Next Issue
Volume 11, September
Previous Issue
Volume 11, July
 
 

Agriculture, Volume 11, Issue 8 (August 2021) – 117 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Conservation agriculture (CA) is a system of crop production that employs minimal soil disturbance, permanent soil cover, and diverse crop rotations including legumes. This system is known as a sustainable practice with the potential to increase numerous provisioning, regulating and supporting ecosystem services, including: increased yield and crop productivity, improved water storage, increased soil fertility, decreased erosion, improved air and water quality, decreased greenhouse gas emissions, moderation of extreme events (drought/floods) and improvements in soil biodiversity. This review paper provides comprehensive information on the links between the components of CA and ecosystem services. It also highlights the need for an in-depth understanding of CA and a multidisciplinary approach to decode the complexities involved in soil–climate-management-dependent CA. 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, 32118 KiB  
Article
Wheat Straw Incorporation Affecting Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Fractions in Chinese Paddy Soil
by Wei Dai, Jun Wang, Kaikai Fang, Luqi Cao, Zhimin Sha and Linkui Cao
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 803; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080803 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3226
Abstract
Soil organic carbon (SOC) and nitrogen (N) fractions greatly affect soil health and quality. This study explored the effects of wheat straw incorporation on Chinese rice paddy fields with four treatments: (1) a control (CK), (2) a mineral NPK fertilizer (NPK), (3) the [...] Read more.
Soil organic carbon (SOC) and nitrogen (N) fractions greatly affect soil health and quality. This study explored the effects of wheat straw incorporation on Chinese rice paddy fields with four treatments: (1) a control (CK), (2) a mineral NPK fertilizer (NPK), (3) the moderate wheat straw (3 t ha−1) plus NPK (MSNPK), and (4) the high wheat straw (6 t ha−1) plus NPK (HSNPK). In total, 0–5, 5–10, 10–20, and 20–30 cm soil depths were sampled from paddy soil in China. Compared with the CK, the HSNPK treatment (p < 0.05) increased the C fraction content (from 13.91 to 53.78%), mainly including SOC, microbial biomass C (MBC), water-soluble organic C (WSOC), and labile organic C (LOC) in the soil profile (0–30 cm), and it also (p < 0.05) increased the soil N fraction content (from 10.70 to 55.31%) such as the soil total N (TN) at 0–10 cm depth, microbial biomass N (MBN) at 0–20 cm depth, total water-soluble N (WSTN) at 0–5 and 20–30 cm depths, and total labile N (LTN) at 0–30 cm depth. The primary components of soil LOC and LTN are MBC and MBN. Various soil C and N fractions positively correlated with each other (p < 0.05). The HSNPK treatment promoted the soil MBC, WSOC, and LOC to SOC ratios, and also promoted MBN, WSTN, and LTN to soil TN ratios at a depth of 0–20 cm. To summarize, the application of HSNPK could maintain and improve rice paddy soil quality, which leads to increased rice grain yields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Carbon and Nitrogen in Agricultural Systems)
Show Figures

Figure 1

25 pages, 11705 KiB  
Article
Deep-Learning Temporal Predictor via Bidirectional Self-Attentive Encoder–Decoder Framework for IOT-Based Environmental Sensing in Intelligent Greenhouse
by Xue-Bo Jin, Wei-Zhen Zheng, Jian-Lei Kong, Xiao-Yi Wang, Min Zuo, Qing-Chuan Zhang and Seng Lin
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 802; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080802 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 67 | Viewed by 4782
Abstract
Smart agricultural greenhouses provide well-controlled conditions for crop cultivation but require accurate prediction of environmental factors to ensure ideal crop growth and management efficiency. Due to the limitations of existing predictors in dealing with massive, nonlinear, and dynamic temporal data, this study proposes [...] Read more.
Smart agricultural greenhouses provide well-controlled conditions for crop cultivation but require accurate prediction of environmental factors to ensure ideal crop growth and management efficiency. Due to the limitations of existing predictors in dealing with massive, nonlinear, and dynamic temporal data, this study proposes a bidirectional self-attentive encoder–decoder framework (BEDA) to construct the long-time predictor for multiple environmental factors with high nonlinearity and noise in a smart greenhouse. Firstly, the original data are denoised by wavelet threshold filter and pretreatment operations. Secondly, the bidirectional long short-term-memory is selected as the fundamental unit to extract time-serial features. Then, the multi-head self-attention mechanism is incorporated into the encoder–decoder framework to improve the prediction performance. Experimental investigations are conducted in a practical greenhouse to accurately predict indoor environmental factors (temperature, humidity, and CO2) from noisy IoT-based sensors. The best model for all datasets was the proposed BEDA method, with the root mean square error of three factors’ prediction reduced to 2.726, 3.621, and 49.817, and with an R of 0.749 for temperature, 0.848 for humidity, and 0.8711 for CO2 concentration, respectively. The experimental results show that the favorable prediction accuracy, robustness, and generalization of the proposed method make it suitable to more precisely manage greenhouses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Development Trends of Intelligent Greenhouses)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 2917 KiB  
Article
Development of a Quarantine Postharvest Treatment against Guatemalan Potato Moth (Tecia solanivora Povolny)
by María Gloria Lobo, Cristina González-García, Raimundo Cabrera and Domingo Ríos
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 801; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080801 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2920
Abstract
Tecia solanivora is a quarantine organism regarded as one of the insect pests causing major economic losses during potato cultivation and storage in Central America. The potatoes trade between countries, the interest in introducing new potato varieties, the great adaptability of the insect [...] Read more.
Tecia solanivora is a quarantine organism regarded as one of the insect pests causing major economic losses during potato cultivation and storage in Central America. The potatoes trade between countries, the interest in introducing new potato varieties, the great adaptability of the insect to different agro-ecological conditions, and the globalization world are serious risks in other potato growing countries. This pest was first recorded in Europe in the Canary Islands, Spain, in 1999, later in Galicia (2015) and then in Asturias (2016). Unfortunately, there are no effective chemical treatments for field control, and their integrated management has variable efficacy. Therefore, the implementation of a postharvest treatment to eradicate the insect, at any stage, during storage and marketing of potato becomes essential to achieve a product free of the insect that prevents its dissemination while maintaining the quality during its commercialization. This article presents the development of a new postharvest treatment of potatoes to eliminate all developmental stages of the Guatemalan moth by the application of a control atmosphere enriched in carbon dioxide. Infested potatoes were exposed to different control atmospheres combination (10, 20, 30, 40, or 50% CO2, 20% O2, and rest of N2). These treatments were applied for 4, 7, and 10 days at 18 ± 2 °C. The 10 days duration treatment (30 ± 2% CO2, 20 ± 2% O2 and 50 ± 2% N2) killed the insect in the semi and commercial trials performed without affecting potatoes quality and postharvest life, giving the possibility of its consideration as a quarantine postharvest treatment against T. solanivora. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 2010 KiB  
Article
Potential Ecological Risks of Heavy Metals in Agricultural Soil Alongside Highways and Their Relationship with Landscape
by Cong Xu, Jie Pu, Bo Wen and Min Xia
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 800; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080800 - 22 Aug 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2611
Abstract
The agricultural soil alongside highways has experienced multiple potential ecological risks from human activities. In this study, 100 soil samples near the highways were collected in Lishui District, Nanjing City. Using the single-factor pollution index, the Nemerow comprehensive pollution index, and the potential [...] Read more.
The agricultural soil alongside highways has experienced multiple potential ecological risks from human activities. In this study, 100 soil samples near the highways were collected in Lishui District, Nanjing City. Using the single-factor pollution index, the Nemerow comprehensive pollution index, and the potential ecological risk index, the study investigated the heavy metal contents and distribution in roadside agricultural soil. PCA and a multiple regression model were applied to quantitatively analyze the spatial relationships between sampling soil heavy metal accumulation and the surrounding man-made landscape. The mean contents of Cu and Pb exceeded the background, while Cd, Cr, and Zn were lower than that. The potential ecological risk index exhibited a very low ecological hazard and only Cr in soils rarely showed moderate risk. Furthermore, quantitative analysis for the sources of contamination revealed that agricultural practices were the dominant contributors to the heavy metals, including Cd, Cu, and Zn, while road and heavy industrial practices contributed to Cr and Pb. The study provides sources of heavy metal pollution from human activities in roadside agricultural land and serves as a reference for ecological restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and Side Effects of Heavy Metals in Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 1154 KiB  
Article
Global Wheat Market Dynamics: What Is the Role of the EU and the Black Sea Wheat Exporters?
by Miranda Svanidze and Ivan Đurić
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 799; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080799 - 22 Aug 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 5080
Abstract
Over the last two decades, three countries in the Black Sea Region—Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan—became global leaders in grain production and trade, and replaced the USA and France as the most previous largest wheat exporting countries. In this study we investigate world wheat [...] Read more.
Over the last two decades, three countries in the Black Sea Region—Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan—became global leaders in grain production and trade, and replaced the USA and France as the most previous largest wheat exporting countries. In this study we investigate world wheat price linkages and identify the current “price leaders” of the global wheat market. This empirical analysis is focused on the price relationships between eight of the largest wheat exporting countries and uses a cointegration framework and a vector error-correction model. The results show that, regarding price formation on the world wheat market, the French price is more important for transmitting price signals to other wheat export markets compared to the USA. Furthermore, our results indicate that, despite being leaders in wheat export volumes, the Black Sea wheat prices in Russia and Ukraine adjust to price changes in France, the USA, and Canada. Albeit unrealistic in the short run, the creation of the futures market in the Black Sea region might significantly improve the participation of Black Sea markets in price formation of the global wheat market. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 1486 KiB  
Article
Impact of Contract Farming on Farmers’ Income in the Food Value Chain: A Theoretical Analysis and Empirical Study in Vietnam
by Viet Hoang
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 797; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080797 - 21 Aug 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 12744
Abstract
This study empirically analyzes the influence of contract farming on income and farming difficulties in Vietnam by using the econometric models and theoretically identifying the affecting mechanism of contract farming on income, sustainability, and welfare by using the qualitative method. The empirical results [...] Read more.
This study empirically analyzes the influence of contract farming on income and farming difficulties in Vietnam by using the econometric models and theoretically identifying the affecting mechanism of contract farming on income, sustainability, and welfare by using the qualitative method. The empirical results show that contract farming insignificantly impacts farms’ income while it can facilitate farming activities and decrease difficulties. The factors of education—head, gender of head, type of crop, and technology may affect farmers’ income. The impacting mechanism of contract farming on income, sustainability, and welfare is theoretically proposed as follows: Contract farming initially impacts the intermediate factors such as cooperative, market access, knowledge and skill, product quality, technology, and support. These factors then affect capacity, linkage, quality, and certification which can enhance farmers’ competitiveness. In the long term, stronger competitiveness, higher price, increasing productivity, and lower cost may significantly improve income, sustainability, and welfare. In general, contract farming may have positive impacts on income, sustainability, and welfare in the medium term and long term. In the short term, the result is not significant due to the similar or lower price comparing with the spot market price, growing production cost, decreasing productivity, and weak contract performance. The findings may help policymakers decide how to expand contract farming and its benefits. Economic scholars can test and compare both quantitative and qualitative findings in other contexts. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1570 KiB  
Article
Response of Hops to Algae-Based and Nutrient-Rich Foliar Sprays
by Sandra Afonso, Margarida Arrobas and M. Ângelo Rodrigues
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 798; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080798 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2622
Abstract
Over recent years, some hopyards of northeast Portugal have presented poorly developed plants and reduced productivity. In this study, an attempt was made to improve the homogeneity of hop fields and restore their productivity by using plant biostimulants as foliar sprays. The experimental [...] Read more.
Over recent years, some hopyards of northeast Portugal have presented poorly developed plants and reduced productivity. In this study, an attempt was made to improve the homogeneity of hop fields and restore their productivity by using plant biostimulants as foliar sprays. The experimental apparatus included four field trials carried out in four plots of different plant vigour, as evaluated by farmers over previous years (weak, fair, good and very good). The experiments were arranged as a factorial of foliar treatment (two plant biostimulants containing extracts of seaweed algae and an untreated control) and year (2017 and 2018). The plot and the year influenced greatly almost all the measured variables related to tissue nutrient concentration and crop performance. In the control plots, cone dry matter (DM) yield varied from 83.3 to 394.4 g plant−1 from the weak to the very good plots. In 2018, cone DM yield was significantly higher than in 2017. The use of foliar sprays influenced less the elemental composition of plant tissue than the plot or the year. The use of foliar sprays only increased significantly crop yield in the plot of weak plant vigour. The foliar treatments did not increase α- and β-acid concentration in the cones; in the control treatment of the most productive plot, the values were, respectively, 11.2 and 3.9%. Although seaweed extracts tend to help plants cope with several abiotic and biotic stresses, they showed to be effective in mitigating the stress that is affecting these plants, which probably is poor soil drainage caused by the flooding irrigation system, only under conditions of severe stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Systems and Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 5145 KiB  
Article
Tensile Properties and Fracture Mechanisms of Corn Bract for Corn Peeling Device Design
by Zhenye Li, Jun Fu and Xiwen Luo
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 796; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080796 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3506
Abstract
This paper describes the physical and tensile properties of corn bracts during a whole harvest period by using two corn cultivars, aiming to realize efficient peeling with minimum energy performance and decrease the incidence of ear damage. The value range and change rule [...] Read more.
This paper describes the physical and tensile properties of corn bracts during a whole harvest period by using two corn cultivars, aiming to realize efficient peeling with minimum energy performance and decrease the incidence of ear damage. The value range and change rule of tensile properties were obtained by combining mechanical experiments and numerical statistics. Meanwhile, mathematical models were established for tensile properties depending on bract moisture content and bract thickness. The experimental results show that the tensile properties of leaf blade were affected by the orientation between pulling force and longitudinal vein, and that parallel orientation was greater than perpendicular. Further, the tensile properties of leaf sheaths depended on the angle between pulling force and natural growth direction of the bract in the following order: 0° > 90° > 180°. A larger pulling force angle can improve the probability of bract fracturing at the root of leaf sheaths, which helps reduce bract residue on the peduncle. In addition, the fracture mechanisms of leaf blades and sheaths were expressed from physiological and morphological perspectives. The experimental results are believed to be able to provide theoretical guidance by which to design and optimize corn-peeling devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 2863 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Structure Parameters of the Grouser Shoes for Adhesion Reduction under Black Soil
by Jun Fu, Jian Li, Xinlong Tang, Ruixue Wang and Zhi Chen
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 795; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080795 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2272
Abstract
The black soil of Northeast China has a strong adhesion ability because of its unique physical properties, and the soil often adheres to the surface of the grouser shoes of tracked vehicles during the operation. The adhesion performance depends largely on structure parameters [...] Read more.
The black soil of Northeast China has a strong adhesion ability because of its unique physical properties, and the soil often adheres to the surface of the grouser shoes of tracked vehicles during the operation. The adhesion performance depends largely on structure parameters of the grouser shoes. The grouser height, the grouser thickness, and the grouser splayed angle were selected as structure parameters. The adhesion force and adhesive soil mass were selected as indicators of adhesion performance. Therefore, the mathematical model between structure parameters and response indicators was established by the response surface method (RSM). The optimal parameters combination was that the grouser height was 20 mm, grouser thickness was 6.34 mm, and grouser splayed angle was 40.45°. The average data of verification experiments occurred when the adhesion force reached 1.11 kPa and adhesive soil mass reached 22.68 g. Compared with the average value of un-optimized experiment results, the adhesion force and adhesive soil mass reduced by 12.84% and 4.63%, respectively. The relative error of the predicted values and measured values was less than 5%, proving the reliability of the regression models. This study could provide a reference method for parameters optimization, and a new structure of the grouser shoes of tracked vehicles will be designed to reduce adhesion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Structures and Mechanization)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 4769 KiB  
Article
Optimization of the Process Parameters of an Air-Screen Cleaning System for Frozen Corn Based on the Response Surface Method
by Ning Zhang, Jun Fu, Zhi Chen, Xuegeng Chen and Luquan Ren
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 794; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080794 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3160
Abstract
The threshing of frozen corn is accompanied by breakage and adherence, which influence the cleaning performance when the corn-cleaning mixture is separated and cleaned. In order to reduce the impurity ratio and loss ratio during frozen corn cleaning and provide theoretical support for [...] Read more.
The threshing of frozen corn is accompanied by breakage and adherence, which influence the cleaning performance when the corn-cleaning mixture is separated and cleaned. In order to reduce the impurity ratio and loss ratio during frozen corn cleaning and provide theoretical support for frozen corn combine harvesting, this study employed a self-made air-screen cleaning system with adjustable parameters. The optimal process parameters of frozen corn cleaning were determined by using the response surface method (RSM). The influences of the fan speed (FS), vibrational frequency (VF), and screen opening (SO) on the cleaning performance were explored. The results showed that all three process parameters had significant effects on the impurity ratio (IR) and loss ratio (LR). The fan speed had the most significant impact. The cleaning performance was optimal when the fan speed was 102.7 rad/s, the vibration frequency was 6.42 Hz, and the screen opening was 21.9 mm, corresponding to a 0.80% impurity ratio and a 0.61% loss ratio. The predicted values of the regression models were consistent with the experimental results with a relative error of less than 5%. The reliability and accuracy of regression models were established and confirmed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Structures and Mechanization)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 2061 KiB  
Article
Combined Application of Rice Husk Biochar and Lime Increases Phosphorus Availability and Maize Yield in an Acidic Soil
by Mehnaz Mosharrof, Md. Kamal Uddin, Muhammad Firdaus Sulaiman, Shamim Mia, Shordar M. Shamsuzzaman and Ahmad Numery Ashfaqul Haque
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 793; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080793 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3449
Abstract
Biochar, a pyrogenic carbon, has been receiving incremental attention for potential contribution to soil health, agricultural productivity enhancement while mitigating climate change by sequestering carbon and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, it is not well-known to us how far rice husk biochar [...] Read more.
Biochar, a pyrogenic carbon, has been receiving incremental attention for potential contribution to soil health, agricultural productivity enhancement while mitigating climate change by sequestering carbon and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, it is not well-known to us how far rice husk biochar (RHB) application rates could increase phosphorus (P) bioavailability and plant performance when co-applied with P and lime. Here, we present data of a pot experiment consisting of eleven treatments to evaluate RHB, lime, and phosphorus effect on soil phosphorus availability, CO2 emission, nutrient uptake, and yield performance of maize. Co-application of RHB (10 and 15 t ha−1) and lime (100% and 75%) was made with different rates of P (100%, 75%, and 50%). Our result revealed that, at harvest, the combined application of RHB, lime, and phosphorus fertilizer significantly increased soil pH, P availability and decreased Al and Fe toxicity relative to the control while increasing maize yield. The maximum soil pH increased by 36.75%, the highest available P increased by 158.75%, whilst, the exchangeable Al content reduced by 96.84% compared to the control treatment. However, the difference in biomass production and yield among different lime, RHB, and P were minimal, with the largest grain yield (15.50 t ha−1) was recorded in the T6 treatments (75% lime + 10 t ha−1 RHB + 100% Triple superphosphate). The increment in biomass and grain yield could have occurred due to lime and RHB mediated changes in soil properties, including enhancement of soil pH, availability of P, and other nutrients. This increased availability then increased nutrient uptake and biomass production. Our results suggest that the combined application of lime and RHB could bring favorable changes in soil properties while sacrificing some carbon from soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Biochar and Compost Amendments on Soil Fertility)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 3012 KiB  
Article
Physiological Traits of Thirty-Five Tomato Accessions in Response to Low Temperature
by Sherzod Nigmatullayevich Rajametov, Kwanuk Lee, Hyo-Bong Jeong, Myeong-Cheoul Cho, Chun-Woo Nam and Eun-Young Yang
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 792; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080792 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3853
Abstract
Tomato is often exposed to diverse abiotic stresses and cold stress is one of harsh environmental stresses. Abnormal low temperature affects tomato growth and development, leading to, e.g., physiological disorders, flower drops, and abnormal fruit morphology, and causing a decrease in tomato yield [...] Read more.
Tomato is often exposed to diverse abiotic stresses and cold stress is one of harsh environmental stresses. Abnormal low temperature affects tomato growth and development, leading to, e.g., physiological disorders, flower drops, and abnormal fruit morphology, and causing a decrease in tomato yield and fruit quality. It is important to identify low temperature-(LT) tolerant tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) cultivars relying on different fruit types. In this study, our focus was to analyze the physiological traits of 35 tomato accessions with three different fruit types (cherry, medium, and large sizes) under night temperature set-points of 15 °C for control temperature (CT) and 10 °C for LT, respectively. Plant heights (PH) of most tomato accessions in LT were remarkably decreased compared to those in CT. The leaf length (LL) and leaf width (LW) were reduced depending on the genotypes under LT. In addition, the number of fruits (NFR), fruit set (FS), fruit yield (FY), and marketable yield (MY) were negatively affected in LT. The variation was further investigated by the correlation, the principal component (PCA), and the cluster analysis. Interestingly, positive correlations between different vegetative and reproductive traits were uncovered. Multivariate analysis including the PCA and hierarchical clustering classified the LT-treated 35 tomato accessions into four major groups. The identified accessions were associated with vegetative and reproductive parameters on positive directions. The results might be utilized for establishing breeding programs on selecting LT-tolerant tomato cultivars with different selection indices relying on fruit types during vegetative and/or reproductive stages. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 1079 KiB  
Article
Facts and Myths about GM Food—The Case of Poland
by Paulina Kubisz, Graham Dalton, Edward Majewski and Kinga Pogodzińska
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080791 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 10831
Abstract
The importance of biotechnology for the global economy is growing, including developments in the field of genetically modified organisms (GMO), which have revolutionized the cultivation of several major food crops. Despite the many benefits from introducing genetic modifications to crops, the Polish society [...] Read more.
The importance of biotechnology for the global economy is growing, including developments in the field of genetically modified organisms (GMO), which have revolutionized the cultivation of several major food crops. Despite the many benefits from introducing genetic modifications to crops, the Polish society shows a strong distrust towards GMO-based food. The negative attitude of the society towards genetically modified (GM) food could be considered irrational. It is not supported by adequate knowledge and is based on fears, despite the fact that there is no scientific evidence of threats of GM products towards the environment, health, or human life. Details of these perceptions were revealed within Polish society from surveys of three groups of respondents: consumers, students, farmers. Data from the surveys have been compared with the answers to the same questions by five biotechnology experts from Polish academic institutions. A general observation from the analysis of the survey results and past studies quoted in the literature review is that the level of understanding and acceptance of GMO technologies is still low in Polish society, and, to a large extent, is based on stereotypes rather than on scientific knowledge. They show broad support for the general benefits of GMOs, which does not vary between the three groups of respondents surveyed, but noticeably differs with the experts’ views. GMOs have allies, but also opponents who have their own beliefs shaped largely by unreliable information disseminated through the Internet and social media. Providing more reliable targeted information on GMOs based on scientific evidence can have an important role in changing polarized attitudes towards GM food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 450 KiB  
Article
Effect of the Silvopastoral System on the Thermal Comfort of Lambs in a Subtropical Climate: A Preliminary Study
by Frederico Márcio C. Vieira, Jaqueline Agnes Pilatti, Zilmara Maria Welfer Czekoski, Vinicius F. C. Fonsêca, Piotr Herbut, Sabina Angrecka, Edgar de Souza Vismara, Vicente de Paulo Macedo, Maiane Cristina Rodrigues dos Santos and Iwona Paśmionka
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 790; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080790 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2835
Abstract
The silvopastoral system has the potential to alleviate the negative impacts of heat stress on livestock. Through a preliminary study, we assessed the thermal environment experienced by hair coat lambs, as well as the impacts on their bio-thermal and behavioural responses, when either [...] Read more.
The silvopastoral system has the potential to alleviate the negative impacts of heat stress on livestock. Through a preliminary study, we assessed the thermal environment experienced by hair coat lambs, as well as the impacts on their bio-thermal and behavioural responses, when either kept in either the silvopastoral system, or exposed to full sun. Twelve hair coat lambs (Dorper × Santa Ines) were randomly assigned to a silvopastoral system or full sun exposure during the summer (from January to February 2017). Parameters, including air temperature, black globe temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and ground surface temperature, were measured daily for both thermal environments. From 14:00 to 16:00, lambs kept in silvopastoral areas experienced lower levels of air temperature, radiant heat load, and ground surface temperature. Consequently, they had a lower hair coat surface and lower body rectal temperatures. Lambs exposed to a shaded environment spent more time grazing and walking, and less time standing at rest. In conclusion, lambs kept in a silvopastoral system experienced lower levels of radiant heat load and ground surface temperature. In addition, the animals showed a reduced requirement for evaporative cooling and expressed behaviours that indicated a comfortable thermal environment. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

31 pages, 5185 KiB  
Article
Interactions between Food Environment and (Un)healthy Consumption: Evidence along a Rural-Urban Transect in Viet Nam
by Trang Nguyen, Huong Pham Thi Mai, Marrit van den Berg, Tuyen Huynh Thi Thanh and Christophe Béné
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 789; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080789 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3659
Abstract
There is limited evidence on food environment in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) and the application of food environment frameworks and associated metrics in such settings. Our study examines how food environment varies across an urban-peri-urban-rural gradient from three sites in North Viet [...] Read more.
There is limited evidence on food environment in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) and the application of food environment frameworks and associated metrics in such settings. Our study examines how food environment varies across an urban-peri-urban-rural gradient from three sites in North Viet Nam and its relationship with child undernutrition status and household consumption of processed food. By comparing three food environments, we present a picture of the food environment in a typical emerging economy with specific features such as non-market food sources (own production and food transfers) and dominance of the informal retail sector. We combined quantitative data (static geospatial data at neighborhood level and household survey) and qualitative data (in-depth interviews with shoppers). We found that across the three study sites, traditional open and street markets remain the most important outlets for respondents. Contrary to the common concern that urban households are the major consumers of processed foods, peri-urban and rural areas on average had higher consumption of ultra-processed foods than in urban areas. The low price levels of processed foods and the presence of processed foods even among the traditional convenience stores, those in closest proximity to the rural households, offer potential explanations of this result. Regarding undernutrition, low retail diversity and a household’s dependence on own production have important implications for the high prevalence of child undernutrition in rural areas. Our findings add to the current discussion on the critical role of the food environment on nutrition, such as the potential link between economic marginalization and access to food, and the role of food supply channels in consumption of processed foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture and Food Systems – Global and Local Comparisons)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 624 KiB  
Article
Back to the Countryside: Rural Development and the Spatial Patterns of Population Migration in Zhejiang, China
by Weiming Tong and Kevin Lo
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 788; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080788 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3512
Abstract
This study examines how rural development in China shapes new trends in population migration. Using first-hand, village-level data from Zhejiang—an economically developed province in China—we investigated the patterns and influencing factors of population migration between rural and urban areas. We conceptualized three types [...] Read more.
This study examines how rural development in China shapes new trends in population migration. Using first-hand, village-level data from Zhejiang—an economically developed province in China—we investigated the patterns and influencing factors of population migration between rural and urban areas. We conceptualized three types of migration in rural areas: rural out-migration, rural in-migration, and rural return-migration. First-hand data were collected from 347 villages. The results show that although rural out-migration remains the dominant form of migration, rural in-migration and return-migration are also common, and the latter two are positively correlated. Further, we found evidence to support the conclusion that rural economic, social, and spatial development encourages rural in-migration and return-migration but does not have a significant impact on rural out-migration. Therefore, it is foreseeable that rural in-migration and return-migration will become increasingly common in China. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 1008 KiB  
Article
Microbiological Nitrogen Transformations in Soil Treated with Pesticides and Their Impact on Soil Greenhouse Gas Emissions
by Stefania Jezierska-Tys, Jolanta Joniec, Joanna Bednarz and Edyta Kwiatkowska
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 787; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080787 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3212
Abstract
Research was conducted in connection with the pressure exerted by man on the environment through the use of pesticides. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of pesticides on soil and to evaluate the effect of these changes on greenhouse [...] Read more.
Research was conducted in connection with the pressure exerted by man on the environment through the use of pesticides. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of pesticides on soil and to evaluate the effect of these changes on greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. The research was carried out on soil sown with oilseed rape. The activity of protease and urease, ammonification, nitrification in soil, as well as CO2 (carbon dioxide) and N2O (nitrous oxide) gas emissions from soil were assessed. The analyses were carried out directly after harvest and 2 months after. Pesticides most frequently negatively affected the tested parameters, in particular enzymatic activities. Of the two herbicides used, Roundup had a stronger negative impact on microbial activity. The application of pesticides, especially the fungicide, resulted in an increase in gas emissions to the atmosphere over time. Pesticides disturbed soil environmental balance, probably interfering with qualitative and quantitative relationships of soil microorganism populations and their metabolic processes. This led to the accumulation of microbial activity products in the form of, among others, gases which contribute to the greenhouse effect by escaping from the soil into the atmosphere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems: Implications on Climate and Environment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 754 KiB  
Article
Effects of the Harvest Stage of Maize Hybrids on the Chemical Composition of Plant Fractions: An Analysis of the Different Types of Silage
by Egon Henrique Horst, Valter Harry Bumbieris Junior, Mikael Neumann and Secundino López
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 786; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080786 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2430
Abstract
The chemical composition of plant components of three maize hybrids harvested at the beginning of six reproductive stages of maturity was compared. The hybrids evaluated included Maximus VIP3, Defender VIP and Feroz VIP, which were evaluated at each of following stages: R1 (grain [...] Read more.
The chemical composition of plant components of three maize hybrids harvested at the beginning of six reproductive stages of maturity was compared. The hybrids evaluated included Maximus VIP3, Defender VIP and Feroz VIP, which were evaluated at each of following stages: R1 (grain formation), R2 (milky grain), R3 (pasty grain), R4 (floury grain), R5 (hard grain) and R6 (ripe grain). The advancement in maturation was linearly related to the crude protein (CP) content of the stem, whole plant, and leaves, and there was a difference among the hybrids. Between R4 and R5 stages, Maximus and Defender presented the highest CP contents for husk (6.58 and 5.42% for Maximus; 5.54 and 5.17% for Defender). The neutral detergent fiber (NDF) of the leaves showed a quadratic relationship with the advancement of maturation but did not differ among the hybrids. For all the hybrids, the NDF content in the husk and cobs increased linearly during the reproductive stages (>77 and 78%, respectively, for the three hybrids in R6). Defender had the lowest NDF content of the cob in R3. The acid detergent lignin contents did not differ among stages in the stems, and showed a linear decrease throughout the whole plant, though the contents did not differ among the hybrids. Due to the differences observed, recommendations for harvest based on the maturity stage for each hybrid should be taken into consideration. There seems to be no important distinction among hybrids for harvesting and use of straw. Despite the reduction in grain yield, an early harvest for earlage or snaplage can provide lower lignin content in husk and cob, as well as higher protein content in the husk, favoring the nutritional value of the vegetative fraction (husk and/or cob). Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 47007 KiB  
Article
Sentinel-2 Imagery Monitoring Vine Growth Related to Topography in a Protected Designation of Origin Region
by Dimitrios Tassopoulos, Dionissios Kalivas, Rigas Giovos, Nestor Lougkos and Anastasia Priovolou
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 785; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080785 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2919
Abstract
Remote sensing satellite platforms provide accurate temporal and spatial information useful in viticulture with an increasing interest in their use. This study aims to identify the possibilities of freely available and with frequent revisit time Sentinel-2 satellites, to monitor vine growth at regional [...] Read more.
Remote sensing satellite platforms provide accurate temporal and spatial information useful in viticulture with an increasing interest in their use. This study aims to identify the possibilities of freely available and with frequent revisit time Sentinel-2 satellites, to monitor vine growth at regional scale on a vine-growing Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) zone during the growing season of the year 2019. This study aims to: (i) investigate through several Vegetation Indices (VIs) the vine growth differences across the zone and relations with topographic parameters; (ii) identify VIs that best recognize differences on subzones of different climatic conditions; (iii) explore the effectiveness of the Sentinel-2 data monitoring management applications. A total of 27 vineyards were selected for field and satellite data collection. Several VIs have been calculated per vineyard from a 20-date time series dataset. VIs showed high negative correlation with topographic parameter of elevation on the flowering stage. The analysis of variance between the VIs of the subzones showed that these regions have statistically significant differences, that most VIs can expose on the flowering and harvest stage, and only Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and VIs using Red-Edge bands during the veraison period. Sentinel-2 data show great effectiveness on monitoring management applications (tillage and trimming). Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 2907 KiB  
Article
Is Juglone the Only Naphthoquinone in Juglans regia L. with Allelopathic Effects?
by Aljaz Medic, Tilen Zamljen, Ana Slatnar, Metka Hudina and Robert Veberic
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080784 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2939
Abstract
We investigated whether juglone is the only allelochemical in a leaf extract from the walnut (Juglans regia L.). This was achieved through comparisons of the effects of pure juglone (1 mM, 100 μM, 10 μM control juglone) and J. regia leaf extract [...] Read more.
We investigated whether juglone is the only allelochemical in a leaf extract from the walnut (Juglans regia L.). This was achieved through comparisons of the effects of pure juglone (1 mM, 100 μM, 10 μM control juglone) and J. regia leaf extract (prepared as 1 mM, 100 μM leaf juglone) on seed germination, seedling growth, and secondary metabolism of the selected crop vegetables. Two control treatments were also applied, as extraction medium and water. For inhibition of seed germination, S. lycopersicum, B. rapa var. japonica, and V. locusta were more sensitive to 1 mM leaf juglone, and L. sativa was more sensitive to 1 mM control juglone. This suggests that this walnut leaf extract contains specific phenolic substance(s) that can stimulate seed germination in some species and inhibit it in others. Seedling length was more sensitive to 1 mM leaf juglone than 1 mM control juglone, with selective strong inhibition of root length versus shoot length by 1 mM control juglone. Juglone also had significant effects on the secondary metabolism of L. sativa, in particular for seedlings treated with 100 μM control juglone, with marked decreases in all secondary metabolites studied. Flavonols constituted the majority of these metabolites in L. culinaris, which showed the least sensitivity to both control juglone and leaf juglone treatments. Thirty compounds were identified and quantified in S. lycopersicum, L. culinaris, and L. sativa, some for the first time in these plants, and all for the first time in the seedlings of these crop vegetables. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1472 KiB  
Article
Can Trust Motivate Farmers to Purchase Natural Disaster Insurance? Evidence from Earthquake-Stricken Areas of Sichuan, China
by Xueling Bao, Fengwan Zhang, Xin Deng and Dingde Xu
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 783; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080783 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2635
Abstract
Natural disasters cause great losses of property and life in many areas of China. However, rural residents do not always insure themselves against these losses. Measuring the correlation between trust and farmers’ behavior related to the purchasing of natural disaster insurance is of [...] Read more.
Natural disasters cause great losses of property and life in many areas of China. However, rural residents do not always insure themselves against these losses. Measuring the correlation between trust and farmers’ behavior related to the purchasing of natural disaster insurance is of great significance to the implementation of natural disaster insurance pilot programs and insurance systems in China. This article analyzes data from a survey of 327 households in four districts and counties of Sichuan Province, China, that were affected by the Wenchuan and Lushan earthquakes. According to the relevant theories of trust, trust was divided into three dimensions: authority trust, collective trust, and relationship trust. Then a technology acceptance model was built, and PLS-SEM was used to comprehensively analyze the correlation between different dimensions of trust and farmers’ insurance purchase behavior. The results show that (1) only relationship trust was directly and significantly positively correlated with insurance purchasing behavior. Although there was no direct significant correlation between authoritative trust or collective trust and buying behavior, relationship trust was found to indirectly affect buying behavior. (2) Younger farmers and those with higher incomes are more likely to buy disaster insurance if they live in a disaster-threat zone, have experienced disasters, and are risk averse. We then discuss the correlations between farmers’ trust and natural disaster insurance purchasing in areas threatened by earthquake disasters. This provides a policy inspiration for the promotion of disaster insurance and the construction of insurance systems in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Policy and Farmer Behavior)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 1354 KiB  
Article
Pseudomonas putida Isolation and Quantification by Real-Time PCR in Agricultural Soil Biodegradable Mulching
by Stefania Fontanazza, Alessia Restuccia, Giovanni Mauromicale, Aurelio Scavo and Cristina Abbate
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 782; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080782 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3975
Abstract
To reduce the plastic waste problem in agriculture, biodegradable plastic (BP) mulch films have become of key importance thanks to their biodegradability and beneficial effects on crops. However, at present, BPs cannot always replace conventional plastics, because biodegradation is governed by many biotic [...] Read more.
To reduce the plastic waste problem in agriculture, biodegradable plastic (BP) mulch films have become of key importance thanks to their biodegradability and beneficial effects on crops. However, at present, BPs cannot always replace conventional plastics, because biodegradation is governed by many biotic and abiotic factors under field conditions. This research aimed at isolating and identifying, from soil particles directly attached to the surface of BP samples, the microorganisms responsible of degradation through a combined approach based on biodegradation and molecular tests. For this purpose, a field trial within a Mediterranean apricot orchard was carried out to study the biodegradation of a commercial BP mulch with respect to a no-BP, a conventional apricot management, following the standard agricultural practices, and a subterranean clover cover cropping, either incorporating or leaving its dead mulches on the soil surface. After BP film appeared visibly degraded in field, we isolated from soil particles attached to the polymer surface, a mesophilic bacterium with certain degradative potential assessed by plate and liquid assays, identified by sequencing as Pseudomonas putida. Quantitative real time PCR analysis showed the P. putida was significantly more abundant in PB plots than the other plot treatments. These preliminary results are potentially applicable to accelerate the degradation of BP mulch films and decrease the plastic pollution in agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research of Soil Microbial Functional Diversity)
Show Figures

Figure 1

9 pages, 1055 KiB  
Article
Effect of Feeding Low Protein Diets on the Production Traits and the Nitrogen Composition of Excreta of Broiler Chickens
by Nikoletta Such, László Pál, Patrik Strifler, Boglárka Horváth, Ilona Anna Koltay, Mohamed Ali Rawash, Valéria Farkas, Ákos Mezőlaki, László Wágner and Károly Dublecz
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 781; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080781 - 16 Aug 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3549
Abstract
The main goal of the current study was to investigate the effects of feeding low protein (LP) diets on the performance parameters and excreta composition of broiler chickens. In total, 288 male Ross 308 day-old chickens were divided into two dietary treatment groups [...] Read more.
The main goal of the current study was to investigate the effects of feeding low protein (LP) diets on the performance parameters and excreta composition of broiler chickens. In total, 288 male Ross 308 day-old chickens were divided into two dietary treatment groups using six replicate pens with 24 chickens each. No LP diet was fed in the starter phase. The protein reduction in the grower and finisher phases were 1.8% and 2% respectively. Beside the measurements of production traits, on day 24 and 40 representative fresh excreta samples were collected, their dry matter, total N, NH4+-N and uric acid-N contents determined, and the ratio of urinary and fecal N calculated. Dietary treatments failed to cause significant differences in the feed intake, growth rate, and feed conversion ratio of animals. LP diets decreased the total nitrogen and uric acid contents of excreta significantly. The age of birds had also significant effect, resulting more reduction in the grower phase compared with the finisher. The ratio of urinary N was higher at day 40 compared with the age of day 24. The urinary N content of broiler chicken’s excreta is lower than can be found in the literature, which should be considered in the ammonia inventory calculations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry: Breeding, Health, Nutrition, and Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

23 pages, 25444 KiB  
Article
Interspecies Evolution and Networks Investigation of the Auxin Response Protein (AUX/IAA) Family Reveals the Adaptation Mechanisms of Halophytes Crops in Nitrogen Starvation Agroecological Environments
by Haomiao Yu, Yuan Yuan, Sijiao Wang, Guoming Wu, Haishen Xu, Jianglan Wei, Le Ju, Yulin Huang and Hui Chen
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 780; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080780 - 16 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2567
Abstract
The maintenance of adaptability to the exposure to agroecological extreme environments is generally a feature after the long-term domestication of crops. Auxin influences plant growth in all environments. At present, the research on the auxin response factors (ARFs) has been very [...] Read more.
The maintenance of adaptability to the exposure to agroecological extreme environments is generally a feature after the long-term domestication of crops. Auxin influences plant growth in all environments. At present, the research on the auxin response factors (ARFs) has been very in-depth. However, there is still a large gap in the research on the origin, evolution, and regulatory networks of the Auxin-responsive protein (AUX/IAA) family. Here, we identified 495 AUX/IAAs from 19 representative species covering aquatic algae to angiosperms and found that they originated from early bryophytes and mainly expanded by polyploidy in angiosperms. In the domesticated crop quinoa, the evolutionary model of the IAA family is relatively independent and forms a robust regulatory network with auxin signals and energy metabolism pathways. In the nitrogen-deficient environment, CqIAAs (Chenopodium quinoa AUX/IAAs), auxin signals, and TCA pathway genes induced expression in young roots to promote root elongation and could regulate the balance of carbon and nitrogen metabolism to maintain the adaptation of early seedlings in poor environments. Furthermore, a rapidly evolving CqIAA (AUR62011942) not only has different expression levels in two quinoa seeds but also has a significant stress response when seedlings face nitrogen deficiency stress, which may be a key factor in the adaptive regulation of the barren environment. Our research provides valuable clues for understanding the origin, evolution, and functional innovation of auxin signaling and also provides a reference for future agricultural breeding in the context of global environmental changes. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 3400 KiB  
Article
Microbial Interactions and Roles in Soil Fertility in Seasonal Freeze-Thaw Periods under Different Straw Returning Strategies
by Mengqi Sun, Baoyu Chen, Hongjun Wang, Nan Wang, Taigang Ma, Yingshun Cui, Tianhao Luan, Seongjun Chun, Chunguang Liu and Lichun Wang
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 779; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080779 - 15 Aug 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3467
Abstract
With the increase of world food demand, the intensity of cultivated land use also increased. To improve soil nutrient concentrations and crop yield, several straw returning techniques have been developed. Studies have shown that straw returning is beneficial to soil, but few studies [...] Read more.
With the increase of world food demand, the intensity of cultivated land use also increased. To improve soil nutrient concentrations and crop yield, several straw returning techniques have been developed. Studies have shown that straw returning is beneficial to soil, but few studies have focused on the relationship between microbes and fertility in seasonal freeze-thaw periods. A two-year cropland experiment was set up that comprised three different straw return strategies, namely covering tillage with straw return for two years (CS), rotary tillage and straw return for two years (RS), rotary covering tillage with straw return (first year covering and the second year rotary tillage) (CRS), and conventional tillage with no straw return (CK). Illumina Miseq high throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA was applied to assess bacteria community structure. The relationship between bacteria community structure and changes in soil fertility induced by different straw incorporating during seasonal trends was studied. Our results showed that soil bacterial communities varied significantly during the soil seasonal freeze-thaw period in the northwest of Jilin province, China, and were influenced, to some extent, by the different straw returning procedures. Multidimensional analysis revealed that total phosphorus (TP), available nitrogen (AN), and total nitrogen (TN) were the major drivers of bacterial community structure. The co-occurrence network was divided into several modules. Notably, the major bacterial modules varied significantly in different sampling periods and different treatments. These results suggested that specific bacterial groups could contribute to soil fertility in relation to environmental fluctuations. Some bacterial groups (e.g., Pyrinomonadales, Rhizobiales, Sphingomonadales, and Xanthomonadales, in order level) were directly linked with specific environmental factors, indicating the key roles of these groups in soil fertility. In summary, the soil bacterial communities varied significantly during the freeze-thaw period and might play important roles in the degradation of straw. Thus, the straw return could enhance soil fertility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research of Crop Plant Interactions with Bacteria and Fungi)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 1572 KiB  
Article
Sub-Lethal Effects of Lecanicillium lecanii (Zimmermann)-Derived Partially Purified Protein and Its Potential Implication in Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) Defense against Bemisia tabaci Gennadius (Aleyrodidae: Hemiptera)
by Yusuf Ali Abdulle, Talha Nazir, Samy Sayed, Samy F. Mahmoud, Muhammad Zeeshan Majeed, Hafiz Muhammad Usman Aslam, Zubair Iqbal, Muhammad Shahid Nisar, Azhar Uddin Keerio, Habib Ali and Dewen Qiu
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 778; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080778 - 15 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3467
Abstract
Whiteflies, Bemisia tabaci Gennadius (Aleyrodidae: Hemiptera), are a polyphagous economically destructive pest of several solanaceous crops around the world. Many secondary metabolites are synthesized by different biotrophic and necrotrophic fungi which are capable of inducing systemic resistance in plants against various phytophagous pests. [...] Read more.
Whiteflies, Bemisia tabaci Gennadius (Aleyrodidae: Hemiptera), are a polyphagous economically destructive pest of several solanaceous crops around the world. Many secondary metabolites are synthesized by different biotrophic and necrotrophic fungi which are capable of inducing systemic resistance in plants against various phytophagous pests. The present laboratory work demonstrated the anti-insect impact of a protein extracted and purified partially from an entomopathogenic fungus (EPF) Lecanicillium lecanii (Zimmermann) against B. tabaci. Three different concentrations (i.e., 7.43, 11.15, and 22.31 μg mL−1) of this protein were bioassayed to assess its effect on the fecundity rate of B. tabaci on cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) plants. Furthermore, the possible implication of this fungal protein in defense pathways of cotton plants was evaluated by determining the expression profiles of salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) pathways related to major genes through reverse transcription qPCR (RT-qPCR). According to the results, all protein concentrations exerted a significant (F3, 252 = 62.51; p ≤ 0.001) and negative impact on the fecundity rate of B. tabaci females. At the highest protein concentration (22.31 μg mL−1), the minimum rate of fecundity (i.e., 2.46 eggs female−1day−1) of B. tabaci was noted on the seventh day, whereas fecundity rates for the other two protein concentrations (i.e., 11.15 and 7.43 μg mL−1) were, respectively, 3.06 and 3.90 eggs day−1 female−1. The maximum rate of fecundity (6.01 eggs female−1day−1) was recorded in untreated (control) treatments. In addition, the foliar application of L. lecanii derived protein significantly upregulated all SA linked genes (OPR3, PPO1 and COI1) and slightly triggered up the JA linked genes (LOX1, UBQ7 and AOS) in the cotton plants. These findings revealed that this L. lecanii extracted partially purified protein triggered systemic resistance against B. tabaci in the cotton plants, proposing its putative effectiveness as an innovative biological control technique against B. tabaci and other phloem-feeding hemipteran pests. Nevertheless, further investigations such as purification and molecular and functional characterization of this L. lecanii-derived partially purified protein are required. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1919 KiB  
Article
Identification and Validation of QTLs for Yield and Yield Components under Long-Term Salt Stress Using IR64 CSSLs in the Genetic Background of Koshihikari and Their Backcross Progenies
by Nguyen Sao Mai, Dao Duy Hanh, Mai Nakashima, Kotaro Kumamoto, Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy, Tohru Kobata, Kuniyuki Saitoh and Yoshihiko Hirai
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 777; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080777 - 15 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2261
Abstract
Unraveling the complex genetic bases and mechanisms underlying salt tolerance is of great importance for developing salt-tolerant varieties. In this study, we evaluated 42 chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) carrying chromosome segments from IR64 on the genetic background of Koshihikari under salt stress. [...] Read more.
Unraveling the complex genetic bases and mechanisms underlying salt tolerance is of great importance for developing salt-tolerant varieties. In this study, we evaluated 42 chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) carrying chromosome segments from IR64 on the genetic background of Koshihikari under salt stress. Two CSSLs, SL2007 and SL2038, produced higher plant dry weight and grain yield than did Koshihikari under the stress condition. These CSSLs also showed lower Na+ and Cl accumulation in the leaf and whole plant at the full heading stage, which might be related to the higher grain yield and yield components. To understand the genetic control of its grain yield and yield components, a SL2007/Koshihikari F2 population was generated for quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis. Six QTLs for grain yield and yield-related traits were detected on chromosome 2. Using near-isogenic lines (NILs) from a SL2007/Koshihikari F5 population, qSTGY2.2 was delimited to a 2.5 Mb region and novel qSTPN2 was delimited to a 0.6 Mb region. We also detected a novel QTL, qSTGF2, for grain filling, which was considered an important contributor to grain yield under salt stress in this CSSL. Our results provide insights into mechanisms conferring grain yield under salinity stress and new genetic resources for cloning and breeding. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 300 KiB  
Article
Effect of Feeding Frequency on Intake, Digestibility, Ingestive Behavior, Performance, Carcass Characteristics, and Meat Quality of Male Feedlot Lambs
by Rodrigo B. Saldanha, Ana C. P. dos Santos, Henry D. R. Alba, Carlindo S. Rodrigues, Douglas dos S. Pina, Luis G. A. Cirne, Stefanie A. Santos, Aureliano J. V. Pires, Robério R. Silva, Manuela S. L. Tosto, Silvia C. Bento, Amanda B. Grimaldi, Carly A. Becker and Gleidson G. P. de Carvalho
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 776; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080776 - 15 Aug 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3294
Abstract
The study was conducted to evaluate the effects of feeding frequencies (one, two, three, and four times per day) on the performance of male feedlot lambs. Forty Santa Inês male lambs were used with an average age of 120 days approximately and initial [...] Read more.
The study was conducted to evaluate the effects of feeding frequencies (one, two, three, and four times per day) on the performance of male feedlot lambs. Forty Santa Inês male lambs were used with an average age of 120 days approximately and initial body weight of 24.90 ± 1.8 kg (mean ± S.D.). The lambs were distributed to treatment groups in a completely randomized experimental design, with 10 animals per treatment, placed in individual pens. A standard diet consisted of Tifton-85 hay and concentrate with a ratio of 60:40, respectively. The different feeding frequencies did not influence (p > 0.05) the intake of nutritional components, blood parameters, weight gain, ingestive behavior, carcass characteristics, or meat quality of male feedlot lambs. The feeding frequency of 3 and 4 times per day promoted the highest digestibility of neutral detergent fiber (NDF; p = 0.008) and total digestible nutrients (TDN; p = 0.002). The feeding frequency of 3 times per day promoted the highest digestibility of crude protein (CP; p = 0.005). The time devoted to rumination (min/kg DM) was increased (p = 0.029) when the diet was supplied once a day compared to the other feeding frequencies. Based on these results, the recommended feeding frequency for male feedlot lambs is once a day. When feeding at this frequency, the ingestive behavior, productivity, carcass characteristics, and meat quality of male feedlot lambs will not be compromised. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

14 pages, 10248 KiB  
Article
Coupled Bionic Design Based on Primnoa Mouthpart to Improve the Performance of a Straw Returning Machine
by Jiale Zhao, Xiaogeng Wang, Jian Zhuang, Huili Liu, Yijia Wang and Yajun Yu
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 775; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080775 - 14 Aug 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2794
Abstract
The high energy consumption and low crushing length qualification rate of traditional straw returning machines in the main maize-growing regions of northeast China make it difficult to promote straw returning operations in the region. The primnoa locust mouthpart is extremely efficient in cutting [...] Read more.
The high energy consumption and low crushing length qualification rate of traditional straw returning machines in the main maize-growing regions of northeast China make it difficult to promote straw returning operations in the region. The primnoa locust mouthpart is extremely efficient in cutting maize rootstocks. In this paper, it was found that there are significant differences between the primnoa locust mouthpart and the conventional machine, these exist mainly in the cutting edge structure and cutting motion. Thus, this paper develops a coupled bionic design for structural and kinematic coupling elements to develop a bionic straw returning machine. This paper found that the operating performance of the bionic straw returning machine was mainly affected by the blade rotation radius and the output rotation speed of the drive mechanism through DEM (discrete element method) simulation, and the optimal combination of the two parameters was 248 mm rotation radius and 930 r/min output rotation speed. Finally, this paper finds that the most obvious operational performance difference of the bionic straw returning machine compared with the traditional straw returning machine is that it can reduce the cutting power consumption by 9.4–11.7% and improve the crushing length qualification rate by 10.4–14.7% through the operational performance comparison test. Based on the above findings, this paper suggests that in future research and development of straw returning machines, more attention can be focused on finding suitable bionic prototypes and improving bionic design methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Structures and Mechanization)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 8449 KiB  
Article
Regulated Deficit Irrigation and Its Effects on Yield and Quality of Vitis vinifera L., Touriga Francesa in a Hot Climate Area (Douro Region, Portugal)
by Inês L. Cabral, Anabela Carneiro, Tiago Nogueira and Jorge Queiroz
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 774; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080774 - 13 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2406
Abstract
Under a climate change scenario, vineyards will experience serious challenges in the future. In an attempt to overcome such difficulties, this experiment offers a study on the effect of regulated deficit irrigation as a method for short-term adaptation to climate change in cv. [...] Read more.
Under a climate change scenario, vineyards will experience serious challenges in the future. In an attempt to overcome such difficulties, this experiment offers a study on the effect of regulated deficit irrigation as a method for short-term adaptation to climate change in cv. Touriga Francesa, grafted into the rootstock 110R in the Douro region during a three-year period. Water stress on the plant and its effects on canopy, production, and quality of musts were analyzed. Rainfed vines (R0) were compared to three deficit irrigation regimes as a function of estimated crop evapotranspiration (ETc): R25 (25% ETc), R50 (50% ETc), and R75 (75% ETc). Water was applied on a weekly basis whenever predawn water potential showed moderate water stress until 15 days prior to harvest. The results suggest that rainfed plants under these circumstances suffered, in general, a negative impact on vine performance, while moderate water stress had more favorable effects on fruit composition, as well as in yield. Nonetheless, further studies should be conducted as irrigation did not show consistent effects on yield or berry composition. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Back to TopTop