Know How / Beef / Livestock marketing

Tighter specifications and heftier penalties on high carcase weights mean beef producers need to pay attention to the weights and finishing times of their stock. Whether you are looking to maximize the value of your weaned calves, store cattle, prime beef or are a producer-retailer, there are tips to help you along the way.

Case studies

See all


How heifer beef helps farm shop to meet consumer demand

Rearing and finishing only heifers for meat is something the Henshaw family have been doing for almost 20 years, ever since they established Mainsgill Farm Shop near Darlington in 2001.…


Commercial focus improves sales and EBVs in Angus herd

Compact calving periods, performance recording, forage-based feeding and a strict culling policy for locomotion and temperament are making a Scottish Angus herd increasingly sought after at home and abroad. The…


How 3,500-head beef unit averages 1.5kg gain a day

Kepak Farm, located in Dunboyne, finishes 3,500 cattle a year, with cattle supplied direct to the nearby Kepak factory in Clonee. Owned by the Kepak Group, it claims to be…


How a group of beef farmers took over their supply chain

Collaboration is helping five Welsh beef farmers to secure a bigger share of the market value of their finished cattle. Three years ago, Robert Lewis got together with four other…


Beef producer creates fully integrated farming system

Integration of beef production has long been something vet Rob Drysdale has wished to see in practice after working more than 20 years as a farm vet. He believes integrated…


How beef farmer Ian Willison is hitting new carcass specs

Fast finishing is vital to bull profitability for Nottinghamshire farmer Ian Willison, who adapted his intensive system to meet tight market specifications on carcass. He believes feeding young animals when…

Practical advice

See all


6 ways livestock farmers can improve carcass eating quality

Carcass defects and poor eating quality of meat cost the livestock sector millions of pounds a year, yet simple steps could be taken on farm that would minimise losses. Research…


9 tips on buying a bull and getting him off to a good start

Buying a bull can be a relatively straight-forward process, but making sure that bull gets cows in calf in a compact breeding season for several years is more difficult. There…


How to farm rare breeds commercially and get a premium

Rare breeds will always be unable to compete against modern, commercial animals when it comes to productivity. However, with the potential for lower production costs and the opportunity to supply…


Three-stage approach helps meet beef specifications

Formulating rations specific to each of the three stages of production is one of the best ways the industry can achieve new market requirements, according to independent ruminant nutritionist David…


Tips on meeting new lighter-weight beef specifications

About one-third of steer carcasses are failing to meet new, lighter-weight beef specifications, according to AHDB investigations. Most processors have narrowed their grading specifications in the past 12 months, implementing…


How to avoid infecting your herd when buying cattle

Purchasing livestock is the most likely way of introducing disease into a herd, but that risk can be removed. Andrew Cobner president of the British Cattle Veterinary Association outlines disease…



How the retail market for young bulls is changing

Leading retailers insist they are continuing to source young bulls for beef despite one supermarket removing them from certain products last year. Tesco’s decision to stop using young bulls in…


Breeder outlines a new direction for a better beef industry

The beef industry requires an urgent change of direction with emphasis put on breeding and feed efficiencies to counter the effects of continuing commodity price volatility and uncertainty over farm…


Target daily liveweight gains to cut beef finishing times

Setting strict targets for daily liveweight gains and getting rid of animals that are not hitting the grade is helping beef finisher Meilir Jones keep a tight rein on costs…


Is bigger better when it comes to cow size?

Finding the right sized cow to suit the system is key to suckler productivity. Farmers Weekly analyses whether bigger or smaller cows are best. A growing number of farms are…


Automated carcass grading could boost income

A carcass grading system used in Ireland has been introduced to the UK mainland. Jeremy Hunt looks at how farmers will benefit. Replacing manual graders with new imaging technology can…


Selling primestock - is auction or abattoir best?

As the livestock sector finds itself in times of radical change on so many fronts, is the vexed issue of whether the best way to sell stock is under the…