Tracking tool boosts output

Hikutaia farmer Kyle Morrison has started using GrainCorp Feeds' Tracker tool and milk production on his farm is already well up on last year.
Hikutaia farmer Kyle Morrison has started using GrainCorp Feeds' Tracker tool and milk production on his farm is already well up on last year.

A free online milk monitoring and prediction tool launched in June is already supporting milk production boosts of up to 18per cent, according to farmers using it.

The online tool offered by dairy feeds company GrainCorp Feeds helps farmers make informed decisions that can help increase milk production and profitability.

Tracker uses the latest in data analytics, combining the information from feed used on-farm, milk volume, milk composition and milk quality, to set farm-specific production targets which are monitored online, in real time, for quick and accurate decision-making.

GrainCorp Feeds general manager Daniel Calcinai says results are showing the tool is already adding value.

"For example, so far this year Waikato farmers using Tracker are on average almost 10per cent ahead of the average dairy farm, in terms of milk produced."

He adds: "Overall, farms using Tracker are producing more than last season in what has been a challenging environment, with the average Waikato dairy farmer being 14per cent lower for October alone."

Hauraki Plains farmer Kyle Morrison says it's the innovative approach to helping farmers that has impressed him.

Mr Morrison has been using Tracker for several months and says his farm is significantly ahead of production compared with last year.

He milks 400 cows on 160 effective hectares at Hikutaia, between Thames and Paeroa, and at the end of October his herd had produced 18per cent more milk than at the same time last year.

"Keeping up to date with the latest technology is an important part of modern farming as you need to continually monitor your progress to make sure you are making the right decisions," Mr Morrison says.

Mr Calcinai says farming is no longer a consistent game, and each season can be vastly different to the previous year.

"Measuring and monitoring are two of the most important things farmers can do. We take into account the farm system and always recommend utilising pasture first.

"Good pasture management, complemented with the right supplements at the right time, can help farmers achieve the return on investment they need."

- For more information, watch the video featuring Kyle Morrison, or visit www.graincorpfeeds.co.nz

What is tracker?

• Tracker uses the latest in data analytics combined with information from feed used on-farm, milk volume, milk composition and milk quality, to set farm specific production targets which are monitored online, in real time, for quick and accurate decision making.

• It also provides a platform to provide live feedback on milk quality including somatic cell count and milk urea nitrogen levels. More advanced functions provide a feed planning and budgeting tool which helps track margins over the cost of feed and overall feed conversion efficiency.

• It was launched in June 2016 and is designed to help farmers make informed decisions to make the most of supplemental feeding.

• It's free to register a farm business and there's free support from GrainCorp Feeds.

- The Country

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