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Striking The Right Balance Key To Success


Striking The Right Balance Key To Success

North West Waikato Fonterra Westpac Dairy Excellence Award winners Peter Morgan and Ann Bouma aim to strike a balance between keeping their farming system simple and maximising production.

The Te Awamutu couple were announced winners of the region's Farm Business section of the awards in Hamilton last night, winning a study trip for two to Fonterra's markets. They now progress to the national final of the awards also in Hamilton on June 27.

The Fonterra Westpac Dairy Excellence Awards are supported by Dexcel and sponsored by Fonterra, Westpac, Holden, Ravensdown, DTS, Livestock Improvement, Pioneer, RD1 and Fegan and Co.

Mr Morgan and Ms Bouma have used contract milking and sharemilking to build equity and purchased their 115ha farm milking 365 cows in 1999. They have since focussed on reducing debt levels so they are well positioned should a second farm purchase opportunity arise.

"We purchased our first herd at the first opportunity, despite having to borrow almost 100% and we did the same with our farm purchase. We believe in our ability to budget well and are constantly on the look out for new opportunities," they say.

"We were very much in favour of the formation of Fonterra. We believe that our business is more secure because of the merger, particularly, as our industry is able to keep better control over the price of our products. This can be achieved as we expand our company off shore in joint ventures and other partnerships," they say.

"However, we will reserve judgement for a while longer on how it is performing."

Mr Morgan and Ms Bouma say their aim when they purchased their farm was to keep the farm management systems simple for the first five years to maximise time with their children and to keep costs down.

"We felt we should get to know the farm well and get the basics right before making any major decisions on any change of direction or policy such as building a feed pad or autumn calving."

The farm's key performance indicators are milk production, debt reduction and increase in equity, the ratio of expenses to income, and economic farm surplus (EFS).

They are targeting 115,000kg milksolids this season, to reduce debt significantly, keep the ratio of expenses to income below 40% and retain EFS in the top 10%. Last season they achieved an EFS of $3183/ha.

The couple are also extremely well qualified for their farm business. Mr Morgan has a Master in Agricultural Science, while Ms Bouma has a Bachelor in Veterinary Science. This scientific background has led them to participate in a number of on-farm trials.

"The trial work, in addition to adding interest to our work, is an extra source of income. One trial - the Dexcel summer management trial - involved using extra nitrogen to push feed forward into the summer which provided us with valuable information and extra production at no extra cost to us." Outside of farming, they try to spend as much time as possible with their three young children while Peter also teaches some AgITO courses and Ann works for the Te Awamutu Veterinary Association.

The awards are being run in seven regions, with the winners from each region progressing to the national final. Tickets are available on 0800 273 759 or online at http://www.dairyexcellenceawards.co.nz where further information on the awards is also available.

Other North West Waikato award winners:
* Human Resources - Greg and Gerry Glover
* Business Growth - Gary and Marie-Jose Reymer
* Productivity - Henry and Nicole Hendricks
* Quality Management - Greg and Gerry Glover
* Environment - Greg and Gerry Glover
* Farm Manager - Colm and Gaynor Tierney
* Lifetime Achievement - Doug Phillips


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