Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar <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"> Diamond 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="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/"><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 export strategy of the Spanish wine industry https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/18966 <p><em>Aim of study</em>: This study analyses how business strategy has influenced the export performance of the Spanish wine industry. In recent decades, Spain has been among those countries that have significantly increased their wine exports.</p> <p><em>Area of study</em>: We used data collected from a survey comprising 339 Spanish wine-making companies</p> <p><em>Material and methods</em>: The empirical analysis was carried out by sending a survey and subsequent telephone call to all the independent wineries belonging to PDOs, the number of responses was 339, 14% of the sample. Using the Heckman methodology, we analysed the variables that determine the decision to export and the export intensity.</p> <p><em>Main results</em>: Spanish firms have successfully used different combined strategies in order to achieve an intensification of exports. This implies that the joint use of strategies that seek efficiency (through cost reduction) while increasing value for the customer (through innovation and improved communication processes and distribution) achieve an increase in the internationalisation of the company. Therefore, the results of this study add new strategic alternatives to those traditionally proposed by the literature</p> <p><em>Research highlights</em>: Firm strategy also has an effect on export performance in the Spanish wine industry. To grow in international markets, companies can use a combination of different strategic options.</p> Juan R. Ferrer Raul Serrano Silvia Abella Vicente Pinilla M. Teresa Maza Copyright (c) 2022 INIA-CSIC https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-06-13 2022-06-13 20 3 e0103 e0103 10.5424/sjar/2022203-18966 Determinants of organic wine production: An application in the DOC Rioja wine industry https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/19200 <p><em>Aim of study: </em>To analyse the role that valuable resources and agglomeration would play in the decision to produce organic wines.</p> <p><em>Area of study</em>: The Controlled Designation of Origin (DOC) Rioja wine industry in Spain, the leading qualified denomination of origin of Spain.</p> <p><em>Material and methods</em>: Taking into account the nature of the dependent variable, a binomial logit model was used.</p> <p><em>Main results</em>: This paper confirms the significance of valuable resources such as financial resources and human resources, but also of knowledge-based spillovers from proximate organic wineries in improving the probability of producing organic wines. Contrary to expectations, technological resources and experience in the wine industry have no significant effect.</p> <p><em>Research highlights: </em>The resource based-view and the cluster approach are complementary to improving the predictive elements of producing organic wine in the DOC Rioja wine industry. The authors were unable to pre-register the analysis involving primary data collection before the data collection exercise starts. This requirement is from January 2022 and the survey period of this paper was on 2017. According to the editorial policy of the journal this analysis should be considered exploratory.</p> Natalia Dejo-Oricain Marta Fernández-Olmos Ana F. Gargallo-Castel Copyright (c) 2022 INIA-CSIC https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-07-28 2022-07-28 20 3 e0104 e0104 10.5424/sjar/2022203-19200 Immigration and occupational accidents: A comparative study of accident severity among foreign and Spanish citizens in the agricultural sector https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/18792 <p><em>Aim of study:</em> The objective of this paper was to understand the differences between immigrants and Spanish workers in terms of duration of sick leave, for work accidents in Spain’s agricultural sector, to propose possible action plans and improve the sector’s future accident rates, with equal conditions for immigrants and Spanish workers.</p> <p><em>Area of study:</em> The analysis was based in a total of 158,166 accidents in Spain from 2013 to 2018</p> <p><em>Material and methods:</em> The average number of working days lost per group (Spanish and immigrants) has been calculated for the different variables. For each case, a mean comparison analysis was performed using Student's t-test to independently compare nationals and immigrants for each variable.</p> <p><em>Main results:</em> The agricultural sector produces a high level of severe accident rates compared to other sectors, as incident rates of death are 59.36% higher in agriculture compared to other sectors. It has the highest level of accidents for foreign workers, as immigrants presented 91.36% more accidents that Spaniards, even if accidents for immigrants are under reported, as regarding workdays lost due to injuries reported, these are statistically higher for Spanish workers. This meaning that this sector is more precarious, and this is worse for immigrants, therefore is a compelling matter of social justice that deserve the establishment of policies for government and companies to equate work conditions between immigrants and Spaniards.</p> <p><em>Research </em><em>highlights:</em> A comparative analysis of the severity of occupational accidents between Spanish and foreign workers in Spain’s agricultural sector.</p> Xavier Baraza Natàlia Cugueró-Escofet Copyright (c) 2022 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-08-01 2022-08-01 20 3 e0105 e0105 10.5424/sjar/2022203-18792 Evaluation of coffee plant attributes by field collection and remotely piloted aircraft system images https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/18808 <p><em>Aim of study:</em> To verify and evaluate the area occupied by coffee plants before and after the manual harvesting of fruits and the difference between such areas; demonstrate the correlation between data on chemical attributes of leaves, yield, vegetation indices, and areas occupied by coffee plants; and estimate yield based on the variable with the best statistical indicator.</p> <p><em>Area of study:</em> Bom Jardim Farm in Santo Antônio do Amparo city, Minas Gerais, Brazil.</p> <p><em>Material and methods:</em> We studied 52 sampling points composed of four coffee (<em>Coffea arabica</em> L.) plants each. Field data on leaf chemical attributes, yield, and aerial images of flights with the Remote Piloted Aircraft System were obtained over the study area. The images were processed in the Pix4D software, and the analyses were performed in the ArcGIS and Orange Canvas software.</p> <p><em>Main results:</em> We verified a reduction in the area occupied by coffee plants due to the action of the harvest; no significant correlations were detected between leaf chemical attributes, yield data, and area occupied by coffee plants; and only the NDVI was adequate for determining a linear equation to estimate yield.</p> <p><em>Research highlights:</em> The yield correlation and predicting estimates by applying vegetation indices optimize the time spent on field measurements using the remotely piloted aircraft system. The fall of leaves due to the action of harvesting was evidenced and promotes impacts on the next crop's yield.</p> Nicole L. Bento Gabriel A. S. Ferraz Rafael A. P. Barata Lucas S. Santana Rafael O. Faria Daniel V. Soares Copyright (c) 2022 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-06-22 2022-06-22 20 3 e0205 e0205 10.5424/sjar/2022203-18808 Peanut harvest quality: Relationship between soil tillage management and threshing systems https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/18704 <p><em>Aim of study: </em>The objective was evaluating the peanut combining process quality in three soil tillage systems associated with threshing and separation systems efficiency of peanut combine available on market.</p> <p><em>Area of study</em>: Brazil.</p> <p><em>Material and methods</em>: The treatments were three soil tillage systems (conventional, reduced and strip) and two harvesters with different threshing systems. The losses were collected (subdivided in internal mechanisms, pickup platform, and total losses) in fifteen points for each treatment, as impurity samples, following the statistical process control.</p> <p><em>Main results</em>: The soil tillage only in sowing line reduced the peanut combining quality (30.4% more mineral impurities and 37.7% more vegetal impurities). The machine with tangential flow presented lower capacity of mineral impurity removal, regardless the soil tillage system.</p> <p><em>Research highlights:</em> The losses were similar for conventional and reduced soil tillages, which indicates that it would be possible to reduce the number of agricultural operations before peanut sowing, consequently lessening costs without loss in process quality.</p> Maria A. M. dos Reis Lígia N. Corrêa Adão F. dos Santos Rouverson P. da Silva Copyright (c) 2022 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-07-15 2022-07-15 20 3 e0206 e0206 10.5424/sjar/2022203-18704 Optimal design and experimental verification of a four-claw seedling pick-up mechanism using the hybrid PSO-SA algorithm https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/18065 <p><em>Aim of study: </em>To develop a novel four-claw seedling pick-up mechanism to integrate penetration and clamping into one process, realizing picking up seedlings stably and efficiently.</p> <p><em>Material and methods:</em> A brushless DC servo motor characterized by small size, large torque, and high control precision was adopted to realize precise control for speed and clamping force through control algorithms. An optimization model was derived according to the requirements of picking up seedlings. The parameter optimization of the seedling pick-up mechanism is a complex multi-parameter and nonlinear optimization problem. The hybrid PSO-SA algorithm was used to solve the model, and the optimal parameters of the mechanism were obtained.</p> <p><em>Main results:</em> The dynamic simulation was conducted, and the results showed that the optimized mechanism could meet the trajectory, acceleration, and clamping force requirement for picking up seedlings. The performance tests showed that the success ratio in picking up seedlings reached 84.46%, indicating the feasibility of the four-claw seedling pick-up mechanism for automatic transplanting machines.</p> <p><em>Research highlights:</em> The four-claw seedling pick-up mechanism can be used in the automatic transplanting machine. Additionally, the hybrid PSO-SA algorithm can achieve promising results in solving the optimization problem of the seedling pick-up mechanism.</p> Fei Li Jin Lei Weibing Wang Bao Song Copyright (c) 2022 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-08-01 2022-08-01 20 3 e0207 e0207 10.5424/sjar/2022203-18065 Greenhouse gas emissions associated to sprinkler-irrigated alfalfa under semi-arid Mediterranean conditions https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/18416 <p><em>Aim of the study:</em> Alfalfa is one the most important forage legume crop worldwide but little information is available regarding to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) under Mediterranean sprinkler-irrigated conditions.</p> <p><em>Area of study: </em>Middle Ebro valley, Spain</p> <p><em>Materials and methods</em>: The GHG emissions during two alfalfa growing periods (4<sup>th</sup> and 5<sup>th</sup> stands) were evaluated using both the static method chambers and two automatic chambers coupled with a photoacoustic equipment that measured short-term gas emissions.</p> <p><em>Main results:</em> Year-average CH<sub>4</sub> fluxes were -0.71 g C ha<sup>-1</sup> day<sup>-1</sup>, generally no significantly different from zero. Year-average N<sub>2</sub>O flux was 3.96 g N ha<sup>-1</sup> day<sup>-1</sup> with higher fluxes associated to some specific large rainfall or irrigation events. Average cumulative emissions of 865 g N ha<sup>-1 </sup>year<sup>-1</sup> were found. We found short-term peaks of N<sub>2</sub>O (up to 160 g N ha<sup>-1</sup> day<sup>-1</sup>) associated with high values of soil water filled pore space (WFPS) that can go unnoticed using the static chamber procedure. In spite of the higher soil NO<sub>3</sub>‾ concentration in the alfalfa-precedent field compared to the maize-precedent field, no significant differences in cumulative N<sub>2</sub>O emissions were observed in the two-month period after alfalfa or maize residues incorporation.</p> <p><em>Research highlights:</em> Low GHG emissions were found in an irrigated alfalfa crop compared to N-fertilized crops but a deeper knowledge of the limiting factors of denitrification observed during some anoxic events (WFPS&gt;90%) is necessary to properly quantify N<sub>2</sub>O emissions in irrigated alfalfa.</p> Ramon Isla Monica Guillén Eva T. Medina Borja Latorre Dolores Quílez José Cavero Copyright (c) 2022 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-07-11 2022-07-11 20 3 e0304 e0304 10.5424/sjar/2022203-18416 The effect of dietary energy levels on the sexual puberty of ram lambs https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/18125 <p><em>Aim of study</em><em>:</em> To evaluate the effect of different feeding levels on body weight changes, sexual behavior activities, and spermatogenesis characteristics of testis tissue in immature Iranian breed lambs.</p> <p><em>Area of study:</em> University of Tabriz, Iran.</p> <p><em>Material and methods</em>: A total of 40 (start of experiment, 4; after 6 months, 12; 9 months, 12; sexual behavior, 12) two-month-old immature ram lambs were divided into three equal groups and were fed for eight months with three different concentrate mixtures formulated using conventional ingredients based on barley grain. Lambs received the same amount of crude protein with three levels of energy. The diet of the low-energy (LE) group had an energy of 10% lower than the control group, which received a diet with optimum energy of 100% according to the NRC. Lambs in the high-energy (HE) group were fed diets with an energy of 10% higher than the optimum energy group. In each group, four lambs were castrated in three steps, including the ages of 2 (start of treatment), 6, and 9 months. Body weight and scrotal circumference were recorded monthly. Sexual behaviors toward estrus ewes were evaluated for 30 min, and the testes were analyzed histologically<em>.</em></p> <p><em>Main results:</em> The lambs in the LE group had lower body weight and smaller scrotal circumference than HE group (<em>p</em>&lt;0.05). Sexual behaviors in the HE group occurred at an earlier age, such as mount and mounts with ejaculation, as the external presentations of puberty (<em>p</em>&lt;0.05). &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Research highlights</em>: Underfeeding of pre-pubertal animals delayed puberty, while high-plane feeding advanced puberty.</p> Farshid Nazari-Zonouz Gholamali Moghaddam Gholamreza Hamidian Hossein Daghigh-Kia Akbar Taghizadeh Copyright (c) 2022 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-07-06 2022-07-06 20 3 e0403 e0403 10.5424/sjar/2022203-18125 In vitro anthelmintic activities of three ethnomedicinal plant extracts against Haemonchus contortus https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/18708 <p><em>Aim of study</em>: To investigate the <em>in vitro</em> anthelmintic efficacies of three plants, <em>Annona senegalensis </em>(AS)<em>, </em><em>Cochlospermum planchonii</em> (CP)<em>, </em>and <em>Sarcocephalus latifolius</em> (SL), used by livestock farmers in Northern Nigeria, to treat gastrointestinal nematode infections in ruminants.</p> <p><em>Area of study</em>: Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria.</p> <p><em>Materials and methods</em><strong>: </strong>The plants were selected through a structured questionnaire administered to livestock farmers in Northern Nigeria. Aqueous and acetone leaf (AS and SL) and root (CP) extracts of these plants were investigated for their anthelmintic activity against <em>Haemonchus contortus</em> using the egg hatch inhibition assay at concentration levels of 0.3125 to 10 mg/mL in 2.5% dimethyl sulfoxide.</p> <p><em>Main results</em><strong>: </strong>A probit log-dose response analysis showed that acetone extract of CP achieved 100% egg hatch inhibition similar to the commercial drug at all tested concentrations after 48 hours of incubation, while AS demonstrated 88.7% egg hatch inhibition. Acetone extract of SL had less than 50% egg hatch inhibition at all tested concentrations. On the other hand, the aqueous extract of CP and SL both exhibited 100% inhibition at 5 and 10 mg/mL of the tested concentrations, while AS had less than 50% egg hatch inhibition at all tested concentrations.</p> <p><em>Research highlights</em><strong>: </strong>This study identified CP, AS<em>,</em> and SL as medicinal plants with rich sources of molecules that have potential value in the development of novel anthelmintic drugs.</p> Linus I. Mhomga Mathew Adamu Idika K. Idika Bellona M. Sakong Benjamin N. Marire Chukwunyere O. Nwosu Copyright (c) 2022 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-06-28 2022-06-28 20 3 e0504 e0504 10.5424/sjar/2022203-18708 Short communication: Veterinary health management in Azorean bovine dairy farms https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/18976 <p><em>Aim of study:</em> To describe veterinary services and farm management practices in cattle dairy farms in São Miguel Island in the Azores and to identify weak points for improvement.</p> <p><em>Area of study: </em>São Miguel Island, Azores (Portugal).</p> <p><em>Material and methods:</em> A questionnaire survey was sent to all veterinarians who work in São Miguel Island. It asked about veterinary activity and perceptions of veterinarians working on dairy farms. The van der Waerden test was used to compare the degree of implementation of measures in farms between cooperative veterinarians and private veterinarians.</p> <p><em>Main results:</em> The overall questionnaire response rate was 67% (20/30). The percentage of veterinarians dedicated to bovine medicine as the main service was 55.6%. Overall, between 40% and 60% of veterinarians implemented a variety of Veterinary Herd Health Medicine (VHHM) programs such as mastitis control, breeding assessment and postpartum management, and the average implementation score of these VHHM, on a 1 to 5 scale, was 2.8 (95% confidence interval: 2.0-3.5). However, other VHHM programs such as biosecurity or hygiene procedures were implemented at a lower rate, ranging between 20% and 30%, and this needs to be improved.</p> <p><em>Research highlights: </em>Veterinary practicioners in São Miguel Island, Azores still focus their activity more on individual bovine medicine than in VHHM programs; besides, there is room for improvement in the implementation of some of these programs, such as reproduction, hoof health, nutrition, hygiene and biosecurity. This may be a similar situation to that of other regions in the world with a similar production structure.</p> Ivo Medeiros Aitor Fernandez-Novo Joao Simoes Susana Astiz Copyright (c) 2022 INIA-CSIC https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-06-29 2022-06-29 20 3 e05SC02 e05SC02 10.5424/sjar/2022203-18976 Influence of production system and feeds on performance, carcass traits and estimated energy balance of autochthonous Gochu Asturcelta pigs https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/18194 <p><em>Aim of study</em>: To assess the effects of rearing system (extensive, ES; semi-extensive, SES) and feeds (grazed woodland, acorns, chestnuts, compound feed) on the performance, carcass traits and energetic balance of autochthonous Gochu Asturcelta pigs.</p> <p><em>Area of study</em>: Asturias (Spain).</p> <p><em>Material and methods:</em> In two successive years, a total of 58 immunocastrated Gochu Asturcelta pigs (25 females, 33 males), with an initial weight of 93.39 ± 3.36 kg and mean age of 6.82 ± 0.24 months, were randomly divided between ES and SES plots from July to December. ES pigs grazed woodland, acorns (<em>Quercus robur</em> L.) and chestnuts (<em>Castanea sativa</em> Mill.) and they were given additionally 1.5 kg compound-feed/pig·day. SES animals received only 2.5 kg compound-feed/pig·day. Chemical composition and metabolizable energy (ME) of feeds, energetic balance, growth performances and pig carcass traits were analysed.</p> <p><em>Main results: </em>Acorns and chestnuts were both very close in their chemical composition, except for the polyphenol content and profile, and had a lower omega-6/omega-3 ratio than compound feeds. Live weight for the ES pigs was 25% lower and carcass weight 30% lower than for SES pigs (<em>p</em>&lt;0.001). Total ME requirement (MJ/day) was lower in ES than in SES pigs.</p> <p><em>Research highlights:</em> The productive and carcass parameters observed are a consequence of a lower energy intake for pigs in ES than in SES, it being necessary to drastically reduce the stocking rate to increase weight gain and to improve carcass traits when Gochu Asturcelta pigs are reared in ES.</p> Begoña de la Roza-Delgado Isabel Feito Francisco Fuente-Maqueda Sagrario Modroño Alejandro Argamentería Marta Ciordia Copyright (c) 2022 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-06-09 2022-06-09 20 3 e0604 e0604 10.5424/sjar/2022203-18194 Replacing soybean meal with micronized soybeans in starter piglet diets and their residual effects during growing and finishing phases https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/18804 <p><em>Aim of study: </em>To assess the effects of replacing soybean meal (SBM) with micronized soybean (MS) on the digestibility (Experiment I) and performance (Experiment II) of piglets in the starter phase and its residual effects on the growing/finishing phases and carcass and meat quality traits</p> <p><em>Area of study</em>: &nbsp;São Paulo, Brazil.</p> <p><em>Materials and methods</em>: The treatments consisted of different levels of dietary replacement of SBM with MS at intervals of 25%, totaling five inclusions (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%).</p> <p><em>Main results</em>: In Exp. I, the administration of the pre-starter I diet resulted in a positive linear effect (<em>p</em>&lt;0.05) on the apparent digestibility coefficient (ADC) of crude protein and a quadratic effect (<em>p</em>&lt;0.01) on the ADCs of dry matter and crude fat. For the pre-starter II diet, there was a quadratic effect on the ADCs of dry matter and crude fat (<em>p</em>&lt;0.05). For the starter diet, a negative linear effect on the ADC of dry matter was observed (<em>p</em>&lt;0.01). In Exp. II, the feed intake and weight gain decreased linearly throughout the starter phase (<em>p</em>&lt;0.01), while no significant difference (<em>p</em>&gt;0.05) in feed conversion was observed with increasing inclusion level of MS.</p> <p><em>Research highlights</em>: Replacing SBM with MS in the starter diet did not influence performance during the growing and finishing phases. Meat quality was not affected but a lower retail cut weight were observed in animals fed a starter diet with higher levels of MS.</p> Letícia B. Ferracioli Larissa C. Carvalho Camila M. S. Chaves Simone R. Oliveira José E. Moraes Carla C. Pizzolante Fábio E. L. Budiño Copyright (c) 2022 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-07-15 2022-07-15 20 3 e0605 e0605 10.5424/sjar/2022203-18804 Freezing preservation procedure of caecal inoculum for microbial fermentation studies in pigs https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/19272 <p><em>Aim of study</em>: To define freezing conditions that preserve fermentative capacity of microbial inoculum for <em>in vitro </em>studies in pigs.</p> <p><em>Material and methods:</em> Caecal contents from three slaughtered pigs were obtained for being used as inoculum. Part of it was immediately frozen in liquid N and stored at -80ºC, whereas the rest was directly used as fermentation inocula. Incubation substrate was pre-digested in pepsin and pancreatin to simulate the processes occurring before the caecum. Pre-digested substrate was incubated alone or supplemented by three additives consisting of two commercial additives based on essential oils mixtures (CRINA-TEP and CRINA-TMEC) and riboflavin. Gas production at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 h, and methane, short chain fatty acids (SCFA), and ammonia concentration at 6 h and 12 h were recorded.</p> <p><em>Main results:</em> No differences (<em>p</em>&gt;0.05) were recorded along the 12 h incubation between both preservation methods of inocula regarding gas production, methane or total SCFA or their molar proportions. Only a trend for a higher ammonia concentration was detected with frozen than fresh inocula (<em>p</em>=0.062). Although not a main objective of the paper, gas production from the substrate alone (control) was lower than with riboflavin from 8 h onwards, and with CRINA-TEP from 4 to 10 h incubation (<em>p</em>&gt;0.05).</p> <p><em>Research highlights: </em>Caecal inoculum from pigs for <em>in vitro</em> fermentation studies can be preserved by freezing, provided that freezing and thawing processes are carried out under favorable conditions, especially in terms of time and temperature.</p> Zahia Amanzougarene Estefanía Pérez-Calvo Manuel Fondevila Copyright (c) 2022 INIA-CSIC https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-07-29 2022-07-29 20 3 e0606 e0606 10.5424/sjar/2022203-19272 Inclusion of olive by-products in growing diets causes minor effects on meat quality of Iberian pigs fattened in a traditional system https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/19149 <p><em>Aim of study:</em> To evaluate two experimental diets based on olive cake supplied during the growth period as an alternative to the restricted feeding applied in the production of Iberian pigs fattened with acorn (Montanera system).</p> <p><em>Area of study</em><em>:</em> Southwest of Badajoz, Spain</p> <p><em>Material and methods</em><em>:</em> 44 Iberian pigs were divided in three diet groups: 1) control (C) group (n=15), 2) dry olive pulp (DOP) group, fed a compound feed elaborated with olive pulp (n=14), and 3) wet crude olive cake (WCOC) group, fed a compound feed and olive cake silage supplied <em>ad libitum </em>(n=15)<em>. </em>Subcutaneous fat biopsies were taken and backfat thickness and <em>longissimus thoracis et lumborum</em> (LTL) area were measured. In addition, quality traits (intramuscular fat percentage, color, pigment content, water holding capacity and shear force) were measured in LTL. Backfat fatty acid profile and intramuscular fat were also analysed.</p> <p><em>Main results</em><em>:</em> Significant differences were observed between groups for most of the fatty acids in backfat at 95 kg but differences were of lower magnitude at 160 kg and affected only to C16:1, C18:0, C18:1, C20:0, C20:1 and ΣSFA. Otherwise, lower values for red color and myoglobin content and higher for thawing water losses were observed for DOP pigs. The WCOC did not affect the analysed quality traits.</p> <p><em>Research highlights</em><em>:</em> Experimental diets did not have an important impact on growth, carcass composition or meat quality. Therefore, WCOC dietary treatment could be an interesting alternative that could reduce the undesirable effects of feed restriction.</p> Patricia Palma-Granados Juan M. García-Casco Miguel A. Fernandez-Barroso Adrián López-García José M. Martínez-Torres María Muñoz Elena González-Sánchez Copyright (c) 2022 INIA-CSIC https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-07-29 2022-07-29 20 3 e0607 e0607 10.5424/sjar/2022203-19149 Quality of Santa Inês × Dorper sheep meat submitted to different levels of inclusion of sunflower cake https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/19173 <p><em>Aim of study:</em> To evaluate the physicochemical and sensory quality of meat from Santa Inês × Dorper lambs fed diets with increasing levels of sunflower cake.</p> <p><em>Area of study:</em> Rio Grande do Norte (Brazil).</p> <p><em>Material and methods:</em> Twenty-four castrated lambs (initial weight of 18.9 ± 2.17 kg) were distributed in a completely randomized design with four treatments (0, 5, 10 and 15% sunflower cake in diet) with six repetitions and kept in confinement until reaching the average body weight of 32.1 ± 2.6 kg. The <em>Longissimus lumborum </em>muscle was used for proximate composition and physicochemical analyzes, and the <em>Semimembranosus </em>muscle was used for pH (after 24 h of slaughter) and sensory analysis assays.</p> <p><em>Main results:</em> The increasing levels of sunflower cake did not affect the composition or physicochemical properties. Sensory analysis also did not reveal significant differences in meat obtained from animals in different diets. Principal Components Analysis indicated that juiciness, color, odor and flavor were positioned opposite to protein, texture, and ash.</p> <p><em>Research highlights:</em> The use of sunflower cake in diets for crossbred sheep Dorper × Santa Inês as soybean meal and corn replacer, up to 15% inclusion of soybean meal and corn, does not affect the proximate composition, physicochemical or sensory characteristics of the meat.</p> Aline Moreira Portella de Melo Lidiane Fagundes da Silva Monteiro Roberto Germano Costa Valdi de Lima Junior Ariosvaldo Nunes de Medeiros Rita de Cássia R. E. Queiroga Neila Lidiany Ribeiro Rubén Domínguez Paulo E. S. Munekata José M. Lorenzo Copyright (c) 2022 INIA-CSIC https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-08-01 2022-08-01 20 3 e0608 e0608 10.5424/sjar/2022203-19173 Microencapsulated biofertilizer formulation: product development and effect on growth of green pepper seedlings https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/19062 <p><em>Aim of the study</em>: This study aimed to formulate a novel, commercially applicable biofertilizer, to optimize the microencapsulation procedure of <em>Bacillus subtilis</em> NCIM 2063 and examine the stability and phytostimulatory effects of obtained formulation.</p> <p><em>Area of the study: </em>Southestern Serbia.</p> <p><em>Material and methods: </em>Microbial powder formulations were prepared using spray drying with maltodextrin as a carrier. The spray drying conditions were set according to Box-Benkhen experimental desing. The effect of the formulation was tested on green pepper (<em>Capsicum annuum</em>) seeds in controled conditions.</p> <p><em>Main results: </em>Response surface models were developed. All of the models were statistically significant, adequately fitted and reproducible. The maximum achieved values of viability and yield in a formulation were 1.99·10<sup>9</sup> CFU/g and 96.8%, respectively, whilst the driest formulation had 1.44% moisture. The following optimum conditions were proposed for the spray drying procedure: an inlet air temperature of 133 °C, maltodextrin concentration of 50 g/L and a feed flow rate of 6.5 mL/min. The obtained microbial formulation had a high survival rate after being stored at room temperature over a 1--year period. Its application on green pepper seeds had beneficial effect on plant height, leaf dry weight and chlorophyll content of the seedlings.</p> <p><em>Research highlights</em>: <em>B. subtilis</em> was successfully microencapsulated on maltodextrin as a carrier. Interaction effects between the process variables were fully explained and statistically significant models were developed. In addition to biocontrol properties formulation had a phytostimulatory effect, excellent stability and satisfactory physical properties.</p> Sandra Stamenković Stojanović Ivana Karabegović Bojana Danilović Viktor Nedović Ana Kalušević Stojan Mančić Midrag Lazić Copyright (c) 2022 INIA-CSIC https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-06-23 2022-06-23 20 3 e0803 e0803 10.5424/sjar/2022203-19062 Biochemical and physiological response of borage to seed priming and water deficit: antioxidant enzymes, osmolytes, photosynthetic pigments, and fluorescence parameters https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/19132 <p><em>Aim of study:</em> To investigate the general response patterns of the borage plant to water fluctuations from a biochemical and physiological perspective.</p> <p><em>Area of study:</em> East Azerbaijan Province of Iran during the period 2012 and 2013.</p> <p><em>Material and methods:</em> The study investigated the effects of irrigation (after 60, 90, 120 and 150 mm evaporation) and priming (unprimed, and primed seeds with water, 1% KNO<sub>3</sub> and 1% KH<sub>2</sub>PO<sub>4</sub>) on the antioxidant enzymes, osmolytes, photosynthetic pigments, and fluorescence parameters of borage using a split-plot experimental design.</p> <p><em>Main results: </em>The statistical analyses showed no effect of seed priming on all evaluated traits other than than extracellular superoxide dismutase SOD3 activity where it was significantly enhanced by seed pretreatment with 1% KNO<sub>3</sub> and 1% KH<sub>2</sub>PO<sub>4</sub>. However, irrigations after 120 and 150 mm evaporation increased Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1), SOD2, and SOD3, soluble sugars, and initial fluorescence (F<sub>0</sub>). The mean contents of Ch <em>a</em>, Ch <em>b</em>, and Ch <em>a</em>+Ch <em>b</em> under mild, moderate and severe water deficit were significantly higher than those under normal irrigation. Severe drought stress gave the highest carotenoids content and quantum yield baseline parameter (F<sub>0</sub>/F<sub>m</sub>) of borage leaves. However, water limitation decreased Chl <em>a</em>/Chl <em>b</em> ratio, maximum primary yield of photosystem II (F<sub>v</sub>/F<sub>0</sub>), and maximum quantum yield of photosystem II (F<sub>v</sub>/F<sub>m</sub>).</p> <p><em>Research highlights:</em> Based on these findings, it is postulated that the increase in soluble sugars and SOD activity under stress, and the accumulation of carotenoids under severe water limitation indirectly enhance the tolerance of borage plants to drought stress.</p> Soheila Dastborhan Kazem Ghassemi-Golezani Andrzej Kalisz Mostafa Valizadeh Behnam Asgari Lajayer Tessema Astatkie Copyright (c) 2022 INIA-CSIC https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-06-24 2022-06-24 20 3 e0804 e0804 10.5424/sjar/2022203-19132 Phenology, growth, and yield of almond cultivars under organic and conventional management in southwestern Spain https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/18828 <p><em>Aim of study: </em>To advance implementation of sustainable agriculture from organic production system on almond crop by means of the assessment of physiological and agronomical responses of commercial almond cultivars.</p> <p><em>Area of study</em>: Irrigated almond in the Guadalquivir River Valley.</p> <p><em>Material and methods</em>: Physiological and agronomic aspects of almond such as defoliation, phenology, tree growth, N and P leaf reserves, susceptibility to aphids and fruit yield were assessed on five almond cultivars under organic and conventional production management during four consecutive seasons from 2017 to 2021.</p> <p><em>Main results</em>: A lower flower density, tree growth, and almond production, an earlier and more intense defoliation degree, and a higher susceptibility to aphids were observed in the organic plot compared to the conventional orchard. 'Lauranne' was the cultivar that showed the best productivity under organic and conventional management. 'Marcona' showed the higher flower density and medium vigor, although was the most susceptible cultivar to aphids and the less productive cultivar under both managements.</p> <p><em>Research highlights: </em>Cultivation of irrigated almond still presents numerous difficulties, especially the control of pests and diseases due to the use of environmentally friendly pesticides which are less effective than chemicals. These pathogenic factors and others such as nutrition especially affect the yield of the crop, although the differences with the conventional system are reduced over time. Despite these difficulties, the high added value of organic almonds together with the increasing demands by consumers of healthy environmental practices and food safety are a stimulus to continue and develop research on sustainable agriculture.</p> Francisco T. Arroyo Juan F. Herencia Nieves Capote Copyright (c) 2022 Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-08-02 2022-08-02 20 3 e0901 e0901 10.5424/sjar/2022203-18828 Metarhizium anisopliae and Isaria fumosorosea challenge the survival and immunity of the palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/18979 <p><em>Aim of study: </em><em>Rhynchophorus ferrugineus</em> Olivier is an invasive pest of palm worldwide. The use of insecticides by farmers for its management has been found insignificant. This study evaluated the potential use of entomopathogenic fungi for <em>R. ferrugineus</em> management with a particular focus on the fungal infection on the activities of different detoxification enzymes.</p> <p><em>Area of study:</em> Grubs and adults of <em>R. ferrugineus</em> were collected from various infested date palm fields in the four provinces of Pakistan.</p> <p><em>Material and methods:</em> Fungi <em>Isaria fumosorosea </em>(If-02) and <em>Metarhizium anisopliae</em> (Ma-M2) were evaluated against <em>R. ferrugineus</em>, and its immune responses were biochemically characterized.</p> <p><em>Main results:</em> The highest mortality rate was recorded at concentration 3×10<sup>8</sup> spores mL<sup>-1</sup> on the 7th day post infection in the populations treated with<em> M. anisopliae</em> from Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Sindh and Baluchistan (93.75, 90.0, 90.0 and 81.25% respectively). <em>M. anisopliae </em>with lowest LC<sub>50</sub> (1.1×10<sup>6</sup> spores mL<sup>-1</sup>) from Sindh also proved to be the most lethal fungus against <em>R. ferrugineus</em>. Maximum acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) activities were observed in Baluchistan (26.28 and 24.0 μmol min<sup>-1</sup> mg<sup>-1</sup> protein, respectively) and maximum esterases (EST) activity (35.4 μmol min<sup>-1</sup> mg<sup>-1</sup> protein) was observed in the KPK population on the 3rd-day post <em>I. fumosorosea</em> infection.</p> <p><em>Research highlights:</em> Fungal infection by <em>I. fumosorosea</em> caused a significant increase in AChE, GST and EST activities which may hinder <em>R. ferrugineus</em> development. However, <em>M. anisopliae, </em>to some extent, also inhibited enzyme activities and yielded a sudden increase in mortality. Future bio-pesticides could be developed for integrated pest management (IPM) of palm weevil.</p> Rizwan Ahmed Shoaib Freed Afifa Naeem Muhammad Akmal Christopher H. Dietrich Copyright (c) 2022 INIA-CSIC https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-08-05 2022-08-05 20 3 e1004 e1004 10.5424/sjar/2022203-18979 Editorial Board 20 (3) https://revistas.inia.es/index.php/sjar/article/view/19842 Journal Editorial Office SJAR Copyright (c) 2022 INIA-CSIC https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 2022-09-22 2022-09-22 20 3