5 Ways Virtual Fencing Amplifies Ranch Efficiency and Profitability
Farmers and ranchers across the globe are beginning to utilize more technology on their operations for heightened operational efficiency and profitability. Virtual fencing for cow-calf operations is an emerging and increasingly utilized technology that ranchers can use to reach their goals this year.
1. Automated grazing analytics make planning precise
Making grazing plans for the late spring, summer and early fall can be a daunting and tedious task without fully understanding the exact grazing and movement patterns of your herd. Virtual fencing creates the ability to see customized and automated grazing analytics such as heat maps of where cattle graze the most and movement patterns around the paddock. These pasture utilization heat maps forecast acreage and rangeland health needs of the cattle at a glance to create grazing plans faster.
2. Understanding behavior patterns creates cost benefit
Cow-calf producers are currently facing the issue of flatlined outputs and increasing costs. Virtual fencing systems can be used to manage cattle precisely in extensive environments, such as a pasture that is thousands of acres or less. By understanding the behavioral patterns of cattle and exactly what areas are underutilized or overutilized, costs can be leveraged through increasing the number of cattle on the area of pasture or decrease supplementation costs due to more available forage, said Travis Mulliniks, associate professor and range cow production system Extension specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
3. Better managed grazing increases nutritional availability
Grazing costs across the United States are high. By being able to precisely manage the grazing of cattle, resource efficiencies are increased through healthier forage and more nutritional availability. The distribution of where the cattle are grazing creates further pasture utilization. Virtual fencing allows cow-calf producers to set boundaries to graze areas exactly how they need to be. The rancher is able to control not overgrazing or utilizing parts of the pasture that were not utilized well.
4. Quantified grazing intensity means potential for higher carrying capacity
As discussed previously, grazing intensity can be quantified through automated grazing plans. These plans create a strong potential for higher carrying capacity because resources are being controlled better and more efficiently through the use of virtual fencing technology. This resource efficiency also puts money back into the pockets of ranchers because due to their fixed costs, profitability can be increased.
5. Technology makes for lower labor and fencing costs
For cow-calf ranchers that are utilizing intense rotational grazing schemes, there is an economic benefit from utilizing virtual fencing for cross-fencing. There are a lot of benefits to rotational grazing, but it is expensive to implement cross-fencing. The virtual fence reduces the overall cost of fencing supplies, with the added benefit of reducing labor costs. There is less labor associated as the virtual fence collars themselves can move the cattle through the dual-sided stimulation feature of Corral Technologies. This means cattle can be rotated more with less individuals to do so, saving ranchers labor costs.
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