John Phelan

Farm owner


Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland

About the farm

  • 166 dairy cows
  • Spring calving based
  • Grazing system

Nedap solutions

Nedap CowControl
Heat Detection
Health Monitoring


Higher submission rates
improved reproduction
Easy drafting
based on heat and health data
ROI within 2-3 years
more cows calving earlier

“It doesn't miss a cow that's bulling. Every cow that is in heat is picked up.”

John Phelan doesn’t mince his words when asked what he thinks is the biggest benefit of Nedap CowControl. “It doesn’t miss a cow that’s bulling. Every cow that is in heat is picked up.” John is running a 166-dary cows farm in Thurles, county Tipperary, but planning to go to maybe 190 or 200. He is aware of the effects of good fertility on the farm’s profitability. “The more cows you calf, the sooner, the better.”

“I don't go the field at all. Once the cows are out, they are out.”

John describes how Nedap CowControl has changed the way he handles fertility on the farm. “The biggest change is the time and labor in monitoring cows. It takes away me having to watch the cows, I don’t go out in the field five times a day looking at them. Every morning or evening before milking I check the system for cows in heat, and draft them out. And 99% of the time it’s accurate.”

“Prior to working with Nedap CowControl, I was tailpainting and visually watching the herd. Besides missed heats I would often AI too late. Usually when you’d see a cow with tailpaint gone in the morning, you would AI her in the evening. But if the Smarttag tells me to AI her there and then, I will. So, nowadays I’m AI’ing cows earlier in their cycle. And I don’t go to the field at all. Once the cows are out, they are out.”

Health monitoring

While improved fertility was the main driver of choosing Nedap CowControl, health monitoring has proven its value on John’s farm. “The system notifies me when a cow is not eating. I can then look at the cow and make my own decision. Does she need a vet, or is she allright? Generally, a cow could be back eating within one or two days and she’ll be fine. But the system itself is very accurate, it flags them up if they’re not eating.”

“Whatever way you look at it, it's more profit.”

John estimates the investment in the system paid for itself within two to three years. “Mainly because you’re getting more cows in calf earlier.” Improved fertility results are significant on John’s farm. “Conception rates are up, last year we came close to 70% first service. This year is looking better already. More compact calving equals more milk in the tank.”

“Higher submission rates, higher conception rates, more cows calving earlier, more compact calving, higher milk solids per hectare. Whatever way you look at it, it’s more profit. And less work, you don’t have to go watch the cows. It takes care of it, watching them all day, every day.”

Learn more about Nedap CowControl ›

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Enda Doran
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Morgan O‘Sullivan
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“It‘s like a second set of eyes on the cows when we‘re off the farm.”