10% Off Hotline 47HK100 Horse Starter Kit 3v & 47HK450-200 Handy Horse Kit 12v

We’re offering 10% off the Hotline 47HK100 Horse Starter Kit 3v and 47HK450-200 Handy Horse Kit 12v until 30th June! See below for details.

47HK100 Horse Starter Kit 3v

(Runs from 2 x D-CELL batteries included).

A simple box kit containing everything needed to construct a 200m electric horse fence

Tape starter kit with everything needed to divide a small paddock.


  • Shrike (47HLB100) 3v energizer (max distance of energizer 200 to 300m of tape)
  • 10 posts, 200m of 10mm tape
  • 2 end insulating tensioners
  • 2 gate handles with anchors
  • 1 ground/earth stake
  • Warning sign and tester

This system will fence approx 1 acre on 1 strand or half an acre 2 strands.

Carrs Billington Product Code: 3400371

47HK450-200 Handy Horse Kit 12v

(Runs from a 12v battery – not included.)

A simple box kit containing everything needed to construct a 200m electric horse fence (the benefit of this kit is the Hobby (HLB50) 12v energizer is capable of powering up to 1500m of electric fencing, so the customer could add to this kit if required)

Tape starter kit with everything you need to divide a small paddock (except a 12v battery!).


  • Hobby (47HLB50) 12v energizer (capable of powering 1500m of electric fencing)
  • 20 posts
  • 200m of 10mm tape
  • 2 end insulating tensioners
  • 2 gate handles with anchors
  • Warning sign
  • 1 ground/earth stake and tester.

This system will fence approx 1 acre on 1 strand or half acre 2 strands.

Carrs Billington Product Code: 3404600

Contact your local branch for more information or to place an order, additional contact details for most branches can be found here.

Lambs need cobalt for fast finish, not B-vitamin ‘go faster stripes’

Sheep farmers are advised to be wary of misleading ‘go faster stripes’ on supplements for weaned lambs that claim vitamin B inclusion. This alert comes from vet Dr Elizabeth Berry of Animax.

“For ruminants, supplementary B-vitamins are no more than pixie dust,” she says. “As long as the diet contains sufficient cobalt, ruminants make their own B12, for example.

“Moreover, vitamin B1 and most others in this group are also made by rumen bugs as long as rumen function is good. At best, inclusion in a supplement is a placebo.”

For farms producing finished lambs, Dr Berry says getting them to target weight as quickly as possible without concentrates clearly makes good business sense. Among factors governing the conversion of grass into meat, she advises that one of the most critical in lambs is the role of cobalt.

“In all ruminants, cobalt is essential for the synthesis by rumen bacteria of vitamin B12, which is critical in energy and protein metabolism,” she explains. “While lambs are suckling, milk provides their cobalt requirement in full. But post-weaning, cobalt levels in grass are deficient in many parts of the UK and Ireland.”

Without supplementation, the usual sign of deficiency is slow growth due to poor appetite. This can be followed by weakness, anaemia and emaciation.

This year in particular, Dr Berry says heavy rainfall in February and March will have leached cobalt from top soil.

“Since then, of course, we’ve seen rapid grass growth but the resulting dilution effect creates extra-low cobalt levels in herbage. So for maximum growth rates off grass, supplementation is even more important than usual.

For convenience and reliability, Dr Berry recommends either a pure cobalt, or cobalt-selenium-iodine combination, trickle charge leaching bolus. Both of these, Tracesure Cobalt (known as Allsure Cobalt in Ireland) and Tracesure Lamb Finisher (ask for Allsure Sheep & Lamb in Ireland), contain premium cobalt sources with high bioavailability, which is not universally the case.

“To avoid doubt,” she says, “these boluses do not contain B-vitamins because, as long as cobalt inclusion is sufficient, they’re unnecessary.”

Leaching bolus technology is patented by and unique to Animax, designed to release trace elements at a regulated rate. Contact your local branch for more information about Animax Limited great range of Tracesure products, additional contact details can be found here.

Help us Raise Awareness of World Milk Day 2020!

On World Milk Day we say ‘Cheers’ to the parents who make sure there’s always a carton in the fridge, to the hard working dairy farmers, to the organisations who provide dairy supplements to help tackle famine and malnutrition, to the huge network of people who help us to enjoy milk.
As we Raise a Glass to milk, we connect with others and invite them to join the celebration that the goodness represents. It allows us to share the stories about all the goodness of milk and all the people who produce it. It offers a simple, natural way to recognize the people who matter most to us ‚ in our communities, schools and homes.
Back in 2001, somebody decided that the world should take a day to celebrate anything and everything related to milk. They requested that the Food and Agriculture Organisations of the United Nations should put forward a specific day for these festivities they selected June 1st, and the rest is history!
World Milk Day puts a lot of attention on milk and does a great job in publicising activities connected with the milk industry.
The fact that many countries around the globe all choose this specific day for World Milk Day shows that milk is a food that is cherished worldwide
Watch this space for some special announcements regarding Carrs Billington promotion of World Milk Day and if you have any ideas, suggestions or contributions then please contact any member of the milk team who will be happy to assist in bringing your ideas to life !

Maximising Milk From Grazed Grass

With very variable milk prices and higher feed costs, due to raw material issues, maximising milk from grazed grass is more important than ever.

Challenges for maximising milk from grass

  • Maintaining consistent high quality grass throughout the season
  • Managing pastures with variable growth rates
  • Supplementing grass to maintain butterfat levels
  • Preserving yield, body condition and fertility

Maintaining high quality grass throughout the season

The ideal grass cover to graze dairy cows is 2800 – 3000 kg per ha (12 – 15cm grass height) This maximises production of the grass plant, achieves the optimum energy and fibre level and maximises dry matter intake and milk yield. If pastures are grazed down to around 1500 – 1600kg per ha, this achieves maximum grass intake and quality of the grass from regrowths. This is relatively easily achieved in dry conditions but more difficult in wet conditions.

If the grass cover increases above 3000kg per ha the fibre (NDF) in the grass increases and the energy drops as the grass plant matures. As fibre levels in the grass increase, dry matter intake drops leading to negative effects on cow performance. If dry matter intake drops by 1kg per head per day and the ME of the grass drops by 1 MJ/kg DM, this is equivalent to a drop of around 4.5 litres of milk per cow per day.

Managing pastures with variable growth

Typically, if grass gets sufficient moisture, temperature and fertiliser, it will attain average growth rates of around 70-80kg per ha per day throughout May and June at least. At this growth level, well managed pasture will regrow to around 2800 – 3000 kg per ha grass cover every 21 days. To provide 14 – 15 kg of dry matter of grass per head per day, 1ha of pasture will grow enough grass for 100 cows for 24 hours. This will then need to be adjusted depending on grass growth which will vary from 50kg per ha per day up to over 125kg per ha per day. Extending or reducing the area available in the rotation appears an easy solution but planning ahead for subsequent grazing adds to the challenge. If grass growth is in excess of 70-80kg per ha per day, surplus paddocks need to be removed from the rotation quickly and cut and allowed to regrow in time for the next round.

Supplementing grass to maintain butterfat levels

Good quality grazed grass tends to be high in energy and protein and low in fibre. While this is essential to achieve good milk yields, this is not always ideal to maximise butterfat levels. Allowing the grass to mature and increase fibre levels will potentially improve Butterfat levels, as mentioned above this will have a detrimental effect on grass quality and subsequent milk yield. Offering a concentrate with some high digestible fibre or a small amount of high fibre forage will help to improve butterfat levels. This has to be balanced carefully as too much supplemented fibre will substitute out grass leading to a milk yield drop. Supplementing cows with C16 protected fat will also have a positive effect on butterfat levels. On average around 300g per head per day of C16 protected fat will increase butterfat levels by 0.3%. The economics of this will depend on the specific milk contract payments for butterfat and the average daily yield.

Preserving yield, body condition and fertility

While maximising milk from grazed grass should always be the key objective, monitoring overall herd performance will result in the best long-term profitability. Feeding regime and amount will depend on farm system and expected yield. As desired milk yield increases, more feed supplement will obviously be required. The balance of this feed in terms of forage and concentrate will determine the benefit from grazed grass. To continue to maximise milk from grazed grass in a higher yielding system, the level and quality of forage is very important. If cows are grazed day and night, assuming there is sufficient grass available, the conserved forage level in the diet can be quite low (around 2-3kg dry matter per head per day) along with a balanced concentrate feed. Both forage and concentrate can be increased if grass availability or quality is reduced. If cows are grazed during the day only, the level of forage can be increased assuming cows will obtain around 6 – 7kg dry matter per head per day from grazing. Monitoring cow body condition closely will ensure energy levels are maintained and therefore yield and fertility will be maintained.

If you would like to discuss your grazing and feeding system in more detail, contact your Carrs Billington representative or contact Customer Services on 01228 518860.

Jimmy Goldie, Chief Technical Officer,
Carrs Billington Agriculture Ltd

Read more articles from our Sustainability with Profitability newsletter below:

Focus on Colostrum

The importance of feeding a new-born calf sufficient levels of good quality colostrum is well recognised within the dairy industry. A calf is born with minimal immunity and relies on immunoglobulins absorbed from colostrum for passive protection from disease until active immunity develops. Directly after birth a calf is challenged by all sorts of pathogens in the calving pen, calf pens and feeding equipment. The gut is permeable after birth for the immunoglobulins to enter the blood system, permeability reduces rapidly over time, so it’s important to feed colostrum as soon after birth as possible.

Maternal colostrum is the first milk after calving, which steadily declines in nutrient density over time becoming transition milk until it becomes whole saleable milk. Colostrum consists of immunoglobulins (mainly IgG), lactoferrin, growth factors, insulin, hormones and leucocytes, which all play a vital role in calf health. It is important to test maternal colostrum for quality, if you do not test colostrum you cannot monitor and manage health and future production. Calves need 10% of their body weight of colostrum measured at 22% or over on a Brix refractometer. Faber et al., 2005 found that calves fed four litres in the first few hours after birth averaged 0.23Kg DLWG more when compared to calves that received two litres of colostrum. This resulted in a combined production increase of 1,027 litres in the first and second lactation and 11.4% more heifers surviving to the second location. Furthermore, the veterinary and medicine costs were lower in the group of calves fed the higher level of colostrum.

Colostrum replacers are the best option behind tested maternal colostrum and tested frozen colostrum. Most colostrum’s on the market are intended to supplement maternal colostrum when quality is poor and not to act as a complete colostrum replacer. It must be stressed that it is important to have a discussion with your nutritionist or vet when buying a replacer.

Carrs Billington have recently launched a new natural bovine colostrum replacer, ‘Vitality Premium Colostrum’. This replacer is 100% dried colostrum nothing added in and nothing taken away. Immunoglobulins make up 70–80% of the total protein in maternal colostrum. As this new product is natural bovine colostrum with 100% dairy protein, there are enough levels of immunoglobins to provide full colostrum replacement in the absence of maternal colostrum. Calves are born with minimal fat reserves that can only support the calf for approximately 5 hours.

Carrs Vitality Premium Colostrum contains 23% fat levels to provide calves the energy to keep warm and thrive in the vital first few hours of neo-natal life. The fat inclusion in this product is essential as fat also acts as a carrier for the extras such as growth hormones, which traditional colostrum supplements do not contain.

Carrs Vitality Premium Colostrum is EBL, IBR, Johne’s and TbB free.

Clare Lawson – 07393 147509
Calf and Youngstock Product Manager

Read more articles from our Sustainability with Profitability newsletter below:

Forage Planning and Grassland Management, Spring 2020

Following the winter of higher than average temperatures and rainfalls, spring has arrived, and we find ourselves discussing the effects of “high pressure systems” with cooler, drying, easterly winds. So how should producers boost forage production and maximise milk from forage?

Many farmers have spent the spring repairing damaged swards and not surprisingly still fixing problems left by the drought of 2018. Throughout 2018 forage was in short supply and farmers required high volumes of quick growing grasses. This saw the establishment of many short term Italian Ryegrass leys which are now showing reductions in yields and this year will require attention to maintain production.

For those looking for another short term fix and high volumes of forage to boost yields, resetting the grass rotation, consider species such as Westerwolds or Italian ryegrasses. These can provide grass volumes as large as 20t DM/ha in the first year of production and can last up to 2 years dependant on species and varietal choice. Young well managed grass swards in good soil conditions this spring can produce forage of over 20% CP and over 12 MJ ME. Feed qualities like this add great value to your business. As well as being higher in yield and higher in quality, young grass is more responsive to nitrogen and many of the new varieties have improved diseases resistance to maintain a healthier sward.

Forage planning remains critical. Some farmers will be considering which fields to reseed this year while still wanting to maintain the opportunity to extend their grazing season. This is a great opportunity to consider a brassica break crop such as Kale, Forage Rape or Stubble Turnips. The stubble turnips and forage rape can make great emergency grazing platforms if we end up with another summer drought as well as being used
for extending the season in the autumn. Break crops also improve soil health, help manage grassland weed control and allow opportunities to improve soil nutrient status for the future grassland reseed.

Pre-cut Analysis should be conducted weekly from mid April to support decision making on optimal cutting dates for grass silage. This provides information on dry matter, sugars, NDF and nitrates in the grass. Close attention to grass growth stage will also optimise silage quality.

For further grass and forage advice please call the forage line on 08000 234416.

Alex Law – 07860 784904
Grassland Products Manager

Read more articles from our Sustainability with Profitability newsletter below:

Getting the Best from Zero Grazing

For many years Derek and Kirsty Haworth have been very successfully milking between 60 and 70 cows on one robot near the village of Hambleton in Lancashire. The Rose Farm herd comprises a mixture of Holstein, Ayrshire and an increasing proportion of Ayrshire/Holstein crosses. The current rolling yield is 9100 litres at 4.4% butterfat and 3.5% protein, with 3976 litres produced from forage.

Derek believes this is where the sweet spot for profitability lies, although he would ultimately like to achieve 4500 litres from forage. An increasing amount of Ayrshire semen is being used as good milk quality is vital for the milk contract and it is improving the hardiness and longevity of the herd. Derek’s son Rob is 21 now and wishes to work full time on the farm, so to generate sufficient income for two full time people, the decision has been made to increase the herd to 90 cows. The robot is 11 years old and this will be replaced with a milking parlour as 90 cows doesn’t justify two robots.

The only concentrates the cows receive are two cakes, one in the robot and one in the OPF. In the summer cows graze day and night but are fed zero grazed grass late afternoon as an incentive to come back to the robot. A Bonino zero grazer cuts, collects and dispenses the grass down the feed barrier. No other feeds are mixed with the grass or grass silage, so the Bonino is used 365 days a year. The blocks of silage do need breaking up on the floor to loosen before putting in the machine but this is a very efficient way of feeding.

Carrs Billington’s Buttergold 18 dairy cake containing Actisaf yeast is fed in the robot. High energy but with a very low acid loading to maintain a healthy rumen and increase butterfat production. Glucos-Aid 16
is used in the out of parlour feeder to avoid giving excessive protein to high yielding cows. This helps control weight loss in early lactation, protecting fertility and milk quality. Both cakes contain TechTonic, our unique rumen conditioner proven to improve milk yield, butterfat production and feed conversion efficiency.

Moving away from the robot will give more flexibility as there will be fewer restrictions on which fields can be practically grazed and the amount of grass offered to cows. At present if you offer them too much, they will not come back to the robot.

Zero grazing will continue when the parlour is operational. Derek says “It’s a lazy mans way of grazing cows, offers more flexibility and gives higher dry matter intakes.” Zero grazing gives you the ability to feed
fresh grass for longer without damage and production loss from poaching and soiling, particularly at the shoulders of the season.

The zero grazed fields are sown with mixtures containing broad leaved white clover which reduces the need for bought in nitrogen. When a field is cleared, slurry is applied immediately. Nitrogen is usually only applied in early spring to kick start the grass before the clover gets going later on.

Grazing fields do not contain clover to avoid bloat. This is never an issuewith the zero grazed grass, Derek’s theory being that cows select for leaf when grazing but when eating zero grazed material they have to consume more fibre and this perhaps reduces the risk.

We wish the Haworth family every success with the next stage in their business. In the current economic climate and volatile milk prices, hitting the sweet spot that combines goods yields with high milk from
forage and a relatively simple system looks a good plan.

Top Tips for Successful Zero Grazing

1. Cut when covers are around 3000 kg/ha, enough bulk to make it worthwhile without sacrificing quality.
2. Derek sometimes cuts the outsides of a field and leaves the middle for silage. “If the grass is growing at 60-70kg DM/ha/day then you often need to move on to the next paddock to maintain optimum forage quality in front of the cows.”
3. Leave a cover of just above sheep grazing height, 1200kg/ha.
4. Don’t store cut grass for longer than 6 hours, especially if the nitrogen content is high. Palatability and feed intakes drop off quickly.
5. Test the grass regularly during the season to keep a picture of nutrient value.
6. Ideally cut late afternoon, when dry matter and sugar content are usually at their best.
7. If wet when cut, leave the grass for a couple of hours so some of the water can drain off.

Prescription Fertiliser Improves Soil Fertility, Yield and Crop Quality

While grass has long been recognised by dairy farmers as the most economical source of feed, few consider its nutritional value when buying their fertiliser to grow it.

The British Survey of Fertiliser Practice 2019 shows that 40% of the 1.2 million tonnes of fertiliser applied to grass each year is straight nitrogen. Is this a missed opportunity in terms of balancednutrition to optimise not only grass yield but, arguably more importantly, forage quality?

Origin’s Nutrition Agronomist Hannah Peile explains:“When a dairy farmer chooses which compound feed to buy, the decision is based on energy, protein and raw material inclusion depending on the requirement of the cow.

“At Origin Fertilisers, we consider that feeding grass is no different. The nutritional requirement of the grass should be considered, and the fertiliser applied should match that requirement.”

Origin Fertilisers put this hypothesis to the test in an independent research trial conducted by the National University of Ireland in 2019 which compared a ‘standard’ analysis complex compound – 24.6.12 – against an Origin NUTRI-MATCH ‘prescription’ fertiliser.

Both products supplied the same amounts of N, P and K. However, the broad-spectrum soil analysis highlighted deficiencies in sulphur, sodium and selenium which could potentially affect forage quality. Sulphur, sodium and selenium were therefore added to the prescription fertiliser to correct the deficiencies identified in the soil analysis.

Sulphur is essential in optimising dry matter (DM) production and formation of true proteins. RB209 Prescription Fertiliser Improves Soil Fertility, Yield and Crop Quality notes a critical sulphur level in grass of > 0.25% and a nitrogen to sulphur ratio of 12:1 or lower.

Sodium is essential in optimising sugar content which improves palatability and therefore dry matter intakes. In conserved grass, sugars convert to acids which aid fermentation and preservation. Sodium also plays a key role in optimising mineral balances and reducing the risk of hypomagnesemia (grass staggers).

Selenium levels were low, in line with 90% of UK soils. Selenium is essential for animal health and applying it through the fertiliser elevates the levels in pasture and forage towards optimum or required levels.

While the DM yield was very similar between the fertiliser treatments, the nutritional value of the grass treated with the NUTRI-MATCH prescription fertiliser was greatly improved.

Compared to the ‘standard’ compound, the NUTRI-MATCH prescription compound:

  • Produced an additional 0.15 tonnes per ha of DM worth £22.50 per ha
  • Increased digestibility (D-value) and energy (ME)
  • Increased the sodium content by 59% which helped increase sugars by 21% and reduce the potassium to sodium ratio by one-third which reduces the risk of staggers
  •  Increased the sulphur content by 25% which improved the nitrogen to sulphur ratio from marginal to optimal – this will have increased the formation of amino acids
  •  Increased the selenium content by 178%

“Applying a prescription fertiliser based on matching soil and crop nutrient requirements can improve soil fertility, yield and crop quality,” concludes Mrs Peile. “Targeted nutrient inputs can save you money and help protect the environment.”

Since the introduction in England two years ago of mandatory soil sampling under the Water Framework Directive, accurate field data is enabling
farmers to match soil and crop requirements with prescription fertilisers to optimise the nutritional quality of grass.

The Professional Agricultural Analysis Group 2018/19 data shows that prescription nutrition is needed now. Covering over 125,000 UK grassland samples, 19% still show a soil pH of less than 5.5 and only 26% were at the target potassium index of 2-, and 30% at target phosphate index 2. Overall, less than 10% of all samples were at target index for both P and K, highlighting a real opportunity for improved nutrition.

A Carrs Billington full soil health check is essential for building a nutrient management plan that meets legislative requirements, as well as examining a further 8 nutrients including selenium and sodium, essential for healthy, profitable cows.

Carrs Billington advisors recommend NUTRI- MATCH blended fertilisers, made from a choice of up to 14 essential nutrients to address every part of the deficiency or excesses identified in the full soil analysis.

Reducing nutrient excess can have a positive environmental impact, and the flexibility that a fertiliser blender has to use different raw materials to produce a grade can reduce its carbon footprint. Origin’s raw materials are all tested under European Standard EN 1235/A1, meaning that there is no compromise in product quality.

Ask your Carrs Billington specialist about NUTRI-MATCH prescription fertilisers and see real benefits in the quality of your grass and your dairy herd.

Special Offers on Enduramaxx

We currently have some great offers on Enduramaxx products, see below for details. For more information or to place your order please contact your local branch. Additional contact details for most branches can be found here.

10,000 Litre Rainwater Tank and Filter Kit – £1350.00 (RRP £1472.00)

This Enduramaxx rainwater harvesting tank can be used for agricultural sprayers off a grain store, water for dairy wash down from barns, pressure washers, greywater systems for flushing toilets for commercial factories and office blocks and a number of applications for washing and cooling in industry. The rainwater filters removes leaves and moss out of the water coming off the roof to save a build-up of sediment in the tanks. The tank is available in 40 sizes, from 150 to 90,000 litres. This product comes with a 10 year guarantee.

Tank details:

  • SKU 172122-RHH
  • 2400 dia x 2500 H (mm)
  • 2199 Gallons – approx
  • 10 cubic metres


Rainwater harvesting kit details:

  • SKU 254020
  • The filter is designed for roof sizes up to a maximum of 450sq metres
  • Calmed inlet to prevent incoming water disturbing any sediment
  • Suitable for 110mm (4”) downpipes


Push Along Spraymaxx – £195.00 -(RRP £220.00)

This mobile, rechargeable sprayer. Makes light work of spraying water, disinfectant, fertiliser, chemicals, herbicides and pesticides. It benefits from a 2 hour spray time from 1 charge.


Carrs Billington thanks to staff and message for customers

Leading agricultural supplier Carrs Billington today thanked staff for keeping essential services open and explained how it will serve customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Carlisle-headquartered business is a lifeline for farms, rural businesses and communities with its supply of animal feeds, farm equipment and domestic fuels.

While its network of 32 Country Stores is closed for browsing and self-selection, it is operating a telephone order service with collection or delivery.

Managing Director Dr Mark Cole said: “We must thank all our staff for dealing with challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. We are one of the essential services that must keep working through this crisis.

“Our focus is staying safe and disease-free whilst keeping our customers served.”

Dr Mark Cole, Managing Director of Carrs Billington

Supplies continue to arrive daily and Dr Cole said there was no need for anyone to stockpile or panic buy.

The company has pledged to keep in weekly contact with customers to ensure they do not run short of the supplies needed to keep their own businesses running.

Dr Cole added: “Our customer-facing staff are busier than ever and we are ensuring they are supported by colleagues working from home. In these unprecedented times we are asking them all to think outside of the normal ways of working to get the job done.

“Facebook pages have been updated with additional contact numbers as our telephone lines are very busy.”

Dr Cole said orders can be booked to credit accounts or paid by card over the phone and said it was important for both delivery and collection that the current guidelines on social distancing are followed.

He said: “If you are collecting please do not leave your vehicle, sound your horn if no staff are obvious and we will come and load your goods into your vehicle.

“We would ask customers to have plans in place to minimise contact with delivery drivers and assist with hygiene measures. By working together to protect our drivers, we hope to keep them delivering during this challenging period.”

Lorry drivers have been informed about hand sanitising and personal hygiene and Carrs Billington has issued additional guidelines for deliveries:

  • Place order in time
  • Give clear instructions about where to put feed, fuel or a safe location for retail items to reduce the need to meet the delivery driver
  • Have clear signage on bins and feed stores
  • Avoid meeting with drivers unless this is necessary, and then maintain a distance of at least 2m
  • Assist by providing hand wash facilities if possible
  • Keep the delivery area as clean as possible so drivers and vehicles can maintain hygiene standards.
  • Delivery documentation will be signed on a customer’s behalf and left – there should be no contact with the driver.

Dr Cole said staff had been buoyed by messages of support from customers on their recent Facebook posts.

He added: “We are grateful that people recognise the lengths our staff are going to keep them stocked. In situations like we are in a kind word or a smile can go a long way.”