Today we spent the day visiting with “technologists” and seeing their state of the art demonstration farm at the Greenmount Campus. College of Agriculture, Farms and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) at Greenmount provides various levels of vocational, technical and advanced agriculture degree programs in Northern Ireland. http://www.cafre.ac.uk/index.htmThey have just completed work on a nee dairy demonstration facility. The 150 cow herd has moved off grazing land and into the barn for the winter season. The facility features padded floors at key spots, robotic alley cleaners and an innovative manure/urine separator floor (see image below). The floor scraper separates urine and manure to reduce the mixing that promotes ammonia volatilization. They expect this is several years ahead of an industry that is soon approaching numerous innovations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on farms.
On the greener side, we saw horticulture demonstrations, testing numerous late season and winter ornamental crops that could add off season cash flow to nursery and greenhouses. It is not uncommon here for a live
stock farm to also manage an ornamental hoop house for another source of income. Crops include: ornamental cabbage, winter rose and cyclamen(see below)