Article: The Apps that are keeping the Irish farmers content

The world of technology is constantly evolving and so too is farming. Who would have thought a few years ago that your every day farmer would rely on his smartphone as much as he does today. In the past few years, farming has gone through a total digital revolution and is being transformed day to day.

A series of apps have been developed to aid farmers and make their lives that little but easier. Farmers have been “mobile” forever but the difference is that today’s farmer has more access to mobile technology which has all the potential to bring the office to the farm yard. After a lot of research and having spoken to farmers we have complied a list of the top six apps that the average farmers uses day to day routine:

Farmers Journal – For News Updates and Agricultural Advice

The Farmers Journal daily digital news app broke into the iTunes top 100 most downloaded apps in less than two weeks after the launch in 2015. The app is most definitely the voice of farmers in Ireland with 247,000 readers per week. Even though the app has a lot of similar content to the print edition, it gives readers a lot more added benefits such as the ability to download content and read it when offline. You can also search for key words which really saves time when it comes to looking for certain content.

To subscribe head to


Met Eireann – For weather updates on the go

The weather is a big factor in the everyday life of the Irish farmer. Knowing the weather for the upcoming days, weeks and months is vital for a farmer in order to plan the work ahead. The Met Eireann weather app provides an up to date look at the weather along with upcoming and future weather predictions for free.

The app is an invaluable source for farmers and undoubtedly, every farmer does need it. The app includes many features such as:

• Weather warnings
• Latest hourly weather reports
• National and provincial text forecasts
• Sea area forecasts
• Coastal reports

Visit for more


Agriland – the “what’s happening in the farming world today” app

Agriland is one of the largest daily farming news portals in Ireland. The app itself is updated constantly throughout the day with all news farming and agri from not only Ireland but all over the world. The best thing is that there is no subscription or sign in process, so all the content available is completely free. Readers have all news available instantly on their mobiles.
The features include:

• Unlimited scrolling
• A feature to send breaking news alerts directly to your phone
• The option to save stories to read later
• Swipe for the next story feature
• The ability to search for a story
• The option to adjust text size and settings.

Visit for more


Donedeal App – A farmer’s go to app for buying and selling

Dondeal is often described – as being a giant in the farming community. Even though farmers still go to auctions and marts to do their buying and selling, a large amount of famers now carry out their buying and selling through Dondeal.

Through done deal farmers have the ability to buy and sell goods on the go and upload their own content to sell in the click of a button. For farmers, it is much more effective when it comes to making a sale or a purchase. You don’t have to go home and sit at the laptop in the evening, you an keep up to date throughout the day.

Visit and download the app today


Herdwatch – Farm Compliance on tap


Herdwatch is the first cross – platform mobile solution fully approved by the department of Agriculture. The app gives farmers both mobility and peace of mind when it comes to recording legally required information such as calf births and remedies. The app is currently the number one must have app for dairy, suckler and beef farmers with over 7,000 farmers currently using the app across Ireland and the UK. One of the even better things about the app is the fact that you can work offline.
The app offers the following features:

• Easy compliance & valuable farm records anytime, anywhere on your smartphone or tablet for just €130
• Time saving tool that will minimise the time you send on paperwork
• Record Bord Bia remedies and feed purchases
• Paperless farm to farm movement certs
• Calf birth registration in less than a minute
• Record weights in seconds
• Manage full breeding cycle

Get the free trial now and see what it is all about at


Banking online apps – taking the stress out of having to go into the bank


Banking apps have simplified and completely sped up the whole payment process for farmers. All the bank apps today are simple and straight forward for the farmer to set up and use. People including farmers are all sceptical when it comes to giving card details over the phone and now all this can be avoided through the banking online apps.

Farmers now have the ability to see exactly how much has been lodged or taken out of your account completely hassle free. There is no going into the bank to sort out anything financial. It can be done there and then with the click of a button. It is all in your hand.


Technology continues to grow

As Irish farmer’s trust increases in digital markets and mobile apps farming is beginning to grow even more and farming life is becoming that little bit easier with the rapid grow in technology.


Posted in Farm, FRS Farm Services, FRS Network News, FRS Training, Herdwatch

News: Agriculture ranks highest sector for Fatalities for 8th year running – with elderly most vulnerable

Reports from 2017 named the agri-sector as being the most dangerous profession in Ireland for the 8th year running. Figures released show that elderly farmers are the most vulnerable group when it comes to fatal work related accidents. Of the 24 fatal agri-sector accidents accounted for in 2017, 14 of those were male farmers aged over 65.

There was an increase in all sector work related fatalities in 2017 – with 47 fatal accidents recorded in comparison to 46 in 2016 and of these 24 were agriculture related in 2017 up from 21 the previous year.


key fatalities announced by the HSA:

• 2017 marked the highest number of work related fatalities in Ireland to date across all sectors.
• Following Agriculture the construction and transport sectors had the next highest number of fatalities with six each.
• The counties with the highest number of fatalities in 2017 were Dublin, Mayo and Cork with six each. (all sectors)
• Across all of the sectors, accidents involving vehicles made up 21 of all fatalities in 2017. Falls from a height (six) was the most common cause.
• Most fatalities (28) involved 18-65 year old males; there were 14 men, over 65 killed in the agriculture sector.
• One child fatality was accounted for in the agri-sector.
• Of 47 fatalities reported, 18 were self employed, 15 were employees, seven non-workers and seven family workers

Recent Farm Safety Initiatives

On Friday January 12th, Teagasc and the Health and Safety Authority signed a “Joint Initiative Agreement”, to promote farmer health and safety for the next three years. The aim of the initiative is to provide health and safety research, training and advisory support to farmers.

As part of this joint initiative, training on the use of “Farm Safety Code of Practice” will continue to be provided by Teagasc and Agricultural Consultants. Completion of the training is also a requirement for farmers to secure DAFM TAMS11 funding.
The HSA is set to conduct 2,000 farm inspections throughout 2018. Other plans include new guidance for farmers on preventing cow attacks and machinery crush injuries.

During 2018, research on farm accident levels will be conducted by Teagasc through their National Farm Survey.
A jointly funded study on the usefulness of discussion groups in promoting farm safety is also underway by Teagasc.
FRS Training are avid supporters of farm safety and will run many safety courses and farm safety events throughout Ireland. For more information visit or call 1890 201 000.

FRS Training also run TAMS Safety Training Courses. For more information about the course or to see upcoming dates Visit

Posted in Farm, FRS Farm Services, FRS Network News, FRS Training

News: FRS Dairy Operative Skills Programme launch and Ear to the Ground

FRS in conjunction with Teagasc have launched a new Dairy Operative Skills Programme and it featured on RTE Ones’, Ear to the Ground.

FRS milking operators, Jennifer Matthews and Josh Phelan, both successfully completed the programme and were featured along with farmer James O’Brien from Kilkenny on Ear to the Ground.

Watch clip here:

Interested candidates are invited to apply for seasonal work as milkers and farm workers with FRS Farm Relief Services and those who require upskilling will have the unique opportunity to complete a 20 day programme involving 4 training days in a Teagasc College and 16 days practical work experience on host farms organised by FRS.

On successful completion of their training, candidates will be offered work through FRS during the peak months of January/February to May/June 2018. The work could potentially earn an individual up to €8,000 or more and participants will be paid during their training.

The three potential candidate groups that have been identified to take part in the programme and to take up seasonal work to help alleviate labour shortages and are, but not limited to:

• Dry Stock Farmers – on individual farms where there may be capacity to take on a additional part time role.
• Women in Agriculture – who may be interested in work involving milking, calf rearing and livestock husbandry.
• Farmers on Farm Assist and Jobseekers – who are in receipt of a DSP payment and who may be interested in farm work. (FRS advise individuals of the need to discuss their individual position with Dept. Social Protection (DSP), as taking up employment may have implications for their DSP allowances).

Peter Byrne, CEO, FRS Network said “FRS believe that this project is one of a number of possible options including sourcing labour from abroad that must be examined to source and train potential FRS operators’’.

Applicants for the ‘Dairy Operative Skills Programme’ and work with FRS are invited to talk through with their local FRS Office or visit for more details and to apply online.

Posted in Farm, Farm Labour Demand, FRS Farm Services, FRS Fencing Systems, FRS Network News, FRS Recruitment, FRS Training, Herdwatch, Media Centre, Membership Benefit Scheme

Despite the Floods the team at the FRS Stand Ploughed on

Record Breaking attendance

The annual National Ploughing Championships came to an end Thursday last in Screggan, Tullamore after three long eventful days. This year’s event achieved record crowds of 291,500 up 8,5000 on last year with the first day alone bringing in a crowd of 112,500 . The FRS Stand proved once again to be a great success over the three days and although wet conditions and flooding forced us to close our stand early on the second day, our stand and live demonstrations were back in action on the final day.

The FRS team from all of our divisions, Farm Relief, Fencing, Training, Recruitment and Herdwatch were out in force. Outside we had our FRS trainers carrying out live chainsaw demonstrations which drew in the crowds along with fencing demos, which were shown live on the big screen. The crowd were more than happy to get involved in the live demos asking and answering questions and showing their own skills at tying off fencing wire.

Herdwatch Figures on the rise

Herdwatch had a very successful ploughing and were constantly busy in both the FRS Stand and the Innovation Arena. Sales for them were up 20% on last year with the app becoming more and more popular each year amongst farmers. The Herdwatch mascot ‘Herdie’ made a return to the ploughing and people of all ages stopped to have their photo taken with him.

What else happened at the ploughing?

We were delighted to have North Tipperary Hospice helping out at the tea and coffee station where they raised donations of €1,000 which will most definitely be put to good use.

Anyone that was interested in becoming farm relief operators came to chat to the staff and to fill out an online application form that can also be filled out on . The team also launched the new ‘New Zealand / Ireland Live, Learn and Earn Exchange Programme’ – that provides a unique opportunity which will see applicants live the dream, learn on the world’s best farms and further develop their farming skills in each other’s countries during their complementary peak seasons. More details on the exchange are available on

Posted in FRS Farm Services, FRS Network News

Farm Safety Live at Tullamore Show 2017

FRS Training, FBD and the HSA are demonstrating Farm Safety Live at the Tullamore Show on Sunday 13th of August to show farming families how simply safety precautions can be applied, when you are shown how.

Farm Safety Live will engage with the audience and bring three key farm hazard areas to life and deliver practical know how that can be applied back on the farm. The focus will be on Safe Livestock Handling, Safe PTO Operations and Safe Bale Handling.

Farming remains the most dangerous occupation in Ireland, with 14 fatalities this year and non-fatal accidents averaging at approximately 2,000 per year.

Pat Griffin Senior Inspector HSA, Amanda Brennan Branch Manager FBD Tullamore, Brenda Kiernan Chairperson Tullamore Show, John Kennedy Inspector Health and Safety Authority, Freda Kinnarney Operations Manager Tullamore Show, Jane Marks Marketing Manager FRS and Jim Dockery Training Manager FRS. Picture: Ger Rogers/HR Photo. 

Pat Griffin, Senior Inspector with HSA and member of the Farm Safety Partnership, said:

“The horrific consequences of a farm accident – whether fatal or causing serious injury – has a huge impact not only on the farmer, but also on the farm family, community and business. We are working continuously with all in the farming community to raise awareness of the risks and to advise all of best practices in farm safety. I believe that the live demonstrations on practical safety at our shared stand at the Tullamore Show will help protect lives & prevent injury.”

Jim Dockery, FRS Training Manager and member of the Farm Safety Partnership, said “We are getting out there in front of farmers and their families to show them the safe way of doing everyday tasks on the farm. Sometimes it is the simplest thing that causes the horrific accidents and we want to put a stop to this and get everyone to farm more safely.


Ciaran Roche, Vice Chairman Farm Safety Partnership, Risk Manager FBD said:

“a change in culture and behaviour is essential if unsafe ways of working are to be eliminated and a sustained reduction in farm accidents is to be achieved. We are aware that this is a slow and difficult process, as it takes significant investment in time and resources to effect real change. It’s time to stop taking risks and prevent any unnecessary heartache.”

Make sure you give time to safety at the Tullamore Show and visit Farm Safety Live. Get involved and visit for a chance to win complimentary tickets and to find out what you can expect to see on the day of the show. Visit for more general show information.

Posted in FRS Farm Services, FRS Network News, FRS Training, Uncategorized

Herdwatch and FRS Farm Relief Services attend the ICMSA AGM

ICMSA AGM Castletroy Park Hotel Limerick Picture Credit Brian Gavin Press 22

Herdwatch and FRS Farm Relief Services attend the ICMSA AGM on Monday 28 November in the Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick. Pictured left to right are: Padraig Madden, FRS Network, John Comer, ICMSA President, Minister Michael Creed, Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Minister John Bruton, former Taoiseach and James Greevy, Herdwatch.

Posted in Farm, Farm Labour Demand, FRS Archives, FRS Farm Services, FRS Fencing Systems, FRS Network News, FRS Recruitment, FRS Training, Herdwatch, Membership Benefit Scheme

FRS invited along to The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk


Pictured Left to Right: Peter Byrne, Minister Creed, Anna May Mc Hugh and Pat Kenny

CEO of FRS Peter Byrne was invited on the Pat Kenny Newstalk Show On Thursday morning, November 10th as a panel speaker to discuss the changes in the Agri Sector with Minister Creed and Anna May McHugh. It was a great discussion. Listen back to the show on link below. It is on part 2.

Posted in Farm, Farm Labour Demand, FRS Farm Services, FRS Network News, FRS Training, Herdwatch, Media Centre

News: Irish Farming App Recognised at UK Largest Show

Herdwatch has received an Innovation Merit Award at their first ever UK and LAMMA Show appearance, which is the UK’s Largest Agricultural and Machinery show.
James Greevy, who represented Herdwatch at the show with Helen Mulqueen said: “It’s always nice to be recognised, especially at a prestigious event like LAMMA, but above all we have received amazing feedback from British farmers and we are looking forward to bringing Herdwatch technology to UK farms before the Summer.”
Fabien Peyaud, co-founder of Herdwatch added:

“It is a proud moment to be recognised in our first UK appearance, and I would like to thank the LAMMA Show organisers for choosing Herdwatch as a Merit Award recipient, against very tough competition. I would also like to thank Enterprise Ireland, and in particular Kevin Mooney, Denis Duggan and Michael Brougham for their amazing support of Herdwatch but also of Irish Ag-tech in general.”
Herdwatch is a Farming App by FRS Farm Relief Services which saves Dairy, Suckler and Beef farmers hours on paperwork and Bord Bia compliance, by simply using their smartphone, tablet or computer, for less than €2 a week.
Farmers interested in finding out more can visit, where a free trial is currently available, or contact their local FRS (Farm Relief Services) co-op (list on
The Herdwatch Team with Enterprise Ireland at the UK LAMMA Show and bringing home an Innovation Merit Award. Pictured left to right: James Creevy, Herdwatch, Kevin Mooney, Enterprise Ireland and Helen Mulqueen, Herdwatch.

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Posted in Farm, FRS Archives, FRS Network News, Herdwatch

News: 8th all Ireland Final of the Farm Relief Services Memorial Scholarship

This year, the 8th annual all Ireland final of the Farm relief Services Memorial Scholarship took place at the Teagsac Colleges Challenge Day in Clonakilty Agricultural College on Tuesday January 12th.
At just twenty three years of age, Charles Cooney, a beef and dairy farmer from near Shercock in Co. Cavan was this year’s National Winner of the Scholarship. The scholarship rewards students who show exceptional leadership abilities. Once he has completed his time in college, Charles will take up a paid placement with FRS to learn about business management.
The Scholarship itself is run in conjunction with Macra na Feirme and a winner is selected to represent each Teagasc college as a National finalist. Charles represented the Ballyhaise college agricultural students. In the Final, Charles gave a presentation based on the leadership skills of a neighbour of his, Padraig McEnaney, who founded Celtic Pure Water, to a judging panel made up of Peter Byrne (FRS Network’s CEO), Séan Finan (National president of Macra) and Frank Murphy (Curriculum Development and Standards Manager with Teagasc).
Peter Byrne, FRS CEO, said: “This is the eighth year of the memorial scholarship and FRS is delighted once again to give a dedicated student like Charles the opportunity to gain that all important work experience through placement with an FRS office. We like to play our part in the development of the agricultural industry and this scholarship is just one of the ways we contribute”.
For more information about FRS take a look at the website or visit the facebook page for constant updates .

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Posted in Farm, FRS Archives, FRS Farm Services, FRS Network News, FRS Training

FRS on Countrywide Sat 16th Jan

Tune in to Countrywide Radio One tomorrow morning (Sat 16) from 8:10am to get the farmer and farm relief worker perspectives on getting work done on the farm. Plus in studio discussion with Peter Byrne, FRS and Darragh McCullough, RTE Presenter, on sourcing farm workers to meet the growing demand.

Posted in Farm, Farm Labour Demand, FRS Archives, FRS Farm Services, FRS Fencing Systems, FRS Network News, FRS Recruitment, FRS Training, Herdwatch, Membership Benefit Scheme
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