22 September 1995

DRCpromises the ultimate in dairy research feedback

By Sue Rider

MILK producers in England and Wales are promised improved transfer of new technology from researcher to farm with the launch of a new consultancy service at this weeks Dairy Farming Event.

The Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) and the University of Readings Centre for Dairy Research (CEDAR), have joined forces to form a new company – Dairy Research Consultancy.

DRC consultants will have the strong technology back-up of both SAC and CEDAR researchers, said DRC director and SAC senior dairying researcher, Dr David Roberts. The idea, he told DRCs Event launch, is to get the latest technical information onto farm in a way that ensures it is usable and relevant.

"DRC offers consultancy direct from organisations which are doing a large part of the dairying research work," said Dr Roberts.

He pointed to the unique research base at SAC and CEDAR with some 1250 dairy cows available for both strategic and applied research. This offered a unique chance to carry out top-quality research and feed it through to the dairy industry.

The added advantage was the wide range of dairying systems represented at SAC and CEDAR – from cows on a grass-based regime at the SAC, to regimes based on maize in the south at CEDAR.

His colleague, Dr Cled Thomas, senior SAC researcher and DRC director said: "DRC offers a link with the latest research information and brings practical expertise of running dairy businesses into the service. There is a major difference between how research is published and what farmers really want to know."

The importance of technology transfer was also stressed by Prof David Beever, director of CEDAR, chair of animal science at Reading University, and DRC director.

He said: "Good consultancy requires good research. Were building the dream team of researchers passing information to consultants who in turn pass that on to farmers."

He also stressed the need for two-way flow of information.

&#8226 West Sussex dairy farmer and vice-chairman of the CEDAR supporters group, Jim Harrison, believes the DRC service could offer huge benefits through "cross-fertilisation" of researchers and consultants.