A Southland independent farm consultant, Mo Topham, says ‘demystifying’ OverseerFM for farmers is key to its successful use.
The tool is designed to provide a way of grouping individual farms together while measuring nutrient loss, enabling aggregated reporting and the benchmarking of nutrient losses against different aspects of the farm system such as relative stock units.
The tool can be used alongside industry partners to assess farms within a water catchment group, an irrigation scheme or supplying a processor.
Alastair Taylor, business development manager for Overseer, says over 100 farm groups have already been created and are using the tool.
“Farm Groups provides a convenient mechanism for farmers to collectively work together to understand and lower nutrient losses in an environment.
“It’s being well used by farm businesses managing multiple individual farms and by farms in a local area that wish to collaborate and help each other.”
Taylor says creating a group in the Farm Groups tool is simple.
“Anyone who subscribes to OverseerFM can do it. A group is set up based on its purpose and then farmers are invited to join that group. There is no time limit or limit to the number of farms allowed per group and additional farms can be invited to the group at any time.”
He says the tool enables groups to make decisions about nutrient management based on science instead of guesswork.
“By subscribing to OverseerFM, farmers or growers can identify how efficiently nutrients are being used on their farm, their level of losses into the environment and what is needed to maintain fertility to support their current production levels.
“OverseerFM’s sophisticated science model is not designed to provide an exact measurement of a single year’s losses, but a relative estimate of the annual nutrient losses on a farm over time, based on the farm’s management approach.
“The results should be used to understand the relative impact of a farm system and to monitor change over time as farm practice changes.”