Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 637

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

637
10009155
Analyzing the Impact of Spatio-Temporal Climate Variations on the Rice Crop Calendar in Pakistan
Abstract:

The present study investigates the space-time impact of climate change on the rice crop calendar in tropical Gujranwala, Pakistan. The climate change impact was quantified through the climatic variables, whereas the existing calendar of the rice crop was compared with the phonological stages of the crop, depicted through the time series of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from Landsat data for the decade 2005-2015. Local maxima were applied on the time series of NDVI to compute the rice phonological stages. Panel models with fixed and cross-section fixed effects were used to establish the relation between the climatic parameters and the time-series of NDVI across villages and across rice growing periods. Results show that the climatic parameters have significant impact on the rice crop calendar. Moreover, the fixed effect model is a significant improvement over cross-sectional fixed effect models (R-squared equal to 0.673 vs. 0.0338). We conclude that high inter-annual variability of climatic variables cause high variability of NDVI, and thus, a shift in the rice crop calendar. Moreover, inter-annual (temporal) variability of the rice crop calendar is high compared to the inter-village (spatial) variability. We suggest the local rice farmers to adapt this change in the rice crop calendar.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
636
10009144
Jigger Flea (Tunga penetrans) Infestations and Use of Soil-Cow Dung-Ash Mixture as a Flea Control Method in Eastern Uganda
Abstract:

Despite several interventions, jigger flea infestations continue to be reported in the Busoga sub-region in Eastern Uganda. The purpose of this study was to identify factors that expose the indigenous people to jigger flea infestations and evaluate the effectiveness of any indigenous materials used in flea control by the affected communities. Flea compositions in residences were described, factors associated with flea infestation and indigenous materials used in flea control were evaluated. Field surveys were conducted in the affected communities after obtaining preliminary information on jigger infestation from the offices of the District Health Inspectors to identify the affected villages and households. Informed consent was then sought from the local authorities and household heads to conduct the study. Focus group discussions were conducted with key district informants, namely, the District Health Inspectors, District Entomologists and representatives from the District Health Office. A GPS coordinate was taken at central point at every household enrolled. Fleas were trapped inside residences using Kilonzo traps. A Kilonzo Trap comprised a shallow pan, about three centimetres deep, filled to the brim with water. The edges of the pan were smeared with Vaseline to prevent fleas from crawling out. Traps were placed in the evening and checked every morning the following day. The trapped fleas were collected in labelled vials filled with 70% aqueous ethanol and taken to the laboratory for identification. Socio-economic and environmental data were collected. The results indicate that the commonest flea trapped in the residences was the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) (50%), followed by Jigger flea (Tunga penetrans) (46%) and rat flea (Xenopsylla Cheopis) (4%), respectively. The average size of residences was seven squire metres with a mean of six occupants. The residences were generally untidy; with loose dusty floors and the brick walls were not plastered. The majority of the jigger affected households were headed by peasants (86.7%) and artisans (13.3%). The household heads mainly stopped at primary school level (80%) and few at secondary school level (20%). The jigger affected households were mainly headed by peasants of low socioeconomic status. The affected community members use soil-cow dung-ash mixture to smear floors of residences as the only measure to control fleas. This method was found to be ineffective in controlling the insects. The study recommends that home improvement campaigns be continued in the affected communities to improve sanitation and hygiene in residences as one of the interventions to combat flea infestations. Other cheap, available and effective means should be identified to curb jigger flea infestations.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
635
10009109
Mesotrione and Tembotrione Applied Alone or in Tank-Mix with Atrazine on Weed Control in Elephant Grass
Abstract:

The experiment was carried out in Valença, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, to evaluate the selectivity and weed control of carotenoid biosynthesis inhibiting herbicides applied alone or in combination with atrazine in elephant grass crop. The treatments were as follows: mesotrione (0.072 and 0.144 kg ha-1 + 0.5% v/v mineral oil - Assist®), tembotrione (0.075 and 0.100 kg ha-1 + 0.5% v/v mineral oil - Aureo®), atrazine + mesotrione (1.25 + 0.072 kg ha-1 + 0.5% v/v mineral oil - Assist®), atrazine + tembotrione (1.25 + 0.100 kg ha-1 + 0.5% v/v mineral oil - Aureo®), atrazine + mesotrione (1.25 + 0.072 kg ha-1), atrazine + tembotrione (1.25 + 0.100 kg ha-1) and two controls (hoed and unhoed check). Two application rates of mesotrione with the addition of mineral oil or the tank mixture of atrazine plus mesotrione, with or without the addition of mineral oil, did not provide injuries capable to reduce elephant grass forage yield. Tembotrione was phytotoxic to elephant grass when applied with mineral oil. Atrazine and tembotrione in a tank-mix, with or without mineral oil, were also phytotoxic to elephant grass. All treatments provided satisfactory weed control.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
634
10008899
Life Cycle-Based Analysis of Meat Production: Ecosystem Impacts
Abstract:
Recently, meat production ecosystem impacts initiated many hot discussions and researchers, and it is a difficult implementation to reduce such impacts due to the demand of meat products. It calls for better management and control of ecosystem impacts from every aspects of meat production. This article analyzes the ecosystem impacts of meat production based on meat products life cycle. The analysis shows that considerable ecosystem impacts are caused by different meat production steps: initial establishment phase, animal raising, slaughterhouse processing, meat consumption, and wastes management. Based on this analysis, the impacts are summarized as: leading factor for biodiversity loss; water waste, land use waste and land degradation; greenhouse gases emissions; pollution to air, water, and soil; related major diseases. The article also provides a discussion on a solution-sustainable food system, which could help in reducing ecosystem impacts. The analysis method is based on the life cycle level, it provides a concept of the whole meat industry ecosystem impacts, and the analysis result could be useful to manage or control meat production ecosystem impacts from investor, producer and consumer sides.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
633
10008713
Flood Predicting in Karkheh River Basin Using Stochastic ARIMA Model
Abstract:

Floods have huge environmental and economic impact. Therefore, flood prediction is given a lot of attention due to its importance. This study analysed the annual maximum streamflow (discharge) (AMS or AMD) of Karkheh River in Karkheh River Basin for flood predicting using ARIMA model. For this purpose, we use the Box-Jenkins approach, which contains four-stage method model identification, parameter estimation, diagnostic checking and forecasting (predicting). The main tool used in ARIMA modelling was the SAS and SPSS software. Model identification was done by visual inspection on the ACF and PACF. SAS software computed the model parameters using the ML, CLS and ULS methods. The diagnostic checking tests, AIC criterion, RACF graph and RPACF graphs, were used for selected model verification. In this study, the best ARIMA models for Annual Maximum Discharge (AMD) time series was (4,1,1) with their AIC value of 88.87. The RACF and RPACF showed residuals’ independence. To forecast AMD for 10 future years, this model showed the ability of the model to predict floods of the river under study in the Karkheh River Basin. Model accuracy was checked by comparing the predicted and observation series by using coefficient of determination (R2).

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
632
10008926
Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture in Victoria’s Food Bowl: Optimizing Productivity with the use of Decision-Support Tools
Abstract:

A participatory and engaged approach is key in connecting agricultural managers to sustainable agricultural systems to support and optimize production in Victoria’s food bowl. A sustainable intensification (SI) approach is well documented globally, but participation rates amongst Victorian farmers is fragmentary, and key outcomes and implementation strategies are poorly understood. Improvement in decision-support management tools and a greater understanding of the productivity gains available upon implementation of SI is necessary. This paper reviews the current understanding and uptake of SI practices amongst farmers in one of Victoria’s premier food producing regions, the Goulburn Broken; and it spatially analyses the potential for this region to adapt to climate change and optimize food production. A Geographical Information Systems (GIS) approach is taken to develop an interactive decision-support tool that can be accessible to on-ground agricultural managers. The tool encompasses multiple criteria analysis (MCA) that identifies factors during the construction phase of the tool, using expert witnesses and regional knowledge, framed within an Analytical Hierarchy Process. Given the complexities of the interrelations between each of the key outcomes, this participatory approach, in which local realities and factors inform the key outcomes and help to strategies for a particular region, results in a robust strategy for sustainably intensifying production in key food producing regions. The creation of an interactive, locally embedded, decision-support management and education tool can help to close the gap between farmer knowledge and production, increase on-farm adoption of sustainable farming strategies and techniques, and optimize farm productivity.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
631
10008623
A Close Study on the Nitrate Fertilizer Use and Environmental Pollution for Human Health in Iran
Abstract:

Nitrogen accumulates in soils during the process of fertilizer addition to promote the plant growth. When the organic matter decomposes, the form of available nitrogen produced is in the form of nitrate, which is highly mobile. The most significant health effect of nitrate ingestion is methemoglobinemia in infants under six months of age (blue baby syndrome). The mobile nutrients, like nitrate nitrogen, are not stored in the soil as the available forms for the long periods and in large amounts. It depends on the needs for the crops such as vegetables. On the other hand, the vegetables will compete actively for nitrate nitrogen as a mobile nutrient and water. The mobile nutrients must be shared. The fewer the plants, the larger this share is for each plant. Also, this nitrate nitrogen is poisonous for the people who use these vegetables. Nitrate is converted to nitrite by the existing bacteria in the stomach and the Gastro-Intestinal (GI) tract. When nitrite is entered into the blood cells, it converts the hemoglobin to methemoglobin, which causes the anoxemia and cyanosis. The increasing use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, especially the fertilizers with nitrates compounds, which have been common for the increased production of agricultural crops, has caused the nitrate pollution in the (soil, water, and environment). They have caused a lot of damage to humans and animals. In this research, the nitrate accumulation in different kind of vegetables such as; green pepper, tomatoes, egg plants, watermelon, cucumber, and red pepper were observed in the suburbs of Mashhad, Neisabour, and Sabzevar cities. In some of these cities, the information forms of agronomical practices collected were such as; different vegetable crops fertilizer recommendations, varieties, pesticides, irrigation schedules, etc., which were filled out by some of our colleagues in the research areas mentioned above. Analysis of the samples was sent to the soil and water laboratory in our department in Mashhad. The final results from the chemical analysis of samples showed that the mean levels of nitrates from the samples of the fruit crops in the mentioned cities above were all lower than the critical levels. These fruit crop samples were in the order of: 35.91, 8.47, 24.81, 6.03, 46.43, 2.06 mg/kg dry matter, for the following crops such as; tomato, cucumber, eggplant, watermelon, green pepper, and red pepper. Even though, this study was conducted with limited samples and by considering the mean levels, the use of these crops from the nutritional point of view will not cause the poisoning of humans.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
630
10008578
Analysis of Fertilizer Effect in the Tilapia Growth of Mozambique (Oreochromis mossambicus)
Abstract:
This paper analyses the effect of fertilizer (organic and inorganic) in the growth of tilapia. An experiment was implemented in the Aquapesca Company of Mozambique; there were considered four different treatments. Each type of fertilizer was applied in two of these treatments; a feed was supplied to the third treatment, and the fourth was taken as control. The weight and length of the tilapia were used as the growth parameters, and to measure the water quality, the physical-chemical parameters were registered. The results show that the weight and length were different for tilapias cultivated in different treatments. These differences were evidenced mainly by organic and feed treatments, where there was the largest and smallest value of these parameters, respectively. In order to prove that these differences were caused only by applied treatment without interference for the aquatic environment, a Fisher discriminant analysis was applied, which confirmed that the treatments were exposed to the same environment condition.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
629
10008550
Application of Metarhizium anisopliae against Meloidogyne javanica in Soil Amended with Oak Debris
Abstract:

Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is one of the most popular, widely grown and the second most important vegetable crop, after potatoes. Nematodes have been identified as one of the major pests affecting tomato production throughout the world. The most destructive nematodes are the genus Meloidogyne. Most widespread and devastating species of this genus are M. incognita, M. javanica, and M. arenaria. These species can cause complete crop loss under adverse growing conditions. There are several potential methods for management of the root knot nematodes. Although the chemicals are widely used against the phytonematodes, because of hazardous effects of these compounds on non-target organisms and on the environment, there is a need to develop other control strategies. Nowadays, non-chemical measures are widely used to control the plant parasitic nematodes. Biocontrol of phytonematodes is an important method among environment-friendly measures of nematode management. There are some soil-inhabiting fungi that have biocontrol potential on phytonematodes, which can be used in nematode management program. The fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, originally is an entomopathogenic bioagent. Biocontrol potential of this fungus on some phytonematodes has been reported earlier. Recently, use of organic soil amendments as well as the use of bioagents is under special attention in sustainable agriculture. This research aimed to reduce the pesticide use in control of root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne javanica in tomato. The effects of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and different levels of oak tree debris on M. javanica were determined. The combination effect of the fungus as well as the different rates of soil amendments was determined. Pots were filled with steam pasteurized soil mixture and the six leaf tomato seedlings were inoculated with 3000 second stage larvae of M. javanica/kg of soil. After eight weeks, plant growth parameters and nematode reproduction factors were compared. Based on the results of our experiment, combination of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and oak debris caused more than 90% reduction in reproduction factor of nematode, at the rates of 100 and 150 g/kg soil (P ≤ 0.05). As compared to control, the reduction in number of galls was 76%. It was 86% for nematode reproduction factor, showing the significance of combined effect of both tested agents. Our results showed that plant debris can increase the biological activity of the tested bioagent. It was also proved that there was no adverse effect of oak debris, which potentially has antimicrobial activity, on antagonistic power of applied bioagent.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
628
10008498
Effect of Nanoparticles on Wheat Seed Germination and Seedling Growth
Abstract:

Wheat is an important cereal crop for food security. Boosting the wheat production and productivity is the major challenge across the nation. Good quality of seed is required for maintaining optimum plant stand which ultimately increases grain yield. Ensuring a good germination is one of the key steps to ensure proper plant stand and moisture assurance during seed germination may help to speed up the germination. The tiny size of nanoparticles may help in entry of water into seed without disturbing their internal structure. Considering above, a laboratory experiment was conducted during 2012-13 at G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, India. The completely randomized design was used for statistical analysis. The experiment was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, the appropriate concentration of nanoparticles for seed treatment was screened. In second phase seed soaking hours of nanoparticles for better seed germination were standardized. Wheat variety UP2526 was taken as test crop. Four nanoparticles (TiO2, ZnO, nickel and chitosan) were taken for study. The crop germination studies were done in petri dishes and standard package and practices were used to raise the seedlings. The germination studies were done by following standard procedure. In first phase of the experiment, seeds were treated with 50 and 300 ppm of nanoparticles and control was also maintained for comparison. In the second phase of experiment, seeds were soaked for 4 hours, 6 hours and 8 hours with 50 ppm nanoparticles of TiO2, ZnO, nickel and chitosan along with control treatment to identify the soaking time for better seed germination. Experiment revealed that the application of nanoparticles help to enhance seed germination. The study revealed that seed treatment with  nanoparticles at 50 ppm concentration increases root length, shoot length, seedling length, shoot dry weight, seedling dry weight, seedling vigour index I and seedling vigour index II as compared to seed soaking at 300 ppm concentration. This experiment showed that seed soaking up to 4 hr was better as compared to 6 and 8 hrs. Seed soaking with nanoparticles specially TiO2, ZnO, and chitosan proved to enhance germination and seedling growth indices of wheat crop.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
627
10008385
Fish Catch Composition from Gobind Sagar Reservoir during 2006-2012
Abstract:
Gobind Sagar Reservoir has been created in Himachal Pradesh, India (31° 25´ N and 76 ° 25´E) by damming River Sutlej at village Bhakra in 1963. The average water spread area of this reservoir is 10,000 hectares. Fishermen have organized themselves in the form of co-operative societies. 26 fisheries co-operative societies were working in Gobind Sagar Reservoir up till 2012. June and July months were observed as closed season, no fishing was done during this period. Proper record maintaining of fish catch was done at different levels by the state fisheries department. Different measures like minimum harvestable size, mesh size regulation and prohibition of illegal fishing etc. were taken for fish conservation. Fishermen were actively involved in the management. Gill nets were used for catching fishes from this reservoir. State fisheries department is realizing 15% royalty of the sold fish. Data used in this paper is about the fish catch during 2006-2012 and were obtained from the state fisheries department, Himachal Pradesh. Catla catla, Labeo rohita, Cirrhinus mrigala, Sperata seenghala, Cyprinus carpio, Tor putitora, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix, Labeo calbasu, Labeo dero and Ctenopharyngodon idella etc., were the fish species exploited for commercial purposes. Total number of individuals of all species caught was 3141236 weighing 5637108.9 kg during 2006-2012. H. molitrix was introduced accidently in this reservoir and was making a good share of fish catch in this reservoir. The annual catch of this species was varying between 161279.6 kg, caught in 2011 and 788030.8 kg caught in 2009. Total numbers of individuals of C. idella caught were 8966 weighing 64320.2 kg. The catch of Cyprinus carpio was varying between 144826.1 kg caught in 2006 and 214480.1 kg caught in 2010. Total catch of Tor putitora was 180263.2 kg during 2006-2012. Total catch of L. dero, S. seenghala and Catla catla remained 100637.4 kg, 75297.8 kg and 561802.9 kg, respectively, during 2006-2012. Maximum fish catch was observed during the months of August (after observing Closed Season). Maximum catch of exotic carps was from Bhakra area of the reservoir which has fewer fluctuations in water levels. The reservoir has been divided into eight beats for administrative purpose, to avoid conflicts between operating fisheries co-operative societies for area of operation. Fish catch was more by co-operative societies operating in the area of reservoir having fewer fluctuations in water level and catch was less by co-operative societies operating in the area of more fluctuations in water level. Species-wise fish catch by different co-operative societies from their allotted area was studied. This reservoir is one of most scientifically managed reservoirs.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
626
10008346
Heavy Metal Contamination of a Dumpsite Environment as Assessed with Pollution Indices
Abstract:
Indiscriminate refuse dumping in and around Ado-Ekiti combined with improper management of few available dumpsites, such as Ilokun dumpsite, posed the threat of heavy metals pollution in the surrounding soils and underground water that needs assessment using pollution indices. Surface soils (0-15 cm) were taken from the centre of Ilokun dumpsite (0 m) and environs at different directions and distances during the dry and wet seasons, as well as a background sample at 1000 m away, adjacent to the dumpsite at Ilokun, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. The concentration of heavy metals used to calculate the pollution indices for the soils were determined using Atomic Adsorption Spectrophotometer. The soils recorded high concentrations of all the heavy metals above the background concentrations irrespective of the season with highest concentrations at the 0 m except Ni and Fe at 50 m during the dry and wet season, respectively. The heavy metals concentration were in the order of Ni > Mn > Pb > Cr > Cu > Cd > Fe during the dry season, and Fe > Cr > Cu > Pb > Ni > Cd > Mn during the wet season. Using the Contamination Factor (CF), the soils were classified to be moderately contaminated with Cd and Fe to very high contamination with other metals during the dry season and low Cd contamination (0.87), moderate contamination with Fe, Pb, Mn and Ni and very high contamination with Cr and Cu during the wet season. At both seasons, the Pollution Load Index (PLI) indicates the soils to be generally polluted with heavy metals and the Geoaccumulation Index (Igeo) calculated shown the soils to be in unpolluted to moderately polluted levels. Enrichment Factor (EF) implied the soils to be deficiently enriched with all the heavy metals except Cr (7.90) and Cu (6.42) that were at significantly enrichment levels during the wet season. Modified Degree of Contamination (mCd) recorded, indicated the soils to be of very high to extremely high degree of contamination during the dry season and moderate degree of contamination during the wet season except 0 m with high degree of contamination. The concentration of heavy metals in the soils combined with some of the pollution indices indicated the soils in and around the Ilokun Dumpsite are being polluted with heavy metals from anthropogenic sources constituted by the indiscriminate refuse dumping.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
625
10008982
Heavy Metal Concentration in Gills and Bones of Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) from Jega River, Kebbi State, Nigeria
Abstract:

A study was conducted to assess some heavy metal concentration (Cadmium (Cd), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Lead (Pb) and Zinc (Zn)) in the gills and bones of Oreochromis niloticus obtained from Jega river. 30 fish samples were collected from March to July 2014 (fortnightly). Bones and gills were used for the assessment of some heavy metals using Atomic Absorption Spectrometer. Results indicated that Pb was not detected in both gills and bones but Fe, Cd, Zn and Cu were present in both the gills and bones of the fish samples. The concentrations of heavy metals in gills were; Fe 3.37±1.10, Cd 0.62±0.08, Zn 6.21±0.11 and Cu 1.28±0.10 mg/kg. The concentrations of heavy metals in bones: Fe 13.08±1.00 mg/kg, Cd 0.99±0.06 mg/kg, Zn 1.28±0.10 mg/kg and Cu 2.23±0.20 mg/kg. The results were found to be within the internationally acceptable standard limits. However, the consumption of small amounts of the identified heavy metals in fish could lead to gradual accumulation over a long period of time and exert toxic effects to consumers. Efforts should be made by the Government to provide appropriate channels for waste disposal to reduce impact on fish.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
624
10008367
Maize Tolerance to Natural and Artificial Infestation with Diabrotica virgifera virgifera Eggs
Abstract:
Western corn rootworm – WCR (Diabrotica virgifera sp.virgifera, Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae) is economically the most important pest of maize worldwide. WCR natural population is already very abundant on Serbian fields, and keeps increasing each year. Tolerance is recognized by larger root size and bigger root regrowth. Severe larval injuries cause lack of compensatory regrowth and lead to reduction of plant growth and yield. The aim of this research was to evaluate tolerance of commercial Serbian maize hybrid NS 640, under natural WCR infestation and under conditions of artificial infestation, and to obtain the information about its tolerance to WCR larval feeding in two consecutive years. Field experiments were conducted in 2015 and 2016, in Bečej (Vojvodina province, Serbia). In experimental field, 96 plants were selected, marked and arranged in 48 pairs. Each pair represented two plants. The first plant was artificially infested with 4 mL WCR egg suspension in agar (550 eggs plant-1) in the root zone (D plant). The second plant represented control plant (C plant) with injection of 4 mL distilled water in root zone. The experimental field was inspected weekly. A hybrid tolerance was assessed based on root injury level and root mass. Root injury was rated using the Node-Injury Scale 1-6, during the last field inspection (September – October). Comparing the root injuries on D and C plants in 2015, more severe damages were recorded on D plants (12 plants - rate 5 and 17 plants - rate 6) compared to C plants (2 plants - rate 5 and 8 plants - rate 6). Also, the highest number of plants with healthy roots (rate 1), was registered in the control (25 plants), while only 4 D plants were rated as injury level 1. In 2016, root injuries caused by WCR larvae on D and C plants did not differ significantly. The reason is the difference in climatic conditions between the years. The 2015 was extremely dry and more suitable for WCR larval development and movement in the soil, compared to 2016. Thus, more severe damages appeared on artificially infested plants (D plants). Root mass was in strong correlation with the level of root injury, but did not differ significantly between D and C plants, in both years.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
623
10008271
Aromatic and Medicinal Plants in Morocco: Diversity and Socio-Economic Role
Abstract:
Morocco is characterized by a great richness and diversity in aromatic and medicinal plants and it has an ancestral knowledge in the use of plants for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. In effect, the poverty of riparian, specially, mountain populations have greatly contributed to the development of traditional pharmacopoeia in Morocco. The analysis of the bibliographic data showed that a large number of plants in Morocco are exploited for aromatic and medicinal purposes and several of them are commercialized internationally. However, these potentialities of aromatic and medicinal plants are currently subjected to climate change and strong human pressures: Collecting fruits, agriculture development, harvesting plants, urbanization, overgrazing...
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
622
10008674
Humic Acid and Azadirachtin Derivatives for the Management of Crop Pests
Abstract:

Organic cultivation of crops is gaining importance consumer awareness towards pesticide residue free foodstuffs is increasing globally. This is also because of high costs of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, making the conventional farming non-remunerative. In India, organic manures (such as vermicompost) are an important input in organic agriculture.  Though vermicompost obtained through earthworm and microbe-mediated processes is known to comprise most of the crop nutrients, but they are in small amounts thus necessitating enrichment of nutrients so that crop nourishment is complete. Another characteristic of organic manures is that the pest infestations are kept under check due to induced resistance put up by the crop plants. In the present investigation, deoiled neem cake containing azadirachtin, copper ore tailings (COT), a source of micro-nutrients and microbial consortia were added for enrichment of vermicompost. Neem cake is a by-product obtained during the process of oil extraction from neem plant seeds. Three enriched vermicompost blends were prepared using vermicompost (at 70, 65 and 60%), deoiled neem cake (25, 30 and 35%), microbial consortia and COTwastes (5%). Enriched vermicompost was thoroughly mixed, moistened (25+5%), packed and incubated for 15 days at room temperature. In the crop response studies, the field trials on chili (Capsicum annum var. longum) and soybean, (Glycine max cv JS 335) were conducted during Kharif 2015 at the Main Agricultural Research Station, UAS, Dharwad-Karnataka, India. The vermicompost blend enriched with neem cake (known to possess higher amounts of nutrients) and vermicompost were applied to the crops and at two dosages and at two intervals of crop cycle (at sowing and 30 days after sowing) as per the treatment plan along with 50% recommended dose of fertilizer (RDF). 10 plants selected randomly in each plot were studied for pest density and plant damage. At maturity, crops were harvested, and the yields were recorded as per the treatments, and the data were analyzed using appropriate statistical tools and procedures. In the crops, chili and soybean, crop nourishment with neem enriched vermicompost reduced insect density and plant damage significantly compared to other treatments. These treatments registered as much yield (16.7 to 19.9 q/ha) as that realized in conventional chemical control (18.2 q/ha) in soybean, while 72 to 77 q/ha of green chili was harvested in the same treatments, being comparable to the chemical control (74 q/ha). The yield superiority of the treatments was of the order neem enriched vermicompost>conventional chemical control>neem cake>vermicompost>untreated control.  The significant features of the result are that it reduces use of inorganic manures by 50% and synthetic chemical insecticides by 100%.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
621
10008634
Solomon 300 OD (Betacyfluthrin+Imidacloprid): A Combi-Product for the Management of Insect-Pests of Chilli (Capsicum annum L.)
Abstract:

Chilli (Capsicum annum L.) an important commercial vegetable crop is ravaged by a number of insect-pests during both vegetative and reproductive phase resulting into significant crop loss.Thrips, Scirtothripsdorsalis, mite, Polyphagotarsonemuslatus and whitefly, Bemisiatabaci are the key sap feeding insects, their infestation leads to leaf curl, stunted growth and yield loss.During flowering and fruit formation stage, gall midge fly, Asphondyliacapparis (Rubsaaman) infesting flower buds and young fruits andHelicoverpaarmigera (Hubner) feeding on matured green fruits are the important insect pests causing significant crop loss.The pest is known to infest both flower buds and young fruits resulting into malformation of flower buds and twisting of fruits.In order to manage these insect-pests a combi product consisting of imidacloprid and betacyfluthrin (Soloman 300 OD) was evaluated for its bio-efficacy, phytotoxicity and effect on predator activity.Imidacloprid, a systemic insecticide belonging to neo-nicotinoid group, is effective against insect pests such as aphids, whiteflies (sap feeders) and other insectsviz., termites and soil insects.Beta-Cyfluthrin is an insecticide of synthetic pyrethroid group which acts by contact action and ingestion. It acts on the insects' nervous system as sodium channel blocker consequently a disorder of the nervous system occurs leading finally to the death. The field experiments were taken up during 2015 and 2016 at the Main Agricultural Research Station of University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, Karnataka, India.The trials were laid out in a Randomized Block Design (RBD) with three replications using popular land race of Byadagi crop variety.Results indicated that the product at 21.6 + 50.4% gai/ha (240 ml/ha) and 27.9 + 65% gai/ha (310 ml/ha) was found quite effective in controlling thrips (0.00 to 0.66 thrips per six leaves) as against the standard check insecticide recommended for thrips by the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad wherein the density of thrips recorded was significantly higher (1.00 to 2.00 Nos./6 leaves). Similarly, the test insecticide was quite effective against other target insects, whiteflies, fruit borer and gall midge fly as indicated by lower insect population observed in the treatments as compared to standard insecticidal control. The predatory beetle activity was found to be normal in all experimental plots. Highest green fruit yield of 5100-5500 kg/ha was recorded in Soloman 300 OD applied crop at 310 ml/ha rate as compared to 4750 to 5050 kg/ha recorded in check. At present 6-8 sprays of insecticides are recommended for management of these insect-pests on the crop. If combi-products are used in pest management programmes, it is possible to reduce insecticide usages in crop ecosystem.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
620
10008488
Status and Management of Grape Stem Borer, Celosterna scrabrator with Soil Application of Chlorantraniliprole 0.4 gr
Abstract:

Grape stem borer, Celosterna scrabrator is an important production constraint in grapes in India. Hitherto this pest was a severe menace only on the aged and unmanaged fields but during the recent past it has also started damaging the newly established fields. In India, since Karnataka, Andra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are the major grape production states, the incidence of stem borer is also restricted and severe in these states. The grubs of the beetle bore in to the main stem and even the branches, which affect the translocation of nutrients to the areal parts of the plant. Since, the grubs bore inside the stem, the chewed material along with its excreta is discharged outside the holes and the frass is found on the ground just below the bored holes. The portion of vines above the damaged part has a sticky appearance. The leaves become pale yellow which looks like a deficiency of micronutrients. The leaves ultimately dry and drop down. The status of the incidence of the grape stem borer in different grape growing districts of Northern Karnataka was carried out during three years. In each taluka five locations were surveyed for the incidence of grape stem borer. Further, the experiment on management of stem borer was carried out in the grape gardens of Vijayapur districts under farmers field during three years. Stem borer infested plants that show live holes were selected per treatments and it was replicated three times. Live and dead holes observed during pre-treatment were closely monitored and only plants with live holes were selected and tagged. Different doses of chlorantraniliprole 0.4% GR were incorporated into the soil around the vine basins near root zone surrounded to trunk region by removing soils up to 5-10 cm with a peripheral distance of 1 to 1.5 feet from the main trunk where feeder roots are present. Irrigation was followed after application of insecticide for proper incorporation of the test chemical. The results indicated that there was sever to moderate incidence of the stem borer in all the grape growing districts of northern Karnataka. Maximum incidence was recorded in Belagavi (11 holes per vine) and minimum was in Gadag district (8.5 holes per vine). The investigations carried out to study the efficacy of chlorantraniliprole on grape stem borer for successive three years under farmers field indicated that chlorantraniliprole @ 15g/vine applied just near the active root zone of the plant followed by irrigation has successfully managed the pest. The insecticide has translocated to all the parts of the plants and thereby stopped the activity of the pest which has resulted in to better growth of the plant and higher berry yield compared to other treatments under investigation. Thus, chlorantraniliprole 0.4 GR @ 15g/vine can be effective means in managing the stem borer.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
619
10008362
The Effect of Soil Contamination on Chemical Composition and Quality of Aronia (Aronia melanocarpa) Fruits
Abstract:

A field study was conducted to evaluate the chemical composition and quality of the Aronia fruits, as well as the possibilities of Aronia cultivation on soils contaminated with heavy metals. The experiment was performed on an agricultural field contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works (NFMW) near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The study included four varieties of Aronia; Aron variety, Hugin variety, Viking variety and Nero variety. The Aronia was cultivated according to the conventional technology on areas at a different distance from the source of pollution NFMW- Plovdiv (1 km, 3.5 km, and 15 km). The concentrations of macroelements, microelements, and heavy metals in Aronia fruits were determined. The dry matter content, ash, sugars, proteins, and fats were also determined. Aronia is a crop that is tolerant to heavy metals and can successfully be grown on soils contaminated with heavy metals. The increased content of heavy metals in the soil leads to less absorption of the nutrients (Ca, Mg and P) in the fruit of the Aronia. Soil pollution with heavy metals does not affect the quality of the Aronia fruit varieties.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
618
10008213
Effects of Lateness Gene on Yield and Related Traits in Indica Rice
Abstract:

Various genes which control or affect heading time have been found in rice. Out of them, Se1 and E1 loci play important roles in determining heading time by controlling photosensitivity. An isogenic-line pair of late and early lines were developed from progenies of the F1 from Suweon 258 × 36U. A lateness gene tentatively designated as “Ex” was found to control the difference in heading time between the early and late lines mentioned above. The present study was conducted to examine the effect of Ex on yield and related traits. Indica-type variety Suweon 258 was crossed with 36U, which is an Ur1 (Undulate rachis-1) isogenic line of IR36. In the F2 population, comparatively early-heading, late-heading and intermediate-heading plants were segregated. Segregation similar to that by the three types of heading was observed in the F3 and later generations. A late-heading plant and an early-heading plant were selected in the F8 population from an intermediate-heading F7 plant, for developing L and E of the isogenic-line pair, respectively. Experiments for L and E were conducted by randomized block design with three replications. Transplanting was conducted on May 3 at a planting distance of 30 cm × 15 cm with two seedlings per hill to an experimental field of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kochi University. Chemical fertilizers containing N, P2O5 and K2O were applied at the nitrogen levels of 4 g/m2, 9 g/m2 and 18 g/m2 in total being denoted by "N4", "N9" and "N18", respectively. Yield, yield components and other traits were measured. Ex delayed 80%-heading by 17 or 18 days in L as compared with E. In total brown rice yield (g/m2), L was 635, 606 and 590, and E was 577, 548 and 501, respectively, at N18, N9 and N4, indicating that Ex increased this trait by 10% to 18%. Ex increased yield-1.5 mm sieve (g/m2) b 9% to 15% at the three fertilizer levels. Ex increased the spikelet number per panicle by 16% to 22%. As a result, the spikelet number per m2 was increased by 11% to 18% at the three fertilizer levels. Ex decreased 1000-grain weight (g) by 2 to 4%. L was not significantly different from E in ripened-grain percentage, fertilized-spikelet percentage and percentage of ripened grains to fertilized spikelets. Hence, it is inferred that Ex increased yield by increasing spikelet number per panicle. Hence, Ex could be utilized to develop high yielding varieties for warmer districts.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
617
10008175
Vermicomposting of Textile Industries’ Dyeing Sludge by Using Eisenia foetida
Abstract:
Surat City in India is famous for textile and dyeing industries which generate textile sludge in huge quantity. Textile sludge contains harmful chemicals which are poisonous and carcinogenic. The safe disposal and reuse of textile dyeing sludge are challenging for owner of textile industries and government of the state. The aim of present study was the vermicomposting of textile industries dyeing sludge with cow dung and Eisenia foetida as earthworm spices. The vermicompost reactor of 0.3 m3 capacity was used for vermicomposting. Textile dyeing sludge was mixed with cow dung in different proportion, i.e., 0:100 (C1), 10:90 (C2), 20:80 (C3), 30:70 (C4). Vermicomposting duration was 120 days. All the combinations of the feed mixture, the pH was increased to a range 7.45-7.78, percentage of total organic carbon was decreased to a range of 31-33.3%, total nitrogen was decreased to a range of 1.15-1.32%, total phosphorus was increased in the range of 6.2-7.9 (g/kg).
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
616
10008098
Comparative Study on Soil Tillage Using Rotary Tiller and Power Harrow
Abstract:

Farmers try to reduce steps of soil preparation by using subsoiler and then following by equipment for soil pulverization such as a rotary tiller and a power harrow which take advantage of using a power take-off of a tractor. Therefore, this study was conducted to compare the tilling performances of a rotary tiller and a power harrow applying after subsoiling. The results showed that both the rotary tiller and the power harrow had negative slip, indicating that they generated force to push a tractor. The rotary tiller created negative vertical force to lift up the tractor whereas opposite result was found when using the power harrow. Since working depths were different, vertical forces, torques and PTO powers for two equipment types were significantly different. However, no significant differences were found for the forward speeds, slips, drawbar pulls and drawbar powers. Comparative analysis showed that two equipment types had significant difference in PTO power to working depth, drawbar power to working depth, PTO power to working area, drawbar power to working area and soil pulverization.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
615
10008051
Benzpyrimoxan: An Insecticide for the Control of Rice Plant Hoppers
Abstract:

Rice plant hoppers (Hemiptera: Delphacidae) have been causing extensive economic damage in rice and are considered as serious threat in rice producing countries of Asia. They have developed resistance to major groups of chemical insecticide, and severe outbreaks occur commonly throughout Asia. To control these nuisance pests, Nihon Nohyaku Co., Ltd., recently discovered an insecticide, benzpyrimoxan (proposed ISO name), which is under development as NNI-1501 (development code). Benzpyrimoxan has a unique chemical structure which contains benzyloxy and cyclic acetal groups on pyrimidine moiety (5-(1,3-dioxan-2-yl)-4-[4- (trifluoromethyl)benzyloxy]pyrimidine). In order to clarify the biological properties of benzpyrimoxan, we conducted several experiments and found the following results. Benzpyrimoxan has high activity against nymphal stages of rice plant hoppers without any adulticidal activity. It provides excellent and long lasting control against rice plant hoppers, including populations that have developed resistance to several other chemical groups of insecticide. The study on its mode of action is undergoing. These features highlight the versatility of this insecticide as an effective and valuable tool from the viewpoints of insecticide resistance management and integrated pest management program. With the use of benzpyrimoxan, farmers shall be able to lead the best yield potential by keeping the population density of rice plant hoppers and associated virus diseases under control.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
614
10007948
Use of Fruit Beetles, Waxworms Larvae and Tiger Worms in Waste Conditioning for Composting
Abstract:
In many countries, cow dung is used as farm manure and for biogas production. Several bacterial strains associated with cow dung such as Campylobacter, Salmonella sp. and Escherichia coli cause serious human diseases. The objective of the present study was to investigate the use of insect larvae including fruit beetle, waxworms and tiger worms to improve the breakdown of agricultural wastes and reduce their pathogen loads. Fresh cow faeces were collected from a cattle farm and distributed into plastic boxes (100 g/box). Each box was provided with 10 larvae of fruit beetle, Waxworms and Tiger worms, respectively. There were 3 replicates in each treatment including the control. Bacteria were isolated weekly from both control and cow faeces to which larvae were added to determine the bacterial populations. Results revealed that the bacterial load was higher in the cow faeces treated with fruit beetles than in the control, while the bacterial load was lower in the cow faeces treated with waxworms and tiger worms than in the control. The activities of the fruit beetle larvae led to the cow faeces being liquefied which provided a more conducive growing media for bacteria. Therefore, higher bacterial load in the cow faeces treated with fruit beetle might be attributed to the liquefaction of cow faeces.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
613
10008203
The Dependence of the Liquid Application on the Coverage of the Sprayed Objects in Terms of the Characteristics of the Sprayed Object during Spraying
Abstract:

When assessing the quality of the spraying procedure, three indicators are used: uneven distribution of precipitation of liquid sprayed, degree of coverage of sprayed surfaces, and deposition of liquid spraying However, there is a lack of information on the relationship between the quality parameters of the procedure. Therefore, the research was carried out at the Institute of Agricultural Engineering of Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences. The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between the degree of coverage of sprayed surfaces and the deposition of liquid in the aspect of the parametric characteristics of the protected plant using selected single and double stream nozzles. Experiments were conducted under laboratory conditions. The carrier of nozzles acted as an independent self-propelled sprayer used for spraying, whereas the parametric characteristics of plants were determined using artificial plants as the ratio of the vertical projection surface and the horizontal projection surface. The results and their analysis showed a strong and very strong correlation between the analyzed parameters in terms of the characteristics of the sprayed object.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
612
10008069
Rainfall–Runoff Simulation Using WetSpa Model in Golestan Dam Basin, Iran
Abstract:

Flood simulation and prediction is one of the most active research areas in surface water management. WetSpa is a distributed, continuous, and physical model with daily or hourly time step that explains precipitation, runoff, and evapotranspiration processes for both simple and complex contexts. This model uses a modified rational method for runoff calculation. In this model, runoff is routed along the flow path using Diffusion-Wave equation which depends on the slope, velocity, and flow route characteristics. Golestan Dam Basin is located in Golestan province in Iran and it is passing over coordinates 55° 16´ 50" to 56° 4´ 25" E and 37° 19´ 39" to 37° 49´ 28"N. The area of the catchment is about 224 km2, and elevations in the catchment range from 414 to 2856 m at the outlet, with average slope of 29.78%. Results of the simulations show a good agreement between calculated and measured hydrographs at the outlet of the basin. Drawing upon Nash-Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficient for calibration periodic model estimated daily hydrographs and maximum flow rate with an accuracy up to 59% and 80.18%, respectively.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
611
10007803
Effect of Segregation on the Reaction Rate of Sewage Sludge Pyrolysis in a Bubbling Fluidized Bed
Abstract:

The evolution of the pyrolysis of sewage sludge in a fixed and a fluidized bed was analyzed using a novel measuring technique. This original measuring technique consists of installing the whole reactor over a precision scale, capable of measuring the mass of the complete reactor with enough precision to detect the mass released by the sewage sludge sample during its pyrolysis. The inert conditions required for the pyrolysis process were obtained supplying the bed with a nitrogen flowrate, and the bed temperature was adjusted to either 500 ºC or 600 ºC using a group of three electric resistors. The sewage sludge sample was supplied through the top of the bed in a batch of 10 g. The measurement of the mass released by the sewage sludge sample was employed to determine the evolution of the reaction rate during the pyrolysis, the total amount of volatile matter released, and the pyrolysis time. The pyrolysis tests of sewage sludge in the fluidized bed were conducted using two different bed materials of the same size but different densities: silica sand and sepiolite particles. The higher density of silica sand particles induces a flotsam behavior for the sewage sludge particles which move close to the bed surface. In contrast, the lower density of sepiolite produces a neutrally-buoyant behavior for the sewage sludge particles, which shows a proper circulation throughout the whole bed in this case. The analysis of the evolution of the pyrolysis process in both fluidized beds show that the pyrolysis is faster when buoyancy effects are negligible, i.e. in the bed conformed by sepiolite particles. Moreover, sepiolite was found to show an absorbent capability for the volatile matter released during the pyrolysis of sewage sludge.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
610
10008462
Effect of Plant Biostimulants on Fruit Set, Yield, and Quality Attributes of “Farbaly” Apricot Cultivar
Abstract:
Apulia region (southern Italy) is excellent for heavy production of apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.). Fruit quality is a combination of physical, chemical and nutritional characteristics. The present experiment was laid in the commercial orchard in Cerignola (Foggia district, Apulia region, 41°15’49’’N; 15°53’59’’E; 126 a.s.l.) during the 2014-2015 season. The experiment consisted of the use of three biostimulant treatments (Hendophyt®, Ergostim® and Radicon®) compared with untreated control on ‘Farbaly’ apricot cultivar, in order to evaluate the vegeto-productive and fruit qualitative attributes. Foliar spray of biostimulants was applied at different times during the growth season (at red ball, fruit setting and fruit development stages). Experimental data showed some specific differences among the biostimulant treatments, which fruit set, growth and productivity were affected. Moderate influences were found regarding the qualitative attributes of fruits. The soluble solid content was positively affected by Hendophyt® treatment. Antioxidant capacity was significantly higher in Hendophyt® and Radicon® treatments respect to the untreated control.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
609
10008377
Growth Performance and Yield of the Edible White Rot Fungus (Pleurotus ostreatus) on Different Agro Waste Materials
Abstract:

A study was carried out to evaluate the growth and yield performance of Pleurotus ostreatus spawn on different organic substrates in Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria. 50 g each of four different substrates namely; corncobs, rice straw, sugarcane bagasse and sawdust sourced locally from farmlands and processing sites, were amended with 2% calcium carbonate and calcium sulphide and sterilized using three sterilization methods namely; hot water, steam, and lime. Five grams of P. ostreatus spawn were inoculated unto treated substrates, incubated in the dark for 16 days and in light for 19 days at 25 0C for the commencement of pinhead and fruit body formations respectively. Growth and yield parameters such as days to full colonization, days to pinhead formation and days to fruit body formation were recorded. Cap diameter and fresh weight of mature mushrooms were also measured for a total count of four flushes. P. ostreatus spawn grown on sugarcane bagasse recorded the highest mean cap diameter (4.69 cm), highest mean fresh weight (34.68 g), highest biological efficiency (69.37%) and highest production rate (2.83 g per day). Spawn grown on rice straw recorded the least number of days to full substrate colonization (11.00). Spawn grown on corn cobs recorded the least mean number of days to pin head (18.75) and fruiting body formations (20.25). There were no significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) among the evaluated substrates with respect to growth and yield performance of P. ostreatus. Substrates sterilized with hot water supported the highest mean cap diameter (5.64 cm), highest biological efficiency (87.04%) and highest production rate (3.43 g per day) of P. ostreatus. Significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) were observed in cap diameter, fresh weight, biological efficiency and production rates among the evaluated sterilization methods. Hot water sterilization of sugarcane bagasse could be adopted for enhanced yield of oyster mushrooms, especially among indigent farming communities in Nigeria and beyond.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
608
10008291
Biological Control of Tomato Wilt Fungi Using Leaf Extracts of Bitter Leaf (Vernonia amygdalina)
Abstract:

The antifungal potential of ethanolic leaf extracts of Vernonia amygdalina in the biological control of some common tomato wilt fungi was investigated. The experiment was set up in Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with eight treatments and three replicates. 5 mm diameter agar discs of 7 days old cultures of Fusarium oxysporum and Sclerotium rolfsii were obtained using a sterile 5 mm diameter cork borer and cultured on Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA) inoculated with 5 ml of various concentrations of V. amygdalina ethanolic leaf extracts in petri dishes, and incubated for 10 days at 28 0C. The highest radial growth inhibitions of F. oxysporum (34.98%) and S. rolfsii (31.05%) were recorded 48 hours post-inoculation, both at 75% extract concentration. The leaf extracts of V. amygdalina used in the study exhibited significant inhibition of radial growth of the test organisms (P ≤ 0.05) and could be applied in the biological control of fungal wilt pathogens of tomato as a means of enhancing tomato yield and productivity.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
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