The young farmer started as a 50:50 sharemilker on his family farm near Cambridge in 2013 and is focussed on looking for new ideas to apply to his business, which is largely a one-man operation.
He was raised on the farm and spent every spare minute on it, his father John teaching him the basics of farm management and allowing him to experience responsibilities from a young age.
“I like trying new things,” says Markus. “The latest idea was growing fodder beet to supplement the cows as late lactation feed. This way the beet should help reach the average pasture targets by dry off and planned start of calving as well as body condition score targets.”
An early calving date of June 27 means Markus makes full use of the feed pad by growing maize on the platform to fill the gap in pasture supply in early lactation.
“An early calving system and peat soil, makes the feed pad a key tool in our system to protect the pastures in wet weather,” says Markus.
Pasture is top of mind for Markus and he strives to gain improvements in this area – which is where Tiller Talk comes in.
“Our pasture eaten figure last season was 13.9 t DM/ha, I would like to increase this to 15 t DM/ha to help maintain our low cost of production whilst further pushing outputs" says Markus.
“Pasture produced on farm is the cheapest form of feed available, so furthering my knowledge on establishing and managing pastures to achieve both persistence and animal performance is of huge interest to me. My business has a strong focus on cost efficiency and I am aware that pastures are at the forefront of this.”
“I’m really looking forward to getting value from the other participants in the group and the discussion.”
Meanwhile, Markus has also provided his farm business information for others to learn from as a budget case study farmer. He has outlined his spending and the reasons behind different management decisions, which is available online. Read more.