AHDB Dairy Research into Practice Booklet

Published 5 July 16

AHDB Dairy invests in Research and Development (R&D) to ensure the dairy industry remains competitive, resource efficient and consumer friendly. Our priority is to fund research which can be directly applied on farm, help us achieve a more sustainable future by improving technical efficiency, reducing costs of production, and retaining positive consumer perceptions of dairy farming. 

This booklet summaries some of the R&D that we have been carrying out recently, using levy funds. In particular, it draws from two five-year research partnerships we established with leading universities and research institutes to deliver research on health, welfare and nutrition (led by University of Nottingham) and on soils, forge and grassland (led by Scotland’s Rural College – SRUC).

In this booklet, we present a cross-section of projects, their relevance to industry and how we intend to exploit the results. Some projects focus on producing new insight into traditional subjects, such as lameness, mastitis or maintaining soil fertility. Others explore more novel topics that also have a direct economic impact, such as the application of Lean Management techniques, developed in other industries, to dairy farming. Beyond the farm gate, collaborative work with The Dairy Council means that levy funds have been used to produce strong evidence on the nutritional, environmental and cost per nutrient benefits of including dairy in the national diet.

We strive to get maximum return on the levy spend by leveraging from other funding sources, such as the UK Research Councils, or increasingly, through cofounding with other AHDB Sectors. The research we commission is guided by our Research and Development Advisory Forum (RADAF), made up predominately of GB dairy farmers. Recognising there is much to be gained by sharing information internationally, we have forge formal relationships with other like-minded organisations, such as Teagasc, Dairy Australia and Dairy NZ. AHDB Dairy currently coordinates the European Cattle Innovation Partnership and leads a new EU funded network (‘EuroDairy’) to share innovation and best practice across 14 European countries.