Virtual fences lower cost, increase efficiency for cattle country
An extension educator says cow/calf producers can take a lesson from man’s best friend.
Travis Mulliniks with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln says there’s been a significant increase in virtual fences in the last five years. “I can now rotational graze or target graze pastures with virtual fence, very similar to a lot of dog owners who have virtual fences for their dogs in their yards.”
He tells Brownfield it reduces labor and maintenance costs and is safe for cows. “Once a cow gets closer and closer to that virtual fence, it will start making a sound. They’ll get conditioned to the sound but if they get up against the fence, it will give them a small shock,” he says. “They learn from conditioning to stay away from that shock.”
He says connectivity can be a concern because the technology starts with a computer and a GPS collar. “You have a map of your ranch and you can set up where that virtual fence will be with that computer,” Mulliniks says. “That computer talks to basically this gateway that’s connected to this collar. The collar downloads that data of the map of where that map is.”
Brownfield interviewed Mulliniks at the Nebraska Farm Bureau Convention.