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Ballyhaise Farm

Farm Update Ballyhaise:13th June 2018(PDF)

History:Ballyhaise has been an agriculture college since 1906 and the lands were used to carry out extensive agricultural,horticultural and forestry research until 1959.The current dairy research programme has been running,in conjunction with Moorepark dairy research centre,since 2003.

Home of effective futuristic farm systems research for regional milk production systems.Ballyhaise Farm role is to develop and appraise alternative spring calving pasture-based dairy systems for the future for the Northern half of Ireland.

Location:Latitude 54°051'N,Longitude 07°031'W

Area:47 ha (effective)

Milking Cows:120 cow (subject to scientific requirements) spring calving herd with moderate feed inputs of 550kg of meal per cow.The Ballyhaise herd is made up of 60 pure Friesian cows and 60 Jersey Friesian crossbred.

System:Spring calving dairy herd.calving commences in early February with 85% of the herd calved by the third week of March and all cows calved by the end of April.Typically cows are turned out to grass as they calves and are fed a grass based diet.p。

Soil Type:A mixture of acid brown earths,gleys and alluvial soils.


Dairy Infrastructure:

  • 12 unit herringbone parlour with automatic cow ID,automatic cluster removers,daily electronic milk recording and sampling,in parlour feeding,milking behaviour recording,weighing and drafting facilities.
  • 80 cow winter housing shed and 960,000 litre over ground slurry store.
  • Out-wintering pad to accommodate 100 cows ( 60m * 20m) and 1.3 million litre lined lagoon.
  • Heifer accommodation ( 35 cubicles) and calf sheds.
  • One bridge crossing the Annalee river,providing access to part of the dairy block.
  • Network of farm roadways.

Herd Profile
Genitic Group Milk SI
Fertility SI
Calving SI
Health SI
Beef SI
All 26 28 10 -8 -1 56
HF 2nd Lactation 32 15 10 -4 -9 43
JFX 2nd Lactation 36 36 13 -1 -22 61

Mean Calving Date:

No.First Lactation Cows:

Sires of Cows:

Currently the Ballyhaise college experiment is comparing two likely futuristic pasture-based production systems for the Northern regions.The herd is evenly assigned to two production systems for a no milk quota scenario: a low cost pasture-based system based on maximum grass production and conversion to milk at low cost system (HG;2.9 cows/ha,400 kg DM supplement,all winter feed produced within the farmlet) and a maximum grass production and conversion to milk high intensity system (HC;4.5cows/ha;1100 kg DM supplement,with winter feed produced from outside the farmlet).

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