AFBI Dairy Research To Improve NI Milk Production

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - The Fane Valley Sales and Technical team recently visited the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) at Hillsborough for an update on current dairy research programmes.
calendar icon 23 August 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

During the visit the AFBI dairy research team outlined a number of research programmes, each designed to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of milk production in Northern Ireland.

Andrew Dale started the visit by providing an update on recent grazing studies, including a comparison of flat-rate and feed-to-yield concentrate allocation strategies. The group were also able to view one of the ongoing grazing studies, where the performance of cows grazing full-time, or grazing only by day is being compared to that of cows housed full-time.

An update on the performance of Holstein and Jersey crossbred cows on different milk production systems was provided by Conrad Ferris, who also outlined ongoing research in support of Northern Ireland Nitrates Directive Derogation.

Ryan Law described the research programme into winter feeding, and explained strategies being examined to reduce body reserve mobilization in early lactation, a problem often experienced by high-yielding dairy cows.

Other recent studies discussed examined concentrate allocation strategies in early lactation and the effective use of dietary protein and energy during this period.

To conclude the visit, a presentation was given by Marijnjte Speijers entitled “Key steps in reducing lameness in Northern Ireland dairy herds”.

This presentation dealt with the main risk factors for lameness, the importance of regular locomotion scoring and recent research into digital dermatitis, especially the effectiveness of different non-antibiotic foot bathing regimes for the control of this disease.

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