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Legnaro, Italy

Rizzi C.,University of Padua | Marangon A.,Veneto Agricoltura
Poultry Science | Year: 2012

The quality of eggs laid by 2 hybrid and 2 Italian dual-purpose genotypes of hens reared under organic farming system was studied. Hens belonging to Hy-Line Brown (brown eggshell, HLB), Hy-Line White (white eggshell, HLW), Ermellinata di Rovigo (brown eggshell, E), and Robusta maculata (brown eggshell, R) genotypes were reared from 24 to 43 wk of age. The trial was carried out from July to December, with environmental temperature ranging from 25°C (±5°C, summer) to 13°C (±7°C, autumn). The HLB eggs were heavier (P < 0.01) than HLW (62.9 vs. 60.4 g), and R eggs were heavier (P < 0.01) than E (56.5 vs. 54.4 g). The albumen weight differed (P < 0.01) among HLB, HLW, R, and E (40.7, 38.3, 32.7, 34.1 g, respectively). The E and R yolk weights were similar (16.2 g) and higher (P < 0.01) than hybrids; HLW yolk was higher (P < 0.05) than HLB (15.8 vs. 15.5 g). The HLB showed the highest (P < 0.01, 6.74 g) shell weight and E had the lowest (P < 0.01; 5.43 g). The yolk cholesterol content was higher (P < 0.01) in the Italian eggs than in the hybrids (258 vs. 219 mg/yolk). The HLB yolk had the lowest (P < 0.01) saturated fatty acids (33.8 vs. 34.9%), and R yolks showed the lowest (P < 0.01) monounsaturated fatty acids (36.3 vs. 38.0%) and the highest (P < 0.01) polyunsaturated fatty acids (28.7 vs. 27.4%) than the other groups. The HLW yolk showed the highest (P < 0.01) n-6/n-3 ratio (13.7) in comparison to the other 3 groups (12.8). During 21 d of storage (at 21°C and 62% RH), the E eggs showed the lowest (P < 0.01) quality (albumen height, 4.93 vs. 5.56 mm; Haugh units, 71 vs. 74). A sensory profile of boiled eggs showed differences (P < 0.05) in odor and flavor sensations and in certain yolk and albumen texture properties according to genotype. The quality of organic eggs from different genotypes differs in relation to the strain but also the interaction with the environmental conditions has to be considered. © 2012 Poultry Science Association Inc.

Furlan L.,Veneto Agricoltura | Kreutzweiser D.,Natural Resources Canada
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2015

Neonicotinoid insecticides are widely used for control of insect pests around the world and are especially pervasive in agricultural pest management. There is a growing body of evidence indicating that the broad-scale and prophylactic uses of neonicotinoids pose serious risks of harm to beneficial organisms and their ecological function. This provides the impetus for exploring alternatives to neonicotinoid insecticides for controlling insect pests. We draw from examples of alternative pest control options in Italian maize production and Canadian forestry to illustrate the principles of applying alternatives to neonicotinoids under an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy. An IPM approach considers all relevant and available information to make informed management decisions, providing pest control options based on actual need. We explore the benefits and challenges of several options for management of three insect pests in maize crops and an invasive insect pest in forests, including diversifying crop rotations, altering the timing of planting, tillage and irrigation, using less sensitive crops in infested areas, applying biological control agents, and turning to alternative reduced risk insecticides. Continued research into alternatives is warranted, but equally pressing is the need for information transfer and training for farmers and pest managers and the need for policies and regulations to encourage the adoption of IPM strategies and their alternative pest control options. © The Author(s) 2014.

Sufyan M.,University of Bonn | Neuhoff D.,University of Bonn | Furlan L.,Veneto Agricoltura
Bulletin of Insectology | Year: 2014

The biology of the click beetle Agriotes obscurus (L.) (Coleoptera Elateridae) including adult morphology, fecundity, larval and pupal development was studied in a climate chamber at a constant temperature of 20 °C and under semi-natural conditions in an outdoor rearing cage close to Bonn, Germany. The eggs of A. obscurus were deposited either individually or in clusters of 2 to 39 individuals mostly in May. At a constant temperature of 20 °C, embryogenesis took 22.5 days on average and the percentage of egg hatchability was 95-100%. Head width of the larvae ranged from 0.2 mm (L1) to 1.46 mm (L11). In the laboratory, the larvae passed through 8 to 11 instars during an 18 month period, while in the rearing cage up to 13 instars were recorded over a 30 month period with the life cycle not fully completed at the end of the experiment. In the climate chamber, the larvae reached either instar stage L7 (35%), L6 (32%) or L5 (24%) at the end of the first year. In the rearing cage in contrast, 70% of the larvae reached L5 only at the end of the first year. After the second year, the average larval stage was similar (L10) under both laboratory and field conditions. However, under laboratory conditions at 20 °C, approximately 14% of the larvae had transformed into adults after 14 months, hence completing their life cycle with only one overwintering. Cultural practices to control wireworms in sensitive crops should consider the phases of larval development and adapt soil tillage and crop rotation accordingly. © 2014(Publisher Name). All Rights Reserved.

Vasileiadis V.P.,CNR Institute of Agro-environmental and Forest Biology | Otto S.,CNR Institute of Agro-environmental and Forest Biology | van Dijk W.,Wageningen University | Urek G.,Agricultural Institute of Slovenia | And 4 more authors.
European Journal of Agronomy | Year: 2015

The development and implementation of integrated weed management (IWM) strategies that provide good weed control while reducing dependence on herbicides, and preferably without having side effects on the overall system economic performance, is still a challenge that has to be met. In 2011 and 2012, nine on-farm experiments (i.e., real field conditions on commercial farms, with natural weed flora) were conducted in three important European maize producing regions-countries, which represent the range of climatic and edaphic conditions in Europe, to evaluate the efficacy of different locally selected IWM tools for direct weed control in maize vs. the conventional approach (CON) followed by the farms. The IWM tools tested were: (1) early post-emergence herbicide band application combined with hoeing followed by a second hoeing in Southern Germany, (2) early post-emergence herbicide broadcast application when indicated by a predictive model of weed emergence after performing one scouting in the field to supply data for the model, followed by hoeing in Northern Italy, and (3) tine harrowing at 2-3rd leaf stage of maize and low dose of post-emergence herbicide in Slovenia. Results showed that the IWM tools tested in the different countries: (1) provided sufficient weed control without any significant differences in yields, (2) greatly reduced maize reliance on herbicides, and (3) IWM implementation was economically sustainable as no significant differences in gross margin were observed in any country compared to CON. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Bermond G.,CNRS Sophia Agrobiotech Institute | Ciosi M.,University of Glasgow | Ciosi M.,MBB Unit | Lombaert E.,CNRS Sophia Agrobiotech Institute | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

The western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), is one of the most destructive pests of corn in North America and is currently invading Europe. The two major invasive outbreaks of rootworm in Europe have occurred, in North-West Italy and in Central and South-Eastern Europe. These two outbreaks originated from independent introductions from North America. Secondary contact probably occurred in North Italy between these two outbreaks, in 2008. We used 13 microsatellite markers to conduct a population genetics study, to demonstrate that this geographic contact resulted in a zone of admixture in the Italian region of Veneto. We show that i) genetic variation is greater in the contact zone than in the parental outbreaks; ii) several signs of admixture were detected in some Venetian samples, in a Bayesian analysis of the population structure and in an approximate Bayesian computation analysis of historical scenarios and, finally, iii) allelic frequency clines were observed at microsatellite loci. The contact between the invasive outbreaks in North-West Italy and Central and South-Eastern Europe resulted in a zone of admixture, with particular characteristics. The evolutionary implications of the existence of a zone of admixture in Northern Italy and their possible impact on the invasion success of the western corn rootworm are discussed. © 2012 Bermond et al.

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