AgriSearch have published a booklet summarising the results of a study which examined cows performance within feed-to-yield systems on 30 dairy farms from across Northern Ireland. The study was carried out by AFBI and funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environmental and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and AgriSearch under the Research Challenge Fund.

AgriSearch General Manager Jason Rankin said, “The efficient use of resources is of critical importance to a farm’s economic and environmental sustainability. Purchased feed is the biggest single cost on most Northern Ireland dairy farms as well as being the main source of phosphorus. Purchased feed also accounts for around 18% of the greenhouse gas emissions of dairy farms (on a CO2e basis). A “feed-to-yield” approach seeks to bring increased precision to feeding systems and many Northern Ireland dairy farms have adopted this technology.

“It was with this in mind that AgriSearch with support from DAERA commissioned a study involving 30 commercial dairy farms from across Northern Ireland who are operating feed-to-yield systems. A wide range of data was collected from these farms over two years. On behalf of AgriSearch I would like to thank the farms for their participation in this study.”

The booklet also contains the results of a second research project (also co-funded by DAERA) conducted at AFBI Hillsborough which looked in greater detail at strategies to improve individual cow management within feed-to-yield systems.

The booklet is available to download from HERE.