Farming for the future
AbacusBio is working with Beef and Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) to establish a Future Farm project.
The purpose of the project is to evaluate and demonstrate new technologies and best-practice farm systems, as part of B+LNZ’s strategy to support farming excellence and lift farm productivity and profitability.
The Future Farm will be a hill-country sheep and beef property with about 6000 stock units – operating as a fully commercial livestock farming enterprise. Featuring state-of-the-art technologies, the Future Farm will identify various areas such as economics, people, animal, environment, and forages, to work on exceeding current performance standards, B+LNZ general manager innovation Richard Wakelin says.
“We also want to test new farming systems and technologies that might be unproven or too high a risk for most farmers. The aim is for farmers to be able to observe, learn, and assess the feasibility of how these might be applied in their own situations.”
AbacusBio consultants Nadia McLean, Luke Proctor, Hadyn Craig, and farm consultants Simon Glennie and Bruce McCorkindale will be involved in this initiative.
“We are excited about the future opportunities lying ahead of us to further grow and develop the rural sector in New Zealand,” Nadia says.
“We intend for the Future Farm programme to be a cornerstone of the B+LNZ extension programmes over the next decade – assessing new technologies and management practices that achieve high farm productivity, meet environmental and animal welfare requirements, produce meat quality attributes demanded by consumers, and embrace quality assurance through effective compliance.
”Currently, B+LNZ, alongside AbacusBio, is commencing a nationwide search for a farm to be set up as an initial Future Farm. The likely model would be a lease property or a partnership with an existing farmer, Richard says.
More updates to come soon!
This article was originally published in the AbacusBio Breeder newsletter Summer 2017/18 issue.