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    Irish Pig Producers To Benefit From New Recording Agreement
16/05/06

Pig producers throughout Ireland look set to benefit from improved recording technology thanks to a new agreement between Agridata and pig data management specialists Agrosoft UK Ltd.

© Agrosoft

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In January, Agridata became licensed partners for Agrosoft's WinPig programme and handheld technology. The agreement allows Agridata to exclusively supply and support the company's full range of recording software in Ireland. Agridata, which is owned and managed by Harry Ferguson was established over twenty three years ago and now records 35-40% of the combined sows both north and south of the border and accounts for more than 150 producers.

Highlighting the new arrangement, Harry Ferguson explains, "We have been successfully supporting our clients with a traditional programme format. The reality is that technology has moved on to such an extent that we believed we would miss out on fully exploiting the benefits of new windows compatible systems -. If we fail to keep pace then ultimately pig producers are disadvantaged. This agreement allows our client's access to the most progressive technology available and helps to ensure their competitiveness going forward.

James Nesling, Agrosoft UK Ltd sales and marketing manager is delighted with the agreement. "We believe that by working with Agridata and their clients we can extend the capabilities of WinPig across a wider base. Harry and his team have a first class reputation and understanding of the pig industry. Together we aim to increase the on-farm benefits from recording, hopefully help reduce cost of production and drive up efficiency."

Producers using the WinPig programme supplied through Agridata will benefit from Windows based software allowing full integration with existing and new hardware. The programme allows for simple imputing of existing herd data so producers can carry over records from most existing systems and importantly producers will be able to update their WinPig programmes as new versions and updates come online.

Agrosoft UK who recently acquired HM Boot in the UK has invested heavily in adapting their established desk based programmes for hand-held applications. Using a hand-held PC WinPig producers can record daily events such as individual services and farrowing data. At the end of the day or even weekly this data can be uploaded to a desk based PC to produce standard or tailored reports.

This type of technology is consistent with the current DARD Scheme, "Increasing Access to ICT", which promotes the use of innovative Information and Communication Technology within farm businesses in Northern Ireland. Producers can apply to DARD, and provided they meet the selection criteria, will receive a handheld device to link with their WinPig programme. Successful applicants will be asked to complete evaluations on the use of this technology within their business. Highlighting the benefits to Northern Irish producers of the" Increasing Access to ICT Scheme" Manus McHenry, Scheme Manager based at Greenmount Campus confirmed, "Farmers have the opportunity to access the newest computer technology and evaluate its use within their business. In this instance the ability to record and access enterprise information on the move using a handheld device has the potential to improve accuracy, efficiency and overall business performance. Feedback from farmers to date availing of this new technology has been very positive." He says.

Harry Ferguson points to the success of Agrosoft customer. Andrew McCrea from Stewartstown, Co Tyrone. "Andrew has three hand-held PCs on his unit. This is allowing his staff to record on the move and concentrate on managing stock the best they can. The reports that they receive back provides them with working tasks for the following week." Harry believes that the technology has the potential to drive up performance. "Having reliable and real-time information to hand allows managers and their staff to take informed decisions when they need to."

Over the coming months further enhancements will be available. Agrosoft are extending their highly successful Handi-calc programme, which allows producers to measure the success and impact of changing various production and performance parameters.

Harry is enthusiastic about the further potential of the tie up with Agrosoft. "I believe that we now have access to the best pig recording software and support available in Europe. Enabling producers to control their businesses by identifying and managing the key areas that affect profitability will help to strengthen a vibrant and innovative pig industry in this country." He concludes.

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