Livestock top stories

TAKING STOCK

Christmas primestock sales see trade lift further

Christmas primestock sales injected much needed cheer into livestock farming communities around the country this week producing remarkable headline prices for butchers’ animals. Live markets are busy selling lambs to…

MEDICINES

Tackling IBR - non-marker versus marker vaccines

Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) is a highly contagious, respiratory disease that can affect cattle of all ages. It is possible to protect herds using either a non-marker or marker vaccine.…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Wet, knackered and got the wrong cattle

Welcome to Yorkshire, where we are all in the same boat - literally. It has rained nearly every day since 22 September, with a few days' respite in mid-October. It…

LIVESTOCK MARKETING

Calls mount to add quality measures to Europ grid

British red meat production cannot compete on price, so it must compete on quality, says 2018 Nuffield scholar and director of meat quality consultancy FQM Global, Caroline Mitchell. Speaking at…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

December bull proofs: New number one for proven sires

The genomic sire Bomaz AltaTopshot has reached the number one slot in the proven Holstein bull proof run for December, AHDB Dairy has announced. Topshot graduated in the summer from…

Livestock news

HEALTH AND WELFARE

MSD launches early-life cattle pneumonia vaccine

An early life pneumonia vaccine has been launched by MSD Animal Health, allowing beef and dairy farmers to protect their calves from as young as one week for the very…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Dairy lifespan index trait updated to improve accuracy

The genetic index that predicts dairy cattle lifespan has been revamped to make it more accurate and indicate longevity in additional days rather than lactations. The change will help dairy…

BOVINE TB

Modified vaccine gives hope in battle against bovine TB

Scientists have developed a modified version of the BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guérin) vaccine and a complementary skin test which they believe could protect cattle against TB. Researchers from the University of…

LIVESTOCK

Virtual reality provides Russian cows with perpetual summer

Showing cows images of permanently sunny pasture through virtual reality headsets can boost milk yields, according to Russian researchers. The Moscow Agriculture Ministry’s pilot project was carried out by vets…

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GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How hill farmers keep production costs to £43 a ewe

Penny Chantler and her sons, William and Sam Sawday, are improving profitability at the 188ha Hill Farm, Llanigon, Hay-on-Wye, by keeping production costs in their sheep enterprise low at just…

FEED AND NUTRITION

5 steps to managing your flock's forage at winter

Sheep producers should have a strategy in place to maximise forage over winter, especially following a trend for high energy (>11MJ ME/kg DM) silages. This is the advice of SAC…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Guide to managing big pig litters

Genetic progress in pig breeding is continuing to push up born alive numbers, with the top 10% of farms now averaging 18.4 pigs born alive and the top third, 16.65.…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Farm wins lucrative meat market with eco-friendly system

Peter and Henri Greig are champions of regenerative farming on their small-scale family farm and credit it with creating low input, sustainable farming that has opened the door to direct…

HUSBANDRY

Video: Step-by-step guide to administering cattle pour-ons

Correct use of pour-on products increases the chance of the active drug working and limits drug resistance development. This is according to vet Miranda Timmerman of ProStock Vets, Carmarthenshire, who…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Guide to effective dairy parlour cleaning

Ineffective cleaning of the internal surfaces of the milking system increases the risk of bacteria and milk residues building up. As well as potentially leading to higher Bactoscans, this raises…

STAFF MANAGEMENT

7 ways to attract the next generation to careers in farming

The economic uncertainty of Brexit, the rise of alternative lifestyles and the influence of social media have affected the public perception of farming and the dynamics within our workforce. Farming…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Tips on reducing feed waste on your dairy

There are four key areas where feed can be wasted and underused: in the field, during storage, at feed-out and inside the cow. Results from the latest Alltech on-farm pilot…

FEED AND NUTRITION

5 key considerations when feeding minerals to dairy cows

The fine line between cow requirements and the maximum tolerable limit for certain minerals means they should be given the same level of attention as any dietary nutrient. This is…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How to avoid mid-lactation milk fever in your herd

Mid-lactation milk fever is increasingly being noticed in high-yielding herds, causing vets and nutritionists to remind farmers of the importance of mineral balance and good dry matter (DM) intakes. Milk…

ASSESSING PERFORMANCE

Why farmers should assess costs before changing sheep breed

Sheep farms should fully cost their flock profit margins and assess the impact of small gains in technical performance before looking to change breed or system. This was the message…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How Welsh dairy farm cut concentrate costs by 3.1p/litre

Taking more frequent cuts at shorter intervals has improved silage quality at a Welsh dairy farm, lifting margin over purchased feed by 11%, or £350/ha. Father and son Hugo and…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How a dairy farmer cut the use of soya bean meal in rations

Buckinghamshire dairy farmer Richard West has reduced the amount of soya bean meal fed to his herd by two-thirds. Historically, soya bean meal was the main source of protein in…

ASSESSING PERFORMANCE

UK pig farm using EID to track piglets from birth

Pig farmer and vet Charlie Thompson, Bridge House Farm, says EID is a tool he could not live without – it is helping him to manage breeding decisions, monitor performance…

ASSESSING PERFORMANCE

How a farm is lifting beef calf weaning and slaughter weights

Detailed cow and calf performance recording is part of an overall business drive to increase beef output at Hedgeley Farms, Northumberland. Over the past five years, farm manager Vicky Hogg…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Guide to understanding what pig behaviour is telling you

Taking time to look at the behaviour of your pigs can tell you a lot about their health and welfare before visible problems arise. According to animal behaviour expert Kees…

Taking Stock

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TAKING STOCK

Christmas primestock sales see trade lift further

Christmas primestock sales injected much needed cheer into livestock farming communities around the country this week producing remarkable headline prices for butchers’ animals. Live markets are busy selling lambs to…

TAKING STOCK

Prime cattle still £100+ adrift of last year

Prime beef prices remain £100 a head or more behind last year’s trade, despite a small lift in values in step with pre-Christmas demand. Deadweight steers and heifers averaged 325.4p/kg…

TAKING STOCK

Processor cow average drops below 200p/kg

Liveweight and deadweight fortunes have diverged this autumn as average UK deadweight cow prices have fallen below 200p/kg for the first time in nearly a year. The seasonal drop in…

TAKING STOCK

Beef crisis hitting dairies with lower calf values

Rearing calf prices have fallen away sharply since the summer across England and Wales and are currently 24% back on the year. According to Livestock Auctioneers Association and AHDB market…

Meat markets and prices

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MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Supermarkets blockaded in Irish beef protest

Irish farmers campaigning for higher beef prices have blockaded a Tesco central distribution centre in Donabate, County Dublin The blockade started at 7am on Monday (9 December). See also: Irish…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Pig prices record biggest jump in six weeks

The latest finished pig prices have continued to move upwards, with a 0.93p/kg increase - the largest weekly rise recorded for six weeks, according to AHDB Pork.   The EU-spec SPP…

TAKING STOCK

Christmas primestock sales see trade lift further

Christmas primestock sales injected much needed cheer into livestock farming communities around the country this week producing remarkable headline prices for butchers’ animals. Live markets are busy selling lambs to…

TAKING STOCK

Prime cattle still £100+ adrift of last year

Prime beef prices remain £100 a head or more behind last year’s trade, despite a small lift in values in step with pre-Christmas demand. Deadweight steers and heifers averaged 325.4p/kg…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Cranswick profits lifted by Asia's African swine fever crisis

Food processor Cranswick has announced a 3.6% rise in half-year pre-tax profits to £46.4m after its pigmeat exports to African swine fever (ASF)-hit Asian countries soared. The increased profits for…

BUSINESS

Waitrose pledges to stock only British lamb

Waitrose will source all of its own-label fresh and frozen lamb from British farmers from summer 2021. Although the supermarket already offers British lamb on its meat counters year-round, it…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Rural US still feels brunt of China trade war

The year is finally coming to an end. If you have read my previous columns or followed US agricultural news you know 2019 has been a dismal year for us. …

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Cover crops will be needed to keep lambs fed

Lambs are growing slowly, although I think now they have got over the barbers pole worm, we should see some more sensible growth coming through. It just means we are…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Wet, knackered and got the wrong cattle

Welcome to Yorkshire, where we are all in the same boat - literally. It has rained nearly every day since 22 September, with a few days' respite in mid-October. It…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: The routine will soon start all over again

Drying-off is upon us. With only five days left of this season at time of writing, and two paddocks left to graze, the team is counting down the days to…

Dairy

HEALTH AND WELFARE

MSD launches early-life cattle pneumonia vaccine

An early life pneumonia vaccine has been launched by MSD Animal Health, allowing beef and dairy farmers to protect their calves from as young as one week for the very…

MEDICINES

Tackling IBR - non-marker versus marker vaccines

Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) is a highly contagious, respiratory disease that can affect cattle of all ages. It is possible to protect herds using either a non-marker or marker vaccine.…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

December bull proofs: New number one for proven sires

The genomic sire Bomaz AltaTopshot has reached the number one slot in the proven Holstein bull proof run for December, AHDB Dairy has announced. Topshot graduated in the summer from…

DAIRY MARKETS AND PRICES

Muller to incentivise ending bull calf euthanasia

Dairy processor Muller has become the latest milk buyer to encourage farmers to phase out bull calf euthanasia as momentum grows across the industry to bring the practice to an…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Dairy lifespan index trait updated to improve accuracy

The genetic index that predicts dairy cattle lifespan has been revamped to make it more accurate and indicate longevity in additional days rather than lactations. The change will help dairy…

LIVESTOCK

Virtual reality provides Russian cows with perpetual summer

Showing cows images of permanently sunny pasture through virtual reality headsets can boost milk yields, according to Russian researchers. The Moscow Agriculture Ministry’s pilot project was carried out by vets…

HUSBANDRY

Video: Step-by-step guide to administering cattle pour-ons

Correct use of pour-on products increases the chance of the active drug working and limits drug resistance development. This is according to vet Miranda Timmerman of ProStock Vets, Carmarthenshire, who…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Guide to effective dairy parlour cleaning

Ineffective cleaning of the internal surfaces of the milking system increases the risk of bacteria and milk residues building up. As well as potentially leading to higher Bactoscans, this raises…

STAFF MANAGEMENT

7 ways to attract the next generation to careers in farming

The economic uncertainty of Brexit, the rise of alternative lifestyles and the influence of social media have affected the public perception of farming and the dynamics within our workforce. Farming…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Tips on reducing feed waste on your dairy

There are four key areas where feed can be wasted and underused: in the field, during storage, at feed-out and inside the cow. Results from the latest Alltech on-farm pilot…

FEED AND NUTRITION

5 key considerations when feeding minerals to dairy cows

The fine line between cow requirements and the maximum tolerable limit for certain minerals means they should be given the same level of attention as any dietary nutrient. This is…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How to avoid mid-lactation milk fever in your herd

Mid-lactation milk fever is increasingly being noticed in high-yielding herds, causing vets and nutritionists to remind farmers of the importance of mineral balance and good dry matter (DM) intakes. Milk…

Livestock machinery

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TRACTORS

John Deere breathes new life into 6M series

American giant John Deere has refreshed its small 6-series tractors, offering higher comfort and boosting performance levels from that of previous machines. The new models replace all existing 6M, 6MC…

FORAGERS

Agritechnica 2019: Krone adds track option to Big X forager

Grassland kit maker Krone is the latest company to add a set of tracks to its foragers. The tracks have been sourced from Zuidberg and apart from a couple of…

LOADING SHOVELS

Agritechnica 2019: Kramer shovel gets telescopic option

A telescopic option has been added to Kramer’s quirky four-wheel-steer rigid shovel models. The KL55.8T joins the existing KL60.8 and the KL70.8 versions and improves maximum lift height to 5.4m…

TELEHANDLERS

Agritechnica 2019: Dieci debuts Agrimax Power X2 telehandler

In a departure from its usual hydrostatic transmission, Dieci was showing off a prototype featuring a hydro-mechanical variable driveline. The Agrimax Power X2 is fitted with Dana Rexroth’s HVT1 transmission,…