• Gender Relations and Women’s Off-farm Employment: a critical analysis of discourses

      Hanrahan, Sheena (Teagasc, 01/01/2007)
      This project addresses gender relations on dairy farms in Irish Republic. Its aim was to explore the way women who are married to farmers but who are employed in paid employment off the farm are constructed in agricultural policy discourse. It was proposed that discourses encapsulate the values and interests of powerful actors and are constitutive in their effect. Hence they are implicated in women’s experience of life within a ‘farm family’. Following on from this it may be said that women’ s continued subordination in Irish farming or indeed their chances of achieving equal status are circumscribed by dominant discourses.
    • GENEDEC

      Shrestha, Shailesh; Hennessy, Thia; European Commission (Teagasc, 01/01/2007)
      GENEDEC was a European project funded under the 6th Framework. It was co-ordinated by INRA Grignon with ten European partners and a time frame of 42 months. The purpose of the project was to conduct a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the socio-economic and environmental impacts of the decoupling of direct payments on agricultural production, markets and land use in the EU. It was envisaged that the pan-EU nature of the project would facilitate an international comparison of the effects of decoupling and would provide policy makers with sufficient information to identify the key winners and losers from decoupling throughout the EU. The project aimed to provide insights into the workability of decoupling and its impacts, and to analyse alternative policy options to improve the agricultural support system. Specifically, through the use of farm level models, this project estimated the effects of existing and proposed decoupled support schemes on production, land use and land prices and the implications for farm incomes and the future structural development of farms. The project was divided into 9 Work Packages depending on objectives and time frame of the project. The main role of RERC Teagasc was in Work Package 2 which aimed to develop farm level mathematical models and used the models developed to determine the impact of decoupling on Irish farms. The work in RERC started in November 2004 and ended in May 2006. A brief description of the models developed and results generated by RERC is provided here.
    • Genetic Analysis of Irish Populations of Phytophthora Infestans

      Dowley, L.J.; O'Sullivan, Eugene; Griffin, Denis; Harmey, M. (Teagasc, 2000-09-01)
      Phytophthora infestans (Mont.) de Bary, the causal agent of potato late blight is best known for its role in the great Irish famine of 1845-1849 which resulted in the deaths of over 1 million people. Since then, the disease has become established in all potato growing countries and is the most important pathogen of potatoes worldwide. The appearance of resistance to the phenylamide fungicides in the late 1970’s indicated that populations of P. infestans were changing. An antiresistance strategy was developed for growers in an effort to reduce the spread of resistant strains. Subsequently the A2 mating type of the fungus was discovered in 1989 promoting fears that a super strain of the fungus could evolve through sexual reproduction. Populations of the fungus have been monitored from 1981 to 1998 for levels of phenylamide resistance and since 1988 for the A2 mating type. Physiological race surveys were conducted in 1983 and 1996. Prior to the 1980s no reliable methods were available for adequate identification of genotypes. Development of molecular markers specific to P. infestans has made this possible and a survey was conducted on isolates from the 1996 population. Results confirm that the anti-resistance strategy for phenylamide based fungicides has been effective in preventing the build up of metalaxyl resistant populations of P. infestans. During the 1990’s the distribution of phenylamide resistance has remained stable at about 50% of crops tested compared to a high of over 80 % in 1981. The level of A2 in the population has also fallen from a high of 35% of isolates tested in 1989 to a static level of 3-4 % in the 1990’s. Physiological race composition has become much more complex since 1983 and 16 different physiological races were found in Ireland in 1996. The population was dominated by race 3.4.7.10.11 which accounted for over 54% of isolates tested. This change has taken place without a corresponding change to varieties with a complex Rgene base. Twelve different genotypes of the fungus were uncovered using the multilocus probe RG57. Races of the fungus were independent of genotype. One particular genotype IE-2 was predominantly associated with phenylamide resistance. The low population diversity discovered suggests that sexual reproduction between A1 and A2 types has not been a major factor in disease epidemiology to date. Super strains similar to those identified in the USA could not be confirmed. The overall level of variation in the Irish isolates of Phytophthora infestans would confirm that the population has become progressively more diverse during the last forty years. However, the population is much less complex than that found in the highland tropics of central Mexico.
    • Genetic and non-genetic factors affecting lamb growth and carcass quality.

      Hanrahan, James P (Teagasc, 1999-05-01)
      The work undertaken under this project concerned the effects of genetic and non-genetic factors on lamb growth, both pre and post-weaning, and carcass traits. The principal objective of the genetic studies was to estimate the performance effects of selecting terminal sires on the basis of the lean meat index (LMI) which is produced for pedigree lambs in flocks that participate in the national Breed Improvement Programme operated by the Department of Agriculture and Food. The merits of the Beltex breed, recently introduced to this country, were also evaluated on comparisons with Texel and Suffolk sires. Estimates of within-breed genetic variation for growth and carcass traits were obtained.
    • Genetic Variants of Milk Proteins - Relevance to Milk Composition and Cheese Production.

      Fitzgerald, Richard J.; Walsh, Daniel; Guinee, Timothy P.; Murphy, J.J.; Mehra, Raj; Harrington, D.; Connolly, J.F. (Teagasc, 1999-07-01)
      Objectives: (i) to develop rapid screening procedures for the determination of milk protein polymorphism (genetic variants) (ii) to determine the frequency distribution of milk protein genetic variants in a large population of Irish Holstein-Friesians and to determine if there was an association between κ-casein variant and milk yield and composition in this group of animals, and (iii) to make Cheddar and low-moisture part-skim Mozzarella cheese from different κ-casein genetic variant milks and to assess any effect on cheese yield, composition and functional characteristics. Conclusions:Analysis of 6,007 individual Irish Holstein-Friesian milks showed that the phenotype distribution of the κ-casein BB variant was very low at 1.98% compared to 53.07% for κ-casein AA and 44.95% for κ-casein AB. While no statistically significant associations were observed between κ-casein variant and milk yield and composition, κ-casein BB variant milks had superior rennet coagulation properties to that of the AA or AB variants. Generally, κ-casein variant had little effect on compositional attributes of cheese apart from FDM (fat in dry matter) which was significantly higher in cheeses from κ-casein BB milk than in those from κ-casein AA milk. Generally, κ-casein variant had no significant effects on either primary or secondary proteolysis, or on the sensory and/or textural characteristics of Cheddar or Mozzarella cheese throughout ripening; or on the functional characteristics (e.g. flow and stretch) of baked Mozzarella on storage for 90 days at 4°C. However, κ-casein BB variant milk gave significantly higher actual, and moisture adjusted yields of Cheddar and Mozzarella cheese than either κ-casein AB or AA variant milks. For example, the moisture adjusted Cheddar yield from κ-casein BB milk was 8.2% higher than from κ-casein AA milk. In the case of Mozzarella, the moisture adjusted yield was 12% higher. Based on the results, it is estimated that the actual yield of cheese in a plant producing 20,000 tonnes per year from κ-casein AA milk would increase to approximately 21,180 tonnes of Cheddar, or 21,780 tonnes of Mozzarella if made from κ-casein BB milk. Where κ-casein AB milk is used instead of κ-casein BB milk, the estimated yield of Mozzarella would increase to 21,580 tonnes.
    • Grazing and ensiling of energy-rich grasses with elevated sugar contents for the sustainable production of ruminant livestock (Acronym: SweetGrass)

      O'Kiely, Padraig; Conaghan, Patrick; Howard, H.; Moloney, Aidan P; Black, Alistair D (Teagasc, 2005-09-01)
      Permanent grassland dominates the Irish landscape and for many decades perennial ryegrasses have been the main constituent in seed mixtures for grassland. The main attractions in favour of perennial ryegrass swards are that they: x produce high yields in response to fertiliser nitrogen x have a high digestibility when harvested at the appropriate growth stage x are relatively easy to preserve as silage due to their superior content of sugar x persist as permanent swards where favourable management practices prevail If the phenotype of perennial ryegrass were to be improved, one potentially desirable trait would be an elevated concentration of water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC). This could confer benefits in terms of: x further increase the probability of achieving a lactic acid dominant fermentation during ensilage. This could reduce the requirement for traditional acid- or sugar-based additives, improve the likelihood of a positive response from additives based on homofermentative lactic acid bacteria or alternatively eliminate the need for any or the currently available conventional additive. If its effect was to improve silage preservation this should positively impact on dry matter (DM) recovery, improve animal productivity and potential product quality, and reduce N loss to the environment. x improve the opportunity to produce silage with an elevated concentration of WSC. In circumstances where little or no supplementary concentrate feedstuffs were offered with silage, higher residual WSC could enhance silage intake and digestion, thereby improving animal productivity and reducing urinary loss of N. x produce a grass with higher intake characteristics during grazing, resulting in improved or more efficient animal production. x better synchronise or balance the supply of a rapidly fermentable carbon source (e.g. WSC) with soluble N compounds in the rumen of cattle or sheep. This could be important with grazing animals in spring and particularly in autumn when grass N content can be relatively high. Improved synchronisation or balance could potentially improve animal productivity and reduce urinary loss of N.
    • Grazing and ensiling of energy-rich grasses with elevated sugar contents for the sustainable production of ruminant livestock (Acronym: SweetGrass)

      O'Kiely, Padraig; Conaghan, Patrick; Howard, H.; Moloney, Aidan P; Black, Alistair D; European Union; QLK5-CT-2001-0498 (Teagasc, 2005-09-01)
      Permanent grassland dominates the Irish landscape and for many decades perennial ryegrasses have been the main constituent in seed mixtures for grassland.
    • HACCP for Irish beef, pork and lamb slaughter

      Bolton, Declan; Sheridan, James J.; US-Ireland Co-operation Programme in Agriculture Science and Technology; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland (Teagasc, 2002-02)
      It is generally accepted that HACCP principles should be incorporated into the food safety control systems in meat processing plants to better assure food safety. The objective of this project was to publish detailed HACCP slaughter documents for the Irish beef, pork and lamb processing industries. These would provide the necessary information and detail to facilitate the implementation of HACCP on the slaughter floor (from lairage to chilling) in Irish meat plants. To this end `HACCP for Irish Beef Slaughter' was published in October 2000, `HACCP for Irish Pork Slaughter' in December 2001 and `HACCP for Irish Lamb Slaughter' will be available early in 2002. These are non-generic, detailed documents which provide the scientific basis for establishing critical control points (CCP), critical limits, monitoring and corrective action procedures.
    • Hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) and hygiene control auditing in Irish beef abattoirs

      Bolton, Declan; Pearce, Rachel; Tergny, Annabel; Howlett, Brendan (Teagasc, 2007-06)
      This project validated two innovative technologies for use in improving the safety of Irish beef. Online monitoring was developed and successfully tested as a tool for controlling faecal contamination on beef carcasses with the resultant reduction in microbial counts. A novel anti-microbial, LactiSAL®, was also tested and validated for use in the beef industry. Sponge swabbing using a polyurethane sponge was developed and validated for use in carcass testing as required in European Commission Decision 2001/471/EC. The costs of developing and implementing a HACCP system in Irish beef slaughter plants were assessed. Furthermore, a guide to relevant food safety legislation, including the development and auditing of HACCP and prerequisites for beef slaughter (in compliance with 2001/471/EC and the European Commission Hygiene Regulations), was developed and published.
    • Herbicide Efficacy Evaluation

      Mitchell, B.J. (Teagasc, 2201-03-01)
      The objective of this series of trials was to determine if recently introduced herbicide formulations give better weed control in cereals and grassland than those presently in use. Effect on crop yield and quality was also examined where appropriate. In 1995, field trials were carried out with a new diflufenican/flurtamone formulation, Bacara, in winter wheat and barley. In both cases, the results showed that this new formulation gave commercially acceptable weed control of a wide range of annual weeds and grasses, when applied at doses between 260 and 350 g a.i. per hectare. None of the products tested had any adverse effects on crop yield or quality. Between 1996 and 1998 a number of new sulfonylurea herbicides, based on carfentrazone and flupyrsulfuron methyl (Lexus series), were tested at trial sites in Carlow and Clonmel. Most of the formulations gave weed control similar to Cougar, which was included in all these trials as standard comparison treatment, without affecting crop yield or quality. New herbicide trials for the control of broad and curled leaf dock (Rumex spp.) in pasture were carried out. Most of the herbicides investigated gave better overall control of both species than the standard dicamba/mecoprop based products. One of the sulfonylyurea-based herbicides controlled broad leaf dock only, and occasionally retarded grass development, but had no effect on clover. Fluroxypyr-based products gave long term control of both dock species without any effect on the grass, but eliminated clover present in the sward. In all trials some dock regrowth was evident one year after treatment.
    • High Pressure Processing of Dairy Foods

      Donnelly, W.J.; Beresford, Tom; Lane, C.N.; Walsh-O'Grady, D.; O'Connor, Paula M.; Fitzgerald, Richard J.; Murphy, P.M.; O'Reilly, Conor; Morgan, S.M.; Ross, R Paul; et al. (Teagasc, 2000-09-01)
      The term High Pressure Processing (HPP) is used to describe the technology whereby products are exposed to very high pressures in the region of 50 - 800 MPa (500 - 8000 Atmospheres). The potential application of HPP in the food industry has gained popularity in recent years, due to developments in the construction of HPP equipment which makes the technology more affordable. Applying HPP to food products results in modifications to interactions between individual components, rates of enzymatic reactions and inactivation of micro-organisms. The first commercial HPP products appeared on the market in 1991 in Japan, where HPP is now being used commercially for products such as jams, sauces, fruit juices, rice cakes and desserts. The pioneering research into the application of HPP to milk dates back to the end of the 19th century. Application of HPP to milk has been shown to modify its gel forming characteristics as well as reducing its microbial load. HPP offers the potential to induce similar effects to those generated by heat on milk protein. Recent reports have also indicated that HPP could accelerate the ripening of cheese. Much of the Irish cheese industry is based on the production of Cheddar cheese, the ripening time for which can vary from 4 - 12 months or more, depending on grade. A substantial portion of the cost associated with Cheddar manufacture is therefore attributed to storage under controlled conditions during ripening. Thus, any technology which may accelerate the ripening of Cheddar cheese while maintaining a balanced flavour and texture is of major economic significance. While food safety is a dominant concern, consumers are increasingly demanding foods that maintain their natural appearance and flavour, while free of chemical preservatives. HPP offers the food industry the possibility of achieving these twin goals as this technology can lead to reduced microbial loads without detrimentally effecting the nutritional or sensory qualities of the product. The development of food ingredients with novel functional properties offers the dairy industry an opportunity to revitalise existing markets and develop new ones. HPP can lead to modifications in the structure of milk components, in particular protein, which may provide interesting possibilities for the development of high value nutritional and functional ingredients. Hence these projects set out to investigate the potential of HPP in the dairy industry and to identify products and processes to which it could be applied.
    • High pressure technology in the manufacture of minimally-processed meat products

      Troy, Declan J.; Crehan, Clodagh; Mullen, Anne Maria; Desmond, Eoin (Teagasc, 2001-07)
      High hydrostatic pressure processing was applied to raw minced meat prior to product formulation and the results indicate that with 50 MPa pressure it was possible to reduce the salt in frankfurters from 2.5% to 1.5% without compromising the safety and overall quality. Similarly the phosphate content of frankfurters could be reduced from 0.5% to 0.25% after pressure treatment. Cook loss from the treated frankfurters was significantly reduced indicating a higher yield of product due to the high pressure.
    • Historical Grassland Turboveg Database Project. 2067 Relevés recorded by Dr Austin O’ Sullivan 1962 – 1982

      Bourke, David; Hochstrasser, Tamara; Nolan, Stephen; Schulte, Rogier P.; National Parks and Wildlife Service (Teagasc, 01/09/2007)
      The more common grassland types occupy about 70% of the Irish landscape (O’Sullivan, 1982), but information on these vegetation types is rare. Generally, Irish grasslands are distinguished based on the intensity of their management (improved or semi-natural grasslands), and the drainage conditions and acidity of the soil (dry or wet, calcareous or acidic grassland types) (Fossitt, 2000). However, little is known about their floristic composition and the changes in floristic composition over time. The current knowledge on grassland vegetation is mostly based on a survey of Irish grasslands by Dr. Austin O’Sullivan completed in the 1960’s and 1970’s (O’Sullivan, 1982). In this survey O’Sullivan identified Irish grassland types in accordance with the classification of continental European grasslands based on the principles of the School of Phytosociology. O’Sullivan distinguished five main grassland types introducing agricultural criteria as well as floristic criteria into grassland classification (O’Sullivan, 1982). In 1978, O’Sullivan made an attempt at mapping Ireland’s vegetation types including the five grassland types distinguished in his later publication as well as two types of peatland vegetation (Figures 1 and 2). This map was completed using 1960’s soils maps (National Soil Survey, Teagasc, Johnstown Castle) and a subsample of the dataset on the composition of Irish grasslands. Phytosociological classification of vegetation is based on the full floristic composition of the vegetation as determined by assessing the abundance and spatial structure of the plant species in a given area. The actual area of the survey (or relevé) is determined according to strict criteria, which include how representative the sample area is for the wider vegetation (i.e. how many of the species found in the wider area are also present in the survey area).
    • Horizontal transmission of Escherichia coli O157:H7 during cattle housing, survival kinetics in feces and water of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and characterisation of E. coli O157:H7 isolates from cattle faeces and a feedlot environment

      Scott, Lourda; McGee, Philip; Sheridan, James J.; Earley, Bernadette; Leonard, Nola; European Union (Teagasc, 2005-12-01)
      Escherichia coli O157:H7 can cause severe illness and in some cases leading to death. Cattle are the main reservoir with transmission to humans occurring through contamination of food or the environment. Improved understanding of the survival and transmission and survival of E. coli O157:H7 on the farm is essential for developing future controls of this pathogen. This study showed that transmission of E. coli O157:H7 can occur rapidly in groups of housed cattle, with contamination of the pens and hides occurring in 24 hrs. The inoculation dose for cattle is lower than previously reported. Ingestion of bacteria from the hide through social grooming is important for pathogen transmission in housed cattle along with faecal contamination of the environment. Sampling hide will improve the estimation of prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in pens.
    • Horizontal transmission of Escherichia coli O157:H7 during cattle housing, survival kinetics in feces and water of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and characterisation of E. coli O157:H7 isolates from cattle faeces and a feedlot environment.

      Scott, Lourda; McGee, Philip; Sheridan, James J.; Earley, Bernadette; Leonard, Nola (Teagasc, 2005-12-01)
      Ruminant livestock, particularly cattle, are considered the primary reservoir of E. coli O157:H7. This study examined the transmission of E. coli O157:H7 within groups of cattle during winter housing. Holstein Friesian steers were grouped in 6 pens of 5 animals. An animal inoculated with, and proven to be shedding a marked strain of E. coli O157:H7 was introduced into each pen. Fecal (rectal swabs) and hide samples (900cm2 right rump) were taken from the thirty six animals throughout the study. Water, feed and gate/partition samples from each pen were also examined. Within 24h of introducing the inoculated animals into the pens, samples collected from the drinking water, pen barriers and animal hides were positive for the pathogen. Within 48h, the hides of 20 of 30 (66%) cohort animals from the 6 pens were contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. The first positive fecal samples from the non-inoculated cohort animals were detected three days after the introduction of the inoculated steers. Over the 23 days of the study 15 of 30 cohort animals shed the marked E. coli O157:H7 strain in their feces on at least one occasion. Animal behavior in the pens was monitored over a 12h period using CCTV cameras. The camera footage showed an average of 13 instances of animal grooming in each pen per hour. The study suggests that transmission of E. coli O157:H7 between animals may occur following ingestion of the pathogen at low levels, and that animal hide may be an important source of transmission.
    • Horticultural Growing Media and Plant Nutrition (a)

      Maher, M.J. (Teagasc, 1998-09-01)
      This publication reports on four different studies under the overall title: (1)The effect of type and rate of controlled release fertiliser on the performance of hardy nursery stock in containers; (2) Analysis of substrates containing controlled release fertilisers; (3)The effect of water quality and rate of lime on the growth of nursery stock plants in peat; (4)Effect of suSCon Green on the growth of nursery stock plants
    • Horticultural Growing Media and Plant Nutrition (b)

      Maher, M.J. (Teagasc, 1998-09-01)
      The Effect of Planting Density on the Production Of Potato Minitubers Under Protection: Micropropagation of potatoes can be used to bulk up stocks of new cultivars or disease free stocks of existing cultivars. Rooted microplants are grown under protection to produce minitubers which undergo multiplication over a number of generations to produce seed potatoes. The object of these experiments, undertaken for Dubcap Ltd., was to study the effect of planting density on minituber production under greenhouse conditions. They were also designed to serve as a basis for assessing the feasibility for recycling minitubers especially small (8-15 mm) ones which have been shown not to perform satisfactorily under field conditions. The experimental system was designed to serve as a prototype for a commercial operation which would function as a satellite production site remote from the tissue culture laboratory. Development Of A Growing Medium Based On Forest Tree Bark: The aim of these experiments was to develop a plant growing medium based on 100% Sitka spruce bark through first studying the effect of rate of application and source of nitrogen on the composting of milled sitka spruce bark and then optimising the nutrient addition to the composted bark.
    • Hygiene and safety of Irish beef carcasses.

      Kerr, Marie; Sheridan, James J. (Teagasc, 2002-10)
      Investigations were carried out in a number of beef abattoirs in Ireland. Information was obtained on the hygienic status of the carcasses being produced and also on their safety, using the presence of Salmonella as an indicator. The data showed that, in general, the hygiene of the carcasses being produced was of a satisfactory quality and that faecal contamination was low, as indicated by the coliform and E. coli counts. The safety of the carcasses as indicated by the presence of Salmonella was considered to be a cause for concern. The level of contamination by this pathogen of 7.6% was considered to be high and requires investigation. The majority of the Salmonella present on carcasses was S. typhimurium DT104, which is resistant to a range of antibodies. The work was part of an EU project and some results are presented from other partners.
    • Identification of the key compounds responsible for Cheddar cheese flavour

      Beresford, Tom; Wallace, J.; Aherne, Seamus; Drinan, Finbarr; Eason, D.; Corcoran, M.O.; Mulholland, E.; Hannon, John A. (Teagasc, 2000-09-01)
      There is a poor understanding of the relationship between organoleptic assessment of cheese and quantitative analysis of flavour compounds. Further, the contribution of particular cheese-making parameters such as ripening temperature and starter culture has not been fully elucidated. During the ripening of most cheese varieties complex chemical conversions occur within the cheese matrix. In most cheese varieties breakdown of protein is the most important flavour development pathway. The primary cheese protein, casein, is degraded enzymatically to short peptides and free amino acids. The agents primarily responsible for these conversions are the residual rennet that is retained in the cheese curd at the end of the manufacturing phase and the proteinases and peptidases that are associated with the starter bacteria. While the rate and degree of proteolysis are of vital significance for desired flavour development, the direct products of proteolysis do not fully define cheese flavour. Much research is now demonstrating that the further biochemical and chemical conversions of the products of proteolysis, in particular the amino acids, are necessary for full flavour development. The products produced by these pathways are volatile at low boiling points and are thus released during mastication of the cheese in the mouth. Many of these volatile compounds contribute to the flavour sensation experienced by the consumer. A very wide spectrum of such compounds have been isolated from cheese, in excess of two hundred in some cheese varieties. It is now generally accepted that there is no individual compound which defines cheese flavour completely and that the flavour sensation is the result of numerous compounds present in the correct proportions. This has become known as the Component Balance Theory . The application of modern analytical techniques as proposed in this project would provide a greater understanding of the significant flavour compounds in Cheddar cheese and help to identify the impact of specific cheese-making parameters such as starter flora and ripening temperature on the production of volatile flavour compounds. This data would assist the general programme on flavour improvement of cheese which should ultimately benefit the cheese manufacturer. Hence this project set out to develop methods to identify the key flavour compounds in Cheddar cheese. These techniques would then be applied to experimental and commercial cheeses during ripening in an effort to identify key compounds and the influence of starter cultures and ripening temperature on their production.
    • Identification Of Environmental Variables For Use In Monitoring For The Evaluation Of The Rural Environment Protection Scheme

      Finn, John; Kavanagh, B.; Flynn, M.; Environmental Protection Agency; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; 2001-EEA/DS10-M2 (Teagasc, 01/04/2005)
      The aim of this study was to identify and select quantitative environmental attributes for a monitoring programme that may be integrated into an environmental evaluation of Ireland’s agri-environmental scheme. This was achieved primarily by reviewing a range of agri-environmental indicators and suggesting indicators that would be appropriate for monitoring the REPS. The study conducted a desk review to collate information on current best practice in monitoring for environmental quality. A Project Group (comprising representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], Department of Agriculture and Food [DAF], Teagasc, and the project supervisors) advised on the ongoing development of the project. There was a consultation process with national experts, and with a selection of stakeholder organisations with an interest in monitoring the environmental impact of the REPS.