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Moorepark Farm

Research Focus - Grazing management 

History: Purchased as a 100ha block for dairy cow research in 1958.  The Land Commission granted the Moorepark Estate to Teagasc to establish a Research Centre; the initial activity centred around putting suitable facilities in place for laboratories and animals and the employment of research, technical and general staff to undertake the research work. The work that started in 1958 is still being continued today and integrates cutting edge technology to help increase the efficiency of dairy production systems.  Every second year an open day is held on the Moorepark farm highlighting technological advances.

Farm manager: John Paul Murphy Researcher: Michael O’Donovan 

Location: Latitude 50°07’N, Longitude 08°16’W

Area: 100 ha (effective) 5 ha is nder plots and used for grass variety research

Milking Cows: 300 (250 spring calving and 50 autumn calving)

System:
Spring calving herd: Typically cows are turned out to pasture directly post-calving and annually achieve a 300-day grazing season. Twelve week calving season.
Autumn calving herd: Typically calve at grass in mid-October, graze until the start of November at which point they are housed and fed a TMR diet, they return to grass again in early spring
All male calves are sold at 2 weeks old and heifer calves are reared on an outside block.

Soil Type: Free-draining acid brown earth of sandy loam to loam in texture

Aspect: South facing, 40m above sea level.

Dairy Infrastructure:

  • 30 unit sequential bale parlour with automatic cow ID, automatic cluster removers, cluster cleanse, daily electronic milk weighting and sampling, in parlour feeding, milking behaviour recording, weighting and drafting facilities.
  • Facility to feed multiple concentrate types in parlour
  • 10 unit specialized milking unit and associated laboratories for component milking technology research 
  • 90 cow feed shed (Individual cow feed access points for daily dry matter intake recording – Callan Gate System) 
  • Metabolism house for 12 cows- facility to undertake detailed rumen nutrition studies 
  • Total winter cubicle housing facilities for 300 cows 
  • Underpass tunnel connecting the farm into one complete block
  • Land area laid out to facilitate detailed grazing experimental work, all experimental area reseeded in last 7 years

 Farm Map

 

Currently there are 300 dairy cows in the Moorepark Farm herd. Fifty of these are autumn calving cows. Both the spring and autumn herds are mated with sires from the ICBF active bull list. Below is the EBI report of the Moorepark Farm herd.

(October 2016, ICBF)

Sires of Cows: