Beef

According to the EBLEX blog “beef and lamb matters”, robust domestic demand combined with strong export sales resulted in the R4L steer price breaking through the 300p per kg barrier in early April. Ongoing tight supplies on the global market, together with the recent opening of 37 non-EU export markets, contributed to continued strong demand, and by early December the price reached 346p per kg.

Overall cattle slaughterings have been higher in 2011 than year earlier levels, however numbers have fallen back as the year has progressed, with the most recent figures showing that October throughputs were 6% lower on the year.

Strong demand for beef on the export market resulted in UK beef shipments increasing by 36% year on year in the January to October period. Although the EU remains the leading market for our beef, exports to non-EU countries have increased by two thirds in the 10 month period.

Looking ahead, supplies of slaughter cattle are expected to remain tight. Firm demand on the continent as well as the growing number of new markets is expected to keep export demand competitive.

Beef Producer Plans

Introducing beef producer plans – structured veterinary input throughout the year Working within your system to increase profits There are key areas on which to focus when trying to increase productivity but we understand that the finer details must be individually tailored to fit your system. Whether you are a member of one of our beef producer plans or not, we would like to offer you tailored advice to improve the profitability of your herd. The big ideas are outlined below. Please speak to your vet to develop the ideas in relation to your herd. The BIG IDEAS There are three main ways to improve suckler cow productivity: • Increase conception rates • Reduce the interval between calving and conception • Reduce calf mortality Data collection is key: • Recording individual cow data shows you how productive she is, whether she is a fertile cow making you money or one for the cull list. • Recording incidences of disease shows you what areas to focus on when planning preventative measures. A compact calving period is key: • Only allow the bull to run with the herd for a restricted time (9 to 10 weeks maximum) Nutrition is key: • Body condition score will have an effect on fertility • Over-conditioned cows are more likely to have calving problems • Heifers must grow well in order to calve down at 2 years of age Click on ‘Gold’ ‘Silver’ or ‘Bronze’ for further information

Gold Plan

  • Bull breeding soundness examination
    • A comprehensive health check for your bulls
    • Check if they are producing viable semen
    • Find out how many cows each of your bulls should be put to
  • Post-calving checks
    • 1-3 weeks after calving season ends to ensure cows are clean and cycling
  • 2 Fertility sessions
    • First session 55 days after bull has gone in to PD all cows and to treat those that are not cycling
    • Second session 100 days after bull has gone in to PD late conceiving cows
  • Body condition scoring
    • Especially at winter housing so you can modify feed intake accordingly
  • Additional blood sampling
    • Find out the level of parasitic challenge in your calves to help plan your worming protocol

Silver Plan

  • Bull breeding soundness examination
    • A comprehensive health check for your bulls
    • Check if they are producing viable semen
    • Find out how many cows each of your bulls should be put to
  • 2 Fertility sessions
    • First session 55 days after bull has gone in to PD all cows and to treat those that are not cycling
    • Second session 100 days after bull has gone in to PD late conceiving cows
  • Body condition scoring
    • Especially at winter housing so you can modify feed intake accordingly

Bronze Plan

  • Bull breeding soundness examination
    • A comprehensive health check for your bulls
    • Check if they are producing viable semen
    • Find out how many cows each of your bulls should be put to
  • PD Session
    • 100-120 days after bull has gone in to identify barrens