05 July 2015 | Online since 2003

Livestock farmers facing unprecedented threat due to mild winter



18 February 2014 02:38:55|Arable,Cereal,Crops,News,Property News

Livestock farmers facing 'unprecedented threat' due to mild winter


Mhairi Dawson

Livestock farmers throughout Scotland and Northern England are facing an 'unprecedented threat' to their livelihood due to the extremely mild winter says one industry expert.

Mhairi Dawson, Regional Manager for Scotland with leading seed producer Barenbrug, says the unseasonal weather has led to very high levels of damaging activity throughout the winter by leatherjackets.

They are the soil living larvae of Crane-flies, with a thick tough wrinkled skin that can cause considerable damage to the roots and stems of grass, and other crops, particularly of young plants – new sowings or reseeded leys may be completely destroyed.

“Normally during the winter months the leatherjackets go deeper in the soil because of the cold and are therefore far less destructive; but that has not been the case up until now and there is no sign of the weather getting significantly colder,” said Mhairi Dawson.

“If livestock farmers do not take immediate action and try and control the leatherjackets now by spraying with an approved formulation of Chlorpyrifos then they could be looking at major problems with fodder later in the year.

“It is vital that farmers get rid of leatherjackets before they start any reseeding or overseeding activity. They need to make sure the soil is in excellent condition before sowing to enable the grass to germinate and establish rapidly.

“Looking ahead, summer ploughing can destroy up to 50 per cent of leatherjackets and also expose them to predatory birds. Also when conditions allow using a heavy roller can restrict leatherjackets movements.

“I am checking fields daily and finding unprecedented levels of leatherjackets everywhere I look. Worryingly the larvae have grown bigger this year and are therefore eating more crops," added Cameron Ferguson, an agronomist with Ayrshire based firm Hutchinsons.

“Farmers really must get out onto their fields and spray at the earliest opportunity, which I know can be difficult because of the wet weather. But this really must be done before they can think about overseeeding or reseeding.”

Download




Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


Start Date: 17 June 2015
First class stockman / tractor driver required for a job near Tenby, Wales

Permanent position for a first class stockman to take responsibility for all dairy young stock rearing, feeding dairy he...


Start Date: 5 July 2015
A436: Customer Specialist - Machinery Parts - Beds/Herts/Cambs

De Lacy Executive is seeking a Customer Specialist to help the growth and development of the Internal Sales department within...


Start Date: 23 June 2015
Job for Tractor driver, General farm worker  required>> Towcester

Enthusiastic person required to assist in running a 230 sow breeding- fattening unit. Daily duties include cleaning out,...


Start Date: 5 July 2015
A410: UK Sales Person- Ventilation Equipment

An excellent opportunity has arisen for a technical sales person to service existing clients in the poultry sector and to exp...


Start Date: 27 June 2015
General Office Administrator

Person to work in the office able to deal with all aspects of office work in an animal feed mill. Must be able to type and be...





Top stories you may have missed
5 June 2015 | Cattle

A strong pound and increased red meat imports coupled with a plentiful dome...


5 June 2015 | Arable

Depression is affecting Wales' farming industry and there is a need to use ...


5 June 2015 | Arable

With just one week to go before the final judging and announcement of the w...


5 June 2015 | Finance

A rural law expert has highlighted the importance of good succession planni...


5 June 2015 | Farmshops

A south Yorkshire dairy farming family is pulling out all the stops to prom...


4 June 2015 | Finance

Predicting what is going to happen to wheat prices is a challenge, but in s...


4 June 2015 | Agri Safety

A Lancashire based livestock theft prevention scheme is aiming to go nation...


4 June 2015 | News

A female farmer has been recognised by the farming and conservation industr...


4 June 2015 | Finance

The new Conservative government appears to be preparing to implement cuts f...


4 June 2015 | Arable

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will have mobile support units at the follo...