We’ll Take the Night Watch

By: Gary Manske – Executive Director, Sales & Marketing

Calving season is a few months away, but it’s time to start planning to ensure a successful and productive season. Monitoring your heifers closely to ensure problems are addressed as early as possible is key to reducing problems.

Cow and Calf in pen as seen by night vision camera in black and white
Great visibility in any light, even at night.

Dakota Micro’s camera systems and wireless equipment are a tool many producers rely on during the calving season.  The benefits go beyond the idea of sitting in the nice warm house during the cold winter months and monitoring their cattle in the barn.  Remote monitoring allows producers to get better sleep and save time, energy, and wear on the body by not having to walk to the barn to constantly check on progress, day and night. 

Remote monitoring also allows the ability to catch potential problems early and save the loss of a cow or calf before, during, and after the birthing process.  According to an article by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, 50% of first-time heifers will have problems during calving.  That number dramatically drops down to 3% with more mature animals.  Cows and calves are very costly investments. Being able to catch problems quickly and intercede effectively significantly reduces loss. 


Dakota Micro’s ruggedized camera systems can be used in a wired environment or wirelessly by simply adding a transmitter and receiver.  Each camera requires a transmitter. A single receiver can bring in multiple images allowing the user to switch between cameras.  Optionally, you can see all camera images at the same time by having a receiver for each camera and a Dakota Micro quad monitor. Other options from Dakota Micro exist as well for viewing your calving operations on a television or computer screen. See below infographic for configuration possibilities.

Infographic showing four different Calving Barn camera configurations: Wireless to Dakota Micro Monitor, Wireless to TV, Wireless to Computer, and Enhanced Security & Surveillance.
Multiple setup configurations to fit your needs.


Wireless equipment requires line of sight between the transmitter and receiver antennas.  Multiple options exist to help increase range as needed. Keep in mind, interference can influence signal quality.  It is surprising just how much interference is around us every day. It is possible there is sufficient line of sight, but picture quality is suffering. The solution can be as simple as moving antennas around to find a place where interference is minimized.  Another tip is making sure the antennas are both level with each other, and one antenna is not higher than the other.

For longer distances, Dakota Micro has many options. For example, a standard antenna allows 1,000 feet in perfect conditions.  Need to go further?  There are antenna options that provide up to two to three miles, with line of sight.  It is important to remember if the antennas can’t see each other you will not get a signal, no matter the distance.

We talk a lot about how the Dakota Micro camera systems help increase productivity, efficiency, and safety in the workplace.  Think about all the time spent walking down to the barn to check on cattle, waking up, getting dressed, and going for that long cold walk.  It’s time to relax and allow the Dakota Micro cameras to take the night watch.