Wednesday, 24 June 2015 08:49

Dealing with the season ahead

Written by 
Owl Farm focus day Owl Farm focus day

About 150 people turned up to the Owl Farm Focus Day on Wednesday, June 17 for advice on finances and welfare for farmers coping in a low-payout season.

Owl Farm, in Cambridge, is a joint venture demonstration dairy farm between founding partners St Peter's School and Lincoln University.

Owl Farm demonstration manager Doug Dibley says presenters on the day, which included DairyNZ and Westpac, had consistent messages – know your position, benchmark against top not average farmers and continually pulse check actuals costs against budgeted costs.

Dibley says DairyNZ looked at the impact of the lower season payout while Westpac provided an overview on what they are seeing on the ground, and the advice, support and recommendations they are providing to help customers survive this season. It also touched briefly on the global economic climate.

Dibley himself highlighted Owl Farm's responsible cost reduction strategies, which have the goal to build a resilient system.

"I looked at the opportunities identified by Owl Farm to responsibly manage costs without compromising future productive capability," he says.

"We also talked about at the importance of better utilising what we are growing, and consistently metering pasture to ensure we can better identify surpluses and deficits to ensure we are more strategic in our use of supplementary feeds."

Season ending data was also shared, "emphasising the quick wins that we have had", he adds.

The topical issue of farmers' welfare was also touched on

Chair of the Rural Support Trust Neil Bateup stressed the importance of looking after yourself and supporting one another and told of the support available for struggling farmers.

"It's a topic which can be easily avoided but one we wanted to address up front as without healthy and happy people we don't have an industry," Dibley says.

There was a bit of time in the paddock too.

"We also had a toolbox session looking at what things we can be considering at this time of the year prior to calving starting.

"This focused firstly around animal health and what we are collectively doing at the moment to ensure stock are in the best shape for calving. We briefly discussed the importance of getting maintenance up to speed during the down period before shifting as well as looking after people and reviewing systems and structures to ensure people were well looked after and supported coming into calving."

Dibley says the Focus Day participants were very involved.

"There was great questioning, interaction and engagement from the audience and a lot of positive feedback going forward."

» Connect with Rural News

More like this

Uni merger idea dead

Any suggestion of a merger between Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury is now dead in the water following the Minister of Education’s rejection of a partnership proposal by the two institutions.

ClearTech shows great promise

New research points to more advantages to the ClearTech dairy effluent treatment system being developed by Lincoln University and Ravensdown.

» The RNG Weather Report


A big future ahead

Age hasn't been a barrier for young vegetable grower of the year Austin Singh Purewal.


Sheep and beef doing its bit

No increase in stock numbers in the sheep and beef sector is anticipated as the industry moves towards carbon neutrality, says Beef + Lamb NZ head of nutrition Fiona Windle.

Fonterra lifts milk price

Good news for Fonterra farmers – the co-op is increasing its 2019-20 forecast farmgate milk price by 30c/kgMS.

» Connect with Rural News

» Connect with Rural News

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Chipping in

The Hound was intrigued to read an article recently, on the Newsroom website, that shows that Education Minister Chris ‘Chippy’…

I'm alright

This old mutt has been contacted by many concerned individuals about the role the former Synlait boss John Penno is…


» Connect with Rural News