Donegal Farmer Turns Cross Compliance into a Management Tool

Patrick Bolger

| Cattle & Dairy

| Jan 1, 2017

Farmer using Herdwatch app in shed cattle

Danny McGee is a Suckler farmer from Milford in north-west Donegal. Danny keeps a herd of 20 Charolais cows and sells their calves as weanlings in Milford Mart. He finds selling them as weanlings gives the best return.  Like most Suckler farmers, Danny would have the best of intentions when it came to recording paperwork but always found it difficult to stay on top of it. He knew that this was going to cause a problem with compliance down the road and after reading an article about the Herdwatch app, Danny decided to get the app to see if it could help him. Two years on and Danny hasn’t looked back.

The road to compliance is paved with good intentions

Like all farmers, Danny is always trying to improve his management and reduce his workload. Danny explained to us how Herdwatch had helped him do this, he told us that, “I now record all my medicine purchases straight after I buy it, I just put it into Herdwatch as I have a cup of tea, when I need to inject an animal I can just record that there and then.” Danny told us that “there is great peace of mind know that you are on top of your compliance.”

Knowing what cows to keep an eye out for

Danny is constantly trying to improve his breeding and tighten his calving pattern and using all AI bulls is important to this. Danny explained to us how Herdwatch helps him drive this on as well, he told us “I record all my serves in Herdwatch, I can then see when my cows are due to repeat, so I know what cows to be watching out for.” He also told us “before Herdwatch, if I lost an AI slip then it was guessing game as to when that cow was due to calve, now it’s all in Herdwatch, I can just quickly check which cows are due next.”

It’s like a Jigsaw, the more information you put in the clearer the picture becomes

As well as being able to register his calves and record all his cross compliance, what Danny thinks is a real game changer is the fact that you can see an animal’s complete history at the touch of a button. Danny said “if I want to know when a cow was dosed last of if she was sick before, I just tap on her history. It gives me a more complete picture of my herd and what I need to do next.”

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