Sponsored Content

Combining technologies to power up feed efficiency data from individual cattle

Sponsored Content, 11/09/2023

Feed efficiency is a critical factor that significantly influences the productivity, sustainability, and profitability of extensive livestock systems.

While there are differences between temperate and tropical extensive systems, traditionally, these systems have been disadvantaged due to a lack of real-time data at the individual animal level under real world grazing conditions.

Intensive systems, such as dairy farms and feedlots, have been harnessing technology to obtain insights for many years, however, that same level of detail in extensive systems has been elusive for extensive systems.

The combined use of two agricultural technology innovations are now being used to successfully capture feed efficiency data from individual grazing animals in the paddock.

One is Ceres Tag, a direct-to-satellite livestock monitoring platform with a built-in Pasture Feed Intake (PFI) algorithm exclusively licensed from CSIRO.

The second is Optiweigh, a satellite-connected mobile livestock weighing system.

The combination of these technologies is enabling producers in operations of all sizes in real time to amass, analyse, and share feed efficiency data with staff and supply chain managers to shed light on the performance of cattle under grazing conditions and make claims for genetics, carbon, and value.

“While weighing cattle to understand the outputs is crucial, combining this knowledge with the animal intake over a known period of time for your herd is incredibly powerful for improving stocking rates, heritable genetics and profitability,” Optiweigh CEO and founder Bill Mitchell said.

“With changing environments, the ability to differentiate drought tolerant animals to withstand drier conditions is a game changer for the Australian livestock industry”.

Ceres Tag CEO and co-founder David Smith said the combination of the technologies provided multiple benefits for producers.

“Having intake information available through grazing time and knowing the location of where the intake is happening, together with the weight gain over the same period of time provides the opportunity to not only understand your phenotype of individual cattle but also the location of the where natural capital being utilised and where it needs improvement to drive value and profitability of your entire operation.”

While the animal’s Pasture Feed Intake (PFI) may vary in response to weather events, handling, temperate versus tropical and social interactions, the average daily weight gain varies more suggesting that continuous monitoring provides a nuanced view of feed efficiency compared to traditional weight measurements by understanding the inputs while grazing.

The insights guide the optimal protocols for collecting precise Feed Conversion Efficiency (FCE) data under comparable grazing conditions within a producers herd and creating greater productivity, sustainability and profitability of operations while providing optimal care for natural capital.

The future of livestock management

Combining more technologies such as satellite pasture assessment through platforms like Cibo Labs, will gain further value for producers and supply chain players.

Satellite enabled Agtech with unlimited range and capabilities is increasingly being adopted within the industry as demographic change occurs amongst digital native generations with further education who genuinely want to do things differently, more efficiently while maintaining the traditions of the lifestyle of living on the land. Using more technologies like Ceres Tag and Optiweigh will catalyse and transform the livestock industry to be more profitable.

The promise of heightened productivity, further steps towards sustainability, and enhanced profitability are all drivers for the change and the bright future of a more productive industry.

The insights gained will serve as a key for refining breeding programs, and optimizing performance, all while contributing to a greener future for small, medium and large-scale livestock operations.

Feed efficiency values captured using the combination of Ceres Tag and Optiweigh technologies. Angus cattle on the same pasture at the same period showing significant phenotype difference in feed conversion efficiencies. Red bubbles denote feed conversion efficiency, lower is better.



David Smith, Ceres Tag – 0488 198 808

Bill Mitchell, Optiweigh – 0427 758 378



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -