04 March 2015 | Online since 2003



18 February 2014|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


12 February 2015
Kitchen Porter
Kitchen Porter Status: Permanent Hours: Full time, 37 hours per week, 5 days on a 7 day rota Salary: GBP 13,434 per annum (eq...

12 February 2015
Graduate Farm Business Management
A degree or equivalent preferably in a Science subject (especially but not exclusively Environmental Sciences, Applied Biolog...

20 February 2015
Labourer
Cscs carded Labourers needed to start on a long term project on a solar farm in the Verwood Area. The job will last 12-14 wee...

3 March 2015
Transport Manager
Apply- Colin White, Park Farm Road, Glastonbury, BA69NN. TRANSPORT MANAGER with NATIONAL or INTERNATIONAL C.P.C required by A...

28 February 2015
Sales Engineer Waste Water
Waste management, waste water, food, breweries or dairy production or similar process industry. Sales Engineer Anaerobic Dige...




Top stories you may have missed
2 February 2015 | Arable
Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Membership of the EU is damaging the British farming industry, according to...


29 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

BASIS has launched an accreditation for pilots of Unmanned Aerial Systems (...


23 January 2015 | Arable
UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have theoretical potential to more than double over the nex...


23 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Britain’s farmers flocked to Peterborough for the first day of LAMMA’15 to ...


22 January 2015 | Cattle
Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

The crisis in the dairy industry is not the fault of supermarkets, accordin...


16 January 2015 | CLA
Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer visited three rural businesses in Cheshi...


16 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

Spearheading the John Deere range of mid-size tractors from Mannheim, the n...


14 January 2015 | Animal Health
Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Regular testing for bovine TB could significantly reduce the number of infe...


12 January 2015 | News
Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Single-issue policy-making threatens to hamper, not help, the progress of U...


8 January 2015 | Cattle
2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2014 has been a “rocky old year” for the beef industry but better prices ar...