In-person visits to farms participating in the Northern Ireland Sheep Programme (NISP) continue to be hampered by COVID-19.

As a result, the programme is continuing with its popular webinar format, with the next event taking place on Thursday 25 November at 8pm.

The webinar will follow the format of a virtual visit to the farm of Dermot McAleese, who runs hill and lowland sheep flocks alongside a suckler herd in Loughgiel, Co Antrim, followed by specialist advice on navigating through a winter of higher feed costs.

The farm visit aspect of the webinar will be conducted by Dermot and programme adviser Senan White and will cover two main themes.

There will be a brief overview of the farming system; plus an insight into how Dermot is setting up the farm to ensure high levels of performance are achieved over the winter while preparing the farm for next spring, to try to insulate itself as best it can from rising concentrate and fertiliser costs.

Included in the farm overview will be details on the farm’s breeding programme, with a particular focus on how it is excelling in terms of lamb output, lamb sales performance for 2021, grassland management, physical and financial performance and areas highlighted for further improvements.

Winter management

This will be followed by presentations from CAFRE advisers covering winter feeding programmes in greater detail. It will include feeding programmes based on forages of varying feeding value, mid- and late-pregnancy feeding programmes and ration formulation.

Pre-registration is necessary to watch the webinar. To register, click here.

You can read more details about Dermot’s farm here.