Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

Teagasc at BTYSTE: Milk production goes hi-tech


Have you ever wondered about the technology behind a simple glass of milk or slice of cheese? Milking a cow has come a long way from a bucket and a pair of hands. Teagasc researchers Catriona Boyle and Eimear Ferguson talk about the new technologies of dairy farming here

Photo credit: VistaMilk SFI Research Centre

Ireland’s farmers have embraced many new technologies in recent years, from virtual fencing to automatic (robot) milking.

Teagasc researchers have teamed up with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) specialists and other research institutes that use the latest available technologies, such as data analytics, telecommunications and sensors, and are applying them to the process of making milk and other dairy products.

In Ireland, we have over 1.5 million dairy cows and they produce eight billion litres of milk a year. It’s important that we process this milk as efficiently as possible.

The cows that help us in our research wear activity trackers (much like your Fitbit) – but around their neck. These sense what the cow is doing (standing, lying, grazing or sleeping) and can tell us how healthy the animal is.

Researchers at VistaMilk SFI Research Centre, hosted by Teagasc, are working on producing a digital milk map, which will help milk processors decide what food products the milk should be used for. For example, some milk is ideal for drinking, while other milk is better for cheese-making.

Our genetic scientists at Teagasc are studying to see if they can breed animals that belch less methane (one type of greenhouse gas). They do this by pairing cows with good genetic traits to breed.

The video below focuses on how we can grow dairy farming sustainably as well as understand how new technologies are being incorporated into food science (16mins).

Article by Catriona Boyle and Eimear Ferguson.

Teagasc – the Agriculture and Food Development Authority – is the national body providing integrated research, advisory and training services to the agriculture and food industry and rural communities in Ireland.

Every year we have a stand at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE). BTYSTE 2022 takes place from January 12th to 14th. The Teagasc Virtual Stand can be visited at BTYSTE 2022 here.

We also have a Teagasc prize, awarded to the student project in the main exhibition area that best demonstrates a thorough understanding of the science of agricultural or food production, or the use of science to improve technologies available to agricultural or food production.

Follow the story on social media @BTYSTE #BTYSTE2022 https://btyoungscientist.com/