It's been five years since BEEF magazine and Kansas State University (KSU) teamed up to deliver the industry's first survey of firms offering radio-frequency ID (RFID) technology for cattle-industry application. And the chart below represents the U.S. cattle industry's most current and comprehensive look at RFID companies and the technology they offer for cattle ID and monitoring.

The survey is a compilation of information provided by 34 firms involved in various aspects of RFID technology. Some offer hardware — scale heads, RFID readers, tags, etc. Others primarily offer software to accumulate the cow-herd data collected by the hardware. Others are one-stop shops offering the whole package — hardware, software and data storage.

The 34 companies participating in our fifth annual survey were asked to provide detailed information, but the data presented in the accompanying chart is just a very small fraction of the what's available. By visiting www.beefstockerusa.org, a cooperative Web site between BEEF and KSU (click on “RFID Survey” at the top of the page), you'll find an interactive version of this chart developed by KSU's Dale Blasi and his Extension colleague Kevin Dhuyvetter.

At www.beefstockerusa.org, you can click on the company name for background information on the firm; contact information; Web site links; and the firm's partners, goals and mission. Also included are details on the products and services offered, the specifications for use, compatible equipment, fees and much more. There's also an Excel spreadsheet calculator for estimating the costs of an RFID system for your operation.

For more on RFID and the National Animal Identification System, visit www.usda.gov/nais.

Click to view the full 2008 RFID survey