TWO Aussie agtech companies are teaming up, with fenceless farming developer Agersens linking with grazing management provider Maia Technology.
A memorandum of understanding has been signed for Agersens’ eShepherd fenceless farming product to be delivered on the MaiaGrazing platform.
The companies say the partnership will deliver a first for agriculture with a fully automated grazing management system.
Agersens founder and managing director Ian Reilly said the partnership was designed to save producers money.
“The combined solution will enable farmers to cut costs, produce more, and capture valuable information to enable more rapid and enhanced decision making by farmers and others throughout the food production value chain,” he said.
Agersens technology is patented from CSIRO’s experimental designs. It is billed as a training program that habituates livestock to virtual boundaries.
Animals are guided by collars that send audio cues and electrical pulse. The units are operated through a smartphone and linked to a hub at an internet-connected homestead.
The collars are suitable for cattle and the company plans to develop units for sheep and goats in the future.
Mr Reilly explained the audio cue alerts livestock when the go near a boundary. Ultimately an electric pulse, weaker than that of a traditional electric fence, is administered.
Fenceless paddocks can help protect riverbanks and watercourses and the collars can automate grazing rotations.
A GPS and software package will enable monitoring and detection of key animal behaviours that indicate things like calving, illness or lameness by detecting changes in movement patterns, ruminating or eating.
MaiaGrazing is a software package for the farm office that can match feed potential and seasonal trends with stocking rate, providing an objective guide to approaching drought and destocking decisions.
The platform is fed with measurements of an individual farm’s pasture characteristics and over time the software “learns” how the property converts rainfall into feed.
At the output end, liveweight gains are measured and can be assessed against the pasture growth to provide graziers the information to make objective decisions about cell grazing and destocking.
Maia Technology chief executive Peter Richardson said his platform is already collecitng valuable information from producers and encouraged other technology companies to team up to expand the grazing management ecosystem.
“We invite other innovators in the livestock sector to utilise our Maia Technology platform to speed up time to market, simplify user experience, reduce user costs and leverage data from other related apps across the ecosystem,” he said.