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Applications Invited For Sheep for Profit Intake

Applications Invited For Next Sheep for Profit Intake – But Places Limited

The next intake of the Sheep for Profit programme will begin in August with places limited to just 30 farms.

The programme, run successfully over the past five years, has received widespread attention for the profitability gains in farms throughout the country.

Of those farms on the programme, gross income per farm lifted by $68,718 above the national average over four years from 2000 to 2004.

AgriNetworks director Chris Mulvaney says Sheep for Profit is a disciplined management system that allows farmers to accurately measure what's happening on their farms.

He says using the Sheep for Profit system, farmers can identify what's driving or hindering the performance of their farm business. They can then set their own goals, and work with trained and approved advisors to achieve significant rises in revenues and cash surpluses.

"It means they can then be very smart and focused on what they're doing, backed up by personal support from Sheep for Profit advisors, as well as on and offline database reporting."

Using the system requires a commitment of about five hours per month on average with most tasks able to be done at the same time as normal daily farm activity.

Brendon and Paula Cross run 1900 ewes at Portobello on the Otago Peninsula. Brendon Cross says Sheep for Profit has changed their whole philosophy on farming.

"Sheep for Profit has kept us focused. They've really helped us to set goals and, over the last few years, they've given us the skills to achieve those goals. With the weighing, monitoring and hands-on things we've been doing, we can set realistic goals that we know we have a good chance of achieving."

Cross says now the systems are set up they are becoming more intensive as both he and his wife get a better understanding of what needs to happen.

"Our advisor is always at the end of the phone so they're very supportive in a day-to-day sense. They're there to lend an ear and advice but I've also found them very good for looking longer term. We're not just thinking about how we're going to feed our sheep over the next month, we're looking at what we're going to do in five years time and bringing that back to decision-making today. They give me the confidence to forecast a lot further out."

The Cross' have also doubled their gross income and increased their production.

Some 47 farms involved in a three-year pilot project of Sheep for Profit found it delivered, across all properties

• A $12.37 per ewe rise in average income

• An increase in total gross farm income of $97 per hectare (up 17.7%), and

• An increase in cash surplus per hectare of $25.90 (up 12%)

During the same period, farms in the national Meat and Wool Economic Services economic survey achieved a $5.13 per hectare (1%) lift in gross income and suffered a 6.2% fall in cash surpluses (- $14.86 per hectare).

"The pilot project proves there are huge gains to be made from managing with greater focus. It's not rocket science. It's careful analysis, smart goal setting - and determination to act in areas which will lift farm performance – generating significant extra revenue and cash surpluses," Mulvaney says.

Based on the results of the pilot, an average annual revenue rise of $22,500 per farm above the national average for three years would result in total income growth of $27 million on 400 farms alone.

Application forms are available now from Sheep for Profit coordinator Fiona Owen 07 872 0247. They must be submitted before July 31.


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