Many of you will be experiencing a new round of farm assurance schemes especially if you have changed your milk buyer recently.

Below is a list of items, which the auditors seem keener on than in previous inspections.

  1. Detailed health plan. This includes product information and also summaries of individual diseases such as lameness, mastitis and infertility. Treatment records must show dates of end of treatment as well as withdrawal periods. Other areas that need to be updated are youngstock health plans, casualty and downer cows, broken needle policy and the worming of cats and dogs.
  2. Nutrition plan for all categories of stock including youngstock. Home mixers need to check they comply with the increasing emphasis on a detailed feed record showing mixing dates, inclusion levels and traceability of raw materials. Home mixers who include minerals in the mix should be registered with the local Trading Standards. We believe that minerals fed 'free access' are exempt from this requirement. Obviously anyone buying a blend can rely on GP Feeds UFAS (Universal Feed Assurance Scheme) registration to comply with the requirements. At present, there is no requirement to use a qualified nutritionist for feed plans. This does not make a lot of sense, as you agronomist needs to be qualified. GP Feeds has qualified nutritionists experienced in the production of detailed feed plans meeting the NDFAS (National Dairy Farm Assurance Scheme) requirements.
  3. Waste managements plans are also required. The NDFAS website ( has an example template which is not too difficult. A farm map showing areas of non-application is also useful.
  4. Contingency plans used to be a list of essential phone numbers but more detailed procedures are being asked for. Again the NDFAS website gives example questions (but not answers)

We know that the prospect of the assessment gets a lot of you down. GP Feeds can help ease some of the hassle by helping to produce feed plans and possibly help with health plans. An example of a feed record sheet will be published on the GP Feeds website ( in the near future.

We at GP Feeds want to help you make the most of your business. A good audit will also help if you wish to change milk buyers in the future.