Livestock top stories

TAKING STOCK

Cull cows cheaper as processors take more

A surge in cull cow volumes passing through processors has led to a price drop as farms take a ‘no passengers’ approach before heading into winter. Weekly deadweight throughputs are…

SLURRY AND MANURE MANAGEMENT

Welsh farmers face tougher rules to tackle water pollution

Farmers in Wales face tougher new rules aimed at tackling incidents of diffuse water pollution. The Welsh government announced on Wednesday (14 November) that regulations covering the whole of Wales…

SHEEP

Sheep industry to save £24m after carcass-splitting rule change

Sheep producers can look forward to a simpler system of ageing their lambs next year, saving time and money, after a decision by Defra to end the practice of “mouthing”…

PIGS

What tougher tail docking inspections mean for pig farmers

Tail biting in pigs is a welfare issue that causes pain, possible infection and loss of performance. For this reason, although tail docking is not legally permitted in the UK…

PIGS

Inspectors set to clamp down on routine pig tail docking

Stricter inspections to monitor the tail docking of pigs is thought to be coming into force in January 2019 after a number of producers have been penalised during routine cross-compliance…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

Everything you need to know about automatic calf feeders

Many dairy farmers and calf rearers are moving to automatic milk feeders to reduce labour input. We look at what kind of management they require, how to get the best…

Livestock news

LIVESTOCK

NI farmer fined for BVD-related movement offences

A livestock farmer in Northern Ireland has been fined £750 for breaching cattle movement rules aimed at preventing the spread of bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD). Noel Henry Thornton, from Cam…

ENVIRONMENT

Cut livestock numbers to combat climate change, says committee

Reducing UK livestock numbers would free up grassland that could be used to combat climate change, say government advisors. But the NFU says the proposal is disappointing and fails to…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Liveweight lamb prices increase for two weeks on the spin

Liveweight lamb prices increased for the second consecutive week for the seven days ending 7 November. The GB liveweight NSL SQQ increased by 2.46p to 169.57p/kg, building on a 2.9p…

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LIVESTOCK

How intensive grazing system brings resilience to uplands

As stewards for much of Britain’s most marginal land but also its most iconic landscapes, upland farmers are both the most vulnerable to Brexit and the great hope for delivering…

PIGS

What tougher tail docking inspections mean for pig farmers

Tail biting in pigs is a welfare issue that causes pain, possible infection and loss of performance. For this reason, although tail docking is not legally permitted in the UK…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

Everything you need to know about automatic calf feeders

Many dairy farmers and calf rearers are moving to automatic milk feeders to reduce labour input. We look at what kind of management they require, how to get the best…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on feeding pregnant ewes when winter fodder low

When there is pressure on flocks from a limited grazing season and subsequent winter fodder deficits, planning the feeding and management of pregnant ewes is more critical than ever during…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

6 tips if vaccinating your flock for orf

Vaccinating sheep for orf can be an important step in addressing the costly condition in flocks, but care needs to be taken when using the vaccine, experts warn. The orf…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on feeding this year's maize as stocks look tight

Initial samples show maize quality looks good, despite the unprecedented growing season during which crops were planted late and had to cope with drought conditions in the summer. Results of…

SHEEP

How a farmer is improving growth and conformation of sheep

The Cernyw flock of performance-recorded Bluefaced Leicesters is lifting Mule sale weights for its ram buyers by placing a strong emphasis on performance recording and ramping up its ram genetic…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How a Hereford breeder is increasing cow efficiency

A Scottish Borders farming family has seen a 15% increase in the number of cows weaning 50% of their weight in the past 10 years. ­­­­ The Wilson family of…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How new entrants raised pig conception and weaning weights

Simple tips learned through a training course have enabled one pig farming couple to boost sow conception rates, raise weaning weights and cut finishing times by 10 days a pig.…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Fertility advice for autumn-calving dairy herds

Practising farm vet Dave Gilbert, who has 13 years’ experience working with block-calving herds, says the first steps are working out when you want to start, how long you want…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

4 tips to fight parasites in housed cattle this winter

Housing represents an effective time to control parasites picked up at pasture through the grazing season, according to animal health experts. Growth rates and feed efficiency can benefit by treating…

COMPLIANCE

3 steps to avoid sheep cross-compliance blunders

Many farmers are still making sheep identification and record-keeping errors, according to latest Defra figures. Cross-compliance is a set of rules made up of Statutory Management Requirements (SMR) that must…

LIVESTOCK

How to deal with animal activists and difficult neighbours

The farming industry is finding itself at the sharp end of negative publicity. Orchestrated campaigns by the animal rights lobby, social media activists and even disgruntled neighbours are becoming more…

ENVIRONMENTAL SCHEMES

How a salt marsh helped save Cumbrian estate

Giles Mounsey-Heysham credits the salt marsh for saving Castletown Estate, his family’s 1,862ha property at Rockcliffe in Cumbria. He began running the estate with its huge debts 50 years ago…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How beef farmer is achieving gross margin of £370 a cow

Running a profitable, low-cost suckler beef business is no mean feat, with AHDB Farmbench figures suggesting the middle 50% of producers are making a gross profit per cow put to…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How a dairy farmer has integrated robots and grazing cows

Installing a milking robot has freed up time for the Norton family to get better at grazing management and to design a system that maximises milk from forage on their…

Taking Stock

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TAKING STOCK

Cull cows cheaper as processors take more

A surge in cull cow volumes passing through processors has led to a price drop as farms take a ‘no passengers’ approach before heading into winter. Weekly deadweight throughputs are…

TAKING STOCK

Suffolk in-lamb females to 7,000gns at Carlisle

Elite Suffolk females from 12 flocks went under the hammer at Borderway market, Carlisle, on Friday (9 November), producing a top call of 7,000gns. Topping trade was an Irish gimmer…

TAKING STOCK

Beautry herd smashes Skipton Shorthorn record

Stuart and Gail Currie’s Beautry herd topped the North of England Beef Shorthorn Club’s ninth annual show and sale at Skipton, with a centre record call of 11,000gns last week…

TAKING STOCK

Short-keep store lambs on par with last year

Wetter weather and a mild autumn have combined to provide ample late grazing for store lamb buyers and some good root crops on which to finish stock, which has helped…

Meat markets and prices

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MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Liveweight lamb prices increase for two weeks on the spin

Liveweight lamb prices increased for the second consecutive week for the seven days ending 7 November. The GB liveweight NSL SQQ increased by 2.46p to 169.57p/kg, building on a 2.9p…

BREXIT

Eustice fails to give guarantees about chlorinated chicken

Defra farm minister George Eustice has said it would be wrong to open UK markets up to foreign food imports produced to lower standards after Brexit – but he can’t…

LIVESTOCK

Farmers reject demands for a 14% tax on red meat

Industry leaders must do more to counter calls for a new tax on red meat and processed meat, say livestock producers. Such a tax would save 6,000 UK lives every year,…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Abattoir staff shortages threaten Christmas sales

Soaring staff shortages have left about 10,000 posts unfilled at major slaughterhouses, meaning they will “seriously struggle” to fulfil supermarket orders during the Christmas period, an industry leader has warned.…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Christmas demand set to increase fat cattle prices

Fat cattle producers are likely to see beef prices rise in the next few weeks as the effect of Christmas causes demand to increase, auctioneers have said. Average prices have…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Producers urged to consider pig B&B to cut losses

As pig producer losses mount, more should consider contract finishing to cut their risk, advises east Anglian consultant Jamie Gwatkin. There is demand for new bed-and-breakfast finishing sites, and for…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: We must keep finding a gap in the market

I can’t say I’m a fan of the cold, dark months, but there is most definitely a positive effect on the shop trade. Sales of mince and dicing and roasting…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: This is what I'd do if I had a role in Brexit

I am becoming increasingly concerned by the dreaded Brexit carry-on. It’s been one big mess from the start. The EU was to blame initially for not giving David Cameron something…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: We must work for a future for bull calves

The calf export business has been in the press in the past few months. This has been a lifesaver for many dairy bull calves. However, one unfortunate farmer I know…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Let's respond to 'farmer bashing' with science

When I first started contributing to this column, a good friend told me to stay away from politics and stick to writing about the farm. Good advice, which I have…

Dairy

LIVESTOCK

NI farmer fined for BVD-related movement offences

A livestock farmer in Northern Ireland has been fined £750 for breaching cattle movement rules aimed at preventing the spread of bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD). Noel Henry Thornton, from Cam…

PIGS

Inspectors set to clamp down on routine pig tail docking

Stricter inspections to monitor the tail docking of pigs is thought to be coming into force in January 2019 after a number of producers have been penalised during routine cross-compliance…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

Everything you need to know about automatic calf feeders

Many dairy farmers and calf rearers are moving to automatic milk feeders to reduce labour input. We look at what kind of management they require, how to get the best…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on feeding this year's maize as stocks look tight

Initial samples show maize quality looks good, despite the unprecedented growing season during which crops were planted late and had to cope with drought conditions in the summer. Results of…

LIVESTOCK

Vets report explosion of lungworm cases in cattle

Vets are reporting unprecedented levels of clinical lungworm in cattle for this time of year. Late autumn is not commonly associated with clinical infection in cattle, but vets say the…

DAIRY

Holstein club overcome TB restrictions with on-farm showing

A once-dwindling regional Holstein show has been invigorated by a ground-breaking move to judge cattle at home in their working clothes. The Cornish Holstein Club’s inaugural on-farm challenge replaced its…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Fertility advice for autumn-calving dairy herds

Practising farm vet Dave Gilbert, who has 13 years’ experience working with block-calving herds, says the first steps are working out when you want to start, how long you want…

COMPLIANCE

Red Tractor's new inspection regime - what you need to know

Red Tractor is increasing the number of unannounced inspections on farms that fall short of its standards, using a new risk-based inspection regime which will start in November 2018.  Currently…

LIVESTOCK

How to deal with animal activists and difficult neighbours

The farming industry is finding itself at the sharp end of negative publicity. Orchestrated campaigns by the animal rights lobby, social media activists and even disgruntled neighbours are becoming more…

DAIRY

Grass-fed cows produce superior milk, research shows

Milk from cows fed a pasture-based diet is higher in fat, protein and tastes better than milk from cows fed a total mixed ration, according to Irish research. Ireland's grass-fed…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Vet viewpoint: Don't delay routine cattle treatments at housing

As the cooler nights take hold farmers are being advised not to put off worming cattle to prevent lungworm from taking hold.  In the November issue of Vet Viewpoint vets…

DAIRY

Applications open for free dairy herd health support in Wales

Dairy farmers in Wales are being invited to apply for financial and technical support to improve herd health management and disease control, as part of the Dairy Improvement Programme. AHDB…

Livestock machinery

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DIET FEEDERS

Tips for buying a second-hand tub feeder wagon

Livestock farmers might be notorious for their aversion to machinery maintenance, but that’s no reason to completely disregard the chance to snap up an older feeder wagon on the cheap.…

TELEHANDLERS

Revolutionary steering slashes turning circle

In what must be one of the first loaders in the world to be steered by two separate methods, German maker Thaler has released its 3248T-5A loader, which has both…

TELEHANDLERS

Cat launches new M-series handler range

American giant Cat has launched three new handlers, designed specifically for the agricultural sector. The new M-series models feature a Cat 3.4-litre engine which develops 68hp and runs through a…

BALERS AND WRAPPERS

Ultimate guide to buying a big square baler

With contractors and larger arable units increasingly turning to big square balers for both grass and straw, technology is playing a role in helping operators get maximum performance from their…