• IN the business we call farming, identifying your target market can be difficult enough but it's producing the ideal stock to suit that market that often proves to be the really tricky part.

  • PRESERVING forage to provide winter feedstocks is critical for all livestock farmers and ensuring a high quality of preservation through growing, harvesting, ensiling and storage is important to maintain maximum nutrient quality and palatability but also to prevent effects on animal health, animal production and also human health through the food chain.

  • IT has been an ambition of mine since school days (more than 40 years ago) to go to the Mid-west of the United States to see first-hand how farming is done there and the opportunity came last year when I received an award from Banffshire NFU to study beef production in the USA.

  • RUNNING a profitable sheep enterprise on one of Scotland's most northerly farms on the mainland is no easy feat, but with a trusty flock of North Country Cheviots and some strict management policies, Joyce Campbell is certainly up to the task.

  • THERE can be no doubting the huge financial pressure the vast majority of dairy farmers are under with milk prices in free-fall and well below the cost of production, yet despite the fact many have had to sell up, a percentage remain eager to jump back into milking cows.

New Products

New Products

  • THE UK's first skyr producer has successfully manufactured around three tonnes of the Icelandic cultured dairy product, similar to strained yoghurt, since the opening of their on-farm production facility this summer.

  • AN EXPANDED range of washable calf coats to suit all sizes and situations, is new from Dairy Spares.

  • A NEW one-dose vaccine pack for calf pneumonia has been introduced by Zoetis, to reduce waste in unused multi-dose packs.

  • 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.



  • TRACE elements play an important role in livestock nutrition and contribute significantly towards health, immunity, growth, fertility and lactation, but it is important to avoid any risks of poisoning or exceeding legal limits. 

  • IMPROVED grass utilisation and in particular milk from grazed grass, could enable dairy farmers to reduce their purchase feed costs anything from 1.4p per litre to 1.7ppl, with every extra 1000 litres of milk production from forage. 

  • NORWEGIAN Red genetics from Geno, Norway's genetics co-operative, have reached record global sales as the breed becomes the most popular exported red breed worldwise with a 23% margin over the other red dairy breeds.

  • A BRITISH born and bred Holstein bull has set a new record for excellence after being classified Ex97, making Woodmarsh Asterix the first UK bull to reach this mark since Supersires Magic-Touch 20 years ago.

  • A NUMBER of bulls have made it to the top of the recent April bull proofs published by AHDB Dairy, with the British Friesian seeing the most changes in the top five rankings.



  • MISSING OUT on just 10% of early growth potential in black and white bulls, or continental-cross beef cattle could increase finishing times by 14 days and feed requirements by a minimum of 220kg, according to KW nutritionist, Dr Anna Sutcliffe. 

  • A project to develop a ScotEID multi-species database to allow movement data to be electronically transferred through Scottish auction marts using electronic identification is being pushed ahead by The Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland (IAAS).

  • BUYING A good breeding beef bull is a skill like many others in farming, but no matter how good your choice if you handle him badly once you get him home you won't get the best from your expensive investment.

  • A MILD winter and high rainfall can only mean one thing this coming year - there will be a high risk of chronic liver fluke burdens in livestock in western regions of the UK, especially in Scotland.

  • IT'S WET and it's mild - the ideal conditions for the snail that causes liver fluke to survive the winter and cause real issues in the spring for Scottish livestock, according to NADIS' latest health bulletin.



  • FORAGE analysis can help farmers predict the likely performance of stock fed on conserved feed but when they are on grass forecasting growth rates is far more difficult, according to Dr John Vipond, senior sheep consultant with SRUC. In this article, he gives some pointers to consider:

  • REDUCING parasite contamination on pasture and remaining vigilant for nematodirosis will be high on sheep farmers' agenda this April, while beef and dairy farmers should concentrate on preventing parasitic disease in youngstock, according to the latest NADIS Parasite Forecast, sponsored by Merial Animal Health.

  • FIVE liver fluke 'surveillance farms' established by the Farming Against Liver Fluke action group have shown how the mild, wet weather of recent months has led to an extended liver fluke challenge.

  • A NEW labour saving feed block is being introduced specifically formulated to support stock grazing on marginal land.

  • THE National Sheep Association is forging ahead with plans for NSA Sheep 2016, working to a theme of 'Adding value to the sheep industry' - and this year NSA members get even more value, as it's free for them to attend.

Farmer Right-hand Column