Animal location and behaviour data

A report, published by partners Meat and Livestock Australia, Central Queensland University, and FrontierSI, explores and uncovers the value to be derived by graziers if they could when they remotely monitor the location behaviour and state of their animals.

GPS tracking devices were deployed on a small number of animals in larger herds or flocks across seven extensive grazing operations. Five case studies explored the impact in relation to livestock management and two explored value in other parts of the industry. Producer and industry partners collaborated with the research team to analyse the data and convert it into meaningful information which demonstrated how these systems might be used to bring value to these operations.

For example, “The tracking data showed us some amazing detail on the animal behaviour, and then when we compared it to the production data there were even more surprises,” said Joel Bentley, Innovation Officer with Australian Country Choice (ACC).

The study showed that in general those animals that walked more during backgrounding ended up having a higher live-weight gain for the same period.

In another pilot looking at pasture utilisation, with Mr Brad Wooldridge, he was interested in the use of GPS data to better manage the timing of grazing rotations. On reviewing the GPS data, he said, “This is exactly what I wanted to see, if I can get this data as a live feed, even just a summary at the end of each day, I reckon I can use this to make some much better decisions around rotating sheep and even supplementary feeding them.”

This work formed part of our bigger Australian Livestock Spatial Innovation Program.

Download the full report at the MLA website.