Archive Article: 1996/11/15 - Farmers Weekly

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Archive Article: 1996/11/15

15 November 1996

The entry of over 3300 store lambs met the strongest demand of the season at Ludlow, Shropshire, last Friday. With a top price of over £55 and an average of nearly £47, people should now ask themselves whether they can afford not to sell, reckons auctioneer Chris Jones. Also taking place on the same day was the marts November show and sale of store cattle, which attracted 400 head. Overall, steers and heifers averaged 109.6p and 97p/kg, respectively. (McCartneys)

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Archive Article: 1996/11/15

15 November 1996

Shorthorn record

A NEW breed record of 7100gns was set for a Whitebred Shorthorn cow and calf at the breed associations show and sale at Carlisle.

The bid came for Murtholm White Heather 3rd, a three-year-old cow with a March-born bull calf at foot from the dispersal of Ian Hendersons Murtholm herd in the Scottish Borders at Langholm. Buyers were R and M Fergusson, Castle Douglas.

The calf was full brother to the sale champion, Murtholm Premier, which made 3900gns to Scottish Livestock Services.

Averages: nine bulls £1703; nine cows £2636; five maiden heifers £2121. (Harrison and Hetherington)

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Archive Article: 1996/11/15

15 November 1996

Testing pea tenderness is set to benefit from near infra-red technology. Extensive trials by the Chipping Camden Food Research Association in co-operation with manufacturer Bran and Leubbe, the PGRO, Ross Frozen Foods and Fishers Frozen Foods compared 2500 NIR samples with tenderometer readings. The results look encouraging, Stuart Smith, product manager for Bran and Leubbe, told last weeks processors open day at the PGRO. Further work is validating the system for different varieties and growing and harvest conditions.

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Archive Article: 1996/11/15

15 November 1996

CREATE a Christmas card and win a Britains County Gate Wooden Farm set.

Britains are renowned for their toys – particularly their farm toys which offer hours of real play for the imaginative child. Farmlife has 14 Britains County Gate Wooden Farm sets to give away. Each set (value £34.99) comes with a farmhouse, barn, fencing, milk churns and hay bales as well as animal and farm figures.

If you are aged four years or more but under ll years of age on the closing date Fri, Nov 29, 1996, you can have the chance to win one of these super sets by making a Christmas card with farming interest and entering it into our competition. Dont just send a picture, make it into a card and make it as festive as possible. Be colourful, creative and imaginative. Use whichever medium you like – any type of paints or crayons, or perhaps, collage.

The card must be entirely the entrants own work and age will be taken into consideration by the judges. Entries become the property of Farmers Weekly and cannot be returned.

Complete the coupon and attach it to the back of your entry and post in a suitably sized envelope addressed to Farmlife/Britains Contest, Farmers Weekly, Quadrant House, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS, to arrive no later than Fri, Nov 29 1996.

Usual rules apply, copies available on request.

Farmlife/Britains Contest




Post code………………………Tel……………………………………………


Attach to entry and send to: Farmlife/Britains Contest, Farmers Weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS, to arrive no later than Fri, Nov 29, 1996.

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Archive Article: 1996/11/15

15 November 1996

BEEF producers now select cattle on the basis of estimated breeding values (EBVs) alongside visual appraisal. The benefits are improved progeny performance, measured as growth rate and carcass conformation.

EBVs, analysed using best linear unbiased predictions (BLUP), are currently available for birth weight, 200-day growth, 400-day growth, muscle score and backfat measurement. These are combined in an index known as the beef value. "This is a guide as to the overall economic value of the animal in terms of its ability to produce high yield of suitable meat," says MLC beef strategy manager, Chris Brown.

Refinements to beef performance recording for next year include EBV information on calving ease, gestation length and muscle depth. New EBVs for calving ease and gestation length will combine with the birth weight EBV to produce a composite calving index (see diagram). The new score for muscle depth will be combined with the other traits to produce a production index. Beef value will be the calving and production index combined, with the weighting varied to suit different objectives.

With the new EBVs on-line Dr Brown believes breeders will be able to match their breeding aims even more precisely. "Beef breeders will be able to identify bulls with the ability to produce healthy progeny which are easy to calve, and dairy farmers will know which beef bulls have the shortest gestation lengths.

"Breeders will have a more refined tool and, with extra EBVs, will be able to find the top genetic merit animals for the traits they are seeking to improve," he says.

And when making a selection Dr Brown urges individual buyers to look at beef value first and then the individual EBVs to check that the bull meets the production system requirements. For example, a bull may have a high beef value, but his EBV for birth weight could also be high. To a farmer calving suckler cows on the hill, or a dairy producer looking for a beef bull for his heifer, choosing this bull could prove a disaster.

While beef values are still preceded by breed initials, it is envisaged that for the production index breed initial will be followed by a superscript p and for the calving index a c.

Dr Brown is also keen to point out how consistent the beef value estimate is. Estimates have, he says, proved to be robust. Evidence comes from a Signet farm consultancy analysis of beef value stability for Aberdeen-Angus sire summaries 1995-1996 (see Table 1, page S10). Of the 210 bulls recorded the beef value of 75% changed by only plus or minus five points. "Obviously, the higher the accuracy the more reliable the beef value or EBV," he says. But younger bulls of higher genetic merit, will inevitably have less performance data behind them and accuracy figures tend to be lower. "The key is to use a portfolio of younger bulls to cut risk and speed genetic progress."n

EBVs for all breeds are increasing steadily (see diagrams). This genetic trend information reflects the objective breeding decisions made by breeders.

Blonde DAquitaine trait leaders for beef value




&#8226 Fovant GeorgeEBV+5.7+1.2+45.6+87.1-0.01+0.39BA60


&#8226 Druk FinlayEBV+3.0+3.3+39.9+73.9-0.14+0.09BA56


&#8226 ArlequinEBV+3.9-1.3+40.3+66.7-0.03+0.35BA54


&#8226 AubinEBV+3.4-4.0+35.4+51.7+0.05+0.45BA48


&#8226 GanawayEBV+4.2-2.7+39.3+65.9+0.13+0.07BA47


&#8226 Hadley HankEBV+3.2+1.5+30.5+59.2+0.02+0.53BA47


&#8226 FortescueEBV+4.5-3.4+31.6+56.9+0.12+0.72BA46


&#8226 Bradnock IcarusEBV+3.3+4.2+36.7+77.2+0.16-0.14BA45


&#8226 Druk GenesisEBV+2.4-0.6+25.8+43.2-0.14+0.59BA44


&#8226 Ystwyth FlashEBV+3.3+6.2+31.4+70.6+0.07+0.15BA44


Charolais trait leaders for beef value




&#8226 GivendaleEBV+3.9-1.3+39.5+61.3-0.22+1.0CH58


&#8226 MoncurEBV+3.5+0.8+58.4+102.0+0.39-0.05CH58


&#8226 PloughfieldEBV+1.9-1.0+39.4+64.5-0.43-0.05CH56


&#8226 BarleyfieldsEBV+6.6+3.2+45.0+85.0+0.10+0.80CH55


&#8226 FriartonEBV+0.9-2.1+30.4+52.8-0.41+0.81CH55


&#8226 MaerdyEBV+3.7-0.1+41.9+73.4+0.01+0.49CH53


&#8226 ShamleysEB+5.9-0.2+44.9+93.0+0.01+0.08CH52


&#8226 GuthrieEBV+1.4-0.3+31.852.1-0.31+0.48CH51


&#8226 RoystonEBV+8.3-7.4+50.3+91.4+0.19+0.19CH51


&#8226 RoystonEBV+4.7-5.6+42.2+64.5-0.14+0.15CH51


Limousin trait leaders for beef value




&#8226 GreensonsEBV+2.8+3.1+40.6+82.4-0.14+0.51LM84


&#8226 Rachels HamletEBV+3.9-1.5+41.3+84.7+0.22+0.88LM82


&#8226 Ronick GainsEBV+5.3-3.7+39.9+58.9-0.32+0.68LM75


&#8226 RachelsEBV+7.0-2.3+32.9+63.6-0.19+0.89LM73


&#8226 AlmscliffeEBV-0.5+7.5+23.8+52.9-0.59+0.12LM71


&#8226 UplandsEBV+3.7+3.0+25.3+53.2-0.26+0.76LM70




&#8226 HartsideEBV+0.6+2.4+23.0+40.5-0.13+0.89LM66


&#8226 Ronick HawkEBV+3.1-2.7+22.5+41.2-0.15+0.99LM65


&#8226 CrimscoteEBV+2.3-1.0+12.6+22.9-0.56+0.91LM63


Simmental trait leaders for beef value




&#8226 HevinghamEBV+3.0+1.5+34.7+65.9-0.13+0.86SM76


&#8226 HockenhullEBV+2.9+4.8+38.2+79.1+0.08+0.75SM76

North StarAcc%94789294767464

&#8226 Camus BrandyEBV+3.5-4.8+51.5+76.8+0.03+0.52SM73


&#8226 RavesnworthEBV+5.8-1.2+41.1+75.6-0.02+0.63SM69


&#8226 SaplingEBV+4.5+4.9+49.5+101.5+0.35+0.25SM69


&#8226 StrathislaEBV+1.9+2.1+31.3+60.7-0.14+0.54SM65


&#8226 FishwickEBV+3.6-2.3+45.3+82.0+0.31+0.40SM64


&#8226 TwyfordEBV+4.4-2.4+34.8+66.2+0.29+0.83SM64


&#8226 ArgardsleyEBV+2.6+2.4+43.4+79.1+0.25+0.35SM63


&#8226 HockenhullEBV+3.2+4.6+34.4+79.5+0.33+0.51SM63


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Archive Article: 1996/11/15

15 November 1996

INCREASED levels of training and education could dramatically reduce the number of farm accidents, according to findings due to be released at the Royal Smithfield Show by the Health and Safety Executive.

Analysis by HSE agricultural inspectors of 7000 serious farm accidents investigated between April 1986 and July 1995 revealed that 1300 of the resulting injuries occurred during machinery maintenance or when clearing blockages from farm equipment.

Of these accidents, the inspectors found that incorrect procedure was a factor in 75% of cases, indicating either a lack of training or a lack of knowledge.

Other findings from the research showed the machine was being powered in more than 60% of the accidents investigated, although power was actually necessary on only one-third of the machines being worked on.

Deficient guards were apparent in 20% of the accidents and 10% of the machines investigated were not properly maintained.

From the operators aspect, most of the accidents involved workers aged between 17 and 25, although there was a disturbing peak in the 40 to 45 age bracket. Moving parts were responsible for causing injury to 50% of accident victims, and the operator was found to be most often the injured party.

Detailed analysis of the 1300 accidents involving machine maintenance or blockage has formed the basis for the HSEs latest trainers guide, video and booklet being launched at this years Royal Smithfield Show.

The fourth in a series of special educational packs prepared and published by the Agricultural Inspectorate of the HSE since March 1995, the new release concentrates specifically on the main safety points and procedures that need to be followed when maintaining farm machinery and clearing crop blockages or other obstructions from plant and equipment.

Because of the high incidence of related accidents involving young people, the HSE is aiming the packs foremost at newcomers or trainees within agriculture, with all the material being supplied free of charge to agricultural colleges and other training centres to complement existing lectures and courses.

The accompanying booklet will be freely available through local HSE and NFU offices, at farming shows and events, and from HSE Books*, from whom the trainers guide and video can also be purchased, if required.

According to HSE agricultural inspector and project leader, Rick Brunt, the accident figures quoted represent just the tip of the iceberg. "Although the new guide is based on detailed analysis of 1300 accidents involving machinery maintenance or blockage, it is estimated that only one in four non-fatal accidents to employees in agriculture reaches the notice of the HSE," he said. "For the self-employed, the figure is less than one in 10."

The basic message to all using the trainers guide, watching the video or reading the booklet is the importance of observing safe systems of work.

"There are 14 key points highlighted within the guide and accompanying booklet," pointed out Mr Brunt. "All are founded on common sense. Applying them throughout the work schedule and work place would result in a significant reduction in the number of accidents."

One of the HSEs main concerns centres on lack of proper training and instruction. "If you have not been shown or told how to do a job, then dont do it until you have," stresses Mr Brunt. This advice applies irrespective of whether one is working on or operating a machine and there is no limitation on the age of the person at which it is directed.

"Although the advice in the packs is expected mainly to reach youngsters who are relatively new to the industry, we are not forgetting the older person," points out Rick Brunt. "Our research findings showed an alarming jump in machinery maintenance and blockage-related injuries among middle-aged workers. This could be the result of ignorance, lack of attention or simply familiarity breeding contempt.

"There is nothing revolutionary in what we are saying and most experienced people are already observing safe work practises as a matter of course. In many cases, it is simply a matter of reminding them to think carefully about what they are doing before and while doing it."

To drive the message home, HSE agricultural inspectors on farm visits will be promoting strongly the importance of following safe work practices and systems at all times. The move comes as part of the HSEs drive to change its image from one of solely enforcer to one which emphasises the organisations readiness to work closely with industry to improve health and safety.

"It is sometimes forgotten that we have a statutory duty to provide appropriate advice and information which will help bring about safer workplaces and systems of work," pointed out Mr Brunt.

By following the advice and recommendations contained in the latest HSE guide, Mr Brunt believes that farmers and their staff can bring about a marked reduction in the number of injuries and fatalities.

&#8226 For information on HSE publications, contact the HM Agricultural Inspectorate at your local HSE area office (listed in the phone book under Health and Safety Executive), or call HSE Books, (01787-881165).

Proper instruction should reduce the incidence of farm accidents.

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