28 Jul 2011

Joint NZ, British software project launched

2:25 pm on 28 July 2011

Meat processor and exporter Silver Fern Farms has launched a project in the Britain and New Zealand to assess how computer software programmes can improve the productivity and profitability of sheep and beef farms.

The company is working with supermarket chain Marks and Spencers and EBLEX, the body that represents UK sheep and beef levy-payers.

Eight sheep and cattle farmers in the UK and ten in New Zealand will take part in the year-long project.

Each will use Farmax farm management software which was developed in New Zealand.

Silver Fern Farms' chief executive Keith Cooper says it's part of the company's commitment to grow the sustainability of sheepmeat production.

Mr Cooper says Silver Fern Farms will manage the project, with Marks and Spencers and EBLEX funding it.

Dr Liz Genever, a sheep and beef scientist with EBLEX, says the project has huge potential.

She says it's the first opportunity for English sheep and beef farmers to understand what feed planning and improving grassland management is all about.

Dr Genever is confident that if the project is successful the concept will be adopted on many other sheep farms in the UK.