AGRISEARCH ROBOTIC MILKING GROUP GOES VIRTUAL
AgriSearch’s Robotic Milking Discussion Group has gone virtual with its first meeting with the 23 participating farmers held online. This group will contribute to an Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI) research project entitled ‘The role of robotic milking for NI dairying’. The project is a four-year programme of work funded by DAERA and AgriSearch. The Discussion Group contributes to the delivery of the project’s on-farm work streams, aiming to benchmark and improve performance of robotics on commercial farms. AgriSearch advertised for participants in early 2020. 23 farmers were...

Managing Grass and Forages to Maximise Sheep Production
  On Wednesday 8th July at 7.30pm CIEL (Centre for Excellence in Livestock) will be hosting their first joint webinar with the National Sheep Association (NSA). The webinar will explore how sheep farmers can increase profit by effectively managing feed resources they have in the form of pasture, focussing on maximising the utilisation and quality of pasture. With the challenges faced in balancing the goals of farm profitability, environmental impact and product quality, managing pasture well can deliver increased returns for relatively little cost.   The event will be jointly hosted by...

Farmers tune in to new podcast for advice on managing grass
  A new farming podcast has been capturing the attention of Northern Ireland farmers during Covid-19 restrictions. The GrassCheck podcast is an adaption of its popular grass growth forecast, and is produced in-house by AgriSearch’s General Manager Jason Rankin. Weekly GrassCheck forecasts have been complied by AgriSearch with the support of AFBI, CAFRE and 40 GrassCheck farmers for many years. They provide up-to-date grass information to assist farmers with grassland management decisions and support improvements in grass utilisation on livestock farms. At this time of year AgriSearch would...

New guidance from COWS: Integrated parasite control on cattle farms
 
The Control of Worms Sustainably in cattle (COWS) group has published the final chapter in its updated Guide. Titled ‘Integrated parasite control on cattle farms’, it brings together the key technical messages from previous chapters on roundworms, lungworm, liver and rumen fluke and ectoparasites and shows how they can be applied on farm.   “We were keen to show how the principles and treatments outlined in the parasite-specific chapters can be applied to some common farming scenarios,” says Rebecca Small, AHDB animal health and welfare scientist and co-ordinator for COWS. “While...

AgriSearch Seeks Farmers Views on Strategy Review
 
AgriSearch is undertaking a wide-ranging review of its research and development and knowledge exchange strategy to ensure that its work programme remains focused and relevant and that it continues to deliver value for money for its farmer levy payers As a first step in this review, AgriSearch is launching a farmer survey to obtain the views of its levy payers.  The results of this will inform the research and development activities which AgriSearch will undertake over the next 5-10 years and how the findings of this research will be communicated to farmers.  This will be followed...