AFBI Open days to include a showcase of Biomass Crops for Resilient and Climate-Proof Farming

Date published: 28 May 2024

Area of Expertise:

AFBI, Hillsborough will open it’s doors to the farming community on 18 and 19 June to showcase how the latest AFBI research underpins future sustainability of our industry.

The focus of these ‘Farming for the Future’ open days will be on Dairy systems on the 18 and Beef and Sheep systems on the 19, exploring how to drive reductions in carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus, while enhancing biodiversity and optimising productivity.

As climate change continues to challenge the agricultural sector, innovative solutions are needed to fortify farms against environmental shifts and market fluctuations.  To help manage the challenge of climate change have you considered growing biomass crops? These offer a promising avenue not only for power and heat but for water quality protection, biodiversity, carbpon products, carbon sequestration, and livestock comfort and nutrition.

Biomass Connect (a research, demonstration and information platform for biomass crops funded through the DESNZ Net Zero Innovation Portfolio) and AFBI Hillsborough are pleased to invite farmers attending the upcoming “Farming for the Future” Open Days on the 18 and 19 of June to visit, explore and understand different biomass crop options.

A team of seasoned growers, breeders, researchers, and advisors will lead participants on guided tours of the pioneering Biomass Connect plots within the farmed estate. These interactive sessions will offer insights on cultivation, husbandry, and the merits of the various biomass crop options.

Attendees will discover how biomass crops can contribute towards climate-resilient farming strategies, mitigating the impact of unpredictable weather patterns and market volatility. Moreover, they will learn how integrating these crops into agricultural enterprises may contribute towards financial stability and support environmentally beneficial farming practices.

The Dairy Day on 18 June will have guided tours leaving every half hour from 10am to 2.30pm. The guided tours on the Beef and Sheep Day on the 19 June will leave every half hour from 1pm to 5.30pm. Each tour will last approximately 1.5 hours. These guided tours will have talks from AFBI scientists and other eminent speakers on topics such as soil health, grassland management, animal nutrition, genetics and management and slurry management strategies.

The Biomass Connect tours will be integrated into these open days as follows:

Tuesday 18 June - a Feature Tour of the Biomass Connect Platform will leave the courtyard at 1pm and 3pm to visit and discover a range of different Biomass Crops; experts will be on hand to inform and answer questions.

Wednesday 19 June - at the end of the livestock tours you are invited to visit and view The Biomass Connect site and discover a range of different Biomass Crops; experts will be on hand to guide, inform and answer questions.

Participants are encouraged to seize this unique opportunity to engage with experts, network with fellow farmers, and explore the tangible benefits of embracing biomass crops in their business enterprises.  

Visitors are advised that carparking for these events will be at Hillsborough Castle carpark, off the A1 dual carriageway. You will then be bused to the AFBI Hillsborough site. 

To find out more about these Biomass Connect tours and the Open Days in general, please register

Notes to editors: 

AFBI’s Vision is “Scientific excellence delivering impactful and sustainable outcomes for society, economy and the natural environment”.

AFBI’s Purpose is “To deliver trusted, independent research, statutory and surveillance science and expert advice that addresses local and global challenges, informs government policy and industry decision making, and underpins a sustainable agri-food industry and the natural and marine environments”.

AFBI’s core areas:

  • Leading improvements in the agri-food industry to enhance its sustainability.
  • Protecting animal, plant and human health.
  • Enhancing the natural and marine environment.

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