2023 - Volume #47, Issue #1, Page #29[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
GPS Collar Lets You Move Cattle By Phone
“Once you move cows into a new area, they will stay there until you decide to move them,” says Jack Keating, Corral Technologies.
Moving them to a new area is as simple as indicating a new fence line and sending instructions to the collars. Corral’s control units are topped by mini-solar panels that store power in the onboard batteries. They also contain transponders that communicate with the operator’s cell phone and a microprocessor that stores the latest instructions.
“Even in patchy cell service, we are good to go,” says Keating. “The sustainment logic doesn’t require service. However, if you want to get data or move them, you do need service.”
Control units have speakers on each side that deliver audio alerts. Light electric shocks are delivered via chains to the left and right of the control units. A weight hanging below the neck on the chains keeps the control unit in place
To move a cow left toward a new pasture, a sound alert is issued to the right side of the control unit. After a second sound alert, a light shock is delivered to the chain on the right side encouraging the cow to move away from that side. As with an underground fence dog collar, shocks increase in intensity if the cow doesn’t react.
“The cow quickly learns to react to the first sound alert,” says Keating. “We do suggest a 5-day training period before turning the cows into a large pasture.”
Recommended training is carried out in a smaller pasture with access to water and one area fenced virtually. As cows attempt to cross into that area, they receive the audio and eventually electronic stimulus. When another area is fenced and the first is opened up, they become familiarized with the collar messaging.
Keating gives credit to his father for questioning why there wasn’t underground fencing for cattle, as they fixed fence on the family’s Kansas ranch. While in college, Keating began working on a solution and developed what is now the Corral Technologies collar. This past year the collar has been field tested.
“We worked with three ranchers and had 120 units in the field,” says Keating. “We were able to draw virtual fence lines and control the cattle with the collars.”
As word about the system has spread, Keating has received calls from more than 200 interested cattle producers around the world. “I’ve talked to cattlemen from Canada, Ireland, Mexico and Brazil,” he says.
Current plans are to roll out around 2,000 collar units for the 2023 grazing season. Around 1,500 have been pre-ordered by ranchers eager to try the technology.
Individual control units and the software/apps needed to operate them are priced at $120 per year. Keating is confident customers will find the price competitive with similar technologies being introduced to the market.
“Our batteries can hold a charge for an extended period of time, and our goal is to only replace the devices every 2 years,” says Keating. “The collars will provide savings in time and cost over cross fencing and physical moves. We have found they also improve pasture utilization by 35 to 55 percent.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Corral Technologies, 2125 Transformation Dr., Suite 1000, Lincoln, Neb. 68508 (ph 308-440-3310; www.corraltech.com).
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