High quality grass silage of high importance for profitable beef production
Beef farmers should focus on making high quality perennial grass silage rather than growing alternative forages.  That is the conclusion of an AgriSearch funded research project.  With increased interest by farmers in growing legumes on-farm in recent years  due to the rising costs of purchased protein sources AgriSearch commissioned research into low input forages for beef production.  This looked at the costs, dry matter yields and animal performance on a range of forages including lupins and triticale, vetch and barley, lupins and wheat, peas and oats. Dry matter yields of the legume /...

New Techincal Report: Maximising returns from beef progeny sourced in the dairy herd
A new end of project technical report is available to download from the AgriSearch website. This project aimed to evaluate the health status and lifetime performance of dairy-origin calves (Holstein and Angus, Limousin and Belgian Blue cross Holstein) sourced from dairy farms in Northern Ireland.  With some 48% of prime cattle slaughetered in Northern Ireland being sourced from the dairy herd this report will of interest to many beef farmers as well as to dairy farmers who provide the raw material. The research showed that overall 15% of calves had inadeqaute immune status, with a...

'PLI for PROFIT' event for Dairy Farmers
Do you make use of Profitable Lifetime Index (PLI)? Do you understand how to use PLI? Dairy farmers planning to breed more profit into their herds are urged to attend a ‘PLI for Profit’ conference in Cookstown next month. Taking place in the Glenavon Hotel on Tues, 18 October, this AgriSearch sponsored event will focus on the vital role breeding can play in optimising the performance of your herd and the role of Profitable Lifetime Index, PLI. “The aim is to help producers make informed decisions about using PLI for sire selection. It can put money in your pocket,” says AgriSearch dairy...

Jerseys Boost Holstein Fertility
Comparing Holstein-Friesian cows with Jersey X Holstein-Friesians milkers on three different levels of concentrate input confirmed that crossbred cattle are more fertile, but found that extra meal fed had no impact on fertility! Key, practical conclusions from applied research projects completed at the request of milk producers, who provided financial support through AgriSearch, the Northern Ireland Agricultural Research and Development Council.   Dr Elaine Vance, who worked on this AgriSearch supported research as a PhD student, has now presented the final outcomes of the breed...

Ulster Hosts Grassland Conference
Agricultural scientists from across the British Isles and from as far afield as Finland and Belgium meet in Northern Ireland for the 10th British Grassland Society annual research conference on Sept 20-21. As papers presented at the BGS conference come from both government research workers and those employed by commercial concerns this event offers an update on advances soon to impact on actual daily farming methods. Indeed at least six of the projects delegates will discuss were carried out at the behest of Northern Ireland farmers, who provided some financial support through AgriSearch,...