MORE funds have been secured to drive efficiency and profitability over the next five years.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board will use the £6.5 million from the Welsh Government primarily on herd health planning and monitoring, along with the expansion of AHDB’s strategic farm initiative in Wales.

Gwyn Jones, AHDB chairman, said: “This is fantastic news for dairy farmers and a game changer which will help to release the full potential of their dairy herds.”

AHDB will also expand their strategic dairy farm concept in Wales to help farmers learn from each other through regular on-farm meetings and sharing key performance data.

Mr Jones said: “We know farmers learn best from other farmers and we will be working collaboratively with Farming Connect to make sure we complement their existing demonstration network and add value to delivery wherever possible”.

Herd health plans will set out disease prevention, detection and management procedures that will be developed as part of the programme.

The new approach will take into consideration influencing factors such as nutrition, genetics and the suitability of buildings to ensure the health of herds is protected.

Dairy farmers in Wales will be able to access support to raise their awareness of disease control and preventative measures from autumn 2018.

Mr Jones said: “Herd health and disease control underpin good performance on dairy farms and will help milk producers improve efficiencies and lift herd profitability.”

The funding from Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 was announced on the opening day of the Royal Welsh Show.

Details about AHDB’s strategic dairy farm programme can be found at