The adoption of RFID technology in the global livestock industry varies from country to country. In Canada, the use of low-frequency RFID has been legally mandated for several years. In the United States, cattle associations and cooperatives are addressing challenges related to traceability, and many organizations are now employing ultra-high-frequency tags. In Europe, some countries have made the use of ultra-high-frequency mandatory. Australia, on the other hand, legally uses low-frequency RFID, but ultra-high-frequency standard products are gaining voluntary adoption. In the livestock industry, both low-frequency and ultra-high-frequency RFID play distinct roles:
Low-Frequency RFID: The magnetic field of low-frequency RFID can generate a relatively uniform induction zone, reducing the likelihood of misreads and interference when conducting one-on-one identification. Low-frequency RFID also exhibits strong anti-interference capabilities, high penetration, and superior resistance to metal, which is advantageous over high-frequency and ultra-high-frequency RFID. In complex livestock environments, low-frequency RFID readers are less susceptible to external interference, ensuring the security and accuracy of animal information. Furthermore, low-frequency RFID readers are often deployed for one-on-one identification in large-scale breeding facilities, including in alleyways, headlocks, milking stations, and feeding systems, meeting on-site needs.
Ultra-High-Frequency RFID: Ultra-high-frequency RFID also has its unique applications in the livestock industry. High-frequency and ultra-high-frequency RFID can perform batch tag readings, which is highly useful in scenarios requiring rapid processing of large amounts of information. However, due to technical limitations, issues such as misreads and interference can occur in the livestock breeding field. Previously, the high cost and installation complexity of ultra-high-frequency technology deterred many cattle companies. Canadian ultra-high-frequency RFID company HerdWhistle is breaking this barrier by expanding global distribution partnerships, offering an effective and cost-efficient ultra-high-frequency solution. Recently, the company signed a distribution partnership with a Texas-based company for livestock monitoring solutions. This solution aims to provide transparency in the beef supply chain and includes products like ultra-high-frequency RFID readers and antennas, as well as multispectral cameras for tracking animal health-related details.
HerdWhistle’s Ultra-High-Frequency Solution: In the past, achieving traceability for thousands of animals posed a massive challenge for farms, even with a large workforce, as reading each tag individually might be subject to interference and impractical in crowded, fast-paced environments. HerdWhistle offers a solution to this problem by designing its own RFID antennas that can operate effectively in harsh weather conditions, high moisture and dust environments, and unpredictable settings, capturing tag readings. Additionally, HerdWhistle has developed several handheld readers, including an RFID gun capable of reading tags from up to 100 feet away and a processing scanner that combines low-frequency and ultra-high-frequency for guiding animals and more. HerdWhistle also provides the BigEyeTM multispectral camera, which can perform 3D measurements of animals entering the reader’s range to determine their live weight or carcass composition. The infrared camera in this system can display pixelated images in real-time, identifying animals at risk of illness. Through this system, animals identified as “at risk” can be easily moved to hospital enclosures for medication. HerdWhistle’s technology also allows for continuous monitoring of feedlots, identifying animals at risk and those with the highest value based on data, allowing operators to strategize on matters such as vaccination or antibiotic use according to the animal’s health condition.
HerdWhistle’s technology offers an effective and cost-efficient solution to help farms better manage animals, enhance production efficiency, and reduce operational costs. While the promotion of RFID systems may vary by region, with advancing technology and increasing adoption, ultra-high-frequency RFID systems are poised to become one of the mainstream technologies in the livestock industry.
This paper is from Ulink Media, Shenzhen, China, the organizer of IOTE EXPO (IoT Expo in China)
Join us next year in Shanghai, and let’s shape the future of technology together!
To register IOTE 2024 Shanghai station: