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Herd Update 02.07.18

General Detail

  • All Newford calves were weighted on the 27th of June and the following is the summary of the weighing
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  • All the young stock are performing well during this very difficult drought conditions
  • Newford had a herd test on Tuesday and the reading of the animals will be carried out this Friday the 6th

Grassland Management Details

Newford Farm had a visit from Teagasc Grass 10 (John Maher and Catherine Egan) and the following was outcome of the visit.

Newford Farm feed management plan during the current drought conditions:

  • The Newford farm, like many farms throughout the country is feeling the effect of the drought conditions. The cows are been fed  surplus round bales of silage at grass  in ring feeders to stretch the grass cover on the farm while also trying to maintain the grass cover , so the cover dose not completed evaporate during  this drought period . Leaving the farm with a very difficult task to build up covers again as we begin to head towards the autumn.
  • The longer the drought period continue, Newford may have to make the decision in the coming days to sell off some of its stock to ease the pressure on the farm.
  • The objective of the beef animals on the Gort na Habhainn farm is to maintain the grass cover of 617 kg/ha
  • The current growth rate is 23 kg DM/ha/day
  • Leaving the GortnaHabhainn farm of a 50% deficit in supply.
  • Going forward half of the animals (62) diet will have to come from silage to hold the farm cover.
  • Our aim is to try and achieve a 26 day rotation.
  • GortnaHabhainn acreage is almost 14 ha ( 14 ha / 26 days = 0.5 ha/day approx. ) or 1.25 acres/day.
  • I round bale of silage  = 200kg DM.
  • Daily intake is 5 kg to 10 kg of grass  + 5kg of silage
  • Therefore 5 kg of silage x 62 animals = 310 Kgs of silage per day ( 1 ½ bales per day)
  • In the coming week  the growth rate is expected to drop to 15kg DM/ha/day
  • If this happens two thirds of the beef animals diet  will have to come from silage to maintain the grass cover on the farm


  • Bale silage can be fed at ANY stage after wrapping. The secret to this is that the bales are consumed almost immediately or certain within 24 hours.
  • Put out 2 bales each day instead of 4 bales for 2 days.
  • A typical bale made from surplus grass has about 200kg DM.
  • 2 round bales will provide 100 animals with 4 kg DM/head /day.
  • Expected intakes of round bales silage would be 3-4 kg DM for a 3-4 hour feeding period (mature animals) provided all animals have equal access.
  • Actions need to be taken in advance to prevent situation worsening.
  • Similar plan can be replicated on farms dealing with drought conditions
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  • Grass cover taken last Monday the 2nd July.
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Key recommendations for this week

  1. Monitor grass conditions daily
  2. Keep round feeders top up when required
  3. Watch calves closely for pneumonia / sun stroke.
  4. Check all water troughs for adequate amount of water.
  5. Check all  water wells