Chris. Lewis1, K Verhoek1, I Williams2


2Pioneer Brand Products

Corresponding Author: Chris Lewis.



Benchmarking is the practice of establishing the relative performance of a business against an appropriate standard, which can be self-set targets or peer performance. It identifies the excessive costs and inefficiencies of a business, increasing its competitiveness and ability to outperform others. Dairy System Monitoring (DSM) has been operating for twenty years as a consultancy service that benchmarks over 150 New Zealand and Tasmanian dairy farmers. Its aim is to work alongside farmers, collecting and sharing interpretation of their farm data in a manner that motivates and more actively engages them with their business. DSM participants perform ahead of the New Zealand national average for operating profit as the DSM service enables individuals to verify current performance and make good decisions. also a useful analysis tool for consultants. It is used to develop guidelines for managing home-grown forage; continuously update and respond to farm performance information; and critically examine expenditure in-line with physical performance. In conclusion, the DSM service can confirm mainstream science, but it also progresses to the next stage with analysis on profit drivers that create clarity around the strengths and weaknesses of individual businesses, directing performance beyond industry averages.


Chris Lewis is a Registered Farm Management Consultant and Director of BakerAg. Based out of Masterton, Chris consultants to large scale dairy business through the lower North and South Islands. He is skilled in farm systems modelling and facilitation and extension. 2014 Dairy Consultant of the Year recipient and awarded NZIPIM Fellowship in 2018.Ian Williams is a forage and farm systems specialist for Pioneer, based out of Hamilton but working throughout New Zealand. Ian is recognised nationally as a skilled facilitator with a strong science background. Ian was seconded into a group responsible for the development of templates for farm environment plans, for Waikato based arable farmers through Environment Waikato In their overlapping backgrounds and common origin as MAF consultants their passion is to build on collective experience and research with their farming clients in the search for sustainable, profitable farm systems.

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