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Thursday 26 April 2018

New farming app aiming for 25pc reduction in feed costs

The app will be able to determine the correct amount of feed to give their dairy herd and save up to 25pc on costs in the process
The app will be able to determine the correct amount of feed to give their dairy herd and save up to 25pc on costs in the process

Claire Fox

Dairy farmers can save up to 25pc on feed costs by using an online calculation tool, the promoter of a new agri-feed app has claimed.

Katerina Duke, originally from Moscow and living in Ireland since 2007, set up online platform Áine NutriScience in 2016.

She said by farmers recording key information on the site such as herd size, animal breed, body condition and grassland conditions, they will be able to determine the correct amount of feed to give their dairy herd and save up to 25pc on costs in the process.

"They will be able to calculate the right nutrition programme for their herd, what they need when the cows are out in the field in the summer and for dry cows in the winter," she said.

"They can save up to 25pc on feed costs and will also save on veterinary costs as their cows will be healthier and more fertile. They will also know how much protein to give their cows and avoid giving them too much."

Pilot run

Áine NutriScience will begin a pilot run with 10 farmers starting in February and while the company co-owned by Katerina's business partner Oleg Tyrn is initially focusing on dairy farmers she hopes to expand to other areas such as beef.

Katerina added that her mother, Anna, who is a farmer and a professor in animal nutrition in Russia, is the brainchild behind the logistical workings of Áine NutriScience.

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"My mother came up with the original algorithm in Russia to determine the feed requirements of animals. We have now taken that idea and made it fit the Irish context."

While her mother provided the science behind the business, she also provided part inspiration for the name.

"Well Áine is the Irish for Anna which is my mother's name. Anna is also the Celtic goddess of agriculture so I thought the two intertwined quite well."

Áine NutriScience has received over €50,000 of investment from Enterprise Ireland, while Katerina participated in the DCU Ryan Academy Female High Fliers Accelerator last year.

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