Stuart Burr (Farm Owner)
Stuart Burr is growing his family business and sustainably so with use of Pasture.io as a key component to his growth.
Ringarooma (N Tas)
350 milking cows
Rising plate meter
Remote pasture measuring (satellites)
EVI satellite image, which is one of the 26 indices used used on Stuart's farm.
NDVI satellite image, which is one of the 26 indices used used on Stuart's farm.
Stuart & Karen Burr with their sons William & Hayden
What was the problem you were experiencing before purchasing a subscription to Pasture.io?
For a while I’ve believed that we weren’t getting the most from our pasture. I felt like the lost opportunity was huge in terms of the return we could get by having a stronger focus in this area of our dairy farm business. It’s also hard to find time to sit down and use the measured pasture data, which is how Pasture.io helps a lot, it frees up valuable time to do other things.
What was your main concern about subscribing to Pasture.io?
Before subscribing, we found it hard to value what was perceived as another task to add to the ever-ending list. What we’ve found is that measuring pasture pays for itself, pays for another labour unit, which is all profit for us. The return on understanding how your farm performs is huge, the value lies in tuning how your farm performs.
Had you previously tried anything else to solve your problem? If so, what?
We were notorious users of the eye technique, but since changing what we do, we won’t look back at that. I started using the Pasture.io platform in the Dairy on PAR Measuring and Monitoring project and have continued using it. The first year we found it a bit tough to analyse the data to make good changes, as we had to grow the data in the platform. But now the more we've used it the more we've been able to make better decisions earlier. Our cows are now milking better because they are getting better grass allocations.
What have you found as a result from subscribing to Pasture.io?
We’ve made tens of thousands of dollars by regularly measuring pasture and using the data in Pasture.io, which is what we do on a weekly basis all year round. We’ve got pretty good at managing pasture, but we’ve calculated that we’re making between 60 to 80 thousand dollars extra a year by getting it right using Pasture.io and that’s on 140 hectares. The Pasture.io platform is an important part of our business, which we use for calculating pasture allocations and getting the rotation length right. It helps us set up how long we graze our pastures based on the data we collect. For example, in the Spring, dropping more paddocks out for silage so you get those paddocks off and then back into the rotation earlier. Managing our rotation provides more high quality grass for the cows to graze which means our cows produce more from our pasture.
What is the best thing about Pasture.io?
I like the feed wedge, I use it a lot. I like how each paddock in the wedge changes each day with its own growth rate and whether it has been grazed or not. When you move the cursor across each paddock you can see the paddock’s growth rate and days grown. The feed wedge on the dashboard is also predictive and is easy to use with the time slider.
What are three other benefits that you have enjoyed as a result of subscribing to Pasture.io?
A big benefit for me is seeing the dashboard and being able to make quicker decisions based off a quick glance. Another benefit is that we know we’re using our farm pasture measurements well, because the feedback from our pasture and animals tells us so. One more benefit with Pasture.io is keeping us focussed on pasture, but making it easy to manage and manage better than how we used to do it.
What would you say to anyone considering subscribing to Pasture.io and would you recommend it? If so, why?
Yes, I’d recommend it (Pasture.io). I’d say to anyone, just to give it time. Let the program grow on you and let the data build up so you can easily see trends and see what you’re doing right and wrong and how to change what you’re doing.
Is there anything more you would like to add?
Only that I feel good knowing that I have a good understanding of our farm operation and Pasture.io is key to helping us realise what we’re doing right and what we can improve on.