Feed budgeting resources
Have a look at these resources for more help with feed budgeting:
The FeedSmart tool was developed by the Red Meat Profit Partnership and Beef + Lamb New Zealand to make it easier for farmers to plan stock feeding. It takes the feed tables published in books such as “A guide to feed planning for sheep farmers” and makes them available at the click of the mouse, or the tap of your finger. FeedSmart works on any computer, tablet or Smartphone. It can be saved so that it works offline – anywhere, anytime.
- FeedSmart website
- User Guide (PDF, 2MB)
- How to videos:
Guide to Feed Planning for Sheep Farmers
The Guide to Feed Planning for Sheep Farmers (PDF, 3MB) explains key principles for feed planning and formal feed budgeting. It also contains an example feed budget template, as well as handy ‘look up’ tables for feed demand, feed quality, Dry Matter content and indicative pasture growth rates.
Simple Feed Budget
This B+LNZ software is a free feed budgeting tool to download and install on your computer. Quick and simple to use, it will help you work out a feed budget for all or part of your farm, for a set period of time.
Use in conjunction with Feedsmart to get stock feed demand requirements.
To obtain this program, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feed Budget templates
Courtesy of Scandrett Rural and Farmingsheep.co.nz
These downloadable templates can be used to do a basic feed budget, for all or part of your farm as appropriate. Download the spreadsheet (requires Excel) or print out the worksheets and fill in by hand:
- Feed budget spreadsheet (Excel – to run on your computer)
- Feed budget worksheets (PDF– print out and fill in by hand)
FARMAX Lite is a feed budgeting software that will provide a picture of your farms feed supply and animal demand, based on your animal production targets. You can use FARMAX Lite to analyse different scenarios for managing feed deficits. Farmax Ltd is offering New Zealand red meat farmers free access to FARMAX Lite to support planning and feed budgeting through the current drought and impact of COVID 19. To find out more, visit the Farmax website at http://www.farmax.co.nz/story/access-farmax-lite
Body Condition Scoring
Any feed budget is a forecast, and its important to monitor how it works out in reality. Body Condition Scoring of ewes and/or of cows is the best tool for you to make sure your feed budget is working as intended.
Body Condition Scoring can help you prioritise feed to the stock who need it. This way you will not waste any feed on stock who don’t need condition put on.
- Fact sheets
- Ewe Body Condition Scoring- An Introduction
- Ewe Body Condition Scoring- A Demo
- Ewe Body Condition Scoring- Game Changer
- Ewe Body Condition Scoring- Scoring your ewes
- Ewe Body Condition Scoring- How to?
- Ewe Body Condition Scoring- Why should you?
- Ewe Body Condition Scoring- Boost your bottom line
- Ewe Body Condition Scoring- When is the best time?
- Ewe Body Condition Scoring- Powerful driver of flock profit
- Resource Books
Dairy Feed Budget Case Studies
DairyNZ have provided some feed budgeting case studies from top performing dairy farms with a focus on lower ‘per unit’ cost of production to help you identify opportunities.
Hear from farmers and industry experts on the value of feed budgeting, and how to use it in your farm.
- Tom Fraser: Tactics for Tight Times
- Peter Young: More Profit from Sheep
- Trevor Cook: Top tips for farmers
- San Jolly: Feed Quality
- Steve Morris: The New Zealand beef cow
- Richmond Beetham, Sam Johnston and Mark Harris: Managing your farm and your feed budget in dry conditions
A range of feed management resources are available on the Knowledge Hub.
Suggested additional reading
- Measuring pasture growth rates
- Feedsmart 2
- Feedsmart feed table pregnant ewes
- Feed planning tough winter
- Strategies used farmers drought