Features

Features

  • FAVOURED by many beef producers across the country as a maternal breed, the Simmental is the go-to female for suckler cow replacements.

  • MAKING ends meet in an era of not only reduced commodity prices but also ever declining financial support is no easy task, but by breeding home-bred replacements and improving overall herd health, you can at least significantly curtail input costs.

  • SWAPPING red and white Ayrshire cattle for red, white and roan Beef Shorthorn has brought a new and successful dynamic to David and Rosemary Dickie's livestock enterprise.

  • THERE can be no doubting the fact all farming sectors are struggling to produce year-end figures in the black, however, the very best of suckled calf producers - to include Morayshire hill farmer, Michael Robertson and his family - have probably fared better than most.

  • IF there's a sheep breed that has witnessed a surge in popularity in recent years it is undoubtedly the Zwartbles which can be seen dotted in fields up and down the country and now outnumbers many other sheep breeds at agricultural shows.

New Products

New Products

  • CLEANLINESS and infection control in the lambing/calving shed is paramount at all times and a new product developed and manufactured in Fife, intends to be the most powerful weapon in the modern first-aid arsenal.

  • LIVESTOCK farmers on the Orkney and Shetland Islands will be able to access the benefits of the Spread-a-Bale machine following the appointment of J and W Tait as dealers for the islands.

  • A NEW higher output pump has just been launched by specialist, SlurryKat.

  • COCCIDIOSIS has been shown to cost the average dairy herd between £25 and £60 per affected calf - but a new disinfectant could help guard against its spread.

  • RUMINANT livestock farmers can now bolster their use of cost effective, home-grown cereals in cow diets thanks to the development of a growing range of versatile 'alkalising' ration ingredients, from FiveF Alka Limited.

Dairy

Dairy

  • SOMATIC cell counts and calving intervals are at their lowest levels for 14 years, according to the latest breed averages from National Milk Records (NMR) recorded herds.

  • ANY recovery in future milk prices will be dependant on a reduction in production, the sale of excess stocks and a rise in demand, according to a new report from AHDB Dairy.

  • THE first genetic index to improve resistance to bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in dairy herds - TB Advantage - has been published by AHDB Dairy.

  • AN acute shortage of replacement dairy heifers is looming because the use of beef sires instead of dairy has gone on too far for too long.

  • FALLING margins following recent milk price cuts should be tackled on all fronts to minimise losses and maximise potential gains, claims KW nutritionist Mark Scott.

Beef

Beef

  • POTASH is often blamed for killing cows which succumb to grass staggers - it renders the magnesium in pasture less available and staggers may result so careful use of potash in spring and autumn when stock are susceptible is key.

  • IODINE deficiency can cause many problems for cattle and sheep but too much iodine can also lead to trouble - so investigation before supplementation is the watchword, writes Alwyn Jones, of SAC Consulting Veterinary Services, St Boswells.

  • SOME difficult decisions face farmers and crofters in the north and west of Scotland this winter to ensure their cattle reach the spring in fine fettle.

  • Whistlestop guide to grass staggers.

  • THE most severe version of BVD, type 2, has been identified in Poland in a dairy herd and could be an issue for cattle that have been imported into the UK.

Sheep

Sheep

  • LISTERIOSIS can be a killer disease for Scottish sheep flocks and is almost entirely preventable by taking greater care when feeding.

  • CLEANLINESS and infection control in the lambing/calving shed is paramount at all times and a new product developed and manufactured in Fife, intends to be the most powerful weapon in the modern first-aid arsenal.

  • ELECTRONIC identification (EID) of livestock should not be viewed as an inconvenience, but more of a benefit to their business that livestock producers cannot ignore.

  • THE first step towards implementing a control programme for EAE is the close monitoring of any abnormal signs during lambing time, according to Matt Haslam, an in-house vet with Benchmark Animal Health.

  • OVINE pregnancy toxaemia - also known as twin lamb disease - is a major cause of mortality and ill-thrift at lambing time.

Farmer Right-hand Column