IT for raising cattle.

“Kanematsu, a midsize Japanese trading house that is no stranger to the farm, is branching out into IT tools for raising cattle.

The company has taken a small stake in Farmnote, an information technology venture based on the northern island of Hokkaido, Japan’s dairy country. Together, they will offer a service that lets dairy farmers and ranchers monitor their herds’ physical activity using a device attached to collars. The data will be crunched to yield estimates of the animals’ health, helping farmers tell when their cows are going into heat, for example.

The new service will make it easier to manage cattle health using smartphones or tablets.

This service will be linked to Farmnote’s namesake herd management system, which lets farmers log and share work reports on the go using smartphones or tablets instead of heading back to the office. Released last November, the free app has been adopted by 830 farms raising some 60,000 head of cattle.

Farmers will pay for the monitoring devices. The service will launch as early as March 2016. Kanematsu and Farmnote aim to have service contracts covering around 60,000 animals within four years.

IT services that enable farmers to track herds by satellite or monitor crop growth via sensors are starting to appear. But farmers in Japan still have few options when it comes to handy apps”.

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