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Graziers: throw out the notebook, pick up the smart phone

Graziers: throw out the notebook, pick up the smart phone
Written by
Sheeda Cheng
November 27, 2018
November 27, 2018

Mick and Kirsty Wettenhall
“Weemabah”, 3650 hectares, Trangie, Western Plains NSW
Beef cattle, cereals and legumes cropping
Average rainfall 475 mm

Mick Wettenhall, a mixed farmer in NSW, manages a combination of beef and cropping operations on his farm near Trangie. He adopted MaiaGrazing, a modern grazing technology system, last year. According to Mick, this "smart" system is bringing grazing technology into the 21st century and has been instrumental in managing their farm efficiently.

Mick emphasizes the importance of data in farming, stating that the adage "if you can't measure it, you can't manage it" holds true. In the past, they used grazing charts to estimate available feed days and match stocking rates to carrying capacity. However, manual calculations using pen and paper were time-consuming and often neglected.

Mick was searching for a solution that could provide live farm data for planning and forecasting, beyond basic record-keeping. When he learned about MaiaGrazing, he decided to participate in a trial. Now, he enters livestock, rainfall, and paddock records using both his laptop and a mobile app.

MaiaGrazing stands out as the only program Mick has found that serves as an effective planning tool for their grazing enterprise. It allows him to assess various scenarios as conditions change and make informed decisions about stocking rates and carrying capacity.

Mick's farm operates with a focus on minimizing inputs and costs while remaining profitable. He believes that using the program to trial different seeding regimes and measure returns on investment can help them build their resource base and continue to be profitable.

Mick expresses his enthusiasm for the future development of the MaiaGrazing software, indicating its potential to further enhance their farming operations.

"Down the track we should be able to overlay our own data with satellite and biomass imagery to really streamline grass budgeting and get reliable estimates very quickly. That kind of detail is really where the industry needs to go."

Maia's subscription payment model is a new approach that took Mick a while to accept. But the benefits are immediate.

"Farmers are familiar with just buying a software package. But because Maia runs on subscription, the backup is top-notch. I can always call and get personal help."

"The support team is great to work with and really open to feedback on how to improve the program to best suit my business. They are in it for the long haul and understand intimately where the program needs to go to be of the most value to their clients."

"If you're running a business of any scale and this technology helps you make even just one or two good strategic decisions, then it's more than paid for the investment."

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