Reflecting on farming in 2023

With 2024 well underway, it’s the time of year to reflect on lessons learnt from the last 12 months. Stuart Wilkieson, Sam Coulson, and John Lack from Elta Group’s agricultural brands answer some key questions on the trends seen.

cows on agriculture and livestock article on farming website
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Q. How were farmers able to take advantage of the FETF grant in 2023, and what would you like to see in 2024?

A: John Lack, technical sales engineer at ventilation specialist Hydor, said: “Farmers this year were able to apply for the FETF to help with the costs of various necessities such as new animal housing or ventilation solutions.

“With many feeling the financial constraints of the cost-of-living crisis, we saw quite a few farmers source grants for our specialist equipment under the Animal Health and Welfare theme. […] Farmers could get a significant chunk of expenses covered through the grant.

“Next year, we’d like to see the grant return again, but made even simpler given how busy farmers are. Our experts at Hydor and across all our agricultural brands can help those unsure on the process or what they qualify for.”

Q. Avian influenza (AI), though less rife compared to 2022, is still potent. How can farmers continue to protect flocks?

A: Sam Coulson, operations manager at poultry health supplier Bowden and Knights, said: “It is important that farmers implement robust biosecurity measures to safeguard their birds. Some key recommendations include using disposable or polycotton coveralls of CE type 5 and 6 and lightweight nitrile gloves. Rubber or polyurethane waterproof boots that can be disinfected after use are also advised.”

Q. As climate change results in hotter summers, what can farmers do to protect their livestock?

A: Stuart Wilkieson, Hydor technical sales engineer said: “It is incredibly important that farmers prioritise protecting sheds against high temperatures such as those seen during the summer. A cool environment is vital which can be accomplished through a capable ventilation system.

“Alongside this, farmers can also install evaporative cooling systems which pumps atomised water at high pressure into the area, forming a fine mist that evaporates when exposed to hot air. This can lower the indoor temperature by as much as 6–7°C.”

Q. Moving into 2024, what’s next for Elta Group’s agricultural brands?

A: Stuart said: “2023 has shown that animal health is a top priority for both us and farmers. […] From ventilation systems that can help calves get the best start in life by helping prevent harmful diseases, through to disinfectants and consumables to ward off disease spread, and specialist cooling technology for poultry and other livestock, experts at Elta Group’s agricultural brands are always on hand to find the correct solution to your issue.

“As well as this, we’re committed to making farmers’ lives easier, so for busy farmers, you can also purchase products and fans directly through our eCommerce-ready site, All Agri.”

For more information, visit Elta Group’s website

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