Harper Adams University unveils new sheep feeding research centre

Harper Adams University has unveiled a new state-of-the-art sheep feeding unit, featuring equipment donated by Asda.

The facility will allow research for new feed trials to be undertaken more efficiently.

National Sheep Association (NSA) chief executive Phil Stocker said: “Even though sheep production remains a traditional, predominantly grass-based system, innovation and technology are becoming increasingly important.

This type of feeder, which will allow individual animals’ feed intake and weight to be recorded, will help the research to identify animals with the best feed efficiency and potential value for the future.

Asda sustainability director Dr. Chris Brown said: “Asda is committed to working with UK farmers to help develop better ways to improve the efficiency of animal production.

“Providing these feeders to one of the leading educators of the sheep farmers of tomorrow is just one way we can invest in UK research that will ultimately lead to future improvements across our supply chain and the sheep sector.”

As part of the supply chain, Dunbia will be the processing partner for the project taking lambs from the trial for processing and then providing additional data that will be obtained at the point of kill.

Rachel Gilder, Dunbia Lamb agriculture manager overseeing produce destined for Asda, also joined the group as they toured the facilities and heard about trials currently underway at the university.

Stocker added: “The NSA is a great encourager of the next generation of sheep farmers, and this kind of technology will provide our sheep farmers of the future with a great opportunity to look deeper into animal nutrition and feeding, ultimately helping to move the sector forward.”