On the 12th of July, we hosted our first ever Dairy Training Day aimed for knowledge exchange amongst professionals with regards to the challenges faced by our Dairy farming clients and their consultants!
Thanks to Andrew Bristol for hosting the event on his Dairy farm in Somerset. Working sessions included ‘Ration assessment’ by Barrie Audis, Andrew’s consultant, ‘Grazing Management Plan’ by AKC Consultant James Berry and ‘Planning Considerations for Industrial Agricultural Buildings’ by Paul Oakley of OPAC Ltd.
In the afternoon having also had a tour of the facilities, the working groups were encouraged to give their thoughts and views on the grazing management, sharing their thoughts with Andrew and professional colleagues. Tim Stephens from Wessex Water gave his talk on the opportunities of adding value in Dairy Farming through low cost systems in Brazil. Tim explained how by marketing the environmental benefits of a lower input Dairying system, a large-scale producer was able to add value to his processed cheese. He also discussed the opportunities for farmers in the catchment to offset the cost of improved cropping practices to improve water quality e.g. catch/ cover crops and under sown maize which could be partially subsidised by Wessex Water to ensure permanent ground cover on high risk sites.
James Miles Hobbs then completed the day with an interesting overview of the opportunities presented by battery storage and solar PV and the likely benefits of being able to harvest and store electricity for peak usage i.e. milking, whilst also avoiding higher tariffs from the grid at peak times in the day.
Barclays Bank were well represented at the event along with Wooley & Wallis our local Agricultural land agent & valuer. Eurofins, our soil, water & silage testing laboratory were also represented by Brian Allen along with Milsted Langdon a firm of local accountants based in Somerset. Paul Oakley of OPAC Ltd was also able to join us for the morning alongside his talk.
The event has been used as a catalyst to launch ‘AKC Dairy’ our Dairy consultancy service which encompasses technical advice, nutrition and financial consultancy. We look forward to developing our new service with Dairy farmers in the South of England.