Beef producers will be able to use high-frequency electronic identification tags on their 2010 calf crop as part of a pilot project by the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association. The NDBCIA is initiating the project immediately.
The project is an extension of CalfAID, a U.S. Department of Agriculture process verified program (PVP) that allows producers to source and age verify their calves. The research project is a joint project by the
“Our goal is to have 10,000 calves involved in the project,” says Kris Ringwall, NDBCIA executive secretary and Dickinson REC director. “The investment in data processing will provide producers with a high-frequency electronic identification tag, visual identification tag and document of record regarding source and age verification.”
The document of record is necessary for producers to source and age verify their 2010 calf crop. Marketing professionals advise that source and age verified cattle do expand the opportunity to sell calves to a broader market.
In addition, producers will have an opportunity to utilize the power of the CalfAID PVP through the Cow Herd Appraisal Performance Software (CHAPS) system. CHAPS helps producers with individual calf, cow and sire evaluations and provides herd recordkeeping, which are useful in herd management decisions.
“Source and age verification in the beef industry is the result of requests by consumers to know where their food is coming from,” Ringwall says. “CalfAID helps make the connection between the producer and the consumer.”
The high-frequency electronic tag interface is part of a regular cattle tag. A major benefit of the high-frequency tag is that calves can be read more quickly and at distances of 15 to 30 feet. The new tag speeds read time and accuracy.
“The concept is to make it possible to read tags at the speed producers market their cattle,” says Mick Riesinger, biosecurity livestock research specialist at the Dickinson REC. “While cattle identification is not a new producer management tool, the marriage of cattle tags and high-frequency expands horizons. We can read the new tags with near- perfect accuracy as the cattle move through chutes and off and on trucks.
“High-frequency tags take beef production, management and marketing to a new level because we can collect data on calves at the speed of commerce,” he adds. “This new technology can eliminate the need to individually catch and restrain animals.”