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 IBERS Grassland Development Centre

Research projects

The IBERS GDC team support many of the Institute's research projects, delivering the latest information and research findings to industry and end users.

Bookmark this website and visit regularly to keep up-to-date with our research activities.


Research projects

  • [>>QUOATS
    This five year research projcet will develop and apply state-of-the-art genomic and metabolomic tools for oat genetic improvement. Our focus is on understanding and manipulating key traits that will enhance the value of oats in human lealth improvement, capitalise on the value of oats as a low input cereal, increase the environmental and economic sustainability of cereal based rotations, realise the potential of oats as a high value animal feed and develop new opportunities for using oats through advanced fractionation.

  • [>>PROSOIL
    Healthy soils are the true drivers of sustainable and profitable agriculture. Visit the project website to find out more about the work that is being carried out to look at the effect of different soil management practices at IBERS and on commercial development farms.

    BREEDING LINK comprises four projects funded under the Defra Sustainable Livestock Production (SLP) LINK Programme. The projects are concerned with more efficient utilisation of phosphorus; enhancing nitrogen use efficiency from soil to plant; increasing the efficiency with which nitrogen is used in the rumen; and developing grass and clover better adapted to the future climate of the UK.
    [PDF] Key messages from the Breeding LINK projects

  • [>>Sustainable Lamb Production (SLP)
    An exciting project, 'Evaluating Sustainable Lamb Production' aims to combine advances in sheep breeding with strategic use of different grassland types. Grazing less improved areas with breeding ewes and capitalising on the benefits of the latest varieties of grasses and clover for lamb finishing, the project is working with commercial farmers across Wales jointly with industry partners.
    Visit the project website for further information.

  • [>>Grassohol and Fibrzymes
    Grassohol looked at the conversion of high sugar perennial ryegrass to alcohol based transport fuel. The main objective was to develop the technology and provide the underpinning science for the utilisation of forage grasses for economically viable fermentation to bioethanol capable of pilot plant scale-up.
    Fibrzymes focussed on driving the development of novel cell wall degrading enzymes and enzyme formulations for use in the breakdown of grass fibre. The project aimed to develop an enzyme mixture to maximise sugar release from the fibre component of grass.

  • [>>Willow for Wales (biomass for energy)

    The objective of this project was to demonstrate the potential of short rotation coppice willow as a biomass crop in Wales. The consortium represented interests and knowledge of the crop and its marketing into energy generation systems. An important aspect of the project was that it engaged farmers as partners in establishing crop test sites and as potential commercial producers.
    The project was funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Objective One through the Welsh European Funding Office on behalf of the Welsh Government by the Welsh Development Agency and by industry.
    The final report is available on the Willow for Wales website.

  • [>>Lupins in Sustainable Agriculture (LISA)

    This five year, Defra LINK funded, project was the first comprehensive evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of lupins as a crop for organic and conventional use in the UK. Comparisons with other grain legumes analysed on-farm nutrient budgets, feed utilisation, emissions from animal waste, and agronomic factors. Molecular markers for key traits were identified adn brought together as a 'breeder's toolkit' available for lupin improvement.


Farming projects 

  • [>>]  Sulphur for Grassland
    Low sulphur levels in grassland can affect crop  yield and quality, efficiency of nitrogen use and ruminant livestock performance. During 2013 IBERS GDC is delivering a new project 'Sulphur for Grass' in order to get a comprehensive picture of the sulphur status of Welsh grass crops. More 'Sulphur for Grass information will be uploaded over the coming weeks; please bookmark this page to keep up-to-date with this exciting new project.

  • [>>Grazing for Profit (G4P)
    Over 90% of the improved land in Wales is grassland and well managed grazed grass is the cheapest feed for ruminant livestock. This means grazed grass as livestock feed could cost as little as 6p / kg DM - compared to concentrates at approximately 25 - 30p for similar feed value. Grazing for Profit is a Farming Connect project for 2012 and 2013 where the Grassland Development Centre will be working wtih three beef and sheep farmers in Wales who are aiming to improve the quality of grazed grass through good grazing management to reap the potential from their grazing swards. Keep up to date with the monthly reports during the grass growing season.

  • [>>]  Mileage in Silage
    Throughout 2012 five Welsh farmers with a range of enterprises weekly pre-harvested grass samples for analysis to help highlight when the grass was as the optimum stage for cutting. The results were published weekly during the silage season. This project is continuing in 2013.