NSW mixed farmer Mick Wettenhall runs a beef and cropping enterprise near Trangie, on the Western Plains of NSW. Mick joined up to trial MaiaGrazing last year and says the “smart” system is finally bringing grazing technology into the 21st century.
“I used to spend half a day a month going through the diary and putting the data into a paper grazing chart. So I jumped at the chance to join a producer trial of MaiaGrazing.”
Now that he’s using MaiaGrazing’s online platform, Andrew can enter data about land condition, animals and rainfall either directly on his PC, or through a mobile phone. He finds the main benefits from using MaiaGrazing are saving time, the security of his data security, and ease of access – both for himself and any workers.
“Down the track, all my yearly benchmarking data will come straight out of the MaiaGrazing program,” he says.
His take home message for producers using grazing charts is that using Maia Grazing will save time and improve data security. However, producers who are new to grazing charts will feel huge benefits.
“Data is really important – there is an old adage that says if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” Mick said.
“We’ve used feed budgeting grazing charts in the past to work out days of feed on hand in an effort to match stocking rate to carrying capacity, but running scenarios of stock numbers and rainfall is laborious when using a pen and paper, which tends to mean it doesn’t get done.”
Mick found MaiaGrazing, the only program he’d come across that could be used as a planning tool, not just a way to keep records.
“With MaiaGrazing I can run different scenarios as conditions change, and that helps me make well-founded decisions about balancing my stocking rate to carrying capacity,” Mick said.
Mick is excited about the future direction of the software. “Down the track we should be able to overlay our own data with satellite and biomass imagery to really streamline grass budgeting and get reliable estimates very quickly. That kind of detail is really where the industry needs to go.”
The ideal person for this platform is someone who’s put off by the paperwork involved in starting a grazing chart – because it doesn’t take much to get MaiaGrazing up and running, and the business benefits of making informed pasture management decisions are huge.Andrew Lawrie
If you’re running a business of any scale and this technology helps you make even just one or two good strategic decisions, then it’s more than paid for the investment.Mick Wettenhall