A LOOK at the concept of a floating dairy farm in Holland, how 3D printing and drones could help dairy farmers, will be three of the more outlandish parts of the forthcoming Dairy-Tech show.

As well as that, the more familiar breeding, disease and forage-growing technologies will be exhibited at the new event, which takes place at Stoneleigh Park, near Coventry, on February 7.

Combining the totally novel with the more familiar means that Dairy-Tech promises to be a completely new concept for the dairy sector. It will showcase ground-breaking technology from robots to virtual reality, giving farmers the chance to experience these developments first hand.

But it will also host more familiar on-farm innovation such as genomics, use of drones for grassland management, management apps and pen-side diagnostics for disease detection.

Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers' managing director, Matt Knight, says the time is right for an event to stimulate ideas and open up the dairy sector to the kind of technologies that are shaping the future of every business.

“For example, while 3D printing isn’t yet widely used in the sector, it has the potential to print spare parts required in parlours and on farm as needed, minimising any down-time or loss of efficiency.

“And, while the model of Holland’s floating dairy farm is unlikely to ever be a commercial proposition, it’s looking at important issues around nutrient recycling, carbon emissions, space utilisation and education – all of which have relevance to today’s dairy farm.”

As well as the innovation ‘hub’, there will be a dairy business focus with speakers covering a range of topics from applied genomics for progressive dairies, to busting the milk myths facing the industry.

Addressing more practical challenges, hoof trimming demonstrations will be carried out by National Association of Cattle Foot Trimmers chairman, Steve Paul – demonstrations will include both knife and grinder techniques as well as showing correct methods for sharpening trimming knifes.

* Tickets for the event cost £17 when booked in advance at www.dairy-tech.uk, or free to RABDF members.