Introduction to Compact TMR feeding system for dairy cows
  Compact TMR (Total Mixed Ration) is a mixing and feeding concept that targets nutrition and behaviour of dairy cows with the aim to simultaneously benefit productivity, efficiency and health. With Compact TMR all cows in a feeding group have unlimited access to a feed mix that cannot be sorted.    “Compact TMR – for improved feed efficiency” is the subject of a webinar to be held on Tuesday 17th January at 12 noon (GMT) by EuroDairy: a pan European network for dairy farming, which is linked to farmers in Northern Ireland through AgriSearch, the NI Agricultural Research and Development...

Tremendous interest in AgriSearch’s new on-farm research projects
  Over 80 farmers from every corner of Northern Ireland have applied to become a pilot farmer in the new GrassCheck and “Beef from Grass” projects.   AgriSearch’s Chairman Michael Bell said, “We are really encouraged by the enthusiastic support for AgriSearch and these new projects which aim to maximise the use of grass - our greatest asset”.    “A recent study undertaken by AFBI for the Sustainable Agricultural Land Management Strategy, showed that for every extra tonne of grass dry matter utilised per hectare, margins improved by £441 per hectare per year on dairy farms and by £204...

GrassCheck 2016 – A tale of two halves for grass growth in 2016
  With annual Grasscheck grass growth up 21% compared with the 2007 – 2015 long term average, 2016 at first glance appears to have been an excellent year for grass production. But a closer look at both grass growth and quality highlights an incredibly volatile season and shows what a challenging year it has been for managing grass across the Province.   As in previous years AgriSearch’s GrassCheck project, conducted by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and supported by CAFRE and DAERA has been monitoring grass trends throughout the season. Grass growth rates and grass quality...

DAIRY & BEEF PILOT FARMERS WANTED FOR 2017 GRASS PROJECTS
 Applications are now open to become a pilot farmer for two of AgriSearch’s latest projects: GrassCheck 2017 and Beef from Grass.  Working with research partners AFBI, the projects will recruit 12 dairy farms and 18 beef farms from across Northern Ireland to monitor grass growth and quality through the 2017 growing season to better understand grass growing conditions across the region. Both projects are focused on assisting farmers to improve grass management following recent industry data highlighting the economic benefits of improved grass utilisation. Work carried out by AFBI has...

PILOT FARMERS WANTED FOR GRASSCHECK
  In Northern Ireland grazed or ensiled grass is by far the main source of forage, occupying an estimated 93% of the total farmed area.  However, the current performance of managed grasslands remains far below its potential with an estimated 7.5 tonnes of grass dry matter utilised per hectare on dairy farms. This has been echoed by a continuing decline in milk from forage, which has fallen steadily from 3,228 litres/cow/year in 2000 to 1,686 litres/cow/year in 2015 (CAFRE benchmarking, 2016).   GrassCheck is AgriSearch’s longest running programme, although the format has altered over the...