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