The value of benchmarking in beef farming will be the focus of a monitor farm meeting in Moray next week.
The local group based at Corskie farm will be addressed by Orcadian farmer Steven Sanderson who used benchmarking as a way to help him attain previously unreachable management targets. He has since completed a Nuffield scholarship on the subject.
“I used to go to these meetings where we were told we should be meeting certain targets, for example 92% weaning in a nine-week breeding period, at the time that for me seemed nigh on impossible,” he said.
“So I set out to find out if it was possible, and if so, how the farmers achieving it were doing so, and that’s where benchmarking came in. It’s only through having a clear idea of how you are doing in terms of inputs and outputs, and then comparing that to others, that you can see where changes can be made.”
The meeting will also hear more about the Beef Monitor system which automatically weighs the cattle every time they go to take a drink. It offers the Green family, who farm Corskie, scope to monitor the effectiveness of their breeding and feeding programmes to improve cattle performance.
Monitor farmer Laura Green said: “It’s a useful system for measuring daily liveweight gains which we can then trace back to our genetics and use the information to make our system even more efficient.”
The free meeting takes place on Corskie Farm, Garmouth, on July 10 from 2-5pm. Anyone interested in attending contact 01343 548 787.