Know How / Beef / Feed and nutrition

Providing the best feed and nutrition for the beef herd is crucial if growth rate targets are to be hit. Keep up-to-date with latest developments in grazing management, silage-making and ration formulation for the best results.

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Case studies

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LIVESTOCK

ABP beef farm trial unlocks key to lowering carbon emissions

Using superior bulls can lower carbon emissions by 11% and is worth £250 a head, trials carried out by ABP Food Group at its demonstration farm in Shropshire have found.…

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…

BEEF

Ration change helps suckler farm lift calves weaned

Supplementing a quality grass silage with a source of bypass protein before calving has improved colostrum quality, calf vigour and output on a Cumbrian farm. The simple diet change has…

BEEF

How grass in the arable rotation can improve beef production

Incorporating grass in the arable rotation is part of Jeremy Iles’s plan to reduce concentrate feeding to beef animals while mitigating risk and safeguarding soil health. It is an all-encompassing…

DAIRY

How finishing beef adds value to dairy business

The Mallett family decided to invest £100,000 in a shed to rear and finish beef bulls and heifers from their high-yielding dairy herd while they were locked up with TB.…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How floodplain meadows are central to a regenerative system

Floodplain meadows are vital for soil and animal health and the hay they produce is more nutritionally and minerally satisfying than standard feed analysis would suggest. This, is according to…

Practical advice

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LIVESTOCK

Video: How to take an integrated approach to rodent control

The best way to deal with rat infestations is not to have them in the first place. Waiting until you see rats running around the farm is too late. Every…

BEEF

A guide to overwintering beef cattle on fodder beet

Fodder beet is a high-energy crop giving 12MJ/kg dry matter (DM). It far outyields other forage alternatives. This is great for production and profit, but careful management is needed when…

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…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on optimising suckler fertility with better nutrition

The post-calving period is a time of major metabolic change for a cow, and ensuring her nutrition needs are met over the next few months is critical in hitting a…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Outwintering cattle on kale or grass silage: Which is best?

Maximising the value of forage grown on farm can increase profit margins in beef production where winter feed is often the highest variable cost. The economics of growing a crop…

LIVESTOCK

How to finish beef calves from block-calving dairy herds

Adam Buitelaar, chief executive officer of the Buitelaar group, is urging farmers finishing cross-bred animals to be cautious and plan ahead. He says when calf euthanasia was prohibited in Ireland…

Insights

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LIVESTOCK

Calf bottles and tube feeders on test

It is unsurprising many farmers are switching from bottles to buckets with teats for feeding milk to older calves. Our test, carried out over a four-month period at my family…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Why urea-based products should be avoided to preserve grain

Urea-based products used to preserve rolled grain lose at least 40% of nitrogen content before they are consumed by the animal, new research has shown. Urea acts as a preservative,…

ENVIRONMENT

Scientists developing EBV for lower methane emission

Farmers could be selecting cattle bred to produce lower methane emissions in the near future, according to a leading scientist. Methane is an important greenhouse gas, with 28-times the potential…

MAIZE

Rain puts pressure on maize with tricky harvest

Prolonged rain has made maize harvesting difficult in recent days, with some suffering with flooding and high rainfall. Maize maturity has already been slowed by rain as green plants have…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How to profit from forage-based dairy-beef system

Forage-based dairy-beef systems are profitable even in extreme weather conditions, a two-year study at Harper Adams University has concluded. The project investigated whether it was feasible to finish dairy-bred beef…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How feeding wholecrop to dairy-beef steers can cut costs

Diets made up mainly of wholecrop wheat can offer a suitable alternative to bought-in cereals for finishing cattle, a recent study has found. Research at Harper Adams University found that…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Trial shows high iodine cow diet can hinder colostrum uptake

A survey of iodine supplementation in beef herds has revealed that over supplementation pre-calving can negatively affect calves’ ability to absorb colostrum. A collaborative research project between Moredun Research Institute,…