£3.3m cash injection for Welsh dairy sector

The Welsh dairy industry is set to receive a £3.3m cash injection following the Welsh Assembly Government‘s pledge to invest heavily in the sector over the next three years. The money will be used to focus on energy efficiency and profit.

Welsh minister for rural affairs Elin Jones said: “Promoting collaborative working practices, improving supply chain linkages and ensuring sharing best practice between producers will be essential in enabling the industry to work more efficiently.

“The dairy industry is vitally important to the Welsh economy and I am conscious of the pressures the industry faces. Through co-operation we will be able to secure a sustainable, efficient and innovative Welsh dairy sector.”

Coleg Sir Gar (the Welsh Dairy Development Centre) and DairyCo have been tasked with implementing the programme, which will consist of a benchmarking scheme, the development of demonstration farms and knowledge transfer groups to share best practice among producers.

It is planned that 250 farmers will participate in the benchmarking project as a means of improving efficiency and business skills across the sector.

The Dairy Development Centre will focus on four key areas:

• On-farm energy efficiency analysis – working with 250 farmers over the next three years
• Grass and forage management – 12 farmer discussion groups
• Herd health events – covering lameness, mastitis, fertility, youngstock health, nutrition, and contagious disease management
• Support for collaborative ventures.