International Journal of Agronomy The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Effect of Biochar Application on Growth of Garden Pea (Pisum sativum L.) in Acidic Soils of Bule Woreda Gedeo Zone Southern Ethiopia Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The aim of this experiment was to study the effect of types and rates of biochar on growth, yield, and yield component of garden pea at Bule wereda, Southern Ethiopia. The treatments consist of two types of biochar (corncobs and Lantana camara) and four rates of biochar (0, 6, 12, and 18 t ha−1). The experiment was laid out as a randomized complete block design in a factorial arrangement with three replications. Soil samples were collected at a depth of 0–30 cm and germination parameter and phonology of garden pea were recorded. The result showed that soil bulk density, porosity, pH, and exchangeable acidity were significantly () affected by biochar application. The result also showed that maximum germination percentage of garden pea seeds (95.23%) was recorded at 18 t ha−1 of Lantana biochar. The shoot length was significantly () affected at 15 days and 30 days of biochar application. Moreover, fresh shoot weight and dry root biomass, number of seeds per pod, and grain yield of garden pea were significantly affected (). Of the substrate and application rate applied, Lantana camara 12 t ha−1 and Lantana camara 18 t ha−1 significantly increased yield of garden pea. Thus, further studies on effect of different biochars and their specific role are suggested to increase crop production. Tariku Berihun, Shiferaw Tolosa, Muluken Tadele, and Firew Kebede Copyright © 2017 Tariku Berihun et al. All rights reserved. The Effects of Biochar and Its Combination with Compost on Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) Growth, Soil Properties, and Soil Microbial Activity and Abundance Wed, 05 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Impacts of biochar application in combination with organic fertilizer, such as compost, are not fully understood. In this study, we tested the effects of biochar amendment, compost addition, and their combination on lettuce plants grown in a soil poor in nutrients; soil microbiological, chemical, and physical characteristics were analyzed, together with plant growth and physiology. An initial screening was also done to evaluate the effect of biochar and compost toxicity, using cress plants and earthworms. Results showed that compost amendment had clear and positive effects on plant growth and yield and on soil chemical characteristics. However, we demonstrated that also the biochar alone stimulated lettuce leaves number and total biomass, improving soil total nitrogen and phosphorus contents, as well as total carbon, and enhancing related microbial communities. Nevertheless, combining biochar and compost, no positive synergic and summative effects were observed. Our results thus demonstrate that in a soil poor in nutrients the biochar alone could be effectively used to enhance soil fertility and plant growth and biomass yield. However, we can speculate that the combination of compost and biochar may enhance and sustain soil biophysical and chemical characteristics and improve crop productivity over time. Dalila Trupiano, Claudia Cocozza, Silvia Baronti, Carla Amendola, Francesco Primo Vaccari, Giuseppe Lustrato, Sara Di Lonardo, Francesca Fantasma, Roberto Tognetti, and Gabriella Stefania Scippa Copyright © 2017 Dalila Trupiano et al. All rights reserved. Prediction of Canola Residue Characteristics Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Wed, 05 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Little work has been done to characterize and quantify the residue traits affecting decomposition of winter and spring canola (Brassica napus L.) residue in dryland farming systems of the Pacific Northwest United States. Traditional methods of characterizing residue fiber and nutrients are time-consuming and expensive and require large quantities of chemical reagents. The goal of this research was to determine whether near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) could accurately predict neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), acid detergent lignin (ADL), carbon (C), and nitrogen (N) of canola stems, litter, and roots and decomposition of canola stems. Canola residue varied in decomposition, fiber, and nutrients by year, location, and type. NIRS predictions were successful for NDF and ADF in 2011 (standard error of prediction ; ) and NDF, ADF, and N in 2012 (; ). Other predictions for residue fiber and nutrient characteristics were considered moderately successful. Prediction of canola residue decomposition with NIRS was useful for screening purposes. Near-infrared spectroscopy shows promise for rapidly and reproducibly predicting some canola residue fiber and nutrient traits and may be useful for estimating residue decomposition potential in dryland conservation cropping systems. Tami L. Stubbs and Ann C. Kennedy Copyright © 2017 Tami L. Stubbs and Ann C. Kennedy. All rights reserved. Commodity Systems Assessment Methodology of Postharvest Losses in Vegetable Amaranths: The Case of Tamale, Ghana Mon, 20 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 A semistructured questionnaire based on the commodity system assessment methodology (CSAM) was used to determine postharvest losses in vegetable amaranths (VA). Fifty producers and retailers were randomly selected from five and four major VA producing areas and markets, respectively, and interviewed. Data obtained were subjected to descriptive statistical analyses. The survey revealed that absence of laws, regulation, incentives, and inadequate technical information affected the production of VA. The utmost preproduction challenge was poor quality seeds with poor seed yield (35%), low viability (19%), and nontrueness (46%). It was noted that some cultural practices including planting pattern and density, irrigation, and fertiliser use had effects on postharvest losses. Some postharvest practices used were cleaning with water, trimming, sorting, and grading. Usually the produce was transported to marketing centers by cars and motor cycle trailers. Generally poor temperature management after harvest was a big challenge for the postharvest handling of VA. The potential of vegetable amaranths as a commodity in the study area can be enhanced by providing the necessary institutional support, incentives, and use of good management practices along the value chain. An interdisciplinary approach and quantification of losses along the chain are recommended for any future study. Mildred Osei-Kwarteng, Joseph Patrick Gweyi-Onyango, and Gustav Komla Mahunu Copyright © 2017 Mildred Osei-Kwarteng et al. All rights reserved. The Chilhuacle Chili (Capsicum annuum L.) in Mexico: Description of the Variety, Its Cultivation, and Uses Sun, 19 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The chilhuacle chili (Capsicum annuum L.) is a Mexican native variety whose production has been highly valuable because it is the main ingredient of the Oaxacan black mole, a typical Mexican dish. It is basically grown in the Cañada Region of the State of Oaxaca, Mexico, within the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve. Importantly, it is cultivated under traditional agricultural systems, where a range of agronomic constraints associated with the production process and the incidence and severity of pests and diseases represent significant impediments that hinder the yield potential. Additionally, the genetic basis of the crop is highly restricted. Under such environmental and production conditions, the mean crop yield of chilhuacle chili can reach 1 t ha−1 of dehydrated fruits, which can be used in the food, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries. In this review we summarize the current progress on chilhuacle chili cultivation and outline some crucial guidelines to improve production, as well as other research topics that need to be further addressed. Víctor García-Gaytán, Fernando Carlos Gómez-Merino, Libia I. Trejo-Téllez, Gustavo Adolfo Baca-Castillo, and Soledad García-Morales Copyright © 2017 Víctor García-Gaytán et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Postsowing Compaction on Cold and Frost Tolerance of North China Plain Winter Wheat Mon, 13 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Improper postsowing compaction negatively affects soil temperature and thereby cold and frost tolerance, particularly in extreme cold weather. In North China Plain, the temperature falls to 5 degrees below zero, even lower in winter, which is period for winter wheat growing. Thus improving temperature to promote wheat growth is important in this area. A field experiment from 2013 to 2016 was conducted to evaluate effects of postsowing compaction on soil temperature and plant population of wheat at different stages during wintering period. The effect of three postsowing compaction methods—(1) compacting wheel (CW), (2) crosskill roller (CR), and (3) V-shaped compacting roller after crosskill roller (VCRCR)—on winter soil temperatures and relation to wheat shoot growth parameters were measured. Results showed that the highest soil midwinter temperature was in the CW treatment. In the 20 cm and 40 cm soil layer, soil temperatures were ranked in the following order of CW > VCRCR > CR. Shoot numbers under CW, CR, and VCRCR treatments were statistically 12.40% and 8.18% higher under CW treatment compared to CR or VCRCR treatments at the end of wintering period. The higher soil temperature under CW treatment resulted in higher shoot number at the end of wintering period, apparently due to reduced shoot death by cold and frost damage. Caiyun Lu, Chunjiang Zhao, Xiu Wang, Zhijun Meng, Jian Song, Milt McGiffen, Guangwei Wu, Weiqing Fu, Jianjun Dong, and Jiayang Yu Copyright © 2017 Caiyun Lu et al. All rights reserved. Varietal Evaluation of Potato Microtuber and Plantlet in Seed Tuber Production Sun, 05 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Diamant, Asterix, and Granola varieties differed significantly in foliage coverage, plant height, and yield. They produced lower graded minituber (67.62%, 78.16% ha−1, and 66.27% of Asterix, Granola, and Diamant varieties, resp.) as per seed rule of the National Seed Board of Bangladesh, while foliage coverage (74.38%) was the maximum in Diamant. Microtuber in field condition showed the maximum survivability, plant height, foliage coverage, number of stems plant−1, and SPAD value as well as yield of minituber compared to plantlet. On the contrary, microtuber derived plants of the three varieties gave the maximum yield (20.49 t ha−1, 19.12 t/ha−1, and 19.98 t ha−1 of Asterix, Granola, and Diamant varieties, resp.) and it was the minimum in plants of plantlets derived from all varieties (9.50 t ha−1, 7.88 t ha−1, and 9.70 t ha−1 of Asterix, Granola, and Diamant varieties, resp.). Microtuber derived plants produced a minimum percentage of <28 mm size of minituber compared to plantlet derived plants in case of all varieties. Md. Sadek Hossain, M. Mofazzal Hossain, M. Moynul Haque, Md. Mahabubul Haque, and Md. Dulal Sarkar Copyright © 2017 Md. Sadek Hossain et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Fungicide Applications on Grain Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) Growth and Yield Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Field studies were conducted in the upper Texas Gulf Coast and in central Louisiana during the 2013 through 2015 growing seasons to evaluate the effects of fungicides on grain sorghum growth and development when disease pressure was low or nonexistent. Azoxystrobin and flutriafol at 1.0 L/ha and pyraclostrobin at 0.78 L/ha were applied to the plants of two grain sorghum hybrids (DKS 54-00, DKS 53-67) at 25% bloom and compared with the nontreated check for leaf chlorophyll content, leaf temperature, and plant lodging during the growing season as well as grain mold, test weight, yield, and nitrogen and protein content of the harvested grain. The application of a fungicide had no effect on any of the variables tested with grain sorghum hybrid responses noted. DKS 53-67 produced higher yield, greater test weight, higher percent protein, and N than DKS 54-00. Results of this study indicate that the application of a fungicide when little or no disease is present does not promote overall plant health or increase yield. Dan D. Fromme, Trey Price, Josh Lofton, Tom Isakeit, Ronnie Schnell, Syam Dodla, Daniel Stephenson, W. James Grichar, and Keith Shannon Copyright © 2017 Dan D. Fromme et al. All rights reserved. Coastal Mudflat Saline Soil Amendment by Dairy Manure and Green Manuring Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Dairy manure or green manuring has been considered as popular organic amendment to cropland in many countries. However, whether dairy manure combined with green manuring can effectively amend mudflat saline soil remains unclear. This paper was one of first studies to fill this knowledge gap by investigating impact of dairy manure combined with green manuring on soil chemical properties of mudflat saline soil. Dairy manure was used by one-time input, with the rates of 0, 30, 75, 150, and 300 t ha−1, to amend mudflat saline soil. Ryegrass, Sesbania, and ryegrass were chosen as green manures for three consecutive seasons, successively planted, and tilled, and maize was chosen as a test crop. The results indicated that one-time application of dairy manure enhanced fertility of mudflat saline soil and supported growth of ryegrass as the first season green manure. By the cycles of the green manuring, it rapidly improved the chemical properties of mudflat saline soil by decreasing soil salinity and pH and increasing soil organic carbon and available N and P, which promoted growth of maize. Dairy manure combined with green manuring can be applied for mudflat saline soil amendment, which provides an innovative solution for mudflat saline soil reclamation, dairy manure disposal, and resource recycling. Yanchao Bai, Yiyun Yan, Wengang Zuo, Chuanhui Gu, Weijie Xue, Lijuan Mei, Yuhua Shan, and Ke Feng Copyright © 2017 Yanchao Bai et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of a New Approach for Systematic Subsurface Drip Irrigation Management Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:41:46 +0000 This paper aimed to assess the reliability of a new approach that provides systematic irrigation management based on fixed water suction in the vadose zone. Trials were carried out in the experimental farm of IRA Gabès on subsurface drip irrigated (SDI) tomato plot. The SDI system was designed so that the soil water content is to be maintained within prescribed interval ascertaining the best plant growth. Irrigation management was systematically monitored by water suction evolution in the vadose zone. Recorded results showed that all-over irrigation season lateral pressure head ranged within 93.3 ± 20.0; 119.95 ± 53.35 and 106.6 ± 40.0 mb, respectively, at the upstream, middle, and downstream. The correspondent lateral pressure head distribution uniformity ranged within 97.1% and 99.6%. Soil water content varied within 0.2175 ± 0.0165; 0.206 ± 0.0195 and 0.284 ± 0.100 beneath the inlet, the behalf, and the lateral end tip. The correspondent soil water distribution uniformity was higher than 80.7% all-over irrigation season. Based on the recorded results, the proposed approach could be a helpful tool for accurate SDI systems design and best water supplies management. Nevertheless, further trials are needed to assess the approach reliability in different cropping conditions. Hédi Ben Ali, Moncef Hammami, Ahmed Saidi, and Rachid Boukchina Copyright © 2017 Hédi Ben Ali et al. All rights reserved. Winter Grazing in a Grass-Fed System: Effect of Stocking Density and Sequential Use of Autumn-Stockpiled Grassland on Performance of Yearling Steers Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Winter grazing can help reduce the need for purchased feeds in livestock production systems, when finishing cattle on pasture. Our objective was to evaluate the influence of stocking density and grazing stockpiled forage on performance of yearling steers during winter. Three grasslands were winter grazed for two years: I, naturalized pastureland, and II and III, sown and managed for hay production during the growing season but grazed in winter. Two stocking densities were used: low 7.41 and high 12.35 steers ha−1. Herbage mass was estimated before and after each grazing event, and disappearance (consumption, weathering, and trampling) was the difference between both. Forage mass and residual differed by stocking density (SD), year (YR), and grazing interval (GI), and disappearance differed by YR and GI. Grass and dead constituents of botanical composition differed by YR and GI. No differences were found for legumes and forbs. CP differed by YR and GI, and NDF and ADF differed only by YR. Steer average daily gain was 0.15 kg d−1 in 2011 and 0.68 kg d−1 in 2012 and varied by YR and GI. Acceptable gains in 2012 may be a product of environmental conditions that influenced herbage mass and nutritive value during stockpile and animal behavior during winter. Domingo J. Mata-Padrino, E. E. D. Felton, W. B. Bryan, and D. P. Belesky Copyright © 2017 Domingo J. Mata-Padrino et al. All rights reserved. Flag Leaf Photosynthesis and Stomatal Function of Grain Sorghum as Influenced by Changing Photosynthetic Photon Flux Densities Thu, 22 Dec 2016 07:45:12 +0000 Photosynthesis (A) and stomatal function research in grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) is limited compared to other crops. Flag leaves from three plants of two hybrids, grown with added N-fertilizer of 0.0, 112, and 224 kg ha−1 near Elizabeth, MS, were measured for A and stomatal functions at growth stages GS6 and GS7. A Li-Cor LI-6400XT set at 355 µmol [CO2], a flow rate of 500 µmol s−1, and a 6400-02 LED light source were used to collect data. Light levels were initially set at 2200 µmol m−2 s−1 indicated photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD), A was allowed to stabilize, data was recorded, indicated PPFD level was reduced by 200 µmol m−2 s−1, and the process was repeated to a level of 200 µmol m−2 s−1. At GS6 all data were unaffected by N-fertility, hybrids, or years. Data on at GS6 indicated A declines faster with decreasing PPFD than . Intrinsic water use efficiency (IWUE) data supports prior research showing stomata function more to regulate water loss and only marginally limit A. Nitrogen fertility was null on A and stomatal functions and minimal on yield; thus no attempt was made to correlate yield with these data. H. Arnold Bruns Copyright © 2016 H. Arnold Bruns. All rights reserved. Evaluating the Impact of Starter Fertilizer on Winter Canola Grown in Oklahoma Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:03:05 +0000 Increased canola production costs and acres have driven Oklahoma (OK) farmers to ask more questions about their nutrient management recommendations in their production system. A study was conducted in 2011–2013 at Lahoma and Perkins, OK, to evaluate the effect of applying diammonium phosphate (DAP, 18-20-0:N-P-K) directly with seed on crop stand, grain yield, and grain quality of canola. In addition, the impact of proportion nitrogen (N) applied as a preplant and topdress was also evaluated. Diammonium phosphate was banded with the seed at planting at 0, 17, 34, 51, 67, and 84 kg DAP ha−1. Remaining N was applied as urea (46-0-0) either as split (40% preplant and 60% topdress) application or as topdress only. Stand count reduction of up to 71% was observed with seed-placed DAP. However, loss of stand did not impair grain yield due to canola’s ability to compensate for open areas via branching. Application of DAP of up to 84 kg ha−1 with seed may be possible; however, soil and climatic conditions should be considered when deciding how much DAP will be placed with seed. Moreover, when climatic conditions limit early season growth and favor late spring growth, applying all N at topdress (no preplant) tended to provide greater canola grain yield. M. Joy M. Abit, Katlynn Weathers, and D. Brian Arnall Copyright © 2016 M. Joy M. Abit et al. All rights reserved. Revealing Seed Coat Colour Variation and Their Possible Association with Seed Yield Parameters in Common Vetch (Vicia sativa L.) Wed, 30 Nov 2016 09:21:21 +0000 The seed coat colour variation of 70 common vetch genotypes were determined by using uniform colour scale and their possible correlation with seed yield parameters including the number of pods per plant, the number of seeds per pod, pod dimension, and seed yield (kg/da) was determined. The results revealed presence of highly significant () variations for both the seed yield and the seed coat colour parameters measured. The number of pods per plant, the number of seeds per pod, and seed yield ranged from 5.8 to 16.03, from 5.2 to 7.66, and from 143.37 to 531.1, respectively. The lightness value varied from 19.00 to 40.28 while chromaticity and values ranged from −0.16 to 8.99 and from 0.79 to 22.11, respectively. The highest correlation coefficients were determined between and (), and and (). The seed coat colour traits and seed yield parameters generally showed weak negative correlations. Seed yellowness () and seed yield had correlation coefficient of −0.25, while correlation between and seed yield was determined as −0.23. The results indicated that lightness and yellowness of seed coat may be used as an important parameter to prescreen high yield genotypes of common vetch. Gulgun Yildiz Tiryaki, Abdullah Cil, and Iskender Tiryaki Copyright © 2016 Gulgun Yildiz Tiryaki et al. All rights reserved. Assessing the Economic Impact of Inversion Tillage, Cover Crops, and Herbicide Regimes in Palmer Amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) Infested Cotton Tue, 29 Nov 2016 09:44:29 +0000 Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) producers in Alabama are faced with a rapidly expanding problem that decreases yields and increases production costs: herbicide-resistant weeds. Producers increasingly rely on integrated weed management strategies that raise production costs. This analysis evaluated how tillage, cover crops, and herbicide regime affected net returns above variable treatment costs (net returns) for cotton production in Alabama from 2009 to 2011 under pressure from Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats.). Annual net returns were compared for two tillage treatments (inversion and noninversion tillage), three cover crops (crimson clover [Trifolium incarnatum L.], cereal rye [Secale cereal L.], and winter fallow), and three herbicide regimes (PRE, POST, and PRE+POST). Results indicate that under heavy Palmer amaranth population densities one year of inversion tillage followed by two years of noninversion tillage, along with a POST or PRE+POST herbicide application had the highest net returns in the first year; however, the economic benefit of inversion tillage, across all herbicide treatments, was nonexistent in 2010 and 2011. Cotton producers with Palmer amaranth infestations would likely benefit from cultural controls, in conjunction with herbicide applications, as part of their weed management system to increase net returns. Leah M. Duzy, Andrew J. Price, Kipling S. Balkcom, and Jatinder S. Aulakh Copyright © 2016 Leah M. Duzy et al. All rights reserved. Factors Affecting the Presence and the Diversity of Bryophytes in the Petrifying Sources Habitat (7220) in Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium Tue, 15 Nov 2016 12:04:47 +0000 Bryological composition, water chemistry, and environmental factors were characterized on 67 Belgian travertines. We explore the relationship between these environmental factors and the community composition, species richness, or presence of individual species using Redundancy Analysis with Hellinger’s transformation (tb-RDA) or Generalized Linear Models (GLMs). The best variables explaining the community composition are slope, NO3, NH4, and PO4. The species richness is negatively related to canopy cover and PO4. Palustriella commutata tends to be more frequent when the slope is steeper and to a lesser degree when the canopy cover is lower. Eucladium verticillatum tends to be slightly more frequent when canopy cover and NH4 concentrations are lower. Cratoneuron filicinum is more frequent at higher Mg concentrations and Pellia endiviifolia is more frequent at lower PO4 concentrations and higher NO3 concentrations. Brachythecium rivulare showed wide ecological amplitude and almost none of the tested environmental factors seem to be related to its presence. The study identifies eutrophication as the main factor responsible for habitat deterioration. Practical indications on the best ways to maintain or to enhance the quality of these petrifying sources are given. J.-M. Couvreur, G. San Martin, and A. Sotiaux Copyright © 2016 J.-M. Couvreur et al. All rights reserved. Response of Boron and Light on Morph-Physiology and Pod Yield of Two Peanut Varieties Sun, 30 Oct 2016 08:46:29 +0000 Boron is an important micronutrient that enhances vegetative growth and yield of crops, like peanut. Light also plays an important role in pegging of peanut. There has been little information regarding the application of boron and light in peanut in Bangladesh. Therefore, a field experiment was conducted to study the response of boron and light on morph-physiology and pod yield of two peanut varieties. Treatments considered two peanut varieties, namely, Dhaka-1 and BARI Chinabadam-8, three levels of boron (B), namely, 0-kg B ha−1 (B0), 1-kg B ha−1 (B1), and 2-kg B ha−1 (B2), and two levels of light, namely, normal day light (≈12 h light) and normal day light + 6 h extended red light at night (≈18 h light). Result revealed that days to first-last emergence and days to first-50% flowering took shorter times and vegetative growth, pods dry weight plant−1, pod yield, and germination were markedly increased with the application of boron. Vegetative growth and germinations were significantly increased in light, but the lowest leaf area, pods dry weight plant−1, and pod yield were found in light. Without germination, the highest vegetative growth, reproductive unit, and pod yield were observed from BARI Chinabadam-8. Days to first-last emergence, days to first-50% flowering, and number of branches plant−1 were found linearly related to pod yield. Md. Quamruzzaman, Md. Jafar Ullah, Md. Fazlul Karim, Nazrul Islam, Md. Jahedur Rahman, and Md. Dulal Sarkar Copyright © 2016 Md. Quamruzzaman et al. All rights reserved. Commercialization of Sago through Estate Plantation Scheme in Sarawak: The Way Forward Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:04:49 +0000 Sago has been hailed as a next viable commodity in Sarawak, Malaysia, given its potential as a versatile crop. Realising its potential, Sarawak state government has started initiatives to stimulate sago plantation from subsistence farming to estate plantation. The move of introducing sago estate plantation is a bold one considering that Malaysia is the first country introducing such plantation design. This is a reflection on sago estate plantation in the state of Sarawak. It is observed that, in order to ensure success of the plantation scheme, factors such as rigorous land consolidation programme aiming to maximize sago production; introduction of a modern planting method that integrates well with the traditional planting method; rigorous scientific research in finding the best sago variety that produces high yield; effective communication between related agencies and smallholders; and concentrated involvement of all actors, governmental agencies, mills, and smallholders, have to be addressed accordingly. To conclude, it is hoped that this writing can be utilized as part of a contribution to accelerating commercialization of sago as a next viable commodity crop not only in Sarawak but in Southeast Asia as a whole. Hafizan Mohamad Naim, Ahmad Nizar Yaakub, and Dayang Asmah Awang Hamdan Copyright © 2016 Hafizan Mohamad Naim et al. All rights reserved. Fungicides and Application Timing for Control of Early Leafspot, Southern Blight, and Sclerotinia Blight of Peanut Tue, 18 Oct 2016 14:50:40 +0000 Field studies were conducted in 2013 and 2014 in south Texas near Yoakum and from 2008 to 2011 in central Texas near Stephenville to evaluate various fungicides for foliar and soilborne disease control as well as peanut yield response under irrigation. Control of Sclerotinia blight caused by Sclerotinia minor Jagger with penthiopyrad at 1.78 L/ha was comparable to fluazinam or boscalid; however, the 1.2 L/ha dose of penthiopyrad did not provide consistent control. Peanut yield was reduced with the lower penthiopyrad dose when compared with boscalid, fluazinam, or the high dose of penthiopyrad. Control of early leaf spot, caused by Cercospora arachidicola S. Hori or southern blight, caused by Sclerotium rolfsii Sacc., with penthiopyrad in a systems approach was comparable with propiconazole, prothioconazole, or pyraclostrobin systems and resulted in disease control that was higher than the nontreated control. Peanut yield was also comparable with the penthiopyrad, propiconazole, prothioconazole, or pyraclostrobin systems and reflects the ability of the newer fungicides to control multiple diseases found in Texas peanut production. W. James Grichar and Jason E. Woodward Copyright © 2016 W. James Grichar and Jason E. Woodward. All rights reserved. Effects of Biochar Amendment on Tomato Bacterial Wilt Resistance and Soil Microbial Amount and Activity Tue, 20 Sep 2016 09:50:15 +0000 Bacterial wilt is a serious soilborne disease of Solanaceae crops which is caused by Ralstonia solanacearum. The important role of biochar in enhancing disease resistance in plants has been verified; however, the underlying mechanism remains not fully understood. In this study, two different biochars, made from peanut shell (BC1) and wheat straw (BC2), were added to Ralstonia solanacearum-infected soil to explore the interrelation among biochar, tomato bacterial wilt, and soil microbial properties. The results showed that both BC1 and BC2 treatments significantly reduced the disease index of bacterial wilt by 28.6% and 65.7%, respectively. The populations of R. solanacearum in soil were also significantly decreased by biochar application. Ralstonia solanacearum infection significantly reduced the densities of soil bacteria and actinomycetes and increased the ratio of soil fungi/bacteria in the soil. By contrast, BC1 and BC2 addition to pathogen-infected soil significantly increased the densities of soil bacteria and actinomycetes but decreased the density of fungi and the ratios of soil fungi/bacteria and fungi/actinomycetes. Biochar treatments also increased soil neutral phosphatase and urease activity. Furthermore, higher metabolic capabilities of microorganisms by biochar application were found at 96 and 144 h in Biolog EcoPlates. These results suggest that both peanut and wheat biochar amendments were effective in inhibiting tomato bacterial wilt caused by R. solanacearum. The results suggest a relationship between the disease resistance of the plants and the changes in soil microbial population densities and activity. Yang Lu, Shuang Rao, Fei Huang, Yixia Cai, Guoping Wang, and Kunzheng Cai Copyright © 2016 Yang Lu et al. All rights reserved. Relative Efficacy of Liquid Nitrogen Fertilizers in Dryland Spring Wheat Sun, 18 Sep 2016 08:49:31 +0000 The study was conducted in 2012 and 2013 at three locations in North Central and Western Montana (total of 6 site-years) to evaluate the relative efficacy of three liquid nitrogen (N) fertilizer sources, urea ammonium nitrate (UAN, 32-0-0), liquid urea (LU, 21-0-0), and High NRGN (HNRGN, 27-0-0-1S), in spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). In addition to at-seeding urea application at 90 kg N ha−1 to all treatments (except for the unfertilized check plot), the liquid fertilizers were applied utilizing an all-terrain vehicle- (ATV-) mounted stream-bar equipped sprayer at a rate of 45 kg N ha−1 at Feekes 5 growth stage (early tillering). Three dilution ratios of fertilizer to water were accessed: 100/0 (undiluted), 66/33, and 33/66. The effects of N source and the dilution ratio (fertilizer/water) on N uptake (NUp), N use efficiency (NUE), spring wheat grain yield (GY), grain protein (GP) content, and protein yield (PY) were assessed. The dilution ratios had no effect on GY, GP, PY, NUp, and NUE at any of the site-years in this study. Taking into account agronomic and economic factors, LU can be recommended as the most suitable liquid N fertilizer source for spring wheat cropping systems of the Northern Great Plains. Olga S. Walsh and Robin J. Christiaens Copyright © 2016 Olga S. Walsh and Robin J. Christiaens. All rights reserved. Elucidating the Potential of Native Rhizobial Isolates to Improve Biological Nitrogen Fixation and Growth of Common Bean and Soybean in Smallholder Farming Systems of Kenya Sun, 18 Sep 2016 07:35:17 +0000 Identification of effective indigenous rhizobia isolates would lead to development of efficient and affordable rhizobia inoculants. These can promote nitrogen fixation in smallholder farming systems of Kenya. To realize this purpose, two experiments were conducted under greenhouse conditions using two common bean cultivars; Mwezi moja (bush type) and Mwitemania (climbing type) along with soybean cultivar SB 8. In the first experiment, the common bean cultivars were treated with rhizobia inoculants including a consortium of native isolates, commercial isolate (CIAT 899), a mixture of native isolates and CIAT 899, and a control with no inoculation. After 30 days, the crop was assessed for nodulation, shoot and root dry weights, and morphological features. In the second experiment, soybean was inoculated with a consortium of native isolates, commercial inoculant (USDA 110), and a mixture of commercial and native isolates. Remarkably, the native isolates significantly () increased nodulation and shoot dry weight across the two common bean varieties compared to the commercial inoculant, CIAT 899. Mixing of the native rhizobia species and commercial inoculant did not show any further increase in nodulation and shoot performance in both crops. Further field studies will ascertain the effectiveness and efficiency of the tested indigenous isolates. Ernest Wandera Ouma, Anne Mercy Asango, John Maingi, and Ezekiel Mugendi Njeru Copyright © 2016 Ernest Wandera Ouma et al. All rights reserved. Leaf Growth and Canopy Development of Three Sugarcane Genotypes under High Temperature Rainfed Conditions in Northeastern Mexico Tue, 23 Aug 2016 10:54:03 +0000 The aim of this study was to compare sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) canopy developmental components of three commercial varieties (CP 72-2086, Mex 79-431, and Mex 68-P-23) in a subtropical environment under rainfed and high temperature conditions, a poorly described topic in the literature. A field experiment was carried out in southern Tamaulipas, Mexico, throughout November 2011–January 2013 crop cycle, during which 111 of the days had daily maximum temperatures at or above 35°C. Number of leaves, leaf area, leaf appearance rate, and leaf area index (LAI) were determined. Thermal time exposure, °Cd (°C day−1), was determined based on total number of green ligulate leaves using 10°C as the base temperature. At 5000°Cd the number of leaves per plant ranged from 32 to 40 and the dependence of leaf emergence rate as a function of temperature was confirmed. The leaf emergence rate of CP 72-2086 was significantly greater than that of the other two varieties. Cultivars did not differ with respect to leaf length but differed for all other parameters measured. These results show the potential importance of considering sugarcane varietal differences in leaf phenology and canopy development for breeding programs focusing on rainfed and high temperature conditions. Sergio Castro-Nava, Alfredo J. Huerta, José Manuel Plácido-de la Cruz, and Epifanio Mireles-Rodríguez Copyright © 2016 Sergio Castro-Nava et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Short-Day and Gibberellic Acid Treatments on Summer Vegetative Propagation of Napier Grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach) Sun, 14 Aug 2016 06:07:54 +0000 The effects of short-day (SD) and gibberellic acid (GA3) treatments on promoting vegetative propagation during the summer were examined in Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach). A dwarf variety of late heading type (DL) Napier grass was exposed to three SD treatments (5, 10, and 20 short days plus a spray of 400 ppm GA3 solution following each SD treatment, GASD) or no treatment (control). Additionally, then, a dwarf variety of early heading (DE) and the normal variety of Merkeron (ME) were exposed to 10 days of GA-SD treatment together with nontreated controls. For DL and DE, GA-SD treatments showed the following effects: 10-day GA-SD treatment increased significantly () the length of lateral tiller buds, maintained a high rooting percentage, and increased the diameter of the tiller buds. This resulted in a taller plant, one with enhanced tiller numbers, and thus a greater number of established nursery plants for the two dwarf varieties. In contrast, there was only a limited positive effect of the GA-SD treatments on the normal variety, ME. Thus, 10 days of GA-SD treatment was judged to be the most effective treatment for promoting lateral tiller bud elongation and early maturation in tiller buds for the two dwarf varieties of Napier grass. Yasuyuki Ishii, Asuka Yamano, and Sachiko Idota Copyright © 2016 Yasuyuki Ishii et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of the Effect of Irrigation and Fertilization by Drip Fertigation on Tomato Yield and Water Use Efficiency in Greenhouse Tue, 26 Jul 2016 07:02:21 +0000 The water shortage in China, particularly in Northwest China, is very serious. There is, therefore, great potential for improving the water use efficiency (WUE) in agriculture, particularly in areas where the need for water is greatest. A two-season (2012 and 2013) study evaluated the effects of irrigation and fertilizer rate on tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum Mill., cv. “Jinpeng 10”) growth, yield, and WUE. The fertilizer treatment significantly influenced plant height and stem diameter at 23 and 20 days after transplanting in 2012 and 2013, respectively. As individual factors, irrigation and fertilizer significantly affected the leaf expansion rate, but irrigation × fertilizer had no statistically significant effect on the leaf growth rate at 23 days after transplanting in 2012. Dry biomass accumulation was significantly influenced by fertilizer in both years, but there was no significant difference in irrigation treatment in 2012. Our study showed that an increased irrigation level increased the fruit yield of tomatoes and decreased the WUE. The fruit yield and WUE increased with the increased fertilizer rate. WUE was more sensitive to irrigation than to fertilization. An irrigation amount of 151 to 208 mm and a fertilizer amount of 454 to 461 kg·ha−1 (nitrogen fertilizer, 213.5–217 kg·ha−1; phosphate fertilizer, 106.7–108 kg·ha−1; and potassium fertilizer, 133.4–135.6 kg·ha−1) were recommended for the drip fertigation of tomatoes in greenhouse. Wang Xiukang and Xing Yingying Copyright © 2016 Wang Xiukang and Xing Yingying. All rights reserved. Effect of Insecticide Seed Treatment on Safening Rice from Reduced Rates of Glyphosate and Imazethapyr Tue, 19 Jul 2016 09:09:27 +0000 Field experiments were conducted in 2013 and 2014 to evaluate the effect of insecticide seed treatments on exposure of young conventional rice to reduced rates of glyphosate and imazethapyr. During the two-year study, “Roy J” rice seed was treated with CruiserMaxx® Rice, thiamethoxam plus fungicide, or a fungicide-only treatment. Subsequently, glyphosate (Roundup PowerMax®) at 39.42, 78.76, or 157.54 g ae/ha or imazethapyr (Newpath®) at 4.39, 8.74, or 17.49 g ai/ha was applied at the 2- to 3-leaf growth stage of rice. Results in 2013 indicated that rice plants from seed treated with CruiserMaxx Rice exhibited significantly less injury 1, 3, and 6 weeks after either imazethapyr or glyphosate was applied in comparison to the plants having fungicide-only treated seed. The addition of an insecticide seed treatment also resulted in higher yields when both herbicides were applied compared to the fungicide-only seed treatment receiving the same herbicide treatments. In 2014, an overall decrease in injury from both herbicides was observed when rice seed was treated with CruiserMaxx Rice compared to receiving a fungicide-only seed treatment. Significant yield loss from low rates of glyphosate or imazethapyr was not observed in 2014, with or without a seed treatment. Based on the positive effects observed from the CruiserMaxx Rice seed treatment in reducing injury and maintaining rice yields, the insecticide seed treatment appears to provide some safening to rice against low rates of glyphosate and imazethapyr. M. R. Miller, R. C. Scott, G. Lorenz, J. Hardke, and J. K. Norsworthy Copyright © 2016 M. R. Miller et al. All rights reserved. Phenotypic Response of Two Garlic Varieties to Different Nitrogen Fertilization Grown under Irrigation in Sudan Savannah Ecological Zone of Nigeria Sun, 17 Jul 2016 09:53:23 +0000 A study was conducted under irrigation during dry season at the Katsina State Irrigation Site, Ajiwa. The aim of the experiment was to enhance the productivity of garlic through the choice of appropriate levels of nitrogenous fertilizer and suitable cultivar which maximizes yield. The experiment consisted of two varieties (ex-kofa and ex-sokoto) and four levels of nitrogen (0, 50, 100, and 150 kgN/ha). They were arranged in a randomized complete block design in three replications. The variety ex-sokoto was found superior to ex-kofa with respect to plant height, number of leaves, leaf area, and days to maturity, number of bulbs, bulb diameter, bulb weight, and number of cloves per bulb, cloves weight per bulb, and fresh and cured bulb yield. Application of 50 kgN/ha significantly increased plant height (cm), number of leaves per plant, leaf area, number of bulbs, and the total yield of the garlic. Significant effects of interaction between variety and nitrogen on leaf area and number of cloves per bulb of the garlic were observed. The combination of ex-sokoto variety and 50 kgN/ha was found to increase garlic yield. Maximum growth and yield could be realized using a combination of ex-sokoto variety and 50 kgN/ha at Ajiwa. Magaji G. Usman, A. S. Fagam, Rilwanu U. Dayi, and Zaharaddeen Isah Copyright © 2016 Magaji G. Usman et al. All rights reserved. Growth, Development, and Water Consumption of Irrigated Bean Crop Related to Growing Degree-Days on Different Soil Tillage Systems in Southeast Brazil Sun, 26 Jun 2016 11:58:57 +0000 Degree-days may be an alternative for predicting the influence of temperature on physiological aspects of plants in a changing climate. The objective of this research was to evaluate the relation between cumulative degree-days index () and the development, growth, and water consumption of irrigated bean under different soil tillage systems (STS). We developed an experiment in Southeast Brazil in plots managed with the following STS: chisel ploughing (CP), disk ploughing (DP), and revolving hoe (RH). The treatments did not influence the crop phenology when correlated to . The parameters of canopy ground cover, leaf area index, total dry matter, and the plant height presented a highly significant relationship with (). We also compared the results of field water balance with a simulation developed between the crop coefficient and and found a strong relationship ( = 0.93∗∗; ∗∗: high statistical significance ()) between these measurements and the model. The total water consumption measured at the irrigated bean crop reached 383 mm, 386 mm, and 375 mm while that simulated from dual crop coefficient approach based on reached 378 mm, 373 mm, and 349 mm to CP, DP, and RH, respectively, representing a mean difference of 4.2%. Gerson Araujo de Medeiros, Luiz Antonio Daniel, and Felipe Hashimoto Fengler Copyright © 2016 Gerson Araujo de Medeiros et al. All rights reserved. Efficiency on the Use of Radiation and Corn Yield under Three Densities of Sowing Thu, 23 Jun 2016 09:11:26 +0000 Aiming to evaluate sowing densities and efficiency of radiation use, six corn genotypes, three from open pollination (“Amarillo Almoloya,” “Cacahuacintle,” and “Jiquipilco”) and three hybrids (“Z-60,” “Condor,” and “H-50”), were sown at densities of 6.9, 7.8, and 8.9 plants m−2, under a split plot design, within a factorial arrangement of treatments during three years (2008, 2009, and 2010). Evaluated variables were yield, harvest index, biomass production, attenuation coefficient, and radiation use efficiency. Results indicate that 2008 was the best year because yield, biomass, and radiation use efficiency were 1132.6, 3505 gm−2, and 0.79 g MJ−1, respectively. “Jiquipilco” was the genotype that exhibited the best adaptability to climatic conditions of the zone; thus, it is recommended to be grown on the studied zone. A. Morales-Ruiz, J. M. Loeza-Corte, E. Díaz-López, E. J. Morales-Rosales, O. Franco-Mora, M. D. Mariezcurrena-Berasaín, and G. Estrada-Campuzano Copyright © 2016 A. Morales-Ruiz et al. All rights reserved. Insight into the Interaction between Plants and Associated Fluorescent Pseudomonas spp. Thu, 09 Jun 2016 06:17:15 +0000 Fluorescent Pseudomonas are known for their plant growth promoting and disease protection abilities. In past years, a number of studies have focused on how these bacteria suppress disease and induce resistance. They are known to produce antibiotics and siderophores, promote growth, and induce systemic resistance in the host plant. This bacterium has come out as a model organism for ecological studies going on in rhizosphere and for studying plant-beneficial microbe interaction. This review focuses on the current state of knowledge on biocontrol potential of fluorescent Pseudomonas strains and the mechanisms adopted by them. Akansha Jain and Sampa Das Copyright © 2016 Akansha Jain and Sampa Das. All rights reserved.