“Connected cows” are destined to become a reality in farms
IOT devices are transforming even the most remote industry. With more than 25 billion of connected objects expected for 2020 (Gartner information), is impossible not to realize that everything around us is changing, from the way we communicate with each other, to the way we work.
Cattle industry is no exception. Sensors and software are collecting data for farmers that is opening up huge opportunities beyond increasing the productivity of herds. The engineering company Accent Systems provides an IOT-based solution to track the activities of beef livestock, prevent cattle rustling and illnesses, and, in summary, facilitate cattle and livestock management.
A solution based on NB-IOT
The system consists of a tracker that employs NarrowBand-IOT (NB-IOT) technology. Once it is placed into a cow it gives the geoposition of the animal in real-time and reduces costs as ranchers can locate their cattle easily and can be up-to-date to analyze its movements.
Tracking the activities of beef livestock allows for preventing cattle rustling, helping ranchers understand cattle behavior and detecting problems such as a cow falling ill to separated from the herd and prevent the spread of disease. It is an IOT application to collect data regarding the location, well-being and health of the cattle.
NB-IOT is the perfect wireless technology to track cow movements, thereby enabling farmers to know where their livestock has been and when an infected cow might has been in contact with other animals. It is a LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) technology, focused on connecting everyday “things” that have to send a stream of constant information but in small quantities.
If we compare the NB-IOT with other technologies (such as SigFox, LoRa or 3G/4G), the cost of subscription for the company or user and the battery consumption are much lower, and optimizes the transfer of information. In addition, it has greater reach indoor and outdoor and works with the existing mobile phone antennas.
How farmers can collect and analyze data from cattle?
The system is designed to provide a low-cost solution for tracking animals in ranch environments. It doesn’t only geolocate, but also collect data through different sensors: temperature, accelerometer… and send them to an IOT platform from where get results immediately and in real-time.
One of the most important issues is to control and increase the quality of milk through IOT. The device provides data that can be used to correlate movements with specific behaviors, such as grazing, socializing or lying down chewing the cud. This can help farmers to enhance milk production by keeping cows healthier and improving breeding efficiency.
The solution also facilitates cattle location in remote areas and provides theft early warning directly to the IOT platform. It also has an alert-based system that informs the farmer when a cow is out-of-range.
Fertility and health
The device can tell the farmer whether the animal is walking too little or too much, which can be a sign of its health and whether it is in oestrus. Cows typically increase their walking as they come into a peak fertility phase, so the device can alert farmers to the best time for insemination.
Accent Systems is a global provider of innovative enterprise IOT solutions that offers a variety of standard products and develops tailored IOT solutions for third parties.