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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #403579

Research Project: Science and Technologies for the Sustainable Management of Western Rangeland Systems

Location: Range Management Research

Title: PSIV-23 Activity classification of grazing cows on desert rangeland in the southwestern United States

Author
item PEREA, A - NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY
item Macon, Lara
item RAHMAN, S - NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY
item CHEN, H - NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY
item COX, A - NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY
item NYAMURYEKUNG'E, S - NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY
item CAMPA-MADRID, S - NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY
item CAO, H - NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY
item CIBILS, A - NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY
item Estell, Richard - Rick
item DUFF, G - NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY
item UTSUMI, S - NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/18/2023
Publication Date: 11/6/2023
Citation: Perea, A.R., Macon, L.K., Rahman, S., Chen, H., Cox, A., Nyamuryekung'E, S., Campa-Madrid, S., Cao, H., Cibils, A.F., Estell, R.E., Duff, G., Utsumi, S. 2023. Activity classification of grazing cows on desert rangeland in the southwestern United States. Journal of Animal Science Supplement. 101:Abstract.

Interpretive Summary: Monitoring cattle on rangelands is a daunting task that can be improved by using wearable sensors that are capable of transmitting motion and position data in real time and at low cost. This study tested the performance of machine learning (ML) classifiers to discriminate among foraging activities of cows based on triaxial accelerometer data collected in real-time by LoRa WAN networks. Trials were conducted at the New Mexico State University Chihuahuan Desert Rangeland Research Center and the USDA Jornada Experimental Range in Doña Ana County, NM. A total of 24 Brangus, Brahman, Raramuri Criollo and Angus x Hereford mature cows fitted with LoRa WAN tracking collars housing GPS and triaxial accelerometers were monitored across four periods during the 2022 summer and fall seasons on desert rangeland pastures. Trackers integrated and transmitted activity count (Ac) data from accelerometers at one-minute intervals. Video recording of focal cows (n = 24) was undertaken during daylight hours (0630 to 2000 h) from a distance of ~30 m to minimize interference with natural behaviors. A total of 168 hours of video were recorded and inspected by an experienced observer to label video files according to a classification tree of four main activities: grazing (GR), walking (WA), resting (RE) and ruminating (RU), and two states: active (AC) or static (ST). Individualized activities and states were considered when cows performed the same predefined activity or state for more than 30 secs. Retrieved sensor data from collar trackers were labeled by state and activity according to labels collected from video records. This classification resulted in a dataset containing 9,222 events, including 3,928 for GR, 2,286 for WA, 2,032 for RE, and 976 for RU, as well as 6,214 labels for AC and 3,008 labels for ST. Deep learning through Multilayer Perceptron Classifiers (MLPC) were coded and implemented using a split configuration of 70% of the data for training and 30% for testing, respectively. In preliminary runs, models had reduced ability to properly discriminate among RE (F1 = 0.42) and RU (F1 = 0.43) Thus, RE and RU were merged on subsequent tests, resulting in 3,928 labels for GR, 2,286 labels for WA, and 3,008 labels for merged RE. Deep learning models successfully classified between AC vs. ST behavior with an overall F1 performance score of 0.96. Further use of the same deep learning models successfully classified among GR, WA, and RE activities with an overall F1 performance score of 0.91, suggesting satisfactory application of the trained models to monitor cattle grazing activities on desert rangeland.

Technical Abstract: Monitoring cattle on rangelands is a daunting task that can be improved by using wearable sensors that are capable of transmitting motion and position data in real time and at low cost. This study tested the performance of machine learning (ML) classifiers to discriminate among foraging activities of cows based on triaxial accelerometer data collected in real-time by LoRa WAN networks. Trials were conducted at New Mexico State University’s Chihuahuan Desert Rangeland Research Center and the USDA’s Jornada Experimental Range in Doña Ana County, NM. A total of 24 Brangus, Brahman, Raramuri Criollo and Angus x Hereford mature cows fitted with LoRa WAN tracking collars housing GPS and triaxial accelerometers were monitored across four periods during 2022 summer and fall seasons on desert rangeland pastures. Trackers integrated and transmitted activity count (Ac) data from accelerometers at one-minute intervals. Video recording of focal cows (n=24) was undertaken during daylight hours (0630 – 2000 h) from a distance of ~30 m to minimize interference with natural behaviors. A total of 168 hours of video were recorded and inspected by an experienced observer to label video files according to a classification tree of four main activities: grazing (GR), walking (WA), resting (RE) and ruminating (RU), and two states: active (AC) or static (ST). Individualized activities and states were considered when cows performed the same predefined activity or state for more than 30 secs. Retrieved sensor data from collar trackers were labeled by state and activity according to labels collected from video records. This classification resulted in a dataset containing 9,222 events, including 3928 for GR, 2286 for WA, 2032 for RE, and 976 for RU, as well as 6214 labels for AC and 3008 labels for ST. Deep learning through Multilayer Perceptron Classifiers (MLPC) were coded and implemented using a split configuration of 70% of the data for training and 30% for testing, respectively. In preliminary runs, models had reduced ability to properly discriminate among RE (F1 = 0.42) and RU (F1=0.43) Thus, RE and RU were merged on subsequent tests, resulting in 3928 labels for GR, 2286 labels for WA, and 3008 labels for merged RE. Deep learning models successfully classified between AC vs. ST behavior with an overall F1 performance score of 0.96. Further use of the same deep learning models successfully classified among GR, WA, and RE activities with an overall F1 performance score of 0.91, suggesting satisfactory application of the trained models to monitor cattle grazing activities on desert rangeland.