Two Skibbereen Community School TY students – and friends – saw a gap in the agri-sector to deliver a ‘start to finish’ grass measuring business. Just launched, it’s getting great feedback
TWO West Cork students have just launched their own grass measuring business.
Cathal Kingston from Caheragh and his friend Matthew Benn from Drimoleague initially developed the idea as part of a TY programme in Skibbereen Community School.
But the 16-year-olds quickly recognised the potential it had to the wider agri-community, as new legislation means it’s now mandatory for all farmers in derogation to measure grass on their farm at least 20 times a year.
Cathal said he saw a gap in the market from his own experience living on a farm.
‘Farmers are finding it increasingly difficult to find labour for their farms and are under more and more time pressure to find time to do this very important task,’ the Skibbereen student said.
As well as being mandatory, it’s a task that’s been proven to increase farmers’ profitability, and the message from farming advisors is to walk the farm at least once a week from this month on. The pair have invested in measuring plate meters and upload all grass covers to Pasture Base Ireland, the national database for grassland management.
‘This information enables the farmers to make important grazing management decisions without having to walk their own farm,’ explained Matthew.
‘They can extend the grazing period for their animals and feed them good quality grass. In an industry where costs are constantly spiralling, it also means farmers can feed more quality grass to their animals and not rely on purchased feed,’ he added.
The business is called MC Grass Measuring and the pair also provide a weekly report on their findings and a spring rotational planner.
‘Our selling point is the convenience we offer the farmer,’ said Cathal. ‘We take care of the entire service, from start to finish, freeing them up for other work.’