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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 72

Agricultural Economist Emma Dillon joins Emma-Louise Coffey with the results of the Teagasc National Farm Survey highlighting that although incomes declines by 30% in 2018 compared with 2017, incomes remained substantial at €61,000. 

Emma explains there were many factors at play, namely 2017 dairy income being at a record high, high production costs in 2018 including additional feed and workload.

She compared the dairy sector with other farming enterprises and explains that the dairy sector remains dominant. Dairy farmers continue to make the most profit, accounting for 17% of farms included in the national farm survey but 50% of the total income. Furthermore, dairy farmers have a low reliance on direct payments, accounting for 34% of total income in 2018.

For more information: National Farm Survey Preliminary Results 2018 (PDF)

Episode 71

Micheal O’Leary from PastureBase Ireland and Grassland Researcher Elodie Ruelle join Emma-Louise Coffey to discuss the current grassland situation on farm and look at future growth rate predictions.

Micheal starts by explaining the current grassland situation, including high growth rates of on average 77 kg DM/ha exceeding farm demand of 60 kg DM/ha. The additional feed is driving farm cover/cow to over 200 kg DM/ha, compared with target of 160-180 kg DM/ha.  

The considerable amount of rain that has fallen in recent days combined with predictions of continued high growth re-assures Micheal that farmers can be proactive in removing heavy covers to prevent a reduction in milk production.

Micheal's tips are:

  1. Graze maximum cover of 1,500 kg DM/ha
  2. Measure twice weekly during peak grass growth and remove heavy paddocks (Spread soiled water or compound fertiliser after spreading)
  3. Target farm cover of 160-180 kg DM/ha and an 18-21 day rotation

Elodie Ruelle explains the model that she has created for grass growth which accounts for weather conditions (past and predicted), soil type, Nitrogen levels and Biomass. The grass growth predictions are made across 40 farms in Ireland. Accuracy is high as the farms are measuring at least weekly and recording Nitrogen usage on a weekly basis. Elodie's predications appear in the weekly Grass 10 bulletin.

Finally, Micheal reflects on Grassland for 2019 reporting the excellent year to date including at least 1 additional grazing across farms on PastureBase Ireland this year compared with 2018 with production up 1 tonne/ha.

For more information: Grass10 Newsletter

Episode 70

Pat Dillon, Teagasc's Head of Animal and Grassland Programme, joins Emma-Louise Coffey to preview the topics and speakers at this year's Moorepark ’19, the Teagasc National Dairy Event for 2019, on Wednesday 3rd July at the Teagasc, Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork from 0830-1700.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Growing Sustainably’. The continuing expansion of the Irish dairy industry provides opportunities to increase the profitability of family farms, while also further developing climate smart dairy farming systems. Future expansion will require close alignment of national agricultural and environmental targets, with a particular focus on carbon emissions, water and air quality, and biodiversity.

For more information: Moorepark 2019 - Teagasc National Dairy Open Day

Listen to previous episodes here: Podcast Archive