2013-04-29   facebook twitter rss
Health and Feeding Affects on Beef Profits

Seminars at next month's Beef Expo 2013 organised by the National Beef Association at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern, will focus on the affects health and feeding can have on beef herd profitability.

The first seminar of the day will look at how fluke, respiratory disease and internal and external parasites can impact on suckler herd fertility, explains Beef Expo 2013 organising committee member Paul Westaway.

David Heath

David Heath MP

"Fertility is by far and away the largest driver in suckler herd profitability. The most profitable herds are those with tight calving seasons and few barren cows. This allows the focus to be on calving for a short window in the year and ensures even, level groups of calves throughout the production cycle."

Speakers for this first seminar include a brace of leading vets, with fertility specialist Colin Penny outlining the best ways to maximise herd fertility and parasite expert Dave Armstrong discussing the impact parasites, including fluke, can have on overall herd health and importantly cow and bull fertility.

In the day's second seminar the focus will be on maximising production from forage, both grazed and conserved, says Mr Westaway. "Rising feed prices over the last 12 months have meant many beef finishers have had to rely increasingly on forage crops. However, there are still a lot of knowledge gaps in the industry as to the best forages to use and how best to use them

"Novel crops and new varieties are always coming to the market and their use and management needs careful understanding. Profitable beef production will increasingly mean more efficient use of forage crops rather than cereal," he adds.

Speakers for this seminar will include forage crops expert David Randhian from plant breeders DLF Trifoleum and Adam Clay, a leading cattle nutritionist with Frank Wright.

Sandwiched in between these two seminars and covering the lunchtime session will be the event's Question Time session which will give farmers and event visitors the chance to put their questions to Farming minister David Heath.

"The chance for farmers to put their questions on all manner of subjects directly to the minister of state is something truly unique to Beef Expo 2013," says Mr Westaway.

"With so much happening in the farming sector this year, including the ongoing battle with bovine TB, CAP reform and challenges faced by livestock farmers in maximising productivity while minimising their environmental impact this is an opportunity not to be missed," he explains

Mr Heath will be joined on the panel by John Cross, chairman of English red meat levy body EBLEX and local beef farmer and NFU vice president Adam Quinny.

Mr Westaway says both Mr Cross and Mr Quinney will also be able to provide valuable insights in to many of the areas which vex beef farmers on a daily basis, notably meat labelling and consumer demand.

Beef Expo 2013

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