This week’s tasks on Newford Farm are balanced between ensuring management practices remain on track, along with completing any last-minute tasks ahead of next Tuesday’s open day (23 May from 2pm to 6pm).

Farm manager Stephen Frend reports that breeding performance appears to be progressing nicely.

The breeding season commenced on 24 April and all cows and heifers were inseminated in the first three weeks of breeding.

Repeat activity has been low so far in week four, with a handful of animals inseminated again. These animals were tail painted again with a different colour, making these animals easily visible in breeding checks.

Stephen reports that the vasectomised bulls are very active and are working well in picking up cows in heat. As reported in previous weeks, cows are being inseminated once daily at noon.

Grass management

While grass growth has improved, it is still below normal for the time of year, with growth averaging from about 50kg DM/ha to 70kg DM/ha across the different land blocks. About four acres of surplus grass was taken out of the rotation earlier this week and baled.

Taking surplus grass out of the rotation will remain a focus in the coming weeks, with the dual aim of maintaining grass at the desired pre-grazing height of 10cm (approx 1,200kg DM/ha) and accumulating a supply of high-feed quality bales for feeding to finishing cattle or weanlings.

Clover seed was over-sown in the paddocks taken out for silage and was also over-sown in a couple of other paddocks that were grazed tight. Management in these paddocks will consist of tight grazing in the weeks ahead to give clover a good chance of establishing.

Open day

Plans are pretty much all in place at this stage for next Tuesday’s open day, which takes place from 2pm to 6pm.

The walk is being held on the main Newford land block and this has been managed in such a manner to facilitate the return of yearling steers and heifers from Coen’s outfarm, so that they will be present for viewing on the day.

A preview of the open day and a recent article detailing the breeding programme on the farm can be viewed at the links below.

Read more

Newford Farm update: open day to take place on Tuesday 23 May

Once-a-day AI working well in Newford Farm