Tipperary-based software company Herdwatch, part of FRS Network (Farm Relief Services), has announced the acquisition of Bullmatch, an innovative technology that helps farmers match cows with the best bulls, hence the ‘Tinder for Bulls’ nickname.
Herdwatch is the market-leading herd and farm management platform used on over 10,000 farms across Ireland and the UK, and the company says this strategic acquisition will enable them to offer an unrivalled level of decision support to farmers operating in the Suckler and Dairy sectors, for whom breeding is a critical success factor.
The Bullmatch technology allows farmers to select one or more characteristics they look for in a calf, for example a star or EBI rating, and within seconds the software, using an advanced algorithm similar to artificial intelligence, will suggest a list of bulls to achieve this result with the selected cows.
This has the benefit of saving farmers hours researching and matching each individual cow to the best bull, but more importantly ensures the best chance of achieving the full genetic potential of their breeding herd.
Brian and Teresa Kelly, creators of this innovative technology, are also long-term Herdwatch customers for their pedigree Limousin breeding enterprise in Co Clare, where they farm alongside Brian’s parents.
Brian Kelly said: “We are delighted to see our technology taken to the next level and being given access to thousands of farmers and international markets.
“Herdwatch has been our first-choice software on the farm for years, and we believe it to be the perfect fit for Bullmatch. We are looking forward to the future developments of the platform.”
This new offering from Herdwatch, coupled with an already market-leading solution, will significantly improve the value of their subscription product for existing and new members, who can now download a free version of the popular app directly from their device’s app store.
Herdwatch CEO Fabien Peyaud said: “Herdwatch is number one because we constantly innovate and provide more efficient solutions to farmers, and we recognise the value a service like Bullmatch can bring to our members, so it was a no-brainer for us to work with Brian and Teresa and bring the result of their hard work to thousands of farmers.”
Bullmatch is currently only available to beef farmers in Ireland but Herdwatch plan to expand it to dairy farmers in the very near future and bring this technology to the UK and to Northern Ireland where the company has recently launched.
BullMatch was one of the “stars of the show” showcasing at the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena during the Ploughing Championships in 2017.
Tom Kelly, divisional manager, innovation and competitiveness, Enterprise Ireland said: “The acquisition of BullMatch brings Herdwatch additional and complementary technological expertise to their platform. It provides further opportunities for growth of Herdwatch’s audience, amongst the international farming community. There is great synergy between the services offered by Herdwatch and those provided by BullMatch, and Enterprise Ireland looks forward to further supporting the company’s global ambition to expand its reach.”
Over the coming months, Bullmatch founder Brian Kelly will work closely with the Herdwatch team, who are planning to include this highly anticipated functionality in an update of the app, which all members will receive automatically when it is released.
Herdwatch is fully compliant with Bord Bia and EU quality assurance standards, and allows farmers to register calves and manage cattle movements on their phone. It is fully integrated with ICBF so farmers can see their breeding, milk records and EBI/Eurostar information on Herdwatch.
The app is available to download for free on the iPhone App Store and Android Play store – annual subscription starts at €69 plus VAT and a free basic version is also available.
For more information visit www.herdwatch.ie or call 0505-34400.