Data and A&E, not a recommended mix…

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So as the title of this post suggests I have had an interesting few weeks, I’m still working away on the data. There is so many things you can do with data which is great but sometimes having too much choice can lead you down some dead ends. But so far with the helpful guidance I’m receiving in SRUC I have been avoiding these dead ends and therefore I have not been wasting any time. I will forever be thankful for this as 3 months is a very short time to carry out a thesis so any time is literally gold dust.

My mom came to visit, we had loads of fun and got to do loads of tourist adventures. Please see the below photos as proof of our fun.

Unfortunately the fun was cut short on the final day when we spent the day in A&E, my mom slipped and landed on her back, she had previously broken her back so we couldn’t take any chances and had to get brought to the hospital in the ambulance. Shes now stuck once again in a back brace. Aer Lingus like always were fantastic they were able to organise wheel chair assistance so she could still fly to the comfort of her own home.

SRUC have been extremely understanding, they facilitated me so that I could fly back short afterwards and work from home for a bit. I will forever be thankful for this kindness.

So I’m attempting to juggle supporting my mom, travelling back and forth, working and writing a thesis, no pressure right? Wish me luck, cause we all know I need it.

Even more data

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So I have been continuing to work my way through the data, I now roughly have the emission factors (EF) broken down for each of the four diets for both economic and mass allocation. This was very time consuming but also very interesting.

The difference between the mass and economic allocation could largely vary. Also factoring in or out land use change (LUC) could make drastic changes to the EF of each of the diets.

Overall its been a very productive and interesting week.

Data, data and more data

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So this week I’ve been going through data. So lets start at the beginning. There are four different animal diet systems in place for this project, low forage (LF), high forage (HF), home grown (HG) and by-product (BP).

The LF diet consisted of wheat grain, sugar beet pulp, wheat distillers grains, soya hulls, rumen bypass fats, Sopralin & Alkcarb, grass silage, maize silage, Alkalage and Minerals/Vitamins.

The HF diet consisted of grass silage, maize silage, Alkalage, rapeseed meal, Barley distillers grains, wheat distillers grains and Minerals/Vitamins

The HG diet consisted of grass silage, spring beans, wheat grain, red clover silage, maize silage, Lucerne silage and Minerals/Vitamins.

The BP diet consisted of barley straw, sugar beet pulp molasses, breakfast cereal (maize gluten), vitagold, biscuit meal, wheat distillers dark grains, soya bean meal hipro 50%, molasses cane, minerals (High P) and rumen bypass fat.

So as you can see the diets are all very different. So to figure out the different emission factors for each of the diets, I have to use feedprint to get up to date emission factors for each compent in the diet. I need to this for both mass and economic so that I can compare them. They I mst break down how much each of these emission factors are part of the diet. This is very interesting but takes alot of time and effort.

My leg is still an issue but I did mange to do a tiny bit of exploring, I went to Ross fountain by Edinburgh castle. I can’t help but think of how in history soldiers would have looked up at this formidable castle and tried to seize it, it would have be an extremely difficult and daunting task. The choice of its location is ideal, it is built up high with sear rock under its walls. This can be seen in the photo below. There is only one real feasible way in which requires the challengers to fight up hill all the way. Capturing this castle in battle would have been an almost impossible feat. But it has been captured many times over the centuries, the most impressive being when only 30 members of Robert the Bruce forces in the 14th century managed to scale the daunting sear rock and walls during darkness of night and reclaimed it from England for Scotland.

Ross fountain and the new barracks in Edinburgh castle

Getting away from the desk for a day

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So unfortunately my leg is still in trouble so I have get some physio on it, not ideal considering I already have loans coming out of my ears but it needs to be done.

On Wednesday, I got to visit the Crichton research farm run by SRUC, my project is based on this farm. It was great to see how the system actually works on the ground.

The miking cows are kept are kept indoors all year. They have been split into 4 groups, each group has a different diet: High forgage, low forage, by-products and home grown. The breakdown of these diets is constantly measured, such as their crude protein, dry matter percentage, fresh weight, etc.

The farm uses feeders that allow for the exact food and water intake of each cow to be monitored. Each cow has a tag that the feeder recognises, each feeder only allows one cow to eat from it at a time so the feeder measures the weight prior to the cow eating and then the weight once the cow has finished. The farm only has enough feeders to feed two groups at a time so the groups are rotated every three days.

Getting to see how everything worked on the farm was extremely helpful and very enjoyable, I must admit I miss working directly with the livestock. While working directly with cows and sheep is extremely demanding it is extremely enjoyable. They never fail to make you feel less alone and needed.

Settling in

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So Edinburgh is amazing even the weather is fantastic, but of course while I was out jogging by the beautiful canal I managed to pull a muscle in my leg.

The beautiful canal

So I’ve been stuck inside all week resting it and watching everyone else enjoy the weather. But I haven’t let this time go to waste, last week I was shown how to use feedprint and a form of AgRE Calc that one of my SRUC supervisors developed, links to these have be supplied in the link page, so I have been working on these and writing my literature review. You can see the literature I have been compiling on the bibliography page.

Hopefully my leg shall be healed by next week and the good weather continues, I’m dying to get out exploring.