AgTech startup Ceres Tag Pty Ltd and the Caason Group will partner to conduct a trial of the Ceres Tag smart ear tag at Caason’s Aileron Pastoral Holdings near Alice Springs next year.
The Ceres Tag smart ear tag is designed to enable near real-time geolocation and health monitoring of livestock, with key features including GPS location, temperature and motion monitoring and remote identification of each animal for provenance and health management.
Caason Group is an investment group and private family office based in Melbourne, with investments in agriculture, exploration, mining and energy, environmental technologies, information technology and telecommunications. Caason Group own and operate Aileron Pastoral Holdings (APH), 4082 square kilometre cattle stationlocated approximately 135km north of Alice Springs.
Ceres Tag Pty Ltd and Caason Group have announced a Joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under which Ceres Tag will trial up to 500 of their smart ear tags on the Alice Springs station.
The MOU is a further collaboration after an early strategic investment was made by Caason Group into Ceres Tag.
The trial is part of research and development partnerships with Meat & Livestock Australia Donor Company and Advance Queensland. CSIRO, Data61 and James Cook University also have technology development collaboration agreements with Ceres Tag.
Trials are expected to commence in April 2019 in line with the requirements of Ceres Tag’s Meat & Livestock Australia Donor Company Research & Development funding agreement.
The trials will form part of the final testing and verification of the Ceres Tag smart ear tags prior to commercial production and sales.
The trial will incorporate the full range of Ceres Tag’s smart ear tag capability including GPS position, temperature and motion monitoring. Objectives of the trial cover testing on a range of cattle types, durability of the tag in a desert/semi-arid climate, software testing and traceability herd movement data analysis.
David Smith, Ceres Tag CEO & Development Director, said the benefits of the smart ear tag are economic, environmental and social, and are expected to include improved animal health, theft reduction and land use efficiency.
National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) traceability considerations will also be incorporated into the trial.
Craig Astill, Caason Group MD & CEO and Aileron Pastoral Holdings MD, said the group was committed to research, development and innovation in the Australian meat industry and improving the organic range of products from its property.
“We had been seeking game changer technology for APH operations and Ceres Tag demonstrated the features offering considerable benefit for farm operations and other stakeholders directly and indirectly involved in the industry,” Mr Astill said.
If successful, this trial will trigger pre-commercial sales of thousands of Ceres Tag smart ear tags to Aileron Pastoral Holdings.
“The opportunity to collaborate with Caason Group on their iconic APH property made complete sense and prepares Ceres Tag for environmental challenges by subjecting our tags to robust testing and validation together with a commercial outcome,” Mr Smith said.
Source: Ceres Tag Pty Ltd, Casson Group