Keeping track of moo-vements: Cows get RFID tags

Herd the one about the cow with the RFID tag? No? Better click on this story then. It's very interesting -- although the jokes don't get any better

Whenever a story about RFID tagging comes along, we feel we should milk it for all its worth. Literally in this case, as Danish cows have been fitted with radio frequency identification tags to improve farming methods.

First it was cats, and now those crazy Danes at SmartFarming have developed the CowDetect system to track and monitor cows via RFID. PSFK reports that the system "enables farmers to maintain a more meaningful account of individual animals by analysing movement and eating patterns in real time". Bovine data is delivered to handheld terminals so readings can be actioned by the man on the ground, in the wellies. Individual cows can be traced, and information is recorded on feeding, sleeping and even, ahem, cow-on-cow loving.

Milking and fertilisation schedules can be tweaked to optimise productivity for the needs of specific herds. Sick cows can be spotted by their sluggish activity or changed eating patterns before a visual diagnosis is even possible, and before their illness affects the herd. The technology is scalable and in these days of swine flu could be used in assorted different types of farming.

We're no experts, but CowDetect seems like a welcome use of technology for the farming industry. We think all involved deserve a pat on the back.

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Gadgets
About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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