Evaluating The Role Of Cattle In LFA Pastures

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - New PhD research project has been initiated to evaluate the environmental implications of livestock grazing a range of differing Less Favoured Area (LFA) environments in Northern Ireland.
calendar icon 16 June 2010
clock icon 1 minute read

The project will be undertaken by QUB student, Anne Richmond and is funded by the beef industry through AgriSearch.

Ms Richmond comes from a beef farm near Ballymoney and graduated from the University of Dundee with a degree in Biology. She has travelled extensively, spending some time in South Africa working as a game ranger and worked in Trinidad as part of team involved in conversation in the rain forest.

As part of the PhD project, Ms Richmond will be working closely with AFBI research scientists including Lynne Dawson (Project Leader Sustainable Beef Systems AFBI Hillsborough) Scott Laidlaw (Project Leader Grassland Agronomy, AFBI Crossnacreevy) and Mel Flexen (Ecologist, AFBI Newforge).

In the first year of the three year research project, grazing behaviour of dairy origin steers will be compared with suckler-beef origin steers. This will involve direct observations of where the animals graze.

Satellite (GPS) tracking collars will also be used to pinpoint exactly where the animals have grazed throughout an entire 24 hour period. During the project, the performance of a range of cattle, including suckler cows and their progeny from a range of breeds, in different LFA environments will be monitored.

An assessment will also be made of the vegetation types present in each of habitats where the animals graze and the consequence of grazing on the vegetation.

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