Phenological models for predicting the grapevine flowering were tested using phenological data of 15 grape varieties collected between 1990 and 2014 in Vinhos Verdes and Lisbon Portuguese wine regions. Three models were tested: Spring Warming (Growing Degree Days - GDD model), Spring Warming modified using a triangular function - GDD triangular and UniFORC model, which considers an exponential response curve to temperature. Model estimation was performed using data on two grape varieties (Loureiro and Fernao Pires), present in both regions. Three dates were tested for the beginning of heat unit accumulation (t(0)( )date): budburst, 1 January and 1 September. The best overall date was budburst. Furthermore, for each model parameter, an intermediate range of values common for the studied regions was estimated and further optimized to obtain one model that could he used for a diverse range of grape varieties in both wine regions. External validation was performed using an independent data set from 13 grape varieties (seven red and six white), different from the two used in the estimation step. The results showed a high coefficient of determination (R-2 : 0.59-0.89), low Root Mean Square Error (RMSE: 3-7 days) and Mean Absolute Deviation (MAD: 2-6 days) between predicted and observed values. The UniFORC model overall performed slightly better than the two GDD models, presenting higher R-2 (0.75) and lower RMSE (4.55) and MAD (3.60). The developed phenological models presented good accuracy when applied to several varieties in different regions and can be used as a predictor tool of flowering date in Portugal.
The current study investigated the influence of selection for body weight (BW) on growth curve parameters in two lines of Japanese quail through a mixed model approach. Live BWs of 1400 Japanese quail were recorded at 3-day intervals from hatching to 42 days of age. Birds were distributed equally across lines (selected and control) and sexes (male and female). The asymptotic weight parameter (beta(0)) values were always higher in Gompertz than Richards models in both lines. The values of beta(0) were higher in the selected than control lines and in females than males across models. Differences were found in the inflection point for age and weight across lines and sexes. Values of the growth rate parameter (beta(2)) ranged from 0.06 to 0.10 in both models, favouring males over females in both lines. Lower weights at the inflection point of both models were observed in the control line. Determination coefficient (R-2) of both models in different genetic groups and sexes was similar. Mean square error (MSE) values of the Gompertz model were lower for females in selected v. control lines. In contrast, MSE values of the Richards model were lower for selected males v. control males. According to the criteria of choice (highest R-2 and lowest MSE, Akaike information criterion and Bayesian information criterion), the Richards model was considered the best fitting model for the growth data of males, while the Gompertz model was the best for growth data of female quails in both lines.
Though the number of climate-change-related agro-phenological investigations are growing rapidly, the attention paid to spring crops has been much less than to winter ones. The objective of the current study was to investigate long-term temporal and spatial trends of spring barley phenology and to project changes in the timing and duration of different phenological phases during the current century. Higher temperatures significantly affected the potential scheduling of agricultural practices, accelerating the occurrence of sowing and emergence dates. Historical trends in harvest dates of spring barley showed a slight delay. These changes resulted in the extension of the total vegetative period of spring barley by >12 days over the period investigated (1961-2015). Since Lithuania is situated on the Baltic Sea, an increase in temperature along with an increase in distance from the sea was characteristic over the last 55 years. Projected changes in the occurrence of phenological phases of spring barley differ significantly from analysed historical changes and advancement of all phenological phases have been projected according to both Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 2.6 and RCP 8.5 climate change scenarios. Shortening of the total vegetative period by 5 days is foreseen for the far (2071-2100) future according to the pessimistic (RCP 8.5) climate change scenario.
The feasibility of non-destructive detection and classification of in-shell insect-infested almonds was examined by using multispectral imaging (MSI) technology combined with chemometrics. Differentiation of reflectance spectral data between intact and insect-infested almonds was attempted by using analytical approaches based on principal component analysis and support vector machines, classification accuracy rates as high as 99.1% in the calibration set and 97.5% in the prediction set were achieved. Meanwhile, the in-shell almonds were categorized into three classes (intact, slightly infested and severely infested) based on the degree of damage caused by insect infestation and were characterized quantitatively by the analysis of shell/kernel weight ratio. A three-class model for the identification of intact, slightly infested and severely infested almonds yielded acceptable classification performance (95.6% accuracy in the calibration set and 93.3% in the prediction set). These results revealed that MSI technology combined with chemometrics may be a promising approach for the non-destructive detection of hidden insect damage in almonds and could be used for industrial applications.
Atmospheric emissions of nitrogen (N) from New Zealand dairy farms are significant but have the potential to be affected by manure management prior to land application. The current work examined whether reducing cattle manure dry matter (DM) from 0.16 high DM (HDM) to 0.06 low DM (LDM), to enhance infiltration and reduce ammonia (NH3) emissions when applied to grassland, would affect nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Pasture was cut, simulating grazing, and either amended with HDM (173 kg N/ha) or LDM manure (48 kg N/ha) or left unamended. Ammonia emissions from HDM manure were higher than from LDM manure, as a flux or as a percentage of total ammoniacal nitrogen (TAN, i.e. NH3 + NH4+) applied, due to more TAN being retained near the soil surface and the higher soil surface pH under HDM manure treatment. Cumulative N2O emissions over 37 days from HDM plots were higher than from the control but not from the LDM plots. After 5 days, the daily N2O emission rate was larger from HDM plots than from LDM and control plots. The N2O fluxes from LDM and HDM treatments did not differ, either as a proportion of TAN applied or as a proportion of total-N applied. Increasing DM contributed to reductions in both oxygen (O-2) availability and relative gas diffusivity, and thus potentially N2O production. Under the conditions of the current study, lower manure DM content reduced NH3 emissions but did not increase cumulative losses of N2O.
The current study aims to evaluate the effects of increasing levels of xylanase enzyme (XYL) on sugarcane silage fermentation, fermentative losses, chemical composition, dry matter (DM), neutral detergent fibre (NDF) degradation and aerobic stability. A completely randomized design trial was performed with five treatments and 50 experimental silos. Treatments were: 0, 100, 200, 300 and 400 mg of XYL per kg of DM. XYL contained 10 000 U/g. There was a quadratic effect of XYL on silage pH and acetic acid concentration: lower pH and higher acetic acid concentrations were found at intermediary levels of the enzyme. XYL decreased lactic acid concentration linearly. Furthermore, the enzyme had a quadratic effect on effluent and total losses, with higher losses at intermediary XYL levels. There was a quadratic effect of XYL on organic matter (OM), non-fibre carbohydrates (NFC) and crude protein (CP) content. In addition, a quadratic effect of XYL was observed on NDF content and degradation. Intermediary levels of XYL showed higher concentration of OM and NFC. The addition of XYL had no effect on silage temperature and pH after aerobic exposure. Thus, intermediate levels of XYL increased acetic acid and decreased silage pH. Besides positive effects on silage composition, intermediary XYL levels decreased NDF degradation.
The current experiment aimed at assessing the effects of dietary supplementation of guanidino acetic acid (GAA) on growth performance, thigh meat quality and development of small intestine in broilers. A total of 360 1-day-old female broiler chicks were distributed randomly to four groups of 90 birds each, and each group received GAA dosages of 0, 0.4, 0.8 and 1.2 g/kg of feed dry matter. During the whole experiment of 60 days, broilers had ad libitum access to water and feed and the feed intake was recorded daily. All broilers were weighed before and after the experiment, and 30 broilers of each group were selected randomly to slaughter at the end. Increasing dietary supplementation of GAA increased final live weight and daily body weight gain, gain-to-feed ratio, thigh muscle pH value and fibre diameter of broilers, but decreased daily feed intake, drip loss, cooking loss, shear force value, hardness, gumminess and chewiness of thigh meat. In addition, increasing supplementation of GAA quadratically increased duodenal, jejunal and ileal villus height and width and ratio of villus height to crypt depth, but decreased crypt depth. The results indicated that GAA as a feed additive may support better development of small intestine, thereby resulting in improvement of growth performance and meat quality of broilers.
The aim of the current research is to analyse potential changes in the phenology of Cabernet Sauvignon under future climate change scenarios. The study compares results from two areas with different climatic conditions in Spain: Ribera del Duero and Penedes. Phenology data for budbreak (BB), bloom (BL), veraison (V) and maturity (M) were analysed for the period 2004-2015 in Ribera del Duero and for 1996-2012 in Penedes. Thermal requirements to initiate the growing cycle and to reach each phenological event were evaluated. Simulated data of changes in climate from eight models provided by Agencia Estatal de Meteorologia (AEMET) of Spain, and for two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) (greenhouse gas concentration trajectories) - RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 by 2030, 2050 and 2070 were used. Differences of approximately 6 days for BL and about 12 days, on average, for V existed between the two areas. Based on the predicted changes of temperature and the accumulated degree days needed to reach each stage, future changes in phenology were modelled. The results indicate potentially greater changes in the warmer region (Penedes), particularly for the later growth stages, which is in agreement with greater temperature increases in Penedes. The advance of BB, BL, V and M by 2070 could be up to 5, 11, 17 and 24 days, respectively, under the RCP4.5 emission trajectory, and up to 50% higher in some stages under the RCP8.5 emission trajectory.
Intake, digestibility, nitrogen (N) balance, microbial protein synthesis, weight gain, yields of the main commercial cuts and carcass morphometric measurements were evaluated in lambs fed diets containing different levels of chitosan. Sixty Santa Ines crossbred sheep with an average body weight (BW) of 24 +/- 2.2 kg were assigned to three treatments (diets containing 0, 136 or 272 mg chitosan/kg BW) in a completely randomized design. There was no effect of chitosan on dry matter (DM) intake. Ingested and retained N showed a quadratic response, with the highest values estimated at the chitosan levels of 142 and 152 mg/kg BW, respectively. Similar to N balance, microbial protein synthesis showed the same quadratic response, in which the level of 136 mg/kg BW resulted in higher synthesis when compared with the other levels. No effect of chitosan was detected on average daily gain, final weight, or carcass variables (hot carcass weight, cold carcass weight, yield of commercial cuts and morphometric measurements of the carcass). Conformation, visceral fat content and fatness of carcasses were also not altered by the use of chitosan. Chitosan improves the digestibility of DM, crude protein and neutral detergent fibre, and increases N balance and microbial protein synthesis but does not change the production performance of feedlot lambs.
The current research paper addresses the hypothesis that management system (grazing vs. stabling) and/or stage of lactation (early- to late-lactation) can influence the lactation performance and milk fatty acid (MFA) profile in dromedary camels. The results obtained revealed that milk and protein yields of stabled camels were higher, while milk fat content was lower compared to grazing camels. In addition, stabled camels produced milk richer in short- and medium-chains fatty acids but lower in long-chain fatty acids and fatty acids linked with possible health benefits such as oleic acid, vaccenic acid (VA) and rumenic acid (RA), when compared to grazing camels. Moreover, atherogenicity index was higher, while overall Delta(9)-desaturase and health-promoting indices were lower in stabled camels. In a similar way, results demonstrated an increase in milk fat and protein contents as lactation advanced. In fact, camels at mid-lactation produced milk richer in short- and medium-chain fatty acids as well as total saturated fatty acids but poorer in oleic acid, VA, RA, long-chain fatty acids and total unsaturated fatty acids, when compared to milk samples collected at early stage of lactation. Moreover, compared to early- and late-lactations, atherogenicity index was higher while overall-Delta(9)-desaturase and health promoting indexes were lower at mid-lactation. In conclusion, the intensive stabling system and mid-lactation stage can alter lactation performance and MFA profile in dairy dromedary camels.
Distributed models and a good knowledge of the catchment studied are required to assess mitigation measures for nitrogen (N) pollution. A set of alternative scenarios (change of crop management practices and different strategies of landscape management, especially different sizes and distribution of set-aside areas) were simulated with a fully distributed model in a small agricultural catchment. The results show that current practices are close to complying with current regulations, which results in a limited effect of the implementation of best crop management practices. The location of set-aside zones is more important than their size in decreasing nitrate fluxes in stream water. The most efficient location is the lower parts of hillslopes, combining the dilution effect due to the decrease of N input per unit of land and the interception of nitrate transferred by sub-surface flows. The main process responsible for the interception effect is probably uptake by grassland and retention in soils since the denitrification load tends to decrease proportionally to N input and, for the scenarios considered, is lower in the interception scenarios than in the corresponding dilution zones.
The objective of the current experiment was to determine the effects of increasing levels of palm kernel cake in a finishing diet on feed intake, digestibility, performance, ingestive behaviour and carcass traits in zebu bulls. Thirty-two Nellore bulls (420 +/- 25.0 kg initial body weight [BW] and 24-months-old), were assigned randomly to individual pens with four treatments (0, 70, 140 and 210 g/kg of palm kernel cake by total dry matter [DM]) and eight replicates per treatment. The inclusion of palm kernel cake linearly decreased DM, crude protein and non-fibrous carbohydrate intake and increased ether extraction intake and digestibility. There was a linear decrease in final BW and hot carcass weight (HCW) associated with palm kernel cake inclusion in the bull diet. However, the gain : feed ratio was similar among the diets. Eating and rumination rates (g DM or neutral detergent fibre/h) were reduced, whereas the total chewing time and idling (min/day) were not affected by palm kernel cake inclusion. There were no effects of palm kernel cake inclusion on most quantitative carcass characteristics and qualitative carcass attributes (subcutaneous fat thickness, longissimus muscle area, colour, texture and marbling). The inclusion of palm kernel cake (up to 210 g/kg total DM) in beef cattle finishing diets decreased eating and rumination rates, thereby decreasing average daily gain and, consequently, final BW and HCW. However, qualitative carcass attributes were not affected by the use of palm kernel cake.
Global warming has accelerated in recent decades and the years 1995-2006 were the warmest ever recorded. Also, in Finland, the last decade has been exceptionally warm. Hence, this study examines how current field crop cultivars, adapted to northern long-day conditions and short growing seasons, have responded to the elevated temperatures, especially with regard to determination of yield potential and quality. These comparisons were carried out with spring and winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), oats (Avena sativa L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), winter rye (Secale cereale L.), pea (Pisum sativum L.) and rapeseed (turnip rape, Brassica rapa L. and oilseed rape, B. napus L.). Long-term data sets of MTT Official Variety Trials and the Finnish Meteorological Institute were used to study crop responses to precipitation and elevated temperatures at different growth phases. The MTT data sets were also grouped into experiments that could be considered typical of the temperature conditions in the period 1971-2000 seasons (termed '1985' conditions) or typical of the period 2010-39 (termed '2025'). At elevated temperatures, yields generally declined in these relatively cool growing conditions of northern Europe, except for pea. Elevated temperatures tended to have negative effects both in the pre- and post-anthesis phases, but the response depended on species. The response was probably associated with reduced water availability, which limited yield determination, especially in early growth phases. For example, in spring cereals a decrease in early summer precipitation by 10 mm decreased yields by 45-75 kg/ha. As warmer conditions also typically hastened development and growth in such generally cool growing conditions of Finland, it is essential that breeding programmes produce cultivars that are less sensitive to elevated temperatures, which are likely to become more frequent in future.
Association mapping based on linkage disequilibrium (LD) is a promising tool to identify genes responsible for quantitative variations underlying complex traits. The present paper presents an association mapping panel consisting of 172 upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) accessions. The panel was phenotyped for five cotton plant architecture traits across multiple environments and genotyped using 386 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. Of these markers, 101 polymorphic SSR markers were used in the final analysis. There were abundant phenotypic variations within this germplasm panel and a total of 267 alleles ranging from two to seven per locus were identified in all collections. The threshold of LD decay was set to r(2) = 0.1 and 0.2, and the genome-wide LD extended up to about 13-14 and 6-7 cM, respectively, providing the potential for association mapping of agronomically important traits in upland cotton. A total of 66 marker-trait associations were detected based on a mixed linear model, of which 35 were found in more than one environment. The favourable alleles from 35 marker loci can be used in marker-assisted selection of target traits. Both the synergistic alleles and the negative alleles for some traits, especially plant height and fruit branch angle, can be utilized in plant architecture breeding programmes according to specific breeding objectives.
Effective integrated weed management in agricultural landscapes depends on the ability to identify and manage processes that drive weed dynamics. The current study reports the effects of grazing management and crop rotation strategies on the seedbank and emerged weed flora in an integrated crop-livestock system (ICLS) experiment during a 12-year period under no-tillage in sub-tropical southern Brazil. During winter, Italian ryegrass cover crops were grazed by sheep: grazing management treatments included two stocking methods (continuous and rotational) and two forage allowances (10 and 20 kg of herbage dry matter available per 100 kg animal live weight). During summer, the crop rotation treatments involved either soybean-maize or soybean-soybean in succession with winter-grazed cover crops. The treatments were part of a factorial randomized complete block design. Treatment effects were evaluated on the weed seedbank and emerged weed flora populations during winter-grazed cover crop and summer crop growth as well as during the harvest phase. The current results demonstrate that crop rotation and grazing management exhibited interactive effects on the determination of weed outcomes in an ICLS. However, overall, compared with moderate forage allowance, high forage allowance during the winter-grazed cover crop caused lower emerged weed flora in subsequent crops (20% reduction during crop growth and 90% reduction at crop harvest) and 48% reduction in seedbank size. High forage allowance promoted more residue from winter-grazed cover crop biomass, which remained during the summer crop phases and probably resulted in a physical barrier to weed emergence.
The current study evaluated the uncertainty of beef cattle supply for slaughter due to the variable climate of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The data included the numbers of cattle slaughtered, local live cattle prices, price and amount of exported beef, and the prices of the Brazilian beef futures market. Data were collected on the beef supply from January 1997 to March 2014. Climate data included El Nino (EN), La Nina (LN), South Atlantic Sub-tropical Dipole (SASD), Negative and Positive Atlantic Dipole (-AD and +AD), Tropical South and North Atlantic indices. Statistical analysis was performed by a multivariate regression of time series. It was observed that EN and SASD climatic variables increased the numbers of beef cattle slaughtered, with a 1 and 4-month lag, respectively. On the other hand, LN and -AD decreased the number of animals slaughtered, with 4 and 0 months' lag, respectively, meaning that there was an immediate response to -AD, while there was a 4-month delay for LN. The amount of exported beef and live beef cattle prices were explained by the number of animals slaughtered in the state. Data suggested that the beef cattle market in RS was more strongly influenced by the occurrence of climate phenomena with LN and -AD than by economic variables such as the price paid to the producer for beef and the amount exported. The climate changes evaluated in the current study affect the livestock production system and consequently the beef market industry in Southern Brazil.
Remote sensing (RS) offers an efficient and reliable means to map features on Earth. Crop type mapping using RS at various temporal and spatial resolutions plays an important role spanning from environmental to economical. The main objective of the current study was to evaluate the significance of optical data in a multi-temporal crop type classification-based on very high spatial resolution and high spatial resolution imagery. With this aim, three images from WorldView-3 and Sentinel-2 were acquired over Coalville (UK) between April and July 2016. Three vegetation indices (VIs); the normalized difference vegetation index, the green normalized difference vegetation index and soil adjusted vegetation index were generated using red, green and near-infrared spectral bands; then a supervised classification was performed using ground reference data collected from field surveys, Random forest (RF) and decision tree (DT) classification algorithms. Accuracy assessment was undertaken by comparing the classified output with the reference data. An overall accuracy of 91% and coefficient of 090 were estimated using the combination of RF and DT classification algorithms. Therefore, it can be concluded that integrating very high- and high-resolution imagery with different VIs can be implemented effectively to produce large-scale crop maps even with a limited temporal-dataset.