Ceres Tag helps farmers keep tabs on livestock

Think of it as a Fitbit for livestock, with a bit of LoJack mixed in. Whatever it is, the Ceres Tag is going to save farmers a lot of time and money. Part GPS tracker, part health tracker, the Ceres Tag attaches to the ears of cattle and monitors their location and activity. Whereas farmers now keep tabs on their livestock by driving around or flying above their ranches, they can now monitor livestock remotely.

Not only will the Ceres Tag tell farmers where their cattle are, it will alert them to any unusual movements that could indicate theft or going into labor thanks to accelerometers embedded in the tags.

“Ceres Tag gives greater transparency over grazing management, allowing farmers to locate and monitor their animals to reduce risk and operating costs, improve efficiency and assist with traceability,” CEO David Smith said. “The tag is GPS-enabled, allowing farmers to track the location of individual animals remotely, via Internet of Things capability.”

The tags have gone through two successful trials, one in March on 20 Droughtmaster steers and a just-completed test on 100 cattle at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO) Lansdown Research Station near Townsville, Queensland. The solar-powered tags are built to last for the lifetime of livestock under harsh conditions.

“Aussie farmers need every bit of help they can get right now so we are pleased it has taken less than a year for this technology to move from the research phase into development for a real-world trial on cattle,” CSIRO group leader Dr. Ed Charmley said. “Our focus for future iterations is to create a smaller and lighter tag, as well as added functionality such as a temperature sensor, which could alert farmers to illnesses at an earlier stage.”

Ceres Tag has collaboration agreements with CSIRO, Meat and Livestock Australia, and James Cook University and should go on the market sometime in 2020.