IBERS provides the agricultural industry with the novel products and new knowledge to help meet societal challenges including: coping with climate change, reducing the environmental footprint and producing sufficient food of a high quality to meet the demands of an increasing world population.
That was the over-arching message from Professor Will Haresign recently when he addressed NFU Cymru’s Conference in Pembrokeshire.
Professor Haresign, Deputy Director of IBERS (Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences) at Aberystwyth University, continued, “Climate is becoming much more unpredictable and we are suffering much more extreme climatic events. The sorts of conditions we need our forage crops to grow in are different as a result. Therefore the priority at IBERS is to re-design crops to cope with extremes of weather which are also environmentally and economically beneficial to a sustainable agricultural industry,”
IBERS is responsible for developing 25% of the UK perennial ryegrass seed sold in the UK; 65% of the UK oat seed varieties and 30% of the UK’s forage legume seed. This is thanks to the work done at the Institute’s plant breeding programme whose main aim is to help meet the needs of the agricultural industry.
As animal production and pastoral agriculture are the main stay of the industry in Wales, Professor Haresign also explained to those present that the main focus of their research at IBERS is the development of knowledge based ruminant livestock systems which are profitable for farmers to produce competitively priced quality products with a focus on environmental sustainability.
After obtaining a BSc in Animal Science and a PhD in Animal Physiology from the University of Nottingham, Professor Will Haresign joined the Institute of Rural Sciences (now IBERS) in 1996 as Professor of Agriculture.
Mike Plumb, the newly elected Chairman for NFU Cymru in Pembrokeshire thanked Professor Haresign for his informative presentation. He also thanked HSBC bank for sponsoring the event.