Research Programmes

Dairy Research Ireland is funding a number of multi-annual research programmes and several one-off research projects. The programmes for which funding is sought are evaluated taking account of need for the research, capability of the research organization, potential value of the output of research to farmers, how the results will be disseminated and if it is innovative.


1. Production Research Teagasc

The largest part of the annual funding allocation is for the Production Research Programme which is conducted by Teagasc. The current programme is for the period 2017 – 2021. The main elements of the Programme are;

  • People in Dairying
  • Grassland Management, grass breeding and evaluation
  • Dairy Cow Genetics & Reproduction
  • Dairy Cow Health & Welfare
  • Milk Production Systems and environmental sustainability
  • Milk Quality, milking and Energy Efficiency
  • Dairy Cow Nutrition and increasing added value
  • Winter/Liquid milk production
  • Milk Production on heavy soils and BMW Region

A new programme has been agreed for the 5 years 2017 – 2021, which is subject to a review after 3 years.

A copy of the programme can be downloaded from elsewhere on this website.

2. Food Research by Teagasc

The second main Programme receiving funding is for Food Research, which is conducted by the Teagasc Food Research Centre. This Programme is for the period 2017 – 2021, subject to review after the first 3 years. This is covering;

  • Cheese (diversification and efficiency).
  • Smart Ingredients (incl Infant formula, advanced drying/hydration/separation technology).
  • Dairy Economics (Seasonality, product mix, sustainability).
  • Dairy Quality and Nutrition (Safety, quality and next generation analytical technology)
  • Effect of ‘pasture’ on nutritional and health benefits of Dairy projects (create awareness of health aspects of milk and milk products for a global market)

Also see report for 2013-2014 which is also carried in the Publications part of this website – Teagasc Dairy Levy Food Report 2013-2014 (2)

3. UCD Lyons Research Farm

Funding is provided for the research programme for the Development of a high-output grass-based spring milk production system. This research programme commenced at the beginning of January 2019, and is for an initial 3 year period. It will then be reviewed, and may be continued for a further period, depending on progress.

The aim is to

  • To incorporate the most recent advances in grassland management for dairy farms
  • Use a type of dairy cow that did not exist 15 years ago that has high milk output and fertility
  • Employ the best practices from nutrition research and dairy cow husbandry

The research will

  • Continue to evaluate a higher output spring system
  • Produce KPIs suitable for high out grass based milk production (grass, milk, fertility).
  • Optimise cow genotype in the system
  • Evaluate different nutritional strategies and management strategies in the system

Dissemination is via

  • Weekly notes published on the Lyons Farm Website
  • Hosting industry groups on an ongoing basis
  • Reports in the main agricultural media

4. UCD Veterinary Faculty

Funding is provided for a Calf Housing & Pneumonia Project which will run for a 4 year period, commencing at the beginning of 2019.

Key questions which this project will address for dairy farmers, vets and advisors will be:
1. How can we use modern technology to better assess calf housing?

2. Can we use better, modern diagnostics to diagnose calf pneumonia?

3. Knowing these, how can we modify existing calf houses to reduce the risk of calf pneumonia?

4. What are the long-term health/growth/fertility cost-benefits for the heifer calves coming into the milking herd in two-years time?