REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0200.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: microRNAs; Precision livestock science; animal welfare; livestock health; biomarkers; biosensor; pandemics
Online: 13 July 2022 (13:12:32 CEST)
Early disease detection in livestock allows for target treatment decreasing antibiotics use and allow advancements in precision veterinary medicine. MicroRNA (miRNA) -driven signaling cascades play a crucial role in the context of farm animal disease diagnostics and prediction, and their proper understanding remains a challenge. In livestock farm animals, only a small number of miRNAs have been fully validated with respect to disease conditions and physiological or behavioral traits. Low abundance of miRNAs in blood and bodily fluids, along with a small number of nucleotides, makes detection and discrimination tedious and challenging task in. miRNAs usually are homologous, owing to which detection specificity becomes next to impossible when screening for multiple miRNAs in the same analyte sample. Hence, a concurrent, multiplexing, approach becomes crucial for the development of on-farm point-of-care based detection systems. Comprehensive screening methods demand broad dynamic range and enhanced specificity. For on-farm handheld platform development, the ability to screen for multiple varieties of miRNA is essential. In this review paper, I provide an overview of the recent developments of miRNA sensing and the current bottlenecks in the realization of the sensors for detecting miRNAS as target analyte for various livestock disease detection applications. Due to the nascent stages of this research, the possibilities of exploiting miRNAs as a biomarker opens up ways to move from reactive to predictive possibilities in diseases detection in the modern digital livestock farming.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0322.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: Development; area; livestock; beef cattle; corporation
Online: 21 December 2021 (11:31:54 CET)
Livestock is an integral part of agriculture which significantly contributes to the economic and socio-economic development. Based on its potential in natural resources and human resources, East Kalimantan Province has opportunity to become a beef cattle development area. The development of a corporate-based beef cattle breeding area is an approach which taken toward industrial and business-oriented beef cattle breeding. The concept of breeder corporation will create new strengths such as strengths in human resources, capital, and banking in business development, which can more open the opportunities for the success and growth of the breeder's business. The development of a corporate-based beef cattle breeding area provides opportunities, including: 1) improving the competitiveness and added value of the region and beef cattle commodities in order to support national sustainable food security; 2) strengthening the livestock business system in one area management in a holistic manner; and 3) strengthening breeders institutions in accessing information, technology, public facilities and infrastructure, capital, processing and marketing, so that the concept is expected to be applied in East Kalimantan Province.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0068.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: air purification; animal production; porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome; livestock health,; livestock biosecurity; swine diseases; ultraviolet light
Online: 2 March 2021 (10:08:23 CET)
Proper treatment of infectious air could potentially mitigate the spread of airborne viruses such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). The objective of this research is to test the effectiveness of ultraviolet (UV) in inactivating aerosolized PRRSV, specifically, four UV lamps, UV-A (365 nm, both fluorescent and LED-based), "excimer" UV-C (222 nm), and germicidal UV-C (254 nm), were tested. The two UV-C lamps effectively irradiated fast-moving PRRSV aerosols with short treatment times (<2 s). One-stage and two-stage UV inactivation models estimated the UV doses needed for target percentage (%) reductions on PRRSV titer. UV-C (254 nm) dose needed for 3-log (99.9%) reduction was 0.521 and 0.0943 mJ/cm2, respectively, based on one-stage and two-stage models. An order of magnitude lower UV-C (222 nm) doses were needed for a 3-log reduction, i.e., 0.0882 and 0.048 mJ/cm2, based on one-stage and two-stage models, respectively. However, the cost of 222-nm excimer lamps is still economically prohibitive for scaling-up trials. The UV-A (365 nm) lamps could not reduce PRRSV titers for tested doses up to 4.11 mJ/cm2. Pilot-scale or farm-scale testing of UV-C on PRRSV aerosols simulating barn ventilation rates are recommended based on its effectiveness and reasonable costs comparable to HEPA filtration.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0209.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: Bovine Tuberculosis; Human, Interface, Livestock, Wildlife,Ethiopia
Online: 11 November 2022 (02:39:22 CET)
Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is endemic in Ethiopian cattle. BTB is caused by Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) and has economic and public health significance. which has significant impact on the health of livestock and human. It has been significantly a cause for great economic loss in animal production. Associated risk factors contributed to the prevalence of the disease in cattle and its transmission. Moreover, the majority of cattle owners lack awareness about the disease and its public health significance. The presence of multiple hosts including wild animals, inefficient diagnostic techniques, absence of defined national controls and eradication programs could impede the control of bovine TB. Awareness rising about the disease, its transmission andzoonotic implication however, in Ethiopia Bovine Tuberculosis in Human-Livestock-Wildlife Interface is not well studied in the country and there were no studies concerning the burden of the disease between human ,animal and wild life which is of great importance for reduction and control measures. This paper aims to review the potential health and economic impact of bovine tuberculosis control in order to safeguard human and animal population in Ethiopia
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0340.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: Digital Biomarkers; Digital Phenotyping; Wearables; Sensors; Livestock
Online: 14 May 2021 (14:08:40 CEST)
Currently, large volumes of data are being collected on farms using multimodal sensor technol-ogies. These sensors measure the activity, housing conditions, feed intake, and health of farm animals. With traditional methods, the data from farm animals and their environment can be collected intermittently. However, with the advancement of wearable and non-invasive sensing tools, these measurements can be made in real-time for continuous quantitation relating to clinical biomarkers, resilience indicators, and behavioral predictors. The digital phenotyping of humans has drawn enormous attention recently due to its medical significance, but much research is still needed for the digital phenotyping of farm animals. Implications from human studies show great promise for the application of digital phenotyping technology in modern livestock farming, but these technologies must be directly applied to animals to understand their true capacities. Due to species-specific traits, certain technologies required to assess phenotypes need to be tailored ef-ficiently and accurately. Such devices allow for the collection of information that can better inform farmers on aspects of animal welfare and production that need improvement. By explicitly ad-dressing farm animals’ individual physiological and mental (affective states) needs, sensor-based digital phenotyping has the potential to serve as an effective intervention platform. Future re-search is warranted for the design and development of digital phenotyping technology platforms that create shared data standards, metrics, and repositories.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0169.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: digital platforms; digital auction; livestock systems; Zimbabwe
Online: 10 May 2020 (14:51:38 CEST)
Livestock contribute towards household food security in rural communities through income generation and provision of animal-source food. However, livestock system are fragile for example, in Zimbabwe, communities face challenges such as fewer buyers, poor infrastructure, and information asymmetry when selling livestock. Emerging digital platforms promise opportunities to address these challenge but only anecdotal evidence exist. This paper uses data from Beitbridge to explore the potential of digital platforms to revitalise the livestock auction system. Study findings show that digital platforms are designed with affordances which can help overcome challenges within the livestock system. However, these digital platforms are also fraught with hidden complexities such as power dynamics. Thus, despite digital platforms’ affordances, their design inherently extends beyond technical functions. Therefore, there is an urgent need for discussions exploring the contrast between affordances and complexities to enable target users to make informed decisions on the adoption and use of digital platforms.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0151.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: efficacy; ethno-veterinary; livestock; medicine; smallholder farmer
Online: 9 March 2020 (10:03:51 CET)
Often touted as an ancient and sustainable practice among indigenous livestock farmers in developing countries, the use of ethno-veterinary medicine is examined within the context of its efficacy. While there are undoubtedly positive implications for adopting knowledge and practice that align with nature, there is both prevalence and ambivalence to the adoption of indigenous plant knowledge and resources for the treatment of livestock infections and diseases. This situation is due to the lack of validation and standardization of the practice in low-income countries, requiring scholarly efforts in developing this indigenous knowledge system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0192.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: bacteria; fungi; livestock; microbiome; next generation sequencing
Online: 14 February 2020 (10:32:54 CET)
Ruminal microorganisms play a pivotal role in cattle nutrition. The discovery of the main microbes responsible for enhancing the gain of weight in beef cattle might be used in therapeutic approaches to increase animal performance and cause less environmental damages. Here, we examined differences in bacterial and fungal composition of rumen samples of Braford heifers raised in a natural grassland from Pampa Biome in Brazil. We aimed to detect microbial patterns in the rumen that could be correlated with the gain of weight. 16S and ITS1 genes were amplified from ruminal samples and sequenced to identify the closest microbial relatives within the microbial communities. A predictive model based on microbes responsible for the gain of weight was build and further tested using the entire dataset. The model detected a set of microorganisms associated with animals in the high gain of weight group, including the bacterial taxa RFN20, Prevotella, Anaeroplasma and RF16 and the fungal taxa Aureobasidium, Cryptococcus, Sarocladium, Pleosporales and Tremellales. Most of these organisms have been correlated to the production of substances that improve the ruminal digestion process. These findings provide new insights about cattle nutrition and suggest the use of these microbes to improve beef cattle breeding.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0104.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Bale highlands; livestock; methane emissions; mixed farming
Online: 5 October 2018 (15:39:30 CEST)
The study was conducted in the potential mixed farming areas of Bale highland to estimate livestock methane emissions. Using multi-stage purposive sampling, 156 households of the three wealth groups were selected based on their livelihood assets as described under methodology. Structured questionnaires, focus group discussions, key informants interview and field visits were the employed methods during the study. Feed nutrient balance was estimated based on the demand and supply while the livestock methane emissions were estimated according to the IPCC guidelines. Descriptive statistics and one-way ANOVA tests were used to analyze the data. Cattle were the dominant (84.25%) livestock owned by the households. The estimated enteric CH4 emission rate from mature cattle, growing cattle, sheep >1 year, sheep ≤ 1 year, horse and donkey were significantly (P<0.001) higher for the better wealth group while mature cattle (69.78%) shared the highest rate. Though, higher emission rates credited to the large number of animals in the area, cattle stay crucial to the livelihoods of the households, beside the major sources of CH4. In conclusion, the estimated CH4 emissions should be focus areas of interventions. Therefore, proper husbandry and quality feed supply and promotion of farm level livestock technologies should be practiced wisely to increase productivity and protect the environment from emissions of the livestock sector.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0600.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: emission inventory; livestock; greenhouse gases; air pollutant
Online: 30 September 2018 (06:04:22 CEST)
Livestock farming is a major source of greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions. In this study, we estimate methane, nitrous oxide and ammonia emission from livestock sector in the Red River Delta region from 2000 to 2015 and projection to 2030 using IPCC 2006 methodologies with the integration of local emission factors and provincial statistic livestock database. Methane, nitrous oxide and ammonia emissions in 2030 are estimated at 132 kt, 8.3 kt and 34.2 kt, respectively. Total global warming potential is 9.7 MtCO2eq in 2030, accounts for 33% greenhouse gas emissions from livestock in Vietnam. Pig farming is responsible for half of both greenhouse gases and ammonia emissions in the studied region. Other major livestock for greenhouse gas emission is cattle and for ammonia emission is poultry. Hanoi contributes for the largest emissions in the region in 2015 but will be caught up and surpassed by other provinces in 2030.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0466.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: farm animal; pig; livestock production; global warming; climate change; economic risk assessment; economic impact; resilience; livestock farming; adaptation
Online: 29 December 2021 (12:23:22 CET)
Economic risks for livestock production are caused by volatile commodities and market conditions, but also by environmental drivers like increasing uncertainties due to weather anomalies and global warming. These risks impact the gross margin of farmers and can stimulated investment decisions. For confined pig and poultry production, farmers can reduce the environmental impact by implementing specific adaptation measures to reduce heat stress. A simulation model driven by meteorological data was used to calculate heat stress impact as a projection for 2030. For a business-as-usual livestock building, the indoor climate for several adaptation measures was calculated. The weather-related value-at risk quantified the economic risks caused by global warming and the stochastic component of the weather. The results show that only energy-saving adaptation measures to reduce the inlet air temperature are appropriate to reduce the economic risk to the level of the year 1980. The efficiency of other adaptation measures to reduce heat stress is distinctly lower. The results in this study can support the decision making of farmers concerning adaptation management and investments. It can inform agricultural policy design as well as technological development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0540.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: organic fertilizer; livestock waste; compost; charcoal; agronomic effectiveness
Online: 29 November 2022 (07:12:54 CET)
Abundant animal manure in livestock areas has the potential to be used as organic fertilizer which can restore soil fertility by turning it into compost and biochar. The goal of this study was to as-sess how well soil fertility and red chili yield might be increased by using biochar and poschar made from various animal wastes. In this investigation, a factorial pattern and randomized block design were used. The first factor was the biochar treatment type, which included no biochar, biochar made from cow manure, biochar made from goat manure, and biochar made from chicken manure. The second factor was the type of poschar, which included no poschar, poschar made from cow manure, poschar made from goat manure, and poschar made from chicken manure. The findings of this study suggest that using biochar in conjunction with poschar can significantly improve soil parameters such as soil water content, pH, EC, humic acid, fulvic acid, C, N, P, K, and CEC. Red chilies grow and yield more per hectare when different types of biochar and poschar are used. The use of biochar from cow manure together with poschar from chicken manure shows the best agronomic effectiveness.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0324.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Climate; Conservation agriculture; GHG emission; Livestock husbandry; Mitigation
Online: 14 December 2020 (11:01:49 CET)
This paper aimed to assess climate-smart agricultural practices in Ethiopia, discuss the contribution of climate-smart agricultural practices for mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, and examine determinant factors of climate-smart agricultural practices in mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. Conservation agriculture, integrated soil fertility management, agroforestry, crop diversification, and improved livestock feed and feeding practices are among the best climate-smart agricultural practices in Ethiopia. Combination of the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices such as no-tillage increased crop diversity and retaining crop residue on-farm have a mitigation potential of increased SOC in non-flooded crops that change in a significant ton of CO2e ha-1 year-1. In addition, a mitigation potential of CH4 in reduced irrigation of paddy rice farms was also changed in ton CO2e ha-1 year-1. It was found that productivity enhancing interventions in the tropics could reduce emission intensity in dairy systems by up to 0.9 t CO2e per milk. Agroforestry practices and the addition of organic fertilizers on the farm increased mitigation potential of 784093 t CO2e and 193050 t CO2e biomass of carbon and SOC per year respectively. Adoptions of climate-smart agricultural practices are affected by different factors such as farming factors, technology inaccessibility, environmental factors, policy design and social expertise, negative attitudes and motivations of farmers, farmers’ socio-demographic factors, and farmers' socioeconomic factors. To reverse the situation, preparation of targeted climate-smart agricultural practices to areas that are likely to provide the greatest GHG reduction potential and demonstration of these practices to other areas should be encouraged so that other farmers will learn for similar agro-ecologies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0539.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Correlation; Disease; Extension; Information-Score; Livestock; Perceived-Usefulness
Online: 25 August 2020 (05:01:42 CEST)
Smallholder livestock farmers utilize their existing communication networks as information sources. This study explored these information sources, frequency of contacts and perceived usefulness of information from these sources. Using descriptive and correlation analysis, it categorized respondents according to total information score and explored the relationship between their scores and socio-economic characteristics. Findings show that 65% of farmers in the area scored a high reliance on fellow farmers and extension officials. Mass media sources such as radio and television scored low on perceived usefulness. The correlation coefficients for age (-0.228), farming experience (0.183), extension visits (0.002) and information contacts (0.214) were significant (p<0.05). Level of education (0.256), herd size (0.067) and perceived usefulness of information contacts (0.252) were also significant (p<0.01). Gender, household size, income, cooperative participation and access to financial services were not correlated to the total information scores of respondents. It was recommended that mass media sources in the area be supported by extension communication specialists to disseminate livestock-health related information.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0391.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: agrivoltaics; photovoltaics; biogas; renewable energy; agriculture; livestock; horticulture; aquaculture.
Online: 23 January 2023 (02:13:35 CET)
Agrivoltaics (Agri-PV, AV) - the joint use of land for the production of agricultural products and energy - has recently been rapidly gaining popularity, as it can significantly increase income per unit of land area. In a broad sense, AV systems can include converters of not only solar, but also energy from any other local renewable source, including bioenergy. Current approach to AV represents an evolutionary development of agroecology and integrated PV power supply to the grid. That results in nearly doubled income per unit area. While AV could provide a basis for revolution in large-scale unmanned precision (intelligent) farming which is impossible without on-site power supply, chemical fertilisation and pesticides reduction, and yield processing on-site. These approaches could change the logistics of agriculture dramatically, and so, reduce its carbon footprint. Utilisation of decommissioned solar panels in AV could make the technology twice cheaper and postpone the need for bulk PV recycling. This review is mainly focused on the possibilities for AV to be stronger integrated into agriculture that could also help in relevant legal collisions (considered as neither rather than both components) resolution.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0417.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: adaptation physiology; sensors; precision livestock farming; wearable animal sensors
Online: 19 July 2020 (18:27:52 CEST)
Despite recent scientific advancements, there is a gap in the use of technology to measure signals, behaviors, and processes of adaptation physiology of farm animals. Sensors present exciting opportunities for sustained, real-time, non-intrusive measurement of farm animal behavioral, mental, and physiological parameters with the integration of nanotechnology and instrumentation. This paper critically reviews the sensing technology and sensor data-based models used to explore biological systems such as animal behavior, energy metabolism, epidemiology, immunity, health, and animal reproduction. The use of sensor technology to assess physiological parameters can provide tremendous benefits and tools to overcome and minimize production losses while making positive contributions to animal welfare. Of course, sensor technology is not free from challenges; these devices are at times highly sensitive and prone to damage from dirt, dust, sunlight, colour, fur, feathers, and environmental forces. Rural farmers unfamiliar with the technologies must be convinced and taught to use sensor-based technologies in farming and livestock management. While there is no doubt that demand will grow for non-invasive sensor-based technologies that require minimum contact with animals and can provide remote access to data, their true success lies in the acceptance of these technologies by the livestock industry.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0040.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: Digitalization; sensor technology; block chain technology; data models; livestock
Online: 3 July 2020 (12:29:39 CEST)
As the global human population increases, animal agriculture must adapt to provide more animal products while also addressing concerns about animal welfare, environmental sustainability, and public health. The purpose of this review is to discuss the digitalization of animal farming with Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) technologies, specifically biosensors, big data, and block chain technology. Biosensors are noninvasive or invasive sensors that monitor an animal’s health and behavior in real time, allowing farmers to monitor individual animals and integrate this data for population-level analyses. The data from the sensors is processed using big data-processing techniques such as data modelling. These technologies use algorithms to sort through large, complex data sets to provide farmers with biologically relevant and usable data. Blockchain technology allows for traceability of animal products from farm to table, a key advantage in monitoring disease outbreaks and preventing related economic losses and food-related health pandemics. With these PLF technologies, animal agriculture can become more transparent and regain consumer trust. While the digitalization of animal farming has the potential to address a number of pressing concerns, these technologies are relatively new. The implementation of PLF technologies on farms will require increased collaboration between farmers, animal scientists, and engineers to ensure that technologies can be used in realistic, on-farm conditions. These technologies will call for data models that can sort through large amounts of data while accounting for specific variables and ensuring automation, accessibility, and accuracy of data. Issues with data privacy, security, and integration will need to be addressed before there can be multi-farm databases. Lastly, the usage of blockchain technology in animal agriculture is still in its infancy; blockchain technology has the potential to improve the traceability and transparency of animal products, but more research is needed to realize its full potential. The digitalization of animal farming can supply the necessary tools to provide sustainable animal products on a global scale.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0159.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: awareness; livestock farmer; ICT-source; market information; rural; smallholder
Online: 9 May 2020 (08:46:42 CEST)
The utility of ICTs for providing market information to rural smallholder farmers is growing rapidly, and access to reliable information and sources is considered crucial for beneficial market interaction. This study explored critical factors contributing to usage of electronic sources for market information search among rural smallholder livestock farmers. Using data collected from 129 respondents through a non-random sampling technique; descriptive and regression analysis was applied to identify key factors responsible for their awareness and use of ICT-based market information sources. Level of education was found to be a driver of awareness of ICT-based sources, and use of these sources was influenced by farmer-specific characteristics such as household size, education, income, membership of cooperatives and herd-size. The key ICT tools used was radio and mobile phones, widely available in the study area. Identified constraints to use of these ICTs include cost and patchy network signals in some areas. Policy interventions to reduce cost of mobile phone services and expansion of base stations; including practical recommendations for improved programming in radio and television offerings, are considered indispensable for greater uptake of e-information sources among smallholder livestock farmers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0043.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Grass; Greenhouse Gases; Ruminal Degradation; Secondary Metabolites; Tropical Livestock Systems
Online: 4 October 2021 (10:40:05 CEST)
Enteric methane (CH4) emitted by ruminant species is known as one of the main greenhouse gases produced by the agricultural sector. The objective of this study was to evaluate the chemical composition, in vitro gas production, dry matter degradation (DMD), digestibility, CO2 production and CH4 mitigation potential of five tropical tree species with novel forage potential including: Spondias mombin, Acacia pennatula, Parmentiera aculeata, Brosimum alicastrum and Bursera simaruba mixed at two levels of inclusion (15 and 30%) with a tropical grass (Pennisetum purpureum). Crude protein content was similar across treatments (135 g kg-1 DM), while P. purpureum was characterized by a high content of acid detergent fiber (335.9 g kg-1 DM) and B. simaruba by a high concentration of condensed tannins (20 g kg-1 DM). Likewise, A. pennatula and P. aculeata were characterized by a high content of cyanogenic glycosides and alkaloids respectively. Treatments SM30-PP70 (30% S. mombin + 70% P. purpureum) and BA30-PP70 (30% B. alicastrum + 70% P. purpureum) resulted in superior digestibility than P. purpureum, while in the AP30-PP70 (30% A. pennatula + 70% P. purpureum) was lower than the control treatment (P≤0.05). At 24 and 48 h, treatments that contained P. aculeata and B. alicastrum produced higher CH4 ml g-1 DOM than P. purpureum (P≤0.05). The inclusion of B. simaruba at 30% reduced CH4 at 25% compared to P. purpureum. Tropical tree species can improve the nutritional quality of ruminant rations and reduce CH4 emissions to consequently contribute to the development of sustainable ruminant production systems that generate diverse ecosystem services.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0620.v1
Subject: Keywords: Digital twin; Precision Livestock Farming; digitosome; Digital cohort; animal farming
Online: 29 January 2021 (12:48:12 CET)
Digital twin technology is already improving efficiencies and reducing costs across multiple industries and sectors. As the earliest adopters, space technology and manufacturing sectors have made the most sophisticated gains with automobile and natural resource extraction industries following close behind with recent investments in digital twin technology. The application of digital twins within the livestock farming sector is the next frontier. The possibilities that this technology may fuel are nearly endless as digital twins can be used to improve large-scale precision livestock farming practices, machinery and equipment usage, and the health and well-being of a wide variety of farm animals. Currently, many pioneers of digital twins in livestock farming are already applying sophisticated AI technology to monitor both animals and environment around the clock, which leads to a better understanding of animal behavior and distress, disease control and prevention, and smarter business decisions for the farmer. Mental and emotional states of animals can be monitored using recognition technology that examines facial features such as ear postures and eye white regions. Used with modeling, simulation and augmented reality technologies, digital twins can help farmers build more energy-efficient housing structures, predict heat cycles for breeding, discourage negative behaviors of livestock, and potentially much more. As with all disruptive technological advances, the implementation of digital twin technology will demand a thorough cost and benefit analysis by individual farms. Digital twin application will need to overcome challenges and accept limitations that arise. However, regardless of these issues, the potential of digital twins promises to revolutionize livestock farming in the future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0092.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: livestock; stover; lucerne; maize; bull; animals; dry matter; protein; cottonseed
Online: 11 May 2017 (05:04:11 CEST)
The experiment was conducted at livestock research and development station surezai Peshawar during March 2012 to study the effect of cotton seed cake, Lucerne hay supplementation on intake of maize stover and weight gain by male sahiwal bull. Twelve (12) young Sahiwal bull breed, 280 kg average liveweight and 2 years of age were randomly put into 4 groups of 3 animals under intensive feeding system to determine the effect of different protein supplements on growth, and intake of chopped, dried maize stover. A control group was fed stover adlibitum only, and the other groups were fed daily 750 g cottonseed cake/head, 1 kg lucerne hay or 900 g of lucerne/cottonseed cake (66:34; w/w). Significant differences were observed on average daily live weight gains. Animals on lucerne and its mixture registered higher daily gains (243 g) and (330 g) respectively, followed by cottonseed cake (156 g); the control group lost weight (-8.0 g/d). Contrary to the live weight gains, animals fed on lucerne and its mixture had lower maize stover intakes, 3.35 kg DM/animal/day and 3.70 kg DM respectively, while those on cottonseed cake and the control group ingested respectively 4.72 kg DM and 4.16 kg DM maize Stover. It is concluded that during the critical period in the suburb of Peshawar, small-scale farmers can prevent loss in live weight by utilizing simple available rations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0636.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: livestock manure; waste management; air pollution; air quality; biocoal; odor emission
Online: 24 December 2020 (15:14:59 CET)
The rural communities are affected by gaseous emissions from intensive livestock production. Practical mitigation technologies are needed to minimize emissions from stored manure and improve air quality inside barns. In our previous research, the one-time surficial application of biochar to swine manure significantly reduced emissions of NH3 and phenol. We observed that the mitigation effect decreased with time during the 30-day trials. In this research, we hypothe-sized that bi-weekly reapplication of biochar could improve the mitigation effect on a wider range of odorous compounds using larger scale and longer trials. The objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of biochar dose and reapplication on mitigation of targeted gases (NH3, odor-ous VOCs, odor, GHGs) from stored swine manure on a pilot-scale setup over 8-weeks. The bi-weekly reapplication of the lower biochar dose (2 kg/m2) showed much higher significant percent reductions of emissions for NH3 (33% without & 53% with reapplication) and skatole (42% without & 80% with reapplication), respectively. In addition, the reapplication resulted in the emergence of statistical significance to the mitigation effect for all other targeted VOCs. Spe-cifically, for indole, the % reduction improved from 38% (p=0.47, without reapplication) to 78% (p=0.018, with reapplication). For phenol, the % reduction improved from 28% (p=0.71, without reapplication) to 89% (p=0.005, with reapplication). For p-cresol, the % reduction improved from 31% (p=0.86, without reapplication) to 74% (p=0.028, with reapplication). For 4-ethyl phenol, the percent emissions reduction improved from 66% (p=0.44, without reapplication) to 87% (p=0.007, with reapplication). The one-time 2 kg/m2 and 4 kg/m2 treatments showed similar effectiveness in mitigating all targeted gases, and no statistical difference was found between the dosages. The one-time treatments showed significant % reductions of 33% & 42% and 25% & 48% for NH3 and skatole, respectively. The practical significance is that the higher (one-time) biochar dose may not necessarily result in improved performance over the 8-week manure storage, but the bi-weekly reapplication showed significant improvement in mitigating NH3 and odorous VOCs. The lower dosages and the frequency of reapplication on the larger-scale should be explored to optimize biochar treatment and bring it closer to on-farm trials.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0058.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Digital Agriculture; Precision Livestock Farming; Smart Farming; Artificial Intelligence; Sensors; Big Data
Online: 2 November 2022 (11:11:06 CET)
Sensor enabled big data and Artificial Intelligence platforms has the potential to address global socio-economic trends related to the livestock production sector through advances in the digitization of precision livestock farming. The increased interest in animal welfare, the likely reduction in the number of animals in relation to population growth in the coming decade and the growing demand for animal proteins pose an acute challenge to prioritizing animal welfare on the one hand while maximizing the efficiency of production systems on the other. To stimulate a sustainable, digital, and resilient recovery of the agricultural and livestock industrial sector, there is an urgent need for testing and develop new ideas and products such as wearable sensors. By validating and demonstrating a fully functional wearable sensor prototype within an operational environment on the livestock farm that includes a miniaturized animal-borne biosensor and an artificial intelligence (AI) based data acquisition and processing platform, the unmet current needs can be fulfilled. The expected quantifiable results from wearable biosensors will demonstrate that the digitization technology can perform acceptably within the performance parameters specified by the agricultural sector and under operational conditions, to measurably improve livestock productivity and health. There is a need for a multimodal, digitized, automated biosensor and health monitoring platform containing AI algorithms for optimized stress and disease prediction in farm animals. An experimental development of non-invasive wearable and wireless physiological sensor networks that can be deployed in agricultural environments would allow for real-time extraction and integration of physiological data and display on decision support dashboards for livestock workers. By testing the effectiveness of the system in generating meaningful longitudinal data for further research into physiological and behavioral characteristics of farm animals, novel insights about animal welfare can be developed. The successful implementation of the digital wearable sensor networks would provide actionable real-time information on animal health status and can be deployed directly on the livestock farm, which will strengthen the green and digital recovery of the economy due to the significant innovation potential. Continuous monitoring of animal health and physiological functioning promotes more environmentally and socially acceptable developmental pathways. Once demonstrated, the portable animal health monitoring platform will close a critical gap in digitized livestock farming and position the agricultural industry as a frontrunner in the sector of farm animal monitoring and measurement systems. The multimodal wearable sensor-driven AI approach is expected to significantly improve the effectiveness of livestock decision support systems and the selection of resilient animals for the next generation and provide predictive data for end-users in livestock farming.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0364.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Poultry behaviour; target tracking; deep learning; precision livestock farming; poultry production systems.
Online: 16 May 2021 (22:43:58 CEST)
The world's growing population is highly dependent on animal agriculture. Animal products provide nutrient-packed meals that help to sustain individuals of all ages in communities across the globe. As the human demand for animal proteins grows, the agricultural industry must continue to advance its efficiency and quality of production. One of the most commonly farmed livestock is poultry and their significance is felt on a global scale. Current poultry farming practices result in the premature death and rejection of billions of chickens on an annual basis before they are processed for meat. This loss of life is concerning regarding animal welfare, agricultural efficiency, and economic impacts. The best way to prevent these losses is through the individualistic and/or group level assessment of animal on a continuous basis. On large-scale farms, such attention to detail was generally considered to be inaccurate and inefficient, but with the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) assisted technology individualized and per-herd assessments of livestock are possible and accurate. Various studies have shown cameras linked with specialized systems of AI can properly analyze flocks for health concerns, thus improving the survival rate and product quality of farmed poultry. Building on the recent advancements, this review explores the aspects of AI in the detection, counting and tracking of the poultry in commercial and research-based applications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0111.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: Zoonoses, food-borne, disease control, public health, domestic livestock, pigs, One health
Online: 11 January 2019 (10:59:03 CET)
Non-typhoid salmonellosis is a common and problematic foodborne zoonotic disease in which pork and pork products can be an important potential source of infection. In order to prevent this disease important efforts to monitor the situation in the main source, livestock, are conducted in most developed countries. In the European Union EFSA and ECDC compile information at the member state level, even though important differences in production systems and surveillance systems exist. Here, Salmonella surveillance systems in one of the main sources of foodborne salmonellosis, swine, and humans in Spain were reviewed to identify potential gaps and discuss potential ways of integration under a One Health approach. Despite the extensive information generated through the surveillance activities source attribution can be only routinely performed through ad-hoc outbreak investigations, and national reports on human outbreaks do not provide sufficiently detailed information to gain a better understanding of the epidemiology of the pathogen. Human and animal monitoring of Salmonella would benefit from a better exchange of information and collaboration. Analysis of spatio-temporal trends in livestock and humans could help to identify likely sources of infection and to target surveillance efforts in areas with higher prevalence or where specific strains are found.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0004.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: livestock care management; rotational/continuous grazing; technical advice; stocking rate; functional units
Online: 1 October 2018 (11:24:38 CEST)
The livestock sector can be a major contributor to the mitigation of greenhouse (GHG) emissions. Within the sector, beef production produces the largest proportion of the livestock sector’s direct emissions. The objective of this study was to assess the on-farm GHG emissions in semi-arid rangelands in Argentina and to identify the relationships between emissions and current farm management practices. A survey recorded detailed information on farm management and characteristics. Assessments of GHG emissions were based on the IPCC Tier 2 protocols . The relationships between farm management and GHG emissions were identified using General Linear Models. Cluster analysis was used to identify groups of farms that differed from others in emissions and farm characteristics. Emissions per product sold were low on farms that had improved livestock care management, rotational grazing, received technical advice, and had high animal and land productivities. Emissions per hectare of farmland were low on farms that had low stocking rates, low number of grazing paddocks, little or no land dedicated to improved pastures and forage crops, and low land productivity. Our results suggest that the implementation of realistic, relatively easy-to-adopt farming management practices has considerable potential for mitigating GHG emissions in semi-arid rangelands of central Argentina.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0368.v1
Subject: Keywords: Precision Livestock Farming; Sensors; Animal Ethics; Animal Welfare; Society; Sustainability; Human-animal relationships
Online: 16 July 2021 (11:27:24 CEST)
The demand for animal products is expected to continue to rise, which requires the development of efficient livestock farming systems. Environmental, societal and economic concerns regarding this industry are however accumulating, addressing the large resource demand, pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions and health concerns that the livestock industry is responsible for. Precision livestock farming systems allow the continuous automatic monitoring of various physiological, behavioural and phenotypic parameters of animals in order to increase productivity and animal welfare while controlling and minimizing the environmental impact. There is a high potential for digital farming to be the solution for responsibly and ethically feeding the growing and urbanizing population. However, many problems and concerns are still present in this developing industry and remain relatively unaddressed, starting with the ethical aspects in regard to the animal, including its objectification, human-animal relationships and welfare and ending with the societal implications of this digitalization. Concrete frameworks, inter-disciplinary studies and global legislation need to be put in place in order to ensure the safety and protection of the animals, farmer and society. Here, implications of digital farming for the animals, farmers, society and the planet are critically reviewed with the future outlook of digital farms.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0453.v2
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: oocyte competence; livestock production; assisted reproductive technology; embryo development; micromanipulation; in vitro production
Online: 17 November 2020 (12:41:51 CET)
The efficiency of producing embryos using in vitro technologies in livestock species rarely exceeds the 30 to 40% threshold, indicating that the proportion of oocytes that fail to develop after in vitro fertilization and culture is considerably large. Considering that the intrinsic quality of the oocyte is one of the main factors affecting blastocyst yield, the precise identification of non-invasive cellular or molecular markers that predict oocyte competence is of major interest to research and practical applications. The aim of this review was to explore the current literature on different non-invasive markers associated with oocyte quality in the bovine model. Apart from some controversial findings, the presence of cycle-related structures in ovaries, a follicle size between 6 and 10 mm, large number of surrounding cumulus cells, slightly expanded investment without dark areas, large oocyte diameter (>120 microns), dark cytoplasm, and the presence of a round and smooth first polar body have been associated to better competence. In addition, the combination of oocyte and zygote selection by BCB test and spindle imaging have the potential to further optimize the identification of oocytes with better developmental competence for in vitro-derived technologies in livestock species.
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; susceptibility; livestock; aquatic mammals
Online: 7 June 2020 (08:18:54 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2, the causal agent of the globally spreading COVID-19, is capable of infecting variable animals besides human being. We evaluated the potential susceptibility of important livestock, pets and aquatic mammals by performing a multi-species sequence analysis of ACE2 based on the reported affected and unaffected animals. We identified a triple amino acid pattern of ACE2, at position 30, 31 and 34, that might be associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and H34 might be an indicator of the susceptibility to COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0225.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: double hurdle; ICTs; market participation; information source; probit; regression model; smallholder farmer; livestock
Online: 17 December 2019 (09:59:33 CET)
The study explored the contribution of ICT-based information sources to market participation among smallholder livestock farmers. Use of ICTs is considered paramount for providing smallholder farmers with required market information, in order to reduce market asymmetries. A Double Hurdle regression was utilized to analyze data collected from 150 smallholder livestock farmers in the study area. The results show that while use of ICT-based market information sources significantly influenced market participation, the effect of using ICT-based information sources on intensity of market participation was not significant. Other variables shown to influence both market participation and the intensity of market participation were age, additional income and membership of farmer cooperatives. This suggests the need to also consider other associated factors in the application of interventions which utilize ICT-based information sources in achieving planned market interventions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0261.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Risk management; Laos; livelihood; swidden; upland rice; rice bank; NTFPs; market economy; livestock
Online: 28 January 2018 (16:32:52 CET)
In areas with strongly seasonal climates, local people often use complex strategies to manage agricultural production shortages, including diverse activities such as hunting, selling and consuming non-agricultural products, and wage labor. We surveyed all the households in a village in northern Laos to evaluate how such livelihood activities varied during years with differing agricultural production conditions. We compared two years with normal rice production conditions (2010, 2012) and one year with a severe rice shortage (2011) due to a rodent outbreak. Earning wages inside and outside the village was the most important activity for mitigating rice shortages, followed by selling livestock and using/selling non-timber forest products. Villagers also borrowed rice from a village rice bank. Most cash income was earned from selling rice. We concluded that a balance of traditional risk management activities under the swidden system (e.g., raising livestock) with the more recent rice bank system and wages from the market economy will be critical for the sustainable development of mountain villages in northern Laos. Permanent crops and monocultures tend to make local livelihoods more dependent on a single crop, but maintaining the traditional swidden system will help local people to manage agricultural production shortages.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0056.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Precision Livestock Farming; Digital Agriculure; Smart Farming; In Ovo Sexing; Big Data; Artificial Intelligence
Online: 2 November 2022 (11:03:44 CET)
Current commercial, pre-commercial, and experimental in ovo techniques for the sex determination of fertilised eggs employ either minimally invasive biomolecular assays (extracting fluid via a small laser-drilled window in the eggshell, for detection of genetic or hormonal biomarkers), analysis of volatile compounds emitted from the eggshell, visible imaging, and reflectance or transmission spectroscopic analysis exploiting molecular optical fluorescence, polarisation, and scattering phenomena, including various combinations of these modalities. , to date no endeavour employing the NIR and FTIR based spectroscopic techniques has resulted in a commercially sustainable solution to the egg sexing problem. Besides achieving only subpar performance in overall accuracy, specificity, and sensitivity, the least invasive of the current state-of-the-art optical methods still requires, creating a transmission window (fenestration) of 12–15 mm diameter through to the mammillae layer of the shell, proximal to the external shell membrane, which can affect the incubation or post-hatch development viability of up to 10% of incubated eggs. Multimodal solution combining Raman spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging has strong prospects to overcome the hard barriers existing before the perfection of a non-invasive in-line process for high reliability and rapid throughput for sex determination of eggs within 3 days of incubation. The method for sexing of chicken embryos needs to take a multipronged approach in collecting and analyzing spectral data that points to biomarkers using the machine learning approaches to look for nanomolar to picomolar concentrations of these in the fluid.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0379.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: heat stress; farm animal; pig; livestock; global warming; climate change; risk assessment; economic impact
Online: 15 December 2020 (12:35:35 CET)
In the last decades farm animals kept in confined and mechanically ventilated livestock buildings are increasingly confronted with heat stress (HS) due to global warming. These adverse conditions cause a depression of animal health and welfare and a reduction of the performance up to an increase of the mortality. To facilitate sound management decisions, livestock farmers need relevant arguments, which quantify the expected economic risk and the corresponding uncertainty. The economic risk was determined for the pig fattening sector based on the probability of HS and the calculated decrease in the gross margin. The model calculation for confined livestock buildings showed, that HS indices calculated by easily available meteorological parameters can be used for assessment quantification of indoor HS, which is so far difficult to determine. These weather-related HS indices can be applied not only for an economic risk assessment but also for a weather-index based insurance for livestock farms. Based on the temporal trend between 1981 and 2017, a simple model was derived to assess the likelihood of HS for 2020 and 2030. Due to global warming, the return period for a 90-percentile HS index is reduced from 10 years in 2020 to 3-4 years in 2030. The economic impact of HS on livestock farms was calculated by the relationship between an HS index based on the temperature-humidity index (THI) and the reduction of the gross margin. From the likelihood of the HS and this economic impact function, the probability of the economic risk could be determined. The reduction of the gross margin for a 10 year return period was determined for 1980 with 0.27 € per year and animal place and increased by the 20-fold to 5.13 € per year and animal place in 2030.
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: ethnoveterinary medicines; Kinnaur; traditional knowledge; livestock; Sanctuary; shepherds; mountain people; aboriginal; tribal; herbalism; ritualism
Online: 29 January 2020 (03:57:56 CET)
The Himalayas are known for high floristic diversity and rich ethnobotanical practices. However, not all parts of the Himalayan regions are thoroughly studied. The present study aims to document the ethnoveterinary medicines used by migratory shepherds in Trans-Himalayan Rakchham-Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary,Baspa (Sangla) valley of the Kinnaur district in Himachal Pradesh. The shepherds are very close to nature as they spend most of their time in forests with their livestock. Shepherding depends more on traditional healthcare practices based on local medicinal plants. In this study, we are reporting for the first time commonly used ethnoveterinary medicines in Rakchham and Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary and their application, procedures of preparation, as well as listing 51 plant species. Such documentations are done first time in the Himachal Pradesh region of India as per our information. Our research emphasizes the urgent need to document traditional medicine preparation procedures from migratory shepherds. The required information on various ethnoveterinary medicines used by migratory shepherds was collected through personal field visits, participatory observations, interview and using a pretested questionnaire. It was observed that in all 51 species of ethnoveterinary were used by shepherds in Trans-Himalayan Rakchham-Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary in Baspa (Sangla) valley of Kinnaur district. The results of this survey show that shepherds in tribal areas are highly dependent on ethnoveterinary remedies for their livestock which evolved over generations of practices for healthcare. There is an urgent need to document this vast knowledge of migratory shepherds concerning the use of ethnoveterinary remedies for animal health care in the regions of the Himalayas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0096.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: ph sensors; reticulorumen; blood gas; automatic milking system; real-time monitoring; precision livestock farming
Online: 10 January 2020 (10:08:05 CET)
We hypothesized possibility that inline registered reticulorumen pH can be as biomarker of cows reproduction and health status. Aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship of reticulorumen pH with biomarkers from automatic milking system (AMS) and some blood parameters and determinate reticulorumen pH as biomarker of cows reproduction and health status. According to cows reproductive status the cows were classified as belonging to the following four groups: 15-30 d. postpartum; 1-34 d. after insemination; 35 d. after insemination (non-pregnant); 35 d. after insemination (pregnant). According reticulorumen pH assay experimental animals were divided into four classes: 1) pH<6.22 (5.3% of cows), 2) pH - 6.22-6.42 (42.1% of cows), 3) pH - 6.42-6.62 (21.1% of cows), 4) pH >6.62 (10.5% of cows). Rumination time, body weight, milk yield, milk fat – protein ratio, milk lactose, milk somatic cell count (SCC), milk electrical conductivity of all quarters of udder were registered with the help of Lely Astronaut® A3 milking robots. The pH, temperature of the contents of cow reticulorumens and cow activity were measured using specific smaX-tec boluses. Blood gas parameters were analyzed using a blood gas analyzer (EPOC, Canada). We found that pregnant cows has higher reticulorumen pH during insemination time, comparing with non-pregnant. Cows with lower reticulorumen pH has lowest milk fat – protein ratio, and lactose concentration, and highest SCC. Cows with lowest reticulorumen pH has lowest blood pH. With increase reticulorumen pH, increases blood potasium and hematocrit, decreases CO2, saturation and sodium.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0201.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: Indian ocean; livestock; Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae; risk factors; CTX-M; enzymes
Online: 22 January 2018 (12:02:53 CET)
In South Western Indian ocean (IO), Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL) are a main public health issue. In livestock, ESBL burden was unknown. The aim of this study was estimating the prevalence of ESBL on commercial farms in Reunion, Mayotte and Madagascar and genes involved. Secondly, risk factors of ESBL occurrence in broiler, beef cattle and pig farms were explored. In 2016-2017, commercial farms were sampled using boot swabs and samples stored at 4°C before microbiological analysis for phenotypical ESBL and gene characterization. A semi-directive questionnaire was performed. Prevalences observed in all production types and territories were elevated, except for beef cattle in Reunion which differed significantly. The most common ESBL gene was the CTX-M-1 subtype. Generalized linear models explaining ESBL occurrence varied between livestock production sectors and allowed identifying main protective (e.g., water quality control and detergent use for cleaning) and risk factors (e.g., recent antibiotic use, other farmers visiting the exploitation, pet presence). This study is the first to explore tools for antibiotic resistance management in IO farms. It provides interesting hypothesis to explore about antibiotic use in IO and ESBL transmission between pig, beef cattle and humans in Madagascar.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0326.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Deepfake; Animal Welfare; Animal Emotions; Artificial Intelligence; Digital Farming; Animal Based Measures; Emotion Modeling; Livestock Health
Online: 14 July 2021 (11:49:38 CEST)
Deepfake technologies are known for the creation of forged celebrity pornography, face and voice swaps, and other fake media content. Despite the negative connotations the technology bears, the underlying machine learning algorithms have a huge potential that could be applied to not just digital media, but also to medicine, biology, affective science, and agriculture, just to name a few. Due to the ability to generate big datasets based on real data distributions, deepfake could also be used to positively impact non-human animals such as livestock. Generated data using Generative Adversarial Networks, one of the algorithms that deepfake is based on, could be used to train models to accurately identify and monitor animal health and emotions. Through data augmentation, using digital twins, and maybe even displaying digital conspecifics where social interactions are enhanced, deepfake technologies have the potential to increase animal health, emotionality, sociality, animal-human and animal-computer interactions and thereby animal welfare, productivity, and sustainability of the farming industry.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: livestock diseases; miRNAs; biomarkers; regulatory networks; mastitis; PRRSV; foot-and-mouth disease; Marek's disease; RNAi therapy
Online: 31 December 2020 (09:15:19 CET)
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small endogenous RNAs that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by targeting either the 3′ untranslated or coding regions of genes. They have been reported to play key roles in a wide range of biological processes. The recent remarkable developments of transcriptomics technologies, especially next-generation sequencing technologies and advanced bioinformatics tools, allow more in-depth exploration of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) including miRNAs. These technologies have offered great opportunities for a deeper exploration of miRNA involvement in farm animal diseases, as well as livestock productivity and welfare. In this review, we provide an overview of the current knowledge of miRNA roles in farm animal diseases with a particular focus on diseases of economic importance. In addition, we discuss the steps and future perspectives of using miRNAs as biomarkers and molecular therapy for livestock disease management as well as the challenges and opportunities for understanding the regulatory mechanisms of miRNAs related to disease pathogenesis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0104.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: biochar; hydrogen sulfide; ammonia; livestock manure; agricultural safety; deep pit storage; waste management; air pollution; odor
Online: 7 June 2020 (15:54:48 CEST)
Hydrogen sulfide and ammonia are always a concern in the livestock industries, especially when farmers try to clear their manure storage pits. Agitation of manure can cause dangerously high concentrations of harmful agents such as H2S and NH3 to be emitted into the air. Biochar has the ability to sorb these gases. We hypothesized that applying biochar on top of manure can create an effective barrier to protect farmers and animals from exposure to NH3 and H2S. In this study, two kinds of biochar were tested, highly alkaline, and porous (HAP, pH 9.2) biochar made from corn stover and red oak biochar (RO, pH 7.5). Two scenarios of (6 mm) 0.25” and (12 mm) 0.5” thick layers of biochar treatments were topically applied to the manure and tested on a pilot-scale setup, simulating a deep pit storage. Each setup experienced 3-min of agitation using a transfer pump, and measurements of the concentrations of NH3 and H2S were taken in real-time and measured until the concentration stabilized after the sharp increase in concentration due to agitation. The results were compared with the control in the following 3 situations: 1. The maximum (peak) flux 2. Total emission from the start of agitation until the concentration stabilized, and 3. The total emission during the 3 min of agitation. For NH3, 0.5” HAP biochar treatment significantly (p<0.05) reduced maximum flux by 63.3%, overall total emission by 70%, and total emissions during the 3-min agitation by 85.2%; 0.25” HAP biochar treatment significantly (p<0.05) reduced maximum flux by 75.7%, overall, total emission by 74.5%, and total emissions during the 3-min agitation by 77.8%. 0.5” RO biochar treatment significantly reduced max by 8.8%, overall total emission by 52.9%, and total emission during 3-min agitation by 56.8%; 0.25” RO biochar treatment significantly reduced max by 61.3%, overall total emission by 86.1%, and total emission during 3-min agitation by 62.7%. For H2S, 0.5” HAP biochar treatment reduced the max by 42.5% (p=0.125), overall total emission by 17.9% (p=0.290), and significantly reduced the total emission during 3-min agitation by 70.4%; 0.25” HAP treatment reduced max by 60.6% (p=0.058), and significantly reduced overall and 3-min agitation’s total emission by 64.4% and 66.6%, respectively. 0.5” RO biochar treatment reduce the max flux by 23.6% (p=0.145), and significantly reduced overall and 3-min total emission by 39.3% and 62.4%, respectively; 0.25” RO treatment significantly reduced the max flux by 63%, overall total emission by 84.7%, and total emission during 3-min agitation by 67.4%.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0253.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: airborne pathogens; animal production; infectious animal disease; livestock health; mass balance; swine diseases; viral aerosol; virus isolation
Online: 10 February 2021 (11:41:43 CET)
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) infections cause significant economic losses to swine producers every year. Aerosols containing infectious PRRSV are an important route of transmission, and proper treatment of air could mitigate the airborne spread of the virus within and between barns. Previous bioaerosol studies focused on the microbiology of PRRSV aerosols; thus, the current study addressed the engineering aspects of virus aerosolization and collection. Specific objectives were to (1) build and test a virus aerosolization system, (2) achieve a uniform and repeatable aerosol generation and collection throughout all replicates, (3) identify and minimize sources of variation, (4) verify that the collection system (impingers) performed similarly. The system for virus aerosolization was built and tested (Obj. 1). The uniform airflow distribution was confirmed using a physical tracer (<12% relative standard deviation) for all treatments and sound engineering control of flow rates (Obj. 2). Theoretical uncertainty analyses and mass balance calculations showed <3% loss of air mass flow rate between the inlet and outlet (Obj. 3). A comparison of TCID50 values among impinger fluids showed no statistical difference between any two of the three trials (p-value = 0.148, 0.357, 0.846) (Obj. 4). These results showed that the readiness of the system for research on virus aerosolization and treatment (e.g., by ultraviolet light), as well as its potential use for research on other types of airborne pathogens and their mitigation on a laboratory scale.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0629.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: air pollution control; air quality; volatile organic compounds; nuisance smell; livestock agriculture; waste management; environmental technology; advanced oxidation; excimer; titanium dioxide
Online: 25 March 2021 (14:46:38 CET)
UV-A (ca. 365 nm wavelength, a.k.a. 'black light') photocatalysis has been investigated to comprehensively mitigate odor and selected air pollutants in the livestock environment. This study was conducted to confirm the performance of UV-A photocatalysis on the swine farm. The objectives of this research were to (1) scale-up of the UV-A photocatalysis treatment, (2) evaluate the mitigation of odorous gases from swine slurry pit, and (3) test different UV sources, (4) evaluate the effect of suspended particulate matter (PM), and (5) conduct preliminary economic analyses. We tested UV-A photocatalysis at a mobile laboratory-scale capable of treating ~0.2 - 0.8 m3·s-1 of barn exhaust air. The targeted gaseous emissions of barn exhaust air were significantly mitigated (p < 0.05) up to 40% reduction of measured odor; 63%, 44%, 32%, 40%, 66%, and 49% reduction of dimethyl disulfide, isobutyric acid, butanoic acid, p-cresol, indole, and skatole, respectively; 40% reduction of H2S; 100% reduction of O3; and 13% reduction of N2O. The PM mitigation effect was not significant. Formaldehyde levels did not change, and a 21% generation of CO2 was observed. The percent reduction of targeted gases decreased as the airborne PM increased. Simultaneous chemical and sensory analysis confirmed that UV-A treatment changed the overall nuisance odor character of swine barn emissions into weaker manure odor with 'toothpaste and 'mint' notes. The smell of benzoic acid generated in UV-A treatment was likely one of the compounds responsible for the less-offensive overall odor character of the UV-treated emissions. Results are needed to inform the design of a farm-scale trial, where the interior barn walls can be treated with the photocatalyst, and foul air will be passively treated as it moves through the barn.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0614.v2
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: air quality; air pollution; sustainable animal production; livestock and poultry; waste management; odor, ammonia; hydrogen sulfide; greenhouse gases; volatile organic compounds
Online: 26 October 2020 (09:33:12 CET)
Environmental impact associated with odor and gaseous emissions from animal manure is one of the challenges for communities, farmers, and regulatory agencies. Microbe-based manure additives treatments are marketed and used by farmers for mitigation of emissions. However, their performance is difficult to assess objectively. Thus, comprehensive, practical, and low-cost treatments are still in demand. We have been advancing such treatments based on physicochemical principles. The objective of this research was to test the effect of the surficial application of a thin layer (¼"; 6.3 mm) of biochar on the mitigation of gaseous emissions (as the percent reduction, % R) from swine manure. Two types of biochar were tested: highly alkaline and porous (HAP) biochar made from corn stover and red oak (RO), both with different pH and morphology. Three 30-day trials were conducted with a layer of HAP and RO (2.0 & 1.65 kg∙m-2, respectively) applied on manure surface, and emissions of ammonia (NH3), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), greenhouse gases (GHG), and odorous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured. The manure and biochar type and properties had an impact on the mitigation effect and its duration. RO significantly reduced NH3 (19-39%) and p-cresol (66-78%). H2S was mitigated (16~23%), but not significantly for all trials. Significant (66~78%) reductions for p-cresol were observed for all trials. The phenolic VOCs had relatively high % R in most trials but not significantly for all trials. HAP reduced NH3 (4~21%) and H2S (2~22%), but not significantly for all trials. Significant % R for p-cresol (91~97%) and skatole (74~95%) were observed for all trials. The % R for phenol and indole ranged from (60~99%) & (29~94%) but was not significant for all trials. The impact on GHGs, isobutyric acid, and the odor was mixed with some mitigation and generation effects. However, larger-scale experiments are needed to understand how biochar properties and the dose and frequency of application can be optimized to mitigate odor and gaseous emissions from swine manure. The lessons learned can also be applicable to surficial biochar treatment of gaseous emissions from other waste and area sources.