Livestock top stories

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How farmer gets 11,000 litres from grazed Holstein herd

Wiltshire farmer Robert Mallett and his wife Maria are defying convention by producing nearly 11,000 litres of milk from their autumn-calving herd of grass-fed cows. Like most high-yielding herds, Mr…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

ASF oral vaccine trial breakthrough

Researchers have successfully immunised wild boar against African swine fever (ASF) using a vaccine delivered in feed. The highly contagious disease affects 55 countries worldwide and has killed millions of pigs in…

LIVESTOCK

Video: Tough times for sheep farmers at Welshpool market

Last year was tough for sheep farmers and with the potential loss of EU markets and pressure from climate change lobbyists, this year looks set to be no easier. We…

SHEEP

6 expert tips to reduce lamb days to slaughter

Sheep farmers looking to improve profitability should put more emphasis on getting lambs finished quicker by exploiting good-quality grass. Selling lambs early contributes 45% to overall profitability. In comparison, achieving…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Mortality looks to be at 4-5% this lambing

We had lambed two-thirds of the ewes by the end of April. The Myomax gene-carrying lambs are all on the ground, along with the majority of the main flock. We…

TAKING STOCK

Live pigs go £20-£30 a head dearer

A welcome upturn in live fat pig values over the past month could not have come sooner, auctioneers say. Difficult trading conditions have plagued pig farmers this winter, with higher…

Livestock news

LIVESTOCK

Balmoral Show 2019: Beef interbreed winners

The Beef Shorthorn took the interbreed trophy from a strongly-contested line-up of 15 breed champions and the commercial beef winner. Judge Danny Wylie, from Staffordshire, did not hesitate in tapping…

DAIRY

Balmoral 2019: Holstein interbreed winners

Winning the champions of champions sash for the first time at Balmoral was Philip Jones of Hallow Holsteins. The Hallow Holsteins team made it a clean sweep in the breed…

TAKING STOCK

Spring dairy trade holding up well

Dairy trade has held up fairly well this spring, but buyers are being picky about what they spend their money on, with second-class heifers harder to place. Averages for freshly…

LIVESTOCK

Pig interbreed results from Balmoral 2019

Showring stalwart Trevor Shields, from Kilkeel, County Down, was back on winning form in the pig ring, taking his umpteenth supreme championship in his 44th year of showing at Balmoral. His…

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BEEF

Video: Return of native beef breed benefits Welsh farm

Livestock farmer Richard Lewis swapped his Limousin cattle for native Welsh Blacks and has seen the farm flourish. He invested in 45 head of the cattle, which was quite an…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How to improve crude protein levels in silage

Grass yields may be rising but crude protein levels in silage are still relatively low across most of the UK. Environmental regulations, lower fertiliser use and selection of unsuitable varieties…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How farmer gets 11,000 litres from grazed Holstein herd

Wiltshire farmer Robert Mallett and his wife Maria are defying convention by producing nearly 11,000 litres of milk from their autumn-calving herd of grass-fed cows. Like most high-yielding herds, Mr…

SHEEP

6 expert tips to reduce lamb days to slaughter

Sheep farmers looking to improve profitability should put more emphasis on getting lambs finished quicker by exploiting good-quality grass. Selling lambs early contributes 45% to overall profitability. In comparison, achieving…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Strategies to prevent heat stress in cattle

Record high temperatures last summer caught out livestock farmers in both indoor and outdoor systems, with cattle succumbing to debilitating heat stress. Tell-tail signs of heat stress are lethargy and…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

7 tips on silage aftermath nutrition

Livestock farms looking to maximise silage production should avoid delays to aftercut fertilisers, which could result in cutting yields by 10% – or 370kg/ha – for each day of delay.…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How a Welsh dairy has slashed its antibiotics use

A dairy farm has slashed its antimicrobial use by nearly 30% through a combination of selective dry cow therapy (SDCT) and improved herd management, putting it in the top 25%…

SHEEP

How next generation are learning to farm without subsidies

The sheep enterprise at Glynllifon Agricultural College has undergone radical change as it braces itself and its students for the uncertainty that lies ahead post Brexit. Farm manager Rhodri Manod…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

A guide to assessing and improving grassland drainage

Up to 70% of grassland farms could benefit from improved field drainage, according to Adas national specialist Kirk Hill. One in 10 pastures is severely compacted and soil moisture issues…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Q&A: What is haemonchus and how to prevent and treat it

Good worm control plays a pivotal role in the success or failure of a sheep flock. Get it wrong, and you could be left with stunted growth rates, gut damage…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How boluses helped suckler herd reduce calf losses by 9%

The use of smart bolus technology to identify exactly which cows are calving and target labour accordingly has helped reduce calf losses by 9% at Bowhill Farming. With 500 suckler…

ASSESSING PERFORMANCE

Recording data helps Wiltshire beef farmer refine breeding

Data collection is becoming increasingly important for livestock farmers in order to make decisions on everything from breeding to nutrition. While getting to grips with collecting large quantities of data…

DAIRY

How Hampshire dairy has climbed to top 5 for milk production

Consolidating cow numbers has helped one Hampshire herd shoot up 14 places in the NMR annual production report, to clinch fifth place. In what was a tough year for dairy…

BEEF

How a suckler herd is benefiting from six tech solutions

Scottish beef farmer Niall Jeffrey, at Bielgrange Farm, Dunbar, is one of 28 Agri-Epi satellite farmers trialling new technology as part of the UK government’s Agri-Tech Strategy. Mr Jeffrey, who…

ASSESSING PERFORMANCE

Beginner's guide to measuring suckler herd performance

Understanding the performance of a suckler herd is critical for making future decisions and setting targets to improve production and profitability. One way of measuring this is through Key Performance…

LIVESTOCK

A guide to farm recycling: the options and costs

Plastic usage is a hot topic globally, with all industries under pressure to reduce the amount used. On farms – particularly livestock units – large quantities of plastic are used…

Taking Stock

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TAKING STOCK

Spring dairy trade holding up well

Dairy trade has held up fairly well this spring, but buyers are being picky about what they spend their money on, with second-class heifers harder to place. Averages for freshly…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Mortality looks to be at 4-5% this lambing

We had lambed two-thirds of the ewes by the end of April. The Myomax gene-carrying lambs are all on the ground, along with the majority of the main flock. We…

TAKING STOCK

Live pigs go £20-£30 a head dearer

A welcome upturn in live fat pig values over the past month could not have come sooner, auctioneers say. Difficult trading conditions have plagued pig farmers this winter, with higher…

TAKING STOCK

Limousins sell to a high of 27,000gns at Carlisle

A firm trade for Limousin genetics was reported at Carlisle last weekend (3-4 May). Senior and intermediate bulls were dearer on the year, but overall averages were pulled down by…

Meat markets and prices

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MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Old season lamb prices fall as season end approaches

Old season lamb prices have declined sharply through the week as supplies of 2019-born lambs became more plentiful. Average liveweight prices across Great Britain fell below 200p/kg for the first…

BREXIT

Irish beef producers in line for £86m Brexit compensation

Irish beef farmers are set to benefit from a €100m (£86m) cash injection in the coming months, following approval in Brussels of a special aid package to compensate them for…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Lower beef production meets reduced demand

UK beef production is set to fall by 3.5% this year to 880,000t, and the herd will continue to contract, says AHDB Beef and Lamb. Calf registrations are predicted to…

LIVESTOCK

Video: Tough times for sheep farmers at Welshpool market

Last year was tough for sheep farmers and with the potential loss of EU markets and pressure from climate change lobbyists, this year looks set to be no easier. We…

SHEEP

AHDB launches £1.4m promotion to get lamb back on plates

The AHDB is set to launch a £1.4m marketing campaign about the benefits of lamb in a bid to support the sheep sector. Backed by the NFU, targeted promotions focusing…

TAKING STOCK

Live pigs go £20-£30 a head dearer

A welcome upturn in live fat pig values over the past month could not have come sooner, auctioneers say. Difficult trading conditions have plagued pig farmers this winter, with higher…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Slaughter dates adjusted after being docked 61p/kg

African swine fever continues to be a major problem in China, with the forecasts suggesting anywhere between a 10% and 30% drop in output.  AHDB analyst Felicity Rusk said Chinese…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Warm spring passes 6.5t/acre first-cut budget

What a great end to April and start of May it has been. The weather gods were on our side and we have managed to pump all the slurry, dredge…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Beef AI season in full swing in Kansas

May is one of my favourite months of the year in Kansas. We burn our pastures every year in this area and, as we’ve received good moisture, it is really…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Mortality looks to be at 4-5% this lambing

We had lambed two-thirds of the ewes by the end of April. The Myomax gene-carrying lambs are all on the ground, along with the majority of the main flock. We…

Dairy

DAIRY

Balmoral 2019: Holstein interbreed winners

Winning the champions of champions sash for the first time at Balmoral was Philip Jones of Hallow Holsteins. The Hallow Holsteins team made it a clean sweep in the breed…

TAKING STOCK

Spring dairy trade holding up well

Dairy trade has held up fairly well this spring, but buyers are being picky about what they spend their money on, with second-class heifers harder to place. Averages for freshly…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How farmer gets 11,000 litres from grazed Holstein herd

Wiltshire farmer Robert Mallett and his wife Maria are defying convention by producing nearly 11,000 litres of milk from their autumn-calving herd of grass-fed cows. Like most high-yielding herds, Mr…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

One-day conference to help farmers reduce the impact of TB

Tickets are now on sale for the TB Advisory Service’s inaugural conference at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, on Wednesday 26 June. During the one-day event, which is aimed at farmers…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Strategies to prevent heat stress in cattle

Record high temperatures last summer caught out livestock farmers in both indoor and outdoor systems, with cattle succumbing to debilitating heat stress. Tell-tail signs of heat stress are lethargy and…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How a Welsh dairy has slashed its antibiotics use

A dairy farm has slashed its antimicrobial use by nearly 30% through a combination of selective dry cow therapy (SDCT) and improved herd management, putting it in the top 25%…

DAIRY

New feed additive aims to cut heat stress in high-yielding cows

A newly developed feed additive can help protect dairy cows from heat stress and reduce performance losses in hot weather. Heat-stressed cows show fewer signs of oestrus and feed intakes…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

A guide to assessing and improving grassland drainage

Up to 70% of grassland farms could benefit from improved field drainage, according to Adas national specialist Kirk Hill. One in 10 pastures is severely compacted and soil moisture issues…

AWARDS

5 minutes with... Dairy Farmer of the Year James Tomlinson

It's been a whirlwind few months for the Farmers Weekly Award winners – 15 extraordinary farmers, advisers, contractors and farmworkers who last year received one of farming's highest accolades recognising…

DAIRY

How Hampshire dairy has climbed to top 5 for milk production

Consolidating cow numbers has helped one Hampshire herd shoot up 14 places in the NMR annual production report, to clinch fifth place. In what was a tough year for dairy…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Commercial herds driving surge in cattle health schemes

Cattle health scheme membership has risen by 30% among commercial herds as farmers bid to protect livestock and prevent costly disease. The increase was revealed in a survey of almost…

TECHNOLOGY

12 must-have phone apps for cattle farmers

With a wealth of data available in the beef sector, it can be hard to know which to focus on and the best way of recording/calculating it. Apps on a…

Livestock machinery

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GRASSLAND AND MAIZE

Scotgrass 2019: Merger, mower and forage wagon highlights

The Scotgrass site at Crichton near Dumfries was busy with the sounds of forage harvesters, tractors and loading shovels making light work of a healthy grass crop. We've picked out…

GRASSLAND AND MAIZE

Video: The best bits from Scotgrass 2019

Scotgrass 2019 took place at the Crichton Royal Trust in Dumfries last Wednesday (15 May) under some scorching mid-May sunshine. The triennial event was well attended despite there being plenty…

FORAGERS

Scotgrass 2019: The best of the foragers

The big foragers took to the grass at the triennial Scotgrass event near Dumfries, where punters got the chance to see machines from the likes of Fendt, New Holland, Claas,…

GRASSLAND

SRUC plays host to this year’s Scotgrass

The annual grassland event heads to its northerly venue this year, taking place in Dumfries on Wednesday 15 May. As with all outdoor grassland events, there will be a plethora…