Next Issue
Volume 12, October
Previous Issue
Volume 12, August
 
 

Agronomy, Volume 12, Issue 9 (September 2022) – 256 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Quinoa proved most successful under rain-fed conditions close to the coast in the northern wheatbelt of Western Australia, under irrigation in the Riverina in New South Wales, and on rendzina soils in lower South Australia, yielding between 2.5 and 3 t/ha. It was evaluated at 13 sites from the northern tropics through arid zones to Mediterranean regions in the south. Quinoa yielded up to 2 t/ha in the northern tropics. Abiotic stresses appeared to impact on seed yield and quality. Low temperatures during flowering, and high temperatures and low rainfall during seed development were associated with low seed yields. Seed discolouration and sprouting occurred when mature quinoa was exposed to wet conditions. Evaluation of a broader range of germplasm is likely to raise the yield potential. View this paper
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Reader to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
13 pages, 3180 KiB  
Article
Functional Analysis of ScABI3 from Syntrichia caninervis Mitt. in Medicago sativa L.
by Yi Zhang, Chun Wang, Mingqi Huang and Yigong Zhang
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2238; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092238 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1724
Abstract
ABI3 (ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE 3) is a family of B3 transcription factors essential for regulating the abscisic acid (ABA) signaling pathway involved in various biological processes and abiotic stress. Our previous studies demonstrated that ectopic expression of ScABI3 from a desiccation-tolerant moss ( [...] Read more.
ABI3 (ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE 3) is a family of B3 transcription factors essential for regulating the abscisic acid (ABA) signaling pathway involved in various biological processes and abiotic stress. Our previous studies demonstrated that ectopic expression of ScABI3 from a desiccation-tolerant moss (Syntrichia caninervis) into Arabidopsis thaliana enhanced abiotic stress tolerance. However, studies on plant transformation using the ABI3 gene are limited and other possible functions of ScABI3 are not known. Here, we transformed the ScABI3 into alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and analyzed the effects on phenotype, photosynthetic efficiency, and nutritional quality. The results showed that the endogenous ABA content of the transgenic plants was significantly higher than WT, and the leaf-stem ratio, leaf area, and branch number increased with ScABI3 overexpression in alfalfa. Further analysis of the gas exchange parameters showed that the net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (Gs), transpiration rate (Tr), and water-use efficiency (WUE) of the transgenic alfalfa were significantly higher than WT; meanwhile, the protein content of the transgenic lines was higher than the WT, but the crude fat content was lower. Thus, these findings suggest that ScABI3 can be used as a potential candidate gene to manipulate alfalfa’s growth and nutritional quality. This study will provide a theoretical basis for breeding alfalfa varieties and assist in forage production and animal husbandry in the future. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

23 pages, 674 KiB  
Article
Does the Availability of Specific Agri-Equipment Influence Cropping System Design? A Case Study of Pulses
by Souha Kefi, Davide Rizzo and Michel J. F. Dubois
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2237; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092237 - 19 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1885
Abstract
Cropping system design is being transformed through the twofold evolution of agricultural practices for an agroecological transition, and of equipment diversification for agrotechnical needs. Among the most well-known drivers there are genetic selection, crop diversification, protein and energy autonomy. Protein and energy autonomy [...] Read more.
Cropping system design is being transformed through the twofold evolution of agricultural practices for an agroecological transition, and of equipment diversification for agrotechnical needs. Among the most well-known drivers there are genetic selection, crop diversification, protein and energy autonomy. Protein and energy autonomy but also crop diversification could be achieved by reintroducing pulses into farming systems. The availability of specific equipment might be the simplest prerequisite for developing agroecological farming practices while supporting these goals. However, the links between pulses and agri-equipment are not clarified in the literature. The aim of this study is to understand recent historical and current links between pulses and equipment and to gain insight into the suitability or even to find shortcomings concerning pulses and available agri-equipment. To this end, 21 key informants were identified in the agronomical, sociotechnical, economic, and political sectors in France. We asked them four questions: (i) Can you describe your professional functions? (ii) Do you think that equipment is related to the design of the culture system? (iii) Do you think that pulses require specific equipment? (iv) How do you define agroecology? Respondents’ profiles are equally distributed into profiles directly related to the farmer and profiles not directly related to farmers. All 21 respondents answered questions (ii) and (iv). Only 14 respondents answered question (iii), and most of them are directly related to the farmer. We note that pulses do not require specific agri-equipment in a conventional system. The need for agri-equipment is found in the soil conservation approach where pulses are combined with other crops. Soil conservation approaches appear to achieve agroecological goals through the reintroduction of legumes and the decarbonization of energy associated with reduced mechanical costs and CO2 emissions. This article presents expert opinions on the impact of equipment in the adaptation of agroecological practices as well as insights into the existing blockages of equipment in relation to soil conservation practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transforming AgriFood Systems under a Changing Climate)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 3520 KiB  
Article
Determination of Internal Quality Indices in Oriental Melon Using Snapshot-Type Hyperspectral Image and Machine Learning Model
by Byeong-Hyo Cho, Ki-Beom Lee, Youngki Hong and Kyoung-Chul Kim
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2236; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092236 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2028
Abstract
In this study, we aimed to develop a prediction model of the solid solutions concentration (SSC) and moisture content (MC) in oriental melon with snapshot-type hyperspectral imagery (Visible (VIS): 460–600 nm, 16 bands; Red-Near infrared (Red-NIR): 600–860 nm, 15 bands) using a machine [...] Read more.
In this study, we aimed to develop a prediction model of the solid solutions concentration (SSC) and moisture content (MC) in oriental melon with snapshot-type hyperspectral imagery (Visible (VIS): 460–600 nm, 16 bands; Red-Near infrared (Red-NIR): 600–860 nm, 15 bands) using a machine learning model. The oriental melons were cultivated in a hydroponic greenhouse, Republic of Korea, and a total of 91 oriental melons that were harvested from March to April of 2022 were used as samples. The SSC and MC of the oriental melons were measured using destructive methods after taking hyperspectral imagery of the oriental melons. The reflectance spectrum obtained from the hyperspectral imagery was processed by the standard normal variate (SNV) method. Variable importance in projection (VIP) scores were used to select the bands related to SSC and MC. As a result, ten (609, 736, 561, 849, 818, 489, 754, 526, 683, and 597 nm) and six (609, 736, 561, 818, 849, and 489 nm) bands were selected for the SSC and MC, respectively. Four machine learning models, support vector regression (SVR), ridge regression (RR), K-nearest neighbors regression (K-NNR), and random forest regression (RFR), were used to develop models to predict SSC and MC, and their performances were compared. The SVR showed the best performance for predicting both the SSC and MC of the oriental melons. The SVR model achieved a relatively high accuracy with R2 values of 0.86 and 0.74 and RMSE values of 1.06 and 1.05 for SSC and MC, respectively. However, it will be necessary to carry out more experiments under various conditions, such as differing maturities of fruits and varying light sources and environments, to achieve more comprehensive predictions and apply them to monitoring robots in the future. Nevertheless, it is considered that the snapshot-type hyperspectral imagery aided by SVR would be a useful tool to predict the SSC and MC of oriental melon. In addition, if the maturity classification model for the oriental melon can be applied to fields, it could lead to less labor and result in high-quality oriental melon production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Precision and Digital Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

31 pages, 2972 KiB  
Article
Integrating Tillage and Mulching Practices as an Avenue to Promote Soil Water Storage, Growth, Production, and Water Productivity of Wheat under Deficit Irrigation in Arid Countries
by Bazel Alsamin, Salah El-Hendawy, Yahya Refay, ElKamil Tola, Mohamed A. Mattar and Samy Marey
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2235; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092235 - 19 Sep 2022
Viewed by 3506
Abstract
Ensuring food security with limited water resources in arid countries requires urgent development of innovative water-saving strategies. This study aimed to investigate the effects of various tillage and mulching practices on soil water storage (SWS), growth, production, irrigation water use efficiency (IWUE), and [...] Read more.
Ensuring food security with limited water resources in arid countries requires urgent development of innovative water-saving strategies. This study aimed to investigate the effects of various tillage and mulching practices on soil water storage (SWS), growth, production, irrigation water use efficiency (IWUE), and water productivity (WP) of wheat under full (FL) and limited (LM) irrigation regimes in a typical arid country. The tillage practices comprised the conventional tillage (CT) and reduced tillage (RT), each with five mulching treatments (MT), including non-mulched (NM), plastic film mulch (PFM), wheat straw mulch (WSM), palm residues mulch (PRM), and a mixture of wheat straw and palm residues at 50/50 ratio (MM). Results showed higher SWS at different measured time points in CT than RT at 20–40 cm, 40–60 cm, and 0–60 cm soil depth under FL regime, and at 40–60 cm under LM regime, while the opposite was observed at 0–20 cm and 20–40 cm soil depth under LM regime. SWS at different soil depths under MT, in most cases, followed the order of PFM > PRM ≈ MM > WSM > NM under FL, and PFM ≈ PRM > MM > WSM > NM under LM regimes. No significant differences were observed for traits related to growth between CT and RT, but RT increased the traits related to yield, IWUE, and WP by 5.9–11.6% than did CT. PFM and PRM or PRM and MM showed the highest values for traits related to growth or yield, IWUE, and WP, respectively. No significant differences in all traits between CT and RT under the FL regime were observed, however, RT increased all traits by 8.0–18.8% than did CT under the LM regime. The yield response factor (Ky) based on plant dry weight (KyPDW) and grain yield (KyGY) under RT was acceptable for four MT, while KyGY under CT was acceptable only for PRM, as the Ky values in these treatments were <1 under the LM regime. The interrelationships of plant dry weight (PDW), grain yield (GY), IWUE, and WP with evapotranspiration (ET), and of WP and IWUE with PDW and GY were best described by a second-order polynomial. SWS measured before irrigation exhibited strong linear relationships with PDW and GY (R2 range 0.57 to 0.92), while they exhibited a second order polynomial and moderate correlation with IWUE and WP (R2 range 0.29 to 0.54). Overall, combining RT with plant residue mulching, particularly using the readily available palm residues in sufficient amount is a feasible and sustainable water-saving strategy for enhancing wheat yield and WP in irrigated arid countries, such as Saudi Arabia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Yield and Quality Response to Cultivation Practices)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 2082 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Local Mediterranean Grapevine Varieties for Their Resilience to Semi-Arid Conditions under a Rain-Fed Regime
by Carmina Gisbert, Jaume X. Soler, Mariano Fos, Diego S. Intrigliolo, Alberto Yuste, Belén Picó, Daniel Torrent and Rosa Peiró
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2234; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092234 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1830
Abstract
Viticultural adaptations to climate change are needed, and the utilization of grapevine varieties that are better-adapted to water scarcity could contribute to finding grape varieties that are adapted to climate change. The present research was carried out to expand the limited knowledge on [...] Read more.
Viticultural adaptations to climate change are needed, and the utilization of grapevine varieties that are better-adapted to water scarcity could contribute to finding grape varieties that are adapted to climate change. The present research was carried out to expand the limited knowledge on the minor varieties Arcos and Forcallat in comparison with three other more widespread traditional Mediterranean cultivars (Bobal, Garnacha, and Monastrell). An ampelographic characterization was carried out and provided with the characteristics for the cv. Arcos, which have not been previously described, as well as traits that are useful for differentiating it from the cv. Forcallat. Both varieties maintained low stomatal conductance, having the highest number of small stomata in comparison to the rest of varieties. Arcos and Forcallat also showed the highest intrinsic water use efficiency in addition to being late ripening, a characteristic that could be of interest in the context of water scarcity and warm climates for better coupling of technological and phenolic maturity. In parallel, we analyzed Veremeta plants considered a synonym of Monastrell, which were growing in the same field. The synonymy was confirmed by SSR markers, but phenotypic differences between plant materials were determined in relation to their ampelographic, agronomical, and physiological traits. Indeed, both accessions are very interesting as materials to be studied in agronomic trials under different watering regimes in order to deepen our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the drought tolerance of the evaluated Mediterranean varieties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Progress in Improving Water Use Efficiency of Vineyards)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 2700 KiB  
Article
An Investigation of the Frequency and Duration of a Drive Spoon–Dispersed Water Jet and Its Influence on the Hydraulic Performance of a Large-Volume Irrigation Sprinkler
by Pan Tang and Chao Chen
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2233; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092233 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1478
Abstract
The frequency and duration of drive spoon–dispersed water jet directly influence the water distribution pattern and, further, affect water distribution uniformity. A mathematical model for calculating the duration was established, and an experiment was carried out to verify the accuracy of the theory [...] Read more.
The frequency and duration of drive spoon–dispersed water jet directly influence the water distribution pattern and, further, affect water distribution uniformity. A mathematical model for calculating the duration was established, and an experiment was carried out to verify the accuracy of the theory by using high-speed photography (HSP) technique. Another important component of the investigation was the influence of frequency and duration on the water distribution pattern and water distribution uniformity. The results showed that the frequency of drive spoon–dispersed water jet increased and the duration time decreased with increased working pressure and decreased distance between counterweight-installed position and rotation axis. The calculated values of the theory were greater than the measured values. Differences between the measured and predicted values decreased with increased working pressure, and the average difference decreased to 2.98% when the working pressure increased to 0.40 MPa. The application rates within 1–13 m improved and increased about 50% by decreasing the distance from 135 mm to 80 mm. The maximum application rates decreased from 10.3 to 9.2 mm h−1, 9.5 to 8.8 mm h−1, and 8.4 to 7.9 mm h−1 with a working pressure of 0.30, 0.35, and 0.40 MPa, respectively. The Christiansen’s uniformity coefficient (CU) values decreased by increasing the distance between the counterweight and the rotation axis. The maximum CU values were obtained at the spacing coefficient of 1.2, 1.2, and 1.1 for 0.30, 0.35, and 0.40 MPa, respectively. By decreasing the distance from 135 mm to 80 mm, the maximum CU values increased from 58.96% to 75.1%, 68.85% to 80.1%, and 72.46% to 82.17% for 0.30, 0.35, and 0.40 MPa, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Saving in Irrigated Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 885 KiB  
Article
Optimizing Sowing Window for Local and Chinese Elite Lines under Changing Climate
by Bismillah Khan, Muhammad Arif, Fazal Munsif, Muhammad Mehran Anjum, Elżbieta Wójcik-Gront, Aziz Khan, Ijaz Ahmad, Yong Ren, Changping Zhao, Xiangzheng Liao and Shengquan Zhang
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2232; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092232 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1433
Abstract
Climate change threatens major global crops including wheat of subtropical regions, especially during critical developmental stages. To address this concern, researchers try to identify exotic genetic diversity with pronounced stress tolerance or avoidance or find improved genotypes with optimal sowing time. Current research [...] Read more.
Climate change threatens major global crops including wheat of subtropical regions, especially during critical developmental stages. To address this concern, researchers try to identify exotic genetic diversity with pronounced stress tolerance or avoidance or find improved genotypes with optimal sowing time. Current research evaluated seven exotic Chinese wheat genotypes (MY4094, MY1617, MY1416, MY2914, MY1501, MY1419, and MY902) for yield and associated characters along with a local check variety (PS-15) under optimal (1st November), moderate (16th November), and late sowing times (1st December) during both years. The result revealed that delayed sowing reduced yield and yield components of the tested genotypes, including the local check. Genotype MY1617 performed best under optimal sowing in terms of grain yield and yield attributes, with a 5% increase over the local check. MY902 had the highest seed yield among late-sown genotypes. Correlation analysis showed that grain yield was positively correlated with grains per spike, days to anthesis, booting, and heading. The current study provides important information for wheat breeders to exploit exotic genetic materials under a diverse sowing window and develop genotypes with improved traits that may boost wheat growers’ production. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 2591 KiB  
Article
Drying of Prickly Pear (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Miller) and Its Potential as a Solid Biofuel
by Guillermo San Miguel, Diego Fernández-Olmedilla and Francisco Sánchez-Godoy
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2231; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092231 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1679
Abstract
Prickly pear is a species that shows great capability to grow in harsh environments with potential for being used as an energy resource. The aim of this paper was to characterize prickly-pear mature cladodes in terms of chemical, proximal, and fuel properties, as [...] Read more.
Prickly pear is a species that shows great capability to grow in harsh environments with potential for being used as an energy resource. The aim of this paper was to characterize prickly-pear mature cladodes in terms of chemical, proximal, and fuel properties, as well as to study the drying kinetics of this biomass after pretreatments destined to expose the internal tissues of mature cladodes to different temperatures. The results show that prickly-pear biomass was a poor-quality solid biofuel due to a low calorific value (12.9 MJ/kg d.m.b.) and a high ash content (25.8 wt.%). When drying prickly-pear biomass, cutting the cladodes to expose the internal tissues significantly increased the drying rate, especially when temperatures of 60 °C and above were employed. Double exponential (three parameters) and Midilli were the models that best fitted the experimental curves of prickly-pear cladodes cut into straps and cubes when dried at 50–70 °C. Finally, the bulk density of the prickly-pear biomass was similar to the one obtained for herbaceous biomasses, thus suggesting that further densification will enhance the usability of this feedstock. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 2234 KiB  
Article
Nitrogen Effect on Fruit Quality and Yield of Muskmelon and Sweet Pepper Cultivars
by Rafael Grasso, M. Teresa Peña-Fleitas, Romina de Souza, Alejandra Rodríguez, Rodney B. Thompson, Marisa Gallardo and Francisco M. Padilla
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2230; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092230 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2363
Abstract
Yield and fruit quality are two of the most important parameters for the profitability of vegetable crops. In commercial vegetable production, nitrogen (N) is commonly applied in excess, which is associated with nitrate (NO3) leaching loss. In addition, excess N [...] Read more.
Yield and fruit quality are two of the most important parameters for the profitability of vegetable crops. In commercial vegetable production, nitrogen (N) is commonly applied in excess, which is associated with nitrate (NO3) leaching loss. In addition, excess N application may affect yield and fruit quality. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of N applications of very deficient N (N1, 2 mmol L−1), deficient N (N2, 8 mmol L−1), and conventional N (N3, 14 mmol L−1), according to local fertigation practices, in soil-grown muskmelon and sweet pepper crops in Almeria, South-Eastern Spain. The evaluation was conducted in three cultivars of each species. The yield and the fruit quality parameters of firmness, colour, total soluble solids (TSS) and morphometric variables were evaluated in two years for each species. For most parameters in both species, the effects of N, when significant, occurred regardless of cultivar. In muskmelon and sweet pepper, application of 8.2 mmol N L−1 (i.e., N2) was sufficient to achieve a maximum yield of 6.7 and 7.4 kg m−2, respectively. In muskmelon, very deficient N application led to an increase of 58% in the percentage of fruit discarded, mostly due to malformed and undersized fruits. Fruit firmness and red–green axis coordinate (a*) were not consistently affected by N in any of the crops. However, the fruit lightness (L*) increased with N addition in both species, likely because of increased chlorophyll pigments. With N addition, fruit TSS slightly decreased in muskmelon and slightly increased in sweet pepper. However, fruit TSS of both species were within reference values for commercialisation in the three N treatments. There were differences in yield between cultivars in muskmelon but not in sweet pepper, likely due to differences in fruit number in muskmelon. There were differences between cultivars in TSS and colour a* coordinate in both muskmelon and sweet pepper. Cultivars with higher TSS and a* coordinate will likely be more desirable for consumers because of the sweeter taste and more intense orange colour in muskmelon and reddish colour in sweet pepper. Overall, our manuscript showed that N application can be reduced, relative to the conventional N application, without reducing yield or fruit quality in muskmelon, yet additional studies should be conducted in sweet pepper to complement the results of the 2020 crop. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characteristics and Technology in Mediterranean Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 3207 KiB  
Article
Real-Time Nitrogen Application of Rice Varieties Based on Leaf Colour Chart under System of Rice Intensification in Temperate Climate
by Tauseef Ahmad Bhat, Raihana Habib Kanth, Bisma Jan, Aijaz Nazir, Shafat Ahmad Ahanger, Mohammad Salim Mir, Nasir Bashir Naikoo, Suhail Fayaz, Khursheed Ahmad Dar, Audil Gul, Tajamul Mansoor, Ibrahim Al-Ashkar, Arpna Kumari, Muhammad Habib ur Rahman and Ayman El Sabagh
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2229; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092229 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2305
Abstract
Increasing nitrogen use efficiency in rice intensification (SRI) is pivotal to achieving high crop yield and reducing nitrogen losses. To find the critical value of the leaf color chart (LCC) for real-time nitrogen (N) application in rice varieties under SRI, a field experiment [...] Read more.
Increasing nitrogen use efficiency in rice intensification (SRI) is pivotal to achieving high crop yield and reducing nitrogen losses. To find the critical value of the leaf color chart (LCC) for real-time nitrogen (N) application in rice varieties under SRI, a field experiment was laid at the Research Farm, Faculty of Agriculture, Wadura, SKAUST-Kashmir in Kharif between 2019 and 2020. The experiment comprised two cultivars (SR-3 and SR-4) and eight LCC-based nitrogen managements (control, recommended dose of nitrogen (RDF), and three LCC scores (≤3, ≤4, ≤5 each with 20 and 30 kg N ha−1). SR-4 produced significantly higher values for growth and yield parameters, producing higher grain yield (7.02 and 6.86 t ha−1) compared to SR-3 (6.49 and 6.36 t ha−1) between 2019 and 2020, respectively. An LCC value of 5 with 30 kg N ha−1 produced maximum grain yield (7.84 and 7.70 t ha−1) in 2019 and 2020, respectively, which were statistically at par with the LCC value of 5 with 20 kg Nha−1. Pooled data revealed that the highest B: C ratio of 1.55 was recorded in cultivar SR-4 with an LCC value of 5 with 30 kg N ha−1. Furthermore, agronomic and recovery efficiency of nitrogen remained maximum in LCC 5 with 20 kg N ha−1 for both years. Grain yield recorded in LCC 3 20 kg N ha−1 was similar to recommended nitrogen. The present study highlighted the need-based N application through LCC and proved effective in increasing the N-use efficiency and yield in rice. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 3983 KiB  
Article
Effects of Leaf Surface Roughness and Contact Angle on In Vivo Measurement of Droplet Retention
by Jing Ma, Kuan Liu, Xiaoya Dong, Chenggong Chen, Baijing Qiu and Songchao Zhang
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2228; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092228 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2206
Abstract
Droplet retention during pesticide application is a serious problem because run-off droplets flow out of the target area and pose a hazard to human health and the environment. The present study was conducted with the aim to measure the droplet retention of sprayed [...] Read more.
Droplet retention during pesticide application is a serious problem because run-off droplets flow out of the target area and pose a hazard to human health and the environment. The present study was conducted with the aim to measure the droplet retention of sprayed droplets on crop leaves in vivo using a constructed test system. In the measurement, three crop species with different surface properties (tomato, chili pepper, and winter wheat) were selected for droplet retention determination, and the variations in the time intervals of maximum retention and stable retention were determined. Contact angle and surface roughness (Ra), which are the most important surface properties of crop leaves, were used as independent variables. The Ra values of tomato, pepper, and winter wheat were 24.73 μm, 5.28 μm, and 17.59 μm, respectively, while the contact angles of tomato, pepper, and winter wheat were 97.67°, 70.07° and 131.98°, respectively. The results showed that the curves of droplet retention on sprayed tomato and wheat leaves had similar patterns over time and could be divided into four periods (rapidly increasing period, slowly increasing period, collapsing period, and stable period). The maximum droplet retention on tomato leaf surface was Rmax = 0.169 gcm2, and the stable retention was Rst = 0.134 gcm2. The maximum droplet retention on the surface of winter wheat leaf was Rmax = 0.244 gcm2, and the stable retention was Rst = 0.093 gcm2. However, droplet retention on pepper leaves was different from that on tomato and wheat leaves. The curve pattern of droplet retention on pepper leaves over time showed two peaks and two valleys. Moreover, the maximum retention, Rmax, was in the range of 0.149~0.151 gcm2, and the stable retention was Rst = 0.077 gcm2. It is expected that the obtained results can be used to characterize the properties of crop leaves and that this study can contribute to the improvement of droplet retention for effective chemical application and the reduction in the environmental pollution caused by agricultural pesticides. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 2391 KiB  
Article
Investigation and Identification of Cyst Nematodes in the Bashang Region of Hebei, China
by Yuhuan Wu, Huan Peng, Shiming Liu, Hudie Shao, Yunqing Li, Yingdong Zhang, Yaning Li, Daqun Liu and Deliang Peng
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2227; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092227 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1816
Abstract
Cyst nematodes are one of the most important pathogens worldwide. Most cyst nematode species have been reported recently in China. From 2016 to 2020, an extensive survey of cyst nematodes was conducted in the Bashang region of Hebei Province. A total of 158 [...] Read more.
Cyst nematodes are one of the most important pathogens worldwide. Most cyst nematode species have been reported recently in China. From 2016 to 2020, an extensive survey of cyst nematodes was conducted in the Bashang region of Hebei Province. A total of 158 soil samples were collected, and cyst-forming nematodes were isolated from five soil samples. Morphological and molecular characterization showed that four of the cyst-forming nematode populations were Heterodera glycines (SCN), named populations of ZM, KM, CB and FN, respectively. These SCN populations were collected from Zhangbei County, Kangbao County, Chabei Management Area of Zhangjiakou and Fengning Manchu Autonomous County of Chengde, respectively, where the corresponding cyst densities were 57, 41, 103 and 31 cysts/200 cc soil. Furthermore, the populations of ZM, KM and CB were identified as race 4, whereas the FN population was identified as race 3. The cyst-forming nematode population was collected from Zhangbei County of Zhangjiakou, which was confirmed to be Heterodera schachtii (SBCN), named population ZZ, and the cyst density was 94 cysts/200 cc soil. It is a new disease of Chinese cabbage caused by SBCN based on Koch’s postulates. Fourteen cultivars from five plant families were evaluated as hosts for SBCN. Chinese cabbage (cv. Linglonghuang012) and cabbage (cv. Chunwang) were suitable hosts, while celery (cv. Yuhuang), potato (cv. Helan 15) and eggplant (cv. Junlang) were nonhosts. The obtained results regarding the occurrence, distribution, races of SCN and hosts of SBCN in the Bashang region in this study provide a reference for SCN and SBCN management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pest and Disease Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 331 KiB  
Article
Precision Agriculture Implementation Factors and Adoption Potential: The Case Study of Polish Agriculture
by Aksana Yarashynskaya and Piotr Prus
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2226; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092226 - 18 Sep 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2654
Abstract
Some of the current economic, social and environmental challenges could potentially be addressed by Precision Agriculture (PA) introduction. However, the pace of PA introduction is found to be slower than expected in developed, transitioning and developing countries, with the PA adoption literature is [...] Read more.
Some of the current economic, social and environmental challenges could potentially be addressed by Precision Agriculture (PA) introduction. However, the pace of PA introduction is found to be slower than expected in developed, transitioning and developing countries, with the PA adoption literature is predominantly been focused on research on PA adoption in developed world. This paper addresses these shortcomings by identification and explanation of PA adoption factors and compilation of the regional ranking of PA adoption potential for 16 Polish voivodships. It contributes to the PA adoption factors’ literature by filling the gap on under-researched transitioning economies using Poland as a case-study. The key PA adoption factors were identified by Systematic Literature Review (SLR) based on the final sample of 21 papers from journals indexed in Scopus or Web of Science databases and were organized in 5 groups (socio-economic, agro-technological, financial, technological, and informational factors). These factors formed the conceptual framework for the ranking of PA adoption potential of 16 Polish voivodships based on the application of Sturgess rule. The analysis of PA adoption potential of 16 Polish voivodships shows the clear “core-periphery” divergence: i.e., well-developed metropolitan areas got the highest ranking and less developed peripheral regions were ranked low. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farming Sustainability)
13 pages, 3909 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Plug Height and Inflow Rate on Water Flow Characteristics in Furrow Irrigation
by Juan Yu, Keyao Liu, Anbin Li, Mingfei Yang, Xiaodong Gao, Xining Zhao and Yaohui Cai
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2225; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092225 - 18 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1867
Abstract
Despite its wide application across arid land types, furrow irrigation is often associated with numerous environmental problems related to deep percolation, runoff, and soil erosion. In this study, a straightforward approach was proposed to achieve higher uniformity and reduce erosion. Here, the impacts [...] Read more.
Despite its wide application across arid land types, furrow irrigation is often associated with numerous environmental problems related to deep percolation, runoff, and soil erosion. In this study, a straightforward approach was proposed to achieve higher uniformity and reduce erosion. Here, the impacts that a moveable “plug” has on the behavior of irrigation water in the furrow were simulated using FLOW-3D and HYDRUS-2D, where three plug heights and two flow rates were set. The effect of inflow rate and plug height on the water advance, water level, cumulative infiltration in the furrow, and uniformity coefficient was determined. Results indicate that the plug was able to slow water velocity by approximately 60% in the furrow and increase the furrow advance time by 3–4 times; the water level was increased by nearly 10 cm compared with no plug. Moreover, an irrigation uniformity range of 90.18–99.22% was associated with this plugging. The addition of a plug in the furrow irrigation practices for smallholder farmers in developing countries demonstrates great potential in reducing the probability of erosion under large slopes and can effectively improve irrigation uniformity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Saving in Irrigated Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 2905 KiB  
Article
Placing Ecosystem Services within the Water–Food–Energy–Climate Nexus: A Case Study in Mediterranean Mixed Orchards
by Sotiroula Ioannidou, Vassilis Litskas, Menelaos Stavrinides and Ioannis Ν. Vogiatzakis
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2224; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092224 - 18 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2271
Abstract
We used Cyprus as a model to link the Water–Energy–Food–Climate (WEFC) nexus indicators (e.g., carbon and water footprints) to the ecosystem services (ES) provided by 39 mixed orchards (stone fruits and nuts) on organic (Org) and conventional (Conv) farms. Food provision was lower [...] Read more.
We used Cyprus as a model to link the Water–Energy–Food–Climate (WEFC) nexus indicators (e.g., carbon and water footprints) to the ecosystem services (ES) provided by 39 mixed orchards (stone fruits and nuts) on organic (Org) and conventional (Conv) farms. Food provision was lower for Org than Conv orchards. Management practices in Org mixed orchards better support climate change mitigation and water flow regulation. Soil quality parameters (e.g., organic matter and soil respiration), Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF), and farm attributes (e.g., tree age) were significantly correlated to the GHG emissions per Mcal of food. Using cluster analysis, orchards were grouped based on WEFC indicators. Finally, a simple approach was developed to allow a rapid link between the WEFC and ES and to support decision making related to land use. This approach highlighted that in the case of Mediterranean mixed orchards, the main objective towards sustainability should be the balance between input management, food production, and ES from agroecosystems, rather than solely the attainment of high yields. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

23 pages, 2347 KiB  
Article
Mycorrhizal Inoculation Improves the Quality and Productivity of Essential Oil Distilled from Three Aromatic and Medicinal Plants: Thymus satureioides, Thymus pallidus, and Lavandula dentata
by Oumaima Akachoud, Hafida Bouamama, Natacha Facon, Frédéric Laruelle, Btissam Zoubi, Abderrazak Benkebboura, Cherki Ghoulam, Ahmed Qaddoury and Anissa Lounès-Hadj Sahraoui
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2223; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092223 - 18 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2233
Abstract
In Morocco, extensive use, traditional practices, and climate change have seriously impacted the productivity of aromatic and medicinal plants (AMP). To mitigate these adverse effects, this study aims at evaluating the potential of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), namely Rhizophagusirregularis and Funneliformis [...] Read more.
In Morocco, extensive use, traditional practices, and climate change have seriously impacted the productivity of aromatic and medicinal plants (AMP). To mitigate these adverse effects, this study aims at evaluating the potential of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), namely Rhizophagusirregularis and Funneliformis mosseae, in improving biomass, essential oils (EOs), and biomolecule production in Thymus satureioides, T. pallidus, and Lavandula dentata. Compared to non-inoculated-AMP, AMF induced significant increases in biomass production by 37.1, 52.4, and 43.6%, and in EOs yield by 21, 74, and 88% in T. satureioides, T. pallidus, and L. dentata, respectively. The EOs of inoculated-AMP exhibited increased proportions of major compounds such as thymol (23.7%), carvacrol (23.36%), and borneol (18.7%) in T. satureioides; α-terpinene (32.6%), thymol (28.79%), and δ-terpinene (8.1%) in T. pallidus; and camphor (58.44%), isoborneol (8.8%), and fenchol (4.1%) in L. dentata. Moreover, AMF significantly improved the anti-germinative and antifungal activities of the EOs. Indeed, IC50 values decreased by 1.8, 16.95, and 2.2 times against Blumerai graminis, Zymoseptoria tritici, and Fusarium culmorum, respectively, compared to non-inoculated-AMP. This study highlights the performance of the symbiosis between AMF and AMPs in terms of high quality of EOs production while respecting the environment. The associations F. mosseae-Thymus and R. irregularis-Lavandula are the most efficient. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 4280 KiB  
Article
Influencing Factors of the Distribution Accuracy and the Optimal Parameters of a Pneumatic Fertilization Distributor in a Fertilizer Applicator
by Wensheng Yuan, Changying Ji, Zhiyuan Liu, Chengqian Jin and Yugang Feng
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2222; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092222 - 18 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1646
Abstract
A pneumatic fertilization distributor used for fertilizing in a fertilizer applicator is a key component of the applicator. The parameters of a pneumatic fertilization distributor affect the uniformity and accuracy of the fertilization of a fertilizer applicator. To obtain the optimal design parameters [...] Read more.
A pneumatic fertilization distributor used for fertilizing in a fertilizer applicator is a key component of the applicator. The parameters of a pneumatic fertilization distributor affect the uniformity and accuracy of the fertilization of a fertilizer applicator. To obtain the optimal design parameters of a pneumatic fertilization distributor, a fluidstructure coupling simulation test and a bench test were carried out in the Intelligent Agricultural Machinery Laboratory of the Nanjing Institute of Agricultural Mechanization from March 2021 to July 2022. The curvature–diameter ratios of the elbow, bellow length, and air velocity were selected as the experimental factors, and the variation coefficient of the fertilizer discharge at each discharge outlet within 0.5–3 s was selected as the experimental index. A five-level quadratic regression orthogonal rotation combined test was carried out. The results showed that: (1) all three factors had a significant impact on the uniformity of the fertilizer discharge. The reasonable ranges of the curvature–diameter ratio, bellow length, and air velocity were 0.5–1.5, 350–550 mm, and 25–35 m/s, respectively. (2) The order of the influence of the three factors on the uniformity of the fertilizer discharge in descending order was as follows: the curvature–diameter ratio of the elbow, the bellow length, and the air velocity. When the bellow length was 460 mm, the curvature–diameter ratio was 0.6, and the inlet air velocity was 28 m/s. The uniformity of the fertilizer discharge was optimal. A pneumatic conveying system was redesigned according to the optimal parameters, and a bench test was carried out. The results showed that at different speeds, the coefficient of variation of each row’s displacement was not greater than 5%, and the simulation test results were consistent with the bench test results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Automation and Innovative Agricultural Systems)
Show Figures

Figure 1

29 pages, 6423 KiB  
Article
Semi-Arid-Habitat-Adapted Plant-Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria Allows Efficient Wheat Growth Promotion
by Nora Saadaoui, Allaoua Silini, Hafsa Cherif-Silini, Ali Chenari Bouket, Faizah N. Alenezi, Lenka Luptakova, Sarah Boulahouat and Lassaad Belbahri
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2221; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092221 - 18 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2410
Abstract
Plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) introduced into agricultural ecosystems positively affect agricultural production and constitute an ecological method for sustainable agriculture. The present study demonstrated the effects of two PGPR, Pantoea agglomerans strain Pa and Bacillus thuringiensis strain B25, on seed germination, on the plant [...] Read more.
Plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) introduced into agricultural ecosystems positively affect agricultural production and constitute an ecological method for sustainable agriculture. The present study demonstrated the effects of two PGPR, Pantoea agglomerans strain Pa and Bacillus thuringiensis strain B25, on seed germination, on the plant growth of two durum wheat varieties, Bousselam and Boutaleb, and on the frequency of the cultivable beneficial bacterial community. The bacterial strains were used as seed primers (individually or in consortia) by coating them with carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC 1%). The effect of PGPR was negligible on germinative ability but improved seed vigor in the Boutaleb variety after inoculation with the Pa strain alone or in combination with the B25 strain. The results showed that the germination capacity depends on the wheat variety. It seemed to be better in the Bousselam variety. Analysis of the results of morphological plant parameters in sterile compost after 75 days under controlled conditions (16 h light, 26/16 °C day/night) showed a significant improvement in plant growth in both wheat varieties with the Pa strain alone or in combination. Chlorophyll (a, and total), carotenoid, and total soluble sugars were significantly increased, while proline and MDA were strongly reduced by inoculation of the Bousselam variety. Bacterial survival of the Pa and B25 strains in the rhizosphere of sterile compost was appreciable (105–107 CFU/g) for both the Pa and B25 strains. Only the Pa strain was endophytic and able to colonize roots. Contrary to sterile compost, the different inoculation treatments in natural soil (after 114 days) significantly improved all morphological parameters and chlorophyll pigments in both wheat varieties. The reduction of proline contents at the leaf level was observed with Pa, mainly in Bousselam. Bacterial densities of the rhizosphere and endophyte cultivable communities did not differ significantly. However, the number of cultivable beneficial bacteria isolated from roots and rhizosphere with multiple PGP traits was significantly increased. Bacterial survival of CMC-coated seed inoculum was appreciable and remained constant, especially for the Pa strain, during 21 months at room temperature. Based on these results, the PGPR used after seed priming would be a feasible and sustainable strategy to improve soil fertility and promote growth of durum wheat in stressful and non-stressful environments. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

24 pages, 3389 KiB  
Article
Consecutive Application Effects of Washed Rice Water on Plant Growth, Soil Chemical Properties, Nutrient Leaching, and Soil Bacterial Population on Three Different Soil Textures over Three Planting Cycles
by Abba Nabayi, Christopher Boon Sung Teh, Ali Kee Zuan Tan and Ngai Paing Tan
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2220; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092220 - 18 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 7194
Abstract
The benefits of washed rice water (WRW) as a plant fertilizer, particularly over a consecutive application period, are not well studied. An experiment was therefore carried out to determine: the continuous effects of applying unfermented (F0) and 3-day fermented (F3) WRW on the: [...] Read more.
The benefits of washed rice water (WRW) as a plant fertilizer, particularly over a consecutive application period, are not well studied. An experiment was therefore carried out to determine: the continuous effects of applying unfermented (F0) and 3-day fermented (F3) WRW on the: (1) soil chemical properties, soil bacterial count, and the growth and plant nutrient content of a test crop, choy sum (Brassica chinensis var. parachinensis), grown on three contrasting soil textures (sandy clay loam, clay, and silt loam); (2) nutrient leaching losses from these three soils due to the continuous application of WRW; (3) crops’ improvement in water use, if any, in terms of its water productivity (WP) and water use efficiency (WUE); and (4) the relationship between soil bacterial count and plant growth parameters. The effects of F0 and F3 were compared with conventional NPK fertilizer and a control (only tap water; CON). Two factors, treatments and soil types, were used factorially in a randomized complete block design for three consecutive planting cycles. Results showed that NPK and F3 produced a significantly (p < 0.01) higher plant growth in terms of fresh and dry leaf weights and total leaf area by 5 to 61%, compared to that obtained in the other treatments. Furthermore, plants receiving either NPK or F3 had a significantly higher plant nutrient content (P, K, Ca, Mg, and Cu) in the third planting cycle. Clay soil treated with F3, NPK, and F0 had significantly higher NH4+, P, Ca, Mg, Zn, and B, by 19 to 152% relative to the other soils, irrespective of treatments. Soil nutrient leaching losses of P, K, Ca, Mg, Cu, Zn, and B decreased with successive planting cycles for all treatments. However, soils treated with either F3 or F0 experienced higher leaching of NH4+ and NO3  by 37 to 259% and 13 to 34%, respectively, relative to the NPK and CON. Plants treated with either NPK or F3 also had higher WP by 21 to 42% than the other treatments. For all the treatments, plants’ WUE increased with successive planting cycles; however, there was no significant difference between the treatments. F3 stimulated a significantly higher growth and yield of choy sum due to its nutrient and bacterial contents, and the continuous increase in plant growth with successive planting cycles indicated the carryover effects of the treatments, particularly by F3. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farming Sustainability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 6005 KiB  
Article
Crop Water Requirement and Utilization Efficiency-Based Planting Structure Optimization in the Southern Huang-Huai-Hai Plain
by Jian Liu, Bin Sun, Hongli Shen, Pengfei Ding, Dongfeng Ning, Jiyang Zhang and Xinqiang Qiu
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2219; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092219 - 18 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2208
Abstract
Optimizing planting structure that balances both high yield and water resources shortage is essential for developing efficient water-saving agriculture. To provide insights about the relationship between planting structure optimization and water resource constraint, crop water requirement, precipitation coupling degree, gross total water requirement [...] Read more.
Optimizing planting structure that balances both high yield and water resources shortage is essential for developing efficient water-saving agriculture. To provide insights about the relationship between planting structure optimization and water resource constraint, crop water requirement, precipitation coupling degree, gross total water requirement and irrigation project metrics were calculated and analyzed with the dataset collected from 16 locations in Xuchang City, China. The strategy of reducing the planting proportion of high water-consumption crops and increasing low consumption and high precipitation coupling degree crops was adopted to determine a suitable water-saving planting scheme based on the IQR (interquartile range) method. Evapotranspiration had a decreasing trend from northwest to southeast areas. There were positive correlations between gross total water requirement (GTWR) and annual total yields (r = 0.825, p = 0.002), and between GTWR and proportion of vegetable planting areas (PVPA) (r = 0.734, p = 0.0101). The GTWR was negatively correlated with the ratio of water-saving irrigated areas to effective irrigated areas (RSEA), proportion of wheat planting areas (PWPA) and proportion of bean planting areas (PBPA), with coefficients of −0.787, −0.936 and −0.828, respectively. The planting proportion of winter wheat, summer maize, vegetables and flowers decreased by 8.8%, 25.8%, 16.2%, and 28.7%, respectively, while oil-beans and tubers increased by 62.4% and 95.6%, respectively. The irrigation water consumption was reduced by 5.2%, saving 3.25 × 107 m3 irrigation water without sacrificing economic benefits after adjusting for the whole region. Consequently, precipitation coupling degree, water-saving technology and historical planting habits should be considered when optimizing cropping distributions. This research provided a new theoretical basis and comprehensive approach for agriculture irrigation water management and regional planting structure optimization from a realistic perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Water Use and Irrigation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 573 KiB  
Article
Recycling Electric Arc Furnace Slag into Fertilizer: Effects of “Waste Product” on Growth and Physiology of the Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)
by Sandra Radić, Dubravka Sandev, Krešimir Maldini, Valerija Vujčić Bok, Hrvoje Lepeduš and Ana-Marija Domijan
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2218; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092218 - 17 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2201
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate if electric arc furnace (EAF) slag generated during steel production could have an application as a soil enhancer in agriculture. For that purpose, a greenhouse experiment was conducted on common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate if electric arc furnace (EAF) slag generated during steel production could have an application as a soil enhancer in agriculture. For that purpose, a greenhouse experiment was conducted on common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) cultivated in soil enriched with EAF slag (at 1% and 2% level), synthetic fertilizer (NPK), combined EAF slag and synthetic fertilizer, or in control (untreated) soil. The beans were exposed to test soils until maturity (for 8 weeks). Following that period, physico-chemical properties of the soils, as well as nutrient status, growth, photosynthetic and oxidative stress parameters of bean plants were determined. EAF slag improved the mineral status of the soil and significantly increased Fe, Mg, N, P and K in different bean plant organs. EAF slag and/or NPK increased plant height. EAF slag, especially at lower levels, positively affected dry weight of leaf and seed. Soil supplementation with a lower level of EAF slag, as well as with a combination of EAF slag and NPK, led to significant improvement in gas exchange parameters (net photosynthetic rate, intercellular CO2 concentration and stomatal conductance) and nitrate reductase activity, indicating a positive influence on bean plants. Potential phytotoxicity of EAF slag was not detected, as evidenced by the oxidative stress parameters. Thus, EAF slag applied at a low level shows promising potential as an efficient soil enhancer, and as a valuable source of nutrients essential to plants, with an equal or even better performance compared to synthetic fertilizer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Soil and Plant Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 1405 KiB  
Article
Identification of Phytochemical Compounds, Functional Properties and Antioxidant Activity of Germinated Purple Corn Protein Concentrate and Its Gastrointestinal Hydrolysates
by Edgar Vilcacundo, Vinicio Montalvo, Herminia Sanaguano, Roberto Moran, Wilman Carrillo and Antón García
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2217; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092217 - 17 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1804
Abstract
Purple corn seeds germinated at 25 °C and 35 °C for 5 days were used to obtain purple corn protein concentrate (PCPC25 and PCPC35). PCPC25 and PCPC35 were subject to gastrointestinal hydrolysis. PCPC and its hydrolysates were used to evaluate their functional and [...] Read more.
Purple corn seeds germinated at 25 °C and 35 °C for 5 days were used to obtain purple corn protein concentrate (PCPC25 and PCPC35). PCPC25 and PCPC35 were subject to gastrointestinal hydrolysis. PCPC and its hydrolysates were used to evaluate their functional and biological properties. Total flavonoid content (TFC), total flavonol content (TFLC), total anthocyanin content (TAC) and total proanthocyanin (TAP) were determined. The polyphenols and flavonoids were identified by UPLC-QDa. Protein solubility (PS), water and oil absorption capacity (WAC and OAC) were determined. The antioxidant activity was evaluated by the FRAP, ABTS and DPPH methods. PCPC35 showed the highest TFLC values (11,091.37 mg rutin equivalents (RE)/100 g dry weight DW), and TFL presented values of 7975.59 mg RE/100 g DW. The PCPCs presented better functional properties than the hydrolysates. PCPC25 presented a PS of 59.43%PS at pH 8.0, 27.77%WAC and 24.94%OAC. PCPC25 and PCPC35 showed high values of antioxidant activity. PCPC25 showed ABTS values (570.97 µmol trolox equivalents (TE)/g DW) and FRAP (772.85 µmol TE/g DW). PCPCs hydrolysates were less active with ABTS values (74.12 µmol TE/g DW) and FRAP (59.42 µmol TE/g DW). Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 3338 KiB  
Article
Interpreting Variety–Location–Fertilizer Interactions to Enhance Foxtail Millet Productivity in Northern China
by Jihan Cui, Xueyan Xia, Yu Zhao, Meng Liu, Nuoya Xiao, Shuai Guo, Yiwei Lu, Junxia Li, Zhimin Wei, Fangchao Gao, Ping Yang and Shunguo Li
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2216; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092216 - 17 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2720
Abstract
Foxtail millet (Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv.) is an important traditional cereal crop in dryland ecological agriculture in China and is widely grown in India, the United States, and Nigeria. It is of significance to understand the variety–location–fertilizer (V–L–F) interaction for highly [...] Read more.
Foxtail millet (Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv.) is an important traditional cereal crop in dryland ecological agriculture in China and is widely grown in India, the United States, and Nigeria. It is of significance to understand the variety–location–fertilizer (V–L–F) interaction for highly efficient production. Therefore, a two-year field experiment was conducted with six varieties in five locations, and data were analyzed by combined ANOVA analysis, redundancy analysis (RDA), and additive main multiplicative interaction (AMMI). The results showed that the mean sum of squares was significantly different among years, locations, varieties, fertilizations, and their interactions, except for Y–V and V–F interactions. The contributions of various factors to yield variation varied, location was the largest contributor (38.7%), followed by year (33.6%), and variety and fertilizer contributed 7.1% and 3.2%, respectively. JI25 was widely adapted, and its yield was stable and higher than that of others over diverse environments in two years. The RDA results showed that two principal components explained more than 66.1% of the yield variance, while more than 63.0% of the variances were clustered in the first factor. Excessive single rainfall or total rainfall and air temperature (especially minimum temperature) were significantly associated with the millet yield. The results offered an important reference for variety layout, natural resource potential mining, and formulation of efficient green cultural practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Soil and Plant Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 6898 KiB  
Article
Bioactivity of Ethanolic Extracts of Dipteryx punctata on Colletotrichum musae
by Bruna Cristine Martins de Sousa, Daniel do Amaral Gomes, Thiago Almeida Vieira and Denise Castro Lustosa
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2215; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092215 - 17 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1971
Abstract
Bioactivity with antifungal properties has already been reported for some species of the genus Dipteryx. However, little is known about Dipteryx punctata. We evaluated the antifungal activity, in vitro and in vivo, of extracts of leaves, branches and fruits of D. [...] Read more.
Bioactivity with antifungal properties has already been reported for some species of the genus Dipteryx. However, little is known about Dipteryx punctata. We evaluated the antifungal activity, in vitro and in vivo, of extracts of leaves, branches and fruits of D. punctata on Colletotrichum musae, the causal agent of anthracnose in bananas. The extracts and the coumarin standard were tested in vitro, at concentrations of 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50% (w/v), added in potato-dextrose-agar (PDA) medium. The experimental design was completely randomized, factorial design, with four replications. The average diameter of the fungal colonies was evaluated daily for eight days, and at the end, the percentage of inhibition and growth rates were calculated. For in vivo tests, the products were tested at concentrations of 40% and 50%, in preventive and curative applications. In these tests, three medium disks (5 mm) containing phytopathogen structures were deposited at opposite points of the fruits, and remained in a humid chamber for 48 h. Anthracnose lesions were measured at an interval of two days, up to eight days after fungus inoculation. In the in vitro essay, the extracts of the branches and residues of the fruits of D. punctata and the coumarin pattern caused the biggest reductions in the average diameter of the colonies of the phytopathogen. D. punctata and coumarin extracts were promising in terms of in vivo antifungal activity, especially in preventive applications, being an important source of investigation for the formulation of natural products as sustainable phytosanitary measures. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 1855 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Simultaneous Effect of Total Ion Concentration and K:Ca:Mg Ratio of the Nutrient Solution on the Growth and Nutritional Value of Hydroponically Grown Cichorium spinosum L.
by Orfeas Voutsinos-Frantzis, Georgia Ntatsi, Ioannis Karavidas, Ioannis Neofytou, Konstantinos Deriziotis, Andreas Ropokis, Beppe Benedetto Consentino, Leo Sabatino and Dimitrios Savvas
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2214; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092214 - 16 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1955
Abstract
Nutrient-efficient plants and agricultural systems could tackle issues resulting from conventional agriculture. Spiny chicory (Cichorium spinosum L.), a very adaptive, wild edible vegetable, is gaining commercial interest as a functional food. Floating-raft hydroponics is a method commonly used for the commercial cultivation [...] Read more.
Nutrient-efficient plants and agricultural systems could tackle issues resulting from conventional agriculture. Spiny chicory (Cichorium spinosum L.), a very adaptive, wild edible vegetable, is gaining commercial interest as a functional food. Floating-raft hydroponics is a method commonly used for the commercial cultivation of leafy vegetables due to numerous advantages compared to soil cultivation. In this paper, the simultaneous effects of different potassium, calcium and magnesium ratios and different electrical conductivity (EC) levels on the growth and mineral composition of hydroponically grown C. spinosum were investigated. Four nutrient solutions (NS) were compared, two NS with low EC (L, 2.4 dS/m) and two with high EC (H, 3.6 dS/m) with K:Ca:Mg ratios of either 50:40:10 or 40:50:10. The results showed no interactions between the two factors. No significant effects were observed on the fresh and dry weight, leaf number and leaf area. High EC levels increased the K content and decreased the Mn and Zn content in the leaf tissues. The 40:50:10 ratio led to increased Ca content in plant tissues. The Nitrate-N was only affected by the EC level and was increased under H conditions, whereas the total-N was not affected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Horticultural and Floricultural Crops)
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 4404 KiB  
Article
Predicting Plant Growth and Development Using Time-Series Images
by Chunying Wang, Weiting Pan, Xubin Song, Haixia Yu, Junke Zhu, Ping Liu and Xiang Li
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2213; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092213 - 16 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2702
Abstract
Early prediction of the growth and development of plants is important for the intelligent breeding process, yet accurate prediction and simulation of plant phenotypes is difficult. In this work, a prediction model of plant growth and development based on spatiotemporal long short-term memory [...] Read more.
Early prediction of the growth and development of plants is important for the intelligent breeding process, yet accurate prediction and simulation of plant phenotypes is difficult. In this work, a prediction model of plant growth and development based on spatiotemporal long short-term memory (ST-LSTM) and memory in memory network (MIM) was proposed to predict the image sequences of future growth and development including plant organs such as ears. A novel dataset of wheat growth and development was also compiled. The performance of the prediction model of plant growth and development was evaluated by calculating structural similarity index measure (SSIM), mean square error (MSE), and peak signal to noise ratio (PSNR) between the predicted and real plant images. Moreover, the optimal number of time steps and the optimal time interval between steps were determined for the proposed model on the wheat growth and development dataset. Under the optimal setting, the SSIM values surpassed 84% for all time steps. The mean of MSE values was 46.11 and the MSE values were below 68 for all time steps. The mean of PSNR values was 30.67. When the number of prediction steps was set to eight, the prediction model had the best prediction performance on the public Panicoid Phenomap-1 dataset. The SSIM values surpassed 78% for all time steps. The mean of MSE values was 77.78 and the MSE values were below 118 for all time steps. The mean of PSNR values was 29.03. The results showed a high degree of similarity between the predicted images and the real images of plant growth and development and verified the validity, reliability, and feasibility of the proposed model. The study shows the potential to provide the plant phenotyping community with an efficient tool that can perform high-throughput phenotyping and predict future plant growth. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 3340 KiB  
Article
Monitoring Growth Status of Winter Oilseed Rape by NDVI and NDYI Derived from UAV-Based Red–Green–Blue Imagery
by Nazanin Zamani-Noor and Dominik Feistkorn
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2212; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092212 - 16 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2456
Abstract
The current study aimed to evaluate the potential of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and the normalized difference yellowness index (NDYI) derived from red–green–blue (RGB) imaging to monitor the growth status of winter oilseed rape from seeding to the ripening stage. Subsequently, [...] Read more.
The current study aimed to evaluate the potential of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and the normalized difference yellowness index (NDYI) derived from red–green–blue (RGB) imaging to monitor the growth status of winter oilseed rape from seeding to the ripening stage. Subsequently, collected values were used to evaluate their correlations with the yield of oilseed rape. Field trials with three seed densities and three nitrogen rates were conducted for two years in Salzdahlum, Germany. The images were rapidly taken by an unmanned aerial vehicle carrying a Micasense Altum multi-spectral camera at 25 m altitudes. The NDVI and NDYI values for each plot were calculated from the reflectance at RGB and near-infrared (NIR) bands’ wavelengths pictured in a reconstructed and segmented ortho-mosaic. The findings support the potential of phenotyping data derived from NDVI and NDYI time series for precise oilseed rape phenological monitoring with all growth stages, such as the seedling stage and crop growth before winter, the formation of side shoots and stem elongation after winter, the flowering stage, maturity, ripening, and senescence stages according to the crop calendar. However, in comparing the correlation results between NDVI and NDYI with the final yield, the NDVI values turn out to be more reliable than the NDYI for the real-time remote sensing monitoring of winter oilseed rape growth in the whole season in the study area. In contrast, the correlation between NDYI and the yield revealed that the NDYI value is more suitable for monitoring oilseed rape genotypes during flowering stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Precision and Digital Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 1316 KiB  
Article
Agronomic Performance of Kale (Brassica oleracea) and Swiss Chard (Beta vulgaris) Grown on Soil Amended with Black Soldier Fly Frass Fertilizer under Wonder Multistorey Gardening System
by Andrew Agrey Abiya, David Mfuti Kupesa, Dennis Beesigamukama, Menale Kassie, Dennis Mureithi, Daniel Thairu, John Wesonga, Chrysantus M. Tanga and Saliou Niassy
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2211; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092211 - 16 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3314
Abstract
The wonder multistorey garden (WMSG) is an innovative vertical farming system tailored for urban settings that can be constrained by the irrigation regime, and by types and levels of fertilizer application. This study evaluated the effects of applying NPK fertilizer and black soldier [...] Read more.
The wonder multistorey garden (WMSG) is an innovative vertical farming system tailored for urban settings that can be constrained by the irrigation regime, and by types and levels of fertilizer application. This study evaluated the effects of applying NPK fertilizer and black soldier fly frass fertilizer (BSFFF) under different irrigation regimes on the growth, yield, and pest infestation of kale (Brassica oleracea) and Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris). The fertilizers were applied at rates equivalent to 371 kg N ha−1. For each crop, the BSFFF or NPK was applied to supply 100% of the N required (100% BSFFF), and then a combination of BSFFF and NPK was applied so that each fertilizer supplied 50% of the N required (50% BSFFF + 50% NPK). Crops’ water requirements were provided using three irrigation regimes: daily, every two days, and every three days. The control treatment was not amended with any fertilizer, while water was provided ad libitum. The results revealed that the irrigation regime significantly affected the leaf production of both vegetables. Irrigation regimes significantly influenced kale plant height, where plants provided with water daily achieved the highest average heights of 20 cm, 46 cm, and 54 cm at 14, 28, and 42 days after transplanting (DAT), respectively. Furthermore, the application of 100% BSFFF produced kale with significantly higher plant heights (55 cm) and number of leaves (9.9 leaves) at 42 DAT compared to other treatments. The interaction between irrigation regimes and fertilizer significantly influenced kale height at 14 DAT and 42 DAT. Use of daily irrigation regime and 100% BSFFF produced the tallest kale plants of 59 cm at 42 DAT. Application of 50% BSFFF + 50% NPK or 100% BSFFF with daily irrigation achieved the highest values of kale and Swiss chard leaf chlorophyll concentration, recorded at 42 DAT. Fertilizer application significantly affected pest population, with the lowest pest infestation being recorded from kale and Swiss chard grown in soil amended with BSFFF. The application of 100% BSFFF or NPK, together with daily irrigation, significantly increased the fresh shoot weight and leaf dry matter of kale and Swiss chard, as compared with the control. The fresh shoot yields of kale and Swiss chard achieved through using a combination of 100% BSFFF and daily irrigation were 14–69% and 13–56% higher than those of NPK, respectively. The same treatment combination also produced kales and Swiss chard with 8–73% and 16–81% higher leaf dry matter compared to NPK, respectively. It was noted that soil amendment with BSFFF maintained higher values of kale (41–50%) and Swiss chard (33–49%) leaf dry matter compared with NPK treatments, during periods of water stress. Our study has demonstrated the high potential of single (100% BSFFF) or combined applications of BSFFF (50% BSFFF + 50% NPK) with a daily irrigation regime to improve the growth, yield, and pest management in Swiss chard and kale under vertical farming. Our study advocates for the scaling of WMSG and BSFFF for sustainable food systems in urban settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Innovation and Solution for Sustainable Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 2476 KiB  
Review
GIS-Based Cropland Suitability Prediction Using Machine Learning: A Novel Approach to Sustainable Agricultural Production
by Dorijan Radočaj and Mladen Jurišić
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2210; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092210 - 16 Sep 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2783
Abstract
The increasing global demand for food has forced farmers to produce higher crop yields in order to keep up with population growth, while maintaining sustainable production for the environment. As knowledge about natural cropland suitability is mandatory to achieve this, the aim of [...] Read more.
The increasing global demand for food has forced farmers to produce higher crop yields in order to keep up with population growth, while maintaining sustainable production for the environment. As knowledge about natural cropland suitability is mandatory to achieve this, the aim of this paper is to provide a review of methods for suitability prediction according to abiotic environmental criteria. The conventional method for calculating cropland suitability in previous studies was a geographic information system (GIS)-based multicriteria analysis, dominantly in combination with the analytic hierarchy process (AHP). Although this is a flexible and widely accepted method, it has significant fundamental drawbacks, such as a lack of accuracy assessment, high subjectivity, computational inefficiency, and an unsystematic approach to selecting environmental criteria. To improve these drawbacks, methods for determining cropland suitability based on machine learning have been developed in recent studies. These novel methods contribute to an important paradigm shift when determining cropland suitability, being objective, automated, computationally efficient, and viable for widespread global use due to the availability of open data sources on a global scale. Nevertheless, both approaches produce invaluable complimentary benefits to cropland management planning, with novel methods being more appropriate for major crops and conventional methods more appropriate for less frequent crops. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 2188 KiB  
Article
Expansion of Field Margin Size Mitigate the Hazard of Rotary Tillage to Earthworm in Rice-Rape Rotation System
by Chao Li, Yang Zhao, Kaikai Cheng, Junyu Zhou, Xiaoping Xiao, Anas Iqbal, Haiming Tang and Min Huang
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2209; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092209 - 16 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1465
Abstract
Field margin (FM) provides refuges for earthworm survival in rape-rice system after flooding, while the effects of FM with different size on earthworm in arable field (AF) is unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of different FM sizes, a conventional size [...] Read more.
Field margin (FM) provides refuges for earthworm survival in rape-rice system after flooding, while the effects of FM with different size on earthworm in arable field (AF) is unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of different FM sizes, a conventional size (FM I) and three expanding sizes (FM II, FM III, FM IV), on earthworm population characteristics in FM and AF. The results showed that the mean abundance of earthworm under the expanding sizes at 1 day and 60 day of flooding after rape harvest was 16.5 and 20.2 times higher than that of FM I, respectively. After stopping flooding, juveniles first migrated from FM to AF, whereas more than half of them were killed by subsequent rotary tillage, and the mortality decreased with expanding FM size. Subsequently, expanding FM sizes promoted earthworm to distribute evenly through the AF at faster speeds. At rape maturity, the mean abundance and total biomass of earthworm of AF under expanding FM sizes were significantly greater than that of FM I, and this positive effect increased with expanding FM size. The results indicated that expanding FM size can mitigate the hazard of rotary tillage to earthworm and promote rapid recovery of earthworm population in AF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Memory of Professor Longping Yuan, the Father of Hybrid Rice)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop