Livestock top stories

SHEEP

How ewe liver tissue tests are helping to fine-tune rations

Taking liver biopsies from breeding ewes is helping Welsh sheep farmers to establish the mineral status of their flocks and fine-tune rations. Testing tissue samples from the livers of live…

BEEF

How and what to record to inform suckler cow culling

Every commercial farm has its own aims and parameters, but there are some key breeding goals and culling criteria to drive suckler herd performance and profit. This is according to…

TAKING STOCK

Market set for strong autumn calf sales

Suckler farmers are hoping for a very fast weaned calf trade this autumn, providing deadweight prices hold steady. Recent factory price drops have caused some pessimism this week and could…

LIVESTOCK

Scotland to end long journeys for live calf exports

Live calf exports that breach maximum permitted journey times from Scotland to Spain will no longer be accepted, the Scottish government has stated. Following a legal challenge by animal welfare…

SHEEP

How outcrossing achieved table-topping growth rates

Selecting leading proven terminal sires has resulted in lambs that finished 30 days faster on average for a Yorkshire sheep breeder. George Fell, who runs a flock of 500 Meatlinc…

Livestock news

BOVINE TB

Awards launched to recognise farmer efforts to tackle TB

The TB Advisory Service (TBAS) has launched an award to recognise farmers who work hard to protect their herds and reduce the risk of the disease. As well as the…

MEDICINES

Warning over long-term shortage of mastitis antibiotics

A shortage of two of the UK’s most popular antibiotic mastitis treatments is set to continue into 2021, veterinary experts have warned. The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) said issues that…

MEDICINES

Scottish sheep farmers asked to help with antibiotics survey

Scottish farmers and vets are being asked to take part in a survey that aims to establish the amount of antibiotics used in the sheep industry in Scotland. Last year,…

TAKING STOCK

'Working Genes’ sale sets record prices and averages

Records were sent tumbling at the "Working Genes" sale of Neil and Debbie McGowan Incheoch, Blairgowrie, as online bids secured functional forage-reared genetics. Trade was up £131 and £580 a…

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SHEEP

How to work out your flock’s trace element requirements

Trace elements are minerals such as copper, selenium, cobalt, iodine, manganese and zinc that are essential for life. Optimal flock performance depends on them being supplied correctly. But how do…

SHEEP

How ewe liver tissue tests are helping to fine-tune rations

Taking liver biopsies from breeding ewes is helping Welsh sheep farmers to establish the mineral status of their flocks and fine-tune rations. Testing tissue samples from the livers of live…

BEEF

How and what to record to inform suckler cow culling

Every commercial farm has its own aims and parameters, but there are some key breeding goals and culling criteria to drive suckler herd performance and profit. This is according to…

SHEEP

How outcrossing achieved table-topping growth rates

Selecting leading proven terminal sires has resulted in lambs that finished 30 days faster on average for a Yorkshire sheep breeder. George Fell, who runs a flock of 500 Meatlinc…

CALVING

How to manage and minimise difficult calvings in cows

The two main calving problems associated with cows are lack of uterine contractions and incorrect position of the calf. Through improved management and appropriate intervention, the negative impacts can be…

PIGS

Advice on setting up a new pig unit

Price swings are synonymous with the UK pig sector, but with the five-year outlook indicating promising times for the industry, pig production could be a viable option for some farming…

SHEEP

How sheep dairy new entrant has doubled size of flock

A new entrant to dairy sheep farming has doubled his flock size less than a year after buying his first ewes, amid strengthening demand for milk. Huw Jones secured a…

DAIRY

3 simple adjustments to improve cow health and yield

When George Allen took on the family’s Abbey Farm, in Whitchurch, last year, he was eager to put new ideas in place. But as a young farmer without much capital,…

SHEEP

Replacement options for flocks: breeding or buying

To maintain a healthy and productive flock, whether expanding or not, inevitably means you will need replacements each year. For some farmers, buying in will be the preferred option while…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How a three-way-cross beef cow is performing on Scottish farm

Introducing the Beef Shorthorn to a continental-cross (Limousin and Simmental cross) cow to create a three-way cross is helping improve the milkiness of the heifers on one Scottish beef farm.…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How grassland farmer hits heifer growth through silage alone

High-quality big bale silage is helping a Pembrokeshire grassland farmer maximise returns from his heifer rearing contract by achieving winter growth rates on forage only. Keith Williams reseeds all fields…

AWARDS

Farmers Weekly Awards: Sheep Farmer finalists 2020

An estate-type structure, a family farm and a farm share agreement make for a diverse final three in this year's Sheep Farmer of the Year award. However, all three businesses…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

10 things to consider when housing beef cattle this autumn

With a strong beef price expected to continue for the next few months, ensuring a smooth transition at housing will help make sure animal performance is maximised. Vet and integrated…

FEED AND NUTRITION

5 steps to make the most of maize in feed

Seven out of 10 livestock farmers are concerned about the possibility of tighter availability or higher prices for certain bought-in feeds this winter – based on factors of Covid-19 and…

PIGS

How staff training is benefiting performance on pig unit

A varied, extensive training programme has helped maintain and improve employee knowledge at one of the largest family-run pig genetics businesses, Rattlerow Farms. The programme has also improved staff motivation…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

4 plants poisonous to livestock: How to spot and deal with

Many poisonous plants are bitter and unpalatable while they are growing and will not be eaten by livestock under normal circumstances. Therefore, when plant ingestion and poisoning occur there is…

Taking Stock

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TAKING STOCK

Market set for strong autumn calf sales

Suckler farmers are hoping for a very fast weaned calf trade this autumn, providing deadweight prices hold steady. Recent factory price drops have caused some pessimism this week and could…

TAKING STOCK

'Working Genes’ sale sets record prices and averages

Records were sent tumbling at the "Working Genes" sale of Neil and Debbie McGowan Incheoch, Blairgowrie, as online bids secured functional forage-reared genetics. Trade was up £131 and £580 a…

TAKING STOCK

Ram trade blows hot and cold without Kelso

Commercial terminal sire trade has been difficult to call as unprecedented market conditions continue into the autumn. With no Kelso ram sales – when more than 5,000 rams can be…

TAKING STOCK

Fears grow over future of Carmarthen livestock market

Concerns are growing for the future of Carmarthen livestock market, with farmers reporting they have not been paid for stock sold there up to eight weeks ago. Bob Jones, Prytherch…

Meat markets and prices

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TAKING STOCK

Market set for strong autumn calf sales

Suckler farmers are hoping for a very fast weaned calf trade this autumn, providing deadweight prices hold steady. Recent factory price drops have caused some pessimism this week and could…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Wholesaler says relabelling of Uruguayan beef 'human error'

Food wholesaler Bookers has come under pressure from British beef producers after the company admitted relabelling meat from Uruguay. National Beef Association interim chief executive Neil Shand has called for…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Sow prices tumble in response to German ASF outbreak

An outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in Germany has resulted in a sharp fall in British cull sow prices as key buyers such as China, Japan and South Korea…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Delay in ‘third country’ status threatens meat exports to EU

A delay in securing “third country” status with the EU is putting the UK's £175m-a-month meat export market at risk, meat trade representatives have warned. To continue selling meat, live…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

US to import British beef for first time in 24 years

Shipments of beef will be heading to the US for the first time in more than 20 years after three processing sites were this week given the go-head to export.…

TAKING STOCK

Ram trade blows hot and cold without Kelso

Commercial terminal sire trade has been difficult to call as unprecedented market conditions continue into the autumn. With no Kelso ram sales – when more than 5,000 rams can be…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Silly sale prices look like we need no help

Maize came off on September 10 with a very heavy crop in three out of four fields at about 49t/ha. The smallest field suffered as it got unrotted muck from…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Feed cost increase equates to £50,000 a year

I feel like we are entering a period of some uncertainty and worry. I mentioned last month that feed prices had risen. This is by £18.50/tonne, as fed, on the…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Injury highlights cost of US health insurance

It has been a rough week on the ranch for me. We had been rolling along fairly smoothly. Fall (autumn) calving had started, we had started weaning spring calves and…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Flood defence proposals threaten a huge area

September has arrived already and in a flash the nights are drawing in and we are gearing ourselves up for winter. We had our standard August scare a few weeks ago…

Dairy

LIVESTOCK

Scotland to end long journeys for live calf exports

Live calf exports that breach maximum permitted journey times from Scotland to Spain will no longer be accepted, the Scottish government has stated. Following a legal challenge by animal welfare…

BOVINE TB

Awards launched to recognise farmer efforts to tackle TB

The TB Advisory Service (TBAS) has launched an award to recognise farmers who work hard to protect their herds and reduce the risk of the disease. As well as the…

CALVING

How to manage and minimise difficult calvings in cows

The two main calving problems associated with cows are lack of uterine contractions and incorrect position of the calf. Through improved management and appropriate intervention, the negative impacts can be…

MEDICINES

Warning over long-term shortage of mastitis antibiotics

A shortage of two of the UK’s most popular antibiotic mastitis treatments is set to continue into 2021, veterinary experts have warned. The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) said issues that…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Silage analysis shows good crops with lower protein

Protein is down on the year slightly, according to the analysis of 6,495 first- and second-cut silage samples by Trouw Nutrition GB. Both crops are dry at 35-36.5% dry matter…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Gene-edited livestock ‘surrogate sires’ created

Scientists have produced gene-edited livestock using a technique which they say could lead to healthier animals and more sustainable meat production. The researchers from universities in the UK and the…

SHEEP

How sheep dairy new entrant has doubled size of flock

A new entrant to dairy sheep farming has doubled his flock size less than a year after buying his first ewes, amid strengthening demand for milk. Huw Jones secured a…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Maize Watch: Checks necessary as maturity races ahead

Growers are being advised to check their maize fields twice a week as maturity races ahead. The recent drier weather and autumn breezes have pushed maize maturity forward as the…

DAIRY

3 simple adjustments to improve cow health and yield

When George Allen took on the family’s Abbey Farm, in Whitchurch, last year, he was eager to put new ideas in place. But as a young farmer without much capital,…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Fatty acid study shows ‘carry-over’ effect in fresh cows

Evidence is strengthening that daily milk yields from fresh cows supplemented with fatty acids remain elevated in the peak period after fat supplementation has been withdrawn. This is according to…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Sexed semen sales soar as farmers address bull calf issue

For the first time farmers are buying more sexed dairy semen than conventional semen, according to a recent AHDB survey of breeding companies. In the 12 months to March 2020,…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Maize Watch: Warmer weather maturing crops nicely

As maize maturity is progressing with the current warmer weather, farmers need to prepare their harvest plan and check crops regularly, so they can cut at optimum dry matter. “In…

Livestock machinery

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BALERS AND WRAPPERS

Krone releases new tedders, round and square balers

A redesigned nine-model range of Vendro tedders has been added to Krone’s grassland kit list and replaces the KW models. The Vendro machines are attached via a three-point linkage and…

BALERS AND WRAPPERS

Krone adds bale wrapper to grassland portfolio

Krone has bolstered its line of grassland kit with the launch of a three-point mounted wrapper for farmers who found its baler/wrapper combo to heavy and expensive. The Easy Wrap…

TELEHANDLERS

Video: Fendt's debut Cargo T955 telehandler on test

Not since the launch of JCB’s mid-engined, four-wheel steering Loadalls over 30 years ago has a telehandler defied convention quite like Fendt’s debut Cargo T955. Its hulking frame, high boom…

FORAGE WAGONS

New top-spec Magnon forage wagon joins Strautmann range

Strautmann’s new top-of-the-range Magnon CFS is now available in the UK following its European launch late last year. The forage wagons feature a redesigned oil-powered pick-up where steel tines have…