Monford AG Systems Ltd.
Monford AG Systems develops innovative hardware and software solutions for measuring and recording agricultural activity, specifically in the area of natural feed measurement, combining mapping and wearable sensor technology, to measure grass growth. Trinity College and Monford have developed the GrassOmeter - a device that measures and records grass growth, providing farmers worldwide with a solution to measure, manage and optimise grass production. Glanbia are using the technology on Irish farms to prepare the dairy industry for the end of milk quotas by accurately predicting the amount of yield per hectare. This allows farmers to manage feed requirements more accurately. The product is a great example of convergence and innovation.
The GrassOmeter uses ultrasound to measure grass height as the farmer walks around a field with the device mounted to his/her boot. The measurements are triggered by a nine point orientation sensor, mapped with GPS, and sent to the farmer's smartphone using Bluetooth, where an app will carry out all the calculations. This innovative solution which was further developed by Jerrold C Manock, designer of the original Apple Mac, who is the lead designer of Monford's GrassOmeter technology is faster, more cost-effective, and more user-friendly than traditional methods.
Monford was awarded two Enterprise Ireland Innovation Vouchers worth €5,000 each to work with Trinity researchers to develop the initial GrassOmeter prototype. Further support and advice was given by Prof Mike Jones of Trinity's Botany Department.
Monford AG Systems Ltd has secured €1.25m investment to enable it to bring the GrassOmeter to market in 2014.
"A term that captures how creativity and innovation spread is "when sparks fly". For us the "spark" was a chance conversation with John Whelan of Trinity's Technology Transfer Office and a suggestion to apply for an Innovation Voucher. That spark has now ignited a global effort to improve farming worldwide, with a team bringing together the designer of the original Mac, investors in New Zealand, manufacturers from Ireland, the US and China and farmers and grass experts from all over the world. Without the spark from Trinity the GrassOmeter would never have happened."
Steven Lock, CEO & Founder, Monford AG Systems Ltd.