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Newford Suckler Open Day 2023

23 May 2023
Type Booklet

Newford Suckler Open Day took place on Tuesday, 23 May in Athenry, Co. Galway. The focus of this event was on all the changes and lessons learned since the project was initially set up in 2015.

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The 100-cow suckler calf-to-beef demonstration farm has highlighted many positive features of the production system, with the herd excelling in breeding and calving performance with dramatic reductions in the ages that animals are slaughtered. The herd operates using 100% AI.

In recent years, there has been a TB outbreak in the herd resulting in a cull. The herd now consists of 85 suckler cows on 58 ha (reduction in land area of 10 ha and one land block) across three blocks of land.

Changes to the finishing blueprint has resulted in heifers being finished at just under 18 months of age and steers being finished under 21 months. Increases in variable costs experienced by all farmers have also hampered the farm’s financial performance.

In 2022, Newford farm joined the Future Beef programme, being one of 22 suckler beef farms across the country. Over the coming years Newford farm will aim to demonstrate best practice by adopting a number of technologies to become more sustainable though its’s involvement in the Signpost programme.

View recordings of the presentations below

Overview & Financial Performance

Matthew Murphy, Dawn Meats gave an overview of Newford Farm and an insight into the financial performance.

Grassland Management & Finishing Performance

Gabriel Trayers, Future Beef Programme Advisor gave an insight into the grassland management practices at Newford Farm. Darren Carty, Irish Farmers Journal provided an insight into the finishing performance at Newford Farm.

Sustainability Initiatives

Michael Fagan, Jonathan Herron, Rachael Murphy and Daniel Flynn, Teagasc gave an insight into the sustainability initiatives being carried out at Newford Farm.

Maternal & Breeding Performance

Donall Fahy, Teagasc and Stephen Frend, Newford Farm Manager gave an insight into the maternal and breeding performance at Newford Farm.