16 June 1995

United against the duplication of data

NATIONAL Milk Records and the Holstein Friesian Society have ended their feud.

They have agreed to co-operate to reduce the current duplication in cattle data collection. The HFS announced on Monday that it had signed a "memorandum of understanding" with NMR. The two organisations intend to work together to integrate national dairy cattle data collection, processing and reporting.

NMR director Robin Turner said the agreement was a positive move for both organisations and for farmers. "We want to put behind us the past few months, which were so frustrating and unsettling for our members," he said.

He was referring to the aggressive attempts by the HFS at the end of last year to buy NMR. The HFS now concedes that a "single database for the provision of dairy herd data in neither achievable nor necessary".

But HFS chief executive Duncan Spring denied that this was a climb-down. "We have put the past behind us and are looking at how to work together to eliminate duplication," he said.

Co-operation will mirror the Scotlink initiative between HFS and Scottish Livestock Services, which combines monthly milk recording with collection of calf registration data. Communication between SLS and HFS computers ensures information is shared and paperwork minimised. &#42