For the 4D4F farming network, the sharing of tech know-how has already resulted in improved welfare and profitability, with potential to increase feed efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The EU-supported 4D4F network was established to help dairy farmers base management decisions on data, such as that gathered by sensing equipment, leading to best practices for more sustainable dairy farming.
4D4F has evolved around a European-wide Community of Practice (CoP) to share knowledge, both physically and virtually. As project coordinator, Mr Richard Lloyd explains, “It was important to focus on subjects determined in a bottom-up way. So the community voted on what was important for them. Out of this we arrived at 12 special interest groups.”
For each group 4D4F developed a Best Practice Guide, an infographic and a best practice video, all made available in the languages of the project partners.
These groups, along with an additional virtual resource known as the Warehouse of Technology, (comprising an overview of, and comparisons between, all of the current technology), were crucial to not only help farmers make the best investment decisions for their particular farms, but also unlock the potential of the technology already owned.