Ulster says Farewell to a Good Friend
Thursday, 03 September 2015 10:38
JOHN Fleming, a good friend of breeders in NI, recently retired after 16 successful years at the helm of the British Blue Cattle Society.
 To mark his retirement the NI British Blue Cattle Club made a special presentation to John during a farewell dinner in Carlisle for this progressive and popular breed secretary.
 Born during the last years of the Empire in India where his father was a forester John was for many years a lecturer at Newton Rigg Agricultural College near Penrith, Cumbria.
 Making the presentation on behalf of NI breeders former Society President and chairman Alan Cleland from Downpatrick paid tribute to John’s success in helping make the Blue the nation’s ultimate terminal beef sire.
 Noting that John had brought tremendous drive, energy and good humour to giving breeders the professional support they needed as Blues became the premier breed for dairy and suckler herd owners adding value to their calf crop. That British Blue bred calves, stores and finished cattle now top marts across the country demonstrates that the right beef breed had the right man in charge.
 Always know for his willingness to adopt new technology, often in conjunction with other breed societies, John  is now devoting more time to his own rural interests and love of cars.
 Clearly the NI Club presentation of John silhouetted against the King’s Hall proved apt in bringing back memories of many Balmoral Show successes.
 In closing Alan Cleland also recalled how very successfully John and colleagues meticulously planned the 2011 World Congress of Belgian Blue Breed Societies in Wales and the Welsh Marches  

Will Spring Time be Your Claim Time?
Monday, 03 August 2015 10:46
SPRING arriving means farm work moves up a gear with cows calving, ewes lambing and field work underway to get crops in the ground.
  A season when those with a mind to steal find gates unlocked and machinery left in the field as time is short for those working the land.
  Thus CIP Insurance brokers urge farmers to check their insurance cover for losses due to, for example, theft, road accidents or wandering livestock.
As stock head back out to grass farmers should take stock of their insurance cover needs with a call to CIP Insurance Brokers of Crumlin.

  At their Crumlin, Co Antrim head office CIP Insurance Brokers have a dedicated agricultural team with many years experience in advising farmers province wide..

 CIP are always looking to underwriters for enhanced cover to accommodate changing industry needs and getting new insurers to provide policies for the agricultural community.

Recent additions to the CIP portfolio includes Agricultural Vehicle Contracts ideally suited to NI family farms,  especially as premiums are very competitive and extra cover is included.
Farm Property and Liability covers have also been enhanced with special emphasis on Environmental Protection and protection of farm enterprises from Third Party Liability Claims.

 Smaller farm businesses are not forgotten with special policies now available to suit the many local part-time farmers.
 Scale wise their activities may not compare with a large dairy unit, but are just as vulnerable to unexpected incidents that do not always occur on the Other Man’s Farm!

 Above all CIP Insurance Brokers pride themselves on the back up claims service they deliver.
 Virtually all clients renew year on year and recommend friends and neighbours to get a quote from CIP for farm and family cover against the unexpected we must all expect.
Recently a large farm renewal was completed by CIP with a client who has been with the brokerage since 1977!
 Paul Williamson, CIP Managing Director, commented “Our Commercial Insurance Portfolio has expanded dramatically in the past few years and our farm business percentage has kept pace with the specialist products we offer this segment.”
 To experience the CIP treatment call today on ph;:  (028) 9442 2880 or E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Tuesday, 29 July 2014 11:16
 NEWRY vet Brian Doyle is urging farmers to vaccinate cattle against common killer Clostridial Diseases such as Tetanus or Blackleg.
Ballyholland suckler herd owner Stephen McConville, right, with Brian Doyle, centre, Clanrye Veterinary Clinic and Brendan McVeigh, MSD Animal Health discussing threats to stock after turnout.  ìTetanus can strike after routine procedures such as dehorning and castration, ìwarns Brian. ì Yet Tetanus and other killer Clostridial Diseases can be controlled using Bravoxin 10 vaccine given twice at a four to six week interval.î Photograph: Columba O'Hare
“Finding a real topper of a young bullock dead in the field after turnout due to Tetanus or Blackleg is a financial shock that can be avoided. Tetanus, caused by C. tetani, is most commonly seen after routine tasks such as dehorning and castration,” explained Brian, a partner in Clanrye Veterinary Clinic.
 “Ideally stock should be protected against Tetanus and a range of other Clostridial Diseases by vaccination before turnout, but it is never too late as there is always some benefit from vaccination. Blackleg is also a common problem at this time of year. One of the pre-disposing factors is bruising of muscle, therefore it is most commonly seen in young bulls.  
 “Calves can be vaccinated from 2 weeks of age with a second injection of vaccine 4 to 6 weeks after the first. Although there is some immunity from a single injection full protection only occurs 2 weeks after the second injection.
 “Giving calves that second injection is essential and an annual booster of a single injection is strongly advised.
Practice partner Brian Doyle and receptionist Karen Carlisle at  Clanrye Veterinary Clinic, the progressive Newry City practice serving local farmers and pet owners. Brian, a native of Killowen near Rostrevor, heads the veterinary team in partnership with his brother Kieran at this independent, mixed practice with an outstanding reputation for good service. Playing a key role in administration Karen has been with this growing veterinary clinic on the Belfast Road for 15 years. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
“The broad spectrum vaccine used, Bravoxin 10 from MSD Animal Health,   gives protection against Tetanus and other common Clostridial Diseases. Ones know all too well to generations of farmers such as Blackleg, Clostridial Redwater and Malignant Oedema.
 “Letting your guard down and not protecting stock against Tetanus and this range of Clostridial Diseases can be a very costly mistake. At Clanrye Veterinary Clinic it is a real concern that farmers under pressure in a late spring might be penny wise and pound foolish. 
 “For your own peace of mind and the good health of your herd Bravoxin 10 vaccination is an excellent investment!  Using the vaccine as part of your routine animal health plan is better than having to ring the rendering man!”

Tuesday, 29 July 2014 11:09
HOW do you make a living from 450 ewes on 70 lowland acres in West Tyrone?
 The key question that drew almost 200 sheep farmers to an AgriSearch farm walk hosted by Isaac Crilly of Lislaird, Castlederg. The answer, Isaac explained, is to maximise your kilos of lamb sold per ewe and above all per acre.
Isaac Crilly takes questions during the AgriSearch farm walk.
 “A U grade lamb returns an extra £2 over a run of the mill R grade, but producing an extra 0.1kg lambs weaned per ewe means another £8 so carcass quality is not our key consideration,” Isaac revealed.
 Closely involved in AFBI on farm research selected for support by producers through AgriSearch Isaac‘s 2013 sales averaged 1.58 lambs per ewe, including ewe lambs. 19kg carcasses averaging £119 a piece to leave a benchmarked gross margin per ha of £548. An impressive £170 per ha more than the NI benchmarked average thanks to high stocking rates.
At the AgriSearch event farmers showed tremendous interest in breeding systems used to produce this impressive profit.  Isaac has Belclare, NZ Suffolk and Meatlinc rams put to composite ewes and is one of five producers involved in an AFBI, Hillsborough rotational breeding investigation.
 Findings from this work on selecting ewe replacements demonstrated the potential of using composite ewes in terms of production efficiency, that is, lamb output per kg ewe.
The benefits of selecting homegrown ewe replacements, as well as terminal sires, on performance records rather than looks alone were clear to see on the bottom line of this impressive farm business.
With limited acreage Isaac and Elizabeth Crilly make no silage so ewes are fed only on grass, straw and concentrate thus showing that silage is not the only option in the winter sheep menu! However, silage quality generated an excellent discussion between visiting farmers, CAFRE advisors and AFBI scientists. 
 To view a booklet produced for the Crilly farm walk browse www.agrisearch.org or ph; (028) 8778 9770.

Isaac Crilly at the AgriSearch farm walk.
Isaac and Elizabeth Crilly run 450 March April lambing ewes on 28.3ha, 70 acres. 
Stocking rate 19 ewes per ha.
2013 output 567kg carcass per ha.
Hosting AFBI on farm research for 15 years
Increasingly sheep research projects have been those selected for support by farmers through AgriSearch. 

Dairy Unit Unique in Europe
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 11:03
PipeFeeders in the Rapid Exit parlour!

BELGIAN milk producer Rudy Rotsaert was the first farmer in Europe to install PipeFeeder concentrate dosing units in a Rapid Exit milking parlour.
BELGIAN milk producer Rudy Rotsaert, who farms at Klemskerke close to the West Flanders coast, is the first in Europe to install PipeFeeder concentrate dosing units in a Rapid Exit milking parlour. 
 Expanding his business onto a second farm gave Rudy the opportunity to invest in a totally new dairy unit with the emphasis on achieving a more efficient way of milking.
 On the advice of Rommelaere NV, a Belgian dairy equipment company, he opted for a 2 x 16 Rapid Exit milking system. This has a cantilevered, vertically moving steel frame that allows cows to leave the parlour quickly. 

PipeFeeder concentrate dosators
 Like most milk producers Rudy Rotsaert sees many advantages in feeding during milking as cows then like to come into the parlour, which means there is no need for an expensive push-on gate.
 Therefore he searched for a reliable and efficient concentrate feeding system to match the Rapid Exit milking parlour. At Hanskamp AgroTech, an innovative Dutch company, Rudy found the concentrate dosator that lives up to his expectations, the PipeFeeder.
  Thus above every milking place a PipeFeeder made from robust stainless steel has been installed in a rigid frame. Once every cow is in place and the rear gate has closed the cow-recognition system ensures each individual receives the correct amount of concentrate based on her level of production. 
  During milking the cow receives several 80 gram portions of concentrate until the maximum amount allocated is reached. This is important as it ensures the farmer has control over the amount of concentrate fed and that none is wasted.   “The positive effect of concentrate feeding in the parlour was seen immediately, “says Rudy Rotsaert. “In the new dairy unit our cows are keen to come into the milking parlour, they are quiet and they let go of their milk more easily. Thus the milking time is reduced. 
 ‘We certainly made an excellent choice by installing the very efficient PipeFeeder in parlour feeding system”. 
 For further information on the PipeFeeder from Hanskamp AgroTech please contact Robin Franken, tel; 00 31 314 393 797 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
 Hanskamp AgroTech will exhibit at the Livestock Event, Birmingham July 2-3, and the Irish National Ploughing Championships, Sept 23-25.
 To obtain details of how the Rapid Exit milking parlour was constructed contact Van Dinther BV tel; 00 31 486 473 068 or via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Press release – Zelhem, 23 April 2014 
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