Genetic scientists from the University of Aarhus in Denmark have been using DNA technology to create a new kind of super grass that could potentially be digested more efficiently by cows, thus reducing the amount of methane gas they produce by burping, as well as seeing milk production increase.
The £1.6 million project could see this super grass grown on farms worldwide. It’s estimated that approximately 90 million metric tonnes of methane gas is released into the atmosphere annually because of cows burping and this is just one of several different projects intended to help reduce this, the Independent reports.
Senior researcher Torben Asp was quoted by the news source as saying: “It will simply create a better diet for the cow, which can utilise the feed more efficiently and therefore they don't releas
Farmers in Wales are being urged to have their say on the government’s plans to tackle outbreaks of bovine TB in the country, with the ultimate aim of eradicating the disease in Wales.
Environment secretary Lesley Griffiths has expressed disappointment at the low number of responses to the government’s consultation, which includes plans to establish low, medium and high bovine TB incidence areas as part of wider proposals to curb the spread of the disease.
The idea behind having areas with different designations is to enable a tailored approach to managing bovine TB outbreaks, and to the measures that are put in place to protect farmers and their herds from the illness.
Ms Griffiths said that they government has so far only received 18 responses to the consultatio
The Lynx UK Trust is keen reintroduce the lynx – once an original native here in the UK – back into the ecosystem, but the National Sheep Association (NSA) has spoken out against the plans amid fears of animal welfare for pastoral livestock.
It’s thought that the Trust will be putting in an application for a release licence for these animals at some point in the near future, although it’s not yet clear when this will be taking place. However, the NSA has said that current legislation would need to be altered in order for this to take place legally because Eurasian lynx are considered dangerous wild animals under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.
As such, keeping them without a local authority licence in place would be a criminal offence. Current law would also see farmers permitted to shoot lynx legally if they were c
Farmers would be wise to be particularly vigilant about raven attacks when looking after their newborn lambs, as reports of incidents of this kind appear to be on the rise.
Ravens are in fact a protected species here in the UK, living wild in places like the Lake District, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Wales and the Scottish highlands – and farmers must apply to Natural England for a licence in order to kill them, the Daily Mail reports.
And now farmers are becoming so concerned about the birds – which have been killing lambs by pecking out their tongues and eyes – that some are demanding that they be given the right to shoot ravens without this licence in place.
Martyn Fletcher, a shepherd in Wiltshire, was quoted by the news source as saying: “Five years ago we saw ravens but attacks on sheep were rare. Last year, there were eight pairs of birds
Sheep farmers are encouraging consumers to make a few menu changes this week, with the launch of this year’s Love Lamb Week, taking place between September 1st and 7th.
Run by farming organisations the National Sheep Association and the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the event – now in its third year – is intended to help people feel more confident when it comes to cooking lamb.
However, the focus this year is on encouraging younger people to start eating the meat, as well as older demographics. Over the last 15 years, fewer people have been eating lamb regularly – and those aged over 55 seem to enjoy it the most.
As such, the team behind the initiative has buddied up with parenting advice site Mumsnet to help families feel more confident when cooking with lamb.
Lamb marketer at the AHDB Nick Lamb commented: “We’d l
Starling season has just begun, with the birds arriving in the UK between October and November, and staying for five months or so – something that farmers all over the country are probably all too aware of right now.
These birds can pass on salmonella, E.coli, paratuberculosis and campylobacter to livestock, so farmers do need to be on their guard and do all they can to prevent their animals from coming into contact with them.
You might want to try adding a garlic-based feed extract to food, as new research from Bridgwater College Farm has found that the polysulphides in this kind of extract can irritate these birds’ stomachs. After a week or so, they associate the smell of the extract with the stomach irritation and will avoid it, according to Farmers Weekly.
Head of agricultural innovation Ian Tremain advised famers to add the g
Livestock in Dartmoor, one of the national parks in Devon, is being put at risk because of holidaymakers and pleasure seekers who are keen to go out camping, biking and climbing.
This is according to Marion Saunders, chairwoman of the Dartmoor Livestock Protection Society, who noted in her foreword to the group’s annual report that that the “recreational overuse” of this part of the country is changing the moorland’s character and having a negative impact on the animals, the Guardian reports.
“Off-road cycling, wild camping, marathon running, rock climbing, tobogganing, the tread of thousands of feet, hang gliding and more all occur on Dartmoor and they push hill farming in to the background,” Ms Saunders continued.
She went on to add that, while some coming to the area may find it a hindrance to have to slow down for s
We’re certainly all used to the sight of sheep and cows grazing merrily away in the fields and pastures of the countryside… but it’s naturally a less common sight on our city streets, wouldn’t you agree?
Well, if you’re in London between now and August 27th you might come across a couple of woolly visitors in the wildflower meadows of The Green Park, part of an attempt to help the local invertebrate community of London really thrive.
Run by The Royal Parks Mission Invertebrate project, the campaign has teamed up with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and Mudchute Farm to bring livestock grazing to the capital. This has always played an important role in wildlife conservation – and if left un-grazed, the majority of grasslands here in the UK would become dense scrub and woodland inste
Sheep farmers around the UK will likely be reaching for their shearers after hearing how two Welsh wool producers have succeeded in setting a new record for Nine Hour Two Stand Blade Shearing on Lambs.
According to Farming UK, Gareth Owen and Clive Hamer started their attempt at 05:00 on September 30th at Fernhill farm in Somerset – and they achieved a total of 397 sheep, which worked out an average of 44 sheep an hour.
Mr Owen also succeeded in taking the solo blade title for himself, shearing an incredible 202 sheep. He’s currently a sheep farmer in the Snowdonia National Park and farms more than 1,000 sheep. He first started blade shearing aged just 15 and has competed for Wales, shearing all over the world.
Mr Hamer, meanwhile, works at Hirnant in Elan Valley and shears sheep commercially here and over