rob mintern

A new dairy farm performance assessment service could help farmers improve technical performance on their unit.

The Precision Herd Development (PHD) service from Agrii, launched at Livestock 2012, is one of the first on-farm services that allows in-depth assessment of specific management areas.

PHD involves structured on-farm assessments of one or more key management areas: the housed environment, ruminant nutrition, livestock health, youngstock management, grassland and soil improvement and business appraisal.

Each assessment has been designed to provide independent appraisal of herd strengths and weaknesses and the most practical improvement advice.

Commenting on the new service, Rob Mintern, consultant with Agrii, said: “Focusing on these specific areas ensures the right degree of precision, targeting areas for improvement.

“Our service concentrates the mind and allows relatively simple opportunities for improving profitability, which can too often be overlooked, to be clearly prioritised for rapid attention. At the same time, it enables other more complex improvement opportunities to be identified for longer-term solutions.”

And the service is cost-effective, according to Mr Mintern. “Benefits might be, for example, a reduction in mastitis of 10 cases for every 100 cows, equating to approximately £2,500 a year. So at £400, it is a worthwhile investment,” he said.