Advances in Agriculture The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Tolerance of Glyphosate-Resistant Maize to Glyphosate Plus MCPA Amine Is Influenced by Dose and Timing Mon, 27 Jul 2015 07:38:43 +0000 There is little information on tolerance of glyphosate-resistant maize to glyphosate plus MCPA amine as influenced by dose and timing under Ontario environmental conditions. A total of seven field trials were conducted at various locations in Ontario, Canada, in 2011–2013 to evaluate tolerance of field maize to tank mixes of glyphosate (900 g a.e./ha) plus MCPA amine (79, 158, 315, 630, 1260, 2520, or 5040 g a.e./ha) at either the 4- or 8-leaf stage. The predicted dose of MCPA amine that caused 5, 10, and 20% injury was 339, 751, and 1914 g a.e./ha when applied to 4-leaf maize but only 64, 140, and 344 g a.e./ha when applied to 8-leaf maize, respectively. The predicted dose of MCPA amine that caused 5, 10, and 20% reduction in shoot dry weight of maize was 488, 844, and 1971 g a.e./ha when applied to 4-leaf maize and only 14, 136, and 616 g a.e./ha when applied to 8-leaf maize, respectively. The predicted dose of MCPA amine that caused 5, 10, and 20% yield reduction was 2557, 4247, and >5040 g a.e./ha when applied to 4-leaf maize and 184, 441, and 1245 g a.e./ha when applied to 8-leaf maize, respectively. Based on these results, glyphosate plus MCPA amine applied at the manufacturer’s recommended dose of 630 g a.e./ha applied to 4-leaf maize has potential to cause injury but the injury is transient with no significant reduction in yield. However, when glyphosate plus MCPA amine is applied to 8-leaf maize it has the potential to cause significant injury and yield loss in maize. Nader Soltani, Kris McNaughton, Chris L. Gillard, Robert E. Nurse, and Peter H. Sikkema Copyright © 2015 Nader Soltani et al. All rights reserved. Factors That Influence Technical Efficiency of Sorghum Production: A Case of Small Holder Sorghum Producers in Lower Eastern Kenya Thu, 16 Jul 2015 10:16:42 +0000 Majority of the rural households in Kenya depend on agriculture as a source of food and livelihood. Agricultural productivity has been declining due to many factors resulting in increased food insecurity in the country. Consequently, there is a renewed interest in promoting drought-tolerant crops such as sorghum which thrives in the arid and semiarid lands of the developing world. However, performance of sorghum production among the smallholder farmers has still remained low. This study was thus carried out to identify factors that influence technical efficiency of sorghum production among smallholder farmers in Machakos and Makindu districts of the lower eastern Kenya. Collected data on farm and farmer characteristics were analysed by use of descriptive statistics and Tobit model. Result highlights show that technical efficiency was influenced positively by formal education level of the household, experience in sorghum farming, membership in farmers associations, use of hired labour, production advice, and use of manure. Surprisingly household size, meant to enhance labour, had a negative influence. To increase technical efficiency, efforts should focus on improving information flows on agronomic practices. Farmers should also be encouraged to form and actively participate in various farmers associations, which enhance learning and pooling of labour resources, hence improving technical efficiency. Evaline Chepng’etich, Sospeter Onchoke Nyamwaro, Eric Kiprotich Bett, and Kwena Kizito Copyright © 2015 Evaline Chepng’etich et al. All rights reserved. Fine Screening for Resistance to Cold-Induced Sweetening in Potato Hybrids Containing Solanum raphanifolium Germplasm Tue, 23 Jun 2015 09:47:16 +0000 Potato is an indispensable part of human food. Many wild and cultivated potato relatives have been screened to find the best germplasm to improve productivity and quality, but only a small sample of the available biodiversity has been exploited. Most wild relatives are self-incompatible diploids. Genetic variability exists within and among populations, even within a species. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out fine screening to identify individuals carrying traits of interest. This study was carried out to quantify phenotypic variability for resistance to cold-induced sweetening, an important processing trait. Five families were evaluated for potato chip (crisp) color following cold storage of tubers harvested from four greenhouse trials and one field trial. The families were generated by crossing a single diploid clone to five plants from one accession of the wild potato relative Solanum raphanifolium. Analysis of variance revealed that resistance against cold-induced sweetening was dependent on family and trial. This study underscores the importance of fine screening to select individuals in potato accessions for use in potato improvement. Arfan Ali and Shelley Jansky Copyright © 2015 Arfan Ali and Shelley Jansky. All rights reserved. Soil Fertility in relation to Landscape Position and Land Use/Cover Types: A Case Study of the Lake Kivu Pilot Learning Site Wed, 03 Jun 2015 12:42:15 +0000 This study determined the change and distribution of land-uses/covers along the landscape, and evaluated the nutrient status of the top soil layer in the Lake Kivu Pilot Learning Site (LKPLS) benchmarked micro-catchments. Soil physical and chemical properties were quantified using triplicate soil samples collected from each land-use/cover at two depths (0–15 and 15–30 cm) in three LK PLS Learning Innovation Platform (IP) sites (Bufundi in Uganda, Mupfuni-Shanga in D.R. Congo, Gataraga in Rwanda). Small scale agriculture has increased in all the benchmarked micro-catchments at the expense of other land-uses/covers. In the settlement areas land-use/cover distribution along the landscape varied across sites and countries; the major one being eucalyptus woodlots, wetland, and perennials and annuals crops in Bufundi; annuals and perennials crops in Mupfuni-Shanga; and annuals crops in Gataraga. Perennial crops tended to occur at the footslope and valley bottoms, while the annuals occurred at the upper backslopes and summits. Available P and K were relatively higher and C/N ratio (7.28) was the lowest in Mupfuni Shanga. Annual crops had the lowest available P and N across site (). The key nutrients N, P and K were below the critical values for plant growth for Bufundi. Majaliwa Mwanjalolo Jackson-Gilbert, Tenywa Makooma Moses, Karuturi P. C. Rao, Bernard Musana, Fungo Bernard, Bahiga Leblanc, Jumaine Mkangya, Kuule Muke, Kamugisha Rick, Kizza Charles Luswata, Nampijja Josephine, Sebuliba Esther, Nandozi Carol, Barasa Bernard, Azanga Ekaka, Sospeter Onchoke Nyamwaro, Mugabo Josephat, Buruchara Robin, Fatunbi Oluwole, Karume Katcho, and Adewale Adekunle Copyright © 2015 Majaliwa Mwanjalolo Jackson-Gilbert et al. All rights reserved. Growth and Blood Parameters of Weaned Crossbred Beef Calves Fed Forage Kale (Brassica oleracea spp. acephala) Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:01:30 +0000 Forty lightweight calves ( kg) were randomly distributed to four treatments: (Control) low nutritive value pasture and hay plus 1 kg d−1 of rolled barley; (Pasture) management intensive pasture; (Haylage) timothy haylage; and (Kale) 50% timothy haylage −50% kale pasture. Blood samples were analysed for thyroid hormones, liver enzymes, glucose, cholesterol, total proteins (TP), albumin, globulins, and urea-N. At the end of the trial, the Pasture group was the heaviest with  kg BW and 1.54 kg ADG. Final BW and ADG were similar for the Kale and Haylage groups. Blood T3 was higher for Kale than for the other groups. The T3/T4 ratio was greater for Control at the end of the experiment. There were no treatment differences for T4, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), glutamate dehydrogenase (GLDH), cholesterol, and glucose. Blood urea-N was lower for Kale and higher for Pasture; however albumin concentrations were greater for Pasture and similar for other treatments. Except for the Control group, calves had a lower concentration of circulating globulins at the end than at the beginning of the experiment. This study showed that Kale could be fed to backgrounding calves without detrimental effects on performance. Y. Chorfi, Y. Couture, G. F. Tremblay, R. Berthiaume, and D. Cinq-Mars Copyright © 2015 Y. Chorfi et al. All rights reserved. Combining Ability and Gene Action Estimates of Eight Parent Diallel Crosses of Chickpea for Ascochyta Blight Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:34:04 +0000 Ascochyta blight resistance was studied in half-diallel cross involving eight genotypes of chickpea at seedling and adult stages. The disease was rated in the greenhouse with a modified scale from 0 to 100%. The diallel analysis was performed on 28 F1 and their F2. The results were analyzed with the Hayman and Griffing methods. The general combining ability is most important for two generations, is highly significant for the two stages, and is more important than specific combining ability. This result reflects a strong preponderance of additive effects and epistasis additive × additive with respect to dominance effects in this material for the two generations, which shows the predominance of additive versus dominance. Estimates of heritability are very high. The additive effects have the highest value indicating the importance of this component for resistance to Ascochyta. For seedling stage, the negative sign of F for both generations indicates that there are much more recessive alleles that affect resistance to the disease. In adult stage, F is positive in both generations and shows more dominant alleles that control plant reaction to pathogen. H2 is positive in both generations which show that dominant genes are acting mostly towards the susceptibility. Mohamed Labdi, Samia Ghomari, and Samia Hamdi Copyright © 2015 Mohamed Labdi et al. All rights reserved. Staying or Leaving? Analyzing the Rationality of Rural-Urban Migration Associated with Farm Income of Staying Households: A Case Study from Southern Ethiopia Wed, 14 Jan 2015 13:05:37 +0000 The research aims at analyzing the effect of rural-urban migration and remittances on farm income of rural households supported by a case study conducted in Southern Ethiopia. Using two-step estimations to measure the effect of outmigration, migrant sending families have gained higher farm income. In this regard, rural outmigration has been found to be a survival and income diversification strategy in the study area. Beneberu Assefa Wondimagegnhu Copyright © 2015 Beneberu Assefa Wondimagegnhu. All rights reserved. Nitrogen Efficiency and Nutrient Absorption by a Sorghum-Oats Forage Succession Mon, 12 Jan 2015 13:38:16 +0000 Balance between nutrient uptake by the crop and the amount of applied fertilizer is desired in a production system, and this measurement can predict the nutrient use efficiency. The present study aimed to evaluate nitrogen- (N-) use and recovery efficiency and extraction of N, phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) by sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and black oat (Avena strigosa) forages under nitrogen fertilization in three consecutive crop cultivation. The experiment was carried out at Federal Technological University of Paraná (UTFPR), Dois Vizinhos, Paraná, Brazil, in Rhodic Hapludox soil. Treatments included 0, 37.5, 75, 150, 225, 300, and 375 kg N ha−1 applied to sorghum in the summer seasons of 2010/2011 and 2011/2012, intercalated by, respectively, 0, 40, 80, 120, 160, 200, and 240 kg N ha−1 applied to black oat in the winter/2011. Forage production, N, P, and K extraction, and N recovery efficiency were determined through samplings during the crop cycle. The highest sorghum forage production and N and K extraction were under 230 to 300 kg N ha−1, which was around 190 kg N ha−1 for black oat. The values of N recovery, efficiency, and N-use physiological efficiency were higher under lower N rates for both crops. Based on this, about 150 kg N ha−1 is recommended to obtain good sorghum forage production with higher N efficiency levels, which is about 120 kg N ha−1 for black oat. Rasiel Restelatto, Paulo Sergio Pavinato, Laércio Ricardo Sartor, Suelen Maria Einsfeld, and Fernanda Paula Baldicera Copyright © 2015 Rasiel Restelatto et al. All rights reserved. Response of Short Duration Tropical Legumes and Maize to Water Stress: A Glasshouse Study Wed, 31 Dec 2014 06:20:01 +0000 The study was conducted as a pot experiment in the tropical glasshouse to evaluate the response of grain legumes (Phaseolus vulgaris, Vigna unguiculata, and Lablab purpureus) in comparison to maize (Zea mays) and estimate their potential and performance. Two experiments were established using completely randomized design. Physiological measurements (stomatal conductance, photosynthetic activities, and transpiration rates) were measured using LCpro instrument. Scholander bomb was used for the measurement of plant cell water potential. Significant difference was observed in different plant species with increase of different water regimes. Among the legumes, L. purpureus showed better response in water stressed conditions. At the beginning, in dry watered treatment the photosynthetic rate was below 0 µmol m−2 s−1 and in fully watered condition it was 48 µmol m−2 s−1. In dry treatment, total dry weight was 10 g/pot and in fully watered condition it was near to 20 g/pot in P. vulgaris. The study concludes that water stress condition should be taken into consideration for such type of crop cultivation in arid and semiarid regions. Hossain Sohrawardy and Md. Lokman Hossain Copyright © 2014 Hossain Sohrawardy and Md. Lokman Hossain. All rights reserved. Impacts of Improved Switchgrass and Big Bluestem Selections on Yield, Morphological Characteristics, and Biomass Quality Wed, 17 Dec 2014 08:49:04 +0000 Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii V.) are promising warm-season grasses for biomass production. Understanding the morphological and quality-related traits of these grasses can guide breeders in developing strategies to improve yield and quality for bioindustrial applications. Elite selections were made in Southern Quebec from four promising varieties of switchgrass and one of big bluestem. Biomass yield, morphological characteristics, and selected quality traits were evaluated at two sites in 2011 and 2012. Significant variation was detected for all measured characteristics, with differences varying by site and year. In some cases the selection process modified characteristics including increasing height and reducing tiller mortality. Switchgrasses reached a similar tiller equilibrium density in both years of 690 m−2 and 379 m−2 at a productive and marginal site, respectively. Differences in yield were pronounced at the marginal site, with some advanced selections having a higher yield than their parent varieties. Switchgrass yields were generally greater than those of big bluestem. A delayed spring harvest date greatly reduced yield but reduced moisture content and slightly increased cellulose concentration. Big bluestem had a higher cellulose content than switchgrass, likely due to greater stem content. Erik Delaquis, Roger Samson, Philippe Seguin, Arif Mustafa, and Huguette Martel Copyright © 2014 Erik Delaquis et al. All rights reserved. Reducing Runoff Loss of Applied Nutrients in Oil Palm Cultivation Using Controlled-Release Fertilizers Sun, 07 Dec 2014 12:14:36 +0000 Controlled-release fertilizers are expected to minimize nutrient loss from crop fields due to their potential to supply plant-available nutrients in synchrony with crop requirements. The evaluation of the efficiency of these fertilizers in tropical oil palm agroecological conditions is not yet fully explored. In this study, a one-year field trial was conducted to determine the impact of fertilization with water soluble conventional mixture and controlled-release fertilizers on runoff loss of nutrients from an immature oil palm field. Soil and nutrient loss were monitored for one year in 2012/2013 under erosion plots of 16 m2 on 10% slope gradient. Mean sediments concentration in runoff amounted to about 6.41 t ha−1. Conventional mixture fertilizer posed the greatest risk of nutrient loss in runoff following fertilization due to elevated nitrogen (6.97%), potassium (13.37%), and magnesium (14.76%) as percentage of applied nutrients. In contrast, this risk decreased with the application of controlled-release fertilizers, representing 0.75–2.44% N, 3.55–5.09% K, and 4.35–5.43% Mg loss. Meanwhile, nutrient loss via eroded sediments was minimal compared with loss through runoff. This research demonstrates that the addition of controlled-release fertilizers reduced the runoff risks of nutrient loss possibly due to their slow-release properties. A. Bah, M. H. A. Husni, C. B. S. Teh, M. Y. Rafii, S. R. Syed Omar, and O. H. Ahmed Copyright © 2014 A. Bah et al. All rights reserved. Comparative Effects of Different Fertilizer Sources on the Growth and Nutrient Content of Moringa (Moringa oleifera) Seedling in a Greenhouse Trial Sun, 30 Nov 2014 09:41:47 +0000 A greenhouse experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of NPK, poultry manure, and organomineral fertilizer on the growth and nutrient concentration of Moringa oleifera leaves. The experimental design was completely randomized design (CRD) with four treatments replicated three times. Data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA at . Growth parameters measured include number of leaves per plant, plant height (cm), and stem girth (mm). The application of poultry manure increased the height, number of leaves, and stem girth of moringa compared to the application of NPK and organomineral fertilizer while the control had the least growth. Poultry manure, NPK, and organomineral fertilizer were 66%, 62%, and 39% higher in number of leaves than the control at eight weeks after planting. The application of poultry manure significantly increased the nutrient content of moringa leaves compared to other sources of fertilizer applied. The results shows that the application of poultry manure significantly improved the growth and nutrient content of moringa; however, further field trial is suggested. S. O. Dania, P. Akpansubi, and O. O. Eghagara Copyright © 2014 S. O. Dania et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Fertilizer Types on the Growth and Yield of Amaranthus caudatus in Ilorin, Southern Guinea, Savanna Zone of Nigeria Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:03:44 +0000 Field experiment was carried out at the Teaching and Research Farm of Kwara State University, Malete, Ilorin, to evaluate the effect of compost, organomineral, and inorganic fertilizers on the growth and yield of Amaranthus caudatus as well as its residual effects. Amaranthus was grown with compost Grade B (unamended compost), organomineral fertilizer Grade A (compost amended with mineral fertilizer), and NPK 15-15-15 and no fertilizer (control). All the treatments except control were applied at the rate of 100 kg N/ha. The results indicated that the Amaranthus yield of 18.9 t/ha produced from Grade A was significantly () higher than 17.6 t/ha obtained from NPK fertilizer. Residual effect of Amaranthus growth parameters such as plant height, number of leaves, and yield values obtained from Grade A was also significantly () higher than that of NPK, compost, and control values. Thus, organomineral fertilizer could be used in cultivation of Amaranthus caudatus in Ilorin and in similar type of soil in similar agroecology. Olowoake Adebayo Abayomi and Ojo James Adebayo Copyright © 2014 Olowoake Adebayo Abayomi and Ojo James Adebayo. All rights reserved. Assessment of Pig Production and Constraints in Mecha District, Amhara Region, Northwestern Ethiopia Mon, 17 Nov 2014 11:57:59 +0000 The study was undertaken in Mecha District, Amhara National Regional State, Northwestern Ethiopia, in 2012/2013. The objectives of the study were to assess production purpose and management practices of pig and to identify constraints and generate baseline information for further research and development. From the district, 6 Kebeles (name of local administration in Ethiopia) were identified and from each Kebele 15 households were selected making the number of respondents 90. A pretested semistructured questionnaire was employed for collecting data through interview and face to face discussion with the pig owners including key informant group discussion and secondary sources. Multivisits to study sites were also made to observe the feeding, housing, and other pig management practices. The results indicated that the purpose of pig production is mainly targeted for additional income and profit for the household in which pigs are sold for external markets as pork is not consumed by local community. Results indicate that pig keepers were farmers or nonfarmers with small land holding and people engaged in other types of work. The major feed source for pig was grazing, followed by crop residue feeding and supplementing with household and agricultural by-products. Pigs are kept in house at least for the night, though the pig house was not separated by age or physiological stage. The most important constraints of pig production in the study area were feed shortage, poor access to veterinary services, and poor market linkage. Yeshambel Mekuriaw and Bimrew Asmare Copyright © 2014 Yeshambel Mekuriaw and Bimrew Asmare. All rights reserved. Managing Soil Biota-Mediated Decomposition and Nutrient Mineralization in Sustainable Agroecosystems Thu, 13 Nov 2014 11:42:18 +0000 Transformation of organic residues into plant-available nutrients occurs through decomposition and mineralization and is mediated by saprophytic microorganisms and fauna. Of particular interest is the recycling of the essential plant elements—N, P, and S—contained in organic residues. If organic residues can supply sufficient nutrients during crop growth, a reduction in fertilizer use is possible. The challenge is synchronizing nutrient release from organic residues with crop nutrient demands throughout the growing season. This paper presents a conceptual model describing the pattern of nutrient release from organic residues in relation to crop nutrient uptake. Next, it explores experimental approaches to measure the physical, chemical, and biological barriers to decomposition and nutrient mineralization. Methods are proposed to determine the rates of decomposition and nutrient release from organic residues. Practically, this information can be used by agricultural producers to determine if plant-available nutrient supply is sufficient to meet crop demands at key growth stages or whether additional fertilizer is needed. Finally, agronomic practices that control the rate of soil biota-mediated decomposition and mineralization, as well as those that facilitate uptake of plant-available nutrients, are identified. Increasing reliance on soil biological activity could benefit crop nutrition and health in sustainable agroecosystems. Joann K. Whalen Copyright © 2014 Joann K. Whalen. All rights reserved. Foliar Sprays of Citric Acid and Malic Acid Modify Growth, Flowering, and Root to Shoot Ratio of Gazania (Gazania rigens L.): A Comparative Analysis by ANOVA and Structural Equations Modeling Tue, 28 Oct 2014 08:58:08 +0000 Foliar application of two levels of citric acid and malic acid (100 or 300 mg L−1) was investigated on flower stem height, plant height, flower performance and yield indices (fresh yield, dry yield and root to shoot ratio) of Gazania. Distilled water was applied as control treatment. Multivariate analysis revealed that while the experimental treatments had no significant effect on fresh weight and the flower count, the plant dry weight was significantly increased by 300 mg L−1 malic acid. Citric acid at 100 and 300 mg L−1 and 300 mg L−1 malic acid increased the root fresh weight significantly. Both the plant height and peduncle length were significantly increased in all applied levels of citric acid and malic acid. The display time of flowers on the plant increased in all treatments compared to control treatment. The root to shoot ratio was increased significantly in 300 mg L−1 citric acid compared to all other treatments. These findings confirm earlier reports that citric acid and malic acid as environmentally sound chemicals are effective on various aspects of growth and development of crops. Structural equations modeling is used in parallel to ANOVA to conclude the factor effects and the possible path of effects. Majid Talebi, Ebrahim Hadavi, and Nima Jaafari Copyright © 2014 Majid Talebi et al. All rights reserved. Weed Control in White Bean with Various Halosulfuron Tankmixes Mon, 27 Oct 2014 08:53:14 +0000 Four field trials were conducted over a three-year period (2011–2013) in southwestern Ontario to evaluate the level of weed control provided by various halosulfuron tankmixes applied preplant incorporated (PPI) in white bean. Trifluralin, s-metolachlor, halosulfuron, and imazethapyr applied alone or in combination caused 4% or less visible injury 1 and 4 weeks after emergence (WAE) in white bean. Trifluralin, s-metolachlor, halosulfuron, and imazethapyr applied PPI provided 80–96%, 84–95%, 83–100%, and 75–92% control of redroot pigweed; 19–28%, 30–40%, 97–99%, and 73–84% control of common ragweed; 94–96%, 63–82%, 96–100%, and 96–100% control of common lambsquarters; 14-15%, 12–35%, 100%, and 96–97% control of wild mustard; and 96–97%, 95–97%, 53–56%, and 80–82% control of green foxtail, respectively. The two- and three-way tankmixes of halosulfuron with trifluralin, s-metolachlor, or imazethapyr provided 85–100% control of redroot pigweed, 90–98% control of common ragweed, 97–100% control of common lambsquarters, 100% control of wild mustard, and 93–98% control of green foxtail. Weed density, weed biomass and white bean seed yields reflected the level of visible weed control. Nader Soltani, Robert E. Nurse, Christy Shropshire, and Peter H. Sikkema Copyright © 2014 Nader Soltani et al. All rights reserved. Microscopic Evaluation of Leaves of Memecylon umbellatum Burm Tue, 07 Oct 2014 06:30:23 +0000 Objective. Aim of present work is to perform the microscopic evaluation and physicochemical analysis and to explore the morphology parameters of Memecylon umbellatum Burm leaves. Methods. Fresh, dried and desiccated powdered leaf samples were studied for their morphology, microscopy, organoleptic characters, and an assortment of other WHO recommended methods for standardisation. Results. The microscopy revealed the dorsiventral nature of the leaf. Midrib showed presence of nonlignified phloem, lignified xylem with well-defined xylem fibers, vessels, and parenchyma. Presence of Phloecentric vascular bundles surrounded by endodermis and crystal sheath. Well-defined patches of collenchyma were observed above and below the vascular bundles in the midrib area. Trichomes are mostly absent and stomata (anomocytic) were observed on both epidermal surfaces. Conclusions. It can be concluded that the microscopic analysis and pharmacognostic parameters can serve as tool for developing standards for proper authentication, quality, and purity of Memecylon umbellatum Burm leaves. Suresh G. Killedar, Harinath N. More, and Sameer J. Nadaf Copyright © 2014 Suresh G. Killedar et al. All rights reserved. Screening of Pearl Millet F1 Hybrids for Heat Tolerance at Early Seedling Stage Thu, 02 Oct 2014 07:32:50 +0000 Ten pearl millet genotypes selected on the basis of response to supra-optimal temperature tolerance were crossed in a half-diallel mating system. The 45 hybrids produced were tested along with parents for heat tolerance and related traits at seedling stage. Field screening and laboratory screening techniques were simultaneously used for the evaluation of hybrids and their parents. Heat tolerance was measured as seedling thermotolerance index (STI) and seed to seedling thermotolerance index (SSTI) under field conditions, but membrane thermostability (MTS) in the laboratory. The hybrid H77/29-2 CVJ-2-5-3-1-3 showed highest STI value followed by H77/833-2 96AC-93. The genotype H77/833-2 96AC-93 had the highest worth for SSTI. These three indices were highly correlated among themselves. STI values were invariably high, whereas SSTI has lower values, as it also covers the effect of under soil mortality (USM). It was seen that the heat tolerance indices STI and SSTI were not showing any perceptible pooled correlation with developmental traits except germination and emergence rate. Based on our results, it could be suggested that membrane thermostability (MTS) may be used for screening large number of genotypes. Field based indices STI and SSTI may be used for evaluation of hybrids and varieties before they are released. Ashok Kumar Yadav, Rajesh Kumar Arya, and M. S. Narwal Copyright © 2014 Ashok Kumar Yadav et al. All rights reserved. Laboratory Studies on the Effects of Aqueous Extracts from Sorghum bicolor Stem and Zea mays (Roots and Tassel) on the Germination and Seedling Growth of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.) Thu, 02 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 The allelopathic effect of the aqueous extracts from Sorghum bicolor stem and maize (roots and tassel) were examined on the germination and seedling growth of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.). The results showed that the extracts inhibited the germination of okra seeds which was more pronounced in seeds treated with maize (roots and tassel) extracts as no germination was recorded until 48 hours of experimental time. Also the radicle and plumule lengths were retarded. Plumule lengths were more retarded as no germination was recorded until 72 hours of experimental time. The inhibitory effects were concentration dependent as the inhibition increases with increase in concentration of the extracts. Statistical analysis () revealed that there were significant differences in the germination of okra treated seeds most especially at higher concentration of the extracts when compared to control experiment. In the radicle lengths, statistical analysis revealed that there were significant differences in the radicle lengths of the extract treated seeds compared to the control experiment except at 24 hours of experimental time. Similarly in the plumule, significant differences abound in the extract treated seeds from 72 hrs to 144 hrs. These findings indicate that both germination and growth of okra sown in the field may be adversely affected by extracts from these residues, thus resulting in lowering yields especially by the maize root extracts. Modupe Janet Ayeni and Joshua Kayode Copyright © 2014 Modupe Janet Ayeni and Joshua Kayode. All rights reserved. Forecasting Rice Productivity and Production of Odisha, India, Using Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average Models Tue, 30 Sep 2014 12:13:03 +0000 Forecasting of rice area, production, and productivity of Odisha was made from the historical data of 1950-51 to 2008-09 by using univariate autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models and was compared with the forecasted all Indian data. The autoregressive () and moving average () parameters were identified based on the significant spikes in the plots of partial autocorrelation function (PACF) and autocorrelation function (ACF) of the different time series. ARIMA (2, 1, 0) model was found suitable for all Indian rice productivity and production, whereas ARIMA (1, 1, 1) was best fitted for forecasting of rice productivity and production in Odisha. Prediction was made for the immediate next three years, that is, 2007-08, 2008-09, and 2009-10, using the best fitted ARIMA models based on minimum value of the selection criterion, that is, Akaike information criteria (AIC) and Schwarz-Bayesian information criteria (SBC). The performances of models were validated by comparing with percentage deviation from the actual values and mean absolute percent error (MAPE), which was found to be 0.61 and 2.99% for the area under rice in Odisha and India, respectively. Similarly for prediction of rice production and productivity in Odisha and India, the MAPE was found to be less than 6%. Rahul Tripathi, A. K. Nayak, R. Raja, Mohammad Shahid, Anjani Kumar, Sangita Mohanty, B. B. Panda, B. Lal, and Priyanka Gautam Copyright © 2014 Rahul Tripathi et al. All rights reserved. Utility Potential of Parthenium hysterophorus for Its Strategic Management Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:51:46 +0000 Parthenium hysterophorus, one of the world’s most dangerous weeds, is responsible for huge losses to the biodiversity, agriculture, economy, and health of livestock and human beings. High competitive success rate and adaptability of the species enable it to dominate diverse types of habitats. Various weed control strategies are being used globally to reduce its population to manageable levels. But owing to many limitations associated with the conventional methods, management of Parthenium still remains a challenge. Recently large scale utilization has been taken up as a holistic approach for the control of weeds. Parthenium hysterophorus can be managed by exploiting this weed in diverse fields. In agriculture, it can be used either as green manure or after composting. Industrially it can be used for producing various value added products. The weed also exhibits many environmental applications. Chemical constituents of Parthenium show extensive range of pharmacological activities suggesting its role as a chemotherapeutic agent. This review briefly discusses the problem of Parthenium and enlists its possible utilities which can open new avenues for effective management of this violent weed. Anita Saini, Neeraj K. Aggarwal, Anuja Sharma, Manpreet Kaur, and Anita Yadav Copyright © 2014 Anita Saini et al. All rights reserved. Isolation and Molecular Characterization of Potential Plant Growth Promoting Bacillus cereus GGBSTD1 and Pseudomonas spp. GGBSTD3 from Vermisources Mon, 01 Sep 2014 09:12:46 +0000 Vermicompost was prepared from leaf materials of Gliricidia sepium + Cassia auriculata + Leucaena leucocephala with cow dung (1 : 1 : 2) using Eudrilus eugeniae (Kinberg) and Eisenia fetida for 60 days. Nineteen bacterial strains which have the capability to fix nitrogen, solubilize inorganic phosphate, and produce phytohormones were isolated from vermicompost, vermisources, and earthworm (fore, mid, and hind) guts and tested for plant growth studies. Among the bacterial strains only five strains had both activities; among the five Bacillus spp. showed more nitrogen fixing activity and Pseudomonas spp. showed more phosphate solubilizing activity. Hence these bacterial strains were selected for further molecular analysis and identified Bacillus cereus GGBSTD1 and Pseudomonas spp. GGBSTD3. Plant growth studies use these two organisms separately and as consortium (Bacillus cereus + Pseudomonas spp.) in (1 : 1) ratio at different concentrations using Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. at different day intervals. The germination percent, shoot length, root length, leaf area, chlorophyll a content of the leaves, chlorophyll b content of the leaves, total chlorophyll content of the leaves, fresh weight of the whole plant, and dry weight of the whole plant were significantly enhanced by the consortium (Bacillus cereus + Pseudomonas spp.) of two organisms at 5 mL concentrations on the 15th day compared to others. Balayogan Sivasankari and Marimuthu Anandharaj Copyright © 2014 Balayogan Sivasankari and Marimuthu Anandharaj. All rights reserved. Genes Acting on Transcriptional Control during Abiotic Stress Responses Mon, 25 Aug 2014 05:24:40 +0000 Abiotic stresses are the major cause of yield loss in crops around the world. Greater genetic gains are possible by combining the classical genetic improvement with advanced molecular biology techniques. The understanding of mechanisms triggered by plants to meet conditions of stress is of fundamental importance for the elucidation of these processes. Current genetically modified crops help to mitigate the effects of these stresses, increasing genetic gains in order to supply the agricultural market and the demand for better quality food throughout the world. To obtain safe genetic modified organisms for planting and consumption, a thorough grasp of the routes and genes that act in response to these stresses is necessary. This work was developed in order to collect important information about essential TF gene families for transcriptional control under abiotic stress responses. Glacy Jaqueline da Silva and Antonio Costa de Oliveira Copyright © 2014 Glacy Jaqueline da Silva and Antonio Costa de Oliveira. All rights reserved. Multivariate Regression Analyses of Yield Associated Traits in Rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) Genotypes Sun, 24 Aug 2014 07:16:37 +0000 The efficiency of a breeding program depends mainly on the direction of the correlation between yield and its components and the relative importance of each component involved in contributing to seed yield. The interrelationships of nine quantitative traits in 28 genotypes of spring oilseed rape (days to flowering, days to end of flowering, duration of flowering, days to maturity, pods per main raceme, pods length and pods per plant, and seed yield) were computed. Significant genotypic effects were found for phenological traits, yield components, and seed yield, indicating significant genetic differences among the genotypes. High broad sense heritability was estimated for phenological traits, seeds per pod, and seed yield, signifying high selection gain for improving these traits. Path coefficient analysis revealed that days to flowering and number of pods per plant had the highest direct effects on seed yield. Duration of flowering, number of branches, pods on main raceme, pods per plant, and seed yield had high genetic coefficient of variation. The results of factor analysis showed three factors including factor 1 (phenological traits), factor 2 (primary yield components), and factor 3 (secondary yield components). The results of stepwise regression analysis revealed that pods per plant, number of branches, and duration of flowering had considerable effects on seed yield. Valiollah Rameeh Copyright © 2014 Valiollah Rameeh. All rights reserved. Weed Control and Corn (Zea mays) Response to Planting Pattern and Herbicide Program with High Seeding Rates in North Carolina Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Effective weed control in corn (Zea mays L.) is important to optimize yield. Concern over environmental impact of atrazine and selection for glyphosate resistance has increased the need to develop alternative strategies that use herbicides other than atrazine and glyphosate and appropriate cultural practices to control weeds. Research was conducted during 2011 and 2012 to determine weed and corn response to herbicide programs containing dicamba, glufosinate, and glyphosate applied postemergence alone or with atrazine in single- and twin-row planting patterns. Planting pattern had no effect on common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) and Texas panicum (Panicum texanum L.) population and did not interact with herbicide program. Effective weed control hastened maturity in some but not all instances. Under weed-free conditions, corn grain yield was higher in 5 of 7 trials when planted in twin rows versus single rows at equivalent corn populations (141,000 plants ha−1). These results suggest that while planting pattern may not impact weed control dramatically, planting corn in twin rows may be an effective alternative to single-row planting patterns because of increased yield under high corn populations. Mitchell K. Williams, Ronnie W. Heiniger, Wesley J. Everman, and David L. Jordan Copyright © 2014 Mitchell K. Williams et al. All rights reserved. Soil Phosphorus Storage Capacity for Environmental Risk Assessment Sun, 17 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Reliable techniques must be developed to predict phosphorus (P) storage and release from soils of uplands, ditches, streams, and wetlands in order to better understand the natural, anthropogenic, and legacy sources of P and their impact on water quality at a field/plot as well as larger scales. A concept called the “safe” soil phosphorus storage capacity (SPSC) that is based on a threshold phosphorus saturation ratio (PSR) has been developed; the PSR is the molar ratio of P to Fe and Al, and SPSC is a PSR-based calculation of the remaining soil P storage capacity that captures risks arising from previous loading as well as inherently low P sorption capacity of a soil. Zero SPSC amounts to a threshold value below which P runoff or leaching risk increases precipitously. In addition to the use of the PSR/SPSC concept for P risk assessment and management, and its ability to predict isotherm parameters such as the Langmuir strength of bonding, , and the equilibrium P concentration, EPC0, this simple, cost-effective, and quantitative approach has the potential to be used as an agronomic tool for more precise application of P for plant uptake. Vimala D. Nair and Willie G. Harris Copyright © 2014 Vimala D. Nair and Willie G. Harris. All rights reserved. Rhizospheric Microflora Escalating Aroma Constituents and Yield Attributes in Ocimum tenuiflorum (L.) cv. CIM-Ayu Sun, 03 Aug 2014 07:05:01 +0000 The exploration of rhizospheric microbial flora for crop yield enhancement is well established. Rhizospheric microbes influence the plant physiology by imparting several beneficial effects, namely, Nitrogen fixation, increased nutrient uptake, and secondary metabolites production on their host plants. The present study investigates the response of Bacillus megaterium ATCC No. 13525, Pseudomonas fluorescens ATCC No. 14581, and Trichoderma viride MTCC No. 167 in alone and combined treatments for their effect on growth and yield parameters in a commercially important Ocimum tenuiflorum L. cv. CIM-Ayu. The plant is therapeutically important for its essential oil constituents, namely, eugenol, β-caryophyllene, and various monoterpenes. The combination treatments, T7 (B. megaterium + P. fluorescens) and T8 (B. megaterium + P. fluorescens + T. viride), showed maximum enhancement (27.27%) of percentage essential oil as compared to untreated control. Nutrient uptake especially N2 content was significantly increased (43%) with the treatment T8 (B. megaterium + P. fluorescens + T. viride). Amongst major essential oil constituents, eugenol content was maximally increased by 58.5% as compared to 42.9% (control) indicating a cumulative role of microbial inoculants for crop yield boost-up. Shilpi Khare Saikia and Rakesh Pandey Copyright © 2014 Shilpi Khare Saikia and Rakesh Pandey. All rights reserved. Effects of Different Treatments on Seed Germination Improvement of Calotropis persica Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of different treatments on seed germination in the desert plant species Calotropis persica (Gand.). This species is known to have long time for seed germination considering arid region condition and short time of access moist. An experiment was performed with 13 treatments and 4 replications in a completely randomized design. Treatments included KNO3 with concentrations of 0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 percent, immersion in hot water for five min, acetylsalicylic acid 100, 200, and 300 mg L−1, ethereal sulfuric acid (60%) for 5 and 10 min, thiourea with concentrations of 0.1% and 0.3%, and prechilling for 10 days. Tap water was used as the control. Our findings indicate that KNO3 0.1% and 100 mg L−1 acetylsalicylic acid were the most effective treatments for improvement of seed germination properties in this species. In a comparison of the two mentioned treatment, KNO3 0.1% treatments is the best. Asghar Farajollahi, Bahram Gholinejad, and Hamed Jonaidi Jafari Copyright © 2014 Asghar Farajollahi et al. All rights reserved. MIKE BASIN Based Decision Support Tool for Water Sharing and Irrigation Management in Rangawan Command of India Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 In this study, MIKE BASIN has been used as a decision support tool for irrigation management and water sharing of Rangawan reservoir, an interstate project of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in India. The water sharing and optimum irrigation releases have been analyzed by developing two separate models in decision support tool; the first model computes irrigation demand and offers inputs to the second model, which calculates water supplies and deficits as per the water sharing agreements between the two states. The models have been used to generate twelve different scenarios for evaluation of irrigation demands, water supply, and demand deficit/excess for actual cropping pattern in command of Madhya Pradesh part. Simulated results showed, in average/wet rainfall year with conveyance efficiency of 60% and application efficiency of 70%, the irrigation demand of 11.83 Mm3 has been found satisfying without any deficit. By improving efficiencies, conjunctive use, and managing irrigation supplies as recommended from scenarios of DSS application, more areas in the command can be brought under irrigation. The developed models can be used for real time reservoir operation and irrigation planning under variable climatic conditions, conveyance and application efficiencies, consumptive use of surface and groundwater, and probable runoff and cropping pattern. R. K. Jaiswal, N. C. Ghosh, Poonam Guru, and Devakant Copyright © 2014 R. K. Jaiswal et al. All rights reserved.