Agriculture and Food Systems - Theses

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    The parotid salivary secretion of sheep
    Wilson, A. D (1938-) ( 1963)
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    Beef-cattle production in the Western District of Victoria : technical and economic relationships between beef cattle and sheep
    Wills, I. R ( 1965)
    Sheep-and-wool production and beef-cattle production are combined on many grazing properties in the Western District of Victoria. In the past beef cattle have generally been regarded as less profitable than sheep as a sole enterprise on a per-acre basis. In previous surveys it has been found that graziers believe that sheep and beef-cattle complement one another in a variety of circumstances because of the different effects of the two types of animal on pasture. It has also been found that sheep and beef cattle on grazing properties are frequently supplementary with respect to labour. The thesis has two main objectives. First it investigates whether the currently available analytical models based on static economic theory are adequate to solve problems of resource allocation between sheep and beef cattle grazing the same pasture. Second, it investigates whether many graziers carry beef cattle partly or solely to satisfy goals other than profit maximisation. The method of achieving the first objective was to compare the static economic theory relating to enterprise combination, and published work dealing with the problem of selecting the optimum combination of two enterprises, with the real situation existing on grazing properties carrying both sheep and beef cattle. The second objective was investigated by means or an interview survey of graziers running both sheep and beef cattle in six Western District parishes. A considerable amount of technical information about beef-cattle production in the Western District was collected in the course of the survey, and the more important points are summarised in the thesis. Of particular interest are the findings that very few graziers purchased cattle for fattening purposes, and that beef cattle were relatively more important on large properties than on small properties. It was concluded that static economic theory does not provide an adequate basis for the description of the situation where sheep and cattle graze the same pasture, or for the determination of the optimum allocation of resources between sheep arid beef cattle grazing together. Sheep and cattle graze pasture differently, and therefore different pastures result as the sheep-cattle ratio is altered. In this situation, the postulates on which the iso-resource function is based, that the shared input or inputs should remain homogeneous and constant in quantity as the outputs of the products change, are violated. Thus strictly speaking it is not possible to derive a valid iso-resource function relating the sheep and beef-cattle enterprises with respect to pasture when the sheep and the cattle graze the same pasture. However, if the changes in the pasture are disregarded, it is possible to design experiments to produce practical approximations of iso-resource curves relating sheep and beef cattle. Information obtained from graziers in this and other surveys, and the results of experiments, strongly suggest that for practical purposes it is reasonable to think of an iso-resource curve for sheep and cattle with respect to pasture as being concave towards the origin, that is, the sacrifice rate of sheep for cattle increases as more cattle are added on a sheep property. Farmer estimates and experimental evidence suggests that the marginal sacrifice rate on most properties may be lower than is generally assumed (nutritional standards imply a linear rate of eight merino whethers per 1,000 lb. steer). Almost all the survey graziers believed that the overall relationship between their sheep and their beef cattle with respect to their total feed supply over the whole year was a competitive one. Most estimated that their sheep and their cattle were complementary or supplementary with respect to pasture over a part of the year, including the Spring, and that their sheep and their cattle competed for scarce pasture at some time in the autumn and winter. The survey results showed that the most important reason for the presence of beef cattle on the survey properties was the value of cattle in controlling and utilising pasture and weed growth. However the value 0f cattle for that purpose appeared to decline as the sheep stocking rate increased. It appeared that on many properties the importance of beef cattle in pasture control was a consequence of a desire on the part of the grazier to maximise profits within the restrictions imposed by limitations on sheep numbers including the grazier's desire to limit his personal effort. Beef cattle were also frequently carried for the reason that they provided a means of stabilising income from year to year. Although the survey results tended to confirm previous findings that sheep and beef cattle are supplementary with respect to labour at certain times during the year, and that beef cattle generally require less labour per unit of return than sheep, few graziers said that they carried beef cattle for those reasons. It was concluded that substantial minority of the survey graziers did carry beef cattle partly or solely to satisfy goals other than profit maximisation. The most important of these goals was the minimisation of personal effort, which was shown not by giving labour as a reason for carrying beef cattle, but indirectly in the affirmation of the value of cattle (rather than additional sheep) in pasture control. A few graziers were motivated by a personal preference for beef cattle. In the situation where the available economic theory is inadequate to solve problems of resource allocation between sheep and beef cattle, and where a substantial proportion of graziers carry beef cattle partly or solely for reasons other than profit maximisation, there is little scope for sophisticated economic procedures. Given additional experimental data to provide indicators of probable "substitution rates", it seems that the allocation of resources between sheep and beef cattle on properties such as those in the survey can best be improved by budgeting possible adjustments.
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    Quality of potatoes for processing
    Wilcox, Andrea M ( 1966)
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    The physical and functional development of the forestomachs of the lamb
    Wardrop, Ian Donald ( 1960)
    In this thesis a study of the physical and functional development of the forestomachs of the lamb is presented. The experimental work can be divided into three main fields as follows:- a) Studies on the physical development of the fore- stomachs. b) Studies on the functional development of the reticule-rumen. a) Field work in which the above studies have some direct bearing. The main findings of these studies have a) PhysicaI development of the forestomachs: In grazing lefts the four stomachs have reached their adult proportions by approximately 8 weeks of age. The type of diet can markedly influence the rate of growth of the forestomachs, and in general, it would appear that plant food is needed for the normal development of the forestomachs, and It plant food is excluded from the diet the development of the forestomachs is retarded at about the level found in the 3 week old grazing lamb. The main changes in the histology of the forestomach walls takes place during the last third of foetal life, and the adult his histological features are all present at birth. The major post-natal histological changes are complete by 56 days of age. It would appear that age is the main factor controlling the histological development of the forestomachs, and that plant material is necessary for the full development It of these organs. It was also shown that different diets can cause differences in the appearance of the rumen mucosal surface, stratum granulosum and stratum corneum. b) Funcational development of the reticulo-rumen: It was postulated that the functional development of the reticulo-rumen of the grazing iamb could be divided into three phases - a non ruminant phase (0 - 3 weeks of age), a transition phase (3 - 8 weeks of age) and an adult ruminant phase (8 weeks of age onwards). If plant food was excluded from the diet, the lamb remained in the non- ruminant phase, however, once plant food was fed to these lambs the reticule-rumen function reached the adult levels within one week. c) Field studies: As the forestomachs of the grazing are qualitatively and quantitatively fully developed by approximately 8 weeks of age, it is possible to ween lambs of this age with no check to their growth rate, provided the pastures are relatively high in protein and are not at the late flowering or seeding stages. The milk yield of the grazing ewe measured by the oxytocin technique gave consistently higher recordings throughout Iactation than the conventional lamb suckling technique. By the tenth week of the lactation the milk yield, as measured by both techniques, had fallen by half. There was a high correlation between the milk yield of the ewe and the lamb live weight growth up to seven weeks of age.
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    Studies in animal nutrition : the intake and storage of dietary nitrogen and energy
    Vercoe, John Edward ( 1963)
    This thesis is divided into two parts. Part I consists of three chapters. Chapter 1 is a critical review of the literature which deals with the nutritional factors which influence nitrogen and energy retention in animals. In the light of these factors, the effect of dietary composition on the relative storage of energy as fat and protein is discussed. The review concludes by discussing the effect of energy storage as fat and protein on changes in liveweight. There is an extremely large volume of literature on this subject and no attempt has been made to cover it exhaustively. The more important contributions to the field have been mentioned and the review investigates the variety and complexity of nutritional factors which may influence the composition of energy storage, and discusses their likely effects. Chapter 2 describes two experiments where four diets, which differed in their levels of protein, were each fed at four levels of intake to adult guinea pigs. The effect of the level of dietary protein on the energy and nitrogen balance of the animals was investigated. Chapter 3 reports an experiment in which the change in liveweight of penned sheep, fed diets which varied in the levels of protein and energy, was interpreted in terms of the nitrogen balance of the animals and their metabolizable energy intake. The contents of Chapters 2 and 3 are to be submitted for publication shortly. Part II of the thesis consists of four published papers dealing with the food intake of grazing sheep. Chronologically the work reported in Part II preceded that reported in Part I. Chapter 4 and 5 deal with the faecal-nitrogen technique for measuring the intake of grazing sheep for both annual and perennial pastures. Chapter 6 reports the results obtained when faecal-nitrogen techniques were used to estimate the intake of a group of grazing sheep and Chapter 7 uses the results of Chapters 5 and 6 to present a hypothetical model which suggests the importance of dietary composition, with respect to digestible organic matter and digestible nitrogen, in determining the liveweight change of sheep grazing annual pastures.
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    The reactions and availability of manganese in soils
    Uren, N. C ( 1969)
    The reactions of Mn in soils and the relationships between these reactions and the mechanisms of supply of Mn to plants have received attention from scientists over the last 40 years; most attention being given to the problem of Mn deficiency which occurs most commonly in soils with pH's from 6.5 to 8.0. The term "neutral" soils will be used throughout this thesis for these soils on which in deficiency occurs; the term is just as meaningful as and less cumbersome than the term "neutral and alkaline soils" which is commonly used. Some significant contributions have been made to our knowledge of the availability of In in neutral soils, but the progress has been unduly slow. It would appear that the slow progress can be partly attributed to the perpetuation of poor work, and thinking, not only by some workers in the subject, but by some writers of textbooks. This is a serious allegation to make, but when one becomes intimately involved in the subject, one is confronted with many pieces of work which are incompatible and mutually contradictory. The commonly accepted reason for In deficiency is the microbial oxidation of divalent In to higher in oxides, and yet many workers are obviously not aware of evidence which makes this conventional theory look absurd. The two simple facts that microbial oxidation of divalent Mn occurs in all neutral soils and that Mn deficiency is a "disease" of the wetter and cooler climates of the world illustrate my point precisely. This unsatisfactory situation calls for a critical appraisal of the existing theories, and in this thesis I have attempted to do this and to give a clear account of the subject. The reader will quickly find, however, that here we have a very complicated problem to which we only know some of the answers. In this thesis reference is made to some "local" soils, namely: Corny Point, Dooen, Hallam, Mt. Gambier, Penola Hill, Penola Flat, Rendelsham, University, Walpeup, Werribee, and Yambuk. And, for the convenience of the reader, some of the relevant properties of these soils are described in Part IV - Experimental Methods and Description of Soils, pp.252-255. The Introduction is not a complete review of all the work which has been done on Mn in soils. It is deliberately selective and obviously some work is irrelevant here, but some other work has been omitted either because it is mere duplication or because it does not warrant perpetuation; though possibly some work, which is relevant or otherwise, may have been overlooked. The early part of the Introduction outlines our present knowledge of the reactions and availability of in in neutral soils. This is followed by an attempt to define the nature of the root surface, a subject which has received little attention in relation to soils and has considerable relevance in the mechanism of uptake of in from neutral soils. The experimental work covers several aspects of Mn in soils, namely: the microbial oxidation of Nn, the reversion of available forms of in and the uptake of Mn by contact reduction. The results and discussions of the experiments indicate forcefully the extreme complexity of the problem of the availability of In in neutral soils. And, possibly just as important, they indicate that in a few years, one person cannot possibly solve a problem which has been baffling scientists for decades.
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    Research in plant virology
    Stubbs, Lionel Leslie ( 1965)
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    Studies on the etiology and control of parsnip canker, caused by itersonilia pastinacae channon
    Smith, Peter Raymond ( 1968)
    In Victoria, parsnip canker is caused chiefly by Itersonilia pastinacae Channon and, less frequently by Phoma sp.. Inoculation of both fungi into parsnip roots produced typical symptoms of the disease. The morphology of the local isolates of I. pastinacae was compared with others described and the taxonomy of the genus discussed. The fungus was shown to be seed-borne, the infection being carried in plant debris contaminating the seed and also externally on the seed itself. An aerated-steam heat treatment was developed to eliminate this seed-borne infection. In field studies I. pastinacae in naturally infected roots survived at least 12 months burial in soil. When the root was mutilated by removing the stem apical meristem, to promote rapid decomposition, the fungus survival period was reduced to 6 months. In laboratory studies the fungus, impregnated in fibre glass mesh, survived 6 months burial in unsterile soil, whereas the survival period in sterile soil was at least 12 months. Survival was shown to be due to the presence of chlamydospores; mycelium and ballistospores being rapidly lysed. Chlamydospores germinated directly to form ballistospores. I. pastinacae, also had a low competitive saprophytic ability. Field and laboratory studies demonstrated that ballistospore discharge was influenced chiefly by high relative humidity, the presence of rain being more effective than dew. Spore discharge followed a diurnal periodicity, the maximum discharge occurring between 08.00 and 10.00 hr.. Low temperature, however, reduced spore discharge even at optimum R.H. Ballistospore germination studies demonstrated soil fungistasis an effect destroyed by sterilization of the soil. Germination of ballistospores was also influenced by nutrients, either diffusates from parsnip roots and leaves or by a 2% glucose solution. Strepstomyces sp. and Bacillus subtilis were isolated from soil and antagonism towards I. pastinacae exhibited. Cell-free culture filtrates of both antagonists lysed I. pastinacae while incorporation of the filtrates into media reduced the growth rate of the fungus. Sterile soil inoculated with the antagonists also lysed I. pastinacae. Foliage applications of fungicides, particularly those containing copper, reduced the incidence of parsnip canker in the field. Control was also achieved in the field by keeping the developing crowns covered with soil during the growth of the crop.
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    Studies in beef cattle and fat lamb production
    Seebeck, Roger Mace ( 1963)
    This thesis comprises five separate investigations in beef cattle and fat lamb produotion. They have been prepared as scientific papers, but for presentation in this thesis, they have been typed in the one format. I was actively involved in work with cattle at the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works Farm at Werribee, mainly in connection with those cattle used in a programs of investigations directed by Mr. N. M. Tullo. I also assisted in the collection of data at the meatworks on those cattle slaughtered in this programme, some of the data being used in Chapter II of this thesis. The analysis and interpretation of . the data used in. Chapters I and II, together with the preparation of these chapters, were my responsibility. I was unable to 'assist in any of the field work with the sheep used in the investigations reported in Part II. However, I had the responsibility of the analysis and interpretation of the data arising from these investigations, and also the preparation as scientific papers of those investigations reported in Chapters IV and V.