Having previously experienced the benefits of a ‘workshop style’ meeting, the decision was made to explore the well-known, but sometimes neglected, subject of calf rearing. Building on previous research on rearing heifers to the point of calving at 24 months of age, Thompsons knew that there was still a lot that could be learned on this key part of
Posted 17,09,18 by allison.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to hear from world class speakers at our workshops taking place from the 5th - 7th September 2018. Register with Samantha at Thompsons on; 028 9035 1321 to secure your place.
Posted 31,08,18 by allison.
Thompsons’ Ronald Annett spoke to a producer in County Down to find out how they manage milk from forage figures, profitably.
Grass has always been an unpredictable crop to manage, and this has never been more evident than in the past 12 months. While some producers may be questioning the future role of grazed grass for milk production,
Posted 06,06,18 by allison.
When soil was sampled on a dairy farm in County Tyrone it showed results that were not only surprising to the farmer, but also that in the past, money had been spent unnecessarily on soil fertility products.
The importance of soil fertility is a subject which now doesn’t go unnoticed on the Keelagher family farm just
Posted 08,03,18 by allison.
Over the past few months, many producers have had to make plans and take action to save much needed forage. But in spite of this, many silos are empty and now there needs to be a strong focus on growing maximum yields of quality forage to replenish these stocks over the spring and summer months. The condition and fertility
Posted 08,03,18 by allison.
Running as a closed herd for over 15 years and managed by the well-respected, Leslie Beacom, Dunleath Estates will be giving producers a unique opportunity to purchase their stock at a one day sale on Thursday 26th October. This major herd reduction sale will take place at Dungannon Farmer’s Mart from 11.30am with animals from
Posted 26,10,17 by allison.
Eight years ago, Jane Collins told Thompsons’ Allison Matthews that, “If someone has a list of 10 boxes they expect to tick when viewing a horse, I have 30.” And boy she wasn’t kidding. Arriving at the Northern Ireland Festival in Cavan, the outlook from the Lougherne team was pragmatic and Jane hoped that the horses would gain mileage and
Posted 13,06,17 by allison.
A different approach to Digital Dermatitis
Although the causes of digital dermatitis (DD) are not fully understood, research has shown both locally and globally that bacteria present in the everyday dairy environment targets areas of poorer skin integrity. Currently the main tool in the fight against DD is the regular foot-bathing of cows feet in
Posted 14,02,17 by allison.
Feeding ewes to improve profitability - Every year producers can face different challenges, but feeding the ewe during late pregnancy will always influence ewe mortality, dystocia, mothering ability, lamb viability and ultimately growth rates. With lambing season coming soon, or maybe even started, feeding ewes is critical with the profitability of any sheep unit determined by the number
Posted 31,01,17 by allison.
Returning in 2017! –The Pegus Gala Weekend at Gransha Equestrian Centre
The Stuart family are delighted with the offer of sponsorship and support from Pegus Horse Feeds for a second year. The dates for next years’ show are Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd of April 2017. There will be a slightly different format next year. On the Saturday there
Posted 14,11,16 by allison.
Did you get your August edition of Cow Management Magazine? Don’t miss our feature on dry cow management with timely advice from Thompsons’ Denise Rafferty and Trouw Nutritions’ Jim Uprichard.
Posted 31,08,16 by allison.
Managing milk quality
Following a slow start to grass growth in early spring, the end of May and early June has exceeded averages, with grass growing at over 100 kg DM/ha. Producers with excellent grass growth may find sward management difficult and in some cases there may be a reduction in milk quality. Milk butterfat can suffer
Posted 10,08,16 by allison.
The New Year traditionally brings with it a downturn in milk composition as freshly calved cows move into peak lactation.This year the economics of dairying has naturally focused all producers on the need to maintain and improve milk quality. Whilst the factors affecting milk quality can be placed in many categories from breeding to management to animal health,
Posted 09,02,16 by allison.
Lambing time in Loughgall
In County Armagh Jemma McHugh farms 255 ewes with her father Marcus. As a second year Agricultural student from Greenmount/Queens University, Jemma splits her time between tending to the flock and her studies. 205 of the flock have just been housed and a recent scan of 197% has shown 44 singles, 116 sets of twins and 36 triplets.
Posted 28,01,16 by allison.
Manage Nutrition and Maximise Profit
The profitability of any sheep unit is determined by the number of lambs born and reared successfully per ewe, making her health and wellbeing paramount. Feeding during late pregnancy potentially influences ewe mortality, dystocia, mothering ability, lamb viability and ultimately lamb growth rates. Every year producers face a different set of challenges
Posted 18,01,16 by allison.
The Package for Performance – Thompsons’ Technical Team advises how producers can maximise performance and challenge efficiency levels this winter.
After a difficult summer, where lower than average temperatures impacted on grass growth, utilisation and in some cases silage quality, the recent spell of good weather has been long overdue, but initial grass silage
Posted 12,10,15 by allison.
Following extensive research by Zinpro, a product to combat Digital Dermatitis (DD) in heifers has been introduced to the market and is now available from Thompsons as the Heifer DD Pack. The recent research has shown that when the Heifer DD Pack was supplemented in the diet, there was on average, a 64% decrease in the incidence of the disease.
Posted 26,08,15 by allison.
Following on from the success of last year’s hospitality marquee at Balmoral Show, the decision was made for 2015 to provide a relaxing environment and light refreshments for Thompsons’ customers. On its third year at the new location of Balmoral Park, Lisburn, the Thompsons’ stand had its usual position beside the cattle lawn. With glass sides overlooking all the
Posted 22,07,15 by allison.
Following pH readings done by his Thompsons’ representative - which confirmed that soil was outside the ideal range of 6-6.5 - Seamus Loughran decided to sow g-lime. With a suckler herd in Dunnamore, Cookstown Seamus decided that the application of g-lime would be the easiest method of raising the pH of his silage and grazing ground, as he could
Posted 16,06,15 by allison.
The qualifiers for Balmoral Show 2015 are well under way and recently the Meadows Equestrian Centre hosted the second leg of the Pegus Horse Feed sponsored event. For more up to date information follow Pegus Horse Feed on facebook.
Posted 22,04,15 by allison.
The growth targets, cost, disease precautions and nutrition for rearing dairy heifers were the thoroughly debated topics at a workshop organised by Zoetis in conjunction with CAFRE, John Thompson and Sons and Knockanboy Veterinary Clinic. Aurelie Moralis, veterinary surgeon with Zoetis emphasised that calves should get a minimum of three litres of colostrum in the first six hours of
Posted 12,02,15 by allison.
With tours taking two hours from 11am to 1pm the challenge of moving nearly 250 producers around workshop stations every 15 minutes proved to be a logistical success and by 3pm most had heard from all six speakers. The Digital Dermatitis (DD) Workshop held at Greenmount Campus this week, in conjunction with Cafre, Provita, Thompsons and Zinpro was designed to
Posted 22,01,15 by allison.
Digital Dermatitis Workshops
Posted 12,01,15 by allison.
Digital Dermatitis - from the inside out
In 2010 survey work carried out by AFBI Hillsborough showed that 79% of Northern Ireland’s dairy herds counted digital dermatitis (DD) as a significant problem. A more recent review co-ordinated by Thompsons has highlighted that the incidence of DD is not reducing. Larger herd size and the trend towards
Posted 06,11,14 by allison.
Maintaining correct calcium balance around calving is critical in order to prevent milk fever occurring. This can sometimes to be difficult to achieve on farm. With clinical hypocalcaemia affecting up to 10% of UK dairy cows and a further 65-70% of cows being affected by sub-clinical milk fever it is definitely a big problem dairy farmers are faced with.
Posted 19,08,14 by allison.
Forpadydeplasterer – ‘A Real Lady’s Man’
Following a glittering racing career, Forpadydeplasterer was put in the very capable hands of Joanne Quirke in February of this year. As the daughter of Peter Quirke - Eventing Ireland’s resident commentator – Joanne is no stranger to the horse world and has established a successful career in the equine industry
Posted 12,08,14 by allison.
At this year’s Balmoral Show, we made another ‘pioneering’ move by filming our three days of prize winners, competitors, supporters and customers. This was a fantastic experience and gave us the opportunity to look at some of the work that goes on behind the scenes. Get the popcorn made, the feet up (the film is 66 minutes long), click
Posted 27,05,14 by allison.
Currently two generations of the Drummond family run the successful and progressive Bratlach Farm, situated just outside Bangor, County Down. John with his sons Andrew and Peter manage the predominantly Ayrshire herd which currently consists of 231 milking cows, on a land base of approximately 141 hectares. The herd is split in two running 111 high yielding cows through two Lely robots,
Posted 13,05,14 by allison.
Minerals Maximise Performance
Posted 13,05,14 by allison.
Last year’s lessons
This time last year, after sowing spring barley with G-Lime, John Dynes of Portaferry had some left in the spinner. Instead of going back to the yard, he decided to spread the remainder of the G-Lime on a grass field. He didn’t alter the settings and what was left covered half of
Posted 08,04,14 by allison.
James Thompson of Drumbo appreciates that using G-Lime gives him a much wider window of opportunity to get his ground back on track. He can apply G-Lime at a time that suits him and more importantly at a time that suits the land. By sampling his soil every year, James is aware of the nutritional requirements of every acre,
Posted 26,03,14 by allison.
Three year old Charlie from Lisburn is the son of Thompsons’ Finance Director Fintan Craig. Charlie was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in January 2013, and over the 14 months that would follow, Charlie and his family would embark on a roller-coaster journey. Now in March 2014 Charlie requires intensive chemotherapy and a stem cell donation in order to save his life.
Posted 20,03,14 by allison.
In 2012 Thompsons’ employees and customers embarked on a partnership with Marie Curie Cancer Care. At that point there could have been no way of knowing what would come out of this relationship, probably like Marie Curie herself as she went to great lengths to both challenge and advance scientific developments in the early 1900’s. But in less than two
Posted 06,03,14 by allison.
Neil McGill of Donemana has a clear view of both the Sperrin Mountains and what he needs to achieve in order to make his (250 strong) flock profitable. The ewes which are predominantly Suffolk crosses are all bred to a Texel ram and run alongside Neil’s 40 cow suckler enterprise. The McGill’s find the use of the Texel sires,
Posted 11,02,14 by allison.
‘A Festive First….James Mark McClements was picked as the lucky winner of Thompsons’ first facebook competition. Thompsons’ James Gabbey (left) gets to be Santa as he delivers some Christmas goodies including a £100 voucher for PC World to James Mark at his Portavogie farm. With the draw held at last week’s Winter Dairy Fair in the Kings Hall, 25
Posted 22,01,14 by allison.
Raymond and William Lee discuss winter feeding with Thompsons’ Richard Moore
Posted 05,10,13 by allison.
Turkey management issues by Thompsons poultry specialist, K. McConkey.
During the first six weeks of the poults life, the development of the skeleton, immune system and cardio system takes place, therefore getting poults of to a good start produces the best final results. The aim of the grower should be to provide an environment which, through thorough
Posted 27,08,13 by allison.
Don’t worry if you missed Thompsons’ monthly milk manager report in the Farming Life you will be able to view it here at the start of every month following it’s appearance in the paper.
Planning for a smoother transition
Thompsons’ nutritionist Mary-Jane Robinson looks at the transition period and what producers need to focus on to make sure everything runs smoothly.
At a recent meeting held in conjunction with Rathfriland Vets’ Aurelie Moralis and Elancos’ Bill Ferris, Thompsons’ Mary-Jane looked at the whole transition period i.e. from 60 days
Posted 26,06,13 by allison.
It’s not half bad
After sowing spring barley with G-Lime, John Dynes of Portaferry had some left in the spinner. Instead of going back to the yard, he decided to spread the remainder of the G-Lime on a grass field. He didn’t alter the settings and what was left covered half of the field. The
Posted 18,06,13 by allison.
In the right place at the right time
G-Lime, a registered trademark of Kilwaughter Lime, is a unique fast acting lime soil conditioner, specially formulated to help manage soil pH, improving soil fertility while optimising crop and grass performance. Kilwaughter acquired the G-Lime brand and business in July 2012, with product manufacturing remaining at Belcoo, Co.
Posted 11,06,13 by allison.
With the summer months fast approaching, spring growth has been exceptionally poor with prolonged cold and wet periods. Nonetheless it is important that producers focus their thoughts on the potential of grazed grass this season with the high cost of production and dwindling forage stocks a reality for many. This year Thompsons have devised a
Posted 14,05,13 by admin.
Rumitech in 2013
Through a partnership with a renowned expert on grass based feeding systems, Dr Finbar Mulligan of University College Dublin, 18 months of research has proven beyond any doubt that Rumitech can offer consistent, significant benefits 365 days of the year. The most recent trials focused on the effect of feeding Rumitech to high yielding dairy cows grazing
Posted 14,05,13 by admin.