The NBA Spring 2022 Magazine - Beef Expo special edition

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Regional Round Ups Guest Writers News & Industry Health Breed Societies Spring 2022 | ISSUE 22








“Spread-a-Bale does the job of up to three men during

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winter while reducing straw requirements by over 60%.

significant straw, time and fuel savings.

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we no longer need to get amongst the livestock with a machine that can be operated by just one worker.” Luke Brignall, Sledmere Estate, East Yorkshire 3,000-acre mixed unit including 110 cattle, 600 sheep and 600 red deer

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M: 07904 899289 - Dave Bull M: 07961 739233 - Ed Hughes T: 01244 394258 E:


Spring 2022 ISSUE 22

12 EDITOR Julie Holmes National Beef Association Concorde House 24 Warwick New Road Leamington Spa Warwickshire CV32 5JG 01434 601005

20 34

DEPUTY EDITOR Neil Shand CHAIRMAN Andrew Laughton ADVERTISING Julie Holmes 01434 601005 DESIGN, PRINT & PUBLISHING Ghost Design Consultants A National Beef Association Publication A specialist organisation open to everyone with an interest in the UK beef industry.




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NBA give notice that no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior consent of the publishers. Every care is taken when compiling editorial and advertisements and the publishers can accept no responsibility for errors or omissions arising from publication. Views expressed and information contained in The National Beef Association Magazine are not necessarily those of the Editor or of the National Beef Association who cannot therefore be held responsible for any reason arising therefrom. Neither the Association, the Publisher nor the Editors endorses any services or products advertised in this Magazine.



Chairman’s report


CEO Report


Navigating the journey to becoming free of BVD


Energy Efficiency in Beef


Regional Round Ups


Guest Auctioneer - Daniel Lynn


Adapting cow nutrition to improve colostrum quality and reduce calf mortality 12-13

Guest Vet - Will Barker


Supporting the beef sector

14-15 19-23

Breed Society Focus - Limousin


Beef Expo Preview

Breed Society News


Environmental story will be key to the future of our beef brands


Building immunity to worms at grass


Beef producers to be recognised for sustainable farming practices


SPRING 2022 | The National Beef Association Magazine


Chairman’s Welcome

Welcome to the Spring and Expo edition of Beef magazine Andrew Laughton


am excited to invite you to the NBA’s Beef Expo at Darlington Auction Mart on Saturday May 28th. The opportunity to hold an event after two years of lockdown which will enable a good catch up with the industry as well as listening to and engaging with some big hitters on commercial / scientific / regulatory fronts is one not to be missed! Whilst it has been widely covered, I feel I must mention the Ukraine and the conflict going on there. As I write it is becoming widely accepted that the spring sowing is being disrupted – the implications of which it is difficult to quantify but what we can be certain of, is that there is going to be a sizable hole in global food supply but what I also find concerning is also the hole in fertiliser supply (as well as the price!) which means there is a double whammy of lack food supply but also the means to grow the replacement.


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

I feel that Government needs to understand the plight of us farmers trying to plug that hole whilst facing the impending reduction in BPS and the funding gap whilst the finer detail of ELM is worked out. The above is concerning but I am pleased to see finished cattle prices moving forward in sizable jumps a sure sign of

demand being in front of supply. Although obviously necessary it does put a spring in the step to see returns way in front of what we have ever known. I would urge us farmers not to fall into the trap of believing and repeating the old school rhetoric that the consumer won’t buy if it becomes too expensive – I say here we are at record prices and buyers are still competing for cattle. Obviously, there will be a limit but let it find its own level – I think we might be pleasantly surprised. Lastly as we huff and puff about the F/A audit or the EA visit, please let us thank our Lord that we live in this beautiful peaceful country of ours and spare a thought for those poor people who are, at best, running for their lives. Take care, Andrew.

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Chief Executive’s Report

ELM must be fit for purpose Neil Shand


ecent comments by George Eustice have caused alarm and deep concern within the industry, not least because of the apparent complete lack of understanding that seems to be radiating both from the Secretary of State and from Defra at the moment. Along with a directionless ELM scheme - which seems to have no livestock-relevant content or future plans for financial or food security stability - the beef industry could be forgiven for wondering how on earth they are going to continue to function as viable businesses. We see - and understand - the drive to improve water, air and soil conditions, and agree that these issues need to be addressed; however, these simply cannot be undertaken at the expense of our deeprooted agricultural history. Our beef producers’ contribution to the country, both in respect of what their livestock contribute to the land and in terms of quality food production has been ignored – and Government continue to do so at the peril of our future food security and selfsufficiency. In its present state, ELM is unfit for purpose, and if it is allowed to progress along its current track will lead to serious financial trauma to our industry, further weakening our already fragile food security.


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

The loss of livestock farming in the UK will see the beginning of the end for home produced food, and lead to a greater reliance on environmentally expensive and inferior quality imports, and the failure of Government targets. There will be no winners. ELM in its current format is discouraging food production, discouraging participation and discouraging farming principles, and will lead to the exact scenario it is trying to prevent – a higher environmental cost from lower quality imported food and an inability of our population to feed itself. We are in the midst of a cost of production crisis; the immediate pressures on the industry in regard to rising costs are immense, and will add huge and uncertain costs to production. Even prior to the Ukrainian conflict, prices were rising exponentially. This coupled with the end of the CAP subsidy signals a catastrophic future on the not-too-distant horizon. Government can – and must – address this as a matter of priority. Following our departure from the EU, and our subsequent removal from the Common Agricultural Policy, we have an opportunity to devise a system that will be fit for purpose and made-to-measure for the UK.

It’s imperative the correct decisions are made for the long term as well as for the short term, both for farming in general and livestock producers in particular. The complete failure of Defra to address future payments in a timely fashion, coupled with the reduction in BPS payments, will see a tsunami of financial ruin heading towards our industry as early as 2024, when BPS reductions will hit 50%, with nothing currently on the horizon to fill the void. We are on the run in to our Beef Expo, which will be held at Darlington Market on May 28th. As well as the usual trade stands and cattle show events, this year’s Expo will include a series of seminars, with a broad range of topics including a look at future support within the industry. We have a list of speakers which I doubt has been equalled at similar events, and I’m sure will provide both insight and topical debate. One not to miss! Hope to see you there.

s r o s n o p S d l Go PROUD

Building close relationships with farmers from England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland


Industry News

Navigating the journey to becoming free of BVD NBA’s January webinar, chaired by Neil Shand featured a presentation from Kath Aplin, ruminant vet adviser with Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health who examined how to protect herds against BVD as the various nations’ BVD schemes make progress towards eradicating the disease.


etting the scene, Ms Aplin explained that the differences between schemes in Scotland, Wales and England adds some complexity, especially for those producers looking to trade across borders. However, the progress of schemes in Scotland and Northern Ireland provide inspiration for Wales and England, where the current voluntary schemes may become mandatory in the future. “In Scotland, where participation in the BVD eradication scheme is compulsory, the disease now has very low prevalence levels with all breeding herds tested and 96% of herds negative for the virus1,” she explained. “The compulsory scheme in Scotland and the voluntary scheme in Wales, involving blood tests taken during TB testing, have proven the value of veterinary involvement in BVD control on-farm. Sign up rates amongst producers in Wales are good, with more than 1000 registering in 2020. However, there is still some work to be done to encourage those who have not yet signed up to do so. Recent data shows that around 28% of herds tested were positive for BVD2. Any herds with a positive result should carry out further testing to track down any PIs; these animals should be removed from the herd as rapidly as possible,” Ms Aplin said. Some commentators would say that producers in England lag behind in terms of BVD control; in the absence of a compulsory scheme, many farmers do not know their herd’s BVD status or have a comprehensive plan in place to control BVD. “However, the good news is that this is all set to change,” Ms Aplin remarked. “The new Animal Health and Welfare Pathway3 will help herds work towards BVD eradication. A funded vet visit will provide an opportunity to develop a BVD control plan specifically for their own farm.” The Animal Health and Welfare Pathway team has spent nearly two years developing


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

the strategy. The Annual Health and Welfare Review will be launched this spring; it will consist of a funded vet visit to the value of £522 for all BPS-eligible beef units with more than 10 cows. BVD control plans have been highlighted as one of the key priorities for the Annual Health and Welfare review.

“This really is a great opportunity to find out the current status of your herd and develop a control strategy, if you have not already done so,” said Kath “For those who are already testing regularly and have a control plan in place, it’s an opportunity to review the plan and make sure it’s watertight.

Industry News It’s also worth noting that BVD featured in the Red Tractor standards update at the end of 2021. The standards now include a recommendation that beef farms have a BVD eradication plan in place. From October 2022 this will move from a recommendation to a full standard.”

Benefits of BVD control5: • Healthier calves

• Find and euthanase PIs

• Less antibiotic use

• Review biosecurity

• Improved fertility

• Review vaccination plans

A review of BVD control should include:

If you are a breeding herd…

If you are rearing cattle/finishing cattle…

• Check herd status

• Always buy BVD-free stock

• •

Biosecurity assessment – consider how BVD might get onto the farm. Bought in cattle or contact with neighbouring cattle are the biggest risks, but BVD can be a risk even for closed herds, for example through visitors or staff. Testing to find out the herd status – could there be a PI in the herd? Vaccination review – few herds can rely on biosecurity alone, so the majority of herds will need a vaccination plan. It’s important to review vaccination protocols regularly to ensure all breeding cattle are fully protected to prevent the birth of PIs.

“Whatever part of the UK you’re in, vaccination as part of a BVD control plan on-farm should not be overlooked,” Ms Aplin stated. “Being completely biosecure is unrealistic for most beef farms; vaccination provides insurance against

the effects of accidental exposure to BVD. This is important in the early stages of an eradication programme (such as in England or Wales), where the chances of coming into contact with the disease are high. However it’s also important in the later stages (for example in Scotland or Northern Ireland), where the likelihood of getting infected may be lower, but as natural immunity wanes, the consequences of infection in a naïve herd can be more serious” Bovela® from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health is the UK’s leading BVD vaccine4. This live vaccine has a one dose primary course and delivers 12 months’ protection. The easy-to-follow one shot per year protocol can take the headache out of vaccine planning.

For more information about the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway, follow the DEFRA Future Farming blog: Our priorities for the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway - Future Farming ( uk)

References: 1. 2.

Data from Scottish Government (2022) Gwaredu BVD (2021) available at www. (Accessed Feb 2022) DEFRA (2022) uk/2022/02/22/our-priorities-for-theanimal-health-and-welfare-pathway/ Kynetec 2021 Market Share Data National BVD survey 2020

3. 4. 5.




When used as part of a comprehensive approach to BVD including culling of PIs and biosecurity.

References: 1. Yarnall and Thrusfield (2017) Vet Record doi: 10.1136/vr.104370 2. Kynetec (2019) BVD sales data by value. Full year 2018 3. For active immunisation of cattle against BVDV-1 and BVDV-2, to prevent the birth of persistently infected calves caused by transplacental infection. Bovela lyophilisate and solvent for suspension for injection for cattle contains modified live BVDV-1, non-cytopathic parent strain KE-9: 104.0–106.0 TCID50, modified live BVDV-2, non-cytopathic parent strain NY-93: 104.0–106.0 TCID50. UK: POM-V. Further information available in the SPC or from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health UK Ltd, RG12 8YS, UK. Tel: 01344 746957. Email: vetenquiries@boehringer-ingelheim. com. Bovela is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica GmbH, used under licence. ©2019 Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health UK Ltd. All rights reserved. Date of preparation: Jul 2019. AHD12633. Use Medicines Responsibly.

MakE BVD history

SPRING 2022 | The National Beef Association Magazine



Energy Efficiency in Beef E

nergy is one of the major nutrient requirements for beef cattle. The efficiency of energy utilisation is significant for helping ensure optimal performance and profitability, as well as reducing their environmental impact. The more efficient cattle are at converting energy from the feed consumed to energy for meat, the better the feed costs and environmental output will be. An energy deficient diet significantly Jamie-leigh Douglas - Ruminant reduces average daily gain (ADG) Technical Sales Manager at Techna and the margin from that animal. Nutrition UK and Ireland Ltd. When increasing energy and feed efficiency, you increase margin over feed cost. Some of the loss in digestible energy is unavoidable, but one that can be minimised is loss of energy through methane (CH4) production, which represents a substantial loss of digestible energy of up to 12%. There are various strategies that can be used to reduce the production of CH4 and improve energy efficiency, such as the concentrate: forage ratio, fat supplementation and feed additives. One of the most efficient ways of improving energy efficiency and reducing methane is by shifting ruminal fermentation towards more propionate and less acetate. Propionate is a glucose precursor and is the most efficient Volatile Fatty Acid (VFA) for energy utilisation (Image 1).

of monensin. Monensin shifts rumen fermentation towards propionate which decreases the acetate: propionate ratio. This resulted in an energy saving and improved ADG. However, since the ban on the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in animal feeds in the European Union in 2006, the interest has focused on diet manipulation to improve energy efficiency. There are natural alternatives like Essential Oils (EO) that can be used to secure energy without compromising rumen stability. EO are the aromatic volatile fraction of plant secondary metabolites generally recognised as safe for human and animal consumption. Numerous studies have demonstrated the ability of EO and their main active components to shift rumen microbial fermentation to participate to improve digestibility and energy efficiency.

For example, ELENSIS, a blend of 100% natural essential oils, improves energy efficiency in the digestive tract of ruminants. The essential oils have been specifically selected to have a synergistic action in the rumen and in the hindgut. It improves the rumen balance by shifting fermentation towards propionic acid which is the most efficient VFA for energy utilisation. The essential oils also have two specific coatings for targeted release within the rumen and hindgut. They have a slow release and fast release coating meaning that the product is effective over time in the rumen and also bypasses the rumen to be effective in the hindgut, improving total starch digestibility.

Energy efficiency could be improved by selecting the right raw materials and balance of the diet. For example, using degradable sources of starch will tend to improve propionate in the rumen. At the same time, going too far could put the rumen at risk in term of acid load and sub acidosis, having a negative effect of energy efficiency and overall rumen stability. One good example of increasing energy utilisation was the addition


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

There are a number of strategies that can be taken to improve energy efficiency and subsequently reduce methane. Essential oils can offer a cost effectiveness solution whilst not being subject to price volatility. However, whatever the strategy taken, it is important to formulate the diet according to the animal’s need and secure the quality of energy. A lack of energy efficiency is a cost to the animal, farm and environment, and therefore, it is not very sustainable. The more energy efficient the animal is the better the animal will be performing; the cost of output is positively improved and with that comes environmental benefits such as reduced methane against the kg of meat produced.

Energy reinvented

ENERGY MANAGEMENT IS A KEY SUCCESS FACTOR FOR RUMINANTS A better use of energy helps to ensure the technical and economic performance of the farm and also helps to limit the environmental impact ELENSIS IMPROVES MEAT PRODUCTION


+4 to +6 %

-5 % of methane for less



ELENSIS IS A BLEND OF NATURAL ACTIVE INGREDIENTS that allows high energy feeds to be formulated at an efficient cost: • Secured energy • Valorisation of competitive raw materials For further information, please call: JAMIE-LEIGH DOUGLAS on +44 7586 323955 & MARTIN DALY on +353 87 753 7228


207 REGENT STREET - LONDON - W1B 3HH - TEL. +353 49 4380355 |


Source : AgroParisTech 2020

10 10









Source : AgroParisTech 2020



Source : AgroParisTech 2020


11 11




11.5 11.5



12 12

Methane/ECM (g/l)


Source : Research TECHNA 2020




Control Control




12.5 12.5

Methane/ECM (g/l) Methane/ECM ELENSIS (g/l)


0.31 0.30 Source : Research TECHNA 2020

0.310.31 1.77 0.30 0.30 0.30 0.300.30 1.66 Source : Research TECHNA 2020


environmental impact

ELENSIS Control Control Average Daily Gain (Kg/day) ELENSIS ELENSIS




Average Daily Gain (Kg/day) Control Average Daily Gain (Kg/day)









1.661.66 Average ControlDaily Gain (Kg/day)


Source : Research TECHNA France 2020



34.4 34.4


Average Daily Gain (Kg/day) Average Daily Gain (Kg/day) ELENSIS

32 32


Source : Research TECHNA France 2020

33 33

1.771.77 1.80


Source : Research TECHNA France 2020

34 34


35.9 3635.9


35 35


36 36

Control ECM Energy Corrected Milk (Kg/hd/day)

ECM Energy Corrected Milk (Kg/hd/day) ECM Energy Corrected Milk (Kg/hd/day)


Industry News

Adapting cow nutrition to improve colostrum quality and reduce calf mortality O

ptimum pre-calving nutrition is essential. Not only does this allow the cow to produce good quality colostrum, but it also provides her with the nutrients she needs for successful calving. In a recent study, blood samples were taken from pre-calving cows, and their metabolic profile analysed. The results showed that over one in three cows were in negative energy balance, and two in three had very poor short-term protein status. The suckler cow must calve unaided, produce good quality colostrum and milk and return to cycling within six weeks of calving. She will be unable to do this if she


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

is nutritionally restricted. Poor energy on the run-up to calving is associated with an increased risk in FPT, other risk factors for this include: • • • • •

Assisted calving Assistance with colostrum feeding Bull calves Being born to a heifer Being born a twin

Consider asking your vet to take blood samples from your suckler cows to test the nutritional status of your herd. This will help you to manage rations to avoid calving issues related to nutrition.

Industry News Top tips • Ensure that cows are in body condition 2.5–3.0 at least one month prior to calving • Ensure that cows are fed to meet their current energy and protein requirements during the last month of pregnancy • Use a high magnesium (10–15%) dry cow mineral to supplement suckler cows in the last month of pregnancy

Case study A Yorkshire suckler beef farmer has increased his weaning percentage by 5% by focusing on dry cow nutrition and its impact on colostrum quality. AHDB’s Strategic Farmer Guy Prudom and his family run a spring calving herd of 230 Stabiliser cross cows on his 405ha tenanted farm near Whitby, North Yorkshire. Guy explains: “We identified we had a problem during the 2017 calving season when we had quite a few calves who were unthrifty at birth and took a while to suckle. We then went on to lose a few after turnout with pneumonia and coccidiosis, at the time we just put it down to the bad spring we had.”

“However, in 2018 as part of our involvement as an AHDB Strategic Farmer, we were given the opportunity to take part in an AHDB funded study investigating the impact of dry cow nutrition on colostrum quality and quantity.” “As part of the study, bloods were taken from 10 cows one month before calving and sent off to the lab for analysis. The results showed our cows were low in protein and energy and therefore we needed to make changes to our dry cow ration.”

Dry cow ration “The energy was easy to sort, we just changed the silage to straw balance, addressing the protein was a little trickier. We now start feeding soya one month before calving. Four weeks before calving begins, we supplement 250g per head per day and increase it by 250g per head per day each week. So, by the time the cows start calving they are being supplemented with 1 kg soya per head per day. It’s also really important the heifers are fed it too.” By tweaking the dry cow ration, Guy has seen a significant drop in calf mortality rates, weaning 3% more calves in 2019 compared to 2018. Guy also thinks the dry cow ration has a big impact on conception rates and the data he collects supports this. “In the 2018 bulling year, we achieved an 86% scanning rate, however, in the 2020 bulling year this increased to 91%.” It takes approximately five months to develop a healthy egg to ovulation, which means the process commences during the last trimester of the previous pregnancy.

Therefore nutrition during the month before calving not only impacts the current pregnancy but the success of the following one as well.

Colostrum management Cow nutrition isn’t the only thing Guy has focused on to ensure passive transfer is successful. He also ensures that any calves which don’t suckle within the first two hours of life are tube fed. “Anything I calve, I tube straight away. My data suggests that these are the ones that don’t suckle straight away. I always think it’s a lot easier making sure they get their colostrum now rather than trying to catch them in a field four weeks later to treat them for pneumonia or scours,” said Guy. “If the cow, or more commonly heifer, looks like she hasn’t got much milk, I always check the quality of the colostrum using my BRIX refractometer.” A Brix refractometer provides a really quick indication of the amount of immunoglobulin in the colostrum. Ideally colostrum should have a reading above 22% which means it contains 50 mg/ml of immunoglobulin. Cows calve in groups with Guy always making sure he marks cows and calves up, in case there are any problems. Heifers are individually penned, ensuring they suckle and mother up.

Good management to tighten calving period As well as improving colostrum quality, Guy and his family have also tried to improve their overall suckler performance. Through their involvement in the AHDB Strategic Farm programme they have tightened their calving period, with all cows and heifers calving within a nine-week block. “Reducing the calving period has really helped us manage our dry cows better, meaning they all get the extra protein when they really need it. If we had a prolonged calving period, feeding them correctly would be extremely challenging.” Guy has also implemented rotational grazing which has increased his grassland utilisation. “I am now grazing 20% more cows on the same amount of land I used to.”

Farm Facts • 230 Stabiliser and Simmental/Angus cross suckler cows • 405 ha farm, 60% arable land • Farm split across three tenanted holdings, Northfields Farm, Davison Farm and High Burrows Farm, which are all part of the Mulgrave Estate • Arable enterprise includes wheat, barley, winter beans and clover in rotation • Heifers calve at two years of age • Finished animals supply Dovecote Park and Dunbia

SPRING 2022 | The National Beef Association Magazine


Industry News

Supporting the beef sector If we asked you what you get for your levy, what would you tell us? We know from speaking to levy payers in the beef sector, through our social media, webinars and in-person events, that you have different areas you want us to focus on and you all use our services differently.


s you may know, your beef levy is £5.40 per head at slaughter. But what you might not know is how we use money to ensure that your beef becomes more profitable. A quick note for the eagle eyed among you that have noticed the figures per head don’t quite add up: we also get non-levy income (such as grants and funding) offering extra value for levy payers on your investment. Our biggest spend of beef levy is on gaining access to new markets and extending our reach in existing ones. Even through the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated lack of travel, we’ve been finding innovative ways of reaching new audiences, showcasing beef from the UK and highlighting our high production standards. We are targeting importers, distributors, chefs, butchers, high end grocers and the media with a series of online events including chef and butchery demonstrations, and panel discussions from UK red meat exporters. Additionally, our Exports and Market Development teams have run a series of Targeting your Marketplace events, helping to guide farmers and producers to pinpoint and focus on their specific markets. Marketing and advertising to the consumer is another large area of AHDB’s focus. Our ‘We Eat Balanced’ campaign, which


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

is now coming to a close, has highlighted the benefits of including meat and dairy in a balanced and healthy diet. The TV advertisement has been seen by more than 15 million households. In a change to our previous campaigns, this one aimed to protect the reputation of the sector and improve longer term consumer attitudes to British meat and dairy, with a specific focus on health, the environment, and welfare standards. The second part of the campaign includes in-store promotion in the meat aisle and social media support. In additional support for the reputation of the sector, AHDB’s Media and PR team, with internal and industry stakeholders, is working to challenge media misinformation about food production and encourage balanced reporting. Our dedicated information pages at challenging-misinformation have details of some of the claims we’ve challenged and how we work with the media. The environment is also a growing concern among consumers, policy makers and farmers. AHDB’s dedicated environment team is active in major groups and decision making both domestically and globally. The team focuses on helping to ensure the true facts around the impact and progress along with the benefits of the beef and lamb industry are known

For less than £1 of your levy, you get access to animal health and genetics research and advice. Our investment in the BVDFree scheme has ensured that nearly 40% of the national breeding herd has been signed up to help eradicate this disease, that costs farmers between £25-61 million a year. The continuous development of Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) we provide help you breed for the traits you get paid for. These can be selected for days to slaughter, helping you make decisions to improve speed of finishing. EBVs for carcase weight, conformation, and fat class allow producers to improve carcase size and quality, so you can produce a product that really targets your market.

Industry News AHBD’s new Medicine Hub for cattle ensures that livestock producers can now demonstrate their stewardship credentials for responsible antimicrobial use. This online facility will provide evidence needed for low and responsible use of antimicrobials in ruminants. The collected data benefits the industry, but farmers control who has access to their information and AHDB will only ever publish aggregated, anonymised data.

of attendees said they improved their understanding of the subject area and technical knowledge, and we will continue to build on these successful events and listen to what you want to hear more of. AHDB’s Farm Business Review recently reached a significant landmark, with over 1,000 farmers now signed up. Funded by Defra’s Future Farming Resilience Fund, the service offers free on-farm consultation to help beef and sheep farmers in England prepare for the biggest agricultural policy shift in a generation. The deadline to take part is 12 June 2022. Visit farm-business-review to find out more and register your farm business.

Our Knowledge Exchange teams are now back out on farm, bringing you events from our Strategic and Monitor Farmers. More than 2,000 levy payers have attended at least one of these events in the past four years, and many more have picked up information from our webinars (especially during the pandemic). More than 90%


And finally, we invest in farm to fork traceability. This includes the Livestock Information Programme, as well ensuring medicine traceability and disease prevention which will help improve the reputation of British beef at home and abroad.

AHDB’s Cattle and Sheep Weekly brings the industry a critical source of independent price and production information. As well

Find out more about how your levy is spent on our webpage

What do I get for my levy?

Market and trade data


We provide easy-to-access, independent market prices and analysis to help inform your business decisions. Did you know the market prices in Farmers Weekly and Farmers Guardian are produced by AHDB?


Marketing to the UK consumer


Our We Eat Balanced campaign reached 18.5m consumers promoting the true story of British beef. This resulted in 11% or 800,000 more people intending to buy red meat1. 1



Total levy collected: £5.40 113p



The Livestock Information Programme, funded by AHDB and DEFRA, enables advanced tracing of cattle movements, helping to enhance the reputation of British beef at home and overseas.

AHDB collects £5.40 per head of cattle (excluding calves). This is made up of a producer (£4.05) and slaughter (£1.35) levy. Non-levy income, e.g. grants and funding, offers extra value for you in addition to your investment.


Working with you Our Strategic and Monitor Farms, events and publications ensure you are connected with the latest research and innovation to support your business.

Farm-to-fork traceability (Livestock information)

AHDB income 2021/22

Export development AHDB has worked with government and industry to open new markets for beef in Japan and the US. Having gained access in 2018, the UK was the main European supplier of beef to Canada in 2020, with a value of £17.5 million.

Source: Kantar

31p 6

as deadweight and auction market data, the team provided analysis and advice in the run up to EU Exit, as well as weekly updates of spending on beef during the lockdown period. Your levy is invested in detailed retail and food service data, while our own team of experts analyse this and other emerging trends to provide you with a breakdown of key information.

Animal health, genetics and the environment Helping drive improvements and deliver solutions across almost all areas of production, our targeted research aims to support you and aid on-farm decisions.

The f gures are based on the 2021/22 Business Plan with overheads allocated on a pro-rata or estimated resource basis. Prior year financial statements are published in our Annual Report and Accounts available at:

SPRING 2022 | The National Beef Association Magazine


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Less treatments and handling required (8-10 week dosing interval)


Use medicines responsibly. Doramax 5mg/ml Pour-on solution for cattle. Contains:Doramectin. Target species: Cattle. Refer to product packaging and leaflets for full indications, side effects, precautions, warnings and contra-indications. Further information can be found on the datasheet, SPC or at Distributed by: Chanelle Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Ltd, Loughrea, Co.Galway, Ireland. UK: VM 40162/4038. Copyright ©Chanelle 2022 All rights reserved. POM-VPS



he 2022 NBA Beef Expo makes a welcome return to the farming calendar on Saturday 28th May, at Darlington Farmers Auction Mart. Bringing together the very best in British commercial and pedigree cattle, equipment, ground-breaking developments and show classes for everyone involved in the industry, NBA Beef Expo is a celebration and exploration of everything British Beef has to offer. The NBA is delighted to be able to hold its flagship event at the new auction, business and conference centre, an event which has been postponed twice because of the pandemic. It is hoped that the new timetable of a Saturday event will allow even more visitors to attend and benefit from the event.

The largest technical beef event in the UK celebrating the British Beef Industry


Drawing in 5,000 beef farmers annually, the NBA Beef Expo is considered a major showcase for pedigree and commercial breed societies who want to promote the quality of their cattle. The event explores the importance of the livestock marts both for trade and for wider rural communities, and farmers, exhibitors, agricultural organisations and members of the public use the annual event to network, do business and share knowledge. The Beef Industry dinner, which usually takes place the evening before the Expo has this year been replaced with an on-site evening event, which is open to all exhibitors, and will hopefully improve the logistics of setting up for the main event. In addition to the well over 120 stands booked, the main event will also host the South Devon Performance Championships and the National Commercial Cattle Show, which showcases some of the UK’s finest beef cattle. There is over £6000 worth of prize money up for grabs this year. Alongside the cattle classes there will be demonstrations and trade exhibitions bringing the latest industry trends, research and technology, as well as a presence from all of the main pedigree beef breeds.

SPRING 2022 | The National Beef Association Magazine



Beef Expo Farm Tours The renowned farm tours are set to take place the day before on Friday 27th May. The Richardson family from Bracken House, Melsonby, operate a large beef finishing unit, and Limousin breeders, the Suddes family from South Farm, Cornsay, are one of the foremost pedigree breeders in the north of England. BRACKEN HOUSE FARM, MELSONBY Bracken House Farm, Melsonby, covers 780 acres and has been farmed by the Richardson family since 1916. The farm finishes between six and seven hundred bulls and steers per year, all sourced from live markets. Finished bulls are sold live at Darlington market, whereas steers are sold deadweight through Woodheads or ABP. The


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

farm is home to two Roundhouses which house a total of 390 head with integrated handling systems; Bracken House was the second farm in the UK to build one back in 2004, with the second added in 2019. In addition, the family also own and operate Lowgrange Quarry Ltd.

2022 BEEF EXPO PREVIEW SOUTH FARM, CORNSAY Rob and Janis Suddes farm alongside their sons Richard and Karl, at South Farm, Cornsay, which has been the family farm for over 100 years. Sitting at 900ft, the 800-acre unit carries the Cornsay herd of 120 pedigree Limousin cows and 500 acres of arable land, with the remainder being pasture. The family also work an additional 500 acres external to the farm on a shared farming basis, with all crops being established using conservation agriculture techniques. They also have 32,000 free range laying hens. The Suddes family regularly sell pedigree bulls and heifers from home as well as through Carlisle and other local auction marts, including Darlington and Hexham. Those not suitable for breeding are finished on homegrown rations at South Farm and sold live at 12-16 months old through Darlington market. Traditionally taking place on the eve of the NBA Beef Expo event itself, these tours are always one of the highlights of the Expo, adding interesting and informative elements to the exhibition. They offer farmers the chance to see first-hand how other beef producers are planning for the future and adapting to a changing industry.

• • • • • • • • • •

Tickets for the farm tours must be purchased in advance, and are available at a cost of £34 for NBA members and £40 for non-members.

Sales & Lettings Valuations Grant & Scheme Advice Rural Estate Management AMC Agents Forestry & Woodland Landlord & Tenant Planning Consultants Development Land Conservation & Environment

Join us on our stand for refreshments

Please purchase your tickets from the Beef Expo website | 0191 370 8530

Looks can be deceiving

EBVs provide a more accurate indication of offspring performance. When buying a bull for replacement heifers, consider maternal traits … they matter. Check for: Maternal index

Calving ease

200 day milk

Find out more at:

Scrotal size


SPRING 2022 | The National Beef Association Magazine




The National Commercial Cattle Show 2022 Entries for the NCCS this year arrived quicker than ever and with it being the first show since the pandemic, exhibitors are eager to get back in the show ring and have the chance to showcase some of the best commercial cattle in the Country.


his year there will be a total of 10 classes in the competition, with three championships and a supreme championship, including classes for Native, Continental, British Blue and Limousin-sired steers and heifers. Also, part of the schedule are the baby steer and heifer classes, as well as the much-sort-after Young Handlers class. NBA Beef Expo brings together the highest quality commercial British beef cattle from the length and breadth of the UK, all looking to take home a share of the £6000 prize money. The winner of each class will be awarded £100, with section champions also receiving £100 and reserve £50. The Supreme Champion will walk away with the prize of £500, and Reserve will take home £250, whilst the Baby Beef Champion will receive £200 and Reserve, £100. All Championship prizes are generously sponsored by the National Beef Association.


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

Taking place at Humbleton Park, home of Darlington Farmers Auction Mart on Saturday the 28th of May, we will see in the region of 130 commercial cattle forward, to be judged by the experienced Welsh duo, Bryn Lloyd and Dafydd Lewis. Bryn will judge the Native and Continental classes as well as the Supreme Championship and Dafydd will judge the Baby Beef classes, Baby Championship and Young Handlers. Commenting, NBA Chief Executive Neil Shand said “We are delighted to welcome our judges Bryn and Dafydd, to cast their eye over the phenomenal cattle we expect to see in the show ring. They are experienced judges, who each have a lifetime of knowledge and experience in the industry. It will not be an easy task, but I know both Bryn and Dafydd will do a fantastic job.” *National Commercial Cattle Show entries guide will be available on the day

To be halter led and judged in show ring, all handlers of cattle entered in classes 1 to 10 to be 14 years of age and over. Class 1. Steer or Heifer by a Registered Native Sire Class 2. Steer by any other Continental Sire or Cross Bred Sire Sponsor: National Beef Association Class 3. Steer by a Registered British Blue Sire Sponsor: Peter Monkhouse Haulage Class 4. Steer by a Registered Limousin Sire Sponsor: Genus Breeding Ltd & I’Anson Bros Ltd Class 5. Baby Steer (12 months & under, see rule 4) up to and including 425 kgs Sponsor: Hexham & Northern Marts Class 6. Baby Heifer (12 months & under, see rule 4) up to and including 425 kgs Sponsor: H&H Insurance Brokers Ltd & Swale Veterinary Surgeons Class 7. Heifer by any other Continental sire or Cross Bred Sire Sponsor: National Beef Association Class 8. Heifer by a Registered British Blue sire Sponsor: Mole Valley Farmers Class 9. Heifer by a Registered Limousin sire Sponsor: Barclays, Vickers & Barrass, Carrs Billington Agriculture & H&H Land Estates Class 10. Young Handler, 14 years to 21 years

2022 BEEF EXPO PREVIEW South Devons Performance Championships | Sponsored by Neogen Europe Ltd This is the seventh year that the South Devon Herd Book Society is holding Performance Championships where performance recording breeders from across the country can compete in a unique technical event to showcase EBVs and appraisal of appearance. Since making the recording service free to its members there has been an increase in the numbers of South Devons being assessed for calving ease, growth, and carcase traits; and this information will help build the Single Step genomic EBVs which we are getting ever closer to publication. This year’s Championships are being held by kind arrangement of the National Beef Association at the Expo in Darlington on Saturday 28th May. Each class will be judged on inspection of the animals, and on their performance (Quality Beef Index for each bull and Suckler Replacement Index for each female) and will be placed accordingly. From these winners will be selected the Male, Female and Breed Champions. Judging the Performance Championships - Mr D M Thomas, Treguddick, South Petherwin, Launceston, Cornwall.

Seminars - NBA to Focus on the Future for Beef Christine Middlemiss, UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Professor Alice Stanton noted specialist on the health benefits of red meat and MP Daniel Zeichner to speak at NBA Beef Expo Seminars


his year an impressive line-up of speakers - all world leaders in their field - will deliver a series of seminars at the NBA Beef Expo. Also included in the panel of experts is Will Jackson, Strategy Director for Beef and Lamb at AHDB, John Powell, Head of Agriculture Sectors Team in Defra, independent Livestock Sustainability Consultant, Dr. Jude Capper, Sarah Tomlinson, MRCVS, technical director for the TB Advisory service and member of the bTB Partnership, Sophie Throup, Head of Agriculture, Fisheries and Sustainable Sourcing for Wm Morrison PLC, and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Ruminant Veterinary Adviser, Kath Aplin.

Professor Alice Stanton has undertaken invaluable work within the beef industry in the area of human health. Alice will focus on the concerns surrounding red meat consumption, and the potential impact it has on wellbeing in a seminar entitled ‘Sustainable Beef Sourcing, Production and the Benefits for Human Health’. At the forefront of the ongoing conflict between consumers, plant-based alternative producers and the meat industry, Alice leads the way in research supporting the health benefits of red meat, whilst challenging misinformation and unreliable evidence, holding those who promote such findings to account.

Facing significant challenge and change, the British beef industry is having to adapt quickly to thrive in today’s society. These world-leading experts will deliver a series of seminars exploring current industry issues, including sustainable beef production and its benefits to human health, future government support for agriculture, and animal welfare.

AHDB’s Strategy Director for Beef and Lamb, Will Jackson, will take a leading role in the discussion on ‘Future Agriculture Support’, which will explore the changes in funding resulting from the loss of BPS and introduction of ELMS. He will also outline further avenues of support available for farmers. Also speaking in this section is John Powell, Head of Agriculture Sector Team in Defra, a post he has held since 2020, and Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner. Daniel currently serves on the Opposition frontbench as Shadow Minister for Food, Farming, Fisheries

The topics on the agenda have been designed to equip farmers with the information they need to navigate an uncertain future and to tackle these important issues head on.

and Rural Affairs. Throughout his time in Parliament, he has been an executive member of Labour’s national environmental campaigning group, Socialist Environment and Resources Association (SERA). Heading up the third part of the programme on ‘Animal Health & Welfare’, is the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Christine Middlemiss. Appointed in 2018, Christine had previously acted as CVO in New South Wales, Australia where she led major improvements to biosecurity across many farming sectors. This work included implementation of new outcome focused, risk-based biosecurity legislation, online animal certification processes, improving evidence and risk-based disease control approaches. Prior to her move to Australia, Christine led DEFRA’s Animal Traceability and Public Health policy team. A fourth seminar will offer visitors the opportunity to ‘MEAT the NBA Team’ who will give an update on their strategies to help the industry and intentions moving forward.

SPRING 2022 | The National Beef Association Magazine


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Environmental Story Will Be Key to the Future of Our Beef Brands Owen Roberts – HCC Communications Manager


n recent years, the sustainability agenda has become an ever more central part of our work at Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).

Surveys show that consumers increasingly want to be reassured that their food has been produced in an environmentallyfriendly manner. For our sector, this presents both challenges and opportunities. We all know that beef has been unfairly portrayed as a climate destroyer and devourer of natural resources, with negative stories amplified by those with vested interests and a media uninterested in nuance. But consumers – in Britain and beyond – are also inclined to believe that we, in these islands, have a more positive story to tell than the global norm. For some years our PGI Welsh Beef marketing has sought to take advantage of this perception, showing the reality of how our environment is well-suited for sustainable production, and featuring farmers’ voices explaining how they rear livestock in tune with nature. But more is needed, which is why HCC’s work over the past two years has focused on evidencing this story, as well as highlighting where further improvements can be made. Research, in partnership with independent scholars at a number of universities, confirms that Wales is already one of the most sustainable places in the world to produce red meat, with non-intensive farming based on abundant rainfall and grass.

Since publishing our ‘Welsh Way’ report in late 2020, we’ve been sharing it with retailers and foodservice companies as an example of how choosing meat reared in this part of the globe can be presented to consumers as a positive environmental choice. We’ve also been engaging with a wide range of policy-makers, and particularly seeking to build bridges with environmental think tanks and charities. While some are wedded to notions of radical cuts in meat consumption, many are willing to listen and find common ground. There is a recognition that British farmers’ standards are high, and a shared concern that rushed trade deals could lead to importing meat produced less sustainably in distant corners of the world.

We’re also keen to highlight the ways in which farmers are also looking to go further, to adopt best practice to make additional sustainability gains.

Recently, we launched a practical guide – again backed by independent scientific analysis - to help the sheep and beef sectors to make the most of Wales’s potential to lead the world in sustainable livestock farming. Entitled Perfecting the Welsh Way, the document outlines a range of steps – from animal breeding and fertility to grassland management and nutrition – which could help achieve significant reductions in the carbon footprint of livestock farming. There is not one ‘silver bullet’ to making the most of agriculture’s potential to contribute to mitigating climate change, but a range of measures taken together can lead to a substantial sustainability gain. There are many improvements that farm businesses can make, with many of them being real ‘win-win’ initiatives that both help the environment and make farms more efficient and profitable. Many of the measures contained in Perfecting the Welsh Way are based on research projects being undertaken by HCC in conjunction with universities, project partners, vets and farmers, such as the Red Meat Development Programme and GrasscheckGB. Further research work over the next 18 months will analyse the reductions in emissions and biodiversity gains made on farms. This, in turn, will provide powerful evidence to strengthen the story we can tell retailers and consumers. The document is available on HCC’s website at

SPRING 2022 | The National Beef Association Magazine



Automatic feeding to maximise throughput We find out how one dedicated finishing unit is cost effectively maximising DLWG, health and welfare whilst minimizing fixed costs by investing in an automatic feeding system. Glen South Farm average finishing performance: 2017 - 2022

FACT FILE Glen South Farm, Banteer, Co Cork 160ha mixed unit

Feeding period to finish (days)

Age at finish (months)

Liveweight at slaughter (kg)

DLWG (kg)














Source: Glen South Farm

1,500 head annual finished throughput: Angus and Hereford cross dairy


requent feeding and feed pushing 24/7 with an automatic system is key to managing a high health, high welfare unit, maximising performance potential, increasing throughput and subsequently generating profit, says Aine Sweeny who manages Glen South Farm’s 1,500 head dairy bred finishing unit. It’s latest throughput of 227 head in an average 59 days achieved 1.91kg DLWG, killing at 624kg liveweight and 48.5% KO. “Yes, margins are slim, however this is a viable profit led business that’s run by figures. We’re focused on finishing bought in stores as quickly as possible - the bigger the throughput, the bigger the income, while we keep both fixed and variable costs to an absolute minimum. We’ve such a simple system, I’m able to manage the entire farm singlehanded.” Since the finishing unit was established in 2014, central to the operation’s success is the Lely Vector automated feeding system, the first to be introduced to a beef unit in Europe. “The system delivers a forage-based mix that I programme from my phone app or desktop, or I can manage remotely from home. It’s precisely weighed and mixed, resulting in consistency from the first to last bite. The Vector’s management software programme indicates average feed intake and subsequent cost per pen.” The system is currently programmed to mix a TMR fed at a daily rate per head of 6kg grass silage, 6kg WCW, 8kg maize silage and 6kg beef finisher concentrate. The robot feeds out seven times a day and travels around the feed passages every 40 minutes pushing up. “Feeding fresh TMR little and often mimics the freedom of a grazing system - the cattle get up to eat, drink, lie down


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

and ruminate whenever they wish,” she explains. “It makes for a calm, stress free environment, there’s no competition at the feed fence, and every single animal has the same opportunity, even the shy ones feel sufficiently confident to come up to eat. Both acidosis and lameness have been eliminated. Mortality is running at 0.2%. The cattle are relaxed, there’s no bellowing, we have a silent shed. Silence is money.” The single span shed with external feed passages, accommodates 250 cattle on rubber slats in pens of 25. To further minimise stress, they remain in the same pens from entry to exit. Cattle are weighed shortly after entry and when leaving the shed. “If one hasn’t achieved target weight by 70 days, then it has to go, it’s no longer cost effective to keep.” The automated system has also enabled Glen South to minimise its fixed costs. “The Vector’s weekly electrical power running costs amount to approximately £50. Compared with a tractor drawn mixer wagon, diesel costs are virtually eliminated, along with feed waste, whilst reducing emissions over 10-fold to less than 4t CO2/year. The robot never goes sick, never comes in late, and never goes on holiday.

“The system also frees up my time to focus on husbandry. My routine includes spending 45 minutes each morning and evening walking the pens, checking each animal,” she says. “Then it takes me 15 minutes each weekday to fill the kitchen - cutting blocks of clamp silage, positioning and tidying up the floor. Twice a day I scrub out the water troughs. The more time-consuming jobs - vaccination and clipping, are reserved for each new intake.”

Main benefits • Consistent, accurate mixing and feeding • Frequent feeding and pushing up increases DM intakes and maximises DLWG, health and welfare • Weaker cattle have the same opportunity as the dominant ones • Consistently high DLWG, reduces days to finish, maximises throughput • Minimal daily running cost • Low labour requirement • Minimal feed wastage • Delivers on demand consistently fresh feed

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NBA Regional Round-ups

REGIONAL COUNCIL CONTACTS NORTHERN William Walton - Chairman Northumberland, NE47 Email:

SOUTH WEST Robert Venner - Chairman Email: Phoebe Hart - Secretary Tel: 07309 666895 Email: phoebe.hart@

s p u d n Rou

WALES Contact Head Office Tel: 01434 601005

NORTHERN IRELAND Stephen Heenan - Chairman County Down, BT30 8RT Tel: 07889 159496 Email:

Northern Ireland National Beef Association Bursary Winner 2020/21 Erin Dougherty


I am Erin Dougherty and I am delighted to be the recipient of the 2020/21 National Beef Association Bursary. I am 19 years old and come from Kirkistown in the lower Ards Peninsula, County Down. I have grown up on a suckler beef and sheep farm with a pedigree Limousin herd. I thoroughly enjoy working with the livestock in between my studies and my part-time job. I attended St. Columba’s College, Portaferry, where I achieved 11 GCSE’s. After this, I transferred to Glastry College to complete my A levels, where I passed all three subjects; Life and Health Science, Geography, and Business Studies. I am currently studying for a BSc in Sustainable Agriculture at CAFRE, Greenmount Campus.


I’ve always had a strong interest in Agriculture and the Sustainable Agriculture Degree is very relevant to the challenges that the sector faces today. I have chosen the course, as I am keen to learn and expand my knowledge within the subject.

SCOTLAND David Barron - Chairman Email: Duncan Todd - Secretary Kilmarnock KA3 2TN Tel: 07734 812704 Email:


NBA Regional

The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

The course also includes a placement year, which I hope to complete outside of Northern Ireland to experience different farming systems. I am very appreciative to the National Beef Association for awarding me the bursary, as it will help with travel costs for my placement year. Furthermore, I have found the bursary process a very educational experience and enjoyed finding out more about the challenges that the beef sector is faced with. I feel even more determined now to pursue a career in the beef industry. I am still unsure about the direction I will take after graduating, but I know that it will definitely be within the beef industry.

SC HE DUL E O F E VE NT S 2 0 2 2 WHINFELLPARK OPEN DAY Thurs 28 July (11am to 4pm) Brougham, Penrith NATIONAL LIMOUSIN SHOW Fri 29 - Sat 30 July Borderway Mart ANNIVERSARY SALE Fri 29 July Borderway Mart NATIONAL PEDIGREE & COMMERCIAL HERD COMPETITION Fri 14 October Awards Dinner, Carlisle

For full details, please visit the 50th Anniversary page on

SPRING 2022 | The National Beef Association Magazine


Parasite Watch | Sioned Timothy

h c t a W e t i Paras Sioned Timothy

Technical Services Manager, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health

Building immunity to worms at grass


t turnout, young heifers allowed to graze infected pastures will develop large worm burdens over time, and pasture contamination will accelerate as the season progresses. Without an appropriate treatment strategy, youngstock may develop heavy worm burdens just when they need to be converting grass into growth. Managing pasture for parasite control is an effective way to help heifers gain the immunity they need and reduce selection for wormer resistance, while minimising the risk of disease and production loss.


Use your least-infected pasture for youngstock in their first grazing season to minimise their exposure to worms.


To build effective immunity against gutworm species, cattle need to be exposed to these worms in small doses. Using effective pasture management


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

techniques can help to achieve this without compromising the health or productivity of your heifers.


Make use of clean grazing by moving naïve youngstock onto it in late summer. Fields used for forage crops, or that haven’t been grazed by sheep or cattle in the previous year are ideal.


Ensure you protect some worms from being exposed to wormers when a treatment takes place – this important technique supresses the number of resistant worms in the population and is called ‘refugia’. Wait to treat animals until the pasture has developed sufficient refugia, but before a high level of contamination has occurred, by using pooled faecal egg counts to monitor worm egg numbers. Leaving a small proportion of well-performing animals untreated means any worms they carry will also act as refugia.

Talk to your vet or SQP about pasture management techniques to build immunity and improve parasite control or visit the Beat the Parasites website;

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health An educational service from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health UK Ltd (“BI”). Further information available from BI, RG12 8YS, UK. ©2022. All rights reserved. Date of preparation: Feb 2022. UI-BOV-0024-2022. Use Medicines Responsibly.

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Reduces stress, fatigue and the reliance on labour – especially during critical periods like calving. The Active Tag solutions, with the Datamars Livestock platform, proactively monitors your herd, and if need be, delivers an automated alert directly to you.

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Guest Write | Scott Ferrie

r e t i r W t s Gue Scott Ferrie

Darlington Farmers Mart


he long-awaited relocation here to Humbleton Park for Darlington Mart and its loyal (and growing) army of vendors has proved to be an absolute tonic. Only memories now remain of the old auction which had massively outgrown the town; no more are the disgruntled residents nor the angry motorists or the contorting lorries as DFAM now flourishes in its perfect new location.

perhaps most importantly this very area is responsible for the beginnings of the hugely influential Beef Shorthorn.

moons ago these were prices we could barely imagine and I have no doubt that the live auction is to thank.

The accessibility, excellent facilities, impressive lairage building and award winning café all add to the growing enthusiasm surrounding our mart.

Over the past couple of years beef prices have kept on rising, the outgoings on every farm however have done the same, in reality many farmers are now working for the same profits with much more capital invested. As an auction mart we obviously enjoy the high prices, not simply to look good on paper but a thriving live ring prevents the supermarket governed deadweight companies from sentencing the Great British Farmer to a certain death.

Whilst I’m feeling thankful I would like to say that I am most grateful to the independent butchers and wholesalers who support us every week, the high street shops have enjoyed a great resurgence of late, the public are now more educated, many are no longer disciples of the big supermarkets and the skilled traditional butcher is the answer to their prayers.

With the help of my professional dedicated team here we set our standards and sights high, the sky is the limit, we believe strongly in the live auction as the oldest, fairest and most sustainable way to market livestock; with this facility we are well placed to deliver not only now but to lay firm foundations for future generations.

Many auctions coin the phrase ‘sell live and thrive’ and here in Darlington we are proud to do the same.

The recent investment here by our directors and shareholders is immense, our home County Durham is so often at the forefront of our industry, a potted history of livestock in Darlington see’s cattle and sheep sales date back to the 11th century, the influential Culley brothers hail from nearby and

At the time of writing our best prime bulls are reaching £2000 plus with great regularity whilst the smart butchers heifers are now 300 pence per kilo. Not so many

The auctioneer it seems unlike the butcher is somewhat of a dying breed, more are leaving than joining the profession, each time a vacancy appears anywhere in the land the sad reality is that no queues form to apply within. It remains one of the oldest trades to ply, to survive it needs an abundance of both honesty and integrity, a thick skin is also an essential ingredient and those who lack any of the three are ultimately found out. It is a vocation, a commitment few are perhaps ready for, it can at times require early starts and long days, many miles on the road which can naturally take some juggling with family life. Auctioneers are at times unjustly criticised, we lead from the front and are therefore usually hit by the first bullet, in these circumstances retaliation rarely helps it’s imperative to just let the dust settle, as I often say ‘just smile and wave.’ So why do we do it? The vast majority of our customers are genuine, decent, humble folk who are a great pleasure to work for, I have common ground with every single one of them in the knowledge that we share a passion for farming and food production. A successful sale in front of a packed ringside is an auctioneers ultimate high, free bidding buyers always result in happy vendors and with this comes incredible job satisfaction, it is these days that keep the auctioneer chomping at the bit for the next time, sell, sleep, repeat.


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022





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SPRING 2022 | The National Beef Association Magazine


Industry News

Automatic gearbox can save up to 30% on fuel T he Shifttronic diet feeder gearbox shifts up or down to achieve the most suitable auger speed depending on the weight setting when loading or discharging, without your having to lift a finger. Because the augers always operate at optimum speed, they can mix feed components at peak efficiency. This can save up to 30% on fuel.

A big advantage of weight-based shifting is that the shifting point can be set very accurately. For example high speed mixing for processing haylage. As soon as the first bucket of corn silage is loaded the Shifttronic automatically shifts down in order to prevent over-mixing and to minimize diesel usage and wear. The Shifttronic makes sure the most effective mixing speed is used, but only when necessary. During feeding the Shifttronic shifts up on the


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

go. Increasing auger speed however only makes sense when the level of feed is below the discharge opening. As that weight is different from a milk cow ration compared to for e.g. a heifer ration, the shifting point can be set specifically for up to 5 different rations. Preventing unnecessary wear and diesel usage in return.

Fuel costs dropped Dairy farmer Cees Middelweerd only needs 10 litres of diesel an hour to run his 24 m3 mixer wagon. Since using the Shifttronic, his fuel costs have dropped by an impressive 25%. He mixes up two loads a day to feed his herd of 350 milk cows, plus another two loads every third day for his 220 heifers. That means the mixer wagon must process about 130 tonnes of feed each week, totalling 1,000 operating hours annually.

Cees: “The augers start off at high speed, but slow down soon after. When processing coarse feed for the dry cows, however, the mixer wagon continues at the higher speed for longer. What’s more, the feed gets evenly mixed very rapidly.”

Sales - Service - Parts - Advice


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SPRING 2022 | The National Beef Association Magazine


Guest Auctioneer | Daniel Lynn

Guest r ee n o i t c Au Daniel Lynn

Darlington Farmers Mart


s a young man from farming roots who flirted with a career in the armed forces, I find myself now flourishing in the auctioneering business, happily surrounded by livestock and like-minded folk, in my case at least, it’s abundantly true that you ‘can’t bray out what’s bred in’. My grandfather’s extensive suckler herd and flock of sheep engaged me from a very young age, here born was my fascination with livestock and auctions and the bug has never left me. I spent my adolescence in and around the farm dispersal and collective machinery sales of the North East with family connections igniting my desire to one day conduct a sale of my own. I left school in 2014 and life took me temporarily away from the farming fraternity as I joined the army, one year later I was qualified however chose not to pursue my service in the forces and left in early 2016. Opportunity knocked, having previously visited Darlington selling cattle with my stepfather I had shown an interest in the mart, an opportunity became available, I was given a chance to join the team; young, green and ambitious I took it and I have as they say ‘never looked back’. For a youngster the mart world is daunting initially, farmers can be unforgiving creatures however once you have earned their respect and trust they are without doubt the finest bunch of people on the planet. Some vastly experienced mentors and matriarchs have moulded my career within Darlington, I am indebted to them; knowledge is key. Becoming an auctioneer, like any career isn’t easy, at times it’s a school of hard knocks, mistakes are made and lessons are learnt.


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

The job is more than worth it, rewards are high and when the trade flies the whole staff are buzzing. We learn as auctioneers that it is a team game, gone are the days when the auctioneer stands on a pedestal looking down, we stay humble, knuckle down and all pull in the same direction. Judging the stock is equally as skillful and eventful, some animals are fed to perfection and turned out immaculately whilst some are not, it is never my place to judge, it is always my place to sell what’s in front of me for the best price possible on the day. I mentioned people, we are a service industry and lest we forget that, we rely on people and always aim to provide them with a good service. I sold my first cull ewes in August 2016, fresh faced and nervous. I loved the experience and was hooked and from then on, auctioneering was the only job for me. Positive comments from team members at DFAM, along with both farmers and buyers alike made me keen, if you ask staff

here at DFAM, I was probably annoyingly keen at the time. That seems a long time ago, I am now studying in my 4th year at Harper Adams in Livestock Operations and Management, I am lucky enough to now sell the vast majority of the sheep plus machinery and some cattle. The directors and shareholders of Darlington Mart last year made a staggering investment and indeed commitment to the future, building and opening a purpose-built new mart, the opportunities are now endless, it is a great place to work I believe the sky’s the limit for DFAM. am mindful that in an area awash with cattle marts the temptation could be to lock horns with our competitors, it is not however they who are our enemy. Make no mistake, the largescale deadweight firms given the chance would gleefully invade our livestock farmers pockets and force them into obscurity. Commission is a much talked about subject, this system has worked for 1000 years in Darlington, it is this simple, the mart commission ensures that we make more as the farmer makes more, we make less when the farmer makes less; as for the deadweight firms, they make less if the farmer makes more and they make more if the farmer makes less. Outside of work I am actively involved as Chairman of Cambo Young Farmers Club, play rugby, have small flock of breeding ewes consisting of north country cheviots and Texel cross ewes, and also enjoy occasional days shooting, essentially though in this job we never stop, it is both a profession and a vocation, it is at times a twenty-four seven, 365-day commitment but for those like me who love it, there isn’t a better job in the world and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone.

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26/01/2022 11:44

SPRING 2022 | The National Beef Association Magazine


Guest Vet | Will Barker

t e V t s e Gu Will Barker

Spring time in a farm veterinary practice.


pring time is an especially busy time for most of our farm clients with calving, lambing and preparations for the next grazing season. It is also “peak season” for farm animal vets with many calvings, caesarians and prolapses in the early hours of the morning as well as packed days with routine work while cattle are still housed and easier to handle for routine tasks. Whilst it is easy to get just put your head down and press on with the essential tasks of spring, I think it is also important to take some time to plan for success in the next production cycle. In the current climate of extremely high input prices, there is no room at all to carry passengers in a profitable beef business, so it is important to be as efficient as possible. One important part of that in a beef suckler herd is to do our best that every cow successfully rears a calf every 12 months.

To do this we must do our best to ensure that each individual female is in a fit state to get back in calf promptly after calving and that we maintain an adequate replacement rate to allow older and problematic cows to be culled out of the herd. When considering replacement heifers, they should be selected very carefully as they are the future of the herd. There are


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

many questions that should be asked of them, starting with what age to breed them at. We should aim to breed them as young as possible to minimise the cost of rearing them but still allowing them enough time to mature.

Ideally we should aim to serve heifers at 15 months of age so they can calve at 24 months, but bodyweight is a much more important indicator of sexual maturity and we should aim to have them at 2/3 of their adult weight before serving them for the first time. If heifers are bought in we need to question their health and vaccination status and aim to buy heifers that are of a better status than our own herd, especially with regard to BVD, Johnes disease, leptospirosis and IBR. Any purchased animals should be bought well ahead of service to allow time for quarantine procedures to be followed on arrival. Body condition and trace element status should also be well managed before service. In the last few years we have started pelvis scoring a large number of heifers before they go to the bull. This involves measuring the internal cross sectional area of the pelvis. Any heifers with smaller birth canals can then be removed from the breeding group before they go to the bull, which reduces the risk of difficult calving and caesarians. We have seen a big reduction in veterinary

assisted calving and caesarians in some herds that have used pelvis scoring as part of heifer selection. When checking cows over before they go back to the bull, consideration should be given to calving history, age, past mastitis issues and any lameness problems when deciding which animals to retain in the herd. Suckler cows can have a difficult time getting back in calf as they are also feeding a rapidly growing calf during the mating period, so it is important to keep an eye on their body condition and make sure that their nutritional and trace element needs are met.

The other half of the equation when trying to ensure cows get on calf promptly is the bull. We routinely fertility test a large number of bulls at this time of year to ensure they are up to the job in hand. This is a relatively simple procedure involving a thorough examination of the bull and assessment of a semen sample. This gives a lot more confidence that he will be capable of serving cows and getting them in calf. There is nothing more frustrating or costly than a bull that is firing blanks. In summary, Proper Planning Prevents P*** Poor Performance, so it is extremely important to allow some time at this time of year to plan ahead and do our best to ensure the success and profitability of our businesses for the next production cycle.

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Breed Society Focus | Limousin


50 Anniversary Overview th

In 2022 the British Limousin Cattle Society celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Limousin breed in the UK with a series of events - a golden celebration of these golden-red cattle which first came to the UK from France in 1971.


he Limousin breed has firmly established itself at the forefront of the British beef industry with almost 3,000 breeder members registering 18,000 pedigree calves and generating sales of over £6 million per annum. As such, the high-profile 50th Anniversary is sure to draw a large crowd and attract significant media interest throughout the year. We look forward to seeing you – all are very welcome!


Thurs 28th July – 11am to 4pm Kicking off the extended Anniversary Weekend on the Thursday is the much-anticipated Open Day at Whinfellpark near Penrith with the opportunity to look round some tremendous cattle and enjoy what is on offer in terms of hospitality, stockjudging, trade stands and farm tours courtesy of Messrs Jenkinson. One not to be missed!

NATIONAL LIMOUSIN SHOW Fri 29 - Sat 30 July th


400+ entries are anticipated for a twoday spectacle of Limousin pedigree and commercial livestock being shown at Borderway Mart, Carlisle, home of Society auctioneers Harrison & Hetherington. • Significant prize fund; special commemorative trophies • Entries close Friday 3rd June • International judging line-up: Christian Laloi (France), Paul Sykes (Ireland), Louise Forsyth (Scotland) and Jim Quail (Northern Ireland)


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

Trueman Euphonium Overall Pedigree Champion National Limousin Show 2011 Black Beauty Overall Commercial Champion National Limousin Show 2016

Limousin | Breed Society Focus ANNIVERSARY SALE Fri 29th July

Entries are already being taken for this special pedigree sale at Carlisle under Premier Society Sale Rules designed as a one-off celebration of the breed. A limited number of unique lots will be on offer pre-selected by a committee and/or ballot. Closing date Fri 6th May.

GOOD CRAIC! Whilst Limousin cattle will always be the focus, let’s not forget the importance of a great social occasion and bringing like-minded people together from the four home countries as well as Ireland, France and beyond. An Exhibitor Dinner and Anniversary Supper are being held in a specially-erected marquee at Borderway. Some free tickets come as part of the exhibitor entry fee whilst further tickets can be pre-ordered for both meals. • Exhibitor Dinner (Thurs 28th July) • Anniversary Supper (Fri 29th July) • Charity auction of Golden Bull

NATIONAL PEDIGREE & COMMERCIAL HERD COMPETITION – AUTUMN 2022 Each of the nine Regional Limousin Clubs will put forward an overall commercial and pedigree herd winner to go forward to a national judge-off in the autumn. The pedigree and commercial judges are Jim Scott (Ardigon Herd) & Peter Alexander (Mains of Mause) respectively. A gala awards presentation evening is planned for Friday 14th October, the eve of the Carlisle October Bull Sale.

2011 National Herd Competition Winner Craig Ridley (Haltcliffe) pictured with judge Sam Coleman

Full details including entry schedule and order forms can be found on the 50th Anniversary page on For all sponsorship and other enquiries, please contact

SPRING 2022 | The National Beef Association Magazine


Breed Society News

Breed Society

NEWS Herefords back up sustainability credentials Against a backdrop of sustainability discussions surrounding red meat, Hereford Cattle Society has been working to collect information to back-up the breed’s credentials in order to understand how Hereford cattle can be recognised as a fundamental part of future sustainable farming systems. One element of the society’s sustainability project has been to assess members and Hereford producers’ systems’ carbon efficiency, to give an indication of how participants’ businesses compare with industry averages which showed those involved to be at or above industry averages. Dr Liz Genever has been leading the work with members undertaking carbon audits, collecting information about livestock type

and numbers, crops grown, any inputs (eg. fertiliser, feeds, fuels), plus details on hedges, woodland, soil organic matter and waste management. A herd review project was also undertaken to gather information to support members to benchmark and improve their suckler cow efficiency. Herefords are well established in the pasture-fed beef movement in the UK due to their ability to perform off grass and forage alone.

Red Ruby Devons – Part of farming’s future. We anticipate having a strong presence at our first event of the year, our Spring Show & Sale at Sedgemoor on 29th March. Entries are looking very positive, with quality bulls, heifers, steers and semen for sale. We are looking forward to a full and busy show season this year, our Trade Stand will be at the Royal Bath & West, Royal Cornwall, Devon County, Dorset shows. We have our National Show this year at the Royal Three Counties Show in Malvern. A chance to really showcase the Red Ruby Devons and an opportunity for the farming community to meet our animals and members to discuss all aspects of the future of the industry. With the gradual implementation of the Environmental Land Management Schemes, as stewards of the land, we need to be proactive in looking to the future and how the Red Ruby Devon fits into the scheme. As it should being a native breed, very adaptable to change and capable of thriving on the marginal land areas of the UK.

With the findings of the two sustainability projects bolstering the society’s recognition of the Hereford’s role in the future, Hereford Cattle Society now looks to harness this information within its breed strategy moving forwards.

Breed Societies, do you have any news you would like us to publish? Email your copy and any images to


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

Breed Society News

MEAT IMAGING USA AT BCBC CONFERENCE The British Cattle Breeders Club Conference - which was held virtually on 25 January - saw founder and CEO of Meat Imaging USA Desi Cicale share her insights into the recent introduction of Meat Image Japan (MIJ) carcase camera technology to the UK, and what benefits it can offer not only Wagyu producers over here but the wider UK beef industry. The mobile camera takes a picture of the rib eye and provides real-time carcase data for rib eye area, marbling, marbling fineness, meat and fat colour. Knowing that marbling is a heritable trait means the information can be linked to future breeding decisions. One of the key take-home messages from Desi was “Turning perceived performance into proven performance.”





“The British Wagyu industry can look ahead with real optimism to the coming year as we continue to build on our solid foundations. The WBA now has a strong membership base of over 150 drawn from Fullblood breeders, commercial farmers and all parts of the supply chain. Calf registrations are increasing rapidly. Our branding is already strong however the WBA Board aims to expand the marketing of British Wagyu over the next 12 months as well as growing the reach of the British Wagyu Assurance Scheme. Collecting accurate data will also be key - whether in the form of MIJ carcase camera technology, Breedplan performance recording or through the validation work that Genus are doing - as we seek to not only improve consistency but reward marbling quality.”



Wagyu Breeders Association Company Secretary Richard Saunders reports…











Wagyu crossbred





Wagyu purebred


1 83





Source BCMS/CTS. Figures Jan-Dec 2021

Data from the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) for the period January to December 2021 reveals an increase of more than 40% in Wagyu births compared to 2020. The figures, for beef cattle born in England, Wales & Scotland, saw over 13,000 Wagyu-sired calves born in the year 2021. Of these, 12042 were crossbred (sired by a Wagyu bull) and 1415 purebred or Fullblood - totaling 13,457 when compared to 9,435 in 2020. Wagyu is well on its way towards a market share of around 2% of beef-sired calves born in Great Britain. WBA Director Chris Dickinson says:

“These are great figures and not only demonstrate that consumers are demanding British Wagyu beef but that farmers have the confidence to invest in Wagyu genetics.” Numbers of Wagyu births are predicted to rise further due to a number of factors: investment by commercial calf rearing enterprises; growth of beef from the dairy herd; demand from major retailers; and the consumer ‘buying less but buying best’. • SPRING 2022 | The National Beef Association Magazine


Breed Society News

First Ever Beef Shorthorn National Herd Award Launched To Mark Bicentenary The Beef Shorthorn Cattle Society is launching a new National Herd Award in 2022 as part of the breed’s bicentenary celebrations. The award has been developed to recognise 200 years of breeding excellence across the UK and Ireland, which has led to the Beef Shorthorn becoming a much sought after suckler cow that’s highly suited to contemporary low-input farming systems. The award scheme which will be run over an initial three-year period, is being sponsored by Pedigree Sales Online Livestock Auctions, who are providing silverware and cash prizes. Tommy Staunton, CEO of Pedigree Sales Online, said: “We are proud to be part of the Beef Shorthorn family and feel very privileged to have helped found this competition in the Shorthorn’s bicentenary year. Having personally judged some of the regional herd competitions in recent years I know the depth of quality amongst the participating herds in the various regions throughout the UK is outstanding.”

Over the past decade annual herd competitions have become an integral part of regional club activities and breed promotion for Beef Shorthorns, providing a way to showcase the qualities of the hardworking cows around the country that the breed has become well known for.

breeders have carefully selected genetics that have enabled the breed to meet ongoing market demand. Beef Shorthorns have progressed to today’s increasingly popular modern functional suckler cow, being particularly suitable for low input forage based systems.”

Entry for the new award will be open to the seven herds that were judged overall champions in their local regions in autumn 2021, with the winner selected by veteran judge George Somerville, former Farm Manager of Glenkiln Farms in Dumfries & Galloway. It is hoped that the introduction of the Beef Shorthorn National Herd Award will add value to the breed development work done regionally by club members.

The first volume of Coates’s Herd Book, which documents the Shorthorn, was published by George Coates in 1822, and it has been in continuous publication ever since. It was the first pedigree herd book for cattle in the world, setting the global standard for pedigree cattle registration and management.

The winners will be announced in September at a celebratory event, hosted by breed Society President, Charles Horton who commented: “We are thrilled to announce the National Herd Award, one of several initiatives designed to mark the bicentenary of the oldest cattle register in the world. During that 200-year period Beef Shorthorn

Native breeds like the Shorthorn came under pressure in the 1960s and 1970s as Continental breeds soared in popularity. Beef Shorthorn is amongst those witnessing a major turn-around and it has been documented by Defra as the fastest growing native breed in the UK. The National Herd Award is just one of many activities and events being planned by the Beef Shorthorn Society throughout 2022 to mark the bicentenary.

SALERS THE ULTIMATE SUCKLER BREED Bucking the downward trend in suckler cows, 9 years of consecutive increases in the numbers of Salers cows means that the Salers share of the suckler cow market has increased to a new high. The Salers ability to calve unassisted, no matter what sire is chosen, is fuelling the demand for Salers as replacements for commercial suckler herds. Salers produce high quality milk, rich in protein and milk sugars. High quality colostrum improves health, lowers mortality, and increases DLWG’s as well as reducing the risk of pneumonia in calves. These benefits lead to lower vet bills and supports responsible antibiotic use. The 9 known mutations of the myostatin gene have the potential to negatively influence traits such as pelvic size, milk production and fertility. To protect the Salers’ leading maternal traits the Salers Cattle Society of the UK took the decision to implement a five-year program in 2019, to eliminate the various mutations of the myostatin gene. This policy is essential to protect these


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

maternal traits, enabling suckler farmers to continue to capitalise on the unrivalled calving ease, whilst having the freedom to select any sire, including strongly muscled terminal sires, that suit their system!


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Breed Society News

60 years of British Charolais As we enter the spring season and an extremely busy period for livestock farmers up and down the country, who could have possibly imagined after two years of covid restrictions that we would be witnessing the devasting and heartbreaking situation in Ukraine.

the country and during the congress our national show will be held at the GYS showcasing to the world the top genetics and breeding the UK has to offer.

Spring is usually about welcoming new life into the world and looking forward to the year ahead. This year livestock farmers will be extremely worried about the three F’s; Fertilizer @ three times the cost of last years, Feed barley currently @ £290/t and Fuel @140p/l.

The society also has commercial open days planned for late summer up and down the country, so farmers can see first-hand the benefits a Charolais bull can bring to their business.

We are always told to be as efficient as possible but some things farmers have no control over, however a lot of things they do and these must be capitalized on. To produce efficient beef, we need to utilize the best genetics available to us and select sires that not only calve easily but will meet target weight ranges and specification at the earliest age possible. This will benefit both farmers by being the most cost effective and the planet as well by reducing our carbon footprint and methane production.

Here’s hoping for a normal summer show season so everyone can meet up with friends across all breeds to have that much needed social interaction.

2022 is a hugely exciting year for the breed as the society celebrates its 60th year. British Charolais are lucky enough to be hosting the world congress this summer as well. Running from the 7th-18th of July the tour will take in leading Charolais herds up and down

Want to Find Out About Stabilisers? It has been an exciting 12 months for the Stabiliser Cattle Company. We have seen significant growth not only within our team but also in sales. We were happy to see Stabiliser bull sales increase by 30% during 2021, and females by 9% from the previous year. Going forward we are looking forward to hosting two ‘Livestock Sale Viewing Days’ to be held in Yorkshire and on the Llyn Peninsula. These events are during May and if you are interested in joining us you can find more information on our website. It is the perfect opportunity to look at the breeding stock we have to offer. If you are interested in hearing more about the Stabiliser breed, then you can find us on our stand at the Beef Expo in Darlington. We are also excited to be attending the Groundswell Event for the first time which is held in Hertfordshire. If you can’t make


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

these events then do not worry, we are hosting a range of farm open days throughout the year, our first of the year is to be held in Conwy where we will be visiting a Stabiliser herd which utilises a self-made AI crush/race which is used in techno-grazing paddocks, keep a lookout on our website and social media for more information.


Reaping the rewards from IVP and more


attle breeders seeking to improve their herd’s genetic potential are introducing In-Vitro embryo Production (IVP), a cost-effective service and alternative to MOET from East Lothian based specialist artificial breeding technology company, AB Europe. A selection of breeders discuss how IVP is successfully delivering. “I could have continued to naturally expand the herd, however I became aware of IVP which actually put Westpit on the map. IVP was preferred to MOET because little stimulation is required and the AB Europe team arrive on the farm to collect, whereas MOET requires multiple injections along with accompanying time, effort and cost. “Brockhurst Holy was the first female to undergo IVP, primarily as an insurance policy. We achieved 20 calves, including 18 bulls of which 16 sold to pedigree herds. Other collections have resulted in calves being awarded the silverware at Stars of the Future and society shows, whilst selling privately to leading herds. Sale ring highlights include junior champion, Westpit Oklahoma at 13,000gns. Andrew Gammie, Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire: 35 cow Westpit Limousin herd

“We wanted to fully exploit our herd’s top genetics, step up progress and increase the number of progeny we have to show and sell; IVP was a new way to go. Compared with flushing, it’s more costeffective and we’re very impressed by its high welfare, high health status. Our donors include Coley 1 Pippa 356; we used European champion, Moralee 1 Rebel Kicks to sire some of her embryos and among the calves is Moralee 1 Valuabull, a Stars of the Future and AgriExpo champion. Tom and Di Harrison, Hexham, Northumberland: 50 cow Moralee Hereford herd “We are trying to improve the herd year on year, develop stronger family lines and be amongst the breed’s top herds. After becoming aware of IVP from other breeders, I’ve found it’s a good way to help improve our herd faster. We got off to a good start. Tonley Lord Hoffman U588 made 5,500gns and he was out of one of our first IVP cows, Blelack Lady Heather. “The Ericas are a very consistent line offering quality and style; after investing in Hallington Jubilee Erica L322, five IVP coasting collections resulted in 20 embryos. Two thirds of the first nine embryos held - a very good result. We selected semen from five different sires.” Mark Wattie, Alford, Aberdeenshire: 140 cow Tonley Aberdeen Angus herd

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SPRING 2022 | The National Beef Association Magazine



Beef producers to be recognised for sustainable farming practices


etPartners has launched the VetPartners Farming Awards, to celebrate the achievements made by farmers across the UK who have implemented changes to improve the sustainability of their system, while continuing to prioritise animal health and productivity.

“As a farm vet, I’m incredibly proud of what UK-based livestock farmers are already achieving when it comes to sustainable beef production,” says Mr Cure.

Farm director Ian Cure explains that the beef award winner will be selected at Beef Expo in May, with anyone at the event being able to hear more about the shortlisted farms and cast their vote for the ‘VetPartners Sustainable Beef Farmer of the Year’ at the VetPartners stand.

“The greenhouse gas intensity of grassland produced beef in the UK is 48kg CO2 eq/kg of meat, which is approximately half the global average, but there are opportunities to further reduce this while allowing livestock and the environment to thrive1. Ian Cure - farm director, VetPartners

“Farmers will be nominated by their vets based on their commitment to continuous improvement in their farming processes, whether that is through herd efficiency gains, working with the environment or sharing their knowledge with the wider community,” says Mr Cure. “Reasons for nomination might include exemplary antibiotics stewardship, a strategic approach to parasite control or effective management of calving blocks to improve efficiencies per kilo of beef produced,” he adds. Mr Cure encourages anyone at Beef Expo to visit the VetPartners stand to cast their vote, or to look out for virtual voting instructions on VetPartners social media. “Getting involved with selecting a winner allows anyone to play a part in recognising the sheer determination, hard work and resilience of our British farmers,” he says.


The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

“Supporting beef farmers to find the win-win solutions, where a change in approach can result in efficiency gains, improved productivity and sustainability, is one of the most rewarding parts of being a farm vet. Sustainable livestock production can only be achieved with healthy animals, so vets will continue to be integral to this in the future.” 1


Beef Breed Directory

The British Limousin Cattle Society 02476 696500

Dairy Cottage, Tower Road, Ayton, Berwickshire TD14 5QX 01432 272057

Tel: 01890 781358 Mob: 07592 139708 Email:

BREEDING SALES February, May & October Fieldsman: Charles Symons

Limousin - the breed with the premium built in


Avenue M, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire. CV8 2RG Tel: 02476 697222 Email:




T: 01573 440207 Mob: 07971 231885

Unit 1, The Stable Yard, Woodhayes Farm, Honiton, Devon, EX14 4TP t: 01404 47863 e:






The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

Holme House The Dale, Ainstable Carlisle,Cumbria CA4 9RH

British Bazadaise Cattle Society 01666 860470



01768 870522


THE UK’S NO. 1 CONTINENTAL BREED FOR AGE AT SLAUGHTER Telephone +44 (0) 2476 696 513

Beef Breed Directory



The perfect suckler cow ( 01245 600032



Gascon Cattle Society




SALERS CATTLE SOCIETY OF THE UK Jasmine Cottage, Gavinton, TD11 3QP 07903 626249



Breed Secretary: Pauline Milton 07787722497

gasconcattle@btconnect .com 01954 232796 | 07771 333303


Breed Secretary Gillian Harries A versatile hardy suckler breed

07791 587236 01437 541450 01738 622477

The Beef Shorthorn Cattle Society Society Pavilion, Avenue M, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, CV8 2RG

Patron: Her Majesty The Queen

Stirling Agricultural Centre Stirling FK9 4RN

Tel: 01786 446866

Aberdeen-Angus, its more than a breed, it’s a brand.

t: 02475 099146 e:

SPRING 2022 | The National Beef Association Magazine


NBA Membership

National Beef Association

Membership WHO ARE THE NBA?


The NBA is a charity, set up by beef farmers, for beef farmers. We exist to express the views of real farmers to politicians to ensure they are understood and represented in policy. Over the years we have fought against unfair trading practises, advised Government on disease management policies and now are working hard to ensure beef farmers have a future post Brexit.

Members receive a weekly e-newsletter, which includes the latest market information and NBA and industry news. We also produce a quarterly magazine for our membership including beef research, policy positions and health articles. Our members have access to our breeding terms and conditions of sale FOC, a step by step guide to selling breeding animals.



Without the support of fellow farmers we wouldn’t be able to carry out our work on behalf of the industry. The NBA is also great for networking and sharing knowledge. Members have the chance to join regional committees which feed into our policy strategies and we run many industry farm walks, meetings and trips across the UK which are discounted or free for our membership.

Standard subscription: £75.00 + VAT


Corporate Membership

(£25 zero rated, £50 taxable at 20%)

Under 26/student subscription: £40.00 For more information call NBA head office on 01434 601005 or email Visit our website to join today. THE NBA IS GRATEFUL TO THE FOLLOWING COMPANIES AND ORGANISATIONS FOR THEIR SUPPORT.


For more information on Corporate Membership packages from NBA, please call 01434 601005 or email

GOLD MEMBERS SHEARWELL DATA Animal identification systems: excellent cattle and sheep tags, comprehensive on-farm software and full management systems using EID.

MOLE VALLEY All your technical advice and products to maximise the individual beef enterprise profits.

FOR FARMERS We supply a range of feedstuffs that cater to both traditional and the more technically minded farmers and producers.

ALLFLEX The Allflex Group is a World Leader in the design, manufacture, and delivery of animal identification technology.

SAI GLOBAL ASSURANCE SERVICES LTD is the oldest and most established farm assurance provider originally set up to inspect the FABBL Scheme in the 90’s. Farmers trust in SAI Global’s experts for whole farm assurance including Red Tractor, GlobalGAP, LEAF Marque and retailer specific inspection programmes.


Bishopton Veterinary Group

Hexham & Northern Marts

Sell My Livestock

Agri-Lloyd International Limited

Boehringer Ingelheim

Livestock Lounge

Thirsk Farmers Auction Mart Ltd

AHDB Meat Services

C & D Auction Marts Limited


Tudor, Lawson, Dallimore & Parry

ANM Group Ltd

Craven Cattle Marts Limited

Meadow Quality Ltd

B.I.G Ltd

Frome Livestock Auctioneers Ltd

NWF Agriculture

Berrystock Feeds

Harrison & Hetherington



The National Beef Association Magazine | SPRING 2022

NBA Membership

Application Form

Join the NBA Today

OR JOIN NOW ONLINE Visit today and help us make sure your industry’s future is secure. Alternately, fill out the form below and return to us via post.


POSTCODE: PHONE NUMBER: EMAIL ADDRESS: **If you would like to voluntarily over-pay on your subscription; please enter the amount below or tick the appropriate box. Annual subscription £75 + VAT

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Under 26* £40

*Members under 26 years old - please provide your date of birth: D D M M Y Y METHODS OF PAYMENT: CREDIT CARD Card Type: Name on Card: Card Number:

Start Date: M M Y Y

Security Code: (last 3 digits on reverse of card)

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CHEQUE Made payable to the National Beef Association. STANDING ORDER To Bank plc:


Please pay Lloyds Bank plc, Malvern, WR14 4QG.

Sort code: 30-95-41

Account No: 23358760

The sum of: (circle selected amount)

£75 + VAT

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For the credit of the National Beef Association Under 26* £40

Commencing: Immediately and annually thereafter, until further notice. PLEASE QUOTE PAYMENT REFERENCE: Please cancel any previous Standing Order in favour of the beneficiary named above, under this reference. Membership No: (For internal use) Name of Account:

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The NBA complies fully with the General Data Protection Regulation. Please see our privacy policy for more details, which can be requested from the NBA Head Office. For any queries or concerns regarding GDPR, please write to: Data Protection at National Beef Association, Concorde House, 24 Warwick New Road, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 5JG

Please use Gift Aid to make your subscription worth more to NBA. For every pound you give us, we could earn an extra 25p from the Inland Revenue. Gift Aid Declaration: I want the National Beef Association to treat all subscriptions I make from the date of this declaration until I notify you otherwise as a Gift Aid donation. I am a UK taxpayer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/ or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations in that tax year it is my responsibility to pay any difference.


Please return this form to: National Beef Association, Concorde House, 24 Warwick New Road, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 5JG #

SPRING 2022 | The National Beef Association Magazine



When used as part of a comprehensive approach to BVD including culling of PIs and biosecurity.

References: 1. Yarnall and Thrusfield (2017) Vet Record doi: 10.1136/vr.104370 2. Kynetec (2019) BVD sales data by value. Full year 2018 3. For active immunisation of cattle against BVDV-1 and BVDV-2, to prevent the birth of persistently infected calves caused by transplacental infection. Bovela lyophilisate and solvent for suspension for injection for cattle contains modified live BVDV-1, non-cytopathic parent strain KE-9: 104.0– 106.0 TCID50, modified live BVDV-2, non-cytopathic parent strain NY-93: 104.0–106.0 TCID50. UK: POM-V. Further information available in the SPC or from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health UK Ltd, RG12 8YS, UK. Tel: 01344 746957. Email: Bovela is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica GmbH, used under licence. ©2019 Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health UK Ltd. All rights reserved. Date of preparation: Jul 2019. AHD12633. Use Medicines Responsibly.

MakE BVD history

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