Farm Ireland

Sunday 25 February 2018

Grassland management software has global appeal

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

New grassland management software from Irish company AgriNet is attracting clients from all over the world.

Farmers from New Zealand, Britain and the United States, as well as Ireland, have signed up for the web-based package, according to Barry Lynch from AgriNet.

One of the main attractions of the AgriNet package is that it can be used to work online with a discussion group or farm adviser.

Farmers can invite other farmers to join their online group and all information is shared on an invitation-only basis. If a farmer agrees to share his information, other farmers can look at his grass measurements, paddock covers and feed wedge.

Farmers are identified by their mobile number and invitations to share farm data are sent directly to their phone.

The system also includes online messaging.

Other critical information that can be inputted and shared includes milk production figures, such as yield and milk solids, fertiliser application rates, meal intake and stocking rates, temperature and rainfall.

The software can also be used to record information such as spraying, re-seeding and soil sampling.

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"The farmer can then use the software to make more informed grassland decisions," said Mr Lynch.

"There are also huge possibilities for farmers to learn from other farmers.

"A farmer who is new to grassland measurement can learn quickly from other farmers and what decision they make based on the grass wedge."

The system, which was launched in February, is already being used by some of the top discussion groups in the country. Using the 'group summary' page, each member of the group can see grass covers, feed input and milk production for all of the members.

"A farmer can use this software and link to no other farms, but the advantage of being in an online discussion group is that, as soon as farm covers have been entered, grass decisions being made by discussion group colleagues are visible immediately," said the IT specialist.

"The feedback we're getting is that farmers who are using the software begin to measure more often."

Access to the software is free of charge for agricultural advisers, who can log in and see all the information for a group of farmers they have invited to join.

The web-based nature of the software means it can be accessed from anywhere at any time, from a PC or mobile device that has internet access.

Irish Independent