WALES IS to host a major pan-European four-day dairy conference opening on June 30.

More than 200 delegates representing almost every country in Europe are expected to attend the European Dairy Farmers organisation‘s annual congress in Carmarthenshire, which will concentrate on dairying after CAP reform.

“It takes place at a time when the industry is going through great changes,” said EDF president Per-Ake Sahlberg.

“There will be no common EU policy anymore, and every country will establish its own political system for the dairy sector.”

Lower export subsidies, the accession of 10 new EU members with 3.9m dairy cows and 74.5m consumers and the advent of bigger retailers will change the marketplace.

One of the highlights of the conference will be the presentation of detailed comparative production costings from dairy farms in different countries.

These will include those of the local Gelli Aur College, where two 100 cow herds are being used to evaluate low and high input systems.

Delegates will visit the college and three other farms, including Picton Castle near Haverfordwest, where many of the cows are outwintered in unroofed bark bedded corals.

Farmers interested in attending the conference, which is being organised by the Dairy Development Centre at Gelli Aur, can get more information at www.dairyfarmer.net/.

A full report on the event will appear in FARMERS WEEKLY early in July.