April 14, 2022

Taking the guesswork out of farm management with the Hobson Brothers

Ben and Will Hobson on farm

A quick hop, skip and jump from her home in Central Hawkes Bay, our Farmer Success Manager, Sarah, hit the road last month to chat with two brothers on how Mobble has improved their on-farm communication and record keeping. 

The Hobson brothers, Ben and Will are generational farmers. Trading in cool South Canterbury winters for hot Hawkes Bay summers, the two young passionate farmers now run separate blocks at Hobson Farming Ltd alongside their dad Robert.

Livestock and land snapshot:

  • 930 hectares of kind hill country
  • 110 Angus cows, aim to finish all the offspring and retain a few replacements
  • Approx 3,800 ewes going to the ram this year, finish offspring
  • Buy in and carry stores through the winter
    (Stock numbers are slightly lighter than usual coming off the back of a pretty hard season)

Will and Robert have been living and farming here for almost five years, while Ben joined a couple of years later after a change in career from the irrigation industry. Will comments that adapting to how changeable Hawkes Bay summers are has been the greatest challenge on-farm.

“The challenging times of the year are just about the opposite to that of South Canterbury. It was always the winter was hell, you could guarantee that, whereas the summer here, well it’s anyone’s guess what it’ll do.” 

Ben stumbled across Mobble on Facebook about a year ago, and the brothers have been using the farm management software ever since. 

“Dad had said to us, with the way compliance is heading, we need to come up with something, a record-keeping system that works and is straightforward.”

Will adds: “We used the notebook before. Our record keeping was pretty poor. But now, any given day we can look up our mobs and you know exactly what’s going on.”

Running two separate blocks, Mobble has been a useful communication tool and has helped out with visibility. The brothers are well into the habit of keeping data up to date, entering mob movements on-farm as they close the gate. 

“We can see what each other are doing within Mobble. Between the two of us and dad, the communication is not always the best - so Mobble really helps with that. If one goes away the other can look up what’s going on and step in easily,” says Will. 

“It certainly helps simplify what’s going on. It’s convenient. It’s in your pocket,you just open it up to figure out what’s going on at the other block. It’s easy to keep track of everything” says Ben. 

The biggest difference Mobble has made on their farm has been improving record keeping and minimising the guesswork. 

“I’ve got a pretty hopeless memory with numbers, so Mobble has helped a lot with that. I don’t have to remember stuff because it’s all there. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of it”, says Will.

“It’s been great for keeping records of stock numbers, how long the paddock has been grazed/rested, all of that. It’s made life a whole lot easier for recording drenching, dipping and animal health records. No scratching your head to figure out when you dipped or drenched that mob last. It’s all right there. So it’s made a huge difference.”

When asked why they’d recommend Mobble to another farmer, here’s what Ben and Will had to say:

Will: “It’s all really straightforward. Basically since I’ve left uni I’ve hardly done anything with technology, but Mobble was very easy to pick up. It’s pretty logical.”

Ben: “It’s simple and cost effective. You just find your way through it easily.”

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