Livestock 2015: AHDB Dairy considers monitor farm programme

AHDB Dairy are looking at setting up a nationwide monitor farm programme for England, Wales and Scotland, which would consist of dairy farms in the top 5% of performance.

Although the idea has still got to be passed by the dairy board, Gwyn Jones, chairman of AHDB Dairy, believed the programme would have a lot to offer.

Speaking to Farmers Weekly at the Livestock Event, Mr Jones said: “I’ve been pushing the idea of monitor farms and believe they would have a lot to offer.

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“The monitor farms need to be the very best and consist of a range of systems so we can compare them. It would give us a great platform to filter down the information of producers in the top 5% to other farmers who want to get nearer to the best farmers.

“It also has the added benefit of being able to show those people against certain methods of dairy production the best farms,” he added.

Mr Jones also believed the monitor farms would encourage benchmarking, not only in the UK, but internationally.

“We know from benchmarking work that farms, even in hard times can be profitable, so we need to learn from these farms,” he said.

Two dairy monitor farms are already running in Scotland, and should the board agree to the idea, Mr Jones said farmers could see monitor farms emerge elsewhere as early as the start of 2016.

“I would like to push on with this very quickly, and by early 2016 I would hope to have monitor farms lined up,” he said.  

Read more stories from Livestock Event 2015.