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Agriculture, Volume 11, Issue 7 (July 2021) – 115 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Approaching tree crop nutrient management from an ecosystem perspective means considering nutrient cycling dynamics throughout the entire soil-water-plant system. While nitrogen and phosphorus cycling have received substantial and well-deserved attention, studies on potassium (K) cycling are less common despite its central role in plant function. Developing fruits can be a substantial K sink. Retaining K-rich crop residues in the tree crop system as organic matter amendments can help reduce overall K export and soil K depletion while providing a relatively low-cost carbon source on the soil surface. This review examines current knowledge of crop residues used as amendments to supply K while enhancing soil health and plant function, with a focus on nutshells applied in tree crop systems. View this paper.
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Article
Fermentation Optimization, Fungistatic Effects and Tomato Growth Promotion of Four Biocontrol Bacterial Strains
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 686; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070686 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 673
Abstract
Tomato is a widely cultivated crop that is important for its nutritional value and genetic diversity. Tomato production is seriously challenged by pests and diseases, among which tomato gray mold and leaf mold are particularly serious. Biological control is one of the most [...] Read more.
Tomato is a widely cultivated crop that is important for its nutritional value and genetic diversity. Tomato production is seriously challenged by pests and diseases, among which tomato gray mold and leaf mold are particularly serious. Biological control is one of the most preferred methods for disease management in tomato production. At present, the fungi used to control tomato gray mold are mainly Trichoderma and yeast. Bacillus and actinomycetes are the most effective microorganisms for controlling tomato leaf mold. Tomato gray mold and leaf mold often occur at the same time during the production process, yet there are fewer strains for controlling both diseases at the same time. Biocontrol bacteria Pseudomonas azotoformans WXCDD51, Bacillus sp. WXCDD105, Bacillus subtilis BS and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens BS WY-1, which were isolated and screened in the previous stage, can prevent both tomato gray mold and leaf mold. Here, we optimized liquid fermentation for the four biocontrol bacterial strains together. We obtained the best fermentation medium formula and fermentation conditions for the four biocontrol bacteria. The broad-spectrum properties of the four biocontrol bacteria were tested, and, on this basis, compound strains were constructed. The control effect of single and compound strains on tomato gray mold and leaf mold was evaluated. Their potential effects on the growth of tomato seeds and seedlings were also studied. This research provides a foundation for the development and use of compound bacteria for growth promotion and disease management in tomato production. Full article
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Article
Coronatine Modulated the Generation of Reactive Oxygen Species for Regulating the Water Loss Rate in the Detaching Maize Seedlings
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 685; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070685 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 476
Abstract
Coronatine (COR), a structural and functional mimic of jasmonates, is involved in a wide array of effects on plant development and defense response. The present study aims to investigate the role of COR, in counteracting drought stress by modulating reactive oxygen species (ROS) [...] Read more.
Coronatine (COR), a structural and functional mimic of jasmonates, is involved in a wide array of effects on plant development and defense response. The present study aims to investigate the role of COR, in counteracting drought stress by modulating reactive oxygen species (ROS) homeostasis, water balance, and antioxidant regulation in detached maize plants. Our results showed that COR can markedly decrease the water loss rate, but the antioxidants diphenyleneiodonium chloride (DPI) and dimethylthiourea (DMTU) eliminate the effect of water loss induced by COR. Using the dye 2′,7′-dichlorofluorescein diacetate (H2DCF-DA) loaded in the maize epidermis guard cells, it is observed that COR could increase ROS production, and then antioxidants DPI and DMTU decreased ROS production induced by COR. In addition, the expression of ZmRBOHs genes, which were associated with ROS generation was increased by COR in levels and ZmRBOHC was highly expressed in the epidermis guard cells. Moreover, COR-treated plants increased H2O2 and O2· accumulation, antioxidant enzyme activities in control plants, while COR relieved the ROS accumulation and antioxidant enzyme activities under PEG treatment. These results indicated that COR could improve maize performance under drought stress by modulating ROS homeostasis to maintain water loss rate and antioxidant enzyme activities. Full article
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Article
Urease Inhibitors Effects on the Nitrogen Use Efficiency in a Maize–Wheat Rotation with or without Water Deficit
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 684; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070684 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 524
Abstract
The use of urease inhibitors in irrigated systems decreases both soil ammonium (NH4+) and nitrate (NO3) availability, and, thus, could be an easy tool to reduce N loss due to ammonia volatilization and NO3 leaching. [...] Read more.
The use of urease inhibitors in irrigated systems decreases both soil ammonium (NH4+) and nitrate (NO3) availability, and, thus, could be an easy tool to reduce N loss due to ammonia volatilization and NO3 leaching. The main goal of this experiment was to assess the effect of urease inhibitors on N use efficiency, N losses, and their economic impact in a maize-wheat field experiment. In this study, 10 treatments were compared, combining the urea fertilizer with or without urease inhibitor, applied in one or two dressings, and under optimal or sub-optimal irrigation. A single application of urease inhibitor (IN1d), coupled with the conventional urea, helped to reduce the nitrate leaching risk both during the maize period (even when compared to the two dressing treatment) and after harvest. In addition, this improvement was achieved together with an increase in economic benefit, even when compared with the application of the same amount of regular urea split into two dressings. Under low water availability systems, the benefits of applying urease inhibitors increased with respect to the application of regular urea, making this technique a very promising strategy for adaptation to climate change in arid and semiarid regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Fertilizer and Irrigation on Crop Production)
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Article
Microbiological Effectivity Evaluation of New Poultry Farming Organic Waste Recycling
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 683; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070683 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 620
Abstract
Due to the intensification of the poultry sector, poultry manure is being produced in increasing quantities, and its on-site management is becoming a critical problem. Animal health problems can be solved by stricter the veterinary and environmental standards. The off-site coupled industrial chicken [...] Read more.
Due to the intensification of the poultry sector, poultry manure is being produced in increasing quantities, and its on-site management is becoming a critical problem. Animal health problems can be solved by stricter the veterinary and environmental standards. The off-site coupled industrial chicken manure recycling technology (Hosoya compost tea) fundamentally affects the agricultural value of new organic-based products. Due to the limited information available on manure recycling technology-related microbiological changes, this was examined in this study. A pot experiment with a pepper test plant was set up, using two different soils (Arenosol, slightly humous Arenosol) and two different doses (irrigation once a week with 40 mL of compost tea: dose 1, D1; irrigation twice a week with 40 mL of compost tea: dose 2, D2) of compost tea. Compost tea raw materials, compost tea, and compost tea treated soils were tested. The products (granulated manure, compost tea) and their effects were characterized by the following parameters: aerobic bacterial count (log CFU/g), fluorescein diacetate activity (3′,6′-diacetylfluorescein, FDA, µg Fl/g soil), glucosidase enzyme activity (GlA; PNP/µmol/g), and identification of microorganisms in compost tea with matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Furthermore, we aimed to investigate how the microbiological indicators tested, and the effect of compost tea on the tested plant, could be interpreted. Based on our results, the microbiological characteristics of the treated soils showed an increase in enzyme activity, in the case of FDA an increase +0.26 μg Fl/g soil at D1, while the GlA increased +1.28 PNP/µmol/g with slightly humous Arenosol soil and increased +2.44 PNP/µmol/g at D1; and the aerobic bacterial count increased +0.15 log CFU/g at D2, +0.35 log CFU/g with slightly humous Arenosol and +0.85 log CFU/g at W8. MALDI-TOF MS results showed that the dominant bacterial genera analyzed were Bacillus sp., Lysinibacillus sp., and Pseudomonas sp. Overall, the microbial inducers we investigated could be a good alternative for evaluating the effects of compost solutions in soil–plant systems. In both soil types, the total chlorophyll content of compost tea-treated pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) had increased as a result of compost tea. D1 is recommended for Arenosol and, D2 for slightly humous Arenosol soil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry: Breeding, Health, Nutrition, and Management)
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Article
High Accuracy Pre-Harvest Sugarcane Yield Forecasting Model Utilizing Drone Image Analysis, Data Mining, and Reverse Design Method
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 682; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070682 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 539
Abstract
This article presents a new model for forecasting the sugarcane yield that substantially reduces current rates of assessment errors, providing a more reliable pre-harvest assessment tool for sugarcane production. This model, called the Wondercane model, integrates various environmental data obtained from sugar mill [...] Read more.
This article presents a new model for forecasting the sugarcane yield that substantially reduces current rates of assessment errors, providing a more reliable pre-harvest assessment tool for sugarcane production. This model, called the Wondercane model, integrates various environmental data obtained from sugar mill surveys and government agencies with the analysis of aerial images of sugarcane fields obtained with drones. The drone images enable the calculation of the proportion of unusable sugarcane (the defect rate) in the field. Defective cane can result from adverse weather or other cultivation issues. The Wondercane model is developed on the principle of determining the yield not through data in regression form but rather through data in classification form. The Reverse Design method and the Similarity Relationship method are applied for feature extraction of the input factors and the target outputs. The model utilizes data mining to recognize and classify the dataset from the sugarcane field. Results show that the optimal performance of the model is achieved when: (1) the number of Input Factors is five, (2) the number of Target Outputs is 32, and (3) the Random Forest algorithm is used. The model recognized the 2019 training data with an accuracy of 98.21%, and then it correctly forecast the yield of the 2019 test data with an accuracy of 89.58% (10.42% error) when compared to the actual yield. The Wondercane model correctly forecast the harvest yield of a 2020 dataset with an accuracy of 98.69% (1.31% error). The Wondercane model is therefore an accurate and robust tool that can substantially reduce the issue of sugarcane yield estimate errors and provide the sugar industry with improved pre-harvest assessment of sugarcane yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet of Things (IoT) for Precision Agriculture Practices)
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Communication
Factors Affecting Tolerance to Low Night Temperature Differ by Fruit Types in Tomato
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 681; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070681 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 649
Abstract
Tolerance to low night temperature (LNT) can be a practical and economical target in tomato breeding programs for energy saving in greenhouses. This study was conducted to investigate the physiological and biochemical responses to LNT using four tomato accessions with cherry or large [...] Read more.
Tolerance to low night temperature (LNT) can be a practical and economical target in tomato breeding programs for energy saving in greenhouses. This study was conducted to investigate the physiological and biochemical responses to LNT using four tomato accessions with cherry or large fruit types having LNT tolerance or sensitivity. The accessions were grown in two polyethylene film greenhouses with night temperature set-points of 10 and 15 °C for heating. LNT significantly reduced the plant height, and photosynthetic parameters were also lower in 10 than 15 °C among all accessions. Photosynthetic rate in 10 °C during the early growth period was reduced more in LNT-tolerant than -sensitive accessions. The numbers of flowers in 10 °C were significantly reduced in cherry but not in large fruit types. Fruit set in 10 °C significantly decreased in LNT-sensitive accessions of both fruit types, which was due to abnormal flower morphology. Proline accumulation patterns between 10 and 15 °C significantly differed between cherry and large fruit types as well as between LNT-tolerant and -sensitive accessions. Chlorophyll content at later growth stages in 10 °C was significantly higher in LNT-tolerant than -sensitive accessions in both fruit types. These results suggest that different tomato fruit types may have different mechanisms for LNT tolerance, possibly due to different proline accumulation patterns between cherry and large fruit types. Full article
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Article
Phenotypic Characterisation for Growth and Nut Characteristics Revealed the Extent of Genetic Diversity in Wild Macadamia Germplasm
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 680; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070680 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 697
Abstract
Macadamia is a recently domesticated Australian native nut crop, and a large proportion of its wild germplasm is unexploited. Aiming to explore the existing diversity, 247 wild accessions from four species and inter-specific hybrids were phenotyped. A wide range of variation was found [...] Read more.
Macadamia is a recently domesticated Australian native nut crop, and a large proportion of its wild germplasm is unexploited. Aiming to explore the existing diversity, 247 wild accessions from four species and inter-specific hybrids were phenotyped. A wide range of variation was found in growth and nut traits. Broad-sense heritability of traits were moderate (0.43–0.64), which suggested that both genetic and environmental factors are equally important for the variability of the traits. Correlations among the growth traits were significantly positive (0.49–0.76). There were significant positive correlations among the nut traits except for kernel recovery. The association between kernel recovery and shell thickness was highly significant and negative. Principal component analysis of the traits separated representative species groups. Accessions from Macadamia integrifolia Maiden and Betche, M. tetraphylla L.A.S. Johnson, and admixtures were clustered into one group and those of M. ternifolia F. Muell were separated into another group. In both M. integrifolia and M. tetraphylla groups, variation within site was greater than across sites, which suggested that the conservation strategies should concentrate on increased sampling within sites to capture wide genetic diversity. This study provides a background on the utilisation of wild germplasm as a genetic resource to be used in breeding programs and the direction for gene pool conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Cultivar Improvement of Nut Crops)
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Article
Design and Experiment of the Automatic Laying System for Rice Seedling Tray
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 679; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070679 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 647
Abstract
In the process of raising rice seedlings, it is necessary to manually place the seedling trays one by one in the seedling field, which is labor intensive and low in efficiency. In order to solve this problem, according to the actual conditions of [...] Read more.
In the process of raising rice seedlings, it is necessary to manually place the seedling trays one by one in the seedling field, which is labor intensive and low in efficiency. In order to solve this problem, according to the actual conditions of the rice seedling field, this paper designs and develops an automatic rice tray laying system, which consists of a gantry truss moving unit, a tray laying trolley unit, a tray laying mechanism unit and a sensor control unit. Through the movement and timing coordination of the cams in the laying mechanism unit, four actions of holding, clamping, laying and restoring are designed to realize the orderly and automatic laying of the stacked seedling trays one by one. In order to meet the agronomic requirements of the horizontal and vertical spacing of seeding trays, especially the efficiency of rice tray laying, the control strategies of the key parts of the system were simulated, selected and optimized. For the longitudinal movement of the gantry truss, the cross-coupling control strategy is adopted to realize the detection and compensation correction of the synchronous position error of the two driving motors. As for the drive motor of the laying trolley and the laying mechanism, the optimized master-slave follow-up control method is adopted to improve the efficiency and accuracy. The results of simulation and field experiment show that when the tray trolley moves on the gantry truss at the speed of 7.5 cm/s, the gantry truss moves at the speed of 35 cm/s in the longitudinal direction, and when the height of the tray laying mechanism is 100 mm from the ground and the motor speed is 375 rpm, the horizontal spacing of the tray can be maintained at 25 ± 5 mm and the vertical spacing at 15 ± 5 mm. The efficiency of tray laying can be increased by 35.7%, up to 380 trays/h, meeting the technical requirements of mechanized field tray laying. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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Article
Rhizobium Inoculation and Chemical Fertilisation Improve Faba Bean Yield and Yield Components in Northwestern Ethiopia
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 678; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070678 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 437
Abstract
The productivity of the faba bean has declined in Ethiopia, owing to poor management practices, such as blanket fertilisation. In 2018, a field experiment was conducted in a Nitisol soil during the main cropping season in Northwestern Ethiopia, to determine the amount of [...] Read more.
The productivity of the faba bean has declined in Ethiopia, owing to poor management practices, such as blanket fertilisation. In 2018, a field experiment was conducted in a Nitisol soil during the main cropping season in Northwestern Ethiopia, to determine the amount of chemical fertiliser and Rhizobium inoculant to be used for the optimum yield within economic feasibility. The experiment consisted of a factorial combination of five rates of blended NPSZnB fertiliser (0, 60, 121, 180 and 240 kg ha−1) and three rates of inoculant (0, 500 and 750 g ha−1). Sole chemical fertilisation, as well as inoculation, individually produced a seed yield of 2.3–2.5 t ha−1, about 1.0–1.2 t ha−1 more than the control. However, the maximum seed yield (3.3 t ha−1) was recorded from the combined application of both the chemical fertiliser and the inoculant. The seed yield correlated closely with the number of active nodules (R2 = 0.78 **), suggesting a substantial contribution of symbiotic N2 fixation. Inoculation increased the N content of the seed yield by at least 30 kg ha−1. Chemical fertilisation, containing at least 44 kg ha−1 of mineral N does not appear to have an adverse effect on N2 fixation. The combined use of 180 kg ha−1 blended fertiliser with 750 g ha−1 inoculant, producing a maximum net profit of 72,918 birr ha−1 (EUR 2232), is recommended for the study area. This study emphasises that (1) inoculation alone can produce as much seed as the maximum rate of chemical fertilisation, but (2) the maximum yield was produced with a combined use of inoculant and chemical fertiliser, by promoting the vigour of the nodules and N2 fixation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Production)
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Article
An Analysis of Mushroom Consumption in Hungary in the International Context
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 677; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070677 - 18 Jul 2021
Viewed by 669
Abstract
It is hardly an exaggeration to state that producing and consuming mushrooms may provide an answer to several of the challenges facing mankind. This research is related to the UN sustainable development goals relative to different issues. First of all, mushroom production uses [...] Read more.
It is hardly an exaggeration to state that producing and consuming mushrooms may provide an answer to several of the challenges facing mankind. This research is related to the UN sustainable development goals relative to different issues. First of all, mushroom production uses agricultural and industrial byproducts as inputs and being labor intensive contributes to the job and income creation for undereducated people in less developed areas. In addition, as mushrooms have high protein content and they are a suitable alternative for meat for populations with a diet lacking in variety; at the same time, they also have the potential for food connoisseurs and consumers who make conscious and educated choices to improve their diet by using healthful and environmentally friendly methods. The nutritional value of mushrooms means that consumption could be an important supplementary therapy for several illnesses. The key issue of sector development is the increasing demand. In order to address this, investigation and research related to consumer behavior is needed. The aim of this research was to explore the dimensions of Hungarian mushroom consumer behavior and to segment Hungarian consumers. An online questionnaire survey was conducted between December 2019 and February 2020 and the final sample of 1768 respondents was considered for the purposes of analysis. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify groups of correlating variables describing mushroom consumption. The authors identified four dimensions of Hungarian mushroom consumer behavior: (1) medicinal and functional properties, (2) consumption for enjoyment, (3) supplementary food source, and (4) negative assessment of the product range. Using cluster analysis, three consumer groups were identified: (1) health-conscious consumers, (2) indifferent consumers, and (3) average consumers. The research results indicated that consumers’ sociodemographic characteristics (age, educational level, marital status, and place of residence) have a significant impact on mushroom consumption behavior. The results of this paper can have implications for policy makers and business management in diversifying their production and selecting marketing tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies)
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Communication
A Facile and Modified Scheme for Synchronization and Isolation of Nematode Eggs
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 676; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070676 - 18 Jul 2021
Viewed by 532
Abstract
Nematodes are common pests that damage agricultural crop plants. Some of them are beneficial while others are parasitic and harmful to plants, animals and humans. Several in vitro studies have aimed to develop chemicals to kill parasitic nematodes, while others have been conducted [...] Read more.
Nematodes are common pests that damage agricultural crop plants. Some of them are beneficial while others are parasitic and harmful to plants, animals and humans. Several in vitro studies have aimed to develop chemicals to kill parasitic nematodes, while others have been conducted to use beneficial nematodes as biocontrol agents. However, the preparation of large quantities of nematode eggs in a laboratory setting is challenging. Traditional egg isolation protocols involve the use of sieves to filter eggs or the use of chemicals that can be harmful to nematodes while isolating the eggs. Our method utilizes 1.5 × 1.5 cm sized chunks of bacterial or fungal feed to lure nematodes. A subsequent gentle washing of the consumed chunk with distilled water provides a rapid and straightforward method of collecting eggs in 6-well polystyrene plates and removing unwanted nematodes. Approximately 4000 Bursaphelenchus xylophilus eggs from a fungal chunk and 2400 Caenorhabditis elegans eggs from a bacterial chunk were obtained when tested. This study shows a protocol for the isolation of eggs and synchronization of nematode stages that is relatively straightforward, rapid, eco-friendly, and efficient. The protocol also provides a chemical-free and a reliable, simple means of separating eggs from adults and induces the synchronization of nematodes based on the simple concept that gravid nematodes can be provoked to lay eggs by providing additional feed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Protection, Diseases, Pest and Weeds)
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Communication
Detecting Dairy Cow Behavior Using Vision Technology
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 675; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070675 - 17 Jul 2021
Viewed by 654
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate using existing image recognition techniques to predict the behavior of dairy cows. A total of 46 individual dairy cows were monitored continuously under 24 h video surveillance prior to calving. The video was annotated for [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate using existing image recognition techniques to predict the behavior of dairy cows. A total of 46 individual dairy cows were monitored continuously under 24 h video surveillance prior to calving. The video was annotated for the behaviors of standing, lying, walking, shuffling, eating, drinking and contractions for each cow from 10 h prior to calving. A total of 19,191 behavior records were obtained and a non-local neural network was trained and validated on video clips of each behavior. This study showed that the non-local network used correctly classified the seven behaviors 80% or more of the time in the validated dataset. In particular, the detection of birth contractions was correctly predicted 83% of the time, which in itself can be an early warning calving alert, as all cows start contractions several hours prior to giving birth. This approach to behavior recognition using video cameras can assist livestock management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhancing Farm-Level Decision Making through Innovation)
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Article
Identification and Quantification of Olive Oil Quality Parameters Using an Electronic Nose
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 674; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070674 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 717
Abstract
An electronic nose (EN), which is a kind of chemical sensors, was employed to check olive oil quality parameters. Fifty samples of olive oil, covering the four quality categories extra virgin, virgin, ordinary virgin and lampante, were gathered from different Palestinian cities. The [...] Read more.
An electronic nose (EN), which is a kind of chemical sensors, was employed to check olive oil quality parameters. Fifty samples of olive oil, covering the four quality categories extra virgin, virgin, ordinary virgin and lampante, were gathered from different Palestinian cities. The samples were analysed chemically using routine tests and signals for each chemical were obtained using EN. Each signal acquisition represents the concentration of certain chemical constituents. Partial least squares (PLS) models were used to analyse both chemical and EN data. The results demonstrate that the EN was capable of modelling the acidity parameter with a good performance. The correlation coefficients of the PLS-1 model for acidity were 0.87 and 0.88 for calibration and validation sets, respectively. Furthermore, the values of the standard error of performance to standard deviation (RPD) for acidity were 2.61 and 2.68 for the calibration and the validation sets, respectively. It was found that two principal components (PCs) in the PLS-1 scores plot model explained 86% and 5% of EN and acidity variance, respectively. PLS-1 scores plot showed a high performance in classifying olive oil samples according to quality categories. The results demonstrated that EN can predict/model acidity with good precision. Additionally, EN was able to discriminate between diverse olive oil quality categories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Sensor Technology to Agri-Food Systems)
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Article
Nondestructive Testing Model of Tea Polyphenols Based on Hyperspectral Technology Combined with Chemometric Methods
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 673; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070673 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 579
Abstract
Nondestructive detection of tea’s internal quality is of great significance for the processing and storage of tea. In this study, hyperspectral imaging technology is adopted to quantitatively detect the content of tea polyphenols in Tibetan teas by analyzing the features of the tea [...] Read more.
Nondestructive detection of tea’s internal quality is of great significance for the processing and storage of tea. In this study, hyperspectral imaging technology is adopted to quantitatively detect the content of tea polyphenols in Tibetan teas by analyzing the features of the tea spectrum in the wavelength ranging from 420 to 1010 nm. The samples are divided with joint x-y distances (SPXY) and Kennard-Stone (KS) algorithms, while six algorithms are used to preprocess the spectral data. Six other algorithms, Random Forest (RF), Gradient Boosting (GB), Adaptive boost (AdaBoost), Categorical Boosting (CatBoost), LightGBM, and XGBoost, are used to carry out feature extractions. Then based on a stacking combination strategy, a new two-layer combination prediction model is constructed, which is used to compare with the four individual regressor prediction models: RF Regressor (RFR), CatBoost Regressor (CatBoostR), LightGBM Regressor (LightGBMR) and XGBoost Regressor (XGBoostR). The experimental results show that the newly-built Stacking model predicts more accurately than the individual regressor prediction models. The coefficients of determination Rc2 andRp2 for the prediction of Tibetan tea polyphenols are 0.9709 and 0.9625, and the root mean square error RMSEC and RMSEP are 0.2766 and 0.3852 for the new model, respectively, which shows that the content of Tibetan tea polyphenols can be determined with precision. Full article
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Article
Impact of Packing Density on the Bacterial Community, Fermentation, and In Vitro Digestibility of Whole-Crop Barley Silage
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 672; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070672 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 636
Abstract
Packing density has a significant influence on the outcome of ensiling forage. In this study, we aim to investigate the effect of packing density on the ensiling properties, microbiome, and in vitro digestibility of barley silages. Barley was ensiled in polyethylene drum silos [...] Read more.
Packing density has a significant influence on the outcome of ensiling forage. In this study, we aim to investigate the effect of packing density on the ensiling properties, microbiome, and in vitro digestibility of barley silages. Barley was ensiled in polyethylene drum silos (30 L) with respective densities of 600, 650, 700, and 750 kg/m3 fresh matter (FM), and stored for 60 days. The bacterial communities, fermentation quality, and in vitro digestibility were analyzed. Fresh barley had a low count of lactic acid bacteria (LAB, 104 cfu/g of FM), and Lactobacillus was nearly undetectable (<1%). Increasing the packing density decreased the pH and the content of ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N), ethanol, neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and acid detergent fiber (ADF) of barley silage (p < 0.05), and increased in vitro digestibility of dry matter, NDF, ADF, and DM recovery (p < 0.05). A higher packing density decreased the abundances of Enterobacter (from 47.4% to 35.4%) and Clostridium (from 13.5% to 3.8%), and increased the abundance of Lactobacillus (from 1.8% to 17.0%). Thus, packing density positively correlated with Lactobacillus (p < 0.05) but negatively correlated with Enterobacter (p < 0.05). The pH and the content of ethanol were positively correlated with Enterobacter (p < 0.05) but negatively correlated with Lactobacillus (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the density of 750 kg/m3 FM resulted in the highest silage quality of the densities tested. Full article
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Article
Effect of Colour of Light on Rooting Cuttings and Subsequent Growth of Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum × grandiflorum Ramat./Kitam.)
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 671; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070671 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 485
Abstract
A closed system for plant production with artificial light is an innovative method of plant cultivation. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of light colour on rooting cuttings and subsequent growth of chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum × grandiflorum Ramat./Kitam.) During [...] Read more.
A closed system for plant production with artificial light is an innovative method of plant cultivation. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of light colour on rooting cuttings and subsequent growth of chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum × grandiflorum Ramat./Kitam.) During the experiments, the following conditions were maintained: photoperiod 16 h or 10 h, temperature 22 °C, relative humidity of 65–70%. LED lamps emitted the following light colours: white, blue, white + blue (50:50), and red + blue (75:25). For all light spectra, the photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) was 50 μmol m−2 s−1. The effectiveness of exposure to different light colours was measured with parameters: cutting weight (g), cutting length (cm), length of roots, and index of leaf greenness (SPAD). The measurements referred to plant features determining plant quality, i.e., the number of flower buds and flower head, the diameter of the flower head, height of plants, index of leaf greenness (SPAD), the number of leaves, and the fresh and dry weights of aboveground parts of plants. The rooting of cuttings and subsequent growth are integral processes in the cultivation of potted chrysanthemums. Both were differently affected by the colour of light from LED lamps. The exposure to red + blue light resulted in the highest leaf greenness index (SPAD) value and the shortest cuttings with the longest roots. White + blue light significantly influenced most of the growth parameters, except the height of the plants and the number of leaves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Light on Horticultural Crops)
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Article
The Organisational Resilience (OR) of Rural Non-Profits (RNPOs) under Conditions of the COVID-19 Pandemic Global Uncertainty
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 670; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070670 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 601
Abstract
The study investigated the organisational resilience (OR) levels of rural non-profit organisations (RNPOs) in the areas of activity or non-activity to adapt under the global uncertainty conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, in April/May 2020, the managers of 35 RNPOs located [...] Read more.
The study investigated the organisational resilience (OR) levels of rural non-profit organisations (RNPOs) in the areas of activity or non-activity to adapt under the global uncertainty conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, in April/May 2020, the managers of 35 RNPOs located in Poland were queried. The Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient (ρS), the coefficient of determination (R2) and a transformation coefficient (d) were primarily used to verify the hypotheses and interpret the relationships studied. The study revealed four OR descriptive levels—progressive (PR), sustainable (SR), regressive (RR), and downward (DR). The findings also show that the undertaken activities are related to the OR descriptive levels. RNPOs realised one of two adaptations: passive adaptation aimed at returning to the pre-pandemic original state with no changes may lead to a bounce backwards and an uncertain survival, whilst active adaptation leads to a transformation process between OR levels to move forward and thrive in adapting to post-pandemic changes. This study confirmed that building OR requires understanding the ways of transformations among OR levels to undertake activities in strategic areas, i.e., activity scope (AS), cooperation (CO), and finance (FI), to adapt and transform RNPOs’ in an environment of post-pandemic uncertainty. Full article
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Article
Scheduling Regulated Deficit Irrigation with Leaf Water Potential of Cherry Tomato in Greenhouse and its Effect on Fruit Quality
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 669; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070669 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 727
Abstract
The tomato cultivated surface is one of the most important surfaces in the world. This crop needs a sufficient and continuous supply of water during vegetative growth. Therefore, production may be at risk in warm and water-scarce areas. Therefore, the implementation of irrigation [...] Read more.
The tomato cultivated surface is one of the most important surfaces in the world. This crop needs a sufficient and continuous supply of water during vegetative growth. Therefore, production may be at risk in warm and water-scarce areas. Therefore, the implementation of irrigation alternatives such as regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) is of great importance to reduce the use of water and improve the production of the quality of tomatoes. The objective of this work was to evaluate the deficit irrigation scheduling using plant water status as a tool in deficit irrigation. Experimental design was a randomized design with four replications per treatment. Two irrigation treatments were applied: Control (125% of crop evapotranspiration (ETc)) and Regulated Deficit Irrigation (RDI). This latter treatment considered different threshold values of midday leaf water depending on crop phenological stage. No differences were observed in yield, with RDI treatment being more efficient in the use of irrigation water than the control. Besides, RDI tomatoes presented, in general, greater weight, size, Total soluble solids (TSS), sugars, antioxidant activity, lycopene, β-Carotene, and redder color with more intense tomatoes flavor. Finally, it might be said that RDI strategy helped to reduce 53% of irrigation water and to improve the nutritional, functional, and sensory quality of tomatoes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future of Irrigation in Agriculture)
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Article
Evaluation of Potato Varieties Grown in Hydroponics for Phosphorus Use Efficiency
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 668; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070668 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 474
Abstract
Global phosphate mineral resources are nonrenewable and are inevitably depleting. Exploiting elite varieties has become imperative for the efficient use of phosphorus (P) for sustainable crop production. Three potato varieties were hydroponically evaluated for P mobilization, uptake, and utilization efficiencies at different P [...] Read more.
Global phosphate mineral resources are nonrenewable and are inevitably depleting. Exploiting elite varieties has become imperative for the efficient use of phosphorus (P) for sustainable crop production. Three potato varieties were hydroponically evaluated for P mobilization, uptake, and utilization efficiencies at different P levels and sources during 28 d seedling growth. ‘Harley Blackwell’, ‘La Chipper’, and ‘Red LaSoda’ were selected from a previous study and grown in modified Hoagland solution, with different P concentrations of soluble high P as NaH2PO4 (10 mg L−1 P), soluble low P (1 mg L−1 P), and 286 mg L−1 sparingly soluble P as tri-calcium phosphate [TCP, Ca3(PO4)2] with 2286 mg L−1 CaSO4. ‘Harley Blackwell’ and ‘La Chipper’ had significantly greater biomass than ‘Red LaSoda’ in the low P or TCP treatments. In low-P stress, P utilization efficiency was significantly greater for ‘Harley Blackwell’ than that of the other two varieties. ‘Red LaSoda’ was more efficient in P mobilization from TCP as compared to the other two cultivars. The holistic score analysis indicated that ‘Harley Blackwell’ was the most P-efficient while ‘Red LaSoda’ was the least P-efficient. The results of this study show that the TCP solution was successful for screening P-efficient potato varieties. Full article
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Article
Multi-Allelic Haplotype-Based Association Analysis Identifies Genomic Regions Controlling Domestication Traits in Intermediate Wheatgrass
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 667; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070667 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 513
Abstract
Intermediate wheatgrass (IWG) is a perennial forage grass undergoing a rigorous domestication as a grain crop. As a young grain crop, several agronomic and domestication traits need improvement for IWG to be relevant in current agricultural landscapes. This study genetically maps six domestication [...] Read more.
Intermediate wheatgrass (IWG) is a perennial forage grass undergoing a rigorous domestication as a grain crop. As a young grain crop, several agronomic and domestication traits need improvement for IWG to be relevant in current agricultural landscapes. This study genetically maps six domestication traits in the fourth cycle IWG breeding population at the University of Minnesota: height, seed length, seed width, shattering, threshability, and seed mass. A weak population structure was observed and linkage disequilibrium (r2) declined rapidly: 0.23 mega base pairs at conventional r2 value of 0.2. Broad-sense heritabilities were overall high and ranged from 0.71–0.92. Association analysis was carried out using 25,909 single SNP markers and 5379 haplotype blocks. Thirty-one SNP markers and 17 haplotype blocks were significantly associated with the domestication traits. These associations were of moderate effect as they explained 4–6% of the observed phenotypic variation. Ten SNP markers were also detected by the haplotype association analysis. One SNP marker on Chromosome 8, also discovered in haplotype block analysis, was common between seed length and seed mass. Increasing the frequency of favorable alleles in IWG populations via marker-assisted selection and genomic selection is an effective approach to improve IWG’s domestication traits. Full article
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Article
The Effects of Soil Compaction and Different Tillage Systems on the Bulk Density and Moisture Content of Soil and the Yields of Winter Oilseed Rape and Cereals
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 666; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070666 - 14 Jul 2021
Viewed by 506
Abstract
Progressive soil compaction is a disadvantage of intensive tillage. Compaction exerts a negative impact on the physical properties of soil and decreases crop performance. The adverse effects of soil compaction can be mitigated by replacing conventional tillage with simplified tillage techniques. Simplified tillage [...] Read more.
Progressive soil compaction is a disadvantage of intensive tillage. Compaction exerts a negative impact on the physical properties of soil and decreases crop performance. The adverse effects of soil compaction can be mitigated by replacing conventional tillage with simplified tillage techniques. Simplified tillage exerts a protective effect on soil, reduces production costs and preserves agricultural ecosystems. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of compaction and different tillage methods on the bulk density and moisture content of soil. The experimental factors were as follows: Soil compaction before sowing (non-compacted control treatment and experimental treatments where soil was compacted after the harvest of the preceding crop) and four different methods of seedbed preparation in a three-field rotation system (winter oilseed rape, winter wheat, spring barley). The influence of compaction on the bulk density and moisture content of soil varied across the rotated crops and their developmental stages. Soil compaction had no significant effect on the analyzed parameters in the cultivation of winter oilseed rape. In treatments sown with winter wheat, soil compaction resulted in significantly lower soil density and significantly higher soil moisture content. In plots sown with spring barley, soil compaction led to a significant increase in the values of both parameters. The average bulk density of soil after various tillage operations in the examined crop rotation system ranged from 1.49–1.69 g·m−3 (winter oilseed rape), 1.47–1.59 g·m−3 (winter wheat), 1.47–1.61 g·m−3 (spring barley). The bulk density and moisture content of soil were lowest after conventional tillage (control treatment) and higher after simplified tillage. Regardless of soil compaction, the greatest reduction in winter oilseed rape yields was noted in response to skimming, harrowing and the absence of pre-sowing plowing. Spring barley yields were higher in non-compacted treatments, whereas the reverse was observed in winter wheat. Chisel plowing and single plowing induced the greatest decrease in wheat yields relative to conventional tillage. Single plowing significantly decreased the grain yield of spring barley relative to the tillage system that involved skimming and fall plowing to a depth of 25. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Soils)
Article
Design and Experimental Research on Soil Covering Device with Linkage and Differential Adjustment of Potato Planter
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 665; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070665 - 14 Jul 2021
Viewed by 449
Abstract
When the potato planter works on sloping field, it will cause problems such as poor film mulching quality due to the difference in volume of soil covering both sides of the discs and the inconvenient adjustment of the soil covering disc. The soil [...] Read more.
When the potato planter works on sloping field, it will cause problems such as poor film mulching quality due to the difference in volume of soil covering both sides of the discs and the inconvenient adjustment of the soil covering disc. The soil covering device with linkage and differential adjustment was designed to improve the mulching quality. The main research content includes explaining the structure and principle of the soil covering device and analyzing the structural parameters of the adjustment mechanism. The field experiment was completed to verify the performance of soil covering device, which takes the stability coefficient and uniformity coefficient of the volume of covering soil as factors. The result shows the following: (1) The volume of covering soil changes exponentially with the angle of the disc through data fitting, which can standardize the angle of covering disc; and (2) when the angle of disc is 30° and 60°, respectively, the uniformity coefficient of volume of covering soil is lower than 1.4, which has premium soil covering quality. When the angles of the discs on both sides differ greatly, the stability coefficient of volume of covering soil is 0.41, which can meet the requirements of the mulching quality of potato planter. This research provides the technical support for high-quality potato planting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Structures and Mechanization)
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Article
Economic Returns from Cereal and Cereal/Vetch Forage Crops Grown as Fodder Conservation Options for Beef and Sheepmeat Production
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 664; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070664 - 14 Jul 2021
Viewed by 393
Abstract
The economic return from cereal or cereal/vetch crops was determined using previously published and new agronomic and herbage quality data from experiments conducted at four sites across southern New South Wales, Australia, over four years (2008 to 2011), to evaluate the agronomic and [...] Read more.
The economic return from cereal or cereal/vetch crops was determined using previously published and new agronomic and herbage quality data from experiments conducted at four sites across southern New South Wales, Australia, over four years (2008 to 2011), to evaluate the agronomic and quality parameters of two wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), two barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), two oat (Avena sativa L.), and one triticale (x Triticosecale) variety, grown as monocultures or in combination with purple vetch (Vicia benghalensis L.). The crops (n = 193) were harvested at different stages of cereal maturity and ranged in metabolisable energy (ME) from 6.9 to 13.1 MJ/kg DM and crude protein (CP) content from 49.8 to 215.4 g/kg DM. Individual crop ME and CP content was used to predict dry matter intake and liveweight gain using Grazfeed decision support tool, assuming the forages were fed as the sole diet to either crossbred lambs or British breed steers, with initial liveweights of 30 or 300 kg respectively. Animal parameters and yield were used to estimate gross margins (GM) for each crop based on estimated fixed and variable costs, including sowing and fertiliser costs, and harvesting and feedout costs. Feed quality determined animal production and potential income per animal, while yield determined potential income per hectare for any given level of animal production. Across the three years GM ranged from −$1489 to $5788 in sheep and from −$1764 to $647 in cattle. Reducing costs or increasing livestock value improved the GM. The highest GM were for lambs fed crops with high ME, adequate CP, and good yields. Increasing yield reduced the GM when growth rates were low, and costs exceeded the value of liveweight gain. Full article
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Article
Establishment of a Bivector Genetic Transformation System in Recalcitrant Maize Inbred Lines
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 663; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070663 - 14 Jul 2021
Viewed by 428
Abstract
Maize is an important grain crop with high nutritional value. An effective transformation system is crucial for the genetic improvement of maize traits, but many important maize inbred lines remained recalcitrant to transformation. In this study, we developed a bivector transformation system that [...] Read more.
Maize is an important grain crop with high nutritional value. An effective transformation system is crucial for the genetic improvement of maize traits, but many important maize inbred lines remained recalcitrant to transformation. In this study, we developed a bivector transformation system that worked well in two recalcitrant maize inbred lines. This system included an induction vector (ZmBBM-ZmWUS) and an indicator vector (GFP), using microprojectile bombardment technology combined with Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. We found that the Zheng58 and Mo17 recalcitrant inbred lines could be transformed with this system. The whole transformation cycle lasted only 52 days, 38 days less than the traditional transformation cycle. Additionally, it was possible to eliminate inference of the induction vector and obtained progenies with only the target gene. Our results suggested that the bivector system was an optimization of the current maize transformation methods and could potentially be used in genetic improvement of maize inbred lines. Full article
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Article
Effects of Rocket Seed Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, and Their Mixture on Growth Performance, Feed Utilization, Digestibility, Redox Status, and Meat Fatty Acid Profile of Growing Rabbits
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 662; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070662 - 14 Jul 2021
Viewed by 453
Abstract
Vegetable oils are a source of natural antioxidants, including tocopherols, sterols, phenolic compounds, coenzymes, and polyunsaturated fatty acids that provide nutritional value, organoleptic properties, and significantly delay or prevent lipid oxidation. Eighty-four V-line rabbits at 5 weeks of age with an initial body [...] Read more.
Vegetable oils are a source of natural antioxidants, including tocopherols, sterols, phenolic compounds, coenzymes, and polyunsaturated fatty acids that provide nutritional value, organoleptic properties, and significantly delay or prevent lipid oxidation. Eighty-four V-line rabbits at 5 weeks of age with an initial body weight (BW) of 535.60 ± 13.48 g were assigned randomly to four experimental groups (seven replicates in each group with three rabbits each). The first group served as a control and received 0.3 mL/kg BW of distilled water (CON), while the second and third groups received 0.3 mL/kg BW of rocket seed oil (RSO) and wheat germ oil (WGO), respectively. The fourth group received a mixture of oils consisting of 0.15 mL of RSO and 0.15 mL of WGO/kg BW (MOs). The experiment lasted 7 weeks. The study investigated the effects of RSO, WGO, and their mixture on growth performance, feed utilization, antioxidant status, and immune response of growing rabbits. The results indicated that the rabbits that were administered orally with RSO and WGO or their mixture had higher (p ≤ 0.05) final BW, weight gain, and average daily gain when compared to the control group. In addition, the feed conversion ratio improved significantly with RSO, WGO, and MOs treatments. Different oil treatments improved nutrient digestibility, nutritive value, and nitrogen balance. Moreover, the rabbits that received RSO, WGO, and their mixture had an improvement the meat fatty acid composition compared to the control rabbits. Oral administration of RSO, WGO, and their mixture significantly improved serum protein fractions, decreased blood urea nitrogen, and had a positive effect on serum total lipids, HDL-c, and LDL-c. Furthermore, the treatments of RSO, WGO, and MOs had a significant improvement in the antioxidative status and immune response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety and Efficacy of Feed Additives in Animal Production)
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Article
The Study of Chicken Manure and Steel Slag Amelioration to Mitigate Greenhouse Gas Emission in Rice Cultivation
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 661; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070661 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 625
Abstract
Organic matter, fertilizers, and soil amendments are essential for sustainable agricultural practices to guarantee soil productivity. However, these materials can increase the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as CH4 and N2O. Thus, technologies for reducing GHG emissions in concert [...] Read more.
Organic matter, fertilizers, and soil amendments are essential for sustainable agricultural practices to guarantee soil productivity. However, these materials can increase the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as CH4 and N2O. Thus, technologies for reducing GHG emissions in concert with the increase in rice production from rice fields are needed. The objectives of this study were to determine the best chicken manure (CM) and steel slag (SS) combination to mitigate CH4, N2O, and CO2 emissions in an incubation experiment, to identify the best CM:SS ameliorant mixture to mitigate CH4 and N2O, and to evaluate dry biomass and grain yield in a pot experiment. A randomized block design was established with four treatments, namely conventional (chemical fertilizer only) and three combinations of different ratios of CM and SS (1:1, 1:1.5, and 1:2.5), with five replications in a pot experiment. CM:SS (1:2.5) was identified as the best treatment for mitigating CH4, N2O, and CO2 in the incubation experiment. However, CM:SS (1:1.5) was the best CM and SS ameliorant for mitigating CH4 and N2O in the pot experiment. The global warming potential of CH4 and N2O revealed that CM:SS (1:1.5) had the lowest value. None of the combinations of CM and SS significantly increased dry biomass and grain yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rice Farming and Greenhouse Gas Emissions)
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Article
Pilot Study to Evaluate Performance of Frost-Yuzu Fruit Trees under Protected Cultivation
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 660; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070660 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 431
Abstract
This study was initiated to observe the performance of yuzu (Citrusjunos Sieb. ex Tanaka) fruit trees when affected by a late freezing in 2018 and to evaluate the recovery of frost-damaged trees during post management under protected cultivation. A—4.9 °C of [...] Read more.
This study was initiated to observe the performance of yuzu (Citrusjunos Sieb. ex Tanaka) fruit trees when affected by a late freezing in 2018 and to evaluate the recovery of frost-damaged trees during post management under protected cultivation. A—4.9 °C of minimum daily temperature and 40-day drought occurred during dormancy, which then received heavy precipitation between early- and mid-March, with 15 m s−1 more than maximum instantaneous wind speeds frequently observed. This resulted in observed decreases in height, width and volume as well as in fruiting, fruit weight and yield, as well as yield index in 60–90% defoliated yuzu trees, in addition to higher rates of shoot dieback compared to trees that experienced only 0–30% defoliation. Lower performance and recovery rates of trees grown on flat land compared to trees on sloped land were also observed. Tree and net windbreaks did not significantly affect tree vegetative growth and fruit productivity but were found to have lowered shoot mortality in 2018 and 2019. Mulch with an irrigation after freezing or foliar urea application was shown to effectively increase vegetative tree growth and fruit productivity and reduce shoot mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Management and Productivity of Tree Crops)
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Article
Phenolic Response to Walnut Anthracnose (Ophiognomonia leptostyla) Infection in Different Parts of Juglans regia Husks, Using HPLC-MS/MS
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 659; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070659 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 555
Abstract
This study compares the individual phenolic response of husk tissues of Juglans regia L., infected to different degrees of severity with walnut anthracnose, which is one of the most serious and widespread walnut diseases worldwide. A comparison among three differently susceptible cultivars, ‘Franquette’, [...] Read more.
This study compares the individual phenolic response of husk tissues of Juglans regia L., infected to different degrees of severity with walnut anthracnose, which is one of the most serious and widespread walnut diseases worldwide. A comparison among three differently susceptible cultivars, ‘Franquette’, ‘Milotai 10’ (‘M10’), and ‘Milotai intenziv’ (‘M10-37’), is made. In our methodology, high performance liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry is used to identify and quantify the compounds. Our results show that flavanols, flavonols, and naphthoquinones account for more than 95% of the phenolic compounds identified in the walnut husk. The higher total analyzed phenolic content in tissues is more affected by walnut anthracnose confirmed that phenolics play a major role in the plant’s response against pathogens. A difference between cultivars is observed, since French cultivar ‘Franquette’ responds differently to walnut anthracnose infection than Hungarian cultivars ‘M10’ and ‘M10-37’. Naphthoquinones and flavanols have a very similar response to walnut anthracnose infection. The resistance of cultivars may be due to the reaction time of the plant and the speed with which it recognizes the pathogen and responds quickly to the infection by containing it while it has not yet spread. Flavonols may be the most important phenolic compounds in disease control, since they respond more rapidly to infection than flavanols and naphthoquinones. They also play an inhibitory role in the early stages of viral and bacterial infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Cultivar Improvement of Nut Crops)
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Article
Prediction of Key Crop Growth Parameters in a Commercial Greenhouse Using CFD Simulation and Experimental Verification in a Pilot Study
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 658; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070658 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 462
Abstract
Controlled crop growth parameters, such as average air velocity, air temperature, and relative humidity (RH), inside the greenhouse are necessary prerequisites for commercial greenhouse operation. Frequent overshoots of such parameters are noticed in the Middle East. Traditional heating ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems [...] Read more.
Controlled crop growth parameters, such as average air velocity, air temperature, and relative humidity (RH), inside the greenhouse are necessary prerequisites for commercial greenhouse operation. Frequent overshoots of such parameters are noticed in the Middle East. Traditional heating ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems in such greenhouses use axial fans and evaporative cooling pads to control the temperature. Such systems fail to respond to the extreme heat load variations during the day. In this study, we present the design and implementation of a single span, commercial greenhouse using box type evaporative coolers (BTEC) as the backbone of the HVAC system. The HVAC system is run by a fully-automated real time feedback-based climate management system (CMS). A full-scale, steady state computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of the greenhouse is carried out assuming peak summer outdoor conditions. A pilot study is conducted to experimentally monitor the environmental parameters in the greenhouse over a 20-h period. The recorded data confirm that the crop growth parameters lie within their required ranges, indicating a successful design and implementation phase of the commercial greenhouse on a pilot scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Development Trends of Intelligent Greenhouses)
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Article
Profit Efficiency of Rice Farms in Wet-Season Lowlands in Champhone District, Savannakhet Province, Lao PDR
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 657; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070657 - 12 Jul 2021
Viewed by 561
Abstract
This study analyzed factors affecting profit efficiency of rice farms in wet-season lowlands in the Champhone District of Savannakhet Province in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic based on a farmer’s decision to maximize profits. The profit efficiency approach has an advantage in that [...] Read more.
This study analyzed factors affecting profit efficiency of rice farms in wet-season lowlands in the Champhone District of Savannakhet Province in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic based on a farmer’s decision to maximize profits. The profit efficiency approach has an advantage in that it provides insights into both inputs and outputs. To analyze profit efficiency, the stochastic production frontier model with assumptions about the time period and types of inputs was applied in the study. The study found similar results to previous studies related to efficiency measurements using a stochastic frontier analysis. Rice production and selling prices have positive signs with respect to the rate of return; however, costs of labor, seed, irrigation, fertilizers, and maintenance have negative signs with respect to the rate of revenue. However, the results from the inefficiency model showed the different role of education. The previous studies found that education level did not play an important role in improving rice productivity in Laos, however, the present study found that education level played a significant role in increasing profits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Policy and Farmer Behavior)
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