WorldWideScience

Sample records for alternative agricultural crops

  1. Alternative scenarios of bioenergy crop production in an agricultural landscape and implications for bird communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blank, Peter J; Williams, Carol L; Sample, David W; Meehan, Timothy D; Turner, Monica G

    2016-01-01

    Increased demand and government mandates for bioenergy crops in the United States could require a large allocation of agricultural land to bioenergy feedstock production and substantially alter current landscape patterns. Incorporating bioenergy landscape design into land-use decision making could help maximize benefits and minimize trade-offs among alternative land uses. We developed spatially explicit landscape scenarios of increased bioenergy crop production in an 80-km radius agricultural landscape centered on a potential biomass-processing energy facility and evaluated the consequences of each scenario for bird communities. Our scenarios included conversion of existing annual row crops to perennial bioenergy grasslands and conversion of existing grasslands to annual bioenergy row crops. The scenarios explored combinations of four biomass crop types (three potential grassland crops along a gradient of plant diversity and one annual row crop [corn]), three land conversion percentages to bioenergy crops (10%, 20%, or 30% of row crops or grasslands), and three spatial configurations of biomass crop fields (random, clustered near similar field types, or centered on the processing plant), yielding 36 scenarios. For each scenario, we predicted the impact on four bird community metrics: species richness, total bird density, species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) density, and SGCN hotspots (SGCN birds/ha ≥ 2). Bird community metrics consistently increased with conversion of row crops to bioenergy grasslands and consistently decreased with conversion of grasslands to bioenergy row crops. Spatial arrangement of bioenergy fields had strong effects on the bird community and in some cases was more influential than the amount converted to bioenergy crops. Clustering grasslands had a stronger positive influence on the bird community than locating grasslands near the central plant or at random. Expansion of bioenergy grasslands onto marginal agricultural lands will

  2. Alternative crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andreasen, L.M.; Boon, A.D.

    1992-01-01

    Surplus cereal production in the EEC and decreasing product prices, mainly for cereals, has prompted considerable interest for new earnings in arable farming. The objective was to examine whether suggested new crops (fibre, oil, medicinal and alternative grains crops) could be considered as real alternatives. Whether a specific crop can compete economically with cereals and whether there is a market demand for the crop is analyzed. The described possibilities will result in ca. 50,000 hectares of new crops. It is expected that they would not immediately provide increased earnings, but in the long run expected price developments are more positive than for cereals. The area for new crops will not solve the current surplus cereal problem as the area used for new crops is only 3% of that used for cereals. Preconditions for many new crops is further research activities and development work as well as the establishment of processing units and organizational initiatives. Presumably, it is stated, there will then be a basis for a profitable production of new crops for some farmers. (AB) (47 refs.)

  3. Assessing Jatropha Crop Production Alternatives in Abandoned Agricultural Arid Soils Using MCA and GIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serafin Corral

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses the assessment of various biofuel crop production alternatives on the island of Fuerteventura using Jatropha crops. It adopts an integrated approach by carrying out a multi-criteria assessment with the support of participatory techniques and geographical information systems. Sixteen production alternatives were analyzed for growing Jatropha, and the results suggest that the best alternative involves using typical torrifluvent soils irrigated with recycled urban wastewater using surface drip irrigation covering 100% evapotranspiration. It was also determined that a potential area of 2546 ha could be used for cultivation within a radius of 10 km from a wastewater treatment plant. This level of production would supply 27.56% of the biofuel needs of Fuerteventura, thereby contributing to the 2020 target of the European Commission regarding biofuels for land transport.

  4. Sustainable Agriculture: Cover Cropping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Megan

    2018-01-01

    Sustainable agriculture practices are increasingly being used by farmers to maintain soil quality, increase biodiversity, and promote production of food that is environmentally safe. There are several types of sustainable agriculture practices such as organic farming, crop rotation, and aquaculture. This lesson plan focuses on the sustainable…

  5. Alternative Crops and Biofuel Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kenkel, Philip [Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater, OK (United States); Holcomb, Rodney B. [Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater, OK (United States)

    2013-03-01

    In order for the biofuel industry to meet the RFS benchmarks for biofuels, new feedstock sources and production systems will have to be identified and evaluated. The Southern Plains has the potential to produce over a billion gallons of biofuels from regionally produced alternative crops, agricultural residues, and animal fats. While information on biofuel conversion processes is available, it is difficult for entrepreneurs, community planners and other interested individuals to determine the feasibility of biofuel processes or to match production alternatives with feed stock availability and community infrastructure. This project facilitates the development of biofuel production from these regionally available feed stocks. Project activities are concentrated in five major areas. The first component focused on demonstrating the supply of biofuel feedstocks. This involves modeling the yield and cost of production of dedicated energy crops at the county level. In 1991 the DOE selected switchgrass as a renewable source to produce transportation fuel after extensive evaluations of many plant species in multiple location (Caddel et al,. 2010). However, data on the yield and cost of production of switchgrass are limited. This deficiency in demonstrating the supply of biofuel feedstocks was addressed by modeling the potential supply and geographic variability of switchgrass yields based on relationship of available switchgrass yields to the yields of other forage crops. This model made it possible to create a database of projected switchgrass yields for five different soil types at the county level. A major advantage of this methodology is that the supply projections can be easily updated as improved varieties of switchgrass are developed and additional yield data becomes available. The modeling techniques are illustrated using the geographic area of Oklahoma. A summary of the regional supply is then provided.

  6. Crop protection in organic agriculture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Letourneau, D.; Bruggen, van A.H.C.

    2006-01-01

    The authors describe pests and diseases and their management in organic versus conventional agriculture. Also two case studies are described: 1. Pest and pathogen regulation in organic versus conventional cereal crops in Europe and 2. Pest and pathogen regulation in organic versus conventional

  7. Water Efficient Alternative Crops for Sustainable Agriculture along the Tarim Basin: A Comparison of the Economic Potentials of Apocynum pictum, Chinese Red Date and Cotton in Xinjiang, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aihemaitijiang Rouzi

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This study explores a paradigm of sustainable land use in the oases along the Tarim River of northwest China, where a fragile, semi-arid riparian ecosystem is being damaged by excessive land and water use for agriculture, especially for the growing of cotton. The reliance of agriculture on water-demanding cash crops in this region poses a grave threat to survival of the natural Tugai vegetation in the area and to the long-term sustainability of the region. We explored the hypothesis that the species Apocynum pictum (A. pictum, known as Lop-Kendir by locals, and the Chinese red date (Zyzyphus jujube may act as sustainable crop substitutes for the region, thereby replacing the widely distributed cash crop of cotton that has high water demands. Therefore, we investigated current utilization and cost-revenue structure of these two alternative plants and compared the results to cotton. Three natural resource management types of A. pictum were both identified in the wild and cultivation, with cost-revenue analysis carried out for each. The results show that all three types of institutional arrangements of natural resources, which are namely open access, ranching and farming, were present in our study and at various levels for A. pictum. A. pictum farming costs 16,250.25 yuan/ha, generates 49,014.45 yuan/ha of revenue from raw materials and brings a profit of 32,764.2 yuan/ha, which is the highest of all three cash crops compared. The Chinese government encourages Chinese red date plantations with a “Grain for green” campaign in the Tarim Basin with this plant being more profitable than cotton, which could serve to diversify the region’s agriculture. We conclude that A. pictum offers opportunities for the restoration of vegetation in riparian ecosystems on salinized sites under the arid conditions of the Tarim Basin. Furthermore, it can serve as a viable land-use alternative to cotton for cash crop agriculture, as it may generate a certain income

  8. [Effects of agricultural activities and transgenic crops on agricultural biodiversity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xi-Tao; Luo, Hong-Bing; Li, Jun-Sheng; Huang, Hai; Liu, Yong-Bo

    2014-09-01

    Agricultural biodiversity is a key part of the ecosystem biodiversity, but it receives little concern. The monoculture, environmental pollution and habitat fragmentation caused by agricultural activities have threatened agricultural biodiversity over the past 50 years. To optimize agricultural management measures for crop production and environmental protection, we reviewed the effects of agricultural activities, including cultivation patterns, plastic mulching, chemical additions and the cultivation of transgenic crops, on agricultural biodiversity. The results showed that chemical pesticides and fertilizers had the most serious influence and the effects of transgenic crops varied with other factors like the specific transgene inserted in crops. The environmental risk of transgenic crops should be assessed widely through case-by-case methods, particularly its potential impacts on agricultural biodiversity. It is important to consider the protection of agricultural biodiversity before taking certain agricultural practices, which could improve agricultural production and simultaneously reduce the environmental impacts.

  9. Crop succession requirements in agricultural production planning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klein Haneveld, W.K.; Stegeman, A.

    2005-01-01

    A method is proposed to write crop succession requirements as linear constraints in an LP-based model for agricultural production planning. Crop succession information is given in the form of a set of inadmissible successions of crops. The decision variables represent the areas where a certain

  10. CROPS : high tech agricultural robots

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bontsema, J.; Hemming, J.; Pekkeriet, E.J.

    2014-01-01

    In the EU-funded CROPS (Clever Robots for Crops) project high tech robots are developed for site-specific spraying and selective harvesting of fruit and fruit vegetables. The harvesting robots are being designed to harvest high-value crops such as greenhouse vegetables, fruits in orchards and grapes

  11. Agricultural Residues and Biomass Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2016-06-01

    There are many opportunities to leverage agricultural resources on existing lands without interfering with production of food, feed, fiber, or forest products. In the recently developed advanced biomass feedstock commercialization vision, estimates of potentially available biomass supply from agriculture are built upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Long-Term Forecast, ensuring that existing product demands are met before biomass crops are planted. Dedicated biomass energy crops and agricultural crop residues are abundant, diverse, and widely distributed across the United States. These potential biomass supplies can play an important role in a national biofuels commercialization strategy.

  12. Alternatives to crop residues for soil amendment

    OpenAIRE

    Powell, J.M.; Unger, P.W.

    1997-01-01

    Metadata only record In semiarid agroecosystems, crop residues can provide important benefits of soil and water conservation, nutrient cycling, and improved subsequent crop yields. However, there are frequently multiple competing uses for residues, including animal forage, fuel, and construction material. This chapter discusses the various uses of crop residues and examines alternative soil amendments when crop residues cannot be left on the soil.

  13. Weed control through crop rotation and alternative management practices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Böhm, Herwart

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Economic as well as agricultural and socio-political changes have an impact on crop management and thus also on crop rotation design and the related effects on the weed flora. Likewise other changes in cultivation such as reduced tillage practices, earlier sowing date, etc. cause an increase in weed infestation resp. an increased use of herbicides and if so contribute to herbicide resistance. The positive effects of crop rotation, but also of alternative management practices such as choice of varieties, catch crops, mixed cropping, green chop, and the share of predators, as well as methods of direct non-chemical weed control are presented and discussed for both, conventional and organic farming. If alternative management methods should be more practiced, especially trade-offs need to be broken, or incentives be offered.

  14. Why we need GMO crops in agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    The fact that in a very short period of 35 years the global population will reach an estimated 9 billion people presents a massive challenge to agriculture: how do we feed all of these people with nutritious food in a sustainable way? At the present time the yields of most of our major crops are sta...

  15. Energy potential of agricultural crops in Kosovo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sahiti, Naser; Sfishta, Avni; Gramatikov, Plamen

    2015-01-01

    Primary energy mix in Kosovo with 98 % consisting of lignite and only 2 % of water is far from portfolio of primary energy sources which could contribute to a sustainable and environmental friendly energy supply of the country. In order to improve the situation, government is supporting activities in favor of upgrading of electricity production capacities based on Renewable Energy Sources. Corresponding action plans and feed in tariffs are already in place. However, prior to any investment, one needs specific results on available potential. Current study provides results of the analysis of Kosovo potential for energy production by using of agricultural crops. Study is based on national statistics on available agricultural crops in Kosovo and provides results on biomass potential of crops, corresponding energy potential and an assessment of financial cost of energy produced.

  16. Agricultural innovations for sustainable crop production intensification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele Pisante

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable crop production intensification should be the first strategic objective of innovative agronomic research for the next 40 years. A range of options exist (often very location specific for farming practices, approaches and technologies that ensure sustainability, while at the same time improving crop production. The main challenge is to encourage farmers in the use of appropriate technologies,  and  to  ensure  that  knowledge  about  sound  production  practices  is  increasingly accepted and applied by farmers. There is a huge, but underutilized potential to link farmers’ local knowledge with science-based innovations, through favourable institutional arrangements.  The same  holds  for  the  design,  implementation  and  monitoring  of  improved  natural  resource management  that  links  community  initiatives  to  external  expertise.  It is also suggested that a comprehensive effort be undertaken to measure different stages of the innovation system, including technological adoption and diffusion at the farm level, and to investigate the impact of agricultural policies on technological change and technical efficiency. This paper provides a brief review of agronomic management practices that support sustainable crop production system and evidence on developments  in the selection of crops and cultivars; describes farming systems for crop which take a predominantly ecosystem approach; discusses the scientific application of ecosystem principles for the management of pest and weed populations; reviews the  improvements in fertilizer and nutrient management that explain productivity growth; describes the benefits and constraints of irrigation technologies; and suggests a way forward. Seven changes in the context for agricultural development are proposed that heighten the need to examine how innovation occurs in the agricultural sector.

  17. Engineering crop nutrient efficiency for sustainable agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Liyu; Liao, Hong

    2017-10-01

    Increasing crop yields can provide food, animal feed, bioenergy feedstocks and biomaterials to meet increasing global demand; however, the methods used to increase yield can negatively affect sustainability. For example, application of excess fertilizer can generate and maintain high yields but also increases input costs and contributes to environmental damage through eutrophication, soil acidification and air pollution. Improving crop nutrient efficiency can improve agricultural sustainability by increasing yield while decreasing input costs and harmful environmental effects. Here, we review the mechanisms of nutrient efficiency (primarily for nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and iron) and breeding strategies for improving this trait, along with the role of regulation of gene expression in enhancing crop nutrient efficiency to increase yields. We focus on the importance of root system architecture to improve nutrient acquisition efficiency, as well as the contributions of mineral translocation, remobilization and metabolic efficiency to nutrient utilization efficiency. © 2017 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  18. DAMAGE BY GAME ANIMALS IN AGRICULTURAL CROPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Sporek

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In the recent years the damage caused by the game animals to the agricultural crops has increased considerably. An immediate cause of this situation is an expanding population of big game, especially wild boar. This increase is primarily due to the changes in agrocenoses, dominated by large area maize cropping. The crop damage is compensated by hunting associations leasing the specific areas. The aim of this paper was to present the costs of the compensation incurred by the lease-holders of the hunting grounds. A cause - effect relationship between greater game damage and increased harvest of the game animals was demonstrated. The analysis was based on the data provided in the Statistical Yearbooks of the Central Statistical Office for 2000-2013. The study also indicated a problem of a decline in roe deer population, caused by more intense harvest resulting from farmer compensation claims.

  19. Genetically Modified Crops: Towards Agricultural Growth, Agricultural Development, or Agricultural Sustainability?

    OpenAIRE

    Azadi, Hossein; Ghanian, Mansour; Ghuchani, Omid M.; Rafiaani, Parisa; Taning, Clauvis N. T.; Hajivand, Roghaye Y.; Dogot, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The present debate on how to increase global food production in a sustainable way has focused on arguments over the pros and cons of genetically modified (GM) crops. Scientists in both public and private sectors clearly regard GM technology as a major new set of tools, whereas industry sees it as an opportunity for increased profits. However, it remains questionable whether GM crops can contribute to agricultural growth, agricultural development, and agricultural sustainability. This review p...

  20. WEBGIS based CropWatch online agriculture monitoring system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, X.; Wu, B.; Zeng, H.; Zhang, M.; Yan, N.

    2015-12-01

    CropWatch, which was developed by the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), has achieved breakthrough results in the integration of methods, independence of the assessments and support to emergency response by periodically releasing global agricultural information. Taking advantages of the multi-source remote sensing data and the openness of the data sharing policies, CropWatch group reported their monitoring results by publishing four bulletins one year. In order to better analysis and generate the bulletin and provide an alternative way to access agricultural monitoring indicators and results in CropWatch, The CropWatch online system based on the WEBGIS techniques has been developed. Figure 1 shows the CropWatch online system structure and the system UI in Clustering mode. Data visualization is sorted into three different modes: Vector mode, Raster mode and Clustering mode. Vector mode provides the statistic value for all the indicators over each monitoring units which allows users to compare current situation with historical values (average, maximum, etc.). Users can compare the profiles of each indicator over the current growing season with the historical data in a chart by selecting the region of interest (ROI). Raster mode provides pixel based anomaly of CropWatch indicators globally. In this mode, users are able to zoom in to the regions where the notable anomaly was identified from statistic values in vector mode. Data from remote sensing image series at high temporal and low spatial resolution provide key information in agriculture monitoring. Clustering mode provides integrated information on different classes in maps, the corresponding profiles for each class and the percentage of area of each class to the total area of all classes. The time series data is categorized into limited types by the ISODATA algorithm. For each clustering type, pixels on the map, profiles, and percentage legend are all linked

  1. Nutrient deficiencies of agricultural crops in Papua New Guinea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hartemink, A.E.; Bourke, R.M.

    2000-01-01

    In Papua New Guinea the population is growing faster than the area under cultivation. As a result, land use is being intensified and soil nutrient depletion may occur, resulting in nutrient deficiencies of agricultural crops. This paper reviews nutrient deficiencies in the agricultural crops of

  2. Development of CropWatch Online Agriculture Monitoring System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, X.; Wu, B.; Zhang, M.; Zeng, H.; Yan, N.

    2016-12-01

    CropWatch, which was developed by the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI) in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), has achieved breakthrough results in the integration of methods, independence of the assessments and support to emergency response by periodically releasing agricultural information for thirty-one countries over the world. Taking advantages of the multi-source remote sensing data and the openness of the data sharing policies, CropWatch group reported their monitoring results by publishing four bulletins one year. The digital agriculture system is an effective tool for people browse and analysis the agriculture monitoring results. For helping our group to analysis and write the bulletin better and providing our readers an alternative way to browser our results, we design and build the CropWatch online agriculture monitoring system based on the WEBGIS techniques. The figure shows the CropWatch online system structure. In this web application, three methods are provided to browse the data: Vector mode, Raster mode and Cluster mode. (1)Vector mode provides the statistical data of each area which including the current time value and the maximum and minimum values in five years. In this mode, users are able to look the global statistical data and the historical data change in a chart by selecting the region of interest; (2) Raster mode provides the abnormal index value by pixel globally. In this mode, users are able to locate the precise area where the notable exception occurred after they ensure the region in global statistical data. Meanwhile, the historical data change chart is still provided in this mode; (3) Data from remote sensing image series at high temporal and low spatial resolution provide key information in agriculture monitoring. Cluster mode provides the time series change by pixel in one country which users selected. The time series data is classified into 4 or 5 types by the ISODATA method. Users can click each type in the

  3. GM Crops, Organic Agriculture and Breeding for Sustainability

    OpenAIRE

    Salvatore Ceccarelli

    2014-01-01

    The ongoing debate about the use of genetically-modified (GM) crops in agriculture has largely focused on food safety and genetic contamination issues. Given that the majority of GM crops have been produced to respond to the problem of crop yield reductions caused by diseases, insects and weeds, the paper argues that in those cases, the currently used GM crops are an unstable solution to the problem, because they represent such a strong selection pressure, that pests rapidly evolve resistance...

  4. Agriculture and crop science in China: Innovation and sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunbi Xu

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The International Crop Science Congress (ICSC is a regularly held event allowing crop scientists from around the world to integrate current knowledge into a global context and international applications. The 7th ICSC was held August 14–19, 2016 in Beijing, China, with the theme “Crop Science: Innovation and Sustainability”. The congress included eight thematic areas: crop germplasm and evolution, crop genetics and genomics, crop biotechnology, breeding and seed production, agronomy and crop physiology, climate change and sustainability, crop quality and processing, and crop production and socioeconomic aspects. As a companion production for this great congress, the nine papers collected in this special issue feature important fields of crop science in China. This editorial first briefly introduces the 7th ICSC, followed by a brief discussion of the current status of, constraints to, and innovations in Chinese agriculture and crop science. Finally, the main scientific points of the papers published in this special issue are surveyed, covering important advances in hybrid rice breeding, minor cereals, food legumes, rapeseed, crop systems, crop management, cotton, genomics-based germplasm research, and QTL mapping. In a section describing future prospects, it is indicated that China faces a full transition from traditional to modern agriculture and crop science.

  5. Integrated crop management: an approach to sustainable agricultural development.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerman, F.; Ven, van de G.W.J.; Keulen, van H.; Breman, H.

    1996-01-01

    In developing countries, agriculture is being intensified to produce more food and agricultural products. In most agricultural development strategies, the order of priorities is on: (i) increasing yields, (ii) crop protection, and (iii) human health, environmental and social aspects. This sequential

  6. Smallholder food crop farmers' participation in Bank of Agriculture ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Low participation of smallholder farmers in agricultural loans, despite efforts by governments and NGOs to make funds available for agricultural growth and development, has remained a matter of concern in Nigeria. The study analysed smallholder food crop farmers' participation in Bank of Agriculture loan (BOA) scheme in ...

  7. wild vertebrate pests activities on agricultural crops at gashaka ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A survey was conducted among 57 farmers at three different ranges in Gashaka Gumti National Park to identify wild vertebrate pests that raided and destroyed agricultural crops. The results showed that 16 wild fauna species were identified as crop pests. Six of them, Ceropithecus aethiops, Papio anubis, Heliosciurus ...

  8. Wild vertebrate pests activities on agricultural crops at Gashaka ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A survey was conducted among 57 farmers at three different ranges in Gashaka Gumti National Park to identify wild vertebrate pests that raided and destroyed agricultural crops. The results showed that 16 wild fauna species were identified as crop pests. Six of them, Ceropithecus aethiops, Papio anubis, Heliosciurus ...

  9. Agricultural field reclamation utilizing native grass crop production

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Cure

    2013-01-01

    Developing a method of agricultural field reclamation to native grasses in the Lower San Pedro Watershed could prove to be a valuable tool for educational and practical purposes. Agricultural field reclamation utilizing native grass crop production will address water table depletion, soil degradation and the economic viability of the communities within the watershed....

  10. Determinants of crop diversification amongst agricultural co-operators in dundwa agricultural camp, choma district, Zambia

    OpenAIRE

    Lighton Dube; Revaux Numbwa; Emmanuel Guveya

    2016-01-01

    A sound understanding of the socio-economic characteristics of smallholder farmers and how they influence their crop diversification decisions would help policy makers in crafting appropriate measures for promoting crop diversification. The objectives of this study is to assess the degree of crop diversification and the factors influencing crop diversification among the farm households at Dundwa Agricultural Camp of Zambia. The study uses primary data collected from 60 farm households using s...

  11. Alternative Agricultural Enterprises. Production, Management & Marketing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Linda Kirk; And Others

    These nine cooperative extension bulletins provide basic information on various alternative agricultural enterprises. Discussed in the first eight bulletins are the following topics: business ownership (sole proprietorship, partnership, incorporation, cooperatives); business and the family (goals, qualifications, ways of ensuring family support,…

  12. Topography Mediates the Influence of Cover Crops on Soil Nitrate Levels in Row Crop Agricultural Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladoni, Moslem; Kravchenko, Alexandra N; Robertson, G Phillip

    2015-01-01

    Supplying adequate amounts of soil N for plant growth during the growing season and across large agricultural fields is a challenge for conservational agricultural systems with cover crops. Knowledge about cover crop effects on N comes mostly from small, flat research plots and performance of cover crops across topographically diverse agricultural land is poorly understood. Our objective was to assess effects of both leguminous (red clover) and non-leguminous (winter rye) cover crops on potentially mineralizable N (PMN) and [Formula: see text] levels across a topographically diverse landscape. We studied conventional, low-input, and organic managements in corn-soybean-wheat rotation. The rotations of low-input and organic managements included rye and red clover cover crops. The managements were implemented in twenty large undulating fields in Southwest Michigan starting from 2006. The data collection and analysis were conducted during three growing seasons of 2011, 2012 and 2013. Observational micro-plots with and without cover crops were laid within each field on three contrasting topographical positions of depression, slope and summit. Soil samples were collected 4-5 times during each growing season and analyzed for [Formula: see text] and PMN. The results showed that all three managements were similar in their temporal and spatial distributions of NO3-N. Red clover cover crop increased [Formula: see text] by 35% on depression, 20% on slope and 32% on summit positions. Rye cover crop had a significant 15% negative effect on [Formula: see text] in topographical depressions but not in slope and summit positions. The magnitude of the cover crop effects on soil mineral nitrogen across topographically diverse fields was associated with the amount of cover crop growth and residue production. The results emphasize the potential environmental and economic benefits that can be generated by implementing site-specific topography-driven cover crop management in row-crop

  13. Topography Mediates the Influence of Cover Crops on Soil Nitrate Levels in Row Crop Agricultural Systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moslem Ladoni

    Full Text Available Supplying adequate amounts of soil N for plant growth during the growing season and across large agricultural fields is a challenge for conservational agricultural systems with cover crops. Knowledge about cover crop effects on N comes mostly from small, flat research plots and performance of cover crops across topographically diverse agricultural land is poorly understood. Our objective was to assess effects of both leguminous (red clover and non-leguminous (winter rye cover crops on potentially mineralizable N (PMN and [Formula: see text] levels across a topographically diverse landscape. We studied conventional, low-input, and organic managements in corn-soybean-wheat rotation. The rotations of low-input and organic managements included rye and red clover cover crops. The managements were implemented in twenty large undulating fields in Southwest Michigan starting from 2006. The data collection and analysis were conducted during three growing seasons of 2011, 2012 and 2013. Observational micro-plots with and without cover crops were laid within each field on three contrasting topographical positions of depression, slope and summit. Soil samples were collected 4-5 times during each growing season and analyzed for [Formula: see text] and PMN. The results showed that all three managements were similar in their temporal and spatial distributions of NO3-N. Red clover cover crop increased [Formula: see text] by 35% on depression, 20% on slope and 32% on summit positions. Rye cover crop had a significant 15% negative effect on [Formula: see text] in topographical depressions but not in slope and summit positions. The magnitude of the cover crop effects on soil mineral nitrogen across topographically diverse fields was associated with the amount of cover crop growth and residue production. The results emphasize the potential environmental and economic benefits that can be generated by implementing site-specific topography-driven cover crop management

  14. Wild chimpanzees show group differences in selection of agricultural crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLennan, Matthew R; Hockings, Kimberley J

    2014-08-05

    The ability of wild animals to respond flexibly to anthropogenic environmental changes, including agriculture, is critical to survival in human-impacted habitats. Understanding use of human foods by wildlife can shed light on the acquisition of novel feeding habits and how animals respond to human-driven land-use changes. Little attention has focused on within-species variation in use of human foods or its causes. We examined crop-feeding in two groups of wild chimpanzees - a specialist frugivore - with differing histories of exposure to agriculture. Both groups exploited a variety of crops, with more accessible crops consumed most frequently. However, crop selection by chimpanzees with long-term exposure to agriculture was more omnivorous (i.e., less fruit-biased) compared to those with more recent exposure, which ignored most non-fruit crops. Our results suggest chimpanzees show increased foraging adaptations to cultivated landscapes over time; however, local feeding traditions may also contribute to group differences in crop-feeding in this species. Understanding the dynamic responses of wildlife to agriculture can help predict current and future adaptability of species to fast-changing anthropogenic landscapes.

  15. Modifying agricultural crops for improved nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGloughlin, Martina Newell

    2010-11-30

    The first generation of biotechnology products commercialized were crops focusing largely on input agronomic traits whose value was often opaque to consumers. The coming generations of crop plants can be grouped into four broad areas each presenting what, on the surface, may appear as unique challenges and opportunities. The present and future focus is on continuing improvement of agronomic traits such as yield and abiotic stress resistance in addition to the biotic stress tolerance of the present generation; crop plants as biomass feedstocks for biofuels and "bio-synthetics"; value-added output traits such as improved nutrition and food functionality; and plants as production factories for therapeutics and industrial products. From a consumer perspective, the focus on value-added traits, especially improved nutrition, is undoubtedly one of the areas of greatest interest. From a basic nutrition perspective, there is a clear dichotomy in demonstrated need between different regions and socioeconomic groups, the starkest being inappropriate consumption in the developed world and under-nourishment in Less Developed Countries (LDCs). Dramatic increases in the occurrence of obesity and related ailments in affluent regions are in sharp contrast to chronic malnutrition in many LDCs. Both problems require a modified food supply, and the tools of biotechnology have a part to play. Developing plants with improved traits involves overcoming a variety of technical, regulatory and indeed perception hurdles inherent in perceived and real challenges of complex traits modifications. Continuing improvements in molecular and genomic technologies are contributing to the acceleration of product development to produce plants with the appropriate quality traits for the different regions and needs. Crops with improved traits in the pipeline, the evolving technologies and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead are covered. Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  16. Control of Vertebrate Pests of Agricultural Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wingard, Robert G.; Studholme, Clinton R.

    This agriculture extension service publication of Pennsylvania State University discusses the damage from and control of vertebrate pests. Specific discussions describe the habits, habitat, and various control measures for blackbirds and crows, deer, meadow and pine mice, European starlings, and woodchucks. Where confusion with non-harmful species…

  17. Sustainable commercialization of new crops for the agricultural bioeconomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.R. Jordan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Diversification of agroecological systems to enhance agrobiodiversity is likely to be critical to advancing environmental, economic, and social sustainability of agriculture. Temperate-zone agroecological systems that are currently organized for production of summer-annual crops can be diversified by integration of fallow-season and perennial crops. Integration of such crops can improve sustainability of these agroecological systems, with minimal interference with current agricultural production. Importantly, these crops can provide feedstocks for a wide range of new bio-products that are forming a new agricultural bioeconomy, potentially providing greatly increased economic incentives for diversification. However, while there are many fallow-season and perennial crops that might be used in such a “bioeconomic” strategy for diversification, most are not yet well adapted and highly-marketable. Efforts are underway to enhance adaptation and marketability of many such crops. Critically, these efforts require a strategic approach that addresses the inherent complexity of these projects. We outline a suitable approach, which we term “sustainable commercialization”: a coordinated innovation process that integrates a new crop into the agriculture of a region, while intentionally addressing economic, environmental and social sustainability challenges via multi-stakeholder governance. This approach centers on a concerted effort to coordinate and govern innovation in three critical areas: germplasm development, multifunctional agroecosystem design and management, and development of end uses, supply chains, and markets. To exemplify the approach, we describe an ongoing effort to commercialize a new fallow-season crop, field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L..

  18. Biogas production from energy crops and agriculture residues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, G.

    2010-12-15

    In this thesis, the feasibility of utilizing energy crops (willow and miscanthus) and agriculture residues (wheat straw and corn stalker) in an anaerobic digestion process for biogas production was evaluated. Potential energy crops and agriculture residues were screened according to their suitability for biogas production. Moreover, pretreatment of these biomasses by using wet explosion method was studied and the effect of the wet explosion process was evaluated based on the increase of (a) sugar release and (b) methane potential when comparing the pretreated biomass and raw biomass. Ensiling of perennial crops was tested as a storage method and pretreatment method for enhancement of the biodegradability of the crops. The efficiency of the silage process was evaluated based on (a) the amount of biomass loss during storage and (b) the effect of the silage on methane potential. Co-digestion of raw and wet explosion pretreated energy crops and agriculture residues with swine manure at various volatile solids (VS) ratio between crop and manure was carried out by batch tests and continuous experiments. The efficiency of the co-digestion experiment was evaluated based on (a) the methane potential in term of ml CH4 produced per g of VS-added and (b) the amount of methane produced per m3 of reactor volume. (Author)

  19. Biogas Production from Energy Crops and Agriculture Residues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Guangtao

    In this thesis, the feasibility of utilizing energy crops (willow and miscanthus) and agriculture residues (wheat straw and corn stalker) in an anaerobic digestion process for biogas production was evaluated. Potential energy crops and agriculture residues were screened according...... to their suitability for biogas production. Moreover, pretreatment of these biomasses by using wet explosion method was studied and the effect of the wet explosion process was evaluated based on the increase of (a) sugar release and (b) methane potential when comparing the pretreated biomass and raw biomass. Ensiling...

  20. Can agricultural practices that mitigate or improve crop resilience to climate change also manage crop pests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murrell, Ebony G

    2017-10-01

    Sustainable agricultural practices that are promoted for mitigating climate change have the potential to also improve pest management. The author highlights recent studies that demonstrate effects of climate-mitigating agricultural practices on arthropod pests and predators in agronomic cropping systems. Promising practices for suppressing pests and/or improving biological control include: plant species diversification, especially via the addition of perennial species; cover cropping; tillage practices that retain crop residue; application of organic fertilizers such as compost and manure; and water management practices such as irrigation and sustainable rice intensification. More research is needed that explicitly tests pest and predator responses to agricultural practices under climate change conditions, if these practices are to be effectively promoted and implemented as agricultural pest management strategies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Crop Residue Biomass Effects on Agricultural Runoff

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damodhara R. Mailapalli

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available High residue loads associated with conservation tillage and cover cropping may impede water flow in furrow irrigation and thus decrease the efficiency of water delivery and runoff water quality. In this study, the biomass residue effects on infiltration, runoff, and export of total suspended solids (TSS, dissolved organic carbon (DOC, sediment-associated carbon (TSS-C, and other undesirable constituents such as phosphate (soluble P, nitrate (, and ammonium ( in runoff water from a furrow-irrigated field were studied. Furrow irrigation experiments were conducted in 91 and 274 m long fields, in which the amount of residue in the furrows varied among four treatments. The biomass residue in the furrows increased infiltration, and this affected total load of DOC, TSS, and TSS-C. Net storage of DOC took place in the long but not in the short field because most of the applied water ran off in the short field. Increasing field length decreased TSS and TSS-C losses. Total load of , , and soluble P decreased with increasing distance from the inflow due to infiltration. The concentration and load of P increased with increasing residue biomass in furrows, but no particular trend was observed for and . Overall, the constituents in the runoff decreased with increasing surface cover and field length.

  2. Impact of agricultural extension services on adoption of root crops ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Impact of agricultural extension services on adoption of root crops technologies in Ondo State, Nigeria. ... The study therefore recommended that extension organizations should consider a number of factors other than contact with farmers for farmers' adoption of new technologies. These include the arrangement of follow-up ...

  3. Pollution of agricultural crops with lanthanides, thorium and uranium studied

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kučera, Jan; Mizera, Jiří; Řanda, Zdeněk; Vávrová, M.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 271, č. 3 (2007), s. 581-587 ISSN 0236-5731 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10480505 Keywords : thorium, uranium * agricultural crops * neutron activation analysis Subject RIV: BE - Theoretical Physics Impact factor: 0.499, year: 2007

  4. TREND EVALUATION OF AGRICULTURAL EXPORT CROPS IN NIGERIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aniekan Jim Akpaeti

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The study uses the Ordinary Least Square (OLS regression technique to evaluate the growth rates of three agricultural export crops (cocoa, palm kernel and palm oil in Nigeria between1970-2009. The result reveals that growth rates in export of these crops are higher in the financial sector reform period than in the pre-financial sector reform period except in palm kernel and are statistically significant at 5% probability level. This therefore suggests the need to enhance the production of these crops through provision of basic farm inputs, extension, proper financing as well as pursue policies that will encourage exportation and discourage the importation of these crops as the way out.

  5. GM Crops, Organic Agriculture and Breeding for Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore Ceccarelli

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The ongoing debate about the use of genetically-modified (GM crops in agriculture has largely focused on food safety and genetic contamination issues. Given that the majority of GM crops have been produced to respond to the problem of crop yield reductions caused by diseases, insects and weeds, the paper argues that in those cases, the currently used GM crops are an unstable solution to the problem, because they represent such a strong selection pressure, that pests rapidly evolve resistance. Organic agriculture practices provide a more sustainable way of producing healthy food; however, the lower yields often associated with those practices, making the resultant healthy food more expensive, open the criticism that such practices will not be able to feed human populations. Evolutionary plant breeding offers the possibility of using the evolutionary potential of crops to our advantage by producing a continuous flow of varieties better adapted to organic systems, to climate change and to the ever changing spectrum of pests, without depending on chemical control.

  6. Genetically modified crops: the fastest adopted crop technology in the history of modern agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khush Gurdev S

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The major scientific advances of the last century featured the identification of the structure of DNA, the development of molecular biology and the technology to exploit these advances. These breakthroughs gave us new tools for crop improvement, including molecular marker-aided selection (MAS and genetic modification (GM. MAS improves the efficiency of breeding programs, and GM allows us to accomplish breeding objectives not possible through conventional breeding approaches. MAS is not controversial and is now routinely used in crop improvement programs. However, the international debate about the application of genetic manipulation to crop improvement has slowed the adoption of GM crops in developing as well as in European countries. Since GM crops were first introduced to global agriculture in 1996, Clive James has published annual reports on the global status of commercialized GM crops as well as special reports on individual GM crops for The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA. His 34th report, Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/ GM crops: 2011 [1] is essential reading for those who are concerned about world food security.

  7. Frontiers in alley cropping: Transformative solutions for temperate agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolz, Kevin J; Lovell, Sarah T; Branham, Bruce E; Eddy, William C; Keeley, Keefe; Revord, Ronald S; Wander, Michelle M; Yang, Wendy H; DeLucia, Evan H

    2018-03-01

    Annual row crops dominate agriculture around the world and have considerable negative environmental impacts, including significant greenhouse gas emissions. Transformative land-use solutions are necessary to mitigate climate change and restore critical ecosystem services. Alley cropping (AC)-the integration of trees with crops-is an agroforestry practice that has been studied as a transformative, multifunctional land-use solution. In the temperate zone, AC has strong potential for climate change mitigation through direct emissions reductions and increases in land-use efficiency via overyielding compared to trees and crops grown separately. In addition, AC provides climate change adaptation potential and ecological benefits by buffering alley crops to weather extremes, diversifying income to hedge financial risk, increasing biodiversity, reducing soil erosion, and improving nutrient- and water-use efficiency. The scope of temperate AC research and application has been largely limited to simple systems that combine one timber tree species with an annual grain. We propose two frontiers in temperate AC that expand this scope and could transform its climate-related benefits: (i) diversification via woody polyculture and (ii) expanded use of tree crops for food and fodder. While AC is ready now for implementation on marginal lands, we discuss key considerations that could enhance the scalability of the two proposed frontiers and catalyze widespread adoption. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Agricultural sectoral demand and crop productivity response across the world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, M.; Ray, D. K.; Cassidy, E. S.; Foley, J. A.

    2013-12-01

    With an increasing and increasingly affluent population, humans will need to roughly double agricultural production by 2050. Continued yield growth forms the foundation of all future strategies aiming to increase agricultural production while slowing or eliminating cropland expansion. However, a recent analysis by one of our co-authors has shown that yield trends in many important maize, wheat and rice growing regions have begun stagnating or declining from the highs seen during the green revolution (Ray et al. 2013). Additional research by our group has shown that nearly 50% of new agricultural production since the 1960s has gone not to direct human consumption, but instead to animal feed and other industrial uses. Our analysis for GLP looks at the convergence of these two trends by examining time series utilization data for 16 of the biggest crops to determine how demand from different sectors has shaped our land-use and intensification strategies around the world. Before rushing headlong into the next agricultural doubling, it would be prudent to first consult our recent agricultural history to better understand what was driving past changes in production. Using newly developed time series dataset - a fusion of cropland maps with historic agricultural census data gathered from around the world - we can examine yield and harvested area trends over the last half century for 16 top crops. We combine this data with utilization rates from the FAO Food Balance Sheet to see how demand from different sectors - food, feed, and other - has influenced long-term growth trends from the green revolution forward. We will show how intensification trends over time and across regions have grown or contracted depending on what is driving the change in production capacity. Ray DK, Mueller ND, West PC, Foley JA (2013) Yield Trends Are Insufficient to Double Global Crop Production by 2050. PLoS ONE 8(6): e66428. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066428

  9. Complex media from processing of agricultural crops for microbial fermentation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, M.H.

    2005-01-01

    This mini-review describes the concept of the green biorefinery and lists a number of suitable agricultural by-products, which can be used for production of bioenergy and/or biochemicals. A process, in which one possible agricultural by-product from the green crop drying industry, brown juice...... examples of such products-polylactic acid and L-lysine-are given. A cost calculation shows that this fermentation medium can be produced at a very low cost approximate to 1.7 Euro cent/kg, when taking into account that the green crop industry has expenses amounting to 270,000 Euro/year for disposal...... of the brown juice. A newly built lysine factory in Esbjerg, Denmark, can benefit from this process by buying a low price medium for the fermentation process instead of more expensive traditional fermentation liquids such as corn steep liquor....

  10. NEW TRENDS IN AGRICULTURE - CROP SYSTEMS WITHOUT SOIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioan GRAD

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The paper studied new system of agriculture - crop systems without soil. The culture systems without soil can be called also the hydroponic systems and now in Romania are not used only sporadically. In other countries (USA, Japan, the Netherlands, France, UK, Denmark, Israel, Australia, etc.. they represent the modern crop technology, widely applied to vegetables, fruits, fodder, medicinal plants and flowers by the experts in this area. In the world, today there are millions of hectares hydroponics, most of the vegetables, herbs, fruits of hypermarkets are coming from the culture systems without soil. The process consists of growing plants in nutrient solutions (not in the ground, resorting to an complex equipment, depending on the specifics of each crop, so that the system can be applied only in the large farms, in the greenhouses, and not in the individual households. These types of culture systems have a number of advantages and disadvantages also. Even if today's culture systems without soil seem to be the most modern and surprising technology applied in plant growth, the principle is very old. Based on him were built The Suspended Gardens of the Semiramis from Babylon, in the seventh century BC, thanks to him, the population from the Peru”s highlands cultivates vegetables on surfaces covered with water or mud. The peasant households in China, even today use the millenary techniques of the crops on gravel. .This hydroponic agriculture system is a way of followed for Romanian agriculture too, despite its high cost, because it is very productive, ecological, can cover, by products, all market demands and it answer, increasingly, constraints of urban life. The concept of hydroponics agriculture is known and appreciated in Romania also, but more at the theory level.

  11. Energy embodiment in Brazilian agriculture: an overview of 23 crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Paulo Soto Veiga

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The amount of energy required to produce a commodity or to supply a service varies from one production system to another and consequently giving rise to differing levels of environmental efficiency. Moreover, since energy prices have been continuously increasing over time, this energy amount may be a factor that has economic worth. Biomass production has a variety of end-products such as food, energy, and fiber; thus, taking into account the similarity in end-product of different crops (e.g.: sunflower, peanuts, or soybean for oil it is possible to evaluate which crops require less energy per functional unit, such as starch, oil, and protein. This information can be used in decision-making about policies for food safety or bioenergy. In this study, 23 crops were evaluated allowing for a comparison in terms of energy embodied per functional unit. Crops were grouped as follows: starch, oil, horticultural, perennial and fiber, to provide for a deeper analysis of alternatives for the groups, and subsidize further studies comparing conventional and alternative production systems such as organic or genetically modified organisms, in terms of energy. The best energy balance observed was whole sugarcane (juice, bagasse and straw with a surplus of 268 GJ ha−1 yr−1; palm shows the highest energy return on investment with a ratio of approximately 30:1. For carbohydrates and protein production, cassava and soybean, respectively, emerged as the crops offering the greatest energy savings in the production of these functional foods.

  12. Agronomic conditions and crop evolution in ancient Near East agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilera, Mònica; Buxó, Ramón

    2014-01-01

    The appearance of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent has propelled the development of Western civilization. Here we investigate the evolution of agronomic conditions in this region by reconstructing cereal kernel weight and using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope signatures of kernels and charcoal from a set of 11 Upper Mesopotamia archaeological sites, with chronologies spanning from the onset of agriculture to the turn of the era. We show that water availability for crops, inferred from carbon isotope discrimination (Δ13C), was two- to fourfold higher in the past than at present, with a maximum between 10,000 and 8,000 cal BP. Nitrogen isotope composition (δ15N) decreased over time, which suggests cultivation occurring under gradually less fertile soil conditions. Domesticated cereals showed a progressive increase in kernel weight over several millennia following domestication. Our results provide a first comprehensive view of agricultural evolution in the Near East inferred directly from archaeobotanical remains. PMID:24853475

  13. Cost Methodology for Biomass Feedstocks: Herbaceous Crops and Agricultural Residues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turhollow Jr, Anthony F [ORNL; Webb, Erin [ORNL; Sokhansanj, Shahabaddine [ORNL

    2009-12-01

    This report describes a set of procedures and assumptions used to estimate production and logistics costs of bioenergy feedstocks from herbaceous crops and agricultural residues. The engineering-economic analysis discussed here is based on methodologies developed by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and the American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA). An engineering-economic analysis approach was chosen due to lack of historical cost data for bioenergy feedstocks. Instead, costs are calculated using assumptions for equipment performance, input prices, and yield data derived from equipment manufacturers, research literature, and/or standards. Cost estimates account for fixed and variable costs. Several examples of this costing methodology used to estimate feedstock logistics costs are included at the end of this report.

  14. The game damages on agricultural crops in Croatia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hrvoje Novosel

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Conflicts between wildlife and humans have been reported from all over the world, but in Croatia the extent and intensity of the conflict is increasing. Agricultural damage by game is a major concern for both agricultural and wildlife agencies at the national level. In this study 4,695 cases of game damage over a 4-year period were analysed. Results indicated that the total amount of economic impact on agriculture from game damage was significant. The distribution of payments shows that a majority of payments have lower economic value with an average amount of single payment being 477.08 €. The annual number of payments was found to have a negative correlation coefficient (-0.469 to the total payment amount for damages. According to the number of payments (68% of the number of payments and the payment amount (60% of total payment amount, the crop most often damaged was maize. Analysis of the data found that there was a negative growth trend of payment frequency and total payment amount for grape vineyards. The correlation between yearly number of payments and yearly production was not calculated for any crop. The high seasonal nature of payments was a determent of seasonal regression using a dummy variable regression (r2=0.93. A comparison of the monthly number of payments and monthly amounts is depicted by a time series using a seasonal line. The impact of wild boar damage on agriculture crops, in total, leads to the conclusion that this game species is a major problem. The results showed a specific subset of game damage in Croatia and, as such, it can be extrapolated to provide insight into the damage caused by wild boar in other countries.

  15. Prediction of Potato Crop Yield Using Precision Agriculture Techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Gaadi, Khalid A; Hassaballa, Abdalhaleem A; Tola, ElKamil; Kayad, Ahmed G; Madugundu, Rangaswamy; Alblewi, Bander; Assiri, Fahad

    2016-01-01

    Crop growth and yield monitoring over agricultural fields is an essential procedure for food security and agricultural economic return prediction. The advances in remote sensing have enhanced the process of monitoring the development of agricultural crops and estimating their yields. Therefore, remote sensing and GIS techniques were employed, in this study, to predict potato tuber crop yield on three 30 ha center pivot irrigated fields in an agricultural scheme located in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia. Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 satellite images were acquired during the potato growth stages and two vegetation indices (the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and the soil adjusted vegetation index (SAVI)) were generated from the images. Vegetation index maps were developed and classified into zones based on vegetation health statements, where the stratified random sampling points were accordingly initiated. Potato yield samples were collected 2-3 days prior to the harvest time and were correlated to the adjacent NDVI and SAVI, where yield prediction algorithms were developed and used to generate prediction yield maps. Results of the study revealed that the difference between predicted yield values and actual ones (prediction error) ranged between 7.9 and 13.5% for Landsat-8 images and between 3.8 and 10.2% for Sentinel-2 images. The relationship between actual and predicted yield values produced R2 values ranging between 0.39 and 0.65 for Landsat-8 images and between 0.47 and 0.65 for Sentinel-2 images. Results of this study revealed a considerable variation in field productivity across the three fields, where high-yield areas produced an average yield of above 40 t ha-1; while, the low-yield areas produced, on the average, less than 21 t ha-1. Identifying such great variation in field productivity will assist farmers and decision makers in managing their practices.

  16. Cold hardiness research on agricultural and horticultural crops in Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. LINDÉN

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper represents an overview of cold hardiness research conducted on agricultural and horticultural crops, as well as on amenity plants in Finland. Inadequate freezing tolerance and/or winter hardiness often prevents introduction of new species and cultivars to Finland. Field observations on winter hardiness and more recently the results from laboratory freezing tests, have assisted breeders to select hardy genotypes. Research approaches for agricultural crops have evolved from observations on winter and frost damage to studies on molecular mechanisms of cold acclimation and freezing injury. The results of experiments on survival of winter cereals, grasses and clovers and frost tolerance of potato and turnip rape are discussed. The studies conducted on horticultural crops, including apple, strawberry, raspberry, currants, blueberry, sea buckthorn, perennial herbs as well as on ornamental trees and shrubs have included field evaluations of cultivars, or selections for winter hardiness, and studies on the effects of cultural management practices on winter survival. During the last decade detailed studies including controlled freezing tests have provided tools to assist in explanation of the underlying mechanisms of cold hardiness also in horticultural plants. ;

  17. Nuclear agriculture and biotechnology: integrated approaches for crop improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suprasanna, P.; Venugopalan, V.

    2017-01-01

    Use of radiation and radioisotopes in agriculture is one of the most important fields of peaceful applications of atomic energy for societal benefit. They are used to induce genetic variability in crop plants to develop improved mutant varieties, to manage insect pests, to monitor fate and persistence of pesticides, to study fertilizer use efficiency and plant micronutrient uptake and also to preserve agricultural produce. So far, BARC has developed and released 42 Trombay mutant varieties in oilseeds (groundnut, mustard, soybean, sunflower), pulses (pigeonpea, blackgram, greengram, cowpea), rice and jute for commercial cultivation across the nation. Mutant characterization has been benefitted by genomics approaches and availability of crop genome sequencing. In this regard, studies are underway to utilize mutant germplasm for molecular characterization and understanding trait modification. The nuclear technologies have benefited the farmers, traders and end-users and will continue to play a significant role in addressing food and nutritional security. In this presentation, an overview will be given on the activities of the NABTD in the field of nuclear agriculture and biotechnology

  18. Estimating crop yields and crop evapotranspiration distributions from remote sensing and geospatial agricultural data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, T.; McLaughlin, D.

    2017-12-01

    Growing more crops to provide a secure food supply to an increasing global population will further stress land and water resources that have already been significantly altered by agriculture. The connection between production and resource use depends on crop yields and unit evapotranspiration (UET) rates that vary greatly, over both time and space. For regional and global analyses of food security it is appropriate to treat yield and UET as uncertain variables conditioned on climatic and soil properties. This study describes how probability distributions of these variables can be estimated by combining remotely sensed land use and evapotranspiration data with in situ agronomic and soils data, all available at different resolutions and coverages. The results reveal the influence of water and temperature stress on crop yield at large spatial scales. They also provide a basis for stochastic modeling and optimization procedures that explicitly account for uncertainty in the environmental factors that affect food production.

  19. Crop improvement through mutation techniques in Chinese agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wen, X.; Qu, L.

    1996-01-01

    Induced mutations for crop improvement is the most developed field in China's nuclear-agricultural sciences. It is well known that China has supported 22% of the world's population with only 7% of its cultivated land. The continued rise in population stresses the importance of increasing food production. Although developing crop varieties is efficient in increasing food production, plant breeders are approaching the outer limits of existing and useful genetic variability. As nuclear techniques provide an efficient route to inducing genetic mutations, more and more efforts have been focused on induced genetic variability. Induced mutations have become an effective way of improving cultivars and supplementing existing germplasm. Since 1981 two nationwide co-operation programs for mutation breeding, organized by the IAEA, have been carried out. 3 tabs

  20. Constraints to the possible alternatives from Arizona agriculture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Foster, K.E.

    1979-01-01

    The problems plaguing Arizona agriculture are outlined including the primary factors of declining groundwater supplies and increasing costs of energy to pump irrigation water. Two alternatives are suggested. The first alternative is to reduce or stabilize energy costs, an event that the authors acknowledge as being rather unlikely. Pumping costs using various fuels during the period 1891 to 1978 are reviewed. The second alternative involves developing cultivation techniques for drought-resistant plants native to arid regions, plants which have economic potential. Most of these plants would require little irrigation under cultivation and could substitute for cash crops being cultivated under heavy irrigation in Arizona. Four of these plants native to arid regions in the United States are discussed in some detail. Guayule (Parthenium argentatum) is a known rubber producer. Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) produces a liquid wax similar to the oil of the sperm whale, an endangered species. The gopher plant (Euphorbia lathyrus) is a potential producer of petrochemical feedstock for use as an energy source. Finally the buffalo gourd (Cucurbita foetidissima) is a possible source of food for both humans and livestock.

  1. Sorghum - An alternative energy crop for marginal lands and reclamation sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukas, Stefan; Theiß, Markus; Jäkel, Kerstin

    2017-04-01

    The production of biogas and the associated cultivation of energy crops are still of great importance. Considering increasing restrictions for the cultivation of standard biogas crop maize regarding an environmentally friendly production of biomass, a wider range of energy crops is needed. The cultivation of sorghum can contribute to this. As maize, sorghum is a C4-plant and offers a high biomass yield potential. Originated in the semi-arid tropics, sorghum is well adapted to warm and dry climate and particularly noted for its drought tolerance compared to maize. It also makes few demands on soil quality and shows a good capability of nutrient acquisition. Therefore, particularly on marginal areas and reclamation sites with low soil nutrient and water content sorghum can contribute to secure crop yield and income of farmers. The applied research project aims at and reflects on the establishment of sorghum as a profitable and ecological friendly cropping alternative to maize, especially in the face of probable climate change with increasing risks for agriculture. For this purpose, site differentiated growing and cultivar trials with a standardized planting design as well as several practical on-farm field experiments were conducted. The agronomical and economic results will lead to scientifically based procedures and standards for agricultural practice with respect to cultivation methods (drilling, pest-management, fertilization), cropping sequence and technique, cropping period or position in crop rotation. Even by now there is a promising feedback from the agricultural practice linked with an increasing demand for information. Moreover, the specific cropping area is increasing continuously. Therefore, the leading signs for the establishment of sorghum as profitable alternative to maize biogas production are positive. Sorghum cultures perform best as main crops in the warm D locations in the middle and East German dry areas. Here, the contribution margin

  2. Bacterial Indicator of Agricultural Management for Soil under No-Till Crop Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, Silvina M.; Simonetti, Leandro; Duval, Matías E.; Galantini, Juan A.; Bedano, José C.; Wall, Luis G.; Erijman, Leonardo

    2012-01-01

    The rise in the world demand for food poses a challenge to our ability to sustain soil fertility and sustainability. The increasing use of no-till agriculture, adopted in many areas of the world as an alternative to conventional farming, may contribute to reduce the erosion of soils and the increase in the soil carbon pool. However, the advantages of no-till agriculture are jeopardized when its use is linked to the expansion of crop monoculture. The aim of this study was to survey bacterial communities to find indicators of soil quality related to contrasting agriculture management in soils under no-till farming. Four sites in production agriculture, with different soil properties, situated across a west-east transect in the most productive region in the Argentinean pampas, were taken as the basis for replication. Working definitions of Good no-till Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Poor no-till Agricultural Practices (PAP) were adopted for two distinct scenarios in terms of crop rotation, fertilization, agrochemicals use and pest control. Non-cultivated soils nearby the agricultural sites were taken as additional control treatments. Tag-encoded pyrosequencing was used to deeply sample the 16S rRNA gene from bacteria residing in soils corresponding to the three treatments at the four locations. Although bacterial communities as a whole appeared to be structured chiefly by a marked biogeographic provincialism, the distribution of a few taxa was shaped as well by environmental conditions related to agricultural management practices. A statistically supported approach was used to define candidates for management-indicator organisms, subsequently validated using quantitative PCR. We suggest that the ratio between the normalized abundance of a selected group of bacteria within the GP1 group of the phylum Acidobacteria and the genus Rubellimicrobium of the Alphaproteobacteria may serve as a potential management-indicator to discriminate between sustainable vs. non

  3. Simulated multipolarized MAPSAR images to distinguish agricultural crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wagner Fernando Silva

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Many researchers have shown the potential of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR images for agricultural applications, particularly for monitoring regions with limitations in terms of acquiring cloud free optical images. Recently, Brazil and Germany began a feasibility study on the construction of an orbital L-band SAR sensor referred to as MAPSAR (Multi-Application Purpose SAR. This sensor provides L-band images in three spatial resolutions and polarimetric, interferometric and stereoscopic capabilities. Thus, studies are needed to evaluate the potential of future MAPSAR images. The objective of this study was to evaluate multipolarized MAPSAR images simulated by the airborne SAR-R99B sensor to distinguish coffee, cotton and pasture fields in Brazil. Discrimination among crops was evaluated through graphical and cluster analysis of mean backscatter values, considering single, dual and triple polarizations. Planting row direction of coffee influenced the backscatter and was divided into two classes: parallel and perpendicular to the sensor look direction. Single polarizations had poor ability to discriminate the crops. The overall accuracies were less than 59 %, but the understanding of the microwave interaction with the crops could be explored. Combinations of two polarizations could differentiate various fields of crops, highlighting the combination VV-HV that reached 78 % overall accuracy. The use of three polarizations resulted in 85.4 % overall accuracy, indicating that the classes pasture and parallel coffee were fully discriminated from the other classes. These results confirmed the potential of multipolarized MAPSAR images to distinguish the studied crops and showed considerable improvement in the accuracy of the results when the number of polarizations was increased.

  4. Alternative crops. Marketing and economical potentials; Alternative afgroeder. Markedsmaessige og oekonomiske muligheder

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andreasen, L.M.; Boon, A.D.

    1992-12-31

    Surplus cereal production in the EEC and decreasing product prices, mainly for cereals, has prompted considerable interest for new earnings in arable farming. The objective was to examine whether suggested new crops (fibre, oil, medicinal and alternative grains crops) could be considered as real alternatives. Whether a specific crop can compete economically with cereals and whether there is a market demand for the crop is analyzed. The described possibilities will result in ca. 50,000 hectares of new crops. It is expected that they would not immediately provide increased earnings, but in the long run expected price developments are more positive than for cereals. The area for new crops will not solve the current surplus cereal problem as the area used for new crops is only 3% of that used for cereals. Preconditions for many new crops is further research activities and development work as well as the establishment of processing units and organizational initiatives. Presumably, it is stated, there will then be a basis for a profitable production of new crops for some farmers. (AB) (47 refs.).

  5. Development of an unmanned agricultural robotics system for measuring crop conditions for precision aerial application

    Science.gov (United States)

    An Unmanned Agricultural Robotics System (UARS) is acquired, rebuilt with desired hardware, and operated in both classrooms and field. The UARS includes crop height sensor, crop canopy analyzer, normalized difference vegetative index (NDVI) sensor, multispectral camera, and hyperspectral radiometer...

  6. Intragenesis and cisgenesis as alternatives to transgenic crop development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holme, Inger; Wendt, Toni; Holm, Preben Bach

    2013-01-01

    internationally only 9 and 7 years ago, several different traits in a variety of crops have currently been modified according to these concepts. Five of these crops are now in field trials and two have pending applications for deregulation. Currently, intragenic/cisgenic plants are regulated as transgenic plants......One of the major concerns of the general public about transgenic crops relates to the mixing of genetic materials between species that cannot hybridize by natural means. To meet this concern, the two transformation concepts cisgenesis and intragenesis were developed as alternatives to transgenesis....... Both concepts imply that plants must only be transformed with genetic material derived from the species itself or from closely related species capable of sexual hybridization. Furthermore, foreign sequences such as selection genes and vector-backbone sequences should be absent. Intragenesis differs...

  7. CropNET: A Wireless Multimedia Sensor Network for Agricultural Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Shouyi; Sun, Zhongfu; Liu, Leibo; Wei, Shaojun

    Motivated by the needs of modern agriculture, in this paper we present CropNET, a wireless multimedia sensor network system for agriculture monitoring. Both hardware and software designs of CropNET are tailored for sensing in wide farmland without human supervision. We have carried out multiple rounds of deployments. The evaluation results show that CropNET performs well and facilitates modern agriculture.

  8. Modeling the impact of conservation agriculture on crop production and soil properties in Mediterranean climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moussadek, Rachid; Mrabet, Rachid; Dahan, Rachid; Laghrour, Malika; Lembiad, Ibtissam; ElMourid, Mohamed

    2015-04-01

    In Morocco, rainfed agriculture is practiced in the majority of agricultural land. However, the intensive land use coupled to the irregular rainfall constitutes a serious threat that affect country's food security. Conservation agriculture (CA) represents a promising alternative to produce more and sustainably. In fact, the direct seeding showed high yield in arid regions of Morocco but its extending to other more humid agro-ecological zones (rainfall > 350mm) remains scarce. In order to promote CA in Morocco, differents trials have been installed in central plateau of Morocco, to compare CA to conventional tillage (CT). The yields of the main practiced crops (wheat, lentil and checkpea) under CA and CT were analyzed and compared in the 3 soils types (Vertisol, Cambisol and Calcisol). Also, we studied the effect of CA on soil organic matter (SOM) and soil losses (SL) in the 3 different sites. The APSIM model was used to model the long term impact of CA compared to CT. The results obtained in this research have shown favorable effects of CA on crop production, SOM and soil erosion. Key words: Conservation agriculture, yield, soil properties, modeling, APSIM, Morocco.

  9. Effects of Interannual Climate Variability in Secondary Forests and Crops Under Traditional and Alternative Shifting Cultivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sa, T. D.; Guild, L. S.; Carvalho, C. J.; Potter, C. S.; Wickel, A. J.; Brienza, S.; Kato, M. A.; Kato, O.

    2002-12-01

    Regenerating forests play an important role in long-term carbon sequestration and sustainable landuse as they act as potentially important carbon and nutrient sinks during the shifting agriculture fallow period. The long-term functioning of secondary forests (capoeira) is increasingly threatened by a shortening fallow period during shifting cultivation due to demographic pressures and associated increased vulnerability to severe climatic events. Declining productivity and functioning of fallow forests of shifting cultivation combined with progressive loss of nutrients by successive burning and cropping activities has resulted in declining agricultural productivity. In addition to the effects of intense land use practices, droughts associated with El Ni¤o events are becoming more frequent and severe in moist tropical forests and negative effects on capoeira productivity could be considerable. In Igarape-Acu (near Belem, Para), we hypothesize that experimental alternative landuse/clearing practices (mulching and fallow vegetation improvement by planting with fast-growing leguminous tree species) may make capoeira and crops more resilient to the effects of agricultural pressures and drought through 1) increased biomass, soil organic matter and associated increase in soil water storage, and nutrient retention and 2) greater rooting depth of trees planted for fallow improvement. This experimental practice (mechanized chop-and-mulch with fallow improvement) has resulted in increased soil moisture during the cropping phase, reduced loss of nutrients and organic matter, and higher rates of secondary-forest biomass accumulation. We present preliminary data on water relations during the dry season of 2001 in capoeira and crops for both traditional slash-and-burn and alternative chop-and-mulch practices. These data will be used to test IKONOS data for the detection of moisture status differences. The principal goal of the research is to determine the extent to which capoeira

  10. Phytoremediation of soil polluted by nickel using agricultural crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giordani, Cesare; Cecchi, Stefano; Zanchi, Camillo

    2005-11-01

    Soil pollution due to heavy metals is widespread; on the world scale, it involves about 235 million hectares. The objectives of this research were to establish the uptake efficiency of nickel by some agricultural crops. In addition, we wanted to establish also in which part of plants the metal is stored for an eventual use of biomass or for recycling the metal. The experiments included seven herbaceous crops such as: barley (Hordeum vulgaris), cabbage (Brassica juncea), spinach (Spinacea oleracea), sorghum (Sorgum vulgare), bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), and ricinus (Ricinus communis). We used three levels of treatment (150, 300, and 600 ppm) and one control. At the end of the biological cycle of the crops, the different parts of plants, i.e., roots, stems, leaves, fruits, or seeds, were separately collected, oven dried, weighed, milled, and separately analysed. The leaves and stems of spinach showed a very good nickel storage capacity. The ricinus too proved to be a very good nickel storer. The ability of spinach and ricinus to store nickel was observed also in the leaves of cabbage, even if with a lower storage capacity. The bean, barley, and tomato, in decreasing order of uptake and storage capacity, showed a high concentration of nickel in leaves and stems, whereas the sorghum evidenced a lesser capacity to uptake and store nickel in leaves and stems. The bean was the most efficient in storing nickel in fruits or grains. Tomato, sorghum, and barley have shown a storage capacity notably less than bean. The bean appeared to be the most efficient in accumulating nickel in the roots, followed in decreasing order by sorghum, ricinus, and tomato. With regard to the removal of nickel, spinach was the most efficient as it contains the highest level of this metal per gram of dry matter. The ricinus, cabbage, bean, sorghum, barley, and tomato evidenced a progressively decreasing efficiency in the removal of nickel.

  11. Biofuels, bioenergy, and bioproducts from sustainable agricultural and forest crops: proceedings of the short rotation crops international conference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronald S., Jr. Zalesny; Rob Mitchell; Jim, eds. Richardson

    2008-01-01

    The goal of this conference was to initiate and provide opportunities for an international forum on the science and application of producing both agricultural and forest crops for biofuels, bioenergy, and bioproducts. There is a substantial global need for development of such systems and technologies that can economically and sustainably produce short rotation crops...

  12. Simulating greenhouse gas budgets of four California cropping systems under conventional and alternative management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Gryze, Steven; Wolf, Adam; Kaffka, Stephen R; Mitchell, Jeff; Rolston, Dennis E; Temple, Steven R; Lee, Juhwan; Six, Johan

    2010-10-01

    Despite the importance of agriculture in California's Central Valley, the potential of alternative management practices to reduce soil greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has been poorly studied in California. This study aims at (1) calibrating and validating DAYCENT, an ecosystem model, for conventional and alternative cropping systems in California's Central Valley, (2) estimating CO2, N2O, and CH4 soil fluxes from these systems, and (3) quantifying the uncertainty around model predictions induced by variability in the input data. The alternative practices considered were cover cropping, organic practices, and conservation tillage. These practices were compared with conventional agricultural management. The crops considered were beans, corn, cotton, safflower, sunflower, tomato, and wheat. Four field sites, for which at least five years of measured data were available, were used to calibrate and validate the DAYCENT model. The model was able to predict 86-94% of the measured variation in crop yields and 69-87% of the measured variation in soil organic carbon (SOC) contents. A Monte Carlo analysis showed that the predicted variability of SOC contents, crop yields, and N2O fluxes was generally smaller than the measured variability of these parameters, in particular for N2O fluxes. Conservation tillage had the smallest potential to reduce GHG emissions among the alternative practices evaluated, with a significant reduction of the net soil GHG fluxes in two of the three sites of 336 +/- 47 and 550 +/- 123 kg CO2-eq x ha(-1) x yr(-1) (mean +/- SE). Cover cropping had a larger potential, with net soil GHG flux reductions of 752 +/- 10, 1072 +/- 272, and 2201 +/- 82 kg CO2-eq x ha(-1) x yr(-1). Organic practices had the greatest potential for soil GHG flux reduction, with 4577 +/- 272 kg CO2-eq x ha(-1) x yr(-1). Annual differences in weather or management conditions contributed more to the variance in annual GHG emissions than soil variability did. We concluded that the

  13. From alternative Agriculture to the Food Industry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Thorkild; Kristensen, Niels Heine

    1997-01-01

    for organic agriculture over the last decade.Organic food production is now developing fast in some EU member states. This recent development is not only marked by more positive attitudes towards organic products from the food industry but also by an increasing need for a matching response in terms of food...... policy. Relevance: The EU regulation 2092/91/EEC is mainly focused on organic agriculture, but as the food industryenters this field the need emerges for a more specific interpretation, development and implementation of the organic principles and methods in processing, handling and distribution. Whether...

  14. Crop pollination from native bees at risk from agricultural intensification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kremen, Claire; Williams, Neal M; Thorp, Robbin W

    2002-12-24

    Ecosystem services are critical to human survival; in selected cases, maintaining these services provides a powerful argument for conserving biodiversity. Yet, the ecological and economic underpinnings of most services are poorly understood, impeding their conservation and management. For centuries, farmers have imported colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera) to fields and orchards for pollination services. These colonies are becoming increasingly scarce, however, because of diseases, pesticides, and other impacts. Native bee communities also provide pollination services, but the amount they provide and how this varies with land management practices are unknown. Here, we document the individual species and aggregate community contributions of native bees to crop pollination, on farms that varied both in their proximity to natural habitat and management type (organic versus conventional). On organic farms near natural habitat, we found that native bee communities could provide full pollination services even for a crop with heavy pollination requirements (e.g., watermelon, Citrullus lanatus), without the intervention of managed honey bees. All other farms, however, experienced greatly reduced diversity and abundance of native bees, resulting in insufficient pollination services from native bees alone. We found that diversity was essential for sustaining the service, because of year-to-year variation in community composition. Continued degradation of the agro-natural landscape will destroy this "free" service, but conservation and restoration of bee habitat are potentially viable economic alternatives for reducing dependence on managed honey bees.

  15. Investigating Impacts of Alternative Crop Market Scenarios on Land Use Change with an Agent-Based Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deng Ding

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available We developed an agent-based model (ABM to simulate farmers’ decisions on crop type and fertilizer application in response to commodity and biofuel crop prices. Farm profit maximization constrained by farmers’ profit expectations for land committed to biofuel crop production was used as the decision rule. Empirical parameters characterizing farmers’ profit expectations were derived from an agricultural landowners and operators survey and integrated in the ABM. The integration of crop production cost models and the survey information in the ABM is critical to producing simulations that can provide realistic insights into agricultural land use planning and policy making. Model simulations were run with historical market prices and alternative market scenarios for corn price, soybean to corn price ratio, switchgrass price, and switchgrass to corn stover ratio. The results of the comparison between simulated cropland percentage and crop rotations with satellite-based land cover data suggest that farmers may be underestimating the effects that continuous corn production has on yields. The simulation results for alternative market scenarios based on a survey of agricultural land owners and operators in the Clear Creek Watershed in eastern Iowa show that farmers see cellulosic biofuel feedstock production in the form of perennial grasses or corn stover as a more risky enterprise than their current crop production systems, likely because of market and production risks and lock in effects. As a result farmers do not follow a simple farm-profit maximization rule.

  16. GM crops in Ethiopia : a realistic way to increase agricultural performance?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Azadi, Hossein; Taisma, Nanda; Ho, Peter; Zarafshani, Kiumars

    Much has been published on the application of genetically modified (GM) crops in Africa, but agricultural performance has hardly been addressed. This paper discusses the main consequences of GM crops on agricultural performance in Ethiopia. Three main criteria of performance productivity,

  17. Magnetopriming - an alternate strategy for crop stress management of field crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anand, Anjali

    2014-01-01

    Abiotic stresses are major deterrent to sustainable crop production worldwide. Seed germination and early seedling growth are considered as the most critical stages of plant growth under stress conditions. Maximising stress tolerance of crop species by breeding is an integral part of development of strategies for improving sustainable food production under stressed environment but the unprecedented rate at which stress is increasing vis-a-vis the time taken for development of a tolerant variety, necessitates exploring alternate strategies of crop stress management. Seed priming has emerged as a promising crop stress management technique that increases the speed of germination thus ensuring synchronized field emergence of the crop. Magnetopriming (exposure of seeds to magnetic field) is a non invasive physical stimulant used for improving seedling vigour that helps in establishment of crop stand under stress. In our experiments on maize; chickpea and wheat under water deficit and salinity, respectively, improved seed water absorption characteristics resulted in faster hydration of enzymes (amylases, protease and dehydrogenase) leading to early germination and enhanced vigour of seedlings under stress. Increased levels of hydrogen peroxide in faster germinating - magnetoprimed seeds, under both the growing conditions, suggested its role in oxidative signaling during seed germination process. An 'oxidative window' for reactive oxygen species ensured that faster germination rate in magnetoprimed seeds led to vigourous seedlings. Improved root system integrated with higher photosynthetic efficiency and efficient partitioning of Na + increased yield from magnetoprimed seeds under salinity in controlled experiments. Magnetopriming can be effectively used as a pre-sowing treatment for mitigating adverse effects of water deficit and salinity at seed germination and early seedling growth. Unlike other conventional priming techniques it avoids seed hydration and

  18. Environmental effects of growing short-rotation woody crops on former agricultural lands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tolbert, V.R.; Thornton, F.C.; Joslin, J.D.

    1997-01-01

    Field-scale studies in the Southeast have been addressing the environmental effects of converting agricultural lands to biomass crop production since 1994. Erosion, surface water quality and quantity and subsurface movement of water and nutrients from woody crops, switchgrass and agricultural crops are being compared. Nutrient cycling, soil physical changes, and crop productivity are also being monitored at the three sites. Maximum sediment losses occurred in the spring and fall. Losses were greater from sweetgum planted without a cover crop than with a cover crop. Nutrient losses of N and P in runoff and subsurface water occurred primarily after spring fertilizer application. These field plot studies are serving as the basis for a water shed study initiated in 1997. Results from the two studies will be used to develop and model nutrient and hydrologic budgets for woody crop plantings to identify potential constraints to sustainable deployment of short-rotation woody crops in the southeastern United States. (author)

  19. Introducing perennial biomass crops into agricultural landscapes to address water quality challenges and provide other environmental services: Integrating perennial bioenergy crops into agricultural landscapes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cacho, J. F. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA; Negri, M. C. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA; Zumpf, C. R. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA; Campbell, P. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA

    2017-11-29

    The world is faced with a difficult multiple challenge of meeting nutritional, energy, and other basic needs, under a limited land and water budget, of between 9 and 10 billion people in the next three decades, mitigating impacts of climate change, and making agricultural production resilient. More productivity is expected from agricultural lands, but intensification of production could further impact the integrity of our finite surface water and groundwater resources. Integrating perennial bioenergy crops in agricultural lands could provide biomass for biofuel and potential improvements on the sustainability of commodity crop production. This article provides an overview of ways in which research has shown that perennial bioenergy grasses and short rotation woody crops can be incorporated into agricultural production systems with reduced indirect land use change, while increasing water quality benefits. Current challenges and opportunities as well as future directions are also highlighted.

  20. Jacobo-Velázquez, D.A and Cisneros-Zevallos, L. An Alternative Use of Horticultural Crops: Stressed Plants as Biofactories of Bioactive Phenolic Compounds. Agriculture 2012, 2, 259-271

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Cisneros-Zevallos

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The authors are sorry to report that some data in the text (Section 2, Section 2.1.1. and Section 2.1.2 and Table 1 were incorrect in reference [1], doi: 10.3390/agriculture2030259, website: http://www.mdpi.com/2077-0472/2/3/259. Our mistake was basically in the calculations of changes observed in the reported values in those references; unfortunately we did not detect the errors at the time of publication. However, since we saw them afterwards, we believed it was pertinent to make the corrections. The authors would, therefore, like to make the following corrections to the paper:

  1. Alternatives to neonicotinoid insecticides for pest control: case studies in agriculture and forestry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furlan, Lorenzo; Kreutzweiser, David

    2015-01-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are widely used for control of insect pests around the world and are especially pervasive in agricultural pest management. There is a growing body of evidence indicating that the broad-scale and prophylactic uses of neonicotinoids pose serious risks of harm to beneficial organisms and their ecological function. This provides the impetus for exploring alternatives to neonicotinoid insecticides for controlling insect pests. We draw from examples of alternative pest control options in Italian maize production and Canadian forestry to illustrate the principles of applying alternatives to neonicotinoids under an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy. An IPM approach considers all relevant and available information to make informed management decisions, providing pest control options based on actual need. We explore the benefits and challenges of several options for management of three insect pests in maize crops and an invasive insect pest in forests, including diversifying crop rotations, altering the timing of planting, tillage and irrigation, using less sensitive crops in infested areas, applying biological control agents, and turning to alternative reduced risk insecticides. Continued research into alternatives is warranted, but equally pressing is the need for information transfer and training for farmers and pest managers and the need for policies and regulations to encourage the adoption of IPM strategies and their alternative pest control options.

  2. Attitudes of Agricultural Experts Toward Genetically Modified Crops: A Case Study in Southwest Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghanian, Mansour; Ghoochani, Omid M; Kitterlin, Miranda; Jahangiry, Sheida; Zarafshani, Kiumars; Van Passel, Steven; Azadi, Hossein

    2016-04-01

    The production of genetically modified (GM) crops is growing around the world, and with it possible opportunities to combat food insecurity and hunger, as well as solutions to current problems facing conventional agriculture. In this regard the use of GMOs in food and agricultural applications has increased greatly over the past decade. However, the development of GM crops has been a matter of considerable interest and worldwide public controversy. This, in addition to skepticism, has stifled the use of this practice on a large scale in many areas, including Iran. It stands to reason that a greater understanding of this practice could be formed after a review of the existing expert opinions surrounding GM crops. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze the predictors that influence agricultural experts' attitudes toward the development of and policies related to GM crops. Using a descriptive correlational research method, questionnaire data was collected from 65 experts from the Agricultural Organization in the Gotvand district in Southwest Iran. Results indicated that agricultural experts were aware of the environmental benefits and possible risks associated with GM crops. The majority of participants agreed that GM crops could improve food security and accelerate rural development, and were proponents of labeling practices for GM crops. Finally, there was a positive correlation between the perception of benefits and attitudes towards GM crops.

  3. Cover Crops in West Africa: Contributing to Sustainable Agriculture ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    This book examines the potential for using cover crops to maintain and improve soil fertility in West Africa. It documents past experiences withcover cropping in Africa and will hopefully stimulate future research on priority socioeconomic and biophysical aspects of this important topic. The editors Daniel Buckles is Senior ...

  4. Rethinking the Risk Management Process for Genetically Engineered Crop Varieties in Small-scale, Traditionally Based Agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A. Cleveland

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Proponents of genetically engineered (GE crops often assume that the risk management used in the industrial world is appropriate for small-scale, traditionally based agriculture in the Third World. Opponents of GE crops often assume that risk management is inappropriate for the Third World, because it is inherently biased in favor of the industrial world. We examine both of these assumptions, by rethinking risk management for GE crops and transgenes, using the example of maize transgene flow from the U.S. to Mexico. Risk management for the Third World is a necessary first step of a broader benefit-cost analysis of GE crops, which would include comparisons with existing varieties and with alternative varieties such as transgenic farmer varieties and organic varieties. Our goal is to use existing information on GE crops and on the social and biological characteristics of Third World agriculture to identify key processes that need to be considered in risk management, and the additional research required to adequately understand them. The four main steps in risk management are hazard identification, risk analysis (exposure x harm, risk evaluation, and risk treatment. We use informal event trees to identify possible exposure to GE crops and transgenes, and resulting biological and social harm; give examples of farmers' ability to evaluate social harm; and discuss the possibilities for risk treatment. We conclude that risk management is relevant for Third World agriculture, but needs to be based on the unique biological and social characteristics of small-scale, traditionally based agriculture, including the knowledge and values of Third World farmers and consumers.

  5. Monitoring Agricultural Cropping Patterns in the Great Lakes Basin Using MODIS-NDVI Time Series Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    This research examined changes in agricultural cropping patterns across the Great Lakes Basin (GLB) using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data. Specific research objectives were to characterize the distribut...

  6. Ruminant Grazing of Cover Crops: Effects on Soil Properties and Agricultural Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poffenbarger, Hanna

    2010-01-01

    Integrating livestock into a cropping system by allowing ruminant animals to graze cover crops may yield economic and environmental benefits. The effects of grazing on soil physical properties, soil organic matter, nitrogen cycling and agricultural production are presented in this literature review. The review found that grazing cover crops…

  7. Global hot-spots of heat stress on agricultural crops due to climate change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Teixeira, E.; Fischer, G.; Velthuizen, van H.; Walter, C.; Ewert, F.

    2013-01-01

    The productivity of important agricultural crops is drastically reduced when they experience short episodes of high temperatures during the reproductive period. Crop heat stress was acknowledged in the IPCC 4th Assessment Report as an important threat to global food supply. We produce a first

  8. Multi-Product Crops for Agricultural and Energy Production : an AGE Analysis for Poland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ignaciuk, A.; Dellink, R.B.

    2005-01-01

    By-products from agriculture and forestry can contribute to production of clean and cheap (bio)electricity. To assess the role of such multi-product crops in the response to climate policies, we present an applied general equilibrium model with special attention to biomass and multi-product crops

  9. Mainstream and alternative sources of finance in Dutch agriculture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meulen, van der H.A.B.; Asseldonk, van M.A.P.M.

    2017-01-01

    In this paper mainstream and alternative sources of finance in
    Dutch agriculture is analysed. Dutch farmers make use of
    different sources of finance whereby bank loans continue to
    serve as the major source of debt financing. The average bank
    loan was approximately 740,000 euro per

  10. Gender Analysis of Sustainable Agricultural Practices by Crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sustainable agricultural practices describe the effort of farmers at protecting and enhancing the environment to preserve it for further exploitation. Therefore both men and women have important roles to play in preserving their environment. This paper analyzed the gender roles in the use of sustainable agricultural practices ...

  11. Diversification and ecosystem services for conservation agriculture: Outcomes from pastures and integrated crop-livestock systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greater demands for agriculture to provide food, feed, fiber, and fuel place increased pressure on farmers to intensify their production practices. Increased use of external inputs and converting marginal land for cropping can compromise the ecosystem services obtained from agriculture, especially c...

  12. Do Smallholder, Mixed Crop-Livestock Livelihoods Encourage Sustainable Agricultural Practices? A Meta-Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas K. Rudel

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available As calls for bolstering ecosystem services from croplands have grown more insistent during the past two decades, the search for ways to foster these agriculture-sustaining services has become more urgent. In this context we examine by means of a meta-analysis the argument, proposed by Robert McC. Netting, that small-scale, mixed crop-livestock farming, a common livelihood among poor rural peoples, leads to environmentally sustainable agricultural practices. As predicted, mixed crop-livestock farms exhibit more sustainable practices, but, contrary to predictions, a small scale of operation does not predict sustainability. Many smallholders on mixed crop-livestock farms use sustainable practices, but other smallholders practice a degrading, input-scarce agriculture. Some large farm operators use soil-conserving, minimum-tillage techniques while other large operators ignore soil-conserving techniques and practice an industrialized, high chemical input agriculture. The strength and pervasiveness of the link in the data between mixed crop-livestock farming and sustainable agricultural practices argues for agricultural policies that promote mixed crop-livestock livelihoods.

  13. ECONOMIC BACKGROUND CROP ROTATION AS A WAY TO PREVENT THE DEGRADATION OF AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shevchenko O.

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available This article explores that to successfully combat land degradation on lands occupied in agriculture, it is necessary to conduct complex soil conservation measures constitute a single interconnected system and protect soil from degradation. Found that rotation – a reasonable compromise between the main requirements of production, organization of territory and environment, placing crops in view of a favorable combination; compliance with acceptable saturation parameters optimally varying cultures, and thus the possible timing of a return to their previous cultivation while taking into account the duration of the accepted rotation. Determined that the implementation and observance of crop rotation and better ensure the replenishment of nutrients of the soil, improving and maintaining its favorable physical properties, prevent the emergence of weeds, pests and pathogens cultivated crops and preventing the depletion of soil degradation processes and development. Found that scientifically based crop rotation is the basis for the use of all complex farming practices, differentiated cultivation, rational use of fertilizers and caring for plants. Rotation is correct – it agroecosystem, which created the best conditions for growth and development of various crops, thus providing a growing high and stable yields, obtaining high quality products. Soil and climatic conditions, specialty farms, crops structure and their biological characteristics defined as the type of crop rotation and crop rotation order. Each rotation should be selected such status, which would provide the greatest yield per unit area of rational use of all land. Therefore, proper placement crops in crop rotation must necessarily take into account the requirements of crops to their predecessor, thus it must evaluate not only the direct action of the first culture, but also take into account the impact of the latter on the following crops rotation. On unproductive and degraded lands is

  14. Contribution of insect pollinators to crop yield and quality varies with agricultural intensification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ignasi Bartomeus

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Background. Up to 75% of crop species benefit at least to some degree from animal pollination for fruit or seed set and yield. However, basic information on the level of pollinator dependence and pollinator contribution to yield is lacking for many crops. Even less is known about how insect pollination affects crop quality. Given that habitat loss and agricultural intensification are known to decrease pollinator richness and abundance, there is a need to assess the consequences for different components of crop production.Methods. We used pollination exclusion on flowers or inflorescences on a whole plant basis to assess the contribution of insect pollination to crop yield and quality in four flowering crops (spring oilseed rape, field bean, strawberry, and buckwheat located in four regions of Europe. For each crop, we recorded abundance and species richness of flower visiting insects in ten fields located along a gradient from simple to heterogeneous landscapes.Results. Insect pollination enhanced average crop yield between 18 and 71% depending on the crop. Yield quality was also enhanced in most crops. For instance, oilseed rape had higher oil and lower chlorophyll contents when adequately pollinated, the proportion of empty seeds decreased in buckwheat, and strawberries’ commercial grade improved; however, we did not find higher nitrogen content in open pollinated field beans. Complex landscapes had a higher overall species richness of wild pollinators across crops, but visitation rates were only higher in complex landscapes for some crops. On the contrary, the overall yield was consistently enhanced by higher visitation rates, but not by higher pollinator richness.Discussion. For the four crops in this study, there is clear benefit delivered by pollinators on yield quantity and/or quality, but it is not maximized under current agricultural intensification. Honeybees, the most abundant pollinator, might partially compensate the loss of wild

  15. Optimal Cropping Pattern Based on Multiple Economic, Regional, and Agricultural Sustainability Criteria in Sari, Iran: Application of a Consolidated Model of AHP and Linear Programming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Fallahi

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Determining a suitable cropping pattern is an important task for planners and requires an exact and realistic decision-making process based on several goals and criteria corresponding to secure the interest of agricultural beneficiaries in long-term. Accordingly, this study reviews the current pattern operated by farmers in Sari, Iran, and intends to provide a cropping pattern that considers the multifold regional and agricultural sustainability criteria along with economic considerations. Materials and Methods: In order to achieve the study goals, a consolidated model of AHP and Linear Programming was applied. For this purpose, we constructed a three-level AHP, including a goal (determining the weight of each crop, seven criteria, and seven alternatives. Profitability, compatibility with regional and geographical conditions, water consumption, environmental effects of cropping, job creation opportunities, skill and proficiency required for producing a crop, and risk taken to cultivate a crop were considered as the criteria in the model. Seven alternative crops including rice, wheat, rapeseed, barley, soybean, clover, and vegetables were considered too. The next step is determining the weight of each criterion with regard to the goal and the weight of each alternative with regard to each criteria. By multiplying these weights, final weights for various crops were obtained from the model. Derived weights for each crop were then applied as objective function coefficients in the Linear Programming model and the model was solved subject to the constraints. Results and Discussion: Optimal cropping pattern determined based on the consolidated model of AHP and Linear Programming and the results compared to a scenario that only looks forward to maximizing the economic interests. Due to the low profitability of rapeseed and barley, these crops eliminated from the pattern in the profit-maximizing scenario. According to the results, the

  16. Upgrading protein products using bioprocessing on agricultural crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sulewska, Anna Maria; Sørensen, Jens Christian; Markedal, Keld Ejdrup

    to sustainability leads to a demand for plant protein products made from locally grown crops. Novel bioprocessing methods have been developed to generate protein products which are nutritious, readily available and do not generate hazardous waste. The processing focus has therefore been on developing protein...

  17. AquaCrop-OS: A tool for resilient management of land and water resources in agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Timothy; Brozovic, Nicholas; Butler, Adrian P.; Neale, Christopher M. U.; Raes, Dirk; Steduto, Pasquale; Fereres, Elias; Hsiao, Theodore C.

    2017-04-01

    Water managers, researchers, and other decision makers worldwide are faced with the challenge of increasing food production under population growth, drought, and rising water scarcity. Crop simulation models are valuable tools in this effort, and, importantly, provide a means of quantifying rapidly crop yield response to water, climate, and field management practices. Here, we introduce a new open-source crop modelling tool called AquaCrop-OS (Foster et al., 2017), which extends the functionality of the globally used FAO AquaCrop model. Through case studies focused on groundwater-fed irrigation in the High Plains and Central Valley of California in the United States, we demonstrate how AquaCrop-OS can be used to understand the local biophysical, behavioural, and institutional drivers of water risks in agricultural production. Furthermore, we also illustrate how AquaCrop-OS can be combined effectively with hydrologic and economic models to support drought risk mitigation and decision-making around water resource management at a range of spatial and temporal scales, and highlight future plans for model development and training. T. Foster, et al. (2017) AquaCrop-OS: An open source version of FAO's crop water productivity model. Agricultural Water Management. 181: 18-22. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2016.11.015.

  18. Agriculture and Bioactives: Achieving Both Crop Yield and Phytochemicals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irineo Torres-Pacheco

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Plants are fundamental elements of the human diet, either as direct sources of nutrients or indirectly as feed for animals. During the past few years, the main goal of agriculture has been to increase yield in order to provide the food that is needed by a growing world population. As important as yield, but commonly forgotten in conventional agriculture, is to keep and, if it is possible, to increase the phytochemical content due to their health implications. Nowadays, it is necessary to go beyond this, reconciling yield and phytochemicals that, at first glance, might seem in conflict. This can be accomplished through reviewing food requirements, plant consumption with health implications, and farming methods. The aim of this work is to show how both yield and phytochemicals converge into a new vision of agricultural management in a framework of integrated agricultural practices.

  19. Genetically Engineered Crops and Certified Organic Agriculture for Improving Nutrition Security in Africa and South Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pray, Carl; Ledermann, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    In Africa and South Asia, where nutrition insecurity is severe, two of the most prominent production technologies are genetically modified (GM) crops and certified organic agriculture. We analyze the potential impact pathways from agricultural production to nutrition. Our review of data and the literature reveals increasing farm-level income from cash crop production as the main pathway by which organic agriculture and GM agriculture improve nutrition. Potential secondary pathways include reduced prices of important food crops like maize due to GM maize production and increased food production using organic technology. Potential tertiary pathways are improvements in health due to reduced insecticide use. Challenges to the technologies achieving their impact include the politics of GM agriculture and the certification costs of organic agriculture. Given the importance of agricultural production in addressing nutrition security, accentuated by the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, the chapter concludes by stressing the importance of private and public sector research in improving the productivity and adoption of both GM and organic crops. In addition, the chapter reminds readers that increased farm income and productivity require complementary investments in health, education, food access and women's empowerment to actually improve nutrition security. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  20. Biomass supply from alternative cellulosic crops and crop residues: A spatially explicit bioeconomic modeling approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Egbendewe-Mondzozo, Aklesso; Swinton, Scott M.; Izaurralde, César R.; Manowitz, David H.; Zhang, Xuesong

    2011-01-01

    This paper introduces a spatially-explicit bioeconomic model for the study of potential cellulosic biomass supply. For biomass crops to begin to replace current crops, farmers must earn more from them than from current crops. Using weather, topographic and soil data, the terrestrial ecosystem model, EPIC, dynamically simulates multiple cropping systems that vary by crop rotation, tillage, fertilization and residue removal rate. EPIC generates predicted crop yield and environmental outcomes over multiple watersheds. These EPIC results are used to parameterize a regional profit-maximization mathematical programming model that identifies profitable cropping system choices. The bioeconomic model is calibrated to 2007–09 crop production in a 9-county region of southwest Michigan. A simulation of biomass supply in response to rising biomass prices shows that cellulosic residues from corn stover and wheat straw begin to be supplied at minimum delivered biomass:corn grain price ratios of 0.15 and 0.18, respectively. At the mean corn price of $162.6/Mg ($4.13 per bushel) at commercial moisture content during 2007–2009, these ratios correspond to stover and straw prices of $24 and $29 per dry Mg. Perennial bioenergy crops begin to be supplied at price levels 2–3 times higher. Average biomass transport costs to the biorefinery plant range from $6 to $20/Mg compared to conventional crop production practices in the area, biomass supply from annual crop residues increased greenhouse gas emissions and reduced water quality through increased nutrient loss. By contrast, perennial cellulosic biomass crop production reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved water quality. -- Highlights: ► A new bioeconomic model predicts biomass supply and its environmental impacts. ► The model captures the opportunity cost of switching to new cellulosic crops. ► Biomass from crop residues is supplied at lower biomass price than cellulosic crops. ► Biomass from cellulosic crops has

  1. Canola Oil Fuel Cell Demonstration: Volume 2 - Market Availability of Agricultural Crops for Fuel Cell Applications

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Adams, John W; Cassarino, Craig; Spangler, Lee; Johnson, Duane; Lindstrom, Joel; Binder, Michael J; Holcomb, Franklin H; Lux, Scott M

    2006-01-01

    .... The reformation of vegetable oil crops for fuel cell uses is not well known; yet vegetable oils such as canola oil represent a viable alternative and complement to traditional fuel cell feedstocks...

  2. Pesticide fate modeling in soils with the crop model STICS: Feasibility for assessment of agricultural practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Queyrel, Wilfried; Habets, Florence; Blanchoud, Hélène; Ripoche, Dominique; Launay, Marie

    2016-01-15

    Numerous pesticide fate models are available, but few of them are able to take into account specific agricultural practices, such as catch crop, mixing crops or tillage in their predictions. In order to better integrate crop management and crop growth in the simulation of diffuse agricultural pollutions, and to manage both pesticide and nitrogen pollution, a pesticide fate module was implemented in the crop model STICS. The objectives of the study were: (i) to implement a pesticide fate module in the crop model STICS; (ii) to evaluate the model performance using experimental data from three sites with different pedoclimatic contexts, one in The Netherlands and two in northern France; (iii) to compare the simulations with several pesticide fate models; and (iv) to test the impact of specific agricultural practices on the transfer of the dissolved fraction of pesticides. The evaluations were carried out with three herbicides: bentazone, isoproturon, and atrazine. The strategy applied in this study relies on a noncalibration approach and sensitivity test to assess the operating limits of the model. To this end, the evaluation was performed with default values found in the literature and completed by sensitivity tests. The extended version of the STICS named STICS-Pest, shows similar results with other pesticide fate models widely used in the literature. Moreover, STICS-Pest was able to estimate realistic crop growth and catch crop dynamic, which thus illustrate agricultural practices leading to a reduction of nitrate and a change in pesticide leaching. The dynamic plot-scale model, STICS-Pest is able to simulate nitrogen and pesticide fluxes, when the hydrologic context is in the validity range of the reservoir (or capacity) model. According to these initial results, the model may be a relevant tool for studying the effect of long-term agricultural practices on pesticide residue dynamics in soil and the associated diffuse pollution transfer. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier

  3. Professionnalisation de l'agriculture : Une alternative aux effets des ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Cette recherche est une étude de la professionnalisation de l'agriculture comme alternative pour contourner les effets des changements climatiques. Elle se propose d'identifier des pistes favorisant un développement agricole durable dans la commune de Za-Kpota. La démarche méthodologique utilisée s'articule autour ...

  4. [Wildlife damage mitigation in agricultural crops in a Bolivian montane forest].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez, Eddy; Pacheco, Luis F

    2014-12-01

    Wildlife is often blamed for causing damage to human activities, including agricultural practices and the result may be a conflict between human interests and species conservation. A formal assessment of the magnitude of damage is necessary to adequately conduct management practices and an assessment of the efficiency of different management practices is necessary to enable managers to mitigate the conflict with rural people. This study was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of agricultural management practices and controlled hunting in reducing damage to subsistence annual crops at the Cotapata National Park and Natural Area of Integrated Management. The design included seven fields with modified agricultural practices, four fields subjected to control hunting, and five fields held as controls. We registered cultivar type, density, frequency of visiting species to the field, crops lost to wildlife, species responsible for damage, and crop biomass. Most frequent species in the fields were Dasyprocta punctata and Dasypus novemcinctus. Hunted plots were visited 1.6 times more frequently than agriculturally managed plots. Crop lost to wildlife averaged 7.28% at agriculturally managed plots, 4.59% in plots subjected to hunting, and 27.61% in control plots. Species mainly responsible for damage were Pecari tajacu, D. punctata, and Sapajus apella. We concluded that both management strategies were effective to reduce damage by >50% as compared to unmanaged crop plots.

  5. Potential impacts of agricultural drought on crop yield variability under a changing climate in Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, K.; Leng, G.; Huang, M.; Sheffield, J.; Zhao, G.; Gao, H.

    2017-12-01

    Texas has the largest farm area in the U.S, and its revenue from crop production ranks third overall. With the changing climate, hydrological extremes such as droughts are becoming more frequent and intensified, causing significant yield reduction in rainfed agricultural systems. The objective of this study is to investigate the potential impacts of agricultural drought on crop yields (corn, sorghum, and wheat) under a changing climate in Texas. The Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model, which is calibrated and validated over 10 major Texas river basins during the historical period, is employed in this study.The model is forced by a set of statistically downscaled climate projections from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) model ensembles at a spatial resolution of 1/8°. The CMIP5 projections contain four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) that represent different greenhouse gas concentration (4.5 and 8.5 w/m2 are selected in this study). To carry out the analysis, VIC simulations from 1950 to 2099 are first analyzed to investigate how the frequency and severity of agricultural droughts will be altered in Texas (under a changing climate). Second, future crop yields are projected using a statistical crop model. Third, the effects of agricultural drought on crop yields are quantitatively analyzed. The results are expected to contribute to future water resources planning, with a goal of mitigating the negative impacts of future droughts on agricultural production in Texas.

  6. Feature extraction applied to agricultural crops as seen by LANDSAT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kauth, R. J.; Lambeck, P. F.; Richardson, W.; Thomas, G. S.; Pentland, A. P. (Principal Investigator)

    1979-01-01

    The physical interpretation of the spectral-temporal structure of LANDSAT data can be conveniently described in terms of a graphic descriptive model called the Tassled Cap. This model has been a source of development not only in crop-related feature extraction, but also for data screening and for haze effects correction. Following its qualitative description and an indication of its applications, the model is used to analyze several feature extraction algorithms.

  7. Tradeoffs in Crop Residue Utilization in Mixed Crop-Livestock Systems and Implications for Conservation Agriculture and Sustainable Land Management

    OpenAIRE

    Jaleta, Moti; Kassie, Menale; Shiferaw, Bekele A.

    2012-01-01

    Crop residue use for soil mulch and animal feed are the two major competing purposes and the basic source of fundamental challenge in conservation agriculture (CA) where residue retention on farm plots is one of the three CA principles. Using survey data from Kenya and applying bivariate ordered Probit and bivariate Tobit models, this paper analyzes the tradeoffs in maize residue use as soil mulch and livestock feed in mixed farming systems. Results show that both the proportion and quantity ...

  8. Does agricultural crop diversity enhance soil microbial biomass and organic matter dynamics? A meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDaniel, M D; Tiemann, L K; Grandy, A S

    2014-04-01

    Our increasing dependence on a small number of agricultural crops, such as corn, is leading to reductions in agricultural biodiversity. Reductions in the number of crops in rotation or the replacement of rotations by monocultures are responsible for this loss of biodiversity. The belowground implications of simplifying agricultural plant communities remain unresolved; however, agroecosystem sustainability will be severely compromised if reductions in biodiversity reduce soil C and N concentrations, alter microbial communities, and degrade soil ecosystem functions as reported in natural communities. We conducted a meta-analysis of 122 studies to examine crop rotation effects on total soil C and N concentrations, and the faster cycling microbial biomass C and N pools that play key roles in soil nutrient cycling and physical processes such as aggregate formation. We specifically examined how rotation crop type and management practices influence C and N dynamics in different climates and soil types. We found that adding one or more crops in rotation to a monoculture increased total soil C by 3.6% and total N by 5.3%, but when rotations included a cover crop (i.e., crops that are not harvested but produced to enrich the soil and capture inorganic N), total C increased by 8.5% and total N 12.8%. Rotations substantially increased the soil microbial biomass C (20.7%) and N (26.1%) pools, and these overwhelming effects on microbial biomass were not moderated by crop type or management practices. Crop rotations, especially those that include cover crops, sustain soil quality and productivity by enhancing soil C, N, and microbial biomass, making them a cornerstone for sustainable agroecosystems.

  9. Agricultural Classification of Multi-Temporal MODIS Imagery in Northwest Argentina Using Kansas Crop Phenologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keifer, Jarrett Alexander

    Subtropical deforestation in Latin America is thought to be driven by demand for agricultural land, particularly to grow soybeans. However, existing remote sensing methods that can differentiate crop types to verify this hypothesis require high spatial or spectral resolution data, or extensive ground truth information to develop training sites, none of which are freely available for much of the world. I developed a new method of crop classification based on the phenological signatures of crops extracted from multi-temporal MODIS vegetation indices. I tested and refined this method using the USDA Cropland Data Layer from Kansas, USA as a reference. I then applied the method to classify crop types for a study site in Pellegrini, Santiago Del Estero, Argentina. The results show that this method is unable to effectively separate summer crops in Pellegrini, but can differentiate summer crops and non-summer crops. Unmet assumptions about agricultural practices are primarily responsible for the ineffective summer crop classification, underlining the need for researchers to have a complete understanding of ground conditions when designing a remote sensing analysis.

  10. Assessing Crop Conditions through the Use of Remote Sensing and Agricultural and Radar Modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davitt, A. W. D.; McDonald, K. C.; Winter, J.

    2016-12-01

    California and The Central Valley are presently experiencing one of that region's worst, persistent droughts on record. Due to the drought, the majority of the agricultural regions located in the Central Valley have faced reduced surface water allocations, negatively impacting crop production and the socioeconomics of the region. As a result of these effects, there has been an increased incentive to consider new ways to maximize agricultural water use efficiency. Recent advances in remote sensing and agricultural modelling provide the ability to improve agricultural management for end users to better understand field conditions, allowing the users to make informed decisions on irrigation timing and amounts. Our research explores the effectiveness of Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer Cropping Systems Model (DSSAT-CSM) in simulating wheat, corn, and rice for water year 2015 in Yolo County, California. This will be accomplished through the evaluation of multi-temporal C-band radar backscatter from the Sentinel-1 satellite and the Michigan's microwave canopy scattering model (MIMICS) to simulate Sentinel-1 radar for each crop type based on vegetation structure outputs from DSSAT-CSM. By linking Sentinel-1 and MIMICS to DSSAT-CSM, we create a verified model for agricultural monitoring that can potentially support the assessment of conditions within agricultural fields. This would allow growers to optimize use of limited water supplies through informed water management practices, improving crop conditions and yield in a water stressed region.

  11. Designing bioenergy crop buffers to mitigate nitrous oxide emissions and water quality impacts from agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalakrishnan, G.; Negri, C. M.

    2010-12-01

    There is a strong societal need to evaluate and understand the environmental aspects of bioenergy production, especially due to the significant increases in production mandated by many countries, including the United States. Bioenergy is a land-based renewable resource and increases in production are likely to result in large-scale conversion of land from current uses to bioenergy crop production; potentially causing increases in the prices of food, land and agricultural commodities as well as disruption of ecosystems. Current research on the environmental sustainability of bioenergy has largely focused on the potential of bioenergy crops to sequester carbon and mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and possible impacts on water quality and quantity. A key assumption in these studies is that bioenergy crops will be grown in a manner similar to current agricultural crops such as corn and hence would affect the environment similarly. This study presents a systems approach where the agricultural, energy and environmental sectors are considered as components of a single system, and bioenergy crops are used to design multi-functional agricultural landscapes that meet society’s requirements for food, energy and environmental protection. We evaluate the production of bioenergy crop buffers on marginal land and using degraded water and discuss the potential for growing cellulosic bioenergy crops such as miscanthus and switchgrass in optimized systems such that (1) marginal land is brought into productive use; (2) impaired water is used to boost yields (3); clean freshwater is left for other uses that require higher water quality; and (4) feedstock diversification is achieved that helps ecological sustainability, biodiversity, and economic opportunities for farmers. The process-based biogeochemical model DNDC was used to simulate crop yield, nitrous oxide production and nitrate concentrations in groundwater when bioenergy crops were grown in buffer strips adjacent to

  12. Safeguarding fruit crops in the age of agricultural globalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    The expansion of fruit production and markets into new geographic areas provides novel opportunities and challenges for the agricultural and marketing industries. In today’s competitive global market environment, growers need access to the best material available in terms of genetics and plant heal...

  13. Growing the lost crops of eastern North America's original agricultural system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Natalie G; Fritz, Gayle J; Patton, Paul; Carmody, Stephen; Horton, Elizabeth T

    2017-07-05

    Thousands of years before the maize-based agriculture practiced by many Native American societies in eastern North America at the time of contact with Europeans, there existed a unique crop system only known through archaeological evidence. There are no written or oral records of how these lost crops were cultivated, but several domesticated subspecies have been identified in the archaeological record. Growth experiments and observations of living progenitors of these crops can provide insights into the ancient agricultural system of eastern North America, the role of developmental plasticity in the process of domestication, and the creation and maintenance of diverse landraces under cultivation. In addition, experimental gardens are potent tools for public education, and can also be used to conserve remaining populations of lost crop progenitors and explore the possibility of re-domesticating these species.

  14. Modeling technical change in climate analysis: evidence from agricultural crop damages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Adeel; Devadason, Evelyn S; Al-Amin, Abul Quasem

    2017-05-01

    This study accounts for the Hicks neutral technical change in a calibrated model of climate analysis, to identify the optimum level of technical change for addressing climate changes. It demonstrates the reduction to crop damages, the costs to technical change, and the net gains for the adoption of technical change for a climate-sensitive Pakistan economy. The calibrated model assesses the net gains of technical change for the overall economy and at the agriculture-specific level. The study finds that the gains of technical change are overwhelmingly higher than the costs across the agriculture subsectors. The gains and costs following technical change differ substantially for different crops. More importantly, the study finds a cost-effective optimal level of technical change that potentially reduces crop damages to a minimum possible level. The study therefore contends that the climate policy for Pakistan should consider the role of technical change in addressing climate impacts on the agriculture sector.

  15. Infra-red thermography for detecting drought in agricultural crops and scheduling irrigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petrović Ivana

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The use of thermal imaging is a fast growing and potentially important tool in various fields of agriculture. The technology visually identified the rise of temperature in crop canopy which occurs as a result of drought and allows the precise scheduling of crop irrigation. The aim of presenting paper was to demonstrate the application of these techniques on potato plants and to point out on the necessity of irrigation for potato sustainable and economically justified production.

  16. Mitigating Groundwater Depletion in North China Plain with Cropping System that Alternate Deep and Shallow Rooted Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Lin Yang

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In the North China Plain, groundwater tables have been dropping at unsustainable rates of 1 m per year due to irrigation of a double cropping system of winter wheat and summer maize. To reverse the trend, we examined whether alternative crop rotations could save water. Moisture contents were measured weekly at 20 cm intervals in the top 180 cm of soil as part of a 12-year field experiment with four crop rotations: sweet potato→ cotton→ sweet potato→ winter wheat-summer maize (SpCSpWS, 4-year cycle; peanuts → winter wheat-summer maize (PWS, 2-year cycle; ryegrass–cotton→ peanuts→ winter wheat-summer maize (RCPWS, 3-year cycle; and winter wheat-summer maize (WS, each year. We found that, compared to WS, the SpCSpWS annual evapotranspiration was 28% lower, PWS was 19% lower and RCPWS was 14% lower. The yield per unit of water evaporated improved for wheat within any alternative rotation compared to WS, increasing up to 19%. Average soil moisture contents at the sowing date of wheat in the SpCSpWS, PWS, and RCPWS rotations were 7, 4, and 10% higher than WS, respectively. The advantage of alternative rotations was that a deep rooted crop of winter wheat reaching down to 180 cm followed shallow rooted crops (sweet potato and peanut drawing soil moisture from 0 to 120 cm. They benefited from the sequencing and vertical complementarity of soil moisture extraction. Thus, replacing the traditional crop rotation with cropping system that involves rotating with annual shallow rooted crops is promising for reducing groundwater depletion in the North China Plain.

  17. Supporting Agricultural Ecosystem Services through the Integration of Perennial Polycultures into Crop Rotations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Weißhuhn

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This review analyzes the potential role and long-term effects of field perennial polycultures (mixtures in agricultural systems, with the aim of reducing the trade-offs between provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. First, crop rotations are identified as a suitable tool for the assessment of the long-term effects of perennial polycultures on ecosystem services, which are not visible at the single-crop level. Second, the ability of perennial polycultures to support ecosystem services when used in crop rotations is quantified through eight agricultural ecosystem services. Legume–grass mixtures and wildflower mixtures are used as examples of perennial polycultures, and compared with silage maize as a typical crop for biomass production. Perennial polycultures enhance soil fertility, soil protection, climate regulation, pollination, pest and weed control, and landscape aesthetics compared with maize. They also score lower for biomass production compared with maize, which confirms the trade-off between provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. However, the additional positive factors provided by perennial polycultures, such as reduced costs for mineral fertilizer, pesticides, and soil tillage, and a significant preceding crop effect that increases the yields of subsequent crops, should be taken into account. However, a full assessment of agricultural ecosystem services requires a more holistic analysis that is beyond the capabilities of current frameworks.

  18. Modeling Agricultural Crop Production in China using AVHRR-based Vegetation Health Indices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, B.; Kogan, F.; Guo, W.; Zhiyuan, P.; Xianfeng, J.

    Weather related crop losses have always been a concern for farmers On a wider scale it has always influenced decision of Governments traders and other policy makers for the purpose of balanced food supplies trade and distribution of aid to the nations in need Therefore national policy and decision makers are giving increasing importance to early assessment of crop losses in response to weather fluctuations This presentation emphasizes utility of AVHRR-based Vegetation health index VHI for early warning of drought-related losses of agricultural production in China The VHI is a three-channel index characterizing greenness vigor and temperature of land surface which can be used as proxy for estimation of how healthy and potentially productive could be vegetation China is the largest in the world producer of grain including wheat and rice and cotton In the major agricultural areas China s crop production is very dependent on weather The VHI being a proxy indicator of weather impact on vegetation showed some correlation with productivity of agricultural crops during the critical period of their development The periods of the strongest correlation were investigated and used to build regression models where crop yield deviation from technological trend was accepted as a dependent and VHI as independent variables The models were developed for several major crops including wheat corn and soybeans

  19. More 'crop per drop': constraints and opportunities for precision irrigation in European agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monaghan, James M; Daccache, Andre; Vickers, Laura H; Hess, Tim M; Weatherhead, E Keith; Grove, Ivan G; Knox, Jerry W

    2013-03-30

    Dwindling water supplies, increasing drought frequency and uncertainties associated with a changing climate mean Europe's irrigated agriculture sector needs to improve water efficiency and produce more 'crop per drop'. This paper summarizes the drivers for change, and the constraints and opportunities for improving agricultural water management through uptake of precision irrigation technologies. A multi-disciplinary and integrated approach involving irrigation engineers, soil scientists, agronomists and plant physiologists will be needed if the potential for precision irrigation within the field crop sector is to be realized. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

  20. Pig slurry as an alternative to mineral fertilizer in maize crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moacir Tuzzin de Moraes

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The use of swine residue (SR as a source of nutrients in growing crops such as maize, may be an option for disposal of organic waste produced in large quantities in pig farms, allowing total or partial substitution of mineral fertilizer in agricultural crops. The objective of this study was to enable the use of SR as an alternative source of nutrients to the mineral fertilization in maize under conditions of a Rhodic Hapludox. The treatments consisted of the use of mineral fertilizer recommended for maize; no fertilization (control, and doses of SR (25, 50, 75, 100 m³ ha-1. The variables: length and ear diameter, number of grains per spike, thousand grain weight and yield. The highest grain yields were obtained with chemical fertilizers and doses of 50, 75 and 100 m³ ha-1 of SR. The mineral fertilization in maize can be replaced by doses of SR from 50 m³ ha-1, with no loss in productivity of maize in a Rhodic Hapludox with very clayey texture.

  1. Effects of Interannual Climate Variability on Water Availability and Productivity in Capoeira and Crops Under Traditional and Alternative Shifting Cultivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guild, Liane S.; Sa, Tatiana D. A.; Carvalho, Claudio J. R.; Potter, Christopher S.; Wickel, Albert J.; Brienza, Silvio, Jr.; Kato, Maria doSocorro A.; Kato, Osvaldo; Brass, James (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Regenerating forests play an important role in long-term carbon sequestration and sustainable landuse as they act as potentially important carbon and nutrient sinks during the shifting agriculture fallow period. The long-term functioning of capoeira. is increasingly threatened by a shortening fallow period during shifting cultivation due to demographic pressures and associated increased vulnerability to severe climatic events. Declining productivity and functioning of fallow forests of shifting cultivation combined with progressive loss of nutrients by successive burning and cropping activities has resulted in declining agricultural productivity. In addition to the effects of intense land use practices, droughts associated with El Nino events are becoming more frequent and severe in moist tropical forests and negative effects on capoeira productivity could be considerable. In Igarape-Acu (near Belem, Para), we hypothesize that experimental alternative landuse/clearing practices (mulching and fallow vegetation improvement by planting with fast-growing leguminous tree species) may make capoeira and agriculture more resilient to the effects of agricultural pressures and drought through (1) increased biomass, soil organic matter and associated increase in soil water storage, and nutrient retention and (2) greater rooting depth of trees planted for fallow improvement. This experimental practice (moto mechanized chop-and-mulch with fallow improvement) has resulted increased soil moisture during the cropping phase, reduced loss of nutrients and organic matter, and higher rates of secondary-forest biomass accumulation. We present preliminary data on water relations during the dry season of 2001 in capoeira and crops for both traditional slash-and-burn and alternative chop-and-mulch practices. These data will be used to test IKONOS data for the detection of moisture status differences. The principal goal of the research is to determine the extent to which capoeira and

  2. IMPACT OF AGRICULTURAL POLICY ON RELATIVE PRICE VARIABILITY OF FOOD CROPS AND INFLATION IN NIGERIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ifeoluwa Akin Babalola

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Prices of food crops in Nigeria tend to exhibit similar trend with inflation. The study therefore established quantitatively relationships among agricultural policy, relative price variability (RPV of food crops and inflation in Nigeria. Data for the study includes annual producer prices (nominal and output of food crops and annual inflation rate obtained from the publications of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, Food and Agricultural Organisation and Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research covering the period of 1970-2009. Analytical tools used were RPV index and Error Correction Method (ECM. The results showed that the variables are stationary at their levels. As inflation increases, RPV of food crops also increases both in short run (0.0002 and the long run (0.0310. Civilian Post-Structural Adjustment Period Policies (CPSAP caused a significant reduction in inflation and consequently reduced the   RPV of food crops in the long run. There is a need for policies that will buffer the food crop sub-sector from the effects of inflation. Policies that reduce the rate of inflation and minimise RPV among food crops are needed. Effective management of inefficiencies and misallocation of resources in the sub-sector should be explored.

  3. BIODYNAMIC PREPARATIONS – AN ALTERNATIVE IN THE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veselka Vlahova

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Biodynamics can be understood as a combination of “biological dynamic” agriculture practices. Sheiner (1924 recommended eight preparations; two of them are stirred in water in a specific way and sprayed on fields and crops, the other six preparations were added to farmyard manure, slurry, liquid manure, plant litter compost and other type of organic materials in order to improve their fertilizing properties. The preparation 500 consist of high quality FYM (farmyard manure, fresh or aged, put in bovine horn, then buried at the end of September and dug up in April; after that it can be stored under controlled conditions for some months and finally sprayed to the soil. The Podolinsky’s method is actually based on frequent polyphytic green manuring, crop rotation and conservative soil tillage plus the use of the new “Prepared 500” preparation. The new Podolinsky’s preparation derives in fact from the combination, via a specific procedure, of the original Preparation 500 + all the compost preparations, as provided by Steiner.

  4. Alternative sources of financing entrepreneurial undertakings in agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Njegomir Vladimir

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Insufficiency of internal financial resources and limited access to external sources of capital, as one of the key problems, local agricultural producers - entrepreneurs usualy describe with high cost of capital, complicated procedures, lack of transparency in regard to the settlement of credit requests and problems with security of loans. The aim of this study is to analyze the possibilities of facilitating access to increased volume of capital for domestic entrepreneurs in agriculture by using funding sources that are applied in developed economies for financing entrepreneurs. In order to achieve the stated aim, the subject of investigation in this paper is the analysis of alternative sources of financing, which use or increased adoption in Serbia would provide greater availability of capital for agricultural producers and others across the chain of agrobusiness complex and thus the promotion of entrepreneurial activity, and consequently, greater competitiveness and greater income of domestic agricultural producers and others across the chain of agrbusiness indirectly leading to increased economic growth and improvement of the welfare.

  5. DEVELOPMENT OF ACTIVE AND BIODEGRADABLES CONTAINERS FOR AGRICULTURAL CROPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franco Poggio

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, the development of biodegradable containers for crops that could be transplanted directly and act as fertilizers is proposed. Bovine gelatin was chosen as the base material, which was processed in a mini-injector mixer with a concentrated urea solution acted as a plasticizer. Rheological and tensile tests were performed in order to evaluate the injection of gelatin based formulations and mechanical properties related to the proposed application. Taking into account that biodegradable materials have a low water resistance, the increment of container stability was proposed using a surface coating. In addition, the influence of moisture content, the soluble matter and swelling were studied and analyzed. It was observed that coated samples were significantly more stable than the control ones, which guarantees the feasibility of the selected system and its potential development of biodegradable containers.

  6. Identification of biomes affected by marginal expansion of agricultural land use induced by increased crop consumption

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kløverpris, Jesper Hedal

    2009-01-01

    or potential grassland/steppe, whereas expansion on land suited for grazing but not for crop cultivation (grazable land) typically occurs on potential shrubland or a few other biomes depending on the region. Some uncertainty applies to the results but it is concluded that it is feasible to identify biomes...... to characterise these areas. The present study ascribes so-called biomes (natural potential vegetation) to the areas affected by agricultural expansion in order to provide a basis for assessing the environmental impacts from land use in the life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). The methodology builds...... on agricultural statistics and maps of global agricultural areas and the global distribution of biomes. The application of the method is illustrated with four examples. The results indicate that agricultural expansion on land suited for crop cultivation (cultivable land) typically affects forest biomes...

  7. Herbicide and cover crop residue integration for amaranth control in conservation agriculture cotton and implications for resistance management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conservation agriculture practices are threatened by glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth. Integrated practices including PRE herbicides and high-residue conservation agriculture systems may decrease Amaranth emergence. Field experiments were conducted from autumn 2006 through cash crop harvest in...

  8. Wastes and by-products - alternatives for agricultural use

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boles, J.L.; Craft, D.J.; Parker, B.R.

    1994-01-01

    Top address a growing national problem with generation of wastes and by-products, TVA has been involved for several years with developing and commercializing environmentally responsible practices for eliminating, minimizing, or utilizing various wastes/by-products. In many cases, reducing waste generation is impractical, but the wastes/by-products can be converted into other environmentally sound products. In some instances, conversion of safe, value-added agricultural products in the best or only practical alternative. TVA is currently involved with a diversity of projects converting wastes/by-products into safe, economical, and agriculturally beneficial products. Environmental improvement projects have involved poultry litter, cellulosic wastes, used battery acid, ammonium sulfate fines, lead smelting effluents, deep-welled sulfuric acid/ammonium bisulfate solutions, wood ash, waste magnesium ammonium sulfate slurry from recording tape production, and ammunition plant waste sodium nitrate/ammonium nitrate streams

  9. Wastes and by-products - alternatives for agricultural use

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boles, J.L.; Craft, D.J.; Parker, B.R.

    1994-10-01

    Top address a growing national problem with generation of wastes and by-products, TVA has been involved for several years with developing and commercializing environmentally responsible practices for eliminating, minimizing, or utilizing various wastes/by-products. In many cases, reducing waste generation is impractical, but the wastes/by-products can be converted into other environmentally sound products. In some instances, conversion of safe, value-added agricultural products in the best or only practical alternative. TVA is currently involved with a diversity of projects converting wastes/by-products into safe, economical, and agriculturally beneficial products. Environmental improvement projects have involved poultry litter, cellulosic wastes, used battery acid, ammonium sulfate fines, lead smelting effluents, deep-welled sulfuric acid/ammonium bisulfate solutions, wood ash, waste magnesium ammonium sulfate slurry from recording tape production, and ammunition plant waste sodium nitrate/ammonium nitrate streams.

  10. Analyzing Growth and Instability in Subsistence Agriculture of Odisha: Evidence from Major Crops

    OpenAIRE

    Paltasingh, Kirtti Ranjan; Goyari, Phanindra

    2013-01-01

    The paper has analyzed the performance of agriculture in terms of growth and instability of yield, area and production of major crops in Odisha. The growth analysis has shown a gloomy picture in the postreform era, as instability has augmented during this period, rendering the agricultural sector of Odisha as unsustainable. The various causes of low growth rate have been identified. The study has discarded the hypothesis of direct relation between high growth and high instability. Weather var...

  11. Optimal Use of Agricultural Water and Land Resources through Reconfiguring Crop Planting Structure under Socioeconomic and Ecological Objectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Tan

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Many economic, social and ecological problems can be attributed to the scarcity and mismanagement of water and land resources. In this study, a multi-objective fuzzy–robust programming (MOFRP method was developed for supporting the optimal use of land and water resources in agriculture. MOFRP improved existing methods through taking ecological services of crop cultivation into account. It was also capable of reflecting fuzziness in preferences, priorities and parameters that were largely neglected in previous agricultural decision making. This method was applied to address a case in arid northwestern China. Optimal plans of crop cultivation reconfiguration were generated for sustaining local development under economic, ecological and social objectives as well as physical restraints in water and land resources. Compared to the status quo, the optimized plan would increase economic and ecological benefits by 12.2% and 18.8%, respectively. The efficiency of irrigation water could also be enhanced with the economic and ecological benefits per unit water being raised and the water consumption per unit land being reduced. The comparisons of the MOFRP model to four alternatives validated that it was capable of achieving satisfactory benefits and reducing system-violation risks without neglecting valuable uncertain information and ecological services of crops. The proposed method was also applicable to other multi-objective management problems under uncertainty without loss of generality.

  12. Influence of metacide - surfactant complexes on agricultural crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orynkul Esimova

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The complexes based on surfactants and polyhexamethyleneguanidine hydrochloride (metacide are important for agriculture. This paper considers compositions of known bactericidal metacide with different surfactants: anionic surfactant sodium dodecylsulphate (DDSNa and nonionic surfactant Tween 80 (monooleate of oxyethylenated anhydrosorbitols. The effect of individual components and associates of metacide and surfactants on productivity and infection of cereals was studied. According to the study, the highest productivity and infection rate were shown by the associate of metacide and Tween-80. At concentration of Tween-80 in aqueous solution equal to 0.001% in combination with metacide, efficiency was 98% at 0% infection. The surface tension and the wetting of metacide, DDSNa, Tween-80, and associates of metacide with surfactants were studied. In comparison with individual components, metacide-DDSNa and metacide-Tween-80 associates have higher surface activity.

  13. Soil microbial functionality in response to the inclusion of cover crop mixtures in agricultural systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chavarría, D.N.; Verdenelli, R.A.; Muñoz, M.J.; Conforto, C.; Restovich, S.B.; Andriulo, A.E.; Meriles, J.M.; Vargas-Gil, S.

    2016-11-01

    Agricultural systems where monoculture prevails are characterized by fertility losses and reduced contribution to ecosystem services. Including cover crops (CC) as part of an agricultural system is a promising choice in sustainable intensification of those demanding systems. We evaluated soil microbial functionality in cash crops in response to the inclusion of CC by analyzing soil microbial functions at two different periods of the agricultural year (cash crop harvest and CC desiccation) during 2013 and 2014. Three plant species were used as CC: oat (Avena sativa L.), vetch (Vicia sativa L.) and radish (Raphanus sativus L.) which weresown in two different mixtures of species: oat and radish mix (CC1) and oat, radish and vetch mix (CC2), with soybean monoculture and soybean/corn being the cash crops. The study of community level physiological profiles showed statistical differences in respiration of specific C sources indicating an improvement of catabolic diversity in CC treatments. Soil enzyme activities were also increased with the inclusion of CC mixtures, with values of dehydrogenase activity and fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis up to 38.1% and 35.3% higher than those of the control treatment, respectively. This research evidenced that CC inclusion promotes soil biological quality through a contribution of soil organic carbon, improving the sustainability of agrosystems. The use of a CC mixture of three plant species including the legume vetch increased soil biological processes and catabolic diversity, with no adverse effects on cash crop grain yield. (Author)

  14. Linking agricultural crop management and air quality models for regional to national-scale nitrogen assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooter, E. J.; Bash, J. O.; Benson, V.; Ran, L.

    2012-10-01

    While nitrogen (N) is an essential element for life, human population growth and demands for energy, transportation and food can lead to excess nitrogen in the environment. A modeling framework is described and implemented to promote a more integrated, process-based and system-level approach to the estimation of ammonia (NH3) emissions which result from the application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers to agricultural soils in the United States. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model is used to simulate plant demand-driven fertilizer applications to commercial cropland throughout the continental US. This information is coupled with a process-based air quality model to produce continental-scale NH3 emission estimates. Regional cropland NH3 emissions are driven by the timing and amount of inorganic NH3 fertilizer applied, soil processes, local meteorology, and ambient air concentrations. Initial fertilizer application often occurs when crops are planted. A state-level evaluation of EPIC-simulated, cumulative planted area compares well with similar USDA reported estimates. EPIC-annual, inorganic fertilizer application amounts also agree well with reported spatial patterns produced by others, but domain-wide the EPIC values are biased about 6% low. Preliminary application of the integrated fertilizer application and air quality modeling system produces a modified geospatial pattern of seasonal NH3 emissions that improves current simulations of observed atmospheric particle nitrate concentrations. This modeling framework provides a more dynamic, flexible, and spatially and temporally resolved estimate of NH3 emissions than previous factor-based NH3 inventories, and will facilitate evaluation of alternative nitrogen and air quality policy and adaptation strategies associated with future climate and land use changes.

  15. Linking agricultural crop management and air quality models for regional to national-scale nitrogen assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. J. Cooter

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available While nitrogen (N is an essential element for life, human population growth and demands for energy, transportation and food can lead to excess nitrogen in the environment. A modeling framework is described and implemented to promote a more integrated, process-based and system-level approach to the estimation of ammonia (NH3 emissions which result from the application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers to agricultural soils in the United States. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC model is used to simulate plant demand-driven fertilizer applications to commercial cropland throughout the continental US. This information is coupled with a process-based air quality model to produce continental-scale NH3 emission estimates. Regional cropland NH3 emissions are driven by the timing and amount of inorganic NH3 fertilizer applied, soil processes, local meteorology, and ambient air concentrations. Initial fertilizer application often occurs when crops are planted. A state-level evaluation of EPIC-simulated, cumulative planted area compares well with similar USDA reported estimates. EPIC-annual, inorganic fertilizer application amounts also agree well with reported spatial patterns produced by others, but domain-wide the EPIC values are biased about 6% low. Preliminary application of the integrated fertilizer application and air quality modeling system produces a modified geospatial pattern of seasonal NH3 emissions that improves current simulations of observed atmospheric particle nitrate concentrations. This modeling framework provides a more dynamic, flexible, and spatially and temporally resolved estimate of NH3 emissions than previous factor-based NH3 inventories, and will facilitate evaluation of alternative nitrogen and air quality policy and adaptation strategies associated with future climate and land use changes.

  16. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) detects fine roots of agricultural crops in the field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiuwei Liu; Xuejun Dong; Qingwu Xue; Daniel I. Leskovar; John Jifon; John R. Butnor; Thomas Marek

    2018-01-01

    Aim Ground penetrating radar (GPR) as a non-invasive technique is widely used in coarse root detection. However, the applicability of the technique to detect fine roots of agricultural crops is unknown. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of utilizing GPR to detect fine roots in the field.

  17. The global impact of ozone on agricultural crop yields under current and future air quality legislation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dingenen, van R.; Dentener, F.J.; Raes, F.; Krol, M.C.; Emberson, L.; Cofala, J.

    2009-01-01

    In this paper we evaluate the global impact of surface ozone on four types of agricultural crop. The study is based on modelled global hourly ozone fields for the year 2000 and 2030, using the global 1°×1° 2-way nested atmospheric chemical transport model (TM5). Projections for the year 2030 are

  18. Selected examples of dispersal of arthropods associated with agricultural crop and animal production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henneberry, T. J.

    1979-01-01

    The economic importance of arthropods in agricultural production systems and the possibilities of using dispersal behavior to develop and manipulate control are examined. Examples of long and short distance dispersal of economic insect pests and beneficial species from cool season host reservoirs and overwintering sites are presented. Significant dispersal of these species often occurring during crop and animal production is discussed.

  19. Sustainable agriculture for a dynamic world: Forage-Crop-Livestock systems research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Research at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Grazinglands Research Laboratory is focused on development and delivery of improved technologies, strategies, and planning tools for integrated crop-forage-livestock systems under variable climate, energy, and market conditions. The GRL research p...

  20. Social Impacts of GM Crops in Agriculture: A Systematic Literature Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klara Fischer

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available It has recently been argued that the fragmented knowledge on the social impacts of genetically modified (GM crops is contributing to the polarised debate on the matter. This paper addresses this issue by systematically reviewing 99 peer-reviewed journal articles published since 2004 on the social impacts of GM crops in agriculture; summarising current knowledge, and identifying research gaps. Economic impact studies currently dominate the literature and mainly report that GM crops provide economic benefits for farmers. Other social impacts are less well studied, but present a more complex picture. Studies on access to and benefits of GM crops show that these vary significantly depending on the political and regulatory setting. Substantial evidence indicates that intellectual property rights (IPR and the private industry’s dominance limit the access and utility of available GM crops to many farmers. Wellbeing is frequently discussed in the literature, but rarely investigated empirically. Existing evidence is contradictory and inconclusive. Impact studies from the Global North are virtually non-existent. Moreover, two-thirds of publications are based on previously published empirical evidence, indicating a need for new empirical investigations into the social impacts of GM crops in agriculture.

  1. Crop scheduling improvements for rainfed agriculture in the high jungle of Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrique Meseth

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This work was aimed to improve the water management for agriculture by applying efficient crop schedules in Vilcabamba and similar areas of the high jungle, which can satisfy most of the water requirements with rainfed agriculture to maximize the crops yield. For this purpose, two field practices were carried out during the dry (September 2012 and wet season (February 2013 to measure rivers and canals flows with the velocity/area method; 19 soil samples were collected on-site and analyzed, presenting prevalent sandy loam and loam textures. Cropwat program was used to estimate crop water requirements and scheme irrigation requirements, resulting in a maximum flow capacity of 1.72 l s-1 in May, during the dry season. The flow capacity can be satisfied, since small ditches convey approximately 2 to 6 l s-1 on the same season. The research findings indicate that rainfed farming can be practised, yet an initial pre-irrigation needs to be applied, for crops should not be water stressed. However, if soil is not pre-irrigated the production can be affected, with vegetables and potato crop yields being reduced by 4.7% and 1.4% respectively. To minimize these effects, both crops are suggested to be sowed one month later, adapting their growth period to the rainy season.

  2. Determination of optimal irrigation rates of agricultural crops under consideration of soil properties and climatic conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irakli Kruashvili

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In conditions of increasing water shortage, further development of irrigated agriculture production is impossible without improving the methods of cultivation of agricultural crops, primarily irrigation technology. In 2015 the experiment have been conducted on the territory of irrigation farming area of village Tamarisi (Marneuli Municipality, according to which comprehensive study of local climatic and soil conditions were conducted. Received data were used for computation crop water requirements for tomato and melon under the different irrigation treatments. Obtained results have shown the possibility of water use efficiency and obtaining sufficiently high yields of crops that participated in the experiment that became possible in a case of usage of drip irrigation technology in combination with plastic mulch.

  3. Detection of Interannual Climate Variability in Secondary Forests and Crops Under Traditional and Alternative Shifting Cultivation Using Ikonos Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sa, T.; Guild, L.; Carvalho, C.; Wickel, A.; Brienza, S.; Kato, M.; Kato, O.; Leibs, C.

    2004-12-01

    Regenerating forests play an important role in long-term carbon sequestration and sustainable landuse as they act as potentially important carbon and nutrient sinks during the shifting agriculture fallow period. The long-term functioning of secondary forests (capoeira) is increasingly threatened by a shortening fallow period during shifting cultivation due to demographic pressures and associated increased vulnerability to severe climatic events. Declining productivity and functioning of fallow forests of shifting cultivation combined with progressive loss of nutrients by successive burning and cropping activities has resulted in declining agricultural productivity. In addition to the effects of intense land use practices, droughts associated with El Nino events are becoming more frequent and severe in moist tropical forests and negative effects on capoeira productivity could be considerable. The principal goal of the research is to determine the extent to which capoeira and agricultural fields are susceptible to extreme climate events (drought) under contrasting landuse/clearing practices. In Igarape-Açu (near Belem, Para), we hypothesize that experimental alternative landuse/clearing practices (mulching) may make capoeira and crops more resilient to the effects of agricultural pressures and drought through increased biomass, soil organic matter and associated increase in soil water storage, and nutrient retention. This experimental practice (mechanized chop-and-mulch) has resulted in increased soil moisture during the cropping phase, reduced loss of nutrients and organic matter, and higher rates of secondary-forest biomass accumulation. This project aims to measure water availability and it's relation to secondary forest and crop productivity in the Brazilian Amazon. We have conducted field efforts during two dry seasons (August-December). Field data on water relations were collected during the dry season of 2001 and 2002 in capoeira and crops for both

  4. Whole farm assessment of alternative cropping and feeding strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    A change in cropping and feeding practices can affect the performance, economics and environmental impacts of a dairy farm. A whole farm assessment of all major effects can only be done through process level simulation of the production system. The Integrated Farm System Model provides a research an...

  5. Sustainable Agriculture - Enhancing environmental benefits, food nutritional quality and building crop resilience to abiotic and biotic stresses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feeding nutrition-dense food to future world populations presents agriculture with enormous challenges as estimates indicate that crop production must as much as double. Crop production cannot be increased to meet this challenge simply by increasing land acreage or using past agricultural intensific...

  6. Compressive Strength of Construction Materials Containing Agricultural Crop Wastes: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nik Pa Nik Nadia Amira

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The growth of industrialization and development of urban life made an increase in demand for cement, concrete and bricks. Exploitation on the non-renewable natural resources for raw materials will keep increased in order to meet the demands for construction materials. At the same time, the problems regarding the agricultural crop wastes such as rice husk, sugarcane bagasse, palm oil fuel waste and elephant grass has become an important issue nowadays. Consequently, there are many researchers who have been studying the viability of using these agricultural wastes as construction materials to meet the industry demands in order to decrease the current use of non-renewable natural resources. This paper reviewing on how agricultural waste could be utilized as replacement materials for construction activities from various researchers. The idea of using agricultural crop wastes was promoted by studying upon their engineering properties. This paper focusing on the compressive strength of the construction materials containing agricultural crop wastes, which was the common parameter considered by most researcher as required by various standards.

  7. Development of an agricultural biotechnology crop product: testing from discovery to commercialization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Privalle, Laura S; Chen, Jingwen; Clapper, Gina; Hunst, Penny; Spiegelhalter, Frank; Zhong, Cathy X

    2012-10-17

    "Genetically modified" (GM) or "biotech" crops have been the most rapidly adopted agricultural technology in recent years. The development of a GM crop encompasses trait identification, gene isolation, plant cell transformation, plant regeneration, efficacy evaluation, commercial event identification, safety evaluation, and finally commercial authorization. This is a lengthy, complex, and resource-intensive process. Crops produced through biotechnology are the most highly studied food or food component consumed. Before commercialization, these products are shown to be as safe as conventional crops with respect to feed, food, and the environment. This paper describes this global process and the various analytical tests that must accompany the product during the course of development, throughout its market life, and beyond.

  8. Comparison of Mechanical and Chemical Winter Cereal Cover Crop Termination Systems and Cotton Yield in Conservation Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    An integral component of conservation agriculture systems in cotton is the use of a high-residue winter cover crop; however, terminating such cover crops is a cost and planting into high-residue is a challenge. Black oat, rye, and wheat winter cover crops were flattened with a straight-blade mechan...

  9. The development, evaluation, and application of O3 flux and flux-response models for additional agricultural crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    L. D. Emberson; W. J. Massman; P. Buker; G. Soja; I. Van De Sand; G. Mills; C. Jacobs

    2006-01-01

    Currently, stomatal O3 flux and flux-response models only exist for wheat and potato (LRTAP Convention, 2004), as such there is a need to extend these models to include additional crop types. The possibility of establishing robust stomatal flux models for five agricultural crops (tomato, grapevine, sugar beet, maize and sunflower) was investigated. These crops were...

  10. The importance of an alternative for sustainability of agriculture around the periphery of the Amazon rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moura, Emanoel G; Sena, Virley G L; Corrêa, Mariana S; Aguiar, Alana das C F

    2013-04-01

    The unsustainable use of the soil of the deforested area at the Amazonian border is one of the greatest threats to the rainforest, because it is the predominant cause of shifting cultivation in the region. The sustainable management of soils with low natural fertility is a major challenge for smallholder agriculture in the humid tropics. In the periphery of Brazilian Amazonia, agricultural practices that are recommended for the Brazilian savannah, such as saturating soils with soluble nutrients do not ensure the sustainability of agroecosystems. Improvements in the tilled topsoil cannot be maintained if deterioration of the porous soil structure is not prevented and nutrient losses in the root zone are not curtailed. The information gleaned from experiments affirms that in the management of humid tropical agrosystems, the processes resulting from the interaction between climatic factors and indicators of soil quality must be taken into consideration. It must be remembered that these interactions manifest themselves in ways that cannot be predicted from the paradigm established in the other region like the southeast of Brazil, which is based only on improving the chemical indicators of soil quality. The physical indicators play important role in the sustainable management of the agrosystems of the region and for these reasons must be considered. Therefore, alley cropping is a potential substitute for slash and burn agriculture in the humid tropics with both environmental and agronomic advantages, due to its ability to produce a large amount of residues on the soil surface and its effect on the increase of economic crop productivity in the long term. The article presents some promising patents on the importance of an alternative for sustainability of agriculture.

  11. The impact of Genetically Modified (GM) crops in modern agriculture: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raman, Ruchir

    2017-10-02

    Genetic modification in plants was first recorded 10,000 years ago in Southwest Asia where humans first bred plants through artificial selection and selective breeding. Since then, advancements in agriculture science and technology have brought about the current GM crop revolution. GM crops are promising to mitigate current and future problems in commercial agriculture, with proven case studies in Indian cotton and Australian canola. However, controversial studies such as the Monarch Butterfly study (1999) and the Séralini affair (2012) along with current problems linked to insect resistance and potential health risks have jeopardised its standing with the public and policymakers, even leading to full and partial bans in certain countries. Nevertheless, the current growth rate of the GM seed market at 9.83-10% CAGR along with promising research avenues in biofortification, precise DNA integration and stress tolerance have forecast it to bring productivity and prosperity to commercial agriculture.

  12. Occurrence and potential crop uptake of emerging contaminants and related compounds in an agricultural irrigation network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón-Preciado, Diana; Matamoros, Víctor; Bayona, Josep M

    2011-12-15

    Emerging contaminants have received much attention in recent years due to their presence in surface waters, but little attention has been paid to their occurrence in agricultural irrigation waters. This study investigated the occurrence of these compounds in an agricultural irrigation network in northeastern Spain and, for the first time, using two plant uptake models, estimated the concentration of selected micropollutants in crops. The concentration of micropollutants in agricultural irrigation waters ranged from 10 to 5130 ng L(-1) and exhibited some attenuation over the course of the irrigation network. Bromoform, chloroform, diclofenac, caffeine, ibuprofen, naproxen, methyl dihydrojasmonate, galaxolide, butylated hydroxytoluene, and butylated hydroxyanisole were the most abundant contaminants (>200 ng L(-1), on average). The estimated concentration of micropollutants in crops ranged from contaminants detected). Further studies are needed to determine the health implications that the presence of these compounds in fruit and vegetables may have for consumers. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. The biospeckle method for the investigation of agricultural crops: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zdunek, Artur; Adamiak, Anna; Pieczywek, Piotr M.; Kurenda, Andrzej

    2014-01-01

    Biospeckle is a nondestructive method for the evaluation of living objects. It has been applied to medicine, agriculture and microbiology for monitoring processes related to the movement of material particles. Recently, this method is extensively used for evaluation of quality of agricultural crops. In the case of botanical materials, the sources of apparent biospeckle activity are the Brownian motions and biological processes such as cyclosis, growth, transport, etc. Several different applications have been shown to monitor aging and maturation of samples, organ development and the detection and development of defects and diseases. This review will focus on three aspects: on the image analysis and mathematical methods for biospeckle activity evaluation, on published applications to botanical samples, with special attention to agricultural crops, and on interpretation of the phenomena from a biological point of view.

  14. A methodological approach for deriving regional crop rotations as basis for the assessment of the impact of agricultural strategies using soil erosion as example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenz, Marco; Fürst, Christine; Thiel, Enrico

    2013-09-01

    Regarding increasing pressures by global societal and climate change, the assessment of the impact of land use and land management practices on land degradation and the related decrease in sustainable provision of ecosystem services gains increasing interest. Existing approaches to assess agricultural practices focus on the assessment of single crops or statistical data because spatially explicit information on practically applied crop rotations is mostly not available. This provokes considerable uncertainties in crop production models as regional specifics have to be neglected or cannot be considered in an appropriate way. In a case study in Saxony, we developed an approach to (i) derive representative regional crop rotations by combining different data sources and expert knowledge. This includes the integration of innovative crop sequences related to bio-energy production or organic farming and different soil tillage, soil management and soil protection techniques. Furthermore, (ii) we developed a regionalization approach for transferring crop rotations and related soil management strategies on the basis of statistical data and spatially explicit data taken from so called field blocks. These field blocks are the smallest spatial entity for which agricultural practices must be reported to apply for agricultural funding within the frame of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) program. The information was finally integrated into the spatial decision support tool GISCAME to assess and visualize in spatially explicit manner the impact of alternative agricultural land use strategies on soil erosion risk and ecosystem services provision. Objective of this paper is to present the approach how to create spatially explicit information on agricultural management practices for a study area around Dresden, the capital of the German Federal State Saxony. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Development Procedure in Mutation Induction and Tracer Technique for Good Agriculture Practices for Under used Crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Faiz Ahmad; Rusli Ibrahim; Khairuddin Abdul Rahim

    2015-01-01

    Under used crops are those crop species which have high potential value in the supply of important raw material for secondary economy sector in food processing. The yield production of new Under used crops varieties can be used as an important input in food production process for export products. The optimum production cost can be minimized since the price of raw material supplied from agriculture sector is cheaper compared with the international markets. Agriculture output can be increased through the development of Under used crops using radiation mutagenesis and tracer technique for good agricultural practices. This paper work will discuss the development procedure of mutation induction method which includes irradiation of samples such as seeds of groundnut and in vitro shoots of banana using gamma rays and application of N-15 for nutrient use efficiency and screening of potential mutant lines with high yield and resistance to drought. These management practices using established procedures of water and nutrient use efficiency will be recommended to the growers. (author)

  16. Occupational exposure to particulate matter from three agricultural crops in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Rebecca E; Bennett, Deborah H; Garcia, John; Schenker, Marc B

    2014-03-01

    Agricultural work is a major contributor to California's and the nation's economy and employs a large number of workers. However, agricultural work can have numerous risks, such as exposure to elevated levels of particulate matter (PM) and other airborne pollutants with potential adverse health effects. To determine the magnitude of occupational exposures, PM levels were assessed for 89 workers from three major crops in California; almonds, melons and tomatoes. Personal samples were collected for PM2.5 and inhalable PM using personal sampling equipment. Geometric mean concentrations from personal exposure for workers in almonds (inhalable PM=4368 μg/m(3), PM2.5=122 μg/m(3), N=5), tomatoes (inhalable PM=1410 μg/m(3), PM2.5=12 μg/m(3), N=33), and melons (inhalable PM=1118 μg/m(3), PM2.5=19 μg/m(3), N=51) showed high PM exposure when working with these three crops. Large exposure differences by crop were more common than by task (i.e. harvesting, packing and weeding) among the three crops studied. This is the largest study of agricultural workers engaged in hand harvesting, a significant employer of farm labor, and relatively high levels of exposure to PM were measured. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  17. Improving the efficiency of spatially selective operations for agricultural robotics in cropping field

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Y. L.; Yi, S. P.

    2013-05-01

    Cropping fields often have well-defined poor-performing patches due to spatial and temporal variability. In an attempt to increase crop performance on poor patches, spatially selective field operations may be performed by agricultural robotics to apply additional inputs with targeted requirements. This paper addresses the route planning problem for an agricultural robot that has to treat some poor-patches in a field with row crops, with respect to the minimization of the total non-working distance travelled during headland turnings and in-field travel distance. The traversal of patches in the field is expressed as the traversal of a mixed weighted graph, and then the problem of finding an optimal patch sequence is formulated as an asymmetric traveling salesman problem and solved by the parthenogenetic algorithm. The proposed method is applied on a cropping field located in Northwestern China. Research results show that by using optimum patch sequences, the total non-working distance travelled during headland turnings and in-field travel distance can be reduced. But the savings on the non-working distance inside the field interior depend on the size and location of patches in the field, and the introduction of agricultural robotics is beneficial to increase field efficiency. (Author) 21 refs.

  18. Improving the efficiency of spatially selective operations for agricultural robotics in cropping field

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. L. Li

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Cropping fields often have well-defined poor-performing patches due to spatial and temporal variability. In an attempt to increase crop performance on poor patches, spatially selective field operations may be performed by agricultural robotics to apply additional inputs with targeted requirements. This paper addresses the route planning problem for an agricultural robot that has to treat some poor-patches in a field with row crops, with respect to the minimization of the total non-working distance travelled during headland turnings and in-field travel distance. The traversal of patches in the field is expressed as the traversal of a mixed weighted graph, and then the problem of finding an optimal patch sequence is formulated as an asymmetric traveling salesman problem and solved by the partheno-genetic algorithm. The proposed method is applied on a cropping field located in Northwestern China. Research results show that by using optimum patch sequences, the total non-working distance travelled during headland turnings and in-field travel distance can be reduced. But the savings on the non-working distance inside the field interior depend on the size and location of patches in the field, and the introduction of agricultural robotics is beneficial to increase field efficiency.

  19. Landscape configurational heterogeneity by small-scale agriculture, not crop diversity, maintains pollinators and plant reproduction in western Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hass, Annika L; Kormann, Urs G; Tscharntke, Teja; Clough, Yann; Baillod, Aliette Bosem; Sirami, Clélia; Fahrig, Lenore; Martin, Jean-Louis; Baudry, Jacques; Bertrand, Colette; Bosch, Jordi; Brotons, Lluís; Burel, Françoise; Georges, Romain; Giralt, David; Marcos-García, María Á; Ricarte, Antonio; Siriwardena, Gavin; Batáry, Péter

    2018-02-14

    Agricultural intensification is one of the main causes for the current biodiversity crisis. While reversing habitat loss on agricultural land is challenging, increasing the farmland configurational heterogeneity (higher field border density) and farmland compositional heterogeneity (higher crop diversity) has been proposed to counteract some habitat loss. Here, we tested whether increased farmland configurational and compositional heterogeneity promote wild pollinators and plant reproduction in 229 landscapes located in four major western European agricultural regions. High-field border density consistently increased wild bee abundance and seed set of radish ( Raphanus sativus ), probably through enhanced connectivity. In particular, we demonstrate the importance of crop-crop borders for pollinator movement as an additional experiment showed higher transfer of a pollen analogue along crop-crop borders than across fields or along semi-natural crop borders. By contrast, high crop diversity reduced bee abundance, probably due to an increase of crop types with particularly intensive management. This highlights the importance of crop identity when higher crop diversity is promoted. Our results show that small-scale agricultural systems can boost pollinators and plant reproduction. Agri-environmental policies should therefore aim to halt and reverse the current trend of increasing field sizes and to reduce the amount of crop types with particularly intensive management. © 2018 The Author(s).

  20. Occurrence of chemical contaminants in peri-urban agricultural irrigation waters and assessment of their phytotoxicity and crop productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margenat, Anna; Matamoros, Víctor; Díez, Sergi; Cañameras, Núria; Comas, Jordi; Bayona, Josep M

    2017-12-01

    Water scarcity and water pollution have increased the pressure on water resources worldwide. This pressure is particularly important in highly populated areas where water demand exceeds the available natural resources. In this regard, water reuse has emerged as an excellent water source alternative for peri-urban agriculture. Nevertheless, it must cope with the occurrence of chemical contaminants, ranging from trace elements (TEs) to organic microcontaminants. In this study, chemical contaminants (i.e., 15 TEs, 34 contaminants of emerging concern (CECs)), bulk parameters, and nutrients from irrigation waters and crop productivity (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. Bodar and Lactuca sativa L. cv. Batavia) were seasonally surveyed in 4 farm plots in the peri-urban area of the city of Barcelona. A pristine site, where rain-groundwater is used for irrigation, was selected for background concentrations. The average concentration levels of TEs and CECs in the irrigation water impacted by treated wastewater (TWW) were 3 (35±75μgL -1 ) and 13 (553±1050ngL -1 ) times higher than at the pristine site respectively. Principal component analysis was used to classify the irrigation waters by chemical composition. To assess the impact of the occurrence of these contaminants on agriculture, a seed germination assay (Lactuca sativa L) and real field-scale study of crop productivity (i.e., lettuce and tomato) were used. Although irrigation waters from the peri-urban area exhibited a higher frequency of detection and concentration of the assessed chemical contaminants than those of the pristine site (P1), no significant differences were found in seed phytotoxicity or crop productivity. In fact, the crops impacted by TWW showed higher productivity than the other farm plots studied, which was associated with the higher nutrient availability for plants. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. E-precision agriculture for small scale cash crops in Tobasa regency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putra Simanjuntak, Panca; Tiurniari Napitupulu, Pangeran; Pratama Silalahi, Soni; Kisno; Pasaribu, Norlina; Valešová, Libuše

    2017-09-01

    Cash crop is a promising sector in Tobasa regency; however, the trend showed a negative change of the cash crop production in. This research aims to develop an application which is based on Arduino for watering and fertilizing corn land. The result of using e-precision agriculture based on embedded system is 100% higher than the conventional one and the risk of harvesting failure using the embedded system decreased to 50%. Embedded system in this study acquired critical environment measurements which at last affected the yield raising and risk reduction. As the result, the use of e-precision agriculture provided a framework to be used by different stakeholders to implement e-agriculture platform that supports marketing of agricultural production since the system is proven to save the material and time which finally reduces the risk of harvesting failure and increases the yield. In other words, the system is able to economize the use of water and fertilizer on a small corn land. The system will be developed for more efficiency in material loss and the mobile-based application development to reach sustainable rural development particularly for cash-crop farmers.

  2. Daily monitoring of 30 m crop condition over complex agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, L.; Gao, F.; Xie, D.; Anderson, M. C.; Yang, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Crop progress provides information necessary for efficient irrigation, scheduling fertilization and harvesting operations at optimal times for achieving higher yields. In the United States, crop progress reports are released online weekly by US Department of Agriculture (USDA) - National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). However, the ground data collection is time consuming and subjective, and these reports are provided at either district (multiple counties) or state level. Remote sensing technologies have been widely used to map crop conditions, to extract crop phenology, and to predict crop yield. However, for current satellite-based sensors, it is difficult to acquire both high spatial resolution and frequent coverage. For example, Landsat satellites are capable to capture 30 m resolution images, while the long revisit cycles, cloud contamination further limited their use in detecting rapid surface changes. On the other hand, MODIS can provide daily observations, but with coarse spatial resolutions range from 250 to 1000 m. In recent years, multi-satellite data fusion technology such as the Spatial and Temporal Adaptive Reflectance Fusion Model (STARFM) has been used to combine the spatial resolution of Landsat with the temporal frequency of MODIS. It has been found that this synthetic dataset could provide more valuable information compared to the images acquired from only one single sensor. However, accuracy of STARFM depends on heterogeneity of landscape and available clear image pairs of MODIS and Landsat. In this study, a new fusion method was developed using the crop vegetation index (VI) timeseries extracted from "pure" MODIS pixels and Landsat overpass images to generate daily 30 m VI for crops. The fusion accuracy was validated by comparing to the original Landsat images. Results show that the relative error in non-rapid growing period is around 3-5% and in rapid growing period is around 6-8% . The accuracy is much better than that of STARFM which

  3. National Agriculture Society (SNA and fruit-crops development in Chile, 1838- 1933

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Lacoste

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Since its beginning in 1938, the National Agriculture Society (SNA began publishing journals with agriculture-related topics. This generated a singular feature-length documentary from which those devoted to fruit growing are examined in this work. Three-hundred articles referred to plant’s cultivation practices, diseases and pests infestations, fruit conservation, and the export business. North American and Argentinian, among others, references are mentioned in these articles. The SNA contributions to fruit-crops growing in Chile were significant, which became evident in the 1936 census

  4. Crop Management as an Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change in Early Modern Era: A Comparative Study of Eastern and Western Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing Pei

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Effective adaptation determines agricultural vulnerability to climate change, especially in the pre-industrial era. Crop management as an agricultural adaptation to climate change in recent human history, however, has rarely been systematically evaluated. Using Europe as our study area, we statistically compared yield ratio of wheat, rye, barley, and oats (an important performance indicator of an agrarian economy between Eastern and Western Europe in AD 1500–1800. In particular, a statistical comparison was made of crop yield ratio in the two regions during the warm agricultural recovery period AD 1700–1800. The general trend of crop yield in Eastern and Western Europe basically followed the alternation of climatic epochs, in which the extreme cooling period in AD 1560–1660 drastically reduced the crop yield ratio. The yield ratio of rye in Eastern and Western Europe was very similar throughout the entire study period. However, the yield ratio of wheat, barley, and oats showed different patterns in the two regions and increased drastically in Western Europe in the warm agricultural recovery period, which might have contributed to rapid socio-economic development in Western Europe and eventually the East–West Divide in Europe in the following centuries.

  5. Time to Redefine Organic Agriculture: Can't GM Crops Be Certified as Organics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husaini, Amjad M; Sohail, Muhammad

    2018-01-01

    The challenges of sustainable food production without damaging the environment for a growing human population have increased considerably. The current agricultural practices involving chemical fertilizers and even organic farming are not sustainable in the long run and can have deleterious effects on the environment. Thus, new, innovative solutions need to be identified and propagated for tackling this. Among such innovations, that can complement conventional as well as organic farming methods, are genetic modification (GM) and aquaculture. Yet, GM technologies often face resistance from civil groups owing to an 'unknown' fear, akin to Frankenstein's monster. How real is this fear? Our discussion rests on basic questions like, why can't 'organics' include GM crops that do not require chemical inputs for cultivation, and can GM crops like Golden rice qualify to be 'organic' if cultivated through organic practices? Do we need to rethink organic agriculture in the context of the present and future challenges of 21st century?

  6. Applications of UAVs in row-crop agriculture: advantages and limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basso, B.; Putnam, G.; Price, R.; Zhang, J.

    2016-12-01

    The application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to monitor agricultural fields has increased over the last few years due to advances in the technology, sensors, post-processing software for image analysis, along with more favorable regulations that allowed UAVs to be flown for commercial use. UAV have several capabilities depending on the type of sensors that are mounted onboard. The most widely used application remains crop scouting to identify areas within fields where the crops underperform for various reasons (nutritional status and water stress, presence of weeds, poor stands etc). In this talk, we present the preliminary results of UAVs field based research to better understand spatial and temporal variability of crop yield. Their advantage in providing timely information is critical, but adaptive management requires a system approach to account for the interactions occurring between genetics, environment and management.

  7. Radio/Antenna Mounting System for Wireless Networking under Row-Crop Agriculture Conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Daniel K. Fisher

    2015-01-01

    Interest in and deployment of wireless monitoring systems is increasing in many diverse environments, including row-crop agricultural fields. While many studies have been undertaken to evaluate various aspects of wireless monitoring and networking, such as electronic hardware components, data-collection procedures, power management, and communication protocols, little information related to physical deployment issues has been reported. To achieve acceptable wireless transmission capability, t...

  8. Estimating Hydrologic Fluxes, Crop Water Use, and Agricultural Land Area in China using Data Assimilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Tiziana; McLaughlin, Dennis B.; Hoisungwan, Piyatida

    2016-04-01

    Crop production has significantly altered the terrestrial environment by changing land use and by altering the water cycle through both co-opted rainfall and surface water withdrawals. As the world's population continues to grow and individual diets become more resource-intensive, the demand for food - and the land and water necessary to produce it - will continue to increase. High-resolution quantitative data about water availability, water use, and agricultural land use are needed to develop sustainable water and agricultural planning and policies. However, existing data covering large areas with high resolution are susceptible to errors and can be physically inconsistent. China is an example of a large area where food demand is expected to increase and a lack of data clouds the resource management dialogue. Some assert that China will have insufficient land and water resources to feed itself, posing a threat to global food security if they seek to increase food imports. Others believe resources are plentiful. Without quantitative data, it is difficult to discern if these concerns are realistic or overly dramatized. This research presents a quantitative approach using data assimilation techniques to characterize hydrologic fluxes, crop water use (defined as crop evapotranspiration), and agricultural land use at 0.5 by 0.5 degree resolution and applies the methodology in China using data from around the year 2000. The approach uses the principles of water balance and of crop water requirements to assimilate existing data with a least-squares estimation technique, producing new estimates of water and land use variables that are physically consistent while minimizing differences from measured data. We argue that this technique for estimating water fluxes and agricultural land use can provide a useful basis for resource management modeling and policy, both in China and around the world.

  9. Personalized Medicine for Crops? Opportunities for the Application of Molecular Recognition in Agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastronardi, Emily; Monreal, Carlos; DeRosa, Maria C

    2017-10-20

    This perspective examines the detection of rhizosphere biomarkers, namely, root exudates and microbial metabolites, using molecular recognition elements, such as molecularly imprinted polymers, antibodies, and aptamers. Tracking these compounds in the rhizosphere could provide valuable insight into the status of the crop and soil in a highly localized way. The outlook and potential impact of the combination of molecular recognition and other innovations, such as nanotechnology and precision agriculture, and the comparison to advances in personalized medicine are considered.

  10. Response to issues on GM agriculture in Africa: Are transgenic crops safe?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adenle Ademola A

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The controversies surrounding transgenic crops, often called Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs, call for a need to raise the level of public awareness of Genetic Modification (GM technology in Africa. This should be accomplished by educating the public about the potential benefits and risks that may be associated with this new technology. In the last 15 years, GM crop producing countries have benefited from adoption of this new technology in the form of improved crop productivity, food security, and quality of life. The increased income to resource-poor farmers is a key benefit at the individual level especially as most countries using this technology are in the developing world, including three African countries (South Africa, Burkina Faso and Egypt. Despite clear benefits to countries and farmers who grow GMOs, many people are concerned about suspected potential risks associated with GMOs. This sparks debate as to whether GM technology should be adopted or not. Given the concerns regarding the safety of GMO products, thorough scientific investigation of safe application of GMOs is required. The objective of this paper is to respond to the issues of GM agriculture in Africa and some of the issues surrounding the adoption of GM crops between developed and developing countries. In this article, I analyse relevant papers relating to the adoption of GM technology particularly in developing countries including the few African countries that have adopted GM crops. The issues discussed span a wide range including: safety; potential benefits and risks; disputes between the United States of America (USA and the European Union (EU over adoption of GM crops with a focus on Africa continent. This article is concluded by summarising the issues raised and how GM technology can be adopted for agricultural development in Africa.

  11. Response to issues on GM agriculture in Africa: Are transgenic crops safe?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adenle, Ademola A

    2011-10-08

    The controversies surrounding transgenic crops, often called Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), call for a need to raise the level of public awareness of Genetic Modification (GM) technology in Africa. This should be accomplished by educating the public about the potential benefits and risks that may be associated with this new technology. In the last 15 years, GM crop producing countries have benefited from adoption of this new technology in the form of improved crop productivity, food security, and quality of life. The increased income to resource-poor farmers is a key benefit at the individual level especially as most countries using this technology are in the developing world, including three African countries (South Africa, Burkina Faso and Egypt). Despite clear benefits to countries and farmers who grow GMOs, many people are concerned about suspected potential risks associated with GMOs. This sparks debate as to whether GM technology should be adopted or not. Given the concerns regarding the safety of GMO products, thorough scientific investigation of safe application of GMOs is required. The objective of this paper is to respond to the issues of GM agriculture in Africa and some of the issues surrounding the adoption of GM crops between developed and developing countries. In this article, I analyse relevant papers relating to the adoption of GM technology particularly in developing countries including the few African countries that have adopted GM crops. The issues discussed span a wide range including: safety; potential benefits and risks; disputes between the United States of America (USA) and the European Union (EU) over adoption of GM crops with a focus on Africa continent. This article is concluded by summarising the issues raised and how GM technology can be adopted for agricultural development in Africa.

  12. Response to issues on GM agriculture in Africa: Are transgenic crops safe?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    The controversies surrounding transgenic crops, often called Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), call for a need to raise the level of public awareness of Genetic Modification (GM) technology in Africa. This should be accomplished by educating the public about the potential benefits and risks that may be associated with this new technology. In the last 15 years, GM crop producing countries have benefited from adoption of this new technology in the form of improved crop productivity, food security, and quality of life. The increased income to resource-poor farmers is a key benefit at the individual level especially as most countries using this technology are in the developing world, including three African countries (South Africa, Burkina Faso and Egypt). Despite clear benefits to countries and farmers who grow GMOs, many people are concerned about suspected potential risks associated with GMOs. This sparks debate as to whether GM technology should be adopted or not. Given the concerns regarding the safety of GMO products, thorough scientific investigation of safe application of GMOs is required. The objective of this paper is to respond to the issues of GM agriculture in Africa and some of the issues surrounding the adoption of GM crops between developed and developing countries. In this article, I analyse relevant papers relating to the adoption of GM technology particularly in developing countries including the few African countries that have adopted GM crops. The issues discussed span a wide range including: safety; potential benefits and risks; disputes between the United States of America (USA) and the European Union (EU) over adoption of GM crops with a focus on Africa continent. This article is concluded by summarising the issues raised and how GM technology can be adopted for agricultural development in Africa. PMID:21981823

  13. Future Climate Impacts on Crop Water Demand and Groundwater Longevity in Agricultural Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, T. A.; Sahoo, S.; Elliott, J. W.; Foster, I.

    2016-12-01

    Improving groundwater management practices under future drought conditions in agricultural regions requires three steps: 1) estimating the impacts of climate and drought on crop water demand, 2) projecting groundwater availability given climate and demand forcing, and 3) using this information to develop climate-smart policy and water use practices. We present an innovative combination of models to address the first two steps, and inform the third. Crop water demand was simulated using biophysical crop models forced by multiple climate models and climate scenarios, with one case simulating climate adaptation (e.g. modify planting or harvest time) and another without adaptation. These scenarios were intended to represent a range of drought projections and farm management responses. Nexty, we used projected climate conditions and simulated water demand across the United States as inputs to a novel machine learning-based groundwater model. The model was applied to major agricultural regions relying on the High Plains and Mississippi Alluvial aquifer systems in the US. The groundwater model integrates input data preprocessed using single spectrum analysis, mutual information, and a genetic algorithm, with an artificial neural network model. Model calibration and test results indicate low errors over the 33 year model run, and strong correlations to groundwater levels in hundreds of wells across each aquifer. Model results include a range of projected groundwater level changes from the present to 2050, and in some regions, identification and timeframe of aquifer depletion. These results quantify aquifer longevity under climate and crop scenarios, and provide decision makers with the data needed to compare scenarios of crop water demand, crop yield, and groundwater response, as they aim to balance water sustainability with food security.

  14. Feasibility study for anaerobic digestion of agricultural crop residues. Dynatech report No. 1935

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ashare, E.; Buivid, M. G.; Wilson, E. H.

    1979-07-31

    The objective of this study was to provide cost estimates for the pretreatment/digestion of crop residues to fuel gas. A review of agricultural statistics indicated that the crop residues wheat straw, corn stover, and rice straw are available in sufficient quantity to provide meaningful supplies of gas. Engineering economic analyses were performed for digestion of wheat straw, corn stover, and rice straw for small farm-, cooperative-, and industrial scales. The small farm scale processed the residue from an average size US farm (400 acres), and the other sizes were two and three orders of magnitude greater. The results of the analyses indicate that the production of fuel gas from these residues is, at best, economically marginal, unless a credit can be obtained for digester effluent. The use of pretreatment can double the fuel gas output but will not be economically justifiable unless low chemical requirements or low cost chemicals can be utilized. Additional development is necessary in this area. Use of low cost hole-in-the-ground batch digestion results in improved economics for the small farm size digestion system, but not for the cooperative and industrial size systems. Recommendations arising from this study are continued development of autohydrolysis and chemical pretreatment of agricultural crop residues to improve fuel gas yields in an economically feasible manner; development of a low cost controlled landfill batch digestion process for small farm applications; and determination of crop residue digestion by-product values for fertilizer and refeed.

  15. Feasibility study for anaerobic digestion of agricultural crop residues. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ashare, E.; Buivid, M. G.; Wilson, E. H.

    1979-10-01

    This study provides cost estimates for the pretreatment/digestion of crop residues to fuel gas. Agricultural statistics indicate that the crop residues wheat straw, corn stover, and rice straw are available in sufficient quantity to provide meaningful supplies of gas. Engineering economic analyses were performed for digestion of sheat straw, corn stover, and rice straw for small farm, cooperative, and industrial scales. The results of the analyses indicate that the production of fuel gas from these residues is, at best, economically marginal, unless a credit can be obtained for digester effluent. The use of pretreatment can double the fuel gas output but will not be economically justifiable unless low chemical requirements or low-cost chemicals can be utilized. Use of low-cost hole-in-the-ground batch digestion results in improved economics for the small farm size digestion system, but not for the cooperative and industrial size systems. Recommendations arising from this study are continued development of autohydrolysis and chemical pretreatment of agricultural crop residues to improve fuel gas yields in an economically feasible manner; development of a low-cost controlled landfill batch digestion process for small farm applications; and determination of crop residue digestion by-product values for fertilizer and refeed.

  16. Conservation Agriculture Improves Soil Quality, Crop Yield, and Incomes of Smallholder Farmers in North Western Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naab, Jesse B; Mahama, George Y; Yahaya, Iddrisu; Prasad, P V V

    2017-01-01

    Conservation agriculture (CA) practices are being widely promoted in many areas in sub-Saharan Africa to recuperate degraded soils and improve ecosystem services. This study examined the effects of three tillage practices [conventional moldboard plowing (CT), hand hoeing (MT) and no-tillage (NT)], and three cropping systems (continuous maize, soybean-maize annual rotation, and soybean/maize intercropping) on soil quality, crop productivity, and profitability in researcher and farmer managed on-farm trials from 2010 to 2013 in northwestern Ghana. In the researcher managed mother trial, the CA practices of NT, residue retention and crop rotation/intercropping maintained higher soil organic carbon, and total soil N compared to conventional tillage practices after 4 years. Soil bulk density was higher under NT than under CT soils in the researcher managed mother trails or farmers managed baby trials after 4 years. In the researcher managed mother trial, there was no significant difference between tillage systems or cropping systems in maize or soybean yields in the first three seasons. In the fourth season, crop rotation had the greatest impact on maize yields with CT maize following soybean increasing yields by 41 and 49% compared to MT and NT maize, respectively. In the farmers' managed trials, maize yield ranged from 520 to 2700 kg ha -1 and 300 to 2000 kg ha -1 for CT and NT, respectively, reflecting differences in experience of farmers with NT. Averaged across farmers, CT cropping systems increased maize and soybean yield ranging from 23 to 39% compared with NT cropping systems. Partial budget analysis showed that the cost of producing maize or soybean is 20-29% cheaper with NT systems and gives higher returns to labor compared to CT practice. Benefit-to-cost ratios also show that NT cropping systems are more profitable than CT systems. We conclude that with time, implementation of CA practices involving NT, crop rotation, intercropping of maize and soybean along

  17. Agricultural crop mapping and classification by Landsat images to evaluate water use in the Lake Urmia basin, North-west Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fazel, Nasim; Norouzi, Hamid; Madani, Kaveh; Kløve, Bjørn

    2016-04-01

    Lake Urmia, once one of the largest hypersaline lakes in the world has lost more than 90% of its surface body mainly due to the intensive expansion of agriculture, using more than 90% of all water in the region. Access to accurate and up-to-date information on the extent and distribution of individual crop types, associated with land use changes and practices, has significant value in intensively agricultural regions. Explicit information of croplands can be useful for sustainable water resources, land and agriculture planning and management. Remote sensing, has been proven to be a more cost-effective alternative to the traditional statistically-based ground surveys for crop coverage areas that are costly and provide insufficient information. Satellite images along with ground surveys can provide the necessary information of spatial coverage and spectral responses of croplands for sustainable agricultural management. This study strives to differentiate different crop types and agricultural practices to achieve a higher detailed crop map of the Lake Urmia basin. The mapping approach consists of a two-stage supervised classification of multi-temporal multi-spectral high resolution images obtained from Landsat imagery archive. Irrigated and non-irrigated croplands and orchards were separated from other major land covers (urban, ranges, bare-lands, and water) in the region by means of maximum Likelihood supervised classification method. The field data collected during 2015 and land use maps generated in 2007 and Google Earth comparisons were used to form a training data set to perform the supervised classification. In the second stage, non-agricultural lands were masked and the supervised classification was applied on the Landsat images stack to identify seven major croplands in the region (wheat and barley, beetroot, corn, sunflower, alfalfa, vineyards, and apple orchards). The obtained results can be of significant value to the Urmia Lake restoration efforts which

  18. Midwestern US Farmers Perceive Crop Advisers as Conduits of Information on Agricultural Conservation Practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eanes, Francis R; Singh, Ajay S; Bulla, Brian R; Ranjan, Pranay; Prokopy, Linda S; Fales, Mary; Wickerham, Benjamin; Doran, Patrick J

    2017-11-01

    Nonpoint source pollution from agricultural land uses continues to pose one of the most significant threats to water quality in the US, with measurable impacts across local, regional, and national scales. The impact and the influence of targeted conservation efforts are directly related to the degree to which farmers are familiar with and trust the entities providing the information and/or outreach. Recent research suggests that farmers consistently rank independent and retail-affiliated crop advisers as among the most trusted and influential sources for agronomic information, but little is understood about whether farmers are willing to receive advice from crop advisers on the use of practices that conserve soil and water, and, if so, whether crop advisers will be perceived as influential. We present survey data from farmers (n = 1461) in Michigan's Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron) watershed to explore these questions. Results suggest that farmers view crop advisers as trustworthy sources of information about conservation, and influential on management practices that have large conservation implications. We discuss these results, along with perceived barriers and opportunities to crop advisers partnering with traditional conservation agencies to enhance the impact of voluntary conservation programs.

  19. Midwestern US Farmers Perceive Crop Advisers as Conduits of Information on Agricultural Conservation Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eanes, Francis R.; Singh, Ajay S.; Bulla, Brian R.; Ranjan, Pranay; Prokopy, Linda S.; Fales, Mary; Wickerham, Benjamin; Doran, Patrick J.

    2017-11-01

    Nonpoint source pollution from agricultural land uses continues to pose one of the most significant threats to water quality in the US, with measurable impacts across local, regional, and national scales. The impact and the influence of targeted conservation efforts are directly related to the degree to which farmers are familiar with and trust the entities providing the information and/or outreach. Recent research suggests that farmers consistently rank independent and retail-affiliated crop advisers as among the most trusted and influential sources for agronomic information, but little is understood about whether farmers are willing to receive advice from crop advisers on the use of practices that conserve soil and water, and, if so, whether crop advisers will be perceived as influential. We present survey data from farmers ( n = 1461) in Michigan's Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron) watershed to explore these questions. Results suggest that farmers view crop advisers as trustworthy sources of information about conservation, and influential on management practices that have large conservation implications. We discuss these results, along with perceived barriers and opportunities to crop advisers partnering with traditional conservation agencies to enhance the impact of voluntary conservation programs.

  20. Radio/Antenna Mounting System for Wireless Networking under Row-Crop Agriculture Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel K. Fisher

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Interest in and deployment of wireless monitoring systems is increasing in many diverse environments, including row-crop agricultural fields. While many studies have been undertaken to evaluate various aspects of wireless monitoring and networking, such as electronic hardware components, data-collection procedures, power management, and communication protocols, little information related to physical deployment issues has been reported. To achieve acceptable wireless transmission capability, the radio/antenna must be positioned properly relative to the ground surface or crop canopy to minimize degradation of the radio signal, usually requiring the mounting of the radio/antenna above the canopy. This results in the presence of obstacles to normal agricultural equipment traffic and production operations and potential damage to the wireless monitoring system. A simple and rugged radio/antenna mounting system was designed which could be subjected to encounters with agricultural equipment without suffering physical damage. The mounting system was deployed and tested, and operated successfully following repeated encounters with various agricultural machines and implements. The radio/antenna mount is simple and inexpensive to fabricate using locally available components.

  1. Alternative Approaches to Food: Community Supported Agriculture in Urban China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kees Krul

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available One of the most remarkable features of China’s development path is its large-scale and fast-paced urbanization. As cities already accommodate more than half of China’s population, new challenges to urban food systems have emerged concurrently. Concerns over environmental degradation and food safety have provoked growing dissatisfaction with China’s food regime. Amidst these concerns, the aim of this paper is to study the role of new and alternative approaches to food, focusing in on the question of how community supported agriculture (CSA can deal with the food-related issues emerging from China’s development. The paper adopts Granovetter’s notions of social embeddedness to describe CSA’s relational role in consumer-farmer dynamics, as well as the structural role within its broader relational context. Empirical data is drawn from surveys distributed among CSA farms, and interviews with key stakeholders in the Chinese CSA movement. The study finds that the model of CSA demonstrates an innovative approach to deal with food safety issues, address sustainability, and operate in an environment where future food demands are most critical. Although the movement’s structural embeddedness is bound by several limitations and contradictions, it is argued that the CSA model offers important insights and adds value into ameliorating China’s food systems.

  2. Sustainability of energy crops. Four papers by the Centre for Agriculture and Environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanegraaf, M.C.; Van Kuik, M.; Van Zeijts, H.

    1998-07-01

    Between 1994 and 1996 CLM developed a method for assessing the ecological and economic sustainability of producing and using energy from agricultural and forest biomass. The method has much in common with environmental life cycle assessment (LCA). CLM has also co-ordinated a concerted action called 'Environmental aspects of biomass production and routes for European energy supply'. LCA is at present the best available instrument for assessing the ecological sustainability of energy crops. CLM focused on three topics disseminating the results of the concerted action; updating the work on bioethanol, and proposals for new financial instruments. The results are presented in this report. First, the results from the concerted action and work carried out by CLM were disseminated. Papers were presented at the international conference on 'Implementation of solid biofuels for carbon dioxide mitigation', 29-30 September 1997, Uppsala, Sweden, and at the international workshop on 'Environmental aspects of energy crop production', 9-10 October 1997, Brasimone, Italy. In addition, a paper was written on the need to co-ordinate policy options to stimulate the production and use of energy crops from an energy, agricultural and environmental point of view. Second, a study on bioethanol was carried out in which data obtained elsewhere on the use of bioethanol as a transport fuel were revised and updated. The sustainability of bioethanol production from sugar beet was compared with that of bioethanol from winter wheat. Using bioethanol from sugar beet replaces more fossil energy than bioethanol from winter wheat. For both crops, the costs per ton avoided CO2 decrease over time to 2010, but are still higher than electricity routes. The third action was the development of proposals for new financial instruments to stimulate energy production from biomass in the agricultural and forestry sector. This proposal was presented at the ALTENER Seminar on 'Financial incentives for

  3. Linking carbon stock change from land-use change to consumption of agricultural products: Alternative perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goh, Chun Sheng; Wicke, Birka; Faaij, André; Bird, David Neil; Schwaiger, Hannes; Junginger, Martin

    2016-11-01

    Agricultural expansion driven by growing demand has been a key driver for carbon stock change as a consequence of land-use change (CSC-LUC). However, its relative role compared to non-agricultural and non-productive drivers, as well as propagating effects were not clearly addressed. This study contributed to this subject by providing alternative perspectives in addressing these missing links. A method was developed to allocate historical CSC-LUC to agricultural expansions by land classes (products), trade, and end use. The analysis for 1995-2010 leads to three key trends: (i) agricultural land degradation and abandonment is found to be a major (albeit indirect) driver for CSC-LUC, (ii) CSC-LUC is spurred by the growth of cross-border trade, (iii) non-food use (excluding liquid biofuels) has emerged as a significant contributor of CSC-LUC in the 2000's. In addition, the study demonstrated that exact values of CSC-LUC at a single spatio-temporal point may change significantly with different methodological settings. For example, CSC-LUC allocated to 'permanent oil crops' changed from 0.53 Pg C (billion tonne C) of carbon stock gain to 0.11 Pg C of carbon stock loss when spatial boundaries were changed from global to regional. Instead of comparing exact values for accounting purpose, key messages for policymaking were drawn from the main trends. Firstly, climate change mitigation efforts pursued through a territorial perspective may ignore indirect effects elsewhere triggered through trade linkages. Policies targeting specific commodities or types of consumption are also unable to quantitatively address indirect CSC-LUC effects because the quantification changes with different arbitrary methodological settings. Instead, it is recommended that mobilising non-productive or under-utilised lands for productive use should be targeted as a key solution to avoid direct and indirect CSC-LUC. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Cover Crops and Fertilization Alter Nitrogen Loss in Organic and Conventional Conservation Agriculture Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelton, Rebecca E; Jacobsen, Krista L; McCulley, Rebecca L

    2017-01-01

    Agroecosystem nitrogen (N) loss produces greenhouse gases, induces eutrophication, and is costly for farmers; therefore, conservation agricultural management practices aimed at reducing N loss are increasingly adopted. However, the ecosystem consequences of these practices have not been well-studied. We quantified N loss via leaching, NH 3 volatilization, N 2 O emissions, and N retention in plant and soil pools of corn conservation agroecosystems in Kentucky, USA. Three systems were evaluated: (1) an unfertilized, organic system with cover crops hairy vetch ( Vicia villosa ), winter wheat ( Triticum aestivum ), or a mix of the two (bi-culture); (2) an organic system with a hairy vetch cover crop employing three fertilization schemes (0 N, organic N, or a fertilizer N-credit approach); and (3) a conventional system with a winter wheat cover crop and three fertilization schemes (0 N, urea N, or organic N). In the unfertilized organic system, cover crop species affected NO 3 -N leaching (vetch > bi-culture > wheat) and N 2 O-N emissions and yield during corn growth (vetch, bi-culture > wheat). Fertilization increased soil inorganic N, gaseous N loss, N leaching, and yield in the organic vetch and conventional wheat systems. Fertilizer scheme affected the magnitude of growing season N 2 O-N loss in the organic vetch system (organic N > fertilizer N-credit) and the timing of loss (organic N delayed N 2 O-N loss vs. urea) and NO 3 -N leaching (urea > organic N) in the conventional wheat system, but had no effect on yield. Cover crop selection and N fertilization techniques can reduce N leaching and greenhouse gas emissions without sacrificing yield, thereby enhancing N conservation in both organic and conventional conservation agriculture systems.

  5. Cover Crops and Fertilization Alter Nitrogen Loss in Organic and Conventional Conservation Agriculture Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca E. Shelton

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Agroecosystem nitrogen (N loss produces greenhouse gases, induces eutrophication, and is costly for farmers; therefore, conservation agricultural management practices aimed at reducing N loss are increasingly adopted. However, the ecosystem consequences of these practices have not been well-studied. We quantified N loss via leaching, NH3 volatilization, N2O emissions, and N retention in plant and soil pools of corn conservation agroecosystems in Kentucky, USA. Three systems were evaluated: (1 an unfertilized, organic system with cover crops hairy vetch (Vicia villosa, winter wheat (Triticum aestivum, or a mix of the two (bi-culture; (2 an organic system with a hairy vetch cover crop employing three fertilization schemes (0 N, organic N, or a fertilizer N-credit approach; and (3 a conventional system with a winter wheat cover crop and three fertilization schemes (0 N, urea N, or organic N. In the unfertilized organic system, cover crop species affected NO3-N leaching (vetch > bi-culture > wheat and N2O-N emissions and yield during corn growth (vetch, bi-culture > wheat. Fertilization increased soil inorganic N, gaseous N loss, N leaching, and yield in the organic vetch and conventional wheat systems. Fertilizer scheme affected the magnitude of growing season N2O-N loss in the organic vetch system (organic N > fertilizer N-credit and the timing of loss (organic N delayed N2O-N loss vs. urea and NO3-N leaching (urea >> organic N in the conventional wheat system, but had no effect on yield. Cover crop selection and N fertilization techniques can reduce N leaching and greenhouse gas emissions without sacrificing yield, thereby enhancing N conservation in both organic and conventional conservation agriculture systems.

  6. Cover Crops and Fertilization Alter Nitrogen Loss in Organic and Conventional Conservation Agriculture Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelton, Rebecca E.; Jacobsen, Krista L.; McCulley, Rebecca L.

    2018-01-01

    Agroecosystem nitrogen (N) loss produces greenhouse gases, induces eutrophication, and is costly for farmers; therefore, conservation agricultural management practices aimed at reducing N loss are increasingly adopted. However, the ecosystem consequences of these practices have not been well-studied. We quantified N loss via leaching, NH3 volatilization, N2O emissions, and N retention in plant and soil pools of corn conservation agroecosystems in Kentucky, USA. Three systems were evaluated: (1) an unfertilized, organic system with cover crops hairy vetch (Vicia villosa), winter wheat (Triticum aestivum), or a mix of the two (bi-culture); (2) an organic system with a hairy vetch cover crop employing three fertilization schemes (0 N, organic N, or a fertilizer N-credit approach); and (3) a conventional system with a winter wheat cover crop and three fertilization schemes (0 N, urea N, or organic N). In the unfertilized organic system, cover crop species affected NO3-N leaching (vetch > bi-culture > wheat) and N2O-N emissions and yield during corn growth (vetch, bi-culture > wheat). Fertilization increased soil inorganic N, gaseous N loss, N leaching, and yield in the organic vetch and conventional wheat systems. Fertilizer scheme affected the magnitude of growing season N2O-N loss in the organic vetch system (organic N > fertilizer N-credit) and the timing of loss (organic N delayed N2O-N loss vs. urea) and NO3-N leaching (urea >> organic N) in the conventional wheat system, but had no effect on yield. Cover crop selection and N fertilization techniques can reduce N leaching and greenhouse gas emissions without sacrificing yield, thereby enhancing N conservation in both organic and conventional conservation agriculture systems. PMID:29403512

  7. Mapping of Agricultural Crops from Single High-Resolution Multispectral Images—Data-Driven Smoothing vs. Parcel-Based Smoothing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asli Ozdarici-Ok

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Mapping agricultural crops is an important application of remote sensing. However, in many cases it is based either on hyperspectral imagery or on multitemporal coverage, both of which are difficult to scale up to large-scale deployment at high spatial resolution. In the present paper, we evaluate the possibility of crop classification based on single images from very high-resolution (VHR satellite sensors. The main objective of this work is to expose performance difference between state-of-the-art parcel-based smoothing and purely data-driven conditional random field (CRF smoothing, which is yet unknown. To fulfill this objective, we perform extensive tests with four different classification methods (Support Vector Machines, Random Forest, Gaussian Mixtures, and Maximum Likelihood to compute the pixel-wise data term; and we also test two different definitions of the pairwise smoothness term. We have performed a detailed evaluation on different multispectral VHR images (Ikonos, QuickBird, Kompsat-2. The main finding of this study is that pairwise CRF smoothing comes close to the state-of-the-art parcel-based method that requires parcel boundaries (average difference ≈ 2.5%. Our results indicate that a single multispectral (R, G, B, NIR image is enough to reach satisfactory classification accuracy for six crop classes (corn, pasture, rice, sugar beet, wheat, and tomato in Mediterranean climate. Overall, it appears that crop mapping using only one-shot VHR imagery taken at the right time may be a viable alternative, especially since high-resolution multitemporal or hyperspectral coverage as well as parcel boundaries are in practice often not available.

  8. Socio-economic characterization of integrated cropping systems in urban and peri-urban agriculture of Faisalabad, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shoaib Ur Rehman

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Faisalabad city is surrounded by agricultural lands, where farmers are growing vegetables, grain crops, and fodder for auto-consumption and local marketing. To study the socioeconomic impact and resource use in these urban and peri-urban agricultural production (UPA systems, a baseline survey was conducted during 2009–2010. A total of 140 households were selected using a stratified sampling method and interviewed with a structured questionnaire. The results revealed that 96 % of the households rely on agriculture as their main occupation. Thirty percent of the households were owners of the land and the rest cultivated either rented or sharecropped land. Most of the families (70 % were headed by a member with primary education, and only 10 % of the household head had a secondary school certificate. Irrigationwater was obtained from waste water (37 %, canals (27 %, and mixed alternative sources (36 %. A total of 35 species were cultivated in the UPA systems of which were 65% vegetables, 15% grain and fodder crops, and 5% medicinal plants. Fifty-nine percent of the households cultivated wheat, mostly for auto-consumption. The 51 % of the respondents grew cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L. and gourds (Cucurbitaceae in the winter and summer seasons, respectively. Group marketing was uncommon and most of the farmers sold their produce at the farm gate (45 % and on local markets (43 %. Seeds and fertilizers were available from commission agents and dealers on a credit basis with the obligation to pay by harvested produce. A major problem reported by the UPA farmers of Faisalabad was the scarcity of high quality irrigation water, especially during the hot dry summer months, in addition to lacking adequate quantities of mineral fertilizers and other inputs during sowing time. Half of the respondents estimated their daily income to be less than 1.25 US$ and spent almost half of it on food. Monthly average household income and expenses were 334 and 237 US

  9. EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF POLICY OPTIONS ON AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES: AN ALTERNATIVE-FUTURES APPROACH

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alternative-futures analysis was used to analyze different scenarios of future growth patterns and attendant resource allocations on the agricultural system of Oregon's Willamette River Basin. A stakeholder group formulated three policy alternatives: a continuation of current tr...

  10. [Cumulative risk assessment for consumers of agricultural crops polluted with one chemical class pesticide residues (case of triazole fungicides)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koval'chuk, N M; Omel'chuk, S T

    2011-01-01

    Different indices of cumulative risk assessment of combination of residues of pesticides which may simultaneously be present in raw agricultural crops, based on toxic evaluation of such combination have been presented. Risk for population health due to consumption of raw agricultural crops with triazole residues is acceptable on hazard index, point of departure index and cumulative risk index, exceeds allowable level on criterion "total margin of exposure".

  11. Cover crop management influences residue biomass and subsequent weed suppression in a conservation agriculture corn and cotton rotation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Use of winter cover crops is an integral component of conservation systems in corn and cotton. However, data concerning cover management and subsequent residue and weed biomass is needed. Field experiments were conducted from autumn of 2003 through cash crop harvest in 2006 at the Alabama Agricultur...

  12. Use of composts to improve soil properties and crop productivity under low input agricultural system in West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouédraogo, E.; Mando, A.; Zombré, N.P.

    2000-01-01

    Lack of adequate nutrient supply and poor soil structure are the principal constraints to crop production under low input agriculture systems of West Africa. Experiments at two sites (Mediga and Yimtenga) were conducted in Burkina Faso to assess the impact of compost on improving crop production and

  13. Biochemical production of bioenergy from agricultural crops and residue in Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karimi Alavijeh, Masih; Yaghmaei, Soheila

    2016-06-01

    The present study assessed the potential for biochemical conversion of energy stored in agricultural waste and residue in Iran. The current status of agricultural residue as a source of bioenergy globally and in Iran was investigated. The total number of publications in this field from 2000 to 2014 was about 4294. Iran ranked 21st with approximately 54 published studies. A total of 87 projects have been devised globally to produce second-generation biofuel through biochemical pathways. There are currently no second-generation biorefineries in Iran and agricultural residue has no significant application. The present study determined the amount and types of sustainable agricultural residue and oil-rich crops and their provincial distribution. Wheat, barley, rice, corn, potatoes, alfalfa, sugarcane, sugar beets, apples, grapes, dates, cotton, soybeans, rapeseed, sesame seeds, olives, sunflowers, safflowers, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts have the greatest potential as agronomic and horticultural crops to produce bioenergy in Iran. A total of 11.33million tonnes (Mt) of agricultural biomass could be collected for production of bioethanol (3.84gigaliters (Gl)), biobutanol (1.07Gl), biogas (3.15billion cubic meters (BCM)), and biohydrogen (0.90BCM). Additionally, about 0.35Gl of biodiesel could be obtained using only 35% of total Iranian oilseed. The potential production capacity of conventional biofuel blends in Iran, environmental and socio-economic impacts including well-to-wheel greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the social cost of carbon dioxide reduction are discussed. The cost of emissions could decrease up to 55.83% by utilizing E85 instead of gasoline. The possible application of gaseous biofuel in Iran to produce valuable chemicals and provide required energy for crop cultivation is also studied. The energy recovered from biogas produced by wheat residue could provide energy input for 115.62 and 393.12 thousand hectares of irrigated and rain-fed wheat

  14. Multi-Attribute Modelling of Economic and Ecological Impacts of Agricultural Innovations on Cropping Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Scatasta

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Modeling of economic and ecological impacts of genetically modified crops is a demanding task. We present some models made for the purpose of the ECOGEN project "Soil ecological and economic evaluation of genetically modified crops". One of the goals of the project is to develop a computer-based decision support system for the assessment of economic and ecological impacts of using genetically modified crops, with special emphasis on soil biology and ecology. The decision support system is based on a rule-based model incorporating both economic and ecological criteria. In this paper we present an extension to previous results specifying further two sub-models assessing economic impacts of cropping systems at farm and regional level. Following a real option approach we show how both social and private costs and benefits, both at farm and regional level, can be classified in reversible and irreversible, and what irreversibility means for the size of the uncertainty associated to the adoption of agricultural innovations. All the qualitative models are developed using a qualitative multi-attribute modeling methodology, supported by the software tool DEXi.

  15. Occurrence and potential crop uptake of emerging contaminants and related compounds in an agricultural irrigation network

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Calderon-Preciado, Diana [IDAEA-CSIC, Jordi Girona, 18, E-08034 Barcelona (Spain); Matamoros, Victor, E-mail: victor.matamoros@udg.edu [Department of Chemistry, University of Girona, Campus Montilivi, 17071 Girona (Spain); Bayona, Josep M. [IDAEA-CSIC, Jordi Girona, 18, E-08034 Barcelona (Spain)

    2011-12-15

    Emerging contaminants have received much attention in recent years due to their presence in surface waters, but little attention has been paid to their occurrence in agricultural irrigation waters. This study investigated the occurrence of these compounds in an agricultural irrigation network in northeastern Spain and, for the first time, using two plant uptake models, estimated the concentration of selected micropollutants in crops. The concentration of micropollutants in agricultural irrigation waters ranged from 10 to 5130 ng L{sup -1} and exhibited some attenuation over the course of the irrigation network. Bromoform, chloroform, diclofenac, caffeine, ibuprofen, naproxen, methyl dihydrojasmonate, galaxolide, butylated hydroxytoluene, and butylated hydroxyanisole were the most abundant contaminants (> 200 ng L{sup -1}, on average). The estimated concentration of micropollutants in crops ranged from < 1 to 7677 ng kg{sup -1}, with the neutral compounds being the most abundant. Moreover, the predicted data obtained by fate models generally agreed with experimental data. Finally, human exposure to micropollutants through fruit and vegetable consumption was estimated to be 9.8 {mu}g per person and week ({Sigma} 27 contaminants detected). Further studies are needed to determine the health implications that the presence of these compounds in fruit and vegetables may have for consumers.

  16. Occurrence and potential crop uptake of emerging contaminants and related compounds in an agricultural irrigation network

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calderón-Preciado, Diana; Matamoros, Víctor; Bayona, Josep M.

    2011-01-01

    Emerging contaminants have received much attention in recent years due to their presence in surface waters, but little attention has been paid to their occurrence in agricultural irrigation waters. This study investigated the occurrence of these compounds in an agricultural irrigation network in northeastern Spain and, for the first time, using two plant uptake models, estimated the concentration of selected micropollutants in crops. The concentration of micropollutants in agricultural irrigation waters ranged from 10 to 5130 ng L −1 and exhibited some attenuation over the course of the irrigation network. Bromoform, chloroform, diclofenac, caffeine, ibuprofen, naproxen, methyl dihydrojasmonate, galaxolide, butylated hydroxytoluene, and butylated hydroxyanisole were the most abundant contaminants (> 200 ng L −1 , on average). The estimated concentration of micropollutants in crops ranged from −1 , with the neutral compounds being the most abundant. Moreover, the predicted data obtained by fate models generally agreed with experimental data. Finally, human exposure to micropollutants through fruit and vegetable consumption was estimated to be 9.8 μg per person and week (Σ 27 contaminants detected). Further studies are needed to determine the health implications that the presence of these compounds in fruit and vegetables may have for consumers.

  17. Not all GMOs are crop plants: non-plant GMO applications in agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hokanson, K E; Dawson, W O; Handler, A M; Schetelig, M F; St Leger, R J

    2014-12-01

    Since tools of modern biotechnology have become available, the most commonly applied and often discussed genetically modified organisms are genetically modified crop plants, although genetic engineering is also being used successfully in organisms other than plants, including bacteria, fungi, insects, and viruses. Many of these organisms, as with crop plants, are being engineered for applications in agriculture, to control plant insect pests or diseases. This paper reviews the genetically modified non-plant organisms that have been the subject of permit approvals for environmental release by the United States Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service since the US began regulating genetically modified organisms. This is an indication of the breadth and progress of research in the area of non-plant genetically modified organisms. This review includes three examples of promising research on non-plant genetically modified organisms for application in agriculture: (1) insects for insect pest control using improved vector systems; (2) fungal pathogens of insects to control insect pests; and (3) virus for use as transient-expression vectors for disease control in plants.

  18. Classification of crops across heterogeneous agricultural landscape in Kenya using AisaEAGLE imaging spectroscopy data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piiroinen, Rami; Heiskanen, Janne; Mõttus, Matti; Pellikka, Petri

    2015-07-01

    Land use practices are changing at a fast pace in the tropics. In sub-Saharan Africa forests, woodlands and bushlands are being transformed for agricultural use to produce food for the rapidly growing population. The objective of this study was to assess the prospects of mapping the common agricultural crops in highly heterogeneous study area in south-eastern Kenya using high spatial and spectral resolution AisaEAGLE imaging spectroscopy data. Minimum noise fraction transformation was used to pack the coherent information in smaller set of bands and the data was classified with support vector machine (SVM) algorithm. A total of 35 plant species were mapped in the field and seven most dominant ones were used as classification targets. Five of the targets were agricultural crops. The overall accuracy (OA) for the classification was 90.8%. To assess the possibility of excluding the remaining 28 plant species from the classification results, 10 different probability thresholds (PT) were tried with SVM. The impact of PT was assessed with validation polygons of all 35 mapped plant species. The results showed that while PT was increased more pixels were excluded from non-target polygons than from the polygons of the seven classification targets. This increased the OA and reduced salt-and-pepper effects in the classification results. Very high spatial resolution imagery and pixel-based classification approach worked well with small targets such as maize while there was mixing of classes on the sides of the tree crowns.

  19. Cadmium contamination of agricultural soils and crops resulting from sphalerite weathering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robson, T.C.; Braungardt, C.B.; Rieuwerts, J.; Worsfold, P.

    2014-01-01

    The biogeochemistry and bioavailability of cadmium, released during sphalerite weathering in soils, were investigated under contrasting agricultural scenarios to assess health risks associated with sphalerite dust transport to productive soils from mining. Laboratory experiments (365 d) on temperate and sub-tropical soils amended with sphalerite ( −1 ). Wheat grown in spiked temperate soil accumulated ≈38% (29 μmol kg −1 ) of the liberated Cd, exceeding food safety limits. In contrast, rice grown in flooded sub-tropical soil accumulated far less Cd (0.60 μmol kg −1 ) due to neutral soil pH and Cd bioavailability was possibly also controlled by secondary sulfide formation. The results demonstrate long-term release of Cd to soil porewaters during sphalerite weathering. Under oxic conditions, Cd may be sufficiently bioavailable to contaminate crops destined for human consumption; however flooded rice production limits the impact of sphalerite contamination. -- Highlights: • Sphalerite containing cadmium presents a hazard when present in agricultural soils. • Sphalerite dissolution was slow (0.6–1.2% y −1 ) but constant in contrasting soils. • Cadmium was released during dissolution and was bioavailable to wheat and rice. • Wheat grains accumulated potentially harmful cadmium concentrations. • Flooded paddy (reducing) soils reduced cadmium bioavailability to rice. -- Sphalerite dissolves steadily in oxic agricultural soils and can release highly bioavailable Cd, which may contaminate food crops destined for human consumption

  20. The Urban Food-Water Nexus: Modeling Water Footprints of Urban Agriculture using CityCrop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tooke, T. R.; Lathuilliere, M. J.; Coops, N. C.; Johnson, M. S.

    2014-12-01

    Urban agriculture provides a potential contribution towards more sustainable food production and mitigating some of the human impacts that accompany volatility in regional and global food supply. When considering the capacity of urban landscapes to produce food products, the impact of urban water demand required for food production in cities is often neglected. Urban agricultural studies also tend to be undertaken at broad spatial scales, overlooking the heterogeneity of urban form that exerts an extreme influence on the urban energy balance. As a result, urban planning and management practitioners require, but often do not have, spatially explicit and detailed information to support informed urban agricultural policy, especially as it relates to potential conflicts with sustainability goals targeting water-use. In this research we introduce a new model, CityCrop, a hybrid evapotranspiration-plant growth model that incorporates detailed digital representations of the urban surface and biophysical impacts of the built environment and urban trees to account for the daily variations in net surface radiation. The model enables very fine-scale (sub-meter) estimates of water footprints of potential urban agricultural production. Results of the model are demonstrated for an area in the City of Vancouver, Canada and compared to aspatial model estimates, demonstrating the unique considerations and sensitivities for current and future water footprints of urban agriculture and the implications for urban water planning and policy.

  1. Forecast of strontium 90 accumulation in the crop of agricultural cultures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dergunov, I.D.; Moroz, V.D.

    1980-01-01

    A possibility to determine the level of contamination with strontium-90 of agricultural crops according to its content in young plants as studied. The investigations have been carried out under conditions of vegetational experiment with cotton on light, typical, dark grey soils and meadow spoils. The samples in the phase of 20 day old plants and in the period of ripening have been selected for radiometric analysis. Activity has been measured according to β-irradiation of nuclide. Tbe measurement results point to the existence of certain connection between radiostrontium content in young plants and in the fibre crops. Close connection is also found between strontium-90 content in young plants and in the cotton seeds. Direct proportional dependence between strontium-90 content in young and grown-up plants is established. Linear coefficients for cotton are obtained which can be used for forecasting the level of cotton fibre contamination with radiostrontium according to its content in 20 day old plants

  2. Heavy metals in agricultural soils and crops and their health risks in Swat District, northern Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Kifayatullah; Lu, Yonglong; Khan, Hizbullah; Ishtiaq, Muhammad; Khan, Sardar; Waqas, Muhammad; Wei, Luo; Wang, Tieyu

    2013-08-01

    This study assessed the concentrations of heavy metals such as cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn) in agricultural soils and crops (fruits, grains and vegetable) and their possible human health risk in Swat District, northern Pakistan. Cd concentration was found higher than the limit (0.05 mg/kg) set by world health organization in 95% fruit and 100% vegetable samples. Moreover, the concentrations of Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni and Zn in the soils were shown significant correlations with those in the crops. The metal transfer factor (MTF) was found highest for Cd followed by Cr>Ni>Zn>Cu>Mn, while the health risk assessment revealed that there was no health risk for most of the heavy metals except Cd, which showed a high level of health risk index (HRI⩾10E-1) that would pose a potential health risk to the consumers. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Viruses and their significance in agricultural and horticultural crops in Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. TAPIO

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews the plant viruses and virus vectors that have been detected in agricultural and horticultural crop plants and some weeds in Finland. The historical and current importance of virus diseases and the methods used for controlling them in cereals, potato, berry plants, fruit trees, ornamental plants and vegetables are discussed. Plant viruses have been intensely studied in Finland over 40 years. Up to date, 44 plant virus species have been detected, and many tentatively identified virus-es are also reported. Control of many virus diseases has been significantly improved. This has been achieved mainly through changes in cropping systems, production of healthy seed potatoes and healthy stocks of berry plants, fruit trees and ornamental plants in the institutes set up for such production, and improved hygiene. At the present, barley yellow dwarf luteovirus, potato Y potyvirus and potato mop-top furovirus are considred to be economically the most harmful plant viruses in Finland.

  4. Hydrological Responses of Weather Conditions and Crop Change of Agricultural Area in the Rincon Valley, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, S.; Sheng, Z.; Abudu, S.

    2017-12-01

    Hydrologic cycle of agricultural area has been changing due to the impacts of climate and land use changes (crop coverage changes) in an arid region of Rincon Valley, New Mexico. This study is to evaluate the impacts of weather condition and crop coverage change on hydrologic behavior of agricultural area in Rincon Valley (2,466km2) for agricultural watershed management using a watershed-scale hydrologic model, SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool). The SWAT model was developed to incorporate irrigation of different crops using auto irrigation function. For the weather condition and crop coverage change evaluation, three spatial crop coverages including a normal (2008), wet (2009), and dry (2011) years were prepared using USDA crop data layer (CDL) for fourteen different crops. The SWAT model was calibrated for the period of 2001-2003 and validated for the period of 2004-2006 using daily-observed streamflow data. Scenario analysis was performed for wet and dry years based on the unique combinations of crop coverages and releases from Caballo Reservoir. The SWAT model simulated the present vertical water budget and horizontal water transfer considering irrigation practices in the Rincon Valley. Simulation results indicated the temporal and spatial variability for irrigation and non-irrigation seasons of hydrologic cycle in agricultural area in terms of surface runoff, evapotranspiration, infiltration, percolation, baseflow, soil moisture, and groundwater recharge. The water supply of the dry year could not fully cover whole irrigation period due to dry weather conditions, resulting in reduction of crop acreage. For extreme weather conditions, the temporal variation of water budget became robust, which requires careful irrigation management of the agricultural area. The results could provide guidelines for farmers to decide crop patterns in response to different weather conditions and water availability.

  5. CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) for weather impact assessment on global agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gommes, René; Wu, Bingfang; Zhang, Ning; Feng, Xueliang; Zeng, Hongwei; Li, Zhongyuan; Chen, Bo

    2017-02-01

    CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) are a monitoring tool developed by the CropWatch global crop monitoring system in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS; http://www.cropwatch.com.cn, Wu et al Int J Digital Earth 7(2):113-137, 2014, Wu et al Remote Sens 7:3907-3933, 2015). Contrary to most other environmental and agroclimatic indicators, they are "agronomic value-added", i.e. they are spatial values averaged over agricultural areas only and they include a weighting that enhances the contribution of the areas with the largest production potential. CWAIs can be computed for any time interval (starting from dekads) and yield one synthetic value per variable over a specific area and time interval, for instance a national annual value. Therefore, they are very compatible with socio-economic and other variables that are usually reported at regular time intervals over administrative units, such as national environmental or agricultural statistics. Two of the CWAIs are satellite-based (RAIN and Photosynthetically Active radiation, PAR) while the third is ground based (TEMP, air temperature); capitals are used when specifically referring to CWAIs rather than the climate variables in general. The paper first provides an overview of some common agroclimatic indicators, describing their procedural, systemic and normative features in subsequent sections, following the terminology of Binder et al Environ Impact Assess Rev 30:71-81 (2010). The discussion focuses on the systemic and normative aspects: the CWAIs are assessed in terms of their coherent description of the agroclimatic crop environment, at different spatial scales (systemic). The final section shows that the CWAIs retain key statistical properties of the underlying climate variables and that they can be compared to a reference value and used as monitoring and early warning variables (normative).

  6. Estimating riparian and agricultural evapotranspiration by reference crop evapotranspiration and MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagler, Pamela L.; Glenn, Edward P.; Nguyen, Uyen; Scott, Russell; Doody, Tania

    2013-01-01

    Dryland river basins frequently support both irrigated agriculture and riparian vegetation and remote sensing methods are needed to monitor water use by both crops and natural vegetation in irrigation districts. We developed an algorithm for estimating actual evapotranspiration (ETa) based on the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) sensor on the EOS-1 Terra satellite and locally-derived measurements of reference crop ET (ETo). The algorithm was calibrated with five years of ETa data from three eddy covariance flux towers set in riparian plant associations on the upper San Pedro River, Arizona, supplemented with ETa data for alfalfa and cotton from the literature. The algorithm was based on an equation of the form ETa = ETo [a(1 − e−bEVI) − c], where the term (1 − e−bEVI) is derived from the Beer-Lambert Law to express light absorption by a canopy, with EVI replacing leaf area index as an estimate of the density of light-absorbing units. The resulting algorithm capably predicted ETa across riparian plants and crops (r2 = 0.73). It was then tested against water balance data for five irrigation districts and flux tower data for two riparian zones for which season-long or multi-year ETa data were available. Predictions were within 10% of measured results in each case, with a non-significant (P = 0.89) difference between mean measured and modeled ETa of 5.4% over all validation sites. Validation and calibration data sets were combined to present a final predictive equation for application across crops and riparian plant associations for monitoring individual irrigation districts or for conducting global water use assessments of mixed agricultural and riparian biomes.

  7. Reusable Software and Open Data Incorporate Ecological Understanding To Optimize Agriculture and Improveme Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeBauer, D.

    2015-12-01

    Humans need a secure and sustainable food supply, and science can help. We have an opportunity to transform agriculture by combining knowledge of organisms and ecosystems to engineer ecosystems that sustainably produce food, fuel, and other services. The challenge is that the information we have. Measurements, theories, and laws found in publications, notebooks, measurements, software, and human brains are difficult to combine. We homogenize, encode, and automate the synthesis of data and mechanistic understanding in a way that links understanding at different scales and across domains. This allows extrapolation, prediction, and assessment. Reusable components allow automated construction of new knowledge that can be used to assess, predict, and optimize agro-ecosystems. Developing reusable software and open-access databases is hard, and examples will illustrate how we use the Predictive Ecosystem Analyzer (PEcAn, pecanproject.org), the Biofuel Ecophysiological Traits and Yields database (BETYdb, betydb.org), and ecophysiological crop models to predict crop yield, decide which crops to plant, and which traits can be selected for the next generation of data driven crop improvement. A next step is to automate the use of sensors mounted on robots, drones, and tractors to assess plants in the field. The TERRA Reference Phenotyping Platform (TERRA-Ref, terraref.github.io) will provide an open access database and computing platform on which researchers can use and develop tools that use sensor data to assess and manage agricultural and other terrestrial ecosystems. TERRA-Ref will adopt existing standards and develop modular software components and common interfaces, in collaboration with researchers from iPlant, NEON, AgMIP, USDA, rOpenSci, ARPA-E, many scientists and industry partners. Our goal is to advance science by enabling efficient use, reuse, exchange, and creation of knowledge.

  8. Agricultural interventions for water saving and crop yield improvement, in a Mediterranean area - an experimental design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morianou, Giasemi; Kourgialas, Nektarios; Psarras, George; Koubouris, George; Arampatzis, George; Karatzas, George; Pavlidou, Elisavet

    2017-04-01

    This work is a part of LIFE+ AGROCLIMAWATER project and the aim is to improve the water efficiency, increase the adaptive capacity of tree corps and save water, in a Mediterranean area, under different climatic conditions and agricultural practices. The experimental design as well as preliminary results at farm and river basin scales are presented in this work. Specifically, ten (10) pilot farms, both organic and conventional ones have been selected in the sub-basin of Platanias in western Crete - Greece. These ten pilot farms were selected representing the most typical crops in Platanias area (olive trees and citrus trees), as well as the typical soil, landscape and agricultural practices differentiation for each crop (field slope, water availability, soil type, management regime). From the ten pilot farms, eight were olive farms and the rest two citrus. This proportion correspond adequacy to the presentence of olive and citrus crops in the extended area of Platanias prefecture. Each of the ten pilot farm has been divided in two parts, the first one will be used as a control part, while the other one as the demonstration part where the interventions will be applied. The action plans for each selected farm are based on the following groups of possible interventions: a) reduction of water evaporation losses from soil surface, b) reduction of transpiration water losses through winter pruning and summer pruning, c) reduction of deep percolation water and nutrient losses, d) reduction of surface runoff, e) measures in order to maximize the efficiency of irrigation and f) rationalization of fertilizers and agrochemicals utilized. Preliminary results indicate that water saving and crop yield can be significantly improved based on the above innervations both at farm and river basin scale.

  9. Alternative agricultures: Emphasis in contributions of the people of field of southwestern sector of Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mejia Gutierrez, M.

    1995-01-01

    It offers a definition of alternative agricultures. Some antecedents are mentioned about the evolution of the Colombian movements from the chemical agriculture toward alternative forms. Some Colombian experiences are enumerated, making emphasis in people of field of the southwestern sector of the country contributions. Some conclusions settle down

  10. Determine metrics and set targets for soil quality on agriculture residue and energy crop pathways

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ian Bonner; David Muth

    2013-09-01

    There are three objectives for this project: 1) support OBP in meeting MYPP stated performance goals for the Sustainability Platform, 2) develop integrated feedstock production system designs that increase total productivity of the land, decrease delivered feedstock cost to the conversion facilities, and increase environmental performance of the production system, and 3) deliver to the bioenergy community robust datasets and flexible analysis tools for establishing sustainable and viable use of agricultural residues and dedicated energy crops. The key project outcome to date has been the development and deployment of a sustainable agricultural residue removal decision support framework. The modeling framework has been used to produce a revised national assessment of sustainable residue removal potential. The national assessment datasets are being used to update national resource assessment supply curves using POLYSIS. The residue removal modeling framework has also been enhanced to support high fidelity sub-field scale sustainable removal analyses. The framework has been deployed through a web application and a mobile application. The mobile application is being used extensively in the field with industry, research, and USDA NRCS partners to support and validate sustainable residue removal decisions. The results detailed in this report have set targets for increasing soil sustainability by focusing on primary soil quality indicators (total organic carbon and erosion) in two agricultural residue management pathways and a dedicated energy crop pathway. The two residue pathway targets were set to, 1) increase residue removal by 50% while maintaining soil quality, and 2) increase soil quality by 5% as measured by Soil Management Assessment Framework indicators. The energy crop pathway was set to increase soil quality by 10% using these same indicators. To demonstrate the feasibility and impact of each of these targets, seven case studies spanning the US are presented

  11. Assessing Climate Risk on Agricultural Production: Insights Using Retrospective Analysis of Crop Insurance and Climatic Trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, J. J.; Elias, E.; Eischens, A.; Shilts, M.; Rango, A.; Steele, R.

    2017-12-01

    The collaborative synthesis of existing datasets, such as long-term climate observations and farmers' crop insurance payments, can increase their overall collective value and societal application. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Climate Hubs were created to develop and deliver science-based information and technologies to agricultural and natural resource managers to enable climate-informed decision-making. As part of this mission, Hubs work across USDA and other climate service agencies to synthesize existing information. The USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) is responsible for overseeing the Federal crop insurance program which currently insures over $100 billion in crops annually. RMA hosts data describing the cause for loss (e.g. drought, wind, irrigation failure) and indemnity amount (i.e. total cost of loss) at multiple spatio-temporal scales (i.e. state, county, year, month). The objective of this paper is to link climate information with indemnities, and their associated cause of loss, to assess climate risk on agricultural production and provide regionally-relevant information to stakeholders to promote resilient working landscapes. We performed a retrospective trend analysis at the state-level for the American Southwest (SW). First, we assessed indemnity-only trends by cause of loss and crop type at varying temporal scales. Historical monthly weather data (i.e. precipitation and temperature) and long-term drought indices (e.g. Palmer Drought Severity Index) were then linked with indemnities and grouped by different causes of loss. Climatological ranks were used to integrate historical comparative intensity of acute and long-term climatic events. Heat and drought as causes of loss were most correlated with temperature and drought indicators, respectively. Across all SW states increasing indemnities were correlated with warmer conditions. Multiple statistical trend analyses suggest a framework is necessary to appropriately measure the biophysical

  12. Demarcation of coastal transition zone in Gulf of Guayaquil (Ecuador) for agriculture crops and bioaquatic hatcheries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pozo, Wilson; Pardo, Francisco; Sanfeliu, Teófilo; Belen Vicente, Ana; Jordan, Manuel Miguel; Bech, Jaume

    2014-05-01

    The Gulf of Guayaquil (Ecuador) is the largest estuary in the South American Pacific coast. It has special characteristics which make it to have a great diversity of agricultural crops and bioaquatic hatcheries.The study was focused on demarcating of Coastal Transition Zone in Gulf of Guayaquil for agriculture crops and bioaquatic hatcheries, based on salinity indexes and characterization of physicochemical properties of soils in order to establish similarities and differences between groups using multivariate analysis. In this paper, cluster analysis of 12 parameters (conductivity, pH, anions, cations, metals and organic matter) was carried on. 15 transects towards the coastline were performed, each consisting of 6 stations equidistant sampling 1 km covering a distance of 5 km from the margin of mangrove inland a total of 90 stations. The sampling points were established as a representative area because of its hydrological characteristics and tidal influence. Soils were sampled between 0 and 20 cm of depth (Topsoil). The salinity analysis was performed by the method of the saturation extract, the pH was measured with a potentiometer, chemical analysis was carried by colorimetry and atomic absorption spectrophotometry and the organic matter was determined by the method of Walkley and Black. The cluster analysis allowed to establish suitable and restrictive zones for shrimp farming and agricultural crops. It has been established that the coastal transition zone of the Gulf of Guayaquil is located at 4.2 km from the mangroves with a soil salinity of 4 mS / cm. There is a suitable zone for shrimp farming with a salinity of 13.5 mS / cm from the edge of the mangrove to 2.8 km, then the concentration of salinity prevents its use for bioaquatic hatcheries to 4.2 km. The area for agriculture crops is limited from a restricted area using a salinity value from 2mS/cm to 4 mS / cm. The characterization of the coastal transition zone using multivariate analysis established

  13. The global impact of ozone on agricultural crop yields under current and future air quality legislation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Dingenen, Rita; Dentener, Frank J.; Raes, Frank; Krol, Maarten C.; Emberson, Lisa; Cofala, Janusz

    In this paper we evaluate the global impact of surface ozone on four types of agricultural crop. The study is based on modelled global hourly ozone fields for the year 2000 and 2030, using the global 1°×1° 2-way nested atmospheric chemical transport model (TM5). Projections for the year 2030 are based on the relatively optimistic "current legislation (CLE) scenario", i.e. assuming that currently approved air quality legislation will be fully implemented by the year 2030, without a further development of new abatement policies. For both runs, the relative yield loss due to ozone damage is evaluated based on two different indices (accumulated concentration above a 40 ppbV threshold and seasonal mean daytime ozone concentration respectively) on a global, regional and national scale. The cumulative metric appears to be far less robust than the seasonal mean, while the seasonal mean shows satisfactory agreement with measurements in Europe, the US, China and Southern India and South-East Asia. Present day global relative yield losses are estimated to range between 7% and 12% for wheat, between 6% and 16% for soybean, between 3% and 4% for rice, and between 3% and 5% for maize (range resulting from different metrics used). Taking into account possible biases in our assessment, introduced through the global application of "western" crop exposure-response functions, and through model performance in reproducing ozone-exposure metrics, our estimates may be considered as being conservative. Under the 2030 CLE scenario, the global situation is expected to deteriorate mainly for wheat (additional 2-6% loss globally) and rice (additional 1-2% loss globally). India, for which no mitigation measures have been assumed by 2030, accounts for 50% of these global increase in crop yield loss. On a regional-scale, significant reductions in crop losses by CLE-2030 are only predicted in Europe (soybean) and China (wheat). Translating these assumed yield losses into total global economic

  14. Interacting Effects of Heat Stress and Soil Moisture Stress on Crop Yield Losses in Dryland Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debats, S. R.; Caylor, K. K.; Estes, L. D.; Chaney, N.; Sheffield, J.

    2012-12-01

    Increased interannual variability and greater frequency of extreme events place new pressures on subsistence farmers as a direct result of climate change. Of particular concern are farmers practicing rainfed agriculture in dryland ecosytems, where food security is closely linked to climate. In these areas, an improved understanding of the occurrence of extreme events as well as their effects on crop yields is essential. The main goals of this research are to identify the relative importance and possible coupling of heat stress and soil moisture stress in determining dryland crop yield losses. In particular, we are interested in determining the extent to which irrigation is an effective buffer against drought and heat stress in dryland regions. While irrigation can protect against soil moisture stress, its ability to mitigate heat stress, or the combined effects of the two stresses, is uncertain. Our study focuses on the Eastern and Southern provinces of Zambia as characteristic regions of dryland agriculture. Sites in the study area are identified based on farming type (irrigated versus rainfed). As irrigation is assumed to negate soil moisture stress, this approach enables separate analysis of heat stress and soil moisture stress, as well as their combined effects. To quantify the effects of heat stress, distributions of daily minimum and maximum temperatures are used to identify the frequency and severity of anomalously warm periods and their correlation with resulting crop yield losses. We also utilize Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) data and soil moisture data derived from the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) macroscale hydrologic model to examine the effects of meteorological drought and hydrological drought, respectively, on crop yields. To quantify crop yield losses, we employ yield estimates derived from the integration of time series of 250 meter resolution Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) images collected by the Moderate Resolution

  15. How Reliable is the MODIS Land Cover Product for Crop Mapping Sub-Saharan Agricultural Landscapes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise Leroux

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Accurate cropland maps at the global and local scales are crucial for scientists, government and nongovernment agencies, farmers and other stakeholders, particularly in food-insecure regions, such as Sub-Saharan Africa. In this study, we aim to qualify the crop classes of the MODIS Land Cover Product (LCP in Sub-Saharan Africa using FAO (Food and Agricultural Organisation and AGRHYMET (AGRiculture, Hydrology and METeorology statistical data of agriculture and a sample of 55 very-high-resolution images. In terms of cropland acreage and dynamics, we found that the correlation between the statistical data and MODIS LCP decreases when we localize the spatial scale (from R2 = 0.86 *** at the national scale to R2 = 0.26 *** at two levels below the national scale. In terms of the cropland spatial distribution, our findings indicate a strong relationship between the user accuracy and the fragmentation of the agricultural landscape, as measured by the MODIS LCP; the accuracy decreases as the crop fraction increases. In addition, thanks to the Pareto boundary method, we were able to isolate and quantify the part of the MODIS classification error that could be directly linked to the performance of the adopted classification algorithm. Finally, based on these results, (i a regional map of the MODIS LCP user accuracy estimates for cropland classes was produced for the entire Sub-Saharan region; this map presents a better accuracy in the western part of the region (43%–70% compared to the eastern part (17%–43%; (ii Theoretical user and producer accuracies for a given set of spatial resolutions were provided; the simulated future Sentinel-2 system would provide theoretical 99% user and producer accuracies given the landscape pattern of the region.

  16. Feasibility of Triticale (Tritico secale wittmack. X Cropping in Agricultural Lands of Gorgan County by Spatial Analysis Tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    maral Niazmoradi

    2017-12-01

    agricultural lands of Gorgan county by spatial analysis of GIS and evaluation of environmental variables. Material and Methods One of the most important areas for crop production in Golestan province located in north of Iran, is the Gorgan region. This area is located between latitude 54° 12.9' N and 54° 44.9' N and longitude 36° 30.6' E and 36° 58.8' E.Almost every farm in Gorgan region are rainfed. In order to spatial feasibility of triticale cropping in Gorgan county, agroecological requirements of triticale was identified and classified from scientific resources. Some environmental factors including, climatic variables such as precipitation and temperature in scale of annual, monthly and seasonal, topographic variables such as elevation, slope aspects and slops percent, and some soil characteristics as texture, EC, pH, fertility, K, P and organic matter were evaluated using geostatistics and classic methods and then thematic layers were produced in ArcGIS media. In multi-criteria assessment process, one of the most important steps is to determine each criteria weight. Generally, AHP is suitable to determine the weights of assessment factors. In this respect, the first step is to construct an AHP model consisting objectives, criteria, sub-criteria, and alternatives. Then these digital layers were classified based on ecological requirements table of triticale and they were overlaid and interpolated in GIS media and final layer were classified to four classes of high suitable, suitable, less suitable and non-suitable. The suitability analysis was based on matching between land qualities/characteristics and crop requirements. It was accomplished by weighted overlay technique (WOT in GIS. Results and Discussion The results showed that 28.8 thousand ha (44.92% of agricultural lands were located in the high suitable class (S1. This zone was observed occasionally in north and northwest parts of studied region. This zone had the high fertility, high organic matter percent (2

  17. Agricultural terminology in Russian language on the Institute of field and vegetable crops example

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Savin Dragana

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Contemporary science demands that scientists are following domestic and foreign scientific and technical achievements through conference attendances and scientific and professional literature. Agricultural science is based on practical data, field experiments, but nevertheless it is essential to be up to date with the work of foreign researchers, scientific centers and institutions through their publications. The aim of this paper was to present a part of the agricultural lexicon (with the accent on the plant species names, as well as the general scientific and organizational terms with the equivalents in Russian - Serbian and Serbian - Russian, which is of the great importance in activities of Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, presented through perennial practices of translation. Those terms are recognized as important and frequent, without wishing to go into professional divisions in agriculture as science. This paper is dedicated to the scientists who posses basic linguistic knowledge of Russian language and are starting to use Russian scientific and professional literature in agriculture, as well as students of Russian language for the purpose of establishing and widening linguistic fund.

  18. Alternative approaches to the construction of a composite indicator of agricultural sustainability: An application to irrigated agriculture in the Duero basin in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Limón, José A; Riesgo, Laura

    2009-08-01

    This paper describes a comparative analysis of alternative methods of constructing composite indicators to measure the sustainability of the agricultural sector. The three methods employed were Principal Component Analysis, the Analytic Hierarchy Process and a Multi-Criteria technique. The comparison focused on the irrigated agriculture of the Duero basin in Spain as a case study, using a dataset of indicators previously calculated for various farm types and policy scenarios. The results enabled us to establish a hierarchy of preferred policy scenarios on the basis of the level of sustainability achieved, and show that the most recent CAP reform is the most sustainable agricultural policy scenario. By analyzing the heterogeneity of different farms types in each scenario, we can also determine the main features of the most sustainable farms in each case. The analysis demonstrates that full-time farmers with small to medium-sized farms and sowing profitable crops are the most sustainable farm types in all the policy scenarios. All of this information is useful for the support of agricultural policy design and its implementation, as we attempt to improve the sustainability of this sector.

  19. A study on agricultural drought vulnerability at disaggregated level in a highly irrigated and intensely cropped state of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murthy, C S; Yadav, Manoj; Mohammed Ahamed, J; Laxman, B; Prawasi, R; Sesha Sai, M V R; Hooda, R S

    2015-03-01

    Drought is an important global hazard, challenging the sustainable agriculture and food security of nations. Measuring agricultural drought vulnerability is a prerequisite for targeting interventions to improve and sustain the agricultural performance of both irrigated and rain-fed agriculture. In this study, crop-generic agricultural drought vulnerability status is empirically measured through a composite index approach. The study area is Haryana state, India, a prime agriculture state of the country, characterised with low rainfall, high irrigation support and stable cropping pattern. By analysing the multiyear rainfall and crop condition data of kharif crop season (June-October) derived from satellite data and soil water holding capacity and groundwater quality, nine contributing indicators were generated for 120 blocks (sub-district administrative units). Composite indices for exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity components were generated after assigning variance-based weightages to the respective input indicators. Agricultural Drought Vulnerability Index (ADVI) was developed through a linear combination of the three component indices. ADVI-based vulnerability categorisation revealed that 51 blocks are with vulnerable to very highly vulnerable status. These blocks are located in the southern and western parts of the state, where groundwater quality is saline and water holding capacity of soils is less. The ADVI map has effectively captured the spatial pattern of agricultural drought vulnerability in the state. Districts with large number of vulnerable blocks showed considerably larger variability of de-trended crop yields. Correlation analysis reveals that crop condition variability, groundwater quality and soil factors are closely associated with ADVI. The vulnerability index is useful to prioritise the blocks for implementation of long-term drought management plans. There is scope for improving the methodology by adding/fine-tuning the indicators and

  20. The effect of gamma irradiation on the germination and growth of certain Nigerian agricultural crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mokobia, C E; Anomohanran, O [Department of Physics, Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State (Nigeria)

    2005-06-01

    Gamma irradiation has been found to be very useful both for sterilisation in medicine and the preservation of food and cereals in nutrition and agriculture. This investigation was carried out to determine the effect of gamma irradiation on the subsequent germination and growth of irradiated seeds. Thirty seeds each of maize, okra and groundnut were irradiated to varying doses of 150, 300, 500, 700, 900, 1000 Gy using the {sup 60}Co gamma cell irradiator facility at the Centre for Energy Research and Development, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. These, as well as the controls (unirradiated seeds), were planted on the same day in an already prepared area of farmland during the rainy season to ensure a constant moisture flow. The times of germination and subsequent growth were monitored. Results show that maize, okra and groundnut seeds needed for planting can be safely stored using gamma irradiation. However, the study reveals that the number of germinated seeds and the growth rate for the crops decrease with increase in the radiation dose the seeds were exposed to. Third-degree polynomial equations were derived which describe the percentage germination of the crops at various levels of exposure. A chart of percentage germination of seeds versus exposure dose is also presented as a quick guide to farmers, policy makers and agricultural institutions. (note)

  1. Time to Redefine Organic Agriculture: Can’t GM Crops Be Certified as Organics?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amjad M. Husaini

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The challenges of sustainable food production without damaging the environment for a growing human population have increased considerably. The current agricultural practices involving chemical fertilizers and even organic farming are not sustainable in the long run and can have deleterious effects on the environment. Thus, new, innovative solutions need to be identified and propagated for tackling this. Among such innovations, that can complement conventional as well as organic farming methods, are genetic modification (GM and aquaculture. Yet, GM technologies often face resistance from civil groups owing to an ‘unknown’ fear, akin to Frankenstein’s monster. How real is this fear? Our discussion rests on basic questions like, why can’t ‘organics’ include GM crops that do not require chemical inputs for cultivation, and can GM crops like Golden rice qualify to be ‘organic’ if cultivated through organic practices? Do we need to rethink organic agriculture in the context of the present and future challenges of 21st century?

  2. Time to Redefine Organic Agriculture: Can’t GM Crops Be Certified as Organics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husaini, Amjad M.; Sohail, Muhammad

    2018-01-01

    The challenges of sustainable food production without damaging the environment for a growing human population have increased considerably. The current agricultural practices involving chemical fertilizers and even organic farming are not sustainable in the long run and can have deleterious effects on the environment. Thus, new, innovative solutions need to be identified and propagated for tackling this. Among such innovations, that can complement conventional as well as organic farming methods, are genetic modification (GM) and aquaculture. Yet, GM technologies often face resistance from civil groups owing to an ‘unknown’ fear, akin to Frankenstein’s monster. How real is this fear? Our discussion rests on basic questions like, why can’t ‘organics’ include GM crops that do not require chemical inputs for cultivation, and can GM crops like Golden rice qualify to be ‘organic’ if cultivated through organic practices? Do we need to rethink organic agriculture in the context of the present and future challenges of 21st century? PMID:29692789

  3. Genetic consequences of radioactive contamination by the Chernobyl fallout to agricultural crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geraskin, S.A.; Dikarev, V.G.; Zyablitskaya Ye.Ya.; Oudalova, A.A.; Spirin, Ye. V; Alexakhin, R.M.

    2003-01-01

    The genetic consequences of radioactive contamination by the fallout to agricultural crops after the accident at the Chernobyl NPP in 1986 have been studied. In the first, acute, period of this accident, when the absorbed dose was primarily due to external β- and γ-irradiation, the radiation injury of agricultural crops, according to the basic cytogenetic tests resembled the effect produced by acute γ-irradiation at comparable doses. The yield of cytogenetic damage in leaf meristem of plants grown in the 10-km zone of the ChNPP in 1987-1989 (the period of chronic, lower level radiation exposure) was shown to be enhanced and dependent on the level of radioactive contamination. The rate of decline with time in cytogenetic damage induced by chronic exposure lagged considerably behind that of the radiation exposure. Analysis of genetic variability in three sequentia generations of rye and wheat revealed increased cytogenetic damage in plants exposed to chronic irradiation during the 2nd and 3rd years

  4. The genetic manipulation of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae with the aim of converting polysaccharide-rich agricultural crops and industrial waste to single-cell protein and fuel ethanol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. S. Pretorius

    1994-07-01

    Full Text Available The world’s problem with overpopulation and environmental pollution has created an urgent demand for alternative protein and energy sources. One way of addressing these burning issues is to produce single-cell protein (for food and animal feed supplements and fuel ethanol from polysaccharide-rich agricultural crops and industrial waste by using baker’s yeast.

  5. The genetic manipulation of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae with the aim of converting polysaccharide-rich agricultural crops and industrial waste to single-cell protein and fuel ethanol

    OpenAIRE

    I. S. Pretorius

    1994-01-01

    The world’s problem with overpopulation and environmental pollution has created an urgent demand for alternative protein and energy sources. One way of addressing these burning issues is to produce single-cell protein (for food and animal feed supplements) and fuel ethanol from polysaccharide-rich agricultural crops and industrial waste by using baker’s yeast.

  6. Assessment of Effects of the Long-Term Exposure of Agricultural Crops to Carbon Nanotubes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahiani, Mohamed H; Nima, Zeid A; Villagarcia, Hector; Biris, Alexandru S; Khodakovskaya, Mariya V

    2017-09-06

    Carbon-based nanoparticles (CBNs) are nanomaterials that have been shown to be plant growth regulators. Here, we investigated the effects of long-term exposure to multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) on the growth of three important crops (barley, soybean, and corn). The tested species were cultivated in hydroponics supplemented with 50 μg/mL MWCNTs. After 20 weeks of continuous exposure to the nanomaterials, no significant toxic effects on plant development were observed. Several positive phenotypical changes were recorded, in addition to the enhancement of photosynthesis in MWCNT-exposed crops. Raman spectroscopy with point-by-point mapping proved that the MWCNTs in the hydroponic solution moved into all tested species and were distributed in analyzed organs (leaves, stems, roots, and seeds). Our results confirmed the significant potential of CBN in plant agriculture. However, the documented presence of MWCNTs in different organs of all exposed crops highlighted the importance of detailed risk assessment of nanocontaminated plants moving into the food chain.

  7. From Concept to Commerce: Developing a Successful Fungal Endophyte Inoculant for Agricultural Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Brian R; Doohan, Fiona M; Hodkinson, Trevor R

    2018-02-11

    The development of endophyte inoculants for agricultural crops has been bedevilled by the twin problems of a lack of reliability and consistency, with a consequent lack of belief among end users in the efficacy of such treatments. We have developed a successful research pipeline for the production of a reliable, consistent and environmentally targeted fungal endophyte seed-delivered inoculant for barley cultivars. Our approach was developed de novo from an initial concept to source candidate endophyte inoculants from a wild relative of barley, Hordeum murinum (wall barley). A careful screening and selection procedure and extensive controlled environment testing of fungal endophyte strains, followed by multi-year field trials has resulted in the validation of an endophyte consortium suitable for barley crops grown on relatively dry sites. Our approach can be adapted for any crop or environment, provided that the set of first principles we have developed is followed. Here, we report how we developed the successful pipeline for the production of an economically viable fungal endophyte inoculant for barley cultivars.

  8. Energy technology impacts on agriculture with a bibliography of models for impact assessment on crop ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rupp, E.M.; Luxmoore, R.J.; Parzyck, D.C.

    1979-09-01

    Possible impacts of energy technologies on agriculture are evaluated, and some of the available simulation models that can be used for predictive purposes are identified. An overview of energy technologies and impacts on the environment is presented to provide a framework for the commentary on the models. Coal combustion is shown to have major impacts on the environment and these will continue into the next century according to current Department of Energy projections. Air pollution effects will thus remain as the major impacts on crop ecosystems. Two hundred reports were evaluated, representing a wide range of models increasing in complexity from mathematical functions (fitted to data) through parametric models (which represent phenomena without describing the mechanisms) to mechanistic models (based on physical, chemical, and physiological principles). Many models were viewed as suitable for adaptation to technology assessment through the incorporation of representative dose-response relationships. It is clear that in many cases available models cannot be taken and directly applied in technology assessment. Very few models of air pollutant-crop interactions were identified, even though there is a considerable data base of pollutant effects on crops.

  9. The potential of agricultural practices to increase C storage in cropped soils: an assessment for France

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenu, Claire; Angers, Denis; Métay, Aurélie; Colnenne, Caroline; Klumpp, Katja; Bamière, Laure; Pardon, Lenaic; Pellerin, Sylvain

    2014-05-01

    Though large progress has been achieved in the last decades, net GHG emissions from the agricultural sector are still more poorly quantified than in other sectors. In this study, we examined i) technical mitigation options likely to store carbon in agricultural soils, ii) their potential of additional C storage per unit surface area and iii) applicable areas in mainland France. We considered only agricultural practices being technically feasible by farmers and involving no major change in either production systems or production levels. Moreover, only currently available techniques with validated efficiencies and presenting no major negative environmental impacts were taken into account. Four measures were expected to store additional C in agricultural soils: - Reducing tillage: either a switch to continuous direct seeding, direct seeding with occasional tillage once every five years, or continuous superficial (20yrs) C storage rates (MgC ha-1 y-1,) of cropping systems with and without the proposed practice. Then we analysed the conditions for potential application, in terms of feasibility, acceptance, limitation of yield losses and of other GHG emissions. According to the literature, additional C storage rates were 0.15 (0-0.3) MgC ha-1 y-1 for continuous direct seeding, 0.10 (0-0.2) MgC ha-1 y-1for occasional tillage one year in five, and 0.0 MgC ha-1 y-1 for superficial tillage. Cover crops were estimated to store 0.24 (0.13-0.37) MgC ha-1 y-1 between cash crops and 0.49 (0.23-0.72) MgC ha-1 y-1 when associated with vineyards. Hedges (i.e 60 m ha-1) stored 0.15 (0.05-0.26) Mg C ha-1 y-1. Very few estimates were available for temperate agroforestry system, and we proposed a value of 1.01 (0.11-1.36) Mg C ha-1 y-1for C stored in soil and in the tree biomass for systems comprising 30-50 trees ha-1. Increasing the life time of temporary sown grassland increased C stocls by 0.11 (0.07-0.22) Mg C ha-1 y-1. In general, practices with increased C inputs to soil through

  10. Bioenergy Crop Production in the United States. Potential Quantities, Land Use Changes, and Economic Impacts on the Agricultural Sector

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walsh, Marie E.; Torre Ugarte, D.G. de la; Shapouri, H.; Slinsky, S.P.

    2003-01-01

    The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy jointly analyzed the economic potential for, and impacts of, large-scale bioenergy crop production in the United States. An agricultural sector model (POLYSYS) was modified to include three potential bioenergy crops (switchgrass, hybrid poplar, and willow). At farmgate prices of US $2.44/GJ, an estimated 17 million hectares of bioenergy crops, annually yielding 171 million dry Mg of biomass, could potentially be produced at a profit greater than existing agricultural uses for the land. The estimate assumes high productivity management practices are permitted on Conservation Reserve Program lands. Traditional crops prices are estimated to increase 9 to 14 percent above baseline prices and farm income increases annually by US $6.0 billion above baseline. At farmgate prices of US $1.83/GJ, an estimated 7.9 million hectares of bioenergy crops, annually yielding 55 million dry Mg of biomass, could potentially be produced at a profit greater than existing agricultural uses for the land. The estimate assumes management practices intended to achieve high environmental benefits on Conservation Reserve Program lands. Traditional crops prices are estimated to increase 4 to 9 percent above baseline prices and farm income increases annually by US $2.8 billion above baseline

  11. An Analysis of the Impact of Heat Waves in Labor and Crop Productivity in the Agricultural Sector in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, F.; Wehner, M. F.; Gilless, J. K.

    2017-12-01

    California agriculture is an important economic activity for the state. California leads the nation in farms sales since 1950. In addition, agricultural employment in California reached approximately 410,000. Production of many fruits and vegetables is labor intensive and labor costs represent anywhere from 20% to 40% of total production costs. In additon, agricutlural production growth has been the highest for labor intensive crops such as berries (all types) and nuts. Given the importance of the agricultural sector and the labor component whithin it, the analysis of the impact of climate change on the agricultural sector of California becomes imperative. Heat waves are a weather related extreme that impact labor productivity, specially outdoor labor producitivity. We use crop production function analysis that incorporates socio economic variables such as crop prices, total acreage, production levels and harvest timiline with climate related variables such as an estimated Heat Index (HI) to analize the impact of heat waves on crop production via an impact on labor productivity for selected crops in the Central and Imperial Valleys in California. The analysis finds that the impact of heat waves varies by the degree of labor intensity of the crop and the relative intensity of the heat wave.

  12. Biotech crops: imperative for achieving the millenium development goals and sustainability of agriculture in the climate change era.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husaini, Amjad M; Tuteja, Narendra

    2013-01-01

    Biotechnological intervention in the development of crops has opened new vistas in agriculture. Central to the accomplishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), biotech-agriculture is essential in meeting these targets. Biotech crops have already made modest contributions toward ensuring food and nutrition security by reducing losses and increasing productivity, with less pesticide input. These crops could help address some of the major challenges in agriculture-based economies created by climate change. Projections of global climate change expect the concentration of greenhouse gases to increase, aridization of the environment to increase, temperature fluctuations to occur sharply and frequently, and spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall to be disturbed-all of which will increase abiotic stress-related challenges to crops. Countering these challenges and to meet the food requirement of the ever-increasing world population (expected to reach 9 billion by 2030) we need to (1) develop and use biotech crops for mitigating adverse climatic changes; (2) develop biotech crops resilient to adverse environmental conditions; and (3) address the issues/non-issues raised by NGO's and educate the masses about the benefits of biotech crops.

  13. Agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2002-01-01

    The report entitled Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation : A Canadian Perspective, presents a summary of research regarding the impacts of climate change on key sectors over the past five years as it relates to Canada. This chapter on agriculture describes how climate change will affect primary agriculture production in Canada with particular focus on potential adaptation options, and vulnerability of agriculture at the farm level. Agriculture is a vital part of the Canadian economy, although only 7 per cent of Canada's land mass is used for agricultural purposes due to the limitations of climate and soils. Most parts of Canada are expected to experience warmer conditions, longer frost-free seasons and increased evapotranspiration. The impacts of these changes on agriculture will vary depending on precipitation changes, soil conditions, and land use. Northern regions may benefit from longer farming seasons, but poor soil conditions will limit the northward expansion of agricultural crops. Some of the negative impacts associated with climate change on agriculture include increased droughts, changes in pest and pathogen outbreaks, and moisture stress. In general, it is expected that the positive and negative impacts of climate change would offset each other. 74 refs., 2 tabs., 1 fig

  14. Atmospheric flux of agricultural fumigants from raised-bed, plastic-mulch crop production systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chellemi, Dan O.; Ajwa, Husein A.; Sullivan, David A.

    2010-12-01

    Atmospheric emission of methyl isothiocyanate (MITC), chloropicrin (CP), 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D), and dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) were measured in the field under fumigant application scenarios representative of raised bed-plastic-mulched crop production systems. For three fumigation sites located in Florida, cumulative emissions of 1,3-D, MITC and CP were less than 11%, 6% and 2%, respectively. For three fumigation sites in located in Georgia, cumulative emissions of MITC and CP were soil was covered by low density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic, emission peak flux of DMDS and MITC occurred between 12and 48 h after application. Key factors affecting atmospheric emissions were soil moisture, soil tilth and the resistance to fumigant diffusion of the plastic film used to cover soil following application. This study demonstrated reduced atmospheric emissions of agricultural fumigants under commercial production conditions when applied using good agricultural practices including soil water contents above field capacity, uniform soil tilth in the fumigation zone and the use of metalized or virtually impermeable films to further reduce fumigant emissions. The results of this study show a need for regional flux studies due to the various interactions of soil and climate with local agricultural land management practices.

  15. Impact of treated urban wastewater for reuse in agriculture on crop response and soil ecotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belhaj, Dalel; Jerbi, Bouthaina; Medhioub, Mounir; Zhou, John; Kallel, Monem; Ayadi, Habib

    2016-08-01

    The scarcity of freshwater resources is a serious problem in arid regions, such as Tunisia, and marginal quality water is gradually being used in agriculture. This study aims to study the impact of treated urban wastewater for reuse in agriculture on the health of soil and food crops. The key findings are that the effluents of Sfax wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) did not meet the relevant guidelines, therefore emitting a range of organic (e.g., up to 90 mg L(-1) COD and 30 mg L(-1) BOD5) and inorganic pollutants (e.g., up to 0.5 mg L(-1) Cu and 0.1 mg L(-1) Cd) in the receiving aquatic environments. Greenhouse experiments examining the effects of wastewater reuse on food plants such as tomato, lettuce, and radish showed that the treated effluent adversely affected plant growth, photosynthesis, and antioxidant enzyme contents. However, the pollution burden and biological effects on plants were substantially reduced by using a 50 % dilution of treated sewage effluent, suggesting the potential of reusing treated effluent in agriculture so long as appropriate monitoring and control is in place.

  16. SOIL PRODUCTION CAPACITY FROM PESAC, TIMIŞ COUNTY FOR DIFFERENT CROPS AND AGRICULTURAL USE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anişoara DUMA-COPCEA

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available For soil production capacity appreciation of agricultural fields from Pesac, Timiş County we selected from the entire weather conditions a number of 17 more significant indicators that can be precisely determined. Relying on these indicators and on the scales we extracted from tables, annexes 3 – 1 to 3 – 18, (in conformity with the elaboration methodology of soil studies, second part hierarchy coefficients that express de favorability degree of an indicator for every crop and usage category of agricultural field. Agricultural production, especially the plant directly influenced by environmental factors and conditions, which are in constant stability, and different degrees of relation to human intent and decision to change it, is a decisive factor in the economic development of society. Naturally, every manifestation of climate characteristics is determined by the geographical location of the place looked, especially in terms of latitude. These two factors determine, along with the exhibition, the ratio of land area to sun and heat reception mode by default, and to a large extent and manifestation rainfall.

  17. Alternative agricultural price distortions for CGE analysis, 2007 and 2011

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Hans Grinsted; Anderson, Kym

    A recent World Bank research project has generated an annual time series of distortions to agricultural incentives over the past half century for 82 countries, the majority of which are low-and middle-income countries. In this memorandum, the current GTAP version 8 Data Base may be modified...

  18. Computing the biomass potentials for maize and two alternative energy crops, triticale and cup plant (Silphium perfoliatumL.), with the crop model BioSTAR in the region of Hannover (Germany).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauböck, Roland; Karpenstein-Machan, Marianne; Kappas, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Lower Saxony (Germany) has the highest installed electric capacity from biogas in Germany. Most of this electricity is generated with maize. Reasons for this are the high yields and the economic incentive. In parts of Lower Saxony, an expansion of maize cultivation has led to ecological problems and a negative image of bioenergy as such. Winter triticale and cup plant have both shown their suitability as alternative energy crops for biogas production and could help to reduce maize cultivation. The model Biomass Simulation Tool for Agricultural Resources (BioSTAR) has been validated with observed yield data from the region of Hannover for the cultures maize and winter wheat. Predicted yields for the cultures show satisfactory error values of 9.36% (maize) and 11.5% (winter wheat). Correlations with observed data are significant ( P  alternative to maize in the region of Hanover and other places in Lower Saxony. The model BioSTAR simulated yields for maize and winter wheat in the region of Hannover at a good overall level of accuracy (combined error 10.4%). Due to input data aggregation, individual years show high errors though (up to 30%). Nevertheless, the BioSTAR crop model has proven to be a functioning tool for the prediction of agricultural biomass potentials under varying environmental and crop management frame conditions.

  19. Review of anthraquinone applications for pest management and agricultural crop protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLiberto, Shelagh T; Werner, Scott J

    2016-10-01

    We have reviewed published anthraquinone applications for international pest management and agricultural crop protection from 1943 to 2016. Anthraquinone (AQ) is commonly found in dyes, pigments and many plants and organisms. Avian repellent research with AQ began in the 1940s. In the context of pest management, AQ is currently used as a chemical repellent, perch deterrent, insecticide and feeding deterrent in many wild birds, and in some mammals, insects and fishes. Criteria for evaluation of effective chemical repellents include efficacy, potential for wildlife hazards, phytotoxicity and environmental persistence. As a biopesticide, AQ often meets these criteria of efficacy for the non-lethal management of agricultural depredation caused by wildlife. We summarize published applications of AQ for the protection of newly planted and maturing crops from pest birds. Conventional applications of AQ-based repellents include preplant seed treatments [e.g. corn (Zea mays L.), rice (Oryza sativa L.), sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), wheat (Triticum spp.), millet (Panicum spp.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.), pelletized feed and forest tree species] and foliar applications for rice, sunflower, lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), turf, sugar beets (Beta vulgaris L.), soybean (Glycine max L.), sweet corn and nursery, fruit and nut crops. In addition to agricultural repellent applications, AQ has also been used to treat toxicants for the protection of non-target birds. Few studies have demonstrated AQ repellency in mammals, including wild boar (Sus scrofa, L.), thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus, Mitchill), black-tailed prairie dogs (Cyomys ludovicainus, Ord.), common voles (Microtus arvalis, Pallas), house mice (Mus musculus, L.), Tristram's jirds (Meriones tristrami, Thomas) and black rats (Rattus rattus L.). Natural sources of AQ and its derivatives have also been identified as insecticides and insect repellents. As a natural or synthetic biopesticide, AQ

  20. The value of seasonal forecasting and crop mix adaptation to climate variability for agriculture under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, H. S.; Schneider, U.; Schmid, E.; Held, H.

    2012-04-01

    Changes to climate variability and frequency of extreme weather events are expected to impose damages to the agricultural sector. Seasonal forecasting and long range prediction skills have received attention as an option to adapt to climate change because seasonal climate and yield predictions could improve farmers' management decisions. The value of seasonal forecasting skill is assessed with a crop mix adaptation option in Spain where drought conditions are prevalent. Yield impacts of climate are simulated for six crops (wheat, barely, cotton, potato, corn and rice) with the EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate) model. Daily weather data over the period 1961 to 1990 are used and are generated by the regional climate model REMO as reference period for climate projection. Climate information and its consequent yield variability information are given to the stochastic agricultural sector model to calculate the value of climate information in the agricultural market. Expected consumers' market surplus and producers' revenue is compared with and without employing climate forecast information. We find that seasonal forecasting benefits not only consumers but also producers if the latter adopt a strategic crop mix. This mix differs from historical crop mixes by having higher shares of crops which fare relatively well under climate change. The corresponding value of information is highly sensitive to farmers' crop mix choices.

  1. Plant growth promotion in cereal and leguminous agricultural important plants: from microorganism capacities to crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Montaño, F; Alías-Villegas, C; Bellogín, R A; del Cerro, P; Espuny, M R; Jiménez-Guerrero, I; López-Baena, F J; Ollero, F J; Cubo, T

    2014-01-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are free-living bacteria which actively colonize plant roots, exerting beneficial effects on plant development. The PGPR may (i) promote the plant growth either by using their own metabolism (solubilizing phosphates, producing hormones or fixing nitrogen) or directly affecting the plant metabolism (increasing the uptake of water and minerals), enhancing root development, increasing the enzymatic activity of the plant or "helping" other beneficial microorganisms to enhance their action on the plants; (ii) or may promote the plant growth by suppressing plant pathogens. These abilities are of great agriculture importance in terms of improving soil fertility and crop yield, thus reducing the negative impact of chemical fertilizers on the environment. The progress in the last decade in using PGPR in a variety of plants (maize, rice, wheat, soybean and bean) along with their mechanism of action are summarized and discussed here. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  2. SPATIO-TEMPORAL MODELING OF AGRICULTURAL YIELD DATA WITH AN APPLICATION TO PRICING CROP INSURANCE CONTRACTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozaki, Vitor A.; Ghosh, Sujit K.; Goodwin, Barry K.; Shirota, Ricardo

    2009-01-01

    This article presents a statistical model of agricultural yield data based on a set of hierarchical Bayesian models that allows joint modeling of temporal and spatial autocorrelation. This method captures a comprehensive range of the various uncertainties involved in predicting crop insurance premium rates as opposed to the more traditional ad hoc, two-stage methods that are typically based on independent estimation and prediction. A panel data set of county-average yield data was analyzed for 290 counties in the State of Paraná (Brazil) for the period of 1990 through 2002. Posterior predictive criteria are used to evaluate different model specifications. This article provides substantial improvements in the statistical and actuarial methods often applied to the calculation of insurance premium rates. These improvements are especially relevant to situations where data are limited. PMID:19890450

  3. Agricultural production - Phase 2. Indonesia. Sources and sinks of nitrogen-E phosphorus-based nutrients in cropping systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wetselaar, R.I.

    1992-01-01

    This document is the report of an expert mission to assist in the initiation of research on sustainable agriculture in rice-based cropping systems as related to the flow of plant nutrients, and on the use of legumes in upland cropping systems. Experimental suggestions include an investigation of the acid tolerance of different soybean strains under upland conditions, an analysis of ways to replace fertilizer nitrogen for rice crops by a green manure such as azolla, and a study of the increase in nutrient availability due to th presence of fish in a paddy field

  4. A method to select alternative agricultural activities for future-oriented land use studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kanellopoulos, A.; Berentsen, P.B.M.; Ittersum, van M.K.; Oude Lansink, A.G.J.M.

    2012-01-01

    Studies aimed at assessing agriculture in the context of climate change, natural resource use and food security are only useful if they account for the effect of changes in agricultural management and technological innovation. The challenge is, however, that the number of possible alternative

  5. Migration, cash cropping and subsistence agriculture: relationships to household food expenditures in rural Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, L L; Dewey, K G

    1991-01-01

    The relationship between income and food expenditure patterns is influenced by a number of factors, including personal tastes, source and frequency of income, male/female control over income, home food production, and other demographic factors. In this study, the relationship of household resource allocation to each of the following is examined: (1) source of income (i.e. wage labor, cash cropping, migrant remittances, and other private sources); (2) women's contribution to income; and (3) subsistence production level. The overall study design involved a cross-sectional survey of 178 households in three rural Mexican communities on two occasions spanning both agricultural seasons. On each occasion, data were collected on the following: (1) income by source and by earner; (2) migrant remittances; (3) gifts and loans; (4) subsistence and cash crop production, expenses, and earnings; (5) major nonfood purchases; (6) household composition; and (7) household food use (during the previous week). Stepwise multiple regression was used to determine the factors associated with the percentage of income allocated to food (PFX) and the percentage of the food budget allocated to (1) maize, beans, and chile (TRAD); (2) meat, milk, and fruit (LUX); and (3) bread, pasta, and snack foods (PROC). All regressions were run controlling for income. The proportion of income from migrant remittances was negatively associated with PFX (winter). Subsistence score was positively related to PFX (summer). Migrant remittances (winter) and subsistence score (both seasons) were negatively associated with TRAD. Subsistence score was positively related to LUX (both seasons). Father's absence (both seasons), store ownership (winter), and private source of income (summer) were all positively linked to PROC. Mother's contribution to total income and cash cropping income were not significantly related to any of the dependent variables. The findings support the idea that resource allocation patterns are

  6. Factors influencing wild boar damage to agricultural crops in Sardinia (Italy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardini, Marco; Meriggi, Alberto; Fozzi, Alberto

    2017-10-01

    Crop damage by wildlife is a frequent source of human-wildlife conflict. Understanding which factors increase the risk of damage is crucial to the development of effective management strategies. The aims of this study were to provide a general description of agricultural damage caused by wild boar Sus scrofa meridionalis over a 7-year period in North-eastern Sardinia (Mediterranean Italy), and to formulate a predictive model of damage risk. We recorded a total of 221 cases of wild boar damage, with economic losses amounting to 483,982 Euros. Damage events mostly involved vineyards, meadows and oat fields, and were characterized by a peak incidence in summer and early autumn, and a minimum in spring. Damaged fields were characterized by an increasing presence of permanent crops, a decreasing presence of woodlands, maquis and urban areas, and a reduced distance from shelter areas (forests and shrublands). The analysis of spatiotemporal variation of boar-induced damage and the identification of factors that augment the risk of damage provides essential information for contributing to the development of a more effective plan for managing wild boar populations.

  7. Mass-flowering crops dilute pollinator abundance in agricultural landscapes across Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holzschuh, Andrea; Dainese, Matteo; González-Varo, Juan P; Mudri-Stojnić, Sonja; Riedinger, Verena; Rundlöf, Maj; Scheper, Jeroen; Wickens, Jennifer B; Wickens, Victoria J; Bommarco, Riccardo; Kleijn, David; Potts, Simon G; Roberts, Stuart P M; Smith, Henrik G; Vilà, Montserrat; Vujić, Ante; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2016-10-01

    Mass-flowering crops (MFCs) are increasingly cultivated and might influence pollinator communities in MFC fields and nearby semi-natural habitats (SNHs). Across six European regions and 2 years, we assessed how landscape-scale cover of MFCs affected pollinator densities in 408 MFC fields and adjacent SNHs. In MFC fields, densities of bumblebees, solitary bees, managed honeybees and hoverflies were negatively related to the cover of MFCs in the landscape. In SNHs, densities of bumblebees declined with increasing cover of MFCs but densities of honeybees increased. The densities of all pollinators were generally unrelated to the cover of SNHs in the landscape. Although MFC fields apparently attracted pollinators from SNHs, in landscapes with large areas of MFCs they became diluted. The resulting lower densities might negatively affect yields of pollinator-dependent crops and the reproductive success of wild plants. An expansion of MFCs needs to be accompanied by pollinator-supporting practices in agricultural landscapes. © 2016 The Authors Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Sesquiterpenoid emissions from agricultural crops: correlations to monoterpenoid emissions and leaf terpene content.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ormeño, Elena; Gentner, Drew R; Fares, Silvano; Karlik, John; Park, Jeong Hoo; Goldstein, Allen H

    2010-05-15

    Emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are important precursors to both ozone and secondary organic aerosol formation. In this study, we identify and quantify volatile (C(10)) and intermediate-volatility (C(15)) BVOCs stored in and emitted from 22 prominent woody and herbaceous crops with a particular focus on sesquiterpenoids (SQTs), which have presented measurement challenges in previous studies. Monoterpenoids (MNTs) and SQTs were simultaneously emitted from all the crops studied; there were significant correlations between emission rates and leaf content for both MNTs and SQTs and additional correlations between MNTs and SQTs in both emissions and leaf content. Our results suggest that species with high concentrations of stored terpenoids in their leaves, such as those grown commercially for their essential oil content, are likely high BVOC emitters. Emissions from agricultural species were dominated by SQTs at low MNT emission rates (on the order of several tens of ng/(g(DM)*h)), while at higher MNT levels (on the order of several hundreds of ng/(g(DM)*h)), SQT emissions were approximately equivalent. Based on our empirical correlations, we estimate that global SQT emissions are similar to MNT emissions and on the order of 100 Tg yr(-1), which justifies the need for better representation of SQTs in both BVOC emission and atmospheric models.

  9. Vegetation index-based crop coefficients to estimate evapotranspiration by remote sensing in agricultural and natural ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glenn, E.P.; Neale, C. M. U.; Hunsaker, D.J.; Nagler, P.L.

    2011-01-01

    Crop coefficients were developed to determine crop water needs based on the evapotranspiration (ET) of a reference crop under a given set of meteorological conditions. Starting in the 1980s, crop coefficients developed through lysimeter studies or set by expert opinion began to be supplemented by remotely sensed vegetation indices (VI) that measured the actual status of the crop on a field-by-field basis. VIs measure the density of green foliage based on the reflectance of visible and near infrared (NIR) light from the canopy, and are highly correlated with plant physiological processes that depend on light absorption by a canopy such as ET and photosynthesis. Reflectance-based crop coefficients have now been developed for numerous individual crops, including corn, wheat, alfalfa, cotton, potato, sugar beet, vegetables, grapes and orchard crops. Other research has shown that VIs can be used to predict ET over fields of mixed crops, allowing them to be used to monitor ET over entire irrigation districts. VI-based crop coefficients can help reduce agricultural water use by matching irrigation rates to the actual water needs of a crop as it grows instead of to a modeled crop growing under optimal conditions. Recently, the concept has been applied to natural ecosystems at the local, regional and continental scales of measurement, using time-series satellite data from the MODIS sensors on the Terra satellite. VIs or other visible-NIR band algorithms are combined with meteorological data to predict ET in numerous biome types, from deserts, to arctic tundra, to tropical rainforests. These methods often closely match ET measured on the ground at the global FluxNet array of eddy covariance moisture and carbon flux towers. The primary advantage of VI methods for estimating ET is that transpiration is closely related to radiation absorbed by the plant canopy, which is closely related to VIs. The primary disadvantage is that they cannot capture stress effects or soil

  10. Assessment of energy crops alternative to maize for biogas production in the Greater Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Frédéric; Gerin, Patrick A; Noo, Anaïs; Lemaigre, Sébastien; Stilmant, Didier; Schmit, Thomas; Leclech, Nathael; Ruelle, Luc; Gennen, Jerome; von Francken-Welz, Herbert; Foucart, Guy; Flammang, Jos; Weyland, Marc; Delfosse, Philippe

    2014-08-01

    The biomethane yield of various energy crops, selected among potential alternatives to maize in the Greater Region, was assessed. The biomass yield, the volatile solids (VS) content and the biochemical methane potential (BMP) were measured to calculate the biomethane yield per hectare of all plant species. For all species, the dry matter biomass yield and the VS content were the main factors that influence, respectively, the biomethane yield and the BMP. Both values were predicted with good accuracy by linear regressions using the biomass yield and the VS as independent variable. The perennial crop miscanthus appeared to be the most promising alternative to maize when harvested as green matter in autumn and ensiled. Miscanthus reached a biomethane yield of 5.5 ± 1 × 10(3)m(3)ha(-1) during the second year after the establishment, as compared to 5.3 ± 1 × 10(3)m(3)ha(-1) for maize under similar crop conditions. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Arsenic behaviour from groundwater and soil to crops: impacts on agriculture and food safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heikens, Alex; Panaullah, Golam M; Meharg, Andy A

    2007-01-01

    High levels of As in groundwater commonly found in Bangladesh and other parts of Asia not only pose a risk via drinking water consumption but also a risk in agricultural sustainability and food safety. This review attempts to provide an overview of current knowledge and gaps related to the assessment and management of these risks, including the behaviour of As in the soil-plant system, uptake, phytotoxicity, As speciation in foods, dietary habits, and human health risks. Special emphasis has been given to the situation in Bangladesh, where groundwater via shallow tube wells is the most important source of irrigation water in the dry season. Within the soil-plant system, there is a distinct difference in behaviour of As under flooded conditions, where arsenite (AsIII) predominates, and under nonflooded conditions, where arsenate (AsV) predominates. The former is regarded as most toxic to humans and plants. Limited data indicate that As-contaminated irrigation water can result in a slow buildup of As in the topsoil. In some cases the buildup is reflected by the As levels in crops, in others not. It is not yet possible to predict As uptake and toxicity in plants based on soil parameters. It is unknown under what conditions and in what time frame As is building up in the soil. Representative phytotoxicity data necessary to evaluate current and future soil concentrations are not yet available. Although there are no indications that crop production is currently inhibited by As, long-term risks are clearly present. Therefore, with concurrent assessments of the risks, management options to further prevent As accumulation in the topsoil should already have been explored. With regard to human health, data on As speciation in foods in combination with food consumption data are needed to assess dietary exposure, and these data should include spatial and seasonal variability. It is important to control confounding factors in assessing the risks. In a country where malnutrition

  12. Impacts on irrigated agriculture of changes in electricity costs resulting from Western Area Power Administration's power marketing alternatives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edwards, B.K.; Flaim, S.J.; Howitt, R.E.; Palmer, S.C.

    1995-03-01

    Irrigation is a major factor in the growth of US agricultural productivity, especially in western states, which account for more than 85% of the nation's irrigated acreage. In some of these states, almost all cropland is irrigated, and nearly 50% of the irrigation is done with electrically powered pumps. Therefore, even small increases in the cost of electricity could have a disproportionate impact on irrigated agriculture. This technical memorandum examines the impacts that could result from proposed changes in the power marketing programs of the Western Area Power Administration's Salt Lake City Area Office. The changes could increase the cost of power to all Western customers, including rural municipalities and irrigation districts that rely on inexpensive federal power to pump water. The impacts are assessed by translating changes in Western's wholesale power rate into changes in the cost of pumping water as an input for agricultural production. Farmers can adapt to higher electricity prices in many ways, such as (1) using different pumping fuels, (2) adding workers and increasing management to irrigate more efficiently, and (3) growing more drought-tolerant crops. This study projects several responses, including using less groundwater and planting fewer waterintensive crops. The study finds that when dependence on Western's power is high, the cost of power can have a major effect on energy use, agricultural practices, and the distribution of planted acreage. The biggest percentage changes in farm income would occur (1) in Nevada and Utah (however, all projected changes are less than 2% of the baseline) and (2) under the marketing alternatives that represent the lowest capacity and energy offer considered in Western's Electric Power Marketing Environmental Impact Statement. The aggregate impact on farm incomes and the value of total farm production would be much smaller than that suggested by the changes in water use and planted acreage

  13. Herbicide and cover crop residue integration for amaranthus control in conservation agriculture cotton and implications for resistance management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conservation agriculture (CA) practices are threatened by glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth. Integrated control practices including PRE herbicides and high-residue CA systems can decrease Amaranthus emergence. Field experiments were conducted from autumn 2006 through crop harvest in 2009 at two s...

  14. Even the Smallest Non-Crop Habitat Islands Could Be Beneficial: Distribution of Carabid Beetles and Spiders in Agricultural Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Michal; Řezáč, Milan

    2015-01-01

    Carabid beetles and ground-dwelling spiders inhabiting agroecosystems are beneficial organisms with a potential to control pest species. Intensification of agricultural management and reduction of areas covered by non-crop vegetation during recent decades in some areas has led to many potentially serious environmental problems including a decline in the diversity and abundance of beneficial arthropods in agricultural landscapes. This study investigated carabid beetle and spider assemblages in non-crop habitat islands of various sizes (50 to 18,000 square metres) within one large field, as well as the arable land within the field, using pitfall traps in two consecutive sampling periods (spring to early summer and peak summer). The non-crop habitat islands situated inside arable land hosted many unique ground-dwelling arthropod species that were not present within the surrounding arable land. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands with areas of tens of square metres were inhabited by assemblages substantially different from these inhabiting arable land and thus enhanced the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. The non-crop habitat area substantially affected the activity density, recorded species richness and recorded species composition of carabid and ground-dwelling spider assemblages; however, the effects were weakened when species specialised to non-crop habitats species were analysed separately. Interestingly, recorded species richness of spiders increased with non-crop habitat area, whereas recorded species richness of carabid beetles exhibited an opposite trend. There was substantial temporal variation in the spatial distribution of ground-dwelling arthropods, and contrasting patterns were observed for particular taxa (carabid beetles and spiders). In general, local environmental conditions (i.e., non-crop habitat island tree cover, shrub cover, grass cover and litter depth) were better determinants of arthropod assemblages than non-crop habitat island

  15. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands could be beneficial: distribution of carabid beetles and spiders in agricultural landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Knapp

    Full Text Available Carabid beetles and ground-dwelling spiders inhabiting agroecosystems are beneficial organisms with a potential to control pest species. Intensification of agricultural management and reduction of areas covered by non-crop vegetation during recent decades in some areas has led to many potentially serious environmental problems including a decline in the diversity and abundance of beneficial arthropods in agricultural landscapes. This study investigated carabid beetle and spider assemblages in non-crop habitat islands of various sizes (50 to 18,000 square metres within one large field, as well as the arable land within the field, using pitfall traps in two consecutive sampling periods (spring to early summer and peak summer. The non-crop habitat islands situated inside arable land hosted many unique ground-dwelling arthropod species that were not present within the surrounding arable land. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands with areas of tens of square metres were inhabited by assemblages substantially different from these inhabiting arable land and thus enhanced the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. The non-crop habitat area substantially affected the activity density, recorded species richness and recorded species composition of carabid and ground-dwelling spider assemblages; however, the effects were weakened when species specialised to non-crop habitats species were analysed separately. Interestingly, recorded species richness of spiders increased with non-crop habitat area, whereas recorded species richness of carabid beetles exhibited an opposite trend. There was substantial temporal variation in the spatial distribution of ground-dwelling arthropods, and contrasting patterns were observed for particular taxa (carabid beetles and spiders. In general, local environmental conditions (i.e., non-crop habitat island tree cover, shrub cover, grass cover and litter depth were better determinants of arthropod assemblages than non-crop

  16. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands could be beneficial: distribution of carabid beetles and spiders in agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Michal; Řezáč, Milan

    2015-01-01

    Carabid beetles and ground-dwelling spiders inhabiting agroecosystems are beneficial organisms with a potential to control pest species. Intensification of agricultural management and reduction of areas covered by non-crop vegetation during recent decades in some areas has led to many potentially serious environmental problems including a decline in the diversity and abundance of beneficial arthropods in agricultural landscapes. This study investigated carabid beetle and spider assemblages in non-crop habitat islands of various sizes (50 to 18,000 square metres) within one large field, as well as the arable land within the field, using pitfall traps in two consecutive sampling periods (spring to early summer and peak summer). The non-crop habitat islands situated inside arable land hosted many unique ground-dwelling arthropod species that were not present within the surrounding arable land. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands with areas of tens of square metres were inhabited by assemblages substantially different from these inhabiting arable land and thus enhanced the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. The non-crop habitat area substantially affected the activity density, recorded species richness and recorded species composition of carabid and ground-dwelling spider assemblages; however, the effects were weakened when species specialised to non-crop habitats species were analysed separately. Interestingly, recorded species richness of spiders increased with non-crop habitat area, whereas recorded species richness of carabid beetles exhibited an opposite trend. There was substantial temporal variation in the spatial distribution of ground-dwelling arthropods, and contrasting patterns were observed for particular taxa (carabid beetles and spiders). In general, local environmental conditions (i.e., non-crop habitat island tree cover, shrub cover, grass cover and litter depth) were better determinants of arthropod assemblages than non-crop habitat island

  17. Evaluation of Agricultural Crops Water Footprint with Application of Climate Change in Urmia Lake basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    majid montaseri

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The water footprint index as a complete indicator represents the actual used water in agriculture based on the climate condition, the amount of crop production, the people consumption pattern, the agriculture practices and water efficiency in any region. The water footprint in agricultural products is divided to three components, including green, blue and gray water footprint. Green water footprint is rainwater stored in soil profile and on vegetation. Blue water refers to water in rivers, lakes and aquifers which is used for irrigation purposes. Gray water footprint refers to define as the volume of contaminated water. The water footprint in arid and semiarid regions with high water requirement for plants and limited fresh water resources has considerable importance and key role in the planning and utilization of limited water resources in these regions. On the other hand, increasing the temperature and decreasing the rainfall due to climate change, are two agents which affect arid and semiarid regions. Therefore, in this research the water footprint of agriculturalcrop production in Urmia Lake basin, with application of climate change for planning, stable operating and crop pattern optimizing, was evaluated to reduce agricultural water consumption and help supplying water rights of Urmia Lake. Materials and Methods:Urmia Lake basin, as one of the main sextet basins in Iran, is located in the North West of Iran and includes large sections of West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan and Kurdistan areas. Thirteen major rivers are responsible to drain surface streams in Urmia Lake basin and these rivers after supplying agriculture and drinking water and residential areas in the flow path, are evacuated to the Lake. Today because of non-observance of sustainable development concept, increasing water use in different parts and climate change phenomena in Urmia Lake basin the hydrologic balance was perturbed, and Urmia Lake has been lost 90% of

  18. In silico analysis of the 16S rRNA gene of endophytic bacteria, isolated from the aerial parts and seeds of important agricultural crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bredow, C; Azevedo, J L; Pamphile, J A; Mangolin, C A; Rhoden, S A

    2015-08-19

    Because of human population growth, increased food production and alternatives to conventional methods of biocontrol and development of plants such as the use of endophytic bacteria and fungi are required. One of the methods used to study microorganism diversity is sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, which has several advantages, including universality, size, and availability of databases for comparison. The objective of this study was to analyze endophytic bacterial diversity in agricultural crops using published papers, sequence databases, and phylogenetic analysis. Fourteen papers were selected in which the ribosomal 16S rRNA gene was used to identify endophytic bacteria, in important agricultural crops, such as coffee, sugar cane, beans, corn, soybean, tomatoes, and grapes, located in different geographical regions (America, Europe, and Asia). The corresponding 16S rRNA gene sequences were selected from the NCBI database, aligned using the Mega 5.2 program, and phylogenetic analysis was undertaken. The most common orders present in the analyzed cultures were Bacillales, Enterobacteriales, and Actinomycetales and the most frequently observed genera were Bacillus, Pseudomonas, and Microbacterium. Phylogenetic analysis showed that only approximately 1.56% of the total sequences were not properly grouped, demonstrating reliability in the identification of microorganisms. This study identified the main genera found in endophytic bacterial cultures from plants, providing data for future studies on improving plant agriculture, biotechnology, endophytic bacterium prospecting, and to help understand relationships between endophytic bacteria and their interactions with plants.

  19. Effects of co-cropping Bidens pilosa (L.) and Tagetes minuta (L.) on bioaccumulation of Pb in Lactuca sativa (L.) growing in polluted agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cid, Carolina Vergara; Rodriguez, Judith Hebelen; Salazar, María Julieta; Blanco, Andrés; Pignata, María Luisa

    2016-09-01

    Polluted agricultural soils are a serious problem for food safety, with phytoremediation being the most favorable alternative from the environmental perspective. However, this methodology is generally time-consuming and requires the cessation of agriculture. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate two potential phytoextractor plants (the native species Bidens pilosa and Tagetes minuta) co-cropped with lettuce growing on agricultural lead-polluted soils. The concentrations of Pb, as well as of other metals, were investigated in the phytoextractors, crop species, and in soils, with the potential risk to the health of consumers being estimated. The soil parameters pH, EC, organic matter percentage and bioavailable lead showed a direct relationship with the accumulation of Pb in roots. In addition, the concentration of Pb in roots of native species was closely related to Fe (B. pilosa, r = 0.81; T. minuta r = 0.75), Cu (T. minuta, r = 0.93), Mn (B. pilosa, r = 0.89) and Zn (B. pilosa, r = 0.91; T. minuta, r = 0.91). Our results indicate that the interaction between rhizospheres increased the phytoextraction of lead, which was accompanied by an increase in the biomass of the phytoextractor species. However, the consumption of lettuce still revealed a toxicological risk from Pb in all treatments.

  20. Methodology for combining optical and microwave remote sensing in agricultural crop monitoring : the sugar beet crop as special case

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, van H.

    1996-01-01


    Accurate and up-to-date information on agricultural production is a vital component in running present market economies. In Europe considerable differences between c es in their agricultural production have led to a complex system of rules and subsidies which all rely on a certain level

  1. Strengthening Agricultural Decisions in Countries at Risk of Food Insecurity: The GEOGLAM Crop Monitor for Early Warning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker-Reshef, I.; Barker, B.; McGaughey, K.; Humber, M. L.; Sanchez, A.; Justice, C. O.; Rembold, F.; Verdin, J. P.

    2016-12-01

    Timely, reliable information on crop conditions, and prospects at the subnational scale, is critical for making informed policy and agricultural decisions for ensuring food security, particularly for the most vulnerable countries. However, such information is often incomplete or lacking. As such, the Crop Monitor for Early Warning (CM for EW) was developed with the goal to reduce uncertainty and strengthen decision support by providing actionable information on a monthly basis to national, regional and global food security agencies through timely consensus assessments of crop conditions. This information is especially critical in recent years, given the extreme weather conditions impacting food supplies including the most recent El Nino event. This initiative brings together the main international food security monitoring agencies and organizations to develop monthly crop assessments based on satellite observations, meteorological information, field observations and ground reports, which reflect an international consensus. This activity grew out of the successful Crop Monitor for the G20 Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS), which provides operational monthly crop assessments of the main producing countries of the world. The CM for EW was launched in February 2016 and has already become a trusted source of information internationally and regionally. Its assessments have been featured in a large number of news articles, reports, and press releases, including a joint statement by the USAID's FEWS NET, UN World Food Program, European Commission Joint Research Center, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organziation, on the devastating impacts of the southern African drought due to El Nino. One of the main priorities for this activity going forward is to expand its partnership with regional and national monitoring agencies, and strengthen capacity for national crop condition assessments.

  2. Impact of Agricultural Credit on Production of Wheat Crop: A Case Study of District Faisalabad-Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadia Asghar , Muhammad Waqas Chughtai

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Agriculture sector plays an important role in the economic development of Pakistan. Wheat is an important and most cultivated crop because it is an essential ingredient of food commodities. Credit plays a vital role in agricultural farming by indirectly participating in purchasing of agricultural inputs i.e. seed, fertilizer, irrigation, machinery and labor etc. Majority of the farmers are poor and they are not able to fulfill the cash requirement of farming, therefore credit has become their dire need. Due to credit farmers can timely purchase the agricultural inputs which resulting a bumper crop. The objective of this study is to depict the impact of credit on the production of wheat crop. Survey was conducted and random sampling technique was used to select the sample borrowers. The collected data was interpreted through “Cobb Douglas Production Function” by using statistical software (SPSS 16.0. The results showed that credit has positive and significant impact on wheat production. The values of R2 and F-statistics are found significant which represented that all selected variables are highly significant. The study not only shares the importance of credit to perform any agriculture activity but also helpful for economists and policy makers for designing agri financing policies.

  3. Residues, spatial distribution and risk assessment of DDTs and HCHs in agricultural soil and crops from the Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chuanfei; Wang, Xiaoping; Gong, Ping; Yao, Tandong

    2016-04-01

    Due to its high elevation and cold temperature, the Tibetan Plateau (TP) is regarded as the "Third Pole". Different from other polar regions, which are truly remote, the TP has a small population and a few agricultural activities. In this study, agricultural soil and crop samples (including highland barley and rape) were collected in the main farmland of the TP to obtain the contamination levels of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) in the Tibetan agricultural system as well as the relevant human exposure risks. The average concentrations of DDTs and HCHs in the agricultural soil, highland barley and rape were 1.36, 0.661, 1.03 ng/g dw and 0.349, 0.0364, 0.0225 ng/g dw, respectively. In the agricultural soil, DDTs and HCHs metabolism (DDE, DDD and β-HCH) were abundant, which indicated a "historical" source, whereas crops contained a similar composition ((DDE + DDD)/DDT, α/β-HCH and α/γ-HCH) to that of wild plants, suggesting that the DDTs and HCHs in crops are likely from long range atmospheric transport. The human health risks via non-dietary and dietary to DDTs and HCHs in the farmland were assessed. All of the hazard index (HI) values of DDTs and HCHs for non-carcinogenic risks were Tibetan residents. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Evaluation of the halophyte Salsola soda as an alternative crop for saline soils high in selenium and boron.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Centofanti, Tiziana; Bañuelos, Gary

    2015-07-01

    Urbanization, industrial development, and intensive agriculture have caused soil contamination and land degradation in many areas of the world. Salinization is one important factor contributing to land degradation and it affects agricultural production and environmental quality. When salinization is combined with soil pollution by trace elements, as it occurs in many arid and semi-arid regions around the world, strategies to phyto-manage pollutants and sustain crop production need to be implemented. In this study, we present the case of saline soils in the West side of Central California which contain naturally-occurring selenium (Se), boron (B), and other salts, such as NaCl, CaCl2, Na2SO4, and Na2SeO4. To sustain crop production on Se- and B-laden arid saline soils, we investigated the potential of the halophyte "agretti" (Salsola soda L.) as an alternative crop. The aim of our greenhouse study was to examine adaptability, B tolerance, and Se accumulation by S. soda grown on soils collected from a typical saline-laden field site located on the West side of the San Joaquin Valley (SJV). Our results showed that S. soda tolerates the saline (EC ∼ 10 dS m(-1)) and B-laden soils (10 mg B L(-1)) of the SJV even with the additional irrigation of saline and B rich water (EC ∼ 3 dS m(-1) and 4 mg B L(-1)). Under these growing conditions, the plant can accumulate high concentrations of Na (80 g Na kg(-1) DW), B (100 mg B kg(-1) DW), and Se (3-4 mg Se kg(-1) DW) without showing toxicity symptoms. Hence, S. soda showed promising potential as a plant species that can be grown in B-laden saline soils and accumulate and potentially manage excessive soluble Se and B in soil. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Use of geothermal heat for crop drying and related agricultural applications. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gordon, T.J.; Wright, T.C.; Fein, E.; Munson, T.R.; Richmond, R.C.

    1978-03-01

    Observations led to the selection of the alfalfa dehydration industry for in-depth analysis of the application of moderate-temperature geothermal heat. Six geothermal heat exchanger/dryer configurations were examined. A low-temperature conveyor dryer using geothermal water to supply all required heat was chosen for site-specific analysis, the retrofitting of a large alfalfa dehydration plant within the Heber KGRA in the Imperial Valley, California. Even in the most favorable scenario--sharing a geothermal pipeline with the neighboring fertilizer plant--geothermal retrofitting would increase the price of the alfalfa ''dehy'' about 40 percent. The geothermal brine is estimated to cost $2.58/million Btu's compared with a 1977 natural gas cost of $1.15. Capital cost for heat exchangers and the new dryers is estimated at $3.3 million. The Heber plant appeared to offer the only good opportunity for geothermal retrofitting of an existing alfalfa dehydration plant. Construction of new plants at geothermal resource sites cannot be justified due to the uncertain state of the ''dehy'' industry. Use of geothermal heat for drying other crops may be much more promising. The potato dehydration industry, which is concentrated in the geothermal-rich Snake River Valley of Idaho, appears to offer good potential for geothermal retrofitting; about 4.7 x 10{sup 12}Btu's are used annually by plants within 50 miles of resources. Drying together at the geothermal wellhead several crops that have interlocking processing seasons and drying-temperature requirements may be quite attractive. The best ''multicrop drying center'' site identified was at Power Ranch Wells, Arizona; 34 other sites were defined. Agricultural processing applications other than drying were investigated briefly.

  6. Crop type influences edge effects on the reproduction of songbirds in sagebrush habitat near agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elly C. Knight

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Extensive fragmentation of the sagebrush shrubsteppe of western North America could be contributing to observed population declines of songbirds in sagebrush habitat. We examined whether habitat fragmentation impacts the reproduction of songbirds in sagebrush edge habitat near agriculture, and if potential impacts vary depending on the adjacent crop type. Specifically, we evaluated whether nest abundance and nest survival varied between orchard edge habitat, vineyard edge habitat, and interior habitat. We then examined whether the local nest predator community and vegetation could explain the differences detected. We detected fewer nests in edge than interior habitat. Nest abundance per songbird was also lower in edge than interior habitat, although only adjacent to vineyards. Nest predation was more frequent in orchard edge habitat than vineyard edge or interior habitat. Predators identified with nest cameras were primarily snakes, however, reduced nest survival in orchard edge habitat was not explained by differences in the abundance of snakes or any other predator species identified. Information theoretic analysis of daily survival rates showed that greater study plot shrub cover and lower grass height at nests were partially responsible for the lower rate of predation-specific daily nest survival rate (PDSR observed in orchard edge habitat, but additional factors are likely important. Results of this study suggest that different crop types have different edge effects on songbirds nesting in sagebrush shrubsteppe, and that these reproductive edge effects may contribute to observed declines of these species. Habitat managers should avoid the creation of new orchard-sagebrush habitat edges to avoid further impacts on already declining songbird populations.

  7. Changing techniques in crop plant classification: molecularization at the National Institute of Agricultural Botany during the 1980s.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Matthew

    2017-04-01

    Modern methods of analysing biological materials, including protein and DNA sequencing, are increasingly the objects of historical study. Yet twentieth-century taxonomic techniques have been overlooked in one of their most important contexts: agricultural botany. This paper addresses this omission by harnessing unexamined archival material from the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB), a British plant science organization. During the 1980s the NIAB carried out three overlapping research programmes in crop identification and analysis: electrophoresis, near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and machine vision systems. For each of these three programmes, contemporary economic, statutory and scientific factors behind their uptake by the NIAB are discussed. This approach reveals significant links between taxonomic practice at the NIAB and historical questions around agricultural research, intellectual property and scientific values. Such links are of further importance given that the techniques developed by researchers at the NIAB during the 1980s remain part of crop classification guidelines issued by international bodies today.

  8. Impact of tillage on N2O and CO2 efflux in an agricultural crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lognoul, Margaux; Theodorakopoulos, Nicolas; Hiel, Marie-Pierre; Heinesch, Bernard; Bodson, Bernard; Aubinet, Marc

    2016-04-01

    In an experiment conducted in the Belgian loess belt between June and October 2015, the effect of two tillage treatments (CT - conventional tillage and RT - reduced tillage) on CO2 and N2O fluxes exchanged by a maize crop were compared. The experimental site included two parcels subjected to crop residues incorporation and to their respective tillage treatment (CT and RT) since 2008. Fluxes were measured using two fully automated sets of dynamic closed chambers, allowing a 4.5h temporal resolution. Soil water content and temperature were also monitored as well as pH, total N (TN) and total organic C (TOC) content. Results suggest that tillage practices significantly impacted emissions of both gases, with average soil respiration twice as large for RT than CT (91 μg C.m-2.s-1 versus 44.5 μg C.m-2.s-1) and N2O fluxes 8 times greater for RT than CT (5.55 ng N2O_N.m-2.s-1 versus 0.68 ng N2O_N.m-2.s-1). These observations could be explained by an effect of tillage treatment on stratification of crop residues within the soil profile, as shown in our experiment. Indeed significantly higher TN and TOC content were measured in the surface layer (0-10cm) under RT and that might have enhanced microbial activity responsible for CO2 and N2O production. A single N2O emission burst was observed in both treatments, most likely triggered by a sudden and important increase of soil moisture with a time delay of 4.5h for RT and 27h for CT. Here again, peak mean emissions were 9 times larger for RT than for CT (13.3 ng N2O_N.m-2.s-1 versus 1.43 ng N2O_N.m-2.s-1 for CT). The absence of peak emissions later during the experiment, despite the occurrence of similar soil moisture increases suggests that such increase is not the sole condition to generate N2O bursts. In the present case, it is possible that the absence of further peaks was due to a non-availability of soil N caused by increased competition for N because of maize growth. The system of automated chambers proved it

  9. Assessment of alternative land management practices using hydrological simulation and a decision support tool: Arborea agricultural region, Sardinia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Cau

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Quantifying the impact of land use on water supply and quality is a primary focus of environmental management. In this work we apply a semidistributed hydrological model (SWAT to predict the impact of different land management practices on water and agricultural chemical yield over a long period of time for a study site situated in the Arborea region of central Sardinia, Italy. The physical processes associated with water movement, crop growth, and nutrient cycling are directly modeled by SWAT. The model simulations are used to identify indicators that reflect critical processes related to the integrity and sustainability of the ecosystem. Specifically we focus on stream quality and quantity indicators associated with anthropogenic and natural sources of pollution. A multicriteria decision support system is then used to develop the analysis matrix where water quality and quantity indicators for the rivers, lagoons, and soil are combined with socio-economic variables. The DSS is used to assess four options involving alternative watersheds designated for intensive agriculture and dairy farming and the use or not of treated wastewater for irrigation. Our analysis suggests that of the four options, the most widely acceptable consists in the transfer of intensive agricultural practices to the larger watershed, which is less vulnerable, in tandem with wastewater reuse, which rates highly due to water scarcity in this region of the Mediterranean. More generally, the work demonstrates how both qualitative and quantitative methods and information can assist decision making in complex settings.

  10. Plant biotechnology for deeper understanding, wider use and further development of agricultural and horticultural crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. ELOMAA

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Plants bind solar energy to organic matter via photosynthesis and assimilation of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and comprise the major source of nutrition and bioenergy. Plant biotechnology contributes to solution of important constraints in food and feed production and creates new technologies and applications for the sustainable use of plant resources. Genome-wide approaches such as massive parallel sequencing and microarrays to study gene expression, molecular markers for selection of important traits in breeding, characterization of genetic diversity with the aforementioned approaches, and somatic hybridization and genetic transformation are important tools in plant biotechnology. In this paper, studies carried out on enhanced resistance to viruses and tolerance of cold stress in potato, genetic modification of flower pigmentation and morphology in gerbera, production of edible vaccines in transgenic barley seeds, and expression of heterologous proteins for pharmaceutical purposes from vector viruses were chosen to exemplify the general utility of biotechnological approaches and also how plant biotechnology research has developed on cultivated plants at University of Helsinki. The studies reveal cellular and genetic mechanisms and provide scientific information that can be used for widening the uses of crop plants. They can also be used to detect any putative risks associated with the use of the biotechnological application in agriculture and horticulture and to develop practises which reduce any inadvertent negative consequences that plant production may have to the environment.;

  11. Genetic engineering of cytokinin metabolism: prospective way to improve agricultural traits of crop plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zalabák, David; Pospíšilová, Hana; Šmehilová, Mária; Mrízová, Katarína; Frébort, Ivo; Galuszka, Petr

    2013-01-01

    Cytokinins (CKs) are ubiquitous phytohormones that participate in development, morphogenesis and many physiological processes throughout plant kingdom. In higher plants, mutants and transgenic cells and tissues with altered activity of CK metabolic enzymes or perception machinery, have highlighted their crucial involvement in different agriculturally important traits, such as productivity, increased tolerance to various stresses and overall plant morphology. Furthermore, recent precise metabolomic analyses have elucidated the specific occurrence and distinct functions of different CK types in various plant species. Thus, smooth manipulation of active CK levels in a spatial and temporal way could be a very potent tool for plant biotechnology in the future. This review summarises recent advances in cytokinin research ranging from transgenic alteration of CK biosynthetic, degradation and glucosylation activities and CK perception to detailed elucidation of molecular processes, in which CKs work as a trigger in model plants. The first attempts to improve the quality of crop plants, focused on cereals are discussed, together with proposed mechanism of action of the responses involved. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Development of CRISPR/Cas9 mediated virus resistance in agriculturally important crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khatodia, Surender; Bhatotia, Kirti; Tuteja, Narendra

    2017-05-04

    Clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR associated nuclease 9 (Cas9) system of targeted genome editing has already revolutionized the plant science research. This is a RNA guided programmable endonuclease based system composed of 2 components, the Cas9 nuclease and an engineered guide RNA targeting any DNA sequence of the form N20-NGG for novel genome editing applications. The CRISPR/Cas9 technology of targeted genome editing has been recently applied for imparting virus resistance in plants. The robustness, wide adaptability, and easy engineering of this system has proved its potential as an antiviral tool for plants. Novel DNA free genome editing by using the preassembled Cas9/gRNA ribonucleoprotein complex for development of virus resistance in any plant species have been prospected for the future. Also, in this review we have discussed the reports of CRISPR/Cas9 mediated virus resistance strategy against geminiviruses by targeting the viral genome and transgene free strategy against RNA viruses by targeting the host plant factors. In conclusion, CRISPR/Cas9 technology will provide a more durable and broad spectrum viral resistance in agriculturally important crops which will eventually lead to public acceptance and commercialization in the near future.

  13. AUTOMATIC TRAINING SITE SELECTION FOR AGRICULTURAL CROP CLASSIFICATION: A CASE STUDY ON KARACABEY PLAIN, TURKEY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ozdarici Ok

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available This study implements a traditional supervised classification method to an optical image composed of agricultural crops by means of a unique way, selecting the training samples automatically. Panchromatic (1m and multispectral (4m Kompsat-2 images (July 2008 of Karacabey Plain (~100km2, located in Marmara region, are used to evaluate the proposed approach. Due to the characteristic of rich, loamy soils combined with reasonable weather conditions, the Karacabey Plain is one of the most valuable agricultural regions of Turkey. Analyses start with applying an image fusion algorithm on the panchromatic and multispectral image. As a result of this process, 1m spatial resolution colour image is produced. In the next step, the four-band fused (1m image and multispectral (4m image are orthorectified. Next, the fused image (1m is segmented using a popular segmentation method, Mean- Shift. The Mean-Shift is originally a method based on kernel density estimation and it shifts each pixel to the mode of clusters. In the segmentation procedure, three parameters must be defined: (i spatial domain (hs, (ii range domain (hr, and (iii minimum region (MR. In this study, in total, 176 parameter combinations (hs, hr, and MR are tested on a small part of the area (~10km2 to find an optimum segmentation result, and a final parameter combination (hs=18, hr=20, and MR=1000 is determined after evaluating multiple goodness measures. The final segmentation output is then utilized to the classification framework. The classification operation is applied on the four-band multispectral image (4m to minimize the mixed pixel effect. Before the image classification, each segment is overlaid with the bands of the image fused, and several descriptive statistics of each segment are computed for each band. To select the potential homogeneous regions that are eligible for the selection of training samples, a user-defined threshold is applied. After finding those potential regions, the

  14. Integrating high resolution Water Footprint and GIS analyses for promoting water-efficiency in the agricultural sector: A case study of plantation crops in the Jordan Valley

    OpenAIRE

    Eliav Shtull-Trauring; Eliav Shtull-Trauring; Ido Aviani; Dror Avisar; Nirit Bernstein

    2016-01-01

    Addressing the global challenges to water security requires a better understanding of humanity’s use of water, especially the agricultural sector that accounts for 70% of global withdrawals. This study combined high resolution-data with a GIS system to analyze the impact of agricultural practices, crop type and spatial factors such as drainage basins, climate and soil type on the Water Footprint (WF) of agricultural crops. The area of the study, the northern Lower Jordan Valley, covers 1121 h...

  15. Integrating High Resolution Water Footprint and GIS for Promoting Water Efficiency in the Agricultural Sector: A Case Study of Plantation Crops in the Jordan Valley

    OpenAIRE

    Shtull-Trauring, Eliav; Aviani, Ido; Avisar, Dror; Bernstein, Nirit

    2016-01-01

    Addressing the global challenges to water security requires a better understanding of humanity's use of water, especially the agricultural sector that accounts for 70% of global withdrawals. This study combined high resolution-data with a GIS system to analyze the impact of agricultural practices, crop type, and spatial factors such as drainage basins, climate, and soil type on the Water Footprint (WF) of agricultural crops. The area of the study, the northern Lower Jordan Valley, covers 1121...

  16. Economic Benefits of Predictive Models for Pest Control in Agricultural Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Various forms of crop models or decision making tools for managing crops have existed for many years. The potential advantage of all of these decision making tools is that more informed and economically improved crop management or decision making is accomplished. However, examination of some of thes...

  17. Social Science Studies on European and African Agriculture Compared: Bringing Together Different Strands of Academic Debate on GM Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klara Fischer

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available This study explored the social science-orientated literature on genetically modified (GM crops in Europe and compared it with the corresponding literature on GM crops in African contexts, in order to determine the nature and extent of north-south cross-fertilisation in the literature. A total of 1625 papers on GM crops and agriculture falling within the ‘social science and humanities’ subject area in the Scopus abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature were analysed for major trends relating to geographical areas. More detailed analysis was performed on papers discussing African (56 papers and European (127 papers contexts. The analysis revealed that studies on policy and politics were common in both strands of the literature, frequently focusing on effects of the relatively restrictive European Union regulations on GM crops. There were also clear differences, however. For example, papers focusing on Africa frequently examined farm-level impacts and production, while this theme was almost non-existent in the Europe literature. It focused instead on policy impacts on trade and consumer attitudes to GM products. The lack of farm-level studies and of empirical studies in general in the European literature indicates a need for empirical research on GM crops in European farming. Social science research on GM crop production in Europe could draw lessons from the African literature.

  18. Model evaluation of the function of prey in non-crop habitats for biological control by ladybeetles in agricultural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bianchi, F.J.J.A.; Werf, van der W.

    2004-01-01

    The availability of alternative prey is considered to be an important factor for the conservation of predators in agro-ecosystems. However, only a limited number of studies have investigated the effect of prey availability in non-crop habitats on predator impact. We studied the potential of the

  19. Impacts of Watershed Characteristics and Crop Rotations on Winter Cover Crop Nitrate-Nitrogen Uptake Capacity within Agricultural Watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay Region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangchul Lee

    Full Text Available The adoption rate of winter cover crops (WCCs as an effective conservation management practice to help reduce agricultural nutrient loads in the Chesapeake Bay (CB is increasing. However, the WCC potential for water quality improvement has not been fully realized at the watershed scale. This study was conducted to evaluate the long-term impact of WCCs on hydrology and NO3-N loads in two adjacent watersheds and to identify key management factors that affect the effectiveness of WCCs using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT and statistical methods. Simulation results indicated that WCCs are effective for reducing NO3-N loads and their performance varied based on planting date, species, soil characteristics, and crop rotations. Early-planted WCCs outperformed late-planted WCCs on the reduction of NO3-N loads and early-planted rye (RE reduced NO3-N loads by ~49.3% compared to the baseline (no WCC. The WCCs were more effective in a watershed dominated by well-drained soils with increased reductions in NO3-N fluxes of ~2.5 kg N·ha-1 delivered to streams and ~10.1 kg N·ha-1 leached into groundwater compared to poorly-drained soils. Well-drained agricultural lands had higher transport of NO3-N in the soil profile and groundwater due to increased N leaching. Poorly-drained agricultural lands had lower NO3-N due to extensive drainage ditches and anaerobic soil conditions promoting denitrification. The performance of WCCs varied by crop rotations (i.e., continuous corn and corn-soybean, with increased N uptake following soybean crops due to the increased soil mineral N availability by mineralization of soybean residue compared to corn residue. The WCCs can reduce N leaching where baseline NO3-N loads are high in well-drained soils and/or when residual and mineralized N availability is high due to the cropping practices. The findings suggested that WCC implementation plans should be established in watersheds according to local edaphic and agronomic

  20. Impacts of Watershed Characteristics and Crop Rotations on Winter Cover Crop Nitrate-Nitrogen Uptake Capacity within Agricultural Watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sangchul; Yeo, In-Young; Sadeghi, Ali M; McCarty, Gregory W; Hively, W Dean; Lang, Megan W

    2016-01-01

    The adoption rate of winter cover crops (WCCs) as an effective conservation management practice to help reduce agricultural nutrient loads in the Chesapeake Bay (CB) is increasing. However, the WCC potential for water quality improvement has not been fully realized at the watershed scale. This study was conducted to evaluate the long-term impact of WCCs on hydrology and NO3-N loads in two adjacent watersheds and to identify key management factors that affect the effectiveness of WCCs using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and statistical methods. Simulation results indicated that WCCs are effective for reducing NO3-N loads and their performance varied based on planting date, species, soil characteristics, and crop rotations. Early-planted WCCs outperformed late-planted WCCs on the reduction of NO3-N loads and early-planted rye (RE) reduced NO3-N loads by ~49.3% compared to the baseline (no WCC). The WCCs were more effective in a watershed dominated by well-drained soils with increased reductions in NO3-N fluxes of ~2.5 kg N·ha-1 delivered to streams and ~10.1 kg N·ha-1 leached into groundwater compared to poorly-drained soils. Well-drained agricultural lands had higher transport of NO3-N in the soil profile and groundwater due to increased N leaching. Poorly-drained agricultural lands had lower NO3-N due to extensive drainage ditches and anaerobic soil conditions promoting denitrification. The performance of WCCs varied by crop rotations (i.e., continuous corn and corn-soybean), with increased N uptake following soybean crops due to the increased soil mineral N availability by mineralization of soybean residue compared to corn residue. The WCCs can reduce N leaching where baseline NO3-N loads are high in well-drained soils and/or when residual and mineralized N availability is high due to the cropping practices. The findings suggested that WCC implementation plans should be established in watersheds according to local edaphic and agronomic

  1. Decoupling Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution from Crop Production: A Case Study of Heilongjiang Land Reclamation Area, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qingshan Yang

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Modern agriculture often leads to nonpoint source pollution. From the perspective of a decoupling analysis, this research evaluates the relationship between crop production and agricultural nonpoint source pollution (via fertilizer application, using the Heilongjiang land reclamation area as a case study. As it is the largest commodity grain base and green food base in China, more than 80% of water pollution in this area comes from fertilizer application. This study adopts an export coefficient model to hindcast nitrogen loss delivered to surface water via fertilizer application and conduct a further analysis of decoupling agricultural nonpoint source pollution from crop production. The results indicated that weak decoupling frequently occurred. However, this tendency was not steady in the period 2001–2012, and weak decoupling was typical in each branch based on the average value. Regarding the example of decoupling agricultural nonpoint source pollution from rice production, weak decoupling occurred more often, but this tendency was not steady over time. In addition, expansive coupling occurred in 2006, 2010 and 2012, and there were no definite signs of it improving. All branches, except for the Suihua branch, reached the degree of weak decoupling. A basic fact is that a decoupling tendency and environmental deterioration coexist in both the past and present. The decoupling analysis will contribute to localized strategies for sustainable agricultural development.

  2. Application of DSSAT crop models to generate alternative production activities under combined use of organic-inorganic nutrients in Rwanda

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bidogeza, J.C.; Hoogenboom, G.; Berensten, P.B.M.; Graaff, de J.; Oude Lansink, A.G.J.M.

    2012-01-01

    The low agricultural productivity of Rwanda reflects the poor soil fertility status caused by a low organic matter and high soil acidity that characterizes a large part of the country. Experimental trials have shown that a combined use of organic and inorganic fertilizers can increase crop yield.

  3. Recharging California's Groundwater: Crop Suitability and Surface Water Availability for Agricultural Groundwater Banking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahlke, H. E.; Kocis, T. N.; Brown, A.

    2016-12-01

    Groundwater banking, the intentional recharge of groundwater from surface water for storage and recovery, is an important conjunctive use strategy for water management in California (CA). A largely unexplored approach to groundwater banking, agricultural groundwater banking (ag-GB), utilizes flood flows and agricultural lands (alfalfa/pasture) for recharging groundwater. Understanding soil suitability for ag-GB, crop health and flooding tolerance, leaching of soil nitrate and salts, the availability of surface water for recharge, and the economic costs and benefits of ag-GB is fundamental to assessing the feasibility of local-scale implementation of ag-GB. The study presented here considers both the availability of excess streamflow (e.g., the magnitude, frequency, timing, and duration of winter flood flow) for ag-GB and the risks and benefits associated with using alfalfa fields as spreading grounds for ag-GB. The availability of surface water for winter (Nov to Apr) ag-GB were estimated based on daily streamflow records for 93 stream gauges within the Central Valley, CA. Analysis focused on high-magnitude (>90thpercentile) flows because most lower flows are likely legally allocated in CA. Results based >50 years of data indicate that an average winter/spring (Nov. - Apr.) in the Sacramento River Basin could provide 7 million acre-feet (AF) (8.6 km3) of water for ag-GB from flows above the 90th percentile. These flows originate from few storm events (5-7 events) and occur on average for 25-30 days between November and April. Wintertime on-farm recharge experiments were conducted on a 9-yr old, 15-acre alfalfa field in the Scott Valley, CA, where 135 AF and 107 AF of water were recharged during the winters of 2015 and 2016, respectively. Biomass data collected indicates that pulsed application of 6-10 ft of water on dormant alfalfa results in minimal yield loss (0.5 ton/acre reduction), short-duration saturated conditions in the root-zone, and high recharge

  4. Comparing three gap filling methods for eddy covariance crop evapotranspiration measurements within a hilly agricultural catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boudhina, Nissaf; Prévot, Laurent; Zitouna Chebbi, Rim; Mekki, Insaf; Jacob, Frédéric; Ben Mechlia, Netij; Masmoudi, Moncef

    2015-04-01

    Hilly watersheds are widespread throughout coastal areas around the Mediterranean Basin. They experience agricultural intensification since hilly topographies allow water-harvesting techniques that compensate for rainfall storage, water being a strong limiting factor for crop production. Their fragility is likely to increase with climate change and human pressure. Within semi-arid hilly watershed conditions, evapotranspiration (ETR) is a major term of both land surface energy and water balances. Several methods allow determining ETR, based either on direct measurements, or on estimations and forecast from weather and soil moisture data using simulation models. Among these methods, eddy covariance technique is based on high-frequency measurements of fluctuations of wind speed and air temperature / humidity, to directly determine the convective fluxes between land surface and atmosphere. In spite of experimental and instrumental progresses, datasets of eddy covariance measurements often experience large portions of missing data. The latter results from energy power failure, experimental maintenance, instrumental troubles such as krypton hygrometer malfunctioning because of air humidity, or quality assessment based filtering in relation to spatial homogeneity and temporal stationarity of turbulence within surface boundary layer. This last item is all the more important as hilly topography, when combined with strong winds, tends to increase turbulence within surface boundary layer. The main objective of this study is to establish gap-filling procedures to provide complete chronicles of eddy-covariance measurements of crop evapotranspiration (ETR) within a hilly agricultural watershed. We focus on the specific conditions induced by the combination of hilly topography and wind direction, by discriminating between upslope and downslope winds. The experiment was set for three field configurations within hilly conditions: two flux measurement stations (A, B) were installed

  5. Trends in family, hired and contract labour use on French and Swiss crop farms: The role of agricultural policies

    OpenAIRE

    Dupraz, Pierre; Latruffe, Laure; Mann, Stefan

    2010-01-01

    The objective of this article is to analyse the trends in on-farm labour use, including own family labour, hired labour and contract work, and to assess the factors driving their evolution in France and in Switzerland during 1990-2007. A particular attention is given to agricultural policies, namely the level and type of support. Results indicate that crop area payments discourage the different labour demands in both countries. No other subsidies have a significant influence on labour use in ...

  6. Trends in family labour, hired labour and contract work on French and Swiss crop farms: The role of agricultural policies

    OpenAIRE

    Dupraz, Pierre; Latruffe, Laure; Mann, Stefan

    2010-01-01

    The objective of this article is to analyse the trends in on-farm labour use, including own family labour, hired labour and contract work, and to assess the factors driving their evolution in France and in Switzerland during 1990-2007. A particular attention is given to agricultural policies, namely the level and type of support. Results indicate that crop area payments discourage the different labour demands in both countries, while environment and investment payments favour contract and hir...

  7. Comparative genomics of Clavibacter michiganensis subspecies, pathogens of important agricultural crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tambong, James T

    2017-01-01

    Subspecies of Clavibacter michiganensis are important phytobacterial pathogens causing devastating diseases in several agricultural crops. The genome organizations of these pathogens are poorly understood. Here, the complete genomes of 5 subspecies (C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, Cmi; C. michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus, Cms; C. michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis, Cmn; C. michiganensis subsp. insidiosus, Cmi and C. michiganensis subsp. capsici, Cmc) were analyzed. This study assessed the taxonomic position of the subspecies based on 16S rRNA and genome-based DNA homology and concludes that there is ample evidence to elevate some of the subspecies to species-level. Comparative genomics analysis indicated distinct genomic features evident on the DNA structural atlases and annotation features. Based on orthologous gene analysis, about 2300 CDSs are shared across all the subspecies; and Cms showed the highest number of subspecies-specific CDS, most of which are mobile elements suggesting that Cms could be more prone to translocation of foreign genes. Cms and Cmi had the highest number of pseudogenes, an indication of potential degenerating genomes. The stress response factors that may be involved in cold/heat shock, detoxification, oxidative stress, osmoregulation, and carbon utilization are outlined. For example, the wco-cluster encoding for extracellular polysaccharide II is highly conserved while the sucrose-6-phosphate hydrolase that catalyzes the hydrolysis of sucrose-6-phosphate yielding glucose-6-phosphate and fructose is highly divergent. A unique second form of the enzyme is only present in Cmn NCPPB 2581. Also, twenty-eight plasmid-borne CDSs in the other subspecies were found to have homologues in the chromosomal genome of Cmn which is known not to carry plasmids. These CDSs include pathogenesis-related factors such as Endocellulases E1 and Beta-glucosidase. The results presented here provide an insight of the functional organization of the genomes of

  8. Climate Change Impacts for the Conterminous USA. An Integrated Assessment. Part 5. Irrigated Agriculture and National Grain Crop Production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomson, A.M.; Rosenberg, N.J.; Izaurralde, R.C.; Brown, R.A.

    2005-01-01

    During this century global warming will lead to changes in global weather and climate, affecting many aspects of our environment. Agriculture is the sector of the United States economy most likely to be directly impacted by climatic changes. We have examined potential changes in dryland agriculture (Part 3) and in water resources necessary for crop production (Part 4) in response to a set of climate change scenarios. In this paper we assess to what extent, under these same scenarios, water supplies will be sufficient to meet the irrigation requirement of major grain crops in the US. In addition, we assess the overall impacts of changes in water supply on national grain production. We apply the 12 climate change scenarios described in Part 1 to the water resources and crop growth simulation models described in Part 2 for the conterminous United States. Drawing on data from Parts 3 and 4 we calculate what the aggregate national production would be in those regions in which grain crops are currently produced by applying irrigation where needed and water supplies allow. The total amount of irrigation water applied to crops declines under all climate change scenarios employed in this study. Under certain of the scenarios and in particular regions, precipitation decreases so much that water supplies are too limited; in other regions precipitation becomes so plentiful that little value is derived from irrigation. Nationwide grain crop production is greater when irrigation is applied as needed. Under irrigation, less corn and soybeans are produced under most of the climate change scenarios than is produced under baseline climate conditions. Winter wheat production under irrigation responds significantly to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations [CO2] and appears likely to increase under climate change

  9. Testing the validity of a Cd soil quality standard in representative Mediterranean agricultural soils under an accumulator crop

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Recatala, L.; Sanchez, J.; Arbelo, C.; Sacristan, D.

    2010-01-01

    The validity of a quality standard for cadmium (Cd) in representative agricultural Mediterranean soils under an accumulator crop (Lactuca sativa L.) is evaluated in this work considering both its effect on the crop growth (biomass production) and the metal accumulation in the edible part of the plant. Four soils with different properties relevant to regulate the behaviour of heavy metals were selected from the Valencian Region, a representative area of the European Mediterranean Region. For all soils, the effective concentration of added Cd causing 50% inhibition (EC 50 ) on the biomass production was much higher than the minimum legal concentration used to declare soils as contaminated by cadmium, i.e. 100 times the baseline value for Cd, in Spain (Spanish Royal Decree 9/2005). As expected, Cd toxicity in the crop was higher in the soils having less carbonate content. On the other hand, for all soils, from the second dose on, which represents 10-times the baseline value for Cd, the metal content in crops exceeded the maximum level established for leaf crops by the European legislation (Regulation EC no. 466/2001). Soil salinity and coarse textures make the accumulation of Cd in the edible part of the plant easier. Therefore, the legal baseline soil cadmium content established by the Spanish legislation seems not valid neither from the point of view of the effect on the crop growth nor from the point of view of the metal accumulation in the edible part of the plant. In order to realistically declare contaminated soils by heavy metals, soil quality standards should be proposed taking into account the soil properties. Further research in other agricultural areas of the region would improve the basis for proposing adequate soil quality standards for heavy metals as highlighted by the European Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection.

  10. Testing the validity of a Cd soil quality standard in representative Mediterranean agricultural soils under an accumulator crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Recatala, L., E-mail: luis.recatala@uv.es [Departamento de Planificacion Territorial, Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificacion-CIDE (CSIC-Universitat de Valencia-Generalitat Valenciana), Cami de la Marjal S/N, 46470 Albal (Valencia) (Spain); Sanchez, J. [Departamento de Planificacion Territorial, Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificacion-CIDE (CSIC-Universitat de Valencia-Generalitat Valenciana), Cami de la Marjal S/N, 46470 Albal (Valencia) (Spain); Arbelo, C. [Departamento de Edafologia y Geologia, Facultad de Biologia, Universidad de La Laguna, 38206 La Laguna (Tenerife), Islas Canarias (Spain); Sacristan, D. [Departamento de Planificacion Territorial, Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificacion-CIDE (CSIC-Universitat de Valencia-Generalitat Valenciana), Cami de la Marjal S/N, 46470 Albal (Valencia) (Spain)

    2010-12-01

    The validity of a quality standard for cadmium (Cd) in representative agricultural Mediterranean soils under an accumulator crop (Lactuca sativa L.) is evaluated in this work considering both its effect on the crop growth (biomass production) and the metal accumulation in the edible part of the plant. Four soils with different properties relevant to regulate the behaviour of heavy metals were selected from the Valencian Region, a representative area of the European Mediterranean Region. For all soils, the effective concentration of added Cd causing 50% inhibition (EC{sub 50}) on the biomass production was much higher than the minimum legal concentration used to declare soils as contaminated by cadmium, i.e. 100 times the baseline value for Cd, in Spain (Spanish Royal Decree 9/2005). As expected, Cd toxicity in the crop was higher in the soils having less carbonate content. On the other hand, for all soils, from the second dose on, which represents 10-times the baseline value for Cd, the metal content in crops exceeded the maximum level established for leaf crops by the European legislation (Regulation EC no. 466/2001). Soil salinity and coarse textures make the accumulation of Cd in the edible part of the plant easier. Therefore, the legal baseline soil cadmium content established by the Spanish legislation seems not valid neither from the point of view of the effect on the crop growth nor from the point of view of the metal accumulation in the edible part of the plant. In order to realistically declare contaminated soils by heavy metals, soil quality standards should be proposed taking into account the soil properties. Further research in other agricultural areas of the region would improve the basis for proposing adequate soil quality standards for heavy metals as highlighted by the European Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection.

  11. Alternative agriculture

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Committee on the Role of Alternative Farming Methods Staff

    1989-01-01

    ... National Research Council National Academy Press Washington, D.C. 1989 Copyrighttrue Please breaks inserted. are Page files. accidentally typesetting been have may original from the errors not typographic original retained, and from the created cannot be files XML from however, formatting, recomposed typesetting-specific has been work other ...

  12. BIOGAS PRODUCTION FROM CATCH CROPS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Molinuevo-Salces, Beatriz; Larsen, Søren U.; Ahring, Birgitte Kiær

    2014-01-01

    Catch crop cultivation combined with its use for biogas production would increase renewable energy production in the form of methane, without interfering with the production of food and fodder crops. The low biomass yield of catch crops is the main limiting factor for using these crops as co......-substrate in manure-based biogas plants and the profit obtained from the sale of biogas barely compensates for the harvest costs. A new agricultural strategy to harvest catch crops together with the residual straw of the main crop was investigated to increase the biomass and thereby the methane yield per hectare...... biomass. Leaving the straw on the field until harvest of the catch crop in the autumn could benefit biogas production due to the organic matter degradation of the straw taking place on the field during the autumn months. This new agricultural strategy may be a good alternative to achieve economically...

  13. The effect of date of aerial pollution of agricultural plants on 89 Sr content in crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arkhipov, N.P.; Tevraleva, L.T.

    1979-01-01

    On the basis of the experimental data obtained in different soil-climatic zones of the USSR it is shown that for tentative calculations of the radiostrontium content in farm crop with the aerial source of nuclide delivery the period of time from plant contamination to harvesting can be used. Given are the regression equations relating 89 Sr concentration in corn, wheat and potato crops with the time of crop contamination for six native zones and the characteristics of their accuracy

  14. Response to issues on GM agriculture in Africa: Are transgenic crops safe?

    OpenAIRE

    Adenle, Ademola A

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The controversies surrounding transgenic crops, often called Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), call for a need to raise the level of public awareness of Genetic Modification (GM) technology in Africa. This should be accomplished by educating the public about the potential benefits and risks that may be associated with this new technology. In the last 15 years, GM crop producing countries have benefited from adoption of this new technology in the form of improved crop productivit...

  15. Vulnerability of Agriculture to Climate Change as Revealed by Relationships between Simulated Crop Yield and Climate Change Indices

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, A. W.; Absar, S. M.; Nair, S.; Preston, B. L.

    2012-12-01

    The vulnerability of agriculture is among the leading concerns surrounding climate change. Agricultural production is influenced by drought and other extremes in weather and climate. In regions of subsistence farming, worst case reductions in yield lead to malnutrition and famine. Reduced surplus contributes to poverty in agrarian economies. In more economically diverse and industrialized regions, variations in agricultural yield can influence the regional economy through market mechanisms. The latter grows in importance as agriculture increasingly services the energy market in addition to markets for food and fiber. Agriculture is historically a highly adaptive enterprise and will respond to future changes in climate with a variety of adaptive mechanisms. Nonetheless, the risk, if not expectation, of increases in climate extremes and hazards exceeding historical experience motivates scientifically based anticipatory assessment of the vulnerability of agriculture to climate change. We investigate the sensitivity component of that vulnerability using EPIC, a well established field-scale model of cropping systems that includes the simulation of economic yield. The core of our analysis is the relationship between simulated yield and various indices of climate change, including the CCI/CLIVAR/JCOM ETCCDI indices, calculated from weather inputs to the model. We complement this core with analysis using the DSSAT cropping system model and exploration of relationships between historical yield statistics and climate indices calculated from weather records. Our analyses are for sites in the Southeast/Gulf Coast region of the United States. We do find "tight" monotonic relationships between annual yield and climate for some indices, especially those associated with available water. More commonly, however, we find an increase in the variability of yield as the index value becomes more extreme. Our findings contribute to understanding the sensitivity of crop yield as part of

  16. The Tradeoffs between Market Returns from Agricultural Crops and Non-Market Ecosystem Service Benefits on an Irrigated Agricultural Landscape in the Presence of Groundwater Overdraft

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kent F. Kovacs

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Groundwater overdraft has consequences in the long-run for the economic and ecological sustainability of an agricultural landscape. In response to aquifer depletion, we examine the tradeoff of non-market ecosystem service benefits (e.g., groundwater supply, greenhouse gases, and surface water quality and market returns from crops in the Lower Mississippi River Delta. Farmers may turn to conjunctive water management using on-farm reservoirs and tail water recovery when groundwater pumping becomes expensive. We use separate objectives for market returns from crops and the non-market benefits of ecosystem services to study whether on-farm reservoirs are built with optimal cropping and irrigation choices. The use of reservoirs enables the landscape to attain up to 10% higher market returns for a given level of all non-market ecosystem service benefits by lowering the costs of irrigation, increasing groundwater levels, and reducing fuel combustion and associated greenhouse gas (GHG emissions from groundwater pumping. A landscape that internalizes both non-market ecosystem service benefits and market value from crops has 30% greater social value than a landscape where only market returns or only non-market value is optimized.

  17. Climate-Agriculture-Modeling and Decision Tool for Disease (CAMDT-Disease) for seasonal climate forecast-based crop disease risk management in agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, K. H.; Lee, S.; Han, E.; Ines, A. V. M.

    2017-12-01

    Climate-Agriculture-Modeling and Decision Tool (CAMDT) is a decision support system (DSS) tool that aims to facilitate translations of probabilistic seasonal climate forecasts (SCF) to crop responses such as yield and water stress. Since CAMDT is a software framework connecting different models and algorithms with SCF information, it can be easily customized for different types of agriculture models. In this study, we replaced the DSSAT-CSM-Rice model originally incorporated in CAMDT with a generic epidemiological model, EPIRICE, to generate a seasonal pest outlook. The resulting CAMDT-Disease generates potential risks for selected fungal, viral, and bacterial diseases of rice over the next months by translating SCFs into agriculturally-relevant risk information. The integrated modeling procedure of CAMDT-Disease first disaggregates a given SCF using temporal downscaling methods (predictWTD or FResampler1), runs EPIRICE with the downscaled weather inputs, and finally visualizes the EPIRICE outputs as disease risk compared to that of the previous year and the 30-year-climatological average. In addition, the easy-to-use graphical user interface adopted from CAMDT allows users to simulate "what-if" scenarios of disease risks over different planting dates with given SCFs. Our future work includes the simulation of the effect of crop disease on yields through the disease simulation models with the DSSAT-CSM-Rice model, as disease remains one of the most critical yield-reducing factors in the field.

  18. Effects of reduced terrestrial LiDAR point density on high-resolution grain crop surface models in precision agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hämmerle, Martin; Höfle, Bernhard

    2014-12-16

    3D geodata play an increasingly important role in precision agriculture, e.g., for modeling in-field variations of grain crop features such as height or biomass. A common data capturing method is LiDAR, which often requires expensive equipment and produces large datasets. This study contributes to the improvement of 3D geodata capturing efficiency by assessing the effect of reduced scanning resolution on crop surface models (CSMs). The analysis is based on high-end LiDAR point clouds of grain crop fields of different varieties (rye and wheat) and nitrogen fertilization stages (100%, 50%, 10%). Lower scanning resolutions are simulated by keeping every n-th laser beam with increasing step widths n. For each iteration step, high-resolution CSMs (0.01 m2 cells) are derived and assessed regarding their coverage relative to a seamless CSM derived from the original point cloud, standard deviation of elevation and mean elevation. Reducing the resolution to, e.g., 25% still leads to a coverage of >90% and a mean CSM elevation of >96% of measured crop height. CSM types (maximum elevation or 90th-percentile elevation) react differently to reduced scanning resolutions in different crops (variety, density). The results can help to assess the trade-off between CSM quality and minimum requirements regarding equipment and capturing set-up.

  19. Extractability and crop transfer of potentially toxic elements from mediterranean agricultural soils following long-term sewage sludge applications as a fertilizer replacement to barley and maize crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iglesias, Mònica; Marguí, Eva; Camps, Francesc; Hidalgo, Manuela

    2018-01-22

    Sewage sludge is used as a fertilizer replacement in agricultural soils for its chemical properties, such as organic matter content, and for its capability to improve physical soil characteristics like porosity. This is also an appealing disposal option for residue whose production is increasing worldwide. However, there is some concern about the presence of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) that can accumulate in soils and become available for crops. In this work, a study was conducted to evaluate the extractability and crops transfer of thirteen PTEs from soils that had been amended with biosolids each year for 15 years as a regular agricultural practice. The study was conducted with barley (winter cereal) and maize (spring cereal) crops. After this long period, an increase in the amount of Pb, Hg, Zn and Ag in soils amended by biosolids was confirmed. However, it is important to emphasize that the PTE total content in croplands was still far below the thresholds established by US and European regulations. Statistically significant differences were also found between the soils fertilized with biosolids and other treatments compared with the potential phytoavailable amount of Cu, Se, Sb and especially for As and Zn, by a DTPA leaching test. Despite these results, the concentration of PTEs in the barley and maize grains grown in fields repeatedly amended with biosolids was not statistically different from those grown with chemical fertilization, except for As in barley grains. In this case, a significant correlation was found between the DTPA-extractable As content in soils and the total content in grains (r = 0.83). Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. The impacts of interannual climate variability and agricultural inputs on water footprint of crop production in an irrigation district of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Shikun; Wu, Pute; Wang, Yubao; Zhao, Xining; Liu, Jing; Zhang, Xiaohong

    2013-02-01

    Irrigation plays an increasing important role in agriculture of China. The assessment of water resources utilization during agricultural production process will contribute to improving agricultural water management practices for the irrigation districts. The water footprint provides a new approach to assessing the agricultural water utilization. The present paper put forward a modified calculation method to quantify the water footprint of crop. On this basis, this paper calculated the water footprint of major crop in Hetao irrigation district, China. Then, it evaluated the influencing factors that caused the variability of crop water footprint during the study period. Results showed that: 1) the annual average water footprint of integrated-crop production in Hetao irrigation district was 3.91 m(3)kg(-1) (90.91% blue water and 9.09% green water). The crop production in the Hetao irrigation district mainly relies on blue water; 2) under the integrated influences of interannual climate variability and variation of agricultural inputs, the water footprint of integrated-crop production displayed a decreasing trend; 3) the contribution rate of the climatic factors to the variation of water footprint was only -6.90%, while the total contribution rate of the agricultural inputs factors was -84.31%. The results suggest that the water footprint of crop mainly depends on agricultural management rather than the regional climate and its variation. The results indicated that the water footprint of a crop could be controlled at a reasonable level by better management of all agricultural inputs and the improvement of water use efficiency in agriculture. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Can agricultural Cultivation Methods Influence the Healthfulness of Crops for Foods?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Melballe Jensen, Maja; Jørgensen, Henry; Halekoh, Ulrich

    2012-01-01

    The aim of the current study was to investigate if there are any health effects of long-term consumption of organically grown crops using a rat model. Crops were retrieved over two years from a long-term field trial at three different locations in Denmark, using three different cultivation system...

  2. The impact of climate and price risks on agricultural land use and crop management decisions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lehmann, N.; Finger, R.

    2013-01-01

    This article aims to investigate the impacts of climate change and of lower and more volatile crop price levels as currently observed in the European Union (EU) on optimal management decisions, average income and income risks in crop production in Western Switzerland. To this end, a bioeconomic

  3. Analysis of the spatial variability of crop yield and soil properties in small agricultural plots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vieira Sidney Rosa

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to assess spatial variability of soil properties and crop yield under no tillage as a function of time, in two soil/climate conditions in São Paulo State, Brazil. The two sites measured approximately one hectare each and were cultivated with crop sequences which included corn, soybean, cotton, oats, black oats, wheat, rye, rice and green manure. Soil fertility, soil physical properties and crop yield were measured in a 10-m grid. The soils were a Dusky Red Latossol (Oxisol and a Red Yellow Latossol (Ultisol. Soil sampling was performed in each field every two years after harvesting of the summer crop. Crop yield was measured at the end of each crop cycle, in 2 x 2.5 m sub plots. Data were analysed using semivariogram analysis and kriging interpolation for contour map generation. Yield maps were constructed in order to visually compare the variability of yields, the variability of the yield components and related soil properties. The results show that the factors affecting the variability of crop yield varies from one crop to another. The changes in yield from one year to another suggest that the causes of variability may change with time. The changes with time for the cross semivariogram between phosphorus in leaves and soybean yield is another evidence of this result.

  4. Digital Mapping of Soil Salinity and Crop Yield across a Coastal Agricultural Landscape Using Repeated Electromagnetic Induction (EMI Surveys.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rongjiang Yao

    Full Text Available Reliable and real-time information on soil and crop properties is important for the development of management practices in accordance with the requirements of a specific soil and crop within individual field units. This is particularly the case in salt-affected agricultural landscape where managing the spatial variability of soil salinity is essential to minimize salinization and maximize crop output. The primary objectives were to use linear mixed-effects model for soil salinity and crop yield calibration with horizontal and vertical electromagnetic induction (EMI measurements as ancillary data, to characterize the spatial distribution of soil salinity and crop yield and to verify the accuracy of spatial estimation. Horizontal and vertical EMI (type EM38 measurements at 252 locations were made during each survey, and root zone soil samples and crop samples at 64 sampling sites were collected. This work was periodically conducted on eight dates from June 2012 to May 2013 in a coastal salt-affected mud farmland. Multiple linear regression (MLR and restricted maximum likelihood (REML were applied to calibrate root zone soil salinity (ECe and crop annual output (CAO using ancillary data, and spatial distribution of soil ECe and CAO was generated using digital soil mapping (DSM and the precision of spatial estimation was examined using the collected meteorological and groundwater data. Results indicated that a reduced model with EMh as a predictor was satisfactory for root zone ECe calibration, whereas a full model with both EMh and EMv as predictors met the requirement of CAO calibration. The obtained distribution maps of ECe showed consistency with those of EMI measurements at the corresponding time, and the spatial distribution of CAO generated from ancillary data showed agreement with that derived from raw crop data. Statistics of jackknifing procedure confirmed that the spatial estimation of ECe and CAO exhibited reliability and high accuracy

  5. Digital Mapping of Soil Salinity and Crop Yield across a Coastal Agricultural Landscape Using Repeated Electromagnetic Induction (EMI) Surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Rongjiang; Yang, Jingsong; Wu, Danhua; Xie, Wenping; Gao, Peng; Jin, Wenhui

    2016-01-01

    Reliable and real-time information on soil and crop properties is important for the development of management practices in accordance with the requirements of a specific soil and crop within individual field units. This is particularly the case in salt-affected agricultural landscape where managing the spatial variability of soil salinity is essential to minimize salinization and maximize crop output. The primary objectives were to use linear mixed-effects model for soil salinity and crop yield calibration with horizontal and vertical electromagnetic induction (EMI) measurements as ancillary data, to characterize the spatial distribution of soil salinity and crop yield and to verify the accuracy of spatial estimation. Horizontal and vertical EMI (type EM38) measurements at 252 locations were made during each survey, and root zone soil samples and crop samples at 64 sampling sites were collected. This work was periodically conducted on eight dates from June 2012 to May 2013 in a coastal salt-affected mud farmland. Multiple linear regression (MLR) and restricted maximum likelihood (REML) were applied to calibrate root zone soil salinity (ECe) and crop annual output (CAO) using ancillary data, and spatial distribution of soil ECe and CAO was generated using digital soil mapping (DSM) and the precision of spatial estimation was examined using the collected meteorological and groundwater data. Results indicated that a reduced model with EMh as a predictor was satisfactory for root zone ECe calibration, whereas a full model with both EMh and EMv as predictors met the requirement of CAO calibration. The obtained distribution maps of ECe showed consistency with those of EMI measurements at the corresponding time, and the spatial distribution of CAO generated from ancillary data showed agreement with that derived from raw crop data. Statistics of jackknifing procedure confirmed that the spatial estimation of ECe and CAO exhibited reliability and high accuracy. A general

  6. Crop-Livestock-Forestry Integration in Brazil: a sustainable agriculture strategy based on the concepts of Green Economy Initiative

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Reis

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This article proposes to transform the current production model through the organization of an agricultural system based on the concepts of crop-livestock-forestry integration (ICLF. We used the guidelines and concepts related to the Green Economy Initiative (GEI, a proposal of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP. Within this framework, the agricultural sector is identified as an important sector due to its strong connection with economic, social and environmental dimensions. We intend to demonstrate that the ICLF proposal is in line with aspects of sustainable agriculture, as proposed by GEI, and that it is an important strategy to increase production in a sustainable manner in Brazil. The adoption of GEI is a consistent strategy for the implementation of policies to promote sustainable development.

  7. Simulated crop yield in response to changes in climate and agricultural practices: results from a simple process based model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldararu, S.; Smith, M. J.; Purves, D.; Emmott, S.

    2013-12-01

    Global agriculture will, in the future, be faced with two main challenges: climate change and an increase in global food demand driven by an increase in population and changes in consumption habits. To be able to predict both the impacts of changes in climate on crop yields and the changes in agricultural practices necessary to respond to such impacts we currently need to improve our understanding of crop responses to climate and the predictive capability of our models. Ideally, what we would have at our disposal is a modelling tool which, given certain climatic conditions and agricultural practices, can predict the growth pattern and final yield of any of the major crops across the globe. We present a simple, process-based crop growth model based on the assumption that plants allocate above- and below-ground biomass to maintain overall carbon optimality and that, to maintain this optimality, the reproductive stage begins at peak nitrogen uptake. The model includes responses to available light, water, temperature and carbon dioxide concentration as well as nitrogen fertilisation and irrigation. The model is data constrained at two sites, the Yaqui Valley, Mexico for wheat and the Southern Great Plains flux site for maize and soybean, using a robust combination of space-based vegetation data (including data from the MODIS and Landsat TM and ETM+ instruments), as well as ground-based biomass and yield measurements. We show a number of climate response scenarios, including increases in temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations as well as responses to irrigation and fertiliser application.

  8. Simulating the effects of climate and agricultural management practices on global crop yield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deryng, D.; Sacks, W. J.; Barford, C. C.; Ramankutty, N.

    2011-06-01

    Climate change is expected to significantly impact global food production, and it is important to understand the potential geographic distribution of yield losses and the means to alleviate them. This study presents a new global crop model, PEGASUS 1.0 (Predicting Ecosystem Goods And Services Using Scenarios) that integrates, in addition to climate, the effect of planting dates and cultivar choices, irrigation, and fertilizer application on crop yield for maize, soybean, and spring wheat. PEGASUS combines carbon dynamics for crops with a surface energy and soil water balance model. It also benefits from the recent development of a suite of global data sets and analyses that serve as model inputs or as calibration data. These include data on crop planting and harvesting dates, crop-specific irrigated areas, a global analysis of yield gaps, and harvested area and yield of major crops. Model results for present-day climate and farm management compare reasonably well with global data. Simulated planting and harvesting dates are within the range of crop calendar observations in more than 75% of the total crop-harvested areas. Correlation of simulated and observed crop yields indicates a weighted coefficient of determination, with the weighting based on crop-harvested area, of 0.81 for maize, 0.66 for soybean, and 0.45 for spring wheat. We found that changes in temperature and precipitation as predicted by global climate models for the 2050s lead to a global yield reduction if planting and harvesting dates remain unchanged. However, adapting planting dates and cultivar choices increases yield in temperate regions and avoids 7-18% of global losses.

  9. Agricultural biology in the 3rd millennium: nutritional food security & specialty crops through sustainable agriculture and biotechnology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Food security and agricultural sustainability are of prime concern in the world today in light of the increasing trends in population growth in most parts of the globe excepting Europe. The need to develop capacity to produce more to feed more people is complicated since the arable land is decreasin...

  10. CLOUD-BASED AGRICULTURAL SOLUTION: A CASE STUDY OF NEAR REAL-TIME REGIONAL AGRICULTURAL CROP GROWTH INFORMATION IN SOUTH AFRICA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Hiestermann

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Recent advances in cloud-based technology has led to the rapid increase of geospatial web-based applications. The combination of GIS and cloud-based solutions is revolutionizing product development in the geospatial industry and is facilitating accessibility to a wider range of users, planners and decision makers. Accessible through an internet browser, web applications are an effective and convenient method to disseminate information in multiple formats, and they provide an interface offering interactive access to geospatial data, real-time integration and data processing, and application specific analysis tools. An example of such a web application is GeoTerraImage’s monthly crop monitoring tool called GeoFarmer. This tool uses climatic data and satellite imagery processed through a complex rule-based algorithms to determine monthly climatic averages and anomalies, and most importantly the field specific crop status (i.e. is the field fallow, or is the crop emerging, or if the field has been harvested. Monthly field verification has formed a part of calibrating the growth classification outputs to further improve the accuracy of its monthly agricultural reporting. The goal of this application is to provide timely data to decision makers to assist them in field-level and regional crop growth monitoring, crop production and management, financial risk assessment and insurance, and food security applications. This web application has the unique advantage of being highly transportable to other regions, since it has been designed so it can easily be adapted to other seasonal growth response patterns, and up-scaled to regional or national coverages for operational use.

  11. Agricultural water use, crop water footprints and irrigation strategies in the seasonally dry Guanacaste region in Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morillas, Laura; Johnson, Mark S.; Hund, Silja V.; Steyn, Douw G.

    2017-04-01

    Agriculture is the main productive sector and a major water-consuming sector in the seasonally-dry Guanacaste region of north-western Costa Rica. Agriculture in the region is intensifying at the same time that seasonal water scarcity is increasing. The climate of this region is characterized by a prolonged dry season from December to March, followed by a bimodal wet season from April to November. The wet season has historically experienced periodic oscillations in rainfall timing and amounts resulting from variations of several large-scale climatic features (El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation). However, global circulation models now project more recurrent variations in total annual rainfall, changes in rainfall temporal distribution, and increased temperatures in this region. This may result in a lengthening of the dry season and an increase in water scarcity and water-related conflicts as water resources are already limited and disputed in this area. In fact, this region has just undergone a four-year drought over the 2012-2015 period, which has intensified water related conflicts and put agricultural production at risk. In turn, the recent drought has also increased awareness of the local communities regarding the regional threat of water scarcity and the need of a regional water planning. The overall goal of this research is to generate data to characterize water use by the agricultural sector in this region and asses its sustainability in the regional context. Towards this goal, eddy-covariance flux towers were deployed on two extensive farms growing regionally-representative crops (melon/rice rotation and sugarcane) to evaluate, monitor and quantify water use in large-scale farms. The two identically instrumented stations provide continuous measurements of evapotranspiration and CO2 fluxes, and are equipped with additional instrumentation to monitor

  12. Towards a Quantitative Use of Satellite Remote Sensing in Crop Growth Models for Large Scale Agricultural Production Estimate (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defourny, P.

    2013-12-01

    The development of better agricultural monitoring capabilities is clearly considered as a critical step for strengthening food production information and market transparency thanks to timely information about crop status, crop area and yield forecasts. The documentation of global production will contribute to tackle price volatility by allowing local, national and international operators to make decisions and anticipate market trends with reduced uncertainty. Several operational agricultural monitoring systems are currently operating at national and international scales. Most are based on the methods derived from the pioneering experiences completed some decades ago, and use remote sensing to qualitatively compare one year to the others to estimate the risks of deviation from a normal year. The GEO Agricultural Monitoring Community of Practice described the current monitoring capabilities at the national and global levels. An overall diagram summarized the diverse relationships between satellite EO and agriculture information. There is now a large gap between the current operational large scale systems and the scientific state of the art in crop remote sensing, probably because the latter mainly focused on local studies. The poor availability of suitable in-situ and satellite data over extended areas hampers large scale demonstrations preventing the much needed up scaling research effort. For the cropland extent, this paper reports a recent research achievement using the full ENVISAT MERIS 300 m archive in the context of the ESA Climate Change Initiative. A flexible combination of classification methods depending to the region of the world allows mapping the land cover as well as the global croplands at 300 m for the period 2008 2012. This wall to wall product is then compared with regards to the FP 7-Geoland 2 results obtained using as Landsat-based sampling strategy over the IGADD countries. On the other hand, the vegetation indices and the biophysical variables

  13. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers. PMID:24885352

  14. The Effect of Organic and Conventional Cropping Systems on CO2 Emission from Agricultural Soils: Preliminary Results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Grego

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The effects of different agricultural systems on soil organic carbon content and CO2 emission are investigated in this work. In a long-term experiment a conventional system, characterized by traditional agricultural practices (as deep tillage and chemical inputs was compared with an organic one, including green manure and organic fertilizers. Both systems have a three-year crop rotation including pea – durum wheat – tomato; the organic system is implemented with the introduction of common vetch (Vicia sativa L. and sorghum (Sorghum vulgare bicolor as cover crops. In the year 2006 (5 years after the experimentation beginning was determined the soil C content and was measured the CO2 emissions from soil. The first results showed a trend of CO2 production higher in organic soils in comparison with conventional one. Among the two compared cropping systems the higher differences of CO2 emission were observed in tomato soil respect to the durum wheat and pea soils, probably due to the vetch green manuring before the tomato transplanting. These results are in agreement with the total organic carbon content and water soluble carbon (WSC, which showed the highest values in organic soil. The first observations suggest a higher biological activity and CO2 emission in organic soil than conventional one, likely due to a higher total carbon soil content.

  15. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhardwaj, Deepak; Ansari, Mohammad Wahid; Sahoo, Ranjan Kumar; Tuteja, Narendra

    2014-05-08

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers.

  16. Conservation Agriculture in mixed crop–livestock systems: Scoping crop residue trade-offs in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Valbuena, D.F.; Erenstein, O.; Homann-Kee Tui, S.; Abdoulaye, T.; Claessens, L.F.G.; Duncan, A.J.; Gerard, B.; Rufino, M.; Teufel, N.; Wijk, van M.T.

    2012-01-01

    Conservation Agriculture (CA) is being advocated to enhance soil health and sustain long term crop productivity in the developing world. One of CA's key principles is the maintenance of soil cover often by retaining a proportion of crop residues on the field as mulch. Yet smallholder crop–livestock

  17. RESPONSE TO THE CRISIS OF THE FIELD: ALTERNATIVES AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF VILLAFLORES, CHIAPAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosey Obet Ruiz-González

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The Mexican countryside is a multifaceted crisis that is mainly due to the rise of a greater economic return-oriented capitalist development possible, regardless of the environmental and human health damage. The research was conducted during 2006 to 2008 in thev region Fraylesca, Chiapas, aiming to understand the nature of change in farming practices of the capitalist model towards alternative practices tending to the conservation of natural resources. We worked with 18 rural families who were beneficiaries of the capitalist model and are currently making changes in their production practices. Ethnography was used to understand the nature of changes in agricultural practices, in addition to the interviews, participant observation semi -structured and tours to family agro-ecosystems. Alternative practices, change cultural patterns of agricultural production adopted by the capitalist model.

  18. Systems Biology for Smart Crops and Agricultural Innovation: Filling the Gaps between Genotype and Phenotype for Complex Traits Linked with Robust Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Anil; Pathak, Rajesh Kumar; Gupta, Sanjay Mohan; Gaur, Vikram Singh; Pandey, Dinesh

    2015-10-01

    In recent years, rapid developments in several omics platforms and next generation sequencing technology have generated a huge amount of biological data about plants. Systems biology aims to develop and use well-organized and efficient algorithms, data structure, visualization, and communication tools for the integration of these biological data with the goal of computational modeling and simulation. It studies crop plant systems by systematically perturbing them, checking the gene, protein, and informational pathway responses; integrating these data; and finally, formulating mathematical models that describe the structure of system and its response to individual perturbations. Consequently, systems biology approaches, such as integrative and predictive ones, hold immense potential in understanding of molecular mechanism of agriculturally important complex traits linked to agricultural productivity. This has led to identification of some key genes and proteins involved in networks of pathways involved in input use efficiency, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, photosynthesis efficiency, root, stem and leaf architecture, and nutrient mobilization. The developments in the above fields have made it possible to design smart crops with superior agronomic traits through genetic manipulation of key candidate genes.

  19. Systems Biology for Smart Crops and Agricultural Innovation: Filling the Gaps between Genotype and Phenotype for Complex Traits Linked with Robust Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathak, Rajesh Kumar; Gupta, Sanjay Mohan; Gaur, Vikram Singh; Pandey, Dinesh

    2015-01-01

    Abstract In recent years, rapid developments in several omics platforms and next generation sequencing technology have generated a huge amount of biological data about plants. Systems biology aims to develop and use well-organized and efficient algorithms, data structure, visualization, and communication tools for the integration of these biological data with the goal of computational modeling and simulation. It studies crop plant systems by systematically perturbing them, checking the gene, protein, and informational pathway responses; integrating these data; and finally, formulating mathematical models that describe the structure of system and its response to individual perturbations. Consequently, systems biology approaches, such as integrative and predictive ones, hold immense potential in understanding of molecular mechanism of agriculturally important complex traits linked to agricultural productivity. This has led to identification of some key genes and proteins involved in networks of pathways involved in input use efficiency, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, photosynthesis efficiency, root, stem and leaf architecture, and nutrient mobilization. The developments in the above fields have made it possible to design smart crops with superior agronomic traits through genetic manipulation of key candidate genes. PMID:26484978

  20. The role of N2O derived from crop-based biofuels, and from agriculture in general, in Earth's climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Keith A.; Mosier, Arvin R.; Crutzen, Paul J.; Winiwarter, Wilfried

    2012-01-01

    In earlier work, we compared the amount of newly fixed nitrogen (N, as synthetic fertilizer and biologically fixed N) entering agricultural systems globally to the total emission of nitrous oxide (N2O). We obtained an N2O emission factor (EF) of 3–5%, and applied it to biofuel production. For ‘first-generation’ biofuels, e.g. biodiesel from rapeseed and bioethanol from corn (maize), that require N fertilizer, N2O from biofuel production could cause (depending on N uptake efficiency) as much or more global warming as that avoided by replacement of fossil fuel by the biofuel. Our subsequent calculations in a follow-up paper, using published life cycle analysis (LCA) models, led to broadly similar conclusions. The N2O EF applies to agricultural crops in general, not just to biofuel crops, and has made possible a top-down estimate of global emissions from agriculture. Independent modelling by another group using bottom-up IPCC inventory methodology has shown good agreement at the global scale with our top-down estimate. Work by Davidson showed that the rate of accumulation of N2O in the atmosphere in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries was greater than that predicted from agricultural inputs limited to fertilizer N and biologically fixed N (Davidson, E. A. 2009 Nat. Geosci. 2, 659–662.). However, by also including soil organic N mineralized following land-use change and NOx deposited from the atmosphere in our estimates of the reactive N entering the agricultural cycle, we have now obtained a good fit between the observed atmospheric N2O concentrations from 1860 to 2000 and those calculated on the basis of a 4 per cent EF for the reactive N. PMID:22451102

  1. The role of N2O derived from crop-based biofuels, and from agriculture in general, in Earth's climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Keith A; Mosier, Arvin R; Crutzen, Paul J; Winiwarter, Wilfried

    2012-05-05

    In earlier work, we compared the amount of newly fixed nitrogen (N, as synthetic fertilizer and biologically fixed N) entering agricultural systems globally to the total emission of nitrous oxide (N(2)O). We obtained an N(2)O emission factor (EF) of 3-5%, and applied it to biofuel production. For 'first-generation' biofuels, e.g. biodiesel from rapeseed and bioethanol from corn (maize), that require N fertilizer, N(2)O from biofuel production could cause (depending on N uptake efficiency) as much or more global warming as that avoided by replacement of fossil fuel by the biofuel. Our subsequent calculations in a follow-up paper, using published life cycle analysis (LCA) models, led to broadly similar conclusions. The N(2)O EF applies to agricultural crops in general, not just to biofuel crops, and has made possible a top-down estimate of global emissions from agriculture. Independent modelling by another group using bottom-up IPCC inventory methodology has shown good agreement at the global scale with our top-down estimate. Work by Davidson showed that the rate of accumulation of N(2)O in the atmosphere in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries was greater than that predicted from agricultural inputs limited to fertilizer N and biologically fixed N (Davidson, E. A. 2009 Nat. Geosci. 2, 659-662.). However, by also including soil organic N mineralized following land-use change and NO(x) deposited from the atmosphere in our estimates of the reactive N entering the agricultural cycle, we have now obtained a good fit between the observed atmospheric N(2)O concentrations from 1860 to 2000 and those calculated on the basis of a 4 per cent EF for the reactive N.

  2. Evaluation of Crop-Water Consumption Simulation to Support Agricultural Water Resource Management using Satellite-based Water Cycle Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, M.; Bolten, J. D.; Lakshmi, V.

    2016-12-01

    Water scarcity is one of the main factors limiting agricultural development. Numerical models integrated with remote sensing datasets are increasingly being used operationally as inputs for crop water balance models and agricultural forecasting due to increasing availability of high temporal and spatial resolution datasets. However, the model accuracy in simulating soil water content is affected by the accuracy of the soil hydraulic parameters used in the model, which are used in the governing equations. However, soil databases are known to have a high uncertainty across scales. Also, for agricultural sites, the in-situ measurements of soil moisture are currently limited to discrete measurements at specific locations, and such point-based measurements do not represent the spatial distribution at a larger scale accurately, as soil moisture is highly variable both spatially and temporally. The present study utilizes effective soil hydraulic parameters obtained using a 1-km downscaled microwave remote sensing soil moisture product based on the NASA Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) using the genetic algorithm inverse method within the Catchment Land Surface Model (CLSM). Secondly, to provide realistic irrigation estimates for agricultural sites, an irrigation scheme within the land surface model is triggered when the root-zone soil moisture deficit reaches the threshold, 50% with respect to the maximum available water capacity obtained from the effective soil hydraulic parameters. An additional important criterion utilized is the estimation of crop water consumption based on dynamic root growth and uptake in root zone layer. Model performance is evaluated using MODIS land surface temperature (LST) product. The soil moisture estimates for the root zone are also validated with the in situ field data, for three sites (2- irrigated and 1- rainfed) located at the University of Nebraska Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead, NE and monitored

  3. Crop and irrigation management strategies for saline-sodic soils and waters aimed at environmentally sustainable agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qadir, M; Oster, J D

    2004-05-05

    Irrigation has long played a key role in feeding the expanding world population and is expected to play a still greater role in the future. As supplies of good-quality irrigation water are expected to decrease in several regions due to increased municipal-industrial-agricultural competition, available freshwater supplies need to be used more efficiently. In addition, reliance on the use and reuse of saline and/or sodic drainage waters, generated by irrigated agriculture, seems inevitable for irrigation. The same applies to salt-affected soils, which occupy more than 20% of the irrigated lands, and warrant attention for efficient, inexpensive and environmentally acceptable management. Technologically and from a management perspective, a couple of strategies have shown the potential to improve crop production under irrigated agriculture while minimizing the adverse environmental impacts. The first strategy, vegetative bioremediation--a plant-assisted reclamation approach--relies on growing appropriate plant species that can tolerate ambient soil salinity and sodicity levels during reclamation of salt-affected soils. A variety of plant species of agricultural significance have been found to be effective in sustainable reclamation of calcareous and moderately sodic and saline-sodic soils. The second strategy fosters dedicating soils to crop production systems where saline and/or sodic waters predominate and their disposal options are limited. Production systems based on salt-tolerant plant species using drainage waters may be sustainable with the potential of transforming such waters from an environmental burden into an economic asset. Such a strategy would encourage the disposal of drainage waters within the irrigated regions where they are generated rather than exporting these waters to other regions via discharge into main irrigation canals, local streams, or rivers. Being economically and environmentally sustainable, these strategies could be the key to future

  4. A transgenic approach to enhance phosphorus use efficiency in crops as part of a comprehensive strategy for sustainable agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaxiola, Roberto A; Edwards, Mark; Elser, James J

    2011-08-01

    Concerns about phosphorus (P) sustainability in agriculture arise not only from the potential of P scarcity but also from the known effects of agricultural P use beyond the field, i.e., eutrophication leading to dead zones in lakes, rivers and coastal oceans due to runoffs from fertilized fields. Plants possess a large number of adaptive responses to P(i) (orthophosphate) limitation that provide potential raw materials to enhance P(i) scavenging abilities of crop plants. Understanding and engineering these adaptive responses to increase the efficiency of crop capture of natural and fertilizer P(i) in soils is one way to optimize P(i) use efficiency (PUE) and, together with other approaches, help to meet the P sustainability challenge in agriculture. Research on the molecular and physiological basis of P(i) uptake is facilitating the generation of plants with enhanced P(i) use efficiency by genetic engineering. Here we describe work done in this direction with emphasis on the up-regulation of plant proton-translocating pyrophosphatases (H(+)-PPases). Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. The Combination of Uav Survey and Landsat Imagery for Monitoring of Crop Vigor in Precision Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukas, V.; Novák, J.; Neudert, L.; Svobodova, I.; Rodriguez-Moreno, F.; Edrees, M.; Kren, J.

    2016-06-01

    Mapping of the with-in field variability of crop vigor has a long tradition with a success rate ranging from medium to high depending on the local conditions of the study. Information about the development of agronomical relevant crop parameters, such as above-ground biomass and crop nutritional status, provides high reliability for yield estimation and recommendation for variable rate application of fertilizers. The aim of this study was to utilize unmanned and satellite multispectral imaging for estimation of basic crop parameters during the growing season. The experimental part of work was carried out in 2014 at the winter wheat field with an area of 69 ha located in the South Moravia region of the Czech Republic. An UAV imaging was done in April 2014 using Sensefly eBee, which was equipped by visible and near infrared (red edge) multispectral cameras. For ground truth calibration the spectral signatures were measured on 20 sites using portable spectroradiometer ASD Handheld 2 and simultaneously plant samples were taken at BBCH 32 (April 2014) and BBCH 59 (Mai 2014) for estimation of above-ground biomass and nitrogen content. The UAV survey was later extended by selected cloud-free Landsat 8 OLI satellite imagery, downloaded from USGS web application Earth Explorer. After standard pre-processing procedures, a set of vegetation indices was calculated from remotely and ground sensed data. As the next step, a correlation analysis was computed among crop vigor parameters and vegetation indices. Both, amount of above-ground biomass and nitrogen content were highly correlated (r > 0.85) with ground spectrometric measurement by ASD Handheld 2 in BBCH 32, especially for narrow band vegetation indices (e.g. Red Edge Inflection Point). UAV and Landsat broadband vegetation indices varied in range of r = 0.5 - 0.7, highest values of the correlation coefficients were obtained for crop biomass by using GNDVI. In all cases results from BBCH 59 vegetation stage showed lower

  6. McSustainability and McJustice: Certification, Alternative Food and Agriculture, and Social Change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maki Hatanaka

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Alternative food and agriculture movements increasingly rely on market-based approaches, particularly voluntary standards and certification, to advance environmental sustainability and social justice. Using a case study of an ecological shrimp project in Indonesia that became certified organic, this paper raises concerns regarding the impacts of certification on alternative food and agriculture movements, and their aims of furthering sustainability and justice. Drawing on George Ritzer’s McDonaldization framework, I argue that the ecological shrimp project became McDonaldized with the introduction of voluntary standards and certification. Specifically, efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control became key characteristics of the shrimp project. While the introduction of such characteristics increased market access, it also entailed significant costs, including an erosion of trust and marginalization and alienation of farmers. Given such tradeoffs, in concluding I propose that certification is producing particular forms of environmental sustainability and social justice, what I term McSustainability and McJustice. While enabling the expansion of alternative food and agriculture, McSustainability and McJustice tend to allow little opportunity for farmer empowerment and food sovereignty, as well as exclude aspects of sustainable farming or ethical production that are not easily measured, standardized, and validated.

  7. Integrating herbicides in a high-residue cover crop conservation agriculture setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conservation agriculture systems provide a means to ensure long-term agricultural productivity, protect environmental quality, and reduce inputs into farming systems. Weed control in these systems rely on multiple tactics to achieve effective weed management while limiting chemical inputs. Practic...

  8. Recognising Differences in Weed and Crop Species Recognition Skills of Agriculture Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burrows, Geoffrey E.

    2012-01-01

    Students in an agricultural science degree were surveyed to assess their ability to recognise plants of agricultural importance. The survey consisted of high quality images of 25 species. Students were surveyed at the start of their studies in first year, and at various times during their second year of studies. At the start of their studies…

  9. A fourth principle is required to define Conservation Agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa: The appropriate use of fertilizer to enhance crop productivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vanlauwe, B.; Wendt, J.; Giller, K.E.; Corbeels, M.; Gerard, B.; Nolte, C.

    2014-01-01

    Intensification of agricultural systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is considered a pre-condition for alleviation of rural poverty. Conservation Agriculture (CA) has been promoted to achieve this goal, based on three principles: minimum tillage, soil surface cover, and diversified crop rotations. CA

  10. Developing novel bacterial based bioformulation having PGPR properties for enhanced production of agricultural crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalita, Munmi; Bharadwaz, Moonmee; Dey, Tapan; Gogoi, Kabita; Dowarah, Pallavi; Unni, Bala Gopalan; Ozah, Dibyajyoti; Saikia, Indira

    2015-01-01

    Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are beneficial rhizobacteria which enhance plant growth as well as the productivity by a variety of mechanisms PGPR were isolated from the rhizosphere region of som plants (Machilus bombycina King) maintained at the Central Muga Eri Research and Training Institute, Lahdoigarh, Jorhat. A bacterial based bioformulation was prepared and sprayed over the experimental crops including tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var botrytis), chili (Capsicum annuum) and brinjal (Solanum melongena). Biochemical analysis was done on these PGPR treated crops as well as the untreated crops. The bioformulations prepared from Bacillus cereus (MTCC 8297), Pseudomonas rhodesiae (MTCC 8299) and Pseudomonas rhodesiae (MTCC 8300) was found to be the most effective in increasing the shoot height, number of leaves, early fruiting and total biomass content of the plants after treatment.

  11. Abundance and Diversity of Native Bumble Bees Associated with Agricultural Crops: The Willamette Valley Experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sujaya Rao

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available There are widespread concerns about declining populations of bumble bees due to conversion of native habitats to agroecosystems. Certain cropping systems, however, provide enormous foraging resources, and are beneficial for population build up of native bees, especially eusocial bees such as bumble bees. In this review, we present evidence of a flourishing bumble bee fauna in the Willamette Valley in western Oregon which we believe is sustained by cultivation of bee-pollinated crops which bloom in sequence, and in synchrony with foraging by queens and workers of a complex of bumble bee species. In support of our perspective, we describe the Oregon landscape and ascribe the large bumble bee populations to the presence of a pollen source in spring (cultivated blueberries followed by one in summer (red clover seed crops. Based on our studies, we recommend integration into conservation approaches of multiple agroecosystems that bloom in sequence for sustaining and building bumble bee populations.

  12. 7 CFR 457.167 - Pecan revenue crop insurance provisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... which two or more crops are planted in any form of alternating or mixed pattern. Market price—The market...: Pecan Revenue Crop Insurance Provisions 1. Definitions AMS. The Agricultural Marketing Service of the... marketing—Sale of the insured crop directly to consumers without the intervention of an intermediary such as...

  13. Land-use planning in the Chaco plain (Burruyacú, Argentina). Part 1: evaluating land-use options to support crop diversification in an agricultural frontier area using physical land evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recatalá Boix, Luis; Zinck, Joseph Alfred

    2008-12-01

    The Burruyacú district (Tucumán province, Argentina) is a farming frontier in the western Chaco plain, at the foothills of the sub-Andean mountain ranges, where agricultural land-uses are in conflict with the conservation and management of the Chaco forest. Over the last decades, large-scale farming rapidly expanded due to population pressure, attractive market prices, easy accessibility, favourable annual rainfall, fertile soils, and flexible land tenure. Cropland extension, mainly for heavily mechanized soybean production, has resulted in important reduction of the Chaco forest and also caused physical soil degradation, especially soil compaction, and soil erosion. Land suitability was assessed using the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) framework for a set of crops ecologically adapted to the area, including soybean, maize, wheat, sugarcane, citrus, and safflower. Only 16% of the study area has high suitability for most of the selected crops. Major limitations for cropping are low annual rainfall and flooding in the east of the study area, and topography (slope) and flooding in the west. As climate varies over relatively short periods of time, with recurrent cycles of dry and rainy years, land suitability for the selected crops was also assessed under extreme but realistic climatic conditions. Under rainy-year conditions, almost all the study area is unsuitable or marginally suitable for most of the crops. Under dry-year conditions, the study area is unsuitable for all crops, except safflower, which is more drought-resistant. This article proposes alternatives to the mono-cropping of soybean with the aim to help farmers make adequate decisions on land-use and management under deteriorating environmental conditions and for addressing the issue of competitive land uses in the context of land-use planning.

  14. Remote Sensing for Agricultural Crops Based on a Low Cost Quadcopter

    OpenAIRE

    Campo Arcos, Liseth Viviana; Corrales Muñoz, Juan Carlos; Ledezma Espino, Agapito; Espino, Agapito Ledezma

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a proposal for information gathering from crops by means of a low-cost quadcopter known as the AR Drone 2.0. To achieve this, we designed a system for remote sensing that addresses challenges identified in the present research, such as acquisition of aerial photographs of an entire crop and AR Drone navigation on non-planar areas arises. The project is currently at an early stage of development. The first stage describes platform and hardware/software tools used to build t...

  15. Agricultural sustainable intensification improved nitrogen use efficiency and maintained high crop yield during 1980-2014 in Northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xin; Bol, Roland; Rahn, Clive; Xiao, Guangmin; Meng, Fanqiao; Wu, Wenliang

    2017-10-15

    Global population increase will require rapid increase of food production from existing agricultural land by 2050, which will inevitably mean the increase of agricultural productivity. Due to agricultural sustainable intensification since the 1990s, crop production in Huantai County of northern China has risen to 15tha -1 yr -1 for the annual wheat-maize rotation system. We examined the temporal dynamics of nitrogen (N) budget, N losses, and N use efficiency (NUE) during the 35years (1980-2014) in Huantai. The results revealed that atmospheric N deposition increased 220% while reactive N losses decreased by 21.5% from 1980s to 2010s. During 1980-2002, annual N partial factor productivity (PFP N ), apparent NUE and N recovery efficiency (RE N ) increased from 20.3 to 40.7kggrainkg -1 N fert , from 36.5% to 71.0%, and from 32.4% to 57.7%, respectively; meanwhile, reactive N losses intensity, land use intensity and N use intensity decreased by 69.8%, 53.4%, 50.0%, respectively, but without further significant changes after 2002. Overall increases in NUE and decreases in N losses were largely due to the introduction of optimized fertilization practice, mechanization and increased incorporation of crop straw in Huantai. Straw incorporation was also significant in soil N stock accrual and fertility improvement. By 2030, northern China may reach the lowest end of PFP N values in developed countries (>45kggrainkg -1 N fert ). These agricultural sustainable intensification practices will be critical in maintaining high grain yields and associated decreases in environmental pollution, although water use efficiency in the region still needs to be improved. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Spatial and temporal contrasts in the distribution of crops and pastures across Amazonia: A new agricultural land use data set from census data since 1950.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imbach, P; Manrow, M; Barona, E; Barretto, A; Hyman, G; Ciais, P

    2015-06-01

    Amazonia holds the largest continuous area of tropical forests with intense land use change dynamics inducing water, carbon, and energy feedbacks with regional and global impacts. Much of our knowledge of land use change in Amazonia comes from studies of the Brazilian Amazon, which accounts for two thirds of the region. Amazonia outside of Brazil has received less attention because of the difficulty of acquiring consistent data across countries. We present here an agricultural statistics database of the entire Amazonia region, with a harmonized description of crops and pastures in geospatial format, based on administrative boundary data at the municipality level. The spatial coverage includes countries within Amazonia and spans censuses and surveys from 1950 to 2012. Harmonized crop and pasture types are explored by grouping annual and perennial cropping systems, C3 and C4 photosynthetic pathways, planted and natural pastures, and main crops. Our analysis examined the spatial pattern of ratios between classes of the groups and their correlation with the agricultural extent of crops and pastures within administrative units of the Amazon, by country, and census/survey dates. Significant correlations were found between all ratios and the fraction of agricultural lands of each administrative unit, with the exception of planted to natural pastures ratio and pasture lands extent. Brazil and Peru in most cases have significant correlations for all ratios analyzed even for specific census and survey dates. Results suggested improvements, and potential applications of the database for carbon, water, climate, and land use change studies are discussed. The database presented here provides an Amazon-wide improved data set on agricultural dynamics with expanded temporal and spatial coverage. Agricultural census database covers Amazon basin municipalities from 1950 to 2012Harmonized database groups crops and pastures by cropping system, C3/C4, and main cropsWe explored

  17. Systematic analysis of secondary life cycle inventories when modelling agricultural production: A case study for arable crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corrado, Sara; Castellani, Valentina; Zampori, Luca; Sala, Serenella

    2018-01-20

    Analysis of agricultural production with life cycle based methodologies is data demanding. To build comprehensive life cycle inventories, secondary datasets are commonly used when primary data are not available. However, different inventory data and modelling approaches are used to populate secondary datasets, leading to different results. The present study analyses the features of twelve secondary datasets to support datasets selection and proper interpretation of results. We assess twelve datasets for arable crop production in France, as modelled in three databases often used in the LCA field (Agri-footprint, ecoinvent and AGRIBALYSE). First, we compared system boundaries and general assumptions. Second, we focused on foreground systems comparing, inventory data, data sources and modelling approaches. Third, we performed a contribution analysis of impact assessment results to identify modelling choices that contribute most to differences in the results. Nine relevant elements were identified and assessed: definition of system boundaries and modelling of agricultural practices, characteristics of inventory data, agricultural operations, fertiliser application and fate, plant protection products application and fate, heavy metals inputs to the agricultural system and fate, irrigation assumptions, land use and transformation. The datasets differ greatly with respect to these elements. Hence, recommendations are drawn from the datasets comparison, supporting the selection of the datasets coherently with the goal and scope of a study and interpretation of results.

  18. Not all GMOs are crop plants: non-plant GMO applications in agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the time since the tools of modern biotechnology have become available, the most commonly applied and often discussed genetically modified organisms are genetically modified crop plants, although genetic engineering is also being used successfully in organisms other than plants, including bacteri...

  19. Biochemical suitability of crop residues for cellulosic ethanol: disincentives to nitrogen fertilization in corn agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallagher, Morgan E; Hockaday, William C; Masiello, Caroline A; Snapp, Sieglinde; McSwiney, Claire P; Baldock, Jeffrey A

    2011-03-01

    Concerns about energy security and climate change have increased biofuel demand, particularly ethanol produced from cellulosic feedstocks (e.g., food crop residues). A central challenge to cropping for cellulosic ethanol is the potential environmental damage from increased fertilizer use. Previous analyses have assumed that cropping for carbohydrate in residue will require the same amount of fertilizer as cropping for grain. Using (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance, we show that increases in biomass in response to fertilization are not uniform across biochemical classes (carbohydrate, protein, lipid, lignin) or tissues (leaf and stem, grain, reproductive support). Although corn grain responds vigorously and nonlinearly, corn residue shows only modest increases in carbohydrate yields in response to high levels of fertilization (25% increase with 202 kg N ha(-1)). Lignin yields in the residue increased almost twice as much as carbohydrate yields in response to nitrogen, implying that residue feedstock quality declines as more fertilizer is applied. Fertilization also increases the decomposability of corn residue, implying that soil carbon sequestration becomes less efficient with increased fertilizer. Our results suggest that even when corn is grown for grain, benefits of fertilization decline rapidly after the ecosystem's N demands are met. Heavy application of fertilizer yields minimal grain benefits and almost no benefits in residue carbohydrates, while degrading the cellulosic ethanol feedstock quality and soil carbon sequestration capacity.

  20. New roller concepts for mechanical terminating cover crops in conservation agriculture in the southern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rollers may provide a viable option to herbicides for terminating cover crops; however, excessive vibration generated by rollers and transferred to tractors hinders adoption of this technology in the US. To avoid excessive vibration, producers must limit their operational speed, which increases time...

  1. Monitoring Agricultural Cropping Patterns across the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin Using MODIS-NDVI Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) 16-day composite data product (MOD12Q) was used to develop annual cropland and crop-specific map products (corn, soybeans, and wheat) for the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin (GLB). Th...

  2. Surface N Balances in Agricultural Crop production systems in China for the period 1980-2015

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sun, B.; Shen, R.P.; Bouwman, A.F.

    2008-01-01

    Surface nitrogen (N) balances for China's crop production systems were estimated using statistical data collected from 1980 to 2004 at the national and provincial scale and from 1994 to 1999 at the county level. There was a surplus N balance throughout these periods, but the surplus was nearly

  3. High Resolution X- Band SAR Imagery for Precise Agriculture and Crop Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumberg, D. G.

    2007-03-01

    In the next couple of years at least two SAR high resolutions payloads will be launched, and during the next decade many more. Optical remote sensing is being used routinely in agricultural management and studies. Radar data which is often used in geophysical studies is not utilized heavily in agriculture and specifically X- band data are not commonly used. In the following paper we had unique access to high resolution polarimetric X-band radar data from Elta Systems Inc test bed SAR flown onboard a Boeing 737 aircraft. Results show potential in using X-band SAR for agriculture and bio-geophysical studies. Hence the ability to map small agricultural fields, assess their relative soil water content and distinguish between young and mature tree plantations is demonstrated.

  4. Agriculture Crop Burning in Northwestern India and Its Impact on Atmospheric Pollution and Air Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, R. P.; Chauhan, A.; Gonzalez Abad, G.

    2014-12-01

    Crop burning season, over northern India, occurs during October-November and April-May after harvesting season. The mechanized harvesting started in 1986, and every year crop residues are burnt in the northwestern parts of India. During post-monsoon season, October - November, the boundary layer is shallow; as a result the crop burning greatly impacts the regional air quality and climate of the northern parts of south Asia. Due to intense burning episodes, heavy smoke pollution-laden plumes are transported all along the Indo-Gangetic basin in the northern parts of India, depending upon diurnal changes in the wind patterns. We find that, in general, the dominant westerly winds transport the plumes and emissions far away from the source region up to the eastern parts of Indo-Gangetic basin, further dispersing over central India to the south. We use retrievals of formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide and Aerosol Index from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) onboard NASA Aura satellite together with Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard NASA Terra and Aqua fire counts to assess the seasonal variation and geographical extent of the emissions due to burning of crop residues. In addition, our results, based on satellite measurements, indicate that the smoke plumes and biomass burning emissions are also transported over the Himalayan region and beyond, resulting in enhanced concentrations of aerosol loading and trace gases. Overall, our findings suggest that, during post-monsoon season, crop burning smoke plumes and emissions are the main cause of poor air quality, high atmospheric pollution and dense haze/smog, especially in the Indo-Gangetic basin.

  5. Agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goetz, B.; Riss, A.; Zethner, G.

    2001-01-01

    This chapter deals with fertilization techniques, bioenergy from agriculture, environmental aspects of a common agriculture policy in the European Union, bio-agriculture, fruit farming in Austria and with environmental indicators in agriculture. In particular renewable energy sources (bio-diesel, biogas) from agriculture are studied in comparison to fossil fuels and other energy sources. (a.n.)

  6. What happens when crops are turned on? Simulating constitutive volatiles for tritrophic pest suppression across an agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Ian; Lewis, Danny

    2015-01-01

    Herbivore-induced plant volatiles, or HIPVs, are increasingly considered as a biocontrol enhancement tool by constitutively emitting these carnivore-attracting chemicals from agricultural fields. While ample data substantiate the olfactory preference of predators for HIPVs in laboratory environments, little is understood about the consequences of 'turning crops on' in the field. To explore the ramifications for arthropod pest management, a spatially explicit predator-prey population model was constructed that simulated a crop field releasing signals to recruit natural enemies from the surrounding landscape. Field size had an overriding influence on model outcome, both isolated as a single factor and interactively shaping responses to other parameters (e.g. habituation, foraging efficiency). Predator recruitment exponentially declined with increasing field size from nearly double the baseline density in small fields (225 individuals m(-2)) to a mere 4% increase (130 individuals m(-2)) in large fields. Correspondingly, HIPVs enhanced pest consumption in small fields (ca 50% fewer prey), while generating virtually no impact in large fields. Collectively, the model suggests that reducing the perimeter/core area ratio will ultimately constrain the utility of predator retention as a pest control tactic in commercial-sized fields and illustrates potential consequences of the widespread commercialization of this technology in agriculture. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry.

  7. Classification of rare land cover types: Distinguishing annual and perennial crops in an agricultural catchment in South Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogner, Christina; Seo, Bumsuk; Rohner, Dorian; Reineking, Björn

    2018-01-01

    Many environmental data are inherently imbalanced, with some majority land use and land cover types dominating over rare ones. In cultivated ecosystems minority classes are often the target as they might indicate a beginning land use change. Most standard classifiers perform best on a balanced distribution of classes, and fail to detect minority classes. We used the synthetic minority oversampling technique (smote) with Random Forest to classify land cover classes in a small agricultural catchment in South Korea using modis time series. This area faces a major soil erosion problem and policy measures encourage farmers to replace annual by perennial crops to mitigate this issue. Our major goal was therefore to improve the classification performance on annual and perennial crops. We compared four different classification scenarios on original imbalanced and synthetically oversampled balanced data to quantify the effect of smote on classification performance. smote substantially increased the true positive rate of all oversampled minority classes. However, the performance on minor classes remained lower than on the majority class. We attribute this result to a class overlap already present in the original data set that is not resolved by smote. Our results show that resampling algorithms could help to derive more accurate land use and land cover maps from freely available data. These maps can be used to provide information on the distribution of land use classes in heterogeneous agricultural areas and could potentially benefit decision making.

  8. Synergistic analyses of optical and microphysical properties of agricultural crop residue burning aerosols over the Indo-Gangetic Basin (IGB)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Amit Kumar; Shibata, Takashi

    2012-09-01

    Agriculture crop residue burning is one of the important sources of trace gas emissions and aerosol loading over the Indo-Gangetic Basin (IGB). The present study deals with the spatial variability including the vertical structure of optical and microphysical properties of aerosols, during the crop residue burning season (October and November) of 2009 over the IGB. Increased number of fire counts observed by MODIS (MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) that is associated with high aerosol optical depth (MODIS-AOD > 0.7) and enhanced tropospheric columnar NO2 concentrations observed by OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument), suggests agriculture crop residue burning as a main source of aerosol loading over the IGB during October and November. PARASOL (Polarization and Anisotropy of Reflectances for Atmospheric Science coupled with Observations from a Lidar) observations show an increase in fine mode AOD (at 865 nm) from October (0.1-0.2) to November (0.2-0.3) over the IGB, which is well corroborated with MODIS observations. CALIOP (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization) data shows the elevated aerosol plume (4.0-4.5 km) over the north-west IGB (associated with burning activities) that could have been caused by positive buoyancy through pyro-convection. However, large concentrations of aerosol were found below 1.0 km altitude. The averaged vertical structure of crop residue burning aerosols shows an exponential decrease with altitude (mean scale height ˜1.44 ± 0.20 km). Aerosol optical and microphysical properties coupled with backward air trajectories analyses at Kanpur indicated regional transport of biomass burning aerosols in a downwind direction from north-west IGB to south-east IGB. Aerosol classification, using AERONET (AErosol RObotic NETwork)-derived absorption properties coupled with size parameter (2006-2010) showed clear seasonal dependency of aerosol types which revealed the presence of biomass burning aerosols only during the crop

  9. Crop-Cattle Integrated Farming System: An Alternative of Climatic Change Mitigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Munandar

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available An integrated farming system is one of the alternatives for climatic change mitigation. This paper reports the application of corn-cattle based integrated farming system in Agrotechno Park Center of Palembang, and discusses its impact on CO2 fixation and the reduction of methane emissions. The study was based on the data of the first 6 yr from 2003 until 2009. The CO2 fixed in the soil and plants was determined based on the content of organic C which was multiplied by the index of 3.67. The methane gas produced by Balinese cattle and its dung was observed and modified into feed rations. The results showed that soil organic C increased from 40.80 tons C/ha in the 1st yr to 66.40 tons C/ha in the 6th yr. In addition, there was organic C fixation equivalent to 93.95 tons of CO2e. Corn biomass increased from 6.67 tons/ha to 18.66 tons/ha, equivalent to an increase in the fixation of atmospheric CO2e as much as 19.80 tons CO2e/ha. The supplementation of 60%-80% grass fodder with concentrate lowered the concentration of methane gas in cattle breathing by 28.7%, from 617 ppm to 440 ppm, while the methane emissions from cattle manure decreased by 31%, from 1367 mL/head/d to 943 mL/head/d. Installing a bio digester that generates biogas served to accommodate methane gas emissions from cattle dung and used it for bioenergy. Composting reduced the formation of methane gas from cattle manure through a regular process of turning over that gives aeration and forms aerobic condition in the heap of cattle dung. Recycling produces a variety of organic products that store carbon for a longer period of time and slowed the conversion of organic C into CO2. This study showed that the diverse activities of an integrated crop-cattle farming could be an alternative solution to climatic change mitigation.

  10. Probiotics as potential alternative biocontrol agents in the agriculture and food industries: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossain, Md Iqbal; Sadekuzzaman, Mohammad; Ha, Sang-Do

    2017-10-01

    Pathogenic microorganisms are a potential threat to the agriculture and food industries. Food contamination can be happened in the production levels at any point in the chain by pathogenic microorganisms. Conventional methods, such as those involving antibiotics, disinfectants, and physical methods, are commonly used as microbial control strategies. Owing to the limitations of these methods, such as emergence of resistance, low effectiveness, high cost, and detrimental effects on food, health, and the environment, many countries have adopted laws and regulations restricting their use. To overcome these problems, an environmentally friendly, cost-effective alternative approach is urgently needed. Probiotics are live microorganisms that offer health benefits to the host, when consumed in adequate amounts, by providing pathogen protective action and nutritional benefits. From a food microbiological point of view, to use probiotics in animals, there is a reduction of zoonotic pathogens in the gastro-intestinal tract (GIT) among animals which prevent the transmission of these pathogens through food. Therefore, probiotics have been proposed as an alternative antimicrobial means to protect against pathogenic microorganisms for better healthcare and food safety. In this review, we discuss probiotics, their selection criteria, mechanisms of action, and their prospects as alternative biocontrol agents, with special emphasis on the agriculture (livestock and aquaculture sectors), and food industries. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Combustion quality analysis of briquettes from variety of agricultural waste as source of alternative fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suryaningsih, S.; Nurhilal, O.; Yuliah, Y.; Mulyana, C.

    2017-05-01

    The increasing in world population and the industrial sector led to increased demand for energy sources. To do this by utilizing the agricultural waste as a fuel source of alternative energy in the form of bio briquette. The aim at this study was to obtain data onto the characteristics of a wide variety of biomass briquettes from waste agricultural industry. The basic ingredients used are biomass waste from coconut husks, sawdust, rice husks and coffee husks. Each of these biomass residues are dried, crushed, then mixed with starch adhesives. This mixture is molded and dried using sunlight. Each type of briquettes was characterized and analyzed the physical-chemical properties, including calorific value, water content, fixed carbon content and the results were compared with charcoal and coal that was used as fuel in public. The results showed that bio briquettes from coconut husks get the highest calorific value of 4,451 cal/g.

  12. Can agricultural cultivation methods influence the healthfulness of crops for foods?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Maja M; Jørgensen, Henry; Halekoh, Ulrich; Olesen, Jørgen E; Lauridsen, Charlotte

    2012-06-27

    The aim of the current study was to investigate if there are any health effects of long-term consumption of organically grown crops using a rat model. Crops were retrieved over two years from a long-term field trial at three different locations in Denmark, using three different cultivation systems (OA, organic based on livestock manure; OB, organic based on green manure; and C, conventional with mineral fertilizers and pesticides) with two field replicates. The cultivation system had an impact on the nutritional quality, affecting γ-tocopherol, some amino acids, and fatty acid composition. Additionally, the nutritional quality was affected by harvest year and location. However, harvest year and location rather than cultivation system affected the measured health biomarkers. In conclusion, the differences in dietary treatments composed of ingredients from different cultivation systems did not lead to significant differences in the measured health biomarkers, except for a significant difference in plasma IgG levels.

  13. Remote sensing in Iowa agriculture. [land use, crop identification, and soil mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahlstede, J. P. (Principal Investigator); Carlson, R. E.; Fenton, T. E.

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Analysis of 1972 single-date coverage indicated that a complete crop classification was not attainable at the test sites. Good multi-date coverage during 1973 indicates that many of the problems encountered in 1972 will be minimized. In addition, the compilation of springtime imagery covering the entire state of Iowa has added a new dimension to interpretation of Iowa's natural resources. ERTS-1 has provided data necessary to achieve the broad synoptic view not attainable through other means. This should provide soils and crop researchers and land use planners a base map of Iowa. Granted and due to the resolution of ERTS-1, not all details are observable for many land use planning needs, but this gives a general and current view of Iowa.

  14. Nozzle Fuzzy Controller of Agricultural Spraying Robot Aiming Toward Crop Rows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Jianqiang

    A novel nozzle controller of spraying robot aiming toward crop-rows based on fuzzy control theory was studied in this paper to solve the shortcomings of existing nozzle control system, such as the long regulation time, the higher overshoot and so on. The new fuzzy controller mainly consists of fuzzification interface, defuzzification interface, rule-base and inference mechanism. Considering the actual application, the fuzzy controller was designed as a 2-inputs&1-output closed-loop system. The inputs are the distance from nozzle to crop row and its change rate, the output is the control signal to the execution unit. Based on the design project, we selected the FMC chip NLX230, the EMCU chip AT89S52 and the EEPROM chip AT93C57 to make the fuzzy controller. Experimental results show that the project is workable and efficient, it can solve the shortcomings of existing controller perfectly and the control efficiency can be improved greatly.

  15. Rhizo-lysimetry: facilities for the simultaneous study of root behaviour and resource use by agricultural crop and pasture systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eberbach Philip L

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Rhizo-lysimeters offer unique advantages for the study of plants and their interactions with soils. In this paper, an existing facility at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga Australia is described in detail and its potential to conduct both ecophysiological and ecohydrological research in the study of root interactions of agricultural crops and pastures is quantitatively assessed. This is of significance to future crop research efforts in southern Australia, in light of recent significant long-term drought events, as well as potential impacts of climate change as predicted for the region. The rhizo-lysimeter root research facility has recently been expanded to accommodate larger research projects over multiple years and cropping rotations. Results Lucerne, a widely-grown perennial pasture in southern Australia, developed an expansive root system to a depth of 0.9 m over a twelve month period. Its deeper roots particularly at 2.05 m continued to expand for the duration of the experiment. In succeeding experiments, canola, a commonly grown annual crop, developed a more extensive (approximately 300% root system than wheat, but exhibited a slower rate of root elongation at rates of 7.47 x 10–3 m day–1 for canola and 1.04 x10–2 m day–1 for wheat. A time domain reflectometry (TDR network was designed to accurately assess changes in soil water content, and could assess water content change to within 5% of the amount of water applied. Conclusions The rhizo-lysimetry system provided robust estimates of root growth and soil water change under conditions representative of a field setting. This is currently one of a very limited number of global research facilities able to perform experimentation under field conditions and is the largest root research experimental laboratory in the southern hemisphere.

  16. Insights into plant size-density relationships from models and agricultural crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Jianming; Zuo, Wenyun; Wang, Zhiqiang; Fan, Zhexuan; Ji, Mingfei; Wang, Genxuan; Ran, Jinzhi; Zhao, Changming; Liu, Jianquan; Niklas, Karl J; Hammond, Sean T; Brown, James H

    2012-05-29

    There is general agreement that competition for resources results in a tradeoff between plant mass, M, and density, but the mathematical form of the resulting thinning relationship and the mechanisms that generate it are debated. Here, we evaluate two complementary models, one based on the space-filling properties of canopy geometry and the other on the metabolic basis of resource use. For densely packed stands, both models predict that density scales as M(-3/4), energy use as M(0), and total biomass as M(1/4). Compilation and analysis of data from 183 populations of herbaceous crop species, 473 stands of managed tree plantations, and 13 populations of bamboo gave four major results: (i) At low initial planting densities, crops grew at similar rates, did not come into contact, and attained similar mature sizes; (ii) at higher initial densities, crops grew until neighboring plants came into contact, growth ceased as a result of competition for limited resources, and a tradeoff between density and size resulted in critical density scaling as M(-0.78), total resource use as M(-0.02), and total biomass as M(0.22); (iii) these scaling exponents are very close to the predicted values of M(-3/4), M(0), and M(1/4), respectively, and significantly different from the exponents suggested by some earlier studies; and (iv) our data extend previously documented scaling relationships for trees in natural forests to small herbaceous annual crops. These results provide a quantitative, predictive framework with important implications for the basic and applied plant sciences.

  17. Insights into plant size-density relationships from models and agricultural crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Jianming; Zuo, Wenyun; Wang, Zhiqiang; Fan, Zhexuan; Ji, Mingfei; Wang, Genxuan; Ran, Jinzhi; Zhao, Changming; Liu, Jianquan; Niklas, Karl J.; Hammond, Sean T.; Brown, James H.

    2012-01-01

    There is general agreement that competition for resources results in a tradeoff between plant mass, M, and density, but the mathematical form of the resulting thinning relationship and the mechanisms that generate it are debated. Here, we evaluate two complementary models, one based on the space-filling properties of canopy geometry and the other on the metabolic basis of resource use. For densely packed stands, both models predict that density scales as M−3/4, energy use as M0, and total biomass as M1/4. Compilation and analysis of data from 183 populations of herbaceous crop species, 473 stands of managed tree plantations, and 13 populations of bamboo gave four major results: (i) At low initial planting densities, crops grew at similar rates, did not come into contact, and attained similar mature sizes; (ii) at higher initial densities, crops grew until neighboring plants came into contact, growth ceased as a result of competition for limited resources, and a tradeoff between density and size resulted in critical density scaling as M−0.78, total resource use as M−0.02, and total biomass as M0.22; (iii) these scaling exponents are very close to the predicted values of M−3/4, M0, and M1/4, respectively, and significantly different from the exponents suggested by some earlier studies; and (iv) our data extend previously documented scaling relationships for trees in natural forests to small herbaceous annual crops. These results provide a quantitative, predictive framework with important implications for the basic and applied plant sciences. PMID:22586097

  18. Long-term use of cover crops and no-till shift soil microbial community life strategies in agricultural soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radomir Schmidt

    Full Text Available Reducing tillage and growing cover crops, widely recommended practices for boosting soil health, have major impacts on soil communities. Surprisingly little is known about their impacts on soil microbial functional diversity, and especially so in irrigated Mediterranean ecosystems. In long-term experimental plots at the West Side Research and Extension Center in California's Central Valley, we characterized soil microbial communities in the presence or absence of physical disturbance due to tillage, in the presence or absence of cover crops, and at three depths: 0-5, 5-15 and 15-30 cm. This characterization included qPCR for bacterial and archaeal abundances, DNA sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, and phylogenetic estimation of two ecologically important microbial traits (rRNA gene copy number and genome size. Total (bacterial + archaeal diversity was higher in no-till than standard till; diversity increased with depth in no-till but decreased with depth in standard till. Total bacterial numbers were higher in cover cropped plots at all depths, while no-till treatments showed higher numbers in 0-5 cm but lower numbers at lower depths compared to standard tillage. Trait estimates suggested that different farming practices and depths favored distinctly different microbial life strategies. Tillage in the absence of cover crops shifted microbial communities towards fast growing competitors, while no-till shifted them toward slow growing stress tolerators. Across all treatment combinations, increasing depth resulted in a shift towards stress tolerators. Cover crops shifted the communities towards ruderals-organisms with wider metabolic capacities and moderate rates of growth. Overall, our results are consistent with decreasing nutrient availability with soil depth and under no-till treatments, bursts of nutrient availability and niche homogenization under standard tillage, and increases in C supply and variety provided by cover crops. Understanding how

  19. Long-term use of cover crops and no-till shift soil microbial community life strategies in agricultural soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Radomir; Gravuer, Kelly; Bossange, Anne V; Mitchell, Jeffrey; Scow, Kate

    2018-01-01

    Reducing tillage and growing cover crops, widely recommended practices for boosting soil health, have major impacts on soil communities. Surprisingly little is known about their impacts on soil microbial functional diversity, and especially so in irrigated Mediterranean ecosystems. In long-term experimental plots at the West Side Research and Extension Center in California's Central Valley, we characterized soil microbial communities in the presence or absence of physical disturbance due to tillage, in the presence or absence of cover crops, and at three depths: 0-5, 5-15 and 15-30 cm. This characterization included qPCR for bacterial and archaeal abundances, DNA sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, and phylogenetic estimation of two ecologically important microbial traits (rRNA gene copy number and genome size). Total (bacterial + archaeal) diversity was higher in no-till than standard till; diversity increased with depth in no-till but decreased with depth in standard till. Total bacterial numbers were higher in cover cropped plots at all depths, while no-till treatments showed higher numbers in 0-5 cm but lower numbers at lower depths compared to standard tillage. Trait estimates suggested that different farming practices and depths favored distinctly different microbial life strategies. Tillage in the absence of cover crops shifted microbial communities towards fast growing competitors, while no-till shifted them toward slow growing stress tolerators. Across all treatment combinations, increasing depth resulted in a shift towards stress tolerators. Cover crops shifted the communities towards ruderals-organisms with wider metabolic capacities and moderate rates of growth. Overall, our results are consistent with decreasing nutrient availability with soil depth and under no-till treatments, bursts of nutrient availability and niche homogenization under standard tillage, and increases in C supply and variety provided by cover crops. Understanding how agricultural

  20. Natural radioactivity, dose assessment and uranium uptake by agricultural crops at Khan Al-Zabeeb, Jordan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Kharouf, Samer J; Al-Hamarneh, Ibrahim F; Dababneh, Munir

    2008-07-01

    Khan Al-Zabeeb, an irrigated cultivated area lies above a superficial uranium deposits, is regularly used to produce vegetables and fruits consumed by the public. Both soil and plant samples collected from the study area were investigated for their natural radioactivity to determine the uranium uptake by crops and hence to estimate the effective dose equivalent to human consumption. Concentrations of (238)U, (235)U, (232)Th, (226)Ra, (222)Rn, (137)Cs and (40)K in nine soil profiles were measured by gamma-ray spectrometry whereas watermelon and zucchini crops were analyzed for their uranium content by means of alpha spectrometry after radiochemical separation. Correlations between measured radionuclides were made and their activity ratios were determined to evaluate their geochemical behavior in the soil profiles. Calculated soil-plant transfer factors indicate that the green parts (leaves, stems and roots) of the studied crops tend to accumulate uranium about two orders of magnitude higher than the fruits. The maximum dose from ingestion of 1 kg of watermelon pulp was estimated to be 3.1 and 4.7 nSv y(-1) for (238)U and (234)U, respectively. Estimations of the annual effective dose equivalent due to external exposure showed extremely low values. Radium equivalent activity and external hazard index were seen to exceed the permissible limits of 370 Bq kg(-1) and 1, respectively.

  1. Natural radioactivity, dose assessment and uranium uptake by agricultural crops at Khan Al-Zabeeb, Jordan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al-Kharouf, Samer J. [Royal Scientific Society, Amman 11941 (Jordan); Al-Hamarneh, Ibrahim F. [Prince Abdullah Bin Ghazi Faculty of Science and IT, Al-Balqa Applied University (BAU), Salt 19117 (Jordan)], E-mail: hamarnehibrahim@yahoo.com; Dababneh, Munir [Prince Abdullah Bin Ghazi Faculty of Science and IT, Al-Balqa Applied University (BAU), Salt 19117 (Jordan)

    2008-07-15

    Khan Al-Zabeeb, an irrigated cultivated area lies above a superficial uranium deposits, is regularly used to produce vegetables and fruits consumed by the public. Both soil and plant samples collected from the study area were investigated for their natural radioactivity to determine the uranium uptake by crops and hence to estimate the effective dose equivalent to human consumption. Concentrations of {sup 238}U, {sup 235}U, {sup 232}Th, {sup 226}Ra, {sup 222}Rn, {sup 137}Cs and {sup 40}K in nine soil profiles were measured by gamma-ray spectrometry whereas watermelon and zucchini crops were analyzed for their uranium content by means of alpha spectrometry after radiochemical separation. Correlations between measured radionuclides were made and their activity ratios were determined to evaluate their geochemical behavior in the soil profiles. Calculated soil-plant transfer factors indicate that the green parts (leaves, stems and roots) of the studied crops tend to accumulate uranium about two orders of magnitude higher than the fruits. The maximum dose from ingestion of 1 kg of watermelon pulp was estimated to be 3.1 and 4.7 nSv y{sup -1} for {sup 238}U and {sup 234}U, respectively. Estimations of the annual effective dose equivalent due to external exposure showed extremely low values. Radium equivalent activity and external hazard index were seen to exceed the permissible limits of 370 Bq kg{sup -1} and 1, respectively.

  2. Natural radioactivity, dose assessment and uranium uptake by agricultural crops at Khan Al-Zabeeb, Jordan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Kharouf, Samer J.; Al-Hamarneh, Ibrahim F.; Dababneh, Munir

    2008-01-01

    Khan Al-Zabeeb, an irrigated cultivated area lies above a superficial uranium deposits, is regularly used to produce vegetables and fruits consumed by the public. Both soil and plant samples collected from the study area were investigated for their natural radioactivity to determine the uranium uptake by crops and hence to estimate the effective dose equivalent to human consumption. Concentrations of 238 U, 235 U, 232 Th, 226 Ra, 222 Rn, 137 Cs and 40 K in nine soil profiles were measured by gamma-ray spectrometry whereas watermelon and zucchini crops were analyzed for their uranium content by means of alpha spectrometry after radiochemical separation. Correlations between measured radionuclides were made and their activity ratios were determined to evaluate their geochemical behavior in the soil profiles. Calculated soil-plant transfer factors indicate that the green parts (leaves, stems and roots) of the studied crops tend to accumulate uranium about two orders of magnitude higher than the fruits. The maximum dose from ingestion of 1 kg of watermelon pulp was estimated to be 3.1 and 4.7 nSv y -1 for 238 U and 234 U, respectively. Estimations of the annual effective dose equivalent due to external exposure showed extremely low values. Radium equivalent activity and external hazard index were seen to exceed the permissible limits of 370 Bq kg -1 and 1, respectively

  3. Microwave vegetation indexes for detecting biomass and water conditions of agricultural crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paloscia, S.; Pampaloni, P.

    1992-01-01

    Experimental and theoretical investigations have shown that microwave emission from canopies depends on crop type and physical conditions. However, since the sensitivity of the brightness temperature to vegetation parameters is rather low, accurate observations and suitable models are necessary to extract geophysical parameters from radiometer data. The most significant results, obtained over the past years on the basis of measurements carried out with passive microwave sensors at 10 GHz and 36 GHz, are summarized in this paper. The relations between the microwave vegetation indexes and plant biophysical parameters are discussed, using a simple slab model that considers vegetation as a uniform absorbing and scattering medium upon the soil surface. It is shown that simultaneous observations at 10 GHz and 36 GHz, in V and H polarizations, especially if combined with thermal infrared measurements, are useful in separating different crops and in identifying moisture conditions of the surfaces. The difference (δTN), between the normalized temperatures at 36 GHz and 10 GHz, and the polarization index (PI) at 10 GHz are functions of biomass and can be related to the leaf area index of some crops

  4. From ozone depletion to agriculture: understanding the role of UV radiation in sustainable crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wargent, Jason J; Jordan, Brian R

    2013-03-01

    Largely because of concerns regarding global climate change, there is a burgeoning interest in the application of fundamental scientific knowledge in order to better exploit environmental cues in the achievement of desirable endpoints in crop production. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is an energetic driver of a diverse range of plant responses and, despite historical concerns regarding the damaging consequences of UV-B radiation for global plant productivity as related to stratospheric ozone depletion, current developments representative of a range of organizational scales suggest that key plant responses to UV-B radiation may be exploitable in the context of a sustainable contribution towards the strengthening of global crop production, including alterations in secondary metabolism, enhanced photoprotection, up-regulation of the antioxidative response and modified resistance to pest and disease attack. Here, we discuss the prospect of this paradigm shift in photobiology, and consider the linkages between fundamental plant biology and crop-level outcomes that can be applied to the plant UV-B response, in addition to the consequences for related biota and many other facets of agro-ecosystem processes. © 2013 The Author. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

  5. Carbon stocks quantification in agricultural systems employing succession and rotation of crops in Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Michele K. C.; Marinho, Mara de A.; Denardin, José E.; Zullo, Jurandir, Jr.; Paz-González, Antonio

    2013-04-01

    Soil and vegetation constitute respectively the third and the fourth terrestrial reservoirs of Carbon (C) on Earth. C sequestration in these reservoirs includes the capture of the CO2 from the atmosphere by photosynthesis and its storage as organic C. Consequently, changes in land use and agricultural practices affect directly the emissions of the greenhouse gases and the C sequestration. Several studies have already demonstrated that conservation agriculture, and particularly zero tillage (ZT), has a positive effect on soil C sequestration. The Brazilian federal program ABC (Agriculture of Low Carbon Emission) was conceived to promote agricultural production with environmental protection and represents an instrument to achieve voluntary targets to mitigate emissions or NAMAS (National Appropriated Mitigation Actions). With financial resources of about US 1.0 billion until 2020 the ABC Program has a target of expand ZT in 8 million hectares of land, with reduction of 16 to 20 million of CO2eq. Our objective was to quantify the C stocks in soil, plants and litter of representative grain crops systems under ZT in Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Two treatments of a long term experimental essay (> 20 years) were evaluated: 1) Crop succession with wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)/soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merril); 2) Crop rotation with wheat/soybean (1st year), vetch (Vicia sativa L.)/soybean (2nd year), and white oat (Avena sativa L.)/sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) (3rd year). C quantification in plants and in litter was performed using the direct method of biomass quantification. The soil type evaluated was a Humic Rhodic Hapludox, and C quantification was executed employing the method referred by "C mass by unit area". Results showed that soybean plants under crop succession presented greater C stock (4.31MgC ha-1) comparing with soybean plants cultivated under crop rotation (3.59 MgC ha-1). For wheat, however, greater C stock was quantified in plants under rotation

  6. Evaluation of Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce) with SWOT Analysis as an Alternative Network Marketing at Agricultural Marketing

    OpenAIRE

    Nuray Kızılaslan; Tayfur Ünal

    2015-01-01

    Compulsory competition occurring in the world trade has led the enterprises to different marketing system. Marketing problems seems to be a problem in Turkey rather than agricultural production problems. In this aspect, marketing alternatives are sought. E-commerce is a system with more opportunities in agricultural marketing. Increasing the applicability of this system in Turkey will eliminate many problems associated with marketing in agriculture. With an active use of E-commerce in agricul...

  7. Planning and costing agriculture's adaptation to climate change in the salinity-prone cropping system of Bangladesh

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mainuddin, Khandaker; Rahman, Aminur; Islam, Nazria; Quasem, Saad

    2011-10-15

    This study aims to investigate adaptation requirements and their cost implications in the context of coastal agriculture in Bangladesh. Work shows that the various stakeholders in Bangladesh are aware of climate change and its adverse impacts on agricultural production, and are therefore currently trying to embed adaptation into policy and long-term planning documents. The study also indicates that extension workers are active in promoting technological advances for adaptive practices. Research agencies in Bangladesh are also up to date and in the process of developing methods and varieties for climate change adaptation. Many of the existing adaptive varieties and farming techniques were developed by local research agencies. The claims of institutional stakeholders have been supported by local farmers, who already practise adaptation measures through using saline-resistant crops, better farming techniques, and different forms of irrigation. Farmers and stakeholders unanimously agree on the urgent need to excavate canals to resist salinity. The cost of using adaptive varieties is similar to that of traditional rice varieties, which makes the use of adaptive varieties an imperative for the future. Another point emphasised by the stakeholders and farmers is the need for training. In order to achieve benchmarks for adaptation in the coastal zone, capacity building for agricultural staff and farmers has to be simultaneously improved. Furthermore, additional funding needs to be allocated to the relevant stakeholder institutions so that adaptation measures can be effectively implemented and scaled up further.

  8. Low Energy Technology. A Unit of Instruction in Florida Agriculture. Crop Protection with Integrated Pest Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florida Univ., Gainesville. Inst. of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

    This unit of instruction on integrated pest management was designed for use by agribusiness and natural resources teachers in Florida high schools and by agricultural extension agents as they work with adults and students. It is one of a series of 11 instructional units (see note) written to help teachers and agents to educate their students and…

  9. Genetically modified crops and sustainable agriculture: A proposed way forward in the societal debate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lotz, L.A.P.; Wiel, van de C.C.M.; Smulders, M.J.M.

    2014-01-01

    A global challenge for the coming decades is to feed the world in a sustainable way. This will require major steps forward across the food production chain, including plant breeding, farming practices, and storage and logistics. Sustainable agriculture requires the implementation of agro-ecological

  10. Do Smallholder, Mixed Crop-Livestock Livelihoods Encourage Sustainable Agricultural Practices? A Meta-Analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rudel, Thomas K.; Kwon, Oh-Jung; Paul, B.K.

    2016-01-01

    As calls for bolstering ecosystem services from croplands have grown more insistent during the past two decades, the search for ways to foster these agriculture-sustaining services has become more urgent. In this context we examine by means of a meta-analysis the argument, proposed by Robert McC.

  11. Control of an Autonomous Vehicle for Registration of Weed and Crop in Precision Agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kirsten Mølgaard; Andersen, Palle; Pedersen, Tom Søndergaard

    2002-01-01

    The paper describes the development of an autonomous electrical vehicle to be used for weed mapping in precision agriculture with special focus on the conceptual framework of the control system. The lowest layer of the control system is the propulsion and steering control, the second layer...

  12. Using satellite remote sensing and hydrologic modeling to improve understanding of crop management and agricultural water use at regional to global scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmon, Jessica Meghan

    Croplands are essential to human welfare. In the coming decades, croplands will experience substantial stress from climate change, population growth, changing diets, urban expansion, and increased demand for biofuels. Food security in many parts of the world therefore requires informed crop management and adaptation strategies. In this dissertation, I explore two key dimensions of crop management with significant potential to improve adaptation pathways: irrigation and crop calendars. Irrigation, which is widely used to boost crop yields, is a key strategy for adapting to changes in drought frequency and duration. However, irrigation competes with household, industrial, and environmental needs for freshwater resources. Accurate information regarding irrigation patterns is therefore required to develop strategies that reduce unsustainable water use. To address this need, I fused information from remote sensing, climate datasets, and crop inventories to develop a new global database of rain-fed, irrigated, and paddy croplands. This database describes global agricultural water management with good realism and at higher spatial resolution than existing maps. Crop calendar management helps farmers to limit crop damage from heat and moisture stress. However, global crop calendar information currently lacks spatial and temporal detail. In the second part of my dissertation I used remote sensing to characterize global cropping patterns annually, from 2001-2010, at 0.08 degree spatial resolution. Comparison of this new dataset with existing sources of crop calendar data indicates that remote sensing is able to correct substantial deficiencies in available data sources. More importantly, the database provides previously unavailable information related to year-to-year variability in cropping patterns. Asia, home to roughly one half of the Earth's population, is expected to experience significant food insecurity in coming decades. In the final part of my dissertation, I used a

  13. Caesium-137 root uptake by agricultural and wild crops in post-Chernobyl landscape: the possibilities for phytoremediation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paramonova, Tatiana; Shamshurina, Eugenia; Komissarova, Olga; Belyaev, Vladimir

    2015-04-01

    In spite of long term period after Chernobyl fallout (≈25 years after the accident) the level of Cs-137 in soils of contaminated landscapes remains several times more than radiation safety standard (= 37 kBq/m2). In particular, within the area of Plavsk radioactive hot spot (Tula region, Russia) current Cs-137 activities in soil are 460-500 Bq/kg (170-200 kBq/m2) on watershed, 580-680 Bq/kg (200-220 kBq/m2) in arable lower parts of slopes and 620-710 Bq/kg (210-280 kBq/m2) in untilled foots of slopes and river floodplains. To estimate the process of Cs-137 root uptake and incorporation of the radionuclide in plant tissues 6 agricultural crops of typical field rotation (spring barley, maize, summer rape, galega, potatoes, amaranth) as well as natural ecosystems of dry and wet meadows were selected for the detailed study. Total bioproductivity of agricultural crops varies between 1.7-3.9 kg/m2, natural grass ecosystems - 1.9-2.2 g/m2, and is obviously unaffected by radioactive land contamination. At the same time Cs-137 activity in total biomass slightly increases with Cs-137 activity in soil (correlation coefficient r=0.45) and with total biomass (correlation coefficient r=0.51) in the row: rape (5 Bq/kg) cereals that are true accumulators of Cs-137 seem to be useless for phytoremediation purposes, as 86-97% of the radionuclide inventory is associated with roots and remains in soil after cutting of aboveground parts. On the other hand, galega and amaranth could be considered as agricultural crops potentially being used for phytoremediation, since 87-93% of Cs-137 inventory is located in shoots. Potatoes having rather high aboveground biomass and easily removed from soil underground part could be also used for phytoremediation. However, it should be clearly understood that in total Cs-137 inventory in "soil-plant" system the annual amount of the radionuclide's consumption (that may be alienated when harvesting) is less than 0.01%, while the rate of Cs-137

  14. Diversity within the entomopathogenic fungal species Metarhizium flavoviride associated with agricultural crops in Denmark.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keyser, Chad A; De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Steinwender, Bernhardt M; Meyling, Nicolai V

    2015-10-30

    Knowledge of the natural occurrence and community structure of entomopathogenic fungi is important to understand their ecological role. Species of the genus Metarhizium are widespread in soils and have recently been reported to associate with plant roots, but the species M. flavoviride has so far received little attention and intra-specific diversity among isolate collections has never been assessed. In the present study M. flavoviride was found to be abundant among Metarhizium spp. isolates obtained from roots and root-associated soil of winter wheat, winter oilseed rape and neighboring uncultivated pastures at three geographically separated locations in Denmark. The objective was therefore to evaluate molecular diversity and resolve the potential population structure of M. flavoviride. Of the 132 Metarhizium isolates obtained, morphological data and DNA sequencing revealed that 118 belonged to M. flavoviride, 13 to M. brunneum and one to M. majus. Further characterization of intraspecific variability within M. flavoviride was done by using amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP) to evaluate diversity and potential crop and/or locality associations. A high level of diversity among the M. flavoviride isolates was observed, indicating that the isolates were not of the same clonal origin, and that certain haplotypes were shared with M. flavoviride isolates from other countries. However, no population structure in the form of significant haplotype groupings or habitat associations could be determined among the 118 analyzed M. flavoviride isolates. This study represents the first in-depth analysis of the molecular diversity within a large isolate collection of the species M. flavoviride. The AFLP analysis confirmed a high level of intra-specific diversity within the species and lack of apparent association patterns with crop or location indicates limited ecological specialization. The relatively infrequent isolation of M. flavoviride directly from crop roots

  15. Alternative U.S. biofuel mandates and global GHG emissions: The role of land use change, crop management and yield growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mosnier, A.; Havlík, P.; Valin, H.; Baker, J.; Murray, B.; Feng, S.; Obersteiner, M.; McCarl, B.A.; Rose, S.K.; Schneider, U.A.

    2013-01-01

    We investigate the impacts of the U.S. renewable fuel standard (RFS2) and several alternative biofuel policy designs on global GHG emissions from land use change and agriculture over the 2010–2030 horizon. Analysis of the scenarios relies on GLOBIOM, a global, multi-sectoral economic model based on a detailed representation of land use. Our results reveal that RFS2 would substantially increase the portion of agricultural land needed for biofuel feedstock production. U.S. exports of most agricultural products would decrease as long as the biofuel target would increase leading to higher land conversion and nitrogen use globally. In fact, higher levels of the mandate mean lower net emissions within the U.S. but when the emissions from the rest of the world are considered, the US biofuel policy results in almost no change on GHG emissions for the RFS2 level and higher global GHG emissions for higher levels of the mandate or higher share of conventional corn-ethanol in the mandate. Finally, we show that if the projected crop productivity would be lower globally, the imbalance between domestic U.S. GHG savings and additional GHG emissions in the rest of the world would increase, thus deteriorating the net global impact of U.S. biofuel policies. - Highlights: ► We model the impact of the U.S. renewable fuel standard (RFS2). ► RFS2 would require more agricultural land and nitrogen globally. ► Increasing the mandates reduce GHG emissions within the U.S. ► Increasing the mandates increase GHG emissions in the rest of the world. ► Total GHG emissions increase with higher levels of mandate; higher share of corn-ethanol; lower productivity growth

  16. Impact of paper mill effluent on growth and development of certain agricultural crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medhi, U J; Talukdar, A K; Deka, S

    2011-03-01

    The physico-chemical characteristics of paper mill industry effluent were measured and some were found to be above the permissible limits prescribed by Indian irrigation water standard. A study was conducted in pots to investigate the effects of different concentrations (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 100%) of paper mill effluent on growth and production of rice, mustard and peafor three years. The study reveals that the paper mill effluent has deleterious effect on the growth of crop at higher concentrations. However, at lower concentration (viz. 10 to 40% in rice, 10 to 50% in mustard and 10 to 60% in pea) of effluent, beneficial impact on general welfare of the crops was noticed. Growth and development was increased with increasing the concentration of the effluent up to 30% in rice, 40% in mustard and 50% in pea. Investigation showed that the growth and production of rice, mustard and pea was found maximum at a concentration of 30, 40 and 50% effluent respectively.

  17. Feeding behavior and crop damage caused by capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) in an agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felix, G A; Almeida Paz, I C L; Piovezan, U; Garcia, R G; Lima, K A O; Nääs, I A; Salgado, D D; Pilecco, M; Belloni, M

    2014-11-01

    This study aimed to assess the yield loss caused by capybaras in rural areas of Dourados-MS, their feeding periods, crop preferences and the landscape characteristics of farms that may affect the occurrence of capybara's herds. Semi-structured interviews in 24 different farms were done during a period between April 2010 and August 2011. Field observations were held at different times of the day, and also during the night in order to record peaks of the feeding behavior in six farms. Direct counting of capybaras along with the group of animals reported as seen by the farmers during the interviews was used to estimate the size of herds. Data was analyzed using the Principal Components Analyses and the Analytic Hierarchy Process. The average number of capybaras found in a regular herd was 18.8 ± 7.90 animals. The average number of capybara herd by farms was of 1.38 ± 0.92 while the average number of capybaras by farms was 32.33 ± 27.87. Capybaras selected rice (Oryza sativa) when it was available (14.5% of devastation in 1.18% of total planted area); however, the most eaten crop was corn (Zea mays) with 38.55% of loss rate in 16.17% of the total planted area. Capybaras ate mostly in the evening and during the night. The availability of water resources in the rural area predisposed the occurrence of capybara's herds.

  18. Assessments of carbon and water cycling in multiple agricultural ecosystems in the Inland Pacific Northwest using eddy covariance flux measurements and integrated basin-crop model simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chi, J.; Maureira, F.; Waldo, S.; O'Keeffe, P.; Pressley, S. N.; Stockle, C. O.; Lamb, B. K.

    2014-12-01

    Local meteorology, crop management practices and site characteristics have important impacts on carbon and water cycling in agricultural ecosystems. This study focuses on carbon and water fluxes measured using eddy covariance (EC) methods and crop simulation models in the Inland Pacific Northwest (IPNW), in association with the Regional Approaches to Climate Change (REACCH) program. The agricultural ecosystem is currently challenged by higher pressure on water resources as a consequence of population growth and increasing exposure to impacts associated with different types of crop managements. In addition, future climate projections for this region show a likely increase in temperature and significant reductions in precipitation that will affect carbon and water dynamics. This new scenario requires an understanding of crop management by assessing efficient ways to face the impacts of climate change at the micrometeorological level, especially in regards to carbon and water flow. We focus on three different crop management sites. One site (LIND) under crop-fallow is situated in a low-rainfall area. The other two sites, one no-till site (CAF-NT) and one conventional tillage site (CAF-CT), are located in an area of high-rainfall with continuous cropping. In this study, we used CropSyst micro-basin model to simulate the responses in carbon and water budgets at each site. Based on the EC processed results for net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2, the CAF-NT site was a carbon sink during 2013 when spring garbanzo was planted; while the paired CAF-CT site, under similar crop rotation and meteorological conditions, was a carbon source during the same period. The LIND site was also a carbon sink where winter wheat was growing during 2013. Model results for CAF-NT showed good agreement with the EC carbon and water flux measurements during 2013. Through comparisons between measurements and modeling results, both short and long term processes that influence carbon and water

  19. NABIC marker database: A molecular markers information network of agricultural crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Chang-Kug; Seol, Young-Joo; Lee, Dong-Jun; Jeong, In-Seon; Yoon, Ung-Han; Lee, Gang-Seob; Hahn, Jang-Ho; Park, Dong-Suk

    2013-01-01

    In 2013, National Agricultural Biotechnology Information Center (NABIC) reconstructs a molecular marker database for useful genetic resources. The web-based marker database consists of three major functional categories: map viewer, RSN marker and gene annotation. It provides 7250 marker locations, 3301 RSN marker property, 3280 molecular marker annotation information in agricultural plants. The individual molecular marker provides information such as marker name, expressed sequence tag number, gene definition and general marker information. This updated marker-based database provides useful information through a user-friendly web interface that assisted in tracing any new structures of the chromosomes and gene positional functions using specific molecular markers. The database is available for free at http://nabic.rda.go.kr/gere/rice/molecularMarkers/

  20. Exposure of agricultural crops to nanoparticle CeO2in biochar-amended soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Servin, Alia D; De la Torre-Roche, Roberto; Castillo-Michel, Hiram; Pagano, Luca; Hawthorne, Joseph; Musante, Craig; Pignatello, Joseph; Uchimiya, Minori; White, Jason C

    2017-01-01

    Biochar is seeing increased usage as an amendment in agricultural soils but the significance of nanoscale interactions between this additive and engineered nanoparticles (ENP) remains unknown. Corn, lettuce, soybean and zucchini were grown for 28 d in two different soils (agricultural, residential) amended with 0-2000 mg engineered nanoparticle (ENP) CeO 2  kg -1 and biochar (350 °C or 600 °C) at application rates of 0-5% (w/w). At harvest, plants were analyzed for biomass, Ce content, chlorophyll and lipid peroxidation. Biomass from the four species grown in residential soil varied with species and biochar type. However, biomass in the agricultural soil amended with biochar 600 °C was largely unaffected. Biochar co-exposure had minimal impact on Ce accumulation, with reduced or increased Ce content occurring at the highest (5%) biochar level. Soil-specific and biochar-specific effects on Ce accumulation were observed in the four species. For example, zucchini grown in agricultural soil with 2000 mg CeO 2  kg -1 and 350 °C biochar (0.5-5%) accumulated greater Ce than the control. However, for the 600 °C biochar, the opposite effect was evident, with decreased Ce content as biochar increased. A principal component analysis showed that biochar type accounted for 56-99% of the variance in chlorophyll and lipid peroxidation across the plants. SEM and μ-XRF showed Ce association with specific biochar and soil components, while μ-XANES analysis confirmed that after 28 d in soil, the Ce remained largely as CeO 2 . The current study demonstrates that biochar synthesis conditions significantly impact interactions with ENP, with subsequent effects on particle fate and effects. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  1. Principles of crop modeling and simulation: I. uses of mathematical models in agricultural science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dourado-Neto D.

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available Modeling techniques applied to agriculture can be useful to define research priorities and understanding the basic interactions of the soil-plant-atmosphere system. Using a model to estimate the importance and the effect of certain parameters, a researcher can notice which factors can be most useful. The modeler should define his objectives before beginning his work and construct a model that fulfills the proposed objectives.

  2. Genetic engineering in agriculture and corporate engineering in public debate: risk, public relations, and public debate over genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Rajeev; Torres, Robert J; Rosset, Peter

    2005-01-01

    Corporations have long influenced environmental and occupational health in agriculture, doing a great deal of damage, making substantial profits, and shaping public debate to make it appear that environmental misfortunes are accidents of an otherwise well-functioning system, rather than systemic. The debate over the genetically modified (GM) crops is an example. The largest producer of commercial GM seeds, Monsanto, exemplifies the industry's strategies: the invocation of poor people as beneficiaries, characterization of opposition as technophobic or anti-progress, and portrayal of their products as environmentally beneficial in the absence of or despite the evidence. This strategy is endemic to contemporary market capitalism, with its incentives to companies to externalize health and environmental costs to increase profits.

  3. Diversified Farming Systems: An Agroecological, Systems-based Alternative to Modern Industrial Agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Kremen

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This Special Issue on Diversified Farming Systems is motivated by a desire to understand how agriculture designed according to whole systems, agroecological principles can contribute to creating a more sustainable, socially just, and secure global food system. We first define Diversified Farming Systems (DFS as farming practices and landscapes that intentionally include functional biodiversity at multiple spatial and/or temporal scales in order to maintain ecosystem services that provide critical inputs to agriculture, such as soil fertility, pest and disease control, water use efficiency, and pollination. We explore to what extent DFS overlap or are differentiated from existing concepts such as sustainable, multifunctional, organic or ecoagriculture. DFS are components of social-ecological systems that depend on certain combinations of traditional and contemporary knowledge, cultures, practices, and governance structures. Further, as ecosystem services are generated and regenerated within a DFS, the resulting social benefits in turn support the maintenance of the DFS, enhancing its ability to provision these services sustainably. We explore how social institutions, particularly alternative agri-food networks and agrarian movements, may serve to promote DFS approaches, but note that such networks and movements have other primary goals and are not always explicitly connected to the environmental and agroecological concerns embodied within the DFS concept. We examine global trends in agriculture to investigate to what extent industrialized forms of agriculture are replacing former DFS, assess the current and potential contributions of DFS to food security, food sovereignty and the global food supply, and determine where and under what circumstances DFS are expanding rather than contracting.

  4. Organic farming and cover crops as an alternative to mineral fertilizers to improve soil physical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez de Cima, Diego; Luik, Anne; Reintam, Endla

    2015-10-01

    For testing how cover crops and different fertilization managements affect the soil physical properties in a plough based tillage system, a five-year crop rotation experiment (field pea, white potato, common barley undersown with red clover, red clover, and winter wheat) was set. The rotation was managed under four different farming systems: two conventional: with and without mineral fertilizers and two organic, both with winter cover crops (later ploughed and used as green manure) and one where cattle manure was added yearly. The measurements conducted were penetration resistance, soil water content, porosity, water permeability, and organic carbon. Yearly variations were linked to the number of tillage operations, and a cumulative effect of soil organic carbon in the soil as a result of the different fertilization amendments, organic or mineral. All the systems showed similar tendencies along the three years of study and differences were only found between the control and the other systems. Mineral fertilizers enhanced the overall physical soil conditions due to the higher yield in the system. In the organic systems, cover crops and cattle manure did not have a significant effect on soil physical properties in comparison with the conventional ones, which were kept bare during the winter period. The extra organic matter boosted the positive effect of crop rotation, but the higher number of tillage operations in both organic systems counteracted this effect to a greater or lesser extent.

  5. Is the possibility of replacing seed dressings containing neonicotinoids with other means of protection viable in major Polish agricultural crops?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matyjaszczyk Ewa

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Following the limitations regarding the use of the neonicotinoids: clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid there are no currently available insecticide seed dressings for oilseed rape in Poland. For maize here is only one seed dressing containing methiocarb available with a very narrow registered scope of use. The impact of limitations on protection possibilities of other major Polish agricultural crops is either negligible or non-existent. In consequence a group of economically important insect pests of maize [dungbeetles (Melolonthidae; click beetles (Elateridae; noctuid moths (Agrotinae] and oilseed rape [leaf miners (Agromyzidae, turnip sawfly (Athalia colibri Christ., cabbage weevils (Curculionidae, cabbage root fly (Hylemyia brassicae Bche., diamond-back moth (Plutella maculipennis Curt.] is left without any legal possibility of chemical control. For the other important pests of the early growth stage of oilseed rape development, there are only pyrethroids available together with one product containing chloropiryfos that can be applied once per vegetation season. Since both maize and oilseed rape are grown in Poland on the area of approximately 1 million ha (each crop, this situation raises concerns about production possibilities as well as development of pest resistance.

  6. Cyanobacterial toxins: modes of actions, fate in aquatic and soil ecosystems, phytotoxicity and bioaccumulation in agricultural crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbel, Sylvain; Mougin, Christian; Bouaïcha, Noureddine

    2014-02-01

    The occurrence of harmful cyanobacterial blooms in surface waters is often accompanied by the production of a variety of cyanotoxins. These toxins are designed to target in humans and animals specific organs on which they act: hepatotoxins (liver), neurotoxins (nervous system), cytotoxic alkaloids, and dermatotoxins (skin), but they often have important side effects too. When introduced into the soil ecosystem by spray irrigation of crops they may affect the same molecular pathways in plants having identical or similar target organs, tissues, cells or biomolecules. There are also several indications that terrestrial plants, including food crop plants, can bioaccumulate cyanotoxins and present, therefore, potential health hazards for human and animals. The number of publications concerned with phytotoxic effects of cyanotoxins on agricultural plants has increased recently. In this review, we first examine different cyanotoxins and their modes of actions in humans and mammals and occurrence of target biomolecules in vegetable organisms. Then we present environmental concentrations of cyanotoxins in freshwaters and their fate in aquatic and soil ecosystems. Finally, we highlight bioaccumulation of cyanotoxins in plants used for feed and food and its consequences on animals and human health. Overall, our review shows that the information on the effects of cyanotoxins on non-target organisms in the terrestrial environment is particularly scarce, and that there are still serious gaps in the knowledge about the fate in the soil ecosystems and phytotoxicity of these toxins. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Arsenic contamination in irrigation water, agricultural soil and maize crop from an abandoned smelter site in Matehuala, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruíz-Huerta, Esther Aurora; de la Garza Varela, Alonso; Gómez-Bernal, Juan Miguel; Castillo, Francisco; Avalos-Borja, Miguel; SenGupta, Bhaskar; Martínez-Villegas, Nadia

    2017-10-05

    Mobility of Arsenic (As) from metallurgical wastes in Matehuala, Mexico has been accounted for ultra-high concentration of As in water (4.8-158mg/L) that is used for recreational purposes as well as cultivation of maize. In this study, we (i) measured As concentrations in soils irrigated with this water, (ii) investigated the geochemical controls of available As, and (iii) measured bioaccumulation of As in maize. Water, soil, and maize plant samples were collected from 3 different plots to determine As in environmental matrices as well as water soluble As in soils. Soil mineralogy was determined by X-ray diffraction analysis. Bioaccumulation of As in maize plants was estimated from the bioconcentration and translocation factors. We recorded As built-up in agricultural soils to the extent of 172mg/kg, and noted that this As is highly soluble in water (30% on average). Maize crops presented high bioaccumulation, up to 2.5 times of bioconcentration and 45% of translocation. Furthermore, we found that water extractable As was higher in soils rich in calcite, while it was lower in soils containing high levels of gypsum, but As bioconcentration showed opposite trend. Results from this study show that irrigation with As rich water represents a significant risk to the population consuming contaminated crops. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Striga infestation of cereal crops - an unsolved problem in resource limited agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholes, Julie D; Press, Malcolm C

    2008-04-01

    The parasitic weed Striga causes devastating losses in cereal yields in sub-Saharan Africa. The parasite lifecycle is intimately linked with its host via a complex interchange of signals. Understanding the molecular basis of these interactions and of host resistance to Striga is essential for the identification of genes for improving crop yield via biotechnological or marker assisted breeding strategies. Cloning and sequencing of ESTs from the 'model' parasite Triphysaria versicolor is facilitating the identification of parasitism genes. The identification of resistance to Striga in sorghum and rice germplasm is allowing molecular dissection of these traits using genomic platforms and quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis. QTL underlying different resistance phenotypes have been identified and the use of advanced backcross populations is allowing the exploitation of sources of resistance in wild relatives of cereals.

  9. Importance and condition of forage crops seed production in agriculture of the Republic of Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Đokić Dragoslav

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available For contemporary and economical livestock production, especially cattle and sheep raising, it is necessary to achieve high production of livestock feed while reducing production costs. Improving the production of perennial grasses and legumes creates a good basis for the development of livestock production in different agro-ecological conditions of Serbia. It also establishes a link between farming and animal husbandry, which is of particular importance for the preservation and higher fertility of arable land and the protection of agro-ecosystems. An important factor for the cheaper production of livestock feed is the possibility to provide sufficient quantities of quality seeds at affordable prices. Production of quality seeds of local varieties of perennial legumes is possible to obtain sufficient amounts of good quality forage. Current situation in forage crop seed production of the Republic of Serbia is unsatisfactory because the seed of perennial grasses are mostly imported. Domestic production of alfalfa, red clover and birdsfoot trefoil met domestic needs only in some years. Seed of imported varieties are often not satisfactory because those varieties are not adapted to our local agro-ecological conditions. The present results provide the basis and direction for further researches that may provide solutions to increase seed yields and which will be widely accepted in practice, which will make the production more cost-effective. Institute for forage crops Kruševac is making a significant contribution to the development of technology of seed productions, especially alfalfa, red clover and perennial grasses. Therefore the role of the Institute is very important and necessary link between production, processing and trading seeds of perennial legumes and grasses in Serbia.

  10. Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    The EPA Agriculture Resource Directory offers comprehensive, easy-to-understand information about environmental stewardship on farms and ranches; commonsense, flexible approaches that are both environmentally protective and agriculturally sound.

  11. Migration of radionuclides in the soil-crop-food product system and assessment of agricultural countermeasures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bogdevitch, I.; Ageyets, V.

    1996-01-01

    Studies on dynamics of redistribution of radionuclides through of profile of the different soils on uncultivated agricultural lands of Belarus during the 1986-1995 period show that vertical migration occurs with low rate. In arable soils the radionuclides are distributed in comparatively uniform way through the whole depth of the 25-30 cm cultivated layer. Investigations on migration of radionuclides with wind erosion on the drained series of wet sandy and peat soils and water erosion on sloping lands show that one should take into consideration the secondary contamination of soils while forecasting a possible accumulation of radionuclides in farm products

  12. Control of an Autonomous Vehicle for Registration of Weed and Crop in Precision Agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kirsten Mølgaard; Andersen, Palle; Pedersen, Tom Søndergaard

    2002-01-01

    The paper describes the development of an autonomous electrical vehicle to be used for weed mapping in precision agriculture with special focus on the conceptual framework of the control system. The lowest layer of the control system is the propulsion and steering control, the second layer...... coordinates the movements of the wheel units, the third layer is path execution and perception and the upper layer performs planning and reasoning. The control system is implemented on an autonomous vehicle. The vehicle has been tested for path following and position accuracy. Based on the results a new...... vehicle is under construction....

  13. Food crop production, nutrient availability, and nutrient intakes in Bangladesh: exploring the agriculture-nutrition nexus with the 2010 Household Income and Expenditure Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiedler, John L

    2014-12-01

    Systematic collection of national agricultural data has been neglected in many low- and middle-income countries for the past 20 years. Commonly conducted nationally representative household surveys collect substantial quantities of highly underutilized food crop production data. To demonstrate the potential usefulness of commonly available household survey databases for analyzing the agriculture-nutrition nexus. Using household data from the 2010 Bangladesh Household Income and Expenditure Survey, the role and significance of crop selection, area planted, yield, nutrient production, and the disposition of 34 food crops in affecting the adequacy of farming households' nutrient availability and nutrient intake status are explored. The adequacy of each farming household's available energy, vitamin A, calcium, iron, and zinc and households' apparent intakes and intake adequacies are estimated. Each household's total apparent nutrient intake adequacies are estimated, taking into account the amount of each crop that households consume from their own production, together with food purchased or obtained from other sources. Even though rice contains relatively small amounts of micronutrients, has relatively low nutrient density, and is a relatively poor source of nutrients compared with what other crops can produce on a given tract of land, because so much rice is produced in Bangladesh, it is the source of 90% of the total available energy, 85% of the zinc, 67% of the calcium, and 55% of the iron produced by the agricultural sector. The domination of agriculture and diet by rice is a major constraint to improving nutrition in Bangladesh. Simple examples of how minor changes in the five most common cropping patterns could improve farming households' nutritional status are provided. Household surveys' agricultural modules can provide a useful tool for better understanding national nutrient production realities and possibilities.

  14. Can Impacts of Climate Change and Agricultural Adaptation Strategies Be Accurately Quantified if Crop Models Are Annually Re-Initialized?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basso, Bruno; Hyndman, David W; Kendall, Anthony D; Grace, Peter R; Robertson, G Philip

    2015-01-01

    Estimates of climate change impacts on global food production are generally based on statistical or process-based models. Process-based models can provide robust predictions of agricultural yield responses to changing climate and management. However, applications of these models often suffer from bias due to the common practice of re-initializing soil conditions to the same state for each year of the forecast period. If simulations neglect to include year-to-year changes in initial soil conditions and water content related to agronomic management, adaptation and mitigation strategies designed to maintain stable yields under climate change cannot be properly evaluated. We apply a process-based crop system model that avoids re-initialization bias to demonstrate the importance of simulating both year-to-year and cumulative changes in pre-season soil carbon, nutrient, and water availability. Results are contrasted with simulations using annual re-initialization, and differences are striking. We then demonstrate the potential for the most likely adaptation strategy to offset climate change impacts on yields using continuous simulations through the end of the 21st century. Simulations that annually re-initialize pre-season soil carbon and water contents introduce an inappropriate yield bias that obscures the potential for agricultural management to ameliorate the deleterious effects of rising temperatures and greater rainfall variability.

  15. Soil, Water, and Greenhouse-gas Impacts of Alternative Biomass Cropping Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulte Moore, L. A.; Bach, E.; Cambardella, C.; Hargreaves, S.; Helmers, M.; Hofmockel, K.; Isenhart, T.; Kolka, R. K.; Ontl, T.; Welsh, W.; Williams, R.; Landscape Biomass Team

    2010-12-01

    Through the 2008 Energy Independence and Security Act and other state and federal mandates, the U.S. is embarking on an aggressive agenda to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. While grain-derived ethanol will be used to largely meet initial renewable fuels targets, advanced biofuels derived from lignocellulosic materials are expected to comprise a growing proportion of the renewable energy portfolio and provide a more sustainable solution. As part of our interdisciplinary research, we are assessing the environmental impacts of four lignocellulosic biomass cropping systems and comparing them to a conventional corn cropping system. This comparison is conducted using a randomized, replicated experiment initiated in fall 2008, which compares the five cropping systems across a toposequence (i.e., floodplain, toeslope, backslope, shoulder, summit). In addition to assessing herbaceous and woody biomass yields, we are evaluating the environmental performance of these systems through changes in water quality, greenhouse-gas emissions, and carbon pools. Initial results document baseline soil parameters, including the capacity of the soils to sequester carbon across the toposequence, and the impacts of landscape heterogeneity and cropping system on soil moisture and nitrate-nitrogen levels in the vadose zone. Additional results on greenhouse-gas emissions and carbon dynamics are forthcoming from this year’s field research. The fuller understanding of the environmental performance of these systems will help inform federal and state policies seeking to incentivize the development of a sustainable bioenergy industry.

  16. Rolled cotton mulch as an alternative mulching material for transplanted cucurbit crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) mulch is commonly used in transplanted vegetable crop production in the southeastern U. S. Cantaloupe and watermelon growers use a system of hybrid transplants, grown on narrow LDPE mulch-covered seedbeds with overhead irrigation, and use the mulch cover for only one...

  17. Balance sheet method assessment for nitrogen fertilization in winter wheat: II. alternative strategies using the CropSyst simulation model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Corbellini

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available It is important, both for farmer profit and for the environment, to correctly dose fertilizer nitrogen (N for winter wheat growth. Balance-sheet methods are often used to calculate the recommended dose of N fertilizer. Other methods are based on the dynamic simulation of cropping systems. Aim of the work was to evaluate the balance-sheet method set up by the Region Emilia-Romagna (DPI, by comparing it with the cropping systems simulation model CropSyst (CS, and with an approach based on fixed supplies of N (T. A 3-year trial was structured as a series of N fertility regimes at 3 sites (Papiano di Marsciano, Ravenna, San Pancrazio. The N-regimes were generated at each site-year as separate trials in which 3 N rates were applied: N1 (DPI, N2 (DPI+50 kg ha-1 N at spike initiation, N3 (DPI + 50 kg ha-1 N at early booting. Above ground biomass and soil data (NO3-N and water were sampled and used to calibrate CS. Doses of fertilizer N were calculated by both DPI and CS for winter wheat included in three typical rotations for Central and Northern Italy. Both these methods and method T were simulated at each site over 50 years, by using daily generated weather data. The long-term simulation allowed evaluating such alternative fertilization strategies. DPI and CS estimated comparable crop yields and N leached amounts, and both resulted better than T. Minor risk of leaching emerged for all N doses. The N2 and N3 rates allowed slightly higher crop yields than N1.

  18. Selenium concentrations of common weeds and agricultural crops grown in the seleniferous soils of northwestern India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhillon, Karaj S; Dhillon, Surjit K

    2009-12-01

    The plants grown in seleniferous soils constitute a major source of toxic selenium levels in the food chain of animals and human beings. Greenhouse and field experiments were conducted to study selenium concentrations of weeds, forages and cereals grown on seleniferous soils located between 31.0417 degrees to 31.2175 degrees N and 76.1363 degrees to 76.4147 degrees E in northwestern India. Eleven winter season (November-April) weed plants were grown in the greenhouse in a soil treated with different levels of selenate-Se. Selenium concentrations of weed plants increased progressively with the levels of selenate-Se in soil. The highest Se concentration was recorded by Silene gallica (246 mgkg(-1)) and the lowest by Avena ludoviciana (47 mgkg(-1)) at 2.5 mg Sekg(-1) soil. A.ludoviciana and Spergula arvensis proved highly tolerant to the presence of 1.25 and 2.5 mg selenate-Sekg(-1) soil and the remaining weeds were sensitive to Se. Dry matter yield of Se-sensitive weed plants was 25 to 62% of the yield in the no-Se control at 1.25mg selenate-Sekg(-1) and 6 to 40% at 2.5mg selenate-Sekg(-1) soil. Other symptoms like change in leaf colour and size, burning of leaf tips and margins, and delayed flowering were also observed due to Se. Dry matter yield of Se-sensitive weed plants expressed as percentage of yield in the no-Se control at both the Se levels was inversely correlated with their Se content (r=-0.731, pcrops grown on a naturally contaminated soil in the greenhouse, Se concentrations were the highest for oilseed crops (19-29 mgkg(-1)), followed by legumes (6-13 mgkg(-1)) and cereals (2-18 mgkg(-1)). Helianthus annuus among the oilseed crops, A.ludoviciana among the winter season weeds, M.longifolia among the summer season (May-October) weeds and Cirsium arvense among the perennial weeds can be used for phytoremediation of seleniferous soils as these accumulate the highest amounts of Se.

  19. Biomass pyrolysis: use of some agricultural wastes for alternative fuel production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kimura, Lygia Maestri; Santos, Larissa Cardoso; Vieira, Paula Fraga; Parreira, Priciane Martins; Henrique, Humberto Molinar

    2009-01-01

    The use of biomass for energy generation has aroused great attention and interest because of the global climate changes, environmental pollution and reduction of availability of fossil energy. This study deals with pyrolysis of four agricultural wastes (sawdust, sugarcane straw, chicken litter and cashew nut shell) in a fixed bed pyrolytic reactor. The yields of char, liquid and gas were quantified at 300, 400, 500, 600 and 700 deg C and the temperature and pressure effects were investigated. Pyrolytic liquids produced were separated into aqueous and oil phases. XRF spectroscopy was used for qualitative and quantitative elemental analysis of the liquids and solids produced at whole temperature range. Calorific value analysis of liquids and solids were also performed for energy content evaluation. Experimental results showed sawdust, sugarcane straw and cashew nut waste have very good potential for using in pyrolysis process for alternative fuel production. (author)

  20. Bayer CropScience model village project: Contributions to agricultural suppliers’ competitiveness and human development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regina Moczadlo

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Bayer CropScience is carrying out a Model Village Project (MVP in rural India as part of their supply chain management and their corporate social responsibility activities. The MVP includes actions related to future business cases and higher competitiveness as well as philanthropic activities. The preparation of future business case actions aims at creating prerequisites for win-win-situations. In the long run, these prerequisites, such as long-term business relations with suppliers based on trust from both sides, can lead to a higher competitiveness of the whole supply chain and simultaneously improve human development. The impacts on the latter are evaluated using the capability approach (CA developed by Amartya Sen (2000, c1999. The case of the MVP indicates the potential of companies to contribute to human development on a strategic win-win basis. Actions have to be distinguished based on the living and financial conditions different supplier groups face. In the future, the MVP aims at assessing whether and how MNCs may be able to combine competitive enhancement with human development, provided that potential corporate risks for the villagers’ human development are also taken into account.

  1. You can’t eat your mulch and have it too : cropping system design and tradeoffs around biomass use for Conservation Agriculture in Cameroon and Madagascar

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Naudin, K.

    2012-01-01

    Conservation agriculture is defined by three main principles: minimum soil   disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotations. CA is promoted as a   promising technology for Africa, but to date, only a small area under CA fully   complies with the above three

  2. You can’t eat your mulch and have it too : cropping system design and tradeoffs around biomass use for Conservation Agriculture in Cameroon and Madagascar

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Naudin, K.

    2012-01-01

    Conservation agriculture is defined by three main principles: minimum soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotations. CA is promoted as a promising technology for Africa, but to date, only a small area under CA fully complies with the above three principles. CA has both short and long

  3. Energy efficiency procedures for agricultural machinery used in onion cultivation (Allium fistulosum) as an alternative to reduce carbon emissions under the clean development mechanism at Aquitania (Colombia)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ochoa, K; Carrillo, S; Gutierrez, L

    2014-01-01

    Climate change has both causes and consequences over agriculture. This paper focuses on the first element and presents scenarios for ASOLAGO -an onion cropper's association in Colombia with 250 members- to reduce their carbon footprint. It evaluates a case study at ''La Primavera'' farm using a methodology approved by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Land preparation and crop irrigation were analyzed as stages in order to propose energy efficiency alternatives for both the farm and the association. They include field efficiency, fuel economy and energy efficiency from biofuels for the first stage as well as solar and wind energy supply for the second. A cost-benefit analysis to generate additional income selling additional power produced by the system to the National Grid was done

  4. Energy efficiency procedures for agricultural machinery used in onion cultivation (Allium fistulosum) as an alternative to reduce carbon emissions under the clean development mechanism at Aquitania (Colombia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochoa, K.; Carrillo, S.; Gutierrez, L.

    2014-06-01

    Climate change has both causes and consequences over agriculture. This paper focuses on the first element and presents scenarios for ASOLAGO -an onion cropper's association in Colombia with 250 members- to reduce their carbon footprint. It evaluates a case study at "La Primavera" farm using a methodology approved by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Land preparation and crop irrigation were analyzed as stages in order to propose energy efficiency alternatives for both the farm and the association. They include field efficiency, fuel economy and energy efficiency from biofuels for the first stage as well as solar and wind energy supply for the second. A cost-benefit analysis to generate additional income selling additional power produced by the system to the National Grid was done.

  5. Effects of double cropped on yield and biomass accumulation of cover crops in Kansas

    OpenAIRE

    Roozeboom, K.; Mahama, G.Y.; Mengel, D.B.; Prasad, P.V. Vara

    2013-01-01

    Metadata only record The contribution of nitrogen (N) by cover crops is an important component of sustainable agriculture and alternative source of N. Legume summer and winter cover crops can decrease inorganic N fertilizer requirements and production costs through symbiotic N2 fixation. It is also vital to make maximum use of the available land during the growing season. However, summer crop yields may be decreased due to shortened length of growing season and risk of water shortage. The ...

  6. PRACT (Prototyping Rotation and Association with Cover crop and no Till) - a tool for designing conservation agriculture systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Naudin, K.; Husson, M.O.; Scopel, E.; Auzoux, S.; Giller, K.E.

    2015-01-01

    Moving to more agroecological cropping systems implies deep changes in the organization of cropping systems. We propose a method for formalizing the process of innovating cropping system prototype design using a tool called PRACT (Prototyping Rotation and Association with Cover crop and no Till)

  7. Identifying crop specific signals for global agricultural monitoring based on the stability of daily multi-angular MODIS reflectance time series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duveiller, G.; Lopez-Lozano, R.

    2013-12-01

    Global agricultural monitoring requires satellite Earth Observation systems that maximize the observation revisit frequency over the largest possible geographical coverage. Such compromise has thus far resulted in using a spatial resolution that is often coarser than desired. As a consequence, for many agricultural landscapes across the world, crop status can only be inferred from a mixed signal of the landscape (with a pixel size typically close to 1 km), composed of reflectance from neighbouring fields with potentially different crops, variable phenological behaviours and distinct management practices. MODIS has been providing, since 2000, a higher spatial resolution (~250m) that is closer to the size of individual fields in many agro-ecological landscapes. However, the challenge for operational crop specific monitoring remains to identify in time where a given crop has been sown during the current growing season. An innovative use of MODIS daily data is proposed for crop identification based on the stability of the multi-angular signal. MODIS is a whiskbroom sensor with a large swath. For any given place, consecutive MODIS observations are made with considerably different viewing angles according to the daily change in orbit. Consequently, the footprint of the observation varies considerably, thereby sampling the vicinity around the centre of the grid cell in which the time series is ultimately recorded in. If the consecutive observations that have sampled the vicinity provide similar NDVI values (for which BRDF effects are reduced), the resulting temporal signal is relatively stable. This stability indicated that the signal comes from a spatially homogeneous surface, such as a single large field covered by the same crop with similar agro-management practices. If the resulting temporal signal is noisy, it is probable that the consecutive daily observations have sampled different land uses, thus contaminating the signal. Such time series can therefore be

  8. Challenges and Alternatives to Sustainable Management of Agriculture and Pastoral Ecosystems in Asian Drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, J.

    2015-12-01

    There is no question that human must produce additional 70% food to feed the new 2.2 billion of people on the planet by 2050, but the question is where to grow the additional food. The demand for the additional food lies not only in producing the basic resources needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle, but also from a changing diet, especially in rapidly developing countries in the dryland regions around the world. It is forecast that this demand for meat will require an additional 0.2 billion tons per year by 2050, which is almost a doubling of present meat consumption. These new demands create mounting pressures on agriculture and pastoral ecosystems and the reported trajectory of warmer and drier climate in the future increases uncertainties in food security, adding further stresses to the already stressed nations in the Asian dryland belt. Different approaches are being either proposed or practiced in the region but the question is whether or not the current practices are sustainable or optimal in addressing the emerging issues. Given the complexity and interplay among the food, water and energy, what are alternatives to ensure a sustainable trajectory of regional development to meet the new food demand? This presentation reviews existing practices and proposes alternative solutions, by specifically examining the trade-offs between different ecosystem services that drylands in Asian may provide. Preliminary analysis suggested that the current trajectory of meat and milk production is likely not on a sustainable pathway.

  9. Assessment of potential health risk for inhabitants living near a former lead smelter. Part 1: metal concentrations in soils, agricultural crops, and homegrown vegetables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douay, Francis; Pelfrêne, Aurélie; Planque, Julie; Fourrier, Hervé; Richard, Antoine; Roussel, Hélène; Girondelot, Bertrand

    2013-05-01

    Soil contamination by metals engenders important environmental and health problems in northern France where a smelter (Metaleurop Nord) was in activity for more than a century. This study aims to look at the long-term effects of the smelter after its closedown by combining data on the degree of soil contamination and the quality of the crops grown (agricultural crops and homegrown vegetables) in these soils for a better assessment of the local population's exposure to Cd, Pb, and Zn. Seven years after the Metaleurop Nord closedown, (1) the agricultural and urban topsoils were strongly contaminated by Cd, Pb, and Zn; (2) the kitchen garden topsoils were even more polluted than the agricultural soils, with great variability in metal concentrations within the gardens studied; (3) a high proportion of the agricultural crops for foodstuffs did not conform with the European legislation; (4) for feedstuffs, most samples did not exceed the Cd and Pb legislation limits, indicating that feedstuffs may be an opportunity for most agricultural produce; and (5) a high proportion of the vegetables produced in the kitchen gardens did not conform with the European foodstuff legislation. The high contamination level of the soils studied continues to be a risk for the environment and the population's health. A further investigation (part 2) assesses the associated potential health risk for local inhabitants through consumption of homegrown vegetables and ingestion of soil particles by estimating the site-specific human health assessment criteria for Cd and Pb.

  10. Remote Sensing Based Detection of Crop Phenology for Agricultural Zones in China Using a New Threshold Method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taifeng Dong

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, the use of high temporal resolution satellite data has been emerging as an important tool to study crop phenology. Most methods to detect phenological events based on satellite data use thresholds to identify key events in the lifecycle of the crop. In this study, a new method was used to define such thresholds for identifying the start and end of the growing season (SOS/EOS for 43 different agricultural zones in China. The method used 2000–2003 NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR satellite data with a spatial resolution of eight kilometers and a temporal resolution of 15 days. Following data pre-processing, time series for the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI or N, slope of the NDVI curve (S, and difference (D between the NDVI value and a base NDVI value for bare land without snow were constructed. For each zone, an optimal set of threshold values for N, D, and S was determined, based on the remote sensing data and observed SOS/EOS data for 2003 at 261 agro-meteorological stations. Results were verified by comparing the accuracy of the new proposed NDS threshold method with the results of three other methods for SOS/EOS detection with remote sensing data. The findings of all four methods were compared to in situ SOS/EOS data from 2000 to 2002 for 110 agro-meteorological stations. Results show that the developed NDS threshold method had a significantly higher accuracy compared with other methods. The method is mainly limited by the observed data and the necessity of reestablishing the thresholds periodically.

  11. Fate of Carbofuran and Interaction with Agricultural Chemicals in a Soil-Crop-Water System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koeppe, M.; Lichtenstein, E.P.

    1981-01-01

    Full text: The fate, movement, and metabolism of 14 C-(ring)-carbofuran and its interaction with agricultural chemicals was studied in a soil-corn-water system. Movement of carbofuran through soils occurred under both percolating and non-percolating conditions. Under percolating conditions 49.13% of applied 14 C leached through the soil into the aquaria. Thus, less 14 C-residues were recovered from percolated soils than from nonpercolated soils, 25.85 and 57.90% of applied C, respectively. The control corn contained more than twice as much 14 C-residues as the corn grown under percolating conditions, 22.16 and 10.78% of applied C, respectively. 14 C-(ring)-carbofuran residues added to aquaria containing a layer of lake mud rapidly disappeared from the water and the majority became bound to the lake mud or was metabolized by the Elodea plants to water-soluble or bound 14 C-residues. After 3 weeks incubation 14 C-residues associated with the water, lake mud, Elodea plants and guppies were 2.14, 19.17, 3.65, and 0.19% of applied 14 C, respectively. Initially, the percolated water containing 14 C-residues was toxic to both guppies and Aedes aegypti Linnaeus larvae. However, guppies and Aedes larvae introduced after 9 days incubation survived for the remainder of the experiment. This indicated that toxic 14 C-residues had either degraded to non-toxic compounds or were no longer associated with the water. (author)

  12. Agro-ecological aspects when applying the remaining products from agricultural biogas processes as fertilizer in crop production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bermejo Dominguez, Gabriela

    2012-06-11

    With the increase of biogas production in recent years, the amount of digestates or the remaining residues increased accordingly. Every year in Germany more than 50 million tons of digestates are produced, which are used as fertilizer. Thus nutrients return into the circulation of agricultural ecosystems. However, the agro-ecological effects have not been deeply researched until now. For this reason, the following parameters were quantified: the influence of dry and liquid fermentation products on the yield of three selected crops in comparison to or in combination with mineral-N-fertilizers in on-farm experiments; the growth, development and yield of two selected crops in comparison to mineral-N-fertilizer, liquid manure and farmyard manure in a randomized complete block design; selected soil organisms as compared to mineral-N-fertilizer, liquid manure and farmyard manure in a randomized complete block design. In addition, the mineralization of dry and wet digestates in comparison with liquid manure and farmyard manure was investigated in order to evaluate the effects of different fertilizers on the humus formation under controlled conditions. The 2-year results of on-farm experiments showed that for a sandy soil, the combination of digestates in autumn and mineral-N-fertilizer in spring for winter crops (wheat, rye and rape) brought the highest yields. The wet digestate achieved the highest dry-matter yield as the only fertilizer for maize in spring. In a clayey soil, the use of 150 kg ha{sup -1} N mineral-N-fertilizer brought the highest grain yield. These results were similar to the ones obtained by the application of dry digestates, if they were applied in two doses. Maize showed no signif-icant differences between the dry-matter yields of the different treatments. The results in the field experiments from 2009 to 2011 showed that the effect of digestates on the yield of winter wheat and Sorghum sudanense was up to 15 % lower than the effect of the mineral

  13. Soil salinity: Germination tolerance of alternative oilseed crops for soil health

    Science.gov (United States)

    World-wide, saline soils contribute to over US$27.3 billion in agricultural losses annually by reducing plant growth through osmotic imbalances and ion toxicity. Nearly 800,000 ha of salt affected land is located in the northern Great Plains. Limited information is available on the germination of al...

  14. Nutrient uptake by agricultural crops from biochar-amended soils: results from two field experiments in Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karer, Jasmin; Zehetner, Franz; Kloss, Stefanie; Wimmer, Bernhard; Soja, Gerhard

    2013-04-01

    The use of biochar as soil amendment is considered as a promising agricultural soil management technique, combining carbon sequestration and soil fertility improvements. These expectations are largely founded on positive experiences with biochar applications to impoverished or degraded tropical soils. The validity of these results for soils in temperate climates needs confirmation from field experiments with typical soils representative for intensive agricultural production areas. Frequently biochar is mixed with other organic additives like compost. As these two materials interact with each other and each one may vary considerably in its basic characteristics, it is difficult to attribute the effects of the combined additive to one of its components and to a specific physico-chemical parameter. Therefore investigations of the amendment efficacy require the study of the pure components to characterize their specific behavior in soil. This is especially important for adsorption behavior of biochar for macro- and micronutrients because in soil there are multiple nutrient sinks that compete with plant roots for vital elements. Therefore this contribution presents results from a field amendment study with pure biochar that had the objective to characterize the macro- and microelement uptake of crops from different soils in two typical Austrian areas of agricultural production. At two locations in North and South-East Austria, two identical field experiments on different soils (Chernozem and Cambisol) were installed in 2011 with varying biochar additions (0, 30 and 90 t/ha) and two nitrogen levels. The biochar was a product from slow pyrolysis of wood (SC Romchar SRL). During the installation of the experiments, the biochar fraction of <2 mm was mixed with surface soil to a depth of 15 cm in plots of 33 m2 each (n=4). Barley (at the Chernozem soil) and maize (at the Cambisol) were cultivated according to standard agricultural practices. The highest crop yields at both

  15. A global analysis of alternative tillage and crop establishment practices for economically and environmentally efficient rice production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborty, Debashis; Ladha, Jagdish Kumar; Rana, Dharamvir Singh; Jat, Mangi Lal; Gathala, Mahesh Kumar; Yadav, Sudhir; Rao, Adusumilli Narayana; Ramesha, Mugadoli S; Raman, Anitha

    2017-08-24

    Alternative tillage and rice establishment options should aim at less water and labor to produce similar or improved yields compared with traditional puddled-transplanted rice cultivation. The relative performance of these practices in terms of yield, water input, and economics varies across rice-growing regions. A global meta and mixed model analysis was performed, using a dataset involving 323 on-station and 9 on-farm studies (a total of 3878 paired data), to evaluate the yield, water input, greenhouse gas emissions, and cost and net return with five major tillage/crop establishment options. Shifting from transplanting to direct-seeding was advantageous but the change from conventional to zero or reduced tillage reduced yields. Direct-seeded rice under wet tillage was the best alternative with yield advantages of 1.3-4.7% (p Direct-seeding under zero tillage was another potential alternative with high savings in water input and cost of cultivation, with no yield penalty. The alternative practices reduced methane emissions but increased nitrous oxide emissions. Soil texture plays a key role in relative yield advantages, and therefore refinement of the practice to suit a specific agro-ecosystem is needed.

  16. The potential of standards-based agriculture biology as an alternative to traditional biology in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sellu, George Sahr

    schools. Thoron & Meyer (2011) suggested that research into the contribution of integrated science courses toward higher test scores yielded mixed results. This finding may have been due in part to the fact that integrated science courses only incorporate select topics into agriculture education courses. In California, however, agriculture educators have developed standards-based courses such as Agriculture Biology (AgBio) that cover the same content standards as core traditional courses such as traditional biology. Students in both AgBio and traditional biology take the same standardized biology test. This is the first time there has been an opportunity for a fair comparison and a uniform metric for an agriscience course such as AgBio to be directly compared to traditional biology. This study will examine whether there are differences between AgBio and traditional biology with regard to standardized test scores in biology. Furthermore, the study examines differences in perception between teachers and students regarding teaching and learning activities associated with higher achievement in science. The findings of the study could provide a basis for presenting AgBio as a potential alternative to traditional biology. The findings of this study suggest that there are no differences between AgBio and traditional biology students with regard to standardized biology test scores. Additionally, the findings indicate that co-curricular activities in AgBio could contribute higher student achievement in biology. However, further research is required to identify specific activities in AgBio that contribute to higher achievement in science.

  17. Exploring the effects of nitrogen fertilization management alternatives on nitrate loss and crop yields in tile-drained fields in Illinois.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Hanseok; Bhattarai, Rabin

    2018-05-01

    It is vital to manage the excessive use of nitrogen (N) fertilizer in corn production, the single largest consumer of N fertilizer in the United States, in order to achieve more sustainable agroecosystems. This study comprehensively explored the effects of N fertilization alternatives on nitrate loss and crop yields using the Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM) in tile-drained fields in central Illinois. The RZWQM was tested for the prediction of tile flow, nitrate loss, and crop yields using eight years (1993-2000) of observed data and showed satisfactory model performances from statistical and graphical evaluations. Our model simulations demonstrated the maximum return to nitrogen (MRTN) rate (193 kgha -1 ), a newly advised N recommendation by the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (INLRS), can be further reduced. Nitrate loss was reduced by 10.3% and 29.8%, but corn yields decreased by 0.3% and 1.9% at 156 and 150 kgha -1 of N fertilizer rate in the study sites A and E, respectively. Although adjustment of N fertilization timing presented a further reduction in nitrate loss, there was no optimal timing to ensure nitrate loss reduction and corn productivity. For site A, 100% spring application was the most productive and 40% fall, 10% pre-plant, and 50% side dress application generated the lowest nitrate loss. For site E, the conventional N application timing was verified as the best practice in both corn production and nitrate loss reduction. Compared to surface broadcast placement, injected N fertilizer in spring increased corn yield, but may also escalate nitrate loss. This study presented the need of an adaptive N fertilizer management due to the heterogeneity in agricultural systems, and raised the importance of timing and placement of N fertilizer, as well as further reduction in fertilizer rate to devise a better in-field N management practice. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. The application of agricultural land rating and crop models to CO2 and climate change issues in Northern regions: the Mackenzie Basin case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. BRKLACICH

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The Mackenzie Basin in northwestern Canada covers approximately 1.8 million km2 and extends from 52°N to 70°N. Much of the Basin is currently too cool and remote from markets to support a viable agricultural sector, but the southern portion of the Basin has the physical potential to support commercial agriculture. This case study employed agricultural land rating and crop models to estimate the degree to which a CO2-induced global warming might alter the physical potential for commercial agriculture throughout the Basin. The two climate change scenarios considered in this analysis would relax the current constraints imposed by a short and cool frost-free season, but without adaptive measures, drier conditions and accelerated crop development rates were estimated to offset potential gains stemming from elevated CO2 levels and warmer temperatures. In addition to striving for a better understanding of the extent to which physical constraints on agriculture might be modified by climate change, there is a need to expand the research context and to consider the capacity of agriculture to adapt to altered climates.;

  19. Spatial and temporal contrasts in the distribution of crops and pastures across Amazonia: A new agricultural land use data set from census data since 1950

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imbach, P.; Manrow, M.; Barona, E.; Barretto, A.; Hyman, G.; Ciais, P.

    2015-06-01

    Amazonia holds the largest continuous area of tropical forests with intense land use change dynamics inducing water, carbon, and energy feedbacks with regional and global impacts. Much of our knowledge of land use change in Amazonia comes from studies of the Brazilian Amazon, which accounts for two thirds of the region. Amazonia outside of Brazil has received less attention because of the difficulty of acquiring consistent data across countries. We present here an agricultural statistics database of the entire Amazonia region, with a harmonized description of crops and pastures in geospatial format, based on administrative boundary data at the municipality level. The spatial coverage includes countries within Amazonia and spans censuses and surveys from 1950 to 2012. Harmonized crop and pasture types are explored by grouping annual and perennial cropping systems, C3 and C4 photosynthetic pathways, planted and natural pastures, and main crops. Our analysis examined the spatial pattern of ratios between classes of the groups and their correlation with the agricultural extent of crops and pastures within administrative units of the Amazon, by country, and census/survey dates. Significant correlations were found between all ratios and the fraction of agricultural lands of each administrative unit, with the exception of planted to natural pastures ratio and pasture lands extent. Brazil and Peru in most cases have significant correlations for all ratios analyzed even for specific census and survey dates. Results suggested improvements, and potential applications of the database for carbon, water, climate, and land use change studies are discussed. The database presented here provides an Amazon-wide improved data set on agricultural dynamics with expanded temporal and spatial coverage.

  20. Development of a technique of the rapid analysis for forecasting of possible radionuclides accumulation in the harvest of agricultural crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yadgarov, Kh.T.; Pugachev, V.V.; Kim, A.A.

    2005-01-01

    One of the main ways of pollution of plants by radionuclides is the receipt of radionuclides in plants from ground through root system and direct uptake of radionuclides by underground parts of plants. Therefore receipt of radioisotopes in rhizosphere of plants plays the main role in radionuclides accumulation in the plants. For plants cultivation in conditions of radioactive pollution of region it is necessary to estimate the value of possible radionuclides accumulation in a harvest of plants. Such forecasts are necessary at planning of growing of agricultural crops for the food, forage or technical purposes depending on a degree of their pollution by radionuclides. We investigated correlation between the content of strontium - 90 in plants in early phases of their development (20 days time) and in a harvest of plants at a soil way of radionuclide receipt. Our results of study of dependence of strontium - 90 accumulation in a harvest from its content in 20 days time sprouts show, that with reduction of the content of strontium - 90 in 20 days time sprouts, its quantity in a harvest of agriculture cultures is reduced. The correlation analysis of the received data has confirmed positive connection between accumulation of radionuclide in young and adult plants. So, correlation coefficients for a cotton, wheat and barley are 0,89; 0,91 and 0,91 correspondingly. Thus, the direct connection between the contents of strontium - 90 in plants of young age and its accumulation in a harvest of adult plants is established. It enables to predict pollution of' harvest by strontium - 90 under its contents in young plants. Using the received data, with the help of the least- squares method, we have calculated coefficients of the regression equation of a kind: y = a + bx, Where: y - the predicted contents of radionuclide in the harvest; x - the content of radionuclide in 20 days time sprouts; a, b - the empirical coefficients. Rather good coincidence of theoretical calculations and

  1. Integrating High Resolution Water Footprint and GIS for Promoting Water Efficiency in the Agricultural Sector: A Case Study of Plantation Crops in the Jordan Valley.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shtull-Trauring, Eliav; Aviani, Ido; Avisar, Dror; Bernstein, Nirit

    2016-01-01

    Addressing the global challenges to water security requires a better understanding of humanity's use of water, especially the agricultural sector that accounts for 70% of global withdrawals. This study combined high resolution-data with a GIS system to analyze the impact of agricultural practices, crop type, and spatial factors such as drainage basins, climate, and soil type on the Water Footprint (WF) of agricultural crops. The area of the study, the northern Lower Jordan Valley, covers 1121 ha in which three main plantation crops are grown: banana (cultivated in open-fields or net-houses), avocado and palm-dates. High-resolution data sources included GIS layers of the cultivated crops and a drainage pipe-system installed in the study area; meteorological data (2000-2013); and crop parameters (yield and irrigation recommendations). First, the study compared the WF of the different crops on the basis of yield and energy produced as well as a comparison to global values and local irrigation recommendations. The results showed that net-house banana has the lowest WF based on all different criteria. However, while palm-dates showed the highest WF for the yield criteria, it had the second lowest WF for energy produced, emphasizing the importance of using multiple parameters for low and high yield crop comparisons. Next, the regional WF of each drainage basin in the study area was calculated, demonstrating the strong influence of the Gray WF, an indication of the amount of freshwater required for pollution assimilation. Finally, the benefits of integrating GIS and WF were demonstrated by computing the effect of adopting net-house cultivation throughout the area of study with a result a reduction of 1.3 MCM irrigation water per year. Integrating the WF methodology and local high-resolution data using GIS can therefore promote and help quantify the benefits of adopting site-appropriate crops and agricultural practices that lower the WF by increasing yield, reducing water

  2. Establishment trial of an oak-pine/soybean-corn-wheat alley-cropping system in the upper coastal plain of North Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    H.D. Stevenson; D.J. Robison; F.W. Cubbage; J.P. Mueller; M.G. Burton; M.H. Gocke

    2013-01-01

    Alley cropping may prove useful in the Southeast United States, providing multiple products and income streams, as well as affording sustainable land use alternatives to conventional farming. An alley-cropping system may be a good alternative in agriculture because of the benefits provided by trees to crops and soils, as well as the income generated from wood products...

  3. Fibre crops as alternative land use for radioactively contaminated arable land

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vandenhove, H.; Van Hees, M.

    2005-01-01

    The transfer of radiocaesium, one of the most important and widespread contaminants following a nuclear accident, to the fibre crops hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) and flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) as well as the distribution of radiocaesium during crop conversion were studied for sandy soil under greenhouse and lysimeters conditions. Soil parameters did not unequivoqually explain the transfer factors (TF) observed. TFs to flax stems ranged from 1.34 to 2.80 x 10 -3 m 2 kg -1 . TFs to seeds are about a factor of 4 lower. During the retting process for separating the fibres from the straw, more than 95% of the activity was removed with the retting water. For hemp, the TF to the stem was about 0.6 x 10 -3 m 2 kg -1 . For hemp, straw and fibres were mechanically separated and TF to straw was about 0.5 x 10 -3 m 2 kg -1 and to fibres 1.0 x 10 -3 m 2 kg -1 . Generally, the TFs to the useable plant parts both for hemp and flax, are low enough to allow for the production of clean end-products (fibre, seed oil, biofuel) even on heavily contaminated land. Given the considerable decontamination during retting, contamination levels in flax fibres would only exceed the exemption limits for fibre use after production in extreme contamination scenarios (>12 300 kBq m -2 ). Since hemp fibres are mechanically separated, use of hemp fibres is more restricted (contamination -2 ). Use of stems as biofuel is restricted to areas with contamination levels of -2 for flax and hemp, respectively. Use of seeds for edible oil production and flour is possible almost without restriction for flax but due to the high TFs to seed observed for hemp (up to 3 x 10 -3 m 2 kg -1 ) consumption of hemp seed products should be considered with care

  4. Fibre crops as alternative land use for radioactively contaminated arable land.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandenhove, H; Van Hees, M

    2005-01-01

    The transfer of radiocaesium, one of the most important and widespread contaminants following a nuclear accident, to the fibre crops hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) and flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) as well as the distribution of radiocaesium during crop conversion were studied for sandy soil under greenhouse and lysimeters conditions. Soil parameters did not unequivoqually explain the transfer factors (TF) observed. TFs to flax stems ranged from 1.34 to 2.80x10(-3) m2 kg(-1). TFs to seeds are about a factor of 4 lower. During the retting process for separating the fibres from the straw, more than 95% of the activity was removed with the retting water. For hemp, the TF to the stem was about 0.6x10(-3) m2 kg(-1). For hemp, straw and fibres were mechanically separated and TF to straw was about 0.5x10(-3) m2 kg(-1) and to fibres 1.0x10(-3) m2 kg(-1). Generally, the TFs to the useable plant parts both for hemp and flax, are low enough to allow for the production of clean end-products (fibre, seed oil, biofuel) even on heavily contaminated land. Given the considerable decontamination during retting, contamination levels in flax fibres would only exceed the exemption limits for fibre use after production in extreme contamination scenarios (>12,300kBq m(-2)). Since hemp fibres are mechanically separated, use of hemp fibres is more restricted (contamination flax and hemp, respectively. Use of seeds for edible oil production and flour is possible almost without restriction for flax but due to the high TFs to seed observed for hemp (up to 3x10(-3) m2 kg(-1)) consumption of hemp seed products should be considered with care.

  5. AMINO ACID-BASED FERTILIZER AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO CALDA VIÇOSA IN ORGANIC AGRICULTURE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Fontebasso Pelizari Pinto

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to propose a mixture of micronutrients with amino acid-based foliar fertilizer as an alternative to calda viçosa for application in organic agriculture. The study was conducted in two simultaneous trials in an experimental field in Ipeúna, SP, Brazil. The test plant was carioca type dry edible bean cv. Pérola. The treatments in trial 1 were: Control 1 = water; FA = JK® amino acid-based foliar fertilizer; and FA+Mi = FA + CuSO4 + ZnSO4 + MnSO4 + H3BO3. In trial 2, the FA treatment was substituted by calda viçosa (CVi. The treatments were through spray application three times. Dry edible bean leaves were sampled for determination of macronutrient and micronutrient concentrations. Platings of the application rates used in the treatments were performed in the laboratory in a mixture with Bacillus thuringiensis and with Beauveria bassiana to compare the degree of compatibility by means of colony forming units (CFU. The FA+Mi and CVi treatments raised the concentrations of Zn, Cu, and Mn in the leaves. The FA+Mi was compatible, the FA was a stimulant, and the CVi was noxious to B. bassiana and to B. thuringiensis when integrated in the spray mixture.

  6. Agricultural land purchases for alternative uses - evidence from two farming areas in the Western Cape Province, South Africa - AEASA Conference

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Reed, L

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available The presentation starts with a look at the variety of uses of agricultural lands and the transition towards a multifunctional rural environment. A study to determine the extent of alternative land use transactions in WC, and to collect info...

  7. Agriculture: Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Climate change affects agricultural producers because agriculture and fisheries depend on specific climate conditions. Temperature changes can cause crop planting dates to shift. Droughts and floods due to climate change may hinder farming practices.

  8. Agricultural Water Conservation in the Colorado River Basin: Alternatives to Permanent Fallowing Research Synthesis and Outreach Workshops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Udall, B. H.; Peterson, G.

    2017-12-01

    As increasing water scarcity occurs in the Colorado River Basin, water users have been looking for new sources of supply. The default solution is to transfer water from the cheapest and most plentiful source — agriculture — to supply new water demands in the region. However, if pursued in haste, and without sufficient information, the likely outcome may be permanent fallowing, along with serious economic disruption to agricultural communities, loss of valuable farmland, loss of important amenity values, and a loss of a sense of place in many rural communities within the basin. This project was undertaken to explore ways to minimize harm to agriculture if transfers out of agriculture were to occur. Four detailed synthesis reports of the four common methods used to temporarily transfer water from agriculture were produced by the project. The water saving methods covered by the reports are: (1) Deficit Irrigation of Alfalfa and other Forages; (2) Rotational Fallowing; (3) Crop Switching; and (4) Irrigation Efficiency and Water Conservation After the reports were drafted, three workshops were held, one in the Upper Basin in Grand Junction on November 4, 2016, one in the Lower Basin in Tucson on March 29, 2017, and one in Washington, DC on May 16, 2017 to disseminate the findings. Over 100 people attended these workshops.

  9. Fibre crops as alternative land use for radioactively contaminated arable land

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vandenhove, H. [Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, SCK-CEN, Department of Radiation Protection Research, Radioecology Section, Boeretang 200, 2400 Mol (Belgium)]. E-mail: hvandenh@sckcen.be; Van Hees, M. [Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, SCK-CEN, Department of Radiation Protection Research, Radioecology Section, Boeretang 200, 2400 Mol (Belgium)

    2005-07-01

    The transfer of radiocaesium, one of the most important and widespread contaminants following a nuclear accident, to the fibre crops hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) and flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) as well as the distribution of radiocaesium during crop conversion were studied for sandy soil under greenhouse and lysimeters conditions. Soil parameters did not unequivoqually explain the transfer factors (TF) observed. TFs to flax stems ranged from 1.34 to 2.80 x 10{sup -3} m{sup 2} kg{sup -1}. TFs to seeds are about a factor of 4 lower. During the retting process for separating the fibres from the straw, more than 95% of the activity was removed with the retting water. For hemp, the TF to the stem was about 0.6 x 10{sup -3} m{sup 2} kg{sup -1}. For hemp, straw and fibres were mechanically separated and TF to straw was about 0.5 x 10{sup -3} m{sup 2} kg{sup -1} and to fibres 1.0 x 10{sup -3} m{sup 2} kg{sup -1}. Generally, the TFs to the useable plant parts both for hemp and flax, are low enough to allow for the production of clean end-products (fibre, seed oil, biofuel) even on heavily contaminated land. Given the considerable decontamination during retting, contamination levels in flax fibres would only exceed the exemption limits for fibre use after production in extreme contamination scenarios (>12 300 kBq m{sup -2}). Since hemp fibres are mechanically separated, use of hemp fibres is more restricted (contamination <740 kBq m{sup -2}). Use of stems as biofuel is restricted to areas with contamination levels of <250 and 1050 kBq m{sup -2} for flax and hemp, respectively. Use of seeds for edible oil production and flour is possible almost without restriction for flax but due to the high TFs to seed observed for hemp (up to 3 x 10{sup -3} m{sup 2} kg{sup -1}) consumption of hemp seed products should be considered with care.

  10. Digital soil mapping as a basis for climatically oriented agriculture a thematic on the territory of the national crop testing fields of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahabiev, I. A.; Giniyatullin, K. G.; Ryazanov, S. S.

    2018-01-01

    The concept of climate-optimized agriculture (COA) of the UN FAO implies the transformation of agriculture techniques in conditions of changing climate. It is important to implement a timely transition to the concept of COA and sustainable development of soil resources, accurate digital maps of spatial distribution of soils and soil properties are needed. Digital mapping of soil humus content was carried out on the territory of the national crop testing fields (NCTF) of the Republic of Tatarstan (Russian Federation) and the accuracy of the maps obtained was estimated.

  11. Impact of vegetable crop agriculture on anopheline agressivity and malaria transmission in urban and less urbanized settings of the South region of Cameroon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akono, Patrick Ntonga; Mbida, Jean Arthur Mbida; Tonga, Calvin; Belong, Philippe; Ngo Hondt, Odette Etoile; Magne, Gaëlle Tamdem; Peka, Marie Florence; Lehman, Leopold Gustave

    2015-05-28

    The use of inland valley swamps for vegetable crop agriculture contributes to food security in urban and less urbanized settings in Africa. The impact of this agriculture on aggressive mosquitoes' diversity and malaria transmission in central Africa is poorly documented. This study is aimed at assessing the impact of vegetable crop agriculture on these entomological parameters in urban and less urbanized settings of the forest area, south of Cameroon. The human bait technique was used for the capture of aggressive mosquitoes from January to December 2012. For three consecutive days each month, captures were performed on volunteers in hydro-agricultural and river bank sites of Akonolinga and Yaoundé. Physico-chemical characteristics of mosquito breeding sites were recorded. Molecular alongside morpho-taxonomic techniques were used for the identification of mosquito species; ELISA test was used to reveal Plasmodium falciparum infected mosquitoes through the detection of CSP. Mosquito diversity, aggressivity and malaria transmission in sites and settings were determined and compared. Biting rates were higher in hydro-agricultural sites of less urbanized and urban settings (31.8 b/p/n and 28.6 b/p/n respectively) than in river banks sites (6.83 b/p/n and 3.64 b/p/n respectively; p agricultural sites 2 species were captured in the urban setting versus 4 in the less urbanized setting, meanwhile in river bank sites, 3 species were captured in the urban setting versus 4 species in the less urbanized setting. An. nili s.s. was found in river banks only. An. hancocki was not found to insure Plasmodium falciparum Welch transmission. EIR in hydro-agricultural sites varied from 1.86 ib/p/n (urban area) to 2.13 ib/p/n (less urbanized area) with higher rates in April/May and August. Overall, EIR was higher in less urbanized areas (p agriculture (p = 0.2). These results highlight the need for specific preventive measures that take into account the ecological peculiarities

  12. Impact of seasonal forecast use on agricultural income in a system with varying crop costs and returns: an empirically-grounded simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunda, T.; Bazuin, J. T.; Nay, J.; Yeung, K. L.

    2017-03-01

    Access to seasonal climate forecasts can benefit farmers by allowing them to make more informed decisions about their farming practices. However, it is unclear whether farmers realize these benefits when crop choices available to farmers have different and variable costs and returns; multiple countries have programs that incentivize production of certain crops while other crops are subject to market fluctuations. We hypothesize that the benefits of forecasts on farmer livelihoods will be moderated by the combined impact of differing crop economics and changing climate. Drawing upon methods and insights from both physical and social sciences, we develop a model of farmer decision-making to evaluate this hypothesis. The model dynamics are explored using empirical data from Sri Lanka; primary sources include survey and interview information as well as game-based experiments conducted with farmers in the field. Our simulations show that a farmer using seasonal forecasts has more diversified crop selections, which drive increases in average agricultural income. Increases in income are particularly notable under a drier climate scenario, when a farmer using seasonal forecasts is more likely to plant onions, a crop with higher possible returns. Our results indicate that, when water resources are scarce (i.e. drier climate scenario), farmer incomes could become stratified, potentially compounding existing disparities in farmers’ financial and technical abilities to use forecasts to inform their crop selections. This analysis highlights that while programs that promote production of certain crops may ensure food security in the short-term, the long-term implications of these dynamics need careful evaluation.

  13. Impacts of varying agricultural intensification on crop yield and groundwater resources: comparison of the North China Plain and US High Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pei, Hongwei; Scanlon, Bridget R.; Shen, Yanjun; Reedy, Robert C.; Long, Di; Liu, Changming

    2015-04-01

    Agricultural intensification is often considered the primary approach to meet rising food demand. Here we compare impacts of intensive cultivation on crop yield in the North China Plain (NCP) with less intensive cultivation in the US High Plains (USHP) and associated effects on water resources using spatial datasets. Average crop yield during the past decade from intensive double cropping of wheat and corn in the NCP was only 15% higher than the yield from less intensive single cropping of corn in the USHP, although nitrogen fertilizer application and percent of cropland that was irrigated were both ˜2 times greater in the NCP than in the USHP. Irrigation and fertilization in both regions have depleted groundwater storage and resulted in widespread groundwater nitrate contamination. The limited response to intensive management in the NCP is attributed in part to the two month shorter growing season for corn to accommodate winter wheat than that for corn in the USHP. Previous field and modeling studies of crop yield in the NCP highlight over application of N and water resulting in low nitrogen and water use efficiencies and indicate that cultivars, plant densities, soil fertility and other factors had a much greater impact on crop yields over the past few decades. The NCP-USHP comparison along with previous field and modeling studies underscores the need to weigh the yield returns from intensive management relative to the negative impacts on water resources. Future crop management should consider the many factors that contribute to yield along with optimal fertilization and irrigation to further increase crop yields while reducing adverse impacts on water resources.

  14. Modelling climate change impacts on and adaptation strategies for agriculture in Sardinia and Tunisia using AquaCrop and value-at-risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, David Neil; Benabdallah, Sihem; Gouda, Nadine; Hummel, Franz; Koeberl, Judith; La Jeunesse, Isabelle; Meyer, Swen; Prettenthaler, Franz; Soddu, Antonino; Woess-Gallasch, Susanne

    2016-02-01

    In Europe, there is concern that climate change will cause significant impacts around the Mediterranean. The goals of this study are to quantify the economic risk to crop production, to demonstrate the variability of yield by soil texture and climate model and to investigate possible adaptation strategies. In the Rio Mannu di San Sperate watershed, located in Sardinia (Italy) we investigate production of wheat, a rainfed crop. In the Chiba watershed located in Cap Bon (Tunisia), we analyze irrigated tomato production. We find, using the FAO model AquaCrop that crop production will decrease significantly in a future climate (2040-2070) as compared to the present without adaptation measures. Using "value-at-risk", we show that production should be viewed in a statistical manner. Wheat yields in Sardinia are modelled to decrease by 64% on clay loams, and to increase by 8% and 26% respectively on sandy loams and sandy clay loams. Assuming constant irrigation, tomatoes sown in August in Cap Bon are modelled to have a 45% chance of crop failure on loamy sands; a 39% decrease in yields on sandy clay loams; and a 12% increase in yields on sandy loams. For tomatoes sown in March; sandy clay loams will fail 81% of the time; on loamy sands the crop yields will be 63% less while on sandy loams, the yield will increase by 12%. However, if one assume 10% less water available for irrigation then tomatoes sown in March are not viable. Some adaptation strategies will be able to counteract the modelled crop losses. Increasing the amount of irrigation one strategy however this may not be sustainable. Changes in agricultural management such as changing the planting date of wheat to coincide with changing rainfall patterns in Sardinia or mulching of tomatoes in Tunisia can be effective at reducing crop losses. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Evaluation of Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce with SWOT Analysis as an Alternative Network Marketing at Agricultural Marketing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nuray Kızılaslan

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Compulsory competition occurring in the world trade has led the enterprises to different marketing system. Marketing problems seems to be a problem in Turkey rather than agricultural production problems. In this aspect, marketing alternatives are sought. E-commerce is a system with more opportunities in agricultural marketing. Increasing the applicability of this system in Turkey will eliminate many problems associated with marketing in agriculture. With an active use of E-commerce in agricultural marketing, it provides convenience at marketing products of agro-related industries agencies and producers and all country will have a potential market position. In this study, possibilities offered by e-commerce to the agricultural sector, opportunities, threats, deficiencies and contributions to agricultural sector have been addressed. Without the limitations of place and time via the internet and computers, establishing national and international supply and demand balance of e-commerce seems to play important roles in maintaining an active and alive marketing. Furthermore, it is an important tool in reducing agricultural marketing problems.

  16. Integrating high resolution Water Footprint and GIS analyses for promoting water-efficiency in the agricultural sector: A case study of plantation crops in the Jordan Valley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliav Shtull-Trauring

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Addressing the global challenges to water security requires a better understanding of humanity’s use of water, especially the agricultural sector that accounts for 70% of global withdrawals. This study combined high resolution-data with a GIS system to analyze the impact of agricultural practices, crop type and spatial factors such as drainage basins, climate and soil type on the Water Footprint (WF of agricultural crops. The area of the study, the northern Lower Jordan Valley, covers 1121 ha in which three plantation crops are grown: banana (cultivated in open-fields or net-houses, avocado and palm-dates. High-resolution data sources included GIS layers of the cultivated crops and a drainage pipe-system installed in the study area; meteorological data (2000-2013; and crop parameters (yield, irrigation recommendations and profit. First, the study compared the WF of the different crops on the basis of yield and energy produced as well as a comparison to global values and local irrigation recommendations. The results showed that net-house banana has the lowest WF based on all different criteria. However, while palm-dates showed the highest WF for the yield criteria, it had the second lowest WF for energy produced and profit, emphasizing the importance of using multiple parameters for low and high yield crop comparisons. Next, the regional WF of each drainage basin in the study area was calculated, demonstrating the strong influence of the Grey WF, an indication of the amount of freshwater required for pollution assimilation. Finally, the benefits of integrating GIS and WF were demonstrated by computing the effect of adopting net-house cultivation throughout the area of study with a result a reduction of 1.3 MCM irrigation water per year. Integrating the WF methodology and local high-resolution data using GIS can therefore promote and help quantify the benefits of adopting site-appropriate crops and agroecological practices that lower the WF by

  17. Allelopathic potential of oil seed crops in production of crops: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Adnan Noor; Iqbal, Javaid; Ullah, Abid; Yang, Guozheng; Yousaf, Muhammad; Fahad, Shah; Tanveer, Mohsin; Hassan, Waseem; Tung, Shahbaz Atta; Wang, Leishan; Khan, Aziz; Wu, Yingying

    2016-08-01

    Agricultural production enhancement has been realized by more consumption of fossil energy such as fertilizer and agrochemicals. However, the production provides the present human with sufficient and diversified commodities, but at the same time, deprives in some extent the resources from the future human as well. In the other hand, it is known that synthetic herbicides face worldwide threats to human's health and environment as well. Therefore, it is a great challenge for agricultural sustainable development. The current review has been focussed on various oilseed crop species which launch efficient allelopathic intervention, either with weeds or other crops. Crop allelopathic properties can make one species more persistent to a native species. Therefore, these crops are potentially harmful to both naturalized as well as agricultural settings. On the other side, allelopathic crops provide strong potential for the development of cultivars that are more highly weed suppressive in managed settings. It is possible to utilize companion plants that have no deleterious effect on neighbor crops and can be included in intercropping system, thus, a mean of contributing to agricultural sustainable development. In mixed culture, replacement method, wherein differing densities of a neighbor species are planted, has been used to study phytotoxic/competitive effects. So, to use alternative ways for weed suppression has become very crucial. Allelochemicals have the ability to create eco-friendly products for weed management, which is beneficial for agricultural sustainable development. Our present study assessed the potential of four oilseed crops for allelopathy on other crops and associated weeds.

  18. A Review of the Applications of Chitin and Its Derivatives in Agriculture to Modify Plant-Microbial Interactions and Improve Crop Yields

    OpenAIRE

    Russell G. Sharp

    2013-01-01

    In recent decades, a greater knowledge of chitin chemistry, and the increased availability of chitin-containing waste materials from the seafood industry, have led to the testing and development of chitin-containing products for a wide variety of applications in the agriculture industry. A number of modes of action have been proposed for how chitin and its derivatives can improve crop yield. In addition to direct effects on plant nutrition and plant growth stimulation, chitin-derived products...

  19. Anatomy of a local-scale drought: Application of assimilated remote sensing products, crop model, and statistical methods to an agricultural drought study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Ashok K.; Ines, Amor V. M.; Das, Narendra N.; Prakash Khedun, C.; Singh, Vijay P.; Sivakumar, Bellie; Hansen, James W.

    2015-07-01

    Drought is of global concern for society but it originates as a local problem. It has a significant impact on water quantity and quality and influences food, water, and energy security. The consequences of drought vary in space and time, from the local scale (e.g. county level) to regional scale (e.g. state or country level) to global scale. Within the regional scale, there are multiple socio-economic impacts (i.e., agriculture, drinking water supply, and stream health) occurring individually or in combination at local scales, either in clusters or scattered. Even though the application of aggregated drought information at the regional level has been useful in drought management, the latter can be further improved by evaluating the structure and evolution of a drought at the local scale. This study addresses a local-scale agricultural drought anatomy in Story County in Iowa, USA. This complex problem was evaluated using assimilated AMSR-E soil moisture and MODIS-LAI data into a crop model to generate surface and sub-surface drought indices to explore the anatomy of an agricultural drought. Quantification of moisture supply in the root zone remains a gray area in research community, this challenge can be partly overcome by incorporating assimilation of soil moisture and leaf area index into crop modeling framework for agricultural drought quantification, as it performs better in simulating crop yield. It was noted that the persistence of subsurface droughts is in general higher than surface droughts, which can potentially improve forecast accuracy. It was found that both surface and subsurface droughts have an impact on crop yields, albeit with different magnitudes, however, the total water available in the soil profile seemed to have a greater impact on the yield. Further, agricultural drought should not be treated equal for all crops, and it should be calculated based on the root zone depth rather than a fixed soil layer depth. We envisaged that the results of

  20. Agroforestry systems in northern Vietnam with Tephrosia candida as an alternative to short-fallow crop rotations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoang Fagerstroem, M.H. [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden). Dept. of Soil Sciences

    2000-07-01

    Tephrosia candida was experimentally tested on-farm as an improved fallow species (TepFa), in hedgerows, (TepAl) and in a mulch transfer system (TepMu) in an upland rice (Oryza sativa) system on sloping land in northern Vietnam during the period 1996-1999. The objectives of this study were: (1) to investigate whether the existing monocropping (Mono) and short-fallow crop rotations (NaFa) are sustainable systems with respect to soil erosion and concomitant nutrient losses; (2) to determine whether agroforestry systems with Tephrosia (TepFa, TepAl, TepMu) can improve nutrient cycling and nutrient balances, for instance by preventing nutrient losses through erosion, as well as sustaining upland rice yields. A criteria system, including soil and nutrient losses, nutrient balances, changes of P-available pools, returns on labour and farmers' response, was used for comparing the systems tested. Only TepFa gave a positive input-output balance for both P and N. TepFa increased soil N and seemed to positively affect the release of soil labile P. However, the cost of Tephrosia seeds made the Net Present Value (NPV) of the Tephrosia fallow crop rotation system negative. TepMu increased upland rice yield by 50% compared to Mono. As a result, NPV was positive and sufficient rice for one more person could be produced per ha and year. However, the yield increase could cause a depletion of plant-available P, and the timing for pruning and mulching activities coincided with the farming activities in paddy fields. TepAl increased soil N, gave a neutral overall effect on crop yield but a negative NPV. NaFa gave a positive and highest NPV. In general, TepFa and TepMu were shown to increase crop yield per hectare with acceptable returns on labour and also to do better than Mono and NaFa with respect to preventing soil and nutrient losses through erosion. Recommendations are made for further research to focus on alternatives to maintain soil P, mechanisms of P pool reallocation and

  1. Effects of agriculture crop residue burning on aerosol properties and long-range transport over northern India: A study using satellite data and model simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vijayakumar, K.; Safai, P. D.; Devara, P. C. S.; Rao, S. Vijaya Bhaskara; Jayasankar, C. K.

    2016-09-01

    Agriculture crop residue burning in the tropics is a major source of the global atmospheric aerosols and monitoring their long-range transport is an important element in climate change studies. In this paper, we study the effects of agriculture crop residue burning on aerosol properties and long-range transport over northern India during a smoke event that occurred between 09 and 17 November 2013, with the help of satellite measurements and model simulation data. Satellite data observations on aerosol properties suggested transport of particles from agriculture crop residue burning in Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) over large regions. Additionally, ECMWF winds at 850 hPa have been used to trace the source, path and spatial extent of smoke events. Most of the smoke aerosols, during the study period, travel from a west-to-east pathway from the source-to-sink region. Furthermore, aerosol vertical profiles from CALIPSO show a layer of thick smoke extending from surface to an altitude of about 3 km. Smoke aerosols emitted from biomass burning activity from Punjab have been found to be a major contributor to the deterioration of local air quality over the NE Indian region due to their long range transport.

  2. Alternative control technology document: Control of VOC emissions from the application of agricultural pesticides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-03-01

    In many States, some of the ozone nonattainment areas are comprised primarily of agricultural counties where a potentially significant contribution to the ozone may result from area sources of volatile organic compounds (VOC's) emissions. A potential source of VOC emissions in agricultural counties is the release of organic compounds from the application of agricultural pesticides. The report provides technical information that State and local agencies can consider while developing strategies for reducing VOC emissions

  3. Sustainability of current GM crop cultivation : Review of people, planet, profit effects of agricultural production of GM crops, based on the cases of soybean, maize, and cotton

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Franke, A.C.; Breukers, M.L.H.; Broer, W.; Bunte, F.H.J.; Dolstra, O.; Engelbronner-Kolff, d' F.M.; Lotz, L.A.P.; Montfort, J.; Nikoloyuk, J.; Rutten, M.M.; Smulders, M.J.M.; Wiel, van de C.C.M.; Zijl, M.

    2011-01-01

    This report adresses the question whether the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops abroad for import in the Netherlands, as compared to the cultivation of their conventional (non-GM) counterparts, is in line with Dutch policy and societal aims striving after more sustainable forms of

  4. Soil- and crop-dependent variation in correlation lag between precipitation and agricultural drought indices as predicted by the SWAP model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Azin; Cloke, Hannah; Verhoef, Anne

    2017-04-01

    Droughts have a devastating impact on agriculture and economy. The risk of more frequent and more severe droughts is increasing due to global warming and certain anthropogenic activities. At the same time, the global population continues to rise and the need for sustainable food production is becoming more and more pressing. In light of this, drought prediction can be of great value; in the context of early warning, preparedness and mitigation of drought impacts. Prediction of meteorological drought is associated with uncertainties around precipitation variability. As meteorological drought propagates, it can transform into agricultural drought. Determination of the maximum correlation lag between precipitation and agricultural drought indices can be useful for prediction of agricultural drought. However, the influence of soil and crop type on the lag needs to be considered, which we explored using a 1-D Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere-Transfer model (SWAP (http://www.swap.alterra.nl/), with the following configurations, all forced with ERA-Interim weather data (1979 to 2014): i) different crop types in the UK; ii) three generic soil types (clay, loam and sand) were considered. A Sobol sensitivity analysis was carried out (perturbing the SWAP model van Genuchten soil hydraulic parameters) to study the effect of soil type uncertainty on the water balance variables. Based on the sensitivity analysis results, a few variations of each soil type were selected. Agricultural drought indices including Soil Moisture Deficit Index (SMDI) and Evapotranspiration Deficit Index (ETDI) were calculated. The maximum correlation lag between precipitation and these drought indices was calculated, and analysed in the context of crop and soil model parameters. The findings of this research can be useful to UK farming, by guiding government bodies such as the Environment Agency when issuing drought warnings and implementing drought measures.

  5. Tracing organic and inorganic pollution sources of agricultural crops and water resources in Güzelhisar Basin of the Aegean Region - Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czarnecki, Sezin; Colak Esetlili, Bihter; Esetlili, Tolga; Tepecik, Mahmut; Anac, Dilek; Düring, Rolf-Alexander

    2014-05-01

    The study area Güzelhisar Basin is 6 km far from the city Aliaga, Aegean Region in Turkey which represents a rather industrialized area having five large iron and steel factories, but also areas of agriculture. Steel industry in Aliaga is causing metal pollution. Around Güzelhisar Basin and nearby, the dominant crop fields are cotton, maize, vegetables, olive trees and vineyards. Güzelhisar stream and dam water is used for irrigation of the agricultural land. Due to contamination from metal industry in Aliaga, organic farming is not allowed in this region. Industrial activities in the region present a threat on sustainable agriculture. The region is a multi-impacted area in terms of several pollutant sources affecting soil and water quality. The overall objective of the project is to trace back plant nutrients (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, and B), hazardous substances (i. e. persistent organic pollutants), radionuclides (40K, 232Th, 226Ra/238U), and metal contents (As, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) by examining the soils, agricultural crops and natural plants from Güzelhisar Basin and water and sediments from Güzelhisar stream and dam. Spatial distribution of pollution will be evaluated by regionalization methods. For this, an advanced analytical methodology will be applied which provides an understanding of sources and occurrence of the respective substances of concern. An innovative multi-tracer approach comprising organic and inorganic marker substances, will identify and quantitatively assess sources and their impact on water pollution and the pollutant pathways in this agricultural crop production system.

  6. Climate-Driven Crop Yield and Yield Variability and Climate Change Impacts on the U.S. Great Plains Agricultural Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kukal, Meetpal S; Irmak, Suat

    2018-02-22

    Climate variability and trends affect global crop yields and are characterized as highly dependent on location, crop type, and irrigation. U.S. Great Plains, due to its significance in national food production, evident climate variability, and extensive irrigation is an ideal region of investigation for climate impacts on food production. This paper evaluates climate impacts on maize, sorghum, and soybean yields and effect of irrigation for individual counties in this region by employing extensive crop yield and climate datasets from 1968-2013. Variability in crop yields was a quarter of the regional average yields, with a quarter of this variability explained by climate variability, and temperature and precipitation explained these in singularity or combination at different locations. Observed temperature trend was beneficial for maize yields, but detrimental for sorghum and soybean yields, whereas observed precipitation trend was beneficial for all three crops. Irrigated yields demonstrated increased robustness and an effective mitigation strategy against climate impacts than their non-irrigated counterparts by a considerable fraction. The information, data, and maps provided can serve as an assessment guide for planners, managers, and policy- and decision makers to prioritize agricultural resilience efforts and resource allocation or re-allocation in the regions that exhibit risk from climate variability.

  7. Linking carbon stock change from land-use change to consumption of agricultural products: Alternative perspectives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goh, Chun Sheng; Wicke, Birka; Faaij, André; Bird, David Neil; Schwaiger, Hannes; Junginger, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Agricultural expansion driven by growing demand has been a key driver for carbon stock change as a consequence of land-use change (CSC-LUC). However, its relative role compared to non-agricultural and non-productive drivers, as well as propagating effects were not clearly addressed. This

  8. Integrating high residue cover crops and weed control options for resistant weeds threatening conservation agriculture and water resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conservation tillage reduces the physical movement of soil to the minimum required for crop establishment and production. When consistently practiced as a soil and crop management system, it greatly reduces soil erosion and is recognized for the potential to improve soil quality and plant water avai...

  9. A powered roller/crimper for walk-behind tractors to terminate cover crops in conservation agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roller/crimper implements have been used in large conservation farming systems to terminate cover crops near maturity and flatten them down to create a mulch through which cash crops can be planted directly into the cover residue. On small farms, tractors are usually small and less powerful relative...

  10. Barriers to implementing climate resilient agricultural strategies: The case of crop diversification in the U.S

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielle E. Roesch-McNally; J.G. Arbuckle; John C. Tyndall

    2018-01-01

    Cropping system diversity can help build greater agroecosystem resilience by suppressing insect, weed, and disease pressures while also mitigating effects of extreme and more variable weather. Despite the potential benefits of cropping systems diversity, few farmers in the US Corn Belt use diverse rotations. This study examines factors that may influence farmers’...

  11. Nitrous oxide and N-leaching losses from agricultural soil: Influence of crop residue particle size, quality and placement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ambus, P.; Jensen, E.S.; Robertson, G.P.

    2001-01-01

    Incorporation of crop residues provides a source of readily available C and N, and previous works indicate that farming strategies where crop residues are used for soil fertility purposes may lead to increased emissions of N2O. Information on the importance of different residue management on the ...

  12. Identifying the spatial and temporal variability of economic opportunity costs to promote the adoption of alternative land uses in grain growing agricultural areas: an Australian example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyle, G; Bryan, B A; Ostendorf, B

    2015-05-15

    Grain growers face many future challenges requiring them to adapt their land uses to changing economic, social and environmental conditions. To understand where to make on ground changes without significant negative financial repercussions, high resolution information on income generation over time is required. We propose a methodology which utilises high resolution yield data collected with precision agriculture (PA) technology, gross margin financial analysis and a temporal standardisation technique to highlight the spatial and temporal consistency of farm income. On three neighbouring farms in Western Australia, we found non-linear relationships between income and area. Spatio-temporal analysis on one farm over varying seasons found that between 37 and 49% (1082-1433ha) of cropping area consistently produced above the selected income thresholds and 43-32% (936-1257ha) regularly produced below selected thresholds. Around 20% of area showed inconsistent temporal variation in income generation. Income estimated from these areas represents the income forgone if a land use change is undertaken (the economic opportunity cost) and the average costs varied spatially from $190±114/ha to $560±108/ha depending on what scenario was chosen. The interaction over space and time showed the clustering of areas with similar values at a resolution where growers make input decisions. This new evidence suggests that farm area could be managed with two strategies: (a) one that maximises grain output using PA management in temporally stable areas which generate moderate to high income returns and (b) one that proposes land use change in low and inconsistent income returning areas where the financial returns from an alternative land use may be comparable. The adoption of these strategies can help growers meet the demand for agricultural output and offer income diversity and adaptive capacity to deal with the future challenges to agricultural production. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd

  13. Changes of water demand - possible adaptation of agricultural crops and management options to improve water use efficiency in the Marchfeld area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thaler, S.; Eitzinger, J.; Dubrovsky, M.; Trnka, M.

    2009-04-01

    The main objective of this study was to determine the vulnerability of current agricultural cropping systems in the Marchfeld region to climate change. The investigation area Marchfeld is located in the north-eastern (NE) part of Austria and is characterized by a semi-arid climate with low annual rainfall. It is one of the driest regions in the country, but also one of the main field crop production areas. The soil conditions in Marchfeld demonstrate a significant spatial variability, which include soils with low to moderate water-storage capacities. Higher temperatures in the next decades imply higher evaporation and consequently higher water demand for the crops. The phenological development rates of the cultivars will accelerate and an increase of heat stress as well as drought stress can be expected. These points influence intense the water balance and subsequently the yield of the crops in the investigation area. In order to improve water use efficiency under those changing conditions, a shift of average sowing dates and an adjustment of tillage were analyzed. The DSSAT cropping system model was applied for winter wheat and spring barley to assess potential yield under climate scenarios for NE Austria. The scenarios were carried out with ECHAM5, HadCM3 and NCAR PCM global circulation models (GCMs) for present conditions (reference period 1961-1990) and 2035's (2021-2050), based on SRES-A1B emission scenarios. Yield model simulations were done for all defined scenarios (climate, management, crop) and different soil classes. The simulations contain the CO2 fertilizing effect, rain fed farming, adapted sowing date and contemporary crops without consideration of potential profit cuts caused by pest or diseases. Simulation results indicate that climate change will force a delay of the sowing date for winter wheat of maximal 14 days in October. In case of spring barley, climate change allows an earlier sowing date in spring (up to 14 days). Both crops show a

  14. Insect Pollinated Crops, Insect Pollinators and US Agriculture: Trend Analysis of Aggregate Data for the Period 1992–2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderone, Nicholas W.

    2012-01-01

    In the US, the cultivated area (hectares) and production (tonnes) of crops that require or benefit from insect pollination (directly dependent crops: apples, almonds, blueberries, cucurbits, etc.) increased from 1992, the first year in this study, through 1999 and continued near those levels through 2009; aggregate yield (tonnes/hectare) remained unchanged. The value of directly dependent crops attributed to all insect pollination (2009 USD) decreased from $14.29 billion in 1996, the first year for value data in this study, to $10.69 billion in 2001, but increased thereafter, reaching $15.12 billion by 2009. The values attributed to honey bees and non-Apis pollinators followed similar patterns, reaching $11.68 billion and $3.44 billion, respectively, by 2009. The cultivated area of crops grown from seeds resulting from insect pollination (indirectly dependent crops: legume hays, carrots, onions, etc.) was stable from 1992 through 1999, but has since declined. Production of those crops also declined, albeit not as rapidly as the decline in cultivated area; this asymmetry was due to increases in aggregate yield. The value of indirectly dependent crops attributed to insect pollination declined from $15.45 billion in 1996 to $12.00 billion in 2004, but has since trended upward. The value of indirectly dependent crops attributed to honey bees and non-Apis pollinators, exclusive of alfalfa leafcutter bees, has declined since 1996 to $5.39 billion and $1.15 billion, respectively in 2009. The value of alfalfa hay attributed to alfalfa leafcutter bees ranged between $4.99 and $7.04 billion. Trend analysis demonstrates that US producers have a continued and significant need for insect pollinators and that a diminution in managed or wild pollinator populations could seriously threaten the continued production of insect pollinated crops and crops grown from seeds resulting from insect pollination. PMID:22629374

  15. Insect pollinated crops, insect pollinators and US agriculture: trend analysis of aggregate data for the period 1992-2009.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas W Calderone

    Full Text Available In the US, the cultivated area (hectares and production (tonnes of crops that require or benefit from insect pollination (directly dependent crops: apples, almonds, blueberries, cucurbits, etc. increased from 1992, the first year in this study, through 1999 and continued near those levels through 2009; aggregate yield (tonnes/hectare remained unchanged. The value of directly dependent crops attributed to all insect pollination (2009 USD decreased from $14.29 billion in 1996, the first year for value data in this study, to $10.69 billion in 2001, but increased thereafter, reaching $15.12 billion by 2009. The values attributed to honey bees and non-Apis pollinators followed similar patterns, reaching $11.68 billion and $3.44 billion, respectively, by 2009. The cultivated area of crops grown from seeds resulting from insect pollination (indirectly dependent crops: legume hays, carrots, onions, etc. was stable from 1992 through 1999, but has since declined. Production of those crops also declined, albeit not as rapidly as the decline in cultivated area; this asymmetry was due to increases in aggregate yield. The value of indirectly dependent crops attributed to insect pollination declined from $15.45 billion in 1996 to $12.00 billion in 2004, but has since trended upward. The value of indirectly dependent crops attributed to honey bees and non-Apis pollinators, exclusive of alfalfa leafcutter bees, has declined since 1996 to $5.39 billion and $1.15 billion, respectively in 2009. The value of alfalfa hay attributed to alfalfa leafcutter bees ranged between $4.99 and $7.04 billion. Trend analysis demonstrates that US producers have a continued and significant need for insect pollinators and that a diminution in managed or wild pollinator populations could seriously threaten the continued production of insect pollinated crops and crops grown from seeds resulting from insect pollination.

  16. Effects of crop rotation and management system on water-extractable organic matter concentration, structure, and bioavailability in a chernozemic agricultural soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Na; Wilson, Henry F; Saiers, James E; Entz, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Water-extractable organic matter (WEOM) in soil affects contaminant mobility and toxicity, heterotrophic production, and nutrient cycling in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This study focuses on the influences of land use history and agricultural management practices on the water extractability of organic matter and nutrients from soils. Water-extractable organic matter was extracted from soils under different crop rotations (an annual rotation of wheat-pea/bean-wheat-flax or a perennial-based rotation of wheat-alfalfa-alfalfa-flax) and management systems (organic or conventional) and examined for its concentration, composition, and biodegradability. The results show that crop rotations including perennial legumes increased the concentration of water-extractable organic carbon (WEOC) and water-extractable organic nitrogen (WEON) and the biodegradability of WEOC in soil but depleted the quantity of water-extractable organic phosphorus (WEOP) and water-extractable reactive phosphorus. The 30-d incubation experiments showed that bioavailable WEOC varied from 12.5% in annual systems to 22% for perennial systems. The value of bioavailable WEOC was found to positively correlate with WEON concentrations and to negatively correlate with C:N ratio and the specific ultraviolet absorbance of WEOM. No significant treatment effect was present with the conventional and organic management practices, which suggested that WEOM, as the relatively labile pool in soil organic matter, is more responsive to the change in crop rotation than to mineral fertilizer application. Our results indicated that agricultural landscapes with contrasting crop rotations are likely to differentially affect rates of microbial cycling of organic matter leached to soil waters. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  17. "More drop per crop" when moving from gravitational to drip irrigated agriculture? Experiences from a North Moroccan case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feltz, N.; Gaspart, F.; Vanclooster, M.

    2015-12-01

    In order to save agricultural water, the famous FAO's "more crop per drop" has been taken literally in many arid or semi-arid places around the world and policies that aim improving "efficiencies" (irrigation efficiency…) have been implemented, often leading to the promotion of water saving technologies. In 1865, studying coal consumption, W.S. Jevons highlighted that improving coal use efficiency could, as a paradox, lead to higher global coal use. Many economists later extended this idea to resource saving technologies in general, showing that, due to the "rebound effect", the adoption of more efficient technologies, in terms of use of resources, could lead to a higher global consumption of this resource if this adoption didn't go with adjustment measures. Regarding these considerations, the emerging question is to which extent water saving technologies (i.e. that aim improving water related efficiencies) are appropriate to save water at large scale. Our study addresses this question through the analysis of the conversion from surface to drip irrigation in Triffa's irrigated perimeter (Morocco). We aim addressing this question using the detailed analysis of two data sets. First, available data were collected for every farm within the study area from the local administrations. Second, interviews were conducted with farmers to complete the dataset and to characterize their behavior. This allowed assessing water related efficiencies at farm scale. Subsequently, models were implemented to link efficiencies with general attributes and thereby identify the main drivers of water related efficiencies in the study area. Finally, these models were used to upscale farm-scale assessment to the perimeter scale. Our results show that, under current conditions, moving from surface to drip irrigation leads to higher global water withdrawal. However, the aforementioned "rebound effect" does not allow explaining the higher pressure because of contextual specificities. Deeper

  18. A cost-effective and practical polybenzanthrone-based fluorescent sensor for efficient determination of palladium (II) ion and its application in agricultural crops and environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Ge; Wen, Yangping; Guo, Chaoqun; Xu, Jingkun; Lu, Baoyang; Duan, Xuemin; He, Haohua; Yang, Jun

    2013-01-01

    Graphical abstract: -- Highlights: •PBA was facilely electrosynthesized in the binary solvent system containing of acetonitrile and boron trifluoride diethyl etherate. •“On–off” type fluorescent sensor based on this polymer for highly selective, sensitive, and practical detection of Pd 2+ was designed. •The possible mechanism between Pd 2+ and PBA has been discussed and TEM preliminary proved the proposed mechanism. •This fluorescent CP-based sensor has been used to practically detect Pd 2+ in agricultural crops and environment samples with satisfactory results. -- Abstract: A highly selective and sensitive fluorescent chemosensor suitable for practical measurement of palladium ion (Pd 2+ ) in agricultural crops and environment samples has been successfully fabricated using polybenzanthrone (PBA). PBA was facilely electrosynthesized in the mixed electrolyte of acetonitrile and boron trifluoride diethyl etherate. The fluorescence intensity of PBA showed a linear response to Pd 2+ in the concentration range of 5 nM–0.12 mM with a detection limit of 0.277 nM and quantification limit of 0.925 nM. Different compounds existing in agricultural crops and environment such as common metal ions, anions, natural amino acids, carbohydrates, and organic acids were used to examine the selectivity of the as-fabricated sensor, and no obvious fluorescence change could be observed in these interferents and their mixtures. A possible mechanism was proposed that the coordination of PBA and Pd 2+ enhance the aggregation of polymer chains, which led to a significant quenching of PBA emission, and this was further confirmed by absorption spectra monitoring and transmission electron microscopy. The excellent performance of the proposed sensor and satisfactory results of the Pd 2+ determination in practical samples suggested that the PBA-based fluorescent sensor for the determination of Pd 2+ will be a good candidate for application in agriculture and environment

  19. Eight years of Conservation Agriculture-based cropping systems research in Eastern Africa to conserve soil and water and mitigate effects of climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araya, Tesfay; Nyssen, Jan; Govaerts, Bram; Lanckriet, Sil; Baudron, Frédéric; Deckers, Jozef; Cornelis, Wim

    2014-05-01

    In Ethiopia, repeated plowing, complete removal of crop residues at harvest, aftermath grazing of crop fields and occurrence of repeated droughts have reduced the biomass return to the soil and aggravated cropland degradation. Conservation Agriculture (CA)-based resource conserving cropping systems may reduce runoff and soil erosion, and improve soil quality, thereby increasing crop productivity. Thus, a long-term tillage experiment has been carried out (2005 to 2012) on a Vertisol to quantify - among others - changes in runoff and soil loss for two local tillage practices, modified to integrate CA principles in semi-arid northern Ethiopia. The experimental layout was a randomized complete block design with three replications on permanent plots of 5 m by 19 m. The tillage treatments were (i) derdero+ (DER+) with a furrow and permanent raised bed planting system, ploughed only once at planting by refreshing the furrow from 2005 to 2012 and 30% standing crop residue retention, (ii) terwah+ (TER+) with furrows made at 1.5 m interval, plowed once at planting, 30% standing crop residue retention and fresh broad beds, and (iii) conventional tillage (CT) with a minimum of three plain tillage operations and complete removal of crop residues. All the plowing and reshaping of the furrows was done using the local ard plough mahresha and wheat, teff, barley and grass pea were grown. Glyphosate was sprayed starting from the third year onwards (2007) at 2 l ha-1 before planting to control pre-emergent weeds in CA plots. Runoff and soil loss were measured daily. Soil water content was monitored every 6 days. Significantly different (pclimate change. For smallholder farmers in semi-arid agro-ecosystems, CA-based systems constitute a field rainwater and soil conservation improvement strategy that enhances crop and economic productivity and reduces siltation of reservoirs, especially under changing climate. The reduction in draught power requirement would enable a reduction in oxen

  20. Nitrous Oxide Emission and Denitrifier Abundance in Two Agricultural Soils Amended with Crop Residues and Urea in the North China Plain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianmin Gao

    Full Text Available The application of crop residues combined with Nitrogen (N fertilizer has been broadly adopted in China. Crop residue amendments can provide readily available C and N, as well as other nutrients to agricultural soils, but also intensify the N fixation, further affecting N2O emissions. N2O pulses are obviously driven by rainfall, irrigation and fertilization. Fertilization before rainfall or followed by flooding irrigation is a general management practice for a wheat-maize rotation in the North China Plain. Yet, little is known on the impacts of crop residues combined with N fertilizer application on N2O emission under high soil moisture content. A laboratory incubation experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of two crop residue amendments (maize and wheat, individually or in combination with N fertilizer, on N2O emissions and denitrifier abundance in two main agricultural soils (one is an alluvial soil, pH 8.55, belongs to Ochri-Aquic Cambosols, OAC, the other is a lime concretion black soil, pH 6.61, belongs to Hapli-Aquic Vertosols, HAV under 80% WFPS (the water filled pore space in the North China Plain. Each type soil contains seven treatments: a control with no N fertilizer application (CK, N0, 200 kg N ha-1 (N200, 250 kg N ha-1 (N250, maize residue plus N200 (MN200, maize residue plus N250 (MN250, wheat residue plus N200 (WN200 and wheat residue plus N250 (WN250. Results showed that, in the HAV soil, MN250 and WN250 increased the cumulative N2O emissions by 60% and 30% compared with N250 treatment, respectively, but MN200 and WN200 decreased the cumulative N2O emissions by 20% and 50% compared with N200. In the OAC soil, compared with N200 or N250, WN200 and WN250 increased the cumulative N2O emission by 40%-50%, but MN200 and MN250 decreased the cumulative N2O emission by 10%-20%. Compared with CK, addition of crop residue or N fertilizer resulted in significant increases in N2O emissions in both soils. The cumulative N2O

  1. Alternative cultivation systems for energy crops. Exploitation of phosphor and nitrogen in the cultivation of mixed fruits with leguminous plants under the conditions of drought stress; Alternative Anbausysteme fuer Energiepflanzen. Phosphor- und Stickstoffausnutzung im Mischfruchtanbau mit Leguminosen unter Trockenstressbedingungen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Busch, Stefanie; Eichler-Loebermann, Bettina [Rostock Univ. (Germany). Professur Pflanzenbau

    2013-10-01

    Alternative cropping systems with an efficient utilization of resources are particularly interesting for energy cropping. The P- and N- uptake of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) of maize and sorghum (here called ''energy crops'') intercropped with legumes (substitutive, 50:50) under drought conditions were investigated in a eight week pot experiment. Yield, P- and N- uptake of all species and mixtures were significantly lower under drought conditions than when well watered. The yield and the P-uptake of the mixtures was lower than of the sole cropped energy crops when well watered, but comparable under water deficit with exception of the sorghum mixtures, which reached a lower yield than sole sorghum. Despite the lower N-fertilization the N-uptake of the mixtures was comparable to the sole cropped maize or sorghum when well watered, but under drought N uptake of the mixtures was decreased in comparison to sole cropping. Under drought conditions the N-uptake of maize and sorghum plants in mixtures was not decreased, while the N-uptake of the legumes decreased in comparison to the well watered treatment. This may be an evidence for the benefit of the non-legumes in the investigated intercropping system under drought conditions. (orig.)

  2. Agricultural methanization and use of energetic crops in co-digestion. Benefits/drawbacks and optimization. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2009-12-01

    This study aims at analysing benefits and drawbacks related to the use of energetic crops in co-digestion plants, these benefits and drawbacks being assessed from different points of view: energy production, economics, and environmental aspects, greenhouse gas emissions, concurrence with food production. The study is based on a literature survey which led to the building up of a database, on simulations of the use of different selected crops, and on a multi-criteria analysis

  3. Development of yield prediction models in the maize crop using spectral data for precisión agriculture applications

    OpenAIRE

    Rueda Ayala, Victor Patricio

    2015-01-01

    Yield estimation for the maize crop (Zea mays L.) is required in Ecuador for decision making on imports and commercialization. In the literature many yield predictive models have been developed for different crops, but they need to be adapted to the local conditions. In this study, machine learning techniques and statistical tools such as simple, logistic and polynomial regression were applied in order to develop yield predictive algorithms. Spectral information was gathered from ...

  4. Multi-temporal UAV based data for mapping crop type and structure in smallholder dominated Tanzanian agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagol, J. R.; Chung, C.; Dempewolf, J.; Maurice, S.; Mbungu, W.; Tumbo, S.

    2015-12-01

    Timely mapping and monitoring of crops like Maize, an important food security crop in Tanzania, can facilitate timely response by government and non-government organizations to food shortage or surplus conditions. Small UAVs can play an important role in linking the spaceborne remote sensing data and ground based measurement to improve the calibration and validation of satellite based estimates of in-season crop metrics. In Tanzania most of the growing season is often obscured by clouds. UAV data, if collected within a stratified statistical sampling framework, can also be used to directly in lieu of spaceborne data to infer mid-season yield estimates at regional scales.Here we present an object based approach to estimate crop metrics like crop type, area, and height using multi-temporal UAV based imagery. The methods were tested at three 1km2 plots in Kilosa, Njombe, and Same districts in Tanzania. At these sites both ground based and UAV based data were collected on a monthly time-step during the year 2015 growing season. SenseFly eBee drone with RGB and NIR-R-G camera was used to collect data. Crop type classification accuracies of above 85% were easily achieved.

  5. A cost-effective and practical polybenzanthrone-based fluorescent sensor for efficient determination of palladium (II) ion and its application in agricultural crops and environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ge; Wen, Yangping; Guo, Chaoqun; Xu, Jingkun; Lu, Baoyang; Duan, Xuemin; He, Haohua; Yang, Jun

    2013-12-17

    A highly selective and sensitive fluorescent chemosensor suitable for practical measurement of palladium ion (Pd(2+)) in agricultural crops and environment samples has been successfully fabricated using polybenzanthrone (PBA). PBA was facilely electrosynthesized in the mixed electrolyte of acetonitrile and boron trifluoride diethyl etherate. The fluorescence intensity of PBA showed a linear response to Pd(2+) in the concentration range of 5 nM-0.12 mM with a detection limit of 0.277 nM and quantification limit of 0.925 nM. Different compounds existing in agricultural crops and environment such as common metal ions, anions, natural amino acids, carbohydrates, and organic acids were used to examine the selectivity of the as-fabricated sensor, and no obvious fluorescence change could be observed in these interferents and their mixtures. A possible mechanism was proposed that the coordination of PBA and Pd(2+) enhance the aggregation of polymer chains, which led to a significant quenching of PBA emission, and this was further confirmed by absorption spectra monitoring and transmission electron microscopy. The excellent performance of the proposed sensor and satisfactory results of the Pd(2+) determination in practical samples suggested that the PBA-based fluorescent sensor for the determination of Pd(2+) will be a good candidate for application in agriculture and environment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. A Review of the Applications of Chitin and Its Derivatives in Agriculture to Modify Plant-Microbial Interactions and Improve Crop Yields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell G. Sharp

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available In recent decades, a greater knowledge of chitin chemistry, and the increased availability of chitin-containing waste materials from the seafood industry, have led to the testing and development of chitin-containing products for a wide variety of applications in the agriculture industry. A number of modes of action have been proposed for how chitin and its derivatives can improve crop yield. In addition to direct effects on plant nutrition and plant growth stimulation, chitin-derived products have also been shown to be toxic to plant pests and pathogens, induce plant defenses and stimulate the growth and activity of beneficial microbes. A repeating theme of the published studies is that chitin-based treatments augment and amplify the action of beneficial chitinolytic microbes. This article reviews the evidence for claims that chitin-based products can improve crop yields and the current understanding of the modes of action with a focus on plant-microbe interactions.

  7. Traditional crop for biodiesel. Castor oil could be an alternative, but it is a problematic additive; Traditionspflanze fuer Biodiesel. Rizinusoel koennte eine Alternative sein - problematisch als Beimischung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ristau, Oliver

    2012-11-01

    As the demand for energy crops like soy is increasing, so are prices. The castor-oil plant may soon become one of these crops. An Israeli-Brazilian cooperation project is to raise the yields of this old culture plant and make it profitable.

  8. Evaluation of long-term conservation agriculture and crop intensification in rice-wheat rotation of Indo-Gangetic Plains of South Asia: Carbon dynamics and productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samal, S K; Rao, K K; Poonia, S P; Kumar, Rakesh; Mishra, J S; Prakash, Ved; Mondal, S; Dwivedi, S K; Bhatt, B P; Naik, Sushanta Kumar; Choubey, Anup Kumar; Kumar, V; Malik, R K; Mc Donald, Andrew

    2017-10-01

    In the context of deteriorating soil health, stagnation of yield in rice-wheat cropping system (RWCS) across Indo- Gangetic plains (IGP) and environmental pollution, a long term field experiment was conducted during 2009-2016 taking four crop scenarios with conservation agriculture (CA), crop intensification and diversified cropping as intervening technology aiming to evaluate the sustainability of the systems. Scenario 1 (S1) represented conventional farmers' practice of growing rice and wheat with summer fallow. In scenario 2 (S2) and scenario 3 (S3), legume crop was taken along with rice and wheat with partial CA and full CA, respectively. Conventional RWCS was replaced with rice-potato + maize- cowpea cropping system with partial CA in scenario 4 (S4). The S3 scenario registered highest total organic carbon (TOC) stock of 47.71 Mg C ha -1 and resulted in significant increase of 14.57% over S1 (Farmer's practice) in 0-30 cm soil depth after 7 years of field trial. The S4 scenario having intensified cropping systems recorded lowest TOC of 39.33 Mg C ha -1 and resulted in significant depletion of 17.56% in C stock with respect to S3 in 0-30 cm soil depth. The TOC enrichment was higher in S2, S3 and S4 scenario in the surface soil (0-10 cm) compared to S1. At lower depth (20-30 cm), the TOC enrichment was significantly higher in S2 (12.82 Mg C ha -1 ) and S3 (13.10 Mg C ha -1 soil) over S1 scenario. The S2 and S3 scenario recorded highest increased allocation of TOC (3.55 and 6.13 Mg C ha -1 ) to passive pool over S1. The S2 (15.72 t ha -1 ), S3 (16.08 t ha -1 ) and S4 (16.39 t ha -1 ) scenarios recorded significantly higher system rice equivalent yield over S1 (10.30 t ha -1 ). Among the scenarios, S3 scenario had greater amount of total soil organic carbon, passive pool of carbon and higher system rice equivalent yield, thus, is considered the best cropping management practice to maintain soil health and food security in the middle IGP.

  9. Development and Field Testing of LiDAR Applications in Agricultural Mobile Vehicles: Safety, In-Row Tree Evaluation and Crop Assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Garrido Izard, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    A LiDAR sensor is a non-contact optical device that measures the distance to an object in a scanning field using the TOF technique. It has a high operation range, being able to perform accurate measurements under hostile environmental conditions such as fog, dust, or smoke. Thus, LiDAR seems to be a reliable sensor that allows a transversal application to various agricultural needs, such as: estimation of the volumes of a crop, assessment during its development, its location, as well as to r...

  10. Buttercup squash provides a marketable alternative to blue hubbard as a trap crop for control of striped cucumber beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavanagh, Andrew F; Adler, Lynn S; Hazzard, Ruth V

    2010-12-01

    Winter squash is a vital agricultural commodity worldwide. In the Northeastern United States, the primary insect pest is the striped cucumber beetle, Acalymma vittatum F. Using a Blue Hubbard squash (Cucurbita maxima Duchesne) perimeter trap crop system can reduce insecticide use by >90% in butternut squash (C. moschata Poir), the primary winter squash grown in this region. Despite the savings in insecticide costs, growers may be reluctant to give up field space for a perimeter crop of Blue Hubbard squash, which comprises only 5% of the winter squash market in New England as compared with 19% for buttercup squash. Finding a more marketable trap crop would lower the barrier for adoption of this system. We tested eight varieties of three species of cucurbits for attractiveness to beetles relative to Blue Hubbard and butternut squash, and chose buttercup squash as the most promising replacement. We compared the effect of a buttercup border, Blue Hubbard border, or control (no border) on beetle numbers, herbivory, insecticide use, pollination, and pollen limitation in the main crop. We found that buttercup squash performed equally well as Blue Hubbard as a trap crop, with 97% reduction in total insecticide use compared with control fields. Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) and squash bees (Peponapis pruinosa Say) were the predominant pollinators, and border treatments did not affect visitation. Hand pollination did not increase reproduction or yield, indicating that natural pollination was sufficient for full yield. This study confirms the effectiveness of perimeter trap crop systems and offers growers a more marketable trap crop for managing cucumber beetle damage. © 2010 Entomological Society of America

  11. From alternative Agriculture to the Food Industry, The Need for Changes in Food Policy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Niels Heine; Nielsen, Thorkild

    1997-01-01

    have established rules and control systems for organic agriculture (the last decade). A break-through of organic food production is now taking place in some EU member states. This third change is indicated by more positive attitudes to organic products from the food industry but also by an increasing...... need for a more appropriate respons in the food policy....

  12. Evaluation of the dose to man in relation to the behavior of tritium from irrigation water in agricultural crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kirchmann, R.; Bruwaene, R. van; Koch, G.; Grauby, A.; Delmas, J.; Athalye, V.

    1977-01-01

    A research program on the transfer of tritium from the irrigation water in the soil-plant environment provides valuable ecological information on the effects of tritium releases from nuclear installations under temperate humide and mediterranean climatic conditions. Field studies are carried out on experimental plots by spraying the crops with irrigation water contaminated with tritium on a single dose, the reference level chosen is 1 nCi/litre. The following crops are investigated: prairie, rye-grass, potato, pea, barley, carrot and sugarbeet as temperate region cultures, and vineyard, olive-tree and orange-tree as mediterranean cultures. Soil and plants samples are collected for radioassay to determine the tritium incorporation in tissue water and organic matter fractions. The tritium activity in these crops after harvest is correlated to the level of radiation dose received through human diet [fr

  13. How can crop intra-specific biodiversity mitigate the vulnerability of agricultural systems to climate change? A case study on durum wheat in Southern Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monaco, Eugenia; Alfieri, Silvia Maria; Basile, Angelo; Menenti, Massimo; Bonfante, Antonello; De Lorenzi, Fracesca

    2014-05-01

    Climate evolution may lead to changes in the amount and distribution of precipitations and to reduced water availability, with constraints on the cultivation of some crops. Recently, foreseen crop responses to climate change raise a crucial question for the agricultural stakeholders: are the current production systems resilient to this change? An active debate is in progress about the definition of adaptation of agricultural systems, particularly about the integrated assessment of climate stressors, vulnerability and resilece towards the evaluation of climate impact on agricultural systems. Climate change represents a risk for rain-fed agricultural systems, where irrigations cannot compensate reductions in precipitations. The intra-specific biodiversity of crops can be a resource towards adaptation. The knowledge of the responses to environmental conditions (temperature and water availability) of different cultivars can allow to identify options for adaptation to future climate. Simulation models of water flow in the soil-plant-atmosphere system, driven by different climate scenarios, can describe present and foreseen soil water regime. The present work deals with a case-study on the adaptive capacity of durum wheat to climate change. The selected study area is a hilly region in Southern Italy (Fortore Beneventano, Campania Region). Two climate cases were studied: "reference" (1961-1990) and "future" (2021-2050). A mechanistic model of water flow in the soil-plant-atmosphere system (SWAP) was run to determine the water regime in some soil units, representative of the soil variability in the study area. From model output, the Relative Evapotranspiration Deficit (RETD) was determined as an indicator of hydrological conditions during the crop growing period for each year and climate case; and periods with higher frequencies of soil water deficits were identified. The timing of main crop development stages was calculated. The occurrence of water deficit at different

  14. Marginal cost curves for water footprint reduction in irrigated agriculture: guiding a cost-effective reduction of crop water consumption to a permit or benchmark level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chukalla, Abebe D.; Krol, Maarten S.; Hoekstra, Arjen Y.

    2017-07-01

    Reducing the water footprint (WF) of the process of growing irrigated crops is an indispensable element in water management, particularly in water-scarce areas. To achieve this, information on marginal cost curves (MCCs) that rank management packages according to their cost-effectiveness to reduce the WF need to support the decision making. MCCs enable the estimation of the cost associated with a certain WF reduction target, e.g. towards a given WF permit (expressed in m3  ha-1 per season) or to a certain WF benchmark (expressed in m3  t-1 of crop). This paper aims to develop MCCs for WF reduction for a range of selected cases. AquaCrop, a soil-water-balance and crop-growth model, is used to estimate the effect of different management packages on evapotranspiration and crop yield and thus the WF of crop production. A management package is defined as a specific combination of management practices: irrigation technique (furrow, sprinkler, drip or subsurface drip); irrigation strategy (full or deficit irrigation); and mulching practice (no, organic or synthetic mulching). The annual average cost for each management package is estimated as the annualized capital cost plus the annual costs of maintenance and operations (i.e. costs of water, energy and labour). Different cases are considered, including three crops (maize, tomato and potato); four types of environment (humid in UK, sub-humid in Italy, semi-arid in Spain and arid in Israel); three hydrologic years (wet, normal and dry years) and three soil types (loam, silty clay loam and sandy loam). For each crop, alternative WF reduction pathways were developed, after which the most cost-effective pathway was selected to develop the MCC for WF reduction. When aiming at WF reduction one can best improve the irrigation strategy first, next the mulching practice and finally the irrigation technique. Moving from a full to deficit irrigation strategy is found to be a no-regret measure: it reduces the WF by reducing water

  15. Marginal cost curves for water footprint reduction in irrigated agriculture: guiding a cost-effective reduction of crop water consumption to a permit or benchmark level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. D. Chukalla

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Reducing the water footprint (WF of the process of growing irrigated crops is an indispensable element in water management, particularly in water-scarce areas. To achieve this, information on marginal cost curves (MCCs that rank management packages according to their cost-effectiveness to reduce the WF need to support the decision making. MCCs enable the estimation of the cost associated with a certain WF reduction target, e.g. towards a given WF permit (expressed in m3  ha−1 per season or to a certain WF benchmark (expressed in m3  t−1 of crop. This paper aims to develop MCCs for WF reduction for a range of selected cases. AquaCrop, a soil-water-balance and crop-growth model, is used to estimate the effect of different management packages on evapotranspiration and crop yield and thus the WF of crop production. A management package is defined as a specific combination of management practices: irrigation technique (furrow, sprinkler, drip or subsurface drip; irrigation strategy (full or deficit irrigation; and mulching practice (no, organic or synthetic mulching. The annual average cost for each management package is estimated as the annualized capital cost plus the annual costs of maintenance and operations (i.e. costs of water, energy and labour. Different cases are considered, including three crops (maize, tomato and potato; four types of environment (humid in UK, sub-humid in Italy, semi-arid in Spain and arid in Israel; three hydrologic years (wet, normal and dry years and three soil types (loam, silty clay loam and sandy loam. For each crop, alternative WF reduction pathways were developed, after which the most cost-effective pathway was selected to develop the MCC for WF reduction. When aiming at WF reduction one can best improve the irrigation strategy first, next the mulching practice and finally the irrigation technique. Moving from a full to deficit irrigation strategy is found to be a no-regret measure: it reduces the WF

  16. Farmer’s perception of coconut mite damage and crop diversification alternatives in the coastal belt of Tanzania

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oleke, J.M.; Isinika, A.; Manyong, V.; Hanna, R.; Sabelis, M.