Censortec CowControl: Giving you peace of mind

September 15th, 2023 3:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

The Kelly's herd grazing outside Kinsale.

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MARTIN Kelly had increased cow numbers and knew that one bull wasn't going to be able to serve all his cows.

Milking 180 cows in Kinsale, Co. Cork, he knew he had to make a change.

'We'd always used bulls, and as the herd grew things got to a point where I had to either buy more bulls or do something else. I didn't really want the hassle of more bulls, so I decided to install Censortec CowControl,' says Martin.

Martin installed Censoretc CowControl in 2019, and in 2020, he installed an additional system to monitor his heifers on an out farm. Censortec's SmartTag collars monitor cows' activity to provide information on their fertility, health status and rumination. The data is used by farmers for heat detection and health monitoring.

'We have five kids, and my parents are involved in the farm too. I wasn't happy having bulls around the place,' continues Martin. 'Since we installed CowControl, we've eliminated the bull from the yard and its great peace of mind. I'm not relying on a temperamental animal to do my heat detection!'

The Kelly Family. From L-R: (Derval, Aoife, Daniel, Martin, Roisin, Caitlin, Gearoid and Bruno the dog).


'As well as letting us get rid of the bull, CowControl draws attention to the cows that wouldn't be picked up otherwise,' explains Martin.

'It picks up silent heats, cows I wouldn't see bulling or cows the bull wouldn't have shown much interest in, they will alert on CowControl and you're able to use the data from the system to make a call on her. It's a big help that the system integrates with ICBF. You have all the information you need about a cow's fertility in one place. You can see how long she's calved, how many heats she's had, if she's had any irregular cycles; it's great that it's all in the same app.'

Martin uses this information to make breeding decisions too.

'Now we don't use a stock bull, we can breed from our better cows to improve our replacements, and you're not running the risk of the bull serving a cow you'd decided to cull already. I'm using more sexed semen because I can check the app and decide if the cow is suitable for sexed semen based on the information there,' explains Martin.

Martin can keep up to date with his herd's activity wherever he is via the CowControl app.


CowControl continuously monitors each cow to provide information on her health status to the farmer. If the system thinks there is an issue based on her behaviour, it will create a health alert for the farmer to investigate.

'Our heifers were on an outside block, and I was over there for a while working with them. I checked the app, and a cow at home had a health alert. I could see by her activity graph that she had milk fever. I rang my parents and got them to investigate, and sure enough they found her sick in the shed. She wouldn't have been found til milking time otherwise,' says Martin.

Under the new TAMS III scheme, Censortec CowControl is eligible for up to 60% funding, depending on which scheme the applicant applies through. If a farmer applies through the Animal Welfare and Nutrient Storage Scheme, the technology including collars and base station, is eligible for 40% funding, while under the Young Farmer Capital Investment, Organic Farming Capital Investment and Women Farmer Capital Investment Schemes, farmers can receive 60% TAMS funding.

Daniel, Matinn and Gearoid Kelly on their farm.


Censortec, who operate out of Killorglin, Co. Kerry, are the leading suppliers of activity monitors to Irish dairy farmers.

They work closely with their supplier, Nedap Livestock, who are based in Groenlo, The Netherlands. With grants available through TAMS III, these labour-saving technologies can make your life easier.

To find out more about how Censortec and their partners can help you manage your herd, call 066 9713000 visit censortec.com, or visit us at the Ploughing Championships on Stand 164.

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