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Keeping costs down means solutions that do more for less

Jonathan Swift wrote that “Whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.”

No surprise that Swift was an Irishman.

Today innovative Irish agritechs are helping farmers around the world to do more with less.

Herdwatch, for example, offers simple herd management with full compliance via your mobile phone. It helps farmers make better use of their time, and better decisions, by eliminating farm paperwork.

Ireland’s market-leading herd app is already used on more than 15,000 farms. The Herdwatch Milk module helps with milk recording.  Interpretation of milk data and the information that it provides has a critical role to play in the development of breeding plans on farm in the future.

Combining and analysing milk recording information in Herdwatch can easily be done and help to make better on-farm decisions.

Herdwatch Automate allows farmers to send key farm data into Herdwatch by simply taking a picture of an invoice, statement or docket.

It automatically extracts all relevant data from the document and allows the farmer to see a summary of all their farm input and output costs within the Herdwatch app, so they can see how they are doing in real time.

For bloodstock, EquiTrace uses technology to trace horses and horse health. It is linked to the animal’s microchip, ensuring identity is 100 per cent verified. Every scan records and maps the animal’s GPS location. The app can also be set to show if an animal requires any treatment. Reminders can be set for vaccination, worming and medication.

To avoid any error the app recognises over 1000 medications by barcode alone, ensuring the right horse gets the right medicine. Once the medicine and horse are scanned the horse’s secure medical record is automatically updated. If linked to commercial partner Merck’s new BioThermo microchips, it even gives contactless temperature.

EquiTrace is designed to meet the needs of the whole team looking after, say, a racehorse, including the person doing daily checks, the trainer and the veterinarian. Ultimately EquiTrace keeps the records required by authorities up to the minute accurate – and with the horse.

It also saves massive amounts of time. Eliminating paperwork records are kept up to date at the stroke of a microchip scanner or the touch of a button. For farms that check temperatures on all animals twice a day and have BioThermo microchips it is estimated to save two full time salaries per farm.

Terra NutriTech was founded by beef farming brothers from Kildare who spotted a need for an intelligent mineral dosing system that would improve herd health and profitability. They developed a system that is precise, automated and easy to use, and helps deliver tailored-made mineral solutions protecting herd health for farmers across Ireland and beyond.

Its patented mineral dispensing technology means farmers can have complete confidence that their herd is optimised nutritionally – with an accurate dose and no waste. Farmers who switch to its systems report improved herd health, increased yields and profitability.

Dairymaster‘s high performance product range includes milking equipment, milking parlours, feeding systems, automatic scrapers, heat detection, milk cooling tanks and more.

Its milking machines milk all teats simultaneously, a unique way of milking that is different to anything else currently used on the market and ensures for faster, more complete milking.

Its research indicates that as cows are more relaxed during milking, thanks to its gentle vacuum. Oxytocin release is greater resulting is fuller milkout with up to 5% more yield from the same cows.

Family run machinery business McHale has a range of specialist balers and bale wrappers. Developed on rugged terrain, the McHale range of round balers and round and square bale wrappers is known throughout the world for durability, reliability, innovation and value for money. Every year McHale balers produce over 75 million bales of forage for farmers and contractors.

Innovation drives success at Tanco too. The auto wrap specialist has patented dozens of game-changing machines positioning the Carlow firm as one of the most respected and responsive brands in the agricultural world. Its A100 Series has been refined to eliminate weight and waste, while its S Series can wrap and stack bales in a single operation, reducing labour and tractor hours.

BioAtlantis in Tralee provides natural compounds, extracted from renewable marine and terrestrial resources, that reduce stress in crops, animals and humans by strengthening natural defence systems.

It is facilitating the world’s transition to sustainable agriculture by reducing dependence on agrochemicals, using products derived from natural resources with an efficacy equivalent to or greater than agrochemical synthetics. The ability of its SuperFifty Prime to prevent crop drought stress was highlighted in a special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

​Family-owned business, JFC Group is an international business manufacturing innovative, high-quality products renowned for offering superior strength and durability, capable of withstanding even the most aggressive on-farm use.

Its 200 product ranges includes everything from water troughs and calf hutches, to footbaths and fencing, with an in-house R&D team continuously expanding its portfolio in line with farmers’ ever changing needs.

Its Evolution Automatic Calf Feeder feeds and monitors up to 140 calves on an individual basis, allowing calves to reach their full potential while reduce farm labour costs.

For these as for so many other on farm innovations, Irish agritech is, quite simply, outstanding in its field.

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