Automation Is Transforming the Cattle Industry

Automation is gaining ground.

In the cattle industry, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) is driving the change. They hope that technology will make Australia more competitive.

And changes are happening across all sectors.

Farmers are embracing new technologies. New apps like IHerd help cattlemen manage their business. The app was developed by a cattleman from Queensland.

It’s used to track the herd in real time as it moves around the farm. The app can also keep count of the size of the cattle, and can map the farm.

The Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Participation has also been working on a project. It could save farmers around AU$68 a head in annual operational costs.

The project assigns each cow an electronic ID. As the herd moves to drink water, they walk across scales. The scales can ID the animal and record their weight.

Automation has also arrived to the processing plants.

ICA is a conveyor company with clients in the meat industry. They were recently hired by an abattoir that needed to increase efficiency and improve food safety standards.

The new system decreased each employee’s work day by an hour!

It’s allowing the company to save money on raw materials and labour.

Another company betting on technology is JBS. It’s the largest meat processing company in Australia.

They have invested in robotics company Scott Technologies.

JBS has a lamb processing plant in Bordertown, South Australia. They have been sampling a new product made by Scott Technologies.

It’s the first automated X-ray lamb processing system. The system can automatically detect the best cutting line with a high degree of precision. The system is completely automated.

That is, it will produce the best cuts without the need of a human.

So far, this technology has concentrated on the lamb industry. But it will soon be moving to beef.

And it will really benefit the industry.

Accuracy and productivity will improve. Australia has high production costs. Labour costs are 50% higher in Australia than in the US.

Increasing efficiency will result in more exports.

Automation will also increase safety. As workplace injuries decline, so too will insurance costs.

And there is the added benefit of better food safety.

But an increase in automation will also mean fewer jobs.

According to a study by the job search engine Adzuna, one in six jobs in Australia are at risk of automation.

The study lists butchers and plant operators as those most at risk — the same jobs that JBS and ICA are trying to replace. This is because they include routine tasks that can be easily replaced by robots.

There is no doubt automation will increase Australian unemployment.

Changes will not happen overnight. But expect to see them within the next 10–20 years.

We are already seeing a need for jobseekers to differentiate themselves from the masses.

And as automation advances, workers will need to have more technology skills.

Because working with technology will be the only jobs available in the future.

Selva Freigedo

Analyst, Markets and Money

PS: Markets and Money’s Vern Gowdie says we’re already standing on the edge of this next financial crisis.

Vern is the award-winning Founder of the Gowdie Letter and Gowdie Family Wealthadvisory services. As one of Australia’s Top 50 financial planners, Vern believes there’s nothing we can do to stop what’s coming.

It won’t be only stock markets that crash when the crisis hits. There’s another multibillion dollar market that’s poised to collapse when the credit bubble pops. Australia’s gone through two such credit bubbles in its history. The third, and latest, has been building for the last 65 years. When it pops, it won’t be pretty.

The fallout of this crash could do serious harm to your wealth. Yet, with a little bit of work, you can safeguard your wealth from the worst effects of the crisis. Vern will show you how to do this in his brand new report. To download a free copy of ‘Global Financial Crisis 2016: 3 Crisis Scenarios, and How They’ll Impact Australia’, click here.

Selva Freigedo is an analyst with a background in financial economics. Born and raised in Argentina, she has also lived in Brazil, the US and Spain. She has seen economic troubles firsthand, from economic booms to collapses and the ravaging effects of hyperinflation, high unemployment, deposit freezes and debt default. Selva now writes from her vantage point here in Australia. She is lead Editor at the daily e-letter Markets & Money. And every week, she goes through each report and research note produced by our global network of trusted advisors to find the best investment opportunities for you in Australia and overseas. She packages these opportunities for you in Global Investor.

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