New sheep research centre at Harper Adams university
NSA chief executive, Phil Stocker, recently travelled to Harper Adams in Shropshire to witness the university unveil its new state of the art sheep feeding unit, featuring equipment donated by Asda.
Showcasing the sheep feeders that will allow research for new feed trials to be undertaken more efficiently, Harper Adams, Asda and processing partners Dunbia welcomed Stocker to view the feeders in action.
Stocker commented: “I very much enjoyed viewing the new sheep feeders. Even though sheep production remains a traditional, predominantly grass based system, innovation and technology is becoming increasingly important and 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 a leading educator 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 UK 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 manger, overseeing produce destined for Asda, also joined the group on Thursday as they were given a tour of the facilities and overview of the current trials underway at the University.
The feeders will now be sited at Harper Adams for the foreseeable future allowing students to benefit from future research that can be undertaken with them. Stocker continued: “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.”