Dannevirke farm manager Daniel Preece is finding farm software helps succession by giving a new person easy access to farm management history.
Daniel took over as farm manager at Pohuetai Station in mid 2016 and says he's made good use of the farm's online records.
“The next person can walk in and it’s there. It has definitely helped with the transition. It’s all made easier because the information is all in one spot.
“I was sitting with a fert rep and they asked what fertiliser had been used on an area of the farm. I pulled up the online paddock history – it was a godsend.”
Overall, the main focus on Pohuetai now is lifting production and cutting costs, Daniel says.
“As part of this, we are dropping summer forages from the cropping programme. We do just under 200ha each year, and I want to simplify what we are doing. We were doing a lot of plantain, for example, but I felt we were not getting enough grazing days from it. Also, we have three stock managers and two shepherds and we want to run more streamlined grazing management. We are shifting to doing new grasses and winter crops.”
The software includes an inventory for keeping track of chemicals and other products used on the farm, which has nearly 1800 effective hectares.
“It’s a saviour for audits,” Daniel says. “We note stuff as we’re doing it. It’s a good way to keep a record of what you’ve bought and what you’ve used.”
Recently Daniel sat down with a vet for an hour to look at how he’s managing animal health. He intends to use that thinking to create an online management schedule for some of the stock classes, using the software. This includes setting dates for weighing and animal health treatments – and when they are done, details will be recorded with the software.
Having seen the value of the online records for his own transition, it’s a priority now to keep the online recording up to date and to continue building the farm’s online record.
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