Abbey Machinery promotes Irish agritech innovation with ‘total cow’ management approach

March 4, 2019 No Comments

New agritech slurry management system along with a wide range of equipment that increases agricultural efficiency.

As experts in farm management equipment for feeding, slurry management and grass care, Abbey Machinery is helping customers improve their efficiency with a range of new applications that form a ‘total cow’ management system. These include flow control on tankers for precise slurry spreading, precision diet feeders that track input use, costs and waste and grassland management. The Irish agritech company based in Tipperary, has more than seven decades of experience in manufacturing agricultural equipment and exports 60 per cent of its products – with the UK as the biggest overseas market.

“Ireland is an island, so there is only so far we can expand here, it’s been our strategy to further expand exports to other countries,” says Michael O’Grady, Head of Sales, Marketing and Business Development at Abbey Machinery.

“Abbey Machinery has a long history of trade with the UK. We have similar landscapes, systems of farming, management approaches – and of course there is the shared language and proximity. The UK was the first foreign country we sold to – more than 30 years ago – and it continues to be our biggest overseas territory.”

Abbey Machinery is one of Ireland’s oldest and most respected equipment manufacturers, having been founded in 1947, and is now run by the third generation (Clodagh Cavanagh) of the founding Cavanagh family. The company manufactures 88 product lines (across seven product groups) in a variety of sizes to suit different markets, and is agile in its approach to varying market needs. As well as exporting to the UK, it sells to international territories including Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

“One of the benefits of selling to different countries is that we can learn something new and apply that knowledge to the next iterations of products,” says O’Grady. “In the UK, there has been a particular requirement recently for larger machines for the more professional farmer/contractor and there are now more queries regarding the live sensing of slurry equipment to know and apply exacting quantities of slurry based on field and crop requirements.

“There is also a growing trend towards placing the slurry on or below the ground and a move away from splash plate spreading and this has led us to create machinery that releases the slurry on or below the soil surface. This helps retain the nitrates and ammonia, which not only is better for the smell and environmental reasons, but also makes the slurry fertilizer more economically efficient.”

The company also incorporates agritech technologies into its diet feeding equipment such as a TMR Tracker, that enables accurate loading and mixing of feeds, assessment of waste levels, dry matter intakes, margins over feed costs, feed costs per litre, and feed stock management.

They recently won two awards, with Clodagh Cavanagh, Managing Director of Abbey Machinery, winning the University of Limerick Alumni Award for her ‘Contribution to business’ and was selected as CEO of the year at IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards, which is hosted by Image Magazine.

Although Abbey Machinery is a well-established Irish agriculture manufacturer and retailer, the company is pleased to gain assistance from Enterprise Ireland – the Irish Government’s trade and innovation agency – when it looks to explore new international markets and exploit existing markets.

“They are excellent and help us to research new territories and explore market needs and opportunities. They help by guiding us and giving us proper focus and they are always enthusiastic in their support,” says O’Grady.

Shauna Higgins, market advisor for Enterprise Ireland’s agritech sector, says: “Irish companies have a great reputation internationally for using technology and innovation to produce high quality equipment and products. Ireland produces enough food for 35 million people, yet we have a population of 5 million. A company such as Abbey Machinery is a great example of how a forward-thinking attitude can create great products that improve efficiency in agriculture which not only is good for farmers but will ultimately benefit consumers and our environment.”

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