Agriculture & Farming

Agriculture is typically defined as the science or business of cultivating the soil, growing crops and rearing livestock. Farming is the skill of practising agriculture.

Farming and Agriculture – Behind the Scenes

Agriculture is typically defined as the science or business of cultivating the soil, growing crops and rearing livestock. Farming is the skill of practising agriculture. Many of us living in towns or larger villages across the UK often forget the agricultural side of Britain that is so important to us. The purpose of agriculture is to provide planned food utilisation for its dependant societies and although growing crops and rearing livestock are fundamental to this, it is the storage of produce that makes this possible.

With the coming of the Industrial Revolution and the development of more complicated machines, farming methods took a great leap forward. Instead of harvesting grain by hand with a sharp blade, wheeled machines cut a continuous swath. Instead of threshing the grain by beating it with sticks, threshing machines separated the seeds from the heads and stalks. Driven by these changes in agrochemicals, mechanisation and government support, production rose and we now rely on these machines to produce our countries ever increasing food demands. With such reliance on these machines numerous companies have popped up across the country offering sales in all types of machinery from Tractors to Quad Bikes both new and old with models to suit any budget. There are of course mechanics with the skills and abilities to get these machines up and running again quicker than ever before to ensure that the impact of their breakdowns have as little effect on production as possible.

Currently there is a lot of investment going in to buildings as production increases and new storage spaces are needed. These include Cattle Sheds, Implements Store, Hay Barns including Big Bale stores, General Purpose Building, Sheep sheds, Garages, Grain Stores, Equestrian Buildings and Pig Buildings. Onsite Farm Shops have become very popular because in recent times more and more farmers have opened their doors or set up stalls to offer fresh, local products direct to customers. Discover here the fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, eggs, cakes, preserves, and local specialities available from hundreds of farm shops, Pick-Your-Own farms, stalls at farmers’ markets, and deliveries direct to your home. What does this mean for you? It means you get the very freshest produce sold directly to you on the farm or by the producers themselves: ‘farm-direct sales’ means just that! This helps the producers by providing an income that’s not tied to the profits or whims of the supermarkets; it reinvests the money that you spend back into your local economy and the rural economy at large. It provides you with more choice and an alternative to the supermarkets, and let’s not forget the freshest, tastiest food money can buy.

So next time you’re driving through the countryside and you see a tractor harvesting the fields or a stall selling fresh foods on the markets have a think about the long hours and days that those working in our vast countryside are doing for us behind the scenes!

Leptospirosis (Weil’s Disease) Do you Know the Risk?

Leptospirosis is a type of bacterial infection spread by animals. It is caused by a strain of bacteria called Leptospira.  In 90% of cases, leptospirosis only causes mild flu-like symptoms, such as headache, chills and muscle pain.  However, in some cases the infection is more severe and can cause life-threatening problems, including organ failure and internal bleeding leading to death. In its most severe form, leptospirosis is also known as Weil’s disease.  The common mild symptoms mean that most leptospirosis infections are hard to diagnose. Diagnosis is easier if the infection is causing more serious problems.

Most may be aware of Leptospirosis or Weil’s disease but may not know the actual risk to their health. A greater awareness of the disease was recognised when Sir Steve Redgrave’s rowing partner and close friend Andy Holmes contracted the disease and unfortunately died from the infection in 2010.  The 51 year-old developed blisters and broken skin on his hands during a 26-mile sculling marathon in Boston, Lincs, Southwark coroners’,  Leptospira infected water quickly entered his system through the open wounds and he contracted the infection.

This story shows just how easy it is to contract an infection.  People who enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking, rafting, canoeing, swimming  or even golfing may be at risk for leptospirosis.  If you work closely with Livestock or even have a pet dog the risk of infection is increased as the infection is spread via the contaminated urine of animals.    Leptospirosis exists all over the world, but it is more likely to be found in tropical climates so if you have recently been on holiday and exhibit  flu like symptoms mentioned above you should consider it a possibility.  Golfers are at risk from contracting Leptospirosis if balls land in stagnant water where leptospira bacteria is likely to grow and multiply or animals such as rats which are the most common host for transferable infection have urinated and infected water or grass areas.

At Linnodee we can provide a rapid testing service for Leptospirosis infection using our in-house developed Leptorapide Rapid Latex Agglutination Test.  We can quickly and easily diagnose Leptospira infections.  As mentioned above leptospirosis can be easily treated when diagnosis is performed at the early stages of infection this is why the Linnodee Leptorapide product is so beneficial, it provides a confirmed result within 3 minutes to allow accurate and quick diagnosis enabling treatment to commence as early as possible.  Please contact us if you would like further information on this testing service and our products.

Linnodee Ltd. , 45 Holestone Road, Doagh, N. Ireland, BT39 0TJ. Tel: +44 (0)28 933 49329

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“Working with livestock farmers since 1968”

“Our goal is to recommend diets, based on analysis of your feeds and forages, to achieve your production goals, while promoting
excellent feed efficiency, animal health and fertility”.

The dry cow in the most important animal on the farm. After three years  work on UK and Irish farms, testing our new Dry and Transition cow programme we want to introduce Fast-Start.

Lameness in Sheep.

Lameness in sheep may be due to injury, systemic illness or infections caused by organisms that have a predilection for the feet. The three most common infectious causes of lameness in sheep, in the UK, are scald, footrot and contagious ovine digital dermatitis (CODD).

They can all occur in the same flock and at the same time. The occurrence of one condition tends to predispose sheep to the others. As the health and integrity of the hoof and foot deteriorates, the severity of the infection, and therefore the lameness caused and decreased productivity, can progress in parallel.

Scald is typically seen as a reddening of the skin above the coronary band and inter digitally which progresses to become necrotic (the tissue dies away) the further it develops.

Foot rot generally appears after scald has weakened the coronary band, thus allowing the bacterium that causes foot rot (dichelobactor nodosus), to penetrate and under-run the hoof wall and colonise the foot internally. Foot rot is characterised by misshapen and overgrown hoof claws, extremely lame sheep and sheep grazing on their knees to relieve pain.

A more virulent form of infectious lameness (CODD) has appeared in the UK in recent years and is believed to be caused by organisms found in digital dermatitis of cattle, namely treponeme spp. .  As the name suggests, contagious ovine digital dermatitis, is very contagious within a flock and can spread very quickly between sheep. The presence of footrot can predispose to CODD.

Kling-On-Blue footbath for sheep contains copper sulphate and zinc sulphate, an organic acid and a fixative. One 7kg bucket of Kling on Blue powder can be mixed with 120 litres of water to provide a footbath for 250 sheep. The product can be easily and readily mixed in a few minutes by agitating the footbath with a yard broom and brushing along the bottom of the bath. After standing for ten minutes, the footbath will thicken and the sheep can be walked through. Holding sheep in the bath is unnecessary. The adhesive properties enable coating of the hoof with the solution as they pass through. After walking through the footbath, sheep are left on a hard standing for 20 minutes enabling the footbath to dry as a coating. This coating process encourages penetration of the hoof by the copper sulphate and zinc sulphate for several days. Kling on Blue can be used weekly, fortnightly or whenever handling allows.

Bentley Walker Ltd

Accessing fast broadband can be frustrating, slow and disappointing to many rural homes and businesses. You could be just miles from the local exchange or relying on telephone lines to transfer information.

Bentley Walker Ltd provides the latest satellite internet service through a simple installation process which connects the service to your computer. Things will then burst in to life, with rapid speeds up to 10 Mobs/sec, running your business on-line or your home internet connection. This will change your internet usage to a more pleasurable experience.

Why come to Bentley Walker Ltd?

As a worldwide recognised leader in internet services by satellite we have proudly achieved over 25 years of experience due to our exceptional services and pricing.

How do I choose a suitable package?

We have a dedicated sales team who are happy to advice you on the appropriate package or you can view the packages on-line at:

What is involved with my installation?

Your satellite system will be delivered to you in readiness for our professional installation engineers to contact you. The engineers will examine the premises on their visit and make the best proposal to install the equipment in your home. For Commercial business needs a survey is required in advance of purchase due to the uncertainty of the requirements.

If you require a business installation or you believe the installation is required some distance away from your premises then a site survey is necessary, please simply make the arrangements through the following link:

If you wish to discuss your requirements please contact Bentley Walker Ltd     023 92311103

Honey bees under threat

Honey bees play a critical role in pollinating the crops we eat, playing a vital role in the agriculture business of today.

Recent controversies over honey bees remind us of their environmental and economic importance. The revival over controversies surrounding dying honey bees has brought global attention to issues farmers, beekeepers, politicians and environmental campaigners have long been aware of. Honey bees are in danger!

The debate over what to do about dying honey bees is certainly a topic the UK has seen a lot of recently. The first people to recognise the shocking extent of honey bee deaths were beekeepers. In the research carried out by them, it is certainly true to say that these honey-beebeekeepers are careful and deeply invested observers.

Beekeepers worldwide can to a conclusion that neonicotinoid insecticides were the likely contributors to the increased bee mortality. However, some chemical company representatives, scientists and government regulators dismissed or disparaged their findings. Our view is that commercial beekeepers have real-time observational knowledge of the crisis facing honey bee pollinators and that we should take their research seriously. Our point is not to say that commercial beekeepers always know best, but to argue for more genuinely participatory research that brings beekeepers’ knowledge and scientists’ knowledge into a creative and egalitarian dialogue toward a fuller understanding of why honey bees are dying. Beekeepers are merely suggesting different ways of obtaining understanding the causes of honey bee deaths other than that sanctioned by government officials, chemical companies, and established scientists. It may turn out that the complexity of the ecosystem of which honeybees are a part of means that the formal, highly controlled, and ultimately limited experiments which offer the standard approach to understand the problem are not up to the challenges reflected in the epidemic facing honey bees worldwide.

The US and UK governments have supported taking the neonicotinoid pesticides off the market in the face of suggestive evidence based on scientific laboratory and field studies, and beekeepers’ observations. Given what is at stake, we strongly believe we should show preference for those who prefer to err on the side of caution. And giving that we all eat, we should all be concerned about the alarming uptick of honey bee deaths, but the current crisis can also be an opportunity to consider how to do things differently.

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