Agricultural technology and engineering firm Agri-EPI Centre has launched a new £1.36m south west dairy development centre in Somerset, which aims to offer a “fresh vision” for sustainable UK milk production.
According to the group the 180-cow dairy unit provides an environment for the development, testing and demonstration of new technologies and techniques to support sustainable, efficient and high health and welfare milk production.
The centre combines “innovative” building design and management systems to create an “efficient, low cost dairy system”, with the capital cost of developing the dairy from scratch amounting to less that £8,000 per cow.
The centre has been established in partnership with independent dairy specialists Kingshay, who will manage the facility, and using funding from Innovate UK and support from industry partners.
Duncan Forbes, Agri-EPI project manager for the new centre, said: “Our mantra here is, ‘measure it to manage it’. Sensor technology is being used to gather data to enable us to maximise precision in many aspects of feeding, production, health and welfare across the farm: indoors and outdoors, by satellite, and on and inside the cows.”
Ian Cox, of Innovate UK, said: “The new South West Dairy Centre fits very well with Innovate UK’s vision to support the development and adoption of new technologies to help UK farming become more sustainable, efficient and profitable. It is good that the new centre is now operational and we hope it will become a central resource for use by the UK dairy industry.”