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To raise calves a rancher must have three things, a cow, a bull, and a prayer.
Red Angus bull with the cowherd.
Red Angus bull with the cowherd on 701x Autonomous Rancher test ranch in Grassy Butte, ND.

However, just because you have all three of those does not mean you are out of the water just yet. Bull performance is pivotal to an operation’s success, and something many ranchers take pride in. For some, it can be an incredibly stressful experience. When a rancher buys a bull, their main goal is to have him breed cows and produce quality calves. Unfortunately, that is not how it always ends up.


Even with modern technology and the required tests we have today such as semen and trich testing, fertility and performance in the field are still major problems. You hear it time and time again, a rancher goes out and buys bulls to put out with his herd. From the naked eye, they look at them and think “Wow! What a set, there will be some good cattle coming from them next season!” So, there they are all excited expecting the best calf crop in a long time. Then preg check day comes along and steals all that thunder right back.

Bull eating hay at 701x test ranch.

Out of those 400 calves the rancher was expecting to get, 43 will not be showing up. It turns out two of the bulls that were turned out weren't getting the job done, and the others could not pick up the slack. The next problem is that it's unknown which bulls they are as they still test out well. Now, the operation is not only out the $60,000 in calves, but chances are they are also out the three bulls just bought in addition to all the open cows.


What if we told you there is now a remarkably simple and cost-effective solution to this

problem and many others regarding bull performance? The answer, xTpro™ tags and 701x Autonomous Rancher® software. Our cattle management system works to create a virtual report sent straight to any device via cellular networks regarding bull activity, location, and much more. This creates a one-of-a-kind experience for the rancher, one they have never seen before. They can now know within minutes if a bull is acting unusual or being inactive, something that may go unnoticed by their eye while in the field. This allows them to treat the bull earlier, getting him back out on his feet quicker, and breeding more cows. Typically, the only time breeders know their cows are cycling and being bred is when they see the bull ride them, but if their bull is hurt, they must be out there looking for visual signs to know. Thanks to a feature in the xTpro™ tag that tracks the footsteps of the bulls, ranchers can now easily decipher when the bulls are active and breeding. This gives breeders a more accurate record of dates and an understanding of which bulls are doing what. Filling the void of the scenario discussed earlier.


Another feature of the xTpro™ tag is the GPS tracking capabilities. For some ranchers, having to worry about finding their herd is not relevant, but for those that live in rugged or big terrain, it is not always an easy task. The smart ear tag eliminates that problem. Now using the 701x Autonomous Rancher® app you can see each animal's "Animal Movement History" daily for a full traceability record of all animals with xTpro™

tags. Chances are wherever the cows are, the bull is going to be. If not, chances are

Bull mounting cow on test ranch.
Bull being productive on the test ranch.

something is wrong with him and you can get directly out to him, whereas usually, you would spend hours looking. On the app, you can also set up a virtual fence to receive "out-of-fence" alerts that tell you exactly when and where your cattle got out, right away. Once again, saving the ranchers time and money and the stress of tracking lost cattle.


Those features are only some of the many that the 701x platform has to offer, and if you are truly serious about tracking your bull's performance this is a must-get tool. As an example, let’s say for a 250-head operation they have an open rate of 5-10% or 12-25 cows. For simplicity let’s say the calves are worth an even $1000 that season. That means they are out $12,000-$25,000! To get xTpro™ tags on the seven bulls that the operation has and get each animal into our software it would be an investment of under $1,000 that first year. The operation would need just one more calf to offset that cost and it's likely they will get more than that by making sure their bulls are with their herd and being productive. Not to mention the relief you will get because you know your cattle are healthy and are progressing.

The ability and feasibility of the tags speak for themselves. Fewer animals lost equals more money. Healthier bulls equal more cows bred. More active bulls mean more cows bred. More cows bred means more calves. More calves equal more profit. Less open cows equal more herd retention. Fewer open cows equal less money lost at the auction. Fewer cattle lost or stolen means more profit. The list just keeps going on.

Once again, it all comes down to the bull and the cow. But in order to get to that point it is up to the rancher, and by having that better understanding of their animals with 701x Autonomous Rancher® they can now set their herds up for success.


To purchase xTpro™ tags, simply create a 701x Autonomous Rancher® account and visit the app's marketplace.

Download our app, 701x Autonomous Rancher®, and start your 14-day free trial. Click the links below:

For more information about our software or ear tags, set up a call or contact us. We'd love to chat with you!


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