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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BEEF

Why a Durham beef finisher is adding Wagyu places

A Durham farming family is erecting a new shed to expand its Wagyu-cross beef enterprise by 30%. The Medd family hopes to lift cattle capacity to about 650 head by…

CALVING

Why portable milkers can ease stress at calving

Using a portable milking machine in the calving pen is the easiest and fastest way to harvest a cow’s first colostrum and avoid having to move a newly calved cow.…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

High-selenium diet helps to boost heifer fertility

A high-selenium cattle diet and focus on optimum pelvic area is helping Aberdeenshire farmers Craig and Claire Grant rear high-quality beef breeding heifers with an average conception rate of 99.9%.…

BEEF

How beef finisher has grown tenfold in a decade

Adaptability and a talent for improving growing cattle has seen a beef finishing unit expand rapidly after acquiring a second farm and embarking on a shed-building programme.  Ten years ago,…

BEEF

How Angus-crosses beat Blues by £200 for integrated graziers

Costings for a Flintshire farm show native-cross cattle are beating continentals by finishing earlier and requiring less concentrate feed. David and Mat Roberts are hoping to finish Angus-crosses exclusively after…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How 40.2p/day beet feeding aims for £1,000/ha margin

A North Yorkshire farming outfit is targeting gross margins of £302.50 a head on its dairy-beef wintering operation based around growing fodder beet for 3.35p/kg of dry matter. The cattle-on-beet…

Practical advice

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ASSESSING PERFORMANCE

7 lessons learned outwintering in soaking conditions

Winter growth rates struggled on many outwintering systems this year, and the cattle at Castletown Estates, near Carlisle, were no exception. Ruari Martin, farm and estate director, told the Beef…

FEED AND NUTRITION

6 things to watch out for in wet spring maize campaign

Maize growers should be prepared to address soil compaction and drill later if required after a record-breaking period of rainfall. The wettest 18-month period across England in recorded history could…

CALVING

Why portable milkers can ease stress at calving

Using a portable milking machine in the calving pen is the easiest and fastest way to harvest a cow’s first colostrum and avoid having to move a newly calved cow.…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Adviser warns against three silage inoculant claims

An independent silage specialist has sparked industry debate by raising concern over information given to farmers about silage additives, which he claims are ruining forages. Dr Dave Davies of Silage…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

5 ways to help prevent silage slippage

More silage slippage is being seen on farms because of the increase in the popularity of multicut silage. A multicut system involves cutting grass more frequently than the traditional two-to-three-cut…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Advice on sampling fresh grass for this season’s silage

A pre-cut grass sample, analysed for crude protein content and nitrate nitrogen levels, should be used as a gauge to time all silage cuts this season and review fertiliser inputs.…

Insights

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BEEF

16 ways to improve suckler herd profitability

British beef farmers can check their management practices against a list of tried and tested ways to make their suckler herds more profitable and productive. A joint levy board initiative…

LIVESTOCK

Why diverse forage mixtures could improve outwintering

Findings from a recent trial in Devon have concluded that outwintering cattle on a diverse mix of forages can help improve both animal and soil health, while also benefiting the…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How ‘chemichanical’ approach is aiding maize production

About 180,000ha of maize is grown in Denmark, with the majority of production concentrated in the South West. However, continuous rotations and a reduced chemical armoury mean weed control is…

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,…

FEED AND NUTRITION

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 &…

FEED AND NUTRITION

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…

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