Livestock inspections are now being performed remotely–and not just due to COVID-19.
Until recently, livestock appraisers would visit feedlots and ranches to perform their appraisals, which involves visual assessment to estimate cattle inventories. At large feedlots where an exhaustive appraisal is next to impossible without unlimited time, only a fraction of feedlot pens would be sampled for inspection. All that changed when the pandemic hit and many lenders deferred their livestock appraisals.
But even before the novel coronavirus arrived in the United States, there was another option. CattleQuants is a cattle appraisal service that leverages drones and artificial intelligence to perform highly accurate livestock appraisals. An FAA-licensed drone pilot flies a drone over the feedlot, taking high-resolution aerial photos of each pen. Livestock is counted on each photo by a proprietary AI algorithm, and a digital report is auto-generated with the photos and the total headcounts.
Forget touring the length and breadth of the feedlot to estimate inventory in a fraction of the pens. Even the largest feedlots can be photographed in one day by our trained drone pilots. According to Clay Conrad, Chattel Evaluator at Ag Texas Farm Credit Services, CattleQuants “saves a lot of time and made my life a lot easier!”
But CattleQuants doesn’t just reduce the hassle of livestock appraisals. CattleQuants reports are valuable because they are 99% accurate and 100% transparent, thereby reducing the risk involved in lending money collateralized by livestock. This obviously benefits lending institutions. However, this benefit also trickles down to borrowers, who may profit from lower interest rates or smaller down payments when CattleQuants is used for livestock inspections.
Remote livestock inspections are becoming more and more commonplace, COVID-19 or not. If your lender hasn’t offered you the option of a drone-based inspection, you might want to ask them why.