Technical Information

AHDB Dairy offers a range of products and services to assist GB dairy farmers with a variety of technical and business management issues to provide you with support to make decision for your business in these challenging times.

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From financial templates, strategic and business planning workshops to health & welfare related topics, such as mastitis and lameness, our technical services offer evidence based, practical support and advice which has been shown to deliver positive results.

In a volatile market, our ' #Decisions4Dairy' page has a wide range of relevant information and resources to provide support from across the sector to help you create and maintain a sustainable business.

If you are a dairy farmer considering exiting the sector, watch our short film report with farmers who have already had to deal with this difficult decision.

Don’t go through stress alone

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Please contact your local Knowledge Exchange Officer to discuss any information or support you may need. 


Farm Business Management

Handful of grain

What If & Planning for Profit

What If & Planning for Profit are AHDB Dairy’s planning workshops for dairy farmers, who will get a chance to work through real financial and physical management and nutritional scenarios for their businesses.

Exiting dairy farming and Alternative options


Understanding your business, its strengths and weaknesses, is vital for assessing your position and enabling you to take steps forward. Benchmarking your business against others enables you to decide which areas may benefit from changing but don’t forget other knock-on impacts of changes to other business areas.

Lean Management

AHDB Dairy’s role is to promote world class knowledge and expertise in British dairy farming. This includes taking the best management practices from other industries and sectors and using them to help our farmers profit from a sustainable future; Lean is a way of doing this looking at continual improvements to the business involving all those working within the business.

People Management

Herd Management

Handful of grain


Raising heifer calves is the 2nd largest annual expense of a dairy business’s production costs, after feed, with no income until the first lactation and no profit until the second lactation. Reducing your losses and only rearing the replacements you need could save your business money; while ensuring your replacements enter the herd at 24 months further reduces rearing cost as well as impacting the speed of return on this investment.

Genetic Evaluation

Breeding, although longer term, has a considerable impact on profitability, as demonstrated by the fact that 80% of the increase in milk yield over the past 20 years can be attributed to improved breeding. It is important to ensure the best possible breeding decisions are still being made as any reduction in attention to this will have lasting implications to your herd.


Feeding dairy cows and youngstock is one of the highest costs for milk production. There is, though, a large variation of feeding costs between relatively similar systems. Feed budgeting, waste reduction, looking at comparable values (nutrition and financial) and understanding the impact of feeding changes may be key in a challenging time.

Grassland Utilisation

Grass (grazed or conserved) utilisation in any system of production is a key factor in cost of production. Forage for Knowledge is the AHDB Dairy grass analysis project for 2015. We will be following 13 farmers across GB as they aim to get great quality and consistency for the whole grazing season.

Latest News

  • China's thirst for dairy grows

    Consumption of dairy products in China is expected to increase 2.5% this year to 33.7 million tonnes, according to USDA forecasts. 15 August 2019
  • Growth in milk yield slows down

    GB milk production has been breaking record since November last year, with average milk yields up as much as 8% on the year. However in recent months, the rate of growth has been falling, suggesting that yields may be returning to more historically normal levels. 25 June 2019
  • African Swine Fever – potential impacts on dairy

    As the world’s largest pork producer China accounts for around 50% of pork production globally. The current African Swine Fever epidemic is expected to reduce China’s pork production by 25-35% according to Rabobank, resulting in increased demand for other animal proteins but decreased demand for feedstuffs. 13 June 2019
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