Farmers urged to make most of IT

FARMERS have been urged by Teagasc to make the most of their mobile phones. Dr Tom Kelly, programme manager, Teagasc Farm Management and Technology Services, said the use of mobile phones by farmers was a positive development.

Some 95% of farmers have a mobile phone, which is now essential for the organisation and management of farm activities.

Dr Kelly said information technology had a vital role in all farming enterprise but of the 40% of farm households with PCs, only 15% were using the equipment for farm-related business and only 1% were using the internet.

Ireland East MEP Liam Aylward told a recent Teagasc Farming IT conference in Kildalton College that farmers should maximise the benefits of information technology.

He said financial and time management, effective communication and technical efficiency are skills required by all farmers to succeed in the future.

“Using e-technology will be essential in ensuring farmers are successful in these key areas of their businesses. The increase in the number of part-time farmers will also compound the need to adapt IT practices,” he said.

The new e-service section of the Department of Agriculture and Food, which allows the registration of calves and the tracking of animal movements, was a good example of what can be done, benefiting farmers and the Department, Mr Aylward said.

Another example was the collation of information on cattle breeding by ICB.

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