Livestock top stories

TAKING STOCK

Tight numbers drive cull cows £130 dearer

Holstein cows leaving the parlour in good condition are making more than £1,000 following a 14p/kg lift in deadweight price, driven by a tightening of supply. But record prices cannot…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Closed roads reveal food industry’s weak spot

Turn up the band, fire in the hole, we’re ready to go. Harvest 2021 is under way, and this is one to get excited about – unlike last year. And…

SHEEP

What is OPA and how can it be prevented or controlled?

Ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA) – or sometimes referred to as “Jaagsiekte” – is a potentially devastating disease to sheep flocks. One recent study suggested it could be the third most…

BOVINE TB

Badgers ‘17 times more likely’ to carry TB than cattle

A farming union has calculated badgers in Wales are 17 times more likely to be carrying bovine TB than cattle. The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) says TB figures expose…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

WIYLS vists a £60,000 purpose-built calf shed

Involving a team of professionals including vets and building experts in the design of a new calf shed has helped a Welsh dairy farm create fit-for-purpose housing for rearing its…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Feeding silage after dry July makes its mark

If we were trying to market our farm here on Anglesey, the end of a dry July – which we have just experienced – would not be the time to…

Livestock news

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

A new genetic index for carbon-friendly cows

Two new genetic indexes to help farmers breed more environmentally friendly cows will feature in the August bull proofs, due to be launched next week. EnviroCow reflects the important role…

BUSINESS

1 October start for Brexit checks on animal origin imports

The government has announced plans to match the EU’s stringent post-Brexit checks on meat and animal product movements from the autumn. Since 1 January the UK has opted for an…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Video: Farmers plunge dip a mammoth 6,300 sheep in one day

Sheep farmers and contractors have carried out a mammoth 6,300-ewe plunge dipping day as part of a new joint venture between two businesses. Neil Fell, owner of NR Fell Mobile…

BUSINESS

NI protocol talks face tough EU stance

Hopes of a practical resolution to post-Brexit blocks on breeding animal movements between Northern Ireland and Great Britain have been dealt a blow. Since Brexit, trade between them has come…

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BEEF

How a beef farmer is achieving £416/ha gross margin

Rearing cattle from birth to slaughter without the use of either concentrates or fertiliser would be a challenge on any farm. But doing so in marginal conditions on the edge…

SHEEP

What is OPA and how can it be prevented or controlled?

Ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA) – or sometimes referred to as “Jaagsiekte” – is a potentially devastating disease to sheep flocks. One recent study suggested it could be the third most…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

WIYLS vists a £60,000 purpose-built calf shed

Involving a team of professionals including vets and building experts in the design of a new calf shed has helped a Welsh dairy farm create fit-for-purpose housing for rearing its…

AGRICULTURAL TRANSITION

How one farm hopes to balance finance and environment

Transition Farmer James MacCartney says the size of his farm is the main challenge he faces in his quest to secure a sustainable future for his business. A third-generation beef…

DAIRY

Can all-forage dairy diets be practical and profitable?

At about 3,250 litres annually, cows fed wholly on forage produce much less milk than dairy herds on diets including concentrates. But producers who have made the switch say other…

AWARDS

FW Awards: 2021 Pig Farmer of the Year finalists

Three pig producers, who are all farrowing outdoors and have top technical performance, staff management and a drive to improve production and welfare, are hoping to be crowned 2021 Pig…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

What can we learn from other countries about BVD control?

BVD control remains voluntary in England and Wales, unlike other parts of the UK and Europe, where governments now have mandatory controls in place to prevent the spread of the…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Radical change to breeding policy sees replacement rates fall

Lake District farmer Pete Webster has reduced replacement rates from 25% to 20% since radically changing his breeding policy and developing a strict culling plan. “Involvement in the AHDB's Challenge…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Creep feeding suckler calves: Risks and how to do it right

Every year calves die because of access to creep. Ben Strugnell, who runs the Farm Post Mortems service explains why this happens and how to avoid these losses It is…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How rumen boluses can help manage suckler cow fertility

A Welsh beef farm has lifted the rate of conception at first service in its heifers by 10% since using bolus technology to aid heat detection. Rumen boluses are more…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Shropshire sheep breeders slash costs with NZ genetics switch

Shropshire sheep breeders the Hulme family have slashed costs and increased ram sales since switching from breeding sheep for the showring to focusing on genetics that thrive off forage. Robyn…

SHEEP

Is cryptosporidiosis affecting your lamb performance?

Cryptosporidiosis is a parasitic infection affecting sheep that can restrict growth and increase finishing times, despite typically only affecting lambs in their first 10 days of life. It often falls…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How farmer has reduced lameness to 2% in open flock

The Mouland family have reduced lameness from 10% to 2% and cut antibiotic use by 30% by addressing the challenge of operating an open flock proactively. Michael, Jo and their…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How a dairy farmer cut feed costs to 7.68p/litre

Robotic dairy farmers Tony and Michael Ball have lifted milk from forage to 3,035 litres by taking four cuts every five weeks, helping to keep total feed costs at 7.68p/litre.…

PIGS

Switch to rye saves £1.90 a pig on Yorkshire unit

A leading East Yorkshire pig unit has reduced its pig feed costs by £1.90 a head by replacing wheat with rye in its post-weaning rations. JSR Farms is among a…

SHEEP

How hill graziers improved sheep grazing and environment

Managing invasive bracken on the Black Mountains has increased the usable grazing area by 320ha (790 acres). A programme of twice-yearly control treatments, applied over a three-year period up to…

Taking Stock

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TAKING STOCK

Tight numbers drive cull cows £130 dearer

Holstein cows leaving the parlour in good condition are making more than £1,000 following a 14p/kg lift in deadweight price, driven by a tightening of supply. But record prices cannot…

TAKING STOCK

Store values up with prime cattle numbers back 6%

Numbers have tightened at beef saleyards across the country, stoking an already red-hot summer store cattle trade. Many English finishers have been quoted £4.05-£4.10/kg from deadweight beef buyers. Likewise, prime…

TAKING STOCK

200,000gns bid sets Suffolk record at Lanark

A record-breaking bid of 200,000gns for the Salopian flock topped the Suffolk Sheep Society’s Scottish Area sale at Lanark last week (23 July). The ram lamb V87:21:00850 was bred by…

TAKING STOCK

Hay weather opens week with lambs £3.50 dearer

Ideal hay and silaging conditions and apprehension over post-Eid demand reduced prime lamb volumes by 20% at the start of the week, lifting trade. Monday’s prime lamb SQQ settled at…

Meat markets and prices

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BUSINESS

Why local abattoirs are at risk and how farms are affected

More than half of the 62 local abattoir owners could quit in the next five years unless there is a change in government policy, research shows. The research, carried out…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Lamb prices drop sharply, but are expected to rally

Liveweight lamb prices have seen a sharp drop across Great Britain in the past week, but experts remain optimistic about the market and expect them to rally. Although values have…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Covid-19 raises meat sales and food-service sector rebounds

Premium private label red meat has been the main pick for shoppers over the past year, benefiting alongside an overall uplift in retail meat sales since the Covid-19 outbreak began.…

MARKETS AND TRENDS

Latest commodity outlook: Weather and Covid-19 uncertainty

While tight supply makes the outlook relatively firm for some farm outputs, global factors and the path of the UK’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic mean things are far…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Defra rejects pig sector plea for Covid support

Defra has rejected a plea for a £3.2m Covid-19 compensation package for England’s pig sector. The request was made by the National Pig Association (NPA) in February this year as…

BOVINE TB

Live markets now available for Approved Finishing Unit cattle

Farmers in England and Wales are set to benefit from easier access to TB-dedicated sales platforms for cattle from Approved Finishing Units (AFUs). Defra and the Animal and Plant Health…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Hours from harvest and fearing thunderstorms

Harvest crept up on us quite quickly. From looking like it was a week to 10 days away, a few days of hot temperatures and it was here. The barley…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Closed roads reveal food industry’s weak spot

Turn up the band, fire in the hole, we’re ready to go. Harvest 2021 is under way, and this is one to get excited about – unlike last year. And…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Feeding silage after dry July makes its mark

If we were trying to market our farm here on Anglesey, the end of a dry July – which we have just experienced – would not be the time to…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Cocksfoot and Timothy mix baled for bedding

So much of what us farmers do is affected by the weather. This past month has been so dry, and I’ve been very thankful for it. We have managed to…

Dairy

POULTRY

Wye catchment farmers vow to limit phosphate losses

Farmers in Herefordshire are taking steps to reduce phosphate levels in the River Wye and bring the catchment back into balance, having recognised the scale of the problem and the…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

A new genetic index for carbon-friendly cows

Two new genetic indexes to help farmers breed more environmentally friendly cows will feature in the August bull proofs, due to be launched next week. EnviroCow reflects the important role…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

WIYLS vists a £60,000 purpose-built calf shed

Involving a team of professionals including vets and building experts in the design of a new calf shed has helped a Welsh dairy farm create fit-for-purpose housing for rearing its…

DAIRY

Can all-forage dairy diets be practical and profitable?

At about 3,250 litres annually, cows fed wholly on forage produce much less milk than dairy herds on diets including concentrates. But producers who have made the switch say other…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

What can we learn from other countries about BVD control?

BVD control remains voluntary in England and Wales, unlike other parts of the UK and Europe, where governments now have mandatory controls in place to prevent the spread of the…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

New progress tracker helps in fight against Johne’s

A new tool for interpreting Johne’s disease test results has been developed to help farmers make informed decisions about how to control the chronic and irreversible condition in their herds.…

BUSINESS

NI protocol talks face tough EU stance

Hopes of a practical resolution to post-Brexit blocks on breeding animal movements between Northern Ireland and Great Britain have been dealt a blow. Since Brexit, trade between them has come…

LIVESTOCK

Dairy farmer to lobby milk buyers for low carbon price premium

A Welsh dairy farmer who has failed to capture a retailer-aligned contract for his low-carbon milk says pressure must be put on buyers to pay a premium for milk with…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How a dairy farmer cut feed costs to 7.68p/litre

Robotic dairy farmers Tony and Michael Ball have lifted milk from forage to 3,035 litres by taking four cuts every five weeks, helping to keep total feed costs at 7.68p/litre.…

DAIRY

Time-saving data improves robot management of slow milkers

Managing slow milkers can be automated through big data analysis on farm and bespoke brushing times, a robotic milking machine manufacturer claims. Leys says this could allow its robot systems…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Group seeks compulsory tests to eradicate sheep scab and BVD

Pressure is expected to be put on UK governments to back compulsory screening for bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) and sheep scab in an effort to eradicate the diseases within 10…

LIVESTOCK

LAA advises continued vigilance as Covid restrictions ease

The Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA) is encouraging farmers and auctioneers to remain vigilant at livestock markets despite the fact lockdown restrictions are easing from Monday (19 July). In England, the…

Livestock machinery

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MACHINERY

TGS imports moisture-sensing bale spike

Devon-based tub grinder specialist TGS has agreed an import deal for a Danish-made bale spike that can instantly record the moisture and temperature of every bale it spears. The probe…

GRASSLAND AND MAIZE EQUIPMENT

New mowers and loader wagons join Fendt line-up

A new generation of Fendt Slicer mowers includes a front-mounted version and rear butterfly unit, both of which have been given a fresh paint job. The front 310 F has…

DIET FEEDERS

Kuhn adds huge triple-auger models to diet feeder range

The addition of four monster triple-auger models has extended Kuhn’s range of cross-conveyor diet feeders. The Euromix 3 CL series get hopper capacities of 28cu m, 33cu m, 39cu m…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How to avoid costly silage losses from damaged wrap

Birds are a major source of damage to baled silage, but tears can occur at the baling and gathering stages, too. If a hole is not patched, air will seep…