Follow the progress of these projects including the Northland Partner Farms project and Extension 350 to help you in your own business.
Extension 350 is a project focussed on farmer-to-farmer learning and addresses the issues that Northland farmers face to boost profit in a sustainable manner over the long term.
Over the next five years, 350 farmers will take part in Extension 350, launched at the end of 2016 to help farmers share knowledge and gain access to specialist advice. Farmer mentors and local farm consultants will support a series of target farms to work towards improving their performance. The target farmers will be inviting farmers who they associate with to join them on the journey.
The project, a priority within the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan, is a collaboration between Ministry for Primary Industries, Northland Regional Council, DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand and Northland Inc (Northland’s regional economic development agency).
The objective of the project is to shift individual farmers on a wide enough scale to benefit all of Northland. Impacting 350 farms directly will have a ripple effect throughout the Northland economy.
Extension 350 is partly based on the Northland Focus Farm, owned by Alister and Lyn Candy, which wrapped up in 2014. The Candys increased their annual profit by $185,000, assuming a $6 kg MS milk price, over the three years they were involved in the project.
To register your interest in being involved in the project email firstname.lastname@example.org
Northland Partner Farm
The Northland Partner Farm project follows the progress of farms in different parts of the region.
There are currently two Partner Farms, one in the Far North, near Kaitaia and one in the Lower North, near Kaiwaka.
Information from the farms is provided via email and regular field days which other farmers in the region can then benchmark against.
The current farms follow on from the success of Alister and Lyn Candy who volunteered to be Focus Farmers from 2010 until 2015. Check out the hand out from their final field day here.
Both Partner Farms are supported by a management team of Northland farmers who visit the farm regularly, plus monitor and respond to 10-day progress reports from the farmer.
Northland Partner Farm emails
Sign up for the Northland Partner Farm email newsletter here.
Far North Partner Farm
The Far North Partner Farm was established in 2014.
This project has a specific focus on profit from pasture and farmers can follow its progress through regular email updates and events.
About the farm
Tony Lunjevich and Briar Lunjevich, are 50:50 sharemilkers for Tony’s parents, Don and Linda. They milk 285 mostly Ayrshire cows on the 113 ha farm. The 2015/16 season is Tony’s fifth year sharemilking on the farm.
The farm, near Takahue, south of Kaitaia is on rolling to steep contour and is producing around 63,000 kgMS (260 kgMS/cow and 560 kgMS/ha
Tony Lunjevich and Briar Lunjevich
Takahue, Far North
285 cows (peak)
Lower North Partner Farm
The Lower North Partner Farm, near Kaiwaka, 60km south of Whangarei, became part of the project in May 2015.
The management team is aiming to increase the operating surplus by $180,000. This will be achieved by lifting production by 30,000kg MS through pasture management, calving spread and managing financials to hold costs at the level they were when the partner farm programme started.
Innes Anderson and Tania Dropulich lease the family farm which was bought by Innes’s parents in 1968. They are supported by contract milkers Philip and Pia Rockell.
Areas of kikuyu pasture is over-sown with annual ryegrass and mulched.
The previous best production was 172,000kg MS in 2012/13 with bought-in supplements. In 14/15 it was 161,000kg MS and in 2015/16 it is tracking to achieve 190,000kg MS. The 10-year average is about 140-142,000kg MS.
Innes Anderson and Tania Dropulich
Contract milkers Phllip and Pia Rockell
550 cows, mostly Friesian and Friesian-cross