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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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3 Irish-born agri inventions that could make farming easier

Agri inventions that make farming easier

In this article, That’s Farming previews three of the most popular agri inventions that we profiled last year.

  • Boundary Blade

Resident editor, Catherina Cunnane, interviewed software developer, Aidan Murphy, who invented the Boundary Blade, a patented 5-level fence tester and pocketknife agricultural tool.

The new product allows farmers to check electric fence current easily and “walk away with their mind at ease”.

Murphy told us: “An iPhone project led me to investigate the possibility of having a pocket fence tester app.”

“It is just not really possible without an add-on or some sort of device to get accuracy. The next best thing for farmers to carry is a pocketknife and so the idea was born.”

“Conventional fence testers are bulky. Invariably, they are on the tractor, in the jeep or back at the workshop, never to hand.”

“This innovative device has removed the awkward size and bulk of existing fence testers with no grounding cable required and an ability to utilise tracking and safety technology.”

“This is a five-level fence tester and pocket knife tool for farmers. It is easy to check currents with six bright LED indicators and a useful bolt turner on the blade.”

Read more on this innovation.

  • Fence-De-Fence

Meanwhile, an incident on her family farm in Mountnugent, Co Cavan, inspired 16-year-old Alanna McCabe to create her multi-award-winning ‘Fence De-Fence’ mechanism.

She worked alongside her father, Derek, a civil engineer with a strong interest in suckler farming, breeding Irish draught horses and forestry, to develop various prototypes.

The result was a key-ring device – which is no bigger than a standard bottle opener -that allows a user to push down on or hook up an electric fence without fear of getting shocked.

Fence De-Fence can be attached to a key ring, and there is room on each side for logos, making it ideal for merchandise to promote a whole plethora of businesses, she says.

It is designed, laser cut and manufactured in Ireland and can be produced either in plastic or wood, Alanna explained.

She says the benefits include saving time and improving personal safety.

Read more on this.

  • Tail Jack

Tail lifting as a cattle restraint method may be a thing of the past, thanks to a new invention from Dr Niall O Leary.

Often when other restraint methods fail, farmers and vets usually lift cows’ tails, which can be highly effective in restraining cattle from kicking.

Whether milking nervous heifers, treating painful teat injuries, performing castrations, or other veterinary procedures, the simple act of tail lifting has proven to be a calm and effective restraint method.

However, tail lifting’s greatest drawback is the need for a second person – making the most effective restraint unavailable to lone milkers.

In larger parlours with two or more milkers, a significant slowing of milking occurs when one milker diverts from cluster attachment to tail lifting.

Growing up on a fourth-generation dairy farm in Abbeydorney, Co. Kerry, Dr Niall O’Leary has experienced these frustrations first-hand, especially when milking or treating mastitis.

He told our editor: “I discussed the problem with my father, and we began pondering potential novel solutions that would be more effective and found ourselves drawn towards one form of restraint: tail lifting.”

Read more about this invention.

See more in this farming news article.

To feature your invention, email – [email protected]

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