ABOUT MYERSCOUGH COLLEGE AND FARMING OPERATIONS
Extensive training and educational use are made of the 300ha College Farm by many sections of the College, including agriculture, agriculture apprenticeships, agricultural engineering, game-keeping, countryside, arboriculture, foundation learning, equine, animal welfare and management, ecology, Veterinary Nursing, and research. The range of commercial livestock and crop enterprises – currently 200 dairy cows, beef from the dairy unit, a suckler herd, 1000 lowland sheep flock and combinable crops grown as forage – are all important both educationally and for research.
Investment in College Farming Innovations and Operations
In order to support the achievement of these overarching aims and objectives the College recognised an essential need to invest in its farm facilities and in new technology to support curriculum delivery and business development.
In 2017 the College opened a new Food and Farming Innovation and Technology Centre to support the adoption of precision farming techniques particularly within the livestock and grassland sectors. Whilst the Centre itself provides training, conference, and laboratory facilities the project also supported the investment in new facilities and technology for the farm itself. This included:
- 100GB data connection to all farm sites.
- Wi-fi coverage of all farm sites.
- New livestock building with associated silos, feed and slurry storage including –
- Grosafe feeder technology
- Automatic ventilation system
- Animal behaviour CCTV monitoring
- Purpose built handing system with hydraulic crush, EID reading and weigh recording.
- Milking parlour upgrade with Afi Milk technology.
- Hanskamp out of parlour feeders allowing 2 hard feeds and a liquid feed to be fed at all units.
- Alterations to dairy unit to improve cow comfort and welfare.
- Precision fertiliser spreader.
This investment in technology has allowed significant improvements in farm performance to be achieved. It has also driven changes within curriculum delivery that has led to the use of the technology being embedded within teaching. This has been positively received by students and has helped drive increased student recruitment.
Calf Veranda Igloo System
In 2019 the College secured further funding to invest in new calf rearing facilities, which again included the adoption of automated feeding technology. In the spring of 2020, the College opened a new calf rearing facility using Holm and Laue veranda and igloo system in conjunction with automated feeding stations with weighing capability. Again, this investment has brought about labour savings and enterprise performance improvements whilst at the same time creating further opportunities to deliver knowledge transfer activities for farm businesses.
Based on this continued investment in technology the College dairy unit was selected as an AHDB Strategic Dairy Farm in the autumn of 2020 and has since hosted a series of events for levy payers.
In addition, the College has led a £9m pilot of the Strategic Development Fund across the Lancashire Colleges on working towards the net zero carbon agenda. This has included Myerscough College’s ‘Ag Net-Zero Challenge’ which has involved working with local farmers and growers to address the question of “What about carbon?”. This challenge has attempted to demystify carbon management for individual businesses by providing solutions, making efficiencies, and improving productivity while reducing carbon footprint. The Myerscough College Ag Net Zero Challenge has completed ten carbon audits across various farm types in Lancashire. These audits demonstrate where the carbon emissions are occurring and the necessary mitigation measures to reduce them. The College has also delivered Carbon Farm Roadshows and presented the results of the audits to groups of Lancashire farmers. To support the project a range of innovative capital equipment has been purchased to enable teaching and learning at Myerscough College to be demonstrated by using the latest technology including the latest tractors, harvest lab, umbilical, direct drill, and self-propelled feeder wagon with cutter head technology.
Livestock Innovation Centre
Take a virtual tour through our Livestock Innovation Centre!
A range of innovative capital equipment has been purchased to enable sustainability at Myerscough College to be demonstrated by using the latest technology including the latest tractors, harvest lab, umbilical, direct drill, and self-propelled feeder wagon with cutter head technology.
Please enter your email below to keep up-to-date with the AG Net-Zero Challenge