A general observation from this year’s trade show is that technology is rapidly becoming a key ingredient for success. Whether it’s the new self-assessment tool from the Noble Research Institute and the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, or one of many pasture-tracking apps or more focus on the ever-intriguing topic of traceability, the era of technology is coming in fast and hot. Currently, a lot of the latest and flashiest technological tools are no more than shiny displays at trade shows like this, or at the very least cost-prohibitive pipe dreams for smaller producers. But one step at a time, one update at a time, technology will find a permanent home in the beef industry.

Check out the latest and greatest offerings from the NCBA 2020 trade show:

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The Kid portable corral system – Blattner Feedlot Construction

Blattner Feedlot Construction has recently released “The Kid,” a small-scale portable corral system designed to handle 80-100 head of cattle and intended for one person to be able to operate. It is constructed of 4-foot to 6-foot panels made of 1.9 inch high tensile tubing mounted on solid rubber tires. The corral includes an adjustable alley and a back stop to keep animals from turning around. Other features include floating gates and a solar-powered hydraulic lift. The Kid corral is bumper-pull only, but the larger scale model, “The Duke,” has both gooseneck and bumper-pull options.

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Automated cattle counting system – CattleQuants

CattleQuants has designed an audit tool using drone and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to provide a quick and accurate cattle count. This tool is intended for feedlots and their lenders. How it works: 1) At the feedlot, a drone captures images of each pen. 2) The images are run through CattleQuants’ AI-powered counting software, and each animal in the pen is counted. Each animal is marked with a dot (see photo). A technician will check over the photos after the software has analyzed it to confirm the headcount. 3) The feedlot owner and/or lender is presented with a report of the accurate count of cattle in the pens. An accurate and dependable way to count cattle saves time and manpower during the audit and increases accuracy and transparency on all fronts.

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DoggTag – Herddogg

HerdDogg is a service that uses smart ear tags (DoggTags) and mobile receivers (DoggBones) to monitor livestock health and activity. The DoggTags read biometrics and activity data from each animal and store that data every six minutes. Once in range of a receiver, the tags download their data and the mobile receiver uploads it to the HerdDogg app. Once in the app, HerdDogg uses proprietary algorithms to analyze the data and provide insights about the herd’s health and behavior.


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Hydraulic forward assist tool – Moly

Moly showcased a new attachment for their corral systems at the NCBA trade show. They introduced a hydraulic forward assist tool, a hydraulic arm attached to the top of an alley. The arm draws back at the press of a button, allowing an animal to enter the alley. You can lower the arm behind the animal, keeping it from backing out of the alley, and once the animal has been taken care of, the arm helps push the animal back out to the pasture. The paddle attached to the end of the arm is flexible and can be drawn up to usher in the next cow in line.

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Superconnector fence hanger – Southwest Fence and Supply

Southwest Fence and Supply has developed and marketed a suspension-fencing system that does not require the use of t-posts. The “Superconnector” fence hanger post, when used with the “Superstay,” allows the wire to stretch from brace to brace without being anchored to the post itself, while maintaining tension throughout the entire fence line. The Superconnector is available as a separate item and can be field welded, or it is available shop welded to posts. The complete system includes braces, stays/tensioners, and fenceposts with attached hangers.

FesCool lick tub

FesCool – New Generation Supplements

FesCool is a new, low moisture block formulated and proved through research to help improve performance in cattle grazing endophyte-infected tall fescue. FesCool was developed using the most recent university research and field trials. FesCool enhances the animal’s ability to cool itself by helping to lower blood pressure. The increase in blood flow allows the animal to better regulate core body temperature through improved blood flow to the extremities.

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LandVisor – Corteva

Corteva demonstrated their new digital decision support tool, LandVisor, at NCBA. LandVisor combines aerial imagery, data and technology with guidance from a consultant to take the guesswork out of management decisions regarding land productivity. It provides detailed information on forage productivity and vegetation – including the density of desirable and undesirable plant species – which identifies where herbicide treatments will be most beneficial. A Corteva representative demonstrated how the tool worked on a Texas ranch during a Learning Lounge session.

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Flexx Ultrasound – ReproScan

The Flexx is a portable ultrasound unit designed with the mixed-animal practice in mind. The Flexx offers complete versatility through more features, while remaining simple to operate. It includes five different probe options and is compatible with the Reproscan 2.0 monitor, Vista ultrasound goggles and NFI monocular devices. It has a built-in monitor, a six-hour battery life, is splash proof, and includes eight preset exam settings per probe and a freeze and image storage option.

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Pinkeye Solution – Curycin

Curycin’s pinkeye solution requires only a one-time spray-on application, with no eye patch necessary. It is non-toxic, non-invasive, steroid free and addresses all strains of pinkeye bacteria. It is also approved for the USDA natural beef program. One 24-ounce bottle includes over 70 doses. It cleans, soothes and helps reduce inflammation and other effects associated with pinkeye. Animals should recover in one to three days.

 Te Pari T30 scales

T30 scale system

The Te Pari’s T30 scale system can help remove guesswork and give producers a range of tangible data that enables them to weigh, record and manage an individual animal’s progress. 

The system includes loadbars mounted under the chute, connected via an onboard Wi-Fi router to the T1 "black box” scale, which sends the reading to the T30 tablet. The tablet can also connect to an EID wand or Te Pari dosing gun. At the end of the weighing session, the data is pushed into the cloud via a SIM card installed in the Wi-Fi router and can be downloaded later for processing. 

Producers can use the system to monitor weight gain, record illness and treatments, and record animal traits to help with sorting decisions. The system also functions as a sorting tool, allowing producers to sort by several options including weight, weight gain, ID, trait, group, source and more.
www.tepari.com  end mark

PHOTO 1: NCBA convention and trade show. Photo by Carrie Veselka.
PHOTO 2: The Kid corral. Photo by Carrie Veselka.
PHOTO 3: Cattle Quants display. Photo by Carrie Veselka.
PHOTO 4: A Doggtagg from Herddogg. Photo courtesy of Herddogg.
PHOTO 5: Hydraulic forward assist tool by Moly. Photo by Carrie Veselka.
PHOTO 6: Superconnector fence hanger. Photo courtesy of Southwest Fence and Supply.
PHOTO 7: FesCool supplement. Photo courtesy of New Generation Supplements.
PHOTO 8: Landvisor system at work. Photo Courtesy of Corteva.
PHOTO 9: Flexx Ultrasound machine. Photo by Carrie Veselka.
PHOTO 10: Curycin pinkeye spray. Photo by Carrie Veselka.
PHOTO 11: T30 Scale System by Te Pari. Photo courtesy of Te Pari.

Carrie Veselka