Know How / Feed and nutrition

Advice, case studies and latest information to help you provide your stock with the best feed and nutrition options for your system.

Case studies

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LIVESTOCK

Why a spring-calving dairy farmer has bought a feeder wagon

Most spring calving dairy farmers would grimace at the thought of buying a feeder wagon. However, some are spring systems are doing just that in an attempt to extend grazing…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Couple makes success of farming on remote Orkney island

Healthy and efficient animals are a must for Neil and Jocelyn Rendall, who farm one of the most remote and smallest Orkney islands. The Isle of Papa Westray (“Papay”), one…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

How Co-op’s scheme keeps calves in the supply chain

Food retailer the Co-operative Group is expanding a calf scheme that integrates its dairy and beef supply chains. The scheme provides an outlet for all dairy/beef calves, including dairy bulls…

LIVESTOCK

Forage wagon v precision chop for a multi-cut silage system

Switching from a three-cut silage system to taking smaller and more regular cuts of silage has lifted forage quality at a Welsh dairy farm. But recouping the additional costs of…

PIGS

The challenges of pig farming in South Africa

South Africa, a land known for its tropical weather and miles of dry terrain, is hardly conducive to pig farming, with everything from temperature fluctuation to farm security to consider.…

LIVESTOCK

How dairy farmers are making four cuts of 11.3ME silage

Although the Williams family live in one of the wettest areas of Wales, with an annual rainfall of 1,300mm, it isn’t preventing them from them from making top-quality grass silage.…

Practical advice

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LIVESTOCK

4 steps to ensure heifers are on track to calve at 24 months

We all need to build more resilient businesses in this tough world of market volatility and the starting point on all dairy farms is the birth of the calf. What…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

Complete guide to feeding newborn heifers

The first few hours of a calf’s life determine how that animal will go on to perform throughout its lifetime.   Calving by two years old is now deemed a…

SHEEP

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…

LIVESTOCK

12 steps to keep heifer growth rates on track

With heifer growth rates jeopardised by late spring turnout, it has never been more important to allocate priority grazing on the best-quality pastures for underweight replacements. Ideally, heifers in grass-based…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

Guide to weaning beef calves to reduce stress

Weaning can be a stressful experience for a cow and calf, breaking the maternal-offspring bond and removing milk from the calf’s diet. However, there are strategies beef producers can take…

Insights

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SHEEP

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…

LIVESTOCK

Compact feeding lifts milk yields by 1.6 litres a cow

A feeding system that prevents dairy cows sorting concentrates from forage in a total mixed ration (TMR) has been shown to increase average daily milk yield by 1.6 litres a…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

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…

LIVESTOCK

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…

LIVESTOCK

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…

LIVESTOCK

Benefits of switching to a multi-cut silage system

Many dairy farmers are now looking to lift milk solids production as they move to manufacturing contracts. In a new four-part series, Farmers Weekly will be examining how fat and…

LIVESTOCK

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…

LIVESTOCK

Why more livestock farmers are growing maize

The UK maize growing area has increased by 14% in five years as the crop continues to gain popularity among livestock producers, a survey suggests. The survey of 340 farmers…

PIGS

Alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters for pigs

Since the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) was banned in the EU in 2006, there’s been growing interest in alternatives that can reduce the impact of pig disease and…

POULTRY

Challenges ahead for insect protein in poultry diets

It is with increasing frequency that news comes from an enthusiastic start-up claiming the insect protein problem has been cracked. The idea is certainly an attractive one: turn waste products…

SHEEP

Better silage allows for soya strategy at lambing

Producing an 11ME silage can allow ewes to be fed a sixth of the amount of feed three weeks pre-lambing through supplementing rumen-protected soya, saving £3-£12 a ewe. This is…

LIVESTOCK

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…