The challenge facing the North Australian beef industry remains the same as it did a century ago: identifying superior genetics which can thrive in harsh and remote environmental conditions, with limited human intervention.
But now, thanks to the brains of CQUniversity researchers and after seven years of research and development as well as extensive field testing, a new app called DataMuster is assisting producers to conquer these challenges.
One of the researchers behind the new technology, CQUniversity Professor of Agriculture, Science and Environment Dave Swain said DataMuster gives producers the opportunity to cut down on labour costs and enhance herd management decisions by monitoring cattle weight and suitability for market, detecting when a cow has calved and recording genetic data.
“DataMuster seamlessly integrates multiple strands of technology into a single monitoring and reporting platform,” Prof. Swain said.
In order for DataMuster to work, the cattle needs to be wearing its electronic identification tag.
“Animals are weighed and their electronic eartag is scanned as they walk across scales located adjacent to water troughs,” Prof. Swain said.
“The animal’s identity is automatically recorded from their radio frequency identification (RFID) device within the National Livestock Identification System eartag.
“The information on the animal’s weight and the time it accessed water is then sent from the paddock-based sensor system to DataMuster, enabling cattle producers to record performance and genetic information on their animals without the need for mustering and conventional weighing,” Prof. Swain explained.
Prof. Swain said DataMuster provided modern solutions to age-old problems.
“With a fully integrated DataMuster system, graziers can monitor their property, each of their animals and even the amount of water in remote troughs, all in real-time from the homestead.”