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Beyond the Bale : December 2017
The system being developed by AWI involves using smart tags on individual sheep in a flock to remotely monitor the sheep in real time via a computer, tablet or mobile device. The smart tags would be either an ‘ear tag’ (pictured below left) that would last for several years on the sheep, or ‘collar tag’ (pictured above right) that would be used temporarily on lambs while they are mothering up. The ear tags would be put on the sheep when they are mustered in the yard, for example at lamb marking or shearing. The tags could be used for several purposes, such as monitoring the location and movement of individual sheep and mobs in Bottom: Base stations are used to collect and communicate tag data. They are robust, long lasting and waterproof. AWI has developed software that will translate the collected tag data into concise usable information, enabling woolgrowers to make data informed decisions. Each base station is solar powered with small solar panels (with a self-sustaining battery). Top: A wireless network is used to transmit the data – pictured is a tower/pole with a solar powered antenna. Smart tags being developed by AWI aim to enable woolgrowers to track, monitor and assess the status of their stock in real time – and make better informed decisions to contribute to their enterprise’s profitability. A close up of the solar-powered ear tag (right) and a mob of sheep with the ear tags in place during a farm trial (below). A screenshot of the viewing screen showing the location of the sheep – the inset picture (left) is a zoom-in of the individual sheep’s locations. 50 ON FARM