Co. Kilkenny farmer scoops massive Censortec Ireland heat detection prize

Censortec Ireland is delighted to announce that the winner of the Nedap CowControl heat detection system is Patrick Brennan, Ballyouskill, Co. Kilkenny.

Donagh Crowley of Censortec (pictured above) visited Patrick to present the prize over the Christmas period.

Patrick and Dick Brennan are milking cows adjacent to Ballyragget in Kilkenny for many years. Patrick returned from Australia in 2007 and set up a partnership with his dad and began increasing the herd. They currently milk 145 spring calving dairy cows and are suppliers of Glanbia.

“We have been looking for a cost effective but accurate method of monitoring fertility on the farm for some time. Cost of ownership and no reoccurring or ongoing charges were important to us,“ said Patrick.

“The main reason I looked at Censortec and entered the competition was we wanted to reduce the labor input time and eliminate tail painting, etc at a very busy time of the year. We are absolutely delighted with the win and look forward to working with the Censortec team in the future.”

Donagh Crowley commented on the success of the competition, saying: “The number of entries for the competition was massive, indicating the level of interest in the Censortec heat detection systems.

“It is plain to see that farmers are interested in our animal health and heat detection systems. They are looking for a cost effective and reliable system that can monitor their herd for heat detection and general animal health.

“The reality in Ireland is that the average heat detection rates on the national herd in the first three weeks is approximately 65% and the cost associated with a high submission rate and low pregnancy rate are extremely significant,” said Donagh Crowley.

“Censortec Nedap CowControl is the global leader in heat detection aids and the system, coupled with the correct farm support and training, could benefit a 100-cow dairy herd by up to €8,000/annum.

“The three main areas that make us a market leader is the quality of the product, the longevity of the product and the cost of ownership over the lifetime of the product.”

Heat detection benefits at a glance:

  • Increased heat detection rates;
  • Increased submission rates (reduced missed heats);
  • Increased conception rates (better timing of AI);
  • Increased pregnancy rates;
  • Shorter calving intervals;
  • More days in milk;
  • More milk per cow;
  • Reduction of fertility/insemination costs;
  • Peace of mind with more control over your herd’s reproduction.

Brian Mooney, a dairy farmer in Co. Waterford, said: “It’s just like having another person to watch the cows.

“You watch them yourself but herds are so big now. You’re going to miss things; you’re just not going to see everything so you need an extra hand.”

Heat detection and timely insemination

A single missed heat can cost a dairy farmer €250. In today’s dairy economy that’s a lot of money to use someplace else, especially if multiple heats are missed.

Nedap CowControl detects the heats of millions of cows with outstanding accuracy, helping dairy farmers worldwide improve reproduction results and labour efficiency.

It automatically tracks signs of heat – such as increased activity, sniffing, chin resting and mounting behavior – of all cows 24 hours a day. The system shows a clear list of all cows in heat with their optimal insemination moment for timely insemination.

It also provides additional reproduction insights, helping farmers to find cows with irregular heats, non-cycling cows and non-pregnant cows.

Brian Mooney, who has used Nedap CowControl since 2017, and is more than satisfied, commented: “For heat detection I just check the phone before I milk in the morning and the same in the evening to know which cows are in heat.

“It is very accurate; it does what it says on the tin. For health monitoring, well that contacts me itself. I don’t really have to be checking animals. It just notifies me itself if there is anything wrong.”


The system

Health monitoring to keep cows healthy, fertile and productive

Sensors can show dairy farmers more than the expert eye can see. They often detect health issues before their clinical signs and symptoms are visible to the human eye.

Nedap’s SmartTag Neck – attached to the cow’s collar – constantly keeps track of her eating, ruminating and inactive behaviour, as well as general activity.

It provides health alerts for cows that need urgent attention and shows a list of cows that need to be checked that day, allowing dairy farmers to treat health issues before they become problems.

Pre-breeding checks

To maximise efficiency, farmers need to monitor cows prior to the breeding season. All cows not cycling by day 42 need to be examined by a vet.

Studies have shown that up to 50% of these cows that are examined were in heat, but it was missed. These are cows that will return a significant cost saving on vet fees.

The Censortec Nedap CowControl system will monitor every cow in the herd for: heat activity; resumption of cyclicity; and conception.


“Inseminating cows at the right time matters to your dairy’s bottom line, so it’s important to catch cows in heat when it’s most productive to breed them,” said Sean Crowley of Censortec.

“Activity monitors are a tool to track heats 24/7, so you don’t have to spend time watching for heats or worry about missing a heat.

“However, to catch cows in heat, cows need to physically show their heats. Having appropriate environmental and management protocols in place will help ensure you never miss a single heat.”

To learn more about heat detection with activity monitoring systems and how they can help your farm reach its productivity goals, visit: