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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 82

Grassland researcher, Mike Egan, summarises the autumn grazing management guidelines to maximise the amount of grazed grass in the diet of dairy cows in the autumn period.

Right now, farmers should be extending rotation length by 2 days per week and building cover.

Mike gives an insight into a grazing experiment looking at altering grazing management practices in autumn and examining the effects on animal performance and grassland in both the autumn and spring.

Mike explains that where herds are carrying high stocking rates on the milking platform and calving more compactly (reflected in higher 6 week calving rates), they need to consider closing the farm earlier and at a higher cover.

For more information:

Autumn Grazing Management

Effects Of Autumn Grazing Management On Spring Grass Availability (PDF) 

Episode 81

Dairy specialist Joe Patton has advice on creating a fodder reserve to reduce the risk to farm businesses in the event of future adverse weather events.

Firstly, farmers need to quantify the total grass production on their farm. Following this, stocking rate should be calculated allowing 5.5 tonnes of grass should be allowed per cow.

Optimal stocking rate does not account for any surplus or reserve within systems and therefore, a reserve must be purchased. An average reserve of 400 kg DM/cow (2 bales) in areas of low grass growth variability and 600 kg DM/cow (3 bales) in areas of high grass growth.

For more information: Securing A Reserve Of Quality Forage On Dairy Farms (PDF)

Episode 80

Kevin McDonald is a retired scientist from Dairy NZ with over 50 years’ experience in systems research and he joins Emma-Louise Coffey on this week’s Dairy Edge podcast to give his insights and analysis of the New Zealand dairy sector along with key learnings for Irish farmers. 

Kevin traces the evolution of the New Zealand dairy sector back to the 1930s and 1940s but says the big change came in the mid 1990s when big dairy farms expanded into the South Island.

Smaller farms were traditionally in the North Island while the South Island farms that have come into dairying in the last 20 years were traditionally from much bigger sheep farms.  Cow numbers increased from 3 million to 5 million cows, though irrigation has been the main challenge, for farmers in the South Island especially.

Kevin also discusses other issues and challenges for farmers in New Zealand from labour to farm size and points out that, in contrast to Ireland’s more traditional farmers, they are more willing to change, buy new farms and move on.

Listen to previous episodes here: Podcast Archive