“There is always more to learn and implement to improve the bottom-line of the business through better pasture use. On our farm I believe another 150kg MS/ha year is possible without spending any more money – there are big gains to be made through better managing pasture” says Hayden. The couple, who own a farm at Pleasant Point in Timaru, have already learned from experience.
“We’ve dropped stocking rate from 3.8 to 3.5, that means I need to be even more aggressive with removing surpluses early,” says Hayden.
The couple, who have three children, were part of Grass into Gold, a predecessor to Tiller Talk run by Agriseeds.
“Last spring we learnt a few lessons, especially around pasture surplus, and the result of grazing after the 3-leaf stage to pasture quality,” says Hayden.
Hayden, who was raised on a South Canterbury mixed cropping farm studied at Lincoln University gaining a Bachelor of Commerce and Agriculture. He was a rural manager for the National Bank for seven years before purchasing land and converting to dairy.
He is looking forward to working with other farmers through Tiller Talk.
“The amount of quality pasture that is harvested on my farm has a major impact on the profitability of my business. I need to increase the amount harvested while improving quality throughout the year and Tiller Talk should be able to help me with that.”
Increased profit drives the farm business, which he wants to be as repeatable as possible.
“For me, being a good operator is about managing pasture throughout the year to optimise profitability”.
“I am careful with what I spend, operating expenses and pasture harvested are the major influences over our farm profit.”