Know How / Breeding and fertility

Case studies

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DAIRY

How a spring-calving herd started using genomics

Genomically testing replacements has flagged up a genomic profitable lifetime index (£PLI) gap of up to £286 between heifers at a Pembrokeshire dairy farm. The Hannah family, who farm at…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Why Australian cattle breeders have competitive edge over UK

It is harder for breeders to record performance in the UK because of the small scale of beef enterprises and the unfit beef-grading system. That was the message from Tom…

BEEF

Rival breeders' collaboration sees Angus bull sales treble

A marketing partnership with a rival English breeder has enabled a Scottish Angus herd to treble its bull sales, rewarding the herd’s focus on cost control and type. The Playfair-Hannays,…

BEEF

How a beef farmer has reduced slaughter age to 20 months

David Barton has lowered the age of slaughter of his suckler herd by five months by putting a greater focus on the management of both calves and grassland. Farming 103ha…

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…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Radical change to breeding policy sees replacement rates fall

Lake District farmer Pete Webster has reduced replacement rates from 25% to 20% since radically changing his breeding policy and developing a strict culling plan. “Involvement in the AHDB's Challenge…

Practical advice

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BREEDING AND FERTILITY

5 KPIs to measure to improve suckler herd performance

With the changes in agricultural payments around the corner, there has never been a more appropriate time to focus on maternal key performance indicators (KPIs) and your cost of production…

PIGS

5 tips to get the most from AI in pigs

A crucial stage of the artificial insemination (AI) process is the period between semen doses leaving the breeding company and them being used to inseminate sows. If doses aren’t stored…

PIGS

5 tips for improving pig herd retention rates

Current key performance indicators (KPIs) being used by the pork industry to measure output are counterintuitive and are damaging financial performance. That’s according to pig consultant Stephen Hall who believes…

PIGS

5 causes of pig infertility and how to avoid them

There are many reasons for poor conception rates within a breeding herd, and the explanations for an individual animal to be “not in pig” are likely to be multifactorial. It…

PIGS

Advice on switching to temporary crating as pressure grows

In June the European Commission announced that, by 2023, it would put together proposed legislation to phase out the use of cage systems in farming, including farrowing crates for sows.…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Advice for buying rams based on EBVs

Ram selection is key to a successful sheep enterprise, with trials showing that the right tup can be worth an extra £600 over his working lifetime. With 50 years’ worth…

Insights

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BREEDING AND FERTILITY

April 2021 bull proofs: The latest movers and shakers

Four new bulls, including a UK-bred bull, enter the young genomic sire ranking published today (6 April) by AHDB Dairy. Clinging on to the top spot for a third genetic…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How genomic testing of heifers can improve profitability

Genomic testing replacement heifers has a cost benefit of £19.39 a heifer, according to a three-year study involving nine Welsh dairy farms. The project compared the difference between estimated breeding…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How Welsh sheep producers are improving hill genetics

Welsh Mountain sheep producers from across Wales have joined forces to raise the commercial standard of regional types of hill sheep. The ProHill producer group is the biggest collaborative breeding…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

BVD vaccination can lift milk yields, trial shows

Vaccinating dairy cows against the bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) virus can lift milk yields by up to 1 litre/day, a recent global study has shown. A total of 1,463 cows…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

5 tips from NZ to increase sheep flock returns by 30%

UK sheep farmers can achieve a 30% increase in flock gross margins by adopting five principles used in New Zealand, a consultant claims. Murray Rohloff says while benefits will vary…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Lim-gate: What next for EBVs?

The exposure of errors relating to the registration of birth dates and parentage of cattle last year brought into question the legitimacy and accuracy of data feeding into Estimated Breeding…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

August bull proofs: Genomic sires showcase performance ability

Young genomic sires are proving their ability to perform, making up the entire top 10 of proven Holstein sires in the August bull proof run released today (13 August) by…