Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 605 Journal Agrii Spring 2017 Environment/Livestock update A grii’s series of Environmental Training Days has now finished its second year, with presenters Marek Nowakowski, David Wild and Paul Pickford, touring the country during February and March. The theme for the day was helping farmers to find the balance between agriculture and wildlife. The relevance and importance of the environment to agriculture in the future profitability of farming is now in the minds of the government, with Brexit looming in the distance. Whilst the basic payment in its current form is ‘guaranteed’ to 2020, this in practice only covers the 2019 claim; so for the remainder of the time the UK is within the EU! The government’s view for a long time was that increasing the quantity of land set-aside for environmental benefit will sort the balance between farming and the environment. In Marek’s words, “Nothing could be further from the truth”, without proper management ‘fallow’ provides no more benefit to the environment than wall to wall cropping. So, the message that has come out of the training day is that by managing a small quantity of land well, we can provide significantly more environmental benefit. “Nobody has the right to reduce the next generation’s inheritance” – Dr K Porter, and as a nation we think we can push the environment hard, but will we see (or have we missed?) the warning signs? Ecosystem services are now being used to determine the benefit to the whole environment of the actions of individuals or businesses. Agriculture continues to have the most significant part to play in this, and it is likely that this will form part of the route for future farming subsidies. As well as managing land to the benefit of wildlife, the risks to the environment extend well beyond this; the significance of cross compliance cannot be ignored. A significant part of this system is the protection of soil, air and water, but measures to protect these vital resources can also be hugely beneficial to wildlife. The current environment is a reflection of farmers’ activity, but doing nothing is counter-productive, we need to continue to manage our environment if we are to provide the ecosystem services the government seeks. As an industry we need to manage the environment in the same way we do our crops in order to produce the best results for wildlife. Education of farmers remains a fundamental building block of better environmental management. Farmers don’t waste money, and hate to see their hard work fail. The use of fertiliser and pesticides coupled with the correct management always results in better crops. This very much applies to environmental crops as well as commercial crops. The truth is that doing work on farm for the benefit of the environment costs money. However this does not mean that it cannot be profitable, and it can be achieved through careful site selection and the use of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. You can next catch Marek Nowakowski speaking at our farming and the environment day that we’re running at Parsonage Farm, near Warminster on 5th June 2017. Please contact events@agrii.co.uk for more information. New Forage and Livestock Directory W e have launched a new Directory to showcase the full range of the forage and livestock products and support services that we can provide. Please email livestock@ agrii.co.uk if you’d like a copy. The Directory also contains lots of useful hints, tips, data and statistics. Our latest Animal Health Newsletter is now also available (Spring 2017 edition) – please get in touch if you would like a copy. F or most of the year adult ewes can tolerate a worm burden. However, during late pregnancy and early lactation the immune system of the ewe decreases, allowing worms that she has carried over the winter to produce higher numbers of eggs than normal. The eggs are then deposited onto the pasture, which results in an increased level of contamination for spring grazing lambs. This process, known as the ‘peri-parturient rise’ starts during the last couple of weeks of pregnancy, and continues through early lactation. The object of worming the ewes at this time is to reduce the number of eggs being shed onto the pasture, and to reduce the level of contamination faced by the lambs in spring. Moxidectin has been a favoured choice of product for sheep farmers because it offers the ability to reduce egg output for a longer period than conventional wormers. However, it is important to be aware of resistance if moxidectin has been used in a continuous worming programme. Please be aware that moxidectin (Zermex/Cydectin 1%) and Footvax Foot Rot Injection are not compatible, and should not be used in any programmes for sheep. For more information please contact our Animal Health Team on 01584 872134 Finding the balance between agriculture and wildlife Worming ewes at lambing/turnout David Pryce, Agrii Animal Health Advisor The message that has come out of the training day is that by managing a small quantity of land well, we can provide significantly more environmental benefit. Agrii Environmental Training day, spring 2017