New Zealand sheep and beef farm business owners have had consistently poor profit and other results for decades now. Therefore, everyone in the industry has been calling for the upskilling of these farmers so they can be ahead of the game and deliver profit every year. We all know that the real strength in our industry is going to come from those who have the most invested, the most to lose and produce the products others in the industry use to generate their incomes from.
There are only two priorities for sheep and beef farm pasture - if you want to generate profit that is. They are (as our GrowFARM® clients tell us) very clear, logical and straightforward.
Several of our accepted on-farm practices are keeping many sheep and beef farmers in a state of low profit and lack of belief that they can generate any more profit than they are doing now. In fact these practices tend to be recommended to farmers with the belief that they are sound. However, there tends to be very little connection with long term use of these practices and the historically poor business results from farming that are keeping our farm businesses just off survival. Here are some examples:
Recently I returned from visiting a bunch of new GrowFARM clients in a particular area of NZ. They blew me away with the sheer joy they oozed after finally discovering how to make profit from their sheep and beef farms. This was after years of being told by the industry to increase production/gross farm income/lambing percentages and eat all the dry matter they grow - you name it! They are only a few weeks into their time with us and are learning the background and principles behind how to generate sheep and beef farm profit, yet were like first year students on a new adventure! New! I thought about that – why would they not know about how to create a successful sheep and beef farm business after many years of farming?
The way we usually view our sheep and beef farms in New Zealand has unfortunately moved many farmers perspectives down a track so unhelpful that they are in danger of a life of hard labour and a challenging succession situation. This has become so dire that without knowing it many farmers are working hard for the interests of other organisations and are using their own energy, sweat and resources to do it. What really worries me is that to most it doesn't seem that bad and that reflects how insidious the problem really is.
As a sheep and beef farmer, have you ever stopped to ask yourself if you really know the pattern for generating profit from your farm business? Have you ever mulled over how it should be a lot simpler than our industry (and our annual results) seems to make it? Well, the good news is that creating profit from a sheep and beef farm business comes down to exactly that - keeping it simple!
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