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

Download the feed budget planner spreadsheet

Download spreadsheet

Case studies

See all


Farmers Weekly Awards: Grassland Manager finalists 2020

Excellent grass growth and use is a common theme across all three finalists, who are each running very profitable businesses by making the most from grass and quality forage.  See…


How a suckler farmer is achieving six-week calving

Good nutritional management, a high bull-to-cow ratio and attention to detail is enabling a Pembrokeshire suckler beef enterprise to halve its calving period from 12 weeks to six and calve…


How beef processor Pickstock improved output by £560/ha

Beef processor Pickstock Telford has lifted output by £560/ha/year since switching to rotational grazing. The processor finishes 700 dairy-bred beef calves annually at its state-of-the-art beef finishing facility, Brongain Farm…


Suckler farm reveals results of cost-control plan 2 years on

A Yorkshire suckler herd is sending more animals to slaughter in specification, has lifted calf output and improved grassland production. These three gains have been made by the Prudom family…


How silage rationing can cut suckler cow costs by £50 a head

Rationing the silage intakes of dry suckler cows according to body condition is resulting in forage savings of more than £40 a head on one Welsh livestock farm. Gwion Owen,…


Four ways 800-head suckler herd managed beef crash

Adapting to cope with price volatility has allowed an 800-head suckler enterprise to be resilient over the past year. The Hull family’s spring-calving herd is farmed alongside a large sheep…

Practical advice

See all


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…


How to prevent and treat scours in calves

While disease can be a trigger for calf scours, so can early calf nutrition, with the concentration of milk replacer having a direct effect on gastrointestinal environment. Osmolality is a…


6 feed strategies to mitigate heat stress in cattle

Heat stress can have a huge impact on cow health and milk production by reducing feed intake and rumination. Heat stress is caused not only by temperature, but humidity, and…


The benefits of growing and feeding lucerne to dairy cows

Lucerne is a popular crop across the continent but remains an almost untapped protein resource in the UK. However, it has huge potential in dairy diets to help displace imported…


Finishing cattle: A guide to health planning and quarantine

A farm-specific health plan should be in place in any cattle-finishing enterprise to help achieve good output and profitability. This is according to veterinary surgeon Leanne Forde of Bishopton Vets,…


Guide to understanding a beef killing-out sheet

Taking the information from the kill sheet, and using some basic sums, can reveal a heap of information about production and efficiency. All too often cattle are sent to slaughter…


See all


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…