Monday, 23 January 2017 09:03
GARRY Scott has joined independent brokers CIP Insurance as a specialist in providing agricultural cover.
Garry Scott, CIP Insurance Brokers.
 Married with four of a family, the eldest is 12, Garry lives on a suckler farm near Magherafelt. He graduated in animal science and agriculture following studies at Greenmount College and Queen’s University Belfast.
 Garry joins CIP Insurance Brokers after a decade with a large national insurance company proving cover for farmers, contractors and other rural businesses.
  However, with CIP, the NI based and family owned independent brokers, Gary can now help clients compare premiums and polices from a range of major companies to identify the cover and cost best suited to their needs.
   With a head office in Crumlin, Co Antrim CIP Insurance Brokers Ltd operates province wide specialising in providing policies for farmers, their families and other rural businesses.
  For peace of mind at pleasing premiums contact Garry Scott tel; 07851 634029 or CIP Insurance Freephone 0800 1777 880.
Monday, 23 January 2017 08:57
Dog tired from lambing and fed up bottle feeding then invest in a Ewe2 warm milk feeder to save you time and effort, improve lamb growth rates and reduce the risk of digestive upsets.
LAMBING either early or late making time now to plan for those busy weeks pays says Volac’s Alistair Sampson.
 “Checking lambing pens and lambing box essentials will help maximise numbers sold in 2017. Even those of us in sheep a lifetime can learn from what went right or wrong previous years.”
Top lambing tips:

Ewes must be in the best condition possible for the last six weeks of pregnancy when 70% of foetal growth takes place. Getting this wrong can cause poor lamb survival rates, low birth weights and inferior quality ewe colostrum. Group and feed ewes according to scanning results and their condition score. Getting the mineral balance right is important too, so ask your nutritionist for advice. Consider asking your vet to blood sample ewes 4-6 weeks pre-lambing to make sure their diet is delivering the required energy and protein status.
Over 45% of sheep producers aim to rear more lambs artificially in 2017 as a weak pound makes every lamb worth more. Well proven ad lib milk feeding systems save time and boost lamb growth rates. Why spend hours a day bottle-feeding when already dog tired from lambing? The Ewe 2 range of warm milk feeders from Volac teat feeds up to 25 lambs ad lib. Lambs that drink little and often to give naturally better DLWG.
Don’t skimp! Stock up with the equipment and supplies you’ll need. Once lambing starts you won’t want to leave the yard. Order well in advance materials such as disinfectant for pens, iodine for navels, castration rings, feeding tubes, marker sprays, sterilisation equipment, Volac milk and colostrum replacers. 
Remind yourself of those essential disease management interventions pre and post lambing. For example, boosting ewe clostridial disease and pasteurellosis cover 4-6 week pre-lambing. Separate and treat lame sheep well before housing. Check protocols for dealing with any abortion problems, scours or joint ill. 
Thoroughly clean and disinfected sheds at least a fortnight before ewes come in to lamb. Use plenty of clean, dry bedding to reduce the risk of spreading lameness and other infections such as watery mouth, joint ill and coccidiosis. Good lighting makes it so much easier to check stock without disturbing them too much. Avoid overcrowding. A typical 70kg ewe needs 1.2m2 to 1.4m2 of floor space and 45cm of trough space.
“Even those of us lambing sheep a lifetime can still learn from what went right or wrong previous years and plan now to do better,” Alistair Sampson, Volac NI.
 At lambing an extra pair of hands is invaluable. Have you got enough help 24/7? Ag or vet students can be ideal temp staff though vary in their experience and knowledge. But above all they should bring energy, enthusiasm and initiative to the job. Just add your clear instructions on what needs done
Set targets for reducing lamb losses 
Good records benchmark performance and help identify potential problem areas. Recording doesn’t have to be complicated – just do it! The aim is less than 15% lamb losses, but top flocks are achieving closer to 10%. 

Targets for reducing lamb losses:
Less than 5% from scanning to lambing
Less than 5% during lambing and the first week of life
Less than 2% from the first week until weaning
Less than 2% from weaning until sold.
 Ask your vet for advice if:

Ewe losses are more than 3%
Lamb losses are more than 15%
More than 2% of your ewes are barren at scanning.
For further information contact Alistair Sampson, Volac NI, tel; 07860 626442.
Monday, 10 October 2016 09:59
A charitable campaign that has seen farms nationwide displaying bright pink silage bales in aid of breast cancer research has been hailed a huge success.
Organised by dairy nutrition company Volac, the campaign has raised over £18,500 for the ‘Breast Cancer Now’ charity from sales of a specially-produced pink film to wrap big bale silage.
Volac pink film on silage bales raised £18,500 for breast cancer research in 2016!
Jackie Bradley, from Volac, said: "This amazing £18,500 far exceeds the £10,000 raised in our similar campaign last year.
"The response has been nothing short of amazing with eye catching bright pink bales in fields up and down the country. A testimony to the generosity of farming folk and a very visible reminder that visiting your GP with any concerns or attending for free NHS scans is vital.
She added: "The campaign has enjoyed huge support from journalists and many farmers have done really creative things with pink bales to make them stand out even more!
"The aim was to help raise awareness of the disease – while all the time raising money for a charity that helps fund breast cancer research at over 30 centres across the British Isles."
Money was donated to the campaign from each roll of pink Topwrap film farmers purchased – with contributions coming from Volac, as well as Trioplast, the film's manufacturer, and from the merchant supplying the roll.
Special bright pink stickers were also available for farmers making more traditionally-coloured green or black bales, who also wanted to donate and demonstrate their support.
For further details of more than 100 research projects at 30 centres browse
 Two of these research projects supported by Breast Cancer Now are led by Dr Niamh Buckley at QUB. 

Dairy Farmers wanted
Thursday, 28 July 2016 16:38
Dairy Farmers wanted to participate in an exciting international project

AgriSearch (The Northern Ireland Agricultural Research and Development Council) is looking to recruit a small number of innovative dairy farmers as “pilot farms” for an exciting new European project.
EuroDairy is a network being initiated to increase the economic, social and environmental sustainability of dairy farming in Europe, at a time of unprecedented challenge for the sector.

Funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme, EuroDairy will foster the development and dissemination of practice-based innovations in dairy farming, targeting key sustainability issues following the abolition of milk quotas: socio economic resilience, resource efficiency, animal care, and the integration of milk production with biodiversity objectives.  

EuroDairy spans 14 countries, from Ireland to Poland, and from Sweden to Italy, encompassing 40% of dairy farmers, 45% of cows and 60% of European milk output.

EuroDairy will establish a network of 120 innovating dairy farmers (pilot farms) across Europe to demonstrate best practice, and push boundaries in the application of new knowledge.

AgriSearch is seeking to recruit a small number of Northern Ireland dairy farmers to participate in this European network. Pilot farms should be implementing innovations in one or more of the following areas:
Resource efficiency
Animal care
Socio-economic resilience

Pilot farmers should have:
Good physical and financial performance
Good communication skills
Good record keeping
Be willing to host farm visits from both local and international farmers
Be willing to participate in local meetings (including operational groups)
Be willing to go on an exchange to visit other farmers in Europe

Pilot farmers will be financially benchmarked for two years using the European Dairy Farmers financial comparison system.  For this reason, we would particularly welcome applications from farmers who are already participating in the EDF financial comparison programme.

Farmers will also be required to submit additional information (which will depend on the type of innovations they are implementing on their farms).

AgriSearch will be seeking to form farmer-driven ‘Operational Groups’ to target specific problems or opportunities for the dairy sector. The EuroDairy network will link these groups cross-border, so that innovations identified in one country or region, can be shared with another. Pilot farmers should be willing to participate in such operational groups.
Farmers who are interested in applying to become a pilot farmer should download an information pack and application form from the AgriSearch website or request one by contacting Jason Rankin on 028 92681613 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Thursday, 28 July 2016 16:32
A new in parlour feeding system has proved a profitable investment for Herman Pieper, a progressive goat milk producer reports Jos Borsten.
Since fitting a new in parlour feeder milking time for 300 goats in a carousel parlour has been reduced and training new members of the herd made easier.
Farming near Eibergen, pop; 12,000, close to the Dutch border with Germany   Herman was primarily a beef and pig producer until 1999 when the decision was made to establish a dairy goat enterprise.
 So over the next two years he built up a milking goat herd and installed a 48 station carousel milking parlour.  However, after 15 years it was clear by last winter that the original in parlour feeding system needed replaced.
Dairy goat farmer Herman Pieper is delighted with a new Hanskamp in parlour feeding system that cuts costs, enhances performance and saves time.
 “It was not a very precise feeding system as the motor worked with a timer and feed often ended up on the floor beside the trough instead of in the trough. There was a lot of costly spillage around the rotary parlour and goats were not being fed to optimise their performance and our profits,” explained Herman.
 “A reliable feeding system that can dose pellets precisely is very important in ensuring individual goats are fed accurately to ensure they remain in good condition and that margins are maximised.”
 With the PipeFeeder HighSpeed system developed by innovative Dutch company Hanskamp already popular with dairy cow herd owners across Western Europe Herman decided to have it installed last February.
This control panel lets Herman preset the amount of pellets offered to each animal by the PipeFeeder HighSpeed system. Hanskamp feeders are designed for use with all major makes and models of milking equipment.
 “Now we have no pellets left scattered around the parlour and each goat gets exactly the correct amount of feed as the PipeFeeder has a very accurate braking system on the motor.”
Having deliberately installed the new feeding system before the start of kidding time Herman Pieper found that goats now learn the parlour routine much easier and faster than in previous years.
 “I also really like the way Hanskamp have designed their very robust PipeFeeder so that from the ControlPanel the amount of pellets dispensed per group or per individual goat can be simply set.
 “For young goats I can easily set the system to dispense 300g to 400g per animal. This ensures they remain eating and standing peacefully right through milking until turned out.
“The certainty that every goat will always receive feed helps get young goats moving quickly into the parlour. Early in the season when young goats coming into the herd are learning the milking routine this has cut milking time by half an hour as 300 animals go through the parlour.”
 When ordering the PipeFeeder Herman Pieper pointed out to Hanskamp that the exit point designed for dairy cows would need adapted to suit goats.
 “As a result we were the very first to install a new exit point for the PipeFeeder system designed by the Hanskamp team specifically for goats. It is no surprise that more diary goat farmers have since also opted for this PipeFeeder HighSpeed package. 
 “For those producing milk from cows or goats and seeking a precise feeding system with no problems I would strongly recommend the PipeFeeder HighSpeed from Hanskamp. Safe and simple to use it has proved an excellent investment as time and money is saved.”
 For further details tel; 0031 3143 93797, e mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or browse  

« StartPrev12345678910NextEnd »

Page 2 of 14