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.

Case studies

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How to become 100% protein efficient using mixed leys

Establishing multi-species leys has enabled a Welsh upland beef and sheep farm to become 100% protein efficient. For Dafydd Parry Jones, Maesllwyni, Penegoes, Powys, the piece of advice given at…


Video: Switch to Stabiliser suckler herd brings cost savings

A farmer who transformed his suckler herd from continental beef breeds to a pedigree Stabiliser herd has made significant savings in costs and labour. We visited mixed farmer Richard Roderick…


How beef finishers have improved health and cattle weight gain

Productivity and efficiency are core principles of running a profitable beef enterprise, but with so many influential factors it can be a challenge to know what to target. Mixed beef…


How intensive grazing system brings resilience to uplands

As stewards for much of Britain’s most marginal land but also its most iconic landscapes, upland farmers are both the most vulnerable to Brexit and the great hope for delivering…


How beef farmer is achieving gross margin of £370 a cow

Running a profitable, low-cost suckler beef business is no mean feat, with AHDB Farmbench figures suggesting the middle 50% of producers are making a gross profit per cow put to…


How Wagyu beef scheme gives farmers stability

Growing demand for Wagyu beef has resulted in the formation of a unique business model, which sees dairy farmers, rearers and finishers paid a guaranteed price for breeding and finishing…

Practical advice

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Beginner's guide to rotational grazing beef suckler herds

If you already know your rotations from your residuals and your cover from your wedge, then you probably need to read no further. This guide is for beef suckler farmers…


Advice on feeding suckler cows at different stages of production

For suckler herds to remain profitable, it is essential that every cow produces a healthy calf every year within a tight calving pattern. Nutrition has a huge influence on this,…


Everything you need to know about automatic calf feeders

Many dairy farmers and calf rearers are moving to automatic milk feeders to reduce labour input. We look at what kind of management they require, how to get the best…


Advice on feeding this year's maize as stocks look tight

Initial samples show maize quality looks good, despite the unprecedented growing season during which crops were planted late and had to cope with drought conditions in the summer. Results of…


Replacing cereals with forage can increase beef gross margin

Replacing some cereals in the diet with a high energy forage for finishing beef steers can increase daily liveweight gain and increase gross margin by £115 a head. Researchers at…


Early maize harvest presents forage crop opportunities

The early maize harvest in most areas gives growers the opportunity to grow extra forage for utilising early next spring, believes Neil Groom, technical director for Grainseed. “In most areas…


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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,…


Cattle bounce back after poor fodder beet growth rates

A project at Harper Adams is investigating if it is feasible to finish dairy-bred beef calves on forage alone.  The project, led by Adas and funded by AHDB Beef &…


What are the benefits of milk replacer for calf rearers?

More than half of all dairy and beef farmers in Great Britain now rear their youngstock on calf milk replacer (CMR) instead of whole milk, with potential disease risks a…


High-protein diet worth £56 a head to heifer margin

A trial comparing two levels of protein (160g of crude protein/kg DM or 125g crude protein/kg DM) in maize silage-based finisher rations showed the higher protein diet to be worth…


Promising weight gains made from grass in dairy beef study

Last October, work to investigate the feasibility of a low-cost dairy beef production system was launched at Harper Adams University with the aim of maximising output from forage and minimising…


How reducing maize seed rates could save money

Cutting maize seed rates by 5-10% has the potential to lift starch levels by 2-3% and bring harvest date forward by three to five days, according to John Burgess, maize…


Maize meal shown to reduce liver abscesses in beef bulls

Incorporating maize meal into the feed ration of intensively finished dairy-bred beef bulls has been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of liver abscesses. A trial led by Harper Adams…


Maximising starch levels can lift gross margins to £96 a head

Farmers who maximise starch levels in intensive beef finishing rations have the ability to increase gross margins by up to £96 a head without any health issues, according to recent…