Dairy farmers in Wales are being invited to apply for financial and technical support to improve herd health management and disease control, as part of the Welsh Government's dairy improvement programme.

AHDB secured £6.5m from the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government, to deliver the Dairy Improvement Programme in Wales over the next five years.

The first phase of AHDB's £6.5m programme, HerdAdvance, launches at the Welsh Dairy Show in Carmarthen on Tuesday, October 30,, and farmers have until November 30 to register their interest.

HerdAdvance focuses on herd health management and disease control, and aims to help Welsh dairy farmers lift herd profitability and performance.

Farmers will receive support and assistance to review their animal health and biosecurity plans and to develop herd health action plans.

This whole farm approach will take into consideration other influencing factors such as nutrition, genetics and the suitability of buildings.

Financial and technical assistance will be available for tackling a range of animal health issues depending on the needs of a farm.

One of the financial incentives available through the project are semen vouchers, which will be provided to farmers striving to improve their herd genetics by using herd genetic reports to make informed breeding decisions.

HerdAdvance is only open to dairy farmers with the majority of their farm in Wales and participants need to commit to supplying regular data to monitor progress. Farmers will receive details in the post along with an expression of interest form, but it can also be downloaded from AHDB’s website.

Animal health knowledge exchange managers have been recruited as part of the project and they will be on our stand during the Welsh Dairy Show to discuss the benefits of taking part.

Delyth Davies, head of dairy development Wales, said: “This is a great opportunity for dairy farmers in Wales to get financial and practical support to look at how they can improve their herd health management to boost profitability and performance on farm. I’d urge those attending the Welsh Dairy Show to come and talk to us to find out more and sign up.”

Alongside this project, through the dairy improvement programme, AHDB will also be expanding its strategic dairy farm network in Wales.

For more information visit: ahdb.org.uk/herdadvance