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Ranchers may track animals with new technology tags



Grassy Butte, North Dakota – Although being a long way from Silicon Valley in California, North Dakota is nevertheless producing its own technological advancements. With its GPS livestock tags, a Fargo business hopes to transform the cattle sector.

Imagine being able to track bulls and herds in a place like this with a mobile app.

“Livestock, in their technology nothing has changed in about 30 years. I mean their tractors have changed, just like the row crop side of things. They really have no new technology to automate their cows at all,” said VP of Business Development for 701x, Max Cossette.

Abe Dillman didn’t even have a smartphone four years ago. He currently works for the software business 701x, and his phone is essential to both his livelihood as a farmer and to his employment.

“You know I have a little bit of an advantage when I am missing some cows and some bulls, and you can look at your phone and track those animals down,” said 701x rancher Abe Dillman.

701x offers GPS tracking tags for animals. The tags link to a smartphone app that the farmer can use as a digital calving book.

“So, my brother can wake up in the morning and be like okay, Max calved out these two animals, I don’t have to worry about them. Otherwise, you get this problem of double entry where I record these two animals and my brother records those same two animals a few hours later just kind of gets to be a mess,” said Cossette.

At Grassy Butte, 701x has a test ranch down in this canyon. Dillman uses the goods to assist him with his ranch. His experiences, such as the time a bull went missing and became stuck, aid in the development of new features for the business.

“The bull, unfortunately, couldn’t get up and we lost him. But that was a $5000 bull that we potentially could have saved. So, what we did based on that data and data we have gotten from other animals, we have created a low activity alert,” said Cossette.

701x created the geo fence and movement elements as a result of that encounter. The app allows ranchers to build up digital fences, and they may receive notifications when tagged animals cross them. Everyday movement is also monitored, and if an animal falls below 50% of their average daily movement, the rancher receives a notification. Recently, two cows were saved because to this innovation.

“And it showed their daily activity reading and it started to decline, so we gave them antibiotics. And you can see that footsteps pick back up and it did help those animals. I truthy believe it did save two of them,” said Dillman.

Ranchers may rest comfortably knowing they have a complete count of their livestock thanks to this trial.