Research & Development

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Temporary hold on unsolicited research project proposals – March 2017 - click for more information

AHDB Dairy invests in Research and Development 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, aligning with the five strategic areas identified in the AHDB Dairy Business Plan.

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. Download our Research into Practice Booklet for more information.

New forms for applying for R&KE funding and a guidance document have been developed and can be found on the procurement page of the main AHDB website. Please click here to access them. AHDB Terms and Conditions can also be found on this page.

As well as tackling important technical issues for dairy businesses, the research funded by AHDB Dairy is also helping to build technical expertise within the industry. Through our research partnership contracts, research council programmes and the AHDB Studentship programme, AHDB Dairy funding has meant 38 students have been able to undertake PhD studies over the last 5 years. Find out more about n AHDB funded PhD studentships

Current Research Reports

Protein levels within dairy cow diets

To devise diets that allow dietary crude protein (CP) levels to be reduced below those currently used in commercial practice, without compromising milk yield, milk composition, or herd fertility.

Genomic evaluations

To enhance the AHDB Dairy Breeding genetic evaluation service by including genomic data through improved reliability of young bull and cow evaluations.

Lameness control in dairy cows

This project looks at evidence based protocols for the treatment of common causes of lameness in individual dairy cows and determine the effectiveness of such protocols at reducing lameness at herd level.

Out-wintering systems for replacement heifers

The overall objective is to develop and further refine out wintering systems for replacement heifers.

The effect of soil compaction and loosening on GHG emissions

To assess the impact of soil compaction on grassland productivity and nitrogen use efficiency, and its potential alleviation through soil lifting and aeration.

Completed Research Reports

Effect of dietary crude protein levels in new calved dairy cows

To devise diets that allow dietary crude protein (CP) levels to be reduced below those currently used in commercial practice, without compromising milk yield, milk composition, or herd fertility.

An economic analysis of heifer rearing and breeding selection in the GB

To enable farmers to optimize their heifer rearing system for greater profitability thereby improving the viability of the UK dairy herd.

Opportunites for new forage species

For farmers to meet the needs of food security, targets for green house gas emission reduction, grow crops successfully in a changing climate and remain competitive future forages will need to be delivered.

Alternative methods of Starling control

To investigate practical options for the management of starling infestations on dairy farms in the Somerset levels. The work will also be relevant to similar problems, in other areas of the country.

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