Autonomous machinery has been an ever-growing aspect of Agritechnica and John Deere’s smaller field-spraying robot, designed to be part of a herd, is just one the many units that was at last week’s event.  |  Chris McCullough photo

High tech machinery crucial for the future

HANNOVER, Germany — If there was one key message pitched to visitors at the huge Agritechnica Show in Germany, it was that investing in high-tech, efficient machinery is vital to a profitable farming future. More than 450,000 farmers, contractors and machinery enthusiasts took in the week-long event in Hannover, which is regarded as the world’s […] Read more

Katharine and Jason Salisbury farm in England with their children, James and Emily. Also in the photo is Edd the sheepdog and one of their pedigree Guernsey cows.  |  Salisbury family photo

And the winner is — Sark Island finds a farmer

An English dairy farmer and his family have been chosen to be the new dairy farmers on the island of Sark, located just off the northwest coast of France. A global hunt for a new dairy farmer was launched earlier this year because the resident dairy farmer was retiring and the island’s 500 residents plus […] Read more

Jason Wright struggles with his emotions in front of his son. The farmer is among many Australian producers facing devastation as a year-long drought continues.  |  Amber Wright photo

Deadly drought hammers farmers in Australia

An old proverb says a picture is worth a thousand words. That apparently holds true for an image of Australian cattle farmer Jason Wright as he battles a headful of emotions in front of his young son while feeding their 1,000 strong beef herd in the midst of a years-long drought. He is suffering from […] Read more


Brothers Jean-Charles and Didier Blanckaert operate their dairy farm at Saint Hilaire au Temple.  |  Chris McCullough photo

French dairy balances the books with 75 cows

Limited land base, drought and low milk prices force farming brothers to focus their attention on management efficiency

Milking only 75 cows on a farm with little grassland is a challenge in France at the best of times, but when milk prices are low, management efficiency falls under even more scrutiny. Brothers Jean-Charles and Didier Blanckaert run their dairy herd at Saint Hilaire au Temple, which is two hours east of Paris with […] Read more

Siem de Boer prepares milk for his calves on his farm near Edam, the Netherlands. He says he is happy with the results achieved using AHV International’s products.  |  Chris McCullough photo

Antibiotic-free solutions touted for mastitis

Dutch company AHV International is developing several natural products that are providing welcome results in helping livestock farmers reduce antibiotic use. “What we now know is that bacteria must gather together in groups in order to co-ordinate an action and have an impact on the host animal,” AHV International co-founder and veterinarian Gertjan Streefland said. […] Read more


Gene-edited hornless cattle are distinct from polled cattle, which are breeds or strains that are naturally without horns, brought about through selective breeding.  |  University of California, Davis photo

Scientists use gene editing to produce hornless calves

Dehorning calves is an essential management practice on many livestock farms. But researchers at the University of California, Davis, are now studying six offspring of a dairy bull that had been gene-edited to prevent it from growing horns. While dehorning is common, designed to protect other cattle and human handlers from injuries, this scientific approach […] Read more

Kjartan Poulsen keeps a close eye on his cows.  |  Submitted photo

Neighbours milk cows in organic partnership

Two Danish producers have been working together successfully for more than 20 years, and they now milk 900 cows between them

Two dairy farming neighbours in Denmark have been milking cows together for more than 20 years and say the partnership model works well for them. Kjartan Poulsen, chair of the Danish milk producers association, farms on the west coast of the Scandinavian country, 30 kilometres north of Esbjerg. Poulsen had 45 cows in 1998, when […] Read more

The Morrison family operates a dairy operation near Woodslee, Ont., and has been expanding the operation as quickly as quota allows.  |  Vicky Morrison photo

Fighting for dairy quota called monthly battle

Ontario farmers say they are having a hard time finding extra quota to accommodate the ups and downs of butterfat production

Dairy farmers in Canada who wish to expand are finding it tough to find extra butterfat quota. William and Vicky Morrison with their son Scott, 15, and daughter Jane, 11, milk 180 cows on their farm just outside Woodslee, Ont. With a milk price averaging 75 cents per litre, dairy farming is paying the bills […] Read more


New skin tests developed to detect bovine tuberculosis

Welsh scientists have developed two new skin tests for cattle that may help fight the global battle against bovine tuberculosis. Research by two scientists from Aberystwyth University has helped formulate two tests for the ravaging cattle disease, one that can detect if an animal is infected with bovine tuberculosis and the other that can detect […] Read more

Scientists find that wheat modified to have fewer spores uses water more efficiently.  |  Chris McCullough photo

Wheat designed to use water more efficiently

British scientists develop a type of bread wheat that uses less water while maintaining photosynthesis and yield

A new wheat that can better survive drought conditions has been developed by scientists. Researchers at the University of Sheffield’s Institute for Sustainable Food in the United Kingdom discovered that fewer microscopic pores called stomata on the leaves allowed plants to make better use of water. The research was then used to develop a new […] Read more