Livestock top stories

FEED AND NUTRITION

Why structural fibre is essential for fresh cows

Ensuring structural fibre is available to fresh cows in very early lactation could ease transition by reducing metabolic issues and stabilising rumen function. This is according to NWF head of…

SHEEP

Advice on tackling the growing threat from sheep rustling

Livestock theft is one of the costliest crimes for the UK’s farming sector, with more than £2.5m worth of animals stolen in 2018. Incidents are up by more than 10%…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on cutting dairy ration costs this winter

Farmers could save money on purchased feed this winter by making the most of plentiful stocks of good-quality forages. Analysis of first- and second-cut grass silage carried out by Trouw…

DAIRY

New system to record livestock movements within 12 months

Livestock farmers could be using a new system to record animal movements and deaths as soon as next September. Defra has been developing a new traceability system called the Livestock…

TAKING STOCK

Lamb SQQ falls to 167p/kg as supply surges

Prime lambs lost about £3.50 a head on average last week as markets saw supply outstrip demand and trade level at an SQQ of 167.52p/kg. This was the first time…

SHEEP

Farmers Weekly Awards: Sheep farmer finalists 2019

While scale, labour, topography and climate vary across this year’s amazing Sheep Farmer of the Year finalists, they all share a focus on grassland management, functional genetics and gathering, and…

Livestock news

BOVINE TB

New bovine TB outbreaks fall after badger culling, data shows

Fewer new outbreaks of bovine TB have been recorded in Gloucestershire and Somerset after five years of badger culling, government data shows. The official Animal Plant and Health Agency (Apha)…

TAKING STOCK

Newbirks Jazz takes UK Dairy Day crown

Swiss Holstein judge Patrick Ruttiman was bowled over by the quality on show at the sixth UK Dairy Day at the International Centre Telford on Wednesday (11 September). But he…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Woman fighting for life after being trampled by cows

A woman is critically ill in hospital after being trampled by cows that also killed her dog in the Peak District. Police and paramedics rushed to a field near the…

BOVINE TB

Activists adopt military tactics to disrupt culls

Animal rights activists are using drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras to disrupt lawful badger culling, say farmers. Farmers in Gloucestershire whose land is involved in Defra’s badger culls say…

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FEED AND NUTRITION

Why farmer is using orange peel to seal his silage clamp

Innovative farmer Henry Tyrrell has used 60t of orange peel as a novel way of covering his silage clamp while reducing plastic and providing fibre for his cows. The 24-year-old,…

MAIZE

Maize Watch: Advice on reducing soil erosion post harvest

Initial maize yields look good, with big cobs which have matured well and green leaf still on the plants, latest Maize Watch growers report. Good weather has allowed harvest teams…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Eight ways to lift dairy feed efficiency

A list of eight ways to improve feed efficiency on dairy units has been released following a series of on-farm trials. Alltech consultants piloted a free-of-charge farm efficiency consultancy programme…

SHEEP

Advice on tackling the growing threat from sheep rustling

Livestock theft is one of the costliest crimes for the UK’s farming sector, with more than £2.5m worth of animals stolen in 2018. Incidents are up by more than 10%…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on cutting dairy ration costs this winter

Farmers could save money on purchased feed this winter by making the most of plentiful stocks of good-quality forages. Analysis of first- and second-cut grass silage carried out by Trouw…

SHEEP

Farmers Weekly Awards: Sheep farmer finalists 2019

While scale, labour, topography and climate vary across this year’s amazing Sheep Farmer of the Year finalists, they all share a focus on grassland management, functional genetics and gathering, and…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: August has turned into the Scottish Monsoon

Monsoon season has begun in Ayrshire. For some reason, August has turned into the wet month here. It has meant the autumn block on the heavy land at Purroch Farm…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How organic farmers plan to become more efficient

Edryd and Glenda Davies are making more from marginal mountain ground by mob and rotational grazing to improve grassland so they can operate a low-cost forage-based system and finish lambs…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Guide to maximising conception rates in gilts

Decisions made around breeding have a big influence on the future productivity of gilts so getting reproduction right at this stage is an important link in the performance of the…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Stick together in fight against rural crime

Like for everyone else trying to earn a living from the land, it has been a busy summer, with minimal downtime. They say striving for success without hard work is…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on assessing maize maturity as harvest fast approaches

The August heatwave has accelerated maize maturity and with harvest now fast approaching, growers are being advised to check crops. Following the drought of 2018 more maize has been planted…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Dairy farm's 8 changes that halved antibiotics use

Since 2016 the team at Stowell Farms in Wiltshire has adopted a multi-pronged approach to improving herd health. The strategy has ultimately led to better performance, less disease and reduced…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How leading breeders are speeding up genetic gain in Texels

Using embryo transfer (ET) together with a synchronisation programme is helping a renowned Texel flock speed up genetic gain. The Clark family, consisting of brothers Alan, Andrew and David and…

BEEF

Summer mastitis warning issued after spike in cases

A surge in summer mastitis has led to experts advising beef farmers to be vigilant when checking cattle. Laboratory-confirmed mastitis cases are at a three-year high (see table), which has…

FOOT HEALTH

Advice on disinfecting foot trimming knives

Taking the time to clean and disinfect hoof knives between feet makes sense considering hoof knives have been identified as carriers of digital dermatitis treponemes. This is the belief of…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Advice on improving fire safety on your pig farm

A fire in a pig unit can have devastating consequences, often spreading quickly and destroying the piggery operation. Following a recent spate of farm fires in Ireland, some pig producers…

Taking Stock

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TAKING STOCK

Newbirks Jazz takes UK Dairy Day crown

Swiss Holstein judge Patrick Ruttiman was bowled over by the quality on show at the sixth UK Dairy Day at the International Centre Telford on Wednesday (11 September). But he…

TAKING STOCK

Lamb SQQ falls to 167p/kg as supply surges

Prime lambs lost about £3.50 a head on average last week as markets saw supply outstrip demand and trade level at an SQQ of 167.52p/kg. This was the first time…

TAKING STOCK

Continental store cattle prices back £50 a head

Store cattle prices are back on 2018 levels but not fully reflective of the depressed prime market, levy board data suggests. Average prices for continental store animals have been 4.5-6.9%…

TAKING STOCK

Beef industry hopes market has bottomed

Analysts are suggesting cattle prices could lift through the autumn after a summer that beef producers will want to forget. Values often fall sharply in the first half of the…

Meat markets and prices

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MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Irish farmers to have casting vote on beef talks terms

Picketing farmers in Ireland will be given the opportunity to have their say in the beef price negotiations between farming groups and meat processors. Another round of talks took part…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Farmers seek new route to market as beef hits fresh low

Rising UK beef production caused by heavier carcass weights is stifling hopes of a recovery in prices, as trade fell to a fresh low this week. The UK average deadweight…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Irish cattle slaughter faces indefinite halt as talks stall

Farmers have been warned that cattle slaughtering across Ireland could be stopped indefinitely if protests at beef-processing plants continue, as industry-wide talks break down. Meetings between a number of farm…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Surging global pig price heads towards record level

Growing demand for pork could push global prices to record levels as the effect of African swine fever (ASF) in China is forecast to continue well into 2020. The latest…

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

Increasing farm size no guarantee of higher profits

Many farmers aspire to grow the size of their farm in order to increase their income, but new research has confirmed that this is not a guaranteed path to success.…

TAKING STOCK

Beef industry hopes market has bottomed

Analysts are suggesting cattle prices could lift through the autumn after a summer that beef producers will want to forget. Values often fall sharply in the first half of the…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Wrong fertiliser leads to summer feeding

This past month has been well spent being with the kids before they went back to school. The farm had a little hiccup in grass growth, resulting in silage having…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Autumn is the time for mending and building

Other than a deluge of rain the night before Orkney’s County Show, which made ground conditions sticky, our show season went well. There are six shows across Orkney over nine…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: August has turned into the Scottish Monsoon

Monsoon season has begun in Ayrshire. For some reason, August has turned into the wet month here. It has meant the autumn block on the heavy land at Purroch Farm…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Extra vaccine does the trick on lung score

Twice a year I treat the staff at work to a bit of a jolly. Just before Christmas, we go to Brigg for a pub crawl and midsummer we go…

Dairy

MAIZE

Maize Watch: Advice on reducing soil erosion post harvest

Initial maize yields look good, with big cobs which have matured well and green leaf still on the plants, latest Maize Watch growers report. Good weather has allowed harvest teams…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Why structural fibre is essential for fresh cows

Ensuring structural fibre is available to fresh cows in very early lactation could ease transition by reducing metabolic issues and stabilising rumen function. This is according to NWF head of…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on cutting dairy ration costs this winter

Farmers could save money on purchased feed this winter by making the most of plentiful stocks of good-quality forages. Analysis of first- and second-cut grass silage carried out by Trouw…

DAIRY

New system to record livestock movements within 12 months

Livestock farmers could be using a new system to record animal movements and deaths as soon as next September. Defra has been developing a new traceability system called the Livestock…

TAKING STOCK

Newbirks Jazz takes UK Dairy Day crown

Swiss Holstein judge Patrick Ruttiman was bowled over by the quality on show at the sixth UK Dairy Day at the International Centre Telford on Wednesday (11 September). But he…

DAIRY MARKETS AND PRICES

How can the dairy sector counter the vegan challenge?

Just how prevalent is veganism, how persuasive are the arguments and what should the dairy sector be doing about it?  Vegans may make a lot of noise, but their overall…

DAIRY

UK dairy farms wasting £3m during cleaning routine

UK farms could be wasting more than £3m a year in energy losses and incorrect disinfectant doses during cleaning routines, research has shown. The findings were drawn from an analysis…

FEED AND NUTRITION

New maize varieties revealed on BSPB's annual list

The British Society of Plant Breeders has published its 2020 Forage Maize Descriptive Lists, with significant new varieties suitable for a range of growing conditions. The list, published annually, provides…

FINANCE

10 tips to build a Brexit cash reserve for dairy farmers

Dairy producers should consider trimming capital expenditure and fixing costs to build up a cash reserve ahead of potential shocks from a no-deal Brexit, a dairy farm consultant has said.…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Guide launched to improve livestock ration formulation

Premier Nutrition has launched a global feed ingredients matrix to help nutritionists formulate livestock rations more accurately. The Premier Atlas is the first of its kind and contains more than…

DAIRY

Oregano-based additive cuts resistant bacteria in waste milk

Reading University researchers have used a plant-based feed additive to achieve major reductions in antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) bacteria found in waste milk fed to calves. The additive is formulated from 100%…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Maize harvest kicks off in South East and East Anglia

Maize harvest has started in the South East and East Anglia on light soils, with crop maturity aided by drying winds and no rainfall for several weeks. In September, maize…

Livestock machinery

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FORAGE WAGONS

Minigrazer offers small-scale zero grazing option

Hand Engineering has developed a pint-sized zero grazing machine, which it launched at the National Ploughing Championships in Ireland. Two versions of the Minigrazer are available; a 5cu m capacity…

BALERS AND WRAPPERS

Vicon’s Fixbale 500 baler designed for wet silage

Vicon has introduced a new high-capacity fixed chamber baler for contractors and farmers forced to deal with heavy crops. The Fixbale 500 replaces the RF 4235 fixed baler, with notable…

DIET FEEDERS

New Zealand calf milk feeder mixes on the go

An all-in-one calf milk mixer and dispenser from New Zealand firm Stallion promises to cut the workload when feeding large groups of calves. The Mixer Tanker Feeder (or MTF for…

GRAIN TRAILERS

New Michelin VF CargoXBib tyre slashes soil damage

Michelin's VF high-floatation tyre has been redesigned to further reduce soil compaction from trailed implements. The updated VF CargoXBib range comes in four sizes, including the VF 650/55 R26.5, VF…