You may wonder what relevance an Egyptian Goddess called Nefertiti has to UK agriculture. In fact NEFERTITI is a network of demonstration and pilot farms designed to enhance knowledge exchange, peer-to-peer learning and efficient innovation uptake in the farming sector across Europe. Focusing on 10 major agricultural challenges, this project aims to overcome these challenges through the exchange of best practice and knowledge amongst farmers.

As part of the planned cross-visit programme, IfA took four UK farmers to France to look at the latest technology in Dairy farming, and Robust Organic Dairy Farming. We were joined by farmers from Belgium, Germany, Croatia, Spain and Lithuania for a series of farm visits, including the Trevarez experimental farm.

         There were many points of interest including:

  • The GAEC system which facilities succession in farming
  • Combining Robotic milking with grazing (including an 10,500 kg herd)
  • Robotic scraping – which reduced lameness by 50%
  • The use of plantain and Chicory to help grazing in drought conditions
  • Methane measurement of individual cows and their variation
  • A mobile robot and parlour for distant summer grazing
  • Health monitoring from rumination collars

French hospitality ensured lots of interaction between all the farmers, and a final session involved reviewing the techniques that we saw, and their relevance to different countries/systems.

Part of the brief of Nefertiti is to highlight and report on best practice in farm knowledge exchange, so we also reviewed how well the demonstrations were organised. More information about this Horizon 2020 project, including the Farm Demo training kit can be found here: FarmDemo

If you would be interested in joining us for future international exchange trips then we'd be delighted to hear from you. Let us know by emailing us on marthah@i4agri.org