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Regional Workshops

Central North Island Regional Workshop

“Understanding your data and its value”


When: Friday 13 July 2018 at 3.30pm

Where: Suncourt Motel, 14 Northcroft Street, Taupo



Understanding the role and value of data was the subject of a Central North Island P2P Regional Workshop held in Taupo on 13 Jul.


About 30 people attended and they were asked four main questions:

• What data is important to them, what do they use now and how?

• What data is not important to them?

• What data would they like to use more and what is stopping that?

• How do they compare/analyse how their operation is going?


Attendees brainstormed in groups on the data they most use, such as accurate stock tallies, financials, animal performance (hind conception dates, how replacement yearlings were growing and mating rates) as well as scanning for in-fawn percentages and annual kill weights. The list grew quickly and was still growing when it came time to move on to the next section of the workshop.     


Perrin Ag consultant Matthew Carroll, who organised the workshop, said the right data can bring really useful detail to your mental picture of your farming operation. “You want to know if your stag is shooting blanks or not. And you want to know about feed budgeting during mating and pregnancy. Therefore testing and monitoring will let you see if you are achieving your targets.

“An example of the usefulness of knowing the weights of animals can be used when predicting first fawners’ reproductive success. If you are underestimating the liveweight of your mature hinds then you will potentially not be growing out your first fawners to achieve their full potential.”

He said a better understanding of what weights you should be targeting can be found using the Replacement Hind Conception Calculator on the DINZ website (

“Everyone agreed, regardless of their operation, the more fawns on the ground the better.”

Carroll recommended the Feed Cost Comparer (available online through, which checked the dry matter content of each feed and compared costs of many feed types such as barley, palm kernel and maize.

“If you don’t measure it, you can’t monitor it; knowledge is power.” Solis Norton from DeerPRO also attended the workshop. He said nationwide slaughter data originally collected as part of the Johne’s disease management programme had far more use beyond just Johne’s. “Our database has slaughter weights and dates, gender and age group, plus the farm of origin for 4.5 million deer. We saw an opportunity to feed benchmarked production information from it back to farmers.” He said the DeerPRO farm report gave a five-year performance summary for any farm. “Compare venison production from your farm over the past five years and compare yourself to industry benchmarks. It’s ideal for measuring the impact of management changes you’ve made, or for setting goals for next season.” Norton said the information was free to farmers on request (email

Regional Workshop details

Central North Island Advance Party
13 Jul 2018
Suncourt Motel, Taupo 14 Northcroft Street, Taupo