Archive Article: 2002/05/31 - Farmers Weekly

Subscribe and save

Farmers Weekly from £129
Saving £36
In print AND tablet

SUBSCRIBE NOW

sub_ad_img

Archive Article: 2002/05/31

31 May 2002

Michael Griffiths (centre) was one of the three winners of a Hewlett Packard Celeron 900 computer and NMRs Interpremium Plus livestock software worth £2500 in the recent farmers weekly/Merial Ivomec competition. Mr Griffiths runs a 110-head beef herd, 220 breeding ewes and grows 80 acres of cereals at 100ha (250-acre) Swainshill Farm, near Hereford. He has not had a computer until now, he says, but was seriously thinking of buying one to simplify record-keeping. Also in the picture are Cristan Soper, territory manager for Merial in that area and Peter Wooldridge from NMR. The other winners were Gordon McFarland, Newtonstewart, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland and J & DR Rutter, Thropton, Morpeth, Northumberland.

    Read more on:
  • News

Archive Article: 2002/05/31

31 May 2002

Dont forget the threat from Septoria nodorum after recent rains, advises Syngentas Susannah Henson, here using a diagnostic kit to test for the S tritici relation. The late season disease, which could be found in 76% of crops tested last year, can halve yields and not all fungicides are equally effective against it, she notes. In theory Amistar (azoxystrobin) has the edge over some other products, acknowledges Banks Cargills Bob Mills. "But most materials are competent." Nodorum is also unlikely to sway ADASs David Parishs choice of T2/T3 treatments. Most S tritici controllers will give adequate control of S nodorum, he says.

    Read more on:
  • News

Archive Article: 2002/05/31

31 May 2002

On a roll… A near record number of visitors attended last weeks Grassland 2002 event which saw a host of companies demonstrate new or improved equipment for the grassland equipment sector. See pages 54, 55 and 56 for a full event report.

    Read more on:
  • News

Archive Article: 2002/05/31

31 May 2002

Grabbing every opportunity… Roy Feltwell applies Aramo (tepraloxydim) for grassweed control to Waldersey Farms Selector peas at Lodge Farm, Hilgay, Norfolk. Herbicide schedules on the farms 160ha of potatoes have just about been met, says foreman Reg Fletcher. "We are also just about up to date with T2s on our wheats, but only by starting as early as 3am some days. Weve had to work a lot of unsocial hours."

    Read more on:
  • News

Archive Article: 2002/05/31

31 May 2002

GRASS growth rates are high in most areas, but bouts of heavy rain are proving a challenge in grazing and silage fields.

Northern Ireland has seen little sunshine and weather has been wet and cold, says James Knox of Greenmount College. "Cows have been out 24 hours a day for the past three weeks, but grazing fields became so wet we considered housing at night. However, drier weather is forecast this week, so it may prove unnecessary."

Wet weather also means producers are queuing to make silage between showers, says Stephen Brandon, who farms in Staffs. "Fortunately we made most of our first-cut silage two weeks ago, but we would ideally like to cut some more late this week. However, it is more likely to be next week, as contractors are busy."

Mr Brandon is working to a rotation length of 18-20 days and grass quality remains good, he says. "Autumn calvers are on grass alone. Spring calvers are receiving 2kg concentrates and averaging 29 litres a day. They will move to aftermaths this weekend." &#42

Daily growth rates

Cumbria 100kg DM/ha

Staffs 75kg DM/ha

Wilts (organic) 91kg DM/ha

Pembrokes 60kg DM/ha

Dorset 84kg DM/ha

N Ireland 82kg DM/ha

Berks 110kg DM/ha

    Read more on:
  • News

Archive Article: 2002/05/31

31 May 2002

Shear delight… Tony Colman shears crossbred ewes at Benenden, Kent. Shearing is now under way in many parts of the country, but a variable weather forecast means catching a dry spell could be tricky. These ewes were housed overnight to ensure they were dry and shorn on May 23 just before the rains came.

    Read more on:
  • News

Archive Article: 2002/05/31

31 May 2002

Sheep and cattle do not graze within 30cm (12in) of thistle stems, Donald Westwater of Dow Agro Sciences told Grassland 2002 visitors, where its new thistle herbicide due for launch next year was previewed. "Effective thistle control is difficult because of their extensive root systems. Roots of one plant can cover up to 80sq m. Due to its unique combination of active ingredients, our new product is fully translocated through the root system."

    Read more on:
  • News

Archive Article: 2002/05/31

31 May 2002

With a trio of Claas mowers on the back, this 260hp Valtra S260 with TwinTrac reverse drive becomes a self-propelled mower-conditioner, cutting 8.3m of grass at each pass. Like all models in the Disco 50 series, the mowers are fitted with quick-release blades, each of which is released by levering down a spring steel retainer.

    Read more on:
  • News

Archive Article: 2002/05/31

31 May 2002

Richard Longthorp

Richard Longthorp farms

720ha (1800 acres)

near Howden, East Yorks.

As well as arable, the

farm has 2500 outdoor

breeding sows with progeny

taken through to bacon. He

is also chairman of the

National Pig Association

THE happiest news of the past month is that one trainee on our breeding units won the Agskills Pfizer Trainee of the Year award at the Pig and Poultry Fair.

There has been a paucity of good news to report over recent years, but this gave all our staff something to smile about and young Richard Shirley appeared gob smacked when he was announced winner.

On the disease front, we are getting some circumstantial evidence that feed quality/composition may be having an impact on PMWS levels. While it is still too early to be sure, there has been sufficient evidence to warrant us changing rations and feeding programmes to test the theory.

farmers weekly caused bit of a stir recently when it made such a play of the profit it made from pigs last year. The fact it made profits was pleasing, but less than welcome was that the pig managers salary was not included and the unit was, thankfully, free from PMWS.

For those who have to include their managers salary, have PMWS and who are currently negotiating with either their bank manager or purchaser of pigs on a cost of production based contract, the manner in which FWs profits were reported could have been confusing.

With a restock now imminent we are searching for land. We intend to depopulate and restock – on a different site – one herd every year in a one hit stocking. The gate will then be closed and no new stock will be introduced until after the unit is slaughtered out three years later.

This will, we hope, give us a stable diseases status, easier management with a single age herd and hopefully a more uniform carcass.

After the first six weeks delivering into our new stabilised contract, Andrew, my contract finishing manager, appears to be selecting pigs well and we are comfortably within the 85% required to qualify for bonuses.

At a recent meeting for our contract finishers when we had new carcass management software demonstrated, it was noticeable that the spread of weights was greater pre-PMWS than currently. There also appeared to be greater variation on farms without a dedicated selection area. &#42

    Read more on:
  • News

Archive Article: 2002/05/31

31 May 2002

Steven Morris

Steve Morris farms in the

Forest of Bowland, Lancs,

in partnership with his wife

Valerie. Over half of the

190ha (470-acre) LFA farm

is heather fell, with a

further 20ha (50 acres) of

rough grazing. It is stocked

with 50 dairy cows, 280

Lonk ewes, 100 half-breds

and 40 gimmer hoggs

WHEN meeting other milk producers at the moment, it doesnt take long for the topic of milk price to crop up. For Mays milk, we will be paid by Zenith in the region of 13.3p/litre for 3.9% fat, 3.45% protein, net of seasonality and transport.

At a local farm sale recently, I was chatting to someone who, like myself, had resigned from direct selling. A retired neighbour asked whether we regretted moving to a co-op, bearing in mind prices are back to the level of two years ago.

He misses the point. The reason we joined a co-op is that we may now have the opportunity to develop a member-owned organisation with real aspirations to return processing profits to dairy producers.

Before joining Zenith last autumn, both it and the Milk Group impressed us and, for a while, we werent sure who to sign with. It may soon be little more than academic because from Jul 1, the two groups will become one if support locally for their proposals is mirrored elsewhere.

I think most of us accept that the wholesale milk price isnt going to improve significantly overnight. But at least we now appear to be laying the foundations for a more stable future than may have been apparent until recently, whatever the current pain.

Dutton parish only has 150 or so people on the electoral roll. Hardly likely then to be a focal point of political unrest, but a revolution is taking place on the parish council. Two have resigned with immediate effect, rather than sign the new code of conduct, which requires councillors to notify the borough councils monitoring officer of any gift or hospitality which they receive over the value of £25.

The rest of us are pretty annoyed, but are willing to sign. Most of us were persuaded to have our names put forward because nobody else would do it. So you can see why people are withdrawing, rather than have their financial and other interests registered for the public to be able to inspect. &#42

    Read more on:
  • News

Archive Article: 2002/05/31

31 May 2002

Richard Hinchion

Richard Hinchion milks 60

dairy cows and rears 40

replacements on 34ha (83

acres) at Crookstown, west

of Cork city, in southern

Ireland. With a fixed quota

of just over 300,000 litres,

the emphasis is on low-cost

production. Cows yield

6000 litres from 650kg of

concentrate

MAY is the month renowned for vigorous grass growth rates of over 100kgDM/ha.

Unfortunately, halfway through May, we are receiving heavy rainfall, nights are cold and a grass growth rate is less than 70kgDM/ha.

Thoughts of cutting surplus paddocks for silage balesquickly vanished due to the above conditions.

Cows are yielding 28 litres a day on 3kg of pulp-based ration costing £113.64. We are on our second rotation, but I am unhappy with grass quality in some paddocks. This is due to bad weather and poor use in the past six weeks, so we will top these fields.

My first milk test in May reflects disappointing grass quality with a butterfat of 3.57% and protein at 3.22%. This is disappointing compared with overall April results of 3.64% butterfat and 3.28% protein.

Milk price is still on the slide due to weak commodity markets and intervention being the only profitable outlet for our produce. We were dealt another 0.3p/litre drop for April milk bringing it to 13.8p/litre including 4.3% VAT.

The EU council of agricultural ministers will have to take drastic action to reverse this trend and increase export refunds immediately, since the US government can get away with giving its producers a big cash injection in the lead up to the WTO talks.

We plan to cut silage towards the end of May and use no additive. It will need to thicken a lot in the next fortnight to have a worthwhile tonnage. We will ensile surplus grass paddocks with the main crop to reduce cost and improve grass quality. We are spreading about 37.5kg/ha of nitrogen (30 units/acre).

All 46 calves are fully weaned and out full-time. They are being fed 1-1.5kg of beef ration and good quality grass. All have been weighed by Teagasc for a calf rearing project we are involved in. Early replacement heifers ranged from 85-95kg and early bull calves from 95-105kg.

We are two-thirds into our breeding season, which started on Apr 30. We have 43 cows inseminated out of 50 cows. We handled problem cows at the half way stage and used progesterone releasing devices on four. The rest were injected with prostaglandin. The bulls we are using are Archibald Lamballe, Gmi MFX and young test bulls. &#42

    Read more on:
  • News

Archive Article: 2002/05/31

31 May 2002

Jon Bennion, farm manager at Oak Farm, Altrincham Road, Wilmslow (left) was one of the 12 winners of a years free access to Orchid Datas beef and dairy software worth £500 each in the recent farmers weekly/Orchid Data competition. Also in the picture is Orchids sales manager Simon Rees-Jones. The other 11 winners were: Bob Scambler, Bosigran Farm, Pendeen, Penzance, Cornwall; William Milne, Upper Mulben, Mulben, Keith, Banffshire; Ian Trenaman, Hurlbridge, Hatherleigh, Okehampton, Devon; Julian Mockford, Knowle Farm, Broad Oak, Heathfield, East Sussex; Virginia Deradour, Stoney Green Farm, Prestwood, Gt Missenden, Bucks; Andrew Barraclough, Gatelands Farm, Morland, Penrith, Cumbria; Alastair McCormack, Stonehouse Farm, Chevington, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk; Alan Tillier, Wifford Farm, Bovey Tracey, Devon; Anita Skewes, Chiverton Farm, Rosvogeon, Penzance, Cornwall; Neil Melville, Wester Kinnear, Newport-on-Tay, Fife and Nigel Haynes, Maidford Grange, Towcester, Northants.

    Read more on:
  • News

Archive Article: 2002/05/31

31 May 2002

Ian Ainslie, Branxton Moor Farm, Cornhill-on-Tweed, Northumberland (centre) was one of the eight winners of the recent farmers weekly/Schering-Plough Nuflor competition. Each winner received a voucher for £1250 to spend on Ritchey Tagg Trutest electronic weighing equipment. Also in the picture is Norman Brown from Schering-Plough Animal Health and Mark Riddell from Ritchey Tagg. The other seven winners were: D L Dewes, Low Spinney Farm, Ashby Magna, Lutterworth, Leics; John Holliday, New Bampton Farm, Wigton, Cumbria; R Southwell, Pear Tree Farm, Burton Fleming, Driffield, E Yorks; J Ceriog Jones, Cilgoed, Derwen, Corwen, Denbighshire; Geoff Bowyer, Court Farm, Langridge, Bath; R Hitchcock, St Johns Farm, Dauntsey Lock, Chippenham, Wilts and TADavies, Llanddulas, Abergele.

    Read more on:
  • News

Archive Article: 2002/05/31

31 May 2002

Certainly not bog standard…the Five Star Loo of the Year Award has been won by Pont Kemys Caravan and Camping Park, run by farmers Bryan and Rosy Jones. The high standards of cleanliness, signage, accessibility, décor and customer care at the site near Abergavenny impressed the judges. It marked the first time the couple, who farm 80ha (200 acres), had entered the nationwide competition run by Cannon Hygiene. "Its vital that our toilets and

shower block provide clean, hygienic

and comfortable facilities for

caravanners and campers, many

of who are a long way from home,"

says Rosy. The couples eldest

son Terence, who helps run the

park at evenings and weekends,

adds: "Foot-and-mouth devastated

visitor numbers to Monmouthshire

in 2001. This year looks much

better though and bookings are

well up on last year."

    Read more on:
  • News
blog comments powered by Disqus