Recent Submissions

  • Mitigation of phosphorus, sediment and Escherichia coli losses in runoff from a dairy farm roadway

    McDowell, R.W.; Daly, Karen M.; Fenton, Owen; Environment Bay of Plenty; Our Land and Water National Science Challenge; Environmental Protection Agency; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; C10X1507; 2018-W-MS-38 (Compuscript Ltd.Teagasc, 2020-11-30)
    Dairy cow deposits on farm roadways are a potential source of contaminants entering streams. Phosphorus (P), suspended sediment (SS) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) loads in 18 runoff events over 12 mo from two-halves of a section of dairy farm roadway that spilt into an adjacent P-impacted stream were measured. The runoff from one half was untreated while the other half was directed through a filter of steel melter slag [termed aluminium chlorohydrate (ACH)-altered slag] sprayed with 1% ACH solution to improve P sorption capacity. An uncertainty analysis was conducted to ascertain potential loads of P lost from roadways considering variation in deposit weight, number and P content. Over the monitoring period, the total load decreased P (92%), SS (98%) and E. coli (76%) from the ACHaltered slag roadway compared to the control. However, uncertainty analysis showed that the amount of dung-P deposited on the roadway could be 10-fold greater.
  • The effects of cow genetic group on the density of raw whole milk

    Parmar, P.; Lopez-Villalobos, Nicolas; Tobin, John T.; Murphy, Eoin; Buckley, Frank; McDonagh, A.; O’Mahony, J.A.; Crowley, S.V.; Kelly, A.L.; Shalloo, Laurence; et al. (Compuscript Ltd., 2021-01-30)
    The density of milk is dependent upon various factors including temperature, processing conditions, and animal breed. This study evaluated the effect of different cow genetic groups, Jersey, elite Holstein Friesians (EHF), and national average Holstein Friesians (NAHF) on the compositional and physicochemical properties of milk. Approximately 1,040 representative (morning and evening) milk samples (~115 per month during 9 mo) were collected once every 2 wk. Milk composition was determined with a Bentley Dairyspec instrument. Data were analysed with a mixed linear model that included the fixed effects of sampling month, genetic group, interaction between month and genetic group and the random effects of cow to account for repeated measures on the same animal. Milk density was determined using three different analytical approaches – a portable and a standard desktop density meter and 100 cm3 calibrated glass pycnometers. Milk density was analysed with the same mixed model as for milk composition but including the analytical method as a fixed effect. Jersey cows had the greatest mean for fat content (5.69 ± 0.13%), followed by EHF (4.81 ± 0.16%) and NAHF (4.30 ± 0.15%). Milk density was significantly higher (1.0313 g/cm³ ± 0.00026, P < 0.05) for the milk of Jersey breed when compared to the EHF (1.0304 ± 0.00026 g/cm³) and NAHF (1.0303 ± 0.00024 g/cm³) genetic groups. The results from this study can be used by farmers and dairy processors alike to enhance accuracy when calculating the quantity and value of milk solids depending upon the genetic merit of the animal/herd, and may also improve milk payment systems through relating milk solids content and density.
  • Adding value to under-utilised Irish fish roe: a physico-chemical and sensory comparison of cured Irish pollock (Pollachius pollachius) roe with commercial mullet (Mugil cephalus) and cod (Gadus morhua) products

    Furey, A.E.; Hoeche, U.; Noci, F.; Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (Compuscript Ltd.Teagasc, 2020-11-30)
    Irish marine fish roe is generally discarded at sea or processed as low value-added fishmeal and not utilised as nutritious seafood ingredients. Locally sourced pollock roes were salted, air-dried (Mediterranean-style) and compared to similar commercial mullet and cod products for: weight; moisture content; pH; instrumental texture and colour; and sensory attributes. Raw pollock roes averaged 105 g (n = 25). Roes lost on average 3.1% moisture (w/w) after a 2-h salting period and 48.8% weight reduction was observed after an average 105 h air-drying time. The moisture content of pollock was not significantly different to commercial products. Average pH for pollock, mullet and cod products was 5.9, 5.4 and 5.7, respectively (P < 0.05). Pollock and mullet had similar hardness, but cod was significantly harder than both, when measured instrumentally. Total colour difference (ΔE*) between the surface of pollock and cod, and that of pollock and mullet was 7.5 and 3.0, respectively. Sensory assessment of sliced and powdered products, using 9-point hedonic and 5-point just-about-right (JAR) scales, was conducted with 38 consumers. Pollock received the highest scores for overall liking and intention to purchase compared to commercial mullet and cod products, averaging 5.6, 5.6 and 4.9, respectively, for sliced roe products, and 6.3, 5.3 and 6.1 for powdered products. Penalty analysis of JAR showed “overall liking” was impacted by the flavour being “too fishy”. In conclusion, pollock had similar characteristics and acceptable sensory attributes compared to commercial products presenting opportunities to expand the range of value-added roe products (e.g., trout, salmon) available, while also contributing to waste reduction.
  • The effect of extended post-mortem ageing on the Warner–Brazler shear force of longissimus thoracis from beef heifers from two sire breeds, slaughtered at 20 or 25 mo of age

    Moloney, Aidan P; Picard, B.; Moran, Lara; European Union; Food-CT-2006-36241 (Compuscript Ltd.Teagasc, 2020-12-22)
    were examined. Spring-born Angus × Holstein-Friesian heifers (n = 48) and Belgian Blue × Holstein-Friesian heifers (n = 48) were slaughtered, within sire breed, at 20 or 25 mo of age. Approximately 48 h post-mortem, LT steaks (2.5 cm) were removed, and either stored at −20°C for chemical analysis or vacuum-packed, stored at 2°C for 7, 14 or 28 d post-mortem and then at −20°C pending Warner–Bratzler shear force (WBSF) analysis. Muscle from Angus-sired heifers had higher (P < 0.001) intramuscular fat (IMF) concentration, lower (P < 0.001) proportion of type IIX muscle fibres and higher (P < 0.001) proportion of type IIA and type I muscle fibres compared to muscle from Belgian Blue-sired heifers. Collagen characteristics did not differ between sire breeds. Later slaughter increased (P < 0.001) IMF concentration and decreased (P < 0.001) total and insoluble concentrations and collagen solubility. There were no interactions between the main effects for WBSF and no difference between sire breeds. Later slaughter and increasing the duration of ageing decreased (P < 0.05) WBSF. Based on threshold WBSF values in the literature, all samples would be considered tender (<39 N) after 7 d ageing. Untrained consumers are likely to detect the decrease in WBSF from 7 to 14 d ageing but not due to further ageing. Within the production system examined and based on WBSF data, extending LT ageing to 28 d is not necessary to ensure consumer satisfaction.
  • Oat–buckwheat breads – technological quality, staling and sensory properties

    Wronkowska, M.; Jarmułowicz, A.; Lamparski, G.; Jeliński, T.; Haros, C.M.; IAR & FR PAS; KNOW Consortium; 05-1/KNOW2/2015 (Compuscript Ltd.Teagasc, 2020-11-21)
    The technological and sensory properties and the staling of breads made from oat flour (OF) and buckwheat flour (BF) were analysed. Significant differences in protein and ash content were found in the experimental breads due to significant differences in the composition of the BF and OF used. As the proportion of BF in the recipe increased, a deterioration in the technological properties of the dough and bread as well as an increase in the crumb hardness were observed. The presence of OF in the recipe increased the bread volume, significantly enhanced the lightness of the crust and crumb and improved the overall sensory quality. The OF used in the recipe decreased the starch retrogradation enthalpy value, which is strongly related to a delay in bread staling. The proposed bakery products can be attractive to consumers who are looking for new food products.
  • Impact of field headlands on wheat and barley performance in a cool Atlantic climate as assessed in 40 Irish tillage fields

    Ward, M.; Forristal, Dermot; McDonnell, K.; Teagasc; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; ICTAGRI Eranet (Compuscript Ltd.Teagasc, 2020-11-30)
    The reduction in cereal crop yields on field headlands has previously been examined in other geographical regions, with research focusing on the relationship between yield and the distance from the crop edge. Headlands are subject to greater machinery trafficking than the centre of the field and the level of traffic imposed depends on the machine size and adopted turning practice. The aim of this work was to examine the impact of turning headlands on crop performance in a survey of 40 field sites in Irish conditions. The headland was categorised into three distinct zones: the area next to the field edge subject to moderate traffic intensities (field edge); the main headland area of greatest turning traffic (turning) and a transition zone (transition). An in-field zone (in-field) in which no machinery turns occur was also included. The 2-year survey included sites from three regions, four soil texture classes and had crops established with plough-based systems. Crop measurements, including plant densities, shoot counts and light interception, and yields were recorded at each site and included winter barley (WB), spring barley (SB) and winter wheat (WW) crops. The yield response of each crop type varied with sample zone, region and soil texture. There were significant (P < 0.001) yield differences recorded between the turning area and in-field zone for all three crops. Winter barley yields were reduced by 1.3 t/ha in the turning zone compared with the in-field section, while SB and WW had yield reductions of 2.08 and 4.04 t/ha, respectively, between these two field zones.
  • The Beast from the East: impact of an atypical cold weather event on hydrology and nutrient dynamics in two Irish catchments

    Vero, S.E.; McDonald, N.T.; McGrath, G.; Mellander, Per-Erik (Compuscript Ltd.Teagasc, 2020-11-21)
    A historic lack of continuous stream nutrient monitoring at the catchment scale limits understanding of the effects of snowstorms. The most significant snowstorm since 1985, nicknamed “the Beast from the East”, occurred in February–March 2018. High-frequency stream outlet monitoring in two close but hydrologically and agriculturally contrasting catchments (<1,200 ha) captured phosphorus (total and reactive), total oxygenated nitrogen (TON), temperature and discharge dynamics during and after the event. The grassland catchment consists of poorly drained gley soils and exhibits overland flow pathways, while the arable catchment consists of well-drained brown earths and is dominated by subsurface pathways. Nitrate (NO3-N) concentrations were initially elevated (3.50 and 7.89 mg/L for poorly drained grassland and well-drained arable catchments, respectively) before becoming diluted by meltwater. Total reactive phosphorus (TRP) displayed a distal (anti-clockwise) concentration-discharge hysteresis in the poorly drained grassland catchment suggesting low mobilisation from the soil. Conversely, the well-drained arable catchment displayed proximal (clockwise) hysteresis, indicative of the mobilisation from stream and bank sediment. These relatively infrequent snow events behave similarly to heavy rainfall as regards nutrient losses, albeit subject to a time-lag induced by the speed of snowmelt and the soil moisture deficit (SMD) prior to snowfall. Antecedent land management is crucial to mitigate risk. The current absence of records and analyses of catchment response, particularly nutrient dynamics, to atypical cold weather events in Ireland limits understanding of their effects on water quality. The present study provides the first such baseline information from which land management strategies and the implications for attaining environmental targets can be explored.
  • Behavioural and physiological responses of individually housed dairy calves to change in milk feeding frequency at different ages

    Scoley, G.; Ashfield, A.; Oiartzun, M. Romero; Gordon, A.; Morrison, S.J. (Compuscript Ltd.Teagasc, 2020-11-30)
    This study aimed to use a range of non-invasive monitoring technologies to investigate the behavioural and physiological responses of individually housed dairy calves to age at change in milk replacer (MR) feeding frequency. Forty-eight Holstein Friesian calves were individually penned and fed MR (625 g/d) as solids in one of three feeding regimes: (i) once-a-day feeding commencing at age 14 d (OAD14), (ii) once-a-day feeding commencing at age 28 d (OAD28) and (iii) twice-a-day feeding (TAD). Several behavioural (automatic activity sensors), physiological (infrared [IR] thermography and heart rate variability [HRV]) and haematological indicators were used to examine calf responses. Reduction in milk feeding frequency at 14 or 28 d of age increased daily concentrate intakes and drinking water consumption throughout the pre-wean period. Calf lying behaviour was unaffected by reduction in milk feeding frequency; however, TAD calves recorded a significant decrease in total daily lying time during the post-wean period compared with OAD28s. There was no effect of treatment on IR eye or rectal temperature throughout the experiment; however, there was an effect of age, with IR temperature decreasing as calf age increased. OAD14 calves tended to have decreased HRV at days 14 and 16, which is suggestive of an increased stress load. The findings suggest that under high levels of animal husbandry and whilst maintaining the same amount of milk powder/d (625 g/d), reduction in milk feeding frequency from twice to once daily at 28 d can occur without significant impact to behavioural, performance and physiological parameters assessed here.
  • Herbage nutritive value of binary- and multi-species swards relative to single-species swards in intensive silage systems

    Moloney, T.; Sheridan, H.; Grant, Jim; O'Riordan, Edward G.; O'Kiely, Padraig; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 11/S/147 (Compuscript Ltd.Teagasc, 2020-12-19)
    The nutritive value of sown binary- and multi-species grassland mixtures may differ from the values expected based on single-species swards of their constituent species. Field plots were established in a split-plot design to assess the nutritive value of binary- and multi-species mixtures compared to single-species swards of three grass species and red clover (RC) (Trifolium pratense L.) managed for intensive silage production. The nutritive value of grass–legume binary mixtures reflected the values of the constituent species grown on their own, and thus may be predicted from monoculture values. The relatively low digestibility (dry matter digestibility [DMD]) and crude protein (CP) content of the Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum L.) sward compared to perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and timothy (Phleum pratense L.) suggests that it may have a limited role in binary- or multi-species swards. Herbage nutritive value in the multi-species swards (Mix 1: perennial ryegrass, timothy, RC and white clover [Trifolium repens L.]; Mix 2: perennial ryegrass, timothy, RC, ribwort plantain [Plantago lanceolata L.] and chicory [Cichorium intybus L.] ) appeared to be influenced more by the presence of legumes than herbs. Compared to perennial ryegrass, the multi-species swards had a slower rate of DMD decline prior to Cut 1, but subsequently had lower DMD values at the mid-season harvests. Both multi-species mixtures exhibited DMD, water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) and CP values that would not have been predicted from their constituent species and thus need to be measured on herbage from field plots growing these mixtures.
  • Conservation efficiency and nutritive value of silages made from grass-red clover and multi-species swards compared with grass monocultures

    Moloney, T.; Sheridan, H.; Grant, Jim; O'Riordan, Edward G.; O'Kiely, Padraig; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 11/S/147 (Compuscript Ltd.Teagasc, 2021-01-11)
    Binary grass-clover and multi-species swards can increase herbage yields or facilitate reduced inputs of inorganic fertiliser nitrogen (N) compared with perennial ryegrass monocultures. However, the efficiency of the ensilage process and the nutritive value of silage produced from multi-species swards has not been documented. Replicate samples from grass-red clover binary mixture and multi-species mixture swards were ensiled in laboratory silos to assess the ensilability, fermentation characteristics, conservation losses and silage nutritive value compared with grass monocultures produced using inorganic N fertiliser. The results suggest that assessment of the ensilability and subsequent ensilage characteristics of binary and multi-species mixtures should be based on direct sampling from such mixtures rather than being predicted from values obtained from monocultures of constituent species. Under favourable ensiling conditions, unwilted binary mixtures and multi-species mixtures are satisfactorily preserved as silage, comparable to a perennial ryegrass monoculture receiving inorganic N fertiliser. However, when ensiled under more challenging crop conditions the mixtures exhibited a greater requirement for their preservation to be aided, compared with the perennial ryegrass monoculture. Despite the application of inorganic N reducing the legume content of multi-species mixture swards, it had relatively little effect on herbage ensilability or silage preservation. For all species treatments, silage nutritive values were primarily dependent on the pre-ensiling values, although herbage digestibility values declined during ensilage where the ensilage process was inefficient. The current study suggests that in order to be satisfactorily preserved as silage, binary grass-clover and multispecies swards have a greater requirement for an adequate rapid field wilt and/or effective preservative application compared with perennial ryegrass produced using inorganic fertiliser N.
  • Yield of binary- and multi-species swards relative to single-species swards in intensive silage systems

    Moloney, T.; Sheridan, H.; Grant, Jim; O'Riordan, Edward G.; O'Kiely, Padraig; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; RSF 11/S/147 (Compuscript Ltd.Teagasc, 2021-03-05)
    Binary- and multi-species sown mixtures may increase herbage yield and/or reduce inorganicnitrogen (N) requirement compared to perennial ryegrass (PRG) (Lolium perenne L.)swards. A split-plot design was used to compare yields of binary- and multi-speciesmixtures to single-species swards of three grasses and red clover managed for intensivesilage production under varying N application rates. Perennial and Italian (Loliummultiflorum Lam.) ryegrasses had greater annual yields when grown as single speciesreceiving 360 kg N/ha per year than in binary mixtures with red clover (Trifoliumpratense L.) receiving 0 kg N/ha per year, whereas timothy (Phleum pratense L.) producedequally high yields in both situations. When no inorganic N was applied, the annualdry matter yield of Mix 1 (10,738 kg/ha; PRG, timothy, red clover and white clover(Trifolium repens L.) and Mix 2 (11,679 kg/ha; PRG, timothy, red clover, ribwort plantain(Plantago lanceolata L.) and chicory (Cichorium intybus L.)) was greater than thatof a PRG sward (PRG/0N; 5,885 kg/ha) and derived more from the contribution of legumesthan herbs. This yield advantage of mixtures declined as inorganic N input increased,as did the legume and herb proportions in the multi-species swards. When averagedacross rates of inorganic N input, Mix 2 had a greater annual yield than Mix 1 (12,464vs. 11,893 kg/ha). Mix 2 receiving no inorganic fertiliser N and both Mix 1 and Mix2 receiving 120 kg N/ha per year matched the annual yield achieved by PRG receiving360 kg N/ha per year. Our results indicate that the yield performance of binary- andmulti-species grassland swards should be measured in situ rather than predicted fromsingle-species swards of constituent species.
  • Production of probiotic Bulgarian yoghurts obtained from an ultrafiltered cow’s milk

    Kodinova, S.; Dushkova, M.; Miteva-Petrova, M.; Yanakieva, V.; Petrov, S.; Denkova, Z. (Compuscript Ltd.Teagasc, 2021-03-04)
    Ultrafiltration of skim cow’s milk with a UF10-PAN membrane at volume reduction ratios (VRRs) of 2 and 3 was performed. The ultrafiltration retentates obtained were used for production of probiotic yoghurts with three different starters. A control sample was prepared using skim cow’s milk. All yoghurts were analysed according to the following parameters: titratable acidity, dry matter, organoleptic characteristics, number of specific microorganisms (Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus) and the total count of viable lactic acid bacteria for 28 d of storage. The results showed that the increase in the VRR during ultrafiltration increased the titratable acidity, as well as the dry matter of all yoghurts. Ultrafiltration concentration led to an increase in the count of viable lactic acid bacteria in all yoghurts which improved their functional properties. The highest values of the total number of viable lactic acid bacteria were determined in yoghurts obtained with starter 1CM, followed by starters MZ2 and ZD for both VRRs. Probiotic yoghurts with the highest organoleptic evaluation were obtained from ultrafiltration retentates at VRR = 2 and starters 1CM and MZ2.
  • Performance and nutrient utilisation of dairy cows offered silages produced from three successive harvests of either a red clover–perennial ryegrass sward or a perennial ryegrass sward

    Johnston, D.J.; Laidlaw, A.S.; Theodoridou, K.; Ferris, C.P.; Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Northern Ireland); AgriSearch (TeagascCompuscript Ltd, 2020-11-30)
    The need to reduce reliance on imported protein feeds within the UK and Ireland has stimulated interest in locally grown forage legume crops, including red clover (Trifolium pratense L.). This 13-wk study examined the performance of 28 dairy cows offered silages produced from three successive harvests (H) of either a pure grass sward (GS) receiving 315 kg N/ha per annum or a red clover–perennial ryegrass sward (RCGS) receiving 22 kg N/ha per annum. The crops of H1, H2 and H3 were wilted for 48, 72 and 72 h, respectively. Silages from H1, H2 and H3 were offered for 5, 5 and 3 wk, respectively, with cows supplemented with 8.0 kg concentrate/d throughout the experiment. Digestibility of DM and the effectively degradable protein content were lower, while protein degradability was higher, for RCGS than for GS. Silage DM intakes (DMIs) were higher for RCGS than for GS at H1 and H2, with no differences at H3. Milk yield was higher with RCGS than with GS at H3, with no differences at H1 and H2. Milk fat and milk protein contents were lower with RCGS than with GS at H3 but did not differ at H1 and H2. Faecal N/N intake was higher in the RCGS group than in the GS group at H1, with no differences at H2 and H3. Gross energy digestibility was lower for RCGS than for GS at H2. Although cow performance was higher with RCGS treatment, the responses were variable between harvests, largely reflecting the changing proportion of RC in the swards as the season progressed
  • Forecasting prices of dairy commodities – a comparison of linear and nonlinear models

    Hansen, B.G. (TeagascCompuscript Ltd, 2020-11-30)
    Dairy commodity prices have become more volatile over the last 10–11 yr. The aim of this paper was to produce reliable price forecasts for the most frequently traded dairy commodities. Altogether five linear and nonlinear time series models were applied. The analysis reveals that prices of dairy commodities reached a structural breakpoint in 2006/2007. The results also show that a combination of linear and nonlinear models is useful in forecasting commodity prices. In this study, the price of cheese is the most difficult to forecast, but a simple autoregressive (AR) model performs reasonably well after 12 mo. Similarly, for butter the AR model performs the best, while for skimmed milk powder (Smp), whole milk powder (Wmp) and whey powder (Whp) the nonlinear methods are the most accurate. However, few of the differences between models are significant according to the Diebold–Mariano (DM) test. The findings could be of interest to the whole dairy industry.
  • A pilot study of methodology for the development of farmland habitat reports for sustainability assessments

    Finn, John; Moran, P.; Bord Bia (TeagascCompuscript Ltd, 2020-11-21)
    The inclusion of farm maps of habitat features is becoming an urgent requirement for assessments of farm-scale sustainability and for compliance or benchmarking with national and international sustainability certification and accreditation schemes. Traditional methods of habitat assessment rely strongly on field-based surveys, which are logistically demanding and relatively costly. We describe and investigate a process that relies on information technology to develop a scalable method that can be applied across multiple farms to reduce the significant logistical challenges and financial costs of traditional habitat surveys. A key impediment to the routine development of farm habitat maps is the lack of information on the type of habitats that occur on a land parcel. Within a pilot project comprising 187 farms, we developed and implemented a process for creating farm habitat reports and investigate the accuracy of visual interpretation of satellite imagery by an ecologist aiming to identify habitat types. We generated customised farm reports that included a colour-coded farm habitat map and habitat information (type, area, relative wildlife importance). Visual assessment of satellite imagery achieved an overall accuracy of 96% in its ability to discriminate between land parcels with habitats categorised by this study as being of either high or low nature conservation value. Assessment of satellite imagery achieved an overall accuracy of 90% in its ability to discriminate among Fossitt level II habitat classes, and an overall accuracy of 81% when using individual habitat classes (Fossitt level III). There was, however, considerable variation in the accuracy associated with individual habitat classes. We conclude that this methodology based on satellite imagery is sufficiently accurate to be used for the incorporation of farmland habitats into farm-scale sustainability assurance, but should, at most, use Fossitt level II habitat classes. We discuss future challenges and opportunities for the development of farm habitat maps and plans for their use in sustainability certification schemes.
  • The proximate composition of three marine pelagic fish: blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou), boarfish (Capros aper) and Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus)

    Egerton, S.; Mannion, D.; Culloty, S.; Whooley, J.; STANTON, CATHERINE; Ross, R.P.; Irish Research Council; Biomarine Ingredients Ireland Ltd.; Science Foundation Ireland; EPSPG/2015/57; et al. (TeagascCompuscript Ltd, 2020-12-18)
    This study presents data from an in-depth proximate compositional analysis of three marine fish species: blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou), boarfish (Capros aper) and Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus). These fish contained significant amounts of protein (16–17%), lipids (4–11%) and minerals (2–6% ash). The proteins, particularly from boarfish, had close to optimum amino acid profiles for human and fish nutrition. They compared favourably with other fish species in terms of total lipids and relative concentration of the omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid (11.8–13.3% and 5.9–8.1% in triacylglycerols [TG] and 24.6–35.4% and 5.8–12.0% in phospholipids [PL]). Atlantic herring had the highest lipid content among the three fish and was found to contain high levels of PL poly-unsaturated fatty acids, including omega-3 fatty acids. Minerals detected in the fish included calcium (272–1,520 mg/100 g), phosphorus (363–789 mg/100 g), iron (1.07–2.83 mg/100 g), magnesium (40.70–62.10 mg/100 g), potassium (112.00–267.00 mg/100 g), selenium (0.04–0.06 mg/100 g), sodium (218.00–282.00 mg/100 g) and zinc (1.29–5.57 mg/100 g). Boarfish had the highest ash fraction and also the highest levels of all the minerals, except potassium. Atlantic herring had considerably lower mineral content compared with the other two species and, levels detected were also lower than those reported in previously published studies. Heavy metals contents were quantified, and levels were significantly below the maximum allowable limits for all elements except arsenic, which ranged from 1.34 to 2.44 mg/kg in the three fish species. Data outlined here will be useful for guiding product development. Future studies would benefit from considering catch season, sex and developmental stage of the fish.
  • Measuring total factor productivity on Irish dairy farms: a Fisher index approach using farm-level data

    McCormack, Michele; Thorne, Fiona; Hanrahan, Kevin (Compuscript Ltd.Teagasc, 2020-11-21)
    This paper presents a Fisher index measure of the total factor productivity (TFP) performance of Irish dairy farms over the period 2006–2016 using the Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS) data. The removal of milk quotas in 2015 has led to an increase of over 30% in dairy cow numbers since 2010, and although suckler cow numbers have dropped slightly, the total number of cows in Ireland reached an all-time high of 2.5 million head in 2016. This large increase adds to the environmental pressures attributed to agricultural output and puts the focus firmly on how efficiently the additional agricultural output associated with higher cow numbers is produced. The primary purpose of this paper is to identify a standardised measure of the TFP performance of Irish dairy farms that can be routinely updated using Teagasc NFS data. We found that relative to 2010 the TFP of Irish dairy farms has increased by almost 18%; however, in one production year 2015, when milk quota was removed, the TFP measure increased by 7% and TFP continued to grow by 2.5% in the production year 2016. It would seem therefore that the removal of the European dairy quota system has resulted in a windfall gain for Irish dairy farmers but that productivity gains are continuing. Future data will be required to investigate the longer-term TFP performance of Irish dairy farms in the post-milk quota era.
  • 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 (TeagascCompuscript Ltd, 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.