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CLIENT NEWS: Innovative feed tracking tool boosting dairy production

Latest results show dairy farmers using an innovative online milk monitoring and prediction tool are achieving 9.15% more production than the average Fonterra farmer this season1.

To the end of April, 82 per cent of GrainCorp clients actively using Tracker™ were up 7.48 per cent on production compared to the same time last year.  The average across all clients was an increase of 4.89 per cent.

The results come off the back of another previously successful season where Tracker™, a free online tool provided by GrainCorp Feeds to its clients, helped farmers increase milk production by up to 30%.

Tracker™ was launched by GrainCorp Feeds to the clients in June last year for dairy farmers wanting to improve pasture utilisation and feed conversion and increase their financial returns from both homegrown and bought-in feeds. 

Since its release farmers have been praising the reporting and recording functionality of Tracker™ and the technical support provided to help maximise their production and profitability.

GrainCorp Feeds general manager Daniel Calcinai said the results show that is helping dairy farmers achieve profitable production levels that are “well above the industry average, and in many cases, well above farmer expectations”. 

“Despite it being a challenging season, our Tracker™ subscriber group have achieved significant production lifts over last year.,” said Mr Calcinai.

“Over a fifth of our subscriber group have increased production by over 17 per cent compared to last year”.

By comparison, Fonterra reported that farmers averaged a 4.27% reduction in production at 30 April 2017.

Using Tracker™, GrainCorp Feeds and its clients set production targets each season.  The programme collates live data around dry matter availability, feed conversion and margins, and a customised feed plan is developed to deliver profitable production growth.

“Our team’s focus is to maximise on-farm feed utilisation and complement that with the right supplementary feed at the right time. 

“Tracker™ enables farmers to continually see their progress towards reaching their targets and where they are heading in terms of milk volume, composition, quality and profitability,” Mr Calcinai added. 

Te Pahu dairy farmer Shane Swinerd said Tracker™ has added value to his overall business with an increase of 22.3% for the season.  He believes it is a direct result of knowing exactly how much his cows are being fed, how much they are eating, and at what cost.

“Tracker™ has all of the information in it and it’s easy to understand.  One of the biggest things is that I’m not very computer savvy. It’s a hell of a lot easier to use than I thought it’d be,” he said.

Mr Swinerd said by using Tracker™, production and feed gaps are easily identified and he can project how to increase production and profitability in advance.

GrainCorp Feeds is launching a new app version of Tracker™ at this year’s National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek in June and demonstrations will be available.

Registering a farm business on Tracker™ is free and includes complimentary support from GrainCorp Feeds.  

For more information on Tracker™ and other innovative products from GrainCorp Feeds visit www.graincorpfeeds.co.nz