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The need for a renewed focus on maximising milk from quality forages was the overriding message at the recent Dairy Research seminar at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) at Hillsborough. Over 100 representatives from the local dairy sector attended the event, organised by AFBI Hillsborough, in partnership with AgriSearch.
The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) recently played host to a large group of students and staff from the Gurteen Agricultural College in Co Tipperary at its Hillsborough site during a two day trip to Northern Ireland.
Bacteriologist, Dr Adrian Allen from the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), has received a Northern Ireland Public Sector Fulbright Award to enable him to research at the University of New Hampshire on one of the most prestigious and selective scholarship programmes operating world-wide.
A group of approximately 40 students from Kildalton Agricultural College, Co Kilkenny, visited Hillsborough as part of the annual exchange with students from CAFRE Greenmount.
 
The annual Agri-Food and Bioscience Institute (AFBI) post-graduate symposium was held recently at AFBI Hillsborough, with over 70 participants, including full and part-time students and their supervisors.
 
Dr Tianhai Yan of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Hillsborough was invited to attend an expert group meeting held in Catania, Italy with scientists from across Europe (UK, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Italy and Finland).
The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) recently hosted the Executive Committee of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Bioenergy at AFBI Hillsborough.
Dr John Bailey, one of AFBI’s experts in farm nutrient management and the associated environmental issues, has alerted industry stakeholders of an impending threat to the dairy industry in Northern Ireland. Speaking at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute’s (AFBI) Dairy Technical Seminar at Hillsborough on Thursday, Dr Bailey explained that the increased usage of concentrates for milk production has in the past 3 years, reversed the decline in total phosphorus inputs to agriculture and once more raised the national P surplus appreciably above 10 kg P/ha/yr. More worryingly, the beneficial reductions in P concentrations in water-bodies achieved over the past 20 years now appear to be halting and possibly even reversing.
A research consortium including the University of Alberta, Canada, the University of Liege, Belgium and the Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Northern Ireland has been successful in securing funding for a research project to investigate feed efficiency in dairy cattle. The project is funded by Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency Ltd for a 3-year period and will be coordinated by Professor Graham Plastow’s team at the University of Alberta. AgriSearch, through the milk producers’ levy are also providing funding for part of the project work to be undertaken in Northern Ireland.
Published: 12 Jun 2015
Representatives from the British Association of Seed Producers recently visited the Agri-Food and Biosciences Insitute (AFBI) Forage Grass Breeding Programme at Loughgall to examine the novel techniques AFBI scientists are utilizing to produce varieties with high seed yield.
Grass Based Systems – Positive Attributes
Grass-based dairy production is common in Northern Ireland because of the cool and moist climate which allows for long grazing seasons. Grass-based systems reduce milk production costs and increase the contents of omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid, vitamins and antioxidants in milk which are beneficial for human health, when compared with year-round indoor housing systems feeding silage and concentrates. Pasture-based systems also sustain rural landscapes and habitats and improve the image of the dairy industry to consumers.
Published: 03 Jun 2015
The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) has hosted a visit by Erasmus+ student, Ainhoa Valldecabres, a recently graduated veterinary surgeon from Spain.
The Agricultural History Society in Ireland is proud to announce its 2015 conference and excursion programme. This year’s theme is “Farming and Local economies today and yesteryear in North East Ireland”
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.