Milk Roadmap: Dairy Moving in a Green Direction

UK - The environmental performance of dairy farming is showing improvement with the publication today (Wednesday) of a two year report on progress and achievements of the dairy industry under the Environmental Plan for Dairy Farming.
calendar icon 17 September 2008
clock icon 3 minute read
National Farmers Union

The plan, which was launched in 2006, brings together representatives of government agencies and the dairy industry to provide a focus for industry efforts to improve the environmental performance of dairy farming, without compromising its economic viability. The report highlights progress in environmental improvements in the dairy sector, including:

  • A 35% reduction in pollution incidents to water from dairy farming.
  • Significant progress in the promotion and uptake of nutrient management planning amongst dairy farmers.
  • Success in delivering environmental improvement on the ground through Catchment Sensitive Farming projects in England and Wales.
  • Good uptake in agri-environment schemes amongst dairy farmers, with 35% of dairy managed farmland now in the Entry Level Scheme.

The progress report also highlights voluntary and integrated approaches to environmental improvement can work well alongside regulation and economic incentives.

"Where leading industry players and government do come together and co-operate, they can help to deliver solutions to the environmental challenges that we all face"
NFU dairy board Gwyn Jones

Commenting on the report, chairman of the NFU dairy board Gwyn Jones said: "The achievements of the dairy sector in improving environmental performance are increasingly showcased in the superb work that has been done across the industry under the banner of the Environmental Plan for Dairy Farming.

"This initiative has shown that where leading industry players and government do come together and co-operate, they can help to deliver solutions to the environmental challenges that we all face."

Those organisations involved have implemented projects to deal with specific issues detailed in the plan. The NFU and Environment Agency have carried out work on water management through the guide 'Waterwise on the Farm' and DairyCo established a number of environmental demonstration farms last year to illustrate best practice which has also been embodied in the dairy demonstration farms set up by Farming Connect in Wales.

The collective organisations have increased the industry focus on nutrient management planning through extension work on farm, case studies and promotion. In addition, there have been two successful industry-wide environmental conferences organised by DairyUK.

There have been a number of developments during the two years since the plan was launched. Climate change has risen up the list of priorities for the dairy industry and dealing with regulatory burdens is likely to become tougher for farmers with the implementation of the new Nitrates Action Plan. Furthermore, taking on the mantle of monitoring the progress of targets set out in the recently launched industry wide Milk Roadmap will also form a large part of the work of the stakeholder group in the future.

Nevertheless, the stakeholders involved in the plan, believe that its success hinges on getting buy-in from farmers through collaboratively promoting integrated solutions such as nutrient management planning and participation in agri-environment schemes for dairy farmers, together with improving understanding of environmental issues in the dairy sector between dairy farmers, advisers and regulators.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

TheCattleSite News Desk

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.