LIC UK has been helping British farmers become more prosperous and productive since the early 1990’s.
A subsidiary of the New Zealand farmer-owned cooperative LIC, the international company is responsible for pioneering some of the biggest innovations being used on farm today.
LIC has a long history of providing world-leading innovation for the dairy industry – from DNA technology (which genomically identifies and helps select elite sires) to the systematic testing of milk quality and Long Last Liquid (fresh) semen. Most recently LIC has also developed a short gestation bull team bred to deliver offspring up to 10 days early.
The company works to offer British farmers the very best innovations from New Zealand at the same time New Zealand farmers are using them. The products and services they have available include dairy genetics, herd recording software, milk recording, DNA parentage verification, farm advisory services, integrated parlour automation systems, satellite pasture management and milk testing sensors.
“Our customers are farmers across the UK who are looking to improve the genetics of their dairy cows and are looking for an easy-care cow that maximises solids production from grass,” says Mark Ryder, LIC Europe general manager. “Our consultancy arm helps producers to grow and conserve the best grass and to get the most from grazing animals.
“New Zealand has pioneered many new agritech products and is seen as a world-leader in developing new technology to help farmers stay ahead of the curve and gain better returns on-farm. Many UK farmers have travelled to New Zealand to look at new systems and new opportunities, and much of the new technology on UK farms was developed there.”
LIC UK’s team of FSMs and Pasture to Profit consultants are based around the country and work directly with farmers, on a one-to-one basis or through grassland discussion groups.
“Our main strengths as a business include delivering top genetics to improve dairy cows and meet the ever-changing needs of milk contracts,” Mark explains. “We also offer options to black calvers or all year-round producers that help to secure their future, provide cost-efficient solutions to improve returns and demonstrate how to maximise returns from our cheapest resource, grass.”
Although Covid has limited face-to-face communication with customers and imports have been delayed due to new regulations, Mark is confident the company will be able to overcome these challenges moving forwards.
“We are investing to sure up supply of product from New Zealand,” Mark explains. “Increasing demand for our product and a move to more sexed semen has added supply pressure but we are putting plans in place to work through this so that farmers in the UK still get access to what they need.”
Future innovations to watch out for include LIC’s SPACE satellite pasture management tool. Recently commercialised in New Zealand, Mark said the UK team is beginning trials with a view to making it available here. “This is another tool to drive profitability at farm level,” he says. “We are also continuing to roll out our Herd Improvement Tool which has been extremely well received by farmers who have been looking for something like this for sometime.”
To keep UK farmers up-to-date with new developments, LIC UK produces a quarterly magazine called GrassRoots which is available to read through their website at uklic.co.uk.
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