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Four new forage operations

Four new specialist forage operations joined The Omega Lamb Project in October. From Fairlie to the Rakaia Gorge, the properties will grow 150ha of chicory in 2017, bringing the total area in chicory to 447 ha. Each is an accomplished lamb finishing/cropping operation with a track track record for innovation and high production. Their Omega lambs will arrive from the breeding properties in late December/early January.

Mark Everest of Macfarlane Rural Business undertook the cost/benefit analysis for the four properties. This included assessing input costs, higher lamb growth rates, performance and longevity of chicory, the additional uses of chicory in the spring and the lamb’s arrival and exit value.

“We want to ensure it’s competitive with any other high value on-farm enterprise, with net margins of at least 25 cents per kilogram of dry matter or $2,500 per hectare’” Mark says. “This is challenging, but totally do-able for enterprising farmers who capitalise on opportunities.”