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The current study assesses consumer preferences toward different production methods of clementines (Citrus clementina). Based on a survey of Italian urban individuals (N = 345), responsible for household food purchases, it investigates whether clementines produced by means of integrated farming system are perceived as a desirable alternative to organic and conventional fruits. A conjoint analysis was applied to estimate the mean relative importance of three different clementine attributes (namely, price, production method and presence of a geographical indication) and consumer utility attached to the different attribute levels. Results revealed price as the most important attribute; while only organic farming provided positive utility to consumers. Subsequently, the sample was clustered into four distinct market segments based on part-worth estimates, offering useful insights for practitioners and policy makers to design tailor-made interventions aimed at fostering sustainable clementines consumption.
United States certified organic and conventional dairy farms are compared on the basis of economic, financial, and technological measures using dairy data from the 2016 USDA Agricultural Resource Management Survey. A stochastic production frontier model using an input distance function framework is estimated for U.S. dairy farms to examine technical efficiency and returns to scale (RTS) of farms of both systems and by multiple size categories. Financial and economic measures such as net return on assets and input costs, as well as technological adoption measures are compared by system and size. For both systems, size is the major determinant of competitiveness based on selected measures of productivity and RTS.
Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) farmers in Sulawesi, Indonesia typically use subsidised, ammonium-based rice fertilisers that in combination with poor agricultural practices have resulted in soil acidification, loss of organic matter, aluminium toxicity and lower soil fertility. As a result, these soils are only marginally appropriate for replanting cocoa to boost production. A field experiment was performed to test alternative soil amendments for successful replanting of cocoa on these deficient soils. In a trial with a randomised block design, 6-month old seedlings, top-grafted with the local MCC02 clone, were planted under light Gliricidia sepium shade and after 3 months treated quarterly with two options of mineral fertilisers: either a customised fertiliser, consisting of Nitrabor (a combination of calcium nitrate and boron), dolomite, rock phosphate and KCl or a NPK/urea mix used by farmers, each supplied with or without ‘micronutrient’ rock salt, organic fertiliser and beneficial microorganisms or their culture medium, a mixture of chitin and amino acids (a total of 20 treatments). Over a 4-year period, the marginal mean rates of stem diameter increment and flowering score were higher in customised fertiliser than NPK/urea treatments. The average growth rate was highest in the first year and was increased by supplying organic fertiliser. A significant correlation (r = 0.22, p < 0.05) occurred between growth and available P, but concentrations of available P were higher in the NPK/urea plots, which also had lower mean growth rates. Combined supply of organic fertiliser and microbes increased available P, as well as growth rates, in both the customised and NPK/urea treatments. In contrast, NPK/urea-treated plots without these amendments demonstrated very low growth rates. The customised formulation was more effective with or without added organic fertiliser or inoculated microbes. Micronutrient supply stimulated flowering. Growth rates in trees supplied with NPK/urea were also promoted by micronutrients. Leaf flush production occurred in regular cycles and was unaffected by the nutrient amendments. After 3 years, the customised and organic fertiliser application increased soil pH and exchangeable Ca and Mg concentrations, although they remained below recommended levels for cocoa production. These treatments had little impact on soil C content (about 1.3%) which was also deficient. Exchangeable Al and total Zn concentrations were higher in soils amended with NPK/urea. The results of the trial provide evidence that utilisation of organic fertiliser in combination with customised nitrate-based formulations improves cocoa establishment, growth and soil properties and should be recommended as a replacement for the NPK/urea fertilisers traditionally used by farmers.
The success of sustainable Theobroma cacao (cocoa) production depends on the physical and chemical properties of the soils on which they are established but these are possibly moderated by the management approach that farmers adopt. We assessed and compared soil physico-chemical properties of young, mature and old organic and conventional cocoa agroforestry systems at two depths (0–15 and 15–30 cm) and evaluated the production of cocoa pods, banana and plantain in the two farm types. Cocoa farms under organic management had 20, 81, 88 and 323% higher stocks of soil organic carbon, P, Mn and Cu, respectively, compared to those under conventional management. Higher soil moisture content, electrical conductivity and pH were found on organic systems than the conventional farms. Annual cocoa pod production per tree was similar in both cocoa systems (Org. 10.1 ± 1.1 vs Con. 10.1 ± 0.6 pods per tree). The annual production of banana and plantain was higher on organic farms (186.3 ± 34.70 kg ha−1 yr−1) than conventional systems (31.6 ± 9.58 kg ha−1 yr−1). We concluded that organic management of cocoa agroforestry systems result in soils with the greater overall quality for cocoa production than conventional management and it increases the yield of co-products. Studies focusing on the impact of organic management on cocoa agroforestry systems at the landscape and regional scales are urgently needed to further deepen our understanding and support policy.
A 57-year-old man with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and no prior psychiatric history presented repeatedly over 6 months with mental and behavioural changes. Laboratory tests, chest X-ray and sleep study diagnosed an infective exacerbation of COPD, type II respiratory failure and OSA. Differential diagnoses included delirium, primary mania in bipolar affective disorder or organic pathology causing secondary mania. Oxygen, steroids, bronchodilators, antibiotics and non-invasive ventilation were administered to treat his infection and respiratory failure. However, blood gas analysis showed persistent hypoxia and hypercarbia, aggravating his ongoing mental state disturbance that required security supervision and sedation with antipsychotics and benzodiazepines. Sudden onset of classic manic symptoms and multiple presentations suggested secondary mania, driven by chronic hypoxia in end-stage COPD and OSA. The challenge was establishing a balance between mental state control and treatment of physical illness.
This chapter, the second of two chapters on the eighteenth-century novel, focuses on the contractive urge in the novel of the period, and the attempt to picture organically whole bodies in the novel form as it develops from Fielding, Sterne and Richardson to Burney and Goethe. It suggests that this strand in the eighteenth-century novel, in opposition to the expansive drive explored in the previous chapter, is shaped by a desire for what Coleridge theorises as an organic aesthetic, but it argues too that even as the novel of the period is invested in such pictures of organic completion, it opens up forms of distance between mind and body which are the province of the prosthetic imagination.
Farm-level data from the Farm Financial Management Database (FINBIN) are used to evaluate the effectiveness of Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) insurance in diverse farming operations. A panel of diverse Minnesota farms is used to establish actual production history and compute hypothetical performance over three years. This study characterizes the relative riskiness between organic and conventional farms and their comparative insurance performances by avoiding potential adverse selection issues in other studies. Empirical evidence is provided to dispute past empirical findings suggesting that organic farms are riskier than conventional farms, as measured by lower loss ratios.
Whitman adopted photography as a model for literary practice. By emulating the immediacy effects and truth claims of photography, Whitman developed an innovative style that aimed to endow his poems with the same qualities he valued in the new medium—particularly directness, accuracy, naturalness, and inclusiveness of representation—and the cumulative experience of these qualities by the beholder as a sense of authenticity, media transparency, and immediate encounter. Comparing the representational powers of photography and literature helped Whitman to gauge the spiritual, cultural, and political function of literature. The chapter presents Whitman’s turn towards immediacy as part of his attempt to renew and democratize American poetry. It argues that Whitman’s engagement with photography led him to create a poetic style that allowed him to address the particulars of time and place, to take the details of everyday life as his subject matter, and to invest them with an egalitarian ethos by staging the dynamics of literary communication as a model for democratic social interaction. In Whitman’s work, the appeal to immediacy thus gains a decidedly political momentum.
Consumer electronics have caused an unsustainable amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Organic electronics, by means of eco-design, represent an opportunity to manufacture compostable electronic devices.
Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), or e-waste, is defined as the waste of any device that uses a power source and that has reached its end of life. Disposing of WEEE at landfill sites has been identified as an inefficient solid waste processing strategy as well as a threat to human health and the environment. In the effort to mitigate the problem, practices such as (i) designing products for durability, reparability, and safe recycling, and (ii) promoting closed-loop systems based on systematic collection and reuse/refurbishment have been identified. In this perspective, we introduce a complementary route to making electronics more sustainable: organic electronics based on biodegradable materials and devices. Biodegradable organic electronics lie at the intersection of research in chemistry, materials science, device engineering, bioelectronics, microbiology, and toxicology. The design of organic electronics for standardized biodegradability will allow composting to be an end-of-life option.
The emerging breakthroughs in space exploration, smart textiles, and novel automobile designs have increased technological demand for high temperature electronics. In this snapshot review we first discuss the fundamental challenges in achieving electronic operation at elevated temperatures, briefly review current efforts in finding materials that can sustain extreme heat, and then highlight the emergence of organic semiconductors as a new class of materials with potential for high temperature electronics applications. Through an overview of the state-of-the art materials designs and processing methods, we will layout molecular design principles and fabrication strategies towards achieving thermally stable operation in organic electronics.
Formulated, processed, and dried Aloe polysaccharides thin film sandwiched between ITO as bottom electrode and Au as top electrode has been adopted as an artificial synapse to emulate behavior of neuromorphic computing. The synaptic plasticity or weight has been modulated with this simple metal-insulator-metal structure by applying voltage sweep and voltage pulse, with excitatory postsynaptic current being monitored. Synaptic potentiation and depression has been demonstrated by applying 6 consecutive sweeps of voltage in positive and negative polarity, respectively. By varying number (10 – 50) of voltage pulses, variable synaptic weight has been measured with paired pulse facilitation and post-tetanic potentiation indexes of 2.61x10-6and 1.45x10-4, respectively. The short-term plasticity and long-term potentiation can be clearly revealed when applying 40 pulses and beyond, with extracted time constants of approximately 28 s at 40 pulses and 90 s at 50 pulses.
Organic grain producers are interested in reducing tillage to conserve soil and decrease labor and fuel costs. We examined agronomic and economic tradeoffs associated with alternative strategies for reducing tillage frequency and intensity in a cover crop–soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) sequence within a corn (Zea mays L.)–soybean–spelt (Triticum spelta L.) organic cropping system experiment in Pennsylvania. Tillage-based soybean production preceded by a cover crop mixture of annual ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. ssp. multiflorum), orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) and forage radish (Raphanus sativus L.) interseeded into corn grain (Z. mays L.) was compared with reduced-tillage soybean production preceded by roller-crimped cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) that was sown after corn silage. Total aboveground weed biomass did not differ between soybean production strategies. Each strategy, however, was characterized by high inter-annual variability in weed abundance. Tillage-based soybean production marginally increased grain yield by 0.28 Mg ha−1 compared with reduced-tillage soybean. A path model of soybean yield indicated that soybean stand establishment and weed biomass were primary drivers of yield, but soybean production strategy had a measurable effect on yields due to factors other than within-season weed–crop competition. Cumulative tillage frequency and intensity were quantified for each cover crop—sequence using the Soil Tillage Intensity Rating (STIR) index. The reduced-tillage soybean sequence resulted in 50% less soil disturbance compared to tillage-based soybean sequence across study years. Finally, enterprise budget comparisons showed that the reduced-tillage soybean sequence resulted in lower input costs than the tillage-based soybean sequence but was approximately $114 ha−1 less profitable because of lower average yields.
Ices of various compositions and in various phases and combinations with one another are found on planetary surfaces through remote sensing techniques, of which optical spectroscopy is the most powerful and diagnostic. Ices also are found in combination with minerals and organic materials; some complex organic materials are the result of energetic processing of ices, while some may represent organic matter from other sources. Remote spectroscopic observations from Earth-based telescopes and planetary probes are usually interpreted with the aid of radiative transfer models that account for the compositions, particle properties, mixing configurations and other parameters relevant to the materials under consideration. This chapter reviews the spectroscopic character of planetary ices in pure states and in combinations with one another, and with minerals and organic solid materials found by remote sensing techniques and by the analysis of analog materials, both naturally occurring and synthesized in the laboratory and thus available for analytical studies.
In all countries, the organic sector of the agricultural industry is increasing, with Europe traditionally leading this trend. A survey of different stakeholders (employers) was carried out in 2015 in seven European countries to evaluate the employment market for the organic agricultural industry in Europe. Results indicate the willingness to employ qualified graduates. From the employers' perspective, the most desirable knowledge skills among the graduates of organic agricultural studies include plant production, food quality and plant protection. Further, the study revealed the work skills most desired by the employers are practical expertise, teamwork and problem-solving, and the most important method of learning is cooperation with enterprises (internships/training) in the organic agricultural sector.
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is essential for monogastric animals. It is mainly produced by recombinant microorganisms (Candida famata, Bacillus subtilis and Ashbya gossypii). The availability of genetically modified organism (GMO)-free riboflavin, obligatory in European organic agriculture, is a major issue. Besides, requirements for organic livestock might differ from conventional production because other genotypes and feed formulations are used. The effects of a fermentation suspension with a high native content of riboflavin produced with unmodified A. gossypii by fermentation were investigated at graded dosages as an alternative to conventional (GMO-based) riboflavin in slow-growing broilers on performance traits and health and welfare indicators. In 2 runs with 800 animals each, Ranger Gold™ broilers were fed with 4 dietary treatments. For starter diets (day 1 to 18), treatments included a basal diet (1) without any riboflavin supplementation (negative control, N-C), (2) with conventional riboflavin supplementation (Cuxavit B2 80% riboflavin) at 9.6 mg/kg (positive control, P-C), (3) with riboflavin supplementation from the alternative source at 3.5 mg/kg (A-low) and (4) with riboflavin supplementation from the alternative source at 9.6 mg/kg (A-high). For the finisher diet (day 29 until slaughtering), P-C and A-high were supplemented with 8.0 mg/kg and A-low with 3.5 mg/kg. Diets were formulated according to organic regulations. Animals were kept in floor pens with 20 chickens per pen. Weekly, BW, feed and water consumption were recorded. Every second week, animal-based health and welfare indicators (feather score and footpad dermatitis) were scored. Slaughter traits were assessed for five males and females per pen at 62/63 days of age. Final body weight of A-high differed from N-C and A-low, but not from P-C. From week 2 until six years of age, A-high had a higher daily weight gain when compared to all other groups. With 74.4%, dressing percentage was higher in A-high compared with all other groups (73.3%). Breast percentage of A-low was lower than that of both control groups but did not differ from A-high. The highest frequency of liver scores indicating fatty liver syndrome was found in P-C, followed by N-C and A-low. Feather scores did not respond to treatment; the highest frequency of mild footpad dermatitis was observed in A-high, however at a low prevalence. In conclusion, the tested fermentation suspension with a high native content of riboflavin derived from fermentation of A. gossypii can be used at levels of commercial recommendations as alternative to riboflavin produced from GMO in broiler feeding. Further studies must verify whether riboflavin can be reduced without inducing riboflavin deficiency in slow-growing broilers.
The dehesa agroforestry system is classified as one of the most singular ecosystems in the European Union. In the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula, it spreads over an area of approximately 6.7 million hectares, contributing major environmental, cultural, aesthetic and economic value to the region. The main agricultural activity that is developed in this ecosystem is the extensive farming of cattle, sheep and Iberian pigs with low stocking density and few inputs. Sustainable management of these ecosystems' existing production farms is essential in order to secure their continuity, as they face a difficult situation on account of their low profitability. One of the strategies that could be employed to attain a sustainable situation is the proposition of an organic production model. In order to explore this option, a participatory research process has been proposed and developed in the Spanish region called Extremadura (Spain). The aim of this process is to investigate the potential of extensive farming systems in moving toward a sustainable organic production model, identifying the main barriers preventing livestock farmers from converting to the organic model and seeking specific improvement measures that would reduce such barriers. For that purpose, four focus group sessions were run with a total of 33 participating stakeholders. For the analysis of these focus groups, Atlas.ti qualitative software was used to categorize and quantify the main ideas proposed during the sessions. The findings revealed that the main barriers can be classified into three groups: barriers that are inherent to the production processes and the structure of the specific sector, barriers associated with administration and management issues and lastly, barriers relating to education and training of the various actors involved. We consider this paper may contribute to policy makers' decisions to focus on specific actions for improvement that are customized for the socio-economic and environmental conditions of the region.
Notions of decadence, decline, and decay are intrinsically linked to the history of art. The discipline’s three recognized forefathers ? Giorgio Vasari, Johann Joachim Winckelmann, and Heinrich Wölfflin ? all relied on the concept of decadence (and its antonym, progress) to make sense of the history of the visual arts and to evaluate the art of their times. A developmental model of art was central to the interpretative schemes of these art historians. In this organicist model, earlier developments prepare the stage for what comes later; and after a particular style flourishes for a time, its decline is inevitable as newer styles overtake it. Decadent artists such as Gustave Moreau and Aubrey Beardsley mock aesthetic standards and moral rules, precluding universal appreciation, and proudly so. Decadent artists and decadent audiences are estranged from their society and feel disdain for those who are scandalized by decadent art’s innovative form and immoral subject matter.
In the nineteenth century, the concept of decadence was not solely of aesthetic interest but had a number of scientific applications. Decadence itself is an organic metaphor, extending the natural processes of decline and decay to societies and the arts. Rather than rejecting nature outright, decadent authors readily embraced new scientific theories that changed the way people thought about the natural world. The pessimism of nineteenth-century science stemmed from the brutal world of industrial capitalism in which it was developed. Decadent writers then incorporated both scientific ideas and language into a literary style obsessed with decay and decline. Finally, science returned to decadent literature to pathologize certain modes of artistic expression as yet another sign that certain types of individuals were ‘degenerate’. Three key scientific theories of the nineteenth century underpin the decadent fixation on decline, decay, and degeneration: uniformitarianism, evolution, and the conservation of energy. All three theories identify impermanence in natural structures previously believed to be permanent and stable.
Consumption of cow’s milk, which is associated with diet and health benefits, has decreased in the USA. The simultaneous increase in demand for more costly organic milk suggests consumer concern about exposure to production-related contaminants may be contributing to this decline. We sought to determine if contaminant levels differ by the production method used.
Half-gallon containers of organic and conventional milk (four each) were collected by volunteers in each of nine US regions and shipped on ice for analysis. Pesticide, antibiotic and hormone (bovine growth hormone (bGH), bGH-associated insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1)) residues were measured using liquid or gas chromatography coupled to mass or tandem mass spectrometry. Levels were compared against established federal limits and by production method.
Laboratory analysis of retail milk samples.
Current-use pesticides (5/15 tested) and antibiotics (5/13 tested) were detected in several conventional (26–60 %; n 35) but not in organic (n 34) samples. Among the conventional samples, residue levels exceeded federal limits for amoxicillin in one sample (3 %) and in multiple samples for sulfamethazine (37 %) and sulfathiazole (26 %). Median bGH and IGF-1 concentrations in conventional milk were 9·8 and 3·5 ng/ml, respectively, twenty and three times that in organic samples (P < 0·0001).
Current-use antibiotics and pesticides were undetectable in organic but prevalent in conventionally produced milk samples, with multiple samples exceeding federal limits. Higher bGH and IGF-1 levels in conventional milk suggest the presence of synthetic growth hormone. Further research is needed to understand the impact of these differences, if any, on consumers.