Innovation to the fore: A mineral dispenser for all weather conditions

Having designed and installed water systems for farms through Terra Services, brothers Tom and Padraig Hennessy saw a need for an accurate way to dispense minerals in all weather conditions.

Padraig explained: “Farmers were constantly asking us have we got an accurate way to get minerals to livestock, as they were not getting the results they had hoped for with traditional methods.

“We started researching how water was being used as an effective and efficient carrier for minerals in other industries and regions.

We realised, however, that for any system to work in Ireland, it needed to take into account Irish weather – as, on a good spring day in Ireland, we can get four seasons.

“We consulted leading industry experts from New Zealand, Australia and the US to get the best in practice from around the globe.

“We realised that there was no perfect solution; so we joined existing technologies from agriculture, pharmaceutical and water treatment industries and launched Terra Liquid Minerals (TLM) in 2013. It didn’t take long until we began growing rapidly as farmers began referring friends and neighbours to the TLM system.

“With farmers now relying on the Terra Liquid system from the four corners of the country, we are gaining more and more referrals from existing clients each and every day,” he said.

One of the most important benefits of the system is the solid return on investment due to healthier stock, no labour and reduced feed inputs and costs.

Benefits seen by farmers using Terra Liquid minerals are:
  • Better fertility;
  • Easier calvings;
  • Dramatic reduction in milk fever;
  • Tighter six-week calving rate;
  • Hassle-free – no labour;
  • Cost savings with alternate feed input (coarse ration and straights);
  • Higher grass utilisation.

The system

Padraig continued: “We have developed an Intelligent Mineral Dosing system, which automatically doses an accurate level of minerals and magnesium into water no matter how much the cows drink.

This will increase herd health and reduce manual labour, waste, human error and lead to higher margins.

“This is the first mineral dispensing system to work in all weather conditions 365 days of the year. The controller system is set up in a way that it constantly monitors the water consumption of a herd.

“Using advanced algorithms that alter dosage feeds, it ensures that every animal receives the same dosage all of the time.”

Why vitamins, magnesium and minerals are so important in herd health:

Accurate dosing of magnesium

The TLM controller injects magnesium and minerals separately into the water system; levels can be increased or decreased depending on the time of the year, therefore ensuring costs are kept to a minimum.

The correct mineral mix is vital in order to increase fertility rates in any herd. By using herd blood, milk and forage analysis, TLM can customise mineral mixtures for individual farms and get consistently better results.

If your herd is deficient in magnesium, the first sign is depressed milk yield. Using the TLM “intelligent” controller means that accurate dosing of magnesium can be achieved no matter what the weather; so the cows get the magnesium when they need it most – on cold, wet days.

Success and future growth

TLM is a growing agri-tech and mineral business established just over five years ago. It prides itself on leading the way in agriculture and innovation in Ireland.

Padraig said: “In order to keep up with increased demand, we have built a state-of-the-art factory for manufacturing liquid minerals.

This also helps to facilitate increased customisation of minerals for individual farms. Farmers are encouraged to do an analysis of bloods, milk, soils and forage to ascertain exact deficiencies.

“We then step in and tailor a unique mineral package to supplement their herd effectively.

“With innovation at the heart of Terra Liquid Minerals, we strive to bring farmers the best-quality products and services available.

“For this reason, we continually invest in new research and development to provide the best solutions for their needs.

“As part of this innovation, we introduced a new Vital Range to the market in 2017. This was to help facilitate fragmented farms, where our controller would not be suitable, who wanted to self dispense their own mineral.

“This means that our high-quality mineral products are now available on our website and can be ordered and delivered directly to the farm.”

Terra Liquid Minerals
L-R: Tom and Padraig Hennessy, directors of Terra Liquid Minerals. Image source: Alf Harvey

He added: “It’s very exciting times for us here with increased interest from farms both nationally and internationally. We are planning an expansion of our current premises.

“This will include an extension of our manufacturing plant and office block. We are also delighted to announce 15-20 new jobs will be created in the local community over the next 24 months,” he concluded.

Terra Liquid Minerals has just been announced as the winner of the Kildare County Enterprise Awards for 2018 for this controller system.

The company will now go on to represent Co. Kildare in the national finals, which are due to take place in Dublin later this year.

More information

For more information on the services provided by Terra Liquid Minerals contact the office at: 059-8624193 or Padraig at: 087-2165374. Click here for more information