A WILTSHIRE company is up for a top award - and will be vying for the title at Dairy-Tech. 

Three finalists have been shortlisted for the Royal Dairy Innovation Award - including National Milk Records (NMR), who has headquarters in Wiltshire.

The award will be presented at the event in Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, on February 7 2024. Finalists have been selected from more than 25 entries made by an online submission to event organisers, RADBF. 

The award, which is sponsored by the Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Livestock (CIEL), is presented to a company exhibiting at this year's Dairy-Tech with a practical product or service which is likely to be the most significant innovation for the future of dairying.

The three finalists will be asked to present their project at Dairy-Tech to a panel of independent judges. This year's judges are dairy farmer and competition chair Tim Downes, CIEL's head of innovation and animal health, Dr Grace O'Gorman and Chris Howarth, global sales director for smaXtec, which was last year's winning product.  

Finalists for the award include: 

  • National Milk Records (NMR) with GenoCells: This is an innovative herd management and herd improvement service centred exclusively around genomic testing. The main innovative feature is the ability to get individual somatic cell counts (SCC) for cows from a bulk milk sample rather than individually sampling each cow during the milking. This simplifies managing sub-clinical mastitis, bulk somatic cell counts (penalty bandings) and selective dry cow therapy.  
  • Bimeda with ImmunIGY Bovine IgG: This is is a novel test that checks whether a calf (up to 42 days old) has received sufficient antibodies from the colostrum (IgG levels). The blood test is easy to conduct using a lancet and directly measures IgG levels using a lateral flow device (LFD), with results in just 10 minutes. Calves receiving insufficient, high-quality colostrum in the correct timeframe will suffer from Failure of Passive Transfer (FPT) and have been shown to be more susceptible to disease and poorer performance in terms of daily live weight gains. Farms which routinely monitor IgG status have been shown to suffer significantly lower rates of failure of passive transfer, highlighting the importance of monitoring.  
  • DeLaval with DeLaval Plus: This is an online platform that uses the most advanced level of farm management analysis to give farmers the tools to turn all their farm data, including milking data, into actionable, easily understood information. This helps users make fast, accurate decisions that benefit their animals, workforce, and profitability.  In addition to analysing performance, it can anticipate future outcomes so farmers can plan and act accordingly.  

Mr Downes said: "The diverse nature of this year's entries made shortlisting a final three challenging. However, we are confident that our finalists all have products that are very innovative and will make a difference to the UK dairy industry." 

The winner will receive a signed framed certificate and trophy from the Princess Royal later this year.