Grazing cow monitor (UC 2.1)

Grazing cow monitor

The initial goal of the grazing cow monitor was to digitally record the amount of time that dairy cows spend on the meadows or indoors for monitoring grazing time, and although this was reached, the use case has transformed during the IoF2020 project to a case with more business value. That is the real-time monitoring of the location of beef cows (or other livestock like sheep) in nature grazing areas. The use case tested (and further developed) their solution on a beef-cow farm in the land of Saeftinghe. The area where the cows graze can be rough because the cows can get trapped in the ditches (caused by flooding). The farmers thus face the risk that their cows could get lost or drown.

To help solve this problem, the UC developed trackers that are mounted on a neck collar. The position of the tracker (and thus the cow) is determined by a GPS-signal and sent through via the SigFox network. This gives the farmer the ability to see where his cows are and if the cows are still active. He gets an automatic warning when his cows haven’t moved for a certain amount of time. With the application, he can check where his cow is. If it’s trapped in a ditch, the farmer can immediately go to the right spot, dig the cow out and save its life. Before the farmer had the application, he and his family had to search through the entire area for multiple hours without knowing where to look for the cow. Unfortunately help came too late sometimes. Thanks to this development, the farmer can see the position of the cow and he can go directly to the place pointed out on the application via the navigation help. Within the test period, 2 cows that were trapped, have been saved from death by drowning. Also he can check what part of the area is being grazed, how much distance a cow walks on a day, how frequently they visit the drinker and with these tools he is also able to determine when a cow is in heat or lame.

The use of this product enhances the farmers’ time management, reduces greatly the farmers’ stress and optimizes the profit for the farmer (it’s expensive to lose a cow). It also helps him to make other management decisions on his farm.

This UC already ended and there were a lot of demonstrations to show their product.

One of those is a video about the UC. You can watch it here:

- Nikita Standaert, Grazing cow monitor (UC 2.1)

Nikita Standaert

Grazing cow monitor (UC 2.1)