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Farm Profile

Solohead Farm Profile

History: The farm is owned by Tipperary Co-operative Creamery. Teagasc uses the farm in partnership with Tipperary Co-op. to carry out applied research into systems of milk production and grazing management. This partnership began in 1976.

Location:The Solohead dairy research farm is located near Limerick Junction in Co. Tipperary (latitude 52° 51' N; 08° 21' W; altitude 95 m a.s.l.).

Area: 52 ha (effective)

Herd: The herd consists of 95 cows plus 28 replacement units.

System: Spring calving dairy herd supplying 575,000 litres milk. There is a relatively long grazing season extending from early February to late November. The slow-draining nature of the soil means that it can get saturated during and following periods of high rainfall and is very prone to damage by grazing cows. A flexible approach to grazing management is required to avoid this.

Soil Type: The soils on the farm are a mixture of heavy Gleys and Grey Brown Podzolics. The soil has a clay-loam texture, 25% sand and 42% clay in the upper 20 cm with increasingly massive structure and low permeability in lower horizons (poor drainage). However, a network of deep (2.5 m) open drains and underground feeder drains in the wetter fields has been installed to lower the water table. The soils at Solohead represent almost 23% of the soils of Ireland that are typically under permanent grassland management.

Paddocks: 37 paddocks

Dairy Infrastructure:

  • Milking parlour: 12 unit herring bone with ACR.
  • Accommodation: 109 cow cubicles and 18 weanling cubicles – extendible.

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