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Tous J.,IRTA - Institute of Agricultural-Alimentary Research and Technology
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2011

The productivity of the traditional olive orchards (80 to 100 trees/ha) is relatively low and the crop costs are very high (harvesting, pruning, etc.). Since the 1970s, the increase of the olive surface has been associated to an intensification of the orchards and several authors recommend to use higher densities (HD), about 200-500 trees/ha, with drip irrigation, designed for harvesting with trunk shakers, and with higher yields and low-medium production costs. Finally, at the beginning of the 1990s, a new type of olive orchards (super-high density hedgerow, SHD) appeared in Catalonia (NE of Spain), with densities ranging between 1,500 and 2,500 trees/ha. Later they were introduced into other Spanish regions and other countries. This system facilitates the use of continuous mechanical straddle harvesters and the achievement of higher yields within a few years after planting. To improve the efficiency of the harvester, vigour must be managed to limit tree size while maintaining high productivity. However, there are few cultivars adapted to this system and currently 'Arbequina IRTA-i 18®', 'Arbosana i 43' and 'Koroneiki i 38' are the most used in this type of super-high density orchards. A comparative study on the economic viability of high and super-high density olive orchards in Spain, indicate that HD economic ratios are more profitable than the SHD ratios. However, the latter could be the most sustainable option in large orchards with short term investments, mainly due to the full harvest mechanization and reduced labor requirements. Source


Prado P.,IRTA - Institute of Agricultural-Alimentary Research and Technology | Heck Jr. K.L.,Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2011

Consumers of seagrasses are increasingly recognized for their ability to shape landscape features and regulate energy flux in coastal ecosystems. To date, however, the nutritional characteristics and morphological features by which herbivores and omnivores make feeding decisions are poorly understood. To elucidate how consumers of marine vascular plants discriminate among different food resources, we conducted food-preference assays with seagrass leaves and seagrassincorporated agar diets of the 3 most common seagrass species of the Gulf of Mexico (Thalassia testudinum, Halodule wrightii and Syringodium filiforme). These 3 species were offered simultaneously to the most abundant local consumers: the omnivorous pinfish Lagodon rhomboides and filefish Stephanolepis hispidus, the herbivorous emerald parrotfish Nicholstina usta, and the herbivorous sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus. Consumption rates (g fresh weight [FW]) of leaves or seagrass-incorporated agar diets were estimated over 24 h periods. Measured plant properties included C:N, N:P, total carbohydrates, protein and lipid concentrations, caloric content, percentage of organic matter, water and ash. Results showed that S. filiforme was preferred by all fish species (81, 60.2 and 59% of total leaf consumption of pinfish, filefish and parrotfish, respectively), whereas sea urchins consumed the highest amounts of H. wrightii (71.2% of total). However, when leaf structure was removed, by incorporating ground leaf tissue into agar matrices, pinfish and filefish did not show any significant dietary preference. In contrast, parrotfish and sea urchins maintained their preferences for S. filiforme and H. wrightii, respectively. Parrotfish preference for S. filiforme coincided with highest lipid and carbohydrate contents, whereas the preference of sea urchins for H. wrightii could be explained by higher levels of the percentage of organic matter and caloric content. Our results suggest that structural plant features (e.g. leaf manipulability and/or visual recognition of resources) are the most important factors driving discrimination between seagrass species by omnivorous fish, whereas strict herbivores make feeding decisions that are highly influenced by nutritional characteristics, presumably as recognized by both olfaction and gustation. © Inter-Research 2011. Source


Torrallardona D.,IRTA - Institute of Agricultural-Alimentary Research and Technology
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences | Year: 2010

Piglet health at weaning is compromised due to several stress factors. Following the ban of antibiotic growth promoters new alternatives are required to control these problems. This paper reviews the evidence available for the use of spray dried animal plasma (SDAP) as an alternative to antibiotics in weaning pigs. Data from 75 trials in 43 publications involving over 12, 000 piglets (mean values) have been used to calculate the performance responses of piglets according to several factors including SDAP origin, protein source from the control diet being replaced, dose of inclusion, age and weight of the piglets at weaning, sanitary conditions and simultaneous use or not of medication. Although the use of SDAP of all origins results in positive responses, it appears that plasma from porcine origin has the highest efficacy. This could be explained by the specificity of its IgG against porcine pathogens. During the first week post-weaning the response to plasma appears to increase with the inclusion dose, although over the two-week pre-starter period an optimal inclusion level of 4-8% is suggested. SDAP improves feed efficiency more markedly when the piglets are challenged with an experimental infection or when feed does not contain medication, which could be indicative of a lower expenditure of energy and nutrients to build an immune response against the challenge. There is evidence supporting that SDAP IgG and other bioactive substances therein prevent the binding of pathogens to the gut wall and reduce the incidence of diarrhoea in the post-weaning phase. Overall, plasma can be postulated as an excellent alternative to in-feed antimicrobials for piglets in the post-weaning phase. Source


Substantially pure biological culture of a strain of the species


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ISIB-02-2015 | Award Amount: 2.11M | Year: 2016

The Data Driven Dairy Decisions for Farmers (4D4F) thematic network will focus on the role which dairy animal and environmental sensors can play in collecting real time information to help make more informed decisions in dairy farming. The network will develop a Community of Practice comprised of farmers, farm advisors, technology suppliers, knowledge exchange professionals and researchers who will work together to debate, collect and communicate best practice drawn from innovative farmers, industry and the research community to facilitate the co-creation of best practice. The results will be communicated to farmers using best practice guides on the use of sensors and data analysis tools supported by videos, infographics and an online virtual warehouse of dairy sensor technologies. The network will include the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which can be tailored to individual farms to help farmers and farm advisors adopt dairy sensor and data analysis technology. The SOPs will be developed by working groups of the Community of Practice including farmers, farm advisors, technology suppliers, knowledge exchange professionals and researchers, who will work together to develop farmer friendly SOPs. The on line Community of Practice and published communication tools will be complimented by on farm events and workshops to help farmers and farm advisors implement innovative sensor and data analysis technologies. The workshops and events will promote discussion between farmers and their peers on how best to use sensors and data analysis in their own businesses. This will lead to local peer to peer support to facilitate the adoption of data driven dairy decision making. The network will work closely with EIP Agri and at member state level it will work with existing EIP Operational Groups working on dairy data and sensors and, where suitable Operational Groups do not exist, it will work with local partners to develop new Operational Groups.

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