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Clonakilty Agricultural College Farm

Clonakility Farm Update:23rd October 2017  (PDF)

Clonakilty Agricultural College has been involved in agricultural education since 1905 and since 2012 has been undertaking research in dairy production systems and breed comparisons.

Farm manager - Fergal Coughlan Researcher - Brian McCarthy 


History: The farm was purchased in 1905 as an educational training facility and has been involved in education since then. In 2012 a research project was initiated and set up on the farm.

Location: Latitude 51°63’N, Longitude -08°85’E, height above sea level 25 – 70 m.

Area: 84 ha (dairy effective, 29 ha Drystock (beef & sheep) effective)

Milking Cows: 180 – 200 (subject to scientific and educational requirements)

System: Spring calving dairy herd. Typically cows are turned out to pasture directly post-calving and annually achieve a 300-day grazing season. All male calves are sold at 2 weeks old. All replacement stock are reared on-farm.

Soil Type: Free-draining acid brown earth of light loam to gley soil loam in texture

Paddocks: 110 (80 experimental paddocks, 20 paddocks per treatment)

Dairy Infrastructure:

  • 20 unit herringbone parlour with automatic cow ID, automatic cluster removers, daily electronic milk weighting and sampling, in parlour feeding, milking behaviour recording, weighting and drafting facilities
  • 200 cow winter housing shed

ClonakiltyAgriculturalCollegeMap (134KB, PDF)

Currently the Clonakilty herd is comprised of purebred Holstein-Friesian, Jersey X Holstein-Friesian, Norwegian Red x (Jersey x Holstein-Friesian) and Holstein-Friesian crosses.

Mean Calving date: 16th February

No. of 1st lactation animals: 40

Sires used: 

Holstein-Friesian – FR6076, FR4571, FR6954, FR4513, FR4547

Jersey - JE6238 (sexed), JE4989 (sexed), JE5386 (sexed)

Beef – AU4836, SA6850, AA4878, HE6856, SA6346, AU6685, AU6918, AA6331, HE6841

EBI Milk Fertility Calving Beef Maintenace Management Health
€162 €55 €61 €39 -€19 €20 €3 €3

(2021, ICBF)

The current research in Clonakilty Agricultural College is focused on investigating strategies to improve nitrogen use in dairy systems. A number of areas are being investigated in relation to this particularly in terms of the use of white clover of nitrogen fertiliser rate and type. A grazing systems experiment investigating the effect of  sward type (i.e. perennial ryegrass-only and perennial ryegrass-white clover) and nitrogen fertilizer level (250 and 150 kg nitrogen/ha per year) on sward and animal performance  is being undertaken each year. A plot-based study investigating the effect of fertiliser type (CAN, Urea and NBPT-Urea) and fertiliser rate (250 and 150 kg nitrogen/ha per year) on herbage DM production is also being undertaken annually.