Rob Buddo.

Sheep and beef farmer Rob Buddo says he mainly uses Overseer to demonstrate compliance with requirements for the local catchment – but he sees significant future benefits around its emissions analysis function.

“We have been using it for a year or so, since OverseerFM became available,” says Rob, who farms 825 hectares as part of a five-farm group in Poukawa, Hawke’s Bay.

“Our consultant and I both use it. It isn’t difficult to understand. The interface is very good, it’s pretty intuitive and fairly easy to navigate.

“It does require inputting of data and I extrapolate the biological data from Farmax and feed that into Overseer to see if that works environmentally. My ideal would be to see collaboration across the two apps to get things working together.”

The Buddo sheep and beef farms overwinter about 14,000 stock units in total. Two of the properties are within the Tukituki catchment and require environment plans, including nutrient budgets.

The advanced online OverseerFM software is designed specifically for farmers and their advisors and analyses the flow of nutrients through a farm, based on the management practices applied. This produces annual budgets for seven key farm nutrients. It also includes a GHG emissions analysis tool, which provides a farm specific methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide results by source, and the ability to model carbon sequestration of tree blocks with the recently added carbon stock tool.

Rob sees the emissions analysis tool being of significant use in the future, to support working towards carbon neutral status.

The farm group is part of the Atkins Ranch farmer-owned supply co-operative, which supplies lamb and lamb products to high-end Whole Foods Market in the United States and Canada.

Rob says that achieving carbon neutral status would be a strong marketing advantage. He likes the way overseer has split out the GHG emissions into the methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide.

“It’s the first model I’ve seen that does that and it’s doing it at a high level.

“I see change around emissions being driven by a marketing perspective, rather than a compliance one. Whole Foods is a fantastic market for New Zealand produce. We already have a strong point of difference at Atkins Ranch around animal welfare and the way we farm, but I would love to have a system here that is carbon neutral too.

He is interested in the science around methane as a short-lived gas. The goal would be to have a system that is scientifically and biologically robust and accounts for equilibrium around methane – that’s where I see Overseer being very valuable to us in the future.”

– Supplied by Overseer.