eShepherd is a world-first livestock virtual herding solution that provides remote pasture management, and animal monitoring for improved livestock and land welfare. Developed in Australia for the global market, eShepherd helps farmers manage their animals and land more effectively in the face of climate change.
eShepherd is an IoT driven platform comprising a GPS enabled neckband and cloud-based application which is used to fence, move and monitor livestock by detecting and responding to animal behaviour. Farmers use a cloud-based web application to create virtual paddock boundaries and check on livestock activity, all of which are updated dynamically to ensure accurate data. eShepherd contains a patented training program, refined through years of evidence-based research and development. The system responds to animal behaviour as well as location to provide the most minimal impact intervention to achieve the goal.
The system enables farmers to implement cell grazing or rotational grazing systems that are tailored to farm geography, vegetation, and seasonal variations. It enables sustainable land management and regenerative agriculture by providing an efficient method to change grazing patterns to ensure pastures are used effectively which would be impractical to implement at scale using traditional fencing and mustering methods. Farmers can instantly update fences and muster livestock from any location worldwide. Additionally, the neckband provides individual animal behaviour and health monitoring, providing producers early alerts when individual animals are sick, injured or require other interventions.
While eShepherd allows producers to improve farm productivity, importantly it provides benefits to on farm OH&S and animal welfare. eShepherd’s virtual herding process eliminates the need for mustering aids such as horses, dogs, ATVs and other vehicles, which have been associated with injury and death to both workers and animals. Another benefit is that it allows producers to move and muster stock steadily, at their own pace. This safer and lower stress process reduces animal weight loss and improves meat quality.
eShepherd makes it possible to restrict access to creeks and rivers to reduce bank erosion in the riparian zone and protect seasonal nesting grounds. This solves a critical issue in many areas where pollution of water-ways and damage of riparian zones by livestock is a huge issue. The ease of control makes protection of vulnerable nesting areas more appealing to farmers as they can use the land when the protected species is not present by simply moving the virtual fence. Removing physical fences reduces injury and allows for the free movement of wildlife which is a critical contributor to healthy ecosystems. Virtual fences are also safer for wildlife, affecting only the livestock wearing the neckbands, unlike traditional or electric fences in which animals can become caught.
eShepherd has the potential to completely transform the agricultural landscape, with huge benefits for farmers, livestock, and the environment.