This year’s Livestock Event at the Birmingham NEC is packed full of new and exciting features as well as some firm favourites. Here’s our pick of the highlights:
1. Calf demonstrations
New this year are the live calf-rearing demonstrations designed to showcase all types of housing and feeding systems.
The demonstration will feature calves housed in igloos, conventional and specialist buildings including the Roundhouse, all of which will be located on the area outside the main livestock hall.
See also: More news from the Livestock Event
This new demonstration, which will be run under veterinary supervision with strict protocols, will showcase how to get calves off to the best start.
2. Livestock showing
Beef, sheep and dairy will all feature in the show ring at this year’s event.
Four beef breeds will be staging major national fixtures. British Blue and Charolais societies have each confirmed they will be holding their national shows, while Aberdeen Angus will be staging its junior national show and the South Devon Herd Book Society will be launching its inaugural performance championship.
Ayrshire, Brown Swiss and British Friesian cattle societies will also be staging their national shows.
The three national shows will be among six different breeds featured within the National Dairy Show.
Also competing in the show ring is the Lleyn breed society, which will be highlighting what this commercial breed has to offer.
3. Machinery demos
A firm favourite, the live combined robotic milking and feeding demonstration will be returning to the NEC.
Forty cows will be milked through a Lely Astronaut A4 robotic milking system, while the Lely Vector automatic feeding system will ensure they have continual access to a mixed ration in the feed passage.
4. Test drives
Visitors can put the Isuzu D-Max Utah, Defender, Discovery and Range Rover to the test on the 2km woodland track around the NEC.
The track features rough terrain and obstacles including giant bomb holes, humps, hills, articulation banks and wet areas.
Make sure you bring your driving licence in order to take part.
Farm health planning seminars and the feed science forums will detail the latest advice on specific health and feeding issues.
The seminars will provide visitors with the opportunity to gather expert advice that will be of practical use on their own farms.
6. Free ticket
UK dairy farms will receive one complimentary ticket to the Livestock Event as a result of the milk price crisis.
The complimentary ticket will be included in the June issue of DairyCo’s newsletter All Things Dairy.
Northern Ireland’s dairy farmers will receive tickets from their milk buyers.
About the event
This year’s Livestock Event is taking place at the NEC, Birmingham on 8 and 9 July. Parking at the event is free and tickets can be purchased from Friday 1 May for £17 in advance or £20 at the gate (under 16s free). For more information see the Livestock Event website