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Attention to detail pays dividends, dairy farmers are advised


“Dairy is detail” said Rex Ward, Chairman of the UK Dairy Farmers Forum, summarising the main message from all the speakers at yesterdays Farming Issues conference in Worcester.

Whether it’s input costs, herd health, benchmarking or nitrogen management, attention to detail is the key to running an efficient and profitable dairy business”.

The conference, which was organised by Dairy UK and sponsored by DairyCo, attracted more than 100 delegates to Worcestor Warriors Sixways Stadium.

Dairy UK Director General Jim Begg explained “The theme in all of this is the pursuit of margin. Profitability is a two sided coin consisting of income and costs. The cost side of the equation is more complex, simply because dairy farming is a complex business involving a lot inputs and variables, but weve seen today that attention to detail really can pay dividends. Dairy UKs focus is to help ensure that all segments of the supply chain achieve profitability.

Tim Bennett, DairyCo Chairman added robust, good quality data enables us to start analysing the detail, but this on its own isnt the whole solution. The opportunity comes when this knowledge is combined with ability and willingness to question our technical performance positively.”

Final speaker of the day, vet Dick Sibleyrounded off proceedings by emphasising the importance of collaboration. He congratulated Dairy UK and the industry on its initiative to address Johnes disease. “The diverse interests in the industry came together in a forum where I would have usually expected the only outcome to be avoiding making a decision. But not in this case. It just goes to show what can be achieved when everyone gets their heads down and all pull in the same direction”, he said.

About Dairy UK:

Dairy UK is a trade association that represents the interests of dairy farmers, producer co-ops, milk processors and doorstep deliverymen. For more information visit

About DairyCo:

DairyCos aim is to promote world class knowledge to British dairy farmers so they can profit from a sustainable future.

To achieve this DairyCo aims to:

  • Ensure farmers have access to world class information needed to improve competitiveness, GHG reduction and productivity
  • Ensure farmers have access to direct and indirect support to help them improve their profitability through better business management
  • Ensure that dairy farming is reducing its impact on the environment
  • Ensure farmers understand the benefits of breeding and use the related tools

DairyCo is funded entirely by milk producers, via a statutory levy on all milk sold off-farm, at the rate of 0.06p per litre. This provides an annual income of around 6.5m.

DairyCo is a division of the statutory levy board, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

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