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 Advance warning system via cell phone app: Avoiding extreme weather damage in agriculture
12.07.2018 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V.

nachricht Fishy chemicals in farmed salmon
11.07.2018 | University of Pittsburgh

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>