Archive Article: 2002/07/26 - Farmers Weekly

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Archive Article: 2002/07/26

26 July 2002

A visit by the Princess Royal, near normal livestock entries, and a trade stand sell-out more than countered the impact of rain and long traffic queues on the Royal Welsh Show.

Visitors, 160,000 in the first three days, poured in, and so too did Welsh politicians. They found an industry depressed by years of low prices and the foot-and-mouth crisis. Every sector of farming delivered its own wish list and, with an assembly election less than a year away, all political parties were keen to show they were listening.

Inevitably the most discussed topics were the Anderson Report, the impact of the 20-day rule, low milk prices and CAP reform. Gloomy stuff, but at least news of the Farming First groups £1m investment in a meat processing plant in south Wales certainly lifted livestock farmers spirits.

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Archive Article: 2002/07/26

26 July 2002

Wanted:Brand image for English meat too

Devolution has dealt the Meat and Livestock Commission cruel cards. Autonomy for the Scots and the Welsh means they want to promote their own meat. Fair enough, but what about the English? They too will get a new body to represent English beef and lamb levy payers, and with it probably, a new logo – English Meat.

But marketing livestock does not always follow national borders. Some animals might be ineligible for either Welsh, Scottish or English promotion. That concerns the meat industry, which reckons good products could be devalued. Fortunately, the British Meat logo will remain for domestic meat that crosses these boundaries.

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Archive Article: 2002/07/26

26 July 2002

Darsham Lotus, a daughter of this years Royal Show reserve Simmental inter-breed champion, made the top price of 5000gns at last weekends reduction sale from the Clements familys Darshams herd at Stowmarket, Suffolk. Lotus is by Darsham Haddon and out of Revelex Therese – one of the herds most successful brood cows. Buyers were Linda and Haddon Burditt of Leicestershire who run the Brooklyn herd. Lotus is in-calf to stock bull Corrick Kentucky Kid, bought for the breed record price of 21,000gns last year. The Burditts also gave 3000gns for a third calver by Moncur Sensation, a bid equalled by new breeder A Bethel of Chorley, Lancs, for a 2000-bred daughter of Sterling Flint (United Auctions).

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Archive Article: 2002/07/26

26 July 2002

RECENT sunshine has given grass a kick start on most Grass Watch farms with many planning third silage cuts to maintain quality.

Based in Staffs, Stephen Brandon has plenty of grass, but is applying small doses of nitrogen to maintain quality. "Grass is growing at 60kg DM a day and cow requirement is only 40kg, so I am very happy."

Mr Brandon took second cut silage 2-3 weeks ago and is planning to cut a further couple of paddocks in August.

Cows in his February calving herd are averaging 24 litres a day and have received no concentrate since mid-June.

No concentrates have been fed on Pembrokes-based Richard Johns farm for two years and with a non-return rate of 62% for his spring calving herd, he is happy with the results. "They are in good condition and yielding 19.5 litres a day.

"We are currently on a 16-day grazing rotation. I would be happier if this was 21 days, but recent growth rates of 75kg DM a day mean I am not too worried. We will work towards a 30-day round by September."

Also happy with growth rates is Mark Osman, based in Berks. "Grass is growing above cows requirement and we are gaining 50kg DM a day. We applied 46kg/ha of urea a couple of weeks ago and also plan to top up potash levels." &#42


Cumbria 87kg DM/ha

Staffs 60kg DM/ha

N Ireland 65kg DM/ha

Pembrokes 75kg DM/ha

Berks 50kg DM/ha

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Archive Article: 2002/07/26

26 July 2002

Meat strips go down well at Royal Welsh

The faces of people tasting meat strips for the first time should convince directors of Farmers First that their first foray into processing has every chance of success. The tender chip sized strips of forequarter lamb and beef were a big success with crowds at the Royal Welsh Show.

Aria Foods, the wholly own subsidiary of Farmers First, which is to market them across Europe, has a potential 420m customers on its doorstep. We wish it well.

Meanwhile, congratulations to the organisers of the Royal Welsh Show. The event drew 100,000 people in the first two days. The secret, say those who run the event, is simple – they refuse to sideline farming.

Run by an army of volunteers, with hardly a bowler hat in sight, the Royal Welsh has avoided the elitist stuffiness of some less successful events. Long may it continue.

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Archive Article: 2002/07/26

26 July 2002

Top gamekeeper an inspiration to all

Congratulations to Britains top gamekeeper, Gary Salmon. Mr Salmon will receive his award at the CLA Game Fair which opens its gates today at Broadlands, Romsey, Hampshire, and runs until Sunday.

Mr Salmon fought off stiff competition to land the award which is run by the CLA Game Fair in conjunction with FARMERS WEEKLY. To find out how his inspired management produces a top class shoot, see our Farmlife Section.

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Archive Article: 2002/07/26

26 July 2002

Shameless French just dont care

Do the French know no shame? For the past three years they have illegally banned British beef on spurious health grounds.

Despite the rising incidence of BSE in France, they have also flouted EU rules on removing specified risk materials from cattle carcasses – the single most important measure in combating the disease. Part of the problem is that the French dont care what others think.

But the biggest problem is that the EU legal system lacks teeth. The fact it takes three years to even apply for fines for the illegal beef ban, and another two years to impose them, makes a mockery of the whole thing. No wonder the French feel smug.

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Archive Article: 2002/07/26

26 July 2002

Biofuels – time now for positive action

Thank goodness biofuels are finally attracting widespread interest and winning government support. But warm words from ministers should be backed by action if the sector is to flourish.

Recent comments supporting bioethanol production from cereals, beet and potatoes is meaningless unless the government sets the 4.5p/litre duty rate requested by the Curry Report on all green fuels.

Whether biodiesel or bioethanol for road transport fuel, biofuel offers big environmental benefits. It could also be a profitable new crop enterprise for growers. But that will happen only if the government acts.

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Archive Article: 2002/07/26

26 July 2002

Teat seals adding to mastitis armoury

Over the past 40 years, tubing dry cows with antibiotics at drying off has become as much a part of a dairy producers routine as milking. And very successful at preventing mastitis it has been.

But times are changing. Consumers are increasingly sceptical about use of antibiotics in food-producing animals. So it is heartening that a non-antibiotic teat seal, designed to keep mastitis-causing bacteria out of cows teats, has proved successful.

Adapting to change has always proved one of British producers many strengths. Lets hope more innovations come along to help.

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Archive Article: 2002/07/26

26 July 2002

Purple patch for carrots…? The first commercial crop of Purple Haze variety carrots grown by Tompsett Burgess Growers and marketed by Ely-based Isleham Fresh Produce, will go on sale in branches of Sainsbury in the coming weeks. Although the vegetable is dark purple on the outside it remains orange on the inside and is said to be sweeter than the conventional varieties.

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