Irish merger creates world's biggest grass database
The biggest grass database in the world has been formed following the merger of Teagasc's PastureBase and privately owned AgriNet.
Over 3,000 farmers across the world will be feeding weekly grass measurements into the system in a bid by the State agency to "move the initiative on to the next level".
"We were always more interested in using the data for research, but to generate it, you need to provide front-end user support to the farmer. That's where AgriNet's strengths were," said a Teagasc spokesman.
The move will ensure that Irish grassland data will be stored in a national database for the benefit of all Irish farmers, although AgriNet founder Barry Lynch insisted that his company had never any designs on commercialising the data.
"Our belief was always that the person generating the data - in this case the farmer - owned the data," he said.
It appears to be a perfect fit, with Mr Lynch admitting that his company didn't have the resources to carry out research on the huge amounts of data being generated by the software.
"About a year ago we estimated that we had seven million data entries, so obviously it is a lot higher now," he said.
"Almost half of our clients are based abroad, mostly in the UK but also in New Zealand and Chile. So if we're able to get high-end corporate entities in New Zealand to opt for our package over anything on offer down there, you get some idea of just how far ahead we are now in terms of this package."