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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 89

Dairy adviser Ger Courtney joins Emma-Louise Coffey to discuss liming protocol to optimise lime pH on farm.

Ger explains that there is a positive trend from 2014 when 36% of soils were at optimum pH compared with 60% in 2017.  Target soil pH is 6.3 and 5.5-5.8 in peaty soils.

Optimum pH leads to greater biological activity, microorganism activity, nitrogen fixation and root structure. Research has shown an increase in grass growth in the region of 1.5-2 tonnes while palatability and utilisation also increases.

Return on investment is considerable and increases over time. In the initial years, a return on investment of €3 for every €1 invested in a liming protocol. Once soils reach optimum pH, a consistent return of €6 for a €1 invested in maintenance liming.

For more information: Advice on Liming leaflet (PDF)

Episode 88

Vet Niamh Field joins Emma-Louise Coffey to take a look at the health status of the national dairy herd and gives key tips to maximise the health of your herd.

Niamh looks to the metabolic diseases that occur on dairy farms, commonly occurring during the spring and she emphasises the importance of dry cow management to prevent incidence of disease.

Management steps include optimum BCS at dry off (2.75 to 3.25) and BCS at calving (3.00 to 3.50) and good dry cow minerals with Magnesium inclusion of 20g per day.

Niamh explains there is a multidimensional approach to herds protecting themselves against infectious diseases. These include immunity, the cows environment and exposure to disease.

One of the most important steps to maintaining a health, disease-free herd is biosecurity.

Beyond this, disease screening such as bulk milk sampling and blood sampling will identify the prevalence of individual diseases. Vaccinations can be affective to control or eliminate disease.

For more information:


Episode 87

Trevor Donnellan joins Emma-Louise Coffey to review the comprehensive climate action plan (Teagasc Greenhouse Gas Marginal Abatement Cost Curve) compiled by Teagasc to reduce the emissions from Agriculture.

Trevor speculates that the dairy herd will continue to grow, albeit at a lesser rate to that in the last 5 years. Conversely, it is suspected that suckler numbers will remain at similar numbers or contract.

The action plan also discusses 25 mitigating strategies including change of fertiliser product type, change of slurry spreading methods, improved fertility, healthier animals and planting of forestry.

Trevor explains that emissions from the agricultural sector is to the fore in Ireland as they create 33% of total greenhouse emissions compared with 10% in other EU countries.

To read the plan in full click here

Listen to previous episodes here: Podcast Archive