04 March 2015 | Online since 2003



16 January 2013|News,Pigs

Farmex director Nick Bird dies aged 60


Nick Bird, director and co-owner of Reading-based control and monitoring specialists, Farmex Ltd, died suddenly from a heart condition on 13th January 2013, aged 60.

Bird was one of the pig industry’s best known ‘backroom boys’ and helped to develop the control and monitoring systems which are widely used on pig farms throughout the UK and abroad.

Many farmers have cause to be grateful for his friendly and expert advice when sorting out technical ventilation problems over the phone.

Following post-graduate research, Nick, together with Hugh Crabtree, co-founded Farmex when it was formed in 1980, with Reading University’s Jeff Owen, head of buildings in the engineering section, and others.

There, he helped develop the first microprocessor-based ventilation control system for pig farmers and this paved the way for the revolutionary Dicam (Digital Interactive Control and Monitoring) system which borrowed microchip technology from the car industry.

Twenty years later it remains the sector’s most commonly used device for temperature control.

Dicam can record and store incredible quantities of information and Nick used his sharp mind to analyse this. As a result he was the first person to discover, objectively, what pigs did ‘after hours’, when the pigman closed the door for the night. Interesting behavioural patterns emerged.

This research led to the company promoting real-time data logging, allowing pig farmers to remotely collect, analyse and act upon vital performance information from their piggeries in real time.

Nick became a world authority on interpreting these data from commercial pig production and his work on water use by the growing pig is unique. He was a prolific producer of papers and articles and often did so with a great down-to-earth sense of humour.

"Nick was an analyst and accomplished — problem solver — a clever and original thinker," commented Farmex co-director, Hugh Crabtree.

"He has been the mainstay of Farmex’s technical support and knowledge transfer. With his passing there has been a huge loss of knowledge which will be felt not only by the company but also by the industry at large."

He leaves his wife, Katie, and two daughters Olivia and Jessica.

Download



Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


26 February 2015
Band 7 Service Manager HPB Surgery
It comprises Barnet Hospital, Chase Farm Hospital, the Royal Free Hospital and more than 30 services in the community....

11 February 2015
Digital Optimisation Manager
Total lottery sales each year are bigger than Coca Cola, Warburtons, Walkers Crisps, Hovis, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Nescafé, King...

18 February 2015
Service Delivery Manager - Ops Manager
Managing our server farm and the 24/7 operation team. My client is an expanding start-up who is a market leader in their indu...

27 February 2015
Process Engineer - Manufacturing
My Client is a leading Global manufacturer and offers an industrial belt programme and an integrated line of high performance...

11 February 2015
Agricultural Store Specialist
Agricultural Specialist, Store Assistant, Farm Store Manager, Farm Store Assistant, Retail Assistant, Customer Service Assist...




Top stories you may have missed
2 February 2015 | Arable
Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Membership of the EU is damaging the British farming industry, according to...


29 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

BASIS has launched an accreditation for pilots of Unmanned Aerial Systems (...


23 January 2015 | Arable
UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have theoretical potential to more than double over the nex...


23 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Britain’s farmers flocked to Peterborough for the first day of LAMMA’15 to ...


22 January 2015 | Cattle
Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

The crisis in the dairy industry is not the fault of supermarkets, accordin...


16 January 2015 | CLA
Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer visited three rural businesses in Cheshi...


16 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

Spearheading the John Deere range of mid-size tractors from Mannheim, the n...


14 January 2015 | Animal Health
Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Regular testing for bovine TB could significantly reduce the number of infe...


12 January 2015 | News
Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Single-issue policy-making threatens to hamper, not help, the progress of U...


8 January 2015 | Cattle
2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2014 has been a “rocky old year” for the beef industry but better prices ar...