Cumbrian farmer Edward Dean has built a portable mast to help transfer valuable performance-monitoring data from his Limousin herd in the field back to the farm’s computer. The rolling hills around Kirkhouse Farm in Brampton, Cumbria, have played havoc with any kind of data capture in the past when a clean line of sight was essential, but the new portable set-up sends information from any part of the farm to a cloud storage facility to avoid interruptions. It’s part of a system that uses cow monitoring equipment from livestock technology company Allflex. As an AHDB strategic farm, Mr Dean has trialled the monitoring system and hopes to use it to artificially inseminate his disease-free herd at the earliest sign of heat using high genetic merit semen to maintain strong maternal traits. However, for this technology to work, the data needs to be downloaded regularly from the collars on the cows to the database. But for Mr Dean’s outdoor beef herd, capturing and accessing the information on a regular basis has forced him to develop a mast that keeps the technology dry and safe in the field and consistently fires data back to the yard. Allflex’s cow monitoring systems work by keepin...