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Do you want to know day and night, with the press of a button, what the situation with your livestock is? Then FarmRanger is the Real Mackay. FarmRanger is a product of ETSE Electronics (Pty) Ltd – a firm that has been supplying solutions since 1999 to keep track of the well-being of your flock. Today the firm has more than 1 500 clients in South Africa and Namibia, and even a few in Australia.
Phillip Lötter was at the NAMPO Cape Show to tell farmers more about the product. “One or more animals in the flock gets an electronic collar around the neck enabling the farmer to keep track of the movements of his herd by means of an application on his cellphone,” says Phillip.
“As soon as the movement of the animals display unnatural behaviour, alarm is made and a signal, indicating the whereabouts of the flock, is sent to the farmer’s cellphone. Should the battery of the collar run down, or if the collar is removed from an animal’s neck, a signal is also sent to the cellphone so that the farmer can ascertain where his animals are. The rechargeable batteries of the collar can keep it working for twelve weeks necessitating recharging it only every three months.”
FarmRanger works country-wide provided there is a cellphone signal. The collars have a guarantee of 12 months. They do not damage easily – robustness and a long life were important priorities when the system was designed. The latest model came off the drawing-board in 2015 and has GPS functions (provided a signal is available). The very first collar that was made, is still in operation today.
FarmRanger not only helps to combat livestock theft, but also makes alarm when vermin such as jackal and lynx disturb the herd. Apart from the emergency signal, the system also transmits regular information to let the farmer know where the flock is grazing. The collars can be used on sheep, goats and cattle.
“On top of everything, it is an extremely economical way of protecting your livestock,” says Phillip. “If one can prevent the loss of only two sheep per year by using this system, the FarmRanger has paid for itself,” says Phillip.