Livestock top stories

PARASITIC DISEASES

Test breakthrough paves way for sheep scab vaccine

A highly sensitive sheep scab test will enable farmers to differentiate between vaccinated and infested animals. The breakthrough is the result of Scottish research done by the Moredun Research Institute…

BEEF

How suckler herds can reduce carbon footprint by 40%

Research conducted by the Stabiliser Cattle Company and Alltech E-CO2 has revealed that suckler producers can achieve a near 40% reduction in carbon footprint while saving £350 per cow place…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Livestock news

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…

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…

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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…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Guide to growing grass seed for mixed farmers

Grass seed is a “high-risk, high-reward” crop that can prove hugely profitable for good mixed farmers with an eye for detail. Some 8,000ha (20,000 acres) of grass seed is grown…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

How a dairy farm is controlling mycoplasma using vaccination

Mycoplasma bovis is the number one cause of pneumonia in calves in the UK as well as causing mastitis and arthritis in older animals. It is difficult to treat and…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Alternative feeds for beef cattle and what to consider

Alternative feeds, or co-products, are usually derived as a by-product from food or drink manufacturing, and can offer a relatively cheap source of nutrients. But quality can vary widely, and…

PARASITIC DISEASES

8 steps for cleaner grazing to reduce worm burden

It is well known that the problem of worms in lambs (parasitic gastroenteritis – PGE) leads to losses through reduced growth and death, and it has been estimated the annual…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

Advice for ensuring heifers are the correct weight after calving

Too many heifers are still less than 85% of mature weight after calving because farmers try to "guesstimate" weights, says farm consultant Andy Dodd. Many farmers say they have had…

Taking Stock

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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…

TAKING STOCK

Strong sales predicted for gimmer lambs

Breeding sheep sales have continued returning strong prices, with many auctioneers predicting the market is poised to produce some flying gimmer lamb trades this month. Prime lambs have made £10-£25…

Meat markets and prices

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MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Wholesaler says relabelling of Uruguyan 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…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Brexit puts breeding pig exports under threat, says NPA

Pig-breeding companies may be forced to quit the UK unless Brexit negotiations successfully tackle issues surrounding exports, the National Pig Association (NPA) has warned. More than 10,000 UK breeding animals…

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…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Tough to say goodbye to amazing student

Harvest has been and, rather luckily, it has now left. Yields, as expected, were pretty unremarkable, but we have cleared all the ground. Our harvest student Patrick has been pretty…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Hope barn conversion is ready for next summer

There are two very happy girls in our home this week, finally able to get back to school. The excitement about going is great to see and I think they…

Dairy

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…

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…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Scottish scheme updates livestock haulage standards

Livestock hauliers and farmers have less than one month to get to grips with the revised Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) haulage assurance scheme. Alterations include new demands on wash-out facilities,…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

Autumn calvers warned of coccidiosis risk to youngstock

Autumn calvers are being reminded about the risk of coccidiosis in young calves and encouraged to take steps to reduce risk of infection and detect the disease early. Identifying the…

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…