“Soil & Suckler Fertility” is the theme for a Beef Farm Walk being organised jointly by AgriSearch, AFBI and CAFRE on the farm of Thomas Moorehead, Broughshane on Wednesday 7th May at 2pm.
As the name suggests the two main topics for the event revolve around fertility of both stock and soil. AFBI will discuss the benefits of calving heifers down at 24 months, as well as the results of a pilot study on suckler heifer synchronisation conducted in partnership with Genus, Zoetis and AI Services. The use of EBV’s and BovIS to improve your herd’s genetics will also be illustrated.
CAFRE will outline the importance of good soil fertility and grassland management and the simple steps which farmers can take to make improvements in this area. They will also discuss the use of benchmarking to monitor your farms financial performance and to identify areas were improvements can be made.
AGRISEARCH, the Northern Ireland Agricultural Research and Development Council, is offering a forward thinking milk producer an interesting and unusual opportunity.
“We are seeking an independent farmer representative to join our Dairy Advisory Committee, which plays a key role in identifying research projects of potentially great practical value to producers, “explained AgriSearch project manager Jason Rankin.
“Serving on the Dairy Advisory Committee involves only four meetings a year, but offers a unique insight into how scientists working with farmers can improve milk industry competitiveness.
A user guide to the Bovine Information System (BovIS) carcass benchmarking application, developed by AFBI through DARD and AgriSearch funding, is now available from AgriSearch.
The BovIS database merges information from both APHIS and meat plants to produce material of real practical value in monitoring livestock performance. The online carcass benchmarking application can be used by individual farmers to review and, if they wish, benchmark, the performance of their finished cattle in terms of growth rates and carcass quality. The tool is accessed through DARD on-line services using the same login details as for other on-line services such as APHIS.
The tool can be used to make a wide range of comparisons such as between different years, breeds and terminal sires. You can also compare your cattle’s performance to that of the top 10% of Northern Ireland herds based on daily carcass growth rate.
Anne Richmond who is from Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, has recently graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a PhD having previously graduated from the University of Dundee with a BSc (Hons) degree in Biology. Anne’s PhD was funded by AgriSearch and conducted primarily at the Agri-Food and Bioscience Institute (AFBI) Hillsborough, research was also undertaken at the CAFRE Hill Farm (Glenwherry) and on farms at Carnlough in Co Antrim and Feeny in Co Londonderry. Her thesis was entitled ‘An investigation of methane emissions from beef cattle grazing contrasting upland and lowland vegetation types’.