Online pasture web application launched

01 Apr, 2016 04:00 AM
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Oliver Roberts the founder of Pasture.io taking a plate metre reading at Robin Hill, Flowerdale, Tasmania.
Many metrics are saved at each of grazing activities to be used strategically in future decisions.
Oliver Roberts the founder of Pasture.io taking a plate metre reading at Robin Hill, Flowerdale, Tasmania.

Pasture.io is a new online web application that compiles and crunches farm pasture data and ruminant nutrition.

The founder of Pasture.io Oliver Roberts said its mission was to revolutionise pasture management by providing farmers with a platform that enabled them to take greater control of their operation.

Mr Roberts, who was raised on a dairy farm at Flowerdale, Tasmania, has had more than 10 years experience measuring pasture. By doing this he has increased his farm's average pasture utilisation to more than 15.5 tonnes of dry matter per hectare.

"The development of Pasture.io came about due to no other product on the market taking full advantage of the farm data we capture, and all lacking the customisability, flexibility and suitability to accommodate numerous management styles," he said. "On top of this, none offer the integration of ruminant nutrition and pasture, which is core to all dairy and beef farming businesses."

Pasture.io provides includes comprehensive grazing planner, dynamic feed wedges, ration builder, individual paddock attributes and fertilisation module.

"Many metrics are saved at each of your grazing activities to be used strategically in future decisions for taking advantage of pasture surpluses and mitigating pasture deficits," Mr Roberts said. "This is particularly important in any season and more so in seasons such as the one we are experiencing now."

Pasture.io is accessible by phone, tablet or computer and can be used in the paddock, at home, or while travelling.

Richard and Melissa Duniam run a 500-cow 150-hectare dairy farm at Sisters Creek, Tas. They also lease other dairy farms in north-west Tasmania.

Mr Duniam said Pasture.io had given them the confidence to grow their business by knowing that the cows' ration would be balanced and knowing how much pasture was being grown on each farm, as pasture utilisation was a key driver in farm profitability.

After discussing with Mr Roberts the benefits of measuring his pasture and then using Pasture.io to utilise this data, Mr Duniam bought a trailing pasture meter (C-Dax).

Mr Duniam said the benefits of Pasture.io were that it was easy to use and offered the flexibility to fit his grazing system.

Consistently measuring pastures every week and utilising the data in Pasture.io had given Mr Duniam greater confidence in his grazing management, and he was able to extend and shorten the grazing round with ease.

Fluctuations in the milk vat were smaller due to maintaining a tighter feed wedge and a feeding regime based around pasture quality, which meant a more consistent ration, both in terms of nutritional value and weight, was going down the cows' throat.

Mr Duniam said he was also able to keep the herd's ration balanced, which had been particularly important this season to maintain milk production in a dry year, by feeding palm kernel extract, silage and grain.

"Pasture.io doesn't lock you into any management style, but encourages you to be a better farmer by providing tools to allow sound grazing decisions to be made that are not possible to do on the fly," he said.

"It not only helps manage growing and grazing pasture but also assists in balancing the ration to optimise feed intakes for maximising your inputs. "

Mr Roberts said he believed all farmers could improve their pasture management.

"With the use of Pasture.io and my support, farmers can improve their farm productivity whether they use a lot of inputs or not, or whether they have a big or small, simple or complex operation," he said.

Contact: Oliver Roberts, email ollie@pasture.io or visit website http://pasture.io.

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