Becky Hynes, 13-year-old, daughter of Peter and Paula Hynes from Aherla Co. Cork, helps her parents, farming and milking 180 high-EBI pedigree Holstein and Pedigree Jersey cows on a spring-calving-grass based system.
Becky has taken this calving season by the horns and intends to hit the show rings this year. Last month, Becky delivered a set of twin calves all by herself.
“I’ve watched Mom and Dad do it many times, but it was my first time dealing with it myself. I was buzzing for the day after it; it was very exciting.”
With over 140 calves born since January, the Hynes will be keeping their pick of the bunch.
“I really enjoy showing calves. I got my own two high-type heifers at Christmas, so hopefully, there will be some shows going ahead later in the year.”
Like most 13-year-olds these days, Becky is tech-savvy using Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter accounts, watching Netflix even using Zoom for home-schooling.
Since Covid-19, she has become well accustomed to zoom calls and submitting homework online. But the most important app on Becky’s phone? Her farm app, AgriNet HerdApp.
“I’m probably faster than Mom and Dad, but to be fair, they learnt it quickly as well. I just like technology, so was keen to sit in and learn when they were switching to paperless.”
The Hynes always wanted the most straightforward method for registering calves, so they changed to HerdApp 3 years ago as it is efficient and easy to use.
Switch to digital
Previous to that, they were using a different app, but Peter logged onto Agfood most of the time registering calves. Since moving to HerdApp, calves are registered so quickly.
“It really streamlines things as our high-genetic merit bull calves get genotyped so a calf can be registered the moment it is born, and the genotype kit is in the post to us the following morning. I can register calves for mom and dad now.”
Since changing to HerdApp, the Hynes also started using it to record everything for Bord Bia inspections, rather than writing everything in books.
Time is of the essence on-farm, but reports take time to write up, especially when it comes to recording events or requests for moves.
“The most stressful time on-farm has to be TB testing. Like every farmer, it’s always a dreaded few days and after that calving and farm audits, but thankfully HerdApp makes life easier for calving and farm audits.” Peter Hynes commented.
Benefits of app
There are several emerging trends that make AgriNet HerdApp useful to farmers right now.
For instance, the new EU legislation coming out in 2022 to make milk recording mandatory but requiring more sophisticated technology that saves time has become more cost-effective and accessible.
“Using HerdApp has a huge value to us. In many ways, it’s like having a dedicated person keeping records 365 days a year at the cost of only 1- or 2-days wages.”
AgriNet HerdApp users will tell you that the Bord Bia book is a thing of the past, as well as cumbersome systems like Agfood, thanks to AgriNet HerdApp.
“I’d recommend HerdApp to everyone. I know a lot of our friends have started using it. I’ve always told them how simple it is to use, and the AgriNet team are really friendly and supportive. It makes the routine jobs simple, registering calves, entering scanning dates and even looking at individual cow service dates.”
Harvesting data to enable decision-making
AgriNet HerdApp takes the guesswork out of decision-making by enabling you to have management reports available for an individual cow, a group of cows or the herd on your phone.
These management reports cover all areas of herd management, including production, reproduction, inventory, replacements, and health plans. “All the information is there when you need it on the phone.”
The milk recording graphic displays make it easy to evaluate the information. In addition, having all this information at hand in a condensed form makes it much easier to understand and use for decision making.
For example, breeding and health information shows if the reproductive performance of a group of cows or an individual cow is within the target set.
Becky Hynes hopes to study business and agriculture in university and then return home to farm. We look forward to seeing Becky in the show ring in the future and raising the bar for young Irish farmers.