A Sustainable Approach to Worming Youngstock
 
Cattle farmers are being advised to ensure their approach to treating youngstock for roundworms (Ostertagia and Cooperia) is sustainable, so that resistance to products does not develop in the same way as it has in sheep. Westpoint farm vet Emily Francis says “Where nutrition is good and there are no other diseases present, gastro-intestinal worms are the main factor in determining growth rate at grass. Therefore, weighing and only treating those animals not growing as expected will give good control, reduce overall treatment and instil immunity in those not treated.” This optimum...

RamCompare Project - 2020 Results
On Wednesday 13th May at 7pm, AHDB will be hosting a webinar to reveal the latest results from the RamCompare project.  This includes results from an AgriSearch co-funded sister project being conducted at AFBI, Hillsborough. RamCompare is one of the UK’s most important sheep breeding projects. With industry support, it has created a unique dataset that not only shows the commercial value of recorded rams, but also enables a deeper understanding of how  a ram’s genetics can influence farm profitability and lamb products reaching the consumer. RamCompare data is actively enhancing the...

Management of calving and grazing yields multiple benefits
Rearing dairy heifer replacements represents significant expense. Analysis of 2018 - 19 CAFRE benchmarking data has indicated that the average cost associated with rearing a dairy heifer is around £1,800.   This is a very difficult time for dairy farmers with the Coronavirus pandemic and keeping this cost as low as possible is paramount. Costs can be reduced by managing these heifers to calve down at two years old, at between 540 kg and 580 kg live weight.   Research co-funded by AgriSearch has shown other benefits, in that heifers calving at two years of age have less calving difficulty,...

Making grass work dairy herds during a dry spring
With just four per cent of the average April rainfall this year, grazing conditions on farms are excellent at the moment. And, as a result dairy farmers have been able to take advantage of the cheapest feed available. However, there is still a big variation across the country in the quality of both grass and as a result grazing management. Conail Keown, a Dairying Development Adviser at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) said: “Those who got cows out early and have now established a wedge of grass on their grazing blocks are in a good position in terms of grazing...

POTENTIAL ROLE FOR HOME-GROWN PROTEINS ON DAIRY FARMS SAYS AGRISEARCH
Recently completed research, co-funded by AgriSearch, at AFBI Hillsborough has highlighted the potential of home grown protein sources (namely field beans) to partially replace imported protein sources such as soya bean and rapeseed meal at rates of up to 4-5kg per cow per day with no significant impacts on cow performance. This indicates that home grown field beans have the potential to replace up to half the imported soya in typical dairy cow diets. This has the additional benefit of significantly reducing the cost of dairy cow rations. AgriSearch Chairman Seamus McCaffrey said, “The...