Farmers Weekly Awards 2019: Farm Supplier of the Year

TGM Software Solutions is the 2019 Farmers Weekly Farm Supplier of the Year.

“Performance can only be enhanced if decisions are based on robust, detailed information,” say Roger and Hilary Bell, who nominated the company.

Gathering and using data is at the heart of the couple’s approach at Springmount Farm, near Ballymena, County Antrim.

TGM Software Solutions has proved transformational in terms of achieving their commercial goals. The husband-and-wife team have used its agricultural software and electronic tag-reading hardware since 2012, making use of its Select Sheepware management program.

“TGM is crucial in helping us make logical decisions,” they explain. “We now have a system with which we can easily and quickly record and compare data.

See also: Meet the 2019 Farmers Weekly Awards Supplier of the Year finalists 

TGM Software Solutions, County Down

Star performer: George Megarry, director

Winning ways

  • Easy-to-use products that provide crucial management data
  • Strong focus on practical and financial benefits sought by farmers
  • Partners with farmer-customers to develop products
  • Constantly innovating as technology and legislation changes

Number-crunching has helped Roger and Hilary turn Severely Disadvantaged Area (SDA) ground into highly productive grassland, enabling them to achieve impressive results from their sheep enterprise and build the business.

The couple have driven improvements through monitoring and analysing such areas as daily liveweight gain, twin-versus-single performance, draft weight, days-to-slaughter, carcass weight and kill-out percentage. 

“We can compare different grazing patterns and systems, plus different batches of ewes and lambs. The software also ensures we are up to date with documentation.

“Our ability to eliminate bolus use, based on the information the software provided, has saved us £1,000/year.

“TGM is crucial in helping us get the most from our farming system. We sell 1.79 lambs a ewe on average and, in 2018, lambs achieved daily liveweight gains of 317g from birth to weaning, with an average weaning weight of 33.7kg from grass alone.”

They are full of praise for TGM’s director, George Megarry, who has significantly improved the efficiency of their data recording, by improving and changing the program to suit the couple’s IT/data requirements, in turn boosting performance.

Program for change  
George introduced Select Sheepware in 1998, aiming for a “practical, efficient and effective” program and, since then – with the input of farmers such as the Bells – has refined it with continuous investment.

It’s now used by commercial, pedigree, dairy and wool farmers, not just in the UK and Ireland, but as far afield as Europe, North America, New Zealand and South Africa.

“Innovation is critical and software must continually evolve and keep abreast of legislative changes,” he explains.

TGM is constantly developing the program, providing individual customers with bespoke updates and actively encouraging feedback to shape updates, with users trialing changes prior to global release.

“The Bells’ drive for improvement is relentless,” says George. “Their enthusiasm for management recording is remarkable and has proven to be infectious. Inspired by them, many other farmers have successfully implemented recording systems.

“This desire to improve their own flock and to share their experiences is outstanding.

“TGM aims to have the most comprehensive, practical flock management software in the world and this can only be achieved by working closely with clients,” says George. “In the Bells, we have found a true partner.”

The Bells feel the same, describing George’s service and determination to deliver the best-quality product as second to none. “The firm is a true partner,” they say.

The Farmers Weekly 2019 Farm Supplier of the Year category is sponsored by Jelf Insurance

“As experts in agriculture with more than 60 years in the farming community, Jelf is proud to sponsor the Farm Supplier of the Year categiry, highlighting the unique dedication and services provided to farmers.”
Chris Lewis, branch director

Also nominated:

  • Wynnstay, J36
    Star performer: Nigel Hoggarth. Nominated by Beef Farmer of the Year finalist James Dixon
  • Humphrey Feeds
    Star performer: Martin Humphrey. Nominated by Poultry Farmer of the Year finalist Susie Macmillan
  • Wallace of Kelso (now Agrovista)
    Star performer Catriona Bancroft. Nominated by Arable Farmer of the Year finalist David Fuller-Shapcott
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