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UFA teams with HerdWhistle to detect livestock health issues


United Farmers of Alberta Co-Operative (UFA) has formed an exclusive Canadian partnership with livestock monitoring system HerdWhistle. The system will allow farms in the UFA to detect potential livestock health issues while they are still in early stages.

HerdWhistle is a cloud-based, RFID system that monitors for potential livestock health issues and alerts feedlots, should they arise. Owned by Calgary-based systems developer A4 Systems, it detects behavioral changes in herds through round-the-clock tracking and reporting, with an overall aim to reduce mortality and morbidity. By its own estimates, livestock health issues can be detected up to seven days before they are visible to most individuals, and vigilant monitoring and detection can lead to a potential 25% minimum improvement in mortality rates.

Rob Giguere, VP of livestock services and market strategy at UFA, said in a statement that one of the biggest benefits of this partnership is the contribution to farmers’ bottom lines.

“It provides traceability for real-time on lot activity, matching animal history from squeeze to sell. HerdWhistle tracks cattle activity on the lot and can help improve inventory issues,” said Giguere. “It assists with locating missing cattle in the wrong pens and head counts by pen or lot. It can also improve the efficiency of pen checkers, allowing experienced staff to focus on critical pens and animals.”

“We’re continuing to explore new opportunities particularly in the livestock sector and HerdWhistle is one that we’re very excited about,” he adds. “HerdWhistle detects early health problems on the feedlot and can significantly reduce mortality. UFA is the exclusive partner of HerdWhistle for Canada, and we are excited to bring the offering to our feedlot customers.”