Brazil has 200 million cattle. That means there are actually more cows than humans. And because of that, the country is the world’s largest exporter of beef.
Clearly, beef is a huge industry in Brazil. But with so many cows, how are ranchers and food producers supposed to keep track of them? Well, there’s now an app called BovControl that aims to help farmers, food companies and even consumers track and gather information about cattle.
The app is currently available on Android platforms, and an iOS version is due out in early 2015. Farm workers can use it to enter information about each of their cows. This information might include things like date of birth, weight, vaccinations, implanted chips and ear tags. They can then access the information on a computer dashboard and use it to make farming decisions. For instance, a farmer might choose to group all of their pregnant cows together. They could even use the app to better predict when each one is likely to give birth.
It isn’t just farmers that can benefit from the app though. Today’s consumers are increasingly concerned with where their food comes from. Having a platform for tracking sources of food could give these consumers an outlet for researching that type of information. Or more realistically, it could give food companies a more effective way for making claims about their products.
For instance, food sellers that claim their products are organic or grass-fed can use information from the app to actually see where their food comes from. Danilo Leao, founder of BovControl told CNN:
“Some retailers are asking for grass-fed beef, some others are going for organic … Lots of industries are asking for the farmers to produce specific things for them, but they don’t have a platform that can communicate that.”
BovControl is just one in a series of apps and programs that use technology for farming purposes. It’s not an industry that normally takes advantage of a lot of tech tools. But this product certainly has a lot of practical uses for people at all stages of the process.