ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0050.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: potato cultivation soil suitability; agricultural landscape categorisation; GIS
Online: 5 February 2020 (02:52:46 CET)
Growing potato demands considerable external inputs of pesticides due to its susceptibility to various pests and pathogens. Here we present an attempt to differentiate the Slovak rural landscape with respect to the possibility of effective potato cultivation and to characterise soil parameters of current potato cultivation areas with the aim to increase the sustainability of the potato production. The selection was based on soil climatic, production and economic parameters. By using the GIS tools and existing databases on soil characteristics in Slovakia, maps of soil suitability categories for potato cultivation were generated. In Slovakia, it was found that 12.3% of farmland is very suitable for potato cultivation and that as much as 43.1% is not suitable. Later the specified categories were characterised in detail and specified with respect to geographic, soil, climatic, production and economic parameters. Currently, most potato crops are cultivated on Eutric Cambisols (27%), Chernozems (20%) and Mollic Fluvisols (18%). Loamy soils (65%), soils without gravel (62%), deep soils (74%) and soil situated on plains (55%) are dominant in these regions. We suggest that potato cultivation should be concentrated on the most suitable areas, thereby increasing the economic profitability, improving the ecological stability of the country and supporting the sustainability of the agriculture.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0109.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: animal welfare assessment; categorisation; beef cow systems; semi-arid rangelands; Namibia
Online: 4 December 2020 (12:36:14 CET)
The study aimed to develop standards for a welfare assessment protocol, by validating potential categorisation thresholds for assessment of beef farms in various beef cow-calf production systems in Namibia. Forty measures combined from a New Zealand-based protocol plus Namibia-specific measures, were applied on 55 beef farms (17 commercial farms, 20 semi-commercial and 18 communal village farms) during pregnancy testing, and a questionnaire guided interview. The categorised measures on a 3-point welfare score of 0: good 1: marginal and 2: poor/unacceptable welfare were subsequently compared with derivation of thresholds based upon the poorest 15% and best 50% of herds for each measure. Overall combined thresholds of continuous measures across the 3 farm types, showed 10/22 measures that posed welfare compromise across Namibia, where commercial farms had 4/22 measures and semi-commercial and communal village farms had 12/22 and 11/22 respectively with high thresholds. Most measures-imposed thresholds were retained because of significant importance to welfare of animals and preventiveness of the traits, while leniency was given to adjust good feeding and mortality measures to signify periods of drought. Handling measures (fearful, falling/lying) and abrasions thresholds were adjusted to reflect the temporary stress caused by infrequent cattle handling, and faulty yard designs/design and possible cattle breed influence on handling. Hence, the country needs prioritised investigation of underlying contributing factors and remediation to reduce the high thresholds.