WorldWideScience

Sample records for improved agricultural crops

  1. 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.

  2. Crop improvement through mutation techniques in Chinese agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wen, X.; Qu, L.

    1996-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pray, Carl; Ledermann, Samuel

    2016-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suprasanna, P.; Venugopalan, V.

    2017-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Gender in crop agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    Food and Agriculture Organization; The World Bank; IFAD

    2008-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Modifying agricultural crops for improved nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGloughlin, Martina Newell

    2010-11-30

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

  9. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  12. Agricultural innovations for sustainable crop production intensification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele Pisante

    2012-10-01

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

  13. Energy potential of agricultural crops in Kosovo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sahiti, Naser; Sfishta, Avni; Gramatikov, Plamen

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. 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..

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-11-29

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Engineering crop nutrient efficiency for sustainable agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Liyu; Liao, Hong

    2017-10-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  3. Sustainable Agriculture: Cover Cropping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Megan

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. L. Li

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  6. Compositions comprising lignosulfonates for crop protection and crop improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernal, Julio S; Medina, Raul F

    2018-04-01

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

  9. Crop modeling applications in agricultural water management

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Biogas Production from Energy Crops and Agriculture Residues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Guangtao

    and wet explosion pretreated energy crops and agriculture residues with swine manure at various volatile solids (VS) ratio between crop and manure was carried out by batch tests and continuous experiments. The efficiency of the co-digestion experiment was evaluated based on (a) the methane potential......In this thesis, the feasibility of utilizing energy crops (willow and miscanthus) and agriculture residues (wheat straw and corn stalker) in an anaerobic digestion process for biogas production was evaluated. Potential energy crops and agriculture residues were screened according...... of perennial crops was tested as a storage method and pretreatment method for enhancement of the biodegradability of the crops. The efficiency of the silage process was evaluated based on (a) the amount of biomass loss during storage and (b) the effect of the silage on methane potential. Co-digestion of raw...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Supplying adequate amounts of soil N for plant growth during the growing season and across large agricultural fields is a challenge for conservational agricultural systems with cover crops. Knowledge about cover crop effects on N comes mostly from small, flat research plots and performance of cover crops across topographically diverse agricultural land is poorly understood. Our objective was to assess effects of both leguminous (red clover) and non-leguminous (winter rye) cover crops on poten...

  13. Agricultural Productivity Forecasts for Improved Drought Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Crop succession requirements in agricultural production planning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  16. Energy Crops and the Common Agricultural Policy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-07-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Biogas production from energy crops and agriculture residues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, G.

    2010-12-15

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

  19. Jerusalem artichoke as an agricultural crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  20. Radiation technology for the development of improved crop varieties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D'Souza, Stanislaus F.

    2009-01-01

    One of the peaceful applications of atomic energy is in the field of agriculture. It finds application in crop improvement, crop nutrition, crop protection and food preservation. Genetic improvement of crop plants is a continuous endeavor. Success of a crop improvement programme depends on the availability of large genetic variability, which a plant breeder can combine to generate new varieties. In nature, occurrence of natural variability in the form of spontaneous mutations is extremely low (roughly 10 -6 ), which can be enhanced to several fold (approximately 10 -3 ) by using ionizing radiations or chemical mutagens. Radiation induced genetic variability in crop plants is a valuable resource from which plant breeder can select and combine different desired characteristics to produce better crop varieties. Crop improvement programmes at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) envisage radiation based induced mutagenesis along with recombination breeding in country's important cereals (rice and wheat), oilseeds (groundnut, mustard, soybean and sunflower), grain legumes (blackgram, mungbean, pigeonpea and cowpea), banana and sugarcane. The desirable traits which have been bred through induced mutations include higher yield, grain quality, early maturity, disease and pest resistance, improved plant type and abiotic stress resistance

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yunbi Xu; Jiayang Li; Jianmin Wan

    2017-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP): Protocols and Pilot Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenzweig, C.; Jones, J. W.; Hatfield, J. L.; Ruane, A. C.; Boote, K. J.; Thorburn, P.; Antle, J. M.; Nelson, G. C.; Porter, C.; Janssen, S.; hide

    2012-01-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) is a major international effort linking the climate, crop, and economic modeling communities with cutting-edge information technology to produce improved crop and economic models and the next generation of climate impact projections for the agricultural sector. The goals of AgMIP are to improve substantially the characterization of world food security due to climate change and to enhance adaptation capacity in both developing and developed countries. Analyses of the agricultural impacts of climate variability and change require a transdisciplinary effort to consistently link state-of-the-art climate scenarios to crop and economic models. Crop model outputs are aggregated as inputs to regional and global economic models to determine regional vulnerabilities, changes in comparative advantage, price effects, and potential adaptation strategies in the agricultural sector. Climate, Crop Modeling, Economics, and Information Technology Team Protocols are presented to guide coordinated climate, crop modeling, economics, and information technology research activities around the world, along with AgMIP Cross-Cutting Themes that address uncertainty, aggregation and scaling, and the development of Representative Agricultural Pathways (RAPs) to enable testing of climate change adaptations in the context of other regional and global trends. The organization of research activities by geographic region and specific crops is described, along with project milestones. Pilot results demonstrate AgMIP's role in assessing climate impacts with explicit representation of uncertainties in climate scenarios and simulations using crop and economic models. An intercomparison of wheat model simulations near Obregón, Mexico reveals inter-model differences in yield sensitivity to [CO2] with model uncertainty holding approximately steady as concentrations rise, while uncertainty related to choice of crop model increases with

  5. CRISPR/Cas9 Mediated Genome Engineering for Improvement of Horticultural Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karkute, Suhas G; Singh, Achuit K; Gupta, Om P; Singh, Prabhakar M; Singh, Bijendra

    2017-01-01

    Horticultural crops are an important part of agriculture for food as well as nutritional security. However, several pests and diseases along with adverse abiotic environmental factors pose a severe threat to these crops by affecting their quality and productivity. This warrants the effective and accelerated breeding programs by utilizing innovative biotechnological tools that can tackle aforementioned issues. The recent technique of genome editing by Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR associated 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) has greatly advanced the breeding for crop improvement due to its simplicity and high efficiency over other nucleases such as Zinc Finger Nucleases and Transcription Activator Like Effector Nucleases. CRISPR/Cas9 tool contains a non-specific Cas9 nuclease and a single guide RNA that directs Cas9 to the specific genomic location creating double-strand breaks and subsequent repair process creates insertion or deletion mutations. This is currently the widely adopted tool for reverse genetics, and crop improvement in large number of agricultural crops. The use of CRISPR/Cas9 in horticultural crops is limited to few crops due to lack of availability of regeneration protocols and sufficient sequence information in many horticultural crops. In this review, the present status of applicability of CRISPR/Cas9 in horticultural crops was discussed along with the challenges and future potential for possible improvement of these crops for their yield, quality, and resistance to biotic and abiotic stress.

  6. Trade and commerce in improved crops and food: an essay on food security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kershen, Drew L

    2010-11-30

    Agricultural trade between nations is a significant proportion of total international trade. Agricultural trade in transgenic crops faces extra complications due to the existence of domestic and international regimes that focus specifically on agricultural biotechnology. These specialized regimes create legal and commercial challenges for trade in transgenic crops that have significant implications for the food security of the nations of the world. By food security, one should understand not just the available supply of food, but also the quality of the food and the environmental impact of agricultural production systems. These specialized regimes for transgenic crops can either encourage or hinder the adoption of agricultural biotechnology as a sustainable intensive agriculture. Sustainable intensive agriculture offers hope for agronomic improvements for agricultural production, socio-economic betterment for farmers and environmental benefits for societies. Sustainable intensive agriculture offers particular hope for the poorest farmers of the world because agricultural biotechnology is a technology in the seed. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Improving crop nutrient efficiency through root architecture modifications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xinxin; Zeng, Rensen; Liao, Hong

    2016-03-01

    Improving crop nutrient efficiency becomes an essential consideration for environmentally friendly and sustainable agriculture. Plant growth and development is dependent on 17 essential nutrient elements, among them, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are the two most important mineral nutrients. Hence it is not surprising that low N and/or low P availability in soils severely constrains crop growth and productivity, and thereby have become high priority targets for improving nutrient efficiency in crops. Root exploration largely determines the ability of plants to acquire mineral nutrients from soils. Therefore, root architecture, the 3-dimensional configuration of the plant's root system in the soil, is of great importance for improving crop nutrient efficiency. Furthermore, the symbiotic associations between host plants and arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi/rhizobial bacteria, are additional important strategies to enhance nutrient acquisition. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in the current understanding of crop species control of root architecture alterations in response to nutrient availability and root/microbe symbioses, through gene or QTL regulation, which results in enhanced nutrient acquisition. © 2015 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  8. 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.

  9. Model Evaluation and Uncertainty in Agricultural Impacts Assessments: Results and Strategies from the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenzweig, C.; Hatfield, J.; Jones, J. W.; Ruane, A. C.

    2012-12-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) is an international effort to assess the state of global agricultural modeling and to understand climate impacts on the agricultural sector. AgMIP connects the climate science, crop modeling, and agricultural economic modeling communities to generate probabilistic projections of current and future climate impacts. The goals of AgMIP are to improve substantially the characterization of risk of hunger and world food security due to climate change and to enhance adaptation capacity in both developing and developed countries. This presentation will describe the general approach of AgMIP, highlight AgMIP efforts to evaluate climate, crop, and economic models, and discuss AgMIP uncertainty assessments. Model evaluation efforts will be outlined using examples from various facets of AgMIP, including climate scenario generation, the wheat crop model intercomparison, and the global agricultural economics model intercomparison being led in collaboration with the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP). Strategies developed to quantify uncertainty in each component of AgMIP, as well as the propagation of uncertainty through the climate-crop-economic modeling framework, will be detailed and preliminary uncertainty assessments that highlight crucial areas requiring improved models and data collection will be introduced.

  10. Proteomics: A Biotechnology Tool for Crop Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moustafa eEldakak

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available A sharp decline in the availability of arable land and sufficient supply of irrigation water along with a continuous steep increase in food demands have exerted a pressure on farmers to produce more with fewer resources. A viable solution to release this pressure is to speed up the plant breeding process by employing biotechnology in breeding programs. The majority of biotechnological applications rely on information generated from various -omic technologies. The latest outstanding improvements in proteomic platforms and many other but related advances in plant biotechnology techniques offer various new ways to encourage the usage of these technologies by plant scientists for crop improvement programs. A combinatorial approach of accelerated gene discovery through genomics, proteomics, and other associated -omic branches of biotechnology, as an applied approach, is proving to be an effective way to speed up the crop improvement programs worldwide. In the near future, swift improvements in -omic databases are becoming critical and demand immediate attention for the effective utilization of these techniques to produce next-generation crops for the progressive farmers. Here, we have reviewed the recent advances in proteomics, as tools of biotechnology, which are offering great promise and leading the path towards crop improvement for sustainable agriculture.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1996-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  16. Improved Satellite-based Crop Yield Mapping by Spatially Explicit Parameterization of Crop Phenology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Z.; Azzari, G.; Lobell, D. B.

    2016-12-01

    Field-scale mapping of crop yields with satellite data often relies on the use of crop simulation models. However, these approaches can be hampered by inaccuracies in the simulation of crop phenology. Here we present and test an approach to use dense time series of Landsat 7 and 8 acquisitions data to calibrate various parameters related to crop phenology simulation, such as leaf number and leaf appearance rates. These parameters are then mapped across the Midwestern United States for maize and soybean, and for two different simulation models. We then implement our recently developed Scalable satellite-based Crop Yield Mapper (SCYM) with simulations reflecting the improved phenology parameterizations, and compare to prior estimates based on default phenology routines. Our preliminary results show that the proposed method can effectively alleviate the underestimation of early-season LAI by the default Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM), and that spatially explicit parameterization for the phenology model substantially improves the SCYM performance in capturing the spatiotemporal variation in maize and soybean yield. The scheme presented in our study thus preserves the scalability of SCYM, while significantly reducing its uncertainty.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  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. 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

  20. [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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irakli Kruashvili

    2016-09-01

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

  2. Agricultural field reclamation utilizing native grass crop production

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Cure

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. Improved production systems for traditional food crops: The case of finger millet in Western Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Christina Handschuch; Meike Wollni

    2013-01-01

    Increasing agricultural productivity through the dissemination of improved cropping practices remains one of the biggest challenges of this century. A considerable amount of literature is dedicated to the adoption of improved cropping practices among smallholder farmers in developing countries. While most studies focus on cash crops or main staple crops, traditional food grains like finger millet have received little attention in the past decades. The present study aims to assess the factors ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shevchenko O.

    2017-05-01

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

  7. Effects of selenium supplementation on four agricultural crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-29

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

  8. 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.

  9. Genomics of crop wild relatives: expanding the gene pool for crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brozynska, Marta; Furtado, Agnelo; Henry, Robert J

    2016-04-01

    Plant breeders require access to new genetic diversity to satisfy the demands of a growing human population for more food that can be produced in a variable or changing climate and to deliver the high-quality food with nutritional and health benefits demanded by consumers. The close relatives of domesticated plants, crop wild relatives (CWRs), represent a practical gene pool for use by plant breeders. Genomics of CWR generates data that support the use of CWR to expand the genetic diversity of crop plants. Advances in DNA sequencing technology are enabling the efficient sequencing of CWR and their increased use in crop improvement. As the sequencing of genomes of major crop species is completed, attention has shifted to analysis of the wider gene pool of major crops including CWR. A combination of de novo sequencing and resequencing is required to efficiently explore useful genetic variation in CWR. Analysis of the nuclear genome, transcriptome and maternal (chloroplast and mitochondrial) genome of CWR is facilitating their use in crop improvement. Genome analysis results in discovery of useful alleles in CWR and identification of regions of the genome in which diversity has been lost in domestication bottlenecks. Targeting of high priority CWR for sequencing will maximize the contribution of genome sequencing of CWR. Coordination of global efforts to apply genomics has the potential to accelerate access to and conservation of the biodiversity essential to the sustainability of agriculture and food production. © 2015 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ignasi Bartomeus

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathaniel K. Newlands

    2014-06-01

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

  16. The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP): Progress and Preliminary Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenzweig, C.

    2011-12-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) is a distributed climate-scenario simulation exercise for historical model intercomparison and future climate change conditions with participation of multiple crop and agricultural trade modeling groups around the world. The goals of AgMIP are to improve substantially the characterization of risk of hunger and world food security due to climate change and to enhance adaptation capacity in both developing and developed countries. Recent progress and the current status of AgMIP will be presented, highlighting three areas of activity: preliminary results from crop pilot studies, outcomes from regional workshops, and emerging scientific challenges. AgMIP crop modeling efforts are being led by pilot studies, which have been established for wheat, maize, rice, and sugarcane. These crop-specific initiatives have proven instrumental in testing and contributing to AgMIP protocols, as well as creating preliminary results for aggregation and input to agricultural trade models. Regional workshops are being held to encourage collaborations and set research activities in motion for key agricultural areas. The first of these workshops was hosted by Embrapa and UNICAMP and held in Campinas, Brazil. Outcomes from this meeting have informed crop modeling research activities within South America, AgMIP protocols, and future regional workshops. Several scientific challenges have emerged and are currently being addressed by AgMIP researchers. Areas of particular interest include geospatial weather generation, ensemble methods for climate scenarios and crop models, spatial aggregation of field-scale yields to regional and global production, and characterization of future changes in climate variability.

  17. 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.

  18. How can we improve Mediterranean cropping systems?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Engineering Mycorrhizal Symbioses to Alter Plant Metabolism and Improve Crop Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine E. French

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Creating sustainable bioeconomies for the 21st century relies on optimizing the use of biological resources to improve agricultural productivity and create new products. Arbuscular mycorrhizae (phylum Glomeromycota form symbiotic relationships with over 80% of vascular plants. In return for carbon, these fungi improve plant health and tolerance to environmental stress. This symbiosis is over 400 million years old and there are currently over 200 known arbuscular mycorrhizae, with dozens of new species described annually. Metagenomic sequencing of native soil communities, from species-rich meadows to mangroves, suggests biologically diverse habitats support a variety of mycorrhizal species with potential agricultural, medical, and biotechnological applications. This review looks at the effect of mycorrhizae on plant metabolism and how we can harness this symbiosis to improve crop health. I will first describe the mechanisms that underlie this symbiosis and what physiological, metabolic, and environmental factors trigger these plant-fungal relationships. These include mycorrhizal manipulation of host genetic expression, host mitochondrial and plastid proliferation, and increased production of terpenoids and jasmonic acid by the host plant. I will then discuss the effects of mycorrhizae on plant root and foliar secondary metabolism. I subsequently outline how mycorrhizae induce three key benefits in crops: defense against pathogen and herbivore attack, drought resistance, and heavy metal tolerance. I conclude with an overview of current efforts to harness mycorrhizal diversity to improve crop health through customized inoculum. I argue future research should embrace synthetic biology to create mycorrhizal chasses with improved symbiotic abilities and potentially novel functions to improve plant health. As the effects of climate change and anthropogenic disturbance increase, the global diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi should be monitored

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Improving food and agricultural production in Thailand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Snitwongse, P.; Lamm, C.G.

    1987-01-01

    In the early 1960s, the IAEA and FAO jointly initiated the first in a series of large-scale multi-faceted agricultural field projects using nuclear techniques in agricultural sciences. The first project, in Yugoslavia, served as a model for future ones in India, Brazil, Bangladesh, Republic of Korea, Venezuela, and Thailand. The Thailand project - for the time being the last one of this series - started in January 1986 for a 5-year period, the project carries major objectives centering on the use of isotopes, radiation, and related technologies in three particular areas: Mutation breeding. Scientists are aiming to generate new genetic sources of disease-resistant varieties of crops that are economically important; Soil Science. Aims are to help farmers make the best use of fertilizers, biofertilizers, and water, and to maximize biological nitrogen fixation and the use of local rock phosphates as sources of crop nutrients; Animal science. Project scientists are aiming to improve livestock productivity on small farms

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adenle, Ademola A

    2011-10-08

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. TAPIO

    2008-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  12. DAMAGE BY GAME ANIMALS IN AGRICULTURAL CROPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Sporek

    2014-06-01

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

  13. Re-orienting crop improvement for the changing climatic conditions of the 21st century

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mba Chikelu

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A 70% increase in food production is required over the next four decades to feed an ever-increasing population. The inherent difficulties in achieving this unprecedented increase are exacerbated by the yield-depressing consequences of climate change and variations and by the pressures on food supply by other competing demographic and socioeconomic demands. With the dwindling or stagnant agricultural land and water resources, the sought-after increases will therefore be attained mainly through the enhancement of crop productivity under eco-efficient crop production systems. ‘Smart’ crop varieties that yield more with fewer inputs will be pivotal to success. Plant breeding must be re-oriented in order to generate these ‘smart’ crop varieties. This paper highlights some of the scientific and technological tools that ought to be the staple of all breeding programs. We also make the case that plant breeding must be enabled by adequate policies, including those that spur innovation and investments. To arrest and reverse the worrisome trend of declining capacities for crop improvement, a new generation of plant breeders must also be trained. Equally important, winning partnerships, including public-private sector synergies, are needed for 21st century plant breeding to bear fruits. We also urge the adoption of the continuum approach to the management of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture as means to improved cohesion of the components of its value chain. Compellingly also, the National Agricultural Research and Extension System of developing countries require comprehensive overhauling and strengthening as crop improvement and other interventions require a sustained platform to be effective. The development of a suite of actionable policy interventions to be packaged for assisting countries in developing result-oriented breeding programs is also called for.

  14. Scope for improved eco-efficiency varies among diverse cropping systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carberry, Peter S; Liang, Wei-li; Twomlow, Stephen; Holzworth, Dean P; Dimes, John P; McClelland, Tim; Huth, Neil I; Chen, Fu; Hochman, Zvi; Keating, Brian A

    2013-05-21

    Global food security requires eco-efficient agriculture to produce the required food and fiber products concomitant with ecologically efficient use of resources. This eco-efficiency concept is used to diagnose the state of agricultural production in China (irrigated wheat-maize double-cropping systems), Zimbabwe (rainfed maize systems), and Australia (rainfed wheat systems). More than 3,000 surveyed crop yields in these three countries were compared against simulated grain yields at farmer-specified levels of nitrogen (N) input. Many Australian commercial wheat farmers are both close to existing production frontiers and gain little prospective return from increasing their N input. Significant losses of N from their systems, either as nitrous oxide emissions or as nitrate leached from the soil profile, are infrequent and at low intensities relative to their level of grain production. These Australian farmers operate close to eco-efficient frontiers in regard to N, and so innovations in technologies and practices are essential to increasing their production without added economic or environmental risks. In contrast, many Chinese farmers can reduce N input without sacrificing production through more efficient use of their fertilizer input. In fact, there are real prospects for the double-cropping systems on the North China Plain to achieve both production increases and reduced environmental risks. Zimbabwean farmers have the opportunity for significant production increases by both improving their technical efficiency and increasing their level of input; however, doing so will require improved management expertise and greater access to institutional support for addressing the higher risks. This paper shows that pathways for achieving improved eco-efficiency will differ among diverse cropping systems.

  15. Improvements in agricultural water decision support using remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, M. T.

    2012-12-01

    Population driven water scarcity, aggravated by climate-driven evaporative demand in dry regions of the world, has the potential of transforming ecological and social systems to the point of armed conflict. Water shortages will be most severe in agricultural areas, as the priority shifts to urban and industrial use. In order to design, evaluate, and monitor appropriate mitigation strategies, predictive models must be developed that quantify exposure to water shortage. Remote sensing data has been used for more than three decades now to parametrize these models, because field measurements are costly and difficult in remote regions of the world. In the past decade, decision-makers for the first time can make accurate and near real-time evaluations of field conditions with the advent of hyper- spatial and spectral and coarse resolution continuous remote sensing data. Here, we summarize two projects representing diverse applications of remote sensing to improve agricultural water decision support. The first project employs MODIS (coarse resolution continuous data) to drive an evapotranspiration index, which is combined with the Standardized Precipitation Index driven by meteorological satellite data to improve famine early warning in Africa. The combined index is evaluated using district-level crop yield data from Kenya and Malawi and national-level crop yield data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The second project utilizes hyper- spatial (GeoEye 1, Quickbird, IKONOS, and RapidEye) and spectral (Hyperion/ALI), as well as multi-spectral (Landsat ETM+, SPOT, and MODIS) data to develop biomass estimates for key crops (alfalfa, corn, cotton, and rice) in the Central Valley of California. Crop biomass is an important indicator of crop water productivity. The remote sensing data is combined using various data fusion techniques and evaluated with field data collected in the summer of 2012. We conclude with a brief discussion on implementation of

  16. Improvement of new and traditional industrial crops by induced mutations and related biotechnology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2003-08-01

    Industrial crops are an important source of income for many small landholders in developing countries and contribute directly or indirectly to food security in rural areas. Crop diversification, finding alternative crops, development of new uses for existing crops and introduction of new crops are important components in the efforts to meet the demand for food, pharmaceuticals, chemical raw materials, fibres and fuel in developing and developed countries. Plant breeding efforts combining genetic resources and induced mutations using classical, in vitro and innovative molecular approaches have been responsible for much of the development of industrial crops. This co-ordinated research project (CRP) was initiated in 1994. It focused on developing mutagenesis approaches for previously unstudied species, screening procedures for agricultural and industrial requirements and suitable genotypes of traditional industrial crops adapted to new areas and for new needs. The industrial crops selected for improvement under this CRP were oilseeds and fibre plants. The potential of induced mutations to affect critical steps in various biosynthetic pathways leading to oil quality and other metabolic modifications was investigated. The success of this CRP is evidenced by the application of mutation techniques, in combination with in vitro and molecular techniques in genetic improvement of oilseed crops such as soybean, rapeseed, sunflower, linseed, cuphea, meadowfoam and fibre plants such as cotton and jute. As a result, improved breeding lines are available in all the industrial crops that the CRP focused on. Novel oil types were developed in cuphea with potential use as a renewable, economical and safe energy source and in linseed with increased levels of saturated fatty acids. Genes of fatty acid synthesis were isolated from one species and used for modification of quality of other oilseeds. Disease and pest resistance was improved in oilseeds and fibre crops through transgenesis

  17. Improvement of new and traditional industrial crops by induced mutations and related biotechnology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-08-01

    Industrial crops are an important source of income for many small landholders in developing countries and contribute directly or indirectly to food security in rural areas. Crop diversification, finding alternative crops, development of new uses for existing crops and introduction of new crops are important components in the efforts to meet the demand for food, pharmaceuticals, chemical raw materials, fibres and fuel in developing and developed countries. Plant breeding efforts combining genetic resources and induced mutations using classical, in vitro and innovative molecular approaches have been responsible for much of the development of industrial crops. This co-ordinated research project (CRP) was initiated in 1994. It focused on developing mutagenesis approaches for previously unstudied species, screening procedures for agricultural and industrial requirements and suitable genotypes of traditional industrial crops adapted to new areas and for new needs. The industrial crops selected for improvement under this CRP were oilseeds and fibre plants. The potential of induced mutations to affect critical steps in various biosynthetic pathways leading to oil quality and other metabolic modifications was investigated. The success of this CRP is evidenced by the application of mutation techniques, in combination with in vitro and molecular techniques in genetic improvement of oilseed crops such as soybean, rapeseed, sunflower, linseed, cuphea, meadowfoam and fibre plants such as cotton and jute. As a result, improved breeding lines are available in all the industrial crops that the CRP focused on. Novel oil types were developed in cuphea with potential use as a renewable, economical and safe energy source and in linseed with increased levels of saturated fatty acids. Genes of fatty acid synthesis were isolated from one species and used for modification of quality of other oilseeds. Disease and pest resistance was improved in oilseeds and fibre crops through transgenesis

  18. Cover crops and crop residue management under no-till systems improve soils and environmental quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sandeep; Wegner, Brianna; Vahyala, Ibrahim; Osborne, Shannon; Schumacher, Thomas; Lehman, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Crop residue harvest is a common practice in the Midwestern USA for the ethanol production. However, excessive removal of crop residues from the soil surface contributes to the degradation of important soil quality indicators such as soil organic carbon (SOC). Addition of a cover crop may help to mitigate these negative effects. The present study was set up to assess the impacts of corn (Zea mays L.) residue removal and cover crops on various soil quality indicators and surface greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes. The study was being conducted on plots located at the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory (NCARL) in Brookings, South Dakota, USA. Three plots of a corn and soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) rotation under a no-till (NT) system are being monitored for soils and surface gas fluxes. Each plot has three residue removal (high residue removal, HRR; medium residue removal, MRR; and low residue removal, LRR) treatments and two cover crops (cover crops and no cover crops) treatments. Both corn and soybean are represented every year. Gas flux measurements were taken weekly using a closed static chamber method. Data show that residue removal significantly impacted soil quality indicators while more time was needed for an affect from cover crop treatments to be noticed. The LRR treatment resulted in higher SOC concentrations, increased aggregate stability, and increased microbial activity. The LRR treatment also increased soil organic matter (SOM) and particulate organic matter (POM) concentrations. Cover crops used in HRR (high corn residue removal) improved SOC (27 g kg-1) by 6% compared to that without cover crops (25.4 g kg-1). Cover crops significantly impacted POM concentration directly after the residue removal treatments were applied in 2012. CO2 fluxes were observed to increase as temperature increased, while N2O fluxes increased as soil moisture increased. CH4 fluxes were responsive to both increases in temperature and moisture. On average, soils under

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Weißhuhn

    2017-12-01

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

  20. Green biotechnology, nanotechnology and bio-fortification: perspectives on novel environment-friendly crop improvement strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yashveer, Shikha; Singh, Vikram; Kaswan, Vineet; Kaushik, Amit; Tokas, Jayanti

    2014-10-01

    Food insecurity and malnutrition are prominent issues for this century. As the world's population continues to increase, ensuring that the earth has enough food that is nutritious too will be a difficult task. Today one billion people of the world are undernourished and more than a third are malnourished. Moreover, the looming threat of climate change is exasperating the situation even further. At the same time, the total acreage of arable land that could support agricultural use is already near its limits, and may even decrease over the next few years due to salination and desertification patterns resulting from climate change. Clearly, changing the way we think about crop production must take place on multiple levels. New varieties of crops must be developed which can produce higher crop yields with less water and fewer agricultural inputs. Besides this, the crops themselves must have improved nutritional qualities or become biofortified in order to reduce the chances of 'hidden hunger' resulting from malnourishment. It is difficult to envision the optimum way to increase crop production using a single uniform strategy. Instead, a variety of approaches must be employed and tailored for any particular agricultural setting. New high-impact technologies such as green biotechnology, biofortification, and nanotechnology offer opportunities for boosting agricultural productivity and enhancing food quality and nutritional value with eco-friendly manner. These agricultural technologies currently under development will renovate our world to one that can comfortably address the new directions, our planet will take as a result of climate change.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Novel enabling technologies of gene isolation and plant transformation for improved crop protection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Torok, Tamas

    2013-02-04

    Meeting the needs of agricultural producers requires the continued development of improved transgenic crop protection products. The completed project focused on developing novel enabling technologies of gene discovery and plant transformation to facilitate the generation of such products.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crutchfield, J.

    2016-12-01

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

  4. Strategies for Improving Enterprise Standardization Management of Tropical Crop Machinery

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    @@ There are two categories of tropical crop machinery. One comprises operation machinery that is used for planting, managing and harvesting tropical crops, while the other comprises process machinery for processing tropical crops. Tropical crop machinery is distinguished from other agricultural machinery by the special crops that such machinery cultivates and processes.

  5. Water balance and fertigation for crop improvement in West Asia. Results of a technical co-operation project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2002-01-01

    Mediterranean countries have a severe shortage of water resources for agricultural, municipal and industrial purposes. This situation is aggravated daily due to the rapidly increasing population in the area. Agriculture is the biggest consumer of water with about 80% of the renewable resource used for irrigation. Traditional irrigation methods are highly inefficient: only about one-third of the applied water is actually transpired by the crops. Clearly, there is great scope for improved irrigation management. Intensification of agricultural production to meet growing market demand requires the simultaneous application of irrigation water and fertilizers. Application of fertilizer in drip irrigation (fertigation) is an effective way to promote efficient use of these scarce and expensive resources. There is widespread interest in Mediterranean countries in fertigation. Nevertheless, information on the form and concentration of the nutrients required for different crops is presently inadequate. Moreover, the low fertilizer recoveries due to extensive fertilization practiced during the last few decades have created serious agricultural and environmental problems. High nitrate concentrations in groundwater and deterioration of some important quality parameters of agricultural products are the main concerns. Recognizing the potential role of nuclear techniques in identifying improved water and fertilizer management practices, the IAEA implemented two regional technical co-operation projects during the period 1995-2000 with eight participating countries from the West Asia region: The Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the Syria Arab Republic, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The main objective was to establish water balance and fertigation practices using nuclear techniques, with a view to improving crop production in arid and semi-arid zones. The projects aimed to compare the following parameters under conventional fertilizer and water

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  8. Food crop production, nutrient availability, and nutrient intakes in Bangladesh: exploring the agriculture-nutrition nexus with the 2010 Household Income and Expenditure Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiedler, John L

    2014-12-01

    Systematic collection of national agricultural data has been neglected in many low- and middle-income countries for the past 20 years. Commonly conducted nationally representative household surveys collect substantial quantities of highly underutilized food crop production data. To demonstrate the potential usefulness of commonly available household survey databases for analyzing the agriculture-nutrition nexus. Using household data from the 2010 Bangladesh Household Income and Expenditure Survey, the role and significance of crop selection, area planted, yield, nutrient production, and the disposition of 34 food crops in affecting the adequacy of farming households' nutrient availability and nutrient intake status are explored. The adequacy of each farming household's available energy, vitamin A, calcium, iron, and zinc and households' apparent intakes and intake adequacies are estimated. Each household's total apparent nutrient intake adequacies are estimated, taking into account the amount of each crop that households consume from their own production, together with food purchased or obtained from other sources. Even though rice contains relatively small amounts of micronutrients, has relatively low nutrient density, and is a relatively poor source of nutrients compared with what other crops can produce on a given tract of land, because so much rice is produced in Bangladesh, it is the source of 90% of the total available energy, 85% of the zinc, 67% of the calcium, and 55% of the iron produced by the agricultural sector. The domination of agriculture and diet by rice is a major constraint to improving nutrition in Bangladesh. Simple examples of how minor changes in the five most common cropping patterns could improve farming households' nutritional status are provided. Household surveys' agricultural modules can provide a useful tool for better understanding national nutrient production realities and possibilities.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-14

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

  13. 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

  14. Biochar Application in Malaysian Sandy and Acid Sulfate Soils: Soil Amelioration Effects and Improved Crop Production over Two Cropping Seasons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theeba Manickam

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The use of biochar as an agricultural soil improvement was tested in acid sulfate and sandy soils from Malaysia, cropped with rice and corn. Malaysia has an abundance of waste rice husks that could be used to produce biochar. Rice husk biochar was produced in a gasifier at a local mill in Kelantan as well as in the laboratory using a controlled, specially designed, top lift up draft system (Belonio unit. Rice husk biochar was applied once to both soils at two doses (2% and 5%, in a pot set up that was carried out for two cropping seasons. Positive and significant crop yield effects were observed for both soils, biochars and crops. The yield effects varied with biochar type and dosage, with soil type and over the cropping seasons. The yield increases observed for the sandy soil were tentatively attributed to significant increases in plant-available water contents (from 4%–5% to 7%–8%. The yield effects in the acid sulfate soil were likely a consequence of a combination of (i alleviation of plant root stress by aluminum (Ca/Al molar ratios significantly increased, from around 1 to 3–5 and (ii increases in CEC. The agricultural benefits of rice husk biochar application to Malaysian soils holds promise for its future use.

  15. Perspectives and Challenges of Microbial Application for Crop Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmusk, Salme; Behers, Lawrence; Muthoni, Julia; Muraya, Anthony; Aronsson, Anne-Charlotte

    2017-01-01

    Global population increases and climate change pose a challenge to worldwide crop production. There is a need to intensify agricultural production in a sustainable manner and to find solutions to combat abiotic stress, pathogens, and pests. Plants are associated with complex microbiomes, which have an ability to promote plant growth and stress tolerance, support plant nutrition, and antagonize plant pathogens. The integration of beneficial plant-microbe and microbiome interactions may represent a promising sustainable solution to improve agricultural production. The widespread commercial use of the plant beneficial microorganisms will require a number of issues addressed. Systems approach using microscale information technology for microbiome metabolic reconstruction has potential to advance the microbial reproducible application under natural conditions. PMID:28232839

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  18. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangchul Lee

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

  20. 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

  1. An AgMIP framework for improved agricultural representation in integrated assessment models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruane, Alex C.; Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Asseng, Senthold; Boote, Kenneth J.; Elliott, Joshua; Ewert, Frank; Jones, James W.; Martre, Pierre; McDermid, Sonali P.; Müller, Christoph; Snyder, Abigail; Thorburn, Peter J.

    2017-12-01

    Integrated assessment models (IAMs) hold great potential to assess how future agricultural systems will be shaped by socioeconomic development, technological innovation, and changing climate conditions. By coupling with climate and crop model emulators, IAMs have the potential to resolve important agricultural feedback loops and identify unintended consequences of socioeconomic development for agricultural systems. Here we propose a framework to develop robust representation of agricultural system responses within IAMs, linking downstream applications with model development and the coordinated evaluation of key climate responses from local to global scales. We survey the strengths and weaknesses of protocol-based assessments linked to the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), each utilizing multiple sites and models to evaluate crop response to core climate changes including shifts in carbon dioxide concentration, temperature, and water availability, with some studies further exploring how climate responses are affected by nitrogen levels and adaptation in farm systems. Site-based studies with carefully calibrated models encompass the largest number of activities; however they are limited in their ability to capture the full range of global agricultural system diversity. Representative site networks provide more targeted response information than broadly-sampled networks, with limitations stemming from difficulties in covering the diversity of farming systems. Global gridded crop models provide comprehensive coverage, although with large challenges for calibration and quality control of inputs. Diversity in climate responses underscores that crop model emulators must distinguish between regions and farming system while recognizing model uncertainty. Finally, to bridge the gap between bottom-up and top-down approaches we recommend the deployment of a hybrid climate response system employing a representative network of sites to bias

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2007-01-01

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

  5. Conservation Agriculture Practices in Rainfed Uplands of India Improve Maize-Based System Productivity and Profitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pradhan, Aliza; Idol, Travis; Roul, Pravat K.

    2016-01-01

    Traditional agriculture in rainfed uplands of India has been experiencing low agricultural productivity as the lands suffer from poor soil fertility, susceptibility to water erosion and other external pressures of development and climate change. A shift toward more sustainable cropping systems such as conservation agriculture production systems (CAPSs) may help in maintaining soil quality as well as improving crop production and farmer’s net economic benefit. This research assessed the effects over 3 years (2011–2014) of reduced tillage, intercropping, and cover cropping practices customized for maize-based production systems in upland areas of Odisha, India. The study focused on crop yield, system productivity and profitability through maize equivalent yield and dominance analysis. Results showed that maize grain yield did not differ significantly over time or among CAPS treatments while cowpea yield was considered as an additional yield in intercropping systems. Mustard and horsegram grown in plots after maize cowpea intercropping recorded higher grain yields of 25 and 37%, respectively, as compared to those without intercropping. Overall, the full CAPS implementation, i.e., minimum tillage, maize–cowpea intercropping and mustard residue retention had significantly higher system productivity and net benefits than traditional farmer practices, i.e., conventional tillage, sole maize cropping, and no mustard residue retention. The dominance analysis demonstrated increasing benefits of combining conservation practices that exceeded thresholds for farmer adoption. Given the use of familiar crops and technologies and the magnitude of yield and income improvements, these types of CAPS should be acceptable and attractive for smallholder farmers in the area. This in turn should support a move toward sustainable intensification of crop production to meet future household income and nutritional needs. PMID:27471508

  6. Conservation agriculture practices in rainfed uplands of India improve maize-based system productivity and profitability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aliza Pradhan

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Traditional agriculture in rainfed uplands of India has been experiencing low agricultural productivity as the lands suffer from poor soil fertility, susceptibility to water erosion and other external pressures of development and climate change. A shift towards more sustainable cropping systems such as conservation agriculture production systems (CAPS may help in maintaining soil quality as well as improving crop production and farmer’s net economic benefit. This research assessed the effects over three years (2011-2014 of reduced tillage, intercropping, and cover cropping practices customized for maize-based production systems in upland areas of Odisha, India. The study focused on crop yield, system productivity and profitability through maize equivalent yield and dominance analysis. Results showed that maize grain yield did not differ significantly over time or among CAPS treatments while cowpea yield was considered as an additional yield in intercropping systems. Mustard and horsegram grown in plots after maize cowpea intercropping recorded higher grain yields of 25 and 37%, respectively, as compared to those without intercropping. Overall, the full CAPS implementation i.e. minimum tillage, maize-cowpea intercropping and mustard residue retention had significantly higher system productivity and net benefits than traditional farmer practices, i.e. conventional tillage, sole maize cropping, and no mustard residue retention. The dominance analysis demonstrated increasing benefits of combining conservation practices that exceeded thresholds for farmer adoption. Given the use of familiar crops and technologies and the magnitude of yield and income improvements, these types of CAPS should be acceptable and attractive for smallholder farmers in the area. This in turn should support a move toward sustainable intensification of crop production to meet future household income and nutritional needs.

  7. Conservation Agriculture Practices in Rainfed Uplands of India Improve Maize-Based System Productivity and Profitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pradhan, Aliza; Idol, Travis; Roul, Pravat K

    2016-01-01

    Traditional agriculture in rainfed uplands of India has been experiencing low agricultural productivity as the lands suffer from poor soil fertility, susceptibility to water erosion and other external pressures of development and climate change. A shift toward more sustainable cropping systems such as conservation agriculture production systems (CAPSs) may help in maintaining soil quality as well as improving crop production and farmer's net economic benefit. This research assessed the effects over 3 years (2011-2014) of reduced tillage, intercropping, and cover cropping practices customized for maize-based production systems in upland areas of Odisha, India. The study focused on crop yield, system productivity and profitability through maize equivalent yield and dominance analysis. Results showed that maize grain yield did not differ significantly over time or among CAPS treatments while cowpea yield was considered as an additional yield in intercropping systems. Mustard and horsegram grown in plots after maize cowpea intercropping recorded higher grain yields of 25 and 37%, respectively, as compared to those without intercropping. Overall, the full CAPS implementation, i.e., minimum tillage, maize-cowpea intercropping and mustard residue retention had significantly higher system productivity and net benefits than traditional farmer practices, i.e., conventional tillage, sole maize cropping, and no mustard residue retention. The dominance analysis demonstrated increasing benefits of combining conservation practices that exceeded thresholds for farmer adoption. Given the use of familiar crops and technologies and the magnitude of yield and income improvements, these types of CAPS should be acceptable and attractive for smallholder farmers in the area. This in turn should support a move toward sustainable intensification of crop production to meet future household income and nutritional needs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. LINDÉN

    2008-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-24

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-20

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

  12. The Agriculture Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenzweig, C.

    2010-12-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) is a distributed climate-scenario simulation exercise for historical model intercomparison and future climate change conditions with participation of multiple crop and world agricultural trade modeling groups around the world. The goals of AgMIP are to improve substantially the characterization of risk of hunger and world food security due to climate change and to enhance adaptation capacity in both developing and developed countries. Historical period results will spur model improvement and interaction among major modeling groups, while future period results will lead directly to tests of adaptation and mitigation strategies across a range of scales. AgMIP will consist of a multi-scale impact assessment utilizing the latest methods for climate and agricultural scenario generation. Scenarios and modeling protocols will be distributed on the web, and multi-model results will be collated and analyzed to ensure the widest possible coverage of agricultural crops and regions. AgMIP will place regional changes in agricultural production in a global context that reflects new trading opportunities, imbalances, and shortages in world markets resulting from climate change and other driving forces for food supply. Such projections are essential inputs from the Vulnerability, Impacts, and Adaptation (VIA) research community to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment (AR5), now underway, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. They will set the context for local-scale vulnerability and adaptation studies, supply test scenarios for national-scale development of trade policy instruments, provide critical information on changing supply and demand for water resources, and elucidate interactive effects of climate change and land use change. AgMIP will not only provide crucially-needed new global estimates of how climate change will affect food supply and hunger in the

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, T.; McLaughlin, D.

    2017-12-01

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

  17. Use of nuclear and biotechnological tools for improving crop yield

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mukherjee, Prasun K.; Venugopalan, V.P.

    2017-01-01

    Crop improvement, crop production and crop protection are the three pillars of agriculture. Optimum yield can be achieved only by cultivating the best available variety coupled with good agronomic practices and robust plant protection (from pests and diseases). Depletion of soil organic matter has become a serious problem, especially in the post-green revolution era, due to the cultivation of nutrient-exhausting, high yielding crop varieties with intensive chemical inputs. Soil organic matter is crucial not only for restoring soil physical properties, but also to sustain the soil flora and fauna that are involved in nutrient cycling. Depletion of cattle population has resulted in less availability of manures. In order to assess the soil health and extent of carbon depletion, we have developed a user-friendly kit for in situ soil organic carbon detection. This technology has been transferred to six companies and many products are already available in the market. This technology has been adopted by CIFAL (Sweden), an FAO -backed NGO for imparting training to the farmers in African countries

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raman, Ruchir

    2017-10-02

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

  19. Introgression of Physiological Traits for a Comprehensive Improvement of Drought Adaptation in Crop Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheshshayee M. Sreeman

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Burgeoning population growth, industrial demand, and the predicted global climate change resulting in erratic monsoon rains are expected to severely limit fresh water availability for agriculture both in irrigated and rainfed ecosystems. In order to remain food and nutrient secure, agriculture research needs to focus on devising strategies to save water in irrigated conditions and to develop superior cultivars with improved water productivity to sustain yield under rainfed conditions. Recent opinions accruing in the scientific literature strongly favor the adoption of a “trait based” crop improvement approach for increasing water productivity. Traits associated with maintenance of positive tissue turgor and maintenance of increased carbon assimilation are regarded as most relevant to improve crop growth rates under water limiting conditions and to enhance water productivity. The advent of several water saving agronomic practices notwithstanding, a genetic enhancement strategy of introgressing distinct physiological, morphological, and cellular mechanisms on to a single elite genetic background is essential for achieving a comprehensive improvement in drought adaptation in crop plants. The significant progress made in genomics, though would provide the necessary impetus, a clear understanding of the “traits” to be introgressed is the most essential need of the hour. Water uptake by a better root architecture, water conservation by preventing unproductive transpiration are crucial for maintaining positive tissue water relations. Improved carbon assimilation associated with carboxylation capacity and mesophyll conductance is important in sustaining crop growth rates under water limited conditions. Besides these major traits, we summarize the available information in literature on classifying various drought adaptive traits. We provide evidences that Water-Use Efficiency when introgressed with moderately higher transpiration, would

  20. Nuclear techniques in agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhagwat, S.G.

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Functional molecular markers for crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kage, Udaykumar; Kumar, Arun; Dhokane, Dhananjay; Karre, Shailesh; Kushalappa, Ajjamada C

    2016-10-01

    A tremendous decline in cultivable land and resources and a huge increase in food demand calls for immediate attention to crop improvement. Though molecular plant breeding serves as a viable solution and is considered as "foundation for twenty-first century crop improvement", a major stumbling block for crop improvement is the availability of a limited functional gene pool for cereal crops. Advancement in the next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies integrated with tools like metabolomics, proteomics and association mapping studies have facilitated the identification of candidate genes, their allelic variants and opened new avenues to accelerate crop improvement through development and use of functional molecular markers (FMMs). The FMMs are developed from the sequence polymorphisms present within functional gene(s) which are associated with phenotypic trait variations. Since FMMs obviate the problems associated with random DNA markers, these are considered as "the holy grail" of plant breeders who employ targeted marker assisted selections (MAS) for crop improvement. This review article attempts to consider the current resources and novel methods such as metabolomics, proteomics and association studies for the identification of candidate genes and their validation through virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) for the development of FMMs. A number of examples where the FMMs have been developed and used for the improvement of cereal crops for agronomic, food quality, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance traits have been considered.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shtull-Trauring, E; Bernstein, N

    2018-05-01

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

  3. Understanding plant response to nitrogen limitation for the improvement of crop nitrogen use efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, Surya; Bi, Yong-Mei; Rothstein, Steven J

    2011-02-01

    Development of genetic varieties with improved nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is essential for sustainable agriculture. Generally, NUE can be divided into two parts. First, assimilation efficiency involves nitrogen (N) uptake and assimilation and second utilization efficiency involves N remobilization. Understanding the mechanisms regulating these processes is crucial for the improvement of NUE in crop plants. One important approach is to develop an understanding of the plant response to different N regimes, especially to N limitation, using various methods including transcription profiling, analysing mutants defective in their normal response to N limitation, and studying plants that show better growth under N-limiting conditions. One can then attempt to improve NUE in crop plants using the knowledge gained from these studies. There are several potential genetic and molecular approaches for the improvement of crop NUE discussed in this review. Increased knowledge of how plants respond to different N levels as well as to other environmental conditions is required to achieve this.

  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

    such the Green Area Index (GAI), fAPAR and fcover usually retrieved from MODIS, MERIS, SPOT-Vegetation described the quality of the green vegetation development. The GLOBAM (Belgium) and EU FP-7 MOCCCASIN projects (Russia) improved the standard products and were demonstrated over large scale. The GAI retrieved from MODIS time series using a purity index criterion depicted successfully the inter-annual variability. Furthermore, the quantitative assimilation of these GAI time series into a crop growth model improved the yield estimate over years. These results showed that the GAI assimilation works best at the district or provincial level. In the context of the GEO Ag., the Joint Experiment of Crop Assessment and Monitoring (JECAM) was designed to enable the global agricultural monitoring community to compare such methods and results over a variety of regional cropping systems. For a network of test sites around the world, satellite and field measurements are currently collected and will be made available for collaborative effort. This experiment should facilitate international standards for data products and reporting, eventually supporting the development of a global system of systems for agricultural crop assessment and monitoring.

  5. Water Savings of Crop Redistribution in the United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle Frankel Davis

    2017-01-01

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

  6. Genome editing for crop improvement: Challenges and opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdallah, Naglaa A; Prakash, Channapatna S; McHughen, Alan G

    2015-01-01

    Genome or gene editing includes several new techniques to help scientists precisely modify genome sequences. The techniques also enables us to alter the regulation of gene expression patterns in a pre-determined region and facilitates novel insights into the functional genomics of an organism. Emergence of genome editing has brought considerable excitement especially among agricultural scientists because of its simplicity, precision and power as it offers new opportunities to develop improved crop varieties with clear-cut addition of valuable traits or removal of undesirable traits. Research is underway to improve crop varieties with higher yields, strengthen stress tolerance, disease and pest resistance, decrease input costs, and increase nutritional value. Genome editing encompasses a wide variety of tools using either a site-specific recombinase (SSR) or a site-specific nuclease (SSN) system. Both systems require recognition of a known sequence. The SSN system generates single or double strand DNA breaks and activates endogenous DNA repair pathways. SSR technology, such as Cre/loxP and Flp/FRT mediated systems, are able to knockdown or knock-in genes in the genome of eukaryotes, depending on the orientation of the specific sites (loxP, FLP, etc.) flanking the target site. There are 4 main classes of SSN developed to cleave genomic sequences, mega-nucleases (homing endonuclease), zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcriptional activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), and the CRISPR/Cas nuclease system (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat/CRISPR-associated protein). The recombinase mediated genome engineering depends on recombinase (sub-) family and target-site and induces high frequencies of homologous recombination. Improving crops with gene editing provides a range of options: by altering only a few nucleotides from billions found in the genomes of living cells, altering the full allele or by inserting a new gene in a targeted region of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Faiz Ahmad; Rusli Ibrahim; Khairuddin Abdul Rahim

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project: Phase I Activities by a Global Community of Science. Chapter 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenzweig, Cynthia E.; Jones, James W.; Hatfield, Jerry L.; Antle, John M.; Ruane, Alexander C.; Mutter, Carolyn Z.

    2015-01-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) was founded in 2010. Its mission is to improve substantially the characterization of world food security as affected by climate variability and change, and to enhance adaptation capacity in both developing and developed countries. The objectives of AgMIP are to: Incorporate state-of-the-art climate, crop/livestock, and agricultural economic model improvements into coordinated multi-model regional and global assessments of future climate impacts and adaptation and other key aspects of the food system. Utilize multiple models, scenarios, locations, crops/livestock, and participants to explore uncertainty and the impact of data and methodological choices. Collaborate with regional experts in agronomy, animal sciences, economics, and climate to build a strong basis for model applications, addressing key climate related questions and sustainable intensification farming systems. Improve scientific and adaptive capacity in modeling for major agricultural regions in the developing and developed world, with a focus on vulnerable regions. Improve agricultural data and enhance data-sharing based on their intercomparison and evaluation using best scientific practices. Develop modeling frameworks to identify and evaluate promising adaptation technologies and policies and to prioritize strategies.

  12. Approaches to Improvement of Crop Genotypes with High Water and Nutrient Use Efficiency for Water Scarce Environments. Final Report of a Coordinated Research Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2017-12-01

    Projected global population increase and the impacts of climate change on agriculture highlight the importance of the use of improved crop varieties coupled with better soil, water and fertilizer management practices designed to protect the natural resource base. This publication is the outcome of a coordinated research project (CRP) and focuses on the practical application of nuclear and related techniques, such as mutation induction and the use of stable isotopes of nitrogen [N-15] and carbon [C-13]. The use of such techniques can improve crop productivity with mutant varieties and best-fit soil management practices in diverse agro-ecological zones affected by drought, high temperatures, water scarcity, soil acidity and soil salinity. The findings of the CRP will be highly valuable to agricultural scientists and laboratory technicians of national agricultural research organizations in Member States as a resource for improving soil and crop productivity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A. Cleveland

    2005-06-01

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

  14. Improving World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates by Integrating NASA Remote Sensing Soil Moisture Data into USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board Decision Making Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teng, W. L.; de Jeu, R. A.; Doraiswamy, P. C.; Kempler, S. J.; Shannon, H. D.

    2009-12-01

    A primary goal of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is to expand markets for U.S. agricultural products and support global economic development. The USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) supports this goal by developing monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) for the U.S. and major foreign producing countries. Because weather has a significant impact on crop progress, conditions, and production, WAOB prepares frequent agricultural weather assessments, in a GIS-based, Global Agricultural Decision Support Environment (GLADSE). The main objective of this project, thus, is to improve WAOB's estimates by integrating NASA remote sensing soil moisture observations and research results into GLADSE. Soil moisture is a primary data gap at WAOB. Soil moisture data, generated by the Land Parameter Retrieval Model (LPRM, developed by NASA GSFC and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and customized to WAOB's requirements, will be directly integrated into GLADSE, as well as indirectly by first being integrated into USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS)'s Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) crop model. The LPRM-enhanced EPIC will be validated using three major agricultural regions important to WAOB and then integrated into GLADSE. Project benchmarking will be based on retrospective analyses of WAOB's analog year comparisons. The latter are between a given year and historical years with similar weather patterns. WAOB is the focal point for economic intelligence within the USDA. Thus, improving WAOB's agricultural estimates by integrating NASA satellite observations and model outputs will visibly demonstrate the value of NASA resources and maximize the societal benefits of NASA investments.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Hiestermann

    2017-11-01

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

  16. Crop improvement projects in Peru

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Broeshart, H.

    1978-01-01

    Only two percent of the territory of Peru consists of arable land. Sixteen million people depend on the production of about three million hectares of land, which means that on the average only 1800 square metres is available per person. It is clear that Peru is one of the poorest countries of the world as far as available arable land is concerned and consequently it will have to drastically increase its agricultural production per unit area or import large quantities of agricultural products to feed its rapidly growing population. Agricultural research on the efficient use of fertilizers is being carried out by the regional experiment station (CRIA), by the National University of Agriculture, La Molina, Lima, dealing with programmes on maize, potatoes, cereals and forage crops, by national universities in the country and by specialized research institutes for tropical agriculture on sugar-cane, cotton, coffee and tea. Isotope and radiation techniques are a particularly effective means of determining the best cultural practices for the efficient use of fertilizers and water, and the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Atomic Energy in Food and Agriculture has been involved in the organization of field and greenhouse programmes at experiment stations and universities in Peru since 1963

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. Quantifying effects of oxidant air pollutants on agricultural crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Medeiros, W H; Moskowitz, P D

    1983-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Connecting Biochemical Photosynthesis Models with Crop Models to Support Crop Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Alex; Song, Youhong; van Oosterom, Erik J; Hammer, Graeme L

    2016-01-01

    The next advance in field crop productivity will likely need to come from improving crop use efficiency of resources (e.g., light, water, and nitrogen), aspects of which are closely linked with overall crop photosynthetic efficiency. Progress in genetic manipulation of photosynthesis is confounded by uncertainties of consequences at crop level because of difficulties connecting across scales. Crop growth and development simulation models that integrate across biological levels of organization and use a gene-to-phenotype modeling approach may present a way forward. There has been a long history of development of crop models capable of simulating dynamics of crop physiological attributes. Many crop models incorporate canopy photosynthesis (source) as a key driver for crop growth, while others derive crop growth from the balance between source- and sink-limitations. Modeling leaf photosynthesis has progressed from empirical modeling via light response curves to a more mechanistic basis, having clearer links to the underlying biochemical processes of photosynthesis. Cross-scale modeling that connects models at the biochemical and crop levels and utilizes developments in upscaling leaf-level models to canopy models has the potential to bridge the gap between photosynthetic manipulation at the biochemical level and its consequences on crop productivity. Here we review approaches to this emerging cross-scale modeling framework and reinforce the need for connections across levels of modeling. Further, we propose strategies for connecting biochemical models of photosynthesis into the cross-scale modeling framework to support crop improvement through photosynthetic manipulation.

  3. Connecting Biochemical Photosynthesis Models with Crop Models to Support Crop Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Alex; Song, Youhong; van Oosterom, Erik J.; Hammer, Graeme L.

    2016-01-01

    The next advance in field crop productivity will likely need to come from improving crop use efficiency of resources (e.g., light, water, and nitrogen), aspects of which are closely linked with overall crop photosynthetic efficiency. Progress in genetic manipulation of photosynthesis is confounded by uncertainties of consequences at crop level because of difficulties connecting across scales. Crop growth and development simulation models that integrate across biological levels of organization and use a gene-to-phenotype modeling approach may present a way forward. There has been a long history of development of crop models capable of simulating dynamics of crop physiological attributes. Many crop models incorporate canopy photosynthesis (source) as a key driver for crop growth, while others derive crop growth from the balance between source- and sink-limitations. Modeling leaf photosynthesis has progressed from empirical modeling via light response curves to a more mechanistic basis, having clearer links to the underlying biochemical processes of photosynthesis. Cross-scale modeling that connects models at the biochemical and crop levels and utilizes developments in upscaling leaf-level models to canopy models has the potential to bridge the gap between photosynthetic manipulation at the biochemical level and its consequences on crop productivity. Here we review approaches to this emerging cross-scale modeling framework and reinforce the need for connections across levels of modeling. Further, we propose strategies for connecting biochemical models of photosynthesis into the cross-scale modeling framework to support crop improvement through photosynthetic manipulation. PMID:27790232

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeBauer, D.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ifeoluwa Akin Babalola

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petrović Ivana

    2016-01-01

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

  7. The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP): Overview and Progress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenzweig, C.; Hatfield, J.; Jones, J. W.; Ruane, A. C.

    2012-12-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) is an international effort to assess the state of global agricultural modeling and to understand climate impacts on the agricultural sector. AgMIP connects the climate science, crop modeling, and agricultural economic modeling communities to generate probabilistic projections of current and future climate impacts. The goals of AgMIP are to improve substantially the characterization of risk of hunger and world food security due to climate change and to enhance adaptation capacity in both developing and developed countries. This presentation will describe the general approach of AgMIP and highlight its findings and activities. AgMIP crop model intercomparisons have been established for wheat (27 models participating), maize (25 models), and rice (15+ models), and are being established for sugarcane, soybean, sorghum/millet, and peanut. In coordination with these pilots, methodologies to utilize weather generators and downscaled climate simulations for agricultural applications are under development. An AgMIP global agricultural economics model intercomparison with participation of 11 international groups is ongoing, and a number of global biophysical models are currently being evaluated for future climate impacts on agricultural lands both as part of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP) and for contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). AgMIP is also organizing regional research efforts, and has already held workshops in South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Europe, and North America. Outcomes from these meetings have informed AgMIP activities, and 10 research teams from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have been selected for project funding. Additional activities are planned for Australia and East Asia. As the AgMIP research community continues to work towards its goals, three key cross-cutting scientific challenges have emerged and are being

  8. Improved regional-scale Brazilian cropping systems' mapping based on a semi-automatic object-based clustering approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellón, Beatriz; Bégué, Agnès; Lo Seen, Danny; Lebourgeois, Valentine; Evangelista, Balbino Antônio; Simões, Margareth; Demonte Ferraz, Rodrigo Peçanha

    2018-06-01

    Cropping systems' maps at fine scale over large areas provide key information for further agricultural production and environmental impact assessments, and thus represent a valuable tool for effective land-use planning. There is, therefore, a growing interest in mapping cropping systems in an operational manner over large areas, and remote sensing approaches based on vegetation index time series analysis have proven to be an efficient tool. However, supervised pixel-based approaches are commonly adopted, requiring resource consuming field campaigns to gather training data. In this paper, we present a new object-based unsupervised classification approach tested on an annual MODIS 16-day composite Normalized Difference Vegetation Index time series and a Landsat 8 mosaic of the State of Tocantins, Brazil, for the 2014-2015 growing season. Two variants of the approach are compared: an hyperclustering approach, and a landscape-clustering approach involving a previous stratification of the study area into landscape units on which the clustering is then performed. The main cropping systems of Tocantins, characterized by the crop types and cropping patterns, were efficiently mapped with the landscape-clustering approach. Results show that stratification prior to clustering significantly improves the classification accuracies for underrepresented and sparsely distributed cropping systems. This study illustrates the potential of unsupervised classification for large area cropping systems' mapping and contributes to the development of generic tools for supporting large-scale agricultural monitoring across regions.

  9. Strategies of Transition to Sustainable Agriculture in Iran I- Improving Resources Use Efficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alireza Koocheki

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Fast switch to sustainable agriculture patterns is not impossible for many farmers. However to achieve perfect sustainable in agro-ecosystems which are friendly with environment, changing conventional to sustainable agriculture should be carried slowly. For this purpose, three effective steps were mentioned: first level is increasing of inputs efficiency such as fertilizer and chemical pesticides which used in conventional agriculture now. Second level is related to changing inputs by friendly environmental inputs as alternative inputs and the final level is redesigning of the agro-ecosystems that its function is based on series of ecological process. On the other hand, achieving sustainable agriculture requires higher efficiency of inputs and many process should be replaced by friendly environmental inputs with chemical inputs and new system is designed based on ecological principles. The objective of this study was to offer approaches for improving inputs use efficiency as first step to transition from conventional to sustainable agriculture. Material and Methods In order to evaluate the transition status from conventional to sustainable agriculture in agro-ecosystems of Iran, scientific resource and researches that was performed about increasing of inputs efficiency as first step to transition from conventional to sustainable agriculture was studied. For this purpose, 177 studies that had been performed about using different inputs and its efficiency in various crops were assessed. Applied inputs included water, nitrogen and herbicides and studied plants included cereals (wheat, barley, rice, maize and sorghum, beans (bean, pea and lentil, oil crops (canola, sunflower, safflower and sesame, medicinal plants, potato, sugar beet and cotton. In this study, average and range of inputs use efficiency in different crops and also the relationship between increasing of inputs application with their use efficiency was assessed. In the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehdi, Bano; Lehner, Bernhard; Ludwig, Ralf

    2018-08-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  14. Winter cover crop effect on corn seedling pathogens

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  15. Introduction The Role of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Hillel, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Climate impacts on agriculture are of increasing concern in both the scientific and policy communities because of the need to ensure food security for a growing population. A special challenge is posed by the changes in the frequency and intensity of heat-waves, droughts, and episodic rainstorms already underway in many parts of the world. Changes in production are directly linked to such variations in temperature and precipitation during the growing season, and often to offseason changes in weather affecting soil-water storage and availability to crops. This is not an isolated problem but one of both global and regional importance, because of impacts on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers as well as consequences for the world food trade system. This two-part set the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP): Integrated Crop and Economic Assessments is the first to be entirely devoted to AgMIP (www.agmip.org). AgMIP is a major international research program focused on climate change and agriculture. The goal of the two parts is to advance the field by providing detailed information on new simulation techniques and assessments being conducted by this program. It presents information about new methods of global and regional integrated assessment, results from agricultural regions, and adaptation strategies for maintaining food security under changing climate conditions.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Interest in and deployment of wireless monitoring systems is increasing in many diverse environments, including row-crop agricultural fields. While many studies have been undertaken to evaluate various aspects of wireless monitoring and networking, such as electronic hardware components, data-colle...

  18. Understanding the Reach of Agricultural Impacts from Climate Extremes in the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruane, A. C.

    2016-12-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) has been working since 2010 to build a modeling framework capable of representing the complexities of agriculture, its dependence on climate, and the many elements of society that depend on food systems. AgMIP's 30+ activities explore the interconnected nature of climate, crop, livestock, economics, food security, and nutrition, using common protocols to systematically evaluate the components of agricultural assessment and allow multi-model, multi-scale, and multi-method analysis of intertwining changes in socioeconomic development, environmental change, and technological adaptation. AgMIP is now launching Coordinated Global and Regional Assessments (CGRA) with a particular focus on unforeseen consequences of development strategies, interactions between global and local systems, and the resilience of agricultural systems to extreme climate events. Climate extremes shock the agricultural system through local, direct impacts (e.g., droughts, heat waves, floods, severe storms) and also through teleconnections propagated through international trade. As the climate changes, the nature of climate extremes affecting agriculture is also likely to change, leading to shifting intensity, duration, frequency, and geographic extents of extremes. AgMIP researchers are developing new scenario methodologies to represent near-term extreme droughts in a probabilistic manner, field experiments that impose heat wave conditions on crops, increased resolution to differentiate sub-national drought impacts, new behavioral functions that mimic the response of market actors faced with production shortfalls, analysis of impacts from simultaneous failures of multiple breadbasket regions, and more detailed mapping of food and socioeconomic indicators into food security and nutrition metrics that describe the human impact in diverse populations. Agricultural models illustrate the challenges facing agriculture, allowing

  19. Epi-fingerprinting and epi-interventions for improved crop production and food quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CARLOS Marcelino Rodriguez Lopez

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Increasing crop production at a time of rapid climate change represents the greatest challenge facing contemporary agricultural research. Our understanding of the genetic control of yield derives from controlled field experiments designed to minimise environmental variance. In spite of these efforts there is substantial residual variability among plants attributable to Genotype x Environment (GxE interactions. Recent advances in the field of epigenetics have revealed a plethora of gene control mechanisms that could account for much of this unassigned variation. These systems act as a regulatory interface between the perception of the environment and associated alterations in gene expression. Direct intervention of epigenetic control systems hold the enticing promise of creating new sources of variability that could enhance crop performance. Equally, understanding the relationship between various epigenetic states and responses of the crop to specific aspects of the growing environment (epigenetic fingerprinting could allow for a more tailored approach to plant agronomy. In this review, we explore the many ways in which epigenetic interventions and epigenetic fingerprinting can be deployed for the improvement of crop production and quality.

  20. Increased nutritional value in food crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goicoechea, Nieves; Antolín, M Carmen

    2017-09-01

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

  1. Iraq uses nuclear technology to improve crop productivity and adapt to climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gil, Laura

    2016-01-01

    A new drought-tolerant wheat variety developed with the support of the IAEA and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has increased yields fourfold in Iraq. This mutant variety now accounts for close to two thirds of all the wheat produced in the country. Iraq is increasingly making use of nuclear technology to improve its crop yields and cope with the consequences of a changing climate. Researchers in the country have developed new drought-tolerant plant varieties and improved water and soil management.

  2. 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...

  3. Introgression of physiological traits for a comprehensive improvement of drought adaptation in crop plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sreeman, Sheshshayee M.; Vijayaraghavareddy, Preethi; Sreevathsa, Rohini; Rajendrareddy, Sowmya; Arakesh, Smitharani; Bharti, Pooja; Dharmappa, Prathibha; Soolanayakanahally, Raju

    2018-04-01

    Burgeoning population growth, industrial demand and the predicted global climate change resulting in erratic monsoon rains are expected to severely limit fresh water availability for agriculture both in irrigated and rainfed ecosystems. In order to remain food and nutrient secure, agriculture research needs to focus on devising strategies to save water in irrigated conditions and to develop superior cultivars with improved water productivity to sustain yield under rainfed conditions. Recent opinions accruing in the scientific literature strongly favour the adoption of a “trait based” approach for increasing water productivity especially the traits associated with maintenance of positive tissue turgor and maintenance of increased carbon assimilation as the most relevant traits to improve crop growth rates under water limiting conditions and to enhance water productivity. The advent of several water saving agronomic practices notwithstanding, a genetic enhancement strategy of introgressing distinct physiological, morphological and cellular mechanisms on to a single elite genetic background is essential for achieving a comprehensive improvement in drought adaptation in crop plants. The significant progress made in genomics, though would provide the necessary impetus, a clear understanding of the “traits” to be introgressed is the most essential need of the hour. Water uptake by a better root architecture, water conservation by preventing unproductive transpiration is crucial for maintaining positive tissue water relations. Improved carbon assimilation associated with carboxylation capacity and mesophyll conductance is equally important in sustaining crop growth rates under water limited conditions. Besides these major traits, we summarized the available information in literature on classifying various drought adaptive traits. We provide evidences that water-use efficiency when introgressed with moderately higher transpiration, would significantly enhance

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsuyoshi Akiyama

    1996-05-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  9. Genetically modified (GM) crops: milestones and new advances in crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamthan, Ayushi; Chaudhuri, Abira; Kamthan, Mohan; Datta, Asis

    2016-09-01

    New advances in crop genetic engineering can significantly pace up the development of genetically improved varieties with enhanced yield, nutrition and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Genetically modified (GM) crops can act as powerful complement to the crops produced by laborious and time consuming conventional breeding methods to meet the worldwide demand for quality foods. GM crops can help fight malnutrition due to enhanced yield, nutritional quality and increased resistance to various biotic and abiotic stresses. However, several biosafety issues and public concerns are associated with cultivation of GM crops developed by transgenesis, i.e., introduction of genes from distantly related organism. To meet these concerns, researchers have developed alternative concepts of cisgenesis and intragenesis which involve transformation of plants with genetic material derived from the species itself or from closely related species capable of sexual hybridization, respectively. Recombinase technology aimed at site-specific integration of transgene can help to overcome limitations of traditional genetic engineering methods based on random integration of multiple copy of transgene into plant genome leading to gene silencing and unpredictable expression pattern. Besides, recently developed technology of genome editing using engineered nucleases, permit the modification or mutation of genes of interest without involving foreign DNA, and as a result, plants developed with this technology might be considered as non-transgenic genetically altered plants. This would open the doors for the development and commercialization of transgenic plants with superior phenotypes even in countries where GM crops are poorly accepted. This review is an attempt to summarize various past achievements of GM technology in crop improvement, recent progress and new advances in the field to develop improved varieties aimed for better consumer acceptance.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1998-07-01

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

  11. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gupta, T.; Mohan, D.

    1982-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Helping to increase tree crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1970-07-01

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

  16. Helping to increase tree crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1970-01-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Tan

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Cover crops support ecological intensification of arable cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  3. Chemical mutagenesis for crop improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-01-01

    Focusses on methodological aspects for the efficient induction of mutations in crop plants by chemomutagens. Mutagen treatment of barley seeds with ethylmethane sulfonate (EMS) is documented in detail to exemplify procedural phases. Reference is made to safe handling and the prevention of biohazards. Induced biological and genetic effects at various plant generations are documented and the use of mutants for crop improvement is discussed

  4. Improving Agricultural Water Resources Management Using Ground-based Infrared Thermometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taghvaeian, S.

    2014-12-01

    Irrigated agriculture is the largest user of freshwater resources in arid/semi-arid parts of the world. Meeting rapidly growing demands in food, feed, fiber, and fuel while minimizing environmental pollution under a changing climate requires significant improvements in agricultural water management and irrigation scheduling. Although recent advances in remote sensing techniques and hydrological modeling has provided valuable information on agricultural water resources and their management, real improvements will only occur if farmers, the decision makers on the ground, are provided with simple, affordable, and practical tools to schedule irrigation events. This presentation reviews efforts in developing methods based on ground-based infrared thermometry and thermography for day-to-day management of irrigation systems. The results of research studies conducted in Colorado and Oklahoma show that ground-based remote sensing methods can be used effectively in quantifying water stress and consequently triggering irrigation events. Crop water use estimates based on stress indices have also showed to be in good agreement with estimates based on other methods (e.g. surface energy balance, root zone soil water balance, etc.). Major challenges toward the adoption of this approach by agricultural producers include the reduced accuracy under cloudy and humid conditions and its inability to forecast irrigation date, which is a critical knowledge since many irrigators need to decide about irrigations a few days in advance.

  5. Affordable nutrient solutions for improved food security as evidenced by crop trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Velde, Marijn; See, Linda; You, Liangzhi; Balkovič, Juraj; Fritz, Steffen; Khabarov, Nikolay; Obersteiner, Michael; Wood, Stanley

    2013-01-01

    The continuing depletion of nutrients from agricultural soils in Sub-Saharan African is accompanied by a lack of substantial progress in crop yield improvement. In this paper we investigate yield gaps for corn under two scenarios: a micro-dosing scenario with marginal increases in nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) of 10 kg ha(-1) and a larger yet still conservative scenario with proposed N and P applications of 80 and 20 kg ha(-1) respectively. The yield gaps are calculated from a database of historical FAO crop fertilizer trials at 1358 locations for Sub-Saharan Africa and South America. Our approach allows connecting experimental field scale data with continental policy recommendations. Two critical findings emerged from the analysis. The first is the degree to which P limits increases in corn yields. For example, under a micro-dosing scenario, in Africa, the addition of small amounts of N alone resulted in mean yield increases of 8% while the addition of only P increased mean yields by 26%, with implications for designing better balanced fertilizer distribution schemes. The second finding was the relatively large amount of yield increase possible for a small, yet affordable amount of fertilizer application. Using African and South American fertilizer prices we show that the level of investment needed to achieve these results is considerably less than 1% of Agricultural GDP for both a micro-dosing scenario and for the scenario involving higher yet still conservative fertilizer application rates. In the latter scenario realistic mean yield increases ranged between 28 to 85% in South America and 71 to 190% in Africa (mean plus one standard deviation). External investment in this low technology solution has the potential to kick start development and could complement other interventions such as better crop varieties and improved economic instruments to support farmers.

  6. Improving the Yield and Nutritional Quality of Forage Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola M. Capstaff

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Despite being some of the most important crops globally, there has been limited research on forages when compared with cereals, fruits, and vegetables. This review summarizes the literature highlighting the significance of forage crops, the current improvements and some of future directions for improving yield and nutritional quality. We make the point that the knowledge obtained from model plant and grain crops can be applied to forage crops. The timely development of genomics and bioinformatics together with genome editing techniques offer great scope to improve forage crops. Given the social, environmental and economic importance of forage across the globe and especially in poorer countries, this opportunity has enormous potential to improve food security and political stability.

  7. “Technology packages” for crop improvement using mutation induction and biotechnology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lavi, U. [ARO-Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250 (Israel); Heslop-Harrison, J. S. [Department of Biology, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH (United Kingdom); Spencer, M. M.; Lagoda, P. J.L. [International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (Austria)

    2009-05-15

    “Technology packages” in crop breeding may be defined as sets of various technologies used in synergy in order to achieve specific research goals. The tremendous advances in cell, molecular, atomic and even nano-technology afford scientists with powerful tools for exploring the Living Kingdom to the benefit of Human Kind. Mutation induction is undoubtedly one of these technologies, which has resulted in tremendous changes in the way genetics and derived genomics can be applied for crop improvement. Classical breeding approaches associated with agronomy and biotechnologies allow less than 2% of the population of industrialized countries to produce ample food to satisfy their national needs. The rapid expansion in science-based knowledge, relating to genetics, genomics, exploitation of biodiversity and induced mutations now has the potential to bridge the gap from research to application in agriculture in developing countries. In a timescale of decades some important changes could be efficiently implemented. In addition to the current goals of plant breeding new ones such as the following are emerging continuously: a demand for more meat in global diets - requiring serious increase of primary production; the demand for bioenergy crops other than just fuel woods mean that there is a new range of target plants for domestication and improvement where minimal or no classical breeding has been applied so far. When considering the major technological developments together with their potential in crop improvement for developing countries, there is a great need of clear and wise assessment of their usefulness and applicability. Various approaches such as DNA, markers, TILLING, high-throughput sequencing and reverse genetics are applicable to breeding programmes in developing countries. In the present chapter, all approaches considered appropriate are assessed on the basis of their advantages and constraints. (author)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koegl, H.

    1984-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Genetic engineering of crops: a ray of hope for enhanced food security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Sarvajeet Singh; Gill, Ritu; Tuteja, Renu; Tuteja, Narendra

    2014-01-01

    Crop improvement has been a basic and essential chase since organized cultivation of crops began thousands of years ago. Abiotic stresses as a whole are regarded as the crucial factors restricting the plant species to reach their full genetic potential to deliver desired productivity. The changing global climatic conditions are making them worse and pointing toward food insecurity. Agriculture biotechnology or genetic engineering has allowed us to look into and understand the complex nature of abiotic stresses and measures to improve the crop productivity under adverse conditions. Various candidate genes have been identified and transformed in model plants as well as agriculturally important crop plants to develop abiotic stress-tolerant plants for crop improvement. The views presented here are an attempt toward realizing the potential of genetic engineering for improving crops to better tolerate abiotic stresses in the era of climate change, which is now essential for global food security. There is great urgency in speeding up crop improvement programs that can use modern biotechnological tools in addition to current breeding practices for providing enhanced food security.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerd Sparovek

    2018-03-01

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

  12. Crop and livestock enterprise integration: Livestock impacts on forage, stover, and grain production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enterprise diversity is the key to ensure productive and sustainable agriculture for the future. Integration of crops and livestock enterprises is one way to improve agricultural sustainability, and take advantage of beneficial enterprise synergistic effects. Our objectives were to develop cropping ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husaini, Amjad M.; Sohail, Muhammad

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amjad M. Husaini

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husaini, Amjad M; Sohail, Muhammad

    2018-01-01

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

  16. Monitoring Crop Productivity over the U.S. Corn Belt using an Improved Light Use Efficiency Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, X.; Xiao, X.; Zhang, Y.; Qin, Y.; Doughty, R.

    2017-12-01

    Large-scale monitoring of crop yield is of great significance for forecasting food production and prices and ensuring food security. Satellite data that provide temporally and spatially continuous information that by themselves or in combination with other data or models, raises possibilities to monitor and understand agricultural productivity regionally. In this study, we first used an improved light use efficiency model-Vegetation Photosynthesis Model (VPM) to simulate the gross primary production (GPP). Model evaluation showed that the simulated GPP (GPPVPM) could well captured the spatio-temporal variation of GPP derived from FLUXNET sites. Then we applied the GPPVPM to further monitor crop productivity for corn and soybean over the U.S. Corn Belt and benchmarked with county-level crop yield statistics. We found VPM-based approach provides pretty good estimates (R2 = 0.88, slope = 1.03). We further showed the impacts of climate extremes on the crop productivity and carbon use efficiency. The study indicates the great potential of VPM in estimating crop yield and in understanding of crop yield responses to climate variability and change.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Natural radioactivity in Swedish agricultural soils and crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eriksson, Ake; Rosen, K.

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. RNA interference: concept to reality in crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saurabh, Satyajit; Vidyarthi, Ambarish S; Prasad, Dinesh

    2014-03-01

    The phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi) is involved in sequence-specific gene regulation driven by the introduction of dsRNA resulting in inhibition of translation or transcriptional repression. Since the discovery of RNAi and its regulatory potentials, it has become evident that RNAi has immense potential in opening a new vista for crop improvement. RNAi technology is precise, efficient, stable and better than antisense technology. It has been employed successfully to alter the gene expression in plants for better quality traits. The impact of RNAi to improve the crop plants has proved to be a novel approach in combating the biotic and abiotic stresses and the nutritional improvement in terms of bio-fortification and bio-elimination. It has been employed successfully to bring about modifications of several desired traits in different plants. These modifications include nutritional improvements, reduced content of food allergens and toxic compounds, enhanced defence against biotic and abiotic stresses, alteration in morphology, crafting male sterility, enhanced secondary metabolite synthesis and seedless plant varieties. However, crop plants developed by RNAi strategy may create biosafety risks. So, there is a need for risk assessment of GM crops in order to make RNAi a better tool to develop crops with biosafety measures. This article is an attempt to review the RNAi, its biochemistry, and the achievements attributed to the application of RNAi in crop improvement.

  2. Natural Ecosystem Surrounding a Conventional Banana Crop Improves Plant Health and Fruit Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florence P. Castelan

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Natural ecosystems near agricultural landscapes may provide rich environments for growing crops. However, the effect of a natural ecosystem on crop health and fruit quality is poorly understood. In the present study, it was investigated whether the presence of a natural ecosystem surrounding a crop area influences banana plant health and fruit postharvest behavior. Plants from two conventional banana crop areas with identical planting time and cultural practices were used; the only difference between banana crop areas is that one area was surrounded by a natural forest (Atlantic forest fragment (Near-NF, while the other area was inserted at the center of a conventional banana crop (Distant-NF. Results showed that bananas harvested from Near-NF showed higher greenlife and a more homogeneous profile during ripening compared to fruits harvested from Distant-NF. Differences in quality parameters including greenlife, carbohydrate profile, and pulp firmness between fruits harvested from Near-NF and Distant-NF are explained, at least partly, by differences in the balance of plant growth regulators (indole-3-acetic acid and abscisic acid in bananas during ripening. Furthermore, plants from Near-NF showed a lower severity index of black leaf streak disease (BLSD and higher levels of phenolic compounds in leaves compared to plants from Distant-NF. Together, the results provide additional evidence on how the maintenance of natural ecosystems near conventional crop areas could be a promising tool to improve plant health and fruit quality.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qadir, M; Oster, J D

    2004-05-05

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

  5. Assimilation of LAI time-series in crop production models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooistra, Lammert; Rijk, Bert; Nannes, Louis

    2014-05-01

    Agriculture is worldwide a large consumer of freshwater, nutrients and land. Spatial explicit agricultural management activities (e.g., fertilization, irrigation) could significantly improve efficiency in resource use. In previous studies and operational applications, remote sensing has shown to be a powerful method for spatio-temporal monitoring of actual crop status. As a next step, yield forecasting by assimilating remote sensing based plant variables in crop production models would improve agricultural decision support both at the farm and field level. In this study we investigated the potential of remote sensing based Leaf Area Index (LAI) time-series assimilated in the crop production model LINTUL to improve yield forecasting at field level. The effect of assimilation method and amount of assimilated observations was evaluated. The LINTUL-3 crop production model was calibrated and validated for a potato crop on two experimental fields in the south of the Netherlands. A range of data sources (e.g., in-situ soil moisture and weather sensors, destructive crop measurements) was used for calibration of the model for the experimental field in 2010. LAI from cropscan field radiometer measurements and actual LAI measured with the LAI-2000 instrument were used as input for the LAI time-series. The LAI time-series were assimilated in the LINTUL model and validated for a second experimental field on which potatoes were grown in 2011. Yield in 2011 was simulated with an R2 of 0.82 when compared with field measured yield. Furthermore, we analysed the potential of assimilation of LAI into the LINTUL-3 model through the 'updating' assimilation technique. The deviation between measured and simulated yield decreased from 9371 kg/ha to 8729 kg/ha when assimilating weekly LAI measurements in the LINTUL model over the season of 2011. LINTUL-3 furthermore shows the main growth reducing factors, which are useful for farm decision support. The combination of crop models and sensor

  6. Induced mutations for human welfare through agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patil, S.A.

    2009-01-01

    Full text: Use of induced mutation for crop improvement started in 1920's. It gained momentum in 1960's when IAEA and FAO started training and guidance and funds were made available for undertaking mutation breeding. IARI established a Gamma Garden and a separate institution was carved by name 'Nuclear Research Laboratory' in 1970's. ICAR Institutes and State Agriculture Universities started using this facility for crop improvement. Similarly, BARC started extending its help for irradiating the seed material specially X-rays and it became one of the major source of generating variability for crop improvement. Induced mutation has resulted in development of more than 3000 varieties of different food, feed, fruit, vegetables and flowers. Apart from direct use of mutants as cultivars, mutants have played a vital role in creating useful variation for application in basic research and gene discovery. It has helped in increasing yield through use of heterosis by inducing male sterility. It has been used for creating useful variation for changing grain composition to improve nutrition and grain quality parameters, for tolerance against abiotic and biotic stresses. Gene sequencing and related technologies have opened up new application of induced mutations. In model organisms induced mutations provide new opportunities for identification of genes/bio-chemical, cellular, developmental or functional pathways. The use of stable isotopes in basic research is of fundamental use in crop improvement. Apart from crop improvement the nuclear technology has been used for numerous other applications in Agriculture such as soil fertility, plant nutrition, use of fertilizer and irrigation, control of insect pest and storage. In recent decades BARC has come in a big way through funding for projects to State Agricultural Universities and ICAR Institutes and has signed MoU's with few of the Agriculture Universities for testing and popularizing their identified field crop varieties in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  12. Nuclear Techniques in Agriculture: Status and Applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kurdali, F.

    2007-01-01

    This paper is focused on the role of nuclear techniques and their applications in agriculture science for plant and animal production, and to study the relationships among soil, plant, air, water, nutrients and agricultural pests. For example, carbon isotope discrimination 12 C/ 13 C can be used to select appropriate plant genotypes which are tolerant to drought and salinity stress. Using 15 N to study, symbiotic N 2 fixation, inorganic N dynamics in the soil, plant system, mineralization of organic N in soils, efficient use of chemical and organic N fertilizers and microbial protein production in ruminants. Neutron gauges are used for soil moisture measurements to assess crop water use efficiencies, crops water requirements, and irrigation scheduling for conventional and new methods of irrigation. The use of environmental isotopes ( 18 O, 2 H, 3 H and 14 C) in hydrology; and 137 Cs to study soil erosion. Using 32 P to study the fate of applied P fertilizers (chemical fractionation and availability), their use efficiency and phosphorus metabolism in animals. Ionizing radiation is used to improve the quality and productivity of major crops, to induce mutations, to improve the metabolisable and digestible energy of unconventional feeds and the nutritive value of agricultural residues, and to protect crops against agricultural pests and in food conservation. Radioimmunoassay is used in studies to improve the production and reproductive performance of indigenous small ruminants. (author)

  13. Effects of meteorological droughts on agricultural water resources in southern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Houquan; Wu, Yihua; Li, Yijun; Liu, Yongqiang

    2017-05-01

    With the global warming, frequencies of drought are rising in the humid area of southern China. In this study, the effects of meteorological drought on the agricultural water resource based on the agricultural water resource carrying capacity (AWRCC) in southern China were investigated. The entire study area was divided into three regions based on the distributions of climate and agriculture. The concept of the maximum available water resources for crops was used to calculate AWRCC. Meanwhile, an agricultural drought intensity index (ADI), which was suitable for rice planting areas, was proposed based on the difference between crop water requirements and precipitation. The actual drought area and crop yield in drought years from 1961 to 2010 were analyzed. The results showed that ADI and AWRCC were significantly correlated with the actual drought occurrence area and food yield in the study area, which indicated ADI and AWRCC could be used in drought-related studies. The effects of seasonal droughts on AWRCC strongly depended on both the crop growth season and planting structure. The influence of meteorological drought on agricultural water resources was pronounced in regions with abundant water resources, especially in Southwest China, which was the most vulnerable to droughts. In Southwest China, which has dry and wet seasons, reducing the planting area of dry season crops and rice could improve AWRCC during drought years. Likewise, reducing the planting area of double-season rice could improve AWRCC during drought years in regions with a double-season rice cropping system. Our findings highlight the importance of adjusting the proportions of crop planting to improve the utilization efficiency of agricultural water resources and alleviate drought hazards in some humid areas.

  14. Remote sensing to monitor cover crop adoption in southeastern Pennsylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the Chesapeake Bay watershed, winter cereal cover crops are often planted in rotation with summer crops to reduce the loss of nutrients and sediment from agricultural systems. Cover crops can also improve soil health, control weeds and pests, supplement forage needs, and support resilient croppin...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  16. Radiation and crop improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1960-09-15

    The present state of the research was reviewed and its results analyzed at an international scientific Symposium on the Effects of Ionizing Radiations on Seeds and their Significance for Crop Improvement held at Karlsruhe, Federal Republic of Germany, in 1960. The experts began a detailed examination of certain special aspects of the radiobiology of seeds. Some of the topics discussed related to the processes initiated in seeds as a result of irradiation. The influence of environmental factors, such as temperature, humidity and the presence or absence of oxygen, was also evaluated. Variations in the sensitivity to radiation were taken into consideration and ways of modifying the sensitivity were examined. Two sessions were devoted to a study of radiation- and chemically-induced chromosome breakage and reunion. The nature and mechanism of chromosome breakage and reunion area subject of basic importance in all radiobiological studies and naturally constituted one of the main topics of discussion at the Karlsruhe symposium. The symposium discussed the relevance of these basic scientific questions to crop improvement. Whether irradiation itself, without producing any hereditary changes, can stimulate crop yields is a matter of considerable interest. It has been found that in some cases the effect is stimulating, while in others it is inhibitive. A number of experiments were described and an attempt was made to deduce certain principles from the results obtained

  17. Improving agricultural knowledge management: The AgTrials experience [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glenn Hyman

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Opportunities to use data and information to address challenges in international agricultural research and development are expanding rapidly. The use of agricultural trial and evaluation data has enormous potential to improve crops and management practices. However, for a number of reasons, this potential has yet to be realized. This paper reports on the experience of the AgTrials initiative, an effort to build an online database of agricultural trials applying principles of interoperability and open access. Methods: Our analysis evaluates what worked and what did not work in the development of the AgTrials information resource. We analyzed data on our users and their interaction with the platform. We also surveyed our users to gauge their perceptions of the utility of the online database. Results: The study revealed barriers to participation and impediments to interaction, opportunities for improving agricultural knowledge management and a large potential for the use of trial and evaluation data. Conclusions: Technical and logistical mechanisms for developing interoperable online databases are well advanced.  More effort will be needed to advance organizational and institutional work for these types of databases to realize their potential.

  18. Improving agricultural knowledge management: The AgTrials experience [version 2; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glenn Hyman

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Opportunities to use data and information to address challenges in international agricultural research and development are expanding rapidly. The use of agricultural trial and evaluation data has enormous potential to improve crops and management practices. However, for a number of reasons, this potential has yet to be realized. This paper reports on the experience of the AgTrials initiative, an effort to build an online database of agricultural trials applying principles of interoperability and open access. Methods: Our analysis evaluates what worked and what did not work in the development of the AgTrials information resource. We analyzed data on our users and their interaction with the platform. We also surveyed our users to gauge their perceptions of the utility of the online database. Results: The study revealed barriers to participation and impediments to interaction, opportunities for improving agricultural knowledge management and a large potential for the use of trial and evaluation data. Conclusions: Technical and logistical mechanisms for developing interoperable online databases are well advanced.  More effort will be needed to advance organizational and institutional work for these types of databases to realize their potential.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uchida, S.; Tagami, K.

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Radiation technology in agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D'Souza, S.F.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meisner, Matthew H; Rosenheim, Jay A

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew H Meisner

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kung, Chih-Chun; Zhang, Ning

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  8. Photosynthetic energy conversion efficiency: setting a baseline for gauging future improvements in important food and biofuel crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slattery, Rebecca A; Ort, Donald R

    2015-06-01

    The conversion efficiency (ε(c)) of absorbed radiation into biomass (MJ of dry matter per MJ of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation) is a component of yield potential that has been estimated at less than half the theoretical maximum. Various strategies have been proposed to improve ε(c), but a statistical analysis to establish baseline ε(c) levels across different crop functional types is lacking. Data from 164 published ε(c) studies conducted in relatively unstressed growth conditions were used to determine the means, greatest contributors to variation, and genetic trends in ε(c )across important food and biofuel crop species. ε(c) was greatest in biofuel crops (0.049-0.066), followed by C4 food crops (0.046-0.049), C3 nonlegumes (0.036-0.041), and finally C3 legumes (0.028-0.035). Despite confining our analysis to relatively unstressed growth conditions, total incident solar radiation and average growing season temperature most often accounted for the largest portion of ε(c) variability. Genetic improvements in ε(c), when present, were less than 0.7% per year, revealing the unrealized potential of improving ε(c) as a promising contributing strategy to meet projected future agricultural demand. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  9. Green Agriculture - features and agricultural policy measures for the transition to a sustainable agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Nistor

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Agriculture is one of the most important economic activities in each country or area, as it is in close correlation with all other the other economic activities, in a whole which must be structured so as to achieve a more efficient planning and organization of the territory. The practice of a traditional agriculture, based on industrialization, affects the natural environment through emissions of pollutants, waste and deforestation which together affects biodiversity. Green Agriculture suppose to empower managers to widespread the use of fertilizers, to improve the crop rotation, to realize a more efficient water consumption, to improve the storage methods and the supply chain of products. Agricultural policies are closely interrelated with environmental policies as agricultural activities have a considerable influence on the environment. The efficiency of agricultural policies is reflected in monetary transfers between agriculture and other economic sectors, in the costs due to the reallocation of the resources between different agricultural and non-agricultural activities and in the realized gains. Currently there is a constant concern of the governments for the transition to a green agriculture, and most countries recognize the importance of achieving sustainable economic development.

  10. 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.

  11. Annual cropped area expansion and agricultural production ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management ... considerable annual increase of varying extent over time and space for both annual output and area ... The study suggests improving productivity through sustainable agricultural ...

  12. Improving crop water use efficiency using carbon isotope discrimination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serraj, R.

    2006-01-01

    Water scarcity, drought and salinity are among the most important environmental constraints challenging crop productivity in the arid and semi-arid regions of the world, especially the rain-fed production systems. The current challenge is to enhance food security in water-limited and/or salt-affected areas for the benefit of resource-poor farmers in developing countries. There is also an increasing need that water use in agriculture should focus on improvement in the management of existing water resources and enhancing crop water productivity. The method based on carbon-13 discrimination in plant tissues has a potentially important role in the selection and breeding of some crop species for increased water use efficiency in some specific environments. Under various water-limited environments, low delta in the plants, indicating low carbon isotope discrimination has been generally associated with high transpiration efficiency (TE). In contrast, for well-watered environments many positive genotypic correlations have been reported between delta and grain yield indicating potential value in selecting for greater delta in these environments. Few studies have been reported on the impact of selection for delta on adaptation and grain yield in saline environments. Studies of the impact of genetic selection for greater and lower delta are currently coordinated by the Soil and water Management and Crop Nutrition Section (SWMCN) of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division. A Coordinated Research Project (CRP) is currently on-going on the Selection for Greater Agronomic Water-Use Efficiency in Wheat and Rice using Carbon Isotope Discrimination (D1-20 08). The overall objective of this project is to contribute to increasing the agronomic water-use efficiency of wheat and rice production, where agronomic water-use efficiency is defined as grain yield/total water use including both transpiration and evaporation. The CRP is also aiming at increasing wheat productivity under drought and rice

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca E. Shelton

    2018-01-01

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

  15. The iPot Project: improved potato monitoring in Belgium using remote sensing and crop growth modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccard, Isabelle; Nackaerts, Kris; Gobin, Anne; Goffart, Jean-Pierre; Planchon, Viviane; Curnel, Yannick; Tychon, Bernard; Wellens, Joost; Cools, Romain; Cattoor, Nele

    2015-04-01

    Belgian potato processors, traders and packers are increasingly working with potato contracts. The close follow up of contracted parcels on the land as well as from above is becoming an important tool to improve the quantity and quality of the potato crop and reduce risks in order to plan the storage, packaging or processing and as such to strengthen the competitiveness of the Belgian potato chain in a global market. At the same time, precision agriculture continues to gain importance and progress. Farmers are obligated to invest in new technologies. Between mid-May and the end of June 2014 potato fields in Gembloux were monitored from emergence till canopy closure. UAV images (RGB) and digital (hemispherical) photographs were taken at ten-daily intervals. Crop emergence maps show the time (date) and degree of crop emergence and crop closure (in terms of % cover). For three UAV flights during the growing season RGB images at 3 cm resolution were processed using a K-means clustering algorithm to classify the crop according to its greenness. Based on the greenness %cover and daily cover growth were derived for 5x5m pixels and 25x25m pixels. The latter resolution allowed for comparison with high resolution satellite imagery. Vegetation indices such as %Cover and LAI were calculated with the Cyclopes algorithm (INRA-EMMAH) from high resolution satellite images (DMC/Deimos, 22m pixel size). DMC based cover maps showed similar patterns as compared with the UAV-based cover maps, and allows for further applications of the data in crop management. Today the use of geo-information by the (private) agricultural sector in Belgium is rather limited, notwithstanding the great benefits this type of information may offer, as recognized by the sector. The iPot project, financed by the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO), aims to provide the Belgian potato sector, represented by Belgapom, with near real time information on field condition (weather-soil) and crop development and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  17. Radiation induced mutant crop varieties: accomplishment and societal deployment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D'Souza, S.F.

    2009-01-01

    One of the peaceful applications of atomic energy is in the field of agriculture. It finds application in crop improvement, crop nutrition, crop protection and food preservation. Genetic improvement of crop plants is a continuous endeavor. Success of a crop improvement programme depends on the availability of large genetic variability, which a plant breeder can combine to generate new varieties. In nature, occurrence of natural variability in the form of spontaneous mutations is extremely low (roughly 10 -6 ), which can be enhanced to several fold (approximately 10 -3 ) by using ionizing radiations or chemical mutagens. Radiation induced genetic variability in crop plants is a valuable resource from which plant breeder can select and combine different desired characteristics to produce better crop varieties. Crop improvement programmes at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) envisage radiation based induced mutagenesis along with recombination breeding in country's important cereals (rice and wheat), oilseeds (groundnut, mustard, soybean and sunflower), grain legumes (blackgram, mungbean, pigeonpea and cowpea), banana and sugarcane

  18. Agricultural biotechnology and smallholder farmers in developing countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthony, Vivienne M; Ferroni, Marco

    2012-04-01

    Agricultural biotechnology holds much potential to contribute towards crop productivity gains and crop improvement for smallholder farmers in developing countries. Over 14 million smallholder farmers are already benefiting from biotech crops such as cotton and maize in China, India and other Asian, African and Central/South American countries. Molecular breeding can accelerate crop improvement timescales and enable greater use of diversity of gene sources. Little impact has been realized to date with fruits and vegetables because of development timescales for molecular breeding and development and regulatory costs and political considerations facing biotech crops in many countries. Constraints to the development and adoption of technology-based solutions to reduce yield gaps need to be overcome. Full integration with broader commercial considerations such as farmer access to seed distribution systems that facilitate dissemination of improved varieties and functioning markets for produce are critical for the benefits of agricultural biotechnology to be fully realized by smallholders. Public-private partnerships offer opportunities to catalyze new approaches and investment while accelerating integrated research and development and commercial supply chain-based solutions. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wetselaar, R.I.

    1992-01-01

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

  2. Improving selenium nutritional value of major crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micronutrient efficiency and development of nutrient-dense crops continue to be one of the most important global challenges. Se is an essential micronutrient to humans and serves as a cancer preventative agent. In order to improve Se nutritional and health promoting values in food crops, a better un...

  3. A database for coconut crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajagopal, Velamoor; Manimekalai, Ramaswamy; Devakumar, Krishnamurthy; Rajesh; Karun, Anitha; Niral, Vittal; Gopal, Murali; Aziz, Shamina; Gunasekaran, Marimuthu; Kumar, Mundappurathe Ramesh; Chandrasekar, Arumugam

    2005-12-08

    Coconut crop improvement requires a number of biotechnology and bioinformatics tools. A database containing information on CG (coconut germplasm), CCI (coconut cultivar identification), CD (coconut disease), MIFSPC (microbial information systems in plantation crops) and VO (vegetable oils) is described. The database was developed using MySQL and PostgreSQL running in Linux operating system. The database interface is developed in PHP, HTML and JAVA. http://www.bioinfcpcri.org.

  4. VegScape: U.S. Crop Condition Monitoring Service

    Science.gov (United States)

    mueller, R.; Yang, Z.; Di, L.

    2013-12-01

    Since 1995, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)/National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has provided qualitative biweekly vegetation condition indices to USDA policymakers and the public on a weekly basis during the growing season. Vegetation indices have proven useful for assessing crop condition and identifying the areal extent of floods, drought, major weather anomalies, and vulnerabilities of early/late season crops. With growing emphasis on more extreme weather events and food security issues rising to the forefront of national interest, a new vegetation condition monitoring system was developed. The new vegetation condition portal named VegScape was initiated at the start of the 2013 growing season. VegScape delivers web mapping service based interactive vegetation indices. Users can use an interactive map to explore, query and disseminate current crop conditions. Vegetation indices like Normal Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Vegetation Condition Index (VCI), and mean, median, and ratio comparisons to prior years can be constructed for analytical purposes and on-demand crop statistics. The NASA MODIS satellite with 250 meter (15 acres) resolution and thirteen years of data history provides improved spatial and temporal resolutions and delivers improved detailed timely (i.e., daily) crop specific condition and dynamics. VegScape thus provides supplemental information to support NASS' weekly crop reports. VegScape delivers an agricultural cultivated crop mask and the most recent Cropland Data Layer (CDL) product to exploit the agricultural domain and visualize prior years' planted crops. Additionally, the data can be directly exported to Google Earth for web mashups or delivered via web mapping services for uses in other applications. VegScape supports the ethos of data democracy by providing free and open access to digital geospatial data layers using open geospatial standards, thereby supporting transparent and collaborative government

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delmas, J.

    1977-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  8. Sequential use of the STICS crop model and of the MACRO pesticide fate model to simulate pesticides leaching in cropping systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammoglia, Sabine-Karen; Moeys, Julien; Barriuso, Enrique; Larsbo, Mats; Marín-Benito, Jesús-María; Justes, Eric; Alletto, Lionel; Ubertosi, Marjorie; Nicolardot, Bernard; Munier-Jolain, Nicolas; Mamy, Laure

    2017-03-01

    The current challenge in sustainable agriculture is to introduce new cropping systems to reduce pesticides use in order to reduce ground and surface water contamination. However, it is difficult to carry out in situ experiments to assess the environmental impacts of pesticide use for all possible combinations of climate, crop, and soils; therefore, in silico tools are necessary. The objective of this work was to assess pesticides leaching in cropping systems coupling the performances of a crop model (STICS) and of a pesticide fate model (MACRO). STICS-MACRO has the advantage of being able to simulate pesticides fate in complex cropping systems and to consider some agricultural practices such as fertilization, mulch, or crop residues management, which cannot be accounted for with MACRO. The performance of STICS-MACRO was tested, without calibration, from measurements done in two French experimental sites with contrasted soil and climate properties. The prediction of water percolation and pesticides concentrations with STICS-MACRO was satisfactory, but it varied with the pedoclimatic context. The performance of STICS-MACRO was shown to be similar or better than that of MACRO. The improvement of the simulation of crop growth allowed better estimate of crop transpiration therefore of water balance. It also allowed better estimate of pesticide interception by the crop which was found to be crucial for the prediction of pesticides concentrations in water. STICS-MACRO is a new promising tool to improve the assessment of the environmental risks of pesticides used in cropping systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Agricultural utilization of industrial thermal effluents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guillermin, P.; Delmas, J.; Grauby, A.

    1976-01-01

    An assessment is made of the utilization of thermal effluent for agricultural purpose (viz. early vegetables, cereals, trees). Heated waters are being used in field experiments on soil heating, improvement of agricultural procedures and crop yields. Thermal pollution cannot be removed yet it is reduced to acceptable limits. New prospects are open to traditional agriculture, leading towards a more competitive industrial model [fr

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  16. Use of Phosphorus Isotopes for Improving Phosphorus Management in Agricultural Systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2016-10-01

    Phosphorus is an essential element in plant, human and animal nutrition. Soils with low levels of phosphorus are widespread in many regions of the world, and the deficiency limits plant growth and reduces crop production and food quality. This publication provides comprehensive and up to date information on several topics related to phosphorus in soil–plant systems, in agricultural systems and in the environment. It presents the theoretical background as well as practical information on how to use nuclear and radioisotope tracer techniques in both laboratory and greenhouse experiments to assess soil phosphorus forms and plant-available soil phosphorus pools, and to understand the cycling processes in soil–plant systems. The publication focuses on practical applications of radiotracer techniques and can serve as resource material for research projects on improving sustainable phosphorus management in agricultural systems and as practical guidance on the use of phosphate isotopes in soil–plant research

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krishnaswamy R. Aravind

    2017-04-01

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

  20. 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

  1. The benefits of herbicide-resistant crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Jerry M

    2012-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenz, Marco; Fürst, Christine; Thiel, Enrico

    2013-09-01

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

  3. Relevance of sexual polyploidization for crop improvement - A review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramanna, M.S.; Jacobsen, E.

    2003-01-01

    Colchicine induced polyploids have not directly contributed for crop improvement in the past. On the other hand, the so-called natural polyploids, derived from the functioning of numerically unreduced (2n) gametes have been shown to be more relevant for crop improvement in many cases. Different

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  5. 12 CFR 619.9025 - Agricultural land.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 12 Banks and Banking 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Agricultural land. 619.9025 Section 619.9025 Banks and Banking FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION FARM CREDIT SYSTEM DEFINITIONS § 619.9025 Agricultural land. Land improved or unimproved which is devoted to or available for the production of crops and other...

  6. 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

  7. Retrospective Analog Year Analyses Using NASA Satellite Data to Improve USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teng, William; Shannon, Harlan

    2011-01-01

    The USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) is responsible for monitoring weather and climate impacts on domestic and foreign crop development. One of WAOB's primary goals is to determine the net cumulative effect of weather and climate anomalies on final crop yields. To this end, a broad array of information is consulted, including maps, charts, and time series of recent weather, climate, and crop observations; numerical output from weather and crop models; and reports from the press, USDA attach s, and foreign governments. The resulting agricultural weather assessments are published in the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin, to keep farmers, policy makers, and commercial agricultural interests informed of weather and climate impacts on agriculture. Because both the amount and timing of precipitation significantly affect crop yields, WAOB often uses precipitation time series to identify growing seasons with similar weather patterns and help estimate crop yields for the current growing season, based on observed yields in analog years. Historically, these analog years are visually identified; however, the qualitative nature of this method sometimes precludes the definitive identification of the best analog year. Thus, one goal of this study is to derive a more rigorous, statistical approach for identifying analog years, based on a modified coefficient of determination, termed the analog index (AI). A second goal is to compare the performance of AI for time series derived from surface-based observations vs. satellite-based measurements (NASA TRMM and other data).

  8. Simultaneous Improvement in Water Use, Productivity and Albedo Through Crop Structural Modification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drewry, D.; Kumar, P.; Long, S.

    2014-12-01

    Agricultural lands provide a tremendous opportunity to address challenges at the intersection of climate change, food and water security. Global demand for the major grain and seed crops is beginning to outstrip production, while population growth and the expansion of the global middle class have motivated calls for a doubling of food production by the middle of this century. This is occurring as yield gains for the major food crops have stagnated. At current rates of yield improvement this doubling will not be achieved. Plants have evolved to maximize the capture of radiation in the upper leaves, resulting in sub-optimal monoculture crop fields for maximizing productivity and other biogeophysical services. Using the world's most important protein crop, soybean, as an example, we show that by applying numerical optimization to a micrometeorological crop canopy model that significant, simultaneous gains in water use, productivity and reflectivity are possible with no increased demand on resources. Here we apply the MLCan multi-layer canopy biophysical model, which vertically resolves the radiation and micro-environmental variations that stimulate biochemical and ecophysiological functions that govern canopy-atmosphere exchange processes. At each canopy level photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, and energy balance are solved simultaneously for shaded and sunlit foliage. A multi-layer sub-surface model accounts for water availability as a function of root biomass distribution. MLCan runs at sub-hourly temporal resolution, allowing it to capture variability in CO2, water and energy exchange as a function of environmental variability. By modifying total canopy leaf area, its vertical distribution, leaf angle, and shortwave radiation reflectivity, all traits available in most major crop germplasm collections, we show that increases in either productivity (7%), water use (13%) or albedo (34%) could be achieved with no detriment to the other objectives, under United

  9. Modelling crop yield in Iberia under drought conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, Andreia; Páscoa, Patrícia; Russo, Ana; Gouveia, Célia

    2017-04-01

    The improved assessment of the cereal yield and crop loss under drought conditions are essential to meet the increasing economy demands. The growing frequency and severity of the extreme drought conditions in the Iberian Peninsula (IP) has been likely responsible for negative impacts on agriculture, namely on crop yield losses. Therefore, a continuous monitoring of vegetation activity and a reliable estimation of drought impacts is crucial to contribute for the agricultural drought management and development of suitable information tools. This works aims to assess the influence of drought conditions in agricultural yields over the IP, considering cereal yields from mainly rainfed agriculture for the provinces with higher productivity. The main target is to develop a strategy to model drought risk on agriculture for wheat yield at a province level. In order to achieve this goal a combined assessment was made using a drought indicator (Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index, SPEI) to evaluate drought conditions together with a widely used vegetation index (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, NDVI) to monitor vegetation activity. A correlation analysis between detrended wheat yield and SPEI was performed in order to assess the vegetation response to each time scale of drought occurrence and also identify the moment of the vegetative cycle when the crop yields are more vulnerable to drought conditions. The time scales and months of SPEI, together with the months of NDVI, better related with wheat yield were chosen to perform a multivariate regression analysis to simulate crop yield. Model results are satisfactory and highlighted the usefulness of such analysis in the framework of developing a drought risk model for crop yields. In terms of an operational point of view, the results aim to contribute to an improved understanding of crop yield management under dry conditions, particularly adding substantial information on the advantages of combining

  10. RNA interference: a promising technique for the improvement of traditional crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katoch, Rajan; Thakur, Neelam

    2013-03-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a homology-dependent gene-silencing technology that involves double-stranded RNA directed against a target gene. This technique has emerged as powerful tool in understanding the functions of a number of genes in recent years. For the improvement in the nutritional status of the plants and reduction in the level of antinutrients, the conventional breeding methods were not completely successful in achieving the tissue-specific regulation of some genes. RNAi has shown successful results in a number of plant species for nutritional improvement, change in morphology and alteration in metabolite synthesis. This technology has been applied mostly in genetic engineering of important crop plants, and till date there are no reports of its application for the improvement of traditional/underutilized crops. In this study, we discuss current knowledge of RNAi function and concept and strategies for the improvement of traditional crops. Practical application. Although RNAi has been extensively used for the improvement of popular crops, no attention has been given for the use of this technology for the improvement of underutilized crops. This study describes the importance of use of this technology for the improvement of underutilized crops.

  11. Food crops face rising temperatures: An overview of responses, adaptive mechanisms, and approaches to improve heat tolerance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neeru Kaushal

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The rising temperatures are resulting in heat stress for various agricultural crops to limit their growth, metabolism, and leading to significant loss of yield potential worldwide. Heat stress adversely affects normal plant growth and development depending on the sensitivity of each crop species. Each crop species has its own range of temperature maxima and minima at different developmental stages beyond which all these processes get inhibited. The reproductive stage is on the whole more sensitive to heat stress, resulting in impaired fertilization to cause abortion of flowers. During seed filling, heat stress retards seed growth by affecting all the biochemical events to reduce seed size. Unfavorable temperature may significantly affect photosynthesis, respiration, water balance, and membrane stability of leaves. To combat heat stress, plants acquire various defense mechanisms for their survival such as maintaining membrane stability, and scavenging reactive oxygen species by generating antioxidants and stress proteins. Thermo-tolerance can be improved by the accumulation of various compounds of low molecular mass known as thermo-protectants as well as phyto-hormones. Exogenous application of these molecules has benefited plants growing under heat stress. Alternatively, transgenic plants over-expressing the enzymes catalyzing the synthesis of these molecules may be raised to increase their endogenous levels to improve heat tolerance. In recent times, various transgenics have been developed with improved thermo-tolerance having potential benefits for inducing heat tolerance in food crops. Updated information about of the effects of heat stress on various food crops and their responses as well as adaptive mechanisms is reviewed here.

  12. Salt resistant crop plants

    KAUST Repository

    Roy, Stuart J.

    2014-04-01

    Soil salinity is a major constraint to agriculture. To improve salinity tolerance of crops, various traits can be incorporated, including ion exclusion, osmotic tolerance and tissue tolerance. We review the roles of a range of genes involved in salt tolerance traits. Different tissues and cells are adapted for specific and often diverse function, so it is important to express the genes in specific cell-types and to pyramid a range of traits. Modern biotechnology (marker- assisted selection or genetic engineering) needs to be increasingly used to introduce the correct combination of genes into elite crop cultivars. Importantly, the effects of introduced genes need to be evaluated in the field to determine their effect on salinity tolerance and yield improvement.

  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. Cover Crops for Managing Stream Water Quantity and Improving Stream Water Quality of Non-Tile Drained Paired Watersheds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gurbir Singh

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In the Midwestern United States, cover crops are being promoted as a best management practice for managing nutrient and sediment losses from agricultural fields through surface and subsurface water movement. To date, the water quality benefits of cover crops have been inferred primarily from plot scale studies. This project is one of the first to analyze the impacts of cover crops on stream water quality at the watershed scale. The objective of this research was to evaluate nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment loss in stream water from a no-till corn-soybean rotation planted with winter cover crops cereal rye (Secale cereale and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa in non-tile drained paired watersheds in Illinois, USA. The paired watersheds are under mixed land use (agriculture, forest, and pasture. The control watershed had 27 ha of row-crop agriculture, and the treatment watershed had 42 ha of row crop agriculture with cover crop treatment (CC-treatment. During a 4-year calibration period, 42 storm events were collected and Event Mean Concentrations (EMCs for each storm event were calculated for total suspended solids (TSS, nitrate-N (NO3-N, ammonia-N (NH4-N, dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP, and total discharge. Predictive regression equations developed from the calibration period were used for calculating TSS, NO3-N, NH4-N, and DRP losses of surface runoff for the CC-treatment watershed. The treatment period consisted of total 18 storm events, seven of which were collected during the cereal rye, eight in the hairy vetch cover crop season and three during cash crop season. Cover crops reduced TSS and discharge by 33% and 34%, respectively in the CC-treatment watershed during the treatment period. However, surprisingly, EMCs for NO3-N, NH4-N, and DRP did not decrease. Stream discharge from the paired-watersheds will continue to be monitored to determine if the current water quality results hold or new patterns emerge.

  15. Optimizing Productivity of Food Crop Genotypes in Low Nutrient Soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2013-11-01

    Global climate change is likely to exacerbate plant abiotic stress in the coming decades by increasing water stress and by accelerating soil fertility degradation. To respond to this set of challenges, there is a need to develop agricultural systems with significantly greater productivity and resilience that at the same time use limited natural resources more efficiently. Low phosphorus (N) and nitrogen (P) availabilities are primary limitations to productivity in low input agriculture, and fertilizers are primary resource inputs in intensive agriculture. A critical feature of future agricultural systems will be new crop varieties with improved conversion of soil resources to yields. These new cultivars would have improved productivity in low input systems and decreased input requirements in high input systems. Many scientists are currently turning their attention to roots, the hidden half of the plant, as central to their efforts to produce crops with better yields without causing environmental damage. Several root traits are known to be associated with P and N acquisition efficiency in low N and P soils. These root traits include root hairs, root length, root branching and root density. The identification of root traits for enhanced P and N acquisition is enabling crop breeders to develop new genotypes with better yields in low fertility soils of Africa, Asia and Latin America. However, in order to use a trait as a selection criterion for crop improvement, either direct phenotypic selection or through marker assisted selection, it is necessary to develop protocols to measure accurately the root traits that enhance N and P acquisition in the glasshouse and in the field, which can provide robust and rapid evaluation of many root systems' architectural traits in targeted production environments using different crops. The objective of the Coordinated Research Project on Optimizing Productivity of Food Crop Genotypes in Low Nutrient Soils was to develop integrated

  16. Optimizing Productivity of Food Crop Genotypes in Low Nutrient Soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2013-11-15

    Global climate change is likely to exacerbate plant abiotic stress in the coming decades by increasing water stress and by accelerating soil fertility degradation. To respond to this set of challenges, there is a need to develop agricultural systems with significantly greater productivity and resilience that at the same time use limited natural resources more efficiently. Low phosphorus (N) and nitrogen (P) availabilities are primary limitations to productivity in low input agriculture, and fertilizers are primary resource inputs in intensive agriculture. A critical feature of future agricultural systems will be new crop varieties with improved conversion of soil resources to yields. These new cultivars would have improved productivity in low input systems and decreased input requirements in high input systems. Many scientists are currently turning their attention to roots, the hidden half of the plant, as central to their efforts to produce crops with better yields without causing environmental damage. Several root traits are known to be associated with P and N acquisition efficiency in low N and P soils. These root traits include root hairs, root length, root branching and root density. The identification of root traits for enhanced P and N acquisition is enabling crop breeders to develop new genotypes with better yields in low fertility soils of Africa, Asia and Latin America. However, in order to use a trait as a selection criterion for crop improvement, either direct phenotypic selection or through marker assisted selection, it is necessary to develop protocols to measure accurately the root traits that enhance N and P acquisition in the glasshouse and in the field, which can provide robust and rapid evaluation of many root systems' architectural traits in targeted production environments using different crops. The objective of the Coordinated Research Project on Optimizing Productivity of Food Crop Genotypes in Low Nutrient Soils was to develop integrated

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotsuki, S.; Tanaka, K.

    2015-01-01

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

  18. The effect of conservation tillage on crop yield in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongwen LI,Jin HE,Huanwen GAO,Ying CHEN,Zhiqiang ZHANG

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Traditional agricultural practices have resulted in decreased soil fertility, shortage of water resources and deterioration of agricultural ecological environment, which are seriously affecting grain production. Conservation tillage (CT research has been developed and applied in China since the 1960s and 1970s, and a series of development policies have been issued by the Chinese government. Recent research and application have shown that CT has positive effects on crop yields in China. According to the data from the Conservation Tillage Research Center (CTRC, Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MOA, the mean crop yield increase can be at least 4% in double cropping systems in the North China Plain and 6% in single cropping systems in the dryland areas of North-east and North-west China. Crop yield increase was particularly significant in dryland areas and drought years. The mechanism for the yield increase in CT system can be attributed to enhanced soil water content and improved soil properties. Development strategies have been implemented to accelerate the adoption of CT in China.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Trichoderma for climate resilient agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kashyap, Prem Lal; Rai, Pallavi; Srivastava, Alok Kumar; Kumar, Sudheer

    2017-08-01

    Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of the twenty-first century for sustainable agricultural production. Several reports highlighted the need for better agricultural practices and use of eco-friendly methods for sustainable crop production under such situations. In this context, Trichoderma species could be a model fungus to sustain crop productivity. Currently, these are widely used as inoculants for biocontrol, biofertilization, and phytostimulation. They are reported to improve photosynthetic efficiency, enhance nutrient uptake and increase nitrogen use efficiency in crops. Moreover, they can be used to produce bio-energy, facilitate plants for adaptation and mitigate adverse effect of climate change. The technological advancement in high throughput DNA sequencing and biotechnology provided deep insight into the complex and diverse biotic interactions established in nature by Trichoderma spp. and efforts are being made to translate this knowledge to enhance crop growth, resistance to disease and tolerance to abiotic stresses under field conditions. The discovery of several traits and genes that are involved in the beneficial effects of Trichoderma spp. has resulted in better understanding of the performance of bioinoculants in the field, and will lead to more efficient use of these strains and possibly to their improvement by genetic modification. The present mini-review is an effort to elucidate the molecular basis of plant growth promotion and defence activation by Trichoderma spp. to garner broad perspectives regarding their functioning and applicability for climate resilient agriculture.

  1. Improved Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Crop Production at the Catchment Scale via a Process-Based Nitrogen Simulation Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Wenjie; van der Werf, Hayo M G; Salmon-Monviola, Jordy

    2015-09-15

    One of the major challenges in environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of crop production is the nonlinearity between nitrogen (N) fertilizer inputs and on-site N emissions resulting from complex biogeochemical processes. A few studies have addressed this nonlinearity by combining process-based N simulation models with LCA, but none accounted for nitrate (NO3(-)) flows across fields. In this study, we present a new method, TNT2-LCA, that couples the topography-based simulation of nitrogen transfer and transformation (TNT2) model with LCA, and compare the new method with a current LCA method based on a French life cycle inventory database. Application of the two methods to a case study of crop production in a catchment in France showed that, compared to the current method, TNT2-LCA allows delineation of more appropriate temporal limits when developing data for on-site N emissions associated with specific crops in this catchment. It also improves estimates of NO3(-) emissions by better consideration of agricultural practices, soil-climatic conditions, and spatial interactions of NO3(-) flows across fields, and by providing predicted crop yield. The new method presented in this study provides improved LCA of crop production at the catchment scale.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Matthew

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Tanzanian farmers' knowledge and attitudes to GM biotechnology and the potential use of GM crops to provide improved levels of food security. A Qualitative Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Christopher P; Newell, James N; Herron, Caroline M; Nawabu, Haidari

    2010-07-12

    Genetically Modified (GM) crops have been championed as one possible method to improve food security and individual nutritional status in sub Saharan Africa. Understanding and acceptability of GM crop technology to farmers and consumers have not been assessed. We developed a qualitative research study involving farmers as both producers and consumers to gauge the understanding of GM crop technology, its acceptability, and identifying issues of concern. Nineteen individual interviews (10 male and 9 female) and five mixed gender focus group discussions with local farmers were conducted in 3 regions in Tanzania. Analysis took place concurrently with data collection. Following initial interviews, subsequent questions were adjusted based on emerging themes. Understanding, awareness and knowledge of GM crop technology and terminology and its potential risks and benefits was very poor in all regions. Receptivity to the potential use of GM crops was, however, high. Respondents focused on the potential benefits of GM crops rather than any potential longer term health risks. A number of factors, most significantly field trial data, would influence farmers' decisions regarding the introduction of GM crop varieties into their farming practice. Understanding of the potential improved health provision possible by changes in agricultural practice and food-related decision making, and the health benefits of a diet containing essential vitamins, minerals and micronutrients is also poor in these communities. This study forms a basis from which further research work can be undertaken. It is important to continue to assess opinions and attitudes of farmers and consumers in sub Saharan Africa towards potential use of GM technologies whilst highlighting the importance of the relationship between agriculture, health and development. This will allow people in the region to make accurate, informed decisions about whether they believe use of GM biotechnology is an appropriate way in which

  5. Global Status of Genetically Modified Crops: Current Trends and Prospects

    OpenAIRE

    Hautea, Randy A.

    2002-01-01

    Modern biotechnology-facilitated crop improvement is undoubtedly one of the most significant technological developments in agriculture. The first wave of genetically-modified (GM) or transgenic crops include cultivars with important input traits such as herbicide tolerance and insect resistance. Future products are expected to provide benefits that could include tolerance to environmental stresses and enhanced nutritional content, which can be particularly valuable in crops that are important...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-11

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

  7. Crop diversification and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe: adaptive management for environmental change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makate, Clifton; Wang, Rongchang; Makate, Marshall; Mango, Nelson

    2016-01-01

    This paper demonstrates how crop diversification impacts on two outcomes of climate smart agriculture; increased productivity (legume and cereal crop productivity) and enhanced resilience (household income, food security, and nutrition) in rural Zimbabwe. Using data from over 500 smallholder farmers, we jointly estimate crop diversification and each of the outcome variables within a conditional (recursive) mixed process framework that corrects for selectivity bias arising due to the voluntary nature of crop diversification. We find that crop diversification depends on the land size, farming experience, asset wealth, location, access to agricultural extension services, information on output prices, low transportation costs and general information access. Our results also indicate that an increase in the rate of adoption improves crop productivity, income, food security and nutrition at household level. Overall, our results are indicative of the importance of crop diversification as a viable climate smart agriculture practice that significantly enhances crop productivity and consequently resilience in rural smallholder farming systems. We, therefore, recommend wider adoption of diversified cropping systems notably those currently less diversified for greater adaptation to the ever-changing climate.

  8. Isotopes in tropical agriculture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1962-04-15

    Ways in which the use of radioisotopes and radiation can help to improve the agriculture of tropical Africa were discussed by a panel of experts. The panel included scientists from Africa, Europe, and the United States, most of whom had had actual experience dealing with agricultural problems in various parts of tropical Africa. The experts agreed that radioisotopes and radiation might now be employed to particular advantage in tropical Africa to improve crop nutrition and combat insect pests. Other applications discussed were in the fields of hydrology, plant breeding and food preservation

  9. Isotopes in tropical agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1962-01-01

    Ways in which the use of radioisotopes and radiation can help to improve the agriculture of tropical Africa were discussed by a panel of experts. The panel included scientists from Africa, Europe, and the United States, most of whom had had actual experience dealing with agricultural problems in various parts of tropical Africa. The experts agreed that radioisotopes and radiation might now be employed to particular advantage in tropical Africa to improve crop nutrition and combat insect pests. Other applications discussed were in the fields of hydrology, plant breeding and food preservation

  10. Estimating the Impact and Spillover Effect of Climate Change on Crop Yield in Northern Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botchway, E.

    2016-12-01

    In tropical regions of the world human-induced climate change is likely to impact negatively on crop yields. To investigate the impact of climate change and its spillover effect on mean and variance of crop yields in northern Ghana, the Just and Pope stochastic production function and the Spatial Durbin model were adopted. Surprisingly, the results suggest that both precipitation and average temperature have positive effects on mean crop yield during the wet season. Wet season average temperature has a significant spillover effect in the region, whereas precipitation during the wet season has only one significant spillover effect on maize yield. Wet season precipitation does not have a strong significant effect on crop yield despite the rainfed nature of agriculture in the region. Thus, even if there are losers and winners as a result of future climate change at the regional level, future crop yield would largely depend on future technological development in agriculture, which may improve yields over time despite the changing climate. We argue, therefore, that technical improvement in farm management such as improved seeds and fertilizers, conservation tillage and better pest control, may have a more significant role in increasing observed crop productivity levels over time. So investigating the relative importance of non-climatic factors on crop yield may shed more light on where appropriate interventions can help in improving crop yields. Climate change, also, needs to be urgently assessed at the level of the household, so that poor and vulnerable people dependent on agriculture can be appropriately targeted in research and development activities whose object is poverty alleviation.

  11. Saline agriculture in Mediterranean environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albino Maggio

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Salinization is increasingly affecting world's agricultural land causing serious yield loss and soil degradation. Understanding how we could improve crop productivity in salinized environments is therefore critical to meet the challenging goal of feeding 9.3 billion people by 2050. Our comprehension of fundamental physiological mechanisms in plant salt stress adaptation has greatly advanced over the last decades. However, many of these mechanisms have been linked to salt tolerance in simplified experimental systems whereas they have been rarely functionally proven in real agricultural contexts. In-depth analyses of specific crop-salinity interactions could reveal important aspects of plant salt stress adaptation as well as novel physiological/agronomic targets to improve salinity tolerance. These include the developmental role of root vs. shoot systems respect to water-ion homeostasis, morphological vs. metabolic contributions to stress adaptation, developmental processes vs. seasonal soil salinity evolution, residual effects of saline irrigation in non-irrigated crops, critical parameters of salt tolerance in soil-less systems and controlled environments, response to multiple stresses. Finally, beneficial effects of salinization on qualitative parameters such as stress-induced accumulation of high nutritional value secondary metabolites should be considered, also. In this short review we attempted to highlight the multifaceted nature of salinity in Mediterranean agricultural systems by summarizing most experimental activity carried out at the Department of Agricultural Engineering and Agronomy of University of Naples Federico II in the last few years.

  12. Land Use, Yield and Quality Changes of Minor Field Crops: Is There Superseded Potential to Be Reinvented in Northern Europe?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltonen-Sainio, Pirjo; Jauhiainen, Lauri; Lehtonen, Heikki

    2016-01-01

    Diversification of agriculture was one of the strengthened aims of the greening payment of European Agricultural Policy (CAP) as diversification provides numerous ecosystems services compared to cereal-intensive crop rotations. This study focuses on current minor crops in Finland that have potential for expanded production and considers changes in their cropping areas, yield trends, breeding gains, roles in crop rotations and potential for improving resilience. Long-term datasets of Natural Resources Institute Finland and farmers' land use data from the Agency of Rural Affairs were used to analyze the above-mentioned trends and changes. The role of minor crops in rotations declined when early and late CAP periods were compared and that of cereal monocultures strengthened. Genetic yield potentials of minor crops have increased as also genetic improvements in quality traits, although some typical trade-offs with improved yields have also appeared. However, the gap between potential and attained yields has expanded, depending on the minor crop, as national yield trends have either stagnated or declined. When comparing genetic improvements of minor crops to those of the emerging major crop, spring wheat, breeding achievements in minor crops were lower. It was evident that the current agricultural policies in the prevailing market and the price environment have not encouraged cultivation of minor crops but further strengthened the role of cereal monocultures. We suggest optimization of agricultural land use, which is a core element of sustainable intensification, as a future means to couple long-term environmental sustainability with better success in economic profitability and social acceptability. This calls for development of effective policy instruments to support farmer's diversification actions.

  13. Improving productivity in agriculture. One of the five key areas to sustainable development where progress is possible with the resources and technologies at our disposal today

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2002-01-01

    Despite progress made since the 1996 World Food Summit that set the goal of halving the number of undernourished people by the 2015, serious food insecurity persists in many parts of the world. Although more food is being produced worldwide than ever before, some 800 million people are still chronically malnourished. Improving agricultural productivity is a driving force for both economic and social development. When agriculture falters, income sources are lost, social ties are disrupted, and, as a result, societies become more mobile. Up-to-date technologies, improved plant and animal stock, and better soil and water management practices not only combat food insecurity, they are also important to achieving sustainable agriculture practices essential to maintaining an appropriate balance between conservation and use of all the resources required to grow crops and raise livestock. Through its programme in Food and Agriculture operated with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) works to enhance capacities at national and international levels for identifying and alleviating constraints to sustainable food security by facilitating development and adoption of nuclear and related biotechnologies. With an annual budget of nearly $10 million, this programme helps Member States to improve productivity in agriculture, particularly through better water and soil management practices, efficient crop nutrition, and control of insect pests

  14. Radiation technology for enhancing agriculture productivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D'Souza, S.F.

    2016-01-01

    Radiations and radioisotopes are used in agricultural research to develop improved crop varieties, to manage insect pests, monitor fate of pesticides, to study fertilizer and plant micronutrient uptake and to preserve agricultural produce. This is one of the important fields of peaceful applications of atomic energy for societal benefit. Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has contributed significantly in this area especially in the development of new mutant crop varieties which are benefitting the farmers in enhancing their productivity. With an effective blend of induced mutagenesis and recombination breeding, 42 new crop varieties developed at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) have been released and Gazette notified by the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India for commercial cultivation. These include 21 in oilseeds (15-groundnut, 3 mustard , 2 soybean, 1 sunflower), 19 in pulses (8-mungbean, 5-urdbean, 5-pigeonpea, 1-cowpea) and one each in rice and jute. Some of the desirable traits which have been bred through induced mutations in these crops include higher yields, improved quality traits, early maturity and resistance to biotic and abiotic stress. Several of these varieties have high patronage from the farming community and are grown extensively across the country. Groundnut varieties have given record yields in farmer's fields. Pulses such as mung, urid and tur are popular among farmers in view of their disease resistance and suitability to rice fallow situations. Many of the breeding programmes in national/state systems have been utilizing BARC varieties as parental materials/donors and have developed several other improved varieties using them. (author)

  15. Enhancing Sustainable Development of Diverse Agriculture in Bangladesh

    OpenAIRE

    Alam, Jahangir

    2005-01-01

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

  16. [Overview of organic agriculture development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiao Mei; Yu, Hong Jun; Li, Qiang; Jiang, Wei Jie

    2016-04-22

    This paper introduced the concepts of organic agriculture as defined by different international organizations, origin and theoretical development of organic agriculture, as well as its developing trajectory in China (i.e. a late start followed by rapid growth compared to developed countries). The differences between domestic and international organic agriculture were illustrated by scale, crop types, production standards, inputs and planting techniques. Constraints limiting improvements to organic agriculture in aspects of standards, technology, marketing, certification, environmental pollution, enterprise reputation, and national policies were discussed. Future directions and strategies for developing healthy organic agriculture in China were provided.

  17. Retrospective Analog Year Analyses Using NASA Satellite Precipitation and Soil Moisture Data to Improve USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teng, William; Shannon, Harlan; Mladenova, Iliana; Fang, Fan

    2010-01-01

    A primary goal of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is to expand markets for U.S. agricultural products and support global economic development. The USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) supports this goal by coordinating monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) for the U.S. and major foreign producing countries. Because weather has a significant impact on crop progress, conditions, and production, WAOB prepares frequent agricultural weather assessments, in a GIS-based, Global Agricultural Decision Support Environment (GLADSE). The main goal of this project, thus, is to improve WAOB's estimates by integrating NASA remote sensing soil moisture observations and research results into GLADSE (See diagram below). Soil moisture is currently a primary data gap at WAOB.

  18. 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

  19. Simultaneous improvement in productivity, water use, and albedo through crop structural modification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drewry, Darren T; Kumar, Praveen; Long, Stephen P

    2014-06-01

    Spanning 15% of the global ice-free terrestrial surface, agricultural lands provide an immense and near-term opportunity to address climate change, food, and water security challenges. Through the computationally informed breeding of canopy structural traits away from those of modern cultivars, we show that solutions exist that increase productivity and water use efficiency, while increasing land-surface reflectivity to offset greenhouse gas warming. Plants have evolved to maximize capture of radiation in the upper leaves, thus shading competitors. While important for survival in the wild, this is suboptimal in monoculture crop fields for maximizing productivity and other biogeophysical services. Crop progenitors evolved over the last 25 million years in an atmosphere with less than half the [CO2] projected for 2050. By altering leaf photosynthetic rates, rising [CO2] and temperature may also alter the optimal canopy form. Here using soybean, the world's most important protein crop, as an example we show by applying optimization routines to a micrometeorological leaf canopy model linked to a steady-state model of photosynthesis, that significant gains in production, water use, and reflectivity are possible with no additional demand on resources. By modifying total canopy leaf area, its vertical profile and angular distribution, and shortwave radiation reflectivity, all traits available in most major crop germplasm collections, increases in productivity (7%) are possible with no change in water use or albedo. Alternatively, improvements in water use (13%) or albedo (34%) can likewise be made with no loss of productivity, under Corn Belt climate conditions. © 2014 California Institute of Technology. Government sponsorship acknowledged.

  20. An overview of intellectual property rights in relation to agricultural ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The majority of the population in developing nations depends on agriculture. Agricultural biotechnology involves genetic modification and promises a number of important benefits, such as improving agricultural yields by increasing the resistance of crops to pests and facilitating them to flourish in harsh natural environments ...

  1. Potential of in vitro mutation breeding for the improvement of vegetatively propagated crop plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Constantin, M.J.

    1984-01-01

    Significant progress has been realized in a number of technologies (e.g., protoplast cultures), collectively referred to as plant cell and tissue culture, within the last decade. In vitro culture technologies offer great potentials for the improvement of crop plants, both sexually and asexually propagated; however, to realize these potentials plant regeneration from selected cells must be achieved for the species of interest. Where whole plants have been regenerated from selected cells, the mutant trait was expressed in some but not in all cases, and the inheritance patterns included maternal, recessive, semi-dominant and dominant (epigenetic events have also been reported). Improved cultivars of sugarcane have been developed from in vitro culture selections. In vitro mutation breeding can be done using an array of physical and chemical mutagens that has been found to be effective in the treatment of seeds, pollen, vegetative plant parts and growing plants. Selection at the cell level for a range of mutant traits has been demonstrated; however, innovative selection schemes will have to be developed to select for agriculturally important traits such as date of maturity, resistance to lodging, height etc. An interdisciplinary team approach involving the combined use of in vitro culture technology, mutagenesis, and plant breeding/genetics offers the greatest probability for success in crop improvement. (author)

  2. Microbial biomass and nutrient dynamics during decomposition of cover crop mixtures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Drost, S.M.

    2016-01-01

    Sustainable agriculture is needed to reduce losses of soil organic matter (SOM) and to ensure crop production with a minimum of negative impact on the environment. Cover crops, planted in the fallow season, are commonly used to improve soil functions, such as soil structure, nutrient cycling,

  3. Impacts of Stratospheric Black Carbon on Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  4. Crop residue management in arable cropping systems under a temperate climate. Part 2: Soil physical properties and crop production. A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiel, MP.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Residues of previous crops provide a valuable amount of organic matter that can be used either to restore soil fertility or for external use. A better understanding of the impact of crop residue management on the soil-water-plant system is needed in order to manage agricultural land sustainably. This review focuses on soil physical aspects related to crop residue management, and specifically on the link between soil structure and hydraulic properties and its impact on crop production. Literature. Conservation practices, including crop residue retention and non-conventional tillage, can enhance soil health by improving aggregate stability. In this case, water infiltration is facilitated, resulting in an increase in plant water availability. Conservation practices, however, do not systematically lead to higher water availability for the plant. The influence of crop residue management on crop production is still unclear; in some cases, crop production is enhanced by residue retention, but in others crop residues can reduce crop yield. Conclusions. In this review we discuss the diverse and contrasting effects of crop residue management on soil physical properties and crop production under a temperate climate. The review highlights the importance of environmental factors such as soil type and local climatic conditions, highlighting the need to perform field studies on crop residue management and relate them to specific pedo-climatic contexts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 7 CFR 457.166 - Blueberry crop insurance provisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  9. 7 CFR 457.162 - Nursery crop insurance provisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

  10. 7 CFR 457.123 - Almond crop insurance provisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Mapping Cropping Practices of a Sugarcane-Based Cropping System in Kenya Using Remote Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Betty Mulianga

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Over the recent past, there has been a growing concern on the need for mapping cropping practices in order to improve decision-making in the agricultural sector. We developed an original method for mapping cropping practices: crop type and harvest mode, in a sugarcane landscape of western Kenya using remote sensing data. At local scale, a temporal series of 15-m resolution Landsat 8 images was obtained for Kibos sugar management zone over 20 dates (April 2013 to March 2014 to characterize cropping practices. To map the crop type and harvest mode we used ground survey and factory data over 1280 fields, digitized field boundaries, and spectral indices (the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI and the Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI were computed for all Landsat images. The results showed NDVI classified crop type at 83.3% accuracy, while NDWI classified harvest mode at 90% accuracy. The crop map will inform better planning decisions for the sugar industry operations, while the harvest mode map will be used to plan for sensitizations forums on best management and environmental practices.

  12. [Effects of agricultural practices on community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in agricultural ecosystem: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Ping-Ping; Li, Min; Liu, Run-Jin

    2011-06-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are rich in diversity in agricultural ecosystem, playing a vital role based on their unique community structure. Host plants and environmental factors have important effects on AM fungal community structure, so do the agricultural practices which deserve to pay attention to. This paper summarized the research advances in the effects of agricultural practices such as irrigation, fertilization, crop rotation, intercropping, tillage, and pesticide application on AM fungal community structure, analyzed the related possible mechanisms, discussed the possible ways in improving AM fungal community structure in agricultural ecosystem, and put forward a set of countermeasures, i.e., improving fertilization system and related integrated techniques, increasing plant diversity in agricultural ecosystem, and inoculating AM fungi, to enhance the AM fungal diversity in agricultural ecosystem. The existing problems in current agricultural practices and further research directions were also proposed.

  13. 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.

  14. The apotheosis of conservation agriculture- A review

    OpenAIRE

    Hossain, M.M.

    2013-01-01

    This paper focuses on conservation agriculture (CA), defined as minimal soil disturbance (no-till) and crop residue retention (mulch) combined with crop rotations. The paper then describes the principles based on which CA runs with briefing suggested improvement on conservation tillage, where no-till, mulch and rotations significantly improve soil properties and other biotic factors. This paper also describes some cons of CA with its future strategies. A Case study from the rice-wheat areas o...

  15. Enhancing water and fertilizer saving without compromising rice yield through integrated crop management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wardana, I.P.; Gani, A.; Abdulrachmann, S.; Bindraban, P.S.; Keulen, van H.

    2010-01-01

    Water and fertilizer scarcity amid the increasing need of rice production challenges today’s agriculture. Integrated crop management (ICM) is a combination of water, crop, and nutrient management that optimizes the synergistic interaction of these components aiming at improving resource use

  16. Evaluating and predicting the effectiveness of farmland consolidation on improving agricultural productivity in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Yeting; Jin, Xiaobin; Xiang, Xiaomin; Gan, Le; Yang, Xuhong; Zhang, Zhihong; Zhou, Yinkang

    2018-01-01

    Food security has always been a focus issue in China. Farmland consolidation (FC) was regarded as a critical way to increase the quantity and improve the quality of farmland to ensure food security by Chinese government. FC projects have been nationwide launched, however few studies focused on evaluating the effectiveness of FC at a national scale. As such, an efficient way to evaluate the effectiveness of FC on improving agricultural productivity in China will be needed and it is critical for future national land consolidation planning. In this study, we selected 7505 FC projects completed between 2006 and 2013 with good quality Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) as samples to evaluate the effectiveness of FC. We used time-series Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer NDVI from 2001 to 2013, to extract four indicators to characterize agricultural productivity change of 4442 FC projects completed between 2006 and 2010, i.e., productivity level (PL), productivity variation (PV), productivity potential (PP), and multi-cropping index (MI). On this basis, we further predicted the same four characteristics for 3063 FC projects completed between 2011 and 2013, respectively, using Support Vector Machines (SVM). We found FC showed an overall effective status on improving agricultural productivity between 2006 and 2013 in China, especially on upgrading PL and improving PP. The positive effect was more prominent in the southeast and eastern China. It is noteworthy that 27.30% of all the 7505 projects were still ineffective on upgrading PL, the elementary improvement of agricultural productivity. Finally, we proposed that location-specific factors should be taken into consideration for launching FC projects and diverse financial sources are also needed for supporting FC. The results provide a reference for government to arrange FC projects reasonably and to formulate land consolidation planning in a proper way that better improve the effectiveness of FC.

  17. Evaluating and predicting the effectiveness of farmland consolidation on improving agricultural productivity in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiang, Xiaomin; Gan, Le; Yang, Xuhong; Zhang, Zhihong; Zhou, Yinkang

    2018-01-01

    Food security has always been a focus issue in China. Farmland consolidation (FC) was regarded as a critical way to increase the quantity and improve the quality of farmland to ensure food security by Chinese government. FC projects have been nationwide launched, however few studies focused on evaluating the effectiveness of FC at a national scale. As such, an efficient way to evaluate the effectiveness of FC on improving agricultural productivity in China will be needed and it is critical for future national land consolidation planning. In this study, we selected 7505 FC projects completed between 2006 and 2013 with good quality Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) as samples to evaluate the effectiveness of FC. We used time-series Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer NDVI from 2001 to 2013, to extract four indicators to characterize agricultural productivity change of 4442 FC projects completed between 2006 and 2010, i.e., productivity level (PL), productivity variation (PV), productivity potential (PP), and multi-cropping index (MI). On this basis, we further predicted the same four characteristics for 3063 FC projects completed between 2011 and 2013, respectively, using Support Vector Machines (SVM). We found FC showed an overall effective status on improving agricultural productivity between 2006 and 2013 in China, especially on upgrading PL and improving PP. The positive effect was more prominent in the southeast and eastern China. It is noteworthy that 27.30% of all the 7505 projects were still ineffective on upgrading PL, the elementary improvement of agricultural productivity. Finally, we proposed that location-specific factors should be taken into consideration for launching FC projects and diverse financial sources are also needed for supporting FC. The results provide a reference for government to arrange FC projects reasonably and to formulate land consolidation planning in a proper way that better improve the effectiveness of FC

  18. Genetic improvement of under-utilized and neglected crops in low income food deficit countries through irradiation and related techniques. Proceedings of a final research coordination meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2004-11-01

    The majority of the world's food is produced from only a few crops, and yet many neglected and under-utilized crops are extremely important for food production in low income food deficit countries (LIFDCs). As the human population grows at an alarming rate in LIFDCs, food availability has declined and is also affected due to environmental factors, lack of improvement of local crop species, erosion of genetic diversity and dependence on a few crop species for food supply. Neglected crops are traditionally grown by farmers in their centres of origin or centres of diversity, where they are still important for the subsistence of local communities, and maintained by socio-cultural preferences and traditional uses. These crops remain inadequately characterised and, until very recently, have been largely ignored by research and conservation. Farmers are losing these crops because they are less competitive with improved major crop species. Radiation-induced mutation techniques have successfully been used that benefited the most genetic improvement of 'major crops' and their know-how have a great potential for enhancing the use of under-utilized and neglected species and speeding up their domestication and crop improvement. The FAO/IAEA efforts on genetic improvement of under-utilized and neglected species play a strategic role in complementing the work that is being carried out worldwide in their promotion. This CRP entitled Genetic Improvement of Under-utilized and Neglected Crops in LIFDCs through Irradiation and Related Techniques was initiated in 1998 with an overall objective to improve food security, enhance nutritional balance, and promote sustainable agriculture in LIFDCs. Specific objectives addressed major constraints to productivity of neglected and under-utilized crops by genetic improvement with radiation-induced mutations and biotechnology in order to enhance economic viability and sustain crop species diversity, and in future to benefit small farmers. This

  19. Eight years of Conservation Agriculture-based cropping systems research in Eastern Africa to conserve soil and water and mitigate effects of climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araya, Tesfay; Nyssen, Jan; Govaerts, Bram; Lanckriet, Sil; Baudron, Frédéric; Deckers, Jozef; Cornelis, Wim

    2014-05-01

    In Ethiopia, repeated plowing, complete removal of crop residues at harvest, aftermath grazing of crop fields and occurrence of repeated droughts have reduced the biomass return to the soil and aggravated cropland degradation. Conservation Agriculture (CA)-based resource conserving cropping systems may reduce runoff and soil erosion, and improve soil quality, thereby increasing crop productivity. Thus, a long-term tillage experiment has been carried out (2005 to 2012) on a Vertisol to quantify - among others - changes in runoff and soil loss for two local tillage practices, modified to integrate CA principles in semi-arid northern Ethiopia. The experimental layout was a randomized complete block design with three replications on permanent plots of 5 m by 19 m. The tillage treatments were (i) derdero+ (DER+) with a furrow and permanent raised bed planting system, ploughed only once at planting by refreshing the furrow from 2005 to 2012 and 30% standing crop residue retention, (ii) terwah+ (TER+) with furrows made at 1.5 m interval, plowed once at planting, 30% standing crop residue retention and fresh broad beds, and (iii) conventional tillage (CT) with a minimum of three plain tillage operations and complete removal of crop residues. All the plowing and reshaping of the furrows was done using the local ard plough mahresha and wheat, teff, barley and grass pea were grown. Glyphosate was sprayed starting from the third year onwards (2007) at 2 l ha-1 before planting to control pre-emergent weeds in CA plots. Runoff and soil loss were measured daily. Soil water content was monitored every 6 days. Significantly different (pconstitute a field rainwater and soil conservation improvement strategy that enhances crop and economic productivity and reduces siltation of reservoirs, especially under changing climate. The reduction in draught power requirement would enable a reduction in oxen density and crop residue demand for livestock feed, which would encourage smallholder

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Savin Dragana

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Induced mutations for crop improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Micke, A.; Donini, B.; Maluszynski, M.

    1990-01-01

    Mutation induction has become an established tool in plant breeding to supplement existing germ plasma and to improve cultivars in certain specific traits. Hundreds of improved varieties have been released to farmers for many different crop species, demonstrating the economic value of the technology. Limitations arise mainly from the large mutagenized populations to be screened and from the unsatisfactory selection methods. Both limitations may be eased to some extent by advances in techniques of plant in-vitro culture. (author). Refs, 1 fig., 7 tabs

  2. Achievements and trends of using induced mutations in crop improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nichterlein, K.; Maluszynski, M.; ); Bohlmann, H.; Nielen, S.; )

    2000-01-01

    Mutation techniques have been employed for the genetic improvement of crops and ornamentals leading to the official release of more than 2200 improved varieties. Some of them have made a major impact on crop productivity and achieved great economic success. Induced mutations play an important role in plant genome research to understand the function of genes aiming to improve food security and diversity. (author)

  3. Stimulating innovation for global monitoring of agriculture and its impact on the environment in support of GEOGLAM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bydekerke, Lieven; Gilliams, Sven; Gobin, Anne

    2015-04-01

    There is an urgent need to ensure food supply for a growing global population. To enable a sustainable growth of agricultural production, effective and timely information is required to support decision making and to improve management of agricultural resources. This requires innovative ways and monitoring methods that will not only improve short-term crop production forecasts, but also allow to assess changes in cultivation practices, agricultural areas, agriculture in general and, its impact on the environment. The G20 launched in June 2011 the "GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring initiative (GEOGLAM), requesting the GEO (Group on Earth Observations) Agricultural Community of Practice to implement GEOGLAM with the main objective to improve crop yield forecasts as an input to the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS), in order to foster stabilisation of markets and increase transparency on agricultural production. In response to this need, the European Commission decided in 2013 to fund an international partnership to contribute to GEOGLAM and its research agenda. The resulting SIGMA project (Stimulating Innovation for Global Monitoring of Agriculture), a partnership of 23 globally distributed expert organisations, focusses on developing datasets and innovative techniques 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 characterise 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, will be 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 will be explored to assess crop

  4. 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.

  5. Crop stress detection and classification using hyperspectral remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irby, Jon Trenton

    Agricultural production has observed many changes in technology over the last 20 years. Producers are able to utilize technologies such as site-specific applicators and remotely sensed data to assist with decision making for best management practices which can improve crop production and provide protection to the environment. It is known that plant stress can interfere with photosynthetic reactions within the plant and/or the physical structure of the plant. Common types of stress associated with agricultural crops include herbicide induced stress, nutrient stress, and drought stress from lack of water. Herbicide induced crop stress is not a new problem. However, with increased acreage being planting in varieties/hybrids that contain herbicide resistant traits, herbicide injury to non-target crops will continue to be problematic for producers. With rapid adoption of herbicide-tolerant cropping systems, it is likely that herbicide induced stress will continue to be a major concern. To date, commercially available herbicide-tolerant varieties/hybrids contain traits which allow herbicides like glyphosate and glufosinate-ammonium to be applied as a broadcast application during the growing season. Both glyphosate and glufosinate-ammonium are broad spectrum herbicides which have activity on a large number of plant species, including major crops like non-transgenic soybean, corn, and cotton. Therefore, it is possible for crop stress from herbicide applications to occur in neighboring fields that contain susceptible crop varieties/hybrids. Nutrient and moisture stress as well as stress caused by herbicide applications can interact to influence yields in agricultural fields. If remotely sensed data can be used to accurately identify specific levels of crop stress, it is possible that producers can use this information to better assist them in crop management to maximize yields and protect their investments. This research was conducted to evaluate classification of specific

  6. Starch Biosynthesis in Crop Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian J. Tetlow

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Starch is a water-insoluble polyglucan synthesized inside the plastids of plant tissues to provide a store of carbohydrate. Starch harvested from plant storage organs has probably represented the major source of calories for the human diet since before the dawn of civilization. Following the advent of agriculture and the building of complex societies, humans have maintained their dependence on high-yielding domesticated starch-forming crops such as cereals to meet food demands, livestock production, and many non-food applications. The top three crops in terms of acreage are cereals, grown primarily for the harvestable storage starch in the endosperm, although many starchy tuberous crops also provide an important source of calories for various communities around the world. Despite conservation in the core structure of the starch granule, starches from different botanical sources show a high degree of variability, which is exploited in many food and non-food applications. Understanding the factors underpinning starch production and its final structure are of critical importance in guiding future crop improvement endeavours. This special issue contains reviews on these topics and is intended to be a useful resource for researchers involved in improvement of starch-storing crops.

  7. Water footprint as an indicator of agricultural productivity in African countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chico Zamanillo, Daniel; Zhang, Guoping; Mathews, Ruth

    2017-04-01

    Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the regions with the largest scope for improved agricultural development that would contribute to global food security while respecting environmental boundaries. More importantly, undernourishment is a challenge for many African countries and needs to be addressed to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This study was conducted to support the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affair's Inclusive Green Growth aim of increasing water use efficiency by 25% in Dutch financed projects. A water footprint profile was developed for 7 Sub-Saharan countries; Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique and Rwanda. The profiles provide an overview of water use from the perspective of the goods produced within the country, the consumption of goods, in particular agricultural crops, whether these goods are produced domestically or imported from other countries and the level of blue water scarcity experienced in the country. Across all countries, key food crops such as maize, and sorghum have low water productivity relative to the global water footprint benchmark. Export crops such as tea in Kenya or cocoa in Ghana show a good performance over global production. Furthermore, the water footprint of crops over the period 2006-2013 was compared to data from the period 1996-2005. Changes in yield and the resulting changes in the water footprint were assessed for both food and export crops. Yields in food crops improved in some countries, and in some years, but not consistently across all countries and years. The greatest gains in water productivity were in key export crops. The results provide insights into whether improvements have been made in water productivity in recent years and through comparison with the global water footprint benchmark, remaining opportunities for further gains in water productivity were identified. Going forward, policies that will enhance further improvement in water productivity and support greater food and

  8. Mapping Multi-Cropped Land Use to Estimate Water Demand Using the California Pesticide Reporting Database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henson, W.; Baillie, M. N.; Martin, D.

    2017-12-01

    Detailed and dynamic land-use data is one of the biggest data deficiencies facing food and water security issues. Better land-use data results in improved integrated hydrologic models that are needed to look at the feedback between land and water use, specifically for adequately representing changes and dynamics in rainfall-runoff, urban and agricultural water demands, and surface fluxes of water (e.g., evapotranspiration, runoff, and infiltration). Currently, land-use data typically are compiled from annual (e.g., Crop Scape) or multi-year composites if mapped at all. While this approach provides information about interannual land-use practices, it does not capture the dynamic changes in highly developed agricultural lands prevalent in California agriculture such as (1) dynamic land-use changes from high frequency multi-crop rotations and (2) uncertainty in sub-annual crop distribution, planting times, and cropped areas. California has collected spatially distributed data for agricultural pesticide use since 1974 through the California Pesticide Information Portal (CalPIP). A method leveraging the CalPIP database has been developed to provide vital information about dynamic agricultural land use (e.g., crop distribution and planting times) and water demand issues in Salinas Valley, California, along the central coast. This 7 billion dollar/year agricultural area produces up to 50% of U.S. lettuce and broccoli. Therefore, effective and sustainable water resource development in the area must balance the needs of this essential industry, other beneficial uses, and the environment. This new tool provides a way to provide more dynamic crop data in hydrologic models. While the current application focuses on the Salinas Valley, the methods are extensible to all of California and other states with similar pesticide reporting. The improvements in representing variability in crop patterns and associated water demands increase our understanding of land-use change and

  9. Nuclear techniques in agriculture in the Philippines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Medina, F.I.S. III; Medina, V.F.O.

    1994-01-01

    Nuclear techniques, both isotopic tracers and radiation have been utilized in the Philippine agricultural research and development to improve food production, reduce food losses and protect the environment. The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI), a government agency has been mandated to promote the peaceful application of nuclear energy to accelerate national development. It takes the lead role in nuclear assisted agricultural research and development and has adopted a two-pronged approach for food and agricultural R and D by increasing productivity through crop improvement by mutation breeding, soil management and fertilizer uptake studies, livestock improvement; and reducing losses by pest control and food irradiation

  10. Assessing gaps in irrigated agricultural productivity through satellite earth observations-A case study of the Fergana Valley, Central Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Löw, Fabian; Biradar, Chandrashekhar; Fliemann, Elisabeth; Lamers, John P. A.; Conrad, Christopher

    2017-07-01

    Improving crop area and/or crop yields in agricultural regions is one of the foremost scientific challenges for the next decades. This is especially true in irrigated areas because sustainable intensification of irrigated crop production is virtually the sole means to enhance food supply and contribute to meeting food demands of a growing population. Yet, irrigated crop production worldwide is suffering from soil degradation and salinity, reduced soil fertility, and water scarcity rendering the performance of irrigation schemes often below potential. On the other hand, the scope for improving irrigated agricultural productivity remains obscure also due to the lack of spatial data on agricultural production (e.g. crop acreage and yield). To fill this gap, satellite earth observations and a replicable methodology were used to estimate crop yields at the field level for the period 2010/2014 in the Fergana Valley, Central Asia, to understand the response of agricultural productivity to factors related to the irrigation and drainage infrastructure and environment. The results showed that cropping pattern, i.e. the presence or absence of multi-annual crop rotations, and spatial diversity of crops had the most persistent effects on crop yields across observation years suggesting the need for introducing sustainable cropping systems. On the other hand, areas with a lower crop diversity or abundance of crop rotation tended to have lower crop yields, with differences of partly more than one t/ha yield. It is argued that factors related to the infrastructure, for example, the distance of farms to the next settlement or the density of roads, had a persistent effect on crop yield dynamics over time. The improvement potential of cotton and wheat yields were estimated at 5%, compared to crop yields of farms in the direct vicinity of settlements or roads. In this study it is highlighted how remotely sensed estimates of crop production in combination with geospatial technologies

  11. Cisgenesis and Intragenesis: New tools For Improving Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Espinoza

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO could be the answer for many relevant problems affecting crops. However, improving crops through GMO is also often associated with safety concerns, environmental risks and health issues due to the presence of foreign DNA. These limitations have prompted the development of alternative technologies. Recently, cisgenesis and intragenesis have been developed as new tools aimed to modify crops. While cisgenesis involves genetic modification using a complete copy of natural genes with their regulatory elements that belong exclusively to sexually compatible plants, intragenesis refers to the transference of new combinations of genes and regulatory sequences belonging to that particular species. So far, application of cisgenesis and intragenesis as alternatives to conventional transgenesis are limited to a few species, mainly due to the lack of knowledge of the regulatory sequences required. The grape is one of the most cultivated crops worldwide and is the most economically relevant crop in Chile. Its genomic sequence has been completed, making available new sources of information to improve grape traits by genetic manipulation. This review is focused on the current alternatives to transgenesis in plants, including new approaches to develop marker-free crops, their application to economically relevant crops and future perspectives in the area. Also, the identification of grapevine promoters with a wide range of expression profiles is shown. The expression pattern of these genes was analyzed in different tissues and developmental stages, as well as under several stresses and stimuli, giving a broad range of expression patterns, including genes expressed exclusively during ripening, in response to sugars, senescence and biotic stress, among others. Genes with strong and constitutive expression were also identified. Functional analysis using reporter genes has been conducted in order to confirm the promoter

  12. Tanzanian farmers' knowledge and attitudes to GM biotechnology and the potential use of GM crops to provide improved levels of food security. A Qualitative Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herron Caroline M

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genetically Modified (GM crops have been championed as one possible method to improve food security and individual nutritional status in sub Saharan Africa. Understanding and acceptability of GM crop technology to farmers and consumers have not been assessed. We developed a qualitative research study involving farmers as both producers and consumers to gauge the understanding of GM crop technology, its acceptability, and identifying issues of concern. Methods Nineteen individual interviews (10 male and 9 female and five mixed gender focus group discussions with local farmers were conducted in 3 regions in Tanzania. Analysis took place concurrently with data collection. Following initial interviews, subsequent questions were adjusted based on emerging themes. Results Understanding, awareness and knowledge of GM crop technology and terminology and its potential risks and benefits was very poor in all regions. Receptivity to the potential use of GM crops was, however, high. Respondents focused on the potential benefits of GM crops rather than any potential longer term health risks. A number of factors, most significantly field trial data, would influence farmers' decisions regarding the introduction of GM crop varieties into their farming practice. Understanding of the potential improved health provision possible by changes in agricultural practice and food-related decision making, and the health benefits of a diet containing essential vitamins, minerals and micronutrients is also poor in these communities. Conclusion This study forms a basis from which further research work can be undertaken. It is important to continue to assess opinions and attitudes of farmers and consumers in sub Saharan Africa towards potential use of GM technologies whilst highlighting the importance of the relationship between agriculture, health and development. This will allow people in the region to make accurate, informed decisions about whether they

  13. Mutation breeding in crop improvement - achievements and prospects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kharkwal, M.C.

    2004-01-01

    Crop improvement programmes through induced mutations were initiated about seven decades ago. Majority of the mutant varieties have been released during the last two decades. In terms of the development and release of mutant varieties, China (605), India (309), Russia (204), the Netherlands (176), USA (125) and Japan (120) are the leading countries. Radiation, especially gamma radiation was the most frequently used mutagen for inducing mutations in crop plants. Out of 1072 mutant varieties of cereals, rice alone accounts for 434 varieties followed by barley (269). Mutation breeding has made significant contribution in increasing the production of rice, ground nut, castor, chickpea, mungbean and urd bean in the Indian subcontinent. The future mutation breeding programmes should be aimed at improving the root characters, nodulation in legumes, alteration of fatty acid composition in oil seeds, host pathogen interactions, photo- insensitivity and apomixix in crop plants

  14. Technical, economic and policy considerations on marker-assisted selection in crops: lessons from the experience at an international agricultural research centre

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    William, H.M.; Warburton, M.; Morris, M.; Hoisington, D.A.

    2007-01-01

    Molecular markers and related technologies have been used extensively in genetic characterization and identification of loci controlling traits of economic importance in many crop species. However, the application of such tools for crop improvement has not been extensive, at least in the public sector. Although there are clear advantages in using molecular markers as tools for indirect selection of traits of importance, available examples indicate that their use is restricted to traits with monogenic inheritance or when the inheritance is conditioned by a few genes with large effects. Another important limitation of large-scale marker applications is the cost involved in marker assays, which may be beyond the capacities of many public plant breeding enterprises. For an effective marker-assisted selection (MAS) activity to facilitate ongoing crop improvement programmes, especially in the context of the developing countries, laboratories with adequate capacity and adequately trained scientific personnel as well as operational resources are required. Although recent technological advances such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and associated assay protocols are likely to reduce assay costs significantly, for many of these operations, assay platforms with significant capital investments including computational capacity are required. Coupled with these limitations, private sector domination of biotechnology research with proprietary rights to important products and processes with immediate benefits to developing countries may further constrain the benefits these technologies may offer to resource-poor farmers. Policy-makers in different national programmes and international development and research agencies have a responsibility to sustain and augment the capacity of national public agricultural research organizations to ensure that biotechnology tools and processes are infused appropriately into national research efforts. They must also ensure that any

  15. Crop improvement in the CGIAR as a global success story of open access and international collaboration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek Byerlee

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available International agricultural research has historically been an example par excellence of open source approach to biological research. Beginning in the 1950s and especially in the 1960s, a looming global food crisis led to the development of a group of international agricultural research centers with a specific mandate to foster international exchange and crop improvement relevant to many countries. This formalization of a global biological commons in genetic resources was implemented through an elaborate system of international nurseries with a breeding hub, free sharing of germplasm, collaboration in information collection, the development of human resources, and an international collaborative network. This paper traces the history of the international wheat program with particular attention to how this truly open source system operated in practice and the impacts that it had on world poverty and hunger. The paper also highlights the challenges of maintaining and evolving such a system over the long term, both in terms of financing, as well the changing ‘rules of the game’ resulting from international agreements on intellectual property rights and biodiversity. Yet the open source approach is just as relevant today, as witnessed by current crises in food prices and looming crop diseases problem of global significance.

  16. Energy-Efficient Wireless Sensor Networks for Precision Agriculture: A Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jawad, Haider Mahmood; Nordin, Rosdiadee; Gharghan, Sadik Kamel; Jawad, Aqeel Mahmood; Ismail, Mahamod

    2017-08-03

    Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) can be used in agriculture to provide farmers with a large amount of information. Precision agriculture (PA) is a management strategy that employs information technology to improve quality and production. Utilizing wireless sensor technologies and management tools can lead to a highly effective, green agriculture. Based on PA management, the same routine to a crop regardless of site environments can be avoided. From several perspectives, field management can improve PA, including the provision of adequate nutrients for crops and the wastage of pesticides for the effective control of weeds, pests, and diseases. This review outlines the recent applications of WSNs in agriculture research as well as classifies and compares various wireless communication protocols, the taxonomy of energy-efficient and energy harvesting techniques for WSNs that can be used in agricultural monitoring systems, and comparison between early research works on agriculture-based WSNs. The challenges and limitations of WSNs in the agricultural domain are explored, and several power reduction and agricultural management techniques for long-term monitoring are highlighted. These approaches may also increase the number of opportunities for processing Internet of Things (IoT) data.

  17. Potential Uses of Wild Germplasms of Grain Legumes for Crop Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Nacira; Liu, Ailin; Kan, Leo; Li, Man-Wah; Lam, Hon-Ming

    2017-01-01

    Challenged by population increase, climatic change, and soil deterioration, crop improvement is always a priority in securing food supplies. Although the production of grain legumes is in general lower than that of cereals, the nutritional value of grain legumes make them important components of food security. Nevertheless, limited by severe genetic bottlenecks during domestication and human selection, grain legumes, like other crops, have suffered from a loss of genetic diversity which is essential for providing genetic materials for crop improvement programs. Illustrated by whole-genome-sequencing, wild relatives of crops adapted to various environments were shown to maintain high genetic diversity. In this review, we focused on nine important grain legumes (soybean, peanut, pea, chickpea, common bean, lentil, cowpea, lupin, and pigeonpea) to discuss the potential uses of their wild relatives as genetic resources for crop breeding and improvement, and summarized the various genetic/genomic approaches adopted for these purposes. PMID:28165413

  18. Potential Uses of Wild Germplasms of Grain Legumes for Crop Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nacira Muñoz

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Challenged by population increase, climatic change, and soil deterioration, crop improvement is always a priority in securing food supplies. Although the production of grain legumes is in general lower than that of cereals, the nutritional value of grain legumes make them important components of food security. Nevertheless, limited by severe genetic bottlenecks during domestication and human selection, grain legumes, like other crops, have suffered from a loss of genetic diversity which is essential for providing genetic materials for crop improvement programs. Illustrated by whole-genome-sequencing, wild relatives of crops adapted to various environments were shown to maintain high genetic diversity. In this review, we focused on nine important grain legumes (soybean, peanut, pea, chickpea, common bean, lentil, cowpea, lupin, and pigeonpea to discuss the potential uses of their wild relatives as genetic resources for crop breeding and improvement, and summarized the various genetic/genomic approaches adopted for these purposes.

  19. International Global Crop Condition Assessments in the framework of GEOGLAM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker-Reshef, I.; Justice, C. O.; Vermote, E.; Whitcraft, A. K.; Claverie, M.

    2013-12-01

    The Group on Earth Observations (partnership of governments and international organizations) developed the Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative in response to the growing calls for improved agricultural information. The goal of GEOGLAM is to strengthen the international community's capacity to produce and disseminate relevant, timely and accurate forecasts of agricultural production at national, regional and global scales through the use of Earth observations. This initiative is designed to build on existing agricultural monitoring initiatives at national, regional and global levels and to enhance and strengthen them through international networking, operationally focused research, and data/method sharing. GEOGLAM was adopted by the G20 as part of the action plan on food price volatility and agriculture and is being implemented through building on the extensive GEO Agricultural Community of Practice (CoP) that was initiated in 2007 and includes key national and international agencies, organizations, and universities involved in agricultural monitoring. One of the early GEOGLAM activities is to provide harmonized global crop outlooks that offer timely qualitative consensus information on crop status and prospects. This activity is being developed in response to a request from the G-20 Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) and is implemented within the global monitoring systems component of GEOGLAM. The goal is to develop a transparent, international, multi-source, consensus assessment of crop growing conditions, status, and agro-climatic conditions, likely to impact global production. These assessments are focused on the four primary crop types (corn, wheat, soy and rice) within the main agricultural producing regions of the world. The GEOGLAM approach is to bring together international experts from global, regional and national monitoring systems that can share and discuss information from a variety of independent complementary sources in

  20. Improving the mapping of crop types in the Midwestern U.S. by fusing Landsat and MODIS satellite data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Likai; Radeloff, Volker C.; Ives, Anthony R.

    2017-06-01

    Mapping crop types is of great importance for assessing agricultural production, land-use patterns, and the environmental effects of agriculture. Indeed, both radiometric and spatial resolution of Landsat's sensors images are optimized for cropland monitoring. However, accurate mapping of crop types requires frequent cloud-free images during the growing season, which are often not available, and this raises the question of whether Landsat data can be combined with data from other satellites. Here, our goal is to evaluate to what degree fusing Landsat with MODIS Nadir Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF)-Adjusted Reflectance (NBAR) data can improve crop-type classification. Choosing either one or two images from all cloud-free Landsat observations available for the Arlington Agricultural Research Station area in Wisconsin from 2010 to 2014, we generated 87 combinations of images, and used each combination as input into the Spatial and Temporal Adaptive Reflectance Fusion Model (STARFM) algorithm to predict Landsat-like images at the nominal dates of each 8-day MODIS NBAR product. Both the original Landsat and STARFM-predicted images were then classified with a support vector machine (SVM), and we compared the classification errors of three scenarios: 1) classifying the one or two original Landsat images of each combination only, 2) classifying the one or two original Landsat images plus all STARFM-predicted images, and 3) classifying the one or two original Landsat images together with STARFM-predicted images for key dates. Our results indicated that using two Landsat images as the input of STARFM did not significantly improve the STARFM predictions compared to using only one, and predictions using Landsat images between July and August as input were most accurate. Including all STARFM-predicted images together with the Landsat images significantly increased average classification error by 4% points (from 21% to 25%) compared to using only Landsat

  1. Assessing and modelling ecohydrologic processes at the agricultural field scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basso, Bruno

    2015-04-01

    One of the primary goals of agricultural management is to increase the amount of crop produced per unit of fertilizer and water used. World record corn yields demonstrated that water use efficiency can increase fourfold with improved agronomic management and cultivars able to tolerate high densities. Planting crops with higher plant density can lead to significant yield increases, and increase plant transpiration vs. soil water evaporation. Precision agriculture technologies have been adopted for the last twenty years but seldom have the data collected been converted to information that led farmers to different agronomic management. These methods are intuitively appealing, but yield maps and other spatial layers of data need to be properly analyzed and interpreted to truly become valuable. Current agro-mechanic and geospatial technologies allow us to implement a spatially variable plan for agronomic inputs including seeding rate, cultivars, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and water. Crop models are valuable tools to evaluate the impact of management strategies (e.g., cover crops, tile drains, and genetically-improved cultivars) on yield, soil carbon sequestration, leaching and greenhouse gas emissions. They can help farmers identify adaptation strategies to current and future climate conditions. In this paper I illustrate the key role that precision agriculture technologies (yield mapping technologies, within season soil and crop sensing), crop modeling and weather can play in dealing with the impact of climate variability on soil ecohydrologic processes. Case studies are presented to illustrate this concept.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Addressing the global challenges to water security requires a better understanding of humanity's use of water, especially the agricultural sector that accounts for 70% of global withdrawals. This study combined high resolution-data with a GIS system to analyze the impact of agricultural practices, crop type, and spatial factors such as drainage basins, climate, and soil type on the Water Footprint (WF) of agricultural crops. The area of the study, the northern Lower Jordan Valley, covers 1121 ha in which three main plantation crops are grown: banana (cultivated in open-fields or net-houses), avocado and palm-dates. High-resolution data sources included GIS layers of the cultivated crops and a drainage pipe-system installed in the study area; meteorological data (2000-2013); and crop parameters (yield and irrigation recommendations). First, the study compared the WF of the different crops on the basis of yield and energy produced as well as a comparison to global values and local irrigation recommendations. The results showed that net-house banana has the lowest WF based on all different criteria. However, while palm-dates showed the highest WF for the yield criteria, it had the second lowest WF for energy produced, emphasizing the importance of using multiple parameters for low and high yield crop comparisons. Next, the regional WF of each drainage basin in the study area was calculated, demonstrating the strong influence of the Gray WF, an indication of the amount of freshwater required for pollution assimilation. Finally, the benefits of integrating GIS and WF were demonstrated by computing the effect of adopting net-house cultivation throughout the area of study with a result a reduction of 1.3 MCM irrigation water per year. Integrating the WF methodology and local high-resolution data using GIS can therefore promote and help quantify the benefits of adopting site-appropriate crops and agricultural practices that lower the WF by increasing yield, reducing water

  3. Saline agriculture: A technology for economic utilization and improvement of saline environments (abstract)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aslam, Z.; Malik, K.A.; Khurshid, S.J.; Awan, A.R.; Akram, M.; Hashmi, Z.; Ali, Y.; Gulnaz, A.; Hussain, M.; Hussain, F.

    2005-01-01

    The salinity problem is one of the severe constraints for agriculture in Pakistan. In a socio-economic and salinity and drainage survey over an area of about 25000 acres of salt-affected land recently, crop production is found to be very low. Livestock is underfed and malnourished. Pakistan has spent and allocated over one billion US dollars on Salinity Control and Reclamation Projects (SCARP), of course, with dubious results. Over the years, a Saline Agriculture Technology has been developed as a cheap alternative at NIAB for comfortably living with salinity and to profitably utilize saline land rather than its reclamation. The soil improvement is a fringe benefit in this approach. The Saline Agriculture Technology has been tested at laboratory level, at field stations and at farms of some progressive farmers. Now we are sharing this technology with farming communities through a 'Saline Agriculture Farmer Participatory Development Project in Pakistan', with assistance from the National Rural Support Programme. The new project has been launched simultaneously in all four provinces of Pakistan on 25000 acres of salt-affected land. Under this project seeds of salt tolerant crop varieties wheat, cotton, rice, castor, brassica and barley and saplings of trees/shrubs, e.g. Acacia ampliceps, A. nilotica, Casuarina glauca, ber, jaman, etc selected for development work in various institutions of Pakistan are being provided to farmers. Know-how on new irrigation techniques like bed-and-corrugation and bed-and-furrow, agronomic practices like laser land leveling, planting on beds and in auger holes and soil/water amendment practices (use of gypsum and mineral acids) are being shared with farmers. These interventions are quite efficient, save water up to 40% and enable farmers to utilize bad quality water. In general, farmers are being familiarized with prevalent animal diseases, nutritional problems and prophylactic techniques. They are being helped in developing Saline

  4. Application of agricultural biotechnology to improve food nutrition and healthcare products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Samuel S M

    2008-01-01

    Crop plants provide essential food nutrients to humans and livestock, including carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, minerals and vitamins, directly or indirectly. The level and composition of food nutrients vary significantly in different food crops. As a result, plant foods are often deficient in certain nutrient components. Relying on a single food crop as source of nutrients thus will not achieve a balanced diet and results in malnutrition and deficiency diseases, especially in the developing countries, due mainly to poverty. The development and application of biotechnology offers opportunities and novel possibilities to enhance the nutritional quality of crops, particularly when the necessary genetic variability is not available. While initial emphasis of agricultural biotechnology has been placed on input traits of crops such as herbicide tolerance, insect resistance and virus resistance, increasing effort and promising proof-of-concept products have been made in output traits including enhancing the nutritional quality of crops since 1990s. Advancements in plant transformation and transgene expression also allow the use of plants as bioreactors to produce a variety of bio-products at large scale and low cost. Many proof-of-concept plant-derived healthcare products have been generated and several commercialized.

  5. Increasing crop diversity mitigates weather variations and improves yield stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudin, Amélie C M; Tolhurst, Tor N; Ker, Alan P; Janovicek, Ken; Tortora, Cristina; Martin, Ralph C; Deen, William

    2015-01-01

    Cropping sequence diversification provides a systems approach to reduce yield variations and improve resilience to multiple environmental stresses. Yield advantages of more diverse crop rotations and their synergistic effects with reduced tillage are well documented, but few studies have quantified the impact of these management practices on yields and their stability when soil moisture is limiting or in excess. Using yield and weather data obtained from a 31-year long term rotation and tillage trial in Ontario, we tested whether crop rotation diversity is associated with greater yield stability when abnormal weather conditions occur. We used parametric and non-parametric approaches to quantify the impact of rotation diversity (monocrop, 2-crops, 3-crops without or with one or two legume cover crops) and tillage (conventional or reduced tillage) on yield probabilities and the benefits of crop diversity under different soil moisture and temperature scenarios. Although the magnitude of rotation benefits varied with crops, weather patterns and tillage, yield stability significantly increased when corn and soybean were integrated into more diverse rotations. Introducing small grains into short corn-soybean rotation was enough to provide substantial benefits on long-term soybean yields and their stability while the effects on corn were mostly associated with the temporal niche provided by small grains for underseeded red clover or alfalfa. Crop diversification strategies increased the probability of harnessing favorable growing conditions while decreasing the risk of crop failure. In hot and dry years, diversification of corn-soybean rotations and reduced tillage increased yield by 7% and 22% for corn and soybean respectively. Given the additional advantages associated with cropping system diversification, such a strategy provides a more comprehensive approach to lowering yield variability and improving the resilience of cropping systems to multiple environmental

  6. Impacts of sand and dust storms on agriculture and potential agricultural applications of a SDSWS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stefanski, R; Sivakumar, M V K

    2009-01-01

    This paper will give an overview of the various impacts of sand and dust storms on agriculture and then address the potential applications of a Sand and Dust Storm Warning System (SDSWS) for agricultural users. Sand and dust storms have many negative impacts on the agricultural sector including: reducing crop yields by burial of seedlings under sand deposits, the loss of plant tissue and reduced photosynthetic activity as a result of sandblasting, delaying plant development, increasing end-of-season drought risk, causing injury and reduced productivity of livestock, increasing soil erosion and accelerating the process of land degradation and desertification, filling up irrigation canals with sediments, covering transportation routes, affecting water quality of rivers and streams, and affecting air quality. One positive impact is the fertilization of soil minerals to terrestrial ecosystems. There are several potential agricultural applications of a SDSWS. The first is to alert agricultural communities farmers to take preventive action in the near-term such as harvesting maturing crops (vegetables, grain), sheltering livestock, and strengthening infrastructure (houses, roads, grain storage) for the storm. Also, the products of a SDSWS could be used in for monitoring potential locust movement and post-storm crop damage assessments. An archive of SDSWS products (movement, amount of sand and dust) could be used in researching plant and animal pathogen movement and the relationship of sand and dust storms to disease outbreaks and in developing improved soil erosion and land degradation models.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Unlimited Thirst for Genome Sequencing, Data Interpretation, and Database Usage in Genomic Era: The Road towards Fast-Track Crop Plant Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arun Prabhu Dhanapal

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The number of sequenced crop genomes and associated genomic resources is growing rapidly with the advent of inexpensive next generation sequencing methods. Databases have become an integral part of all aspects of science research, including basic and applied plant and animal sciences. The importance of databases keeps increasing as the volume of datasets from direct and indirect genomics, as well as other omics approaches, keeps expanding in recent years. The databases and associated web portals provide at a minimum a uniform set of tools and automated analysis across a wide range of crop plant genomes. This paper reviews some basic terms and considerations in dealing with crop plant databases utilization in advancing genomic era. The utilization of databases for variation analysis with other comparative genomics tools, and data interpretation platforms are well described. The major focus of this review is to provide knowledge on platforms and databases for genome-based investigations of agriculturally important crop plants. The utilization of these databases in applied crop improvement program is still being achieved widely; otherwise, the end for sequencing is not far away.

  10. Seed vigour and crop establishment: extending performance beyond adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finch-Savage, W E; Bassel, G W

    2016-02-01

    Seeds are central to crop production, human nutrition, and food security. A key component of the performance of crop seeds is the complex trait of seed vigour. Crop yield and resource use efficiency depend on successful plant establishment in the field, and it is the vigour of seeds that defines their ability to germinate and establish seedlings rapidly, uniformly, and robustly across diverse environmental conditions. Improving vigour to enhance the critical and yield-defining stage of crop establishment remains a primary objective of the agricultural industry and the seed/breeding companies that support it. Our knowledge of the regulation of seed germination has developed greatly in recent times, yet understanding of the basis of variation in vigour and therefore seed performance during the establishment of crops remains limited. Here we consider seed vigour at an ecophysiological, molecular, and biomechanical level. We discuss how some seed characteristics that serve as adaptive responses to the natural environment are not suitable for agriculture. Past domestication has provided incremental improvements, but further actively directed change is required to produce seeds with the characteristics required both now and in the future. We discuss ways in which basic plant science could be applied to enhance seed performance in crop production. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Rhizosphere organic anions play a minor role in improving crop species’ ability to take up residual phosphorus (P in agricultural soils low in P availability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanliang Wang

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Many arable lands have accumulated large reserves of residual phosphorus (P and a relatively large proportion of soil P is less available for uptake by plants. Root released organic anions are widely documented as a key physiological strategy to enhance P availability, while limited information has been generated on the contribution of rhizosphere organic anions to P utilization by crops grown in agricultural soils that are low in available P and high in extractable Ca, Al and Fe. We studied the role of rhizosphere organic anions in P uptake from residual P in four common crops Triticum aestivum, Avena sativa, Solanum tuberosum and Brassica napus in low- and high-P availability agricultural soils from long-term fertilization field trials in a mini-rhizotron experiment with four replications. Malate was generally the dominant organic anion. More rhizosphere citrate was detected in low P soils than in high P soil. Brassica napus showed 74-103% increase of malate in low P loam, compared with clay loam. Avena sativa had the greatest rhizosphere citrate concentration in all soils (5.3-15.2 mol g-1 root DW. Avena sativa also showed the highest level of root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (36% and 40%, the greatest root mass ratio (0.51 and 0.66 in the low-P clay loam and loam respectively, and the greatest total P uptake (5.92 mg P/mini-rhizotron in the low-P loam. Brassica napus had 15-44% more rhizosphere APase activity, ~0.1-0.4 units lower rhizosphere pH than other species, the greatest increase in rhizosphere water-soluble P in the low-P soils, and the greatest total P uptake in the low-P clay loam. Shoot P content was mainly explained by rhizosphere APase activity, water-soluble P and pH within low P soils across species. Within species, P uptake was mainly linked to rhizosphere water soluble P, APase and pH in low P soils. The effects of rhizosphere organic anions varied among species and they appeared to play minor roles in

  12. Rhizosphere Organic Anions Play a Minor Role in Improving Crop Species' Ability to Take Up Residual Phosphorus (P) in Agricultural Soils Low in P Availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yanliang; Krogstad, Tore; Clarke, Jihong L; Hallama, Moritz; Øgaard, Anne F; Eich-Greatorex, Susanne; Kandeler, Ellen; Clarke, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    Many arable lands have accumulated large reserves of residual phosphorus (P) and a relatively large proportion of soil P is less available for uptake by plants. Root released organic anions are widely documented as a key physiological strategy to enhance P availability, while limited information has been generated on the contribution of rhizosphere organic anions to P utilization by crops grown in agricultural soils that are low in available P and high in extractable Ca, Al, and Fe. We studied the role of rhizosphere organic anions in P uptake from residual P in four common crops Triticum aestivum, Avena sativa, Solanum tuberosum , and Brassica napus in low- and high-P availability agricultural soils from long-term fertilization field trials in a mini-rhizotron experiment with four replications. Malate was generally the dominant organic anion. More rhizosphere citrate was detected in low P soils than in high P soil. B. napus showed 74-103% increase of malate in low P loam, compared with clay loam. A. sativa had the greatest rhizosphere citrate concentration in all soils (5.3-15.2 μmol g -1 root DW). A. sativa also showed the highest level of root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF; 36 and 40%), the greatest root mass ratio (0.51 and 0.66) in the low-P clay loam and loam respectively, and the greatest total P uptake (5.92 mg P/mini-rhizotron) in the low-P loam. B. napus had 15-44% more rhizosphere acid phosphatase (APase) activity, ~0.1-0.4 units lower rhizosphere pH than other species, the greatest increase in rhizosphere water-soluble P in the low-P soils, and the greatest total P uptake in the low-P clay loam. Shoot P content was mainly explained by rhizosphere APase activity, water-soluble P and pH within low P soils across species. Within species, P uptake was mainly linked to rhizosphere water soluble P, APase, and pH in low P soils. The effects of rhizosphere organic anions varied among species and they appeared to play minor roles in

  13. 7 CFR 457.142 - Northern potato crop insurance provisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

  14. The AgMIP Coordinated Climate-Crop Modeling Project (C3MP): Methods and Protocols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shukla, Sonali P.; Ruane, Alexander Clark

    2014-01-01

    Climate change is expected to alter a multitude of factors important to agricultural systems, including pests, diseases, weeds, extreme climate events, water resources, soil degradation, and socio-economic pressures. Changes to carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]), temperature, and water (CTW) will be the primary drivers of change in crop growth and agricultural systems. Therefore, establishing the CTW-change sensitivity of crop yields is an urgent research need and warrants diverse methods of investigation. Crop models provide a biophysical, process-based tool to investigate crop responses across varying environmental conditions and farm management techniques, and have been applied in climate impact assessment by using a variety of methods (White et al., 2011, and references therein). However, there is a significant amount of divergence between various crop models' responses to CTW changes (Rotter et al., 2011). While the application of a site-based crop model is relatively simple, the coordination of such agricultural impact assessments on larger scales requires consistent and timely contributions from a large number of crop modelers, each time a new global climate model (GCM) scenario or downscaling technique is created. A coordinated, global effort to rapidly examine CTW sensitivity across multiple crops, crop models, and sites is needed to aid model development and enhance the assessment of climate impacts (Deser et al., 2012). To fulfill this need, the Coordinated Climate-Crop Modeling Project (C3MP) (Ruane et al., 2014) was initiated within the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP; Rosenzweig et al., 2013). The submitted results from C3MP Phase 1 (February 15, 2013-December 31, 2013) are currently being analyzed. This chapter serves to present and update the C3MP protocols, discuss the initial participation and general findings, comment on needed adjustments, and describe continued and future development. AgMIP aims to improve

  15. Agricultural methanization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2011-01-01

    After having briefly outlined the interest of the development of methanization of agricultural by-products in the context of struggle against climate change, and noticed that France is only now developing this sector as some other countries already did, this publication describes the methanization process also called anaerobic digestion, which produces a digestate and biogas. Advantages for the agriculture sector are outlined, as well as drawbacks and recommendations (required specific technical abilities, an attention to the use of energetic crops, an improved economic balance which still depends on public subsidies, competition in the field of waste processing). Actions undertaken by the ADEME are briefly evoked

  16. Adjustment and Optimization of the Cropping Systems under Water Constraint

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pingli An

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The water constraint on agricultural production receives growing concern with the increasingly sharp contradiction between demand and supply of water resources. How to mitigate and adapt to potential water constraint is one of the key issues for ensuring food security and achieving sustainable agriculture in the context of climate change. It has been suggested that adjustment and optimization of cropping systems could be an effective measure to improve water management and ensure food security. However, a knowledge gap still exists in how to quantify potential water constraint and how to select appropriate cropping systems. Here, we proposed a concept of water constraint risk and developed an approach for the evaluation of the water constraint risks for agricultural production by performing a case study in Daxing District, Beijing, China. The results show that, over the whole growth period, the order of the water constraint risks of crops from high to low was wheat, rice, broomcorn, foxtail millet, summer soybean, summer peanut, spring corn, and summer corn, and the order of the water constraint risks of the cropping systems from high to low was winter wheat-summer grain crops, rice, broomcorn, foxtail millet, and spring corn. Our results are consistent with the actual evolving process of cropping system. This indicates that our proposed method is practicable to adjust and optimize the cropping systems to mitigate and adapt to potential water risks. This study provides an insight into the adjustment and optimization of cropping systems under resource constraints.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Biomass production from the U.S. forest and agriculture sectors in support of a renewable electricity standard

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    White, Eric M.; Latta, Greg; Alig, Ralph J.; Skog, Kenneth E.; Adams, Darius M.

    2013-01-01

    Production of renewable energy from biomass has been promoted as means to improve greenhouse gas balance in energy production, improve energy security, and provide jobs and income. However, uncertainties remain as to how the agriculture and forest sectors might jointly respond to increased demand for bioelectricity feedstocks and the potential environmental consequences of increased biomass production. We use an economic model to examine how the agriculture and forest sectors might combine to respond to increased demands for bioelectricity under simulated future national-level renewable electricity standards. Both sectors are projected to contribute biomass, although energy crops, like switchgrass, produced on agriculture land are projected to be the primary feedstocks. At the highest targets for bioelectricity production, we project increased conversion of forest to agriculture land in support of agriculture biomass production. Although land conversion takes place in response to renewable electricity mandates, we project only minor increases in forest and agriculture emissions. Similarly, crop prices were projected to generally be stable in the face of increased bioelectricity demand and displacement of traditional agriculture crops. - Highlights: ► We model the response of forest and agriculture to increased bioelectricity demand. ► The agriculture sector, through energy crop production, is the key biomass provider. ► Increased land exchange is projected for the highest bioelectricity demands. ► Land exchange from forest to agriculture yield the greatest changes in GHG flux. ► Agriculture and forestry must be accounted for when considering bioenergy policy

  19. Food crops face rising temperatures: An overview of responses, adaptive mechanisms, and approaches to improve heat tolerance

    OpenAIRE

    Neeru Kaushal; Kalpna Bhandari; Kadambot H.M. Siddique; Harsh Nayyar

    2016-01-01

    The rising temperatures are resulting in heat stress for various agricultural crops to limit their growth, metabolism, and leading to significant loss of yield potential worldwide. Heat stress adversely affects normal plant growth and development depending on the sensitivity of each crop species. Each crop species has its own range of temperature maxima and minima at different developmental stages beyond which all these processes get inhibited. The reproductive stage is on the whole more sens...

  20. Energy Crop-Based Biogas as Vehicle Fuel—The Impact of Crop Selection on Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pål Börjesson

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The production of biogas from six agricultural crops was analysed regarding energy efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG performance for vehicle fuel from a field-to-tank perspective, with focus on critical parameters and on calculation methods. The energy efficiency varied from 35% to 44%, expressed as primary energy input per energy unit vehicle gas produced. The GHG reduction varied from 70% to 120%, compared with fossil liquid fuels, when the GHG credit of the digestate produced was included through system expansion according to the calculation methodology in the ISO 14044 standard of life cycle assessment. Ley crop-based biogas systems led to the highest GHG reduction, due to the significant soil carbon accumulation, followed by maize, wheat, hemp, triticale and sugar beet. Critical parameters are biogenic nitrous oxide emissions from crop cultivation, for which specific emission factors for digestate are missing today, and methane leakage from biogas production. The GHG benefits were reduced and the interrelation between the crops changed, when the GHG calculations were instead based on the methodology stated in the EU Renewable Energy Directive, where crop contribution to soil carbon accumulation is disregarded. All systems could still reach a 60% GHG reduction, due to the improved agricultural management when digestate replaces mineral fertilisers.

  1. Integrating the pastoral component in agricultural systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo César de Faccio Carvalho

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT This paper aims to discuss the impact of the introduction of pastures and grazing animals in agricultural systems. For the purposes of this manuscript, we focus on within-farm integrated crop-livestock systems (ICLS, typical of Southern Brazil. These ICLS are designed to create and enhance the synergisms and emergent properties have arisen from agricultural areas where livestock activities are integrated with crops. We show that the introduction of the crop component will affect less the preceding condition than the introduction of the livestock component. While the introduction of crops in pastoral systems represents increasing diversity of the plant component, the introduction of animals would represent the entry of new flows and interactions within the system. Thus, given the new complexity levels achieved from the introduction of grazing, the probability of arising emergent properties is theoretically much higher. However, grazing management is vital in determining the success or failure of such initiative. The grazing intensity practiced during the pasture phase would affect the canopy structure and the forage availability to animals. In adequate and moderate grazing intensities, it is possible to affirm that livestock combined with crops (ICLS has a potential positive impact. As important as the improvements that grazing animals can generate to the soil-plant components, the economic resilience remarkably increases when pasture rotations are introduced compared with purely agriculture systems, particularly in climate-risk situations. Thus, the integration of the pastoral component can enhance the sustainable intensification of food production, but it modifies simple, pure agricultural systems into more complex and knowledge-demanding production systems.

  2. 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.

  3. Impact of vegetable crop agriculture on anopheline agressivity and malaria transmission in urban and less urbanized settings of the South region of Cameroon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akono, Patrick Ntonga; Mbida, Jean Arthur Mbida; Tonga, Calvin; Belong, Philippe; Ngo Hondt, Odette Etoile; Magne, Gaëlle Tamdem; Peka, Marie Florence; Lehman, Leopold Gustave

    2015-05-28

    The use of inland valley swamps for vegetable crop agriculture contributes to food security in urban and less urbanized settings in Africa. The impact of this agriculture on aggressive mosquitoes' diversity and malaria transmission in central Africa is poorly documented. This study is aimed at assessing the impact of vegetable crop agriculture on these entomological parameters in urban and less urbanized settings of the forest area, south of Cameroon. The human bait technique was used for the capture of aggressive mosquitoes from January to December 2012. For three consecutive days each month, captures were performed on volunteers in hydro-agricultural and river bank sites of Akonolinga and Yaoundé. Physico-chemical characteristics of mosquito breeding sites were recorded. Molecular alongside morpho-taxonomic techniques were used for the identification of mosquito species; ELISA test was used to reveal Plasmodium falciparum infected mosquitoes through the detection of CSP. Mosquito diversity, aggressivity and malaria transmission in sites and settings were determined and compared. Biting rates were higher in hydro-agricultural sites of less urbanized and urban settings (31.8 b/p/n and 28.6 b/p/n respectively) than in river banks sites (6.83 b/p/n and 3.64 b/p/n respectively; p agricultural sites 2 species were captured in the urban setting versus 4 in the less urbanized setting, meanwhile in river bank sites, 3 species were captured in the urban setting versus 4 species in the less urbanized setting. An. nili s.s. was found in river banks only. An. hancocki was not found to insure Plasmodium falciparum Welch transmission. EIR in hydro-agricultural sites varied from 1.86 ib/p/n (urban area) to 2.13 ib/p/n (less urbanized area) with higher rates in April/May and August. Overall, EIR was higher in less urbanized areas (p agriculture (p = 0.2). These results highlight the need for specific preventive measures that take into account the ecological peculiarities

  4. Improving Bioenergy Crops through Dynamic Metabolic Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mojdeh Faraji

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Enormous advances in genetics and metabolic engineering have made it possible, in principle, to create new plants and crops with improved yield through targeted molecular alterations. However, while the potential is beyond doubt, the actual implementation of envisioned new strains is often difficult, due to the diverse and complex nature of plants. Indeed, the intrinsic complexity of plants makes intuitive predictions difficult and often unreliable. The hope for overcoming this challenge is that methods of data mining and computational systems biology may become powerful enough that they could serve as beneficial tools for guiding future experimentation. In the first part of this article, we review the complexities of plants, as well as some of the mathematical and computational methods that have been used in the recent past to deepen our understanding of crops and their potential yield improvements. In the second part, we present a specific case study that indicates how robust models may be employed for crop improvements. This case study focuses on the biosynthesis of lignin in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum. Switchgrass is considered one of the most promising candidates for the second generation of bioenergy production, which does not use edible plant parts. Lignin is important in this context, because it impedes the use of cellulose in such inedible plant materials. The dynamic model offers a platform for investigating the pathway behavior in transgenic lines. In particular, it allows predictions of lignin content and composition in numerous genetic perturbation scenarios.

  5. Affordable nutrient solutions for improved food security as evidenced by crop trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Velde, Marijn; See, Linda; You, Liangzhi; Balkovic, Juraj; Fritz, Steffen; Khabarov, Nikolay; Obersteiner, Michael; Wood, Stanley

    2013-04-01

    Robust assessments of attainable crop yields in Africa and South America are pivotal for projections of food security and cropland expansion. In contract to South America, Africa has not achieved significant increases in crop yields. Here we utilize a database of historical FAO crop fertilizer trials at 1358 locations for Sub-Saharan Africa and South America to calculate corn yield gaps at the continental scale. To further the African crop productivity discourse we consider the importance of soil nutrient stoichiometry and the viability of micro-dosing. Importantly, besides N, our crop yield potential estimates account for P which has a notoriously low availability in weathered tropical soils. We investigated yield gaps for corn under two scenarios: a micro-dosing scenario with marginal increases in N and P of 10 kg/ha and a larger yet still conservative scenario with proposed N and P applications of 80 and 20 kg/ha respectively. Two critical findings emerged from the analysis. The first is the degree to which P limits increases in corn yields. For example, under a micro-dosing scenario, in Africa, the addition of small amounts of N alone resulted in yield increases of 8% while the addition of only P increased yields by 26%, with implications for designing better balanced fertilizer distribution schemes. Application of both N and P at 10 kg ha-1 lead to 15% and 32% yield increase. To put the benefits of these higher yields in context, this could save more than 4 and 25 million ha of cropland, or alternatively potentially feed 64 and 150 million people in South America and Africa respectively. The second finding was the relatively large amount of yield increase possible for a small, yet affordable amount of fertilizer application. Using African and South American fertilizer prices we show that the level of investment needed to achieve these results is considerably less than 1% of Agricultural GDP for both a micro-dosing scenario and for a scenario involving higher

  6. AGRICULTURAL DYNAMICS IN PAKISTAN: CURRENT ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fawad Zafar Ahmad Khan

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Agriculture is heavily contributing towards the economy of Pakistan. Water deficiency and drought conditions, long duration load shedding issue, poor extension services, absence of land reforms, absence of distribution of certified varieties, high price of fertilizers, deliberate use of adulterated, non-recommended and expired insecticides, non utilization of cultivable waste land, conventional farming practices, indirect access of farmer to main market, absence of ecological based cropping pattern, smuggling of agricultural inputs and outputs, lack of cooperation between agricultural research, education & extension services, absence of crop insurance, depletion of forests, lack of modern post-harvest technologies and disease outbreaks of poultry birds are some of the key issues that are playing a negative role in demotion of agricultural sector in Pakistan. The review article will briefly discuss above mentioned issues and some of the possible remedies under the environment of Pakistanand their adoption to improve the agricultural productivity in the country.

  7. Towards Conservation Agriculture systems in Moldova

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris Boincean

    2016-10-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Environmental considerations in energy crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  10. The cultivated agricultural environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eriksson, Aa.

    1997-01-01

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

  11. The cultivated agricultural environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1997-10-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, M.H.

    2005-01-01

    , is converted to a basic, universal fermentation medium by lactic acid fermentation, is outlined. The resulting all-round fermentation medium can be used for the production of many useful fermentation products when added a carbohydrate source, which could possibly be another agricultural by-product. Two...... examples of such products-polylactic acid and L-lysine-are given. A cost calculation shows that this fermentation medium can be produced at a very low cost approximate to 1.7 Euro cent/kg, when taking into account that the green crop industry has expenses amounting to 270,000 Euro/year for disposal...... of the brown juice. A newly built lysine factory in Esbjerg, Denmark, can benefit from this process by buying a low price medium for the fermentation process instead of more expensive traditional fermentation liquids such as corn steep liquor....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. Nitrogen in Agricultural Systems: Implications for Conservation Policy

    OpenAIRE

    Ribaudo, Marc; Delgado, Jorge; Hansen, LeRoy T.; Livingston, Michael J.; Mosheim, Roberto; Williamson, James M.

    2011-01-01

    Nitrogen is an important agricultural input that is critical for crop production. However, the introduction of large amounts of nitrogen into the environment has a number of undesirable impacts on water, terrestrial, and atmospheric resources. This report explores the use of nitrogen in U.S. agriculture and assesses changes in nutrient management by farmers that may improve nitrogen use effi ciency. It also reviews a number of policy approaches for improving nitrogen management and identifi e...

  15. BIOGAS PRODUCTION FROM CATCH CROPS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Finding the Subcellular Location of Barley, Wheat, Rice and Maize Proteins: The Compendium of Crop Proteins with Annotated Locations (cropPAL).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooper, Cornelia M; Castleden, Ian R; Aryamanesh, Nader; Jacoby, Richard P; Millar, A Harvey

    2016-01-01

    Barley, wheat, rice and maize provide the bulk of human nutrition and have extensive industrial use as agricultural products. The genomes of these crops each contains >40,000 genes encoding proteins; however, the major genome databases for these species lack annotation information of protein subcellular location for >80% of these gene products. We address this gap, by constructing the compendium of crop protein subcellular locations called crop Proteins with Annotated Locations (cropPAL). Subcellular location is most commonly determined by fluorescent protein tagging of live cells or mass spectrometry detection in subcellular purifications, but can also be predicted from amino acid sequence or protein expression patterns. The cropPAL database collates 556 published studies, from >300 research institutes in >30 countries that have been previously published, as well as compiling eight pre-computed subcellular predictions for all Hordeum vulgare, Triticum aestivum, Oryza sativa and Zea mays protein sequences. The data collection including metadata for proteins and published studies can be accessed through a search portal http://crop-PAL.org. The subcellular localization information housed in cropPAL helps to depict plant cells as compartmentalized protein networks that can be investigated for improving crop yield and quality, and developing new biotechnological solutions to agricultural challenges. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Crop-Specific EU Aid and Smallholder Food Security in Sierra Leone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia L. Saravia-Matus

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The article analyses the viability of promoting crop-specific programs as a mean to improve smallholder net farm income and food security. The case study explores the relevance of European Union Stabilisation of Export Earnings (STABEX funds in supporting Sierra Leone’s agricultural development agenda. By analysing the drivers of food security for a number of targeted smallholders in the two most important agricultural zones of Sierra Leone, it is possible to compare the suitability of crop-specific support (in rice, cocoa and coffee versus general aid programs (public infrastructure, on and off farm diversification opportunities, sustainable practices, access to productive assets, etc.. The results indicate that crop diversification strategies are widespread and closely related to risk minimisation and enhanced food security among smallholders. Similarly, crop-specific programs mainly focusing on commercialisation tend to overlook important constraints associated to self-consumption and productivity.

  18. Precise, flexible and affordable gene stacking for crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Weiqiang; Ow, David W

    2017-09-03

    The genetic engineering of plants offers a revolutionary advance for crop improvement, and the incorporation of transgenes into crop species can impart new traits that would otherwise be difficult to obtain through conventional breeding. Transgenes introduced into plants, however, can only be useful when bred out to field cultivars. As new traits are continually added to further improve transgenic cultivars, clustering new DNA near previously introduced transgenes keep from inflating the number of segregating units that breeders must assemble back into a breeding line. Here we discuss various options to introduce DNA site-specifically into an existing transgenic locus. As food security is becoming a pressing global issue, the old proverb resonates true to this day: "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Hence, we describe a recombinase-mediate gene stacking system designed with freedom to operate, providing an affordable option for crop improvement by less developed countries where food security is most at risk.

  19. Crop water productivity under increasing irrigation capacities in Romania. A spatially-explicit assessment of winter wheat and maize cropping systems in the southern lowlands of the country

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dogaru, Diana

    2016-04-01

    Improved water use efficiency in agriculture is a key issue in terms of sustainable management and consumption of water resources in the context of peoples' increasing food demands and preferences, economic growth and agricultural adaptation options to climate variability and change. Crop Water Productivity (CWP), defined as the ratio of yield (or value of harvested crop) to actual evapotranspiration or as the ratio of yield (or value of harvested crop) to volume of supplied irrigation water (Molden et al., 1998), is a useful indicator in the evaluation of water use efficiency and ultimately of cropland management, particularly in the case of regions affected by or prone to drought and where irrigation application is essential for achieving expected productions. The present study investigates the productivity of water in winter wheat and maize cropping systems in the Romanian Plain (49 594 sq. km), an important agricultural region in the southern part of the country which is increasingly affected by drought and dry spells (Sandu and Mateescu, 2014). The scope of the analysis is to assess the gains and losses in CWP for the two crops, by considering increased irrigated cropland and improved fertilization, these being the most common measures potentially and already implemented by the farmers. In order to capture the effects of such measures on agricultural water use, the GIS-based EPIC crop-growth model (GEPIC) (Williams et al., 1989; Liu, 2009) was employed to simulate yields, seasonal evapotranspiration from crops and volume of irrigation water in the Romanian Plain for the 2002 - 2013 interval with focus on 2007 and 2010, two representative years for dry and wet periods, respectively. The GEPIC model operates on a daily time step, while the geospatial input datasets for this analysis (e.g. climate data, soil classes and soil parameters, land use) were harmonized at 1km resolution grid cell. The sources of the spatial data are mainly the national profile agencies

  20. Rainwater harvesting and management in rainfed agricultural systems in sub-Saharan Africa - A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biazin, Birhanu; Sterk, Geert; Temesgen, Melesse; Abdulkedir, Abdu; Stroosnijder, Leo

    Agricultural water scarcity in the predominantly rainfed agricultural system of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is more related to the variability of rainfall and excessive non-productive losses, than the total annual precipitation in the growing season. Less than 15% of the terrestrial precipitation takes the form of productive ‘green’ transpiration. Hence, rainwater harvesting and management (RWHM) technologies hold a significant potential for improving rainwater-use efficiency and sustaining rainfed agriculture in the region. This paper outlines the various RWHM techniques being practiced in SSA, and reviews recent research results on the performance of selected practices. So far, micro-catchment and in situ rainwater harvesting techniques are more common than rainwater irrigation techniques from macro-catchment systems. Depending on rainfall patterns and local soil characteristics, appropriate application of in situ and micro-catchment techniques could improve the soil water content of the rooting zone by up to 30%. Up to sixfold crop yields have been obtained through combinations of rainwater harvesting and fertiliser use, as compared to traditional practices. Supplemental irrigation of rainfed agriculture through rainwater harvesting not only reduces the risk of total crop failure due to dry spells, but also substantially improves water and crop productivity. Depending on the type of crop and the seasonal rainfall pattern, the application of RWHM techniques makes net profits more possible, compared to the meagre profit or net loss of existing systems. Implementation of rainwater harvesting may allow cereal-based smallholder farmers to shift to diversified crops, hence improving household food security, dietary status, and economic return. The much needed green revolution and adaptations to climate change in SSA should blend rainwater harvesting ideals with agronomic principles. More efforts are needed to improve the indigenous practices, and to disseminate best

  1. Improving radiation use efficiency in greenhouse production systems

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Tao

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY A large increase in agricultural production is needed to feed the increasing world population with their increasing demand per capita. However, growing competition for arable land, water, energy, and the degradation of the environment impose challenges to improve crop production. Hence agricultural production efficiency needs to increase. Greenhouses provide the possibility to create optimal growth conditions for crops, thereby improving production and product quality. Light is the dr...

  2. Development of agriculture biotechnology in Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zafar, Yusuf

    2007-01-01

    Agriculture plays an important role in the national economy of Pakistan, where most of the rapidly increasing population resides in rural areas and depends on agriculture for subsistence. Biotechnology has considerable potential for promoting the efficiency of crop improvement, food production, and poverty reduction. Use of modern biotechnology started in Pakistan since 1985. Currently, there are 29 biotech centers/institutes in the country. However, few centers have appropriate physical facilities and trained manpower to develop genetically modified (GM) crops. Most of the activities have been on rice and cotton, which are among the top 5 crops of Pakistan. Biotic (virus/bacterial/insect) and abiotic (salt) resistant and quality (male sterility) genes have already been incorporated in some crop plants. Despite acquiring capacity to produce transgenic plants, no GM crops, either produced locally or imported, have been released in the country. Pakistan is signatory to the World Trade Organization, Convention on Biological Diversity, and Cartagena protocols. Several legislations under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights have been promulgated in the country. National Biosafety Guidelines have been promulgated in April 2005. The Plant Breeders Rights Act, Amendment in Seed Act-1976, and Geographical Indication for Goods are still passing through discussion, evaluation, and analysis phases. Meanwhile, an illegal GM crop (cotton) has already sneaked into farmer's field. Concerted and coordinated efforts are needed among various ministries for implementation of regulation and capacity building for import/export and local handling of GM crops. Pakistan could easily benefit from the experience of Asian countries, especially China and India, where conditions are similar and the agriculture sector is almost like that of Pakistan. Thus, the exchange of information and experiences is important among these nations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. 7 CFR 457.145 - Potato crop insurance-certified seed endorsement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

  5. AgMIP Training in Multiple Crop Models and Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boote, Kenneth J.; Porter, Cheryl H.; Hargreaves, John; Hoogenboom, Gerrit; Thornburn, Peter; Mutter, Carolyn

    2015-01-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) has the goal of using multiple crop models to evaluate climate impacts on agricultural production and food security in developed and developing countries. There are several major limitations that must be overcome to achieve this goal, including the need to train AgMIP regional research team (RRT) crop modelers to use models other than the ones they are currently familiar with, plus the need to harmonize and interconvert the disparate input file formats used for the various models. Two activities were followed to address these shortcomings among AgMIP RRTs to enable them to use multiple models to evaluate climate impacts on crop production and food security. We designed and conducted courses in which participants trained on two different sets of crop models, with emphasis on the model of least experience. In a second activity, the AgMIP IT group created templates for inputting data on soils, management, weather, and crops into AgMIP harmonized databases, and developed translation tools for converting the harmonized data into files that are ready for multiple crop model simulations. The strategies for creating and conducting the multi-model course and developing entry and translation tools are reviewed in this chapter.

  6. Greening Kenya’s drylands through climate-smart agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quevenco, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    Arid and semi-arid lands account for almost 80 per cent of Kenya’s land area, and climate change is threatening this fragile ecosystem. In a country where suboptimal agricultural practices already result in poor crop growth, low vegetative cover, low crop yields and serious land degradation, weather conditions resulting from climate change and variability have made drought and water scarcity common. Using nuclear techniques, the IAEA is helping Kenya improve soil fertility and water management technologies, as part of the introduction of Integrated Soil Fertility Management, which can help maintain the right water, nutrient and carbon balance and maximize climate change adaptation in agricultural systems.

  7. Economic Analysis of Nitrate Source Reductions in California Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medellin-Azuara, J.; Howitt, R.; Rosenstock, T.; Harter, T.; Pettygrove, S. G.; Dzurella, K.; Lund, J. R.

    2011-12-01

    We present an analytical approach to assess the economic impact of improving nitrogen management practices in California agriculture. We employ positive mathematical programming to calibrate crop production to base input information. The production function representation is a nested constant elasticity of substitution with two nests: one for applied water and one for applied nitrogen. The first nest accounts for the tradeoffs between irrigation efficiency and capital investments in irrigation technology. The second nest represents the tradeoffs between nitrogen application efficiency and the marginal costs of improving nitrogen efficiency. In the production function nest, low elasticities of substitution and water and nitrogen stress constraints keep agricultural crop yields constant despite changes in nitrogen management practices. We use the Tulare Basin, and the Salinas Valley in California's Central Valley and Central Coast respectively as our case studies. Preliminary results show that initial reductions of 25% in nitrogen loads to groundwater may not impose large costs to agricultural crop production as substitution of management inputs results in only small declines in net revenue from farming and total land use. Larger reductions in the nitrogen load to groundwater of 50% imposes larger marginal costs for better nitrogen management inputs and reductions in the area of lower valued crops grown in the study areas. Despite the shortage of data on quantitative effects of improved nitrogen efficiency; our results demonstrate the potential of combining economic and agronomic data into a model that can reflect differences in cost and substitutabilty in nitrogen application methods, that can be used to reduce the quantity of nitrogen leaching into groundwater.

  8. Plant mutation breeding for crop improvement. V.1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-01-01

    This volume contains the proceedings of the first two sessions of the FAO/IAEA Symposium on Plant Mutation Breeding for Crop Improvement, focussing on mutation breeding in particular countries and crop-specific mutation breeding. The individual contributions are indexed separately. Although a wide variety of topics is included, the emphasis is on the use of (mainly gamma) radiation to induce economically useful mutants in cereals and legumes. The results of many conventional plant breeding programs are also presented. Refs, figs and tabs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  11. 4F CROPS: Future crops for food, feed, fibre and fuel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  12. 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…

  13. Developmental Pathways Are Blueprints for Designing Successful Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben Trevaskis

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Genes controlling plant development have been studied in multiple plant systems. This has provided deep insights into conserved genetic pathways controlling core developmental processes including meristem identity, phase transitions, determinacy, stem elongation, and branching. These pathways control plant growth patterns and are fundamentally important to crop biology and agriculture. This review describes the conserved pathways that control plant development, using Arabidopsis as a model. Historical examples of how plant development has been altered through selection to improve crop performance are then presented. These examples, drawn from diverse crops, show how the genetic pathways controlling development have been modified to increase yield or tailor growth patterns to suit local growing environments or specialized crop management practices. Strategies to apply current progress in genomics and developmental biology to future crop improvement are then discussed within the broader context of emerging trends in plant breeding. The ways that knowledge of developmental processes and understanding of gene function can contribute to crop improvement, beyond what can be achieved by selection alone, are emphasized. These include using genome re-sequencing, mutagenesis, and gene editing to identify or generate novel variation in developmental genes. The expanding scope for comparative genomics, the possibility to engineer new developmental traits and new approaches to resolve gene–gene or gene–environment interactions are also discussed. Finally, opportunities to integrate fundamental research and crop breeding are highlighted.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Development of a European Ensemble System for Seasonal Prediction: Application to crop yield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terres, J. M.; Cantelaube, P.

    2003-04-01

    Western European agriculture is highly intensive and the weather is the main source of uncertainty for crop yield assessment and for crop management. In the current system, at the time when a crop yield forecast is issued, the weather conditions leading up to harvest time are unknown and are therefore a major source of uncertainty. The use of seasonal weather forecast would bring additional information for the remaining crop season and has valuable benefit for improving the management of agricultural markets and environmentally sustainable farm practices. An innovative method for supplying seasonal forecast information to crop simulation models has been developed in the frame of the EU funded research project DEMETER. It consists in running a crop model on each individual member of the seasonal hindcasts to derive a probability distribution of crop yield. Preliminary results of cumulative probability function of wheat yield provides information on both the yield anomaly and the reliability of the forecast. Based on the spread of the probability distribution, the end-user can directly quantify the benefits and risks of taking weather-sensitive decisions.

  17. Renewable energy sources in agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campiotti, C.A.; Balducchi, R.; Bernardini, A.; Dondi, F.; Di Carlo, F.; Genovese, A.; Scoccianti, M.; Bibbiani, C.

    2009-01-01

    Greenhouse crop evolution if from one hand improves the quality of products and productive cycles, from another hand cause negative effects on the natural resources, the environment and the economy of the country. Although renewable energies already feature to some extent in the European Union's regional, the 2007-2013 Structural Funds package could be the occasion to increase the weight given to RES within the energy programmes for less favoured regions (particularly in ex-objective 1 areas). In those areas, greenhouse crop sector is particularly developed as agriculture industrial activity. According to numerous investigations, agricultural greenhouse consumption for greenhouse acclimatization represents approximately between 2% to 6% of the E U's-27 total energy consumption. This report is intended to give a general overview to the potential of renewable energy and technology in Italy, particularly geothermal, wind and solar (thermic and photovoltaic) as energy for greenhouse crop sector. RES have a high potential for developing of indigenous resources, service activities, new job creation and reducing Co2 emissions. [it

  18. Crop residue is key for sustaining maximum food production and for conservation of our biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crop residue is key in our efforts to move towards agricultural sustainability. This paper provides a quick overview of some selected references and looks at some of the newest advances related to cover crops. Several authors have described in detail the benefits derived from improving soil quality ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ahsan, Syed M.; Rashid, Salim

    1983-01-01

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

  20. Application of CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing Technology for the Improvement of Crops Cultivated in Tropical Climates: Recent Progress, Prospects, and Challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Effi Haque

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The world population is expected to increase from 7.3 to 9.7 billion by 2050. Pest outbreak and increased abiotic stresses due to climate change pose a high risk to tropical crop production. Although conventional breeding techniques have significantly increased crop production and yield, new approaches are required to further improve crop production in order to meet the global growing demand for food. The Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR/Cas9 (CRISPR-associated protein9 genome editing technology has shown great promise for quickly addressing emerging challenges in agriculture. It can be used to precisely modify genome sequence of any organism including plants to achieve the desired trait. Compared to other genome editing tools such as zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs and transcriptional activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs, CRISPR/Cas9 is faster, cheaper, precise and highly efficient in editing genomes even at the multiplex level. Application of CRISPR/Cas9 technology in editing the plant genome is emerging rapidly. The CRISPR/Cas9 is becoming a user-friendly tool for development of non-transgenic genome edited crop plants to counteract harmful effects from climate change and ensure future food security of increasing population in tropical countries. This review updates current knowledge and potentials of CRISPR/Cas9 for improvement of crops cultivated in tropical climates to gain resiliency against emerging pests and abiotic stresses.

  1. Application of CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing Technology for the Improvement of Crops Cultivated in Tropical Climates: Recent Progress, Prospects, and Challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haque, Effi; Taniguchi, Hiroaki; Hassan, Md Mahmudul; Bhowmik, Pankaj; Karim, M Rezaul; Śmiech, Magdalena; Zhao, Kaijun; Rahman, Mahfuzur; Islam, Tofazzal

    2018-01-01

    The world population is expected to increase from 7.3 to 9.7 billion by 2050. Pest outbreak and increased abiotic stresses due to climate change pose a high risk to tropical crop production. Although conventional breeding techniques have significantly increased crop production and yield, new approaches are required to further improve crop production in order to meet the global growing demand for food. The Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 (CRISPR-associated protein9) genome editing technology has shown great promise for quickly addressing emerging challenges in agriculture. It can be used to precisely modify genome sequence of any organism including plants to achieve the desired trait. Compared to other genome editing tools such as zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) and transcriptional activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), CRISPR/Cas9 is faster, cheaper, precise and highly efficient in editing genomes even at the multiplex level. Application of CRISPR/Cas9 technology in editing the plant genome is emerging rapidly. The CRISPR/Cas9 is becoming a user-friendly tool for development of non-transgenic genome edited crop plants to counteract harmful effects from climate change and ensure future food security of increasing population in tropical countries. This review updates current knowledge and potentials of CRISPR/Cas9 for improvement of crops cultivated in tropical climates to gain resiliency against emerging pests and abiotic stresses.

  2. The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Town Hall

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruane, Alex; Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Kyle, Page; Basso, Bruno; Winter, Jonathan; Asseng, Senthold

    2015-01-01

    AgMIP (www.agmip.org) is an international community of climate, crop, livestock, economics, and IT experts working to further the development and application of multi-model, multi-scale, multi-disciplinary agricultural models that can inform policy and decision makers around the world. This meeting will engage the AGU community by providing a brief overview of AgMIP, in particular its new plans for a Coordinated Global and Regional Assessment of climate change impacts on agriculture and food security for AR6. This Town Hall will help identify opportunities for participants to become involved in AgMIP and its 30+ activities.

  3. Multiple pathways of commodity crop expansion in tropical forest landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyfroidt, Patrick; Carlson, Kimberly M.; Fagan, Matthew E.; Gutiérrez-Vélez, Victor H.; Macedo, Marcia N.; Curran, Lisa M.; DeFries, Ruth S.; Dyer, George A.; Gibbs, Holly K.; Lambin, Eric F.; Morton, Douglas C.; Robiglio, Valentina

    2014-07-01

    Commodity crop expansion, for both global and domestic urban markets, follows multiple land change pathways entailing direct and indirect deforestation, and results in various social and environmental impacts. Here we compare six published case studies of rapid commodity crop expansion within forested tropical regions. Across cases, between 1.7% and 89.5% of new commodity cropland was sourced from forestlands. Four main factors controlled pathways of commodity crop expansion: (i) the availability of suitable forestland, which is determined by forest area, agroecological or accessibility constraints, and land use policies, (ii) economic and technical characteristics of agricultural systems, (iii) differences in constraints and strategies between small-scale and large-scale actors, and (iv) variable costs and benefits of forest clearing. When remaining forests were unsuitable for agriculture and/or policies restricted forest encroachment, a larger share of commodity crop expansion occurred by conversion of existing agricultural lands, and land use displacement was smaller. Expansion strategies of large-scale actors emerge from context-specific balances between the search for suitable lands; transaction costs or conflicts associated with expanding into forests or other state-owned lands versus smallholder lands; net benefits of forest clearing; and greater access to infrastructure in already-cleared lands. We propose five hypotheses to be tested in further studies: (i) land availability mediates expansion pathways and the likelihood that land use is displaced to distant, rather than to local places; (ii) use of already-cleared lands is favored when commodity crops require access to infrastructure; (iii) in proportion to total agricultural expansion, large-scale actors generate more clearing of mature forests than smallholders; (iv) property rights and land tenure security influence the actors participating in commodity crop expansion, the form of land use displacement

  4. Multiple pathways of commodity crop expansion in tropical forest landscapes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meyfroidt, Patrick; Lambin, Eric F; Carlson, Kimberly M; Fagan, Matthew E; DeFries, Ruth S; Gutiérrez-Vélez, Victor H; Macedo, Marcia N; Curran, Lisa M; Dyer, George A; Gibbs, Holly K; Morton, Douglas C; Robiglio, Valentina

    2014-01-01

    Commodity crop expansion, for both global and domestic urban markets, follows multiple land change pathways entailing direct and indirect deforestation, and results in various social and environmental impacts. Here we compare six published case studies of rapid commodity crop expansion within forested tropical regions. Across cases, between 1.7% and 89.5% of new commodity cropland was sourced from forestlands. Four main factors controlled pathways of commodity crop expansion: (i) the availability of suitable forestland, which is determined by forest area, agroecological or accessibility constraints, and land use policies, (ii) economic and technical characteristics of agricultural systems, (iii) differences in constraints and strategies between small-scale and large-scale actors, and (iv) variable costs and benefits of forest clearing. When remaining forests were unsuitable for agriculture and/or policies restricted forest encroachment, a larger share of commodity crop expansion occurred by conversion of existing agricultural lands, and land use displacement was smaller. Expansion strategies of large-scale actors emerge from context-specific balances between the search for suitable lands; transaction costs or conflicts associated with expanding into forests or other state-owned lands versus smallholder lands; net benefits of forest clearing; and greater access to infrastructure in already-cleared lands. We propose five hypotheses to be tested in further studies: (i) land availability mediates expansion pathways and the likelihood that land use is displaced to distant, rather than to local places; (ii) use of already-cleared lands is favored when commodity crops require access to infrastructure; (iii) in proportion to total agricultural expansion, large-scale actors generate more clearing of mature forests than smallholders; (iv) property rights and land tenure security influence the actors participating in commodity crop expansion, the form of land use displacement

  5. Bioenergy in Australia: An improved approach for estimating spatial availability of biomass resources in the agricultural production zones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herr, Alexander; Dunlop, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Bioenergy production from crops and agricultural residues has a greenhouse gas mitigation potential. However, there is considerable debate about the size of this potential. This is partly due to difficulties in estimating the feedstock resource base accurately and with good spatial resolution. Here we provide two techniques for spatially estimating crop-based bioenergy feedstocks in Australia using regional agricultural statistics and national land use maps. The approach accommodates temporal variability by estimating ranges of feedstock availability and the shifting nature of zones of the highest spatial concentration of feedstocks. The techniques are applicable to biomass production from forestry, agricultural residues or oilseeds, all of which have been proposed as biofuel feedstocks. -- Highlights: → Dasymetric mapping appoach for producing spatial and temporal variation maps in feedstock production.→ Combines land use and crop statistics to produce regionally precise feedstock maps. → Feedstock concentrations and feedstock density maps enable identification of feedstock concentration spatially and comparison of yearly variation in production.

  6. Bacillus: A Biological Tool for Crop Improvement through Bio-Molecular Changes in Adverse Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radhakrishnan, Ramalingam; Hashem, Abeer; Abd_Allah, Elsayed F.

    2017-01-01

    Crop productivity is affected by environmental and genetic factors. Microbes that are beneficial to plants are used to enhance the crop yield and are alternatives to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Pseudomonas and Bacillus species are the predominant plant growth-promoting bacteria. The spore-forming ability of Bacillus is distinguished from that of Pseudomonas. Members of this genus also survive for a long time under unfavorable environmental conditions. Bacillus spp. secrete several metabolites that trigger plant growth and prevent pathogen infection. Limited studies have been conducted to understand the physiological changes that occur in crops in response to Bacillus spp. to provide protection against adverse environmental conditions. This review describes the current understanding of Bacillus-induced physiological changes in plants as an adaptation to abiotic and biotic stresses. During water scarcity, salinity and heavy metal accumulate in soil, Bacillus spp. produce exopolysaccharides and siderophores, which prevent the movement of toxic ions and adjust the ionic balance and water transport in plant tissues while controlling the pathogenic microbial population. In addition, the synthesis of indole-3-acetic acid, gibberellic acid and1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase by Bacillus regulates the intracellular phytohormone metabolism and increases plant stress tolerance. Cell-wall-degrading substances, such as chitosanase, protease, cellulase, glucanase, lipopeptides and hydrogen cyanide from Bacillus spp. damage the pathogenic bacteria, fungi, nematodes, viruses and pests to control their populations in plants and agricultural lands. The normal plant metabolism is affected by unfavorable environmental stimuli, which suppress crop growth and yield. Abiotic and biotic stress factors that have detrimental effects on crops are mitigated by Bacillus-induced physiological changes, including the regulation of water transport, nutrient up-take and

  7. Bacillus: A Biological Tool for Crop Improvement through Bio-Molecular Changes in Adverse Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramalingam Radhakrishnan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Crop productivity is affected by environmental and genetic factors. Microbes that are beneficial to plants are used to enhance the crop yield and are alternatives to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Pseudomonas and Bacillus species are the predominant plant growth-promoting bacteria. The spore-forming ability of Bacillus is distinguished from that of Pseudomonas. Members of this genus also survive for a long time under unfavorable environmental conditions. Bacillus spp. secrete several metabolites that trigger plant growth and prevent pathogen infection. Limited studies have been conducted to understand the physiological changes that occur in crops in response to Bacillus spp. to provide protection against adverse environmental conditions. This review describes the current understanding of Bacillus-induced physiological changes in plants as an adaptation to abiotic and biotic stresses. During water scarcity, salinity and heavy metal accumulate in soil, Bacillus spp. produce exopolysaccharides and siderophores, which prevent the movement of toxic ions and adjust the ionic balance and water transport in plant tissues while controlling the pathogenic microbial population. In addition, the synthesis of indole-3-acetic acid, gibberellic acid and1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC deaminase by Bacillus regulates the intracellular phytohormone metabolism and increases plant stress tolerance. Cell-wall-degrading substances, such as chitosanase, protease, cellulase, glucanase, lipopeptides and hydrogen cyanide from Bacillus spp. damage the pathogenic bacteria, fungi, nematodes, viruses and pests to control their populations in plants and agricultural lands. The normal plant metabolism is affected by unfavorable environmental stimuli, which suppress crop growth and yield. Abiotic and biotic stress factors that have detrimental effects on crops are mitigated by Bacillus-induced physiological changes, including the regulation of water transport

  8. Photo-biotechnology as a tool to improve agronomic traits in crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gururani, Mayank Anand; Ganesan, Markkandan; Song, Pill-Soon

    2015-01-01

    Phytochromes are photosensory phosphoproteins with crucial roles in plant developmental responses to light. Functional studies of individual phytochromes have revealed their distinct roles in the plant's life cycle. Given the importance of phytochromes in key plant developmental processes, genetically manipulating phytochrome expression offers a promising approach to crop improvement. Photo-biotechnology refers to the transgenic expression of phytochrome transgenes or variants of such transgenes. Several studies have indicated that crop cultivars can be improved by modulating the expression of phytochrome genes. The improved traits include enhanced yield, improved grass quality, shade-tolerance, and stress resistance. In this review, we discuss the transgenic expression of phytochrome A and its hyperactive mutant (Ser599Ala-PhyA) in selected crops, such as Zoysia japonica (Japanese lawn grass), Agrostis stolonifera (creeping bentgrass), Oryza sativa (rice), Solanum tuberosum (potato), and Ipomea batatas (sweet potato). The transgenic expression of PhyA and its mutant in various plant species imparts biotechnologically useful traits. Here, we highlight recent advances in the field of photo-biotechnology and review the results of studies in which phytochromes or variants of phytochromes were transgenically expressed in various plant species. We conclude that photo-biotechnology offers an excellent platform for developing crops with improved properties. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Improving crop yields for Sahelian Women | IDRC - International ...

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

    2016-06-07

    Jun 7, 2016 ... Less is more: Improving yields for Sahelian women with tiny dozes of fertilizer Farmers living in the semi-arid Sahel belt of West Africa are increasing the yields and income earned from their crops, thanks to a simple technique that combines small quantities of fertilizers (microdosing) with improved ...

  10. The economic impact of climate change on Kenyan crop agriculture: A Ricardian approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabubo-Mariara, Jane; Karanja, Fredrick K.

    2007-06-01

    This paper measures the economic impact of climate on crops in Kenya. We use cross-sectional data on climate, hydrological, soil and household level data for a sample of 816 households. We estimate a seasonal Ricardian model to assess the impact of climate on net crop revenue per acre. The results show that climate affects crop productivity. There is a non-linear relationship between temperature and revenue on one hand and between precipitation and revenue on the other. Estimated marginal impacts suggest that global warming is harmful for crop productivity. Predictions from global circulation models confirm that global warming will have a substantial impact on net crop revenue in Kenya. The results also show that the temperature component of global warming is much more important than precipitation. Findings call for monitoring of climate change and dissemination of information to farmers to encourage adaptations to climate change. Improved management and conservation of available water resources, water harvesting and recycling of wastewater could generate water for irrigation purposes especially in the arid and semi-arid areas.

  11. Toward Improved Market Access for ASEAN Agricultural Commodities

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

    ... technical report, November 2009 - May 2013. Études. Towards improved market access for ASEAN agricultural commodities : donor partnerships strategy and plan. Rapports. Towards improved market access for ASEAN agricultural commodities : project inception meeting report, Palm Garden Hotel, Putrajaya, Malaysia, ...

  12. New indicators for global crop monitoring in CropWatch -case study in North China Plain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bingfang, Wu; Miao, Zhang; Hongwei, Zeng; Guoshui, Liu; Sheng, Chang; Gommes, René

    2014-01-01

    CropWatch is a monitoring system developed and operated by the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (Chinese Academy of Sciences) to provide global-scale crop information. Now in its 15th year of operation, CropWatch was modified several times to be a timely, comprehensive and independent global agricultural monitoring system using advanced remote sensing technology. Currently CropWatch is being upgraded with new indicators based on new sensors, especially those on board of China Environmental Satellite (HJ-1 CCD), the Medium Resolution Spectral Imager (MERSI) on Chinese meteorological satellite (FY-3A) and cloud classification products of FY-2. With new satellite data, CropWatch will generate new indicators such as fallow land ratio (FLR), crop condition for irrigated (CCI) and non-irrigated (CCNI) areas separately, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), radiation use efficiency for the photosynthetically active radiation (RUE PAR ) and cropping index (CI) with crop rotation information (CRI). In this paper, the methods for monitoring the new indicators are applied to the North China Plain which is one of the major grain producing areas in China. This paper shows the preliminary results of the new indicators and methods; they still need to be thoroughly validated before being incorporated into the operational CropWatch system. In the future, the new and improved indicators will help us to better understand the global situation of food security

  13. Strategies for resource management to improve agricultural productivity in Bariarpur Tal area of Bihar (India)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, A.R.; Upadhyaya, A.; Bhatnagar, P.R.; Gautam, U.S.; Singh, S.K.; Singh, S.R.

    2002-06-01

    Water logged Tal area is termed as the stretch of land having bowl shaped depressions inundated in monsoon season due to spill/overflow from rivers or runoff from upstream end. A team of Agricultural Scientists studied and suggested a suitable plan to the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India for improving the agricultural productivity of 40,000 hectares land lying between Ghoraghat and Bariarpur and Prasando to Khand Bihari in Munger district of Bihar, which lies in eastern India. These lands remain inundated with water from July till January. Tal lands in Bariarpur suffer due to stagnation of water during monsoon period and delay in drainage thereafter. This is a late winter mono-cropped area with very low productivity. Though the fertility status of soil is good, the quantity and quality of produce is poor. The canal network is also not efficient and other parts face drought. It is expected that the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India will take up the action plan as per the recommendations of expert scientists' team to mitigate the sufferings and misery of the farmers and rural population of the area. The team of scientists had investigated in detail the genesis of the problem and suggested the appropriate management strategies to improve the agricultural production in this area upon the instruction of the Hon'ble Union Agricultural Minister Mr. Nitish Kumar. A reputed Journalist and dedicated Social Worker Mr. Dinesh brought the unbelievable misery of the rural population to the attention of the Agricultural Minister. The sufferings of the farmers of Bariarpur tal area thus cannot be mitigated without the implementation of recommendations suggested in the scientific report. It seems that a financial crunch is coming in the way for such implementation. Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Water Resources, State Government, NGOs and Social Organizations should come forward to help the rural population otherwise the ray of hope for a better living

  14. Cover Crops for Managing Stream Water Quantity and Improving Stream Water Quality of Non-Tile Drained Paired Watersheds

    OpenAIRE

    Gurbir Singh; Jon E. Schoonover; Karl W. J. Williard

    2018-01-01

    In the Midwestern United States, cover crops are being promoted as a best management practice for managing nutrient and sediment losses from agricultural fields through surface and subsurface water movement. To date, the water quality benefits of cover crops have been inferred primarily from plot scale studies. This project is one of the first to analyze the impacts of cover crops on stream water quality at the watershed scale. The objective of this research was to evaluate nitrogen, phosphor...

  15. Remote Sensing and Cropping Practices: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnès Bégué

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available For agronomic, environmental, and economic reasons, the need for spatialized information about agricultural practices is expected to rapidly increase. In this context, we reviewed the literature on remote sensing for mapping cropping practices. The reviewed studies were grouped into three categories of practices: crop succession (crop rotation and fallowing, cropping pattern (single tree crop planting pattern, sequential cropping, and intercropping/agroforestry, and cropping techniques (irrigation, soil tillage, harvest and post-harvest practices, crop varieties, and agro-ecological infrastructures. We observed that the majority of the studies were exploratory investigations, tested on a local scale with a high dependence on ground data, and used only one type of remote sensing sensor. Furthermore, to be correctly implemented, most of the methods relied heavily on local knowledge on the management practices, the environment, and the biological material. These limitations point to future research directions, such as the use of land stratification, multi-sensor data combination, and expert knowledge-driven methods. Finally, the new spatial technologies, and particularly the Sentinel constellation, are expected to improve the monitoring of cropping practices in the challenging context of food security and better management of agro-environmental issues.

  16. Agriculture: Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Climate change affects agricultural producers because agriculture and fisheries depend on specific climate conditions. Temperature changes can cause crop planting dates to shift. Droughts and floods due to climate change may hinder farming practices.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mokobia, C E; Anomohanran, O

    2005-01-01

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

  18. 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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Biophysical impacts of climate-smart agriculture in the Midwest United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagley, Justin E; Miller, Jesse; Bernacchi, Carl J

    2015-09-01

    The potential impacts of climate change in the Midwest United States present unprecedented challenges to regional agriculture. In response to these challenges, a variety of climate-smart agricultural methodologies have been proposed to retain or improve crop yields, reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, retain soil quality and increase climate resilience of agricultural systems. One component that is commonly neglected when assessing the environmental impacts of climate-smart agriculture is the biophysical impacts, where changes in ecosystem fluxes and storage of moisture and energy lead to perturbations in local climate and water availability. Using a combination of observational data and an agroecosystem model, a series of climate-smart agricultural scenarios were assessed to determine the biophysical impacts these techniques have in the Midwest United States. The first scenario extend