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Agriculture, Volume 5, Issue 2 (June 2015) – 12 articles , Pages 155-366

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Article
Variation in Response to Moisture Stress of Young Plants of Interspecific Hybrids between White Clover (T. repens L.) and Caucasian Clover (T. ambiguum M. Bieb.)
Agriculture 2015, 5(2), 353-366; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture5020353 - 19 Jun 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2658
Abstract
Backcross hybrids between the important forage legume white clover (Trifolium repens L.), which is stoloniferous, and the related rhizomatous species Caucasian clover (T. ambiguum M. Bieb), have been produced using white clover as the recurrent parent. The effect of drought on [...] Read more.
Backcross hybrids between the important forage legume white clover (Trifolium repens L.), which is stoloniferous, and the related rhizomatous species Caucasian clover (T. ambiguum M. Bieb), have been produced using white clover as the recurrent parent. The effect of drought on the parental species and two generations of backcrosses were studied in a short-term glasshouse experiment under three intensities of drought. Plants of Caucasian clover maintained a higher leaf relative water content and leaf water potential than white clover at comparable levels of drought, with the response of the backcrosses generally intermediate between the parents. Severe drought significantly reduced stolon growth rate and leaf development rate of white clover compared to the control, well-watered treatment, whilst differences between these two treatments in the backcross hybrids were relatively small. The differences between parental species and the backcrosses in root morphology were studied in 1m long vertical pipes. The parental species differed in root weight distribution, with root weight of Caucasian clover significantly greater than white clover in the 0.1 m to 0.5 m root zone. The backcrosses exhibited root characteristics intermediate between the parents. The extent to which these differences influence the capacity to tolerate drought is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forage Plant Ecophysiology)
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Article
Aflatoxin Accumulation in a Maize Diallel Cross
Agriculture 2015, 5(2), 344-352; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture5020344 - 17 Jun 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2739
Abstract
Aflatoxins, produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus, occur naturally in maize. Contamination of maize grain with aflatoxin is a major food and feed safety problem and greatly reduces the value of the grain. Plant resistance is generally considered a highly desirable approach [...] Read more.
Aflatoxins, produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus, occur naturally in maize. Contamination of maize grain with aflatoxin is a major food and feed safety problem and greatly reduces the value of the grain. Plant resistance is generally considered a highly desirable approach to reduction or elimination of aflatoxin in maize grain. In this investigation, a diallel cross was produced by crossing 10 inbred lines with varying degrees of resistance to aflatoxin accumulation in all possible combinations. Three lines that previously developed and released as sources of resistance to aflatoxin accumulation were included as parents. The 10 parental inbred lines and the 45 single crosses making up the diallel cross were evaluated for aflatoxin accumulation in field tests conducted in 2013 and 2014. Plants were inoculated with an A. flavus spore suspension seven days after silk emergence. Ears were harvested approximately 60 days later and concentration of aflatoxin in the grain determined. Parental inbred lines Mp717, Mp313E, and Mp719 exhibited low levels (3–12 ng/g) of aflatoxin accumulation. In the diallel analysis, both general and specific combining ability were significant sources of variation in the inheritance of resistance to aflatoxin accumulation. General combining ability effects for reduced aflatoxin accumulation were greatest for Mp494, Mp719, and Mp717. These lines should be especially useful in breeding for resistance to aflatoxin accumulation. Breeding strategies, such as reciprocal recurrent selection, would be appropriate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytotoxic Fungal Metabolites)
Article
Linking Management, Environment and Morphogenetic and Structural Components of a Sward for Simulating Tiller Density Dynamics in Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum)
Agriculture 2015, 5(2), 330-343; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture5020330 - 17 Jun 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3207
Abstract
A model which describes tiller density dynamics in bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flügge) swards has been developed. The model incorporates interrelationships between various morphogenetic and structural components of the sward and uses the inverse of the self-thinning rule as the standard relationship between [...] Read more.
A model which describes tiller density dynamics in bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flügge) swards has been developed. The model incorporates interrelationships between various morphogenetic and structural components of the sward and uses the inverse of the self-thinning rule as the standard relationship between tiller density and tiller weight (a density-size equilibrium) toward which tiller density progressively changes over time under varying nitrogen (N) rates, air temperature and season. Water and nutrient limitations were not considered except partial consideration of N. The model was calibrated against data from swards subjected to different N rates and cutting intensities, and further validated against data from a grazed sward and swards under different cutting intensities. As the calibration and validation results were satisfactory, the model was used as a tool to investigate the responses of tiller density to various combinations of defoliation frequencies and intensities. Simulations identified defoliation regimes required for stabilizing tiller density at an arbitrary target level, i.e., sustainable use of the sward. For example, the model predicted that tiller density can be maintained at a medium level of about 4000 m−2 under conditions ranging from weekly cuttings to an 8 cm height to 8-weekly cuttings to 4 cm. More intense defoliation is needed for higher target tiller density and vice versa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forage Plant Ecophysiology)
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Article
Fermented Apple Pomace as a Feed Additive to Enhance Growth Performance of Growing Pigs and Its Effects on Emissions
Agriculture 2015, 5(2), 313-329; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture5020313 - 08 Jun 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3536
Abstract
Apple pomace is a by-product from the apple processing industry and can be used for the production of many value-added compounds such as enzymes, proteins, and nutraceuticals, among others. An investigation was carried out to study the improvement in the protein content in [...] Read more.
Apple pomace is a by-product from the apple processing industry and can be used for the production of many value-added compounds such as enzymes, proteins, and nutraceuticals, among others. An investigation was carried out to study the improvement in the protein content in apple pomace by solid-state fermentation using the fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium by tray fermentation method. The effect of this protein in terms of how it enriched apple pomace as animal feed for pigs has also been studied. There was a 36% increase in protein content in the experimental diet with 5% w/w fermented apple pomace. The efficiency of conversion of ingested food was increased from 43.5 ± 2.5 to 83.1 ± 4.4 in the control group and the efficiency of conversion of feed increased from 55.4 ± 4.5 to 92.1 ± 3.6 in the experimental group during the animal feed experiment. Similarly, the effect of a protein enriched diet on odor emission and greenhouse gas emission has also been studied. The results demonstrated that the protein enrichment of apple pomace by solid state cultivation of the fungus P. chrysosporium makes it possible to use it as a dietary supplement for pigs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycling Organic Wastes in Agriculture)
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Discussion
Finding Ways to Improve Australia’s Food Security Situation
Agriculture 2015, 5(2), 286-312; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture5020286 - 27 May 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3779
Abstract
Although Australia exports more than half of its agricultural production, there are food security problems as the current food supply systems in Australia fail to deliver healthy diets to all Australians and fail to protect the natural resources on which they depend. In [...] Read more.
Although Australia exports more than half of its agricultural production, there are food security problems as the current food supply systems in Australia fail to deliver healthy diets to all Australians and fail to protect the natural resources on which they depend. In addition, the food systems create “collateral damage” to the natural environment including biodiversity loss. In coming decades, Australia’s food supply systems will be increasingly challenged by resource price inflation and falling yields due to climate change. Government and business are aiming to increase production and agricultural exports. This will increase pressure on agricultural resources and exacerbate “collateral” damage to the environment. The Australian public has an ongoing interest in issues associated with the food systems including the environment, education, health and sustainability. A health-giving diet is essential for a full life and over a life-time people need food security. Currently economy development and social planning is undertaken through the pragmatic application of a set of ideas, such as relying on markets and deregulation, collectively referred to as neoliberalism. This paper contends that the neoliberal approach is not solving the current and developing problems in food security and agriculture more generally and suggests that more emphasis should be given to alternatives approaches. Seven alternatives approaches are suggested that could be used to identify gaps and guide the creation of overarching goals in economic development and social planning to improve food security and secure the other material goods and social arrangements that all Australians require to live full lives. However, changing large systems such as those involved in food supply is difficult because vested interests in the existing arrangements make the current systems resilient to change. There are a range of leverage points that have differing abilities to change systems. The paper points out that goals and information flows are good leverage points and suggests establishing overarching goals for the systems relevant to food and restructuring the flow of information about these systems will help reform the food supply systems in Australia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agriculture)
Article
Effect of Date Palm Cultivar, Particle Size, Panel Density and Hot Water Extraction on Particleboards Manufactured from Date Palm Fronds
Agriculture 2015, 5(2), 267-285; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture5020267 - 18 May 2015
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3331
Abstract
The objective of this work was to evaluate some of the important physical and mechanical properties of particleboard panels manufactured from three different cultivars of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) fronds, namely Saqui, Barhi and Sukkari. Experimental panels were manufactured from hot [...] Read more.
The objective of this work was to evaluate some of the important physical and mechanical properties of particleboard panels manufactured from three different cultivars of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) fronds, namely Saqui, Barhi and Sukkari. Experimental panels were manufactured from hot water extracted and non-extracted, and fine and coarse particles of the raw material under two target panel densities of 650 and 750 kg/m3. Bending properties and internal bond strength, along with dimensional stability in the form of thickness swelling, water absorption, and linear expansion of the samples was tested. Based on the findings of this work, panels manufactured from high density level and Saqie cultivar, as well as fine particles, had better performance for their mechanical properties. The effect of hot water-treatment had less robust mechanical and physical properties. It appears that date palm fronds are underutilized resources that have the potential to be used in the manufacture of value-added panel products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycling Organic Wastes in Agriculture)
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Review
Agricultural Sector of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Climate Change—Challenges and Opportunities
Agriculture 2015, 5(2), 245-266; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture5020245 - 12 May 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 5251
Abstract
Half of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BH) population lives in rural areas. Agricultural production is a backbone of the rural economy and generates significant economic value for the country. BH is highly vulnerable to climate change, which poses a significant development challenge given the [...] Read more.
Half of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BH) population lives in rural areas. Agricultural production is a backbone of the rural economy and generates significant economic value for the country. BH is highly vulnerable to climate change, which poses a significant development challenge given the climate-sensitivity of the agricultural sector, the share of agriculture in the total economy, the number of people employed in the sector, and the closely related socio-economic issues of food security. BH has experienced serious incidences of extreme weather events over the past two decades, causing severe economic losses. Based on available data and currently available climate projections, exposure to threats from climate change will continue to increase. The review paper presents the current state of the BH agricultural sector and the impact of potential climate change on agricultural systems. It proposes policy options to optimize opportunities and mitigate consequences of possible climate change in the agricultural sector. Development of policy and research capacity should include harmonisation and centralisation of domestic agricultural policies, carrying out a vulnerability assessment and strengthening the public and private extension systems. Further technological development should include improvements in weather and climate information systems, crop development, irrigation and water management. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Single or Double Hurdle Sanitizer Applications in Simulated Field or Packing Shed Operations for Cantaloupes Contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes
Agriculture 2015, 5(2), 231-244; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture5020231 - 28 Apr 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2635
Abstract
Listeria monocytogenes contamination of cantaloupes has become a serious concern as contaminated cantaloupes led to a deadly outbreak in the United States in 2011. To reduce cross-contamination between cantaloupes and to reduce resident populations on contaminated melons, application of sanitizers in packing shed [...] Read more.
Listeria monocytogenes contamination of cantaloupes has become a serious concern as contaminated cantaloupes led to a deadly outbreak in the United States in 2011. To reduce cross-contamination between cantaloupes and to reduce resident populations on contaminated melons, application of sanitizers in packing shed wash water is recommended. The sanitizing agent of 5% levulinic acid and 2% sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) applied as a single hurdle in either a simulated dump or dip treatment significantly reduced L. monocytogenes to lower levels at the stem scar compared to a simulated dump treatment employing 200 ppm chlorine; however pathogen reductions on the rind tissue were not significantly different. Double hurdle approaches employing two sequential packing plant treatments with different sanitizers revealed decreased reduction of L. monocytogenes at the stem scar. In contrast, application of sanitizers both in the field and at the packing plant led to greater L. monocytogenes population reductions than if sanitizers were only applied at the packing plant. Full article
Review
Effectiveness of Organic Wastes as Fertilizers and Amendments in Salt-Affected Soils
Agriculture 2015, 5(2), 221-230; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture5020221 - 24 Apr 2015
Cited by 62 | Viewed by 4504
Abstract
Excessive salt rate can adversely influence the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils, mainly in arid and semi-arid world regions. Therefore, salt-affected soils must be reclaimed to maintain satisfactory fertility levels for increasing food production. Different approaches have been suggested to solve [...] Read more.
Excessive salt rate can adversely influence the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils, mainly in arid and semi-arid world regions. Therefore, salt-affected soils must be reclaimed to maintain satisfactory fertility levels for increasing food production. Different approaches have been suggested to solve these issues. This short review focuses on selected studies that have identified organic materials (e.g., farmyard manures, different agro-industrial by-products, and composts) as effective tools to improve different soil properties (e.g., structural stability and permeability) in salt-affected soils. Organic fertilization is highly sustainable when compared to other options to date when taken into consideration as a solution to the highlighted issues. However, further experimental investigations are needed to validate this approach in a wider range of both saline and sodic soils, also combining waste recycling with other sustainable agronomic practices (crop rotations, cover crops use, etc.). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycling Organic Wastes in Agriculture)
Article
Achieving Water and Food Security in 2050: Outlook, Policies, and Investments
Agriculture 2015, 5(2), 188-220; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture5020188 - 22 Apr 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 5036
Abstract
Food production in 2050 will be sufficient, globally, but many of the poor will remain food insecure. The primary cause of food insecurity will continue to be poverty, rather than inadequate food production. Thus, policies and investments that increase the incomes of the [...] Read more.
Food production in 2050 will be sufficient, globally, but many of the poor will remain food insecure. The primary cause of food insecurity will continue to be poverty, rather than inadequate food production. Thus, policies and investments that increase the incomes of the poor will remain the best ways to extend food security to all. Investments that promote growth in sustainable agriculture and provide non-farm employment opportunities in rural areas of lower income countries will be most helpful. There will be sufficient water, globally, to achieve food production goals and sustain rural and urban livelihoods, if we allocate and manage the resource wisely. Yet, water shortages will constrain agricultural production and limit incomes and livelihood opportunities in many areas. Policies and investments are needed to extend and ensure access to water for household use and agricultural production. Challenges requiring the attention of policy makers and investors include increasing urbanization and increasing demands for land and water resources. Policy makers must ensure that farmers retain access to the water they need for producing food and sustaining livelihoods, and they must create greater opportunities for women in agriculture. They must also motivate investments in new technologies that will enhance crop and livestock production, particularly for smallholders, and encourage the private sector to invest in activities that create employment opportunities in rural areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agriculture)
Review
Emerging Perspectives on the Natural Microbiome of Fresh Produce Vegetables
Agriculture 2015, 5(2), 170-187; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture5020170 - 03 Apr 2015
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 3782
Abstract
Plants harbor a diverse microbiome existing as bacterial populations on the leaf surface (the phyllosphere) and within plant tissues (endophytes). The composition of this microbiome has been largely unexplored in fresh produce vegetables, where studies have tended to focus on pathogen detection and [...] Read more.
Plants harbor a diverse microbiome existing as bacterial populations on the leaf surface (the phyllosphere) and within plant tissues (endophytes). The composition of this microbiome has been largely unexplored in fresh produce vegetables, where studies have tended to focus on pathogen detection and survival. However, the application of next-generation 16S rRNA gene sequencing approaches is beginning to reveal the diversity of this produce-associated bacterial community. In this article we review what is known about the composition of the microbiome of fresh produce vegetables, placing it in the context of general phyllosphere research. We also demonstrate how next-generation sequencing can be used to assess the bacterial assemblages present on fresh produce, using fresh herbs as an example. That data shows how the use of such culture-independent approaches can detect groups of taxa (anaerobes, psychrophiles) that may be missed by traditional culture-based techniques. Other issues discussed include questions as to whether to determine the microbiome during plant growth or at point of purchase or consumption, and the potential role of the natural bacterial community in mitigating pathogen survival. Full article
Article
Effect of Ozone Treatment on Inactivation of Escherichia coli and Listeria sp. on Spinach
Agriculture 2015, 5(2), 155-169; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture5020155 - 26 Mar 2015
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 5406
Abstract
The efficacy of “gaseous” ozone in reducing numbers and re-growth of food-borne pathogens, (Escherichia coli and Listeria spp.), on leafy salads was investigated using spinach. A preliminary in vivo study showed 1-log reduction in six strains of E. coli and two species [...] Read more.
The efficacy of “gaseous” ozone in reducing numbers and re-growth of food-borne pathogens, (Escherichia coli and Listeria spp.), on leafy salads was investigated using spinach. A preliminary in vivo study showed 1-log reduction in six strains of E. coli and two species of Listeria spp. on spinach exposed to 1 ppm ozone for 10 min. A range of ozone treatments were explored to deliver optimal bacterial inactivation while maintaining the visual appearance (color) of produce. Exposure to a higher ozone concentration for a shorter duration (10 ppm for 2 min) significantly reduced E. coli and Listeria spp. viable counts by 1-log and the pathogens did not re-grow following treatment (over a nine-day storage period). Impacts of 1 and 10 ppm ozone treatments were not significantly different. Approximately 10% of the pathogen population was resistant to ozone treatment. We hypothesized that cell age may be one of several factors responsible for variation in ozone resistance. E. coli cells from older colonies demonstrated higher ozone resistance in subsequent experiments. Overall, we speculate that gaseous ozone treatment constitutes the basis for an alternative customer-friendly method to reduce food pathogen contamination of leafy produce and is worth exploring on a pilot-scale in an industrial setting. Full article
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