John O’Sullivan is a spring calving dairy farmer from Ballygree near Castleisland, Co. Kerry. John’s farm is a one-person operation, with little time for paperwork and calf registration and less time for double recording! John was one of the first farmers to get signed up to the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS) and after trying a few homemade solutions to record his animal remedies, John came across the Herdwatch app preview at the 2013 Ploughing Championships. The Herdwatch app wasn’t even on the market at the time, but in spring 2014 Herdwatch went live and John got signed up.
Always Be Prepared for your Audit
We caught up with John to see how having Herdwatch has helped him. John told us; “Before Herdwatch staying on top of animal remedies was a constant challenge.” He had tried using an excel spreadsheet but this meant late nights in front of a computer. “I knew that if I didn’t record my purchases and treatments on the spot, it would not be recorded accurately.” Having Herdwatch allows John to record events as they happen which keeps him compliant and prepared for an audit at all times.
Taking the hard work out of Calf Registration
John also uses Herdwatch to record all his calf registrations, which is a real time saver in spring. John told us how much it helps with the Pedigree registrations in particular. John said; “It really takes all the paperwork out of it, you just type the pedigree name into Herdwatch and it gets sent to the breed society for you, it can all be done in a few seconds.”
No more double recording
When John records his pre-heats, serves and scanning in Herdwatch on his phone, it automatically sends this information to ICBF which saves him having to record them again on a computer at the end of a long day. John finds the breeding views in Herdwatch great. “Being able to see what is due to repeat or what hasn’t cycled since calving allows you to keep ahead of any potential fertility problems.” In fact, figures show that dairy farmers using Herdwatch had a calving interval 26 days shorter than the 2015 national average.