Satellite tracking of cows still a work in progress

Oyen producer Heather Mundt has been keeping an eye on her eight high-tech heifers since fitting them with GPS-enabled smart tags last September.

Despite some setbacks, she remains excited about what the technology has to offer, she said.

Mundt and husband Brenton are part of a pilot project testing the Australian-made Ceres Tag. Unlike other tracking technology, the tags don’t require any extra infrastructure because the data they generate is tracked by low-orbit satellites (which means they can even transmit data through tree cover). Alongside GPS location data, the tags also monitor ambient temperature and animal activity levels.

Mundt said that the mapping data (accessed through an app called Aglive) has been the most useful for her 150-head cow-calf operation — despite the herd staying in the home pasture all winter.

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