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Archive Article: 1995/10/06

6 October 1995

Sowing the seeds for a successful Kemira Grassland 96 Event to be held at the NAC, Stoneleigh. RASE farm manager Stephen Bassett empties the last bag of grass seed into the low-ground-pressure rig used to establish the 70ha of plots. Those will be harvested by Europes largest gathering of grassland machinery on May 22 and 23, 1996.

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Archive Article: 1995/10/06

6 October 1995

Ready to ride to Africa. Wiltshire farmer Richard Parry is planning a 4000-mile bike ride through Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania to raise money for the charity Farm Africa. His 10-week journey has already raised £20,000.

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Archive Article: 1995/10/06

6 October 1995

UK poultry plants not so good

POULTRY plants in Brazil approved for meat export have better standards than UK plants, says a top MAFF official.

Peter Hewson, veterinary head of section Tolworth, told the British Veterinary Association Congress that he had recently returned from Brazil after a tour of poultry meat plants.

Mr Hewson said he visited 10 plants approved to export to the UK and they were " very impressive indeed".

Some had 300-400 employees dressed immaculately and working in surgical conditions in cutting rooms that were not seen here.

"I can assure you that the plants we approve in third countries are at the upper level to what we see in this country," said Mr Hewson.

Colin Maclean, Meat and Livestock Commission director general, added that the general standard of plants MLC officials visited in France and Spain was "quite excellent".

He said it was quite inappropriate to say that conditions "over there" were worse. He said they were generally quite good.

Greatly concerned

MAFFs chief vet, Keith Meldrum, earlier told vets that he was greatly concerned about levels of contamination of UK-produced poultry meat with salmonella and campylobacter. In red meat contamination with a specific strain of the bacteria E. coli was also causing concern.

One of the ways to reduce contamination in poultry meat was to make changes in poultry evisceration. This would reduce the potential for cross-contamination, said Mr Meldrum.

He added that MAFF is working within a number of international groups to change to the EU meat inspection directive.

Keith Baker, head of the Meat Hygiene Service veterinary section, who is leading the initiative, said officials were investing a great deal of time and money to try to get the necessary evidence needed to change meat inspection.

He said New Zealand had changed its meat inspection system on the evidence of 1m post-mortems. Mr Baker said that would be difficult in the UK "but if we want to change the system that is what we have got to do".

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Archive Article: 1995/10/06

6 October 1995

At Newark, as elsewhere, the upward march of clean cattle values came to an end on Monday. With steers averaging 135.6p/kg and heifers 129.4p/kg, the slight dip was attributed to a fall in the quality of stock on offer. People are making the most of the buoyant trade to sell cattle that ideally would benefit from another few weeks finishing, says auctioneer Paul Gentry. But continuing firm prices will be ensured by short numbers nationally and a strong export demand, he predicts. Overall, UK exports in the first half of this year to other member states rose an estimated 20%. And the growth to countries outside the EU is put at 37%, with South Africa, in particular, taking rising quantities of frozen boneless cuts.

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Archive Article: 1995/10/06

6 October 1995

Tim Evans takes the bids during an auction of standing hazel coppice in Crab Wood, near Winchester, last weekend. About 150 acres were offered in 20 lots around the county, in what was thought to be the first such auction for over 30 years. Craftsmen and hurdlemakers bid enthusiastically for the supplies of timber, although prices reflected the wide range of quality on offer. A top price of £230 was paid for an acre of grade 1 coppice. According to the Wessex Coppice Group which organised the sale, this should yield over 12,000 rods, enough for 1800ft of hurdle. At £4/ft, that represents an output of £7200. "We hope this sale will provide an incentive for landowners to bring their coppice back into rotation," said WCG business development officer Linda Glynn. (Evans & Partridge.)

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Archive Article: 1995/10/06

6 October 1995

Simply red. New Holland intends to offer its round and rectangular balers in one colour – a move which simplifies parts stocking and literature production. Improvement to the round baler range has seen the launch of the 644 and 655 models. A profiled main drive roller and a spiral exterior roller claim to increase belt grip, and an updated electronic control system now incorporates switches for the balers optional crop slicing unit, and for twine or net selection.

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Archive Article: 1995/10/06

6 October 1995

Cattle handling equipment on the move. This mobile cattle crush is the creation of Newry-based HFS Engineering. Available in 6.1m and 4.6m (20ft and 15ft) versions, the transport wheels are raised hydraulically to lower the crush to the ground. Standard fittings include corral gates at the rear and walkways on either side. Options include road lighting and a dehorning kit. Price of the larger, 4-cow version is £3100.

Selling commercial versions of 4x4s is big business in Ireland where the standard rear-seat/rear-window models can attract up to 50% tax when bought new. Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) is 29% on 2.5-litre+ models and VAT is 21%. That explains why Chrysler Jeep Ireland expects up to 95% of its recently-launched Cherokee turbodiesels to be Commercials (left), on which only nominal VRT is charged and VAT can be reclaimed – a potential saving of about £10,000.

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Archive Article: 1995/10/06

6 October 1995

Belarus Equipment (Ireland) put together its own special edition model for the Irish National Ploughing Championships. The 2WD 90hp 900S comes with a slimline profile bonnet, 18F/4R-speed synchromesh box, and bigger tyres – 18.4R34s on the rear and 10.00-16s on the front – than the standard 900. Price is £15,250.

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Archive Article: 1995/10/06

6 October 1995

Solids separated from slurry could be used for cattle bedding – providing an alternative to straw, says Simon Johnston of Lincoln-based Carier Pollution Control. It is a development which could be of interest to stock farmers in areas where straw is at a premium and usually in short supply. Although still to be tried commercially, Mr Johnston says the system would involve the separation of solids from slurry which then need to be stored undercover and turned at least a couple of times to ensure thorough composting. "One of the problems will be to convince producers to store their straw outside and keep their slurry solids inside," he says. "But even so, I believe the system could have a future."

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