Duration 3 years Team and Leader Lynne Dawson and Ian McCluggage Organisations involved ARINI & CAFRE Background and Summary Rearing heifer replacements represents one of the main costs in any dairy enterprise.  Recent Greenmount benchmarking data (CAFRE, 2005) indicated that the average total cost (excluding labour) of rearing heifers was £745 per heifer and that a 37% improvement in net farm profit could be achieved through a 10% reduction in heifer rearing costs.   Within heifer rearing, calf mortality represents a major economic and welfare cost.  Recent on-farm data...

Duration 3 years commencing October 2003 Team and Leader Arnoud Hameleers, Sinclair Mayne, Nick Friggens Organisations Involved ARINI, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland, Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences Background and Summary Supplementation of forage with concentrates is an important management tool to achieve improved efficiency and economic sustainability of dairy cow production systems. The current approach to rationing of dairy cow diets is to evaluate the basal forage, combine this with target milk yield and formulate a diet...

Duration 4 years commencing January 2004 Pictured at the Handover of Final Report on Low Input Forages to AgriSearch Team and Leader Arnoud Hameleers, Lindsay Easson and Peter Frost Organisations Involved Agriculture Research Institute of Northern Ireland and Department ofAgriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland. Background and Summary Proposed changes in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will probably result in an extensification of land use in Northern Ireland agriculture. Land will have to be kept in `an agricultural state`. Possibly, levels of part time farming and the use of contractors will increase.  Dairy farmers...

Duration 4 years Launching the report Team and Leader C. Ferris, A. Dale, N.O’Connell, S.Mayne, (ARINI, Hillsborough), M. McCoy (Veterinary Science Division), C.Watson (Agri Environment Division) and D.Anderson (Agri Food Economics Division) Organisations Involved ARINI, VSD, AED & AFED Background and Summary The Northern Ireland dairy industry continues to face increasing pressures and challenges, including falling milk prices, increasing costs of inputs, ever increasing environmental pressures, labour shortages and increasing lifestyle expectations.  However, within this scenario, milk...

Duration 15 months (January 2009 – March 2010) Team and Leader Conrad Ferris, Elaine Vance, Niamh O’Connell and Ryan Law (AFBI, Hillsborough), Duncan Anderson (Agri Food Economics Division) Background and Summary  The Northern Ireland dairy industry continues to face increasing pressures and challenges, including increasing costs of inputs, labour shortages, unstable milk prices and low levels of fertility.   However, unlike in the Republic of Ireland, no advisory blueprint for milk production exists.  For example, while an increasing number of Northern Ireland herds are moving...