Know How / Feed and nutrition

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Case studies

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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…


How a dairy farmer cut feed costs to 7.68p/litre

Robotic dairy farmers Tony and Michael Ball have lifted milk from forage to 3,035 litres by taking four cuts every five weeks, helping to keep total feed costs at 7.68p/litre.…


Switch to rye saves £1.90 a pig on Yorkshire unit

A leading East Yorkshire pig unit has reduced its pig feed costs by £1.90 a head by replacing wheat with rye in its post-weaning rations. JSR Farms is among a…


How poultry farm is saving 10% on feed costs with home mill

Milling grain from home-grown wheat and oats as feed for their 64,000 layers is making Allan and Nick Panniers’ free-range egg business more sustainable. Until 2016, they bought their feed from…


How a farmer improved shearling ewe management

Managing shearlings as a separate group has improved scanning percentage by 10% at a Wiltshire sheep farm. Rob and Anna Hawke had run their Romney and Romney cross Highlander shearling…


How a dairy farm has benefited from lupicaleage

A drought-tolerant forage crop of lupins and triticale is providing a home-grown source of protein at a South Yorkshire dairy farm, and also boosting fibre and starch in the ration. …

Practical advice

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Video: How to take an integrated approach to rodent control

The best way to deal with rat infestations is not to have them in the first place. Waiting until you see rats running around the farm is too late. Every…


A guide to overwintering beef cattle on fodder beet

Fodder beet is a high-energy crop giving 12MJ/kg dry matter (DM). It far outyields other forage alternatives. This is great for production and profit, but careful management is needed when…


Farmer learnings on grazing sheep on multispecies swards

Using multispecies swards that contain two or more species can reduce days to slaughter, improve ewe condition and reduce the reliance on anthelmintics, an Irish study has shown.   Researchers…


Pig B&B: Tips on nutrition and stockmanship

It is normal for most contract-finishing pig businesses to have dedicated fieldsmen assigned to specific farms to assist them with all aspects of pig production. This can include everything from…


Creep feeding suckler calves: Risks and how to do it right

Every year calves die because of access to creep. Ben Strugnell, who runs the Farm Post Mortems service explains why this happens and how to avoid these losses It is…


A poultry farmer's guide to using mycotoxin binders in feed

Fungi produce toxic substances, known as mycotoxins, as a form of defence against the environment. The development of mycotoxins is subject to specific environmental factors, such as warm temperatures, high…


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How to get the most from this year's variable silage crop

This year’s silage is proving to be variable in quality and will need careful and frequent monitoring to make the best use of it. That is the verdict on samples…


Calf bottles and tube feeders on test

It is unsurprising many farmers are switching from bottles to buckets with teats for feeding milk to older calves. Our test, carried out over a four-month period at my family…


What benefits do trees offer to livestock systems?

Trees offer animals huge benefits, according to Lindsay Whistance, senior livestock researcher at the Organic Research Centre. She sets out the value of silvopasture to livestock systems. See also: Defra…


Which home-grown proteins may replace soya in poultry diets?

Soya is almost unique in its qualities as a source of highly digestible, high-protein, plant-based feed with a good amino acid profile.  It is also available year round and is…


Multispecies leys show seasonal advantage in Welsh uplands

Multispecies leys can perform as well as traditional ryegrass in upland regions, a three-year study by the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) Wales has found. Seed mixes incorporating meadow fescue, Timothy…


Why urea-based products should be avoided to preserve grain

Urea-based products used to preserve rolled grain lose at least 40% of nitrogen content before they are consumed by the animal, new research has shown. Urea acts as a preservative,…


How lower-density starter diets can improve pig performance

A recent study carried out by Harper Adams and ForFarmers has found that, contrary to belief, lower-density starter diets don’t necessarily lead to lower performance. In fact, the study showed…