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Results of the 2015 winter barley variety trials at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), funded by DARD and the AHDB (Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board – formerly the HGCA), have just been compiled.  The average treated yield of all varieties across two sites (Limavady and Downpatrick) in 2015 was 10.8 t/ha (86 cwt/ac), 15% higher than the 5-year average.  The average treated yields of all varieties in each of the two trials at Downpatrick and Limavady were 11.4 t/ha (91 cwt/ac) and 10.2 t/ha (82 cwt/ac), respectively.  In the UK context, the yields in AFBI winter barley trials rank 6th and 8th (Downpatrick and Limavady, respectively) out of 20 trials that range from 6.25 t/ha in Perth, Scotland to 12.05 t/ha in Hertfordshire, England (see http://cereals.ahdb.org.uk/varieties/current-trials-and-harvest-results.aspx).
Published: 28 Aug 2015
AFBI's 2020 Strategy in full
Published: 26 Aug 2015
The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute is holding an Open Meeting at AFBI Hillsborough, Co. Down on Thursday 3 September 2015. The theme of the event is “AFBI Research for Sustainable Expansion of the Agri-Food Sector”.
Published: 25 Aug 2015
The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute have announced the postponement of the Dairy Open Day at Hillsborough which was scheduled to take place on 16 September.
Published: 18 Aug 2015
The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) has carried out a review of its scientific functions, capabilities and platforms as part of a strategy to 2020 and beyond to allow AFBI to achieve its vision of providing world class science to all its government and private sector customers. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle O’Neill MLA, has responded to AFBI’s strategic proposals to reposition itself to meet the priority needs of government and industry, while addressing the current and anticipated future pressures on public finances.
A brand new research feeding system has been installed in the heifer house in a ‘first’ for AFBI Hillsborough, opening up new research possibilities
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Published: 11 Aug 2015
Two very different groups visited the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute in Hillsborough recently.
Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) researcher, Greg Forbes, accompanied by Martin Mulholland (Senior Dairy Technologist, CAFRE) recently attended the Farmers Club, Whitehall, London, for the launch of a new guidelines document for the integration of constructed wetlands on farms in England.
Recent research on winter feeding is just one of many topics which will be featured at the Dairy Open Day at AFBI Hillsborough.  The event, which is being organised by AFBI, in conjunction with AgriSearch, CAFRE and the Ulster Grassland Society, will take place on Wednesday 16 September.
Professor Jim McAdam, Head of Crops, Grassland and Ecology Branch at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), was the guest speaker at the annual “Farmer’s Week” event in the Falkland Islands in July run by the Rural Business Association. Jim was invited to speak on “Climate Change and Agriculture, Potential impacts and Adaptations” and did so via videolink.
In a field on a low standing hill outside of Hillsborough, County Down are a criss cross of lines marked on the grass dividing the field into neat rectangles. Look a little closer and you can see that the grass is greener/yellower or longer/tuftier in some of these rectangles. These are the long term slurry plots at AFBI Hillsborough and represent a unique experiment funded by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Heifer rearing is well known to be an important part of any dairy enterprise as heifers are the future of the dairy herd.
Research at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) supports the view that high hydrostatic pressure can be a very successful “cold pasteurisation” treatment for a wide range of foods.
Published: 22 Jul 2015
The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), Greenmount Campus, have issued the first potato blight warning for 2015. Full Infection Periods were recorded between 8th and 14th July at sites across Northern Ireland. The first field outbreak of blight in Northern Ireland this year was confirmed in a crop of King Edward near Coleraine on 15th July. Growers are advised to protect all crops with approved fungicides.
Background
Until relatively recently, genetic selection programmes within the Holstein breed focused mainly on milk production, with less emphasis on functional traits. The subsequent decline in these functional traits within the Holstein breed, especially fertility and health, has now been well documented.  Crossbreeding has been suggested as one option to overcome some of these problems. Potential benefits of crossbreeding include the introduction of desirable traits from another breed, the positive effects of hybrid vigour, and a reduction in the negative effects of inbreeding.
Published: 20 Jul 2015
The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), Greenmount Campus, have issued the first potato blight warning for 2015.
The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) have recently announced plans to host a major Dairy Open Day later this year under the theme 'Surviving Today - Planning for Tomorrow'.