December was a relatively quiet month on Newford Farmspent getting used to our new surroundings in Athleague. The cows received their annual IBR booster and were treated for lice. They were dung sampled and all came back clear so were not dosed. Some of the cows were heading towards being too fat for calving so are now just on a restricted diet to maintain condition. 15 cows on the slightly thinner side were pulled out and are receving 2 kg soya hulls daily along with ad-libsilage. All cows started getting their pre-calving mineral on the 10thof December. The first of our 2024 calves are expected before the end of the
Weanlings were dung sampled also butwere all clear so they were left alone. They will be treated for lice in the coming days. They are currently receiving 2 kg weanling ration with silage. They will also be weighed in the coming days to assess performance since housing a month ago.
Finishing Cattle Update
The 22 remaining 2022 born bullocks now average 720 kg and have achievedan ADG of 1.5 kg since housing They will be drafted for slaughter again soon. Leading the pack is an 828 kg 22-month-old Belgian Blue bullock out of a Hereford cross cow (pictured below). Hot on his heels is the Limousin bullock also pictured below at 785 kg. These bullocks have achieved a lifetime ADG of 1.15 and 1.1 kg from birth.
Highlights of 2023
2023 saw lots of exciting developments on Newford Farm. Among them, ourOpen Day in May, the addition of a Greenfeed machine to the farm for monitoring cattle emissions, our best ever heifer finishing performance and our relocation to the new farm in Athleague, Co. Roscommon. As well as this we achieved a furtherreduction in our lifetime meal fed to cattle, with our heifers finished with
280 kg total lifetime meal – a more than 50 % reduction since 2021.
In conjunction with the targets of the Future Beef program, we continued with the incorporation of clover into our swards which is helping greatly with reducing our use of chemical Nitrogen. This year saw 130 kg N/ha spread – a 25% reduction since 2020. We also continued to improve our biodiversity profile by planting hedges and trees around the farm. Some of the farm’s main KPIs for 2023 are included in the table below.
Aside from the day to day running of the farm, Newford Farm continued with its commitment to knowledge transfer to farmers and stakeholders by welcoming several different groups throughout the year including schools, agricultural colleges and touring groups from countries such as France, Italy, Sweden and Wales.
A highlight of the year was welcoming hundreds of farmers from around the country through our gates for our national open day in May. We look forward to welcoming more farmers, groups, stakeholders and customers to our new farm in 2024 and beyond.