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Moving Cows Between Fields from a Smart Device

Moving cattle across a pasture from the click of a button on a phone and not building miles of cross fence for rotational grazing might seem like a fever dream, but with the help of Corral Technologies that dream is becoming reality. Corral Technologies is a Nebraska based company that builds an invisible fence for cows without having to bury any wires underground. Cattle wear a collar that has GPS capabilities that connects back to an app on a phone, computer or tablet. Ranchers are then able to draw boundaries, simulating a cross fence, from their devices that will be sent to the collars. The collars keep the cows inside the boundary and report data on the animals. Jack Keating, founder and CEO of Corral Technologies, is a mechanical engineer who grew up on his family’s cattle ranch north of Atkinson, NE. After years of fixing fence with his dad, Matt Keating, the pair talked about how great it would be to not have to build miles of fence and still be able to maximize the utilization of their pastures. “This technology takes a lot of manpower out of the ranching process while providing real-time data on a herd. Users can see each cow’s location, a heat map of their grazing patterns and their travel paths over time, allowing for better utilization of resources,” said Keating. Like invisible fences for dogs, Corral Technologies uses a variety of directional stimulations to keep cows within the boundaries. Keating explained that typically within two weeks, cattle are trained and accustomed to wearing collars, staying within the boundary and moving from pasture to pasture. “Ultimately, ranchers will be able to move cows from the palm of their hand. Using the app on their phone, users can select the herd and the pasture they want the cattle to move to and the app will autogenerate a route for the cows to be guided along. Click move, and within a few hours, the cows will be in their new boundary,” said Keating. Growing up on a cattle ranch in Nebraska, Keating saw first-hand the impact the cattle industry has on the state. After finishing his mechanical engineering degree at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and starting his company, he knew that positioning himself in Nebraska was the smart move. “Nebraska is a great place to build an ag tech company,” said Keating. “Corral wants to serve the cow-calf market, so making sure we are in an environment with lots of cow-calf operations is key. Nebraska is also a prime testing ground for a diverse set of cattle grazing landscapes across the country. We can do a lot of product testing and fit the needs of producers across Nebraska and the United States.” Since its inception in 2020, Corral continues to expand and operates collars in 15 states on a variety of breeds of cattle and terrains. There is also international interest. Customers are excited about the return they are seeing on their investment. “Ideally, we are able to move cows around more frequently, put them in smaller pastures and break them up. Your return on investment can come in multiple ways: 20% to 40% increase in herd size, more days on pasture or fewer rented acres. We are providing a solution to help achieve producer goals,” said Keating. Corral Technologies is able to accommodate for conditions when grazing needs to change, allowing ranchers to keep their pastures healthy and leading to healthier cows, calves and ecosystems. “It is really exciting to get outreach from people across the globe and hear that people need and want a system like this. Our goal is to ensure we have a system that will meet the needs of each producer and give them access to data that will benefit their operation and make them as profitable as possible,” said Keating.

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