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.

AHDB resource

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Case studies

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BEEF

10 ways one farm makes suckler beef profitable

In 10 years, Philip Jones has shaved 36 days off his calving index, cut heifer age at first calving to 24 months and eliminated bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) from his…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Beef grazing project benefits soils and biodiversity

A four-year grazing project on heavy land is improving resilience, biodiversity and soil health without reseeding or winter housing. The aim of the Adaptive Multi-Paddock Grazing Project, running on FAI…

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…

Practical advice

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FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on feeding yearling heifers to calve at 22-24 months

Calving at two rather than three years old reduces rearing costs by about £600 a heifer and increases its lifetime productivity.  In addition, it ensures genetics with the best potential…

BEEF

Video: Finisher gives tips on selecting cattle for slaughter

Marketing cattle at the right time is not just about giving processors what they want, it’s about cost control and efficiency. This is according to Yorkshire cattle finisher Doug Dear…

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…

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,…

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…

LIVESTOCK

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…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

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…

LIVESTOCK

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…

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