Organic Eprints

    Male chicken thigh meat quality from fast and slow growing breeds from an organic free-range system

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    Significant effects of Genotype and Age on several of the technological meat quality attributes measured were found. In general, the meat from fast growing birds (JA) was darker, more tender, had a higher water-binding but a higher cooking loss. Birds with a higher age at slaughter was more red, less tender and had a higher cooking loss. Regarding the protein concentration of the feed, no significant effects could be found on meat quality attributes, however a high protein concentration in the feed showed a tendency towards more tender meat

    The nutritive value of lupins in sole cropping systems and mixed intercropping with spring cereals for grain production

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    In total 572 experimental plots were established at two sites during three years with different grain legume species, such as lupins, field beans and peas as well as mixed intercropping of different legumes or legumes with spring cereals for grain production. From all plots yield as well as quality and energy parameters of grains were analysed and the feed values calculated. Compared to soy bean meal yellow lupins have higher protein content but a low yield. While the energy content of lupins as feed for pigs, cattle and milking cows was only slightly higher than of soy bean meal, its feed energy for poultry was nearly comparable. In the case of mixed intercropping with spring cereals the feed energy content for pigs and cattle by using spring wheat or- barley as partner was higher than a comparable mixture of wheat and soy bean meal. The lowest feed energy contents were achieved with mixtures of legumes and oats. From the view of animal nutrition the parts of lupins in the mixed intercropping grains should be higher in the relation to spring cereals to increase especially the protein content

    Organic farming systems benefit biodiversity and natural pest regulation in white cabbage

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    Natural regulation of cabbage root flies works well in experimental organic cropping systems of white cabbage. Low input and complex organic systems benefit functional biodiversity by providing good living conditions to several groups of natural enemies. Intercropped green manure benefits large predators while small predatory beetles favour low input organic systems with bare soil between crop rows

    Enhancing GHG balances in organic farms by integration of new bio-energy crop concepts

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    Chances to increase the efficiency of the plant production of organic farms by increasing of land equivalent ratios (LER), yield advances by nutrient recycling and the use of typical by-products of organic production in bio-energy cropping concepts are described. Mixed cropping with oil crops and the integration of hedges offer chances to increase land use efficiency, decrease GHG emissions and to simultaneously uphold food production

    Weed occurrence in Finnish coastal regions: a survey of organically cropped spring cereals

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    Weed communities of organically cropped spring cereal stands in the southern and the northwestern coastal regions of Finland (= south and northwest, respectively) were compared with respect to number of species, frequency of occurrence, density and dry weight. Regional specialization of agricultural production along with differences in climate and soil properties were expected to generate differences in weed communities between south and northwest. Total and average numbers of species were higher in the south than in the northwest (33 vs. 26 and 15.6 vs. 10.0, respectively). Some rare species (e.g. Papaver dubium) were found in the south. Fumaria officinalis and Lamium spp. were found only in the south. The densities and dry weights of Lapsana communis, Myosotis arvensis, Polygonum aviculare, Tripleurospermum inodorum and Vicia spp. were higher in the south, while the densities and dry weights of Elymus repens, Persicaria spp. and Spergula arvensis were higher in the northwest. Total density of weeds did not differ between south and northwest (average = 565 vs. 570 shoots m-2, respectively). Total dry weight of weeds was higher in the northwest compared with the south (average = 1594 vs. 697 kg ha-1, respectively), mainly due to the high dry weight of E. repens. The only variable that was dependent on the duration of organic farming was weed density in the south. The abundance of nitrophilous in relation to non-nitrophilous weed species was higher while the abundance of perennial ruderal and grassland weed species was lower compared with previous weed surveys. This can be regarded as the result of increasing cropping intensity on organic farms in Finland. Different weed communities call for the application of specific target-oriented weed management in the respective coastal regions

    Feed interventions and skatole deposition

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    Skatole produced in the large intestine of the pig and the testicular steroid androstenone are the main substances contributing to boar tainted meat from entire male pigs. Boar taint decreases the quality of the meat and is not accepted by consumers. Until now boar taint has been avoided by castrating male pigs. Surgical castration reduces lean meat percentage, growth rate and feed efficiency, and it causes pain to the animal. This constitutes a problem in relation to productivity and welfare. Different attempts on avoiding surgical castration were either not fully effective, not accepted by the market, or they have a long time horizon for implementation. However, when focusing on the effect of feed interventions on boar taint, previous studies have showed a reducing effect through reduced skatole production in the large intestine after a one week application period. Skatole is produced from the microbial fermentation of L-tryptophan in the large intestine. In the literature it is well documented that skatole production in the large intestine is positively correlated with skatole deposition in adipose tissue. Moreover skatole production can be decreased by adding non-digestible and easy fermentable carbohydrates to the feed. However, little is known about skatole producing bacteria from the large intestine of pigs, and how these bacteria can be affected. This thesis reviews skatole production and metabolism in the pig, and how skatole production can be reduced by affecting the microbial production of skatole in the large intestine. A skatole producing bacterium SK9 K4 was isolated from the gastrointestinal tract of pigs. No such bacterium has previously been described. The bacterium was characterised by 16S RNA sequencing, gram stain, analysis of DNA G-C content, cellular fatty acids composition and DNA hybridisation with closely related bacteria. The fermentation of different carbohydrate sources, the growth pattern, the production of organic acids and the skatole production were studied in vitro. The production of skatole in the large intestine was correlated with skatole deposition in adipose tissue. Skatole production could be reduced when adding a minimum of 20 % raw potato starch or 9 % inulin to the feed. The problem concerning deposition of skatole in adipose tissue seems to be solved through the introduction of feed interventions. However high concentrations of androstenone deposited in adipose tissue remains a challenge. Thus, the feed interventions were not fully effective against boar taint. SK9 K4 was described as cells being strictly anaerobic, occurred singly or in pairs and were gram positive. It was identical with an Olsenella sp. strain isolated from the rumen, an uncultured Olsenella sp. clone isolated from sludge and an uncultured bacterium colon isolated from the oral cavity. Moreover SK9 K4 was closely related to Olsenella uli, Olsenella profusa, Olsenella umbonata and Atopobium parvulum. SK9 K4 and O. uli produced skatole from idole-3-acetic acid but not from L-tryptophan. The major fermentation products were lactic acid together with acetic acid and formic acid. SK9 K4 was not able to ferment raw potato starch, inulin and raw corn starch. Thus, when feeding resistant starch or inulin, the growth of skatole producing bacteria might be reduced followed by a reduced ability to produce skatole. The characterisation of a skatole producing bacterium isolated from the gastrointestinal tract of pigs gives the opportunity to further study the bacterium in vivo. Studies should be conducted to investigate the effect of a control diet compared to a diet added a non-digestible and easy fermentable carbohydrate on the growth of SK9 K4 in the large intestine of the pig

    Exploring the Serbian consumer attitude towards agro-food products with ethical values: organic, fair-trade and typical/traditional products

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    The new Millennium has seen a renewed and intensified interest in issues of business ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR). This has been partly driven by a wave of concern about conduct and governance of business and partly reflects a growing interest amongst consumers, policy makers and businesses, in forms of production and consumption that are more sustainable and more ethically oriented. This is typified by growth in demand of products encompassing ethical values such as organic and Fair Trade products. However, research knowledge base about consumers and their behaviour and attitude from an ethical perspective is relatively weak. Consumer attitude to foods is mainly influenced by concerns (e.g. food safety, human health, environmental impact) and commodity attributes (e.g. quality, taste, freshness and packaging). The objective of this paper is to get an insight on Serbian consumer attitude towards agro-food products with ethical values (AFPEV) namely organic, Fair Trade and typical/traditional products. This paper is based on the literature and an online self-administered questionnaire, carried out from December 2010 through June 2011 with 104 Serbian adult consumers, dealing with understanding of and knowledge about AFP and relationships with ethical values; AFPEV buying frequency; main criteria and reasons for buying AFPEV; opinion about AFPEV price and consumer willingness to pay; potential impacts on animal health and welfare as well environmental, economic social and civic impacts of buying AFPEV; purchasing channels; and main sources of information about AFPEV. Serbian consumers have a good knowledge about AFPEV that are bought by 98% of the sample. Most of the respondents relate ethical values to the respect of environment (73.5%) and organic production (49.0%). The main reasons for buying AFPEV are quality (35%), organic certification (17%), and taste (15%). Price seems less important. The main sources of information about AFPEV are mass media, newspapers and magazines (summing up 46%). However, the majority of Serbian consumers prefer to get information directly from the supply chain actors mainly sellers and/or producers. AFPEV are bought mainly from the specialized shops (34%) and supermarkets (26%) to achieve personal satisfaction, for health, safety, natural resources conservation, and environment protection. Consumers do not always buy sustainable products as consequences of environmental concern or to benefit the community or due to personal beliefs but mainly to give priority to health. Ethical factors are important in some cases, but they may be overstated. Results indicated that most Serbian consumers perceived that AFPEV as healthier and portray a positive attitude towards AFPEV thus showing a high willingness to pay higher prices. Serbian consumers seem to have a positive attitude towards organic, fair trade and typical products due to the sustainable benefits that they can bring about. Therefore, institutional and domestic market conditions should be improved for insuring long-term market development and information campaigns should be organised to increase Serbian consumers’ awareness and consciousness and to strengthen their positive attitude towards AFPEV

    Relation between growth characteristics and yield of barley in different environments

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    The increasing interest in organic farming has increased the interest in examining the importance of the different growing characteristics, such as attack of diseases, grain weight, lodging and heading date. One of the important questions raised was whether the relationship between the growing characteristics and yield would be the same for conventionally and organically grown crop or would some growing characteristics be more important for organically than for conventionally grown crops. This work will focus on that question. The analyses are performed using two datasets with comparable trials in both conventional and organic grown systems for barley (Hordeum vulgare). The two datasets were from Sweden and Denmark. From Sweden 22 conventional and 22 organic grown trials were available. The trials were laid out at 4 locations in Northern Sweden during the years from 1994-2003. The number of varieties per trial varied between 7 and 15 and 50 varieties were represented. Most of the trials were laid out as split-plot designs with 2 nitrogen levels in the conventional grown trial and 2 seed rates in the organic grown trials. From Denmark 4 conventional and 4 organic grown trials were available. The trials were laid out as a-designs at 2 locations in 2 years (2003 and 2004). The number of varieties per trial varied between 108 and 113 and 146 varieties were represented. The data from each country were analysed in a linear mixed model. The effects of location, year, variety, their interaction and interaction with system were included as random effect. The effect of growing system and growing characteristics were included as fixed effects to see how much of the variation caused by varieties and interaction with varieties that could be explained by the growing characteristic and to se if the effect of the growing characteristics depended on the growing system. The analyses showed that the growing characteristics could explain a considerable part of the variance components for variety or interaction with variety. The effect of some growing characteristics depended significantly on the growing system, but the results varied to some extent between the two countries. In Sweden the effect of volume weight were more important in the conventional grown trials than in the organic grown trials whereas in Denmark grain weight was more important in the organic grown trials than in the conventional grown trials. In Denmark powdery mildew decreased the yield significantly more in conventional grown trials than in organic grown trials. In most cases the other diseases decreased the yield more in the organic grown trials than in the conventional grown trials. In some models the yield in organic grown trials increased as the level of scald attach increased. The results indicated that the effect of a given disease level decreased the yield more in the conventional grown trials than in the organic grown trials – or in some cases increased the yield in the organic grown trial while the yield in conventionally grown trials were increased less or decreased

    Is organic Farming ‘innovative’ enough for Europe?

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    The paper explores how organic agriculture fits into the framework of innovation systems that is becoming more widely accepted in supporting innovation also in agriculture which is faced with many societal challenges. It explores the need to better understand the role of different types of innovation and in particular the role of knowledge and how joint learning systems for sharing different types of knowledge can be developed using examples from SOLID and TP organics

    Co-operative or coyote? Producers' choice between intermediary purchasers and Fairtrade and organic cooperatives in Chiapas

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    This study of organic and Fairtrade co-operatives in Mexico aims to find out why many coffee producers prefer not to join the certified co-operatives, despite their higher price offer. A study of costs of production of organic coffee concludes that it implies more work, but not necessarily higher yields. A main conclusion of the investigation is that the compulsory organic production methods deters many producers from entering the co-operatives, and that it is more attractive for producers with more free family labour, and less attractive for producers with very little coffee land. However, the study also shows that it is not only economic factors that influence the decisions of the producers on where to sell their coffee. Previous studies have shown that Fairtrade and organic certification can bring higher incomes and more security into the lives of marginalized farmers (Bray et al. 2002, Martinez-Torres 2006, Jaffeee 2007) hence it is important to understand more about how these systems can achieve their aims. This study shows that although the smallest farmers are less likely to become a part of these systems, the farmers who do are also very poor and vulnerable. Also, co-operatives need to be economically viable organisations and the organic requirements ensure a market with a higher price for the product, while at the same time keeping the organization at a manageable size. It is therefore recommended to keep the organic production requirements as a criteria for producers entering the co-operatives
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