Aims and Scope The Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research is a peer reviewed open access scientific journal published by Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Ireland). Manuscripts on any aspect of research of direct relevance to Irish agriculture and food production, including plant and animal sciences, food science, agri environmental science, soils, engineering, buildings, economics and sociology, will be considered for publication. The work must demonstrate novelty and relevance to the field of research. Papers published or offered for publication elsewhere will not be considered, but the publication of an abstract does not preclude the publication of the full paper in this journal. Current issues are also available on the publisher site https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/ijafr Back issues of the journal are available at the following links: Current title: Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research (1992-2014) http://www.jstor.org/journal/irisjagrifoodres Previous Titles Irish journal of agricultural research (1961-1991) http://www.jstor.org/journal/irisjagrirese Irish journal of agricultural economics and rural sociology (1977-1991) http://www.jstor.org/journal/irisjagrieconrur Irish journal of food science and technology (1967-1991) http://www.jstor.org/journal/irisjfoodscitech Contact ijafr@teagasc.ie

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  • First evidence of retained sexual capacity and survival in the pyrethroid resistant Sitobion avenae (F.) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) SA3 super-clone following exposure to a pyrethroid at current field-rate

    Walsh, L.E.; Gaffney, Michael; Malloch, G.L.; Foster, S.P.; Williamson, M.S.; Mangan, R.; Purvis, G.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Council of the United Kingdom; 14/s/879; et al. (Teagasc, 2019-04-17)
    The grain aphid Sitobion avenae is a prolific pest of cereal crops worldwide, controlled effectively with pyrethroid insecticides. However, the classic knock down resistance (kdr) mutation, L1014F on the S. avenae sodium channel gene, has been identified as the cause of the recently observed heterozygous (kdr-SR) resistance in the SA3 grain aphid super-clone. Results indicate that the kdr-SR SA3 clone can survive pyrethroid exposure above twice the normal field rate, continuing to reproduce thereafter. Additionally, the SA3 clone was found to be capable of producing sexual oviparous morphs, able to lay eggs following pyrethroid exposure. This demonstrates that possession of the L1014F mutation does not preclude the capacity to produce sexual morphs. This makes the adoption of an effective resistance management strategy imperative, within a wider integrated pest management (IPM) approach to control grain aphid.
  • Meat quality characteristics of high dairy genetic-merit Holstein, standard dairy genetic-merit Friesian and Charolais x Holstein-Friesian steers

    McGee, Mark; Keane, M.G.; Neilan, R.; Caffrey, P.J.; Moloney, Aidan P (Teagasc, 2020-03-13)
    The increased use of Holstein genetic material in the Irish dairy herd has consequences for beef production. In all, 42 spring-born steers [14 Holsteins (HO), 14 Friesian (FR) and 14 Charolais × Holstein-Friesian (CH)] were reared to slaughter at between 26 and 37 mo of age. Carcass weight was higher and the lipid concentration of m. longissimus thoracis et lumborum was lower (P < 0.05) for CH than the dairy breeds. Overall acceptability tended to be lower (P = 0.055) while tenderness, texture and chewiness were lower (P < 0.05) for CH compared with the dairy breeds. The proportion of C16:1 in the total lipid tended to be lower (P = 0.055) for CH than the dairy breeds. Replacing male offspring of traditional “Irish” Friesian bulls with offspring from a genetically superior (from a dairy perspective) strain of Holstein bull had no commercially important impact on beef nutritional or eating quality.
  • Sensory and ATP derivative-based indicators for assessing the freshness of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and cod (Gadus morhua)

    Fogarty, Colin; Smyth, Conor; Whyte, Paul; Brunton, Nigel; Bolton, Declan; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 13F458, (Teagasc, 2019-10-31)
    Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research | Volume 58: Issue 1 Sensory and ATP derivative-based indicators for assessing the freshness of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and cod (Gadus morhua) Colin Fogarty , Conor Smyth , Paul Whyte , Nigel Brunton and Declan Boltonemail DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/ijafr-2019-0008 | Published online: 31 Oct 2019 PDF       Abstract Article PDF References Recommendations Abstract To estimate the shelf life of fresh fish, the processor must know the period of time between catch/harvest and arrival at the processing plant. This information is not always available, necessitating the provision of methods to estimate the time since catch or harvest. The objectives of this study were therefore to develop and/or validate sensory and ATP derivative-based methods for rapidly assessing the freshness of fish. A quality index method (QIM; raw fish) and a quantitative descriptive analysis (QDA; cooked fish) were developed and validated (against bacterial count [total viable count (TVC)] and time) for salmon (Salmo salar) and cod (Gadus morhua). The production of inosine monophosphate (IMP), inosine and hypoxanthine (Hx) and associated ratios (IMP/Hx, K1-value or H-value) were also investigated for use as freshness markers. There was a linear relationship between QIM and TVC (R2 = 0.93 for salmon and R2 = 0.89 for cod), QIM and time (R2 = 0.96 for salmon and R2 = 0.98 for cod), QDA and TVC (R2 = 0.93 for salmon and R2 = 0.77 for cod) and QDA and time (R2 = 0.94 for salmon and R2 = 0.87 for cod), suggesting that the QIM and QDA schemes developed could be used to monitor/assess freshness. The H-value also increased linearly with TVC (R2 = 0.88 for salmon and R2 = 0.89 for cod) and time (R2 = 0.93 for salmon and R2 = 0.84 for cod). It was therefore concluded that both the QIM/QDA approach and monitoring ATP degradation, specifically expressed as the H-value, could be used as rapid methods to assess the freshness of salmon and cod arriving at the processing plant
  • The agricultural impact of the 2015–2016 floods in Ireland as mapped through Sentinel 1 satellite imagery

    O'Hara, Rob; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Teagasc, 2019-10-11)
    Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research | Volume 58: Issue 1 The agricultural impact of the 2015–2016 floods in Ireland as mapped through Sentinel 1 satellite imagery R. O’Haraemail , S. Green and T. McCarthy DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/ijafr-2019-0006 | Published online: 11 Oct 2019 PDF       Abstract Article PDF References Recommendations Abstract The capability of Sentinel 1 C-band (5 cm wavelength) synthetic aperture radio detection and ranging (RADAR) (abbreviated as SAR) for flood mapping is demonstrated, and this approach is used to map the extent of the extensive floods that occurred throughout the Republic of Ireland in the winter of 2015–2016. Thirty-three Sentinel 1 images were used to map the area and duration of floods over a 6-mo period from November 2015 to April 2016. Flood maps for 11 separate dates charted the development and persistence of floods nationally. The maximum flood extent during this period was estimated to be ~24,356 ha. The depth of rainfall influenced the magnitude of flood in the preceding 5 d and over more extended periods to a lesser degree. Reduced photosynthetic activity on farms affected by flooding was observed in Landsat 8 vegetation index difference images compared to the previous spring. The accuracy of the flood map was assessed against reports of flooding from affected farms, as well as other satellite-derived maps from Copernicus Emergency Management Service and Sentinel 2. Monte Carlo simulated elevation data (20 m resolution, 2.5 m root mean square error [RMSE]) were used to estimate the flood’s depth and volume. Although the modelled flood height showed a strong correlation with the measured river heights, differences of several metres were observed. Future mapping strategies are discussed, which include high–temporal-resolution soil moisture data, as part of an integrated multisensor approach to flood response over a range of spatial scales.
  • Effect of nitrogen fertiliser application timing on grain yield and grain protein concentration of spring barley

    Hackett, Richard (Teagasc, 2019-06-01)
    There is relatively little recent information regarding the effect of timing of fertiliser N application to spring barley on grain yield and grain protein concentration (GPC) under Irish conditions. The objectives of this work were to examine the effects of a) timing of the first N application to spring barley (at sowing or at crop emergence), b) altering the proportion of the total N allocation that is applied in the first of two applications and c) delaying a portion of the total N dose until after the tillering phase on grain yield and GPC of spring barley. Twenty experiments were carried out over four seasons (2011–2014) in the south and south-east of Ireland. Results indicated that there was little consistent difference, in terms of grain yield or GPC between applying the first N at sowing compared to where the initial N application was made at crop emergence. Similarly, altering the proportion of N applied in the first application, irrespective of whether the first application was at sowing or at crop emergence, had little effect on either yield or GPC. Delaying the application of a portion (0.2) of the total N until after the tillering stage also had little consistent effect on either yield or GPC. It is concluded that where the majority of N is applied to spring barley before the end of the tillering stage, altering the timing of applications or the proportion of the total applied in each application will have limited effect on grain yield or GPC.
  • Prevalence of QoI resistance and mtDNA diversity in the Irish Zymoseptoria tritici population

    Kildea, Steven; Bucar, D.E.; Hutton, F.; Rosa, S. de la; Welch, T.E.; Phelan, S.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Erasmus+ programme; Mexican National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT); 11S113 (Teagasc, 2019-06-15)
    The emergence and spread of Quinone outside Inhibitor (QoI) fungicide resistance in the Irish Zymoseptoria tritici population in the early 2000s had immediate impacts on the efficacy of the entire group of fungicides for the control of septoria tritici blotch. As a result, a dramatic reduction in the quantities applied to winter wheat occurred in the following seasons. Even in the absence of these fungicides, the frequency of the resistance allele, G143A in the pathogens mtDNA has remained exceptionally high (>97%), and as such, it can be anticipated that continued poor efficacy of current QoI fungicides will be observed. Amongst the isolates with G143A, differences in sensitivity to the QoI pyraclostrobin were observed in vitro. The addition of the alternative oxidase (AOX) inhibitor salicylhydroxamic acid increased sensitivity in these isolates, suggesting some continued impairment of respiration by the QoI fungicides, albeit weak. Interestingly, amongst those tested, the strains from a site with a high frequency of inserts in the MFS1 transporter gene known to enhance QoI efflux did not exhibit this increase in sensitivity. A total of 19 mtDNA haplotypes were detected amongst the 2017 strain collection. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed the suggestion of a common ancestry of all the haplotypes, even though three of the haplotypes contained at least one sensitive strain.
  • First evidence of retained sexual capacity and survival in the pyrethroid resistant Sitobion avenae (F.) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) SA3 super-clone following exposure to a pyrethroid at current field-rate

    Walsh, L.E.; Gaffney, Michael; Malloch, G.L.; Foster, S.P.; Williamson, M.S.; Mangan, R.; Purvis, G.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Council; Rural ̦ Environment Science ̦ Analytical Services Division of the Scottish Government; et al. (Teagasc, 2019-04-17)
    The grain aphid Sitobion avenae is a prolific pest of cereal crops worldwide, controlled effectively with pyrethroid insecticides. However, the classic knock down resistance (kdr) mutation, L1014F on the S. avenae sodium channel gene, has been identified as the cause of the recently observed heterozygous (kdr-SR) resistance in the SA3 grain aphid super-clone. Results indicate that the kdr-SR SA3 clone can survive pyrethroid exposure above twice the normal field rate, continuing to reproduce thereafter. Additionally, the SA3 clone was found to be capable of producing sexual oviparous morphs, able to lay eggs following pyrethroid exposure. This demonstrates that possession of the L1014F mutation does not preclude the capacity to produce sexual morphs. This makes the adoption of an effective resistance management strategy imperative, within a wider integrated pest management (IPM) approach to control grain aphid.
  • Prediction of 24-hour milk yield and composition in dairy cows from a single part-day yield and sample

    McParland, Sinead; Coughlan, B.; Enright, B.; O’Keeffe, M.; O’Connor, R.; Feeney, L.; Berry, Donagh; Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine; Science Foundation Ireland; 16/RC/3835 (Teagasc, 2019-08-09)
    Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research | Volume 58: Issue 1 Prediction of 24-hour milk yield and composition in dairy cows from a single part-day yield and sample S. McParlandemail , B. Coughlan , B. Enright , M. O’Keeffe , R. O’Connor , L. Feeney and D.P. Berry DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/ijafr-2019-0007 | Published online: 09 Aug 2019 PDF       Abstract Article PDF References Recommendations Abstract The objective was to evaluate the accuracy of predicting 24-hour milk yield and composition from a single morning (AM) or evening (PM) milk weight and composition. A calibration dataset of 37,481 test-day records with both AM and PM yields and composition was used to generate the prediction equations; equations were validated using 4,644 test-day records. Prediction models were developed within stage of lactation and parity while accounting for the inter-milking time interval. The mean correlation between the predicted 24-hour yields and composition of milk, fat and protein and the respective actual values was 0.97 when based on just an AM milk yield and composition with a mean correlation of 0.95 when based on just a PM milk yield and composition. The regression of predicted 24-hour yield and composition on the respective actual values varied from 0.97 to 1.01 with the exception of 24-hour fat percentage predicted from a PM sample (1.06). A single AM sample is useful to predict 24-hour milk yield and composition when the milking interval is known.
  • The impact of cattle drinking points on aquatic macroinvertebrates in streams in south-east Ireland

    Madden, D.; Harrison, S.; Finn, John; Ó hUallacháin, D. (Teagasc, 2019-03-25)
    Measures that prevent cattle access to watercourses are commonly implemented through agri-environment schemes, in an effort to address the objectives of the Water Framework Directive. Despite the widespread implementation, few studies have assessed the impact of cattle access to streams on aquatic macroinvertebrates. This study assessed the local-scale impact of cattle drinking points on water quality parameters (i.e. macroinvertebrate and water chemistry metrics) on 39 intensively-managed grassland farms in the south-east of Ireland. The results indicate that sites that were more than or equal to good quality upstream of cattle drinking points, were more susceptible to cattle access impacts than sites where upstream water quality was less than good. The European Court of Auditors (2011) recommended that there should be a higher rate of EU contribution for measures with higher environmental potential, in this instance, for cattle exclusion measures targeted to sites where background quality is more than or equal to good. Appropriate efforts should thus be made to incentivise farmers in good to high status sites to adopt cattle exclusion measures.
  • Low-density genotype panel for both parentage verification and discovery in a multi-breed sheep population

    Berry, Donagh; McHugh, Noirin; Wall, E.; McDermott, K.; O’Brien, A.C.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Teagasc, 2019-03-01)
    The generally low usage of artificial insemination and single-sire mating in sheep, compounded by mob lambing (and lambing outdoors), implies that parentage assignment in sheep is challenging. The objective here was to develop a low-density panel of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for accurate parentage verification and discovery in sheep. Of particular interest was where SNP selection was limited to only a subset of chromosomes, thereby eliminating the ability to accurately impute genome-wide denser marker panels. Data used consisted of 10,933 candidate SNPs on 9,390 purebred sheep. These data consisted of 1,876 validated genotyped sire–offspring pairs and 2,784 validated genotyped dam–offspring pairs. The SNP panels developed consisted of 87 SNPs to 500 SNPs. Parentage verification and discovery were undertaken using 1) exclusion, based on the sharing of at least one allele between candidate parent–offspring pairs, and 2) a likelihood-based approach. Based on exclusion, allowing for one discordant offspring–parent genotype, a minimum of 350 SNPs was required when the goal was to unambiguously identify the true sire or dam from all possible candidates. Results suggest that, if selecting SNPs across the entire genome, a minimum of 250 carefully selected SNPs are required to ensure that the most likely selected parent (based on the likelihood approach) was, in fact, the true parent. If restricting the SNPs to just a subset of chromosomes, the recommendation is to use at least a 300-SNP panel from at least six chromosomes, with approximately an equal number of SNPs per chromosome.
  • The fatty acid profile and stable isotope ratios of C and N of muscle from cattle that grazed grass or grass/clover pastures before slaughter and their discriminatory potential

    Moloney, Aidan P; O'Riordan, Edward G.; Schmidt, Olaf; Monahan, Frank J (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2018-11-09)
    Consumption of grazed pasture compared to concentrates results in higher concentrations, in beef muscle, of fatty acids considered to be beneficial to human health. Little information is available on the influence of the type of grazed forage. Our objectives were to determine 1) the effect of inclusion of white clover in a grazing sward on the fatty acid profile of beef muscle and 2) the potential of the fatty acid profile and stable isotope ratios of C and N to discriminate between beef from cattle that grazed grass-only or grass/clover swards before slaughter. A total of 28 spring-born Charolais steers grazed from March until slaughter in October, either on a perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) sward that received approximately 220 kg N/ha or a perennial ryegrass–white clover (Trifolium repens L.) sward that received 50 kg N/ha. The longissimus muscle from cattle finished on grass/clover had a higher (P < 0.05) proportion of C18:2 and C18:3 but a lower (P < 0.05) proportion of conjugated linoleic acid and δ15N value than animals finished on the grass-only sward. Discriminant analysis using the fatty acid data showed that, after cross-validation, 80.7% of grass/clover and 86.1% of grass-only muscle samples were correctly classified. Discriminant analysis using the stable isotope data showed that, after cross-validation, 95.7% of grass/clover and 86.5% of grass-only muscle samples were correctly classified. Inclusion of white clover in pasture is likely to have little effect on healthiness of meat for consumers. However, changes in fatty acids and stable isotopes can be used to distinguish between grass/clover-fed and grass-only-fed beef.
  • Effects of mycorrhizal inoculation and digestate fertilisation on triticale biomass production using fungicide-coated seeds

    Caruso, C.; Maucieri, C.; Barco, A.; Barbera, A. C.; Borin, M.; PSR Regione Veneto; 2307827 (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2018-09-07)
    Crop fertilisation management using organic wastes and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) inoculation can play a crucial role in the sustainability of agroecosystems. However, in conventional agricultural systems, agrochemicals like fungicides could reduce the positive effect of AMF. The aim of this study was to evaluate the agronomic (biomass production) and environmental (soil CO2 emission) effects of AMF inoculation and digestate spreading on triticale cultivation using commercial seeds coated with fungicide. The field experiment was conducted in 2014–2015 at the University of Padua’s experimental farm (Italy), adopting a split-plot design, where the main plot factor was AMF inoculation (inoculated vs. uninoculated) and the subplot factor was fertilisation treatment (no fertilisation (NF), digestate liquid fraction (DL), digestate solid fraction (DS), mineral fertilisation (MF)). Low AMF root colonization was observed, likely due to the effect of fungicide; the only significant effect of AMF inoculation was a lower shoot density. Dry biomass production was significantly higher in the MF treatment (21.8 ± 1.04 Mg/ha) and lower in the NF treatment (14.5 ± 0.73 Mg/ha) compared to DS and DL treatments, which were not significantly different with an average yield of 17.2 ± 2.10 Mg/ha. During the cropping season, soil CO2 emissions were not significantly affected by either AMF inoculation or fertilisation treatment. The median value of soil CO2 emissions was 447.3 mg/m2 per hour.
  • Evaluating the effect of storage conditions on milk microbiological quality and composition

    Paludetti, L.F.; Jordan, Kieran; Kelly, Alan L.; Gleeson, David E (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2018-07-19)
    In this study, the effect of storage temperature (2 or 4°C) on the composition of milk and microbiological load was investigated over 96 h. Milk samples were collected from farm bulk milk tanks after one complete milking and stored at 2 or 4°C over 96 h. Total bacterial count (TBC), psychrotrophic bacterial count (PBC) and proteolytic bacterial count (PROT) were affected by storage time and temperature and varied significantly between farms (P < 0.05). The levels of TBC, PBC and PROT bacterial count increased from 4.37 to 6.15 log cfu/mL, 4.34 to 6.44 log cfu/mL and 3.72 to 4.81 log cfu/mL, respectively, when the milk was stored for 96 h at 2°C. The milk samples stored at 4°C had higher increases in these bacterial counts after 72 h in comparison to milk samples stored at 2°C. The casein fraction content was lower in milk samples stored at 4°C, which could be due to high levels of PROT bacteria or enzyme activity in these samples. Milk stored for 96 h at 2°C has less impact on composition or processability parameters compared to milk stored at 4°C.
  • Effect of biostimulants on cold resistance and productivity formation in winter rapeseed and winter wheat

    Gaveliiene, V.; Pakalniskyte, L.; Novickienė, L.; Balciauskas, L. (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2018-10)
    The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of biostimulants on the resistance to freezing under laboratory-controlled cold conditions and on the growth, development, overwintering and productivity of winter rapeseed and winter wheat in natural field experiments. The effect of free amino acids, macroelements and microelements that contain biostimulants Ruter AA, Terra Sorb and Razormin was tested on cultivars of rapeseed, ‘Hornet H’, and winter wheat, ‘Skagen’ and ‘Kovas’, applying morphometrical methods. We found that biostimulants applied to rapeseed at BBCH 13–14 stage and to wheat at BBCH 14–15 stage under controlled cold stress conditions increased the freezing tolerance of seedlings. Biostimulants more actively increased the freezing resistance of rapeseed seedlings at –5°C compared to that of wheat seedlings. The temperature of –7°C was mortal to rape seedlings, while the resistance of wheat seedlings increased under the influence of the tested biostimulants compared to that of the control seedlings. In natural field experiments, these biostimulants produced a significant effect on plant growth in autumn, acclimation to the cold, plant overwintering, vegetation renewal and, due to this, formation of productivity elements. The effects of Razormin (200 mL/ha), Terra Sorb (2 L/ha) and Ruter AA (1 L/ha) were significantly higher on growth parameters of winter wheat compared to the productivity of winter rapeseed.
  • Fortification of milk with phytosterol and its effect on sensory and physicochemical properties

    Nagarajappa, V.; Battula, S. N.; Arora, S.; Naik, L. N.; National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal, India (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2018-08-31)
    Phytosterols are a group of lipophilic steroid alcohols found in plants, which have been shown to lower cholesterol when supplemented in the diet. A commercial phytosterol preparation was added to milk in the form of an oil-in-water emulsion. For the preparation of an emulsion, diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono- and diglycerides was used as an emulsifier and butteroil was used as a source of fat. Three emulsion formulations, i.e. A (8% phytosterols), B (10% phytosterols) and C (12% phytosterols), were prepared in which the levels of emulsifier (6.5%) and butteroil (10%) were kept constant, and each emulsion was added to milk at a rate of 5% (w/w). Based on sensory evaluation, B-emulsion formulation was selected for fortification of milk. The phytosterol content of the fortified milk determined by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography was 410.8 mg/100 g. No significant loss in the initial content of phytosterol was observed after 1 week of storage. Sensory and physicochemical analyses indicated that significant differences were not observed between control and fortified milk samples up to 7 days of refrigerated storage. The present study suggests that it is feasible to add phytosterol as a functional ingredient in milk in the form of water-soluble emulsion to enhance health benefits of consumers. Two servings of such fortified milk per day provide almost the entire recommended daily requirement of phytosterol.
  • A critical review of integrated grass weed management in Ireland

    Byrne, Ricky; Spink, John; Freckleton, R.; Neve, Paul; Barth, Susanne; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2018-04-10)
    Grass weeds affect arable crops throughout the world, inflicting yield penalties, reducing crop quality and taking available nutrients away from the growing crop. Recently in Ireland, the presence of herbicide resistance in grass weeds has been noted. In order to preserve the sustainability of crop production in Ireland, an integrated pest management approach must be implemented. How this applies to control grass weeds was the focus of this review. Here we examined the state of current research into grass weed biology and the nature of herbicide resistance, identifying gaps in research in the Irish context. We identified a number of cultural grass weed control techniques, as being relevant to the Irish mode of crop production. Crop rotation, cultivation techniques, manipulation of sowing dates and increased crop competition were recognised as useful strategies. Combining these strategies to provide effective grass weed control may be key to reduce dependence on herbicides.
  • A comparison of husked and naked oats under Irish conditions

    Hackett, Richard (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2018-02-22)
    During the harvesting of husked oats (Avena sativa L.), the kernel remains tightly enclosed by a lignified lemma and palea, collectively termed the husk or hull. In naked oats, which are the same species as husked oats, the lemma is much less lignified and the kernel threshes free during harvesting. The absence of the largely indigestible husk increases the nutritive value of naked oats compared to that of husked oats, particularly for non-ruminants and poultry. There is little information regarding the potential of naked oats as an arable crop in Ireland. The objective of this study was to determine the productivity of naked oats under Irish conditions. Field experiments were carried out in the south east of Ireland to compare the grain yield and grain quality of both autumn-sown and spring-sown naked and husked oat cultivars. Grain yield of naked oat cultivars was significantly lower than that of husked oat cultivars, irrespective of whether they were autumn sown or spring sown. However, when the kernel yield of husked oat cultivars was estimated, differences in yield between the two types were much smaller, and in some cases, kernel yield of naked oat cultivars exceeded that of husked oat cultivars. Grain quality, as indicated by hectolitre weight and grain N concentration, was generally greater for naked oat cultivars than for husked oat cultivars. It is concluded that under Irish conditions, naked oats have the potential to produce kernel yields equivalent to husked oats. The grain produced is of high quality and may be particularly suited for the nutrition of non-ruminants.
  • Ethical, moral and social dimensions in farm production practices: a segmentation study to assess Irish consumers’ perceptions of meat quality

    Regan, Aine; Henchion, Maeve; McIntyre, Bridin (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2018-03-09)
    Growing consumer concerns with modern farming and food production systems indicate a significant market opportunity for meat production practices that consider ethical, moral and social value traits. In the current study, we aimed to identify and characterise distinct segments of Irish consumers based on their perceptions of the quality of meat from different farm-level production practices (organic farming, high animal welfare standards, free range farming, and “natural”, treatment-free feeding regimes). An online survey was carried out with 251 Irish meat consumers. Using cluster analysis, we identified three distinct segments: “Target consumers”, “Purist consumers” and “Disinterested consumers”. Chi-square analyses revealed differences between the segments based on gender, age and meat-purchasing motivations. The results provide insight into the opportunities that exist for exploring new viable market segments as well as for engaging Irish consumers and empowering them with information around the ethical, social and moral aspects of farm-level practices related to meat production.
  • Insect assemblages and their preference for Lupinus albus and L. luteus

    Nikolova, Ivelina; Georgieva, N. (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2018-05-23)
    While lupin has undergone extensive research to ascertain its suitability for growth as forage or grain legume crop, the present trend is for research to be centered on its applicability in the seed protein and oil industry. Study of the literature showed that no intensive study of the lupin insect fauna had been carried out in Bulgaria. The purpose of this study was to identify the insect assemblages associated with Lupinus albus and L. luteus, as well as the insect preference for them. Thrips sampling was made by the tapping-method, aphids were directly counted on the plants and the composition and population density of other species were recorded by sweepings. Insect fauna was studied for the first time in Bulgaria. The fauna was represented on L. albus by 64 species, belonging to eight orders, 28 families and 57 genera, including 23 beetles, 25 hemipteras, five thrips, three butterflies, three bees, one leaf aphid, two grasshoppers, one leafminer and one green lacewing. L. luteus had similar species composition but was less preferred by insects. The use of lupin cultivars with shorter and intense reproductive periods, with a lower content of crude protein and phosphorus, would give an environmentally friendly protection against insect pests, which would be suitable for an organic production system.
  • Application of Dexter’s soil physical quality index: an Irish case study

    Fenton, Owen; Vero, Sara E.; Schulte, Rogier P.; O'Sullivan, Lilian; Bondi, G.; Creamer, Rachel E.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; 6582 (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 26/08/2017)
    Historically, due to a lack of measured soil physical data, the quality of Irish soils was relatively unknown. Herein, we investigate the physical quality of the national representative profiles of Co. Waterford. To do this, the soil physical quality (SPQ) S-Index, as described by Dexter (2004a,b,c) using the S-theory (which seeks the inflection point of a soil water retention curve [SWRC]), is used. This can be determined using simple (S-Indirect) or complex (S-Direct) soil physical data streams. Both are achievable using existing data for the County Waterford profiles, but until now, the suitability of this S-Index for Irish soils has never been tested. Indirect-S provides a generic characterisation of SPQ for a particular soil horizon, using simplified and modelled information (e.g. texture and SWRC derived from pedo-transfer functions), whereas Direct-S provides more complex site-specific information (e.g. texture and SWRC measured in the laboratory), which relates to properties measured for that exact soil horizon. Results showed a significant correlation between S-Indirect (Si) and S-Direct (Sd). Therefore, the S-Index can be used in Irish soils and presents opportunities for the use of Si at the national scale. Outlier horizons contained >6% organic carbon (OC) and bulk density (Bd) values <1 g/cm3 and were not suitable for Si estimation. In addition, the S-Index did not perform well on excessively drained soils. Overall correlations of Si. with Bd and of Si. with OC% for the dataset were detected. Future work should extend this approach to the national scale dataset in the Irish Soil Information System.

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