Aberystwyth University Farm
The Aberystwyth University farms extend to a total of some 1000ha across a number of sites in and around Aberystwyth, and are managed on the University’s behalf by IBERS.
Trawsgoed Farm, 10 miles east of Aberystwyth, is the location of both the 350 cow commercial dairy herd plus followers, together with the specialist ruminant metabolism research unit. The Plas Gogerddan / Penglais / Frongoch farm complex close to the main University Campus is the main location for beef rearing and sheep production, the latter including both commercial lowland sheep and performance-recorded pedigree flocks (Texel, Suffolk, Bluefaced Leicester and Beulah Speckled Face breeds) that sell high genetic merit rams to commercial producers. The remaining land at Frondeg and Morfa Mawr Farms, 5 and 14 miles south of Aberystwyth respectively, are used in a supporting role for supplying feeds for the main farm units and providing land for plant breeding purposes. In addition to commercial production there are also specialist research facilities (e.g. beef research unit, dairy production research unit, biofermentation research unit, sheep metabolism research unit, glasshouses, etc.) for both livestock and crop research managed and operated by IBERS technical staff.
A major new development on the Farms is the installation of a new 50-point rotary parlour and additional cubicle housing at the Trawsgoed Farm. This incorporates automatic teat dipping and cluster sterilisation, and electronic identification of cows linked to a computer database, facilitating automatic milk yield recording at every milking, pedometers to assist in heat detection, and automated gait analysis to aid in lameness identification and treatment before it becomes a significant welfare problem. It will also be significantly more labour efficient than the existing parlour. Collectively, these factors will all aid considerably in herd management.