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The 50 year evolution of the dairy herd at Kildalton College

This week’s Dairy Edge celebrates the evolution of the Kildalton dairy herd over the last 50 years with contributions from past and present staff at the college. James Ryan and Zerlina Pratt as well as John Connolly and Norman Storey join Emma-Louise Coffey with their insights and memories

In fifty years, the dairy herd has grown from 40 pedigree British Friesian cows producing ~3,500 litres of milk at 3.5% fat and 3.0% protein (260 kg MS) in 1971 to 120  high EBI Holstein-Friesian and crossbred cows in 2021 producing 530 kg MS.  

The dairy herd has also contended with animal health challenges such as depopulation due to two Brucellosis in the 1970s and Mycoplasma Bovis in 20% of the herd in the 2000s.

The dairy herd aims to achieve high productivity per cow and per ha through sustainable farming practices while also facilitating skills training for agriculture students who attend the college to help put theory into practice.

For more episodes from the Dairy Edge podcast go to the show page at: www.teagasc.ie/thedairyedge

The Dairy Edge is a co-production with LastCastMedia.com