New grasshopper wins big at the National Dairy Show

A new grasshopper, designed by Shannon-based True North Technologies, took two awards at the National Dairy Show in Millstreet, Co. Cork last weekend.

The grasshopper, which was trialled in Teagasc Moorepark, interacts with existing third-party management software to help dairy farmers with the ongoing challenge of cost reduction while maintaining high quality output.

The new grass measuring tool was awarded the Technology Innovation award and the Overall Award in Science, Technology and Software sectors at last weekend’s National Dairy Show.

According to the company, the grasshopper grass sensor and reporting system provides farmers with real-time information on grass growth and paddock performance.

And, the system provides management information to the farmer on which the efficiency of the dairy enterprise depends.

Accepting the award from the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, True North’s Managing Director Paddy Halton said the company is delighted to receive recognition this award brings.

It further validates what a significant number of farmers who use the system already experience, which is a significant improvement in their management information.

Chair of the Judging panel Jason Webb said the grasshopper product offers a high-utility factor to farmers in an easy to use and cost-effective package.

Webb also said that the farm mapping function of the grasshopper is a significant cost saving tool.

The performance of the grasshopper had been independently validated by Teagasc over three growing seasons at its Grassland Research Centre in Moorepark.

Diarmuid McSweeney, who led the validation at Moorepark said grass utilisation on a modern dairy farm is critical for profitability.

Increasing the grass tonnage per hectare and using it to best effect are basic management principles made possible with good grass measurement tools.