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 Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli
26.04.2017 | University of the Basque Country

nachricht New data unearths pesticide peril in beehives
21.04.2017 | Cornell University

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>