NI Farmers Urged to Apply for Breeding Tech Study Tour in Scotland

Northern Irish dairy farmers are being given the opportunity to travel to Scotland to learn how advanced breeding technologies can aid breeding decisions.

Technologies used on farms in south west Scotland include the use of herd data available through milk recording and herd recording packages.

Farming businesses in that region also make use of new genetic indices, genomics and sire mating programs.

The Department of Agriculture (DAERA) is organising a trip in summer to visit four farms over a period of two days.

It will include a visit to at least one of the Fast Breeders herds – a group of farmers who secured funding from the government to establish a breeding programme using innovative technologies to boost productivity.

The trip will also include a visit to the SRUC Dairy Research Centre at Crichton Royal Farm, Dumfries, home to the Langhill Dairy Herd – the world’s longest running genetic selection trial.

This was established in the 1970s to select for fat plus protein yield and has developed over time to include contrasting management strategies with the feeding of either 1.5 or 4.5 tonne of concentrate per cow per annum.

Applications are being invited from one member or employee of a farm business that has had dairy cows in any one of the last two years.

Up to 20 places are available, and applications can be completed online until Friday 30 June 2023 at 4.00 pm.