By Emma Penny
DAIRY producers are to benefit from a new programme combining research and development and technology transfer.
The scheme, known as Ethos, is being run by feed compounder BOCM Pauls.
Speaking at the programmes launch at ADAS Bridgets, Winchester last week, the companys national ruminant advisor Bruce Woodacre explained that Ethos would centre round research and development and technology transfer.
The programme is a partnership between the compounder, DRC and SAC – who will be providing research – and commercial companies such as seedsmen and breeding organisations.
Technology transfer will focus round several centres, including Brackenhurst College, Lincolnshire; Harper Adams University College, Shropshire; Duchy College, Devon and ADAS Bridgets.
Mr Woodacre hopes to sign up Gelli Aur College in Wales and Newton Rigg, Cumbria to the programme, too.
“We want to target research and development at problems being faced on-farm.
“This will be directed by a committee of researchers and BOCM Pauls personnel who will react to producer needs.
“We will aim to make results accessible, as well as making that knowledge useful in farm situations.
“This will be done by identifying small groups of producers with similar problems and inviting them to come to one of the centres to speak to researchers based there, or to other specialists via a two-way videolink.”
Besides these small meetings, the programme will include demonstrations and seminars.
And where producers encounter specific problems on-farm, they can also use a telephone enquiry system to seek prompt answers from industry experts.
Reacting to questions about whether producers would have to buy feed from the company to qualify for access to the scheme, he said that wasnt the case.
“It is not compulsory to buy our feed – thats not the way the programme works.
“There is no charge for producers using the programme and if a farmer is interested in taking part, he or she is more than welcome.”
Producers can attend meetings by speaking to sites involved in the programme or contacting BOCM Paulss account managers.
A scheme for beef producers is planned, while the company is considering whether to set up a similar programme for sheep farmers.