10 September 1999

Free computer packages for dairy farmers

FREE computer packages are being offered to dairy farmers by livestock information company NMR.

The offer, open to existing and new customers, provides the latest Gateway Pentium III computer, worth up to £1000, free internet access and impelPro, NMRs latest dairy management software, which usually costs new customers £400.

The move, said to be a national first, will help hard-pressed producers increase their efficiency and claw back some lost profit, says chief executive Robin Turner.

Farmers will be able to run herd and farm business management programmes, access market information, and register animals with breed societies and the British Cattle Movement Service electronically.

This, says Mr Turner, could help to reduce costs – BCMS proposes to introduce a £7 charge for each calf passport issued after the end of this month. "With more data transferred electronically, I would expect them to reduce their cost base and pass the benefit back to producers in the form of lower fees."

To qualify for the offer, existing milk recording customers taking up the offer will have to pay a monthly support fee of £35, though that is cheaper than the current price, says Mr Turner. The fee is waived for new customers, provided they agree to reimburse the cost of the PC if they leave NMR within three years. Milk recording costs about £110 a month for a 100 cow herd.

The firm will offer free training days to help producers get the most out of the new technology. &#42