- 1 October 2020 - AFBI Science Outlook Webinar - The Future of Beef Production to 2030
AFBI will host the fourth of its well received Webinar series on Thursday 1 October 2020. Speakers this time will be Dr Steven Morrison, Dr Denise Lowe and Dr Francis Lively from AFBI's Livestock Research Branch. REGISTER HERE
- 15 October - 28 October - Soil to Sea - AFBI Environmental Webinar Series (various dates, see below)
AFBI invites you to register for a series of webinars during October focusing on the ‘Soil to the Sea’. Details and registration details are below. The sustainable management, protection and enhancement of freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems is vital for the prosperity and growth of the NI economy and societal well-being. AFBI is presenting a series of webinars in October highlighting the latest intelligence being established from AFBI’s unique integrated programme of research spanning the ‘Soil to the Sea’. The series will report key research findings from work being undertaken to mitigate excess nutrient flow from land to water; the impact of land use practices, on freshwater and coastal ecosystems; monitoring the health of the aquatic environment and how AFBI is designing ways to enhance the sustainable use of natural resources.
Dr Elizabeth Magowan, Director of Sustainable Agri-Food Sciences in AFBI, highlights that “AFBI have a unique capability and expansive body of expertise focusing on the sustainability of our natural resources spanning soil, land, freshwater and marine ecosystems. Over the course of the three webinars some of AFBI’s leading scientists in these areas will outline our state of the art knowledge and cutting edge developments which are informing policy, stakeholders and the wider society. We would be delighted for you to join us in these webinars which showcases our work to enhance the natural and marine environments”
All stakeholders are very welcome to participate in this webinar as well as anyone with an interest in the topic.
The webinars will be broadcast using WebEx and a Q&A session will follow the presentations.
15 October 2020 - Webinar 1: "Soil to Catchment Management of Agricultural Nutrients" by Dr Donnacha Doody, Dr Suzanne Higgins and Dr Rachael Cassidy
The first webinar will take place on 15 October at 10.30am - 12pm
Dr Donnacha Doody is programme lead for Catchment Science Research in AFBI. Donnacha will outline recent scientific evidence being used to inform the Nutrient Action Programme in Northern Ireland.
Dr Suzanne Higgins is a soil scientist in AFBI with expertise in soil fertility and nutrient management. Suzanne will discuss her research on refining farm and field scale nutrient management to optimise production, improve soil health and minimise nutrient losses to the environment.
Dr Rachel Cassidy will present recent work on soil mapping and modelling undertaken in AFBI. Rachel will highlight the potential for this to inform strategies for nutrient management and targeted mitigation of agricultural inputs to water quality.
21 October 2020 - Webinar 2: “Impacts of the environment, nutrient loading and other human pressures on life in rivers and lakes” by Dr Robert Rosell, Dr Maria Snell and Dr Richard Kennedy
The second webinar will take place on 21 October at 10.30am - 12pm
Dr Robert Rosell is the programme lead for freshwater fisheries research in AFBI. Robert will provide an overview of how nutrient levels in water drive changes in the fauna inhabiting freshwaters, with a focus on fish in Northern Ireland Lakes.
Dr Maria Snell is a freshwater ecologist with expertise in biological responses to environmental change, particularly in river habitats. Her presentation will explore how ecological studies from AFBI’s long term catchment monitoring programmes, particularly in the Upper Bann, can be used to explore changes in water quality.
Dr Richard Kennedy is a senior scientist based at AFBI’s River Bush Salmon Station . Richard will talk about the Dollaghan trout of Lough Neagh, which spawn in inflowing rivers and feed and grow in the lake, and are a key indicator species for the whole freshwater aquatic system.
28 October 2020 - Webinar 3: “Where the land meets the sea - a holistic approach towards the sustainable management of the marine environment and natural resources” by Dr Heather Moore, Dr Adam Mellor and Dr Matthieu Lundy
The third webinar will take place on 28 October 2020, 10.30am - 12pm
Dr Heather Moore is a catchment and aquaculture science expert. Heather will provide an overview of the application of coastal catchment modelling in Northern Ireland. Her talk will also focus on the use of catchment models to manage the full range of ecosystem services supplied by shellfish, and the mitigation of eutrophication impacts.
Dr Adam Mellor is the programme lead for oceanography and limnology science research within AFBI. His presentation will outline the ongoing marine environmental monitoring work undertaken by AFBI and its importance for addressing key challenges such as climate change, environmental resilience and an ecosystem-based approach to marine resource management.
Dr Mathieu Lundy is programme lead for marine fisheries science research within AFBI. His talk will outline the scientific work underpinning a framework for integrating environmental factors and ecosystem function into fisheries management in the Irish Sea. He will present new advances in ecosystem-based approaches to fishery management and the contribution this is making to national and international policy.
- 30 October 2020 - Webinar - “Nutritional solutions to environmental challenges”
In September 1996 a unique research consortium was formed, when AFBI, John Thompson & Sons and Devenish Nutrition got together to investigate and develop opportunities to improve the efficiency of pig production and to investigate and improve the effect of pig production on the environment. This group has collaborated since 1996 and continues to focus on research projects which will improve the sustainability of the pig industry. A webinar will be held on Friday 30th October to present the findings of both scientific and commercial pig research carried out by the consortium. We shall address the role that pig nutrition has in reducing nitrogen, ammonia and odour emissions. Registration is by invitaton only.
- Keep an eye on this page for upcoming events. More will be announced here and in the news items on the front page. If you would like to be added to our mailing list to receive newsletters and alerts about upcoming events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- 18 September 2020 - Webinar - Carlingford Catchment Conservations
The final session focussed on "Knowing what works" with special guest Matthew Bushby, Mourne Heritage Trust. The ALICE Project provides an opportunity to work out what will guide future collaboration and innovation in how the Carlingford catchment is managed. In this final session, attendees were invited to consider what information and know-how you need to play your part in the stewardship of Carlingford catchment. Mourne Heritage Trust play a crucial role in conservation of the unique Mournes landscape that is so familiar to those in Carlingford catchment. Their recent work was highlighted and future priorities that will contribute towards securing a positive future for this iconic landscape.
- 16 September 2020 - Webinar - Carlingford Catchment Conservations
The second in a series of three webinars was held on Wednesday 16th September and focussed on "Working together more effectively" with special guest Mark Horton, Ballinderry Rivers Trust. Building on the first session, this session considered how land managers and those who care for the catchment work together more effectively to secure the natural environment everyone wants. Ballinderry Rivers Trust outlined how to work effectively with local land managers to create a network of nature-based solutions. Atendees heard how this project succeeded in preventing extinction of the freshwater pearl mussel by improving the quality of their habitat.
- 11 September 2020 - Webinar - Carlingford Catchment Conversations
A series of interactive online workshops to explore how we can work together in the stewardship of Carlingford catchment was held in September 2020. Series 1 was held on Friday 11th September and focussed on "Nature-Based Solutions - Where and Why" with special guest Professor Chris Spray, Eddleston Water Project (Tweed Forum & Dundee University).
- 2 July 2020 - AFBI Science Outlook Webinar - Safeguarding NI's Natural Capita from Invasive Alien Species
AFBI will host the third of its well received Webinar series on Thursday 2nd July 2020. Speakers this time will be Dr Colin Fleming and Dr Archie Murchie from Grassland & Plant Sciences Branch.
The webinar can be viewed below:
Websites which may be of interest to report sightings of diseased plants or invasive species are:
-Tree Check www.treecheck.net
-The CEDAR (NI records) https://www2.habitas.org.uk/records/
-National Biodiversity Data Centre (RoI records) http://records.biodiversityireland.ie/record/invasives
-Invasive Species Ireland https://invasivespeciesireland.com/
- 18 June 2020 - AFBI Science Outlook Webinar 2 - The Future of Dairy Production to 2030
AFBI hosted its second Webinar on Thursday 18th June 2020. Speakers were Dr Conrad Ferris and Dr Debbie McConnell of Livestock Production Sciences Branch, AFBI Hillsborough.
The Webinar can be viewed below:
- 4 June 2020 - AFBI Science Outlook Webinar 1 - Future Opportunities to Address Air Quality in NI.
AFBI hosted a Webinar on Thursday 4th June 2020. Speakers were Dr Dario Fornara and Dr John McIlroy both AFBI.
The Webinar can be viewed below:
- 5 March 2020 - Catchment Care Willow Seminar Dundalk
“Exploring the Benefits of SRC Willow Planting for Water Quality Protection and Waste Water Management” Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk. AFBI, in partnership with Donegal County Council and the EU Catchment CARE project and in conjunction with Teagasc held a conference & workshop Exploring the Benefits of SRC Willow Planting for Water Quality Protection and Waste Water Management.
- 27 February - Staff Science Day 183 AFBI staff attended the La Mon Hotel for the annual Staff Science Day
- 25 February - Schools Open Day - AFBI hosted 150 students from nine schools across Northern Ireland. The students all enjoyed a tour and information on the AFBI farm.
- 13-23 February 2020 - NI Science Festival included a series of tours of the AFBI Research Vessel, Corystes over 3 days of the NI Science Festival.
- 8 January 2020 - Omagh Open Day
- 12 December 2019 - RUAS Winter Fair was held at the Eikon Exhibition Centre, Maze, Lisburn.
- 6 November - The George Scott Robertson Memorial Lecture was held at Riddel Hall, Belfast delivered by former Waitrose supermarket MD Lord Mark Price. His keynote address was entitled: "UK Food Systems - Adapting to Change". This lecture was hosted jointly by AFBI, IGFS QUB, UFU and DAERA.
- 24 October - AFBI sponsored the category "Unsung Hero" at the Farming Life Awards held at La Mon House Hotel. The winner of the award was Jon Dan O'Hare.
- 16-17 October - Launch of the Precision Grazing Platform was held at AFBI Hillsborough. This will help the UK livestock industry optimise the use of grassland in dairy and beef production systems.
- 4 October 2019 - A Lecture was held by AFBI's Rodrigo Olave in AFBI Hillsborough entitled "Climate Change in the South Atlantic UK Overseas Territories".
- 28 September - AFBI Fisheries & Aquatic Ecosystems staff attended the River to Lough Festival held at Toome.
- 8-12 September 2019 - Professor Nicolae Corcionivoschi Head of AFBI Food Microbiology hosted the 20th International Workshop on Campylobacter (CHRO19) at various locations throughout Belfast.
- 3 and 4 September - Beef and Sheep finishing events organised by AFBI, CAFRE, AgriSearch and LMC were held in Swatragh and Hilltown Livestock Markets.
- 21 August 2019 - A Calf rearing event was held in AFBI Hillsborough, with over 70 dairy farmer co-researchers attending.
- 27 June 2019 - The Guild of Agricultural Journalists visited AFBI Hillsborough.
- 25 June - An Arable Day was held at AFBI Crossnacreevy.
- 12 June 2019 - A Lunchtime lecture “Ecosystem Services and the Ecointensification of Shellfish Aquaculture” was held in AFBI Headquarters, 18a Newforge Lane, Malone Upper, Belfast, BT9 5PX by Guest Lecturer Dr João Ferreira, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Faculty of Sciences & Technology , New University of Lisbon - Universidade Nova de Lisboa.
- 1 June 2019 - AFBI Bushmills opened its doors to visitors to the Salmon & Whisky Festival.
- 28 and 29 May - "Breeding for Performance" Roadshows were held at Ballymena and Clogher Livestock Markets organised by AFBI, AgriSearch, CAFRE and LMC.
- 15 May - 18 May 2019 - Balmoral Show. Northern Ireland's biggest agricultural and rural life event took place this year over 4 days at the Balmoral Park EIKON Exhibition Centre in Lisburn. AFBI was at the show promoting its science and how it benefits the NI agri-food industry. See HERE for some images from the show.
- 16 Feb - 18 Feb 2019 - Tours of AFBI Research Vessel Corystes: The AFBI research vessel Corystes was docked in Belfast for three days and was fully booked throughout the festival with visitors including the Belfast Lord Mayor and wide range of members of the public who learnt all about the work and research AFBI carry out whilst at sea.
- 16 Feb - 19 Feb 2019 - NI Science Festival Roadshows: AFBI again were fully involved in some super events during the festival including four roadshows held in Newry, Enniskillen, Dungannon and Ballymena. Approximately 1500 children came through the doors over the four days of the roadshows with AFBI staff demonstrating some interesting scientific displays for scientists of the future. The four days comprised of a Funky Chicken (food hygiene) display in Newry, an eels and freshwater display in Enniskillen, a flavour sensory display in Dungannon and finally AFBI vets showed those attending a "veterinary nasties" display in Ballymena.
- 28 Feb - 1 March 2019 - All-Ireland Meat Science Conference: This Conference showcased the breadth of meat science research conducted on the island of ireland and facilitated discussion between scientists and industry. The conference attracted 82 delegates with a balance of those attending from the meat industry and specific organisation from NI, ROI and GB.
- 1 Feb 2019 - AFBI Agricultural & Food Economics Seminar: "Dynamics of Dairy Farm Productivity Growth". The seminar by Dr Shingo Kimura from the OECD presented cross-country comparisons of productivity growth in the dairy farm sector in England, Estonia and the Netherlands. These country comparisons show how different policy environments and farm structural characteristics lead to different dynamics driving productivity change.
- 15 Jan 2018 - Woody Plant Seminar: AFBI held a seminar to discuss the future research needs of industries reliant on wood based plants in Northern Ireland. The AFBI led seminar, held in Armagh City Hotel featured presentations from experts representing AFBI, QUB, UU, Teagasc and UCD. The event attracted over 40 stakeholders from 18 different organisations representing farming, the environment, forestry, science organisations and policy makers.
- 13 Dec 2018 - RUAS Winter Fair: AFBI were out in force at the RUAS Winter Dairy Fair, promoting the work of our dairy scientists, animal health, soils and plant experts, all of which helped visitors with improving their farm productivity. AFBI dairy researchers and vets were on hand to help farmers with health planning for their animals and silage quality and zero-grazing.
- 21 Nov 2018 - Beef Conference: AFBI, along with CAFRE, the UFU, LMC and National Beef Association organised an all-day conference for beef farmers to highlight best practice and the results of the latest production and animal health research, entitled 'Healthy Cattle, Hela
- 12-15 Nov 2018 - Fall Forum: The 6th AFBI-initiated Fall Forum came back to Belfast in 2018. Bringing together the top echelons of agri-research scientists from the UK, Ireland, Canada and the US, along with representatives from NZ and Australia for twhat promises to be the biggest meeeting yet. This event explored the latest developments and agri-food challenges which can be addressed through research and innovation.
- 3 Oct 2018 - AFBI Postgraduate Showcase 'The Future': This event provided a forum where post-grad researchers, practitioners, industry leaders and policy makers could promote, interact and discuss the cutting edge research ongoing within AFBI. The conference programme was designed to facilitate both formal and informal interactions among all participants. Oral and poster sessions were presented providing the conference attendees the opportunity to interact with colleagues and researchers in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
- 6 Jun 2018- Dairy Open Day: AFBI held a major Dairy Open Day at Hillsborough, with the theme of Dairy Innovation 2018 - Profiting from AFBI Research. Run in partnership with AgriSearch and CAFRE, it featured current research work at AFBI in support of the dairy sector. The event will provide visitors with the opportunity to view the latest research and to discuss how AFBI scientists are using the latest technologies to find new ways of optimising farming practices.
- 7 Jun 2018- Open Meeting: AFBI hosted a stakeholder Open Day at Hillsborough which highlighted a selection of new research being undertaken at the Institute as well as a meet the scientist event following the formal proceedings.
- 16-19 May- Balmoral Show 2018 Northern Ireland's biggest agricultural and rural life event took place this year over 4 days at the Balmoral Park exhibition site. AFBI, as usual, was at the show promoting its science and how it benefits the NI agri-food industry. This year however, AFBI was out in force on its own stand for the first time, exhibiting independently as part of wider outreach activity.
- 13 Mar 2018- AFBI Outlook Conference: The second annual AFBI Outlook Conference will focus on recent developments in science which will have significant implications for the local and global agri-food sector. Key topics for discussion will include, Bovine Tuberculosis – Progress Towards a Science-Based Solution, Livestock Improvement Through Genetic Selection and the Power of Big Data and Science and Land Management - Opportunities to Deliver Sustainable Intensification. An agenda for the event can be viewed HERE This is your chance to hear about the latest developments in science and how these will shape the future of the local and global agri-food industry. The conference will run from 10am to 4pm at the Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick.
- 06 Feb 2018- Schools Open Day at AFBI Hillsborough: Over 160 GCSE, BTEC and A-Level agriculture, and biological sciences students from schools and colleges across Northern Ireland descended on AFBI Hillsborough to see how Agricultural Research takes place, find out about the skills and education that our researchers and farm staff have and other careers available to them in this area.