The challenge to create a better value proposition for rearing dairy-beef calves is compelling and one the dairy and beef industries are acutely aware of.
Belton was one of three category winners announced at the Rural Professional of the Year Awards last week. The judges were impressed with the calibre of the five candidates and said there was little separating them.
A recent study confirmed that lamb weaning weight is king when it comes to sheep profitability. Weaning percentage is important too, but a 1 kg increase in weaning weight is equivalent to a 5% increase in lambs weaned. With lambing just around the corner there is management decisions to be made now to ensure a high weaning weight.
Healthy Rivers Plan for change is creating a lot of interest throughout the Waikato with farmers coming to grips with what it could mean for them. For some of the rules such as restrictions on land use change and grazing/cultivation setbacks we can see how they will affect a property and what changes are needed to comply.
Tony and Briar Lunjevich have just finished their journey as Far North Partner Farmers, having achieved their goal of increasing equity by more than $500,000 and fine-tuning the farm system to generate an extra $120,000 more farm profit each year.
The most profitable system for any particular farm is not always obvious. Sharemilker James Foote and AgFirst consultant Stacey Belton looked at various scenarios via a farm system review and were surprised by the optimal ratio for split calving.
AgFirst Waikato has teamed up with Greenlea Premier Meats to help improve profits and outcomes for both the dairy and beef industries along with addressing the growing challenge of bobby calves in the Waikato. The result was a contract based system where dairy farmers utilise proven beef semen over their herd after their initial AB period.
"A lot of the time you do stuff because it's what you want to do - I had been thinking of making this change, but it was good to have someone to challenge my assumptions - and to look at all aspects of a change."
Upgrading of whole farm analysis and farm consultancy advice is the objective of a new certification scheme, thought to be the first of its kind in the world.