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The diurnal feeding patterns of dairy cows affects the 24 h robot utilisation of pasture-based automatic milking systems (AMS). A decline in robot utilisation between 2400 and 0600 h currently occurs in pasture-based AMS, as cow feeding activity is greatly reduced during this time. Here, we investigate the effect of a temporal variation in feed quality and quantity on cow feeding behaviour between 2400 and 0600 h as a potential tool to increase voluntary cow trafficking in an AMS at night. The day was allocated into four equal feeding periods (0600 to 1200, 1200 to 1800, 1800 to 2400 and 2400 to 0600 h). Lucerne hay cubes (CP = 19.1%, water soluble carbohydrate = 3.8%) and oat, ryegrass and clover hay cubes with 20% molasses (CP = 11.8%, water soluble carbohydrate = 10.7%) were offered as the ‘standard’ and ‘preferred’ (preference determined previously) feed types, respectively. The four treatments were (1) standard feed offered ad libitum (AL) throughout 24 h; (2) as per AL, with preferred feed replacing standard feed between 2400 and 0600 h (AL + P); (3) standard feed offered at a restricted rate, with quantity varying between each feeding period (20:10:30:60%, respectively) as a proportion of the (previously) measured daily ad libitum intake (VA); (4) as per VA, with preferred feed replacing standard feed between 2400 and 0600 h (VA + P). Eight non-lactating dairy cows were used in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. During each experimental period, treatment cows were fed for 7 days, including 3 days habituation and 4 days data collection. Total daily intake was approximately 8% greater (P < 0.001) for the AL and AL + P treatments (23.1 and 22.9 kg DM/cow) as compared with the VA and VA + P treatments (21.6 and 20.9 kg DM/cow). The AL + P and VA treatments had 21% and 90% greater (P < 0.001) dry matter intake (DMI) between 2400 and 0600 h, respectively, compared with the AL treatment. In contrast, the VA + P treatment had similar DMI to the VA treatment. Our experiment shows ability to increase cow feeding activity at night by varying feed type and quantity, though it is possible that a penalty to total DMI may occur using VA. Further research is required to determine if the implementation of variable feed allocation on pasture-based AMS farms is likely to improve milking robot utilisation by increasing cow feeding activity at night.
Achieving a consistent level of robot utilisation throughout 24 h maximises automatic milking system (AMS) utilisation. However, levels of robot utilisation in the early morning hours are typically low, caused by the diurnal feeding behaviour of cows, limiting the inherent capacity and total production of pasture-based AMS. Our objective was to determine robot utilisation throughout 24 h by dairy cows, based on milking frequency (MF; milking events per animal per day) in a pasture-based AMS. Milking data were collected from January and February 2013 across 56 days, from a single herd of 186 animals (Bos taurus) utilising three Lely A3 robotic milking units, located in Tasmania, Australia. The dairy herd was categorised into three equal sized groups (n=62 per group) according to the cow’s mean daily MF over the duration of the study. Robot utilisation was characterised by an interaction (P< 0.001) between the three MF groups and time of day, with peak milking time for high MF cows within one h of a fresh pasture allocation becoming available, followed by the medium MF and low MF cows 2 and 4 h later, respectively. Cows in the high MF group also presented for milking between 2400 and 0600 h more frequently (77% of nights), compared to the medium MF group (57%) and low MF group (50%). This study has shown the formation of three distinct groups of cows within a herd, based on their MF levels. Further work is required to determine if this finding is replicated across other pasture-based AMS farms.
Both continuity and change capture the evolving role of the Clinton White House in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy toward Africa. Elements of continuity are reflected in a familiar pattern of relationships between the White House and the principal foreign policy bureaucracies, most notably the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Department of Defense (Pentagon), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and more recently the U.S. Department of Commerce. As cogently argued in Peter J. Schraeder’s analysis of U.S. foreign policy toward Africa during the Cold War era, the White House has tended to take charge of U.S. African policies only in those relatively rare situations perceived as crises by the president and his closest advisors. In other, more routine situations—the hallmark of the myriad of U.S. African relations—the main foreign policy bureaucracies have been at the forefront of policy formulation, and “bureaucratic dominance” of the policymaking process has prevailed. Much the same pattern is visible in the Clinton administration, with the exception of President Clinton’s trip to Africa in 1998. Until that time, events in Somalia in 1993 served as the only true African crisis of the administration that was capable of focusing the ongoing attention of President Clinton and his closest advisors. Given that the United States is now disengaged from most African crises, Africa has remained a “backwater” for the White House and the wider foreign policymaking establishment.
To the many tragedies in Africa since the end of the Cold War one may now add the civil war that devastated the Congo Republic from June to October 1997. This war not only ended Congo’s fragile experiment with democracy but also left some 10,000 Congolese citizens dead and countless more homeless, bereaved, or embittered. Artillery bombardment followed by looting destroyed much of Brazzaville’s inner city. Since seizing power in mid-October 1997, former (and again) president Dennis Sassou-Nguesso has only slowly restored public order. As of March 1998, only a few parts of town had partial phone service, water, and electricity. Congo’s long-delayed development is once again on hold as the new government grapples to restore basic services.
Automatic milking systems (AMS), one of the earliest precision livestock farming developments, have revolutionized dairy farming around the world. While robots control the milking process, there have also been numerous changes to how the whole farm system is managed. Milking is no longer performed in defined sessions; rather, the cow can now choose when to be milked in AMS, allowing milking to be distributed throughout a 24 h period. Despite this ability, there has been little attention given to milking robot utilization across 24 h. In order to formulate relevant research questions and improve farm AMS management there is a need to determine the current knowledge gaps regarding the distribution of robot utilization. Feed, animal and management factors and their interplay on levels of milking robot utilization across 24 h for both indoor and pasture-based systems are here reviewed. The impact of the timing, type and quantity of feed offered and their interaction with the distance of feed from the parlour; herd social dynamics, climate and various other management factors on robot utilization through 24 h are provided. This novel review draws together both the opportunities and challenges that exist for farm management to use these factors to improved system efficiency and those that exist for further research.
The public health burden of alcohol is unevenly distributed across the life course, with levels of use, abuse, and dependence increasing across adolescence and peaking in early adulthood. Here, we leverage this temporal patterning to search for common genetic variants predicting developmental trajectories of alcohol consumption. Comparable psychiatric evaluations measuring alcohol consumption were collected in three longitudinal community samples (N = 2,126, obs = 12,166). Consumption-repeated measurements spanning adolescence and early adulthood were analyzed using linear mixed models, estimating individual consumption trajectories, which were then tested for association with Illumina 660W-Quad genotype data (866,099 SNPs after imputation and QC). Association results were combined across samples using standard meta-analysis methods. Four meta-analysis associations satisfied our pre-determined genome-wide significance criterion (FDR < 0.1) and six others met our ‘suggestive’ criterion (FDR <0.2). Genome-wide significant associations were highly biological plausible, including associations within GABA transporter 1, SLC6A1 (solute carrier family 6, member 1), and exonic hits in LOC100129340 (mitofusin-1-like). Pathway analyses elaborated single marker results, indicating significant enriched associations to intuitive biological mechanisms, including neurotransmission, xenobiotic pharmacodynamics, and nuclear hormone receptors (NHR). These findings underscore the value of combining longitudinal behavioral data and genome-wide genotype information in order to study developmental patterns and improve statistical power in genomic studies.
We have investigated surface modification methods for avalanche photodiodes using dielectrics deposited by atomic layer deposition (ALD). Arrays of mesa GaN APDs were fabricated, and ALD Al2O3 was used for sidewall passivation prior to completing the APD array. The use of ALD Al2O3 in this manner was observed to result in a large average improvement in APD dark current when compared with devices using more conventional SiO2 passivation layers produced by chemical vapor deposition. Co-processed metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) capacitors fabricated with the same passivation layers show significant improvement in electrical interface quality for devices with ALD Al2O3.