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South West Dairy Focus Group

The South West dairy focus group was formed as there was a demand from local dairy farmers to have structured group where they could explore various aspects of their farm management.

There are many improvements which can be made to improve the sustainability of their businesses which also have a positive impact on reducing the carbon footprint of the business.

The group represent a range of dairy businesses; 500 cow spring block calving, robotic milking systems, fully housed TMR and zero grazed herds and traditional summer grazed herds.  At the outset of the group, members listed the 3 biggest challenges they face within their business and 3 areas where they feel they have made positive improvements.  From this brainstorming session, we identified key topics which would be covered over the course of the winter meetings

  • Fertility
  • Milk from Forage
  • Carbon Footprinting
  • Fuel Usage
  • Field trip to learn how others are improving farm sustainability

The aim is for the group to explore each topic together, benchmark physical farm data relevant to the particular topic, such as silage analysis, calving index, electricity usage to learn from each other’s best practice.  Their figures will also be benchmarked against industry targets to illustrate where they are performing well or where improvements could be made.  The group will not only look at the financial impact of improvements but also the potential reduction in greenhouse gas emissions which could also be achieved.

Greenmount college parlour
CAFRE Cattle shed

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