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> The effect of CAPN1 and CAST gene variations on meat quality traits in Finnish Aberdeen Angus and Nordic Red Cattle populations <p>High meat quality and specifically meat tenderness are desired traits by the consumers, however the environmental impact of meat production is becoming a relevant factor in the industry. Therefore, breeding of dual purpose cattle breeds may answer the high demand of meat production in the future. In this study we identified statistical differences between genotypes of <em>CAST</em> and<em> CAPN1</em> gene variants with meat quality traits in a dairy breed (Nordic Red Cattle) and compared the results with beef breed (Aberdeen Angus). Our results show that the favorable alleles have not been selected in the studied dairy breed and thus could be used as a tool for improvement of meat quality. The genes were associated with specific meat quality traits (i.e. sensory juiciness, marbling score and meat color) also in the dairy breed. This supports the utility of known meat quality associated genetic variants to improve meat quality in dairy breeds.</p> Terhi Iso-Touru Maiju Pesonen Daniel Fischer Arto Huuskonen Anu Sironen ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-18 2018-12-18 27 4 227–231 227–231 10.23986/afsci.75125 Effects of primary growth compared to regrowth grass silage on feed intake, growth performance and carcass traits of growing bulls <p>The objective was to study the effects of primary growth vs. regrowth grass silage on intake, growth and carcass traits of growing bulls. In a feeding experiment, 30 bulls were offered a total mixed ration <em>ad libitum</em>. Two dietary treatments included either first or second cut grass silage (550 g kg<sup>-1</sup> dry matter) supplemented with rolled barley (435 g kg<sup>-1</sup> dry matter) and a mineral-vitamin mixture (15 g kg<sup>-1</sup> dry matter). Feed and energy intake as well as the live weight gain of the bulls decreased when the second cut silage was used instead of the first cut silage. No differences in carcass conformation or carcass fat score between the treatments were observed. Analysed chemical, digestibility or fermentation parameters of the silage samples did not explain the differences in feed intake. However, some second cut silage samples were found to contain mycotoxins (zearalenone, roquefortine C, mycophenolic acid and HT-2), but it is difficult to estimate whether this was the factor that affected feed intake in the present study.</p> Arto Kalevi Huuskonen Sari Rämö Maiju Pesonen ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-19 2018-12-19 27 4 232–242 232–242 10.23986/afsci.74582 Quality of meat from young crossbred bulls frozen after 14 days of modified atmosphere storage <p>The quality of the <em>longissimus lumborum muscle</em> (Holstein-Friesian Black-and-White- HF BW x Belgian Blue - BB bulls) was determined after 14 days of storage under different modified atmospheres (MA) (vacuum; 40% CO<sub>2</sub> + 60% N<sub>2</sub>; 30% CO<sub>2</sub> + 70% Ar) and 6 months of frozen storage following 14 days of MA storage. Weight loss and cooking loss were smaller, and drip loss was greater after frozen storage compared with refrigerated storage. The pH of stored meat was typical of high-quality beef. TBARS values increased after refrigerated storage and after frozen storage. The changes in color parameters point to metmyoglobin formation in frozen meat. Both refrigerator and freezer storage had beneficial influence on tenderness, and shear force values decreased in frozen beef. The composition of MA during refrigerated storage had no effect on the analyzed parameters of beef. Frozen meat that was stored in a MA containing Ar prior to freezing was characterized by the lowest weight loss, and vacuum-packaged meat - by the lowest TBARS values.</p> Katarzyna Śmiecińska Tomasz Daszkiewicz Dorota Kubiak Natalia Piaskowska Sylwia Łojewska ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-21 2018-12-21 27 4 243–254 243–254 10.23986/afsci.74372 Effect of different doses and application methods of sodium selenate on selenium status in maize for silage <p>A two-year field study was conducted to determine the effect of different Se fertiliser application methods and application rates on the selenium content in maize plants. Selenium as sodium selenate was added into soil (10 g and 20 g Se ha<sup>-1</sup>) or sprayed on maize plants (20 g Se ha<sup>-1</sup>). Maize plants from control treatment contained 0.018 and 0.020 mg Se kg DM<sup>-1</sup> in the first and the second year of the study. Foliar application exhibited superior effect by increasing selenium content in the plants up to 0.343 mg kg DM<sup>-1</sup> in the first year, and 0.249 mg kg DM<sup>-1</sup> in the second. Soil selenium application was less effective; selenium content in maize plants varied from 0.018 to 0.019 mg kg DM<sup>-1</sup> in the first and from 0.018 to 0.145 mg kg DM<sup>-1</sup> in the second year, respectively. Strong linear correlation (r=0.71) was found between selenium content in the plants and in grains. Selenium recovery rates were significantly higher in case of foliar treatment compared to soil application.</p> Emir Dzomba Mirha Djikic Drena Gadzo Senada Cengic-Dzomba Zdenko Loncaric Bal Ram Singh ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-27 2018-12-27 27 4 255–263 255–263 10.23986/afsci.69057 Effects of dietary energy allowance in grass silage-based diets during the dry period on production responses and utilization of body reserves in dairy cows <p>The aim was to study if overconsumption of grass silage during the far-off dry period (FODP) and decreasing feed allowance in close-up dry period (CUDP) affect body condition score (BCS) and body weight (BW) changes, as well as lactation performance and body tissue mobilization after calving in dairy cows. Control diet (CON) was fed to meet the metabolizable energy (ME) requirements, the test diet (HEI) averaged 144% and 119% of ME requirements in the FODP and CUDP, respectively. All cows were fed concentrates in the CUDP (30% of ME d<sup>-1</sup>). Plasma non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) were lower and insulin tended to be higher in HEI vs. CON prepartum. No dietary effects in accretion or mobilization of body reserves were observed, and accordingly no differences in silage DMI, ME balance and plasma parameters postpartum were detected. Concentrate DMI and milk yield tended to be lower in HEI vs. CON during early lactation.</p> Tuomo Kokkonen Siru Salin Seija Jaakkola Juhani Taponen Kari Elo Aila Vanhatalo ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-27 2018-12-27 27 4 264–274 264–274 10.23986/afsci.74369 Effect of meat and bone meal (MBM) and Bacillus subtilis on the content of nitrogen and phosphorus in soil and white mustard biomass <p>The aim of this pot experiment was to determine the effect of increasing rates of meat and bone meal (MBM), applied alone or in combination with a microbial preparation containing<em> Bacillus subtilis</em> (FITOdoctor), on the growth of <em>Sinapis alba</em> L.. Dry matter (DM) yield, the nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) content of white mustard were determined, together with the mineral N (Nmin) and available P content of soil. The application of FITOdoctor to the soil improved white mustard yield only during the second growing season. Second-harvest white mustard biomass had a significantly lower content of N and P than first-harvest biomass. The highest MBM rate significantly increased the Nmin content of soil. Nitrogen uptake by plants and N concentration in biomass were highest in the treatments with the highest mineral N content of soil. Similar relationships were observed for P whose uptake by plants was also affected by <em>B. subtilis</em> in two treatments (NPK, 0.8% MBM). MBM is a valuable N and P fertilizer, whereas <em>B. subtilis</em> has varied effects.</p> Anna Nogalska Małgorzata Skwierawska Aleksandra Załuszniewska ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-27 2018-12-27 27 4 275–282 275–282 10.23986/afsci.68967