A new farming podcast has captured the attention of Northern Irish farmers during the COVID-19 restrictions.
The GrassCheck podcast has been developed by AgriSearch, the farmer-funded production orientated research in the beef, dairy and sheep agricultural sectors in Northern Ireland.
The podcast is an adaptation of its popular grass growth forecast and is produced in-house by General Manager Jason Rankin.
Weekly GrassCheck forecasts have been compiled by AgriSearch with the support of AFBI, CAFRE and 40 GrassCheck farmers from around the province.
The podcast provides up-to-date grass information with the aim of assisting farmers with grassland management decisions and support improvements in grass utilisation on livestock farms.
The research organisation would have been hosting GrassCheck farm walks at this time of year, but due to COVID-19 restrictions have put a halt to this.
Jason Rankin explained: “Now the podcast offers a convenient way for farmers to access quality information through their smartphone as they go about their day or without having to leave the farm.”
“By podcasting, we can take a deeper dive into the topic and it lets us focus individually on dairy, sheep or beef production. They feature interviews with technical experts, scientists and with farmers to share knowledge and learn from practical experience.”
He said that he looks forward to being able to host farm walks again, but until then podcasting is an alternative way that AgriSearch can share farmer-funded research and promote best practice as they continue to contend with the impact of a very dry spring.
AgriSearch stated that audio-on-demand is one of the fastest-growing forms of digital content, having more than doubled in the last 5 years with 7.1 million people in the UK now listening to podcasts every week.
There are 4 episodes of the GrassCheck podcast available which can be found on the AgriSearch website.