The College farm's 114 hectares of rolling lowland is south-facing and is ideal for growing early grass. The farm has had an average grazing season of over 300 days.
The soil type varies from mostly light loam to gley soils along the southern and eastern boundaries. Elevation ranges from 25 to 70m above sea level.
The farm units give students a hands-on approach to learning. The farm is run to maximise profit and to reflect the practices adopted on commercial farms as well as being a Teagasc Animal & Grassland Research Farm for the past seven years.
Map of the College Paddocks - Clonakilty Agricultural College - Farm Map
The Dairy enterprise is run on 88 hectares of the farm. It has a 20-unit sequential bailing milking parlour, drafting facilities and a 180-cow modern wintering unit. The dairy cows are 100% spring-calving and it is a split herd of Holstein Friesian and Jersey cross breds. In conjunction with Teagasc Moorepark's Animal & Grassland & Innovation Programme the college is at present examining the implications for grazing tetraploid and diploid grass swards, with and without clover using two rates of nitrogen.
The drystock enterprise extends to 24 hectares. The mixed cattle and sheep unit follows a development plan in conjunction with Teagasc's drystock specialists. Currently, the continental - crossbred suckler herd has 24 adult females with the progeny reared to finishing weights at 2 years. The livestock are used for practicals with students across all courses in the college. In 2019 the college is re-introducing a dairy calf to beef enterprise to run alongside the suckler calf-to-beef. A mixed grazing system is practiced on the unit and a 70-ewe mid-season lambing flock.
The tillage enterprise on 5 hectares of the farm is an educational tool for students to learn about cereal crops and acquire practical experience in the basic operations of tillage farming such as ploughing, seedbed preperation, fertiliser spreading and spraying. Each year students select varieties, measure out plots, plough harrow, sow and carry out all operations associated with growing cereals.