AIC looks to improve UK farmer access to feed advisers

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/EtiAmmos
© GettyImages/EtiAmmos

Related tags: GHG emissions, environment, covid-19

The Feed Adviser Register (FAR) run by UK feed and ag services trade group, Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC), has launched a new initiative to allow farmers find nearby feed companies that employ registered feed advisers.

FAR was set up in response to the UK governments’ commitment and industry and customer demands to reduce emissions from farmed livestock.

Since 2013 over 1000 feed advisers from all over the UK have joined, said the AIC. The remit of the professionally qualified feed advisers is to make recommendations not only about diets but also about the environmental performance of the farm.

A new online system​ - Find a Feed Adviser Checker​ – now makes it much easier for farmers to locate a feed advisor, said the AIC.

“Previously, farmers have had to phone the AIC and be given the nearest companies in their area. This is a much quicker and more transparent system,”​ a spokesperson for the trade group told FeedNavigator.

All feed advisers have had the opportunity to register for the Checker, with high levels of early adopters, reported the AIC.

The Checker will not show feed advisers’ individual details but will show the nearest feed adviser companies. From there, further details can be obtained from the individual company as required. The system permits the setting of various categories in order to find the right adviser, including county and species specializations, said the AIC.

The impact of COVID-19 has resulted in great disruption and restrictions on movement. This tool will give farmers greater autonomy and flexibility,”​ commented John Kelley, MD of AIC Services.

GHG targets

The UK has committed to ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. Even more ambitious targets were set by the UK National Farmers Union (NFU) in September 2019, with it unveiling its vision of how farming can reach net zero GHG emissions by 2040. And there are other targets under the UK’s clean air and water acts.

In relation to hitting those targets, James McCulloch, feed sector lead, AIC, told this publication back in December 2019: “We see a role for feed advisers in terms of looking at optimization of feed conversion ratios, protein conversion ratios, reduction in nitrogen and phosphorus excretions, and being able to measure that, along with water and energy use on farm.

"While these are all aspects that can be measured, again the trick is going to be in gathering the data.​ But when the industry is challenged on what progress it is making on these commitments, then we will be able to share an industry-wide set of actions, showing we are taking X amount of tons of carbon out of the economy, and that we are meeting our air and water targets as well.”

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