Project leader and team:   Ryan Law, Shane McGettrick, Alastair Wylie and Conrad Ferris   Duration:  36 months commencing August 2011  Organisations involved: AFBI (Agriculture Branch and Veterinary Science Division)   Background to proposal: The profitability of the dairy sector can vary greatly from year to year, with milk price and costs of inputs being two of the key factors influencing returns.  With regards milk price, this is largely outside of the control of the Northern Ireland dairy farmer, with local milk prices increasingly determined by world market forces, a consequence of...

Project title:    Effect of nutritional management during the first 42 days post calving on ‘lactational’ performance, uterine health, and subsequent reproductive performance post partum Project leader and team:   Ryan Law and Conrad Ferris   Duration:  12 months commencing September 2009  Organisations involved: AFBI Background to proposal: Reproductive failure is the predominant reason for culling high yielding dairy cows, and at an estimated annual cost of £18,000 per 100 cow herd, can severely reduce profitability. Although many factors have contributed to the decline in dairy...

Duration 16 months commencing December 2010 Team and Leader Ryan Law, Shane McGettrick, Alastair Wylie and Conrad Ferris Organisations involved AFBI (Hillsborough, Newforge and Stormont) Background and Summary During early lactation, high yielding dairy cows are unable to consume sufficient food to support high levels of milk production, resulting in severe and prolonged periods of negative energy balance and excessive body reserve mobilisation. Research has shown that severe negative energy balance (NEB) increases the interval from calving to the commencement of luteal...

Duration 2 years commencing September 2005 Team and Leader Desmond Patterson & Fiona Young Organisations Involved ARINI & DARDNI Background and Summary Optimisation of supplementation of forage with concentrates is essential to improve efficiency and economic sustainability of dairy cow production systems, as well as reducing the environmental impact of intensive dairy farming in Northern Ireland.   However, continuing fertility and health problems indicate that we are not responding effectively to the needs of high genetic merit cows in terms of current feeding and...

Duration Team and Leader  S Mayne Organisations involved Agricultural Research Institute of Northern Ireland - S Mayne and T Keady Background and Summary The survey of Northern Ireland dairy farmers on research priorities highlighted a need for the industry to have more information on how to improve milk composition. While new innovative research programmes can be developed to further progress this area the first need was for farmers to be made fully aware of the considerable amount of information which already existed from previous research.  This particularly, but not...