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The Dairy Edge Podcast

The Dairy Edge is Teagasc’s weekly dairy podcast for farmers. Presented by Emma-Louise Coffey the podcasts will cover the latest information, insights and opinion to improve your dairy farm performance.

There are three ways to listen to the podcast:

  1. If you’re an iPhone user you can listen to the show by subscribing on Apple Podcasts by clicking on this link and listening via your Podcasts app on your iPhone: 
  2. If you have an Android phone, you can listen to the show by clicking on this link: 
  3. Or you can listen by clicking on the player below:

Episode 56

The Brexit deadline is ticking and with so many questions still in the air for Irish agriculture, we spoke to Teagasc's Head of Rural Economy and Development, Kevin Hanrahan, to explain the potential outcomes.

A crash out scenario will have a significant impact on the Irish agricultural sector, Kevin explains, saying the magnitude is greatest for the beef sector with a 20% decline in carcass price compared with less than 10% to milk price.

The uncertainty surrounding Brexit makes it incredibly hard to predict the full effect on Irish farmers and Kevin advises farmers to hold off on any substantial investment to their farm business in a volatile production environment where there is a risk around repayment capacity.

For more information: Brexit Update (PDF)

Episode 55

Soil and plant nutrition specialist, Mark Plunkett, joins Emma-Louise Coffey on this week's Dairy Edge podcast to highlight the upward trends in soil fertility across Irish soils.

Mark highlights the increased lime usage, resulting in a greater proportion of soils at optimum of pH 6.3 or greater and explains that optimum pH gives rise to improved nutrient uptake and consequently, higher grass production.  While Phosphorous and Potassium levels are improving on farms, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Mark reminds us to be aware of the changes in the allowance of Phosphorus, with an additional allowance of build-up Phosphorus for index 1 and 2 soils. He also noted that 2019 Phosphorus allowance will change for farmers as a consequence of the increased level of concentration supplementation throughout 2018.

While Potassium use is not limiting on farms, Indexes remain low on many farms and Mark reminds us of the significant off-take of Potassium from silage cutting. Baled silage is a component of grazing systems which means unlike grazing, nutrients are not recycled back onto the land.  He recommends that each farmer takes a look at soil sample results and make a fertiliser plan, targeting fertiliser use to the needs of your soils.

For more information: Positive Indications: Have we begun to turn a corner with National Soil Fertility?

Episode 54

Dairy advisor, Richard O'Brien, gives advice on how to best manage grassland for the month of February.

Richard explains that there is a lot of grass on dairy farms, with approximately 30% more grass on farms compared with this time last year. With that in mind, Richard encourages all farmers to get out to see what grass is on farm and target the lighter covers in order to get 30% grazed by March 1st.

When reflecting on the Spring Rotation Planner, Richard challenges farmers to hit 15% by February 15th, emphasising the importance of early grazing to ensure there is enough regrowth for the 1st week of April at the start of the 2nd round.

He believes the good underfoot conditions will give confidence to dairy farmers to get out to grass day and night. Based on feed budgets completed to date in combination with high farm covers, grass can make up the majority of the dairy cow diet with just 2-3 kg concentrate supplementation where grazing conditions allow.

For more information: Grazing-Guide-Book-2011_22-26 (PDF)

Listen to previous episodes here: Podcast Archive