No Fence is a Norwegian Company that started ten years ago as a group of farmers and engineers working together to create the world’s first virtual fence system. Their goal: improve agriculture, animal welfare and the environment all at once. As they describe in the 3 minute video below, their technology is a GPS collar worn by the animal. You set boundaries for your pasture with your phone, which transmits them to the collar. The collar makes a series of beeps as the animal enters a “warning zone.” If the animal doesn’t turn around, the collar will give it a “weak but effective” shock.
They began by creating a collar to work with goats. Though goats are traditionally the most difficult animals to keep in a fence, this 24 second video shows how the system works to keep them from straying outside the invisible boundaries set for them.
They’re now working on perfecting the system for use with cattle and hope to have a product ready in 2019. This 50 second video shows the collar in a cattle trial:
But will it work for you? Will the cost for the collars and the monthly service fee for the web portal service combined with anticipated profits from access to more forage offset the material and labor costs of your current fencing? (You can check out pricing information for this system here.)
This idea of virtual fencing has been around for some time. In fact, we reported on Dean Anderson of the Jornada Experimental Range in New Mexico experimenting with collars to move cattle from pasture to pasture and to gather them. Putting together that product for wide spread use wasn’t possible because of technology costs. But now, thanks to miniaturization, something like this could be made affordably. There are at least two other companies working on this technology, with products in testing now. I’m sure the developers would like to hear your thoughts, suggestions, and concerns about how you might use a collar-based virtual fence. So do share your ideas in the comments section below.