Livestock improving

The physical performance of beef cattle and sheep raised by farmers in England is improving year on year, the new Business Pointers 2011 report shows.

Figures gathered from 240 beef and 178 sheep enterprises for the annual bench-marking survey by livestock organisation EBLEX showed lower calf deaths, fewer barren cows, more calves and lambs reared, and fewer lamb deaths compared to previous years across most of the beef and sheep enterprises recorded by EBLEX.

This has helped overall net margins despite a background of rising costs, but the gulf between the top and bottom third performers appears to be growing.