David Smith, head of Ceres Tag, is looking for investors in his geo fence, identification and (below) digital management cattle ear tags. Picture: Liam Kidston
Cattle
David Smith, head of Ceres Tag, is looking for investors in his geo fence, identification and (below) digital management cattle ear tags. Picture: Liam Kidston Cattle

Ear-tag satellite link could lock in cattle without fencing

An extraordinary, groundbreaking technology that could one day allow satellites to control cattle and do away with fencing will be showcased in Israel next week as Queensland agricultural innovators show the world how to farm.

Ceres Tag is one of 11 successful Queensland AgTech start-ups visiting Tel Aviv, Israel - a global leader in agricultural innovation - late next week.

Ceres Tag chief executive and managing director David Smith is planning to market the Ceres Tag commercially in 2019, giving graziers across the globe the opportunity to monitor an animal through the duration of its life.

The Ceres Tag, developed in collaboration with CSIRO, is a solar-powered ear tag that monitors food intake, location, health, and early warning notification of biosecurity breakouts.

Professor Ian Atkinson, at James Cook University's Townsville campus, has been deeply involved in the tag's development.

Prof Atkinson said the Ceres had huge ramifications for Australia's standing in the global beef marketplace.

He said the ability to provide a customer with an authentic record of an animal's entire life, including the feed it consumes, dramatically increased its value.

He said animal identification and traceability systems were not only embedded in the European Union's trading infrastructure, but vitally important to the mass market of China, where consumers were deeply scarred by food quality scandals.

On JCU's Cairns campus, Professor Wei Xiang, head of discipline of Australia's first "internet of Things" engineering course, said the ear tag incorporated potential that could create virtual fencing.

The technology allows a virtual boundary to be created via satellite imagery.

Within that boundary an animal equipped with a smart ear tag can be nudged back within the virtual bound by a stimulus device contained within the ear tag.

Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said the Queenslanders received funding through the Palaszczuk Government's $420 million whole-of-government Advance Queensland initiative to travel to Israel.

"We need to ensure our local entrepreneurs rub shoulders with the best and gain exposure in well-developed innovation ecosystems and bring knowledge and networks back to Queensland," Ms Enoch said.

News Corp Australia

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