“We can compare our business to 50 other Taranaki farms – as well as nationally – and compare costs, where we could spend more money, or what is costing us more in power, feed or in the reproductive side of the business,” says Shane.
He and his wife Stephanie have 50:50 sharemilked on the same Taranaki farm for more than 10 years, their system 3 operation achieves very good production, and consistent, tight control over farm working expenses (FWE).
Through using DairyBase, Shane has been able to achieve a greater harvest, which has resulted in better feed utilisation and increased production.
The Whitmores’ results compare favourably with the top 20 percent, which is important to Shane.
“If you can get into the top 20 percent, it means the goals you are striving for in your business – whether that’s growing your assets or whatever – you can achieve faster.”
DairyBase analyses farm physical and financial information to help dairy farmers better understand their farm system and its performance and identify opportunities for improvement.
Shane and Stephanie were introduced to DairyBase by their accountant at its inception, ten years ago.
“I saw the benefits of comparing our farm business to others,” says Shane.
Regional benchmarks are available on DairyBase largely based on ownership type, location and production system.
“At a recent discussion group, I spoke with an owner operator who was using DairyBase to make decisions around animal health, regrassing and cultivation costs. I know some farmers who swear by DairyBase.”
Shane does, and believes there are always more ways to improve.
“It’s also about trying to keep up with the latest technology. If you don’t realise where you can make gains, DairyBase can show you where you can do that.”