Early detection key 

Local dairy farmers and service providers attended a ‘Seasonal Management Information Day’ at Edith Creek on Tuesday where Macquarie Franklin senior consultant Jason Lynch spoke of the benefits of feed budgeting. Picture: Ashleigh Force. 

Budget. It can take just 10 minutes each month to gain a clear overview of your farm’s feed deficits and surplus to better prepare your property for the season ahead.

More than 50 local dairy farmers and service providers attended a ‘Seasonal Management Information Day’ held at Cody and Denieka Korpershoek’s Edith Creek property on Tuesday.

Macquarie Franklin senior consultant Jason Lynch was on hand throughout the day to provide an insight into how feed budgeting can benefit your business.

A former builder, Cody began dairy farming with his wife at their 200-hectare property just 18 months ago.

Now milking 600 cows and supplying Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co. Limited, the couple’s operation has greatly benefited from a clear feed budget.

Jason met with the young farmers in February to introduce Mistro Software, an application that uses various formulas to calculate feed deficits and surplus allowing the farmer to plan ahead and budget accordingly.

“Feed budgeting takes into account how much feed your cows require, your pasture production levels and effectively how much feed is required to get you through the season,” Jason said.

“Dairy farming is very complex in terms of numbers, there are so many factors that come into play.

“Mistro gives you an in-depth look and is used as a modelling and planning tool.”

Initially designing a 12-month plan, Cody refers to the feed budget each month to gain insight into production levels and progress in meeting pasture targets. He spends just 10 minutes each month reviewing and updating this data so that he is able to adjust and plan accordingly.

Upon devising the budget in February, Jason and Cody identified the farm would suffer a feed shortage throughout the winter and by identifying this issue early were able to counteract it by planting a crop of rapeseed.

“If you react too late in the season you have less opportunity,” Jason said.

“If so you’re going to choose the quick but expensive option of buying a load of grain or silage, which is still valid but it’s all about profitability.

“By being proactive you’re able to plan ahead and keep your profits up.”

Had Cody not addressed this deficiency early, he would likely have spent twice as much purchasing grain or four times as much on silage than the cost of growing the rapeseed crop which he plans to graze throughout July.

“Modify your system to get the cheapest feed and most efficient outcome,” Jason said.

“It has a lot to do with peace of mind and confidence.”

The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture will host a ‘Pasture Management Workshop’ at the Circular Head Community and Recreation Centre on Friday June 17 and Friday June 24 from 10.30am-2.30pm.

 

FIELD DAY

A free bus will leave Smithton on Thursday June 2 for a day outing to the DairyTas ‘Focus Farm’, Limberlost Dairy in Kayena. The field day will be held from 11am to 2pm with lunch provided. For more information or to reserve your place contact DairyTas on 6432 2233.

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