Livestock top stories

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Vet Viewpoint: Tyre-wire disease, lungworm and ewe condition

Ewe condition before tupping, tyre wires in silage and lameness in housed sucklers are among the problems that occur later in the year, but have their roots in summer management.…

BEEF

Exclusive: Whistleblower uncovers Lim passport errors

The whistleblower whose tip-off ultimately led to 62 top-class Limousins having their passports withheld, has urged the breed society to take a tougher stance on data recording. The cattle had…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Q&A: Growing and feeding drought-tolerant lucerne

Lucerne is a deep-rooted, nitrogen-fixing crop that has seen a surge in interest among livestock farmers looking for a drought-tolerant fodder option. Sam Lane technical manager at Cotswold Seeds and…

LIVESTOCK

Top Holstein traits for daily lifetime yield revealed

A shortlist of the most important traits affecting daily lifetime yield (DLY) has been released by the levy board, with profitable lifetime index (£PLI) coming top. An AHDB Dairy evaluation…

LIVESTOCK

Farmers warned not to use jetters or showers to treat scab

Industry group Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (Scops) is reminding farmers and contractors not to use organophosphate (OP) products in jetters and showers. The warning echoes guidance, issued by…

Livestock news

CRIME

Farmer guilty of animal welfare offences to pay £36,000

A West Yorkshire farmer has been banned from keeping livestock for seven years and ordered to pay costs of more than £36,000 after keeping animals without food and water and…

TAKING STOCK

Muslim festival could drive ewe demand at critical time

Cull ewe numbers will lift through the summer to pressure prices, although Muslim festival demand could support trade in late July, say auctioneers. Sheep throughputs have been higher for the…

AWARDS

Farmers Weekly Awards: Mixed farmer finalists 2019

Building a more resilient business which is better able to weather market volatility is the key driver for our three finalists this year, with multiple profitable enterprises putting the candidates…

PIGS

Scanning technology gives pig farmer marketing edge

A Suffolk farming partnership is using scanning technology to measure and score intramuscular fat (IMF) levels in its pig breeding stock. Mark and Paul Hayward, who produce pork for the…

More articles

Explore livestock Know How

  • Business advice
  • Essential guides
  • Practical tips
  • Case studies
Explore all topics

Latest from livestock Know How

See all

FEED AND NUTRITION

How a dairy herd managed drought with 6.5p/litre feed cost

Strict control of parlour feeding and a tight autumn-calving block saw a Cornish dairy through the 2018 drought with a total purchased feed cost of 6.52p/litre. Because peak lactation happens…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Q&A: Growing and feeding drought-tolerant lucerne

Lucerne is a deep-rooted, nitrogen-fixing crop that has seen a surge in interest among livestock farmers looking for a drought-tolerant fodder option. Sam Lane technical manager at Cotswold Seeds and…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Q&A: Mycoplasma bovis disease in cattle

Mycoplasma bovis (or M bovis) is a bacterial disease found in dairy and beef cattle. It can lead to serious illness in cattle affecting health and production. Farmers whose herds…

PIGS

How food and drink by-products can cut costs for pig farmers

By-products from food and drink manufacturing are helping to future-proof pig farms from rising feed costs. Co-products can cost as little as £1.20 per percentage (%) dry matter (DM) and…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How a Gloucestershire herd makes MOPF of £1,656 a cow

Producing quality silage and block calving in the summer are allowing a Gloucestershire dairy to hit a margin over purchased feed (MOPF) of £1,656 a cow (27p/litre). The crossbred herd…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How a sheep farmer has reduced lameness by 28%

A Cheshire sheep farmer who has reduced lameness rates to just 2% from a one-time high of 30% says working with a Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) at his animal health…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Genomic insight helps beef producer with breeding choices

Genomic EBVs (GEBVs) may be familiar to dairy farmers but in the beef sector, genomic testing is a relatively new concept and is currently available only for the Limousin breed.…

BOVINE TB

5 ways to improve TB control in the UK

Bovine TB has exploded in the UK, spreading rapidly, ravaging counties and wiping out whole herds in its path. Until now, much of the focus of disease control has been…

BEEF

How a beef farmer cut antibiotics use in suckler herd by 74%

Suckler-finisher Sebastian Richardson and his family have cut antibiotics use by 74% since 2015. In a pioneering approach to his herd management, Mr Richardson of Townsend Farm, Oundle, has been…

MEDICINES

How a pig farmer has overcome salmonella in weaner piglets

Pig farmer David Kemp has managed to beat a nasty outbreak of salmonella, in the process cutting antibiotics use to less than 1mg/kg. Mr Kemp, who runs a farrow-to-finishing enterprise…

DAIRY

4 must-dos for transition cow management

The three weeks before and after calving are important times for cows. The dairy cow is more vulnerable and her metabolic needs increase dramatically. Get the transition right and you…

WHATS IN YOUR LIVESTOCK SHED

What’s in Your Livestock Shed? visits a Gold Cup winner

What makes a Gold Cup winner? We look at some of the buildings and technology behind Washfold Farm’s success. Metcalfe Farms in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, is owned and run by…

BEEF

How a Salers herd aims to become carbon neutral by 2035

Mixed farmer Conor Colgan is using increasingly sophisticated methods and research to increase the efficiency of his farm in an attempt to become carbon neutral. Relatively basic improvements in herd…

STAFF MANAGEMENT

How Gold Cup winners are managing staff

Teamwork, staff management and new technology are the three secrets to running a successful business, says Philip Metcalfe of Metcalfe Farms. Last year the farm scooped the NMR/RABDF Gold Cup…

DAIRY

A dairy farmer's guide to robotic milking

Installations of robotic milking machines have surged over the past three years, taking the number of farms using the technology to between 900 and 1,000, or one in 10 UK…

BEEF

Why one farmer switched to Parthenaise beef breed

The Parthenaise breed is one of the oldest in France and has been refined over the past 50 years to produce high-quality beef. Its meat is some of the most…

Taking Stock

See all

TAKING STOCK

Muslim festival could drive ewe demand at critical time

Cull ewe numbers will lift through the summer to pressure prices, although Muslim festival demand could support trade in late July, say auctioneers. Sheep throughputs have been higher for the…

TAKING STOCK

Record sheep and cattle entries at Great Yorkshire Show

A bumper turnout of cattle and sheep buoyed numbers to record levels at the 161st Great Yorkshire Show this week (9-11 July). An entry of 1,246 cattle and 2,597 sheep…

LIVESTOCK

Yorkshire Show: Simmental claims beef interbreed

A fiercely-competed supreme beef championship climaxed with a momentous win for the Heathbrow Simmental herd at the Great Yorkshire Show yesterday (9 July). Heathbrow Important was tapped out by judge…

TAKING STOCK

Firm breeding price despite ‘unsustainable’ beef values

Poor finished beef prices have taken the shine off some sales of cows with calves at foot this year as values for prime animals have fallen to a three-year low.…

Meat markets and prices

See all

TAKING STOCK

Muslim festival could drive ewe demand at critical time

Cull ewe numbers will lift through the summer to pressure prices, although Muslim festival demand could support trade in late July, say auctioneers. Sheep throughputs have been higher for the…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Vietnam trade deal could open doors for EU pigs

Pig producers across Europe are expected to benefit from a €47.6bn (£42.7bn) general trade agreement with Vietnam. The agreement will remove tariffs on nearly all goods on both sides once…

TAKING STOCK

Firm breeding price despite ‘unsustainable’ beef values

Poor finished beef prices have taken the shine off some sales of cows with calves at foot this year as values for prime animals have fallen to a three-year low.…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Cautious optimism among pig farmers after tough nine months

Low pig prices, coupled with high costs, saw producers lose an average of £11 a head on every pig sold during the first three months of 2019, according to the…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

NFU warns of beef sector shrinkage as price slump continues

With beef markets at a three-year low, the NFU is seeking a pan-industry effort to overcome what it sees as a lack of competition in the processing and retail sectors.…

TAKING STOCK

Brexit casts early doubt over store lamb values

National new-season lamb prices have held firm over the past three weeks, with auctioneers now considering what effect an October Brexit could have on store lamb trade. Several marts have…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: These beef prices are unsustainable

It has been a month of mending, maintenance and education. We had a very successful school trip a few weeks ago. Trying to herd 40 children around the farm was…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Arable unit finally receiving £45,000 in BPS

Our breeding programme for the ideal arable sheep is really coming together. This month, we have taken DNA samples from 500 ewes and their progeny and sent them off for…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Silage rows look big compared with previous years

I spread most of the year’s slurry on the silage fields in mid-to-late May. I graze most of the fields first – unlike most farms in Orkney. Every year while…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Building bridges with foreign visitors

The past few weeks on the farm have had something of an international flavour. We kicked off June with visitors from the US restaurant group Chipotle. It’s a Mexican-themed chain…

Dairy

FEED AND NUTRITION

How a dairy herd managed drought with 6.5p/litre feed cost

Strict control of parlour feeding and a tight autumn-calving block saw a Cornish dairy through the 2018 drought with a total purchased feed cost of 6.52p/litre. Because peak lactation happens…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Q&A: Growing and feeding drought-tolerant lucerne

Lucerne is a deep-rooted, nitrogen-fixing crop that has seen a surge in interest among livestock farmers looking for a drought-tolerant fodder option. Sam Lane technical manager at Cotswold Seeds and…

LIVESTOCK

Top Holstein traits for daily lifetime yield revealed

A shortlist of the most important traits affecting daily lifetime yield (DLY) has been released by the levy board, with profitable lifetime index (£PLI) coming top. An AHDB Dairy evaluation…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Q&A: Mycoplasma bovis disease in cattle

Mycoplasma bovis (or M bovis) is a bacterial disease found in dairy and beef cattle. It can lead to serious illness in cattle affecting health and production. Farmers whose herds…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How a Gloucestershire herd makes MOPF of £1,656 a cow

Producing quality silage and block calving in the summer are allowing a Gloucestershire dairy to hit a margin over purchased feed (MOPF) of £1,656 a cow (27p/litre). The crossbred herd…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Blackleg cases prompt warning to vaccinate

Farmers have been warned to vaccinate stock against blackleg after a disease-surveillance service detected a rise in the number of cases. The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) said the rise…

BOVINE TB

5 ways to improve TB control in the UK

Bovine TB has exploded in the UK, spreading rapidly, ravaging counties and wiping out whole herds in its path. Until now, much of the focus of disease control has been…

MEDICINES

How a farmer-led project helps dairies reduce antibiotics use

Antibiotics are a hot topic on dairy farms across the UK, with many producers working to cut their use to meet government or milk contract targets. While many of these…

LIVESTOCK

Community rallies round Beeston farmer who lost £31k

The farming community has rallied round a devastated young livestock farmer who has been left more than £31,000 out of pocket following the sudden closure of Beeston livestock market. Ben…

FOOT HEALTH

Vet raises concerns over pressures of supermarket milk contracts

A vet has claimed supermarket pressure could force dairy farmers to use less-stringent cow mobility tests to meet milk contract specifications on lameness. A number of retailers require their producer…

FOOT HEALTH

New qualification for foot-trimmers launched

The Cattle Hoof Care Standards Board and the Royal Agricultural University have launched the first university-recognised qualification for foot-trimming. The five-day course will replace the NPTC level 3 certificate in competence…

DAIRY

4 must-dos for transition cow management

The three weeks before and after calving are important times for cows. The dairy cow is more vulnerable and her metabolic needs increase dramatically. Get the transition right and you…

Livestock machinery

See all

DIET FEEDERS

Trioliet unveils monster Solomix mixer wagon

Super dairies now have the option of a high-capacity mixer from Dutch feeding specialist Trioliet. The Solomix is available in 27, 30 and 34cu m capacities and comes with a…

RAKES

Abimac front rake helps solve contractor’s labour shortage

A North Yorkshire farmer is running an Italian-built front-mounted rake combined with a baler on the rear to make his rowing and baling operation a one-pass affair, curbing the reliance…

BALERS AND WRAPPERS

Kuhn releases high-output 7100 variable baler range

A new, high-output 7100-series line-up has been added at the top of Kuhn’s round baler range. The new models jump ahead of the 3100-range in terms of capacity and should…

TECHNOLOGY

Bobcat designs remote control system for skidsteer loaders

Bobcat has unveiled a nifty new remote control system for its compact loaders that allows operators to leave their cab and control the machine remotely. The kit is compatible with…