Livestock top stories

FEED AND NUTRITION

5 ways to reduce methane in dairy cows through nutrition

Methane output from cows has been in focus of late, largely because of its high global warming potential. However, Liam Sinclair, professor of animal science at Harper Adams University, says…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Selling cows eases stocking pressure

The run-up to the end of our milking season came a step closer with a group of empty cows making their way to an autumn-calving unit on another farm. They…

DAIRY

How farmers and advisers are failing transition cows

Pre-calving cows don’t have adequate room in cubicle housing and one in five is lame (score two or above). These were just two of the concerning findings from a recent…

PIGS

Overweight pigs fetch 70p/kg as humane culling starts

Crowded farms have received as little as 70p/kg for “distress loads” of overweight pigs as the sector deals with a shortfall of 12,000 butchers and humane killing begins. Some pigs…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on clamping maize as harvest nears end

Maize is being harvested in all areas of the UK, with good yields reported from the field. The heavy rain last week halted work for a few days, but the…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Fuel shortage affects sheep-checking route

Using DNA markers and estimated breeding values has allowed us to cut our ram lamb numbers to the top 50 we are going to use on the commercial flock. We…

Livestock news

NEWS

NPA optimistic visas will be granted to foreign butchers

The National Pig Association (NPA) has said there is growing optimism the government will allow more butchers to come to Britain on temporary visas to help ease the backlog of…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Deer follow cattle with early Johne’s detection blood test

Deer famers can identify Johne’s-positive animals rapidly following on-farm trial work that has road-tested the cattle blood test on hinds.   Research published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science used the…

ENVIRONMENT

Livestock farming links to climate change solution

British livestock production can contribute to global cooling and should form part of the solution to climate change, an environment summit has heard. The Countryside COP summit has been organised…

LIVESTOCK

Johne’s assessment deadline approaches

Dairy farmers taking part in the National Johne’s Management Plan are advised they must complete a declaration form confirming their participation by the end of the year. The plan is…

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BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How a South West dairy became the UK's best bred herd

Ian and Max Davies say they have never bred a cow for the show ring, yet they have a string of championships to their credit from top UK events. We …

FEED AND NUTRITION

5 ways to reduce methane in dairy cows through nutrition

Methane output from cows has been in focus of late, largely because of its high global warming potential. However, Liam Sinclair, professor of animal science at Harper Adams University, says…

DAIRY

How farmers and advisers are failing transition cows

Pre-calving cows don’t have adequate room in cubicle housing and one in five is lame (score two or above). These were just two of the concerning findings from a recent…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on clamping maize as harvest nears end

Maize is being harvested in all areas of the UK, with good yields reported from the field. The heavy rain last week halted work for a few days, but the…

SHEEP

Dorset outdoor lamber lifts scan 20% with Belclare

Taking a gamble on an Irish sheep breed has paid off for one Dorset breeder, who has increased flock output 20% and developed an additional income stream selling rams. Mike…

LIVESTOCK

ABP beef farm trial unlocks key to lowering carbon emissions

Using superior bulls can lower carbon emissions by 11% and is worth £250 a head, trials carried out by ABP Food Group at its demonstration farm in Shropshire have found.…

FEED AND NUTRITION

9 benefits of switching to a zero-grazing system

Housing cows and delivering fresh grass to them daily on a zero-grazing system has helped Colin Murdoch make the most of every corner of the farm, boost milk from forage…

PIGS

Glassers disease in pigs: Signs, treatment and prevention

Glassers disease is widespread in UK pig herds, and worldwide. It can cause blood poisoning and death, and is often associated with cases of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS).…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Video: Highland farm grazes cattle unfenced with GPS collars

Virtual fencing is gathering pace and there are now more than 30,000 collars in use around the globe. The Girvans of Corrimony Farm, near Drumnadrochit, Inverness, could not graze cattle…

DAIRY

Milk quality issues: Causes and how to reduce the risk

There has been a steady stream of farmers with milk quality issues, especially those with block-calving herds in late pregnancy and early lactation, and herds at grass, according to Andrew…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Pig producers advised to plan for impending zinc oxide ban

Pig producers are being advised to put a plan of action in place now ahead of the formal ban of zinc oxide next year. Although it is still unclear exactly…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Cattle corrals: Common challenges and how to address them

Philip Friend established the first corral at Wadland Barton Farm 15 years ago. Since then, he has resolved some of the common challenges associated with this alternative to conventional housing.…

SHEEP

What to consider when growing lucerne to graze sheep

David Cross set up an Innovative Farmers field lab to look at the practicalities of grazing his sheep on lucerne on his north Norfolk farm. He wanted to see if…

STAFF MANAGEMENT

How to reduce staff working hours on dairy farms

One of the common reasons often given for leaving the farming industry is long working hours. Many also cite working weekends, when all their friends have Saturday and Sunday off,…

LIVESTOCK

Advice on buying and retrofitting slurry scrapers

Many farms still opt to install and replace automated slurry scraper systems despite a wide variety of other options coming to market in recent years. Automating slurry management in cubicle…

SLURRY AND MANURE MANAGEMENT

How a farmer is benefiting from installing slurry separator

Investing in a slurry separator has reduced labour requirements on a Shropshire dairy unit. Tim Dale installed the separator last autumn to alleviate the need to pump slurry into a…

Taking Stock

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TAKING STOCK

Scottish beef no longer top dog on price

Aggressive sourcing from processors has led to swings of 10-12p/kg in deadweight beef prices, leaving North of England finishers ahead of the Scots on price.  Some large northern finishers have…

TAKING STOCK

Suckled calf prices up 10% to above £2.50/kg

Early sales suggest weaned calf values could surge again this autumn, with deadweight prices running 10% up on the year and supporting buyer confidence. Finishers remain on the hunt for…

TAKING STOCK

Rams up £184 as record trade continues at Builth

A remarkable year for prime lamb prices swelled averages to a record-breaking £694 at the NSA Main Sale of rams and females at Builth Wells on Monday (20 September). Like…

TAKING STOCK

Kelso ram average lifts 38% as records tumble

Nerves were quickly settled in most rings at Kelso last week (10 September) as keen bidding left a record average of £970.09, and the famous sales made a comeback. Strong…

Meat markets and prices

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TAKING STOCK

Scottish beef no longer top dog on price

Aggressive sourcing from processors has led to swings of 10-12p/kg in deadweight beef prices, leaving North of England finishers ahead of the Scots on price.  Some large northern finishers have…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Pork levy holiday proposed as hefty price drop adds pressure

AHDB Pork is proposing a one-month pork levy holiday, subject to ratification by government ministers. If agreed, the move would be worth approximately £800,000 to the industry, which has suffered…

FARM POLICY

US to lift ban on British lamb imports, PM announces

The US has agreed to lift a decades-old ban on imports of British lamb, Boris Johnson has announced. A ban on the import of UK beef and lamb to the…

NEWS

Respite for farmers as government underwrites CO2 production

Carbon dioxide supplies should start to flow again soon, bringing much-needed respite for the food industry in general and farmers in particular, who have faced the prospect of a catastrophic…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Sheepmeat exports down 25% in year to date

UK sheepmeat exports were 25% lower between January and July 2021 compared with the same period in 2020, according to the latest HMRC statistics. Analysis by the AHDB shows that…

NEWS

UK steakhouse criticised for promoting Australian beef

The National Beef Association (NBA) has criticised the Miller & Carter steakhouse chain for promoting Australian beef in its UK restaurants. Neil Shand, chief executive of the NBA, said marketing…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: My first 'sheriff's sale' as inflation bites

Inflation has been accelerating here recently and is starting to bite. The Biden administration has shifted from “there is no inflation” to “there is inflation but it’s temporary” to “there…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Selling cows eases stocking pressure

The run-up to the end of our milking season came a step closer with a group of empty cows making their way to an autumn-calving unit on another farm. They…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Fuel shortage affects sheep-checking route

Using DNA markers and estimated breeding values has allowed us to cut our ram lamb numbers to the top 50 we are going to use on the commercial flock. We…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Carnage on farm as pigs back up

The pig industry continues to be hit with one problem after another, without the prior problem being resolved. This is creating carnage at farm level and it’s important that every…

Dairy

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How a South West dairy became the UK's best bred herd

Ian and Max Davies say they have never bred a cow for the show ring, yet they have a string of championships to their credit from top UK events. We …

FEED AND NUTRITION

5 ways to reduce methane in dairy cows through nutrition

Methane output from cows has been in focus of late, largely because of its high global warming potential. However, Liam Sinclair, professor of animal science at Harper Adams University, says…

DAIRY

How farmers and advisers are failing transition cows

Pre-calving cows don’t have adequate room in cubicle housing and one in five is lame (score two or above). These were just two of the concerning findings from a recent…

ENVIRONMENT

Livestock farming links to climate change solution

British livestock production can contribute to global cooling and should form part of the solution to climate change, an environment summit has heard. The Countryside COP summit has been organised…

FEED AND NUTRITION

9 benefits of switching to a zero-grazing system

Housing cows and delivering fresh grass to them daily on a zero-grazing system has helped Colin Murdoch make the most of every corner of the farm, boost milk from forage…

SLURRY AND MANURE MANAGEMENT

Plasma technology reduces emissions in slurry by 90%

Applying air and electricity to slurry traps almost all ammonia emissions when applied to fields, a UK trial has shown. Plasma-treated fertiliser converted from cow slurry was tested for ammonia…

LIVESTOCK

Johne’s assessment deadline approaches

Dairy farmers taking part in the National Johne’s Management Plan are advised they must complete a declaration form confirming their participation by the end of the year. The plan is…

LIVESTOCK

FW Awards 2021: Dairy Farmer of the Year

Mark Larwood, Oak House Farm, Norwich, Norfolk Mark Larwood is the 2021 Farmers Weekly Dairy Farmer of the year. Mark is proof that excellent cow health and fertility can generate…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Farms buy lime as fertiliser trades near £500/t

A two-fold increase in ammonium nitrate prices should prompt farmers to focus on sourcing lime products to optimise soil pH levels. Fertiliser prices have skyrocketed this autumn, with October/November quotes…

DAIRY

Milk quality issues: Causes and how to reduce the risk

There has been a steady stream of farmers with milk quality issues, especially those with block-calving herds in late pregnancy and early lactation, and herds at grass, according to Andrew…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Maize Watch: Harvest progresses as weather worsens

The maize harvest progresses across the country as autumn sets in, and with it some heavy rain.  Toby Tibbenham sampling for Farmers Weekly in Norfolk harvested his maize last week…

ENVIRONMENT

QMS launches toolkit to debunk myths about red meat

British levy bodies have joined forces to produce a toolkit of red meat facts ahead of the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow later this month. Quality Meat Scotland (QMS),…

Livestock machinery

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BALERS AND WRAPPERS

New Holland reveals fixed-chamber Roll-Bar 125 baler

New Holland has replaced its BR6090 round baler with a new Roll-Bar 125, which is designed for farmers wanting a simple, no-nonsense machine. There are two versions available – the…

WORKSHOP SKILLS

Wiltshire contractor builds one-of-a-kind bale chaser

A majority of the machinery knocked together in a farm workshop has a certain rustic charm that comes from putting it in the field before applying the finishing touches. Not…

RAKES

Claas revamps Liner twin- and four-rotor rake line-up

Claas has updated its Liner rake range with seven new twin-rotor and three four-rotor models. Five of the twin-rotor rakes come in Trend spec with simplified controls, while the remaining…

GRASSLAND AND MAIZE EQUIPMENT

Home-built overseeder improves grass in hard-to-reach fields

Keen to improve grass quality for his pedigree Dexter suckler herd, Cornish farmer and contractor John Phizacklea built a single-pass overseeding outfit that is manoeuvrable enough to work in his…