NEWS: New forage crops specialist at NIAB TAG

16 Jul 2012

NIAB TAG has appointed Gareth Burns as its Forage Crops Specialist.

Dr Burns will provide specialist technical and research expertise on herbage and maize crops and will also lead the development of NIAB TAG’s new Forage Crop Centre. Based near Dartington in Devon, the Centre provides a focal point for the expansion of the organisation’s research and information services in grass, clover and forage maize.

Gareth recently completed his doctorate at the Queens University of Belfast, assessing near infrared reflectance spectroscopy as an instrument for measuring the nutritive quality of grass. He has worked at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute’s silage analysis unit in Hillsborough, and provided varietal evaluation of grass and forage maize at AFBI Crossnacreevy. Gareth was also a Walsh Fellow in Teagasc’s animal grassland research and innovation centre in County Meath, carrying out forage nutritive quality analysis.

NIAB TAG Director of Crops and Agronomy Stuart Knight says: “It’s great news that Gareth has joined our already successful crops and agronomy team as we look to expand and enhance our applied research and agronomy services across all crop types. Our investment in the Forage Crop Centre in the south-west shows our commitment to providing a wide range of crop services to farmers across all regions.”

“I hope to bring the experience and knowledge I have of Irish grassland systems to NIAB TAG and continue to develop and expand this expertise for the benefit of the UK industry. This includes research on variety choice and selection across all forage crops, enabling farmers to maximise efficiency and contributing to increased production and reduced costs,” says Dr Burns.