Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 18

Search results for: pasture

18 The Use of Bituminaria bituminosa (L.) Stirton and Microbial Biotechnologies for Restoration of Degraded Pastoral Lands: The Case of the Middle Atlas of Morocco

Authors: O. Zennouhi, M. El Mderssa, J. Ibijbijen, E. Bouiamrine, L. Nassiri

Abstract:

Rangelands and silvopastoral systems of the middle Atlas are under a heavy pressure, which led to pasture degradation, invasion by non-palatable and toxic species and edaphic aridification due to the regression of the global vegetation cover. In this situation, the introduction of multipurpose leguminous shrubs, such as Bituminaria bituminosa (L.) Stirton, commonly known as bituminous clover, could be a promising socio-ecological alternative for the rehabilitation of these degraded areas. The application of biofertilizers like plant growth promoting rhizobacteria especially phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB) can ensure a successful installation of this plant in the selected degraded areas. The main objective of the present work is to produce well-inoculated seedlings using the best efficient PSB strains in the greenhouse to increase their ability to resist to environmental constraints once transplanted to the field in the central Middle Atlas.

Keywords: Biofertilizers, Bituminaria bituminosa, phosphate solubilizing bacteria, rehabilitation.

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17 Mesotrione and Tembotrione Applied Alone or in Tank-Mix with Atrazine on Weed Control in Elephant Grass

Authors: Alexandre M. Brighenti

Abstract:

The experiment was carried out in Valença, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, to evaluate the selectivity and weed control of carotenoid biosynthesis inhibiting herbicides applied alone or in combination with atrazine in elephant grass crop. The treatments were as follows: mesotrione (0.072 and 0.144 kg ha-1 + 0.5% v/v mineral oil - Assist®), tembotrione (0.075 and 0.100 kg ha-1 + 0.5% v/v mineral oil - Aureo®), atrazine + mesotrione (1.25 + 0.072 kg ha-1 + 0.5% v/v mineral oil - Assist®), atrazine + tembotrione (1.25 + 0.100 kg ha-1 + 0.5% v/v mineral oil - Aureo®), atrazine + mesotrione (1.25 + 0.072 kg ha-1), atrazine + tembotrione (1.25 + 0.100 kg ha-1) and two controls (hoed and unhoed check). Two application rates of mesotrione with the addition of mineral oil or the tank mixture of atrazine plus mesotrione, with or without the addition of mineral oil, did not provide injuries capable to reduce elephant grass forage yield. Tembotrione was phytotoxic to elephant grass when applied with mineral oil. Atrazine and tembotrione in a tank-mix, with or without mineral oil, were also phytotoxic to elephant grass. All treatments provided satisfactory weed control.

Keywords: Forage, Napier grass, pasture, Pennisetum purpureum, weeds.

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16 Haematology and Serum Biochemical Profile of Laying Chickens Reared on Deep Litter System with or without Access to Grass or Legume Pasture under Humid Tropical Climate

Authors: E. Oke, A. O. Ladokun, J. O. Daramola, O. M. Onagbesan

Abstract:

There has been a growing interest on the effects of access to pasture on poultry health status. However, there is a paucity of data on the relative benefits of grass and legume pastures. An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of rearing systems {deep litter system (DL), deep litter with access to legumes (LP) or grass (GP) pastures} haematology and serum chemistry of ISA Brown layers. The study involved the use of two hundred and forty 12 weeks old pullets. The birds were reared until 60 weeks of age. Eighty birds were assigned to each treatment; each treatment had four replicates of 20 birds each. Blood samples (2.5 ml) were collected from the wing vein of two birds per replicate and serum chemistry and haematological parameters were determined. The results showed that there were no significant differences between treatments in all the parameters considered at 18 weeks of age. At 24 weeks old, the percentage of heterophyl (HET) in DL and LP were similar but higher than that of GP. The ratio of H:L was higher (P<0.05) in DL than those of LP and GP while LP and GP were comparable. At week 38 of age, the percentage of PCV in the birds in LP and GP were similar but the birds in DL had significantly lower level than that of GP. In the early production phase, serum total protein of the birds in LP was similar to that of GP but higher (P<0.05) than that of DL. At the peak production phase (week 38), the total protein in GP and DL were similar but significantly lower than that of LP. The albumin level in LP was greater (P<0.05) than GP but similar to that of DL. In the late production phase, the total protein in LP was significantly higher than that of DL but similar to that of GP. It was concluded that rearing chickens in either grass or legume pasture did not have deleterious effects on the health of laying chickens but improved some parameters including blood protein and HET/lymphocyte.

Keywords: Rearing systems, Stylosanthes, Cynodon serum chemistry, haematology, hen.

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15 Yield and Sward Composition Responses of Natural Grasslands to Treatments Meeting Sustainability

Authors: D. Díaz Fernández, I. Csízi, K. Pető, G. Nagy

Abstract:

An outstanding part of the animal products are based on the grasslands, due to the fact that the grassland ecosystems can be found all over the globe. In places where economical and successful crop production cannot be managed, the grassland based animal husbandry can be an efficient way of food production. In addition, these ecosystems have an important role in carbon sequestration, and with their rich flora – and fauna connected to it – in conservation of biodiversity. The protection of nature, and the sustainable agriculture is getting more and more attention in the European Union, but, looking at the consumers’ needs, the production of healthy food cannot be neglected either. Because of these facts, the effects of two specific composts - which are officially authorized in organic farming, in Agri-environment Schemes and Natura 2000 programs – on grass yields and sward compositions were investigated in a field trial. The investigation took place in Hungary, on a natural grassland based on solonetz soil. Three rates of compost (10 t/ha, 20 t/ha, 30 t/ha) were tested on 3 m X 10 m experimental plots. Every treatment had four replications and both type of compost had four-four control plots too, this way 32 experimental plots were included in the investigations. The yield of the pasture was harvested two-times (in May and in September) and before cutting the plots, measurements on botanical compositions were made. Samples for laboratory analysis were also taken. Dry matter yield of pasture showed positive responses to the rates of composts. The increase in dry matter yield was partly due to some positive changes in sward composition. It means that the proportions of grass species with higher yield potential increased in ground cover of the sward without depressing out valuable native species of diverse natural grasslands. The research results indicate that the use of organic compost can be an efficient way to increase grass yields in a sustainable way.

Keywords: Compost application, crude protein content, dry matter yield, native grassland, sward composition.

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14 The Ecological Footprint of Tourism in Jalapão/TO/Brazil

Authors: Mary L. G. S. Senna, Afonso R. Aquino

Abstract:

The development of tourism causes negative impacts on the environment. It is in this context, through the Ecological Footprint (EF) method that this study aimed to characterize the impacts of ecotourism on the community of Mateiros, Jalapão, Brazil. The EF, which consisted in its original a method to construct a land use matrix, considering some major categories of human consumption such as food, housing, transportation, consumer goods and services, and six other categories from the main land use which are divided into the topics: land use, degraded environment, gardens, fertile land, pasture and forests protected by the government. The main objective of this index is to calculate the land area required for the production and maintenance of goods and services consumed by a community. The field research was conducted throughout the year of 2014 until July 2015. After the calculations of each category, these components were added according to the presented method in order to determine the annual EF of the tourism sector in Mateiros. The results show that the EF resulting from tourism in Mateiros is 2,194.22 hectares of land required for tourism activities in the region. The EF of tourism was considered high, nevertheless, if it is added the total of hectares needed annually for tourism activities, the result found would be 2,194.22 hectares needed to absorb the CO2 emissions generated in the region directly from the tourism sector.

Keywords: Sustainable tourism, tourism ecological footprint, Jalapão/TO/Brazil.

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13 Comparison of Bioactive Compound Content in Egg Yolk Oil Extracted from Eggs Obtained from Different Laying Hen Housing Systems

Authors: Aleksandrs Kovalcuks

Abstract:

Egg yolk oil is a natural source of bioactive compounds such as unsaturated fatty acids, oil soluble vitamins, pigments and others. Bioactive compound content in egg yolk oil depends from its content in eggs, from which oil was extracted. Many studies show that bioactive compound content in egg is correlated to the content of these compounds in hen feed, but there is also an opinion that hen housing systems also have influence on egg chemical content. The aim of this study was to determine which factor, laying hen housing system or hen diet, has a primary influence on bioactive compound content in egg yolk oil. The egg yolk oil was extracted from eggs obtained from 4 different hen housing systems: cage, barn and two groups of free range. All hens were fed with commercially produced compound feed except one group of free range hens which get free diet – pastured hens. Extracted egg yolk oils were analyzed for fatty acids, oil soluble vitamins and β-carotene content. α-tocopherol, ergocalcipherol and polyunsaturated fatty acid content in egg yolk oil was higher from eggs obtained from all housing systems where hens were fed with commercial compound feed. β-carotene and retinol content in egg yolk oils from free range free diet eggs was significantly (p>0.05) higher that from other eggs because hens have access to green forage. Hen physical activity in free range housing systems decreases content of some bioactive compound in egg yolk oil.

Keywords: Egg yolk oil, vitamins, caged eggs, free range.

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12 Soil Quality State and Trends in New Zealand’s Largest City after 15 Years

Authors: Fiona Curran-Cournane

Abstract:

Soil quality monitoring is a science-based soil management tool that assesses soil ecosystem health. A soil monitoring program in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city extends from 1995 to the present. The objective of this study was to firstly determine changes in soil parameters (basic soil properties and heavy metals) that were assessed from rural land in 1995-2000 and repeated in 2008-2012. The second objective was to determine differences in soil parameters across various land uses including native bush, rural (horticulture, pasture and plantation forestry) and urban land uses using soil data collected in more recent years (2009- 2013). Across rural land, mean concentrations of Olsen P had significantly increased in the second sampling period and was identified as the indicator of most concern, followed by soil macroporosity, particularly for horticultural and pastoral land. Mean concentrations of Cd were also greatest for pastoral and horticultural land and a positive correlation existed between these two parameters, which highlights the importance of analysing basic soil parameters in conjunction with heavy metals. In contrast, mean concentrations of As, Cr, Pb, Ni and Zn were greatest for urban sites. Native bush sites had the lowest concentrations of heavy metals and were used to calculate a ‘pollution index’ (PI). The mean PI was classified as high (PI > 3) for Cd and Ni and moderate for Pb, Zn, Cr, Cu, As and Hg, indicating high levels of heavy metal pollution across both rural and urban soils. From a land use perspective, the mean ‘integrated pollution index’ was highest for urban sites at 2.9 followed by pasture, horticulture and plantation forests at 2.7, 2.6 and 0.9, respectively. It is recommended that soil sampling continues over time because a longer spanning record will allow further identification of where soil problems exist and where resources need to be targeted in the future. Findings from this study will also inform policy and science direction in regional councils.

Keywords: Heavy metals, Pollution Index, Rural and Urban land use.

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11 Predicting Long-Term Meat Productivity for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Authors: A. Abdullah, A. Bakshwain, A. Aslam

Abstract:

Livestock is one of the fastest-growing sectors in agriculture. If carefully managed, have potential opportunities for economic growth, food sovereignty and food security. In this study we mainly analyse and compare long-term i.e. for year 2030 climate variability impact on predicted productivity of meat i.e. beef, mutton and poultry for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia w.r.t three factors i.e. i) climatic-change vulnerability ii) CO2 fertilization and iii) water scarcity and compare the results with two countries of the region i.e. Iraq and Yemen. We do the analysis using data from diverse sources, which was extracted, transformed and integrated before usage. The collective impact of the three factors had an overall negative effect on the production of meat for all the three countries, with adverse impact on Iraq. High similarity was found between CO2 fertilization (effecting animal fodder) and water scarcity i.e. higher than that between production of beef and mutton for the three countries considered. Overall, the three factors do not seem to be favorable for the three Middle-East countries considered. This points to possibility of a vegetarian year 2030 based on dependency on indigenous livestock population.

Keywords: Prediction, animal-source foods, pastures, CO2 fertilization, climatic-change vulnerability, water scarcity.

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10 Some Morphological Characteristics of Perennial Ryegrass Genotypes and Correlations among Their Characteristics

Authors: A. Özköse, A. Tamkoç

Abstract:

The present study involved analysis of certain characteristics of the perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) genotypes collected from the natural flora of Ankara, and explores a correlation among them. In order to evaluate the plants for breeding purpose as per Turkey's environmental conditions, the perennial ryegrass plants were collected from natural pasture of Ankara in 2004 and were utilized for the study. Seeds of the collected plants were sown in pots and seedlings were prepared in a greenhouse. In 2005, the seedlings were transplanted at 50 × 50 cm2 intervals in Randomized Complete Blocks Design in an experimental field. In 2007 and 2008, data were recorded from the observations and measurements of 568 perennial ryegrasses. The plant characteristics, which were investigated, included re-growth time in spring, color, density, growth habit, tendency to form inflorescence, time of inflorescence, plant height, length of upper internode, spike length, leaf length, leaf width, leaf area, leaf shape, number of spikelets per spike, seed yield per spike and 1000 grain weight and the correlation analyses were made using this data. Correlation coefficients were estimated between all paired combinations of the studied traits. The yield components exhibited varying trends of association among themselves. Seed yield per spike showed significant and positive association with the number of spikelets per spike, 1000 grain weight, plant height, length of upper internode, spike length, leaf length, leaf width, leaf area and color, but significant and negative association with the growth habit and re-growth time in spring.

Keywords: Correlation, morphological traits, Lolium perenne.

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9 Assessing Land Cover Change Trajectories in Olomouc, Czech Republic

Authors: Mukesh Singh Boori, Vít Voženílek

Abstract:

Olomouc is a unique and complex landmark with widespread forestation and land use. This research work was conducted to assess important and complex land use change trajectories in Olomouc region. Multi-temporal satellite data from 1991, 2001 and 2013 were used to extract land use/cover types by object oriented classification method. To achieve the objectives, three different aspects were used: (1) Calculate the quantity of each transition; (2) Allocate location based landscape pattern (3) Compare land use/cover evaluation procedure. Land cover change trajectories shows that 16.69% agriculture, 54.33% forest and 21.98% other areas (settlement, pasture and water-body) were stable in all three decade. Approximately 30% of the study area maintained as a same land cove type from 1991 to 2013. Here broad scale of political and socioeconomic factors was also affect the rate and direction of landscape changes. Distance from the settlements was the most important predictor of land cover change trajectories. This showed that most of landscape trajectories were caused by socio-economic activities and mainly led to virtuous change on the ecological environment.

Keywords: Remote Sensing, land use/cover, Change trajectories, Image classification.

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8 The Effects of Seasonal Variation on the Microbial-N Flow to the Small Intestine and Prediction of Feed Intake in Grazing Karayaka Sheep

Authors: Mustafa Salman, Nurcan Cetinkaya, Zehra Selcuk, Bugra Genc

Abstract:

The objectives of the present study were to estimate the microbial-N flow to the small intestine and to predict the digestible organic matter intake (DOMI) in grazing Karayaka sheep based on urinary excretion of purine derivatives (xanthine, hypoxanthine, uric acid, and allantoin) by the use of spot urine sampling under field conditions. In the trial, 10 Karayaka sheep from 2 to 3 years of age were used. The animals were grazed in a pasture for ten months and fed with concentrate and vetch plus oat hay for the other two months (January and February) indoors. Highly significant linear and cubic relationships (P<0.001) were found among months for purine derivatives index, purine derivatives excretion, purine derivatives absorption, microbial-N and DOMI. Through urine sampling and the determination of levels of excreted urinary PD and Purine Derivatives / Creatinine ratio (PDC index), microbial-N values were estimated and they indicated that the protein nutrition of the sheep was insufficient.

In conclusion, the prediction of protein nutrition of sheep under the field conditions may be possible with the use of spot urine sampling, urinary excreted PD and PDC index. The mean purine derivative levels in spot urine samples from sheep were highest in June, July and October. Protein nutrition of pastured sheep may be affected by weather changes, including rainfall. Spot urine sampling may useful in modeling the feed consumption of pasturing sheep. However, further studies are required under different field conditions with different breeds of sheep to develop spot urine sampling as a model.

Keywords: Karayaka sheep, spot sampling, urinary purine derivatives, PDC index, microbial-N, feed intake.

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7 Importance of Pastoral Human Factor Overloading in Land Desertification: Case Studies in Northeastern Libya

Authors: Abdelsalam Omran Gebril, Ali Gh Saeid

Abstract:

Grazing and pastoral overloading through human factors result in significant land desertification. Failure to take into account the phenomenon of desertification as a serious problem can lead to an environmental disaster because of the damages caused by land encroachment. Therefore, soil on residential and urban areas is affected because of the deterioration of vegetation. Overgrazing or grazing in open and irregular lands is practiced in these areas almost throughout the year, especially during the growth cycle of edible plants, thereby leading to their disappearance. In addition, the large number of livestock in these areas exceeds the capacity of these pastures because of pastoral land overloading, which results in deterioration and desertification in the region. In addition, rare plants, the extinction of some edible plants in the region, and the emergence of plants unsuitable for grazing, must be taken into consideration, as along with the emergence of dust and sand storms during the dry seasons (summer to autumn) due to the degradation of vegetation. These results show that strategic plans and regulations that protect the environment from desertification must be developed. Therefore, increased pastoral load is a key human factor in the deterioration of vegetation cover, leading to land desertification in this region.

Keywords: Overloading, pastoral, grazing, desertification, Libya

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6 Influence of Sire Breed, Protein Supplementation and Gender on Wool Spinning Fineness in First-Cross Merino Lambs

Authors: A. E. O. Malau-Aduli, B. W. B. Holman, P. A. Lane

Abstract:

Our objectives were to evaluate the effects of sire breed, type of protein supplement, level of supplementation and sex on wool spinning fineness (SF), its correlations with other wool characteristics and prediction accuracy in F1 Merino crossbred lambs. Texel, Coopworth, White Suffolk, East Friesian and Dorset rams were mated with 500 purebred Merino dams at a ratio of 1:100 in separate paddocks within a single management system. The F1 progeny were raised on ryegrass pasture until weaning, before forty lambs were randomly allocated to treatments in a 5 x 2 x 2 x 2 factorial experimental design representing 5 sire breeds, 2 supplementary feeds (canola or lupins), 2 levels of supplementation (1% or 2% of liveweight) and sex (wethers or ewes). Lambs were supplemented for six weeks after an initial three weeks of adjustment, wool sampled at the commencement and conclusion of the feeding trial and analyzed for SF, mean fibre diameter (FD), coefficient of variation (CV), standard deviation, comfort factor (CF), fibre curvature (CURV), and clean fleece yield. Data were analyzed using mixed linear model procedures with sire fitted as a random effect, and sire breed, sex, supplementary feed type, level of supplementation and their second-order interactions as fixed effects. Sire breed (P<0.001), sex (P<0.004), sire breed x level of supplementation (P<0.004), and sire breed x sex (P<0.019) interactions significantly influenced SF. SF ranged from 22.7 ± 0.2μm in White Suffolk-sired lambs to 25.1 ± 0.2μm in East Friesian crossbred lambs. Ewes had higher SF than wethers. There were significant (P<0.001) correlations between SF and FD (0.93), CV (0.40), CF (-0.94) and CURV (-0.12). Its strong relationship with other wool quality traits enabled accurate predictions explaining up to about 93% of the observed variation. The interactions between sire breed genetics and nutrition will have an impact on the choices that dual-purpose sheep producers make when selecting sire breeds and protein supplementary feed levels to achieve optimal wool spinning fineness at the farmgate level. This will facilitate selective breeding programs being able to better account for SF and its interactions with other wool characteristics.

Keywords: Merino crossbred sheep, protein supplementation, sire breed, wool quality, wool spinning fineness

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5 The Comparison of Some Soil Quality Indexes in Different Land uses of Ghareh Aghaj Watershed of Semirom, Isfahan, Iran

Authors: Bahareh Aghasi, Ahmad Jalalian, Naser Honarjoo

Abstract:

Land use change, if not based on proper scientific investigation affects other physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil and leading to increased destruction and erosion. It was imperative to study the effects of changing rangelands to farmlands on some Soil quality indexes. Undisturbed soil samples were collected from the depths of 0-10 and 10-30 centimeter in pasture with good vegetation cover(GP), pasture with medium vegetation cover(MP), abandoned dry land farming(ADF) and degraded dry land farming(DDF) land uses in Ghareh Aghaj watershed of Isfahan province. The results revealed that organic matter(OM), cation exchange capacity(CEC) and available potassium(AK) decreasing in the depth of 0-10 centimeter were 66.6, 38.8 and 70 percent and in the depth of 10-30 centimeter were 58, 61.4 and 83.5 percent respectively in DDF comparison with GP. Concerning to the results, it seems that land use change can decrease soil quality and increase soil degradation and lead in undesirable consequences.

Keywords: Land use change, Soil degradation, Soil quality

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4 Concentration of Micro Minerals in Fiber Fraction of Forages

Authors: Lili Warly, Evitayani, A. Fariani

Abstract:

This study was carried out to evaluate concentration of micro minerals (Zn, Fe, Mn, Cu and Se) of forages and their distribution in fiber fraction (neutral detergent fiber/NDF and acid detergent fiber/ADF) in South Sumatra during dry and rainy seasons. Seven species of commonly forages namely Axonopus compressus, Panicum maximum, Pennisetum purpuphoides, Leucaena leucocephala, Centrocema pubescens, Calopogonium mucunoides and Acacia mangium were collected at native pasture during rainy and dry seasons. The results showed that micro minerals concentration of forages and their distribution in fiber fraction varied among species and season. In general, concentration of micro minerals was slightly higher in rainy season compared to dry season either in grass or legumes forages. In grass, concentration of Fe and Mn were above the critical level, while 33.3 %, 100 % and 16.7 % of evaluated grass were deficient in Zn, Cu and Se. Data on legume forages show that 75 % of legumes were deficient in Zn and Mn, 62.5 % deficient in Cu and 50 % deficient in Se. There was no species of legume deficient in Fe. Distribution of micro minerals in NDF and ADF were also significantly affected by species and season and depends on the kinds of element measured. Generally, micro minerals were associated in fiber fractions much higher during dry season compared to rainy season. Iron (Fe) and selenium (Se) in forages were the highest elements associated in NDF and ADF, while the lowest was found in Copper (Cu).

Keywords: Seasons, forages, micro mineral distribution, fiberfraction.

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3 Classification of Soil Aptness to Establish of Panicum virgatum in Mississippi using Sensitivity Analysis and GIS

Authors: Eduardo F. Arias, William Cooke III, Zhaofei Fan, William Kingery

Abstract:

During the last decade Panicum virgatum, known as Switchgrass, has been broadly studied because of its remarkable attributes as a substitute pasture and as a functional biofuel source. The objective of this investigation was to establish soil suitability for Switchgrass in the State of Mississippi. A linear weighted additive model was developed to forecast soil suitability. Multicriteria analysis and Sensitivity analysis were utilized to adjust and optimize the model. The model was fit using seven years of field data associated with soils characteristics collected from Natural Resources Conservation System - United States Department of Agriculture (NRCS-USDA). The best model was selected by correlating calculated biomass yield with each model's soils-based output for Switchgrass suitability. Coefficient of determination (r2) was the decisive factor used to establish the 'best' soil suitability model. Coefficients associated with the 'best' model were implemented within a Geographic Information System (GIS) to create a map of relative soil suitability for Switchgrass in Mississippi. A Geodatabase associated with soil parameters was built and is available for future Geographic Information System use.

Keywords: Aptness, GIS, sensitivity analysis, switchgrass, soil.

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2 Economic effects and Energy Use Efficiency of Incorporating Alfalfa and Fertilizer into Grass- Based Pasture Systems

Authors: M. Khakbazan, S. L. Scott, H. C. Block, C. D. Robins, W. P. McCaughey

Abstract:

A ten-year grazing study was conducted at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Brandon Research Centre in Manitoba to study the effect of alfalfa inclusion and fertilizer (N, P, K, and S) addition on economics and efficiency of non-renewable energy use in meadow brome grass-based pasture systems for beef production. Fertilizing grass-only or alfalfa-grass pastures to full soil test recommendations improved pasture productivity, but did not improve profitability compared to unfertilized pastures. Fertilizing grass-only pastures resulted in the highest net loss of any pasture management strategy in this study. Adding alfalfa at the time of seeding, with no added fertilizer, was economically the best pasture improvement strategy in this study. Because of moisture limitations, adding commercial fertilizer to full soil test recommendations is probably not economically justifiable in most years, especially with the rising cost of fertilizer. Improving grass-only pastures by adding fertilizer and/or alfalfa required additional non-renewable energy inputs; however, the additional energy required for unfertilized alfalfa-grass pastures was minimal compared to the fertilized pastures. Of the four pasture management strategies, adding alfalfa to grass pastures without adding fertilizer had the highest efficiency of energy use. Based on energy use and economic performance, the unfertilized alfalfa-grass pasture was the most efficient and sustainable pasture system.

Keywords: Alfalfa, grass, fertilizer, pasture systems, economics, energy.

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1 Optimization Approaches for a Complex Dairy Farm Simulation Model

Authors: Jagannath Aryal, Don Kulasiri, Dishi Liu

Abstract:

This paper describes the optimization of a complex dairy farm simulation model using two quite different methods of optimization, the Genetic algorithm (GA) and the Lipschitz Branch-and-Bound (LBB) algorithm. These techniques have been used to improve an agricultural system model developed by Dexcel Limited, New Zealand, which describes a detailed representation of pastoral dairying scenarios and contains an 8-dimensional parameter space. The model incorporates the sub-models of pasture growth and animal metabolism, which are themselves complex in many cases. Each evaluation of the objective function, a composite 'Farm Performance Index (FPI)', requires simulation of at least a one-year period of farm operation with a daily time-step, and is therefore computationally expensive. The problem of visualization of the objective function (response surface) in high-dimensional spaces is also considered in the context of the farm optimization problem. Adaptations of the sammon mapping and parallel coordinates visualization are described which help visualize some important properties of the model-s output topography. From this study, it is found that GA requires fewer function evaluations in optimization than the LBB algorithm.

Keywords: Genetic Algorithm, Linux Cluster, LipschitzBranch-and-Bound, Optimization

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