Know How / Feed and nutrition

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Case studies

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BEEF

10 ways one farm makes suckler beef profitable

In 10 years, Philip Jones has shaved 36 days off his calving index, cut heifer age at first calving to 24 months and eliminated bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) from his…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

How one dairy farm installed robots to cut down milking time

Since robots were installed at Argoed Farm, average milk yield in the Holstein herd has increased by 2,000 litres a year, to 9,000 litres, an immediate payback from investing in…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Beef grazing project benefits soils and biodiversity

A four-year grazing project on heavy land is improving resilience, biodiversity and soil health without reseeding or winter housing. The aim of the Adaptive Multi-Paddock Grazing Project, running on FAI…

DAIRY

How a dairy made a two-year transition to organic farming

This year marked a turning point for the Lywood family as they sold their first litres of organic milk from Marshalls Farm in West Sussex, following a two-year conversion period.…

LIVESTOCK

Three-times-a-day switch improves yields by 2,000 litres/cow

When the George family increased milking frequency they realised an uplift in milk yield of 2,000 litres a cow. As pedigree Holsteins, the cows were already high yielding, producing an…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Soaking concentrates lifts yield by 1.5 litres a cow a day

Scottish farmer William Baillie has increased milk yields by 1.5 litres a cow a day since making small changes to the diet of his dairy cows.   Soaking concentrates overnight…

Practical advice

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LIVESTOCK

4 ways to further improve herd fertility

Many farmers could make big improvements to the fertility of their herds by paying greater attention to dry cow management, stable nutrition and routine vet visits. According to vet Graeme…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on feeding yearling heifers to calve at 22-24 months

Calving at two rather than three years old reduces rearing costs by about £600 a heifer and increases its lifetime productivity.  In addition, it ensures genetics with the best potential…

DAIRY

How to manage acidosis when feeding multi-cut grass silage

Dairy farmers switching to high-quality grass silages made in multi-cut systems should persevere if they are encountering acidosis from young, wet, low-fibre silages. Some dairy farms are reporting sub-acute acidosis…

BEEF

Video: Finisher gives tips on selecting cattle for slaughter

Marketing cattle at the right time is not just about giving processors what they want, it’s about cost control and efficiency. This is according to Yorkshire cattle finisher Doug Dear…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How do field beans and forage stack up in pig diets?

With global supplies looking vulnerable and farmers facing huge spikes in feed prices, there is no better time to look at viable alternatives to feeding imported soya. The good news…

PIGS

3 ways to maximise piglet growth at farrowing

Management during the early stages of a piglet’s life dictates its future growth and potential, with studies frequently showing an increased weaning weight can result in optimised finishing time and…

Insights

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GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Winter grazing crop outperforms brassicas in sheep trial

A winter grazing crop of Italian ryegrass, berseem clover and forage rape can finish more than twice as many lambs as an equivalent acreage of brassicas, a farm trial has…

DAIRY

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…

LIVESTOCK

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…

LIVESTOCK

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…

POULTRY

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…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

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…

FEED AND NUTRITION

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,…

PIGS

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…

PIGS

Pig sector 'on knife edge' as farms turn to holding diets

Severely reduced processing capacity due to the Covid-19 pandemic has left some pig finishing units dealing with backlogs and feeding lower-energy holding diets to manage supply and avoid hefty penalties.…

ENVIRONMENT

Scientists developing EBV for lower methane emission

Farmers could be selecting cattle bred to produce lower methane emissions in the near future, according to a leading scientist. Methane is an important greenhouse gas, with 28-times the potential…

POULTRY

Everything you need to know about poultry feed additives

According to the British Poultry Council’s latest report, overall antibiotics use on UK poultry meat units fell by more than 80% between 2012 and 2018, to a total of 16.2t.…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Study shows how calcium can affect dry cow fertility

Increasing calcium in pre-calving diets can improve postpartum uterine health and fertility, a recent study has revealed. The study, which took place at the University of Illinois, examined feeding dry…

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