Featured NW producer looks forward to new cattle monitoring technology

Published on November 13th, 2021 📆 | 5329 Views ⚑


NW producer looks forward to new cattle monitoring technology

He and his son Brent operate a farm in the Edam area with 350 cattle that will be calving this spring.

Blais said they check their animals’ wellbeing with a visual inspection twice a day currently, but would always appreciate having more ways to monitor their health.

He said it would be helpful to be able to continuously see the calves’ temperatures remotely through the mobile application, especially as they are being weaned when they can be more vulnerable.

The producer sees the benefits of the technology’s monitoring system also.

“We have no way of tracking our animals right now. It’s just by the ID tag.., so when they sell them they know they came from my farm,” Blais said, referring to standard Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) ear tags.

If one of his livestock does escape from the farm it can usually be found nearby at a neighbour’s property. Branding has also helped with identification.

“We’ve always recovered our cows,” Blais said. “They don’t go far.”

But, he adds, he is interested in finding out more about the GPS technology.

SaskTel and Smart Paddock plan to look for opportunities to make the smart technology accessible to Canada’s livestock industry so ranchers’ are able to care for their herds 24 hours a day.

Smart Paddock founder and CEO Darren Wolchyn stated the technology will offer producers more ways to protect their animals and keep them safe overall.

“With the data captured by our ear tags, livestock farmers can track the location of all members of their herd and monitor for biometric anomalies that may indicate if a cow is sick or calving,” Wolchyn said. “We’re looking forward to working with SaskTel to deploy our smart GPS ear tag solution across the Canadian Prairies to improve livestock producers’ daily lives, as well as the care and wellbeing of their animals.”

Don Morgan, the provincial minister responsible for SaskTel, said the new technology will fill a need in the Canadian agriculture sector.

“The livestock industry is a critical component to the overall success of our province, contributing billions of dollars to our economy,” Morgan said. “I am pleased to see SaskTel working to drive innovation in this sector by forming strategic partnerships with companies like Smart Paddock.”

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