Geo Fencing Vs. Virtual Fencing - What's The Difference

Geo and Virtual fencing are often used on-farm and in recent years producers have become more and more familiar with these systems to streamline stock tracking and control management. But what is the real difference between Geo and Virtual fencing? Read on and you’ll find the difference between these two super simple and easily actionable solutions.


The Difference

Geo Fencing: 

Geo Fencing is a virtual geographic boundary set through a Global Positioning System (GPS), or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, enabling a triggered alert when a device enters or leaves an area. (Oxford Languages Dictionary, 2021).

Virtual Fencing:

Virtual fencing is a system that enables animals to be confined or moved without using fixed fences, this could be through sound or electric shock. (CSIRO, 2021).

Put simply, each time an animal enters or exits the assigned barrier a Virtual Fence triggers a physical response such as a pulse or noise, where as a Geo Fence triggers a notification on a device through a software.


The Benefits

Depending on your business goals there are benefits to both. From improved productivity and stock retention to reducing the initial investment in physical fencing - it all depends on your operation and desired outcome.

In Australia, virtual fencing is only legal in QLD and TAS, and this comes down to Animal Ethics and Welfare. Geo-fencing can be used world wide as it relies on an element of animal husbandry once you receive the alert.


Geo Fencing in the Agricultural Industry

Geo Fencing technology is used across the Agricultural sector. It is widely used in Agronomy for crop planning, planting and harvesting to increase the yield.

In beef grazing operations Geo Fencing Technology is used for the rotation of livestock through grazing areas and to notify the owner of location.

Geo Fencing technology can be even more useful on wide-ranging properties, why? It allows producers to check if animals are accessing feed and water as well as making sure they stay away from environmentally sensitive areas remotely from the office, on the road or away from home.


Geo Fencing for ‘Smart Grazing’

The idea of ‘Smart grazing’ has created a strong push in interest in Geo Fencing. Smart grazing refers to a rotational grazing method that promotes the continued movement of livestock across pastures to improve soil quality animal health and combat climate change.

A popular Netflix documentary “Kiss the Ground” illustrates the concept of smart grazing in an easily accessible way. This type of main stream media keeps the concept front of mind for both consumers and industry. This led livestock operations to explore new ways to access the information they need to make their grazing more strategic. Geo Fencing provides access to valuable data that allows farmers to access their livestock’s location and movement at their fingertips, anywhere.


Interested in Geofencing through Ceres Tag?

Geo fencing is currently offered by the following Software Platforms;


Where do I start?

If Geo Fencing technology will benefit your livestock business, we recommend taking the following steps for implementation:

  1. Procurement of Ceres Tags
  2. Select a fully integrated Software Partner
  3. Tag your livestock and monitor on your software of choice
  4. Set up your paddocks in your software and start monitoring


Geo Fencing stands as a great example of Innovation of Agricultural Technologies. Whether used for grazing rotations, efficiency , labour or maintaining animal welfare standards - Geo Fencing is a valuable tool for a grazing operations.

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