New climate change projects confirmed as essential following IDF conference success

Published 29 July 08

New climate change projects confirmed as essential following IDF conference success

Two climate change research projects, essential to helping the British dairy farming sector move forward, have already been commissioned by DairyCo.

The recent UK IDF conference, sponsored by DairyCo and attended by 250 dairy farmers, industry specialists and stakeholders from 40 countries, identified the need for the dairy industry to increase its understanding of climate change and to begin the process of defining its problems and finding solutions that could improve the situation.

The new projects A desktop review of greenhouse gas emissions and Modelling greenhouse gas emissions will help the industry in various ways.  The Desktop project aims to find out how individual production systems 'perform'.  This will lead on to the second project to develop a model that caters for a range of production systems.  In understanding where the critical intervention points are in the milk production process both projects will also help dairy farmers meet the challenges of the recently published Milk Road Map - available from www.dairyco.org.uk.

Brian Lindsay, DairyCo head of research and development, says: "Understanding the impact of climate change on dairy farming and the contribution of dairy farming to climate change are the key drivers of this research.

"We don't want dairy farmers to make considerable changes to their businesses in an effort to 'do their bit' and see limited results so we need to understand where we can make the most beneficial interventions from both business and environmental perspectives."

A third project, due in 2009, will apply the model from these projects to farms and develop adaptation plans.

For more information on DairyCo's research and development projects contact Brian Lindsay, head of research and development, on 01285 646516.

Ends

Date 29 July 2008

For further information:
N:    Vicki Hill
T:    01285 646544
E:    vicki.hill@dairyco.org.uk

Notes for Editors:

DairyCo Limited was set up in April 2008 following a fundamental review of agricultural levy boards by Defra. The five existing levy boards (including the Milk Development Council) were replaced by one statutory levy board, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Reporting in to AHDB are six sector companies - DairyCo will cover the milk sector.

DairyCo is funded entirely by milk producers, via a statutory levy on all milk sold off-farm, at the rate of 0.06p per litre.  This provides an annual income of around £7m.

DairyCo's current focus is on improving the profitability of dairy farming by focusing on four specific areas:
•    The provision of a world-class information service
•    Helping dairy farmers increase their profits while meeting regulatory and environmental requirements - through better business management.
•    Helping promote the positive perception of dairy products and dairy farming with the general public
•    The development of DairyCo towards a self-sustaining model.

DairyCo co-funds the industry's nutritional and issues management resource - The Dairy Council - with the processors' trade body Dairy UK.