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T-Stór is Teagasc’s Open Access Repository, maintained by the Teagasc Library Service. Stór is the Gaelic word for Repository or Store or Warehouse, and T-Stór is an online “store” of Teagasc Research outputs and related documents. T-Stór collects preserves and makes freely available scholarly communication, including peer-reviewed articles, working papers and conference papers created by Teagasc researchers. Where material has already been published it is made available subject to the open-access policies of the original publishers. About Teagasc
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Rumen metabolism, omasal flow of nutrients, and microbial dynamics in lactating dairy cows fed fresh perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) not supplemented or supplemented with rolled barley grainThe objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of rolled barley grain (RB) supplementation on rumen metabolism, omasal flow of nutrients, and microbial dynamics in lactating dairy cows fed fresh perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.; PRG)-based diets. Ten ruminally cannulated Holstein cows averaging (mean ± standard deviation) 49 ± 23 d in milk and 513 ± 36 kg of body weight were assigned to 1 of 2 treatments in a switchback design. The treatment diets were PRG only (G) or PRG plus 3.5 kg of dry matter RB (G+RB). The study consisted of three 29-d periods where each period consisted of 21 d of diet adaptation and 8 d of data and sample collection. A double marker system was used to quantify nutrient flow entering the omasal canal along with labeled 15N-ammonium sulfate to measure bacterial, protozoal, and nonmicrobial N flow. Rumen evacuation techniques were used to determine nutrient and microbial pool size, allowing the calculation of fractional rates of digestion and microbial growth. There was no difference in daily milk yield or energy-corrected milk yield between treatments. Milk fat concentration and milk urea N decreased, whereas milk protein concentration increased in cows fed the G+RB diet. During the omasal sampling phase, dry matter intake was higher in cows fed the G+RB diet. Ruminal and total-tract neutral detergent fiber digestibility was lower in G+RB cows; however, no difference was observed in reticulorumen pH. The rumen pool size of fermentable carbohydrate was increased in cows fed the G+RB diet; however, the fractional rate of digestion was decreased. Flow of nonammonia N and bacterial N at the omasal canal increased in cows fed the G+RB diet compared with the G diet. Protozoa N flow was not different between diets; however, protozoa appeared to supply a much larger amount of microbial N and exhibited shorter generation time than previously considered. Feed N ruminal digestibility, corrected for microbial contribution, was similar for both treatments (88.4 and 89.0% for G and G+RB, respectively). In conclusion, RB supplementation did not benefit overall animal performance; however, it reduced ruminal neutral detergent fiber digestibility and increased bacterial N flow. The results demonstrate the large dependence of cows consuming PRG-based diets on microbial N as the main source of nonammonia N supply. Additional quantitative research is required to further describe the supply of nutrients and microbial dynamics in cows consuming PRG-based diets in an effort to determine most limiting nutrients.
Dose-response efficacy and mechanisms of orally administered CLA-producing Bifidobacterium breve CCFM683 on DSS-induced colitis in miceThis study designed to explore the dose-effect relationship of CCFM683 in relieving colitis and investigate the mechanisms involved. Specifically, the concentration of mucin2, goblet cells and tight junction proteins were significantly up-regulated by 1010 and 109 cfu/day CCFM683. Moreover, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 were significantly down-regulated by 1010 and 109 cfu/day CCFM683. Furthermore, gut microbiota in mice treated with 1010 and 109 cfu/day CCFM683 were rebalanced via improving the unbalanced interaction, regulating the diversity, increasing Bifidobacterium and decreasing Bacteroides and Sutterella. Moreover, the colonic conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) concentration was significantly positive correlated with the effectiveness of the strain in relieving colitis. The gavage dose of CCFM683 should be more than 108.65 cfu/day in mice for improving colitis according to dose-effect curve. In conclusion, CCFM683 supplementation alleviated colitis in a dose-dependent manner by improving intestinal epithelial barriers, protecting the intestinal mucus layer, restoring gut microbiota, and down-regulating the inflammatory cytokines.
Prediction of Warner-Bratzler shear force, intramuscular fat, drip-loss and cook-loss in beef via Raman spectroscopy and chemometricsRapid prediction of beef quality remains a challenge for meat processors. This study evaluated the potential of Raman spectroscopy followed by chemometrics for prediction of Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF), intramuscular fat (IMF), ultimate pH, drip-loss and cook-loss. PLS regression models were developed based on spectra recorded on frozen-thawed day 2 longissimus thoracis et lumborum muscle and validated using test sets randomly selected 3 times. With the exception of ultimate pH, models presented notable performance in calibration (R2 ranging from 0.5 to 0.9; low RMSEC) and, despite variability in the results, promising predictive ability: WBSF (RMSEP ranging from 4.6 to 9 N), IMF (RMSEP ranging from 0.9 to 1.1%), drip-loss (RMSEP ranging from 1 to 1.3%) and cook-loss (RMSEP ranging from 1.5 to 2.9%). Furthermore, the loading values indicated that the physicochemical variation of the meat influenced the models. Overall, results indicated that Raman spectroscopy is a promising technique for routine quality assessments of IMF and drip-loss, which, with further development and improvement of its accuracy could become a reliable tool for the beef industry.
Photovoltaic systems on dairy farms: Financial and renewable multi-objective optimization (FARMOO) analysisThe aim of this study was to develop a financial and renewable multi-objective optimization (FARMOO) method for dairy farms. Due to increased global milk production and European Union policies concerning renewable energy contributions, the optimization of dairy farms from financial and renewable standpoints is crucial. The FARMOO method found the optimal combination of dairy farm equipment and management practices, based on a trade-off parameter which quantified the relative importance of maximizing farm net profit and maximizing farm renewable contribution. A PV system model was developed and validated to assess the financial performance and renewable contribution of this technology in a dairy farming context. Seven PV system sizes were investigated, ranging from 2 kWp to 11 kWp. Multi-objective optimization using a Genetic Algorithm was implemented to find the optimal combination of equipment and management practices based on the aforementioned trade-off parameter. For a test case of a 195 cow spring calving dairy farm in Ireland, it was found that when the relative importance of farm net profit was high, a PV system was not included in the optimal farm configuration. When net profit and renewable contribution were of equal importance, the optimal farm configuration included an 11 kWp PV system with a scheduled water heating load at 10:00. Multi-objective optimization was carried out for the same test case with the goals of maximizing farm net profit and minimizing farm CO2 emissions. Under this scenario, the optimal farm configuration included an 11 kWp PV system when the relative importance of farm net profit was low. This study included a sensitivity analysis which investigated the use of a 40% grant aid on PV system capital costs. This sensitivity analysis did not significantly improve the financial feasibility of PV systems on dairy farms. Moreover, it was found that load shifting of a farm’s water heating enabled the majority of the PV system’s electricity output to be consumed. Hence the use of batteries with small PV systems on dairy farms may not be necessary. The method described in this study will be used to inform policy and provide decision support relating to PV systems on dairy farms.
Short communication: The beef merit of the sire mated to a dairy female affects her subsequent performanceMuch of the research to date on dairy × beef matings has focused only on the greater revenue attainable from these beef-cross calves. The objective of the present study was to quantify the mean effect on cow performance following the birth of calves differing in beef merit; all calves were born without calving assistance. Beef merit in the present study was based on the breed of the sire but also its genetic merit for carcass weight and conformation. The cross-sectional study used up to 346,765 calving events from 230,255 Holstein-Friesian cows in 3,604 herds. Performance traits of interest were those associated with milk production, including somatic cell count, as well as female reproductive performance. Sire breed was associated with all yield traits, somatic cell count, and both pregnancy rate and the interval from calving to first service; no association existed with either submission rate or number of services. Relative to a Holstein-Friesian sire, the mean 305-d milk yield (in kg) was 45.22 (standard error, SE = 4.0), 62.0 (SE = 36.8), 65.4 (SE = 9.6), 101.1 (SE = 31.6), 36.7 (SE = 4.9), 51.5 (SE = 10.7), 53.3 (SE = 31.5), and 43.3 (SE = 23.4) less for cows that gave birth to Angus-, Aubrac-, Beligan Blue-, Charolais-, Hereford-, Limousin-, Saler-, or Simmental-sired calves, respectively. Service sire accounted for only 1% of the phenotypic variation in all 3 milk production traits when fitted as a random effect in the model. The regression coefficients of phenotypic milk, fat, and protein yields on sire (of calf) predicted transmitting ability for carcass weight were −1.84 (SE = 0.17), −0.10 (SE = 0.01), and −0.08 kg (SE = 0.01), respectively. The respective regression coefficients on sire (of calf) predicted transmitting ability for carcass conformation (scale of 1 to 15; 1 = poor and 15 = excellent) were −23.46 (SE = 1.81), −1.20 (SE = 0.08), and −1.05 units (SE = 0.06). The biological significance of the sire breed effects or the measure of sire genetic merit on the reproductive traits was either not different from zero or biologically small. Although statistically significant associations existed between sire beef merit and both milk and reproductive performance of the mate, the actual size of the associations was biologically small.