Agricultural and Food Science <p>Agricultural and Food Science (AFSci) publishes original research reports on agriculture and food research in relation to primary production in boreal agriculture. Acceptable papers must be of international interest and have a northern dimension. We especially welcome papers related to agriculture in Boreal and Baltic Sea Region.</p> <pre>&nbsp;</pre> The Scientific Agricultural Society of Finland en-US Agricultural and Food Science 1459-6067 Authors who publish with Agricultural and Food Science agree to the following terms:<br /><br /><ol type="a"><li>Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a <a href="" target="_new">Creative Commons Attribution License</a> that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.</li><li>Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.</li><li>Any part of the Agricultural and Food Science may be referred to assuming the Author, The Article, Publication with Volume and Number plus URL for the references have been provided.</li></ol> Ion beam irradiation mutagenesis in rye (Secale cereale L.), linseed (Linum usitatissimum L.) and faba bean (Vicia faba L.) <p>Ion beam irradiation is a potential tool for inducing novel mutations in plants. We chose three crop species (rye, linseed, and faba bean) to determine the potential of nitrogen ion beam irradiation for inducing mutations. We tested ion beam irradiation with nitrogen ions at six different fluencies (5×10<sup>5</sup>, 1×10<sup>6</sup>, 5×10<sup>6</sup>, 1×10<sup>7</sup>, 5×10<sup>7</sup>, and 1×10<sup>8</sup> N-ion cm<sup>-2</sup>) on dry grains. The three studied crop species had different sensitivities to the irradiation. Increased doses of ion irradiation had more effect on survival than on germination. Rye seedlings had the lowest survival rate at high doses of irradiation and significantly higher off-type plant phenotypes than the other two species. In M<sub>1</sub> seedlings, stunted growth, failure to complete the plant life cycle and chlorophyll mutants were observed in all three species. Terminal-inflorescence mutations and sectional chimeras in faba bean were observed in the M<sub>2</sub> generation. We conclude that ion beam irradiation is an effective tool for mutation breeding of diverse crop species when the appropriate dose is defined.</p> Hamid Khazaei Pirjo S.A. Mäkelä Frederick L. Stoddard ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-09-27 2018-09-27 27 3 146–151 146–151 10.23986/afsci.70780 Effects of replacing different proportions of barley grain bye rye grain on performance of growing and finishing dairy bulls <p>The objective was to study the effects of partial replacement of barley grain by rye grain on dry matter (DM) intake and growth performance of growing bulls. The experiment was conducted using 80 dairy bulls which were fed total mixed rations <em>ad libitum</em>. The rations included grass silage (500 g kg<sup>-1</sup> DM) and concentrate (500 g kg<sup>-1</sup> DM). Four different experimental concentrate mixtures included rye at 0, 150, 300 and 450 g kg<sup>-1</sup> DM. The average daily DM and metabolisable energy intakes of the bulls were 10.9 kg d<sup>-1</sup> and 127 MJ d<sup>-1</sup>, respectively. There were no differences in DM, energy or nutrient intakes among the treatments. The average live weight gain and carcass gain of the bulls were 1543 and 832 g d<sup>-1</sup>, respectively, and rye inclusion had no effects on growth. There were no significant differences in feed conversion or carcass characteristics among the treatments. It can be concluded that rye grain is a suitable energy supplement with good quality silage for growing dairy bulls.</p> Arto Kalevi Huuskonen Maiju Pesonen ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-09-27 2018-09-27 27 3 152–158 152–158 10.23986/afsci.70971 The effect of DanAvl Duroc and Pulawska boars in crossbred with DanAvl Hybrid on meat quality of finishing pigs <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; line-height: 150%; widows: 2; orphans: 2;" lang="pl-PL" align="JUSTIFY"><span style="color: #00000a;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, serif;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-US">The research was aimed at determining the physicochemical and sensory properties of the m. longissimus lumborum at DanAvl Hybrid (Landrace – Yorkshire) fatteners and derived from DanAvl Hybrid sows and DanAvl Duroc and Pulawska boars. Fatteners derived from DanAvl Duroc boars were characterized by better meat quality compared to DanAvl Hybrids and their hybrids with Pulawska breed as evidenced by higher pH in 24–96 h post mortem (p.m.), higher sensory evaluation of juiciness, tenderness and flavor as well as lower shear force at lower content of total protein and higher content of intramuscular fat (IMF). However, DanAvl Hybrid fatteners were characterized by poorer meat quality, i.e. higher color lightness (L*) and higher drip loss both from fresh and thawed meat compared to those derived from DanAvl Duroc and Pulawska boars. Meat of fatteners after Pulawska breed was characterized by the highest redness (a*), and that after DanAvl Duroc breed, the lowest yellowness (b*) and saturation (C*).<br></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> Artur Rybarczyk Robert Moroch Daniel Polasik ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-09-28 2018-09-28 27 3 159–167 159–167 10.23986/afsci.70934 Performance in blue fox (Vulpes lagopus) fed low-protein diets supplemented with DL-methionine and L-histidine <p>The effects of low-protein diets supplemented with DL-methionine (MET) and L-histidine (HIS) on growth, pelt size and pelt quality were studied in two performance trials conducted at the Kannus Research Farm Luova Ltd, Finland. Both trials were conducted with 200 blue foxes, caged male-female pairs, initial age on average 20 weeks (trial 1) and 25 weeks (trial 2). In trial 1, diets contained digestible crude protein (DCP) 24%, 20% and 16% of metabolisable energy (ME). In trial 2, diets contained DCP 20%, 16.5% and 13% of ME. In both trials, the middle protein level was fed with or without MET and the lowest protein level was fed with MET and with or without HIS. In trial 1, blue foxes showed the greatest average daily gain (ADG) in the highest protein diet. Pelt size and pelt quality were not affected. In trial 2, blue foxes showed the greatest ADG in the low-protein groups. Pelt size and pelt quality were not affected.</p> Vappu Ylinen Päivi Pylkkö Jussi Peura Essi Tuomola Jarmo Valaja ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-09-30 2018-09-30 27 3 168–178 168–178 10.23986/afsci.73149 Relationships between different morphological traits of panicles and seeds of Dactylis glomerata L. varieties <p>This study was aimed to evaluate morphological characteristics of the panicle as well as seeds of <em>Dactylis glomerata</em> varieties relevant for the assessment of seed production. Six varieties different in earliness were sown in two row spacing. Panicle traits: length, number of the 1<sup>st</sup> and the 2<sup>nd</sup> order branches as well as 1000-seed weight and morphological seed traits were assessed during 4-year utilization. Significant differences between varieties were found according to the panicle length, number of the branches and 1000-seed weight depending on the year of utilization as well as with reference to evaluated seed traits, irrespectively on year and row spacing. The results showed that the main traits determining the seed weight per panicle of <em>Dactylis</em> <em>glomerata</em> varieties are the panicle length and the number of the 1<sup>st</sup> order branches. Whereas, seed morphological traits had impact on 1000-seed weight and seed weight per panicle only in the second year of use, in which the highest rainfall than in the other years and moderate temperatures were recorded.</p> Barbara Borawska-Jarmułowicz ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-09-28 2018-09-28 27 3 179–189 179–189 10.23986/afsci.69096 Cultivating forage maize for biomass and bioenergy in a sub-boreal climate <p>The biomass potential of eight high yielding maize cultivars was studied in the sub-boreal climate of southern Finland. The effects of harvest date on lignin and sugar production, biomass yield, mineral element composition, bioenergy potential and soil nutrient management were determined in two years. The eight maize cultivars produced 17.6–33.3 t ha<sup>-1</sup> of biomass. The ear fraction contained 50–60% of the biomass, and ash and mineral element composition of the plant fractions were significantly different (<em>p</em> &lt; 0.001), with more ash, Ca and S in the above-ear fractions of the plants than in the mid-stalk portions, whereas the C:N ratio was highest in the lower stalk. Cultivars with less lignin content produced more fermetable sugars. Despite the relatively cool growing conditions and short season of the sub-boreal region, maize has potential for use as biomass, for biofuel or other uses. The crop can be fractioned into ear and stalk, with the lower 20 cm of stalk left in the field to maintain soil organic matter content.</p> Kenedy E Epie Olga M. Artigas Arja Santanen Pirjo S.A. Mäkelä Frederick L. Stoddard ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-09-29 2018-09-29 27 3 190–198 190–198 10.23986/afsci.70408 Fertilizer and intercropped legumes as nitrogen source for Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) tops for bioenergy <p>Jerusalem artichoke (<em>Helianthus tuberosus</em> L.) produces substantial shoots not used as food. To test its potential as a sustainable bioenergy crop, we studied the effects of synthetic fertilizer and intercropped legumes as nitrogen (N) sources on the growth, aboveground biomass dry matter yield and energy qualities of this crop. Plant height, leaf area index (LAI), SPAD-value, biomass yield, ash content and mineral element composition were determined. Mean aboveground biomass yields were not significantly affected by N source (legume intercrops and synthetic fertilizer) and ranged from 13 to 17 t ha<sup>-1</sup>. Remarkably, plants given no fertilizer yielded equally to plants given 90 N kg ha<sup>-1</sup>. These results confirm that Jerusalem artichoke, compared to other energy crops, have less need for N and can potentially be sustained by N fixing legumes in an intercropped system. This could reduce or eliminate production and environmental cost in cultivation of biomass feedstock for energy use.</p> Kenedy E. Epie Arja Santanen Pirjo S.A. Mäkelä Frederick Stoddard ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-09-29 2018-09-29 27 3 199–205 199–205 10.23986/afsci.70110 Effective natural handicap criteria application for productive and sustainable agricultural land-use management in Lithuania <p class="western" lang="en-GB" align="justify"><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;">Since 1975, European policy has provided some kind of support to areas with specific handicaps for agricultural production, in an attempt to maintain farming activities and population levels in them. The definition of clear criteria for the selection of the so called “Less Favoured Areas” (LFAs) is challenging because of the variability of regions within Europe and the variability of farm characteristics within each region. Actual selection remains very much a deductive approach and empirical evidence is scarce. This study investigates the relationship between the criteria of specific natural handicaps used for the delineation of intermediate LFAs (2014–2020) in Lithuania and generic farming condition and status. Results confirm the negative effects of selected natural handicaps on farm economic status and productive land use but raise some concerns regarding the idoneity of some of them, opening a way for their improvement.<br></span></span></p> Gintaras Jarasiunas Eduardo J. Corbelle-Rico Radoslava Kanianska ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-09-29 2018-09-29 27 3 206–216 206–216 10.23986/afsci.70074 Predictors for interest to change from conventional to organic horticultural production <p>This study addressed factors influencing farmers’ decisions to switch from conventional to organic farming with special focus on outdoor horticulture production. A total of 343 horticulture producers responded to a survey conducted in 2014. The results indicate 12.1% of the farmers with conventional horticulture production were interested in converting to organic. Small farm size, horticulture being only a minor part of the enterprise, intermediate estimated yields, greater intent to grow new crops, hiring labor, having other income sources in addition to agriculture and participating in training courses emerged as significant predictors for the intention to switch to organic production in multivariable regression modeling. These results suggest potential to increase organic production could be found particularly among smaller part-time enterprises actively seeking new crops and knowledge.</p> Tiina E. A. Mattila Juha M Heikkinen Anu M Koivisto Risto H Rautiainen ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-09-29 2018-09-29 27 3 217–226 217–226 10.23986/afsci.65392