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Well-known Saskatchewan cattleman Roy Rutledge who has long run the Assiniboia Livestock Auction spoke yesterday in Edmonton to a meeting of Ag Service Boards. Roy has some definite opinions on cattle traceability and what he says makes a lot of sense. We’re developing a high-priced livestock traceability system based upon individual cattle ID that uses radio frequency ear tags. The problem is that too many RFID tags fall out. Some tags don’t work to start with. Others seem to be neutralized by high voltage power lines. And if you want to tamper with ID or age verification, it isn’t that hard to remove a tag and replace it with another. Roy believes traceability has a lot of value, but he questions the wisdom of basing it on an individual animal ID mechanism that has so many shortfalls. So if not RFID tags, what could be used? Roy Rutledge wonders if retinal scans might be a possibility. They’re already used for sophisticated human identification systems. Every person and every animal has a unique retina. This system would be permanent and virtually tamper-proof. It’s certainly an interesting idea.

I’m Kevin Hursh.

DynAgra, an independent Western Canada-based Company, is dedicated to providing growers with the tools to manage the risk and maximize the profitability of their farm business through the continued innovation of agricultural products and services. We are committed to developing and providing growers with the latest in precision agronomics, variable rate technology, soil fertility, crop protection, fertilizers, custom application and financial solutions.