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Aberystwyth, United Kingdom

The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural science is a department of Aberystwyth University, and is located in the town of Aberystwyth on the west coast of Wales, on Cardigan Bay. It has a remit for teaching, research as well as business innovation in the area of land use and the rural economy. Taught undergraduate degree schemes offered by the Institute include those in Agriculture, Animal Science, Countryside Management and Species Conservation, Equine Science, as well as Tourism Management. The Institute has approximately 500 undergraduate students, approximately 40 postgraduate students, 28 full-time lecturers and a similar number of part-time associate-lecturers . The Institute has three research groups: Environmental Ecology, Animal Science and Rural Development. In addition, the Institute is also the home to the Organic Centre Wales, as well as the Farm Business Survey unit of the Welsh Assembly Government.IBERS has a complex history of mergers. The Institute of Rural science was created in 1995 from the merger of the Welsh Agricultural College with the University's Department of Agriculture. The current Institute has taken over the Welsh Agricultural College site and buildings, now called the Llanbadarn Campus of the University, Wikipedia.

Quinn P.F.,Newcastle University | Hewett C.J.M.,Institute of Grassland And Environmental Research | Muste M.,University of Iowa | Popescu I.,UNESCOIHE
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Water Management | Year: 2010

This paper discusses the instigation of a programme intended to create a water-focused upper Mississippi river basin observatory. The observatory would consist of a number of interdisciplinary, multi-institutional teams synergistically collaborating on a series of research sites at different locations within the basin. There is no existing recipe for establishing an observatory, but there is a vast amount of experience and knowledge that can be shared to help establish one. The concept of an observatory process is introduced to encapsulate the long-term, interactive and dynamic nature of what is proposed. Building an observatory should be a collaborative, inclusive and equitable process and could be used to establish a practical problem-solving agenda linking the abundance of research carried out in the upper Mississippi river basin to the needs of mission agencies and stakeholders within the basin. In order to begin the process, a workshop brought together an international team of research scientists and practitioners to discuss how the process could become a reality. Surveys were used to assess the understanding, perceived challenges and aspirations of the participants before and after the workshop, the results of which are presented as a key element of the action research. A draft Amana protocol, based on the outcomes of the workshop discussions, is presented as a possible means of moving the observatory process forward. Source

Chilibroste P.,Grass Production and Utilisation on Grazing Systems Group | Gibb M.J.,Institute of Grassland And Environmental Research | Soca P.,Grass Production and Utilisation on Grazing Systems Group | Mattiauda D.A.,Grass Production and Utilisation on Grazing Systems Group
Animal Production Science | Year: 2015

Research conducted over recent decades to improve understanding of the functional responses among sward characteristics, intake rate and grazing behaviour has been reviewed. The opportunities to modify grazing pattern by changes in feeding management are discussed and the implications for dairy-farm feeding strategies are highlighted. Progress in the understanding of the functional responses between sward characteristics and intake rate and their main components (bite mass, bite area, bite depth and bite rates) has been substantial. However, progress in understanding the factors that mediate the initiation and the end of individual meals has been poorer and requires further study. Much of the research has been conducted using short-term experiments with a limited number of experimental animals and mostly conducted on mono-specific uniform swards. The physiological state of the animal as well as the maintenance energy associated with grazing strategies have received very little, if any, attention. More integrated (sward, animal, management) and long-term basic research is required to improve feeding practices at the farm level and the design of farms for the new generation of grassland-based dairy-production systems. © CSIRO 2015. Source

Shang Z.H.,Lanzhou University | Shang Z.H.,CAS Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research | Gibb M.J.,Institute of Grassland And Environmental Research | Long R.J.,Lanzhou University
Rangeland Journal | Year: 2012

Severe snowfall events, termed snow disasters, lead to losses of livestock, preventing sustainable development of livestock systems, in the rangelands of northern China. In order to reduce losses under snow disasters, a review of the factors contributing to these losses was used to indicate the most appropriate strategy. It is proposed that governments and herders should implement a holistic strategy using a multi-disciplinary approach to ensure sustainable development in these rangelands. The possibility of seeing snow disasters as a natural restraint on livestock numbers and allowing losses to take place during these events is not considered as acceptable as part of a holistic strategy. The aim of the strategy is to improve animal nutrition, health and disease control rather than simply mounting rescue missions to save threatened livestock. It is suggested that central and local governments should encourage permanent solutions through a combination of education, the provision of materials for animal housing and the creation of reserve banks sufficient to ensure adequate feeding and survival of livestock through the winter, whether threatened by snow disasters or not. The economic return from the marketing of animal products should be enhanced through a combination of government and herder initiatives to promote a higher turnover rate of livestock and to encourage the sale of high-quality products. Regeneration of degraded grassland by herders should be encouraged by enhancing vegetation cover and forage plant height, thereby reducing the effect of snow cover on forage accessibility. Since current stocking rates on many rangelands are too high, their reduction should be an absolute priority in order to prevent irreversible degradation of rangelands. Only by improving herders' confidence in their economic survival, through the adoption of such changes, will they be persuaded to reduce grazing livestock numbers, thereby helping to ensure, not only the short-term survival of livestock through snow disasters, but the long-term survival of their rangeland pastures upon which their livelihood depends. © Australian Rangeland Society 2012. Source

Mattiauda D.A.,Agronomy Faculty | Tamminga S.,Wageningen University | Gibb M.J.,Institute of Grassland And Environmental Research | Soca P.,Agronomy Faculty | And 2 more authors.
Livestock Science | Year: 2013

The objective of this study was to assess the effects of restricting access time to pasture and time of grazing allocation on grazing behaviour, daily dry matter intake (DMI), rumen fermentation, milk production and composition in dairy cows. Twenty-one autumn-calving Holstein cows were assigned to one of the following 3 treatments: providing access to a daily strip of pasture for either 8. h between 07:00 and 15:00. h (T7-15), 4. h between 07:00 and 11:00. h (T7-11), or 4. h between 11:00 and 15:00. h (T11-15). The experimental period consisted of 3 weeks of adaptation and 6 weeks of measurements. Cows were offered a daily herbage allowance of 18. kg DM/cow to ground level, 6.1. kg DM/day of a ground sorghum grain-based supplement and 5.2. kg DM/day of maize silage. Milk yield was greater for cows with 8. h access time to the pasture (25.4 vs. 24.1 for 8 and 4. h access time, respectively). Milk yield was not different between cows that access early (T7-11) or late (T11-15) to the grazing session. Milk protein yield was greater for cows with 8. h access time (0.75. kg/d) vs. 4. h access time treatments (0.72. kg/d). Cows with late access time to grazing in the morning produce more protein (0.74. kg/d) than cows with early access to the pasture (0.70. kg/d). Duration of access had a significant effect on herbage DMI (8.3 vs. 6.6. kg/d, for 8 and 4. h access, respectively), but there was no significant effect of time of grazing allocation. Intakes of concentrate and maize silage DM did not differ between treatments.Pasture depletion rate was significantly slower when cows had access to the pasture for 8. h compared with 4. h (0.04 vs. 0.09. cm/h), but was not affected by allocation time in the 4-h treatments.Cows grazed for significantly longer in treatment T7-11 than T11-15, achieved significantly more biting and non-biting grazing jaw movements. However, because herbage DMI did not differ between treatments T7-11 and T11-15, it appears that cows grazed more efficiency on treatment T11-15.The present study showed that reducing the period of access to pasture from 8 to 4. h decreases DMI and milk production. Cows that started their 4-h grazing session later in the morning (T11-15) produced more protein than cows that started earlier (T7-11), probably as a consequence of a larger bite mass and a tendency for higher intake rate. Rumen pH of cows grazing on treatment T11-15 declined faster than in cows on T7-11, which is in accordance with the higher VFA and ammonia rumen concentrations observed after the grazing session started. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Del Prado A.,Rothamsted Research | Misselbrook T.,Rothamsted Research | Chadwick D.,Rothamsted Research | Hopkins A.,Rothamsted Research | And 5 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2011

Multiple demands are placed on farming systems today. Society, national legislation and market forces seek what could be seen as conflicting outcomes from our agricultural systems, e.g. food quality, affordable prices, a healthy environmental, consideration of animal welfare, biodiversity etc., Many of these demands, or desirable outcomes, are interrelated, so reaching one goal may often compromise another and, importantly, pose a risk to the economic viability of the farm.SIMS DAIRY, a farm-scale model, was used to explore this complexity for dairy farm systems. SIMS DAIRY integrates existing approaches to simulate the effect of interactions between farm management, climate and soil characteristics on losses of nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon. The effects on farm profitability and attributes of biodiversity, milk quality, soil quality and animal welfare are also included. SIMS DAIRY can also be used to optimise fertiliser N.In this paper we discuss some limitations and strengths of using SIMS DAIRY compared to other modelling approaches and propose some potential improvements. Using the model we evaluated the sustainability of organic dairy systems compared with conventional dairy farms under non-optimised and optimised fertiliser N use. Model outputs showed for example, that organic dairy systems based on grass-clover swards and maize silage resulted in much smaller total GHG emissions per l of milk and slightly smaller losses of NO 3 leaching and NO x emissions per l of milk compared with the grassland/maize-based conventional systems. These differences were essentially because the conventional systems rely on indirect energy use for 'fixing' N compared with biological N fixation for the organic systems. SIMS DAIRY runs also showed some other potential benefits from the organic systems compared with conventional systems in terms of financial performance and soil quality and biodiversity scores. Optimisation of fertiliser N timings and rates showed a considerable scope to reduce the (GHG emissions per l milk too). © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

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