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Keeping you up to date with the latest society and industry news.

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Preference for new cocksfoot - Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cooksfoot has been under-rated for too long and has much to offer UK farmers, according to Rod Bonshor, general manager for Oliver Seeds.

Its extensive rooting system helps keep an open soil structure and can reach down deep for water in times of drought. It copes with extreme conditions such as cold winters and waterlogged soils, and yields well with less nitrogen fertiliser than perennial ryegrass. The seed is also currently cheaper than ryegrass, says Rod.

Extra fodder beet yields achievable - Monday, February 20, 2012

Fodder beet has risen in popularity over the past two years, says Limagrain's Martin Titley.

"Farmers are recognising it is an excellent feed ingredient to balance high starch rations such as maize, as it is high in sugars. It is also extremely palatable.

To support growers, Limagrain UK tested 17 different varieties of fodder beet in 2011. The results show the varieties Blizzard and Robbos produced an extra 0.8t/ha and 0.5t/ha of dry matter yield, respectively, compared to a control variety.

Grass seed will cost more in 2012 - Monday, February 13, 2012

UK farmers will be paying up to 50% more for their grass seed in 2012 compared with 2011, due to short supply and increased Europe-wide demand, says DLF Trifolium.

The company believes this should not put farmers off reseeding or renovating pastures that are underperforming, as the investment is definitely still worthwhile.

“A £20 rise in the cost of an acre of grass seed adds just 82p to the cost of producing one tonne of grass dry matter,” explains Tim Kerridge, agricultural sales director at DLF Trifolium.

NVZ Action Programme changes - Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mandatory changes to the NVZ Action Programme came into force on the 1st January 2012 regarding the Nmax limit for grassland and the livestock manure nitrogen efficiency values, which must be used when assessing compliance with the Nmax limits.

Order soil and manure analysis online - Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Busy farmers can now get their soil, manure and forage samples registered, paid for and off to the lab at any time of the day or night, without having to pick up the phone or set up an account.

The new online service from Eurofins aims to make it easier to order and pay for its agricultural testing services online. The range of tests available includes soils, organic materials such as livestock manures, silages and feedstuffs.

New R&D website launched - Friday, January 27, 2012

AgriSearch, the Northern Ireland Research and Development Council, has recently updated its website, making research results of practical value available to farmers 24/7.

The AgriSearch team will be using the site to report R & D projects, both on-going and completed research, as well as keeping dairy, sheep and beef farmers abreast of the latest news and up-coming events. The website is designed to be easy to use so finding an item of interest to an individual user is straightforward and there is a facility to download details of each project.

Grass seed selections favour quality - Thursday, January 12, 2012

When dairy farmers are selecting grass varieties for reseeding they now rank D-value and persistence higher than dry matter, according to a British Seed Houses farmer survey. 

This finding reflects changes in priorities over the last 10 years as the merits of producing more milk from grass have become better understood and the choice of higher quality ryegrass varieties has increased, says the company’s agricultural director Paul Billings.

Woodchip pads latest advice - Friday, January 6, 2012

Following on from a Defra LINK Sustainable Livestock Project into woodchip pads, with project partners including BGS, a new booklet has been produced by Eblex called 'Improved design and management of woodchip pads for sustainable out-wintering of livestock'. 

The contents covers everything from size of chips to example costs and tips for managing pads for optimum animal welfare and environmental protection.

HCC plans to make a Welsh language version available shortly.

Pasture-based farmer's initiative wants to hear about your practices - Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Somerset dairy farmer Neil Darwent has established a new farmer-led initiative to reclaim the value of milk for UK dairy farmers. Through 'Free Range Dairy', he is seeking to unite thousands of milk producers who still operate a pasture-based system and engage directly with consumers and politicians, begining with a survey of their farming practices.  

Pasture to Profit - proceedings - Thursday, December 8, 2011

A report from the recent Pasture to Profit conference, published in BGS's Grass and Forage Farmer magazine, highlights how growing more grass and making a successful business of using it is improving farm profits and allowing young people to get on in the industry.

If you wish to subscribe to the magazine, click this link  


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