AgriSearch host leading Dutch Dairy Farmers
AgriSearch recently hosted 34 leading dairy farmers from the Netherlands on a farmer exchange to Northern Ireland as part of the EuroDairy Project.  This followed on from visits by the Northern Ireland EuroDairy pilot farmers to the Netherlands. The Dutch farmers visited the Dairy Technology Centre at CAFRE’s Greenmount Campus, AFBI Hillsborough, Dale Farm headquarters as well as the farms of two Northern Ireland EuroDairy pilot farmers (Thomas Steele and Brian McCracken).   The highlight of the visit was a dinner in Parliament Buildings hosted by AgriSearch at which the Dutch farmers met...

GRASSCHECK EXPANDS COVERAGE FOR 2018
Grass Growth and quality data from 50 sites spread across Northern Ireland will feed into the AgriSearch and AFBI led GrassCheck programme in 2018.   Following on from a successful recruitment drive there will now be 20 dairy farmers, 23 beef farmers, 5 sheep farmers involved in the project as well as the long-standing plots at Hillsborough and Greenmount.  AgriSearch General Manager Jason Rankin said “GrassCheck is AgriSearch’s flagship project.  We received very positive feedback from farmers on the new on-farm element of the project which was rolled out in 2017.  This represents a real...

RESEARCHING FOR IMPROVED BEEF RETURNS
Research results of real relevance to producers will be displayed and discussed on the AgriSearch and AFBI stands during the NBA Beef Expo Northern Ireland event at Dungannon Farmers Market on Monday, 26th February. Research projects which will be featured will include the Beef from Grass project (which forms part of GrassCheck) which is benchmarking grass growth and utilisation on 15 farms across Northern Ireland. Results of an ongoing beef grazing trial with Holstein bulls undertaken at AFBI Hillsborough will also be discussed.  The final results of a major on-farm suckler cow...

AgriSearch Launch Major Grassland Survey
AgriSearch are rolling out a major province-wide survey to investigate the barriers that prevent beef and dairy farmers from maximising production from grazed and conserved grass, as well as the factors that prevent the uptake of new grassland management technology. A recent study carried out by AFBI has indicated that the average grass utilised on Northern Ireland dairy farms is 7.5t DM/ha per year.  The same study indicated that the average grass utilised on beef farms is 4.1t DM/ha/year.  This is significantly lower than the potential of modern grass varieties which can achieve...

DAIRY & BEEF PILOT FARMERS WANTED FOR 2018 GRASS PROJECTS
Applications are now open to become a GrassCheck pilot farmer for two AgriSearch’s projects: Precision Grazing and Beef from Grass. Working with research partners AFBI, these projects will recruit new dairy farms and beef farms from across Northern Ireland to monitor grass growth and quality across a range of production systems and land types. In Northern Ireland, there is a huge variation in soil type and a range of microclimates, resulting in large variations in localised grass growth, rainfall, soil moisture levels and temperature. AgriSearch Project Officer Elizabeth Earle commented...