DairyCo 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, or is of strategic relevance to the dairy industry.
Topics for research must focus on the needs of the industry, and the dairy levy payer. Our research programme is guided by a Research and Development Advisory Forum (RADAF), made up of leading dairy farmers and independent industry experts. Priorities are set in out an R&D and KT Strategy document, which also allows sufficient flexibility to adapt to changing priorities and short term needs.
We also co-fund projects with other levy bodies (EBLEX, HGCA, BPEX, HCC and QMS) and other research funders, such as the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). This can be highly cost-effective for R&D in topics of common interest, or for research which has not yet reached the point of application, but has the potential to benefit GB dairy farming.
In June 2011, we commissioned two five-year Research Partnerships; one on soils, forage and grassland (led by Scottish Agricultural College) and the second, on health, welfare and nutrition (led by Nottingham University). These form a major part of our capability to deliver research, development and knowledge transfer, on these key topics.
To achieve a balanced programme, DairyCo commissions additional research outside of the Research Partnership arrangements, and is also strengthening links with international research programmes, to increase collaboration and access information from overseas which could be applied in GB.
The results of all DairyCo funded R&D are published on the DairyCo website. New information is used to update DairyCo leaflets and technical literature, or to feed directly into knowledge transfer programmes such as the DairyCo Healthy Feet Programme or DairyCo Mastitis Control Programme.