Fencing is an arduous task which many farmers dread, with some even hiring people in to carry out the back-breaking work. A new company, Vence, created in New Zealand, have launched a new system of virtual fencing, which is set to revolutionize the agricultural livestock industry as a whole.
The concept was first coined by the Holdsworth family, who run an extensive livestock operation in the Gisborne region of New Zealand and have done for over 100 years.
From studying the economic benefits of rotational grazing systems on their farm, the family began to heavily invest in fencing on the farm, with the aim of increasing productivity. Although the results showed the work was worthwhile, the family began to ponder over the costs of fencing structures and began looking at how technology might create a better solution. This is where Vence was born!
How it works -
The system allows for the controlling of livestock movements and grazing patterns through a smartphone!
The Vence system works through the use of Artificial intelligence, which allows farmers to optimize rotational or strip grazing systems and maximize the yields of land! It creates virtual fences anywhere on farmland, which can all be done via a smartphone or the Vence Web app. It employs static and/or dynamic boundaries, which dictate grazing patterns and protect specific areas of land or even block off waterways.
The app also can detect an animals health, through actionable alerts. The information on an animal’s health is collected via sensors, found in lightweight devices attached to livestock.
Vence lay the claim of not only reducing fencing and labour costs, but also increasing protein yield through this detailed grassland management system.
- The company say that when used for rotational or strip grazing systems, that farmers could save up to 30% of standard fencing costs. They also say the hardware and software provided will allow for farmers to get the maximum utilization from their lands.
- The system also enables farmers to closely monitor their herd’s health using their smartphone. The app sends actionable alerts, which tell various details of an animal’s health.
- It reduces costs. Vence claim this system will allow farmers to reduce labour costs by over 25%, while also reducing the need for farmers to own ATVS/Quads.
Video - Frank Wooten.