Sales of microchip tag double for Mullinahone Co-op
Published 27/08/2014 | 02:30
Computer control for individual animals around the farm has arrived - with the range of possible applications reckoned to be almost limitless.
Best of all it has become available at a cost of an extra €1 per animal - for life.
The tiny microchip, which is set to revolutionise the way that livestock can be managed on farms in the future, is the latest innovation at Eurotags, a South Tipperary based farmer co-operative, which has specialised in the provision of identification tags for livestock in this country since 1972.
The co-op works in conjunction with French company, Allflex, who are manufacturing the the basic chip before exporting them to Mullinahone, where they are personalised for each animal.
"It involves adding a chip to the standard BVD livestock tag that is being used for identification on all livestock in the country," explained Eurotags manager, Liam Egan. He added that interest among livestock farmers in the innovation is already rocketing.
The new tag has been developed to ISO standard and Liam reckons that the ultimate range of possible applications around the farm is almost limitless.
With the appropriate scanner it is possible to read the animal's identity from a distance. The animal's ID can be automatically recorded while passing a specific scanning point in a cattle chute at a livestock mart, farm or factory.
This leads to faster and easier checking of animals accurately, according to Mr Egan.
It can also be programmed into calf feeders on the farm to identify each calf and individually control the amount of milk to be fed, with similar applications for meal feeding possible from birth right through to adulthood in the milking parlour.
Mr Egan believes that the new tag is set to revolutionise animal identification and a host of linked applications with the added benefit that the new tag is available at a cost of €1 on-top of the current standard ID tag cost.
There were 22,000 of the new tags purchased by livestock farmers in this country in 2013 within months of becoming available, and demand in 2014 has already doubled.