Advances in Agriculture http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Response of the Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) Cultivar Gregory to Interactions of Digging Date and Disease Management Wed, 26 Oct 2016 11:16:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2016/5839090/ Digging date can have a major impact on pod yield, market grade characteristics, and economic return of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) and can be influenced by environmental conditions and disease management. In 17 experiments from 2003 to 2012, economic return of peanut was determined over 5 digging dates spaced 1 week apart beginning in early to mid-September through mid-October. Linear, quadratic, and cubic relationships for economic return versus days after peanut emergence were observed in 3, 6, and 4 experiments, respectively, with no response to digging date observed in 4 experiments. In a second experiment from 2005 to 2012, relationships among canopy defoliation and economic return for peanut at 3 digging dates with 3 fungicide regimes were variable, although increasing the number of fungicide sprays decreased canopy defoliation and increased economic return for later digging dates. Applying a single late-season spray of fungicide as a rescue treatment reduced canopy defoliation in 4 of 8 years and affected economic value in 2 of 8 years. David L. Jordan, Barbara B. Shew, and P. Dewayne Johnson Copyright © 2016 David L. Jordan et al. All rights reserved. Development and Life History of Sitophilus zeamais (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on Cereal Crops Thu, 13 Oct 2016 12:11:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2016/7836379/ The maize weevil, Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is one of the most destructive pests of stored cereals. Knowledge of the life history and biology is important to the development of an integrated pest management program. Investigation was carried out on developmental biology of S. zeamais on four main cereal crops, maize, rice, sorghum, and millet, under laboratory conditions. Egg incubation, oviposition periods, and larval instar development were not different significantly among the food hosts. Number of eggs laid varied significantly among the cereal grains; mean fecundity was highest on maize () and lowest on millet (). Number of immature (larva and pupa) and adult stages varied significantly among the cereal grains. There exist four larval instars with a varied mean head capsule width, with a mean total instar larval developmental period of 23.1, 22.2, 22.2, and 21.6 d on maize, rice, sorghum, and millet, respectively. There was linear relationship and significant correlation between the stages of larval development and head capsule width. The mean developmental period from egg to adult varied, being highest on maize (34.7 d) and lowest on sorghum (33.5 d). James Adebayo Ojo and Adebayo Amos Omoloye Copyright © 2016 James Adebayo Ojo and Adebayo Amos Omoloye. All rights reserved. Community Perception on Beekeeping Practices, Management, and Constraints in Termaber and Basona Werena Districts, Central Ethiopia Mon, 10 Oct 2016 10:13:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2016/4106043/ Adequate forage availability coupled with favorable and diversified agroclimatic conditions of Ethiopia creates environmental conditions conducive to the growth of over 7000 species of flowering plants which have supported the existence of large number of bee colonies in the country. Despite its potential of honey production, the contribution of apiculture to state GDP is far below its expectation and not well estimated yet. The objective of this study was to assess community perception in beekeeping management and constraints in central Ethiopia. 384 household heads were randomly selected from eight sentinel kebeles. Semistructured questionnaire, in-depth interview, and focus group discussions were employed to gather data. Chi-square () test was used to determine association. Three beekeeping management systems, namely, traditional, transitional, and modern beekeeping, were documented. Beekeeping was reported to create job opportunity for landless men and women for their livelihood and needs low capital to start. Significant difference () in beekeeping management activities between two districts was reported. Even though honey production is increasing, the trends of transferring traditional beekeeping to modern beekeeping practice showed a decline. Training and building capacity for hive management, colony feeding, and honey harvesting should be put in place in order to improve honey production. Abadi Berhe, Abebe Asale, and Delenasaw Yewhalaw Copyright © 2016 Abadi Berhe et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Nitrogen Application on Growth and Ethanol Yield of Sweet Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] Varieties Sun, 18 Sep 2016 11:08:21 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2016/8329754/ A study was carried out in two locations, Ilorin (8° 29′ N; 4° 35′ E; about 310 m asl) and Ejiba (8° 17′ N; 5° 39′ E; about 246 m asl), at the Southern Guinea Savannah agroecological zone of Nigeria to assess the effect of nitrogen fertilizer on the growth and ethanol yield of four sweet sorghum varieties (NTJ-2, 64 DTN, SW Makarfi 2006, and SW Dansadau 2007). Five N fertilizer levels (0, 40, 80, 120, and 160 kg ha−1) were used in a 4 × 5 factorial experiment, laid out in split-plots arrangement. The application of nitrogen fertilizer was shown to enhance the growth of sweet sorghum as observed in the plant height, LAI, CGR, and other growth indices. Nitrogen fertilizer application also enhanced the ethanol yield of the crop, as variations in growth parameters and ethanol yield were observed among the four varieties studied. The variety SW Dansadau 2007 was observed as the most promising in terms of growth and ethanol yield, and the application of 120 kg N ha−1 resulted in the best ethanol yield at the study area. Oluwatoyin Olugbemi and Yekeen Abiola Ababyomi Copyright © 2016 Oluwatoyin Olugbemi and Yekeen Abiola Ababyomi. All rights reserved. Rate and Timing Effects of Growth Regulating Herbicides Applications on Grain Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) Growth and Yield Thu, 15 Sep 2016 09:25:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2016/9302507/ Dicamba and 2,4-D are among the most common and inexpensive herbicides used to control broadleaf weeds. However, different studies have pointed the risk of crop injury and grain sorghum yield reduction with postemergence applications of 2,4-D. No research data on grain sorghum response to 2,4-D or dicamba exists in the Southeastern United States. Consequently, a study was conducted to investigate crop growth and yield response to 2,4-D (100, 220, and 330 g acid equivalent ha−1) and dicamba (280 g acid equivalent ha−1) applied on 20 to 65 cm tall sorghum. Greater stunting resulted from 2,4-D applied at 330 g acid equivalent ha−1 or below 45 cm tall sorghum whereas lodging prevailed with 2,4-D at 330 g acid equivalent ha−1 and dicamba applied beyond 35 cm tall crop. Regardless of local environmental conditions, 2,4-D applied up to 35 cm tall did not negatively impact grain yield. There was a trend for yields to be somewhat lower when 2,4-D was applied on 45 or 55 cm tall sorghum whereas application on 65 cm tall sorghum systematically decreased yields. More caution should be taken with dicamba since yield reduction has been reported as early as applications made on 35 cm tall sorghum for a potentially dicamba sensitive cultivar. Thierry E. Besançon, Ranjit Riar, Ronnie W. Heiniger, Randy Weisz, and Wesley J. Everman Copyright © 2016 Thierry E. Besançon et al. All rights reserved. Prospects of Organic Farming in Bhutan: A SWOT Analysis Mon, 25 Jul 2016 14:27:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2016/1717352/ A study was conducted to investigate the prospects of organic agriculture (OA) in Bhutan from the experts’ perspective, particularly the SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat) aspect. Thirty-five Bhutanese experts were interviewed. The strengths of OA were (i) good alignment of the principles of OA with Bhutan’s development philosophy, (ii) strong policy and political support, (iii) pristine environment, (iv) OA practices similar to traditional farming, and (v) compatibility of OA with the local farming knowledge. The major weaknesses were (i) a lack of awareness of the benefits of OA, (ii) lack of incentives, (iii) shortage of farm labor, (iv) small and irregular supply of organic product, (v) lack of clarity in policy, (vi) limited plant protection materials, and (vii) a lack of coordination between agencies. Opportunities were (i) a huge regional and global organic market, (ii) promoting healthy lifestyle, (iii) sustainable use of resources, (iv) lowering dependence on food and input imports, (v) development of local organic manure suppliers, (vi) creating seed sovereignty, (vii) conserving local crops, (viii) building soil fertility, (ix) introducing premium price for organic products, and (x) addressing unemployment. Threats included (i) increasing incidences of pests and diseases, (ii) decline in sources of organic manure, and (iii) limited sources of organic manures and fertilizers. Sonam Tashi and Kesang Wangchuk Copyright © 2016 Sonam Tashi and Kesang Wangchuk. All rights reserved. Genetic Diversity among Sugarcane Genotypes Based on Qualitative Traits Wed, 20 Jul 2016 16:39:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2016/8909506/ The study was conducted during 2012/2013 at Wonji Sugar Estate, Ethiopia, to estimate the extent of morphological diversity among sugarcane germplasm based on 16 qualitative traits. Four hundred sugarcane genotypes grouped in 20 locations were considered. Phenotypic frequency distributions of the characters were analyzed and Shannon-Weaver diversity index () was computed using the phenotypic frequencies. Results indicated that the variation in within locations was larger than the diversity observed between locations. The value of for all sample genotypes ranged from 0.43 to 0.98 with a mean of 0.87. Considerable phenotypic diversity was observed among the germplasm studied. This information can be used for establishing proper identity of the accessions, strategic conservation of these germplasm resources, and future improvement work of the sugarcane crop. This is the first study to report phenotypic diversity of local and exotic sugarcane genotypes in Ethiopia. Esayas Tena Gashaw, Firew Mekbib, and Amsalu Ayana Copyright © 2016 Esayas Tena Gashaw et al. All rights reserved. Influence of Cultivar on the Postharvest Hardening of Trifoliate Yam (Dioscorea dumetorum) Tubers Thu, 16 Jun 2016 10:02:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2016/2658983/ The influence of cultivar on the postharvest hardening of Dioscorea dumetorum tubers was assessed. 32 cultivars of D. dumetorum tubers were planted in April 2014, harvested at physiological maturity, and stored under prevailing tropical ambient conditions (19–28°C, 60–85% RH) for 0, 5, 14, 21, and 28 days. Samples were evaluated for cooked hardness. Results showed that one cultivar, Ibo sweet 3, was not affected by the hardening phenomenon. The remaining 31 were all subject to the hardening phenomenon at different degree. Cooked hardness increased more rapidly in cultivars with many roots on the tuber surface compared to cultivars with few roots on the tuber surface. When both the characteristics flesh colour and number of roots on tuber surface were associated, cooked hardness in cultivars with yellow flesh and many roots increased more rapidly than in cultivars with white flesh and many roots, whereas cooked hardness in cultivars with yellow flesh and few roots increased more slowly than in cultivars with white flesh and few roots. Accessions collected in high altitude increased more rapidly compared to accessions collected in low altitude. The cultivar Ibo sweet 3 identified in this study could provide important information for breeding program of D. dumetorum against postharvest hardening phenomenon. Christian Siadjeu, Emmanuel Akdowa Panyoo, Gabriel Mahbou Somo Toukam, Joseph Martin Bell, Benoit Nono, and Gabriel Nama Medoua Copyright © 2016 Christian Siadjeu et al. All rights reserved. Analysis of Plant Breeding on Hadoop and Spark Thu, 12 May 2016 10:30:27 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2016/7081491/ Analysis of crop breeding technology is one of the important means of computer-assisted breeding techniques which have huge data, high dimensions, and a lot of unstructured data. We propose a crop breeding data analysis platform on Spark. The platform consists of Hadoop distributed file system (HDFS) and cluster based on memory iterative components. With this cluster, we achieve crop breeding large data analysis tasks in parallel through API provided by Spark. By experiments and tests of Indica and Japonica rice traits, plant breeding analysis platform can significantly improve the breeding of big data analysis speed, reducing the workload of concurrent programming. Shuangxi Chen, Chunming Wu, and Yongmao Yu Copyright © 2016 Shuangxi Chen et al. All rights reserved. Postharvest Handling Practices and Treatment Methods for Tomato Handlers in Developing Countries: A Mini Review Wed, 11 May 2016 14:05:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2016/6436945/ Tomato production has increased in recent years due to the economic and nutritional importance of the crop. This increase is made possible by the numerous research advances made along the entire value chain. However, scientific research has been focussed mainly on production whilst neglecting postharvest issues. Tomato producers have therefore enjoyed good harvests in recent times, though the good harvests of those from developing countries do not translate into profit as most are lost after harvest. From this study, it was revealed that the postharvest quality and shelf life of the fruit in part will depend on some postharvest handling practices and treatments carried out after harvest. Handling practices like harvesting, precooling, cleaning and disinfecting, sorting and grading, packaging, storing, and transportation played an important role in maintaining quality and extending shelf life. Using appropriate postharvest treatments like refrigeration, heat treatment, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), and 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) and calcium chloride (CaCl2) application was also vital. It was concluded by this study that the quality of the harvested fruit can be maintained and shelf life extended by using appropriate postharvest handling practices and treatment methods. Failure to adhere to these practices will result in a high amount of loss. Isaac Kojo Arah, Gerald K. Ahorbo, Etornam Kosi Anku, Ernest Kodzo Kumah, and Harrison Amaglo Copyright © 2016 Isaac Kojo Arah et al. All rights reserved. Determinants of Yam Postharvest Management in the Zabzugu District of Northern Ghana Tue, 05 Apr 2016 12:46:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2016/9274017/ Postharvest loss reduction has received attention in many policy documents across nations to ensure global food security, particularly in developing countries. Many researchers have examined various options for reducing postharvest losses. We contribute our quota to this scientific discourse by using a different approach. We argue that the human element of managing postharvest loss is central and therefore poses the question of what are the characteristics of the farmer who manages postharvest losses better. We examine this question by using a cross section of yam farmers in the Zabzugu district in Northern Ghana and generate a proportional variable called postharvest management, which measures how effective a farmer works to reduce storage losses. We then use a fractional logistic regression model to examine the determinants of postharvest management. A significant result is that subsistence farmers manage postharvest losses better than commercial farmers. Characteristically, the farmer who effectively manages postharvest losses is a young, subsistence farmer, living in or close to a district capital with fewer household members, has attained formal education, and produces more yam. Efforts to reduce postharvest losses require the provision of access roads to remote towns or providing effective storage techniques and training on postharvest management practices. Isaac Gershon Kodwo Ansah and Bright K. D. Tetteh Copyright © 2016 Isaac Gershon Kodwo Ansah and Bright K. D. Tetteh. All rights reserved. Influence of Cultural and Pest Management Practices on Performance of Runner, Spanish, and Virginia Market Types in North Carolina Thu, 24 Mar 2016 11:38:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2016/5795373/ Virginia market type peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) cultivars are grown primarily in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia in the US, although growers in these states often plant other market types if marketing opportunities are available. Information on yield potential and management strategies comparing these market types is limited in North Carolina. In separate experiments, research was conducted to determine response of runner, Spanish, and Virginia market types to calcium sulfate and inoculation with Bradyrhizobium at planting, planting and digging dates, planting patterns, and seeding rates. In other experiments, control of thrips (Frankliniella spp.) using aldicarb, southern corn rootworm (Diabrotica undecimpunctata Howardi) using chlorpyrifos, eclipta (Eclipta prostrata L.) using threshold-based postemergence herbicides, and leaf spot disease (caused by the fungi Cercospora arachidicola and Cercosporidium personatum) fungicide programs was compared in these market types. Results showed that management practice and market types interacted for peanut pod yield in only the planting date experiment. Yield of runner and Virginia market types was similar and exceeded yield of the Spanish market type in most experiments. Bridget R. Lassiter, David L. Jordan, Gail G. Wilkerson, Barbara B. Shew, and Rick L. Brandenburg Copyright © 2016 Bridget R. Lassiter et al. All rights reserved. A Comparative Evaluation of the Physical and Chemical Characteristics of Composted Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia L.) with Pine Bark Growing Media in Tobacco (Nicotiana tabucum L.) Seedling Production Sun, 28 Feb 2016 13:59:57 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2016/5650290/ The search for suitable organic growing media substitutes for pine bark based media combinations has been prompted by concerns over high costs and lack of availability to smallholder farmers coupled with increasing demand for soilless media in Zimbabwe. A trial was conducted for 12 weeks to investigate the suitability of tea tree compost-based substrates for tobacco seedling production as a substitute of the traditional pine bark growing media. The use of composted tea tree growing media in float trays significantly () increases the bulk density of the media by 23–59% when compared with pine bark media. The cation exchange capacity of the native pine bark growing media was 14 to 95% lower than that for the composted tea tree media. The use of the composted tea as media for tobacco seedling nursery reduced seed germination by 10–37%, seedling stem height by 4–34%, and seedling stem girth by 6–175%. While the nutrient holding and supplying potential of the growing media in seedling production is important for normal seedling growth, its effect on seedling growth vigor is less important than that exerted by the presence of suitable physical conditions in the media. Johnson Masaka, Noel Chimwanda, Ignatius Chagonda, and Misheck Chandiposha Copyright © 2016 Johnson Masaka et al. All rights reserved. The Effect of Paclobutrazol Application Time and Variety on Growth, Yield, and Quality of Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Tue, 26 Jan 2016 08:25:24 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2016/1585463/ An experiment was set up to investigate the effect of time of paclobutrazol application and variety on growth, yield, and quality of potato in a greenhouse at 34°C (±3) and 21°C (±3) day and night temperatures, respectively, with 60% relative humidity. The experiment was set up as a 2 × 4 factorial design in a CRD with 3 replications. The first factor was potato variety and the levels were BP1 and Diamond. The second factor was paclobutrazol application time and the levels were 28 (Days After Planting) DAP, 35 DAP, and 42 DAP and no paclobutrazol applied (control). Early application of paclobutrazol reduced stem length, number of tubers per plant, and sugar content of potato; furthermore, it increased starch content and yield compared to late application and no paclobutrazol treatments. Early application of paclobutrazol at 28 DAP is recommended in high temperature zones as it increased the yield by 108% and quality of potato. Ottilia Mabvongwe, Brenda T. Manenji, Munyaradzi Gwazane, and Misheck Chandiposha Copyright © 2016 Ottilia Mabvongwe et al. All rights reserved. An Assessment of Factors Influencing Forest Harvesting in Smallholder Tobacco Production in Hurungwe District, Zimbabwe: An Application of Binary Logistic Regression Model Thu, 21 Jan 2016 12:30:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2016/4186089/ Deforestation is one of the major effects posed by the smallholder tobacco farming as the farmers heavily depend on firewood sourced from natural forest for curing tobacco. The research aims at assessing the factors that influence the harvesting of natural forest in the production of tobacco. Data is collected through the structured questionnaire from 60 randomly selected farmers. Binary logistic regression model is used to explain the significance of factors influencing natural forest harvesting. Results show that farmer experience, tobacco selling price, and agricultural training level negatively affect the harvesting of natural forests (to obtain firewood) for curing tobacco significantly (). However, gender, size of the household, tobacco yield, and level of education are insignificant () in influencing natural forest harvesting. Though farmers are exploiting the environment and at the same time increasing foreign currency earning through tobacco production, there is therefore a need to put in place policies that encourage sustainable forest product utilization such as gum plantations, subsidizing price of coal, and introducing fees, as well as penalties or taxes to the offenders. Chipo Chivuraise, Tafireyi Chamboko, and Godfrey Chagwiza Copyright © 2016 Chipo Chivuraise et al. All rights reserved. Nutritional Value and Utilization of Yams (Dioscorea steriscus) by Residents of Bindura Town High Density Suburbs, Zimbabwe Tue, 19 Jan 2016 12:59:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2016/5934738/ The objective of this study was to assess utilization levels, availability, nutritional value, and magnitude of sales by vendors of Dioscorea steriscus by residents of Bindura. A multistage sampling procedure was used to select respondents. Data were subjected to Chi-square, logistic regression, and correlation to determine the effects of demographic determinants on utilization of D. steriscus. Questionnaires were used to collect data. Results show that education status and period of stay significantly affect the consumption of D. steriscus (). It was also observed that consumption is frequent between lunch and supper (47%) compared to breakfast. D. steriscus has high iron (6.8%), ash (2.06%), and CF (16.8%) contents but it is low in protein (0.83%). Irrespective of gender of respondent, suburb of residence, size of family, period of stay, education level, employment status, and source of income, respondents will grow D. steriscus for use as food supplement (odds ratio = 0.475). The period of stay () and education level () positively affect the growing of D. steriscus. D. steriscus can be used as source of energy and can also be used possibly for medicinal purposes. Further study is required on possibility of phytochemicals and cytotoxic components to justify its use. S. Washaya, J. F. Mupangwa, and E. Muranda Copyright © 2016 S. Washaya et al. All rights reserved. Maize Residue as a Viable Substrate for Farm Scale Cultivation of Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) Wed, 30 Dec 2015 09:18:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2015/213251/ In the search for alternatives to sawdust as growing media in commercial mushroom cultivation, three organic substrates obtainable as crop residue, maize husk, maize cob, and maize stalk, with each being supplemented with rice bran, were evaluated as growth media for the oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus (Kummer). For the tested alternatives to sawdust, the harvested weight of fruiting bodies that sprouted on a kilogram maize husk media per crop (32.99 g) was the highest. Sawdust media supported significantly () heavier fruiting bodies (42.18) than the maize residues. The peak mushroom harvests for the various substrates were obtained between the first and seventh fruiting body flushes. The biological efficiency of the substrates, which measured usable nutrients indicated that maize stalk supplemented with rice bran, was 39% compared to that of the sawdust media (60%). The maize husk media and the maize cob media had biological efficiencies of 32% and 9.5%, respectively. These results indicate that two of the tested growing media (maize stalk or husk) produced mushrooms with yield characteristics that were comparable to the well-used sawdust in the cultivation of oyster mushrooms. The environmental and economic parameters involved in the use and carting of sawdust make these on-farm crop residues a viable alternative for mushroom cultivation in especially nonforest zones of Ghana. Abena O. Adjapong, Kwame D. Ansah, Faustina Angfaarabung, and Henry O. Sintim Copyright © 2015 Abena O. Adjapong et al. All rights reserved. Morphoagronomic Characterization of Tomato Plants and Fruit: A Multivariate Approach Tue, 17 Nov 2015 12:29:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2015/572321/ Consumers in the fresh fruit market choose fruits mainly following criteria related to the external appearance. However, the introduction of new material for planting depends on the productive capacity of the plant as well as on the formation of fruit that meets consumer desires. Given the above, the objective of this study was to morphoagronomically characterize tomato genotypes using multivariate statistics. The genotype seedlings (Ellus, Black Mauri, Green Zebra, Green Tomato, Pomodoro Marmande, Pomodoro Fiorentino, Pitanga, and Black Krim) were transplanted 30 days after sowing. The morphoagronomic characterization of the genotypes was carried out by evaluating plants and fruits. The data were analyzed using descriptive analysis, namely, position and variability measurements. In addition, a multivariate cluster analysis and a principal component analysis were carried out for plant and fruit attributes. The cluster and principal component analyses were efficient in characterizing plants and/or fruits of different tomato genotypes. Such efficiency enhances result interpretation and proposed inferences, with applied relevance for the producers. The genotype Ellus has a combination of morphoagronomic plant and fruit traits superior to other genotypes. Such superior traits enable a high productivity. Aniela Pilar Campos de Melo, Paulo Marçal Fernandes, Fábio Venturoli, Carlos de Melo Silva-Neto, and Aurélio Rubio Neto Copyright © 2015 Aniela Pilar Campos de Melo et al. All rights reserved. Efficacy of Cow Urine as Plant Growth Enhancer and Antifungal Agent Thu, 05 Nov 2015 07:53:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2015/620368/ The present study was conducted to determine antifungal activity of three different concentrations (5, 10, and 15%) of cow urine against three fungal pathogens (Fusarium oxysporum, Rhizoctonia solani, and Sclerotium rolfsii) isolated from infected plants of Methi and Bhindi that showed symptoms of damping off and wilting disease by poison food technique. The extent of growth of test fungi in plates poisoned with cow urine was lesser when compared with the control plates. Among these concentrations cow urine at 15% concentration was most effective. When the three fungal organisms were compared, maximum growth suppression was observed in Fusarium oxysporum (78.57%) at 15% concentration of cow urine followed by Rhizoctonia solani (78.37%) and Sclerotium rolfsii (73.84%). Finally we concluded that the cow urine has antifungal activities and the inhibitory activity can be used in the control of fungi. The nutritional effect of cow urine on plant growth was also tested with Trigonella foenum-graecum (Methi) and Abelmoschus esculentus (Bhindi) plants and the chlorophyll and protein content was also estimated. Savita Jandaik, Preeti Thakur, and Vikas Kumar Copyright © 2015 Savita Jandaik et al. 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2015/968050/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2015/861919/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2015/327969/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2015/752936/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2015/410497/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2015/832597/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2015/617373/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2015/702650/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/641319/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/192824/ 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 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aag/2014/285387/ 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.