When Puahue dairy farmer John Hayward attended a Cashmanager RURAL field day last year he realised what he was missing out on when it came to the powerful reporting the software offers.
John and his wife Susan own and operate Judge Valley Dairies, near Te Awamutu, a 240 hectare sustainable dairy operation focusing on maximising production while minimising the effects of their activities on the environment.
But they don’t just talk about sustainability and productivity, they practice what they preach, winning the supreme award for the Waikato region at the 2016 Ballance Farm Environment Awards and also being named as a finalist in the 2017 Dairy Business of the Year.
John is passionate about trying to change the perception of New Zealand farming and spends a lot of time speaking at conferences and to school groups.
As a sharemilker, he previously used and enjoyed Cashmanager RURAL. “It gave me good insight into my business. But eight years ago we bought into an equity partnership and the accountant did all the recording. I was busy farming.”
About a year ago ANZ invited him to a field day, held in conjunction with Cashmanager RURAL. By this time, they had bought their equity partners out and owned the property. “I thought I’d go along and have a look, but I was happy with what I was doing.”
It was while sitting in the room listening to a local dairy farmer he respected talk about the benefits of the reports he could pull from Cashmanager that the penny dropped.
“He was talking about the reports he could get at the click of a button and it started ringing that this was what I was missing in my business. I had a little epiphany and remembered how I used to use those reports – I knew that was what I needed.”
They signed up to Cashmanager and starting using it again. “It’s just been awesome. It’s given us a clearer direction in our business, especially in tough times. We have that ability to gather information quickly and our accountant has also embraced it.”
Having the program online means they can all access it at any time, change anything they need to, and see reports straight away. “We can all see where we’re going and it’s given us that flexibility – we don’t have to be always ringing each other.”
He likes the profit and loss report and the variance report. “The profit and loss one I’m keen on. I really like the fact I can click into the sections within it, say I can touch on barley straw and instantly see how much we have spent, are we in line with where we need to be? The transparency in the coding has been really good.”
Cashmanager has also proved helpful in meeting environmental compliance obligations with the regional council in the form of proving nitrogen use. “The regional council can use it as proof of purchase for anything, like fertiliser or hay, it shows the whole journey, that it came on farm and was paid for.”
John enjoys using Cashmanager, he finds it simple to use and believes it’s important to have a good grasp on the numbers.
“Our industry is challenging and it’s really important that we know our numbers and have the ability to compare year on year with ease.”