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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LIVESTOCK

Durham farm saves costs with grassland focus and weighing

Measuring and recording grass growth and weighing livestock more frequently has opened up cost-saving opportunities on an upland grazing farm. David and Joyce Monkhouse of Low Houselop Farm, Tow Law,…

BEEF

How a Salers herd aims to become carbon neutral by 2035

Mixed farmer Conor Colgan is using increasingly sophisticated methods and research to increase the efficiency of his farm in an attempt to become carbon neutral. Relatively basic improvements in herd…

BEEF

Why one farmer switched to Parthenaise beef breed

The Parthenaise breed is one of the oldest in France and has been refined over the past 50 years to produce high-quality beef. Its meat is some of the most…

BEEF

Why a mixed farmer is phasing out his suckler herd

Shropshire mixed farmer Lee Preece is phasing out his suckler herd in favour of finishing black-and-white beef bulls for rose veal. Mr Preece believes the venture is delivering better profits of…

LIVESTOCK

How a 93% calf sold figure helped carbon efficiency

A calving percentage of 95% and a mortality rate of 2% are helping Robert, Bob and Lucy Forrest, Preston Farm, Duns, manage greenhouse gas emissions in their beef herd. By…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

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…

Practical advice

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BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How to manage body condition in overfit cows

Farmers are being advised to carefully manage cow body condition with anecdotal reports suggesting an increased number of caesarean sections due to overfit cows. Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service (FAS) says…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Advice for farmers on multi-grazing hybrid brassicas

Demand for hybrid brassicas reached unprecedented levels in 2018 as livestock farmers sought solutions to meet forage shortfalls caused by the drought. Bred in New Zealand and first grown in…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

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…

FEED AND NUTRITION

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,…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

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…

FEED AND NUTRITION

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…

Insights

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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…

BEEF

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…

LIVESTOCK

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…