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Saturday 10 December 2016

AIM changes to help farm management decisions

New multiple access facility will provide easier farm assessment

Published 13/09/2011 | 05:00

Changes to the Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) system mean that agricultural consultants will now be able to help farmers make crucial on-farm management decisions.

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The new 'agent facility' will allow farmers to give multiple agents access to AIM details.

The agent facility allows farmers to nominate an agency or agent to submit calf birth registrations and movements electronically to AIM on their behalf or for an agency/agent to view their data on AIM using agfood.ie for advisory purposes.

Agricultural consultant Tom Dawson said the new facility would enable consultants to help farmers make farm management decisions quicker and more efficiently.

"For example, a farmer who is concerned about his nitrogen and phosphorus levels at this time of year can allow his consultant to check his N&P statement against the stock levels on the farm," he said.

"The consultant will quickly be able to advise the farmer about whether he needs to sell stock or not in order to avoid exceeding his limits."

Mr Dawson added that farmers could also allow an approved agent to submit details in relation to the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme (SCWS).

"This could help farmers who were too slow in registering details with the Department of Agriculture to avoid penalties under the SCWS," he said.

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Under the new AIM facility, farmers can appoint a Teagasc adviser, a farm consultant or any third party that he/she nominates to act as their agent.

The farmer can grant two types of access to agents. The first type is editing access, which would typically be granted to the farmer himself and an agricultural adviser. Only the farmer and one other person can have editing access to the farmer's account.

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The second type is viewing access, which allows only limited access to certain information. This could be used, for example, by the farmer's accountant in order to assess stock levels on the arm when compiling the farm's annual accounts. There is no limit on the number of agents who can be granted viewing access.

Where a farmer nominates an agency or agent to submit data to AIM on her/his behalf, the farmer or agent can apply to use the AIM database as an electronic herd register. This means that a farmer using the electronic herd register can dispense with the requirement to maintain the on farm bovine herd register, known as the blue book.

Up to now, the use of the AIM database as an electronic herd register was available only to farmers who were registered for online services and submitted the registration of calves and farm to farm movements electronically at agfood.ie, or farmers who used farm software packages approved by the Department as an electronic herd register.

Farmers can download an application form to authorise an agent at www.agriculture.gov.ie under Animal Identification and Movement or collect a copy of the form from their local Department of Agriculture office.

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