Jo Grigg: Cut costs or grow the pie

Jo Grigg: Cut costs or grow the pie

REX Set-Up Producer, Jo Grigg, took a trip to North Canterbury with a group of farmers from the Marlborough Action Group.

OPINION: We started our North Canterbury tour sitting around the outdoor table, discussing how to cut costs. We soon switched to something much more fun; brain-storming ways to earn more.

Yes, the sheepmeat price per kilo is down and costs are up but skimping on fertiliser, feed and labour comes with onstream issues. 

Plus, it’s much more satisfying working on something positive, like growing stock faster, trading stock, using the feed in a more profitable way and beating last year’s lamb weaning weights. It’s what gets most farmers out of bed in the morning.

And we should have better lamb weaning weights in North Canterbury and Marlborough. Spring is warmer than in 2022 and there is more quality pasture under ewes and lambs. Just watch those drying winds and make early calls on feed.

Mark mentioned that Pāmu is reviewing some of the ‘bells and whistles’, including carbon and biodiversity monitoring. Pāmu have kept up their fertiliser applications right through and intend to carry on. The real focus, said Mark, needs to be on improving lambing percentage, weaning weights and growth rates. 

My personal favourite for both saving money and making money is establishing a subterranean annual clover. Let it seed and then it happily repeats every year – with no ongoing drilling or over-sowing needed. We saw some great examples of sub-clover doing just this in North Canterbury.

Listen to the full chat between Pāmu Farms CEO Mark Leslie and Dominic George above.

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