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Newford Update -TB testing, Cattle weights & heifer replacements arrival

Michael Fagan, Technician at Newford Suckler Demonstration Farm, Athenry has the latest Newford report including a setback from TB testing, Cattle weights for beef bullocks & heifers, 2022-born heifer replacements arrive on-farm and Progressive Young Farmers visit Newford. Read all on Teagasc Daily

Week of 10th July 2022

Setback from the latest TB test

Newford Farm suckler herd had a setback from the latest round of TB testing. Six mature cows and two calves were identified as reactors. These animals have been viewed by the Department of Agriculture’s valuer under the “ On farm market valuation scheme” and will be moved off the farm immediately.

Newford Farm is working closely with the Department of Agriculture District Veterinary Office and the DVO has decided that all suckler cows and all 2021-born beef heifers will be blood tested on Wednesday, 20th of July.  It is hoped that by blood testing these animals the possibility of a ‘super spreader’ animal will be identified and in turn speed up the process of getting back to a clean herd.

Newford Farm is now in its thirteenth month with TB on the farm

Weighing of beef animals

All of the 43 beef bullocks were weighed on Wednesday, 13th of July.

  • Their average weight was recorded at 551 kg at an average of 17 months of age
  • The average weight of the top 15 bullocks is 600 kg. This ranges from 640 kg to 570 kg. Those 15 bullocks average daily gain (ADG) since turnout is 0.95 kg per day ( 112 days at grass)
  • The 43 bullocks achieved an ADG since turnout of 0.87 kg per day ( 112 days at grass)


All cattle are thriving well on the farm with these very warm sunny days.

Cow & Calf focus

  • Aberdeen Angus x Friesian-cross cow born 27th March 2012 (9th Calver) with her Charolais-cross heifer calf.
  • Calved down: 29th January 2022
  • Calf sire: Fiston (FSZ)
  • Calf birth weight: 38 kg ( Female)
  • Weight on 1st June: 214 kg
  • Average daily gain from birth to weighing: 1.43 kg

2022-born replacement heifers

The 28 2022-born replacement calves have settled in well to Newford Farm since arriving on 17th 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 28 first cross Aberdeen Angus heifers bred from the dairy herd.
  • The purchase price of the 28 calves was €152 on average.
  • They spent 12 weeks on the contract rearing farm costing roughly €20.40 per heifer per week for their three month stay or approximately €245 per head.
  • Their total price for purchasing and rearing and transport to the farm per calf was €427
  • The average weight of the young calves was 111 kg on the 13 of July
  • They are receiving 1.5 kg of a 16 % protein ration each day
  • Their target breeding weight in April 2022 is 340 kg liveweight.

Newford dairy calves enjoying the sunshine while grazing a fresh grass-clover sward.

Biodiversity on Newford Farm

Newford Farm is placing more attention on enhancing 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. These 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 practices. A number of these initiatives have already commenced.

Multispecies swards

The farm reseeded 2.43ha (6 acres) with a multispecies mix on 13th May 2022. This mixture contains broadleaf species which did not need any post–emergence herbicide. Research trials have shown that multi-species are excellent at resisting weed pressure and are environment friendly. 

The below picture shows the Newford in-calf heifers very contented when offered the multi-species sward and grazing out their paddock to a very satisfactory level.

Below is a small paddock of multi-species on the home farm which was grazed on the 23rd of June and is ready for grazing again. This paddock got no fertiliser and appears to have established positively. 

Visiting Group

“Progressive Young Farmers” group visited Newford lately through McDonalds (photo below)

More information on the Newford Herd can be found here



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