Arla

NoParticularPattern

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North Yorkshire
Any ideas why questions 77 to 102 don't appear in the survey for me? I wouldn't have noticed if there wasn't a long list of questions with 0 as the answer in the review section at the end

View attachment 969247
77 should appear as its a standard question about %peat soil I think? 78-102 are dependent on you selecting the relevant home grown crops and then adding them to answer the questions on. So we have figures for Ha planted and yield of barley, wheat & OSR and Ha of temp and perm pasture, but 0 for the other options as I didn’t select them because we didn’t grow them. I used the app and had to select from a drop down box then press the + button to generate the questions for each crop.
 
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early riser

Member
Location
Up North
What logic have people used to estimate contractor diesel usage where the information isn’t readily available? (Believe me I’ve tried!!)

Didn’t Arla recommend assuming that a certain percentage of total contractor bill relates to fuel, so just divide that percentage figure by average red diesel price to get an estimated litreage?

can’t remember what the percentage was they said to use
 
What logic have people used to estimate contractor diesel usage where the information isn’t readily available? (Believe me I’ve tried!!)

Didn’t Arla recommend assuming that a certain percentage of total contractor bill relates to fuel, so just divide that percentage figure by average red diesel price to get an estimated litreage?

can’t remember what the percentage was they said to use

I did my audit last week and he used 20% by value and converted it to litres.

£5500 contractors bill = 1833 litres to total.

just get it filled in and they will tweak and tune it when it’s audited
 

jerseycowsman

Member
Location
cornwall
Just had my arla garden visit today just a couple of months after my red tractor. Only a few minors to sort out like gaps around the bulk tank room doors! Will a draft excluded brush type thing be good enough?
But mainly, why are we now doing 2 of these bloody jobs for the boys schemes now? Almost duplicating each other
 

NoParticularPattern

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North Yorkshire
Just had my arla garden visit today just a couple of months after my red tractor. Only a few minors to sort out like gaps around the bulk tank room doors! Will a draft excluded brush type thing be good enough?
But mainly, why are we now doing 2 of these bloody jobs for the boys schemes now? Almost duplicating each other
Oh but don’t ever ask them if one will ever supercede the other for heavens sake. I think they think we like the practice because otherwise we’d be twiddling our thumbs and needing a hobby to fill our spare time. My personal favourite is when they have you do your Climate check now and then wait until back end to do the audit. In the meantime you’ve had RT, the dairy inspector and aunt Fanny’s goldfish’s book club round asking you questions about everything else ever invented. So you can’t remember where you left your notebook about climate check much less decipher your exasperated scribbles about how much Nitrogen value is in separated slurry vs not 🙄
 

Chips

Member
Location
Shropshire
Climate check is a faff for sure and as a one man band I find it as hard as the next man to find the time , but it is one of the most important pieces of work you do in terms of getting extra value into your milk . The tool is already recognised as the most comprehensive in the world due to the amount of farmers completing it and how in depth it goes . This has already allowed us to prove not only that Europe has half the CF of the global average but also that Arla has a slightly lower CF within Europe . This then allows Arla to really fight our corner with policy makers , i.e we shouldn't be down scaling dairy production at all within Europe as it would only be replaced with dairy at twice the CF .
Things of course aren't perfect with the tool yet and a lot of people have highlighted how hard it can be to obtain accurate diesel records from contractors , but if we don't ask we don't get , and in time as modern tractors with the tech to record fuel use get more common place coupled with many customers asking their contractors for this info will result in a more and more accurate figure in future . This will then allow us to see which are the more efficient systems which in turn will allow us to share this data and save us all money and also keep us lowering our CF.
If we were to instead just keep taking standardised figures for everything, we of course end up with the standardised CF of the global average .
With regards to the duplication of AG and Red tractor this is something I agree with and hopefully in time maybe something could be done on this front , the difficulty is UK customers insist on RT and the inspections are quite different . The inspection intervals vary too as RT is standard every 18mths but AG is risk based thus rewarding high standard farms with far less inspections than RT but targeting lower standard farms with more frequent inspections which I believe to be fair .
Maybe a solution would be if we could get the inspectors trained in both Audits in the UK and allow high standard farms to choose to have more frequent inspections to fall inline with RT , i.e every 18mths . The downside to this of course is it would incur more cost to Arla which ultimately costs us all and not just the UK .
 

NoParticularPattern

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North Yorkshire
i just find the climate check tool incredibly clunky. There’s questions like “how many kg of N as slurry are exported?” which are difficult to answer and require some proper working out. They give no indication of understanding the difference between separated slurry and not and didn’t seem to think that it did make a difference when we had our audit. Even though we know it does. The thing that I really disliked though was the expectation from the auditor that we should chase carbon footprint above all else. There was a suggestion they we should immediately go out and buy a dribble bar, stop feeding soya, start growing all sorts of fancy crops etc etc just to lower our footprint. And whilst I’m not saying we shouldn’t be lowering our CF, it has to be remembered that it cannot and should not be done to the detriment of the business as a whole. Otherwise there won’t be a business with a CF of any description.
RT are a pain in the backside but at least they’ve got with the program and have produced an online portal. Even if it also suffers from the clunkiness which seems to plague agri software in general.
 

Chips

Member
Location
Shropshire
Agreed your business must come 1st , luckily in the main lowering CF will also drive profit but there will always be exceptions to this and it's up to Arla to get a return from the market for this and where not possible loby for outside support to cover the cost after all we as farmers are not magicians and cannot magic money out of thin air although increasingly from Gov. farm policy you would think we can !
 

Bald n Grumpy

Member
Livestock Farmer
One of the things suggested was that we could improve on was hiefer calving age.
We have cow's that will do 8-9 lactations but probably didn't calve until 21/2. 3 years old. Some herds would need to keep 2 heifers to equal the number of lactations and probably need more feed to get the size to calve at 2 years old. Surely its More carbon friendly to keep one heifer not two??
 

More to life

Member
Location
Somerset
One of the things suggested was that we could improve on was hiefer calving age.
We have cow's that will do 8-9 lactations but probably didn't calve until 21/2. 3 years old. Some herds would need to keep 2 heifers to equal the number of lactations and probably need more feed to get the size to calve at 2 years old. Surely its More carbon friendly to keep one heifer not two??
All the stats would suggest your cows would last even longer if you calved at two years.
 

NoParticularPattern

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North Yorkshire
One of the things suggested was that we could improve on was hiefer calving age.
We have cow's that will do 8-9 lactations but probably didn't calve until 21/2. 3 years old. Some herds would need to keep 2 heifers to equal the number of lactations and probably need more feed to get the size to calve at 2 years old. Surely its More carbon friendly to keep one heifer not two??
Is it not more about cow longevity being best from those which calve at 24 months? So you should expect to have even more lasting 8/9/10 lactations and hence driving down CF? We manage just fine when they’re calving 22/24 months but once they start getting towards 30/36 months they struggle to even get away as a heifer, much less do several further lactations. And as much as £1200 is an excellent price for a cull, we would really rather they were dropping a few more calves and contributing to the tank every day (and I’m sure the bank manager would be far more impressed also…..)
 
Location
cumbria
The default bigwig reply on RT is that it's customers want it.
Well they bloody would if it's at no cost to them.

Try saying you can have arla assured and CF checked at xppl or you can have arla assured, CF checked and RT checked at X+1ppl. Everyone wins, they get what they say they want and we get some recompense for the endless parade of inspectors/audits.
 

Bald n Grumpy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Is it not more about cow longevity being best from those which calve at 24 months? So you should expect to have even more lasting 8/9/10 lactations and hence driving down CF? We manage just fine when they’re calving 22/24 months but once they start getting towards 30/36 months they struggle to even get away as a heifer, much less do several further lactations. And as much as £1200 is an excellent price for a cull, we would really rather they were dropping a few more calves and contributing to the tank every day (and I’m sure the bank manager would be far more impressed also…..)
So the thinking is that calving at 2 years increases the milking lifetime at both ends ?
Can't remember all the questions from the climate check but I assume longevity is picked up through herd replacement rates?
 

Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

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Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

Written by Lisa Applin

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In July, we opened the applications window for farmers to join our Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive is 1 of the 3 new environmental land management schemes. It sits alongside the future Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery schemes.

Through the Sustainable Farming Incentive, farmers will be paid for environmentally sustainable actions – ones that are simple to do and do not require previous agri-environment scheme experience.

We are piloting the scheme to...
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