SCOTLAND, UK - New figures presented at the recent Scottish Dairy Hub Steering Group meeting revealed progress.
The group, which includes dairy farmers and industry experts, discussed the issues currently facing the dairy industry in Scotland, and in particular the range of queries the Hub receives on a daily basis.
Now two years into the project, the Hub has released an infographic based on figures collated from the start of January 2016, showing the range and scope of questions which the service receives from dairy farmers throughout Scotland.
Almost half (46 per cent) of the enquiries have come in from repeat customers, while a massive 81 per cent of queries received have been on unique topics, including business and commercial knowledge, technical issues regarding feed, cow health and staffing.
These figures are indicative of the huge range of issues currently affecting Scottish dairy farmers and their businesses. Geographically, the majority of questions (36 per cent) came from Ayrshire, with the rest coming from the Central Belt (25 per cent), Dumfries & Galloway (20 per cent), Aberdeenshire and Angus (13 per cent) and the remaining 6 per cent coming from elsewhere in Scotland.
The Scottish Dairy Hub was launched in 2014, as an independent service to signpost dairy farmers to solutions for queries they might have about their farm business, and is now a highly valued business tool for dairy farmers in Scotland.
Stuart Martin, Dairy Hub Manager, explains: "The Scottish Dairy Hub handles queries from dairy farms of all sizes, from herds of less than 100 cows to more than 500, and our reach is all over the country.
"We have helped dairy farmers at all stages of their business lifespan, from students and new entrants to established farmers.
"We have a wide range of contacts from technical consultants and vets, to academics and agencies. We have direct access to specialist knowledge and resources of interest to dairy farmers. In addition, we are continually gathering the latest sector specific information and news, and we collate much of this on our website."
Dairy Farmer Jill Bathgate sits on the Scottish Dairy Hub's Steering Group: "The Scottish Dairy Hub is creating much-needed joins in a fragmented, disjointed industry. It is a real help to be able to talk through things with someone on a confidential basis, and the team have so many contacts their advice is invaluable."
Paul Grant, Chairman of the Dairy Growth Board and Scottish Dairy Hub Steering Committee: "Since launching in 2014, the Scottish Dairy Hub has supported the industry at a time when it is facing a number of serious issues, signposting Scottish dairy farmers to free and confidential information. Now into year two, the Hub continues to build on the progress to date providing a vital business tool for the dairy sector."
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