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Annual Conference 2010

Event Details

  • Date: 25 Jan 2010
  • Venue: The Ruas Conference Centre Balmoral


Incoming Ulster Grassland Society (UGS) President, Dr John Orr, drew on experience from his farming and research backgrounds to explain to delegates at the 2010 Conference that clover-based swards offer a real alternative that is both economic and has a smaller carbon footprint than fertiliser dependant systems. He also highlighted the importance of efficient grazing systems.

To view a copy of his paper click here.

During the Conference the Society launched a new grazing booklet and announced plans to develop a website during the incoming year.

Dr Sinclair Mayne, DARD’s Scientific Adviser, left delegates in no doubt that climate change is happening and outlined some of the implications for crop growth. He told delegates that Northern Ireland is well placed to produce safe high quality food whilst safeguarding the environment. He highlighted that improving grassland management can alleviated the pressure on agriculture to reduce GHG emissions. Further research and innovation is critical to maintaining the competitiveness of NI agriculture.

To view a copy of his talk click here.

Prof Gareth Edward-Jones from Bangor University considered how more food can be produced to satisfy increasing world demand whilst reducing GHG emissions. He explained how grassland and woodland can lock up or sequester carbon. He encouraged farmers to do what they can to reduce GHG emissions and to let people know what they have done. Gareth also encouraged farmers to support renewable energy projects.

To view a copy of his talk click here.

A Retailer’s Perspective was given by Annie Graham, Head of Brand Sustainability, Agriculture and Health with Sainsbury’s. She explained how Sainsburys aim to enhance understanding and improve the carbon footprint and environmental performance on their dairy development group member’s farms. Whilst Annie stated that Sainsburys have no desire to publish carbon data on food at this time they will be encouraging an additional 6,500 farmers across a range of enterprises to participate in their carbon footprinting project.   To view a copy of her talk click here.

Nigel Moore, CAFRE’s Senior Renewable Energy Technologist, provided a practical insight into way in which farmers could save money whilst reducing GHG emissions. Nigel discussed a number of examples where farmers had significantly reduced costs whilst reducing GHG emissions. Measures to reduce carbon footprint included improving energy efficiency, good growth rates, high levels of fertility, good genetics and disease control, use of clover swards, reducing nitrogen fertiliser use, appropriate manure management and carbon sequestration.  To view a copy of his talk click here.

At the conclusion of the Conference President Elect, Norbury Royale, proposed a vote of thanks to all of the speakers.

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