Livestock top stories

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Hoping for good scanning despite wet autumn

We are getting 650 ewe lambs ready for tupping. They are all bolused and eating stubble turnips, so we are hoping for a great scanning. The ewes are also in…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Ewe nutrition requirements through the production year

Getting ewe nutrition right is not only critical to the health of the ewe and her lambs, both present and future, it is also pivotal when it comes to profitability.…

TAKING STOCK

Charollais flock breaks two breed records

Two record-breaking prices were set for the Charollais breed at the Tullyear production sale at Beattie Livestock Yard, Omagh, last week (14 November). A two-shear ewe was the first of…

DAIRY

7 reasons mastitis is more challenging in automatic milking

Automatic milking systems are growing in popularity due to the lifestyle benefits they afford farmers. But independent research shows udder health can deteriorate when farms transition from conventional milking systems…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How Welsh sheep producers are improving hill genetics

Welsh Mountain sheep producers from across Wales have joined forces to raise the commercial standard of regional types of hill sheep. The ProHill producer group is the biggest collaborative breeding…

Livestock news

TAKING STOCK

Flying trade sees milkers 11% dearer on the year

Tight supplies and strong demand have forced flying herds to dig deep for replacements this autumn, making commercial fresh heifers more than £160 a head dearer on the year. This…

BOVINE TB

Bought-in cattle linked to TB cases in low-risk Wales

Cattle movements are being directly blamed for a record surge in cases of bovine TB in a region of Wales considered a low infection risk. The Low TB Area (LTBA)…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Sales of ‘highest priority’ farm antibiotics down

UK sales for farm animals of the highest-priority critically important antibiotics (HP-CIAs) have seen further falls, thanks to major efforts by the industry to curb antibiotics use to tackle resistance.…

MEDICINES

New farm animal antibiotics use targets set for 2024

New targets for antibiotics use in agriculture have been set by a group of farmers and vets alongside the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (Ruma) Alliance, and an online…

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BEEF

On-farm project shows cost benefits of home-rearing bull beef

Home-rearing bull beef on ad-lib concentrates and straw has worked out marginally cheaper for a Welsh suckler enterprise than outsourcing the job to a finishing unit. The Griffith family run…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Ewe nutrition requirements through the production year

Getting ewe nutrition right is not only critical to the health of the ewe and her lambs, both present and future, it is also pivotal when it comes to profitability.…

DAIRY

7 reasons mastitis is more challenging in automatic milking

Automatic milking systems are growing in popularity due to the lifestyle benefits they afford farmers. But independent research shows udder health can deteriorate when farms transition from conventional milking systems…

FEED AND NUTRITION

5 warning signs of mycotoxin contamination in feed

Farmers are being warned to keep their eyes peeled for signs of contamination in feed after sampling has shown high mycotoxin risk levels. UK-wide sampling carried out by Alltech has…

DAIRY

Dairy financial KPIs: What they mean and when to use them

Every business should know financial measures so they can understand and benchmark business performance.  Oliver Hall and Jake Armstrong-Frost, consultants from The Andersons Centre, take us through the main ones…

DAIRY

Gold Cup winners 2003: Where are they now?

The Sanders family have completely overhauled their business since winning the NMR/RABDF Gold Cup. The family, famed for turning out 120 cows with a 100t lifetime production – the most…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How a dairy farm lifted pregnancy to 31.5% through nutrition

Aberystwyth University’s farm manager Stephen Jones has increased pregnancy rates from 20.8% to 31.5% by improving forage quality and dry matter (DM) intakes. At the same time, he has reduced…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Benefits and considerations when feeding youngstock molasses

Strategic feeding during identified phases of heifer growth can be useful to get heifers to target weight at breeding and liquid feeds such as molasses can play a role in…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How a grazing and stocking overhaul reduced sheep costs

Lambs are finishing earlier on a diet of grass and red clover since a Ceredigion sheep farm swapped set stocking and creep feeding for paddock grazing. The Davies family sold…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on dealing with dairy feed refusals

Managing feed refusals is a careful balancing act between providing enough feed to maximise intakes and minimising waste at the trough. Independent nutritionist Mark Price of Dairy Diagnosis gives advice…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

A step-by-step guide to pig heats and insemination

The performance of a breeding herd can be assessed in many ways – be it pigs born alive, pigs weaned, or litter weight weaned. But whatever the metric, that level…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Lincs flock makes five tweaks for ewe lamb success

Upping ram power and moving lambs back on to grass at scanning are some of the adjustments a Lincolnshire farm hopes will make breeding ewe lambs successful. This autumn will…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Johne’s in cattle: How to prevent and manage the disease

Johne’s disease is a chronic disease that causes cattle to waste and die, typically from the ages of three to five years old. Once an animal contracts Johne’s, treatment is…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Warts on cow teats: Cause, prevention and treatment

Warts on cow teats are unsightly and they can impact negatively on herd health and performance, growing in size and number to a point where they prevent a cluster sealing…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

3 steps to reduce mastitis risk in dairy cows at housing

Winter housing can increase mastitis by heightening the risk of environmental infections. Vet James Breen explains what data to monitor and measure, what targets to aim for and how to…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Weighing and herbal ley helps farm solve poor lamb growth

Weighing lambs more frequently and trialling a herbal ley has helped a farm identify a shortfall in iodine. Richard and Laila Carruthers of Rawfoot Farm, Shap, Cumbria, were disappointed by…

Taking Stock

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TAKING STOCK

Charollais flock breaks two breed records

Two record-breaking prices were set for the Charollais breed at the Tullyear production sale at Beattie Livestock Yard, Omagh, last week (14 November). A two-shear ewe was the first of…

TAKING STOCK

Flying trade sees milkers 11% dearer on the year

Tight supplies and strong demand have forced flying herds to dig deep for replacements this autumn, making commercial fresh heifers more than £160 a head dearer on the year. This…

TAKING STOCK

Heavy lambs lose £5-£10 as lockdown 2 hits

Catering outlet closures hit heavy lamb prices at the start of the week as the sheep sector faced a second national lockdown and market disruption. Monday’s heavy lamb values slipped…

TAKING STOCK

Abbott Pledge tops Davlea Sale at 6,500gns

Feverish online bidding secured an average of 1,753gns at the Davlea production sale at Exeter on Monday (2 November), on behalf of Max Davies and family from Somerset, with almost…

Meat markets and prices

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MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Lamb trade hits two-month high as sale numbers dip

Dwindling numbers of fat lambs helped to propel prices almost 5p/kg higher in the past week in the liveweight ring.  The average price for SQQ lambs – those weighing between…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Coronavirus: Beef imports figures show sharp rise

Beef imports have risen sharply since the summer as restrictions imposed during the first UK Covid-19 lockdown were relaxed. Figures released by the AHDB show imports reached 26,200t in September…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Covid-19 pandemic hits Scotch beef and lamb exports

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the value of Scottish beef and lamb exports, which fell from £82m to £75.5m in the year to the end of July 2020. Quality Meat…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Red meat levies to be returned to home nations from 2021

Scotland and Wales will each receive an estimated £1m/year in red meat levy money currently being collected by English abattoirs, starting from April 2021. The passing of the Agriculture Act…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Pig prices slip again as ASF spreads in German wild boar

Pig prices have dipped below year earlier levels for the second consecutive week as African Swine Fever (ASF) cases in wild boar continue to spread in Germany. For the week…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Covid-19 forces closure of Welshpool market

Welshpool Livestock Market will close next week after an outbreak of coronavirus among members of staff. The Powys market, which regularly sees the largest weekly sale of fat lambs in…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Hoping for good scanning despite wet autumn

We are getting 650 ewe lambs ready for tupping. They are all bolused and eating stubble turnips, so we are hoping for a great scanning. The ewes are also in…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Glad I said yes to social media

We’ve had an extra pair of hands on the farm recently. Ginge is an ex-employee who had been youthfully travelling the world until being forced to return home as a…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Land and bull buying gives welcome Covid respite

A trip to the Stirling Bull Sales in October was the first time I had been away from Orkney since we went into lockdown in March. Since 2015, I have…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Managing pasture to dry off herd

The two biggest factors that come into play in November are farm cover and weather. Managing average farm cover around the deluges is a delicate dance that requires planning and…

Dairy

DAIRY

7 reasons mastitis is more challenging in automatic milking

Automatic milking systems are growing in popularity due to the lifestyle benefits they afford farmers. But independent research shows udder health can deteriorate when farms transition from conventional milking systems…

NEWS

Scotland to pay for school milk after EU funding runs out

The Scottish government has agreed to fund free school milk after EU subsidies to local authorities ended when the UK quit the European Union. EU funding for Britain’s free school…

FEED AND NUTRITION

5 warning signs of mycotoxin contamination in feed

Farmers are being warned to keep their eyes peeled for signs of contamination in feed after sampling has shown high mycotoxin risk levels. UK-wide sampling carried out by Alltech has…

DAIRY

Dairy financial KPIs: What they mean and when to use them

Every business should know financial measures so they can understand and benchmark business performance.  Oliver Hall and Jake Armstrong-Frost, consultants from The Andersons Centre, take us through the main ones…

DAIRY MARKETS AND PRICES

Sainsbury's deli closures a blow for specialist cheesemakers

Sainsbury’s decision to axe in-store delicatessens has come as a shock to specialist cheese suppliers. The retailer's decision was announced as part of cost-cutting measures in response to a £137m…

DAIRY

Gold Cup winners 2003: Where are they now?

The Sanders family have completely overhauled their business since winning the NMR/RABDF Gold Cup. The family, famed for turning out 120 cows with a 100t lifetime production – the most…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Genomic test made mandatory for Holstein pedigree bulls

All pedigree Holstein bull calves registered from 1 January 2021 will have to be genomically tested and be from a genomically tested dam, according to revised breed society rules.  …

FEED AND NUTRITION

How a dairy farm lifted pregnancy to 31.5% through nutrition

Aberystwyth University’s farm manager Stephen Jones has increased pregnancy rates from 20.8% to 31.5% by improving forage quality and dry matter (DM) intakes. At the same time, he has reduced…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Benefits and considerations when feeding youngstock molasses

Strategic feeding during identified phases of heifer growth can be useful to get heifers to target weight at breeding and liquid feeds such as molasses can play a role in…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on dealing with dairy feed refusals

Managing feed refusals is a careful balancing act between providing enough feed to maximise intakes and minimising waste at the trough. Independent nutritionist Mark Price of Dairy Diagnosis gives advice…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Mixed weather at maize harvest prompts winter forage warning

Regular forage analysis and ration tweaks will be essential this winter after contrasting maize harvest conditions led to a wide variation in silage quality. Many crops matured early in the…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Johne’s in cattle: How to prevent and manage the disease

Johne’s disease is a chronic disease that causes cattle to waste and die, typically from the ages of three to five years old. Once an animal contracts Johne’s, treatment is…

Livestock machinery

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TELEHANDLERS

JCB breaks new ground with its first electric telehandler

JCB has added to its electric machinery portfolio with a first zero-emission telescopic Loadall, but you'll need deep pockets to bag one. The unveiling of the new telehandler was timed…

BALERS AND WRAPPERS

Vicon reveals Plus-series variable chamber balers

Vicon has upped the output and lowered operating costs of its RV5200 series variable chamber round baler models. The Plus-series includes the newly updated RV5216 and RV5220, which produce maximum…

TELEHANDLERS

Manitou switches to Yanmar to power MLT 841 and 1041 models

Manitou has unveiled two new long-reach telehandlers fitted with the firm’s latest cab. The MLT 841 and 1041 New Ag XL models replace the old 840 and 1040, offering a…

MOWERS

Keltec's new steerable front mower targets headland bends

A new steering assembly on Keltec’s 3m front mowers could help eliminate straggly strips of uncut grass around headland bends. The mower hooks conventionally to a three-point linkage, with the…