October 21, 2019
Farmers in Wales to track their cattle and sheep using wireless technology
Using Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) wireless technology, the two-year trial will track livestock in three locations across Wales using only their mobile phones, reported Daily Post UK.
Owners are able to track livestock movements through GPS fitted onto fabric collars for sheep and cattle.
The concept is targeted to boost conservation grazing, tackle the problem of sheep worrying and livestock theft, as well as prevent livestock from straying onto roads and railways.
In autumn this year, GPS collars will be fitted to cows at Cors Goch nature reserve, Anglesey. Owner Hilary Kehoe said the system could help identify preferred grazing areas and adapt management regimes accordingly.
GPS collars will also be fitted to upland graziers on the Black Mountains, and for a beef farmer at Merthr Mawr dunes. The latter is a National Nature Reserve near Bridgend monitored by Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
NRW said the data could be used to analyse a herd's social connections and interactions with other animals, in addition to providing NRW better control over reserve management.
The GPS collars are part of the European Innovation Partnership Wales project, an initiative from the Welsh Government's Farming Connect service to explore LoRaWAN technology.
LoRaWAN is currently trialled on suckler cattle to determine if their walking distance is related to their ability to rear healthy calves. This study is being conducted at Coleg Glynlifon, near Caenarfon.
Currently, farm-level LoRaWAN sensors are able to measure soil temperature, pH and moisture levels. Data is then transmitted to a device such as a mobile point, to assist farmers with identifying the best time to plant crops or make silage.
Geraint Hughes, Agri consultant and food entrepreneur said the technology has the potential to boost productivity for the Wales agriculture and livestock industry.
LoRaWAN is able to transmit large packets of data over a wide area using less power than mobile phones.
- Daily Post UK