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10-02-2015

South Wales Dairy Conference 2015

South Wales Dairy Conference 2015

The South Wales Dairy Conference, organised by ForFarmers, HSBC and CARA was held on 3rd February in Clynderwen. The focus of the day was to discuss the key drivers for profitable dairy farming after quotas, and more than 100 farmers, vets and industry stakeholders attended the event.

The panel of speakers included HSBC Head of Agriculture Allan Wilkinson, Dairy farmer Keith Davis, lameness and mastitis expert Roger Blowey and Willem Hessels, Technical Manager for ForFarmers in the Netherlands.

One of the key themes throughout the day was the importance of farmer’s knowing their costs, and how this was much more important for profitability than the type of system employed. Farmer Keith Davis outlined the two very different systems he manages both on his family farm and in his job as a Dairy Manager, stressing the importance of strong business management skills and communication in both.

Allan Wilkinson from HSBC urged farmers to keep close tabs on their costs of production and start forging closer links with processors and milk buyers. Willem Hessels explained how Dutch farmers were preparing for the end of milk quotas this year and the impact this may or may not have on UK farmers.

Roger Blowey underlined the importance of treating lameness in heifers at the earliest opportunity, to reduce the impact on health and yield in future lactations.

The event was well received by those who attended and generated useful debate on the future direction of the UK industry.