International Journal of Agronomy The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Characteristics Defining Broccoli Cultivars from Different Seed Producers Mon, 28 Aug 2017 07:05:36 +0000 Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) is currently considered a main vegetable food in the markets due to its high nutritional value, containing elevated levels of phytochemicals widely described to have beneficial effects against cancer and other illnesses. Broccoli is an interesting crop with a high commercial value because it complements the tomato industry, the main agricultural income in Badajoz, Spain. Nine varieties of broccoli from four nurseries were evaluated by analyzing both agronomic and quality parameters. Total yield and number of harvests were monitored. Parameters defining quality like diameter, weight, and height of the heads were determined. Granulometry, compactness, and the presence of internal leaves in the heads were also analyzed. Diameter and height of sprouts were complementarily estimated. Principal component analysis was further employed to investigate the relationship between the agronomic variables and the cultivars and nurseries. Results revealed that both first and second principal components explained more than 75% of the variance and grouped data according their cultivar and commercial origin. Additionally, correlations between the scores of those components and the values of the phenotypic parameters suggested that head weights are main determinants of the phenotypic differences observed among the cultivars whereas the presence of internal leaves and granulometry and head weight appear to be key traits defining nurseries. Elena Ordiales, Domingo J. Iglesias, María Victoria Alarcón, Lorena Zajara, Jesús Gil, Juan Ignacio Gutiérrez, and Julio Salguero Copyright © 2017 Elena Ordiales et al. All rights reserved. Characterization of Morphological Diversity of Jute Mallow (Corchorus spp.) Tue, 08 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Jute mallow is a traditional leaf vegetable that is an important part of daily diet for the majority of people in rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa. Here we employed quantitative and qualitative phenotypic traits to assess the morphological diversity of 90 accessions using univariate and multivariate analyses. Field experiments were conducted for two seasons to identify accessions suitable for leaf yield. The accessions were significantly variable in all traits. Highest variability among accessions was found in harvest index, biomass yield, and weight of 1000 seeds. The traits that significantly correlated with biomass yield include plant height (), petiole length (), primary branches (), and number of leaves per plant (). Principal component analysis showed that the first five PCs with eigenvalues ≥1 explained 72.9% of the total variability in the accessions. Pods per plant, primary branches, secondary branches, and number of leaves per plant accounted for highest variability in PC1. Cluster analysis grouped the accessions into five major clusters mainly based on their origin. Thus, the collection displayed high variation in morphological traits, particularly those related to leaf yield. These accessions are therefore useful in breeding for the improvement of the crop and germplasm management. Munguatosha Ngomuo, Tsvetelina Stoilova, Tileye Feyissa, and Patrick A. Ndakidemi Copyright © 2017 Munguatosha Ngomuo et al. All rights reserved. Linear Optimization Model for Efficient Use of Irrigation Water Wed, 26 Jul 2017 09:28:44 +0000 The implementation of innovative and efficient irrigation techniques is among the greatest challenges facing agriculture. In this regard, a linear programming model is presented in order to optimize water use. The idea behind this model is to assess the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of precipitation to determine the amount of irrigation water required to optimize water use. To achieve this idea, the “knapsack” problem decisional form was used, and the combination of the linear programming and the above-mentioned form proved satisfactory. Field experiments were conducted in Algeria. Based on calculated budgets a model using linear programming was developed. A comparison between the model results and the field findings suggests that the model could reduce water consumption by 28.5%. Wafa Difallah, Khelifa Benahmed, Belkacem Draoui, and Fateh Bounaama Copyright © 2017 Wafa Difallah et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Selected Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) Lines for Yield and Haulm Nutritive Quality Traits Wed, 19 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Groundnut, the most important grain legume in Ghana, is largely cultivated under rainfed conditions within the Guinea savanna zone of the country. The pods and haulms are important sources of income for smallholder farmers in the region. There is an emerging market for groundnut haulms as livestock feed in Ghana. A population of 30 groundnut genotypes were evaluated for yield (pod and haulm) and its components as well as good haulm nutritive value. High significant differences were observed among the genotypes for all agronomic traits. Average pod yield ranged from 1.6 to 5.7 t/ha with SAMNUT 23 and ICGV-IS 13081 being the most productive. Eight out of the 30 genotypes produced haulm yields above 8 t/ha. There was no significant difference among genotypes for in vitro gas production, digestible organic matter, ash, neutral detergent fibre, and metabolizable energy. However, crude protein, crude fibre, and acid detergent fibre were significantly different. Crude protein content was highest (12.53%) in GAF 1723 and lowest (8.00%) in ICGV-IS 08837. Genotypes GAF 1723, ICGV 00064, and ICGV-IS 13998 combined good pod/haulm yield with high haulm nutritive quality. Their utilization will improve farmers’ income and livelihoods in the Guinea savanna of Ghana. Richard Oteng-Frimpong, Solomon Pigangsoa Konlan, and Nicholas Ninju Denwar Copyright © 2017 Richard Oteng-Frimpong et al. All rights reserved. AMMI Stability Analysis and Estimation of Genetic Parameters for Growth and Yield Components in Cassava in the Forest and Guinea Savannah Ecologies of Ghana Thu, 13 Jul 2017 07:20:59 +0000 Twenty cassava genotypes were arranged in a randomised complete block design with three replications and assessed for growth and yield stability using the additive main effect and multiplicative interaction (AMMI) analysis. Highly significant () effects of genotype, environment, and genotype environment interaction were observed for all traits studied. The AMMI analysis of variance indicated that genotype accounted for 51% of the total sum of squares for height at first branching followed by environment (33%) and interaction (15%). For fresh root yield, environment effects accounted for 37% of the total sum of squares, whilst genotype and interaction accounted for 32% and 29%, respectively. Genotypic variances for harvest index (HI), plant height, storage root yield, and dry matter content contributed a greater proportion of the phenotypic variance indicating stronger genetic control. This suggests better chance of progress in the genetic improvement of these traits. Genotype MM96/1751 combined high yield with stability according to the yield stability index ranking across environments. On the other hand genotypes UCC 2001/449 and 96/1708 though high yielding were unstable according to AMMI stability value scores. However they can be tested further in more environments to ascertain their specific adaptability for release to farmers for cultivation to boost cassava production and ensure food security. Joseph Adjebeng-Danquah, Joseph Manu-Aduening, Vernon Edward Gracen, Isaac Kwadwo Asante, and Samuel Kwame Offei Copyright © 2017 Joseph Adjebeng-Danquah et al. All rights reserved. Modified Application of Nitrogen Fertilizer for Increasing Rice Variety Tolerance toward Submergence Stress Mon, 10 Jul 2017 06:58:09 +0000 This research was conducted from July to October 2015, using Randomized Block Design with two treatment factors and three replications for each treatment. The first factor was rice varieties (V): V1 = IR 64; V2 = Inpara 5. The second factor was fertilizer (N): N0: without submergence, all N fertilizer was given during planting; N1: all N fertilizer dose was given during planting; and N2: 1/2 dose of N fertilizer was given during planting; the rest was given at 42 days after planting. The submergence was during 7–14 days after planting; N3 = the entire dose of N fertilizer that was given during planting, N4 = 1/2 the dose of N fertilizer that was given during planting, and the rest was given at 42 days after planting. The submergence was during 7–14 and 28–35 days after planting. The results showed that the management of nitrogen fertilizer application had effect on rice growth and production which experienced dirty water submergence stress; the application of 1/2 dose of N fertilizer given during planting had the best effect on rice growth and production; the longer the submergence period for rice variety, the higher the effect on rice growth and production. Gribaldi Gribaldi, Nurlaili Nurlaili, Nurmala Dewi, Ekawati Danial, Firnawati Sakalena, and Rujito A. Suwignyo Copyright © 2017 Gribaldi Gribaldi et al. All rights reserved. Genome Editing in Plants: An Overview of Tools and Applications Mon, 03 Jul 2017 09:33:42 +0000 The emergence of genome manipulation methods promises a real revolution in biotechnology and genetic engineering. Targeted editing of the genomes of living organisms not only permits investigations into the understanding of the fundamental basis of biological systems but also allows addressing a wide range of goals towards improving productivity and quality of crops. This includes the creation of plants with valuable compositional properties and with traits that confer resistance to various biotic and abiotic stresses. During the past few years, several novel genome editing systems have been developed; these include zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/Cas9 (CRISPR/Cas9). These exciting new methods, briefly reviewed herein, have proved themselves as effective and reliable tools for the genetic improvement of plants. Venera S. Kamburova, Elena V. Nikitina, Shukhrat E. Shermatov, Zabardast T. Buriev, Siva P. Kumpatla, Chandrakanth Emani, and Ibrokhim Y. Abdurakhmonov Copyright © 2017 Venera S. Kamburova et al. All rights reserved. An Overview of Global Wheat Market Fundamentals in an Era of Climate Concerns Sun, 02 Jul 2017 08:18:06 +0000 Wheat is a key global commodity in terms of acreage and tradeable value and as a staple in household diets. Many factors affect wheat prices including climate, yields, oil prices, lagged prices, and imports. In addition to gradually and consistently increasing global wheat demand, these market drivers are posited to impact world prices and, ultimately, food security. To investigate how these factors differentially influence wheat markets, an extensive survey of literature regarding wheat market fundamentals was conducted, as well as a trend analysis using a uniquely compiled data set specific to significant wheat-producing areas. Previous studies show that imports, climate, oil prices, and past prices, among other factors, have a significant relationship with changes in the world wheat price. This study compiles and compares these same key variables from five major wheat export countries/regions for the time frame from 1980 to 2013. Aliakbar Enghiad, Danielle Ufer, Amanda M. Countryman, and Dawn D. Thilmany Copyright © 2017 Aliakbar Enghiad et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Nitrogen Rates and Time of Application on Yield of Maize: Rainfall Variability Influenced Time of N Application Sun, 18 Jun 2017 07:42:22 +0000 Despite the fact that maize productivity is relatively better than other major cereal crops, its current productivity is still far below its potential productivity. N rate and time of application are among the major abiotic factors limiting the productivity of the crop. Because of such gaps, the experiment was conducted at Bako Agricultural Research Center in 2013 and 2014 cropping seasons to determine optimum N rate and time of application. Four levels of N rates (46, 69, 92, and 115 N kg ha−1) and four levels (, , , and ) of different time of N application were arranged in factorial combinations. Moreover, previously recommended N and the control were arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replications. In 2013, the highest significant biomass yield (21.2 tha−1) was obtained at 115 N kg ha−1 and followed by 69 N kg ha−1 at and and 92 N kg ha−1 at . In contrast, the highest grain yield in 2013 was obtained at 92 N kg ha−1 at followed by 115 N kg ha−1 at either or and 69 N kg ha−1 at either or application time. Interestingly, a significant yield increase by 37% was obtained when 92 N kg ha−1 at the time of was applied compared to previous recommended 110 N kg ha−1 rate and time of application. In 2014, however, the highest yield was recorded when 92 N kg ha−1 at was used. Application of 46 N kg ha−1 at showed statistically similar yield performance when compared with previous N recommendation. The lowest yield was recorded from the control plot in both years. In 2013, the maximum net profit and acceptable marginal rate of return (MMR) were obtained when 92 N kg ha−1 at was used for maize production during erratic and heavy rainfall distribution, particularly at a time of N application. However, the maximum net benefit (30743 ETB ha−1) and acceptable MRR could be obtained when 92 N kg ha−1 at was used if the rainfall amount and distribution are relatively uniform. In conclusion, application of 92 N kg ha−1 at (10–15 DAP and 35–40 DAP) is the best N rate and time of application in good rainy seasons and hence recommended for the end users. However, in the case of erratic and heavy rainy seasons, application of 92 N kg ha−1 at three times application regimes (1/3 N at 10–15 days after planting (DAP), 1/3 N at 35–40 DAP and 55–60 DAP) should be used to get maximum profit and acceptable MRR. Zerihun Abebe and Hailu Feyisa Copyright © 2017 Zerihun Abebe and Hailu Feyisa. All rights reserved. Weather Conditions Associated with the Release and Dispersal of Zymoseptoria tritici Spores in the Argentine Pampas Region Tue, 13 Jun 2017 08:49:42 +0000 The abundance of Zymoseptoria tritici ascospores and conidia in a field was examined throughout two one-year periods (1998-1999 and 1999-2000) establishing the relationship between spore release and weather variables. Radiation, temperature, intensity of rainfall, and relative humidity significantly affected the dispersal of ascospores and pycnidiospores of this pathogen. Spore traps collected both types of spores, at weekly intervals, at two different stages of the wheat crop (vegetative and wheat stubble stages) and different distances from the sources. Ascospores were the predominant sources of inoculum in the field. The numbers of ascospores and pycnidiospores declined with the increase of distance from the sources. The release of pycnidiospores was associated with the increase in rainfall intensity 7 days before the released event and the increase in radiation 60 days before the same event. Relative humidity 3 and 15 days before the release event was positively correlated with ascospores release and negatively correlated with radiation and temperature in all the sampling interval. Also for the first time, a positive correlation between radiation and pycnidiospores dispersal is reported. Understanding the relationship between environment conditions and spores dispersal event could improve the control strategies of the disease. C. A. Cordo, C. I. Mónaco, R. Altamirano, A. E. Perelló, S. Larrán, N. I. Kripelz, and M. R. Simón Copyright © 2017 C. A. Cordo et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Organic Mulching on Soil Moisture, Yield, and Yield Contributing Components of Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) Thu, 08 Jun 2017 09:53:58 +0000 Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) is one of the chief foreign exchange earning oil crops in Ethiopia. However, its productivity remains low due to lack of appropriate agronomic practices. The aim of this research was to study the effect of organic mulches on sesame productivity and in situ moisture conservation. This experiment was carried out in Humera Agricultural Research Center, Western Tigray, during 2015 growing season. The experimental design was Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications. There were four types of organic mulches; rice straw, sorghum straw, sesame straw, and Sudan grass were compared with control. Sesame, variety Setit-1 was used in the experiment. The organic mulching rate of application was 10 ton ha−1 and this was applied evenly to the soil immediately after germination. Soil water content, phonological characteristics yield, and yield components of sesame were collected. The analyzed results indicated that organic mulching had significant effect on soil moisture content at 0–0.2 m, 0.21–0.4 m, and 0.41–0.6 m in every two-week interval after sowing and grain yield of sesame. Sesame straw conserved highest soil moisture content as compared with respective mulch material. The highest yield (664 kg ha−1) was recorded with Sudan grass while the lowest grain yield (190 kg ha−1) was recorded with no mulch. Goitom Teame, Alemtsahay Tsegay, and Berhanu Abrha Copyright © 2017 Goitom Teame et al. 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. 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. 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. 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.