Kiwi tech­nol­ogy can help Ir­ish farm­ers

Irish Independent - Farming - - FINANCE FARMING -

THE drive for on-farm ef­fi­cien­cies in the New Zealand dairy in­dus­try will ap­peal to ex­pand­ing Ir­ish herds, a trade com­mis­sioner has said, writes Louise Ho­gan.

With a num­ber of firms from Down Un­der trav­el­ling to the Na­tional Plough­ing Cham­pi­onships, the lat­est tech­nol­ogy will be on show, from sen­sor sys­tems to ro­tary par­lours.

New Zealand trade com­mis­sioner for the UK and Ire­land Daniel Tay­lor said there were strong sim­i­lar­i­ties in farm­ing styles be­tween the two coun­tries.

“The trend to mov­ing to slightly larger herds means tech­nol­ogy does be­come more im­por­tant when it comes to man­ag­ing the as­sets that you have at your dis­posal,” he said.

“A lot of Ir­ish farm­ers travel to NZ and vice versa, so there is com­fort in us­ing the tech­nol­ogy.”

Mr Tay­lor said they were see­ing in­ter­est in NZ ro­tary par­lours and more en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly seed drilling tech­nol­ogy.

Among the NZ com­pa­nies mak­ing the trip to Tul­lam­ore are LIC Au­to­ma­tion, spe­cial­ist seed drill man­u­fac­tur­ers, Dun­can Ag, Aitchi­son, UBCO all-ter­rain bikes and Waikato Milk Sys­tems.

UK-based Brent Crowthers with Waikato Milk Sys­tems said they were cur­rently in­stalling three ro­tary par­lours in Ire­land, with prices for sys­tems start­ing from around €130,000.

He said the most in­ter­est was in the ro­tary par­lours.

“It is be­cause of the staffing is­sues on the farm, as one per­son can milk 200 cows by stand­ing in one spot,” he said, point­ing out that staffing was also a hot topic Down Un­der.

Mr Crowthers said many Ir­ish farm­ers were fa­mil­iar with their sys­tems from NZ.

“Ef­fi­cien­cies are be­com­ing very im­por­tant to all,” he said, af­ter a “tough” three years of poor NZ milk pay­ments.

He said their new Cen­trus plat­forms were made out of Kevlar — which is used for bul­let­proof vests — mean­ing that their plat­forms are now 80pc lighter and five times stronger than con­crete.

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