Moorepark is one of the world's leading dairy research centres and specialises in pasture based systems of milk production.Research at Moorepark endeavours to anticipate the production needs of a rapidly changing industry and develop sustainable systems of milk production that will advance the competitive edge of Irish dairy farmers on the global market. Grange Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre is the national Beef Research Centre which provides research information on all aspects of beef production in Ireland. Research at Grange supports the efficient production of safe, quality, healthy produce, in profitable production systems that meet stringent environmental and animal welfare standards. The Athenry Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, located in Co. Galway,provides national research services in sheep production and animal reproduction.

Recent Submissions

  • Scenarios to limit environmental nitrogen losses from dairy expansion

    Hoekstra, N.J.; Schulte, R.P.O.; Forrestal, P.J.; Hennessy, Deirdre; Krol, Dominika; Lanigan, Gary J.; Müller, C.; Shalloo, Laurence; Wall, David P.; Richards, Karl G.; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-03-10)
    Increased global demand for dairy produce and the abolition of EU milk quotas have resulted in expansion in dairy production across Europe and particularly in Ireland. Simultaneously, there is increasing pressure to reduce the impact of nitrogen (N) losses to air and groundwater on the environment. In order to develop grassland management strategies for grazing systems that meet environmental targets and are economically sustainable, it is imperative that individual mitigation measures for N efficiency are assessed at farm system level. To this end, we developed an excel-based N flow model simulating an Irish grass-based dairy farm, to evaluate the effect of farm management on N efficiency, N losses, production and economic performance. The model was applied to assess the effect of different strategies to achieve the increased production goals on N utilization, N loss pathways and economic performance at farm level. The three strategies investigated included increased milk production through increased grass production, through increased concentrate feeding and by applying a high profit grass-based system. Additionally, three mitigation measures; low ammonia emission slurry application, the use of urease and nitrification inhibitors and the combination of both were applied to the three strategies. Absolute N emissions were higher for all intensification scenarios (up to 124 kg N ha−1) compared to the baseline (80 kg N ha−1) due to increased animal numbers and higher feed and/or fertiliser inputs. However, some intensification strategies showed the potential to reduce the emissions per ton milk produced for some of the N-loss pathways. The model showed that the assessed mitigation measures can play an important role in ameliorating the increased emissions associated with intensification, but may not be adequate to entirely offset absolute increases. Further improvements in farm N use efficiency and alternatives to mineral fertilisers will be required to decouple production from reactive N emissions.
  • Ver la ceguera

    Mee, John F (Anembe, 2019)
    El síndrome de la ceguera de granja afecta tanto a ganaderos como a veterinarios y es necesario conocer sus causas para poder atajarlo.
  • Relationships Among Milk Yield, Body Condition, Cow Weight, and Reproduction in Spring-Calved Holstein-Friesians

    Buckley, Frank; O'Sullivan, K.; Mee, John F; Evans, R.D.; Dillon, Pat; Allied Irish Bank; Holstein UK and Ireland; National AI Co-Ops; Irish Dairy Devy (Elsevier, 2003-07)
    Relationships among milk production, body condition score (BCS), body weight (BW), and reproduction were studied using logistic regression on data from 6433 spring-calving Holstein-Friesian dairy cows in 74 commercial herds. Multivariate models were adjusted for herd, breeding value for milk yield, proportion of Holstein-Friesian genes, lactation number, calving period, and degree of calving assistance. Significant associations between reproductive measures and components of energy balance were identified. Higher 200-d milk protein content and higher protein-to-fat ratio at start of breeding were associated with increased likelihood of submission for breeding in the first 21 d of the breeding season (SR21). High 100-d cumulative milk yield as a proportion of estimated 305-d milk yield (low persistency) was associated with a lower likelihood of pregnancy to first service (PREG1), whereas cows reaching peak milk yields earlier tended to have higher PREG1. Cows that reached nadir milk protein content relatively late in lactation had lower PREG1. Milk yield at first service and 305-d milk protein content were positively associated with the likelihood of pregnancy after 42 d of breeding (PR42). Higher 305-d milk lactose content was associated with increased PREG1 and PR42. Mean BCS at 60 to 100 d of lactation was positively associated with both SR21 and PR42, whereas nadir BCS was positively associated with PREG1. Cows with precalving BCS > 3.0 that also lost > 0.5 BCS unit by first service had lower PR42. More BW gain for 90 d after start of breeding was associated with higher SR21 and PREG1; more BW gain for 90 d after first service was associated with higher PR42. Milk protein and lactose content, BCS, and BW changes are important tools to identify cows at risk of poor reproduction.
  • The effect of rubber versus concrete passageways in cubicle housing on claw health and reproduction of pluriparous dairy cows

    Boyle, Laura; Mee, John F; Kierman, Paul J. (Elsevier, 2006)
    The effect of covering the passageways and feed face of a cubicle house with rubber flooring was compared to concrete in terms of claw health, behaviour and reproductive performance of dairy cows from a grass-based milk production system. Sixty-two, autumn calving, pluriparous Holstein–Friesian cows were introduced to the housing treatments prior to calving. Foot lesions were scored at housing, 1, 7, 12 and 16 weeks post-partum. The behaviour (activity, posture, and location) of all cows was recorded by instantaneous scan sampling over 24 h once per week from ca. 3 weeks pre-partum to 12 weeks post-partum. Estrous activity was recorded by visual observation three times daily using tail-paint and continuously by radiotelemetry from 1 week after calving until the end of the breeding season. The rubber flooring had a negligible beneficial effect on heel erosion but no effect on haemorrhage or dermatitis scores and no effect on the proportion of cows affected by severe lesions. Furthermore, there were no benefits for estrous expression or subsequent reproductive performance. There were no differences between treatments in time spent standing by cows, but cows on concrete stood more in the cubicles, while cows on the rubber flooring stood more at the feed face. This suggests that cows prefer to stand on comfortable surfaces while not feeding and that they can use well-bedded, comfortable cubicles for standing to get relief for their feet from concrete floors. This also explains the lack of a difference between treatments in claw health.
  • Post-insemination milk progesterone concentration and embryo survival in dairy cows

    Stronge, A.J.H; Sreensn, J.M.; Diskin, Michael G.; Mee, John F; Kenny, David; Morris, D.G.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Elsevier, 2005-09)
    The effect of covering the passageways and feed face of a cubicle house with rubber flooring was compared to concrete in terms of claw health, behaviour and reproductive performance of dairy cows from a grass-based milk production system. Sixty-two, autumn calving, pluriparous Holstein–Friesian cows were introduced to the housing treatments prior to calving. Foot lesions were scored at housing, 1, 7, 12 and 16 weeks post-partum. The behaviour (activity, posture, and location) of all cows was recorded by instantaneous scan sampling over 24 h once per week from ca. 3 weeks pre-partum to 12 weeks post-partum. Estrous activity was recorded by visual observation three times daily using tail-paint and continuously by radiotelemetry from 1 week after calving until the end of the breeding season. The rubber flooring had a negligible beneficial effect on heel erosion but no effect on haemorrhage or dermatitis scores and no effect on the proportion of cows affected by severe lesions. Furthermore, there were no benefits for estrous expression or subsequent reproductive performance. There were no differences between treatments in time spent standing by cows, but cows on concrete stood more in the cubicles, while cows on the rubber flooring stood more at the feed face. This suggests that cows prefer to stand on comfortable surfaces while not feeding and that they can use well-bedded, comfortable cubicles for standing to get relief for their feet from concrete floors. This also explains the lack of a difference between treatments in claw health.
  • A case study of the carbon footprint of milk from high-performing confinement and grass-based dairy farms

    O’Brien, D.; Capper, J.L.; Garnsworthy, P.C.; Grainger, C.; Shalloo, Laurence; European Union; FP7- 244983 (American Dairy Science Association, 2014-03)
    Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is the preferred methodology to assess carbon footprint per unit of milk. The objective of this case study was to apply an LCA method to compare carbon footprints of high-performance confinement and grass-based dairy farms. Physical performance data from research herds were used to quantify carbon footprints of a high-performance Irish grass-based dairy system and a top-performing United Kingdom (UK) confinement dairy system. For the US confinement dairy system, data from the top 5% of herds of a national database were used. Life-cycle assessment was applied using the same dairy farm greenhouse gas (GHG) model for all dairy systems. The model estimated all on- and off-farm GHG sources associated with dairy production until milk is sold from the farm in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2-eq) and allocated emissions between milk and meat. The carbon footprint of milk was calculated by expressing GHG emissions attributed to milk per tonne of energycorrected milk (ECM). The comparison showed that when GHG emissions were only attributed to milk, the carbon footprint of milk from the Irish grass-based system (837 kg of CO2-eq/t of ECM) was 5% lower than the UK confinement system (884 kg of CO2-eq/t of ECM) and 7% lower than the US confinement system (898 kg of CO2-eq/t of ECM). However, without grassland carbon sequestration, the grass-based and confinement dairy systems had similar carbon footprints per tonne of ECM. Emission algorithms and allocation of GHG emissions between milk and meat also affected the relative difference and order of dairy system carbon footprints. For instance, depending on the method chosen to allocate emissions between milk and meat, the relative difference between the carbon footprints of grass-based and confinement dairy systems varied by 3 to 22%. This indicates that further harmonization of several aspects of the LCA methodology is required to compare carbon footprints of contrasting dairy systems. In comparison to recent reports that assess the carbon footprint of milk from average Irish, UK, and US dairy systems, this case study indicates that top-performing herds of the respective nations have carbon footprints 27 to 32% lower than average dairy systems. Although differences between studies are partly explained by methodological inconsistency, the comparison suggests that potential exists to reduce the carbon footprint of milk in each of the nations by implementing practices that improve productivity.
  • Concentrate feeding and feed ingredients for growing-finishing

    McGee, Mark; O’Riordan, Edward; Moloney, Aidan; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (La Revue Scientifique, 2019-10-18)
    Small improvements in feed efficiency, especially during indoor ‘winter’ feeding periods, can have a relatively large influence on farm profitability. Increasing the level of concentrates in the diet reduces forage intake and increases live weight and carcass weight gains, although at a decreasing rate. Subsequent compensatory growth at pasture diminishes the advantage of concentrate supplementation of young cattle. High digestibility grass silage with moderate concentrate supplementation can sustain a large proportion of the cattle performance achieved on highconcentrate diets. Feeding management is more important when feeding concentrates ad libitum than as a supplement. The relative nutritive (and economic) value of by-product feed ingredients depends on their inclusion level in the ration, and the amount of concentrates fed.
  • A Review of Livestock Methane Emission Factors (2016-CCRP-DS.11) EPA Research Report

    O'Brian, Donal; Shalloo, Laurence (2021-11-23)
    Teagasc and University College Dublin, with support from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inventory team, reviewed the livestock methane emission factors used in the national greenhouse gas inventory approach for the agriculture sector and assessed potential reduction strategies. Livestock methane emission factors are annual estimates of methane emissions per head. They are used in conjunction with livestock statistics to estimate annual livestock methane emissions. Methane emission factors are computed using country-specific methods or methods provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Currently, Ireland uses tier 2 (country-specific data and emission factors) methods for cattle and tier 1 (default data and emission factors) IPCC methods for the remaining livestock species. The latter are less accurate than the former. The objectives of this desktop study were twofold: first, to evaluate the activity data of Ireland’s national greenhouse gas inventory’s livestock methane emission factors and, second, to update/recommend new, more advanced methods/emission factors for computing Ireland’s tier 1 and 2 livestock methane emissions.
  • Driving profitability per hectare!

    Shalloo, Laurence; Hanrahan, Liam; Ramsbottom, George; Horan, Brendan (2021-11-23)
    Summary • A resilient dairy business will be sustainable to survive milk price drops while being very profitable when milk price is high, while being sustainable across all of the sustainability indicators. • The term resilient means able to “recover, respond, deal, withstand” different internal and external challenges that may manifest themselves within the farm business from time to time. • There is significant potential to increase efficiency and productivity at farm level when compared with the average farm nationally. • The focus at farm level must be about increasing grass growth and utilisation and converting that feed to milk solids sales in as low a cost as possible. • Increasing labour efficiency by operating more streamlined work practices, using contractors and contract rearing of heifers will have a major impact on labour cost – farm labour requirements, ultimately affecting the efficiency of the overall business
  • Identification of the blue light intensity administered to one eye required to suppress bovine plasma melatonin and investigation into effects on milk production in grazing dairy cows

    Murphy, Barbara A.; Herlihy, Mary M.; Nolan, Margaret B.; O'Brien, Christiane; Furlong, John G.; Butler, Stephen T.; Equiliume Ltd.; Teagasc (American Dairy Science Association, 2021-08)
    Long-day photoperiod is known to positively affect milk production in confinement dairy systems, and it has been hypothesized that pineal melatonin (MT) secretion plays a substantial role in this process. Specialized mammalian photoreceptors that regulate MT secretion are optimally stimulated by short wavelength blue light. We investigated the blue light intensity administered to one eye required to suppress MT secretion in nonlactating dairy cows, and subsequently examined effects on milk production in grazing dairy cows. Following a 14-d light-dark 8:16 h environmental conditioning period, 5 nonlactating Holstein-Friesian cows were exposed to treatments of <1, 70, 125, 175, and 225 lx for 8 additional hours using a 5 × 5 Latin square design. Light was administered via headpieces fitted with light-emitting diodes emitting blue light (465 nm) to the right eye. All cows were then exposed to a light-dark 16:8 h cycle for one night via the indoor lighting system (>200 lx white light). Plasma samples collected at regular intervals were assayed for MT. A dose-dependent effect of light treatment on mean circulating MT concentrations (and 95% CI) was observed [9.4 (7.2, 12.3), 5.0 (3.8, 6.6), 4.4 (3.3, 5.7), 3.3 (2.5, 4.3) and 1.7 (1.3, 2.3) ng/mL for treatments of 0, 70, 125, 175, and 225 lx, respectively. Only the 225 lx treatment acutely suppressed plasma melatonin concentration to levels similar to the light-dark 16:8 h treatment [1.9 (1.4, 2.5) ng/mL]. Forty spring-calving cows were blocked on parity, calving date and Economic Breeding Index for milk production and assigned to the control treatment or blue light to a single eye (LT) treatment from calving through 32 wk of lactation. The cows assigned to LT treatment were fitted with headpieces providing 225 lx of blue light to the right eye from 1700 until 0000 h. Mean milk production (and 95% CI) during 32 wk of lactation was not affected by treatment [20.3 (19.3, 21.3) vs. 20.9 (19.8, 22.0) kg/d, control and LT, respectively]. Within multiparous cows, a treatment by week interaction was detected, whereby LT treatment increased milk production during the first 12 wk of lactation [25.8 (24.3, 27.3) vs. 28.0 (26.5, 29.5) kg/d; +8.5%], but had no effect thereafter. Treatment did not affect plasma insulin-like growth factor 1. We identified the blue light intensity to one eye required to acutely suppress MT concentrations. Transient favorable effects on milk production were observed in multiparous cows. It remains unclear how single-eye blue light treatment affects galactopoiesis in grazing dairy cows, and further research is needed to explore whether this modality of light delivery represents a useful means to aid productivity in pasture-based dairy systems. Key words: melatonin, photoperiod, blue light, milk production, insulin-like growth factor
  • Modeling restricted feeding conditions on cows' feeding behavior on pasture-based milk production systems to develop a decision support system

    Shafiullah, AZM; Werner, J; Kennedy, E; Leso, L.; O'Brien, B; Umstätter, C; Science Foundation Ireland; Teagasc Walsh Scholarship; 13/IA/1977 (The Organising Committee of the 9th European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming (ECPLF), Teagasc, 2019)
    The aim of this study was to identify a set of feeding behaviour and activity related variables that could potentially detect a shortage of feed for the individual cow on pasture. A group of lactating cows was offered 100% of their intake capacity as herbage allowance throughout a 10-week experimental period, while another group was offered 60% of their intake allowance, either for a two week or six week period in springtime. Each cow was equipped with an automated noseband sensor. The data was analyzed by using a binomial generalized lineal model (GLM). The GLM was examined for the classification of full or restricted herbage allowance as a function of a previously identified set of characteristics. The model was further refined by including additional characteristics, which achieved higher prediction performance. The refined model achieved 77% accuracy, 75% sensitivity, 78% specificity and F-score 0.76 towards a decision support system for grass utilization in pasture based milk production.
  • DSSED: Decision Support System for Energy use in Dairy Production

    Murphy, Michael D.; Shine, Philip; Breen, Michael; Upton, John (2021-11-22)
    The following report provides a comprehensive description of the background, implementation and dissemination of project RDD/00117. This project pertains to the development of an online portal for dairy farmers whereby the users of the portal will receive comprehensive information relating to energy use, electricity costs, carbon emissions, renewable energy and potential on-farm technology investments. With the rapid expansion of the Irish dairy industry resulting from the abolition of European Union milk quotas, the importance of decision support and information for dairy farmers has become extremely important. The first phase of the project involved monitoring the energy usage of 58 Irish dairy farms, and the subsequent development of a large database pertaining to energy usage on Irish dairy farms. In order to provide a detailed breakdown of energy use, electricity costs and carbon emissions on Irish dairy farms, a wide-ranging statistical analysis was carried out. The results of this analysis are available to farmers as part of the aforementioned portal, with a breakdown of mean energy consumption, cost and carbon emissions presented according to each energy consuming process on Irish dairy farms, as well as monthly trends relative to cow number and milk production. This statistical analysis is constantly updated due to continuous monitoring of 20 Irish dairy farms, with a dynamic information loop in operation between the farms in question and the statistical database. The second phase of the project involved the development of a dairy farm technology calculator which was included as part of the online portal. This tool provides a means for dairy farmers to input details of their current farm and calculates how investment in renewable and energy efficient technologies will affect their farm from economic, energy and environmental points of view. The technologies which may be analysed are plate coolers, variable speed drives (VSDs), heat recovery systems, solar water heating systems, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and wind turbines. In addition, the technology calculator may be used as a tool for informing policy relating to incentivising the purchase of these technologies. It is anticipated that the online portal developed as part of this project will be used extensively in the future to assist farmers in making informed decisions pertaining to dairy farm energy, costs and carbon emissions. It can also be used by state bodies to aid them in policy related decisions.
  • Increasing importance of anthelmintic resistance in European livestock: creation and meta-analysis of an open database

    Rose Vineer, Hannah; Morgan, Eric R.; Hertzberg, Hubertus; Bartley, David J.; Bosco, Antonio; Charlier, Johannes; Chartier, Christophe; Claerebout, Edwin; de Waal, Theo; Hendrickx, Guy; et al. (EDP Sciences, 2020-12-04)
    Helminth infections are ubiquitous in grazing ruminant production systems, and are responsible for significant costs and production losses. Anthelmintic Resistance (AR) in parasites is now widespread throughout Europe, although there are still gaps in our knowledge in some regions and countries. AR is a major threat to the sustainability of modern ruminant livestock production, resulting in reduced productivity, compromised animal health and welfare, and increased greenhouse gas emissions through increased parasitism and farm inputs. A better understanding of the extent of AR in Europe is needed to develop and advocate more sustainable parasite control approaches. A database of European published and unpublished AR research on gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) and liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica) was collated by members of the European COST Action “COMBAR” (Combatting Anthelmintic Resistance in Ruminants), and combined with data from a previous systematic review of AR in GIN. A total of 197 publications on AR in GIN were available for analysis, representing 535 studies in 22 countries and spanning the period 1980–2020. Reports of AR were present throughout the European continent and some reports indicated high within-country prevalence. Heuristic sample size-weighted estimates of European AR prevalence over the whole study period, stratified by anthelmintic class, varied between 0 and 48%. Estimated regional (country) prevalence was highly heterogeneous, ranging between 0% and 100% depending on livestock sector and anthelmintic class, and generally increased with increasing research effort in a country. In the few countries with adequate longitudinal data, there was a tendency towards increasing AR over time for all anthelmintic classes in GIN: aggregated results in sheep and goats since 2010 reveal an average prevalence of resistance to benzimidazoles (BZ) of 86%, macrocyclic lactones except moxidectin (ML) 52%, levamisole (LEV) 48%, and moxidectin (MOX) 21%. All major GIN genera survived treatment in various studies. In cattle, prevalence of AR varied between anthelmintic classes from 0–100% (BZ and ML), 0–17% (LEV) and 0–73% (MOX), and both Cooperia and Ostertagia survived treatment. Suspected AR in F. hepatica was reported in 21 studies spanning 6 countries. For GIN and particularly F. hepatica, there was a bias towards preferential sampling of individual farms with suspected AR, and research effort was biased towards Western Europe and particularly the United Kingdom. Ongoing capture of future results in the live database, efforts to avoid bias in farm recruitment, more accurate tests for AR, and stronger appreciation of the importance of AR among the agricultural industry and policy makers, will support more sophisticated analyses of factors contributing to AR and effective strategies to slow its spread.
  • Extended storage of cold raw milk on yogurt manufacturing

    Fagnani, Rafael; Schuck, Josiane; Botaro, Bruno Garcia; Santos, Fernando Cesar dos; Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (FapUNIFESP (SciELO), 2017-02)
    The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of the extended cold storage of raw milk on the kinetics of fermentation on yogurt production, as well as on the product’s microbiological and physicochemical properties during shelf life. Three treatments were evaluated: yogurts made with raw milk stored for 4, 72, and 168 hours. Kinetics of fermentation was assessed through the lactic acid production rate, growth rate of Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, and time to reach pH 5.0 and 4.5. The physicochemical and microbiological characteristics of raw milk and yogurts were also analyzed during cold storage at 4°C. The microbial quality of raw milk was affected by the storage time of 168 hours, with a decreasing tendency in the mesophiles:psychrotrophs ratio. Extended storage of raw milk beyond 72 hours negatively affects yogurt production, despite the low initial bacterial count, decreasing lactic acid production, S. thermophilus growth rate, pH, and protein content. Therefore, to optimize fermentation and yogurt shelf life, the maximum storage time for raw milk at 4o C should not exceed 72 hours.
  • Effects of dietary n-3-PUFA supplementation, post-insemination plane of nutrition and pregnancy status on the endometrial transcriptome of beef heifers

    Surlis, Carla; Cormican, Paul; Waters, Sinead M.; Lonergan, Patrick; Keogh, Kate; Doyle, David N.; Kenny, David A.; Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine; 06-412 (Springer, 2020-11-27)
    Supplementation of cattle diets with n-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) can improve reproductive efficiency. Conversely, short-term fluctuations in feed supply can impact pregnancy establishment. The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of (1) dietary supplementation with n-3-PUFA and (2) post-insemination plane of nutrition on the endometrial transcriptome. Beef crossbred heifers were offered concentrate based diets fortified with n-3-PUFA (PUFA; n = 32) or not (CONT; n = 28) for 30 days prior to breeding at a synchronised oestrous. Following artificial insemination, heifers were allocated within treatment to either a high or low plane of nutrition. Heifers were maintained on these diets for 16 days following which endometrial tissue was harvested at slaughter for subsequent RNAseq analysis. The influence of pregnancy status on the endomentrial transcriptome, within each dietary treatment group, was also examined. Post-insemination diet affected (P < 0.05) the endometrial transcriptome. Specifically, within n-3-PUFA-supplemented heifers, genes involved in embryonic development and mTOR signalling pathways, important in pregnancy establishment, were identified as differentially expressed. Results indicate that dietary supplementation of cattle diets with n-3-PUFA may have a positive effect on the expression of key fertility-related genes and pathways, during the critical window of maternal recognition of pregnancy, particularly where animals are underfed.
  • Integrated analyses of the microbiological, immunological and ontological transitions in the calf ileum during early life

    Lyons, Tamsin; Jahns, Hanne; Brady, Joseph; O’Hara, Eóin; Waters, Sinéad M.; Kenny, David; Doyle, Evelyn; Meade, Kieran G.; JPI FACCE Programme; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; et al. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-12-04)
    Aberdeen Angus calves were sacrificed from immediately post-birth up to 96 days of age (DOA) and ileal samples were collected for microbial, histological and immunological analyses. Firmicutes bacteria were established immediately in the ileum of calves after birth and remained the dominant phyla at all time points from birth until 96 DOA. Temporal shifts in phyla reflected significantly increased Bacteroidetes at birth followed by temporal increases in Actinobacteria abundance over time. At a cellular level, a significant increase in cell density was detected in the ileal villi over time. The innate cell compartment at birth was composed primarily of eosinophils and macrophages with a low proportion of adaptive T lymphocytes; whereas an increase in the relative abundance of T cells (including those in the intra-epithelial layer) was observed over time. The ileal intestinal cells were immunologically competent as assessed by expression levels of genes encoding the inflammasome sensor NLRP3, and inflammatory cytokines IL1A, IL1B and IL33—all of which significantly increased from birth. In contrast, a temporal reduction in genes encoding anti-inflammatory cytokine IL10 was detected from birth. This study provides an integrated baseline of microbiological, histological and immunological data on the immune adaptation of the neonatal ileum to microbial colonisation in calves.
  • Mid infrared spectroscopy and milk quality traits: a data analysis competition at the “International Workshop on Spectroscopy and Chemometrics 2021”

    Frizzarin, Maria; Bevilacqua, Antonio; Dhariyal, Bhaskar; Domijan, Katarina; Ferraccioli, Frederico; Hayes, Elena; Ifrim, Georgiana; Konkowleska, Agnieszka; Le Nguyễn, Thach; Mbaka, Uche; et al. (2021-09-06)
    chemometric data analysis challenge has been arranged during the first edition of the “International Workshop on Spectroscopy and Chemometrics”, organized by the Vistamilk SFI Research Centre and held online in April 2021. The aim of the competition was to build a calibration model in order to predict milk quality traits exploiting the information contained in mid-infrared spectra only. Three different traits have been provided, presenting heterogeneous degrees of prediction complexity thus possibly requiring trait-specific modelling choices. In this paper the different approaches adopted by the participants are outlined and the insights obtained from the analyses are critically discussed.
  • Quantification of cow milk yield and pre-weaning calf growth response in temperate pasture-based beef suckler systems: A meta-analysis

    Sapkota, D.; Kelly, A.K.; Crosson, Paul; White, R.R.; McGee, Mark; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Elsevier, 2020-11)
    The objectives of this study were to quantitatively summarize factors associated with cow milk yield (MY) and calf growth response in pasture-based beef cow-calf suckler systems and to discern how cow genotype and parity influenced these responses. A dataset of 344 treatment mean observations was compiled from 69 studies that reported data on cow MY, and calf pre-weaning average daily live weight gain (ADG) and/or weaning weight (WW). Data were analysed using linear mixed effects models with study and region included as random effects. Models were developed for cow MY, calf ADG and WW response and each model was evaluated based on different model fit statistics. The final cow MY model included cow origin (Dairybeef or Beef), cow maturity (early-maturing (EM) or late-maturing (LM) genotypes) and parity. Dairybeef produced 35.4% more milk (8.64 vs. 6.38 kg/day) than Beef cows, and LM produced 20.9% more milk (8.20 vs. 6.78 kg/day) than EM genotypes (P < 0.001). Multiparous cows had a 14.8% higher MY (8.11 vs. 7.06 kg/day) compared to primiparous cows (P < 0.001). Lactation curve persistency was better (P < 0.05) for Beef and EM compared to Dairybeef and LM genotype cows, respectively. The final models of calf ADG and WW included cow origin, cow maturity and parity. Calves from Dairybeef and LM cows were 14 and 20 kg heavier (P < 0.001) at weaning (210-day adjusted) compared to those from Beef and EM genotype cows, respectively. Calves from multiparous cows were 13 kg heavier at weaning than those from primiparous cows (P < 0.001). The response in calf ADG associated with a 1 kg increase in cow daily MY was 47 and 53 g for Dairybeef and Beef cows, respectively (P < 0.001). Corresponding responses for EM and LM cows were 51 and 55 g (P < 0.001). In conclusion, the relationships between cow MY and calf pre-weaning growth, as well as the quantitative impact of cow genotype and parity were determined for pasture-based beef suckler systems; the coefficients generated can be used for improving beef cow-calf management strategies, beef cattle breeding programmes and bio-economic modelling purposes.
  • Quantification of cow milk yield and pre-weaning calf growth response in temperate pasture-based beef suckler systems: A meta-analysis

    Sapkota, D.; Kelly, A.K.; Crosson, P.; White, R.R.; McGee, M.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Elsevier BV, 2020-11)
    The objectives of this study were to quantitatively summarize factors associated with cow milk yield (MY) and calf growth response in pasture-based beef cow-calf suckler systems and to discern how cow genotype and parity influenced these responses. A dataset of 344 treatment mean observations was compiled from 69 studies that reported data on cow MY, and calf pre-weaning average daily live weight gain (ADG) and/or weaning weight (WW). Data were analysed using linear mixed effects models with study and region included as random effects. Models were developed for cow MY, calf ADG and WW response and each model was evaluated based on different model fit statistics. The final cow MY model included cow origin (Dairybeef or Beef), cow maturity (early-maturing (EM) or late-maturing (LM) genotypes) and parity. Dairybeef produced 35.4% more milk (8.64 vs. 6.38 kg/day) than Beef cows, and LM produced 20.9% more milk (8.20 vs. 6.78 kg/day) than EM genotypes (P < 0.001). Multiparous cows had a 14.8% higher MY (8.11 vs. 7.06 kg/day) compared to primiparous cows (P < 0.001). Lactation curve persistency was better (P < 0.05) for Beef and EM compared to Dairybeef and LM genotype cows, respectively. The final models of calf ADG and WW included cow origin, cow maturity and parity. Calves from Dairybeef and LM cows were 14 and 20 kg heavier (P < 0.001) at weaning (210-day adjusted) compared to those from Beef and EM genotype cows, respectively. Calves from multiparous cows were 13 kg heavier at weaning than those from primiparous cows (P < 0.001). The response in calf ADG associated with a 1 kg increase in cow daily MY was 47 and 53 g for Dairybeef and Beef cows, respectively (P < 0.001). Corresponding responses for EM and LM cows were 51 and 55 g (P < 0.001). In conclusion, the relationships between cow MY and calf pre-weaning growth, as well as the quantitative impact of cow genotype and parity were determined for pasture-based beef suckler systems; the coefficients generated can be used for improving beef cow-calf management strategies, beef cattle breeding programmes and bio-economic modelling purposes.
  • Mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from beef cattle production systems

    Samsonstuen, Stine; Åby, Bente A.; Crosson, Paul; Beauchemin, Karen A.; Aass, Laila; Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Informa UK Limited, 2020-08-27)
    The whole-farm model HolosNorBeef was used to estimate the efficiency of GHG emission mitigation strategies in Norwegian beef cattle herds. Various mitigation scenarios, involving female reproductive performance (i.e. calf mortality rate and the number of calves produced per cow per year), production efficiency of young bulls for slaughter (i.e. age at slaughter and carcass weight), and supplementation of an inhibitor currently reported as promising for enteric methane (CH4) inhibition (3-nitrooxypropanol; 3-NOP) was investigated in herds of British and Continental breeds. Reducing calf mortality and increasing the number of produced calves per cow per year both reduced emission intensities by 3% across breeds. Continental breeds showed greater potential of reducing emission intensities due to increased carcass production. Combining mitigation options in a best case scenario reduced the total emissions by 11.7% across breeds. The emission intensities could be further reduced by 8.3% with the use of 3-NOP.

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