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> en-US <p>Authors who publish with Agricultural and Food Science agree to the following terms:<br><br></p> <ol type="a"> <li class="show">Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a <a href="">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 class="show">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 class="show">Any part of the&nbsp;Agricultural and Food Science&nbsp;may be referred to assuming the Author, The Article, Publication with Volume and Number plus URL&nbsp;for the references have been provided.</li> </ol> (Tuula Puhakainen) (Antti-Jussi Nygård) Fri, 30 Sep 2022 10:21:17 +0300 OJS 60 Site characteristics determine the duration of structure liming effects on clay soil <p>Adding carbonated or non-carbonated lime to clay soils can lead to changes in aggregate stability. In Sweden, ‘structure liming’ with a mixed product (normally 80–85% calcium carbonate and 15–20% calcium hydroxide) is subsidised through environmental schemes to increase aggregate stability, thereby mitigating losses of particulate phosphorus (PP). This study assessed the effects of structure liming on aggregate stability in eight clay soils in southern Sweden, using turbidity as a proxy for aggregate stability. Turbidity in leachate from simulated rain events performed on aggregates (2–5 mm) in the laboratory was measured one and six years after application of four treatments 0, 4, 8 and 16 t ha<sup>-1</sup> of a mixed structure liming product. The effect on turbidity was analysed for all application rates, but also as the contrast between the unlimed control and the mean of the limed treatments, to identify the general effect. A significant effect of structure liming on turbidity was found after one year. The effect decreased over time, but was still detectable after six years. However, there was a significant interaction between trial and treatment, indicating different reactions on different soils and suggesting that not all clay soils are suitable for structure liming if the desired objective is to lower the risk of PP losses. Clay content, initial pH and mineralogy may explain the different responses to structure liming. These findings show a need for a site-specific structure liming strategy. As a tentative recommendation, soils with a minimum clay content of approximately 25–30% and pH &lt;7 should be preferred for structure liming.</p> Jens Erik Blomquist, Jan-Eric Englund, Kerstin Berglund Copyright (c) 2022 Jens Erik Blomquist, Jan-Eric Englund, Kerstin Berglund Fri, 30 Sep 2022 00:00:00 +0300 Identification of copy number variations and candidate genes for reproduction traits in Finnish pig populations <p><span id="cell-119912-contents" class="gridCellContainer"><span class="label">Animal breeding programs can be improved by genetic markers associated with production and reproduction traits.<br />Reproduction traits are important for economic success of pig production and therefore development of genetic<br />tools for selection is of high interest to pig breeding. In this study our objective was to identify genomic regions associated<br />with fertility traits in two Finnish pig breeds using large scale SNP genotyping and genome wide association<br />analysis and characterization of copy number variations (CNV). Since CNVs are structural variations of the genome<br />they potentially have a large effect on gene expression and protein function. We analyzed 1265 genotyped boars<br />for nine different reproduction traits and identified 46 CNV regions encompassing 13 genes. 11 of the CNV regions<br />were shared between the breeds, 20 were unique to the Finnish Yorkshire and 15 to the Finnish Landrace. The genome<br />wide association (GWAS) analysis identified zero to five reproduction associated genomic regions per trait.<br />Furthermore, we identified 23 genomic regions with 20 candidate genes associated with fertility traits using GWAS<br />analysis. The identified CNV regions were compared against GWAS regions to detect candidate regions with an effect<br />on reproduction traits. This study reports candidate genes and genomic regions within two Finnish pig breeds<br />for reproduction traits, which can be utilized in breeding programs.</span></span></p> Terhi Iso-Touru, Pekka Uimari, Kari Elo, Marja-Liisa Sevon-Aimonen, Anu Sironen Copyright (c) 2022 Terhi Iso-Touru, Pekka Uimari, Kari Elo, Marja-Liisa Sevon-Aimonen, Anu Sironen Fri, 30 Sep 2022 00:00:00 +0300 The effect of grass silage harvesting strategy and concentrate level on feed intake, diet digestibility and milk production of dairy cows <p>Two experiments were conducted under Northern European conditions to quantify dairy cow responses to variable grass silage quality and concentrate feed supplementation. Experiment 1 included 3 primary growth grass silages (early, intermediate and late maturity stage) supplemented with three concentrate levels (9, 12 and 15 kg d<sup>-1</sup>). Experiment 2 included three consecutive harvests (first, second and third harvest from the same sward within the growing season) and three levels of concentrate supplementation (9, 11 and 13 kg d<sup>-1</sup>). Dairy cows responded clearly to changes in the harvesting time of silage in primary growth (quadratic effect) and amount of concentrate (linear effect) in the diet in Experiment 1. Milk yield was the lowest with third harvest silage in Experiment 2, and responses to increasing concentrate allowance were linear. Interactions between silage quality and concentrate supplementation were detected in Experiment 1, where milk production responses to additional concentrate decreased with increasing silage digestibility. No interactions were found in Experiment 2, probably due to the small range of differences in nutritional quality between the silages prepared from different harvests. The results demonstrated that it is difficult to compensate for low silage digestibility by increasing the amount of concentrate. The variable ECM response (from –0.01 to 0.85 kg ECM per kg DM incremental concentrate in the diet) is explained by the concomitant decrease in silage intake and negative effect on diet neutral detergent fibre digestibility.</p> Auvo Sairanen, Elina Juutinen, Marketta Rinne Copyright (c) 2022 Auvo Sairanen, Elina Juutinen, Marketta Rinne Fri, 30 Sep 2022 00:00:00 +0300 The effect of supplemented chestnut tannin to grass silage either at ensiling or at feeding on lamb performance, carcass characteristics and meat quality <p>This study was designed to investigate the effect of supplemented chestnut hydrolysable tannin (HT) both at ensiling and at feeding on lamb growth, carcass characteristic, and meat quality. Twenty tons of ryegrass (<em>Lolium</em> <em>perenne</em>) were used to produce silage. The ryegrass was treated at ensiling with one of three additives: 30 g kg<sup>-1</sup> DM chestnut HT (GET), an inoculant as a positive control (GI), or water as a negative control (G). Another two treatments were made from ensiled grass by adding the 30 g kg<sup>-1</sup> DM of chestnut HT to either positive (GI+T) or negative (GT) control. Forty Suffolk cross Mule lambs were used in this experiment and allocated to receive one of five experimental forage treatments with eight lambs per treatment. The diet consisted of two parts: concentrate and silage. Lambs were fed 215 g DM day<sup>-1</sup> lamb of concentrate diet and ad libitum grass silage for seven weeks and then slaughtered. Back fat thickness tended to be lower (<em>p</em>= 0.07) for lambs fed the GT and GI+T treatments compared to lambs in the other experimental groups’ (10.0, 10.1, 9.8, 10.0, and 9.8 mm for GET, G, GT, GI, and GI+T, respectively). Feeding lambs GET tended to reduce (<em>p</em>= 0.06) meat lightness (L*) compared to the other treatments. Ammonia nitrogen concentration in rumen fluid was reduced significantly (<em>p</em>&lt; 0.05) when lambs consumed diets treated with tannin both at ensiling and at feeding (0.14, 0.19, 0.17, 0.17 and 0.14g l<sup>-1</sup> GET G, GT, GI, and GI+T, respectively). The experimental treatments had no effect (p&gt; 0.05) on voluntary feed intake (914, 916, 899, 928, or 914 g day<sup>-1</sup> for GET, G, GT, GI, and GI+T, respectively) or lamb performance.</p> Vahel Jaladet Taha, James Huntington , Robert Wilkinson, Dave Davies Copyright (c) 2022 Vahel Jaladet Taha, James Huntington , Robert Wilkinson, Dave Davies Fri, 30 Sep 2022 00:00:00 +0300 Effect of inoculants of different composition on the quality of rye silages harvested at different stages of maturity <p>Winter rye (<em>Secale</em> <em>cereale</em> L.), one of the small-grain winter annuals, can be used as a cover crop for protection against soil erosion for absorption of unused soil nitrogen, and for cattle feed by preserving as silage. The experiment was conducted with the objective to evaluate the potential of the blend of homofermentative and hetero- and homofermentative lactic acid bacteria (LAB) as a rye silage additive. Early-cut rye (at boot stage, wilted) and whole-crop rye (at milk and soft dough stages of grain) were ensiled in laboratory mini-silos with (1) a blend of homofermentative LAB strains containing <em>Lactobacillus</em> <em>plantarum</em> (DSM26571), <em>Enterococcus</em> <em>faecium</em> (DSM22502), and <em>Lactococcus</em> <em>lactis</em> (NCIMB30117), (2) a blend of hetero- and homofermentative LAB strains containing <em>Lactobacillus</em> <em>plantarum</em> (DSM26571), <em>Enterococcus</em> <em>faecium</em> (DSM22502), and <em>Lactobacillus</em> <em>buchneri</em> (DSM22501), or (3) a blend of hetero- and homofermentative LAB strains containing <em>Lactobacillus</em> <em>buchneri</em> (DSM22501) and <em>Lactococcus</em> <em>lactis</em> (DSM11037). They were compared to ensiling without additive. After 60 days of fermentation at room temperature, mini-silos were opened, sampled for proximate analysis, forage hygiene, fermentation profile, and subjected to an aerobic stability (AS) test. Although the addition of homofermentative LAB strains was effective in reducing fermentation losses, it impaired the aerobic stability of rye silages. The combination of hetero- and homofermentative LAB strains was effective in reducing the aerobic deterioration of the rye silages by supporting a low pH value and inhibiting the proliferation of yeast and moulds. </p> Jonas Jatkauskas, Vilma Vrotniakiene, Ivan Eisner, Kristian K. Witt, Giuseppe Copani Copyright (c) 2022 Jonas Jatkauskas, Vilma Vrotniakiene, Ivan Eisner, Kristian K. Witt, Giuseppe Copani Fri, 30 Sep 2022 00:00:00 +0300 Contingent allocation of the agri-food budget: comparison of farmer and non-farmer preferences <p>Agricultural production faces diverse and often conflicting expectations, such as considerations related to environmental protection, food security and risk management, as well as strengthening the profitability and competitiveness of domestic production. In this study, we applied the contingent allocation method to a national agricultural budget to analyse the preferences of farmers and other citizens for allocating budget funds. Survey data collected from 2014 citizens and 518 farmers were used in compositional data analysis where it is considered that each spending decision bears an opportunity cost, and the decision maker faces trade-offs across budget priorities. The allocations of farmers and non-farmers were found to differ considerably. Farmers emphasized agricultural income and the economic resilience of farms as well as the self-sufficiency in food production and soil conditions. Non-farmers emphasized environmental public goods. The allocations were used to form compositional respondent clusters. The first cluster emphasised multiple objectives for agricultural policy, whereas the second cluster was clearly production oriented and the third cluster environmentally oriented. The results highlight the differences between farmers and non-farmers challenging the planning of legitimate agricultural policy.</p> Eija Pouta, Eero Liski, Annika Tienhaara, Tuija Lankia, Jyrki Niemi Copyright (c) 2022 Eija Pouta, Eero Liski, Annika Tienhaara, Tuija Lankia, Jyrki Niemi Fri, 30 Sep 2022 00:00:00 +0300 Yield response of iceberg lettuce (Lactuca sativa Capitata group) to phosphorus fertilisation in a boreal soil <p>Cold soils and a short boreal growing season are assumed to necessitate high soil phosphorus (P) status and ample P applications to vegetable crops. Yet, a previous Finnish study indicated lower than anticipated yield responses of onion and cabbage. Here we report 2-year P trials with iceberg lettuce (cv. Skindel) transplanted in an open field in spring and midsummer on a clay soil with moderately low P status. During the spring plantings, P concentration in soil solution was followed using Plant Root Simulator (PRS) probes in P0 (0 kg P ha<sup>-1</sup>) and P60 (60 kg P ha<sup>-1</sup>) treatments. The PRS probes indicated initially 5 to 7-fold higher soil solution P concentration in the P60 treatment compared to P0 due to fertilisation, but thereafter P concentrations equalised. For spring plantings, P applications did not explain yield variation, giving statistically non-significant, maximum 14% higher yields over P0. In summer plantings, about 30% of the yield variation was explained by P applications, and the P60 rate gave 20–35% higher yields over P0. Mitscherlich type model integrating all data predicted a maximum 20% yield increase, 10% of the variation being accounted for. The model suggested that 32 kg P ha<sup>-1</sup> brings 97% of the maximum yield, whilst the Finnish P fertilisation regulation allows 60 kg ha<sup>-1</sup> for the given soil. No correlation between P applications and P concentrations of lettuce leaves was found. The results stress the need for empirical evaluation of P requirements of vegetable crops to avoid unnecessary P applications.</p> Risto Uusitalo, Terhi Suojala-Ahlfors Copyright (c) 2022 Risto Uusitalo, Terhi Suojala-Ahlfors Fri, 30 Sep 2022 00:00:00 +0300