UK - A veterinarian-designed programme is helping farmers to boost their gross farm income and will be discussed at the New Zealand Veterinary Association Sheep, Beef and Deer Conference in Queenstown (3-5 June).
Gross farm income increased by $12.37 per ewe for farmers using the StockCARE system as compared to the farms in the same regions in the Meat and Wool Economic Survey (M&WES).
StockCARE was tested for over three years between (2001-2003), and focuses on identifying and defining the key performance indicators of all production systems on each farm. It also monitors farm soil fertility and financial performance.
The pilot farms' cash surpluses increased by 48 per cent compared to 21 per cent in the M&WES survey.
Veterinarian Chris Mulvaney from AgriNetworks in Te Awamutu, who designed the programme, will tell delegates that StockCARE is designed to help sheep and beef farmers measure what they manage within their business. It is based on the principles of adult learning, change management and business improvement.
“StockCARE is a proven effective programme for farmers committed to improving their performance,” says Chris Mulvaney. “It’s unique in that it has a particular focus on animal production systems as these are the real drivers of farm performance and profitability.”
A Between Farm Comparison is used to identify opportunities for improvement in all the production systems. Each individual farm is compared to the top quartile, average and low quartile for the outcome and key drivers. The farms that make up the top and low quartiles are the same farms for the drivers. Nutrition, genetics and animal health are the main opportunities for improvement.
Chris Mulvaney says the programme has some important unique points of difference such as incorporating principles of adult learning, change management and business improvement.
"Its real strength is in knowing what others do on their farms and knowing what you are doing on your farm is powerful.”
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