06 Jul 2018
Producers urged to keep an eye on somatic cell counts
As we enter a high-risk mastitis period, producers are being reminded to keep a close eye on somatic cell counts to maintain herd health and maximise productivity. “When cows are out at grass, pathogens build-up and this can cause a spike in mastitis cases and, therefore, somatic cell counts,” says QLF’s Rob Fowkes. “...
COWS launches new website
02 Jul 2018
COWS launches new website
The ‘Control of Worms Sustainably’ in cattle group (COWS) has launched a new website to support the work it does to encourage responsible use of wormers in beef and dairy cattle. The COWS initiative is an industry-led group that came together in 2010 to provide up-to-date, evidence-based information for the...
Take the heat out of summer rations
02 Jul 2018
Take the heat out of summer rations
Producers are being urged to take the heat out of summer rations for housed cattle as the prolonged period of hot weather extends into July. “Unwanted microbial activity causes TMRs to heat up to some extent during the day,” says Azelis Animal Nutrition’s Phil Vernon. “But during the summer this process can cause...
‘Stamp out BVD’ funding available to producers in England
25 Jun 2018
‘Stamp out BVD’ funding available to producers in England
An £5.7million funding package to help producers tackle Bovine Vial Diarrhoea has been announced by Farming Minister George Eustice. The highly contagious disease costs UK producers an estimated £60 million per year and it impacts animal welfare within affected herds and reduces farm productivity and profitability....
Weed control in multi-cut systems offers ROI
21 Jun 2018
Weed control in multi-cut systems offers ROI
Controlling weeds, such as docks, in multi-cut systems can be tricky due to the short time interval between cuts. But if weed issues have been identified, then treatment can be worthwhile since spraying infestations of 10% or more can achieve a return on investment of up to 10:1. So says Nufarm’s Brent Gibbon, adding...
Pre-weaned heifer calves need more milk
18 Jun 2018
Pre-weaned heifer calves need more milk
More than half the replacement heifer calves being reared on UK commercial dairy units could be growing too slowly to hit targets for optimal health and lifetime productivity. So say the results of research, carried out by a team from the Royal Veterinary College, which found that 70% of nearly 500 pre-weaned calves...
Practical changes necessary in parlour hygiene to reduce AB use
18 Jun 2018
Practical changes necessary in parlour hygiene to reduce AB use
Producers should be taking practical steps in their parlour hygiene management to ensure antibiotic use is reduced to meet future milk marketing opportunities. “As an industry we’re all aware of the concern and growing awareness of antibiotic use on farm - and the need for action to reduce current levels,” says Rob...
Minimise the impact of heat stress on milk output
13 Jun 2018
Minimise the impact of heat stress on milk output
Even at temperatures as low as 20°C, heat stress can reduce feed intake and butterfats, and cut milk yields by up to 20%. So says KW nutritionist Samuel Wellock, adding that when cows are in direct sunlight, or high humidity, even modest ambient temperatures will cause milking and transition cows to start suffering...
Give new sown leys the best start
13 Jun 2018
Give new sown leys the best start
Producers wishing to make the most of their investment in reseeding should make sure they control perennial and annual grassland weeds this summer. And Corteva Agriscience’s broad-spectrum herbicide, called Leystar, has been specifically formulated to do this. Containing three active ingredients, the herbicide...
Collate grass production data to maximise intakes
29 May 2018
Collate grass production data to maximise intakes
With spring grazing now contributing to a growing proportion of dairy rations, producers need to focus on collating accurate grass production data to ensure that they maximise intakes. This, in turn, will enable them to better manage land allocated for silage cuts. So says Tru-Test’s Rob Massey, adding that the...