UL App Helps Farmers Plan For Rainy Days

A weather app, developed by a UL lecturer, has been enthusiastically received by Irish farmers.  FarmHedge, a free smart-phone app, provides farmers with on-farm alerts directly relevant to agricultural activities.

Dr John Garvey, Senior Lecturer in Risk Management and Insurance at the Kemmy Business School created the app to help farmers plan their work. “The weather alerts are specific to the farm location and they relate short-term forecasts to the ten-year normal for that location to provide information on grass growth, animal health risks and other farm activities,” he explained.

John’s experience on the family farm outside Ennis in County Clare encouraged him to think about how farmers could use improved weather data to help them plan their work. More specifically it was the very cold Spring of 2013 and subsequent fodder crisis that led John to think about better risk-management systems that could be made available to farmers. He began developing the app in UL with funding from Enterprise Ireland. 

So far, the response from farmers across the country to FarmHedge has been very positive and John is already in the process of developing additional features for the app which will help save farmers money during periods of extreme weather.

FarmHedge is available to download for free on the App Store and Google Play. More information on the app is available from www.farmhedge.ie.