Dairy farmers will be examining ways to future-proof their businesses at the Dairy Show this autumn, as global commodity markets enter a weaker phase.
Alan Lyons, manager of the show, which takes place at the Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, believes farmers need to take a new approach as prices fall.
“Following a more settled couple of years for milk prices, which peaked at an average of 34.55p/litre in November 2013, values have started to drift; losing 1.29p/litre between April and June alone,” he said.
“While milk prices will no doubt be a hot topic of discussion between farmers and processors at the Dairy Show, producers will be equally keen to look at ways to cut costs of production going into this winter.”
With over 300 trade exhibitors, ranging from milk buyers to parlour manufacturers, and feed merchants to dairy hygiene specialists, visitors won’t have to walk far to give their entire business an autumn overhaul.
“Feed costs have dropped sharply this summer, which will be a big help to dairy farmers – and following a more benign year many producers will be looking to reinvest in their businesses to make them more resilient in the years to come,” says Mr Lyons.
Producers who are considering a move to robotic milking will be able to see the Lely Astronaut in action throughout the day, while other top manufacturers will be on hand to discuss the latest dairy technology.
Nutrition specialists can help with planning winter feed costs and improving cow health, while live demonstrations by the National Association of Foot Trimmers will show how to keep cows’ feet in tip-top condition.
Farmers can also debate the future with industry experts at the Farmers Guardian Speakers’ Corner.
“Research shows that there is no silver bullet to becoming a top dairy producer – it is all about attention to detail in every area,” says Mr Lyons. “Whether that’s making the most of your manure, growing better forage, business planning with suppliers and consultants, or choosing the best genetics; it all adds up to creating a secure and profitable farming business.”
Around 300 entrants are expected to compete for the Supreme Dairy Championships. And on the eve of the show, they can rub shoulders with high profile leaders at the Dairy Industry dinner. Taking place after the showmanship and calf classes, the dinner culminates with the prestigious Dairy Industry Award and Dairy Vet of the Future presentation.
The Dairy Show will be held on 1 October at the Royal Bath & West Showground. Go to www.bathandwest.com or via the ticket hotline – 01749 822222.