Background Fasciola hepatica, the liver fluke, is a common and ubiquitous parasite affecting the health and welfare of cattle worldwide.  Fluke infection costs the UK agriculture industry somewhere in the region of £300 million per year due to production losses with liver condemnations alone costing £3.2 million in 2010. Evidence from various sources suggests that the prevalence of infection has increased considerably in recent years for a variety of reasons – changing climate, changing farming practices and increased animal movements. There are growing concerns about drug resistance and...

D-91-17 - Optihouse - Innovative calf housing and environment management to promote animal health, welfare and performance
Objectives The objectives of this project are to increase the efficiency of feed, labour and livestock use within calf rearing enterprises in Northern Ireland.  These objectives will be delivered through:  A better understanding of calf rearing houses within Northern Ireland and the key factors linked to poor environmental conditions, failure to deliver expected growth and excessive labour requirements A better understanding of the impacts and interactions between level/type of calf nutrition, bedding, calf grouping and environmental conditions.  This knowledge will help inform...

STAMP is co-funded by DAERA under the Research Challenge Fund.  The five partners are: AgriSearch (Lead partner) Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (Research Partner) Animal Health and Welfare Northern Ireland Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland Farm Vet Systems Background to Challenge Increasing pressure to reduce antibiotic use in livestock production Particular emphasis on “critical” antibiotics (Cephalosporin’s & Fluoroquinolones) Recent EuroDairy pilot farmer exchange visit to Netherlands highlighted this issue Tescos have already imposed restrictions on...

OBJECTIVES Improving on-farm grass growth and utilisation is imperative to building a resilient and sustainable dairy production sector in Northern Ireland. Building on a significant body existing work, this project will seek to examine the variability in grass growth potential across Northern Ireland and provide regional grass growth forecast to support grassland management on farm. Continual sward assessment and grass growth monitoring are also key aspects of improving grass utilisation. This project will examine the potential of novel, labour saving precision technologies such as...

(D-89-17) - Improving the efficiency and sustainability of milk production systems through the production and utilisation of high quality grass silage
Objectives The overall objective of this project is to conduct a targeted series of research studies which will address knowledge gaps related to the production and utilisation of high quality grass silage in dairy cow diets.  This will be achieved through desk based exercises, grass plot and ensilage studies, and dairy cow feeding studies, thus achieving a holistic approach to the research programme.  Specifically, the objectives can be defined as follows: Through a short survey prior to the commencement of the project, to identify barriers to improving silage quality within...