Results from 9 farmer groups located in the upper North Island and operating over the period of 1988 to 1998 showed that group farm monitoring has facilitated changes in farm practice performance and income. The process in-volved groups of farmers with associated consultants, veterinarians and scientists; and the detailed monitoring of a central farm for 3 to 4 years. Changes made on the monitor farm incorporated the optimisation of the farm system and the adaptation and use of new sheep and beef cattle farming technologies. Increases in production ranged from 8 to 37%; and increases in farm revenue from 13 to 31%. Changes to stock policies that better aligned feed demand and supply, in-creased growth rates of young animals and greater efficiencies in breeding ewe and cow performance were common contributors to improved performances. The group farm monitoring process emphasised the value of gathering and effectively using farm and product information and provided a collective learning environment for farmers within a group context. Critical success factors that have emerged from a decade of work experience associated with group process are highlighted and discussed in the paper.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 59, , 87-90, 1999
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