There was a pleasant social event in Moorepark recently where current and former staff assembled for the launch of “Moorepark Memories”, a 258-page photographic record of the people and events that transformed what was a derelict Land Commission farm in 1959 into today’s technology centre with more than 300 people employed.
And what a change has come over the Irish dairy industry in that time.
The researchers who began their labours in Moorepark about 1960 were dealing with a backward industry.
Average milk yield was 1,594 litres per cow.
The creameries processed this milk mainly into butter, with the skim returned for feeding to pigs and calves.
And the quality of this milk was poor, because of inadequate cooling, due to inadequate water supplies and absence of electricity on many farms.
Less than 10% of the milk passed the three-hour methylene blue test. (less than a million total bacteria count).
Winter feed was mostly hay, and of poor quality.
Silage was almost unknown.
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