Liver and Rumen Fluke Research
Friday, 04 September 2015 10:49
A Liver and Rumen Fluke Research Briefing with keynote speaker Dr Philip Skuce of the Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh attracted over 60 vets from practices province wide reports Rodney Magowan.  Other speakers were Dr Ryan Law, Dunbia and host Mairéad O’Grady MSD Animal Health.

THOUGH the life cycle of the Liver Fluke and the risk this parasite poses to profitability has long been known to farmers it remains a potent threat to livestock health Dr Skuce warns.  “Even the long dry summer and autumn of 2014 does not mean fluke won’t be a problem as last winter was wet and mild. Indeed predicting fluke risk has become more problematic.
Dr Philip Skuce from the Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh reported on research into the spread of both Liver and Rumen Fluke.
 “From the 1950s until recent years the Ollerenshaw Index was used to prepare fluke forecasts and allow farmers to give timely doses. In more recent times, possible climate change, drug resistance, increased animal movements and EU environmental schemes encouraging land owners to protect wet ground have all combined to make forecasting harder.
 “This means farmers, more than ever, must to plan ahead to protect stock with the advice of their vets and using the correct flukicide at each stage of the life cycle.
 “Remember, it is vital you know what active ingredients are in the different fluke products on offer as some flukicides kill only mature fluke whereas some others also hit immature fluke. Vets can advise on this and check if there is a resistance problem with any particular fluke dose. Dairy farmers also need to comply with recent rulings that limit their options to products containing Albendazole or Oxyclozanide for use during lactation.”
 Continuing Dr Skuce, a native of Northern Ireland, who joined the Moredun Research Institute in 1995, warned that keeping fluke at bay also makes good business sense. “Taking time to develop a strategy to control and prevent Liver Fluke will yield dividends as this parasite reduces milk yield and DLWG in cattle. One investigation found the cost of lost production from beef cattle was up to £250 a head.
 “For milk producers fluke on the farm means heifers not reaching target weights for age and a longterm drop in yield. Likewise sheep deaths due to severe fluke infestation are seen all too often and overall flock performance suffers.
 “With fluke risk forecasting more problematic, rising resistance to drugs and changes in legislation producers must plan to protect their businesses from the new threat this old foe poses to profits.”


ASKED if Rumen Fluke was likely to pose a major new threat to livestock performance Dr Skuce noted that despite all the anecdotal reports regarding rumen fluke  just two cases have been reported to date, one in sheep, the other in cattle..
 “These deaths were caused by Rumen Fluke on flooded farms across the water; however these parasites are becoming more common. Over the past decade Rumen Fluke eggs have started to appear in dung samples taken from cattle and sheep across the British Isles.
 “Indeed recent AFBI veterinary investigations found that about 30% of sheep and 40% of cattle in NI now have Rumen Fluke. So far the clinical importance of Rumen Fluke seems very marginal compared to that of Liver Fluke, but many farmers are reporting that successfully treating stock that have Rumen Fluke leads to improved animal performance.”
 Dr Skuce added that current work at the Moredun has found that the strain of Rumen Fluke in the British Isles is ‘Calicopharon daubney’ and not Paramphistomum cervi as previously thought. The potential significance of this finding is that C daubney is the main species of Rumen Fluke found on the European mainland and is known to favour the same mud snail as liver fluke as its intermediate host.
  This would back up reports of Rumen Fluke being a problem on drier land with no fresh water or river boundaries.
  “As always, farmers fearing a problem with fluke should take dung samples to their vet for analysis as large numbers of immature Rumen Fluke in the intestine can cause ill thrift or diarrhoea. There is no licensed treatment available for rumen fluke. However, we are aware that oxyclozanide is effective against rumen fluke which means rumen fluke can be controlled as a result of dosing with oxyclozanide-containing products such as Zanil to treat liver fluke.”

Ballynahinch Farmer Blue President
Friday, 04 September 2015 10:42
BALLYNAHINCH, Co Down farmer Johnny Young has become the first ever Honorary President of the Northern Ireland Blue Cattle Club reports Rodney Magowan.
One of the pioneers of British Blue cattle breeding in the province Johnny was  appointed Hon President at the  Cattle Club AGM, much too his surprise! Making the presentation Club committee member James Martin of Ballyblack paid tribute to Johnny’s unstinting efforts for the club over many years.
Ballynahinch farmer John Young, centre, was made Honorary President at the NI Blue Cattle Club AGM in recognition of his efforts on behalf of the breed. Club members James Martin, left, Ballyblack and Alan Cleland, Downpatrick, made the surprise presentation. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
 “No one ever had to ask Johnny to come along and help run events such as the young handlers’ competition, he simply turned up and quietly got on with the work! “ James noted.
 “Always a pleasure to work with our new President has consistently encouraged other breeders, especially the younger folk.  So it is hardly surprising his grand children are so closely involved in managing the family’s Magheradroll pedigree British Blue Cattle Herd.”
 Responding Johnny said that being in a club means working together for the good of the club and ensuring young people are made welcome as they are the future of any organisation
. “British Blue cattle are the ultimate beef breed when it comes to adding value to calves bred from dairy or suckler herd. Being made Hon President is a great honour and I wish the club success in the future.”
Top Terminal Sire Breeds Mart Toppers!
Friday, 04 September 2015 10:39
“WHEN it comes to adding value to calves from dairy or suckler herds British Blues remain the top terminal sire for progressive farmers,” the key note comment from Chairman Jason Edgar at the NI Blue Cattle Club AGM.
  Continuing Jason noted that beef prospects were improving after a difficult year for the sector. This had, until recently, impacted on pedigree bull sale prices, but nationwide dropped calves, stores and finished stock with Blue breeding kept topping mart reports in good times and bad times.. “Through out this year past the Blue Club had a series of events, including a strong presence at NI shows. Indeed British Blues bred in NI took awards and top prices at breed shows and sales across the water. This reflects the quality of cattle bred in this part of the UK.
Jason Edgar, Chairman, NI Blue Cattle Club and Libby Young, Secretary with Paul Elwood, right, HVS Animal Health, the guest speaker at the Club's AGM. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
 “To all members who have helped promote the breed at events and to all our sponsors a big thank you from club officer holders...
 “However, I must especially note that a good friend of the NI Blue Club has decided to step down as secretary of the British Blue Cattle Society. John Fleming always tried to help and encourage breeder in this region and we wish him well in retirement as we welcome new secretary Andy Ryder.
 “On behalf of the NI Club our British Blue Cattle Society council member Harold McKee has made a presentation to John.”
 The following were then elected to serve for the year to come;
Chairman Jason Edgar, vice chairman Basil Dougherty, treasurer David Young, secretary Libby Young.
Executive committee; James Martin, Oliver McCann, Alan Cleland, Ivan Gordon and Stephen Gordon.
Auditors A Cleland and Jim Sloan.

William new Dow AgroSciences Ulster Manager
Friday, 04 September 2015 10:29
Dow AgroSciences has appointed William Corrigan to the new position of national business manager with responsibility for managing the company’s range of grassland and cereal products in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

He will with work with Clarendon Agricare in Portadown, distributor of Dow AgroSciences’ extensive range of grassland and cereal weed control products in Northern Ireland, in expanding markets and services for existing and new products.
Dow AgroSciences has appointed William Corrigan national business manager for Northern Ireland.

William, Dow AgroSciences’ regional business manager in central England for the past three years, holds primary and masters degrees in agricultural science from University College Dublin.  He comes from a progressive beef and arable farm in Co. Kildare.

“This is an important new role, given our market strengths in grassland and cereal products. It also reflects the strong line-up of innovative products that we plan to launch over the coming years,” said Dow AgroSciences UK and RoI managing director Scott Boothey.

The range of Dow grassland herbicides distributed by Clarendon Agricare includes Grazon 90, Doxstar, Thistlex, Pastor, Forefront and Forefront T.  Galaxy, Broadway Star, Starane and newly-introduced Spitfire are among the range of weed control products for cereal growers.
Pink Wrap Aids Breast Cancer Charities
Friday, 04 September 2015 10:12
IN fields and farmyards nationwide big bale silage wrap is turning pink as farming families help raise funds for breast cancer charities!
 Volac, together with film manufacturer Trioplast, has launched a special pink edition of the 1,900 metre Topwrap RS 1900 with a donation for every roll used going to aid breast cancer research, prevention and treatment.
At the NI launch of the Volac pink big bale silage wrap that raised funds for breast cancer charities were radiographers Harriet Gibson, left, and Deborah Sproule, a Castlederg dairy farmer's wife. For every pink roll of Topwrap RS1900 sold a donation went to aid breast cancer research, prevention and treatment.  A David Ralston Photograph.
 A fund raising idea already a great success in New Zealand is now proving equally popular here as a very visual means of both raising funds and awareness of breast cancer in the rural community. The NI launch of the pink wrap was hosted by Castlederg dairy farmer Gareth Sproule and his wife Deborah. A specialist radiographer with the breast screening unit at the Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry Deborah urges women to ensure local GPs have their correct address details.
  This is essential as all women aged between 50 and 70, the most at risk age group, are called for breast screening every three years using the address held by their local medical practice. Not updating personal details with a GP can mean slipping under the radar when it comes to these vital mammograms.
 Deborah believes this pink big bale wrap publicity will encourage more women to attend their breast screening appoints as an amazing 25% of appointments are not kept!
 Of those attending for a routine screening mammogram 4% are recalled for further checks, but of these only one in four may require potentially life saving treatment. 
 Those attending for routine mammograms either at a hospital or a mobile scanning unit have their results inside two weeks.
 Women over 70 may also request an appointment and those under 50 concerned about changes in their body or with a family history of breast cancer should see their GP for a referral to a breast screening unit. For younger women referred by a GP results will be available on the day they attend for a mammogram.
 Women in the farming community lead especially busy lives, but the sight of pink big bales of silage now serve as an extra reminder that time taken for routine health checks could save your life!
 To support this breast cancer awareness and fund raising campaign by baling your silage in pink wrap contact Volac NI manager Alistair Sampson, tel; 078606 26442.
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