12 April 2002

GOFORSMARTSAVINGS

WITH farm assurance standards tightening and TB spreading to an increasing number of beef herds, it would be easy to be gloomy about beef production prospects.

While little can be done by producers to alleviate the impact of the above issues, focusing on cost saving is an option for all. In this Update, we report on a survey which showed some farms were able to produce a weaned calf 86p/kg more cheaply than others. Evaluating every aspect of your system with an open mind may just provide clues about where savings can be made.

As cattle are turned out, making better use of grazed grass may be one way to trim costs. But grazing can also prove an expensive option if sward heights are too low, as one researcher writing in this Update points out.

On a more positive note, pedigree breeders wishing to sell semen will benefit from the news that Devon-based Venton stud is open for business. This will maintain competition in the AI sector, helping to promote the interests of British breeders.

Successful breeding provides the bedrock of a successful beef industry. It is vital to maximise output of quality animals as the industry takes its first tentative steps on the road to recovery from the devastation wrought by last years foot-and-mouth crisis.

Industry outlook 3

New farm assurance standards 4

TB on the increase 6

Keeping costs down 8

Leading Limousins 10

Destressing dehorning 12

New stud opens for business 14

Edited by Marianne Curtis