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CHATHAM, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 9, 2017) - AGRIS Co-operative, Wanstead Farmers Co-operative and Haggerty Creek Ltd. are announcing today an aggressive expansion of its web based weather service, the "AGGrower Daily Dashboard" across southwestern Ontario. This collaborative effort will see the current compliment of 80 automated weather stations across southwestern Ontario expand to a goal of more than 400 reporting locations when completed. Producers who sign up for the AGGrower Daily Dashboard will have the ability to have field specific climate information delivered directly to their laptop, cellular phone or tablet. "Our web based weather service will assist producers in managing their crops by providing real time precipitation, relative humidity, wind speed, growth models on individual fields and notifications of critical stages during the growth cycle," says Dale Cowan, senior agronomist and sales manager for AGRIS Co-operative and Wanstead Farmers Co-operative. "The AGGrower Daily Dashboard will also assist in timely do it yourself crop scouting using integrated pest management principles," added Cowan. To supplement the web based weather reporting network, Cowan is now recruiting dedicated "citizen scientists" to join the Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow network, (CoCoRahs) "These volunteers would be part of a larger community of like-minded people that would help support our automated weather stations with additional rainfall data to support our new initiative of the AGGrower Daily Dashboard program," says Cowan. Volunteer "citizen scientists" must live in Essex, Chatham-Kent, Lambton, West Middlesex or Elgin Counties, have a keen interest and dedication to collecting rainfall and a smart phone. Installation and training on the use of the special rain gauge is provided at no charge to those participating. For more information on how you can become a "citizen scientist" contact Paul deNijs at 226-626-1048. AGRIS Co-operative Ltd. is a 100 per-cent farmer-owned grain marketing and farm-input supply company that serves more than 1,000 farmer owners in 14 locations in Essex, Kent, Elgin, Middlesex and Lambton Counties. It is a leader in precision farming technology, seed, agronomy and petroleum services. The co-operative is a partner of Great Lakes Grain, a grain merchandising company. AGRIS Co-operative is a member-owner of GROWMARK, Inc. and markets products and services under the FS banner. Visit us at Wanstead Farmers Co-operative Ltd. is a 100 per cent farmer-owned grain marketing and farm-input supply company that serves more than 700 farmer owners from its three locations in Lambton County. These locations service both Lambton and Middlesex counties. It is a leader in precision farming technology, seed and agronomy services. Wanstead Farmers Co-operative is a member-owner of GROWMARK, Inc. and markets products and services under the FS banner. Visit us at Haggerty Creek Ltd. was founded as a joint venture by Chuck and Justin Baresich with AGRIS Co- operative, serving the four counties areas of Dawn-Euphemia Township, (Lambton County), Zone Township (Kent County), Mosa Township (Middlesex County), and Aldborough Township (Elgin County), extending into parts of Brooke, Enniskillen, and Orford Townships. Visit us at A collaboration of AGRIS Co-operative, Wanstead Farmer's Co-operative and Haggerty Creek Ltd. This project is funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.

Berlinguer F.,University of Sassari | Pasciu V.,University of Sassari | Succu S.,University of Sassari | Cossu I.,AGRIS | And 8 more authors.
Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology | Year: 2017

Background: REAC technology (acronym for Radio Electric Asymmetric Conveyor) is a technology platform for neuro and bio modulation. It has already proven to optimize the ions fluxes at the molecular level and the molecular mechanisms driving cellular asymmetry and polarization. Methods: This study was designed to verify whether this technology could extend spermatozoa life-span during liquid storage, while preserving their functions, DNA integrity and oxidative status. At 0, 24, 48, and 72 h. of storage at 4 °C, a battery of analyses was performed to assess spermatozoa viability, motility parameters, acrosome status, and DNA integrity during REAC treatment. Spermatozoa oxidative status was assessed by determining lipid peroxidation, the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), and the total antioxidant capacity. Results: During liquid storage REAC treated spermatozoa, while not showing an increased viability nor motility compared to untreated ones, had a higher acrosome (p > 0.001) and DNA integrity (p > 0.01). Moreover, the analysis of the oxidative status indicated that the mean activity of the intracellular superoxide dismutase (SOD) was significantly higher in REAC treated spermatozoa compared to untreated controls (p < 0.05), while the intracellular concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA), an end product of lipid peroxidation, at the end of the REAC treatment was higher in untreated controls (p > 0.05). The REAC efficacy on spermatozoa oxidative status was also evidenced by the higher trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) found in both the cellular extract (p < 0.05) and the storage media of REAC treated spermatozoa compared to untreated controls (p < 0.0001). Conclusion: The present study demonstrated that REAC treatment during liquid storage preserves spermatozoa acrosome membrane and DNA integrity, likely due to the enhancement of sperm antioxidant defenses. These results open new perspective about the extending of spermatozoa functions in vitro and the clinical management of male infertility. © 2017 The Author(s).

Collodel G.,University of Siena | Rinaldi S.,Rinaldi Fontani Institute | Moretti E.,University of Siena | Fontani V.,Rinaldi Fontani Institute | And 5 more authors.
Reproductive Biology | Year: 2012

The Radio Electric Asymmetric Conveyer (REAC) has been mostly applied to treat symptoms related to psychological stress. In the study, we demonstrated the effect of REAC-Veterinary Neuro Psycho Physical Optimization (VNPPO) treatment protocol on sperm parameters of subfertile (n = 11) and fertile (n = 4) stallions. Subfertile stallions showed a reduced sperm concentration, progressive motility and normal morphology compared to fertile stallions. An increase in progressive sperm motility and quality of sperm morphology was found in subfertile stallions after the REAC-VNPPO treatment. The positive effect of the REAC-VNPPO treatment was visible in a reduced number of reacted or absent acrosomes, nuclei with marginated chromatin and presence of cytoplasmic residues. Thus, we suggest that the REAC-VNPPO treatment for stallions with idiopathic subfertility may enhance the reproductive performance of stallions. © 2012 Society for Biology of Reproduction & the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn.

Spanu C.,University of Sassari | Scarano C.,University of Sassari | Spanu V.,University of Sassari | Pala C.,University of Sassari | And 8 more authors.
Food Control | Year: 2015

Ricotta salata is a whey protein cheese produced in Sardinia that in the last decades has been linked to several recalls and in 2012 to a severe human listeriosis outbreak. Contamination of ricotta salata with Listeria monocytogenes mainly occurs during post-process handling and generally origins from the processing environment. The application of water bath heat treatment in vacuum packed ricotta salata is a possible strategy to control L.monocytogenes superficial contamination. The objective of the present study was to select a heat treatment able to inactivate L.monocytogenes count of at least 5 log. Nine temperature time combinations, 75°C, 85°C and 90°C applied for 15min, 25min and 40min each were tested in ricotta wheels artificially contaminated with a mixture of 5 L.monocytogenes strains. Inactivation was assessed respectively one day and 30 days after heat treatment. The efficacy of treatments was evaluated based on the reduction in L.monocytogenes counts, on the impact on sensory properties and on the cost of the treatment. Two out of nine treatment combinations, i.e. 85°C for 40min and 90°C for 40min, were effective in reducing L.monocytogenes contamination level of 5 log. No significant difference was observed in sensory properties after the heat treatments. Therefore both combinations are eligible to conduct a successive study aimed to extend the shelf-life of ricotta salata up to several months. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Scintu M.F.,Agris | Piga C.,Agris | Di Salvo R.,Agris
Journal of Sensory Studies | Year: 2010

The sensory profile technique was applied to the Italian Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Fiore Sardo cheese, made exclusively from raw ewe's milk in artisanal farms in Sardinia. The descriptive sensory analysis was used to find the sensory attributes which characterize this PDO cheese at two different ripening times (105 and 180 days). The product specification states that the cheese must have no less than 105 days of maturation before being sold, while at more than 180 days it is usually used grated. Twelve expert panelists, whose efficacy was confirmed by variance analysis, identified and evaluated 10 sensory attributes on cheese samples: smoked and rennet for odor; sour and salty for taste, piquant for trigeminal sensation; smoked and rennet for aroma; floury, grainy and friability for texture. The judges were also asked to provide an overall evaluation of sensory typicality. Cheeses from different farms ripened for 105 days differed significantly for smoked odor, salty, grainy and typicality, whereas the cheeses ripened for 180 days were significantly different for smoked odor, piquant, friability and sensory typicality. The comparison between cheeses from the same farm at 105 and 180 days showed no significant differences. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Cabiddu A.,Agris | Trevisi E.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Molle G.,Agris | Lovotti G.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | And 3 more authors.
Animal Production Science | Year: 2014

This study tested the nutritional benefit of a supplement offered freely to dairy sheep over a period from 60 days before lambing to 60 days after lambing, at stall and grazing. Thirty Sarda dairy sheep on Day 90 of gestation, homogeneous for age, parity number, bodyweight (BW) and body condition score (BCS), were allocated to one of two groups: control (Ctr) or treated (Cry). Over 120 days, both groups received ryegrass hay and concentrate indoors. After weaning, the ewes also had access to pasture for 6 h/day. Throughout the experimental period, the Cry group had ad libitum access to a cooked molasses licking block. No significant differences were observed between the groups in forage, concentrate and total DM intake. During the experiment, the reduction in BCS in early lactation tended to be slower in the Cry than in Ctr group (Ptrend < 0.09), whereas no significant effects were seen on BW. Lamb performance tended to be improved by Cry in terms of liveweight of litter size per sheep (9.65 vs 8.22 kg for Cry and Ctr, respectively; P < 0.07), whereas no significant effects were observed on milk yield and composition, except for a trend for increased fat content in the Cry versus Ctr group (6.15% vs 5.95%, respectively; P < 0.08). Cry ewes had higher blood cholesterol concentrations than did Ctr ewes (1.96 vs 1.63 mmol/L; P < 0.01). Because there were no differences between feed intake at stall and the estimated total DM intake at stall and during grazing between the two groups, the better performance of the Cry group could be explained by an increase of feed use efficiency at the digestive and/or metabolic level. © CSIRO 2014.

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