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Reggio nell'Emilia, Italy

Kallas Z.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Gil J.M.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Panella-Riera N.,IRTA Monells | Blanch M.,IRTA Monells | And 5 more authors.
Meat Science | Year: 2013

Our research explored the relative importance of pig castration amongst other aspects of animal welfare, and the potential impact of information and sensory experiences on European Union (EU) consumers' preferences. The EU is considering a future ban on surgical pig castration by 2018 which may affect markets and consumers' preferences. We carried out an empirical study using consumer-level data obtained from questionnaires completed in a controlled environment by a total of 825 consumers. The experiment was carried out in six EU countries (Spain, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, France, Italy and Germany) which account for 66.0% of the EU-27's and 76.3% of the EU-15's meat production. Results show that consumers do not perceive pig castration to be a relevant aspect of animal welfare nor its relationship with meat quality. Consumers with healthy life styles, concerned about animal welfare and who have had a negative sensory experience with boar meat are willing to accept paying more to avoid boar taint. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Rossi V.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Rossi V.,Horta Srl | Salinari F.,Horta Srl | Poni S.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | And 2 more authors.
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture | Year: 2014

Although many Decision Support Systems (DSSs) have been developed for crop management, DSSs have contributed little to practical agriculture because of the so-called 'problem of implementation'; under-utilisation has been ascribed to both technical limitations of the DSSs and to farmer attitude towards DSSs. A new DSS, named vite.net®, was developed for sustainable management of vineyards and is intended for the vineyard manager (the person who makes decisions about the vineyard management or suggests the proper actions to the grape-grower). The DSS has two main parts: (i) an integrated system for real-time monitoring of the vineyard components (air, soil, plants, pests, and diseases) and (ii) a web-based tool that analyses these data by using advanced modelling techniques and then provides up-to-date information for managing the vineyard in the form of alerts and decision supports. The information is tailored to a vineyard, or part of a vineyard, or a number of vineyards that are uniformly managed throughout the season. In the design and development of vite.net®, the implementation problem was specifically addressed by: (i) focusing on the important vineyard problems with a holistic approach (the DSS incorporates overall management solutions for growers); (ii) using automation and integration in data collection, and supporting flexible input efforts by the user; (iii) developing and validating fit-to-purpose, mechanistic, dynamic models; (iv) designing a user-friendly interface and providing complete and easy-to-understand information; (v) delivering the DSS through the Web and thereby enabling both continuous updating by the provider and flexible access by the user; (vi) designing the DSS with the goal of assisting the decision maker (by providing necessary information) rather than replacing the decision maker; (vii) involving potential users during vite.net® development and testing so as to obtain insight into how users make decisions; (viii) communicating the benefits of the DSS via seminars and visits to demonstration vineyards; (ix) involving chemical companies and other potential stakeholders; and (x) developing a two-way communication mode with the end-users, i.e., by combining "push" and "pull" systems. Feedback collected during development, testing, and practical use of vite.net® suggested that potential users were likely to use the DSS and that the 'implementation problem' had been successfully addressed. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Salinari F.,Horta Srl | Mariani L.,Horta Srl | Diago M.P.,University of La Rioja | Tardaguila J.,University of La Rioja | And 4 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2014

The European project MoDeM-IVM (A web-based system for real-time Monitoring and Decision Making for Integrated Vineyard Management aims to develop an interactive, web-based Decision Support System (DSS) for integrated management of the vineyard The project will produce a prototype of a DSS with the following functionalities: decision support for canopy management, disease and pest control, and alert systems on potential abiotic stresses, such as low temperature injuries and water stress, as well as attainable yield. The DSS is targeted at the vineyard manager, i.e., the person who makes decisions about the vineyard management or suggests the proper actions to the grower. The decision supports and alerts provided by the system are: i) formulated on the basis of mathematical models outputs; ii) based on the best options for managing the vineyard according to the Integrated Production. The models working within the DSS receive weather and soil data in real-time by a Wireless Sensor Network installed in the vineyard. Further information on the vineyard components can be collected by means of hand held devices. In respect to water stress, a model for its early detection as a function of soil water content was developed.


Migliore L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Godeas F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | De Filippis S.P.,Toxicological Chemistry Unit | Mantovi P.,Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2010

Animal wastes from intensive pig farming as fertilizers may expose crops to antimicrobials. Zea mays cultivations were carried out on a virgin field, subjected to dressing with pig slurries contaminated at 15 mg L-1 of Oxy- and 5 mg L-1 of Chlor-tetracycline, and at 8 mg L-1 of Oxy and 3 mg L-1 of Chlor, respectively. Pot cultivation was performed outdoor (Oxy in the range 62.5-1000 ng g-1 dry soil) and plants harvested after 45 days. Tetracyclines analyses on soils and on field plants (roots, stalks, and leaves) did not determine the appreciable presence of tetracyclines. Residues were found in the 45-day pot corn only, in the range of 1-50 ng g-1 for Oxy in roots, accounting for a 5% carry-over rate, on average. Although no detectable residues in plants from on land cultivations, both experimental batches showed the same biphasic growth form corresponding to a dose/response hormetic curve. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Oostindie H.,Wageningen University | Van Broekhuizen R.,Wageningen University | De Roest K.,Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali | Belletti G.,University of Florence | And 3 more authors.
Sustainability (Switzerland) | Year: 2016

Priority setting between local versus global food chains continues to be subject of debate among food, rural and agricultural scholars with an interest in how to support more sustainable food provision and consumption patterns. Recently the FP7 European GLAMUR project targeted to assess and compare the performances of local versus global food chains in a systematic way covering multiple performance dimensions. Especially drawing on empirical research on the performances of three Italian and three Dutch pork chains, it will be argued that meaningful performance comparison needs to acknowledge the complex, multi-facetted and time and place specific interaction patterns between (more) global and (more) local pork chains. Therefore, as regards these pork chains, local-global performance comparison is thought to have hardly significance in isolation from complementary "horizontal" (place-based) and "circular" (waste or by-product valorization oriented) assessments. As will be concluded, this methodological complexity of food chain performance comparison doesn't allow for simple statements regarding the pros and cons of (more) global versus (more) local pork chains. Hence, it is recommended to avoid such less fruitful local-global dichotomy and to concentrate on more policy relevant questions as: how to facilitate fundamentally different resource-use-efficiency strategies and how to optimize the place-specific interaction between more "local" versus more "global" food systems? © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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