• 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.
    • Recovery and identification of emerging campylobacteraceae from food

      Duffy, Geraldine; Cagney, Claire; Lynch, Orla (Teagasc, 2007-02)
      The family Campylobacteraceae includes 23 different species of Campylobacter and Arcobacter.To date, clinical and epidemiological interest has focused almost exclusively on just two of these species, C. jejuni and C. coli. Current routine examination methods for both clinical and food samples look exclusively for these two species. Recent clinical research indicates that some of the other, previously ignored Campylobacter species may be linked to human infection. The focus of this research was to develop a routine procedure which would allow recovery of all 23 species of Campylobacteraceae from food samples.
    • Recovery and identification of emerging Campylobacteraceae from food

      Duffy, Geraldine; Cagney, Claire; Lynch, Orla; Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 2007-02-01)
      The family Campylobacteraceae includes 23 different species of Campylobacter and Arcobacter.To date, clinical and epidemiological interest has focused almost exclusively on just two of these species, C. jejuni and C. coli. Current routine examination methods for both clinical and food samples look exclusively for these two species. Recent clinical research indicates that some of the other, previously ignored Campylobacter species may be linked to human infection. The focus of this research was to develop a routine procedure which would allow recovery of all 23 species of Campylobacteraceae from food samples.
    • Recreational demand for farm commonage in Ireland: A contingent valuation assessment

      Buckley, Cathal; van Rensburg, Tom M.; Hynes, Stephen (Elsevier Inc., 2009-07)
      This paper measures willingness to pay (WTP) for public access and trail improvements on commonage farmland for recreational walking in upland and lowland areas of Connemara region in the West of Ireland using the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM). Common to both upland and lowland commonage sites was the much higher ranking for infrastructural features by those WTP for scenario implementation compared to those preferring the status quo. Results for those expressing a positive WTP reveal a median willingness to pay (MWTP) for formal access with improved trail infrastructure of €12.22 for the lowlands compared with €9.08 for the uplands.
    • Recreational demand modelling for agricultural resources

      Hynes, Stephen (Teagasc, 2007-07-31)
      In the last decade the demand for rural recreation has increased in Ireland as the population has become increasingly urbanised. Increased affluence, mobility and changing values have also brought new demands with respect to landscape, conservation, heritage and recreation, with a greater emphasis on consumption demands for goods and services in rural areas. This project’s contribution to the understanding of outdoor recreational pursuits in Ireland is based on the estimation of the first recreation demand functions for farm commonage walking, small-scale forestry recreation and whitewater kayaking. These are all popular activities that take place in Irish rural space. We use this empirical work to investigate the more general conflict between countryside recreational pursuits and farming activity. Through the estimation of travel cost models, the study derives the mean willingness to pay of the average outdoors enthusiast using small-scale forestry sites in Co. Galway, using farm commonage in Connemara and using the Roughty river for kayaking recreation in Co. Kerry. An estimate of the gross economic value of the sites as recreational resources was also derived. The results indicate the high value of Irish farmland (and the Irish rural countryside in general) from a recreational amenity perspective. The project lasted approximately 2 years and was completed on-time (31st July 2007).
    • Recreational demand modelling for agricultural resources

      Hynes, Stephen (Teagasc, 2007-07-31)
      In the last decade the demand for rural recreation has increased in Ireland as the population has become increasingly urbanised. Increased affluence, mobility and changing values have also brought new demands with respect to landscape, conservation, heritage and recreation, with a greater emphasis on consumption demands for goods and services in rural areas. This project’s contribution to the understanding of outdoor recreational pursuits in Ireland is based on the estimation of the first recreation demand functions for farm commonage walking, small-scale forestry recreation and whitewater kayaking. These are all popular activities that take place in Irish rural space. We use this empirical work to investigate the more general conflict between countryside recreational pursuits and farming activity. Through the estimation of travel cost models, the study derives the mean willingness to pay of the average outdoors enthusiast using small-scale forestry sites in Co. Galway, using farm commonage in Connemara and using the Roughty river for kayaking recreation in Co. Kerry. An estimate of the gross economic value of the sites as recreational resources was also derived. The results indicate the high value of Irish farmland (and the Irish rural countryside in general) from a recreational amenity perspective. The project lasted approximately 2 years and was completed on-time (31st July 2007).
    • Reduced Fungicide Inputs in Winter Wheat

      Dunne, B. (Teagasc, 1998-09-01)
      Nine trials were conducted over three years at three sites to evaluate the efficacy of reduced rates of various fungicide products for their biological efficacy in controlling stem, foliar and ear diseases of winter wheat as well as their effects on yield and grain quality, and to compare the relative profitability of full and reduced rates of fungicides. The results show that the use of half rates can give an economic benefit over that of full rates in many situations. In circumstances where variety or seasonal factors resulted in low to moderate foliar disease pressure the use of half rates gave similar yields to that of full rates. Where foliar disease pressure was high, half rates generally gave lower yields than full rates but the amount of the reduction varied with the fungicide product used. The use of spray additives improved the yield response of the half rate treatments in most cases. Disease levels (septoria) were higher in treatments where half rates were used, compared with the corresponding full rates, but the used of spray additives improved the disease control in the half rate treatments. The timing of spray applications is critical when half rates of fungicides are being used. Reduced rate treatments need to be applied more frequently. In these trials reduced rate treatments were applied as a three-spray programme rather than the conventional two-spray programme.
    • Reduced Herbicide Inputs in Cereals

      Mitchell, B.J. (Teagasc, 1998-09-01)
      The objective of this project was to examine if herbicides used in cereals at rates lower than recommended by the manufacturer (reduced rates) would give acceptable weed control resulting in lower crop production costs. Field trials with a number of herbicides at full and reduced rates were carried out in winter barley, winter wheat and spring barley in 1994-1996. Herbicides used at recommended rates gave the highest and most consistent levels of weed control. Herbicides used at 50% of the recommended rates gave slightly lower levels of weed control than the recommended rates but did not result in lower yields. While rates lower than 50% gave about 70% control of weeds, grain yield was reduced in some trials. Reduced rates gave higher weed control in barley than in wheat. The level of weed control was influenced by weed species and the growth stages of the weeds at the time of herbicide spraying. Thus selection of herbicides and their rates of application should be field specific. The findings show that it is possible to reduce the amount of herbicides used in cereals with considerable cost savings and reduced risk of herbicide residues in grain, soil and water.
    • Reducing nitrous oxide emissions by changing N fertiliser use from calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) to urea based formulations

      Harty, M. A.; Forrestal, Patrick J.; Watson, C. J.; McGeogh, K. L.; Carolan, R.; Elliott, C.; Krol, D.; Laughlin, R. J.; Richards, Karl G.; Lanigan, Gary (Elsevier, 2016-05-04)
      The accelerating use of synthetic nitrogen (N) fertilisers, to meet the world's growing food demand, is the primary driver for increased atmospheric concentrations of nitrous oxide (N2O). The IPCC default emission factor (EF) for N2O from soils is 1% of the N applied, irrespective of its form. However, N2O emissions tend to be higher from nitrate-containing fertilisers e.g. calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) compared to urea, particularly in regions, which have mild, wet climates and high organic matter soils. Urea can be an inefficient N source due to NH3 volatilisation, but nitrogen stabilisers (urease and nitrification inhibitors) can improve its efficacy. This study evaluated the impact of switching fertiliser formulation from calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) to urea-based products, as a potential mitigation strategy to reduce N2O emissions at six temperate grassland sites on the island of Ireland. The surface applied formulations included CAN, urea and urea with the urease inhibitor N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide (NBPT) and/or the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD). Results showed that N2O emissions were significantly affected by fertiliser formulation, soil type and climatic conditions. The direct N2O emission factor (EF) from CAN averaged 1.49% overall sites, but was highly variable, ranging from 0.58% to 3.81. Amending urea with NBPT, to reduce ammonia volatilisation, resulted in an average EF of 0.40% (ranging from 0.21 to 0.69%)-compared to an average EF of 0.25% for urea (ranging from 0.1 to 0.49%), with both fertilisers significantly lower and less variable than CAN. Cumulative N2O emissions from urea amended with both NBPT and DCD were not significantly different from background levels. Switching from CAN to stabilised urea formulations was found to be an effective strategy to reduce N2O emissions, particularly in wet, temperate grassland.
    • Reducing The Cost of Beef Production by Increasing Silage Intake.

      O'Kiely, Padraig; Moloney, Aidan P; O'Riordan, Edward G. (Teagasc, 2002-12-01)
      Grass silage must support the predictable, consistent and profitable production of quality animal produce within environmentally sustainable farming systems. This can be quite a challenge for a crop that is so strongly influenced by the prevailing variable weather conditions, and the many interactions of the latter with farm management practices. Research and scientific progress must therefore continue to provide improved technologies if grass silage is to fulfil the above requirements. Yield, quality (including effects on intake, feed conversion efficiency, growth, meat quality, etc.), conservation losses, inputs and eligibility for EU financial supports determine the cost of providing cattle with silage, and this can have a major impact on the cost of producing milk or beef. Consequently, there has been an emphasis in the research reported here to add new information to the existing framework of knowledge on these
    • Reducing the incidence of boar taint in Irish pigs

      Allen, Paul; Joseph, Robin; Lynch, Brendan (Teagasc, 2001-04)
      Boar taint is an unpleasant odour that is released during cooking from some pork and products made from the meat and fat of non-castrated male pigs. Only a proportion of boars produce this odour and not all consumers are sensitive to it. Nevertheless it is a potential problem for the industry since an unpleasant experience can mean that a sensitive consumer may not purchase pork or pork products again. Some European countries are very concerned about this problem and most castrate all the male pigs not required for breeding. Irish pig producers ceased castration more than 20 years ago because boars are more efficient converters of feed into lean meat and a research study had shown that boar taint was not a problem at the carcass weights used in this country at that time.
    • Reducing the nitrate content of protected lettuce.

      Byrne, C.; Maher, J.; Hennerty, J.; Mahon, J.; Walshe, A. (Teagasc, 2001-03-01)
      A research project was carried out jointly between Teagasc, Kinsealy Research Centre and University College Dublin, Department of Crop Science, Horticulture and Forestry which studied the effects of cultivar, nitrogen fertilisation and light intensity on the nitrate content of protected butterhead lettuce. In a series of cultivar trials of winter and summer butterhead lettuce, significant differences in the nitrate content of the lettuce between cultivars were found only in one experiment. In this instance, the differences were not consistent between successive harvests. It was concluded that screening lettuce cultivars for tissue nitrate level is unlikely to contribute to an overall reduction of nitrate levels. The application of N in a liquid feed throughout the cropping period resulted in higher nitrate levels in lettuce plants grown in soil filled containers compared with a similar amount of N applied to the soil before planting. Withdrawing N for the final 10 days of the cropping period did not affect the nitrate content of the lettuce. In an experiment studying nitrogen source and rate on lettuce grown in containers, the use of calcium cyanamide as a N source resulted in lower nitrate levels in the lettuce and gave a reduced head weight compared with calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) or ammonium sulphate. Increasing the rate of CAN or ammonium sulphate gave higher lettuce nitrate levels. A nitrification inhibitor reduced the soil nitrate levels especially with sulphate of ammonia as the N source but did not affect the plant nitrate levels significantly. The addition of chloride to the soil reduced nitrate levels in the lettuce. In a further fertilisation study using containers, calcium cyanamide again resulted in lower plant nitrate levels than CAN. Increasing the rate of CAN increased soil nitrate levels, lettuce head weight and plant nitrate levels. The relationship between soil nitrate levels, lettuce head weight and plant nitrate level indicates that the level of 100-150 mg·L-1 of nitrate N in the soil, advocated in the Code of Good Practice, is a compromise between maximising plant growth and minimising lettuce nitrate content. A comparison between CAN and calcium cyanamide in a border soil experiment again showed that the latter N source resulted in lower lettuce nitrate levels. In this experiment the addition of chloride to the soil did not affect plant nitrate levels. Lettuce was grown, in late summer, in small tunnels using a range of polyethylene cladding materials. Head weight correlated well with the overall light transmission of the materials. In one of the materials that had a low light transmission, lettuce nitrate content was doubled compared with those grown under the materials with high light transmission. Under both winter and summer conditions, the nitrate content of lettuce heads was not influenced by the time of day at which harvest took place. In experiments in which multiple harvests were carried out there was no consistent trend in nitrate content as the heads developed and matured. Within individual heads of lettuce there was a steep concentration gradient with the older outer leaves having much higher concentrations of nitrate than the younger inner leaves. Herbicides commonly used in protected lettuce production did not influence the nitrate content of the lettuce.
    • Reducing the seasonality of prime lamb production

      Grennan, E.J. (Teagasc, 1998-10-01)
      Lambing part of the national lowland flock in April to late May has potential to reduce the seasonality of supply and extend the season for prime young lamb. This would, potentially, enhance ability to maintain and increase market share for Irish lamb. A farmlet system was operated over two years, with some 50 ewes on 4 ha of pasture. The objectives were: to assess the overall performance of a flock lambing in mid to late April : to monitor lamb growth rate and drafting patterns for lambs; to determine the changes in feed demand over the season; to identify any saving in feed costs, and any difficulties that may arise with late lambing. The feed demand over the grazing season differs from normal March lambing. A grass surplus tends to occur in April/May and a deficit in November/December, and this imbalance between supply and demand increases if lambing is in late May. The balance between feed demand and supply may be more easily achieved where sheep are combined with cattle or tillage. Results show that a late-lambing flock can be managed successfully on an all-grass farm. If lambing takes place from mid-April to late May, some lambs will finish off pasture in September/October. Remainder can be finished indoor on silage with concentrate supplementation for sale in October to February. Lambing from mid-April onwards allows ewes to be at pasture for 4 to 6 weeks pre-lambing and concentrate feeding to ewes pre or post lambing should not be necessary. However this saving on concentrate input is offset by the need for concentrates to finish lambs. Lamb growth rate on pasture to weaning will be somewhat lower than with March lambing, due to deterioration in pasture digestibility in mid-season. A high standard of grassland management is critical to maintain pastures leafy, in order to achieve high lamb growth rate pre and post weaning. Profitability will depend on supplying niche markets with younger lambs at premium prices.