News and Views - March 2018

AFBI Science Outlook Conference Highlights Key Role of Science in Profitable and Sustainable Farming

Applied research and development has a crucial role to play in ensuring that the Northern Ireland agri-food industry achieves the same rate of productivity growth as our competitors. This was the message delivered by Dr Sinclair Mayne, Chief Executive of AFBI at the organisation’s Science Outlook Conference on Tuesday 13 March.

Read more about the Key Role of Science in Profitable and Sustainable Farming

Conference Presentations

Presenters at the Conference included Mr Barclay Bell (Ulster Farmers Union President), Dr Sinclair Mayne (AFBI CEO), Professor Simon More (University College Dublin), Dr Andrew Byrne (AFBI), Professor Donagh Berry (Teagasc), Dr Steven Morrison (AFBI), Dr John Gilliland (Chair Expert Working Group on Sustainable Land Management), and Dr Donnacha Doody (AFBI).

You can access the presentations

You can access YouTube videos and full proceedings

Launch of AFBI's Research Impacts Report 2018

At the conference AFBI launched its 2018 Research Impacts Report which highlights examples of the organisation’s work with industry across a wide range of scientific disciplines.   Projects included remedying the chronic sulphur deficiency in NI grassland, securing a sustainable future for eel fishing, and preventing the spread of avian flu to the local poultry industry.

If you would like a copy of the brochure please email

Download a PDF copy of the brochure

AFBI Chief Executive Wins Belfast Telegraph Award

AFBI Chief Executive Dr Sinclair Mayne has won a prestigious Belfast Telegraph award for his contribution to research on grassland and milk production.  Dr Mayne was presented with the Belfast Telegraph Cup at the Ulster Farmers Union dinner by UFU President Mr Barclay Bell.
Photo courtesy of Belfast Telegraph.

Read more about the Chief Executive winning the award

AFBI Kickstart the 2018 Grazing Season

After a challenging season in 2017 and difficult start to 2018, Dr Suzanne Higgins and Dr Debbie McConnell from AFBI highlight that it is now timely to refresh the lessons learnt from 2017 and plan ahead for grazing in 2018.

Read more about the 2018 grazing season

Shore Angling Competition - AFBI to get "tagging"!

The Irish Sea Cod Tagging project is hosting a “Tag a Cod” shore angling competition on 28th April, along with East Antrim Shore Angling Club. This is open to all recreational anglers and will be a roving competition on the East Antrim coast. AFBI and Marine Institute staff will be tagging any cod caught alive and there are lots of prizes to be won by the anglers taking part. We are hoping for a great turn out (of anglers AND cod!)

 Information on how to enter  

AFBI Job Vacancies

AFBI currently has 8 job vacancies which can be viewed on the Northern Ireland Civil Service Recruitment Website 

They include:

  • Chief Executive
  • Estate Manager (Deputy Principal)
  • Catchment Science (Higher Scientific Officer)
  • Project Administrator (Executive Officer 1)
  • Ruminant Nutritionist (Higher Scientific Officer)
  • Epidemiological Scientist (Higher Scientific Officer)
  • Industrial Workers - Hillsborough Farm Unit
  • Industrial Workers - Hillsborough Dairy Unit


AFBI Eel Research Team recently appeared at Castle Espie Wetland Centre to talk to visitors about the ecological connections between fish and birds in Strangford Lough. The tanks full of eels drew lots of interest from young and old!