Next Issue
Volume 10, December
Previous Issue
Volume 10, October

Table of Contents

Agriculture, Volume 10, Issue 11 (November 2020) – 86 articles

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story (view full-size image) Five seed coating types, namely dry coating, seed dressing, film coating, encrustments, and seed [...] Read more.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessCorrection
Correction: Przywara, A., et al. Experimental Study of Disc Fertilizer Spreader Performance. Agriculture 2020, 10, 467
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 575; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110575 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 157
Abstract
The authors unintentionally missed the citation of the chapter by Hofstee J. W., Speelman L., Scheufler B. [...] Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Physiological and Phytochemical Responses of Spinach Baby Leaves Grown in a PFAL System with LEDs and Saline Nutrient Solution
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110574 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 147
Abstract
Spinach is a leafy vegetable containing a plethora of bioactive compounds. Our study aimed to evaluate the physiological (i.e., JIP-test) and phytochemical response of spinach baby leaves grown with regular or mildly saline (40 mM NaCl) nutrient solution and irradiated by four light-emitting [...] Read more.
Spinach is a leafy vegetable containing a plethora of bioactive compounds. Our study aimed to evaluate the physiological (i.e., JIP-test) and phytochemical response of spinach baby leaves grown with regular or mildly saline (40 mM NaCl) nutrient solution and irradiated by four light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with broad spectra. T1 (highest red and far-red, low blue) and T3 (high red, balanced blue, green and far-red) led to a better developed photosynthetic apparatus compared to T2 (red peak in 631 nm) and T4 (highest blue and green), highlighted by PIABS and its structural components: RC/ABS, φP0, ψE0, and ΔVIP. Elevated salinity only affected the latter parameter. T1 induced the maximum yield production but also the highest nitrate content which was far below the maximum level permitted by European legislation. Regardless of salinity level, T3 enhanced total phenol, chlorophyll, and carotenoid content. T2 and T4 led to inferior nutritional quality. Non-saline nutrient solution promoted the chlorophyll and carotenoid contents and the antioxidant potential, regardless of light treatment. By contrast, soluble sugar content was enhanced by saline nutrient solution. Our study shows that physiology and nutritional quality of spinach baby leaves can be manipulated by small interplays in the light spectra and salinity level. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Pathogen-Induced Expression of OsDHODH1 Suggests Positive Regulation of Basal Defense Against Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae in Rice
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110573 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 252
Abstract
Bacterial leaf blight (BLB), a vascular disease caused by Xanthomonasoryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), induces a significant reduction in rice yield in severe epidemics. This study investigated the transcriptional regulation of the OsDHODH1 gene in rice cultivars exposed to the Xoo [...] Read more.
Bacterial leaf blight (BLB), a vascular disease caused by Xanthomonasoryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), induces a significant reduction in rice yield in severe epidemics. This study investigated the transcriptional regulation of the OsDHODH1 gene in rice cultivars exposed to the Xoo K3 isolate. The symptoms were monitored on a daily basis, and the lesion length of inoculated rice plants was scored 21 days post inoculation (dpi). The most resistant and the highly susceptible cultivars were used for gene expression analysis. The dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) domain is shared by many proteins in different plant species, and in Arabidopsis, this protein is encoded by the AtPYD1 gene. To investigate the functional role of the OsDHODH1 gene under bacterial infection, we inoculated the Arabidopsispyd1-2 knockout (atpyd1-2) plants, lacking the AtPYD1 gene (orthologous gene of the rice OsDHODH1), with Pseudomonassyringae pv. tomato (Pst) DC3000 vir, and the phenotypic response was scored 9 dpi. Results show that OsDHODH1 was upregulated in Tunnae, the most resistant rice cultivar but downregulated in IRAT112, the highly susceptible rice cultivar. In addition, Tunnae, Sipi and NERICA-L14 exhibited a durable resistance phenotype towards Xoo K3 isolate 21 dpi. Moreover, the expression of OsPR1a and OsPR10b (the rice pathogenesis inducible genes) was significantly upregulated in Tunnae, while being suppressed in IRAT112. Furthermore, the atpyd1-2 plants exhibited a high susceptibility towards Pst DC3000 vir. AtPR1 and AtPR2 (the Arabidopsis pathogenesis inducible genes) transcripts decreased in the atpyd1-2 plants compared to Col-0 (wild type) plants. Due to the above, OsDHODH1 and AtPYD1 are suggested to be involved in the basal adaptive response mechanisms towards bacterial pathogen resistance in plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Protection, Diseases, Pest and Weeds)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effect of Phenological Stage and Rooting Enhancers on Physiological Parameters in Stem Cuttings in the Process of Rhizogenesis of Rosa × alba ‘Maiden’s Blush’
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 572; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110572 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 116
Abstract
Once-blooming roses belong to difficult-to-root. One-bud leafy cuttings have limited storage capacity, due to the small size of the stem, and are exposed to prolonged stress conditions. The objective of this study was to examine if the treatment of the cuttings of Rosa [...] Read more.
Once-blooming roses belong to difficult-to-root. One-bud leafy cuttings have limited storage capacity, due to the small size of the stem, and are exposed to prolonged stress conditions. The objective of this study was to examine if the treatment of the cuttings of Rosa × alba ‘Maiden’s Blush’ with plant origin preparations as rooting enhancers may increase their rooting percentage, chlorophyll a/b, and proteins concentration in leaves. The cuttings were prepared from shoots in four phenological stages: flower buds closed, flowers open, immediately after petal shedding, and 7–14 days after petal fall. The following were used: 0.4% indole butyric acid (Ukorzeniacz Aaqua), 0.2% naphthalene acetic acid (Ukorzeniacz Baqua), Bio Rhizotonic; Root Juice™, and Bio Roots. Controls included untreated cuttings. The highest rooting percentage was obtained after two treatments with 0.6% Bio Rhizotonic (81.5%), compared to the control (55.0%), using cuttings from shoots with flower buds closed, but the rooting enhancers did not show any unequivocal impact on rooting percentage in cuttings of all phenological stages or affected improvement this feature in cuttings harvested 7–14 after shedding petals with low root ability. However, the action of plant preparations affected positively higher soluble proteins and chlorophyll content. The plant-origin preparations can be used as alternatives to chemicals in nursery production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Biostimulants on Crops)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Temporal–Spatial Distribution of Risky Sites for Feeding Cattle in China Based on Temperature/Humidity Index
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110571 - 22 Nov 2020
Viewed by 232
Abstract
This study identifies risk areas for cattle husbandry based on temperature and a relative humidity index (THI) derived from climate data (1987 to 2016) at 839 meteorological stations in China using geostatistics (ordinary and indicator kriging) in the geographical information system (GIS). In [...] Read more.
This study identifies risk areas for cattle husbandry based on temperature and a relative humidity index (THI) derived from climate data (1987 to 2016) at 839 meteorological stations in China using geostatistics (ordinary and indicator kriging) in the geographical information system (GIS). In general, monthly mean THI values were the highest in July and the lowest in January for all regions. The correlation analysis showed that there were negative relationships between THI values and latitude or elevation for the whole year (p < 0.01). The THI values were higher at low latitudes in coastal areas and at high latitudes in arid areas in summer. The healthy risk for cattle production varied depending on the time of the year and region. The study shows that cattle production is suitable throughout the whole year in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau; from October to April for most areas, except the southern coastal areas; in May and September in Northeast China, North China, and parts of Northwest China; in June in Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia. The information obtained in this study can provide a regional distribution of risk for the cattle industry in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animal Production)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Rooting Media and Biostimulator Goteo Treatment Effect the Adventitious Root Formation of Pennisetum ‘Vertigo’ Cuttings and the Quality of the Final Product
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110570 - 22 Nov 2020
Viewed by 168
Abstract
This study evaluated rooting of Pennisetum ‘Vertigo’ cuttings and development and the nutritional status of rooted plants. Cuttings of Pennisetum ‘Vertigo’ rooted in a perlite or peat medium were treated with Goëmar Goteo biostimulator as follows: (1) soaking (2) watering (3) spraying (4) [...] Read more.
This study evaluated rooting of Pennisetum ‘Vertigo’ cuttings and development and the nutritional status of rooted plants. Cuttings of Pennisetum ‘Vertigo’ rooted in a perlite or peat medium were treated with Goëmar Goteo biostimulator as follows: (1) soaking (2) watering (3) spraying (4) no Goteo applied (control). Then, 83.3–100% of cuttings formed adventitious roots. The, 100% rooting was obtained for plants in perlite when Goteo spraying or watering was used for plants rooted in peat only after Goteo watering application. Cuttings rooted in perlite had 30% more roots and they were longer than in peat. Goteo watering of cuttings affected root elongation in both peat and perlite. Neither rooting media nor biostimulator treatment affected root dry weight (DW). Rooting medium after 2 months of pot cultivation had no effect on biometric features of plants, but those grown from cuttings rooted in peat had a higher fresh weight (FW) compared to those rooted in perlite. Plants developed from Goteo-treated cuttings were higher compared to the control plants. Goteo watering during rooting stimulated the formation of new shoots in the greenhouse cultivation. Plants from cuttings rooted in perlite had more Fe and Cu in their leaves, especially when they were Goteo-watered. Goteo increased P content in plants derived from biostimulator-watered cuttings, and K in plants from cuttings soaked in Goteo and rooted in perlite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Production)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Tourism Competitiveness of Rural Areas: Evidence from a Region in Poland
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110569 - 22 Nov 2020
Viewed by 273
Abstract
The aim of the article is to present the analysis of tourism competitiveness of the rural areas of the Eastern Poland microregion (Podlaskie, Warmińsko–mazurskie, Lubelskie, Świętokrzyskie, Podkarpackie provinces). To group the rural communes in terms of tourism competitiveness, a cluster analysis with Ward’s [...] Read more.
The aim of the article is to present the analysis of tourism competitiveness of the rural areas of the Eastern Poland microregion (Podlaskie, Warmińsko–mazurskie, Lubelskie, Świętokrzyskie, Podkarpackie provinces). To group the rural communes in terms of tourism competitiveness, a cluster analysis with Ward’s method was applied. To do so, the data provided by the Central Statistical Office (Warsaw) in Poland of 2019 were used. The analyses provided in the article confirm the dependence between the size of the areas of outstanding natural beauty and the region’s tourism competitiveness. The results can be applied by the representatives of various institutions and organizations supporting the development of tourism in those areas. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Attitudes of Kazakh Rural Households towards Joining and Creating Cooperatives
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110568 - 22 Nov 2020
Viewed by 234
Abstract
The government of Kazakhstan is currently developing strategies and policies to stimulate milk production at an industrial production level to increase milk processing capacity. We use and expand the reasoned action approach as a framework to study the factors underlying the rural household’s [...] Read more.
The government of Kazakhstan is currently developing strategies and policies to stimulate milk production at an industrial production level to increase milk processing capacity. We use and expand the reasoned action approach as a framework to study the factors underlying the rural household’s motivation to participate in a governmental programme aimed at increasing rural cooperative production in Kazakhstan to increase milk production using primary data acquired from 181 randomly selected dairy households in the Akmola region of Kazakhstan. We account for the rural household’s psychological factors and socio-demographic characteristics along with the household’s risk attitudes, production structure, level of information about the government support programme and cooperatives, cultural aspects as well as the household’s proximity to the main market. A bivariate probit model is used to jointly estimate the impact of these factors on the rural household’s intention to join and create a cooperative. The results show that rural households which hold positive views towards cooperatives, have a relatively high production capacity, are aware/know of cooperatives, and do not have a dairy business as a source of household income are relatively keen to participate in collective actions. Perceived social norms and household risk attitudes also play a significant role in the rural household’s intention to participate in collective actions. Finally, gender and nationality are found to be positively associated with joining and creating a cooperative, while higher educated rural households are found to be less motivated to participate in the programme. In order to stimulate milk production at an industrial production level through a policy that encourages collective action, we recommend a policy that (a) supports rural households which have the capacity to produce and are in need; (b) is attractive to rural households which consider dairy as a source of income; and (c) is well disseminated and well explained to the targeted rural households. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Economics, Policies and Rural Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Application of Artificial Neural Networks to Assess the Mycological State of Bulk Stored Rapeseeds
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110567 - 22 Nov 2020
Viewed by 207
Abstract
Artificial neural networks (ANNs) constitute a promising modeling approach that may be used in control systems for postharvest preservation and storage processes. The study investigated the ability of multilayer perceptron and radial-basis function ANNs to predict fungal population levels in bulk stored rapeseeds [...] Read more.
Artificial neural networks (ANNs) constitute a promising modeling approach that may be used in control systems for postharvest preservation and storage processes. The study investigated the ability of multilayer perceptron and radial-basis function ANNs to predict fungal population levels in bulk stored rapeseeds with various temperatures (T = 12–30 °C) and water activity in seeds (aw = 0.75–0.90). The neural network model input included aw, temperature, and time, whilst the fungal population level was the model output. During the model construction, networks with a different number of hidden layer neurons and different configurations of activation functions in neurons of the hidden and output layers were examined. The best architecture was the multilayer perceptron ANN, in which the hyperbolic tangent function acted as an activation function in the hidden layer neurons, while the linear function was the activation function in the output layer neuron. The developed structure exhibits high prediction accuracy and high generalization capability. The model provided in the research may be readily incorporated into control systems for postharvest rapeseed preservation and storage as a support tool, which based on easily measurable on-line parameters can estimate the risk of fungal development and thus mycotoxin accumulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Safety of Fresh Produce)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Hogget and Mature Flock Reproductive Success on Sheep Farm Productivity
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110566 - 21 Nov 2020
Viewed by 208
Abstract
Breeding hoggets (ewe lambs aged four to 16 months) at 8 to 9 months of age has a number of potential benefits, including increased lamb production and profitability. However, the majority of hoggets in New Zealand are not bred due to producer concerns [...] Read more.
Breeding hoggets (ewe lambs aged four to 16 months) at 8 to 9 months of age has a number of potential benefits, including increased lamb production and profitability. However, the majority of hoggets in New Zealand are not bred due to producer concerns regarding their variable reproductive success and increased feed demand. Simulation modelling was used to quantify effects of hogget breeding on sheep numbers, lamb production, sheep feed demand, and sheep enterprise cash operating surplus (COS) compared with a flock not breeding hoggets. Hogget weaning rate (HWR) was modelled at 0%, 60%, 80%, and 100% and combined with mature ewe flock weaning rates (FWR) of 132% and 150%, while maintaining total annual sheep feed demand. For each FWR, increased HWR reduced total sheep numbers, increased the proportion of sheep feed demand for lamb production, increased total numbers of lambs weaned, and increased COS. Therefore, achieving even a relatively low HWR of 60% can improve sheep enterprise profitability for a given FWR. However, COS was lower with FWR = 132% and HWR = 100% than with FWR = 150% and HWR = 0%. The results indicate farmers who do not currently breed their hoggets may wish to improve their FWR before considering HWRs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Systems and Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication
Mycotoxin Contamination of Selected Organic Enrichment Materials Used in Pig Farming
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110565 - 21 Nov 2020
Viewed by 222
Abstract
Abnormal behavior, such as tail biting, is a fundamental problem in pig husbandry worldwide, and the application of enrichment materials, particularly organic materials, is one of the most promising preventive and curative measures. However, the potential health risks posed by these materials, such [...] Read more.
Abnormal behavior, such as tail biting, is a fundamental problem in pig husbandry worldwide, and the application of enrichment materials, particularly organic materials, is one of the most promising preventive and curative measures. However, the potential health risks posed by these materials, such as being an additional source of mycotoxins, have not been sufficiently studied to date. Therefore, 21 different organic enrichment materials were tested for mycotoxin contamination with a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry multi-mycotoxin method. Concerning the legally regulated mycotoxins in the EU, aflatoxin B1 and ochratoxin A were not detected in any of the tested materials. Fumonisin B2 was detected in straw meal made of wheat, rye, and triticale, but the level (0.014 mg/kg) was very low. The level of deoxynivalenol in maize pellets (5.01 mg/kg) and maize silage (2.12 mg/kg) exceeded the guidance value for pig feed. Zearalenone was present at high levels in maize pellets (1.21 mg/kg), hay (0.30 mg/kg), and maize silage (0.25 mg/kg). Maize products showed high levels of mycotoxins presenting a health risk for pigs and cannot be recommended as enrichment material. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Predicting Phosphorus and Potato Yield Using Active and Passive Sensors
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110564 (registering DOI) - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 185
Abstract
Applications of remote sensing are important in improving potato production through the broader adoption of precision agriculture. This technology could be useful in decreasing the potential contamination of soil and water due to the over-fertilization of agriculture crops. The objective of this study [...] Read more.
Applications of remote sensing are important in improving potato production through the broader adoption of precision agriculture. This technology could be useful in decreasing the potential contamination of soil and water due to the over-fertilization of agriculture crops. The objective of this study was to assess the utility of active sensors (Crop Circle™, Holland Scientific, Inc., Lincoln, NE, USA and GreenSeeker™, Trimble Navigation Limited, Sunnyvale, CA, USA) and passive sensors (multispectral imaging with Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAVs)) to predict total potato yield and phosphorus (P) uptake. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with four replications and six P treatments, ranging from 0 to 280 kg P ha−1, as triple superphosphate (46% P2O5). Vegetation indices (VIs) and plant pigment levels were calculated at various time points during the potato growth cycle, correlated with total potato yields and P uptake by the stepwise fitting of multiple linear regression models. Data generated by Crop Circle™ and GreenSeeker™ had a low predictive value of potato yields, especially early in the season. Crop Circle™ performed better than GreenSeeker™ in predicting plant P uptake. In contrast, the passive sensor data provided good estimates of total yields early in the season but had a poor correlation with P uptake. The combined use of active and passive sensors presents an opportunity for better P management in potatoes. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Water-Soluble Carbohydrate Recovery in Pastures of Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and Pasture Brome (Bromus valdivianus Phil.) Under Two Defoliation Frequencies Determined by Thermal Time
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110563 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 206
Abstract
The objectives of the experiment were to (i) examine the dynamics of WSC use and the recovery of leaf sheaths and blades of Bromus valdivianus Phil. and Lolium perenne L. subjected to two defoliation frequencies (DFs) determined by thermal time (TT); (ii) evaluate [...] Read more.
The objectives of the experiment were to (i) examine the dynamics of WSC use and the recovery of leaf sheaths and blades of Bromus valdivianus Phil. and Lolium perenne L. subjected to two defoliation frequencies (DFs) determined by thermal time (TT); (ii) evaluate how DF influenced regrowth and accumulated herbage mass (AHM) during fall. Defoliation was carried out at frequencies of 135 and 270 accumulated growing degree days (AGDDs) for both species. Twelve plots were arranged in a three-block design. All plots had a conditioning period to establish the assigned DF prior to sampling. From the start of the experiment, “cores” were collected from each plot every three days until the DF was reached. Every core was separated into leaf and sheath material before measuring the WSC concentration. Lolium perenne had concentrated more WSCs than B. valdivianus. Both species adapted their WSC recovery according to the DF. The recovery of WSC was faster under a DF of 135 AGDDs than that of 270 AGDDs. Leaf sheaths contained more WSCs than leaf blades and were identified as WSC storage organs. This period can be used as the optimal defoliation interval in B. valdivianus and L. perenne grazing systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Diversification)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Estimation of Tunisian Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Different Livestock Species
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110562 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 332
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the emissions of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from seven Tunisian livestock species and their evolution over eleven consecutive years (2008–2018). The species of animals used were cattle (dairy and others), sheep, goats, [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the emissions of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from seven Tunisian livestock species and their evolution over eleven consecutive years (2008–2018). The species of animals used were cattle (dairy and others), sheep, goats, camelids, horses, donkeys and mules, and poultry. The estimations of CH4 and N2O emissions were based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines for national inventories, using Tier 1 and Tier 2 approaches, with its default emission factors (EFs). The Tier 2 approach was applied only for the calculation of EF to estimate CH4 emissions related to livestock manure management. CH4 emission represented more than 92% of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) from livestock emissions. Moreover, 53% of the total CH4 emissions from livestock were derived from cattle, followed by sheep, goats, other mammals (camelids, horses, mules, and donkeys), and poultry. During the period covered by the study (2008–2018), a slight and continuous decrease of both livestock population and total GHG emissions was observed, mainly in terms of CH4. In mammals, CH4 emissions were greater than N2O emissions, whereas in poultry, N2O emissions were up to 2.6 times greater than CH4 emissions. The aggressive drive of the government to increase cattle and sheep production might affect CH4 emissions in the future. Therefore, periodic estimations of GHG emissions from livestock are required to follow the time trends for more rational decision-making regarding livestock and GHG emissions policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animal Production)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Milk Market Integration between Poland and the EU Countries
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110561 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 201
Abstract
Milk is one of the most essential agricultural products in the EU. One of the major milk producers in the EU is Poland. Polish farmers account for supplying 8% of the total EU production. Nevertheless, Polish milk prices differ from the prices recorded [...] Read more.
Milk is one of the most essential agricultural products in the EU. One of the major milk producers in the EU is Poland. Polish farmers account for supplying 8% of the total EU production. Nevertheless, Polish milk prices differ from the prices recorded in its western neighbors. The aim of the article has been to evaluate the dynamics of the relationships between milk prices in Poland and in the EU countries. To develop it, the monthly raw milk prices, covering the period January 2005 through December 2018, were applied. The calculations were made for the entire selected period as well as for two sub-periods: 2005–2011 and 2012–2018. The results were used to confirm the milk market integration between Poland and the EU countries. Besides, it must be noted that the relations increased considerably since 2012. The EU countries which have recorded the greatest impact on the prices in Poland are Germany, Ireland, France and Slovakia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Floral Biology and Pollination Efficiency in Yam (Dioscorea spp.)
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110560 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 230
Abstract
Yam (Dioscorea spp.) is a monocotyledonous herbaceous vine cultivated for its starchy underground or aerial tubers in the tropics and subtropics. It is an allogamous and polyploid species that reproduces by both sexual and asexual mechanisms. However, many of the landrace cultivars, [...] Read more.
Yam (Dioscorea spp.) is a monocotyledonous herbaceous vine cultivated for its starchy underground or aerial tubers in the tropics and subtropics. It is an allogamous and polyploid species that reproduces by both sexual and asexual mechanisms. However, many of the landrace cultivars, including most of the popular varieties, reproduce exclusively by vegetative propagation (planting the tubers). These varieties are either sterile or produce sparse and irregular flowering with high flower abortion rate, low fruit and seed set. Production of crossbreed seeds for genetic improvement and for maintaining genetic diversity in yams is, therefore, mainly achieved through natural or managed pollination. Flowering in yam is mostly dioecious and, in some instances, monoecious. Flowering asynchrony, sticky nature of the pollen grains, and cross incompatibility are among the challenges in making genetic progress in yam breeding. There are many limitations in basic and applied knowledge of yam flower biology and pollination. This paper, therefore, reviews the flowering biology, pollination, and methods of improving pollination efficiency in yam breeding programs. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
An Assessment of the Site-Specific Nutrient Management (SSNM) Strategy for Irrigated Rice in Asia
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110559 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 181
Abstract
The site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) strategy provides guidelines for effective nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium management to help farmers make better decisions on fertilizer input and output levels in rice (Oryza sativa) production. The SSNM fertilizer recommendations are based on the yield [...] Read more.
The site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) strategy provides guidelines for effective nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium management to help farmers make better decisions on fertilizer input and output levels in rice (Oryza sativa) production. The SSNM fertilizer recommendations are based on the yield goal approach, which has been frequently cited in empirical studies. This study evaluates the assumptions underlying the SSNM strategy for rice in the top rice-producing countries around the world, including India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Using a generalized quadratic production function, I explore whether major nutrients are substitutes as inputs and if there are complementarities between inorganic fertilizer and soil organic matter (SOM). The results suggest the relationships among major nutrients vary across sites—some inputs are complements, some are substitutes, and some are independent. The SOM also significantly affects the nitrogen fertilizer uptake. I conclude by suggesting that the SSNM strategy can be made to be more adaptive to farmer’s fields if these relationships are accounted for in the fertilizer recommendation algorithm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Fertilization in Crop Production)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Nutritional Composition, Bioactive Compounds and Functional Evaluation of Various Parts of Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110558 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 118
Abstract
The pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.) is one of the major grain legume crops of the tropical world and recent evidence indicates that it possesses various health benefits. However, to the best of our knowledge, no comparison has been made on [...] Read more.
The pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.) is one of the major grain legume crops of the tropical world and recent evidence indicates that it possesses various health benefits. However, to the best of our knowledge, no comparison has been made on the nutritional composition and biological functions of its leaves, seeds, and roots. Therefore, the present study investigates which part of the C. cajan (L.) Millsp plant has the highest potential for development as a health food product. Results show that C. cajan (L.) Millsp roots (CCR) have a higher total polyphenol content (TPC) and total flavonoids flavonoid (TFC) contents than leaves and seeds. The antioxidant, anti-hyperglycemic, and anti-bacterial activities of CCR extracted with hot water (HWCR), 50% ethanol (EECR50), and 95% ethanol (EECR95) were determined. We found that EECR95 had the strongest antioxidant activity, as evaluated by 1,1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH) and 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS+) scavenging, and reducing power. EECR95 exhibited higher anti-hyperglycemic ability (inhibition of α-glucosidase and α-amylase activities) and anti-glycation effects (IC50 = 39, 120 and 229 μg/mL, respectively) than HWCR and EECR50. EECR95 also exhibited potent anti-bacterial activities on E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Streptococcus mutans, with minimum inhibitory concentrations of 113, 180, 16, and 100 μg/mL, respectively. Based on above results, we conclude that CCR has considerable potential for health food development and further studies of CCR in animals to confirm these biological effects and safety issues are warranted. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Lambs’ State of Consciousness Signs during Halal and Traditional Slaughtering
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110557 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 212
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the persistence of two signs of consciousness (rhythmic breathing and corneal reflex) in lambs slaughtered according to the traditional method and Halal ritual rite. A total of 240 lambs were examined and divided into two [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the persistence of two signs of consciousness (rhythmic breathing and corneal reflex) in lambs slaughtered according to the traditional method and Halal ritual rite. A total of 240 lambs were examined and divided into two equal groups (n = 120 each). Lambs of group A were subjected to the stunning phase by the action of an electric current on the brain, while lambs of group B were slaughtered according to the religious Halal method without prior stunning. Rhythmic breathing (RB) and corneal reflex (CR) were used as indicators of prolonged brain function, and their evaluation was carried out by the operators in three subsequent steps at 15 s, 30 s, and 90 s post-bleeding, respectively. The stunning of the lambs reduced the animal’s state of consciousness and, consequently, reduced suffering, pain, and distress. Indeed, the lambs of group B showed longer duration consciousness than the animals stunned by electrodes. The permanence of the reflexes in Halal slaughter could be reduced by introducing a reversible stunning method to make the animal temporarily unconscious. Moreover, given that our results revealed consciousness also after 90 s post-cut, the assessment of the animal’s state of consciousness in wider time intervals than those commonly used is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animal Production)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Ancient Wheat Species (Triticum sphaerococcum Perc. and T. persicum Vav.) in Organic Farming: Influence of Sowing Density on Agronomic Traits, Pests and Diseases Occurrence, and Weed Infestation
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 556; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110556 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 368
Abstract
Crop management should be determined to reintroduce ancient wheat. This study aimed to determine: i. the response of the yield of ancient wheat on sowing density; ii. the impact of sowing density on plant health, weed infestation and pest occurrence. Field experiments were [...] Read more.
Crop management should be determined to reintroduce ancient wheat. This study aimed to determine: i. the response of the yield of ancient wheat on sowing density; ii. the impact of sowing density on plant health, weed infestation and pest occurrence. Field experiments were carried out in Poland, on three organic farms. The factors were: (1) wheat species: Persian wheat (Triticum persicum Vav.) and Indian dwarf wheat (T. sphaerococcum Perc.), (2) sowing density (400, 500, and 600 grains m−2). Increasing the sowing density of T. sphaerococcum from 400 to 600 grains m−2 increases the grain yield and reduces the pest pressure (Oulema spp. and Aphididae). Sowing densities did not affect the severity of powdery mildew at stem elongation as well as root rot and eyespot at the development of fruit. At the highest sowing density, the leaf area with tan spot symptoms was the highest. The eyespot symptoms occurred more frequently and the damaged plant surface caused by Oulema spp. was larger on T. sphaerococcum. Persian wheat turned out to be more susceptible to weed infestation. Indian dwarf wheat and Persian wheat are useful for organic farming, and the sowing density should be 500 or 600 grains m−2 and 400 grains m−2, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effects of Light and Autotoxicity on the Reproduction of Bidens pilosa L.: From Laboratory to the Field
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 555; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110555 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 209
Abstract
In Taiwan, the good agricultural practices for Bidens pilosa L. (Cobbler’s pegs) had been established due to its pharmacology application. However, the reproduction of this species that may cause phytotoxicity to the subsequent crops has not been investigated extensively. We hypothesized that both [...] Read more.
In Taiwan, the good agricultural practices for Bidens pilosa L. (Cobbler’s pegs) had been established due to its pharmacology application. However, the reproduction of this species that may cause phytotoxicity to the subsequent crops has not been investigated extensively. We hypothesized that both the phytotoxicity and canopy shading conditions that were altered by agricultural practices might affect its seed reproduction. Three experiments from laboratory, pot and field were conducted under different light treatments and residue application rates to evaluate the light requirement and phytotoxicity on the germination of Cobbler’s pegs. The results showed that the germination in the laboratory, dark treatments was higher than that of light treatment while it was inhibited in the darkness in the pot experiments (24% of the light treatments). Moreover, some seeds in the pot experiments germinated in the far-red light (FR) pretreated dark treatments. This observation indicated that the germination response of the investigated plant might be a very low fluence response (VLFR). Results also showed that the autotoxicity enhanced the germination reduction in the FR pretreated dark treatment while increasing the residues buried in the field. Accordingly, both autotoxicity and canopy shading may inhibit the reproduction of Cobbler’s pegs, but the application method needs further study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agroecological Crop Protection in Low-Input Agricultural Systems)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Tower Press for Obtaining Olive Oil: Analysis through Computer-Aided Engineering
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110554 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 198
Abstract
This article analyzes a large tower press used to press crushed olives to obtain olive oil. To this end, a study of computer-aided engineering (CAE) was carried out using the parametric software Autodesk Inventor Professional, consisting of a static analysis using the finite-element [...] Read more.
This article analyzes a large tower press used to press crushed olives to obtain olive oil. To this end, a study of computer-aided engineering (CAE) was carried out using the parametric software Autodesk Inventor Professional, consisting of a static analysis using the finite-element method (FEM) of the 3D model of the press under real operating conditions. The tower press has been analyzed in two limit positions: in the rest position, supported on two pillars, and the pressing position, supported on the set of filter discs (basket load) called ‘cargo de capachos’ that contained the previously ground olives. In the first position, static analysis revealed that the maximum von Mises stress was 22.7 MPa, located on the axle of the roller, but this is far from the elastic limit. Moreover, the lowest safety coefficient is 11.16, produced in the contact between the tower and the right pillar and well above the optimal range between 2 and 4. On the other hand, it hardly presents equivalent displacements or deformations that would endanger the operation of the set. The greatest displacement would be in the wooden guide (0.123 mm) and a deformation of 0.027% with respect to its length. These values confirm that, in this position, the tower press was clearly oversized. However, the results obtained regarding the second position are not entirely conclusive. Although the values of the displacements and the equivalent deformations are low, with results similar to those obtained in the first position, with a maximum displacement of 0.1315 mm located in the horizontal beam of the support structure and a maximum equivalent deformation of value 0.385%, located in the contact between the screw and the nut, the same does not happen with the von Mises stress. The software did not obtain a convergent result due to the frustoconical geometry of the bolt that joins the screw and nut, adopting a maximum value of 508.3 MPa. For this point, the safety coefficient is 1.49, which reveals a sizing problem with the proposed solution of resizing the screw thread, giving it more robustness. The rest of the elements work with a safety coefficient above 4.33 so they are also clearly oversized, according to current criteria. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Pyrenophora teres and Rhynchosporium secalis Establishment in a Mediterranean Malt Barley Field: Assessing Spatial, Temporal and Management Effects
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110553 - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 229
Abstract
Malt barley is one of the promising crops in Greece, mainly due to high yields and contract farming, which have led to an increase in malt barley acreage. Net form net blotch (NFNB), caused by Pyrenophora teres f. teres, and barley leaf [...] Read more.
Malt barley is one of the promising crops in Greece, mainly due to high yields and contract farming, which have led to an increase in malt barley acreage. Net form net blotch (NFNB), caused by Pyrenophora teres f. teres, and barley leaf scald, caused by Rhynchosporium secalis, are among the most important barley diseases worldwide and particularly in Greece. Their occurrence in malt barley can exert a significant negative effect on malt barley grain yield and quality. An experimental trial across two growing seasons was implemented in Greece in order (i) to estimate the epidemiology of NFNB and leaf scald in a barley disease-free area when the initial inoculation of the field occurs through infected seeds, (ii) to explore the spatial dynamics of disease spread under the interaction of the nitrogen rate and genotype when there are limited sources of infected host residues in the soil and (iii) to assess the relationship among the nitrogen rate, grain yield, quality variables (i.e., grain protein content and grain size) and disease severity. It was confirmed that both NFNB and leaf scald can be carried over from one season to the next on infected seed under Mediterranean conditions. However, the disease severity was more pronounced after the barley tillering phase when the soil had been successfully inoculated, which supports the hypothesis that the most important source of primary inoculum for NFNB comes from infected host residue. Increasing the rate of nitrogen application, when malt barley was cultivated in the same field for a second year in a row, caused a non-significant increase in disease severity for both pathogens from anthesis onwards. However, hotspot and commonality analyses revealed that spatial and genotypic effects were mainly responsible for hiding this effect. In addition, it was found that the effect of disease infections on yield, grain size and grain protein content varied in relation to the genotype, pathogen and stage of crop development. The importance of crop residues in the evolution of both diseases was also highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management of Field Crops)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Foliar and Soil Application of Flufenacet and Prosulfocarb on Italian Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum L.) Control
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110552 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 209
Abstract
Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) can be a troublesome weed that may causes high yield losses to several crops. Ryegrass resistance to the typically used acetolactate synthase (ALS) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase) inhibiting herbicides complicates the control. As an alternative, we evaluated [...] Read more.
Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) can be a troublesome weed that may causes high yield losses to several crops. Ryegrass resistance to the typically used acetolactate synthase (ALS) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase) inhibiting herbicides complicates the control. As an alternative, we evaluated and compared the effects of two soil-acting herbicides, flufenacet and prosulfocarb, on susceptible L. multiflorum. The herbicides were applied in two doses in three different methods of applications: (1) soil and foliar application (2) foliar application, and (3) soil application only. Two greenhouse experiments separated in time showed that both herbicides reduced root and foliar biomass significantly as compared to the nontreated plants. In experiment 1, both herbicides resulted in lower efficacy when they only were applied to the leaves compared to the nontreated plants. Especially the foliar effect of flufenacet was small. The highest dose of prosulfocarb (4200 g ai ha−1) reduced the fresh foliar weight by 61% in experiment 1 and by 95% in experiment 2. The lowest dose of prosulfocarb (2100 g ai ha−1) reduced the weights by 73% (experiment 1) and 98% (experiment 2), respectively. For both herbicides the soil and foliar application applied postemergence were effective in reducing growth of L. multiflorum significantly in both experiments. Foliar application showed inconsistent results, showing that soil absorption plays an important role on herbicide efficacy even when the herbicides are applied postemergence. Postemergence application of prosulfocarb and flufenacet were effective to reduce L. multiflorum growth having apparently good root and leaf absorption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbicide Physiology and Environmental Fate)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Biomass Characteristics and Energy Yields of Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) Cultivated in Eastern Poland
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110551 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 261
Abstract
The present pilot study examined the potential of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) as an energy source. The fresh matter of whole tobacco plants, the yield of dry matter of stems and leaves, as well as the higher heating value and methane production [...] Read more.
The present pilot study examined the potential of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) as an energy source. The fresh matter of whole tobacco plants, the yield of dry matter of stems and leaves, as well as the higher heating value and methane production potential from tobacco biomass were determined. The yield of tobacco leaves was on average 4.69 Mg ha−1 (dry matter) and 76.90 GJ ha−1 yr−1 (biomass energy yield). Tobacco stems yielded on average 8.55 Mg ha−1 and 150.69 GJ ha−1 yr−1, while yields of whole tobacco crops were (on average) 13.24 Mg ha−1 and 227.59 GJ ha−1 yr−1. Methane potential of tobacco plants was (on average) 248 Nm3 Mg−1 VS (volatile solids). The tobacco plants tested in the study could be used as energy crops as their dry matter and energy yields are similar to those of the most popular energy crops being currently used in biomass production in Poland and the European Union. Nevertheless, further studies to choose the Nicotiana species and varieties most suitable for energy production and to assess the cost-effectiveness of tobacco biomass production are needed. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Native Perennial Plants Colonizing Abandoned Arable Fields in a Desert Area: Population Structure and Community Assembly
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110550 - 15 Nov 2020
Viewed by 302
Abstract
In recent years, the phenomenon of abandonment of arable fields has increased in Saudi Arabia due to low soil fertility, drought, low rainfall, high levels of evapotranspiration, soil salinization, and low level of groundwater. We evaluated the effect of agricultural land abandonment on [...] Read more.
In recent years, the phenomenon of abandonment of arable fields has increased in Saudi Arabia due to low soil fertility, drought, low rainfall, high levels of evapotranspiration, soil salinization, and low level of groundwater. We evaluated the effect of agricultural land abandonment on soil properties, perennial vegetation composition, and population structure in the Al-Kharj region, Saudi Arabia. A total of 11 perennial plant species belonging to 9 families and 11 genera were detected in the different abandoned fields of the study area. Four plant communities were identified after the application of the detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) ordination. The indicator species were (1) Seidlitzia rosmarinusZygophyllum hamiense, (2) Traganum nudatumSeidlitzia rosmarinus, (3) Traganum nudatumProsopis farcta, and (4) Calligonum comosum—Pulicaria undulata. Results of the soil analysis showed significant differences in soil texture, pH, salinity, and nutrient content among the four recognized plant communities. Demographic analysis indicated that populations of Zygophyllum hamiense and Calligonum comosum tended to be either inverse J-shaped or positively skewed which may have indicated rapidly-growing populations with high reproductive capacity. Conversely, the size–frequency distribution of Traganum nudatum, S. Rosmarinus, and Prosopis farcta was approximately symmetrical (i.e., bell-shaped). The present study sheds light on the necessity of managing abandoned agricultural fields for restoring and improving rangelands with native species that are adapted to the local conditions such as low water demand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation Agriculture for Ecosystem Services)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Drivers of Mechanization in Cotton Production in Benin, West Africa
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110549 - 15 Nov 2020
Viewed by 237
Abstract
In the context of Africa’s farm labor scarcity, the use of mechanization is crucial for agricultural development. In Benin, technological advances, such as animal traction and motorization, are struggling to achieve the success expected by producers. The objective of this research was to [...] Read more.
In the context of Africa’s farm labor scarcity, the use of mechanization is crucial for agricultural development. In Benin, technological advances, such as animal traction and motorization, are struggling to achieve the success expected by producers. The objective of this research was to analyze the drivers of mechanization in cotton production in Benin. Data collected from 482 cotton producers in three agroecological zones of the country were analyzed using a multinomial Logit model. The results revealed that 34% of cotton producers used hand tools, compared to 31% using draught animals and 35% using tractors. Variables such as education level, area cropped, access to land, access to credit and agroecological zone had a positive influence on the probability of using mechanization in the cotton production. Family labor size per household had a negative influence on the probability of using farm mechanization. Women were more likely to use farm mechanization than men. This research suggests that mechanization policies should adapt agricultural equipment to the specificities of the production systems of each agroecological zone, and strengthen land tenure security and access to credit, particularly for women cotton producers. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Impacts of the Winter Pea Crop (Instead of Rapeseed) on Soil Microbial Communities, Nitrogen Balance and Wheat Yield
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110548 - 14 Nov 2020
Viewed by 364
Abstract
Due to legume-based systems improving several aspects of soil fertility, the diversification of agrosystems using legumes in crop succession is gaining increasing interest. The benefits of legumes aroused the interest of farmers in the association of the Economic and Environmental Interest Group (EEIG), [...] Read more.
Due to legume-based systems improving several aspects of soil fertility, the diversification of agrosystems using legumes in crop succession is gaining increasing interest. The benefits of legumes aroused the interest of farmers in the association of the Economic and Environmental Interest Group (EEIG), who introduced the idea of using the winter pea instead of rapeseed in their crop succession. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of the winter pea compared to those of rapeseed, as a head crop of the rotation, on soil microbial communities, enzyme activities, nitrogen (N) balance and yields. The field experiment involved two farmer plots that were selected within the EEIG. In each plot, two crop successions, including winter pea–wheat and rapeseed–wheat with fertilized and unfertilized strips, were examined for two years. Three times a year, under the wheat crop, composite soil samples were collected at depths of 0–20 cm, for microbial abundance and enzyme activity analyses, and twice a year at a depth of 0–60 cm, for the measuring of the mineral N. The results showed that the rapeseed–wheat succession maintained or enhanced soil bacterial and fungal biomasses and their enzyme activities. The winter pea–wheat succession enriched the soil’s mineral N content more consistently than the rapeseed–wheat succession. The mineral N enhancement’s effect was maintained under the wheat crop. Overall, the impact of the winter pea was positive on the soil’s N dynamics, but wheat yields were equivalent regardless of the previous crop (winter pea or rapeseed with and without fertilization). In the Normandy region, as rapeseed requires a large amount of N fertilizer and pesticide to maintain the yield and quality of crop products, it is suitable to favor the introduction of the winter pea as the head crop of the rotation, which indirectly allows for a reduction in the costs of input production and use, the working time of farmers and environmental pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant–Soil Interactions and Agroecosystem Functioning)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Dietary Green Seaweed Compromises Overall Feed Conversion Efficiency but not Blood Parameters and Meat Quality and Stability in Broiler Chickens
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110547 - 13 Nov 2020
Viewed by 238
Abstract
Using seaweeds as sources of nutrients and beneficial bioactive compounds can promote sustainable production of functional poultry products. This study investigated the physiological and meat quality responses of Cobb 500 broiler chickens to graded levels of green seaweed (Ulva sp.) meal (SWM). [...] Read more.
Using seaweeds as sources of nutrients and beneficial bioactive compounds can promote sustainable production of functional poultry products. This study investigated the physiological and meat quality responses of Cobb 500 broiler chickens to graded levels of green seaweed (Ulva sp.) meal (SWM). Three hundred, two-week-old male chicks (159.3 ± 11.76 g live-weight) were randomly assigned to five diets formulated by diluting a standard broiler diet with SWM at 0 (SW0), 20 (SW20), 25 (SW25), 30 (SW30) and 35 g/kg (SW35). There were neither linear nor quadratic trends (p > 0.05) for overall feed intake, overall growth performance and carcass and meat quality traits. Overall feed conversion efficiency (R2 = 0.192, p = 0.018) and spleen weights (R2 = 0.182; p = 0.020) linearly declined as SWM levels increased. Linear and quadratic responses (p > 0.05) were observed for lymphocytes. There were linear effects for meat pH except on day 7 of storage. Meat lightness (L*) linearly increased whereas meat redness (a*) quadratically responded to SWM levels (day 3 of storage). While an optimum inclusion level could not be established for seaweed based on growth performance, improvements in some meat shelf life indicators were observed in the broilers reared on seaweed-containing diets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animal Production)
Open AccessArticle
Is Crop Residue Removal to Reduce N2O Emissions Driven by Quality or Quantity? A Field Study and Meta-Analysis
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110546 - 13 Nov 2020
Viewed by 240
Abstract
In order to quantify the reduction potential for nitrous oxide (N2O) release from arable soils through the removal of crop residues, we conducted an experiment after sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) harvest with three treatments: (i) ploughing of the crop [...] Read more.
In order to quantify the reduction potential for nitrous oxide (N2O) release from arable soils through the removal of crop residues, we conducted an experiment after sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) harvest with three treatments: (i) ploughing of the crop residues (+CR:D), (ii) returning residues after ploughing on the surface (+CR:S), and (iii) removal of the residues and ploughing (−CR). N2O fluxes were measured over 120 days in south Germany. High positive correlations between N2O fluxes and the CO2 fluxes and soil nitrate contents suggested denitrification as the main N2O source. N2O emissions in +CR:D was higher than in +CR:S (2.39 versus 0.93 kg N2O−N ha−1 120 d−1 in +CR:D and +CR:S). Residue removal in −CR reduced the N2O emission compared to +CR:D by 95% and to +CR:S by 87%. We further conducted a meta-analysis on the effect of crop residue removal on N2O emissions, where we included 176 datasets from arable soils with mainly rain fed crops. The overall effect of residue removal showed a N2O reduction of 11%. The highest N2O reduction of 76% was calculated for the removal subgroup with C/N-ratio < 25. Neither the remaining C/N-ratio subgroups nor the grouping variables “tillage” or “residue quantity” differed within their subgroup. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop