The CattleTrace pilot project in Kansas for disease traceability has been collecting data for nine months. Project managers recently shared read rates for electronic readers installed at participating auction markets and feedyards. Cattle enrolled in the program by ranchers are fitted with high-frequency electronic identification tags. According to the real-time data, which is collected at the speed of normal commerce, the average read rate at livestock markets is 94%, with the average for feedyards at 98%. A few cattle recently began to go to packers, with recent read rates in the 90% range.
During the two-year pilot project, CattleTrace will collect the minimal data necessary for disease traceability, including the date and time, an individual animal identification number, and a location, each time an animal’s tag is read with pilot project readers in the production chain. Approximately 55,000 Kansas-based calves will be tagged for the pilot, which will conclude in 2020.
CattleTrace is approaching the goal of distributing 55,000 tags in Kansas and is seeking additional partners at the backgrounder and cow-calf levels. Organizers are targeting producers who do business with existing program partners in the auction market and feedyard sectors. For more information, go to www.cattletrace.org.