*** Document containing further information for interested farmers now available for download *** Over the last 15 years a number of large-scale research projects have (jointly funded by AgriSearch and DARD) been undertaken by AFBI Hillsborough on Northern Ireland farms.  These programmes which have involved the beef, dairy and sheep sectors have provided a highly successful approach to address key issues for the Northern Ireland agriculture industry.  AgriSearch in partnership with AFBI and with co-funding obtained under DARD’s Research Challenge Fund, is commencing a new study on...

NI On-farm research reducing first calving age in suckler herds
Research has clearly shown significant performance and economic benefits of first calving beef herd replacements at 24 months of age compared with 30 or 36 months of age. Data from BovIS indicated that the average at first calving age within the Northern Ireland suckler herd is currently 31 months of age, consequently there is great potential to drive improved efficiency through reducing age at first calving.  An on-farm DARD Research Challenge Fund programme funded by AgriSearch and DARD has developed a monitoring tool to inform management decisions so replacements achieve the optimum...

Grass foundation for Sloan farm success
The role of high quality grazed grass and silage in maximising margins was highlighted when Lisburn farmers Robert Sloan, sons David and Martin hosted a farm walk. An event organised by AgriSearch with AFBI and CAFRE as part of the Research Challenge Fund project to cut carbon emissions from beef farming by improving efficiency and thus profitability. The Sloan family farm 500 Co Down acres with enterprises including vegetable growing and a 280 cow Holstein Friesian dairy herd from which bull male progeny are transferred to the beef enterprise. This enterprise is based on a 24 month...

HOLSTEIN BEEF BULLS HIT 2KG DLWG
Holstein bulls achieve daily live weight gains as high as 2kg on a Co Armagh beef unit that hosted an AgriSearch Research Challenge Fund farm walk. Organised with AFBI and CAFRE staff, including local beef advisor Albert Johnston, this event demonstrated how better beef production both boosts bank balances and curtails carbon footprints! Coming into beef farming from the poultry business host farmer Eric Reid applied many lessons learned in whitemeat production, not least keeping a firm focus on measuring and monitoring animal performance. Eric Reid and son Gary farm 155 acres near...

Research Challenge Fund Dairy-Origin Beef Farm Walks
Dairy-origin beef production will be the focus of two farm walks on 24th and 26th April at the farms of Eric Reid, 15 Crewcatt Road, Richhill, BT61 8QN and Robert, David 7 martin Sloan, 32 Lisnastrean Road, Lisburn, BT27 5PB. Research findings from a DARD and AgriSearch jointly funded Research Challenge Fund on-farm project will be up for discussion.  The focus of the farm walks will be to outline the management required to achieve optimal growth performance from dairy-origin cattle to meet target live weights at specific ages.  AFBI researchers will be on hand to update producers on the...