South Island deer farmer Des Ford is in the business of expressing the genetic potential of red deer in New Zealand to help deer farmers achieve killable weights more quickly and efficiently.
So the fact that FARMAX calculates their monthly feed demand by undertaking monthly pasture covers and regular stock weights assists the operation immensely.
Ford runs a 390.58ha operation called Deer Improvement (a subsidiary of LIC) in Balfour near Gore, in Southland.
Deer Improvement bought the land 10 years ago and fully converted it to deer.
Deer Improvement has been using FARMAX for nearly 12 months, and Des says it has already made a massive difference to the way he and his team can confidently manage feed supply for their high breeding value sales stags, which ultimately allows them to present them in the best condition for sale.
“Because of our biosecurity status, we aren’t able to bring animals or feed on or off the farm,” says Ford.
“As our focus is genetic improvement, we also need to hold all stock until they are a year old to measure their genetic potential.
“Given this, we needed to ensure that we always had sufficient feed on-farm to cater for the stock we have to carry on-farm, so FARMAX was the perfect fit because it allows us to budget our feed requirements 12 months in advance.”
Because of the increasing genetic gain in both their stags and hinds, FARMAX also allows Ford’s staff to predict the increased feed required for the bigger breeding animals on an annual basis as their breeding values continue to rise.
Des’ top four FARMAX benefits
- Ease of use:The system is very easy to enter data into and generate graphs from.
- Useful reports:FARMAX reports are useful for meeting our corporate reporting requirements.
- Support:Support from FARMAX is always available when you need it.
- Forward thinking:Being able to predict forward feed requirements with changing farming patterns. FARMAX also allows us to consider different options based on animal types and numbers being carried.