Project sheds light on farm management changes

A new project is set to shed light on how changes in farm and grassland management impact on productivity and profitability on livestock farms.

The 12-month Farmax UK Project, funded by EBLEX and Marks & Spencer, and managed by Silver Fern Farms (UK), will look at eight beef and sheep farms in England and 10 beef and sheep farms in New Zealand.

The farmers will be given the Farmax farm management software suite, and asked to do monthly monitoring and information recording. This will then be checked by Farmax consultants every two months.

Project manager Renée Hogg from Silver Fern Farms said: “Due to the common language and data capture of information through Farmax, we have an opportunity to run comparisons and benchmarking between UK and NZ farm businesses.

“We have established a set of key performance indicators for the farm businesses taking part in the project. And during the next 12 months we hope to gain real insights into what is driving profit and productivity between UK and NZ farms, and look forward to sharing the learnings.”

EBLEX beef and sheep scientist Dr Liz Genever said: “This project has massive potential to help us understand grass supply and feed demand, which is a first for the English beef and sheep sector.

“It will also help demonstrate the benefits of improved grazing management for animal performance and profitability. And the ability to ask ‘what if?’, will help the farmers involved analyse their current systems, and appreciate how any changes will affect their supply and demand.”

Marks & Spencer agricultural manager Steven McLean added: “Optimising the productivity of grassland brings benefits to all ruminant livestock producers, regardless of the production system that they operate, and this should, in turn, improve profitability on farm, increasing economic sustainability.”

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