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...

Duration 12 months from January 2004 Team and Leader D.C. Patterson Organisations Involved Agricultural Research Institute of Northern Ireland and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland Background and Summary There is currently an increasing interest in the production of alternative forage crops for feeding to high yielding dairy cows. This reflects both the potentially lower production costs per unit of energy associated with some alternative forage crops and the ability of some of these crops to increase total dry matter intake and improve milk...

Duration  Team and Leader R Agnew Organisations Involved Agricultural Research Institute of Northern Ireland, Scottish Agricultural Colleges and ADAS Background and Summary The present systems of rationing dairy cattle (metabolisable energy and metabolisable protein systems) were put in place some time ago. These systems have major limitations, as they do not accurately predict how the dairy cow reacts to alteration in feed supply (energy or protein) and quality. The present proposal is a United Kingdom wide initiative designed to develop a new feeding system, which can...