Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Scientia Agricola]]> vol. 75 num. 3 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Application of computational fluid dynamics on a study in swine facilities with mechanical ventilation system]]> ABSTRACT: Ventilation systems used in swine facilities deserve to be studied because they directly affect productivity in the pig farming sector. Bearing this in mind the uniformity of air distribution and temperature is essential to animal welfare in this breeding environment. Thus, the purpose of this study was to identify whether changes in air entrances and exhaust fan positioning could influence air velocity and temperature distribution. The experimental data were collected in a commercial full-scale sow facility. Validation was carried out by comparing the simulated air temperatures and data measured in the field. These results showed agreement between data with a maximum relative error of approximately 3 %. The real settings showed a gradual increase in the air velocity from the air entrances and dead zones due to the change in airflow direction. There was no difference when the positioning of the exhaust fans was altered or was maintained in the original air entrances. The proposed arrangement with only one air inlet reduced the areas of low air movement as a consequence of the change in flow direction. Furthermore, the variables have the same pattern along the transversal plane. The simulations showed that the position of the air inlets had a higher influence on temperature distribution. <![CDATA[Digestibility and pricing of <em>Chlorella sorokiniana</em> meal for use in tilapia feeds]]> ABSTRACT: Several microalgae contain in excess of 50 % crude protein with amino acid profile comparable to that of fish meal. In addition, high polyunsaturated fatty acid contents encourage their use in animal feeding and nutrition, particularly in the formulation and processing of aquafeeds. This study aims at estimating the feasibility of Chlorella meal as feed ingredient for the feeding and nutrition of farmed tilapia based upon digestibility data. Juvenile tilapia were stocked in conical-bottomed tanks (200 L) with superficial, continuous water flow, and fed to apparent satiation in three daily meals with a reference diet and a test diet containing 30 % lyophilized Chlorella sorokiniana added of an inert marker. Feces were collected overnight by sedimentation in refrigerated, plastic containers coupled to the tanks and analyzed for determination of chemical composition and inert marker contents to estimate apparent digestibility coefficients (ADCs) of protein and energy of Chlorella meal; registered ADCs of Chlorella meal were 90.5 and 84.22, respectively. A pricing model considering the quantity of digestible nutrient was proposed based on ADCs of Chlorella and compared with the price of fishmeal (FM) and soybean meal (SBM). The indicative prices to elicit the use of Chlorella as a protein source rather than FM or SBM for the feed and nutrition of tilapia were 2.65 USD kg−1 and 0.66 USD kg−1, respectively. <![CDATA[Key factors that influence for seasonal production of Guinea grass]]> ABSTRACT: Climate, soil and management are the main drives for growth and production of tropical pastures. Thus, a better understanding of the effects of these factors and their interactions under climate conditions is required to obtain effective management options. Here, we used data from two field trials to research on climate and management interactions on the production seasonality of Panicum maximum Jacq. Treatments included four sampling times (250, 500, 750, and 1000 °C accumulated) during eight regrowth period, under irrigated and rainfed conditions and, cuts were made to simulate grazing intensity. All treatments were arranged in a completely randomized block design with four replications. At each sampling time, basal tillers were sampled to observe meristematic differentiation and were linked with the respective daylength. Soil moisture was determined, and the water availability index (WAI) was calculated. The dry matter production (DMP) was taken and relative productivity was calculated. Soil moisture was the key seasonal drive in spring-summer and the WAI could be used to adjust the maximum production for that season. The major drive for DMP in fall was the daylength, which was found at 11.81 h. For all seasons, DMP correlated better with the residues in early regrowth phase (r = 0.82 and p &lt; 0.0001) and with degree-days at final regrowth phase (r = 0.73 p &lt; 0.01). Applying these critical values to management guidelines should make Guinea grass DMP more efficient on tropical farms. <![CDATA[Ractopamine supplementation improves leanness and carcass yield, minimally affecting pork quality in immunocastrated pigs]]> ABSTRACT: This study was carried out to determine the combining effects of feeding up to 15 mg kg−1 ractopamine (RAC) to physically castrated (PC) pigs or those injected with an anti-GnRF vaccine (IC), on growth performance during suckling, weaning, growing and finishing phases. Out of a total of 1,160 male piglets, 50 % were surgically castrated at age 7, while 50 % underwent immunization against GnRF on the 103rd and 136th day of life. A completely randomized design, with two treatments (PC and IC), was used from the 1st until the 60th day of life. Afterwards, 792 animals, PC and IC, selected according to overall average weight (23.3 ± 0.69 kg) were allotted based on a completely randomized block design with a 2 × 4 factorial arrangement of treatments (castration categories × RAC levels) with 9 replications (11 animals) per main combination effect. IC growing pigs improved feed conversion due to lower average daily feed intake and higher average daily gain (ADG). During the finishing phase, both RAC and immunocastration increased body weight, but the effects were independent. RAC, on its own improved ADG and feed conversion. However, pigs fed 10 mg kg−1 RAC had higher blood lactate compared to those fed lower levels, suggesting that these animals were more susceptible to stress. Muscle depth was influenced only by RAC, whereas fat thickness was lower for IC. Lean meat increased and fat decreased in the shoulder and belly of IC; RAC had a positive effect on belly lean meat only. Either immunocastration or RAC inclusion (at least 5 mg kg−1) promoted muscle gain and fat reduction in pig carcass, adding value to pork. <![CDATA[Papaya recombinant inbred lines selection by image-based phenotyping]]> ABSTRACT: The selection of superior Carica papaya (L) genotypes depends on the availability of genetic variability and on the favorable and simultaneous response of the genotypes to those traits of most interest. However, manual phenotyping (MP) demands intensive labor, is time-consuming and expensive. The aim of the current study is to access the efficiency of image-based phenotyping (IBP) in estimating genetic parameters and in selecting F4 recombinant inbred lines. The genetic parameters and values were estimated in accordance with the REML/BLUB procedure and combined selection using the selection index based on standardized genetic values. The majority of traits accessed through IBP showed experimental coefficients of variation similar to those found through MP. Both methodologies showed genetic parameters of similar magnitude, indicating expressive genetic variability between lines in the traits accessed in this study. The same superior lines were indicated in both methodologies and expressive genetic gains obtained through the lines were selected for all traits. IBP performance was similar to that of MP with respect to the estimates of breeding-relevant traits such as commercial fruits and yield. Thus, IBP showed efficient phenotypic assessment, as well as selective accuracy in accessing genetic variability and genetic gains, when it was compared to MP. Since IBP is far less dependent on labor, it is expected to be incorporated into the routine of papaya breeding programs as a way of increasing the number of accessed lines and, consequently, increasing genetic gains. <![CDATA[Classification of soil respiration in areas of sugarcane renewal using decision tree]]> ABSTRACT: The use of data mining is a promising alternative to predict soil respiration from correlated variables. Our objective was to build a model using variable selection and decision tree induction to predict different levels of soil respiration, taking into account physical, chemical and microbiological variables of soil as well as precipitation in renewal of sugarcane areas. The original dataset was composed of 19 variables (18 independent variables and one dependent (or response) variable). The variable-target refers to soil respiration as the target classification. Due to a large number of variables, a procedure for variable selection was conducted to remove those with low correlation with the variable-target. For that purpose, four approaches of variable selection were evaluated: no variable selection, correlation-based feature selection (CFS), chisquare method (χ2) and Wrapper. To classify soil respiration, we used the decision tree induction technique available in the Weka software package. Our results showed that data mining techniques allow the development of a model for soil respiration classification with accuracy of 81 %, resulting in a knowledge base composed of 27 rules for prediction of soil respiration. In particular, the wrapper method for variable selection identified a subset of only five variables out of 18 available in the original dataset, and they had the following order of influence in determining soil respiration: soil temperature &gt; precipitation &gt; macroporosity &gt; soil moisture &gt; potential acidity. <![CDATA[Quantity and quality of soil organic matter as a sustainability index under different land uses in Eastern Amazon]]> ABSTRACT: Soil organic matter (SOM), which influences chemical, physical and biological soil attributes, is the main form of C found in the soil which can also be used as a soil sustainability index. The aim of this study was to use the quantity and quality of SOM as an indicator to determine the sustainability of different land uses (native vegetation, secondary vegetation, fruit orchards, horticultural areas, degraded pasture, improved pasture, and fields with annual crops) in the eastern Amazon. Improved pasture had higher soil C stock than the other land uses and was similar to the native vegetation, and also presented the highest quantity of C in a stable form in the soil (fraction &lt; 53 μm). According to the C management index, improved pasture is the most similar in use to native vegetation. Changes in land use reduced the soil microbial C content, although the more conservationist systems (fruit orchards, secondary vegetation, and improved pasture) had contents similar to those of the native vegetation. The highest soil microbial quotients were found in fruit orchards and horticultural areas. Well-managed pastures were effective in accumulating C as stable forms in the soil, which demonstrates the sustainability of this land use in the region studied. <![CDATA[An overview of sugarcane brown rust in Cuba]]> ABSTRACT: Multiple pathogens affect sugarcane, among them Puccinia melanocephala, the causal agent of brown rust. This disease was first reported in Cuba in 1979 when it was responsible for a severe attack on the main sugarcane variety B4362. The aims of the present study were to give an overview of sugarcane brown rust in Cuba and show the current disease situation in the country. A retrospective analysis regard to sugarcane cultivar composition resistant to brown rust in Cuba was carried out. In addition 154 genotypes, including the most used progenitors in the breeding program and commercial varieties were evaluated under natural infection conditions. The identity of P. melanocephala was verified by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and by sequencing the ITS1 region. After the introduction of P. melanocephala into Cuba, the susceptible variety, B4362, was replaced by Ja60-5 which remained resistant until 1998. Since 2002, a varietal policy supported by a governmental resolution establishing that any single cultivar cannot occupy more than 20 % of the production area for each production company, local area and province, has been applied. Out of the genotypes evaluated, 49 showed resistance to the disease and 35 intermediate behavior, while 39 were susceptible and 31, highly susceptible. P. melanocephala was detected by PCR in all symptomatic samples and its identify confirmed by sequencing the ITS1 region. The adopted measurement together with permanent phytosanitary monitoring and commercial release of resistant or intermediate cultivars succeeded in avoiding any new epidemic. Inoculum pressure was reduced, even on susceptible and highly susceptible varieties since, by resolution, they cannot occupy more than 10 % of the planted area. <![CDATA[A critical survey of optimization methods in industrial forest plantations management]]> ABSTRACT: The application of optimization methods to forest management has given rise to a successful line of investigation in recent decades. However, there have been few publications associated with the application of these techniques to the management of industrial forest plantations (those with short or medium rotations, always less than 50 years), which consider the important role played by these forest systems in the supply of diverse goods and services. This study presents an overview of this literature which, by analyzing 67 articles published in journals contained in the ISI Web of Science, highlight, among other aspects, the techniques employed, their evolution, their planning type (strategic, tactical or operational), the functional objectives and constraints considered, or the type of software deployed in these studies. The results show how Model I has been the one most frequently used in these studies, and how the spatial component is increasing in importance. However, classic optimization methods, such as mixed integer programming, have been those most commonly resorted to, although the employment of multi-criteria techniques such as goal programming and analytic hierarchical process have strongly emerged in recent years. <![CDATA[Characterization of Ectomycorrhizal species through molecular biology tools and morphotyping]]> ABSTRACT: Mycorrhizae are mutualistic associations between fungi and plant roots. These symbiotic associations are abundant and occur in 75 to 80 % of plants. Ectomycorrhizal fungi are very important in ecosystems, because their mutualistic association with plants of different species helps nutrients and water absorption, as well as protection of the host plant against pathogens and abiotic stresses. Most ectomycorrhizal fungi belong to the Basidiomycota class, such as the following genera: Amanita, Hebeloma, Hysterangium, Laccaria, Lactarius, Rhizopogon, Russula, Scleroderma, Suillus, Tricholoma, among others. Morphological studies on ectomycorrhizae report important results in understanding the species biodiversity. However, the use of molecular biology nowadays is indispensable. Among the various molecular tools available, there is consensus about the use of tools based on sequencing of the Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) of fungi rDNA, aiding in species characterization and construction of phylogenetic studies. The ITS region is of easy amplification, it has multicopy nature and enables differentiation between species. The objective of this study was to show that the use of molecular biology tools associated with morphotyping to characterize species of ectomycorrhizae is more effective than when they are used on their own. <![CDATA[Crop residue harvest for bioenergy production and its implications on soil functioning and plant growth: A review]]> ABSTRACT: The use of crop residues as a bioenergy feedstock is considered a potential strategy to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, indiscriminate harvesting of crop residues can induce deleterious effects on soil functioning, plant growth and other ecosystem services. Here, we have summarized the information available in the literature to identify and discuss the main trade-offs and synergisms involved in crop residue management for bioenergy production. The data consistently showed that crop residue harvest and the consequent lower input of organic matter into the soil led to C storage depletions over time, reducing cycling, supply and availability of soil nutrients, directly affecting the soil biota. Although the biota regulates key functions in the soil, crop residue can also cause proliferation of some important agricultural pests. In addition, crop residues act as physical barriers that protect the soil against raindrop impact and temperature variations. Therefore, intensive crop residue harvest can cause soil structure degradation, leading to soil compaction and increased risks of erosion. With regard to GHG emissions, there is no consensus about the potential impact of management of crop residue harvest. In general, residue harvest decreases CO2 and N2O emissions from the decomposition process, but it has no significant effect on CH4 emissions. Plant growth responses to soil and microclimate changes due to crop residue harvest are site and crop specific. Adoption of the best management practices can mitigate the adverse impacts of crop residue harvest. Longterm experiments within strategic production regions are essential to understand and monitor the impact of integrated agricultural systems and propose customized solutions for sustainable crop residue management in each region or landscape. Furthermore, private and public investments/cooperations are necessary for a better understanding of the potential environmental, economic and social implications of crop residue use for bioenergy production.