Brazilian cattle will soon be wearing smart ear tags developed by Queensland company Ceres Tag, giving South American farmers the ability to track cows’ movement and health wherever their herds may roam.

Ceres Tag has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Brazilian company LeBov, which specialises in software that can analyse the information gathered by the ear tags.

The MOU will give Ceres Tag access to Brazil’s livestock herd – one of the largest in the world, with more than 230 million head of cattle spread across the country’s wide-open plains.

The MOU is the result of negotiations over the past year, with TIQ staff in Brisbane and Latin America advising Ceres Tag on Brazil’s business culture, providing language support in market, and introducing the company to local partners.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the MOU was an exciting step forward into an overseas market for Ceres Tag.

‘This is an exciting development for Ceres Tag following the success of a trial in North Queensland,’ Ms Palaszczuk said.

‘Ceres Tag’s technology is a perfect fit for the Brazilian cattle industry because their farmers face the same challenges as Queensland graziers – tracking cattle across such vast areas of land.’

The smart ear tags feature GPS tracking, accelerometers to measure movement (and help determine overall health), temperature monitoring, Bluetooth and radio-frequency identification.

The information from each tag can then be collected, and each cow’s data sent to a central database for analysis.

Farmers can check not only the location and movement of their cattle, but also their health – including when they are ready for breeding. Tagging can also reduce the chance of theft.

The technology is a joint initiative between Ceres Tag, the Queensland Government, James Cook University and the CSIRO.

Ceres Tag signed the MOU with Le Bov in Brazil in late 2019.

TIQ will continue to work with Ceres Tag to help them identify, explore and access new export markets.

Agtech is identified as an emerging export strength for Queensland in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.