Know How / Feed and nutrition

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Case studies

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CALVING

Why portable milkers can ease stress at calving

Using a portable milking machine in the calving pen is the easiest and fastest way to harvest a cow’s first colostrum and avoid having to move a newly calved cow.…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

High-selenium diet helps to boost heifer fertility

A high-selenium cattle diet and focus on optimum pelvic area is helping Aberdeenshire farmers Craig and Claire Grant rear high-quality beef breeding heifers with an average conception rate of 99.9%.…

BEEF

How beef finisher has grown tenfold in a decade

Adaptability and a talent for improving growing cattle has seen a beef finishing unit expand rapidly after acquiring a second farm and embarking on a shed-building programme.  Ten years ago,…

BEEF

How Angus-crosses beat Blues by £200 for integrated graziers

Costings for a Flintshire farm show native-cross cattle are beating continentals by finishing earlier and requiring less concentrate feed. David and Mat Roberts are hoping to finish Angus-crosses exclusively after…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How high-yielding dairy cut soya and lowered crude protein

Removing soya feeds and unnecessary additives from the diet, as well as steadily reducing crude protein levels, have been done without increasing farm costs or compromising production in one Dorset…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How 40.2p/day beet feeding aims for £1,000/ha margin

A North Yorkshire farming outfit is targeting gross margins of £302.50 a head on its dairy-beef wintering operation based around growing fodder beet for 3.35p/kg of dry matter. The cattle-on-beet…

Practical advice

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CALVING

Why portable milkers can ease stress at calving

Using a portable milking machine in the calving pen is the easiest and fastest way to harvest a cow’s first colostrum and avoid having to move a newly calved cow.…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Adviser warns against three silage inoculant claims

An independent silage specialist has sparked industry debate by raising concern over information given to farmers about silage additives, which he claims are ruining forages. Dr Dave Davies of Silage…

MAIZE

What lessons can be learned from 2023 maize harvest?

Farmers harvesting maize later in October 2023 were plagued by wet and difficult conditions. “Maize was a lot riper than people thought it was. Farmers were put off harvesting because…

SHEEP

5 things to consider before ditching sheep supplements

Use of concentrate feeds has had a major influence on sheep farming in the UK. However, the shifting sands of both input and commodity prices mean even if feeding supplements…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

5 ways to help prevent silage slippage

More silage slippage is being seen on farms because of the increase in the popularity of multicut silage. A multicut system involves cutting grass more frequently than the traditional two-to-three-cut…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Advice on sampling fresh grass for this season’s silage

A pre-cut grass sample, analysed for crude protein content and nitrate nitrogen levels, should be used as a gauge to time all silage cuts this season and review fertiliser inputs.…

Insights

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FEED AND NUTRITION

Bacterial inoculant boosts milk yield 1.9kg/day, study shows

Inoculating silage increases available dry matter, improves aerobic stability, and increases milk yields, according to the findings of a new trial. The independent trial was carried out at Reading University’s…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Excess copper found to impair liver function in heifers

Feeding excess copper to dairy heifer calves can compromise liver function, leading to poorer fertility and lower milk yields in first lactation. This is according to AHDB-funded research at Harper…

LIVESTOCK

Are milk fever and negative energy balance under control?

Milk fever and negative energy balance are issues for many dairy herds, despite most dairy farmers recognising the importance of the dry period to cow health and productivity. According to…

DAIRY

How early life calf nutrition affects long-term metabolism

Researchers are discovering more about early life programming and how critical this is for adulthood, according to Trouw Nutrition’s Dr Leonel Leal. This starts with colostrum, but also includes feeding…

LIVESTOCK

Why diverse forage mixtures could improve outwintering

Findings from a recent trial in Devon have concluded that outwintering cattle on a diverse mix of forages can help improve both animal and soil health, while also benefiting the…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How home-grown forages could make dairy protein more green

Making better use of home-grown forages could help eliminate the overfeeding of costly dietary protein in dairy cow diets and, in turn, reduce associated emissions, according to Liam Sinclair, professor…

LIVESTOCK

How multispecies swards can improve production efficiency

Grassland in the UK has traditionally been dominated by ryegrass. While ryegrass provides high yields of good-quality forage, it is dependent on applications of now-expensive nitrogen fertiliser and is susceptible…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Maize-bean cropping tipped to see huge growth in Germany

More German growers are companion-cropping maize with beans to address astronomical ammonium nitrate and protein costs, saying the dry matter and protein performance of the resulting silage outweighs the energy…

LIVESTOCK

High-yielding herds top efficiency stakes

High-yielding dairy herds are more feed-efficient than low-yielding herds, but improvements must be made in cow fertility and longevity to lower methane emissions. A study of 21 farms across five…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Why keeping ewes in good condition can help save on wormers

Keeping ewes at a good body condition score (BCS) in the weeks before and after lambing minimises worming requirements at a key point in the year, a new Welsh study…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Maize silage should feed well despite drought, analysis shows

Analysis of nearly 700 samples of maize silage suggest it should feed well this winter and complement this year’s grass silages. This is according to Liz Homer, ruminant technical development…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Forage Aid gears up for busy winter feed campaign

The prolonged hot weather and lack of rain has created serious issues for livestock farmers, with increasing reports of forage shortages. Following massive increases in feed, fertiliser, fuel and energy…

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