Ag Tech

Smart ear tag delivers pasture feed intake breakthrough

Beef Central, 20/04/2023

The amount of pasture consumed by individual grazing animals can now be estimated accurately, smart ear tag manufacturer Ceres Tag has announced, enabling accelerated selection of higher performing animals on a range of economically and environmentally important traits.

Ceres Tag Managing director David Smith said new functionality now incorporated into Ceres Tag ear tag units builds on 15 years of research conducted by CSIRO and the NSW Department of Primary Industries, through its eGrazor program.

The long-running research partnership led to the creation of algorithms that use an individual animal’s activity and behaviour, in conjunction with weight data from walk-over weighing devices, to calculate each individual’s grazing time per day, and in turn kilograms of dry matter intake and feed efficiency.

Feed intake strongly correlates with methane and carbon dioxide output. Algorithms are also now able to apply ruminant methane parameters to calculate estimated volume of methane emitted and emissions efficiency per pasture-fed animal.

“Once you have the feed efficiency and the kilograms dry matter intake per day, and the methane emissions, they’re all phenotypes, and you can actually start to determine which animals you genetically want to breed with,” Mr Smith told Beef Central.

“Because it is passed down from generation to generation, which animals are the higher performing animals to breed with, we can constantly update the improvement of the herd.”

Mr Smith said the additional information is now being offered as part of the suite of functions available in each Ceres Tags, at no additional cost to users.

The wearable devices can help producers to identify animals genetically superior in feed efficiency while maintaining and improving productivity, leading to reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr Smith expects he technology to also play an important role in helping producers and supply chains to back up sustainability claims, while also helping the industry to guard against greenwashing, or making false claims about sustainability, which are now subject to crackdown by ACCC.

He said the technology will help to fill an important gap in knowledge in terms of feed and emissions efficiency of animals throughout their life cycle from birth.

Initially it would provide large grazing operations and enterprises with supply contracts to retailers an opportunity to provide evidence of their sustainability claims.

“With the ESG recording requirements and the Scope 3 supply chain requirements, you need to be able to prove all the way down the supply chain that you are making sustainable improvements,” he said.

It would also help to answer questions such as if animals which are efficient feed converters on grain are also the most efficient animals in a grazing situation.

For more information on Pasture Feed Intake functionality of Ceres Tags, visit the website here





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  1. Isaac Sibanyoni, 22/04/2023

    Please kindly provide more information regarding the tags, where and how to get them.

  2. navin, 21/04/2023

    is this devise include gps to track cow locatiion

  3. J C, 21/04/2023

    Might have to make these as earrings to stop and monitor all the billions of filthy farting humans.

  4. Jabu, 21/04/2023

    Please provide details of how can we get the tags and the prices 🙏

  5. Siko Moeti, 21/04/2023

    how can I get access to the tag

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