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Free dairy workshops to help improve farm efficiency

Posted 2 October 2013

West Midlands dairy farmers are invited to improve the efficiency of their businesses by attending free one-day workshops, organised by researchers at Harper Adams University.

The ‘Improving dairy farm efficiency: herd health planning and business management’ events are being held across the region, with the next scheduled to take place at Harper Adams on Wednesday, November 27.

Following that, sessions will take place at Lambert, Leonard and May in Whitchurch on December 3, the Three Counties Hotel in Hereford on December 4, Arthur Rank Centre in Stoneleigh on December 5 and Walford College in Baschurch on December 17.

The workshops are based on the results from two research projects; one on herd health plans, led by Stacey Blease, who will share the results from a three year research project evaluating herd health planning and identifies possible factors that could help dairy herd health plans become more effective.

The results of the second project, led by Dr. Barrie Florey, will help farmers to improve skills and awareness in assessing financial performance; and increase awareness of the impact of decisions on profitability. Both research projects have been funded by the West Midlands Rural Development Programme.

Event organiser and Harper Adams University researcher, Stacey Blease, said: “These free workshops will help to inform farmers of the work that has been taking place to evaluate herd health planning and business management.

“Herd health planning is important because it can be a good time to evaluate the performance of the herd and consider new approaches to help farmers meet their targets.

“We hope that by attending one of these events, farmers will be encouraged to take ownership of the herd health plan to further improve the usefulness of the written document.”

Each event runs from 10am until 2.30pm with lunch included. Dairy Pro CPD points are also available from attendance at the event.

Having attended one of the workshops at Harper Adams University, Fiona Dale from Shropshire, said: “The herd health plan workshop highlighted the importance of herd health plans as a working document.  With up-to-date records it can be used to set measureable targets to reduce lameness and mastitis, for example. 

“The afternoon session showed us how to compare our farm accounts with dairy industry benchmarks”  

For more information or to book a place, contact Stacey Blease – 01952 815066 sblease@harper-adams.ac.uk

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