Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 39602

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Evaluation of Ceres Wheat and Rice Model for Climatic Conditions in Haryana, India
The simulation models with its soil-weather-plant atmosphere interacting system are important tools for assessing the crops in changing climate conditions. The CERES-Wheat & Rice vs. 4.6 DSSAT was calibrated and evaluated for one of the major producers of wheat and rice state- Haryana, India. The simulation runs were made under irrigated conditions and three fertilizer applications dose of N-P-K to estimate crop yield and other growth parameters along with the phenological development of the crop. The genetic coefficients derived by iteratively manipulating the relevant coefficients that characterize the phenological process of wheat and rice crop to the best fit match between the simulated and observed anthesis, physological maturity and final grain yield. The model validated by plotting the simulated and remote sensing derived LAI. LAI product from remote sensing provides the edge of spatial, timely and accurate assessment of crop. For validating the yield and yield components, the error percentage between the observed and simulated data was calculated. The analysis shows that the model can be used to simulate crop yield and yield components for wheat and rice cultivar under different management practices. During the validation, the error percentage was less than 10%, indicating the utility of the calibrated model for climate risk assessment in the selected region.
Insights into the Phylogeny and Metabolic Potential of a Natural Healing Clay Microbial Community by Metagenomic Analysis
Clay therapy for skin disease treatment is an ancient practice and is still used worldwide as an inexpensive alternative to pharmaceutical products. Natural clays as ointments are used effectively against skin detoxification and cure for skin disease from time immemorial, but scientific documentation is scarce. However there are two schools of thoughts for effect of clay as a skin therapy, one suggests the role of different types of minerals found in these clays whereas, the other gives credit to the biological activities of the microbes present in these healing clays. The clay-water paste of a holy shrine Chamlyal in the Sambha district of Jammu region of J&K, India is used as an ointment to treat different skin disorders; psoriasis in particular. Present study embarked on a detailed metagenomic study of the healing clay using Illumina NextSeq 500 with 2 X 150 PE configuration. Before assembling the raw reads generated, Trimmomatic was used for adapter removal and moderate quality trimming. De novo assembly of high-quality PE reads was accomplished using CLC Genomics Workbench version 6.0 at default parameters. Generated contigs (> 200 bp) were subjected to ORF prediction with Prodigal version 2.6.1. The predicted ORFs were uploaded to MG-RAST (MetaGenome Rapid Annotation using Subsystem Technology) web server for taxonomic affiliations and functional annotations. The study correlates the healing characteristics of the clay to its microbial composition. From the study, it was concluded that the Chamliyal clay is free of human pathogens like Staphylococcus and Candida and hence is safer to be used as a topical ointment. The microbial diversity profile of Chamliyal clay matches with that of other healing clays like Dead Sea clay, which is reported to treat psoriasis. Most of the commonly used healing clays are either of volcanic origin or are from sea sediments. As these are naturally rich in minerals, many scientists attribute the healing affect of clays to minerals. But since the healing clay sample under study is neither of volcanic origin nor is from a sea sediment, it is hypothesized that the mineral (Sulphur, Iron, Potassium, Phosphorus) assimilating microbes present in the Chamliyal clay enrich the clay with such minerals and these minerals actually help in detoxification and skin healing. The mineral acquisition genes are also present in the microbial community of the Chamliyal clay, as evident from the functional analysis. As such the current literature available on healing clays involves the mineralogical aspect on a broader scale, and the current database is still not systematic and comprehensive. However, the present results delineated the taxonomic and functional profiles of the microbial community, enabling future characterisation and taxonomy of healing clay’s microbes, as well as providing guidance and broad direction to further microbial research of healing clays.
Molecular Diversity among Autochthonous Lactobacillus Strains Isolated from Spontaneously Fermented Curd and Their Antibacterial Potentials against Human Pathogenic Bacteria
Spontaneously fermented foods consist of a diverse population of autochthonous Lactobacillus strains when compared with the food fermented by industrial starter cultures. These Lactobacilli produce higher amounts of antimicrobials such as bacteriocins, in the need of contesting for the survival in a hostile environment. The Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO)/World Health Organization (WHO) has stipulated, that the in vitro production of antimicrobial substances as a major criterion for probiotic evaluation. Therefore, a recent trend has emerged in the isolation of wild-type strains from spontaneously fermented foods to be used as starter cultures, which will act as bio-preservatives and probiotics. In the current study, a total of 18 Lactobacillus strains isolated from spontaneously fermented, traditional, buffalo curd samples were subjected to 16s rRNA gene sequencing and four species of Lactobacilli were identified among them as Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus pentoses and Lactobacillus. delbruekii subsp. Indicus where Lactobacillus plantarum was the most abundant species (50%). In vitro antibacterial effect of cell-free supernatants of isolated Lactobacilli was determined against; Salmonella typhi (NCTC 10787), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923), Bacillus cereus (ATCC 10876), Enterococcus faecalis (ATCC19433), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC 27853), Listeria monocytogenes (NCTC 11994) and Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922), using agar well diffusion method. Antibacterial effect was clearly observed against all indicator organisms and the antibacterial property of the isolates against them was strain specific rather than species specific. This survey reveals that the Lactobacillus flora in spontaneously fermented curd withholds a natural ability to act against pathogenic and spoilage bacteria. Further, Lactobacillus strains encompassing the antibacterial activity could be developed as an innovative approach for controlling food-borne bacterial disease causing agents and spoilage bacteria in food.
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 hard seeds from 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 equal to 100%.
Biocontrol Potential of Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria against Root Rot of Chili and Enhancement of Plant Growth
Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) have been extensively studied and applied for the biocontrol of many soilborne diseases. These rhizobacteria are very efficient against root rot and many other foliar diseases associated with solanaceous plants. These bacteria may inhibit the growth of various pathogens through direct inhibition of target pathogens or indirectly by the initiation of systemic resistance (ISR) which is active all over the complete plant. In the present study, 20 different rhizobacterial isolates were recovered from the root zone of healthy chili plants. All soil samples were collected from various chili-growing areas in Punjab. All isolated rhizobacteria species were evaluated in vitro and in vivo against Phytophthora capsici. Different species of Bacillus and Pseudomonas were tested for the antifungal activity against P. capsici the causal organism of Root rot disease in different crops together with chili. Dual culture and distance culture bioassay were carried out to study the antifungal potential of volatile and diffusible metabolites secreted from rhizobacteria. After seven days of incubation at 22°C, growth inhibition rate was recorded. Growth inhibition rate depended greatly on the tested bacteria and screening methods used. For diffusible metabolites, inhibition rate was 35-62% and 20-45% for volatile metabolites. The screening assay for plant growth promoting and disease inhibition potential of chili associated PGPR indicated 42-100% reduction in disease severity and considerable enhancement in roots fresh weight by 55-87%, aerial parts fresh weight by 35-65% and plant height by 65-76% as compared to untreated control and pathogen-inoculated plants. Pseudomonas flourescene, B. thuringiensis, and B. subtilis were found to be the most efficient isolates in inhibiting P. capsici radial growth, increase plant growth and suppress disease severity.
Fungicidal Evaluation of Essential Oils of Medicinal Plants for the Management of Early Blight Pathogen (Alternaria solani) in Pakistan
Early blight caused by Alternaria solani Sorauer is one of the most serious foliage diseases of the potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). This disease causes huge crop losses and has major economic importance worldwide. The antifungal activity for three medicinal plants (Foeniculum vulgare, Syzygium aromaticum, and Eucalyptus citriodora) against Alternaria solani has been evaluated. The inhibitory potential of selected essential oils on the radial mycelial growth and germination of spore was measured in vitro at various concentrations (5%, 2.5%. 1.25%, 0.625%, and 0.312%) using agar well diffusion assay. Essential oil of E. citriodora was most effective causing 85% inhibition of mycelial growth and 88% inhibition of spore germination at 0.625% and 1.25% concentrations. Essential oil of Foeniculum vulgare also caused 80% and 82% inhibition of the above mentioned parameters but at double the concentrations 1.25% and 2.5%. While essential oil of Syzygium aromaticum was least effective in controlling the mycelial growth and spore germination with 76% and 77% inhibition at 1.25% and 2.5%. All the selected essential oils, especially E. citriodora, showed marked antimicrobial activity significant at higher concentration. These results suggest that the use of essential oils for the control of A. solani can reduce environmental risks related with commercial fungicides, lower cost for control, and the chances for resistance development. Additional studies are essential to evaluate the potential of essential oils as natural treatments for this disease.
Applications of Soil-Applied Fungicides to Manage Phytophthora Root Rot on Chili (Solanum annum L.) in Pakistan
Chili (Solanum annum L.) is attacked by many fungal pathogens including members of oomycetes which are responsible for root rot in the worldwide. Fungal pathogens cause economic losses in different chili growing areas of the Pakistan. Most of the plant tissues, including roots, crowns, fruit, and leaves, are vulnerable to P. capsici. It is very difficult to manage the Phytophthora root rot of chili as different commercial verities are extremely susceptible to P. capsici. The causal agent of disease was isolated on corn meal agar (CMA), and identified on morphological basis by using available taxonomic keys. The pathogen was also confirmed on the molecular basis through internal transcribed spacer region. Blastn results showed 100% homology with already reported sequences of P. capsici in NCBI database. Most of the farmers have conventionally relied on foliar fungicide applications to control Phytophthora root rot in spite of their incomplete effectiveness. In this study, in vitro plate assay, seed soaking and foliar applications of 6 fungicides were evaluated against root rot of chili. In vitro assay revealed that significant inhibition of linear growth was obtained with Triflumizole at 7.0% followed by Thiophanate methyl (8.9%), Etridiazole (6.0%), Propamocarb (5.9%) and 7.5% with Mefenoxam and Iprodione for P. capsici. The promising treatments of in vitro plate bioassay were evaluated in pot experiments under controlled conditions in Greenhouse. All fungicides were applied after at 6-day intervals. Results of pot experiment showed that all treatments have considerably inhibited the percentage of P. capsici root rot incidence. In addition, application of seed soaking with all six fungicides combined with the foliar spray of the same components showed the significant reduction in root rot incidence. The combine treatments of all fungicides as in vitro bioassay, seed soaking followed by foliar spray are considered non-harmful control methods which have advantage and limitation. Hence, these applications proved effective and harmless for the management of soil-borne plant pathogens.
Assessing Fungicidal Activity of Complex II Inhibitors against Plant Pathogenic Fungi of Solanaceous Crops
Respiratory inhibitors are among the fungicides most widely used for disease control on crops. Modern agriculture depends on efficient tools for controlling fungal diseases that can have a strong impact on yield and quality. Better, innovative fungicides are key for sustainable management of plant diseases. Damage caused by leaf blight fungal disease on Solanaceous crops may produce an important drop in yield and quality, resulting in a considerable reduction of the income. Foliar diseases due to fungal pathogens like Alternaria alternata, A. solani, Curvularia lunata, Phytophthora capsici decrease the photosynthetic active leaf area and affects plant growth. New broad spectrum foliar fungicides against complex II were designed using pharmacophore modeling and structure based virtual screening. The enzyme links the carboxcylic acid cycle and the cellular respiration by catalyzing the oxidation of succinate to fumarate and inserting the electrons via ubiquinone into the respiration chain. The focus of the research work was on finding compounds with high intrinsic activity against phytopathogenic fungi of Solanaceae crops in particular leaf blight pathogens Alternaria alternata, A. solani, Curvularia lunata, Phytophthora capsici. Fungicidal activity of a range of novel active ingredients targeted against complex II was evaluated for the effect on mycelial growth and spore germination of the fungi using poisoned agar assay. In mycelial growth assay compounds C1 and C2 were highly active against A. alternata and A. solani while compound C6 was most potent against C. lunata. Compound C6 and C10 showed highest antifungal activity against P. capsici. In the case of spore germination assay, compounds C1 and C6 were most effective against all the fungi tested. This study showed that compound C1, C2, C6 and C10 resulted in the decrease in mycelial growth and germination of spores. The complex II inhibitors identified in this work can be recommended as active ingredients for fungicides against leaf blight diseases of solanaceous plants.
Influence of Biological and Chemical Fertilizers on Quantitative Characteristics of Sweet Wormwood
This research aimed at considering biological fertilizer effect and chemical fertilizer on the quantitative characteristics of Sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua L.), an experiment was carried out in factorial design in completely randomized design with 4 replications in an experimental greenhouse which was located in Tehran. Experimental treatment involved chemical fertilizers (Nitrogen, Phosphorus) in4 levels and biological fertilizers in 4 levels (control, Nitroxin, Bio-phosphorus and Vemricompost). Results showed that using biological fertilizers and increasing different levels of chemical fertilizers (N, P) had significant effects on all the characteristics. Considering means comparison showed that biological fertilizers lead to significant enhancement on all the characteristics and among biological fertilizers, Vermicompost treatment has the most effect. Considering means comparison tables of different levels of chemical fertilizer have been found that (N80P80) had the most increase on characteristics.
Impacts of Climate Change on Food Grain Yield and Its Variability across Seasons and Altitudes in Odisha, India
A rapidly changing climate has inevitable consequences on the agricultural productivity. The direction and magnitude of such consequences are not uniform across developing regions like Asia, Africa, Latin America and especially India experiencing largely negative consequences of such change. A growing body of climate change literature reveals three factors causing Indian agriculture more vulnerable to climate change and variability. Firstly, South-West monsoon rainfall (June-September) accounts for nearly 75 percent of total annual rainfall, substantially affecting the agricultural performance. Secondly, small and marginal farmers (having < 1 hectare of land) constitute more than 80 percent of total farmers, resulting in less capacity to cope with climate change impacts. Thirdly, quite significant number of populations depend on climate-sensitive sector like agriculture and others for pursuit of their livelihood. At this juncture, the purpose of the study is to empirically analyse the climatic impacts on foodgrain yield and its variability across seasons and altitudes in Odisha, one of the most vulnerable states in India. The study uses Just-Pope Stochastic Production function by using two-step Feasible Generalized Least Square (FGLS): mean equation estimation and variance equation estimation. The study uses the panel data on foodgrain yield, rainfall and temperature for 13 districts during the period 1984-2013. The study considers four seasons: winter (December-February), summer (March-May), Rainy (June-September) and autumn (October-November). The districts under consideration have been categorized under three altitude regions such as low (< 70 masl), middle (153-305 masl) and high (>305 masl) altitudes. The results show that an increase in the standard deviation of monthly rainfall during summer and autumn seasons has an adverse significant impact on the mean yield of foodgrains in Odisha. The summer temperature has harmful effects by significantly decreasing mean yield and increasing its variability. Moreover, the positive expected signs of trend variable in both mean and variance equation suggest that foodgrain yield and its variability increases with time. On the other hand, a change in mean levels of rainfall and temperature during different seasons has heterogeneous impacts either harmful or beneficial depending on the altitudes. These findings imply that adaptation strategies should be tailor-made to minimize the adverse impacts of climate change and variability for sustainable development across seasons and altitudes in Odisha agriculture.
Analysis of Generated Biogas from Anaerobic Digestion of Piggery Dung
The use of energy is paramount to human existence. Every activity globally revolves round it. Over the years, different sources of energy (petroleum fuels predominantly) have been utilized. Animal waste treatment on the farm is a phenomenon that has called for rapt research attention. Generated wastes on farm pollute the environment in diverse ways. Waste-to-bioenergy treatments can provide livestock operators with multiple value-added, renewable energy products. The objective of this work is to generate methane (CH4) gas from the anaerobic digestion of piggery dung. A retention time of 15 and 30 days and a mesophilic temperature range were selected. The generated biogas composition was methane (CH4), carbondioxide (CO2), hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and ammonia (NH3) using gas chromatography method. At 15 days retention time, 60% of (CH4) was collected while CO2 and traces of H2S and NH3 accounted for 40%. At 30 days retention time, 75% of CH4, 20% of CO2 was collected while traces of H2S and NH3 amounted to 5%. For on and off farm uses, biogas can be upgraded to biomethane by removing the CO2, NH3 and H2S. This product (CH4) can meet heating and power needs or serve as transportation fuels
Use of RAPD and ISSR Markers in Detection of Genetic Variation among Colletotrichum falcatum Went Isolates from South Gujarat India
The present research work aims at finding genetic differences in the genomes of sugarcane red rot isolates Colletotrichum falcatum Went using Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and interspersed simple sequence repeat (ISSR) molecular markers. Ten isolates of C. falcatum isolated from different red rot infected sugarcane cultivars stalk were used in present study. The amplified bands were scored across the lanes obtained in 15 RAPD primes and 21 ISSR primes successfully. The data were analysed using NTSYSpc 2.2 software. The results showed 80.6% and 68.07% polymorphism in RPAD and ISSR analysis respectively. Based on the RAPD analysis, ten genotypes were grouped into two major clusters at a cut-off value of 0.75. Geographically distant C. falcatum isolate cfGAN from south Gujarat had a level of similarity with Coimbatore isolate cf8436 presented on separate clade of bootstrapped dendrograms. First and second cluster consisted of five and three isolates respectively, indicating the close relation among them. The 21 ISSR primers produced 119 distinct and scorable loci in that 38 were monomorphic. The number of scorable loci for each primer varied from 2 (ISSR822) to 8 (ISSR807, ISSR823 and ISSR15) with an average of 5.66 loci per primer. Primer ISSR835 amplified the highest number of bands (57), while only 16 bands were obtained by primers ISSR822. Four primers namely ISSR830, ISSR845, ISSR4 and ISSR15 showed the highest value of percentage of polymorphism (100%). The results indicated that both of the marker systems RAPD and ISSR, individually can be effectively used in determination of genetic relationship among C falcatum accessions collected from different parts of south Gujarat.
Analysis of Lift Arm Failure and Its Improvement for the Use in Farm Tractor
Currently, research focus in the development of agricultural equipment and tractor parts in India is innovation and use of alternate materials like austempered ductile iron (ADI). Three-point linkage mechanism of the tractor is susceptible to unpredictable load conditions in the field, and one of the critical components vulnerable to failure is lift arm. Conventionally, lift arm is manufactured either by forging or casting (SG Iron) and main objective of the present work is to reduce the failure occurrences in the lift arm, which is achieved by changing the manufacturing material, i.e ADI, without changing existing design. Effect of four pertinent variables of manufacturing ADI, viz. austenitizing temperature, austenitizing time, austempering temperature, austempering time, was investigated using Taguchi method for design of experiments. To analyze the effect of parameters on the mechanical properties, mean average and signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio was calculated based on the design of experiments with L9 orthogonal array and the linear graph. The best combination for achieving the desired mechanical properties of lift arm is austenitization at 860°C for 90 minutes and austempering at 350°C for 60 minutes. Results showed that the developed component is having 925 MPA tensile strength, 7.8 per cent elongation and 120 joules toughness making it more suitable material for lift arm manufacturing. The confirmatory experiment has been performed and found a good agreement between predicted and experimental value. Also, the CAD model of the existing design was developed in computer aided design software, and structural loading calculations were performed by a commercial finite element analysis package. An optimized shape of the lift arm has also been proposed resulting in light weight and cheaper product than the existing design, which can withstand the same loading conditions effectively.
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 in Turkey in 2016. The cultivar is 5 years old and grown on 1103 Paulsen rootstock. It was determined effects of applications of 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 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 fresh grape yield, 100 berry weight and maturity index in Italia grape variety can be recommended 1/9 CTR+BA application.
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 cultivators countries and 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.
Analysis of Influencing Factors on Infield-Logistics: A Survey of Different Farm Types in Germany
The Management of machine fleets or autonomous vehicle control will considerably increase efficiency in future agricultural production. Especially entire process chains, e.g. harvesting complexes with several interacting combine harvesters, grain carts, and removal trucks, provide lots of optimization potential. Organization and pre-planning ensure to get these efficiency reserves accessible. One way to achieve this is to optimize infield path planning. Particularly autonomous machinery requires precise specifications about infield logistics to be navigated effectively and process optimized in the fields individually or in machine complexes. In the past, a lot of theoretical optimization has been done regarding infield logistics, mainly based on field geometry. However, there are reasons why farmers often do not apply the infield strategy suggested by mathematical route planning tools. To make the computational optimization more useful for farmers this study focuses on these influencing factors by expert interviews. As a result practice-oriented navigation not only to the field but also within the field will be possible. The survey study is intended to cover the entire range of German agriculture. Rural mixed farms with simple technology equipment are considered as well as large agricultural cooperatives which farm thousands of hectares using track guidance and various other electronic assistance systems. First results show that farm managers using guidance systems increasingly attune their infield-logistics on direction giving obstacles such as power lines. In consequence, they can avoid inefficient boom flippings while doing plant protection with the sprayer. Livestock farmers rather focus on the application of organic manure with its specific requirements concerning road conditions, landscape terrain or field access points. Cultivation of sugar beets makes great demands on infield patterns because of its particularities such as the row crop system or high logistics demands. Furthermore, several machines working in the same field simultaneously influence each other, regardless whether or not they are of the equal type. Specific infield strategies always are based on interactions of several different influences and decision criteria. Single working steps like tillage, seeding, plant protection or harvest mostly cannot be considered each individually. The entire production process has to be taken into consideration to detect the right infield logistics. One long-term objective of this examination is to integrate the obtained influences on infield strategies as decision criteria into an infield navigation tool. In this way, path planning will become more practical for farmers which is a basic requirement for automatic vehicle control and increasing process efficiency.
A Visualization Classification Method for Identifying the Decayed Citrus Fruit Infected by Fungi Based on Hyperspectral Imaging
Early detection of fungal infection in citrus fruit is one of the major problems in the postharvest commercialization process. The automatic and nondestructive detection of infected fruits is still a challenge for the citrus industry. At present, the visual inspection of rotten citrus fruits is commonly performed by workers through the ultraviolet induction fluorescence technology or manual sorting in citrus packinghouses to remove fruit subject with fungal infection. However, the former entails a number of problems because exposing people to this kind of lighting is potentially hazardous to human health, and the latter is very inefficient. Orange is used as a research object. This study would focus on this problem and proposed an effective method based on Vis-NIR hyperspectral imaging in the wavelength range of 400-1000 nm with a spectroscopic resolution of 2.8 nm. In this work, three normalization approaches are applied prior to analysis to reduce the effect of sample curvature on spectral profiles, and it is found that mean normalization was the most effective pretreatment for decreasing spectral variability due to curvature. Then, principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to a dataset composing of average spectra from decayed and normal tissue to reduce the dimensionality of data and observe the ability of Vis-NIR hyper-spectra to discriminate data from two classes. In this case, it was observed that normal and decayed spectra were separable along the resultant first principal component (PC1) axis. Subsequently, five wavelengths (band) centered at 577, 702, 751, 808, and 923 nm were selected as the characteristic wavelengths by analyzing the loadings of PC1. A multispectral combination image was generated based on five selected characteristic wavelength images. Based on the obtained multispectral combination image, the intensity slicing pseudocolor image processing method is used to generate a 2-D visual classification image that would enhance the contrast between normal and decayed tissue. Finally, an image segmentation algorithm for detection of decayed fruit was developed based on the pseudocolor image coupled with a simple thresholding method. For the investigated 238 independent set samples including infected fruits infected by Penicillium digitatum and normal fruits, the total success rate is 100% and 97.5%, respectively, and, the proposed algorithm also used to identify the orange infected by penicillium italicum with a 100% identification accuracy, indicating that the proposed multispectral algorithm here is an effective method and it is potential to be applied in citrus industry.
Temporal and Spatial Aggregation of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index for the Prediction of Rice Yields
In recent years Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is used to help in the analysis of productivity, especially for rice crops. In this research, we analyze time series of NDVI (2008–2016) for Bangladesh. A key ingredient is the rice classification of the fields. By integrating the rice mask and aligning the growing season's estimation of crop yield were performed. Furthermore, the pixel-based growing seasons are aggregated to district level (3000 km2 in the area approximately), to correlate with national yield data. District specific regression models provide a model fit of R2=0.85, estimating rice yield with a root mean square error (RMSE) of 10%. In conclusion, we show with this research that the method of aggregation of NDVI temporally as well as spatially can lead to improving correlation and moreover predict rice yields.
Usability Evaluation of Rice Doctor as a Diagnostic Tool for Agricultural Extension Workers in Selected Areas in the Philippines
The effective agricultural extension is essential in facilitating improvements in various agricultural areas. One way of doing this is through Information and communication technologies (ICTs) like Rice Doctor (RD), an app-based diagnostic tool that provides accurate and timely diagnosis and management recommendations for more than 80 crop problems. This study aims to evaluate the RD usability by determining the effectiveness, efficiency, and user satisfaction of RD in making an accurate and timely diagnosis. It also aims to identify other factors that affect RD usability. This will be done by comparing RD with two other diagnostic methods: visual identification-based diagnosis and reference-guided diagnosis. The study was implemented in three rice-producing areas and has involved 96 extension workers. Respondents accomplished a self-administered survey and participated in group discussions. Data collected was then subjected to qualitative and quantitative analysis. Most of the respondents were satisfied with RD and believed that references are needed in assuring the accuracy of diagnosis. The majority found it efficient and easy to use. Some found it confusing and complicated, but this is because of their unfamiliarity with RD. Most users were also able to achieve accurate diagnosis proving effectiveness. Lastly, although users have reservations, they are satisfied and open to using RD. The study also found out the importance of visual identification skills in using RD and the need for capacity development and improvement of access to RD devices. From these results, the following are recommended to improve RD usability: review and upgrade diagnostic keys, expand further RD content, initiate capacity development for AEWs, and prepare and implement an RD communication plan.
Dendroremediation of a Defunct Lead Acid Battery Recycling Site
Use of automobiles has increased and proportionally, the demand for batteries to impulse them. When the device is aged, all the battery materials are reused through lead acid battery recycling (LABR). Importation of used lead acid batteries in Mexico has increased in the last years since many recycling factories have been settled in the country. Inadequate disposal of lead-acid battery recycling (LABR) wastes left soil severely polluted with Pb, Cu, and salts (Na+, SO2− 4, PO3− 4). Soil organic amendments may contribute with essential nutrients and sequester (scavenger compounds) metals to allow plant establishment. The objective of this research was to revegetate a former lead-acid battery recycling site aided with organic amendments. Seven tree species (Acacia farnesiana, Casuarina equisetifolia, Cupressus lusitanica, Eucalyptus obliqua, Fraxinus excelsior, Prosopis laevigata and Pinus greggii) and two organic amendments (vermicompost and vermicompost + sawdust mixture) were tested for phytoremediation of a defunct LABR site. Plants were irrigated during the dry season. Monitoring of the soils was carried out during the experiment: Available metals, salts concentrations and their spatial pattern in soil were analyzed. Plant species and amendments were compared through analysis of covariance and longitudinal analysis. High concentrations of extractable (DTPA-TEA-CaCl₂) metals (up to 15,685 mg kg⁻¹ and 478 mg kg⁻¹ for Pb and Cu) and soluble salts (292 mg kg-1 and 23,578 mg kg-1 for PO3− 4and SO2− 4) were found in the soil after three and six months of setting up the experiment. Lead and Cu concentrations were depleted in the rhizosphere after amendments addition. Spatial pattern of PO3− 4, SO2− 4 and DTPA-extractable Pb and Cu changed slightly through time. In spite of extreme soil conditions the plant species planted: A. farnesiana, E. obliqua, C. equisetifolia and F. excelsior had 100% of survival. Available metals and salts differently affected each species. In addition, negative effect on growth due to Pb accumulated in shoots was observed only in C. lusitanica. Many specimens accumulated high concentrations of Pb ( > 1000 mg kg-1) in shoots. C. equisetifolia and C. lusitanica had the best rate of growth. Based on the results, all the evaluated species may be useful for revegetation of Pb-polluted soils. Besides their use in phytoremediation, some ecosystem services can be obtained from the woodland such as encourage wildlife, wood production, and carbon sequestration. Further research should be conducted to analyze these services.
Longevity of Soybean Seeds Submitted to Different Mechanized Harvesting Conditions
Seed vigor is a fundamental component for the good performance of the entire soybean production process. Seeds with mechanical damage at harvest time will be more susceptible to fungal and insect attack during storage, which will invariably reduce their vigor to the field, compromising uniformity and final stand performance. Harvesters, even the most modern ones, when not properly regulated or operated, can cause irreversible damages to the seeds, compromising even their commercialization. Therefore, the control of an efficient harvest is necessary in order to guarantee a good quality final product. In this work, the damage caused by two different harvesters (one rented, and another one) was evaluated, traveling in two speeds (4 and 8 km / h). The design was completely randomized in 2 x 2 factorial, with four replications. To evaluate the physiological quality seed germination and vigor tests were carried out over a period of six months. A multivariate analysis of Principal Components (PCA) and clustering allowed us to verify that the leased machine had better performance in the incidence of immediate damages in the seeds, but after a storage period of 6 months the vigor of these seeds reduced more than own machine evidencing that such a machine would bring more damages to the seeds.
Closed Greenhouse Production Systems for Smart Plant Production in Urban Areas
The integration of agricultural production systems into urban areas is a challenge for the coming decades. Because of increasing greenhouse gas emission and rising resource consumption and costs in animal husbandry, the dietary habits of people in the 21st century have to focus on herbal foods. Intensive plant cultivation systems in large cities and megacities require a smart coupling of information, material and energy flow with the urban infrastructure in terms of Horticulture 4.0. Achieving these objects closed production systems in crop production are an essential prerequisite. At the Humboldt University, many puzzle pieces have been developed for these closed processes in recent years. To compile these for an urban plant production, it has to be optimized and networked with urban infrastructure systems. In the field of heat energy production, it was shown that with closed greenhouse technology and patented heat exchange and storage technology energy can be provided for heating and domestic hot water supply in the city. Closed water circuits can be drastically reducing the water requirements of plant production in urban areas. Ion sensitive sensors and new disinfection methods can help keep circulating nutrient solutions in the system for a long time in urban plant production greenhouses.
Impact of Rising Temperatures on Wheat Production in the MENA Region
The current vulnerability to climate change and extreme events, is a major threat to agricultural systems. This vulnerability depends on the sensitivity and exposure to weather conditions, and the ability to adapt to changes in these conditions. The MENA region is an example of a region that is currently highly vulnerable to food insecurity. Floods, drought conditions and pest infestations are some of the current stressors on food security that can be influenced by future climate change. All development initiatives related to agriculture and the ongoing response options may be limited by inefficient institutional structures and the lack of information with potentially negative consequences for future adaptations to increased stress. Therefore, in this context, we tried to analyze the impact of climate change (temperature rise) on wheat in the MENA region, and there is evidence that climate change will have a disastrous impact on the yield of wheat this will increase the vulnerability to food insecurity countries, hence the need to develop adaptation strategies.
Establishing Community-Based Pro-Biodiversity Enterprise in the Philippines: A Climate Change Adaptation Strategy towards Agro-Biodiversity Conservation and Local Green Economic Development
In the Philippines, the performance of the agricultural sector is gauged through crop productivity and returns from farm production rather than the biodiversity in the agricultural ecosystem. Agricultural development hinges on the overall goal of increasing productivity through intensive agriculture, monoculture system, utilization of high yielding varieties in plants, and genetic upgrading in animals. This merits an analysis of the role of agro-biodiversity in terms of increasing productivity, food security and economic returns from community-based pro-biodiversity enterprises. These enterprises conserve biodiversity while equitably sharing production income in the utilization of biological resources. The study aims to determine how community-based pro-biodiversity enterprises become instrumental in local climate change adaptation and agro-biodiversity conservation as input to local green economic development planning. It also involves an assessment of the role of agrobiodiversity in terms of increasing productivity, food security and economic returns from community-based pro-biodiversity enterprises. The perceptions of the local community members both in urban and upland rural areas on community-based pro-biodiversity enterprises were evaluated. These served as a basis in developing a planning modality that can be mainstreamed in the management of local green economic enterprises to benefit the environment, provide local income opportunities, conserve species diversity, and sustain environment-friendly farming systems and practices. The interviews conducted with organic farmer-owners, entrepreneur-organic farmers, and organic farm workers revealed that pro-biodiversity enterprise such as organic farming involved the cyclic use of natural resources within the carrying capacity of a farm; recognition of the value of tradition and culture especially in the upland rural area; enhancement of socio-economic capacity; conservation of ecosystems in harmony with nature; and climate change mitigation. The suggested planning modality for community-based pro-biodiversity enterprises for a green economy encompasses four (4) phases to include community resource or capital asset profiling; stakeholder vision development; strategy formulation for sustained enterprises; and monitoring and evaluation.
Closed Aeroponic Tomato Production Systems for Sustainable Cities
Urban farming systems, which consume low amounts of water, fertilizer and produce little waste must be developed or adjusted for urban farming. Although closed hydroponic systems were used successfully in terms of water saving in past, huge amounts of substrate waste, especially rock wool, is produced each year when tomatoes or other vegetables are cultivated. This growing medium is often disposed after one culture period and cannot always be recycled, whereby the rock wool waste reached an amount up to 150 m3 per ha and year. Furthermore, an average primary energy demand of 275 kWh is required to produce one cubic meter of rock wool, where 167 kg CO2 are released into the environment. Therefore, the present study is focused on the development of a closed aeroponic tomato production system in order to avoid residual materials and associated greenhouse gases. Based on its construction, surface evaporation will be minimized. In order to evaluate this system, it will be compared to a closed hydroponic system. The efficiency of used resources, such as water and fertilizer will be calculated. Besides the goal to minimize the environmental impacts, nutrient dynamics caused by hydroponic and aeroponic systems will be investigated in more detail. Furthermore, effects caused by the mentioned systems on plant morphological and plant physiological parameters will be investigated as well, in order to estimate the potential of closed aeroponic systems applied in urban horticulture.
Research and Application of Multi-Scale Three Dimensional Plant Modeling
Reconstructing and analyzing three-dimensional (3D) models from situ measured data is important for a number of researches and applications in plant science, including plant phenotyping, functional-structural plant modeling (FSPM), plant germplasm resources protection, agricultural technology popularization. It has many scales like cell, tissue, organ, plant and canopy from micro to macroscopic. The techniques currently used for data capture, feature analysis, and 3D reconstruction are quite different of different scales. In this context, morphological data acquisition, 3D analysis and modeling of plants on different scales are introduced systematically. The commonly used data capture equipment for these multiscale is introduced. Then hot issues and difficulties of different scales are described respectively. Some examples are also given, such as Micron-scale phenotyping quantification and 3D microstructure reconstruction of vascular bundles within maize stalks based on micro-CT scanning, 3D reconstruction of leaf surfaces and feature extraction from point cloud acquired by using 3D handheld scanner, plant modeling by combining parameter driven 3D organ templates. Several application examples by using the 3D models and analysis results of plants are also introduced. A 3D maize canopy was constructed, and light distribution was simulated within the canopy, which was used for the designation of ideal plant type. A grape tree model was constructed from 3D digital and point cloud data, which was used for the production of science content of 11th international conference on grapevine breeding and genetics. By using the tissue models of plants, a Google glass was used to look around visually inside the plant to understand the internal structure of plants. With the development of information technology, 3D data acquisition, and data processing techniques will play a greater role in plant science.
Growth, Yield and Pest Infestation Response of Maize (Zea mays Linn.) to Biopesticide
The effect of biopesticide on growth, yield and pest infestation of maize (Zea mays Linn.) (variety DK 6818) was evaluated during the drought season. The experimental plots were located at research station of Faculty of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand. The extracted substance from plants was evaluated in the plots in 4 treatments: 1) water as control; 2) bitter bush (Chromolaena odorata L.); 3) neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss), 4) golden shower (Cassia fistula Linn.). The experiment was followed a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with 4 treatments and 4 replications per treatment. The results showed that golden shower gave the highest growth of maize in term of height (203.29 cm), followed by neem and bitter bush with average height of 202.66 cm and 191.66 cm respectively with significance different. But neem treatment given significantly higher average of yield component in term of length, width, and weight of pod corn with 18.89 cm 13.91 cm and 166.46 g respectively. Also, treatment of neem showed the highest harvested yield at 284.06 kg/ha followed by the golden shower and bitter bush with harvested yield at 245.86 kg/ha and 235.52 kg/ha respectively. Additionally, treatment of neem and golden shower were the highest effectiveness for reducing insects pest infestation of maize: corn leaf aphid Rhopalosiphum maidis Fitch, corn borer Ostrinia fumacalis Guenee and corn armyworm Mythimna separata Walker. The treatment of neem, golden shower, and bitter bush given reduction insect infestation on maize with leaves area were infested at 5,412 mm², 6,827 mm² and 8,910 mm² respectively with significance different when compared to control.
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 sub-sector aimed at promoting various improved agricultural technologies in order to improve domestic production and reduce importation. 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 moves 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, seed and NPK fertilizer. Although there was an opportunity for improvement, the farmers were highly efficient (92%), compared to previous studies. The farmers’ efficiency was improved through increased education, household size, experience, access to credit, and without extension service provision. The study recommends an integration of the UDP technology in the national agricultural and rice development policies of Ghana. MoFA extension agents across the county should be trained on the protocols of the UDP technology to compliment the efforts of IFDC to improve adoption by farmers. Since this study did not provide the factors that can influence farmers’ adoption decision of the technology, further research on this aspect is needed. Rice farmers are also encouraged to expand their farm lands simultaneously with increasing planting density as well as fertilizer usage. Mechanisms through which credit can be made easily accessible and effectively utilised should be identified and promoted.
Manure Management Systems in Sheep and Goat Farms in Konya, Türkiye
Goat and sheep milk is quite significant in human nutrition. It is considered as more important day by day. This study was carried out in order to determine applied manure management system and their possibilities of improvement in goat and sheep farm in between 2012 and 2013 years. In the study, it was investigated manure management systems of 25 pieces of sheep and goat farms. It was analyzed the manure collecting, storage and treatment features of farms and whether or not they are suitable for animal breeding. As a result of the study, it was determined that the applied manure management systems in the farm were insufficient. Planning the manure management systems in goat and sheep breeding is appropriate technical criteria is useful in respect of the animal welfare, animal health, the health of workers in the barn and environmental pollution.
Effects of a Simulated Power Cut in Automatic Milking Systems on Dairy Cows Heart Activity
In view of the increasing quantity of 'green energy' from renewable raw materials and photovoltaic facilities, it is quite conceivable that power supply variations may occur, so that constantly working machines like automatic milking systems (AMS) may break down temporarily. The usage of farm-made energy is steadily increasing in order to keep energy costs as low as possible. As a result, power cuts are likely to happen more frequently. Current work in the framework of the project 'stable 4.0' focuses on possible stress reactions by simulating power cuts up to four hours in dairy farms. Based on heart activity it should be found out whether stress on dairy cows increases under these circumstances. In order to simulate a power cut, 12 random cows out of 2 herds were not admitted to the AMS for at least two hours on three consecutive days. The heart rates of the cows were measured and the collected data evaluated with HRV Program Kubios Version 2.1 on the basis of eight parameters (HR, RMSSD, pNN50, SD1, SD2, LF, HF and LF/HF). Furthermore, stress reactions were examined closely via video analysis, milk yield, ruminant activity, pedometer and measurements of cortisol metabolites. Concluding it turned out, that during the test only some animals were suffering from minor stress symptoms, when they tried to get into the AMS at their regular milking time, but couldn´t be milked because the system was manipulated. However, the stress level during a regular “time-dependent milking rejection” was just as high. So the study comes to the conclusion, that the low psychological stress level in the case of a 2-4 hours failure of an AMS does not have any impact on animal welfare and health.