Keenan innovation director, John McCurdy, explained, “inTouch is a technology for the dairy and beef sectors which links the supply chain from farm to processor and retailer.
“It is the new easy way to ensure the farmer gets more from their feeds through precision feeding and precision nutrition. Cloud technology is used to link farms around the world directly to the nutrition team in Kilkenny to deliver a repeatable result on farm which improves sustainability and profitability for farmer and processor”.
The award winning Keenan package includes inTouch Connect, a precision feeding system fitted to the mixer wagon which guides the operator step-by-step though the mixing of a correctly balanced diet. Detailed data from the mixer wagon comes back to the Keenan inTouch centre, using Vodafone machine-to-machine technology for real-time information flow.
If the data coming back shows the farmer is not using the best practice, Keenans send an alert, and their nutrition team gets in touch with the farmer, to help find a solution — which could be as simple as changing the proportion of a particular feed ingredient, for the optimal mix tailored to each individual farm for efficient conversion of feed into milk or meat. The inTouch system caters for location- specific requirements, for example, the different moisture contents in feed mixes, whether fed in New Zealand or in Ireland.
Instant data return from the mixer wagon to the Keenan inTouch centre allows nutrition advisors help farmers before major feeding issues arise. Keenan inTouch was launched in 2012 and has been rolled out in Britain and Ireland, and will be fitted on all new machines leaving the factory from now on.
Caring for the rumen and the welfare of the animal has been at the heart of Keenan’s philosophy for over 30 years. Veterinary consultant to Keenan, Martin Kavanagh, says: “Chase animal health, and the cow will produce more milk, rather than chasing more milk”.
InTouch makes this possible for farms across the world. Keenan has 30,000 farmer customers in 50 countries.
The company works with milk processors to help farm-ers improve milk composition through nutrition. Keenan also works with feed companies to help farmers get more milk from feeds.
Company chairman Gerard Keenan said: “This award is a great tribute to 2,500 customers who have now adopted new precision feeding technology, as well as our people. Together, they have developed a platform that is important to global sustainable food production. By the end of this year, inTouch will be operational in all our European markets, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada. And probably the most exciting of all, we hope to have inTouch in Asia before the end of 2014.”.
The company has also announced plans to make inTouch technology available for non-Keenan mixer wagons, and to open satellite inTouch centres with of feed companies, enabling them to make a greater connection with their customers and support then in a better and more efficient way.