Curtins research farm aims is to study ways to keep high animal performance from grazing animals with reduced chemical N inputs while increasing farm system profitability, enhancing product quality and ecosystem diversity. It is in this context that a system scale trial comparing three different swards grazed by Holstein Friesian and Holstein Friesian*Jersey crossbred cows have been launched in 2021. The sward and animal performance as well as the environmental and economic impact will be studied for 5 years.
History: Purchased as a 29ha block for systems research in 1965.
Location: Latitude 50°07’N, Longitude 08°16’W
Area: 48 ha (effective)
Milking Cows: 150 (subject to scientific 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 while the heifer calves are reared off farm.
Soil Type: Free-draining acid brown earth of sandy loam to loam in texture
Paddocks: 120 (20 paddocks per treatment)
- 18 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
- 147 cow winter housing shed
- 3 underpass tunnels connecting the farm into one complete block
- 858,000 litres over ground slurry storage.