Owl Farm’s final Farm Focus Day for the 2016/17 season will be a good opportunity for those in the dairy industry to benefit from the hard lessons learned.
Demonstration manager Doug Dibley says financially it’s been a difficult year with production and payout down.
Underweight heifers, staffing changes through the middle of the season, poor performing pastures and eczema are just some of the major challenges faced by Owl Farm.
“We’ll look in detail at where we ended up, how and why. Looking towards the future, we’ll share our focus and targets for next year, including the significantly lower cost structure that we need to achieve to ensure financial survival in what all are anticipating to be another tough season,” Dibley says.
Owl Farm has shifted its attention to the five P’s: planning and preparation to prevent poor performance. “Last season we didn’t have an entirely effective plan and weren’t prepared for what was to come. This season’s approach is to plan for the worst and hope for the best,” he says.
Dibley says although these may sound negative, he is optimistic about the future. “These are the lessons which all farmers learn early in their journey. We are now in a much better place regard our operating knowledge of the farm. Although we have learned the hard way, we will now be able to plan to ensure we manage these issues and others as best as possible.”
Owl Farm’s fourth and final Farm Focus Day to review the season is on Wednesday 25 May.
(Owl Farm is a dynamic joint venture demonstration dairy farm between founding partners St Peter’s School and Lincoln University.)