Tech company to demo GPS eShepherd cattle collar

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Melbourne-based tech company Agersens will open a 1,700-acre demonstration farm in Queensland to showcase its virtual fencing smart collar

The demonstration property, located an hour’s drive out of Brisbane, will allow farmers the chance to see eShepherd in action.

The eShepherd is a GPS-based collar that enables cattle producers to create virtual fences and remotely muster, monitor and move livestock 24/7.

Using Google Maps and a computer or tablet, virtual boundaries can be set to a specific point on a property. These GPS boundaries are then loaded into the collar.

Agersen announced its demonstration property after former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer unveiled the first commercial eShepherd collar at the 2018 Beef Australia Expo.

The former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer and Agersen CEO Ian Reilly att the Beef Australia Expo
The former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer and Agersens CEO Ian Reilly att the Beef Australia Expo

CEO Ian Reilly says eShepherd will revolutionise producers’ profitability, productivity and sustainability.

"With eShepherd and a smart phone or tablet, you can literally sip a latte in London and muster your cattle in Cunnamulla," he says.

"Producers are calling it the biggest leap forward since the invention of the barbed wire fence almost 150 years ago."

GPS-enabled, the eShepherd collar also contains a CSIRO program which trains the animal to stay within the virtual boundary when they hear an audio cue. Livestock quickly learn to respond to the audio cue as itis followed by a small electric pulse if the animal continues in the wrong direction.

The eShepherd has the potential to slash operating costs for producers, Reilly says. With eShepherd, cattle producers can avoid damage from overgrazing, reduce mustering injuries and accidents, cut fencing and labour costs, while creating and removing virtual fences as required, as well as improving animal health and wellbeing and 24/7 decision support information.

Reilly also describes the eShepherd’s environmental benefits as a "win-win for agricultural production and sustainability".

 The eShepherd offers wildlife-friendly, flood- and fire-proof fencing. This keeps cattle off sensitive areas like waterways, minimising run-off to the Great Barrier Reef.

"We’re experiencing enormous international demand. We have a waiting list and working to fulfil orders as quickly as possible," Reilly says.

Cattle grazing wearing eShepherd Collar, Queensland
Cattle wearing the eShepherd Collar, Queensland

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