Livestock top stories

LIVESTOCK MARKETING

Alternatives to selling livestock at markets this autumn

Ongoing social distancing restrictions and the uncertainty surrounding some breeding stock sales mean farmers may have to think about alternative ways to buy and sell their stock. The backend of the…

FARROWING

German farrowing crate rule pressures UK sector

Cost and productivity concerns have reignited in the UK pig sector after farrowing crate rule changes were made in Germany last week. German farmers were told they have 15 years…

LAYERS

How an egg producer tackled gut disease with bacteria spray

A no-antibiotics strategy to control necrotic enteritis in layers at one Welsh free-range unit has lifted egg production to 4% above target and reduced seconds. James Ford’s 12,000-bird Hyline flock…

SHEEP

Have your say on Enzootic Abortion of Ewes

Farmers are being asked to share their views on Enzootic Abortion of Ewes (EAE) to shed light on how they manage the disease. The disease, caused by Chlamydia abortus, is…

PIGS

What causes seasonal infertility in pigs and how to manage it

Infertility often spikes during late summer and early autumn. Dr Grant Walling, director of science and technology at breeding company JSR, offers some ways to manage breeding problems this summer.…

Livestock news

HUSBANDRY

Vets to provide support for sustainable livestock farming

A group of veterinary professionals is aiming to provide support for the livestock farming and wider veterinary community to engage with and adopt sustainability practices in the food production sector.…

SHEEP

Lower-cost MV scheme targets commercial flocks

A veterinary health group has launched a maedi visna (MV) scheme that identifies breeding replacements from commercial flocks at low risk of carrying the disease. Unlike the MV accredited Scheme,…

TAKING STOCK

Buoyant prime trade lifts store lambs

Store lamb buyers have shown early confidence by giving more for lambs as July prime prices track at £11-£13 a head up on the year. National price indicators from AHDB…

SHEEP

Alternative dates emerging to replace 2020 Kelso tup sales

Contingency sale plans are forming after one of the world’s largest single-day ram sales has been cancelled, for the third time in its 182-year history due to Covid-19 restrictions. The…

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LIVESTOCK MARKETING

Alternatives to selling livestock at markets this autumn

Ongoing social distancing restrictions and the uncertainty surrounding some breeding stock sales mean farmers may have to think about alternative ways to buy and sell their stock. The backend of the…

LAYERS

How an egg producer tackled gut disease with bacteria spray

A no-antibiotics strategy to control necrotic enteritis in layers at one Welsh free-range unit has lifted egg production to 4% above target and reduced seconds. James Ford’s 12,000-bird Hyline flock…

AWARDS

Farmers Weekly Awards: Dairy farmer finalists 2020

All three finalists are maximising milk from forage to reduce feed costs and improve margins. The finalists Katrina Dunford Southwood Common Farm, Evercreech, Shepton Mallet Robert Mallett Dickson and Mallett,…

PIGS

What causes seasonal infertility in pigs and how to manage it

Infertility often spikes during late summer and early autumn. Dr Grant Walling, director of science and technology at breeding company JSR, offers some ways to manage breeding problems this summer.…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

7 things to consider when you take on new farmland

Whether bought or rented, land must match its intended purpose in the existing farming system and maximise its value from the capital outlay or rental agreement. Assessing how the land…

ENVIRONMENTAL SCHEMES

How farmers are capitalising on Countryside Stewardship

Organic beef and sheep farmer David Oates has stopped growing barley in favour of brassica crops and wholecrop to benefit local wildlife habitats. With a mixture of improved land, heathland…

PIGS

Suffolk pig producers see multiple benefits from pollinators

Combining outdoor pig rearing with planting pollinator strips has helped Suffolk-based Dingley Dell Pork raise sow performance, help the environment and provide a marketing boost for their direct sales business.…

FEED AND NUTRITION

4 tips to manage the risk of dry silage

Many farms have produced high-quality forage (11.5+ of metabolisable energy) this year and should factor in silage quality to save money by cutting supplementary feeding. Independent silage consultant Dave Davies…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How investing in a forage merger has improved silage quality

Investing in 9.5m forage merger has helped improve silage quality and production for a family-run dairy unit in Scotland. Brothers Robert and David Veitch run 340 milking cows at Greenside…

PARASITIC DISEASES

How to control gastrointestinal parasites in sheep and cattle

Gastrointestinal (GI) parasites are major contributors to reduced ruminant productivity, and if left unmanaged or untreated, can have devastating effects on animal welfare and farm productivity. Large populations of these…

MEDICINES

How one sheep farmer eliminated watery mouth and joint ill

Matthew Isaac has reduced cases of watery mouth and joint ill at lambing to nothing by using good bacteria to keep infections at bay.   Mr Isaac, who runs a…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

3 tips to help cut zinc oxide from weaner diets

Reducing protein levels and increasing feed intake are helping a growing number of Danish piggeries remove zinc oxide from weaner diets.    A study of the practices on Danish farms…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on testing and keeping water clean for livestock

A “control, check and clean” approach to managing water quality in cattle drinking troughs can encourage higher intakes and remove harmful bacteria. Contaminated water will reduce intakes – with cattle…

DAIRY

Guidance on improving water provision for dairy cows

Cattle farmers typically ask for advice on feed issues like rations, intakes, palatability, presentation and trough space. But when it comes to what is arguably the cows’ most important nutrient…

SLURRY AND MANURE MANAGEMENT

How to protect watercourses from pollution and grants to help

All livestock pose a year-round risk to water courses. The risks will vary depending on environmental conditions and whether stock are housed or at grass. However, steps can be taken…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

A guide on how to harvest rainwater on a farm

Livestock farms can use large amounts of water, with one study by Adas suggesting dairy farms spend £31-£100 a cow a year on water. It may be a worthwhile investment…

Taking Stock

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LIVESTOCK MARKETING

Builth Wells Market to reopen after Sunderlands takes control

Livestock sales are to resume at a Welsh auction mart that had been under threat of closure. Sunderlands has purchased Brightwells’ minority shareholding and taken full control of Hereford Market…

TAKING STOCK

Buoyant prime trade lifts store lambs

Store lamb buyers have shown early confidence by giving more for lambs as July prime prices track at £11-£13 a head up on the year. National price indicators from AHDB…

SHEEP

Alternative dates emerging to replace 2020 Kelso tup sales

Contingency sale plans are forming after one of the world’s largest single-day ram sales has been cancelled, for the third time in its 182-year history due to Covid-19 restrictions. The…

TAKING STOCK

Wales and Border Ram Sale launched online

An online map of sheep breeders has been launched to replace the usual auction ring bidding at one of the country’s leading ram sales due to Covid-19. The National Sheep…

Meat markets and prices

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MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

AHDB sees buoyant 2020 outlook for pigmeat

Tight supplies and strong demand for British pork will create a buoyant market over the next six months, forecasts the AHDB. In its latest Pork Outlook report, the sector body…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Rule reminder: Best practice when trading livestock remotely

Farmers who purchase livestock in private trades should find out all they can about the animals before agreeing to a sale to maximise their chance of a refund if they…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Lamb trade slips as numbers swell at market

The fat lamb trade has dipped sharply in recent days after numbers at markets surged following a good trade in the past week. Liveweight lamb prices for the week ending…

TAKING STOCK

Rearing calf values lift 50% since March

Beef rearers have dug deep for quality calves this spring following a 50% increase in some calf prices since March. Auctioneers say trade has been buoyed by stronger deadweight beef…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Work under way at Scottish marts for return of vendors

Scottish marts are pulling out all the stops to try to allow vendors as well as buyers to attend livestock sales this autumn. Neil Wilson, executive director of the Institute…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Marts ease restrictions on vendors attending sales

Livestock markets have eased restrictions to allow farmers to watch their stock being sold ringside, but are warning vendors they must follow strict social-distancing guidelines. Since lockdown began, farmers selling…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Hoping May-drilled maize recovers

What a mad month June turned out to be. After last year’s flooding disasters, it has been nice to seemingly time things right this year. Every time the forage harvester…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Better prices and a grid that suits the cattle

We don’t need a drone to tell us it’s going to be a very mediocre harvest here. It would have been far worse, but we did get a decent splash…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Worming and rotational grazing pays dividends

We normally do eight-week weights on the recorded stock. This year we have weighed every animal on the farm as well as doing second vaccinations, worming and fly control. It…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Grass worries and pica ended by June rain

How things can change so quickly. A little over two weeks ago we were getting close to a desperate situation with grass growth due to the lack of rainfall since…

Dairy

MAIZE

Advice on dealing with this year's variable maize crop

Maize growers are facing one of the most variable cropping years on record after a prolonged dry spring was followed by cooler, wetter weather. The Maize Growers Association reports the…

LIVESTOCK MARKETING

Alternatives to selling livestock at markets this autumn

Ongoing social distancing restrictions and the uncertainty surrounding some breeding stock sales mean farmers may have to think about alternative ways to buy and sell their stock. The backend of the…

HUSBANDRY

Vets to provide support for sustainable livestock farming

A group of veterinary professionals is aiming to provide support for the livestock farming and wider veterinary community to engage with and adopt sustainability practices in the food production sector.…

AWARDS

Farmers Weekly Awards: Dairy farmer finalists 2020

All three finalists are maximising milk from forage to reduce feed costs and improve margins. The finalists Katrina Dunford Southwood Common Farm, Evercreech, Shepton Mallet Robert Mallett Dickson and Mallett,…

LIVESTOCK MARKETING

What farmers need to know about livestock sales this year

Covid-19 has shaken up the way livestock sales can take place, with social-distancing rules making it difficult to operate as normal in livestock markets. Although the sale of breeding stock…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

7 things to consider when you take on new farmland

Whether bought or rented, land must match its intended purpose in the existing farming system and maximise its value from the capital outlay or rental agreement. Assessing how the land…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Mineral elements exceeding daily requirements for livestock

Livestock mineral experts have warned that there is an oversupply of micronutrients to farm animals in the UK in some cases and are calling for a framework to help address…

DAIRY

Entries open for Gold Cup dairy competition

Entries are now open for the 2020 NMR RABDF Gold Cup competition, which this year celebrates its centenary. The award, which was launched in 1920, recognises dairy business efficiency and…

FEED AND NUTRITION

4 tips to manage the risk of dry silage

Many farms have produced high-quality forage (11.5+ of metabolisable energy) this year and should factor in silage quality to save money by cutting supplementary feeding. Independent silage consultant Dave Davies…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How investing in a forage merger has improved silage quality

Investing in 9.5m forage merger has helped improve silage quality and production for a family-run dairy unit in Scotland. Brothers Robert and David Veitch run 340 milking cows at Greenside…

MILK PRICES

Dairy farmers asked for views on mandatory milk contracts

After two years of promising it, the government has launched a UK-wide 12-week consultation on the introduction of mandatory terms for milk contracts. This follows a review of supply chain…

PARASITIC DISEASES

How to control gastrointestinal parasites in sheep and cattle

Gastrointestinal (GI) parasites are major contributors to reduced ruminant productivity, and if left unmanaged or untreated, can have devastating effects on animal welfare and farm productivity. Large populations of these…

Livestock machinery

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TRACTORS

Low-spec 4700M models join Massey Ferguson’s sub-100hp range

Massey Ferguson has unveiled a trio of low-spec M-badged tractors that replace its existing 4700 range, which now runs from 82hp to 100hp. These will slot in below the Agritechnica-launched…

MUCKSPREADERS

Farm-built dribble bar improves contractor's slurry accuracy

It wasn’t that long ago that slurry was considered a nuisance rather than a commodity, constantly threatening to overwhelm the lagoons and towers built to contain it. But as on-farm…

RAKES

Bigger merger model added to Kuhn range

The growing interest in merging machinery has prompted Kuhn to add a larger width machine to its Mergemaxx range. The bigger 1090 unit offers working widths from 8.85m when throwing…

RAKES

Driver's view: Simon Sturrock's Kverneland 9590 9m rake

Simon Sturrock and Dilwyn Owen run Sturrock and Owen forage wagon contractors, based in Caernarfon, north Wales. The busy firm uses a pair of Pottinger forage wagons and, a few…