GRASSCHECK – 20 YEARS OF POSITIVE IMPACT FOR NI FARMERS
Over the last 20 years the GrassCheck programme has been fundamental in assisting ruminant livestock farmers maximise returns from grazed grass.  This initiative led by AgriSearch and AFBI, in partnership with CAFRE and DAERA, has monitored year on year variations in grass growth providing valuable information to both farmers and policy makers during this time.  Grazed grass is the cheapest form of feed available for ruminant livestock in Northern Ireland. With grassland accounting for over 90% of the utilised agricultural area of Northern Ireland, good grassland management is critical to...

AGRISEARCH R&D AND INNOVATION FUNDING VITAL TO TACKLING ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES FACING LIVESTOCK SECTOR
The farmer-funded research and innovation body, AgriSearch has said the role of R&D and innovation will be centre-stage in tackling the challenges the livestock sector is facing regarding the environment. “The adoption of innovative techniques into everyday working practice will demonstrate the lower carbon footprint for Northern Ireland red meat and dairy produce and show that the sector overall is delivering a wide variety of ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration to meet its obligations to the environment,” said AgriSearch Chairman John Henning.  
AgriSearch Chairman John
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DAIRY FARMERS WANTED TO PARTICIPATE IN RESEARCH ON ROBOTIC MILKING SYSTEMS
AgriSearch (in partnership with AFBI and CAFRE) are currently seeking to recruit 25 dairy farmers from across Northern Ireland, who are currently operating robotic milking systems to participate in a robotic milking research project. The overall objective of this research project being funded by DAERA and AgriSearch is to improve the efficiency of N.I. dairy farms by providing key performance indicators and new information to optimise management of robotic milking systems.  The project will include a number of research trials to be undertaken at AFBI Hillsborough to optimise the efficiency...

NEW FACES AT AGRISEARCH
The farmer-funded research and innovation body, AgriSearch has announced several changes to its board of trustees and advisory committees at its recent Annual General Meeting.  Jo-Anne Dobson from Co. Armagh joins the board as an independent farmer trustee and Martyn Blair takes up a position on the board as a UFU nominated farmer trustee.  Jo-Anne Dobson is a former MLA who served on the NI Assembly agriculture committee. She is a partner in the family’s beef and cereal farm in Co. Armagh. Jo-Anne, who is a living kidney donor, is Northern Ireland Charity Ambassador for Kidney Care UK and...

COWS updates its guide to parasite control
The Control of Worms Sustainably in cattle group (COWS) has released updated chapters of its technical guide to parasite control, at the Animal Health Distributors’ Association conference in Birmingham last week (Wednesday 15 January 2020). The new sections, covering round worms, lungworm, liver and rumen fluke and ectoparasites such as flies, lice and ticks, provide a sound basis for advice for farmers and their advisers. The guide was originally written more than 20 years ago and last revised in 2014. The new chapters, updated by research groups from universities across the UK, can...