Livestock top stories

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How a Lleyn breeder increased lamb cheque by £5.50 a lamb

Worcestershire farmers Marcus and Kathryn Bullock and their daughter Kate have seen a 2kg lift in scanning weights in the last 10 years and a 10% increase in lambs born…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Winter and drought leave me short of fodder

I have never been so short of fodder as I have been in the last 12 months. This winter I lost most of my kale crops and while we had…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Latest RamCompare results reveal new leading tup

With results from two breeding seasons now collated, the recent RamCompare analysis shows a slight repositioning of the top rams. Since November 2017, the data set has been updated to…

LIVESTOCK

Free sheep flock antibiotics calculator released

A practical tool for calculating flock-level antibiotics use has been launched for sheep farmers. The University of Nottingham Sheep Antimicrobial Usage Calculator is an online programme aiming to measure antibiotics…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice for flushing ewes with low body condition score

Sheep farmers are advised to assess ewe body condition now and act to rectify any with a score lower than 3, after initial results from AHDB project flocks revealed a…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Poll: Vet involvement needed to progress BVDFree England

The campaign to rid English cattle of bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) is failing to make target enrolment figures and will require farmers to work with vets in a Defra-funded programme…

Livestock news

TAKING STOCK

Muslim festival lifts demand for older lambs

Lamb prices were stoked by 10-15p/kg this week as some producers saw lambs fitting Qurbani specification make more than £2/kg. A somewhat disappointing July lamb trade has been improved by…

ENVIRONMENT

Cut ammonia emissions to avert regulation, farmers urged

Farmers are being urged to reduce ammonia emissions from agriculture in an effort to stave off more regulation to improve air quality. The NFU called for a joined-up approach between…

BOVINE TB

Fears of fox hounds spreading TB played down by farmers

Farmers and huntsmen have played down fears packs of hounds could be contributing to the spread of bovine TB, following the publication of a study into an outbreak of the…

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BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How a Lleyn breeder increased lamb cheque by £5.50 a lamb

Worcestershire farmers Marcus and Kathryn Bullock and their daughter Kate have seen a 2kg lift in scanning weights in the last 10 years and a 10% increase in lambs born…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Tips on designing races and handling cattle

Well-designed handling facilities provide a safe working environment on beef farms but infrastructure alone won’t make routine tasks easier and quicker for cattle and people. Livestock handling expert Miriam Parker…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice for flushing ewes with low body condition score

Sheep farmers are advised to assess ewe body condition now and act to rectify any with a score lower than 3, after initial results from AHDB project flocks revealed a…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Why it is important to invest in grassland in a drought

The dry conditions farmers have experienced this summer bring into focus the value of the grass grown on farm for both grazing and silage. All dairy systems are dependent on…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Alternative forage options for dairy cows this winter

Dairy farmers facing a shortfall in forage need to react now and secure feed with prices and supplies of alternative feed options expected to worsen. Already feed prices have gone…

DAIRY

FW Awards 2018: Dairy Farmer of the Year finalists

The three finalists in the Dairy Farmer of the Year category all run efficient, productive and profitable dairy businesses. These farms are well set up to tackle the challenges of…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How to combat heat stress in cattle to protect fertility

The hot and dry summer is making fertility more challenging, with food shortages and animals more likely to suffer from heat stress. In the latest edition of Fertility Focus, Ricardo…

ASSESSING PERFORMANCE

AHDB chair shares his low cost suckler and sheep systems

Simple and low-cost farming is the mantra of Warwickshire sheep and beef farmer Adam Quinney, the AHDB Beef & Lamb chair, who is seeing gross margins of £450/ha on cattle…

DAIRY

How a new entrant has set up his own dairy from scratch

After 17 years of grit and determination, at the age of 30, Nick Cavill has achieved his ultimate goal of running his own dairy. In March, 120 cross-bred heifers calved-in…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Advice on sourcing alternative bedding options this winter

Straw prices have risen 20-50% on the year as drought has hit cereal yields.  Farming unions have urged arable farmers to bale as much straw as possible to address supply…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice for alternatives as sodium bicarb supplies tighten

Farmers are being urged to look into sourcing alternatives to sodium bicarbonate, with shortages in supply pushing prices of the product up by £80/t to £300/t. Carbon dioxide is an…

CRIME

How technology is helping farmers curb sheep thefts

Sheep theft cost the UK £2.4m last year, according to latest figures from NFU Mutual, with livestock one of the biggest targets after machinery, tools and vehicle thefts. Now, a…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How an Irish dairy farmer is achieving 29% return on capital

Using more than 12t DM/ha of grass in a simple system that only requires 1.25 labour units is helping spring-block calver David Kerr see a 29% return on capital. Critical…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How to minimise maize losses as feed supplies tighten

With many livestock farms facing the prospect of grass silage shortages this winter as a result of the drought, farmers are being urged to minimise maize losses. About 20% of…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice for managing forage supplies in a drought

Farmers are heading for a prolonged drought and forage supplies are drying up. The most important objective in a prolonged summer drought after a long winter is to secure additional…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How a hill farm's rotational grazing increased liveweight

A livestock farmer who adopted a rotational grazing system to fatten lambs has finished 8% more to market specification and increased liveweight per lamb by an average of 1.5kg. Rhun…

Taking Stock

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TAKING STOCK

Muslim festival lifts demand for older lambs

Lamb prices were stoked by 10-15p/kg this week as some producers saw lambs fitting Qurbani specification make more than £2/kg. A somewhat disappointing July lamb trade has been improved by…

TAKING STOCK

Holstein dispersal sees 10 make 2,000gns or more

Drought and winter feed worries meant trade was restrained on older cows or cows with faults, but a well-attended on-farm sale saw 10 cows make more than 2,000gns and a…

TAKING STOCK

Thame averages slide £12.50 as drought affects buying

Grazing concerns and a drop in ewe condition were the main drought-related factors that restrained prices at Thame last week (2-3 August) as 25,821 sheep went under the hammer. Averages…

TAKING STOCK

Early store lambs back, but trade strong for short-keeps

Opening store lamb sales have understandably seen prices back on the year after the driest summer for a generation has left buyers cautious. Some centres have been pleasantly surprised by…

Meat markets and prices

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MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Improved demand provokes sharp lamb price increase

Lamb finishers have been rewarded this week for responding to increased demand by seeing sharply higher prices despite larger numbers arriving at market. Buyers have been keen to cover orders…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Taiwan opens doors to British pork exports

Taiwan will open up to British pork exports for the first time in the next few months. Imports to this market are growing rapidly, rising by 26% last year to…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Cull cow prices in steep decline as supplies rise

Weakening demand for red meat combined with ample cattle for slaughter has left the GB cull cattle price nosediving in recent weeks. The average price fell by 8p/kg lw in…

TAKING STOCK

Early store lambs back, but trade strong for short-keeps

Opening store lamb sales have understandably seen prices back on the year after the driest summer for a generation has left buyers cautious. Some centres have been pleasantly surprised by…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Analysis: Why is the red meat sector consolidating?

With the closure of the 2 Sisters deal, 60% of cattle slaughtered in the UK and Ireland will be handled by just three companies – ABP, Dawn Meats and Kepak.…

MARKETS AND TRENDS

2 Sisters sells red meat business to Irish firm

One of the UK’s biggest meat processors has been sold to an Irish firm for an undisclosed sum. 2 Sisters Red Meat, part of Boparan Holdings, has been acquired with…

Livestock community

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FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Winter and drought leave me short of fodder

I have never been so short of fodder as I have been in the last 12 months. This winter I lost most of my kale crops and while we had…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Best to ask around before starting deer farming

We are pleased to say our second son George has arrived safe and well whilst in the car on the way to Exeter hospital at traffic lights. I was still…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Lessons learned after change of milk powder

Last month we were getting more nervous by the day about the lack of moisture and therefore lack of available forage for both grazing and cropping. Since then, fortunately, we've…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Feed price has me sweating

It has taken me a little longer to write this month's article, mainly due to the stag do trip to Cologne in Germany last weekend. It more than lived up…

Dairy

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Poll: Vet involvement needed to progress BVDFree England

The campaign to rid English cattle of bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) is failing to make target enrolment figures and will require farmers to work with vets in a Defra-funded programme…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Why it is important to invest in grassland in a drought

The dry conditions farmers have experienced this summer bring into focus the value of the grass grown on farm for both grazing and silage. All dairy systems are dependent on…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Alternative forage options for dairy cows this winter

Dairy farmers facing a shortfall in forage need to react now and secure feed with prices and supplies of alternative feed options expected to worsen. Already feed prices have gone…

DAIRY

FW Awards 2018: Dairy Farmer of the Year finalists

The three finalists in the Dairy Farmer of the Year category all run efficient, productive and profitable dairy businesses. These farms are well set up to tackle the challenges of…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How to combat heat stress in cattle to protect fertility

The hot and dry summer is making fertility more challenging, with food shortages and animals more likely to suffer from heat stress. In the latest edition of Fertility Focus, Ricardo…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Feed price has me sweating

It has taken me a little longer to write this month's article, mainly due to the stag do trip to Cologne in Germany last weekend. It more than lived up…

TAKING STOCK

Holstein dispersal sees 10 make 2,000gns or more

Drought and winter feed worries meant trade was restrained on older cows or cows with faults, but a well-attended on-farm sale saw 10 cows make more than 2,000gns and a…

DAIRY

How a new entrant has set up his own dairy from scratch

After 17 years of grit and determination, at the age of 30, Nick Cavill has achieved his ultimate goal of running his own dairy. In March, 120 cross-bred heifers calved-in…

WEATHER

Video: Drought-hit dairy farmers determined not to sell cows

Two Anglesey dairy farmers who have been among the hardest-hit by the drought are determined to spend their way out of trouble instead of selling cattle. Business partners Johnjo Roberts…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Latest dairy bull rankings feature new and revised indexes

The sire rankings, published by AHDB on 7 August, show some firm front-runners who have retained their positions and feature the new autumn-calving index (£ACI) for the first time. As…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice for alternatives as sodium bicarb supplies tighten

Farmers are being urged to look into sourcing alternatives to sodium bicarbonate, with shortages in supply pushing prices of the product up by £80/t to £300/t. Carbon dioxide is an…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

New pneumonia vaccine available for calves

Animal health company Boehringer Ingelheim has launched an intranasal vaccine for calves. Bovalto Respi Intranasal protects against the two main respiratory viruses – RSV and PI3. The vaccine triggers mucosal…

Livestock machinery

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TELEHANDLERS

Bobcat launches flagship loader

North American firm Bobcat has launched a top-of-the-range loader offering a maximum lift of 4,300kg, reaching to nearly 8m. The TL 43.80 HF uses a Z-bar linkage offering a tilt…

GRASSLAND AND MAIZE

Bluetooth Platemeter gives instant grass results

A bright-orange Platemeter was launched at the Royal Welsh Show last week and claims to be the most advanced unit of its type in the world by using Bluetooth to…

MOWERS

Video: US farmer smashes eight-hour world mowing record

A Colorado-based farmer has smashed the world record for grass cut in an eight-hour period. Tate Mesbergen from Mesbergen Farms, Greely, Colorado, set about the challenge on 1 July and…

TEDDERS

Pronar tedder offers weapon in weed battle

Polish company Pronar has launched a rotary tedder, which along with its typical grassland uses, can also help arable farmers destroy weeds and crops on stubble land that have emerged…