New Trustees Join the AgriSearch Board
Two new appointments have recently been made to the AgriSearch Board of Trustees. Val McConnell joins the board as a new Independent Farmer Trustee and David Rea joins as a representative of Dairy UK, filling the role vacated by Fred Allen following his appointment as Chair of Dale Farm. Val, a suckler beef and sheep farmer from Omagh, entered full-time farming following a previous career in the banking sector. As well as expanding her own suckler beef and sheep enterprise, she works alongside her husband in his dairy enterprise.  She has been involved in several on-farm research trials in...

Identifying sires with high genetic potential to influence productivity - RamCompare Results 2020
 
Recently released fourth-year results from the AgriSearch co-funded RamCompare project reveal how sires with key breeding traits can drive productivity and optimal new sire purchases.  RamCompare is a five-year project that takes nominated performance-recorded rams from various terminal sire breeds and uses them on nine commercial farms in the UK. One of the nine farms participating in the study is AFBI Hillsborough, part of a larger Northern Ireland RamCompare sister project led by AgriSearch and involving AFBI, Dunbia, AHDB and Sheep Ireland.  The joint-levy project is one of the...

Promising early results on the use of selective dry cow therapy
As a result of the global threat from the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, the livestock sector is facing mounting pressure to reduce antibiotic usage.  To address the issue, AgriSearch is leading a major research project in collaboration with the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Animal Health and Welfare Northern Ireland, LMC and Farm Vet Systems, entitled ‘STrategic AntiMicrobial use in Dairy, Beef and Lamb Production’ (STAMP).  The project aims to develop both user-friendly systems to benchmark antibiotic usage and decision support tools to help producers...

Resources to Help Suckler Farmers During the Breeding Season
AgriSearch recently led on a large on farm research project into suckler synchronisation involving AFBI, Genus, Zoetis and AI Services.  This research trialled four synchronisation methods, on cows and heifers on twelve suckler farms across Northern Ireland, with average conception rates for most treatments in the 62-68% range. As a result of the project AgriSearch have a range of resources available on its website (www.agrisearch.org) to help suckler farmers during the breeding season.  The resources cover topics such as management of suckler cows for improved fertility, selecting the right...

Changes to the Board at AgriSearch
 
Seamus McCaffrey - Chairman, AgriSearch
 As of 4th May 2020, Seamus McCaffrey has taken up the role of Chairman of AgriSearch, the farmer-funded research and innovation body. Seamus, who is from Co. Tyrone, is a professional Chartered Accountant specialising in taxation in the agricultural sector for clients on the island of Ireland.  He has a wide experience of corporate governance and is currently a Board Member of South West College and a Team Leader for Business in the Community Northern Ireland. In his role, Seamus will Chair the board’s work on the future strategic direction of...