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National Farming Conference, Christchurch, Feb

Media information
7 January 2008

Boosting Sustainable Profits from Farming – National Farming Conference, Christchurch, February 26-28

Profit-driven and environmentally sustainable approaches to farm management will be the focus of a Farming for Change Conference to be held in Christchurch early next year.

Hosted by strategic farm business management company eCOGENT, the Conference will provide detailed insights into achieving sustainable profits for farmers, based on a unique system that allows measurement of daily profit per kilogram of dry matter consumed by each class of stock.

The Conference will also feature international experts from the United States, Australia and New Zealand, including world-renowned sustainable agriculture specialist Arden Andersen.

Dr Andersen has worked extensively with farmers throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to research and implement sustainable soil and pasture management as a significant driver for farming profitability.

Organiser Peter Floyd says the management strategies to be presented at the conference will show that sustainable farming can also be the most profitable option.

“New Zealand farming has been primarily focused on production, with farmers often encouraged to produce more regardless of whether this is ultimately profitable. In fact, producing more is often counter-productive as farmers have to spend more on fertiliser, equipment and animal health in order to chase that extra dollar,” says Floyd.

“In contrast, many eCOGENT dairy farmers have reduced cow numbers by around 20% yet still improved their end of season profits, while sheep and beef farmers have made strategic changes that have raised total profit despite current poor schedule returns.”

The eCOGENT system’s ability to measure daily profits allows farmers to gauge the impacts of sustainable farming strategies and compare them with traditional practices.

“What is interesting is that we are now seeing evidence that environmentally sustainable farm management can actually deliver bottom-line benefits. For example, fertiliser and grazing management practices that improve soil carbon and pasture quality also enhance animal health and deliver greater profits,” he says.

The Conference will also include field trips to a large dairy farm and to a beef, sheep and deer finishing farm where delegates will see and hear how improved strategic farm management systems are improving farmers’ profits and quality of life.

The eCOGENT Farming Change Conference is scheduled to take place at the Christchurch Town Hall, 26-28 February 2008.


eCOGENT is a comprehensive system of best practice strategic business management tools, tailored to farming and delivered through proprietary e-technology – driving profitability and return on investment, and increasing farm value.

Founded by Peter Floyd, eCOGENT is the product of more than ten years extensive R&D, software development and application of best practice business methodology.

Far more than a computer program, eCOGENT is a total farm strategic management system that delivers a fundamental competitive advantage to farmers, offering a unique ability to drill down to profit indicators, allowing sustainable profit decisions to be made based on knowing the daily profit per kilogram of dry matter consumed for each class of animal on the farm.

The analysis takes into account actual and potential profits across a raft of of critical factors including:
- farm type (size, contour, locality)
- capital investment (land, buildings, animals, people)
- livestock (classes, breeds, size, age, liveweight, stocking rates, stock condition, market value)
- fertiliser (type, levels, biological soil health)
- farming options (dairying vs dry stock)
- pasture conditions (pasture cover residuals, changing weather patterns)
- growing soil carbon

eCOGENT takes the guesswork out of farming and enables the farmer to work smarter, not harder. eCOGENT farmers have almost doubled profitability over a three year period, with average eCOGENT farmers improving sustainable profitability by 18% per year. Some have posted profit gains as high as 100%.

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