PastureBase Ireland and AgriNet Grass to merge

A formal merger of grassland software packages, PastureBase Ireland and AgriNet Grass, was announced on the second day at last weeks’ National Ploughing Championships.

The combination of both systems, which will be called PastureBase Ireland in 2017, will come together adding critical mass and expertise to grassland software use for Irish farmers, according to Teagasc.

Teagasc originally launched PastureBase Ireland as the national grassland database in 2013, the same year as AgriNet, which is part of the Progressive Genetics Group, was launched.

The new grassland software packages will aid Irish farmers in decision making on their farm, while also meaning that Irish grassland data will be stored in a national database for the benefit of Irish farmers.

The merger will bring together all commercial farm grassland data in one system and will allow the knowledge base of both organisations work together to develop and improve the system, according to Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle.

Ireland as a nation is well ahead of our international competitors in this area, and this merger will continue the focus on exploiting this advantage.

The focus, Teagasc says, is now firmly on increasing Irish farmers’ competitive advantage by increasing grass utilisation. The Food Wise 2025 target is for grass utilisation to increase by 2t of DM/ha on all Irish farms.

The merger of PastureBase and AgriNet Grass is a strategic step forward for Irish farmers in grassland management, according to the Teagasc Director.

“PastureBase Ireland will greatly aid the role out of the KT groups and will be used to in the completion of some of the grassland technologies such as the Teagasc spring rotation planner, grass wedge and autumn grass budget,” Boyle said.

The AgriNet Grass system has been a great success, particularly in Ireland and the UK, but also in New Zealand, US, Chile, Australia and Holland, according to Barry Lynch from Agrinet.

“As we worked on AgriNet Grass data and software, we became acutely aware of the importance of grass data from an industry point of view, and the need to conduct more research and development on grass data for the benefit of farmers who own the data.

“We are delighted to be able to merge our expertise in grass software and grass software support with the world class grassland research being conducted in Teagasc Moorepark,” Lynch said.

Meanwhile, Tom Kelly, Chairman of Progressive Genetics said that he was delighted with the merger of AgriNet and PastureBase and it was great to see the partnership between the public and private sectors.

Kelly also said that the merger can only be good for Irish farming in the long run and fits very well with the mission of AgriNet.