1 AGROCIENCIA REVISTA CIENTÍFICA DE LA FACULTAD DE AGRONOMÍA, UNIVERSIDAD DE LA REPÚBLICA E INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE INVESTIGACIÓN AGROPECUARIA
2 AGROCIENCIA La revista AGROCIENCIA (ISSN ) se publica semestralmente y en forma conjunta por la Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de la República (UdelaR), y el Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria (INIA), Uruguay. La revista está indexada en CAB, y debe ser citada como Agrociencia (Uruguay). Agrociencia publica artículos inéditos de investigación en el área de las ciencias agropecuarias, en temas relacionados a producción vegetal, producción animal, fertilidad y conservación de suelos, entomología, fitopatología, control biológico, recursos genéticos, ecología y medio ambiente, maquinaria, economía, sociología agrícola y sistemas de producción. Los trabajos deben ser enviados a la Secretaría de la revista, de acuerdo a las Instrucciones para Autores, que se publica en cada volumen. Se autoriza la reproducción total o parcial de material que aparece en Agrociencia (Uruguay), con la obligación de citar a los autores y a la fuente. La mención de marcas comerciales no representa recomendación preferente por parte de la Facultad de Agronomía o de INIA Uruguay. Editores en jefe: Dr. Jorge Monza Av. Garzón 780 CP Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de la República. Montevideo. Teléfono: Fax: Dra. Zohra Bennadji INIA Ruta 5 Km 386. Tacuarembó. C.C CP Telefono: Fax: COMITÉ EDITOR FACULTAD DE AGRONOMÍA INIA Prof. Agr. Carlos Bentancourt Ing. Agr.Yamandú Acosta (M.Sc.) Prof. Artigas Durán Ing.Agr. Edgardo Disegna (M.Sc.) Prof. Pedro de Hegedüs Dr. Marco Dalla Rizza Prof. Alfredo Gravina Dr. José Terra Prof. Agr. Cristina Mazzella Dra. Nora Altier Prof. Jorge Urioste Dr. Gustavo Ferreira COMITÉ ORGANIZADOR Dominique Blache Graeme Martin Elize van Lier Carolina Viñoles COMITÉ ORGANIZADOR LOCAL Daniel Cavestany Pablo Chilibroste Roberto Kremer Fabio Montossi Rodolfo Ungerfeld Elize van Lier Carolina Viñoles Representantes legales: Dra. Panambí Abadie, Facultad de Agronomía Av. Garzón 780 CP Teléfono: Dr. Alfredo Picerno. INIA. Andes 1365-P.12. CP Montevideo. Teléfono: Oficina editora Secretaria: Daniella Paladino Publicación electrónica y página web: Victor Prieto y José Furest. Diseño portada: Sección Publicaciones, Facultad de Agronomía (1995). Preprensa e impresión: Graciela Núnez. Información y Documentación: Lic. Alicia Aharonian. Facultad de Agronomía. Depto. de Documentación y Biblioteca, Lic. Ana María Chiacchio INIA
3 SEMINARIO PRODUCCIÓN ANIMAL LIMPIA, VERDE Y ÉTICA
4 Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria INIA Facultad de Agronomía Universidad de la República Facultad de Veterinaria Universidad de la República Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación ANII Comisión Honoraria de Experimentación Animal CHEA Universidad de la República Frigorífico PUL Instituto Nacional de la Leche INALE
5 FOREWORD Welcome to the 2009 Seminar on Clean, Green and Ethical (CGE) Animal Production. This journey started in March 2007 in Perth, Western Australia, when we explored the possibility of organizing a Seminar in Uruguay to present and discuss the CGE Concept and the local research efforts on the topic, by bringing together national and international experts. The CGE Concept began with the realisation that consumers are increasingly demanding production systems that are animal friendly, safe and reliable. The press often discusses these issues, but the debate is still unresolved and needs further consideration. Our goal is to define a common international vision on the type of animal production best suited for the Pampas Region in South America, taking into account the trends in demand in markets of high purchasing power. We have selected a team of national and international experts to cover different aspects of the CGE Concept on the first day of the Seminar, which should lead to enriching exchange of ideas and background information. On the second day, a workshop will be held connecting all protagonists of the national agro-industrial chain, in order to discuss and build a common vision to guide education, research and action by farmers and industry. In addition, the significant contribution and expertise of all participants made it possible to elaborate the proceedings of this symposium. We expect these proceedings to be a reference for all interested in the state of the CGE Concept at the time of this 2009 seminar. We would like to take the opportunity to thank our sponsors for their financial support, as well as the members of the local organising committee for their help in reviewing manuscripts and abstracts contained in this book, and all the people who made this event possible. Finally, we wish you all a very pleasant and enriching stay in Tacuarembó, Uruguay. Dominique Blache Graeme Martin Elize van Lier Carolina Viñoles Organising Committee Local Organising Committee Daniel Cavestany Pablo Chilibroste Roberto Kremer Fabio Montossi Rodolfo Ungerfeld Elize van Lier Carolina Viñoles Main Contributers Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria INIA Facultad de Agronomía, UDELAR Facultad de Veterinaria, UDELAR Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación ANII Comisión Honoraria de Experimentación Animal CHEA, Udelar Frigorífico PUL Instituto Nacional de la Leche INALE
7 PRÓLOGO Bienvenidos al Seminario sobre Producción Animal Limpia, Verde y Ética (LVE) Comenzamos a transitar éste camino en marzo 2007 en Perth, Australia Occidental, cuando exploramos la posibilidad de organizar en Uruguay un Seminario para presentar y discutir el Concepto LVE y la investigación local en la temática, reuniendo expertos nacionales e internacionales. El Concepto LVE fue creado a partir de las demandas de los consumidores por sistemas de producción que sean amigables hacia los animales, seguros y confiables. Estos temas se discuten frecuentemente en la prensa, pero el debate no está resuelto y necesita una discusión más profunda. Nuestro objetivo es definir una visión internacional común sobre el tipo de producción animal más adecuado para la Región de la Pampa en América del Sur, tomando en cuenta las tendencias en los mercados de alto poder adquisitivo. Seleccionamos un equipo de expertos nacionales e internacionales para cubrir los distintos aspectos del Concepto LVE en el primer día del seminario, lo que debería llevar a un intercambio enriquecedor de ideas e información. En el segundo día se realizará un taller que conectará a todos los protagonistas de la cadena agro-industrial nacional, para discutir y construir una visión común que sirva de guía para la educación, la investigación y las acciones de los productores y la industria. Por otro lado, gracias a la significativa contribución y experiencia de todos los participantes, fue posible elaborar las memorias de este simposio. Esperamos que estas memorias sean una referencia para todos los interesados en el estado del Concepto LVE al momento que se realizó este seminario Quisiéramos aprovechar este espacio para agradecer el apoyo financiero de nuestros contribuidores, así como agradecer a los miembros del comité organizador local por su ayuda en la revisión de los manuscritos y resúmenes contenidos en este libro, y a todas las personas que hicieron posibles este evento. Finalmente, les deseamos a todos una estadía agradable y fructífera en Tacuarembó, Uruguay. Dominique Blache Graeme Martin Elize van Lier Carolina Viñoles Organising Committee Comité Organizador Comité Organizador Local Daniel Cavestany Pablo Chilibroste Roberto Kremer Fabio Montossi Rodolfo Ungerfeld Elize van Lier Carolina Viñoles Contribuidores Principales Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria INIA Facultad de Agronomía, UDELAR Facultad de Veterinaria, UDELAR Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación ANII Comisión Honoraria de Experimentación Animal CHEA, Udelar Frigorífico PUL Instituto Nacional de la Leche INALE
9 ÍNDICE DE PONENCIAS/INDEX OF CONFERENCES El concepto Limpio, Verde y Ético en Producción Animal... 1 The Clean, Green and Ethical Concept in Animal Production Martin, G.B. Adaptabilidad es Sustentabilidad... 8 Adaptability is Sustainability Provenza, F.D. Ecofisiología de Sistemas Pastoriles: Aplicaciones para su Sustentabilidad Ecophysiology of Pastoral Systems: Aplications for Sustainability Nabinger, C.; de Faccio Carvalho, P.C. Algunas perspectivas de la Evaluación de Bienestar Animal en la Unión Europea Some Perspectives of the Assessment of Farm Animal Welfare in the European Union Le Neindre, P. Legislación sobre Bienestar Animal en Australia Animal Welfare Legislation in Australia Blache, D.; Maloney, S.K. El Bienestar Animal: un tema Científico, Ético, Económico y Político Animal Welfare: a Scientific, Ethical, Economical and Political Topic Huertas Canén, S.M. Identificando y explotando oportunidades para Producción Animal Limpia, Verde y Ética Identifying and Exploiting Opportunities for Clean, Green and Ethical Animal Production Sneddon, J.N. Estado actual de la investigación vinculada a la Producción Animal Limpia, Verde y Ética en Uruguay State of the art of research on Clean, Green and Ethical Animal Production in Uruguay Viñoles, C.; Banchero, G.; Quintans, G.; Perez-Clariget, R.; Soca, P.; Ungerfeld, R.; Bielli, A.; Fernández Abella, D.; Formoso, D.; Pereira Machín, M.; Meikle, A. Pág.
10 ÍNDICE DE RESÚMENES/INDEX OF SUMMARIES Pág. Comportamiento reproductivo de cerdas Pampa Rocha y su cruzamiento con Duroc en condiciones de pastoreo permanente Reproductive behaviour of Pampa Rocha and Pampa Rocha Duroc sows managed on pasture Barlocco, N.; Carballo, C.; Bell, W.; Vadell, A. Resistencia genética a parásitos gastrointestinales en ovinos: el enfoque del INIA Genetic resistance to gastrointestinal parasites in sheep: the viewpoint of INIA Ciappesoni, G.; Mederos, A.; De Barbieri, I; Rodríguez, A.; Nelly, L.; Nicolini, P.; Goldberg, V.; Montossi, F. Efecto de jerarquía social sobre la respuesta de estrés en carneros...84 Effect social hierarchy on the stress response in rams Damián, J.P.; Ungerfeld, R. Mejora genética y biotecnologías reproductivas en ovinos: Adhieren al concepto de limpio, verde y ético?...85 Genetic improvement and reproductive biotechnologies in sheep: Do they comply the clean, green and ethical concept? Olivera, J.; Fierro, S.; Gil, J. Lanas naturales y con bajo contenido de pesticidas...86 Natural and low pesticide content wools Preve, F.; Abella, I.; Pereira, D.; Heinzen, H.; González, G.; Pérez, A. Respuesta en producción animal a la fertilización de campo natural The response in animal production to fertilization of native pasture Rodríguez Palma, R.M.; Rodríguez, T.; Andión, J.; Vergnes, P. Retos de la producción artesanal de los quesos mexicanos para ingresar al concepto limpio, verde y ético Challenges for the Mexican home made cheese production to comply with the clean, green and ethical concept Solís, A.; Yong, G.; Estrada, J.; Castelán, O.
11 Agrociencia (2009) Vol XIII N 3 - Número especial pág The Clean, Green and Ethical Concept in Animal Production Martin, G.B. 1 1 Institute of Agriculture, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences M082, The University of Western Australia, Crawley 6009, Western Australia, Australia. Summary In response to changes in society and thus the marketplace, animal industries need to become clean, green and ethical (CGE). To be clean, the industries need to minimise the use of drugs, chemicals and exogenous hormones. To be green, the industries need to minimise their impact on the environment. To be ethical, the industries need to avoid practices that compromise animal welfare. Importantly, CGE practices must apply to all participants in the supply chain, from producer to consumer. This paper presents our approach for CGE management of small ruminants on farms in Australia, a context that is directly relevant to the Uruguayan sheep industry because there are so many common aspects in livestock management in the two countries. The major topics are: 1) control of the timing of reproductive events by using socio-sexual signals (the male effect ); 2) focus feeding short periods of nutritional supplementation that are precisely designed for each event in the reproductive process; 3) nutritional pharmacology the possibility of using forages containing bioactive compounds to improve health, efficiency and environmental impact; 4) maximizing offspring survival by a combination of management and nutrition; 5) genetic selection to improve reproductive efficiency and animal heath. These tools involve novel ways of manipulating the endogenous control systems of the animals and many of them can be applied to cattle production systems. Ultimately, CGE management can be cost-effective, increase productivity and, at the same time, greatly improve the image of meat and milk industries in society and the marketplace. Key words: animal ethics, sustainable production, biostimulation, reproduction, nutrition Resumen El Concepto Limpio, Verde y Ético en Producción Animal En respuesta a los cambios en la sociedad y por lo tanto en el mercado, las industrias animales necesitan hacerse limpias, verdes y éticas (LVE). Para ser limpias, las industrias necesitan minimizar el uso de drogas, químicos y hormonas exógenas. Para ser verdes, las industrias necesitan minimizar su impacto en el ambiente. Para ser éticas, las industrias necesitan evitar las prácticas que comprometen al bienestar animal. Es importante que las prácticas LVE apliquen a todos los participantes de la cadena industrial, desde los productores hasta los consumidores. Este artículo presenta nuestra aproximación al manejo LVE de pequeños rumiantes en establecimientos en Australia, un contexto que es directamente relevante para la industria ovina del Uruguay, dado que hay muchos aspectos comunes en el manejo de ganado entre los dos países. Los temas principales son: 1) control del momento de los eventos reproductivos usando señales socio-sexuales (el efecto macho ); 2) alimentación enfocado períodos cortos de suplementación nutricional que son diseñados específicamente para cada evento en el proceso reproductivo; 3) farmacología nutricional la posibilidad de usar forraje que contiene compuestos bioactivos para mejorar la salud, la eficiencia y el impacto ambiental; 4) maximizando la supervivencia de las crías por una combinación de manejo y nutrición; 5) selección genética para mejorar la eficiencia reproductiva y la salud animal. Estas herramientas implican nuevas maneras de manipular el sistema endógeno de control de los animales y, muchos de los mismos pueden ser aplicados a sistemas de producción de ganado. Por último, el manejo LVE puede ser rentable, aumentar la productividad y, al mismo tiempo, mejorar enormemente la imagen de las industrias carniceras y lácteas en la sociedad y el mercado. Palabras clave: ética animal, producción sustentable, bioestimulación, reprodución, nutrición
12 2 Martin, G.B. AGROCIENCIA Introduction In response to changes in society, and thus the marketplace, we have developed a vision for the future of our animal industries in which management practices are clean, green and ethical (CGE): Clean reduced usage, if not elimination, of practices that depend on drugs, chemicals and exogenous hormones; despite the lack of scientific evidence in many cases, the market is a dominant force and often does not always follow logic or evidence; Green minimal damage to the environment, making the industry more sustainable for the long-term. On farms, the most important are ruminant production of greenhouse gases, production of animal waste, and excessive use of fertilisers to generate animal feeds. The need to minimise environmental impact also applies to the allied industries those that participate in the processing of the products from the farm (eg, transport, abattoirs, milk factories); Ethical the obvious focus is the attitude of the industry to animal welfare, a major concern for all industries that are working in sophisticated markets where the consumers expect their products to be derived from animals that have been managed sympathetically. This can be a complex issue because a clean image may involve avoiding the use of antibiotics, perhaps compromising animal welfare. In addition, ethical standards will vary among cultures. Finally, ethical judgement needs to be applied to more than animal management it should include clean and green aspects of the transport, manufacturing and processing sectors. We need look no further than the milk melamine crisis in China to see the potential dangers. In many countries, regulatory authorities have already imposed these conditions on producers, importers and exporters. This has been necessary to overcome resistance in the industry, yet clean, green and ethical need not be difficult or costly. On the contrary, at farm level, CGE management can be developed from a better understanding of the animals and can improve productivity and profitability. Moreover, there is a strong positive aspect in the demand for CGE products from modern, high-priced markets in which consumers have discretionary spending power that widens profit margins. In this paper, we present our approach for CGE management in small ruminants. We will focus on five possible strategies: 1) Control of the timing of reproductive events by using socio-sexual signals (the male effect ) to induce synchronised ovulation in females; 2) Focus feeding - short periods of nutritional supplementation that are precisely timed and specifically designed for each event in the reproductive process; 3) Nutritional pharmacology a term that reflects the possibility of using forages containing bioactive compounds to improve rumen health and efficiency with environmental benefits through the reduction of methane emissions from ruminants; 4) Maximizing offspring survival by a combination of management and nutrition; 5) Genetic selection for fertility, fecundity, behaviour and health. These tools involve novel ways of manipulating the endogenous control systems and production of animals, so the paper will begin with a short review of that topic. Our context may be Australian but is relevant to Uruguayan livestock industries because there are so many aspects in livestock management are common to the two countries. In addition, the CGE concept can be extended to other industries, such as beef cattle. This paper has been developed from others on the topic, particularly: Martin et al., 2004; Martin and Kadokawa 2006; Scaramuzzi and Martin 2008; Martin et al., CGE Reproduction in Small Ruminants The productivity and profitability of our meat and milk industries depend on reproductive performance. For over 100 years, we have been trying to improve reproductive output by developing exogenous hormone regimens, high-level reproductive technology and molecular genetics. We now have some remarkable and effective technologies, but they do not always impress modern consumers and they have little direct, short-term benefit for animal industries in extensive production systems (Martin, 1995; Martin et al., 2004). Our Approach We concentrate on the natural control systems that have evolved in the animals so they can cope with environmental challenges and ensure reproductive success (Martin, 1995). Most important are inputs from the external environmental factors. At brain level, these external inputs ultimately converge with internal inputs and culminate in a final common pathway that controls the secretion of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH; Fig. 1). Each input into the control of the reproductive system provides us with an opportunity for management.
13 The Clean, Green and Ethical Concept in Animal Production 3 Socio-Sexual Signals especially pheromones?? Photoperiod Energy Supply Auditory System Olfactory System Vision System Pineal System GnRH Pulsar GnRH? Preoptic-hypothalamic continuum Appetite Control Centres GnRHindependent Mammary gland GnRHdependent LH, FSH Gametes Negative feedback Sex steroids Leptin, Insulin Uterus and Fetoplacental unit Gametogenic Endocrine functions functions Gonad Nutrients, Metabolites and Metabolic hormones Colostrum, Milk Figure 1. Environmental inputs into reproduction operate through a variety of pathways, many of which ultimately affect the «pulsar» (Martin, 1984) that controls the pulsatile secretion of GnRH. Socio-sexual signals are primarily pheromonal (Hawken et al., 2009) and work through the main olfactory system (Delgadillo et al., 2009). Nutritional signals are received at brain level via multiple pathways and affect a range of neural systems that affect the reproductive centres (Blache et al., 2007), but there are also nutritional and metabolic inputs directly into reproductive tissues (Scaramuzzi and Martin, 2008). 1) Control of the timing of reproductive events Three aspects of timing prevent the producers from deciding when their animals will conceive: puberty, seasonal breeding, and postpartum anoestrus. In all three situations, the lack of ovulation is due to lack of GnRH output, so exogenous hormones can be used very effectively to overcome the problem, but they raise issues of danger to human health ( clean ) and pose risks with liberation of sex steroids into environment ( green ) with, for example, the disposal of used intravaginal devices. Expense is also a problem because the treatments are too costly for extensive management systems. Finally, as we shall see below, control of timing is a major impediment for the implementation of focus feeding. For these reasons, we need an efficient, nonpharmacological method for accurately controlling the timing of reproductive events. a) The male effect In sheep and goats, the sudden introduction of novel males can induce ovulation in females that are reproductively quiescent because they are pre-pubertal, out of season, or lactating (review: Ungerfeld, 2007). The male effect can therefore be used to advance puberty, overcome seasonal anoestrus and shorten postpartum anoestrus. Most importantly, the induced ovulations are sufficiently synchronised among a group of females to allow the use of strategies such as AI, focus
14 4 Martin, G.B. AGROCIENCIA feeding (see below) to improve litter size, fetal programming and neonatal survival. For cattle, there is also strong evidence of a male effect (review: Ungerfeld, 2007) but far more research is needed to explore its potential as a management tool. b) Changing the night-length This could be attractive for small producers because it requires a relatively small investment. There are limits for females because they would begin to cycle over a range of days or even weeks, and farmers with relatively large flocks do not have the facilities to control night lengths. It is a far more attractive proposition for treating males so that their reproductive axis is working at maximum efficiency when they are used for mating or for the male effect (Delgadillo et al., 2002). c) Ultrasound Skilled operators with modern instruments can provide two important types of information (Viñoles et al., 2009b). First, identification of single-bearing and multiple-bearing females allows the use of strategies to manage their specific requirements during pregnancy and after parturition. Second, accurate estimation of fetus age allows the use of precisely timed nutritional supplements during fetal development (see below). This is applicable to cattle as well as small ruminants. 2) Nutrition the concept of Focus feeding For all animal enterprises, there is constant economic pressure to reduce the amount of feed used and then to ensure that the feed available provides the greatest benefit. With this in mind, we can focus on boosting sperm production, maximising potential litter size, programming offspring productivity, and maximizing postnatal survival and development (Fig. 2). For each period of focus feeding, we need to consider both the composition and duration of the diet so they are costeffective for the various enterprises and environments. At any or all of these times, we could use conserved or stored feed or we could shift the entire reproductive process so that the critical periods are aligned with peaks and troughs in the availability of pasture. a) Maximize sperm production Feeding males a supplement for 8 weeks before mating will ensure maximum testicular size and sperm production (review: Martin and Walkden-Brown, 1995). An important issue here is the concept of «fit but not fat» males that are overweight and do not get exercise can perform poorly, even when they have maximum testicular mass (Combrink and Schoeman, 1993). Focus Feeding Periconceptual programming? Ovulation rate Sperm production Embryo survival ŅBloomfield periodó? Fetus and Placenta Š fetal programming???? Colostrum production Postnatal and weaner nutrition Š growth, maturation, puberty Weeks Mating Pregnancy Birth Lactation Wean Male Effect, Short Mating Genetics of Ovulation Rate Fetus age by Ultrasound Birth Environment; Genetics of Lamb Survival Figure 2. A CGE Package for managing reproduction in sheep: periods of focus feeding are used to control the reproductive process, mostly to improve reproductive success. Mild undernutrition during the peri-conceptual period (15% loss of body mass) can cause premature births. To accurately time the periods of feeding, mating must be controlled and brief, or ultrasound must be used to classify the mothers based on the age of their fetuses. Finally, the survival of the new-born must be maximised by a combination of good genetics and good management. Redrawn after Martin et al., 2004.
15 The Clean, Green and Ethical Concept in Animal Production 5 b) Maximize potential litter size (ovulation rate) The upper limit of prolificacy, and thus productivity, is determined by the ovulation rate. For small ruminants, the upper limit is determined genetically and so can be improved through selection, but the expression of that genetic potential is greatly influenced by the nutritional regime before mating (review: Scaramuzzi and Martin, 2008). This is evident from the correlations between body condition and litter size but, more importantly in the context of focussed feeding, there is also an acute effect feeding a supplement for as little as 4 days in the final stages of the oestrous cycle will increase the frequency of twin ovulations by 20-30% (Viñoles et al., 2005; 2009a). The same can be achieved using highquality pasture (Viñoles et al., 2009a). In cattle, ovulation rate is a difficult problem and nutrition and genetics have very little influence. c) Fetal programming the future productivity of the offspring At least three aspects of sheep production are known to be affected by the nutrition of the mother during fetal life (review: Martin et al., 2004): i) initiation and development of secondary follicles in the skin; ii) muscle fibre formation; iii) development of the reproductive axis. d) Colostrum production and survival of the new-born An energy supplement given in the last week of gestation can more than double the amount of colostrum available to lambs at birth (review: Banchero et al., 2006). In addition to the nutritional and immunological benefits, colostrum in the gut improves the lamb s ability to recognise its mother, thus contributing to the establishment of the ewe-lamb bond (Goursaud and Nowak, 1999). The outcome is better neonatal survival (Goodwin and Norton, 2004). 3) Nutritional pharmacology For a ewe, there is little strategic sense in responding to an acute, finely-timed supplement (eg, 500 g lupin grain daily for 3 days during the final 3-6 days of the late luteal phase) by doubling her fecundity with all the risks that are incurred 5 months later. It is difficult to imagine that this is a normal biological response developed during evolution. It therefore seems likely that this type of supplement deceives the reproductive control systems so that they respond in the same way as they would to a sustained period of good nutrition leading to heavy body reserves. This has led us to the concept of nutritional pharmacology (Martin et al., 2008). We have since developed a second aspect to the topic (see below) based on the possibilities of bioactive compounds in forage that might improve health and productivity. a) Energy supplements and down time in reproduction There needs to be a drive to advance the first conception. In addition to increasing the rate of genetic gain by reducing generation interval, early conception will reduce overall methane emissions because females that do not breed continue to produce methane, increasing greenhouse gas production per unit of meat or milk. This magnifies the consequences of delayed puberty and first conception, extended postpartum anoestrus, and offspring mortality. It requires research, development and adoption to overcome farmer scepticism (Kenyon et al., 2004) on factors that delay puberty and cause low fertility in young animals. It is possible that a combination of focus feeding and the male effect is the way forward. b) Bioactive compounds in forage plants Some forage plants add value because they provide bioactive substances in addition to energy and protein. The rumen and its microbial community are a key focus of our attention because rumen fermentation is associated with many inefficiencies and production losses, such as methane production and microbial digestion of valuable dietary protein. Moreover, some gut microbes are associated with enteric diseases and rumen disorders such as lactic acidosis and bloat. Antibiotics have been used widely in farm animals because they can control the microbes responsible for these inefficiencies, diseases and disorders, and they act as growth promoters. This practice has already been banned in Europe. Alternative plants, mainly perennial shrubs, are being investigated for their potential to improve rumen function and gut health, reduce methane production, inhibit helminths, reduce ruminal biohydrogenation and lactic acidosis (see Martin et al., 2009). 4) Maximizing offspring survival A major issue in reproductive efficiency is mother young interactions, particularly in sheep, because of the very high rates of lamb mortality that were typical for the Australian Merino, with the obvious consequences for economics, genetics and ethics. There is little doubt that, in the future, it will be seen as unethical to promote high birth rates if our management systems cannot
16 6 Martin, G.B. AGROCIENCIA ensure that the new-born can survive and prosper. The use of focus feeding to improve colostrum production has been described above. There is also a great need for better management practices at the time of birth we need to provide a calm environment, and shelter, feed and water close to the birth site. This will increase the amount of time the mother spends at the birth site and therefore improve the development of the motheryoung bond (Nowak, 1996). 5) Genetic selection for fertility, fecundity, behaviour and health For the past 15 years, we have used genetic selection for temperament to produce two experimental lines: calm and nervous. Early on, this project suggested that calm ewes are better mothers than nervous ewes (Murphy et al., 1994). There is also scope for selection of lamb survival as a trait itself as means of reducing neonatal mortality (see Sawalha et al., 2007). The temperament project extends to other stress-affected aspects of the production process: reproduction, growth rate, immune function, milk yield, meat quality. In all of areas, better temperament is expected to improve productivity while giving our industries an ethical quality (D. Blache, Pers. Comm. 2009). Because of increasing resistance of parasites to pharmacological treatments, there is also interest in developing parasite-resistant sheep. For example, selection for the resistance to gastro-intestinal nematodes has been quite successful (Karlsson and Greeff, 2006). Conclusions Understanding the reproductive responses of animals to environmental factors, such as nutrition, socio-sexual signals and stressors, can help us develop natural systems as replacements for exogenous hormones and drugs for controlling and improving the productivity of our sheep and goats. In addition, we can easily genetically improve our animals (eg, ovulation rate, lamb survival, parasite resistance) to greatly improve many aspects of their productivity. The use of such CGE tools in the management of our animals can be costeffective and improve profits, at the same time greatly improving the image of our industries in society and the marketplace. All we need is a little more research and development. References Banchero, G.E.; Perez Clariget, R.; Bencini, R.; Lindsay, D.R.; Milton, J.T.B. and Martin, G.B Endocrine and metabolic factors involved in the effect of nutrition on the production of colostrum in female sheep. Reprod. Nutr. Develop. 46: Blache, D.; Chagas, L.M. and Martin, G.B Nutritional inputs into the reproductive neuroendocrine control system a multidimensional perspective. In: Reproduction in Domestic Ruminants VI. Edited by Juengel, J.I., Murray, J.F. and Smith, M.F. Nottingham University Press, Nottingham, UK. pp Combrink, G.C. and Schoeman, S.J The influence of exercising rams on the lambing performance of a Merino flock. S. Afr. J. Anim. Sci. 23: Delgadillo, J.A.; Flores, J.A.; Véliz, F.G.; Hernández, H.F.; Duarte, G.; Vielma, J.; Poindron, P., Chemineau, P. and Malpaux, B Induction of sexual activity of lactating anovulatory female goats using male goats treated only with artificial long days. J. Anim. Sci. 80: Delgadillo, J.A.; Gelez, H.; Ungerfeld, R.; Hawken, P.A.R. and Martin, G.B The male effect in sheep and goats revisiting the dogmas. Behav. Brain Res. 200, Goodwin, N. and Norton, B.W Improving doe nutrition immediately prior to kidding increases kid survival. Anim. Prod. Aust. 25: 233. Goursaud, A.P. and Nowak, R Colostrum mediates the development of mother preference by the new born lamb. Physiol. Behav. 67: Hawken, P.A.R.; Esmaili, T.; Scanlan, V.; Blache, D. and Martin, G.B Can audio-visual or visual stimuli from a prospective mate stimulate a reproductive neuroendocrine response in sheep? Animal 3: Karlsson, L.J.E. and Greeff, J.C Selection response in faecal worm egg count in the Rylington Merino worm resistant flock. Aust. J. Exp. Agric. 46: Kenyon, P.R.; Morris, S.T.; Perkins, N.R. and West, D.M Hogget mating use in New Zealand - a survey. Proc. N.Z. Soc. Anim. Prod. 64: Martin, G.B Factors affecting the secretion of luteinizing hormone in the ewe. Biol. Rev. 59: Martin, G.B Reproductive research on farm animals for Australia some long-distance goals. Reprod. Fertil. Dev. 7: Martin, G.B. and Walkden-Brown, S.W Nutritional influences on reproduction in mature male sheep and goats. J. Reprod. Fertil. Suppl. 49: Martin, G.B.; Milton, J.T.B.; Davidson, R.H.; Banchero Hunzicker, G.E.; Lindsay, D.R. and Blache, D Natural methods of increasing reproductive efficiency in sheep and goats. Anim. Reprod. Sci :
17 The Clean, Green and Ethical Concept in Animal Production 7 Martin, G.B. and Kadokawa, H «Clean, green and ethical» animal production. Case study: reproductive efficiency in small ruminants. J. Reprod. Develop. 52: Martin, G.B.; Blache, D. and Williams, I.H Chapter 10: The costs of reproduction. In: Resource allocation theory applied to farm animals. Edited by Rauw, W.M. CABI Publishing; Oxford, UK. pp Martin, G.B.; Durmic, Z.; Kenyon, P.R. and Vercoe, P.E Landcorp Farming Limited Lecture: Clean, green and ethical animal reproduction: extension to sheep and dairy systems in New Zealand. Proc. N.Z. Soc. Anim. Prod. 69: Murphy, P.M.; Purvis, I.W.; Lindsay, D.R.; Le Neindre, P.; Orgeur, P. and Poindron, P Measures of temperament are highly repeatable in Merino sheep and some are related to maternal behaviour. Anim. Prod. Aust. 20, Nowak, R Neonatal survival: contributions from behavioural studies in sheep. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 49, Sawalha, R.M.; Conington, J.; Brotherstone, S. and Villanueva, B Analyses of lamb survival of Scottish Blackface sheep. Animal 1, Scaramuzzi, R.J. and Martin, G.B The importance of interactions among nutrition, seasonality and sociosexual factors in the development of hormone-free methods for controlling fertility. Reprod. Dom. Anim. 43 Suppl. 2, Ungerfeld, R Socio-sexual signalling and gonadal function: Opportunities for reproductive management in domestic ruminants. In: Reproduction in Domestic Ruminants VI. Edited by Juengel, J.I., Murray, J.F. and Smith, M.F. Nottingham University Press, Nottingham, UK. pp Viñoles, C.; Forsberg, M.; Martin, G.B.; Cajarville, C.; Repetto, J. and Meikle, A Short-term nutritional supplementation of ewes in low body condition affects follicle development due to an increase in glucose and metabolic hormones. Reproduction 129, Viñoles, C.; Meikle, A. and Martin, G.B. 2009a. Short-term nutritional treatments grazing legumes or feeding concentrates increase prolificacy in Corriedale ewes. Anim. Reprod. Sci. 113, Viñoles, C.; Gonzalez-Bulnes, A.; Martin, G.B.; Sales, F. and Sale, S. 2009b. Chapter 11: Small Ruminants. In: Practical Atlas of Ruminant and Camelid Reproductive Ultrasonography. Edited by Des Côteaux, L., Gnemmi, G. and Colloto, J. Wiley-Blackwell, Ames, Iowa, USA. In press.
18 8 Agrociencia (2009) Vol XIII N 3 - Número especial pág AGROCIENCIA Adaptability is Sustainability Provenza, F. D. 1 1 Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University Logan E. mail: Summary The availability of fossil fuels will likely decline dramatically during the first half of the twenty-first century, and the deficits probably will not be alleviated by alternative sources of energy. This seeming catastrophe will create opportunities for communities to benefit from foods produced locally in ways that nurture relationships among soil, water, plants, herbivores and people to sustain their collective well beings. Agriculture will be much more at the heart of communities, but by necessity it will no longer be so dependent on fossils to fuel machinery or fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides to grow and protect plants in monocultures, antibiotics and anthelmintics to maintain the health of herbivores, or nutritional supplements and pharmaceuticals to sustain humans. Rather, from soils and plants to herbivores and people we will have to learn what it means to be locally adapted to the landscapes we inhabit. In the process, plants will become more important as nutrition centers and pharmacies, their vast arrays of primary (nutrients) and secondary (pharmaceuticals) compounds useful in nutrition and health. There also will be a need, as in times past before our heavy reliance on fossil fuels, to produce livestock in easy-care systems that match seasonally available forages with production needs, and that match animals anatomically, physiologically and behaviorally to local landscapes. This will mean reducing inputs of fossil fuels to increase profitability by 1) matching animal needs to forage resources, 2) selecting for animals that are adapted anatomically, physiologically, and behaviorally to local environments, 3) culling animals unable to reproduce with minimal help from humans, and 4) creating grazing systems that enhance the well-being of soils, plants, herbivores and people. Key words: adaptation, change, forages, fossil fuels, learning, livestock, people Resumen Adaptabilidad es Sustentabilidad La disponibilidad de combustible fósiles declinará probablemente dramáticamente durante la primera mitad del siglo veintiuno, y su déficit no será aliviado por fuentes alternativas de energía. Esta catástrofe aparente creará oportunidades para las comunidades de beneficiarse de alimentos producidos localmente y de forma que nutre las relaciones entre el suelo, el agua, las plantas, los herbívoros y la gente para sostener su bienestar colectivo. La agricultura estará mucho más en el corazón de las comunidades, pero por necesidad no será más tan dependiente de combustibles fósiles para maquinaria o fertilizantes, herbicidas e insecticidas para cultivar y proteger plantas en monocultivos, antibióticos y antihelmínticos para mantener la salud de los herbívoros, o suplementos nutritivos y farmacéuticos para sostener humanos. Mejor dicho, del suelo y las plantas a herbívoros y gente tendremos que aprender lo que significa estar localmente adaptado a los paisajes en que vivimos. En el proceso, las plantas serán cada vez más importante como centros de nutrición y como farmacias, siendo su plétora de componentes primarios (nutrientes) y secundarios (farmacéuticos) útil en la nutrición y la salud. También habrá necesidad, como en tiempos pasados, antes de nuestra pesada dependencia de combustibles fósiles, de producir ganado en sistemas de fácil cuidado que armonicen los forrajes estacionalmente disponibles con las necesidades de producción, y que armonicen a los animales anatómica, fisiológica y comportamentalmente a los paisajes locales. Esto implicará reducir el uso de combustibles fósiles para aumentar la rentabilidad al 1) adecuar las necesidades animales a los recursos forrajeros, 2) seleccionar animales que están adaptados anatómica, fisiológica, y
19 Adaptability is Sustainability 9 comportamentalmente a los ambientes locales, 3) refugar animales que no son capaces de reproducirse sin la intervención del hombre, y 4) crear sistemas de pastoreo que aumentarán el bienestar de los suelos, las plantas, los herbívoros y la gente. Palabras clave: Adaptación, cambio, forrajes, combustibles fósiles, aprendizaje, ganado, gente Introduction Sustainability is first and foremost about ongoing adaptation in ever changing environments. What might that mean in the twenty-first century? Many now argue that the availability of fossil fuels will decline considerably in the first half of the twenty-first century, and that the massive deficits will not be alleviated, even with all of the alternative sources of energy (e.g., Kunstler, 2005; Rubin, 2009). This seeming catastrophe will create opportunities as life changes from urban to rural, and the communities that emerge come to rely on foods produced locally, due to our inability to transport goods over the vast distances we currently do nationally and internationally. Agriculture will be much more at the heart of these communities than it is nowadays, but its lifeblood will not be fossils to fuel machinery or fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides to grow and protect plants in monocultures, antibiotics and anthelmintics to maintain the health of herbivores, or nutritional supplements and pharmaceuticals to sustain the wellbeing of humans. Rather, from soils and plants to herbivores and people we will learn once again what it means to be locally adapted. We will of necessity nurture relationships among soil, water, plants, herbivores and people in ways that sustain the production, health and well-being of ecosystems and that make farming profitable and enjoyable. Plants will be used more as nutrition centers and pharmacies, their vast arrays of primary (nutrients) and secondary (pharmaceuticals) compounds useful in nutrition and health. Nature provides the creatures of this earth with a full range of benefits, including the nutrition and health of plants, herbivores, or people, without many of the costs we sustain nowadays due to our heavy reliance on fossil-fuel intensive fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and antibiotics. Animals will need to be locally adapted to the landscapes where they will live from conception to consumption. If we continue to use ruminants as a source of food, there will be increased demand for livestock production from pastures and rangelands, as it requires only one third to one half the fossil fuel to produce a pound of beef from range as opposed to feedlots. We will again be required to produce ruminants on forages, as nature has done for millennia. There will be a need, as in times past before our heavy reliance on fossil fuels, to produce livestock in systems that match seasonally available forages with production needs, and that match animals anatomically, physiologically and behaviorally to landscapes. To take advantage of these benefits, we must learn to make the most efficient use of what nature provides when she provides it. Selecting for locally adapted animals Fossil fuels have enabled people and many of the wild and domesticated species of plants and animals that interact with us to exceed the carrying capacities of landscapes. In the process, people and the agriculture upon which we all rely have become dependent upon fossil fuels to power farm equipment (oil), synthesize nitrogen fertilizer (natural gas), and transport goods (oil) (Pollan, 2006). Low oil prices made it feasible to use high-input harvested forages and feed grains. At some point in the not-too-distant future, rising prices for oil and natural gas and demands for ethanol will increase grain prices to the point where it will no longer be feasible to finish animals on grain in feedlots. While they were meant to do the opposite, fossil-fuel-intensive practices have increased costs and adversely affected the environment during the latter half of the twentieth century. Cutting Costs by Mimicking Natural Processes Grassroots efforts in agriculture now emphasize cutting costs to maximize profits, and many people are developing management philosophies and practices based upon natural processes (Howell, 2008). They graze animals in ways that mimic natural grazing systems to sustain soils and plants. They retain only animals that can survive on what nature provides, without additional forage inputs, by selecting for locally-adapted animals and by culling animals unable to reproduce without help from humans. That makes sense ecologically and economically. It also makes sense behaviorally: behavior links ecology and economy by creating a match between what animals need and what is on hand.
20 10 Provenza, F. D. AGROCIENCIA While understanding animal adaptations to landscapes has always been an important aspect of the nutritional ecology of ruminants (Demment and Van Soest, 1985; Hofmann, 1988), until recently land managers have not attempted to put these ideas into practice. Instead, many people involved in academia, agribusiness, and livestock production have emphasized production at the expense of profit, without linking animals ecologically to the landscapes they inhabit. Thus, animals have been selected with nutritional demands that exceeded the capacity of the forage resource to meet their needs. This problem has been exacerbated by performance testing bulls and rams in confinement on concentrate rations, which likely has selected for animals that perform well in feedlots, but are not well adapted to finishing on pastures and rangelands. Nor have we appreciated that ongoing adaptation by wild and domestic herbivores involves a continuous dialogue among genes and behavior in ever-changing social and biophysical environments. Soil, plants, animals and the continents they inhabit change constantly. Even in the short span of time since the last glaciations (roughly 20,000 years), changes in climate have drastically altered physical environments and the species of plants and animals that inhabit those environs (Pielou, 1991). Rather than adapting to these changes, we have attempted with massive inputs of fossil fuels to eradicate «invasive» species of plants and animals. What would we have done when the species we now consider «native» were «invading» after the last glaciations? Likewise, we have attempted at great cost economically and ecologically to change landscapes to suit domestic animals, rather than considering how animals must continually adapt to the ever-changing availability of foods and habitats. With cattle and sheep in particular, we have attempted in vain with massive mechanical and chemical inputs to convert landscapes dominated by shrubs to grass to fit our conception of livestock as grazers, rather than selecting among and within breeds of livestock for individuals that can use the plants that exist on landscapes. While we often consider cattle to be grass eaters and sheep to be forb eaters, they can thrive under a wide range of conditions, including shrub-dominated areas in the arid southwest U.S., provided they have been selected anatomically, physiologically and behaviorally to survive on their own in the landscapes they inhabit (Provenza and Balph, 1990). We must take advantage of the marvelous variation within breeds to select for individuals able to perform efficiently on poor quality forages high in secondary compounds common in arid environments (Provenza and Balph, 1990; Provenza et al., 1992, 2003). In arid areas, that means selecting for animals of smaller frame size that better match the seasonal availability and diversity of forage supplies, and selecting for animals able to consume the diverse arrays of secondary compounds found in various species of plants now «invading» landscapes. Smaller frame sizes reduce the amount of food that must be consumed, which enables animals to better mix various plant species thereby allowing them to cope with the chemical and physical defenses abundant in plants that inhabit arid environments (Provenza, 2003b). Historically, people have selected for animals of uniformly large frame sizes and body compositions, enabled in arid areas by supplemental forages, as well as for meat flavor made homogeneous by finishing animals on high-grain diets. With the decline in fossil fuels, that will change as animals are produced and consumed locally, and as consumers acquire preferences for the flavors of animals produced from plants grown on local soils (Johns, 1994). Matching animal needs to seasonally available forage supplies also means mothers will have offspring when forage quality is highest in late spring or early summer, rather than when plants are mature and dormant in the middle of winter. Wild ruminants have adapted these reproductive behaviors to ensure they have ample nutrients during late gestation and early lactation, times when their needs are greatest. They must rely only on what nature provides each year, as living on fossil fuels is not an option. In the case of cattle (and sheep), the advantages of having offspring in synchrony with nature occur because 1) feed and labor costs are reduced by 70%, 2) most (90%) calves are born in the first 30 days of the calving season, without feeding any hay, and 3) more total pounds of calves are weaned, that are worth more per pound (Kit Pharo, www. PharoCattle.com). At Home on the Range: Learning to Adapt from Mother Since the dawn of the Age of Genetics, we have been taught that genes are destiny, and while genes certainly influence the expression of behaviors, it is just as true that behaviors influence the expression of genes. In that sense, genes learn from the environment (Lipton, 2005).