Luke Kuopio Maaninka experimental dairy and grasslands research unit will be renovated in summer 2021 to house 70 high-genetic-merit dairy cows, 30 heifers and 30 calves. The barn will enable studying life-time productivity, emissions and animal welfare and will be the only research platform in Finland for heifers. The barn will include: Milking robot with with automatic individual quarter milk sampling, automatic feed intake recording system, accelerometer based animal behaviour monitoring system, 9ha of grassland in close vicinity of barn for grazing research, system for continuous monitoring of gaseous emissions such as methane in normal on-farm conditions.
Barn enables full lactation trials of management systems and studying the effect of early life events on dairy cow performance. The barn is part of Luke system level research infrastructure on dairy production and is tightly connected to grassland research on fodder production, soil carbon sequestration and nutrient emissions.