WorldWideScience

Sample records for alternative agricultural crops

  1. Gender in crop agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    Food and Agriculture Organization; The World Bank; IFAD

    2008-01-01

    Metadata only record This is a module in the "Gender in Agriculture Sourcebook" published by the World Bank, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and International Fund for Agricultural Development. This module examines the role of gender in crop agriculture as an essential component of development and poverty reduction. Gender is an integral aspect of crop agriculture because women's roles in crop production and household subsistence, as well as their knowledge of complex production syst...

  2. Crop Protection in Medieval Agriculture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zadoks, J.C.

    2013-01-01

    Mediterranean and West European pre-modern agriculture (agriculture before 1600) was by necessity ‘organic agriculture’. Crop protection is part and parcel of this agriculture, with weed control in the forefront. Crop protection is embedded in the medieval agronomy text books but specialised

  3. 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.

  4. 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.)

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. EUE (energy use efficiency) of cropping systems for a sustainable agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alluvione, Francesco; Moretti, Barbara; Sacco, Dario; Grignani, Carlo

    2011-01-01

    Energy efficiency of agriculture needs improvement to reduce the dependency on non-renewable energy sources. We estimated the energy flows of a wheat-maize-soybean-maize rotation of three different cropping systems: (i) low-input integrated farming (LI), (ii) integrated farming following European Regulations (IFS), and (iii) conventional farming (CONV). Balancing N fertilization with actual crop requirements and adopting minimum tillage proved the most efficient techniques to reduce energy inputs, contributing 64.7% and 11.2% respectively to the total reduction. Large differences among crops in energy efficiency (maize: 2.2 MJ kg -1 grain; wheat: 2.6 MJ kg -1 grain; soybean: 4.1 MJ kg -1 grain) suggest that crop rotation and crop management can be equally important in determining cropping system energy efficiency. Integrated farming techniques improved energy efficiency by reducing energy inputs without affecting energy outputs. Compared with CONV, energy use efficiency increased 31.4% and 32.7% in IFS and LI, respectively, while obtaining similar net energy values. Including SOM evolution in the energy analysis greatly enhanced the energy performance of IFS and, even more dramatically, LI compared to CONV. Improved energy efficiency suggests the adoption of alternative farming systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. However, a thorough evaluation should include net global warming potential assessment. -- Highlights: → We evaluated the energy flows of integrated as alternative to conventional Farming. → Energy flows, soil organic matter evolution included, were analyzed following process analysis. → Energy flows were compared using indicators. → Integrated farming improved energy efficiency without affecting net energy. → Inclusion of soil organic matter in energy analysis accrue environmental evaluation.

  10. 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.

  11. Crop modeling applications in agricultural water management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kisekka, Isaya; DeJonge, Kendall C.; Ma, Liwang; Paz, Joel; Douglas-Mankin, Kyle R.

    2017-01-01

    This article introduces the fourteen articles that comprise the “Crop Modeling and Decision Support for Optimizing Use of Limited Water” collection. This collection was developed from a special session on crop modeling applications in agricultural water management held at the 2016 ASABE Annual International Meeting (AIM) in Orlando, Florida. In addition, other authors who were not able to attend the 2016 ASABE AIM were also invited to submit papers. The articles summarized in this introductory article demonstrate a wide array of applications in which crop models can be used to optimize agricultural water management. The following section titles indicate the topics covered in this collection: (1) evapotranspiration modeling (one article), (2) model development and parameterization (two articles), (3) application of crop models for irrigation scheduling (five articles), (4) coordinated water and nutrient management (one article), (5) soil water management (two articles), (6) risk assessment of water-limited irrigation management (one article), and (7) regional assessments of climate impact (two articles). Changing weather and climate, increasing population, and groundwater depletion will continue to stimulate innovations in agricultural water management, and crop models will play an important role in helping to optimize water use in agriculture.

  12. Biogas Production from Energy Crops and Agriculture Residues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Guangtao

    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 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...... 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 poten...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Energy Crops and the Common Agricultural Policy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCormick, Kes; Nilsson, Helen; Tomescu, Mihail [Lund Univ. (Sweden). International Inst. for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE)

    2006-07-15

    The Biomass Action Plan (BAP) for Europe outlines how to achieve the targets for bioenergy and energy crops defined by the European Commission and member states. However, it is the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that shapes the utilisation of agricultural land. This paper therefore reviews the supportive measures for energy crops in recent CAP reforms and investigates the effects on farmers in 'real-life' case studies from Sweden, Italy and Austria. This paper explores if the recent CAP reforms are sufficient to motivate farmers to cultivate energy crops; identifies the barriers and drivers for energy crops from the perspective of farmers; and suggests how to enhance supportive measures in the CAP to overcome barriers and complement the BAP.

  17. 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.

  18. 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..

  19. 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)

  20. Jerusalem artichoke as an agricultural crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kosaric, N.; Cosentino, G.P.; Wieczorek, A.; Duvnjak, Z.

    1984-01-01

    The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) is an agricultural crop which is of great potential for food, production of fuels, and industrial products. This crop gives a high yield in tubers, it grows better in poor soils than most crops, and it is resistant to pests and common plant diseases as well as to cold temperatures. In this article, the agronomic characteristics of this plant are discussed in detail. Special emphasis is given to the effects of various parameters on the production of both tubers and tops from the Jerusalem artichoke. 74 references.

  1. 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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yunbi Xu; Jiayang Li; Jianmin Wan

    2017-01-01

    The International Crop Science Congress (ICSC) is a regularly held event allowing crop scientists to integrate current knowledge into a global context and international applications. The 7th ICSC was held on August 14–19, 2016 in Beijing, China, with the theme "Crop Science: Innovation and Sustainability". 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Status of Agricultural Production and Crop Variety Improvement in Thailand

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JIAO Chun-hai; GUO Ying; YAO Ming-hua; WAN Zheng-huang

    2012-01-01

    We introduced basic conditions of agricultural production in Thailand, and variety improvement of major crops, including rice, cassava, rubber, and vegetable, in the hope of providing reference for agricultural production and crop variety improvement in Hubei Province and even in the whole country.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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,

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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.

  16. Investigate the Capabilities of Remotely Sensed Crop Indicators for Agricultural Drought Monitoring in Kansas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, J.; Becker-Reshef, I.; Justice, C. O.

    2013-12-01

    Although agricultural production has been rising in the past years, drought remains the primary cause of crop failure, leading to food price instability and threatening food security. The recent 'Global Food Crisis' in 2008, 2011 and 2012 has put drought and its impact on crop production at the forefront, highlighting the need for effective agricultural drought monitoring. Satellite observations have proven a practical, cost-effective and dynamic tool for drought monitoring. However, most satellite based methods are not specially developed for agriculture and their performances for agricultural drought monitoring still need further development. Wheat is the most widely grown crop in the world, and the recent droughts highlight the importance of drought monitoring in major wheat producing areas. As the largest wheat producing state in the US, Kansas plays an important role in both global and domestic wheat markets. Thus, the objective of this study is to investigate the capabilities of remotely sensed crop indicators for effective agricultural drought monitoring in Kansas wheat-grown regions using MODIS data and crop yield statistics. First, crop indicators such as NDVI, anomaly and cumulative metrics were calculated. Second, the varying impacts of agricultural drought at different stages were explored by examining the relationship between the derived indicators and yields. Also, the starting date of effective agricultural drought early detection and the key agricultural drought alert period were identified. Finally, the thresholds of these indicators for agricultural drought early warning were derived and the implications of these indicators for agricultural drought monitoring were discussed. The preliminary results indicate that drought shows significant impacts from the mid-growing-season (after Mid-April); NDVI anomaly shows effective drought early detection from Late-April, and Late-April to Early-June can be used as the key alert period for agricultural

  17. 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.

  18. [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.

  19. 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....

  20. Agriculture sows pests: how crop domestication, host shifts, and agricultural intensification can create insect pests from herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernal, Julio S; Medina, Raul F

    2018-04-01

    We argue that agriculture as practiced creates pests. We use three examples (Corn leafhopper, Dalbulus maidis; Western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera; Cotton fleahopper, Pseudatomoscelis seriatus) to illustrate: firstly, how since its origins, agriculture has proven conducive to transforming selected herbivores into pests, particularly through crop domestication and spread, and agricultural intensification, and; secondly, that the herbivores that became pests were among those hosted by crop wild relatives or associates, and were pre-adapted either as whole species or component subpopulations. Two of our examples, Corn leafhopper and Western corn rootworm, illustrate how following a host shift to a domesticated host, emergent pests 'hopped' onto crops and rode expansion waves to spread far beyond the geographic ranges of their wild hosts. Western corn rootworm exemplifies how an herbivore-tolerant crop was left vulnerable when it was bred for yield and protected with insecticides. Cotton fleahopper illustrates how removing preferred wild host plants from landscapes and replacing them with crops, allows herbivores with flexible host preferences to reach pest-level populations. We conclude by arguing that in the new geological epoch we face, the Anthropocene, we can improve agriculture by looking to our past to identify and avoid missteps of early and recent farmers. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Effects of selenium supplementation on four agricultural crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Kathleen M; Gallardo-Williams, Maria T; Benson, Robert F; Martin, Dean F

    2003-01-29

    Agricultural crops can be used either to remediate selenium-contaminated soils or to increase the daily selenium intake of consumers after soil supplementation using inorganic or organic selenium sources. In this study, four agricultural crops were examined for potential selenium enhancement. Soils containing tomato, strawberry, radish, and lettuce plants were supplemented with either an inorganic or an organic form of selenium. Two different soils, i.e., low Se and high Se containing, were also used. Statistically significant differences in appearance, fruit production, and fresh weights of the fruit produced were studied. Next, the amount of selenium retained in the edible fruits, nonedible plant, and soil for each was analyzed by acid digestion followed by hydride generation atomic absorption analysis. Finally, inhibition effects on the seeds of the agricultural plants were studied. The results show that supplementation with an inorganic form of selenium led to higher retention in the plants, with a maximum of 97.5% retained in the edible portion of lettuce plants.

  4. Tree Crops, a Permanent Agriculture: Concepts from the Past for a Sustainable Future

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Reed Funk

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available J. Russell Smith (1874–1966, a professor of geography at Columbia University, witnessed the devastation of soil erosion during his extensive travels. He first published his landmark text, Tree Crops, A Permanent Agriculture in 1929, in which he described the value of tree crops for producing food and animal feed on sloping, marginal, and rocky soils as a sustainable alternative to annual crop agriculture less suited to these lands. A cornerstone of his thesis was using wide germplasm collection and plant breeding to improve this largely underutilized and genetically unexploited group of plants to develop locally adapted, high-yielding cultivars for the many climatic zones of North America. Smith proposed an establishment of “Institutes of Mountain Agriculture” to undertake this work. For a variety of reasons, though, his ideas were not implemented to any great degree. However, our growing population’s increasing demands on natural resources and the associated environmental degradation necessitate that Smith’s ideas be revisited. In this review, his concepts, supported by modern scientific understanding and advances, are discussed and expanded upon to emphasize their largely overlooked potential to enhance world food and energy security and environmental sustainability. The discussion leads us to propose that his “institutes” be established worldwide and with an expanded scope of work.

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. Effects of alternative cropping systems on globe artichoke qualitative traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spanu, Emanuela; Deligios, Paola A; Azara, Emanuela; Delogu, Giovanna; Ledda, Luigi

    2018-02-01

    Traditionally, globe artichoke cultivation in the Mediterranean basin is based on monoculture and on use of high amounts of nitrogen fertiliser. This raises issues regarding its compatibility with sustainable agriculture. We studied the effect of one typical conventional (CONV) and two alternative cropping systems [globe artichoke in sequence with French bean (NCV1), or in biannual rotation (NCV2) with cauliflower and with a leguminous cover crop in inter-row spaces] on yield, polyphenol and mineral content of globe artichoke heads over two consecutive growing seasons. NCV2 showed statistical differences in terms of fresh product yield with respect to the monoculture systems. In addition, the dihydroxycinnamic acids and dicaffeoylquinic acids of non-conventional samples were one-fold significantly higher than the conventional one. All the samples reported good mineral content, although NCV2 achieved a higher Fe content than conventional throughout the two seasons. After two and three dates of sampling, the CONV samples showed the highest levels of K content. In our study, an acceptable commercial yield and quality of 'Spinoso sardo' were achieved by shifting the common conventional agronomic management to more sustainable ones, by means of an accurate choice of cover crop species and rotations introduced in the systems. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  9. Translocation of aluminum to grain crops grown in different agricultural systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, S.; Kazi, T.G.; Kolachi, N.F.; Afridi, H.I.

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the mobility and transport of Aluminum (AI) by shoot and grain crops (wheat and maize) grown on two different agricultural soil irrigated with water have high (lake water) and low levels (canal water) of AI. The total and bio available fractions (deionized water, 0.11 M CH/sub 3/COOH, 0.05 M ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDT A) and 0.1 M HCl extractable) of Al in both understudied agricultural soils and correlate with respective total Al in the edible parts (grains) and non edible parts (Shoots) of wheat and maize. The All content in lake and canal water samples was found in the range of 750 - 1340 and 90 - 50 micro g/L respectively. The total and extractable Al in both agricultural soil samples, edible and non edible parts of wheat and maize were analysed by atomic absorption spectrometry after acid digestion in microwave oven. The edible and non edible part of both crops absorbed significantly high levels of Al grown on agricultural soil irrigated with lake water (SILW) as compared to those grown on soil irrigated with can water (SICW) had low level of A] (p< O.OI). The transfer factor of Al from soils to edible and non edible parts of wheat and maize were also evaluated. It was observed that the bioaccumulation of Al was found to be high in non edible parts of both crops grown in SILW. This study highlights the increased danger of growing food crops in the agricultural land continuously irrigated by A] contaminated lake water. (author)

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. An assessment of alternative agricultural management practice impacts on soil carbon in the corn belt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnwell, T.O. Jr.; Jackson, R.B.; Mulkey, L.A. [Environmental Research Laboratory, Athens, GA (United States)

    1993-12-31

    This impact of alternative management practices on agricultural soil C is estimated by a soil C mass balance modeling study that incorporates policy considerations in the analysis. A literature review of soil C modeling and impacts of management practices has been completed. The models selected for use and/or modification to meet the needs of representing soil C cycles in agroecosystems and impacts of management practices are CENTURY and DNDC. These models share a common ability to examine the impacts of alternative management practices on soil organic C, and are readily accessible. An important aspect of this effort is the development of the modeling framework and methodology that define the agricultural production systems and scenarios (i.e., crop-soil-climate combinations) to be assessed in terms of national policy, the integration of the model needs with available databases, and the operational mechanics of evaluating C sequestration potential with the integrated model/database system. We are working closely with EPA`s Office of Policy and Program Evaluation to define a reasonable set of policy alternatives for this assessment focusing on policy that might be affected through a revised Farm Bill, such as incentives to selectively promote conservation tillage, crop rotations, and/or good stewardship of the conservation reserve. Policy alternatives are translated into basic data for use in soil C models through economic models. These data, including such elements as agricultural practices, fertilization rates, and production levels are used in the soil C models to produce net carbon changes on a per unit area basis. The unit-area emissions are combined with areal-extent data in a GIS to produce an estimate of total carbon and nitrogen changes and thus estimate greenhouse benefits.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Energy and greenhouse-gas emissions in irrigated agriculture of SE (southeast) Spain. Effects of alternative water supply scenarios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin-Gorriz, B.; Soto-García, M.; Martínez-Alvarez, V.

    2014-01-01

    Global warming is leading to a water resources decrease in the Mediterranean basin, where future farming resilience depends on incorporating alternative water sources and improving water-energy use efficiency. This paper assesses water and energy consumption when natural water sources are partially replaced by desalinated sea water. Initially, energy consumption, water supply and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions were recorded for the current farming practices in SE (southeast) Spain. The results of our study indicate that citrus orchards have the lowest energy consumption and GHG emissions. Annual vegetables were the least energy efficient crops. Subsequently, two alternative water supply scenarios were analysed, in which the reduction of natural water resources associated to climate change was compensated with desalinated sea water. The use of 16.8% of desalinated seawater would increase energy consumption by 32.4% and GHG emissions by 19.6%, whereas for the use of 26.5% of desalinated seawater such increases would amount to 50.0% and 30.3%, respectively. Therefore maintaining irrigated agriculture in water-stressed regions by incorporating high energy demanding non-traditional water sources could negatively contribute to combat global warming. - Highlights: • Water supply, energy consumption and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in irrigated agriculture are very connected. • The use of desalinated sea water will increase the energy consumption, and GHG emissions will rise. • The use of non-traditional water resources enhances global warming processes. • Citrus orchards are the less sensitive crop to alternative water supplied scenarios. • Artichoke is the most sensitive crop to alternative water supplied scenarios

  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. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. A process-based agricultural model for the irrigated agriculture sector in Alberta, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ammar, M. E.; Davies, E. G.

    2015-12-01

    Connections between land and water, irrigation, agricultural productivity and profitability, policy alternatives, and climate change and variability are complex, poorly understood, and unpredictable. Policy assessment for agriculture presents a large potential for development of broad-based simulation models that can aid assessment and quantification of policy alternatives over longer temporal scales. The Canadian irrigated agriculture sector is concentrated in Alberta, where it represents two thirds of the irrigated land-base in Canada and is the largest consumer of surface water. Despite interest in irrigation expansion, its potential in Alberta is uncertain given a constrained water supply, significant social and economic development and increasing demands for both land and water, and climate change. This paper therefore introduces a system dynamics model as a decision support tool to provide insights into irrigation expansion in Alberta, and into trade-offs and risks associated with that expansion. It is intended to be used by a wide variety of users including researchers, policy analysts and planners, and irrigation managers. A process-based cropping system approach is at the core of the model and uses a water-driven crop growth mechanism described by AquaCrop. The tool goes beyond a representation of crop phenology and cropping systems by permitting assessment and quantification of the broader, long-term consequences of agricultural policies for Alberta's irrigation sector. It also encourages collaboration and provides a degree of transparency that gives confidence in simulation results. The paper focuses on the agricultural component of the systems model, describing the process involved; soil water and nutrients balance, crop growth, and water, temperature, salinity, and nutrients stresses, and how other disciplines can be integrated to account for the effects of interactions and feedbacks in the whole system. In later stages, other components such as

  4. 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.

  5. BIOGAS PRODUCTION FROM CATCH CROPS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    -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......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...... 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Computing the biomass potentials for maize and two alternative energy crops, triticale and cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum L.), 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.

  8. USDA Foreign Agricultural Service overview for operational monitoring of current crop conditions and production forecasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crutchfield, J.

    2016-12-01

    The presentation will discuss the current status of the International Production Assessment Division of the USDA ForeignAgricultural Service for operational monitoring and forecasting of current crop conditions, and anticipated productionchanges to produce monthly, multi-source consensus reports on global crop conditions including the use of Earthobservations (EO) from satellite and in situ sources.United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) International Production AssessmentDivision (IPAD) deals exclusively with global crop production forecasting and agricultural analysis in support of the USDAWorld Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) lockup process and contributions to the World Agricultural Supply DemandEstimates (WASE) report. Analysts are responsible for discrete regions or countries and conduct in-depth long-termresearch into national agricultural statistics, farming systems, climatic, environmental, and economic factors affectingcrop production. IPAD analysts become highly valued cross-commodity specialists over time, and are routinely soughtout for specialized analyses to support governmental studies. IPAD is responsible for grain, oilseed, and cotton analysison a global basis. IPAD is unique in the tools it uses to analyze crop conditions around the world, including customweather analysis software and databases, satellite imagery and value-added image interpretation products. It alsoincorporates all traditional agricultural intelligence resources into its forecasting program, to make the fullest use ofavailable information in its operational commodity forecasts and analysis. International travel and training play animportant role in learning about foreign agricultural production systems and in developing analyst knowledge andcapabilities.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Effects of agricultural practices of three crops on the soil communities under Mediterranean conditions: field evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leitão, Sara; José Cerejeira, Maria; Abreu, Manuela; Sousa, José Paulo

    2014-05-01

    Sustainable agricultural production relies on soil communities as the main actors in key soil processes necessary to maintain sustainable soil functioning. Soil biodiversity influences soil physical and chemical characteristics and thus the sustainability of crop and agro-ecosystems functioning. Agricultural practices (e.g.: soil tillage, pesticides and fertilizer applications, irrigation) may affects negatively or positively soil biodiversity and abundances by modifying the relationships between organisms in the soil ecosystem. The present study aimed to study the influence of agricultural practices of three crops (potato, onion and maize) under Mediterranean climate conditions on soil macro- and mesofauna during their entire crop cycles. Effects on soil communities were assessed at a higher tier of environmental risk assessment comprising field testing of indigenous edaphic communities in a selected study-site located in a major agriculture region of Central Portugal, Ribatejo e Oeste, neighbouring protected wetlands. A reference site near the agricultural field site was selected as a Control site to compare the terrestrial communities' composition and variation along the crop cycle. The field soil and Control site soil are sandy loam soils. Crops irrigation was performed by center-pivot (automated sprinkler that rotates in a half a circle area) and by sprinklers. Soil macro- and mesofauna were collected at both sites (field and Control) using two methodologies through pitfall trapping and soil sampling. The community of soil macro- and mesofauna of the three crops field varied versus control site along the crops cycles. Main differences were due to arachnids, coleopterans, ants and adult Diptera presence and abundance. The feeding activity of soil fauna between control site and crop areas varied only for potato and onion crops vs. control site but not among crops. Concentration of pesticides residues in soil did not cause apparent negative effects on the soil

  12. GEOGLAM Crop Assessment Tool: Adapting from global agricultural monitoring to food security monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humber, M. L.; Becker-Reshef, I.; Nordling, J.; Barker, B.; McGaughey, K.

    2014-12-01

    The GEOGLAM Crop Monitor's Crop Assessment Tool was released in August 2013 in support of the GEOGLAM Crop Monitor's objective to develop transparent, timely crop condition assessments in primary agricultural production areas, highlighting potential hotspots of stress/bumper crops. The Crop Assessment Tool allows users to view satellite derived products, best available crop masks, and crop calendars (created in collaboration with GEOGLAM Crop Monitor partners), then in turn submit crop assessment entries detailing the crop's condition, drivers, impacts, trends, and other information. Although the Crop Assessment Tool was originally intended to collect data on major crop production at the global scale, the types of data collected are also relevant to the food security and rangelands monitoring communities. In line with the GEOGLAM Countries at Risk philosophy of "foster[ing] the coordination of product delivery and capacity building efforts for national and regional organizations, and the development of harmonized methods and tools", a modified version of the Crop Assessment Tool is being developed for the USAID Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). As a member of the Countries at Risk component of GEOGLAM, FEWS NET provides agricultural monitoring, timely food security assessments, and early warnings of potential significant food shortages focusing specifically on countries at risk of food security emergencies. While the FEWS NET adaptation of the Crop Assessment Tool focuses on crop production in the context of food security rather than large scale production, the data collected is nearly identical to the data collected by the Crop Monitor. If combined, the countries monitored by FEWS NET and GEOGLAM Crop Monitor would encompass over 90 countries representing the most important regions for crop production and food security.

  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. 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

  15. 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).

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. An integrated model for assessing both crop productivity and agricultural water resources at a large scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okada, M.; Sakurai, G.; Iizumi, T.; Yokozawa, M.

    2012-12-01

    Agricultural production utilizes regional resources (e.g. river water and ground water) as well as local resources (e.g. temperature, rainfall, solar energy). Future climate changes and increasing demand due to population increases and economic developments would intensively affect the availability of water resources for agricultural production. While many studies assessed the impacts of climate change on agriculture, there are few studies that dynamically account for changes in water resources and crop production. This study proposes an integrated model for assessing both crop productivity and agricultural water resources at a large scale. Also, the irrigation management to subseasonal variability in weather and crop response varies for each region and each crop. To deal with such variations, we used the Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique to quantify regional-specific parameters associated with crop growth and irrigation water estimations. We coupled a large-scale crop model (Sakurai et al. 2012), with a global water resources model, H08 (Hanasaki et al. 2008). The integrated model was consisting of five sub-models for the following processes: land surface, crop growth, river routing, reservoir operation, and anthropogenic water withdrawal. The land surface sub-model was based on a watershed hydrology model, SWAT (Neitsch et al. 2009). Surface and subsurface runoffs simulated by the land surface sub-model were input to the river routing sub-model of the H08 model. A part of regional water resources available for agriculture, simulated by the H08 model, was input as irrigation water to the land surface sub-model. The timing and amount of irrigation water was simulated at a daily step. The integrated model reproduced the observed streamflow in an individual watershed. Additionally, the model accurately reproduced the trends and interannual variations of crop yields. To demonstrate the usefulness of the integrated model, we compared two types of impact assessment of

  1. 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

  2. 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. ;

  3. Increasing plant diversity with border crops reduces insecticide use and increases crop yield in urban agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Nian-Feng; Cai, You-Ming; Shen, Yan-Jun; Ji, Xiang-Yun; Wu, Xiang-Wen; Zheng, Xiang-Rong; Cheng, Wei; Li, Jun; Jiang, Yao-Pei; Chen, Xin; Weiner, Jacob; Jiang, Jie-Xian; Nie, Ming; Ju, Rui-Ting; Yuan, Tao; Tang, Jian-Jun; Tian, Wei-Dong; Zhang, Hao; Li, Bo

    2018-05-24

    Urban agriculture is making an increasing contribution to food security in large cities around the world. The potential contribution of biodiversity to ecological intensification in urban agricultural systems has not been investigated. We present monitoring data collected from rice fields in 34 community farms in mega-urban Shanghai, China, from 2001 to 2015, and show that the presence of a border crop of soybeans and neighboring crops (maize, eggplant and Chinese cabbage), both without weed control, increased invertebrate predator abundance, decreased the abundance of pests and dependence on insecticides, and increased grain yield and economic profits. Two 2 year randomized experiments with the low and high diversity practices in the same locations confirmed these results. Our study shows that diversifying farming practices can make an important contribution to ecological intensification and the sustainable use of associated ecosystem services in an urban ecosystem. © 2018, Wan et al.

  4. 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.

  5. Estimated effects of radioactive fallout on agricultural production in Sweden. Contamination of crop products

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eriksson, Aake; Loensjoe, H.; Karlstroem, F.

    1994-01-01

    The study is part of a research project, 'Radioactivity problems within the food sector' performed in 1991-94 at the request of the National Board of Agriculture in Sweden by The National Research Establishment, Dept. of NBC Defence, and the Dept. of Radioecology and the Dept. of Biosystems and Technology, the latter two belonging to the Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences. The aim of the study was to investigate the contamination levels that may occur in agricultural crop products in Sweden in a situation of radioactive fallout from the use of nuclear weapons. There is a risk for a major nuclide transport in agricultural systems by the feeds, mainly by pasture grass and silage and hay crops but also to some extent by grain crops. For that reason, cattle are expected to be important vectors of the fallout nuclides to the human diet, particularly in milk from dairy cattle but also in beef. The activity transport by grain to pig products may also be of some importance. 8 refs, 7 figs, 25 tabs

  6. The potential of intercropping food crops and energy crop to improve productivity of a degraded agriculture land in arid tropics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.K.D. Jaya

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Degraded agricultural lands in the arid tropics have low soil organic carbon (SOC and hence low productivity. Poor farmers that their livelihoods depend highly on these types of lands are suffering. Cropping strategies that are able to improve the soil productivity are needed. In the present study, some intercropping models of food crops with bio-energy crop of castor (Ricinus communis L. were tested to assess their potential to improve the degraded land productivity. The intercropping models were: (1 castor - hybrid maize, (2 castor – short season maize, (3 castor – mungbean, and (4 castor –short season maize – mungbean. The results show that yields of the component crops in monoculture were relatively the same as in intercropping, resulted in a high Land Equivalent Ratio (LER. The highest LER (3.07 was calculated from intercropping castor plants with short season maize crops followed by mungbean with intercropping productivity of IDR 15,097,600.00 ha-1. Intercropping has a great potential to improve degraded agriculture land productivity and castor is a promising plant to improve biodiversity and area coverage on the land.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. Prospects for cultivation of agricultural crops on highly contaminated fallow lands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Podolyak, A.G.; Las'ko, T.V.; Tagaj, S.A.; Potipko, N.S.; Bogachenko, D.S.

    2015-01-01

    In the long term after a nuclear accident, there is a necessity to address the issues associated with the recovery of contaminated fallow lands and their agricultural use for crop production. (authors)

  13. 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.

  14. Cover crop residue effects on machine-induced soil compaction

    OpenAIRE

    Ess, Daniel R.

    1994-01-01

    Crop production systems which utilize the biomass produced by rye (Secale cereale ) to suppress weed growth and conserve soil moisture have been developed at Virginia Tech. The success of alternative, reduced-input crop production systems has encouraged research into the potential for breaking the traffic-tillage cycle associated with conventional tillage crop production systems. The fragile residues encountered in agricultural crop production, whether incorporated into the ...

  15. Intragenesis and cisgenesis as alternatives to transgenic crop development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    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...... from cisgenesis by allowing use of new gene combinations created by in vitro rearrangements of functional genetic elements. Several surveys show higher public acceptance of intragenic/cisgenic crops compared to transgenic crops. Thus, although the intragenic and cisgenic concepts were introduced...... 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...

  16. 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.

  17. Virtual water flows and water-footprint of agricultural crop production, import and export: A case study for Israel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shtull-Trauring, E; Bernstein, N

    2018-05-01

    Agriculture is the largest global consumer of freshwater. As the volume of international trade continues to rise, so does the understanding that trade of water-intensive crops from areas with high precipitation, to arid regions can help mitigate water scarcity, highlighting the importance of crop water accounting. Virtual-Water, or Water-Footprint [WF] of agricultural crops, is a powerful indicator for assessing the extent of water use by plants, contamination of water bodies by agricultural practices and trade between countries, which underlies any international trade of crops. Most available studies of virtual-water flows by import/export of agricultural commodities were based on global databases, which are considered to be of limited accuracy. The present study analyzes the WF of crop production, import, and export on a country level, using Israel as a case study, comparing data from two high-resolution local databases and two global datasets. Results for local datasets demonstrate a WF of ~1200Million Cubic Meters [MCM]/year) for total crop production, ~1000MCM/year for import and ~250MCM/year for export. Fruits and vegetables comprise ~80% of Export WF (~200MCM/year), ~50% of crop production and only ~20% of the imports. Economic Water Productivity [EWP] ($/m 3 ) for fruits and vegetables is 1.5 higher compared to other crops. Moreover, the results based on local and global datasets varied significantly, demonstrating the importance of developing high-resolution local datasets based on local crop coefficients. Performing high resolution WF analysis can help in developing agricultural policies that include support for low WF/high EWP and limit high WF/low EWP crop export, where water availability is limited. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. Fabrication Of Biogenic Silver Nanoparticles Using Agricultural Crop Plant Leaf Extracts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajani, P.; SriSindhura, K.; Prasad, T. N. V. K. V.; Hussain, O. M.; Sudhakar, P.; Latha, P.; Balakrishna, M.; Kambala, V.; Reddy, K. Raja

    2010-10-01

    Nanoparticles are being viewed as fundamental building blocks of nanotechnology. Biosynthesis of nanoparticles by plant extracts is currently under exploitation. Use of agricultural crop plant extracts for synthesis of metal nanoparticles would add a new dimension to the agricultural sector in the utilization of crop waste. Silver has long been recognized as having an inhibitory effect towards many bacterial strains and microorganisms commonly present in medical and industrial processes. Four pulse crop plants and three cereal crop plants (Vigna radiata, Arachis hypogaea, Cyamopsis tetragonolobus, Zea mays, Pennisetum glaucum, Sorghum vulgare) were used and compared for their extra cellular synthesis of metallic silver nanoparticles. Stable silver nanoparticles were formed by treating aqueous solution of AgNO3 with the plant leaf extracts as reducing agent at temperatures 50 °C-95 °C. UV-Visible spectroscopy was utilized to monitor the formation of silver nanoparticles. XRD analysis of formed silver nanoparticles revealed face centered cubic structure with (111), (200), (220) and (311) planes. SEM and EDAX analysis confirm the size of the formed silver nanoparticles to be in the range of 50-200 nm. Our proposed work offers a enviro-friendly method for biogenic silver nanoparticles production. This could provide a faster synthesis rate comparable to those of chemical methods and potentially be used in areas such as cosmetics, food and medical applications.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

  4. Interaction of turbine-generated turbulence with agricultural crops: Conceptual framework and preliminary results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takle, E. S.; Rajewski, D. A.; Segal, M.; Elmore, R.; Hatfield, J.; Prueger, J. H.; Taylor, S. E.

    2009-12-01

    The US Midwest is a unique location for wind power production because wind farms in this region, unlike any other, are co-located within major agricultural production systems that are among the most highly productive in the world. Iowa has over 3,000 MW of installed power in wind farms typically consisting of 75-120 turbines positioned within agricultural fields with irregular spacing but inter-turbine distances in some cases less than 300 m. Wind turbines extract energy from the ambient flow and change mean and turbulent characteristics of wind flow over and within the crop canopy. Turbulent exchange of air from within the crop canopy regulates vertical fluxes of heat, moisture, momentum, and CO2. Changes in wind speed and turbulence structure by wind farms and isolated wind turbines will influence crop growth, productivity, and seed quality in unknown ways. For instance, enhanced vertical fluxes of heat and moisture may help cool the crop on hot summer days (beneficial) but may enhance loss of soil moisture (detrimental). Faster drying of dew from the crop in the morning reduces leaf wetness, which is a condition favoring growth of fungus, mold and toxins. Corn and soybeans typically draw down ambient CO2 levels by 15-20% during the day in the peak growing season, providing an opportunity to enhance downward fluxes of CO2 into the crop canopy by turbine-induced turbulence. Reduction of high winds and resulting leaf shredding and stalk lodging are documented positive effects of agricultural shelterbelts and may be benefits of turbines as well. Enhanced surface evaporation during fall dry-down would improve seed readiness for storage and reduce artificial drying costs. Modification of surface wind convergence/divergence patterns may enhance convection and change rainfall patterns and modify snow deposition, melting, and soil-moisture-recharge in winter. Wind machines are widely used in orchards and vineyards for avoiding killing freezes, but turbine benefits for

  5. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartomeus, Ignasi; Potts, Simon G; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Vaissière, Bernard E; Woyciechowski, Michal; Krewenka, Kristin M; Tscheulin, Thomas; Roberts, Stuart P M; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Westphal, Catrin; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2014-01-01

    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 pollinators in

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Grassland-Cropping Rotations: An Avenue for Agricultural Diversification to Reconcile High Production with Environmental Quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemaire, Gilles; Gastal, François; Franzluebbers, Alan; Chabbi, Abad

    2015-11-01

    A need to increase agricultural production across the world to ensure continued food security appears to be at odds with the urgency to reduce the negative environmental impacts of intensive agriculture. Around the world, intensification has been associated with massive simplification and uniformity at all levels of organization, i.e., field, farm, landscape, and region. Therefore, we postulate that negative environmental impacts of modern agriculture are due more to production simplification than to inherent characteristics of agricultural productivity. Thus by enhancing diversity within agricultural systems, it should be possible to reconcile high quantity and quality of food production with environmental quality. Intensification of livestock and cropping systems separately within different specialized regions inevitably leads to unacceptable environmental impacts because of the overly uniform land use system in intensive cereal areas and excessive N-P loads in intensive animal areas. The capacity of grassland ecosystems to couple C and N cycles through microbial-soil-plant interactions as a way for mitigating the environmental impacts of intensive arable cropping system was analyzed in different management options: grazing, cutting, and ley duration, in order to minimize trade-offs between production and the environment. We suggest that integrated crop-livestock systems are an appropriate strategy to enhance diversity. Sod-based rotations can temporally and spatially capture the benefits of leys for minimizing environmental impacts, while still maintaining periods and areas of intensive cropping. Long-term experimental results illustrate the potential of such systems to sequester C in soil and to reduce and control N emissions to the atmosphere and hydrosphere.

  11. 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...

  12. Quantifying effects of oxidant air pollutants on agricultural crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Medeiros, W H; Moskowitz, P D

    1983-01-01

    Estimating risks of air pollution damage to agricultural crops requires identifying crop location and size, likely doses, models for translating dose to response, and measures of response appropriate for economic analysis. Assessment of risk requires compatible data sets for each of these variables. Analysis of air pollution mixtures suggests that oxidant crop damage is caused by three compounds: ozone, nitrogen oxides, and peroxyacetylnitrates. The phytotoxicity of ozone, the most prevalent photochemical oxidant, has been studied more extensively than the other two oxidants, and its effects on vegetation are best understood. Response of vegetation to air pollutants was first characterized by foliar or visible injury. Subsequent research indicated that foliar injury did not translate directly into reduced plant growth or yield, which can be measured. Response to air pollutants may be influenced by physical, biological, and environmental factors. Inherent genetic resistance is probably the most important single factor affecting plant response, although environmental factors influencing stomatal aperture may also be important. For several crops open-top chamber studies and cross sectional analyses of field data provide adequate information to develop dose-response functions. All of these studies have both strengths and weaknesses. Although a number of different models exist for selected crops, there is no single biological or statistical criterion which identifies the best or most accurate model.

  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. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Using a decision support system to optimize production of agricultural crop residue Biofeedstock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoskinson, Reed L.; Rope, Ronald C.; Fink, Raymond K.

    2007-01-01

    For several years the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has been developing a Decision Support System for Agriculture (DSS4Ag) which determines the economically optimum recipe of various fertilizers to apply at each site in a field to produce a crop, based on the existing soil fertility at each site, as well as historic production information and current prices of fertilizers and the forecast market price of the crop at harvest. In support of the growing interest in agricultural crop residues as a bioenergy feedstock, we have extended the capability of the DSS4Ag to develop a variable-rate fertilizer recipe for the simultaneous economically optimum production of both grain and straw. In this paper we report the results of 2 yr of field research testing and enhancing the DSS4Ag's ability to economically optimize the fertilization for the simultaneous production of both grain and its straw, where the straw is an agricultural crop residue that can be used as a biofeedstock. For both years, the DSS4Ag reduced the cost and amount of fertilizers used and increased grower profit, while reducing the biomass produced. The DSS4Ag results show that when a biorefinery infrastructure is in place and growers have a strong market for their straw it is not economically advantageous to increase fertilization in order to try to produce more straw. This suggests that other solutions, such as single-pass selective harvest, must be implemented to meet national goals for the amount of biomass that will be available for collection and use for bioenergy. (author)

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego N. Chavarría

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available 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 were sown 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.

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Radio/antenna mounting system for wireless networking under row-crop agriculture conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    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-colle...

  10. 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.

  11. Energy in agriculture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Le Roux, E J

    1980-02-01

    Agriculture is an important component of Canadian energy policy. There are many opportunities for both the production of energy from agricultural processes and the conservation of energy in agricultural production. These opportunities, as well as current practices and research in progress, are outlined in this report. Energy sources in agriculture include biomass (straw and other residues), methane production from manure, and oil and alcohol from crops. Alternate energy sources such as solar and wind power conserve conventional resources, and additional conservation opportunities exist in the use of greenhouses, waste heat and energy-efficient farming processes. Research programs and possible trends are outlined. 10 figs., 3 tabs.

  12. 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.

  13. 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,…

  14. Increased nutritional value in food crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goicoechea, Nieves; Antolín, M Carmen

    2017-09-01

    Modern agriculture and horticulture must combine two objectives that seem to be almost mutually exclusive: to satisfy the nutritional needs of an increasing human population and to minimize the negative impact on the environment. These two objectives are included in the Goal 2 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations: 'End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture'. Enhancing the nutritional levels of vegetables would improve nutrient intake without requiring an increase in consumption. In this context, the use of beneficial rhizospheric microorganisms for improving, not only growth and yield, but also the nutrient quality of crops represents a promising tool that may respond to the challenges for modern agriculture and horticulture and represents an alternative to the genetic engineering of crops. This paper summarizes the state of the art, the current difficulties associated to the use of rhizospheric microorganisms as enhancers of the nutritional quality of food crops as well as the future prospects. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    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...... 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...

  17. 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

  18. Monitoring and predicting crop growth and analysing agricultural ecosystems by remote sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsuyoshi Akiyama

    1996-05-01

    Full Text Available LANDSAT/TM data, which are characterized by high spectral/spatial resolutions, are able to contribute to practical agricultural management. In the first part of the paper, the authors review some recent applications of satellite remote sensing in agriculture. Techniques for crop discrimination and mapping have made such rapid progress that we can classify crop types with more than 80% accuracy. The estimation of crop biomass using satellite data, including leaf area, dry and fresh weights, and the prediction of grain yield, has been attempted using various spectral vegetation indices. Plant stresses caused by nutrient deficiency and water deficit have also been analysed successfully. Such information may be useful for farm management. In the latter half of the paper, we introduce the Arctic Science Project, which was carried out under the Science and Technology Agency of Japan collaborating with Finnish scientists. In this project, monitoring of the boreal forest was carried out using LANDSAT data. Changes in the phenology of subarctic ground vegetation, based on spectral properties, were measured by a boom-mounted, four-band spectroradiometer. The turning point dates of the seasonal near-infrared (NIR and red (R reflectance factors might indicate the end of growth and the beginning of autumnal tints, respectively.

  19. Biofuel as an Integrated Farm Drainage Management crop: A bioeconomic analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levers, L. R.; Schwabe, K. A.

    2017-04-01

    Irrigated agricultural lands in arid regions often suffer from soil salinization and lack of drainage, which affect environmental quality and productivity. Integrated Farm Drainage Management (IFDM) systems, where drainage water generated from higher-valued crops grown on high quality soils are used to irrigate salt-tolerant crops grown on marginal soils, is one possible strategy for managing salinity and drainage problems. If the IFDM crop were a biofuel crop, both environmental and private benefits may be generated; however, little is known about this possibility. As such, we develop a bioeconomic programming model of irrigated agricultural production to examine the role salt-tolerant biofuel crops might play within an IFDM system. Our results, generated by optimizing profits over land, water, and crop choice decisions subject to resource constraints, suggest that based on the private profits alone, biofuel crops can be a competitive alternative to the common practices of land retirement and nonbiofuel crop production under both low to high drainage water salinity. Yet IFDM biofuel crop production generates 30-35% fewer GHG emissions than the other strategies. The private market competitiveness coupled with the public good benefits may justify policy changes encouraging the growth of IFDM biofuel crops in arid agricultural areas globally.

  20. Declining agricultural production in rapidly urbanizing semi-arid regions: policy tradeoffs and sustainability indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dozier, André Q.; Arabi, Mazdak; Wostoupal, Benjamin C.; Goemans, Christopher G.; Zhang, Yao; Paustian, Keith

    2017-08-01

    In rapidly urbanizing semi-arid regions, increasing amounts of historically irrigated cropland lies permanently fallowed due to water court policies as agricultural water rights are voluntarily being sold to growing cities. This study develops an integrative framework for assessing the effects of population growth and land use change on agricultural production and evaluating viability of alternative management strategies, including alternative agricultural transfer methods, regional water ownership restrictions, and urban conservation. A partial equilibrium model of a spatially-diverse regional water rights market is built in application of the framework to an exemplary basin. The model represents agricultural producers as profit-maximizing suppliers and municipalities as cost-minimizing consumers of water rights. Results indicate that selling an agricultural water right today is worth up to two times more than 40 years of continued production. All alternative policies that sustain agricultural cropland and crop production decrease total agricultural profitability by diminishing water rights sales revenue, but in doing so, they also decrease municipal water acquisition costs. Defining good indicators and incorporating adequate spatial and temporal detail are critical to properly analyzing policy impacts. To best improve agricultural profit from production and sale of crops, short-term solutions include alternative agricultural transfer methods while long-term solutions incorporate urban conservation.

  1. 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

  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. What Prompts Agricultural Innovation in Rural Nepal: A Study Using the Example of Macadamia and Walnut Trees as Novel Cash Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Karin Barrueto

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural innovations are important, especially as climatic conditions around the world have been subject to increasing change over the past decades. Through innovation, farmers can adapt to the changing conditions and secure their livelihoods. In Nepal, 75% of the population depends upon agriculture, which is impacted by climate change, migration, and feminisation. In this context, it is important to understand what drives a household to start agricultural innovation to increase its economic benefits and resilience in the face of multiple pressures. We sought a comprehensive understanding of these drivers by investigating the determinants of rural innovation, using macadamia and walnut trees as examples of novel, potentially commercialised cash crops. After conducting an in-depth household survey that divided farmers into those who cultivate nuts and those who do not, we analysed the socio-economic and cultural characteristics of each category using statistical tests and a multiple logistic regression. Our results show that the individual variables of ethnicity, wealth and “years of experience with fruit trees” correlate significantly with nut cultivation. The results of the multiple regression suggest that “years of experience with tree cultivation” and “having an income through fruit trees” most influence nut cultivation. Overall, we conclude that nut cultivation is an accepted and promising cash crop mostly grown by wealthier households, and that, for poor, landless, or female-headed households to benefit, alternative business models and new policies must be explored and developed. We further suggest that this is also true for other nut or other cash crop trees that have gained recent attention in Nepal such as almond, hazelnut, or pecan farming.

  4. 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

  5. Economics of trees versus annual crops on marginal agricultural lands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gupta, T.; Mohan, D.

    1982-01-01

    The results of a study conducted by the CMA in Rajasthan, selected as one of the major problem states because of its hot, arid and drought-prone character, and its present declining agricultural, livestock and fuelwood production coupled with an expansion of the area under annual crops. The present situation in Rajasthan is described and estimates made of returns from current land based enterprises (annual crops and livestock rearing) in comparison with the expected costs and returns of establishing suitable tree crops in the area. The financial and social feasibility of changing land use from annual to tree crops (while maintaining livestock production) is discussed, together with a consideration of some management and policy issues. Six tree species (Acacia tortilis, Albizzia (Albizia) lebbek, Prosopis cineraria, P. juliflora, Zizyphus species and Leucaena leucocephala) were identified as adaptable for the region and the economics of raising each over 1 felling cycle calculated. Depending on the species and cycle length, net annual returns were Rs 360-3270/ha (using a discount factor of 11%), with an expected return of Rs1680/ha if the species were allocated equally; this is considerably better than the expected returns from annual crops and standing farm trees (Rs-40 to Rs30/ha, with or without including the costs of family labor). Fifteen tables in the text and 9 in appendices give detailed breakdowns of costs and returns. 104 references.

  6. 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.

  7. Sustainability assessment of GM crops in a Swiss agricultural context

    OpenAIRE

    Speiser , Bernhard; Stolze , Matthias; Oehen , Bernadette; Gessler , Cesare; Weibel , Franco; Bravin , Esther; Kilchenmann , Adeline; Widmer , Albert; Charles , Raffael; Lang , Andreas; Stamm , Christian; Triloff , Peter; Tamm , Lucius

    2012-01-01

    International audience; The aim of this study was to provide an ex ante assessment of the sustainability of genetically modified (GM) crops under the agricultural conditions prevailing in Switzerland. The study addressed the gaps in our knowledge relating to (1) the agronomic risks/benefits in production systems under Swiss conditions (at field and rotation/orchard level), (2) the economic and socio-economic impacts associated with altered farming systems, and (3) the agro-ecological risks/be...

  8. GEOGLAM Crop Monitor Assessment Tool: Developing Monthly Crop Condition Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGaughey, K.; Becker Reshef, I.; Barker, B.; Humber, M. L.; Nordling, J.; Justice, C. O.; Deshayes, M.

    2014-12-01

    The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) developed the Global Agricultural Monitoring initiative (GEOGLAM) to improve existing agricultural information through a network of international partnerships, data sharing, and operational research. This presentation will discuss the Crop Monitor component of GEOGLAM, which provides the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) with an international, multi-source, and transparent consensus assessment of crop growing conditions, status, and agro-climatic conditions likely to impact global production. This activity covers the four primary crop types (wheat, maize, rice, and soybean) within the main agricultural producing regions of the AMIS countries. These assessments have been produced operationally since September 2013 and are published in the AMIS Market Monitor Bulletin. The Crop Monitor reports provide cartographic and textual summaries of crop conditions as of the 28th of each month, according to crop type. This presentation will focus on the building of international networks, data collection, and data dissemination.

  9. Crop residue recycling for economic and environmental sustainability: The case of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devi Saroj

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available India is one of the key producers of food grain, oilseed, sugarcane and other agricultural products. Agricultural crops generate considerable amounts of leftover residues, with increases in food production crop residues also increasing. These leftover residues exhibit not only resource loss but also a missed opportunity to improve a farmer’s income. The use of crop residues in various fields are being explored by researchers across the world in areas such as textile composite non-woven making processes, power generation, biogas production, animal feed, compost and manures, etc. The increasing trend in addition of bio-energy cogeneration plants, increasing demand for animal feedstock and increasing trend for organic agriculture indicates a competitive opportunity forcrop residue in Agriculture. It is to be noted that the use of this left over residue isoften not mutually exclusive which makes measurement of its economic value more difficult.For example, straw can be used as animal bedding and thereafter as a crop fertilizer. In view of this, the main aim of this paper envisaged to know about how much crop residue is left unutilized and how best they can be utilized for alternative purposes for environmental stewardship and sustainability. In this context, an attempt has been made to estimate the total crop residue across the states and its economic value though data available from various government sources and a SWOT analysis performed for possible alternative uses of residue in India. This paper also discusses the successful case studies of India and global level of use of crop residues in economic activities. Over all 516 Mtonnes of crop residue was produced in 2014-15 in India among which cereals were the largest producer of crop residue followed by sugarcane. The energy potential from paddy rice straw crop residue was estimated as 486,955 megawatt for 2014-15 and similarly for coarse cereals it was 226,200megawatt.

  10. Impact of agriculture crop residue burning on atmospheric aerosol loading – a study over Punjab State, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darshan Singh

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available The present study deals with the impact of agriculture crop residue burning on aerosol properties during October 2006 and 2007 over Punjab State, India using ground based measurements and multi-satellite data. Spectral aerosol optical depth (AOD and Ångström exponent (α values exhibited larger day to day variation during crop residue burning period. The monthly mean Ångström exponent "α" and turbidity parameter "β" values during October 2007 were 1.31±0.31 and 0.36±0.21, respectively. The higher values of "α" and "β" suggest turbid atmospheric conditions with increase in fine mode aerosols over the region during crop residue burning period. AURA-OMI derived Aerosol Index (AI and Nitrogen dioxide (NO2 showed higher values over the study region during October 2007 compared to October 2006 suggesting enhanced atmospheric pollution associated with agriculture crop residue burning.

  11. Sustainability assessment of crop protection systems: SustainOS methodology and its application for apple orchards

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mouron, P.; Heijne, B.; Naef, A.; Strassemever, J.; Haver, F.; Avilla, J.

    2012-01-01

    Crop protection in general and apple crop protection in particular often rely on pesticides, although several alternative pest management measures are available. In this context European agricultural policy requires the implementation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) by 2014. Within IPM, more

  12. 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.

  13. Possible effects of climatic change on estimated crop yields in Canada: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stewart, R.

    1990-01-01

    An overview is presented of research relating to the possible effects of climatic change on crop yields in Canada. Possible changes in the long-term climate resulting from a doubling in atmospheric carbon dioxide would have a major impact on agriculture in Canada. The Goddard Institute for Space Studies' general circulation model suggests that Canada will be significantly warmer and somewhat drier, with an annual temperature increase of more than 3 degree C and an annual precipitation increase of 11-13%. The increased annual precipitation will not compensate for the increased temperatures, and most agricultural regions will be somewhat drier. Current crop varieties and cropping systems will be unsuitable. Existing varieties will be eliminated or moved north into more suitable agricultural areas. Longer growing season varieties or alternative crops will be required for existing agricultural areas. Production opportunities for hard and soft winter wheat, corn, soybeans, horticulture and tender fruits could be enhanced. 21 refs

  14. The role of algae in agriculture: a mathematical study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiwari, P K; Misra, A K; Venturino, Ezio

    2017-06-01

    Synthetic fertilizers and livestock manure are nowadays widely used in agriculture to improve crop yield but nitrogen and phosphorous runoff resulting from their use compromises water quality and contributes to eutrophication phenomena in waterbeds within the countryside and ultimately in the ocean. Alternatively, algae could play an important role in agriculture where they can be used as biofertilizers and soil stabilizers. To examine the possible reuse of the detritus generated by dead algae as fertilizer for crops, we develop three mathematical models building upon each other. A system is proposed in which algae recover waste nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) for reuse in agricultural production. The results of our study show that in so doing, the crop yield may be increased and simultaneously the density of algae in the lake may be reduced. This could be a way to mitigate and possibly solve the environmental and economic issues nowadays facing agriculture.

  15. Cover crops support ecological intensification of arable cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittwer, Raphaël A.; Dorn, Brigitte; Jossi, Werner; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A.

    2017-02-01

    A major challenge for agriculture is to enhance productivity with minimum impact on the environment. Several studies indicate that cover crops could replace anthropogenic inputs and enhance crop productivity. However, so far, it is unclear if cover crop effects vary between different cropping systems, and direct comparisons among major arable production systems are rare. Here we compared the short-term effects of various cover crops on crop yield, nitrogen uptake, and weed infestation in four arable production systems (conventional cropping with intensive tillage and no-tillage; organic cropping with intensive tillage and reduced tillage). We hypothesized that cover cropping effects increase with decreasing management intensity. Our study demonstrated that cover crop effects on crop yield were highest in the organic system with reduced tillage (+24%), intermediate in the organic system with tillage (+13%) and in the conventional system with no tillage (+8%) and lowest in the conventional system with tillage (+2%). Our results indicate that cover crops are essential to maintaining a certain yield level when soil tillage intensity is reduced (e.g. under conservation agriculture), or when production is converted to organic agriculture. Thus, the inclusion of cover crops provides additional opportunities to increase the yield of lower intensity production systems and contribute to ecological intensification.

  16. Contribution to the microeconomics of fuel alcohol from agricultural crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koegl, H.

    1984-01-01

    A comprehensive evaluation of the economic viability of renewable resources presumes that at first micro- and macroeconomic aspects have been analysed. For this purpose the paper deals from a microeconomic point of view with one aspect that is the economics of supply of fuel alcohol. For those crops, which are currently of interest, the costs of production and conversion and the revenues from by-products are investigated. As the results suggest, the economics of supply are mostly affected by the following facts: at the crop production stage: output per unit of area, production management, utilization of crop by-products; at the plant stage: plant design, use of plant capacity, scale effects; at the stage of waste disposal: type of crop, type of processing, utilization. The partial economic analysis indicates that the minimum prices of ethanol are in the range from 1.06 to 1.38 DM per litre. This is higher than the prices of fossil fuel and ethylene. In the long run the competitiveness of renewable resources will depend on the change in price relations between agricultural raw materials and fossil energy, substitution possibilities and on the rate of technical progress. But already now another assessment of the competitiveness of renewable resources might be possible if the overall economic efficient use of renewable resources has been investigated.

  17. 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

  18. Biofertilizers: a potential approach for sustainable agriculture development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahanty, Trishna; Bhattacharjee, Surajit; Goswami, Madhurankhi; Bhattacharyya, Purnita; Das, Bannhi; Ghosh, Abhrajyoti; Tribedi, Prosun

    2017-02-01

    The worldwide increase in human population raises a big threat to the food security of each people as the land for agriculture is limited and even getting reduced with time. Therefore, it is essential that agricultural productivity should be enhanced significantly within the next few decades to meet the large demand of food by emerging population. Not to mention, too much dependence on chemical fertilizers for more crop productions inevitably damages both environmental ecology and human health with great severity. Exploitation of microbes as biofertilizers is considered to some extent an alternative to chemical fertilizers in agricultural sector due to their extensive potentiality in enhancing crop production and food safety. It has been observed that some microorganisms including plant growth promoting bacteria, fungi, Cyanobacteria, etc. have showed biofertilizer-like activities in the agricultural sector. Extensive works on biofertilizers have revealed their capability of providing required nutrients to the crop in sufficient amounts that resulted in the enhancement of crop yield. The present review elucidates various mechanisms that have been exerted by biofertilizers in order to promote plant growth and also provides protection against different plant pathogens. The aim of this review is to discuss the important roles and applications of biofertilizers in different sectors including agriculture, bioremediation, and ecology.

  19. Asymmetries of cattle and crop productivity and efficiency during Brazil’s agricultural expansion from 1975 to 2006

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerd Sparovek

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Brazil has global importance for food production and conservation of natural resources. The country has plans to increase yields and commitments to decrease deforestation that require higher productivity. Plans and policies for the growth of Brazilian agriculture, however, have been made without an integrated analysis of the harvest and not supported by a universal metric regarding its efficiency. Applying methods to model flows of energy and matter along food supply chains for agricultural production from 1975 to 2006, we found that crop and cattle harvests and their productivity have increased during the last four decades in consolidated and deforestation frontier regions. Yet in 2006, crop protein production was 20 times larger than cattle protein, using an area 2.6 times smaller than pastures. Crop protein productivity was 0.25 ton.ha–1 with emissions of 2 ton GHG per ton of protein, while cattle productivity was 0.01 ton.ha–1 with emissions of 283 ton GHG per ton of protein. From 1975 to 2006, the portion of crop protein and energy going to feed increased while the portion going to direct human consumption decreased. Our findings suggest that more efficient food systems would be achieved by a combination of intensification of cattle systems, optimization of feed-meat systems and an increase in the share of the consumption of crops as a source of protein. We suggest an initial road map to the expansion of the cultivated area and intensification of agriculture for zero deforestation, efficient and sustainable land use and food systems where cattle pasture intensification is a transition that will last until the expansion of crops replace all pasture present on suitable arable land. During this transition, pasture area will decrease until it is limited only to marginal non-arable lands. Such change could be achieved by a robust strategy that combines penalties and incentives and prevents the risks of a rebound effect for the

  20. DIAGNOSIS OF ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURE IN THE CITY OF UBÁ-MG

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    Patrícia Sperandio Duriguetto

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Conventional agriculture uses mechanization practices, remediation and soil fertilization and pesticides to control pests and diseases. The criticism of this farming system grows as studies show that pesticides contaminate food and the environment and cause health damage. Aiming at sustainable development and the pursuit of consolidation between the social, economic and ecological agriculture alternative arises. This work is outlined in order to understand the current status, characteristics, limitations and difficulties for the implementation of alternative agriculture in the municipality of Ubá-MG. Furthermore, we seek to identify the knowledge of agricultural alternative as well as the interest and profile of likely consumers of these products in the municipality. We conducted a quantitative research through the use of two questionnaires with multiple choice questions and dichotomous, by simple random sampling. The results show that there are many difficulties for the development of alternative agriculture in the county, including: a lack of resources for producers, small-scale production, lack of market and consumer knowledge about alternative product in the municipality. Given these difficulties, the alternative system seems advantageous and competitive both economically and environmentally compared to the conventional system. There was a lack of information regarding organic products, alternative, since access to these is restricted to much of the population in the municipality of Ubá and adjacent municipalities. Seeking theoretical basis it was necessary also to perform a literature search in several papers that address the theme.

  1. 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.

  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. 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?

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. Increased food production and reduced water use through optimized crop distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Kyle Frankel; Rulli, Maria Cristina; Seveso, Antonio; D'Odorico, Paolo

    2017-12-01

    Growing demand for agricultural commodities for food, fuel and other uses is expected to be met through an intensification of production on lands that are currently under cultivation. Intensification typically entails investments in modern technology — such as irrigation or fertilizers — and increases in cropping frequency in regions suitable for multiple growing seasons. Here we combine a process-based crop water model with maps of spatially interpolated yields for 14 major food crops to identify potential differences in food production and water use between current and optimized crop distributions. We find that the current distribution of crops around the world neither attains maximum production nor minimum water use. We identify possible alternative configurations of the agricultural landscape that, by reshaping the global distribution of crops within current rainfed and irrigated croplands based on total water consumption, would feed an additional 825 million people while reducing the consumptive use of rainwater and irrigation water by 14% and 12%, respectively. Such an optimization process does not entail a loss of crop diversity, cropland expansion or impacts on nutrient and feed availability. It also does not necessarily invoke massive investments in modern technology that in many regions would require a switch from smallholder farming to large-scale commercial agriculture with important impacts on rural livelihoods.

  7. Natural radioactivity in Swedish agricultural soils and crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eriksson, Ake; Rosen, K.

    2000-01-01

    In this work we report on investigations in Sweden of the natural radioactivity of 40 K, 226 Ra and 232 Th in the agricultural soils and of 226 Ra in the crops. In addition information is given on factors important for the plant availability of these nuclides to the crop plants. Also, from a number of works, background data on the transfer from soils to plants in different environments are presented. These works show that there is a large variation depending on local conditions and crop type in the accumulation of natural radioactive elements by the plants. Thus, concentration ratios (plant/soil) calculated for fresh crop weight and dry soil weight showed for 238 U in forage crops and in grain a range 0.001-0.005, for 226 Ra a range 0.001-0.03 and for 210 Pb a range 0.0004-0.2. The higher value was limit for vegetative plant parts and the lower value limit for generative parts, seeds and grain. In Swedish early studies, evidence was found that in field crops on the same soils the radium/calcium-ratio in grain was reduced according to the following order winter wheat>spring wheat> barley>oats. Variation among the crops on different soils showed ranges from 1-0.1 to 1-0.4. The radium/calcium-ratio in straw was 4 to 7 times higher than in grain. Also field experiments showed that proper liming on acid soils could reduce the radium/calcium ratio by 40 per cent. Our study shows that the average contents of the nuclides 226 Ra and 232 Th in Bq per kg dry weight is of the same size of order, 40, 50 and 80 Bq per kg in the southern, in the western and in the middle regions of Sweden, respectively. The difference between regions is not occasional. It depends on the type of the mother material and on the different clay contents of the soils, as is indicated also by the potassium content. Considering also the daughters of the nuclide series it is found that the total nuclide activity will reach a sum of 300-600 kBq per square meter of the plough layer. The total activity may

  8. Analysis of the impact of energy crops on water quality. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hatfield, J.L.; Gale, W.J.

    1993-01-01

    This report consists of two separate papers. The first, ''The potential use of agricultural simulation models in predicting the fate of nitrogen and pesticides applied to switchgrass and poplars,'' describes three models (CREAMS, GLEAMS, and EPIC) for the evaluation of the relationships which determine water quality in the agroecosystem. Case studies are presented which demonstrate the utility of these models in evaluating the potential impact of alternative crop management practices. The second paper, ''Energy crops as part of a sustainable landscape,'' discusses concepts of landscape management and the linkage among agricultural practices and environmental quality

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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).

  12. 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; 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).

  13. Standing crops and ecology of aquatic invertebrates in agricultural drainwater ponds in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euliss, N.H.; Jarvis, R.L.; Gilmer, D.S.

    1991-01-01

    We examined standing crops and ecology of aquatic invertebrates in agricultural drainwater evaporation ponds in California from October 1982 to March 1983 and September 1983 to March 1984. Evaporation ponds supported low diversities but high standing crops of aquatic invertebrates. A water boatman (Trichocorixa reticulata) and a midge (Tanypus grodhausi) were the most abundant invertebrates, constituting 44.9% and 51.4% of total macroinvertebrate biomass. Regression models indicated that of 6 environmental variables measured, only electrical conductivity (EC) and Julian date affected biomass and density of water boatmen. EC was the only significant correlate of midge biomass in evaporation ponds.

  14. Earthworm activity and soil structural changes under conservation agriculture in central Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castellanos Navarrete, A.; Rodriguez-Aragonés, C.; Goede, de R.G.M.; Kooistra, M.J.; Sayre, K.D.; Brussaard, L.; Pulleman, M.M.

    2012-01-01

    Crop residue mulching combined with zero tillage and crop rotation, known as conservation agriculture (CA), is being promoted as an alternative system to revert soil degradation in maize-based farming in the central highlands of Mexico. The goal of this paper was to determine the effects of CA vs.

  15. 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

  16. Structure and location of macronutrients in ancient and alternative crops (abstract)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Structure, histochemistry and composition of mature seeds of several ancient or alternative crops were studied by light and electron microscopies to localize specific macronutrients including protein, starch, non-starch carbohydrates and lipid. Botanically, these seeds fall into different classifica...

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. Iodine transfer from agricultural soils to edible part of crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uchida, S.; Tagami, K.

    2011-01-01

    Information about the distribution and cycling of stable iodine (I) in the environment is useful for dose estimation from its long-lived radioiodisotope, 129 I, which is one of the most critical radionuclides to be managed for the safe disposal of nuclear fuel waste. The soil-to-plant transfer factor (TF) is an important parameter to predict internal radiation exposure pathways through the food chains using mathematical models. Therefore, we have measured stable I and bromine (Br) for comparison, in 142 crop samples and associated agricultural field soil samples collected throughout Japan. The crops were classified into eight groups, i.e. leafy vegetables, white part of leeks, fruit vegetables, tubers, root crops, legumes, wheat and barley (WB), and rice. The results showed that Br and I concentrations were higher in upland field soil samples than in paddy field soil samples. However, when we compared TF values of WB and brown rice, no statistical difference was observed. The highest geometric mean of TF for I, 1.4 x 10 -2 , was obtained for leafy vegetables and fruit vegetables and that for Br, 1.5, was for fruit vegetables. TF for I was much lower than Br, as reported previously, maybe due to their different chemical forms in soil and uptake behaviors by plant roots. (orig.)

  20. 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.

  1. Salt tolerant green crop species for sodium management in space agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Shimoda, Toshifumi; Nose, Akihiro; Space Agriculture Task Force, J.

    Ecological system and materials recycling loop of space agriculture are quite tight compared to natural ecological system on Earth. Sodium management will be a keen issue for space agricul-ture. Human nutritional requirements include sodium salt. Since sodium at high concentration is toxic for most of plant growth, excreted sodium of human waste should be removed from compost fertilizer. Use of marine algae is promising for harvesting potassium and other min-erals required for plant growth and returning remained sodium to satisfy human need of its intake. Farming salt tolerant green crop species is another approach to manage sodium problem in both space and terrestrial agriculture. We chose ice plant and New Zealand spinach. These two plant species are widely accepted green vegetable with many recipe. Ice plant can grow at the salinity level of sea water, and contain sodium salt up to 30% of its dry mass. Sodium distributes mainly in its bladder cells. New Zealand spinach is a plant species found in the front zone of sea shore, and tolerant against high salinity as well. Plant body size of both species at harvest is quite large, and easy to farm. Capability of bio-remediation of high saline soil is examined with ice plant and New Zealand spinach. Incubation medium was chosen to contain high concentration of sodium and potassium at the Na/K ratio of human excreta. In case Na/K ratio of plant body grown by this medium is greatly higher than that of incubation medium or soil, these halophytes are effective to remediate soil for farming less tolerant plant crop. Experimental results was less positive in this context.

  2. Coupling Cover Crops with Alternative Swine Manure Application Strategies: Manure-15N Tracer Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Integration of rye cover crops with alternative liquid swine (Sus scrofa L.) manure application strategies may enhance retention of manure N in corn (Zea mays L.) - soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr] cropping systems. The objective of this study was to quantify uptake of manure derived-N by a rye (Seca...

  3. Renewable energy from pyrolysis using crops and agricultural residuals: An economic and environmental evaluation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kung, Chih-Chun; Zhang, Ning

    2015-01-01

    This study examines pyrolysis-based electricity generation and ethanol production using various crops and agricultural residuals in Taiwan. It analyzes the net economic and environmental effects within the framework of the Extended Taiwanese Agricultural Sector Model by incorporating ongoing and potential gasoline, coal and GHG (greenhouse gas) prices. The study discusses the effects of agricultural shifts, which have several important implications for the Taiwanese bioenergy development. First, the cost of collecting rice straw is much lower than the production cost of other energy crops, implying that the efficient use of agricultural waste may eventually result in positive social effects in terms of farmers' revenue, the renewable energy supply and GHG emissions offset. Second, farmers with idle land usually suffer a lower steady income. Encouraging the development of the renewable energy industry increases the demand of raw feedstocks, which involves converting the idle land into cultivation and increasing farmers' revenue. Third, agricultural waste is usually burned and emits CO_2, which accelerates the global climate shift. Approximately one third of emissions could be offset by rice straw-based bioenergy in certain cases. Turning this waste into bioenergy, which offsets net GHG emissions, has positive effects on the climate change mitigation. - Highlights: • Pyrolyzing rice straw provides considerable energy supply (max 4.68 billion kWh). • High emission offset when combined with rice straw (max 2.73 million tons). • Affordable government subsidy ($204 million a year). • Collection and transportation costs of wastes could impact the result significantly.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Between China and South Asia: A Middle Asian corridor of crop dispersal and agricultural innovation in the Bronze Age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Chris J; Murphy, Charlene; Roberts, Rebecca; Lucas, Leilani; Silva, Fabio; Fuller, Dorian Q

    2016-10-01

    The period from the late third millennium BC to the start of the first millennium AD witnesses the first steps towards food globalization in which a significant number of important crops and animals, independently domesticated within China, India, Africa and West Asia, traversed Central Asia greatly increasing Eurasian agricultural diversity. This paper utilizes an archaeobotanical database (AsCAD), to explore evidence for these crop translocations along southern and northern routes of interaction between east and west. To begin, crop translocations from the Near East across India and Central Asia are examined for wheat ( Triticum aestivum ) and barley ( Hordeum vulgare ) from the eighth to the second millennia BC when they reach China. The case of pulses and flax ( Linum usitatissimum ) that only complete this journey in Han times (206 BC-AD 220), often never fully adopted, is also addressed. The discussion then turns to the Chinese millets, Panicum miliaceum and Setaria italica , peaches ( Amygdalus persica ) and apricots ( Armeniaca vulgaris ), tracing their movement from the fifth millennium to the second millennium BC when the Panicum miliaceum reaches Europe and Setaria italica Northern India, with peaches and apricots present in Kashmir and Swat. Finally, the translocation of japonica rice from China to India that gave rise to indica rice is considered, possibly dating to the second millennium BC. The routes these crops travelled include those to the north via the Inner Asia Mountain Corridor, across Middle Asia, where there is good evidence for wheat, barley and the Chinese millets. The case for japonica rice, apricots and peaches is less clear, and the northern route is contrasted with that through northeast India, Tibet and west China. Not all these journeys were synchronous, and this paper highlights the selective long-distance transport of crops as an alternative to demic-diffusion of farmers with a defined crop package.

  8. Could Crop Height Affect the Wind Resource at Agriculturally Productive Wind Farm Sites?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanderwende, Brian; Lundquist, Julie K.

    2016-03-01

    The collocation of cropland and wind turbines in the US Midwest region introduces complex meteorological interactions that could influence both agriculture and wind-power production. Crop management practices may affect the wind resource through alterations of land-surface properties. We use the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model to estimate the impact of crop height variations on the wind resource in the presence of a large turbine array. A hypothetical wind farm consisting of 121 1.8-MW turbines is represented using the WRF model wind-farm parametrization. We represent the impact of selecting soybeans rather than maize by altering the aerodynamic roughness length in a region approximately 65 times larger than that occupied by the turbine array. Roughness lengths of 0.1 and 0.25 m represent the mature soy crop and a mature maize crop, respectively. In all but the most stable atmospheric conditions, statistically significant hub-height wind-speed increases and rotor-layer wind-shear reductions result from switching from maize to soybeans. Based on simulations for the entire month of August 2013, wind-farm energy output increases by 14 %, which would yield a significant monetary gain. Further investigation is required to determine the optimal size, shape, and crop height of the roughness modification to maximize the economic benefit and minimize the cost of such crop-management practices. These considerations must be balanced by other influences on crop choice such as soil requirements and commodity prices.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. The role of allelopathy in agricultural pest management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farooq, Muhammad; Jabran, Khawar; Cheema, Zahid A; Wahid, Abdul; Siddique, Kadambot H M

    2011-05-01

    Allelopathy is a naturally occurring ecological phenomenon of interference among organisms that may be employed for managing weeds, insect pests and diseases in field crops. In field crops, allelopathy can be used following rotation, using cover crops, mulching and plant extracts for natural pest management. Application of allelopathic plant extracts can effectively control weeds and insect pests. However, mixtures of allelopathic water extracts are more effective than the application of single-plant extract in this regard. Combined application of allelopathic extract and reduced herbicide dose (up to half the standard dose) give as much weed control as the standard herbicide dose in several field crops. Lower doses of herbicides may help to reduce the development of herbicide resistance in weed ecotypes. Allelopathy thus offers an attractive environmentally friendly alternative to pesticides in agricultural pest management. In this review, application of allelopathy for natural pest management, particularly in small-farm intensive agricultural systems, is discussed. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

  13. Effects of alternative furrow irrigation parameters on pesticide movement in cropped areas in Utah

    OpenAIRE

    Requena, Antonio Maria; Ranjha, Ahmad Yar; Peralta, R. C.; Deer, Howard M.; Ehteshami, Majid; Hill, Robert W.

    1990-01-01

    Production of adequate supplies of food and fiber currently requires that pesticides be used to limit crop losses caused by insects, pathogens, weeds and other pests. Although pesticides are necessary in today' s agriculture, they can be a serious problem if they reach and contaminate ground water, especially where drinking water needs are met by ground water. The relative reduction of potential ground-water contamination due to agricultural use of pesticides was analyzed for particular sites...

  14. Pollution of agricultural crops with lanthanides, thorium and uranium studied by instrumental and radiochemical neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kucera, J.; Mizera, J.; Randa, Z.; Vavrova, M.

    2007-01-01

    The lanthanide elements, Th and U were measured in soils and agricultural crops collected in an area polluted by emissions from a phosphate fertilizer plant. Concentrations of the above elements in the soil and crop samples were determined by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). Selected crop samples were also analyzed using radiochemical neutron activation analysis (RNAA) based on alkaline-oxidative fusion of the irradiated samples followed by precipitation of REE oxalates. Elevated levels of lanthanides, Th and U were found in some samples, especially in wheat chaff and parsley. (author)

  15. 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

  16. Transfer of radionuclides from the environment to crops and agricultural products

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delmas, J.

    1977-01-01

    The transfer rates of 90 Sr, 137 Cs, 54 Mn, 65 Zn, 60 Co and 22 Na from the irrigation water to different crops, determined by means of experimental models, depend on the mode of conveyance, the water quality, and on the type and portion of the plant in question. In certain cases, the resulting contamination to foodstuffs undergoing irrigation is higher than that of the water. The contamination level of the consumed product also depends on the food processing technology. The monitoring of crops and converted agricultural products is thus of great use for the knowledge of the radiological state of the site. Measurements taken in the environment show that this contamination is very slight. This monitoring is very well accepted by farmers and managers of food product conversion companies, because it provides proof of the quality of their products from the radiological standpoint [fr

  17. The double tragedy of agriculture vulnerability to climate variability in Africa: How vulnerable is smallholder agriculture to rainfall variability in Ghana?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel K. Derbile

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This article analysed vulnerability of smallholder agriculture to climate variability, particularly the alternating incidences of drought and heavy precipitation events in Ghana. Although there is an unmet need for understanding the linkages between climate change and livelihoods, the urgent need for climate change adaptation planning (CCAP in response to climate change makes vulnerability assessment even more compelling in development research. The data for analysis were collected from two complementary studies. These included a regional survey in the Upper West Region and an in-depth study in three selected communities in the Sissala East District. The results showed that smallholder agriculture is significantly vulnerable to climate variability in the region and that three layers of vulnerability can be identified in a ladder of vulnerability. Firstly, farmers are confronted with the double tragedy of droughts and heavy precipitation events, which adversely affect both crops and livestock. Secondly, farmers have to decide on crops for adaptation, but each option – whether indigenous crops, new early-maturing crops or genetically modified crops – predisposes farmers to a different set of risks. Finally, the overall impact is a higher-level vulnerability, namely the risk of total livelihood failure and food insecurity. The article recommended CCAP and an endogenous development (ED approach to addressing agriculture vulnerability to climate variability within the framework of decentralisation and local governance in Ghana. Keywords: Climate variability; agriculture; vulnerability; endogenous development; Ghana

  18. Environmental Sustainability of Gm Crops for Food Safety on Risk Society

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gil Ramos de Carvalho Neto

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available GM crops are presented as an alternative to the erradication of hunger. The risk society, however, considering the brazilian environmental law - specially the brazilian legislation on biosafety - the food safety and nutritional law and the economic and social data on the subject, it appears that the environmental sustainability of these crops is not yet complete. Producers should adopt additional safeguards if they wish a sustainable agriculture with effective food security.

  19. Agricultural policies and biomass fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flaim, S.; Hertzmark, D.

    The potentials for biomass energy derived from agricultural products are examined. The production of energy feedstocks from grains is discussed for the example of ethanol production from grain, with consideration given to the beverage process and the wet milling process for obtaining fuel ethanol from grains and sugars, the nonfeedstock costs and energy requirements for ethanol production, the potential net energy gain from ethanol fermentation, the effect of ethanol fuel production on supplies of protein, oils and feed and of ethanol coproducts, net ethanol costs, and alternatives to corn as an ethanol feedstock. Biomass fuel production from crop residues is then considered; the constraints of soil fertility on crop residue removal for energy production are reviewed, residue yields with conventional practices and with reduced tillage are determined, technologies for the direct conversion of cellulose to ethanol and methanol are described, and potential markets for the products of these processes are identified. Implications for agricultural policy of ethanol production from grain and fuel and chemical production from crop residues are also discussed.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Cost estimation of the future harvest as agricultural loan collateral

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vnukova, N. N.

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work is to attempt developing recommendations which may improve the overall banking technique of future cropping cost estimating. Objectives that have been set to achieve this aim are: to analyze alternative techniques of future cropping cost estimating; to perform calculation according to the selected techniques for 10 agricultural companies from different regions of Ukraine; to compare the techniques by means of hierarchy analysis method.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Safe use of metal-contaminated agricultural land by cultivation of energy maize (Zea mays)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Slycken, S.; Witters, N.; Meers, E.; Peene, A.; Michels, E.; Adriaensen, K.; Ruttens, A.; Vangronsveld, J.; Du Laing, G.; Wierinck, I.; Van Dael, M.; Van Passel, S.; Tack, F.M.G.

    2013-01-01

    Production of food crops on trace element-contaminated agricultural lands in the Campine region (Belgium) can be problematic as legal threshold values for safe use of these crops can be exceeded. Conventional sanitation of vast areas is too expensive and alternatives need to be investigated. Zea mays on a trace element-contaminated soil in the region showed an average yield of 53 ± 10 Mg fresh or 20 ± 3 Mg dry biomass ha −1 . Whole plant Cd concentrations complied with legal threshold values for animal feed. Moreover, threshold values for use in anaerobic digestion were met. Biogas production potential did not differ between maize grown on contaminated and non-contaminated soils. Results suggested favorable perspectives for farmers to generate non-food crops profitably, although effective soil cleaning would be very slow. This demonstrates that a valuable and sustainable alternative use can be generated for moderately contaminated soils on which conventional agriculture is impaired. -- Highlights: •Zea mays on trace element-contaminated soil has an average yield of 20 ± 3 Mg DW ha −1 . •Whole plant Cd concentrations complied with legal threshold values for animal feed. •Biogas production did not differ from maize grown on non-contaminated soils. •Perspectives are favorable for farmers to generate non-food crops profitably. •Effective soil cleaning would be very slow. -- Energy maize cultivation constitutes a sustainable alternative use of trace element-contaminated agricultural soils

  8. Crop Breeding for Low Input Agriculture: A Sustainable Response to Feed a Growing World Population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vagner A. Benedito

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available World population is projected to reach its maximum (~10 billion people by the year 2050. This 45% increase of the current world population (approaching seven billion people will boost the demand for food and raw materials. However, we live in a historical moment when supply of phosphate, water, and oil are at their peaks. Modern agriculture is fundamentally based on varieties bred for high performance under high input systems (fertilizers, water, oil, pesticides, which generally do not perform well under low-input situations. We propose a shift of research goals and plant breeding objectives from high-performance agriculture at high-energy input to those with an improved rationalization between yield and energy input. Crop breeding programs that are more focused on nutrient economy and local environmental fitness will help reduce energy demands for crop production while still providing adequate amounts of high quality food as global resources decline and population is projected to increase.

  9. 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.

  10. Assessing the value of transgenic crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacey, Hugh

    2002-10-01

    In the current controversy about the value of transgenic crops, matters open to empirical inquiry are centrally at issue. One such matter is a key premise in a common argument (that I summarize) that transgenic crops should be considered to have universal value. The premise is that there are no alternative forms of agriculture available to enable the production of sufficient food to feed the world. The proponents of agroecology challenge it, claiming that agroecology provides an alternative, and they deny the claim that it is well founded on empirical evidence. It is, therefore, a matter of both social and scientific importance that this premise and the criticisms of it be investigated rigorously and empirically, so that the benefits and disadvantages of transgenic-intensive agriculture and agroecology can be compared in a reliable way. Conducting adequate investigation about the potential contribution of agroecology requires that the cultural conditions of its practice (and, thus, of the practices and movements of small-scale farmers in the "third world") be strengthened--and this puts the interests of investigation into tension with the socio-economic interests driving the development of transgenics. General issues about relationship between ethical argument and empirical (scientific) investigation are raised throughout the article.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. Does agricultural ecosystem cause environmental pollution in Pakistan? Promise and menace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ullah, Arif; Khan, Dilawar; Khan, Imran; Zheng, Shaofeng

    2018-05-01

    The increasing trend of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) is the main cause of harmful anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, which may result in environmental pollution, global warming, and climate change. These issues are expected to adversely affect the agricultural ecosystem and well-being of the society. In order to minimize food insecurity and prevent hunger, a timely adaptation is desirable to reduce potential losses and to seek alternatives for promoting a global knowledge system for agricultural sustainability. This paper examines the causal relationship between agricultural ecosystem and CO 2 emissions as an environmental pollution indicator in Pakistan from the period 1972 to 2014 by employing Johansen cointegration, autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) model, and Granger causality approach. The Johansen cointegration results show that there is a significant long-run relationship between the agricultural ecosystem and the CO 2 emissions. The long-run relationship shows that a 1% increase in biomass burned crop residues, emissions of CO 2 equivalent of nitrous oxide (N 2 O) from synthetic fertilizers, stock of livestock, agricultural machinery, cereal production, and other crop productions will increase CO 2 emissions by 1.29, 0.05, 0.45, 0.05, 0.03, and 0.65%, respectively. Further, our finding detects that there is a bidirectional causality of CO 2 emissions with rice area paddy harvested, cereal production, and other crop productions. The impulse response function analysis displays that biomass-burned crop residues, stock of livestock, agriculture machinery, cereal production, and other crop productions are significantly contributing to CO 2 emissions in Pakistan.

  16. 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

  17. The role of short-rotation woody crops in sustainable development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shepard, J.P.; Tolbert, V.R.

    1996-01-01

    One answer to increase wood production is by increasing management intensity on existing timberland, especially in plantation forests. Another is to convert land currently in agriculture to timberland. Short-rotation woody crops can be used in both cases. But, what are the environmental consequences? Short-rotation woody crops can provide a net improvement in environmental quality at both local and global scales. Conversion of agricultural land to short-rotation woody crops can provide the most environmental quality enhancement by reducing erosion, improving soil quality, decreasing runoff, improving groundwater quality, and providing better wildlife habitat. Forest products companies can use increased production from intensively managed short-rotation woody crop systems to offset decreased yield from the portion of their timberland that is managed less intensively, e.g. streamside management zones and other ecologically sensitive or unique areas. At the global scale, use of short-rotation woody crops for bioenergy is part of the solution to reduce greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels. Incorporating short-rotation woody crops into the agricultural landscape also increases storage of carbon in the soil, thus reducing atmospheric concentrations. In addition, use of wood instead of alternatives such as steel, concrete, and plastics generally consumes less energy and produces less greenhouse gases. Cooperative research can be used to achieve energy, fiber, and environmental goals. This paper will highlight several examples of ongoing cooperative research projects that seek to enhance the environmental aspects of short-rotation woody crop systems. Government, industry, and academia are conducting research to study soil quality, use of mill residuals, nutrients in runoff and groundwater, and wildlife use of short-rotation woody crop systems in order to assure the role of short-rotation crops as a sustainable way of meeting society's needs

  18. Conservationist Systems, one environmental alternative for the agriculture of the Northeastern Andes of Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Villamizar Moreno, J.

    1999-01-01

    The article shows the results of a proposal of alternative handling of the agriculture ecosystem tobacco-bean-maize, main agricultural activity of the Northeastern Andes of Colombia. This system is the base of the economic and alimentary security and the main factor of degradation of the natural resources of the region. The work looks for to develop the diversified rotations, as essential component of biological diversity, the reduced works as strategy of protection of the soil and the promotion of the agriculture ecology like new model of agricultural development. The results of the work show that the high volume of organic residuals coming from the rotation tobacco bean maize, become compost in the field and the reduction of the farm, they promote the stability of the productive components of the soils and their agricultural yields. The biggest levels of organic matter and of total porosity, generated by the biggest biological activity, they indicate that the technological alternatives of the proposal slow the effects of the degradation originated by the conventional agriculture. These alternatives can be included in the regional programs of agricultural production, like solution principle and as strategy for the sustainable development of the region

  19. SACRA - global data sets of satellite-derived crop calendars for agricultural simulations: an estimation of a high-resolution crop calendar using satellite-sensed NDVI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotsuki, S.; Tanaka, K.

    2015-01-01

    To date, many studies have performed numerical estimations of food production and agricultural water demand to understand the present and future supply-demand relationship. A crop calendar (CC) is an essential input datum to estimate food production and agricultural water demand accurately with the numerical estimations. CC defines the date or month when farmers plant and harvest in cropland. This study aims to develop a new global data set of a satellite-derived crop calendar for agricultural simulations (SACRA) and reveal advantages and disadvantages of the satellite-derived CC compared to other global products. We estimate global CC at a spatial resolution of 5 min (≈10 km) using the satellite-sensed NDVI data, which corresponds well to vegetation growth and death on the land surface. We first demonstrate that SACRA shows similar spatial pattern in planting date compared to a census-based product. Moreover, SACRA reflects a variety of CC in the same administrative unit, since it uses high-resolution satellite data. However, a disadvantage is that the mixture of several crops in a grid is not considered in SACRA. We also address that the cultivation period of SACRA clearly corresponds to the time series of NDVI. Therefore, accuracy of SACRA depends on the accuracy of NDVI used for the CC estimation. Although SACRA shows different CC from a census-based product in some regions, multiple usages of the two products are useful to take into consideration the uncertainty of the CC. An advantage of SACRA compared to the census-based products is that SACRA provides not only planting/harvesting dates but also a peak date from the time series of NDVI data.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Pond and Irrigation Model (PIM): a tool for simultaneously evaluating pond water availability and crop irrigation demand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ying Ouyang; Gary Feng; Theodor D. Leininger; John Read; Johnie N. Jenkins

    2018-01-01

    Agricultural ponds are an important alternative source of water for crop irrigation to conserve surface and ground water resources. In recent years more such ponds have been constructed in Mississippi and around the world. There is currently, however, a lack of a tool to simultaneously estimate crop irrigation demand and pond water availability. In this study, a Pond-...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Quantifying the Value of Satellite Imagery in Agriculture and other Sectors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, M. E.; Abbott, P. C.; Escobar, V. M.

    2013-12-01

    This study focused on quantifying the commercial value of satellite remote sensing for agriculture. Commercial value from satellite imagery arises when improved information leads to better economic decisions. We identified five areas of application of remote sensing to agriculture where there is this potential: crop management (precision agriculture), insurance, real estate assessment, crop forecasting, and environmental monitoring. These applications can be divided between public information (crop forecasting) and those that may generate private commercial value (crop management), with both public and private information dimensions in some categories. Public information applications of remote sensing have been more successful in the past, and are likely to generate more economic value in the future. It was found that several issues have limited realization of the potential to generate private value from remote sensing in agriculture. The scale of use is small to the high cost of acquiring and interpreting large images has limited the cost effectiveness to individual farmers. Insurance, environmental monitoring, and crop management services by cooperatives or consultants may be cases overcoming this limitation. The greatest opportunities for potential commercial value from agriculture are probably in the crop forecasting area, especially where agricultural statistics services are not as well developed, since public market information benefits a broad range of economic actors, not limited to countries where forecasts are made. We estimate here the value from components of USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) forecasts for corn, indicating potential value increasing in the range of 60 to 240 million if improved satellite based information enhances those forecasts. The research was conducted by agricultural economists at Purdue University, and will be the basis for further evaluation of the use of satellite data within the NASA Carbon

  11. Enhancing Sustainable Development of Diverse Agriculture in Bangladesh

    OpenAIRE

    Alam, Jahangir

    2005-01-01

    The report presents the current status of some selected CGPRT Crops (secondary crops) and examines their potentials in enhancing the sustainable development of diverse agriculture in Bangladesh. Agriculture in Bangladesh is composed of crop, livestock, fisheries and forestry subsectors. This study deals primarily with crop agriculture and the scope of diversification is limited to crop rather than agricultural diversification.

  12. 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

  13. Environmentally friendly alternatives to bean and corn seeds production on the “Soterrado” farm in Cienfuegos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mailiu Díaz Peña

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of this research is to evaluate the environmental impact associated with the life cycle of seed production of bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L. var. CC 25-9 N and maize (Zea mays L. var. TGH on the Soterrado farm. The life cycle assessment (LCA methodology is applied, according to the NC-ISO14040, which includes the life cycle inventory of the crop, the assessment of the environmental impact of beans and maize crops and the assessment of the alternatives for environmental, agricultural and economic improvement. The environmental impact assessment helped determine the most affected impact categories: the non-renewable energy, global warming and respiratory inorganics. The most affected damage categories were damage to resources, human health and climate change. The consumption of urea, NPK and diesel represented an environmental impact with the highest contribution percentage. Two alternatives of environmental, agricultural and economic improvement for each crop were evaluated. They could reduce the environmental impact of the production of beans in 53.28 % and 79.25 % respectively and corn on 47.64 % and 63.48 % respectively. These alternatives would increase yields and soil characteristics, and help to reduce the production cost. It is recommended to inform the results of research to producers of Soterrado farm, validate the results, and apply this methodology to other crops in order to reduce the impact associated with agriculture.

  14. 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

  15. Carbon footprints of crops from organic and conventional arable crop rotations – using a life cycle assessment approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, Marie Trydeman; Meyer-Aurich, A; Olesen, Jørgen E

    2014-01-01

    Many current organic arable agriculture systems are challenged by a dependency on imported livestock manure from conventional agriculture. At the same time organic agriculture aims at being climate friendly. A life cycle assessment is used in this paper to compare the carbon footprints of different....... The results showed significantly lower carbon footprint of the crops from the ‘Biogas’ rotation (assuming that biogas replaces fossil gas) whereas the remaining crop rotations had comparable carbon footprints per kg cash crop. The study showed considerable contributions caused by the green manure crop (grass......-clover) and highlights the importance of analysing the whole crop rotation and including soil carbon changes when estimating carbon footprints of organic crops especially where green manure crops are included....

  16. 7 CFR 457.166 - Blueberry crop insurance provisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Blueberry crop insurance provisions. 457.166 Section... CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COMMON CROP INSURANCE REGULATIONS § 457.166 Blueberry crop insurance provisions. The Blueberry Crop Insurance Provisions for the 2005 and succeeding crop years are as follows...

  17. The Use of Cover Crops as Climate-Smart Management in Midwest Cropping Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basche, A.; Miguez, F.; Archontoulis, S.; Kaspar, T.

    2014-12-01

    The observed trends in the Midwestern United States of increasing rainfall variability will likely continue into the future. Events such as individual days of heavy rain as well as seasons of floods and droughts have large impacts on agricultural productivity and the natural resource base that underpins it. Such events lead to increased soil erosion, decreased water quality and reduced corn and soybean yields. Winter cover crops offer the potential to buffer many of these impacts because they essentially double the time for a living plant to protect and improve the soil. However, at present, cover crops are infrequently utilized in the Midwest (representing 1-2% of row cropped land cover) in particular due to producer concerns over higher costs and management, limited time and winter growing conditions as well as the potential harm to corn yields. In order to expand their use, there is a need to quantify how cover crops impact Midwest cropping systems in the long term and namely to understand how to optimize the benefits of cover crops while minimizing their impacts on cash crops. We are working with APSIM, a cropping systems platform, to specifically quantify the long term future impacts of cover crop incorporation in corn-based cropping systems. In general, our regional analysis showed only minor changes to corn and soybean yields (<1% differences) when a cover crop was or was not included in the simulation. Further, a "bad spring" scenario (where every third year had an abnormally wet/cold spring and cover crop termination and planting cash crop were within one day) did not result in any major changes to cash crop yields. Through simulations we estimate an average increase of 4-9% organic matter improvement in the topsoil and an average decrease in soil erosion of 14-32% depending on cover crop planting date and growth. Our work is part of the Climate and Corn-based Cropping Systems Coordinated Agriculture Project (CSCAP), a collaboration of eleven Midwestern

  18. 7 CFR 457.162 - Nursery crop insurance provisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Nursery crop insurance provisions. 457.162 Section 457... CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COMMON CROP INSURANCE REGULATIONS § 457.162 Nursery crop insurance provisions. The Nursery Crop Insurance Provisions for the 2006 and succeeding crop years are as follows: FCIC...

  19. 7 CFR 457.123 - Almond crop insurance provisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Almond crop insurance provisions. 457.123 Section 457... CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COMMON CROP INSURANCE REGULATIONS § 457.123 Almond crop insurance provisions. The Almond Crop Insurance Provisions for the 2008 and succeeding crop years are as follows: FCIC...

  20. Instruments for water quantity and quality management in the agriculture of Aragon

    OpenAIRE

    Albiac Murillo, José; Playán Jubillar, Enrique; Martínez, Yolanda

    2007-01-01

    The traditional policy of developing new irrigated areas in Aragon has been changed to irrigation modernization through investments in distribution networks and on-farm irrigation equipment. This new policy creates opportunities to introduce more profitable crops, conserve irrigation water and abate agricultural nonpoint pollution. Several alternatives open to irrigated agriculture are bioethanol and biodiesel technologies (which could provide a support price for grains), the expansion of pro...

  1. 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.

  2. Alternate bearing in citrus: changes in the expression of flowering control genes and in global gene expression in ON- versus OFF-crop trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shalom, Liron; Samuels, Sivan; Zur, Naftali; Shlizerman, Lyudmila; Zemach, Hanita; Weissberg, Mira; Ophir, Ron; Blumwald, Eduardo; Sadka, Avi

    2012-01-01

    Alternate bearing (AB) is the process in fruit trees by which cycles of heavy yield (ON crop) one year are followed by a light yield (OFF crop) the next. Heavy yield usually reduces flowering intensity the following year. Despite its agricultural importance, how the developing crop influences the following year's return bloom and yield is not fully understood. It might be assumed that an 'AB signal' is generated in the fruit, or in another organ that senses fruit presence, and moves into the bud to determine its fate-flowering or vegetative growth. The bud then responds to fruit presence by altering regulatory and metabolic pathways. Determining these pathways, and when they are altered, might indicate the nature of this putative AB signal. We studied bud morphology, the expression of flowering control genes, and global gene expression in ON- and OFF-crop buds. In May, shortly after flowering and fruit set, OFF-crop buds were already significantly longer than ON-crop buds. The number of differentially expressed genes was higher in May than at the other tested time points. Processes differentially expressed between ON- and OFF-crop trees included key metabolic and regulatory pathways, such as photosynthesis and secondary metabolism. The expression of genes of trehalose metabolism and flavonoid metabolism was validated by nCounter technology, and the latter was confirmed by metabolomic analysis. Among genes induced in OFF-crop trees was one homologous to SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING-LIKE (SPL), which controls juvenile-to-adult and annual phase transitions, regulated by miR156. The expression pattern of SPL-like, miR156 and other flowering control genes suggested that fruit load affects bud fate, and therefore development and metabolism, a relatively long time before the flowering induction period. Results shed light on some of the metabolic and regulatory processes that are altered in ON and OFF buds.

  3. 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

  4. Farmers’ Perceptions on the Agricultural use of Human Urine in the Central Amazon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrícia Müller

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The Urine Diverting Dry Toilet (UDDT provides a technological alternative for the challenging environments found in Amazonia, and has the advantage of not consuming water. To verify its viability, however, it is necessary to understand user behavior in relation to the use of the toilet’s byproducts. The objective of the present study was to evaluate farmer’s perceptions of the use of human urine as a fertilizer for agricultural crops in the Central Amazon. We interviewed 73 smallholder farmers from a rural village in Tefé County and in the municipal farmers market of Tefé. It was verified that 12% of farmers have knowledge of the use of human urine in agriculture, and that more than a third consider it possible to use urine in their gardens and fields. However, more than half did not consider the possibility of using urine, manifesting concerns about crop development and doubts regarding the efficacy of its use as a fertilizer. The informants believed that crops watered with urine would be adequate for human consumption. It is possible to conclude that human urine has the potential to be used in agriculture in the study region and we understand that dry toilets should not be taken as the only alternative for sanitation in Amazonia.

  5. Multiple Cropping for Raising Productivity and Farm Income of Small Farmers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mina Nath Paudel

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Multiple cropping is an agriculture system long adopted by marginalized small holder farmers especially in hills and mountains. This practice was a meant to enhance farm productivity when farming area is limited. Here, in this paper, a brief review on the benefits of multiple cropping is presented focusing on the practices adopted by marginalized farmers, in general. In multiple cropping, it is generally argued that the practice favors an efficient utilization of resources like air, water, light, space, and nutrients by companion crops in both temporal and spatial dimensions due to their differential growth habits and seasonality. Multiple cropping could be one of the viable alternatives to cope uncertainties and changes, where food and nutritional uncertainty looming large. The ultimate outcome of multiple cropping could be visualized in adverse or harsh environment for increase agriculture production, livelihood and income. Various food products are obtained through multiple cropping. Land equivalent ratio (LER, relative yield total (RYT and income equivalent ratio (IER can be increased with mixed/intercropping systems. Multiple cropping helps in getting more than one crop simultaneously, so even if the selling price of one commodity is less, the other might compensate. In the tropics, smallholder farms, which produce over 60% of the food resources of developing nations from intercropping of cereals with many crops mostly legumes, had been the field of much investigation because of synergistic effects of diversifying food production and household cash incomes in these systems. This clearly implies the importance of multiple cropping for small farmers who constitute majority in the developing countries.

  6. 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.

  7. Amazon river flow regime and flood recessional agriculture: Flood stage reversals and risk of annual crop loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coomes, Oliver T.; Lapointe, Michel; Templeton, Michael; List, Geneva

    2016-08-01

    The annual flood cycle is an important driver of ecosystem structure and function in large tropical rivers such as the Amazon. Riparian peasant communities rely on river fishing and annual floodplain agriculture, closely adapted to the recession phase of the flood pulse. This article reports on a poorly documented but important challenge facing farmers practicing flood recessional agriculture along the Amazon river: frequent, unpredictable stage reversals (repiquetes) which threaten to ruin crops growing on channel bars. We assess the severity of stage reversals for rice production on exposed river mud bars (barreales) near Iquitos, Peru. Crop loss risk is estimated based on a quantitative analysis of 45 years of daily Amazon stage data and field data from floodplain communities nearby in the Muyuy archipelago, upstream of Iquitos. Rice varieties selected, elevations of silt rich bars where rice is sown, as well as planting and harvest dates are analyzed in the light of the timing, frequencies and amplitudes of observed stage reversals that have the potential to destroy growing rice. We find that unpredictable stage reversals can produce substantial crop losses and shorten significantly the length of average growing seasons on lower elevation river bars. The data reveal that local famers extend planting down to lower bar elevations where the mean probabilities of re-submergence before rice maturity (due to reversals) approach 50%, below which they implicitly consider that the risk of crop loss outweighs the potential reward of planting.

  8. Comparative analysis of environmental impacts of agricultural production systems, agricultural input efficiency, and food choice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Michael; Tilman, David

    2017-06-01

    Global agricultural feeds over 7 billion people, but is also a leading cause of environmental degradation. Understanding how alternative agricultural production systems, agricultural input efficiency, and food choice drive environmental degradation is necessary for reducing agriculture’s environmental impacts. A meta-analysis of life cycle assessments that includes 742 agricultural systems and over 90 unique foods produced primarily in high-input systems shows that, per unit of food, organic systems require more land, cause more eutrophication, use less energy, but emit similar greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) as conventional systems; that grass-fed beef requires more land and emits similar GHG emissions as grain-feed beef; and that low-input aquaculture and non-trawling fisheries have much lower GHG emissions than trawling fisheries. In addition, our analyses show that increasing agricultural input efficiency (the amount of food produced per input of fertilizer or feed) would have environmental benefits for both crop and livestock systems. Further, for all environmental indicators and nutritional units examined, plant-based foods have the lowest environmental impacts; eggs, dairy, pork, poultry, non-trawling fisheries, and non-recirculating aquaculture have intermediate impacts; and ruminant meat has impacts ∼100 times those of plant-based foods. Our analyses show that dietary shifts towards low-impact foods and increases in agricultural input use efficiency would offer larger environmental benefits than would switches from conventional agricultural systems to alternatives such as organic agriculture or grass-fed beef.

  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. Agricultural price and income policy in the EC : alternative policies and their implications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meester, G.

    1980-01-01

    Alternative forms of income policy without direct supply control. Alternative forms of income policy with direct supply control: quota arrangements. The influence of EC policy on the world market prices of agricultural produce

  11. Socio-economic impacts of energy crops for heat generation in Northern Greece

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Panoutsou, Calliope

    2007-01-01

    Bioenergy is considered to be an attractive option mainly due to driving forces of an environmental nature (e.g. climate change and sustainability issues). This is particularly the case for energy crops, which show higher productivity per land unit than their conventional counterparts. In addition, by comparison, such crops are more homogeneous in terms of their physical and chemical characteristics than residual resources that are often described as the biomass resource of the future. However, despite the long-term research and the considerable efforts to promote them, implementation is still rather slow across Europe. In this paper, two perennial energy crops, cardoon and giant reed, are evaluated in Rodopi, northern Greece, as alternative land use, through comparative financial appraisal with the main conventional crops. Based on the output of this analysis, the breakeven for the two energy crops is defined and an economic and socio-economic evaluation of a biomass district heating system is conducted. Results prove that energy crops can be attractive alternatives if they are properly integrated into existing agricultural activities and complement the current cropping options. As such, they provide raw material for local heat applications, thus resulting in increased income for the region and an increase in the number of jobs. (author)

  12. Effect of pre-treatments on methane production potential of energy crops and crop residues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lehtomaki, A.; Ronkainen; Rintala, J.A. [Jyvaskla Univ. (Finland). Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences; Viinikainen, T.A. [Jyvaskla Univ. (Finland). Dept. of Chemistry

    2004-07-01

    Energy crops, that is, crops grown specifically for energy purposes are an alternative to food production in areas with sufficient agricultural land. Crop residues are also a potential source of energy. The anaerobic digestion of solid materials is limited by hydrolysis of complex polymeric substances such as lignocellulose. The methane producing potential of ligno cellulosic material is to pretreat the substrate in order to break up the polymer chains to more easily accessible soluble compounds. In this study, three different substrates were used: sugar beet tops, grass hay, and straw of oats. Biological pretreatments were the following: enzyme treatment, composting, white-rot fungi treatment. Also, pretreatment in water was tried. Chemical pretreatments included peracetic acid treatment, and treatment with two different alkalis. Alkaline pretreatments of hay and sugar beet tops have the potential to improve the methane yield. For instance, the yield of grass hay was increased 15 per cent by one particular alkaline treatment. Straw did not respond to any of the treatments tried. 18 refs., 1 tab., 2 figs.

  13. Agricultural vulnerability in Bangladesh to climate change induced sea level rise and options for adaptation: a study of a coastal Upazila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md. Anowarul Islam

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the vulnerabilities of agriculture in coastal regions of Bangladesh to the different adverse effects of sea level rise induced hazards, and also identifies option for future agricultural adaptations. It reveals that due to sea level rise, agriculture of the study area has already experienced noticeable adverse impacts especially in terms of area of inundation, salinity intrusion and reduction in crop production. The study is conducted based on both primary and secondary data. A total 303 out of 1200 respondents from three coastal villages were randomly interviewed. Samples are drawn proportionately from three villages. Descriptive and inferential statistics and logistic regression have been done to analysis data. The study find that the agricultural land, production of crops, local crop varieties, income and employment facilities of the farmers is highly vulnerable to various SLR induced hazards. Selection of various adaptive options such as control of saline water intrusion into agricultural land, coastal afforestation, cultivation of saline tolerant crops, homestead and floating gardening, embankment cropping and increase of income through alternative livelihoods are emerging need for sustainable coastal agricultural development. Therefore, this paper argues that further development and implementation of such adaptive measures could help to minimize vulnerabilities of agriculture in the long run.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Biodiversity Hotspots, Climate Change, and Agricultural Development: Global Limits of Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, U. A.; Rasche, L.; Schmid, E.; Habel, J. C.

    2017-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems are threatened by climate and land management change. These changes result from complex and heterogeneous interactions of human activities and natural processes. Here, we study the potential change in pristine area in 33 global biodiversity hotspots within this century under four climate projections (representative concentration pathways) and associated population and income developments (shared socio-economic pathways). A coupled modelling framework computes the regional net expansion of crop and pasture lands as result of changes in food production and consumption. We use a biophysical crop simulation model to quantify climate change impacts on agricultural productivity, water, and nutrient emissions for alternative crop management systems in more than 100 thousand agricultural land polygons (homogeneous response units) and for each climate projection. The crop simulation model depicts detailed soil, weather, and management information and operates with a daily time step. We use time series of livestock statistics to link livestock production to feed and pasture requirements. On the food consumption side, we estimate national demand shifts in all countries by processing population and income growth projections through econometrically estimated Engel curves. Finally, we use a global agricultural sector optimization model to quantify the net change in pristine area in all biodiversity hotspots under different adaptation options. These options include full-scale global implementation of i) crop yield maximizing management without additional irrigation, ii) crop yield maximizing management with additional irrigation, iii) food yield maximizing crop mix adjustments, iv) food supply maximizing trade flow adjustments, v) healthy diets, and vi) combinations of the individual options above. Results quantify the regional potentials and limits of major agricultural producer and consumer adaptation options for the preservation of pristine areas in

  19. Framing the Future with Bacteriophages in Agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svircev, Antonet; Roach, Dwayne; Castle, Alan

    2018-04-25

    The ability of agriculture to continually provide food to a growing world population is of crucial importance. Bacterial diseases of plants and animals have continually reduced production since the advent of crop cultivation and animal husbandry practices. Antibiotics have been used extensively to mitigate these losses. The rise of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria, however, together with consumers’ calls for antibiotic-free products, presents problems that threaten sustainable agriculture. Bacteriophages (phages) are proposed as bacterial population control alternatives to antibiotics. Their unique properties make them highly promising but challenging antimicrobials. The use of phages in agriculture also presents a number of unique challenges. This mini-review summarizes recent development and perspectives of phages used as antimicrobial agents in plant and animal agriculture at the farm level. The main pathogens and their adjoining phage therapies are discussed.

  20. 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

  1. Robust cropping systems to tackle pests under climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lamichhane, Jay Ram; Barzman, Marco; Booij, Kees

    2015-01-01

    ) and the severity of their outbreaks. Increasing concerns over health and the environment as well as new legislation on pesticide use, particularly in the European Union, urge us to find sustainable alternatives to pesticide-based pest management. Here, we review the effect of climate change on crop protection......Agriculture in the twenty-first century faces the challenge of meeting food demands while satisfying sustainability goals. The challenge is further complicated by climate change which affects the distribution of crop pests (intended as insects, plants, and pathogenic agents injurious to crops...... and propose strategies to reduce the impact of future invasive as well as rapidly evolving resident populations. The major points are the following: (1) the main consequence of climate change and globalization is a heightened level of unpredictability of spatial and temporal interactions between weather...

  2. Essential oils: an alternative approach to management of powdery mildew diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena STURCHIO

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In recent years there has been growing interest in the application of plant-derived substances in agriculture as alternatives to the use of pesticides, in order to obtain healthy crops and more environmentally sustainable crop production systems. The properties of some essential oils as natural fungicides were evaluated, to promote their use in alternative agriculture. Potentially detrimental effects caused by essential oil residues in soil were also assessed by mutagenicity assays to avoid possible adverse effects related to the use of these materials. Trials in a controlled environment were set up, using ‘Romanesco’ zucchini treated with essential oils, either exclusively or alternated with a synthetic fungicide. The treatments were applied when natural infection by Podosphaera xanthii appeared on test plants, and powdery mildew incidence and severity were assessed after six weeks. Preliminary results indicated that the alternation of natural materials with effective synthetic fungicide maintained effective disease control, and may also assist with management of pesticide resistance in P. xanthii. No relevant mutagenic effects of essential oil residues in soil were revealed, although an appropriate formulation useful under field conditions is required for effective application.

  3. An integrated, probabilistic model for improved seasonal forecasting of agricultural crop yield under environmental uncertainty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathaniel K. Newlands

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available We present a novel forecasting method for generating agricultural crop yield forecasts at the seasonal and regional-scale, integrating agroclimate variables and remotely-sensed indices. The method devises a multivariate statistical model to compute bias and uncertainty in forecasted yield at the Census of Agricultural Region (CAR scale across the Canadian Prairies. The method uses robust variable-selection to select the best predictors within spatial subregions. Markov-Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC simulation and random forest-tree machine learning techniques are then integrated to generate sequential forecasts through the growing season. Cross-validation of the model was performed by hindcasting/backcasting it and comparing its forecasts against available historical data (1987-2011 for spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.. The model was also validated for the 2012 growing season by comparing its forecast skill at the CAR, provincial and Canadian Prairie region scales against available statistical survey data. Mean percent departures between wheat yield forecasted were under-estimated by 1-4 % in mid-season and over-estimated by 1 % at the end of the growing season. This integrated methodology offers a consistent, generalizable approach for sequentially forecasting crop yield at the regional-scale. It provides a statistically robust, yet flexible way to concurrently adjust to data-rich and data-sparse situations, adaptively select different predictors of yield to changing levels of environmental uncertainty, and to update forecasts sequentially so as to incorporate new data as it becomes available. This integrated method also provides additional statistical support for assessing the accuracy and reliability of model-based crop yield forecasts in time and space.

  4. Energy market as a non-food application for European agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sipilae, K.

    1993-01-01

    Sustainable non-food cropping systems for arable land are being studied intensively both in Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe to find alternatives, in which the need for economic subvention would be lower than the export subsidies for grain or other food products. The area of arable land available for non-food cultivation is about 1 million hectares in Finland and 20 - 30 million hectares in the European Communities. In addition to conventional crops and afforestatation, it is possible to grow energy plants (willow, poplar, miscanthus, etc.) and agrofibre plants in these areas. Cultivation of energy willows or other corresponding plants of less than 5 m in height is usually not considered afforestation, as a willow field can easily be retaken into agricultural use with certain reservations (e.g., covered drains can be clogged) This article gives a survey of the alternatives for the utilization of non-food cropping systems

  5. Climate Change and Agricultural Vulnerability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fischer, G.; Shah, M.; Van Velthuizen, H.

    2002-08-01

    After the introduction Chapter 2 presents details of the ecological-economic analysis based on the FAO/IIASA agro-ecological zones (AEZ) approach for evaluation of biophysical limitations and agricultural production potentials, and IIASA's Basic Linked System (BLS) for analyzing the world's food economy and trade system. The BLS is a global general equilibrium model system for analyzing agricultural policies and food system prospects in an international setting. BLS views national agricultural systems as embedded in national economies, which interact with each other through trade at the international level. The combination of AEZ and BLS provides an integrated ecological-economic framework for the assessment of the impact of climate change. We consider climate scenarios based on experiments with four General Circulation Models (GCM), and we assess the four basic socioeconomic development pathways and emission scenarios as formulated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its Third Assessment Report. Chapter 3 presents the main AEZ results of the impact of climate change on agriculture. Results comprise environmental constraints to crop agriculture; climate variability and the variability of rain-fed cereal production; changes in potential agricultural land; changes in crop-production patterns; and the impact of climate change on cereal-production potential. Chapter 4 discusses the AEZ-BLS integrated ecological-economic analysis of climate change on the world food system. This includes quantification of scale and location of hunger, international agricultural trade, prices, production, land use, etc. It assesses trends in food production, trade, and consumption, and the impact on poverty and hunger of alternative development pathways and varying levels of climate change. Chapter 5 presents the main conclusions and policy implications of this study

  6. Air Toxics Emissions from Open Burning of Crop Residues in Southeast Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    KIM Oanh, N. T.; Permadi, D. A.; Hopke, P. K.; Smith, K. R.; Nguyet, D. A.

    2016-12-01

    Agricultural crops production in Southeast Asia (SEA) increases annually to meet domestic consumption of growing population and also for export. Crop residue open burning (CROB) is commonly practiced by farmers to quickly dispose of huge amounts of the agricultural waste, such as rice straw, generated after each crop cycle. This CROB activity emits various toxic air pollutants as well as short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon particles. Our study focused on quantifying the 2015 annual emissions of semi-volatile organic compounds including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dioxins/furans (PCDD/PCDF), organochlorine pesticides (OCP), along with other conventional trace gases, particulate matter, and greenhouse gases from CROB in 10 major agricultural crop producing SEA countries. Crop production statistics and current field OB practices were gathered from our primary surveys and relevant secondary data sources. Emission factors for rice straw and maize residue burning were taken mainly from our measurements in Thailand while for other crops relevant published data were used. The best emission estimates of air toxics from CROB in SEA were 112 g-TEQ/yr of PCDD/PCDF, 33 t/yr of OCP, and 25 Gg/yr of total PAH of which the well-known carcinogenic benzo[a]pyrene was 0.3 Gg/yr. The CROB of rice production had the highest shares of emissions (33-95%) among considered 8 crop types. Indonesia was the top contributor to the total SEA emissions (30-45%) followed by Vietnam (16-26%), Thailand (6-22%) and Myanmar (5-18%). The spatial distributions of emissions, 0.1º x 0.1º, for each specie were prepared using MODIS land cover data. Temporally, higher emissions were observed in the harvesting months of the main rice crops. This emissions database can be used in regional air quality modeling studies to assess the impacts of CROB activity and to promote non-open burning alternatives.

  7. Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Agricultural Water Demands and Crop Yields in California's Central Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tansey, M. K.; Flores-Lopez, F.; Young, C. A.; Huntington, J. L.

    2012-12-01

    Long term planning for the management of California's water resources requires assessment of the effects of future climate changes on both water supply and demand. Considerable progress has been made on the evaluation of the effects of future climate changes on water supplies but less information is available with regard to water demands. Uncertainty in future climate projections increases the difficulty of assessing climate impacts and evaluating long range adaptation strategies. Compounding the uncertainty in the future climate projections is the fact that most readily available downscaled climate projections lack sufficient meteorological information to compute evapotranspiration (ET) by the widely accepted ASCE Penman-Monteith (PM) method. This study addresses potential changes in future Central Valley water demands and crop yields by examining the effects of climate change on soil evaporation, plant transpiration, growth and yield for major types of crops grown in the Central Valley of California. Five representative climate scenarios based on 112 bias corrected spatially downscaled CMIP 3 GCM climate simulations were developed using the hybrid delta ensemble method to span a wide range future climate uncertainty. Analysis of historical California Irrigation Management Information System meteorological data was combined with several meteorological estimation methods to compute future solar radiation, wind speed and dew point temperatures corresponding to the GCM projected temperatures and precipitation. Future atmospheric CO2 concentrations corresponding to the 5 representative climate projections were developed based on weighting IPCC SRES emissions scenarios. The Land, Atmosphere, and Water Simulator (LAWS) model was used to compute ET and yield changes in the early, middle and late 21st century for 24 representative agricultural crops grown in the Sacramento, San Joaquin and Tulare Lake basins. Study results indicate that changes in ET and yield vary

  8. The effect of trade liberalisation on Syrian agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Basel Abbas

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Syrian agricultural policy should be characterized by a high level of government intervention, including fixed prices, government monopoly in strategic crop marketing, government distribution of industrial fertilizers, significant barriers on food and agricultural commodities import and so on. Although there were certain changes and liberalization in this area during several last years, the Syrian agriculture remains as the most regulated sector of national economy in Near east and northern Africa.On the other hand, we may state the fact that Syrian governmental agriculture policy was successful considering so called strategic crops most of all in achieving self-sufficiency in wheat production, also an essential increase of cotton production volume which represents most important export crop of this near east country, took a part. Besides this progress there was restriction of disparity development in countryside and municipal household’s incomes, which is partial reason for slowing down of Syrian countryside poverty. These positive outcomes were reached at the expense of increasing go­vern­men­tal expenses and worsening of resources efficiency usage both in agriculture production and energy sectors. Considering forecasted spend of oil sources, the Syrian government will be ne­ce­s­sa­ri­ly forced to search for alternative resources of economic growth and government budget incomes in near future.The last five year country plan presumes consequental delimitation of grants and implication of value added tax. There is to be a quite large liberalisation in agriculture sector, which should lead to consequential down of wheat production, sugar beet and cotton and increase of barley, lentil and chickpea production.

  9. 7 CFR 457.142 - Northern potato crop insurance provisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Northern potato crop insurance provisions. 457.142... INSURANCE CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COMMON CROP INSURANCE REGULATIONS § 457.142 Northern potato crop insurance provisions. The Northern Potato Crop Insurance Provisions for the 2008 and succeeding...

  10. Fuels from agriculture. Report stage 4 1981-1983

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Renborg, U.

    1984-01-01

    The aim of the project is to identify possible fuel crops in agriculture and which energy carriers can be produced from these raw products. Surveys are made of the yields of various energy crops under different production conditions. Studies are also made of systems for cultivation, harvesting, handling and processing of the raw products. The chemical properties of the fuel crops with regard to different ranges of use are also analysed. Studies have also been made of the economic conditions concerning energy crops from the perspectives of the user, the grower and society. Different environmental consequences of growing and using energy crops are studied. The studies are mainly concentrated on the following crops: grain and sugar-rich root crops for production of ethanol; oilseed crops for production of vegetable oil; straw, energy grass and energy forestry (wood from shortrotation forests) to be used as solid fuels; and possibilities of producing biogas from crops such as lucerne, jerusalem artichoke, etc., with high yields of biomass are being tested. The economic analyses show that solid fuel from agriculture is capable of competing with fuel oil in heating plants with an effect of 0.2-1.0 MW. As regards cost, straw is also capable of competing with other kinds of fuel oils, forest fuels and peat. If we consider prevailing taxation conditions, a competetive alternative might be a restricted admixture of ethanol as a means of increasing the octane rating in petrol. However, this is under the condition that the by-products are fully utilized and can be marketed at the current market prices of protein feeds. Under conditions prevailing today, vegetable oil cannot compete with diesel oil.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Evaluation of small area crop estimation techniques using LANDSAT- and ground-derived data. [South Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amis, M. L.; Martin, M. V.; Mcguire, W. G.; Shen, S. S. (Principal Investigator)

    1982-01-01

    Studies completed in fiscal year 1981 in support of the clustering/classification and preprocessing activities of the Domestic Crops and Land Cover project. The theme throughout the study was the improvement of subanalysis district (usually county level) crop hectarage estimates, as reflected in the following three objectives: (1) to evaluate the current U.S. Department of Agriculture Statistical Reporting Service regression approach to crop area estimation as applied to the problem of obtaining subanalysis district estimates; (2) to develop and test alternative approaches to subanalysis district estimation; and (3) to develop and test preprocessing techniques for use in improving subanalysis district estimates.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Towards Conservation Agriculture systems in Moldova

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris Boincean

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available As the world population and food production demands rise, keeping agricultural soils and landscapes healthy and productive are of paramount importance to sustaining local and global food security and the flow of ecosystem services to society. The global population, expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050, will put additional pressure on the available land area and resources for agricultural production. Sustainable production intensification for food security is a major challenge to both industrialized and developing countries. The paper focuses on the results from long-term multi-factorial experiments involving tillage practices, crop rotations and fertilization to study the interactions amongst the treatments in the context of sustainable production intensification. The paper discusses the results in relation to reported performance of crops and soil quality in Conservation Agriculture systems that are based on no or minimum soil disturbance (no-till seeding and weeding, maintenance of soil mulch cover with crop biomass and cover crops, and diversified cropping s involving annuals and perennials. Conservation Agriculture also emphasizes the necessity of an agro-ecosystems approach to the management of agricultural land for sustainable production intensification, as well as to the site-specificity of agricultural production. Arguments in favor of avoiding the use of soil tillage are discussed together with agro-ecological principles for sustainable intensification of agriculture. More interdisciplinary systems research is required to support the transformation of agriculture from the conventional tillage agriculture to a more sustainable agriculture based on the principles and practices of Conservation Agriculture, along with other complementary practices of integrated crop, nutrient, water, pest, energy and farm power management.

  20. Assessment of agricultural crops and natural vegetation in Scotland for energy production by anaerobic digestion and hydrothermal liquefaction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Biller, Patrick; Lawson, David; Madsen, René Bjerregaard

    2017-01-01

    The current paper investigates the use of natural vegetation and agricultural crops commonly found in Scotland as a source of bioenergy. Such biomass is shown to have a high moisture content upon harvest (∼80%) which renders them suitable for wet conversion technologies such as anaerobic digestion...

  1. Environmental considerations in energy crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ranney, J.W.; Mann, L.K.

    1994-01-01

    This paper is a preliminary attempt to provide information on the probable environmental effects of energy crop production relative to other potential uses of the land. While dedicated energy crop production is anticipated to occur primarily on land currently in agricultural production, some pastureland and forestland with a high potential for conversion to agricultural production may be utilized. Experimental results suggest that chemical use on energy crops will be lower than on most row crops and that land producing energy crops should experience less erosion than land producing row crops. Long-term site productivity should not be a major issue if macro-and micro-fertilizers are added as needed and nutrient-conserving production techniques are used. (Author)

  2. The cultivated agricultural environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eriksson, Aa.

    1997-01-01

    Local agricultural practices in the Nordic countries have resulted in a great diversity in agriculture in the Nordic countries. The diversities mean that in the event of contamination of agricultural land by radioactive fallout the consequences may differ greatly from region to region. For crops and soils contaminated directly by radioactive fallout there are five primary causes for concern, namely: 1. short-term internal contamination of man and animals through ingestion of surface-contaminated mature crops; 2. internal contamination of crops through foliar intake; 3. contamination of mature crops from resuspended soil; 4. direct irradiation of agricultural workers; 5. internal irradiation from inhalation of resuspended soil particulates. In the short-term, most of the radionuclides likely to be released to the atmosphere in the event of an accident have a potential to cause problems in agriculture and many have the potential for causing long-term problems. Generally, the magnitude of the problems created will depend on the: deposition mechanism (wet or dry); radionuclide composition of the fallout; type of farming system (i.e. arable or dairy); type of soil (for instance organic soils are more sensitive than mineral soils with respect to radiocaesium); state of development of the crop which in turn is determined by the season of the year. (EG)

  3. The cultivated agricultural environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eriksson, Aa [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Dept. of Radioecology (Sweden)

    1997-10-01

    Local agricultural practices in the Nordic countries have resulted in a great diversity in agriculture in the Nordic countries. The diversities mean that in the event of contamination of agricultural land by radioactive fallout the consequences may differ greatly from region to region. For crops and soils contaminated directly by radioactive fallout there are five primary causes for concern, namely: 1. short-term internal contamination of man and animals through ingestion of surface-contaminated mature crops; 2. internal contamination of crops through foliar intake; 3. contamination of mature crops from resuspended soil; 4. direct irradiation of agricultural workers; 5. internal irradiation from inhalation of resuspended soil particulates. In the short-term, most of the radionuclides likely to be released to the atmosphere in the event of an accident have a potential to cause problems in agriculture and many have the potential for causing long-term problems. Generally, the magnitude of the problems created will depend on the: deposition mechanism (wet or dry); radionuclide composition of the fallout; type of farming system (i.e. arable or dairy); type of soil (for instance organic soils are more sensitive than mineral soils with respect to radiocaesium); state of development of the crop which in turn is determined by the season of the year. (EG). 56 refs.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, M.H.

    2005-01-01

    , is converted to a basic, universal fermentation medium by lactic acid fermentation, is outlined. The resulting all-round fermentation medium can be used for the production of many useful fermentation products when added a carbohydrate source, which could possibly be another agricultural by-product. Two...... 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....

  5. 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.

  6. Impacts on Water Management and Crop Production of Regional Cropping System Adaptation to Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, H.; Sun, L.; Tian, Z.; Liang, Z.; Fischer, G.

    2014-12-01

    China is one of the most populous and fast developing countries, also faces a great pressure on grain production and food security. Multi-cropping system is widely applied in China to fully utilize agro-climatic resources and increase land productivity. As the heat resource keep improving under climate warming, multi-cropping system will also shifting northward, and benefit crop production. But water shortage in North China Plain will constrain the adoption of new multi-cropping system. Effectiveness of multi-cropping system adaptation to climate change will greatly depend on future hydrological change and agriculture water management. So it is necessary to quantitatively express the water demand of different multi-cropping systems under climate change. In this paper, we proposed an integrated climate-cropping system-crops adaptation framework, and specifically focused on: 1) precipitation and hydrological change under future climate change in China; 2) the best multi-cropping system and correspondent crop rotation sequence, and water demand under future agro-climatic resources; 3) attainable crop production with water constraint; and 4) future water management. In order to obtain climate projection and precipitation distribution, global climate change scenario from HADCAM3 is downscaled with regional climate model (PRECIS), historical climate data (1960-1990) was interpolated from more than 700 meteorological observation stations. The regional Agro-ecological Zone (AEZ) model is applied to simulate the best multi-cropping system and crop rotation sequence under projected climate change scenario. Finally, we use the site process-based DSSAT model to estimate attainable crop production and the water deficiency. Our findings indicate that annual land productivity may increase and China can gain benefit from climate change if multi-cropping system would be adopted. This study provides a macro-scale view of agriculture adaptation, and gives suggestions to national

  7. Modelling crop land use change derived from influencing factors selected and ranked by farmers in North temperate agricultural regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehdi, Bano; Lehner, Bernhard; Ludwig, Ralf

    2018-08-01

    To develop meaningful land use scenarios, drivers that affect changes in the landscape are required. In this study, driving factors that influence farmers to change crops on their farm were determined. A questionnaire was administered to four independent groups of farmers who identified and ranked influencing factors pertaining to their choices of crops. The farmers were located in two mid-latitude agricultural watersheds (in Germany and Canada). The ranked influencing factors were used to develop a "farmer driven" scenario to 2040 in both watersheds. Results showed that the most important influencing factors for farmers to change crops were the "economic return of the crop" and "market factors". Yet, when the drivers of crop land use change were grouped into two categories of "financial" and "indirectly-related financial" factors, the "financial" factors made up approximately half of the influencing factors. For some responses, the "indirectly-related financial" factors (i.e. "access to farm equipment", the "farm experience", and "climate") ranked higher than or just as high as the financial factors. Overall, in the four farmer groups the differences between the rankings of the influencing factors were minor, indicating that drivers may be transferable between farms if the farmers are full-time and the farming regions have comparable growing seasons, access to markets, similar technology, and government programs for farm income. In addition to the "farmer driven" scenario, a "policy driven" scenario was derived for each watershed based only on available information on the financial incentives provided to farmers (i.e. agricultural subsidies, income support, crop insurance). The influencing factors ranked by the farmers provided in-depth information that was not captured by the "policy driven" scenario and contributed to improving predictions for crop land use development. This straight-forward method to rank qualitative data provided by farmers can easily be

  8. 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.

  9. Closing the gap: global potential for increasing biofuel production through agricultural intensification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnston, Matt; Foley, J; Mueller, N D; Licker, R; Holloway, T; Barford, C; Kucharik, C

    2011-01-01

    Since the end of World War II, global agriculture has undergone a period of rapid intensification achieved through a combination of increased applications of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, the implementation of best management practice techniques, mechanization, irrigation, and more recently, through the use of optimized seed varieties and genetic engineering. However, not all crops and not all regions of the world have realized the same improvements in agricultural intensity. In this study we examine both the magnitude and spatial variation of new agricultural production potential from closing of 'yield gaps' for 20 ethanol and biodiesel feedstock crops. With biofuels coming under increasing pressure to slow or eliminate indirect land-use conversion, the use of targeted intensification via established agricultural practices might offer an alternative for continued growth. We find that by closing the 50th percentile production gap-essentially improving global yields to median levels-the 20 crops in this study could provide approximately 112.5 billion liters of new ethanol and 8.5 billion liters of new biodiesel production. This study is intended to be an important new resource for scientists and policymakers alike-helping to more accurately understand spatial variation of yield and agricultural intensification potential, as well as employing these data to better utilize existing infrastructure and optimize the distribution of development and aid capital.

  10. Closing the gap: global potential for increasing biofuel production through agricultural intensification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Matt; Licker, R.; Foley, J.; Holloway, T.; Mueller, N. D.; Barford, C.; Kucharik, C.

    2011-07-01

    Since the end of World War II, global agriculture has undergone a period of rapid intensification achieved through a combination of increased applications of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, the implementation of best management practice techniques, mechanization, irrigation, and more recently, through the use of optimized seed varieties and genetic engineering. However, not all crops and not all regions of the world have realized the same improvements in agricultural intensity. In this study we examine both the magnitude and spatial variation of new agricultural production potential from closing of 'yield gaps' for 20 ethanol and biodiesel feedstock crops. With biofuels coming under increasing pressure to slow or eliminate indirect land-use conversion, the use of targeted intensification via established agricultural practices might offer an alternative for continued growth. We find that by closing the 50th percentile production gap—essentially improving global yields to median levels—the 20 crops in this study could provide approximately 112.5 billion liters of new ethanol and 8.5 billion liters of new biodiesel production. This study is intended to be an important new resource for scientists and policymakers alike—helping to more accurately understand spatial variation of yield and agricultural intensification potential, as well as employing these data to better utilize existing infrastructure and optimize the distribution of development and aid capital.

  11. Closing the gap: global potential for increasing biofuel production through agricultural intensification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnston, Matt; Foley, J; Mueller, N D [Institute on the Environment (IonE), University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108 (United States); Licker, R; Holloway, T; Barford, C; Kucharik, C [Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53726 (United States)

    2011-07-15

    Since the end of World War II, global agriculture has undergone a period of rapid intensification achieved through a combination of increased applications of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, the implementation of best management practice techniques, mechanization, irrigation, and more recently, through the use of optimized seed varieties and genetic engineering. However, not all crops and not all regions of the world have realized the same improvements in agricultural intensity. In this study we examine both the magnitude and spatial variation of new agricultural production potential from closing of 'yield gaps' for 20 ethanol and biodiesel feedstock crops. With biofuels coming under increasing pressure to slow or eliminate indirect land-use conversion, the use of targeted intensification via established agricultural practices might offer an alternative for continued growth. We find that by closing the 50th percentile production gap-essentially improving global yields to median levels-the 20 crops in this study could provide approximately 112.5 billion liters of new ethanol and 8.5 billion liters of new biodiesel production. This study is intended to be an important new resource for scientists and policymakers alike-helping to more accurately understand spatial variation of yield and agricultural intensification potential, as well as employing these data to better utilize existing infrastructure and optimize the distribution of development and aid capital.

  12. 7 CFR 457.145 - Potato crop insurance-certified seed endorsement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Potato crop insurance-certified seed endorsement. 457... INSURANCE CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COMMON CROP INSURANCE REGULATIONS § 457.145 Potato crop insurance—certified seed endorsement. The Potato Crop Insurance Certified Seed Endorsement Provisions for...

  13. Emerging Agricultural Biotechnologies for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Jennifer A; Gipmans, Martijn; Hurst, Susan; Layton, Raymond; Nehra, Narender; Pickett, John; Shah, Dilip M; Souza, Thiago Lívio P O; Tripathi, Leena

    2016-01-20

    As global populations continue to increase, agricultural productivity will be challenged to keep pace without overtaxing important environmental resources. A dynamic and integrated approach will be required to solve global food insecurity and position agriculture on a trajectory toward sustainability. Genetically modified (GM) crops enhanced through modern biotechnology represent an important set of tools that can promote sustainable agriculture and improve food security. Several emerging biotechnology approaches were discussed in a recent symposium organized at the 13th IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry meeting in San Francisco, CA, USA. This paper summarizes the innovative research and several of the new and emerging technologies within the field of agricultural biotechnology that were presented during the symposium. This discussion highlights how agricultural biotechnology fits within the context of sustainable agriculture and improved food security and can be used in support of further development and adoption of beneficial GM crops.

  14. 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.

  15. The economics of producing energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shapouri, H.; Duffield, J.

    1993-01-01

    The US agricultural sector has an immense supply of natural resources which can be used to product energy. Production of energy from these resources could stimulate economic growth, improve environmental quality, and enhance energy security. However, producing feedstocks and converting biomass to energy require large amounts of capital, equipment, labor, and processing facilities. This paper looks at the costs and benefits of producing energy crops for fuel conversion. A review of studies and crop data show that the cost of growing and converting various feedstocks with current technology is greater than the cost of producing conventional fuels. Conventional motor fuels have a price advantage over biofuels, but market prices don't always reflect the cost of negative externalities imposed on society. Government decisions to invest in alternative energy sources should be based on research that includes the environmental costs and benefits of energy production. The future of biofuels will depend on the continuation of government research and incentive programs. As new technologies advance, the costs of processing energy crops and residues will fall, making biofuels more competitive in energy markets

  16. Simulated vs. empirical weather responsiveness of crop yields: US evidence and implications for the agricultural impacts of climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mistry, Malcolm N.; Wing, Ian Sue; De Cian, Enrica

    2017-07-01

    Global gridded crop models (GGCMs) are the workhorse of assessments of the agricultural impacts of climate change. Yet the changes in crop yields projected by different models in response to the same meteorological forcing can differ substantially. Through an inter-method comparison, we provide a first glimpse into the origins and implications of this divergence—both among GGCMs and between GGCMs and historical observations. We examine yields of rainfed maize, wheat, and soybeans simulated by six GGCMs as part of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project-Fast Track (ISIMIP-FT) exercise, comparing 1981-2004 hindcast yields over the coterminous United States (US) against US Department of Agriculture (USDA) time series for about 1000 counties. Leveraging the empirical climate change impacts literature, we estimate reduced-form econometric models of crop yield responses to temperature and precipitation exposures for both GGCMs and observations. We find that up to 60% of the variance in both simulated and observed yields is attributable to weather variation. A majority of the GGCMs have difficulty reproducing the observed distribution of percentage yield anomalies, and exhibit aggregate responses that show yields to be more weather-sensitive than in the observational record over the predominant range of temperature and precipitation conditions. This disparity is largely attributable to heterogeneity in GGCMs’ responses, as opposed to uncertainty in historical weather forcings, and is responsible for widely divergent impacts of climate on future crop yields.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 4F CROPS: Future crops for food, feed, fibre and fuel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    E. Alexopoulou, E.; Christou, M.; Eleftheriadis, I. [Center for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES), Pikermi Attikis (Greece)

    2008-07-01

    As different sectors - food, feed, fiber, and fuels - compete for land, the yielding potential of the future non-food crops has to be as efficient as possible in order to minimize the competition for land. The main objective of 4F CROPS project is to survey and analyze all the parameters that will play an important role in successful non-food cropping systems in the agriculture of EU27 alongside the existing food crop systems. The work will start with the prediction of the future land use in short term (2020) and long term (2030), taking under consideration restrict factors for agriculture and the market demand for non-food crops. The cropping possibilities based on regional potential levels, ecology and climate will be determined. This group of non-food crops will be then subjected to a comparative cost analysis with conventional crops for the same time framework. Socio-economic impacts, like farmers' income, rural development, public development, and public acceptance will analyze. Then environmental implications will be assessed compared to their respective conventional products (fossil energy, conversional materials). Several environmental impacts will be assessed like soil quality and soil erosion, air quality and climate change, water issues, biodiversity and landscape by using LCA and EIE methods. The regulatory framework of the non-food crops will be considered including existing policies, co-existence and safety measures when the crops used for both food and non-food crops. All the collected information will be used for the formation of scenarios for successful non-food cropping alongside food cropping systems answering whether a completive bioeconomy is a viable option for EU27.

  20. Introduction to Agronomy, Grain Crops, Weeds and Controls. A Learning Activity Pac in Agricultural Education Courses in Wisconsin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wisconsin State Dept. of Public Instruction, Madison. Div. of Instructional Services.

    This learning activity pac contains information to help the teachers of high school vocational agriculture in the instructional area of agronomy. Each of the two main sections, grain crops and weeds and controls, includes teacher and student units for the section lessons. Teacher units include special instructions--equipment needed (film…

  1. MIRCA2000—Global monthly irrigated and rainfed crop areas around the year 2000: A new high-resolution data set for agricultural and hydrological modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portmann, Felix T.; Siebert, Stefan; DöLl, Petra

    2010-03-01

    To support global-scale assessments that are sensitive to agricultural land use, we developed the global data set of monthly irrigated and rainfed crop areas around the year 2000 (MIRCA2000). With a spatial resolution of 5 arc min (about 9.2 km at the equator), MIRCA2000 provides both irrigated and rainfed crop areas of 26 crop classes for each month of the year. The data set covers all major food crops as well as cotton. Other crops are grouped into categories (perennial, annual, and fodder grasses). It represents multicropping systems and maximizes consistency with census-based national and subnational statistics. According to MIRCA2000, 25% of the global harvested areas are irrigated, with a cropping intensity (including fallow land) of 1.12, as compared to 0.84 for the sum of rainfed and irrigated harvested crops. For the dominant crops (rice (1.7 million km2 harvested area), wheat (2.1 million km2), and maize (1.5 million km2)), roughly 60%, 30%, and 20% of the harvested areas are irrigated, respectively, and half of the citrus, sugar cane, and cotton areas. While wheat and maize are the crops with the largest rainfed harvested areas (1.5 million km2 and 1.2 million km2, respectively), rice is clearly the crop with the largest irrigated harvested area (1.0 million km2), followed by wheat (0.7 million km2) and maize (0.3 million km2). Using MIRCA2000, 33% of global crop production and 44% of total cereal production were determined to come from irrigated agriculture.

  2. 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

  3. An Alternative Use of Horticultural Crops: Stressed Plants as Biofactories of Bioactive Phenolic Compounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Cisneros-Zevallos

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Plants subjected to abiotic stresses synthesize secondary metabolites with potential application in the functional foods, dietary supplements, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and agrochemical markets. This approach can be extended to horticultural crops. This review describes previous reports regarding the effect of different postharvest abiotic stresses on the accumulation of phenolic compounds. Likewise, the physiological basis for the biosynthesis of phenolic compounds as an abiotic stress response is described. The information presented herein would be useful for growers and the fresh produce market which are interested in finding alternative uses for their crops, especially for those not meeting quality standards and thus are considered as waste.

  4. Dependency of global primary bioenergy crop potentials in 2050 on food systems, yields, biodiversity conservation and political stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erb, Karl-Heinz; Haberl, Helmut; Plutzar, Christoph

    2012-08-01

    The future bioenergy crop potential depends on (1) changes in the food system (food demand, agricultural technology), (2) political stability and investment security, (3) biodiversity conservation, (4) avoidance of long carbon payback times from deforestation, and (5) energy crop yields. Using a biophysical biomass-balance model, we analyze how these factors affect global primary bioenergy potentials in 2050. The model calculates biomass supply and demand balances for eleven world regions, eleven food categories, seven food crop types and two livestock categories, integrating agricultural forecasts and scenarios with a consistent global land use and NPP database. The TREND scenario results in a global primary bioenergy potential of 77 EJ/yr, alternative assumptions on food-system changes result in a range of 26-141 EJ/yr. Exclusion of areas for biodiversity conservation and inaccessible land in failed states reduces the bioenergy potential by up to 45%. Optimistic assumptions on future energy crop yields increase the potential by up to 48%, while pessimistic assumptions lower the potential by 26%. We conclude that the design of sustainable bioenergy crop production policies needs to resolve difficult trade-offs such as food vs. energy supply, renewable energy vs. biodiversity conservation or yield growth vs. reduction of environmental problems of intensive agriculture.

  5. State Run Crop Insurance as a PPublic Policy in Accelerating Agricultural Growth in Developing Countries

    OpenAIRE

    Ahsan, Syed M.; Rashid, Salim

    1983-01-01

    Modern varieties of agricultural crops, commonly referred to as high yielding varieties (HYVs), are being increasingly looked upon as a major source of the additional foodgrain required to attain self-sufficiency in a number of Third World countries. In spite of the demonstrated productivity gains with HYVs, the adoption rate has been rather disappointing in many of those countries. Part of the reason behind the farmer's reluctance must arise from the unfamiliarity and high costs of the new t...

  6. Assessing COSMO-SkyMed capability for crops identification and monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guarini, R.; Dini, L.

    2015-12-01

    In the last decade, it has been possible to better understand the impact of agricultural human practices on the global environmental change at different spatial (from local to global) and time (from seasonal to decadal) scales. This has been achieved thanks to: big dataset continuously acquired by Earth Observation (EO) satellites; the improved capabilities of remote sensing techniques in extracting valuable information from the EO datasets; the new EO data policy which allowed unrestricted data usage; the net technologies which allowed to quickly and easily share national, international and market-derived information; an increasingly performing computing technology which allows to massively process large amount of data easier and at decreasing costs. To better understand the environmental impacts of agriculture and to monitor the consequences of human agricultural activities on the biosphere, scientists require to better identify crops and monitor crop conditions over time and space. Traditionally, NDVI time series maps derived from optical sensors have been used to this aim. As well-known this important source of information is conditioned by cloud cover. Unlike passive systems, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) ones are almost insensitive to atmospheric influences; thus, they are especially suitable for crop identification and condition monitoring. Among the other SAR systems currently in orbit, the Italian Space Agency (ASI) COSMO Sky-Med® (CSK®) constellation (X-band, frequency 9.6 GHz, wavelength 3.1 cm), especially for its peculiar high revisit capability (up to four images in 16 days with same acquisition geometry) seems to be particular suitable for providing information in addition and/or in alternative to other optical EO systems. To assess the capability of the CSK® constellation in identifying crops and in monitoring crops condition in 2013 ASI started the "AGRICIDOT" project. Some of the main project achievements will be presented at the congress.

  7. Rural tourism associated with agriculture as an economic alternative for the farmers

    OpenAIRE

    Calado, Luísa; Rodrigues, Ana; Silveira, Paulo; Dentinho, Tomaz

    2011-01-01

    This paper aims at presenting a possible approach to identify the best sites for rural tourism and also to analyze the synergies between agriculture and cultural heritage in Azores, in order to be incorporated in the full range of management concerns into private and public decision‑making. The following territorial aptitudes for alternative were used to simulate this exercise: urban, touristic, horticulture, agricultural, cattle and forestry. Soil potential was defined in a...

  8. Lasting effects of soil health improvements with management changes in cotton-based cropping systems in a sandy soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    The soil microbial component is essential for sustainable agricultural systems and soil health. This study evaluated the lasting impacts of 5 years of soil health improvements from alternative cropping systems compared to intensively tilled continuous cotton (Cont. Ctn) in a low organic matter sandy...

  9. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mokobia, C E; Anomohanran, O

    2005-01-01

    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 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)

  11. 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)

  12. Prospects for dedicated energy crop production and attitudes towards agricultural straw use: The case of livestock farmers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, P.; Glithero, N.J.; Ramsden, S.J.

    2014-01-01

    Second generation biofuels utilising agricultural by-products (e.g. straw), or dedicated energy crops (DECs) produced on ‘marginal’ land, have been called for. A structured telephone survey of 263 livestock farmers, predominantly located in the west or ‘marginal’ upland areas of England captured data on attitudes towards straw use and DECs. Combined with farm physical and business data, the survey results show that 7.2% and 6.3% of farmers would respectively consider growing SRC and miscanthus, producing respective maximum potential English crop areas of 54,603 ha and 43,859 ha. If higher market prices for straw occurred, most livestock farmers would continue to buy straw. Reasons for not being willing to consider growing DECs include concerns over land quality, committing land for a long time period, lack of appropriate machinery, profitability, and time to financial return; a range of moral, land quality, production conflict and lack of crop knowledge factors were also cited. Results demonstrate limited potential for the production of DECs on livestock farms in England. Changes in policy support to address farmer concerns with respect to DECs will be required to incentivise farmers to increase energy crop production. Policy support for DEC production must be cognisant of farm-level economic, tenancy and personal objectives. - Highlights: • Survey of English livestock farms determining attitudes to dedicated energy crops. • 6.3% to 7.2% of surveyed farmers would consider growing energy crops. • Limited potential for dedicated energy crops on livestock farms in England. • Livestock farmers would continue to buy straw, even at higher market prices. • Wide range of reasons given for farmers’ decisions related to energy crops

  13. 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

  14. Diversifying crops for food and nutrition security - a case of teff.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Acga; Mayes, Sean; Dalle, Gemedo; Demissew, Sebsebe; Massawe, Festo

    2017-02-01

    There are more than 50000 known edible plants in the world, yet two-thirds of global plant-derived food is provided by only three major cereals - maize (Zea mays), wheat (Triticum aestivum) and rice (Oryza sativa). The dominance of this triad, now considered truly global food commodities, has led to a decline in the number of crop species contributing to global food supplies. Our dependence on only a few crop species limits our capability to deal with challenges posed by the adverse effects of climate change and the consequences of dietary imbalance. Emerging evidence suggests that climate change will cause shifts in crop production and yield loss due to more unpredictable and hostile weather patterns. One solution to this problem is through the wider use of underutilised (also called orphan or minor) crops to diversify agricultural systems and food sources. In addition to being highly nutritious, underutilised crops are resilient in natural and agricultural conditions, making them a suitable surrogate to the major crops. One such crop is teff [Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter], a warm-season annual cereal with the tiniest grain in the world. Native to Ethiopia and often the sustenance for local small farmers, teff thrives in both moisture-stressed and waterlogged soil conditions, making it a dependable staple within and beyond its current centre of origin. Today, teff is deemed a healthy wheat alternative in the West and is sought-after by health aficionados and those with coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity. The blooming market for healthy food is breathing new life into this underutilised crop, which has received relatively limited attention from mainstream research perhaps due to its 'orphan crop' status. This review presents the past, present and future of an ancient grain with a potential beyond its size. © 2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  15. The soil moisture regimes beneath forest and an agricultural crop in southern India--Measurement and modelling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harding, R.J.; Hall, R.L.; Swaminath, M.H.; Murthy, K.V.

    1992-01-01

    The environmental effects of plantations of fast growing tree species has been a subject of some controversy in recent years. Extensive soil moisture measurements were made at three sites in Karnataka, southern India. At each site measurements were made beneath a number of vegetation types. These included fast growing tree species (Eucalyptus, Casuarina and Leucaena), degraded natural forest and an agricultural crop (ragi). The measurements indicate that beneath mature forest the available soil water is exhausted towards the end of the dry season, usually by March. The soil only becomes completely wetted if the subsequent monsoon has above average rainfall; during the weak monsoon of 1989 the soil remained approximately 150 mm below field capacity. After the monsoon (and during breaks in the monsoon) soil moisture depletion is between three and five mm per day. This rate decreases as the soil drys out. All the mature forest types show a similar soil water regime. This contrasts strongly with that of the agricultural crop, which shows much smaller changes. A range of soil water accounting models was applied to these data. The most successful are those which use the Penman formulation to estimate the potential evaporation and include a two-layer soil water depletion model. The more general Penman-Monteith formulation was also tested

  16. Neutralization of acidic raindrops on leaves of agricultural crop and boreal forest species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hutchinson, T.C.; Adams, C.M.; Gaber, B.A.

    1986-10-01

    The abilities of foliage of selected agricultural crop and native boreal forest species to neutralize acidic raindrops were compared. The species differed widely in their responses. Neutralization was influenced to a large extent by leaf wettability and was poorly related with species' susceptibility to foliar injury from acid rain sprayings. Little neutralization of pH 3.0 droplets occurred on very waxy leaves, e.g. cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.), due to the small contact area between the leaf surface and raindrops. In contrast, on sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) and radish (Raphanus sativus L.) leaves, which are pubescent and easily wettable, neutralization was considerable. For all agricultural crop species examined, the pH of droplets drying on cotyledons was consistently higher than on the leaves. The pH values of raindrops were also higher when the foliage was injured by the acid rain, probably due to leakage of cellular contents. Among boreal forest species examined, bunchberry (Cornus canadensis L.) was particularly good at neutralizing natural acid rain, increasing the pH from 3.9 to 6.6 after 9 hr of foliar contact, while the response of other boreal species ranged from a final pH of 4.8 to 5.7 under the same conditions. Simulated raindrops on wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis L.) were never neutralized but increased in acidity as they evaporated. Chemical analyses of droplets collected from foliage showed calcium (Ca) and potassium (K) to be the major cations entering the neutralized droplets. Neutralization of acidic raindrops appears to occur through two processes; solubilization of alkaline dusts and exudates on the leaf surface, and ion exchange removal of H/sup +/ by the foliage. 14 references.

  17. Neutralization of acidic raindrops on leaves of agricultural crop and boreal forest species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hutchinson, T.C.; Adams, C.M.; Gaber, B.A.

    1986-11-01

    The abilities of foliage of selected agricultural crop and native boreal forest species to neutralize acidic raindrops were compared. The species differed widely in their responses. Neutralization was influenced to a large extent by leaf wettability and was poorly related with species' susceptibility to foliar injury from acid rain sprayings. Little neutralization of pH 3.0 droplets occurred on very waxy leaves, e.g. cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.), due to the small contact area between the leaf surface and raindrops. In contrast, on sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) and radish (Raphanus sativus L.) leaves, which are pubescent and easily wettable, neutralization was considerable. For all agricultural crop species examined, the pH of droplets drying on cotyledons was consistently higher than on the leaves. The pH values of raindrops were also higher when the foliage was injured by the acid rain, probably due to leakage of cellular contents. Among boreal forest species examined, bunchberry (Cornus canadensis L.) was particularly good at neutralizing natural acid rain, increasing the pH from 3.9 to 6.6 after 9 hr of foliar contact, while the response of other boreal species ranged from a final pH of 4.8 to 5.7 under the same conditions. Simulated raindrops on wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis L.) were never neutralized but increased in acidity as they evaporated. Chemical analyses of droplets collected from foliage showed calcium and potassium to be the major cations entering the neutralized droplets. Neutralization of acidic raindrops appears to occur through two processes: solubilization of alkaline dusts and exudates on the leaf surface, and ion exchange removal of H/sup +/ by the foliage. 14 refs.

  18. 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.

  19. Comparison of Soil Respiration in Typical Conventional and New Alternative Cereal Cropping Systems on the North China Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Bing; Ju, Xiaotang; Su, Fang; Gao, Fengbin; Cao, Qingsen; Oenema, Oene; Christie, Peter; Chen, Xinping; Zhang, Fusuo

    2013-01-01

    We monitored soil respiration (Rs), soil temperature (T) and volumetric water content (VWC%) over four years in one typical conventional and four alternative cropping systems to understand Rs in different cropping systems with their respective management practices and environmental conditions. The control was conventional double-cropping system (winter wheat and summer maize in one year - Con.W/M). Four alternative cropping systems were designed with optimum water and N management, i.e. optimized winter wheat and summer maize (Opt.W/M), three harvests every two years (first year, winter wheat and summer maize or soybean; second year, fallow then spring maize - W/M-M and W/S-M), and single spring maize per year (M). Our results show that Rs responded mainly to the seasonal variation in T but was also greatly affected by straw return, root growth and soil moisture changes under different cropping systems. The mean seasonal CO2 emissions in Con.W/M were 16.8 and 15.1 Mg CO2 ha−1 for summer maize and winter wheat, respectively, without straw return. They increased significantly by 26 and 35% in Opt.W/M, respectively, with straw return. Under the new alternative cropping systems with straw return, W/M-M showed similar Rs to Opt.W/M, but total CO2 emissions of W/S-M decreased sharply relative to Opt.W/M when soybean was planted to replace summer maize. Total CO2 emissions expressed as the complete rotation cycles of W/S-M, Con.W/M and M treatments were not significantly different. Seasonal CO2 emissions were significantly correlated with the sum of carbon inputs of straw return from the previous season and the aboveground biomass in the current season, which explained 60% of seasonal CO2 emissions. T and VWC% explained up to 65% of Rs using the exponential-power and double exponential models, and the impacts of tillage and straw return must therefore be considered for accurate modeling of Rs in this geographical region. PMID:24278340

  20. Comparison of soil respiration in typical conventional and new alternative cereal cropping systems on the North China plain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Bing; Ju, Xiaotang; Su, Fang; Gao, Fengbin; Cao, Qingsen; Oenema, Oene; Christie, Peter; Chen, Xinping; Zhang, Fusuo

    2013-01-01

    We monitored soil respiration (Rs), soil temperature (T) and volumetric water content (VWC%) over four years in one typical conventional and four alternative cropping systems to understand Rs in different cropping systems with their respective management practices and environmental conditions. The control was conventional double-cropping system (winter wheat and summer maize in one year--Con.W/M). Four alternative cropping systems were designed with optimum water and N management, i.e. optimized winter wheat and summer maize (Opt.W/M), three harvests every two years (first year, winter wheat and summer maize or soybean; second year, fallow then spring maize--W/M-M and W/S-M), and single spring maize per year (M). Our results show that Rs responded mainly to the seasonal variation in T but was also greatly affected by straw return, root growth and soil moisture changes under different cropping systems. The mean seasonal CO2 emissions in Con.W/M were 16.8 and 15.1 Mg CO2 ha(-1) for summer maize and winter wheat, respectively, without straw return. They increased significantly by 26 and 35% in Opt.W/M, respectively, with straw return. Under the new alternative cropping systems with straw return, W/M-M showed similar Rs to Opt.W/M, but total CO2 emissions of W/S-M decreased sharply relative to Opt.W/M when soybean was planted to replace summer maize. Total CO2 emissions expressed as the complete rotation cycles of W/S-M, Con.W/M and M treatments were not significantly different. Seasonal CO2 emissions were significantly correlated with the sum of carbon inputs of straw return from the previous season and the aboveground biomass in the current season, which explained 60% of seasonal CO2 emissions. T and VWC% explained up to 65% of Rs using the exponential-power and double exponential models, and the impacts of tillage and straw return must therefore be considered for accurate modeling of Rs in this geographical region.

  1. Effect of air pollution on agricultural and forest crops. I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsushima, J

    1971-10-01

    Indirect and direct effects of air pollutants on agricultural and forest crops are discussed. Pollutants can cause changes in the quality of pesticides, imbalances in the nutritional makeup of crops, and other effects in the soil. Past studies have shown that there is a definite correlation between the germ induced blight of pine trees and the concentration of sulfur dioxide in air. Infestation of pine insects and the degree of oxidant in the air also have close relationships. The final cause for blight of pines is often the work of insects such as western pine beetles and mountain pine beetles, but the insects attack trees that are already weakened by oxidant. Orange trees sprayed with pesticide were fumigated in SO/sub 2/. Control trees showed a marked state of good health in comparison to the fumigated trees. However, the relationship and mechanism of the pesticide and SO/sub 2/ are controlled by a complex set of factors. Lime and sulfur compound pesticides also affect citrus trees when SO/sub 2/ is present. Trees sprayed during winter in conjunction with SO/sub 2/ fumigation show a heavy shedding of leaves. The SO/sub 2/ accumulation in soil and plant in the form of acidity or sulfur result in increases of potassium, calcium, or magnesium, depending on the type of produce. Direct effects of SO/sub 2/ are discussed based on the mathematical formula of Thomas, and invisible damages caused by winter fumigation in SO/sub 2/ such as deterioration of growth and photosynthesis are discussed.

  2. 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.

  3. Labor migration in Southern Africa and agricultural development: some lessons from Lesotho.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plath, J C; Holland, D W; Carvalho, J W

    1987-01-01

    Using Lesotho as a case study, this paper presents an analytical framework regarding certain policy issues relevant to agriculture becoming a viable alternative to migration for employment and income. 60% of adult Basotho (people of Lesotho) males between the ages of 20 and 44 are employed in the mines in South Africa. About 70% of rural households in Lesotho have at least 1 member who is a migrant. In recent years, over 40% of Lesotho's gross national product has come from mine wages. Migrant remittances contributed about 65% of rural household incomes in the late 1970s. Future opportunities for migrant employment will either remain at current levels or decline as mining becomes less labor intensive and South Africa gives priority to employing local blacks. In Lesotho, only about 2% of the land is arable. Also, the impact of so much migration to South Africa has a direct effect on labor available to Lesotho agriculture. To estimate indirectly the costs of migration, 34 Basotho migrants employed in the South African mines were interviewed in the Nyakosoba area in 1983. Results show that the cost of migration was valued at 40% of their annual average income in 1983. There is sparse ownership of and access to land and oxen; there is also a scarcity of agricultural equipment. The authors calculate that 1) returns from growing traditional field crops using traditional technology are abysmally low, 2) net return from growing the same crops with improved technology are greatly improved, and 3) the commercial planting and cultivation of fruit trees would yield net returns that far exceed the amounts most surveyed migrants indicated would be sufficient to stop them from migrating. Constraints to improved technology adoption include 1) investment in fixed capital and variable inputs, 2) higher levels of management and knowledge of how to use the technology, 3) the necessity to quit mine work and pursue agriculture full time. Production risk needs to be reduced. Orchard

  4. Cover Crops in Hillside Agriculture

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

    Our study focuses on the wet tropical hillsides of northern Honduras (Figure 1). ..... The eastern extreme of the region (Jutiapa) is a dry spot, with less rainfall (2 000 mm a-1) as a result ...... Paper presented at the International Workshop on Green Manure–Cover Crops for Smallholders in ..... Lamaster, J.P.; Jones, I.R. 1923.

  5. Use of radioisotopes in agriculture: DNA based molecular markers in crop improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sivaramakrishnan, S.; Seetharama, N.; Kannan, Seetha

    2001-01-01

    Agriculture has always benefited from the use of radioisotopes in many ways. In the beginning radioisotopes were mostly used for physiological studies to measure photosynthetic efficiency, nutrient uptake, and for mutation breeding. Radioisotopes have now become a part of the biotechnological tools that are being increasingly used in improving crops and production systems. The tools of biotechnology are being increasingly used to hasten breeding and address problems of biotic and abiotic stresses. Some of the non-radioactive methods have replaced radiotracer techniques and thus led to automation often at high cost. However, still there remain many applications where radioisotopes seem almost indispensable. For some of the applications like comparative genome mapping, the confirmation of transgenics, and establishment of gene copy number, use of RFLP with radioisotopes is essential. The following research areas at ICRISAT use radioisotopes: (1) physiological basis of adaptation to abiotic stresses (ii) development and use of appropriate DNA markers crop improvement; (iii) characterization of cytoplasmic male sterile systems and genetic diversity of breeding materials, land races and the wild relatives and (iv) molecular basis of disease resistance; (v) comparative genome mapping across cereals, (vi) isolation and characterization of genes of potential value to genetic improvement and (vii) verification of genetic transformation events. (author)

  6. Integrated Systems Mitigate Land Degradation and Improve Agricultural System Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landblom, Douglas; Senturklu, Songul; Cihacek, Larry; Brevik, Eric

    2017-04-01

    Rain-fed agricultural production supported by exogenous inputs is not sustainable because a continuous influx of expensive inputs (fertilizer, chemicals, fossil fuel, labor, tillage, and other) is required. Alternatives to traditional management allow natural occurring dynamic soil processes to provide the necessary microbial activity that supports nutrient cycling in balance with nature. Research designed to investigate the potential for integrated systems to replace expensive inputs has shown that healthy soils rich in soil organic matter (SOM) are the foundation upon which microbial nutrient cycling can reduce and eventually replace expensive fertilizer. No-till seed placement technology effectively replaces multiple-pass cultivation conserving stored soil water in semi-arid farming systems. In multi-crop rotations, cool- and warm-season crops are grown in sequence to meet goals of the integrated farming and ranching system, and each crop in the rotation complements the subsequent crop by supplying a continuous flow of essential SOM for soil nutrient cycling. Grazing animals serve an essential role in the system's sustainability as non-mechanized animal harvesters that reduce fossil fuel consumption and labor, and animal waste contributes soil nutrients to the system. Integrated systems' complementarity has contributed to greater soil nutrient cycling and crop yields, fertilizer reduction or elimination, greater yearling steer grazing net return, reduced cow wintering costs grazing crop residues, increased wildlife sightings, and reduced environmental footprint. Therefore, integrating crop and animal systems can reverse soil quality decline and adopting non-traditional procedures has resulted in a wider array of opportunities for sustainable agriculture and profitability.

  7. VIC-CropSyst-v2: A regional-scale modeling platform to simulate the nexus of climate, hydrology, cropping systems, and human decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malek, Keyvan; Stöckle, Claudio; Chinnayakanahalli, Kiran; Nelson, Roger; Liu, Mingliang; Rajagopalan, Kirti; Barik, Muhammad; Adam, Jennifer C.

    2017-08-01

    Food supply is affected by a complex nexus of land, atmosphere, and human processes, including short- and long-term stressors (e.g., drought and climate change, respectively). A simulation platform that captures these complex elements can be used to inform policy and best management practices to promote sustainable agriculture. We have developed a tightly coupled framework using the macroscale variable infiltration capacity (VIC) hydrologic model and the CropSyst agricultural model. A mechanistic irrigation module was also developed for inclusion in this framework. Because VIC-CropSyst combines two widely used and mechanistic models (for crop phenology, growth, management, and macroscale hydrology), it can provide realistic and hydrologically consistent simulations of water availability, crop water requirements for irrigation, and agricultural productivity for both irrigated and dryland systems. This allows VIC-CropSyst to provide managers and decision makers with reliable information on regional water stresses and their impacts on food production. Additionally, VIC-CropSyst is being used in conjunction with socioeconomic models, river system models, and atmospheric models to simulate feedback processes between regional water availability, agricultural water management decisions, and land-atmosphere interactions. The performance of VIC-CropSyst was evaluated on both regional (over the US Pacific Northwest) and point scales. Point-scale evaluation involved using two flux tower sites located in agricultural fields in the US (Nebraska and Illinois). The agreement between recorded and simulated evapotranspiration (ET), applied irrigation water, soil moisture, leaf area index (LAI), and yield indicated that, although the model is intended to work on regional scales, it also captures field-scale processes in agricultural areas.

  8. Insect-resistant biotech crops and their impacts on beneficial arthropods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatehouse, A. M. R.; Ferry, N.; Edwards, M. G.; Bell, H. A.

    2011-01-01

    With a projected population of 10 billion by 2050, an immediate priority for agriculture is to achieve increased crop yields in a sustainable and cost-effective way. The concept of using a transgenic approach was realized in the mid-1990s with the commercial introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops. By 2010, the global value of the seed alone was US $11.2 billion, with commercial biotech maize, soya bean grain and cotton valued at approximately US $150 billion. In recent years, it has become evident that insect-resistant crops expressing δ-endotoxin genes from Bacillus thuringiensis have made a significant beneficial impact on global agriculture, not least in terms of pest reduction and improved quality. However, because of the potential for pest populations to evolve resistance, and owing to lack of effective control of homopteran pests, alternative strategies are being developed. Some of these are based on Bacillus spp. or other insect pathogens, while others are based on the use of plant- and animal-derived genes. However, if such approaches are to play a useful role in crop protection, it is desirable that they do not have a negative impact on beneficial organisms at higher trophic levels thus affecting the functioning of the agro-ecosystem. This widely held concern over the ecological impacts of GM crops has led to the extensive examination of the potential effects of a range of transgene proteins on non-target and beneficial insects. The findings to date with respect to both commercial and experimental GM crops expressing anti-insect genes are discussed here, with particular emphasis on insect predators and parasitoids. PMID:21444317

  9. Insect-resistant biotech crops and their impacts on beneficial arthropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatehouse, A M R; Ferry, N; Edwards, M G; Bell, H A

    2011-05-12

    With a projected population of 10 billion by 2050, an immediate priority for agriculture is to achieve increased crop yields in a sustainable and cost-effective way. The concept of using a transgenic approach was realized in the mid-1990s with the commercial introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops. By 2010, the global value of the seed alone was US $11.2 billion, with commercial biotech maize, soya bean grain and cotton valued at approximately US $150 billion. In recent years, it has become evident that insect-resistant crops expressing δ-endotoxin genes from Bacillus thuringiensis have made a significant beneficial impact on global agriculture, not least in terms of pest reduction and improved quality. However, because of the potential for pest populations to evolve resistance, and owing to lack of effective control of homopteran pests, alternative strategies are being developed. Some of these are based on Bacillus spp. or other insect pathogens, while others are based on the use of plant- and animal-derived genes. However, if such approaches are to play a useful role in crop protection, it is desirable that they do not have a negative impact on beneficial organisms at higher trophic levels thus affecting the functioning of the agro-ecosystem. This widely held concern over the ecological impacts of GM crops has led to the extensive examination of the potential effects of a range of transgene proteins on non-target and beneficial insects. The findings to date with respect to both commercial and experimental GM crops expressing anti-insect genes are discussed here, with particular emphasis on insect predators and parasitoids.

  10. PLASTIC MATERIALS IN EUROPEAN AGRICULTURE: ACTUAL USE AND PERSPECTIVES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giacomo Scarascia-Mugnozza

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The world consumption of plastics in agriculture amounts yearly to 6.5 million tons. In addition to conventional polymers used in agriculture for greenhouses and mulches such as PE, PVC, EVA, photo-selective and luminescent polymers have been used, in order to improve the quality of crops. For the same reason plastic nets are used mainly in countries with tropical and Mediterranean climates. For an environmentally friendly agricultural activity, an alternative strategy can be represented by bio-based agricultural raw materials. For low environmental impact applications, biodegradable materials for agricultural films are nowadays produced. An overview of the main methods for the disposal and recycling of plastic materials are presented with the results of mechanical and radiometric tests on recycled plastics. The strategies to reduce the burden of plastics in agriculture are: a correct procedure for the collection, disposal and recycling of post-consumption plastics; the increase of lifetime duration and performance; and the introduction and promotion of bio-based materials.

  11. Herbicide-resistant crop biotechnology: potential and pitfalls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbicide-resistant crops are an important agricultural biotechnology that can enable farmers to effectively control weeds without harming their crops. Glyphosate-resistant (i.e. Roundup Ready) crops have been the most commercially successful varieties of herbicide-resistant crops and have been plan...

  12. Rural Women's Attitude Towards Adoption Of Improved Crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Rural Women's Attitude Towards Adoption Of Improved Crop Production Practices In Aguata Agricultural Zone, Anambra State, Nigeria. ... Global Approaches to Extension Practice: A Journal of Agricultural Extension ... Rural women agreed that improved crops normally lose their taste after harvest (mean = 3.02).

  13. An integrated approach to monitoring ecosystem services and agriculture: implications for sustainable agricultural intensification in Rwanda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, Melissa F; Bonham, Curan A; Dempewolf, Jan; Arakwiye, Bernadette

    2017-01-01

    Maintaining the long-term sustainability of human and natural systems across agricultural landscapes requires an integrated, systematic monitoring system that can track crop productivity and the impacts of agricultural intensification on natural resources. This study presents the design and practical implementation of a monitoring framework that combines satellite observations with ground-based biophysical measurements and household surveys to provide metrics on ecosystem services and agricultural production at multiple spatial scales, reaching from individual households and plots owned by smallholder farmers to 100-km 2 landscapes. We developed a set of protocols for monitoring and analyzing ecological and agricultural household parameters within two 10 × 10-km landscapes in Rwanda, including soil fertility, crop yield, water availability, and fuelwood sustainability. Initial results suggest providing households that rely on rainfall for crop irrigation with timely climate information and improved technical inputs pre-harvest could help increase crop productivity in the short term. The value of the monitoring system is discussed as an effective tool for establishing a baseline of ecosystem services and agriculture before further change in land use and climate, identifying limitations in crop production and soil fertility, and evaluating food security, economic development, and environmental sustainability goals set forth by the Rwandan government.

  14. Deriving crop calendar using NDVI time-series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, J. H.; Oza, M. P.

    2014-11-01

    Agricultural intensification is defined in terms as cropping intensity, which is the numbers of crops (single, double and triple) per year in a unit cropland area. Information about crop calendar (i.e. number of crops in a parcel of land and their planting & harvesting dates and date of peak vegetative stage) is essential for proper management of agriculture. Remote sensing sensors provide a regular, consistent and reliable measurement of vegetation response at various growth stages of crop. Therefore it is ideally suited for monitoring purpose. The spectral response of vegetation, as measured by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and its profiles, can provide a new dimension for describing vegetation growth cycle. The analysis based on values of NDVI at regular time interval provides useful information about various crop growth stages and performance of crop in a season. However, the NDVI data series has considerable amount of local fluctuation in time domain and needs to be smoothed so that dominant seasonal behavior is enhanced. Based on temporal analysis of smoothed NDVI series, it is possible to extract number of crop cycles per year and their crop calendar. In the present study, a methodology is developed to extract key elements of crop growth cycle (i.e. number of crops per year and their planting - peak - harvesting dates). This is illustrated by analysing MODIS-NDVI data series of one agricultural year (from June 2012 to May 2013) over Gujarat. Such an analysis is very useful for analysing dynamics of kharif and rabi crops.

  15. Water Savings of Crop Redistribution in the United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle Frankel Davis

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Demographic growth, changes in diet, and reliance on first-generation biofuels are increasing the human demand for agricultural products, thereby enhancing the human pressure on global freshwater resources. Recent research on the food-water nexus has highlighted how some major agricultural regions of the world lack the water resources required to sustain current growth trends in crop production. To meet the increasing need for agricultural commodities with limited water resources, the water use efficiency of the agricultural sector must be improved. In this regard, recent work indicates that the often overlooked strategy of changing the crop distribution within presently cultivated areas offers promise. Here we investigate the extent to which water in the United States could be saved while improving yields simply by replacing the existing crops with more suitable ones. We propose crop replacement criteria that achieve this goal while preserving crop diversity, economic value, nitrogen fixation, and food protein production. We find that in the United States, these criteria would greatly improve calorie (+46% and protein (+34% production and economic value (+208%, with 5% water savings with respect to the present crop distribution. Interestingly, greater water savings could be achieved in water-stressed agricultural regions of the US such as California (56% water savings, and other western states.

  16. The causal nexus between carbon dioxide emissions and agricultural ecosystem-an econometric approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asumadu-Sarkodie, Samuel; Owusu, Phebe Asantewaa

    2017-01-01

    Achieving a long-term food security and preventing hunger include a better nutrition through sustainable systems of production, distribution, and consumption. Nonetheless, the quest for an alternative to increasing global food supply to meet the growing demand has led to the use of poor agricultural practices that promote climate change. Given the contribution of the agricultural ecosystem towards greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, this study investigated the causal nexus between carbon dioxide emissions and agricultural ecosystem by employing a data spanning from 1961 to 2012. Evidence from long-run elasticity shows that a 1 % increase in the area of rice paddy harvested will increase carbon dioxide emissions by 1.49 %, a 1 % increase in biomass-burned crop residues will increase carbon dioxide emissions by 1.00 %, a 1 % increase in cereal production will increase carbon dioxide emissions by 1.38 %, and a 1 % increase in agricultural machinery will decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 0.09 % in the long run. There was a bidirectional causality between carbon dioxide emissions, cereal production, and biomass-burned crop residues. The Granger causality shows that the agricultural ecosystem in Ghana is sensitive to climate change vulnerability.

  17. 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

  18. Short-term marginal costs in French agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    Latruffe, Laure; LETORT, Elodie

    2011-01-01

    The paper investigates short-term marginal costs in French agriculture for field cropping, beef cattle, and dairy farms during the period 1995-2006. The multi-input multi-output Symmetric Generalised MacFadden cost function is used, with three variable inputs (crop-specific, animal-specific, energy costs), four outputs and three quasi-fixed inputs. Results indicate that marginal costs are on average lower for crop farms than for livestock samples. However, for crop farms, Common Agricultural ...

  19. Agriculture. Sector 4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-01-01

    In Lebanon, emissions of greenhouse gases from agricultural activities occur through the following processes: -enteric fermentation and manure management of the domestic livestock emits methane and nitrous oxide. -agricultural burning of crop residues is of minor importance since field burning of crop residue is not a common practice in Lebanon -agricultural soils are a source of nitrous oxide directly from the soils and from animal production, and indirectly from the nitrogen added to the soils. The following results were obtained for the inventory year 1994: 7.60955 Gg of methane, 3.01478 Gg of nitrous oxide, 0.00146 Gg of nitrogen oxides and 0.04306 Gg of carbon monoxide

  20. Applied crop protection 2016

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Lise Nistrup; Nielsen, Bent Jørgen; Jensen, Peter Kryger

    This publication contains results from crop protection trials which were carried out at the Department of Agroecology within the area of agricultural crops. Most of the results come from field trials, but results from greenhouse and semi-field trials are also included. The report contains results...

  1. 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

  2. Impact of Crop Conversions on Runoff and Sediment Output in the Lower Mississippi River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Momm, H.; Bingner, R. L.; Elkadiri, R.; Yaraser, L.; Porter, W.

    2017-12-01

    Farming management practices influence sediment and agrochemical loads exiting fields and entering downstream water bodies. These practices impact multiple physical processes responsible for sediment and nutrient detachment, transport, and deposition. Recent changes in farming practices in the Southern United States coincide with increased grain production, replacing traditional crops such as cotton with corn and soybeans. To grow these crops in the South, adapted crop management practices are needed (irrigation, fertilizer, etc.). In this study, the impact of grain crop adoption on hydrologic processes and non-point source pollutant production is quantified. A watershed located in the Big Sunflower River drainage basin (14,179 km2) - a part of the greater Lower Mississippi River basin - was selected due to its economic relevance, historical agricultural output, and depiction of recent farming management trends. Estimates of runoff and sediment loads were produced using the U.S. Department of Agriculture supported Annualized Agriculture Non-Point Source Pollution (AnnAGNPS) watershed pollution and management model. Existing physical conditions during a 16-year period (2000-2015) were characterized using 3,992 sub-catchments and 1,602 concentrated flow paths. Algorithms were developed to integrate continuous land use/land cover information, variable spatio-temporal irrigation practices, and crop output yield in order to generate a total of 2,922 unique management practices and corresponding soil-disturbing operations. A simulation representing existing conditions was contrasted with simulations depicting alternatives of management, irrigation practices, and temporal variations in crop yield. Quantification of anthropogenic impacts to water quality and water availability at a watershed scale supports the development of targeted pollution mitigation and custom conservation strategies.

  3. Ecoinformatics reveals effects of crop rotational histories on cotton yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meisner, Matthew H; Rosenheim, Jay A

    2014-01-01

    Crop rotation has been practiced for centuries in an effort to improve agricultural yield. However, the directions, magnitudes, and mechanisms of the yield effects of various crop rotations remain poorly understood in many systems. In order to better understand how crop rotation influences cotton yield, we used hierarchical Bayesian models to analyze a large ecoinformatics database consisting of records of commercial cotton crops grown in California's San Joaquin Valley. We identified several crops that, when grown in a field the year before a cotton crop, were associated with increased or decreased cotton yield. Furthermore, there was a negative association between the effect of the prior year's crop on June densities of the pest Lygus hesperus and the effect of the prior year's crop on cotton yield. This suggested that some crops may enhance L. hesperus densities in the surrounding agricultural landscape, because residual L. hesperus populations from the previous year cannot continuously inhabit a focal field and attack a subsequent cotton crop. In addition, we found that cotton yield declined approximately 2.4% for each additional year in which cotton was grown consecutively in a field prior to the focal cotton crop. Because L. hesperus is quite mobile, the effects of crop rotation on L. hesperus would likely not be revealed by small plot experimentation. These results provide an example of how ecoinformatics datasets, which capture the true spatial scale of commercial agriculture, can be used to enhance agricultural productivity.

  4. Ecoinformatics reveals effects of crop rotational histories on cotton yield.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew H Meisner

    Full Text Available Crop rotation has been practiced for centuries in an effort to improve agricultural yield. However, the directions, magnitudes, and mechanisms of the yield effects of various crop rotations remain poorly understood in many systems. In order to better understand how crop rotation influences cotton yield, we used hierarchical Bayesian models to analyze a large ecoinformatics database consisting of records of commercial cotton crops grown in California's San Joaquin Valley. We identified several crops that, when grown in a field the year before a cotton crop, were associated with increased or decreased cotton yield. Furthermore, there was a negative association between the effect of the prior year's crop on June densities of the pest Lygus hesperus and the effect of the prior year's crop on cotton yield. This suggested that some crops may enhance L. hesperus densities in the surrounding agricultural landscape, because residual L. hesperus populations from the previous year cannot continuously inhabit a focal field and attack a subsequent cotton crop. In addition, we found that cotton yield declined approximately 2.4% for each additional year in which cotton was grown consecutively in a field prior to the focal cotton crop. Because L. hesperus is quite mobile, the effects of crop rotation on L. hesperus would likely not be revealed by small plot experimentation. These results provide an example of how ecoinformatics datasets, which capture the true spatial scale of commercial agriculture, can be used to enhance agricultural productivity.

  5. VIC–CropSyst-v2: A regional-scale modeling platform to simulate the nexus of climate, hydrology, cropping systems, and human decisions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Malek

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Food supply is affected by a complex nexus of land, atmosphere, and human processes, including short- and long-term stressors (e.g., drought and climate change, respectively. A simulation platform that captures these complex elements can be used to inform policy and best management practices to promote sustainable agriculture. We have developed a tightly coupled framework using the macroscale variable infiltration capacity (VIC hydrologic model and the CropSyst agricultural model. A mechanistic irrigation module was also developed for inclusion in this framework. Because VIC–CropSyst combines two widely used and mechanistic models (for crop phenology, growth, management, and macroscale hydrology, it can provide realistic and hydrologically consistent simulations of water availability, crop water requirements for irrigation, and agricultural productivity for both irrigated and dryland systems. This allows VIC–CropSyst to provide managers and decision makers with reliable information on regional water stresses and their impacts on food production. Additionally, VIC–CropSyst is being used in conjunction with socioeconomic models, river system models, and atmospheric models to simulate feedback processes between regional water availability, agricultural water management decisions, and land–atmosphere interactions. The performance of VIC–CropSyst was evaluated on both regional (over the US Pacific Northwest and point scales. Point-scale evaluation involved using two flux tower sites located in agricultural fields in the US (Nebraska and Illinois. The agreement between recorded and simulated evapotranspiration (ET, applied irrigation water, soil moisture, leaf area index (LAI, and yield indicated that, although the model is intended to work on regional scales, it also captures field-scale processes in agricultural areas.

  6. Nuclear techniques in agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhagwat, S.G.

    2012-01-01

    Crops provide us food grains and many other products. Demand for food and other agricultural products is increasing. There is also need for improvement of quality of the agricultural produce. There are several technologies in use for achieving the goal of increasing the quantity and quality of agricultural produce. Nuclear techniques provide us with an option which has certain advantages. The characteristics of crop plants are determined by the genetic make up of the plant. Traditionally the genetic make up was modified using conventional breeding techniques such as cross breeding to improve crops for yield, disease resistance, stress tolerance, resistance to insect pests or to improve quality. New varieties of crops are produced which replace the earlier ones and thus the demands are met. The process of development of new varieties is long and time consuming. Nuclear technique called mutation breeding provides an efficient way of breeding new varieties or improving the older ones. This technique merely enhances the process of occurrence of mutations. In nature mutations occur at a rate of approximately one in a million, while when mutations are induced using radiations such as gamma rays the efficiency of inducing mutations is enhanced. Useful mutations are selected, the mutants are evaluated and developed as a new variety. In the Nuclear Agriculture and Biotechnology Division (NA and BTD) this technique has been used to develop mutants of many crop plants. The mutants can be used to develop a variety directly or by using it in further breeding programme. Using these approaches the NA and BTD has developed 40 new varieties of crops such as groundnut, mungbean, urid, pigeon pea, mustard, soybean, sunflower, cowpea, jute. These varieties are developed in collaboration with other agricultural institutions and are popular among the farming community. The method of mutation breeding can be applied to many other crops for improvement. There is increasing interest among

  7. The yield gap of major food crops in family agriculture in the tropics: Assessment and analysis through field surveys and modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Affholder, F.; Poeydebat, C.; Corbeels, M.; Scopel, E.; Tittonell, P.A.

    2013-01-01

    Yield gaps of major food crops are wide under rainfed family agriculture in the tropics. Their magnitude and causes vary substantially across agro-ecological, demographic and market situations. Methods to assess yield gaps should cope with spatio-temporal variability of bio-physical conditions,

  8. Impact of GM crops on biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Janet E

    2011-01-01

    The potential impact of GM crops on biodiversity has been a topic of interest both in general as well as specifically in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Agricultural biodiversity has been defined at levels from genes to ecosystems that are involved or impacted by agricultural production (www.cbd.int/agro/whatis.shtml). After fifteen years of commercial cultivation, a substantial body of literature now exists addressing the potential impacts of GM crops on the environment. This review takes a biodiversity lens to this literature, considering the impacts at three levels: the crop, farm and landscape scales. Within that framework, this review covers potential impacts of the introduction of genetically engineered crops on: crop diversity, biodiversity of wild relatives, non-target soil organisms, weeds, land use, non-target above-ground organisms, and area-wide pest suppression. The emphasis of the review is peer-reviewed literature that presents direct measures of impacts on biodiversity. In addition, possible impacts of changes in management practises such as tillage and pesticide use are also discussed to complement the literature on direct measures. The focus of the review is on technologies that have been commercialized somewhere in the world, while results may emanate from non-adopting countries and regions. Overall, the review finds that currently commercialized GM crops have reduced the impacts of agriculture on biodiversity, through enhanced adoption of conservation tillage practices, reduction of insecticide use and use of more environmentally benign herbicides and increasing yields to alleviate pressure to convert additional land into agricultural use.

  9. 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.

  10. A Simulation Software for the Analysis of Cropping Systems in Livestock Farms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tommaso Maggiore

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Simulation models can support quantitative and integrated analyses of agricultural systems. In this paper we describe VA.TE., a computer program developed to support the preparation and evaluation of nitrogen fertilising plans for livestock farms in the Lombardy region (northern Italy. The program integrates the cropping systems simulation model CropSyst with several regional agricultural databases, and provides the users with a simple framework for applying the model and interpreting results. VA.TE. makes good use of available data, integrating into a single relational database existing information about soils, climate, farms, animal breeds, crops and crop managements, and providing estimates of missing input variables. A simulation engine manages the entire simulation process: choice of farms to be simulated, model parameterisation, creation of model inputs, simulation of scenarios and analysis of model outputs. The program permits to apply at farm scale a model originally designed for the lower scale of homogeneous land parcel. It manages alternative simulation scenarios for each farm, helping to identify solutions to combine low nitrate losses and satisfactory crop yields. Example simulation results for three farms located on different soils and having varying levels of nitrogen surplus show that the integrated system (model + database can manage various simulations automatically, and that strategies to improve N management can be refined by analysing the simulated amounts and temporal patterns of nitrogen leaching.We conclude by discussing the issues regarding the integration of existing regional databases with simulation models.

  11. A Simulation Software for the Analysis of Cropping Systems in Livestock Farms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Bechini

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Simulation models can support quantitative and integrated analyses of agricultural systems. In this paper we describe VA.TE., a computer program developed to support the preparation and evaluation of nitrogen fertilising plans for livestock farms in the Lombardy region (northern Italy. The program integrates the cropping systems simulation model CropSyst with several regional agricultural databases, and provides the users with a simple framework for applying the model and interpreting results. VA.TE. makes good use of available data, integrating into a single relational database existing information about soils, climate, farms, animal breeds, crops and crop managements, and providing estimates of missing input variables. A simulation engine manages the entire simulation process: choice of farms to be simulated, model parameterisation, creation of model inputs, simulation of scenarios and analysis of model outputs. The program permits to apply at farm scale a model originally designed for the lower scale of homogeneous land parcel. It manages alternative simulation scenarios for each farm, helping to identify solutions to combine low nitrate losses and satisfactory crop yields. Example simulation results for three farms located on different soils and having varying levels of nitrogen surplus show that the integrated system (model + database can manage various simulations automatically, and that strategies to improve N management can be refined by analysing the simulated amounts and temporal patterns of nitrogen leaching.We conclude by discussing the issues regarding the integration of existing regional databases with simulation models.

  12. Vocational Agriculture Computer Handbook.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kentucky State Dept. of Education, Frankfort.

    This document is a catalog of reviews of computer software suitable for use in vocational agriculture programs. The reviews were made by vocational agriculture teachers in Kentucky. The reviews cover software on the following topics: farm management, crop production, livestock production, horticulture, agricultural mechanics, general agriculture,…

  13. 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

  14. Development of CROPTRIT Model: The Dynamics of Tritium in Agricultural Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galeriu, Dan; Melintescu, Anca [' Horia Hulubei' National Institute for Physics and Nuclear Engineering, Department of Environmental Physics and Life, 30 Reactorului St., POB MG-6, Bucharest-Magurele, RO-077125 (Romania); Lazar, Catalin [National Agricultural Research and Development Institute Fundulea, 915200 Fundulea, Calarasi County (Romania)

    2014-07-01

    Tritium has a complex behaviour once released into the environment. Tritium can be effectively incorporated into biological systems, including the human body, as organically bound tritium (OBT) with a larger residence time than tritiated water (HTO). In the last years robust models were developed for tritium dynamics in mammals (human included), birds and fish but all of them depend on the knowledge of intake for both terrestrial or aquatic food chain. The uncertainty of the present models for tritium in crops following an accidental atmospheric release, is very high and has impacts on the engineering actions for handling and decreasing the nuclear risk. The gaps in knowledge or the local variability of key parameters were recognised as source of uncertainty. Based on an interdisciplinary approach, CROPTRIT model was gradually developed in the last decade focusing on the detecting of the uncertainty sources. Crops of interest depends on each specific case but wheat and rice cover the majority of the practical needs for radiological risk modelling (the major food in Europe and Asia). An analysis of the processes involved in the Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere Transfer (SVAT) of tritium was done in connection with the available experimental results. The agricultural research is focused on the improving of the yield and the crop growth models were developed in relation with the genotype, weather and management of fertilisation and water. For the radiological purposes, the interest lies in the pollutant concentration at harvest and the CROPTRIT model is focused on the influence of various processes contributing to variability and uncertainty of tritium (OBT and HTO) at harvest. The current results evidentiate the role of the stomatal conductance and difficulties at the day/night transitions, as well as the complex behaviour of the maintenance respiration. A review of the experimental results demonstrates the importance of OBT formation in night conditions and difficulties

  15. Research Advances of Impacts of Climate Changes on Crop Climatic Adaptability

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2011-01-01

    Agriculture received most direct influences from climate changes. Because of climate changes, agricultural climate resources changed and thus influenced climate adaptability of agricultural products. The growth and output of crops were finally affected. The calculation method and application of agricultural products in recent years were summarized. Several questions about the response of agricultural crops to climate elements were proposed for attention.

  16. Glyphosate sustainability in South American cropping systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christoffoleti, Pedro J; Galli, Antonio J B; Carvalho, Saul J P; Moreira, Murilo S; Nicolai, Marcelo; Foloni, Luiz L; Martins, Bianca A B; Ribeiro, Daniela N

    2008-04-01

    South America represents about 12% of the global land area, and Brazil roughly corresponds to 47% of that. The major sustainable agricultural system in South America is based on a no-tillage cropping system, which is a worldwide adopted agricultural conservation system. Societal benefits of conservation systems in agriculture include greater use of conservation tillage, which reduces soil erosion and associated loading of pesticides, nutrients and sediments into the environment. However, overreliance on glyphosate and simpler cropping systems has resulted in the selection of tolerant weed species through weed shifts (WSs) and evolution of herbicide-resistant weed (HRW) biotypes to glyphosate. It is a challenge in South America to design herbicide- and non-herbicide-based strategies that effectively delay and/or manage evolution of HRWs and WSs to weeds tolerant to glyphosate in cropping systems based on recurrent glyphosate application, such as those used with glyphosate-resistant soybeans. The objectives of this paper are (i) to provide an overview of some factors that influence WSs and HRWs to glyphosate in South America, especially in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay soybean cropped areas; (ii) to discuss the viability of using crop rotation and/or cover crops that might be integrated with forage crops in an economically and environmentally sustainable system; and (iii) to summarize the results of a survey of the perceptions of Brazilian farmers to problems with WSs and HRWs to glyphosate, and the level of adoption of good agricultural practices in order to prevent or manage it. Copyright (c) 2008 Society of Chemical Industry.

  17. 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.

  18. Improvement of Alternative Crop Phenology Detection Algorithms using MODIS NDVI Time Series Data in US Corn Belt Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J.; Kang, S.; Seo, B.; Lee, K.

    2017-12-01

    Predicting crop phenology is important for understanding of crop development and growth processes and improving the accuracy of crop model. Remote sensing offers a feasible tool for monitoring spatio-temporal patterns of crop phenology in region and continental scales. Various methods have been developed to determine the timing of crop phenological stages using spectral vegetation indices (i.e. NDVI and EVI) derived from satellite data. In our study, it was compared four alternative detection methods to identify crop phenological stages (i.e. the emergence and harvesting date) using high quality NDVI time series data derived from MODIS. Also we investigated factors associated with crop development rate. Temperature and photoperiod are the two main factors which would influence the crop's growth pattern expressed in the VI data. Only the effect of temperature on crop development rate was considered. The temperature response function in the Wang-Engel (WE) model was used, which simulates crop development using nonlinear models with response functions that range from zero to one. It has attempted at the state level over 14 years (2003-2016) in Iowa and Illinois state of USA, where the estimated phenology date by using four methods for both corn and soybean. Weekly crop progress reports produced by the USDA NASS were used to validate phenology detection algorithms effected by temperature. All methods showed substantial uncertainty but the threshold method showed relatively better agreement with the State-level data for soybean phenology.

  19. Climate Change Impacts on Crop Production in Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mereu, V.; Gallo, A.; Carboni, G.; Spano, D.

    2011-12-01

    The agricultural sector in Nigeria is particularly important for the country's food security, natural resources, and growth agenda. The cultivable areas comprise more than 70% of the total area; however, the cultivated area is about the 35% of the total area. The most important components in the food basket of the nation are cereals and tubers, which include rice, maize, corn, millet, sorghum, yam, and cassava. These crops represent about 80% of the total agricultural product in Nigeria (from NPAFS). The major crops grown in the country can be divided into food crops (produced for consumption) and export products. Despite the importance of the export crops, the primary policy of agriculture is to make Nigeria self-sufficient in its food and fiber requirements. The projected impacts of future climate change on agriculture and water resources are expected to be adverse and extensive in these area. This implies the need for actions and measures to adapt to climate change impacts, and especially as they affect agriculture, the primary sector for Nigerian economy. In the framework of the Project Climate Risk Analysis in Nigeria (founded by World Bank Contract n.7157826), a study was made to assess the potential impact of climate change on the main crops that characterize Nigerian agriculture. The DSSAT-CSM (Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer - Cropping System Model) software, version 4.5 was used for the analysis. Crop simulation models included in DSSAT are tools that simulate physiological processes of crop growth, development and production by combining genetic crop characteristics and environmental (soil and weather) conditions. For each selected crop, the models were calibrated to evaluate climate change impacts on crop production. The climate data used for the analysis are derived by the Regional Circulation Model COSMO-CLM, from 1971 to 2065, at 8 km of spatial resolution. The RCM model output was "perturbed" with 10 Global Climate Models to have

  20. Nitrous oxide and methane emissions from optimized and alternative cereal cropping systems on the North China Plain: A two-year field study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao, Bing; Ju, Xiaotang; Su, Fang; Meng, Qingfeng; Oenema, Oene; Christie, Peter; Chen, Xinping; Zhang, Fusuo

    2014-01-01

    The impacts of different crop rotation systems with their corresponding management practices on grain yield, greenhouse gas emissions, and fertilizer nitrogen (N) and irrigation water use efficiencies are not well documented. This holds especially for the North China Plain which provides the staple food for hundreds of millions of people and where groundwater resources are polluted with nitrate and depleted through irrigation. Here, we report on fertilizer N and irrigation water use, grain yields, and nitrous oxide (N 2 O) and methane (CH 4 ) emissions of conventional and optimized winter wheat–summer maize double-cropping systems, and of three alternative cropping systems, namely a winter wheat–summer maize (or soybean)–spring maize system, with three harvests in two years; and a single spring maize system with one crop per year. The results of this two-year study show that the optimized double-cropping system led to a significant increase in grain yields and a significant decrease in fertilizer N use and net greenhouse gas intensity, but the net greenhouse gas N 2 O emissions plus CH 4 uptake and the use of irrigation water did not decrease relative to the conventional system. Compared to the conventional system the net greenhouse gas emissions, net greenhouse gas intensity and use of fertilizer N and irrigation water decreased in the three alternative cropping systems, but at the cost of grain yields except in the winter wheat–summer maize–spring maize system. Net uptake of CH 4 by the soil was little affected by cropping system. Average N 2 O emission factors were only 0.17% for winter wheat and 0.53% for maize. In conclusion, the winter wheat–summer maize–spring maize system has considerable potential to decrease water and N use and decrease N 2 O emissions while maintaining high grain yields and sustainable use of groundwater. - Highlights: • Yields, resource use efficiency and N 2 O + CH 4 emission differ among cropping systems. • An

  1. Nitrous oxide and methane emissions from optimized and alternative cereal cropping systems on the North China Plain: A two-year field study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gao, Bing [College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193 (China); Ju, Xiaotang, E-mail: juxt@cau.edu.cn [College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193 (China); Su, Fang; Meng, Qingfeng [College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193 (China); Oenema, Oene [Wageningen University and Research, Alterra, Wageningen (Netherlands); Christie, Peter [College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193 (China); Agri-Environment Branch, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Belfast BT9 5PX (United Kingdom); Chen, Xinping; Zhang, Fusuo [College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193 (China)

    2014-02-01

    The impacts of different crop rotation systems with their corresponding management practices on grain yield, greenhouse gas emissions, and fertilizer nitrogen (N) and irrigation water use efficiencies are not well documented. This holds especially for the North China Plain which provides the staple food for hundreds of millions of people and where groundwater resources are polluted with nitrate and depleted through irrigation. Here, we report on fertilizer N and irrigation water use, grain yields, and nitrous oxide (N{sub 2}O) and methane (CH{sub 4}) emissions of conventional and optimized winter wheat–summer maize double-cropping systems, and of three alternative cropping systems, namely a winter wheat–summer maize (or soybean)–spring maize system, with three harvests in two years; and a single spring maize system with one crop per year. The results of this two-year study show that the optimized double-cropping system led to a significant increase in grain yields and a significant decrease in fertilizer N use and net greenhouse gas intensity, but the net greenhouse gas N{sub 2}O emissions plus CH{sub 4} uptake and the use of irrigation water did not decrease relative to the conventional system. Compared to the conventional system the net greenhouse gas emissions, net greenhouse gas intensity and use of fertilizer N and irrigation water decreased in the three alternative cropping systems, but at the cost of grain yields except in the winter wheat–summer maize–spring maize system. Net uptake of CH{sub 4} by the soil was little affected by cropping system. Average N{sub 2}O emission factors were only 0.17% for winter wheat and 0.53% for maize. In conclusion, the winter wheat–summer maize–spring maize system has considerable potential to decrease water and N use and decrease N{sub 2}O emissions while maintaining high grain yields and sustainable use of groundwater. - Highlights: • Yields, resource use efficiency and N{sub 2}O + CH{sub 4} emission

  2. The Climate-Agriculture-Modeling and Decision Tool (CAMDT) for Climate Risk Management in Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ines, A. V. M.; Han, E.; Baethgen, W.

    2017-12-01

    Advances in seasonal climate forecasts (SCFs) during the past decades have brought great potential to improve agricultural climate risk managements associated with inter-annual climate variability. In spite of popular uses of crop simulation models in addressing climate risk problems, the models cannot readily take seasonal climate predictions issued in the format of tercile probabilities of most likely rainfall categories (i.e, below-, near- and above-normal). When a skillful SCF is linked with the crop simulation models, the informative climate information can be further translated into actionable agronomic terms and thus better support strategic and tactical decisions. In other words, crop modeling connected with a given SCF allows to simulate "what-if" scenarios with different crop choices or management practices and better inform the decision makers. In this paper, we present a decision support tool, called CAMDT (Climate Agriculture Modeling and Decision Tool), which seamlessly integrates probabilistic SCFs to DSSAT-CSM-Rice model to guide decision-makers in adopting appropriate crop and agricultural water management practices for given climatic conditions. The CAMDT has a functionality to disaggregate a probabilistic SCF into daily weather realizations (either a parametric or non-parametric disaggregation method) and to run DSSAT-CSM-Rice with the disaggregated weather realizations. The convenient graphical user-interface allows easy implementation of several "what-if" scenarios for non-technical users and visualize the results of the scenario runs. In addition, the CAMDT also translates crop model outputs to economic terms once the user provides expected crop price and cost. The CAMDT is a practical tool for real-world applications, specifically for agricultural climate risk management in the Bicol region, Philippines, having a great flexibility for being adapted to other crops or regions in the world. CAMDT GitHub: https://github.com/Agro-Climate/CAMDT

  3. Integrated crop livestock systems in sub-Saharan Africa: An option or an imperative?

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, J.W.; Naazie, A.; Larbi, A.; Agyemang, K.; Tarawali, S.

    1997-01-01

    Metadata only record Rapid growth of the human and livestock populations in sub-Saharan Africa is creating unprecedented increases in food and feed demands. These population pressures on a fixed landbase are likely to promote severe competition for resources and drive agriculture progressively towards intensification. Integrated crop livestock systems, already common in the highlands, are expected to evolve rapidly elsewhere. Research is required to develop technological alternatives which...

  4. 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.

  5. Dependency of global primary bioenergy crop potentials in 2050 on food systems, yields, biodiversity conservation and political stability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Erb, Karl-Heinz; Haberl, Helmut; Plutzar, Christoph

    2012-01-01

    The future bioenergy crop potential depends on (1) changes in the food system (food demand, agricultural technology), (2) political stability and investment security, (3) biodiversity conservation, (4) avoidance of long carbon payback times from deforestation, and (5) energy crop yields. Using a biophysical biomass-balance model, we analyze how these factors affect global primary bioenergy potentials in 2050. The model calculates biomass supply and demand balances for eleven world regions, eleven food categories, seven food crop types and two livestock categories, integrating agricultural forecasts and scenarios with a consistent global land use and NPP database. The TREND scenario results in a global primary bioenergy potential of 77 EJ/yr, alternative assumptions on food-system changes result in a range of 26–141 EJ/yr. Exclusion of areas for biodiversity conservation and inaccessible land in failed states reduces the bioenergy potential by up to 45%. Optimistic assumptions on future energy crop yields increase the potential by up to 48%, while pessimistic assumptions lower the potential by 26%. We conclude that the design of sustainable bioenergy crop production policies needs to resolve difficult trade-offs such as food vs. energy supply, renewable energy vs. biodiversity conservation or yield growth vs. reduction of environmental problems of intensive agriculture. - Highlights: ► Global energy crop potentials in 2050 are calculated with a biophysical biomass-balance model. ► The study is focused on dedicated energy crops, forestry and residues are excluded. ► Depending on food-system change, global energy crop potentials range from 26–141 EJ/yr. ► Exclusion of protected areas and failed states may reduce the potential up to 45%. ► The bioenergy potential may be 26% lower or 45% higher, depending on energy crop yields.

  6. Virtual water flows related to land use in an intensive agriculture in the Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klipstein, A.; Schneider, K.; Breuer, L.; Frede, H. G.

    2009-04-01

    Due to low annual precipitation, agricultural production in Uzbekistan is depending on irrigation from the Syrdarya and Amudarya rivers to a great deal. One of the most important cash crops of the country is cotton. Current irrigation management leads to elevated groundwater levels, salinization of soils and to a degradation of soil and water resources. Through export of cotton and other crops, the problems related to water consumption and water management are transported beyond the producing country. The amount of water transported through production and export is referred to as virtual water. To distinguish between productive and unproductive partitioning of water flows, the terms green and blue water have been introduced. Information on virtual water flows due to crop production usually only exist on country level. To reduce uncertainties related to generalization, the effect of land management and environmental factors on the partitioning of water flows needs to be studied on smaller scales. The presented study analyzes water fluxes in an intensively used agricultural area in the Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan. The study aims to a) quantify crop specific water consumption in agricultural production under current management and b) analyze water use efficiency as subject to land use and irrigation management. Based on crop production, irrigation management and environmental conditions in the study area, virtual water flows will be calculated on the level of agricultural collectives (Water Users Associations). In a further step, the partitioning of green and blue water fluxes will be quantified. Alternative scenarios for improved water management will be analyzed in a model study.

  7. 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

  8. Agricultural climate impacts assessment for economic modeling and decision support

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, A. M.; Izaurralde, R. C.; Beach, R.; Zhang, X.; Zhao, K.; Monier, E.

    2013-12-01

    A range of approaches can be used in the application of climate change projections to agricultural impacts assessment. Climate projections can be used directly to drive crop models, which in turn can be used to provide inputs for agricultural economic or integrated assessment models. These model applications, and the transfer of information between models, must be guided by the state of the science. But the methodology must also account for the specific needs of stakeholders and the intended use of model results beyond pure scientific inquiry, including meeting the requirements of agencies responsible for designing and assessing policies, programs, and regulations. Here we present methodology and results of two climate impacts studies that applied climate model projections from CMIP3 and from the EPA Climate Impacts and Risk Analysis (CIRA) project in a crop model (EPIC - Environmental Policy Indicator Climate) in order to generate estimates of changes in crop productivity for use in an agricultural economic model for the United States (FASOM - Forest and Agricultural Sector Optimization Model). The FASOM model is a forward-looking dynamic model of the US forest and agricultural sector used to assess market responses to changing productivity of alternative land uses. The first study, focused on climate change impacts on the UDSA crop insurance program, was designed to use available daily climate projections from the CMIP3 archive. The decision to focus on daily data for this application limited the climate model and time period selection significantly; however for the intended purpose of assessing impacts on crop insurance payments, consideration of extreme event frequency was critical for assessing periodic crop failures. In a second, coordinated impacts study designed to assess the relative difference in climate impacts under a no-mitigation policy and different future climate mitigation scenarios, the stakeholder specifically requested an assessment of a

  9. Agro-Forestry system in West Africa: integrating a green solution to cope with soil depletion towards agricultural sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteiro, Filipa; Vidigal, Patricia; Romeiras, Maria Manuel; Ribeiro, Ana; Abreu, Maria Manuela; Viegas, Wanda; Catarino, Luís

    2017-04-01

    , reducing soil erosion as well as insect pests and associated diseases, while improves the yield of the main crop. The integration of legume in agroforestry systems offers an alternative and resilient strategy to increase N availability without increasing mineral N additions. As such, we present a case study of a forest-based system under intensive agriculture regime and propose an alternative sustainable system - the agroforestry system - by intercropping legumes, thus ensuring the sustainability of a cash crop sector both in terms of food security and soil resources. Results obtained from this case-study will therefore be important to demonstrate the global importance of agroforestry systems as key strategy for land use planning, sustainability of the agricultural systems as well as the preserving the environment of smallholder farms in the sub-Saharan Africa.

  10. Assessment of global grey water footprint of major food crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hong; Liu, Wenfeng; Antonelli, Marta

    2016-04-01

    Agricultural production is one of the major sources of water pollution in the world. This is closely related to the excess application of fertilizers. Leaching of N and P to water bodies has caused serious degradation of water quality in many places. With the persistent increase in the demand for agricultural products, agricultural intensification evident during the past decades will continue in the future. This will lead to further increase in fertilizer application and consequently water pollution. Grey water footprint is a measure of the intensity of water pollution caused by water use for human activities. It is defined as the volume of water that is required to assimilate a load of pollutants to a freshwater body, based on natural background concentrations and water quality standards. This study conducts a global assessment of grey water footprint for major cereal crops, wheat, maize and rice. A crop model, Python-based EPIC (PEPIT), is applied to quantify the leaching of N and P from the fertilizer application in the three crops on a global scale with 0.5 degree spatial resolution. The hotspots of leaching are identified. The results suggest that, based on the definition and method of grey water footprint proposed by the World Water Footprint Network, the grey water footprint in many parts of the world has exceeded their total water resources availability. This indicates the seriousness of water pollution caused by agricultural production. However, the situation may also call for the development of a realistic measurement of grey water footprint which is more pertinent to water resources management. This paper proposes some alternatives in measuring grey water footprint and also discusses incorporation of grey water footprint assessment into water policy formulation and river basins plan development.

  11. On Farm Agronomic and First Environmental Evaluation of Oil Crops for Sustainable Bioenergy Chains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Lazzeri

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Energy crops, and in particular oil crops, could be an important occasion for developing new non food production rows for a new multi-functional agriculture in Italy. In this view, the use of local biomass is a fundamental starting point for the development of a virtuous energy chain that should pursue not only agricultural profitability, but also chain sustainability and that is less dependent on the global market, characterized by instability in terms of biomass availability and price. From this perspective, particular attention must be paid to crop choice on the basis of its rusticity and of its adaptability to local growing conditions and to low input cropping systems. In this context, alike woody and herbaceous biomasses, oil crops such as sunflower and rapeseed should be able to support local agricultural bioenergy chain in Italy. In addition, in a local bioenergy chain, the role of the farmers should not be limited just to grain production; but also grain processing should be performed at farm or consortium level in oilseed extraction plants well proportioned to the cropped surface. In this way, by means of a simple power generator, farmer could thus produce its own thermal and electric energy from the oil, maximizing his profit. This objective could also be achieved through the exploitation of the total biomass, including crop residues and defatted seed meals, that may be considered as fundamental additional economic and/or environmental benefits of the chain. This paper reports some results of three-years on-farm experiments on oil crop chain carried out in the framework of “Bioenergie” project, that was focused to enhance farmers awareness of these criteria and to the feasibility at open field scale of low-input cultivation of rapeseed, sunflower and Brassica carinata in seven Italian regions. In several on-farm experiences, these crops produced more than 800 kg ha-1 of oil with good energy properties. Defatted seed meals could be

  12. On Farm Agronomic and First Environmental Evaluation of Oil Crops for Sustainable Bioenergy Chains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Lazzeri

    Full Text Available Energy crops, and in particular oil crops, could be an important occasion for developing new non food production rows for a new multi-functional agriculture in Italy. In this view, the use of local biomass is a fundamental starting point for the development of a virtuous energy chain that should pursue not only agricultural profitability, but also chain sustainability and that is less dependent on the global market, characterized by instability in terms of biomass availability and price. From this perspective, particular attention must be paid to crop choice on the basis of its rusticity and of its adaptability to local growing conditions and to low input cropping systems. In this context, alike woody and herbaceous biomasses, oil crops such as sunflower and rapeseed should be able to support local agricultural bioenergy chain in Italy. In addition, in a local bioenergy chain, the role of the farmers should not be limited just to grain production; but also grain processing should be performed at farm or consortium level in oilseed extraction plants well proportioned to the cropped surface. In this way, by means of a simple power generator, farmer could thus produce its own thermal and electric energy from the oil, maximizing his profit. This objective could also be achieved through the exploitation of the total biomass, including crop residues and defatted seed meals, that may be considered as fundamental additional economic and/or environmental benefits of the chain. This paper reports some results of three-years on-farm experiments on oil crop chain carried out in the framework of “Bioenergie” project, that was focused to enhance farmers awareness of these criteria and to the feasibility at open field scale of low-input cultivation of rapeseed, sunflower and Brassica carinata in seven Italian regions. In several on-farm experiences, these crops produced more than 800 kg ha-1 of oil with good energy properties. Defatted seed meals could be

  13. Development of an Autonomous Vehicle for Weed and Crop Registration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Tom Søndergaard; Nielsen, Kirsten Mølgaard; Andersen, Palle

    The extension of information technology and computers on farming tools results in new possibilities for crop/weed handling. In this paper a system using an autonomous field robot (vehicle) able to make images in the field is described. In the recent farming has come to rely on intensive use...... degree of autonomy. The vehicle is part of an autonomous information system for crop and weed registration in fields which is developed at Aalborg University and The Danish Institute of Agricultural Science. The system consists of the vehicle and a stationary base station as well as a wireless...... be a solution but at present the image analysis technology does not have the capability for online analysis. An alternative way is to construct a weed map prior to the spraying. In order to avoid damage to the soil a light weight vehicle carrying a camera is an obvious choice. To minimize damage to the crop...

  14. The Current Developments of Agricultural Biotechnologies Market

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna M. Shkolyarenko

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Population growth in the context of limited land resources makes the global scientific society research new ways to increase the agricultural yields. Over the past 20 years, biotechnology and GM crops have become widely spread and now are cultivated in 28 countries. The total area of crops has tripled, and it suggests the further vertical and horizontal integration in short term. In 2015, the US Department of Agriculture authorized the commercial use of GM farm animals. The development of agricultural biotechnology market is constrained by opponents of GM crops in more than 160 countries, which include Russia and the European Union, where the production of GM crops is banned due to economic, ethical, ideological and biological reasons. Currently, the EU is seeking to reduce the imports of GM crops and products; Russia's GM imports and exports are prohibited, and the deadline of designing a consolidated position on agricultural biotechnology has been moved to 2017. The author seeks to analyze the volume of production and international trade of agricultural products based on biotechnologies and to describe the main trends in the global market, which could be integrated into the food value chain in Russia. In the context of the worsening economic indicators, the article proposes the possibility of extending the use of GM crops in Russia non-food sector.

  15. 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

  16. The Crop Journal Calls for Papers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2013-01-01

    <正>We would like to invite you to submit your latest research accomplishments to The Crop Journal(ISSN:2095-5421;Online ISSN:2214-5141,CN 10-1112/S),a new bimonthly academic journal co-sponsored by the Crop Science Society of China and the Institute of Crop Science,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.The Crop Journal is freely available online(Open Access)in ScienceDirect.

  17. The Crop Journal Calls for Papers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2014-01-01

    <正>We would like to invite you to submit your latest research accomplishments to The Crop Journal(ISSN:2095-5421;Online ISSN:2214-5141,CN 10-1112/S),a new bimonthly academic journal co-sponsored by the Crop Science Society of China and the Institute of Crop Science,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.The Crop Journal is freely available online(Open Access)in ScienceDirect.

  18. Winter Crop Mapping for Improving Crop Production Estimates in Argentina Using Moderation Resolution Satellite Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humber, M. L.; Copati, E.; Sanchez, A.; Sahajpal, R.; Puricelli, E.; Becker-Reshef, I.

    2017-12-01

    Accurate crop production data is fundamental for reducing uncertainly and volatility in the domestic and international agricultural markets. The Agricultural Estimates Department of the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange has worked since 2000 on the estimation of different crop production data. With this information, the Grain Exchange helps different actors of the agricultural chain, such as producers, traders, seed companies, market analyst, policy makers, into their day to day decision making. Since 2015/16 season, the Grain Exchange has worked on the development of a new earth observations-based method to identify winter crop planted area at a regional scale with the aim of improving crop production estimates. The objective of this new methodology is to create a reliable winter crop mask at moderate spatial resolution using Landsat-8 imagery by exploiting bi-temporal differences in the phenological stages of winter crops as compared to other landcover types. In collaboration with the University of Maryland, the map has been validated by photointerpretation of a stratified statistically random sample of independent ground truth data in the four largest producing provinces of Argentina: Buenos Aires, Cordoba, La Pampa, and Santa Fe. In situ measurements were also used to further investigate conditions in the Buenos Aires province. Preliminary results indicate that while there are some avenues for improvement, overall the classification accuracy of the cropland and non-cropland classes are sufficient to improve downstream production estimates. Continuing research will focus on improving the methodology for winter crop mapping exercises on a yearly basis as well as improving the sampling methodology to optimize collection of validation data in the future.

  19. Winter cover crop effect on corn seedling pathogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cover crops are an excellent management tool to improve the sustainability of agriculture. Winter rye cover crops have been used successfully in Iowa corn-soybean rotations. Unfortunately, winter rye cover crops occasionally reduce yields of the following corn crop. We hypothesize that one potential...

  20. Assessing Agricultural Risks of Climate Change in the 21st Century in a Global Gridded Crop Model Intercomparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenzweig, Cynthia E.; Elliott, Joshua; Deryng, Delphine; Ruane, Alex C.; Mueller, Christoph; Arneth, Almut; Boote, Kenneth J.; Folberth, Christian; Glotter, Michael; Khabarov, Nikolay

    2014-01-01

    Here we present the results from an intercomparison of multiple global gridded crop models (GGCMs) within the framework of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project and the Inter-Sectoral Impacts Model Intercomparison Project. Results indicate strong negative effects of climate change, especially at higher levels of warming and at low latitudes; models that include explicit nitrogen stress project more severe impacts. Across seven GGCMs, five global climate models, and four representative concentration pathways, model agreement on direction of yield changes is found in many major agricultural regions at both low and high latitudes; however, reducing uncertainty in sign of response in mid-latitude regions remains a challenge. Uncertainties related to the representation of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and high temperature effects demonstrated here show that further research is urgently needed to better understand effects of climate change on agricultural production and to devise targeted adaptation strategies.

  1. Metal accumulation and crop yield for a variety of edible crops grown in diverse soil media amended with sewage sludge

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia, J; Blessin, C W; Inglett, G E; Kwolek, W F

    1981-07-01

    This study was designed to determine the best uses for sewage sludge, by amending soil materials ranging in scope from distributed materials such as coal mine gob and sanitary landfill to fully productive agricultural soils. The following aspects were studied: physical characteristics of the soils as a result of their amendment with sludge; yields for a broad variety of crop species; nutritional quality of selected crops; metal uptake and accumulation in crop tissues; and translocation of metals from soil medium to tissues. Harvested crops with the highest metal contents were derived from landfill and coal mine gob treatments, and the lowest were associated with loam, clay, and agriculturally productive topsoils.

  2. Evaluation of Aqua crop Model to Predict Crop Water Productivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohd Noor Hidayat Adenan; Faiz Ahmad; Shyful Azizi Abdul Rahman; Abdul Rahim Harun; Khairuddin Abdul Rahim

    2015-01-01

    Water and nutrient are critical inputs for crop production, especially in meeting challenges from increasing fertilizer cost and irregular water availability associated with climate change. The Land and Water Division of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has developed Aqua Crop, an integrated application software to simulate the interactions between plant, water and soil. Field management and irrigation management are the factors that need to be considered since it affects the interactions. Four critical components are needed in the Aqua Crop model, viz. climate, crop, field management and soil conditions. In our case study, climate data from rice field in Utan Aji, Kangar, Perlis was applied to run a simulation by using AquaCrop model. The rice crop was also assessed against deficit irrigation schedules and we found that use of water at optimum level increased rice yield. Results derived from the use of the model corresponded conventional assessment. This model can be adopted to help farmers in Malaysia in planning crop and field management to increase the crop productivity, especially in areas where the water is limited. (author)

  3. Biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Josefsson, Jonas

    2015-01-01

    Agricultural industrialization alters rural landscapes in Europe, causing large-scale and rapid loss of important biodiversity. The principal instruments to protect farmland biodiversity are various agri-environmental measures (AEMs) in the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). However, growing awareness of shortcomings to CAP biodiversity integration prompts examination of causes and potential solutions. This thesis assesses the importance of structural heterogeneity of crop and non-crop habi...

  4. Per-field crop classification in irrigated agricultural regions in middle Asia using random forest and support vector machine ensemble

    Science.gov (United States)

    Löw, Fabian; Schorcht, Gunther; Michel, Ulrich; Dech, Stefan; Conrad, Christopher

    2012-10-01

    Accurate crop identification and crop area estimation are important for studies on irrigated agricultural systems, yield and water demand modeling, and agrarian policy development. In this study a novel combination of Random Forest (RF) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifiers is presented that (i) enhances crop classification accuracy and (ii) provides spatial information on map uncertainty. The methodology was implemented over four distinct irrigated sites in Middle Asia using RapidEye time series data. The RF feature importance statistics was used as feature-selection strategy for the SVM to assess possible negative effects on classification accuracy caused by an oversized feature space. The results of the individual RF and SVM classifications were combined with rules based on posterior classification probability and estimates of classification probability entropy. SVM classification performance was increased by feature selection through RF. Further experimental results indicate that the hybrid classifier improves overall classification accuracy in comparison to the single classifiers as well as useŕs and produceŕs accuracy.

  5. Helping to increase tree crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1970-07-01

    Tree crops such as coffee, coconuts, palm oil, citrus fruits and cocoa are of major importance to the economies of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and may be a prime source of foreign exchange earnings. The search for ways to improve efficiently the yields of crops like these - now being aided by the Division of Atomic Energy in Food and Agriculture operated jointly with the Food and Agriculture Organization - thus has a clearly defined practical goal. D. Nethsinghe deals here with some of the work. (author)

  6. Helping to increase tree crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1970-01-01

    Tree crops such as coffee, coconuts, palm oil, citrus fruits and cocoa are of major importance to the economies of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and may be a prime source of foreign exchange earnings. The search for ways to improve efficiently the yields of crops like these - now being aided by the Division of Atomic Energy in Food and Agriculture operated jointly with the Food and Agriculture Organization - thus has a clearly defined practical goal. D. Nethsinghe deals here with some of the work. (author)

  7. Estimating Major Crop Water Productivity at Neyshabour Basin and Optimize Crop Area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yavar Pourmohamad

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Introductionin current situation when world is facing massive population, producing enough food and adequate income for people is a big challenge specifically for governors. This challenge gets even harder in recent decades, due to global population growth which was projected to increase to 7.8 billion in 2025. Agriculture as the only industry that has ability to produce food is consuming 90 percent of fresh water globally. Despite of increasing for food demand, appropriate agricultural land and fresh water resources are restricted. To solve this problem, one is to increase water productivity which can be obtain by irrigation. Iran is not only exempted from this situation but also has more critical situation due to its dry climate and inappropriate precipitation distribution spatially and temporally, also uneven distribution of population which is concentrate in small area. The only reasonable solution by considering water resources limitation and also restricted crop area is changing crop pattern to reach maximum or at least same amount of income by using same or less amount of water. The purpose of this study is to assess financial water productivity and optimize farmer’s income by changing in each crop acreage at basin and sub-basin level with no extra groundwater withdrawals, also in order to repair the damages which has enforce to groundwater resources during last decades a scenario of using only 80percent of renewable water were applied and crop area were optimize to provide maximum or same income for farmers. Materials and methodsThe Neyshabour basin is located in northeast of Iran, the total geographical area of basin is 73,000 km2 consisting of 41,000 km2 plain and the rest of basin is mountains. This Basin is a part of Kalshoor catchment that is located in southern part of Binaloud heights and northeast of KavirMarkazi. In this study whole Neyshabour basin were divided into 199 sub-basins based on pervious study.Based on official

  8. The Crop Journal Calls for Papers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2015-01-01

    <正>We would like to invite you to submit your latest research accomplishments to The Crop Journal(ISSN:2095-5421;Online ISSN:2214-5141,CN 10-1112/S),a new bimonthly academic journal co-sponsored by the Crop Science Society of China and the Institute of Crop Science,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.The Crop Journal is freely available online(Open Access)in ScienceDirect.The Editor-in-Chief

  9. The Crop Journal Calls for Papers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2014-01-01

    <正>We would like to invite you to submit your latest research accomplishments to The Crop Journal(ISSN:2095-5421;Online ISSN:2214-5141,CN 10-1112/S),a new bimonthly academic journal co-sponsored by the Crop Science Society of China and the Institute of Crop Science,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.The Crop Journal is freely available online(Open Access)in ScienceDirect.The Editor-in-Chief of

  10. Impacts of crop insurance on water withdrawals for irrigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deryugina, Tatyana; Konar, Megan

    2017-12-01

    Agricultural production remains particularly vulnerable to weather fluctuations and extreme events, such as droughts, floods, and heat waves. Crop insurance is a risk management tool developed to mitigate some of this weather risk and protect farmer income in times of poor production. However, crop insurance may have unintended consequences for water resources sustainability, as the vast majority of freshwater withdrawals go to agriculture. The causal impact of crop insurance on water use in agriculture remains poorly understood. Here, we determine the empirical relationship between crop insurance and irrigation water withdrawals in the United States. Importantly, we use an instrumental variables approach to establish causality. Our methodology exploits a major policy change in the crop insurance system - the 1994 Federal Crop Insurance Reform Act - which imposed crop insurance requirements on farmers. We find that a 1% increase in insured crop acreage leads to a 0.223% increase in irrigation withdrawals, with most coming from groundwater aquifers. We identify farmers growing more groundwater-fed cotton as an important mechanism contributing to increased withdrawals. A 1% increase in insured crop acreage leads to a 0.624% increase in cotton acreage, or 95,602 acres. These results demonstrate that crop insurance causally leads to more irrigation withdrawals. More broadly, this work underscores the importance of determining causality in the water-food nexus as we endeavor to achieve global food security and water resources sustainability.

  11. 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.

  12. An integrated model to simulate sown area changes for major crops at a global scale

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHIBASAKI; Ryosuke

    2008-01-01

    Dynamics of land use systems have attracted much attention from scientists around the world due to their ecological and socio-economic implications. An integrated model to dynamically simulate future changes in sown areas of four major crops (rice, maize, wheat and soybean) on a global scale is pre- sented. To do so, a crop choice model was developed on the basis of Multinomial Logit (Logit) model to model land users’ decisions on crop choices among a set of available alternatives with using a crop utility function. A GIS-based Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model was adopted to simulate the crop yields under a given geophysical environment and farming management conditions, while the International Food Policy and Agricultural Simulation (IFPSIM) model was utilized to estimate crop price in the international market. The crop choice model was linked with the GIS-based EPIC model and the IFPSIM model through data exchange. This integrated model was then validated against the FAO statistical data in 2001-2003 and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) global land cover product in 2001. Both validation approaches indicated reliability of the model for ad- dressing the dynamics in agricultural land use and its capability for long-term scenario analysis. Finally, the model application was designed to run over a time period of 30 a, taking the year 2000 as baseline. The model outcomes can help understand and explain the causes, locations and consequences of land use changes, and provide support for land use planning and policy making.

  13. An integrated model to simulate sown area changes for major crops at a global scale

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WU WenBin; YANG Peng; MENG ChaoYing; SHIBASAKI Ryosuke; ZHOU QingBo; TANG HuaJun; SHI Yun

    2008-01-01

    Dynamics of land use systems have attracted much attention from scientists around the world due to their ecological and socio-economic implications. An integrated model to dynamically simulate future changes in sown areas of four major crops (rice, maize, wheat and soybean) on a global scale is presented. To do so, a crop choice model was developed on the basis of Multinomial Logit (Logit) model to model land users' decisions on crop choices among a set of available alternatives with using a crop utility function. A GIS-based Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model was adopted to simulate the crop yields under a given geophysical environment and farming management conditions,while the International Food Policy and Agricultural Simulation (IFPSIM) model was utilized to estimate crop price in the international market. The crop choice model was linked with the GIS-based EPIC model and the IFPSIM model through data exchange. This integrated model was then validated against the FAO statistical data in 2001-2003 and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)global land cover product in 2001. Both validation approaches indicated reliability of the model for addressing the dynamics in agricultural land use and its capability for long-term scenario analysis. Finally,the model application was designed to run over a time period of 30 a, taking the year 2000 as baseline.The model outcomes can help understand and explain the causes, locations and consequences of land use changes, and provide support for land use planning and policy making.

  14. Genetic Engineering and Crop Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Helen C.; Frost, S.

    1991-01-01

    With a spotlight upon current agricultural difficulties and environmental dilemmas, this paper considers both the extant and potential applications of genetic engineering with respect to crop production. The nonagricultural factors most likely to sway the impact of this emergent technology upon future crop production are illustrated. (JJK)

  15. Contribution of crop models to adaptation in wheat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chenu, Karine; Porter, John Roy; Martre, Pierre

    2017-01-01

    With world population growing quickly, agriculture needs to produce more with fewer inputs while being environmentally friendly. In a context of changing environments, crop models are useful tools to simulate crop yields. Wheat (Triticum spp.) crop models have been evolving since the 1960s...... to translate processes related to crop growth and development into mathematical equations. These have been used over decades for agronomic purposes, and have more recently incorporated advances in the modeling of environmental footprints, biotic constraints, trait and gene effects, climate change impact......, and the upscaling of global change impacts. This review outlines the potential and limitations of modern wheat crop models in assisting agronomists, breeders, and policymakers to address the current and future challenges facing agriculture....

  16. Environmental evaluation of high-value agricultural produce with diverse water sources: case study from Southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Eric M.; Stokes-Draut, Jennifer R.; Horvath, Arpad

    2018-02-01

    Meeting agricultural demand in the face of a changing climate will be one of the major challenges of the 21st century. California is the single largest agricultural producer in the United States but is prone to extreme hydrologic events, including multi-year droughts. Ventura County is one of California’s most productive growing regions but faces water shortages and deteriorating water quality. The future of California’s agriculture is dependent on our ability to identify and implement alternative irrigation water sources and technologies. Two such alternative water sources are recycled and desalinated water. The proximity of high-value crops in Ventura County to both dense population centers and the Pacific Ocean makes it a prime candidate for alternative water sources. This study uses highly localized spatial and temporal data to assess life-cycle energy use, life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, operational costs, applied water demand, and on-farm labor requirements for four high-value crops. A complete switch from conventional irrigation with groundwater and surface water to recycled water would increase the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with strawberry, lemon, celery, and avocado production by approximately 14%, 7%, 59%, and 9%, respectively. Switching from groundwater and surface water to desalinated water would increase life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions by 33%, 210%, 140%, and 270%, respectively. The use of recycled or desalinated water for irrigation is most financially tenable for strawberries due to their relatively high value and close proximity to water treatment facilities. However, changing strawberry packaging has a greater potential impact on life-cycle energy use and greenhouse gas emissions than switching the water source. While this analysis does not consider the impact of water quality on crop yields, previous studies suggest that switching to recycled water could result in significant yield increases due to its lower

  17. The Crop Journal Calls for Papers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2015-01-01

    <正>We would like to invite you to submit your latest research accomplishments to The Crop Journal(ISSN:2095-5421;Online ISSN:2214-5141,CN 10-1112/S),a new bimonthly academic journal co-sponsored by the Crop Science Society of China and the Institute of Crop Science,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.The Crop Journal is freely available online(Open Access)in Science Direct.The Editor-in-Chief of The Crop Journal is Professor Jianmin Wan,Ph D,Cheung Kong Scholar,Director of the Institute of Crop Science and Executive Vice President of the Crop Science Society of China,supported by

  18. The Crop Journal Calls for Papers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2014-01-01

    <正>We would like to invite you to submit your latest research accomplishments to The Crop Journal(ISSN:2095-5421;Online ISSN:2214-5141,CN 10-1112/S),a new bimonthly academic journal co-sponsored by the Crop Science Society of China and the Institute of Crop Science,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.The Crop Journal is freely available online(Open Access) in Science Direct.The Editor-in-Chief of The Crop Journal is Professor Jianmin Wan,PhD,Cheung Kong Scholar,Director of the Institute of Crop Science and Executive Vice President of the Crop Science Society of China,supported by

  19. Agricultural potential of an industrial sewage sludge in compliance with CONAMA Resolution no. 375/2006

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lívia Rodrigues Dias Machado

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The agricultural use of sewage sludge is one of the best alternatives to disposal because of its potential as a plant fertilizer and soil conditioner. However, to be safe for agricultural use, the sewage sludge must be evaluated according to its physical, chemical, and biological properties and its origin. In Brazil, NBR 10.004/2004 is the standard that determines the classification of solid waste, and CONAMA Resolution 375/2006 defines the criteria for the agricultural use of sewage sludge. This study evaluated the agricultural potential of an aerobically digested industrial sewage sludge from the Serramar Dairy Cooperative in the city of Guaratinguetá, São Paulo. This sludge was classified as Class IIA waste according to NBR 10.004/2004 and displayed potential for agricultural use by falling within the limits in terms for heavy metals and pathogenic organisms established by Resolution 375/2006 as well as containing high levels of nutrients. To establish the sludge doses allowed for application to crops such as maize (annual and Eucalyptus sp. (perennial by the resolution, the amount of nitrogen available in the sludge and the amounts of this nutrient required by these crops were considered. The recommended sewage sludge doses for corn (8 Mg ha- 1 and Eucalyptus sp. forestation (6 Mg ha- 1 can meet the nitrogen and phosphorus needs of these crops but require supplementation with potassium mineral fertilizer.

  20. Use of phosphate rocks for sustainable agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zapata, F.; Roy, R.N.

    2004-01-01

    This publication deals with the direct application of phosphate rock (PR) sources to agriculture. Phosphorus (P) is an essential plant nutrient and its deficiency restricts crop yields severely. Tropical and subtropical soils are predominantly acidic, and often extremely P deficient with high P-sorption (fixation) capacities. Therefore, substantial P inputs are required for optimum plant growth and adequate food and fibre production. Manufactured water-soluble P fertilizers such as superphosphates are commonly recommended to correct P deficiencies, but most developing countries import these fertilizers, which are often in limited supply and represent a major outlay for resource-poor farmers. In addition, intensification of agricultural production in these countries necessitates the addition of P not only to increase crop production but also to improve soil P status in order to avoid further soil degradation. Hence, it is imperative to explore alternative P sources. Under certain soil and climate conditions, the direct application of PR, especially where available locally, has proved to be an agronomically and economically sound alternative to the more expensive superphosphates. PR deposits occur worldwide, but few are mined (for use mainly as raw materials to manufacture water-soluble P fertilizers). The Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture initiated a Coordinated Research Project called 'The use of nuclear and related techniques for evaluating the agronomic effectiveness of phosphatic fertilizers, in particular rock phosphates'. This was implemented by institutes of developing and industrialized countries from 1993 to 1998. The results obtained yielded new information on: chemistry of soil P; tests for available soil P; phosphate nutrition of crops; agronomic effectiveness of PR products; and P fertilizer recommendations with particular emphasis on PR use. Within the framework of the integrated plant nutrition systems promoted by

  1. Positive and negative impacts of agricultural production of liquid biofuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reijnders, L.; Hester, R.E.; Harrison, R.M.

    2012-01-01

    Agricultural production of liquid biofuels can have positive effects. It can decrease dependence on fossil fuels and increase farmers’ incomes. Agricultural production of mixed perennial biofuel crops may increase pollinator and avian richness. Most types of agricultural crop-based liquid biofuel

  2. Crop farmers and pastoralists' socio-economic characteristics ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Crop farmers and pastoralists' socio-economic characteristics influencing ... Journal of Agricultural Research and Development ... family size and farm size) influenced positively and significantly crop farmers and pastoralists land use conflict.

  3. Agricultural Incentives: Implications for Small-Scale and Subsistence Farming in the US Caribbean Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Berrios, N.; Parés-Ramos, I.; Gould, W. A.

    2017-12-01

    The effects of climate change threaten the world's most sensitive agroecosystems and our potential to reach agricultural productivity levels needed to feed a projected global population of 9.7 billion people by 2050. The US Caribbean agriculture is especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change, due to the region's frequent exposure to extreme weather events, its geographic and economic scale, shortage of labor force, and rapid urban expansion. Currently, agriculture contributes less than 1% of the island's GDP, and over 80% of the food consumed in the region is imported. Despite low production levels, there is widespread interest in reinvigorating the agricultural sector's contribution to the economy. Local and federal institutions play a major role strengthening the agricultural sector by providing access to incentives, loans, and education for best management practices. However, many of these efforts conform to agricultural systems of larger scale of production and temperate environments. In this study, we explore agricultural incentives programs and their implication for highly diverse, small-scale, and subsistence operations that characterize agricultural systems in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. We analyze records and maps from the USDA Farm Service Agency, to typify participating farms, and to track changes in land cover, farm size, crop diversity, practices, and production levels resulting from their enrollment in such programs. Preliminary results indicate that many incentives programs are not tailored to agricultural tropical systems and prescribe alternatives that exclude traditional farming methods employed in small-scale and subsistence farms (e.g. crop insurance that benefit monoculture over intercropped systems). Moreover, many of the incentives are contradictory in their recommendations (e.g., crop insurance benefit sun-grown coffee production, while best agricultural practices recommend agroforestry with shade-grown coffee

  4. Task-based agricultural mobile robots in arable farming: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aravind, K.R.; Raja, P.; Pérez-Ruiz, M.

    2017-01-01

    In agriculture (in the context of this paper, the terms “agriculture” and “farming” refer to only the farming of crops and exclude the farming of animals), smart farming and automated agricultural technology have emerged as promising methodologies for increasing the crop productivity without sacrificing produce quality. The emergence of various robotics technologies has facilitated the application of these techniques in agricultural processes. However, incorporating this technology in farms has proven to be challenging because of the large variations in shape, size, rate and type of growth, type of produce, and environmental requirements for different types of crops. Agricultural processes are chains of systematic, repetitive, and time-dependent tasks. However, some agricultural processes differ based on the type of farming, namely permanent crop farming and arable farming. Permanent crop farming includes permanent crops or woody plants such as orchards and vineyards whereas arable farming includes temporary crops such as wheat and rice. Major operations in open arable farming include tilling, soil analysis, seeding, transplanting, crop scouting, pest control, weed removal and harvesting and robots can assist in performing all of these tasks. Each specific operation requires axillary devices and sensors with specific functions. This article reviews the latest advances in the application of mobile robots in these agricultural operations for open arable farming and provide an overview of the systems and techniques that are used. This article also discusses various challenges for future improvements in using reliable mobile robots for arable farming.

  5. Task-based agricultural mobile robots in arable farming: A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aravind, K.R.; Raja, P.; Pérez-Ruiz, M.

    2017-09-01

    In agriculture (in the context of this paper, the terms “agriculture” and “farming” refer to only the farming of crops and exclude the farming of animals), smart farming and automated agricultural technology have emerged as promising methodologies for increasing the crop productivity without sacrificing produce quality. The emergence of various robotics technologies has facilitated the application of these techniques in agricultural processes. However, incorporating this technology in farms has proven to be challenging because of the large variations in shape, size, rate and type of growth, type of produce, and environmental requirements for different types of crops. Agricultural processes are chains of systematic, repetitive, and time-dependent tasks. However, some agricultural processes differ based on the type of farming, namely permanent crop farming and arable farming. Permanent crop farming includes permanent crops or woody plants such as orchards and vineyards whereas arable farming includes temporary crops such as wheat and rice. Major operations in open arable farming include tilling, soil analysis, seeding, transplanting, crop scouting, pest control, weed removal and harvesting and robots can assist in performing all of these tasks. Each specific operation requires axillary devices and sensors with specific functions. This article reviews the latest advances in the application of mobile robots in these agricultural operations for open arable farming and provide an overview of the systems and techniques that are used. This article also discusses various challenges for future improvements in using reliable mobile robots for arable farming.

  6. Task-based agricultural mobile robots in arable farming: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krishnaswamy R. Aravind

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available In agriculture (in the context of this paper, the terms “agriculture” and “farming” refer to only the farming of crops and exclude the farming of animals, smart farming and automated agricultural technology have emerged as promising methodologies for increasing the crop productivity without sacrificing produce quality. The emergence of various robotics technologies has facilitated the application of these techniques in agricultural processes. However, incorporating this technology in farms has proven to be challenging because of the large variations in shape, size, rate and type of growth, type of produce, and environmental requirements for different types of crops. Agricultural processes are chains of systematic, repetitive, and time-dependent tasks. However, some agricultural processes differ based on the type of farming, namely permanent crop farming and arable farming. Permanent crop farming includes permanent crops or woody plants such as orchards and vineyards whereas arable farmingincludestemporary crops such as wheat and rice. Major operations in open arable farming include tilling, soil analysis, seeding, transplanting, crop scouting, pest control, weed removal and harvesting and robots can assist in performing all of these tasks. Each specific operation requires axillary devices and sensors with specific functions. This article reviews the latest advances in the application of mobile robots in these agricultural operations for open arable farming and provide an overview of the systems and techniques that are used. This article also discusses various challenges for future improvements in using reliable mobile robots for arable farming.

  7. Rethinking Bioenergy from an Agricultural Perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shortall, Orla

    The aim of this project is to explore the social and ethical dimensions of the agricultural production of perennial energy crop and crop residues for energy. Biomass – any living or recently living matter – is being promoted in industrialised countries as part of the transition from fossil fuels...... agriculture including the biorefinery strategy; multifunctional perennial energy crop production on environmentally marginal land; and ecologically integrated multipurpose biomass production through agroforestry production. There is also an argument which cuts across the paradigms and maintains...

  8. Impacts of Stratospheric Black Carbon on Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, L.; Robock, A.; Elliott, J. W.

    2017-12-01

    A regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan could inject 5 Tg of soot into the stratosphere, which would absorb sunlight, decrease global surface temperature by about 1°C for 5-10 years and have major impacts on precipitation and the amount of solar radiation reaching Earth's surface. Using two global gridded crop models forced by one global climate model simulation, we investigate the impacts on agricultural productivity in various nations. The crop model in the Community Land Model 4.5 (CLM-crop4.5) and the parallel Decision Support System for Agricultural Technology (pDSSAT) in the parallel System for Integrating Impact Models and Sectors are participating in the Global Gridded Crop Model Intercomparison. We force these two crop models with output from the Whole Atmospheric Community Climate Model to characterize the global agricultural impact from climate changes due to a regional nuclear war. Crops in CLM-crop4.5 include maize, rice, soybean, cotton and sugarcane, and crops in pDSSAT include maize, rice, soybean and wheat. Although the two crop models require a different time frequency of weather input, we downscale the climate model output to provide consistent temperature, precipitation and solar radiation inputs. In general, CLM-crop4.5 simulates a larger global average reduction of maize and soybean production relative to pDSSAT. Global rice production shows negligible change with climate anomalies from a regional nuclear war. Cotton and sugarcane benefit from a regional nuclear war from CLM-crop4.5 simulation, and global wheat production would decrease significantly in the pDSSAT simulation. The regional crop yield responses to a regional nuclear conflict are different for each crop, and we present the changes in production on a national basis. These models do not include the crop responses to changes in ozone, ultraviolet radiation, or diffuse radiation, and we would like to encourage more modelers to improve crop models to account for those

  9. Some ecological and socio-economic considerations for biomass energy crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paine, L.K.; Undersander, D.J.; Temple, S.A.; Klemme, R.M.; Peterson, T.L.; Bartelt, G.A.; Sample, D.W.; Rineer, K.C.

    1996-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to suggest a regional approach to ensure that energy crop production will proceed in an ecologically and economically sustainable way. At this juncture, we have the opportunity to build into the system some ecological and socio-economic values which have not traditionally been considered. If crop species are chosen and sited properly, incorporation of energy crops into our agricultural system could provide extensive wildlife habitat and address soil and water quality concerns, in addition to generating renewable power. We recommend that three types of agricultural land be targeted for perennial biomass energy crops: (1) highly erodible land; (2) wetlands presently converted to agricultural uses; and (3) marginal agricultural land in selected regions. Fitting appropriate species to these lands, biomass crops can be successfully grown on lands not ecologically suited for conventional farming practices, thus providing an environmental benefit in addition to producing an economic return to the land owner. (author)

  10. Rice crop risk map in Babahoyo canton (Ecuador)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valverde Arias, Omar; Tarquis, Ana; Garrido, Alberto

    2016-04-01

    It is widely known that extreme climatic phenomena occur with more intensity and frequency. This fact has put more pressure over farming, making agricultural and livestock production riskier. In order to reduce hazards and economic loses that could jeopardize farmer's incomes and even its business continuity, it is very important to implement agriculture risk management plans by governments and institutions. One of the main strategies is transfer risk by agriculture insurance. Agriculture insurance based in indexes has a significant growth in the last decade. And consist in a comparison between measured index values with a defined threshold that triggers damage losses. However, based index insurance could not be based on an isolated measurement. It is necessary to be integrated in a complete monitoring system that uses many sources of information and tools. For example, index influence areas, crop production risk maps, crop yields, claim statistics, and so on. Crop production risk is related with yield variation of crops and livestock, due to weather, pests, diseases, and other factors that affect both the quantity and quality of commodities produced. This is the risk which farmers invest more time managing, and it is completely under their control. The aim of this study is generate a crop risk map of rice that can provide risk manager important information about the status of crop facing production risks. Then, based on this information, it will be possible to make best decisions to deal with production risk. The rice crop risk map was generated qualifying a 1:25000 scale soil and climatic map of Babahoyo canton, which is located in coast region of Ecuador, where rice is one of the main crops. The methodology to obtain crop risk map starts by establishing rice crop requirements and indentifying the risks associated with this crop. A second step is to evaluate soil and climatic conditions of the study area related to optimal crop requirements. Based on it, we can

  11. Radiation technology in agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D'Souza, S.F.

    2013-01-01

    The Department of Atomic Energy through its research, development and deployment activities in nuclear science and technology, has been contributing towards enhancing the production of agricultural commodities and their preservation. Radiations and radioisotopes are used in agricultural research to induce genetic variability in crop plants to develop improved varieties, to manage insect pests, monitor fate and persistence of pesticides, to study fertilizer use efficiency and plant micronutrient uptake and also to preserve agricultural produce. Use of radiation and radioisotopes in agriculture which is often referred to as nuclear agriculture is one of the important fields of peaceful applications of atomic energy for societal benefit and BARC has contributed significantly in this area. 41 new crop varieties developed at BARC have been released and Gazette notified by the MoA, GOI for commercial cultivation and are popular among the farming community and grown through out the country

  12. 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

  13. THE POTENTIAL ROLE OF REMOTE SENSING IN TRANSGENIC CROP MONITORING PROGRAMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sustainable agriculture combines efficient production with wise stewardship of the earth's resources. Development of environmentally benign production techniques is one focus of sustainable agriculture. The new transgenic crops producing toxic proteins that target specific crop p...

  14. Crop Biometric Maps: The Key to Prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Rovira-Más

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The sustainability of agricultural production in the twenty-first century, both in industrialized and developing countries, benefits from the integration of farm management with information technology such that individual plants, rows, or subfields may be endowed with a singular “identity.” This approach approximates the nature of agricultural processes to the engineering of industrial processes. In order to cope with the vast variability of nature and the uncertainties of agricultural production, the concept of crop biometrics is defined as the scientific analysis of agricultural observations confined to spaces of reduced dimensions and known position with the purpose of building prediction models. This article develops the idea of crop biometrics by setting its principles, discussing the selection and quantization of biometric traits, and analyzing the mathematical relationships among measured and predicted traits. Crop biometric maps were applied to the case of a wine-production vineyard, in which vegetation amount, relative altitude in the field, soil compaction, berry size, grape yield, juice pH, and grape sugar content were selected as biometric traits. The enological potential of grapes was assessed with a quality-index map defined as a combination of titratable acidity, sugar content, and must pH. Prediction models for yield and quality were developed for high and low resolution maps, showing the great potential of crop biometric maps as a strategic tool for vineyard growers as well as for crop managers in general, due to the wide versatility of the methodology proposed.

  15. Crop biometric maps: the key to prediction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rovira-Más, Francisco; Sáiz-Rubio, Verónica

    2013-09-23

    The sustainability of agricultural production in the twenty-first century, both in industrialized and developing countries, benefits from the integration of farm management with information technology such that individual plants, rows, or subfields may be endowed with a singular "identity." This approach approximates the nature of agricultural processes to the engineering of industrial processes. In order to cope with the vast variability of nature and the uncertainties of agricultural production, the concept of crop biometrics is defined as the scientific analysis of agricultural observations confined to spaces of reduced dimensions and known position with the purpose of building prediction models. This article develops the idea of crop biometrics by setting its principles, discussing the selection and quantization of biometric traits, and analyzing the mathematical relationships among measured and predicted traits. Crop biometric maps were applied to the case of a wine-production vineyard, in which vegetation amount, relative altitude in the field, soil compaction, berry size, grape yield, juice pH, and grape sugar content were selected as biometric traits. The enological potential of grapes was assessed with a quality-index map defined as a combination of titratable acidity, sugar content, and must pH. Prediction models for yield and quality were developed for high and low resolution maps, showing the great potential of crop biometric maps as a strategic tool for vineyard growers as well as for crop managers in general, due to the wide versatility of the methodology proposed.

  16. Climate change and its marginalizing effect on agriculture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mestre-Sanchis, Fernando [Agriculture and Food Department, University of La Rioja (Spain); Feijoo-Bello, Maria Luisa [Economics Department, University of Zaragoza (Spain)

    2009-01-15

    The agriculture of some areas considered marginal in the EU agricultural context is being questioned due to its low productivity and growing dependence on economic aid programs Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). This study shows that climate change increases these areas marginalisation of since worsens crop growth conditions. The influence of climate change on the agricultural sector is analyzed using the Multicriteria Decision Paradigm with information provided by the Erosion-Productivity Impact Calculator (EPIC) and a General Circulation Model (GCM) as inputs for multicriteria mathematical programming models. The results obtained show climate change effects on the crop portfolio. Further results suggest that climate change effects are not only economics and environmental, reducing the suitable area for crops, but also social as it causes loss of jobs in the agricultural sector. (author)

  17. Application of water footprint combined with a unified virtual crop pattern to evaluate crop water productivity in grain production in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Y B; Wu, P T; Engel, B A; Sun, S K

    2014-11-01

    Water shortages are detrimental to China's grain production while food production consumes a great deal of water causing water crises and ecological impacts. Increasing crop water productivity (CWP) is critical, so China is devoting significant resources to develop water-saving agricultural systems based on crop planning and agricultural water conservation planning. A comprehensive CWP index is necessary for such planning. Existing indices such as water use efficiency (WUE) and irrigation efficiency (IE) have limitations and are not suitable for the comprehensive evaluation of CWP. The water footprint (WF) index, calculated using effective precipitation and local water use, has advantages for CWP evaluation. Due to regional differences in crop patterns making the CWP difficult to compare directly across different regions, a unified virtual crop pattern is needed to calculate the WF. This project calculated and compared the WF of each grain crop and the integrated WFs of grain products with actual and virtual crop patterns in different regions of China for 2010. The results showed that there were significant differences for the WF among different crops in the same area or among different areas for the same crop. Rice had the highest WF at 1.39 m(3)/kg, while corn had the lowest at 0.91 m(3)/kg among the main grain crops. The WF of grain products was 1.25 m(3)/kg in China. Crop patterns had an important impact on WF of grain products because significant differences in WF were found between actual and virtual crop patterns in each region. The CWP level can be determined based on the WF of a virtual crop pattern, thereby helping optimize spatial distribution of crops and develop agricultural water savings to increase CWP. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. African Journals Online: Agriculture & Food Sciences

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Uganda Journal of Agricultural Sciences. The Journal publishes peer reviewed papers with the aim of sharing new developments in the agricultural and environmental sciences which include forestry, fisheries, livestock, crops, environment, biotechnology, agricultural economics, agricultural engineering. The readership of ...

  19. Beyond conservation agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giller, Ken E; Andersson, Jens A; Corbeels, Marc; Kirkegaard, John; Mortensen, David; Erenstein, Olaf; Vanlauwe, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    Global support for Conservation Agriculture (CA) as a pathway to Sustainable Intensification is strong. CA revolves around three principles: no-till (or minimal soil disturbance), soil cover, and crop rotation. The benefits arising from the ease of crop management, energy/cost/time savings, and soil and water conservation led to widespread adoption of CA, particularly on large farms in the Americas and Australia, where farmers harness the tools of modern science: highly-sophisticated machines, potent agrochemicals, and biotechnology. Over the past 10 years CA has been promoted among smallholder farmers in the (sub-) tropics, often with disappointing results. Growing evidence challenges the claims that CA increases crop yields and builds-up soil carbon although increased stability of crop yields in dry climates is evident. Our analyses suggest pragmatic adoption on larger mechanized farms, and limited uptake of CA by smallholder farmers in developing countries. We propose a rigorous, context-sensitive approach based on Systems Agronomy to analyze and explore sustainable intensification options, including the potential of CA. There is an urgent need to move beyond dogma and prescriptive approaches to provide soil and crop management options for farmers to enable the Sustainable Intensification of agriculture.

  20. Beyond conservation agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giller, Ken E.; Andersson, Jens A.; Corbeels, Marc; Kirkegaard, John; Mortensen, David; Erenstein, Olaf; Vanlauwe, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    Global support for Conservation Agriculture (CA) as a pathway to Sustainable Intensification is strong. CA revolves around three principles: no-till (or minimal soil disturbance), soil cover, and crop rotation. The benefits arising from the ease of crop management, energy/cost/time savings, and soil and water conservation led to widespread adoption of CA, particularly on large farms in the Americas and Australia, where farmers harness the tools of modern science: highly-sophisticated machines, potent agrochemicals, and biotechnology. Over the past 10 years CA has been promoted among smallholder farmers in the (sub-) tropics, often with disappointing results. Growing evidence challenges the claims that CA increases crop yields and builds-up soil carbon although increased stability of crop yields in dry climates is evident. Our analyses suggest pragmatic adoption on larger mechanized farms, and limited uptake of CA by smallholder farmers in developing countries. We propose a rigorous, context-sensitive approach based on Systems Agronomy to analyze and explore sustainable intensification options, including the potential of CA. There is an urgent need to move beyond dogma and prescriptive approaches to provide soil and crop management options for farmers to enable the Sustainable Intensification of agriculture. PMID:26579139

  1. Beyond Conservation Agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken E Giller

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Global support for Conservation Agriculture (CA as a pathway to Sustainable Intensification is strong. CA revolves around three principles: no-till (or minimal soil disturbance, soil cover, and crop rotation. The benefits arising from the ease of crop management, energy/cost/time savings and soil and water conservation led to widespread adoption of CA, particularly on large farms in the Americas and Australia, where farmers harness the tools of modern science: highly-sophisticated machines, potent agrochemicals and biotechnology. Over the past ten years CA has been promoted among smallholder farmers in the (sub- tropics, often with disappointing results. Growing evidence challenges the claims that CA increases crop yields and builds-up soil carbon although increased stability of crop yields in dry climates is evident. Our analyses suggest pragmatic adoption on larger mechanized farms, and limited uptake of CA by smallholder farmers in developing countries. We propose a rigorous, context-sensitive approach based on Systems Agronomy to analyze and explore sustainable intensification options, including the potential of CA. There is an urgent need to move beyond dogma and prescriptive approaches to provide soil and crop management options for farmers to enable the Sustainable Intensification of agriculture.

  2. Agricultural Land Use Change after NAFTA in Central West Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quetzalcóatl Orozco-Ramírez

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available It has been suggested that agricultural land use change and modernization in agricultural production techniques are related to the loss of crop diversity. Two processes contribute to this loss; first is the replacement of landraces by modern varieties, and second is the abandonment of traditional crops in favor of cash crops. We studied the expression of these processes in a region that is both an agro-biodiversity and cultural center and one of the most significant fruit exporters of Mexico. We analyzed agricultural change based on the transformation of cropping areas and the primary crops’ locations in Michoacán state. We examined the crop-harvested area statistics from 1950 to 2015, and identified 23 crops as the most important in terms of harvested area and monetary value. After NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement, harvested area for nine crops changed significantly: seven crops increased, and two decreased. Positive trends were observed for commercial fruits oriented to export markets, and negative trends were observed for traditional crops. These crops, such as beans and maize, are important for food security. Additionally, we analyzed how these land-use and agricultural changes overlap in zones of maize planted-area change. Using a maize-race collection database, we identified three native maize races that could be at risk due to the abandonment of maize in favor of commercial crops.

  3. 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

  4. Resistance to sap-sucking insects in modern-day agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin eDe Vos

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Plants and herbivores have co-evolved in their natural habitats for about 350 million years, but since the domestication of crops, plant resistance against insects has taken a different turn. With the onset of monoculture-driven modern agriculture, selective pressure on insects to overcome resistances has dramatically increased. Therefore plant breeders have resorted to high-tech tools to continuously create new insect-resistant crops. Efforts in the past 30 years have resulted in elucidation of mechanisms of many effective plant defenses against insect herbivores. Here, we critically appraise these efforts and - with a focus on sap-sucking insects - discuss how these findings have contributed to herbivore-resistant crops. Moreover, in this review we try to assess where future challenges and opportunities lay ahead. Of particular importance will be a mandatory reduction in systemic pesticide usage and thus a greater reliance on alternative methods, such as improved plant genetics for plant resistance to insect herbivores.

  5. Contribution of Crop Models to Adaptation in Wheat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenu, Karine; Porter, John Roy; Martre, Pierre; Basso, Bruno; Chapman, Scott Cameron; Ewert, Frank; Bindi, Marco; Asseng, Senthold

    2017-06-01

    With world population growing quickly, agriculture needs to produce more with fewer inputs while being environmentally friendly. In a context of changing environments, crop models are useful tools to simulate crop yields. Wheat (Triticum spp.) crop models have been evolving since the 1960s to translate processes related to crop growth and development into mathematical equations. These have been used over decades for agronomic purposes, and have more recently incorporated advances in the modeling of environmental footprints, biotic constraints, trait and gene effects, climate change impact, and the upscaling of global change impacts. This review outlines the potential and limitations of modern wheat crop models in assisting agronomists, breeders, and policymakers to address the current and future challenges facing agriculture. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Determination of Water Requirement and Crop Coefficient for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Knowledge of crop evapotranspiration (ETc), the combined process of evaporation and plant transpiration, is important in agriculture for scheduling farm operations and designing and managing irrigation and drainage systems. Development of crop coefficient (Kc) can enhance crop evapotranspiration (ETc) estimates in ...

  7. Radiation balance of an alfalfa crop in Saudi Arabia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Yemeni, M.N.; Grace, J.

    1995-01-01

    Short-wave reflectivity or albedo is an important component of net radiation which represents the major determinant of radiation balance of crop surface. This study was conducted on an irrigated alfalfa crop field at Al-Kharj agricultural area in Saudi Arabia, grown according to normal agricultural practices. Data on radiation balance and crop cover were collected over a number of days from March to October 1986, crop albedo varying from 0–4 in early morning to 0–20 at noon, the overall mean value of the crop albedo being estimated at 0–26. The relation between the individual components of radiation balance was studied, and a significant correlation between incident radiation and net radiation was found. Possible causes responsible for changes in crop albedo were discussed. (author)

  8. How can we improve Mediterranean cropping systems?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Benlhabib, O.; Yazar, A.; Qadir, M.

    2014-01-01

    In the Mediterranean region, crop productivity and food security are closely linked to the adaptation of cropping systems to multiple abiotic stresses. Limited and unpredictable rainfall and low soil fertility have reduced agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability. For this reason...... the tested interventions, incorporation of crop residues coupled with supplementary irrigation showed a significantly positive effect on crop productivity, yield stability and environmental sustainability....

  9. The Potential Role of Neglected and Underutilised Crop Species as Future Crops under Water Scarce Conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chivenge, Pauline; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe; Modi, Albert T.; Mafongoya, Paramu

    2015-01-01

    Modern agricultural systems that promote cultivation of a very limited number of crop species have relegated indigenous crops to the status of neglected and underutilised crop species (NUCS). The complex interactions of water scarcity associated with climate change and variability in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and population pressure require innovative strategies to address food insecurity and undernourishment. Current research efforts have identified NUCS as having potential to reduce food and nutrition insecurity, particularly for resource poor households in SSA. This is because of their adaptability to low input agricultural systems and nutritional composition. However, what is required to promote NUCS is scientific research including agronomy, breeding, post-harvest handling and value addition, and linking farmers to markets. Among the essential knowledge base is reliable information about water utilisation by NUCS with potential for commercialisation. This commentary identifies and characterises NUCS with agronomic potential in SSA, especially in the semi-arid areas taking into consideration inter alia: (i) what can grow under water-scarce conditions, (ii) water requirements, and (iii) water productivity. Several representative leafy vegetables, tuber crops, cereal crops and grain legumes were identified as fitting the NUCS category. Agro-biodiversity remains essential for sustainable agriculture. PMID:26016431

  10. The Potential Role of Neglected and Underutilised Crop Species as Future Crops under Water Scarce Conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pauline Chivenge

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Modern agricultural systems that promote cultivation of a very limited number of crop species have relegated indigenous crops to the status of neglected and underutilised crop species (NUCS. The complex interactions of water scarcity associated with climate change and variability in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA, and population pressure require innovative strategies to address food insecurity and undernourishment. Current research efforts have identified NUCS as having potential to reduce food and nutrition insecurity, particularly for resource poor households in SSA. This is because of their adaptability to low input agricultural systems and nutritional composition. However, what is required to promote NUCS is scientific research including agronomy, breeding, post-harvest handling and value addition, and linking farmers to markets. Among the essential knowledge base is reliable information about water utilisation by NUCS with potential for commercialisation. This commentary identifies and characterises NUCS with agronomic potential in SSA, especially in the semi-arid areas taking into consideration inter alia: (i what can grow under water-scarce conditions, (ii water requirements, and (iii water productivity. Several representative leafy vegetables, tuber crops, cereal crops and grain legumes were identified as fitting the NUCS category. Agro-biodiversity remains essential for sustainable agriculture.

  11. Agricultural Productivity Forecasts for Improved Drought Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limaye, Ashutosh; McNider, Richard; Moss, Donald; Alhamdan, Mohammad

    2010-01-01

    Water stresses on agricultural crops during critical phases of crop phenology (such as grain filling) has higher impact on the eventual yield than at other times of crop growth. Therefore farmers are more concerned about water stresses in the context of crop phenology than the meteorological droughts. However the drought estimates currently produced do not account for the crop phenology. US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have developed a drought monitoring decision support tool: The U.S. Drought Monitor, which currently uses meteorological droughts to delineate and categorize drought severity. Output from the Drought Monitor is used by the States to make disaster declarations. More importantly, USDA uses the Drought Monitor to make estimates of crop yield to help the commodities market. Accurate estimation of corn yield is especially critical given the recent trend towards diversion of corn to produce ethanol. Ethanol is fast becoming a standard 10% ethanol additive to petroleum products, the largest traded commodity. Thus the impact of large-scale drought will have dramatic impact on the petroleum prices as well as on food prices. USDA's World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) serves as a focal point for economic intelligence and the commodity outlook for U.S. WAOB depends on Drought Monitor and has emphatically stated that accurate and timely data are needed in operational agrometeorological services to generate reliable projections for agricultural decision makers. Thus, improvements in the prediction of drought will reflect in early and accurate assessment of crop yields, which in turn will improve commodity projections. We have developed a drought assessment tool, which accounts for the water stress in the context of crop phenology. The crop modeling component is done using various crop modules within Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT). DSSAT is an agricultural crop

  12. Cover crop and CO2 emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agricultural land management practices account for about 50% of soil organic carbon (SOC) loss. Restoring SOC is important to soil productivity and fertility. Management strategies to rebuild SOC include addition of manure or other organic amendments, increasing root biomass from crops, leaving crop...

  13. The Crop Journal Calls for Papers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2014-01-01

    <正>We would like to invite you to submit your latest research accomplishments to The Crop Journal(ISSN:2095-5421;Online ISSN:2214-5141,CN 10-1112/S),a new bimonthly academic journal co-sponsored by the Crop Science Society of China and the Institute of Crop Science,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.The Crop Journal is freely available online(Open Access)in ScienceDirect.The Editor-in-Chief of The Crop Journal is Professor Jianmin Wan,PhD,Cheung Kong Scholar,Director of the Institute of Crop Science and Executive Vice President of the Crop Science Society of China,supported by the Editorial Board of 85 international experts from various fields of crop sciences.

  14. Origins of food crops connect countries worldwide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achicanoy, Harold A.; Bjorkman, Anne D.; Navarro-Racines, Carlos; Guarino, Luigi; Flores-Palacios, Ximena; Engels, Johannes M. M.; Wiersema, John H.; Dempewolf, Hannes; Sotelo, Steven; Ramírez-Villegas, Julian; Castañeda-Álvarez, Nora P.; Fowler, Cary; Jarvis, Andy; Rieseberg, Loren H.; Struik, Paul C.

    2016-01-01

    Research into the origins of food plants has led to the recognition that specific geographical regions around the world have been of particular importance to the development of agricultural crops. Yet the relative contributions of these different regions in the context of current food systems have not been quantified. Here we determine the origins (‘primary regions of diversity’) of the crops comprising the food supplies and agricultural production of countries worldwide. We estimate the degree to which countries use crops from regions of diversity other than their own (‘foreign crops’), and quantify changes in this usage over the past 50 years. Countries are highly interconnected with regard to primary regions of diversity of the crops they cultivate and/or consume. Foreign crops are extensively used in food supplies (68.7% of national food supplies as a global mean are derived from foreign crops) and production systems (69.3% of crops grown are foreign). Foreign crop usage has increased significantly over the past 50 years, including in countries with high indigenous crop diversity. The results provide a novel perspective on the ongoing globalization of food systems worldwide, and bolster evidence for the importance of international collaboration on genetic resource conservation and exchange.

  15. Water savings from reduced alfalfa cropping in California's Upper San Joaquin Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, K. K.; Gray, J.

    2017-12-01

    Water and food and forage security are inextricably linked. In fact, 90% of global freshwater is consumed for food production. Food demand increases as populations grow and diets change, making water increasingly scarce. This tension is particularly acute, contentious, and popularly appreciated in California's Central Valley, which is one of the most important non-grain cropping areas in the United States. While the water-intensive production of tree nuts like almonds and pistachios has received the most popular attention, it is California's nation-leading alfalfa production that consumes the most water. Alfalfa, the "Queen of Forages" is the preferred feedstock for California's prodigious dairy industry. It is grown year-round, and single fields can be harvested more than four times a year; a practice which can require in excess of 1.5 m of irrigation water. Given the water scarcity in the region, the production of alfalfa is under increasing scrutiny with respect to long-term sustainability. However, the potential water savings associated with alternative crops, and various levels of alfalfa replacement have not been quantified. Here, we address that knowledge gap by simulating the ecohydrology of the Upper San Joaquin's cropping system under various scenarios of alfalfa crop replacement with crops of comparable economic value. Specifically, we use the SWAT model to evaluate the water savings that would be realized at 33%, 66%, and 100% alfalfa replacement with economically comparable, but more water efficient crops such as tomatoes. Our results provide an important quantification of the potential water savings under alternative cropping systems that, importantly, also addresses the economic concerns of farmers. Results like these provide critical guidance to farmers and land/water decision makers as they plan for a more sustainable and productive agricultural future.

  16. The benefits of herbicide-resistant crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Jerry M

    2012-10-01

    Since 1996, genetically modified herbicide-resistant crops, primarily glyphosate-resistant soybean, corn, cotton and canola, have helped to revolutionize weed management and have become an important tool in crop production practices. Glyphosate-resistant crops have enabled the implementation of weed management practices that have improved yield and profitability while better protecting the environment. Growers have recognized their benefits and have made glyphosate-resistant crops the most rapidly adopted technology in the history of agriculture. Weed management systems with glyphosate-resistant crops have often relied on glyphosate alone, have been easy to use and have been effective, economical and more environmentally friendly than the systems they have replaced. Glyphosate has worked extremely well in controlling weeds in glyphosate-resistant crops for more than a decade, but some key weeds have evolved resistance, and using glyphosate alone has proved unsustainable. Now, growers need to renew their weed management practices and use glyphosate with other cultural, mechanical and herbicide options in integrated systems. New multiple-herbicide-resistant crops with resistance to glyphosate and other herbicides will expand the utility of existing herbicide technologies and will be an important component of future weed management systems that help to sustain the current benefits of high-efficiency and high-production agriculture. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.

  17. Meeting the demand for crop production: the challenge of yield decline in crops grown in short rotations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Amanda J; Bending, Gary D; Chandler, David; Hilton, Sally; Mills, Peter

    2012-02-01

    There is a trend world-wide to grow crops in short rotation or in monoculture, particularly in conventional agriculture. This practice is becoming more prevalent due to a range of factors including economic market trends, technological advances, government incentives, and retailer and consumer demands. Land-use intensity will have to increase further in future in order to meet the demands of growing crops for both bioenergy and food production, and long rotations may not be considered viable or practical. However, evidence indicates that crops grown in short rotations or monoculture often suffer from yield decline compared to those grown in longer rotations or for the first time. Numerous factors have been hypothesised as contributing to yield decline, including biotic factors such as plant pathogens, deleterious rhizosphere microorganisms, mycorrhizas acting as pathogens, and allelopathy or autotoxicity of the crop, as well as abiotic factors such as land management practices and nutrient availability. In many cases, soil microorganisms have been implicated either directly or indirectly in yield decline. Although individual factors may be responsible for yield decline in some cases, it is more likely that combinations of factors interact to cause the problem. However, evidence confirming the precise role of these various factors is often lacking in field studies due to the complex nature of cropping systems and the numerous interactions that take place within them. Despite long-term knowledge of the yield-decline phenomenon, there are few tools to counteract it apart from reverting to longer crop rotations or break crops. Alternative cropping and management practices such as double-cropping or inter-cropping, tillage and organic amendments may prove valuable for combating some of the negative effects seen when crops are grown in short rotation. Plant breeding continues to be important, although this does require a specific breeding target to be identified. This

  18. Probabilistic estimates of drought impacts on agricultural production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madadgar, Shahrbanou; AghaKouchak, Amir; Farahmand, Alireza; Davis, Steven J.

    2017-08-01

    Increases in the severity and frequency of drought in a warming climate may negatively impact agricultural production and food security. Unlike previous studies that have estimated agricultural impacts of climate condition using single-crop yield distributions, we develop a multivariate probabilistic model that uses projected climatic conditions (e.g., precipitation amount or soil moisture) throughout a growing season to estimate the probability distribution of crop yields. We demonstrate the model by an analysis of the historical period 1980-2012, including the Millennium Drought in Australia (2001-2009). We find that precipitation and soil moisture deficit in dry growing seasons reduced the average annual yield of the five largest crops in Australia (wheat, broad beans, canola, lupine, and barley) by 25-45% relative to the wet growing seasons. Our model can thus produce region- and crop-specific agricultural sensitivities to climate conditions and variability. Probabilistic estimates of yield may help decision-makers in government and business to quantitatively assess the vulnerability of agriculture to climate variations. We develop a multivariate probabilistic model that uses precipitation to estimate the probability distribution of crop yields. The proposed model shows how the probability distribution of crop yield changes in response to droughts. During Australia's Millennium Drought precipitation and soil moisture deficit reduced the average annual yield of the five largest crops.

  19. Relay cropping as a sustainable approach: problems and opportunities for sustainable crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanveer, Mohsin; Anjum, Shakeel Ahmad; Hussain, Saddam; Cerdà, Artemi; Ashraf, Umair

    2017-03-01

    Climate change, soil degradation, and depletion of natural resources are becoming the most prominent challenges for crop productivity and environmental sustainability in modern agriculture. In the scenario of conventional farming system, limited chances are available to cope with these issues. Relay cropping is a method of multiple cropping where one crop is seeded into standing second crop well before harvesting of second crop. Relay cropping may solve a number of conflicts such as inefficient use of available resources, controversies in sowing time, fertilizer application, and soil degradation. Relay cropping is a complex suite of different resource-efficient technologies, which possesses the capability to improve soil quality, to increase net return, to increase land equivalent ratio, and to control the weeds and pest infestation. The current review emphasized relay cropping as a tool for crop diversification and environmental sustainability with special focus on soil. Briefly, benefits, constraints, and opportunities of relay cropping keeping the goals of higher crop productivity and sustainability have also been discussed in this review. The research and knowledge gap in relay cropping was also highlighted in order to guide the further studies in future.

  20. 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

  1. The Effects of Crop Intensification on the Diversity of Native Pollinator Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogren, Christina L; Rand, Tatyana A; Fausti, Scott W; Lundgren, Jonathan G

    2016-08-01

    Increases in agricultural conversion are leading to declines in native grasslands and natural resources critical for beneficial insects. However, little is known regarding how these changes affect pollinator diversity. Land use types were categorized within 300 m and 3 km radii of pollinator sampling locations in Brookings County, SD. Pollinator abundance and species richness were regressed on the proportion of the landscape dedicated to row crops, grass and pasture, forage crops, small grains, and aquatic habitats using variance components modeling. Row crops had a negative effect on bee abundance at 300 m, after fixed effects modeling accounted for outliers skewing this relationship. At 3 km, corn positively affected bee abundance and richness, while soybean acreage decreased species richness. The landscape matrix of outlying sites consisted of large monocultured areas with few alternative habitat types available, leading to inflated populations of Melissodes and Halictidae. Syrphids had a positive parabolic relationship between diversity and row crops, indicating potential for competitive exclusion from intermediate landscapes. Unlike other studies, landscape diversity within 300 m was not found to significantly benefit pollinator diversity. Within especially agriculturally developed areas of the region, high abundances of pollinators suggest selection for a few dominant species. There was no effect of forage crops or aquatic habitats on pollinator diversity, indicating that less highly managed areas still represent degraded habitat within the landscape. Incorporating pollinator-friendly crops at the farm level throughout the region is likely to enhance pollinator diversity by lessening the negative effects of large monocultures. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. “Multi-functional Agriculture - Agriculture as a Resource for Energy and Environmental Preservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    the Editors

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available In the present global situation, agriculture plays a major role in the interaction between socio-economic and biophysical processes. In addition to its principal and fundamental role of providing food, it now also needs to consider other ecosystem services provided by agriculture and to explore the new frontiers for the the future. In the 50’s of the 20th century the major topic was the introduction of inorganic fertilizers, in the 60’s the use of synthetic compounds for plant protection (insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, in the 70’s industrial crops, in the 80’s organic farming and the environmental impact of agronomic practices, and in the 90’s genetically modified crops (herbicide tolerance, insect resistance. In the current decade the themes are: land and water degradation, the production of agricultural biomass for bio-energy, and the increased expression of functional compounds in crops. The Bologna X Congress of ESA “Multi-functional Agriculture - Agriculture as a Resource for Energy and Environmental Preservation”, will meet the needs of finding tools to deal with environmental problems coupled with the increasing demand for food, and filling the knowledge gap on the physiological relationships between functional compound bio-synthesis and agricultural practices. Members of the European Society for Agronomy already have a deep knowledge of these issues, and the Bologna ESA Congress will provide an opportunity to develop them further particularly in regard to innovative agricultural techniques, new energy sources and better environmental monitoring.

  3. 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.

  4. Microcredit Effect on Agricultural Productivity

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Faculty of Agricultural Sciences Lautech Ogbomoso

    Department of Agricultural Economics & Farm Management University of Agriculture, ... This study examines the effect of access to credit on the productivity of rural farming households in Ogun State,. Nigeria. ... agricultural support to export crops, in ... growth and the alleviation of rural poverty ..... Dissertation, Department of.

  5. Compositions comprising lignosulfonates for crop protection and crop improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stevens, L.H.; Kok, C.J.; Krieken, van der W.M.

    2009-01-01

    International patent application number: WO2004067699http://www.wipo.int/patentscope/search/en/WO2004067699 (EN)The invention relates to a composition for protecting an agricultural crop against external threats, such as weeds, pathogens, abiotic and biotic stresses and/or for improving the quality

  6. 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.

  7. The Current State and Future Directions of Organic No-Till Farming with Cover Crops in Canada, with Case Study Support

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather M. Beach

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Eliminating regular tillage practices in agriculture has numerous ecological benefits that correspond to the intentions of organic agriculture; yet, more tillage is conducted in organic agriculture than in conventional agriculture. Organic systems face more management challenges to avoid tillage. This paper identifies factors to consider when implementing no-till practices particularly in organic agronomic and vegetable crop agriculture and describes techniques to address these factors. In some cases, future research is recommended to effectively address the current limitations. The format includes a literature review of organic no-till (OrgNT research and two case studies of Ontario organic farmers that highlight no-till challenges and practices to overcome these challenges. Cover crops require significant consideration because they are the alternative to herbicides and fertilizers to manage weeds and provide nutrients in the OrgNT system. Equipment requirements have also proven to be unique in OrgNT systems. In the future, it is recommended that researchers involve organic farmers closely in studies on no-till implementation, so that the farmers’ concerns are effectively addressed, and research is guided by possibilities recognized by the practitioners.

  8. [Landscape planning approaches for biodiversity conservation in agriculture].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yun-hui; Li, Liang-tao; Yu, Zhen-rong

    2008-11-01

    Biodiversity conservation in agriculture not only relates to the sustainable development of agriculture, but also is an essential part of species conservation. In recent years, the landscape planning approach for biodiversity was highlighted instead of species-focused approach. In this paper, the landscape factors affecting the biodiversity in agriculture were reviewed, and the possible landscape approaches at three different scales for more efficient conservation of biodiversity in agro-landscape were suggested, including: (1) the increase of the proportion of natural or semi-natural habitats in agriculture, diversification of land use or crop pattern, and protection or construction of corridor at landscape level; (2) the establishment of non-cropping elements such as field margin at between-field level; and (3) the application of reasonable crop density, crop distribution pattern and rotation, and intercrop etc. at within-field level. It was suggested that the relevant policies for natural conservation, land use planning, and ecological compensation should be made to apply the landscape approaches for biodiversity conservation at larger scale.

  9. Weed management strategies for castor bean crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Augusto Guerreiro Fontoura Costa

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Castor bean crops are agriculturally relevant due to the quality and versatility of their oil, both for the chemical industry and for biodiesel production. Proper weed management is important for both the cultivation and the yield of castor bean crops; therefore, the intention of the present work is to review pertinent information regarding weed management, including the studies regarding weed interference periods, chemical controls for use in different crop production systems and herbicide selectivity, for castor bean crops. Weed science research for castor bean crops is scarce. One of the main weed management challenges for castor bean crops is the absence of herbicides registered with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MALFS. Research for viable herbicides for weed control in castor bean crops should be directed by research and/or rural extension institutions, associations and farmers cooperatives, as well as by manufactures, for the registration of these selective herbicides, which would be primarily used to control eudicotyledons in castor bean crops. New studies involving the integration of weed control methods in castor bean also may increase the efficiency of weed management, for both small farmers using traditional crop methods in the Brazilian Northeast region, as well as for areas with the potential for large scale production, using conservation tillage systems, such as the no-tillage crop production system.

  10. A cost-effective and practical polybenzanthrone-based fluorescent sensor for efficient determination of palladium (II) ion and its application in agricultural crops and environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Ge [Jiangxi Key Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Jiangxi Science and Technology Normal University, Nanchang 330013 (China); Wen, Yangping [Key Laboratory of Crop Physiology, Ecology and Genetic Breeding, Ministry of Education, and Key Laboratory of Physiology, Ecology and Cultivation of Double Cropping Rice, Ministry of Agriculture, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang 330045 (China); Guo, Chaoqun [Jiangxi Key Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Jiangxi Science and Technology Normal University, Nanchang 330013 (China); Xu, Jingkun, E-mail: xujingkun@tsinghua.org.cn [Jiangxi Key Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Jiangxi Science and Technology Normal University, Nanchang 330013 (China); Lu, Baoyang; Duan, Xuemin [Jiangxi Key Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Jiangxi Science and Technology Normal University, Nanchang 330013 (China); He, Haohua; Yang, Jun [Key Laboratory of Crop Physiology, Ecology and Genetic Breeding, Ministry of Education, and Key Laboratory of Physiology, Ecology and Cultivation of Double Cropping Rice, Ministry of Agriculture, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang 330045 (China)

    2013-12-17

    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{sup 2+} was designed. •The possible mechanism between Pd{sup 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{sup 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{sup 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{sup 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{sup 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{sup 2+} determination in practical samples suggested that the PBA-based fluorescent sensor for the determination of Pd{sup 2+} will be a good candidate for application in

  11. Advances in induced resistance by natural compounds: towards new options for woody crop protection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugenio Llorens

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: The activation of defensive responses of plants is a promising tool for controlling pests in conventional agriculture. Over the last few years, several compounds have been studied to protect crops from pests, without displaying direct toxicity for pathogenic organisms. These compounds have the ability to induce a priming state on the plants that results in resistance (or tolerance against subsequent infection by a pathogen. In terms of molecular response, induced plant defense involves a broad number of physical and biochemical changes such as callose deposition or phenolic compounds, activation of salicylic and/or jasmonic acid pathways or synthesis of defense-related enzymes. Despite the large number of studies performed to ascertain the physiological and biochemical basis of induced resistance, only a few resistance-activating compounds have been studied as a real alternative to classic means of control and the studies geared towards incorporating induced resistance into disease management programs are relatively rare. The incorporation of natural resistance inducer in pest management programs of woody crops, alone or in combination with classical methods, could be a reliable method for reducing the amount of chemical residues in the environment. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge of induced resistance in woody crops, focusing on the mode of action of compounds authorized for conventional agriculture. We conclude by discussing the environmental and economic advantages of applying resistance inducers to conventional agriculture with special emphasis on natural compounds.

  12. EXAMINATION OF EMPIRICAL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITIES AND AGRICULTURAL POLICY OUTPUTS IN NIGERIA (1970-2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunday Brownson Akpan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The study investigated relationships between agricultural policy output (proxy by the agricultural productivity index, agricultural GDP/total GDP and crop productivity index and output of industrial sector (proxy by the industrial capacity utilization rate from 1970 to 2012 period in Nigeria. The study employed time series variables obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN, National Bureau of Statistics and Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO. Augmented Dickey-Fuller unit root test was conducted on the specified time series, and the result showed that all non-growth rate series were integrated of order one, while growth rate series were stationary at level. The two-step Engle Granger method was employed to test for the presence of cointegration among specified variables. The result revealed that variables were not co-integrated. To avoid spurious regression, the specified models for non-growth rate series