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Gafner J.-L.,Forschungsanstalt Agroscope Liebefeld Posieux ALP
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2012

The quality of a feedstuff is not only defined by the various nutrient contents, or by its composition in terms of raw materials, or its digestibility or its palatability, nor even by its appearance or sensory characteristics, but also by its hygienic status. This article presents a way of assessing the microbiological quality of feedstuff, as well as the history of how it became established in Europe, in particular in German-speaking countries. It describes the method used and the populations of micro-organisms present in the evolution of a feedstuff, from harvest to storage. Indicator micro-organisms act as a reference point in this assessment and orientation values were established for these indicator micro-organisms in the feedstuffs and raw materials which are used most. The article presents the results of a joint project initiated by the German Agricultural Analytic and Research Institutes (LUFA) with partners in several European countries including Switzerland. Source

Gutzwiller A.,Forschungsanstalt Agroscope Liebefeld Posieux ALP
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2012

A low feed intake during the first days after weaning predisposes piglets to diarrhea. Adding expensive milk byproducts such as whey or skim milk powder to their feed are used to stimulate their appetite. The effect of a diet which consisted of a piglet feed containing no milk byproducts supplemented with whole cow's milk on piglet performance was examined during the first three weeks after weaning. The fresh milk and the dry feed were automatically mixed in the feed trough at intervals ranging between one half and two hours. Compared to their 67 littermates receiving the dry feed mixed with water via an identical feeder, the 67 piglets which received the diet consisting of two to three parts of milk per part of dry feed grew faster during the first week after weaning (164 g vs. 122 g per day; P < 0.01). Milk feeding neither influenced growth during the two subsequent weeks nor during the whole three week experimental period. On farms where pigs are kept in addition to dairy cows, offering the newly weaned piglets a liquid feed consisting of fresh cow's milk plus a low priced piglet feed without added milk byproducts via an automatic feeder is a practical way to increase the feed intake immediately after weaning. Source

Zivkovic I.,University of Bern | Wandrey C.,Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne | Bogicevic B.,Forschungsanstalt Agroscope Liebefeld Posieux ALP
Progress In Electromagnetics Research C | Year: 2012

This paper presents a new composite material, which is developed by mixing calcium alginate spheres with commercially available epoxies Stycas 2850 FT (s2850) and Stycast W19 (W19). The resulting composite material is examined in terms of transmission and reflection coefficients in microwave frequencies (26 to 40 GHz, 70 to 110 GHz and 300 to 320 GHz). The study reveals that the new material exhibits reflection coefficients much lower than some commercial CR absorbers from the Eccosorb group. The experimental results justify the use of the new composite material as absorber at microwave frequencies. Source

Hiltbrunner J.,ART Agroscope Reckenholz Tanikon | Buchmann U.,ART Agroscope Reckenholz Tanikon | Vogelgsang S.,ART Agroscope Reckenholz Tanikon | Gutzwiller A.,Forschungsanstalt Agroscope Liebefeld Posieux ALP | Ramseier H.,Hochschule fur Agrar
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2012

With 40.5 million hectares under cultivation, Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench is the world's fifth-most important arable crop. Although primarily cultivated in warmer regions, the area devoted to this crop in Europe has increased over the past few years - among other things because sorghum produces attractive yields even when little water is available. In order to increase the sparse information on cultivating grain sorghum currently available in Switzerland, trials were conducted from 2009 to 2011 in various Swiss regions with several varieties. In favourable environmental conditions, the earliest maturing varieties achieved yields of up to 110 dt ha-1 with 16 % humidity at the day of the harvest in small-plot trials. Because of sorghum's greater need for warmth than maize, planting in cold-air zones or in basins, or early sowing should be avoided. This will ensure a relatively quick juvenile development and good pollination. A piglet feeding trial showed that Swiss-produced sorghum is of comparable quality to the imported grain, and meets feeding requirements. Preliminary infection trials with Fusarium species resulted in low infection rates and low deoxynivalenol (DON) contents. As evidenced by the successful cultivation of Sorghum bicolor in favourable maize-growing areas of Switzerland, changing climatic conditions make it essential for Swiss farmers to have access to more detailed information of different types of millet and sorghum grown in Switzerland. Source

Rerat M.,Forschungsanstalt Agroscope Liebefeld Posieux ALP | Hess H.D.,Forschungsanstalt Agroscope Liebefeld Posieux ALP
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2012

The aim of this study was to investigate a possible relationship between acid-base parameters in urine before parturition and the calcium level in blood shortly after parturition. Hundred dairy cows kept under identical feeding and housing conditions were monitored. The diet was based on grass and corn silage and hay ad libitum. Urine samples were taken on day 14, 7, and 3 before the estimated calving (day 285 of gestation) for the determination of pH, net acid-base excretion (NABE) and base-acid quotient (BAQ). Blood samples were taken within the first 12 h after calving for the analysis of total calcium. During the period before parturition, the mean values of urinary pH, NABE, and BAQ were 8,63 ± 0,02, 232 ± 4 mEq/kg DM, and 4,75 ± 0,09, respectively. The pH and NABE values indicated a state of metabolic alkalosis of the cows resulting from the distribution of a diet with a high positive dietary cation-anion difference value (+ 474 mEq/kg DM). No significant correlations were observed between total calcium concentration in blood (1,92 ± 0,04 mmol/L) and mean values of urinary pH (r = 0,08; P = 0,416), NABE (r = 0,04, P = 0,719), or BAQ (r = -0,12, P = 0,234). The measurement of acid-base parameters in urine prior to parturition cannot be used to predict the level of blood calcium after parturition in cows under alkalotic condition. The determination of the NABE and BAQ parameters revealed similar information on the acid-base status of dairy cows as the measurement of the urinary pH. Source

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