DAIRY DISCUSSION groups must gear topics towards improving profitability to be an effective and successful business tool for members.

Welsh milk producer Alun Owen said discussion group membership is a key to profitability in farming enterprises, but there is still much that UK groups can learn from New Zealand and Australia.

Mr Owen, a partner in his family‘s dairy and sheep farm near Denbigh, met Kiwi farmers during a Nuffield Farming Scholarship study tour and found discussion groups were their main method of delivering information.

“Topics should be heavily geared towards improving profitability,” he said. Also, increased involvement from specialists and experts should be encouraged.

“Involve all farm staff in discussion groups so that everybody learns and is motivated,” he added.