AgriSearch seeking interest from farmer co-researchers

Sheep
Sheep

Applications are now open to become a farmer co-researcher in AgriSearch’s latest sheep project – Lamb from Grass.

Working with research partners at AFBI, the project will recruit nine sheep farms from across Northern Ireland to participate in the study. Four of these are to be upland (hill) farmers and five to be lowland farmers.

Lamb from Grass is a three-year project (2017-19) funded by DAERA and AgriSearch which aims to identify and implement sheep grazing strategies that can maximise the use of grass on both upland/hill and lowland production systems. Work carried out by AFBI has demonstrated that improving grassland utilisation by one tonne per hectare on a beef and sheep farm is worth an additional profit of £204/ha/year.

Grazing strategies will be implemented on the five hill farms (including the CAFRE hill farm) and their effects on both vegetation and animal performance will be monitored. Specifically, for each farm, agri-environment targets and suitable measures to meet these targets will be defined and implemented

Different grazing strategies will be implemented and monitored on the five lowland flocks in 2017 and 2018 to evaluate their effect on grass and animal performance and overall lamb production per hectare. Breeding strategies at each of the co-researchers’ farms will be defined following a consistent approach across farms. This will provide the opportunity to investigate how different breeds/genotypes respond to similar grazing strategies implemented at the farms.

These farmers will be required to measure grass each week throughout the grazing season. Regular grass samples will also be taken for analysis at AFBI Hillsborough.

Application forms and information packs can be downloaded from the AgriSearch website www.agrisearch.org.

Anyone who may have a general queries then contact Jason Rankin (AgriSearch) on 028 9268 1613 or Aurélie Aubry (AFBI) on 028 92681554.