Research Center y Formacion Agrarias

Cantabria, Spain

Research Center y Formacion Agrarias

Cantabria, Spain
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Serrano E.,Research Center y Formacion Agrarias | Humada M.J.,Research Center y Formacion Agrarias | Gutierrez S.,Research Center y Formacion Agrarias | Castrillo B.,Research Center y Formacion Agrarias
ITEA Informacion Tecnica Economica Agraria | Year: 2017

Nine carcasses of yearling Tudanca males were used to evaluate, in the conditions of a commercial slaughterhouse, the effect of two chilling treatments (conventional: introduction of right half carcasses (n = 9) in a chilling room at 1.8ºC immediately after slaughter, or slow: introduction of left half carcasses (n = 9) in a chilling room at 13.9ºC until 7 hours postmortem) on carcass hygienic quality and meat physicochemical characteristics. Differences were observed in Longissimus dorsi muscle temperature at 5, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 24 hours postmortem (P ≤ 0.05). No differences were observed in pH values at 24 hours postmortem (all values below 5.7) (P > 0.05), but higher values (P ≤ 0.05) were registered at 5, 9, 10, 11 and 12 hours postmortem in conventional than in slow refrigerated carcasses. Sarcomere length of conventional refrigerated carcasses was lower than sarcomere length of slow refrigerated carcasses (P ≤ 0.05). No differences were observed in shear force values of Longissius dorsi muscle at 3 and 14 days postmortem (P > 0.05) but a trend was observed at 7 days postmortem, with lower values for slow refrigerated carcasses than for conventional refrigerated carcasses (P = 0.07). Chilling treatment had no effect on total aerobic viable counts at 24 hours postmortem, neither on Longissimus dorsi colour, cooking losses and lipid oxidation measured at 3, 7, and 14 days postmortem (P > 0.05). © 2017, Asociacion Interprofesional para el Desarrollo Agrario. All Rights Reserved.

Busque J.,Research Center y Formacion Agrarias
Journal of Chemical Ecology | Year: 2010

Carex brevicollis (Cyperaceae) is a plant of mesic grasslands in calcareous mountains of southern Europe. It contains two different β-carboline alkaloids, brevicolline and brevicarine, the first of which is thought to produce abortions in mammals. In the rangeland of Aliva, within the Picos de Europa massif in northern Spain, the abundance of Carex brevicollis has been linked with the occurrence of teratogenesis in early gestating cows grazing in early summer. The concentration of alkaloids was measured in the summers of 2007 and 2008, at intervals of 2 weeks, at different altitudes within the rangeland (1,350, 1,600, and 1,850 m) and from different parts of the sedge (leaves, reproductive stems, and inflorescences). Estimated growing degree days were related to the flowering phenology of Carex brevicollis and were used to analyse its relation with the concentration of alkaloids. Brevicarine concentration was higher in inflorescences and brevicolline in leaves. Although it also depended on the zone and year, the concentrations of both alkaloids were related one to another in leaves and inflorescences but not in stems. Both alkaloids decreased with growing degree days in the inflorescences and showed no response in leaves. Our findings suggest that brevicarine, not brevicolline, could be the teratogen in pregnant cattle in this region. This hypothesis is supported by the observed frequent consumption of inflorescences and scarce consumption of leaves of Carex brevicollis by grazing livestock, and also by the coincidence of the toxicity in early pregnant cows with the flowering time of the sedge. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Doltra J.,University of Aarhus | Doltra J.,Research Center y Formacion Agrarias | Olesen J.E.,University of Aarhus
Journal of Agricultural Science | Year: 2014

The effects of projected changes in climate and atmospheric CO2 concentration on productivity and nitrogen (N) leaching of characteristic arable and pig farming rotations in Denmark were investigated with the FASSET simulation model. The LARS weather generator was used to provide climatic data for the baseline period (1961-90) and in combination with two regional circulation models (RCM) to generate climatic data under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) A1B emission scenario for four different 20-year time slices (denoted by midpoints 2020, 2040, 2060 and 2080) for two locations in Denmark, differing in soil and climate, and representative of the selected production systems. The CO2 effects were modelled using projected CO2 concentrations for the A1B emission scenario. Crop rotations were irrigated (sandy soil) and unirrigated (sandy loam soil), and all included systems with and without catch crops, with field operation dates adapted to baseline and future climate change. Model projections showed an increase in the productivity and N leaching in the future that would be dependent on crop rotation and crop management, highlighting the importance of considering the whole rotation rather than single crops for impact assessments. Potato and sugar beet in arable farming and grain maize in pig farming contributed most to the productivity increase in the future scenarios. The highest productivity was obtained in the arable system on the sandy loam soil, with an increase of 20% on average in 2080 with respect to the baseline. Irrigation and fertilization rates would need to be increased in the future to achieve optimum yields. Growing catch crops reduces N leaching, but current catch crop management might not be sufficient to control the potential increase of leaching and more efficient strategies are required in the future. The uncertainty of climate change scenarios was assessed by using two different climate projections for predicting crop productivity and N leaching in Danish crop rotations, and this showed the consistency of the projected trends when used with the same crop model. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012.

Villar A.,Research Center y Formacion Agrarias | Lopez-Alonso M.,University of Santiago de Compostela
Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research | Year: 2015

This paper presents first data on the udder health status of organic dairy farms in Northern Spain and analyses some management and productive characteristics related to milk production comparing with the conventional sector. Five certified organic farms from the Cantabrian Region were monitored monthly from February 2006 to January 2008 and individual samples of all lactating cows were taken from parturition to the end of lactation. Although organic farms in our study showed a great individual variability, overall these were small (<50 lactating cows) traditional farms, with a high degree of pasture (66-82% dry matter intake) and a milk production (average milk yield: 5950 L) 23% lower compared with the reference conventional sector (<50 cow farms). The organic farms had higher (p<0.05) average number of calves per cow (3.93) and a lower number of first-lactation cows (16.9%) than the comparable conventional farms (2.47 calves per cow and 33.1% first-lactation cows). Organic farms showed higher (p<0.05) somatic cell counts (SCC) than the reference conventional farms (mean log10±SD for all cows: 5.25±0.49 and 5.06±0.59, respectively). Detailed analysis of the SCC depending on the number of lactation and % of monthly SCC tests with linear scores indicative of udder infection suggest that while the heifers’ sanitary condition at the beginning of their productive cycle was similar in both types of farms, this seems to become worse along the productive cycle in the organics. This could be related to a low use of antibiotics for prophylaxis and treatment of udder infections and merits further investigation. © 2015 INIA.

Garcia R.,Geological Survey of Denmark | Garcia R.,Research Center y Formacion Agrarias | Baelum J.,Geological Survey of Denmark | Fredslund L.,Geological Survey of Denmark | And 3 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2010

The effects of three temperatures (5, 15, and 25°C) on the survival of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in topsoil were investigated in small microcosms by three different techniques: plate counting, invA gene quantification, and invA mRNA quantification. Differences in survival were related to the effect of protozoan predation. Tetracycline-resistant Salmonella serovar Typhimurium was inoculated into soil and manure-amended soil at 1.5 × 108 cells g soil-1. Population densities were determined by plate counting and by molecular methods and monitored for 42 days. Simultaneous extraction of RNA and DNA, followed by quantitative PCR, was used to investigate invA gene levels and expression. Analysis by these three techniques showed that Salmonella serovar Typhimurium survived better at 5°C. Comparing DNA and CFU levels, significantly higher values were determined by DNA-based techniques. invA mRNA levels showed a fast decrease in activity, with no detectable mRNA after an incubation period of less than 4 days in any of the soil scenarios. A negative correlation was found between Salmonella, serovar Typhimurium CFU levels and protozoan most probable numbers, and we propose the role of the predator-prey interaction as a factor to explain the die-off of the introduced strain by both culture- and DNA quantification-based methods. The results indicate that temperature, manure, and protozoan predation are important factors influencing the survival of Salmonella serovar Typhimurium in soil. Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Garcia-Arias A.-I.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Vazquez-Gonzalez I.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Vazquez-Gonzalez I.,Campus Universitario | Vazquez-Gonzalez I.,Research Center y Formacion Agrarias | And 4 more authors.
Land Use Policy | Year: 2015

The present paper identifies strategies that farmers have undertaken in northwestern Spain, an area characterized by late structural adjustment. For this study, a survey of over 559 farms has been conducted in four areas representative of different specializations and rural situations, from marginal to productive intensification. Farms have been categorized according to social and productive characteristics through a multivariable analysis. Four basic behaviors have been identified and connected with farm types and rural areas using a multiple correspondence analysis. These basic strategies were defined depending on whether investments have been made on farms to increase or intensify production and whether new on- or off-farm diversification activities have been introduced. This analysis allows us to assess transitional pathways for the future and to assume some consequences of farm behavior in connection with structural adjustments. Thus far, empirical evidence shows that the nature and main drivers of the diversification process are different from those in northern European areas. At the same time, a significant level of farm abandonment is registered. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Santorum P.,Research Center y Formacion Agrarias | Garcia R.,Research Center y Formacion Agrarias | Lopez V.,Institute Salud Carlos III | Martinez-Suarez J.V.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacion Y Tecnologia Agraria Y Alimentaria Inia
Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research | Year: 2012

Human listeriosis is a severe foodborne disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes. It is a zoonosis that represents a significant concern for the food industry due to the high mortality rate it causes and the fact that the organism is capable of growing at refrigeration temperatures. Dairy products and ready-to-eat meats are among the foods most often involved in listeriosis outbreaks. Listeria is a common contaminant in the dairy environment, both on the farm and in the processing plant. The main sources of L. monocytogenes in dairy farms are manure and improperly fermented silage. If silage crops are grown on contaminated land, a new cycle of silage contamination and faecal shedding by ruminants that consume such silage may ensue. High loads of L. monocytogenes produced in farm environments may thus represent a primary source for the introduction of this pathogen into the human food supply chain; dairy cows would represent a reservoir for the bacterium, and raw milk and beef would represent the main vehicles for its transmission from dairy farms to humans. Even if contamination originates in post-processing environments, contaminated raw foods may still represent a vehicle for introducing L. monocytogenes into food processing plants. Molecular typing methods have confirmed that common strains of L. monocytogenes are present in dairy farm-associated isolates and isolates from both human epidemic and sporadic cases. Pre-harvest (on-farm) control of listeriosis should be based mainly on the control of manure, silage, herd health and milking practices.

Villar A.,Research Center y Formacion Agrarias | Gradillas G.,Servicio Of Laboratorio Y Control | Fernandez-Ruiz C.,Servicio Of Laboratorio Y Control | Rodriguez-Bermudez R.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Lopez-Alonso M.,University of Santiago de Compostela
Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research | Year: 2016

The objective of this paper is to evaluate the microbiological state and the dynamics of the mammary infections of organic farms in North Spain to discover if the high somatic cell count (SCC) observed in these farms is associated to a high incidence of mastitis. Microbiological cultures and SCC were performed in 8,496 foremilk samples collected from 160 cows in five representative organic farms from February 2006 to January 2008. Even though 79.3% of cultures were positive, only 21.2% of the total fit our diagnosis of mastitis (clinical, subclinical and chronic). The great prevalence of Corynebacterium bovis (teat canal-region pathogen) in the positive cultures that did not fit the mastitis diagnosis criteria (nearly 70%) compared with those that did (27%) was found to be related to lack of post-milking teat disinfection. The study prevalence of mastitis was 69.2% (66.7% subclinical mastitis, 27.8% clinical mastitis); the mean monthly prevalence was 47.4%; the mean monthly incidence was 12.9% and the mean duration of infection was 3.84 ± 3.98 months The high SCC in foremilk samples from old cows (three or more lactations) not diagnosed as mastitis compared to the heifers, reflects a worsening health status of the animals over time. When compared with the conventional sector in Northern Spain, these parameters indicate a poorer udder health in the studied organic herds with a high presence of chronic subclinical processes. © 2016 INIA.

PubMed | Research Center y Formacion Agrarias and University of Santiago de Compostela
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The Journal of dairy research | Year: 2016

This research communication aimed to compare somatic cell count (SCC), the main marker of udder health status, in organic farms not using antibiotics (O, n = 6), organic farms using antibiotics (OA, n = 7) and conventional farms (CA, n = 5) using antibiotic treatments, all of them at pasture. SCC was statistically significantly higher in O (173780) compared to CA (93325) and OA (107152). Milk yield had a significant diluting effect on SCC and differences between groups increased with parities. Stratified analysis of SCC depending on lactation number and % of monthly SCC test with different linear scores (LS) indicated that there is no difference in udder health in the primiparous heifers from the three groups of farms, but it deteriorates in older cows because of chronic infections in O (possibly due to lack of antibiotic use). Our results suggest that the non-use of antibiotics had an effect in udder health leading to higher occurrence of clinical and subclinical mastitis. Therefore, preventive management practices for mastitis control are essential in organic farms.

PubMed | Research Center y Formacion Agrarias and University of Santiago de Compostela
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Homeopathy : the journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy | Year: 2016

Organic farming principles promote the use of unconventional therapies as an alternative to chemical substances (which are limited by organic regulations), with homeopathy being the most extensive. Traditionally, Spain has had little faith in homeopathy but its use in organic farming is growing. Fifty-six Spanish organic dairy farmers were interviewed to obtain what we believe to be the first data on the use of homeopathy in organic dairy cattle in Spain. Only 32% of farms use some sort of alternative therapy (16.1% homeopathy, 10.7% phytotherapy and 5.3% using both therapies) and interestingly, a clear geographical pattern showing a higher use towards the East (similar to that in the human population) was observed. The main motivation to use homeopathy was the need to reduce chemical substances promoted by organic regulations, and the treatment of clinical mastitis being the principle reason. The number of total treatments was lower in farms using homeopathy compared with those applying allopathic therapies (0.13 and 0.54 treatments/cow/year respectively) and although the bulk SCC was significantly higher (p<0.001) in these farms (161,826 and 111,218cel/ml, respectively) it did not have any negative economical penalty for the farmer and milk quality was not affected complying with the required standards; on the contrary homeopathic therapies seems to be an alternative for reducing antibiotic treatments, allowing farmers to meet the organic farming principles.

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