Three years of data from a North Island breeding property (Onetai) and a South Island finishing property (Highlands) were modelled in Farmax and Overseer®, to estimate production, profitability and GHG emissions. On an annual basis, each hectare of Onetai averaged more than 100 kg meat and 25 kg of fibre across three years, worth $420/ha. On Highlands, each hectare produced 200 to 327 kg of meat and 20 kg of fibre, with revenue on average $737/ha, but varying between $433/ha in a drought and almost $900/ha in better seasons. GHG emissions (in CO2 equivalents CO2-e) ranged from 3106 to 3302 kg/ha at Onetai, and from 3043 to 5067 kg/ha at Highlands. The dramatic variation on the finishing farm was due to varying numbers of store stock purchased and finished according to available forage. Industry data for similar class farms modelled using the same software averaged around 3600 kg CO2-e /ha. Similar farms ($339/ha) were less profitable than Onetai, and finishing farms were less profitable than Highlands ($467/ha). Per hectare, all farms emitted similar amounts of GHG to literature values, but study farms produced more meat and greater financial returns. Greater efficiency of production is better for the pocket and the planet.

RA, Dynes, DR Scobie, RE Vibart, G Rennie, KJ Hutchinson, A Taylor, RA Moss, S Dennis, and A Wall

New Zealand Journal of Animal Science and Production, Volume 79, Palmerston North, 118-124, 2019
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