Reducing Farm paperwork: a Woman’s view

Patrick Bolger

| Cattle & Dairy

| Nov 13, 2015

woman in office with paperwork Yvonne Hoban
Like many women on Irish farms, Yvonne Hoban manages the paperwork on her farm in Ballyfoyle, Co. Kilkenny.  Almost a year on from signing up to the Herdwatch Farming app, Yvonne reflects on how much time and hassle Herdwatch has saved.

Yvonne is originally from Holland and knowingly took on the role of “Minister for paperwork” when she married Jim over 16 years ago. They now milk 75 spring calving cows and finish most of the male cattle. They have three daughters and one son and also run a riding school, so time is a very rare commodity in the Hoban household.

The Bord Bia man was impressed
“The fact that you can record remedies on the spot for Bord Bia takes a load off my mind. It gets rid of any backlog of paperwork and wasted time filling in the blanks as all the information is right there and more importantly the Bord Bia man was very impressed”, said Yvonne.

She also quickly realised that the Herdwatch App could help with other aspects of farm compliance: “I like to have things right and the paperwork used to be horrible, but that has all changed with Herdwatch. This spring we registered 80 calves on the spot using our phones, which saved a lot of time, and it’s much easier to do when the cow and calf are in front of you.”

Movement Certs right there and then

Selling and moving cattle farm to farm used to require a lot of paperwork, but Yvonne tells us this has all changed with Herdwatch: “Selling calves was so easy this year because as soon as a buyer had picked out the calves they wanted, I applied for their Movements Certs there and then through the App. The Movement Certs are emailed instantly from the Department and the buyer can leave with the animals.”

Animal history on tap
Yvonne added: “We finish a lot of our male animals, so being able to quickly check when they are coming up to 30 months is very important. In Herdwatch, we can separate them based on their age or whether they are still in a withdrawal period. If there is a sick or lame cow, Jim or I can quickly check and see if she has been treated for the same thing before and make an informed decision. We can see the individual animal’s history with a tap, even with no internet access.”

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