed Charmley, group leader at CSIRO.

“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.”

The tag will be on display at the digital forum at Meat and Livestock Australia's’s Red Meat 2018 event in Canberra on 22 and 23 November and also at the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture in Brisbane the following week.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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