A critical mass of private forestry is now developing in Ireland, with over 219,000 hectares planted since 1980. Many of these plantations are coming to the stage where management decisions are required. Currently, 105,000 hectares of private forests are over 10 years of age. Recent research indicates that if only 50 per cent of private owners decided to thin their plantations, the annual output from farm forest first thinning could potentially rise to in excess of 200,000 cubic metres.
Key clusters of forest plantations that are approaching first thinning stage have been identified using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and, results indicate that a large proportion of private forests are concentrated in 16 distinct geographic areas. One such cluster located in the North West will be visited in the field, where an assessment of timber quality and volume will be performed. A database will be compiled and the volume of each stand will be calculated using forest growth models. These will be used to generate forecasts of volume production by projecting the growth of stands forward to a reference age and quantifying the effects of thinning a crop. A forecast for timber production will be made and will be used as the main tool for further development work, especially in the identification of suitable locations for new market opportunities. Using GIS technologies, further analysis will be performed such as: distance of plantations from sawmill; optimum haulage route; and, the optimal location of additional wood utilising facilities, such as wood energy boilers.Buffering Market Volatility
In the latest issue of TResearch, Teagasc economist Liam Dunne argues that there is a compelling case for individual countries to contribute financially towards an internationally agreed minimum global reserve grain buffer to reduce market volatility for both grain and other food products. The cost of which might be allocated via some mechanism related to their share in production, consumption and trade.
He said: “Since most countries are now part of the WTO, and the aim of this organisation is to facilitate freer trade, why not have the creation, management and financing rules for the minimum world grain buffer stock part of the next WTO agreement? Also, the actual day-to-day management of these buffer stocks and related finances, plus physical storage, could be operated through a mechanism similar to those currently used for carbon trading.” Liam Dunne continues: “Apart from the social and ethical benefits of reducing the extreme volatility of world grain prices, a grain buffer that stabilises grain and food prices also helps to stabilise farmers’ output prices and related input (feed) costs, general wage demands and knock-on cost increases in industry and society in general.”
Shane Whelan explains: “Current service/support provision often leads to frustration, as family members have to make considerable personal sacrifices to keep the farm functional. Disability has traditionally been perceived as a problem associated with old age, yet this study found that the average age of farm operators experiencing disability was only 52 years, with 82 per cent below the age applicable for the Early Farm Retirement Scheme when disability was first experienced (the mean age was 39 years). Quality services/supports need to be available in such circumstances, so that these farm operators can reach their full potential and continue successfully in production agriculture.”Research on Reducing Labour for Calving and Calf Feeding
Calving supervision and rearing calves are some of the most challenging tasks on the dairy farm, particularly with a spring milk production system, where 90 per cent of calves may be born over a twelve week period. A series of studies was undertaken at the Teagasc dairy research centre in Moorepark to establish management practices that would have the potential to reduce the labour requirement during this busy period.
One of their findings was that by only allowing pre-calving cows’ access to grass silage between 8.30pm and 10.30am, fewer cows calved at night leading to a lower labour requirement during night-time hours.
The main factors influencing labour input were found to be herd size, calf feeding system and calf house cleaning methods. As herd size increased, labour-saving practices such as ad lib feeding of milk, mechanical milk transfer and feeding of cold milk are more likely to be used. Calves can be reared successfully using a once-a-day whole milk feeding system when calves are fed as a group and weaned from milk early (42 days), with a reduced labour requirement.
The above articles are featured in TResearch, Volume 3, Number 1, Spring 2008, which can be downloaded from: www.teagasc.ie.
Eric Donald | alfa
New technique reveals details of forest fire recovery
17.05.2018 | DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Mixed forests: ecologically and economically superior
09.05.2018 | Technische Universität München
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
22.05.2018 | Life Sciences
22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News