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Archive Article: 1995/09/29

29 September 1995

Inspecting the fleeces prior to the British Wool Marketing Boards fifth sale of the season at Bradford on Wednesday. Just over half the 2.5m kg offering was sold, with prices down about 2.5% on the previous sale. Crosses and halfbred fleeces made 120 to 127p/kg.

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Archive Article: 1995/09/29

29 September 1995

This 1987-born cow, with her bull calf at foot, set the pace at last weekends biennial sale of 65 Aberdeen-Angus females held on behalf of Alex Mclaren at Brackley, Northants. First through the ring, Princess Stern of Aynho and her calf made 2700gns. Other notable bids included 2000gns, 1700gns and 1500gns (Wintertons).

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Archive Article: 1995/09/29

29 September 1995

CHAROLLAIS: The breed societys fixture at Penrith was judged by Helen Sloan, Dumfries, who found her champion in a ram lamb from local breeders Messrs Wales. It made 250gns to R B Woodhouse, Howe Farm, Hawkshead, Cumbria. Top call was 260gns for another from the same flock bought by J Allison and Sons, Peatgates, Appleby. (Penrith Farmers and Kidds.)

BEEF CATTLE: Prices for the 613 head on offer at Banbury rose again last week, with the auctioneers pointing to a combination of strong home and export demand, and short numbers nationally. Steer averages: Lights 116.8p/kg; mediums 126.2p/kg; heavies 129.8p/kg. Heifers, meanwhile, levelled 117.7p/kg for lights; 122.2p/kg for mediums; and 123.9p/kg for heavies. (Midland Marts.)

RAMS: Turnover at last weeks NSA Wales and Border ram sale – where an entry of over 8000 head was attracted – was £1.7m. Bluefaced Leicesters peaked at 2600gns for a ram lamb; Texel shearling rams reached 2000gns; and Charollais ram lambs sold to 720gns. Ram lamb averages (1994 figures in brackets) included: Suffolks £225 (£223); Texels £206 (£154); Charollais £257 (£232); Bluefaced Leicester £420 (£372); Border Leicesters £202 (£233); Rouge de lOuest £204 (£174); Bleu du Maine £174 (£197); Berrichon Du Cher £201 (£187).

HOLSTEIN FRIESIAN: Gloucestershire farmers E G Lea and Co, Berkeley, dispersed their herd to a top price of 1020gns for a calved heifer sired by Joylan USA. Buyers were K C and A M Goodwin, Chippenham. The same purchasers took a freshly-calved heifer by Wilowna Excelsior at 980gns. (Gwilym Richards and Co.)

SUFFOLK: When Signet/MLC recorded sheep were offered from Mrs B J Rodenhurst and Sons flock at Kidderminster, a ram lamb by Malton Marmaduke with a lean index of 149 realised 450gns to G Richards, Worcester. Averages: Shearling rams £222; ram lambs £230; shearling ewes £224; ewe lambs £136. (McCartneys.)

QUOTA: An entry of over 260,000 litres leased to an average price of 11.4p/litre at Chippenham last Friday (Sept 22). Top price paid was 12.2p/litre for 3.98% butterfat quota. (Alder King.)

WELSH MULES: Yearling values rose £12 a head to average £73 when 7000 were offered at Welshpool. And the trend continued with a £5.60 rise the next day when nearly 10,000 ewe lambs were sold to level at £49.92. Business at Builth Wells followed form with a £6.32 boost to the 1994 average levelling the 13,600 ewe lambs at £52.12. (Welshpool Livestock Auction Sales and Russell, Baldwin and Bright.)

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Archive Article: 1995/09/29

29 September 1995

MFTs latest versions of the Multi Function Tractor get their first airing at the Dairy Event. Based on New Holland 100hp 7840 SL and 95hp 7740 SL tractors, the clutchless shuttle transmission offers 24 x 24 gears. Loader capacity to a full lift height of 3.66m is rated at 2t. Standard equipment includes a reversible driving position, joystick loader control and front weights. Price of the 95hp model is £38,500 while another £1000 gets the 100hp.

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Archive Article: 1995/09/29

29 September 1995


The oestrus cycle generally takes 21 days, the time from one oestrus to the next. It can be divided into two stages – the luteal phase and the follicular phase. The luteal phase lasts about 18 days and during this stage a structure on the ovary called the corpus luteum produces the hormone progesterone. At the end of the luteal phase a mechanism within the cow called luteolysis causes the corpus luteum to regress and progesterone production to decline.

The luteal phase is then followed by the follicular phase, lasting about three days, during which a new ovulatory follicle develops. This follicle produces large amounts of a hormone which triggers behavioural oestrus. This is followed by ovulation. After ovulation the follicle develops into a corpus luteum and produces the progesterone needed for the control of the next luteal phase.

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Archive Article: 1995/09/29

29 September 1995

Winner of the BOCM Pauls Gold Cup in the national dairy herd championships run by National Milk Records and the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers is Peter Padfields Hayleys herd, Epping, Essex.

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Archive Article: 1995/09/29

29 September 1995

SIMON FARMER and his father-in-law, Frank Moffat, lamb 120 pedigree Texels over one weekend on their 60ha (150-acre) farm at East Meon, Petersfield, Hants.

Unable to spare three weeks for lambing they have developed a programme which involves synchronising ewes for mating and inducing them to lamb

The system (see panel) may look complicated, but Mr Farmer insists it is straightforward and simple. "We are not doing anything better than anyone else, but have just hit on the right system for us," he says. "Attention to detail is the secret, as well as sympathetic handling of the sheep."

Mr Farmer and Mr Moffat plan to lamb over the first weekend of February when triplets and singles lamb on the Saturday and doubles follow the next day. To achieve this ewes scanned as carrying triplets are induced at 6pm on Thursday night and the singles at 10pm.

This ensures there are plenty of ewes available for wet fostering on the Saturday.

The twin-bearing ewes are injected at 6pm on Friday evening and start lambing at 7am on Sunday morning.

Cost is £5 a ewe for PMSG, sponging and two 15ml doses of Twin Tup. AI costs £10 a ewe, excluding the semen which can range from £15 to £120 a straw. Nine rams are used in the programme. Any used for natural service serve a maximum 10 ewes.

The two tups used for laparascopic AI achieved 90% and 100% conception rates to first service with fresh semen last year. Natural service scored 100% and 80% for two rams. AI using frozen semen saw 82% of ewes put to four different rams hold to first service. The lambing rate will average 152%, as was achieved for the 1994/95 lambing season.

The detail of the tupping programme has developed over 10 years. For example, before melatonin (regulin) implants were used Mr Farmer noticed 10% of sponged ewes remained barren for one year and would then cycle normally.

"Regulin ensures ewes are cycling when sponges go in and are at the peak of their cycle seven days after sponging

Regulin also makes ewes more receptive to pregnant mares serum gonadotrophin (PMSG), says Mr Farmer, which is why he is very flexible over dose rates.

"Before last year we had a 188% rolling average lambing percentage. But now we dont want to expand the flock and breeding ewe prices are falling so we want to reduce performance," he says. "This year we will use the lower doses (see panel) because the ewes are lean and are being fed more concentrates. And when they put on weight quickly to AI they will multi-ovulate."

But Mr Farmer believes science can only succeed when supported by good management. "We have a team of five working with each ewe when she is AId to minimise stress. We always use a shed and handling system they know and they are brought into small, individual pens. Post AI small groups of ewes, which are never mixed, return to the same field as before – which is never more than 100yd from the shed."

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