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System to monitor cattle from space ready to be commercialised

Precision Pastoral Pty Ltd has been announced as the new commercial partner for the highly successful Precision Pastoral Management System, which allows pastoralists to monitor their cattle herd using satellite technology.

As part of the commercialisation, the Precision Pastoral Management System will be renamed eTrend.

The Precision Pastoral Management System was developed by Ninti One and the Co-operative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation and was trialled at five cattle stations across northern Australia.

The research project was led by NT-researcher Sally Leigo and aimed to improve the productivity and profitability of beef production by using advanced technologies to monitor and analyse the performance of individual cattle and pastures remotely without labour input.

Industry engagement throughout the project ensured the development of a product that graziers and pastoralists want and need, creating a ready local market for the new technology.

Northern Territory Director of Livestock Industry Development Neil MacDonald said the system was a remote cattle management system which used satellite data to assess pasture condition and linked to automatic measurements of cattle growth to give pastoralists important information to make decisions earlier than was the case through normal observation.

“It is exciting to announce that it is now being commercialised and will soon be available to cattle producers, after several years of trials,” he said.

“The final product is expected to focus on helping producers make short-term decisions around cattle such as whether to hold on to stock, sell, or feed supplement.”

The system tracks weight data from cattle as they walk over a weighing platform on their way to a watering point.

The ear tag is automatically scanned as they pass over the weighing platform, and the data is sent back to the pastoralist.

The commercialisation strategy has focused on delivering the highest quality outcome for the pastoral industry.

By delivering this system as a commercial product through a licensee, the ongoing maintenance costs and development needs of the software are funded by the users themselves and will be able to respond to changing needs.

The NT Government will continue to engage with pastoralists, producers and station owners in regards to rolling out this technology.

“Ninti One is extremely proud to have supported the research, development and commercialisation of the Precision Pastoral Management System through the Federal Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Programme,” said Mr Rod Reeve, Managing Director, Ninti One.

“The eTrend system has the potential to deliver significant economic, environmental and social benefits for cattle producers across remote Australia, and indeed internationally.”

In 2015, the Northern Territory cattle population was over two million head.

Important research such as the Precision Pastoral Management system helps improve efficiency and management of cattle herds across the Northern Territory and supports a strong and sustainable local industry.

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