7 July 1995

Dairy data link-up seen as first step to national scheme sch

By Sue Rider

DAIRY farmers are promised reduced duplication in data collection and processing with the launch of a long-awaited co-op initiative.

The British Holstein Society and National Milk Records announced a collaboration that BHS claims will introduce new services to members and reduce duplication in data collection, processing and information transfer.

The link-up is heralded as the first step towards more integrated national dairy cattle data collection and follows the "memorandum of understanding" announced between the Holstein Friesian Society and NMR agreeing to increased co-operation. But it is the smaller black-and-white breed society that has been first to contract NMR services.

"The BHS link with NMR will offer members a one-stop shop for data collection, so streamlining information gathering on the farm," said BHS chairman, Roger Thomas.

NMR recorders will collect birth cards and AI certificates alongside routine milk production and herd management details. The new-style documents will still be produced at BHS headquarters but using NMR computer know-how.

"We are relieved to have available through the auspices of NMR the computer technology required to produce registration documents to the standards our members now require," says Mr Thomas.

"We will process and validate the information from our offices." Reports will be in colour and include registration, production and type classification.

NMRs Robin Turner believes that in the future NMR could collect and process information for breed societies. It would then send that data to societies for validation. Once checked, the data could be returned to NMR, which would add lactation and genetic information to it before sending it out to members with their milk record statement.

&#8226 HFS applauded BHSs announcement, which it says follows in the steps of its own initiative to co-operate more fully with NMR. But before it also decides to use NMR facilities on a contractual basis it is seeking written assurances that NMR will not use that registration information to its own advantage.