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Newford Notes - Week of 12th July 2021

Michael Fagan, Technician of the Newford Suckler Demonstration Farm, Athenry, sums up the Breeding season on Newford Farm for 2021. He has an update on recent weights of the 16 month steers and 2021 calves, the arrival of the 2021-born replacement calves and the current grassland situation on-farm

Image above: The 24 2021-born replacement calves arrived at Newford

Check out the Newford Farm Notes as PDF here Newford Farm Notes Week Beginning 12-07-2021

Breeding programme

The breeding season has finished on Newford Farm for 2021

  • Breeding started on the 21st of April
  • All cows were artificially inseminated for 10 weeks and AI finished on the 30th of June
  • The once-a-day AI rule was used on the farm where by cows were inseminated at midday each day.
  • The two teaser bulls are housed together where they are receiving concentrates to bring them to slaughter suitability on the farm
  • The 26 maiden heifers (pictured below) were synchronised on the 13th of April and artificially inseminated over a 6 week period


  • Newford Farm’s annual TB herd test took place on the 15th June 2021 and one 15 month old bullock was unfortunately identified to be a TB reactor.
    • This bullock was isolated and has since been valued the by the Department of Agriculture. The bullock was treated for worms in mid -May and cannot leave the farm until the withdrawal period has passed with 24th of July until the earliest date of movement.

Beef Animals

The beef bullocks were weighed on the 17th of June and the heifers were weighed on the 9th of June. The summary of their performance to-date is as follows:

The beef heifers will be weighed again next week and the first of these 17 month old heifers will be drafted off grass without receiving any concentrate supplementation towards the end of July.

2021-born replacement heifers

The 24 2021-born replacement calves (main image above) have settled in well onto Newford Farm since arriving on 13th June from the contract rearing farm. There has been no disruption to their level of thrive since arriving.

  • These calves have been at grass since mid- May and have received treatment for worms / coccidiosis and they have also received their clostridial disease vaccination.
  • The group is made up of 24 first cross Aberdeen Angus heifers bred from the dairy herd.
  • The purchase price of the 24 calves was €170 on average.
  • They spent 12 weeks on the contract rearing farm costing roughly €19 per heifer per week for their 3 month stay or approximately €228 per head.
  • The average weight of the young calves was 117 Kg on the 29th of June
  • Their target breeding weight next April 2022 is 340Kg liveweight.

2021 male progeny

  • All the bull calves (43) were castrated last week by the vet and there has been no health issues to report since castration took place.
    • Favourable weather conditions and high levels of grass utilisation has provided ideal conditions for this year’s progeny to perform positively.
    • Their average performance is detailed below                       

View detailed photos of individual calves and their performance in  Newford Farm Notes Week Beginning 12-07-2021 as a PDF


  • Soil temperature on Newford Farm on Monday the 12th of July was 19.5oC at 10 cm soil depth
  • A half bag of protected urea (38N + S) per acre is being spread after each grazing at the moment.
  • Grass growth is good at the moment and also due to the fine weather utilisation of grass is excellent.
  • Any paddock with a heavy grass cover (2,000 Kg/DM plus) is been taken out of the grazing rotation as surplus grass.
    • The farm is aiming to keep the average farm grass cover at roughly 700 Kg DM / ha at this moment in time.
  • The aim is to keep turning stock into grass covers of roughly 1,250 to 1,400 Kg /DM /ha

For the full detail see  Newford Farm Notes Week Beginning 12-07-2021 (PDF)

More information on the Newford Herd can be found here