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:
Episode 31: Insights and tips from New Zealand in dealing with summer drought conditions
Andre van Barneveld of Graise Consultancy, draws on his experience of dealing with frequent summer droughts in New Zealand and has some key lessons that Irish farmers can learn from the summer of 2018.
Andre explains the importance of identifying ‘passenger cows’ who should leave the herd ASAP. Where grass production is restricted, these cows are being fed solely from supplement feed. Andres emphases the importance of calculating the winter feed requirements of your whole herd, including young stock. In order to reduce winter requirements, farmers should maximise grass production late summer/autumn grazing period.
For more from Andre:
Episode 30: Identifying the best and worst cows in your dairy herd
On this week's episode of The Dairy Edge podcast, ICBF Geneticist Dr Margaret Kelleher gives the top tips on identifying the best and worst cows in your dairy herd.
Firstly, Margaret explains what the Cows Own Worth (COW) index is, what information contributes to each cow's COW value and how the COW index differs from the EBI.
Briefly, the COW index is for selecting the best cows for retention in the herd and the worst cows for culling, while the EBI is used for breeding.
Furthermore, Margaret explains why a cow would be ranked best and worst for a herd. Traits that would rank a cow best is early calving, good milk solids production, high EBI and low SCC compared to contemporaries in the herd. Margaret emphasises inputting insemination records, scanning records and treatments for incidence of ill-health such as lameness and mastitis are important to get the most accurate picture of your herd.
For more information:
Episode 29: How to achieve higher grass production and utilisation
For part two of our interview with 2017 Grass 10 champion Eddie O’Donnell, we get the top tips on achieving high grass production and more importantly utilisation.
Eddie explains what practices implemented on his farm to optimise soil fertility, grazing infrastructure, reseeding and grassland management which has helped achieve on average 10 grazings per paddock plus a silage cut.
Eddie emphasises the huge Potassium (K) demand on the milking platform where surplus grass is removed in the form of bales. With that in mind, the paddocks are colour coded in the parlour and paddocks with low K are earmarked for dirty water and no surpluses are removed from such paddocks.
Having quantified the financial benefits of completing a grass measurements, Eddie speaks about the benefits of the 3 grazing seasons: spring, summer and autumn. Furthermore, Eddie mentions that farmers must act on the figures resulting from measurements to ensure the grazed grass is at maximum quality at each grazing.
Despite the target rotation length set at 20-21 days, Eddie explains growth rate and pre-grazing cover (target 1,400-1,500 kg DM/ha) dictates rotation length, and at peak growth, rotation length can go as low as 16 days.
Listen to previous episodes here: Podcast Archive