1. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Apr 23, 2019 at 5:22 AM

    Written by Richard Halleron

    According to AHDB Dairy, mozzarella cheese manufacturers could come under pressure in the event of a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit.

    In such circumstances, the UK would face the EU common external tariff on any exports sent to the EU. For mozzarella, this means a tariff of €185.20/100kg, approximately 45% of the value of the product. As a result, the majority of UK mozzarella would be unable to compete on EU markets.

    The UK Government has recently announced the no-deal tariff rates for imported products.

    The proposed import tariff rate for fresh mozzarella is zero. Therefore, the impact on imports and exports is likely to be significantly different.

    The UK is in a mozzarella deficit in both value and volume terms. In other words, we import more than we export.

    Trade in mozzarella has increased each year for the last three years. However, with exports increasing more quickly than imports, the trade deficit has gradually reduced.

    Yet in monetary terms, the UK’s trade position has worsened.

    Over the last couple of years, the difference between the value of imports and exports has narrowed. In 2016, the average unit export price was £1,540/t more than the price of imports. In 2018, the difference narrowed to just £300/t.

    Nearly all of the UK mozzarella is sourced from the EU, with around 40% sourced from Denmark. Imports have declined from France, Germany...
  2. CPM RSS
    Created by CPM RSS
    Apr 22, 2019 at 12:32 PM

    Written by Charlotte Cunningham

    Norfolk farmer Mark Means and North Lincolnshire grower James Fretwell have been crowned winners of Bayer’s sugar beet yield competition, #Beet150. CPM reports. Bayer’s #Beet150 competition offered the chance for two growers to travel to Chile, a country where the average sugar beet yield exceeds 100 t/ha and holds the world record for the highest yielding crop of 196.7 t/ha (adjusted). Norfolk farmer, Mark Means won the competition for the highest yielding field lifted before 30th November 2018 with a yield of 109.77 t/ha, while Lincs grower, James Fretwell, won the prize for the highest overall contract yield of 103.32 t/ha. Edward Hagues, Bayer campaign manager for root crops, congratulated the two growers on their performance describing it as truly remarkable given the difficult conditions that dominated during the 2018 season.“Both James and Mark proved that good performance takes good management. 2018 was undoubtedly a difficult year with a late winter ensuring drilling was a long and protracted affair while the hottest summer for more than 40 years meant many crops withered. “Despite these difficulties, James and Mark produced crops that yielded above the average for the season and they should be applauded for their attention to detail in ensuring…
    The post...
  3. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Apr 22, 2019 at 12:13 PM

    Written by Charles O'Donnell

    Farmers who are trying to maintain milk constituents during the spring are being urged not to overlook the role of buffer feeding while cows are out at grass.

    Nutritional advice firm Quality Liquid Feeds (QLF) said fast-growing grass is the “perfect” feedstuff, in terms of cheapness, fermentable metabolisable energy (FME) and effective rumen degradable protein (ERDP).

    However, the low structural fibre content means it passed through the rumen too quickly, as explained by Bronwen Pihlwret from QLF.

    Structural fibre from forage is fermented in the rumen to acetate – which is the main precursor to fat production – but as a result of increased rumen throughput, we often see a drop in milk butterfat levels at this time of year.

    In order for farmers to meet milk contract requirements, QLF argues that producers should focus on increasing butterfat levels when cows are at grass.

    “This can be achieved through feeding a buffer ration, which includes structural fibre from forage such as stemmy grass silage, hay or straw.

    The buffer feed will slow down the rumen transit rate, allowing the rumen microbes enough time to fully ferment the feedstuff and utilise the nutrients.

    “The increase in structural fibre will also increase the proportion of acetate, helping to maximise milk butterfat production,” she added.

    She went on to argue that a molasses-based product within buffer rations can help increase its...
  4. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Apr 22, 2019 at 10:12 AM

    Written by Agriland Team

    Oilseed rape crops continue to be a mixed bag – while some areas have seen promising crops others have been less impressive.

    BASF agronomy managers have been keeping a close eye on crops across their areas.

    South England

    In the south, Andrew Clune said: “There are all sorts of crops out there and in some cases, there are all sorts of crops even in the one field. Crops are now coming into flowering and the full effects of cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) larvae are being seen.


    “In a minority of cases, the CSFB larvae have completely killed the plant, elsewhere some plants are stunted and relying on secondary branching and others look absolutely fine.

    “I think the crop will compensate – unless you see lots of plant death I wouldn’t be ripping the crop up.”

    Further north, it’s a brighter outlook, Mathew Barnes in Yorkshire, said: “Crops have come through pretty well really, we have probably only lost 10% of crops through CSFB, however, they are now affecting how the crops come into flower. It is going to make spray timing very difficult.

    Because of the variability, pollen beetles have been in crops for much longer, they are almost...​
  5. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Apr 22, 2019 at 8:12 AM

    Written by Rachel Martin

    A 12-week consultation has been launched to examine how reforming agricultural tenancy legislation in Wales could help boost farm productivity.

    Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs said: “Agricultural tenancies play a very important part in shaping farming practices in Wales.

    Approximately 30% of total farmed land is rented under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986, Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 or informal agreements or grazing licences.

    “As we approach Brexit, it is vitally important all elements of the farming industry in Wales are resilient, productive, prepared for the future and able to access new land management schemes.”

    The consultation runs concurrently with a similar Defra consultation and is informed by the recommendations brought forward by the Tenancy Reform Industry Group.

    The principal aim is to consider how farmers can increase and maximise productivity by modernising farming practices.

    It hopes to identify outdated or restrictive farming practices and highlight changes which could be made to agricultural tenancy legislation to support a more productive industry.

    The consultation closes on July 2, 2019.

    Griffiths added: “I welcome responses to allow me to consider what changes – if any – are needed to allow Wales’ agricultural sector and rural economy to thrive in...
  6. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Apr 22, 2019 at 5:02 AM

    Written by Richard Halleron

    The barn egg sector has been dealt a major blow, courtesy of a decision taken by Sainsbury’s not to stock this particular type of egg beyond March 31, 2020.

    This decision will affect all barn producers currently supplying Skea Eggs in Northern Ireland.

    “This has come as a total bolt from the blue,” confirmed Loughall-based barn egg producer Paul Conway.

    “We had no warning of it all. The management of Skea Eggs has told us that they have no alternative market for our eggs at the present time.

    And if this remains the case, it’s inevitable that all the producers affected will go out of business.”

    He continued: “We do not have the scope to convert to free-range production. What makes this all the more galling is the fact that management from Sainsbury’s was on my farm not that long ago, expressing delight at the job barn egg producers in Northern Ireland were doing for them at that time.”

    Conway said that barn egg producers are now facing the prospect of losing their income but still having to make re-payments on houses that were built within the last ten years.

    “In my own case, I still have five years’ repayments to make on a second house that was put up in 2014 on the back of the demand for barn eggs at that time. This works out at around £2,000 per month.”

    Commenting on these developments, a spokesperson for...
  7. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Apr 21, 2019 at 2:12 PM

    Written by Rachel Martin

    A record 18 high-performing Holstein herds have qualified for Master Breeder status this year – one of the most prestigious recognitions of a breeder’s efforts.

    Master Breeder status rewards Holstein members whose herds achieve a high standard in both classification and production and, therefore, breed productive, trouble-free, long-living cows that display desirable traits and conformation.

    Cows and heifers in each herd are allocated points according to set criteria.

    Only animals carrying the member prefix, and which are recorded as having produced a lactation within the last two years, are eligible for inclusion in the calculation.

    Herds must achieve an average score of four points or more and a total point score of 150 or more, to qualify as a Master Breeder.

    The Master Breeder Winners 2019

    This year, a total of 18 breeders from across the UK qualified. They are as follows:

    • ALIANN, J.D. & J.A. Holgate, North Yorkshire;
    • ARDS, H. Patton & Sons, Co. Down, Northern Ireland;
    • BANNISTREE, D. & E. Monk, Lancashire;
    • CLANDEBOYE, Clandeboye Estate Co. Ltd, Co. Down, Northern Ireland;
    • CLWCH, W.J. & H. Williams, Gwynedd;
    • ENCHMARSH, J. & G. Allsop, Shropshire;
    • HAVENDALE, T.H. Flower & Sons, Derbyshire;
    • HAYVALLEY, D.W. & G.N. Renfree, Cornwall;
    • HILLTARA, S.M. McCormick, Co. Down, Northern Ireland;...
  8. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Apr 21, 2019 at 12:02 PM

    Written by Rachel Martin

    A new rhizome-based Miscanthus variety which has delivered staggering results in commercial-scale trials is set to be launched to the public at Cereals 2019.

    Named ‘Athena’ and available for planting in spring 2020, the variety offers quicker maturation and higher returns, more than doubling the energy per hectare.

    Athena produces higher yields in year two of the crop’s 20-year life cycle; an average mature yield double that of original Miscanthus giganteus; a calorific value increase of 8%, resulting in a 180% increase in energy per hectare (megajoules); and a significant ash content reduction – all of which benefits the end market considerably.

    Trial results show that, on average, year-two yields are 62% above the standard Miscanthus giganteus variety, producing 8 t/ha for the first harvest and 12.5 t/ha in year three.

    Extensive testing for Athena took place on 270ha of varied UK soil types, in differing geographic and climatic conditions.

    Historically, first generation Miscanthus crops were generally first harvested in year three, but due to better planting techniques and improved rhizome quality, Miscanthus giganteus has seen earlier harvests, starting in year two.

    Athena will give farmers a faster return on investment and overall increased margins through the crop’s life.

    Biomass firm, Terravesta, is launching Athena at Cereals 2019...
  9. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Apr 21, 2019 at 10:02 AM

    Written by Rachel Martin

    An Edinburgh-based cow behaviour specialist has launched a new application which, for the first time, offers the agri-research market the ability to access, control and analyse unparalleled amounts of data.

    Already being trialled in Europe, the USA and New Zealand, ‘CowAlert for Researchers’ offers a real-time data gathering and analysis experience.

    It scales up the power of CowAlert’s established monitoring and alerting modules, enabling researchers to control and analyse their own data or combine it with data from a large number of commercial farms.

    The firm behind CowAlert for Researchers, IceRobotics, says it will offer researchers a less labour-intensive monitoring system which can be tailored to their own specific requirements.

    The software will enable researchers to control the data collated by CowAlert and export it out of their own system, allowing for data merging and larger scale statistical analysis.


    CowAlert’s technology has been developed through years of dedicated research by IceRobotics.

    Available commercially to farmers for seven years, it uses a unique rear leg-based sensor to continually monitor the health, lameness and fertility of each animal.

    It then alerts the farmer to any potential issues, significantly enhancing health and productivity through improved decision-making.

  10. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Apr 21, 2019 at 8:22 AM

    Written by Rachel Martin

    A potato processing company has today been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker, Colin Smith, was left with a fractured leg after he was struck by a telehandler.

    The case was heard at Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard on Friday (April 12, 2019).

    The judge heard how, on January 5, 2018, Colin Smith had been walking across the middle yard at Breagate Produce towards the maintenance workshop when he was struck by three potato boxes loaded on the tines of a telehandler being operated by another employee.

    The impact knocked him to the ground and caused a fracture to his left leg.

    An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had insufficient measures in place to prevent people being struck by vehicles.

    A protected walkway was provided to only two sides of the yard, but not to the right side between the production sheds and the engineering workshop – a well-used pedestrian route.

    The investigation also found a large number of boxes had been stored in the yard which meant there was less room.

    As a result, it meant that pedestrians – including Mr. Smith – had to take a route further into the transport area than should have been necessary.

    Court heard that the company also failed to ensure forklift truck and telehandler operators were clear what the site rules were around the transportation of potato boxes and to...