Poor reproductive performance is a problem on many dairy farms with AHDB Dairy estimating that poor fertility in a herd can cost as much as £250 per cow. Farmer surveys conducted by AgriSearch have constantly ranked fertility research as a high priority. 

In May 2014 many of the world’s experts in dairy cow fertility attended an international conference at Westport in the Republic of Ireland. This conference entitled ‘New Science – New Practice’ was organised by BSAS and focused entirely on fertility.

Dr Conrad Ferris (AFBI), Dr Gareth Arnott (QUB) and David Stewart (Vice-Chair Dairy Advisory Committee AgriSearch)
Dr Conrad Ferris (AFBI), Dr Gareth Arnott (QUB) and David Stewart (Vice-Chair Dairy Advisory Committee AgriSearch)

Recognising the importance of this event AgriSearch tasked Dr Gareth Arnott (Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast), their Global Research Officer at the time, to attend the conference and to identify key farmer-friendly take home messages inspired by papers presented at the conference. Working with Dr Niamh O’Connell from Queen’s and Dr Conrad Ferris from AFBI Hillsborough, Gareth summarised the key findings in six short articles, contained within a new farmer’s booklet just published by AgriSearch, the NI Agricultural Research and Development Council.

The booklet is available on request by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phoning (028) 8778 9770 it can also be downloaded by clicking here