• Quality and safety of milk from farm to dairy product

      O'Brien, Bernadette; Gallagher, B.; Joyce, P.; Meaney, William J; Kelly, A. (Teagasc, 2004-01-01)
      Neutrophils (PMN cells) constitute one of the main cell types in milk. Increased PMN level is an indication of mastitis. An ELISA method has been developed to determine PMN levels in milk. This may allow (in addition to somatic cell count [SCC]) selection of infected quarters at drying off, thereby allowing antibiotic therapy to be limited to those quarters. PMN counts may also be used to select milk for processing. Little information is available on the contribution of different somatic cells in milk to cheese-making efficiency. The overall objective of this study was to establish the influence of the quality of raw milk, as determined by somatic cell level and type, on milk biochemistry and cheese quality. The work firstly included modification to a method for an enzyme immunoassay, which could enumerate milk PMN. Subsequently, the impact of somatic cell and PMN content on biochemistry of individual udder quarter milks and simulated bulk cow milks, and quality of cheese manufactured from such milks was investigated. The somatic cell and PMN content of bulk herd milks was also investigated. The modification to the test of O’Sullivan et al (1992) allowed the accurate measurement of PMN levels in milk. The strong relationship or correlation between SCC and PMN of 92% in the individual quarter milks has confirmed previous preliminary data. This is important since PMN in conjunction with SCC may now provide a more reliable method of selecting milks for processing. The reduction in casein at elevated SCC and PMN levels may have resulted in the trend towards deteriorated milk coagulation properties. A very heterogeneous selection of proteolysis patterns was observed in the miniature cheeses. This substantial difference in proteolytic activity in milk from different quarters had not been observed previously. Enzymes associated with the cells in high SCC milk were retained in the cheese curd and thus, contributed to proteolysis during ripening. Addition of low volumes of high SCC milk had an obvious impact on proteolysis patterns and cheese ripening. However, such trends were generally less clear with increasing PMN milk than those observed for addition of high SCC milk. The poor correlation between SCC and PMN obtained in both cow and herd bulk milks, compared to the correlation in quarter milks was probably due to the mixing of high and low SCC milks from either quarters or cows. Thus, the true effect of PMN may not be observed in bulk herd milk but may still have an adverse effect on milk quality. Whether elevated bulk milk SCC and PMN level is due to milk from a smaller number of cows with extremely high SCC/PMN being included with milk from a predominantly healthy herd, or, to large numbers of cows with sub-clinical infections, probably contributes to variation in the effects of SCC/PMN on dairy products.
    • Quality Meat Production from Beef Cattle During Winter Finishing.

      Moloney, Aidan P. (Teagasc, 2000-12-01)
      A series of experiments were carried out to examine the performance of the UK metabolisable energy (ME)/metabolisable protein (MP) system in an Irish context, and to determine the response in lean tissue growth to changes in the form of nutrients available for absorption from the intestine. In Experiment 1, the response of finishing continental heifers to an increase in MP supply was examined. It was demonstrated that this type of animal responded positively to an increase in MP supply in excess of requirements as presently estimated by the UK ME/MP system. Such an anomaly requires clarification. In Experiment 2, growth, digestibility and nitrogen retention in finishing continental steers offered ad libitum, concentrates based on barley and soyabean or on a mixture of industrial by-products were examined. The observed higher nitrogen retention in animals offered the by-product based ration suggested that there is opportunity to increase carcass protein content by judicious choice of feed ingredients. This suggestion was explored in Experiment 3. In Experiment 3, nitrogen retention and carcass composition were measured in sheep offered rations which resulted in different patterns of volatile fatty acid supply from the rumen. Nitrogen retention and the growth of carcass lean tissue were increased by the inclusion of sodium propionate in a starch-based ration but not in a fibre-based ration. The apparently contradictory effects of an increase in propionate supply by dietary means (starch vs fibrebased rations) or by addition of a salt of propionic acid suggests that the pattern, as well as the total supply of propionate is physiologically important in the growing ruminant. The endocrine mechanism of changes in carcass composition was also explored in this experiment. Differences in plasma concentrations of hormones which play a major role in the partition of absorbed nutrients towards muscle or adipose tissue suggests a role for the endocrine system in the regulation of growth, independent of energy intake. In Experiment 4, the effect of starch form and concentration (a dietary means of increasing propionate supply) in high concentrate rations on growth, efficiency and estimated lean content was examined in Friesian bulls. Supporting mechanistic measurements were made in Friesian steers fed the corresponding experimental rations. For optimum growth, ground starch should not exceed 210 g/kg of the ration. When included at approximately 300 g/kg, ground rather than rolled starch had a negative impact on growth. Coarse rations containing 300g or 480g starch/kg resulted in similar growth and efficiency. An increase in ground but not rolled starch concentration decreased the insulin response to a glucose challenge.
    • The quality of under-utilised deep-water fish species

      Brennan, Martine H.; Gormley, Ronan T. (Teagasc, 1999-09)
      The quality of twenty-three frozen under-utilised fish species was examined. The species were spot samples of deep-water fish caught near the Rockall Trough by the Fisheries Research Centre. Their basic composition was 80.8 - 86.4% water, 9.8 - 25.2% protein, 0.18 - 16.2% lipid and 0.7 - 2.0% ash. Lead, cadmium and mercury concentrations were determined for six species and were much lower than the maximum levels set in 1992. Ammonia levels were unacceptably high in three shark species.
    • Quality Suckler Beef From Low and High Input Grassland Management Systems

      Drennan, M.J.; Fallon, R.J.; Davis, B. (Teagasc, 2004-01-01)
      Spring calving cows were used in the years 1997 to 2003 in the development of planned low and high input systems of suckler beef production.The main objective of the study was to compare a semiintensive Grange (standard): system of suckler beef production with a more extensive REPS (Rural Environment Protection Scheme) compatible system. In the standard system the stocking rate was 0.80 ha per cow unit (cow plus heifer and steer progeny to slaughter at 20 and 23/24 months of age, respectively, plus replacements or its equivalent), a nitrogenous fertiliser application rate of 210 kg per ha and two silage harvests each year amounting to the equivalent of 87% of the total area harvested. The REPS system involved a 25% lower stocking rate, an annual nitrogen fertiliser application rate of 90 to 100 kg per ha and one silage harvest (portion in late May to provide good silage for the progeny and the remainder in June to provide lower quality silage for cows) amounting to 58% of the total area harvested. Between 1997 and 2000 the cow herd were Limousin x Friesians (LF) and Simmental x (Limousin x Friesians) (SLF). A herd of first calvers were introduced in 2001 and 2002 which in addition to LF and SLF included Limousin x (Limousin x Friesians), purebred Limousin and purebred Charolais. Charolais (or Simmental) sires were used on mature cows. Replacement heifers were bred to calve at 2 years of age using an easy calving Limousin bull. Concentrate inputs per animal were the same in the two systems. The main findings of the study were: • The mean nitrogenous application rates were 210 and 98 kg per ha in the standard and REPS systems, respectively. • Mean dry matter digestibility of the first-cut silages harvested early (May 19 to May 29), late (June 5 to June 13) and the second cut silage in the standard system (harvested in July/early August) were 716, 690 and 674 g/kg, respectively. • When averaged throughout two grazing seasons there was no difference between the standard and REPS systems in pregrazing or post-grazing sward heights. When examined over one grazing season the only major difference between the grazing areas was that the pasture crude protein content was higher in the standard system in both the pre-grazed (205 and 159 g/kg) and post-grazed (172 v 141 g/kg) swards. Cow liveweight and body condition score gains at pasture and calf gains from birth to weaning were the same for both systems. Carcass weights of the progeny were the same for the standard and REPS systems.
    • Quantification of In Situ Denitrification Rates in Groundwater Below an Arable and a Grassland System

      Jahangir, Mohammad M. R.; Johnston, P.; Addy, K.; Khalil, Mohammed I.; Groffman, P.M.; Richards, Karl G. (Springer Netherlands, 2013-08)
      Understanding denitrification rates in groundwater ecosystems can help predict where agricultural reactive nitrogen (N) contributes to environmental degradation. In situ groundwater denitrification rates were determined in subsoil, at the bedrock-interface and in bedrock at two sites, grassland and arable, using an in situ ‘push-pull’ method with 15N labelled nitrate (NO3--N). Measured groundwater denitrification rates ranged from 1.3 to 469.5 µg N kg-1d-1. Exceptionally high denitrification rates observed at the bedrock-interface at grassland site (470±152µg N kg-1d-1; SE, standard error) suggest that deep groundwater can serve as substantial hotspots for NO3--N removal. However, denitrification rates at the other locations were low and may not substantially reduce NO3--N delivery to surface waters. Denitrification rates were negatively correlated with ambient dissolved oxygen (DO), redox potential (Eh), ks and NO3- (all p-values p<0.01) and positively correlated with SO42- (p<0.05). Higher mean N2O/(N2O+N2) ratios at arable (0.28) site than the grassland (0.10) revealed that arable site has higher potential to indirect N2O emissions. Identification of areas with high and low denitrification and related site parameters can be a tool to manage agricultural N to safeguard the environment.
    • Quantification of nutrient supply in forage-based diets for beef cattle

      McGee, Mark; Owens, David; O’Kiely, Padraig (Teagasc, 2009-12-01)
      Introduction Cattle rearing systems in Ireland are predominantly grass-based as 80% of agricultural land is dedicated to grassland (silage, hay and pasture) (CSO, 2007). Feed costs represent the largest single variable cost in beef production in Ireland. Grazed grass is generally the cheapest source of food available for beef (and milk) production provided that the environment and management permit high yields of high quality herbage to be utilised (McGee, 2000). Environmental legislation and the rules of environmental schemes such as the European Union (EU) Rural Environmental Protection Scheme are progressively restricting the application of fertilizer Nitrogen (N), and many grazing systems are becoming more extensive. Over 80% of all farms in Ireland make grass silage (O’Kiely et al., 1998) and it accounts for 87% of total grass conserved (Mayne and O’Kiely, 2005). The deficiencies in nutrient supply to beef cattle from grass silage are usually overcome by supplementing with concentrates (McGee, 2005), which are primarily cereal-based (Drennan et al., 2006). However, diverse types of concentrates containing a variety of feed ingredients, particularly non-cereal by-products are available and frequently fed as supplements to grass silage or as highconcentrate diets. The relatively small amount of information available on feeding these contrasting concentrates to beef cattle is inconsistent. Moreover, there has been an increased use of other ensiled forages such as maize and whole-crop cereals. These forages have high intake potential and can reduce the concentrate feeding level, while maintaining or increasing performance of beef cattle (Keady, 2005). With increasing costs of beef production and increasing constraints of environmental regulations, efficient utilisation of consumed nutrients by cattle is imperative in providing sustainable production and income to farmers. Feed evaluation systems are used to match the dietary nutrient supply with animal requirements for a specific level of production (Dijkstra et al., 2007). These systems are important in order to optimise the efficiency of feed utilisation, to improve animal performance and to reduce nutrient losses to the environment (Dijkstra et al., 2007). Although the reticulo-rumen is central to the profile of nutrients available for absorption, yet quantitative knowledge of the rates of passage and the digestion of nutrients in the rumen is limited compared with that on degradation rates (Dijkstra et al., 2007). There is a lack of information that adequately characterises the supply of nutrients from forages and feedstuffs specific to Ireland, especially for fresh grass-based diets of which, there are very few studies reported in the literature. This shortcoming impedes our ability to capitalise on the merits of evolving feeding systems. This project aimed to: 1. Increase the knowledge and advance the understanding on rumen digestion and nutrient flow from the rumen of the main forages / forage-based diets offered to beef cattle in Ireland. 2. Evaluate strategies for optimal utilization of nutrients consumed by cattle.
    • Quantification of nutrient supply in forage-based diets for beef cattle.

      McGee, Michael; Owens, D.; O'Kiely, Padraig (Teagasc, 2009-12-01)
      Cattle rearing systems in Ireland are predominantly grass-based as 80% of agricultural land is dedicated to grassland (silage, hay and pasture) (CSO, 2007). Feed costs represent the largest single variable cost in beef production in Ireland. Grazed grass is generally the cheapest source of food available for beef (and milk) production provided that the environment and management permit high yields of high quality herbage to be utilised (McGee, 2000). Environmental legislation and the rules of environmental schemes such as the European Union (EU) Rural Environmental Protection Scheme are progressively restricting the application of fertilizer Nitrogen (N), and many grazing systems are becoming more extensive. Over 80% of all farms in Ireland make grass silage (O’Kiely et al., 1998) and it accounts for 87% of total grass conserved (Mayne and O’Kiely, 2005). The deficiencies in nutrient supply to beef cattle from grass silage are usually overcome by supplementing with concentrates (McGee, 2005), which are primarily cereal-based (Drennan et al., 2006). However, diverse types of concentrates containing a variety of feed ingredients, particularly non-cereal by-products are available and frequently fed as supplements to grass silage or as highconcentrate diets. The relatively small amount of information available on feeding these contrasting concentrates to beef cattle is inconsistent. Moreover, there has been an increased use of other ensiled forages such as maize and whole-crop cereals. These forages have high intake potential and can reduce the concentrate feeding level, while maintaining or increasing performance of beef cattle (Keady, 2005). With increasing costs of beef production and increasing constraints of environmental regulations, efficient utilisation of consumed nutrients by cattle is imperative in providing sustainable production and income to farmers. Feed evaluation systems are used to match the dietary nutrient supply with animal requirements for a specific level of production (Dijkstra et al., 2007). These systems are important in order to optimise the efficiency of feed utilisation, to improve animal performance and to reduce nutrient losses to the environment (Dijkstra et al., 2007). Although the reticulo-rumen is central to the profile of nutrients available for absorption, yet quantitative knowledge of the rates of passage and the digestion of nutrients in the rumen is limited compared with that on degradation rates (Dijkstra et al., 2007). There is a lack of information that adequately characterises the supply of nutrients from forages and feedstuffs specific to Ireland, especially for fresh grass-based diets of which, there are very few studies reported in the literature. This shortcoming impedes our ability to capitalise on the merits of evolving feeding systems. This project aimed to: 1. Increase the knowledge and advance the understanding on rumen digestion and nutrient flow from the rumen of the main forages / forage-based diets offered to beef cattle in Ireland. 2. Evaluate strategies for optimal utilization of nutrients consumed by cattle.
    • Quantification of phosphorus loss from soil to water.

      Tunney, Hubert; Coulter, B.; Daly, Karen M.; Kurz, I.; Coxon, C.; Jeffery, D.; Mills, P.; Kiely, G.; Morgan, G. (Teagasc, 2000-08-01)
      The methods, results and discussion of the project are in five separate sections, 4.1) Phosphorus (P) export from agricultural grassland with overland flow and drainage water (Johnstown Castle); 4.2) Phosphorus export from farm in Dripsey catchment, Co. Cork (NMP); 4.3) Hydrometeorological aspects of farm in Dripsey Catchment (NMP); 4.4) Phosphorus desorption from Irish soils; 4.5) National phosphorus model. Most of the field and laboratory studies were carried out at Johnstown Castle, at UCC and the field site in the Dripsey catchment. The main aim of the project was to quantify the loss of P from soil to water where point source contributions from farmyards were not high. This involved the construction of hydrologically isolated field sites where the quantity of overland flow and the P concentrations for different runoff events from the fields could be measured. In addition, 90 soil samples representative of Irish soils were collected and analysed for the different factors influencing soil adsorption and desorption of P. These results, in addition to catchment data, were used as a first attempt at developing a model that could be used to help predict P loss from soil to water at a catchment scale. The study in the Dripsey was on a farm where water flow and P levels at two points in a stream were measured. The hydrometeorology at this site was also studied. At Johnstown Castle, three overland flow sites, of the order of one hectare each, and one subsurface flow site were studied for P loss to water.
    • Quantification of risks associated with plant disease: the case of Karnal bunt of wheat.

      Thorne, Fiona; Brennan, J.; Kelly, P.W.; Kinsella, Anne (Teagasc, 2004-12-01)
      The aim of this study was to assess the economic impact of Tilletia indica, the cause of Karnal bunt of wheat (and triticale) in the EU. The methodologies used are relevant to estimating the costs of controlling other plant and animal diseases. The work was carried out as part of an EU funded research project.
    • Quantitative analysis of ruminal methanogenic microbial populations in beef cattle divergent in phenotypic residual feed intake (RFI) offered contrasting diets

      Carberry, Ciara, A; Kenny, David, A; Kelly, Alan, K; Waters, Sinead, M (Biomed Central, 2014-08-22)
      Background Methane (CH4) emissions in cattle are an undesirable end product of rumen methanogenic fermentative activity as they are associated not only with negative environmental impacts but also with reduced host feed efficiency. The aim of this study was to quantify total and specific rumen microbial methanogenic populations in beef cattle divergently selected for residual feed intake (RFI) while offered (i) a low energy high forage (HF) diet followed by (ii) a high energy low forage (LF) diet. Ruminal fluid was collected from 14 high (H) and 14 low (L) RFI animals across both dietary periods. Quantitative real time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis was conducted to quantify the abundance of total and specific rumen methanogenic microbes. Spearman correlation analysis was used to investigate the association between the relative abundance of methanogens and animal performance, rumen fermentation variables and diet digestibility. Results Abundance of methanogens, did not differ between RFI phenotypes. However, relative abundance of total and specific methanogen species was affected (P < 0.05) by diet type, with greater abundance observed while animals were offered the LF compared to the HF diet. Conclusions These findings suggest that differences in abundance of specific rumen methanogen species may not contribute to variation in CH4 emissions between efficient and inefficient animals, however dietary manipulation can influence the abundance of total and specific methanogen species.
    • A quantitative risk assessment of E.coli 0157:H7 in Irish minced beef

      Duffy, Geraldine; O'Brien, Stephen; Carney, Eimear; Butler, Francis; Cummins, Enda; Nally, Padraig; Mahon, Denise; Henchion, Maeve; Cowan, Cathal (Teagasc, 2005-02)
      A national quantitative risk assessment was undertaken for minced beef in the Republic of Ireland. The objective was to estimate the probability of E. coli O157:H7 infection from consumption of Irish beef and to investigate the parts of the beef chain contributing most to the risk posed by this pathogen.The quantitative risk assessment was broken into 3 main modules: 1) production of boxed beef trimmings; 2) processing of trimmings and burger formation and 3) retail/domestic consumption phase. Key points in each module (beef hide, beef trimmings and beef products at retail) were validated using data derived from microbiology sampling at beef abattoirs, supermarkets and butchers’ shops in Ireland.
    • Quantitative trait loci associated with different polar metabolites in perennial ryegrass - providing scope for breeding towards increasing certain polar metabolites

      Foito, Alexandre; Hackett, Christine A; Stewart, Derek; Velmurugan, Janaki; Milbourne, Dan; Byrne, Stephen L; Barth, Susanne (Biomed Central, 2017-10-10)
      Background Recent advances in the mapping of biochemical traits have been reported in Lolium perenne. Although the mapped traits, including individual sugars and fatty acids, contribute greatly towards ruminant productivity, organic acids and amino acids have been largely understudied despite their influence on the ruminal microbiome. Results In this study, we used a targeted gas-chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) approach to profile the levels of 25 polar metabolites from different classes (sugars, amino acids, phenolic acids, organic acids and other nitrogen-containing compounds) present in a L. perenne F2 population consisting of 325 individuals. A quantitative trait (QTL) mapping approach was applied and successfully identified QTLs regulating seven of those polar metabolites (L-serine, L-leucine, glucose, fructose, myo-inositol, citric acid and 2, 3-hydroxypropanoic acid).Two QTL mapping approaches were carried out using SNP markers on about half of the population only and an imputation approach using SNP and DArT markers on the entire population. The imputation approach confirmed the four QTLs found in the SNP-only analysis and identified a further seven QTLs. Conclusions These results highlight the potential of utilising molecular assisted breeding in perennial ryegrass to modulate a range of biochemical quality traits with downstream effects in livestock productivity and ruminal digestion.
    • Radiotelemetry systems for measuring body temperature

      Prendiville, Daniel J.; Lowe, J.; Earley, Bernadette; Spahr, C.; Kettlewell, P. (Teagasc, 2002-06-01)
      The objective of this study was to compare three methods of measuring body temperature in the bovine and examine their relationship with ambient temperature. The three methods used were (a) rumen bolus (b) tympanic logger and (c) rectal.
    • Ranking of Sire Breeds and Beef Cross Breeding of Dairy and Beef Cows

      Keane, M.G. (Teagasc, 2011-03-01)
      Data from Grange Beef Research Centre in Ireland (Keane, More O'Ferrall and Connolly, 1989; More O'Ferrall and Keane, 1990; Keane et al., 1990; Keane and More O'Ferrall, 1992; Keane, 1994; Keane and Allen, 2002) and from the United Kingdom (UK) Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) (Southgate, Cook and Kempster, 1988; Kempster, Cook and Southgate, 1988) were used to compile a ranking for common production traits of progeny of straight-bred Holstein-Friesians (HF) and crosses out of HF cows and the common beef breeds. In the Grange studies, the animals were reared as steers to around two years of age and serially slaughtered. The MLC animals were also reared as steers in 16- or 24-month production systems and were slaughtered at an estimated constant proportion of subcutaneous fat.
    • Ranking of Sire Breeds and Beef Cross Breeding of Dairy and Beef Cows

      Keane, Michael G. (Teagasc, 2011-03-01)
      Summary There is general agreement across countries on the ranking of beef breeds for production and carcass traits. Differences between dairy and early maturing beef breeds in growth and slaughter traits are small, but the latter have lower feed intake and better carcass conformation. Late maturing beef breeds also have lower feed intake and better carcass conformation and in addition, have a higher growth rate, kill-out proportion and carcass muscle proportion. When factors such as age and fatness are accounted for, differences between breeds in meat quality traits are small. Differences amongst breed types in kill-out proportion can be explained by differences in gut contents (consequent on differences in feed intake), differences in the proportions of gastrointestinal tract and metabolic organs, differences in hide proportion, and differences in offal fats. Growth is an allometric, rather than an isometric, process. Some parts, organs and tissues grow relatively more slowly than the animal overall, and so become decreasing proportions over time, while others grow relatively faster and become increasing proportions. With increasing slaughter weight, the proportions of non carcass parts, hind quarter, bone, total muscle and higher value muscle decrease, while the proportions of non carcass and carcass fats, fore quarter and marbling fat all increase. Because of heterosis or hybrid vigour, the productivity of cross-bred cattle is superior to the mean of the parent breeds. While calving difficulty may be slightly higher (probably due to greater birth weight), calf mortality is much reduced in cross-breds. In addition, general robustness and growth rate are increased. There are additive effects of heterosis in the dam and the progeny. When cross-bred cows are mated to a bull of a third breed, >60 % of total heterosis is attributable to the cross-bred cows. The double muscling phenotype in beef cattle is due to the inactivated myostatin gene, but the inactivating mutation is not the same in all breeds and other genes also contribute to muscling. Compared to normal animals, double muscled animals have lower proportions of digestive tract, internal fats and metabolic organs. This explains their superior kill-out proportion. They also have a smaller hind shin that helps accentuate the muscling in the remainder of the 4 limb. There are similar degrees of muscular hypertrophy in both the hind and fore quarters. Muscle to bone ratio is about one third greater in double muscled than in normal carcasses. Piedmontese cattle with none, one or two mutated myostatin alleles were compared with normal Herefords and Limousins. In the absence of any mutated allele, Piedmontese were similar to Herefords, with one mutated allele they were similar to Limousins and with two mutated alleles they were immensely superior to Limousins. In fact, the response to the second mutated allele was about three times that to the first. If progeny approximated to the mean of the parent breeds, crossing a double muscled sire with a dairy or early maturing beef cow would result in cattle of similar characteristics to pure-bred late maturing beef breeds. This does not happen because double muscling is dependent on a homozygous myostatin genotype. The progeny of a common cow breed and normal late maturing, or double muscled, sire breeds have similar production traits.
    • Rapid control systems for veterinary drug residues in food producing animals

      O'Keeffe, Michael (Teagasc, 2002-10)
      The aim was to develop rapid systems which could be used to test for the presence of veterinary drug residues in food producing animals. Body fluid samples are most suitable for rapid testing systems so as to avoid the lengthy residue extraction procedures required for tissue samples. Urine was analysed for sulphamethazine, a licensed antimicrobial, and for chlorotestosterone, a prohibited growth promoting agent, as models to demonstrate the different approaches.
    • Rapid cooling of cooked meat joints

      Kenny, Tony; Desmond, Eoin; Ward, Patrick; Sun, Da-Wen (Teagasc, 2002-02)
      Conventional cooling by air-blast or even by immersion in liquid is unlikely to achieve recommended cooling rates when dealing with joints weighing 5kg or more because meat has a low thermal conductivity. The objective was to investigate vacuum cooling as a technique for rapid chilling of cooked meat joints. In vacuum cooling, the food is enclosed in a chamber and reduction of the pressure to about 7 mbar causes evaporation of water from the surface of the food and from cavities in the food. The energy required to evaporate the water is extracted from the food, resulting in rapid chilling
    • Rearing calves outdoors with and without calf jackets compared with indoor housing on calf health and live-weight performance

      Earley, Bernadette; Murray, Margaret; Farrell, J.A.; Nolan, Marie-Jean (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2004)
      The objective of this study was to compare the effects of rearing calves outdoors, with and without all-weather calf jackets, with calves reared indoors on calf immunity and animal performance. In February 1999, male Holstein calves (mean (s.e.) weight 55 (1.90) kg) were randomly assigned to one of three treatments (n=30 per treatment): 1) outdoors with jacket, (J; mean age 19 (s.e. 2.0) days); 2) outdoors without jacket (NJ; mean age 19 (s.e. 1.8) days), and 3) indoors on straw (I; mean age 19 (s.e. 1.0) days). Calves received an individual allowance of 25 kg of milk replacer dry matter during the first 42 days with ad libitum access to a concentrate ration from day 0 to 63. The jackets were removed from the calves on day 42. Live-weight gain from day 0 to day 63 of the study was not significantly different between treatments (J, 0.79; NJ, 0.80; I, 0.80 kg). Sixty percent of the J calves and 53% of the NJ calves required four or more antibiotic treatments for respiratory disease while corresponding treatments were required for 97% of the I calves. The incidence of diarrhoea was significantly higher in both outdoor treatments compared to the I treatment. There was no significant difference in white blood cell counts or in serum immunoglobulin concentrations between treatments on days 0, 21, 42 and 63 or in in vitro interferon-γ production on day 63. It is concluded that using calf jackets on calves reared outdoors had no beneficial effect on calf performance or immune status. The incidence of respiratory disease was higher and diarrhoea incidence was lower in calves reared indoors compared with calves reared outdoors. There was no significant difference in incidences of diarrhoea and respiratory disease between the two outdoor treatments.
    • Recent Trends in Employment and Unemployment: Assessing the impact of the economic downturn on part-time farmers

      Meredith, David (Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland, 2011)
      This paper provides an overview of contemporary trends in national employment and unemployment before providing a synopsis of the regional distribution of unemployment and how it has changed in recent years. Using Quarterly National Household Survey data (QNHS) the analysis then focuses on a sub-group within the QNHS data who report employment in Agriculture, Forestry or Fishing as a secondary occupation. This latter group derive the majority of their income off-farm and fall firmly within the 'part-time' farming category. Exploring changes in employment patterns amongst this group not only highlights the impact of the recession on farm-based families but also reveals some of the ongoing consequences of the restructuring of Ireland’s rural economy. The paper concludes by considering the implications of these findings with regard to demand for state supports to farmers.
    • Recent trends in employment and unemployment: assessing the impact of the economic downturn on part-time farmers

      Meredith, David (Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland, 2010)
      This paper begins with an overview of contemporary trends in national employment and unemployment before providing a synopsis of the regional distribution of unemployment and how it has changed in recent years. Using Quarterly National household Survey data the analysis then focuses on a sub-group within the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) data who report employment in Agriculture, Forestry or Fishing as a secondary occupation. This latter group derive the majority of their income off-farm and fall firmly within the 'part-time' farming category. Exploring changes in employment patterns amongst this group not only highlights the impact of the recession on farm-based families but also reveals some of the ongoing consequences of the restructuring of Ireland’s rural economy. The paper concludes by considering the implications of these findings with regard to demand for state supports to farmers.