Keeping those weeds at Bay

One thing which grows exceptionally well, regardless of the weather, are weeds in Ireland and this year is no exception. Weeds this year are very plentiful particularly in grassland. FRS in Cahir 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.
Weeds and Briars 

From this time of year onwards, weeds and briars become a major problem with electric fences around farm land. 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.
Grassland Weeds
A large amount of weeds which grow on grassland, compete with grass for nutrients and space. In turn, these weeds are reducing the amount of grass available to the grazing animals. There are several sprays on the market which will fight against the reoccurring growth of these weeds and can be purchased in all DIY stores. Ask for assistance if you are unsure.
There are many sprays on the market which will eliminate buttercups from your garden. 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 a 2 4 D based product and Torpedo 2 appears to be quite effective in killing it off as due to its 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 are 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.

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.
FRS Training is a FETAC/QQI approved professional pesticide user training provider and has tailored its courses to suit farming life. The courses involve two tutor led training days, but they are not consecutive days, which lessens the burden to farmers and also incorporates independent learning that the farmer can complete on their own farms.
After completing the Boom Sprayer Pesticide QQI Level 5 course and the Hand Held Pesticide Application QQI level 5 course with FRS, farmers will be able to explain the terminology, describe procedures for safe handling, demonstrate knowledge of the laws and regulations relating to poisonous substances, interpret pesticide label information correctly, prepare boom sprayer/knapack sprayer for work and make up and apply a pesticide spray mix.
Further information on registration and training requirements and hard copies of all registration forms visit
Contact FRS Training on 1890 20 1000 to book your course or visit FRS courses are available Nationwide at competitive pricing and group discounts.

Article; The Strive To Expand

In 2015, for the first time in over 30 years, farmers can now expand milk production without the hassle of milk quotas. The whole abolition of quota presents great opportunities for dairy farmers to expand. There will be undoubtedly success for many, for others, however, expansion may bring heavier workloads and increased stress without any long term benefits.
The main requirement for the whole expansion process is that it is stainable from all aspects for the business perspective. This basically means, that the business should focus on the accurate conversion of home grown feed to saleable products that are recognised as being of high quality and are safe to consume.
In a lot of cases, expansion is not planned effectively. There is no money in expansion the money only starts to come in once you have expanded. From farm to farm, the amount of investment needed varies. Expansion costs are indeed very individual.
Getting ready for expansion or conversion can be a challenging as well as a rewarding experience, here are the main tips and advice to help you along the way in your expansion:

• Plan your farm with labour efficiency in mind, design sheds, roads, yards, milking parlour and handling facilities with cow and operator comfort and safety in mind and also with the objective of getting the job done quickly.
• Plan your time in advance to make the best use of it and your farm worker’s time. Don’t be afraid to delegate and don’t get over worked as it will do you no favours in the long run.
• Use only skilled, trained, insured staff. FRS can provide this as well as giving you one invoice which is tax deductible. Black market labour can be very costly if the work is not carried out correctly, it can also end up costing you more if you compare to the net cost of using FRS (including for tax deductibility).
• Make a plan for your record-keeping, don’t let paperwork get on top of you or keep you from the important business of farming. Check out Herdwatch our new software and app for herd management to make your paperwork and compliance recording more efficient. It saves farmers up to four hours per week on paperwork. for more information.
• Evaluate your own training needs – enrol in the FRS/AHI/Teagasc, Best Practice in Milking Course – it should improve your routine and milk quality. It will also gain you a FETAC Level 6 Certificate. Identify any other training needs you may have and get your-self upskilled eg. financial, time management, chainsaw safety, spraying operations, Quad bike etc. Check out for specialised agricultural and business courses.
• Protect your livelihood by planning for unforeseen circumstances such as accident or illness. Join the FRS Membership Benefit Scheme which gives you the peace of mind that your farm will be looked after if you are unable to work. Visit for further details.
• Make sure your farm is a safe and comfortable working environment. Are there any areas which could be made safer or more efficient? Complete or update your safety statement and check out farm safety courses available through
• FRS can help you to plan for expansion, call us for confidential, no-obligation free advice. We can tailor packages to suit your farm needs.
Realistically sustainable expansion has three main aims: Firstly, It should be profitable for the farmer. Secondly, it should look after the environment and thirdly it should improve the lifestyle of the farmer over all. It is already evident since the abolition of milk quotas that there is going to be a significant increase in milk production over the coming years.
If you are looking for any expansion tips or advice do not hesitate to contact FRS on (0505) 22100 or visit our website

Article: Proper Milking Routine – Less Strain, More Efficiency

Last year proved to be a great success for the Best Practice in Milking course with, 400 farmers having completed the course and upskilling their milking practices nationwide. The course which is in conjunction with FRS, Teagasc and AHI is well underway this year, with great interest being shown once again.
Martin Davin, a farmer from Eglish in Rathdowney County Laois, successfully completed the Milking Course last year. Martin himself admitted that prior to completing the milking course, he suffered constant strain to his shoulders and wrists due to the style of milking he had adopted over the years.
“Before completing the milking course I always had pain in my shoulders and wrists from the way I was milking. Now my shoulders and wrists don’t get sore anymore. Once you have done the course, you start milking the way it should be done” said Martin.
For Martin, the course opened his eyes to how a proper milking routine should be carried out. Even though it takes a couple of weeks to adjust to the new milking routine, he found he got very use to it and clearly sees how well it works.
One of the benefits of the actual milking routine would be the fact that I can milk each row with alternative hands now. It’s a huge benefit.” said Martin.
The course shows farmers how to make life easier by learning how to milk effectively and efficiently. Martin was completely satisfied with how the course went for him and how he adapted it so well on his own farm.
“The biggest thing I got out of the milking course was the whole milking routine, learning how to milk the cows and the proper way to do it. Also keeping your area clean and yourself clean is vital, even down to wearing gloves at all times. It’s all hugely important. For me, a proper milking routine is very important because you will be doing it for 20 or 30 years of your life. If you don’t have it at the start get it and pass it on.” said Martin.
Having seen the difference between how he once milked in comparison to now, Martin has seen all the benefits and could recommends others to do the milking course.
“The practical side of milking is great, there’s so much to learn if you want to learn, if you don’t want to learn then you never will”.

The training is designed to make life that little bit easier for the farmer. Putting less strain on both the Farmer’s life and Body. From start to finish the milking routine has an important bearing on the efficient and hygienic removal of milk from the udder. The course itself is designed to develop the skills of the milker to ensure that all cows are milked effectively and efficiently and reduce preventable waste by producing lower somatic cell counts (SCC) and better milk quality.
“The importance of routine cannot be over emphasised. Cows are creatures of habit and the more you can make each day exactly the same as the previous day the more relaxed and productive they’ll be. So, good milking technique begins by following a predictable routine.” (Teagasc)
The Milking course teaches the components of an efficient milking process or routine, which are:
• Preparation for Milking
• Parlour Preparation
• Row filling
• Preparation in batches and maximising milk let down
• Cluster attachment
• Cluster removal
• Teat disinfection
• Row exit
• Parlour hose down
When employing an efficient milking routine, milkers can achieve somatic cell count (SCC) and total bacterial count (TBC) levels of less than 100,000 and less than 10,000 cells per ml respectively and milking row times of less than 9 minutes. (Teagasc)
From the farmers who have completed the course, it is obvious that one of the main problems that constantly arise from farmers milking habits is strain. Due to habits which have developed over their years of milking, farmers complain of suffering with back pain, shoulder pain and wrist pain.
Successful completion of the ‘Best Practice in Milking Course’ results in a FETAC/QQI level 6 certificate. Martin along with all those who completed the course will be receiving their certificates of completion at the end of August. The course involves two days training followed by an assessment and includes practical on-farm milking sessions.
For those who are interested in doing the course visit , alternatively call Kevin Fitzpatrick at 086 0280450 or email Like and share

News: The Sun Sets on Ploughing 2015 for FRS


As the sun sets on this year’s ploughing, we can all sit back and relax after a tremendous three days.  This year’s event marked the most successful in history with a record breaking 281,000 people having landed in Ratheniska co. Laois over the three days.  The Farm Relief Services marquee proved once again to be a great success with floods of people coming in to chat to our team and sign up to the courses on offer.

The FRS team from all our divisions were out in force giving people information.  Outdoors the FRS fencing team ran with a great display of the various fencing on offer to people.  The Trainers were kept on their toes over the three days with the Boom Sprayer which was being demonstrated throughout the day each day.

This was a great success attracting great crowds to the stand whilst the demonstrations were undergoing.  A large amount of people signed up for the course which is required to be completed by November 2015.  Those who signed up for the course were entered into a draw to win a free course.  A huge congratulations, to Thomas Dillon from Listowel, Co. Kerry who was the winner of the spraying course.

Herdwatch once again came out of the event with great results having gained 200 new subscriptions to the app. The app itself is going from strength to strength receiving great feedback from all who came to visit them in the FRS tent and also in the Innovation arena. The big attraction of this year’s ploughing event however was the Herdwatch mascot Herdie who was out on about promoting Herdwatch and was a big success on the trackway.

People of all ages stofrs 180pped to get their photo taken with Herdie for the Twitter competition.  Congratulations to the lucky winner Lauren Enright from county Kerry who won herself her county jersey for uploading a photo of themselves with Herdie.  Each tweet about #Herdie, Herdwatch donated 50cent to Embrace Farm.  A whopping €500 in total was raised for Embrace Farm thanks to Herdwatch.

This year we were delighted to have Tom Maher and Marie Spencer from St. Vincent De Paul who helped out at the FRS tea and coffee station for the three days.  They welcomed everyone with a smile and kept the tea and coffee flowing.  They raised over €900 for their charity at the event.

And so that is another year at the ploughing done and dusted.  We look forward to planning for next year.  Thank you to all the staff who helped out, to all our customers and the people who came to visit our stand.  As always it is greatly appreciated.

For more information  visit our website on or call us on 0505 22100.  Like out Facebook page for constant updates and News

Welcome to the FRS Ploughing Stand 2015

Block 1, Row 26, Stand 440

If you want to make compliance a lot easier, improve your milking practices, be boom sprayer compliant, safeguard the continuity of your farm work and get that little bit of help and relief when you need it the FRS Network stand is your target at the ploughing. Plus you could win a tablet, your county jersey and grab special offers!

The FRS Live Boom Sprayer Training Demonstration area will show farmers what they need to do to be compliant with the forthcoming SUD (Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive).

You can sign up to the award winning App that is making farmer’s compliance and herd management a lot easier and more efficient and hence more profitable, through the technology provided by Herdwatch.

You can get peace of mind and continuity of your business in the event of an accident or illness by becoming a member of FRS with a special sign up offer at the ploughing.

You can investigate the varied supports and valued services that will make your farm run more efficiently and safely through the tailored training, farm relief and fencing services.

Along with special offers and tablets up for grabs there will be a cup of tea and a chat available at the stand that will open your eyes to better ways of doing things on your farm into the future and show you how FRS can help.

At the Ploughing come and see what FRS can bring to your life to facilitate growth, better efficiencies and profitably with technology and expert help.

Visit or call 1890 790 890
Media Contact:
Jane Marks
Marketing Manager
FRS Network
0505 31584
086 8816963

News: Innovation Award winners Herdwatch set for Ploughing comeback

Innovation Award winners at the National Ploughing Championships 2014, Herdwatch, are set to head to the event again this year to launch their enhanced App features.  Herdwatch makes life a whole lot easier offering dairy, suckler and beef farmers easy compliance at the tap of an icon.  The unique App has gone from strength to strength throughout the year with over 1,000 farmers already signed up, and was also crowned ‘AIB Start-up Academy winners 2015’ with a prize fund worth €250,000 and awarded ‘emerging new business’ at the Small Firms Association Awards.

Herdwatch will be at the Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska for the three days 22nd, 23rd and 24th of September, ready to put farmer’s herds in their hands with a free month trial of the App. The team will be offering anyone who signs up at the Ploughing a very special deal and those who join Herdwatch will also be in with a chance of winning a high-tech tablet each day.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the newest member of the Herdwatch team #Herdie, who will be out and about on the lead up to the event, you may even find him thumbing a lift to the Ploughing!  If you fancy a GAA Jersey in your county colours, find #Herdie at the Ploughing, take a snap, tweet #Herdie and you could be getting your hands on that prize.

You will find the Herdwatch Team at the Ploughing in the Innovation Arena and the FRS (Farm Relief Services) stand R26, Stand 440.

For more information or to sign up to Herdwatch visit or call 0505 34400.  Visit Facebook page and Twitter page for updates and live feeds from the Ploughing.


Media Contact:

Jane Marks,, 086 8816963

Caoimhe Kirby,, 086 1300409

Job Opening: Dairy Farm Operators Required

Dairy Farm Operators required for large dairy herds in the Kilkenny area.  Full time and part time work available with every second weekend off.  The ideal candidate would have previous experience in milking.  Starting 7th of September, Contact Yvonne at FRS Kilkenny on 056 7761671

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

AIB060R0106 Tullamore Show Logo V4 approved.indd

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!