Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research <p>SJAR publishes papers reporting research findings on the following topics: agricultural economics; agricultural engineering; agricultural environment and ecology; animal breeding, genetics and reproduction; animal health and welfare; animal production; plant breeding, genetics and genetic resources; plant physiology; plant production (field and horticultural crops); plant protection; soil science; and water management.</p> <table style="width: 100%; border-spacing: 0px; border-collapse: collapse; margin-top: 20px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 33%; text-align: left; vertical-align: top;"> <p class="check"><img src="/public/site/images/admin/check31.png"> Open Access</p> <p class="check"><img src="/public/site/images/admin/check31.png"> No Article Proccesing Charges</p> <p class="check"><img src="/public/site/images/admin/check31.png"> Indexed</p> <p class="check"><img src="/public/site/images/admin/check31.png"> Original Content</p> </td> <td style="width: 33%; text-align: left; vertical-align: top;"> <p class="check"><img src="/public/site/images/admin/check31.png"> Peer Review</p> <p class="check"><img src="/public/site/images/admin/check31.png"> Ethical Code</p> <p class="check"><img src="/public/site/images/admin/check31.png"> Digital Identifiers</p> <p class="check"><img src="/public/site/images/admin/check31.png"> Digital Preservation</p> </td> <td style="width: 33%; text-align: left; vertical-align: top;"> <p class="check"><img src="/public/site/images/admin/check31.png"> PDF, HTML, XML</p> <p class="check"><img src="/public/site/images/admin/check31.png"> Online First</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA) en-US Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2171-9292 <p><strong>© INIA.</strong> Manuscripts published are the property of the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria, and quoting this source is a requirement for any partial or full reproduction.</p> <p><em>SJAR</em> is an Open Access Journal. All articles are distributed&nbsp;under the terms of the&nbsp;<strong>Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International&nbsp;</strong><strong>(CC&nbsp;BY 4.0) License</strong>. You may read here the&nbsp;<a href=""><strong>basic information</strong></a>&nbsp;and the&nbsp;<strong>legal text</strong>&nbsp;of the license. The indication of the license CC-by must be expressly stated in this way when necessary.</p> The impact assessment of the EU pre-accession funds on agriculture and food companies: The Croatian case <p><em>Aim of study</em>: This paper evaluates the effect of pre-accession EU grants on beneficiaries in the agri-food sector using a quasi-experimental approach on the case of Croatia. An insight into the available literature reveals a lack of rigorous research and evaluation of the results of using these funds in Croatia as well as in other beneficiary countries.</p><p><em>Area of study</em>: Republic of Croatia, Europe (2006–2017).</p><p><em>Material and methods</em>: Two datasets were used: (1) financial and structural data on the population of Croatian enterprises for the 2003–2017 period, and (2) data on SAPARD and IPARD grants in the 2007–2016 period. Data were analyzed using counterfactual impact analysis, <em>i.e</em>., a combination of difference-in-difference approach and propensity score matching.</p><p><em>Main results</em>: The grants showed to have a positive effect on firm survival, as well as positive effects on obtaining bank loans and increasing turnover, value added, employment, and total factor productivity. Heterogeneous treatment effects show that the grants resulted in the greatest additionality for micro-sized firms located in Central Croatia. Cost-benefit analysis estimates an increase in the value added, which outweighs scheme-induced costs by 120% in the short run and 90% in the mid run.</p><p><em>Research highlights</em>: Pre-accession programs in Croatia had a positive impact on the beneficiaries’ growth and business performance indicators in both short and mid term. This paper also promotes the application of similar research in other EU candidate countries where the same or similar funds are implemented.</p> Marin Kukoč Bruno Škrinjarić Josip Juračak Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0107 e0107 10.5424/sjar/2021193-16764 Managerial capabilities and generic business strategies in the wineries of the 'Cava' protected designation of origin <p><em>Aim of study: </em> Cava is Spain’s largest wine exporter. However, in the last 20 years, the growth of exports from Cava protected designation of origin (PDO) wineries has been lower than that of other Spanish PDO wines, and Cava’s domestic market share has fallen. From the point of view of strategic management, it could be said that it seems that the wineries of the Cava PDO are losing their competitive advantage. It is therefore fundamental to perform an analysis of the wineries that maintain a better performance to understand the elements that give them a competitive advantage. In this article, to analyse competitive advantage, both management capabilities and Robinson and Pearce’s generic business strategies are studied. The objective is twofold; on the one hand, we pursue the level of the managerial capabilities in the wineries of Cava PDO, while on the other hand, we seek to know the influence of the managerial capabilities and the strategies as reflected in their business performance.</p><p><em>Area of study</em>: Spanish wineries of the Cava PDO.</p><p><em>Material and methods</em>: Sixty-six wineries were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U Test and Bayesian regression to determine the relationship between the managerial capabilities, strategy, and business performance.</p><p><em>Main results</em>: The results show a lower level of managerial capabilities in Cava PDO wineries as compared with Rioja PDO wineries, a strong relationship between management capabilities and performance.</p><p><em>Research highlights: </em>These results are highly applicable since they show what resources and what strategies should be promoted to achieve a competitive advantage.</p> Juan R. Ferrer Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0108 e0108 10.5424/sjar/2021193-18018 Using theory of consumption values to predict organic food purchase intention: Role of health consciousness and eco-friendly LOHAS tendency <p class="Prrafodelista1"><em>Aim of study: </em>The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between eco-friendly LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability) tendency, health consciousness, perceived value of organic food and organic food purchase intention in the framework of personality-perception-behavioral intention.</p><p class="Prrafodelista1"><em>Area of study</em>: Turkey.</p><p class="Prrafodelista1"><em>Material and methods</em>: Data were collected from consumers using structured questionnaires. The research model was analyzed with the Partial Least Square Structural Equation Modeling technique.</p><p class="Prrafodelista1"><em>Main results</em>: Results show that eco-friendly LOHAS tendency (β= 0.292, <em>p</em>&lt;0.01), health consciousness (β=0.140, <em>p</em>&lt;0.05), emotional value (β=0.282, <em>p</em>&lt;0.01), and social value (β=0.099, <em>p</em>&lt;0.05) positively influence intention to purchase organic food, whereas financial value and functional value were not significantly related to intention to purchase organic food. Furthermore, eco-friendly LOHAS tendency and health consciousness are positively related to all dimensions of perceived value of organic food.</p><p><em>Research highlights:</em> Findings point out that affective dimension of perceived value of organic food is more considerable than cognitive dimension in a developing country. Emotional value of organic food is more important for consumers who have high level of eco-friendly LOHAS tendency while functional value of organic food is more essential for consumers who a have high level of health consciousness.</p> Sirin G. Köse İbrahim Kırcova Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0109 e0109 10.5424/sjar/2021193-16640 Economic valuation of rangelands in the north of Mexico: A study for its conservation <p><em>Aim of study:</em> To estimate grazing fee and the economic value of the communal rangelands of two groups of ranchers.</p><p><em>Area of study:</em> Ejido Tanque de Arenas (ETA) and ejido Tanque de Dolores (ETD) in Catorce, San Luis Potosí, Mexico.</p><p><em>Material and methods:</em> The contingent valuation method with referendum format was used to propose a grazing fee that would allow conservation and continuity in the use of the common resource. The field information was collected by interviews and was processed in the PASW Statistics 22 software NLOGIT Version 5.0.</p><p><em>Main results:</em> Perception of rangeland deterioration, age, size of the herd, and level of income are characteristics of ranchers that influence the willingness to pay. From the coefficient of rangeland of the region (24.2 ha/AU) a monthly grazing fee of USD 7.18 per animal was calculated.</p><p><em>Research highlights:</em> Estimation and payment of grazing fees are an alternative to avoid the deterioration of communal rangelands, without incurring land parcelization.</p> Octavio T. Barrera-Perales Leticia M. Sagarnaga-Villegas Juan W. Tudela-Mamani Jose M. Salas-González Asael Islas-Moreno Juan A. Leos-Rodríguez Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0110 e0110 10.5424/sjar/2021193-17041 User-centred design to promote the effective use of rear-mounted foldable roll-over protective structures (FROPSs): prototype evaluation among novice and expert farmers <div><div><p><em>Aim of study: </em>We tested the perceived quality in use of a prototype of a handling supporting device, developed through a user-centred design process intended for rear-mounted foldable rollover protective-structures (FROPSs).</p><p><em>Area of study</em>: The study was performed in the Province of Cuneo, which has the largest number of farms and the highest share of utilized agricultural area (UAA) in Piedmont Region, NW Italy.</p><p><em>Material and methods</em>: Three groups of users, novice-novice (NN), novice-expert (NE) and expert-expert (EE) were asked to raise two rear-mounted FROPSs: a traditional one and a second one equipped with a supporting device which consisted of a gas spring and a rod. A questionnaire has been used to record the perceived quality in use of both FROPSs (effort, physical discomfort, temporal demand and ease of use) and perceived usefulness and attitudes toward the adoption of the supporting device.</p><p><em>Main results</em>: All groups reported less physical effort, more stable postures, higher ease of use in handling the FROPS equipped with the supporting device; NN users, in particular, declared to be willing to adopt the supporting device in the future on their tractors when commercially available.</p><p><em>Research highlights: </em>Previous studies reported discomfort in operating the FROPS as the main cause of its improper use. A solution to improve FROPS reachability was developed and tested with users. Benefits were perceived by both novice users and expert users.<strong></strong></p></div></div> Lucia Vigoroso Federica Caffaro Eugenio Cavallo Margherita Micheletti Cremasco Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0207 e0207 10.5424/sjar/2021193-17768 Artificial neural networks in the prediction of soil chemical attributes using apparent electrical conductivity <p><em>Aim of study: </em>To use artificial neural networks (ANN) to predict the values and spatial distribution of soil chemical attributes from apparent soil electrical conductivity (ECa) and soil clay contents.</p><p><em>Area of study</em>: The study was carried out in an area of 1.2-ha cultivated with cocoa, located in the state of Bahia, Brazil.</p><p><em>Material and methods</em>: Data collections were performed on a sampling grid containing 120 points. Soil samples were collected to determine the attributes: clay, silt, sand, P, K<sup>+</sup>, Ca<sup>2+</sup>, Mg<sup>2+</sup>, S, pH, H<sup>+</sup>Al, SB, CTC, V, OM and P-rem. ECa was measured using the electrical resistivity method in three different periods related to soil sampling: 60 days before (60ECa), 30 days before (30ECa) and when collecting soil samples (0ECa). For the prediction of chemical and physical-chemical attributes of the soil, models based on ANN were used. As input variables, the ECa and the clay contents were used. The quality of ANN predictions was determined using different statistical indicators. Thematic maps were constructed for the attributes determined in the laboratory and those predicted by the ANNs and the values were grouped using the fuzzy k-means algorithm. The agreement between classes was performed using the kappa coefficient.</p><p><em>Main results</em>: Only P and K<sup>+</sup> attributes correlated with all ANN input variables. ECa and clay contents in the soil proved to be good variables for predicting soil attributes.</p><p><em>Research highlights:</em> The best results in the prediction process of the P and K<sup>+</sup> attributes were obtained with the combination of ECa and the clay content.</p> Samuel A. Silva Julião S. S. Lima Daniel M. Queiroz Arlicélio Q. Paiva Caique C. Medauar Railton O. Santos Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0208 e0208 10.5424/sjar/2021193-17600 Gaseous nitrogen losses from pig slurry fertilisation: can they be reduced with additives in a wheat crop? <p><em>Aim of the study:</em> The use of pig slurry as fertiliser is associated with gaseous nitrogen (N) losses, especially ammonia (NH<sub>3</sub>) and nitrous oxide (N<sub>2</sub>O), leading to environmental problems and a reduction of its fertiliser value. This study evaluates, in an irrigated wheat crop, the effect of different additives mixed with pig slurry to decrease NH<sub>3</sub> and N<sub>2</sub>O losses.</p><p><em>Area of study:</em> Middle Ebro valley, Spain</p><p><em>Materials and methods:</em> The treatments were: i) non-N-fertilised control, ii) pig slurry (PS), iii) pig slurry with the urease inhibitor monocarbamide dihydrogen sulphate (PS-UI), iv) pig slurry with a microbial activator in development (PS-A), and v) pig slurry with the nitrification inhibitor 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate (PS-NI). Pig slurry was applied at a target rate of 120 kg NH<sub>4</sub><sup>+</sup>-N ha<sup>-1</sup>. Ammonia volatilisation was measured using semi-opened static chambers after treatments application at presowing 2016 and side-dressing 2017. Nitrous oxide emissions were measured using static closed chambers after treatments application at the 2017 and 2018 side-dressing.</p><p><em>Main results:</em> Ammonia volatilisation was estimated to be 7-9% and 19-23% of NH<sub>4</sub><sup>+</sup>-N applied after presowing and side-dressing applications, respectively. Additives were not able to reduce NH<sub>3</sub> emissions in any application moment. PS-NI was the only treatment being effective in reducing N<sub>2</sub>O emissions, 70% respect to those in PS treatment. Crop yield parameters were not affected by the application of the additives because of the no effect of additives controlling NH<sub>3</sub> losses and the low contribution of N<sub>2</sub>O losses to the N balance (&lt;1 kg N<sub>2</sub>O-N ha<sup>-1</sup>).</p><p><em>Research highlights:</em> The use of 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate would be recommended from an environmental perspective, although without grain yield benefits.</p> Noemí Mateo-Marín Ramón Isla Dolores Quílez Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0302 e0302 10.5424/sjar/2021193-17271 Assessing knowledge and engagement on sustainable development goals: exploratory research in the agri-food departments of Ibero-American universities <p><em>Aim of study</em>: To offer an overview of current knowledge and civic engagement in the implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs) applied to agriculture sector.</p><p><em>Area of study</em>: Members of university communities from agri-food field departments at universities from three Ibero-American countries (Spain, Colombia and Brazil).</p><p><em>Material and methods</em>: 631 on line surveys from different Ibero-American faculties of the area. Descriptive, quantitative and qualitative analysis was performed. The level of knowledge and engagement of SDGs related to agriculture sector as Goal 2 (Zero Hunger) and 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) were investigated.</p><p><em>Main results</em>: The level of knowledge about the SDG Agenda, the priority rating for the implementation of each goal and the level of engagement varied significantly between countries. While Spain obtained the highest values in most of the variables relating to knowledge of the SDGs, followed by Brazil, Colombia showed the highest levels of engagement and willingness to apply specific actions in the agri-food sector to promote the implementation of the SDGs.</p><p><em>Research highlights</em>: The knowledge and engagement must be improved if we are to achieve the SDGs, and education and research play a vital role in bridging the SDG implementation gap in agri-food field. In the area the best-known SDG strategies are those related to sustainable farming systems and the least-known are the concept of 'degrowth' as a possible efficient strategy, 'permaculture' and 'local production and consumption'. Big differences exist between countries in terms of public knowledge and engagement with SDGs.</p> Ana Guerrero Juan D. Gómez-Quintero Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0303 e0303 10.5424/sjar/2021193-17931 Vaccination programs, parity, and calving season as factors affecting the risk of fetal losses and mummified fetuses in Holstein cows <p><em>Aim of the study</em>: To investigate vaccination programs, parity, and calving season as factors affecting the risk of abortion and mummified fetuses in Holstein cows.</p><p><em>Area of study</em>: Hot zone of Northeast Mexico.</p><p><em>Material and methods</em>: Multiple logistic regression models were used to examine the relationship between peripartum disorders, parity, previous occurrence of abortion, season of calving, vaccination program, incidence of abortion, and mummified fetuses in Holstein cows.</p><p><em>Main results:</em> For 7014 pregnancies (2886 cows), the percentage of cows aborting and having mummified fetuses was 17.7% and 1.1%, respectively. As the number of brucellosis vaccinations increased, the incidence of abortion increased (10.4% for a single vaccination and 38.0% for 6 accumulated vaccinations). Abortion for cows having 1-2 previous abortions (56%) and &gt;2 abortions (77%) was fivefold and sevenfold greater (<em>p</em>&lt;0.01), respectively, than that for cows without previous abortion. Other important risk factors for abortion were number of calvings (19.8% for nulliparous and primiparous <em>vs.</em> 13.8% for &gt;3 parturitions; OR=1.7, <em>p</em>&lt;0.01), leptospirosis vaccine application &lt;55 days postpartum (dpp; OR=1.3, <em>p</em>&lt;0.05), viral vaccine application &gt;37 dpp (OR=1.3,<em> p</em>&lt;0.01), brucellosis vaccine application &gt;20 dpp (OR=1.6, <em>p</em>&lt;0.01), and no application of clostridial vaccine (OR=3.7, <em>p</em>&lt;0.01). Significant risk factors for mummified fetuses were application of ≥3 brucellosis vaccinations (OR=3.3, <em>p</em>&lt;0.01), no application of 10-way clostridial vaccine (OR=2.3, <em>p</em>&lt;0.01), &gt;2 previous abortions (OR=18.4, <em>p</em>&lt;0.01), and calving in autumn (OR=0.4, compared to winter, <em>p</em>&lt;0.05).</p><p><em>Research highlights:</em> Risk of abortion and mummified fetuses in Holstein cows has been found to be related to vaccination programs.</p> Miguel Mellado Omar Nájera Jesús Mellado José E. García Ulises Macías-Cruz Álvaro F. Rodríguez Cesar A. Meza-Herrera Leonel Avendaño-Reyes Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0402 e0402 10.5424/%x Oral and contact toxicity of the extract obtained with hexane from Achyrocline satureioides on larvae and adult honey bees <p><em>Aim of study: </em>To evaluate the antimicrobial activity of the hexanic extract (HE) of <em>Achyrocline satureioides</em> on <em>Paenibacillus larvae</em> - a gram-positive spore-forming bacillus that affects the larval stage and causes American Foulbrood (AFB) - and its oral and contact toxicity on larvae and adult honey bees.</p><p><em>Area of study</em>: <em>A. satureioides</em> plants were collected in Santa Monica (32° 05’ 29” S, 64° 36’ 54” W, Córdoba. Argentina). The larvae and adults of <em>Apis mellifera</em> were obtained from the experimental apiary of the University of Córdoba, Spain.</p><p><em>Material and methods</em>: <em>P. larvae </em>9 was previously isolated and identified in the Laboratory of General Microbiology (Dept. of Microbiology, National University of Río Cuarto, Argentina). The HE was obtained by liquid-liquid extraction. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of HE was determined by a microdilution method. This concentration and 2 ½ MIC were used for <em>in vitro</em> toxicity tests. Oral toxicity was tested on larvae, feeding them with both concentrations of the HE, while on adult bees the HE was spread to determine contact toxicity.</p><p><em>Main results</em>: The HE showed antimicrobial activity, the MIC obtained was 0.4 μg/mL. The HE presented very low toxicity at the MIC and 2 ½ MIC, with survival percentages to be around 95% for adult bees and larvae.</p><p><em>Research highlights:</em> The results show that this extract could be used for the development of an alternative product for a safe and effective treatment of AFB.</p> Diana C. Pimentel-Betancurt Natalia V. Tonello Francisco Padilla-Alvarez María F. Paletti-Rovey María M. Oliva Juan M. Marioli Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0504 e0504 10.5424/sjar/2021193-16302 The Westernmost Mediterranean islands present an endemic varroosis disease pattern <p><em>Aim of study:</em> This is the first intensive study of the incidence of <em>Varroa destructor </em>(Acari: Varroidae) in the Westernmost Mediterranean islands (Balearics)<em>.</em></p><p><em>Area of study</em>: Mallorca, Menorca, Eivissa and Formentera (Balearic Islands), Spain.</p><p><em>Material and methods</em>: The study was carried out in autumn 2010 and in spring 2011 because the presence of the mite is higher in these seasons. A total of 462 honeybee colonies were analyzed from different apiaries on. One sample of adult bees (worker bees, n &gt; 200) and another of bee brood (at all stages of development, n&gt; 400) were collected from each colony. All were frozen until analysis. To detect <em>Varroa </em>each sample was examined individually basing the study on the guide edited by the World Organisation for Animal Health, with some modifications. The beekeepers involved were interviewed to characterize Balearic beekeeping.</p><p><em>Main results</em>: Regarding the prevalence, results showed that in the Balearic Islands the percentage was higher in spring (34.78%) than in autumn (44.09%) but the infestation rate was lower in both seasons (Autumn: 0.94%, Spring: 0.77%). The focality percentage was also higher in spring (87.10%) than in autumn (82.61%). The data suggests that <em>Varroa</em> mites in the archipelago have an endemic rather than epidemic disease distribution pattern.</p><p><em>Research highlights: </em>These results<em> </em>open an interesting scenario to develop a future resistance breeding strategy against <em>V. destructor</em> in these small islands.</p> Mar Leza Margalida Castell Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0505 e0505 10.5424/sjar/2021193-16480 Effect of Asiatic mangrove plant (Rhizophora mucronata) extract on the growth and virulence of Vibrio harveyi causing bioluminescence disease in Penaeus monodon larviculture <p><em>Aim of the study</em>: <em>Vibrio harveyi</em> bacteria are affecting shrimps during grow-out practices. The application of chemicals to control <em>V. harveyi</em> has resulted in antibiotic‐resistance among bacteria. An extract of the leaves of <em>Rhizophora mucronata</em> was tested to control the growth and virulences of <em>V. harveyi</em>.</p> <p><em>Area of study</em>: This study was conducted in the Crustacean Culture Division of ICAR-CIBA, Chennai city, Tamil Nadu State, India.</p> <p><em>Material and methods</em>: <em>R. mucronata</em> plants were collected from the Pitchavaram area, and the leaves contents extracted. The resultant extract was prepared and tested against the growth of <em>V. harveyi</em> and its virulence factors. The various functional compounds of <em>R. mucronata </em>were screened and volatile compounds were analyzed.</p> <p><em>Main results:</em> When <em>R. mucronata</em> extract was treated against <em>V. harveyi</em> (350 µg/mL) an inhibitory zone of 14 ± 0.1 mm was observed. At 300 µg/mL, the extract was found to be active in decreasing the luciferase to a maximum of 76 counts per second in 30 days and a similar level of bioluminescence was reduced in 15 days. During, shrimp larviculture a reduction in the cumulative percent of mortality 15.70% (<em>p</em>&lt;0.033) was observed when treated with the extract of <em>R. mucronata</em>.</p> <p><em>Research highlights:</em> When extract (200 μg/mL) of <em>R. mucronata </em>was tested against <em>V. harveyi</em> during <em>Penaeus monodon</em> larviculture, the <em>V. harveyi</em> counts decreased (<em>p</em>&lt;0.049). Volatile compounds viz, tetramethyl-6,7,8,8a-tetrahydro-5H-naphthalene-1-one (38.63%), squalene (31.19%), α-amyrin, (7.07%) and β-amyrin (8.75%) were detected. It would be desirable to use crude extracts of <em>R. mucronata</em> during shrimp culture to control <em>V. harveyi</em>.</p> Sudalayandi Kannappan Krishnamoorthy Sivakumar Karingalakkandy P. Jithendran Balasubramaniam Sivamani Peter E. Praveena Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0506 e0506 10.5424/sjar/2021193-17044 Short communication: A potential role of tannins in the control of American foulbrood <p><em>Aim of study:</em> To evaluate the use of tannins extracts in the control of the American foulbrood pathology and to investigate if these extracts present levels of toxicity on <em>Apis mellifera.</em></p><p><em>Area of study:</em> <em>Paenibacillus larvae </em>strains C1 and C2 were from Balcarce, province of Buenos Aires, strain C6 from Rio Cuarto, in Cordoba province and strain C9 from Concordia in Entre Rios province. Bees larvae used for toxicological assays were collected in Santa Paula experimental apiary, Mar del Plata (belonging to the Centro de Investigación en Abejas Sociales (CIAS-IIPROSAM) from UNMdP.</p><p><em>Material and methods:</em> The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of five different tannin extracts were obtained by agar diffusion method on four <em>P. larvae</em> strains; using the MIC value, the toxicity test on <em>A. mellifera </em>larvae was performed afterwards.</p><p><em>Main results:</em> The MIC value was in the range of 6.9 to 898.6 µg/mL. Three tannin extracts did not show toxicity against bee larvae; however, those that were fed with the latter showed a significant increase in weight.</p><p><em>Research highlights: </em>Three tanninS extracts showed a good antimicrobial activity against <em>P. larvae </em>and they did not show toxicity against bee larvae<em>. </em></p> Pablo Gimenez-Martinez Matias Maggi Sandra Fuselli Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e05SC01 e05SC01 10.5424/sjar/2021193-17628 A two-step feeding of calcium salts of fish oil improves reproductive performance in Holstein cows <p><em>Aim of study: </em>To examine the effects of a biphasic schedule of feeding <em>n-3</em> fatty acids on dairy cows.</p><p><em>Area of the study:</em> Isfahan, Iran.</p><p><em>Materials and methods: </em>140 lactating Holstein cows were allotted at calving into two groups of 70 animals and received one of two dietary treatments: 1) saturated fatty acids (SFA, containing 80% palmitic acid) or 2) calcium salt of fish oil (CSFO, containing 16% eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) + docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)), with an <em>n-6/n-3</em> FA ratio of approximately 7 for SFA and 5 for CSFO treatments. The dietary supplements were fed to the respective groups at 240 g/ from 0 to 21 days in milk, and 120 g/ from 22 to 150 days in milk. Milk yield was recorded biweekly and milk composition was evaluated monthly. The concentration of FA in the milk and blood was determined on d-90 of the experiment in 10 cows randomly selected from each group. Reproductive indices were recorded until d-150.</p><p><em>Main results: </em>The CSFO supplementation did not affect average milk yield, milk composition or milk somatic cell count (SCC); however, in some weeks it decreased milk SCC (<em>p</em>&lt;0.05). Plasma concentrations of palmitic acid and <em>n-3</em> FA as well as milk fat concentration of EPA and DHA increased in the CSFO-fed cows (<em>p</em>&lt;0.05). Feeding the CSFO decreased open days (100 <em>vs</em> 119 days, <em>p</em>&lt;0.05), service per conception and all service conception rates (<em>p</em>&lt;0.05).</p><p><em>Research highlights: </em>The implementation of a two-stage feeding program of <em>n-3</em> FA improved reproductive variables and reduced milk SCC in dairy cows.</p> Mojtaba Hadadi Ali A. Alamouti AliReza Alizadeh Abdollah Mohammadi-Sangcheshmeh Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0607 e0607 10.5424/sjar/2021193-17364 Replacing soybean meal with Narbon vetch (Vicia narbonensis L.) in pig diets: composition of subcutaneous fat and fresh loin, and sensory attributes of dry-cured product <p class="MDPI31text"><em>Aim of the study</em>: To evaluate the consequences for pork quality traits of replacing soybean meal with Narbon vetch in pig diets.</p><p class="MDPI31text"><em>Area of study</em>: Castilla-Leon, Spain.</p><p class="MDPI31text"><em>Material and methods</em>: 48 Duroc × Iberian barrows were fed diets with 0% (V0), 5% (V5), 10% (V10) and 20% (V20) inclusion of Narbon vetch. Pork quality traits investigated were 1) intramuscular fat, protein and moisture content of fresh loin, 2) fatty acid composition of subcutaneous fat, and 3) sensory attributes (Triangle test and a Simple Difference Test with a non-trained taste panel) of cured loin.</p><p class="MDPI31text"><em>Main results</em>: Inclusion of Narbon vetch in the diet showed no significant effect on intramuscular fat, protein and moisture in fresh loin samples. Stearic acid was higher in subcutaneous fat of V5 than in V0 and V10 (<em>p</em> &lt; 0.05), and oleic acid was higher in V10 than in V0, V5 and V20 (<em>p</em> &lt; 0.05); no other differences in fatty acid composition were observed. Taste panelists tended to be able to distinguish V10 from V0 cured loins (<em>p</em> &lt; 0.10), and were able to distinguish V20 from V0 loins (<em>p</em> &lt; 0.05), in particular due to a perceived difference in taste, texture and marbling. No differences in intensity of the texture, marbling, aroma and color of cured loins were found between V0 and V5.</p><p class="MDPI31text"><em>Research highlights</em>: Inclusion of Narbon vetch in pig diets did not significantly affect fresh loin composition or fatty acid composition of subcutaneous fat. Consumers perceived a difference in sensory characteristics of cured loin with replacement of soybean meal with Narbon Vetch, but they did not characterize this as more favorable.</p> Wendy M. Rauw Luis Gomez-Raya Mercedes Martín-Pedrosa Miguel A. Sanz-Calvo Eduardo de Mercado-de la Peña Juan J. Ciruelos Emilio Gómez-Izquierdo Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0608 e0608 10.5424/sjar/2021193-17787 Supplement levels and functional oils to replace virginiamycin for young bulls during early dry season on grasslands and finishing phase in feedlot systems <p class="Prrafodelista1"><em>Aim of study: </em>To assess the effects of replacing virginiamycin (VM) by functional oils (FO) from castor beans and cashew nut on beef cattle system during the early dry season (Experiment I) and during the finishing phase were evaluated the historical effect, keeping the treatments and methods intact (Experiment II).</p><p class="Prrafodelista1"><em>Area of study</em>: These experiments were conducted at the Forage Crops and Grasslands section of São Paulo State University, “Julio de Mesquita Filho” (Unesp–Jaboticabal, São Paulo, Brazil).</p><p class="Prrafodelista1"><em>Material and methods</em>: Two supplementation levels combined with two additives (four treatments in total) were evaluated: LSVM, low supplementation (0.3% body weight [BW]) with VM; LSFO, low supplementation (0.3% BW) with FO, HSVM, high supplementation (0.6% BW) with VM, and HSFO, high supplementation (0.6% BW) with FO. In both experiments, the experimental design was completely randomized with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement (supplementation levels × additives).</p><p class="Prrafodelista1"><em>Main results</em>: In Exp. I, the additive effect of VM provided greater average daily gain (ADG, <em>p=</em>0.02), higher supplementation level resulted in higher ADG (<em>p=</em>0.04) and the greatest crude protein apparent digestibility (<em>p=</em>0.002). However, no effects were observed between supplementation levels, additives, and interactions (<em>p≥</em>0.11) on voluntary intake and ruminal parameters. In Exp. II, LSVM treatment resulted in lower dry matter intake (<em>p=</em>0.04). Animals maintained on LSFO during the early dry season exhibited lower carcass yield (<em>p=</em>0.004).</p><p><em>Research highlights</em>: FO can be used to replace VM in beef cattle diet during the finishing phase in the feedlot without altering animal performance.</p> Diego M. Renesto Alvair Hoffmann Tiago L. R. Araújo Lutti M. Delevatti Rhaony G. Leite José L. Ribeiro Eliéder P. Romanzini Rondineli P. Barbero Ricardo A. Reis Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0609 e0609 10.5424/sjar/2021193-15795 Forage source (alfalfa hay vs wheat straw) and rumen undegradable to degradable protein ratio: Effects on growth performance, microbial protein yield, digestibility, blood metabolites, and behavior of Holstein dairy calves <p><em>Aim of the study:</em> The effects of forage source (alfalfa hay; AH <em>vs</em>. wheat straw; WS) with rumen undegradable to degradable protein ratio [low ratio (LR) = 28:72; high ratio (HR) = 36:64] were evaluated in young dairy calves.</p><p><em>Area of study:</em> Arak, Iran.</p><p><em>Material and methods: </em>Forty-eight 3-d old female Holstein dairy calves (44.5 kg of BW) were allocated in four treatments: (1) AH with low dietary RUP:RDP ratio (AH-LR); (2) AH with high dietary RUP:RDP ratio (AH-HR); (3) WS with low dietary RUP:RDP ratio (WS-LR); and (4) WS with high dietary RUP:RDP ratio (WS-HR), being RDP and RUP rumen degradable and undegradable proteins, respectively. The calves weaned on d 53 of the experiment and remained in the study until d 73 of age.</p><p><em>Main results:</em> The average daily gain and feed efficiency were improved in dairy calves receiving HR diets compared to LR diets during the post-weaning period (<em>p</em>&lt;0.05). The fecal score (<em>p</em>=0.03) and neutral detergent fiber digestibility (<em>p</em>=0.04) were improved when calves fed WS diets compared to AH diets. Feeding HR diets increased allantoin (<em>p</em>=0.04) and microbial protein yield, and reduced blood urea nitrogen concentration (<em>p</em>=0.03) compared to LR diets. Assessing the interaction effects of the experimental factors resulted that the greatest BW, wither height, and blood beta-hydroxybutyrate, and the lowest urinary N concentration were observed in the WS-HR treatment (<em>p</em>&lt;0.05).</p><p><em>Research highlights:</em> Feeding WS with high RUP:RDP ratio is recommendable in dairy calves due to the improvement in gain and N efficiency.</p><em></em> Milad Mohammadzadeh Mehdi Kazemi-Bonchenari Mehdi HosseinYazdi Mehdi Mirzaei Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0610 e0610 10.5424/sjar/2021193-16733 Uncertainty analysis of the HORTSYST model applied to fertigated tomatoes cultivated in a hydroponic greenhouse system <p><em>Aim of study: </em>The objective was to perform an uncertainty analysis (UA) of the dynamic HORTSYST model applied to greenhouse grown hydroponic tomato crop. A frequentist method based on Monte Carlo simulation and the Generalized Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation (GLUE) procedure were used.</p><p><em>Area of study</em>: Two tomato cultivation experiments were carried out, during autumn-winter and spring-summer crop seasons, in a research greenhouse located at University of Chapingo, Chapingo, Mexico.</p><p><em>Material and methods</em>: The uncertainties of the HORTSYST model predictions PTI, LAI, DMP, ETc, N<sub>up</sub>, P<sub>up</sub>, K<sub>up</sub>, Ca<sub>up</sub>, and Mg<sub>up </sub>uptake, were calculated, by specifying the uncertainty of model parameters 10% and 20% around their nominal values. Uniform PDFs were specified for all model parameters and LHS sampling was applied. The Monte Carlo and the GLUE methods used 10,000 and 2,000 simulations, respectively. The frequentist method included the statistical measures: minimum, maximum, average values, CV, skewness, and kurtosis whilst GLUE used CI, RMSE, and scatter plots.</p><p><em>Main results</em>: As parameters were changed 10%, the CV, for all outputs, were lower than 15%. The smallest values were for LAI (10.75%) and DMP (11.14%) and the largest was for ETc (14.47%). For Ca<sub>up</sub> (12.15%) and P<sub>up</sub> (12.27%), the CV was lower than the one for N<sub>up</sub> and K<sub>up</sub>. Kurtosis and skewness values were close as expected for a normal distribution. According to GLUE, crop density was found to be the most relevant parameter given that it yielded the lowest RMSE value between the simulated and measured values.</p><p><em>Research highlights: </em>Acceptable fitting of HORTSYST was achieved since its predictions were inside 95% CI with the GLUE procedure.</p> Antonio Martínez-Ruiz Irineo L. López-Cruz Agustín Ruiz-García Joel Pineda-Pineda Prometeo Sánchez-García Candido Mendoza-Pérez Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0802 e0802 10.5424/sjar/2021193-17842 Effects of salt stress on plant growth, abscisic acid and salicylic acid in own-rooted cultivars of Vitis vinifera L. <p><em>Aim of study: </em>In most areas of vineyards worldwide, cultivars are frequently grafted on specific rootstocks to avoid <em>Daktulosphaira vitifoliae</em> pest<em> </em>attack. Nevertheless, the absence of this pest in Canary Islands allowed the chance to conserve and cultivate traditional or new own-rooted genotypes without the requirement of the rootstocks. To investigate the responses of own-rooted genotypes of <em>Vitis vinifera</em> L. to salt stress conditions, ‘Castellana Negra’ (‘CN’) and ‘Negramoll’ (‘Ne’) were used with the aim to characterize their morphological and physiological responses.</p><p><em>Area of study</em>: Canary Islands, Spain.</p><p><em>Material and methods</em>: The effects of NaCl stress on growth, abscisic acid (ABA), salicylic acid (SA) and proline were assessed in ‘CN’ and ‘Ne’ under greenhouse conditions.</p><p><em>Main results</em>: In ‘CN’, the decrease of leaf number in stressed plants was lower and started eleven days later than in ‘Ne’. Salt stress also reduced stomatal conductance (gs), although such decrease took place earlier in ‘CN’ than in ‘Ne’. ABA and SA concentrations in ‘CN’ leaves were 2-fold higher than those of ‘Ne’. Salt stress increased leaf ABA and SA content in both genotypes, compared to control. In conclusion, ABA and SA appear to be involved in grapevines responses to salinity and suggest that exogenous SA could be useful to mitigate the stress impacts.</p><p><em>Research highlights: </em>‘CN’ exhibited a better response than ‘Ne’ through the delay of salt injury establishment, and the dissimilar responses between ‘CN’ and ‘Ne’ seem to be associated to the higher accumulation of ABA and SA under salt stress.</p> Sergio J. Álvarez-Méndez Antonio Urbano-Gálvez Vicente Vives-Peris Rosa M. Pérez-Clemente Aurelio Gómez-Cadenas Jalel Mahouachi Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0803 e0803 10.5424/sjar/2021193-17946 Optimal germination conditions for monitoring seed viability in wild populations of fescues <p class="PFGTexto"><em>Aim of study</em>: Germination assays are vital in the management of material preserved in germplasm banks. The rules published by the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) are generally those followed in such assays. In wild species, seed dormancy and inter-population variability increase the difficulty in estimating seed viability. The aim of the present work was to determine the germination requirements of the seeds from different wild populations of pasture grasses species.</p><p class="PFGTexto"><em>Area of study</em>: Northwestern Spain</p><p class="PFGTexto"><em>Material and methods</em>: Seeds from eight wild populations of different species of <em>Festuca</em>, all from northwestern Spain, were studied. Germination assays were performed under constant and alternating temperature conditions. Treatments for removing seed dormancy (cold stratification and gibberellic acid application) were also applied. A full parametric time-to event model was used for data analysis.</p><p class="PFGTexto"><em>Main results</em>: In general, the optimum environmental temperature for germination was around 15°C for the populations of <em>Festuca</em> group<em> ovina</em>, <em>F. </em>gr.<em> rubra</em> and <em>F. gigantea</em>; temperatures of 20-30ºC had a negative effect. All the examined populations, except that of tall fescue (<em>Lolium arundinaceum</em>), showed non-deep physiological dormancy at suboptimal germination temperatures, but this was breakable by the application of gibberellic acid and by cold stratification.</p><p class="PFGTexto"><em>Research highlights</em>: There are clear inter- and intra-specific differences in germination requirements that might be associated with place of origin. The ISTA germination assay recommendations for wild members of fescues may not be the most appropriate.</p> Pablo Vivanco Jose A. Oliveira Isaura Martín Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0804 e0804 10.5424/sjar/2021193-18025 Influence of overliming vineyard acid soils on the macro-nutritional status of grapevines <p><em>Aim of study:</em> The main aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of overliming with dolomitic lime on the topsoil and grapevine macro-nutritional levels (both petiole and grape tissues), as well as on berry weight and must quality properties in grapevines growing on an acid soil.</p><p><em>Area of study:</em> The study was carried out in the viticultural region of El Bierzo (Spain), one of the main wine protected designation of origin in the northwest of Spain.</p><p><em>Material and methods:</em> The effects of overliming were studied in soil parameters, petiole and grape tissues, as well as in must quality during three years (2014-2016). Data analysis was performed using factorial ANOVA (both parametric and non-parametric tests have been used).</p><p><em>Main results:</em> The results found on the soil levels of magnesium and phosphorus were mirrored by those shown in petiole and grape tissues. Data suggest that insufficient Mg supply in vineyard acid soils could lead to a lower P vascular movement in vines. Additionally, our findings suggest that a great decrease of K levels in vine tissues as a consequence of overliming, could lead to changes in harvest quality.</p><p><em>Research highlights:</em> Overliming with dolomitic limestone in large quantities decreased soil exchangeable K, as well as improved supply of exchangeable Mg and available P. Additionally Mg and P levels in both petiole and grape tissues were significantly affected by overliming.</p> Miguel A. Olego Miguel J. Quiroga Mateo Cuesta Paula A. Oliveira José E. Garzón-Jimeno Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0903 e0903 10.5424/sjar/2021193-17638 Agronomic and chemical evaluation of hop cultivars grown under Mediterranean conditions <p><em>Aim of study: </em>Evaluation of the agronomic performance and chemical profile of four hop cultivars grown under Mediterranean conditions.</p><p><em>Area of study</em>: The study was undertaken in Bragança, north-eastern Portugal.</p><p><em>Material and methods</em>: The newly introduced cultivars (‘Columbus’, ‘Cascade’ and ‘Comet’) were compared with the well-stablished ‘Nugget’. The field experiment was carried out between 2017 and 2019. Dry matter (DM) yield (plant and cones), tissue elemental composition and bitter acid and nitrate (NO<sub>3</sub><sup>-</sup>) concentrations in the cones were assessed.</p><p><em>Main results</em>: ‘Comet’ was the most productive cultivar with the highest total DM yield (1,624 to 1,634 g plant<sup>-1</sup>), cone yield (572 to 633 g plant<sup>-1</sup>), and dry weight of individual cones (0.28 to 0.79 g cone<sup>-1</sup>). ‘Cascade’ showed the lowest average total DM yield (723 to 1,045 g plant<sup>-1</sup>). The year affected the average values of DM yield and the concentration of bitter acids in the cones, with ‘Cascade’ showing the highest sensitivity between cultivars. The concentrations of α and β-acids in the cones were within or close to the normal ranges internationally accepted for all cultivars. ‘Columbus’ exhibited the highest levels of α-acids, ranging between 12.04 % and 12.23%, followed by ‘Nugget’ (10.17–11.90%), ‘Comet’ (9.32–10.69%) and ‘Cascade’ (4.46–8.72%). The nutrient accumulation criteria in cone and leaf tissues seem to be a differentiating factor between cultivars with influence on bitter acid biosynthesis and biomass production.</p><p><em>Research highlights:</em> All cultivars showed notable performance in terms of DM yield and bitter acid concentration in the cones when compared to international standards.</p> Sandra Afonso Margarida Arrobas M. Ângelo Rodrigues Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0904 e0904 10.5424/sjar/2021193-17528 Phenolic profile of grapevine cv. Tempranillo skins is affected by timing and severity of early defoliation <p><em>Aim of study</em>: To investigate the effects of three early leaf removal treatments on the phenolic compounds of cv. ‘Tempranillo’ (<em>Vitis vinifera </em>L.) grape skins.</p><p><em>Area of study</em>: The experiment was conducted in a vineyard located in Requena, Valencia (South-eastern Spain) over two consecutive seasons.</p><p><em>Materials and methods</em>: Four treatments were investigated over two seasons in drip-irrigated vines: Control (C), non-defoliated and three defoliation treatment, applied at different phenological stages and intensities where all leaves from the first 6 nodes were eliminated just before flowering (ED) and at fruitset (LD). The fourth defoliation treatment was performed at the same time of ED but only the leaves facing east of the eight first nodes were removed (EED). At harvest, thirty-eight phenolic compounds were quantified by HPLC in the grape skins, including anthocyanins, flavanols, flavonols, hydroxycinnamic acids and their tartaric derivatives.</p><p><em>Main results: </em>A general increase of the skin phenolic compounds concentration was found in response to the defoliation treatments. The largest and more significant effects were observed for LD in 2009 with relative increases with respect to the un-defoliated vines of 14.8, 86.0, 119.0, and 75.9% for anthocyanins, flavanols, flavonols and hydroxycinnamates, respectively. On the other hand, EED did not clearly modify any polyphenolic compound. In addition, the response of phenolic families analyzed to defoliation treatments was different. Malvidine derivatives were not altered by any of the treatments, while the contents of quercetin and kaempferol derivatives and ferulic and coumaric acids, increased in both years when LD was applied.</p><p><em>Research highlights</em>: The defoliation effects on specific phenolic substances were dependent on timing, severity, and the season. Skin phenolic compounds increase in response to defoliation treatments and flavonols and hydroxycinnamates were the most affected families.</p> Daniel Moreno Diego S. Intrigliolo Mar Vilanova Juan R. Castel Esther Gamero Esperanza Valdés Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e0905 e0905 10.5424/sjar/2021193-17089 Behavior of Spanish durum wheat genotypes against Zymoseptoria tritici: resistance and susceptibility <p><em>Aim of study: </em>Septoria tritici blotch (STB), caused by the fungus <em>Zymoseptoria tritici</em>, is one of the most important wheat diseases worldwide, affecting both bread and durum wheat. The lack of knowledge about the interaction of durum wheat with <em>Z. tritici</em>, together with limited resources of resistant durum wheat material, have both led to a rising threat for durum wheat cultivation, particularly in the Mediterranean Basin. In Spain, STB has increased its incidence in the last few years, leading to higher costs of fungicide applications to control the disease. Therefore, identification of new sources of resistance through wheat breeding stands out as an efficient method of facing STB.</p><p><em>Area of study</em>: The experimental study was conducted in growth chambers at the IFAPA facilities in Córdoba (Spain).</p><p><em>Material and methods</em>: The percentage of necrotic leaf area, the disease severity, and the pycnidium development through image analysis were evaluated from 48 durum wheat Spanish accessions (breeding lines and commercial cultivars) in growth chambers against an isolate of <em>Z. tritici</em> from Córdoba.</p><p><em>Main results</em>: Two breeding lines and six commercial cultivars showed resistant responses by limiting STB development through the leaf or its reproduction ability, while the other 40 accessions presented a susceptible response.</p><p><em>Research highlights:</em> Provided these resources of resistance in Spanish durum wheat genotypes, future breeding programs could be developed, incorporating both agronomic traits and resistance to STB.</p> Rafael Porras Alejandro Pérez-de-Luque Josefina C. Sillero Cristina Miguel-Rojas Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e1002 e1002 10.5424/sjar/2021193-17953 Short communication: A predictive model for the time course of seedling emergence of Phalaris brachystachys (short-spiked canary grass) in wheat fields <p><em>Aim of study: </em>A predictive model of the seedling emergence pattern of <em>Phalaris brachystachys</em> Link (short-spiked canary grass) was developed, aimed to contribute to support a more efficient management of this troublesome, competitive weed in winter cereal crops around its native Mediterranean range and in different areas of the world where it is introduced.</p><p><em>Area of study: </em>Southern (Andalusia) and northern Spain (Navarra).</p><p><em>Material and methods: </em>A model describing the emergence pattern of <em>P. brachystachys</em> in cereal fields based on accumulation of hydrothermal time in soil was developed and validated. For model development, cumulative emergence data were obtained in an experimental field, while an independent validation of the model was conducted with data collected in two commercial wheat fields from climatically contrasting regions of Spain.</p><p><em>Main results: </em>The relationship between cumulative emergence and cumulative hydrothermal time (CHT) was well described by a Logistic model. According to model predictions, 50% and 95% seedling emergence takes place at 108 and 160 CHT above base water potential for seed germination, respectively. The model accurately predicted the seedling emergence time course of <em>P. brachystachys</em> in the two commercial wheat fields (<em>R</em><sup>2</sup> ≥ 0.92).</p><p><em>Research highlights:</em> This model is a new tool that may be useful to improve the timing of control measures to maximize efficiency in reducing <em>P. brachystachys</em> infestations in cereal crops.</p><p><em>Phalaris brachystachys</em> Link (short-spiked canary grass) is a competitive weed that affects winter cereal crops around its native Mediterranean basin and in different areas of the world where it is introduced. The development of a predictive model of the seedling emergence pattern may contribute to support a more efficient management of this species. In this work, a model describing the emergence time course of <em>P. brachystachys</em> in cereal fields based on accumulation of hydrothermal time in soil was developed and validated. For model development, cumulative emergence data were obtained in an experimental field, while an independent validation of the model was conducted with data collected in two commercial wheat fields from climatically contrasting regions of Spain. The relationship between cumulative emergence and cumulative hydrothermal time (Θ<sub>CHTT</sub>) was well described by a Logistic model. According to model predictions, 50% and 95% seedling emergence takes place at 108 and 160 Θ<em><sub>CHTT </sub></em>above base water potential for seed germination, respectively. The model accurately predicted the seedling emergence time course of <em>P. brachystachys</em> in the two commercial wheat fields (R<sup>2</sup> ≥ 0.92).</p><p><em>Research highlights:</em> This model is a new tool that may be useful for fine-tuning the timing of control measures to maximize efficiency in reducing <em>P. brachystachys</em> infestations in cereal crops.</p><p> </p> Fernando Bastida Juan A. Lezaun Jose L. Gonzalez-Andujar Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e10SC02 e10SC02 10.5424/sjar/2021193-17876 Characterization of cowpea to harvest rainwater for wheat in semiarid conditions <p><em>Aim of study:</em> A field experiment was executed, under rainfed conditions from 2014-15 to 2017-18, to study the role of cowpea (<em>Vigna unguiculata </em>L.) in rainwater harvesting to enhance the wheat (<em>Triticum aestivum</em> L<em>.</em>) yield.</p><p><em>Area of study</em>: Rain-fed area of Pothwar region, Punjab, Pakistan.</p><p><em>Material and methods</em>: We designed three treatments (T1: control; T2: cowpea grown after conventional tillage and incorporated into soil to act as “green manure”; and T3: grown without any tillage practice, cut with sickle and spread as “mulch”). The effect of these treatments on soil moisture conservation was studied against conventional farmer’s practice, wherein no host crop is grown before wheat sowing.</p><p><em>Main results</em>: Available soil water remained highest in T2 during first three years when sufficient rainfall was received contrary to fourth year with low rainfall. The results revealed that cowpea biomass of 15.2 t/ha and 13.72 t/ha, from T2 and T3 respectively, were produced during 2015 corresponding to 213 mm rainfall. Whereas, these quantities increased to 25.69 t/ha and 24.29 t/ha during 2017 with 387 mm of rainfall. The study revealed that net income from wheat crop under T2 was Rs 13000 and Rs 9000 per hectare higher than that of control during the first two years respectively. Contrarily, net income from T2 was found negative and benefit-cost ratio reduced to 0.79 when very low rainfall was received during the last year.</p><p><em>Research highlights: </em>Use of cowpea as green manure gave maximum net return if sufficient rainfall is received during decomposition of cowpea and hence recommended for in-situ rainwater harvesting.</p> Muhammad R. Sajjad Sultan A. Rizvi Rizwan Rafique Waqas Naseem Azra Khan Ghulam Muhammad Abid Subhani Marjan Aziz Shahid Javid Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3 e1201 e1201 10.5424/sjar/2021193-16645 Editorial Board Vol 19 (3) Copyright (c) 2021 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2021-08-12 2021-08-12 19 3