19 June 1998


&#8226 ADDITIVE manufacturer Ecosyl is inviting comment on its proposals to revamp the UK Forage Additive Approval Scheme (FAAS) which is currently under review.

Its proposals include an independent body to run the scheme, removal of manufacturers trials, submission of all research and trial data and repeated trials to establish benefits on cow performance

Producers can fax their comments to Ecosyls Andy Beardsmore on 01642-364111.

&#8226 FARMERS are advised to examine swards in grazing and silage aftermath areas now to help plan grass management to maintain productivity.

Johnsons Seeds advises assessing condition of tillers and monitoring regrowth to give an indication of likely performance.

If grass has been grazed heavily this spring or silage cuts have been taken late and grass height is below 3cm (1.25inch) tiller damage is likely to have occurred.

If grass regrowth is slow, some areas may need resting. However, others may need to be oversown or re-seeded to ensure productive swards for next year, he says.

&#8226 FLIES are out early this year and dry cows must be protected against them to avoid summer mastitis and for animal comfort.

That is the message from dairy vet Paul Crossman of Ian Hutchinson and Partners, Arundel, who is already seeing flies on cows.

Dry cows can be protected with fly tags, which are particularly effective in pairs, but may not be easy to use, he says. Fly sprays may also work, but have a short duration and stock need repeat applications. Pour-on preparations can last up to eight weeks, but may need reapplication more frequently in wet weather.

"Do not assume the product will last. Check animals for flies to ensure it is working," he says.

&#8226 AN average cell count of 45,000/ml and 11,330 Bactoscan reading placed Powys milk producers Ian and Elwyn Lewis-Jones first in the Express Milk Partnerships milk quality award.

Ian Lewis-Jones believes that maintaining cows teats in optimum condition is crucial. Before milking at Grange Farm, Sarnau, Llanymynech, cows are dry wiped to remove any dirt before wet wiping with a medicated teat towel. He uses a separate towel for each cow in the 50-cow herd, which average 8000 litres.

After milking he applies an iodised udder salve to cows teats and then sprays them with an iodine solution. "This keeps teats soft and seals them," he says.

He adds that although this system seems complicated, it has become part of his routine.

and the costs are offset by the premiums paid for top quality milk totalling 1.4p/litre. Clinical mastitis cases are also rare, with just two cases last winter.

Second place in the awards was taken by David and John Davies of Hill Farm, Chelmarsh, Bridgenorth, Shropshire.

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