RABDF Milk Digest

September 2021
Note from MattNext month world leaders and climate experts will descend upon Glasgow for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). Sustainable land use is a topic being discussed in the first week, and there’s no doubt this will result in a flood of incorrect facts, sweeping statements and anti-farming campaigners berating UK agriculture.

Along with the pig and poultry industries, the dairy sector is often the one where most finger-pointing occurs. This could be due to the perceived scale and intensity of some operations, which some may automatically think equates to high emissions.

In fact, the opposite is probably true and as such, it is important we unite as an industry and shout about all the good we are doing for the environment and the work being done to reduce emissions.

It is vital we bust any myths about emissions from UK dairy farming, so to help with this, we will be issuing some UK dairy emissions facts in the coming weeks with advice on how you can use them to help promote the positive things the UK dairy industry is doing to reduce emissions. Whether it’s promoting positive messages on social media, emails, to your friends, colleagues and through newsletters, every little helps!
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RABDF Innovation Award winners NovaPro formally presented with award by Her Royal Highness The Princess RoyalRoyal Dairy Innovation Award winners NovaPro were formally presented with the award yesterday (16 September 2021) by HRH The Princess Royal. Held at the Princess Royal’s country residence, Gatcombe Park, the award winners were joined by representatives from the RABDF and award sponsor CIEL Livestock. 

The award is presented to a company, exhibiting at Dairy-Tech, for the most practical, relevant product or service which is, or likely to be, the most significant innovation for the future of dairying. Exhibitors must enter the award by submitting an application form alongside any relevant supporting literature. The winner announcement is then made on the Innovation Hub at Dairy-Tech.

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All English Farmers Now Eligible for Free TB Advice and Trained Vet VisitsAll English farmers can now access free TB advice regardless of their risk status following the awarding of a new contract. 

Defra granted the TB Advisory Service (TBAS) Successor Contract to Farmcare Solutions, an entirely vet-led team. The joint venture company is made up of VetPartners, Independent Vet Care (IVC), UK Farmcare and Obligace.  

The new contract introduces some fundamental changes to TBAS including: Being available to any farm in England that keeps livestock susceptible to TB, not just those in high risk and edge areas.Being available to keepers of not just cattle but farmed sheep, pigs, deer and camelids. An increase in the number of free visits. Now an initial visit will be carried out by a veterinary surgeon and a second follow up visit six months later (both are free to the farmer). Previously a highly skilled independent non- veterinary TBAS advisor and a private veterinary surgeon would carry out just one visit.All farmers who have already accessed the service will be eligible for the new funding.The changes mean even more farmers can receive the tools and know-how to assess what can be controlled on-farm to reduce the risk and length of a TB breakdown.
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The Environment Agency regulatory position statement (RPS) to apply organic manure to agricultural landThe Environment Agency announced that it has produced this regulatory position statement (RPS). This applies to land managers. A land manager is anyone who has custody of, or the responsibility for, controlling agricultural land.Normally, under regulation 4(1)(a) Reduction and Prevention of Agricultural Diffuse Pollution (England) Regulations 2018, when you apply organic manure to agricultural land, the application must be planned so that it does not either:exceed the needs of the soil or crop on that landgive rise to a significant risk of agricultural diffuse pollutionIf you follow the conditions in this RPS, you can have a plan to apply organic manure to agricultural land that may exceed the needs of the soil or crop on that land, as long as it does not cause pollution. 

There is a hierarchy of actions.
1.    If you can follow farming rules for water, rule 1, then you do not need to use this RPS – carry on with your planned activities
2.    If you can follow the conditions in this RPS – tell the Environment Agency you are using the RPS as described in the ‘contact’ section, and carry on with your activities
3.    If you cannot comply with the conditions in this RPS, email enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk or call 03708 506 506 (general enquiries). The Environment Agency will assess the risk of your activities. 

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Welsh dairy farmers planning on investing in new technology & equipment could benefit from grants worth up to £12,000Welsh dairy farmers planning on investing in new technology and equipment could benefit from grants worth up to £12,000 after the Welsh Government announced a new expression of interest window for the Farm Business Grant will open on 1st September.Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths, said a budget of £2m will be available for farmers to invest in new technology and equipment to improve their technical, financial and environmental performance.The expression of interest window is open from 1 September to 1 October with successful applicants having four months to purchase and claim for the items supported.The Farm Business Grant comes from funds remaining within the Rural Development Programme. It provides grants from £3,000 to £12,000, which offer a maximum 40% contribution and allow farmers to make important investments in their businesses to support production efficiencies and improve productivity.The grant provides funding towards the cost of a wide range of equipment, from handling systems and technology for precision farming to tools for more efficient use of resources.Read more
DAIRY-TECH 2022We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone back to Stoneleigh Park on Wednesday 2 February.

You can expect a sell-out 2022 show packed full of exhibitors representing the whole supply chain, dynamic speaker programmes on the Dairy and Innovation Hubs and a record amount of new products being launched. The Dairy Hub will continue, as in previous years, to focus on current topics and issues affecting the sector and will incorporate views from industry professionals and overseas speakers. In contrast the Innovation Hub will concentrate on all things new – concepts, products and processes – with the aim of broadening thinking and horizons within the industry when it comes to moving forward productively and innovatively.

Over 70 of our exhibitors have said they will be launching new products at the event, we look forward to showing you some of these in our pre-event coverage over the coming months. 

Our aim is for you to take home new ideas and advice that you can implement on-farm to make a difference within your business. With progressive farming now key to the future success of dairy farming Dairy-Tech is the perfect event when it comes to representing this – making sure you are ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing new concepts and improving business efficiency.

Tickets will go on sale in November so keep an eye on our website and social media channels for any announcements. Remember RABDF members get two free tickets to the event with concessions in place on further tickets. Information on speaker sessions, exhibitors and other content is constantly updated at www.dairy-tech.uk and should you have any queries about the event please email charlesneale@rabdf.co.uk
Opportunity to join the RABDF team – maternity cover Would you like to join the RABDF team, helping to work on communications and event operations? We have a position available for maternity cover starting in October.Full details
Dairy Farmers Abstracting Water May See Changes to Costs as 12-Week Consultation is LaunchedDairy farmers abstracting water from the environment, including boreholes, could face changes to the amount they are charged after the Environment Agency launched a consultation. 

The consultation will review and update the way businesses are charged for water abstraction licences with the aim to help manage and protect water resources.

Currently, all businesses are required to have an abstraction licence to take more than 20 cubic metres a day from a river, stream, canal or groundwater. 

The new proposed charges – which have not changed for the past 10 years – will be based on:The volume of water taken from the environmentWhere the water is taken fromHow much of that water is returned to the environment
Under the proposals, around 45% of abstractors will see their annual charges decrease and 55% will see an increase. Overall, three quarters (75%) of all abstractors will see either a decrease or an increase of less than £100 in their charges.

New applicants will also see a higher initial application fee, in line with those charged for other permitting regimes.

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Dates To Remember:
22 September  Women in Dairy Virtual Conference
30 Nov, 1 & 2 Dec RABDF Business & Policy Conference
2 Feb 2022   Dairy-Tech 2022                      
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