Beef Market, Feed & Forage Review 2021

2021 has been a challenging year for grass growth, and as we head into winter with the hope of continued strong beef prices, concerns turn to forage stocks and feed prices.

A cold and dry start to the year resulted in late first cut silages that present a very different picture to previous years:

  • Lower protein content
  • Higher sugar content
  • Variable ME & D value
  • Some high dry matter
  • Greater mycotoxin risk
  • With respect to second cut silage, it is a bit early to say as I write this, however energy and protein levels are looking even poorer than first cut.

    On a more positive note, cereal crop yields have been good this year. As for maize – so far so good, with the warm sunny weather during July helping significantly.king even poorer than first cut.

    In summary, our focus this year is on making the absolute most of what has been grown at home as we face limited stocks and higher bough-in feed costs.

    james chapman

    By James Chapman, Regional Sales Manager
    1st September 2021

    Working with your unique situation and goals

    Carr’s Billington provides a comprehensive range of feed and nutrition products and services to help our beef farming customers improve the digestive performance of their beef cattle – driving margin from feed whilst minimising environmental impact.







    Here’s how we can help your beef cattle perform better


    Our UFAS accredited facilities provide our customers with a complete and bespoke feed range, choosing from our range of responsibly sourced and quality controlled raw materials, providing more precision with no extra manufacturing cost.

    A comprehensive range of top-quality rearing pellets and general-purpose compounds are formulated to balance home-grown forage.

    Mixtures and blends combining pellets and micronized flaked ingredients for a palatable, visually appealing mix ideal for feeding in hoppers or troughs.

    Nuts for semi-intensive systems and high starch feed for finishing cattle.
    Protein concentrates to complement home-grown cereals.

    Champion and ‘X’ mixtures supply precise nutrition for pedigree and commercial ruminants in both the show and sale sectors.


    Youngstock are particularly prone to respiratory problems, especially in the autumn-winter period and when they are housed, as they have not developed any natural immunity to many infectious organisms. The severity of the problems can vary from a mild nasal discharge and coughing in a group of calves, to severe pneumonia with some deaths.

    Crystalyx Easy Breather is a highly palatable feed lick containing active and proven decongestants to help keep airways clear, reducing coughing and respiratory irritation, and in turn, help alleviate stress and maintain appetite.


    As the diets and forages we offer our cows change, especially at this time of year, so does the acidity and the pH stability of the rumen. This, in turn, effects a cow’s ability to digest feed and forage properly and efficiently.

    Rumen pH 6.2 to 7.0

    A neutral rumen environment that is ideal for all rumen microbes.

    Rumen pH below 6.2

    Fibre-digesting bacteria begin to slow down and digestion slows.

    Rumen pH below 5.4

    Fibre-digesting bacteria die out and lactic acid bacteria increases.

    Acid Buf is a rumen buffer designed to keep the rumen pH where it needs to be, and in doing so, supporting forage digestion whilst reducing the risk of SARA. Made from calcareous marine algae, its natural honeycomb structure breaks down slowly in the rumen providing twice the buffering capacity of sodium bicarbonate, even when fed at much lower concentrations..


    Ensuring rumen microbes have sufficient nitrogen while at the same time ensuring essential amino acids pass into the lower gastrointestinal tract for absorption into the blood stream is no simple task.

    80-90 percent of silage protein is degraded in the rumen, and so has a low Digestible Undegradable Protein (DUP). Furthermore, commonly used crude protein feed materials such as soya and rape are also highly degraded in the rumen. This can lead to excess nitrogen levels in the rumen and insufficient amino acids in the metabolic system.

    AminoMax® rumen bypass protein from Carr’s Billington, with its high DUP, delivers an amino acid profile optimised for lactating dairy cows. Manufactured using natural ingredients, the soya and rape are heated in the presence of sugar and steam, blocking digestion in the rumen. Acid in the abomasum then releases the protein from the sugar allowing full digestion and absorption of essential amino acids.

    % Soya Ext AminoMax -L Rape Ext AminoMax – M
    Dry Matter 89 87 88 87
    Oil 2.3 2.2 3.7 3.6
    Protein 47 45 34 32
    Fibre 4 4 14 13
    Ash 6.5 6.6 6.5 6.6
    DUP 18.8 30.6 10 19

    Here’s how it works:

    Our beef consultancy offering

    Our range of services and tools are designed to provide our customers with Vital Insight into Growth, Optimization and Reproduction (VIGOR). Our services include:

    Forage analysis and budgeting

    Diet formulation using DietCheck™ and NutriOpt™ programmes

    Nutricycle™ – total nutrient management

    Metabolic profiling in conjunction with your local vet

    Soil analysis and slurry analysis


    Our team of specialist advisers are here to help you do just that, with the support of our FREE forage analysis service. Leave us a message and we’ll come back to you in quick time.

    Call our order line now 01228 518860

    (Lines open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm)

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