Page 1

**DF Sep Cover_Layout 1 23/08/2013 09:16 Page 1

DAIRY September 2013



Contract farming Advice on setting up agreements Page 80 Volume 60 Issue 9

Special preview of this year’s event

DAIRY SHOW 2013 Pages 44-58

Tips for successful feed buying WINTER FEED Pages 36-38

With the dairy industry reviewing the use of some antimicrobials in food producing animals, it is likely that the antimicrobial landscape is about to change. You may therefore want to reconsider your routine intramammary treatment for clinical mastitis. Ubrolexin® provides equivalent cure rates (using fewer tubes)1 than the 2nd most commonly used intramammary tube,2 a tube that contains cefquinome, one of the antibiotics under review.3 Ubrolexin® can get you where you want to be.Without compromise. Talk to your vet.

References: 1. Bradley A.J & Green M.J Journal Dairy Science 2009, 92:1941–1953. 2. GFK data, 2012. 3.Vecqueray R. Proceedings of NEDPA, March 7th 2012. Advice on the use of Ubrolexin or other therapies should be sought from your veterinary surgeon.This advertisement is brought to you by Boehringer Ingelheim Limited,Vetmedica Division, manufacturer of Ubrolexin. Ubrolexin contains cefalexin monohydrate and kanamycin monosulphate. UK: POM-V. Further information available from Boehringer Ingelheim Limited,Vetmedica Division, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 8YS, UK. Email: Date of preparation: Jul 2013. AHD7692. Withdraw milk from supply for human consumption for 120 hours after the last Ubrolexin treatment. Use Medicines Responsibly (

David Handley will speak at Milk Debate MILK DEBATE Page 44

DAIRY SHOW Win tickets p5

Join us for the Great Milk Debate, Dairy Show, October 2 – see p44

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**DF Sep p1 Leader_Layout 1 23/08/2013 12:07 Page 1


a word from the



s milk prices start their upward climb into the 30p’s, all should be well as tight markets for powder and cream push prices ever higher. But not so. FFA captain David Handley is convinced producers are being short changed to the tune of at least 1.5ppl and, in some cases, as much as 2.5ppl. He says processors are trousering this cash and succinctly gives them this message: “We want you to make a profit but let us share in the highs and when the lows come we will bear that pain too.” At the moment he maintains this money should be landing in producers’ pockets to repair the financial ravishes of last year and gear up for the exacting challenges that lie ahead. Not only that, but the whole industry needs to be preparing for that milestone in dairy history when quotas finally go in 2015, and if only we could get our act together there


may be opportunities to be had. But we can’t. Instead, with just 18 months to go, we are faced with ingrained distrust and recrimination and an introspective and contracting industry. The even bigger danger is that a liberated market not only presents opportunities but threats, and the worry is our domestic market could prove to be an irresistible target to overseas entrepreneurs. What we need is a more equitable share of margins so each sector can flourish and drive the whole forward rather than end up exporting our industry as we have done with so many others. The stark reality is there is a lot to do and we don’t yet seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet!

Editor Peter Hollinshead 0207 332 2919

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© Briefing Media Ltd 2013 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system without the express prior written consent of the publisher. The contents of Dairy Farmer are subject to reproduction in information storage and retrieval systems.

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Origination by Farmers Guardian, Briefing Media Ltd, Unit 4, Fulwood Business Park, Caxton Road, Preston, Lancashire PR2 9NZ. Printed by Headley Brothers, Invicta Press, Queen’s Road, Ashford, Kent TN24 8HH. No responsibility can be accepted by Dairy Farmer for the opinions expressed by contributors.





CONTENTS september Volume 60 Issue 9

Future proofing

Housing & Slurry

Focus on updating heifer housing and sand bedding



4-6 8-9 18-19 78-79

Latest news Cowmen Comment Potter’s View Good Evans

Regulars 20-25 26-27 68-70 80

Top secrets

Breeding Vet’s View Milk Prices Finance

Reducing mastitis

Workshop tips

On-farm feature

12-14 2



Find out what’s behind highest yielding British Friesian herd


Mike Donovan reveals how cluster dipping between cows pays dividends

**DF Sep p2 3 Contents_Layout 1 22/08/2013 14:25 Page 2


Range debut

Case IH reveals its Farmall U Pro at Dairy Show


Special preview

Dairy Show

44 46-47 48 50-51 52 54 55 56 58

Introduction Farm accounts Maize variety choice Forage protein Ketosis testing High starch maize BVD control Forage management New range revealed


New varieties

Two new high starch maize varieties on show

50-51 Forage protein

Creating a cost effective and suitable ration for coming months

11:34 Page 1

Offers a major reduction foot & leg lesions

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**DF Sep p4 5 6 News _Layout 1 23/08/2013 11:11 Page 1


Fonterra in spin over whey botulism scare


nternational trading nerves were set twitching when, on August 2, Fonterra announced it was recalling whey powder products after some batches were feared to have been contaminated with botulism. Fonterra’s reputation, and indeed that of New Zealand as a whole given the giant’s elevated status as the biggest company in the country, were at risk. Both company and country went into overdrive on

the diplomatic front with apologies, recalls and investigations. Such were the concerns, the scare impacted on the NZ dollar, reducing it by 1.5% against the US dollar. Concern China was the major concern as it is a jittery market after the baby powder and melamine issue, and accounts for about 20% of NZ’s annual dairy exports worth $9.5 billion.

June milk price similar to that of 1992

rUK farmgate milk prices reached a record headline price of 30.77ppl in June, 0.81ppl above the May price of 29.96ppl. But, according to DairyCo’s market intelligence team, once prices were adjusted by the Retail Price Index to take out the influence of average UK inflation, the June milk price (in real terms) is similar to that seen 20 years ago in June 1992. It says current prices are in fact lower than when prices spiked in



1995/96. “It is noteworthy, although actual prices are the highest on record, in real terms they are lower, which may explain why many farmers feel under pressure despite the current high price level,” said the organisation. Compared to EU prices, we are not faring well. The average EU milk price is €36.16 per 100kg, an increase of €4.1. per 100kg and 12.8% on last year. UK companies, despite an increase, are still at the bottom of the league.


The Government soon got involved and it was not many days afterwards before resignations started to come. Meanwhile, several questions remain, not least over when the product was contaminated, who knew what and when, and how long it took for Fonterra to announce there was a problem. The contaminated batch was made in May 2012 and sold a year later, for example. Then came trade bans – Russia, Belarus and

Kazakhstan (which operate in a trade block) have banned the imports of all Fonterra products, despite no affec-ted whey being supplied to those countries. What impact this ban will have on EU supplies or the market here remains to be seen, but so far markets have remained very robust. However, there was an upside too for some as United Dairy Farmers picked up a £1m whey contract to China on the back of the crisis.

JFirst Milk has appointed Sir Jim Paice MP, formerly Agriculture and Food Minister, as its new chairman. He will take up his post on October 31 when current chairman Bill Mustoe steps down at the AGM. At the same time the company has selected three new farmer directors – Jim Baird, Willie Campbell and Wendy Radley, although their appointments have to be approved by members at the AGM. Milk chairman Bill Mustoe said: “We are delighted to have recruited Jim and I am convinced he

will bring valuable skills to First Milk. From our meetings with him he has demonstrated a detailed understanding of the dairy sector, strong communication skills and a network of contacts.

Jim Paice is new chairman

Understanding “Equally importantly for our members, Jim has a deep understanding and empathy for farming. He has been a champion for farmers at Westminster for more than 25 years and we look forward to him being a champion for First Milk farmers.”

**DF Sep p4 5 6 News _Layout 1 23/08/2013 11:11 Page 2


Cheese production down


ver the first half of the year the UK has made 199,000 tonnes of Cheddar, which is 12,500t and 6% less cheese compared to 2012. On an annualised basis the reduction is equivalent to the production from one of the UK’s biggest cheese plants. Most manufacturers are short of cheese and this is bolstering prices. Processors are upping the anti on misleading labelling, especially on the issue of when cheese made from Irish milk is brought to the UK, packed here and then labelled as British.

Writing in The Grocer Dairy Crests’ CEO Mark Allen stated such labelling was misleading and ‘penalises Britain’s dairy farmers who put their hard work, skill and time into producing and supplying top quality milk’. He has joined forces with the NFU, DairyUK and the British Cheese Board to raise awareness of the issue. Challenge He cites the abolition of milk quotas in 2015 as being a particular challenge. ‘The possibility of increased milk production in countries such as Ireland could threaten the cheese industry

in this country’, he states. But Mr Allen clearly has a vested interest in getting this issue sorted – Dairy Crest, as one of the biggest Cheddar manufacturers, and its farmers, are exposed to this added risk as the farmer milk price is directly linked to UK cheese market returns. In contrast Arla’s farmer price is not linked as it is a globally derived price. The three organisations will be writing to the EU Commission asking it to introduce a system ‘which will clearly inform consumers of the country of origin of the milk and the place of manufacture of the product’.

Arla lifts price to Milk Link members JArla Foods amba has announced it is to up its price to Arla Milk Link members by 0.77ppl, taking the AML standard litre to 32.31ppl from September 2.

In addition, Arla Milk Link is increasing its organic premium by a further 2.35ppl, taking its organic standard litre price to 40ppl. However, as part of its

move to greater pricing transparency, Arla is to remove 0.3p from the standard litre price for some 20 of its 1600 members as from the turn of the year.

Speakers corner

JJoin us at the Dairy Show, Shepton Mallet, on October 2 for the Great Milk Debate with Ian Potter, David Handley and Jonathan Ovens. It will be taking place on the Dairy Farmer/Farmers Guardian stand, Main Avenue at 11am-12noon.

Cell counter JYou are cordially invited to join us on the Dairy Farmer/Farmers Guardian stand throughout the day and enter our competition to win your very own milk cell counter worth £695. Come and see it in operation and get your entry in.

WIN tickets

rAs media partner to the event we have 10 pairs of entry tickets to be won by our readers. To enter our prize draw, visit: www.farmersguardian. com/dairyshow13




**DF Sep p4 5 6 News _Layout 1 23/08/2013 11:38 Page 3

NEWS News in brief

Ashby-de-la-Zouch dairy to close

JWhen Arla announced the building of its new one billion litre milk processing facility at Aylesbury, there was inevitable speculation over the future of its smaller, older plants. Now with Aylesbury due to be commissioned in the back-end, the company has announced Ashby-de-laZouch will be the first casualty, potentially closing in April 2014, with all of the volume transferred across in a phased period from October this year.

New milk buyer JThe European Commission has approved the management buy-out of Crediton Dairy, led by Neil Kennedy and Tim Smiddy. The new business, called Crediton Dairy, is a leading supplier of high quality British long life milk, long life cream, functional and flavoured dairy drinks and fresh bulk cream, with a capacity of about 200 million litres.

DC price move JDairy Crest’s formula price has increased 0.142ppl taking the new standard litre price to 31.93ppl, which is now 0.54ppl in front of the standard Dairy Crest liquid contract.



Cheese processors see margin decline


ith wholesale prices for Cheddar remaining relatively static over the past two years, processors have been unable to pass on increases in farmgate prices to retailers and this reduced processor margins yet again, according to the latest DairyCo margins report. Meanwhile, retailers managed to increase their margins by applying higher prices to mild Cheddar and running promotional offers which delivered a smaller saving for customers. In fact, mild Cheddar saw the highest level of retail margins seen since the

DairyCo report began a decade ago, increasing to 49% and nearly 30ppl. In contrast, processor margins dropped from 12% to 10% to 3.2ppl. (See table 1). Gross margins However, the fall in processor gross margins may be a temporary feature of the market, states DairyCo, due to the practice of selling forward on contract. Consumers bought less mild Cheddar, but when they did buy a greater proportion came from discount stores such as Aldi and Lidl. Several of the large multiple retailers introduced significant retail price increases during 2012/13 and, as a result, the average retail

Table 1: Comparisons of ‘milk for cheese 2010/11 ppl Margin Farmgate milk price 24.1 Processor gross margin 5.5 19% Processor selling price 29.6 Retail gross margin 25.6 46% Retail price 55.2

price of private label increased 5%. Mature sales remained intensely competitive, said the report. Sales of higher value branded mature Cheddar lost out to lower value budget varieties. According to data provided by Kantar Worldpanel, retailers increased the number of temporary price promotions for branded mature Cheddar, although the overall discount on offer was lower than before. The margin pattern was the same for the processors, however, as it dropped again from 19% to 18% last year and down from 26% in 2010/11. The retailers also saw a tiny drop, but their margin is still around the 50% mark. (See table 2).

contract’ mild Cheddar gross margins 2011/12 2012/13 ppl Margin ppl Margin 27.4 27.9 3.9 12% 3.2 10% 31.3 31.1 26.4 46% 29.5 49% 57.7 60.6

Table 2: Comparisons of ‘milk for cheese’ mature Cheddar gross margins 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 ppl Margin ppl Margin ppl Margin Farmgate milk price 24.1 27.4 27.9 (Cheese contract prices) Processor gross margin 8.3 26% 6.6 19% 6.1 18% Processor selling price 32.4 34.0 34.0 Retail gross margin 31.3 49% 32.1 49% 31.6 48% Retail price 63.7 66.1 65.6


Jansseb Elanco Kexxtone WP DF_Jansseb Elanco Kexxtone WP DF 21/08/2013 16:56 Page 1


You can’t see hidden ketosis. But it’s there. Recent studies show it can affect around 30% of cows,1 even in well-managed herds. Now there’s a new solution to help farmers manage this hidden threat. Kexxtone is an innovative prescription-only veterinary medicine proven to reduce the incidence of ketosis. Kexxtone: 2 ŕ Ž9LK\JLZRL[VZPZ*I`

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9,-,9,5*,: 1 Macrae, et al. 2012. Prevalence of clinical and subclinical ketosis in UK dairy herds 2006-2011. >VYSK)\PH[YPJZ3PZIVU7VY[\NHS",SHUJV-HYT(\KP[5V.5-9+H[HVUĂ&#x201E;SL 2 CVMP assessment report of an application for the granting of a community marketing H\[OVYPZH[PVUMVY2L__[VUL,4,(=* Elanco, KexxtoneÂŽ and the diagonal bar are trademarks owned or licensed by Eli Lilly and &RPSDQ\LWVVXEVLGLDULHVRUDIĂ°OLDWHVÄ?(ODQFR$QLPDO+HDOWK8.'5<.;7




**DF Sep p8 9 Cowmen Collingborn_Layout 1 20/08/2013 18:05 Page 1


ROSEMARY Collingborn

Rosemary Collingborn and her husband Joe farm a closed herd of 100 pedigree Friesian type cows, 60 young stock and breed bulls for sale. She has served on the MDC Council, Veterinary Products Committee, the RSPCA Council and was WFU dairy chairman.

Our two big bulls are getting too bad tempered to keep safely without a bull pen, and our two young bulls have met a nasty end.



t can take the glare of publicity to get political change. On July 6, a Chinese lantern landed on a recycling plant in Smethwick in the West Midlands and 100,000 tonnes of plastic went up in flames. The smoke plume was 6000ft high and visible from 50 miles away. Some 200 firefighters attended the scene and the resultant damage was put at £6m. These lanterns became popular in 2009, and while they may look pretty the remains can be fatal to cattle as they inadvertently eat the wire frames at pasture or the bits in hay or silage. The lanterns can easily travel up to 20 miles and take nine months to degrade and, after the Smethwick disaster, West Midland fire chiefs called for an ‘urgent review’ of their use. Indeed, the Women’s Farming Union has been calling for a ban for the last two years and if any farmers have been affected, the WFU would like to hear from you. When the horsemeat scandal emerged, I thought it would be a great opportunity for the Red Tractor people to promote all the good work British farmers have been doing to ensure full traceability and good animal welfare. Sadly this did not happen. When you think of all the effort and cost farmers have to put in to pass Farm Assurance, this was very disappointing and a missed opportunity if ever there was one. We have been selling heifers recently, as we can’t decide about expansion. The old



milking parlour and shortage of feed is pulling one way, aspiration the other, but we can’t feed the herd on aspirations. A heifer-seeking farmer from Staffordshire gave us a tremendous compliment today – ‘You’d go a long way to see a herd walking as well as yours’. We find it works well using our homebred bulls, as well as AI. We are lucky to have cow families which go back a long way, and give great consistency – that is not always there with AI. Unfortunately, homebred bull production has a temporary blockage. Our two big bulls are getting too bad tempered to keep safely without a bull pen, and our two young bulls have met a nasty end – one managed to hang itself and the other was accidentally castrated. At the Livestock Event I was a woman on a mission, determined to find my perfect bull. What I wanted was medium height, good feet and legs, excellent fore udder attachment and rear udder height, level pins, chest width, minus cell count, good daughter fertility, plus percent butterfat and protein, good temperament and not a slow milker or a funny colour – no white heads or white with a few speckles, preferably plenty of black. Sadly, although all the semen companies were very helpful, none could find me such a bull. Next stop the Royal Welsh Show. I was considerably delayed in my search by the exciting Welsh cob championships. By the

**DF Sep p8 9 Cowmen Collingborn_Layout 1 20/08/2013 18:05 Page 2


The present task is training up the new collie for cow work.

Farm Facts

rFARM: Family run 185 acres dairy farm in North Wiltshire rHERD: Closed herd of 100 Friesian type pedigree cows rYIELD: 7874 litres rSOIL TYPE: Heavy on Oxford clay rRAINFALL: 749mm rMILK BUYER: First Milk.

time I reached the semen stands, tea and coffee were finished and the impetus lost. Sadly, I still haven’t found my perfect bull. Any ideas? Our vet taught me years ago how to make a cheap and effective fly mix for use on the horses. One ingredient is liquid paraffin and I needed more. The first chemist refused to sell me any as it wasn’t licensed for horses. The next two didn’t have any, but when I asked what it would cure in humans, I was told ‘constipation’. The last chemist had plenty but I had to admit to constipation. I decided two bottles would be a good idea after all the hassle locating it. The pharmacist’s face fell. “We don’t advise it for long-term use, it can interfere with your take up of minerals.” I

promised I wouldn’t over indulge. We are having to train up a new collie to cow work, as sadly our three-legged collie Charlie met a train. For Charlie, being hit by a train was worse than being run over by a car. In the first accident he lost a leg, in the second his life. Delilah is Charlie’s pup, left behind when her owner moved to Northumberland. She could do with a shorter name but ‘Deli’ doesn’t sound quite right somehow. I’m just back from getting the cows in with Delilah on an extendable lead. I’ve never liked the idea of them, and when the dog goes rushing off, so do you… at great speed. Other than that she is very good. We just need to distinguish ‘left’ from ‘right’ and we’ll be making progress!

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*DF Sept p10 11 Milk Watch signed off_Layout 1 23/08/2013 14:19 Page 1


milk watch with Boehringer Ingelheim


t Myerscough College’s Lodge Farm in Lancashire, Milk Watch farmer Roger Leach is enjoying an embarrassment of riches as forage stocks build to their highest level for many years. Quality of second and third cut has also been exceptional, with metabolisable energy of 12.2 and 11.6 MJ/kg DM respectively, and generally outstanding fermentation properties. Third cut has been layered in the clamp on top of first

This month, our Milk Watch farmers are enjoying burgeoning forage stocks and pleasing cell counts, but herd health is not unblemished.

Bumper forage stocks and fourth cut on schedule too and second cuts, and the milking cows are being fed a slice from top to bottom to ensure they have a mix of the three cuts with no abrupt change of forage throughout the season. Roger says: “The cows are milking really well off it. They’re still on target for about 9000 litres and they’re generally looking good. “But we did go through a phase a few weeks ago when I noticed cud counts dropped dramatically,” he says. “This only affected a

dozen or so cows, but they went down from 70 cuds per minute to about 40.” Blood samples Remarking the herd is regularly tested for Johne’s and has recently remained clear of the disease, and is routinely vaccinated for IBR, BVD and leptospirosis, he says he and his vet have decided to sample bloods in the hope of establishing the cause of any problem. “But blood profiles can be a source of confusion,” he

says. “You have to establish your base level by running with the tests for a while rather than having an immediate knee-jerk reaction. “Of course, it might have just been the hot weather, as the cows were certainly suffering and one had to be cooled down with buckets of water,” he says. Despite plentiful forage cuts so far there is still more to come, but fourth cut is scheduled for baling to ease the pressure on clamp storage and provide some long

Pleasing cell counts and bactoscans on w


he beauty of block calving is the chance it affords for a holiday, and Milk Watch farmer James Willcocks and family have just returned from France to find their Bodmin-based Tregleath Farm has ticked over nicely in their absence. A sprinkling of warm rain has driven crop growth, the spring-calving portion of the herd is in calf and milking well, and the autumn calvers are all but dried off as the month of August heralds the lull before the calving storm.



Drying off itself is just a matter of routine, although cows are assigned to one of three groups – standard, compromised or problem cows – depending on udder health. Low cell count James says: “Group one represents the low cell count cows at consistently less than 200,000 cells/ml. These will have a short withdrawal intramammary antibiotic as well as their teat sealant and 49 days dry. “Group two have had at least two recordings at more


James Willcocks is now at a standstill after finding two TB reactors.

than 200,000 cells/ml and these will have the sealant, a longer withdrawal antibiotic and 60 days dry. Group three have had more than three cases of clinical mastitis and will receive the

same as group two, but have an additional, longacting injectable antibiotic and 84 days dry.” With herd cell counts currently running at 80,000 cells/ml (three month

*DF Sept p10 11 Milk Watch signed off_Layout 1 23/08/2013 15:09 Page 2

SPONSORED SERIES Dry cows: time to tackle infection By vet Andy Biggs, Vale Veterinary Group.

THE dairy cow goes through

some very significant changes

as she transitions from milking cow to dry cow and back to milking cow.

Dry cows and transition cows

need to receive top notch man-

time to cure infection but also a

to the hygiene of their environ-

your Bulk Milk Somatic Cell

particular attention being paid Roger Leach is enjoying the highest forage stock levels for many years.

fibre for both dry cows and youngstock. Wholecrop wheat harvest in mid-August also left some new areas for autumn grazing, as about half of this wheat land was under sown with grass seed. “The under sown wholecrop I expect to be higher in

protein and lower in energy than the main wholecrop as it is behind in terms of grain maturity,” he says. “However, this ground will provide some useful additional grazing which will initially be used for the sheep and later for the cows.”

n way down as well rolling average), 75 of the cows are assigned to group one, just 25 to group two and 20 to group three out of 120 cows in the autumn calving group. “I’m very pleased with the herd cell count,” says James. “I attribute it to a conscientious herdsman and the good weather we’ve had.” Bactoscans are also low, having fallen from 56 in early July to 13. “I’m certain this is due to our new biomass boiler,” says James. “It means the parlour is having a hot

wash twice-a-day.“ Having used the Renewable Heat Incentive to spread the cost of the £12,000 boiler, he says it will pay for itself through the Feed-in Tariff in just over three years. But herd health is not totally unblemished and two TB reactors from the latest test are causing concern. “When you’re in the south-west TB is always a worry, and we’ve been lucky to date but now we’ll have to stand still for at least 120 days,” he says.

So the dry period is a good

agement and nutrition, with

ment – transition and calving

accommodation and also pas-

ture where grass becomes the bedding material.

Major changes take place in-

side the udder during the dry

period which have a significant

impact on its ability to get rid of infections and its susceptibility

risky time for new infections. If

Count (BMSCC) is low (150,000 cells/ml), you may well be more concerned with keeping clean

cows clean than if your BMSCC is around 350,000 cells/ml,

where you really must optimise

that good chance of cure during the dry period.

All cows will benefit from an

to new infections.

internal teat seal at drying off.

new intramammary infections

tibiotic tubes and which prod-

The biggest periods for risk of

are the ‘wet dry’ periods of two weeks around and just after

drying off, and again just before and around calving.

In the ‘true’ dry period be-

tween these times the udder is much less susceptible to new infections and it is during this

period most intramammary infection cures take place.

We can expect up to 80 to

85% of existing infections to be cleared during the dry period with antibiotic treatment

(based on SCC before and after

However, which cows need anucts are best? Not all dry cow

tubes are the same – Ubro Red for instance has been shown to have significant advantages in

reducing the risk of E.coli mastitis during the dry period and

the first 100 days after calving,

whilst being comparable at curing existing infections when

compared to a dry cow product with no activity against E.coli1.

Your vet is best placed to talk

about dry cow management and which products to use.

the dry period) compared to around 30% bacteriological

cure during lactation treatment. A. J. Bradley and M. J. Green. An Investigation of the Impact of Intramammary Antibiotic Dry Cow Therapy on Clinical Coliform Mastitis. J. Dairy Sci. 84:1632–1639. Advice on the use of Ubro Red or other therapies should be sought from your veterinary surgeon. Ubro Red contains framycetin sulphate, penethamate hydriodide and procaine penicillin. UK: POM-V IE: POM. Further information available from Boehringer Ingelheim Limited, Vetmedica Division, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 8YS, UK. Email: Date of preparation June 2013. AHD 7642. Milk for human consumption may only be taken from 84 hours (7 milkings) after calving. If calving occurs before 28 days after last treatment, milk for human consumption may only be taken after 28 days plus 84 hours from the last treatment. Use Medicines Responsibly ( 1.




**DF Sep p12 13 14 On Farm_Layout 1 20/08/2013 18:07 Page 1


This year the Collycroft herd of British Friesians celebrates its 75th year, having achieved the honour of being the highest yielding British Friesian herd on National Milk Records for 2012.

Secrets that go to make top British Friesian herd lthough the foundations of the herd were laid by previous generations, Brian Archer is very much the driving force behind its present success. “The main reason for success is in breeding for the right type of cow to give high yields, while maintaining the strength and long-


x x x

evity traits of the British Friesian,” he says. The herd at Grange Farm, Hilton, Derbyshire, comprises 130 cows and performance has been improving steadily over recent years, with NMR records for year ending September 2012 showing 8742 litres and 630kg fat and protein (3.94% butterfat and 3.27% protein). “As well as longevity

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A continuous belt, running the full length of the shed, has helped reduce cell counts as there are no gaps between mats where bacteria can hide.

we are looking for well attached udders, good legs and feet and cows that are generally easily maintained,” explains Brian. While PLI figures are an important factor in the breeding plan because that is what the market wants, they are not the only consideration when it comes to choosing bulls. The cows have just finished their second winter in a new Farmplus building which has made a big improvement to cow comfort, with spacious cubicles of 8ft 4in long and 4ft 2in wide. “It is great to see the cows looking so relaxed when they are lying down. We put individual mattresses down but then laid a con-

tinuous belt, running the full length of the shed. This has helped reduce cell counts because there are no gaps between the mats where bacteria can hide.” Rollover troughs Four rollover troughs ensure a good supply of drinking water, roof ridges have improved ventilation and two Alfa back brushes are well used by the cows. The low replacement rate means there are always spare heifers and bulls for sale. It is not unusual for cows to achieve 10 lactations. For example, Collycroft Lupin 208 (pictured) is now in her 14th lactation and will hopefully have her 15th

**DF Sep p12 13 14 On Farm_Layout 1 20/08/2013 18:08 Page 2

ON FARM Farm facts

Farm team from left: Brian Archer, vet John Cammack, nutritionist John Boyce and herdsman Eric Tunstall.

calf next year. She has been classified Ex90 and has so far produced 110,514 litres of milk, and at her April 30 milk recording Lupin was giving 31 litres. Brian also picks out Collycroft Olive as a good exam-

ple of the type of cow he is aiming for. Now in her 7th lactation and classified BFE 92, she recorded at 53 litres on April 30 and has already produced more than 50,000 litres in her lifetime. Two bulls have recently

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**DF Sep p12 13 14 On Farm_Layout 1 20/08/2013 18:08 Page 3


Collycroft Lupin 208 is in her 14th lactation, is classified Ex90 and has produced more than 110,514 litres.

Brian believes the extra costs of heifer rearing are more than compensated by the extra lactations and longevity resulting from giving them time to grow and strengthen. Cows are served for the first time 85 to 90 days after calving, and John Cammack, from Glenthorne Veterinary Group, says considering this relatively late first service, calving interval is good at 400 days. It would be lower but some cows are given more time to preserve particular blood lines.

Stockmanship “Most Holstein herds I call on have CIs above 420 days. Great stocksmanship, in particular by herdsman Eric Tunstall, means heat detection rates are very high and conception rates are 40%. No artificial heat detectors are used – this is all down to stocksmanship.” John calls monthly for routine fertility work and cows are scanned at 30 days after service. Visits to the farm are rare because cow



health is so good. “The closed herd status certainly helps,” says John, “but we have only had one displaced abomasum in the 12 years I have been calling and there is no digital dermatitis. We did see some liver fluke last year, which was a bit of a mystery because there is no winter grazing by sheep, and we believe it may have been brought in by the river flooding, washing snails downstream and onto the pastures here." Routine footcare is carried out at drying off time when all four feet are trimmed and there are few cases of mastitis. The gold standard of dual tubing is practised at drying off using a teat sealant and the long-acting antibiotic tube Cepravin. Cows are fed through a forage box with the base diet last winter being 36kg first cut grass silage, 6kg pressed sugar beet pulp, 5kg brewers’ grains, 0.5kg straw, 3kg barley and 1kg of high protein cattle concentrate pellet. A Carrs Billing-


Collycroft Olive is the type of cow being bred for -- now in her 7th lactation she recorded 53 litres earlier this year.

ton balanced energy 18% protein dairy cake is fed in the parlour to yield.

Balanced diet John Boyce, of Carrs Billington, says: “This diet provides a perfect balance of starch and fibre to maximise milk production, but keeps the rumen and the cow healthy as well. We have maximised use of homegrown feeds and local byproducts to keep feed cost per litre down, but ensured there is enough energy and DUP to sustain milk yields of 50 litres per cow per day at peak production.” Three cuts of silage are made with 120 acres of first cut being saved for the cows and 100 acres of second cut split between cows and youngstock. Some 60 acres of third cut, made at the end of September or in October, is also fed to youngstock. HM inoculant silage additive has been used for years and has helped produce well fermented and

palatable silage. Brian uses the Planet software computer program to plan fertiliser and slurry applications. This has led to substantial savings in fertiliser costs because there is no overfeeding of the crop. NVZ restrictions meant a 400,000 gallon above ground store had to be built, but slurry is now being used more efficiently. He believes milk yields have now reached their optimum. Any further increase in yield would increase stress on cows and negatively impact on longevity, fertility and health. Location restricts scope for expansion and the focus is on considering alternative feeding approaches, such as feeding wholecrop wheat with the possibility of maize, and replacing the forage box with a mixer wagon to provide more flexibility with feeding. ■ For further information on the Collycroft herd, email Brian at

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Always use medicines responsibly. Please see for more information. Resflor is available from your veterinary surgeon, from whom advice should be sought. Resflor contains florfenicol and flunixin meglumine. Nuflor contains florfenicol and Zuprevo contains tildipirosin. Resflor®, Nuflor® and Zuprevo® are trademarks of Intervet International B.V. or affiliated companies of licensors and is protected by copyrights, trademark and other intellectual property laws. Copyright © 2011 Intervet International B.V., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA. All rights reserved. Legal category POM-V Withdrawal periods: Resflor for cattle (meat and offal) 46 days. Nuflor for cattle SC (meat and offal): 44 days and Zuprevo for cattle (meat and offal): 47 days. Further information is available from: MSD Animal Health, Walton Manor, Walton, Milton Keynes MK7 7AJ Tel: 01908 685 685

**DF Sept p16 17 BOCM Pauls Signed off_Layout 1 23/08/2013 14:17 Page 1


Welcome to the third in a new series of sponsored article you by BOCM PAULS. This month we look at the importan

Fertility is key to good dairy herd performance


he unique linseed-based raw material, Lintec, has perhaps grabbed the most attention for its omega-3 content and its ability to reduce milk saturated fat content. But the biggest area where it can contribute to

improving dairy herd performance is through its impact on fertility. Lintec is high in essential omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids which are well documented for their beneficial effects upon fertility and cow health. These influence the production of the key

“A CHANGE of system and the use of Lintec have brought about big fertility benefits for South Lynch Estates, near Winchester – a 5000acre, 280-cow unit owned by the Rees family,” says Chris White of the Farm Consultancy Group. The farm came to a crossroads in 2010 when it was faced with the option of either packing in dairying, converting to arable, or changing the system completely. The decision was taken

to move from an all-yearround calving system with average yields of just under 9000 litres to dual block calving with a grazing system and accept a fall in milk yields of between 1200– 1500 litres. But in order to justify the fall in yields, the farm would have to generate savings of about £85,000 a year. To achieve this, the system was simplified where a Partial Mixed Ration (PMR) of grass silage, limited maize silage and concentrate, including 1kg Lintec, was fed via a mixer wagon outside

hormones involved in oestrus and pregnancy and result in more intensive bulling activity, stronger recognition of pregnancy and better conception rates. For this reason, Lintec is being used as part of a successful fertility management approach across many different dairy

Case study: South Lynch Estates, Winchester




the parlour, with a compound fed-to-yield inside. The net result was savings of 5ppl in a year, when national costs increased sharply. Chris estimates the real term fall in costs will be nearer to 7–8ppl.

systems – from those where the cows are intensively housed with high yields, to those where block calving and a milk from forage system is being adopted. Each has its own challenges, but good fertility is still key to improving herd performance and profitability.

As a result of the fall in costs and improved margins, the dairy duly got a reprieve – to such an extent cow numbers are now increasing to

**DF Sept p16 17 BOCM Pauls Signed off_Layout 1 23/08/2013 14:18 Page 2


red articles on dairy herd performance, brought to importance of fertility in different dairy systems.

350 and a new parlour is being built. “In order to run block calving groups successfully, good fertility is critical,” states Chris. “If fertility is poor cows drift from one calving block to another with all the additional costs. “You have to get cows back in calf and Lintec definitely helped on that front. We initially used it to lower saturated fats but it worked on fertility as well. “Initial figures show there has been a 25%

improvement in conception rates from 32% to 41%, and calving to conception has moved from 123 to 71 days. This will help keep the blocks very neat and tidy,” he adds. “The benefits at South Lynch Estates mirror those seen on other farms,” adds Richard Greasley, Key Account Manager for BOCM PAULS. Lintec has been proven to consistently improve fertility, when rationed correctly using it3, across a range of dairy systems.

Expert viewpoint DAIRY consultant Chris White, a member of the Farm Consultancy Group, first came across Lintec when advising some of his clients supplying Marks & Spencer. The Marks & Spencer farmers had been charged by the retailer to reduce milk saturated fat high omega-3 polyto a specific level as part unsaturated fatty acid of the retailer’s ‘Plan A’ levels. sustainability strategy, Having heard egged-up and Chris and his partner claims on many products William Waterfield began before, he wanted to be trialling Lintec with that convinced of its beneficin mind. ial effects despite many “It has a good research research and commercial record, and we decided trials supporting the to try the product.” product. After briefings on the “We definitely saw principles of it3 (BOCM fertility benefits at South PAULS dairy nutrition Lynch Estates, enough for control system, which us to take the gains determines the inclusion seriously and start rate of Lintec when monitoring Lintec’s effect rationed with other feeds on other farms. and forages), Chris “Block calving is a very started at 0.5kg per cow profitable system and per day and eventually good fertility is essential, settled on a winter so anything which might inclusion rate of 1kg per help is obviously of cow per day, which interest,” he concludes. achieved the saturated “Our level of knowledge fat reduction that was of the interaction betrequired. ween certain feeds, fatty Chris was then briefed acids and fertility is on the beneficial effect improving all the time.” of using Lintec to improve cow fertility by Sponsored by Richard Greasley, BOCM PAULS, through its




**DF Sep p18 19 Potter_Layout 1 23/08/2013 11:39 Page 1



This month, Ian Potter wonders whether the voluntary code will ultimately be of use to anyone, and casts his thoughts as to what could be causing the delay in the publication of First Milk’s annual results.

L Arla UK just won't be able to unilaterally raise the price for its UK farmers, even if it wanted to



ast month I made it clear that in my opinion the voluntary code was potentially working against farmers and holding back any price increases, and cited Arla/AFMP and their Roadmap to Amba membership as being one example. That was because, from July 1, when AFMP adopted the purchaser discretion position, if Arla was to move its AFMP price by so much as 0.1ppl up or down it would trigger the resignation option and a potential loss of suppliers in three month’s time during the trough. It is not a risk Arla could realistically take with a new factory being commissioned and the roll-out of the ‘Arla Amba offering’ so close. Once the AFMP Roadmap to full membership of Arla amba is announced then the ball game changes completely. AFMP then becomes defined as a group of producers in transition to becoming a coop, and with that comes exemption from the three-month notice clause within the code, in line with that for other co-ops. Note, this transitional co-op feature was actually conceived specifically to get Arla on board with the code, and to breach what was a huge log-jam to the launch of the code at last year's Livestock Event. But it doesn’t end there. That is because once the road to full membership is in train, it will mean potentially all 3400 or so Arla/AFMP/Arla Milk Link members will


receive a milk price based on a formula calculated every month by Arla Amba overseen by the farmer board. All will be on exactly the same formula as Amba members in Denmark, Sweden and Germany. And here the politics of the industry changes radically. From here on in there will be no point in farmers protesting outside Arla plants in a bid to get it to increase prices. Arla UK just won't be able to unilaterally raise the price for its UK farmers, even if it wanted to. This leaves Muller-Wiseman (MW) and Dairy Crest (DC) as the market makers for dairying in the UK and thus far more exposed to farmer protests. So my money is firmly on farmers not protesting outside Arla plants from late this year and certainly not in 2014. Where does that leave the voluntary code? In a nutshell, so far as GB is concerned, it would see more than half of producers sitting outside of the threemonth notice period, with more than 6000 farmers supplying milk to a co-op. We then turn to MW and DC which between them account for about 20% (2250) of GB producers, of which 37% (850 producers) are on aligned contracts driven by formulas and therefore effectively fall outside of the three-month notice rule. That leaves Waitrose (DC), plus DC and MW non-aligned totalling about 1400 producers who technically are on threemonth termination notices. However, in the

**DF Sep p18 19 Potter_Layout 1 23/08/2013 14:16 Page 2

‘MW and DC will become market makers for the UK’ case of MW farmers, all 400 producers would surrender the 1ppl growth 13th payment if they exercised the three-month notice. In addition, about 175 DC producers have signed up to the DCD/DC formula, a condition of which is they waive the right to the three-month notice. So, my conclusion is the NFU’s claim that more than 85% of the processing market is signed up to the code is a fairy story and does not stack up, and it fails to recognise the complexities and realities behind the numbers.

Ian Potter

rIan is a specialist milk quota and entitlement broker. Comments please to

Discretion If I add all the MW and DC non-aligned, plus Lactalis, it means only 10% of producers are genuinely under the threemonth notice for prices set by purchaser discretion, but if I strip out the ones who would not be daft enough to surrender their 13th payment it drops to less than 8%. So which of the main milk buyers fully complies with the three-month notice contract within the code on all milk they buy direct? I reckon it is down to one firm – Lactalis – and its 200 or so direct producers. Don’t forget the three-month notice period operated by Lactalis and MW is not dependent on a price move because both allowed three-month termination long before the code was conceived. Having pointed out how few producers are actually on three-month notice periods, the reality is long notice periods are without doubt resulting in snails pace consolidation. As 2015 and a more competitive world draws closer, only MW and Arla of the main players appear to be making serious


long-term investments to ensure they are competitive. So to Jim Paice. He will have to stamp his own commercial mark on First Milk when he takes over the reigns as chairman at the end of October. First Milk has previously released its annual financial results a month ahead of the previous year since 2009 – on September 25, 2009 (the final time CEO Peter Humphreys was around); August 16, 2010; July 18, 2011; and June 18, 2012. However all is eerily silent for 2013, and I don't think it will come as a surprise if the final year end results showed a loss. I say this in reference to the comment from chairman Bill Mustoe in early April, when he stated: “Over the last few months, we’ve supported members to the hilt in terms of milk price.” Which could have been interpreted as having overpaid producers. I don’t think it is a problem for co-ops to pay money out to members, but the question is why the delay in publishing the accounts? There will inevitably be keen scrutiny of the numbers behind the figures, in particular contributions to the two MMB pension schemes, both current and going forward. At least First Milk's annual outgoings to the pension pots will not be anything like the ones rumoured Genus is having to make – several millions a year! I will leave you with this to ponder: why are Irish and other major EU milk processors and farmers pushing hard to expand, while GB processing is simply selling out to foreigners just as our car industry, water and electricity suppliers have done? Answers on a postcard!




*DF Sep p20 Breeding_Layout 1 23/08/2013 14:15 Page 1


Goldwyn son regains top ranking with PLI of £262


ighlights of the August Profitable Lifetime Index top 10 include the return of the high type, low cell count Goldwyn son, Guarini, to his former number one position (PLI £262). In addition there is the strong performance of two UK-bred and tested bulls – Cogent Twist (PLI £256) and Ballycairn Oman Pello (PLI £252) – to rank second and third (both now with around 80 UK daughters in 50 herds). Then there’s the rise from 55th to eighth position of the formerly German, but now UKowned, Bakombre (PLI £235) as a positive Fertility

Index son of Baxter, and a complete newcomer in equal ninth position is Roskilde (PLI £233). The Danish-born Roskilde is an early son of Roumare (himself a son of the popular Jocko Besne) from the well-known Grietje family. He transmits the high solids for which the family is well known and has 1.64 points for type. Oman son Just outside the top 10, UK names to note include Laurelhill Classic, an Oman son with superb fitness traits, and the new entry, Sherdon Irresistable, both with a PLI of £225. Irresistable’s unique pedigree of Cogent

Topping the charts is Guarini – daughter above – with a PLI of £262.

Maestro x Zelati x Hairy Breiz provides a welcome outcross in this ranking. De-Su Bookem’s appearance in 18th position gains attention as this Planet son enters the proven ranking for the first time, having first been imported as a young genomic sire. He

Top 10 daughter-proven Holstein bulls ranked on Profitable Lifetime Index Rank £PLI Bull name Geno- Rel Milk Fat Ptn Fat Ptn mic % kg kg kg % % 1 262 GUARINI 75 607 24.2 26.7 0.00 0.08 2 256 COGENT TWIST G 95 621 41.0 25.5 0.20 0.06 3 252 BALLYCAIRN OMAN G 93 1071 41.6 34.0 -0.01 -0.01 PELLO 4 248 WHITMAN O MAN G 85 404 32.2 16.6 0.20 0.04 AWESOME ANDY 4 248 MORNINGVIEW LEVI G 83 609 30.1 23.7 0.07 0.05 6 243 CROCKETT-ACRES EIGHT G 98 450 21.4 21.5 0.04 0.08 6 243 LYNBROOK JANCEN 75 378 30.3 22.3 0.19 0.12 8 235 BAKOMBRE G 81 758 39.0 26.2 0.11 0.02 9 233 ALH DAKOTA G 85 901 30.8 30.4 -0.05 0.01 9 233 ROSKILDE 74 365 29.3 23.4 0.18 0.14

now has more than 100 US daughters milking which have helped lift his PLI to £222 and Type Merit to 2.87 – the highest type in the PLI top 20. The final top 20 new entry is the high daughter fertility Oman son, ABS Simon (PLI £221).

(PLI) (August 2013) SCC TM Supplier GB/NI -29 2.33 BUL/AIS -9 1.23 COG -12 1.12 GEN -24

-17 -9 -11 -10 -11 -14


1.35 1.48 0.00 1.54 0.89 1.64

Avail sexed N Y N




AIS = AI Services; BUL =; COG = Cogent; DD = Dairy Daughters; GEN = Genus ABS; SMX = Semex; PLI = Profitable Lifetime Index; SCC = Somatic Cell Count Index; TM = Type Merit; G = Genomic info contributes to index.




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**DF Sept p22 23 Breeding US_Layout 1 20/08/2013 19:46 Page 1

BREEDING Genomic evaluations are playing an increasingly important role in cattle breeding, but how far can we rely on them? Bruce Jobson tracks the April 2013 North American genomic evaluations.

How close is genomic prediction to actuality? enomic evaluation results are now running into their second year, and fresh information is helping to build a more comprehensive appraisal of the reliability of genomic testing and subsequent genomic sire evaluations. When genomic evaluations were introduced in the US in August 2008, the number of Holstein bulls in the predictor group was 4422. In April 2012 the figure had increased to 18,488, and 12 months later now stands at 21,904 sires. This is important because having more sires in the predictor group is expected to increase the reliability of genomic evaluations. Other dairy breeds are also gaining access to genomic evaluations, with the Jersey breed predictor


De-Su Observer was predicted to be a high flyer from genomic figures.

group increasing from 1843 to 2855; Brown Swiss from 721 to 5381; and for the first time, Ayrshires have 639 progeny tested bulls with genotypes. Acquiring data across all US sire evaluations would be difficult owing to the immense scale. However, looking at a large number of bulls within one stud can provide a useful guide to the level of accuracy, and Select Sires Incorporated, Ohio, provided the inform-

ation for Table 1. This demonstrates the levels of accuracy provided by genomic evaluations compared to the simple parental average when both are evaluated against actual progeny data. Correlation The figures show a genomic correlation of 0.73 for milk for the Holstein compared to 0.50 for the simple parent average. This increase in correlation is significant and

Table 1: Genomic and simple parent evaluations compared to progeny testing. (Correlation from April 2010 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; April 2013) No sires Genomic parent average to Parent average to daughter yield deviation daughter yield deviation Holstein (milk) 2225 0.73 0.50 Jersey (milk) 345 0.69 0.59 Holstein (SCC) 2225 0.61 0.53 Source: Select Sires




in due course may increase to 0.80, although it is unlikely to ever achieve the level of a 0.90 correlation. Likewise, genomic correlation for Somatic Cell Count is also better than simple parent average. If we take the evaluations one step further, we can track the level of accuracy of several individual genomic sires compared to their actual progeny proofs. For example, De-Su Observer is listed as the number one US GTPI sire (April 2013) and his figures provides an interesting analysis. See Table 2. This snap shot demonstrates the top six young bull listings of 2010 compared with actual listings when proven in 2013. Observer, Gulf and Watson all emerged at the top of the Select Sire listing. However, it is worth noting that Prizer, although originally listed sixth, subsequently emerged at 281 out of 680 listed sires. Some genomic bulls will emerge on track, others will not, and this is why breeders should use several genomic bulls to reduce any risk.

**DF Sept p22 23 Breeding US_Layout 1 20/08/2013 19:46 Page 2

BREEDING This means genomic evaluation has reinforced the selection of animals from the top 10% within the breed (90th percentile). From the 2008 Select Sires induction, seven GTPI sires have since graduated to proven status from the top 90th percentile and six bulls returned from the top 80th percentile, a 26% and 21% respective return from 277 sampled Holsteins. From 2009, 12 bulls graduated from the top 90th and seven bulls from the top 80th percentile, providing a graduation rate of 37% and 18% respectively (329 Holstein bulls). Distribution of TPI

(Holstein Association USA) changes from April 2010 to April 2013 demonstrate 51% of all sires changed up or down by 100 TPI points or less. In total, 74% of sires had a TPI point reduction. In Dairy Farmer, (Oct 2012 p48) we stated: “At this stage, there appears a little concern some bias remains within genomic evaluations of young bulls. Some of the young stars of today may be slightly over evaluated.” This bias appears to remain, with an average change for bulls in the 90th percentile of minus 187 TPI points (range +31 to –427 points) based on genomic young bulls being sired by

Table 2: Genomic prediction versus proof April 2010 zero April 2013 min 50 daughters daughters production and 20 type 1 Observer* 1 Observer* 2 Time 2 Gulf* 3 Watson* 3 McNuggets 4 Boxer 4 Watson* 5 Gulf* 5 Yance 6 Prizer 6 Pluto (Based on 680 Select Sire bull inventory)

proven bulls. However, as was seen in Table 1, the subsequent bull ranking remains accurate. This can be expected as the bias is across all Holstein bulls and therefore treated equally. If we take that one stage further, a GTPI sire, sired by an unproven bull (rather than proven), will include the bias into the mating by a further 50%. A second

generation GTPI bull can therefore expect to have a bias of +225-250 GTPI points. In order to be comparable with the top proven bulls of today, young GTPI sires, sired by proven sires, will need to be +2200 GTPI points; and young GTPI sires, sired by young unproven GTPI sires, need to be +2300 points.




**DF Sep p24 25 Genomics Canada _Layout 1 20/08/2013 18:13 Page 1

BREEDING The introduction of genomics in North America has had a profound effect on speeding up genetic turnaround and on how producers value their stock. Bruce Jobson reports.

Faster genetic progress by cutting generation interval

n the few short years since genomic evaluations were introduced in the US in August 2008 and January 2009 in Canada, the dynamics within the North American cattle industry have altered the way dairy farmers mate their stock as well as market their cows and heifers. One interesting aspect means farmers are more in control of their own destiny. The use of genomic technology to identify high ranking genetic females within the herd provides breeders with the opportunity to accelerate genetic change at an unprecedented rate. The genetic change offered by genomics is 45% compared to 22% per generation by conventional selection. Years ago, prior to the use of powerful computers and animal model statistics, progeny testing of an unproven bull took about six years. By that stage, the


In 2009 unproven Domicole Chelios had an equivalent gLPI(2013) of +2565 – as a proven sire his rating is +2865 – 300 points above!

completed lactation data of his daughters had been analysed and one bull in 10 returned to active service. However, the use of computer technology accelerated sire evaluation predictions, and in recent years a bull could be proven at a little over four years and four months. The generation interval has also been eroded owing to management factors, with age at first calving generally being at 24 months. But with the advent of genomics, the generation interval has

Table 1: Reliability improvement using genomics Rel LPI Milk Fat Protein Conformation 65% GPA 767 730kg 28.3 20.5 5.3 35% PA 1046 995kg 38.5 27.9 7.3




now been reduced to about two years and nine months, a further reduction of 35%. Genomics therefore, offers the opportunity to considerably decrease the generation interval by selecting younger parents at all stages of the process. Economic worth Canada has an annual rolling base in order to identify genetic progress, while the US and UK have a five-year stepwise one. It is therefore possible to monitor the annual changes over the past decade and measure the economic advantages through the Canadian system regarding the

performance of sires. From 2000–2004, the average annual increase of Holstein bulls in Canada was 109 LPI points per year (Brian VanDoormal, Canadian Dairy Network). The next stage, from 2004– 2008, resulted in an annual gain of 210 LPI points per year, almost double the previous four-year period. In the modern genomic era, 2009–2012, the annual rate of gain was 445 LPI points or 1175 LPI points over the three-year period. This means the current rate of annual gain is therefore double that of the second period and four times the annual gain of the first period. In economic terms, the benefit to breeders is estimated at about $30 (£20) per 100 LPI points. Over the past three years alone, we can estimate the benefit in financial value to be approximately worth £240. Clearly, genomic evaluation is proving to be more accurate or reliable than the Parent Average (PA) system. However, genomic data is not yet as reliable as data from a first test progeny proven bull. Even

**DF Sep p24 25 Genomics Canada _Layout 1 20/08/2013 18:14 Page 2

BREEDING at first crop 90% reliability level, the confidence range of one bull in 10 can change by plus or minus (+ or - ) 410 LPI points. The confidence range within each trait is a prorata, + or – 390kg milk, 15kg fat, 11kg protein and 2.9 points on conformation score respectively. Confidence However, taking this one step further, the improvement in reliability of a 65% Genomic Parent Average (GPA) compared to 35% PA reliability, demonstrates the increases in confidence range for

various traits. One proven bull in 10 is expected to change by more than that shown in Table 1. By using genomic technology, the odds are stacked more in favour of the breeder. The true genetic value of using a genomic parent average (GPA) of 65% reliability will, on nine occasions out of 10, be a pro-rata + or – 767kg milk, 28.3kg fat, 20.5kg protein and 5.3 points on conformation score. From this analysis, it is apparent all PA and GPA figures tend to be overestimated. As every

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Table 2: EBV accuracy range (Semex 2011) Trait EBV–PA EBV-GPA LPI -529 -270 Milk kg -387 -159 Fat kg -16.9 -7.2 PT kg -12.5 -5.1 Conformation -1.8 -1.4 breeder knows, not every bull will be a winner, but by using a team of bulls risks are reduced. If we observe the 2011 forward validation of 549 Semex bulls (J Chesnais) the range in the estimated breeding values (EBVs) on such a large number of bulls has been reduced, and therefore more accurate, via genomic technology. (See Table 2).

In the past, cattle breeding was said to be ‘an art’. Today, it is more of ‘a science’. However, it is not, as yet, an ‘exact’ science but nonetheless more accurate decisions can be made than ever before. Now thanks to genomics, farmers have never had as much information on which to base their herd breeding decisions.

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**DF Sep p26 27 Vet's View_Layout 1 20/08/2013 18:15 Page 1


With the mounting pressure on antibiotics, the question then arises as to whether we can cut routine use at drying off. Gloucestershire vet Chris Watson reveals his thoughts.

Dry cow therapy can be bit of complex business ne of the hot topics at the moment is the question of antibiotic use and particularly its role as part of dry cow therapy. The question is can we defend the use of antibiotics in drying off every cow when we have nonantibiotic alternatives such as teat sealants? Our standard practice advice is to use a combination of teat sealant and antibiotic with the aim of providing protection for the udder during the dry period and clearing up




existing infections from the previous lactation. Remember that although cows have a natural clearance and defence mechanism to manage the dry period, the modern cow still needs considerable help to do this job properly. Last lactation Antibiotics aim to clear infection from the last lactation and protect the udder only during the early risk period till the teat seals effectively and natural defences take over. Teat sealants, on the other hand, aim to protect


right through the dry period, but do not have any action to clear infections. Their main benefit is at the end of the dry period giving protection against infection as the teat end seal starts to dissolve potentially allowing infection in, and they can be present right up to calving as there is no withdrawal period. There is also, unfortunately, sometimes a need to ‘prop up’ poor sealant drying off technique with antibiotic protection to prevent what is often a very severe

infection soon after drying off due to bacteria being introduced with the sealant. Every year we see cows which have a massive udder infection a few days after drying off and the cow often dies. Studies and practice experience show that using sealant with antibiotic in ‘infected’ cows (defined as a high SCC at the end of lactation or a clinical history of mastitis) has a clear benefit over using each alone – and that is what you would expect. However, in the ‘uninfected’ group (the reverse of the above) when sealant alone is used there was a small increase in SCC against a combination use; a small increase in infected quarters (2.9% versus 1.4%); but a small reduction in cases of coli infection (0.12% versus 1.47%). Part of the problem is we cannot accurately

**DF Sep p26 27 Vet's View_Layout 1 23/08/2013 15:30 Page 2

VET’S VIEW identify which cows are truly uninfected at drying off so we can target sealant use alone. SCC and clinical history is not precise enough and we end up using sealant on infected cows so the situation gets worse with more infected quarters and a rise in the SCC. Coliform infections The significant (although very small) change in coliform infections is more difficult to explain. There are several possibilities here and include the use of antibiotics in uninfected quarters upsets the normal bacterial balance in the udder allowing coliforms to enter – much the same as the way in which probiotics work in the gut. Or it may be that the antibiotic is altering the immune system of the udder or that the use of antibiotics reduces the amount of sealant. Certainly the oily antibiotic infusion may dissolve the sealant carrying it off into other areas of the udder and away from its protective sealant function in the teat end. The amount of sealant found in the teat

end at calving is roughly halved by the use of antibiotics. So what is best advice? If the herd has an average BMSCC around 100,000 then it must be worth considering sealant treatment alone at drying off. Cows are less likely to be infected provided you check records. Above 400,000 it is definitely worth still maintaining antibiotics and teat sealant though these herds will probably not have a milk buyer. That leaves the middle ground,

where most of our herds are, with some difficult decisions. For a BMSCC less than 200,000, and with care and after checking the records, it could be of some benefit to use sealant alone. More than 200,000 it is likely to be more difficult to be accurate with defining the uninfected cow. Above all, what we must do is not to be seen to use antibiotics as an excuse for less than thorough protocols for the dry cow.

Dry cow protocols

rDry off in the parlour after milking and cleaning down rUse clean gloves and wash and dry hands between cows rSwab the teat ends with an alcohol disinfectant – furthest teats first and then the nearest rApply a dry cow antibiotic firstly to the nearest teats and then the furthest rApply the sealant to the furthest teats first and leave it in the teat end – do not massage the udder rApply a teat dip to all teats rApply a fly treatment during the summer and trim tails rStore the sealant and antibiotic safely – not in the parlour.




**DF Sep p28 29 Udder Health signed off_Layout 1 23/08/2013 09:53 Page 1




visible relief

This series from MSD focuses on the challenges of mastitis and explores key management issues and best practice techniques.

True impact of mastitis is easy to underestimate astitis rates are not showing any sign of decreasing. According to


the National Mastitis Survey organised by MSD and supported by Dairy Farmer, the number of farmers reporting between 101-200 quarter cases/100

cows is increasing; not good news. Mastitis remains one of the main reasons for the premature culling of cows (it is estimated to be the

cause of around 10% of culls) and is a huge area of financial loss for herds as Karen Ingleby, veterinary advisor for MSD, explains.

Vet’s view: David Campion, Newton Stewart

rVet David Campion, of Priory Vet Centre, Newton Stewart, adds some thoughts on the practical day-to-day challenges mastitis presents on-farm, and options for therapy. “Mastitis, along with lameness and fertility, is responsible for most financial losses on dairy farms,” he says. Research has also demonstrated, in herd health terms, mastitis, lameness and fertility are closely related. For example, a cow with mastitis is more likely to have a prolonged period to first service and a delayed period to conception. Perhaps more importantly a case of acute mastitis has a serious impact on cow welfare.



“Acute mastitis occurs when the udder is invaded by a foreign organism,” Mr Campion explains. “This is usually, but not exclusively, a bacterium. These bacteria can originate from the cow or from the environment. In either case, the organism must invade the teat canal and enter the udder tissue.”

Hygiene All producers should by now understand the importance of good hygiene and treatment protocols. Attention to detail in the milking routine is also essential to help prevent mastitis infections. “When a cow comes in with a hot, swollen and painful udder, protocols must be in place to treat


this rapidly and effectively,” he says. “Ideally a sample should be collected and analysed to determine the bacteria involved and their sensitivity to the commonly used antibiotic. Ideally, collect a clean sample prior to treatment, which can be frozen, labelled with date and cow number, and analysed at a later date in the case of a treatment failure or as part of the farm protocol for monitoring mastitis organisms. “However in practical terms that takes too long and treatment must be instituted immediately. On many farms there is more than one potential causative bacteria and so it is important a broad spectrum antibiotic is used which covers, preferably, both

gram negative and gram positive organisms.

Antibiotic “Cefapirin contained in Mastiplan LC is one such antibiotic; it also has the advantage of being a first generation cephalosporin, which is not one of the antibiotics being evaluated for possible restrictions. It also contains prednisolone, which we have found is a very effective antiinflammatory, visibly reducing the swelling and the pain in the quarter rapidly. This encourages the cow to move about, eat and recover more quickly.” As with all veterinary treatments, Mr Campion stresses veterinary advice must be sought.

**DF Sep p28 29 Udder Health signed off_Layout 1 23/08/2013 09:53 Page 2


Mastitis leads to losses from: ■ Milk thrown away due to contamination by medication or being unfit to drink. ■ A reduction in yields due to illness and permanent damage to udder tissue. ■ The extra labour required to tend to mastitic cows. ■ The costs of veterinary care and medicines. ■ The cost of premature culling. A report by the University of Edinburgh says the cost of a mild case of mastitis is about £169 per cow, and a severe case is £469. A fatality due to mastitis costs about £1,709 per cow. Indeed, one paper states mastitis is responsible for 38% of all financial losses experienced by UK dairy herds, when looking at common production diseases (this means for the normal or expected diseases a herd may experience and does not include unexpected, one-off events). In a study from Denmark, researchers found a cow with mastitis had a 1.69 times greater risk of being culled than a healthy herdmate. And given most

ick cows Treating s and promptly en ely has be aggressiv cial in be benefi to n w o h s elivering terms of d cure rates improved

culls take place in early lactation, not only are you losing the animal and her genetic potential, but also the rest of that lactation. There is little doubt from the scientific papers reported, and farmers’ own practical experiences, that mastitis is economically significant. It is also a seemingly endless management challenge and persistent high levels of hard-to-shift mastitis can have a very real impact on staff morale. Identifying a case, treating it and then moving on is the ideal scenario, but recurring cases are all too common. A UK study of clinical mastitis in six low BMSCC herds in Somerset found 20.5% of all cases were recurrent. It also found

Mastiplan LC rMastiplan LC is a broad spectrum mastitis treatment which contains 300mg cefapirin and 20mg prednisolone. rCefapirin is a modern, effective antibiotic capable of delivering long acting treatment against the major mastitis pathogens. rMastiplan LC contains

between two and four times as much prednisolone as any other tube available meaning it can rapidly and effectively relieve symptoms such as pain and swelling. rOne syringe should be infused into the affected quarter after milking at 12-hour intervals for four consecutive milkings.

the average time between recurrent cases was 42.8 days. Everyone is clear that mastitis leads to financial loss, impacts on the longevity of cows and, in some cases, can develop into a cycle of recurring infections and chronic cases, all with no apparent solution. What to do then? A whole-farm approach is needed, ideally

developed in conjunction with your vet. Reviewing all areas, and developing a treatment protocol that uses a proven, broad spectrum tube such as Mastiplan LC as a first line therapy can help prevent mastitis getting out of control, and should help ensure cows are producing saleable milk for as much time as possible.

In association with MSD Animal Health, manufacturer of Mastiplan LC




**DF Sep p30 31 32 Youngstock _Layout 1 20/08/2013 18:21 Page 1


A desire to calve heifers down at two years demands strict adherence to certain ground rules. Dairy Farmer looks at a 1700-strong rearing unit in Scotland doing just that.

Strict approach to calf rearing pays dividends espite two year age at first calving being ‘where the money is’, vet Jimmy More from the Galloway practice in South West Scotland is alarmed that only 6.9% of heifers have been found to have calved at that age in a new analysis of the national cattle database. Speaking at a heifer rearing open day staged by Solway Vets, he urged farmers to give higher


priority to heifer calves ‘so they stop costing you money sooner, and start earning it instead’. “The day a heifer calf is born, you can write on a calendar when it should calve,” he said. “By making this 24 months of age, you minimise your non-productive head count, which the past year of tight feed supplies has taught us is so important.” From 40kg birthweight, he set out some easy-tofollow targets. For bulling at

Visitors attended the youngstock rearing unit in south-west Scotland.




Jimmy More warned producers not to thaw colostrum too quickly as it will destroy the antibodies.

13 months of age, at 360kg liveweight and 1.25m (4850in) shoulder height, calves need to put on 320kg in 400 days, or 0.8kg/day. Conveniently, he said research at Penn State University in the US had found compelling evidence this growth rate correlated with maximum milk yields in adulthood. “In such times of milk price austerity and high feed costs, it’s a mystery why more farmers aren’t making this happen,” he said.

An example of the kind of turnaround possible can be seen at the open day’s host, a specialist calf rearing unit established last year at High Bishopton, near Whithorn on the Solway coast. It serves owner Kevan Forsyth’s three local dairy farms, where a lack of suitable facilities was taking a serious toll on calf health and performance. Pneumonia On the average GB dairy farm, some 14-15% of heifer calves never even reach a first calving, according to Graham Baird, a vet from sponsor Zoetis. “Here, only two years ago, things were rather worse than this,” he said. “The main problem was pneumonia before weaning. Now, as a result of a few key changes, pre-weaning mortality is down to 2% and

**DF Sep p30 31 32 Youngstock _Layout 1 21/08/2013 12:04 Page 2

YOUNGSTOCK only 5% of live-born heifers fail to reach first calving.â&#x20AC;? Those changes revolve around unit manager Andrew Taylor, who had no farming experience until he started work for Mr Forsyth in 2009. Overall, he says, the most important rule is that â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;the few weeks from birth to weaning dictate the rest of the animalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life, so weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d better get it rightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. He says the most important thing they put right was consistent colostrum management for newborn calves on the three dairy units. Regardless of which staff are on duty, every calf should receive

three litres of fresh colostrum within six hours of birth, and six within 12. Any colostrum not used immediately is refrigerated, and any spare is frozen. Transition On days two to four or five, calves undergo a gradual transition from colostrum to milk replacer, fed through a computer-controlled machine, and building up to two, three-litre feeds a day by 17 days of age. Weaning takes place over 12 days as soon as a group of calves, all within about two weeks of each other in age, are consuming 1.5kg per day of dry calf mix,

A pen of calves approaching weaning â&#x20AC;&#x201C; young calves come in at three to four days of age and are batched in groups of 25.

Even Holstein bull calves go through the unit and are sold as finished beef.

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SUGAR BEET 18 Sugar Beet, Palm Kernel, Wheatfeed, Rape, Molasses, Wheat DDG, Soya Hulls, Hipro Soya, Wheat, Dairy Fat, Minerals & Vitamins. Oil 5.3% Protein 18% Fibre 11.8% Ash 8.5%

QUALITY DAIRY 18 Wheat, Wheatfeed, Rape, Palm Kernel, Molasses, Hipro Soya, Maize, Maize Sugar, Prot. Rape, Sunflower, Dairy Oils, Minerals & Vitamins Oil 4.8% Protein 18% Fibre 8.8% Ash 7.6%


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**DF Sep p30 31 32 Youngstock _Layout 1 23/08/2013 10:10 Page 3

YOUNGSTOCK Advertorial

The mycotoxin threat to performance By Dr Derek McIlmoyle, AB Vista Technical Director Recent analyses of a range of forages and straights typically fed to UK livestock found that more than 75% were contaminated with mycotoxins, and 90% of those contained more than one mycotoxin type. With the problem so widespread, this is a serious threat to cow health and performance that every dairy producer needs to understand. Lower milk yield and butterfat content, reduced condition, more mastitis and higher cell counts are all symptoms of mycotoxin ingestion, and the impact on income and profitability can be substantial. Where mycotoxin contamination is significant, it is common to see yields improve by 2-3 litres/cow/day when Ultrasorb mycotoxin binder is added to the ration – a return on investment of well over 10:1. Other key indicators to watch for include rough coats, variable manure consistency, foot lesions that will not heal, overall ill-thrift and the presence of mucus tags (pieces of gut wall) in manure. Spores for the moulds that produce mycotoxins are naturally present in the air, and consequently in many silages made and crops harvested. If conditions in the field are right, mould growth can start on the crop itself, though often the biggest problems arise during storage and feeding. Penicillium and Fusarium moulds are responsible for most of the mycotoxins affecting UK dairy herds, with moisture allowing spores to germinate on straights during storage, or after inclusion in moist mixed rations. Any poorly consolidated or sealed areas in silage clamps are prime sites for mould growth, as are open clamp faces – these aerobic moulds need air to grow. Fortunately, there are now highly effective mycotoxin binders like Ultrasorb to shield cows and young-stock from the effects of mycotoxin ingestion. Compared to the possible loss in income, the cost of including Ultrasorb in the ration is a small price to pay to protect milk output.




Heifers at this stage are on hay and 4kg/head concentrate fed through a TMR diet.

which is available with water from day one. Typically, this is at eight to nine weeks of age. Mr Taylor says feeding from weaning to about nine months is still an area for improvement, but by controlling growth rate during this period at 0.8kg/day, he aims to reduce the likelihood of ‘fatty udders’ developing. To address the pneumonia problem, he says stage one was colostrum; stage two was a well ventilated draught-free housing; and stage three was intranasal vaccination at nine days of age against the two viruses most commonly implicated in baby

calf pneumonia, BRSv and Pi3v. Pre-weaning, calves also get a two-stage, eight-component vaccine for clostridial diseases. Post-weaning, there follows vaccination against IBR using a live marker vaccine at six month intervals until the youngsters are confirmed pregnant, then an inactivated IBR marker vaccine licensed for 12 month duration of action and annual boosters. To aid transition of heifers into the milking herd on farms with digital dermatitis, Peter Hastings from the Nithsdale practice urged visitors to introduce daily footbath treatment for in-calf heifers along with dry cows.

Vet’s calf rearing programme To help other farmers striving for gold standard rearing, vet Jimmy More has developed a special programme which involves: rHygienic calving pens cleaned weekly rCalf navels dressed with iodine solution rThree litres colostrum within six hours of birth rRemoving calf from dam as soon as possible into individual

pens, then group by age on teat rather than bucket feeding rProvide dry feed, straw and water from day one rUse an all in, all out group system rOne person responsible for calf rearing rIsolation pens available and used promptly for poorly calves rAll treatments recorded and analysed regularly for trends and problems.

Vetoquinol UK WP DF_Vetoquinol UK WP DF 21/08/2013 17:00 Page 1

s i t i t s a m i l o c . E t u o e Strik ! t o h s e l g in a sin E.coli mastitis accounts for 19% of all mastitis cases in the UK1. When E.coli strikes it is usually sudden and sometimes fatal. If you want a fast-acting E.coli mastitis treatment then you need an antibiotic with a quick bactericidal effect that kills E.coli fast. This also helps: body temperature, general condition and appetite start to return to normal within hours.2 Fluids and an anti-inflammatory will also greatly assist with a fast recovery.

Equally important, is reducing the risk of antibiotic resistance developing on your farm. Single injection short-acting antibiotics (SISAAB) help you reach peak concentrations fast but also quickly leave the system reducing the chance of resistance development. This also enables shorter milk withhold periods*. Contact your vet to discuss the short-acting single injection antibiotic (SISAAB) treatment that strikes E.coli mastitis hard and fast, getting her back to milking faster.3


References: 1. Published Defra data. VIDA lab results (2011) all incidents of mastitis in cattle in Great Britain as a percentage of total mastitis diagnoses. 2. Grandemange (2012). Efficacy and safety of a single injection of marbofloxacin in the treatment of bovine acute E. coli mastitis in a European field study. Proceeding of World Buiatric Congress in Lisbon 2012. 3. Vetoquinol study 634VD581. Advice on the use of Forcyl and other antibiotic treatments should be sought from your veterinary surgeon. This advertisement is brought to you by Vetoquinol, makers of Forcyl. Forcyl速 contains marbofloxacin. Legal Category: UK: POM To be supplied only on veterinary prescription. Further information is available on request from: Vetoquinol UK Limited, Vetoquinol House, Great Slade, Buckingham Industrial Park, Buckingham, MK18 1PA. UK: Tel: 01280 814500 Fax: 01280 825460. Email: Website: *Withdrawal milk 48 hours and meat 5 days for supply for human consumption after the last Forcyl treatment. Please use medicines responsibly. For further information please visit

**DF Sep p34 35 Conference_Layout 1 20/08/2013 18:29 Page 1


TechTalk by Volac Get it right from the start Feeding the heifer calf enough energy and protein will help ensure she has adequate body size at first breeding, and has a better chance of calving at 2 years which is key for her lifelong performance. To give the calf the best start, feed a good quality milk replacer based on milk proteins (protein 20-26%; fat 16-20%; ash <9%). If targeting high growth rates, use a milk replacer with a higher protein content (26%), and lower fat content (16%) to promote skeletal growth. The abomasum is the only functional stomach in the young calf. Closure of the oesophageal groove, which is essential to ensure milk bypasses the rumen directly into the abomasum, is influenced by the temperature, volume, concentration, and time of milk feeding. Any variations from feed to feed, or day to day, can prevent it closing - attention to detail and consistency is therefore key. Feed milk at a consistent temperature of 37-39°C. Do not use hot water above 45°C to mix the milk as this will damage the sensitive proteins - use a thermometer to check. Milk may be mixed at any concentration between 10 and 15% for feeding calves twice per day but always mix at the chosen concentration consistently – use scales to accurately weigh the powder. Calf growth depends on the total amount of milk solids fed per day. For example, feeding calves 6 litres/day at 12.5% solids, will supply 750g milk solids/calf/day (6L multiply 125g). But feeding 4 litres at 10%, will supply only 400g/day, which will restrict growth. Calves have a great opportunity to grow during the milk feeding stage – this is a key time to invest in these valuable herd replacements. Dr Jessica Cooke can be contacted at Volac on T. 0800 919808







Is there some lig tunnel for organi

The tighter milk market may give organic producers a boost after years of high feed costs and struggling to make a decent margin. Ann Hardy reports. rganic dairy farmers should feel cautiously confident of a gradual improvement in their milk price, said Richard Hampton, chief operating officer for OMSCo. But he warned this improvement will only be sustained through widespread industry confidence in the organic market and growth in consumer demand. Speaking at the Organic Dairying Conference, hosted by Yeo Valley in Blagdon, Bristol, he said a return to the boom and bust seen in the past was in


nobody’s interests and that mechanisms were in place today to ensure they would be avoided. However, he said while there had been a pronounced bounce in organic milk production since July, supplies remained ‘tighter than most people realised’. He said organic milk had already been ‘repatriated’ to the UK from the export market, which had grown at its peak for OMSCo to 80m litres. While this volume had since declined, he said the export market was an important part of the balancing mechanism which had not existed as an outlet in earlier periods of oversupply.

Waitrose offers existing producers chance to expand rExisting organic dairy farmers may be in the driving seat if current trends at Waitrose continue their upward trajectory. Speaking at the conference, Duncan Sinclair, agriculture manager for Waitrose – which has about 24% of the organic market, despite representing only 4.8% of the total grocery market – said organic sales were currently 13% up year-on-year. “Existing suppliers have first

Duncan Sinclair: more milk.

call on any growth opportunities,” he said, also expressing some optimism for ongoing growth as other supermarkets – most notably Asda – reduced their

**DF Sep p34 35 Conference_Layout 1 22/08/2013 15:41 Page 2


ight at end of nic producers? However, he said while the farmgate price had edged up to between 33ppl and 44ppl, depending on profile, seasonality and other factors, the premium over conventional milk was currently unlikely to encourage producers to convert to organic production. “The price needs to recover and then we need a year for farmers to think it is real,” he said. But with no new converters since 2009 and none in the pipeline, he said the industry was reliant on existing producers to meet the growing demand. Despite calls from other speakers and delegates for

Richard Hampton: confident.

organic offering. “We have flagged up to farmers the opportunity to produce more organic milk and now is their chance, before we have to consider recruiting anyone new.” But with no new organic conversions coming through the system, he accepted new milk would have to come from existing organic producers.

Bankers’ attitudes were also said to be important to expansion, and he said: “We have shared our growth plans with them in the hope it will help farmers’ investment needs.” However, he said expansion would be ‘demand-led’ in order to maintain stability, and that Waitrose would be selective in how it achieved its growth.

more government support for organic production, Mr Hampton said that this was unlikely. However, with organic milk currently accounting for just over 3% of production, there was enormous headroom for growth.

Huge opportunity for growth on the internet JThere is huge opportunity for sales of organic milk on the internet which is not being fully exploited. This opportunity comes through the growth of home deliveries, which is running at 17% per year, and a strong emphasis on young families (12% of the internet grocery market). Speaking at the conference, Edward Garner from market research organisation Kantar, said with the right marketing and better ‘signposting’ towards organic milk on

websites, there was plenty of scope for growth. He said organic sales in general had peaked in 2008 and declined throughout the recession, but had seen a 6% year-on-year growth from July. Marketing should include supporting evidence for claims of quality and provenance. Transaction sizes were 63% higher on the internet, and he said: “Organic is on its way to becoming nearly twice as important on the internet as through bricks and mortar.”




**DF Sep p36 38 Feedstuffs_Layout 1 20/08/2013 18:36 Page 1

FEEDSTUFFS Buying the right feeds at the right price for the winter can have a huge impact on bottom line profitability. KW nutritionist Dave Collett talks us through the key points of a successful feed buying strategy.

What to look for when ordering winter feeds

lthough winter feed prices look likely to be lower than last year, the feed market remains volatile and many of the most popular feeds are still in short supply. “Many farmers will already have started covering feed requirements for the winter, with forward contracts for November to April delivery encouraging an early start to feed buying,” says KW nutritionist Dave Collett. “First consider the relative value of each feedstuff based on unit cost of energy or protein, and how they match silage quality. Then look at the other benefits each feed brings to the ration,” he says. According to Mr Collett, moist feeds are still great value compared to their dry




Feed markets remain volatile and many of the most popular feeds are still in short supply.

counterparts but are once again in short supply, and those looking to secure significant volumes for the winter – and even next spring – will need to act quickly when contracts become available. “Feeds like molasses and the distillery syrups, as well as moist feeds, bring certain important benefits to the ration in terms of palatability, reduced sorting and improved structure,” he ex-


plains. “This all helps to drive feed intake, particularly when forage quality may be poor or variable.”

Forage intake After the high cost of last winter’s feeding, with additional bought-in feeds needed on many dairy units, producers will be looking to re-establish forage dry matter intakes this year. Feeds which complement the type of forage

available and encourage consumption will be critical to achieving this goal, and helping restore profitability. “Other important feeds to consider include those high in digestible fibre to balance high D-value silages in the rumen, such as soya hulls and sugar beet feed,” says Mr Collett. “And for high performing rations needing an energy density in excess of 12MJ ME/kg DM, additional

MSD Animal Health Zuprevo - WP DF_MSD Animal Health Zuprevo - WP DF 21/08/2013 17:01 Page 1


Ask your vet about the benefits of ZUPREVO – the pneumonia treatment that works longer in the lungs1

Starts fast, works longer Always use medicines responsibly. Please see for more information Zuprevo solution for injection for cattle is available from your veterinary surgeon, from whom advice should be sought.

ZUPREVO 180 mg/ml solution for injection for cattle Active substance: Tildipirosin 180 mg/ml. Withdrawal period: Cattle (Meat and offal): 47 days. Not authorised for use in lactating animals producing milk for human consumption. Do not use in pregnant animals, which are intended to produce milk for human consumption, within 2 months of expected parturition. Zuprevo® is property of Intervet International B.V. or affiliated companies or licensors and are protected by copyrights, trademarks and other intellectual property laws. Copyright © 2011 Intervet International B.V., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA. All rights reserved. Legal category: POM-V Always read the package insert before usage of the product for more information. Further information is available from MSD Animal Health, Walton Manor, Walton, Milton Keynes MK7 7AJ. Tel: 01908 685685 Fax: 01908 685555 Email: Internet: 1. Based on time lung concentrations above MIC90 for the licensed pathogens

From the experts in lung health:

**DF Sep p36 38 Feedstuffs_Layout 1 20/08/2013 18:36 Page 2

FEEDSTUFFS Fig 1 – Comparison on cost per unit of energy*

starch and sugars are best supplied by feeds such as the confectionery and bakery co-product blends, maize meal, ground whole maize, processed bread or sodawheat, which is the most useful in reducing the risk of sub-acute ruminal acidosis (SARA).” Figures 1 and 2 show a range of common straights compared on the basis of relative value for energy (p/10MJ ME) and crude protein (p/100g CP). The graphs provide good guide to the best value options for the winter, though it’s important to remember that not all are freely available at the current time. Table 1 compares the value of protein feeds used to supply the rumen bypass protein – also called digestible undegraded protein (DUP) – which is vital in supporting high yields and cow health. The result is a very different comparison to one based on crude protein, and shows that the specialist rumen bypass protein supplements are actually more cost effective than soyabean meal at



supplying DUP despite their poor showing in Figure 2. Savings “What the figures also fail to show is because of the high energy supply in bioethanol wheat distillers’ feed relative to its protein content, using it to directly replace a 55:45 mix of soyabean meal and wheat will typically save the equivalent of £3050/t,” Mr Collett adds. “Another example would be the high protein liquid feeds like Spey Syrup, which can often supply protein more cost effectively than rapemeal, but also provide an extra 2.2MJ ME/kg DM, allowing even greater savings by cutting back on expensive energy feeds. “So always double check to make sure you’re comparing like-with-like, or at

Fig 2 – Comparison on cost per unit of protein*

least taking into account the value a feed brings to the ration outside its primary nutrient content.” The protein feed market is difficult to predict at present, with a bumper soyabean crop in South America creating expectations that prices will ease, but countered by low stocks in the States and logistical issues limiting availability earlier in the year. “It’s worth considering the source of feeds you might buy,” he says. “Producing milk with a low carbon footprint is going to be increasingly important in the future, and UK-produced feeds such as rapemeal and bioethanol distillers’ feeds are already finding favour with some retailers. “Topped up with specific DUP sources such as Soy-

Pass and ProtoTec, the result can be a highly cost effective, and sustainable, protein supply. So keep an open mind to nutrients from ‘non-traditional’ sources, and develop a flexible feeding system able to utilise whichever type of feed is best value at the time. Winter plans “Remember by now, winter feed plans should already be formulated, as they can easily be fine tuned later once any remaining silages have been analysed. Use that as the basis of what needs to ne bought and book forward when the price is right, leaving perhaps just 10-20% of requirements for purchase nearer the time,” he advises.

*Prices correct at time of press for 29t bulk loads on farm within 50 miles of source.

Table 1 – Comparison of alternative sources of rumen bypass protein* Price £/t) DUP cost Energy content (p/100g DUP) (MJ ME/kg DM) SoyPass (rumen-protected 410 13.0 13.5 soyabean meal) ProtoTec (heat-treated rapemeal) 235 15.7 12.2 Hi-pro soyabean meal 348 19.0 14.0 Rapemeal 190 19.0 11.8 Bioethanol wheat distillers’ feed 219 20.3 13.7


Micron-Bio Systems (Shield) - WP DF_Micron-Bio Systems (Shield) - WP DF 21/08/2013 17:01 Page 1

Semex DPS_Semex DPS 10/09/2013 12:39 Page 21

Semex DPS_Semex DPS 10/09/2013 12:39 Page 22

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**DF Sep p42 43 Pneumonia survey Signed off _Layout 1 20/08/2013 18:37 Page 1


Pneumonia continues to hit farmers in the pocket

This year’s pneumonia survey reveals that the disease is still a big problem in young calves and we need to be more aware about detecting it and treating animals quickly.

esults from the 2013 National Pneumonia Survey, sponsored by Zuprevo, confirm the disease is continuing to cost farmers money. Only 15 producers out of a total of 300 respondents responsible for the rearing of more than 38,000 calves claimed to never see any pneumonia on their unit. The typical picture is one of constantly trying to limit the impact of the disease, with more than half of farmers having to deal with the problem in more than 5% of their youngstock. This is consistent with previous survey results and is confirmation once more pneumonia hits calf rearers in the pocket again and again.




According to this year’s survey findings, disease is predominantly seen in calves less than two months of age. Just more than 60% of the farmers said that this was the age group of animals most affected. (See pie chart). Alfredo Sanz Moreno MRCVS, veterinary adviser from MSD Animal Health, says: “This year’s survey once again shows having to deal with calf pneumonia cases is pretty much an occupational hazard. “This is not surprising because we know pneumonia is such a complex disease involving the interaction between viruses, bacteria, environmental factors, stresses and the immune status of the animal. No matter how good your disease


prevention and management there’s always the chance pneumonia could still strike at some stage.” The 2013 survey focused more on practical disease detection and treatment approaches with some interesting feedback, says Mr Sanz Moreno.

Temperature “Often calves treated for pneumonia could easily have been suffering from the disease for two days or more, which is why it is so important to take calf temperatures regularly if you have any suspicions at all. However, according to the survey findings, around a third of farmers don’t undertake this useful early disease detection.” He points out this finding is actually consistent with a recent study. “Farmers typically look for depression and/or reduction in feed intake before treating affected animals, rather than take temperatures. However, these signs do not generally appear until the more advanced stages of the disease. And if you leave your treatment too late the

chances of a good recovery are reduced. “Speed is of the essence when treating pneumonia cases effectively and limiting lung damage. It’s important to remain vigilant for coughing and runny noses, as well as any depression in food intake, but do use a thermometer as often as you can. Normal body temperature is 38.6deg C and anything higher than 39.4deg C indicates lung damage may have started. What was encouraging from the survey though was virtually all the farmers participating knew the normal body temperature of a calf, with 65% also correctly appreciating the raised level at which lung damage occurs.” When asked what they look for in a pneumonia treatment, by far the most important factors valued by farmers were speed of action and prolonged duration of action. Least important criteria were a low cost per dose and a low dose rate. (See bar chart). “When treating individual clinically sick calves we would always recommend

**DF Sep p42 43 Pneumonia survey Signed off _Layout 1 23/08/2013 14:14 Page 2

SURVEY RESULTS using a combination antibiotic/anti-inflammatory product such as Resflor. This is because you want to kill bacteria quickly, as well as limit pain, inflammation and permanent lung damage, which will compromise future animal performance. Consequently, it’s encouraging well over 50% of the survey respondents considered combination therapy to be extremely important. And when specifically asked how they act when faced with a calf showing signs of disease, 232 of the 300 farmers said they treat the sick animal with an antibiotic and an anti-

inflammatory. Only nine farmers had the view combination therapy was not at all important,” says Mr Sanz Moreno. Animals at risk However, he adds when a number of calves in a pen are showing clinical signs of pneumonia and new cases are appearing over a short period of time, it is important to talk to your vet about the value of long acting antibiotic treatment for those animals at risk. “This is because of the significant infection pressure for the in-contact calves. Just because you can’t see any signs of disease among in-

contact calves does not mean they will not develop disease a few days later. They could be incubating the bacterial infection. For these situations it is well worth considering a long acting antibiotic such as Zuprevo,” he says.

“Trial data shows this product working extremely quickly in the animal, as well as offering 28 days activity in the lungs – the longest period of cover of all the macrolide antibiotics currently on the market.”

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**DF Sep p44 Dairy Show Intro_Layout 1 23/08/2013 11:53 Page 1




Join us for the…

Great Milk Debate

Don’t miss it!

Ian Potter

Jonathan Ovens

David Handley

Plus! Your chance to win a cell count analyser

PRIZE DRAW: In conjunction with Southwest Scientific, we will be offering an Ekomilk Scan (value £695) to the lucky winner of our prize draw. Southwest Scientific’s managing director Shaun Fetzer will be demonstrating this useful piece of kit on our stand throughout the day. So do come along!




WHEN: 11.00 – 12.00 WHERE: On the Dairy Farmer/Farmers Guardian stand on the main show avenue DETAILS: Chaired by Dairy Farmer editor Peter Hollinshead, this is your chance to catch up with the latest thinking about where the industry is heading, and to put your questions to these leading commentators.

Norbeck - WP DF_Norbeck - WP DF 21/08/2013 17:04 Page 1


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**DF Sep p46 47 DS Old Mill _Layout 1 22/08/2013 11:11 Page 1


The full financial impact of last year’s devastating season is only now starting to show through in farm accounts. Old Mill’s specialist Pat Tomlinson takes us through the figures.

Impact of last year just starting to show through


airy farm profits fell by a whopping 76% in the year to March 2013, with costs of production soaring due to the appalling wet weather. To give a reflection of income and expenditure, Old Mill director Pat Tomlinson compared the same dairy farmers’ accounts for the



years ending March 2012 and March 2013. “We deliberately haven’t added in estimates of standard rent, family labour or finance costs – we’ve simply looked at what farmers actually spent and received,” he says. Farm herd size was virtually identical over the two years, but average yields fell by 523 litres per cow to 7085


Perhaps surprisingly, total farm overheads only rose by 2.4%. Pat Tomlinson

“ litres. Total milk production therefore fell by 87,500 litres (6%) to 1.35m litres. “This had a particularly significant impact on the overhead costs per litre, as they were spread over fewer litres,” he explains. There were some milk price rises during the year but the sample’s actual milk price only increased by 0.57p/litre year-on-year. “This illustrates the danger of quoting standard litre prices – it is the price received on farm that matters. “It seems the headline price increases were mitigated by poorer milk quality – the result of generally meagre forage quality – and perhaps some volume and profile bonuses being missed.” Producers’ variable costs increased by 15% or 2.34p per litre – nearly all because

of higher feed costs which jumped by 2.2p/litre, says Mr Tomlinson. Non-milk income (predominantly culls, calves and Single Payment) increased by 1.5p/litre to 9.17p/litre. “Cull and calf prices did improve, but they and the Single Payment were spread over fewer litres, so impact per litre was exaggerated.” Gross margins Overall, gross margins fell fractionally from 21.0p/litre in 2012 to 20.7p/litre in 2013. “However, this was produced over 87,500 fewer litres, so the total farm gross margin fell by a more meaningful £22,600 to £280,200,” says Mr Tomlinson. But gross margins, while a useful indication of the reward for technical farm performance, did not tell the whole story. Overhead costs,

**DF Sep p46 47 DS Old Mill _Layout 1 20/08/2013 18:43 Page 2

PREVIEW DAIRY SHOW Old Mill Specialist Dairy Farmers Group – summary of costs of production p/litre unless stated Year ending March 31 2013 2012 Change Herd size 191 190 1 Yield/cow (litres) 7085 7608 -523 Total milk produced (litres) 1,354,652 1,442,190 -87,538 Milk price 29.74 29.17 0.57 Variable costs 18.22 15.87 2.34 Non milk income 9.17 7.71 1.46 Overheads 20.07 18.40 1.67 Total costs of production 38.29 34.89 3.40 Retained profit 0.62 2.60 -1.98 including drawings and tax, must also be considered – and they increased by 9%, from 18.4p/litre to 20.07p/litre. “Perhaps surprisingly, total farm overheads only rose by 2.4%, demonstrating excellent cost control given continuing inflationary pressures,” says Mr Tomlinson.

“The costs of getting the work done – such as labour, contracting, power and machinery – were by far the greatest contributor to total overheads, increasing by 0.9p/litre to 11.49p/litre.” Rent and finance accounted for just 1.3p/litre and 0.8p/litre respectively. When taking all expendi-

ture into consideration, Old Mill’s clients’ costs of production increased by 3.4p/litre last year – but their milk prices rose by just 0.57p/litre. “The bottom line is that this group of farmers retained a profit of just 0.6p/litre in 2013,” he says. “That was 76% less than

% Change -6.9% -6.1% 1.9% 14.8% 19.0% 9.1% 9.7% -76.2% the previous year and is supposed to cover loan repayments and further re-investment in the business. It is hardly surprising that bank borrowings have risen and that many producers are lacking the confidence or the cash to invest.” rContact 01392 351 307, or visit Showering 257.




**DF Sep p48 Dairy Show_Layout 1 23/08/2013 14:13 Page 1


Location is big factor in maize variety choice


aize growers should focus much more on choosing varieties for specific sites, rather than using regional averages, suggest trials carried out by forage specialists Grainseed. Analysis of data from more than 50 locations covering the whole of the UK’s maize growing area, to be launched at the Dairy Show, shows clearly how varieties respond differently to individual microclimates, claims the company’s James Todd. “We’ve found ultra early group 10 varieties like Picker, which are best suited to more northerly locations, performing

really well in more exposed locations in Devon for example, and the later maturing group 8 variety Ballade taking top spot in the better areas of Yorkshire,” he explains. “It all points to varieties being a lot more responsive to their individual growing environment than many believe.” Starch Key requirement is for varieties to reach full maturity with maximum starch production, rather than reaching the appropriate dry matter through simply drying down after they die, he says. “We’ve found that full maturity in more exposed parts of the South West can

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James Todd says maize varieties respond to individual micro-climates.

be best achieved through growing an earlier variety than the region’s climate may actually suggest. “The best scenario, wherever you are, is to achieve a green plant with a mature cob at harvest. This is different to focusing purely on dry matter,” he adds. “It’s about achieving full cob ripeness, and our trials show this can often involve taking a sideways look at what you may have believed is the right level of earliness for your particular location.” Indications for the 2013 harvest suggest growers who have followed this

approach are the ones who have the best looking crops, he says. “Maize crops have caught up amazingly well in recent weeks and varieties which have been chosen, based on suitability to site, are on track to be harvested on time. “We are confident of seeing starch contents of 35% across the country and dry matter yields exceeding 20t/ha in the better locations.” ■ Copies of Grainseed’s 12-page ‘Trials Round-up’ document can be obtained from its stand, or by calling 01379 871 073. rStand 209 in the Edmund Rack Building.

MSD Mastiplan WP DF_MSD Mastiplan WP DF 21/08/2013 17:06 Page 1

WHEN NEXT FACED WITH A COSTLY CASE OF MASTITIS, THINK MASTIPLAN LC FOR FAST, VISIBLE RELIEF Mastiplan LC is a lactating cow treatment which uniquely has double the anti-inflammatory of any other lactaing cow tube on the market for promoting fast resolution of inflammatory response & quick alleviation of swelling, pain & milk drop associated with mastitis. • Cefapirin 300mg (1st generation cephalosporin, bactericidal) • Prednisolone 20mg (Double the amount of any other lactating cow tube) anti-inflammatory & pain reduction • Broad spectrum of activity without using polypharmacy, endorsing prudent use of antibiotics • Long acting properties, above MIC90 for up to 5 milkings* after last application • Cefapirin and Prednisolone act synergistically to improve treatment success1 • Significantly better bacteriological and clinical cure rates than a leading lactating cow tube2,3

* Mastiplan Datasheet 1. Bourry, Chiquet and Cox (2006) Proceedings of the WBC, Nice. 2. Bourry, Hoeijmakers and Cox (2006) Proceedings of the WBC, Nice. 3. Sipka, A et al. (2012) Evaluation of prednisolone on immune response and udder histology after E.coli intramammary challenge in mid lactation. USA.

Use medicines responsibly. For more information visit Mastiplan LC is only available via your animal prescriber or veterinary surgeon from whom advice should be sought. Mastiplan LC contains 300mg cefaprin and 20mg prednisalone. Withdrawal periods: Meat - 96 hours. Milk - 132 hours. Legal category POM-V Mastiplan is a trademark of Intervet International B.V. or affiliated companies of licensors and is protected by copyrights, trademark and other intellectual property laws. Copyright 2013 Intervet International B.V., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA. All rights reserved. Further information is available from: MSD Animal Health, Walton Manor, Walton, Milton Keynes MK7 7AJ Tel: 01908 685 685 • •

**DF Sept p50 51 Mole Valley _Layout 1 20/08/2013 19:43 Page 1


Protein content is the big story of this year’s forage and that is the case in more ways than one, according to Dr Chris Bartram from Mole Valley Farmers.

Beware of low protein levels

nusually low protein seen in this year’s grass silage is leaving some cows potentially short, according to Dr Chris Bartram, head of nutrition at Mole Valley Farmers. Protein figures below 12% seem to have become commonplace, which compares with an average of about 15% in a more typical year. “We are uncertain why


this should be the case, but we do know rationing this winter will need to be done with particular care,” he warns.

Cost effective Recommending the use of an appropriate ration programme to find the most suitable and costeffective diet, he says it could involve adding more rape or urea to a total mixed ration. But the problem could be

compounded over the weeks ahead when Dr Bartram suggests many milking cows could be about to experience an abrupt change of diet, which presents dangers in itself and adds to the protein problem. “Most people came out of last winter with very low forage stocks and many people who normally buffer feed with maize silage during the summer ran out several months ago,” he says. “When they start feeding what looks like being a good crop of maize this winter they may be going from zero in the diet to a hefty proportion, which in itself presents certain dangers.”

Marginal litres

rThe economics of producing marginal litres of milk this winter will be particularly good according to Dr Bartram, who observes both the outlook for improvements in milk price is positive while feed prices have stabilised and even show signs of declining for the forthcoming winter. “So there’s definitely a momentum to produce more milk, particularly on the back of such a poor




Dr Chris Bartram: diet change.

These are said to include sub-clinical acidosis and poor rumen function, which are bad enough in themselves, but a further concern as maize starts to be fed relates to its naturally low protein content which could exacerbate the problems associated with the low protein grass silages. “Producers need to be

winter last year,” he says. Suggesting a realistic feed rate of 0.75kg of concentrate to produce one litre of milk, he says at a cost of £250 per tonne (or 25p/kg) it will cost 18.75p to produce an extra litre of milk. Assuming a milk price of 32p/litre, he says this leaves a margin of 13.25p for each marginal litre which he describes as ‘a great return on investment’.

**DF Sept p50 51 Mole Valley _Layout 1 20/08/2013 19:44 Page 2


The low protein seen in this year’s grass silage is leaving some cows potentially short, warns Dr Chris Bartram.

mindful of this once maize is reintroduced and again some further protein supplementation will be needed,” he says. In addition, another phenomenon has also been noticed among dairy cows in the south-west this sum-

mer, and this he believes could be related to the low protein forages and grass now being fed. “We’ve observed a number of low milk urea levels this year which is particularly unusual in cows at grass when urea levels are


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typically high,” he says. Urging producers to monitor milk urea and test their forages, he says the rewards for getting the ration right will certainly be worthwhile. rContact 01278 444 829 or visit Stand 30.

rPlentiful grass this autumn could have an impact on dry cows, and Dr Bartram warns against allowing excessive energy intake. “The control of body condition during the dry period is known to be important and it is recognised exceeding an energy intake of about 115MJ per day could be detrimental,” he says. This level could easily be exceeded in dry cows on plentiful grazed grass, so measures should be taken to avoid excessive intakes.

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**DF Sept p52 Shepton_Layout 1 23/08/2013 14:13 Page 1


Free test for ketosis by bringing sample of milk


ows are milking far better this autumn than in autumn last year, so producers need to be particularly alert to energy imbalance and metabolic disorders in early lactation, says Michael Head from the Shepton Veterinary Group. Help will be on hand at the Dairy Show where producers are invited to

bring milk samples on to the group’s stand from any cow which has been calved for two to 21 days when it will be tested, free of charge, for ketone bodies. Concerns “If anyone has concerns about any cow they should test her milk or blood, as ketone bodies indicate that she is mobilising excessive body




fat in order to keep milking,” says Mr Head. “And if the herd is suffering more than its share of other metabolic disorders – whether that’s left displaced abomasums, retained cleansings, endometritis (whites), or if it is simply more prone to infection – then the herd is also quite likely to have ketosis and all of its associated problems.” One such problem is cystic ovaries, which Mr Head says is most commonly caused by ketosis. Management during the transition period is one of the best tools for preventing metabolic disorders in early lactation, and this too will be a theme on the Shepton Group’s show stand. There will be discussion

If anyone has concerns about any cow they should test her milk or blood. Michael Head

“ AF








Michael Head: transition period.

about preventing ketosis and the use of the dry cow bolus Kexxtone. “We’ll be considering condition score in particular, which should ideally be managed in late lactation rather than during the dry period, and a cow should dry off and calve down at the same score,” says Mr Head. Condition scoring Suggesting this is likely to be about 2.75 for a Holstein and 3.25 for a Friesian, he says visitors to the stand can have a go at condition scoring some of the cows belonging to willing exhibitors in the cattle lines, under the guidance of one of the Shepton vets who will be on hand to give advice. rGloucestershire Suite by showring. Call 01749 341 761, or visit www.sheptonvet. com

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**DF Sep p54 DS Maize Micron _Layout 1 20/08/2013 18:52 Page 1


New high starch maizes

imagrain will show case its two new maize varieties at the Dairy Show, which have just made their début on the 2014 NIAB List. Fieldstar and Glory are early maturing varieties, said to be suitable for all regions, with high scores for early vigour, dry matter yield, starch yield and energy content. These combine to make the two varieties the joint highest yielders for ME (metabolisable energy) on the Less Favourable List, and second highest on the Favourable List. On the Less Favourable List, the very early maturing

variety Glory has the highest ME yield of 199,000 MJ/ha and the highest starch yield of 6.18t/ha. It also has the highest score for early vigour (8 out of 9). With a DM yield of 17.3t/ha (104% of the control), this variety is in the top 10 despite its early maturity. Fieldstar has the highest DM yield of the first choice Less Favourable List at 17.7t/ha (106% of control). Together with a high starch yield of 5.84t/ha, it delivers the same top energy yield as Glory. Fieldstar is an early maturing variety, and will be ready for harvest slightly later than Glory.

On the Favourable List both Fieldstar and Glory have the second highest ME yield of 207,000 MJ/ha, beaten only by Ambition. On this list, Glory is the number one starch provider,

delivering 6.55t/ha. Fieldstar is available through Agrii. Glory is available from selected Limagrain distributors. rExmoor Hall 120, or call 01472 371 471.

JThis year’s Dairy Show has a new main headline sponsor – Somerset-based Micron Bio-Systems. The company is an international leader in

biotechnology and focuses on developing programmes and product-based solutions to solve on-farm problems, particularly mycotoxin control and

silage enhancement. Micron is also the first major commercial sponsor of the Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust and will be holding a reception on its

stand at 11am at the event for past and existing scholars and those interested in finding out more about the scholarship. rShowering Pavilion.


Micron is new main headline sponsor of Dairy Show





**DF Sep p55 DS BVD _Layout 1 23/08/2013 14:12 Page 1


BVD control programme


ovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) is one of the most important diseases of cattle with about 90% of UK cattle herds testing positive for exposure to the virus. It is economically significant because it is capable of affecting many areas of herd performance by increasing the impact of such things as IBR, mastitis and salmonellosis, and particularly impacts on youngstock health and fertility. The South-West has been examining BVD control and

eradication for some time but the current regional scheme is set to end in December 2013. However, as Jon Reader, from Synergy Farm Health, based in Dorset says, a new national BVD control programme looks set to take its place. “Vets throughout England have joined forces to encourage farmers to establish the BVD status of their herds with a view to controlling the disease through monitoring, bio-security and correct vaccination,” he says. “Scotland is already two

years into a national programme, and Animal Health Ireland is also working to control BVD nationally,” he adds. “We cannot

afford to fall behind.” Vets on the Synergy stand will be on hand to discuss the scheme in more detail. rQuantock 107.

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**DF Sep p56 Kelvin Cave _Layout 1 23/08/2013 11:00 Page 1


Maize must be carefully ensiled to prevent waste


he UK could be having bumper yields of maize silage this autumn, and south-west dairy farmers are predicted to obtain as much as 40% of this year’s forage from the crop. This is down to good growing conditions this summer, according to forage specialist Kelvin Cave, and comes despite the crop getting off to a slow start in the cold spring. The company’s managing director Kelvin Cave says: “Following a poor forage year in 2012 and this year’s generally light yields of first cut grass silage, every effort must be made to conserve the full value of maize this autumn.” Predicting harvest will not begin in the South-West until at least late September,

he says good forage preservation should not be left to chance. “There is no silver bullet but it is a combination of good practice in every area, and this should ensure first and foremost that air is excluded from the clamp as quickly as possible so that fermentation can get under way,” he says. Moulds The exclusion of air will also suppress the growth of moulds and fungi, although Mr Cave recommends using a preservative which is proven to inhibit these organisms to reduce nutritional and dry matter losses. “This is particularly important in higher dry matter crops such as maize, which is one of the harder crops to exclude air from,” he adds. “Compaction at the clamp

The SilaPactor from Kelvin Cave working to consolidate maize.

should be thorough and across its whole width, leaving no opportunity for air pockets during storage,” he says. “This will also make the very most of your clamp space, ensuring the maximum amount of forage can be conserved.”

And with good sheeting that is well applied and truly impervious to air, he says he has every optimism that there’s scope for quality as well as quantity from maize silage this year. rStand 210, or call 01458 252 281.

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Hallmark - WP DF_Hallmark - WP DF 21/08/2013 17:07 Page 1

**DF Sept p58 Case IH _Layout 1 22/08/2013 14:30 Page 1


Latest range from Case makes debut


he latest addition to the Case IH tractor range, the Farmall U Pro, will be on display to livestock farmers for the first time at the Dairy Show. Targeted specifically at livestock operations and smaller contractors, the Farmall U Pro is a quality replacement for Case IH’s CS range. The new range comprises the four-wheel drive 95U Pro, 105U Pro and 115U Pro which deliver 99hp, 107hp and 115hp respectively. They fit into the Case range between the existing Farmall U models and the larger Maxxum tractors. A key feature of the new model is its hi-spec cab,

which provides a superb operator environment with best-in-class visibility and sound. The air conditioned cab includes driver and passenger seats and a newly designed Multicontroller, which operates the transmission, hydraulic linkage, front linkage and some remote valves. More torque The range features fourcylinder, 3.4-litre FPT diesel engines which are electronically governed to deliver more power and torque while using less fuel. With a rated speed of 2200erpm, these Stage IIIB (Tier 4a) compliant engines also deliver constant power from 2200erpm down to 1900erpm, with 407Nm, • • • •




444Nm and 461Nm of torque at just 1500erpm. The power curve is also perfectly matched to the four speed PTO, which offers a ‘power’ setting for heavy work such as power harrowing and an ‘economy’ setting for light duties such as fertiliser spreading. An outstanding feature is the totally new four-step, 32 x 32 Eco Powershift transmission which incorporates a true Powershuttle facility and was exclusively developed for Case IH. This provides 32 forward and 32

reverse ratios, including an eco facility which enables the tractor to travel at 40kph with the engine turning at just 1730erpm for maximum fuel economy. The hydraulics incorporate a Bosch Electronic Hitch Control (EHC) system, two large diameter (80mm) external lift rams, Cat 2 link ends, and a maximum lift capacity of 5600kg. Plus front linkage capable of lifting 2250kg, together with a 1000rpm front PTO. Prices start at £52,928. rContact 00800 2273 4400 or Stand 18, on Ave B.

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Ecolab - WP DF_Ecolab - WP DF 21/08/2013 17:07 Page 1

**DF Sep p60 63 Housing _Layout 1 22/08/2013 11:15 Page 1

HOUSING & SLURRY Heifers often take second place to cows, but when considering building expansion seize the chance to update heifer housing too. DairyCo’s Richard Davies gives us a few pointers.

Heifer housing needs some careful planning


he starting point for new heifer accommodation is to critically review how your present system performs and how you can improve it. “Look at the time taken for feeding and mucking out and consider how labour intensive these jobs are, and be honest about whether your efforts are really effective,” says DairyCo’s Richard Davies. Identify issues Use your records to identify losses, health status and liveweight gain, and these can help show where substandard housing, poor ventilation or overcrowding may have had an impact, he says. “Recognise that what you do currently may not be correct when rearing a larger number of herd

Updating heifer cubicles needs some new thinking about their design.

replacements. Most times in a herd expansion, some investment in heifer accommodation is needed and it is about doing it cost effectively for the best outcome.” Start at the calf stage and see if there is an opportunity to get away from lugging milk about in buckets, or needing 10 people to move youngstock or carry out stock tasks.

Time-saving measures which result in a job well done can release people for other jobs. “It is now often necessary to handle young heifers to read ear tags for TB testing, or weigh regularly to check growth rates,” says Mr Davies. “So it is worth thinking of including a race and weigh crush as a minimum when expanding.

“A footbath would be ideal too, and if there is one built in, footbathing will then become a job which gets done – and will help train heifers to use it properly later on.” The milkers often get funding for any investment upfront as producers see a return, but better heifer housing will be repaid in better growth rates, more heifers calving at 24 months and, in turn, a more productive herd life. Future proofing He also stresses the importance of futureproofing any expansion. “Don’t just think about now, think about where the herd will be in five or 10 years’ time, especially when siting a new shed. “If you consider changing calving pattern to a block of 12 weeks, do you have the capacity to rear all

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**DF Sep p60 63 Housing _Layout 1 20/08/2013 19:02 Page 2

HOUSING & SLURRY your youngstock at one go?” But where investment has to be prioritised, the target age group must be the young calf, as this is where the biggest losses occur. “If calves can survive the first couple months of life, they can live to six months and generally tend to survive into adulthood,” claims Mr Davies. “Remember too that a growing calf has the best feed conversion ratio,” he stresses. The quickest win is to move from traditional pens to batch rearing calves as it immediately saves labour

Table 1: Space allowances for a group of housed calves Weight of calf (kg) 45 46-99 100-149 150-199 >200

Approximate age (months) 0 0-2 3-5 5-7 7+

and speeds up feeding. Then look at transporting colostrum and milk via pump and pipe instead of bucket, says Mr Davies.

Automation Automated milk mixing and delivery systems now offer the calf milk on wheels, cutting the time taken to mix and feed, as well as maintaining milk consistency.

Minimum (statutory) area (sq m/calf) 1.5 1.5 1.5 2.0 3.0

Stand alone feeding stations save labour, but Mr Davies warns against continually using the same pens around one feeder. “Most have to be plumbed into mains water and electricity, so have to stay in the same place and have a continuous flow of calves through the pens. “Drainage and ventilation have to be good because calves on ad lib

Recommended area (sq m/calf) 2 3 4 5 6

systems have wetter beds. If you can, find some way of rotating pens to rest them, or add an extra station to cope,” he adds. Low cost variations for batch feeding range from barrels with teats to fully mobile ring teat feeders for 50, and even groups drinking from a ring main of blue alkathene pipe at the twist of a tap, says Mr Davies.


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**DF Sep p60 63 Housing _Layout 1 20/08/2013 19:02 Page 3


Suggested layout of youngstock pens pre and post-weaning.

In terms of housing, he says problems occur primarily from overcrowding, or when stock are kept in buildings unfit for purpose. “There is a huge problem for all-year round calving herds when facilities are in continuous use. With poor drainage and without periods of rest, disease levels build up. Where spring block-calving herds score is they have good, even batches of calves to rear which saves a lot of problems.” Where a conversion is possible, lying area (see table 1a), feed space, water troughs and ventilation should be calculated just as in a new building. “Space equals health,” he says. “Watch for the stack effect

which is driven by body size and group numbers and does not actually work with calves because they are too small to drive it. “They need to be at least five to six months old, so lower the roof, or cover the back of pens for warmth, while allowing fresh air exchange. Inlets and outlets are vital.” Housing choice Where new housing is needed, the choice is to weigh up the cost of a shed versus hutches or igloos. Hutches are more labour intensive in feeding and bedding up and staff is exposed to all weathers. But they are easy to move, do not need mucking out until the calf leaves, and make future expansion easier.

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rReview existing housing, handling and feeding rLook at performance (weight gain, losses, age at first calving etc) under current system rTime how long it takes to feed, bed-up, muck out rPrioritise labour efficiency: consider batch rearing, move milk via pipe and pump or on wheels rFocus on housing for young calves rHeifer cubicles save on straw costs and train

youngsters, but a range of sizes is needed rIf converting buildings, the same rules apply as for new: enough space for fresh air, lying, feeding and drinking rInstall a heifer handling race: straight is more practical as heifers can fidget or turn around in a herringbone rDairyCo’s Housing Guide is available to order by calling 024 7647 8702 or chapters can be downloaded from

**DF Sep p60 63 Housing _Layout 1 23/08/2013 14:30 Page 4

HOUSING & SLURRY Table 1b: Cubicle dimensions Weight (kg) Width (m) Length (m) against wall Length (m) head to head

100 0.55

150 0.6

200 0.7

300 400 500 0.85 0.95 1.1








1.95 2.15 2.0



Mr Davies feels there is where groups are small and currently more interest in calves not uniform. heifer cubicles due to the “As a final modern option cost of straw. Capital costs for thought, roundhouses are greater compared with for heifers are fantastic in straw yards, although terms of labour saving as running costs are lower. everything works to the The real downside is that centre, with a handling pen, different sizes are needed race and crush in the according to the age of middle surrounded by heifer (see table 1b), othergroups of calves in a circle. wise small calves can turn “But they cannot be around and never learn to expanded and investment lie properly, particularly in will be greater than a year-round calving herds shed.” cow comfort QPP_cow comfort QPP conventional 22/07/2013 11:59 Page 1

Suggested layout of cubicles based on age and size of heifers.



Tel: 01704 821717




**DF Sep p64 65 Slurry _Layout 1 20/08/2013 19:04 Page 1

HOUSING & SLURRY The inertness and comfort of sand has fundamental appeal but it can take some managing as a bedding base. Ann Hardy reports on some new thinking on sand beds.

Making the most of sand he art of using sand for bedding dairy cows is not an easy one to perfect, and for brothers Mike and Chris King of the former Gold Cup winning Kingspool herd, it is still work in progress. Farming in Iron Acton, north of Bristol, the brothers have been using sand for bedding since 2007, and say they have altered and finetuned the system as they have added and refitted buildings over the years. Such is their devotion to sand that they use it in loose housing (for fresh cows and heifers), as well as cubicles, and are now trying it in conjunction with mattresses in their latest building development. The systems on their two dairy units – comprising the home unit at Two Pools Farm and the more recently purchased Laddenside Farm – are entirely geared towards cow comfort which the brothers are not prepared to compromise at any cost. “We want to reduce sand usage but not if it means less comfort, and for that reason alone we have opted against sand savers,” says Chris, referring to the




Mike (left) and Chris King are experimenting with cubicle bed design.

rubber grids which he believes do not offer the comfort of sand alone. “Three tonnes of sand per cow per year for a 180-day winter is a standard benchmark, but we have been using up to eight tonnes per cow for our 365day housed herd,” says Chris, whose aim is to reduce this figure to less than six tonnes through better building design. At about £15 per tonne, this would reduce an annual bill of more than £50,000 for sand to under £40,000 for the 420 cows in milk. Spreading Mike says: “But it’s not just about cost and limiting the use of resources. We are spreading sand and slurry on our arable fields which are already light and sandy,


so it doesn’t help the soil structure to put more sand on this type of land and it gradually raises the pH.” Initially opting to bed with six inches of sand in the farm’s first cubicle house, Mike and Chris quickly decided this needed revision. “The floor level was too variable as six inches of sand potentially means six inches of variation, and we found that cows were lying under the neck rail where the sand level had fallen too low and they could become stuck,” says Chris. The answer they found was to reposition the brisket boards made from ridged plastic pipes and add a layer of compacted limestone and a concrete fillet, all of which prevented the incorrect lying position and reduced the required

sand depth to four inches. The four cubicle sheds completed since this earliest building have featured larger, 4ft wide cubicles measuring 9ft 6in in length if they are against the wall or 9ft if open-fronted. “The two new sheds at Laddenside Farm use four inches of sand in the cubicles over four inches of compacted chalk which is underlain by stone,” says Chris. This is said to give plenty of comfort and cleanliness because of its regular attention. Redevelopment But a recent suggestion from Wilson Agri, who have been closely involved in the redevelopment of Laddenside Farm, sees a new take on sand bedding coming into the next shed. “We’re going to use the Pack Mat system underneath the sand,” says Mike. “We are refitting an old shed, initially with just 30 cubicles, and will be trying rubber crumb-filled compartmentalised mattresses protected by a waterproof top cover.” This is said to reduce sand usage by as much as 80%, and it is also claimed the sand can be maintained at a

**DF Sep p66 Maize Vaderstad_Layout 1 20/08/2013 19:11 Page 1

MAIZE Better known for its min-till combinable crop drills, Vaderstad has entered the maize seeder market with what it claims is revolutionary new technology. Martin Rickatson reports.

Speed and accuracy is built into new maize drill hen it comes to maize sowing, misses and doubles need to be minimised. This, says Swedish crop establishment specialist Vaderstad, is what has driven the thinking behind the clean-sheet concept which has resulted in the firm’s first maize drill. The key difference between the Tempo and other machines on the market is that it uses a pressurised, rather than vacuum-based, seed selection system. The machine uses a continuous flow of pressurised air to separate seeds and propel them into slots on rotating metering discs, and this, the firm says, overcomes problems which can occur with other systems. The metering discs are driven electrically, eliminating chain-driven systems’ maintenance requirements and simplifying seed rate calibration, while allowing for individual row unit shut off and adjustment of rates on the move. Any debris entering a disc hole is removed by the action of knockout wheels, but if the




The pressure-based air system gives greater sowing accuracy and allows the machine to work at higher speeds.

seed sensor indicates no seed has left a specific disc spot three times, an alarm is sounded. Accuracy Combined with triple singulation wheels which are speed-independent and can be easily tweaked for sensitivity, plus a short hopperto-coulter distance which limits the effect of slopes and vibration, Vaderstad claims this allows planting accuracy to be maintained at far higher forward speeds than previously possible. The firm says the drill can work accurately at 18km/hr, delivering 28 seeds/sec to the discs and on to the


coulters, and suggests that the greater outputs this makes possible can help ensure maize is drilled in more timely fashion in better conditions. Disc coulters are governed by trailing gauge wheels connected to a walking tandem mechanism to cut vibration at high speeds. Press wheels follow directly behind, while options include row-cleaning leading spider wheels to remove previous plant debris from the seeding path. Electrical systems are driven by its own alternator, which charges an on-board battery. Fan operation is via 540rpm or 1000rpm pto, although a hydraulic drive

option will be available for 2014. A weight transfer system allows up to 325kg of pressure to be applied to the coulters, allowing for direct drilling in suitable soils. Each seed hopper holds 70 litres. A 225-litre fertiliser tank and coulter bar combination can be specified, allowing fertiliser to be placed at 5cm to the side of the seed and 2cm below it, to provide rapid uptake by the germinating seed without the risk of scorch. The Tempo is available in 6 and 7-row mounted models and 6 or 8-row trailed versions, with 75cm row spacings as standard. Price is from £64,000 for an 8-row model. A fertiliser kit adds another £18,000.

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**DF Sep p68 69 70 Milk Prices_Layout 1 20/08/2013 19:16 Page 1

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MILK prices

M&S disbands non-GM bonus

JOur M&S supplier received a net lift in milk price of 1.16ppl from Aug 1. Part of this stems from an increase of 1.561ppl through its Milk Pledge Model review for the last six months which tracks the cost of several production factors. First is feed, and Kingshay costings showed a small net increase over the period. Next is fertiliser, and DairyCo showed this to be flat for most of the period but with a significant fall in the final month. Then energy, and the Defra Energy (Fuel) Price Index showed a small net increase across the six months to May, but falling in April and May, and the M&S retail milk price had a notable increase in the cost of a four-pinter from £1.29p to £1.49p from June 27. This was negated in part by the change in M&S policy regards non-GM animal feeds. This resulted in the disbanding of the 0.4ppl premium for feeding soya certified as being from a

non-GM source. The removal of this premium takes our standard litre (4%b/f & 3.3% prot, Bactoscans of 30,000/ml & SCCs of 200,000/ml, 1mltrs/yr on EODC but before seasonality, profile, balancing, capital retentions or annual/part annual growth/incentive schemes not directly linked to dairy market price movement) up 1.16ppl to 34.59ppl. This price is based on our rolling 12-month average payment, using the RPA monthly figures to Jun’13 of 1.02ppl which, in turn, was down 0.04ppl from May’13. In comparison this month our milk table highlights the 1.8ppl increase by Waitrose taking our standard up to 35.16ppl. The increase is highlighted as 1.77ppl after the 0.03ppl cut in our 12-month rolling average profile payment to 0.43ppl for Jun13 for Waitrose suppliers still on the old Dairy Crest profile system, which was changed for standard suppliers from Jul’10.

**DF Sep p68 69 70 Milk Prices_Layout 1 23/08/2013 14:36 Page 2

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News in brief... Fresh Milk Company moves

JThe Fresh Milk Company has confirmed it is to add a further 0.07ppl to its direct supply milk price from Sept’13. The increase via higher constituent payments takes our standard price up to 31.79ppl for our producer in the Milk Supply Association (MSA), while the price increases 0.05ppl to 32.24ppl under the company’s profile option, based on our rolling 12-month average profile payment of 0.45ppl using the RPA monthly production figures for the 12 months to Jun’13. The company is honouring every move in the agreed basket calculation it has with MSA representatives.

Highlands & Islands pricing

JFirst Milk is not increasing its Highland & Islands milk price by 1ppl to 31.46ppl from Sept’13 as stated last month. The price only increases by 0.54ppl, after the removal of the 0.5ppl Regional Bonus. This will equalise the price with that of its manufacturing price at 31ppl for our standard litre.

DC/DCD to add 0.142ppl

JAfter three months of decent milk price increases consisting of 1.83ppl in total, the DC/DCD Liquid Formula has confirmed the milk price should move up by a further 0.142ppl from Sept 1, with the five elements showing either no change, or moving just slightly for Jul’13. The increase of 0.142ppl added to the base price makes a price of 28.127ppl for 3.75%b/f & 3% protein, and takes our September price up to 31.93ppl (based on the Apr’13 12-month rolling average profile payment of 1.1ppl at the time of the Formula Launch).

Wensleydale rise

JWensleydale Creamery is to increase its price by 0.75ppl from Sept’13. The flat rate increase will be added to the existing flat rate monthly adjustment of 1.3ppl, taking it up to 2.05ppl, and lifting our price up to 32.05ppl. This represents a total gain for 2013 to date of 2.57ppl. Our manufacturing standard litre also increases by the flat rate 0.75ppl to 33.04ppl.

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**DF Sep p68 69 70 Milk Prices_Layout 1 20/08/2013 19:17 Page 3

MILK PRICES Latest milk prices from D.C – M&S ∞ D.C – Waitrose ∞^ MüllerWiseman – Tesco Scotland MüllerWiseman – Tesco England MüllerWiseman – Sainsbury's Central Scotland MüllerWiseman – Sainsbury's England D.C – Sainsbury's Cadbury – Selkley Vale Milk Arla Foods – Tesco •• Arla Foods – AFMP Sainsbury's •• MüllerWiseman – The Co-op Dairy Group Arla Foods – Standard (former Asda) •• Parkham Farms Yew Tree Dairy Blackmore Vale Farm Cream Caledonian Cheese Co – Profile ‡ Wyke Farms D.C – Davidstow ∞ Barber A.J & R.G Arla Foods – Standard (Former Non-Aligned) •• Paynes Farms Dairies Wensleydale Dairy Products MüllerWiseman – Aberdeen MüllerWiseman – Central Scotland MüllerWiseman – England Meadow Foods – Level Meadow Foods – Seasonal Meadow Foods Lakes ± Caledonian Cheese Co Grahams Dairies United Dairy Farmers ≠ Arla Foods – AFMP Standard •• D.C – Liquid Regional Premium ∞ ¶ DC/DCD – Liquid Formula ∞ ¶ South Caernarfon Belton Cheese Arla Milk Link – London Liquid (•••) Arla Milk Link – West Country Liquid (•••) Arla Milk Link Rodda's ¢• Joseph Heler Glanbia – Llangefni (flat) Glanbia – Llangefni (Constituent) Arla Milk Link – Manufacturing ¢• (•••) First Milk – Liquid § First Milk – Highlands & Islands § First Milk – Cheese § Average

May'13 4.0/3.3 Before Seas'lty (i)

Jun'13 4.0/3.3 Before Seas'lty (ii)

Jun'13 4.0/3.3 1mltr SAPP **(iii)

12mth Ave Jul'12 Jun'13 (iv)

Diff Jun'13 v May'13 (i) v (ii)

33.47 33.39 32.77 32.77 32.05 32.05 31.90 32.76 32.52 31.93 31.85 30.38 31.23 30.50 30.20 30.57 30.25 30.10 30.10 30.38 30.20 30.00 30.50 30.50 30.50 30.00 30.00 30.00 30.10 30.50 32.22 30.38 29.85 29.92 29.28 29.05 30.43 30.43 30.84 28.99 29.10 29.02 30.44 29.65 29.36 28.90 30.68

33.43 35.16 32.77 32.77 32.05 32.05 31.86 32.76 32.52 31.93 32.15 31.63 31.23 31.75 31.25 30.73 31.25 31.06 31.09 31.63 31.45 31.30 31.50 31.50 31.50 31.25 31.25 31.21 30.28 31.50 32.42 31.63 31.31 30.61 30.38 30.05 31.91 31.91 32.32 29.99 30.40 30.30 31.92 29.65 29.36 28.90 31.45

31.05 32.47 30.87 30.87 30.15 30.15 29.69 32.76 32.28 31.72 30.15 31.42 29.25 31.75 30.25 30.78 30.05 28.89 29.09 31.42 31.65 31.30 29.50 29.50 29.50 31.25 29.25 31.35 30.28 28.50 32.45 31.42 29.14 28.44 28.62 30.05 32.03 32.03 30.99 27.99 29.80 29.60 30.61 29.41 29.04 28.66 30.38

32.29 32.23 31.39 31.39 31.23 31.23 31.03 30.95 30.95 30.92 30.51 29.70 29.62 29.44 29.44 29.43 29.42 29.28 29.27 29.24 29.19 29.10 29.06 29.06 29.06 29.00 29.00 28.98 28.98 28.94 28.81 28.79 28.78 28.74 28.40 28.20 28.10 28.10 28.09 28.07 27.94 27.84 27.71 27.62 27.46 27.03 29.33

-0.04 1.77 N/C N/C N/C N/C -0.04 N/C N/C N/C 0.30 1.25 N/C 1.25 1.05 0.16 1.00 0.96 0.99 1.25 1.25 1.30 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.25 1.25 1.21 0.18 1.00 0.20 1.25 1.46 0.70 1.10 1.00 1.48 1.48 1.48 1.00 1.30 1.28 1.48 N/C N/C N/C

Notes to table Prices paid for 1mltr producer supplying milk of average constituents 4% butterfat and 3.3% protein, SCCs of 200,000/ml and Bactoscans of 30,000/ml on EODC excluding capital retentions or AHDB levies, or annual/part annual growth incentive schemes not directly linked to dairy market price movement. SAPP = Seasonally Adjusted Profile Price. (i) May’13 prices before seasonality. (ii) Jun’13 prices before seasonality. (iii) Seasonally adjusted profile price for Jun’13 taking into account monthly seasonality payments and profiles of supply. ** Seasonal adjusted profile supply for 1mltr/yr supplier (using monthly RPA figures) for Jun’13 = 3,060ltrs/day, flat supply = 2,740ltrs/day. (iv) Table ranked on the seasonally adjusted price for the 12mths to Jun’13. § SAPP reflects 12mth profile adjustment of -0.42ppl. ¢ SAPP reflects 2,580ltrs (Aug to Dec’12 daily average) paid as ‘A’ ltrs with the remaining ‘B’ ltrs paid @ 70% of the ‘A’ price (ie constituents plus Market Related Adjustment) for Jun’13. • 480 'B' litres/day applicable for Jun’13 with daily volume of 3,060ltrs/day being 480 ltrs/day above the 'A' volume of 2,580ltrs. 0.5ppl production bonus for Arla Milk Link, First Milk and Glanbia Cheese applicable for Jun’13. SAPP with daily production within our 3% tolerance of Jun’12 based on RPA monthly figures.•• 1.5ppl balancing charge for Jun'13 based on Oct'12 BADP calculates as -0.27ppl spread across all litres supplied in the month. ∞ Price before seasonality includes 12mth rolling profile payment of 1.02ppl to Jun’13 (0.04ppl down on previous month). ∞^ Price before seasonality includes 12mth rolling profile payment of 0.42ppl to Jun’13 (0.03ppl down on previous month). ± Price before seasonality includes 12mth rolling profile payment of 0.46ppl to Jun’13 (0.04ppl down on previous month). ≠ Seasonality built into monthly base price. Arla Foods – AFMP Asda and Non-aligned prices merged into Arla Foods AFMP Standard from Oct'12. (•••)1.7ppl June increase from 27th May calculates as an additional 1.48ppl with the remaining 0.22ppl previously shown within the May’13 increase. ¶ Price includes Regional & Support Premiums. ‡ Non-seasonal price includes 12mth average rolling profile of 0.45ppl to Jun’13 (0.02ppl down on previous month). Tesco milk prices include the 0.5ppl bonus for co-operation with Promar costings. cannot take any responsibility for losses arising. Copyright:




DF_09_P71_DF_09_P71 22/08/2013 12:55 Page 2


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**DF Sep p72 73 New Products_Layout 1 20/08/2013 19:20 Page 1


NEW products

This month we feature a loader specially built for agriculture, a hybrid ryegrass and a long life battery clipper.

Hybrid ryegrass offers flexibility in variable climate JLofa festulolium grass seed, bred by DLF Trifolium and marketed as Advanced Hybrid Rye-grass, will be available for autumn reseeding. This ryegrass is the result of crossing and back crossing tall fescue plants with Italian and hybrid ryegrasses. High yields and quality feeding characteristics come from the ryegrass side, while the tall fescue contributes additional persistence and stress tolerance. Lofa is useful when added to medium-term mixtures. Key features include early spring growth, winter hardiness and its ability to perform in both dry and wet conditions. Lofa is available in mixtures in DLF-Trifolium’s ForageMax and HF Seeds ranges, and is available from Oliver Seeds and as own brands. ■ Details on 0131 555 4044.



Fuel saving innovation from JCB JJCB’s Farm Master 435S Agri builds on the success of its predecessor – the 434S Agri – as the industry’s first heavy class wheeled loader built exclusively for agricultural. The new 4.2-tonne payload loader is powered by a stage 3b, 6.7-litre Cummins QSB six-cylinder engine, and this comes with catalyst and particle filtration exhaust after-treatment technologies. It also has a variable


geometry turbo, generating increased performance at lower engine speeds. Peak outputs are unchanged at 230hp and 945Nm torque, and its power-to-weight ratio is 16.8hp/tonne, making it good for climbing silage clamps. An ECO power setting which limits engine speed to 1800rpm for light duties is joined by a new ‘low idle’ feature. This automatically cuts engine speed to just 700rpm after 30

seconds of inactivity, for example when waiting for a silage trailer. With 750/65R26 MegaXBib tyres, the 435S Agri has impressive traction for its 13.6tonnes. But there’s a new option of an automatic locking front axle differential, allowing it to tackle more challenging conditions than with the standard limited slip differentials at both ends. ■ Details on 01889 590 312, or

**DF Sep p72 73 New Products_Layout 1 20/08/2013 19:30 Page 2


Polled Holstein joins Cogent line-up Clip for longer with Goshawk JCogent’s new, proven Holstein bull Ards Skipper Red carries the poll gene. He is the only red and white heterozygous polled Holstein bull proven in the UK, and has a 50% chance of passing the polled gene on to his offspring. His linear type profile has a 1.74 Type Merit and a 2.14 for mammary traits. As the sire of moderatesized daughters with an average leg set, he also


transmits long lifespans to his daughters. The Sara cow family from which he descends has a

track record of transmitting excellent conformation. ■ Details on 0800 783 7258.

JThe new battery powered Goshawk clipper offers a long clipping and short recharge time. Launched by Stockshop Wolseley, it is ideal for trimming cattle heads, backs and tails, and grooming for shows. Clipping times are 3.5 hours and the battery takes 4.5 hours to charge. It retails at £399 plus VAT. ■ Details on 01392 460 077, or www.wolseley

New products are featured in each issue of Dairy Farmer. Please send details and pictures to Jennifer MacKenzie at, or call 01768 896 150.



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**DF Sep p74 Donovan_Layout 1 20/08/2013 19:33 Page 1


WORKSHOP tips with Mike Donovan

This month, Mike Donovan tells us how to reduce the incidence of mastitis in our herds.

Cutting down on cases of mastitis

heelstones, and this was imaving had my own mediately followed by a herd for 25 fresh sawdust application. In the parlour, dirty teats years I know are washed with a hot water the seeming hose. The water is heated inevitability of mastitis, from the first of two which is easy to see plate coolers. as being just a part Whether of the job. Yet n washed or not, one farmer I w o teats dse, y t ir d h every teat gets met decided to r ho rWhasa hot watem late p o it r a pre-milking tackle it head f w ter ing wa oolers s u iodine rinse beon. c



Mr Williams is an innovative farmer I first met way back in 2007 and who had a different take on the problem of mastitis. He was convinced preventing transfer from cow to cow via the cluster was of major importance, and so developed a new parlour routine of cluster sanitising between cows. The results of his cluster sanitising was a major reduction in clinical mastitis and cell counts. First, he tackled cubicle cleanliness in an effort to keep teats clean. This meant twice a day going along removing any dung off the



fore being dried off with a paper towel, and this routine happens year round.

Hypochlorite Clusters in the 20:20 parlour have automatic cluster removal. Once off the cow, they go into a tub with dilute hypochlorite (one pint per 20 gallons). Before going on the next cow, the cluster is shaken to remove water. Tubs are heavy duty 25litre drums with hooks fitted to them which hang on the parlour rail. Today, the chemical of choice would be peracetic


acid which can be used at very low dilutions and kills bacteria in seconds. Peracetic acid is used in food preparation, and has well understood properties. The milk tubes are fitted with a second shut-off clip to double isolate the cluster from the vacuum. Proof of the benefits were made apparent when Mr Williams installed his new parlour in 2005. The 20:20 replaced an aging 12:12 which was beginning to show the strain of constant use. He thought when the new parlour went in his problems would be solved and so the sanitising routine was forgotten. But it was not to be, as before long cell counts were rising so the rinsing routine was re-instated and

The milking parlour has a rinsing tub for each adjacent cluster pair.

the mastitis problems receded. Mr Williams has now gone on to cluster flushing, using a home-built system. The back flush resulted in further reductions of mastitis, so much so that there were zero cases of clinical mastitis in 2010 in a milking herd of 120 cows. By making up his own equipment from various parts, it saved him the capital cost of a commercial back flush unit which would have had a long payback period on a herd of this size.

About Mike

r Mike is a machinery columnist offering tips on building or modifying farm equipment. Sign up for his free newsletter at

DF_09_P75_DF_09_P75 21/08/2013 17:24 Page 2

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UK farmers lose more than £100 million a year to mastitis. Dipping or flushing the cluster between milkings with Sorgene® 5 reduces mastitis by controlling its spread from cow to cow. It’s highly effective and incredibly cost-effective to use. Cluster dipping can play a vital role in reducing the spread of mastitis. It has been shown to reduce cell counts by 200,000 cells/ml over two years. Make Sorgene® 5 part of your milking routine.

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DF_09_P76_DF_09_P76 23/08/2013 11:27 Page 22



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**DF Sept p78 79 Evans_Layout 1 20/08/2013 19:34 Page 1


GOOD Evans

TB reactor brings stop to selling of newborn calves

This month Roger Evans is coming to terms with all the implications of finding a TB reactor at his last test, and what it means for the 80 or so calves about to be born.



ver since we’ve been on 12 monthly TB testing, I always ask our vet: “Think we’ll pass this year?” The answer has always been the same: “Don’t know, but it isn’t a matter of if, it’s just a case of when you go down.” But we’ve moved on from that. Yes, the question will still be in my mind but I won’t be asking it once a year – it will be every 60 days because ‘when’ has turned up and at last week’s annual test we had a reactor. We are still coming to terms with the implications, the most serious of which will be what we will do with our dairy bull calves and the beef-cross calves we have. The timing is bad on this as we are trying to calve in two distinct groups every year and one group is about to start. This means we have more than 30 heifers and about 50 cows to calve over the next two months. Somehow we’ll have to try to keep these calves, but we still don’t know where. Then there’s milk powder to buy and pellets, and there’s the calf sale income to do without. It will be a double negative hit on income which we can ill afford. The very best scenario we can hope for is two clear 60-day tests, that is four months’ worth of calves to hold back!



I’m not angry yet but I suspect as time passes I will be. I’ve looked at myself in all this and there’s nothing I could have done to stop it happening, and my anger will feed on the unfairness of it all. I have a weekly newspaper column which is largely read by a non-farming audience and I’ve tried to convey to them something of the anguish which comes with a TB breakdown. Vets on farms identify the reservoir of TB in wildlife as the problem, even ministry vets. Vets who report to politicians blame biosecurity and cattle movement, but they would, wouldn’t they, as the politicians pay their salaries. Haven’t we as farmers had enough of all this? Isn’t it time for a rural backlash? People tell me if I mention things which I have heard, they can usually identify who told me. This next piece was told to me by someone involved in agriculture. That means it could be the tanker driver, the AI man, a banker, your farm assurance man, take your pick! ‘He’ told me a major supermarket is setting up a special division to trade in commodities…. agricultural commodities. It is taking the issue seriously enough to recruit more than 200 people to run this new business. The idea is they will go out and buy say,

**DF Sept p78 79 Evans_Layout 1 20/08/2013 19:34 Page 2


The very best scenario we can hope for is two clear 60-day tests, that’s four months’ worth of calves to hold back

for example, 1000 tonnes of rape or soya. Then they will approach the trade and ask them to process it at a price per tonne and retain the ownership of the tonnage. Then they will approach the trade again to process the tonnage of say starch and protein and make it into a ration. I don’t feel I’ve explained this very well but what it’s all about is control. The end game for them is that not only will they control what we get for our end products, after all liquid milk suppliers are toll processors already, they will control how much it costs to feed our cows. It’s scary stuff. The irony is it is control driven by capitalism but it will end up as the sort of control which you associate with the worst sort of communism. I’ve done a lot of after dinner speaking in my time. People who ask you often struggle to come to terms with how much time it takes you to prepare, travel, speak, possibly stay overnight and return home! Commercial organisations will reward you adequately although I do it for nothing for friends, and I try when I can to include an opportunity to do it for charity. But it’s surprising how many secretaries

of organisations will invite you to speak but say they can’t pay you or meet your travel, but they will give you a bed for the night. I always reply by saying ‘I’ve got a bed here’, which doesn’t go down very well. I also know from the grapevine that Adam Henson charges about £3000 to do an after dinner speech (and good luck to him), but if he does, I wonder just how much DairyCo is paying him. We’ve got a good pub in our village. I’ve been there three or four times (a week). You get the 5pm drinkers on their way home from work, still in their working clothes, and the 9pm drinkers who’ve changed to go back out. And inevitably you sometimes get a mix of the two. I’m quite comfortable among this mix of country people and newcomers to the area. As I lock my car I can tell at a glance it is the best car in the car park. The same glance tells me it also cost the least. When I’m comfortably placed in my usual seat on the settle I stretch out my elegantly clad legs in their £3.70 hospice shop trousers. Once you embrace the scrap yard and the charity shop into your life, it’s amazing how much money you can save!





Dairy farmers investigating how to restructure their business should consider setting up a Contract Farming Agreement (CFA), according to Adrian Matthews of Bidwellsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; agribusiness team.

Value of contract farming agreements This will allow the son to grow his capital base from the profits achieved from the contract agreement



ach farm business will have a different reason to make the change â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to transfer assets between generations, to create a mechanism to bring new capital to the enterprise, to provide a route to incent-ivise the herdsman, or to realign the profit share within a family partnership. A contract farming agreement (CFA) is simply an arrangement where the farmer utilises the services of a contractor to undertake his farming operations. With the amount of capital required for a modern dairy business there can be advantages to share the investment in the capital. The contractor can provide the machinery

Expert opinion rIt is always important to establish the ground rules at the outset as the most successful agreements are those which involve detailed discussions to establish the basis of the agreement.




and in some cases the dairy herd, leaving the farmer to invest in the land and fixed equipment. It is always important to establish the ground rules at the outset as the most successful agreements are those which involve detailed discussions to establish the basis of the agreement. ashe most succ Herd ownership One area which does cause confusion is the ownership of the herd and the rearing of replacement heifers. There are situations where the herd is owned by the farmer and all costs associated with heifer rearing are carried within the agreement. In other equally successful agreements the herd is owned by the contractor. In these situations the herd is hired to the farmer through a bespoke hire agreement. The contractor is responsible for providing a specific number of cows and thus for the cost of heifer rearing. For example, a business which Bidwells is advising on is that of a profitable family partnership currently liable to paying income tax at the higher rate. The family is considering how

the next generation can take over the running of the business. One route to achieve this is to set up a CFA with the son being the contractor. This allows the son to set up his own Limited Liability Company to operate the contract through. As part of the profit from the dairy enterprise will be paid to the contractor, the income to the partnership will be reduced and thus there is scope to reduce the total tax liability. One particular aspect of this situation is that as cows are culled they will be replaced by the contractor so that over a period of time, planned to be five years, he will have provided the whole herd. This will allow the son to grow his capital base from the profits achieved from the contract agreement. The proposed agreement therefore will ensure an already profitable business has scope to continue to grow while allowing the business assets to move to the next generation, thereby meeting everyone's objectives. Adrian Matthews can be contacted on 01865 797 050.

Cogent Breeding - WP DF_Cogent Breeding - WP DF 21/08/2013 15:52 Page 1


Boehringer Ubrored - OBC WP DF_Boehringer Ubrored - OBC WP DF 21/08/2013 15:52 Page 1

100-day protection iBeyond the dry period

A well-managed herd with a low BMSCC is more at risk of clinical mastitis due to gram-negative pathogens.1 These cases are more likely to be toxic1 and clinically more severe.2 Few dry cow intra-mammaries aim to protect herds against gram-negative pathogens such as E. coli. Ubro RED速 does and it does it persistently. For 100 days beyond the dry period.3 A discussion with your vet today should tell you if Ubro RED is the protection your herd needs against the threat of E. coli.

BMSCC = Bulk milk somatic cell count References: 1. Tadich et al. (1998) Vet Rec 143:362-365. 2. Barkema et al. (1998) JDS 81:411-419. 3. Bradley AJ, Green MJ (2001) JDS 84:1632-1639. Advice on the use of Ubro RED or other therapies should be sought from your veterinary surgeon. Ubro RED contains framycetin sulphate, penethamate hydriodide and procaine penicillin. Prescription only medicine. Further information available from Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 8YS, UK. Email: Date of preparation: July 2011. AHD6817. This advert is brought to you by Boehringer Ingelheim, manufacturers of Ubro RED. Milk for human consumption may only be taken from 84 hours (7 milkings) after calving. If calving occurs before 28 days after last treatment, milk for human consumption may only be taken after 28 days plus 84 hours from the last treatment. Use Medicines Responsibly (

Dairy Farmer Digital Edition September 2013  

Dairy Farmer Digital Edition September 2013

Dairy Farmer Digital Edition September 2013  

Dairy Farmer Digital Edition September 2013