Newford Farm recently drafted another 10 heifers for slaughter, leaving just seven of the 2021-born batch of 40 heifers remaining on farm.

The 10 heifers in question were drafted off grass and weighed 546kg liveweight.

They achieved a 53% kill-out delivering an average carcase weight of 290kg and an average sale value of €1,454/head.

Looking at the slaughter performance, the 10 heifers aged 17.5 months graded R-3= on average, with this broken down to six R- heifers, three R= heifers and one O+ grading heifer.

The fat scores included three 3=, three 3+ and one each grading 2=, 2+, 3- and 4-. The 2= grading heifer did not receive the 20c/kg quality payment scheme bonus.

The seven remaining heifers weighed 542kg on 23 August. The reasoning for not including these heifers in the latest batch is due to a predicted inadequate fat cover.

Concentrates were introduced to these heifers on 1 September and the target is to draft these heifers before the end of September.

Yearly comparison

Analysis completed by Teagasc's Michael Fagan shows the 33 heifers slaughtered to date in 2022 recorded an average carcase weight of 287kg and an average kill-out of 52%.

This is running behind a carcase weight of 311kg in 2021, but the big difference here is the average slaughter age, with heifers drafted to date at an average of 507 days compared with 605 days in 2021.

The average sale price of €5.07/kg in 2022 is running significantly ahead of the price of €4.49/kg in 2021 and this is underpinning a €72/head higher sale value of €1,468.