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Archive Article: 1996/02/09

9 February 1996

Bad weather came too late to prevent a rip-roaring trade for Aberdeen- Angus on the first day of Perths bull sales on Monday. But the second days trading was badly hit, with only 93 of 160 Limousins sold. Top price was 7200gns given for Shropshire breeder D A Williams Wilodge Jupiter, a son for Mereside Bevan bought by S Reid, Perth. The Limousin average was £3228 (£10 down on the year). By midweek the Perth crowd was seriously depleted. And blocked roads on the Borders meant bulls sold at the start of the week were still in the market.

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Archive Article: 1996/02/09

9 February 1996

Muck spreading on the Chilterns just before the mid-week snowfall. Bucks producer Alan Bedford keeps cattle out for most of the year at his 101ha (250-acre) all-grass Town End Farm, Great Missenden, Amersham. Late autumn growth has provided ample feed for strip-grazing by day but cattle are yarded at nights and fed barley straw.

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Archive Article: 1996/02/09

9 February 1996

New skidsteer loaders first saw the light of day at the New Holland Orlando launch along with a range of backhoe-loaders. See next weeks issue for a full report on these new machines.

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Archive Article: 1996/02/09

9 February 1996

Four days of trading at Perth kicked off in style on Monday, with two 10,000gns bids coming for Aberdeen Angus. One of them was this bull Lord Hesketh, consigned by Neil Massie. (More details, page 37)

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Archive Article: 1996/02/09

9 February 1996

Preparing for an early turn-out at Geoff Clapps Hartnell Farm, Tiverton, Devon. Currently, the 140-cow herd averages 6250 litres with a margin over purchased feed of £1220/cow. The 180ha (445-acre) unit aims to boost profit by implementing the ADAS Blueprint approach for dairy herd management. Initial plans include increasing yields by 2500 litres/cow over the next three years, improving the herd genetic index to £30 PIN, increasing milk proteins by 0.1%, and securing a premium milk price. A quota strategy to ensure growth in output is secure will also be developed.

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Archive Article: 1996/02/09

9 February 1996

Bids reached 1000gns on four occasions when D B Heywoods herd of 95 commercial Holstein Friesians was dispersed recently at Sunderleigh Farm, Bampton, Devon. Each time, it came for a second calver. Overall averages included: cows £828; calved heifer £840; barren cows £416; in-calf heifers £676; bulling heifers £453; and heifer calves £398. Big bale silage, meanwhile, sold to £20/bale and round-bale wheat straw to £7.50/bale. Among the machinery, best call of the day was £6600 for a 1984 Marshall tractor with loader. (Stags)

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Archive Article: 1996/02/09

9 February 1996

Blowing the trumpet for British agriculture! Following a closely fought contest UK farming now has a fanfare to celebrate its "great success story", says competition sponsor Zeneca Seeds. The challenge to compose an approriate piece was given to student bandmasters at the Royal Military School of Music. Here Zenecas Alan Armstrong presents winner Kevin Davies with his £500 first prize. The company, which recently launched a new winter barley variety called Fanfare, hopes the tune will be played at farming and rural events.

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Archive Article: 1996/02/09

9 February 1996

Feeding silage effluent back to dairy cows has boosted income on one Derbyshire unit. Jeremy Hunt reports

A SIGNIFICANT increase in monthly milk protein figures on a Derbyshire dairy farm – worth £896 on the November milk cheque and £1072 by January – is being closely linked to the introduction of feeding silage liquor to the units 140 cows.

Brothers Tom, Ian and Neil Flower have spent about £8000 in setting up the silage effluent collection, storage and feeding system at their 217ha (536-acre) Old House Farm, Friden, Ashbourne.

Although they feel the improvement in milk quality has to be viewed in terms of the total diet and the high quality silage being fed – the farm won the Derbyshire Grassland silage competition last year – they believe cows are responding to the nutritional value of the highly-palatable liquor.

It was first piped to the two troughs in the cubicle house in November. That months milk quality figures showed a rise in protein average of 0.25%, then a 0.22% rise in December and 0.31% in January.

That was worth an extra £896, £794 and £1072 for the three months, respectively.

These figures are based on about 83,000 litres of milk produced and using the Nestlé price of 4.5p/% of protein. Herd average is 6475kg at 4.10% butterfat and 3.3% protein from a concentrate use of 0.24kg/litre. The MOC a cow is £1420 giving a MOPF of £1370. Figures for December, after two months of feeding the silage liquor, showed butterfat at 4.23% and protein at 3.54%.

Peter Jeffries of Realistic Marketing developed the liquor storage system installed by the Flower Bros.

"When you consider that 1000t of a 20% DM silage can produce up to 30,000-35,000gal of effluent, the cost of above ground storage would be prohibitive. Here we have an earth pit measuring about 78ft x 48ft into which we lay what appears to be a king-sized hot-water bottle. It is in fact a special rubber liner with another laid on top and the two heat-sealed together," says Mr Jeffries.

The effluent is collected via a porcu-pipe system set beneath the concrete floor of the clamp and then pumped to the 204,570-litre (45,000gal) lagoon to finish up between the two layers of the special rubber liner. The basic storage package costs about £5000.

Current winter ration for the herds high yielders is 52kg first-cut silage (22% DM and 71% D-value) giving M+12 litres plus 3kg Vitagold, 2kg maize gluten and 1kg Viton to give M+21 litres. Parlour compounds are fed up to a 7kg maximum for 35 litres plus.

"Cows are drinking around 12-15 litres of liquor a day. Now we know its feed value it seems such a waste to dispose of it," says Mr Flower. An unofficial measure of the nutritional impact of the liquor on performance came during a recent cold spell when the pipes froze. Cows were without liquor for 24 hours and showed a 0.75-litre drop in yield.

Robin Winterhalder of Agriplan, the herds ruminant adviser, says the boost to milk protein is due to the increased intake of methianine via the liquor.

"Methianine is notoriously difficult to manipulate but we know from research that this diet is supplying in excess of cows individual methianine requirement," says Mr Winterhalder.

Analysis of the liquor shows a 6.5% dry matter, 17% protein, 4 pH, 3% ammonia, 2% sugar, 21% lactic acid and 20% acetic acid. ADAS research shows that 50-75% of the amino acids present in silage effluent are lysine and methianine.

The Flower Bros are aiming to improve the herd average by 350 litres a year for the next 10 years to reach a target of 10,000kg. Imports from Canada – embryos and a heifer calf – will complement other high genetic merit purchases from the MOET herd. This summer all cubicles are being replaced to improve cow comfort.

"With the sort of improvements being achieved in protein and the average £920 worth of extra monthly income earned between December and January, the overall £8000 investment should be paid off extremely quickly," says Mr Flower. &#42

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