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:
- 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:
- If you have an Android phone, you can listen to the show by clicking on this link:
- Or you can listen by clicking on the player below:
Dairy Specialist Stuart Childs joins Emma-Louise Coffey to discuss the benefits to dairy cow health and overall farm profits through milk recording.
Stuart explains that the level of milk recording remains low, with 35% of herds representing 50% of dairy cows nationally.
Teagasc recommends milk recording within 60 days of calving in order to detect early infection as well as calculate cure rate and new infection rate following the dry period.
Stuart recommends that farmers complete 6 milk recordings per year at a cost of approximately €12 per cow.
He also describes the financial benefits to milk recording, explaining that research has shown that milk recorded cows produce 400 litres more milk given additional profit of €120 per cow.
Micheál O’Leary and Fergus Bogue join Emma-Louise Coffey to advise on managing grazing during challenging weather conditions.
Firstly, Micheál quantifies the over-winter growth and the opening farm cover from PastureBase Ireland records. Micheál explains that over-winter growth was approximately 4-5 kg DM/day but varied widely; where farms were closed high in the autumn, higher growth rates were achieved at up to 7-8 kg DM/day.
Micheál recommends that farmers must target an opening farm cover of 900 kg DM/ha to support a milking platform stocking rate of 3 cows/ha and a tight calving pattern.
Importantly, many farmers are not at the target farm cover so Micheál asks the question, have you gotten the fertiliser out? If not, it is important to do so to kick-start grass production.
Fergus describes the grazing season to date, explaining that the spring rotation got off to a good start with many farmers out grazing from early February until the storm and snow hit farms in the last week.
He encourages farmers to use all of the tools and technologies available to get cows out, even if only for 2-3 hours after milking.
Fergus also recommends that farmers should target dry paddocks with a cover of 700-1,000 kg DM/ha and use the strip wire to back fence ground that has already been grazed.
Stephen Butler joins Emma-Louise Coffey to advise on how to manage energy balance and metabolic disorders in early lactation.
Firstly, Stephen emphasises the importance of dry cow management to ensure cows are in the correct BCS and received adequate minerals.
Stephen explains that cows undergo significant change post-calving, moving from dry cow status with low intake and low energy demand to lactating status with low intake and high energy demand. He also reminds us that in addition to lactation cow require energy to resume cyclicity.
Cows are susceptible to metabolic diseases in early lactation and Stephen encourages farmers to be vigilant and act promptly to treat symptoms.
Listen to previous episodes here: Podcast Archive