AgriSearch PhD Student Alistair Boyle with Dr Sinlair Mayne (DARD Scientific Advisor), Mark Brown (DARD Deputy Secretary) and Jason Rankin (AgriSearch Project Officer)A new report is available for download from the AgriSearch website.  This PhD study was carried out by Alistair Boyle with assistance from Niamh O'Connell and Conrad Ferris.  The study looked at managment strategies for first lactation heifer to maximise health, welfare and performance.  In particular the study set out to answer four questions: Are there benefits in introducing dairy heifers to the main dairy herd in the evening rather than the morning? Does housing nulliparous cows with multiparous animals prior to calving influence welfare and performance after...

New Farmers booklet launch on beef from the dairy herd
Maximising returns from beef progeny sourced from the dairy herd is the subject of a new farmers booklet launched at the Winter Fair by AgriSearch. The booklet reports the results of a research project aimed to evaluate the health and lifetime performance of dairy-origin calves.  360 spring born bull calves of four genotypes (Holstein, Angus X Holstein, Limousin X Holstein and Belgian Blue X Holstein) were sourced from 12 farms throughout Northern Ireland. The immunity status of the calves was determined using a ZST test.  Calves with inadequate immune status required a greater number of...

And the winners are!
Valerie and Drew McConnell, Omagh join Professor Fred Gordon in helping their PhD student daughter Debbie McConnell make the draw on the Agrisearch Stand at the RUAS Winter Fair in Belfast. The five lucky winners of a colostrum quality test kit were; Ian Irwin, Ballinamallard, Jim Morrow, Newtownards, Stephen Marshall, Ardstraw,Wilfred Anderson, Newtownhamilton, Alec Boyle, Carrowdore. To receive your free AgriSearch updates by e mail contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Visit the AgriSearch stand at the Winter Fair and win a Colostrometer
FIVE lucky farmers will happily head home from the RUAS Winter Fair at Balmoral next Thursday, Dec 8 having won a brand new colostrometer. This must have tool for those serious about calf rearing as the basis of their herd’s future success measures colostrum quality to help ensure calves get the protection vital for their survival and to maximise lifetime performance. So this Thursday coming, Dec 8, a free draw for five colostrometers takes place on the AgriSearch stand on the King’s Hall balcony. All visiting the AgriSearch stand for an up date from their fellow producers on practical...

BVD Meeetings a must for herd owners
An AgriSearch co-funded study recently undertaken by AFBI, Veterinary Sciences Division has revealed wide-spread exposure to bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) in Northern Ireland dairy herds. AgriSearch are holding two evening meetings in Omagh (Wednesday 23rd November) and Greenmount Campus (Thursday 24th November) at which Dairy and Suckler Herd owners can discuss the study results and consider how Northern Ireland can follow Scotland and the Republic of Ireland in planning to eradicate this costly endemic disease.  Both meetings start at 8pm. Main speaker Maria Guelbenzu from AFBI...