To-date 90% (36 out of 40), 2021-born beef heifers have now been sold at an average age of just under 18 months, or 534 days of age. All of these heifers (except four heifers) were drafted off grass with no concentrate supplementation provided since turnout on the 20thJanuary.
o The average grade for the 36 heifers slaughtered to date was R - 3 =
o Their average liveweight going up the ramp of the lorry was 557 kg
o Their average date of birth was the 22nd of February 2021 and their average kill date was the 8th of August 2022 (534 days old on average)
o Their average carcase weight was 290kg and their average kill-out percentage was 52%
o The average sale price per kg received was €5.06/kg
o The average sale value was €1,476 per head
o Only one heifer out of the 36 sold did not receive the quality payment system in-spec bonus as she graded R = 2 =
o The only concentrate feeding the heifers received was at weaning time to comply with the Beef Environmental
Efficiency Programme (BEEP-S) and during the short winter housing period of 2021/2022
o The heifers consumed roughly 253kg of concentrates costing approximately €89 per head
o These heifers remained at grass after weaning and were housed on the 7th of December at 379 kg live weight. They remained housed for just 44 days before being turned back out to grass on the 20th of January 2022 weighing 411kg on average
o There are four remaining 2021-born beef heifers and their average weight is 614 kg
o These four heifers will be drafted in early November, if not sooner and they have been receiving 3kg of meal since
the 1st of September. They are being supplemented with a high energy, 12% crude protein ration costing €410/t
Pictured above: Sire: Laurel 4185. Dam: Second calver Hereford x dairy. Grade: R= 3 +. Price: €1,598 (€4.90 per Kg). Draft date: 7th October 2022 @608 Kg live weight.
The three teaser bulls were drafted on the 7th of October
o The three bulls weighed an average of 668 kg and were on average 20 months of age
o They grade on average 0 + / 2 +
o They achieved on average €1,640 per bull
o The three bulls were bought for the suckler herd before the breeding season for €1,016 (ready to go)
o After breeding they were fed ab lid ration with hay and they consumed roughly 850 kg of meal between them costing on average €351 per bull
The three vasectomised bulls cost on average €1,016 (ready to go) and were used for 10 weeks to identify heat in one batch of cows (45)
o Purchase price of €1,016 minus average sales price €1,640 = €624
o €624 minus ration feeding €351 = €273 +/-
o So Newford Farm had the services of the bull’s work for the 10 weeks for free and after doing his work there was a profit also made on the sale of each bull when they were drafted
• The first batch of suckler cows (48) were housed on the 14th of October
• 19 beef bullocks and three heifers were housed on the 7th of October. All of these animals are receiving 5 kg of a 12 % crude protein ration along with 72% DMD silage
• Another 15 beef animals were housed on the 20th of October. These animals were receiving 3 kg of ration at grass and they will be brought up to 5 kg from next Monday the 24th October.
Weanlings at grass after weanling
The Newford weanlings are over a month weaned and there is no set back to report.
o Given the heavy rainfall and fluctuation in temperatures weanlings are being monitored closely for signs of pneumonia.
• They are receiving 1 kg of ration (18% Protein) per day at grass.
• Feed troughs are in a shed and the weanlings walk up each morning to the shed. This is helping to prevent poaching around feed troughs and is also a good way to monitor weanlings for any issues.
• There is 59 male weanlings and 26 female weanlings this year.
o The male weanlings will be split into two groups in the coming days for ease of management and to facilitate better grass utilisation in the paddocks which has become challenging due to recent heavy rainfall.
o The plan for the male weanlings is to leave them out at grass until mid-November or later. This of course is weather dependant.
The 59 male weanlings will be split in to two groups next week for ease of
management and to try and maintain a satisfactory level of grass utilisation.
Newford female weanling heifers
• There is 26 yearling heifers at grass receiving 1kg concentrate supplementation daily.
• The farm is aiming to sell these heifers at 17 -18 months of age similar to the 2021 crop of calves.
o The aim is to retain these heifers at grass until early to mid-December
Biodiversity on Newford Farm
Newford Farm is working to enhance the level of biodiversity on the farm. The farm has been selected as a demonstration farm as part of the Teagasc Signpost Programme.
This will see a suite of measures introduced over the lifetime of the programme that will serve to reduce the volume of gaseous emissions the farm produces, protect water quality, enhance biodiversity and ultimately reduce cost and create more profitable and sustainable farming. A number of these initiatives have already commenced.
Newford Farm maiden in-calf heifers taking shelter under this mature Elm tree with extra shelter provided from stone walls. As part of Newford Farm signpost programme extra hedges will be planted on the farm in the coming months. These hedgerows whenfully grown will be an extra source of shelter for the Newford animals and for wildlife. They will also provide an additional food source for the small insects and bumblebees during the summer months.