SaskTel recently announced that they would be teaming up with a company all the way from Australia in order to introduce some new agriculture technology to Saskatchewan fields.
Smart Paddock is the company that SaskTel has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with, in order to further the Australian company's reach into Canada.
As the smart ear tags that Smart Paddock is using need a connection to a mobile network in order to work properly, SaskTel would be in a prime position to implement the infrastructure to support those tags.
Mike Stefianiuk is the director for business development, (IoT and digital transformation) at Sasktel.
He says that a lot of the agricultural needs seen in Australia are echoed here in Saskatchewan.
"Similar to Canada, there is a heavy livestock presence in Australia, maybe even more than in Canada," said Stefaniuk, "But in terms of the geography, similar to Saskatchewan here, in Australia, you have fairly expansive pasture land, and areas where you want to keep track of livestock."
The smart ear tags would be a game-changer for agriculture in Saskatchewan, says Stefaniuk.
He says that some of the examples of this include learning exactly where your cattle are to know if they're grazing on sub-optimal pastures, drinking from the wrong water sources, or even if they end up getting out of a pasture altogether.
Stefaniuk even says that the tags can be used to tell how a cow is feeling.
"Right now in addition to location information, they can provide for example the temperature of the cow," said Stefaniuk, "So you can get a sense as to maybe if they're not feeling so well before more physical signs develop, so you can be a bit more proactive there. I think on the roadmap they want to add more and more biometric information."
Some of that information could lead to knowing whether or not a cow is calving, says Stefaniuk.
He says that the tags will need to go through a few firmware upgrades in order to be suitable for Saskatchewan, and after that, there may be a staggered rollout.