Chance to see the future for dairy

A FREE SAC event in Dumfries on Thursday, May 3, offers dairy farmers the chance to see the latest research presently under way at SAC’s Crichton Royal Dairy Research Centre.

At a time when milk producers face rising costs and ever tighter environmental controls, the latest findings on feeding systems and the use of manures and fertilisers have seldom been more important.

At the event, starting at 10.30am, groups of farmers will be taken to key points on the farm tour.

Two ways to feed dairy cattle will be on show at Crichton, using cows from the famous Langhill herd.

One system makes the maximum use of what can be grown on the farm, including grazed and conserved grass but with maize and other crops included.

The second system, which is generating a lot of interest amongst producers keeping cows indoors all year, relies on food industry by products and other bought in feeds.

SAC Researchers are also using the latest technology to assess how much water cows drink and using this and other data to assess how changes in feed and drink can affect herd health.

This is work supported by Scottish Government.

As important these days are issues to do with soil and fertilisers. SAC is leading a research partnership that won a prestigious contract for grassland and forage work commissioned by industry body DairyCo.

A key part of that work involves experiments on soil compaction by livestock and machinery and also the use of slurry to fertilise grassland. The result of this research work will be compared with current practice.

Dairy farmers from across Scotland and the north of England are welcome to attend.

While the event is free, it would help those arranging catering if you could register your intention to attend by contacting Nicola Crichton at nicola.crichton@sac.ac.uk, telephone 01387 263961.