Geo Fencing Vs. Virtual Fencing - What's The Difference

Posted by BigCommerce on 28th Sep 2021

Geo and Virtual fencing are often used on-farm and in recent years producers have become more and more familiar with these systems to streamline stock tracking and control management. But what is the real difference between Geo and Virtual fencing? Read on and you’ll find the difference between these two super simple and easily actionable solutions.

The difference - Geo Fencing vs. Virtual Fencing

Geo Fencing: 

Geo Fencing is a virtual geographic boundary around an area by means of either Global Positioning System (GPS), or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves an area (Oxford Languages Dictionary, 2021).


Virtual Fencing:

Virtual fencing is a system that enables animals to be confined or moved without using fixed fences. Virtual fencing technology coordinates, wireless technologies and sensors to control the location of the animal (CSIRO, 2021).


Put simply, each time an animal enters or exits the assigned barrier a Virtual Fence triggers a physical response such as a pulse or noise, where as a Geo Fence triggers a notification on a device through a software.

The Benefits

There are various benefits to adopting this technology depending on what your business goals are. These could range from: improved productivity, profitability, environmental and sustainability outcomes and improved labour allocation to reduced initial investment in physical fencing.


Still begging the question, what is the preferred fencing management system and why?

As it fully satisfies animal welfare and husbandry standards, Geo Fencing is the preferred method for grazing management, while still providing the grazing operation with efficiency and financial advantages.

Geo Fencing in the Agricultural Industry

Geo Fencing technology is used across the Agricultural sector. It is widely used in Agronomy for crop planning, planting and harvesting to increase the yield.

Whereas in beef grazing operations Geo Fencing Technology is used for the rotation of livestock through grazing areas and to notify the owner of unusual location.

Geo Fencing technology is even more useful on wide-ranging properties, for instance beef producers in Northern Territory of Australia. Why is it a great solution for extensive grazing practices? It allows producers to check if animals are accessing feed and water as well as make sure they stay away from environmentally sensitive areas without physically seeing the cattle in the flesh.

Geo Fencing for ‘Smart Grazing’

‘Smart grazing’ has created a strong push in Geo Fencing. Smart grazing refers to a rotational grazing method that ensures the continued movement of livestock across pastures. The main reason for the regenerative practice is to improve soil quality, combat climate change and improve animal health.

Smart grazing was communicated to the masses by the documentary “Kiss the Ground” (Netflix, 2020). Keeping the concept front of mind for both consumers and industry. This led to livestock operations asking for a ‘smarter way’ to access the information they need to make their grazing more strategic. Thankfully, Geo Fencing has answered this problem for farmers. Through the GPS and RFID technology’s ability to define virtual boundaries for specified areas and monitor the animal’s movements. Geo Fencing provides access to valuable data that allows farmers to access their livestock’s location and movement at their fingertips, anywhere.

Who offer’s Geo Fencing?

Geo fencing is currently offered by the following Software Platforms;


Where do I start?

If Geo Fencing technology will benefit your livestock business, we recommend taking the following steps for implementation:


  1. Procurement of Ceres Tags
  2. Select a fully integrated Software Partner
  3. Tag your livestock and monitor on your software of choice
  4. Set up your paddocks in your software and start monitoring

Geo Fencing stands as a great example of Innovation of Agricultural Technologies that grazing operations are genuinely wanting and using. Delivering efficient asset management for grazing rotations, saving time, labour and maintaining animal welfare standards. Geo Fencing is a valuable tool for a grazing operations inventory that: increases profitability and informs decision-making.

Has this left you wondering, what can Ceres Tag offer your operation?

Book in a call with one of our helpful experts: