Herdwatch and FRS helping to counteract the prevailing labour issue on Dairy Farms in Ireland


| General

| Jun 26, 2019

Farmers in milking parlour

In May of this year, Herdwatch ran a survey among all dairy farmers currently using the app on their farms. The purpose of this survey was to develop a better understanding of the ongoing and increasing farm labour shortage that exists throughout Ireland.

Reports issued by Genfitt in the previous year found that labour issues are being felt first hand by farmers as there are simply not enough people who want to work in the sector. A variety of reasons contribute to this shortage. Firstly, more young people are not opting to pursue apprenticeships or farming as a career on the family farm and instead are choosing to receive a third-level education. Likewise, farming is no longer appealing as a job to many people with a misconception of long and irregular hours and poor working conditions still common. However, the most rampant contribution is the lack of skilled labourers available. More often people oversell themselves and misjudge the skills set required to undertake various tasks on the farm (i.e. The milking process/calving) and a result are not suitable candidates for the job.

40.11% of Dairy farmers would agree that finding skilled labour is a problem.

Herdwatch asked their extensive reach of Dairy Farmers ‘Is finding a skilled labour a problem for you?’  The results confirm the prevailing labour issue on dairy farms in Ireland. With a staggering 40.11% of respondents proclaiming ‘Yes, it’s a problem all year round.’ And an additional 19.78% expressing that ‘It’s a problem, but only in the spring/calving season.’

Unfortunately, this is an epidemic that doesn’t have an easy overnight solution. However, Herdwatch and FRS are actively working to counteract the issue. Herdwatch is the market leading farm management app and platform. The innovative app allows farmers to record all aspects of their daily duties from calf registrations, animal movements to recording remedies. Based on member feedback the app saves farmers on average 3 hours a week. Tipperary dairy farmer Timmy Dwyer is a firm believer in change and has adapted to this technology when it comes to the day-to-day running of his farm. 

“Herdwatch is very easy to use, and the app will prompt you along the whole time and – if you make a mistake – it’s easy to go back.”


FRS work earnestly to provide the skills and services needed by customers to manage their farms efficiently, effectively and successfully. All FRS operators are selected and trained to the highest standards in order to meet the needs of farmers. Likewise, operators are trained, evaluated and assessed regularly. There are a vast variety of general farm labourers and specialist labours available. Herdwatch and FRS are committed to meeting the needs of the farming community and tackling the problems they face with the shortage of farm labour being an issue both hope to eradicate.  



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