''High octane'' feed was the subject at the Otago Advance Party regional workshop in Poolburn last week.

Deer farmers and industry representatives met at the Poolburn/Moa Creek Hall last Wednesday in a meeting organised by Abacusbio consultant Simon Glennie.

The Advance Party workshop was part of the deer industry's Passion2Profit programme.

The group visited Poolburn deer farmer Cam Nicolson's property to look at his deer, then returned to the hall to discuss how he could improve growth rates and profits by using ''high octane'' forages.


Nicolson has a 508ha sheep, beef and deer property, and runs about 4200 stock units.

He also has 12ha of crop, including turnips and grass, and rape and grass.

''I enjoyed the day,'' he said.

''They analysed our system, and there is always something to take on board.

''That is the beauty of the Advance Party [programme] as we can talk to people in similar situations who are doing similar things and pushing the same goals.''

He said he had a couple of paddocks which needed to be re-grassed, and intended to take a closer look at seed mix options.

''We need to make sure what we put on there will make sure the deer are absolutely flying.''

The paddocks had been sown with Rohan ryegrass and clovers, but other deer farmers suggested he look at using different chicory, plantain and clover mixes.


''Chicory and plantain have high copper and selenium levels,'' he said.

''That is something to look at in the future.''

The weather would also dictate outcomes, and it was important to have flexibility.

His deer grew 200g to 220g a day, but if he could get them to 300g a day at this time of year or half a kilo in the spring, that would be even better.