Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Innovation on Irish farms and Moorepark cheese innovation

06.08.2008
Breed composition of the national sheep flock, Innovation on Irish farms and Moorepark cheese innovation

A new herd health programme aimed at preparing Irish dairy farmers for the biosecurity challenges of herd expansion has started at the Teagasc Dairy Production Research Centre, Moorepark.

Two research projects, one focusing on mastitis and milk quality issues, and the other on infectious diseases, have commenced, led by John Mee and colleagues. Two new veterinarians have been employed to work on these projects. Details of the new projects are contained in an article in TResearch, the Teagasc research magazine. In Ireland, average bulk tank somatic cell counts (BTSCC) have risen annually by 5,000/ml since the start of this decade. Farmers are losing financially through penalties imposed due to milk quality issues, such as somatic cell count (SCC), bacterial content and residues and direct costs associated with clinical mastitis cases.

The idea of using a team-based approach to solving milk quality issues is one that the University of Wisconsin has explored with great commercial success. The Teagasc team-based milk quality/mastitis control plan is presently being designed at Moorepark and is based on some of the key concepts of the US approach, namely team-based, involving realistic targets, identifying strategic management changes, accountability and regular re-assessment.

It will commence with a pilot programme involving 20 farms. The teams will be made up of Teagasc advisers, manufacturing outlet milk quality advisers, vets, milking machine technicians and the host farmer. Preparation for the pilot will include training workshops for all parties involved aimed at improving the skills required to work through milk quality issues on farm. Farmers are currently being recruited to participate in the pilot programme, which will run for a period of nine months.

Breed composition of the national sheep flock

The genetic make-up of the Irish national sheep flock is the subject of an article by Seamus Hanrahan, Teagasc Sheep Research Centre, Athenry. He reports on a recent survey and identifies areas of concern. One area is the low proportion of rams that were purchased at pedigree sales, where information on breeding value for lean meat index (LMI) is available from breeders who participate in the Pedigree Sheep Breed Improvement Programme (PSBIP) for terminal sire breeds. Across the three principal terminal sire breeds less than one fifth of rams are sourced from such sales.

In addition, the study found that the age profile of rams and ewe:ram ratios are not at levels that would be desirable to maximise the potential gain from genetic improvement programmes.

Also, given the pattern of ram usage on hill flocks, the Scottish Blackface breed is barely producing enough purebreds to maintain the current population, while the current usage of Cheviot rams cannot sustain the purebred Cheviot population.

Innovation on Irish farms

Dairy and tillage farmers are the most innovative groups of Irish farmers.
Data on farmer innovation was gathered as part of the National Farm Survey carried out by the Teagasc Rural Economy Research Centre last Autumn. A sample of 1,052 farmers was questioned about the type of innovation they were engaged in. The initial results from Teagasc researcher Kevin Heanue shows that dairy and tillage farmers are the most innovative. The most frequent type of innovative activity relates to organisational and process issues.

The next stage of the research will develop a more comprehensive profile of those farmers who are innovating and those who are not. Factors that influence farmers’ attitudes to innovation include the farmer’s age, farm size, whether or not they are clients of Teagasc, whether the farmer is full-time or part-time, the education level of the farmer and the interaction of the farmer with discussion groups and monitor farms, for example.

Moorepark cheese innovation

Ongoing cheese research at the Teagasc Moorepark Food Research Centre has greatly benefited the Irish dairy industry and huge potential for the industry to develop its cheese output still lies ahead. One of the most exciting recent developments was the filing by Moorepark of a patent for a novel cheese-making technology without a whey drainage step. The article in the latest edition of TResearch features details of this new technology. Tom Beresford and Tim Guinee from Moorepark explain the development of the cheese research programme since 2000. The public funding made available to support cheese research has enabled continued development of a cheese programme that responds to industrial needs, while laying foundations in science and technology that will assist the future expansion and development of the industry.

Eric Donald | alfa
Further information:
http://www.teagasc.ie
http://www.teagasc.ie/publications/tresearch/index.htm

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Faba fix for corn's nitrogen need
11.04.2018 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht Wheat research discovery yields genetic secrets that could shape future crops
09.04.2018 | John Innes Centre

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

Im Focus: The Future of Ultrafast Solid-State Physics

In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.

Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...

Im Focus: Stronger evidence for a weaker Atlantic overturning

The Atlantic overturning – one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards – is weaker today than any time before in more than 1000 years. Sea surface temperature data analysis provides new evidence that this major ocean circulation has slowed down by roughly 15 percent since the middle of the 20th century, according to a study published in the highly renowned journal Nature by an international team of scientists. Human-made climate change is a prime suspect for these worrying observations.

“We detected a specific pattern of ocean cooling south of Greenland and unusual warming off the US coast – which is highly characteristic for a slowdown of the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Improved stability of plastic light-emitting diodes

19.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Enduring cold temperatures alters fat cell epigenetics

19.04.2018 | Life Sciences

New capabilities at NSLS-II set to advance materials science

18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>