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September has been a busy month already, and we are only one week in. At the start of the month we kicked off with our Love Lamb Week promotion (1-7 September), which was well supported by industry and it was great to see so many of you getting involved on social media too. Now in its fifth year, the campaign is gaining momentum and becoming a familiar date in the agricultural calendar. Love Lamb Week has also helped to launch the September burst of our Make It Lamb marketing activity, part of a £1.44 million national campaign to promote lamb’s delicious flavour and to encourage more people to enjoy its versatility.   

Also last week, AHDB responded to the Government’s request for views report, which was published earlier in the year. A new strategy and improved communication with levy payers on how their money is spent are just two of the significant changes AHDB has pledged to make. Read more about it or listen to our podcast.

Looking ahead to the next few weeks and we are excited to be hosting our first Strategic Farm month throughout the whole of October. Join us as we work with our dedicated farmers enrolled on the programme to explore the changes they have made and the success they have had. Don't forget that applications are still open to apply to become part of our Farm Excellence network.
Entries close on 30 September

Finally, I am delighted to announce that Rebecca Miah has been appointed to fill my role as the Interim Beef & Lamb Sector Strategy Director, while I step up to fill the role of Chief Strategy Officer on an interim basis. Rebecca is perfectly placed to take on the responsibilities of the role as we move to deliver the emerging new strategy. Having worked with AHDB for the past nine years, Rebecca has gained a thorough understanding of not only the beef and lamb sector, but also consumer and domestic marketing across the dairy and arable sectors. I am sure you will join me in wishing her well in her new role.  

Keep safe and best wishes,

Will Jackson

AHDB Beef & Lamb Sector Strategy Director


AHDB pledges to reform in response to request for views

A new strategy and improved communication with levy payers on how their money is spent are just two of the significant changes AHDB has pledged to make. This follows the Government’s response to the request for views, published earlier this year. Read more


Great results lead to Farm Excellence expansion

AHDB’s Beef & Lamb team is recruiting for its next host farmers after successes with its current project farms. This year, the team will be welcoming five new Monitor Farms to join its existing 15 Strategic Farms. Read more


Fodder stock concerns following a dry summer

Following the prolonged dry weather this summer, AHDB conducted a fodder stock survey, which aimed to collect information on the current stock levels across the UK. There were 110 responses, with the majority of respondents living in the South West of England. Read more


Join in our Strategic Farm month this October

For the whole month of October, the Beef & Lamb team will be hosting their first Strategic Farm month, to showcase some of the incredible success achieved by the farmers in the Farm Excellence programme.

The farmers will each have a focus week including daily videos, social media updates and an interactive digital event to replace on farm events. Find out more by visiting the Beef & Lamb Farm Excellence page.

Weather advice and support

For anyone involved in agriculture, adapting to the unexpected changes of the weather is a constant challenge. Use this weather page to stay up-to-date with the latest advice on planning for and coping with weather events of all kinds. Read more


Consumer marketing news

Industry unites to support #LoveLambWeek 2020

As another successful #LoveLambWeek comes to a close, we are delighted with the support and engagement the campaign has received from the farming community, as well as further afield. On the first day of Love Lamb Week, the campaign’s page on the AHDB website saw an influx of traffic, doubling the

average number of daily page views received from the previous week, and the assets pack had been downloaded over 400 times. 

On social media, the #LoveLambWeek hashtag got a huge following from industry including a number of high-profile accounts such as Farmers Guardian and Farmers Weekly, plus several well-followed farmer accounts. The environment graphics AHDB supplied were well-received and were shared widely, including being tweeted by supermarket chains Morrisons and Co-op.

TV presenter and chef, John Torode, got behind the campaign by sharing his ‘cooking with lamb’ video on his Instagram on Saturday. He also cooked with lamb during his This Morning slot last week which, whilst he was unable to directly highlight Love Lamb Week, was great to see on prime-time television. Read more


Markets and prices

Beef market update video

Beef market update - Sept 2020

AHDB livestock analyst Hannah Clarke takes you through a quick round-up of the latest developments in the UK beef market, looking at production, cattle numbers and trade. Watch now. 

Lamb market update video

Lamb market update – Sept 2020

In the latest market update, Rebecca Wright takes a look at why lamb prices are unseasonably high. Rebecca also discusses what the price outlook for this autumn could be. Watch now .


Industry news

How effective are videos and podcasts as tools to learn about farming practices?

In partnership with the University of Reading, Agricology has been awarded a Defra ELM Test to research how effective videos and podcasts are as tools to learn about farming practices. As part of this study they are conducting a survey for farmers to understand preferences and experiences of using these tools. In return for completing the survey, you will be entered into a prize draw to win Amazon vouchers up to a value of £100. Take the survey


EU-UK trade negotiations

The seventh round of EU-UK trade negotiations took place in August. With less than four months until the end of the transition period, the negotiations seem to be “going backwards more than forwards” in Michel Barnier’s own words. While there is some progress on technical issues, the main sticking points remain the same – namely fisheries, dispute settlement and level playing field provisions. In the EU’s view, the UK government is still looking to keep the benefits of the EU and the single market, without the obligations. While Barnier insists the EU understands the UK’s willingness to regain full sovereignty, they argue that some guarantees are needed to keep the comprehensive relationship they are aiming at. In this context, pessimism regarding the prospects for a deal keeps increasing. And yet, there are still good reasons for both sides to spend political capital on reaching an agreement. The next round of negotiations started this week (8 September). Find out why even a basic EU-UK trade deal is better than nothing.


Preparing for liver fluke this autumn

Despite the low incidence of liver fluke last year and a dry early start to the spring, average temperatures have remained favourable for liver fluke and snail development, according to the latest NADIS forecast. Consider the risk on your farm using forecasts, previous farm history, abattoir feedback and local weather. Remain vigilant and quarantine incoming breeding stock, as these animals could be a source of new parasites. For more information, see COWS and SCOPS.


Successful calf rearing

As the weather turns colder, calves require more energy to keep warm. To maintain desired growth rates during periods of cold weather, calves must be fed enough milk and concentrate to provide them with extra energy to maintain their body temperature. Calves less than three weeks of age are the most vulnerable to changes in temperature, with a lower critical temperature between 10–15°C.

Feed an extra 50g of milk replacer or 0.33l of whole milk per day for each 5°C drop below 15°C. For more information, see the Calf management guide.

To work out the energy supplied by the amount of milk replacer fed to the calf, check out the Calf milk replacer energy calculator suitable for heifer and bull calves.


Sheep Antimicrobial Usage tool

The Nottingham Sheep AMU calculator tool has now been revised to include the latest sheep AMU metrics. If you have been using the old calculator, please switch to this updated version. This calculator is designed to provide an estimation of antimicrobial usage on sheep farms. View the AMU calculator.


Support the BVD-free movement

Bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) is one of the biggest disease issues facing the cattle industry today costing UK farmers in total between £25-£61m. The BVDFree England scheme is the national, voluntary, industry-led scheme, with the aim of eliminating BVD from all cattle in England by 2022.

We are running a social media campaign entitled ‘BVDFree Fortnight’ which takes place 28 September – 9 October to remind farmers about BVD testing. Keep an eye on our social media channels for key messages. Find out more

To find out more about the BVDFree England scheme, you can register for our webinar on 1 October at 7pm. Register here



Using marketing campaigns to support our farmers

Listen to our latest podcast where we are joined by three speakers who discuss the AHDB Beef & Lamb marketing and advertising activity that has taken place this year in response to coronavirus. This activity includes #MakeItSteak, #MakeItLamb and #LoveLambWeek. All of these have been supported by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) as part of the ring-fenced funding. Listen now

AHDB's new commitment to levy payers

Defra published a summary and response to the Government-led request for views on AHDB in April 2020. In this episode, John Bates talks to AHDB Chair, Nicholas Saphir, about a new pledge to levy payers having listened to feedback. Listen now



Monday 14 September (7:00 – 8:00pm) Skills: Negotiating for success. Book now

Beef & Lamb

Thursday 17 September (7:00 – 8:00pm) GrassCheckGB: Grassland soils - knowing what you’ve got and how to improve it. Book now

Tuesday 22 September (7:00 – 8:00pm) Herbal leys panel discussion: Establishment, looking forward to 2021. Book now

Wednesday 23 September (2:00 – 3:00pm) Export opportunities for UK lamb in the Middle East. Book now 

Wednesday 23 September (7:30 – 9:00pm) Table Talk: Replacement Heifers - setting the foundation for a profitable suckler herd. Book now

Thursday 1 October (7:00 – 8:00pm) Understanding BVDFree England. Book now

View all events