Mansfield farmers encouraged to increase stocking rates for profit
NORTH East Victorian farmers have been challenged to increase their stocking rates and improve profitability.
The call came from Meridian Agriculture’s Jim Shovelton, who is based out of Euroa, when he said that stocking rates in the North East were generally lower than they needed to be.
Speaking at the Grassland Society’s annual conference, Mr Shovelton said farmers had been “under-investing in soil fertility”.
“The amount of money spent on fertiliser is the biggest discretionary cost in a grazing operation - the question is how do you make the best use of it,” he said.
“If you get your soil right, you not only have an increased carrying capacity, the systems will be more resilient, will stand up better to droughts and adverse conditions - and you end up with better quality feed.”
The Grassland Society of Southern Australia’s annual conference was held at Nagambie last week, and was aimed at helping producers build on basics while making their investments grow.
During the conference, Mr Shovelton outlined strategies for farmers to prioritise their spending to improve soil fertility, paving the way for higher stocking rates.
“If you get the soil conditions right, you have the springboard to get your stocking rate up to where it should be; then you’ll capture all the other added benefits of the investment genetics and grazing management,” he said.
“You’ve got to run enough stock to cover the average overhead cost per hectare, and then you’ve got to make a profit above that.”
INCREASE YOUR STOCKING RATES: Jim Shovelton, from Meridian Agriculture in Euroa, wants to see farmers from North East Victoria increase their stocking rates.