WorldWideScience

Sample records for alternative agricultural crops

  1. Coexistence or contradiction? GM crops versus alternative agricultures in Europe

    OpenAIRE

    Levidow, Les; Boschert, Karin

    2008-01-01

    Agricultural biotechnology (agbiotech) has intersected with a wider debate about 'sustainable agriculture', especially in Europe. Agbiotech was initially promoted as an alternative which would avoid or remedy past problems of intensive agriculture, but such claims were soon challenged. Agbiotech has extended the dominant agri-industrial paradigm, while critics have counterposed alternatives corresponding to an agrarian-based rural development paradigm. Amid controversy over environmental a...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Alternative crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. 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.

  6. Alternative Agriculture

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    Will the popularization of bioenergy, a new source for powering China, trigger another agricultural revolution? Skyrocketing energy prices, especially the oil shock in the first half of 2005, are pushing China to seek more substitutes for gasoline. A number of cities are turning to ethanol-blended gas made from com. Starting this month, the sale of regular gasoline will be brought to an end in nine of China's

  7. 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 section

  8. Crop protection in organic agriculture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  10. Crop Insurance, Premium Subsidy and Agricultural Output

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU Jing-feng; LIAO Pu

    2014-01-01

    This paper studied the effects of crop insurance on agricultural output with an economic growth model. Based on Ramsey-Cass-Koopmans (RCK) model, a basic model of agriculture economic growth was developed. Extending the basic model to incorporate uncertainty and insurance mechanism, a risk model and a risk-insurance model were built to study the inlfuences of risk and crop insurance on agricultural output. Compared with the steady states of the three models, the following results are achieved:(i) agricultural output decreases if we introduce uncertainty into the risk-free model;(ii) crop insurance promotes agriculture economic growth if insurance mechanism is introduced into the risk model;(iii) premium subsidy constantly improves agricultural output. Our contribution is that we studied the effects of crop insurance and premium subsidy from the perspective of economic growth in a dynamic framework, and proved the output promotion of crop insurance theoretically.

  11. 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 admis

  12. CROPS : high tech agricultural robots

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    In the EU-funded CROPS (Clever Robots for Crops) project high tech robots are developed for site-specific spraying and selective harvesting of fruit and fruit vegetables. The harvesting robots are being designed to harvest high-value crops such as greenhouse vegetables, fruits in orchards and grapes for premium wines. The CROPS robots are also developed for canopy spraying in orchards and for precision target spraying in grape vines to reduce the use of pesticides. A CROPS robot will be able ...

  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. 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.

  15. SANITARY SEWAGE REUSE IN AGRICULTURAL CROP IRRIGATION

    OpenAIRE

    Lidiane Bittencourt Barroso; Delmira Beatriz Wolff

    2011-01-01

    The water availability was exceeded by demand, becoming a limiting factor in irrigated agriculture. This study aimed to provide a general theoretical framework on the issue of water reuse for agricultural purposes. This is due to the fact that we need a prior knowledge of the state of the art concerning the matter. To that end, we performed a review of irrigated agriculture, the effects on cultivated land and the development of agricultural crops as well as aspects of security to protect grou...

  16. Agricultural impacts: Mapping future crop geographies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travis, William R.

    2016-06-01

    Modelled patterns of climate change impacts on sub-Saharan agriculture provide a detailed picture of the space- and timescales of change. They reveal hotspots where crop cultivation may disappear entirely, but also large areas where current or substitute crops will remain viable through this century.

  17. 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.

  18. Energy crops for agriculture - benefits or constraints?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Danish energy production is influenced by the EU agricultural policy and the following Danish implementation. In Denmark the maximum allowed land to set-aside is 21,6 percent of the fields in rotation. The compensation per hectare is approximately 330 EURO. The farmer is allowed to grow energy crops on these fields and still get the compensation for setting aside. The interest for growing short rotation crops as rapeseed or cereals on the set-aside fields is high. Due to very complex administrative procedures it is not possible to grow cereals for energy production on the set-aside fields at the moment. However, the growing of rapeseed is implemented. In 2001 there were grown 81.000 hectare of rapeseed in Denmark. 21.000 ha were grown on set-aside areas as non-food. The crop rotation for rape-seeds and cereals fits with the crop rotation on the other fields, for the farmer it is easy to grow a crop he has tried to grow before, the economy in growing annual rotation crops is known, and the farmer knows there is a market for the product. The interest for growing long rotation crops such as mischantus or willow exists, but the fields actually grown with the products are quite small. There is uncertainty about the market for the products. On the other hand power plants are unwilling to rely on biomass, which is not available today. The farmers are ready to produce energy crops if it is profitable and if certainty about a market exists. The present uncertainty about a market for long rotation crops makes it obvious to choose short rotation crops with a known market. Combination of different environmental objectives might secure a future for the long rotation crops. The idea of combining energy production, ground water production and reducing the greenhouse gas emission is foreseen to be one of the main arguments for energy crops in the future. (ba)

  19. Why we need GMO crops in agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  20. Energy potential of agricultural crops in Kosovo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  1. 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...

  2. SANITARY SEWAGE REUSE IN AGRICULTURAL CROP IRRIGATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lidiane Bittencourt Barroso

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The water availability was exceeded by demand, becoming a limiting factor in irrigated agriculture. This study aimed to provide a general theoretical framework on the issue of water reuse for agricultural purposes. This is due to the fact that we need a prior knowledge of the state of the art concerning the matter. To that end, we performed a review of irrigated agriculture, the effects on cultivated land and the development of agricultural crops as well as aspects of security to protect groups at risk. The amount of macro and micronutrients in the effluent may reduce or eliminate the use of commercial fertilizers. And this addition of organic matter acts as a soil conditioner, increasing its capacity to retain water. Depending on the characteristics of sewage, the practice of irrigation for long periods may lead to accumulation of toxic compounds and the significant increase of salinity. The inhibition of plant growth by salinity may be due to osmotic effect, causing drought and / or specific effects of ions, which can cause toxicity or nutritional imbalance. The minimization of human exposure to the practice of agricultural reuse is based on a set of mitigation measures that must be implemented by the authorities responsible for operating and monitoring systems for water recycling. It is concluded that the use of sewage depends on management of irrigation, monitoring of soil characteristics and culture.

  3. Transgenic Crops: Implications for Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Maria Alice; Altieri, Miguel A.

    2005-01-01

    The potential for genetically modified (GM) crops to threaten biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture is substantial. Megadiverse countries and centers of origin and/or diversity of crop species are particularly vulnerable regions. The future of sustainable agriculture may be irreversibly jeopardized by contamination of in situ…

  4. 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.

  5. Nutrient deficiencies of agricultural crops in Papua New Guinea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  6. GM Crops, Organic Agriculture and Breeding for Sustainability

    OpenAIRE

    Salvatore Ceccarelli

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Finding alternatives to swidden agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rahman, Syed Ajijur; Jacobsen, Jette Bredahl; Healey, John Robert;

    2016-01-01

    alternative to swidden cultivation, which may potentially help protect local forest. The Gunung Salak valley in West Java, Indonesia is presented as a case study. Based on farmers’ and experts’ assessment, costs and benefits have been estimated, which show that the two investigated agroforestry systems have...... positively to conservation of local forests. Increasing the adoption of agroforestry farming in the study area will require support to overcome capacity constraints....

  8. Crop Insurance Increases Water Withdrawals for Irrigation in Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konar, M.; Deryugina, T.; Lin, X.

    2015-12-01

    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 that has been developed to mitigate some of this weather risk and protect farmer income in times of poor production. However, it is not clear what the implications of crop insurance are for crop irrigation. By providing a guaranteed level of income in case of crop failure, crop insurance can reduce the farmer's incentive to irrigate. Thus, crop insurance can decrease water use in times of drought and promote water sustainability. However, to minimize this "moral hazard", the insurer may require farmers to irrigate crops more than necessary. Further, by shifting crop production, crop insurance may increase demand for water. Thus, it is unclear whether crop insurance increases or decreases crop water use. Here, we determine the empirical relationship between crop insurance and irrigation withdrawals in the United States. To establish causality, we exploit variation in crop insurance policies over time, using an instrumental variables approach. We find that a 1% increase in insured crop acreage leads to a 0.223% increase in irrigation withdrawals, primarily from groundwater aquifers.

  9. Estimation of flood losses to agricultural crops using remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapia-Silva, Felipe-Omar; Itzerott, Sibylle; Foerster, Saskia; Kuhlmann, Bernd; Kreibich, Heidi

    2011-01-01

    The estimation of flood damage is an important component of risk-oriented flood design, risk mapping, financial appraisals and comparative risk analyses. However, research on flood loss modelling, especially in the agricultural sector, has not yet gained much attention. Agricultural losses strongly depend on the crops affected, which need to be predicted accurately. Therefore, three different methods to predict flood-affected crops using remote sensing and ancillary data were developed, applied and validated. These methods are: (a) a hierarchical classification based on standard curves of spectral response using satellite images, (b) disaggregation of crop statistics using a Monte Carlo simulation and probabilities of crops to be cultivated on specific soils and (c) analysis of crop rotation with data mining Net Bayesian Classifiers (NBC) using soil data and crop data derived from a multi-year satellite image analysis. A flood loss estimation model for crops was applied and validated in flood detention areas (polders) at the Havel River (Untere Havelniederung) in Germany. The polders were used for temporary storage of flood water during the extreme flood event in August 2002. The flood loss to crops during the extreme flood event in August 2002 was estimated based on the results of the three crop prediction methods. The loss estimates were then compared with official loss data for validation purposes. The analysis of crop rotation with NBC obtained the best result, with 66% of crops correctly classified. The accuracy of the other methods reached 34% with identification using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) standard curves and 19% using disaggregation of crop statistics. The results were confirmed by evaluating the loss estimation procedure, in which the damage model using affected crops estimated by NBC showed the smallest overall deviation (1%) when compared to the official losses. Remote sensing offers various possibilities for the improvement of

  10. Biogas Production from Energy Crops and Agriculture Residues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Guangtao

    In this thesis, the feasibility of utilizing energy crops (willow and miscanthus) and agriculture residues (wheat straw and corn stalker) in an anaerobic digestion process for biogas production was evaluated. Potential energy crops and agriculture residues were screened according to their suitabi......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...

  11. Martin Qaim, Genetically Modified Crops and Agricultural Development

    OpenAIRE

    SMYTH, Stuart

    2016-01-01

    Abstract. Qaim is a leading academic researcher on the global impacts of genetically modified crops and his diligence and thoroughness abound in his newest book, Genetically Modified Crops and Agricultural Development. Qaim’s objective is to inform the reader about the contribution that GM crops have, and can, make to improving economic circumstances and contribute to increased food security, particularly in developing countries. He accomplishes this objective through an artful blending of st...

  12. Sustainable commercialization of new crops for the agricultural bioeconomy

    OpenAIRE

    Jordan, N.R; Dorn, K.; B. Runck; P. Ewing; Williams, A; Anderson, K A; L. Felice; K. Haralson; J. Goplen; Altendorf, K; Fernandez, A.; W. Phippen; Sedbrook, J.; Marks, M.; Wolf, K.

    2016-01-01

    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 agricultura...

  13. Hyperspectral imagery for mapping crop yield for precision agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crop yield is perhaps the most important piece of information for crop management in precision agriculture. It integrates the effects of various spatial variables such as soil properties, topographic attributes, tillage, plant population, fertilization, irrigation, and pest infestations. A yield map...

  14. Phosphorus from wastewater to crops: An alternative path involving microalgae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solovchenko, Alexei; Verschoor, Antonie M; Jablonowski, Nicolai D; Nedbal, Ladislav

    2016-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) is a non-renewable resource, a major plant nutrient that is essential for modern agriculture. Currently, global food and feed production depends on P extracted from finite phosphate rock reserves mainly confined to a small number of countries. P limitation and its potential socio-economic impact may well exceed the potential effects of fossil fuel scarcity. The efficiency of P usage today barely reaches 20%, with the remaining 80% ending up in wastewater or in surface waters as runoff from fields. When recovered from wastewater, either chemically or biologically, P is often present in a form that does not meet specifications for agricultural use. As an alternative, the potential of microalgae to accumulate large quantities of P can be a way to direct this resource back to crop plants. Algae can acquire and store P through luxury uptake, and the P enriched algal biomass can be used as bio-fertilizer. Technology of large-scale algae cultivation has made tremendous progress in the last decades, stimulated by perspectives of obtaining third generation biofuels without requiring arable land or fresh water. These new cultivation technologies can be used for solar-driven recycling of P and other nutrients from wastewater into algae-based bio-fertilizers. In this paper, we review the specifics of P uptake from nutrient-rich waste streams, paying special attention to luxury uptake by microalgal cells and the potential application of P-enriched algal biomass to fertilize crop soils. PMID:26795876

  15. Germany wide seasonal flood risk analysis for agricultural crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaus, Stefan; Kreibich, Heidi; Kuhlmann, Bernd; Merz, Bruno; Schröter, Kai

    2016-04-01

    In recent years, large-scale flood risk analysis and mapping has gained attention. Regional to national risk assessments are needed, for example, for national risk policy developments, for large-scale disaster management planning and in the (re-)insurance industry. Despite increasing requests for comprehensive risk assessments some sectors have not received much scientific attention, one of these is the agricultural sector. In contrast to other sectors, agricultural crop losses depend strongly on the season. Also flood probability shows seasonal variation. Thus, the temporal superposition of high flood susceptibility of crops and high flood probability plays an important role for agricultural flood risk. To investigate this interrelation and provide a large-scale overview of agricultural flood risk in Germany, an agricultural crop loss model is used for crop susceptibility analyses and Germany wide seasonal flood-frequency analyses are undertaken to derive seasonal flood patterns. As a result, a Germany wide map of agricultural flood risk is shown as well as the crop type most at risk in a specific region. The risk maps may provide guidance for federal state-wide coordinated designation of retention areas.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. The impacts of conservation agriculture on crop yield in China depend on specific practices, crops and cropping regions

    OpenAIRE

    Chengyan Zheng; Yu Jiang; Changqing Chen; Yanni Sun; Jinfei Feng; Aixing Deng; Zhenwei Song; Weijian Zhang

    2014-01-01

    For smooth and wide application of conservation agriculture (CA), remaining uncertainties about its impacts on crop yield need to be reduced. Based on previous field experiments in China, a meta-analysis was performed to quantify the actual impacts of CA practices (NT: no/reduced-tillage only, CTSR: conventional tillage with straw retention, NTSR: NT with straw retention) on crop yields as compared to conventional tillage without straw retention (CT). Although CA practices increased crop yiel...

  19. Energy crop cultivation in the environmental and agricultural legislation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The book on energy crop cultivation in the environmental and agricultural legislation covers the following issues: Part 1: Significance of the energy crop cultivation in Germany: Termini, development of renewable energies and bioenergy, political and legal frame work; Part 2: Disadvantageous environmental impact of the energy crop cultivation and possibilities for an environmentally compatible agriculture: subject of protection and mandate for protection, ways of energy plant utilization and disadvantageous consequences, possibilities for a sustainable concept for agricultural practices; Part 3: Legal instruments for the control of energy plant cultivation: requirements for the legal instruments for environmental protection, soil protection legislation, environmental protection legislation, environmentally relevant farming legislation; Part 4: Polymorphism of the legal instruments - considerations on the selective decision: existing instrumental types; public environmental legislation, environmental penal laws and private environmental protection legislation.

  20. 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..

  1. 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)

  2. Crop productivity and economics during the transition to alternative cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increasing economic pressures and continued environmental concerns in agricultural production have heightened the need for more sustainable cropping systems. Research is needed to identify systems that simultaneously improve the economic and social viability of farms and rural communities while prot...

  3. Valuing Catastrophic Losses for Perennial Agricultural Crops

    OpenAIRE

    Adams, Damian C.; Kilmer, Richard L.; Moss, Charles B.; Schmitz, Andrew

    2003-01-01

    Courts are often required to estimate changes in welfare to agricultural operations from catastrophic events. For example, courts must assign damages in lawsuits, such as with pesticide drift cases, or determine 'just compensation' when the government takes private land for public use, as with the removal of dairy farms from environmentally sensitive land or destruction of canker-contaminated citrus trees. In economics, the traditional method of estimating changes in producer welfare is the c...

  4. Economically Feasible Crop Production Alternatives to Peanuts in Southwestern Oklahoma

    OpenAIRE

    Devkota, Shankar; Holcomb, Rodney B.; Taylor, Merritt J.; Epplin, Francis M.

    2006-01-01

    Changes in the U.S. peanut program have resulted in drastically decreased planted acres and forced many peanut producers in the Southwest to consider alternative crops. This study examined the economic risk associated with producing peanuts and common alternatives to peanuts. Seedless watermelon is an alternative for risk preferring farmers whereas, irrigated peanut is the best choice for risk averse farmers.

  5. Sequencing Crop Genomes: A Gateway to Improve Tropical Agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thottathil, Gincy Paily; Jayasekaran, Kandakumar; Othman, Ahmad Sofiman

    2016-02-01

    Agricultural development in the tropics lags behind development in the temperate latitudes due to the lack of advanced technology, and various biotic and abiotic factors. To cope with the increasing demand for food and other plant-based products, improved crop varieties have to be developed. To breed improved varieties, a better understanding of crop genetics is necessary. With the advent of next-generation DNA sequencing technologies, many important crop genomes have been sequenced. Primary importance has been given to food crops, including cereals, tuber crops, vegetables, and fruits. The DNA sequence information is extremely valuable for identifying key genes controlling important agronomic traits and for identifying genetic variability among the cultivars. However, massive DNA re-sequencing and gene expression studies have to be performed to substantially improve our understanding of crop genetics. Application of the knowledge obtained from the genomes, transcriptomes, expression studies, and epigenetic studies would enable the development of improved varieties and may lead to a second green revolution. The applications of next generation DNA sequencing technologies in crop improvement, its limitations, future prospects, and the features of important crop genome projects are reviewed herein. PMID:27019684

  6. TREND EVALUATION OF AGRICULTURAL EXPORT CROPS IN NIGERIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aniekan Jim Akpaeti

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. ORGANIC FARMING FOR CROP IMPROVEMENT AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE IN THE ERA OF CLIMATE CHANGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajib Roychowdhury

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable development has caught the imagination and action of the world for more than a decade. Sustainable agriculture is necessary to attain the goal of sustainable development. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO, sustainable agriculture is the successful management of resources to satisfy the changing human needs while maintaining or enhancing the quality of environment and conserving natural resources. All definitions of sustainable agriculture lay great emphasis on maintaining an agricultural growth rate, which can meet the demand for food of all living beings without draining the basic resources towards crop improvement. Organic farming is one of the several approaches found to meet the objectives of sustainable agriculture. Most of the techniques used in organic farming like inter-cropping, mulching and integration of crops and livestock are not alien to agriculture systems including the traditional agricultural practices. However, organic farming is based on various laws and certification programmes, which prohibit the use of almost all synthetic inputs and the central theme of this method is the health of soil. The adverse effects of modern agricultural practices on the farm and also on the health of living beings and thus on the environment has been well documented all over the world. Application of technology, particularly the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides all around us has persuaded people to think aloud. As a result of global climatic changes, their negative effects on the environment are manifested through soil erosion, water shortages, salination, soil contamination, genetic erosion, Organic farming is one of the widely used methods, which is thought as the best alternative to avoid the ill effects of chemical farming. It also has far more advantages over the conventional and other modern agricultural practices that are available today.

  10. The impacts of conservation agriculture on crop yield in China depend on specific practices, crops and cropping regions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chengyan; Zheng; Yu; Jiang; Changqing; Chen; Yanni; Sun; Jinfei; Feng; Aixing; Deng; Zhenwei; Song; Weijian; Zhang

    2014-01-01

    For smooth and wide application of conservation agriculture(CA), remaining uncertainties about its impacts on crop yield need to be reduced. Based on previous field experiments in China, a meta-analysis was performed to quantify the actual impacts of CA practices(NT: no/reduced-tillage only, CTSR: conventional tillage with straw retention, NTSR: NT with straw retention) on crop yields as compared to conventional tillage without straw retention(CT).Although CA practices increased crop yield by 4.6% on average, there were large variations in their impacts. For each CA practice, CTSR and NTSR significantly increased crop yield by 4.9%and 6.3%, respectively, compared to CT. However, no significant effect was found for NT. Among ecological areas, significant positive effects of CA practices were found in areas with an annual precipitation below 600 mm. Similar effects were found in areas with annual mean air temperature above 5 °C. For cropping regions, CA increased crop yield by 6.4% and 5.5%compared to CT in Northwest and South China, respectively, whereas no significant effects were found in the North China and Northeast China regions. Among crops, the positive effects of CA practices were significantly higher in maize(7.5%) and rice(4.1%) than in wheat(2.9%). NT likely decreased wheat yield. Our results indicate that there are great differences in the impacts of CA practices on crop yield, owing to regional variation in climate and crop types. CA will most likely increase maize yield but reduce wheat yield. It is strongly recommended to apply CA with crop straw retention in maize cropping areas and seasons with a warm and dry climate pattern.

  11. The impacts of conservation agriculture on crop yield in China depend on specific practices, crops and cropping regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chengyan Zheng

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available For smooth and wide application of conservation agriculture (CA, remaining uncertainties about its impacts on crop yield need to be reduced. Based on previous field experiments in China, a meta-analysis was performed to quantify the actual impacts of CA practices (NT: no/reduced-tillage only, CTSR: conventional tillage with straw retention, NTSR: NT with straw retention on crop yields as compared to conventional tillage without straw retention (CT. Although CA practices increased crop yield by 4.6% on average, there were large variations in their impacts. For each CA practice, CTSR and NTSR significantly increased crop yield by 4.9% and 6.3%, respectively, compared to CT. However, no significant effect was found for NT. Among ecological areas, significant positive effects of CA practices were found in areas with an annual precipitation below 600 mm. Similar effects were found in areas with annual mean air temperature above 5 °C. For cropping regions, CA increased crop yield by 6.4% and 5.5% compared to CT in Northwest and South China, respectively, whereas no significant effects were found in the North China and Northeast China regions. Among crops, the positive effects of CA practices were significantly higher in maize (7.5% and rice (4.1% than in wheat (2.9%. NT likely decreased wheat yield. Our results indicate that there are great differences in the impacts of CA practices on crop yield, owing to regional variation in climate and crop types. CA will most likely increase maize yield but reduce wheat yield. It is strongly recommended to apply CA with crop straw retention in maize cropping areas and seasons with a warm and dry climate pattern.

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. Crop residues reuse to improve agricultural soil quality

    OpenAIRE

    Cornejo, Jennifer Moreno; Cano, Angel Faz

    2008-01-01

    Since the 70´s in The Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, the irrigated agricultural area has increased, especially in the agrarian district “Comarca del Campo de Cartagena”, (South East of Spain). As a consequence, the amount of crop residues generated has gone up too. At the present, harvest residues constitute a very serious environmental problem because, in most cases, these residues are dehydrated on the land and burned later on with subsequent negative consequences...

  16. 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/...

  17. 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.

  18. Management controls on nitrous oxide emissions from row crop agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelfand, I.; Shcherbak, I.; Millar, N.; Robertson, G. P.

    2011-12-01

    Agriculture is a significant source of the potent greenhouse gas (GHG) nitrous oxide (N2O), accounting for ~70% of total anthropic N2O emissions in the US primarily as a result of N fertilizer application. Emissions of N2O are the largest contributor to the global warming potential of row-crop agriculture. Management, including choice of crop type and rotation strongly impacts N2O emissions, but continuous emissions data from row-crops over multiple rotations are lacking. Empirical quantification of these long-term emissions and the development of crop- and rotation-specific N2O emission factors are vital for improving estimates of agricultural GHG emissions, important for informing management practices to reduce agriculture's GHG footprint, and developing mitigation protocols for environmental markets. Over 20 years we measured soil N2O emissions and calculated crop and management specific emission factors in four continuous rotations of corn (Zea mays) - soybean (Glycine max) - wheat (Triticum aestivum) under conventional tillage (CT), zero tillage (NT), low chemical input (LI), and biologically (Org) based management. Two of these systems (LI and Org) included winter cover crops, red clover (Trifolium pratense) or ray (Secale cereale). While average soil N2O fluxes in all systems where similar (2.9±0.2 to 3.8±0.5 g N2O-N ha-1 d-1), there was a significant interaction of total emissions with crop and phase. Surprisingly, the lowest total emissions from the corn period of the rotation were from CT, and the highest from LI, with 608±4 and 983±8 g N2O-N ha-1 crop year-1, respectively. Total emissions during the wheat period of the rotation showed the opposite trend, with total emissions of 942±7 and 524±38 g N2O-N ha-1 crop year-1, for CT ant LI, respectively. Total emissions from the soybean period of the rotation were highest under NT and lowest under CT management (526±5 and 296±2 g N2O-N ha-1 crop year-1, respectively). Emission efficiency, N2O emitted

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araus, José L; Ferrio, Juan P; Voltas, Jordi; Aguilera, Mònica; Buxó, Ramón

    2014-01-01

    The appearance of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent propelled the development of Western civilization. Here we investigate the evolution of agronomic conditions in this region by reconstructing cereal kernel weight and using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope signatures of kernels and charcoal from a set of 11 Upper Mesopotamia archaeological sites, with chronologies spanning from the onset of agriculture to the turn of the era. We show that water availability for crops, inferred from carbon isotope discrimination (Δ(13)C), was two- to fourfold higher in the past than at present, with a maximum between 10,000 and 8,000 cal BP. Nitrogen isotope composition (δ(15)N) decreased over time, which suggests cultivation occurring under gradually less-fertile soil conditions. Domesticated cereals showed a progressive increase in kernel weight over several millennia following domestication. Our results provide a first comprehensive view of agricultural evolution in the Near East inferred directly from archaeobotanical remains. PMID:24853475

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Crop growth and yield monitoring over agricultural fields is an essential procedure for food security and agricultural economic return prediction. The advances in remote sensing have enhanced the process of monitoring the development of agricultural crops and estimating their yields. Therefore, remote sensing and GIS techniques were employed, in this study, to predict potato tuber crop yield on three 30 ha center pivot irrigated fields in an agricultural scheme located in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia. Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 satellite images were acquired during the potato growth stages and two vegetation indices (the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and the soil adjusted vegetation index (SAVI)) were generated from the images. Vegetation index maps were developed and classified into zones based on vegetation health statements, where the stratified random sampling points were accordingly initiated. Potato yield samples were collected 2-3 days prior to the harvest time and were correlated to the adjacent NDVI and SAVI, where yield prediction algorithms were developed and used to generate prediction yield maps. Results of the study revealed that the difference between predicted yield values and actual ones (prediction error) ranged between 7.9 and 13.5% for Landsat-8 images and between 3.8 and 10.2% for Sentinel-2 images. The relationship between actual and predicted yield values produced R2 values ranging between 0.39 and 0.65 for Landsat-8 images and between 0.47 and 0.65 for Sentinel-2 images. Results of this study revealed a considerable variation in field productivity across the three fields, where high-yield areas produced an average yield of above 40 t ha-1; while, the low-yield areas produced, on the average, less than 21 t ha-1. Identifying such great variation in field productivity will assist farmers and decision makers in managing their practices. PMID:27611577

  2. Prediction of Potato Crop Yield Using Precision Agriculture Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Crop growth and yield monitoring over agricultural fields is an essential procedure for food security and agricultural economic return prediction. The advances in remote sensing have enhanced the process of monitoring the development of agricultural crops and estimating their yields. Therefore, remote sensing and GIS techniques were employed, in this study, to predict potato tuber crop yield on three 30 ha center pivot irrigated fields in an agricultural scheme located in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia. Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 satellite images were acquired during the potato growth stages and two vegetation indices (the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and the soil adjusted vegetation index (SAVI)) were generated from the images. Vegetation index maps were developed and classified into zones based on vegetation health statements, where the stratified random sampling points were accordingly initiated. Potato yield samples were collected 2–3 days prior to the harvest time and were correlated to the adjacent NDVI and SAVI, where yield prediction algorithms were developed and used to generate prediction yield maps. Results of the study revealed that the difference between predicted yield values and actual ones (prediction error) ranged between 7.9 and 13.5% for Landsat-8 images and between 3.8 and 10.2% for Sentinel-2 images. The relationship between actual and predicted yield values produced R2 values ranging between 0.39 and 0.65 for Landsat-8 images and between 0.47 and 0.65 for Sentinel-2 images. Results of this study revealed a considerable variation in field productivity across the three fields, where high-yield areas produced an average yield of above 40 t ha-1; while, the low-yield areas produced, on the average, less than 21 t ha-1. Identifying such great variation in field productivity will assist farmers and decision makers in managing their practices. PMID:27611577

  3. 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.

  4. Exploring Alternative Solutions Regarding Conservation Agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    Reza Movahedi; Hadi Fathi; Mousa Aazami; Somaye Latifi

    2011-01-01

    Problem statement: Studies show that no effective measures have been taken towards conservative agriculture in Iran. Social, economical and technical agricultural factors and conditions need to be provided to meet conservation agriculture at the farm, regional and national level. Accordingly, this research aimed at exploring some solutions to protect and conserve agriculture. Approach: To achieve this, of all 100 populations, included both 80 faculty members of college of agriculture at Bu-Al...

  5. 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.

  6. Exploring Alternative Solutions Regarding Conservation Agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reza Movahedi

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: Studies show that no effective measures have been taken towards conservative agriculture in Iran. Social, economical and technical agricultural factors and conditions need to be provided to meet conservation agriculture at the farm, regional and national level. Accordingly, this research aimed at exploring some solutions to protect and conserve agriculture. Approach: To achieve this, of all 100 populations, included both 80 faculty members of college of agriculture at Bu-Ali-Sina University and 20 subject matter specialists in Hamedan's State Agricultural Organization, 35 people were selected based on the criterion type of purposeful sampling. Data were gathered through interviews. Content analysis method was used to analyze textual data. Results: Results of this study showed that the building awareness and culture along with factors such as proper conservation agriculture practices, effective planning and management and attention to agro-ecological issues are basic factors to promote conservation agriculture in the surveyed area. Conclusions/Recommendations: Lack of awareness and knowledge of farmers and people towards conservation agriculture, no adoption of conservation agriculture by farmers and lack of education and training services for conservation agriculture were the most important issues that found in this research about conservation agriculture. Therefore, support the creating of cooperatives to provide necessary services for implementing conservation agriculture practices is definitely recommended.

  7. Bacterial indicator of agricultural management for soil under no-till crop production.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva L M Figuerola

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, M.H.

    2005-01-01

    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......, 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...

  9. Carbon consequences and agricultural implications of growing biofuel crops on marginal agricultural lands in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Zhangcai; Zhuang, Qianlai; Zhu, Xudong; Cai, Ximing; Zhang, Xiao

    2011-12-15

    Using marginal agricultural lands to grow energy crops for biofuel feedstocks is a promising option to meet the biofuel needs in populous China without causing further food shortages or environmental problems. Here we quantify the effects of growing switchgrass and Miscanthus on Chinese marginal agricultural lands on biomass production and carbon emissions with a global-scale biogeochemical model. We find that the national net primary production (NPP) of these two biofuel crops are 622 and 1546 g C m(-2) yr(-1), respectively, whereas the NPP of food crops is about 600 g C m(-2) yr(-1) in China. The net carbon sink over the 47 Mha of marginal agricultural lands across China is 2.1 Tg C yr(-1) for switchgrass and 5.0 Tg C yr(-1) for Miscanthus. Soil organic carbon is estimated to be 10 kg C m(-2) in both biofuel ecosystems, which is equal to the soil carbon levels of grasslands in China. In order to reach the goal of 12.5 billion liters of bioethanol in 2020 using crop biomass as biofuel feedstocks, 7.9-8.0 Mha corn grain, 4.3-6.1 Mha switchgrass, or 1.4-2.0 Mha Miscanthus will be needed. Miscanthus has tremendous potential to meet future biofuel needs, and to benefit CO(2) mitigation in China.

  10. 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.

  11. The forecast of agricultural crop production contamination by Cs 137

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The saved up experimental data on the influence of various factors on radionuclides transition in plants allows predicting their contents in production of agricultural crops. It is established, that receipt radionuclides in plants depends on a kind and a grade of cultivated cultures, types of ground, granulometric structure, parameters of soil fertility, humidifying grounds, levels of application of mineral fertilizers and other factors. The determining factor on Cs 137 receipt in plants is presented in ground exchange potassium. The forecast of Cs 137 transition from ground in plants is widely used in an agricultural production at planning and realization of a complex of protective actions. According to predicted levels of Cs 137 accumulation in production the directions of its use are determined. (authors)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    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, equitability and sustainability - are evaluated in the context of the Ethiopian agricultural sector. We conclude that the application of GM crops can improve the agricultural productivity and sustainability, whereas equitability cannot be stimulated and might even exacerbate the gap between socioeconomic classes. Before introducing GM crops to Ethiopian agriculture, regulatory issues should be addressed, public research should be fostered, and more ex ante values and socioeconomic studies should be included.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Uchida, S.; Tagami, K. [National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Chiba (Japan). Office of Biospheric Assessment for Waste Disposal

    2011-07-01

    Information about the distribution and cycling of stable iodine (I) in the environment is useful for dose estimation from its long-lived radioiodisotope, {sup 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{sup -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.)

  14. Winter Wheat Row Spacing and Alternative Crop Effects on Relay-Intercrop, Double-Crop, and Wheat Yields

    OpenAIRE

    Leah Sandler; Kelly A. Nelson; Christopher Dudenhoeffer

    2015-01-01

    In Missouri as well as much of the Midwest, the most popular double-cropping system was winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) followed by soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr). These two crops can also be used in an intercrop system, but optimal row spacing was important to increase crop productivity. Research was conducted to evaluate (1) winter wheat inter- and double-crop production systems, using a variety of alternative crops, and (2) the impact of different wheat row spacings on intercrop estab...

  15. Drought Effects on Agricultural Yield: Comparison Across Regions and Crop Types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daryanto, S.; Wang, L.; Jacinthe, P. A.

    2014-12-01

    Global agricultural production is dominated by rainfed agriculture, and is therefore prone to disruption from climate extreme weathers. These uncertainties become more problematic when considering the projection of increased drought frequency suggested by several climate models for various world regions. Curiously, few regional analyses of drought impact of food production have been attempted. We collated and analyzed data from the last 25 years to disentangle the effects of drought (i.e. timing, intensity and duration) on agricultural production in different eco-regions and with varying crop types. Our preliminary results suggested greater yield reduction in annual (-21.5%) than perennial plants (-16%), in C4 (-21%) compared to C3 crops (-17%), and when drought occurred during generative (i.e. flowering until maturity; -16.5%) than vegetative stage (-15.5%). Although drought caused similar amounts of yield reduction in both tropical and subtropical regions (i.e. -17%), it carries a greater food security risk in the tropics due to inherently low productivity (i.e. less than half than in the subtropical regions). Consequently, cultivating drought-resistant C3 perennial plants (e.g. sweet potato and cassava) in the tropics could prove a viable adaptive strategy to mitigate the effects of climate variability. In addition, these crops have limited input requirements, are well adapted to nutrient-poor Oxisols and Ultisols of the tropics, and generally outyield cereal crops in the region. Our analysis is ongoing and needs to take into account agronomic traits (e.g. water requirement), as well as the energy and nutritional values (e.g. protein, minerals) of alternative crops. Our results could inform the selection and development of new cultivars for the drought-prone regions of the world.

  16. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-12-01

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

  18. Conservation agriculture cropping systems in temperate and tropical conditions, performances and impacts . A review

    OpenAIRE

    Triomphe, Bernard; Affholder, François; Da Silva, Fernando Antonio Macena; Corbeels, Marc; Xavier, José Humberto Valadares; Lahmar, Rabah; Recous, Sylvie; BERNOUX, MARTIAL,; Blanchart, Eric; Mendes, Ieda de Carvalho; de Tourdonnet, Stephane

    2013-01-01

    Nowadays, in a context of climate change, economical uncertainties and social pressure to mitigate agriculture externalities, farmers have to adopt new cropping systems to achieve a sustainable and cost-effective grain production. Conservation agriculture consists of a range of cropping systems based on a combination of three main principles: (1) soil tillage reduction, (2) soil protection by organic residues and (3) diversification in crop rotation. Conservation agriculture has been promoted...

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  1. UTILIZATION OF ROOT-COLONIZING FUNGI FOR IMPROVED PERFORMANCE OF AGRICULTURAL CROPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JOY MICHAL JOHNSON

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Soil is a non-renewable natural resource which forms all ecosystems on the earth and provides the basis for food production for heterotrophic organisms, including men. The increase in the world population requires also an increase in agricultural production which was and is mainly achieved by massive use of mineral nutrients. However, the experience of the last century has demonstrated that the high mineral input has severe consequences for the ecosystems. An alternative more environmentally friendly strategy for agricultural production is provided by the nature itself: Beneficial root-colonizing fungi and bacteria have tremendous impact on the performance of agricultural plants (crops. Understanding of these symbioses requires knowledge about the communication between the partners. The microbes often release bioactive compounds into the rhizosphere which activate signaling or transport processes and thus promote plant performance. A general new concept for fertilizers in the agriculture could be to utilize microbe-derived bio-effectors in combination with appropriate nutrient supplies to promote biomass and yield production of agricultural plants while simultaneously reducing the input of agrochemicals. Here, we describe some concepts for the identification and utilization of microbial preparations and microbe-derived bio-effectors for the improvement of the performance of agricultural plants, using the root-colonizing endophytic fungus Piriformospora indica.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giordani, Cesare; Cecchi, Stefano; Zanchi, Camillo

    2005-11-01

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

  3. From alternative Agriculture to the Food Industry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Thorkild; Kristensen, Niels Heine

    1997-01-01

    Issue: The development of organic agriculture has developed bottom-up, emerging from the 'counterculture' characterized by organic farmers, environmentalists and 'political' consumers. National authorities and supranationalinstitutions have responded by establishing rules and control systems...... for organic agriculture over the last decade.Organic food production is now developing fast in some EU member states. This recent development is not only marked by more positive attitudes towards organic products from the food industry but also by an increasing need for a matching response in terms of food...... policy. Relevance: The EU regulation 2092/91/EEC is mainly focused on organic agriculture, but as the food industryenters this field the need emerges for a more specific interpretation, development and implementation of the organic principles and methods in processing, handling and distribution. Whether...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

    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, equitabili

  8. Agriculture, Crops, Agricultural Use, Published in 2010, 1:600 (1in=50ft) scale, Franklin County.

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC GIS Inventory (aka Ramona) — This Agriculture, Crops dataset, published at 1:600 (1in=50ft) scale, was produced all or in part from Field Observation information as of 2010. It is described as...

  9. Modelling robust crop production portfolios to assess agricultural vulnerability to climate change

    OpenAIRE

    Mitter, Hermine; Heumesser, Christine; Schmid, Erwin

    2014-01-01

    Agricultural vulnerability is assessed by (i) modelling climate change impacts on crop yields and gross margins, (ii) identifying crop production portfolios for adaptation, and (iii) analyzing the effect of agricultural policies and risk aversion on adaptive capacity. We combine, spatially explicit, a statistical climate change model, the bio-physical process model EPIC and a portfolio optimization model. Under climate change, optimal portfolios include higher shares of intensive crop managem...

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Cisneros-Zevallos

    2013-09-01

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

  12. Optimising Cropping Techniques for Nutrient and Environmental Management in Organic Agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Köpke, Ulrich; Athmann, Miriam; Han, Eusun;

    2015-01-01

    for roots and nutrient uptake of subsequent crops. Future efficient nutrient management and crop rotation design in organic agriculture should entail these strategies of soil fertility building and biopore services in subsoil layers site specifically. Elements of these concepts are suggested to be used also...... in mainstream agriculture headlands, e.g. as ‘Ecological Focus Areas’, in order to improve soil structure as well as to establish a web of biodiversity while avoiding constraints for agricultural production....

  13. Assessment of alternative water management options for irrigated agriculture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jhorar, R.K.; Smit, A.A.M.F.R.; Roest, C.W.J.

    2009-01-01

    A simulation study on alternative water management strategies was carried out for Sirsa Irrigation Circle in Haryana, covering an area of about 4800 km(2). Results showed that crop evapotranspiration and soil salinity development under reduction in canal water supply and increase in groundwater use,

  14. Comparison of soil microbial respiration and carbon turnover under perennial and annual biofuel crops in two agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szymanski, L. M.; Marin-Spiotta, E.; Sanford, G. R.; Jackson, R. D.; Heckman, K. A.

    2015-12-01

    Bioenergy crops have the potential to provide a low carbon-intensive alternative to fossil fuels. More than a century of agricultural research has shown that conventional cropping systems can reduce soil organic matter (SOM) reservoirs, which cause long-term soil nutrient loss and C release to the atmosphere. In the face of climate change and other human disruptions to biogeochemical cycles, identifying biofuel crops that can maintain or enhance soil resources is desirable for the sustainable production of bioenergy. The objective of our study was to compare the effects of four biofuel crop treatments on SOM dynamics in two agricultural soils: Mollisols at Arlington Agricultural Research Station in Wisconsin and Alfisols at Kellogg Biological Station in Michigan, USA. We used fresh soils collected in 2013 and archived soils from 2008 to measure the effects of five years of crop management. Using a one-year long laboratory soil incubation coupled with a regression model and radiocarbon measurements, we separated soils into three SOM pools and their corresponding C turnover times. We found that the active pool, or biologically available C, was more sensitive to management and is an earlier indicator of changes to soil C dynamics than bulk soil C measurements. There was no effect of treatment on the active pool size at either site; however, the percent C in the active pool decreased, regardless of crop type, in surface soils with high clay content. At depth, the response of the slow pool differed between annual and perennial cropping systems. The distribution of C among SOM fractions varied between the two soil types, with greater C content associated with the active fraction in the coarser textured-soil and greater C content associated with the slow-cycling fraction in the soils with high clay content. These results suggest that the effects of bioenergy crops on soil resources will vary geographically, with implications for the carbon-cost of biocrop production.

  15. The Impacts of Agricultural Machinery Purchase Subsidies on Mechanized Crop Residue Recycling

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2011-01-01

    Crop residue recycling can improve the quality of the cropland,and it has multiple economic and ecological benefits.However,such practice is with low adoption due to different constraints.In this paper,we use the survey data from Baoding,Hebei province,and use the probit model to explore how the agricultural machinery purchase subsidies affect the mechanized crop residue recycling.The results showed that several factors that affect farmers in adopting the practice of mechanized crop residue crop recycling.Among these factors,the cost of adopting such practice is significant.The agricultural machinery purchase subsidies can effectively reduce the cost of such practice,as well as promote mechanized crop residue recycling.The paper also proposed several actions in the future.They include increasing the subsidies on agricultural machinery purchase and increasing farmers’ awareness on crop residue recycling.

  16. Landscape-ecological limitations of intensive agricultural activity; 1 : 1 000 000; Soil suitability for cultivation of crops (typological and productivity categories of agricultural soils); 1 : 1 000 000

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    On these maps the landscape-ecological limitations of intensive agricultural activity as well as soil suitability for cultivation of crops on the territory of the Slovak Republic are shown. Suitability of soils for crop growing is expressed by the set of four production types (potential arable land, alternating fields, permanent grassland, and territories not suitable for agro-ecosystems) and eleven sustainable use subtypes of production potential of agricultural soils ranging from the most productive arable land to the territories not suitable for growing of agricultural crops. They were defined on the basis of assessment of the relationships between the properties, point value of production capacity of agricultural land, and their suitability for crop growing. (authors)

  17. Winter Wheat Row Spacing and Alternative Crop Effects on Relay-Intercrop, Double-Crop, and Wheat Yields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leah Sandler

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In Missouri as well as much of the Midwest, the most popular double-cropping system was winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L. followed by soybean (Glycine max (L. Merr. These two crops can also be used in an intercrop system, but optimal row spacing was important to increase crop productivity. Research was conducted to evaluate (1 winter wheat inter- and double-crop production systems, using a variety of alternative crops, and (2 the impact of different wheat row spacings on intercrop establishment and yields within the various cropping systems. Field research was conducted during droughts in 2012 and 2013. Spacing of wheat rows impacted wheat yields by 150 kg ha−1, as well as yields of the alternative crops. Narrower row spacings (150 kg ha−1 and the double-crop system (575 kg ha−1 increased yield due to the lack of interference for resources with wheat in 2013. Land equivalent ratio (LER values determining productivity of intercrop systems of 19 and 38 cm row showed an advantage for alternative crops in 2013, but not 2012. This signified that farmers in Northeast Missouri could potentially boost yield potential for a given field and produce additional forage or green manure yields in a year with less severe drought.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:26045394

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Soleri

    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.

  1. 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

  2. Transgenic Crops and Sustainable Agriculture in the European Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponti, Luigi

    2005-01-01

    The rapid adoption of transgenic crops in the United States, Argentina, and Canada stands in strong contrast to the situation in the European Union (EU), where a de facto moratorium has been in place since 1998. This article reviews recent scientific literature relevant to the problematic introduction of transgenic crops in the EU to assess if…

  3. Analysis of soil and crop properties for precision agriculture for winter wheat

    OpenAIRE

    Vrindts, Els; Reyniers, Marieke; Darius, Paul; De Baerdemaeker, Jos; Gilot, Marc; Sadaoui, Youssef; Frankinet, Marc; Hanquet, Bernard; Destain, Marie-France

    2003-01-01

    In a precision farming research project financed by the Belgian Ministry of Small Trade and Agriculture, the methods of precision agriculture are tested on grain fields with a view of implementation of precision agriculture methods in Belgian field agriculture. The project encompasses methods for automatic information gathering on soil and crop and analysis of this data for management of within-field variability. Automatic information capturing is combined with traditional data sources of soi...

  4. Codes of Good Agricultural Practices for Crop Production in Poland

    OpenAIRE

    Mariusz Fotyma; Irena Duer

    1997-01-01

    The economic and social background of Polish agriculture provides the basis for this discussion of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). A primary goal of Polish agricultural policy is securing food self-sufficiency for the nation. Accomplishing this goal will require both an intensification of agricultural production in some areas and a concern for environmental protection. Numerous tables and figures illustrate land utilization, soil composition, farm size, and other features of Polish agricul...

  5. The crop yield gap between organic and conventional agriculture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ponti, de T.; Rijk, H.C.A.; Ittersum, van M.K.

    2012-01-01

    A key issue in the debate on the contribution of organic agriculture to the future of world agriculture is whether organic agriculture can produce sufficient food to feed the world. Comparisons of organic and conventional yields play a central role in this debate. We therefore compiled and analyzed

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

    OpenAIRE

    Rudel, Thomas K.; Oh-Jung Kwon; Paul, Birthe K.; Maryline Boval; Rao, Idupulapati M.; Diana Burbano; Megan McGroddy; Amy M. Lerner; Douglas White; Mario Cuchillo; Manuel Luna; Michael Peters

    2016-01-01

    As calls for bolstering ecosystem services from croplands have grown more insistent during the past two decades, the search for ways to foster these agriculture-sustaining services has become more urgent. In this context we examine by means of a meta-analysis the argument, proposed by Robert McC. 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 ...

  7. TOTAL CARBON STOCK IN AGRICULTURAL SYSTEM HAVING CROP ROTATION IN TARAI REGION OF NORTHERN INDIA

    OpenAIRE

    Kavita Tariyal

    2014-01-01

    Soil organic carbon pools are important in maintaining soil productivity and influencing the CO2 loading into the atmosphere. Agricultural soils can mitigate the problem of carbon concentration increase in atmosphere if proper management practices are involved. In the present study, total carbon stock in crops and soil was analyzed for two years along with crop rotation practice to observe its impact on the carbon pool. For that two agricultural fields C12 and D7 were incorporated with differ...

  8. Large-scale trade-off between agricultural intensification and crop pollination services

    OpenAIRE

    Jono, Clémentine; Baude, Mathilde; henry, Mickaël; Julliard, Romain; Fontaine, Colin

    2014-01-01

    Unprecedented growth in human populations has required the intensification of agriculture to enhance crop productivity, but this was achieved at a major cost to biodiversity. There is abundant local-scale evidence that both pollinator diversity and pollination services decrease with increasing agricultural intensification. This raises concerns regarding food security, as two-thirds of the world’s major food crops are pollinator-dependent. Whether such local findings scale up and affect ...

  9. A New Crop for Salt Affected and Dry Agricultural Areas of Turkey: Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.)

    OpenAIRE

    Yazar, Attila; KAYA, Çiğdem İNCE

    2014-01-01

    Drought and salinity are two widespread environmental problems induced by climate change and improper applications in agriculture and have important adverse effects on agricultural production. To sustain crop production in such areas for food security, cultivating new crops that can growth under these unfavorable conditions is one of the measures. Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) is an annual grain plant originated from the Andean region of South America. This plant has potential to be an a...

  10. Empirical Assessment of Climate Change on Major Agricultural Crops of Punjab, Pakistan

    OpenAIRE

    Afzal, Muhammad; Ahmed, Tanvir; Ahmed, Gulzar

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is exacerbating climate affect on agricultural productivity. The objective of present study is the empirical assessment of climate change on three major agricultural crops of Punjab, Pakistan. A variant of Cobb-Douglas production function is used for the panel data of the districts of Punjab covering period 1981 to 2012.Overall findings of the study reveal that temperature has positive impact on the production of wheat crops during the planting and harvesting stage. However, t...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Biomass and multi-product crops for agricultural and energy production - an AGE analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ignaciuk, A.; Dellink, R.B.

    2006-01-01

    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. T

  14. 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 fo

  15. 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

  16. Net carbon balance of three full crop rotations at an agricultural site near Gebesee, Germany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurkuck, M.; Brümmer, C.; Kolle, O.; Kutsch, W. L.; Moffat, A. M.; Mukwashi, K.; Truckenbrodt, S. C.; Herbst, M.

    2015-12-01

    Continuous eddy-covariance (EC) measurements of biosphere-atmosphere CO2 and H2O exchange have been conducted since 2001 at an agricultural site near Gebesee, Germany, thus providing one of the longest EC time series of European croplands. During the experimental period, winter wheat and winter barley were alternately planted with potatoes, sugar beet, rape, and peppermint covering three full crop rotations (2001-2004, 2005-2009, and 2010-2014). In this study, data of 14 years of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and evapotranspiration (E) were re-calculated. Based on these data, we present the net carbon (C) balance (net biome production, NBP) accounting for any additional C input by fertilization and C output by harvest. Further emphasis was placed on the sensitivity of water use efficiency (WUE) and E to climate and crop type. The main aim was to investigate the interannual variability in both NBP and WUE, thus disentangling the impacts of climatic conditions and land management on the net C balance as well as on WUE and E.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:27197837

  2. Feeding the world: genetically modified crops versus agricultural biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    Jacobsen, Sven-Erik; Sørensen, Marten; Pedersen, Søren; Weiner, Jacob

    2013-01-01

    International audience The growing demand for food poses major challenges to humankind. We have to safeguard both biodiversity and arable land for future agricultural food production, and we need to protect genetic diversity to safeguard ecosystem resilience. We must produce more food with less input, while deploying every effort to minimize risk. Agricultural sustainability is no longer optional but mandatory. There is still an on-going debate among researchers and in the media on the bes...

  3. Acceptance of Sustainable Agricultural Practices: The Case of Crop Farmers

    OpenAIRE

    Jeffrey L. DSilva; Norsida Man; Hayrol A.M. Shaffril; Bahaman A. Samah

    2011-01-01

    Problem statement: Agriculture for numerous years has been a source of income generator that offered wide opportunities for employment and enhancing the socio-economic status of mankind in many countries. Without doubt acceptance of agricultural sustainable practices will bring much benefit to the farming community especially in the long run to overcome the scarcity of resources and continuous income. Aim of this study was to determine contract farming entrepreneurs acceptance of sustainable ...

  4. Acceptance of Sustainable Agricultural Practices: The Case of Crop Farmers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey L. DSilva

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: Agriculture for numerous years has been a source of income generator that offered wide opportunities for employment and enhancing the socio-economic status of mankind in many countries. Without doubt acceptance of agricultural sustainable practices will bring much benefit to the farming community especially in the long run to overcome the scarcity of resources and continuous income. Aim of this study was to determine contract farming entrepreneurs acceptance of sustainable agricultural practices and the issues involved in their level of acceptance. Approach: This is a qualitative study and the data was collected from a focus group discussion on seven contract farming entrepreneurs in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. The researchers played the role as the instrument during the data collection process and an interview guide assisted researchers to obtain objectives of the study. Data obtained from the respondents was recorded and eventually transformed into verbatim transcripts for the process of data analysis. Results: It was identified that contract farming entrepreneurs have a sound knowledge on sustainable agricultural practices and they belief it is vital for mankind. However, their level of acceptance is still not significant as they perceive that they still need much support from the relevant agriculture agencies. Conclusion/Recommendation: It is suggested that all concerned parties should make the necessary sacrifices and put in more effort in ensuring that contract farming entrepreneurs will eventually embrace sustainable agricultural practices that will bring benefit to the present and future generations.

  5. Development and testing of crop monitoring methods to improve global agricultural monitoring in support of GEOGLAM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilliams, S. J. B.; Bydekerke, L.

    2014-12-01

    The SIGMA project (Stimulating Innovation for Global Monitoring of Agriculture) is funded through the EC FPY7 Research programme with the particular aim to contribute to the GEOGLAM Research Agenda. It is a partnership of globally distributed expert organizations, focusses on developing innovative techniques and datasets in support of agricultural monitoring and its impact on the environment in support of GEOGLAM. SIGMA has 3 generic objectives which are: (i) develop and test methods to characterize cropland and assess its changes at various scales; (ii) develop and test methods to assess changes in agricultural production levels; and; (iii) study environmental impacts of agriculture. Firstly, multi-scale remote sensing data sets, in combination with field and other ancillary data, are used to generate an improved (global) agro-ecological zoning map and crop mask. Secondly, a combination of agro-meteorological models, satellite-based information and long-term time series are be explored to better assess crop yield gaps and shifts in cultivation. The third research topic entails the development of best practices for assessing the impact of crop land and cropping system change on the environment. In support of the GEO JECAM (Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring) initiative, case studies in Ukraine, Russia, Europe, Africa, Latin America and China are carried out in order to explore possible methodological synergies and particularities according to different cropping systems. This presentation will report on the progress made with respect to the three topics above.

  6. Conservation agriculture increases soil organic carbon and residual water content in upland crop production systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor B. Ella

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Conservation agriculture involves minimum soil disturbance, continuous ground cover, and diversified crop rotations or mixtures. Conservation agriculture production systems (CAPS have the potential to improve soil quality if appropriate cropping systems are developed. In this study, five CAPS including different cropping patterns and cover crops under two fertility levels, and a plow-based system as control, were studied in a typical upland agricultural area in northern Mindanao in the Philippines. Results showed that soil organic carbon (SOC at 0- 5-cm depth for all CAPS treatments generally increased with time while SOC under the plow-based system tended to decline over time for both the high (120, 60 and 60 kg N P K ha-1 and moderate (60-30-30 kg N P K ha-1 fertility levels. The cropping system with maize + Stylosanthes guianensis in the first year followed by Stylosanthes guianensis and fallow in the second year, and the cassava + Stylosanthes guianensis exhibited the highest rate of SOC increase for high and moderate fertility levels, respectively. After one, two, and three cropping seasons, plots under CAPS had significantly higher soil residual water content (RWC than under plow-based systems. Results of this study suggest that conservation agriculture has a positive impact on soil quality, while till systems negatively impact soil characteristics.

  7. Commercial Crop Yields Reveal Strengths and Weaknesses for Organic Agriculture in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kniss, Andrew R; Savage, Steven D; Jabbour, Randa

    2016-01-01

    Land area devoted to organic agriculture has increased steadily over the last 20 years in the United States, and elsewhere around the world. A primary criticism of organic agriculture is lower yield compared to non-organic systems. Previous analyses documenting the yield deficiency in organic production have relied mostly on data generated under experimental conditions, but these studies do not necessarily reflect the full range of innovation or practical limitations that are part of commercial agriculture. The analysis we present here offers a new perspective, based on organic yield data collected from over 10,000 organic farmers representing nearly 800,000 hectares of organic farmland. We used publicly available data from the United States Department of Agriculture to estimate yield differences between organic and conventional production methods for the 2014 production year. Similar to previous work, organic crop yields in our analysis were lower than conventional crop yields for most crops. Averaged across all crops, organic yield averaged 80% of conventional yield. However, several crops had no significant difference in yields between organic and conventional production, and organic yields surpassed conventional yields for some hay crops. The organic to conventional yield ratio varied widely among crops, and in some cases, among locations within a crop. For soybean (Glycine max) and potato (Solanum tuberosum), organic yield was more similar to conventional yield in states where conventional yield was greatest. The opposite trend was observed for barley (Hordeum vulgare), wheat (Triticum aestevum), and hay crops, however, suggesting the geographical yield potential has an inconsistent effect on the organic yield gap. PMID:27552217

  8. [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.

  9. Estimates of agricultural cropping-practices in counties in the conterminous United States as reported in the 1987 Census of Agriculture

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This coverage contains estimates of agricultural cropping-practices in counties in the conterminous United States as reported in the 1987 Census of Agriculture...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  11. Temperature stress and redox homeostasis in agricultural crops

    OpenAIRE

    Awasthi, Rashmi; Bhandari, Kalpna; Nayyar, Harsh

    2015-01-01

    Plants are exposed to a wide range of environmental conditions and one of the major forces that shape the structure and function of plants are temperature stresses, which include low and high temperature stresses and considered as major abiotic stresses for crop plants. Due to global climate change, temperature stress is becoming the major area of concern for the researchers worldwide. The reactions of plants to these stresses are complex and have devastating effects on plant metabolism, disr...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Hybridization of powdery mildew strains gives rise to pathogens on novel agricultural crop species

    OpenAIRE

    Menardo, Fabrizio; Praz, Coraline R; Wyder, Stefan; Ben-David, Roi; Bourras, Salim; Matsumae, Hiromi; McNally, Kaitlin E.; Parlange, Francis; Riba, Andrea; Roffler, Stefan; Schaefer, Luisa K; Shimizu, Kentaro K; Valenti, Luca; Zbinden, Helen; Wicker, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Throughout the history of agriculture, many new crop species (polyploids or artificial hybrids) have been introduced to diversify products or to increase yield. However, little is known about how these new crops influence the evolution of new pathogens and diseases. Triticale is an artificial hybrid of wheat and rye, and it was resistant to the fungal pathogen powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis) until 2001 (refs. 1,2,3). We sequenced and compared the genomes of 46 powdery mildew isolates cover...

  15. A GPS Backpack System for Mapping Soil and Crop Parameters in Agricultural Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stafford, J. V.; Lebars, J. M.

    Farmers are having to gather increasing amounts of data on their soils and crops. Precision agriculture metre-by-metre is based on a knowledge of the spatial variation of soil and crop parameters across a field. The data has to be spatially located and GPS is an effective way of doing this. A backpack data logging system with GPS position tagging is described which has been designed to aid a fanner in the manual collection of data.

  16. How do Agricultural Programmes Alter Crop Production? Evidence from Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cavatassi, R.; Salazar, L.; Gonzalez-Flores, M.; Winters, P.C.

    2011-01-01

    Evaluating agricultural programmes requires considering not only the programmes’ influence on input and output indicators, but also considering the relationship between these indicators as embodied in the production technology. This article examines the impact on production of an intervention in the

  17. Safeguarding fruit crops in the age of agricultural globalization

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  18. Agricultural water demand, water quality and crop suitability in Souk-Alkhamis Al-Khums, Libya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abunnour, Mohamed Ali; Hashim, Noorazuan Bin Md.; Jaafar, Mokhtar Bin

    2016-06-01

    Water scarcity, unequal population distribution and agricultural activities increased in the coastal plains, and the probability of seawater intrusion with ground water. According to this, the quantitative and qualitative deterioration of underground water quality has become a potential for the occurrence, in addition to the decline in agricultural production in the study area. This paper aims to discover the use of ground water for irrigation in agriculture and their suitability and compatibility for agricultural. On the other hand, the quality is determines by the cultivated crops. 16 random samples of regular groundwater are collected and analyzed chemically. Questionnaires are also distributed randomly on regular basis to farmers.

  19. Economic value of crop residues in African smallholder agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    Berazneva, Julia

    2013-01-01

    This paper contributes to our understanding of the use and management of crop residues in East African highlands and farmers' decision-making associated with this important on-farm resource. Using the data from a socio-economic and household production survey of a sample of 310 households in 15 villages in western Kenya conducted in 2011-2012, the analysis shows that the decision to allocate maize residues to organic fertilizer and the amount of such allocation among Kenyan farmers is in uenc...

  20. Reduced nitrogen losses after conversion of row crop agriculture to perennial biofuel crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Candice M; David, Mark B; Mitchell, Corey A; Masters, Michael D; Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J; Bernacchi, Carl J; Delucia, Evan H

    2013-01-01

    Current biofuel feedstock crops such as corn lead to large environmental losses of N through nitrate leaching and NO emissions; second-generation cellulosic crops have the potential to reduce these N losses. We measured N losses and cycling in establishing miscanthus (), switchgrass ( L. fertilized with 56 kg N ha yr), and mixed prairie, along with a corn ( L.)-corn-soybean [ (L.) Merr.] rotation (corn fertilized at 168-202 kg N ha). Nitrous oxide emissions, soil N mineralization, mid-profile nitrate leaching, and tile flow and nitrate concentrations were measured. Perennial crops quickly reduced nitrate leaching at a 50-cm soil depth as well as concentrations and loads from the tile systems (year 1 tile nitrate concentrations of 10-15 mg N L declined significantly by year 4 in all perennial crops to <0.6 mg N L, with losses of <0.8 kg N ha yr). Nitrous oxide emissions were 2.2 to 7.7 kg N ha yr in the corn-corn-soybean rotation but were <1.0 kg N ha yr by year 4 in the perennial crops. Overall N balances (atmospheric deposition + fertilization + soybean N fixation - harvest, leaching losses, and NO emissions) were positive for corn and soybean (22 kg N ha yr) as well as switchgrass (9.7 kg N ha yr) but were -18 and -29 kg N ha yr for prairie and miscanthus, respectively. Our results demonstrate rapid tightening of the N cycle as perennial biofuel crops established on a rich Mollisol soil. PMID:23673757

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-30

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-10-01

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

  4. 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...

  5. DEVELOPMENT OF ACTIVE AND BIODEGRADABLES CONTAINERS FOR AGRICULTURAL CROPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franco Poggio

    2016-06-01

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

  6. Enzyme activities in agricultural soils fumigated with methyl bromide alternatives

    OpenAIRE

    Klose, Susanne; Ajwa, H A

    2004-01-01

    Pre-plant fumigation of agricultural soils with a combination of methyl bromide (MeBr) and chloropicrin (CP) to control nematodes, soil-borne pathogens and weeds has been a common practice in strawberry (Fragaria X ananassa Duchesne) production since the 1960s. MeBr will be phased out by 2005, but little is known about the impacts of alternative fumigants on soil microbial processes. We investigated the response of microbial biomass and enzyme activities in soils fumigated over two years with...

  7. Pharmaceutical and Industrial Traits in Genetically Modified Crops: Co-Existence with Conventional Agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    Moschini, GianCarlo

    2006-01-01

    This paper discusses the implications of using genetically modified crops to biomanufacture pharmaceuticals and industrial compounds from the perspective of their co-existence with conventional agriculture. Such plant-made pharmaceuticals and plant-made industrial products rely on exciting scientific and technological breakthroughs and promise new opportunities for the agricultural sector, but they also entail novel risks. The management of the externalities and of the possible unintended eco...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Khush Gurdev S

    2012-01-01

    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...

  10. 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.

  11. Spatial Optimization of Cropping Pattern in an Agricultural Watershed for Food and Biofuel Production with Minimum Downstream Pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pv, F.; Sudheer, K.; Chaubey, I.; RAJ, C.; Her, Y.

    2013-05-01

    Biofuel is considered to be a viable alternative to meet the increasing fuel demand, and therefore many countries are promoting agricultural activities that help increase production of raw material for biofuel production. Mostly, the biofuel is produced from grain based crops such as Corn, and it apparently create a shortage in food grains. Consequently, there have been regulations to limit the ethanol production from grains, and to use cellulosic crops as raw material for biofuel production. However, cultivation of such cellulosic crops may have different effects on water quality in the watershed. Corn stover, one of the potential cellulosic materials, when removed from the agricultural field for biofuel production, causes a decrease in the organic nutrients in the field. This results in increased use of pesticides and fertilizers which in turn affect the downstream water quality due to leaching of the chemicals. On the contrary, planting less fertilizer-intensive cellulosic crops, like Switch Grass and Miscanthus, is expected to reduce the pollutant loadings from the watershed. Therefore, an ecologically viable land use scenario would be a mixed cropping of grain crops and cellulosic crops, that meet the demand for food and biofuel without compromising on the downstream water quality. Such cropping pattern can be arrived through a simulation-optimization framework. Mathematical models can be employed to evaluate various management scenarios related to crop production and to assess its impact on water quality. Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model is one of the most widely used models in this context. SWAT can simulate the water and nutrient cycles, and also quantify the long-term impacts of land management practices, in a watershed. This model can therefore help take decisions regarding the type of cropping and management practices to be adopted in the watershed such that the water quality in the rivers is maintained at acceptable level. In this study, it

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henneberry, T. J.

    1979-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. An Integrated Greenhouse Gas Assessment of an Alternative to Slash-and-Burn Agriculture in Eastern Amazonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, E. A.; Sá, T. D.; Carvalho, C. J.; Figueiredo, R. D.; Kato, M. D.; Kato, O. R.; Ishida, F. Y.

    2007-12-01

    Fires set for slash-and-burn agriculture contribute to the current unsustainable accumulation of atmospheric greenhouse gases, and they also deplete the soil of essential nutrients, which compromises agricultural sustainability at local scales. Integrated assessments of greenhouse gas emissions have compared intensive cropping systems in industrialized countries, but such assessments have not been applied to common cropping systems of smallholder farmers in developing countries. We report an integrated assessment of greenhouse gas emissions in slash-and-burn agriculture and an alternative chop-and-mulch system in the Amazon Basin. The soil consumed atmospheric methane under slash-and-burn treatment and became a net emitter of methane to the atmosphere under the mulch treatment. Mulching also caused about a 50 percent increase in soil emissions of nitric oxide and nitrous oxide and required use of fertilizer and fuel for farm machinery. Despite these significantly higher emissions of greenhouse gases during the cropping phase under the alternative chop- and-mulch system, calculated pyrogenic emissions in the slash-and-burn system were much larger, especially for methane. The global warming potential CO2-equivalent emissions calculated for the entire crop cycles were at least five times lower in chop-and-mulch compared to slash-and-burn and were dominated by differences in methane emissions. The crop yields were similar for the two systems. While economic and logistical considerations remain to be worked out for alternatives to slash-and-burn, these results demonstrate a potential "win-win" strategy for maintaining soil fertility and reducing net greenhouse gas emissions, thus simultaneously contributing to sustainability at both spatial scales.

  17. Influence of metacide - surfactant complexes on agricultural crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orynkul Esimova

    2014-12-01

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

  18. Satellite Estimates of Crop Area and Maize Yield in Zambia's Agricultural Districts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azzari, G.; Lobell, D. B.

    2015-12-01

    Predicting crop yield and area from satellite is a valuable tool to monitor different aspects of productivity dynamics and food security. In Sub-Saharan Africa, where the agricultural landscape is complex and dominated by smallholder systems, such dynamics need to be investigated at the field scale. We leveraged the large data pool and computational power of Google Earth Engine to 1) generate 30 m resolution cover maps of selected provinces of Zambia, 2) estimate crop area, and 3) produce yearly maize yield maps using the recently developed SCYM (Scalable satellite-based Crop Yield Mapper) algorithm. We will present our results and their validation against a ground survey dataset collected yearly by the Zambia Ministry of Agriculture from about 12,500 households.

  19. 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. PMID:23305424

  20. GEOGLAM best available crop masks and calendars for the four primary crop types (corn, wheat, soy and rice) within the main agricultural producing regions of the world.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    The Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative was developed by the Group on Earth Observations in order to produce and disseminate relevant, timely and accurate forecasts of agricultural production at national, regional and global scales through the use of earth observations, agro-meteorological data, field reports and national level expertise. As part of this goal GEOGLAM has developed the monthly GEOGLAM Crop Monitor, which provides coordinated global crop assessments on the four primary crop types (corn, wheat, soy and rice) within the main agricultural producing regions of the world. As a component of these assessments the GEOGLAM Crop Monitor has developed best available crop specific masks and seasonal specific calendars for each of the four primary crop types within these main producing regions of the world based on Crop Monitor partner products and inputs. These crop masks and calendars are due to be publically released in order to be of benefit to the greater agricultural research and monitoring communities. This talk will discuss the sources and development of these crop specific masks and calendars.

  1. Impact of ozone and sulfur dioxide on the yield of agricultural crops. Technical bulletin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sommerville, M.C.; Spruill, S.E.; Rawlings, J.O.; Lesser, V.M.

    1989-11-01

    The National Crop Loss Assessment Network (NCLAN) was formed in 1980 to assess the effects of air pollutants on major agricultural crop yields. NCLAN consisted of U. S. government and non-government organizations that conducted field experiments, crop yield modeling, and economic analyses. Ozone and sulfur dioxide were selected as the air pollutant treatments for NCLAN studies because they were known to cause damage to vegetation. Experimental methods and results from individual studies have been reported by the principal investigators in many publications. The purpose of the publication is to summarize the statistical methods used in the combined analyses, to present the polynomial and Weibull ozone dose-response equations determined in the combined analyses, and to summarize the effects of ozone on crop yields by presenting estimated relative yield losses for postulated levels of ozone pollution.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The introduction of alternative biomass crops in Europe

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pari, L. (Istituto di Meccanica Agraria dell' Universita degli Studi di Bologna (Italy))

    1990-04-01

    The future holds great potential for the development and utilization of agricultural products not only as sources of food, but as raw materials that may be used in the non-food industries - in place of nonrenewable resources - to produce energy. The EC countries depend on imports for 43.5% of their energy.

  5. Agricultural Intensification in the Amazon: Tracking Nitrogen Fertilizer from Soy-Maize Double Cropping to Streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrera, V. D.; Jankowski, K.; Neill, C.; Macedo, M.; Deegan, L.; Brando, P. M.; Nascimento, S.; Nascimento, E.; Rocha, S.; Coe, M. T.; Nunes, D.

    2015-12-01

    Globalization and the increasing demand for food create pressure to both expand and intensify agriculture. These changes have potentially large consequences for the solute concentrations and functioning of streams. In the Brazilian Amazon, crop agriculture expanded greatly during the last 20 years. More recently, farmers have intensified production on existing cropland by double cropping of soy and maize during the same year. Maize, a novel crop for the region, requires much higher applications of nitrogen (N) fertilizer than soybeans. To determine whether this novel land use and associated N addition influenced N concentrations in groundwater and stream water, we measured N concentrations in groundwater wells and streams from small headwater watersheds across three land uses (soy-maize, soy, and tropical forest) in the Upper Xingu Basin, a region of rapid cropland intensification in the southern Amazon. Each watershed contained six groundwater wells arranged in a transect reaching cropland field edge on either side of the stream. Total inorganic N concentrations were higher in wells adjacent to fields where double cropping occurred, while stream concentrations did not differ overall among land uses. This suggests the riparian zones are critical in the removal of N, but as the intensification of agriculture continues the ability of the riparian zone to prevent N from traveling to streams is unknown. Their protection is critical to the functioning of tropical watersheds.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

    Agricultural work is a major contributor to California's and the nation's economy and employs a large number of workers. However, agricultural work can have numerous risks, such as exposure to elevated levels of particulate matter (PM) and other airborne pollutants with potential adverse health effects. To determine the magnitude of occupational exposures, PM levels were assessed for 89 workers from three major crops in California; almonds, melons and tomatoes. Personal samples were collected for PM2.5 and inhalable PM using personal sampling equipment. Geometric mean concentrations from personal exposure for workers in almonds (inhalable PM=4368 μg/m(3), PM2.5=122 μg/m(3), N=5), tomatoes (inhalable PM=1410 μg/m(3), PM2.5=12 μg/m(3), N=33), and melons (inhalable PM=1118 μg/m(3), PM2.5=19 μg/m(3), N=51) showed high PM exposure when working with these three crops. Large exposure differences by crop were more common than by task (i.e. harvesting, packing and weeding) among the three crops studied. This is the largest study of agricultural workers engaged in hand harvesting, a significant employer of farm labor, and relatively high levels of exposure to PM were measured. PMID:23831254

  7. TOTAL CARBON STOCK IN AGRICULTURAL SYSTEM HAVING CROP ROTATION IN TARAI REGION OF NORTHERN INDIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kavita Tariyal

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Soil organic carbon pools are important in maintaining soil productivity and influencing the CO2 loading into the atmosphere. Agricultural soils can mitigate the problem of carbon concentration increase in atmosphere if proper management practices are involved. In the present study, total carbon stock in crops and soil was analyzed for two years along with crop rotation practice to observe its impact on the carbon pool. For that two agricultural fields C12 and D7 were incorporated with different crop rotations for two years and on the basis of this SOC, Total Carbon, soil respiration and carbon stock were measured. In the end of the study C12 showed higher biomass carbon stock (2.61 t ha-1 as compared to D7 (1.98 t ha-1 and also higher total carbon stock (plant+soil (40.09 t ha-1 as compared to D7 (38.30 t ha-1. Results prove that agriculture can not only be the source but also an effective sink if it is properly managed with different crop rotation practices and also with no-till practice.

  8. Reliable Crop Identification with Satellite Imagery in the Context of Common Agriculture Policy Subsidy Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas Schmedtmann

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural subsidies in the context of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP represent over 40% of the EU’s yearly budget. To ensure that funds are properly spent, farmers are controlled by National Control and Paying Agencies (NCPA using tools, such as computer-assisted photo interpretation (CAPI, which aims at identifying crops via remotely-sensed imagery. CAPI is time consuming and requires a large team of skilled photo interpreters. The objective of this study was to develop a reliable control system to partially replace CAPI for crop identification, with the overreaching goal of reducing control costs and completion time. Validated control data provided by the Portuguese Control and Paying Agency and an atmospherically-corrected Landsat ETM+ time series were used to perform parcel-based crop classification, leading to an accuracy of only 68% due to high similarity between crops’ spectral signatures. To address this problem, we propose an automatic control system (ACS that couples crop classification to a reliability requirement. This allows the decision-maker to set a reliability level, which restricts automatic crop identification to parcels that are classified with high certainty. While higher reliability levels reduce the risk of misclassifications, lower levels increase the proportion of automatic control decisions (ACP. With a reliability level of 80%, more than half of the parcels in our study area are automatically identified with an overall accuracy of 84%. In particular, this allows automatically controlling over 85% of all parcels classified as maize, rice, wheat or vineyard.

  9. 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...

  10. A GIS tool for early spatial assessment of radioactive contamination of agricultural crops and soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The issue of radioactive contamination of crops and handling of radioactive materials in agriculture is intensively discussed mainly for the purposes of further use of produce and soils and a possible reduction in potential radioactive contamination of agricultural landscape. The presented tool, 'BiomasaKontaminace' (BiomassContamination), was developed as a module of the ESRI ArcMap 9.2 ArcInfo Geographical Information System. The module makes it possible to produce approximate calculations of parameters of crop production (the amount of live biomass and dry matter in a particular area, relative content of water in biomass, the Leaf Area Index) further used to estimate specific radioactive deposition on the crop and soil surface in an early deposition phase of a nuclear accident in case of both dry and wet deposition. A calculation is made for a whole area of interest, with a spatial character expressed in a particular geographic coordinate system and related to a specific point in time. The module divides surfaces of a particular area of interest into classes according to their level of specific radionuclide deposition in view of their further management and enables approximate estimates of the level of costs required to remove biomass from agricultural areas. It is therefore a complex tool which can be used in decision processes in the event of radiation accidents and for subsequent measures to be adopted for agricultural areas in order to reduce their radioactive contamination. (orig.)

  11. Crop and Tillage Effects on Water Productivity of Dryland Agriculture in Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elke Noellemeyer

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Rising demands for food and uncertainties about climate change call for a paradigm shift in water management with a stronger focus on rainfed agriculture. The objective here was to estimate water productivity of different crops under no-till (NT and conventional till (CT, in order to identify rotations that improve the water productivity of dryland agriculture. We hypothesized that NT and cereal crops would have a positive effect on overall water productivity. Crop yield and water use data were obtained from a 15 year experiment (1993 to 2008 on an entic Haplustoll in the semiarid Pampa, Argentina, with a rotation of wheat (Triticum aestivum L., corn (Zea mays L., sunflower (Helianthus annus, and soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.. The results indicated an improved water productivity of all crops under NT compared with that of CT; however, the response of cereals (corn +1.0 kg ha−1 mm−1, wheat +1.3 kg ha−1 mm−1 was higher than that of sunflower (+0.3 kg ha−1 mm−1 and soybean (+0.5 kg ha−1 mm−1. Crop type had a higher impact on water productivity than did tillage system. In agreement with our hypothesis, cereal crops were more efficient (corn 9.8 and wheat 6.9 kg ha−1 mm−1 compared with soybean 2.4 and sunflower 3.9 kg mm−1, but the economic water productivity of sunflower (0.9 US$ ha−1 mm−1 almost equaled that of wheat (1.1 US$ ha−1mm−1 and corn (1.2 US$ ha−1 mm−1. We concluded that the use of the synergy between NT and water efficient crops could be a promising step towards improving food production in semiarid regions.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:26070897

  14. 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.

  15. Translocation of Aluminum to Grain Crops Grown in Different Agricultural Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sumaira Khan

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to evaluate the mobility and transport of Aluminum (Al 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 Al. The total and bioavailable fractions (deionized water, 0.11M CH3COOH, 0.05M ethylenediaminetetraaceticacid (EDTA 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 Al content in lake and canal water samples was found in the range of 750 – 1340 and 90 – 150 µg/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 canal water (SICW had low level of Al (p<0.01. 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 Al contaminated lake water.

  16. Alternatives to Antibiotics in Animal Agriculture: An Ecoimmunological View

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongming Sang

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Ecological immunology (or ecoimmunology is a new discipline in animal health and immunology that extends immunologists’ views into a natural context where animals and humans have co-evolved. Antibiotic resistance and tolerance (ART in bacteria are manifested in antibiosis-surviving subsets of resisters and persisters. ART has emerged though natural evolutionary consequences enriched by human nosocomial and agricultural practices, in particular, wide use of antibiotics that overwhelms other ecological and immunological interactions. Most previous reviews of antibiotic resistance focus on resisters but overlook persisters, although both are fundamental to bacteria survival through antibiosis. Here, we discuss resisters and persisters together to contrast the distinct ecological responses of persisters during antibiotic stress and propose different regimens to eradicate persisters. Our intention is not only to provide an ecoimmunological interpretation, but also to use an ecoimmunological system to categorize available alternatives and promote the discovery of prospective approaches to relieve ART problems within the general scope of improving animal health. Thus, we will categorize available alternatives to antibiotics and envision applications of ecoimmunological tenets to promote related studies in animal production.

  17. Single and joint stress of acetochlor and Pb on three agricultural crops in northeast China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHAO Lei; ZHOU Qi-xing; CHEN Su; CUI Shuang; WANG Mei-e

    2007-01-01

    In order to evaluate ecological risk of agrochemicals in agricultural environment, single and joint toxic effects of an important herbicide and a typical heavy metal on root elongation of crops were investigated. Seeds of the three crops including wheat (Triticum aestivum), Chinese cabbage (Brassica pekimensis) and soybean (Glycine max) as the main crops in northeast China were exposed to acetochlor as an herbicide and lead (Pb) as a heavy metal using the pot-culture method, and meadow brown soil as one of the main soils distributed in northeast China was applied in the investigation. The results indicated that the interactive effects of the two pollutants on root elongation of the three crops were very complicated although they had markedly significant (P<0.01) linear interrelationships based on the regression analyses. When the concentration of added Pb2+ reached 200 mg/kg, acetochlor and Pb had an antagonistic effect on the inhibition of root elongation of the three crops. However, acetochlor and Pb had significantly (P<0.05) synergic effects on the inhibition of root elongation when concentration of added Pb2+ was up to 1000 mg/kg. At the low concentration of added Pb, joint toxicity of acetochlor and Pb was more dependent on the concentration of Pb. Among the three crops, wheat was the most sensitive to the toxicity of Pb and Chinese cabbage was the most sensitive to the toxicity of acetochlor.

  18. Rethinking Bioenergy from an Agricultural Perspective: Ethical Issues Raised by Perennial Energy Crop and Crop Residue Production in the UK and Denmark

    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...

  19. 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.

  20. Impact of Agricultural Extension Services on Technology Adoption and Crops Yield: Empirical Evidence from Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akhter Ali

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The present study was carried out in the rice-wheat area of Pakistani Punjab. The data for the study was collected from three main districts of central Punjab Province i.e. Gujranwala, Sheikhupura and Hafizabad. In total 234 farmers were interviewed. The impact of agricultural extension services was estimated on adoption of new improved technologies and crop yields. The propensity score matching approach for impact evaluation was employed in the current study to correct for potential sample selection biasedness that may arise due to systematic differences between the farmers having benefited from agricultural extension services and not benefited from agricultural extension services. The empirical results indicate that agricultural extension services play a significant role in adoption of improved agricultural technologies like laser leveling, rice and wheat varieties. The farmers having benefitted from agricultural extension services were also getting higher rice and wheat yields. The results also indicates that mostly the large farmers are getting benefits from agricultural extension services and small scale farmers have less access to agricultural extension services.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Lacoste

    2013-06-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Effect of gamma irradiation on the germination and growth of certain agricultural crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gamma irradiation has been found to be very useful for sterilization in medicine and 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. Results show that irradiation of maize, okra and groundnut needed for planting is safe. 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. A third degree polynomial equation was generated for each of the three crops from graphs to enable the determination of exposure dose a seed should be subjected to if a certain percentage of germination is desired. A chart of percentage germination of seeds versus exposure dose is also presented as a quick guide to farmers, policy makers and agricultural institutions. (author)

  4. RISK ASSESSMENT OF THE MAIN CROPS FROM THE AGRICULTURAL VEGATABLE PRODUCTION IN ROMANIA AND IN TELEORMAN COUNTY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mara Florica

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of the indicators that are characterizing agriculture vegetable production is a factor of risk management at all levels where decisions regarding agriculture are taken. The fourth crops analyzed wheat, barley, corn and sunflower occupies large areas both at country level and at the Teleorman County. The study revealed large oscillations of the medium productions and of the purchase prices of these crops which have a great influence on the economic conditions and the living standards of the population. In order to minimize these effects is highlighted the need to improve the management of these crops through applied technology and crop insurance.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adenle, Ademola A

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1979-10-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1979-07-31

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

  10. Cash cropping, subsistence agriculture, and nutritional status among mothers and children in lowland Papua New Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shack, K W; Grivetti, L E; Dewey, K G

    1990-01-01

    The influence of cash crop income, subsistence agriculture, and purchased foods on nutritional status was examined among three ethnic groups in lowland Papua New Guinea. In their home areas, these groups had been hunter-gatherers, agriculturalists, and hunter-gatherers with limited agriculture. Multiple regression revealed that cash crop income was positively associated with anthropometric status and energy intake among children. Expenditure on food was related to the child's arm circumference but not to nutrient intake. The amount of food planted in the garden was not related to child nutritional status. In contrast, the amount of food planted was positively associated with body mass index of mothers. Consumption of rice and fish was related to food expenditures. Nutritional status was better among families who were agriculturalists prior to resettlement than among hunter-gatherers. The former had more income from cash crops, smaller households, and planted more food in their gardens. Therefore, cash cropping need not decrease nutritional status if home gardens are maintained.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Effectiveness of alternative management scenarios on the sediment load in a Mediterranean agricultural watershed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ossama M. M. Abdelwahab

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The Annualised Agricultural Non-point Source model was used to evaluate the effectiveness of different management practices to control the soil erosion and sediment load in the Carapelle watershed, a Mediterranean medium-size watershed (506 km2 located in Apulia, Southern Italy. The model was previously calibrated and validated using five years of runoff and sediment load data measured at a monitoring station located at Ordona - Ponte dei Sauri Bridge. A total of 36 events were used to estimate the performance of the model during the period 2007-2011. The model performed well in predicting runoff, as the high values of the coefficients of efficiency and determination during the validation process showed. The peak flows predictions were satisfactory especially for the high flow events; the prediction capability of sediment load was good, even if a slight over-estimation was observed. Simulations of alternative management practices show that converting the most eroding cropland cells (13.5% of the catchment area to no tillage would reduce soil erosion by 30%, while converting them to grass or forest would reduce soil erosion by 36.5% in both cases. A crop rotation of wheat and a forage crop can also provide an effective way for soil erosion control as it reduces erosion by 69%. Those results can provide a good comparative analysis for conservation planners to choose the best scenarios to be adopted in the watershed to achieve goals in terms of soil conservation and water quality.

  14. Agriculture In Uruguay: New Methods For Drought Monitoring and Crop Identification Using Remotely Sensed Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lessel, J.; Ceccato, P.

    2014-12-01

    Agriculture is a vital resource in the country of Uruguay. Here we propose new methods using remotely sensed data for assisting ranchers, land managers, and policy makers in the country to better manage their crops. Firstly, we created a drought severity index based on the climatological anomalies of land surface temperature (LST) data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), precipitation data from the Tropical Rainfall Monitoring Mission (TRMM), and normalized difference water index (NDWI) data also using MODIS. The use of the climatological anomalies on the variables has improved the ability of the index to correlate with known drought indices versus previously published indices, which had not used them. We applied various coefficient schemes and vegetation indices in order to choose the model which best correlated with the drought indices across 10 sites throughout Uruguay's rangelands. The model was tested over summer months from 2009-2013. In years where drought had indeed been a problem in the country (such as 2009) the model showed intense signals of drought. Secondly, we used Landsat images to identify winter and summer crops in Uruguay. We first classified them using ENVI and then used the classifications in an ArcMap model to identify specific crop areas. We first created a polygon of the classifications for soils and vegetation for each month (omitting cloud covered images). We then used the crop growing cycle to identify the times during the year for which specific polygons should be soil and which should be vegetation. By intersecting the soil polygons with the vegetation polygons during their respective time periods during the crop growing cycle we were able to create an accurately identify crops. When compared to a shapefile of proposed crops for the year the model obtained a kappa value of 0.60 with a probability of detection of 0.79 and a false alarm ratio of 0.31 for the south-western study area over the 2013-2014 summer.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Analyzing Crop Revenue Safety Net Program Alternatives and Impacts on Producers and Program Costs

    OpenAIRE

    Jansen, Jim A.; Lubben, Bradley D.; Stockton, Matthew C.

    2012-01-01

    This study evaluates the policy effects of alternative program designs for federal revenue-based farm income safety net programs. Eight representative farms across Nebraska are used to stochastically simulate the financial impact of changing the current farm crop revenue-based safety net with a state revenue trigger against potential alternative programs involving guarantees at the district, county, or farm level. Results indicate that decreasing the aggregation of the revenue guarantee incre...

  18. Agriculture, Crops, ag use properties, Published in 2011, 1:4800 (1in=400ft) scale, Marshall County Appraiser's Office.

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC GIS Inventory (aka Ramona) — This Agriculture, Crops dataset, published at 1:4800 (1in=400ft) scale, was produced all or in part from Field Observation information as of 2011. It is described...

  19. Improving Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Crops for Sustainable Agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J. Lea

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available In this review, we present the recent developments and future prospects of improving nitrogen use efficiency (NUE in crops using various complementary approaches. These include conventional breeding and molecular genetics, in addition to alternative farming techniques based on no-till continuous cover cropping cultures and/or organic nitrogen (N nutrition. Whatever the mode of N fertilization, an increased knowledge of the mechanisms controlling plant N economy is essential for improving NUE and for reducing excessive input of fertilizers, while maintaining an acceptable yield and sufficient profit margin for the farmers. Using plants grown under agronomic conditions, with different tillage conditions, in pure or associated cultures, at low and high N mineral fertilizer input, or using organic fertilization, it is now possible to develop further whole plant agronomic and physiological studies. These can be combined with gene, protein and metabolite profiling to build up a comprehensive picture depicting the different steps of N uptake, assimilation and recycling to produce either biomass in vegetative organs or proteins in storage organs. We provide a critical overview as to how our understanding of the agro-ecophysiological, physiological and molecular controls of N assimilation in crops, under varying environmental conditions, has been improved. We have used combined approaches, based on agronomic studies, whole plant physiology, quantitative genetics, forward and reverse genetics and the emerging systems biology. Long-term sustainability may require a gradual transition from synthetic N inputs to legume-based crop rotation, including continuous cover cropping systems, where these may be possible in certain areas of the world, depending on climatic conditions. Current knowledge and prospects for future agronomic development and application for breeding crops adapted to lower mineral fertilizer input and to alternative farming techniques are

  20. 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

  1. From rainfed agriculture to stress-avoidance irrigation: II. Sustainability, crop yield, and profitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vico, Giulia; Porporato, Amilcare

    2011-02-01

    The optimality of irrigation strategies may be sought with respect to a number of criteria, including water requirements, crop yield, and profitability. To explore the suitability of different demand-based irrigation strategies, we link the probabilistic description of irrigation requirements under stochastic hydro-climatic conditions, provided in a companion paper [Vico G, Porporato A. From rainfed agriculture to stress-avoidance irrigation: I. A generalized irrigation scheme with stochastic soil moisture. Adv Water Resour 2011;34(2):263-71], to crop-yield and economic analyses. Water requirements, application efficiency, and investment costs of different irrigation methods, such as surface, sprinkler and drip irrigation systems, are described via a unified conceptual and theoretical approach, which includes rainfed agriculture and stress-avoidance irrigation as extreme cases. This allows us to analyze irrigation strategies with respect to sustainability, productivity, and economic return, using the same framework, and quantify them as a function of climate, crop, and soil parameters. We apply our results to corn ( Zea mays), a food staple and biofuel source, which is currently mainly irrigated through surface systems. As our analysis shows, micro-irrigation maximizes water productivity, but more traditional solutions may be more profitable at least in some contexts.

  2. Hybridization of powdery mildew strains gives rise to pathogens on novel agricultural crop species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menardo, Fabrizio; Praz, Coraline R; Wyder, Stefan; Ben-David, Roi; Bourras, Salim; Matsumae, Hiromi; McNally, Kaitlin E; Parlange, Francis; Riba, Andrea; Roffler, Stefan; Schaefer, Luisa K; Shimizu, Kentaro K; Valenti, Luca; Zbinden, Helen; Wicker, Thomas; Keller, Beat

    2016-02-01

    Throughout the history of agriculture, many new crop species (polyploids or artificial hybrids) have been introduced to diversify products or to increase yield. However, little is known about how these new crops influence the evolution of new pathogens and diseases. Triticale is an artificial hybrid of wheat and rye, and it was resistant to the fungal pathogen powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis) until 2001 (refs. 1,2,3). We sequenced and compared the genomes of 46 powdery mildew isolates covering several formae speciales. We found that B. graminis f. sp. triticale, which grows on triticale and wheat, is a hybrid between wheat powdery mildew (B. graminis f. sp. tritici) and mildew specialized on rye (B. graminis f. sp. secalis). Our data show that the hybrid of the two mildews specialized on two different hosts can infect the hybrid plant species originating from those two hosts. We conclude that hybridization between mildews specialized on different species is a mechanism of adaptation to new crops introduced by agriculture. PMID:26752267

  3. Environmental Filtering of Microbial Communities in Agricultural Soil Shifts with Crop Growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargreaves, Sarah K; Williams, Ryan J; Hofmockel, Kirsten S

    2015-01-01

    Plant and soil properties cooperatively structure soil microbial communities, with implications for ecosystem functioning. However, the extent to which each factor contributes to community structuring is not fully understood. To quantify the influence of plants and soil properties on microbial diversity and composition in an agricultural context, we conducted an experiment within a corn-based annual cropping system and a perennial switchgrass cropping system across three topographic positions. We sequenced barcoded 16S ribosomal RNA genes from whole soil three times throughout a single growing season and across two years in July. To target the belowground effects of plants, we also sampled rhizosphere soil in July. We hypothesized that microbial community α-diversity and composition (β-diversity) would be more sensitive to cropping system effects (annual vs. perennial inputs) than edaphic differences among topographic positions, with greater differences occurring in the rhizosphere compared to whole soil. We found that microbial community composition consistently varied with topographic position, and cropping system and the rhizosphere influenced α-diversity. In July, cropping system and rhizosphere structured a small but specific group of microbes implying a subset of microbial taxa, rather than broad shifts in community composition, may explain previously observed differences in resource cycling between treatments. Using rank abundance analysis, we detected enrichment of Saprospirales and Actinomycetales, including cellulose and chitin degraders, in the rhizosphere soil and enrichment of Nitrospirales, Syntrophobacterales, and MND1 in the whole soil. Overall, these findings support environmental filtering for the soil microbial community first by soil and second by the rhizosphere. Across cropping systems, plants selected for a general rhizosphere community with evidence for plant-specific effects related to time of sampling. PMID:26226508

  4. Environmental Filtering of Microbial Communities in Agricultural Soil Shifts with Crop Growth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah K Hargreaves

    Full Text Available Plant and soil properties cooperatively structure soil microbial communities, with implications for ecosystem functioning. However, the extent to which each factor contributes to community structuring is not fully understood. To quantify the influence of plants and soil properties on microbial diversity and composition in an agricultural context, we conducted an experiment within a corn-based annual cropping system and a perennial switchgrass cropping system across three topographic positions. We sequenced barcoded 16S ribosomal RNA genes from whole soil three times throughout a single growing season and across two years in July. To target the belowground effects of plants, we also sampled rhizosphere soil in July. We hypothesized that microbial community α-diversity and composition (β-diversity would be more sensitive to cropping system effects (annual vs. perennial inputs than edaphic differences among topographic positions, with greater differences occurring in the rhizosphere compared to whole soil. We found that microbial community composition consistently varied with topographic position, and cropping system and the rhizosphere influenced α-diversity. In July, cropping system and rhizosphere structured a small but specific group of microbes implying a subset of microbial taxa, rather than broad shifts in community composition, may explain previously observed differences in resource cycling between treatments. Using rank abundance analysis, we detected enrichment of Saprospirales and Actinomycetales, including cellulose and chitin degraders, in the rhizosphere soil and enrichment of Nitrospirales, Syntrophobacterales, and MND1 in the whole soil. Overall, these findings support environmental filtering for the soil microbial community first by soil and second by the rhizosphere. Across cropping systems, plants selected for a general rhizosphere community with evidence for plant-specific effects related to time of sampling.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karimi Alavijeh, Masih; Yaghmaei, Soheila

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karimi Alavijeh, Masih; Yaghmaei, Soheila

    2016-06-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Scatasta

    2006-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  10. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-15

    Emerging contaminants have received much attention in recent years due to their presence in surface waters, but little attention has been paid to their occurrence in agricultural irrigation waters. This study investigated the occurrence of these compounds in an agricultural irrigation network in northeastern Spain and, for the first time, using two plant uptake models, estimated the concentration of selected micropollutants in crops. The concentration of micropollutants in agricultural irrigation waters ranged from 10 to 5130 ng L(-1) and exhibited some attenuation over the course of the irrigation network. Bromoform, chloroform, diclofenac, caffeine, ibuprofen, naproxen, methyl dihydrojasmonate, galaxolide, butylated hydroxytoluene, and butylated hydroxyanisole were the most abundant contaminants (>200 ng L(-1), on average). The estimated concentration of micropollutants in crops ranged from 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. PMID:22030249

  13. 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 <1 to 7677 ng kg(-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.

  14. Partial Rootzone Drying: Changing Alternation Frequency at Different Phenological Stages and Impact on Tomato Crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Affi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The goal of the current work was to assess the effect of different alternation frequency applied at different phenological stages on physiological parameters of a Partial rootzone drying (PRD irrigated tomato crop. Three treatments were applied. Besides the control irrigated at 100% of its water requirements, T3 and T4 are both treatments that received 50% of water requirements and that were irrigated by PRD strategy. Crop cycle was divided into three stages: S1 lasted from transplanting to 6th truss flowering, S2: the period separating the 6 th truss flowering and the 2 nd truss harvest, S3: lasted for the remaining crop cycle period beginning at 2nd truss harvest. While T4 was alternated every 10 days similarly, T3 was alternated every 14 days, 12 days and 10 days during S1, S2 and S3, respectively. T3 maximum daily shrinkage (MDS was 70% higher than T4 showing that the later is more efficient than the former. As far as stomatal conductance (Cs and leaf water potential (Ψl, results show that both PRD treatments were affected by stress without noticing any statistical differences in terms of those parameters. The control presented the highest Cs and Ψl levels during the whole crop cycle and the lowest water use efficiency (WUE.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

    2016-07-01

    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).

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLiberto, Shelagh T; Werner, Scott J

    2016-10-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Hedging Effectiveness Around U.S. Department of Agriculture Crop Reports

    OpenAIRE

    McKenzie, Andrew M.; Singh, Navinderpal

    2011-01-01

    It is well documented that ‘‘unanticipated’’ information contained in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop reports induces large price reactions in corn and soybean markets. Thus, a natural question that arises from this literature is: To what extent are futures hedges able to remove or reduce increased price risk around report release dates? This paper addresses this question by simulating daily futures returns, daily cash returns, and daily hedged returns around repor...

  2. Liming in Agricultural Production Models with and Without the Adoption of Crop-Livestock Integration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Carlos Mainardes da Silva

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Perennial forage crops used in crop-livestock integration (CLI are able to accumulate large amounts of straw on the soil surface in no-tillage system (NTS. In addition, they can potentially produce large amounts of soluble organic compounds that help improving the efficiency of liming in the subsurface, which favors root growth, thus reducing the risks of loss in yield during dry spells and the harmful effects of “overliming”. The aim of this study was to test the effects of liming on two models of agricultural production, with and without crop-livestock integration, for 2 years. Thus, an experiment was conducted in a Latossolo Vermelho (Oxisol with a very clayey texture located in an agricultural area under the NTS in Bandeirantes, PR, Brazil. Liming was performed to increase base saturation (V to 65, 75, and 90 % while one plot per block was maintained without the application of lime (control. A randomized block experimental design was adopted arranged in split-plots and four plots/block, with four replications. The soil properties evaluated were: pH in CaCl2, soil organic matter (SOM, Ca, Mg, K, Al, and P. The effects of liming were observed to a greater depth and for a long period through mobilization of ions in the soil, leading to a reduction in SOM and Al concentration and an increase in pH and the levels of Ca and Mg. In the first crop year, adoption of CLI led to an increase in the levels of K and Mg and a reduction in the levels of SOM; however, in the second crop year, the rate of decline of SOM decreased compared to the decline observed in the first crop year, and the level of K increased, whereas that of P decreased. The extent of the effects of liming in terms of depth and improvement in the root environment from the treatments were observed only partially from the changes observed in the chemical properties studied.

  3. How can we harness quantitative genetic variation in crop root systems for agricultural improvement?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Christopher N. Topp; Adam L. Bray

    2016-01-01

    Root systems are a black box obscuring a comprehensive understanding of plant function, from the ecosystem scale down to the individual. In particular, a lack of knowledge about the genetic mechanisms and environmental effects that condition root system growth hinders our ability to develop the next generation of crop plants for improved agricultural productivity and sustainability. We discuss how the methods and metrics we use to quantify root systems can affect our ability to understand them, how we can bridge knowledge gaps and accelerate the derivation of structure-function relationships for roots, and why a detailed mecha-nistic understanding of root growth and function will be important for future agricultural gains.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. S. Pretorius

    1994-07-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Pretorius, I S

    1994-01-01

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

  6. The Impact of Biotechnology, in Particular Genetically Modified Crops on International Agricultural Research, Production and Marketing and How this will Affect Agriculture in Western Australia

    OpenAIRE

    Forbes, Sandy

    2003-01-01

    In 2000 I was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship to study the impact of biotechnology, in particular genetically modified crops, on international agricultural research, production and marketing. I studied this topic in 2001 in Canada, USA and United Kingdom in an attempt to gain an insight into the issues with GM crops and how this may impact on our decision to grow them in Western Australia. I was impressed by the technology available that opened up a range of opportunities for vast impr...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 60Co 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)

  8. 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)

  9. Allelopathic effects of Leucaena leucocephala leaf litter on some forest and agricultural crops grown in nursery

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Romel Ahmed; A. T. M. Rafiqul Hoque; Mohammed Kamal Hossain

    2008-01-01

    An experiment was conducted to assess the effect of leaf litter of Leucaena leucocephala on two forest crops Sada koroi (Albizia procera),Ipil ipil (L.leucocephala) and three agricultural crops Falen (Vigna unguiculata),Chickpea (Cicer arietinum) and Arhor (Cajanus cajan) in the nursery of the Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences,Chittagong University,Bangladesh,in a Randomized Block Design.Results suggested that leaf litters of L.leucocephala induced inhibitory effects on germination and growth of bioassay.It was also found that the effect depended on concentration of extract and litterfall,type of receptor species.Higher concentration of the materials had the higher effect and vice versa.Growth response of receptor crops varied with the variation of leaf litter application.The study revealed that application of low-dose leaf litter specially litter of 10 g(m-2 had stimulating effect on shoot growth of C.arietinum,V.unguiculata and A.procera.While in all other cases significant inhibitory effect was observed and it was significantly increased with the increase of leaf litter application.However,the trend of inhibition was uneven with treatments.Root growth was found to be more affected than shoot growth.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  11. 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.

  12. 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 (agroforestry systems; planting of tree lines in cultivated fields and grasslands, and hedges around the field edges. - Increasing the life time of temporary sown grasslands: increase of life time to 5 years. The recent literature was reviewed in order to determine long term (>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

  13. 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.

  14. Mulching and Fertilization Effects on Weed Dynamics under Conservation Agriculture-Based Maize Cropping in Zimbabwe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florence Mtambanengwe

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available A two-year study was conducted to assess how mulch influences weed dynamics following imposition of different fertilization treatments under three crop establishment options: (i conventional; (ii ripping; and (iii basin, in a two-year maize-legume rotation. Eight treatments were imposed within each crop establishment option and received maize stover mulch applied at 0% or 30% cover before planting  maize (Zea mays or cowpea (Vigna unguiculata as test crops. Maize received nitrogen (N at 35, 90, or 120 kg·ha−1 and phosphorus (P at 14 or 26 kg·ha−1 applied alone or in combination with 4 or 7 t cattle manure·ha−1, while cowpea received 8 or 17 N·kg·ha−1 and similar P rates to maize. Results indicated that both weed biomass and diversity were influenced more by fertilization than method of crop establishment. On treatments under high fertilizer application rates, or previously planted to cowpea weed biomass ranged between 220 and 400 g·m−2 under mulch and 370–510 g·m−2 (no mulch. Here species richness ranged between 7–16 and was dominated by dicotyledons. This was in contrast to biomass ranges of 75–200 g·m−2 in the low fertilized and control plots, where only one or two grass types dominated. Overall, weed densities were 6% to 51% higher under conventional tillage compared to the two conservation agriculture (CA options, although the data indicated that mulch significantly (p < 0.05 depressed weed density by up to 70%. We concluded that mulching could be a potential mechanism for reducing weeding labor costs for smallholders and the general environmental and health concerns associated with the use of herbicides in CA systems.

  15. Alternative energy from agriculture: biological conversion and recycling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Massantini, F.; Caporali, F.; Masoni, A.

    1980-01-01

    A review on producing methanol and ethanol from agricultural products (sugar beet, sweet sorghum sugar cane, etc.) and biogas from aquatic plants (Eichhornia crassipes) and algae (Azolla, Chlorella) is given. Anaerobic fermentation of liquid manure and sewage, straw, distillery residues, and other organic wastes is also covered. (Refs. 42).

  16. Agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  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. PMID:26520100

  18. 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.

  19. A Model of Diffusion of Genetically Modified Crop Technology in Concentrated Agricultural Processing Markets - The Case of Soybeans

    OpenAIRE

    Nadolnyak, Denis A.; Sheldon, Ian M.

    2002-01-01

    In the paper, a dynamic model of diffusion of genetically modified crop technology is developed and simulated using the U.S. soybean market data. The model accounts for factors specific to agricultural markets, such as oligopsony power and strategic interaction among crop processors, growers' characteristics such as adoption behavior, and identity preservation requirements. Simulation results show how these factors affect the magnitude and distribution of the potential gains from genetically ...

  20. Total Program Efficacy: A Comparison of Traditionally and Alternatively Certified Agriculture Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, Dennis W.; Ricketts, John C.

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine agriculture teachers' perceived levels of efficacy as they relate to managing the total program of agricultural education, both for traditionally and alternatively certified teachers. The constructs used in this study were technical content, FFA/leadership development/SAE, teaching and learning, and…

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (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.

  3. 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

  4. Role of native shrubs of the Sahel in mitigating water and nutrient stresses of agricultural crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayala, R.; Ghezzehei, T. A.; Bogie, N. A.; Diedhiou, I.; Dick, R.

    2015-12-01

    In the semi arid zone of the Sahel native woody shrubs are present in many farmers' fields. The native density of these shrubs is fairly low at around 200 to 300 individuals per hectare. An ongoing study in the Peanut Basin, Senegal has shown a vast improvement in crop yields when annual food crops are planted with the shrub Guiera senegalensis, especially in years of low or irregular precipitation. Shrubs in field plots established in 2003 where a rotation of peanuts and millet are grown are planted at a much higher density of 1500-1830 individuals per hectare. In order to increase the density of shrubs on the landscape, the shrubs must be cultivated. We monitored soil moisture, soil temperature, and growth of recently transplanted individuals at a field station in Thies, Senegal.This study seeks to determine the growth characteristics and water use of young shrubs in order to inform possible future plantations of the shrubs in a more intensely managed agroecosystem. If this technique of intercropping is to be expanded we must not exceed the carrying capacity of the landscape. In vulnerable ecosystems where natural resources are scarce and farming inputs are low, we must work to determine ways of exploiting the adaptation of local agroecosystems to increase the sustainability of agriculture in the region.

  5. Agricultural crop harvest progress monitoring by fully polarimetric synthetic aperture radar imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hao; Zhao, Chunjiang; Yang, Guijun; Li, Zengyuan; Chen, Erxue; Yuan, Lin; Yang, Xiaodong; Xu, Xingang

    2015-01-01

    Dynamic mapping and monitoring of crop harvest on a large spatial scale will provide critical information for the formulation of optimal harvesting strategies. This study evaluates the feasibility of C-band polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) for monitoring the harvesting progress of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) fields. Five multitemporal, quad-pol Radarsat-2 images and one optical ZY-1 02C image were acquired over a farmland area in China during the 2013 growing season. Typical polarimetric signatures were obtained relying on polarimetric decomposition methods. Temporal evolutions of these signatures of harvested fields were compared with the ones of unharvested fields in the context of the entire growing cycle. Significant sensitivity was observed between the specific polarimetric parameters and the harvest status of oilseed rape fields. Based on this sensitivity, a new method that integrates two polarimetric features was devised to detect the harvest status of oilseed rape fields using a single image. The validation results are encouraging even for the harvested fields covered with high residues. This research demonstrates the capability of PolSAR remote sensing in crop harvest monitoring, which is a step toward more complex applications of PolSAR data in precision agriculture.

  6. Cropping Pattern and Comparative Advantage of Agricultural Products in Ilam Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roya Eshraghi Samani

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available I n this study, the comparative advantage of main agricultural products and its relation to cropping pattern was studied in Ilam Province. For data analyzing the comparative advantage and government policies effects indices, Policy Analysis Matrix (PAM were used. The obtained results for the comparative advantage indices of Domestic Resource Cost (DRC, Social Cost Benefit (SCB and Net Social Profitability (NSP show that production of irrigated wheat, dry-farming wheat and dry-farming barely has not comparative advantage in Ilam Province but the production of irrigated barely, corn, dry-farming pea, dry-farming lentil, watermelon, cucumber and tomato have comparative advantage in Ilam Province. In addition, the obtained results for NPIC index show the Nominal Government Protection of inputs in all products. Also, Nominal Protection Coefficient index indicated that nominal market protection of products like wheat (irrigated and dry-farming and barely (irrigated and dry-farming was positive and those of other products were negative and the Effective Protection Coefficient for wheat and barley had the highest values. The results showed that the existing cropping pattern was not allotted with comparative advantage but is related to the effective protection coefficient.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  8. Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Columbia River Basin Agriculture through Integrated Crop Systems, Hydrologic, and Water Management Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajagopalan, K.; Chinnayakanahalli, K.; Adam, J. C.; Barber, M. E.; Yorgey, G.; Stockle, C.; Nelson, R.; Brady, M.; Dinesh, S.; Malek, K.; Kruger, C.; Yoder, J.; Marsh, T.

    2011-12-01

    The Columbia River Basin (CRB) in the Pacific Northwest covers parts of US and Canada with a total drainage area of about 670,000 square kilometers. The water resources of the CRB are managed to satisfy multiple objectives including agricultural withdrawal, which is the largest consumptive user of Columbia River water with 14,000 square kilometers of irrigated area in the CRB. Agriculture is an important component of the economy in the region, with an annual value over $5 billion in Washington State alone. The availability of surface water for irrigation in the basin is expected to be negatively impacted by climate change. Previous climate change studies in the CRB region suggest a likelihood of increasing temperatures and a shift in precipitation patterns, with precipitation higher in the winter and lower in the summer. Warming further exacerbates summer water availability in many CRB tributaries as they shift from snowmelt-dominant towards rain-dominant hydrologic regimes. The goal of this research is to study the impacts of climate change on CRB water availability and agricultural production in the expectation that curtailment will occur more frequently in an altered climate. Towards this goal it is essential that we understand the interactions between crop-growth dynamics, climate dynamics, the hydrologic cycle, water management, and agricultural economy. To study these interactions at the regional scale, we use the newly developed crop-hydrology model VIC-CropSyst, which integrates a crop growth model CropSyst with the hydrologic model, Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC). Simulation of future climate by VIC-CropSyst captures the socio-economic aspects of this system through economic analysis of the impacts of climate change on crop patterns. This integrated framework (submitted as a separate paper) is linked to a reservoir operations simulations model, Colsim. ColSim is modified to explicitly account for agricultural withdrawals. Washington State water

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  10. Soil erosion potential of organic versus conventional farming evaluated by USLE modelling of cropping statistics for agricultural districts in Bavaria

    OpenAIRE

    Auerswald, Karl; Kainz, Max; Fiener, Peter

    2003-01-01

    Organic agriculture (OA) aims to identify a production regime that causes less environmental problems than conventional agriculture (CA). We examined whether the two systems differ in their susceptibility to soil erosion by water. To account for the large heterogeneity within the rotations practised on different farms, we chose a statistical evaluation which modelled erosion using the USLE method from the cropping statistics for 2056 districts in Bavaria (70 547 km2; 29.8% arable). Physical c...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Shoaib Ur Rehman; Martina Predotova; Iqar Ahmad Khan; Eva Schlecht; Andreas Buerkert

    2013-01-01

    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 househol...

  12. Phosphorus export by runoff from agricultural field plots with different crop cover in Lake Taihu watershed

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Runoff and soil losses from agricultural fields are investigated as major nonpoint sources of phosphorus (P) entering lakes of Eastern China. There is relatively little information on P transport from ricefield and cropland of Lake Taihu watershed in Eastern China. Soil and P in surface runoff from a series of plots in the watershed were evaluated under simulated rainfall conditions. The objectives of this study were to evaluate theeffects of crop cover, slope, and fertilizer application on P concentrations in surface runoff and eroded soil. Accumulated sediment yields varied from 7.1 to 300 g/m2 for croplands, depending on management practices. For all experiment plots, weighted average concentrations of total-P (TP), dissolved P (DP) and particulate P (PP) are much higher than 0.02 mg/L, the limiting concentration in lake water. This result showed the potential contamination of lake water from agricultural surface runoff. Accumulated TP losses were 3.8 and 18.8 mg/m2 for ricefield and cropland, respectively. The estimated annual loss of TP was 0.74 kg/(hm2鷄) for cropland. Most of P loss is in PP form, which accounts for more than 90% of TP loss for cropland.

  13. Multi-country evidence that crop diversification promotes ecological intensification of agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurr, Geoff M; Lu, Zhongxian; Zheng, Xusong; Xu, Hongxing; Zhu, Pingyang; Chen, Guihua; Yao, Xiaoming; Cheng, Jiaan; Zhu, Zengrong; Catindig, Josie Lynn; Villareal, Sylvia; Van Chien, Ho; Cuong, Le Quoc; Channoo, Chairat; Chengwattana, Nalinee; Lan, La Pham; Hai, Le Huu; Chaiwong, Jintana; Nicol, Helen I; Perovic, David J; Wratten, Steve D; Heong, Kong Luen

    2016-01-01

    Global food security requires increased crop productivity to meet escalating demand(1-3). Current food production systems are heavily dependent on synthetic inputs that threaten the environment and human well-being(2,4,5). Biodiversity, for instance, is key to the provision of ecosystem services such as pest control(6,7), but is eroded in conventional agricultural systems. Yet the conservation and reinstatement of biodiversity is challenging(5,8,9), and it remains unclear whether the promotion of biodiversity can reduce reliance on inputs without penalizing yields on a regional scale. Here we present results from multi-site field studies replicated in Thailand, China and Vietnam over a period of four years, in which we grew nectar-producing plants around rice fields, and monitored levels of pest infestation, insecticide use and yields. Compiling the data from all sites, we report that this inexpensive intervention significantly reduced populations of two key pests, reduced insecticide applications by 70%, increased grain yields by 5% and delivered an economic advantage of 7.5%. Additional field studies showed that predators and parasitoids of the main rice pests, together with detritivores, were more abundant in the presence of nectar-producing plants. We conclude that a simple diversification approach, in this case the growth of nectar-producing plants, can contribute to the ecological intensification of agricultural systems. PMID:27249349

  14. Multi-country evidence that crop diversification promotes ecological intensification of agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurr, Geoff M; Lu, Zhongxian; Zheng, Xusong; Xu, Hongxing; Zhu, Pingyang; Chen, Guihua; Yao, Xiaoming; Cheng, Jiaan; Zhu, Zengrong; Catindig, Josie Lynn; Villareal, Sylvia; Van Chien, Ho; Cuong, Le Quoc; Channoo, Chairat; Chengwattana, Nalinee; Lan, La Pham; Hai, Le Huu; Chaiwong, Jintana; Nicol, Helen I; Perovic, David J; Wratten, Steve D; Heong, Kong Luen

    2016-02-22

    Global food security requires increased crop productivity to meet escalating demand(1-3). Current food production systems are heavily dependent on synthetic inputs that threaten the environment and human well-being(2,4,5). Biodiversity, for instance, is key to the provision of ecosystem services such as pest control(6,7), but is eroded in conventional agricultural systems. Yet the conservation and reinstatement of biodiversity is challenging(5,8,9), and it remains unclear whether the promotion of biodiversity can reduce reliance on inputs without penalizing yields on a regional scale. Here we present results from multi-site field studies replicated in Thailand, China and Vietnam over a period of four years, in which we grew nectar-producing plants around rice fields, and monitored levels of pest infestation, insecticide use and yields. Compiling the data from all sites, we report that this inexpensive intervention significantly reduced populations of two key pests, reduced insecticide applications by 70%, increased grain yields by 5% and delivered an economic advantage of 7.5%. Additional field studies showed that predators and parasitoids of the main rice pests, together with detritivores, were more abundant in the presence of nectar-producing plants. We conclude that a simple diversification approach, in this case the growth of nectar-producing plants, can contribute to the ecological intensification of agricultural systems.

  15. Changes of crop rotation in Iowa determined from the United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service cropland data layer product

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Alan J.; Doraiswamy, Paul C.; Raymond Hunt, E.

    2012-01-01

    Crop rotation is one of the important decisions made independently by numerous farm managers, and is a critical variable in models of crop growth and soil carbon. In Iowa and much of the Midwestern United States (US), the typical management decision is to rotate corn and soybean crops for a single field; therefore, the land-cover changes each year even though the total area of agricultural land-use remains the same. The price for corn increased from 2001 to 2010, which increased corn production in Iowa. We tested the hypothesis that the production increase was the result of changes in crop rotation in Iowa using the annual remote sensing classification (the cropland data layer) produced by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service. It was found that the area planted in corn increased from 4.7 million hectares in 2001 to 5.7 million hectares in 2007, which was correlated with the market price for corn. At the county level, there were differences in how the increase in corn production was accomplished. Northern and central counties had little land to expand cultivation and generally increased corn production by converting to a corn-corn rotation from the standard corn-soybean rotation. Southern counties in Iowa increased corn production by expanding into land that was not under recent cultivation. These changes affect the amount of soil carbon sequestration.

  16. Assessing agricultural risks of climate change in the 21st century in a global gridded crop model intercomparison

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rozenzweig, C.; Elliott, J.; Deryng, D.; Ruane, A.C.; Arneth, A.; Boote, K.J.; Folberth, C.; Glotter, M.; Müller, C.; Neumann, K.

    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

  17. DETERMINATION OF BACKGROUND LEVELS OF LEAD AND CADMIUM IN RAW AGRICULTURAL CROPS BY USING DIFFERENTIAL PULSE ANODIC STRIPPING VOLTAMMETRY

    Science.gov (United States)

    A method is described for the simultaneous determination of ultratrace levels of lead and cadmium in selected agricultural crop samples by differential pulse anodic stripping voltametry. Samples are dry ashed at high temperature with H2SO4 as an ashing aid. Techniques are describ...

  18. Agricultural residues and energy crops as potentially economical and novel substrates for microbial production of butanol (a biofuel)

    Science.gov (United States)

    This review describes production of acetone butanol ethanol (ABE) from a variety of agricultural residues and energy crops employing biochemical or fermentation processes. A number of organisms are available for this bioconversion including Clostridium beijerinckii P260, C. beijerinckii BA101, C. a...

  19. 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…

  20. Separation of agroclimatic areas for optimal crop growing within the framework of the natural-agricultural zoning of Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulgakov, D. S.; Rukhovich, D. I.; Shishkonakova, E. A.; Vil'chevskaya, E. V.

    2016-09-01

    The separation of agroclimatic areas for optimal crop growing within is suggested within the framework of the natural-agricultural zoning of Russia developed under the supervision of I. Karmanov. Overall, 64 agroclimatic areas have been separated in Russia. They are specified by the particular soil and agroclimatic conditions and by the particular crops recommended for cultivation. The biological potential of these crops should correspond to the soil potential of the given area. A combined scheme of the natural-agricultural zoning of Russia and the separated agroclimatic areas is presented. It is argued that the information contained in this scheme can be used for developing landscape-adaptive farming systems, land cadaster, and land valuation; it is also helpful for terrain and remote sensing monitoring of soil fertility on arable lands and for soilecological monitoring.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Because of human population growth, increased food production and alternatives to conventional methods of biocontrol and development of plants such as the use of endophytic bacteria and fungi are required. One of the methods used to study microorganism diversity is sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, which has several advantages, including universality, size, and availability of databases for comparison. The objective of this study was to analyze endophytic bacterial diversity in agricultural crops using published papers, sequence databases, and phylogenetic analysis. Fourteen papers were selected in which the ribosomal 16S rRNA gene was used to identify endophytic bacteria, in important agricultural crops, such as coffee, sugar cane, beans, corn, soybean, tomatoes, and grapes, located in different geographical regions (America, Europe, and Asia). The corresponding 16S rRNA gene sequences were selected from the NCBI database, aligned using the Mega 5.2 program, and phylogenetic analysis was undertaken. The most common orders present in the analyzed cultures were Bacillales, Enterobacteriales, and Actinomycetales and the most frequently observed genera were Bacillus, Pseudomonas, and Microbacterium. Phylogenetic analysis showed that only approximately 1.56% of the total sequences were not properly grouped, demonstrating reliability in the identification of microorganisms. This study identified the main genera found in endophytic bacterial cultures from plants, providing data for future studies on improving plant agriculture, biotechnology, endophytic bacterium prospecting, and to help understand relationships between endophytic bacteria and their interactions with plants. PMID:26345903

  2. 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. PMID:26940382

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Knapp

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

  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. Crop diversity effects on productivity and economic returns under dryland agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increasing crop diversity has been identified as a method to improve agronomic performance of cropping systems and increase provision of ecosystem services. However, there is a need to understand the economic performance of more diverse cropping systems. Crop productivity and economic net returns we...

  6. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1978-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  10. How Seasonal Drought Affect Carbon and Water Fluxes of Alternative Energy Crops in the US?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joo, E.; Hussain, M. Z.; Zeri, M.; Masters, M.; Gomez-Casanovas, N.; DeLucia, E. H.; Bernacchi, C.

    2014-12-01

    The cellulosic biomass of Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), Miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus) and native prairie are considered candidate second-generation biofuels, potentially resulting in partial replacement annual row crops within the Midwestern US. There is an increasing focus to study the environmental impact of agricultural crops, however not much is known on the influence on the energy, carbon and water cycles of energy crops, especially under drought conditions. This study compares the impact of drought episodes (in 2011 and 2012) on evapotranspiration (ET), net ecosystem productivity (NEP) and water use efficiency (WUE; equals to NEP/ET) for Switchgrass (SW), Miscanthus (MXG), Maize (MZ) and native prairie (NP) grown in Central Illinois using the eddy covariance technique. Due to the prolonged drought and the rapid growth development with increasing ET of MXG in 2012, large water deficit (precipitation-ET) was observed for each species up to the highest deficit of -360 mm for this species. The gross primary production (GPP) of MZ was radically decreased by the drought in 2011 and 2012, while SW and NP were not influenced. MXG increased NEP throughout the typically wet and drought years, mainly due to the decrease in respiration and by the largest GPP upon the drought in 2012. Despite having the largest water deficit, MXG showed an enhanced WUE of 12.8 and 11.4 Kg C ha-1mm-1 in 2011 and 2012, respectively, in comparison to years typical to the region with WUE of 3.7-7.3 Kg C ha-1mm-1. Other species did not show a significant enhancement of WUE. Therefore we conclude that out of the studied species, MXG has more access to water, and uses this water the most efficiently to store carbon, under drought conditions.

  11. Effect of crop residue incorporation on soil organic carbon (SOC) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in European agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehtinen, Taru; Schlatter, Norman; Baumgarten, Andreas; Bechini, Luca; Krüger, Janine; Grignani, Carlo; Zavattaro, Laura; Costamagna, Chiara; Spiegel, Heide

    2014-05-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) improves soil physical (e.g. increased aggregate stability), chemical (e.g. cation exchange capacity) and biological (e.g. biodiversity, earthworms) properties. The sequestration of soil organic carbon (SOC) may mitigate climate change. However, as much as 25-75% of the initial SOC in world agricultural soils may have been lost due to intensive agriculture (Lal, 2013). The European Commission has described the decline of organic matter (OM) as one of the major threats to soils (COM(2006) 231). Incorporation of crop residues may be a sustainable and cost-efficient management practice to maintain the SOC levels and to increase soil fertility in European agricultural soils. Especially Mediterranean soils that have low initial SOC concentrations, and areas where stockless croplands predominate may be suitable for crop residue incorporation. In this study, we aim to quantify the effects of crop residue incorporation on SOC and GHG emissions (CO2 and N2O) in different environmental zones (ENZs, Metzger et al., 2005) in Europe. Response ratios for SOC and GHG emissions were calculated from pairwise comparisons between crop residue incorporation and removal. Specifically, we investigated whether ENZs, clay content and experiment duration influence the response ratios. In addition, we studied how response ratios of SOM and crop yields were correlated. A total of 718 response ratios (RR) were derived from a total of 39 publications, representing 50 experiments (46 field and 4 laboratory) and 15 countries. The SOC concentrations and stocks increased by approximately 10% following crop residue incorporation. In contrast, CO2 emissions were approximately six times and N2O emissions 12 times higher following crop residue incorporation. The effect of ENZ on the response ratios was not significant. For SOC concentration, the >35% clay content had significantly approximately 8% higher response ratios compared to 18-35% clay content. As the duration of the

  12. Phytotoxic risk assessment of ambient air pollution on agricultural crops in Selangor State, Malaysia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The phytotoxic risk of ambient air pollution to local vegetation was assessed in Selangor State, Malaysia. The AOT40 value was calculated by means of the continuously monitored daily maximum concentration and the local diurnal pattern of O3. Together with minor risks associated with the levels of NO2 and SO2, the study found that the monthly AOT40 values in these peri-urban sites were consistently over 1.0 ppm.h, which is well in exceedance of the given European critical level. Linking the O3 level to actual agricultural crop production in Selangor State also indicated that the extent of yield losses could have ranged from 1.6 to 5.0% (by weight) in 2000. Despite a number of uncertainties, the study showed a simple but useful methodological framework for phytotoxic risk assessment with a limited data set, which could contribute to appropriate policy discussion and countermeasures in countries under similar conditions. - There is a large potential of phytotoxic risk on vegetation in Selangor State, Malaysia

  13. Allelopathic effects of leaf litters of Eucalyptus camaldulensis on some forest and agricultural crops

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Romel Ahmed; A. T. M. Rafiqul Hoque; Mohammed Kamal Hossain

    2008-01-01

    Allelopathic effects of different doses of Eucalyptus camaldulensis leaf litters were investigated through an experiment in the green house of Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Three popular agricultural crops: Falen (Vigna unguiculata), Chickpea (Cicer arietinum), Arhor (Cajanus cajan) and two widely used plantation trees: Sada koroi (Albizia procera) and Ipil ipil (Leucaena leucocephala) were selected as bioassay species. Experiment was set on tray at room temperature 27℃. The effects of different doses of leaf litter extracts were compared to the control. Results suggest that leaf litters of E. camaldulesis induced inhibitory effects. It was also found that the effect depend on concentration of extract and litterfall, type of receiver species. Higher concentration of the materials had the higher effect and vice versa. Though all the bioassay species were suppressed some of them showed better performance. Vigna unguiculata, Cicer arietinum are recommended in agroforestry based on this present Experiment output. In mixed plantation, Leucaena leucochephala is a better choice while compared to Albizia procera.

  14. [Responses of agricultural crops of free-air CO2 enrichment].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimball, B A; Zhu, Jianguo; Cheng, Lei; Kobayashi, K; Bindi, M

    2002-10-01

    Over the past decade, free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments have been conducted on several agricultural crops: wheat(Triticum aestivum L.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), and rice(Oryza sativa L.) which are C3 grasses; sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Möench), a C4 grass; white clover (Trifolium repens), a C3 legume; potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), a C3 forb with tuber storage; and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and grape (Vitis vinifera L.) which are C3 woody perennials. Using reports from these experiments, the relative responses of these crops was discussed with regard to photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, canopy temperature, water use, water potential, leaf area index, shoot and root biomass accumulation, agricultural yield, radiation use efficiency, specific leaf area, tissue nitrogen concentration, nitrogen yield, carbohydrate concentration, phenology, soil microbiology, soil respiration, trace gas emissions, and soil carbon sequestration. Generally, the magnitude of these responses varied with the functional type of plant and with the soil nitrogen and water status. As expected, the elevated CO2 increased photosynthesis and biomass production and yield substantially in C3 species, but little in C4, and it decreased stomatal conductance and transpiration in both C3 and C4 species and greatly improved water-use efficiency in all the crops. Growth stimulations were as large or larger under water-stress compared to well-watered conditions. Growth stimulations of non-legumes were reduced at low soil nitrogen, whereas elevated CO2 strongly stimulated the growth of the clover legume both at ample and under low N conditions. Roots were generally stimulated more than shoots. Woody perennials had larger growth responses to elevated CO2, while at the same time, their reductions in stomatal conductance were smaller. Tissue nitrogen concentrations went down while carbohydrate and some other carbon-based compounds went up due to elevated CO2, with leaves and

  15. Automatic Training Site Selection for Agricultural Crop Classification: a Case Study on Karacabey Plain, Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozdarici Ok, A.; Akyurek, Z.

    2011-09-01

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

  16. Crop Variety Improvement and Its Effects on Productivity: The Impact of International Agricultural Research

    OpenAIRE

    Evenson, R. E. (ed.); Gollin, D. (ed.)

    2003-01-01

    Metadata only record This resource aims to document the impact of international research on crop genetic improvement in developing countries. It focused on 11 major food crops: rice, wheat, maize, sorghum, millet, barley, beans, lentils, groundnut, cassava, and potato.

  17. Effects of Reduced Terrestrial LiDAR Point Density on High-Resolution Grain Crop Surface Models in Precision Agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    Martin Hämmerle; Bernhard Höfle

    2014-01-01

    3D geodata play an increasingly important role in precision agriculture, e.g., for modeling in-field variations of grain crop features such as height or biomass. A common data capturing method is LiDAR, which often requires expensive equipment and produces large datasets. This study contributes to the improvement of 3D geodata capturing efficiency by assessing the effect of reduced scanning resolution on crop surface models (CSMs). The analysis is based on high-end LiDAR point clouds of grain...

  18. 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.

  19. BIOGAS PRODUCTION FROM CATCH CROPS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kotsuki

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  1. A Strategic Approach to the Implementation of Precision Agriculture Principles in Cash Crop Farming

    OpenAIRE

    Maine, Ntsikane; Nell, Wilhelm T.

    2005-01-01

    Precision agriculture is one of the important agricultural technologies that can assist farmers and managers in promoting long-term success. Precision agriculture can help farm managers increase their management capacity, which is of utmost importance in the highly competitive modern agriculture. Increased yields and/or efficient input use can also be achieved with precision agriculture. Precision agriculture also involve a large capital outlay and requires skills in interpreting the masses o...

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Mapping changes in agricultural cropping frequency across Zimbabwe using cross-scale time-series remote sensing data and a novel signal decomposition method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khandelwal, A.; Van Den Hoek, J.; Sedano, F.; Kumar, V.; Tucker, C. J.

    2014-12-01

    A central challenge in agricultural remote sensing is the detection of changes in intra-annual cropping frequency, often necessary in monitoring crop productivity, agricultural management practices, or policy implementation. Though remote sensing imagery offers synoptic and systematic measurements relevant to monitoring crop phenology across spatial scales, broad-scale (i.e., country-wide) changes in cropping frequency have seldom been quantified due to spatio-temporal heterogeneity in phenological and climatic cycles, signal noise, and missing data resulting from cloud cover. For example, in Zimbabwe, once the breadbasket of southern Africa, large-scale changes to agricultural production followed land distribution policies introduced in the early 2000s. The diverse impacts of land reform on the agricultural economy continue to be debated yet the underlying changes in cropping frequency and pattern have never been systematically assessed. Using Zimbabwean agriculture as a case study and MODIS 16-day composite Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and complementary Landsat imagery collected since 2000 across Zimbabwe, this presentation introduces a novel time-series signal decomposition and spatiotemporal clustering approach to map intra-annual cropping frequency and changes therein. MODIS-derived results indicate a massive decline in double-cropped acreage since 2000, a complete overhaul of cropping pattern with the disaggregation of large-scale commercial farms into multiple smallholder plots, and a spatial contraction of double-cropped fields to peri-urban lands, while Landsat trends capture the recent emergence of small-scale double-cropping systems unseen in MODIS data. These findings provide an independent and objective assessment of field-level changes in agricultural productivity, spatiotemporally explicit land reform effects on large-scale as well as smallholder agriculture and potential for food production, and have importance for regional water

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J.; Hong, S. Y.; Kang, S.

    2015-12-01

    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 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. In threshold method assumes the emergence and harvesting date when NDVI values exceed and decreases down to a given threshold, respectively. Two kind of threshold values were applied for NDVI and it increment for eight days. The other two methods use a logistic fitting model and inflection points on fitted curve, respectively. It was compared the four methods for corn and soybean, respectively. For validation, three kinds of datasets were utilized: AmeriFlux biological data of planting and harvest dates, and emergence date estimated from growing degree days (AGDDs) at flux tower sites, and state-level USDA Crop Progress Report (CPR). All methods showed substantial uncertainty but the threshold method showed relatively better agreement against with both site- and state-level data for soybean phenology. For better NDVI-based regional estimation of crop phenology, factors of uncertainty were examined and discussed in this study.

  7. Crop rotation and seasonal effects on fatty acid profiles of neutral and phospholipids extracted from no-till agricultural soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ferrari, Alejandro E.; Ravnskov, Sabine; Larsen, John;

    2015-01-01

    Analysis of phospholipids (PLFA) and neutral lipids fatty acids (NLFA) was used to characterizeno-till productive agricultural soils associated with different crop rotation levels, replicated across a400 km transect in the Argentinean pampas, during two sampling seasons, summer and winter....... Highrotation (HR) management consisted in maize–wheat–soybean intense rotation including cover crops.Low rotation (LR) management trend to soybean monocultures. Soils from nearby naturalenvironments (NEs) were used as references. Fatty acids concentration in soils (nmol/g) decreased c.a.50% from summer...... of NLFA in winter samples as ifhigh crop rotation improves lipids reserves in soil during winter more than in monocropping soilmanagement. In conclusion, PLFA and particularly NLFA profiles appear to provide useful andcomplementary information to obtain a footprint of different soil use and managements...

  8. THE MODERNIZATION OF AGRICULTURE AND BIOFUELPRODUCTION AS ALTERNATIVE ENERGY: A CRITICAL REFLECTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VITOR MACHADO

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This article discusses the policy implications of agricultural modernization implemented by the military - after 1964. This policy, which became known as the Green Revolution, on the one hand contributed to the development of big business, but another caused serious social and environmental impacts. Currently, not only in Brazil but all over the world, have been in a great debate about the need to find alternatives to contain the problems caused to the environment resulting from the use of high technology in the field. One alternative proposed by several researchers is to replace fossil fuels by biofuels. As we believe that the error is in the current model of agricultural production based on mass production, which serves the major markets, the attention in this article, the need to develop an agricultural model designed for small property, with the use of family work and agroecology.

  9. Is the possibility of replacing seed dressings containing neonicotinoids with other means of protection viable in major Polish agricultural crops?

    OpenAIRE

    Matyjaszczyk Ewa; Sobczak Joanna; Szulc Magdalena

    2015-01-01

    Following the limitations regarding the use of the neonicotinoids: clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid there are no currently available insecticide seed dressings for oilseed rape in Poland. For maize here is only one seed dressing containing methiocarb available with a very narrow registered scope of use. The impact of limitations on protection possibilities of other major Polish agricultural crops is either negligible or non-existent. In consequence a group of economically important...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Conservation agriculture, a sustainable production alternative for the (sub)tropical highlands : toward an integrated evaluation of the system

    OpenAIRE

    Govaerts, Bram

    2007-01-01

    (Sub)tropical highlands of the world are densely populated and intensively cropped. Agricultural sustainability problems resulting from soil erosion and fertility decline have arisen throughout this agro-ecological zone. Major changes are needed in land, livestock and water management in line with traditional lifestyles and customs to remedy the agricultural system. Can conservation agriculture, based on three basic principles (1) minimal soil movement, (2) retention of rational amounts of cr...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Adenle Ademola A

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hämmerle, Martin; Höfle, Bernhard

    2014-01-01

    3D geodata play an increasingly important role in precision agriculture, e.g., for modeling in-field variations of grain crop features such as height or biomass. A common data capturing method is LiDAR, which often requires expensive equipment and produces large datasets. This study contributes to the improvement of 3D geodata capturing efficiency by assessing the effect of reduced scanning resolution on crop surface models (CSMs). The analysis is based on high-end LiDAR point clouds of grain crop fields of different varieties (rye and wheat) and nitrogen fertilization stages (100%, 50%, 10%). Lower scanning resolutions are simulated by keeping every n-th laser beam with increasing step widths n. For each iteration step, high-resolution CSMs (0.01 m2 cells) are derived and assessed regarding their coverage relative to a seamless CSM derived from the original point cloud, standard deviation of elevation and mean elevation. Reducing the resolution to, e.g., 25% still leads to a coverage of >90% and a mean CSM elevation of >96% of measured crop height. CSM types (maximum elevation or 90th-percentile elevation) react differently to reduced scanning resolutions in different crops (variety, density). The results can help to assess the trade-off between CSM quality and minimum requirements regarding equipment and capturing set-up. PMID:25521383

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lehmann, N.; Finger, R.

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Development of alternative drives in mobile agricultural machines; Entwicklung alternativer Antriebe fuer mobile Landmaschinen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aumer, Wolfgang; Herlitzius, Thomas [Technische Univ. Dresden (Germany). Lehrstuhl fuer Agrarsystemtechnik

    2009-10-15

    The increasing biomass production and the growing food supply will result in a further high productivity and efficiency of mobile agricultural machines. The requirements to increase machine performance within a limited space defined by road traffic regulations and the progress made in the development of electrical drives and associated power electronics as well as the hydraulic drives, provide the chance for new concepts on the basis of hybrid drive lines. This paper gives a prospect of the advanced and alternative drive technologies in mobile agricultural machines. (orig.)

  20. Cultural Methods as an Alternative Approach to Assessing Mycotoxin Contamination in Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contamination with aflatoxins and other mycotoxins is a major problem worldwide for numerous types of crops in addition to tree nuts. Aflatoxins are the major determinant of crop quality in several crops in developed countries, where government regulation is extensive, and the cost of monitoring my...

  1. Guidelines regarding the interim use and phase out of neonicotinoid insecticides to grow agricultural crops for wildlife on NWRs in the Pacific Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Memorandum describing a phased approach in the Pacific Region to eliminate the use of neonicotinoidinsecticides (by any method) to grow agricultural crops for...

  2. Precipitation Variation during the Crop Growing Season and Analysis of the Trend of Agricultural Drought and Flood in Dalian City in Recent 60 Years

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2011-01-01

    [Objective] The aim was to study the precipitation changes and agricultural flood and drought degree of crops in Dalian City in recent 60 years. [Method] The monthly precipitation and average temperature data from April to October during 1951-2010 in Dalian observation station were selected. By dint of linear regression, climate tendency rate and humidity index, the growth changes and agricultural flood and drought degree of crops in recent 60 years in Dalian City were expounded from the aspects of natural ...

  3. Construction and Establishment of Sci-tech Platform for Agricultural Scientific Research Institutions :A Case Study of Tropical Crops Genetic Resources Institute of Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Lizhen; Zheng, Yu; Luo, Haiyan; Yao, Qingqun

    2014-01-01

    Taking Tropical Crops Genetic Resources Institute (TCGRI) of Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS) as an example, this paper discussed current situation of construction of sci-tech platform, analyzed existing problems, and finally came up with pertinent recommendations.

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  6. 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.

  7. Modelling adaptation to climate change of Ecuadorian agriculture and associated water resources: uncertainties in coastal and highland cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Ramos, Margarita; Bastidas, Wellington; Cóndor, Amparo; Villacís, Marcos; Calderón, Marco; Herrera, Mario; Zambrano, José Luis; Lizaso, Jon; Hernández, Carlos; Rodríguez, Alfredo; Capa-Morocho, Mirian

    2016-04-01

    Climate change threatens sustainability of farms and associated water resources in Ecuador. Although the last IPCC report (AR5) provides a general framework for adaptation, , impact assessment and especially adaptation analysis should be site-specific, taking into account both biophysical and social aspects. The objective of this study is to analyse the climate change impacts and to sustainable adaptations to optimize the crop yield. Furthermore is also aimed to weave agronomical and hydrometeorological aspects, to improve the modelling of the coastal ("costa") and highland ("sierra") cropping systems in Ecuador, from the agricultural production and water resources points of view. The final aim is to support decision makers, at national and local institutions, for technological implementation of structural adaptation strategies, and to support farmers for their autonomous adaptation actions to cope with the climate change impacts and that allow equal access to resources and appropriate technologies. . A diagnosis of the current situation in terms of data availability and reliability was previously done, and the main sources of uncertainty for agricultural projections have been identified: weather data, especially precipitation projections, soil data below the upper 30 cm, and equivalent experimental protocol for ecophysiological crop field measurements. For reducing these uncertainties, several methodologies are being discussed. This study was funded by PROMETEO program from Ecuador through SENESCYT (M. Ruiz-Ramos contract), and by the project COOP-XV-25 funded by Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosey Obet Ruiz-González

    2014-07-01

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

  10. A Review of 'Crop Protection in Medieval Agriculture. Studies in Pre-Modern Organic'

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Pautasso

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This brilliant and original book by Jan Zadoks, a renowned, prolific and polyglot Dutch plant epidemiologist [2], provides a systematic, learned and well-structured overview of our understanding of medieval crop protection in Europe.

  11. 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

    2004-05-01

    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

  12. Health effect of agricultural pesticide use in China: implications for the development of GM crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chao; Hu, Ruifa; Huang, Jikun; Huang, Xusheng; Shi, Guanming; Li, Yifan; Yin, Yanhong; Chen, Zhaohui

    2016-01-01

    It is notable that the adoption of GM glyphosate-tolerant crops increases glyphosate use but reduces non-glyphosate herbicide use; and adoption of GM insect-resistant crops significantly reduces insecticide use. While the health hazard of pesticide use has been well documented, little literature evaluates the health effects of different pesticides related to GM crops in an integrated framework. This study aims to associate the uses of different pesticides related to GM crops with the blood chemistry panel and peripheral nerve conduction of Chinese farmers. Pesticides used by farmers were recorded and classified as glyphosate, non-glyphosate herbicides, chemical lepidopteran insecticides, biological lepidopteran insecticides, non-lepidopteran insecticides and fungicides. The multivariate regression results show that none of the examined 35 health indicators was associated with glyphosate use, while the use of non-glyphosate herbicides was likely to induce renal dysfunction and decrease of serum folic acid. The use of chemical lepidopteran insecticides might be associated with hepatic dysfunction, serum glucose elevation, inflammation and even severe nerve damage. In this context, if GM crops are adopted, the alterations in pesticide use may benefit farmer health in China and globe, which has positive implications for the development of GM crops. PMID:27721390

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  14. THE COMBINATION OF UAV SURVEY AND LANDSAT IMAGERY FOR MONITORING OF CROP VIGOR IN PRECISION AGRICULTURE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Lukas

    2016-06-01

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

  15. Methodology for combining optical and microwave remote sensing in agricultural crop monitoring.

    OpenAIRE

    Leeuwen, van

    1996-01-01

    Accurate and up-to-date information on agricultural production is a vital component in running present market economies. In Europe considerable differences between c es in their agricultural production have led to a complex system of rules and subsidies which all rely on a certain level of accuracy regarding agricultural statistics (such as acreage and yield). At national level and regional level, such statistics have been collected so far by using conventional methods, which are mostly based...

  16. Development of the Land-use and Agricultural Management Practice web-Service (LAMPS) for generating crop rotations in space and time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agroecosystem models and conservation planning tools require spatially and temporally explicit input data about agricultural management operations. The Land-use and Agricultural Management Practices web-Service (LAMPS) provides crop rotation and management information for user-specified areas within...

  17. Conservation agriculture and tillage effects on soil organic matter and residual moisture content in selected upland crop production systems in the Philippines

    OpenAIRE

    Ella, Victor B.; Manuel R. Reyes; Padre, R.; Mercado, Agustin R., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    This presentation describes a study to analyze the influence of conservation agriculture and tillage on soil organic matter and residual moisture content in selected upland crop production systems in the Philippines LTRA-12 (Conservation agriculture for food security in Cambodia and the Philippines)

  18. Impact of Bioenergy Crops in a Carbon Dioxide Constrained World: An Application of the MiniCAM Energy-Agriculture and Land Use Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gillingham, Kenneth; Smith, Steven J.; Sands, Ronald D.

    2007-10-01

    In the coming century, modern bioenergy crops have the potential to play a crucial role in the global energy mix, especially under policies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as proposed by many in the international community. Previous studies have not fully addressed many of the dynamic interactions and effects of a policy-induced expansion of bioenergy crop production, particularly on crop yields and human food consumption. This study combines an updated agriculture and land use (AgLU) model with a well-developed energy-economic model to provide an analysis of the effects of bioenergy crops on energy, agricultural and land use systems. The results indicate that carbon mitigation policies can stimulate a large production of bioenergy crops, dependent on the severity of the policy. This production of bioenergy crops can lead to several impacts on the agriculture and land use system: decreases in forestland and unmanaged land, decreases in the average yield of food crops, increases in the prices of food crops, and decreases in the level of human consumption of calories.

  19. Methodology for combining optical and microwave remote sensing in agricultural crop monitoring.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, van H.J.C.

    1996-01-01

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

  20. Grassland-cropping rotations: An avenue for agricultural diversification to reconcile high production with environmental quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  1. AquaCrop 模型在农业旱灾损失评估中的应用%Application of AquaCrop model in evaluation of agricultural drought losses

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    常文娟; 梁忠民

    2014-01-01

    利用作物生长机理模型---AquaCrop 模型,建立作物生长环境要素(气象、土壤水分等)与产量之间的定量关系,以此构建农业旱灾损失定量评估模型,并对云南省曲靖市沾益县一季中稻的旱灾损失进行了实例计算。结果表明, AquaCrop 模型能够客观地评估农业因旱损失,为旱灾风险分析计算提供灾损数据支撑。%T he AquaCrop model, based on t he mechanism of crop growth process, was introduced to develop the quantitative rela-tionship betw een crop environmental factors( w eather, soil moisture, etc) and crop yields, and t hen to construct a quantitat ive e-valuation model of the agricultural drought losses. The model w as applied to calculate the agricultural drought losses of season rice in Zhanyi County of Qujing City in Yunnan Province. The results showed that the AquaCrop model can assess the agricul-tural drought losses objectively and provide data support for drought risk analysis.

  2. Fruit development, growth, and stored reserves in macauba palm (Acrocomia aculeata), an alternative bioenergy crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montoya, Sebastián Giraldo; Motoike, Sérgio Yoshimitsu; Kuki, Kacilda Naomi; Couto, Adriano Donato

    2016-10-01

    Main conclusion Macauba palm fruiting is supra-annual, and the fruit growth follows a double sigmoidal trend. The prevailing compound in the mesocarp differs as the fruit ages, oil being the major storage compound. Acrocomia aculeata, macauba palm, is a conspicuous species in the tropical Americas. Because the species is highly productive in oil-rich fruits, it is the subject of domestication as an alternative vegetable oil crop, especially as a bioenergy feedstock. This detailed study first presents the macauba fruit growth and development patterns, morphological changes and accumulation of organic compounds. Fruits were monitored weekly in a natural population. The fruiting was supra-annual, and the fruit growth curve followed a double sigmoidal trend with four stages (S): SI-slow growth and negligible differentiation of the fruit inner parts; SII-first growth spurt and visible, but not complete, differentiation of the inner parts; SIII-growth slowed down and all structures attained differentiation; and SIV-second growth spurt and fruit maturation. In SII, the exocarp and endocarp were the main contributors to fruit growth, whereas the mesocarp and endosperm were responsible for most of the weight gain during SIV. In comparison with starch and oil, soluble sugars did not accumulate in the mesocarp. However, starch was transitory and fueled the oil synthesis. The protective layers, the exocarp and endocarp, fulfilling their ecological roles, were the first to reach maturity, followed by the storage tissues, the mesocarp, and endosperm. The amount and nature of organic compounds in the mesocarp varied with the fruit development and growth stages, and oil was the main and final storage material. The description of macauba fruit's transformations and their temporal order may be of importance for future ecological and agronomical references.

  3. Irrigation water demand of selected agricultural crops in Germany between 1902 and 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drastig, Katrin; Prochnow, Annette; Libra, Judy; Koch, Hagen; Rolinski, Susanne

    2016-11-01

    Irrigation water demand (IWD) is increasing worldwide, including in regions such as Germany that are characterized with low precipitation levels, yet grow water-demanding crops such as sugar beets, potatoes, and vegetables. This study aimed to calculate and analyze the spatial and temporal changes in the IWD of four crops-spring barley, oat, winter wheat, and potato-between 1902 and 2010 in Germany by using the modeling software AgroHyd Farmmodel. Climatic conditions in Germany continued to change over the investigation period, with an increase in temperature of 0.01K/yr and an increase in precipitation of 1mm/yr. Nevertheless, no significant increasing or decreasing trend in IWD was noted in the analysis. The IWD for the investigated crops in the area of the current "Federal Republic of Germany" over the 109years was 112mm/yr, varying between 100 and 127mm/yr. Changes in cropping pattern and cultivated area over the last century caused large differences in the IWD calculated for each administrative district. The mean annual IWD of over the study period (which was divided into 4 parts) varied between 13,455Mm(3)/yr in the earliest period (1902-1919) and 4717Mm(3)/yr in the latest period (1990-2010). Policy and management measures to adapt to climate change are currently being debated in Germany. The presented results suggest that the effects of the choice of crops (in this case, changes in cropping pattern in the German nation states) had a stronger influence on regional water resources than those of climate variability. Thus, the influence of climate change on water resources is relativized which brings an important input into the debate.

  4. Irrigation water demand of selected agricultural crops in Germany between 1902 and 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drastig, Katrin; Prochnow, Annette; Libra, Judy; Koch, Hagen; Rolinski, Susanne

    2016-11-01

    Irrigation water demand (IWD) is increasing worldwide, including in regions such as Germany that are characterized with low precipitation levels, yet grow water-demanding crops such as sugar beets, potatoes, and vegetables. This study aimed to calculate and analyze the spatial and temporal changes in the IWD of four crops-spring barley, oat, winter wheat, and potato-between 1902 and 2010 in Germany by using the modeling software AgroHyd Farmmodel. Climatic conditions in Germany continued to change over the investigation period, with an increase in temperature of 0.01K/yr and an increase in precipitation of 1mm/yr. Nevertheless, no significant increasing or decreasing trend in IWD was noted in the analysis. The IWD for the investigated crops in the area of the current "Federal Republic of Germany" over the 109years was 112mm/yr, varying between 100 and 127mm/yr. Changes in cropping pattern and cultivated area over the last century caused large differences in the IWD calculated for each administrative district. The mean annual IWD of over the study period (which was divided into 4 parts) varied between 13,455Mm(3)/yr in the earliest period (1902-1919) and 4717Mm(3)/yr in the latest period (1990-2010). Policy and management measures to adapt to climate change are currently being debated in Germany. The presented results suggest that the effects of the choice of crops (in this case, changes in cropping pattern in the German nation states) had a stronger influence on regional water resources than those of climate variability. Thus, the influence of climate change on water resources is relativized which brings an important input into the debate. PMID:27395071

  5. Crop-Cattle Integrated Farming System: An Alternative of Climatic Change Mitigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Munandar

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available An integrated farming system is one of the alternatives for climatic change mitigation. This paper reports the application of corn-cattle based integrated farming system in Agrotechno Park Center of Palembang, and discusses its impact on CO2 fixation and the reduction of methane emissions. The study was based on the data of the first 6 yr from 2003 until 2009. The CO2 fixed in the soil and plants was determined based on the content of organic C which was multiplied by the index of 3.67. The methane gas produced by Balinese cattle and its dung was observed and modified into feed rations. The results showed that soil organic C increased from 40.80 tons C/ha in the 1st yr to 66.40 tons C/ha in the 6th yr. In addition, there was organic C fixation equivalent to 93.95 tons of CO2e. Corn biomass increased from 6.67 tons/ha to 18.66 tons/ha, equivalent to an increase in the fixation of atmospheric CO2e as much as 19.80 tons CO2e/ha. The supplementation of 60%-80% grass fodder with concentrate lowered the concentration of methane gas in cattle breathing by 28.7%, from 617 ppm to 440 ppm, while the methane emissions from cattle manure decreased by 31%, from 1367 mL/head/d to 943 mL/head/d. Installing a bio digester that generates biogas served to accommodate methane gas emissions from cattle dung and used it for bioenergy. Composting reduced the formation of methane gas from cattle manure through a regular process of turning over that gives aeration and forms aerobic condition in the heap of cattle dung. Recycling produces a variety of organic products that store carbon for a longer period of time and slowed the conversion of organic C into CO2. This study showed that the diverse activities of an integrated crop-cattle farming could be an alternative solution to climatic change mitigation.

  6. Preparatory steps for a robust dynamic model for organically bound tritium dynamics in agricultural crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The processes involved in tritium transfer in crops are complex and regulated by many feedback mechanisms. A full mechanistic model is difficult to develop due to the complexity of the processes involved in tritium transfer and environmental conditions. First, a review of existing models (ORYZA2000, CROPTRIT and WOFOST) presenting their features and limits, is made. Secondly, the preparatory steps for a robust model are discussed, considering the role of dry matter and photosynthesis contribution to the OBT (Organically Bound Tritium) dynamics in crops

  7. Liming in Agricultural Production Models with and Without the Adoption of Crop-Livestock Integration

    OpenAIRE

    Francisco Carlos Mainardes da Silva; Luís Guilherme Sachs; Inês Cristina Batista Fonseca and; João Tavares Filho

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Perennial forage crops used in crop-livestock integration (CLI) are able to accumulate large amounts of straw on the soil surface in no-tillage system (NTS). In addition, they can potentially produce large amounts of soluble organic compounds that help improving the efficiency of liming in the subsurface, which favors root growth, thus reducing the risks of loss in yield during dry spells and the harmful effects of “overliming”. The aim of this study was to test the effects of liming...

  8. Preparatory steps for a robust dynamic model for organically bound tritium dynamics in agricultural crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Melintescu, A.; Galeriu, D. [' Horia Hulubei' National Institute for Physics and Nuclear Engineering, Bucharest-Magurele (Romania); Diabate, S.; Strack, S. [Institute of Toxicology and Genetics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology - KIT, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen (Germany)

    2015-03-15

    The processes involved in tritium transfer in crops are complex and regulated by many feedback mechanisms. A full mechanistic model is difficult to develop due to the complexity of the processes involved in tritium transfer and environmental conditions. First, a review of existing models (ORYZA2000, CROPTRIT and WOFOST) presenting their features and limits, is made. Secondly, the preparatory steps for a robust model are discussed, considering the role of dry matter and photosynthesis contribution to the OBT (Organically Bound Tritium) dynamics in crops.

  9. Growth and yield of wheat (Triticum aestivum adapted to lowland Lombok Island as an alternative food crop for dryland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Zubaidi

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Wheat is not currently grown as a commercial crop in Indonesia, however since the consumption of wheat in Indonesia is steadily increasing and alternative of dry season crops are required for farming system diversification, wheat becomes an important crop to be adapted in dry land areas of Indonesia, one of them is dry land area of Lombok Island. The aims of this experiment is to adapt and screen wheat varieties including national and introduced Australian varieties in lowland Lombok Island. In future, wheat is expected to be an alternative crop for degraded lands. The experimental method used to evaluate growth and yield of 10 wheat varieties to look at the adaptability on the lowland of 200 m asl (Pringgarata and on higher land of 400 m asl (Aik Bukak. The results showed that at a lower altitude (Pringgarata, wheat growth is slower than in Aik Bukak, which can be caused by the temperature at 200 m asl has exceeded the tolerance limit for grain growth (supra optimal temperature. Wheat can give good yields on 400 m asl, but the yield is decreased at 200 m asl (average 1.68 t/ha vs 0.82 t/ha. This low yield is mainly due to sterility indicated by the low number of grain/spikelet ( 2 t/ha , higher than other varieties

  10. Assessment of impacts of agricultural and climate change scenarios on watershed water quantity and quality, and crop production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teshager, Awoke D.; Gassman, Philip W.; Schoof, Justin T.; Secchi, Silvia

    2016-08-01

    Modeling impacts of agricultural scenarios and climate change on surface water quantity and quality provides useful information for planning effective water, environmental and land use policies. Despite the significant impacts of agriculture on water quantity and quality, limited literature exists that describes the combined impacts of agricultural land use change and climate change on future bioenergy crop yields and watershed hydrology. In this study, the soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) eco-hydrological model was used to model the combined impacts of five agricultural land use change scenarios and three downscaled climate pathways (representative concentration pathways, RCPs) that were created from an ensemble of eight atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs). These scenarios were implemented in a well-calibrated SWAT model for the intensively farmed and tiled Raccoon River watershed (RRW) located in western Iowa. The scenarios were executed for the historical baseline, early century, mid-century and late century periods. The results indicate that historical and more corn intensive agricultural scenarios with higher CO2 emissions consistently result in more water in the streams and greater water quality problems, especially late in the 21st century. Planting more switchgrass, on the other hand, results in less water in the streams and water quality improvements relative to the baseline. For all given agricultural landscapes simulated, all flow, sediment and nutrient outputs increase from early-to-late century periods for the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 climate scenarios. We also find that corn and switchgrass yields are negatively impacted under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios in the mid- and late 21st century.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    CO2 and N2O fluxes exchanged by a maize crop were measured from June to Octboer 2015 using a homemade automated system of dynamic closed chambers. We studied the impact of tillage (reduced and conventional) on greenhouse gas emissions and nitrous oxide flux dynamics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  13. Surface N Balances in Agricultural Crop production systems in China for the period 1980-2015

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sun, B.; Shen, R.P.; Bouwman, A.F.

    2008-01-01

    Surface nitrogen (N) balances for China's crop production systems were estimated using statistical data collected from 1980 to 2004 at the national and provincial scale and from 1994 to 1999 at the county level. There was a surplus N balance throughout these periods, but the surplus was nearly stabl

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  15. Comparative field performance of some agricultural crops under a ca-nopy of Populus deltoides and Ulmus wallichiana

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tariq Hussian Masoodi; Nasir Ahmad Masoodi; Sajad Ahmad Gangoo; Shah Murtaza Mushtaq; Hillal Ahmad

    2013-01-01

    The performance of maize, beans and sunflower was evalu-ated under a canopy of Populus deltoides and Ulmus wallichiana at Fac-ulty of Agriculture, Wadura. The germination, growth and yield of the three test crops were suppressed under both tree species. The reduction, however, decreased when the cultivation of test crops was continued for three years. The inhibition potential generally is in the order of P. del-toides U. wallichiana for beans. Available soil N, P and K increased under the canopy of the selected tree species. The soils under U. wallichiana were more fertile than those under P. deltoides. Chromatographic investigation of extracts showed that the soils under P. deltoides and U. wallichiana differed in their composition of phenolic acids and phenolic glycocides. Except for caffic acid, all other allelochemicals disappeared and were no longer recovered in soil samples obtained after the second or third year of cultivation. Tree-crop compatibility can be explored in greater detail for improved management of traditional agro-ecosystems in Kashmir to increase the overall productivity of the land.

  16. "What we need is a crop ecologist": ecology and agricultural science in Progressive-era America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hersey, Mark D

    2011-01-01

    Though they are often seen as foils for each other, ecology and agricultural science co-evolved. With shared roots in late nineteenth-century botany, ecologists and agronomists fostered important connections during the Progressive era that have been largely overlooked despite a number of finely nuanced studies of ecology's origins. But if 'applied ecology' once effectively meant agriculture, over the course of the first decades of the twentieth century the relationship between ecology and scientific agriculture grew strained. Agriculturists narrowed their focus to increasing yields, and ecologists sought to establish their discipline as a distant theoretical science and so distanced themselves from its agricultural applications. By the end of World War I, the process of disciplinary specialization was well underway. In time, the two disciplines diverged so completely that the once vital connections between them were obscured and forgotten.

  17. Rhizo-lysimetry: facilities for the simultaneous study of root behaviour and resource use by agricultural crop and pasture systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eberbach Philip L

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Rhizo-lysimeters offer unique advantages for the study of plants and their interactions with soils. In this paper, an existing facility at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga Australia is described in detail and its potential to conduct both ecophysiological and ecohydrological research in the study of root interactions of agricultural crops and pastures is quantitatively assessed. This is of significance to future crop research efforts in southern Australia, in light of recent significant long-term drought events, as well as potential impacts of climate change as predicted for the region. The rhizo-lysimeter root research facility has recently been expanded to accommodate larger research projects over multiple years and cropping rotations. Results Lucerne, a widely-grown perennial pasture in southern Australia, developed an expansive root system to a depth of 0.9 m over a twelve month period. Its deeper roots particularly at 2.05 m continued to expand for the duration of the experiment. In succeeding experiments, canola, a commonly grown annual crop, developed a more extensive (approximately 300% root system than wheat, but exhibited a slower rate of root elongation at rates of 7.47 x 10–3 m day–1 for canola and 1.04 x10–2 m day–1 for wheat. A time domain reflectometry (TDR network was designed to accurately assess changes in soil water content, and could assess water content change to within 5% of the amount of water applied. Conclusions The rhizo-lysimetry system provided robust estimates of root growth and soil water change under conditions representative of a field setting. This is currently one of a very limited number of global research facilities able to perform experimentation under field conditions and is the largest root research experimental laboratory in the southern hemisphere.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    . Additionally, the nutritional quality was affected by harvest year and location. However, harvest year and location rather than cultivation system affected the measured health biomarkers. In conclusion, the differences in dietary treatments composed of ingredients from different cultivation systems did......The aim of the current study was to investigate if there are any health effects of long-term consumption of organically grown crops using a rat model. Crops were retrieved over two years from a long-term field trial at three different locations in Denmark, using three different cultivation systems...... not lead to significant differences in the measured health biomarkers, except for a significant difference in plasma IgG levels....

  19. EXPLAINING THE ADOPTION AND DISADOPTION OF SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE: THE CASE OF COVER CROPS IN NORTHERN HONDURAS

    OpenAIRE

    Neill, Sean P.; Lee, David R.

    1999-01-01

    Although technology adoption has been the subject of a great deal of economic research, that focused on the economics of adoption of low-input "sustainable" systems has been much more limited and recent. This paper attempts to explain the recent decline in the use of cover crops using in maize farming in the Department of Atlantida, Honduras. In the early 1970's, farmers in the region began rotating maize with the velvetbean (mucuna ssp.), a system learned from Guatemalan immigrants. Tohe muc...

  20. Bayer CropScience model village project: Contributions to agricultural suppliers’ competitiveness and human development

    OpenAIRE

    Moczadlo, Regina; Strotmann, Harald; Volkert, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Bayer CropScience is carrying out a Model Village Project (MVP) in rural India as part of their supply chain management and their corporate social responsibility activities. The MVP includes actions related to future business cases and higher competitiveness as well as philanthropic activities. The preparation of future business case actions aims at creating prerequisites for win-win-situations. In the long run, these prerequisites, such as long-term business relations with suppli...

  1. Evaluation of Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce) with SWOT Analysis as an Alternative Network Marketing at Agricultural Marketing

    OpenAIRE

    Nuray Kızılaslan; Tayfur Ünal

    2015-01-01

    Compulsory competition occurring in the world trade has led the enterprises to different marketing system. Marketing problems seems to be a problem in Turkey rather than agricultural production problems. In this aspect, marketing alternatives are sought. E-commerce is a system with more opportunities in agricultural marketing. Increasing the applicability of this system in Turkey will eliminate many problems associated with marketing in agriculture. With an active use of E-commerce in agricul...

  2. From ozone depletion to agriculture: understanding the role of UV radiation in sustainable crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wargent, Jason J; Jordan, Brian R

    2013-03-01

    Largely because of concerns regarding global climate change, there is a burgeoning interest in the application of fundamental scientific knowledge in order to better exploit environmental cues in the achievement of desirable endpoints in crop production. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is an energetic driver of a diverse range of plant responses and, despite historical concerns regarding the damaging consequences of UV-B radiation for global plant productivity as related to stratospheric ozone depletion, current developments representative of a range of organizational scales suggest that key plant responses to UV-B radiation may be exploitable in the context of a sustainable contribution towards the strengthening of global crop production, including alterations in secondary metabolism, enhanced photoprotection, up-regulation of the antioxidative response and modified resistance to pest and disease attack. Here, we discuss the prospect of this paradigm shift in photobiology, and consider the linkages between fundamental plant biology and crop-level outcomes that can be applied to the plant UV-B response, in addition to the consequences for related biota and many other facets of agro-ecosystem processes.

  3. 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)

    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

  4. Planning and costing agriculture's adaptation to climate change in the salinity-prone cropping system of Bangladesh

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mainuddin, Khandaker; Rahman, Aminur; Islam, Nazria; Quasem, Saad

    2011-10-15

    This study aims to investigate adaptation requirements and their cost implications in the context of coastal agriculture in Bangladesh. Work shows that the various stakeholders in Bangladesh are aware of climate change and its adverse impacts on agricultural production, and are therefore currently trying to embed adaptation into policy and long-term planning documents. The study also indicates that extension workers are active in promoting technological advances for adaptive practices. Research agencies in Bangladesh are also up to date and in the process of developing methods and varieties for climate change adaptation. Many of the existing adaptive varieties and farming techniques were developed by local research agencies. The claims of institutional stakeholders have been supported by local farmers, who already practise adaptation measures through using saline-resistant crops, better farming techniques, and different forms of irrigation. Farmers and stakeholders unanimously agree on the urgent need to excavate canals to resist salinity. The cost of using adaptive varieties is similar to that of traditional rice varieties, which makes the use of adaptive varieties an imperative for the future. Another point emphasised by the stakeholders and farmers is the need for training. In order to achieve benchmarks for adaptation in the coastal zone, capacity building for agricultural staff and farmers has to be simultaneously improved. Furthermore, additional funding needs to be allocated to the relevant stakeholder institutions so that adaptation measures can be effectively implemented and scaled up further.

  5. Using satellite remote sensing and hydrologic modeling to improve understanding of crop management and agricultural water use at regional to global scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmon, Jessica Meghan

    Croplands are essential to human welfare. In the coming decades, croplands will experience substantial stress from climate change, population growth, changing diets, urban expansion, and increased demand for biofuels. Food security in many parts of the world therefore requires informed crop management and adaptation strategies. In this dissertation, I explore two key dimensions of crop management with significant potential to improve adaptation pathways: irrigation and crop calendars. Irrigation, which is widely used to boost crop yields, is a key strategy for adapting to changes in drought frequency and duration. However, irrigation competes with household, industrial, and environmental needs for freshwater resources. Accurate information regarding irrigation patterns is therefore required to develop strategies that reduce unsustainable water use. To address this need, I fused information from remote sensing, climate datasets, and crop inventories to develop a new global database of rain-fed, irrigated, and paddy croplands. This database describes global agricultural water management with good realism and at higher spatial resolution than existing maps. Crop calendar management helps farmers to limit crop damage from heat and moisture stress. However, global crop calendar information currently lacks spatial and temporal detail. In the second part of my dissertation I used remote sensing to characterize global cropping patterns annually, from 2001-2010, at 0.08 degree spatial resolution. Comparison of this new dataset with existing sources of crop calendar data indicates that remote sensing is able to correct substantial deficiencies in available data sources. More importantly, the database provides previously unavailable information related to year-to-year variability in cropping patterns. Asia, home to roughly one half of the Earth's population, is expected to experience significant food insecurity in coming decades. In the final part of my dissertation, I used a

  6. 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) 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 radioactive decay is estimated as about 2% per year. Study was conducted with

  7. Organic farming and cover crops as an alternative to mineral fertilizers to improve soil physical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez de Cima, Diego; Luik, Anne; Reintam, Endla

    2015-10-01

    For testing how cover crops and different fertilization managements affect the soil physical properties in a plough based tillage system, a five-year crop rotation experiment (field pea, white potato, common barley undersown with red clover, red clover, and winter wheat) was set. The rotation was managed under four different farming systems: two conventional: with and without mineral fertilizers and two organic, both with winter cover crops (later ploughed and used as green manure) and one where cattle manure was added yearly. The measurements conducted were penetration resistance, soil water content, porosity, water permeability, and organic carbon. Yearly variations were linked to the number of tillage operations, and a cumulative effect of soil organic carbon in the soil as a result of the different fertilization amendments, organic or mineral. All the systems showed similar tendencies along the three years of study and differences were only found between the control and the other systems. Mineral fertilizers enhanced the overall physical soil conditions due to the higher yield in the system. In the organic systems, cover crops and cattle manure did not have a significant effect on soil physical properties in comparison with the conventional ones, which were kept bare during the winter period. The extra organic matter boosted the positive effect of crop rotation, but the higher number of tillage operations in both organic systems counteracted this effect to a greater or lesser extent.

  8. Alternatives to Crop Insurance for Mitigating Hydrologic Risk in the Upper Mississippi River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, J. M.; Griffis, T. J.; Gorski, G.; Wood, J. D.

    2015-12-01

    Corn and soybean production in the Upper Mississippi River Basin can be limited by either excess or shortage of water, often in the same year within the same watershed. Most producers indemnify themselves against these hazards through the Federal crop insurance program, which is heavily subsidized, thus discouraging expenditures on other forms of risk mitigation. The cost is not trivial, amounting to more than 60 billion USD over the past 15 years. Examination of long-term precipitation and streamflow records at the 8-digit scale suggests that inter-annual hydrologic variability in the region is increasing, particularly in an area stretching from NW IL through much of IA and southern MN. Analysis of crop insurance statistics shows that these same watersheds exhibit the highest frequency of coincident claims for yield losses to both excess water and drought within the same year. An emphasis on development of water management strategies to increase landscape storage and subsequent reuse through supplemental irrigation in this region could reduce the cost of the crop insurance program and stabilize yield. However, we also note that analysis of yield data from USDA-NASS shows that interannual yield variability at the watershed scale is much more muted than the indemnity data suggest, indicating that adverse selection is probably a factor in the crop insurance marketplace. Consequently, we propose that hydrologic mitigation practices may be most cost-effective if they are carefully targeted, using topographic, soil, and meteorological data, in combination with more site-specificity in crop insurance data.

  9. You can’t eat your mulch and have it too : cropping system design and tradeoffs around biomass use for Conservation Agriculture in Cameroon and Madagascar

    OpenAIRE

    Naudin, K.

    2012-01-01

    Conservation agriculture is defined by three main principles: minimum soil   disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotations. CA is promoted as a   promising technology for Africa, but to date, only a small area under CA fully   complies with the above three principles. CA has both short and long term   effects on crop productivity and sustainability through the modification of various   agroecological functions. These functions are relat...

  10. Teaching Diversified Organic Crop Production Using the Community Supported Agriculture Farming System Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falk, Constance L.; Pao, Pauline; Cramer, Christopher S.

    2005-01-01

    An organic garden operated as a community supported agriculture (CSA) venture on the New Mexico State University (NMSU) main campus was begun in January 2002. Students enroll in an organic vegetable production class during spring and fall semesters to help manage and work on the project. The CSA model of farming involves the sale of shares to…

  11. Low Energy Technology. A Unit of Instruction in Florida Agriculture. Crop Protection with Integrated Pest Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florida Univ., Gainesville. Inst. of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

    This unit of instruction on integrated pest management was designed for use by agribusiness and natural resources teachers in Florida high schools and by agricultural extension agents as they work with adults and students. It is one of a series of 11 instructional units (see note) written to help teachers and agents to educate their students and…

  12. Automated canopy estimator (ACE): Enhancing crop modelling and decision making in agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Caribbean agriculture sector is dominated by small holdings, which are overly reliant on rainfall and highly dependent on manual means of optimization. The sector is therefore very vulnerable to the vagaries of climate variability and change, with rainfall variations being of particular concern...

  13. Control of an Autonomous Vehicle for Registration of Weed and Crop in Precision Agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

    The paper describes the development of an autonomous electrical vehicle to be used for weed mapping in precision agriculture with special focus on the conceptual framework of the control system. The lowest layer of the control system is the propulsion and steering control, the second layer coordi...

  14. Benchmarking the Fertilizer and Crop Protectant Application Activities of Agricultural Cooperatives

    OpenAIRE

    Ouedraogo, Frederic; Phillip, Kenkel

    2015-01-01

    This research aims to benchmark agricultural supply cooperatives regarding their fertilizer application services. Cooperative fertilizer application departments are essentially an extension of member farm operations. Because farm supply cooperatives return profits to their user members, the efficiency of the application department directly impacts farm profitability. Therefore, a benchmark analysis is needed to compare performances among competitive cooperatives, identify the best practices, ...

  15. Lead and Cadmium Concentration in Agricultural Crops (Lettuce, Cabbage, Beetroot, and Onion of Isfahan Province, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reza Mohajer

    2014-07-01

    Conclusion: The findings of this study indicated that although most of the sampling plants were contaminated with lead and cadmium, the estimated daily intake of each metal (EDI showed that except lead in lettuce, other crops have EDI below the provisional tolerable daily intake (PTDI recommended by the Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran. In order to better management, preventing pollution and also finding the origin of elements, analyzing heavy metals content in soil, water, and dust of this region is recommended.

  16. Application of seasonal climate forecasts in agricultural crop monitoring in Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Avila, A. M. H.; Pereira, V. R.; Lopes, F. A.

    2014-12-01

    This work is investigating the contribution of seasonal climate forecasts of Eta regional climate model to support crops in Brazil. The weather conditions are directed related with the crop yield, being a basic parameter for its forecast. The southern region has a subtropical climate and is the major national producer of rice and wheat and also is the second one for soybean, bean and corn. The Eta seasonal forecast model data for southern Brazil was evaluated from 2001 to 2010. Observed data from National and state meteorological agencies were used to evaluate the monthly model performance. The model performance was evaluated by calculating two parameters. The Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) was used to evaluate the monthly forecast averages and the observed precipitation standard deviation. The Skill Score Climatology (SSC) was used to compare the accuracy between the forecast and the climatology. The RMSE showed that in some locations the predicted values by the model were closer to the observed. The SSC showed a systematic error for the predicted values by the Eta seasonal model. This behavior indicates that the climatological analysis is more accurate to predict the monthly climate than the ETA model forecast. Also the consecutive negative bias was observed in some locations that can be corrected removing the systematic error.

  17. Agricultural production and groundwater depletion under climate variability in India - Results from a regional scale crop modeling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegfried, T. U.; Sobolowski, S.; Fishman, R.; Vasquez, V.; Raj, P.; Narula, K. K.; Modi, V.; Lall, U.

    2009-12-01

    In India, recent declines in national food security may point to systemic deficiencies of agricultural production. Over the past decade and in the face of declining public investments in irrigation projects, the growth of production has increasingly become reliant on the allocation of large volumes of groundwater in an unsustainable manner. As a result, shallow as well as deep fossil groundwater resources are increasingly depleted and the buffer that mitigates negative impacts on production in case of Monsoonal dry-spells / drought conditions is lost. In the face of future climate and food supply uncertainty, it is vital that the connections between climate variability, unsustainable irrigation practices and their impacts on regional scale agricultural production be quantified and better understood. In our analysis, we focus on rice production in the Telengana region in Andhra Pradesh, which is characterized by a semi-arid tropical climate that is driven by the bimodal seasonality of the south-western monsoon. Traditionally, agricultural production of rice was constrained by precipitation variations during the wet season (Kharif). However, the advent of inexpensive pump technology in the 1970's, coupled with governmentally subsidized electricity has allowed year-round rice production. Thus, the Monsoon rains must not only drive wet season production but must also sufficiently recharge groundwater in order to support dry season production. Observed Production time series are characterized by non-stationarity and heteroscedasticity. Using a subset of eight districts, a non-linear Gaussian Process regression model is developed and yearly crop production is modeled at the district level over 48 years. We show that interannual climate variations, in the form of the monsoon rains, play a significant role in determining the area of land set aside for dry season planting and thus affect total yearly production. The results suggest that a non-linear Bayesian regression

  18. 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) part. The distribution of Cs-137 activities between above- and belowground parts of agricultural crops greatly varies depending on the biological characteristics of plants: barley and maize (Gramíneae family) are also characterized by elevated Cs-137 concentrations in belowground parts (12-14 times higher than in shoots); rape (Brassicaceae family) and potatoes (Solanaceae family) are characterized by similar Cs-137 concentrations in the structural parts (but note, that belowground part of the last is mostly represented by modified shoots); while galega and amaranth (Fabaceae and Amaranthaceae families respectively) are characterized by higher Cs-137 activity in aboveground part (4-6 times more than in roots). Therefore, meadow grasses and cereals that are true

  19. Genetic engineering in agriculture and corporate engineering in public debate: risk, public relations, and public debate over genetically modified crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Rajeev; Torres, Robert J; Rosset, Peter

    2005-01-01

    Corporations have long influenced environmental and occupational health in agriculture, doing a great deal of damage, making substantial profits, and shaping public debate to make it appear that environmental misfortunes are accidents of an otherwise well-functioning system, rather than systemic. The debate over the genetically modified (GM) crops is an example. The largest producer of commercial GM seeds, Monsanto, exemplifies the industry's strategies: the invocation of poor people as beneficiaries, characterization of opposition as technophobic or anti-progress, and portrayal of their products as environmentally beneficial in the absence of or despite the evidence. This strategy is endemic to contemporary market capitalism, with its incentives to companies to externalize health and environmental costs to increase profits.

  20. Vertical distribution of agriculture crop residue burning aerosol observed by space-borne lidar CALIOP - A case study over the Indo-Gangetic Basin (IGB)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, A. K.; Shibata, T.

    2011-12-01

    Agriculture crop residue burning is one of the important sources of trace gas emissions and aerosol loading over the Indo-Gangetic Basin (IGB). It is also one of the main causes for dense atmospheric brown clouds (ABCs) formation over South Asian region. Present study deals with spatial and vertical variability of aerosol optical and microphysical properties during the crop residue burning season (October and November) over the IGB. MODIS (MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) fire location data and MODIS AOD data confirms the crop residue burning activities over irrigated cropland of the IGB during October and November, 2009. Large values (> 0.7) of MODIS AOD (aerosol optical depth) and CALIOP (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization) backscatter (>0.006 km-1 sr-1 below 1.0 km altitude) are suggesting enhanced atmospheric pollution associated with agriculture crop residue burning. The increase in tropospheric columnar NO2 and surface CO concentration during October and November also emphasized the significant contribution of crop residue burning activities in enhanced anthropogenic pollution over the IGB. Vertical distribution of backscatter coefficients showed trapping of biomass (crop residues) burning aerosol within boundary layer. Spatial variation of aerosol backscatter and AOD showed large value above north-west part of IGB, major area of crop residue burning activities. The results of this study will be very useful in quantification of optical properties of atmospheric brown clouds and its effect on climate.

  1. Principles of crop modeling and simulation: I. uses of mathematical models in agricultural science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dourado-Neto D.

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available Modeling techniques applied to agriculture can be useful to define research priorities and understanding the basic interactions of the soil-plant-atmosphere system. Using a model to estimate the importance and the effect of certain parameters, a researcher can notice which factors can be most useful. The modeler should define his objectives before beginning his work and construct a model that fulfills the proposed objectives.

  2. Analyzing the efficiency of agricultural crop production by using mathematical models

    OpenAIRE

    MARIANA NIKOLLA; LUMTURI SENA; VALBONA KOLANECI; JONIDA BOU DIB (LEKOCAJ); OLTA SOKOLI

    2014-01-01

    Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) is one of the main vegetables cultivated in our country. It covers about 3,000 hectares and occupies an important place in the structure of cultivation. Its cultivation in large areas is done because it firstly is used widely in our traditional cuisine and secondly, provides high incomes per area. The yield per area depends from the agricultural technology implemented, the type of culture and the cultivated areas. In our climate conditions, the pepper is much favor...

  3. Balance sheet method assessment for nitrogen fertilization in winter wheat: II. alternative strategies using the CropSyst simulation model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Corbellini

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available It is important, both for farmer profit and for the environment, to correctly dose fertilizer nitrogen (N for winter wheat growth. Balance-sheet methods are often used to calculate the recommended dose of N fertilizer. Other methods are based on the dynamic simulation of cropping systems. Aim of the work was to evaluate the balance-sheet method set up by the Region Emilia-Romagna (DPI, by comparing it with the cropping systems simulation model CropSyst (CS, and with an approach based on fixed supplies of N (T. A 3-year trial was structured as a series of N fertility regimes at 3 sites (Papiano di Marsciano, Ravenna, San Pancrazio. The N-regimes were generated at each site-year as separate trials in which 3 N rates were applied: N1 (DPI, N2 (DPI+50 kg ha-1 N at spike initiation, N3 (DPI + 50 kg ha-1 N at early booting. Above ground biomass and soil data (NO3-N and water were sampled and used to calibrate CS. Doses of fertilizer N were calculated by both DPI and CS for winter wheat included in three typical rotations for Central and Northern Italy. Both these methods and method T were simulated at each site over 50 years, by using daily generated weather data. The long-term simulation allowed evaluating such alternative fertilization strategies. DPI and CS estimated comparable crop yields and N leached amounts, and both resulted better than T. Minor risk of leaching emerged for all N doses. The N2 and N3 rates allowed slightly higher crop yields than N1.

  4. Is the possibility of replacing seed dressings containing neonicotinoids with other means of protection viable in major Polish agricultural crops?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matyjaszczyk Ewa

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Following the limitations regarding the use of the neonicotinoids: clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid there are no currently available insecticide seed dressings for oilseed rape in Poland. For maize here is only one seed dressing containing methiocarb available with a very narrow registered scope of use. The impact of limitations on protection possibilities of other major Polish agricultural crops is either negligible or non-existent. In consequence a group of economically important insect pests of maize [dungbeetles (Melolonthidae; click beetles (Elateridae; noctuid moths (Agrotinae] and oilseed rape [leaf miners (Agromyzidae, turnip sawfly (Athalia colibri Christ., cabbage weevils (Curculionidae, cabbage root fly (Hylemyia brassicae Bche., diamond-back moth (Plutella maculipennis Curt.] is left without any legal possibility of chemical control. For the other important pests of the early growth stage of oilseed rape development, there are only pyrethroids available together with one product containing chloropiryfos that can be applied once per vegetation season. Since both maize and oilseed rape are grown in Poland on the area of approximately 1 million ha (each crop, this situation raises concerns about production possibilities as well as development of pest resistance.

  5. Evaluation of the impact of various agricultural practices on nitrate leaching under the root zone of potato and sugar beet using the STICS soil-crop model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jégo, G; Martínez, M; Antigüedad, I; Launay, M; Sanchez-Pérez, J M; Justes, E

    2008-05-15

    The quaternary aquifer of Vitoria-Gasteiz (Basque Country, Northern Spain) is characterised by a shallow water table mainly fed by drainage water, and thus constitutes a vulnerable zone in regards to nitrate pollution. Field studies were performed with a potato crop in 1993 and a sugar beet crop in 2002 to evaluate their impact on nitrate leaching. The overall predictive quality of the STICS soil-crop model was first evaluated using field data and then the model was used to analyze dynamically the impacts of different crop management practices on nitrate leaching. The model was evaluated (i) on soil nitrate concentrations at different depths and (ii) on crop yields. The simulated values proved to be in satisfactory agreement with measured values. Nitrate leaching was more pronounced with the potato crop than with the sugar beet experiment due to i) greater precipitation, ii) lower N uptake of the potato crop due to shallow root depth, and iii) a shorter period of growth. The potato experiment showed that excessive irrigation could significantly increase nitrate leaching by increasing both drainage and nitrate concentrations. The different levels of N-fertilization examined in the sugar beet study had no notable effects on nitrate leaching due to its high N uptake capacity. Complementary virtual experiments were carried out using the STICS model. Our study confirmed that in vulnerable zones agricultural practices must be adjusted, that is to say: 1) N-fertilizer should not be applied in autumn before winter crops; 2) crops with low N uptake capacity (e.g. potatoes) should be avoided or should be preceded and followed by nitrogen catch crops or cover crops; 3) the nitrate concentration of irrigation water should be taken into account in calculation of the N-fertilization rate, and 4) N-fertilization must be precisely adjusted in particular for potato crops.

  6. Seasonal and diurnal variation in CO fluxes from an agricultural bioenergy crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pihlatie, Mari; Rannik, Üllar; Haapanala, Sami; Peltola, Olli; Shurpali, Narasinha; Martikainen, Pertti J.; Lind, Saara; Hyvönen, Niina; Virkajärvi, Perttu; Zahniser, Mark; Mammarella, Ivan

    2016-10-01

    Carbon monoxide (CO) is an important reactive trace gas in the atmosphere, while its sources and sinks in the biosphere are poorly understood. Soils are generally considered as a sink of CO due to microbial oxidation processes, while emissions of CO have been reported from a wide range of soil-plant systems. We measured CO fluxes using the micrometeorological eddy covariance method from a bioenergy crop (reed canary grass) in eastern Finland from April to November 2011. Continuous flux measurements allowed us to assess the seasonal and diurnal variability and to compare the CO fluxes to simultaneously measured net ecosystem exchange of CO2, N2O and heat fluxes as well as to relevant meteorological, soil and plant variables in order to investigate factors driving the CO exchange.The reed canary grass (RCG) crop was a net source of CO from mid-April to mid-June and a net sink throughout the rest of the measurement period from mid-June to November 2011, excluding a measurement break in July. CO fluxes had a distinct diurnal pattern with a net CO uptake in the night and a net CO emission during the daytime with a maximum emission at noon. This pattern was most pronounced in spring and early summer. During this period the most significant relationships were found between CO fluxes and global radiation, net radiation, sensible heat flux, soil heat flux, relative humidity, N2O flux and net ecosystem exchange. The strong positive correlation between CO fluxes and radiation suggests abiotic CO production processes, whereas the relationship between CO fluxes and net ecosystem exchange of CO2, and night-time CO fluxes and N2O emissions indicate biotic CO formation and microbial CO uptake respectively. The study shows a clear need for detailed process studies accompanied by continuous flux measurements of CO exchange to improve the understanding of the processes associated with CO exchange.

  7. Surface N Balances in Agricultural Crop Production Systems in China for the Period 1980-2015

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SUN Bo; SHEN Run-Ping; A.F.BOUWMAN

    2008-01-01

    Surface nitrogen (N) balances for ChinEs crop production systems was estimated using statistical data collected from 1980 to 2004 at the national and provincial scale and from 1994 to 1999 at the county level.There was a surplus N balance throughout these periods,but the surplus was nearly stable in recent years.Projections using nonseasonal Box-Jenkins model or exponential models show that the N surplus for the total cultivated land in China was likely to increase from 142.8 kg ha-1 in 2004 to 168.6 kg ha-1 in 2015.The N balance surplus in the more developed southeastern provinces was the largest,and was slightly less in the central region,which caused the nitrate pollution in the ground water.The N surplus was much less in the western and northern provinces because of lower synthetic fertilizer inputs.The region with high N risk includes Beijing Municipality and Jiangsu,Zhejiang,Fujian,Guangdong,Hubei,and Shandong provinces for 2002-2004.The projections suggested that 15 provinces (or municipalities) in the middle and southeastern part of China except Jiangxi and Shanxi provinces would become the high-risk region by 2015.The level of economic development,transportation,and labor force condition had an important effect on the N balance surplus at the county level,but the last two factors showed remarkable impact at the provincial level.To decrease the nonpoint pollution (Npp) risk from crop production,the authors suggested to reduce the target level for national grain self-sufficiency to 90%-95% and change the regional structure of grain production by moving some of the future grain production from the high Npp risk areas of eastern China to parts of the central and western provinces where the Npp risk was much less.

  8. Energy crop (Sida hermaphrodita) fertilization using digestate under marginal soil conditions: A dose-response experiment

    OpenAIRE

    Nabel, Moritz; Barbosa, Daniela; Horsch, David; Jablonowski, Nicolai David

    2014-01-01

    The global demand for energy security and the mitigation of climate change are the main drivers pushing the production of crops for energy purposes (energy crops). However, the cultivation of these plants can cause land use conflicts since agricultural soil is mostly used for food crop production. A sustainable alternative to the conventional cultivation of food-based energy-crops is the cultivation of non-food energy crops on marginal lands. To further increase the sustainability of energy c...

  9. Can Impacts of Climate Change and Agricultural Adaptation Strategies Be Accurately Quantified if Crop Models Are Annually Re-Initialized?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basso, Bruno; Hyndman, David W; Kendall, Anthony D; Grace, Peter R; Robertson, G Philip

    2015-01-01

    Estimates of climate change impacts on global food production are generally based on statistical or process-based models. Process-based models can provide robust predictions of agricultural yield responses to changing climate and management. However, applications of these models often suffer from bias due to the common practice of re-initializing soil conditions to the same state for each year of the forecast period. If simulations neglect to include year-to-year changes in initial soil conditions and water content related to agronomic management, adaptation and mitigation strategies designed to maintain stable yields under climate change cannot be properly evaluated. We apply a process-based crop system model that avoids re-initialization bias to demonstrate the importance of simulating both year-to-year and cumulative changes in pre-season soil carbon, nutrient, and water availability. Results are contrasted with simulations using annual re-initialization, and differences are striking. We then demonstrate the potential for the most likely adaptation strategy to offset climate change impacts on yields using continuous simulations through the end of the 21st century. Simulations that annually re-initialize pre-season soil carbon and water contents introduce an inappropriate yield bias that obscures the potential for agricultural management to ameliorate the deleterious effects of rising temperatures and greater rainfall variability.

  10. Energy efficiency procedures for agricultural machinery used in onion cultivation (Allium fistulosum) as an alternative to reduce carbon emissions under the clean development mechanism at Aquitania (Colombia)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  11. 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.

  12. Reduction of Yield and Income Risk Under Alternative Crop Insurance and Disaster Assistance Plans

    OpenAIRE

    Carriker, Gordon L.; Williams, Jeffery R.; Barnaby, Glenn Arthur, Jr.; Black, J. Roy

    1990-01-01

    This study compares the effectiveness of five crop insurance/disaster assistance plans: an individual farm yield insurance plan similar to the current FCIC multi-peril program ; two area yield insurance plans; a farm yield disaster assistance plan; and an area yield disaster assistance plan. These methods are examined for reduction in yield and gross income variability with and without participation in the government deficiency payment programs using farm-level yield data from 98 dryland whea...

  13. Collaboration between the US Forest Service and the USDA Agricultural Research Service on the complementary conservation of crop wild relatives in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Two USDA agencies, the Forest Service (USFS) and the Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) are cooperating on the complementary conservation of crop wild relatives (CWR) native to the United States. The USFS manages 193 million acres of National Forest System lands in 43 states and provides suppo...

  14. A study on the determination of electromagnetic reflection values of agricultural crop pattern to improve accuracy of land use map by remote sensing technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mustafa Bolca

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available With this study, using remote sensing technique, a data base which covers data on the electromagnetic energy reflections of various kinds of plants has been formed with the purpose of determining crop patterns. A 1/5.000 scale cadastral map was used as topographic map for the purpose of using remote sensing technique more effectively and sensibly for such crops as cotton, maize and sun flower of which the agriculture is exercised widely in Torbalı township and in this context in all the Aegean Region. In the current study, August 2001 dated Landsat 7 satellite images of the region were interpreted and ground realities and satellite images of the agricultural crops with high economic value which are widely cultivated in the region were overlapped and their values of reflection were determined. Images thus obtained were overlapped with 1/5.000 cadastre maps and product varieties could be determined at the basis of large section of a map, plot and parcel. Separately collaboration with technical personnel from the Directorate of Torbalı Township Agriculture was achieved in field and lab studies, and by transferring the data obtained into their computers, tangible steps were taken in the direction of applying technology at the basis of the Township. As a result, an important and basic database was formed that could be used for the payout of incentive premiums to the local organization for various crops or that could render functionality to the implementation of Agricultural policies based on record system.

  15. You can’t eat your mulch and have it too : cropping system design and tradeoffs around biomass use for Conservation Agriculture in Cameroon and Madagascar

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Naudin, K.

    2012-01-01

    Conservation agriculture is defined by three main principles: minimum soil   disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotations. CA is promoted as a   promising technology for Africa, but to date, only a small area under CA fully   complies with the above three princi

  16. 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, mana

  17. Rapid Prototyping of NASA's Solar and Meteorological Data For Regional Level Modeling of Agricultural and Bio-fuel Crop Phenology and Yield Potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoell, J. M.; Stackhouse, P. W.; Eckman, R. S.

    2006-12-01

    Global demand for food, feedstock and bio-fuel crops is expanding rapidly due to population growth, increasing consumption of these products (especially in developing countries), and more recently skyrocketing use of these crops to produce ethanol as a bio-fuel. As a result, there are growing concerns, both in the US and world wide, about the ability to meet the projected demand for agricultural/bio-fuel crops without expanding production areas into environmentally sensitive regions. Concurrently, there are increasing concerns over the negative impact of global warming on crop yields. Accurate ecophysiological crop models have been developed for many of the food and bio-fuel crops and serve as the back-bone in sophisticated Decision Support Systems (DSS). These DSS's are increasingly being used to address the balance between the need to increase production/efficiency and environmental concerns, as well as the impact of global warming on crop production. Realistic application of these agricultural DSS's requires accurate environmental data on time scales ranging from hours to decades. To date only sparse surface measurements are used that typically do not measure solar irradiance. NASA's Prediction of Worldwide Energy Resource (POWER) project, which has as one of its objectives the development of data products for agricultural applications, currently provides a climatological data base of meteorological parameters and surface solar energy fluxes on a global 1-degree latitude by 1- degree longitude grid. NASA is also developing capabilities to produce near-real time data sets specifically designed for application by agricultural DSS's. In this presentation, we discuss the development of 1-degree global data products which combine the climatological data in the POWER project archive (http://earth-www.larc.nasa.gov/power), near real time (2 to 3 day lag) meteorological data from the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) quick-look products, and global solar energy

  18. Challenges and Alternatives to Sustainable Management of Agriculture and Pastoral Ecosystems in Asian Drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, J.

    2015-12-01

    There is no question that human must produce additional 70% food to feed the new 2.2 billion of people on the planet by 2050, but the question is where to grow the additional food. The demand for the additional food lies not only in producing the basic resources needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle, but also from a changing diet, especially in rapidly developing countries in the dryland regions around the world. It is forecast that this demand for meat will require an additional 0.2 billion tons per year by 2050, which is almost a doubling of present meat consumption. These new demands create mounting pressures on agriculture and pastoral ecosystems and the reported trajectory of warmer and drier climate in the future increases uncertainties in food security, adding further stresses to the already stressed nations in the Asian dryland belt. Different approaches are being either proposed or practiced in the region but the question is whether or not the current practices are sustainable or optimal in addressing the emerging issues. Given the complexity and interplay among the food, water and energy, what are alternatives to ensure a sustainable trajectory of regional development to meet the new food demand? This presentation reviews existing practices and proposes alternative solutions, by specifically examining the trade-offs between different ecosystem services that drylands in Asian may provide. Preliminary analysis suggested that the current trajectory of meat and milk production is likely not on a sustainable pathway.

  19. Identifying crop specific signals for global agricultural monitoring based on the stability of daily multi-angular MODIS reflectance time series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duveiller, G.; Lopez-Lozano, R.

    2013-12-01

    Global agricultural monitoring requires satellite Earth Observation systems that maximize the observation revisit frequency over the largest possible geographical coverage. Such compromise has thus far resulted in using a spatial resolution that is often coarser than desired. As a consequence, for many agricultural landscapes across the world, crop status can only be inferred from a mixed signal of the landscape (with a pixel size typically close to 1 km), composed of reflectance from neighbouring fields with potentially different crops, variable phenological behaviours and distinct management practices. MODIS has been providing, since 2000, a higher spatial resolution (~250m) that is closer to the size of individual fields in many agro-ecological landscapes. However, the challenge for operational crop specific monitoring remains to identify in time where a given crop has been sown during the current growing season. An innovative use of MODIS daily data is proposed for crop identification based on the stability of the multi-angular signal. MODIS is a whiskbroom sensor with a large swath. For any given place, consecutive MODIS observations are made with considerably different viewing angles according to the daily change in orbit. Consequently, the footprint of the observation varies considerably, thereby sampling the vicinity around the centre of the grid cell in which the time series is ultimately recorded in. If the consecutive observations that have sampled the vicinity provide similar NDVI values (for which BRDF effects are reduced), the resulting temporal signal is relatively stable. This stability indicated that the signal comes from a spatially homogeneous surface, such as a single large field covered by the same crop with similar agro-management practices. If the resulting temporal signal is noisy, it is probable that the consecutive daily observations have sampled different land uses, thus contaminating the signal. Such time series can therefore be

  20. Genotyping-by-Sequencing SNP Identification for Crops without a Reference Genome: Using Transcriptome Based Mapping as an Alternative Strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berthouly-Salazar, Cécile; Mariac, Cédric; Couderc, Marie; Pouzadoux, Juliette; Floc'h, Jean-Baptiste; Vigouroux, Yves

    2016-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing opens the way for genomic studies of diversity even for non-model crops and animals. Genome reduction techniques are becoming progressively more popular as they allow a fraction of the genome to be sequenced for multiple individuals and/or populations. These techniques are an efficient way to explore genome diversity in non-model crops and animals for which no reference genome is available. Genome reduction techniques emerged with the development of specific pipelines such as UNEAK (Universal Network Enabled Analysis Kit) and Stacks. However, even for non-model crops and animals, transcriptomes are easier to obtain, thereby making it possible to directly map reads. We investigate the direct use of transcriptome as an alternative strategy. Our specific objective was to compare SNPs obtained from the UNEAK pipeline as well as SNPs obtained by directly mapping genotyping-by-sequencing reads on a transcriptome. We assessed the feasibility of both SNP datasets, UNEAK and transcriptome mapping, to investigate the diversity of 91 samples of wild pearl millet sampled across its distribution area. Both approaches produced several tens of thousands of single nucleotide variants, but differed in the way the variants were identified, leading to differences in the frequency spectrum associated with marked differences in the assessment of diversity. Difference in the frequency spectrum significantly biased a large set of diversity analyses as well as detection of selection approaches. However, whatever the approach, we found very similar inference of genetic structure, with three major genetic groups from West, Central, and East Africa. For non-model crops, using transcriptome data as a reference is thus a particularly promising way to obtain a more thorough analysis of datasets generated using genome reduction techniques. PMID:27379109

  1. Construction and Establishment of Sci-tech Platform for Agricultural Scientific Research Institutions: A Case Study of Tropical Crops Genetic Resources Institute of Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lizhen; CHEN; Yu; ZHENG; Haiyan; LUO; Qingqun; YAO

    2014-01-01

    Taking Tropical Crops Genetic Resources Institute( TCGRI) of Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences( CATAS) as an example,this paper discussed current situation of construction of sci-tech platform,analyzed existing problems,and finally came up with pertinent recommendations.

  2. TECHNOLOGY FOR THE PREPARATION OF LIVESTOCK WASTEWATER FOR IRRIGATION OF AGRICULTURAL CROPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domashenko Y. E.

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In the article the authors propose various techniques for the preparation of livestock waste for agricultural use, particularly for irrigation. We have considered resource-saving environmentally safe technology for processing livestock waste pig farms based on the use of the reagent preparation phosphogypsum – residuals of phosphoric acid and fertilizers. The technology was tested and endorsed at the operating company LLC "Aksai field" of the Rostov region. Also based on this technology, we have offered the following technical solution: livestock wastewater is exposed to the vortex field with movable ferromagnetic particles, which contributes to more complete disinfecting effect. Further improvement of the technological scheme of training for livestock waste allowed to get more modern technical solution, including sewage treatment acidifying reagent is a suspension of phosphogypsum and slightly basic by oxychloride brand Aqua-Aurat. With the aim of reducing the cost and simplifying the technology of training we offered using a reagent, obtained from natural raw materials - silica-coagulant on the basis of nepheline instead of the low-base oxychloride brand Aqua-AuraTM. Aluminosilicate coagulant on the basis of nepheline may be used at high values of COD up to 2000 mg O/l and TBOD to 1500 mg O/l, which is a limitation for the use of such coagulants in the preparation of livestock wastewater pig farms. All the proposed technologies are based on the positions of resource and energy efficiency and environmental safety

  3. Agro-ecological aspects when applying the remaining products from agricultural biogas processes as fertilizer in crop production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bermejo Dominguez, Gabriela

    2012-06-11

    With the increase of biogas production in recent years, the amount of digestates or the remaining residues increased accordingly. Every year in Germany more than 50 million tons of digestates are produced, which are used as fertilizer. Thus nutrients return into the circulation of agricultural ecosystems. However, the agro-ecological effects have not been deeply researched until now. For this reason, the following parameters were quantified: the influence of dry and liquid fermentation products on the yield of three selected crops in comparison to or in combination with mineral-N-fertilizers in on-farm experiments; the growth, development and yield of two selected crops in comparison to mineral-N-fertilizer, liquid manure and farmyard manure in a randomized complete block design; selected soil organisms as compared to mineral-N-fertilizer, liquid manure and farmyard manure in a randomized complete block design. In addition, the mineralization of dry and wet digestates in comparison with liquid manure and farmyard manure was investigated in order to evaluate the effects of different fertilizers on the humus formation under controlled conditions. The 2-year results of on-farm experiments showed that for a sandy soil, the combination of digestates in autumn and mineral-N-fertilizer in spring for winter crops (wheat, rye and rape) brought the highest yields. The wet digestate achieved the highest dry-matter yield as the only fertilizer for maize in spring. In a clayey soil, the use of 150 kg ha{sup -1} N mineral-N-fertilizer brought the highest grain yield. These results were similar to the ones obtained by the application of dry digestates, if they were applied in two doses. Maize showed no signif-icant differences between the dry-matter yields of the different treatments. The results in the field experiments from 2009 to 2011 showed that the effect of digestates on the yield of winter wheat and Sorghum sudanense was up to 15 % lower than the effect of the mineral

  4. Nutrient uptake by agricultural crops from biochar-amended soils: results from two field experiments in Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karer, Jasmin; Zehetner, Franz; Kloss, Stefanie; Wimmer, Bernhard; Soja, Gerhard

    2013-04-01

    The use of biochar as soil amendment is considered as a promising agricultural soil management technique, combining carbon sequestration and soil fertility improvements. These expectations are largely founded on positive experiences with biochar applications to impoverished or degraded tropical soils. The validity of these results for soils in temperate climates needs confirmation from field experiments with typical soils representative for intensive agricultural production areas. Frequently biochar is mixed with other organic additives like compost. As these two materials interact with each other and each one may vary considerably in its basic characteristics, it is difficult to attribute the effects of the combined additive to one of its components and to a specific physico-chemical parameter. Therefore investigations of the amendment efficacy require the study of the pure components to characterize their specific behavior in soil. This is especially important for adsorption behavior of biochar for macro- and micronutrients because in soil there are multiple nutrient sinks that compete with plant roots for vital elements. Therefore this contribution presents results from a field amendment study with pure biochar that had the objective to characterize the macro- and microelement uptake of crops from different soils in two typical Austrian areas of agricultural production. At two locations in North and South-East Austria, two identical field experiments on different soils (Chernozem and Cambisol) were installed in 2011 with varying biochar additions (0, 30 and 90 t/ha) and two nitrogen levels. The biochar was a product from slow pyrolysis of wood (SC Romchar SRL). During the installation of the experiments, the biochar fraction of <2 mm was mixed with surface soil to a depth of 15 cm in plots of 33 m2 each (n=4). Barley (at the Chernozem soil) and maize (at the Cambisol) were cultivated according to standard agricultural practices. The highest crop yields at both

  5. Nutrient uptake by agricultural crops from biochar-amended soils: results from two field experiments in Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karer, Jasmin; Zehetner, Franz; Kloss, Stefanie; Wimmer, Bernhard; Soja, Gerhard

    2013-04-01

    The use of biochar as soil amendment is considered as a promising agricultural soil management technique, combining carbon sequestration and soil fertility improvements. These expectations are largely founded on positive experiences with biochar applications to impoverished or degraded tropical soils. The validity of these results for soils in temperate climates needs confirmation from field experiments with typical soils representative for intensive agricultural production areas. Frequently biochar is mixed with other organic additives like compost. As these two materials interact with each other and each one may vary considerably in its basic characteristics, it is difficult to attribute the effects of the combined additive to one of its components and to a specific physico-chemical parameter. Therefore investigations of the amendment efficacy require the study of the pure components to characterize their specific behavior in soil. This is especially important for adsorption behavior of biochar for macro- and micronutrients because in soil there are multiple nutrient sinks that compete with plant roots for vital elements. Therefore this contribution presents results from a field amendment study with pure biochar that had the objective to characterize the macro- and microelement uptake of crops from different soils in two typical Austrian areas of agricultural production. At two locations in North and South-East Austria, two identical field experiments on different soils (Chernozem and Cambisol) were installed in 2011 with varying biochar additions (0, 30 and 90 t/ha) and two nitrogen levels. The biochar was a product from slow pyrolysis of wood (SC Romchar SRL). During the installation of the experiments, the biochar fraction of cultivated according to standard agricultural practices. The highest crop yields at both study sites were observed after a biochar application rate of 90 t/ha and an abundant nitrogen supply (mineral N fertilizer rates: 120 kg/ha for

  6. Crop Biotechnology

    Science.gov (United States)

    The influence of crop biotechnology on outcomes of agricultural practices and economics is readily evidenced by the escalating acreage of genetically engineered crops, all occurring in a relatively short time span. Until the mid 1990s, virtually no acreage was planted with commercial genetically mo...

  7. Short rotation coppice culture of willows and poplars as energy crops on metal contaminated agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruttens, Ann; Boulet, Jana; Weyens, Nele; Smeets, Karen; Adriaensen, Kristin; Meers, Erik; Van Slycken, Stijn; Tack, Filip; Meiresonne, Linda; Thewys, Theo; Witters, Nele; Carleer, Robert; Dupae, Joke; Vangronsveld, Jaco

    2011-01-01

    Phytoremediation, more precisely phytoextraction, has been placed forward as an environmental friendly remediation technique, that can gradually reduce increased soil metal concentrations, in particular the bioavailable fractions. The aim of this study was to investigate the possibilities of growing willows and poplars under short rotation coppice (SRC) on an acid, poor, sandy metal contaminated soil, to combine in this way soil remediation by phytoextraction on one hand, and production of biomass for energy purposes on the other. Above ground biomass productivities were low for poplars to moderate for willows, which was not surprising, taking into account the soil conditions that are not very favorable for growth of these trees. Calculated phytoextraction efficiency was much longer for poplars than these for willows. We calculated that for phytoextraction in this particular case it would take at least 36 years to reach the legal threshold values for cadmium, but in combination with production of feedstock for bioenergy processes, this type of land use can offer an alternative income for local farmers. Based on the data of the first growing cycle, for this particular case, SRC of willows should be recommended.

  8. The potential of standards-based agriculture biology as an alternative to traditional biology in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sellu, George Sahr

    schools. Thoron & Meyer (2011) suggested that research into the contribution of integrated science courses toward higher test scores yielded mixed results. This finding may have been due in part to the fact that integrated science courses only incorporate select topics into agriculture education courses. In California, however, agriculture educators have developed standards-based courses such as Agriculture Biology (AgBio) that cover the same content standards as core traditional courses such as traditional biology. Students in both AgBio and traditional biology take the same standardized biology test. This is the first time there has been an opportunity for a fair comparison and a uniform metric for an agriscience course such as AgBio to be directly compared to traditional biology. This study will examine whether there are differences between AgBio and traditional biology with regard to standardized test scores in biology. Furthermore, the study examines differences in perception between teachers and students regarding teaching and learning activities associated with higher achievement in science. The findings of the study could provide a basis for presenting AgBio as a potential alternative to traditional biology. The findings of this study suggest that there are no differences between AgBio and traditional biology students with regard to standardized biology test scores. Additionally, the findings indicate that co-curricular activities in AgBio could contribute higher student achievement in biology. However, further research is required to identify specific activities in AgBio that contribute to higher achievement in science.

  9. EVALUATION OF CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ALTERNATIVES TO METHYL BROMIDE FOR ORNAMENTAL CROP PRODUCTION IN FLORIDA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies were designed to test the efficacy of the chemical alternatives, Midas™ (iodomethane:chloropicrin (pic) 50:50 [MI 50:50] and 98:2 [MI 98:2], Arysta LifeScience Corp., Cary, NC) and dimethyl disulfide:pic (Paladin™ 79:21 [DMDS], United Phosphorous, Inc., King of Prussia, PA) compared with met...

  10. Potentials of RapidEye time series for improved classification of crop rotations in heterogeneous agricultural landscapes: experiences from irrigation systems in Central Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Christopher; Machwitz, Miriam; Schorcht, Gunther; Löw, Fabian; Fritsch, Sebastian; Dech, Stefan

    2011-11-01

    In Central Asia, more than eight Million ha of agricultural land are under irrigation. But severe degradation problems and unreliable water distribution have caused declining yields during the past decades. Reliable and area-wide information about crops can be seen as important step to elaborate options for sustainable land and water management. Experiences from RapidEye classifications of crop in Central Asia are exemplarily shown during a classification of eight crop classes including three rotations with winter wheat, cotton, rice, and fallow land in the Khorezm region of Uzbekistan covering 230,000 ha of irrigated land. A random forest generated by using 1215 field samples was applied to multitemporal RapidEye data acquired during the vegetation period 2010. But RapidEye coverage varied and did not allow for generating temporally consistent mosaics covering the entire region. To classify all 55,188 agricultural parcels in the region three classification zones were classified separately. The zoning allowed for including at least three observation periods into classification. Overall accuracy exceeded 85 % for all classification zones. Highest accuracies of 87.4 % were achieved by including five spatiotemporal composites of RapidEye. Class-wise accuracy assessments showed the usefulness of selecting time steps which represent relevant phenological phases of the vegetation period. The presented approach can support regional crop inventory. Accurate classification results in early stages of the cropping season permit recalculation of crop water demands and reallocation of irrigation water. The high temporal and spatial resolution of RapidEye can be concluded highly beneficial for agricultural land use classifications in entire Central Asia.

  11. Development of a technique of the rapid analysis for forecasting of possible radionuclides accumulation in the harvest of agricultural crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    One of the main ways of pollution of plants by radionuclides is the receipt of radionuclides in plants from ground through root system and direct uptake of radionuclides by underground parts of plants. Therefore receipt of radioisotopes in rhizosphere of plants plays the main role in radionuclides accumulation in the plants. For plants cultivation in conditions of radioactive pollution of region it is necessary to estimate the value of possible radionuclides accumulation in a harvest of plants. Such forecasts are necessary at planning of growing of agricultural crops for the food, forage or technical purposes depending on a degree of their pollution by radionuclides. We investigated correlation between the content of strontium - 90 in plants in early phases of their development (20 days time) and in a harvest of plants at a soil way of radionuclide receipt. Our results of study of dependence of strontium - 90 accumulation in a harvest from its content in 20 days time sprouts show, that with reduction of the content of strontium - 90 in 20 days time sprouts, its quantity in a harvest of agriculture cultures is reduced. The correlation analysis of the received data has confirmed positive connection between accumulation of radionuclide in young and adult plants. So, correlation coefficients for a cotton, wheat and barley are 0,89; 0,91 and 0,91 correspondingly. Thus, the direct connection between the contents of strontium - 90 in plants of young age and its accumulation in a harvest of adult plants is established. It enables to predict pollution of' harvest by strontium - 90 under its contents in young plants. Using the received data, with the help of the least- squares method, we have calculated coefficients of the regression equation of a kind: y = a + bx, Where: y - the predicted contents of radionuclide in the harvest; x - the content of radionuclide in 20 days time sprouts; a, b - the empirical coefficients. Rather good coincidence of theoretical calculations and

  12. Fibre crops as alternative land use for radioactively contaminated arable land

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vandenhove, H. [Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, SCK-CEN, Department of Radiation Protection Research, Radioecology Section, Boeretang 200, 2400 Mol (Belgium)]. E-mail: hvandenh@sckcen.be; Van Hees, M. [Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, SCK-CEN, Department of Radiation Protection Research, Radioecology Section, Boeretang 200, 2400 Mol (Belgium)

    2005-07-01

    The transfer of radiocaesium, one of the most important and widespread contaminants following a nuclear accident, to the fibre crops hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) and flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) as well as the distribution of radiocaesium during crop conversion were studied for sandy soil under greenhouse and lysimeters conditions. Soil parameters did not unequivoqually explain the transfer factors (TF) observed. TFs to flax stems ranged from 1.34 to 2.80 x 10{sup -3} m{sup 2} kg{sup -1}. TFs to seeds are about a factor of 4 lower. During the retting process for separating the fibres from the straw, more than 95% of the activity was removed with the retting water. For hemp, the TF to the stem was about 0.6 x 10{sup -3} m{sup 2} kg{sup -1}. For hemp, straw and fibres were mechanically separated and TF to straw was about 0.5 x 10{sup -3} m{sup 2} kg{sup -1} and to fibres 1.0 x 10{sup -3} m{sup 2} kg{sup -1}. Generally, the TFs to the useable plant parts both for hemp and flax, are low enough to allow for the production of clean end-products (fibre, seed oil, biofuel) even on heavily contaminated land. Given the considerable decontamination during retting, contamination levels in flax fibres would only exceed the exemption limits for fibre use after production in extreme contamination scenarios (>12 300 kBq m{sup -2}). Since hemp fibres are mechanically separated, use of hemp fibres is more restricted (contamination <740 kBq m{sup -2}). Use of stems as biofuel is restricted to areas with contamination levels of <250 and 1050 kBq m{sup -2} for flax and hemp, respectively. Use of seeds for edible oil production and flour is possible almost without restriction for flax but due to the high TFs to seed observed for hemp (up to 3 x 10{sup -3} m{sup 2} kg{sup -1}) consumption of hemp seed products should be considered with care.

  13. Allelopathic potential of oil seed crops in production of crops: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Adnan Noor; Iqbal, Javaid; Ullah, Abid; Yang, Guozheng; Yousaf, Muhammad; Fahad, Shah; Tanveer, Mohsin; Hassan, Waseem; Tung, Shahbaz Atta; Wang, Leishan; Khan, Aziz; Wu, Yingying

    2016-08-01

    Agricultural production enhancement has been realized by more consumption of fossil energy such as fertilizer and agrochemicals. However, the production provides the present human with sufficient and diversified commodities, but at the same time, deprives in some extent the resources from the future human as well. In the other hand, it is known that synthetic herbicides face worldwide threats to human's health and environment as well. Therefore, it is a great challenge for agricultural sustainable development. The current review has been focussed on various oilseed crop species which launch efficient allelopathic intervention, either with weeds or other crops. Crop allelopathic properties can make one species more persistent to a native species. Therefore, these crops are potentially harmful to both naturalized as well as agricultural settings. On the other side, allelopathic crops provide strong potential for the development of cultivars that are more highly weed suppressive in managed settings. It is possible to utilize companion plants that have no deleterious effect on neighbor crops and can be included in intercropping system, thus, a mean of contributing to agricultural sustainable development. In mixed culture, replacement method, wherein differing densities of a neighbor species are planted, has been used to study phytotoxic/competitive effects. So, to use alternative ways for weed suppression has become very crucial. Allelochemicals have the ability to create eco-friendly products for weed management, which is beneficial for agricultural sustainable development. Our present study assessed the potential of four oilseed crops for allelopathy on other crops and associated weeds. PMID:27263104

  14. Evaluation of Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce with SWOT Analysis as an Alternative Network Marketing at Agricultural Marketing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nuray Kızılaslan

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Compulsory competition occurring in the world trade has led the enterprises to different marketing system. Marketing problems seems to be a problem in Turkey rather than agricultural production problems. In this aspect, marketing alternatives are sought. E-commerce is a system with more opportunities in agricultural marketing. Increasing the applicability of this system in Turkey will eliminate many problems associated with marketing in agriculture. With an active use of E-commerce in agricultural marketing, it provides convenience at marketing products of agro-related industries agencies and producers and all country will have a potential market position. In this study, possibilities offered by e-commerce to the agricultural sector, opportunities, threats, deficiencies and contributions to agricultural sector have been addressed. Without the limitations of place and time via the internet and computers, establishing national and international supply and demand balance of e-commerce seems to play important roles in maintaining an active and alive marketing. Furthermore, it is an important tool in reducing agricultural marketing problems.

  15. Impacts of varying agricultural intensification on crop yield and groundwater resources: comparison of the North China Plain and US High Plains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agricultural intensification is often considered the primary approach to meet rising food demand. Here we compare impacts of intensive cultivation on crop yield in the North China Plain (NCP) with less intensive cultivation in the US High Plains (USHP) and associated effects on water resources using spatial datasets. Average crop yield during the past decade from intensive double cropping of wheat and corn in the NCP was only 15% higher than the yield from less intensive single cropping of corn in the USHP, although nitrogen fertilizer application and percent of cropland that was irrigated were both ∼2 times greater in the NCP than in the USHP. Irrigation and fertilization in both regions have depleted groundwater storage and resulted in widespread groundwater nitrate contamination. The limited response to intensive management in the NCP is attributed in part to the two month shorter growing season for corn to accommodate winter wheat than that for corn in the USHP. Previous field and modeling studies of crop yield in the NCP highlight over application of N and water resulting in low nitrogen and water use efficiencies and indicate that cultivars, plant densities, soil fertility and other factors had a much greater impact on crop yields over the past few decades. The NCP–USHP comparison along with previous field and modeling studies underscores the need to weigh the yield returns from intensive management relative to the negative impacts on water resources. Future crop management should consider the many factors that contribute to yield along with optimal fertilization and irrigation to further increase crop yields while reducing adverse impacts on water resources. (letter)

  16. Modelling climate change impacts on and adaptation strategies for agriculture in Sardinia and Tunisia using AquaCrop and value-at-risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, David Neil; Benabdallah, Sihem; Gouda, Nadine; Hummel, Franz; Koeberl, Judith; La Jeunesse, Isabelle; Meyer, Swen; Prettenthaler, Franz; Soddu, Antonino; Woess-Gallasch, Susanne

    2016-02-01

    In Europe, there is concern that climate change will cause significant impacts around the Mediterranean. The goals of this study are to quantify the economic risk to crop production, to demonstrate the variability of yield by soil texture and climate model and to investigate possible adaptation strategies. In the Rio Mannu di San Sperate watershed, located in Sardinia (Italy) we investigate production of wheat, a rainfed crop. In the Chiba watershed located in Cap Bon (Tunisia), we analyze irrigated tomato production. We find, using the FAO model AquaCrop that crop production will decrease significantly in a future climate (2040-2070) as compared to the present without adaptation measures. Using "value-at-risk", we show that production should be viewed in a statistical manner. Wheat yields in Sardinia are modelled to decrease by 64% on clay loams, and to increase by 8% and 26% respectively on sandy loams and sandy clay loams. Assuming constant irrigation, tomatoes sown in August in Cap Bon are modelled to have a 45% chance of crop failure on loamy sands; a 39% decrease in yields on sandy clay loams; and a 12% increase in yields on sandy loams. For tomatoes sown in March; sandy clay loams will fail 81% of the time; on loamy sands the crop yields will be 63% less while on sandy loams, the yield will increase by 12%. However, if one assume 10% less water available for irrigation then tomatoes sown in March are not viable. Some adaptation strategies will be able to counteract the modelled crop losses. Increasing the amount of irrigation one strategy however this may not be sustainable. Changes in agricultural management such as changing the planting date of wheat to coincide with changing rainfall patterns in Sardinia or mulching of tomatoes in Tunisia can be effective at reducing crop losses.

  17. Modelling climate change impacts on and adaptation strategies for agriculture in Sardinia and Tunisia using AquaCrop and value-at-risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, David Neil; Benabdallah, Sihem; Gouda, Nadine; Hummel, Franz; Koeberl, Judith; La Jeunesse, Isabelle; Meyer, Swen; Prettenthaler, Franz; Soddu, Antonino; Woess-Gallasch, Susanne

    2016-02-01

    In Europe, there is concern that climate change will cause significant impacts around the Mediterranean. The goals of this study are to quantify the economic risk to crop production, to demonstrate the variability of yield by soil texture and climate model and to investigate possible adaptation strategies. In the Rio Mannu di San Sperate watershed, located in Sardinia (Italy) we investigate production of wheat, a rainfed crop. In the Chiba watershed located in Cap Bon (Tunisia), we analyze irrigated tomato production. We find, using the FAO model AquaCrop that crop production will decrease significantly in a future climate (2040-2070) as compared to the present without adaptation measures. Using "value-at-risk", we show that production should be viewed in a statistical manner. Wheat yields in Sardinia are modelled to decrease by 64% on clay loams, and to increase by 8% and 26% respectively on sandy loams and sandy clay loams. Assuming constant irrigation, tomatoes sown in August in Cap Bon are modelled to have a 45% chance of crop failure on loamy sands; a 39% decrease in yields on sandy clay loams; and a 12% increase in yields on sandy loams. For tomatoes sown in March; sandy clay loams will fail 81% of the time; on loamy sands the crop yields will be 63% less while on sandy loams, the yield will increase by 12%. However, if one assume 10% less water available for irrigation then tomatoes sown in March are not viable. Some adaptation strategies will be able to counteract the modelled crop losses. Increasing the amount of irrigation one strategy however this may not be sustainable. Changes in agricultural management such as changing the planting date of wheat to coincide with changing rainfall patterns in Sardinia or mulching of tomatoes in Tunisia can be effective at reducing crop losses. PMID:26187862

  18. Impacts of varying agricultural intensification on crop yield and groundwater resources: comparison of the North China Plain and US High Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pei, Hongwei; Scanlon, Bridget R.; Shen, Yanjun; Reedy, Robert C.; Long, Di; Liu, Changming

    2015-04-01

    Agricultural intensification is often considered the primary approach to meet rising food demand. Here we compare impacts of intensive cultivation on crop yield in the North China Plain (NCP) with less intensive cultivation in the US High Plains (USHP) and associated effects on water resources using spatial datasets. Average crop yield during the past decade from intensive double cropping of wheat and corn in the NCP was only 15% higher than the yield from less intensive single cropping of corn in the USHP, although nitrogen fertilizer application and percent of cropland that was irrigated were both ˜2 times greater in the NCP than in the USHP. Irrigation and fertilization in both regions have depleted groundwater storage and resulted in widespread groundwater nitrate contamination. The limited response to intensive management in the NCP is attributed in part to the two month shorter growing season for corn to accommodate winter wheat than that for corn in the USHP. Previous field and modeling studies of crop yield in the NCP highlight over application of N and water resulting in low nitrogen and water use efficiencies and indicate that cultivars, plant densities, soil fertility and other factors had a much greater impact on crop yields over the past few decades. The NCP-USHP comparison along with previous field and modeling studies underscores the need to weigh the yield returns from intensive management relative to the negative impacts on water resources. Future crop management should consider the many factors that contribute to yield along with optimal fertilization and irrigation to further increase crop yields while reducing adverse impacts on water resources.

  19. The Risks and Benefits of Genetically Modified Crops: A Multidisciplinary Perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Max Troell; Robert Tinch; Ernesto Ráez-Luna; Allyson Quinlan; Jon Erickson; Lisa Deutsch; Saul Cunningham; Peterson, Garry D.; Peter Woodbury; Scot Zens

    2000-01-01

    The benefits and risks of any particular GM crop depend on the interactions of its ecological functions and natural history with the agroecosystem and ecosystems within which it is embedded. These evolutionary and ecological factors must be considered when assessing GM crops. We argue that the assessment of GM crops should be broadened to include alternative agricultural practices, ecosystem management, and agricultural policy. Such an assessment would be facilitated by a clearer understandin...

  20. Agriculture, Crops - CULTIVATED_AREAS_USDA_IN: Cultivated Areas in Indiana in 2004 (United States Department of Agriculture, 1:100,000, Polygon Shapefile)

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC GIS Inventory (aka Ramona) — The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) area sampling frame is a delineation of all parcels of land for...

  1. Climate Change, farm level adaption measures and Impacts on Crop productivity and market participation: Implications for sustainable synergy between African and European Agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    Olarinde, Luke O.; Adepoju, Adebusola A.; Jabaru, Muritala O.

    2014-01-01

    It is widely known that climate change and agriculture are interrelated process, both of which take place on a global scale. In effect, crop and animal farming, fisheries, forestry, with the resultant access to food and fibre in many continents and regions of the world are projected to be severely compromised by climate variability and change. Several strategies aimed at reducing climate variability induced hazards abound. These include cultural and conventional food and farming systems to cl...

  2. Virginia Tech GIS & Remote Sensing 2014 Research Symposium - Converging Surface Water Distributions in US Cities and Agriculture Dr. Meredith Steele, Assistant Professor, Crop & Soil Environmental Sciences

    OpenAIRE

    Steele, Meredith

    2014-01-01

    Converging Surface Water Distributions in US Cities and Agriculture Dr. Meredith Steele, Assistant Professor, Crop & Soil Environmental Sciences The annual 2014 Virginia Tech GIS and Remote Sensing Research Symposium provides a venue to share information about recent advances in geographic information systems and remote sensing applications and research. The Symposium focuses on interaction among participants and the sharing of data, applications, and techniques. It includes both presentation...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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, management practices, and data scarcity under smallholder conditions. Particularly challenging is to determine the most relevant methods for estimating potential (Yp) and water-limited (Yw) yields agai...

  4. 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

  5. Activities of clean up committee of Atomic Energy Society of Japan. Actual soil washing tests for agriculture and rice crop tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Clean up committee of Atomic Society of Japan has several kinds of activities for remediation of cesium contaminated soil in Fukushima prefecture in order to return to the native village, for example, advance of recovery of environments in Fukushima prefecture, making catalogue of various kind of decontamination technique, actual soil washing tests for agriculture and rice crop tests, Q and A for temporary storage for contaminated soil and materials. This paper outlines actual soil washing tests for agriculture and rice crop tests in Fukushima prefecture. We tested the actual soil washing method 'Ara-kaki' using water for rice fields. Once of 'Ara-kaki' decreased half of the radioactivity in rice field. Twice of 'Ara-kaki' decreased s quarter of the radioactivity there last year. This year, rice crop tests have been done in order to investigate the effect of dispersing zeolite and fertilizing in rice field of Fukushima prefecture. Amount of zeolite and fertilizer as parameter are changed to rice field. The results of the rice crop tests will be presented. (author)

  6. 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.

  7. Bioenergy: Agricultural Crop Residues

    Science.gov (United States)

    The increasing cost of fossil fuels especially natural gas and petroleum as well as a desire to curtail greenhouse gas emissions are driving the expansion of bioenergy. Plant biomass (woody, grain and nongrain) is a potential energy source. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, plant biomass was a maj...

  8. Tracing organic and inorganic pollution sources of agricultural crops and water resources in Güzelhisar Basin of the Aegean Region - Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czarnecki, Sezin; Colak Esetlili, Bihter; Esetlili, Tolga; Tepecik, Mahmut; Anac, Dilek; Düring, Rolf-Alexander

    2014-05-01

    The study area Güzelhisar Basin is 6 km far from the city Aliaga, Aegean Region in Turkey which represents a rather industrialized area having five large iron and steel factories, but also areas of agriculture. Steel industry in Aliaga is causing metal pollution. Around Güzelhisar Basin and nearby, the dominant crop fields are cotton, maize, vegetables, olive trees and vineyards. Güzelhisar stream and dam water is used for irrigation of the agricultural land. Due to contamination from metal industry in Aliaga, organic farming is not allowed in this region. Industrial activities in the region present a threat on sustainable agriculture. The region is a multi-impacted area in terms of several pollutant sources affecting soil and water quality. The overall objective of the project is to trace back plant nutrients (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, and B), hazardous substances (i. e. persistent organic pollutants), radionuclides (40K, 232Th, 226Ra/238U), and metal contents (As, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) by examining the soils, agricultural crops and natural plants from Güzelhisar Basin and water and sediments from Güzelhisar stream and dam. Spatial distribution of pollution will be evaluated by regionalization methods. For this, an advanced analytical methodology will be applied which provides an understanding of sources and occurrence of the respective substances of concern. An innovative multi-tracer approach comprising organic and inorganic marker substances, will identify and quantitatively assess sources and their impact on water pollution and the pollutant pathways in this agricultural crop production system.

  9. Identifying the spatial and temporal variability of economic opportunity costs to promote the adoption of alternative land uses in grain growing agricultural areas: an Australian example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyle, G; Bryan, B A; Ostendorf, B

    2015-05-15

    Grain growers face many future challenges requiring them to adapt their land uses to changing economic, social and environmental conditions. To understand where to make on ground changes without significant negative financial repercussions, high resolution information on income generation over time is required. We propose a methodology which utilises high resolution yield data collected with precision agriculture (PA) technology, gross margin financial analysis and a temporal standardisation technique to highlight the spatial and temporal consistency of farm income. On three neighbouring farms in Western Australia, we found non-linear relationships between income and area. Spatio-temporal analysis on one farm over varying seasons found that between 37 and 49% (1082-1433ha) of cropping area consistently produced above the selected income thresholds and 43-32% (936-1257ha) regularly produced below selected thresholds. Around 20% of area showed inconsistent temporal variation in income generation. Income estimated from these areas represents the income forgone if a land use change is undertaken (the economic opportunity cost) and the average costs varied spatially from $190±114/ha to $560±108/ha depending on what scenario was chosen. The interaction over space and time showed the clustering of areas with similar values at a resolution where growers make input decisions. This new evidence suggests that farm area could be managed with two strategies: (a) one that maximises grain output using PA management in temporally stable areas which generate moderate to high income returns and (b) one that proposes land use change in low and inconsistent income returning areas where the financial returns from an alternative land use may be comparable. The adoption of these strategies can help growers meet the demand for agricultural output and offer income diversity and adaptive capacity to deal with the future challenges to agricultural production. PMID:25836353

  10. Evaluating the impact of economic agricultural policies during the reform era for major crops and crop rotations in Egypt: a policy analysis matrix approach

    OpenAIRE

    El-Kholei, Ahmed Mohammed Salah

    2003-01-01

    In 1986, Egypt implemented a succession of comprehensive economic reforms both in the agriculture sector and more generally such as the Economic Reform and Structural Adjustment Program (ERSAP) of 1991. Since then, the agricultural sector has been gradually transformed from one characterised by central planning and governmental controls to one that is more free market oriented. This study employs the Policy Analysis Matrix technique to evaluate the impacts of reform policies on eleven maj...

  11. Changes of water demand - possible adaptation of agricultural crops and management options to improve water use efficiency in the Marchfeld area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thaler, S.; Eitzinger, J.; Dubrovsky, M.; Trnka, M.

    2009-04-01

    The main objective of this study was to determine the vulnerability of current agricultural cropping systems in the Marchfeld region to climate change. The investigation area Marchfeld is located in the north-eastern (NE) part of Austria and is characterized by a semi-arid climate with low annual rainfall. It is one of the driest regions in the country, but also one of the main field crop production areas. The soil conditions in Marchfeld demonstrate a significant spatial variability, which include soils with low to moderate water-storage capacities. Higher temperatures in the next decades imply higher evaporation and consequently higher water demand for the crops. The phenological development rates of the cultivars will accelerate and an increase of heat stress as well as drought stress can be expected. These points influence intense the water balance and subsequently the yield of the crops in the investigation area. In order to improve water use efficiency under those changing conditions, a shift of average sowing dates and an adjustment of tillage were analyzed. The DSSAT cropping system model was applied for winter wheat and spring barley to assess potential yield under climate scenarios for NE Austria. The scenarios were carried out with ECHAM5, HadCM3 and NCAR PCM global circulation models (GCMs) for present conditions (reference period 1961-1990) and 2035's (2021-2050), based on SRES-A1B emission scenarios. Yield model simulations were done for all defined scenarios (climate, management, crop) and different soil classes. The simulations contain the CO2 fertilizing effect, rain fed farming, adapted sowing date and contemporary crops without consideration of potential profit cuts caused by pest or diseases. Simulation results indicate that climate change will force a delay of the sowing date for winter wheat of maximal 14 days in October. In case of spring barley, climate change allows an earlier sowing date in spring (up to 14 days). Both crops show a

  12. Nitrous oxide and N-leaching losses from agricultural soil: Influence of crop residue particle size, quality and placement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ambus, P.; Jensen, E.S.; Robertson, G.P.

    2001-01-01

    Incorporation of crop residues provides a source of readily available C and N, and previous works indicate that farming strategies where crop residues are used for soil fertility purposes may lead to increased emissions of N2O. Information on the importance of different residue management on the ...

  13. Alternative rooting induction of semi-hardwood olive cuttings by several auxin-producing bacteria for organic agriculture systems

    OpenAIRE

    M. C. Montero-Calasanz; Santamaría, C.; M. Albareda; Daza, A; Duan, J.; Glick, B.R.; Camacho, M.

    2013-01-01

    Southern Spain is the largest olive oil producer region in the world. In recent years organic agriculture systems have grown exponentially so that new alternative systems to produce organic olive cuttings are needed. Several bacterial isolates, namely Pantoea sp. AG9, Chryseobacterium sp. AG13, Chryseobacterium sp. CT348, Pseudomonas sp. CT364 and Azospirillum brasilense Cd (ATCC 29729), have been used to induce rooting in olive semi-hardwood cuttings of Arbequina, Hojiblanca and Picual culti...

  14. Variation on the amount of winter cover crops residues on weeds incidence and soil seed bank during an agricultural year

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Márcia Maria Mauli

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available This study analyzed possible interferences associated to the amount of crop residues produced by the black oats and the consortium of black oats, common vetch and forage turnip on weeds incidence and soil seed bank. It was a field trial with seven treatments and five replications. The cover crop was sown at throwing, cut at 100 days and residues were put on each respective plot, using a proportion of normal amount of produced straw, either its half and double. The heaviest weights were obtained from cover crop consortium and their application decreased weeds incidence in such area. The seeds bank and other analyzed parameters did not show statistical differences. According to these results, it was concluded that winter cover crop could be used in crops rotation with soybean.

  15. Recycling of solid wastes in Mexico City in livestock and agricultural production systems as a sustainable alternative

    OpenAIRE

    H. Losada; Cortes, J; Rivera, J.; Vargas, J.

    2011-01-01

    The use of solid organic wastes (manure and  fruit and vegetable refusals) as a way to recycle rubbish from peri-urban areas for the production of crops for local consumption, has been designated by some researchers as an alternate method to partially reduce city waste disposal problems as well as to generate employment and promote the consumption of local products. This model production has also been suggested as a closed system ideally suited for urban environments in order to reduce the us...

  16. Impacts of Fertilization Alternatives and Crop Straw Incorporation on N2O Emissions from a Spring Maize Field in Northeastern China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YANG Li; WANG Li-gang; LI Hu; QIU Jian-jun; LIU Hui-ying

    2014-01-01

    Spring maize is one of the most popular crops planted in northeastern China. The cropping systems involving spring maize have been maintaining high production through intensive management practices. However, the high rates of nitrogen (N) fertilizers application could have introduced a great amount of nitrous oxide (N2O) into the atmosphere. It is crucial for sustaining the maize production systems to reduce N2O emissions meanwhile maintaining the optimum yields by adopting alternative farming management practices. The goal of this study was to evaluate effects of alternative fertilization and crop residue management practices on N2O emission as well as crop yield for a typical maize ifeld in northeastern China. Field experiments were conducted during the 2010-2011 maize growing seasons (from early May to late September) in Liaoning Province, northeastern China. N2O lfuxes were measured at the ifeld plots with six different treatments including no N fertilizer use (CK), farmers’ conventional N fertilizer application rate (FP), reduced N fertilizer rate (OPT), reduced N fertilizer rate combined with crop straw amendment (OPTS), slow-release N fertilizer (CRF), and reduced N fertilizer rate combined with nitriifcation inhibitor (OPT+DCD). The static chamber method combined with gas chromatography technique was employed to conduct the measurements of N2O lfuxes. The ifeld data showed that N2O emissions varied across the treatments. During the maize growing season in 2010, the total N2O emissions under the treatments of CK, FP, OPT, OPTS, and CRF were 0.63, 1.11, 1.03, 1.26, and 0.98 kg N ha-1, respectively. The seasonal cumulative N2O emissions were 0.54, 1.07, 0.96, 1.12, and 0.84 kg N ha-1, respectively, under CK, FP, OPT, OPTS, and OPT+DCD in 2011. In comparison with FP, CRF or OPT+DCD reduced the N2O emissions by 12 or 21%, respectively, while the crop yields remained unchanged. The results indicate that the reduction of N-fertilizer application rate in

  17. 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

  18. Alternative cultivation systems for energy crops. Exploitation of phosphor and nitrogen in the cultivation of mixed fruits with leguminous plants under the conditions of drought stress; Alternative Anbausysteme fuer Energiepflanzen. Phosphor- und Stickstoffausnutzung im Mischfruchtanbau mit Leguminosen unter Trockenstressbedingungen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Busch, Stefanie; Eichler-Loebermann, Bettina [Rostock Univ. (Germany). Professur Pflanzenbau

    2013-10-01

    Alternative cropping systems with an efficient utilization of resources are particularly interesting for energy cropping. The P- and N- uptake of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) of maize and sorghum (here called ''energy crops'') intercropped with legumes (substitutive, 50:50) under drought conditions were investigated in a eight week pot experiment. Yield, P- and N- uptake of all species and mixtures were significantly lower under drought conditions than when well watered. The yield and the P-uptake of the mixtures was lower than of the sole cropped energy crops when well watered, but comparable under water deficit with exception of the sorghum mixtures, which reached a lower yield than sole sorghum. Despite the lower N-fertilization the N-uptake of the mixtures was comparable to the sole cropped maize or sorghum when well watered, but under drought N uptake of the mixtures was decreased in comparison to sole cropping. Under drought conditions the N-uptake of maize and sorghum plants in mixtures was not decreased, while the N-uptake of the legumes decreased in comparison to the well watered treatment. This may be an evidence for the benefit of the non-legumes in the investigated intercropping system under drought conditions. (orig.)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 Pd2+ was designed. •The possible mechanism between Pd2+ and PBA has been discussed and TEM preliminary proved the proposed mechanism. •This fluorescent CP-based sensor has been used to practically detect Pd2+ in agricultural crops and environment samples with satisfactory results. -- Abstract: A highly selective and sensitive fluorescent chemosensor suitable for practical measurement of palladium ion (Pd2+) 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 Pd2+ 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 Pd2+ 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 Pd2+ determination in practical samples suggested that the PBA-based fluorescent sensor for the determination of Pd2+ will be a good candidate for application in agriculture and environment

  20. 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

  1. "More drop per crop" when moving from gravitational to drip irrigated agriculture? Experiences from a North Moroccan case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feltz, N.; Gaspart, F.; Vanclooster, M.

    2015-12-01

    In order to save agricultural water, the famous FAO's "more crop per drop" has been taken literally in many arid or semi-arid places around the world and policies that aim improving "efficiencies" (irrigation efficiency…) have been implemented, often leading to the promotion of water saving technologies. In 1865, studying coal consumption, W.S. Jevons highlighted that improving coal use efficiency could, as a paradox, lead to higher global coal use. Many economists later extended this idea to resource saving technologies in general, showing that, due to the "rebound effect", the adoption of more efficient technologies, in terms of use of resources, could lead to a higher global consumption of this resource if this adoption didn't go with adjustment measures. Regarding these considerations, the emerging question is to which extent water saving technologies (i.e. that aim improving water related efficiencies) are appropriate to save water at large scale. Our study addresses this question through the analysis of the conversion from surface to drip irrigation in Triffa's irrigated perimeter (Morocco). We aim addressing this question using the detailed analysis of two data sets. First, available data were collected for every farm within the study area from the local administrations. Second, interviews were conducted with farmers to complete the dataset and to characterize their behavior. This allowed assessing water related efficiencies at farm scale. Subsequently, models were implemented to link efficiencies with general attributes and thereby identify the main drivers of water related efficiencies in the study area. Finally, these models were used to upscale farm-scale assessment to the perimeter scale. Our results show that, under current conditions, moving from surface to drip irrigation leads to higher global water withdrawal. However, the aforementioned "rebound effect" does not allow explaining the higher pressure because of contextual specificities. Deeper

  2. Traditional crop for biodiesel. Castor oil could be an alternative, but it is a problematic additive; Traditionspflanze fuer Biodiesel. Rizinusoel koennte eine Alternative sein - problematisch als Beimischung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ristau, Oliver

    2012-11-01

    As the demand for energy crops like soy is increasing, so are prices. The castor-oil plant may soon become one of these crops. An Israeli-Brazilian cooperation project is to raise the yields of this old culture plant and make it profitable.

  3. Nitrous Oxide Emission and Denitrifier Abundance in Two Agricultural Soils Amended with Crop Residues and Urea in the North China Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Haiyang; Liu, Yuan; Bai, Xueying; Ma, Dongyun; Zhu, Yunji; Wang, Chenyang; Guo, Tiancai

    2016-01-01

    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 emissions

  4. 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

  5. Agricultural methanization and use of energetic crops in co-digestion. Benefits/drawbacks and optimization. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study aims at analysing benefits and drawbacks related to the use of energetic crops in co-digestion plants, these benefits and drawbacks being assessed from different points of view: energy production, economics, and environmental aspects, greenhouse gas emissions, concurrence with food production. The study is based on a literature survey which led to the building up of a database, on simulations of the use of different selected crops, and on a multi-criteria analysis

  6. Multi-temporal UAV based data for mapping crop type and structure in smallholder dominated Tanzanian agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagol, J. R.; Chung, C.; Dempewolf, J.; Maurice, S.; Mbungu, W.; Tumbo, S.

    2015-12-01

    Timely mapping and monitoring of crops like Maize, an important food security crop in Tanzania, can facilitate timely response by government and non-government organizations to food shortage or surplus conditions. Small UAVs can play an important role in linking the spaceborne remote sensing data and ground based measurement to improve the calibration and validation of satellite based estimates of in-season crop metrics. In Tanzania most of the growing season is often obscured by clouds. UAV data, if collected within a stratified statistical sampling framework, can also be used to directly in lieu of spaceborne data to infer mid-season yield estimates at regional scales.Here we present an object based approach to estimate crop metrics like crop type, area, and height using multi-temporal UAV based imagery. The methods were tested at three 1km2 plots in Kilosa, Njombe, and Same districts in Tanzania. At these sites both ground based and UAV based data were collected on a monthly time-step during the year 2015 growing season. SenseFly eBee drone with RGB and NIR-R-G camera was used to collect data. Crop type classification accuracies of above 85% were easily achieved.

  7. Buttercup squash provides a marketable alternative to blue hubbard as a trap crop for control of striped cucumber beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavanagh, Andrew F; Adler, Lynn S; Hazzard, Ruth V

    2010-12-01

    Winter squash is a vital agricultural commodity worldwide. In the Northeastern United States, the primary insect pest is the striped cucumber beetle, Acalymma vittatum F. Using a Blue Hubbard squash (Cucurbita maxima Duchesne) perimeter trap crop system can reduce insecticide use by >90% in butternut squash (C. moschata Poir), the primary winter squash grown in this region. Despite the savings in insecticide costs, growers may be reluctant to give up field space for a perimeter crop of Blue Hubbard squash, which comprises only 5% of the winter squash market in New England as compared with 19% for buttercup squash. Finding a more marketable trap crop would lower the barrier for adoption of this system. We tested eight varieties of three species of cucurbits for attractiveness to beetles relative to Blue Hubbard and butternut squash, and chose buttercup squash as the most promising replacement. We compared the effect of a buttercup border, Blue Hubbard border, or control (no border) on beetle numbers, herbivory, insecticide use, pollination, and pollen limitation in the main crop. We found that buttercup squash performed equally well as Blue Hubbard as a trap crop, with 97% reduction in total insecticide use compared with control fields. Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) and squash bees (Peponapis pruinosa Say) were the predominant pollinators, and border treatments did not affect visitation. Hand pollination did not increase reproduction or yield, indicating that natural pollination was sufficient for full yield. This study confirms the effectiveness of perimeter trap crop systems and offers growers a more marketable trap crop for managing cucumber beetle damage.

  8. A Review of the Applications of Chitin and Its Derivatives in Agriculture to Modify Plant-Microbial Interactions and Improve Crop Yields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell G. Sharp

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available In recent decades, a greater knowledge of chitin chemistry, and the increased availability of chitin-containing waste materials from the seafood industry, have led to the testing and development of chitin-containing products for a wide variety of applications in the agriculture industry. A number of modes of action have been proposed for how chitin and its derivatives can improve crop yield. In addition to direct effects on plant nutrition and plant growth stimulation, chitin-derived products have also been shown to be toxic to plant pests and pathogens, induce plant defenses and stimulate the growth and activity of beneficial microbes. A repeating theme of the published studies is that chitin-based treatments augment and amplify the action of beneficial chitinolytic microbes. This article reviews the evidence for claims that chitin-based products can improve crop yields and the current understanding of the modes of action with a focus on plant-microbe interactions.

  9. Review of Alternative Management Options of Vegetable Crop Residues to Reduce Nitrate Leaching in Intensive Vegetable Rotations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Agneessens

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Vegetable crop residues take a particular position relative to arable crops due to often large amounts of biomass with a N content up to 200 kg N ha−1 left behind on the field. An important amount of vegetable crops are harvested during late autumn and despite decreasing soil temperatures during autumn, high rates of N mineralization and nitrification still occur. Vegetable crop residues may lead to considerable N losses through leaching during winter and pose a threat to meeting water quality objectives. However, at the same time vegetable crop residues are a vital link in closing the nutrient and organic matter cycle of soils. Appropriate and sustainable management is needed to harness the full potential of vegetable crop residues. Two fundamentally different crop residue management strategies to reduce N losses during winter in intensive vegetable rotations are reviewed, namely (i on-field management options and modifications to crop rotations and (ii removal of crop residues, followed by a useful and profitable application.

  10. Maximizing root/rhizosphere efficiency to improve crop productivity and nutrient use efficiency in intensive agriculture of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Jianbo; Li, Chunjian; Mi, Guohua; Li, Long; Yuan, Lixing; Jiang, Rongfeng; Zhang, Fusuo

    2013-03-01

    Root and rhizosphere research has been conducted for many decades, but the underlying strategy of root/rhizosphere processes and management in intensive cropping systems remain largely to be determined. Improved grain production to meet the food demand of an increasing population has been highly dependent on chemical fertilizer input based on the traditionally assumed notion of 'high input, high output', which results in overuse of fertilizers but ignores the biological potential of roots or rhizosphere for efficient mobilization and acquisition of soil nutrients. Root exploration in soil nutrient resources and root-induced rhizosphere processes plays an important role in controlling nutrient transformation, efficient nutrient acquisition and use, and thus crop productivity. The efficiency of root/rhizosphere in terms of improved nutrient mobilization, acquisition, and use can be fully exploited by: (1) manipulating root growth (i.e. root development and size, root system architecture, and distribution); (2) regulating rhizosphere processes (i.e. rhizosphere acidification, organic anion and acid phosphatase exudation, localized application of nutrients, rhizosphere interactions, and use of efficient crop genotypes); and (3) optimizing root zone management to synchronize root growth and soil nutrient supply with demand of nutrients in cropping systems. Experiments have shown that root/rhizosphere management is an effective approach to increase both nutrient use efficiency and crop productivity for sustainable crop production. The objectives of this paper are to summarize the principles of root/rhizosphere management and provide an overview of some successful case studies on how to exploit the biological potential of root system and rhizosphere processes to improve crop productivity and nutrient use efficiency.

  11. Greenhouse gas emissions from alternative futures of deforestation and agricultural management in the southern Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galford, Gillian L; Melillo, Jerry M; Kicklighter, David W; Cronin, Timothy W; Cerri, Carlos E P; Mustard, John F; Cerri, Carlos C

    2010-11-16

    The Brazilian Amazon is one of the most rapidly developing agricultural areas in the world and represents a potentially large future source of greenhouse gases from land clearing and subsequent agricultural management. In an integrated approach, we estimate the greenhouse gas dynamics of natural ecosystems and agricultural ecosystems after clearing in the context of a future climate. We examine scenarios of deforestation and postclearing land use to estimate the future (2006-2050) impacts on carbon dioxide (CO(2)), methane (CH(4)), and nitrous oxide (N(2)O) emissions from the agricultural frontier state of Mato Grosso, using a process-based biogeochemistry model, the Terrestrial Ecosystems Model (TEM). We estimate a net emission of greenhouse gases from Mato Grosso, ranging from 2.8 to 15.9 Pg CO(2)-equivalents (CO(2)-e) from 2006 to 2050. Deforestation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions over this period, but land uses following clearing account for a substantial portion (24-49%) of the net greenhouse gas budget. Due to land-cover and land-use change, there is a small foregone carbon sequestration of 0.2-0.4 Pg CO(2)-e by natural forests and cerrado between 2006 and 2050. Both deforestation and future land-use management play important roles in the net greenhouse gas emissions of this frontier, suggesting that both should be considered in emissions policies. We find that avoided deforestation remains the best strategy for minimizing future greenhouse gas emissions from Mato Grosso.

  12. From alternative Agriculture to the Food Industry, The Need for Changes in Food Policy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Niels Heine; Nielsen, Thorkild

    1997-01-01

    have established rules and control systems for organic agriculture (the last decade). A break-through of organic food production is now taking place in some EU member states. This third change is indicated by more positive attitudes to organic products from the food industry but also by an increasing...... need for a more appropriate respons in the food policy....

  13. Farmer’s perception of coconut mite damage and crop diversification alternatives in the coastal belt of Tanzania

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.M. Oleke; A. Isinika; V. Manyong; R. Hanna; M. Sabelis

    2012-01-01

    This article analysed farmers' perceptions of the effects of coconut mite in their livelihood and assessed crop diversification as a copping strategy for reduced coconut production. A socio-economic model of farmers' decisions on intercropping as an indicator for overall crop diversity was developed

  14. Alternative Crop Rotations in the Semi-arid Central Great Plains Region: How Much Fallow? Evaluating the Economics

    Science.gov (United States)

    The traditional crop production system in the semi-arid Central Great Plains Region (CGPR) of the U.S.A. is winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-summer fallow (WF) or one crop every two years. This system is not a long-term sustainable dryland system. It is conducive to soil degradation and provide...

  15. The Internationalization of Alternative Food Networks: Farmers' Markets, Community Gardens, and Agricultural Exchange

    OpenAIRE

    Cody, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Focusing on various sites of an international farmer exchange program, this research examines the geographic, socioeconomic, and cultural relevance of Northern-based alternative food networks in the context of a less developed country, specifically Peru. In theory, alternative food networks (AFNs) revalorize small-scale farmers, rebuild local food systems, and strengthen ties between consumers and producers. Efforts to promote AFNs and scholarship exploring these efforts are largely confined ...

  16. Multiple Peril Crop Insurance

    OpenAIRE

    Edwards, William M.; Hofstrand, Donald

    2003-01-01

    Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) is a broad-based crop insurance program regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and subsidized by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation(FCIC). Crops eligible for MPCI coverage in Iowa include corn, sobyeans, oats, wheat, seed corn, popcorn, barley, potatoes, sweet corn, canning beans, dry beans, forages, grain sorghum, green peas, tomatoes, and nursery stocks. Not all of these crops can be insured in all counties.

  17. Plus C'est La Meme Chose? Questioning Crop Diversification as a Response to Agricultural Deregulation in Saskatchewan, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradshaw, Ben

    2004-01-01

    In the context of declining government subsidization of agriculture, many analysts have predicted reversals in certain characteristic trends of post-1945 Western agriculture with positive implications for agroecosystem well-being. One example, investigated herein, is the suggestion that, in the absence of government safety nets, farmers will seek…

  18. Remote sensing in Iowa agriculture: Identification and classification of Iowa crop lands using ERTS-1 and complimentary underflight imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahlstede, J. P.; Carlson, R. E.; Thomson, G. W. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Results of the continuing analysis of ERTS-1 imagery covering Iowa during 1972 and periods during 1973 are covered. Emphasis is placed on the identification and classification of major crop types at two test sites in Iowa. Standard photointerpretive methods were used in this analysis including the direct enlargement of black and white single-band products and additive color multi-band procedures using a miniadcol system. The use of sequential coverage during the crop growing season is emphasized as a means to improve the effectiveness of ERTS-1 photointerpretations of crop land acreage estimates in Iowa. Illustrative black and white and color prints of both ERTS-1 and underflight imagery are included. In addition, forest land inventories at one test site are reported. A new method for the inventory of forest lands using ERTS-1 imagery is reported and compared with estimates obtained using earlier underflight imagery.

  19. Research work and demonstration of crop space-induced mutation breeding in Guangdong academy of agricultural science

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    138 entries of crop seeds, seedlings and sources of microbe, including conventional rice varieties, hybrid rice, vegetable, flower, mulberry, tea, and silkworm, were sent for space mutation. Muti-suject combining research had been conducted on the innovation of new gemplasm, breeding for new varieties and elucidating the physiological and molecular mechanism of space induced mutation. Based on the displaying platform fro crop breeding in national Agri- Tech displaying land in Guangzhou, Guangdong. Space Agri-Tech Displaying Land was being constructed large scale displaying land for space induced breeding in Guangdong will be developed in collaboration with the Provincial production management agencies. (authors)

  20. Ozone exposure of forests in the selected countries; 1 : 34 000 000; Ozone exposure index of forests; 1 : 3 000 000; Ozone exposure of agricultural crops in the selected countries; 1 : 34 000 000; Ozone exposure index of agricultural crops; 1 : 3 000 000

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The amount of the ground level ozone in the southern and central Europe (above all in the photochemically favourable years) significantly exceeds the AOT 40 (Accumulated Exposure Over Threshold of 40 ppb) values of loads critical for vegetation at the present time and it represents one of the principal stress factors affecting the forest ecosystems. The AOT 40 of forests is the sum of hour concentrations above the level of 40 ppb (80 μg.m-3) from the daily values (global sun radiation exceeding 50 W.m-2) for the months April - September. According to the recommendations of the UN European Economic Commission, the critical level of AOT 40 is 10,000 ppb.h. The AOT 40 definition for agricultural crops is the same, while summary is done only for the months of May - July. The threshold values for agricultural crops is, pursuing the recommendations of the UN European Economic Commission, AOT 40 = 3,000 ppb.h, which corresponds to about 5 % loss on harvest. For instance, the AOT40 values reach about the double of the critical level near the upper timberline in Slovakia while the critical values for agricultural crops are exceeded in the whole territory of the country. The future developments will depend on the development of ozone precursor emissions (N0X, VOC and CO) in Europe. (authors)

  1. The multispectral reflectance of shortwave radiation by agricultural crops in relation with their morphological and optical properties

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bunnik, N.J.J.

    1978-01-01

    Relations between morphological properties of uniform canopies. optical properties of the leaves and reflection of shortwave radiation, in the visible light region and the near infrared, by crops are the subject of this thesis.The aim of the study was a further investigation of potential application

  2. Biofuel Crops Expansion: Evaluating the Impact on the Agricultural Water Scarcity Costs and Hydropower Production with Hydro Economic Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, G.

    2015-12-01

    Biofuels such as ethanol from sugar cane remain an important element to help mitigate the impacts of fossil fuels on the atmosphere. However, meeting fuel demands with biofuels requires technological advancement for water productivity and scale of production. This may translate into increased water demands for biofuel crops and potential for conflicts with incumbent crops and other water uses including domestic, hydropower generation and environmental. It is therefore important to evaluate the effects of increased biofuel production on the verge of water scarcity costs and hydropower production. The present research applies a hydro-economic optimization model to compare different scenarios of irrigated biofuel and hydropower production, and estimates the potential tradeoffs. A case study from the Araguari watershed in Brazil is provided. These results should be useful to (i) identify improved water allocation among competing economic demands, (ii) support water management and operations decisions in watersheds where biofuels are expected to increase, and (iii) identify the impact of bio fuel production in the water availability and economic value. Under optimized conditions, adoption of sugar cane for biofuel production heavily relies on the opportunity costs of other crops and hydropower generation. Areas with a lower value crop groups seem more suitable to adopt sugar cane for biofuel when the price of ethanol is sufficiently high and the opportunity costs of hydropower productions are not conflicting. The approach also highlights the potential for insights in water management from studying regional versus larger scales bundled systems involving water use, food production and power generation.

  3. 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 tha

  4. Monitoring agricultural crop growth: comparison of high spatial-temporal satellite imagery versus UAV-based imaging spectrometer time series measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mucher, Sander; Roerink, Gerbert; Franke, Jappe; Suomalainen, Juha; Kooistra, Lammert

    2014-05-01

    In 2012, the Dutch National Satellite Data Portal (NSD) was launched as a preparation to the launch of the European SENTINEL satellites in the framework of the Copernicus Programme. At the same time the Unmanned Aerial Remote Sensing Facility (UARSF: www.wageningenUR.nl/uarsf) has been established as research facility at Wageningen University and Research Centre. The NSD became available for the development of services and advice through an investment from the Dutch government in collaboration with the Netherlands Space Office (NSO) in order to develop new services for precision agriculture. The NSD contains Formosat, Radarsat as well as DMC satellite imagery. The processing of the DMC imagery resulted in the Greenmonitor service (www.groenmonitor.nl). The Greenmonitor is an unique product that covers the Netherlands with a high spatial and temporal resolution. The Greenmonitor is now being exploited for various applications, amongst others crop identification, crop phenology, and identification of management activities. The UARSF of Wageningen UR has three objectives: 1) to develop innovation in the field of remote sensing science using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) by providing a platform for dedicated and high-quality experiments; 2) to support high quality UAV services by providing calibration facilities and disseminating processing procedures to the UAV user community; 3) to promote and test the use of UAV in a broad range of application fields such as precision agriculture and habitat monitoring. Through this coincidence of new developments the goal of our study was to compare the information for the measurements of spatial variation in crops and soils as derived from high spatial-temporal satellite imagery from the national data portal compared to the exploitation of UAVs, in our case an Altura octocopter with a hyperspectral camera. As such, the focus is on the applications in precision agriculture. Both primary producers and chain partners and service

  5. Meta-analysis of strategies to control nitrate leaching in irrigated agricultural systems and their effects on crop yield.

    OpenAIRE

    Quemada Saenz-Badillos, Miguel; Baranski, M; Nobel-de Lange, M. N. J.; Vallejo Garcia, Antonio; Cooper, J M

    2013-01-01

    Nitrate leaching (NL) is an important N loss process in irrigated agriculture that imposes a cost on the farmer and the environment. A meta-analysis of published experimental results from agricultural irrigated systems was conducted to identify those strategies that have proven effective at reducing NL and to quantify the scale of reduction that can be achieved. Forty-four scientific articles were identified which investigated four main strategies (water and fertilizer management, use of cove...

  6. Biogenic Volatile Organic Compound (BVOC) emissions from agricultural crop species: is guttation a possible source for methanol emissions following light/dark transition ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mozaffar, Ahsan; Amelynck, Crist; Bachy, Aurélie; Digrado, Anthony; Delaplace, Pierre; du Jardin, Patrick; Fauconnier, Marie-Laure; Schoon, Niels; Aubinet, Marc; Heinesch, Bernard

    2015-04-01

    In the framework of the CROSTVOC (CROp STress VOC) project, the exchange of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) between two important agricultural crop species, maize and winter wheat, and the atmosphere has recently been measured during an entire growing season by using the eddy covariance technique. Because of the co-variation of BVOC emission drivers in field conditions, laboratory studies were initiated in an environmental chamber in order to disentangle the responses of the emissions to variations of the individual environmental parameters (such as PPFD and temperature) and to diverse abiotic stress factors. Young plants were enclosed in transparent all-Teflon dynamic enclosures (cuvettes) through which BVOC-free and RH-controlled air was sent. BVOC enriched air was subsequently sampled from the plant cuvettes and an empty cuvette (background) and analyzed for BVOCs in a high sensitivity Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometer (hs-PTR-MS) and for CO2 in a LI-7000 non-dispersive IR gas analyzer. Emissions were monitored at constant temperature (25 °C) and at a stepwise varying PPFD pattern (0-650 µmol m-2 s-1). For maize plants, sudden light/dark transitions at the end of the photoperiod were accompanied by prompt and considerable increases in methanol (m/z 33) and water vapor (m/z 39) emissions. Moreover, guttation droplets appeared on the sides and the tips of the leaves within a few minutes after light/dark transition. Therefore the assumption has been raised that methanol is also coming out with guttation fluid from the leaves. Consequently, guttation fluid was collected from young maize and wheat plants, injected in an empty enclosure and sampled by PTR-MS. Methanol and a large number of other compounds were observed from guttation fluid. Recent studies have shown that guttation from agricultural crops frequently occurs in field conditions. Further research is required to find out the source strength of methanol emissions by this guttation

  7. Emissions of terpenoids, benzenoids, and other biogenic gas-phase organic compounds from agricultural crops and their potential implications for air quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentner, D. R.; Ormeño, E.; Fares, S.; Ford, T. B.; Weber, R.; Park, J.-H.; Brioude, J.; Angevine, W. M.; Karlik, J. F.; Goldstein, A. H.

    2014-06-01

    Agriculture comprises a substantial, and increasing, fraction of land use in many regions of the world. Emissions from agricultural vegetation and other biogenic and anthropogenic sources react in the atmosphere to produce ozone and secondary organic aerosol, which comprises a substantial fraction of particulate matter (PM2.5). Using data from three measurement campaigns, we examine the magnitude and composition of reactive gas-phase organic carbon emissions from agricultural crops and their potential to impact regional air quality relative to anthropogenic emissions from motor vehicles in California's San Joaquin Valley, which is out of compliance with state and federal standards for tropospheric ozone PM2.5. Emission rates for a suite of terpenoid compounds were measured in a greenhouse for 25 representative crops from California in 2008. Ambient measurements of terpenoids and other biogenic compounds in the volatile and intermediate-volatility organic compound ranges were made in the urban area of Bakersfield and over an orange orchard in a rural area of the San Joaquin Valley during two 2010 seasons: summer and spring flowering. We combined measurements from the orchard site with ozone modeling methods to assess the net effect of the orange trees on regional ozone. When accounting for both emissions of reactive precursors and the deposition of ozone to the orchard, the orange trees are a net source of ozone in the springtime during flowering, and relatively neutral for most of the summer until the fall, when it becomes a sink. Flowering was a major emission event and caused a large increase in emissions including a suite of compounds that had not been measured in the atmosphere before. Such biogenic emission events need to be better parameterized in models as they have significant potential to impact regional air quality since emissions increase by several factors to over an order of magnitude. In regions like the San Joaquin Valley, the mass of biogenic

  8. Light- and water-use efficiency model synergy: a revised look at crop yield estimation for agricultural decision-making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, M.; Tu, K. P.

    2015-12-01

    Large-area crop yield models (LACMs) are commonly employed to address climate-driven changes in crop yield and inform policy makers concerned with climate change adaptation. Production efficiency models (PEMs), a class of LACMs that rely on the conservative response of carbon assimilation to incoming solar radiation absorbed by a crop contingent on environmental conditions, have increasingly been used over large areas with remote sensing spectral information to improve the spatial resolution of crop yield estimates and address important data gaps. Here, we present a new PEM that combines model principles from the remote sensing-based crop yield and evapotranspiration (ET) model literature. One of the major limitations of PEMs is that they are evaluated using data restricted in both space and time. To overcome this obstacle, we first validated the model using 2009-2014 eddy covariance flux tower Gross Primary Production data in a rice field in the Central Valley of California- a critical agro-ecosystem of the United States. This evaluation yielded a Willmot's D and mean absolute error of 0.81 and 5.24 g CO2/d, respectively, using CO2, leaf area, temperature, and moisture constraints from the MOD16 ET model, Priestley-Taylor ET model, and the Global Production Efficiency Model (GLOPEM). A Monte Carlo simulation revealed that the model was most sensitive to the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) input, followed by Photosynthetically Active Radiation, vapor pressure deficit, and air temperature. The model will now be evaluated using 30 x 30m (Landsat resolution) biomass transects developed in 2011 and 2012 from spectroradiometric and other non-destructive in situ metrics for several cotton, maize, and rice fields across the Central Valley. Finally, the model will be driven by Daymet and MODIS data over the entire State of California and compared with county-level crop yield statistics. It is anticipated that the new model will facilitate agro-climatic decision-making in

  9. Halophytes As Bioenergy Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Rita; Wungrampha, Silas; Singh, Vinay; Pareek, Ashwani; Sharma, Manoj K

    2016-01-01

    Shrinking arable land due to soil salinization and, depleting fresh water resources pose serious worldwide constraints to crop productivity. A vision of using plant feedstock for biofuel production can only be realized if we can identify alternate species that can be grown on saline soils and therefore, would not compete for the resources required for conventional agriculture. Halophytes have remarkable ability to grow under high salinity conditions. They can be irrigated with seawater without compromising their biomass and seed yields making them good alternate candidates as bioenergy crops. Both oil produced from the seeds and the lignocellulosic biomass of halophytes can be utilized for biofuel production. Several researchers across the globe have recognized this potential and assessed several halophytes for their tolerance to salt, seed oil contents and composition of their lignocellulosic biomass. Here, we review current advances and highlight the key species of halophytes analyzed for this purpose. We have critically assessed the challenges and opportunities associated with using halophytes as bioenergy crops.

  10. Halophytes As Bioenergy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Rita; Wungrampha, Silas; Singh, Vinay; Pareek, Ashwani; Sharma, Manoj K.

    2016-01-01

    Shrinking arable land due to soil salinization and, depleting fresh water resources pose serious worldwide constraints to crop productivity. A vision of using plant feedstock for biofuel production can only be realized if we can identify alternate species that can be grown on saline soils and therefore, would not compete for the resources required for conventional agriculture. Halophytes have remarkable ability to grow under high salinity conditions. They can be irrigated with seawater without compromising their biomass and seed yields making them good alternate candidates as bioenergy crops. Both oil produced from the seeds and the lignocellulosic biomass of halophytes can be utilized for biofuel production. Several researchers across the globe have recognized this potential and assessed several halophytes for their tolerance to salt, seed oil contents and composition of their lignocellulosic biomass. Here, we review current advances and highlight the key species of halophytes analyzed for this purpose. We have critically assessed the challenges and opportunities associated with using halophytes as bioenergy crops. PMID:27679645

  11. Conservation program works as an alternative irrigation districts in sustainable water management of agricultural use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Víctor Manuel Peinado Guevara

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Water scarcity is an issue of worldwide concern since it is already having an impact on social development. Mexico is not an exception to this problem because in several regions of the country are great difficulties in supplying water, primarily for agricultural use. In Sinaloa, it had been mentioned repeatedly by the media that in the Irrigation District 063, located in the northern of the state, there are problems of water scarcity, and yet there still exist difficulties in conserving the resource. More than 49% of the water used for agriculture is wasted. To resolve this problem, producers and government agencies spend significant resources for investment in water conservation. However, the results have not been entirely satisfactory because the waste is high, a situation that motivates them to study more deeply the main weaknesses that affect sustainable resource use. Farmer’s participation in the administration of water infrastructure is important, as well as providing financial resources for the conservation of water system; and participation in activities of construction and repaired of water infrastructure. Farmer’s should also plan and design strategies for water conservation. This situation requires an appropriate level of technology and intellectual, rather than local producers and thus no complicated sustainable resource management. That is what local producers don’t have and therefore it complicates the sustainable management of the resource.

  12. Rodent food quality and its relation to crops and other environmental and population parameters in an agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eva, Janova; Marta, Heroldova; Ladislav, Cepelka

    2016-08-15

    The diet, its quality and quantity considerably influence population parameters of rodents. In this study, we used NIRS methods for estimation of nitrogen content in stomachs of rodent populations. The study was carried out in diverse arable landscape in South Moravia, Czech Republic. Rodents were sampled in cultural crops (alfalfa, barley, wheat, sunflower, maize and rape) as well as in fallow habitats (herbal set-aside and old orchard). Influence of habitat, date, year, individual parameters (body length, sex, breeding and age), and relative abundance on quality of consumed food was studied. Under conditions of higher population density, dominant species [wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) and common vole (Microtus arvalis)] consumed food richer in nitrogen. Also the strong effect of crop and date (season) was found in both species. There was no significant effect of the other parameters studied on food quality (N-content). PMID:27099997

  13. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AGRICULTURAL CROPS IN VARIOUS TYPES OF SOWINGS IN THE STEPPE ZONE OF THE KRASNODAR REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belyuchenko I. S.

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In herbaceous communities of annual crops dominate clean sowings, which are characterized by high productivity. However, it is very poorly adapted, different weak transformation of matter and energy and stronger exposed to stressful situations as compared to natural systems. In agroecosystems only structural diversity can supporting many processes on a much aligned level. In agrolandscape system creates mixed sowings that are practiced in forage production of many areas. Great importance is the selection of crops for joint sowing because the relationship of species in created systems are poorly investigated and documented in the literature is not enough. Investigations were carried out on experimental plots on the farm called "Zavety Ilyicha" of the Leningrad district and training farm called "Kuban" in Krasnodar. Formation of joint sowings in different moistening conditions, level of fertility, chemical and physical condition of the soil is a very big problem. Cultivation of different cultures in joint sowings significantly influences the terms the onset of main phases of vegetation in certain species. For example, the placement of sorghum between rows of soybean noticeably extended the period of its vegetation (5-7 days; acceleration of interphase periods was marked for amaranth; height of plant noticeably was changed, leaf area was varied, indicator of competitive features of individual species was differed. The existence of the relationship between the method of sowing crops, their farming practices and composition of species and population of microflora, mesofauna of soil, yield of dry matter and grain was observed

  14. Sustainable introduction of GM crops into european agriculture: a summary report of the FP6 SIGMEA research project*

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Messéan Antoine

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available In 2003, the European Commission established the principle of coexistence which refers to “the ability of farmers to make a practical choice between conventional, organic and GM-crop production, in compliance with the legal obligations for labelling and/or purity standards” and laid down guidelines defining the context of this coexistence1. In order to determine what is needed for the sustainable introduction of GM crops in Europe, the cross-disciplinary SIGMEA Research Project was set up to create a science-based framework to inform decision-makers. SIGMEA has (i collated and analysed European data on gene flow and the environmental impacts of the major crop species which are likely to be transgenic in the future (maize, rapeseed, sugar beet, rice, and wheat, (ii designed predictive models of gene flow at the landscape level, (iii analysed the technical feasibility and economic impacts of coexistence in the principal farming regions of Europe, (iv developed novel GMO detection methods, (v addressed legal issues related to coexistence, and (vi proposed public and farm scale decisionmaking tools, as well as guidelines regarding management and governance. This publishable version of the final activity report of the FP6 SIGMEA research project, covers the fourteen major issues under investigation.

  15. Caesium-137 soil-to-plant transfer for representative agricultural crops of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants in post-Chernobyl steppe landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paramonova, Tatiana; Komissarova, Olga; Turykin, Leonid; Kuzmenkova, Natalia; Belyaev, Vladimir

    2016-04-01

    The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 had a large-scale action on more than 2.3 million hectares agricultural lands in Russia. The area of radioactively contaminated chernozems of semi-arid steppe zone with initial levels of Cs-137 185-555 kBq/m2 in Tula region received the name "Plavsky radioactive hotspot". Nowadays, after the first half-life period of Cs-137 arable chernozems of the region are still polluted with 3-6-fold excess above the radioactive safety standard (126-228 kBq/m2). Therefore, qualitative and quantitative characteristics of Cs-137 soil-to-plant transfer are currently a central problem for land use on the territory. The purpose of the present study was revealing the biological features of Cs-137 root uptake from contaminated arable chernozems by different agricultural crops. The components of a grass mixture growing at the central part of Plavsky radioactive hotspot with typical dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous plants - galega (Galega orientalis, Fabaceae family) and bromegrass (Bromus inermis, Gramineae family) respectively - were selected for the investigation, that was conducted during the period of harvesting in 2015. An important point was that the other factors influenced on Cs-137 soil-to-plant transfer - the level of soil pollution, soil properties, climatic conditions, vegetative phase, etc. - were equal. So, biological features of Cs-137 root uptake could be estimated the most credible manner. As a whole, general discrimination of Cs-137 root uptake was clearly shown for both agricultural crops. Whereas Cs-137 activity in rhizosphere 30-cm layer of arable chernozem was 371±74 Bq/kg (140±32 kBq/m2), Cs-137 activities in plant biomass were one-two orders of magnitude less, and transfer factor (TF) values (the ratio of the Cs-137 activities in vegetation and in soil) not exceeded 0.11. At the same time bioavailability of Cs-137 for bromegrass was significantly higher than for galega: TFs in total biomass of the

  16. SIMULATION MODEL BASED ON IACS DATA; ALTERNATIVE APPROACH TO ANALYSE SECTORAL INCOME RISK IN AGRICULTURE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaka ZGAJNAR

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available We develop a static simulation model to analyse income losses and income risks at aggregated agriculture sector level. Our empirical case study is based on farm level records for direct payments claims (IACS data and covers the period 2010–2011. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we investigate the impact of different levels of risk on income trends. Results show that 80% of farms are extremely dependent on direct payments. Farm production types highly supported by direct payments consequentially fall into the low-risk group. Results show that a significant share of income loss at sector level is carried by small farms (by economic class. Average probability of larger losses at the sector level ranges between 2% and 64%. Our results also indicate that larger farms often have better risk-return ratios and thus face lower relative income risks.

  17. Climate change impact and potential adaptation strategies under alternate realizations of climate scenarios for three major crops in Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study presents an estimate of the effects of climate variables and CO2 on three major crops, namely wheat, rapeseed and sunflower, in EU27 Member States. We also investigated some technical adaptation options which could offset climate change impacts. The time-slices 2000, 2020 and 2030 were chosen to represent the baseline and future climate, respectively. Furthermore, two realizations within the A1B emission scenario proposed by the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES), from the ECHAM5 and HadCM3 GCM, were selected. A time series of 30 years for each GCM and time slice were used as input weather data for simulation. The time series were generated with a stochastic weather generator trained over GCM-RCM time series (downscaled simulations from the ENSEMBLES project which were statistically bias-corrected prior to the use of the weather generator). GCM-RCM simulations differed primarily for rainfall patterns across Europe, whereas the temperature increase was similar in the time horizons considered. Simulations based on the model CropSyst v. 3 were used to estimate crop responses; CropSyst was re-implemented in the modelling framework BioMA. The results presented in this paper refer to abstraction of crop growth with respect to its production system, and consider growth as limited by weather and soil water. How crop growth responds to CO2 concentrations; pests, diseases, and nutrients limitations were not accounted for in simulations. The results show primarily that different realization of the emission scenario lead to noticeably different crop performance projections in the same time slice. Simple adaptation techniques such as changing sowing dates and the use of different varieties, the latter in terms of duration of the crop cycle, may be effective in alleviating the adverse effects of climate change in most areas, although response to best adaptation (within the techniques tested) differed across crops. Although a negative impact of climate

  18. Energy crop cultivation in the environmental and agricultural legislation; Energiepflanzenanbau im Umwelt- und Agrarrecht. Umweltauswirkungen des Energiepflanzenanbaus unter besonderer Beruecksichtigung des Biogassubstrats Mais und Moeglichkeiten einer nachhaltigen Steuerung im Bodenschutz-, Naturschutz- und umweltrelevanten Agrarrecht

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daenicke, Carmen

    2014-07-01

    The book on energy crop cultivation in the environmental and agricultural legislation covers the following issues: Part 1: Significance of the energy crop cultivation in Germany: Termini, development of renewable energies and bioenergy, political and legal frame work; Part 2: Disadvantageous environmental impact of the energy crop cultivation and possibilities for an environmentally compatible agriculture: subject of protection and mandate for protection, ways of energy plant utilization and disadvantageous consequences, possibilities for a sustainable concept for agricultural practices; Part 3: Legal instruments for the control of energy plant cultivation: requirements for the legal instruments for environmental protection, soil protection legislation, environmental protection legislation, environmentally relevant farming legislation; Part 4: Polymorphism of the legal instruments - considerations on the selective decision: existing instrumental types; public environmental legislation, environmental penal laws and private environmental protection legislation.

  19. BOOK REVIEWS - Precision agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    Stanisław Samborski; Dariusz Gozdowski

    2007-01-01

    Precision agriculture (PA) is a term, which has recently become very popular in agronomy. In short this term means crop production based on site-specific crop management (SSCM). Precision agriculture is an integrated agricultural management system incorporating different science disciplines e.g. crop science, agricultural engineering and geostatistics. It also uses numerous tools i.e., geographic information system (GIS), Global Positioning System (GPS), remote sensing yield monitors. Because...

  20. Bioethanol fermentation as alternative valorization route of agricultural digestate according to a biorefinery approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sambusiti, C; Monlau, F; Barakat, A

    2016-07-01

    This study investigates the feasibility of producing bioethanol from solid digestate after a mechanical fractionation (i.e. centrifugal milling), in order to improve the energy recovery from agricultural wastes and the sustainability of anaerobic digestion plants. A bioethanol yield of 37gkg(-1)TS was evaluated for the solid digestate fraction. Mass and energetic balances were performed and compared between two scenarios: (A) one-stage bioethanol fermentation and (B) two-stage anaerobic digestion-bioethanol fermentation, in order to evaluate the feasibility and the advantages of the two-stage process. Results revealed that, compared to the one-stage process, the dual anaerobic digestion-bioethanol process permitted: (i) to diversify biofuels production; (ii) to provide the thermal energy sufficient for drying digestate (13,351kWhthday(-1)), for the subsequent milling step; (iii) to reduce the electric energy requirement for the milling step (from 23,880 to 3580kWhelday(-1)); (iv) to produce extra electrical energy of 8483kWhelday(-1); (v) to improve the reduction of waste streams generated (from 13% to 54% of organic matter removal). PMID:27115615

  1. Organochlorine pesticide exposure among agricultural workers in Colombian regions with illegal crops: an exploration in a hidden and dangerous world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varona, Marcela Eugenia; Díaz-Criollo, Sonia M; Lancheros-Bernal, Angélica R; Murcia-Orjuela, Alix M; Henao-Londoño, Gloria L; Idrovo, Alvaro Javier

    2010-12-01

    A previous study suggested that banned organochlorine pesticides were being used to protect illegal crops from pests. The study herein explored the exposure of individuals living in a region with such crops. Samples from 99 individuals were collected during 2005 and 2006 and organochlorine pesticides were quantified using chromatography in serum samples. We detected heptachlor (72.73%), 4,4-DDE (19.19%), aldrin (15.15%), γ-chlordane (12.12%), dieldrin (11.11%), α-chlordane (10,10%), α-endosulfan (8.08%), endosulfan (6.06%), β-endosulfan (5.05%), oxychlordane (3.03%), 4,4-DDT (3.03%), and 2,4-DDT (2.02%). Heptachlor had a skewed and negative distribution (median: 8.69 ng/l and maximum: 43.8 ng/l). A two-dimensional biplot suggested that mixtures present were endosulfan/4,4-DDT, aldrin/γ-chlordane, and oxychlordane/β-endosulfan/dieldrin. We did not identify variables associated with exposure levels. These data suggest that banned organochlorine pesticides are used. This is an example of research in a war context, where the problems related with pesticides are complex, and their implications go beyond a toxicological or epidemiological viewpoint. PMID:21161802

  2. Assessment of the Spatial and Temporal Variations of Water Quality for Agricultural Lands with Crop Rotation in China by Using a HYPE Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Yunxing; Jiang, Sanyuan; Pers, Charlotta; Yang, Xiaoying; Liu, Qun; Yuan, Jin; Yao, Mingxing; He, Yi; Luo, Xingzhang; Zheng, Zheng

    2016-03-18

    Many water quality models have been successfully used worldwide to predict nutrient losses from anthropogenically impacted catchments, but hydrological and nutrient simulations with limited data are difficult considering the transfer of model parameters and complication of model calibration and validation. This study aims: (i) to assess the performance capabilities of a new and relatively more advantageous model, namely, Hydrological Predictions for the Environment (HYPE), that simulates stream flow and nutrient load in agricultural areas by using a multi-site and multi-objective parameter calibration method and (ii) to investigate the temporal and spatial variations of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorous (TP) concentrations and loads with crop rotation by using the model for the first time. A parameter estimation tool (PEST) was used to calibrate parameters. Results show that the parameters related to the effective soil porosity were highly sensitive to hydrological modeling. N balance was largely controlled by soil denitrification processes. P balance was influenced by the sedimentation rate and production/decay of P in rivers and lakes. The model reproduced the temporal and spatial variations of discharge and TN/TP relatively well in both calibration (2006-2008) and validation (2009-2010) periods. Among the obtained data, the lowest Nash-Suttclife efficiency of discharge, daily TN load, and daily TP load were 0.74, 0.51, and 0.54, respectively. The seasonal variations of daily TN concentrations in the entire simulation period were insufficient, indicated that crop rotation changed the timing and amount of N output. Monthly TN and TP simulation yields revealed that nutrient outputs were abundant in summer in terms of the corresponding discharge. The area-weighted TN and TP load annual yields in five years showed that nutrient loads were extremely high along Hong and Ru rivers, especially in agricultural lands.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Giacomo Scarascia-Mugnozza; Carmela Sica; Giovanni Russo

    2012-01-01

    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 b...

  4. Cover crop biomass harvest for bioenergy: implications for crop productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter cover crops, such as rye (Secale cereale), are usually used in conservation agriculture systems in the Southeast. Typically, the cover crop is terminated two to three weeks before planting the summer crop, with the cover biomass left on the soil surface as a mulch. However, these cover crops ...

  5. Influence of crop load on the expression patterns of starch metabolism genes in alternate-bearing citrus trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nebauer, Sergio G; Renau-Morata, Begoña; Lluch, Yolanda; Baroja-Fernández, Edurne; Pozueta-Romero, Javier; Molina, Rosa-Victoria

    2014-07-01

    The fruit is the main sink organ in Citrus and captures almost all available photoassimilates during its development. Consequently, carbohydrate partitioning and starch content depend on the crop load of Citrus trees. Nevertheless, little is known about the mechanisms controlling the starch metabolism at the tree level in relation to presence of fruit. The aim of this study was to find the relation between the seasonal variation of expression and activity of the genes involved in carbon metabolism and the partition and allocation of carbohydrates in 'Salustiana' sweet orange trees with different crop loads. Metabolisable carbohydrates, and the expression and activity of the enzymes involved in sucrose and starch metabolism, including sucrose transport, were determined during the year in the roots and leaves of 40-year-old trees bearing heavy crop loads ('on' trees) and trees with almost no fruits ('off' trees). Fruit altered photoassimilate partitioning in trees. Sucrose content tended to be constant in roots and leaves, and surplus fixed carbon is channeled to starch production. Differences between 'on' and 'off' trees in starch content can be explained by differences in ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (AGPP) expression/activity and α-amylase activity which varies depending on crop load. The observed relation of AGPP and UGPP (UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase) is noteworthy and indicates a direct link between sucrose and starch synthesis. Furthermore, different roles for sucrose transporter SUT1 and SUT2 have been proposed. Variation in soluble sugars content cannot explain the differences in gene expression between the 'on' and 'off' trees. A still unknown signal from fruit should be responsible for this control. PMID:24747724

  6. Heavy metal content in ash of energy crops growing in sewage-contaminated natural wetlands: potential applications in agriculture and forestry?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonanno, Giuseppe; Cirelli, Giuseppe Luigi; Toscano, Attilio; Lo Giudice, Rosa; Pavone, Pietro

    2013-05-01

    One of the greatest current challenges is to find cost-effective and eco-friendly solutions to the ever increasing needs of modern society. Some plant species are suitable for a multitude of biotechnological applications such as bioenergy production and phytoremediation. A sustainable practice is to use energy crops to clean up polluted lands or to treat wastewater in constructed wetlands without claiming further arable land for biofuel production. However, the disposal of combustion by-products may add significant costs to the whole process, especially when it deals with toxic waste. This study aimed to investigate the possibility of recycling ash from energy biomass as a fertilizer for agriculture and forestry. In particular, the concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Pb and Zn were analyzed in the plant tissues and corresponding ash of the grasses Phragmites australis and Arundo donax, collected in an urban stream affected by domestic sewage. Results showed that the metal concentration in ash is 1.5-3 times as high as the values in plant tissues. However, metal enriched ash showed much lower element concentrations than the legal limits for ash reutilization in agriculture and forestry. This study found that biomass ash from constructed wetlands may be considered as a potential fertilizer rather than hazardous waste. Energy from biomass can be a really sustainable and clean option not only through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but also through ash recycling for beneficial purposes, thus minimizing the negative impacts of disposal. PMID:23534998

  7. Altered Water Extraction and Hydraulic Redistribution of Agricultural Crop Soybean at Daily Time Scales in Open-Air Elevation of CO2 under Drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, P. G.; Gray, S. B.; Bernacchi, C.; Leakey, A. D.; Kumar, P.; Long, S. P.

    2010-12-01

    Corn-soy land, at 70 Mha is arguably the largest single ecosystem type in the contiguous 48 states. It is anticipated that global climate change will lead to an increasing occurrence of hydrologic extremes such as droughts at the regional and local scale, significantly altering the availability of soil water to agricultural crops. By contrast rising CO2 through its suppression of stomatal conductance may counteract this. The response of this ecosystem to increase in atmospheric CO2, to the expected mid-century levels (550 μmol mol-1) has been shown at field scale using Free Air Concentration Enrichment (FACE) to decrease ET by 9-16%, for soybean (Glycine max), relative to controls. However, the feedback of soil-moisture to reduction in ecosystem ET has not been tested when increased drought and CO2 are combined in the open. While drought will lead to a reduction of volumetric water content (VWC) along the soil moisture profile, the distribution of this reduction will be innately driven by both patterns of water uptake and hydraulic redistribution by the rooting system. The ability of the crop to dynamically alter soil moisture through these strategies feed back on crop rooting strategy and the ability to extract moisture for transpiration. To examine the extent to which crops are capable of dynamically altering the distribution of soil moisture in response to both drought and elevated atmospheric CO2, soybean was grown in field conditions under ambient (approximately 385 μmol CO2 mol-1 air) and elevated [CO2] (approximately 550 μmol mol-1) using FACE. Four replicated blocks each contained a 20m diameter elevated CO2 plot and a similar control plot. Within each plot, were nested ambient precipitation and drought sub-plots (approximately 60% precipitation reduction, p textless 0.05). Drought was imposed by, the use of rain interception, canopies that were automatically deployed during night-time precipitation events and by the use of sub-surface soil

  8. Agricultural Yield Trends in Malawi: Utilizing Remote Sensing to Observe Crop Productivity and Sensitivity to Biophysical and Social Drivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter, B.

    2015-12-01

    The primary objective of this research is to distinguish primary and secondary trends in the spatiotemporal variability of agricultural productivity in Malawi. The assessment was performed by analyzing the Net Primary Productivity (NPP) product derived from NASA MODIS satellite imagery and by drawing comparisons between individual land areas and the country-wide statistics. The data were categorized by placing each individual land area into one of six categories: low, average, or high productivity, and whether or not they were resilient or sensitive to biophysical and/or social production drivers. In order to mitigate productivity interference from forest and other land cover types, a custom agricultural land use was developed. Five land cover datasets, including FAO, GLC, IFPRI, GlobCover, and MODIS were combined to minimize errors of commission. Model assessment occurred via field work in Malawi. Approximately 200 sites were visited across nearly the entire extent of the country. Cropland and land cover were assessed via visual inspection, true color/near-infrared photography, and on-site interviews with farmers and extension officers to inquire about productivity and limiting factors for yield. Additionally, we present a continental scale application of the model to demonstrate its performance across scales.

  9. MEDICATED PRICKLY PEAR (OPUNTIA FICUS INDICA)-THE NEW EMERGING AGRICULTURAL CROP IN ARID AND SEMI ARID REGIONS OF INDIA

    OpenAIRE

    Chenna Kesava Reddy Sangati; Sucharitha K V; Venkata Ramana D K; Raveendra Reddy Mallela; Syamala B

    2014-01-01

    The present investigation deals with the development of agro-techniques for Opuntia ficus indica (Prickly pear)-OFI cultivation. Standardization and development of best spacing for opuntia plantation, fertilization imposition to achieve good fruit and biomass yield and alternatively fruit quality and biomass parameters was observed and concluded as the better agro-technique among the all imposed treatments. The effect of different spacing and fertilizers composition treatment on cladode yield...

  10. THE CROP YIELD GAP BETWEEN ORGANIC AND CONVENTIONAL AGRICULTURE%有机—常规农业中作物产量差距分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    托曼克·德·波帝; 波特·里克; 马丁·克·范·伊特松

    2015-01-01

    to feed the world. Comparisons of organic and conventional yields play a central role in this debate. We therefore compiled and analyzed a meta-dataset of 362 published organ-ic-conventional comparative crop yields. Our results show that organic yields of individual crops are on average 80%of conventional yields,but variation is substantial( standard deviation 21%) . In our dataset,the organic yield gap significantly differed between crop groups and regions. The analysis gave some support to our hypothesis that the or-ganic-conventional yield gap increases as conventional yields increase, but this relationship was only rather weak. The rationale behind this hypothesis is that when conventional yields are high and relatively close to the po-tential or water-limited level,nutrient stress must,as per definition of the potential or water-limited yield levels,be low and pests and diseases well controlled,which are conditions more difficult to attain in organic agriculture. We discuss our findings in the context of the literature on this subject and address the issue of upscaling our results to higher system levels. Our analysis was at field and crop level. We hypothesize that due to challenges in the mainte-nance of nutrient availability in organic systems at crop rotation,farm and regional level,the average yield gap be-tween conventional and organic systems may be larger than 20% at higher system levels. This relates in particular to the role of legumes in the rotation and the farming system,and to the availability of( organic) manure at the farm and regional levels. Future research should therefore focus on assessing the relative performance of both types of agricul-ture at higher system levels,i. e. the farm,regional and global system levels,and should in that context pay particu-lar attention to nutrient availability in both organic and conventional agriculture.

  11. Modelling of nitrogen leaching under a complex winter wheat and red clover crop rotation in a drained agricultural field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Y.; Fohrer, N.

    The European Water Framework Directive requires conformity of water management structures all over Europe to pursue a good water quality for all water bodies. The highest nitrate concentrations in the water were measured in regions with well-drained soils, ploughed pastures and high nitrogen inputs. The objective of this study was to calculate the nitrate nitrogen leaching out of a subsurface drainage system under organic farming conditions, especially for the seepage period in winter. Water and nitrogen fluxes between soil and vegetation were simulated with the soil-vegetation-atmosphere-transfer model CoupModel using data from an 8 years lasting monitoring programme on a field in Northern Germany. Modelling was focused on a crop rotation sequence consisting of winter wheat with undersown red clover followed by two years of red clover used as temporary grassland. Measured soil temperature in a depth of 15 cm was reproduced very well (Nash-Sutcliffe-efficiency NSE = 0.95; R2 = 0.98). Results also indicated that CoupModel accurately simulated drainage discharge and nitrate N loss under winter wheat from 2001 to 2002 with a NSE of 0.73 for the drainage discharge and a NSE of 0.49 for the nitrate N leaching. For the following red clover period the accordance between simulated and measured drainage discharge (NSE = 0.01) and nitrate N loads in the drainage (NSE = 0.31) was much lower. The inaccuracy in the modelling results in November 2002 seems to origin from an inadequate description of soil covering and thus the interception of the hibernating red clover. Secondly, the high nitrogen leaching in February 2004 could not be matched due to poorly adapted nitrogen dynamics in the model. The reason could be that common single parameter values in the mineralization part of the model were not suitable to reproduce an abrupt, short-term N leaching. In general, the results demonstrate the potential of CoupModel to predict water and nitrate N fluxes under complex crop

  12. Nitrogen Fertilizer Rate and Crop Management Effects on Nitrate Leaching from an Agricultural Field in Central Pennsylvania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard H. Fox

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Eighteen pan lysimeters were installed at a depth of 1.2 m in a Hagerstown silt loam soil in a corn field in central Pennsylvania in 1988. In 1995, wick lysimeters were also installed at 1.2 m depth in the same access pits. Treatments have included N fertilizer rates, use of manure, crop rotation (continuous corn, corn-soybean, alfalfa-corn, and tillage (chisel plow-disk, no-till. The leachate data were used to evaluate a number of nitrate leaching models. Some of the highlights of the 11 years of results include the following: 1 growing corn without organic N inputs at the economic optimum N rate (EON resulted in NO3–-N concentrations of 15 to 20 mg l-1 in leachate; 2 use of manure or previous alfalfa crop as partial source of N also resulted in 15 to 20 mg l-1 of NO3–-N in leachate below corn at EON; 3 NO3–-N concentration in leachate below alfalfa was approximately 4 mg l-1; 4 NO3–-N concentration in leachate below soybeans following corn was influenced by fertilizer N rate applied to corn; 5 the mass of NO3–-N leached below corn at the EON rate averaged 90 kg N ha-1 (approx. 40% of fertilizer N applied at EON; 6 wick lysimeters collected approximately 100% of leachate vs. 40–50% collected by pan lysimeters. Coefficients of variation of the collected leachate volumes for both lysimeter types were similar; 7 tillage did not markedly affect nitrate leaching losses; 8 tested leaching models could accurately predict leachate volumes and could be calibrated to match nitrate leaching losses in calibration years, but only one model (SOILN accurately predicted nitrate leaching losses in the majority of validation treatment years. Apparent problems with tested models: there was difficulty estimating sizes of organic N pools and their transformation rates, and the models either did not include a macropore flow component or did not handle macropore flow well.

  13. Heavy metal content in ash of energy crops growing in sewage-contaminated natural wetlands: Potential applications in agriculture and forestry?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bonanno, Giuseppe, E-mail: bonanno.giuseppe@unict.it [Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Catania, Via Longo 19, 95125, Catania (Italy); Cirelli, Giuseppe Luigi; Toscano, Attilio [Department of Agri-Food and Environmental Systems Management, University of Catania, Via Santa Sofia 100, 95123, Catania (Italy); Giudice, Rosa Lo; Pavone, Pietro [Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Catania, Via Longo 19, 95125, Catania (Italy)

    2013-05-01

    One of the greatest current challenges is to find cost-effective and eco-friendly solutions to the ever increasing needs of modern society. Some plant species are suitable for a multitude of biotechnological applications such as bioenergy production and phytoremediation. A sustainable practice is to use energy crops to clean up polluted lands or to treat wastewater in constructed wetlands without claiming further arable land for biofuel production. However, the disposal of combustion by-products may add significant costs to the whole process, especially when it deals with toxic waste. This study aimed to investigate the possibility of recycling ash from energy biomass as a fertilizer for agriculture and forestry. In particular, the concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Pb and Zn were analyzed in the plant tissues and corresponding ash of the grasses Phragmites australis and Arundo donax, collected in an urban stream affected by domestic sewage. Results showed that the metal concentration in ash is 1.5–3 times as high as the values in plant tissues. However, metal enriched ash showed much lower element concentrations than the legal limits for ash reutilization in agriculture and forestry. This study found that biomass ash from constructed wetlands may be considered as a potential fertilizer rather than hazardous waste. Energy from biomass can be a really sustainable and clean option not only through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but also through ash recycling for beneficial purposes, thus minimizing the negative impacts of disposal. - Highlights: • Metal content in ash reflects the element concentrations in Phragmites australis and Arundo donax. • Metal enriched ash of both species may be recycled as fertilizers in agriculture and forestry. • Constructed wetlands may produce a large amount of plant ash-based fertilizers from P. australis and A. donax.

  14. Heavy metal content in ash of energy crops growing in sewage-contaminated natural wetlands: Potential applications in agriculture and forestry?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    One of the greatest current challenges is to find cost-effective and eco-friendly solutions to the ever increasing needs of modern society. Some plant species are suitable for a multitude of biotechnological applications such as bioenergy production and phytoremediation. A sustainable practice is to use energy crops to clean up polluted lands or to treat wastewater in constructed wetlands without claiming further arable land for biofuel production. However, the disposal of combustion by-products may add significant costs to the whole process, especially when it deals with toxic waste. This study aimed to investigate the possibility of recycling ash from energy biomass as a fertilizer for agriculture and forestry. In particular, the concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Pb and Zn were analyzed in the plant tissues and corresponding ash of the grasses Phragmites australis and Arundo donax, collected in an urban stream affected by domestic sewage. Results showed that the metal concentration in ash is 1.5–3 times as high as the values in plant tissues. However, metal enriched ash showed much lower element concentrations than the legal limits for ash reutilization in agriculture and forestry. This study found that biomass ash from constructed wetlands may be considered as a potential fertilizer rather than hazardous waste. Energy from biomass can be a really sustainable and clean option not only through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but also through ash recycling for beneficial purposes, thus minimizing the negative impacts of disposal. - Highlights: • Metal content in ash reflects the element concentrations in Phragmites australis and Arundo donax. • Metal enriched ash of both species may be recycled as fertilizers in agriculture and forestry. • Constructed wetlands may produce a large amount of plant ash-based fertilizers from P. australis and A. donax

  15. Hyperspectral remote sensing of vegetation and agricultural crops: knowledge gain and knowledge gap after 40 years of research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thenkabail, Prasad S.; Lyon, John G.; Huete, Alfredo

    2011-01-01

    The focus of this chapter was to summarize the advances made over last 40+ years, as reported in various chapters of this book, in understanding, modeling, and mapping terrestrial vegetation using hyperspectral remote sensing (or imaging spectroscopy) using sensors that are ground-based, truck-mounted, airborne, and spaceborne. As we have seen in various chapters of this book and synthesized in this chapter, the advances made include: (a) significantly improved characterization and modeling of a wide array of biophysical and biochemical properties of vegetation, (b) ability to discriminate plant species and vegetation types with high degree of accuracies (c) reducing uncertainties in determining net primary productivity or carbon assessments from terrestrial vegetation, (d) improved crop productivity and water productivity models, (b), (e) ability to access stress resulting from causes such as management practices, pests and disease, water deficit or excess; , and (f) establishing more sensitive wavebands and indices to detect plant water\\moisture content. The advent of spaceborne hyperspectral sensors (e.g., NASA’s Hyperion, ESA’s PROBA, and upcoming NASA’s HyspIRI) and numerous methods and techniques espoused in this book to overcome Hughes phenomenon or data redundancy when handling large volumes of hyperspectral data have generated tremendous interest in advancing our hyperspectral applications knowledge base over larger spatial extent such as region, nation, continent, and globe.

  16. 7 CFR 981.19 - Crop year.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Crop year. 981.19 Section 981.19 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Marketing Agreements and Orders; Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ALMONDS GROWN IN CALIFORNIA Order Regulating Handling Definitions § 981.19 Crop...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salinization is one important factor contributing to land degradation, which affects agricultural production and environmental quality, especially in the West side of central California. When salinization is combined with a natural contamination of trace elements (i.e., Se and B) in arid and semi-ar...

  18. Evaluating alternative water sources and their use for small-holder agriculture from a systemic perspective : a focus on water reuse and rainwater harvesting in Namibia

    OpenAIRE

    Woltersdorf, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Water is scarce in semi-arid and arid regions. Using alternative water sources (i.e. non-conventional water sources), such as municipal reuse water and harvested rain, contributes to using existing water resources more efficiently and productively. The aim of this study is to evaluate the two alternative water sources reuse water and harvested rain for the irrigation of small-holder agriculture from a system perspective. This helps decision and policy makers to have proper information about w...

  19. Fate of the insecticidal Cry1Ab protein of GM crops in two agricultural soils as revealed by ¹⁴C-tracer studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valldor, Petra; Miethling-Graff, Rona; Martens, Rainer; Tebbe, Christoph C

    2015-09-01

    Insecticidal delta-endotoxins of Bacillus thuringiensis are among the most abundant recombinant proteins released by genetically modified (GM) crops into agricultural soils worldwide. However, there is still controversy about their degradation and accumulation in soils. In this study, (14)C-labelled Cry1Ab protein was applied to soil microcosms at two concentrations (14 and 50 μg g(-1) soil) to quantify the mineralization of Cry1Ab, its incorporation into the soil microbial biomass, and its persistence in two soils which strongly differed in their texture but not in silt or pH. Furthermore, ELISA was used to quantify Cry1Ab and its potential immunoreactive breakdown products in aqueous soil extracts. In both soils, (14)CO2-production was initially very high and then declined during a total monitoring period of up to 135 days. A total of 16 to 23 % of the (14)C activity was incorporated after 29 to 37 days into the soil microbial biomass, indicating that Cry1Ab protein was utilized by microorganisms as a growth substrate. Adsorption in the clay-rich soil was the most important factor limiting microbial degradation; as indicated by higher degradation rates in the more sandy soil, extremely low concentrations of immunoreactive Cry1Ab molecules in the soils' aqueous extracts and a higher amount of (14)C activity bound to the soil with more clay. Ecological risk assessments of Bt-crops should therefore consider that the very low concentrations of extractable Cry1Ab do not reflect the actual elimination of the protein from soils but that, on the other hand, desorbed proteins mineralize quickly due to efficient microbial degradation.

  20. Interacting agricultural pests and their effect on crop yield: application of a Bayesian decision theory approach to the joint management of Bromus tectorum and Cephus cinctus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilai N Keren

    Full Text Available Worldwide, the landscape homogeneity of extensive monocultures that characterizes conventional agriculture has resulted in the development of specialized and interacting multitrophic pest complexes. While integrated pest management emphasizes the need to consider the ecological context where multiple species coexist, management recommendations are often based on single-species tactics. This approach may not provide satisfactory solutions when confronted with the complex interactions occurring between organisms at the same or different trophic levels. Replacement of the single-species management model with more sophisticated, multi-species programs requires an understanding of the direct and indirect interactions occurring between the crop and all categories of pests. We evaluated a modeling framework to make multi-pest management decisions taking into account direct and indirect interactions among species belonging to different trophic levels. We adopted a Bayesian decision theory approach in combination with path analysis to evaluate interactions between Bromus tectorum (downy brome, cheatgrass and Cephus cinctus (wheat stem sawfly in wheat (Triticum aestivum systems. We assessed their joint responses to weed management tactics, seeding rates, and cultivar tolerance to insect stem boring or competition. Our results indicated that C. cinctus oviposition behavior varied as a function of B. tectorum pressure. Crop responses were more readily explained by the joint effects of management tactics on both categories of pests and their interactions than just by the direct impact of any particular management scheme on yield. In accordance, a C. cinctus tolerant variety should be planted at a low seeding rate under high insect pressure. However as B. tectorum levels increase, the C. cinctus tolerant variety should be replaced by a competitive and drought tolerant cultivar at high seeding rates despite C. cinctus infestation. This study exemplifies the

  1. An analysis of producing ethanol and electric power from woody residues and agricultural crops in East Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismayilova, Rubaba Mammad

    The increasing U.S. dependence on imported oil; the contribution of fossil fuels to the greenhouse gas emissions and the climate change issue; the current level of energy prices and other environmental concerns have increased world interest in renewable energy sources. Biomass is a large, diverse, readily exploitable resource. This dissertation examines the biomass potential in Eastern Texas by examining a 44 county region. This examination considers the potential establishment of a 100-megawatt (MW) power plant and a 20 million gallon per year (MMGY) ethanol plant using lignocellulosic biomass. The biomass sources considered are switchgrass, sugarcane bagasse, and logging residues. In the case of electricity generation, co-firing scenarios are also investigated. The research analyzes the key indicators involved with economic costs and benefits, environmental and social impacts. The bioenergy production possibilities considered here were biofeedstock supported electric power and cellulosic ethanol production. The results were integrated into a comprehensive set of information that addresses the effects of biomass energy development in the region. The analysis indicates that none of the counties in East Texas have sufficient biomass to individually sustain either a 100% biomass fired power plant or the cellulosic ethanol plant. Such plants would only be feasible at the regional level. Co-firing biomass with coal, however, does provide a most attractive alternative for the study region. The results indicate further that basing the decision solely on economics of feedstock availability and costs would suggest that bioenergy, as a renewable energy, is not a viable energy alternative. Accounting for some environmental and social benefits accruing to the region from bioenergy production together with the feedstock economics, however, suggests that government subsidies, up to the amount of accruing benefits, could make the bioenergies an attractive business opportunity

  2. Macro Implications of a Complete Transformation of U.S. Agricultural Production to Organic Farming Practices

    OpenAIRE

    James A. Langley; Heady, Earl O.; Olson, Kent D.

    1982-01-01

    A national interregional linear programming model of U.S. agriculture is used to evaluate and compare two conventional and three organic production alternatives. The objective is to estimate the effects on production, supply prices, land use, farm income, and export potential, of a complete transformation of U.S. agriculture to organic practices. Crop yields and production costs are estimated for 150 producing regions for seven crops under both conventional and organic methods. Results indica...

  3. Emergency response and disease control--a discussion of alternative objectives for zoning in the age of agricultural bioterrorism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munroe, Fonda A

    2007-01-01

    Emergency planning activities in most developed countries have increased as a result of such events as the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the emergence of the highly pathogenic Asian strain of avian influenza, H5N1. The threat of terrorist activities, combined with advances in science and technology, have resulted in an expanded spectrum of threat for humans, animals, plants and the environment. It is possible that an attack or disease incursion could be so catastrophic and devastating that the resources to combat it would be rapidly overwhelmed. In these cases, it may be necessary to develop an alternative strategy. The author discusses the concept of protective zoning. Protective zoning is a strategy to salvage or protect a smaller segment of an agriculture sector or geographic area when resources are insufficient to protect the entire sector or area. This change in orientation will be extremely controversial and the exact criteria to determine when the situation warrants a change in objective, as well as the precise activities to be performed, must be determined by all stakeholders well in advance. Changes to other activities in current emergency plans may be required. The impact on the recovery phase plans will be significant. PMID:20411521

  4. Agriculture ideas and modernization of agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Kangmin

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The development of agriculture has its own history from primitive agriculture, traditional agriculture to modem agriculture. Is it a historical road we must follow?Human being had experienced a long history of living on collection and hunting for about 2,000 to 3,000 millenniums since human being appeared on earth. After we settled down, another 10 millenniums passed. Human being began to cultivate crops and raise animals. Thus, we entered the primitive agriculture stage. The primitive agriculture lasted for 7,000 years to get our food security on primitive crop cultivation and animal raising.

  5. Natural radioactivity measurements in agricultural soil, fertilizer and crops in some specific areas of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Latif, Shaikh Abdul; Kinsara, Abdulraheem Abdulrahman; Molla, Nurul Islam; Nassef, Mohamed Hamed [King Abdulaziz Univ., Jeddah (Saudi Arabia). Faculty of Engineering

    2014-09-01

    High Purity Germanium (HPGe) detector gamma-ray spectrometry with 500 cc Marinelli beaker geometry was used for radioactivity measurement in some specific areas of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The detection limits of {sup 210}Pb, {sup 238}U, {sup 226}Ra, {sup 232}Th and {sup 40}K in soil, fertilizers, and vegetables lie mostly below 1 Bq/kg. The activity concentrations of {sup 238}U and {sup 226}Ra in local phosphate fertilizers were measured in the range of 236.8-879.0 Bq/kg and 101.5-297.0 Bq/kg, respectively. The respective activity concentrations of {sup 238}U and {sup 226}Ra measured in one charge of German phosphate fertilizer are in the range of 552.7-790.0 Bq/kg and 280.6-317.0 Bq/kg. The activity concentrations of {sup 232}Th are assessed to have maximum values up to 2.24 Bq/kg in locally manufactured phosphate fertilizers. Local urea exhibited concentration level (Bq/kg) of {sup 210}Pb, {sup 238}U, {sup 226}Ra, {sup 232}Th and {sup 40}K below the detection limit. Mean values of activity concentrations of {sup 238}U in agricultural soil of Wadi Fatima, Taif, Hada Al-Sham, Madina City and Abyar Al-MashiMadina are 21.7 ± 3.24, 38.2 ± 4.1, 17.6 ± 2.1, 34.3 ± 3.5 and 32.7 ± 2.4 Bq/kg, respectively. The respective mean of {sup 226}Ra activity concentrations in those areas are 12.16 ± 1.16, 20.2 ± 1.33, 11.21 ± 0.4, 21.4 ± 1.7 and 21.0 ± 1.22 Bq/kg. The specific activity of {sup 232}Th in the respective areas has been measured as 12.6 ± 1.3, 25.3 ± 0.8, 11.5 ± 0.9, 20.4 ± 2.4 and 20.0 ± 1.2 Bq/kg. Activity concentrations of {sup 210}Pb, {sup 238}U, {sup 226}Ra and {sup 232}Th in the vegetable samples are mostly found in the range of 0.37 Bq/kg to 37.8 Bq/kg. The {sup 40}K specific activity lies in the range of 44.4-196 Bq/kg. The calculated absorbed dose rates in the representative locations are 24.07-53.28 nGy/h. (orig.)

  6. Identification and characterization of an anaerobic ethanol-producing cellulolytic bacterial consortium from Great Basin hot springs with agricultural residues and energy crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Chao; Deng, Yunjin; Wang, Xingna; Li, Qiuzhe; Huang, Yifan; Liu, Bin

    2014-09-01

    In order to obtain the cellulolytic bacterial consortia, sediments from Great Basin hot springs (Nevada, USA) were sampled and enriched with cellulosic biomass as the sole carbon source. The bacterial composition of the resulting anaerobic ethanol-producing celluloytic bacterial consortium, named SV79, was analyzed. With methods of the full-length 16S rRNA librarybased analysis and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, 21 bacteria belonging to eight genera were detected from this consortium. Clones with closest relation to the genera Acetivibrio, Clostridium, Cellulosilyticum, Ruminococcus, and Sporomusa were predominant. The cellulase activities and ethanol productions of consortium SV79 using different agricultural residues (sugarcane bagasse and spent mushroom substrate) and energy crops (Spartina anglica, Miscanthus floridulus, and Pennisetum sinese Roxb) were studied. During cultivation, consortium SV79 produced the maximum filter paper activity (FPase, 9.41 U/ml), carboxymethylcellulase activity (CMCase, 6.35 U/ml), and xylanase activity (4.28 U/ml) with sugarcane bagasse, spent mushroom substrate, and S. anglica, respectively. The ethanol production using M. floridulus as substrate was up to 2.63 mM ethanol/g using gas chromatography analysis. It has high potential to be a new candidate for producing ethanol with cellulosic biomass under anoxic conditions in natural environments.

  7. On the use of L-band multipolarization airborne SAR for surveys of crops, vineyards, and orchards in a California irrigated agricultural region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paris, J. F.

    1985-01-01

    The airborne L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) collected multipolarization calibrated image data over an irrigated agricultural test site near Fresno, CA, on March 6, 1984. The conclusions of the study are as follows: (1) the effects of incidence angle on the measured backscattering coefficients could be removed by using a correction factor equal to the secant of the angle raised to the 1.4 power, (2) for this scene and time of year, the various polarization channels were highly correlated such that the use of more than one polarization added little to the ability of the radar to discriminate vegetation type or condition; the exception was barley which separated from vineyards only when a combination of like and cross polarization data were used (polarization was very useful for corn identification in fall crops), (3) an excellent separation between herbaceous vegetation (alfalfa, barley, and oats) or bare fields and trees in orchards existed in brightness was well correlated to alfalfa height or biomass, especially for the HH polarization combination, (5) vineyards exhibited a narrow range of brightnesses with no systematic effects of type or number of stakes nor of number of wires in the trellises nor of the size of the vines, (6) within the orchard classes, areal biomass characterized by basal area differences caused radar image brightness differences for small to medium trees but not for medium to large trees.

  8. Unravelling the effects of soil and crop management on maize productivity in smallholder agricultural systems of western Kenya - An application of classification and regression tree analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tittonell, P.A.; Shepherd, K.; Vanlauwe, B.; Giller, K.E.

    2008-01-01

    To guide soil fertility investment programmes in sub-Saharan Africa, better understanding is needed of the relative importance of soil and crop management factors in determining smallholder crop yields and yield variability. Spatial variability in crop yields within farms is strongly influenced by v

  9. Alternative rooting induction of semi-hardwood olive cuttings by several auxin-producing bacteria for organic agriculture systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. C. Montero-Calasanz

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Southern Spain is the largest olive oil producer region in the world. In recent years organic agriculture systems have grown exponentially so that new alternative systems to produce organic olive cuttings are needed. Several bacterial isolates, namely Pantoea sp. AG9, Chryseobacterium sp. AG13, Chryseobacterium sp. CT348, Pseudomonas sp. CT364 and Azospirillum brasilense Cd (ATCC 29729, have been used to induce rooting in olive semi-hardwood cuttings of Arbequina, Hojiblanca and Picual cultivars of olive (Olea europea L. The first four strains were previously selected as auxin-producing bacteria and by their ability to promote rooting in model plants. They have been classified on the basis of their 16S rDNA gene sequence. The known auxin producer A. brasilense Cd strain has been used as a reference. The inoculation of olive cuttings was performed in two different ways: (i by dipping cuttings in a liquid bacterial culture or (ii by immersing them in a paste made of solid bacterial inoculant and sterile water. Under nursery conditions all of the tested bacterial strains were able to induce the rooting of olive cuttings to a similar or greater extent than the control cuttings treated with indole-3-butyric acid (IBA. The olive cultivars responded differently depending on the bacterial strain and the inoculation method. The strain that consistently gave the best results was Pantoea sp. AG9, the only one of the tested bacterial strains to express the enzyme 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC deaminase. The results are also discussed in terms of potential commercial interest and nursery feasibility performance of these strains.

  10. Agriculture ideas and modernization of agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    Li Kangmin

    2011-01-01

    The development of agriculture has its own history from primitive agriculture, traditional agriculture to modem agriculture. Is it a historical road we must follow?Human being had experienced a long history of living on collection and hunting for about 2,000 to 3,000 millenniums since human being appeared on earth. After we settled down, another 10 millenniums passed. Human being began to cultivate crops and raise animals. Thus, we entered the primitive agriculture stage. The primitive agricu...

  11. Determination of region-specific data of yield and quality of alternatives to silage maize in fodder crops – field trails with forage gras and clover grass mixtures, Sorghum as well as whole plant silage of grain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wosnitza, Andrea

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This project should generate current regional results over a period of three years about the parameter yield and quality of alternative fodder crops to maize; this includes grass and clover grass mixtures, silage maize, varieties of Sorghum/millets and whole plant silages of wheat, rye and triticale. The tested silage maize showed the highest and most reliable average dry matter yield with 23 tons per hectare, with a very low variance. The Sorghum and millet varieties had dry matter yields of 3 to 5 tons per hectare below the silage maize yield but with individual values fluctuating in a broad range within years and locations. With values far below 28% the dry matter contents were not suitable for ensiling. The grass and clover grass mixtures are good, stable and established alternatives to maize for silage. They achieved high yields comparable with these of Sorghum but stable and with a highly suitable dry matter content for ensiling. The yield of the whole plant silages was up to 22% lower compared with maize. So none of the alternative crops can compete with the high level yield of silage maize in its favoured region, therefore would be a combination of two crops recommended. But some individual locally adapted mixtures or varieties of the alternative crops reached nearly 80% of the maize yield. Silage maize showed the highest level of the net energy content for lactation (NEL, followed by the values of the fodder crops and the whole plant silages. The Sorghum varieties showed the lowest NEL value of all tested cultures. The highest crude protein showed the fodder crops contents. Silage maize, Sorghum and the whole plant silages had values lying nearly around the 50% mark of the fodder crops.

  12. A Study on The Development Status of Agriculture and Main Commercial Crops in Malaysia%马来西亚农业发展现状及主要经济作物

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈军军; Anchalee Chang-In

    2015-01-01

    农业产值在马来西亚国民经济中占主要地位,被国家视为基础性产业。马来西亚的农业以发展经济作物为主,经济作物主要有橡胶、棕榈油、水稻、可可等。%Agricultural output value dominates a dominant position in national economy of Malaysia and is deemed as the fundamental industry.In terms of agriculture,it is mainly focued on the development of commercial crops the main com-mercial crops are rubber, palm oil, rice and cocoa and so on.

  13. The Effect of Agricultural Machinery Purchase Subsidies on Mechanized Crop Residue Recycling%农机补贴对农户机械化秸秆还田的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    田琪; 杜欣; 张恒铭; 周建华

    2011-01-01

    By adopting the investigation data of Baoding City.Hebei Province and the Probit mode ,study the effects of agricultural machinery purchase subsidies on mechanized crop residue recycling are analyzed. The results showed that several factors that affect fanners in adopting the practice of mechanized crop residue crop recycling. Among these factors,the cost of adopting such practice is significant. The agricultural machinery purchase subsidies can effectively reduce the cost of such practice,as well as promote mechanized crop residue recycling. The countermeasures on the problems are put forward. In the first place,the government should continue to increase the agricultural machinery purchase subsidies of crop residue recycling and alleviate the burden of the owners of agricultural machines; in the second place,the government should intensify the promotion and education on the owners of agriculture machines and farmers to increase their awareness on crop residue recycling; in the third place, the government should perfect rural security mechanism to abate the risks of rural areas caused by rural labor transfer.%采用河北省保定市的调查数据,运用Probit模型,研究农机补贴对农户采用机械化秸秆还田技术的影响,结果表明,农户是否机械化秸秆还田受到多种因素的影响,其中,机械化秸秆还田成本对其是否采用影响显著,农机补贴可以有效地降低机械化秸秆还田才价格,推动机械化秸秆还田的普及.提出了相应的对策建议:继续加大对秸秆还田的农机补贴,减轻农机主的负担;加强对农机主的技术培训和对农民的宣传教育,使秸秆还田理念深入人心;健全农村保障机制,降低劳动力外移给农村带来的风险.

  14. 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.

  15. CropScape - Cropland Data Layer

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Agricultural Statistics Service, Department of Agriculture — The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) releases the annual Cropland Data Layer (CDL) via the NASS CropScape geospatial portal . The CDL product...

  16. 7 CFR 457.157 - Plum crop insurance provisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Plum crop insurance provisions. 457.157 Section 457... CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COMMON CROP INSURANCE REGULATIONS § 457.157 Plum crop insurance provisions. The Plum Crop Insurance Provisions for the 2001 and succeeding crop years are as follows:...

  17. 7 CFR 457.116 - Sugarcane crop insurance provisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Sugarcane crop insurance provisions. 457.116 Section... CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COMMON CROP INSURANCE REGULATIONS § 457.116 Sugarcane crop insurance provisions. The Sugarcane Crop Insurance Provisions for the 2004 and succeeding crop years are as...

  18. 7 CFR 457.153 - Peach crop insurance provisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Peach crop insurance provisions. 457.153 Section 457... CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COMMON CROP INSURANCE REGULATIONS § 457.153 Peach crop insurance provisions. The Peach Crop Insurance Provisions for the 2001 and succeeding crop years are as follows:...

  19. 7 CFR 457.158 - Apple crop insurance provisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Apple crop insurance provisions. 457.158 Section 457... CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COMMON CROP INSURANCE REGULATIONS § 457.158 Apple crop insurance provisions. The Apple Crop Insurance Provisions for the 2005 and succeeding crop years are as follows:...

  20. Integration of Multisensor Remote Sensing Data for the Retrieval of Consistent Times Series of High-Resolution NDVI Images for Crop Monitoring in Landscapes Dominated By Small-Scale Farming Agricultural

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sedano, F.; Kempeneers, P.

    2014-12-01

    There is a need for timely and accurate information of food supply and early warnings of production shortfalls. Crop growth models commonly rely on information on vegetation dynamics from low and moderate spatial resolution remote sensing imagery. While the short revisit period of these sensors captures the temporal dynamics of crops, they are not able to monitor small-scale farming areas where environmental factors, crop type and management practices often vary at subpixel level. Although better suited to retrieve fine spatial structure, time series of higher resolution imagery (circa 30 m) are often incomplete due to larger revisit periods and persistent cloud coverage. However, as the Landsat archive expands and more fine resolution Earth observation sensors become available, the possibilities of multisensor integration to monitor crop dynamics with higher level of spatial detail are expanding. We have integrated remote sensing imagery from two moderate resolution sensors (MODIS and PROBA-V) and three medium resolution platforms (Landsat 7- 8; and DMC) to improve the characterization of vegetation dynamics in agricultural landscapes dominated by small-scale farms. We applied a data assimilation method to produce complete temporal sequences of synthetic medium-resolution NDVI images. The method implements a Kalman filter recursive algorithm that incorporates models, observations and their respective uncertainties to generate medium-resolution images at time steps for which only moderate-resolution imagery is available. The results for the study sites show that the time series of synthetic NDVI images captured seasonal vegetation dynamics and maintained the spatial structure of the landscape at higher spatial resolution. A more detailed characterization of spatiotemporal dynamics of vegetation in agricultural systems has the potential to improve the estimates of crop growth models and allow a more precise monitoring and forecasting of crop productivity.