Article: Half the Hours spent on the Farm with FRS

Undoubtedly farming is one of the most difficult and life threatening occupations people in Ireland have today. Not only is it time consuming, it is also both physically and emotionally demanding. According to latest statistics released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), Farmers continue to work the longest hours per week in Ireland.
Recent CSO figures for 2015 show that Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing have the highest average usual hours worked per week at 50.4 hours. Interestingly, 2015 conveyed that farmers have worked longer hours so far this year than any year since 2010.
Although safety measures have definitely improved on farms in recent years, farmers are still busier and stress levels are extremely high. The whole health side of a farmer’s life can and is being threatened due to their massive work load and lack of rest.
Last year, figures show farmers only worked 47 hours per week, three hours less than this year. Other CSO figures released for 2015, show that self – employed people had average usual hours worked per week of 44.6 hours with employees working 34.5 average usual hours per week. Part time workers on the other hand, worked an average usual hours of 19.3 hours per week.
Time is a valuable resource. Although being a farmer involves a large amount of commitment, it is vital that some time is given to a ‘Social Life’ especially farmers with young families. House and family duties need to be shared but time, also needs to be spent doing things outside the farm together.
FRS put farmers first and so we offer a range of time saving Specialised Services which help farmers reduce working hours on the farm and gain some time for them-selves. These include:
• Power Washing
• Relief Milking
• Hoof care
• Cow Pregnancy Scanning
• Sheep Pregnancy Scanning
• Calf Dehorning
• Farm Safety Training
• Waste Plastic Collection
• FRS Bin & Liner System

Clever technology is the newest way for farmers to save time on the farm. Herdwatch is a perfect example of this. Herdwatch is a newly developed farming app which has proven to save farmers up to four hours a week on paperwork such as calf registrations and remedies recording, for less than 30 cent a day.
For every 60 calves, a dairy or suckler farmer can expect to save 10 hours using Herdwatch and this doesn’t even take into account cost savings (40 euro in stamps alone) or time saved by reducing errors and not having to keep handwritten notes.
Farmers can also expect to save more time by recording remedies directly into Herdwatch on their smartphone, on the go, even with no internet connection. Once the information is recorded, the farm is fully compliant with remedies recording requirements from the Dept of Agriculture and Bord Bia.
Almost 1,000 farmers have signed up to Herdwatch and the feedback has been extremely positive, in fact, more than half the farmers who have recently signed up did so because another farmer told them how good it was.
If you are a dairy or beef farmer and want to save up to four hours a week and have the peace of mind of being compliant at all times, subscribe to Herdwatch now for just €99 inc VAT.
For more information on what FRS has to offer you to help you save hours on the farm check out our website:

News: Win a Set of Tickets every week in the run up to The Tullamore Show with FRS

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FRS, FBD and H.S.A will be pulling their strengths together at theTullamore Show to bring Farm Safety to you with Live demonstrations. We want you to be there and are giving you a chance to win a set of tickets every week on the run up to the show on the 9th of August.

All you need to do is “Like, Share and Tag” Two of your Friends on our Facebook page and be in with a chance of winning a set of these tickets.

Check out our Facebook Page to enter

Good Luck!

News: FRS brought Farm Safety Awareness to this year’s Charleville Show

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In 2014, thirty people died on farms. That number accounts for 54% of all workplace deaths in Ireland. In the first five months of 2015, five people died on farms versus 12 in the same period in 2014. Around 2,500 non-fatal accidents causing injury occur on farms manually.
Once again the team at FRS (Farm Relief Services) were invited by the Charleville Show organisers to demonstrate the importance of Farm safety at this year’s show, which took place on Sunday June 29th. Every year these live demonstrations prove to entice the crowd and this year was no different.
FRS received a great response to the Farm Safety Demo which showed people the dangers of an unprotected P.T.O shaft on a tractor by using mannequins. The team also demonstrated good manual handling and safe ear and eye protection.
The Agri kids section was also received very well by both children and parents. Fifty books were given out from the “Tales from Riverside Farm” series which went down a treat. Luke O’ Brien from Effin, Co. Limerick was the lucky winner of a toy tractor having correctly identified farming hazards on a drawing. Well done Luke.
We look forward to next year’s show.
Check out our facebook page for constant updates

News: Herdwatch Hits The Mullingar Show


The Herdwatch Team were out in force at The Mullingar Show last Sunday July 12th. As part of AIB’S Backing Brave initiative, Herdwatch were at the show with AIB. Herdwatch were crowned the AIB 2015 start – up academy winners having developed a farming app which makes life a lot easier for farmers. Since winning, the app has gone from strength to strength achieving a lot of interest and new customers.

The team received a great response at the show with onlookers including MEP Mairead McGuiness. The day itself was a complete success for the team at Herdwatch, they got a lot of new sign ups and had a large amount of people expressing interest in the app and what exactly it had to offer.

A competition is currently running in connection with Herdwatch and the GAA. All you have to do is Sign up to Herdwatch today and be in with a chance of winning tickets to the All-Ireland quarter and Semi Finals in Hurling or Football.

To be in with a chance of winning these tickets or for more information visit the Herdwatch website or like our Facebook Page

News: Charity BBQ

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A Charity barbecue will take place on Sunday the 19th of July at the yard of Shane Nolan of Finavara, Burrin, Co. Clare. This will be sign posted on the road between Kinvara and Ballyvaughan from 2pm-6pm, on behalf of Farm Contractors of Ireland (FCI). The event will raise funds for Galway Hospice and Embrace Farm. Shane Nolan who has one of the largest John Deere fleet in the west of Ireland has opened his yard to the public for this fund raising event. He built up his contracting business over the last 30 years which includes baling, pit silage, slurry spreading with the trailing shoe etc. and still finds time to do 500 acres of tillage. He will show the newer combine and still has the combine his father bought new in 1981, AND it works.

It is able to get in to the fields that the bigger machine can’t, also on display will be an old self propelled silage harvester where Shane took the grass equipment off and mounted a front mower adding more useful years to this machine. Possibly the best John Deere model farm will also be on display as previously seen at Galway’s annual Model and Diorama shows, (every kids wish big and small). A large display of John Deere machinery can be seen on the day with machines as low as 20 hp to the big monsters of 500hp+ & where big and small kids can safely see these machines in their working clothes. Music entertainment & bouncy castles for kids, food will be provided.

All are welcome to this social gathering.

A day not to be missed.

Contact details. Shane on  086 6008139.


Using pesticides safely for good weed control


This is the time of year when weed growth is at its best, so farmers need to be vigilant in controlling their spread before they go to seed.

Two main control methods are available.  In both cases, timing is essential.

  1. Topping
  2. Use of Pesticides

Grassland weeds must be sprayed at what’s called the Rosette stage (3 – 4 “high (75-100mm) and similar width for best control when using pesticides.  This means a full array of leaves to absorb maximum amount of the pesticide applied, if the plant is too advanced the pesticide product will not be as effective.  If it is already too late to spray, it may be advisable to top grassland and then spray in 4-6 weeks time to the new growth.

FRS have the perfect weed solution to help with your weed issues and FRS Training provide the sprayer training courses to ensure you are compliant with the new department of Agriculture directive called the SUD (Sustainable Use of Pesticide Directive).

Grassland Weeds

Weeds compete with grass for nutrients and space.  In turn, these weeds are reducing the amount of grass available to the grazing animals.  For most common grassland weeds a product called MCPA will suffice.  Always reads the label and supplementary information for the correct pesticide application rate before using.  You may have to decide on what volume of water suits your situation, as very often volume rates on labels are determined by the grass cover or level of weed infestation.

Some Typical grassland weeds and products available:


There are many sprays on the market which will eliminate buttercups from grassland.  Spraying with Forefront or Pastor will solve this problem as well as the growth of other weeds.


Rushes tend to cause a big problem for farmers.  With the amount of rainfall we get in Ireland there is always a significant increase in the amount of rushes on the land.  A combination of  2 4 D based products and Torpedo 2 appears to be quite effective in killing it off as due to it’s vigorous nature it can be quite difficult to dispose of.


Docks are a constant scourge on most farms however they are relatively easy to control.  There a number of effective sprays on the market.  The only problem which underlies is there reoccurrence.  Many products are available to counteract against docks, however many are very severe on clover therefore it is best to consult with your supplier on the appropriate product to suit your needs.

Products available: Doxstar – Fore front – Eagle

Typical Rate of Application:  2L/ha in 200L of water/ha

(Eagle is granulated so rate measure in grams/ha)

Weeds and Briars under fences

Weeds and briars become a major problem with electric fences around farm boundaries.  The major problem which arises is the strength in the power of the electric fencing diminishing dramatically.  The best way to control this is by using weed killer.  Grazon 90 is one of the best on the market and is preferred by many farmers.

Boom Sprayer Pesticide Application Courses

The department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine announced the implementation of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive (SUD).  This directive stipulates that professional users, ie farmers and distributers of plant protection products will be required to be trained and registered with the department by November 26th 2015.  Farmers need to be compliant and the training courses required are commonly known as Boom Sprayers and Knapsack Sprayers.

Course Title:                                                    Duration:                     QQI Level

Boom Sprayer Pesticide Applicator             2 days ( 1 week apart)         5

Hand Held Pesticide Applicator                   2 days  ( 1 week apart)        5

Boom sprayers include, Weed lickers, self-propelled, mounted, trailed and quad sprayers once over 3 meter boom width.

FRS Training is a QQI approved professional pesticide user training provider and has tailored its courses to suit farming life. Once you have successfully completed the Boom Sprayer and/or the Hand Held Pesticide Applicator course/s. Farmer must register with the department of Agriculture via their online system and then you will receive your PU Number (Pesticide User).  This is an excellent hands on practical course where you will be safely trained on handling and applying correct rates of product and know how to calculate the output from your sprayer.

Further information on registration and training requirements

Contact FRS Training on 1890 20 1000 to book your course or visit  FRS courses are available Nationwide at competitive pricing and group discounts.