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


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…


How Welsh beef farm is in top third for low carbon emissions

A Welsh beef farm is achieving carbon emissions that are 17% lower than average. Paul and Dwynwen Williams run a herd of 60 suckler cows and intensively finish 120 dairy-bred…


How EID is helping beef finisher identify poor performers

Beef producer Geraint Evans finishes about 400 cattle annually using electronic identification (EID) technology to hit target market weights and specifications. Mr Evans aims to achieve an average daily liveweight…


Why farmer is using orange peel to seal his silage clamp

Innovative farmer Henry Tyrrell has used 60t of orange peel as a novel way of covering his silage clamp while reducing plastic and providing fibre for his cows. The 24-year-old,…


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,…


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…

Practical advice

See all


How to manage minerals in suckler cows pre-calving

Making sure suckler cows are fed enough micronutrients in the run-up to calving is vital to ensure cow and calf health isn’t compromised. Farmers should be thinking about feeding micronutrients…


Growing maize after a wet season: Challenges and solutions

This year the amount of maize grown is predicted to increase by 20% to combat the shortage in winter cereals being drilled following the wet autumn. Farmers Weekly and crop…


6 tips to avoid mycotoxins in silage ahead of harvest

The presence of mycotoxins in silage can cause huge repercussions for livestock producers, with issues ranging from reduced feed intake to abortion often a result of a mycotoxicosis infection. However,…


How multi-cut can deliver profits of £333/ha

Cutting grass more frequently can deliver better-quality forage capable of delivering £333/ha profit above a traditional three-cut silage-making system. Dairy nutritionists Volac compared a five-cut system to a three-cut system…


Advice on establishing and grazing herbal leys

A herbal ley is a diverse sward that includes different grasses and species, with varying rooting depths, properties and drought tolerances. They have a positive effect on soil health, structure…


Painful 2019 harvest delivers valuable maize-growing lessons

The importance of preserving soil structure and exercising patience in harvesting a maize crop are among a Nottinghamshire maize grower’s key lessons from the painful 2019 harvest. Last year’s autumn…


See all


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…


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…