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Herd information helps farmers save money in tight times

Herd information helps farmers save money in tight times

Tough economic times are causing farmers to analyse every aspect of their business, right down to the performance of individual animals.

That's why the Dairy Women's Network and LIC are working together to host workshops to help dairy farmers learn how to make better herd management decisions.

Dairy Women's Network chief executive Zelda de Villiers said she was excited about the partnership with LIC, a first for the organisations.

"Not only will those attending the module be given tools that will help them make more informed decisions and save time, they will also get the chance to share their own dairy farming experiences with other women on the course and enjoy learning from them too."

"Farmers are increasingly focussed on making efficient decisions around their individual cows and their herds as a collective asset," said LIC national solutions manager Michelle Adam.

"Having access to timely information and reports on animal and herd performance, and knowing how to analyse and use the information, can make all the difference to improving productivity and decision making. We are looking forward to working with farmers to help them master these vital skills."

LIC is a farmer-owned herd improvement co-operative and is coordinating the series of 10 free workshops across the country in April, May and June in partnership with the Dairy Women's Network. The workshops will be in both the North and South Islands, starting April 12 in Inglewood, Taranaki and April 13 in Ashburton, Canterbury.

The two-part workshops cover 'understanding your herd' and 'reviewing your herd's reproductive performance' using LIC's MINDA herd records service. Ninety per cent of New Zealand dairy farmers use MINDA for management reports to maximise the benefits of their herd improvement.

The first workshop session will explain some of the core principles of breeding and help demystify key industry metrics. The second session will give an overview of the MINDA reports and tools that help farmers analyse their herd's reproductive performance.

The four-hour workshops will be held at 10 locations across the country. Farmers should register at www.dwn.co.nz. Registration on the day is from 9.30am, the workshops start at 10am and finish at 2pm. Morning tea and lunch are provided.

THE WORKSHOPS WILL COVER:

Part 1 – Understanding your herd

Understand breeding worth (BW), production worth (PW) and lactation worth (LW), and when and how these metrics can be used

Learn how to read common reports such as herd test reports and group profiles

Identify tools and reports to analyse your own herd performance

Part 2 – Reviewing your herd's reproductive performance

Review your herd's mating performance, including submission rates, in-calf rates and calving spread

Learn how to use the MINDA reports and graphs to identify trends by age group, calving dates, condition score and health events

Understand the industry targets for herd reproduction and identify areas of focus for your own herd and write down for future planning

Find out why it's important to record heat, pregnancy and health data in MINDA, and how tools like the MINDA app can make that easier

Get started with the MINDA app

NORTH ISLAND

  • APRIL 12 – TARANAKI
  • Fern Lodge, 40 Matai Street, Inglewood
  • APRIL 14 - TARARUA
  • The Hub, 23 Gordon Street, Dannevirke
  • APRIL 14 - HAURAKI PLAINS/EAST WAIKATO
  • Daltons Plantation Gardens, 280 Hinuera Road, Matamata
  • MAY 23 - MANAWATU
  • Totally Vets, 25 Manchester Street, Feilding
  • MAY 26 - ROTORUA
  • Distinction Hotel, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua
  • JUNE 3 - KAIPARA/WHANGAREI
  • Maungaturoto Country Club, Bickerstaffe Road, Maungaturoto,
  • JUNE 8 - NORTH KING COUNTRY/WAIPA
  • St John Ambulance Hall, Kakamutu Road, Otorohanga
SOUTH ISLAND

  • APRIL 13 - MID CANTERBURY
  • The Domain Pavilion, Walnut Ave, Ashburton
  • MAY 18 - OTAGO
  • Town and Country Club, 1 Yarmouth Street, Balclutha
  • MAY 19 - GORE/INVERCARGILL
Central Southland Presbyterian Church, 11 Meldrum Street, Winton