Livestock top stories

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Is it OK to be addicted to farming?

This Is my final Farmer Focus article of my three-year stint. I did wonder after one year how I would manage to keep it fresh and interesting. We all know…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Advice on converting farm buildings for pig B&B

New-build sheds on greenfield sites have been a popular choice for farmers setting up a bed and breakfast pig enterprise, with short payback periods, new-build bonuses, and a good return…

FOOT HEALTH

Guide to tackling white line disease in cattle

White line disease is one of the most common causes of cattle lameness on farm. Farmers Weekly spoke to Hannah Fitzsimmonds, vet at LLM Farm Vets and member of VetPartners’…

BOVINE TB

4 farmers’ badger-proofing inventions help cut TB risk

Inventive farmers are mitigating the risk of bovine TB spreading from badgers to their dairy and beef cattle by devising their own obstacles to wildlife incursions. Some of the winners…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Beef processors are creating a producer rift

Once again, it feels like a summer of extremes. On the ranch, we have finally finished up spring breeding and hay making.  It has been a hard push since February…

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…

Livestock news

LIVESTOCK

Scots dairy farmers agree cows should graze, survey finds

Most Scottish dairy farmers believe that cows should graze for at least part of the year, according to new research. The findings of the “Cows eat grass, don’t they?” (PDF)…

TAKING STOCK

Prime lambs firm after plummeting £30-£35 a head

Hopes hang on prime lamb prices holding around the 250-260p/kg mark after values fell £30-£35 a head last month. With such volatile prices, many farms have opted to sit the…

BOVINE TB

Bovine TB cattle vaccine field trials start in England

Field trials for a cattle vaccine and a new skin test for bovine tuberculosis (TB) have started in England. A TB-free farm in Hertfordshire has started the first phase of…

DAIRY

NMR launches individual milk sampler for robots

Robotic dairies wanting to test individual cow milk quality can hire a shuttle testing kit from a national milk quality laboratory. National Milk Records (NMR) has launched a UK-wide service…

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SHEEP

Versatile sheep breed shakes up hill sector

Rising costs and diminishing subsidies have made many upland farms review output and systems. Numerous units have switched to a Cheviot sire for this reason, either to breed replacements or…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Advice on converting farm buildings for pig B&B

New-build sheds on greenfield sites have been a popular choice for farmers setting up a bed and breakfast pig enterprise, with short payback periods, new-build bonuses, and a good return…

FOOT HEALTH

Guide to tackling white line disease in cattle

White line disease is one of the most common causes of cattle lameness on farm. Farmers Weekly spoke to Hannah Fitzsimmonds, vet at LLM Farm Vets and member of VetPartners’…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How to attract dung beetles to your livestock farm

Dung beetle populations in the UK are in trouble, says farmer and entomologist Sally-Ann Spence. These insects play a vital role in livestock systems with dung pat management, soil health…

BEEF

3 beef systems and their earning potential compared

More farmers are considering beef production as the industry experiences a sustained period of buoyant returns. Buying in calves and selling them as stores is now the most common system…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How and why to rectify trace element deficiencies in heifers

Stillbirths can be an economic and a welfare issue for dairy farmers – with losses in heifers often caused by trace element deficiencies. Farmers Weekly spoke to James Husband, vet…

SHEEP

Hampshire Down sire saves month on finishing

A Lincolnshire terminal sire flock has used the national RamCompare project to prove that size isn’t everything, and that management and breeding ethos matter most. A ram from the Thorbeck…

LIVESTOCK

Calculating beef weaning efficiency and why it is important

Vets and consultants are urging suckler farmers to quantify how good their cows really are at rearing beef by looking at a calf’s 200-day weight as a percentage of cow…

DAIRY

How to counter first-cut protein shortfall after cold spring

Dairy farms that have grass silage with low crude protein levels should consider cost-effective protein sources this winter, after April’s cold nights slowed growth and limited nitrogen uptake.  Farmers that…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

7 top tips on establishing herbal leys

Mixed crops, particularly herbal leys, create diversity in root systems that help soil structure, says Kate Still, farming programme delivery manager at the Soil Association. In turn, improved structure benefits…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

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…

PIGS

Advice on establishing a B&B pig agreement

Uncertainty surrounding future support payments and increasing volatility in the marketplace following Brexit and Covid-19 is driving more farmers to consider additional income streams, such as contract-rearing pigs. There is…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Four options for finishing spring-born beef calves on grass

Finishing home-bred beef calves can make a valuable contribution to the bottom line of a spring-calving dairy farm where the opportunity exists to implement a grass-based dairy beef system. Finishing…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Farmers warned to check fertiliser ingredients

Farmers are being warned to scrutinise paperwork, supply chains and ingredients carefully before using fertiliser and by-products after it was revealed farmers in the north of England were allegedly sold…

FEED AND NUTRITION

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. …

LIVESTOCK

Sheep scab: Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Sheep scab is a major threat to the sheep industry, impacting on growth rates and causing serious welfare implications. Its prevalence has increased in the past 20 years following its…

Taking Stock

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TAKING STOCK

Prime lambs firm after plummeting £30-£35 a head

Hopes hang on prime lamb prices holding around the 250-260p/kg mark after values fell £30-£35 a head last month. With such volatile prices, many farms have opted to sit the…

TAKING STOCK

Stores £40-£50 dearer as processors pay £4/kg

Several English meat buyers have lifted base prices above £4/kg for continental cattle this week, meaning red-hot summer prices in the store ring. Industry expectations are for tighter cattle numbers…

SHEEP

Auctioneer loans hurdles to save Bury Show’s sheep section

Organisers of the Bury Show have thanked auctioneers for stepping in at the last minute to save their sheep showing from cancellation. A fortnight before the show, members of the…

TAKING STOCK

Prices tumble £15-£20 as lambs flood forward

A deadweight advantage of £10-£15 a lamb could be eroded this week as lamb supply ramps up and processors make big price cuts. Exporters have paid £5.80/kg deadweight for lambs…

Meat markets and prices

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MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

How beef scheme aims to serve producer and consumer

A bid to improve the eating quality, production and environmental credentials of British beef has been launched by a group of West Country farmers. The Good Beef Index (GBI) aims…

TAKING STOCK

Prime lambs firm after plummeting £30-£35 a head

Hopes hang on prime lamb prices holding around the 250-260p/kg mark after values fell £30-£35 a head last month. With such volatile prices, many farms have opted to sit the…

MARKETS AND TRENDS

Lamb prices rally after plunge in values

Lamb prices have had a very mixed week with sharp declines in live markets early on, followed by rises that helped values regain ground. AHDB figures for the week ending…

TAKING STOCK

Stores £40-£50 dearer as processors pay £4/kg

Several English meat buyers have lifted base prices above £4/kg for continental cattle this week, meaning red-hot summer prices in the store ring. Industry expectations are for tighter cattle numbers…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

NFUS enters pig farmer row with abattoir

NFU Scotland (NFUS) has entered an ongoing row between Scotland’s largest pig abattoir and farmers who are boycotting the plant over hefty price cuts. The Covid-19-related discounts are applied at…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Pig weaner market undermined by high feed prices

EU pig weaner prices have fluctuated in recent weeks as high feed costs deterred specialist finishers from entering the market. According to AHDB figures, weaner prices peaked at €56.65 a…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Is it OK to be addicted to farming?

This Is my final Farmer Focus article of my three-year stint. I did wonder after one year how I would manage to keep it fresh and interesting. We all know…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Beef processors are creating a producer rift

Once again, it feels like a summer of extremes. On the ranch, we have finally finished up spring breeding and hay making.  It has been a hard push since February…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Grass plentiful, but quality is a challenge

As ever, it’s been a busy time. We have finished collecting DNA samples from the recorded flock’s lambs. These will be sent to New Zealand so we can determine parentage…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Clarkson’s farm is advertising we could never bu...

We have just finished watching Jeremy Clarkson’s TV series documenting his first year running and operating a farm in the Cotswolds.  It has been so refreshing to see agriculture in…

Dairy

LIVESTOCK

Scots dairy farmers agree cows should graze, survey finds

Most Scottish dairy farmers believe that cows should graze for at least part of the year, according to new research. The findings of the “Cows eat grass, don’t they?” (PDF)…

BOVINE TB

Cattle vaccine will help in battle against TB, says chief vet

Cattle vaccination can become an important item in the toolbox in the battle to eradicate bovine TB in herds, the UK’s chief vet has insisted. Defra has announced that the…

BOVINE TB

Bovine TB cattle vaccine field trials start in England

Field trials for a cattle vaccine and a new skin test for bovine tuberculosis (TB) have started in England. A TB-free farm in Hertfordshire has started the first phase of…

DAIRY

NMR launches individual milk sampler for robots

Robotic dairies wanting to test individual cow milk quality can hire a shuttle testing kit from a national milk quality laboratory. National Milk Records (NMR) has launched a UK-wide service…

FOOT HEALTH

Guide to tackling white line disease in cattle

White line disease is one of the most common causes of cattle lameness on farm. Farmers Weekly spoke to Hannah Fitzsimmonds, vet at LLM Farm Vets and member of VetPartners’…

BOVINE TB

4 farmers’ badger-proofing inventions help cut TB risk

Inventive farmers are mitigating the risk of bovine TB spreading from badgers to their dairy and beef cattle by devising their own obstacles to wildlife incursions. Some of the winners…

FARMLIFE

Somerset farm stunned by 105kg heifer calf

A watchful eye is being kept on a monster heifer calf born over the weekend on a Somerset dairy that tipped the scales at 105kg. Both Holstein cow and purebred…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Changes to Johne’s disease programme delayed

Rule changes to the Johne’s disease risk-level certification programme, due to apply from 1 July, have been delayed for three months. The revised programme, announced by cattle health certification standards…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Sexed semen sales double to 63.5%

Sales of sexed dairy semen have doubled over the past two years, according to a recent AHDB survey of breeding companies. In the 12 months to March 2021, sales of…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How and why to rectify trace element deficiencies in heifers

Stillbirths can be an economic and a welfare issue for dairy farmers – with losses in heifers often caused by trace element deficiencies. Farmers Weekly spoke to James Husband, vet…

BUSINESS

FAO Outlook: Increased food output met by strong demand

Early forecasts point to a resilient global food trade in 2021-22, with increased supplies met by strong demand, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).…

DAIRY

How to counter first-cut protein shortfall after cold spring

Dairy farms that have grass silage with low crude protein levels should consider cost-effective protein sources this winter, after April’s cold nights slowed growth and limited nitrogen uptake.  Farmers that…

Livestock machinery

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FORAGE WAGONS

New Pottinger Jumbo forage wagon a match for 500hp tractors

Pottinger has beefed-up its 7000-series forage wagons, which can now be paired with a 500hp tractor to rival the output of a small self-propelled harvester. They run a hydraulically powered,…

TELEHANDLERS

JCB adds Dualtech box to smallest 532-60 Loadall

JCB has added its hybrid Dualtech VT transmission to its smallest model yet – the 532-60 Loadall – as demand for the slicker-shifting setup continues to grow. The system sees…

TELEHANDLERS

Loaders: Where are they made?

Tractor loaders, wheeled loaders and telehandlers of all sizes, from ultra-compact to ultra-heavyweight, have become indispensable providers of muscle for contractors and farms large and small. The shift from pitchforks…

TELEHANDLERS

On test: JCB's new TM420S pivot-steer telehandler

Launched a couple of years ago, JCB’s TM420 was the biggest pivot-steer telehandler the company had ever built, offering a 4t lift capacity and more than 5.4m vertical reach. But…