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**DF May Cover

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DAIRY FARMER Forward thinking for a profitable future

The sure way to preserve

your margins

Choose Biotal for crop and condition specific additives

May 2012

Inside this issue… At uncertain times there’s one thing you can rely on, using Biotal forage inoculants to help deliver more milk from forage. axphast gold® works quickly on wet grass silage to preserve nutrients, ensuring good intake and maximum performance. axcool gold® has a unique action which prevents dry silage heating up and moulding, resulting in better intake and productivity.

Forage special Pages 18-26

Latest bull proofs Pages 10-13

axphast BIOTAL

gold

For grass silage between 20-30% DM to give improved fermentation

For grass silage between 30-40% DM to give increased aerobic stability

See us at GRASSLAND UK Stand 39 10th May Bath & West showground

New products Page 28

Milk prices Pages 30-31

delivering forage and nutrition technologies Biotal Ltd Tel: 02920 475550

www.biotal.co.uk part of the

group

Good Evans Page 36

TIP OF THE MONTH: Is once-a-day milking the answer to cutting our production costs? – p16


Merial Eprinex WP DF

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Eprinex

®

A winning formula

CONVENIENCE

PERFORMANCE EFFICACY

No wonder dairy farmers have trusted Eprinex® for over a decade, it’s a winning formula that’s proven to deliver more of what you need… PERFORMANCE Trials have shown that, by killing damaging worms, Eprinex® can increase milk yield by as much as 2 litres per cow per day1. CONVENIENCE With zero milk withhold, you can use Eprinex® at any stage of production without the worry of lost milk sales. EFFICACY Eprinex® contains eprinomectin, licensed to kill more species and stages of worms and for longer than any other cattle pour-on.

Eprinex . ®

Proven to Deliver You More.

1. Reist M et al, Vet Rec 2002, 151:377-380. Eprinex Pour-On for Beef and Dairy Cattle contains eprinomectin. EPRINEX® and the steerhead® logo are registered trademarks of Merial Ltd. ©Merial 2012. All rights reserved. Legal Category POM-VPS (UK), LM (Ireland). Advice on the use of this or alternative medicines must be sought from the medicine prescriber. Read packaging before use. For further information contact Merial Animal Health Ltd, CM19 5TG or call the Merial Customer Support Centre on 0800 592699 (UK) or 1850 783 783 (Ireland).


**DF May p1 Contents

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CONTENTS

Dairy Crest dilemma…

A

s one company appoints contractors for its spanking new dairy as a tangible manifestation of its stake in the future, another paradoxically closes two dairies to secure its place. On the all important liquid front, Arla has confidently set to work on its one billion litre Aylesbury plant while the other player, Dairy Crest, battles for its liquid future. The latter shows just what pressure the liquid processing sector is now finding itself under since we first had the shock of Wisemans’ profit warning some months ago. But the other part of DC’s revelational announcement was the loss of its Tesco business which, while only 3% of its liquid sales, can’t help but send the wrong signal to other retailers with whom it may have

hoped to do business. However, all is not lost as those with long memories will recall one of the co-ops losing a major cheese contract in the mid-2000’s and once the fog of despondency lifted it proved to be a turning point for that business. Be that as it may, of more immediate concern to producers is how DC reacts to the present delicate market situation where, with commodities plummeting, holding the producer price will prove difficult. Of the big three, pundits predict that Arla and Wiseman will hold for May but, rightly or wrongly, that puts the spotlight on DC which has the shortest notice period for price changes. Which puts it in a very difficult position facing pressure to lift profitability in its liquid division while at the same time keeping its producers happy, especially after recently offering

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May 2012

News review Cowmen comment Potter’s View Breeding Conference

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Forage special Grass for grazing Forage machinery Editor a band of select farmers guaranteed six month contracts. The trouble is once one drops the price, others will follow, so there’s a lot resting on the outcome of its decision... and not just for itself!

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In this issue…

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Regulars Marketplace Milk prices Workshop tips Good Evans

28 30 32 36

NEXT MONTH Genetics special

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© Briefing Media Ltd 2012 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.

Dairy Farmer, Briefing Media Ltd, Unit 4, Fulwood Business Park, Caxton Road, Preston, Lancashire PR2 9NZ. 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.

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

1


**DF May p2 3 News

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NEWS NEWS IN BRIEF Arla plant ■ Arla Foods has started building its £150m fresh milk dairy in Aylesbury after formally appointing contractors and is expected it will take 75 weeks to complete. Once finished, it will process and package up to one billion litres of milk per year. It will also meet a £20m annual wages bill, creating around 700 new posts and up to 1000 construction jobs over the next 18 months.

No clones ■ After a media outcry about the ‘risks’ of cloning cows two years ago, Nairn dairy farmer Steven Innis has abandoned plans for his herd of cloned animals. The Daily Mail reported that of the 96 animals which were sired by two bulls from embryos from a single cloned cow, 42 had been destroyed and 31 exported to Portugal after it became clear the public would not accept the milk or meat.

Quota increase ■ The UK’s quota increased by 1% on 1 April as part of the EU’s ‘soft landing’ approach of increasing national quotas over five years in the run up to 2015. As a result quota has, for the first time, crossed the 15bn litre threshold.

Dairy Crest moves to shut two plants

T

here are growing fears this week’s Dairy Crest announcement may be the forerunner of further industry rationalisation as pressure on the liquid processing sector mounts. Industry pundits have been predicting something would have to give for some while and last week we found out what. As part of its belt tightening, Dairy Crest has announced it is to close two of its liquid dairies at Aintree and Fenstanton and concentrate on its other plants. But there was a shock twist at the same time as Dairy Crest lost its Tesco business it worked so hard to pick up two years ago.

ITS gestation period has been 18 months, but a cross-industry working group has now launched its Dairy 2020 vision for the future success of the dairy industry.

Ambition

■ Grassland UK makes its triennial return to the Bath & West showground at Shepton Mallet on Thursday, May 10. You can see working demos of mowing, forage harvesting, baling, clamping and lots more on the 100-acre site adjoining the showground. Tickets are £12 in advance, £14 at gate, students half price. Hotline 01749 822 200.

Its work has resulted in a vision statement which sets out a clear ambition for the industry and a framework of guiding principles to assist the industry in delivering an integrated approach to sustainability. Stakeholders are from across the supply chain, including farmers, retailers, banks,

■ Following the closure of Pwllpeiran last month, ADAS has now acquired two new sites further north in Wales. The new office HQ will be relocated to Aberystwyth and the new research site will be based at Llanafan nearby.

2

Majority So far neither Dairy Crest nor Tesco has revealed why the business was lost, but it is understood it was not on the basis of price. Arla and Wiseman picked up Dairy Crest’s share of the business, with Arla gaining the majority it is believed. The stock market reaction was mixed – some analysts describe the loss as a ‘blow’, while other

Dairy 2020 vision for future sustainability

Grassland UK

New sites

Although volumes were small – 3% of Dairy Crest’s liquid sales and probably 50m litres worth – it was a foot in the door at Britain’s biggest retailer and an opportunity to show Tesco what it could do.

processors, policy makers, NGOs, Government and trade bodies. “Prior to Dairy 2020, there was a lack of integrated strategy in place in the UK dairy industry,” said James Neville, chair of Dairy 2020. “This gave us the confidence to start work on improving the overall sustainability of our industry: to produce more for less; to grow exports; or increase our competitiveness in our own domestic market to gain share. The biggest symptom of this is our annual dairy trade deficit of £1.2 billion.”

Sainsbury’s farmers vote yes AT THE time of going to press it was known Sainsbury’s direct suppliers had voted yes to adopting a cost of production element in their milk contracts. No details had been released by Sainsbury’s, however. Meanwhile Promar, the company which carries out the

costings for Tesco, and which had just reduced its price by 0.65ppl on the back of supposedly falling costs, is mired in controversy because of a discrepancy over feed wheat prices. It is being reported that up to 100 farmers may resign from the costings survey.

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

commentors stated the loss was a ‘blessing in disguise’. Shares dropped, but only marginally. The closures of Fenstanton and Aintree are not unexpected because the company’s £75m investment in its liquid division in recent years has focused on other dairies at Severnside, (Gloucestershire), Chadwell Heath (London) and Foston in Derbyshire. Aintree is also predominantly a glass-bottling dairy. Volumes from these dairies will transfer to its other plants. Dairy Crest expects job losses and there will be cash exceptional costs associated with these closures of around £15m which will be charged in the year 2012/13.

March milk MARCH’S production was 1221.3 million litres, some 54.3m litres more than last year and more than 100m litres more than the year before. On a cumulative basis we produced 13.517bn litres during the 2011-12 quota year, which is 185.5m litres more than last year, leaving us around 1.2bn litres under quota. It is believed six countries might exceed quota, of which the major producers are Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands. The others are Cyprus, Austria and Luxemburg. Overall the EU is thought to be between 4% and 5% under quota.

Arla revenue ARLA Foods’ global revenue rose by 12% to almost DKK55bn (£6bn) in 2011. The co-op also paid DKK1.6bn (£175m) more to its owners than in the previous year. In the UK net revenue increased by 5% to c.DKK13bn. Higher sales volumes of fresh milk made a significant contribution to profits, and growth was recorded in its key brands of Lurpak, Castello, Lactofree, Apetina, Anchor and Cravendale.


**DF May p2 3 News

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NEWS

Campaign seeks future funding THE ‘make mine Milk’ advertising campaign has celebrated its second anniversary, but its future is far from certain as currently future funding is not forthcoming. The latest development in the campaign has almost 500 dairy farmers signing up to help raise awareness of milk’s healthy properties by showcasing banners and posters in their farm shops and on their land. The banners feature Team Milk – the milk-moustached sporting quintet led by Olympic legend Denise Lewis. The campaign is credited with contributing to a rise in volume sales of milk of 1.2% between 2010 and 2011, and generating a rise in milk consumption of 3% among teenage girls (a priority target audience for the campaign) between 2010 and 2011. It has also built a Facebook community of more than 110,000 followers.

Cream sinks to low price point

A

gainst a background of falling European milk prices, UK farm prices are holding steady but it is probably now a question of when prices fall and who will be the first to go rather than if they will fall. Arla and Wiseman have said they will not drop their price for May but others have yet to declare. The catastrophic fall in UK cream prices continued until it hit the 80p mark around Easter – which is not so far off the price at which butter intervention kicks in. However the price subsequently rallied to around the 85p level, which is still a very low price given recent highs, but in this market any increases are welcome indeed. Milk flows through the flush are critical as to what happens before we finally know whether the fat market has bottomed out or further slippage is on the cards. Butter manufacturers across Europe are continuing to send

ever-larger quantities into private storage. At the start of April, 32,000 tonnes had been consigned, which is 75% up on last year and nearly 300% more than in 2010. The more butter assigned, the slower the turnaround in commodity prices there will be once the market turns of course.

The Global Dairy Trade Event, held on April 3, revealed both WMP and SMP dropped again, although the all-important butteroil commodity (AMF) was up $299 or 9% to average $3583. Cheddar was also up, by $257/tonne or 13.2%. If the month's second auction – held on April 17 – had increased prices, traders say a wave of optimism would have spread throughout the sector and done much to restore confidence. It was not to be, however – prices crashed by nearly 10%.

Wiseman recruiting a2 milk WISEMAN is now actively recruiting milk suppliers in the Cheshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and North Wales regions to supply the firm with a2 milk. Producers will get a premium of 2.5ppl, and conversion incentives are available. The costs of DNA sampling of cattle to determine those cows

RPA extra opening ■ The Rural Payments Agency has announced its customer service centre will be available at weekends and some public holidays to help producers who are filling in their 2012 Single Payment Scheme (SPS) applications. The lines will be open 9am to 3pm every Saturday until May 12, 2012. There will also be a service for the same hours on Monday, May 7 (Bank Holiday) and Sunday May 13. The hotline number is 0845 603 7777.

Slippage

Celebrities Last year the campaign, which is funded by Arla Foods, Dairy Crest, Robert Wiseman Dairies, First Milk, Milk Link and the EU, was fronted by celebrities including the Harry Potter star Rupert Grint, X-Factor judge Kelly Rowland and Kelly Osbourne. If funding cannot be found by October – DairyCo is the logical place for it to come from but the Board is currently against any form of generic advertising – then the campaign will fold.

OPEN WEEKENDS

with the a2 milk protein are also covered. Some 8000 cows have now been tested, says the company, and results so far indicate most herds have around a third of cows with the A2 beta casein protein which is required for a2 milk. The plan is that a2 Milk™ will be formally launched later this year.

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

BOCM PAULS sold to Dutch feed giant FORFARMERS Group is to acquire the UK’s biggest animal feed business BOCM PAULS for the sum of ¤85m, provided shareholders agree and the EU’s Competition Authorities give the deal the go-ahead. BOCM PAULS sells in excess of two million tonnes of compounds, blends and coproducts a year, having diversified its feed offering significantly over the last five years and ventured down the ‘Total Feed Business’ route. The ForFarmers Group is a leading European feed supplier which sells some 6.5m tonnes of compound feeds and other feed materials in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. BOCM PAULS will operate as the UK feed company of the ForFarmers Group, and no major changes to how it currently operates are foreseen.

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**DF May p4 Kirby

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COWMEN COMMENT

We’ve set out on path to improve our herd health

W

e kicked off this year with a detailed review of our herd health progress and put the focus on those three common problems of mastitis, locomotion and fertility. Mastitis incidence is analysed in detail using the ‘Clover Cell Check’ system offered by our vets Lambert, Leonard and May. The analysis helps us understand patterns of infection and identify causal factors. We found most fresh infections tend to be in late lactation animals and these often tie in with group changes. While it might not be possible to avoid group changes, we will in future pay closer attention to these higher risk animals. It was also clear from the analyses that in almost every case mastitis was the result of environ-

4

mental bacteria, especially E coli. So we’ve introduced a series of measures designed to improve cow cleanliness. These include the installation of brisket boards to improve cubicle hygiene, motorised brushes to help clean cows, and we also increased the frequency of scraper runs. In the parlour we found some unacceptable levels of teat-end damage which we put down to excessive liner slip and inappropriate vacuum levels. Our milking routine was also adjusted to ensure the lag time required for milk let down was sufficient following initial stimulation. This was achieved simply by placing mats in the parlour to denote working positions for preparation and subsequent attachment. In the last 12 months we’ve also introduced E coli vaccination. As we wanted to be sure we could

Scott Kirby Scott Kirby is farm manager at Harper Adams University College, after being herd manager at Newcastle’s Cockle Park and an SAC consultant. His latest challenge has been planning and moving the Harper dairy unit to a new green field site. monitor its effect, we initially only vaccinated all the odd numbered cows. The result was marked as the number of clinical cases in the vaccinated group reduced by 40% compared to the non-vaccinated group. At a cost of more than £20/cow per year (and a need to re-vaccinate every three months), it is a significant undertaking but with a typical case of mastitis costing £200, then even after vaccine costs are accounted for there is a net benefit to the herd of more than £13,000. So we are now rolling out vaccination across the whole herd. These changes have resulted in an improvement in both clinical and subclinical mastitis. Somatic cell counts have fallen over the last year from 180 to 120. The one outstanding piece of the jigsaw remains an autodip system which we have been expecting from the parlour manufacturer for a few years, but now by concentrating on improvements in other areas I wonder if such a system will be needed. The herd has also taken part in the DairyCo ‘Healthy Feet Programme’. Central to this is regular monitoring of locomotion scores both by herd staff and independently by our vets. The vet scores show a steady reduction in lameness, with the number of cows scoring 2 reducing from 24% to 18%, and scores of 3 from 11% to 0% over 12 months. Again the success is the result of a series of measures including improved hoof cleanliness, a detailed hoof care protocol, changes to the collecting yard routine to reduce the risk of injury, and finally biotin supplementation. Further work in the next month or two to improve the surfaces in

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

the buildings should continue the progress. We’re looking at a range of options from simple grooving through to full rubber matting with costs ranging from £2 to £35 per square metre. Fertility is central in most dairy units. For us our most basic target is to create 25 pregnancies per month, which equates to a 410day calving interval. Despite a number of recent research trials which tended to extend the voluntary waiting period, the herd is still achieving this target. The key to improved fertility has been the close attention to the management of transition cows. Early targeted intervention is critical as soon as problems are detected by daily post-natal checks. Any cows which have not shown a heat by 42 days post partum receive vet intervention. One of the problems that dogged us in the first year or two of the dairy was metritis and displaced abomasums. A combination of controlling condition in late lactation and significantly reducing the energy density of dry cow diets has shown a remarkable decline in the incidence of both conditions. It is useful every now and then just to reflect on your successes, but the problem with that is it often highlights the next set of challenges facing you!

Farm facts FARM SIZE: 1700 acres (688ha) HERD SIZE: 400 cows ROLLING MILK YIELD: 8900 litres/cow TARGET YIELD: 9500 litres/cow MILK BUYER: Tesco (Wisemans) SOIL TYPE: Sand, clay and peat RAINFALL: 800mm/year.


MSD WP DF

19/4/12

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MSD Animal Health is working with mastitis experts, vets and dairy farmers to encourage more effective and appropriate use of mastitis treatments, now and in the future, through the adoption of Early Lactation Therapy (ELT). ELT is a pragmatic way forward for proactive dairy farmers aiming to successfully balance the demands of herd performance, best practice in mastitis management and the responsible use of antibiotics.

Ask your veterinary surgeon now for more information on ELT and look out for more information in dairy publications throughout the year. Use Medicines Responsibly. For more information visit www.noah.uk/responsible Mastiplan, Cepravin and Cobactan are only available via your veterinary surgeon from whom advice should be sought. Mastiplan LC contains 300mg/20mg Cefapirin/Prednisolone. Cepravin Dry Cow contains cefalonium. Cobactan contains cefquinome. Legal categories: POM-V Mastiplan, Cepravin and Cobactan are the property of Intervet International B.V. or afďŹ liated companies or licensors and is protected by copyrights, trademark and other intellectual property laws. Copyright Š 2009 Intervet International B.V. All rights reserved. Further information is available from: MSD Animal Health, Walton Manor, Walton, Milton Keynes MK7 7AJ 4ELsvet-support.uk@merck.coms www.msd-animal-health.co.uk


Endurance Wind Power WP DF

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**DF May p7 ELT (signed off)

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SPONSORED SERIES

Early Lactation Therapy – a word from the vet

Step 1: Identify animals at high risk of developing mastitis Cows and heifers in early lactation are particularly at risk of developing mastitis. In one study 25.4% of cases occurred in the first month of lactation for all cows, and 39.1% in the first month for heifers. These mastitis cases can originate either from the dry period or as a result of infection acquired during early lactation. (See Graph 1). Identifying animals more likely to be at risk of mastitis is a critical first step towards effective mastitis management. By knowing which cows to pay particular attention to, it is possible to ensure treatment is rapid and the best choice for the situation. This then leads to reduced yield impact and possibly a greater chance of bacteriological cures. However, and perhaps more importantly, prioritising the treatment of mastitis in early lactation will have a considerably greater impact on herd performance than it would in later lactation (past peak yield).

Graph 1: Incidence of clinical mastitis in a random sample of dairy herds in the southern Netherlands. Ref: Veterinary Record (1996) 139, 204-207

Graph 2: Probability of clinical mastitis (%) for different teat end callosity scores. Ref: Relationship between teat end callosity or hyperkeratosis and mastitis; AABP-NMC Symposium, Canada 2001

Defining a high risk animal All freshly-calved cows and heifers should be considered at risk of mastitis. Around the time of calving immunity is slightly reduced, making animals more prone to infections of all types. Inevitably, freshly calved cows spend a short period of time in negative energy balance as lactational demands kick in. This also reduces immunity and cows that lose more than a unit of body condition score between calving and peak lactation should be considered especially at risk. Metabolic disease and other events such as dystocia (difficult calving) will also impact on immunity. There are also some physical attributes known to be associated with a greater risk of mastitis. These would include cows with damaged teats either through trauma or an above average degree of hyperkeratosis (hardening of the teat end). (See Graph 2). In addition, cows which have developed a weakening in the suspensory ligament of the udder, which occurs commonly

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

with aging, and those with extremes of teat placement on the udder or which are prone to leaking milk between milkings may also be at greater risk than those without these problems. Early lactation cows are often said to be on a metabolic knife-edge, and diseases such as mastitis can take advantage of this situation. In my experience, identifying which cows are at greatest risk is an excellent first step to getting on top of high numbers of clinical cases during this period.

Early Lactation Therapy

I

t also revealed tube usage was above expected levels in many individual mastitis cases, prompting the question ‘what can we do better’? Several scientific studies make the point that identifying mastitis as early as possible and treating according to the most effective protocol can lead to reductions in the number and severity of cases. And this is part of the thinking behind ELT – Early Lactation Therapy. ELT is a new protocol developed with the help of leading UK dairy vets to assist with the day-to-day management of mastitis. Here, Tracey Taylor of Oakhill Vets, Preston, introduces the protocol and spends some time discussing step 1. ELT is a simple three-step process: 1. Identify animals at high risk of developing mastitis. 2. Monitor high risk animals and their records. 3. Early identification of clinical cases and early appropriate treatment. ELT aims to help maximise cure rates, minimise mastitis recurrence rates and deliver a rapid return to acceptable cell counts and, hence, saleable milk.

ELT sponsored series brought to you by MSD Animal Health, manufacturers of Cobactan

The 2011 National Mastitis Survey, which was supported by Dairy Farmer, attracted 1300 dairy farmer participants. One of the main findings was that it clearly showed mastitis remains a constant challenge for all herds, with more than 50% of herds reporting in excess of 26 cases per 100 cows per year. It also showed an increase over previous years in the number of herds in the 200,000 cells/ml or more category.

Risk factors which could pave the way for mastitis infection during early lactation: ■ Lowered immune system ■ Damaged teats and hyperkeratosis ■ Physical problems eg weakened suspensory ligament, extreme teat placements on udder ■ Milk leaking between milkings ■ Dystocia ■ Metabolic diseases.

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**DF May p8 Potter

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POTTER’S VIEW

Check your buyer is financially sound With the collapse of Farmright and the growing squeeze on other buyers, Ian Potter urges producers to make sure they are dealing with a financially sound milk business.

S

ome farmers never cease to amaze me about the business acumen (or lack of it) they have when deciding where to sell their milk. One particular example which caught my eye recently was the case of one of the 84 dairy farmers who were caught in the collapse of Farmright. Having worked hard, to wake up and find you have delivered up to eight weeks of milk for absolutely no return is sobering. It should make everyone scrutinise their milk purchaser/processor for ‘longevity’, and to assess them for being a financially sound business and the degree to which they are re-investing in their facilities on a regular basis as opposed to sticking plasters on problems.

Great risk But low and behold, in the case of our highlighted farmer, he informed a potential new secure well-invested milk purchaser he would not be signing with them because he could get the grand sum of an extra 0.1ppl elsewhere. So on one million litres that’s £1000 gain per annum, and the difference between a safe haven or a risky home. If a ppl gain is your only reason for selecting a buyer then you have a problem, given it will take any farmer years, if not decades, to make up the tens of thousands of pounds of losses from a buyer’s collapse. However, perhaps I should give this farmer the benefit of the doubt on the basis he was under the impression he could negotiate a ‘special deal’ with the ‘secure’ milk buyer who would cuddle-up, massage his ego and throw money at him to secure his milk supplies. It has worked for some, with one or two buyers, but not for this farmer, and all we can hope is the new buyer is safe and secure. Milk pricing is in the middle of

8

a storm – the latest GDT auction worry at the moment. Its liquid was down nearly 10%. Full marks division is clearly in a muddle. It to Arla and Wiseman, both of currently makes no money, and whom have, near enough, the loss of the Tesco business is a confirmed they will not change blow. It’s true 3% may not seem their farmgate milk price in May. much, but it was an achievement Both are taking a robust to get its toe through the door in bottom-up approach to extract the first place. Closing two plants more money from the marketcomes as no surprise really given place to offset increases in fuel that something has to be done to and plastics, as well as the restore its business to profit if it is dramatic fall in cream values. But to keep the division. will these increases fix the The problem that Europe and problem? indeed the world has is that The problem for some is that collectively we are increasing milk they have knocked production seven bells out of quickly at a time each other in a battle of lacklustre to secure additional demand and a There’s a perfect storm volume. In doing so, build-up of brewing of falling they are operating surpluses. commodity markets on very thin, nonThere’s a (butter mainly) and existent or negative perfect storm rising costs. margins. It’s okay if brewing of you want to be the falling low-cost Ryanair of the dairy commodity markets (butter industry, but it’s no good if you mainly) and rising costs. If cream get caught swimming with no drops much further, it will be at trunks on when the tide goes out, the level triggering EU as is the case at the moment. intervention buying, at which Some processors, in particular point we need to sell 40,000 some who are heavily involved in tonnes-plus as soon as possible to the middle ground liquid market, bring things more into balance. are hurting big time. But the more product that goes The problem is if one of the big into store now, the longer the five milk buyers drops its farmer delay for the upturn. price, others are almost certain to follow. Flow meters Retail customers will say “I’ll Now for a brief word on the latest have some of that, thank you”, investigation to cross my radar, and will instantly be holding their which I briefly explored about collection tin out the next day, four years ago. It concerns the claiming around a third of any calibration of flow meters on saving. So for a 1p drop it will be tankers, which one team of an estimated 0.35ppl passed to trading standards officers is retailers leaving 0.65ppl to cover apparently looking into on the extra processors costs. basis some farmers might be Arla and Wiseman appear to be delivering more (or possibly less) determined to hold out and not milk than they are being paid for. to be the front-runners with any Watch this space, and if you have attack on farmers. It’s going to be any comments or information a rocky ride and we will all have please let me know. to hang together to face up to The appetite from the media the challenges. for negative ‘large dairy’ and Dairy Crest is definitely the ‘zero grazing’ stories seems to

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

Ian Potter Ian is a specialist milk quota and entitlement broker. Comments please to ianpotter@ipaquotas.co.uk have no end, and even our own early morning Radio 4 farming programme has jumped on the bandwagon. Communicating the huge technological advances and variation in production systems is a big issue for the industry to get to grips with, and dairy farming is starting from a position of having been badly let down by previous industry communication attempts. With Nocton no one informed or tackled the policy-makers and MPs – a job I believe the NFU should have taken the lead on. Instead, Non-Government Organisations got away with ignoring the facts. I have seen no evidence confirming welfare declines as herds gets larger. Good communication is a task which requires commitment and will require all dairy farmers, no matter what their preferred production model is, to pull in the same direction. The clock is ticking and we need one common message from the dairy industry. DairyCo has made a start and we need to build on that. We must explain to the public there is room for many dairy farming systems, but each has its own merits and all employ the highest level of stockmanship and animal welfare standards. Finally on May 9-10, I will be in London for the Annual DIN Conference. I will be keen to hear the speakers discussing the theme of “Is Dairy Recession Proof?” Next month I’ll give my take on their thoughts, in particular on whether the recent weakening of dairy commodity returns will do a U-turn or whether it will take us back to the 2009 levels where they are currently heading!


Pfizer Cydectin WP DF

19/4/12

11:34

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Your new choice for worming dairy cows is clear NEW Pour-On for

DAIRY

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BREEDING

First genomic figures set to reveal future top sires Genomic indexes were officially published last month in the UK for the first time and reveal some strong breed themes with an indication of future outright winners. Ann Hardy reports.

S

o, after the fanfare, we now have genomic indexes to add to the armoury of tools with which to breed dairy heifer replacements. And now that we see the recently published April 2012 figures, it’s clear they have the potential to make a difference. But how much difference depends largely on the extent to which dairy farmers embrace them, the breeding choices they make, and above all, whether the indexes hold up once these young sires have progeny on the ground. Marco Winters from DairyCo has always been at pains to point out that the reliability of genomic indexes is less than that of progeny proofs, which means they are more likely to change over time and by a larger amount. But the figures are a clear step up from progeny indexes, so the message he says is to use young sires judiciously – carefully selecting those which have the potential to transmit something better to your herd than could be acquired from a progeny-test sire alone – and to limit the use of any individual. “Use a mix of young sires and

progeny-proven bulls,” he says. “And don’t breed more than 12.5% of a herd to a single young genomically evaluated sire.” However, he says the final choice will be governed by the farmer’s attitude to risk, and some may be more comfortable with the security of using bulls with widespread second crop proofs. But for those who feel the risk is worth taking, there’s plenty to choose from – albeit not from a wide selection of bloodlines – within the DairyCo Profitable Lifetime Index ranking.

Domination There are many striking features of this ranking, not least the domination by sons of Man-OMan. In fact, this Oman son accounts for almost half (12) of the top 25 PLI bulls, while other Oman sons account for the remainder with the exception of one son of Super, six by Planet and two sons of Oman himself. This clearly raises questions about the usefulness of these bulls to any herd which has already used Oman sons, as the question of inbreeding has to be considered. “Oman himself was not used

Gen-I-Beq Lavaman (Man-O-Man) is the first number one PLI sire with a genomic index – his dam, pictured, is Comestar Goldwyn Lava. heavily in the UK so we’re probably talking about breeding an Oman granddaughter to an Oman grandson,” says Mr Winters. “This would result in an inbreeding coefficient of 6.25%, assuming there were no other relationships in the pedigrees. “In theory, this level of inbreeding is the acceptable upper limit, but the chance of there being no other relationships within the pedigree is slim, so I’d

be unlikely to recommend that mating,” he adds. “If you have any concerns, or have used Oman sons, the safe option is to use a mating programme which indicates the inbreeding level of the proposed mating.” Another feature of the new genomic young sire list is the impressive Type Merit figures amongst the high PLI sires, which Lucy Andrews from Holstein UK, who calculate the type figures,

Table 1: Top 15 Holstein bulls with Genomic Indexes ranked on Profitable Lifetime Index (PLI) April 2012 Rank PLI (£) 1 252 2 237 3 227 4 226 5 225 6 224 7 223 7 223 9 222 10 221 11 220 11 220 13 216 13 216 15 215

Bull Genomic name GEN-I-BEQ LAVAMAN G PIROLO SOLEMIO G LADYS-MANOR RD GRAFEETI G DENMIRE MERCHANDISE G GENERVATIONS LEXOR G AMIGHETTI NUMERO UNO G WILLSBRO GATEAU G HFP ALTAKING G CABON FERNAND G COOKIECUTTER HEFTY G ECOYNE ISY G DENMIRE MACOMBER G STE ODILE RIMOUSKI G COMESTAR LOBSTER G CURRAJUGLE GONZO G

Rel (%) 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 68 67 67 67 68

Milk (kg) 431 583 419 689 669 549 704 1063 760 807 691 312 644 652 862

Fat (kg) 28.9 29.3 29.4 32.7 29.4 28.6 28.1 28.8 36.8 30.8 21.4 31.8 33.2 28.0 29.0

Ptn (kg) 25.1 23.1 15.3 20.9 27.3 17.1 26.7 29.7 26.0 30.2 23.0 16.9 23.2 23.8 24.1

Fat (%) 0.14 0.07 0.16 0.06 0.04 0.08 0.00 -0.15 0.08 -0.01 -0.07 0.24 0.09 0.03 -0.06

Ptn (%) 0.13 0.05 0.02 -0.02 0.07 -0.01 0.05 -0.05 0.02 0.05 0.01 0.08 0.03 0.03 -0.04

SCC LS

FI

-16 -19 -22 -19 -14 -27 -15 -12 -21 -14 -12 -14 -16 -14 -9

3.4 3.8 6.5 2.8 0.3 2.6 2.3 1.1 -2.0 -1.1 5.8 2.1 2.3 2.0 4.9

0.3 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.5 0.2 0.4 0.1 0.1 0.5 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.4

dCE % 3.2 0.8 0.9 1.7 2.0 0.9 1.1 0.1 1.2 0.3 1.2 0.5 1.9 1.7 1.4

TM 1.60 2.56 2.80 1.78 1.93 2.93 1.82 2.43 2.85 2.30 1.90 2.06 1.01 1.91 1.72

Sire x maternal grandsire Man-O-Man x Goldwyn Man-O-Man x Goldwyn Freddie x Goldwyn Manifold x Goldwyn Man-O-Man x Goldwyn Man-O-Man x Shottle Man-O-Man x Goldwyn Super x Buckeye Man-O-Man x Bolton Man-O-Man x Goldwyn Planet x Bret Bogart x Goldwyn Manifold x Baxter Man-O-Man x Goldwyn Planet x Oman

Avail from SMX SMX DD SMX SRL SMX SMX ALT SMX SMX BUL SMX SMX SMX GEN

AIS = AI Services; ALT = Alta; AV= Avoncroft; BUL = bullsemen.com; DOV = Dovea; COG = Cogent; DD = Dairy Daughters; GEN = Genus ABS; GG = Global Genetics; KS = King Street; SMX = Semex; SRL = Sterling Sires; SZ = SemenZoo; WWS = World Wide Sires UK; VIK = UK Viking Genetics. PLI = Profitable Lifetime Index; FI = Fertility Index; LS = Lifespan Index; SCC = Somatic Cell Count Index; dCE% = direct Calving Ease; TM = Type Merit; G = Genomic. Source: DairyCo (production indexes, fitness indexes and PLI); Holstein UK (type indexes).

10

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012


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BREEDING says she is comfortable with. “They’re exactly as I would have expected,� she says. “These young bulls are so highly selected in the first place, and within that group they are selected a second time when they become actively marketed.� A further overwhelming feature of the list is its domination by Semex bulls which represent a remarkable 10 of the top 14. (See Table 1). These originate in herds in North America, Continental Europe and the UK. This is a far cry from the proven sire PLI list where the company has just one bull in the top 20.

Emphasis Asked whether this was because the company had made exceptional breeding choices over the past two years, changed its emphasis towards PLI or whether some other factor was working in its favour, Semex’s Gordon Miller was emphatic it was the former. “Although genomics is new in the UK, Semex has been selecting on genomics since before the indexes were published in Canada in August 2009,� he says. Furthermore, he said the Canadian company had placed a

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strong emphasis on using young genomic bulls to produce potential AI sires, which had maximised the potential for genetic gain.

Technology Much of the praise he said should be directed at the company’s geneticists, and he singled out Dr Jacques Chesnais in particular. “He is generally regarded as a leader in the use of genomic technology, and Semex’s sire analysts were early to recognise the technology’s strengths – may be before other companies were using it so widely,� said Mr Miller. Adding that the company remained keenly focused on its high type philosophy and referring to more new bulls that were in the pipeline, he concluded: “You ain’t seen nothing yet!� Whether the genomic figures will stand the test of time will be revealed as daughters come into milk, but a key point to remember is that – just as with daughter-proven sires – no one is selling these young bulls with anything more than a Predicted Transmitting Ability.

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UK-bred Ballycairn

I

t is important not to overlook the daughterproven sires which most industry experts and commentators agree should remain the mainstay of the national breeding policy. And the feat of a UK-proven bull, which has reached the top of the UK and international PLI ranking, should not be overshadowed by the hubbub surrounding the launch of genomics. The bull is Ballycairn Tiergan, the product of a Goldwyn/Garter

cross from a home-bred cow in Andrew McCollum’s Colerainebased herd (featured in April Dairy Farmer). This bull has risen up the rankings on the strength of 19 extra lactations contributing to his index, and whose highlights include an impressive 34.7kg fat, -21 SCC Index, 1.8 Fertility Index and 0.3 Lifespan Index. Other big risers to the PLI top 10 are the high type Guarini (Goldwyn x Oman) up to PLI £229 and transmitting remarkable improvements in cell

Ballycairn Tiergan is the first UK sire to lead the daughterproven international PLI list for many years. His daughter, pictured, is Ballycairn Tiergan Mieje.

Highest bulls for type IN the Type Merit stakes, the number one bull remains Toc-Farm Goldsun who celebrates 12 months at the top of the list with a Type Merit of 4.55. Mr Atlees AltaAmazing (Goldwyn x Durham) is new in second place at TM 4. The remaining top 10 newcomer – Sabbiona Goldfarm (Goldwyn x Storm) with a TM of 3.43 – is also highest for PLI at £176. The genomic Type Merit ranking is headed by RegancrestGV S Bradnick (Sanchez x Shottle) with a TM of 4.21, while the only

Regancrest-GV S Bradnick is number one type sire on genomic ranking. other sire to rate over 4 TM is Gibbs-I Claynook Dude (Atwood x Bolton) at 4.04.

Table 3: Top 10 Holstein sires ranked on Type Merit (April 2012)

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12

Rank

Bull name

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10= 10=

TOC-FARM GOLDSUN MR ATLEES ALTAAMAZING ZELGADIS TOC-FARM GOLDFISH LIRR DREW DEMPSEY SABBIONA GOLDFARM HENKESEEN EMPHASIS ZANDENBURG YOKO SAM YURY CURTISMILL MR SAM VAN GOGH ALL.MARGHERITA COITUS

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

Type Merit 4.55 4.00 3.77 3.74 3.57 3.43 3.38 3.36 3.34 3.29 3.29

PLI (ÂŁ) 120 93 109 114 157 176 63 75 102 160 116

Avail from KS ALT GEN WWS WWS COG DD SZ GEN BULL DD


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BREEDING

n Tiergan heads international ranking counts (SCC Index -30); his full brother, Goldfire, who is an exceptional daughter fertility improver (Fertility Index 5.8); and UK-bred Shottle son, Cogent Twist, whose 15 extra lactations see him climbing into the top 10 for the first time and offering exceptional fat production at 38.9kg, the highest of all the leading PLI bulls. The only complete newcomer

to the top 10 is Danillo (Goldwyn x Oman) who is the highest type transmitter in the top 10 and offers good production, including high components and good daughter fitness across the board. He has a PLI of £219. Danillo’s pedigree may look familiar to breeders who have used former number one sire, ALH Dakota, as his dam is full sister to Dakota, who remains

the highest protein producer in the top 10 at 31.7kg.

British newcomers Three UK-proven bulls make their debut, with Woodmarsh Olympian (Goldwyn x Jolt) the highest ranking with a PLI of £174, high milk and fat (685kg and 31.4kg), low cell counts (-13), long lifespans (0.2) and high type (Type Merit 2.01). Remarkably, he is followed

by two more bulls from Andrew McCollum, both displaying increasingly valuable outcross pedigrees. With a PLI of £170, high milk (639kg) and long lifespans (0.2), Ballycairn Mascol Mars is a Mascol x Export; and at £166 PLI, high milk and fat (701kg and 34.4kg), good health across the board and high type (TM 2.6), Ballycairn Jose Verve is a Jose x Zelati.

Table 2: Top 15 daughter-proven Holstein bulls ranked on Profitable Lifetime Index (PLI) April 2012 Rank PLI (£) 1 243 2 238 3 233 4 229 5 228 6 226 6 226 8 224 8 224 10 219 10 219 10 219 13 217 14 211 15 208

Bull name BALLYCAIRN TIERGAN LYNBROOK JANCEN MORNINGVIEW LEVI GUARINI TIMMER TYSON D OMAR GOLDFIRE ALH DAKOTA LYNBROOK OMAN CLASSIC COGENT TWIST MAINSTREAM MANIFOLD DANILLO LONG-LANGS OMAN OMAN CO-OP OMAN LOGAN WOUDHOEVE 1042 IMPULS

Geno Rel -mic (%) G 93 75 G 82 75 79 79 78 G 85 70 G 95 G 82 78 G 82 G 82 78

Milk (kg) 444 406 668 505 85 488 544 953 561 608 860 529 781 884 571

Fat (kg) 34.7 31.7 30.6 20 31 29.9 23.8 31.6 35.2 38.9 33.6 24.3 29.6 33.2 27.1

Ptn (kg) 20.6 23.7 25.2 23.9 16.7 23.5 21.3 31.7 24.4 23.6 25.5 20.2 30.7 27.2 25.9

Fat (%) 0.21 0.19 0.05 0 0.35 0.13 0.03 -0.07 0.16 0.18 0 0.04 -0.01 -0.02 0.05

Ptn (%) 0.08 0.13 0.04 0.09 0.18 0.09 0.04 0.01 0.07 0.05 -0.03 0.04 0.06 -0.02 0.09

SCC

LS

FI

-21 -12 -16 -30 -17 -23 -19 -11 -19 -11 -11 -19 -6 -25 -13

0.3 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.1 0.3 0.1

1.8 1.1 1.2 2.8 4.7 3.1 5.8 -0.3 -0.8 -2.5 3.5 3.5 0.1 -2.5 3.6

dCE % 1.4 0.5 1.4 1.4 2.8 0.4 1.7 1.9 1.4 0.3 3.1 1.6 2.0 1.0 0.5

TM

Sire

1.66 -0.18 1.09 2.35 -0.69 0.50 1.78 0.59 -0.62 1.16 1.03 3.13 1.94 0.63 0.20

Goldwyn Oman Buckey Goldwyn Oman Oman Goldwyn Oman Oman Shottle Oman Goldwyn Oman Oman Oman

Avail from GB/NI COG BUL/AIS GEN BUL/AIS AIS VIK BUL/AIS DD DOV COG SMX SRL/WFE WWS BUL/AIS AV/AIS

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13


**DF May p14 Breeding Sayles

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BREEDING

A WORD FROM BOEHRINGER By Matt Yarnall, Cattle veterinary adviser THIS year’s calves enter your herd in two years. Although they might be left off the current list of priorities, problems now could haunt you for years to come. Diarrhoea and respiratory disease are the main problems facing most calves. Late weaning, late first mating and late first calving as a result of these conditions cannot be reversed. An affected heifer may never achieve her full potential if the problem is not nipped in the bud at an early age. More than one in four farmers have experienced severe scour problems over the past 12 months (more than 10 per cent of calves affected)1 and it has been suggested up to 50 per cent of calves born in the UK do not receive sufficient quantity of good quality colostrum2. Newborn calves should receive 10 per cent of bodyweight a day. Insufficient colostrum increases the risk of severe infection by E.coli; usually seen from day one; rotavirus and coronavirus, which are seen within a week or so; Cryptosporidium (crypto), which can start to affect them from a week onwards and coccidia which is commonly an issue from a month old. Salmonella can affect them from any age. With the exception of E.coli and Salmonella, antibiotics do not kill the bugs causing the disease, so treatment should aim to keep calves feeding and hydrated. Antibiotics may be recommended by your vet to control secondary bacteria, but they will not treat the cause. A calf with diarrhoea will need double the fluid of a healthy calf in the form of electrolytes, but milk is still important as an energy source. A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as Metacam® can be used to ease the discomfort of spasming guts. This will encourage them to feed more and help increase speed of recovery and weight gain3. Use of specific treatments for crypto and coccidiosis should only be used once diagnosed by a vet. If viruses are identified, it may well be worth vaccinating cows if you are not already doing so.

Widespread The cost of respiratory disease is estimated between £43 and £84 per affected calf, rising to £104 when retreatments are necessary. With up to 30 per cent of calves having been treated for respiratory disease problems by 12 weeks of age, it is a widespread problem4. The main risk factors are stress (mixing and moving animals), changes to housing and nutrition, poor immune status (see colostrum feeding above) and concurrent infection. Antibiotics are certainly useful when concurrent bacterial infection has been diagnosed, but the inflammation caused by the infection should be treated with a NSAID, otherwise you may be killing the invaders but not sorting out the huge damage they have left behind. Metacam use in respiratory disease has been shown to increase weight gain of calves5. References: 1. British Dairying. Colostrum management – get it right. Feb 2012, p12. 2. T Potter (2011). Raise Calf Survival Rates. Beef Farmer. Autumn 2011, p26-27. 3. Todd et al (2010) Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug therapy for neonatal calf diarrhoea complex: Effects on calf performance. J Anim Sci.88:2019-2028. 4. Judith Roberts (2012) Veterinary Times. Jan 9, p16. 5. Friton et al (2005) Veterinary Record. 156, 809-811.

14

Asian market Internationally renowned Canadian judge Brad Sayles, a leading figure within the AI industry and vice-president of Global Marketing for Ontario-based Semex Alliance, officiated at last month’s inaugural Borderway UK Dairy Expo. Bruce Jobson reports.

Y

ou’ve been a frequent visitor to our major shows for the past 20 years – what changes have you witnessed over that time? There’s been an enormous change since I first attended the Royal Show in 1991, and I must say the cattle we judged at the Borderway were an enormous credit to UK breeders. But remember back in the 90s the UK had two black-and-white breed societies and Holsteins were being shown in both rings. Following amalgamation into just the one Holstein Society, this has helped the perception of UK cattle breeding in marketing terms, not only within the UK but on a global basis. In particular we’re seeing animals more ‘dairy’ than 20 years ago, and that’s part of the Holstein breed development in all countries. There’s been recent discussion about the role of shows – is there still a place for them in the 21st century? There will always be people who question the validity of hosting events. However, it does allow breeders to showcase their top animals and to test their breeding programme against the best. While I admit we live in an internet age, nevertheless forging face-to-face business contacts is an important part of marketing cattle. When I first started in the industry, I met lots of similar minded people and I’m still doing business with these people today. Don’t forget UK Dairy Expo also hosted an elite auction sale and that generated business opportunities and a top price of 10,000gns. Marketing wise, what changes have occurred within the AI industry? The industry is moving at an incredible pace. First, sexed-semen has helped revolutionise breeding programmes, especially top pedigree animals now having multiple ET progeny. Second, genomic testing increases reliability levels from about 35% to 65-70%, although of course it’s not as reliable as a 90% reliability 100 daughter progeny-tested proof. But genomics will play an increasing role in marketing UK genetics to a global audience. We’re currently progeny testing eight UK-bred Holstein bulls from Willsbro and Woodmarsh born from 2007

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

Brad Sayles: Great potential in China.

onwards, and major international AI studs will now be closely scrutinising the results of UK genomic information. I believe Semex Alliance has recently introduced numerous indices as well as a ‘robot-ready’ range of proven sires. Are breeders placing greater emphasis on health traits? Farmers are more aware of health and welfare issues, and particularly such things as fertility, feet and legs, cell counts and lifetime production. More and more robotic milking machines are being introduced globally, and large scale free-stall Canadian herds are emerging. Semex Alliance has three geneticists who worked on the concept and have created a bull index based upon productivity, disease resistance and functional type traits. The Holstein bulls are proving popular and Beaver Ray Mural, formerly Semex’s highest listed LPI sire (now fourteenth), and Crackholm Fever (tenth) feature in the list. And the same applies to top Jersey bulls such as Lencrest Ontime and Hollylane Lilibet’s Legacy. Herds are getting bigger and there are fewer producers... where is Semex Alliance heading? We obviously have a strong Canadianbase and continue to develop testing programmes in the US. We also operate a testing programme in Australia and have built a European bull stud in Hungary. The Alliance is now developing operations in Asia and India which have enormous potential. It’s only the tip of the iceberg but Semex has just completed construction of a facility in China to house 50 bulls and is now building a second barn for 100 bulls.


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**DF May p16 17 Conference

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CONFERENCE

Once-a-day or four times milking – can they work? Among the hot topics at this year’s second annual Herdsman Conference at Harper Adams University College was that of the number of milkings per day. Jeremy Hunt looks at two extremes.

M

ilking cows only once-a-day suits the low-input, organic system of herd management under way at Horton House, Devizes, Wiltshire, where Jonny Rider runs 500 cows – a hybrid mix of Jersey, Friesian, Montbeliarde and Ayrshire. The spring-calving herd – of which only two-thirds is milked with the rest multi suckling – calves over a six-week period from March to April. The herd is totally grass-fed, receives no concentrates and grazes all-yearround. Average yield is 3500 litres. “I see myself as a grower of grass rather than a milker of cows. We feed no concentrate, make no silage and rely completely on grazed grass. Cows go outside every day of the year and when they come in they are offered hay. We also breed our own bulls to run with the cows,” says Jonny, who thinks this style of management helps maintain the herd’s excellent fertility. “Cows have long heats like we used to see years ago – they come bulling that much harder and are easier to spot. Getting cows in calf isn’t an issue for us,” he adds. The cows have been milked once-a-day for 14 years. “It’s a simple grass-based system and

we don’t feel there’s any need to milk them twice,” explains Jonny who employs two morning casual staff who have finished milking by 8.30am. “There’s certainly a new wave of interest in low-input dairying although we’re probably seeing things go to one of two extremes – either high-input systems pushing hard for high yields or all-grass based milk production with minimum inputs but lower production.”

Low costs “Focussing on a system driven by grass means costs of production have to be as low as you can get them and once-a-day milking is part of that cost cutting. And for those producers who are turning more towards a grass-based system but have a large unit, then walking cows long distances twice-a-day for milking isn’t always practical. “There are some herds which have taken the decision to almost split into two – with one group of cows milked twice-a-day and the others once-a-day. And it seems to be working for them.” Jonny believes the swing towards all-grass based milk production will gather pace – and thinks there will be a large proportion of dairy herds being milked once-a-day within the next 20 years.

Jonny Rider runs 500 cows with no concentrate on once-a-day milking. “In New Zealand there are now dairy bulls with a once-aday milking index and that's something we’ll start to see here in the UK. Dairy farmers will be able to select bulls with a trait for producing as much milk from once-a-day milking, compared with other sires whose yield traits are based on twice-a-day systems,” he predicts. Some of the cows at Horton House are giving up to 6000 litres but are still easily managed on the once-a-day regime. “We have some cows which peak at more than 30 litres and we have

no problems with them. The way we’ve bred the cows means we have a consistent level of production without too many really high-flyers. I don’t get too hooked-up on yield because I know my cows are very profitable for what they do. “I am a grass farmer and it’s turning the grass into money which is my main concern,” says Jonny. “I think a lot of milk producers on a grass-based system would be surprised if they did some costings based on once-a-day milking,” he believes.

Fresh calved cows are milked four times each day FOR the first 21 days of lactation all cows in the 600-strong Holstein herd managed by Adam Atkinson are milked four times a day – and it is a system he is convinced is ‘absolutely right’ for high yielding dairy cows. The herd, owned by Somerset cheese makers R L Clapp and Sons near Glastonbury, has an average yield of 10,500 litres. Over the last

16

year average production per cow has increased by 8%. Cows are housed all-yearround although low yielders are turned out to graze. Top yielders are peaking at 60 litres and the herd’s best performer has exceeded 18,000 litres. In-parlour feeding is now being installed but the base diet is a TMR ration. The herd is

grouped into the ‘4X’ cows, high yielders, low yielders and heifers. “We’ve started to make big improvements in herd health over the last two years – primarily by looking at the way we grouped cows, our drying-off protocols and improving staff motivation. “Following on from that, and as yields were steadily improving, we initially started to look at three-

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

times-a-day milking as a next step. “But we assessed the costs involved and felt we were not quite ready for it yet and so investigated the four times a day approach to milking freshlycalved cows for the first 21 days,” says Adam. The system was introduced in February last year – milking times were 4am, 7am, 2pm and 5pm.


**DF May p16 17 Conference

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CONFERENCE “The main criteria to work to is a minimum of a three-hour gap between milkings. A typical current high yielder is giving 25.2l, 12l, 19.2l and 10l after 19 days on four times a day milking.” The logistics are fairly straightforward says Adam: “The 4X cows start being milked at 4am while the rest of the herd on twice-a-day milking start to be milked at 5am. The 4X cows then come back in again through the rotary parlour at the end of the main herd’s morning milking to have their second milking of the day.” Some research has been undertaken into the benefits of four-times-a-day milking in the USA, but Adam admits it’s very limited. “So we’ve had to devise a system which we could work with and one which was most beneficial to the cows.

Target “It’s very important these cows are not standing around for long periods so we set a target that the four milkings are only taking up one hour and 20 minutes of the cows’ time each day. From leaving the cubicles they are milked and back in the

It’s very important these cows are not standing around for long periods so we set a target that the four milkings are only taking up one hour and 20 minutes of the cows’ time each day. Adam Atkinson

Cows on the 4X regime are not left waiting but put back to feed. building within 20 minutes. “These cows have got to get up twice as often as other cows in the herd, they have all the manoeuvring to do to get to the parlour, and they are carrying a lot of milk. So it’s a job which needs doing as quickly and as efficiently as possible, with cow welfare very much in mind.” At any one time a maximum of about 30 cows is on the fourtimes-a-day milking regime. “We’re getting more milk and cows are peaking sooner – around 10-15 days. After 21 days they

switch to twice-a-day and the transition hasn’t caused any problems and no increase in mastitis. “We may see a slight drop in yield but they soon pick up and take off again,” he declares. Adam says so far the system is working well: “Cows are in body

condition score 2.5 when they start on four times a day, but anything which is leaner or showing any signs of foot problems is excluded. The crucial part is making sure dry cow management is spot on. Dry cows are housed – whatever the time of year – and fed a single ration of a high-straw TMR mix. “If the dry cow regime is wrong and they aren’t calving in the right condition, a 4X system won’t work well,” he adds.

Herdsmans Conference The Herdmans Conference is an annual event specifically designed for those engaged in dairying to bring some of the latest and challenging thinking on how

we can better manage our cows. The conference is organised by LKL Services and sponsored by Metacam, Countrywide and Promar International.

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DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

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**DF May p18 20 Forage Cheshire

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FORAGE

Top priority is to ensure enough grass for grazing For one Cheshire farm, getting the most from grass means productive swards, tight stocking rates and an intensive reseeding programme. Jeremy Hunt reports.

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determined effort to get more from grass and forage has enabled a Cheshire dairy herd to achieve a 23% increase in margin for every litre of milk produced over the last year. “More grass, more silage means more milk and profit,” says Phil Asbury, who manages the 210cow herd at Clive Hall, Winsford, Cheshire, where cows are grazed at 3.5 cows/ha compared with a more typical 1.5 cows/ha. That means they are producing around 18,000 litres per hectare. Targets for the coming year are 5500 litres of milk from a concentrate use of just 400kg per head and for every hectare to grow 14

tonnes of dry matter. “After 12-18 months we were growing 11.5-12 tonnes dry matter of grass and using around nine tonnes. We’ve achieved the improvement by really getting to grips with the fine detail of grass management. We’ve taken out the guesswork, and on the back of annually re-seeding around 10% of the farm, we’re closely monitoring every stage of grass growth to make optimum use of it, primarily for grazing,” he says. Tetraploid and diploid type leys which are highly palatable, have a high sugar content, produce a dense sward with rapid regrowth, are the base material for this successful grass-based system –

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Productive swards are the key and the target is 14t DM/ha. but carefully managing the grazing paddocks throughout the season that lasts from February to mid-December is the key. This spring-calving herd begins calving in early February and the first batch of fresh calvers are outside day and night by mid February. Although this is a good grass growing farm using around 175-200kg of N throughout the season, it has 35ins of rainfall and the land is heavy.

Paddocks Paddocks are well accessed by concrete sleeper tracks and each paddock has multiple entrance and exit gates to reduce pressure on gateways. Paddock size varies from 1ha to 7.5ha and cows graze each paddock 10-12 times a year. Grass for grazing is always given priority over grass for silage. “It’s far more economical to turn grazed grass into milk compared with silage, which means I’m in no rush to start cutting grass in May. “It can be late June or early July before we have any silage in the clamp. I will only make silage when I have a surplus of grass and I cannot see a shortage of grass ahead of me. If I make a silage cut and three or four weeks later I open the pit and feed it back, then making silage was the wrong call at that time and the grass should have been eaten in

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

TARGETS ■ Grow 14 tonnes DM per hectare of grass ■ Re-seed 10% of the farm each spring ■ Improve soil nutrients and reduce compaction with sub-soiling as part of the reseeding programme.

the field,” he explains. “We used to come out of the paddocks when they were virtually bare. Now we leave a larger residual of growth – we aren’t forcing the cows to almost eat their toenails. Instead of leaving 3-3.5cm of grass on the paddock there’s now 4-4.5cm. We go around every paddock with a plate meter once a week and when the grass is really growing we’ll measure it twice a week,” says Phil, who is now turning cows into paddocks carrying 26002700kg of grass per hectare.

Output During the last year the farm has grown more grass, increased its silage output by 41ha, been able to reduce concentrate input – down 100kg from 900kg a cow to 800kg a cow – yet increased its average milk yield from 4600 litres a cow to 5100 litres a cow. It has meant a lift in milk margin from


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**DF May p18 20 Forage Cheshire

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FORAGE

Cows are tightly stocked at 3.5 per ha and the herd is on target to average 5300 litres. 7.1ppl to 10.5ppl. This year the herd is on target to achieve a 5300-litre average. Clive Hall is owned by Fletcher and Co, which also operates farms in other parts of Cheshire and Shropshire. The 62ha unit is a dairy monitor farm with the Livestock NorthWest programme. The most significant improvements in output have come from silage production – in quality, quantity and how efficiently it is produced.

Light cuts Phil says: “In 2010 we made light silage cuts as and when paddocks were available, which resulted in high contracting costs per tonne of DM produced. Last year we made better use of the contractor by improving grass growth predictions, using plate meter readings and the Kingswood grassland management programme. It meant we made heavier cuts of silage without compromising the grazing rotation, and made decisions based on what was actually happening instead of guessing what the grass was doing.” The farm budgeted to make 14ha of silage last season but the improvements enabled the area to be substantially increased to 55ha. Leaving slightly more grass on the silage fields helps achieve rapid re-growth and improved allocation of grass to cows. The extra 41ha of silage which was cut reduced the need to buy in forage but it

was the increased yield – the 13 tonnes DM of grass per hectare was a one tonne increase on the previous season – that really made the difference. “Using contractors more efficiently reduced costs per tonne of DM produced and by feeding 100kg of concentrate less per cow – at an average price £198/t – saved us £19.80 a cow or £4158 across the herd. But we have a precise plan for the way we manage our grass and feel very much we are in control – the grass is not telling us how to graze the cows.” Geoff Booth, operations manager with Grassland Solutions, who has been involved with the improvements under way at Clive Hall, says if the farm could grow and use an additional tonne of dry matter per ha it could potentially reduce concentrate use by another 290kg/cow. “Some of this will have to be made into silage because of grazing quality, but it still means that 61 tonnes less feed will be purchased,” he says. Among the changes made to the grassland management regime was the decision to increase the pre-grazing height from 2500kg DM/ha to 2600-2700kg DM/ha and leave slightly higher residuals (1550kg DM/ha) – subject to grass growth predictions. Last year’s system saw cows turned out in February and fed 8kg DM/cow of grass and 6kg of concentrate, plus 2kg of silage until mid-March. No silage was fed from March to October.

The cow tracks at Clive Hall give good access to the grass paddocks on this heavy land farm.

20

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012


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**DF May p22 24 26 Forage Machinery

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FORAGE

Forage harvesters strive to increase fuel efficiency Self-propelled forage harvester power appears to have reached its limit with the emphasis switching to electronics to cut fuel consumption. Steven Vale reports. John Deere FarmSight FARMSIGHT is the name of a new package of solutions from John Deere. It includes a new telematics system to remotely monitor the forager’s location and fuel consumption. Called JDLink Ultimate, the forager automatically generates message alerts via e-mail or mobile phone (SMS) when service or maintenance is required. Message alerts can be sent directly to the fleet manager, dealer or both, and the system enables remote diagnostics to be made.

Also new is the constituent sensing software update on the HarvestLab near-infrared spectrometer, which now senses additional silage quality

parameters such as protein, sugar, starch, fibre and ash content, allowing silage additive application rates to be adjusted automatically.

JF-Stoll FCT 1360 JF-STOLL’S flagship FCT 1360 trailed forage harvester features a newly-developed heavier chopping rotor which the company says increases capacity by 25 per cent. Called Upper Cut, it draws more air into the chute, which minimises blockages in the feed-intake section and results in a long and powerful throw of the crop. Other standard features include a hydraulically foldable chute. This is easily capable of loading trailers with a height of 4m, but conveniently folds to reduce the transport height to under 4m. A smaller FCT 1060 is also available.

Krone BiG X

Claas Jaguar TO comply with engine emission regulations, Claas has ditched the twin-engine philosophy in its top-end Jaguar foragers. The 930, 940, 950 and 960 stick with Mercedes Benz, but the top two models now use a single SCR MAN engine with 775hp for the 970, and 884hp for the flagship 980. More important is the Dynamic Power option on the two top models, which adapts engine power to match crop conditions while maintaining constant engine revs. Recognising the different load ranges, the system automatically adapts the engine output in up to 10 power levels so the forager maintains 1800rpm.

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THE new common-rail MAN Stage 3b-compliant engines fitted to Krone’s BiG X SPFH feature an output management system which provides the flexibility of operating to different power curves. with potential fuel savings of 6-11%. In road transport the machine can travel at 40kph at the lowest possible fuel rate. In the field,

the operator selects one of two modes – Eco-Power and X-Power. Eco-Power is for applications which do not require the engine’s maximum output, whereas X-Power allows the engine to develop its full power under full load, for example in difficult maize conditions. Along with the current 6cylinder BiG X 500, the new

generation MAN-powered BiG X foragers includes the 670hp BiG X 700, 825hp BiG X 850, and 1031hp BiG X 1100.

New Holland Marangon

Fendt Katana THE first small series of production models of Fendt’s Katana 65 SPFH will be joined by another 30 this season. Powered by a 6-litre V8 650hp Mercedes SCR engine, when working in grass the ECO Power mode reduces the engine speed from 2000 to a fuel-saving 1600rpm. Similarly, the top speed of 40kph is also attained at 1600rpm. The closed chopping cylinder on the Katana 65 has a 720mm diameter and is one of the biggest on the market giving high throughput with optimum chopping quality.

Maize kernels are processed with the new V-disc cracker, the meshing cylinders of which have a special design that provides a large friction surface, so that every kernel is cracked efficiently.

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

BIOMASS is of growing importance in Europe and by 2020 it is expected over 2.5m ha of biomass crops will be used for electricity generation. Direct cut headers represent a 12 per cent market share today, a figure which is expected to grow up to 25 per cent by 2015. In order to meet the growing demand for direct cut whole crop and grass operations, FR9000 forage harvester customers can now opt for the 6m-wide Marangon direct cut header.


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+44 (0)783 621 8760 uk@bellaag.com

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Automatic Temperature Monitoring for Cows How does the Bella Ag System work?

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**DF May p22 24 26 Forage Machinery

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FORAGE

New developments in baler and forage wagon markets Anyone in the market for a new baler or forage wagon will find lots of new and interesting developments, including new on-board electronic weighing. Massey Ferguson 2170

Claas Quadrant 3300

MF has beefed up its 2170 large square baler with a new higher output Extra Density version, the 2170 XD, to reduce handling time and cut transport costs. Producing fewer, but heavier 1.2m x 0.88m bales, the driveline and structure has been reinforced to accommodate the extra density, including a heavier flywheel.

FILLING the gap in the range between the 3200 and the 3400, the Quadrant 3300 square baler produces a 1.2m x 0.9m bale. The pick-up reel is 2.35m wide, with a double roller crop press. Positioned behind this is the re-designed 500mm diameter feed roller. The new 1.2m long pre-chamber has been re-designed, and can be controlled either automatically or variably. Everything on the new baler is shaft and gearbox driven, except for one chain on the pick-up reel.

Krone Ultima

Lely Welger RPC 245 Tornado THE RPC 245 Tornado round baler wrapper combination is now available as a fixed chamber machine. Featuring 18 rollers and a 25-knife chopping system, the machine benefits from a fast starting wrap cycle before the tailgate is closed. Using a fixed chamber baler results in a compact package, with an overall width of 2.7m.

TESTS with the Ultima non-stop round baler wrapper confirm outputs of up to 80 bales per hour. It works by collecting grass in a pre-chamber between two belts while net is being applied in the main belt and slat chamber. When a bale is discharged and the door is shut, this pre-compressed material is then let into the main chamber. However, this model is not expected in the UK until 2013.

Tanco EcoWrap BILLED as an alternative to its more automated higher specification machines, the E100 EcoWrap is a simpler round bale wrapper. Aimed at

small to medium-sized farmers and contractors, Tanco says it still has the capacity of more complex machines, but is more affordable.

Pottinger Jumbo ADDING on-board electronic weighing to Jumbo forage wagon allows users to see how much crop is being loaded into the wagon during harvesting. In addition to hours worked and number of loads delivered, the system allows the operator to display weight, loading time, road transport, waiting and unloading times.

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McHale F5000 REPLACING the F500 series, the F5400, F5500 and F5600 are three new fixed chamber round balers which produce standard bale sizes of 1.23m x 1.25m. The 5400 is the lowest spec machine, with manual greasing and no knives. The

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

5500 has 15 knives, which can be used individually, together, or not at all. Similarly, the 5600 has 23 knives for a chop length of 50mm. All models have a drop floor to relieve blockages and a split drive system to reduce stress on shafts.


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Lambert Leonard & May

Two ways to better Grassland next Spring

“Swards look greener and healthier after sward lifting.” Derek Garrett, Park Mill Farms, Thornbury, Bristol

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OPICO SWARD LIFTER Removing the compaction and improving the soil structure of clay soils in autumn has helped enhance grass root development and water drainage. Our cows now benefit from an earlier turnout which in turn helps lower my feed costs. Comparing fields that had not been sward lifted with those that had, quickly convinced me that sward lifting should become a routine operation. The difference is remarkable.

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“Our pastures are providing far more forage.” ME Bell, Thornborough Farm, Corbridge, Northumberland

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OPICO SWARD SLITTER A spring and autumn pass with the OPICO SWARD SLITTER to alleviate compaction in the topsoil caused by her 1,600 sheep has significantly improved the quality of grassland, says Julie Brown, flock shepherd at Thornborough Farm.

Monthly dairy cow feeding response analysis with early indication of cows needing special care

Aerating the soil has improved nutrient uptake and prevented water logging. Digging a soil profile has revealed a better soil structure with better grass root growth and a vast reduction of soil mottling. The flock is also benefiting from better quality pastures which helps maintain our stocking rate and supports outdoor lambing.

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**DF May p22 24 26 Forage Machinery

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FORAGE NEWS IN BRIEF

New Holland Crop ID CROP ID is a real-time information recording system which enables BB9000 series square baler users to identify individual bales as each is tagged via a radio frequency tag. Using two star wheels to measure bale moisture content, data also added to the tag includes bale location, given via a GPS input, plus bale weight, date and time. Tagged bales can be scanned using an infrared scanner – either handheld unit or fitted to the bale loading machine.

Three from Claas THE Rollant 374 RF PRO (Roto Feed), Rollant 374 RC (Roto Cut) and the Rollant 375 RC PRO are three new fixed round baler models. Producing a 1.2m x 1.2m bale, all three are built with heavier-duty chains and reinforced rollers to cope with heavy crop conditions.

Torro AutoCut

John Deere 900 JOHN Deere’s 900 series variable chamber round balers use a curtain at the rear which it says speeds up bale ejection. Flexible chamber walls ensure the baler reaches maximum capacity, and allows the chamber to open slightly as the bale is ejected. The two models produce1.6m and 1.85m diameter bales.

AutoCut is the name of an optional automatic knife sharpening system for Torro forage wagons. Allowing all 39 knives to be sharpened in just three minutes, Pottinger says diesel savings of 15 per cent are possible.

Krone simplicity The Bellima KR 125/130 are new fixed chamber round balers to replace the KR 125 and 130 models. These simple, low maintenance machines feature a camless pick-up reel and no electronics.

Kuhn i-BIO THE fixed chamber i-BIO round baler-wrapper combination opens its upper part of the bale chamber after the bale and binding process. Standard features include a new forage cutting device, and a tilting base for speedy bale discharge. Two cutting systems are available, with 14 or 23 knives, protected by a mechanical spring safety.

Krone ZX ZX forage wagons now benefit from the chain-and-slat floor design, which slopes downwards by 350mm at the front. This reduces the space through which the material is transferred from the cutting

26

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

rotor into the wagon, enabling faster and gentler crop feed as well as a reduction in input power. As a result, the smallest ZX models can now be operated behind a 150hp tractor.


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27


**DF May p28 New Products

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NEW PRODUCTS

Robotic slurry scraper

NEWS IN BRIEF New maize variety ■ Barenbrug’s new maize variety unusually combines high DM and starch yields with very early maturity. Arcade has a typical DM content of 36.4% and early vigour score of 7.8, with an anticipated maturity group of 10 when it is listed by NIAB in 2013 for both favourable and less favourable sites. With whole plant starch content 14% better than the controls, its disease resistance has a rating of eight for Fusarium. Details on 01359 272 000, or www.barenbrug.co.uk

BVD testing ■ National Milk Laboratories’ tests for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) have gained accreditation from UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Services). The services on offer from NML’s Glasgow site comprise a range of tests on tissue, blood and milk samples which meet the Scottish Government’s requirements specified in the mandatory surveillance phase of the BVD eradication scheme. The deadline for demonstration of BVD status comes into force in February 2013. NML can also offer quarterly bulk milk antibody tests for BVD using milk samples already collected on behalf of milk buyers for their payment testing service. Blood testing is also available, which allows cohorts in calf management groups to be tested for antibodies. The antigen and BVD virus can also be detected through blood tests. Details on www.national milklabs.co.uk/bvdscotland

New products New products are now featured in each issue of Dairy Farmer. Please send information and photographs to Jennifer MacKenzie at mail@jennifermackenzie.co.uk or call 01768 896 150.

28

Roundhouse is now available for dairy cows

D

esigner and builder of the innovative Roundhouse – Roundhouse Building Solutions (RBS) – has created a building double the size and capacity at a competitive price suitable for milking cows. The Roundhouse 45 (RH45) has a diameter of 45 metres, a circumference of 144m and an internal area of more than 1500sq m. This offers capacity for for 300 beef cattle (500kg) or 180 dairy cows. Now making the round building concept applicable for milking cows, the design and construction has been an engineering challenge for designers Geoff Simpson and John Allinson, of RBS, part of the Simpson and Allinson group, Barnard Castle. The RH45 costs around £149,500, not including internal steelworks and groundwork (leveling, hard core, water and drainage). A general project,

excluding groundwork, would cost around £1050 per dairy cow place, whch is comparable with conventional dairy housing. Since 2008, more than 50 of the original, smaller RH30s have been sold into the livestock industry with most into beef and dairy (non-milking) sectors. Excellent ventilation, a stress-free environment and ease of handling through the dedicated system in the middle of the building, have all been selling points. ■ Details on 01833 696 927 or www.roundhouseltd.co.uk

A NEW battery-driven robotic slurry scraper, which is suitable for use on all types of slatted floors, is now available from Fullwood. Fullwood’s new Robotic Slurry Scraper offers a cost-effective alternative to chain scrapers as well as lighter daily workloads. Suitable for any size of cubicle housing with slatted passageways, the scraper operates at a speed of 4.0 to 5.5m per minute. Blades from 1m or 2.1m wide can cover 5800 or 10,000sq m a day respectively. The robot charges by returning to a charging platform within the building and once the battery reaches a pre-set level of charge the robot begins scraping automatically. Several pre-determined cleaning routes can be programmed into the robot’s control unit. It is also able to turn on its own axis. ■ Details on 01691 627 391, or www.fullwood.com

Dairy sire meets outcross demand NEW dairy sire Wardle Donnie is claimed to meet demands for outcross bloodlines among Holstein breeders. He has emerged from the Cogent progeny testing scheme (Visions) with a strong type profile (Type Merit 1.8) together with

outstanding milk production (Predicted Transmitting Ability for milk of 572kg). Other daughter features include moderate stature coupled with body strength, a Lifespan Index +0.1, and Fertility Index +1. ■ Details www.cogentuk.com

Automatic bale loading as standard AUTOMATIC bale loading is standard on Kuhn Farm Machinery’s trailed RW 1600 C round bale turntable wrapper. The integrated Autoload function automatically picks up a bale with the loading arm and puts it on the wrapping table, increasing operating efficiencies when handling bales of 120cm x 100/150cm (W x D) and up to 1200kg. The strong design, low table

height and standard large wheels at the rear of the machine avoid the need for an active fall damper. The wrapper distributes the bale weight towards the tractor, avoiding slippage and grip problems in hilly environments. New electronics include a fully automatic computer system with integrated joystick. It features Kuhn’s 750mm aluminium pre-stretchers with cone-shaped outer ends,

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

automatic film cutter and storage for up to six spare film rolls. ■ Details on 01952 239 300, or www.kuhn.co.uk


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RANGE

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DF_05_P29

• 24 models from 9 to 25m POWERMIX PRO POPULAR

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• Unique auger gives better mix quality • All models mix and chop • Unique express conveyor system

T: 01359 250415 www.shelbourne.com DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

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**DF May p30 31 Milk Prices

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MILK PRICES NEWS IN BRIEF Premium for a2 PRE - STRESSED CONCRETE SPECIALISTS DESIGNED TO BRITISH STANDARDS

Manufacturers of all types of pre-stressed panels for agricultural and industrial use. Top Quality at competitive prices. Supply and delivery or collection ex works. Standard lengths in stock, specials made to measure. 䢇

portable cubicles 䢇 cattle slats 䢇 weeping wall panels 䢇 slurry stores 䢇 silage pits Brochures on request

WE ARE ONLY A PHONE CALL AWAY Phone Neil or Richard NOW on Tel (016973) 32585 Email: enquiries@atlasconcrete.co.uk or Fax (016973) 32546

Milk Prices Milk price analyst Stephen Bradley comments on the latest milk industry developments.

■ Having created a Joint Venture last autumn with A2 Corporation as a2 Milk (UK), Robert Wiseman is looking to recruit a2 suppliers in Cheshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and North Wales, with the offer of 2.5ppl premium above the company’s current standard farm gate milk price of 28.43ppl for our standard litre. Conversion incentives are said to be available as well as covering the cost of DNA sampling to determine cows producing the a2 milk protein.

Tesco drops TSDG milk price 0.65ppl

T

SDG suppliers have had their milk price reduced by 0.65ppl from April 1 to adhere strictly with the Promar cost tracker, leaving aside the recent wholesale price falls in bulk cream and powder markets or retail price promotions. The decrease takes our standard litre (4% b/f & 3.3% prot, Bactoscans of 30,000/ml and SCCs of 200,000/ml, 1mltrs/yr on EODC) milk price for our Arla (before their 0.25ppl haulage charge), RWD, First Milk and Dairy Crest Tesco core producers down to 29.56ppl for those submitting cost data to Promar, or 29.06ppl otherwise. Tesco also continues to capture the cost associated with the TSDG Animal Welfare Code of Practice, estimated at a yearly cost of 0.12ppl, and while the tracker has

allowed for a continuing rise in the cost of fuel, wages, rents and fertilisers, the biggest cost – bought feed – should fall a little over the year with very high global stocks and increased global plantings. For the six-month period to Sept’12, variable costs (feed, fertiliser, forage, vet, AI, bedding and heifer rearing) are put at 16.16ppl, down 0.7ppl compared with the previous 2011/12 budget. Overheads – fuel, repairs, paid wages, power and water, office, rent, rates, interest and the sum of £51,033 (previously £50,106) for the value of unpaid family labour – is put 0.05ppl higher at 11.33ppl, while depreciation (reflecting increasing investment) remains unchanged at 1.57ppl. This all adds up to the minimum price of 29.06ppl.

M&S consolidates top position THIS month our table highlights Feb 12 prices and of the two actual milk price changes, the 0.4ppl increase by M&S consolidates the retailer’s leading position further. As the only milk buyer with a rolling average milk price for our standard litre above 30ppl (at 30.71ppl) for this year to Feb’12, its price is over 0.8ppl higher than nearest rival Tesco and currently 1.16ppl above Waitrose who are slipping down the ranks. The other price change was the 0.35ppl reduction in the base price

30

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

by United Dairy Farmers. The decrease to 27.40ppl for 4%b/f & 3.18% prot is the third consecutive monthly cut (1.1ppl total), taking our price down to 27.71ppl. February also saw the first balancing charge by Arla Foods since September last year. The February charge of 3ppl levied on all litres supplied above an individual’s Base Average Daily Production calculates as a deduction of 0.18ppl for our supplier when spread across all milk supplied in this month.


19/4/12

10:48

Page 2

MILK PRICES Jan'12 Feb'12

Feb'12 12mth

4.0/3.3 4.0/3.3

4.0/3.3 Ave

Before Before 1mltr

Feb'11

Seas'lty Seas'lty SAPP

Jan'12

(i)

(ii)

**(iii)

(iv)

D.C – M&S ∞

32.10

32.50

32.21

30.71

RWD – Tesco Scotland

30.21

30.21

30.21

29.88

RWD – Tesco England

30.21

30.21

30.21

29.88

D.C – Sainsbury's

30.79

30.79

31.08

29.62

Arla Foods – Tesco ••

29.96

29.96

29.79

29.59

D.C – Waitrose ∞^

31.09

31.09

30.83

29.55

RWD – Sainsbury's Central Scotland

30.53

30.53

30.53

29.47

RWD – Sainsbury's England

30.53

30.53

30.53

29.47

Arla Foods – AFMP Sainsbury's ••

30.48

30.48

30.30

29.23

Cadbury – Selkley Vale Milk

30.04

30.04

30.04

28.43

Caledonian Cheese Co – Profile ‥

29.70

29.70

29.82

28.39

Arla Foods—Asda••

29.38

29.38

29.20

28.28 28.26

D.C – Davidstow ∞

28.99

28.99

29.28

Robert Wiseman – The Co-op Dairy Group

29.78

29.78

29.78

28.16

Wyke Farms

29.00

29.00

29.00

28.15

Barber A.J & R.G

28.61

28.61

28.61

27.91 27.80

â‰

28.06

27.71

27.72

Caledonian Cheese Co

29.07

29.07

29.07

27.79

Blackmore Vale Farm Cream

28.65

28.65

28.65

27.76

United Dairy Farmers

Wensleydale Dairy Products

28.49

28.49

28.50

27.67

Parkham Farms

28.82

28.82

29.33

27.65

Grahams Dairies

28.60

28.60

28.60

27.56

Arla Foods – AFMP (Non-Aligned) ••

28.88

28.88

28.70

27.55

Milk Link Rodda's ¢•

28.91

28.91

28.35

27.52

Milk Link – London Liquid

28.50

28.50

28.50

27.49

Milk Link – West Country Liquid

28.50

28.50

28.50

27.49

D.C – Liquid Regional Premium ∞ Âś

28.61

28.61

28.90

27.44

Meadow Foods Lakes Âą

28.96

28.96

29.38

27.39

Robert Wiseman – Aberdeen

28.43

28.43

28.43

27.37

Robert Wiseman – Central Scotland

28.43

28.43

28.43

27.37

Robert Wiseman – England

28.43

28.43

28.43

27.37

Arla Foods – AFMP Standard ••

28.63

28.63

28.45

27.30

Paynes Farms Dairies

28.45

28.45

28.45

27.29

Meadow Foods – Level

28.88

28.88

28.88

27.23

Meadow Foods – Seasonal

28.88

28.88

28.88

27.23

Saputo UK – Level supply #

28.21

28.21

28.21

27.23

Milk Link – Manufacturing ¢•

28.51

28.51

27.95

27.13

South Caernarfon

28.02

28.02

29.02

27.02

Joseph Heler

27.99

27.99

27.99

26.98

Belton Cheese

27.80

27.80

27.80

26.98

Glanbia – Llangefni (flat)

27.85

27.85

27.85

26.93

Saputo UK – Seasonal #

27.91

27.91

27.91

26.93

Glanbia – Llangefni (Constituent)

27.78

27.78

27.78

26.84

First Milk – Highlands & Islands §

27.97

27.97

27.52

26.74

D.C – Liquid Milk & More ∞ Âś

27.80

27.80

28.09

26.60

First Milk – Liquid – Core Price §

27.90

27.90

27.49

26.56

First Milk Balancing §

27.50

27.50

27.59

26.35

First Milk – Cheese §

27.50

27.50

27.09

26.31

Average Price

28.92

28.92

28.91

27.83

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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 and MDC levies. SAPP = Seasonally Adjusted Profile Price. (i) Janâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;12 prices before seasonality. (ii) Feb'12 prices before seasonality. (iii) Seasonally adjusted profile price for Febâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;12 taking into account monthly seasonality payments and profiles of supply. ** Seasonal adjusted profile supply for 1mltr supplier (using monthly RPA figures) for Febâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;12=2,843ltrs/day, flat supply=2,740ltrs/day. (iv) Table ranked on the seasonally adjusted price for the 12mths to Febâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;12. § SAPP reflects 80% of producerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s previous yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s daily average volume (2,269ltrs/day) paid as a core price with the remaining marginal volume (574ltrs/day for Febâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;12) priced @ 100% of the core price for Febâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;12. ¢ SAPP reflects 2,726ltrs (Aug to Decâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;10 daily average) paid as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ltrs with the remaining â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Bâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ltrs paid @ 95% of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; price (ie constituents plus Market Related Adjustment) for Febâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;12. â&#x20AC;˘ 117 'B' litres/day applicable for Febâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;12 with daily volume of 2,843ltrs/day above the 'A' volume of 2,726ltrs. 0.5ppl production bonus for Milk Link & First Milk not applicable in the seasonal price due to Febâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;12 daily production below Febâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;11 based on RPA monthly figures. â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘ 3ppl balancing charge for Febâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;12 based on Octâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;11 BADP calculates as 0.18ppl deduction when spread across all litres supplied. â&#x2C6;&#x17E; Price before seasonality includes 12mth rolling profile payment of 1.21ppl to Febâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;12 (n/c from the previous month). Milk & More 12mth rolling profile payment also 1.21ppl. ?^ Price before seasonality includes 12mth rolling profile payment of 0.57ppl to Febâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;12 (n/c on previous month). Âą Price before seasonality includes 12mth rolling profile payment of 0.58ppl to Feb'12 (unchanged from the previous month). # Constituent payments priced by volume. â&#x2030; Seasonality built into monthly base price. Arla Foods â&#x20AC;&#x201C; AFMP Standard reflects price before the addition of 0.25ppl Non-Aligned Farm Premium. Âś Price includes 0.4ppl Regional Premium. â&#x20AC;Ą Non-seasonal price includes 12mth average rolling profile 0.63ppl to Febâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;11 (unchanged on previous month). Tesco milk prices include the 0.5ppl bonus for co-operation with Promar costings. Milkprices.com cannot take any responsibility for losses arising. Copyright: Milkprices.com

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

31

Makes for quiet cows free from irritation, cleans massages and calms, while removing parasites and mites

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**DF May p32 Workshop Tips

19/4/12

10:48

Page 1

WORKSHOP TIPS

Injecting life back into old grassland Ploughing up and reseeding can be a costly and time consuming affair but there are short cuts to achieving the same goal.

P

atching or overseeding has often been considered a poor relation to a full re-seed and too readily dismissed by some grassland experts. But with grass seed prices up some 25% and diesel prices where they are, a full reseed carries a hefty financial penalty. So with these costs in mind there is much to be said in stretching out the duration of your leys and getting the grass going as cheaply as you possibly can. To help convince you, I want to look at an adaption in use on Charles Pooleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farm and I think youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll agree there is not a better machine in use than this one as it works at all three stages.

Roller The machine is based on a 10ft wide Opico grass rake, with a box seeder mounted above it and a drawbar fitted to the head stock which allows a heavy roller to be towed behind. The Opico goes on the three-point linkage of his loader tractor, and he has the loader working as well, pushing a leveller which spreads dung, mole hills and loose soil. This three-stage system is a big improvement on other ideas. Quite a few farmers use a rake or harrow with a seeder on top. This may be a simple off-the-shelf approach, but does it really prepare the sward to take seed and allow it to germinate, and does the seed go where it has the best chance to thrive or does it blow about all over the place?

32

Mike Donovan Mike is a respected machinery columnist who gives us useful tips on building or modifying our own farm equipment. Sign up for his free newsletter at www.farmideas.co.uk

Charles Poole with seedbox â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the electric motor is under the plastic drum. Other farmers use their spinner and tow a harrow behind to get the seed worked into the existing sward. But with the cost of seed now so high, perhaps a better system should be considered. The 10ft wide Opico has a seed box the same width, which has been altered from ground drive to electric. Charles has found a two speed 12v windscreen wiper motor perfectly adequate for the job, and the motor is strong

enough to drive the shaft in either fast or slow mode without difficulty. To protect the bearings on the wiper motor he fitted a short length of hydraulic hose as a flexible drive, crimping hose fittings to both ends with a hole drilled through it for a roll pin. A length of conveyor belting helps prevent the seed being blown about and makes sure they are dropped in front of the Opico tines. And reassuringly the seeds

The back of the hopper showing the roller drawbar.

The loader mounted leveller.

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

can actually be seen on their way from the hopper. The roller helps increase soilseed contact and retains moisture, and is an important part of the process. The roller needs a heavy duty drawbar. This is made with 4x3in channel and is welded to the framework which supports the seed box, which itself is bolted to the frame of the rake. Which means the Opico can be returned to its original shape.

Clearance The drawbar goes over the top of the tines, clearing them by some 18 inches. This clearance makes it necessary to have a dropper bar for the drawbar on the roller. The loader-mounted leveller is made using a 10ft cattle grid which is built with tubes. The grid has a frame welded to it so it can be lifted with pallet tines. The loader is put into float and the frame set so the front bars are tilted up slightly, making the machine work more aggressively at the back. The tube sections are not too aggressive on the sward whereas angle or channel might damage too many existing plants.


FG House Reg WP DF

20/4/12

13:36

Page 1

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35


**DF May p36 Evans

19/4/12

10:49

Page 1

GOOD EVANS

My locomotion score may mean Switzerland for me This month Roger Evans has been in party mode and as a consequence into full-blown networking, and who should he come across but the girl from animal welfare, which, in Mastermind terms, is his specialist subject!

S

o I’m at one of these drinks and nibbles receptions, which they tell me is a ‘networking opportunity’. Really, I don’t know what I’m doing here as it’s not my scene – I suspect it must be courtesy of a computer error. Everyone else seems more comfortable than me, they circulate contently as they seek out conversations with everyone in the room. I don’t do this as I find that if I stay where I am, they all come up to me eventually of their own accord, find that I’m not very interesting, and move on. True to form, a very earnest young lady comes up and introduces herself and tells me she works for an animal welfare group. She wants to know about me so I tell her I sell second-hand cars. This completely throws her and she’s about to move on, but I sense an opportunity and add ‘but I used to work on a farm’. This stops her in her tracks, which is quite good because she’s got one more button undone on her blouse than is strictly necessary. She’s away now, on to her reason for living and what drives her life. It turns out she and her organisation are dedicated to achieving the highest animal welfare standards in the UK compared with Europe. And not just higher by a little bit, higher by some margin. There’s no interrupting her now, she’s in full flow, and I quickly learn that if I want to say something I have to sort of talk alongside her. “That’s really exciting, then UK farmers will be able to get the highest prices in Europe to reward their efforts.” Her smile turns to a scowl. This is obviously not only not part of her plan, she’d not even considered it. But it causes her to hesitate enough for me to say something else. So, all innocent like, I ask how they

36

intend to do this. “By pressuring work out what will come next retailers to insist on higher and because what will come next is higher farm assurance standards, already being done by the it’s what consumer want.” “But,” people on dedicated supply I say, “consumers don’t generally contracts to retailers. What will know much about farming.” “I come next will be mobility know, but it’s our job to speak on scoring. “We think you should their behalf.” be mobility She’s getting scoring all your fidgety now and herd.” That’s looking about for her what they’ll say. Because what will next conversation and “Well you’ve come next is already she’s ready to move been doing being done by the on. “You didn’t say that for two what your name is,” years now so people on dedicated she asks. “No,“ I reply. supply contracts to it’s going to be This puzzles her but compulsory.” retailers. she moves on. She says Next after “Chow”. Chow is that will be Italian for “see you painkillers at down the pub”. I know you don’t calving. Mobility scoring, if it will spell it like that but if I wrote it as reduce lame cows, is ok in theory. you spell it, you wouldn’t know But it doesn’t work like that. what I was on about. Because this lady I met told me I slip away as well, and she used to do it for a retailer. It’s suddenly realise it’s all been 0-3 with 0 being as fit as a fiddle worthwhile. I’ve not only got it and so on. I suggested there must from the horse’s mouth, I’ve got be cows that came in between it from the horse. I just can’t those four categories and she emphasise enough how scary agreed, but her instructions were this all is and the effect it could, always to move them down, so a and almost certainly will, have 2.5 was always logged as a 3. on our industry. It will be one I went on a course a couple of more factor, along with NVZs, years ago and they fetched out which will drive people away. an oldish cow and said she was a You don’t need a crystal ball to 3, so they got her feet up and

DAIRY FARMER MAY 2012

they were fine but she wasn’t walking perfectly. So I asked why and they said because of her age she probably had arthritis. And there’s the problem – get too many 3’s on your report and you have to reduce them, so this cow that is milking well and is probably quite happy, has to go to reduce your 3’s. If you asked her what she wanted to do she’d say she’d hang on in there. But she has to go along with some other older cows. But, hang on, it’s not quite that easy because then ‘they’ will say your replacement rate is too high and you’ll never win, and in the end you’ll chuck it all in. If you saw my son and me walking across the yard you’d probably say he’s a one and I was a 2, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to send me to Switzerland to be euthanised. I don’t know what to do. If I win the lottery I would refuse my next farm assurance visit. My milk buyer would probably say they couldn’t find a buyer who would take non-farm assured milk so I would have to chuck it away, but if I could afford to I’d do just that to make a statement. If we all did it we could make a difference but I don’t have much hope of that. It’s sneaking up on us though. My favourite film is ‘The Outlaw Jose Wales’. There’s an Indian actor in it called Chief Dan George. He says: “We [Indians] are easy to sneak up on, white man have been sneaking up on Indians for years.” It’s not sneaking up on me. Nothing sneaks up on me. The dog patrols the area five yards around me and the cockerel keeps me safe up to 20 yards. The sad fact is there are farmers supposed to be representing us on Farm Assurance but they don’t. They just get sucked into the whole concept. I ask you how sad is that?


DFF 2012 1-4

19/4/12

15:14

Page 1


Boehringer Ubrolexin WP DF

19/4/12

11:25

Page 1

UBROLEXIN ® FIRST IN MASTITIS. F O R FA R M E R S T H AT L I V E A N D B R E AT H E I T.

From day one Should you and your vet choose to rethink your first-line mastitis therapy, Ubrolexin® should be uppermost in your mind. You can be confident knowing that Ubrolexin® can be used first-line without compromising efficacy1. Ubrolexin® is a 1st generation cephalosporin intramammary tube combined, synergistically, with an aminoglycoside. It’s as effective as a 4th generation intramammary cephalosporin and significantly more effective than a 3rd generation intramammary cephalosporin at treating clinical mastitis1. With mastitis still one of the most common and costly diseases in dairy farming2,3 Ubrolexin® deserves serious thought. Talk to your vet about its place on your farm.

References: 1. Bradley A.J & Green M.J Journal Dairy Science 2009, 92:1941– 1953. 2. Bradley A.J The Veterinary Journal 2002, 164, 116–128. 3. IAH Disease Facts - Mastitis. http://www.iah.ac.uk/disease/mastitis.shtml Website Accessed 4.2.2011. Advice on the use of Ubrolexin® or other therapies should be sought from your veterinary surgeon. Ubrolexin® contains cefalexin monohydrate and kanamycin monosulphate. Prescription only medicine. Withdraw milk from supply for human consumption for 120 hours after the last Ubrolexin® treatment. Fur ther information available from Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 8YS, UK. Email: vetmedica.uk@boehringer-ingelheim.com. Date of preparation: Nov 2011 This advertisement is brought to you from Boehringer Ingelheim, manufacturers of Ubrolexin®. Use Medicines Responsibly (www.noah.co.uk/ responsible). AHD 7013

Dairy Farmer Digital Edition May 2012  

Dairy Farmer Digital Edition May 2012

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