Farm productivity initiative launched

CAFRE Director Martin McKendry and Director Dairy UK Dr Mike'Johnston MBE welcome today's announcement of the new farm productivity initiative.
CAFRE Director Martin McKendry and Director Dairy UK Dr Mike'Johnston MBE welcome today's announcement of the new farm productivity initiative.

A joint initiative between Dairy UK and the College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise, (CAFRE) has been unveiled to help dairy farmers improve their profitability.

Speaking at the launch at the Winter Fair on Thursday, CAFRE Director Martin McKendry said they have been aware for some time that many dairy farmers not in a Business Development Group would like to have the opportunity for technical information and training.

He added: “This initiative allows CAFRE, in conjunction with dairy companies, to provide additional support to dairy farmers.

“CAFRE will work with the dairy companies to develop a programme of meetings and decision support tools for their farmers. We are all very aware the challenges on farm at present due to the very poor weather of 2017 with fodder quantity and quality.

“Through this programme of work CAFRE can help provide options for farmers to consider on their own farm and plan milk production for the year ahead.”

Also speaking at this week’s launch Director Dairy UK Dr Mike Johnston MBE added: “The long-term future of the NI dairy sector depends on a sustainable supply of high quality milk. This can only be delivered by profitable dairy farms.

“Dairy UK recognises the extremely good work of CAFRE through Business Development Groups, but we are aware that a number of farmers for various reasons are not involved with the scheme and haven’t access to the technical and business information provided by CAFRE.

“The aim of this joint initiative between the dairy companies and CAFRE is to help farmers improve their profitability and is aimed at farmers outside Business Development Groups. This is an excellent example of partnership and collaboration to help individual farmers improve dairy herd margins and be better able to withstand price volatility.”

More information on the initiative will be available in the New Year, with the intention of having farmers recruited by March 2018.