Andrew Darmody farms a mixed dairy & beef herd in Twomileborris, Co. Tipperary, and until last year, he was still using pen and paper to record hundreds of remedies and calf details. But that all changed when he started recording this information directly into his smartphone using the Herdwatch farming app: “I often wonder how I managed before”, said Andrew, who reckons this saves him up to 4 hours a week during busy periods.
He added: “It’s great not having to sit in front of the computer or the Blue Book after a long day on the farm, I can spend more quality time with my family which keeps the wife happy!”
Stress-free Bord Bia audits
Andrew is one of 1,500 farmers using Herdwatch, a multi award-winning farming app launched by FRS in 2014. He has tried other packages in the past, but he said none gave him the same mobility and peace of mind of being compliant at all times: “A few weeks ago, I had a Bord Bia inspection and I didn’t have to go looking for paperwork or catch up on any dosing because I recorded it all in Herdwatch as it happened”, said Andrew.
“I can literally be in the middle of a field or shed with no mobile coverage, look up a cow and dose her or find out when she was dosed, or when she is due to calve”.
Calf registration is a time-consuming task for farmers, It takes Andrew less than 30 seconds to register a calf from Herdwatch on his phone, and the blue cards appear in the post a day or two later. He said: “I have registered over 200 calves so far using Herdwatch, and it’s very fast and easy, any mistake is caught immediately which can save days of delays and paperwork”'
No more time wasted on double-entry
Herdwatch is fully approved by the Department of Agriculture, which means farmers don’t even have to manually enter their animals into the system.
Andrew also uses Herdwatch to record hundreds of AI serves and scan results, which are automatically sent to the ICBF. He said “When my scanner came, I was able to record the scan results in Herdwatch as he was scanning the cows, which saved me hours on that day alone as I didn’t have to re-enter them on the ICBF website.”
Asked about the price tag of €130 per year, Andrew said “You could spend €130 with one slit in a bag of fertiliser, so for me it’s a no-brainer really, it’s worth every cent!”