Severe feed shortages in parts of the country mean many ewes are on a nutritional knife-edge heading into lambing and could be at risk of developing metabolic disorders.
Released as 30 minute learning modules, farmers can access the online farming resource on their home computer, tablet or smart phone.
The learning modules, one of the new initiatives from the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP), are found on the Knowledge Hub on Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s website along with other resources and tools for farmers.
The modules offer farmers best practice methods to help them make more informed decisions. Developed by industry experts with farmers, each module provides a step by step tutorial on a farming topic. So far modules have included Body Condition Scoring, Principles of Feeding – from lambing to weaning, Feed Fundamentals, and Growing and Grazing Pasture. Topics are aligned to the season and provide relevant tips for that time of the year.
Since its launch in July, RMPP’s project manager David Jefferd has received positive feedback from farmers who have found the online information a practical tool to implement on-farm. “Farmers are really enjoying these refreshers because they’re easy to access when you have a few moments to spare – waiting for the school bus, over smoko - there are always a couple of useful tips to pick up on.”
Will Morrison, a farmer from the Rangitikei region, and Beef + Lamb Farmer Council chair, found the learning modules quick and easy to go through.
“Having the interactive videos and modules are great as its much more interesting than having to read heaps of information. They’re a great refresher and reminder of a few technical tools that are important at a certain time of the year. I will be using these with any fresh staff that come to work here as some of them haven’t done things like body condition scoring before.”
Sam McIvor, Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s chief executive, agrees the initiative is a good one and encourages the farming community to use the Knowledge Hub and its online resources actively in their farm businesses.