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Sunday 31 August 2014

Digital-based programmes will lead Farm Relief Service into the next generation

Caitriona Murphy

Published 24/09/2013 | 04:00

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Herd management and cow hoofcare are being taken into the 21st century by the Farm Relief Service (FRS) this week as it launches two new digital-based programmes to help farmers in managing their herds.

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HerdWatch is a complete herd management tool that can be used on smartphones, personal computers and laptops to record the breeding cycle from heat detection to calving.

The programme automatically calculates expected calving dates and heat due dates, as well as helping with EU compliance on remedies recording and animals movements.

The FRS Hoof Watch service uses a handheld device carried by FRS hoof technicians to record hoof ailments and treatments administered to each animal. The information can be used to choose which cows to breed from, track lameness trends and decide how best to reduce lameness in the herd.

Individual lameness reports can be made available online to ICBF HerdPlus members or on request from FRS and the collective data will be analysed by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) to identify bloodlines which are more prone to lameness.

The new systems will be launched tomorrow at the FRS stand at Stand U340, beside RTé.

Irish Independent

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