Home » News » Releases

Latest Releases

You are invited to attend a lunchtime seminar on "Recent developments in feeding strategies for confined dairy cows". This seminar will be given by Peter Purcell of Agriculture Branch, AFBI Hillsborough on Tuesday 16 June 2015 at 1.30 pm in G5, AFBI Headquarters, 18a Newforge Lane, Belfast.
Published: 21 May 2015
You are invited to attend a lunchtime seminar on Recent developments in feeding strategies for confined dairy cows. This seminar will be given by Peter Purcell of Agriculture Branch, Hillsborough on Tuesday 16 June 2015 at 1.30 pm in G5, AFBI, Newforge Lane, Belfast.
The pig research team at the Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI) Hillsborough has been strengthened in the last few years by a dedicated team of three local 1st Class Honours degree students working towards doctorate degrees on sow nutrition.
Background
The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) has launched a major new beef research project involving 1000 breeding cattle on 12 farms across Northern Ireland.  The project will evaluate the ability of novel breeding methods to improve the output from suckler herds in Northern Ireland and will involve close cooperation between the farmer co-researchers, industry partners and AFBI.  Funding is being provided by the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (DARD) through a Research Challenge Fund grant, and AgriSearch in association with AI Services, Genus ABS and Zoetis.
Following an exceptionally mild autumn and relatively mild winter, many farms entered spring 2015 with good covers of grass.  However, despite periods of excellent ground conditions, notably in early February and again in mid March, overall grazing opportunities during late February and March were limited by poor weather with the risk of poaching on many of farms.  As the growing season is already well under way, the focus on dairy farms should now be on maximising the use of grazed grass.  Given the current challenge of low milk prices, there has never been a more opportune year to ensure you grow and utilise the highest possible yields of high quality grass.  Grazed grass is the lowest cost feed for dairy cows, but it must be well managed throughout the season to ensure an adequate supply of high quality grass is continually available, and this requires an understanding of grass budgeting.
Published: 08 May 2015
AFBI are pleased to host a guest lunch-time seminar with 2 keynote speakers from Alltech. Dr Aoife Corrigan and Dr Sheena Fagan will provide updates on 2 of Alltech’s current research programmes.
Published: 06 May 2015
The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) will be highlighting its scientific work that has underpinned Northern Ireland’s successful application to the European Commission for the new (2015-2016) Nitrates Action Programme at Balmoral 2015. AFBI’s exhibit will also highlight the importance of controlling BVD (bovine virus diarrhoea) virus infection in local herds. .
Published: 05 May 2015
You are invited to attend a lunchtime seminar entitled “Coping with uncertainty in the crop sector: Implications of regional differences within the EU” given by Dr Siyi Feng and Dr Myles Patton of Agricultural & Food Economics Branch on Wednesday 20 May 2015 at 1.30 pm in G5, AFBI, Newforge Lane, Belfast
Agriculture systems and related biology is now a key feature of the GCSE and A Level curriculum in Northern Ireland.  In recognising the value of the next generation as ‘researchers of the future’ AFBI regularly hosts visits by both GCSE and A level students, for educational purposes, and to facilitate work placements.
Sr. Rafael Hernández, Regional President of the Coordination of Gran Canaria Farmers and Ranchers (COAG) recently visited the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) Loughgall to see the potato breeding programme in action. Sr. Hernández is evaluating AFBI potato varieties in Gran Canaria for supply to the local Spar supermarket chain which has over 250 branches on the Canary Islands.
The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) Veterinary Sciences Division wishes to advise sheep farmers of the likely risk of Nematodirus worm infection in young lambs occurring at this time of year.
A seminar on "Prioritising Catchments to Balance Agronomic and Water Quality Targets" and given by Donnacha Doody from Agri-Enviornment Branch, AFBI will be held on Tuesday 28 April 2015 at 1.30 pm in G5, AFBI Headquarters,  Newforge Lane, Belfast, BT9 5PX.
Every year, staff at AFBI Hillsborough hold a number of events at which they take the opportunity to raise money for charity causes.  This year was no different but instead of supporting some of the more well known charities, it was decided to change focus and support a farmers charity.  Much of the money was generated through a very novel ‘one-pound-a-bid’ auction that awards the item to the last person to bid £1 before the hammer falls.  Although not the usual form of an auction, it certainly caused the pounds to roll in and so it was with great pleasure that AFBI Hillsborough were able to present a total of £370 to the Rural Support Charity.
Greenhouse gas emissions from dairying
Increasing concerns about the impact of climate change have focused the attention of government and policy makers on the need to develop accurate estimates of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from key sectors. This is particularly true within the United Kingdom where the UK Climate Change Act requires an 80% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050, relative to 1990 emission levels. Achieving these ambitious reduction targets will require a significant effort across all sectors. Within the agricultural sector, dairying in particular makes a significant contribution to total GHG emissions, with the global dairy sector estimated to contribute 30% of total global agricultural emissions. This highlights the need for the dairy industry to accurately quantify its emissions, and to identify strategies by which these can be reduced.
The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) has received an award in the category of ‘Best Renewables Installation within the Education, Healthcare and Public Sector’ for its Environment and Renewable Energy Centre at the recent Action Renewables Energy Awards.