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[en] Cooperatives are especially important in current agri-food markets. These companies have responded to the current demand requirements with greater market orientation strategies to attract and satisfy customers. To do so, cooperatives have adopted different collaboration alternatives. In Spain, the most common alliance between cooperatives is materialised in second-level cooperatives, which are cooperatives integrated by at least two first-level cooperatives. The aim of this study was to analyse the interaction effects between first- and second level agri-food cooperatives on their productive growth and its components. To get this purpose, a Cobb-Douglas specification with spatial econometrics techniques was applied to evaluate this relationship. We included a spatial connectivity matrix to establish the interconnection among cooperatives of first- and second-level. Our results show a positive interaction effect highlighting the importance of these alliances on the productivity growth in the agri-food sector. The scarce amount of empirical papers explaining how second-level cooperatives influence the performance of first-level cooperatives shows the relevance of our study.
[en] The coffee market is distinguished for being volatile and uncertain in terms of domestic and international prices. Arabica and Robusta coffee are produced in 23 provinces of Ecuador. A decade-long decline of coffee production prompted the Ecuadorian government to launch a public program for replanting coffee trees towards the end of 2011. A grower’s decision to enter, remain in or exit the coffee sector is based on fluctuating profits from each year’s harvest sale. We analyzed the hypothesis whereby the coffee grower’s decision to leave the sector is explained by volatile and uncertain prices. This paper aimed to evaluate the coffee sector with an application of Real Option Analysis for the period 2002-2012. We also defined entry (H) and exit (L) prices for Arabica and Robusta coffee for the analyzed period. Our findings revealed high H and L prices encourage growers to leave the sector for the most part of the analyzed period. High H and L prices resulted from high variable cost due to increasing wages for farm workers. The Ecuadorian government is developing a policy to help growers make production more efficient, encouraging them to remain in the sector in the long run.
[en] The decomposition and burning of straw results in serious environmental pollution, and research is needed to improve strategies for straw collection to reduce pollution. This work presents an integrated design of multi-functional rice combine harvester that allows grain harvesting and straw baling. This multi-functional combine harvester could reduce the energy consumption required for rice harvesting and simplify the process of harvesting and baling. The transmission schematic, matching parameters and the rotation speed of threshing cylinder and square baler were designed and checked. Then the evaluation of grain threshing and straw baling were tested on a transverse threshing cylinders device tes rig and straw square bales compression test rig. The test results indicated that, with a feeding rate of 3.0 kg/s, the remaining straw flow rate at the discharge outlet was only 1.22 kg/s, which indicates a variable mass threshing process by the transverse threshing cylinder. Then the optimal diameter, length and rotating speed of multi-functional combine harvester transverse threshing cylinder were 554 mm, 1590 mm, and 850 r/min, respectively. The straw bale compression rotating speed of crank compression slider and piston was 95 r/min. Field trials by the multi-functional combine harvester formed bales with height×width×length of 40×50×54-63 cm, bale mass of 22.5 to 26.0 kg and bale density 206 to 216 kg/m3. This multi-functional combine harvester could be used for stem crops (such as rice, wheat and soybean) grain harvesting and straw square baling, which could reduce labor cost and power consumption.
[en] Haplotypes from sequencing data may improve the prediction accuracy in genomic evaluations as haplotypes are in stronger linkage disequilibrium with quantitative trait loci than markers from SNP chips. This study focuses first, on the creation of haplotypes in a population sample of 450 Holstein animals, with full-sequence data from the 1000 bull genomes project; and second, on incorporating them into the whole genome prediction model. In total, 38,319,258 SNPs (and indels) from Next Generation Sequencing were included in the analysis. After filtering variants with minor allele frequency (MAF< 0.025) 13,912,326 SNPs were available for the haplotypes extraction with findhap.f90. The number of SNPs in the haploblocks was on average 924 SNP (166,552 bp). Unique haplotypes were around 97% in all chromosomes and were ignored leaving 153,428 haplotypes. Estimated haplotypes had a large contribution to the total variance of genomic estimated breeding values for kilogram of protein, Global Type Index, Somatic Cell Score and Days Open (between 32 and 99.9%). Haploblocks containing haplotypes with large effects were selected by filtering for each trait, haplotypes whose effect was larger/lower than the mean plus/minus 3 times the standard deviation (SD) and 1 SD above the mean of the haplotypes effect distribution. Results showed that filtering by 3 SD would not be enough to capture a large proportion of genetic variance, whereas filtering by 1 SD could be useful but model convergence should be considered. Additionally, sequence haplotypes were able to capture additional genetic variance to the polygenic effect for traits undergoing lower selection intensity like fertility and health traits.
[en] Wine is a traditional beverage with a saturated market, in which consumers are open to innovation. In this context, an innovative experience was launched to create a new natural sparkling red wine with a view to diversifying production and studying its acceptance. This paper uses an original acceptance model for new foods called the Cognitive-Affective-Normative (CAN) model. The model was tested on a sample of 500 Spanish consumers in a real-world test context and explains 64.1% of the intention to consume the new wine. The results showed the importance of the cognitive factor in consumer intention. In particular, sensory and price benefits were found to be the key criteria explaining the intention to consume (41.34%). The results also confirmed the usefulness of expanding the factors that determine new food acceptance to include the emotional and normative dimensions of consumer behaviour. The social norm (18.54%) and affective factors (4.2%) contributed to the explanation of the underlying reasons influencing consumers’ assessments of the product. It is proposed that efforts focus on new visual, olfactory and taste-related sensations with a view to producing an appetising product that offers good value for money. Research and development institutes should innovate towards products that highlight these sensations. Therefore, attention should be drawn to the importance of acting on potential consumers’ reference groups and membership groups, with a view to involving them in recommending the product. Managers should focus on measuring and influencing social opinion, working on marketing communication to achieve acceptance.
[en] Female mules are considered as infertile; however, they could be used as recipients in interspecific embryo transfer. This study reports for the first time how it is possible to obtain the birth of a live Andalusian donkey foal after transfer a donkey embryo to a non-cycling mule. Two non-cycling mules were used as recipients, oestradiol benzoate was administered when donors showed oestrus and long-acting progesterone after ovulation. The mules also received long-acting progesterone every 7 days until 120 days of gestation. One embryo was collected from the two donor jennies and transferred to one of the mules after 5 days of progesterone treatment. Pregnancy was established and maintained after embryo transfer. The pregnant mule carried to term and delivered a live donkey foal after 375 days of pregnancy. In conclusion, non-cycling mules treated with oestradiol benzoate and long-acting progesterone can be successfully used as recipients of donkey embryos, which open new ways for the conservation of endangered donkey species.
[en] The bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ is a recent plant pathogen of several crops in Solanaceae and Apiaceae and is associated with economically important diseases. The bacterium is a carrot seed borne pathogen that can also be transmitted from potato mother tubers and by psyllid vectors. The psyllid Bactericera trigonica Hodkinson was described carrying CaLso associated with vegetative disorders in carrot and celery crops in Spain and its competence to transmit this phloem-limited bacterium among vegetables is currently being investigated. Here electrical penetration graphs showed that B. trigonica fed in the phloem of carrot and celery and probed the phloem in potato, but not in tomato plants. The bacterium was efficiently transmitted to carrot and celery plants when either single B. trigonica or groups of ten fed on these species. An inoculation access period of 24 hours was sufficient for a single B. trigonica to transmit the bacterium to carrot (67.8%), celery (21.1%) and eventually to potato and tomato (6.0%). Higher transmission rates were obtained with 10 individuals on celery (100%), carrot (80%), potato (10%) and tomato (10%). Bactericera trigonica laid eggs, and the hatched nymphs develop into adult on carrot and celery, but not on potato and tomato. CaLso was detected in 20% of the eggs laid by females carrying the bacterium. The results confirmed that B. trigonica is a vector of the bacterium to carrot and celery, and it is discussed the potential role of this psyllid in the transmission of the pathogen to potato and tomato plants.
[en] This study analysed the germination success of pods of six annual native legumes species: Astragalus hamosus, Medicago minima, Medicago orbicularis, Medicago polymorpha, Medicago rigidula and Scorpiurus muricatus. The use of these species has been proposed as a means of generating and improving herbaceous cover in olive groves. Germination success was studied in terms of the variability in the number of seeds germinated per pod after 18 months at two different sowing depths, on the surface (S) and buried 10 mm (B). Pods were subject to five different pre-germination treatments: chemical scarification, consisting of immersion in sulphuric acid for 15 min (S15) and 20 min (S20), immersion in water for 48 h (W48), pod precooled to -18ºC for one month (P18º) and untreated pods (Con). The results showed that the effectiveness of the different treatments and sowing depths depended on the species, and that there were no problems of ‘sibling-competition’ in any of the treatments or at any of the sowing depths. Species with larger, non-spiralled pods, such as A. hamosus or S. muricatus, or with very loosely spiralled pods such as M. orbicularis, had greater germination rates when buried, mainly in the case of untreated pods and pods that were immersed in sulphuric acid for 20 minutes.
[en] Minimal information exists on whole-plant dynamics of mineral flow. Understanding these phenomena in a model plant such as rice could help in the development of nutritionally enhanced cultivars. A whole-plant mineral accumulation study was performed in rice (cv. Kitaake), using sequential harvests during reproductive development panicle exertion, grain filling, and full maturity stages in order to characterize mineral accumulation in roots, non-flag leaves, flag leaves, stems/sheaths, and panicles. Partition quotient analysis showed that Fe, Zn, Cu and Ni are preferentially accumulated in roots; Mn and Mg are accumulated in leaves; Mo, Ca, and S in roots and leaves; and K in roots, leaves and stems/sheaths. Correlation analysis indicated that changes in the concentrations of mineral pairs Fe-Mn, K-S, Fe-Ni, Cu-Mg, Mn-Ni, S-Mo, Mn-Ca, and Mn-Mg throughout the reproductive development of rice were positively correlated in all four of the above ground organs evaluated, with Fe-Mn and K-S being positively correlated also in roots, which suggest that root-to-shoot transfer is not driven simply by concentrations in roots. These analyses will serve as a starting point for a more detailed examination of mineral transport and accumulation in rice plants.
[en] Information on the effect of temperature on biological parameters of phytophagous insects is one of the tools in IPM programs, as it allows prediction of risk situations in the field. This work reports the effect of temperature on reproductive parameters and longevity of one of the most important current pests of almond orchards in the Mediterranean basin, the poplar lace bug, Monosteira unicostata (Mulsant & Rey) (Hemiptera: Tingidae). The temperatures tested were 22, 25, 28, 31, 34 and 37ºC, always at 60 ± 10% relative humidity and under a L16:D8 photoperiod. Extreme temperatures had an adverse effect on preoviposition period, total fecundity and daily fecundity while increasing values of oviposition period and adults longevity were registered for decreasing temperatures. Male longevity was higher than female longevity, and mortality pattern differed between sexes for all temperatures but 37ºC. The nonlinear Lactin model described accurately the effect of temperature on the intrinsic rate of natural increase of M. unicostata populations and predicted the optimum temperature for population increase at 34.1ºC, at which the population doubling time is 3.6 days. Produced values of lower and upper thresholds for M. unicostata populations were 14.8 and 38.8ºC, respectively. This characterizes the poplar lace bug as a very important pest in the Mediterranean basin, with an increasing potential risk in a global warming scenario.