Systems to enhance the ability to Farm to Specification, a farmer's perspective


  • M.C. Petersen



What do we mean when we talk about Farming to Specification? As a farmer, I take that to mean supplying a product that has been farmed to required Quality Assurance Standards and presented to a processor on time, in full and to market specification. Processing and marketing companies have started to demand tighter guidelines for product supplied and there is no doubt in my mind that the tightening trend will continue. We already have a number of companies offering fixed price and grade contracts, with severe penalties for non-supply, and I am sure that these contracts will become commonplace within the Sheep, Beef and Deer industries. Our major customers in overseas markets are demanding guaranteed and consistent supply year round. The main threat that we face in our ability to supply product to specification is the climate and the influence it has on pasture production and animal performance. It is imperative that we have systems in place to take full advantage of opportunities when the climate is favourable, but also when the climate is challenging. My paper today will focus on the systems we have developed that enhance our ability to farm to market specification for sheep beef and deer.