Cellular cameras can be mounted anywhere cell service is available, enabling farmers and ranchers to have real-time awareness on all their important assets. In this article, we briefly discuss five core benefits of using cellular cameras on your farm or ranch.
Wireless cameras are an invaluable tool for many farmers, ranchers, hunters, and game managers, enabling users to improve security, monitor assets, and document wildlife remotely. Unfortunately, most places you would like to have a camera do not have power or a wired data connection, especially in agriculture and wildlife monitoring. As a result, the wireless camera market has emerged with a growing variety of cameras and applications. This article will attempt to alleviate much of the confusion that comes with the term “wireless cameras”, as well as discuss different types of cameras and use cases.
Despite having spent my military career as a fighter pilot, I would be the first to admit that successful operations are founded upon superior logistics. If planes don’t have gas, you can’t fly. Sun Tzu, the great war strategist, said, “The line between disorder and order lies in logistics…” The pre-eminence of logistics is an axiom that extends far beyond military operations. Whether operating an agricultural business, leading a hunting expedition, or just going on a family vacation, if you don’t get the right supplies to the right place at the right time, you’re going to have a bad day.
It was great to meet those of you who stopped by to see us in Nashville, and I'm sure you enjoyed the show as much as we did. This post will discuss a few takeaways from the NCBA Trade Show and highlight the key results from our survey.
NCBA Trade Show Takeaways
As a technology company, our view of the show is different than most. We are excited to see an emergence of new products in the livestock market that can improve production. Particularly, systems that improve animal health or increase operational efficiency are beginning to gain ground.
Technology in the beef industry is currently very fragmented. As a result, the systems don't all talk to each other as much as customers would like. As the technologies mature, we will see these systems converge to those that customers want, resulting integrated systems to help ranchers monitor and manage their operations. We expect this integration process to happen relatively quickly, as large communications companies are pushing to become platforms for diverse sets of monitoring systems. The integration of different systems will benefit customers and increase the adoption of new technologies entering the beef industry.
In the technology industry, as with many other industries, small beats big almost every time. I'll probably step on a few toes here, but it was evident to us that the big companies are using antiquated technology that is expensive and not adaptable. For ranchers looking to implement technologies such as active or passive RFID, we recommend looking to smaller companies built upon modern technologies. Below, we highlight a couple of companies we see as leading the way.
Our Picks for Best Technologies at the NCBA Trade Show
Our water tank monitoring system is up and running on a ranch in Western Nebraska. Despite frigid winter temperatures, the installation went smoothly. This post will describe components of our system and the installation process.
For ranches who do not have cellular service where the tanks are located, our system consists of three main components: 1) the water tank sensor, 2) gateway, and 3) the web application that displays the information. Ranches who do have Verizon cellular service at their tanks do not need the gateway—our tank sensors that talk directly to Verizon’s LTE-M network.
Last week we had the good fortune of connecting with a number of ranchers at the Superior Livestock Auction in Steamboat, CO. Unfortunately, downward pressure on the market caused a bit more stress than many of the attendees would have preferred. However, we did have some great conversations about how technology can help ranchers save time and reduce some of that stress.
Every Ranch Is Different
If it hadn’t already been obvious, our discussions made it clear that every livestock operation is different. While many livestock management problems are widespread, ranches come in all shapes and sizes. Variables unique to individual ranches include climate, soil, grass varieties, watering sources, acreage, terrain, cattle breed, wildlife management issues, and more. Nobody knows a ranch’s details like the individual rancher, so “one size fits all” technology solutions won’t always work in the livestock industry.
Livestock ranching is hard work. For those who undertake the timeless way of life, daylight is a dear friend that often doesn’t hang around long enough to get everything done. The list of tasks is never ending. Ranchers and farmers not only face the physical challenges of managing livestock, crops, and infrastructure over large areas, but they also face the daily challenges of running a business. To further complicate matters, mother nature and market conditions often present strong seasonal headwinds.