GROSS MARGINS across a typical WA paddock can range from a negative margin of about $50- $100/ha to a positive margin of $600...$700/ha.
Realising that gross margins can change so dramatically across a paddock is a great way of jolting one into realising the real costs of paddock variation, according to Ian Maling, Manager of Technical Services for CSBP futurefarm, WA.
"Anyone who has driven a header knows any paddock varies a lot in yield. However, we can do little to manage that variability unless it is fairly consistent over the years," said Mr Maling.
If an area gives consistently low yieldslbiomass or consistently high yields over the five or six years of data, it is fairly safe to assume that the pattern will be duplicated in the next season. Given this consistent pattern, inputs can be reduced to poor-performing areas/zones and be increased to consistently high-performing areas/zones to give marked gains in the efficiency of input use and overall paddock gross margin.
Given paddock input costs and returns, it is possible to derive gross margins for 'management' zones within a paddock. The data can be used to determine whether any remedial action for a poor-performing zone will be worth it or not.
CSBP futurefarm in WA offers a series of services based around biomass images under the SKYPLAN trademark.
Contact: Mr Ian Maling 08 9411 8641 email email@example.com