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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 15 May 2013

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Wednesday 15th May 2013.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

Consider Silage Plans Carefully This Summer

Spring has arrived and, as thoughts turn to future forage plans, researchers and extension staff are advising farmers to think carefully about timing cuts.

Unseasonably cold weather has delayed UK grass growth by four weeks, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute has said.

Dry matter per hectare at the start of May was at 20 kg/ha, a third of average rates for the time of year.

Consequently, farmers should regularly walk their pasture to assess sward development. But it is not a simple case of waiting for bulk to accumulate.

The AFBI has warned Northern Irish farmers to consider the quality versus quantity balance.

Grass quantity will fall faster than normal because grasses have turned reproductive because of daylight hours. This, the AFBI explained, means grass leaf material to stem ratio is lower.

“During March and April silage swards should have been building up a large reserve of high quality leaf. This is essential to buffer the lower quality stems as they extend up into the canopy and so maintain the overall herbage sward quality at cutting.

“Longer daylight hours mean these stems are reproductive. Plants only want to produce stem and finish developing any existing leaves, including the final flag leaf that surrounds the emerging seed head. They will not start to produce any new leaves to replace the ones that are missing. So the normal balance between leaf and stem will not occur and the risk is that grass quality will fall much faster than expected.”

While extra attention in cutting fields is advised in Northern Ireland, a University of Kentucky Forage Adviser is advocating alfalfa stands as a pasture crop.

Nitrogen costs and drought survival are the reasons why Garry Lacefield is telling farmers to consider grazing alfalfa this year.

As the highest yielding perennial forage legume, alfalfa can achieve average daily gains of 2lbs when grazed.

Hay yields fall if there are fewer than three alfalfa plants per square foot but excellent beef gains can be made with as little as one plant per square foot, according to Mr Lacefield.

Additionally, the deep root systems make alfalfa hardy in drought summers.

Sceptics will question alfalfa because of bloat and labour requirements but Mr Lacefield stated fear of bloat costs more money than bloat itself. Furthermore, once land is strip fenced the labour time and costs are lower than that of a hay harvest.

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This Week's Articles and Analysis

Alfalfa For Grazing
With total season weight gains of over 800lb/acre observed in trials and demonstrations, alfalfa grazing could be a worthwhile way of extending then productive life of your alfalfa hay stands, according to Garry Lacefield, University of Kentucky.

Predicting Grass Silage Timing 2013
Irish farmers are being advised to walk silage frequently to assess crops, after a delayed spring has caused growth rates to fall to around a third of average at 20 kg dry matter per hectare for April.

Beef Cattle Researchers Explore Nutritional Strategies to Time Puberty in Replacement Heifers
By weaning early and feeding high concentrate diets, researchers believe they can speed up pregnancy optimisation in replacement heifers. This is linked to propionate being created in the rumen and the build up of leptin in the blood.

New Discovery Makes Detecting Johne’s Disease Easier
USDA scientists have got round the issue of inaccurate Johne's disease testing by finding an antibody that specifically reacts to the Johne's bacterium.

Market Reports

USDA WASDE - May 2013
Irish CSO - Crops and Livestock Survey June Final Results
Irish CSO: Consumer Price Index April 2013
USDA Feed Outlook - May 2013

Global Beef Industry News

   United Kingdom

Premiums Paid For Traditional Breeds
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NFU joins European Coalition to Demand Fair Treatment
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Sainsbury's Farmers Offer Cash Back Incentive for Sustainable Farming
LMC: Deadweight Steer Averages Up Across Northern Regions
Calf Registrations Down 8 Per Cent
Survey Suggests Rural Economy 'Spiralling Towards Recession'
Farm Assured Label Will Fetch Higher Prices
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Farm Assured Gives Higher Returns


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Queenslanders Call on Policy Makers to Ring the Changes
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TB and Brucellosis Tests Imposed By Ministry


Chinese Beef Buying Continues to Rise

   United States

CME: Futures Close With Losses, Wednesday
CME: Lack of Processing in Canada and Feed Situation Altering Spring Cow Slaughter
Pastures Weakened by Drought Will Require Time to Recover
Maturity Determines Forage Quality
Will Weak Cattle Prices Continue?
New Bill Aims to Increase Information on Antibiotic Use
CME: Live and Feeder Contract Post Gains, Thursday
Senate Ag Committee Releases Farm Bill
USDA Awards Funding For Research into Climate on Cattle
Agriculture and Livestock Remain Biggest GHG Sources
CME: Futures Fall as Wholesale Prices Rise
CME: Futures Falter Through the Week as Feed Outlook is Bearish
Weekly Cattle Outlook: Fed Cattle Prices Down $2.80
NFU: 2013 Farm Bill Gaining Momentum
NFU Weighs in on Trade Negotiations
CME: Summer and Fall Futures Firmer With Nearby Discounts, Monday
NFU Outlines Farm Bill Priorities for Senate
Allendale Releases Cattle on Feed, Cold Storage Estimates
CME: Longer Term Futures Close Down as June Lifts 20 Cents
CME: Pork and Poultry Production Will Expand as Beef Declines

   European Union

Seed Legislation Vital For Sustainable and Productive Farming
EU Food and Feed Regulations to be Revised
EU Brings Reform of CAP Step Closer


Another Rise for Global Food Price Index
FAO Reports Strong Cereal Production and Food Price Rise


Premier Calls for Sound Agriculture
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   Korea, South

USGC Co-Products Conference Reassures Long Term Korean Customers of US Partnership
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OIE to Grant FMD Free Status to Peru

   Viet Nam

Uruguay Opens Red Meat Exports to Booming Viet Nam Market


Spanish Economic Crisis Underpins Strong Live Cattle Exports


Seaweed Energy Solutions Makes Acquisition to Cultivate 100,000 Tons of Seaweed

   Russian Federation

Beef Boom in Mordavia Sees Cattle Increase Ten Fold


Record First Quarter Exports Followed By Liveweight Slump


Biomass Plant Aids Carcase Disposal


Minister Calls on Companies to Share Cost Burden of Food Controls


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