AFBI Research at Winter Fair

Date published: 29 November 2018

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) researchers will be available at this year’s Winter Fair to highlight current topical research projects and issues facing the NI dairy industry.

Our dairy researchers and vets will be on hand to help farmers with health planning for their animals and silage quality and zero-grazing.

New Silage quality project

AFBI are launching a major new project on improving grass silage quality at this year’s winter fair.  This project, which is co-funded by DAERA and AgriSearch, will examine a number of identified ‘knowledge gaps’ in relation to silage quality.  A survey to identify factors perceived by farmers to be limiting silage quality has already been undertaken within this project, and a number of studies are now underway at Hillsborough, including an evaluation of multi-cut silage production systems, and optimum concentrate types for very high quality grass silages. Scientists involved in the project will be available to discuss the key areas that the project will cover.

AFBI Animal Disease Diagnostics

AFBI offers a comprehensive range of farm animal diagnostic tests which complements the post-mortem examination service offered from both the AFBI Omagh and AFBI Stormont sites.  Our vets will focus on two areas of importance; BVD Eradication programme and the Cattle Health Scheme. Come and find out how to increase your herd health and in doing so protect your profits at this uncertain time.

AFBI Cattle Health Scheme

AFBI offers a Cattle Health Scheme to provide programmes for the monitoring, control and eradication of five endemic diseases of cattle which remain widespread throughout Ireland, working closely with herd owners and their veterinary surgeons. The scheme also provides certification when a herd meets the agreed cattle health standards. These programmes are for the five most important non-statutory diseases that are prevalent in both dairy and beef herds in Northern Ireland: Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD); Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR); Leptospirosis; Johne’s Disease; and Neosporosis.  Neosporosis is the most commonly diagnosed cause of infectious abortion in dairy herds in the UK and was the cause of 7.1% of abortions in Northern Ireland in 2016. There are no vaccines or licensed treatments available so control of the disease is based on identification of infected animals and implementation of relevant farm management practices.  Joining the AFBI Cattle Health Scheme can help tackle these important endemic diseases.

Many of the research projects being undertaken by AFBI have been co-funded by AgriSearch through the ‘dairy levy’ so please come along to the AFBI stand to discuss how your levy payments are invested to secure a profitable future for dairy farmers in Northern Ireland.

AFBI will be located at Stand Number EK58 in the Eikon Exhibition Centre, we look forward to welcoming you on 13th December.

Notes to editors: 

AFBI carries out high quality technology research and development, statutory, analytical, and diagnostic testing functions for DAERA and other Government departments, public bodies and commercial companies.

AFBI's Vision “Advancing the Local and Global Agri-Food Sectors Through Scientific Excellence”.

All media enquiries to AFBI Press Office 028 9025 5326.

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