AgriSearch will host two webinars for Northern Ireland’s ruminant livestock farmers with the aim of helping them mitigate challenges they are facing coming into autumn.

The agricultural research charity said summer 2023 has been “particularly challenging” for Northern Ireland’s dairy, beef and sheep farmers.

In partnership with the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), AgriSearch will hold its first webinar – ‘Autumn Options for Beef‘ – on Wednesday, August 30 at 8:00p.m.

The second webinar – ‘Autumn Options for Dairy‘ – will take place on Thursday, August 31 at 8:00p.m.

AgriSearch said topics to be addressed at the webinars include: forage planning and budgeting; options for dealing with poorer quality silage; proactive steps that can be taken to safeguard animal health; and what can be done to help farming businesses get through this “challenging period”.

“After a dry May and June, there has been almost incessant rain which has affected grass quality and hampered silage making,” it said.

“Ground conditions in many areas have been challenging with stock having to be housed at times.”

AgriSearch said these conditions have “not been conducive” to livestock health and performance, and said that it is likely that many of the silages being fed to livestock this winter will be “sub-optimal”.

“At the same time farmers are facing a cost/price squeeze with the cost of purchased feed remaining near historical highs and prices for milk, beef and lamb all under pressure.”

Those interested in attending the webinars can register via the AgriSearch website.