Advances in Agriculture http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/947062/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/329254/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/384604/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/147278/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/391634/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/104849/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/231301/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/958503/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/621313/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/381859/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/248591/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/587070/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/626434/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/261628/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/723064/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/621912/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/245686/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/924948/ 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. Mineralization Rates of Soil Forms of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium as Affected by Organomineral Fertilizer in Sandy Loam Tue, 15 Jul 2014 07:17:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/149209/ Farmers tend to use organomineral fertilizers as a result of inadequacies embedded in the sole use of organic and mineral fertilizers. A laboratory incubation study to determine the rate of the forms of N, P, and K released by organomineral fertilizer was conducted at Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, southwest Nigeria, in 2013. Organomineral fertilizer (OMF) at the rates of 0, 0.125, 0.25, 0.5, and 1.0 g/100 g soil to represent 0, 2.5, 5, 10, and 20 t ha−1 OMF, respectively, was incubated for ninety days. The treatments were replicated three times and arranged in a completely randomized design. The determined forms of N were total N, NH4–N, and NO3–N; the forms of P were total P, solution P, and available P while the forms of K were total K, solution K, and exchangeable K. Organomineral fertilizer significantly increased N, NH4–N, NO3–N, total P, solution P, exchangeable P, solution K, and exchangeable K at all rates with different values. The rate of ammonification of N was higher than the rate of nitrification of NH4 + N to NO3 + N especially at 10 and 20 t ha−1 OMF. Application of 5 and 10 t ha−1 OMF could be used to increase soil forms of N, P, and K. Ayeni Leye Samuel and Adeleye Omotayo Ebenezer Copyright © 2014 Ayeni Leye Samuel and Adeleye Omotayo Ebenezer. All rights reserved. Effect of Irrigation Regimes and Nitrogen Levels on the Growth and Yield of Wheat Tue, 01 Jul 2014 08:52:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/250874/ A field experiment was carried out to evaluate the effect of irrigation regimes and nitrogen levels on the growth and yield of wheat cv. Kanchan (Triticum aestivum L.). The experiment includes two factors such as four irrigation regimes and four nitrogen levels. Three farmer’s fields were selected for experimentation as replication. Yield and yield contributing factors were significantly affected by irrigation regimes and different doses of nitrogen. Maximum grain yield of 2.27 t ha−1 by the application of 200 mm irrigation treatment. Interaction between 200 mm irrigation and 120 kg N ha−1 was the best combination treatment. S. M. Shirazi, Zulkifli Yusop, N. H. Zardari, and Z. Ismail Copyright © 2014 S. M. Shirazi et al. All rights reserved. DNA Barcoding for Minor Crops and Food Traceability Mon, 23 Jun 2014 06:37:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/831875/ This outlook paper addresses the problem of the traceability of minor crops. These kinds of cultivations consist in a large number of plants locally distributed with a modest production in terms of cultivated acreage and quantity of final product. Because of globalization, the diffusion of minor crops is increasing due to their benefit for human health or their use as food supplements. Such a phenomenon implies a major risk for species substitution or uncontrolled admixture of manufactured plant products with severe consequences for the health of consumers. The need for a reliable identification system is therefore essential to evaluate the quality and provenance of minor agricultural products. DNA-based techniques can help in achieving this mission. In particular, the DNA barcoding approach has gained a role of primary importance thanks to its universality and versatility. Here, we present the advantages in the use of DNA barcoding for the characterization and traceability of minor crops based on our previous or ongoing studies at the ZooPlantLab (Milan, Italy). We also discuss how DNA barcoding may potentially be transferred from the laboratory to the food supply chain, from field to table. Andrea Galimberti, Massimo Labra, Anna Sandionigi, Antonia Bruno, Valerio Mezzasalma, and Fabrizio De Mattia Copyright © 2014 Andrea Galimberti et al. All rights reserved. Agromorphological Traits Variability of the Ethiopian Lentil and Exotic Genotypes Sun, 22 Jun 2014 07:38:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/870864/ Understanding the genetic relationships and diversity of Ethiopian lentil in relation to lentil from other countries is important in attempting to widen the genetic base of germplasm in the country. The objectives of this study were to generate information on agromorphological variability, to estimate PCV, GCV, heritability, and expected genetic advance of quantitative traits of lentil. 228 genotypes with different population types were studied for 11 agromorphological traits and rust disease severity score for two seasons (2011-2012) over three locations. The analysis of variance showed highly significant variations () among genotypes for all characters studied. As per genetic parameter values, four groups of character were deduced. It is inferred that the exotic genotypes introduced from ICARDA showed rich genetic bases for 100-seed weight, number of seeds per plant, seed weight per plant, resistance source for rust, and high yielder in high yielding environment, where rainfall is not a major problem. Use the Ethiopian accessions for developing cultivars that could be used in double cropping and drought prone areas. Fikru Mekonnen, Firew Mekbib, Shiv Kumar, Seid Ahmed, and Tilak R. Sharma Copyright © 2014 Fikru Mekonnen et al. All rights reserved. Origin, Domestication, and Dispersing of Pear (Pyrus spp.) Mon, 09 Jun 2014 08:43:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/541097/ The pear (Pyrus communis L.) is a typical fruit of temperate regions, having its origin and domestication at two different points, China and Asia Minor until the Middle East. It is the fifth most widely produced fruit in the world, being produced mainly in China, Europe, and the United States. Pear belongs to rosaceous family, being a close “cousin” of the apple, but with some particularities that make this fruit special with a delicate flavor. Thus, it deserves a special attention and a meticulous review of all the history involved, and the recent research devoted to it, because of the economic and cultural importance of this fruit in a range of countries and cultures. Therefore, the purpose of this literature review is to approach the history of the origin, domestication, and dispersal of pears, as well as reporting their botany, their current scenario in the world, and their breeding and conservation. G. J. Silva, Tatiane Medeiros Souza, Rosa Lía Barbieri, and Antonio Costa de Oliveira Copyright © 2014 G. J. Silva et al. All rights reserved. Ecological Complexity and the Success of Fungal Biological Control Agents Sun, 01 Jun 2014 09:17:54 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/542703/ Fungal biological control agents against plant pathogens, especially those in soil, operate within physically, biologically, and spatially complex systems by means of a variety of trophic and nontrophic interspecific interactions. However, the biocontrol agents themselves are also subject to the same types of interactions, which may reduce or in some cases enhance their efficacy against target plant pathogens. Characterization of these ecologically complex systems is challenging, but a number of tools are available to help unravel this complexity. Several of these tools are described here, including the use of molecular biology to generate biocontrol agents with useful marker genes and then to quantify these agents in natural systems, epifluorescence and confocal laser scanning microscopy to observe their presence and activity in situ, and spatial statistics and computer simulation modeling to evaluate and predict these activities in heterogeneous soil habitats. Guy R. Knudsen and Louise-Marie C. Dandurand Copyright © 2014 Guy R. Knudsen and Louise-Marie C. Dandurand. All rights reserved. Farm Animal Welfare and Handling in the Tropics: The Ethiopia Case Sun, 01 Jun 2014 06:19:37 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/428129/ The issue of farm animal welfare has become increasingly of essence in many countries these days. Farm animal welfare concerns are expressed about the conditions in which farm animals are kept and management practices, particularly in systems where animals are kept in confinement for most of their lives, feed methods, health care, and expression of normal behaviors. The use of an ethical basis for animal welfare standards requires some generally accepted principles on how animals should be treated and used by humans. Animals have enormous capacity to feel a huge range of emotions, to learn from their experiences, to adapt to challenges, and to suffer when their needs are either ignored or disrespected. It is now time, in the evolution of the relationship between humans and animals, to move forward with this knowledge and take real action to improve the lives of farm animals. The use of behavioral principles should improve efficiency of livestock handling and reduce stress on animals. Changing public opinion about the importance of good animal welfare and applying legislative actions will be important in animal production systems especially in developing countries where the poor animal welfare is immense and production management is below substandards. Bimrew Asmare Copyright © 2014 Bimrew Asmare. All rights reserved.