Farmax offers farmers bespoke pasture growth forecasts
21 October 2013
Farmax offers farmers the power of bespoke pasture growth forecasts
Farmax is the first company to offer sheep, beef and dairy farmers the ability to harness the power of the industry’s newly launched Pasture Growth Forecaster database at a more detailed level.
Farmax has launched a service called My Forecast where farmers provide the address of their property to get customised short-, medium- and long-term pasture growth forecasts specific to their own farming operation.
Farmax General Manager, Gavin McEwen said “To maximise pasture usage, farmers not only require accurate measures of current pasture cover, they also need accurate forecasts. Farmax’s My Forecast service is a powerful tool for assisting with feed planning and budgeting decisions.”
He said data from My Forecast can be accessed on any device with a web browser with growth forecasts pinpointed down to a 5km by 5km location anywhere across the country.
Once farmers sign up for Farmax’s My Forecast service, they can view short-term, current season and long-term reports to help them make enhanced decisions around stock feeding for today and also take into account what is likely to happen in the near future.
“For example, if growth is reasonably good now and dry matter plentiful, farmers can ask themselves how the forecasted pasture growth rate affects decisions about paddock selection or rotation speed,” explained Mr McEwen.
Mr McEwen added that the My Forecast service was designed for the benefit and use of all pastoral farmers – sheep, beef and dairy – regardless of whether or not they already use Farmax decision support software.
Unveiled on 14 October by joint funders Beef + Lamb New Zealand and DairyNZ and an outcome of the Dairy Primary Growth Partnership project, the new Pasture Growth Forecaster is a tool to help farmers increase their profitability through better feed budgeting.
Both Beef + Lamb New Zealand and DairyNZ provide regional pasture growth forecast data and information on select project farms on their respective websites. The Pasture Growth Forecast service is driven by complex algorithms utilising data from NIWA’s Virtual Climate Station Network and 40 years of climate data to help refine expected grass growth rates.
“The technology driving Farmax’s My Forecast service is not only a New Zealand-first tool, it is a world-first. Its use by New Zealand farmers will give our industry another advantage over competing pastoral industries around the globe,” he said.
To sign up for Farmax’s My Forecast service visit www.farmax.co.nz/myforecast . The service is free through 31 January 2014 with a nominal fee of $9.95+gst/month charged thereafter.
The science and technology behind Farmax was originally developed by some of the world’s leading pastoral scientists at AgResearch. In 2002, the technology proved its commercial viability; it was spun out of the CRI and the company, Farmax Ltd, was formed. AgResearch retains 50% ownership of Farmax, which is now a joint venture between the research institute, industry consultants and one of NZ’s largest family owned farming operations.
Farmax is a software tool used in both the sheep/beef and dairy industries. The system gives farmers and their rural professionals the information they need to effectively convert pasture into higher profits. The system allows for planning, monitoring and performance reporting.