Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 602

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Different Tillage Possibilities for Second Crop in Green Bean Farming

In this study, determining of reduced tillage techniques in green bean farming as a second crop after harvesting wheat was targeted. To this aim, four different soil tillage methods namely, heavy-duty disc harrow (HD), rotary tiller (ROT), heavy-duty disc harrow plus rotary tiller (HD+ROT) and no-tillage (NT) (seeding by direct drill) were examined. Experiments were arranged in a randomized block design with three replications. The highest green beans yields were obtained in HD+ROT and NT as 5,862.1 and 5,829.3 Mg/ha, respectively. The lowest green bean yield was found in HD as 3,076.7 Mg/ha. The highest fuel consumption was measured 30.60 L ha-1 for HD+ROT whereas the lowest value was found 7.50 L ha-1 for NT. No tillage method gave the best results for fuel consumption and effective power requirement. It is concluded that no-tillage method can be used in second crop green bean in the Thrace Region due to economic and erosion conditions.

The Effect of Alkaline Treatment on Tensile Strength and Morphological Properties of Kenaf Fibres for Yarn Production
This paper investigates the effect of alkali treatment and mechanical properties of kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) fibre for the development of yarn. Two different fibre sources are used for the yarn production. Kenaf fibres were treated with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) in the concentration of 3, 6, 9, and 12% prior to fibre opening process and tested for their tensile strength and Young’s modulus. Then, the selected fibres were introduced to fibre opener at three different opening processing parameters; namely, speed of roller feeder, small drum, and big drum. The diameter size, surface morphology, and fibre durability towards machine of the fibres were characterized. The results show that concentrations of NaOH used have greater effects on fibre mechanical properties. From this study, the tensile and modulus properties of the treated fibres for both types have improved significantly as compared to untreated fibres, especially at the optimum level of 6% NaOH. It is also interesting to highlight that 6% NaOH is the optimum concentration for the alkaline treatment. The untreated and treated fibres at 6% NaOH were then introduced to fibre opener, and it was found that the treated fibre produced higher fibre diameter with better surface morphology compared to the untreated fibre. Higher speed parameter during opening was found to produce higher yield of opened-kenaf fibres.
Classification of Germinatable Mung Bean by Near Infrared Hyperspectral Imaging

Hard seeds will not grow and can cause mold in sprouting process. Thus, the hard seeds need to be separated from the normal seeds. Near infrared hyperspectral imaging in a range of 900 to 1700 nm was implemented to develop a model by partial least squares discriminant analysis to discriminate the hard seeds from the normal seeds. The orientation of the seeds was also studied to compare the performance of the models. The model based on hilum-up orientation achieved the best result giving the coefficient of determination of 0.98, and root mean square error of prediction of 0.07 with classification accuracy was equal to 100%.

GGE-Biplot Analysis of Nano-Titanium Dioxide and Nano-Silica Effects on Sunflower

Present investigation is performed to evaluate the effects of foliar application of salicylic acid, glycine betaine, ascorbic acid, nano-silica, and nano-titanium dioxide on sunflower. Results showed that the first two principal components were sufficient to create a two-dimensional treatment by trait biplot, and such biplot accounted percentages of 49% and 19%, respectively of the interaction between traits and treatments. The vertex treatments of polygon were ascorbic acid, glycine betaine, nano-TiO2, and control indicated that high performance in some important traits consists of number of days to seed maturity, number of seeds per head, number heads per single plant, hundred seed weight, seed length, seed yield performance, and oil content. Treatments suitable for obtaining the high seed yield were identified in the vector-view function of biplot and displayed nano-silica and nano titanium dioxide as the best treatments suitable for obtaining of high seed yield.

Sustainable Cities: Viability of a Hybrid Aeroponic/Nutrient Film Technique System for Cultivation of Tomatoes

Growing environmental and sustainability concerns have driven continual modernization of horticultural practices, especially for urban farming. Controlled environment and soilless production methods are increasing in popularity because of their efficient resource use and intensive cropping capabilities. However, some popular substrates used for hydroponic cultivation, particularly rock wool, represent a large environmental burden in regard to their manufacture and disposal. Substrate-less hydroponic systems are effective in producing short cropping cycle plants such as lettuce or herbs, but less information is available for the production of plants with larger root-systems and longer cropping times. Here, we investigated the viability of a hybrid aeroponic/nutrient film technique (AP/NFT) system for the cultivation of greenhouse tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum ‘Panovy’). The plants grown in the AP/NFT system had a more compact phenotype, accumulated more Na+ and less P and S than the rock wool grown counterparts. Due to forced irrigation interruptions, we propose that the differences observed were cofounded by the differing severity of water-stress for plants with and without substrate. They may also be caused by a higher root zone temperature predominant in plants exposed to AP/NFT. However, leaf area, stem diameter, and number of trusses did not differ significantly. The same was found for leaf pigments and plant photosynthetic efficiency. Overall, the AP/NFT system appears to be viable for the production of greenhouse tomato, enabling the environment to be relieved by way of lessening rock wool usage.

Assessing the Impact of Quinoa Cultivation Adopted to Produce a Secure Food Crop and Poverty Reduction by Farmers in Rural Pakistan

Main purpose of this study was to assess adoption level of farmers for quinoa cultivation after they had been taught through training and visit extension approach. At this time of the 21st century, population structure, climate change, food requirements and eating habits of people are changing rapidly. In this scenario, farmers must play their key role in sustainable crop development and production through adoption of new crops that may also be helpful to overcome the issue of food insecurity as well as reducing poverty in rural areas. Its cultivation in Pakistan is at the early stages and there is a need to raise awareness among farmers to grow quinoa crops. In the middle of the 2015, a training and visit extension approach was used to raise awareness and convince farmers to grow quinoa in the area. During training and visit extension program, 80 farmers were randomly selected for the training of quinoa cultivation. Later on, these farmers trained 60 more farmers living into their neighborhood. After six months, a survey was conducted with all 140 farmers to assess the impact of the training and visit program on adoption level of respondents for the quinoa crop. The survey instrument was developed with the help of literature review and other experts of the crop. Validity and reliability of the instrument were checked before complete data collection. The data were analyzed by using SPSS. Multiple regression analysis was used for interpretation of the results from the survey, which indicated that factors like information/ training, change in agronomic and plant protection practices play a key role in the adoption of quinoa cultivation by respondents. In addition, the model explains more than 50% of variation in the adoption level of respondents. It is concluded that farmers need timely information for improved knowledge of agronomic and plant protection practices to adopt cultivation of the quinoa crop in the area.

Effects of Irrigation Scheduling and Soil Management on Maize (Zea mays L.) Yield in Guinea Savannah Zone of Nigeria

The main objective of any irrigation program is the development of an efficient water management system to sustain crop growth and development and avoid physiological water stress in the growing plants. Field experiment to evaluate the effects of some soil moisture conservation practices on yield and water use efficiency (WUE) of maize was carried out in three locations (i.e. Mubi and Yola in the northern Guinea Savannah and Ganye in the southern Guinea Savannah of Adamawa State, Nigeria) during the dry seasons of 2013 and 2014. The experiment consisted of three different irrigation levels (7, 10 and 12 day irrigation intervals), two levels of mulch (mulch and un-mulched) and two tillage practices (no tillage and minimum tillage) arranged in a randomized complete block design with split-split plot arrangement and replicated three times. The Blaney-Criddle method was used for measuring crop evapotranspiration. The results indicated that seven-day irrigation intervals and mulched treatment were found to have significant effect (P>0.05) on grain yield and water use efficiency in all the locations. The main effect of tillage was non-significant (P<0.05) on grain yield and WUE. The interaction effects of irrigation and mulch were significant (P>0.05) on grain yield and WUE at Mubi and Yola. Generally, higher grain yield and WUE were recorded on mulched and seven-day irrigation intervals, whereas lower values were recorded on un-mulched with 12-day irrigation intervals. Tillage exerts little influence on the yield and WUE. Results from Ganye were found to be generally higher than those recorded in Mubi and Yola; it also showed that an irrigation interval of 10 days with mulching could be adopted for the Ganye area, while seven days interval is more appropriate for Mubi and Yola.

Susceptibility of Spodoptera littoralis, Field Populations in Egypt to Chlorantraniliprole and the Role of Detoxification Enzymes

The cotton leafworm, Spodoptera littoralis (Boisduval) is a major insect pest of vegetables and cotton crops in Egypt, and exhibits different levels of tolerance to certain insecticides. Chlorantraniliprole has been registered recently in Egypt for control this insect. The susceptibilities of three S. littoralis populations collected from El Behaira governorate, north Egypt to chlorantraniliprole were determined by leaf-dipping technique on 4th instar larvae. Obvious variation of toxicity was observed among the laboratory susceptible, and three field populations with LC50 values ranged between 1.53 µg/ml and 6.22 µg/ml. However, all the three field populations were less susceptible to chlorantraniliprole than a laboratory susceptible population. The most tolerant populations were sampled from El Delengat (ED) Province where S. littoralis had been frequently challenged by insecticides. Certain enzyme activity assays were carried out to be correlated with the mechanism of the observed field population tolerance. All field populations showed significantly enhanced activities of detoxification enzymes compared with the susceptible strain. The regression analysis between chlorantraniliprole toxicities and enzyme activities revealed that the highest correlation is between α-esterase or β-esterase (α-β-EST) activity and collected field strains susceptibility, otherwise this correlation is not significant (P > 0.05). Synergism assays showed the ED and susceptible strains could be synergized by known detoxification inhibitors such as piperonyl butoxide (PBO), triphenyl phosphate (TPP) and diethyl-maleate (DEM) at different levels (1.01-8.76-fold and 1.09-2.94 fold, respectively), TPP showed the maximum synergism in both strains. The results show that there is a correlation between the enzyme activity and tolerance, and carboxylic-esterase (Car-EST) is likely the main detoxification mechanism responsible for tolerance of S. littoralis to chlorantraniliprole.

Characterization and Optimization of Culture Conditions for Sulphur Oxidizing Bacteria after Isolation from Rhizospheric Mustard Soil, Decomposing Sites and Pit House

Sulphur oxidizing bacteria (SOB) have marked their significant role in perspectives of maintaining healthy environment as researchers from all over the world tested and apply these in waste water treatment plants, bioleaching of heavy metals, deterioration of bridge structures, concrete and for bioremediation purposes, etc. Also, these SOB are well adapted in all kinds of environment ranging from normal soil, water habitats to extreme natural sources like geothermal areas, volcanic eruptions, black shale and acid rock drainage (ARD). SOB have been isolated from low pH environment of anthropogenic origin like acid mine drainage (AMD) and bioleaching heaps, hence these can work efficiently in different environmental conditions. Besides having many applications in field of environment science, they may be proven to be very beneficial in area of agriculture as sulphur is the fourth major macronutrients required for the growth of plants. More amount of sulphur is needed by pulses and oilseed crops with respect to the cereal grains. Due to continuous use of land for overproduction of more demanding sulphur utilizing crops and without application of sulphur fertilizers, its concentration is decreasing day by day, and thus, sulphur deficiency is becoming a great problem as it affects the crop productivity and quality. Sulphur is generally found in soils in many forms which are unavailable for plants (cannot be use by plants) like elemental sulphur, thiosulphate which can be taken up by bacteria and converted into simpler forms usable by plants by undergoing a series of transformations. So, keeping the importance of sulphur in view for various soil types, oilseed crops and role of microorganisms in making them available to plants, we made an effort to isolate, optimize, and characterize SOB. Three potential strains of bacteria were isolated, namely SSF7, SSA21, and SSS6, showing sulphate production of concentration, i.e. 2.268, 3.102, and 2.785 mM, respectively. Also, these were optimized for various culture conditions like carbon, nitrogen source, pH, temperature, and incubation time, and characterization was also done.

Increase of Atmosphere CO2 Concentration and Its Effects on Culture/Weed Interaction

Climate change projections based on the emission of greenhouse effect gases suggest an increase in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, in up to 750 ppm. In this scenario, we have significant changes in plant development, and consequently, in agricultural systems. This study aims to evaluate the interaction between culture (Glycine max) and weed (Amaranthus viridis and Euphorbia heterophylla) in two conditions of CO2, 400 and 800 ppm. The results showed that the coexistence of culture with both weed species resulted in a mutual loss, with decrease in dry mass productivity of culture + weeds, in both conditions of CO2. However, when the culture is grown in association with E. heterophylla, total dry mass of culture + weed was smaller at 800 ppm. Soybean was more aggressive in comparison to the A. viridis in both the concentrations of CO2, but not in relation to the E. heterophylla.

Effect of Entomopathogenic Fungi on the Food Consumption of Acrididae Species

This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of Aspergillus species on acridid populations which are major agricultural pests of rice, sugarcane, wheat, maize and fodder crops in Pakistan. Three and replicates i.e. Aspergillus flavus, A. fumigatus and A. niger, excluding the control, were held under laboratory conditions. It was observed that consumption faecal production of acridids was significantly reduced after the pathogenic application of Aspergillus. In the control replicate, the mortality ratio for stage (N4-N6) was maximum on day 2nd i.e. [F10.7 = 18.33, P < 0.05] followed by [F4.20 = 07.85, P < 0.05] and [F3.77 = 06.11, P < 0.05] on 4th and 3rd day, respectively. Similarly, it was a minimum i.e. [F0.48 = 84.65, P < 0.05] on the 1st day. It was also noted that faecal production of Acridid nymphs was not significantly affected when treated with conidial concentration in H2O formulation; however, it was significantly reduced after the contamination with conidial concentration in oil. The high morality of acridids after contamination of Aspergillus supports their use as bio-control agent for reducing pest population. The present study recommends that exploration and screening must be conducted to provide additional pathogens for evaluation as potential biological control against grasshoppers and locusts.

Impact of Long Term Application of Municipal Solid Waste on Physicochemical and Microbial Parameters and Heavy Metal Distribution in Soils in Accordance to Its Agricultural Uses

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), being a rich source of organic materials, can be used for agricultural applications as an important source of nutrients for soil and plants. This is also an alternative beneficial management practice for MSW generated in developing countries. In the present study, MSW treated soil samples from last four to six years at farmer’s field in Rohtak and Gurgaon states (Haryana, India) were collected. The samples were analyzed for all-important agricultural parameters and compared with the control untreated soil samples. The treated soil at farmer’s field showed increase in total N by 48 to 68%, P by 45.7 to 51.3%, and K by 60 to 67% compared to untreated soil samples. Application of sewage sludge at different sites led to increase in microbial biomass C by 60 to 68% compared to untreated soil. There was significant increase in total Cu, Cr, Ni, Fe, Pb, and Zn in all sewage sludge amended soil samples; however, concentration of all the metals were still below the current permitted (EU) limits. To study the adverse effect of heavy metals accumulation on various soil microbial activities, the sewage sludge samples (from wastewater treatment plant at Gurgaon) were artificially contaminated with heavy metal concentration above the EU limits. They were then applied to soil samples with different rates (0.5 to 4.0%) and incubated for 90 days under laboratory conditions. The samples were drawn at different intervals and analyzed for various parameters like pH, EC, total N, P, K, microbial biomass C, carbon mineralization, and diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) exactable heavy metals. The results were compared to the uncontaminated sewage sludge. The increasing level of sewage sludge from 0.5 to 4% led to build of organic C and total N, P and K content at the early stages of incubation. But, organic C was decreased after 90 days because of decomposition of organic matter. Biomass production was significantly increased in both contaminated and uncontaminated sewage soil samples, but also led to slight increases in metal accumulation and their bioavailability in soil. The maximum metal concentrations were found in treatment with 4% of contaminated sewage sludge amendment.

A Review on Climate Change and Sustainable Agriculture in Southeast Nigeria

Climate change has both negative and positive effects in agricultural production. For agriculture to be sustainable in adverse climate change condition, some natural measures are needed. The issue is to produce more food with available natural resources and reduce the contribution of agriculture to climate change. The study reviewed climate change and sustainable agriculture in southeast Nigeria. Data from the study were from secondary sources. Ten scientific papers were consulted and data for the review were collected from three. The objectives of the paper were as follows: to review the effect of climate change on one major arable crop in southeast Nigeria (yam; Dioscorea rotundata); evident of climate change impact and methods for sustainable agricultural production in adverse weather condition. Some climatic parameter as sunshine, relative humidity and rainfall have negative relationship with yam production and significant at 10% probability. Crop production was predicted to decline by 25% per hectare by 2060 while livestock production has increased the incidence of diseases and pathogens as the major effect to agriculture. Methods for sustainable agriculture and damage of natural resources by climate change were highlighted. Agriculture needs to be transformed as climate changes to enable the sector to be sustainable. There should be a policy in place to facilitate the integration of sustainability in Nigeria agriculture.

Ethno-Botanical Diversity and Conservation Status of Medicinal Flora at High Terrains of Garhwal (Uttarakhand) Himalaya, India: A Case Study in Context to Multifarious Tourism Growth and Peri-Urban Encroachments

The high terrains of Garhwal (Uttarakhand) Himalaya are the niches of a number of rare and endemic plant species of great therapeutic importance. However, the wild flora of the area is still under a constant threat due to rapid upsurge in human interferences, especially through multifarious tourism growth and peri-urban encroachments. After getting the status of a ‘Special State’ of the country since its inception in the year 2000, this newly borne State led to very rapid infrastructural growth and development. Consequently, its townships started expanding in an unmanaged way grabbing nearby agricultural lands and forest areas into peri-urban landscapes. Simultaneously, a boom in tourism and pilgrimage in the state and the infrastructural facilities raised by the government for tourists/pilgrims are destroying its biodiversity. Field survey revealed 242 plant species of therapeutic significance naturally growing in the area and being utilized by local inhabitants as traditional medicines. On conservation scale, 6 species (2.2%) were identified as critically endangered, 19 species (7.1%) as the endangered ones, 8 species (3.0%) under rare category, 17 species (6.4%) as threatened and 14 species (5.2%) as vulnerable. The Government of India has brought mega-biodiversity hot spots of the state under Biosphere Reserve, National Parks, etc. restricting all kinds of human interferences; however, the two most sacred shrines of Hindus and Sikhs viz. Shri Badrinath and Shri Hemkunt Sahib, and two great touristic attractions viz. Valley of Flowers and Auli-Joshimath Skiing Track oblige the government to maintain equilibrium between entries of visitors vis-à-vis biodiversity conservation in high terrains of Uttarakhand Himalaya.

RoboWeedSupport-Sub Millimeter Weed Image Acquisition in Cereal Crops with Speeds up till 50 Km/H
For the past three years, the Danish project, RoboWeedSupport, has sought to bridge the gap between the potential herbicide savings using a decision support system and the required weed inspections. In order to automate the weed inspections it is desired to generate a map of the weed species present within the field, to generate the map images must be captured with samples covering the field. This paper investigates the economical cost of performing this data collection based on a camera system mounted on a all-terain vehicle (ATV) able to drive and collect data at up to 50 km/h while still maintaining a image quality sufficient for identifying newly emerged grass weeds. The economical estimates are based on approximately 100 hectares recorded at three different locations in Denmark. With an average image density of 99 images per hectare the ATV had an capacity of 28 ha per hour, which is estimated to cost 6.6 EUR/ha. Alternatively relying on a boom solution for an existing tracktor it was estimated that a cost of 2.4 EUR/ha is obtainable under equal conditions.
Comparison of Methods for the Detection of Biofilm Formation in Yeast and Lactic Acid Bacteria Species Isolated from Dairy Products

Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and some yeast species are common microorganisms found in dairy products and most of them are responsible for the fermentation of foods. Such cultures are isolated and used as a starter culture in the food industry because of providing standardisation of the final product during the food processing. Choice of starter culture is the most important step for the production of fermented food. Isolated LAB and yeast cultures which have the ability to create a biofilm layer can be preferred as a starter in the food industry. The biofilm formation could be beneficial to extend the period of usage time of microorganisms as a starter. On the other hand, it is an undesirable property in pathogens, since biofilm structure allows a microorganism become more resistant to stress conditions such as antibiotic presence. It is thought that the resistance mechanism could be turned into an advantage by promoting the effective microorganisms which are used in the food industry as starter culture and also which have potential to stimulate the gastrointestinal system. Development of the biofilm layer is observed in some LAB and yeast strains. The resistance could make LAB and yeast strains dominant microflora in the human gastrointestinal system; thus, competition against pathogen microorganisms can be provided more easily. Based on this circumstance, in the study, 10 LAB and 10 yeast strains were isolated from various dairy products, such as cheese, yoghurt, kefir, and cream. Samples were obtained from farmer markets and bazaars in Bursa, Turkey. As a part of this research, all isolated strains were identified and their ability of biofilm formation was detected with two different methods and compared with each other. The first goal of this research was to determine whether isolates have the potential for biofilm production, and the second was to compare the validity of two different methods, which are known as “Tube method” and “96-well plate-based method”. This study may offer an insight into developing a point of view about biofilm formation and its beneficial properties in LAB and yeast cultures used as a starter in the food industry.

Effect of Urea Deep Placement Technology Adoption on the Production Frontier: Evidence from Irrigation Rice Farmers in the Northern Region of Ghana
Rice is an important staple crop, with current demand higher than the domestic supply in Ghana. This has led to a high and unfavourable import bill. Therefore, recent policies and interventions in the agricultural sub-sector aim at promoting various improved agricultural technologies in order to improve domestic production and reduce the importation of rice. In this study, we examined the effect of the adoption of Urea Deep Placement (UDP) technology by rice farmers on the position of the production frontier. This involved 200 farmers selected through a multi stage sampling technique in the Northern region of Ghana. A Cobb-Douglas stochastic frontier model was fitted. The result showed that the adoption of UDP technology shifts the output frontier outward and also move the farmers closer to the frontier. Farmers were also operating under diminishing returns to scale which calls for redress. Other factors that significantly influenced rice production were farm size, labour, use of certified seeds and NPK fertilizer. Although there was an opportunity for improvement, the farmers were highly efficient (92%), compared to previous studies. Farmers’ efficiency was improved through increased education, household size, experience, access to credit, and lack of extension service provision by MoFA. The study recommends the revision of Ghana’s agricultural policy to include the UDP technology. Agricultural Extension officers of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) should be trained on the UDP technology to support IFDC’s drive to improve adoption by rice farmers. Rice farmers are also encouraged to expand their farm lands, improve plant population, and also increase the usage of fertilizer to improve yields. Mechanisms through which credit can be made easily accessible and effectively utilised should be identified and promoted.
Dicotyledon Weed Quantification Algorithm for Selective Herbicide Application in Maize Crops: Statistical Evaluation of the Potential Herbicide Savings
This work contributes a statistical model and simulation framework yielding the best estimate possible for the potential herbicide reduction when using the MoDiCoVi algorithm all the while requiring a efficacy comparable to conventional spraying. In June 2013 a maize field located in Denmark were seeded. The field was divided into parcels which was assigned to one of two main groups: 1) Control, consisting of subgroups of no spray and full dose spraty; 2) MoDiCoVi algorithm subdivided into five different leaf cover thresholds for spray activation. In addition approximately 25% of the parcels were seeded with additional weeds perpendicular to the maize rows. In total 299 parcels were randomly assigned with the 28 different treatment combinations. In the statistical analysis, bootstrapping was used for balancing the number of replicates. The achieved potential herbicide savings was found to be 70% to 95% depending on the initial weed coverage. However additional field trials covering more seasons and locations are needed to verify the generalisation of these results. There is a potential for further herbicide savings as the time interval between the first and second spraying session was not long enough for the weeds to turn yellow, instead they only stagnated in growth.
Phytoremediation Potential of Tomato for Cd and Cr Removal from Polluted Soils

Cadmium and chromium are toxic to most organisms and different mechanisms have been developed for overcoming with the toxic effects of these heavy metals. We studied the uptake and distribution of cadmium and chromium in different organs of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) plants in nine heavy metal polluted soils in western Hormozgan province, Iran. The accumulation of chromium was in increasing pattern of fruit peel

Biological Methods to Control Parasitic Weed Phelipanche ramosa L. Pomel in the Field Tomato Crop

Phelipanche ramosa L. Pomel is a root holoparasitic weed plant of many cultivations, particularly of tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum L.) crop. In Italy, Phelipanche problem is increasing, both in density and in acreage. The biological control of this parasitic weed involves the use of living organisms as numerous fungi and bacteria that can infect the parasitic weed, while it may improve the crop growth. This paper deals with the biocontrol with microorganism, including Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and fungal pathogens as Fusarium oxisporum spp. Colonization of crop roots by AM fungi can provide protection of crops against parasitic weeds because of a reduction in their seed germination and attachment, while F. oxisporum, isolated from diseased broomrape tubercles, proved to be highly virulent on P. ramosa. The experimental trial was carried out in open field at Foggia province (Apulia Region, Southern Italy), during the spring-summer season 2016, in order to evaluate the effect of four biological treatments: AM fungi and Fusarium oxisporum applied in the soil alone or combined together, and Rizosum Max® product, compared with the untreated control, to reduce the P. ramosa infestation in processing tomato crop. The principal results to be drawn from this study under field condition, in contrast of those reported previously under laboratory and greenhouse conditions, show that both AM fungi and F. oxisporum do not provide the reduction of the number of emerged shoots of P. ramosa. This can arise probably from the low efficacy seedling of the agent pathogens for the control of this parasite in the field. On the contrary, the Rizosum Max® product, containing AM fungi and some rizophere bacteria combined with several minerals and organic substances, appears to be most effective for the reduction of P. ramosa infestation.

The Effects of Different Level Cluster Tip Reduction and Foliar Boric Acid Applications on Yield and Yield Components of Italia Grape Cultivar
This study was carried out on Italia grape variety (Vitis vinifera L.) in Konya province, Turkey in 2016. The cultivar is five years old and grown on 1103 Paulsen rootstock. It was determined the effects of applications of the Control (C), 1/3 Cluster Tip Reduction (1/3 CTR), 1/6 Cluster Tip Reduction (1/6 CTR), 1/9 Cluster Tip Reduction (1/9 CTR), 1/3 CTR+Boric Acid (BA), 1/6 CTR+BA, 1/9 CTR+BA, on yield and yield components of the Italia grape variety. The results were obtained as the highest fresh grape yield (4.74 g) with 1/9 CTR+BA application; the highest cluster weight (220.08 g) with 1/3 CTR application; the highest 100 berry weight (565.85 g) with 1/9 CTR+BA application; as the highest maturity index (49.28) with 1/9 CTR+BA application; as the highest must yield (685.33 ml/kg) with 1/3 CTR+BA and (685.33 ml/kg) with 1/9 CTR+BA applications. To increase the fresh grape yield, 100 berry weight and maturity index in the Italia grape variety, the 1/9 CTR+BA application can be recommended.
Vulnerability of Indian Agriculture to Climate Change: A Study of the Himalayan Region State
Climate variability and changes are the emerging challenges for Indian agriculture with the growing population to ensure national food security. A study was conducted to assess the Climatic Change effects in medium to low altitude areas of the Himalayan region causing changes in land use and cereal crop productivity with the various climatic parameters. The rainfall and temperature changes from 1951 to 2013 were studied at four locations of varying altitudes, namely Hardwar, Rudra Prayag, Uttar Kashi and Tehri Garwal. It was observed that there is noticeable increment in temperature on all the four locations. It was surprisingly observed that the mean rainfall intensity of 30 minutes duration has increased at the rate of 0.1 mm/hours since 2000. The study shows that the combined effect of increasing temperature, rainfall, runoff and urbanization at the mid-Himalayan region is causing an increase in various climatic disasters and changes in agriculture patterns. A noticeable change in cropping patterns, crop productivity and land use change was observed. Appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies are necessary to ensure that sustainable and climate-resilient agriculture. Appropriate information is necessary for farmers, as well as planners and decision makers for developing, disseminating and adopting climate-smart technologies.
Fruit Growing in Romania and Its Role for Rural Communities’ Development

The importance of fruit trees and bushes growing for Romania is due the concordance that exists between the different ecological conditions in natural basins, and the requirements of different species and varieties. There are, in Romania, natural areas dedicated to the main trees species: plum, apple, pear, cherry, sour cherry, finding optimal conditions for harnessing the potential of fruitfulness, making fruit quality both in terms of ratio commercial, and content in active principles. The share of fruits crops in the world economy of agricultural production is due primarily to the role of fruits in nourishment for human, and in the prevention and combating of diseases, in increasing the national income of cultivator countries and to improve comfort for human life. For Romania, the perspectives of the sector are positive, and are due to European funding opportunities, which provide farmers a specialized program that meets the needs of development and modernization of fruit growing industry, cultivation technology and equipment, organization and grouping of producers, creating storage facilities, conditioning, marketing and the joint use of fresh fruit. This paper shows the evolution of fruit growing, in Romania compared to other states. The document presents the current situation of the main tree species both in terms of surface but also of the productions and the role that this activity may have for the development of rural communities.

Productivity Effect of Urea Deep Placement Technology: An Empirical Analysis from Irrigation Rice Farmers in the Northern Region of Ghana

This study examined the effect of Urea Deep Placement (UDP) technology on the output of irrigated rice farmers in the northern region of Ghana. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 142 rice farmers from the Golinga and Bontanga irrigation schemes, around Tamale. A treatment effect model was estimated at two stages; firstly, to determine the factors that influenced farmers’ decision to adopt the UDP technology and secondly, to determine the effect of the adoption of the UDP technology on the output of rice farmers. The significant variables that influenced rice farmers’ adoption of the UPD technology were sex of the farmer, land ownership, off-farm activity, extension service, farmer group participation and training. The results also revealed that farm size and the adoption of UDP technology significantly influenced the output of rice farmers in the northern region of Ghana. In addition to the potential of the technology to improve yields, it also presents an employment opportunity for women and youth, who are engaged in the deep placement of Urea Super Granules (USG), as well as in the transplantation of rice. It is recommended that the government of Ghana work closely with the IFDC to embed the UDP technology in the national agricultural programmes and policies. The study also recommends an effective collaboration between the government, through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) to train agricultural extension agents on UDP technology in the rice producing areas of the country.

Effect of Poultry Manure and Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (15:15:15) Soil Amendment on Growth and Yield of Carrot (Daucus carota)
This present experiment was carried out during the 2012 cropping season, at the Farming for the Future Experimental Field of the University for Development Studies, Nyankpala Campus in the Northern Region of Ghana. The objective of the experiment was to determine the carrot growth and yield responses to poultry manure and N.P.K (15:15:15). Six treatments (Control (no amendment), 20 t/ha poultry manure (PM), 40 t/ha PM, 70 t/ha PM, 35 t/ha PM + 0.11t/ha N.P.K and 0.23 t/ha N.P.K) with three replications for each were laid in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD). Data were collected on plant height, number of leaves per plant, canopy spread, root diameter, root weight, and root length. Microsoft Excel and Genstat Statistical Package (9th edition) were used for the data analysis. The treatment means were compared by using Least Significant Difference at 10%. Generally, the results showed that there were no significant differences (P>0.1) among the treatments with respect to number of leaves per plant, root diameter, root weight, and root length. However, significant differences occurred among plant heights and canopy spreads. Plant height treated with 40 t/ha PM at the fourth week after planting and canopy spread at eight weeks after planting and ten weeks after planting by 70 t/ha PM and 20 t/ha PM respectively showed significant difference (P<0.1). The study recommended that any of the amended treatments can be applied at their recommended rates to plots for carrot production, since there were no significant differences among the treatments.
Freshwater Lens Observation: Case Study of Laura Island, Majuro Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands

Atolls are low-lying small islands with highly permeable ground that does not allow rivers and lakes to develop. As the water resources on these atolls basically rely on precipitation, groundwater becomes a very important water resource during droughts. Freshwater lenses develop as groundwater on relatively large atoll islands and play a key role in the stable water supply. Atoll islands in the Pacific Ocean sometimes suffer from drought due to El Nino. The global warming effects are noticeable, particularly on atoll islands. The Republic of the Marshall Islands in Oceania is burdened with the problems common to atoll islands. About half of its population lives in the capital, Majuro, and securing water resources for these people is a crucial issue. There is a freshwater lens on the largest, Laura Island, which serves as a water source for the downtown area. A serious drought that occurred in 1998 resulted in excessive water intake from the freshwater lens on Laura Island causing up-coning. Up-coning mixes saltwater into groundwater pumped from water-intake wells. Because up-coning makes the freshwater lens unusable, there was a need to investigate the freshwater lens on Laura Island. In this study, we observed the electrical conductivities of the groundwater at different depths in existing monitoring wells to determine the total storage volume of the freshwater lens on Laura Island from 2010 to 2013. Our results indicated that most of the groundwater that seeped into the freshwater lens had flowed out into the sea.

Effect of Phosphate and Zinc Biofertilizers on Seed Yield and Molar Ratio of Phytic Acid to Zinc in Two Cultivars of Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)

In order to evaluate the effect of phosphate and Zn bio-fertilizers on the yield, phytic acid (PA), Zn concentration and PA/Zn molar ratio in bean, a field experiment was carried out for two years. The treatments included two cultivars of bean (Talash and Sadri), four levels of P (P0, P1: 100 kg ha-1 triple super phosphate (TSP), P2: 50 kg ha-1 TSP + phosphate bio-fertilizer, P3: phosphate bio-fertilizer), three levels of Zn (Zn0, Zn1: 50 kg ha-1 ZnSO4, Zn2: Zn bio-fertilizer). Phosphate bio-fertilizer consisted of inoculum of mycorrhizal fungus and Azotobacter and Zn bio-fertilizer consisted of Pseudomonas bacteria. The results revealed that there was significant difference between yield and Zn concentration between years. The effect of cultivar was significant on studied parameters. The lowest content of PA and PA/Zn were obtained from Talash. P treatment caused to significant difference on parameters in which P2 caused to increase yield, P and Zn concentration, and decrease PA and PA/Zn by 21.8%, 38.2%, 33.4%, 17.4% and 38.6% respectively. Zn treatment caused to significant difference on studied parameters. The maximum number of parameters were obtained from Zn1 and Zn2. The higher Zn concentration led to lower content of PA and PA/Zn. Using of P and Zn bio–fertilizers were caused to increasing nutrient uptake, improving growth condition and reducing PA and PA/Zn molar ratio.

Adaptive Responses of Carum copticum to in vitro Salt Stress

Salinity is one of the most widespread agricultural problems in arid and semi-arid areas that limits the plant growth and crop productivity. In this study, the salt stress effects on protein, reducing sugar, proline contents and antioxidant enzymes activities of Carum copticum L. under in vitro conditions were studied. Seeds of C. copticum were cultured in Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium containing 0, 25, 50, 100 and 150 mM NaCl and calli were cultured in MS medium containing 1 μM 2, 4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, 4 μM benzyl amino purine and different levels of NaCl (0, 25, 50, 100 and 150 mM). After NaCl treatment for 28 days, the proline and reducing sugar contents of shoots, roots and calli increased significantly in relation to the severity of the salt stress. The highest amount of proline and carbohydrate were observed at 150 and 100 mM NaCl, respectively. The reducing sugar accumulation in shoots was the highest as compared to roots, whereas, proline contents did not show any significant difference in roots and shoots under salt stress. The results showed significant reduction of protein contents in seedlings and calli. Based on these results, proteins extracted from the shoots, roots and calli of C. copticum treated with 150 mM NaCl showed the lowest contents. The positive relationships were observed between activity of antioxidant enzymes and the increase in stress levels. Catalase, ascorbate peroxidase and superoxide dismutase activity increased significantly under salt concentrations in comparison to the control. These results suggest that the accumulation of proline and sugars, and activation of antioxidant enzymes play adaptive roles in the adaptation of seedlings and callus of C. copticum to saline conditions.

Genetic Characterization of Barley Genotypes via Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat

In this study, polymerase chain reaction based Inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) from DNA fingerprinting techniques were used to investigate the genetic relationships among barley crossbreed genotypes in Turkey. It is important that selection based on the genetic base in breeding programs via ISSR, in terms of breeding time. 14 ISSR primers generated a total of 97 bands, of which 81 (83.35%) were polymorphic. The highest total resolution power (RP) value was obtained from the F2 (0.53) and M16 (0.51) primers. According to the ISSR result, the genetic similarity index changed between 0.64–095; Lane 3 with Line 6 genotypes were the closest, while Line 36 were the most distant ones. The ISSR markers were found to be promising for assessing genetic diversity in barley crossbreed genotypes.

Effect of Varying Diets on Growth, Development and Survival of Queen Bee (Apis mellifera L.) in Captivity

Keeping in view the increasing demand, queen of Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) was reared artificially in this experiment at varying diets including royal jelly. Larval duration, pupal duration, weight, and size of pupae were evaluated at different diets including royal jelly. Queen larvae were raised by Doo Little grafting method. Four different diets were mixed with royal jelly and applied to larvae. Fructose, sugar, yeast, and honey were provided to rearing queen larvae along with same amount of royal jelly. Larval and pupal duration were longest (6.15 and 7.5 days, respectively) at yeast and shortest on honey (5.05 and 7.02 days, respectively). Heavier and bigger pupae were recorded on yeast (168.14 mg and 1.76 cm, respectively) followed by diets having sugar and honey. Due to production of heavier and bigger pupae, yeast was considered as best artificial diet for the growing queen larvae. So, in the second part of experiment, different amounts of yeast were provided to growing larvae along with fixed amount (0.5 g) of royal jelly. Survival rates of the larvae and queen bee were 70% and 40% in the 4-g food, 86.7% and 53.3% in the 6-g food, and 76.7% and 50% in the 8-g food. Weight of adult queen bee (1.459±0.191 g) and the number of ovarioles (41.7±21.3) were highest at 8 g of food. Results of this study are helpful for bee-keepers in producing fitter queen bees.

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