WATCH: How to optimise feed with Agrista's John Francis

2 November 2023
An article by  John Francis  | Words by Person Name  | Photography by Person Name

In good times and bad feed management is the key to optimising production and ensuring financial sustainability. A feed management plan can also help overcome decision paralysis in times of drought.

In this video, John explains the importance of a production plan and how to use it as a decision making tool. Key points include

1. Starting with Pasture Analysis [01:00]
   - Begin by analysing the pasture as your opening balance in a feed budget.
   - Factors affecting pasture growth include rainfall, soil fertility, and environmental conditions.

2. Feed Budgeting [01:00 - 06:00]
   - Use a feed budget, similar to a financial budget, to calculate feed availability.
   - Calculate feed consumption based on dry sheep equivalents (DSEs) and intake per day.
   - Consider feed quality, losses to trampling, defecation, and urination.
   - Calculate the closing feed balance.

3. Strategic Approach to stocking and feed availability [06:00]
   - Determine the stocking rate based on feed availability and desired utilisation rate.
   - Calculate production based on the production system.

4. Tactical Management in Unplanned Situations [07:00]
   - Adjust the feed budget when faced with unexpected feed shortages.
   - Calculate energy requirements and costs for supplementary feeding.

5. Tips for Beginners [00:11:00]
   - Start by understanding basic feed intake requirements.
   - Utilise available tools and resources for decision-making.

6. Psychological Impact and Planning [12:00]
   - Planning and preparation can alleviate stress and uncertainty during dry periods.
   - Having a plan in place provides a sense of control and enables informed decision-making.

7. Capturing Profits in Good Years [14:00]
   - Maintain consistent feed utilisation in both good and bad years to capture profits.
   - Profits generated in good years provide financial resilience for challenging times.

8. Feed Budget as a Planning Tool 
   - Emphasise the importance of using feed budgeting not just during drought but also as a tactical planning tool in good years to maximise profitability.

This is the second in a new series with John Francis from Agrista looking at ways to manage your business better. We welcome your feedback, and if you have any suggestions for what you'd like to hear more of going forward email

Visit Agrista's event page to sign up for the following events

  1. FREE Webinar: Effective Data Management in Ag: Strategies for Clarity, Time Saving, and Informed Decision-Making on Tuesday 7th November 12.30-1.15pm AEST (hosted by Enable Ag and supported by Agrista)
  2. Carbon EDGE, Benalla Vic on 5-6 December 2023
  3. Lifetime Ewe Management - register your interest.
  4. Business Essentials - register your interest.

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s


News that inspires, educates and celebrates life and work in regional Australia.