Business Briefing July 2019

Welcome to the July edition of the Farm Consultancy Group Business Briefing Newsletter.   In this issue you will find articles on Diverse or Herbal Swards Proving Their Worth, Tackling Heat Stress in Dairy Cows, Low Till Reseeding Options – Save The Planet & Your Pocket!, Wisconsin Study Tour, US Farmers Borrowing Boom, Is It Sustainable? and many more....

 

Diverse or Herbal Swards Proving Their Worth – William Waterfield (Andover)

The benefits of including white clover in swards has been known for a long time, with clover based leys being as productive as those receiving 200 kg of Nitrogen per hectare. With the growing interest in herbal or diverse swards more research at the University College Dublin showed the benefits of introducing up to 6 different species into a sward.  Read more...

Tackling Heat Stress in Dairy Cows - Mark Yearsley (Sherborne)

As we are coming into our British summer, now is the time to start thinking about heat stress. Cows start suffering with mild signs from air temperatures of 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit), therefore it’s worth taking some precautions. The impact on reduced milk yield alone will affect the farm business and the animal’s welfare. Read more...

Low Till Reseeding Options – Save The Planet & Your Pocket! - Tom Malleson(Sherborne)

Have you considered avoiding the plough when reseeding grass to grass?

On our own farm we have used several methods over the last 2 years, to avoid the loss of soil structure and organic matter that tends to occur with ploughing. With shallow soils over heavy clay it has been particularly important to avoid bringing up subsoil on land we have recently taken on, which has not seen a cultivator for 25 years or more. These methods also reduce the establishment cost. Read more...

Study Tour to Wisconsin – William Waterfield (Andover)

Many discussion groups undertake study tours and this year the White Horse Dairy Discussion Group went further than many groups with a week-long visit to Wisconsin. Over 5 days we saw a wide range of dairy and related businesses. A number of common issues were discussed.

The anti-animal brigade is probably even more vocal in the US than they are in Europe and with larger units the risk of exposure of animal welfare issues is seen as a constant threat Read more...

US Farmers Borrowing Boom, Is It Sustainable? – Wesley Habershon (Chippenham)

So, US farmers are feeling the pinch of the ongoing China trade wars with the later imposing tariffs on many agricultural goods including Soybeans, Corn (Maize), dairy and beef products. China did buy 50%+ of the US Soybean crop, however as a result of the tariffs-imposed US export revenue fell 74%. With the Brazilian’s currently fulfilling the gap the US Soybean stockpiles grow. Read more...

Powerbuy - Charles Holt (Lincoln)

I operate a buying service for electricity, called “Powerbuy”. I recently changed the service provider I use, as I wasn’t confident in the previous operator’s level of efficiency, including for my own electricity supply(!). They have already proved their worth, and almost all the clients Read more...

Are you SMART? - Phil Cooper (Sherborne)

Every business should be looking to the future and planning. Whether this be for the physical performance of the business, e.g. cow numbers, the financial performance of the business, or family plans for the future, e.g. succession. Read more...

Is Your Grazing Licence Up to Date? - Tom Malleson (Sherborne)

Whilst doing this year’s round I came across a number of clients who are reusing grazing licences issued anything up to 12 years ago! Agreements of this age will have no reference to the current BPS, entitlements, greening and other relevant EU regulations. Read more...

Herd Genetics – Have you A Plan? - William Waterfield (Andover)

Having the right cow for your system is fairly obvious, but ensuring that you have clear breeding objectives that fit with your long terms aims for your business is often overlooked with bulls being selected without due consideration, or by simply Read more...

Pre-Chopped Straw & Butterfats - Andrew Jones (Sherborne)

Last spring, I picked up a nutrition client that pre-chopped the straw that was being fed to his cows. The herd is an AYR calving, Holstein herd, producing 9,000 litres at 4.1% butterfat where solids production (664kg MS Total) was important as they are on a cheese contract. They Read more

Take the Hassle Out of Red Tractor Inspection - Emily Wynder (Sherborne)

The Red Tractor Assurance Scheme is toughening up on their standards resulting in increasing paperwork which is putting more pressure on your farming time. The industry needs to be more open and transparent and it is an important way of demonstrating to our customers that we are adhering to industry standards, just like any other industry. Read more...

Non-Dairy-Milks will save the Planet, Right? – Wesley Habershon (Chippenham)

As farmers we are constantly enforced to conform with the next barrage of requirements, whether it be carbon footprints, measure this or measure that…. All whilst 3 different milk tankers collect in the same village!? Read more...

Developing Pig Expertise Programme - AHDB Pork – Harry Edwards (Gloucester)

Over the next 6 months I will be part of a team of 15 individuals within the pig industry that currently advise pig producers that have been accepted onto the new training program, the aim of which is to provide professional development to advisors within the pig industry and increase knowledge transfer and upskill new entrants. Read more...

Planning Permission Granted – At Last! - Charles Holt (Lincoln)

I have recently had news about another success I have had with a case of a small dwelling on a redundant dairy farm, that was purchased by a client. They wanted to turn it into a suckler cow unit. The existing dwelling was there without permission, as its previous temporary permission had long since expired, so the planners went into battle. Read more...

Posted in Business Briefing.