Features

Features

  • CHAROLAIS cattle are well-known for their weight gain attributes, but while they have the ability to produce the heaviest carcases, they can also be finished easily at the lighter end of the scale.

  • 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.

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