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It has certainly been a tough start to 2020 with a wet winter followed on by one of the driest springs in history, farmers have definitely had a lot to contend with.  

The Clarifide plus offer outlined below was originally due to end in June but has now been extended to November – with the start we have had to 2020, it is now more important than ever to cater appropriately for your heifer replacement needs and ensure the correct animals are going to breed your next generation. 

This need is compacted by the increasing pressure to ensure animals born on your farms hold a marketable value. 


Clarifide genomics has been proven as an award winning innovation to discover the genetic potential of your replacement heifers with it’s dynamic level of analysis and information available to farmers. Genomics not only facilitates revelation of your heifers true potential, it more importantly outlines those bottom end heifers which are likely to be below the genetic average of your herd.

Clarifide has recently launched Clarifide plus which offers not only the standard production and type traits but also adds in wellness to help you build a stronger, more robust herd. 

These wellness traits initially include:

Eight cow wellness traits — mastitis, lameness, metritis, retained placenta, displaced abomasum, ketosis, milk fever and respiratory disease

Three calf wellness traits — calf livability, respiratory disease and scours

Three additional fertility traits recently added include cystic ovary, abortion and twinning

This recent advancement in genomics allows enhanced management of your heifer breeding decisions to harness longevity and reduce treatment rates for common diseases.

 • SPECIAL offer buy 3 for the price of 2 •

Clarifide plus genomics – includes the full range of traits
this effectively takes the price to A VERY FAVOURABLE £26.50

To discuss the use of genomics in your herd, please contact Sophia Elworthy:

t: 01769 610000 m: 07551 129546 e: sophiaelworthy@torchfarmvets.com


We’re making good progress on our new practice at Neet Way on Holsworthy Industrial Estate and we’re on track to open in mid July. 

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, access to the building will be limited but we hope to have a official opening to welcome our clients in very soon.

Watch this space (and our Facebook page) for more information! 


This is good news for Torch’s four TB advisors who have been busy getting farms CHeCS accredited for bovine TB. This enables accredited farms to stay on annual testing with the advent of 6 monthly testing in the near future.

TB advisors can also help with

• setting up TB Isolation Units – consultancy and application help

• identifying risky cows in chronic TB breakdown herds and advise on risk-reducing management

• offering advice on potential changes to your business model, such as setting up an Approved Finishing Unit

• help “make your farm your fortress” by identifying low-risk purchasing options 

TBAS visits are fully funded by Defra and the EU. It is a completely free advice service, costing only an hour or two of your time.

For more details contact your local surgery or visit: tbas.org.uk


We have been fully supportive of the National BVD Stamp It Out eradication campaign.

As part of that objective we secured funding for 200 farms with breeding cattle to assess their current BVD status with the option for additional funding to support Persistently Infected (PI) hunts where active BVD infection has been identified. 

Whilst Covid 19 has checked the project, we are now progressing once again with enrolling additional farms onto the project and working with farms that have already enrolled to complete the BVD work with them. 

Of note, we have confirmed active BVD infection on 39 and had PI hunts approved on 30 farms we have sampled to date, highlighting the importance and value of the initiative in terms of this often hidden disease and the risk posed to cattle herds. The project fund has helped to identify 53 Persistently Infected BVD carriers so far.

Here’s a summary of progress so far:

Enrolled farms to date 150/200 target

Completed risk assessment visit and BVD check tests to determine whether active BVD infection is present = 116

Number of farms where no active BVD infection has been demonstrated = 77 (66%)

Number of farms where active BVD infection has been confirmed = 39 (34%)

Number of farms where PI hunt has been approved = 30 out of the 116 farms sampled to date – (26%)

Number of farms where PI’s have been found to date = 7

Total number of PI’s found to date = 53 

Note that Red Tractor Farm Assurance now requires an updated BVD risk assessment and surveillance plan annually

The project is due to be concluded at the end of 2020.

If you have not yet benefitted from this funding to review, establish your BVD status and update your management plan, get in touch with your nearest BRANCH as soon as possible.


Testing for wormer resistance is vital to enable farmers to put effective worm control plans in place.

Reduced drench performance due to resistance leads to more worms surviving and, ultimately, reduced lamb performance. 


1. Take fresh dung samples from 10 lambs in the same mob. Each sample must be fresh and of the same amount.

2. Treat all lambs with a wormer, ensuring the dose rate is correct for their weight and dosing gun has been calibrated.

3. Record that date when you need to collect your post drench test samples; 7 days for yellow drench, 14 days for a white or clear drench

4. On the day of the test, go back and take a sample of dung from the same 10 lambs in the mob.

These samples are then tested to see if the wormer has been effective or if resistance is present.

What is resistance and why is it a problem?

A farm has resistance problems when a product is not killing at least 95% of worms. Above this level production losses will be minimal.

However, below this effectiveness, there will be production losses. It is only when resistance is at about 50% that clinical disease will be notable.

Reduced drench performance due to resistance leads to more worms surviving and, ultimately, reduced lamb performance, which is why it is so costly.

For example, it could take only five weeks for a weaned lamb to put on 10kg from eating 65kg of feed if worm control is effective. However, if worm control is ineffective, it could take 14 weeks to gain the same weight, with double the amount of feed consumed.

Wherever possible please drop in samples by lunchtime to allow us time to run the samples and get youR results the same day.
A large number of samples arriving late in the day can make this challenging


We are collecting  data from our beef suckler clients to undertake a benchmarking exercise. This project starts with completion of a questionnaire so that we can learn more about your suckler herd.

The idea is that once we have your answers we can create key performance indicators to compare across a group of similar suckler farms. You will be allocated an ‘alias’ so that data is anonymous. We will be hosting a meeting (when COVID-19 allows!) to discuss the results and any common themes with the aim of creating a discussion group to address these areas throughout the year. If you would like to get involved, please complete and return the questionnaire. 

For further details please contact:

e: fergusneish@torchfarmvets.com

e: colinclarke@torchfarmvets.com