It was all deer at the Gore Town and Country Club recently.

The Deer Technology Expo was held, showcasing technology and information that could enhance the performance of deer farming operations.

Organised by Deer Industry New Zealand with support from the Southland branch of the New Zealand Deer Farmers Association, the event was a full-day expo at which farmers could talk one-on-one to a wide array of technology providers to the deer industry.

Topics covered included nutrition, finance, animal health, genetics, environmental, communication and farm systems.


Deer Industry New Zealand deer genetics manager Sharon McIntyre spoke to visitors about the benefits of genetics.

It was about convincing deer farmers the data the computer produced was relevant to their farming businesses, she said.

Paying more for a superior sire made economic sense, Ms McIntyre said.

''You can afford to pay more for them.''

One of the newer breeding values (BVs) discussed was earlier fawning.

Proven sires on the Deer Select database have BVs for fawning date ranging from 9.5 days earlier to 10 days later than average.

Not every deer farmer was looking for hinds that cycled early, but nobody wanted late fawns, as they had less time to grow, and struggled to reach target liveweights by autumn.

''As a Southland deer farmer, getting them away earlier makes all the difference to our systems,'' Ms McIntyre said.


Other speakers included David Moate, from Environment Southland, who spoke about preparing farm environment plans, and Glenn Hutton, from Unifone, on changes in rural broadband.

Southern Rural Life