NZ Monitor Farm Programmes Rolling Out

NEW ZEALAND - After 20 successful years, Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s (B+LNZ) Monitor Farm programme is making some changes so farmers within each community can customise programmes to suit their region’s specific needs.
calendar icon 13 April 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

B+LNZ Chief Executive, Dr Scott Champion says a review of the programme last year confirmed that it needed to move with the times.

“While the core essence of the Monitor Farm Programme is still highly relevant, it was evident that the community groups needed more flexibility to run programmes that addressed the needs within their area.

“The old ‘one farm, one programme’ model was not suitable for all regions. That said, in some regions, it is still the best model. Often, it comes down to the diversity of farming environments and systems within some regions. The reality is that different areas have different challenges.”

Dr Champion says that, in Northland for instance, the community group is opting for a “single issue programme” focusing on beef cow production – running the Beef Cow 4 Profit programme.

The Monitor Farm Programme has been operating since 1991. It’s based on farmers working together within each of B+LNZ’s six regions to adopt new technology, then measuring the impact on overall farm performance over a three-to-four-year period.

The programmes have been highly successful, with more than 3600 farmers attending Monitor Farm meetings or field days across New Zealand each year.

Dr Champion believes the review and consequent changes will re-ignite farmer interest in the programme.

“As each existing Monitor Farm comes to the end of its term, we are hoping the community groups stay on and play an active role in developing the programme they want to see in their region.”

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