The eShepherd virtual fencing system is set to take on America, with the announcement of an agreement between manufacturer Agersens and the Ohio State University. It is the third agreement the company has made with a US university in the last year.
Agersens said the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) paved the way for research trials that would determine the efficacy and economics of the eShepherd system for the US beef and dairy industries.
eShepherd is a virtual fencing system based around the use of a smart collar developed by the CSIRO, which allows farmers to remotely fence, muster and monitor their livestock.
Read more: Virtual reality for eShepherd
Agersens, CEO, Ian Reilly said the agreement would help the company to better understand the US cattle and dairy markets and how the technology could fit for Ohio farmers.
"eShepherd is set to revolutionise livestock management by unlocking value from the digital transformation of the American beef and dairy industries and will make farming more efficient, more manageable and less labour intensive," he said.
"Farmers in Ohio understand that improved grazing control creates more productive, profitable properties and are eager to adopt technologies that enable controlled grazing without the associated time constraints and labour costs."
Mr Agersens said the MoU with Ohio State follows on from similar agreements made last year with the University of Idaho and Kansas State University..
"Ohio State will be seeking to add eShepherd to their kit of extension service technologies that can help farmers increase their efficiency and maximise productivity," he said.
Dr. John Foltz, Chair of the Department of Animal Sciences at Ohio State, said he recognises the technological and economic opportunities that eShepherd brings to Departmental research faculty and livestock producers in Ohio.
"The virtual fence is an exciting technology, which we hope to utilise in numerous research projects to understand its potential as a livestock management tool," he said.
"It appears to have some very unique capabilities and also generates large amounts of precision livestock data, which will be valuable to our research scientists."
eShepherd technology uses a GPS-enabled, solar-powered smart collar containing a CSIRO-developed algorithm and an audio cue to train cattle to stay within their prescribed virtual boundary.
The eShepherd virtual fencing technology was patented by the CSIRO and licensed exclusively to Agersens worldwide.