New opportunities will outweigh the challenges facing the livestock industry in the next five to 10 years according to a panel of industry insiders.
While cattle and sheep producers are facing environmental and net zero targets, new trade deals and changes to support payments, Ian Wheal, co-founder of the precision livestock app Breedr told a conference that farmers are more than capable of overcoming the turbulence.
“By taking more control of the supply chain, ensuring two-way feedback from fork to farm, and using new technology and genetics, farmers can significantly improve efficiencies,” he said.
“All sustainability comes with commercial sustainability, and by using data there’s a big opportunity to improve both farm productivity and carbon footprints.”
Phil Stocker, the chief executive of the National Sheep Association, also argued that basing management decisions on real farm data is key.
He said: “The top producers output is 60% higher than the bottom producers, with similar costs – these are really significant variables which can be addressed.”
Phil Bicknell, head of business development at the UK’s livestock innovation Centre, CIEL, added that actions to improve business performance could also help environmental impact.
He added: “Use science and data to inform your decision-making. There is no shortage of innovation and technology to help; despite all the uncertainties and challenges the livestock sector is in for an exciting time.”