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“I’d rather see a bad variety like that in your trial than my field!” – this was the comment a farmer passed on to one of the scientists at the AFBI Plant Testing Station, Crossnacreevy at a maize open day.
Genetic selection for milk production in dairy cows over the last few decades has resulted in higher milk yields.
Published: 12 Mar 2015
The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) recently hosted a workshop in Dublin on water quality and sustainable intensification of agriculture in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Research and technology being employed at the Environment and Renewable Energy Centre at AFBI Hillsborough has been shortlisted in the 2015 Action Renewables Awards, which recognise and reward leaders and advocates in the field of renewables across Northern Ireland. Now in their seventh year, these prestigious industry awards, sponsored by Tughans Solicitors and electricity supplier Vayu, are gearing up for their biggest year yet, set to take place at the historic Belfast Harbour Commissioner’s Office on Friday 27th March 2015.
A recently completed AFBI research project that aimed to determine the level of close range contact between badgers and cattle at pasture in Northern Ireland has found little evidence that the species interact with each other directly.
The recently published Cereal Recommended List for Northern Ireland 2015 provides a comprehensive guide to varieties best suited for use within Northern Ireland and is based on data collected from the extensive variety evaluation programmes carried out by AFBI Crossnacreevy and part-funded by the Home Grown Cereal Authority (HGCA) (www.hgca.com).  Whilst there are some common varieties on the Northern Ireland, UK and Irish Recommended Lists, the AFBI/DARD recommendations are tailored to specific growing conditions, end-uses and grower preferences in Northern Ireland.
You are invited to attend a lunchtime seminar on “Pigs, Pongs and People – a new look at pig-house odour” given by Linda Farmer of Food Science Branch to be held in AFBI Headquarters, Newforge Lane, Malone Upper, Belfast, BT9 5PX on Tuesday 24th March 2015 at 1.30pm.
A DARD funded research project recently completed by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) has reported for the first time the activity of different wildlife species at night in farmyards in Northern Ireland. The results suggest that several species are regular visitors to yards and that we need to increase biosecurity levels in farmyards to minimise the risk of disease spread.
Published: 18 Feb 2015
Mr Malcolm Taylor, Project leader in the Food Hygiene Unit of AFBI is involved in several areas of commercial research and testing, as well as Government and publicly funded research, primarily with the red and white meat sector. AFBI provides molecular diagnostic testing as well as molecular research in the area of Food Microbiology.
Professor Louise Cosby has taken up the position of Head of Virology in the Veterinary Sciences Division of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI).  Louise will provide overall management of the Virology Branch where she will lead a multidisciplinary programme of research aimed at improving the diagnosis and control of viral diseases of farmed animals. This includes work on new and emerging viral infections of animals.  She will also have a major role in AFBI’s provision of an emergency response capability for outbreaks of diseases which pose a threat to the health and welfare of livestock in Northern Ireland.
Challenging times
In the ‘Going-for Growth’ strategy, the Northern Ireland (NI) dairy industry is being encouraged to capitalise on the rapidly growing global demand for dairy products. At the moment though, it is going through a very challenging period, as a result of difficult international market conditions. On top of this, milk producers have had to cope with restrictions imposed under the European Union Nitrates Directive. These restrictions, while well-intentioned and aimed at reducing water pollution, are often costly and difficult to implement, and are adding to pressures currently faced by dairy producers.
Published: 11 Feb 2015
The Association of Veterinary Surgeons Practising in Northern Ireland held its annual meeting at the AFBI Veterinary Laboratory in Omagh on 7 January 2015. The laboratory has been hosting this meeting since 1975 and the event is a key date in the veterinary calendar.  A large turnout of over 100 veterinary practitioners attended.  
Professor Margaret Patterson of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) received her OBE at Buckingham Palace recently. Professor Patterson, from Carryduff, received the award in the 2014 Birthday Honours list for services to the agri-food industry, especially food safety and quality.
The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) recently upgraded its meteorological and oceanographic packages in Belfast Lough, which have now been linked to a new public web page. This allows both commercial and leisure users access to data in real time, including wind speed and direction, water and air temperature and water depth.