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Castel J.M.,University of Seville | Mena Y.,University of Seville | Ruiz F.A.,Ifapa Centro Camino Of Purchil | Camunez-Ruiz J.,University of Seville | Sanchez-Rodriguez M.,University of Cordoba, Spain
Small Ruminant Research | Year: 2011

In recent decades there has been a worldwide increase in the intensification process of the livestock sector. This study looks into the changes that have taken place in goat farms in less favoured areas of Spain by comparing the situation of systems in the Northern Sierra of Seville (SNS), a traditional goat farming area in Spain, in the years 2002 and 2008. The information for this study was collected in 2002 and 2008, from a sample of 22 and 23 dairy goat farmers, respectively. A farm survey was conducted, composed of 95 items, grouped into the following sections: animal base, infrastructures and facilities, feeding, reproduction, milk production and animal health. For either of the two years of study a multivariate analysis has been conducted through a multiple correspondence analysis followed by a cluster analysis. Four groups have been identified for each year, showing a diverse range of farms whereby the most intensive farms coexist with those that continue to practise grazing. The following main changes have been observed throughout the study: (i) the herd size is increasing; (ii) the supply of concentrates and straw has increased significantly but use of forage has decreased; (iii) the lactation length has increased; (iv) milking facilities and feed distribution systems have been modernized; and (v) the animal health has substantially improved. Other important changes, although less significant, are the establishment of reproductive groups on the farms, genetic improvement of herds by absorbing the dairy breed Florida and improving goat productivity. Most changes have focused on intensifying the productive systems. Some drivers behind these changes are the loss of grazing as a feed source for goats, acceptable prices for the purchase of feeds during the period studied, the increase in milk demand from industry, EU aids and willingness of the farmers to improve their working conditions. Evolutions of purchase feed and sold milk prices together with EU agricultural policy evolution will determine the future of dairy goat production. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Mena Y.,University of Seville | Nahed J.,Colegio de Mexico | Ruiz F.A.,Ifapa Centro Camino Of Purchil | Sanchez-Munoz J.B.,Autonomous University of Chiapas | And 2 more authors.
Animal | Year: 2012

Organic farming conserves natural resources, promotes biodiversity, guarantees animal welfare and obtains healthy products from raw materials through natural processes. In order to evaluate possibilities of increasing organic animal production, this study proposes a farm-scale multicriteria method for assessing the conversion of dairy goat systems to the organic model. In addition, a case study in the Northern Sierra of Seville, southern Spain, is analysed. A consensus of expert opinions and a field survey are used to validate a list of potential indicators and issues for assessing the conversion, which consider not only the European Community regulations for organic livestock farming, but also agroecological principles. As a result, the method includes 56 variables integrated in nine indicators: Nutritional management, Sustainable pasture management, Soil fertility and contamination, Weed and pest control, Disease prevention, Breeds and reproduction, Animal welfare, Food safety and Marketing and management. The nine indicators are finally integrated in a global index named OLPI (Organic Livestock Proximity Index). Application of the method to a case study with 24 goat farms reveals an OLPI value of 46.5% for dairy goat farms located in mountain areas of southern Spain. The aspects that differ most from the agroecological model include soil management, animal nutrition and product marketing. Results of the case study indicate that the proposed method is easy to implement and is useful for quantifying the approximation of conventional farms to an organic model. © 2011 The Animal Consortium.


Van Henten E.J.,Wageningen University | Son J.E.,Seoul National University | Castilla N.,Ifapa Centro Camino Of Purchil
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2011

Firstly, this article discusses the greenhouse engineering situation in three geographic areas which are relevant in the field of protected cultivation: Northern Asia, The Netherlands and the Mediterranean. For each area, the prevailing greenhouse type and equipment is briefly described. Secondly, the main technological constraints are pointed out and finally the research directions are discussed. For all areas under consideration, attempts to design more efficient greenhouse systems are under way. In Northern Asia progress is being made towards the optimisation of greenhouses as a solar collector and to the development of new heating strategies. Important subjects addressed in The Netherlands are energy conservation and the replacement or alleviation of human labour by increasing mechanisation. In the Mediterranean there is growing interest in semiclosed greenhouses with CO 2 enrichment and control of excessive humidity. All geographic areas share the need of having an optimised climate control based on the crop response to the greenhouse environment. All areas also share the requirement of being respectful to the environment, therefore future greenhouses are expected to use engineering to produce with minimal or zero emissions.


Zuazo V.H.D.,IFAPA Centro Las Torres Tomejil | Pleguezuelo C.R.R.,Ifapa Centro Camino Of Purchil | Peinado F.J.M.,University of Granada | de Graaff J.,Wageningen University | And 2 more authors.
Catena | Year: 2011

South-eastern Spain, and in particular the coastal areas of Granada and Malaga, feature a large area under subtropical crops, with orchards established on terraces built along the slopes of the mountainous areas. The climate, characterized by periodically heavy rainfall, variable in space and time, and with the common agricultural practice of leaving the taluses with bare soil, are the main factors encouraging soil erosion, runoff, and subsequent transport of pollutants. Over a two-year period, six plant covers were applied [(Thymus mastichina (Th), Lavandula dentata (La), native spontaneous vegetation (Sv), Anthyllis cytisoides (An), Satureja obovata (Sa), Rosmarinus officinalis (Ro)] in comparison to a control of bare soil (Bs) to determine the effectiveness of the covers in reducing soil erosion, runoff, and potential pollution risk by agricultural nutrients (N, P, and K) and heavy metals. Also, carbon losses were monitored in the transported sediments by runoff and in eroded soils. For this purpose, 16m2 erosion plots (4m×4m) were laid out in the taluses of the terraces. When the yearly data were compared, the control plot (Bs) showed significantly higher soil erosion and runoff rates (26.4tha-1yr-1 and 55.7mmyr-1, respectively) than the treatments with plant covers. The plant covers studied registered the following results in runoff: Ro>Sa>An>Th≈La>Sv (41.7, 38.2, 35.5, 16.9, 16.1, and 12.4mmyr-1, respectively) while annual soil erosion gave the following results: Sa>An>Ro>Th>Sv>La (18.0, 13.5, 13.4, 5.5, 4.4, and 3.2Mgha-1yr-1, respectively). This means that Sv reduced runoff and soil-erosion rates compared to Bs by not less than 78 and 83%, respectively. Nevertheless, La and Th plots were also very effective plant covers in reducing runoff and soil erosion (71.2 and 87.8; 69.5 and 79.2%, respectively) in comparison with the Bs plot. The heaviest nutrient losses in runoff and eroded soils were found in Bs and the lowest in the La, Th, and Sv plots. Bs and Ro plots registered the highest carbon losses (829.9 and 652.1kgha-1, respectively), the lowest carbon-loss rates being measured in La, Sv, and Th plots (145.2, 140.3, and 109.3kgha-1, respectively). The results indicate that heavy metals (Mn, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Mo, Cd, and Pb) in these types of agroecosystems may also be a potential pollutant due to transport by agricultural runoff. There was a major reduction of heavy-metal transport by plant covers in relation to the control of bare soil. The results of this research support the recommendation of using plant covers with multiple purposes (aromatic-medicinal-culinary) on the taluses of subtropical-crop terraces in order to reduce erosion and pollution risk. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Nieto O.M.,Ifapa Centro Camino Of Purchil | Castro J.,Ifapa Centro Camino Of Purchil | Fernandez E.,University of Granada | Smith P.,University of Aberdeen
Soil Use and Management | Year: 2010

Agricultural soils play a very important role in regulating the carbon dioxide (CO2) content of the atmosphere, and can behave either as carbon sources or sinks. We have simulated the dynamics of carbon in the soil under different land uses and soil-management systems in a Mediterranean olive grove with the Rothamsted carbon (RothC) model. To this end we chose patches of native vegetation (NV) and two different olive grove soils (chromic calcisols and calcic vertisols) under different soil-management systems: conventional tillage (T), and mulching with shredded olive-pruning debris and residues from olive-fruit cleaning (PD + CR). We measured the clay content, bulk density, soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (N) in each patch. The SOC and N values decreased by more than 30% as a result of a change in soil use from NV to T olive grove. After adding PD + CR these values rose once more, even to levels above NV. The RothC model performed well for covered soils (NV and PD + CR) but overestimated the SOC values after the soil use was changed from NV to T olive grove, probably due to high carbon losses caused by erosion, common to T soils in the Mediterranean basin. As a result of mulching the soil with only pruning debris, CO2 emitted to the atmosphere was reduced by >55% for both soils. Associated with this decrease in the emission rate, RothC estimated a potential carbon sequestration of 0.5 and 0.6 t C/ha/yr for chromic calcisols and calcic vertisols, respectively. The reuse of organic debris generated in the olive grove, such as pruning debris and residues from olive-fruit cleaning, is an efficient way of improving soil properties, diminishing CO2 emissions and increasing the soil's capacity to store carbon. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Society of Soil Science.


Navarro F.B.,Ifapa Centro Camino Of Purchil | Romero-Freire A.,University of Granada | Del Castillo T.,University of Granada | Foronda A.,University of Granada | And 5 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2013

Little is known about the litterfall dynamics and the effects of stand-management practices under semiarid Mediterranean conditions. Our aim was to provide data on the annual amount and the seasonal distribution of litterfall in a 15-year-old afforestation area of Aleppo pine under three different intensities of thinning applied 5years before the study, and to analyse the relationships between litterfall and tree and stand characteristics. Three different but typical overstory thinning regimes [75% of mean basal area removed (T75), 60% (T60), and 48% (T48)] were performed on 16 randomly established 20×20m plots [4 per treatment+4 control unthinned plots (T0)]. Two trees per plot (8 trees per stand) were randomly assigned for monthly litterfall measurements from June 2009 to May 2010. In each tree, three circular traps were hung in random positions below its canopy. In total, 32 trees were monitored by means of 96 traps (24 traps per stand). Annual litterfall showed two seasonal peaks, ranging from 0.95Mgha-1yr-1 in T75 to 2.28Mgha-1yr-1 in the unthinned control stands (T0). However, at the tree level, litterfall ranged from 4.0kg per treeyr-1 of total litterfall in T75 to 2.0kg per treeyr-1 for T0. Trees in T0 tended to shed more needles and twigs measured per m-2yr-1 than those at low densities, despite having less mean crown projection (T75=86gm-2yr-1; T60=91gm-2yr-1; T48=94gm-2yr-1; T0=102gm-2yr-1). Also, control trees shed a greater proportion (%) of needles and twigs with respect to the total amount of litterfall, mainly from August to November in all cases. Annual litterfall and needle fall showed a significant linear relationship with regard to tree size and stand density, canopy cover, basal area, and annual biomass production. Although only oneyear of data are shown and relative caution should be taken into account until further research is concluded, our results show that greater needle fall could be stimulated at high tree densities by tree competition for resources. Thus, this data may be used for planning forest management within a context of global change. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Rodriguez-Entrena M.,Ifapa Centro Camino Of Purchil | Barreiro-Hurle J.,FAO | Gomez-Limon J.A.,University of Cordoba, Spain | Espinosa-Goded M.,European Commission | Castro-Rodriguez J.,Ifapa Centro Camino Of Purchil
Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2012

In this paper we present an estimate of the economic value of carbon sequestration in olive grove soils derived from the implementation of different agricultural management systems. Carbon sequestration is considered jointly with other environmental co-benefits, such as enhanced erosion prevention and increased biodiversity. The estimates have been obtained using choice experiments and show that there is a significant demand from society for these environmental services. From a policy perspective, an agri-environmental scheme that delivers the highest level of each environmental service would be valued by society at 121 Euros per hectare. If we focus on carbon sequestration, each ton of CO2 would be valued at 17 Euros. These results show that there is scope to include agricultural soil carbon sequestration in climate change mitigation strategies and to provide guidance for setting payments for agri-environmental schemes promoting soil management changes. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Verdejo-Lucas S.,IRTA - Institute of Agricultural-Alimentary Research and Technology | Talavera M.,Ifapa Centro Camino Of Purchil | Andres M.F.,CSIC - Institute of Agricultural Sciences
Crop Protection | Year: 2012

In a comparison of reproductive traits of 29 field populations of Meloidogyne spp. on resistant and susceptible tomatoes, 48% of the populations were virulent against the Mi.1 gene. Virulent populations produced more (P< 0.05) egg masses/plant, eggs/plant, eggs/g root, and showed higher infection frequencies and multiplication rates than the avirulent populations. The fecundity of females did not differ between the resistant and susceptible genotype, and did not change with the virulence status of the populations. On the resistant genotype, the populations collected from the susceptible tomato showed lower (P< 0.05) reproductive traits than those collected from rootstocks followed by those from resistant tomato. Meloidogyne javanica produced more (P< 0.05) egg masses/plant and eggs/g root than Meloidogyne incognita on the resistant genotype. A time course experiment was conducted to determine if root penetration by M. javanica populations with different Mi.1 virulence status is conditioned by the expression of resistance on tomato. Significant differences between populations were observed as early as of 2 days post-inoculation on the susceptible genotype. On the resistant genotype, low juvenile numbers from populations with acquired virulence penetrated the roots up to 4 dpi, but their numbers significantly increased 7 dpi. Juveniles of the natural virulent population followed similar penetration pattern on the resistant and susceptible genotypes. Peroxidases are involved in the oxidative burst typically associated with the hypersensitive response in incompatible host-pathogen interactions. Isoelectrofocusing isozyme analysis revealed an increase in the peroxidase activity on the resistant genotype after inoculation with the avirulent population and to a lesser degree with the populations with acquired virulence in comparison with the natural virulent population. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Pleguezuelo C.R.R.,Catholic University of Louvain | Zuazo V.H.D.,IFAPA Centro Las Torres Tomejil | Bielders C.,Catholic University of Louvain | Bocanegra J.A.J.,Sociedad Andaluza de Valorizacion de la Biomasa | And 2 more authors.
Agronomy for Sustainable Development | Year: 2014

The global energy consumption was 540 EJ in 2010, representing an increase of about 80 % from 1980. Energy demand is predicted to grow more than 50 % by 2025. Fossil fuels will supply about 75 % of the future energy demand in 2030–2050 if there are no significant technological innovations or carbon emission constraints. This will induce in a substantial increase of CO2 atmospheric concentration and, in turn, adverse climatic impacts. A solution to this issue is to replace fossil fuels by renewable fuels such as biomass. For instance cultivated woody biomass shows many advantages such as allowing multiple harvests without having to re-plant. Poplar, eucalyptus, salix, paulownia and black locust are common examples of woody biomass. Here we review the current situation and future tendency of renewable energy focusing on solid biomass in Europe and Spain. We also discuss the potential production for short-rotation plantations in the bioenergy sector and existing constraints for the implantation in Spain in a sustainable context. Countries with low biomass resources and high targets for renewable electricity may have to depend on imported solid biomass, whereas countries with wide solid biomass resources benefit from international markets. The expansion of short-rotation plantations is much lower than expected in some countries such as Spain. © 2014, INRA and Springer-Verlag France.


Duran Zuazo V.H.,IFAPA Cent. Torres Tomejil | Pleguezuelo C.R.R.,Ifapa Centro Camino Of Purchil | Tarifa D.F.,Finca el Zahori
Fruits | Year: 2011

Introduction Mango (Mangifera indica L.) is a crop of major economic importance in the provinces of Malaga and Granada (SE Spain). A field experiment on mango trees was designed to determine the optimum irrigation scheduling over three seasons. The aim was to evaluate the impact of sustained-deficit irrigation (SDI) strategies on fruit yield and quality, tree growth, and mineral status under a Mediterranean subtropical climate. Materials and methods. Three sustained-deficit irrigation treatments were applied to mango trees: SDI-1 (33% ETc), SDI-2 (50% ETc) and SDI-3 (75% ETc). The stress treatments were compared with a control (C-100) irrigated at 100% ETC. The response of fruit yield, number of fruits, fruit size and quality, and macro-and micronutrients in leaves was determined. Results. The SDI-2 treatment proved to be the most appropriate SDI treatment, since it allowed the trees to reach the highest yield (18.4 t•ha-1) and the best water-use efficiency (7.14 kg•m-3). However, fruit size was higher for trees of the SDI-3 and C-100 treatments, since they reached significantly higher length and width. The total soluble solids were affected by the SDI treatments only for one year, being highest in fruits from trees of the SDI-1 and SDI-2 treatments. Macro-and micronutrients in the leaves were affected by the SDI treatment only for the P, Mg and Mn contents. Conclusion The SDI treatment providing 50% of ETC is recommended for mango orchards in order to attain the highest yields and the best water-use efficiency under a Mediterranean subtropical climate. © 2011 Cirad/EDP Sciences.

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