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Agriculture, Volume 12, Issue 7 (July 2022) – 178 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This study assesses changes in crop species production diversity in Mexico from 1980 to 2020 at state, regional, and national levels. Measures of crop species richness and effective diversity (alpha, beta, gamma) were derived from government production data on 304 species, each stratified into rainfed and irrigated components. In sum, findings show that while crop diversity can contribute to numerous forms of sustainability, not all diversification processes derive from agroecological-based, sustainable forms of intensification. In Mexico, crop species diversification was associated with a post-1994 boom in produce exports to the United States and the unsustainable use of scarce water resources at home. Such context-specific understanding is crucial for determining whether crop diversification, in all its forms, ultimately leads to sustainable outcomes. View this paper
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16 pages, 1014 KiB  
Article
The Determinants of Market Participation and Its Effect on Food Security of the Rural Smallholder Farmers in Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces, South Africa
by Simphiwe Innocentia Hlatshwayo, Temitope Oluwaseun Ojo, Albert Thembinkosi Modi, Tafadzwanashe Mabhaudhi, Rob Slotow and Mjabuliseni Simon Cloapas Ngidi
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1072; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071072 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3251
Abstract
Addressing the disproportionate burden of food insecurity in South Africa requires targeted efforts to help smallholder farmers to access markets. The purpose of this study was to assess determinants of market participation and its contribution to household food security. The secondary data used [...] Read more.
Addressing the disproportionate burden of food insecurity in South Africa requires targeted efforts to help smallholder farmers to access markets. The purpose of this study was to assess determinants of market participation and its contribution to household food security. The secondary data used in this study were collected from 1520 respondents; however, 389 smallholder farmers participated in the market. The Household Food Insecurity Access Scale revealed that out of the total sample size, 85% of the households were food insecure while 15% were food secure. Gender of household head, receiving social grants and higher wealth index positively impacted market participation. Having a family member with HIV had a negative impact on market participation among smallholder farmers. The results from the extended ordered probit regression model showed that household size, having a family member with HIV and agricultural assistance had a positive and significant contribution to the household food insecurity situation of the smallholder farmers. On the other hand, the educational level of household head, ownership of livestock, age of household head, gender of household head, and having access to social grants had a negative and significant effect on the food insecurity status. Access to education and the market can improve household food security. Linking smallholder farmers, particularly women and aged farmers, to markets should form an intrinsic part of the government’s efforts to improve farming and food security and increase access to diversified food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Economics, Policies and Rural Management)
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15 pages, 5058 KiB  
Article
Safety Evaluation on a Fastening Device of an Agricultural By-Product Collector for Hard Flat Ground Driving
by Jeong-Hun Kim, Markumningsih Sri and Ju-Seok Nam
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1071; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071071 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1489
Abstract
In this study, the static safety factor and fatigue life of fastening devices of an agricultural by-product collector were evaluated under hard flat ground driving conditions. The strain gage-based measurement system was constructed, and the strain gage was attached on the highest stress [...] Read more.
In this study, the static safety factor and fatigue life of fastening devices of an agricultural by-product collector were evaluated under hard flat ground driving conditions. The strain gage-based measurement system was constructed, and the strain gage was attached on the highest stress spot of the fastening devices derived from structural analysis. The static safety factor and fatigue life of the fastening devices were calculated using the measured strain values and by converting it into stress data. The two operating conditions are considered to be the loading part of the by-product collector, lifted and non-lifted. The results for all fastening devices showed that the static safety factor was larger than 1.0 and the fatigue life was much greater than the expected lifetime under both operating conditions. Therefore, it can be concluded that the fastening devices of the by-product collector can be operated reliably under hard flat ground driving conditions. In future work, we plan to evaluate the safety of the fastening devices in various actual orchard farm environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Product Quality and Safety)
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19 pages, 2056 KiB  
Article
Perspectives of Farmers on the Decline in Pinus pinea Nut Yield and the Sustainability of the Production: A Case Study in Kozak Basin in Western Turkey
by Sezgin Özden, Taner Okan, Seda Erkan Buğday and Coşkun Köse
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1070; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071070 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2236
Abstract
In the Kozak Basin, which is the most important pine nut production and trade center in Turkey, there has been a significant decrease in production recently. In this study, the perspectives of the farmers in this area were investigated, specifically about reasons for [...] Read more.
In the Kozak Basin, which is the most important pine nut production and trade center in Turkey, there has been a significant decrease in production recently. In this study, the perspectives of the farmers in this area were investigated, specifically about reasons for the decrease in yields. For this purpose, a face-to-face survey was conducted with 378 pine nut farmers from the Kozak Basin. It was determined that the average age of the farmers is high, their educational achievement level is low, they generally also work in alternative sectors and almost all of them grow pine nuts in their own pine groves. The farmers’ perception of cooperatives was found to be negative. In general, the local people continue to produce pine nuts in their own pine groves, but nearly half of the participants also worked in other sectors to maintain their standard of living. Farmers attribute the low yield in the Kozak Basin to both abiotic and biotic factors. Mining activities, which are increasing, are seen as a threat to the future of production in the area. Also, there is a growing perception of biotic harm, especially from Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis. Climate change and air pollution are other prominent factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Resource and Environmental Economics in Agriculture)
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14 pages, 3198 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Seasonal Rainfall Drought Indices, Nyala City Sudan
by Isameldin Abakar Atiem, Magdi S. A. Siddig, Shindume Lomboleni Hamukwaya, Hussein Ibrahim Ahmed, Mazahir M. M. Taha, Salma Ibrahim and Yahia Osman
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1069; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071069 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1699
Abstract
Drought is an unpredictable hydrological phenomenon, and climate change has made it difficult to predict and analyze droughts. Nyala city airport metrological station rainfall records from 1943 to 2017 (75 years) were investigated. Four statistical drought indices were used; the standardized precipitation index [...] Read more.
Drought is an unpredictable hydrological phenomenon, and climate change has made it difficult to predict and analyze droughts. Nyala city airport metrological station rainfall records from 1943 to 2017 (75 years) were investigated. Four statistical drought indices were used; the standardized precipitation index (SPI), the rainfall anomaly index (RAI), the rainfall decile percent index (RDI), and the percent normal precipitation index (PNI). The study analyzes, assesses, compares, and determines the proper drought index. Results show that annual normal drought class (DC4) percentages for PNI, RDI, and RAI are not significantly different at an average of 42% and 65.3% for SPI at a frequency of 49 years. In comparing the average monthly and yearly drought frequency values and considering the historical dry and wet droughts, results showed the indices performance rank as: SPI, RAI, RDI, and PNI. Result reveals that the SPI was superior in all analyses, but it had some defects in detecting monthly dry drought when precipitation is dominated by rare or zero values (start and end of the rainy season). This was concluded and revealed by conducting a zone chart showing the deviations of standard deviation about the mean. Thus, the SPI index outperforms the other three indices. Full article
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18 pages, 5083 KiB  
Article
Effects of Different Edible Coatings on the Shelf Life of Fresh Black Mulberry Fruits (Morus nigra L.)
by Adriana Ramona Memete, Alin Cristian Teusdea, Adrian Vasile Timar, Adrian Nicolae Vuscan, Olimpia Smaranda Mintaș, Simona Cavalu and Simona Ioana Vicas
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1068; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071068 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2861
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of edible coatings based on gelatine, oils (sunflower and coconut) and beeswax on the physicochemical properties, bioactive compounds (total phenols and monomeric anthocyanin content), antioxidant capacity (DPPH and FRAP assays were used) and [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of edible coatings based on gelatine, oils (sunflower and coconut) and beeswax on the physicochemical properties, bioactive compounds (total phenols and monomeric anthocyanin content), antioxidant capacity (DPPH and FRAP assays were used) and sensorial attributes of mulberry fruits during a period of storage (0, 2, 5 and 8 days) at 4 °C. The results showed that, in all samples treated with edible films, the degree of firmness was higher and the deterioration weaker compared to the control at day 8 of storage. Edible coatings significantly reduced the rate of deterioration, in terms of total phenolics and anthocyanins, in mulberry fruits over time, and the gelatine-coated mulberry samples (G_Mn) exhibited the best results. In terms of the antioxidant capacity of the coated mulberry, after 5 and 8 days of storage, only the G_Mn samples maintained significantly high DPPH radical scavenging and FRAP values compared to control. Coating improved the sensorial attributes of the mulberry during storage, and gelatine-coated fruits recorded the highest score, followed by layer-by-layer samples (O+W_G_Mn). All edible coatings used to cover black mulberry in this study extended the shelf life of the fruits, while maintaining high levels of bioactive compounds and, consequently, high antioxidant capacity, along with improved sensory qualities, during cold storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Storage of Agricultural Products)
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17 pages, 1851 KiB  
Article
Space Comparison of Agricultural Green Growth in Agricultural Modernization: Scale and Quality
by Tingting Huang and Bin Xiong
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1067; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071067 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3585
Abstract
Promoting agricultural green growth has become an indispensable key content to speed up the process of agricultural modernization, has become a necessary prerequisite to achieve common prosperity of the rural people, and has become the basic practice of implementing people-centered development thought in [...] Read more.
Promoting agricultural green growth has become an indispensable key content to speed up the process of agricultural modernization, has become a necessary prerequisite to achieve common prosperity of the rural people, and has become the basic practice of implementing people-centered development thought in the stage of high-quality development. Many researchers have studied the problems, level measurement and route choice of the growth of agriculture. However, there have been few studies on how to promote the agricultural green growth from the perspective of agricultural modernization, and how to combine the green agricultural GDP with the agricultural green total factor productivity (GTFP). To address this research inadequacy, in this paper, we focus on the time and space comparison of green agricultural GDP, agricultural GTFP, and their source decomposition, and summarize and discuss the key factors affecting agricultural GTFP. The results show that the share of output value of green agriculture in Tongren City is relatively high within the region of the province, and there is a large temporal and spatial difference between the change of agricultural GTFP and agricultural technology utilization efficiency and agricultural technology progress. At the same time, the improvement of economic development level can significantly promote the rise of agricultural GTFP, agricultural technology utilization efficiency, and agricultural technology progress. On balance, our results compare green agricultural GDP, agricultural GTFP, and their source decomposition in time and space, and reveals their evolution law and development trend from the perspective of high-quality development of agricultural modernization. In this way, we can provide an empirical basis and decision-making reference for accelerating the high-quality development of agricultural modernization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Restoration and Rural Economic Development)
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11 pages, 1299 KiB  
Article
Spatio-Temporal Disposition of Micronutrients in Green Bean Grown in Sandy Mulching Soils
by Alfonso Llanderal, Pedro Garcia-Caparros, Juana Isabel Contreras, María Teresa Lao and María Luz Segura
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1066; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071066 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1584
Abstract
Currently, there is no information available about the spatio-temporal distribution of micronutrients in sandy mulching soils widely used in the southeast of Spain; therefore, in this experiment, we aimed to characterize the spatio-temporal distribution of micronutrients in the wet bulb zone in two [...] Read more.
Currently, there is no information available about the spatio-temporal distribution of micronutrients in sandy mulching soils widely used in the southeast of Spain; therefore, in this experiment, we aimed to characterize the spatio-temporal distribution of micronutrients in the wet bulb zone in two sand-mulched soils. Four different factors were considered over the experiment: (a) soil model, (b) time sampling, (c) distance from the emitter, and (d) depth. Each soil was divided into four blocks and the soil sample per block was composed of 20 subsamples. The micronutrient concentration was determined in each soil sample through atomic absorption spectrometry determinations. To establish the relationship between factors, a multifactor ANOVA test analysis was conducted. The results obtained reported a higher micronutrient concentration in the soil profile than in the sand layer. Moreover, in the soil profile, there was a decrease in micronutrient concentration in distance for Fe (from 10.4 to 7.9 mg kg−1), Zn (from 4.0 to 3.5 mg kg−1), Mn (from 23.9 to 16.2 mg kg−1), and Cu forms (from 2.5 to 1.5 mg kg−1). Moreover, there was a decrease in micronutrients with depth for Fe (from 10.5 to 8.0 mg kg−1), Zn (from 4.0 to 3.7 mg kg−1), Mn (22.0 to 17.2 mg kg−1), and Cu (from 2.1 to 1.7 mg kg−1). Higher micronutrient concentration after green bean crop harvest was related to the highest organic matter content, with the following values for Fe (12.3 mg kg−1), Zn (4.0 mg kg−1), Mn (23.6 mg kg−1), and Cu (2.0 mg kg−1) in the soil profile. The fertigation management of the crop did not modify the micronutrient concentrations in distance in the sand layer due to the reduced exchange capacity of the sand with micronutrients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Soils)
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17 pages, 4079 KiB  
Article
Recommending Advanced Deep Learning Models for Efficient Insect Pest Detection
by Wei Li, Tengfei Zhu, Xiaoyu Li, Jianzhang Dong and Jun Liu
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1065; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071065 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 4552
Abstract
Insect pest management is one of the main ways to improve the crop yield and quality in agriculture and it can accurately and timely detect insect pests, which is of great significance to agricultural production. In the past, most insect pest detection tasks [...] Read more.
Insect pest management is one of the main ways to improve the crop yield and quality in agriculture and it can accurately and timely detect insect pests, which is of great significance to agricultural production. In the past, most insect pest detection tasks relied on the experience of agricutural experts, which is time-consuming, laborious and subjective. In rencent years, various intelligent methods have emerged for detection. This paper employs three frontier Deep Convolutional Neural Network (DCNN) models—Faster-RCNN, Mask-RCNN and Yolov5, for efficient insect pest detection. In addition, we made two coco datasets by ourselves on the basis of Baidu AI insect detection dataset and IP102 dataset, and compared these three frontier deep learning models on the two coco datasets. In terms of Baidu AI insect detection dataset whose background is simple, the experimental results strongly recommend Yolov5 for the insect pest detection, because its accuracy reaches above 99% while Faster-RCNN’s and Mask-RCNN’s reach above 98%. Meanwhile, Yolov5 has the faster computational speed than Faster-RCNN and Mask-RCNN. Comparatively speaking, with regard to the IP102 dataset whose background is complex and categories are abundant, Faster-RCNN and Mask-RCNN have the higher accuracy, reaching 99%, than Yolov5 whose accuracy is about 97%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Application of Machine Learning in Agriculture)
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14 pages, 1615 KiB  
Article
Optimizing Nitrogen Application for Chinese Ratoon Rice Based on Yield and Reactive Nitrogen Loss
by Ren Hu, Zijuan Ding, Tingyu Li, Dingyue Zhang, Yingbing Tian, Yuxian Cao and Jun Hou
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1064; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071064 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1737
Abstract
Ratoon rice (RR) has been regarded as a labor-saving and beneficial production system. Nitrogen (N) surplus and reactive N losses (Nr losses) are effective environmental indicators used to evaluate the performance of N management. Few studies have assessed N surplus and Nr losses [...] Read more.
Ratoon rice (RR) has been regarded as a labor-saving and beneficial production system. Nitrogen (N) surplus and reactive N losses (Nr losses) are effective environmental indicators used to evaluate the performance of N management. Few studies have assessed N surplus and Nr losses for Chinese RR. In this study, Chinese RR planting areas were divided into South China (SC), the southern part of East China (SEC), Central China (CC), the northern part of East China (NEC), and Southwest China (SW). N surplus and Nr losses were also calculated based on 782 studies using a quadratic model under optimized N management for the highest yield (OPT-yield), the highest N-use efficiency (NUE) (OPT-NUE), and the highest grain N uptake (OPT-N uptake). The RR yields in the five regions ranged from 9.98 to 13.59 t ha−1. The high-yield record was observed in SEC, while the low-yield record was observed in NEC. The highest and the lowest Nr losses were found in NEC and SC, respectively. N surplus was reduced, while the yield was maintained in SEC, CC, NEC, and SW under OPT-yield and OPT-N uptake, and N surplus and Nr losses were reduced in the five regions when targeting the highest NUE. Farmers should be encouraged to plant RR in SEC and CC. RR was also a good choice when N management measures were conducted in three other regions. To achieve a win–win situation for both yield and the environment, OPT-yield could serve to improve the N management of current conventional practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Conservation Cropping Systems and Practices)
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16 pages, 3143 KiB  
Article
Nitrogen Fertilizer and Nitrapyrin for Greenhouse Gas Reduction in Wolfberry Orchards on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau
by Jiujin Lu, Yunzhang Xu, Haiyan Sheng, Yajun Gao, Jim Moir, Rong Zhang and Shouzhong Xie
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1063; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071063 - 20 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1519
Abstract
Wolfberry production has become a major agro-industry on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau, causing increased nitrogen (N) pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Appropriate N fertilizer rate and nitrification inhibitors may mitigate GHG emissions and improve N use efficiency. A 2-year field experiment was conducted [...] Read more.
Wolfberry production has become a major agro-industry on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau, causing increased nitrogen (N) pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Appropriate N fertilizer rate and nitrification inhibitors may mitigate GHG emissions and improve N use efficiency. A 2-year field experiment was conducted to measure the effects of N application rate and nitrapyrin on GHG emissions, to reduce GHG emissions and N pollution. We used eight treatments: Control (CK), 667 kg·ha−1 N (Con), 400 kg·ha−1 N (N400), 267 kg·ha−1 N (N267), 133 kg·ha−1 N (N133), 400 kg·ha−1 N plus 2.00 kg·ha−1 nitrapyrin (N400I2.00), 267 kg·ha−1 N plus 1.33 kg·ha−1 nitrapyrin (N267I1.33) and 133 kg·ha−1 N plus 0.67 kg·ha−1 nitrapyrin (N133I0.67). Compared with Con treatment, N400 maintained fruit yield and increased net income, but saved 40% of N fertilizer and decreased the cumulative N2O emission by 14–16%. Compared to N400, N267 and N133 treatments, the cumulative N2O emission of N400I2.00, N267I1.33 and N133I0.67 treatments was reduced by 28.5–45.1%, 26.6–29.9% and 33.8–45.9%, respectively. Furthermore, N400I2.00 resulted in the highest wolfberry yield and net income. The emissions of CH4 and CO2 were not significantly different among treatments. Moreover, the global warming potential (GWP) and the greenhouse gas emission intensity (GHGI) of N400I2.00 declined by 45.6% and 48.6% compared to Con treatment. Therefore, 400 kg·ha−1 N combined with 2.00 kg·ha−1 nitrapyrin was shown to be a promising management technique for maintaining wolfberry yield while minimizing GWP and GHGI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Production)
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27 pages, 5719 KiB  
Article
Assessing Machine Learning-Based Prediction under Different Agricultural Practices for Digital Mapping of Soil Organic Carbon and Available Phosphorus
by Fuat Kaya, Ali Keshavarzi, Rosa Francaviglia, Gordana Kaplan, Levent Başayiğit and Mert Dedeoğlu
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1062; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071062 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3926
Abstract
Predicting soil chemical properties such as soil organic carbon (SOC) and available phosphorus (Ava-P) content is critical in areas where different land uses exist. The distribution of SOC and Ava-P is influenced by both natural and anthropogenic factors. This study aimed at (1) [...] Read more.
Predicting soil chemical properties such as soil organic carbon (SOC) and available phosphorus (Ava-P) content is critical in areas where different land uses exist. The distribution of SOC and Ava-P is influenced by both natural and anthropogenic factors. This study aimed at (1) predicting SOC and Ava-P in a piedmont plain of Northeast Iran using the Random Forests (RF) and Cubist mathematical models and hybrid models (Regression Kriging), (2) comparing the models’ results, and (3) identifying the key variables that influence the spatial dynamics of soil SOC and Ava-P under different agricultural practices. The machine learning models were trained with 201 composite surface soil samples and 24 ancillary data, including climate (C), organism (O), topography- relief (R), parent material (P) and key soil features (S) according to the SCORPAN digital soil mapping framework, which can predictively represent soil formation factors spatially. Clay, one of the most critical soil properties with a well-known relationship to SOC, was the most important predictor of SOC, followed by open-access multispectral satellite images-based vegetation and soil indices. Ava-P had a similar set of effective variables. Hybrid approaches did not improve model accuracy significantly, but they did reduce map uncertainty. In the validation set, Ava-P was calculated using the RF algorithm with a normalized root mean square (NRMSE) of 96.8, while SOC was calculated using the Cubist algorithm with an NRMSE of 94.2. These values did not change when using the hybrid technique for Ava-P; however, they changed just by 1% for SOC. The management of SOC content and the supply of Ava-P in agricultural activities can be guided by SOC and Ava-P digital distribution maps. Produced digital maps in which the soil scientist plays an active role can be used to identify areas where concentrations are high and need to be protected, where uncertainty is high and sampling is required for further monitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Digital Agriculture)
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14 pages, 1787 KiB  
Article
Stoichiometric Ratios of Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorus of Shrub Organs Vary with Mycorrhizal Type
by Shuang Yang, Zhaoyong Shi, Yichun Sun, Xiaohui Wang, Wenya Yang, Jiakai Gao and Xugang Wang
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1061; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071061 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1767
Abstract
Mycorrhizal types are a predictive framework for nutrient cycling within and across ecosystems, and their types represent different nutrient-acquisition strategies for plants. Carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) stoichiometric ratios are essential for understanding biogeochemical processes. The purpose of this study was [...] Read more.
Mycorrhizal types are a predictive framework for nutrient cycling within and across ecosystems, and their types represent different nutrient-acquisition strategies for plants. Carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) stoichiometric ratios are essential for understanding biogeochemical processes. The purpose of this study was to reflect the balance in the process of plant resource acquisition by exploring the C, N and P stoichiometric ratios (C/N, N/P, and C/P) in shrub organs in different mycorrhizal types. In this study, the C, N, and P stoichiometric ratios in leaves, stems and roots were analyzed in the types of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM), ectomycorrhizal (ECM) and AM + ECM of shrubs in Northern China. The results showed that C/N in the stems and roots of AM plants (95.75 and 81.42) was significantly lower than in AM + ECM plants (109.89 and 102.37) and ECM plants (107.67 and 96.93), while both N/P and C/P in the leaves, stems and roots of AM shrubs (38.67, 36.17, 40.69; 1028.14, 2989.13, and 2659.18) were significantly higher than in ECM shrubs (30.52, 22.31, 20.47; 796.51, 2208.28, and 1714.95). Moreover, different elements among the same plant organs were closely correlated, and the same pattern was found among the same element ratios among different plant organs. This suggests that mycorrhizal type can influence C, N and P ratios among different organs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Soils)
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18 pages, 4281 KiB  
Article
Parameters Optimization and Test of Caterpillar Self-Propelled Tiger Nut Harvester Hoisting Device
by Xun He, Yanliu Lv, Zhe Qu, Wanzhang Wang, Zheng Zhou and Hao He
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1060; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071060 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1889
Abstract
Aiming at the problem of a poor separation of tiger nut, soil and grass during harvest, a hoisting device consisting of a combined-type hoisting sieve, vibrating wheels and soil roller was designed in combination with the requirements of the planting and harvesting of [...] Read more.
Aiming at the problem of a poor separation of tiger nut, soil and grass during harvest, a hoisting device consisting of a combined-type hoisting sieve, vibrating wheels and soil roller was designed in combination with the requirements of the planting and harvesting of tiger nut. Through a theoretical analysis of the movement of the mixture of tiger nut, sand and grass in the process of hoisting, the basic law that affects the soil filter rate was determined, and the parameters affecting the soil-sieving rate were determined, and the hoisting angle, linear hoist speed and range of related parameters of vibrating wheels were obtained. Based on the DEM-MBD method, a simulation model of an excavating and hoisting device was built. With the hoisting angle, linear hoist speed, vibrating frequency and vibrating amplitudes of vibrating wheels as test factors, and the soil-sieving rate as test index, an orthogonal rotating-center combination test with four factors and three levels was carried out. The results showed that the influence of various factors on soil-sieving rate was as follows: vibrating frequency of vibrating wheels > linear hoist velocity > vibrating amplitudes of vibrating wheels > hoisting angle. When the vibrating frequency of the vibrating wheels was 9 Hz, the linear hoist speed was 0.66 m/s, vibrating amplitude of vibrating wheels was 25 mm and hoisting angle was 26°; the maximum value of the soil-sieving rate was 42.5%. The optimized parameters were applied to field test for verification, and the soil-sieving rate of the field test was 44.7%, which was better than the simulation test. The research results can provide a theoretical reference for design optimization and simulation analysis of tiger nut harvesters. Full article
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20 pages, 3358 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Cadmium Effects on Six Solanum melongena L. Cultivars from the Mediterranean Basin
by Edgardo Filippone, Valentina Tranchida-Lombardo, Alessia Vitiello, Fabrizio Ruiu, Mina Di Salvatore, Teresa Rosa Galise, Lucrezia Laccetti, Angela Amoresano, Gennaro D’Ambrosio, Luigi Frusciante, Giovanni Scopece and Pasquale Chiaiese
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1059; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071059 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1997
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) contamination is a severe problem in the environment and produces detrimental effects on crop productivity and quality. Characterization of crop performance at different Cd concentrations is crucial to identify pollution-safe cultivars with low translocation efficiency to aboveground organs to be used [...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd) contamination is a severe problem in the environment and produces detrimental effects on crop productivity and quality. Characterization of crop performance at different Cd concentrations is crucial to identify pollution-safe cultivars with low translocation efficiency to aboveground organs to be used for food safety. Here, we estimated germination, survival, growth, photosynthetic pigments, Cd bioaccumulation, among-organs translocation, and ionic balance in six Solanum melongena L. (eggplant) cultivars from the central Mediterranean basin. On two cultivars, we also analyzed expression of genes involved in Cd uptake, i.e., heavy metal ATPases (HMAs) and metal tolerance proteins (MTPs). We found that Cd has a negative effect on all the investigated parameters but with relevant among-cultivar differences. Cd-treated plants showed a decrease in germination rate and survival. Photosynthetic pigments showed opposite trends, i.e., with increasing Cd contents, we observed a decrease in chlorophylls and an increase in carotenoids. The investigated cultivars showed high ability of sequestrating Cd in roots but a low translocation efficiency to the aboveground organs, suggesting a good potential for food safety. The response of plants to Cd was mediated by a different expression of the MTP and HMA gene families. Our study represents the first comprehensive investigation of Cd tolerance in eggplant varieties from the Mediterranean basin and highlights the importance of comparative studies to identify Cd-tolerant cultivars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant-Soil Interactions)
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16 pages, 2832 KiB  
Review
Assessment of Water Productivity Enhancement and Sustainability Potential of Different Resource Conservation Technologies: A Review in the Context of Pakistan
by Muhammad Adnan Shahid, Junaid Nawaz Chauhdary, Muhammad Usman, Muhammad Uzair Qamar and Abdul Shabbir
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1058; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071058 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2773
Abstract
Agriculture is the major economic sector in Asian countries and the majority of their population depends on it. In addition to the largest irrigation system in the Indus basin, Pakistan is suffering from water shortages that are affecting the overall crop production of [...] Read more.
Agriculture is the major economic sector in Asian countries and the majority of their population depends on it. In addition to the largest irrigation system in the Indus basin, Pakistan is suffering from water shortages that are affecting the overall crop production of the country. Different resource conservation technologies (RCTs) such as precision land leveling (PLL), raised bed planting (RBP), and different high-efficiency irrigation systems (HEISs) can be opted for better water productivity. In this study, the potential of these RCTs has been explored to enhance production and save irrigation water through their sustainable adoption. Based on studies by different researchers, water savings up to 47% and yield increases up to 35% have been reported under PLL, while water savings up to 50% and about 10–33% yield increases were observed under RBP. Similarly, under different HEISs, water savings up to 80% and yield increases up to 53% have been reported compared with crops sown under conventional farming. Based on the findings of the researchers regarding RCTs, these have been proved as progressive sowing techniques for better productivity under the limited available water scenario. The detailed review in this paper concludes that RCTs resulting in the improvement of gravity irrigation methods, viz., PLL and RBP, have a great potential of adoption and water productivity improvement at the regional scale in developing countries such as Pakistan, while high-cost HEISs can also be promoted at limited scale among progressive farmers for high-value agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Saving Irrigation Technology and Strategies for Crop Production)
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11 pages, 1812 KiB  
Article
Does Loading Ammonium to Sorbents Affect Plant Availability in Soil?
by Bente Foereid and Julia Szocs
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1057; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071057 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1347
Abstract
Sorption to cheap sorbents can be used to concentrate nutrients from liquid waste streams and make them into fertilisers. In this study we assess how plant available is ammonium nitrogen (N) sorbed to three sorbents, and if the potential for greenhouse gas (GHG) [...] Read more.
Sorption to cheap sorbents can be used to concentrate nutrients from liquid waste streams and make them into fertilisers. In this study we assess how plant available is ammonium nitrogen (N) sorbed to three sorbents, and if the potential for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions after a non-growing season is affected by sorption. Ammonium-N labelled with N15 was sorbed to biochar, bentonite and zeolite. Treatments where N was sorbed and where N and sorbents were applied separately were tested in a pot experiment with wheat, and soil samples were then frozen and dried to simulate non-growing seasons. After thawing and re-wetting, GHG emissions from the soil were assessed. There was no difference between sorption treatments in biomass or N uptake or fertiliser N left in the soil, and little difference between sorption treatments in gas emissions after the non-growing seasons was seen. We conclude that ammonium applied sorbed to these sorbents is as plant available as ammonium applied the conventional way. GHG emissions at the beginning of the next season are also not affected by ammonium applied sorbed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Fertilization and Soil Nutrient Cycling in Farming System)
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22 pages, 3065 KiB  
Article
The Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources and Crop Production in an Arid Region
by Samira Shayanmehr, Jana Ivanič Porhajašová, Mária Babošová, Mahmood Sabouhi Sabouni, Hosein Mohammadi, Shida Rastegari Henneberry and Naser Shahnoushi Foroushani
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1056; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071056 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4677
Abstract
Climate change is one of the most pressing global issues of the twenty-first century. This phenomenon has an increasingly severe impact on water resources and crop production. The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of climate change on water [...] Read more.
Climate change is one of the most pressing global issues of the twenty-first century. This phenomenon has an increasingly severe impact on water resources and crop production. The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of climate change on water resources, crop production, and agricultural sustainability in an arid environment in Iran. To this end, the study constructs a new integrated climate-hydrological-economic model to assess the impact of future climate change on water resources and crop production. Furthermore, the agricultural sustainability is evaluated using the multicriteria decision making (MCDM) technique in the context of climate change. The findings regarding the prediction of climate variables show that the minimum and maximum temperatures are expected to increase by about 5.88% and 6.05%, respectively, while precipitation would decrease by approximately 30.68%. The results of the research reveal that water availability will decrease by about 13.79–15.45% under different climate scenarios. Additionally, the findings show that in the majority of cases crop production will reduce in response to climate scenarios so that rainfed wheat will experience the greatest decline (approximately 59.95%). The results of the MCDM model show that climate change can have adverse effects on economic and environmental aspects and, consequently, on the sustainability of the agricultural system of the study area. Our findings can inform policymakers on effective strategies for mitigating the consequences of climate change on water resources and agricultural production in dry regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling the Adaptations of Agricultural Production to Climate Change)
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17 pages, 3268 KiB  
Article
Impact of Rice Expansion on Traditional Wetland Management in the Tropical Highlands of Ethiopia
by Mare Addis Desta, Gete Zeleke, William A. Payne and Wubneh Belete Abebe
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1055; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071055 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2603
Abstract
Despite the fact that rice was only recently brought to Ethiopia, the Ethiopian government has dubbed it the “millennium crop” because of its importance as a food security crop, as well as a source of revenue and job possibilities. Rice production is being [...] Read more.
Despite the fact that rice was only recently brought to Ethiopia, the Ethiopian government has dubbed it the “millennium crop” because of its importance as a food security crop, as well as a source of revenue and job possibilities. Rice production is being practiced on wetland areas and floodplains; however, no attention has been given to the sustainability of these wetlands, or to the integration of different previous indigenous activities, such as livestock rearing and farming of different crops in the area. This study aims to investigate the impact of rice expansion on traditional wetland management in the Fogera floodplain wetlands of the Lake Tana basin. Data were generated via interviews and the application of GIS and remote sensing. The survey questionnaire was administered to 385 rice-producing farmers. The respondents (87%) confirmed that increases in the price of rice encouraged them to shift from the cultivation of conventional crops to rice farming. Subsequently, between the years 1973 and 2014, wetland areas have been reduced from 3114 ha to 1060 ha, accompanied by a high rate of expansion in rice production in the area. Major activities being pursued in the wetlands of the study area do not consider environmental impacts. As a result, the diverse ecosystem services available in the past have been compromised through time. Sense of ownership of wetland resources and their benefit shall be communicated to reduce abusive utilization. Therefore, the policies, strategies, and development activities implementation need to consider environmental issues in rice production enhancement endeavors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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14 pages, 7556 KiB  
Article
Development of a Personal Mobility System with Autonomous Driving for Agricultural Work by the Physically Challenged and the Vulnerable
by EunByul Ko, KwangHo Han and Chul-Hee Lee
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1054; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071054 - 19 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1412
Abstract
Many issues have recently arisen as a result of the aging population and dwindling labor force. To solve these problems, including reduced convenience and productivity, research on the mobility of agricultural machinery and logistics involving autonomous driving is being conducted. However, research on [...] Read more.
Many issues have recently arisen as a result of the aging population and dwindling labor force. To solve these problems, including reduced convenience and productivity, research on the mobility of agricultural machinery and logistics involving autonomous driving is being conducted. However, research on improving individual mobility is scarce. Therefore, an autonomous driving personal mobility system is developed in this study for the physically challenged and other vulnerable groups with mobility difficulties. The personal mobility system can help the physically challenged and the vulnerable to overcome their limited mobility and perform agricultural work. An additional feature is a standing function that allows the performance of tasks too difficult to do while seated. In addition, the autonomous driving function guides the personal mobility system along the work route and stops near agricultural crops. In this study, the design and structural stability of the personal mobility system were analyzed through CAD modeling and structural analysis, with LiDAR applied for autonomous driving and machine learning for agricultural work. This personal mobility system is expected to improve mobility for the physically challenged and the vulnerable, allowing them to play a role and participate more fully in society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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16 pages, 1696 KiB  
Article
Studying the Effect of Straw Returning on the Interspecific Symbiosis of Soil Microbes Based on Carbon Source Utilization
by Yucui Ning, Xu Wang, Yanna Yang, Xu Cao, Yulong Wu, Detang Zou and Dongxing Zhou
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1053; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071053 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1618
Abstract
Heilongjiang province has made great contributions to ensuring the food security of China. Grain production has increased year by year, followed by a large amount of straw—especially the production of corn straw. Straw returning is the best treatment method from the perspective of [...] Read more.
Heilongjiang province has made great contributions to ensuring the food security of China. Grain production has increased year by year, followed by a large amount of straw—especially the production of corn straw. Straw returning is the best treatment method from the perspective of ecology. This study simulated modern mechanized operation conditions from the field of soil biological characteristics to explore the impact of straw decomposition on the changes in the soil microbial community. In this study, in the black soil region of Northeast China (45°45′27″~45°46′33″ N, 126°35′44″~126°55′54″ E), the orthogonal experimental design was used to experiment for two years (2019–2020), using straw length, amount, and buried depth as returning factors. The carbon source utilization intensity algorithm that was developed by our team was used to extract a single carbon source. A compound mathematical model was constructed based on path analysis and grey relation analysis. This study analyzed the interspecific symbiotic relationship of soil microbes in the process of straw returning and explored the regulatory methods and schemes with which to promote straw decomposition. The results showed that in the first year after straw returning, the cumulative decomposition rate of straw could reach 55.000%; the supplement of the carbon source was glycyl-l-glutamic acid, which was helpful for the decomposition of straw. It was found that cyclodextrin should be added within 90–120 days after straw returning to promote decomposition. In the second year of straw returning, the cumulative decomposition rate of straw can reach 73.523% and the carbon sources α-d-lactose and d-galactonic acid γ-lactone should be supplemented appropriately to promote straw decomposition. This study provides an experimental basis for corn straw returning to the black soil of the cold regions, along with the scientific and technological support for the sustainable development of agriculture and a guarantee of national food security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Conservation Cropping Systems and Practices)
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19 pages, 647 KiB  
Article
Determinants for Deployment of Climate-Smart Integrated Pest Management Practices: A Meta-Analysis Approach
by Haruna Sekabira, Ghislain T. Tepa-Yotto, Rousseau Djouaka, Victor Clottey, Christopher Gaitu, Manuele Tamò, Yusuf Kaweesa and Stanley Peter Ddungu
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1052; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071052 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3143
Abstract
Following the development and dissemination of new climate-smart agricultural technologies to farmers globally, there has been an increase in the number of socio-economic studies on the adoption of climate-smart integrated pests’ management (CS-IPM) technologies over the years. In this study, we review empirical [...] Read more.
Following the development and dissemination of new climate-smart agricultural technologies to farmers globally, there has been an increase in the number of socio-economic studies on the adoption of climate-smart integrated pests’ management (CS-IPM) technologies over the years. In this study, we review empirical evidence on adoption determinants of CS-IPM technologies and identify possible science–policy interfaces. Generally, our review shows that socioeconomic and institutional factors are influential in shaping CS-IPM adoption decisions of farmers. More specifically, income was found to positively influence the adoption of CS-IPM technologies while land size owned influences CS-IPM adoption negatively. Registered land tenure (registered secure rights) positively influences CS-IPM technologies’ adoption, implying that efficient land markets enable competitive and fair distribution and access to land, more so by the vulnerable but efficient smallholder producers that do indeed increase the adoption of CS-IPMs technologies. Social capital, achieved via farmers’ organizations is also central in fostering CS-IPM technologies’ adoption, just as market reforms that minimize market failures regarding access to credit, labor, and agricultural information, which could indirectly hinder farmers’ use of CS-IPM practices. Functional extension systems that improve farmers’ awareness of CS-IPM do also improve CS-IPM technologies’ adoption. However, the adoption of CS-IPM technologies in Ghana and Benin is slow-paced because of factors like lack of access to farm inputs that facilitate uptake of these technologies, lack of credit facilities, and limited extension services, among others. Interestingly, our review confirms that CS-IPM technologies do indeed reduce and minimize the intensity of pesticide usage and foster ecosystem (environmental and human) health. Therefore, this review unearths strategic determinants of CS-IPM adoption and makes fundamental guidance around climate-smart innovations transfer and environmental policies that should be prioritized to curb environmental pollution and ensure agricultural ecosystems’ sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Insects in Sustainable Agroecosystems)
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19 pages, 3603 KiB  
Article
Research on the Adaptability of High-Performance Film for Full Recycling to the Curl-Up Film Collecting Method
by Jie Liu, Xuanfeng Liu, Yongxin Jiang, Xin Zhou, Li Zhang and Xuenong Wang
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1051; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071051 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1358
Abstract
Given the problem of the low tensile performance of the plastic film used in China, which brings about difficulties in curl-up film collecting, in this study, a contrast test was carried out on the tensile property of high-performance film for full recycling and [...] Read more.
Given the problem of the low tensile performance of the plastic film used in China, which brings about difficulties in curl-up film collecting, in this study, a contrast test was carried out on the tensile property of high-performance film for full recycling and the ordinary polyethylene film (PE film) that is used extensively in China. Test results showed that, within the service period, the elongation at break and tensile yield stress of the high-performance film were higher than those of ordinary polyethylene film, and, within the film-laying period of 0~30 days, the reduction scale of the elongation at break and tensile yield stress was higher than that within the film-laying period of 30~180 days. In this study, in order to obtain the lowest tensile performance of the film by curl-up film collecting, the operation principles of the curl-up film collectors were analyzed. The test on the force of curling up the film in the process of overcoming the force between the film and soil was analyzed. Test and analysis results showed that, for different sampling positions, film pick-up angles, and film types, the tensile stress on the film while pulling it up was within a range of 15.97~21.86 MPa. In order to verify the curling up effect of differently structured film collectors on different types of film with different thicknesses, a field test on film curl-up collecting was designed. A contrast test was carried out on two types of curl-up film collectors, 1JRM-2000 and 11SM-1.2, and the test results showed that the film recycling rate and working performance on the film laid in the same year by the film collector with a fixed film pick-up angle were higher than those for varying film pick-up angles. The curl-up film collector fixed with an automatic film-guiding mechanism is not affected by the velocity difference between the linear velocity of the film curl-up mechanism and the advancing velocity of the machine. The film recycling rate and working performance on the film laid in the same year by the 11SM-1.2 curl-up film collector can meet the operational requirements for collecting high-performance film with thicknesses of 0.008 mm and 0.01 mm. This research can provide a reference for simplifying the structure of residual plastic film collectors, increasing the film recycling rate, and reducing the cost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Robots and Autonomous Machines for Agriculture Production)
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19 pages, 640 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Digital Technology on Land Rent-Out Behavior: Information Sharing or Exclusion?
by Xiaofan Zuo and Zhisheng Hong
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1046; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071046 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1540
Abstract
In the digital age, it is critical to understand the nexus between digital technology (DT) and land rent-out behavior (LRB). It has implications for reducing the rate of land abandonment to achieve sustainable agricultural development. A large dataset (n = 5233) dating [...] Read more.
In the digital age, it is critical to understand the nexus between digital technology (DT) and land rent-out behavior (LRB). It has implications for reducing the rate of land abandonment to achieve sustainable agricultural development. A large dataset (n = 5233) dating from 2016 and coming from the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) is used to explore the impact of DT on LRB by applying several econometric models, also including the “Recursive Bivariate Probit (RBP) model” and “Chain Multiple Mediation effect (CMM) model”. We provide empirical evidence that the DT’s information sharing effect positively impacted LRB, while an opposite effect is observed by the “digital divide (DT_GAP)” i.e., information exclusion that negatively impacted LRB. We further test the effect of two other variables, namely “digital information dependence” and “non-farm jobs” supposed as mediating factors of DT and DT_GAP in influencing LRB, respectively in a positive and negative way. In particular, the variable “nonfarm jobs” plays a mediating role conditional on the variable “digital information dependence” as a mediating variable at the first level. In addition, statistical tests reveal that the impact of DT and the DT_GAP on LRB is not significant in terms of regional preferences but is significant in terms of age of householder and household income level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agriculture: Theories, Methods, Practices and Policies)
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17 pages, 1555 KiB  
Article
The Hunt for Mungbean (Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek) Genotypes and Breeding Lines Resistance to South Indian Bruchid Strain
by Santhi Madhavan Samyuktha, Devarajan Malarvizhi, Irulappan Mariyammal, Adhimoolam Karthikeyan, Devina Seram, Manickam Dhasarathan, Sundarrajan Juliet Hepziba, Venugopal Sheela, Arumugam Thanga Hemavathy, Duraisamy Kavithamani, Shanmugam Kavitha and Natesan Senthil
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1050; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071050 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2926
Abstract
Mungbean (Vigna radiata) is an important short-season legume widely cultivated in Asia, particularly India. It is highly susceptible to bruchids and developing bruchid resistance is an important goal in mungbean breeding programs. In the present study, 52 mungbean genotypes were evaluated [...] Read more.
Mungbean (Vigna radiata) is an important short-season legume widely cultivated in Asia, particularly India. It is highly susceptible to bruchids and developing bruchid resistance is an important goal in mungbean breeding programs. In the present study, 52 mungbean genotypes were evaluated for bruchid resistance based on the “no-choice test” and identified two highly resistant genotypes (V2802BG and V2709) with no adult emergence and seed damage. Further, these two resistant genotypes were crossed with six high-yielding bruchid susceptible cultivars (CO 5, CO 6, CO 7, CO 8, VBN 2, and VBN 3), and 12 independent F1 populations were generated. Of these, one population derived from CO 6 × V2802BG was selected (based on the good combining ability of the parents) and forwarded to later generations to trace the bruchid-resistant lines. A total of 159 F2:3 families were screened for bruchid resistance, and the results showed that seven families were highly resistant, whereas the remainder were resistant to highly susceptible. Further, those seven families were evaluated in F4 and F5 generations. As a result, five highly resistant lines (BSR-GG-1-49-3-1, BSR-GG-1-56-2-2, BSR-GG-1-160-5-3, BSR-GG-1-170-2-4, and BSR-GG-1-198-1-4) with good agronomic performances were identified. The newly developed lines could be tested in multi-location trials and then be utilized as a potential source of genetic material for improving the bruchid resistance in mungbean breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Germplasm Resources Exploration and Genetic Breeding of Crops)
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10 pages, 1194 KiB  
Article
Combined Application of Organic Amendments and Gypsum to Reclaim Saline–Alkali Soil
by Demis Andrade Foronda and Gilles Colinet
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1049; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071049 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1956
Abstract
Saline–alkali soils have high sodicity, high pH, and high levels of soluble salts, as well as carbonates. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of cattle manure and chicken manure combined with gypsum at three levels on reclaiming a saline–alkali soil, through a [...] Read more.
Saline–alkali soils have high sodicity, high pH, and high levels of soluble salts, as well as carbonates. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of cattle manure and chicken manure combined with gypsum at three levels on reclaiming a saline–alkali soil, through a soil column experiment. Combined treatments were more effective than those of sole gypsum in reducing the initial exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) below 5%. Electrical conductivity (ECe) was lowered below 1.6 dS m−1 by all treatments, except the control. The higher effectiveness of manures combined with gypsum can be explained by their synergistic effect on Na+ displacement and subsequent soil structure improvement, leading to an enhancement in the leaching process, and then the salinity/sodicity reduction. Soluble salts and Na+ were considerably reduced in all treatments at the first leaching. Soil ESP and ECe threshold values from the US Salinity Lab classification were reached by any treatment, except the control. The addition of cattle manure or chicken manure might enhance the reclamation effect of gypsum with leaching for some saline–alkali soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improvement and Utilization of Saline-Alkali Soil)
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14 pages, 2437 KiB  
Article
Machine Learning Identification of Saline-Alkali-Tolerant Japonica Rice Varieties Based on Raman Spectroscopy and Python Visual Analysis
by Rui Liu, Feng Tan, Yaxuan Wang, Bo Ma, Ming Yuan, Lianxia Wang and Xin Zhao
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1048; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071048 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1903
Abstract
The core of saline-alkali land improvement is planting suitable plants. Planting rice in saline-alkali land can not only effectively improve saline-alkali soil, but also increase grain yield. However, traditional identification methods for saline-alkali-tolerant rice varieties require tedious and time-consuming field investigations based on [...] Read more.
The core of saline-alkali land improvement is planting suitable plants. Planting rice in saline-alkali land can not only effectively improve saline-alkali soil, but also increase grain yield. However, traditional identification methods for saline-alkali-tolerant rice varieties require tedious and time-consuming field investigations based on growth indicators by rice breeders. In this study, the visualization method of Python data processing was used to analyze the Raman spectroscopy of japonica rice in order to study a simple and efficient identification method of saline-alkali-tolerant japonica rice varieties. Three saline-alkali-tolerant japonica varieties and three saline-alkali-sensitive japonica varieties were collected from control and saline-alkali-treated fields, respectively, and the Raman spectra of 432 samples were obtained. The data preprocessing stage used filtering-difference method to process Raman spectral data to complete interference reduction and crests extraction. In the feature selection stage, scipy.signal.find_peaks (SSFP), SelectKBest (SKB) and recursive feature elimination (RFE) were used for machine feature selection of spectral data. According to the feature dimension obtained by machine feature selection, dataset partitioning by K-fold CV, the typical linear logistic regression (LR) and typical nonlinear support vector machine (SVM) models were established for classification. Experimental results showed that the typical nonlinear SVM identification model based on both RFE machine feature selection and six-fold CV dataset partitioning had the best identification rate, which was 94%. Therefore, the SVM classification model proposed in this study could provide help in the intelligent identification of saline-alkali-tolerant japonica rice varieties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Digital Agriculture)
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26 pages, 4414 KiB  
Article
Rural Agrotourism Development Strategies in Less Favored Areas: The Case of Hacienda Guachinango de Trinidad
by Norberto Pelegrín Entenza, Antonio Vázquez Pérez and Analién Pelegrín Naranjo
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071047 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2939
Abstract
The objective of the work was to assess and identify potential perspectives for the development of agrotourism activity in the Hacienda Guachinango del Valle de los Ingenios in the Trinidad municipality, so that the methodology applied and the results achieved can serve as [...] Read more.
The objective of the work was to assess and identify potential perspectives for the development of agrotourism activity in the Hacienda Guachinango del Valle de los Ingenios in the Trinidad municipality, so that the methodology applied and the results achieved can serve as a reference for application in other similar contexts in the country and in the Central American area. For this, the analysis and synthesis of spatial elements, discussion groups, the interpretation of descriptive statistics, and the study of the natural and social environment were applied. The diagnosis of resources was carried out in this work to determine the degree of competitiveness and attraction of the agrotourism product, and it was possible to establish the most convenient strategies to follow, considering the real possibilities of prospective development of the place studied. It was concluded that the proposal to develop agrotourism in Hacienda Guachinango constitutes a viable option to design and introduce a strategy for growth and socioeconomic reactivation based on the use of the natural, historical, cultural, and social potentialities of the small families dedicated to agricultural work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Development Strategies for Less-Favoured Areas)
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15 pages, 3794 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Characteristics of Rice Root–Soil Complex in Rice–Wheat Rotation Area
by Huibin Zhu, Haoran Zhao, Lizhen Bai, Shi’ao Ma, Xu Zhang and Hui Li
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1045; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071045 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1566
Abstract
In order to explore the mechanical characteristics of stubble breaking and provide a theoretical basis for the design of a stubble breaking and crushing blockage prevention device, an orthogonal test with three factors (water content, bulk weight, and root content) and a quick [...] Read more.
In order to explore the mechanical characteristics of stubble breaking and provide a theoretical basis for the design of a stubble breaking and crushing blockage prevention device, an orthogonal test with three factors (water content, bulk weight, and root content) and a quick shearing test of remolded soil were carried out in a laboratory. The shear resistance of the rice root–soil complex was studied and the soil mechanical equation of the rice root–soil composite was established. It is found that the shear strength of the root–soil composite is related to water content and root content. When the water content was around 30% and the root content was 1.1%, the cohesion of the root–soil composite was the smallest. With the decrease or increase of water content and the decrease or increase of root content, the cohesion of the root–soil composite showed the trend of increasing layer by layer. When the water content was 40% and the root content was 1.1%, the internal friction angle of the root–soil composite showed the minimum value. With the decrease of water content and the increase of root content, the internal friction angle of the root–soil composite gradually showed an increasing trend; while the root content had a great influence on the internal friction angle, the influence of water content on it was relatively small. The direct shear and fast shear tests of root–soil composite samples showed that the shear strength of the root–soil composite and the normal pressure loaded on it conform to the Coulomb equation. The presence of roots increased the shear strength and cohesion value of the soil and improved the resistance to deformation of the soil, but had little influence on the internal friction angle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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19 pages, 8531 KiB  
Article
Development of an Energy Efficient and Fully Autonomous Low-Cost IoT System for Irrigation Scheduling in Water-Scarce Areas Using Different Water Sources
by Zisis Tsiropoulos, Evangelos Skoubris, Spyros Fountas, Ioannis Gravalos and Theofanis Gemtos
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1044; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071044 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2230
Abstract
Politicians and the general public are concerned about climate change, water scarcity, and the constant reduction in agricultural land. Water reserves are scarce in many regions in the world, negatively affecting agricultural productivity, which makes it a necessity to introduce sustainable water resource [...] Read more.
Politicians and the general public are concerned about climate change, water scarcity, and the constant reduction in agricultural land. Water reserves are scarce in many regions in the world, negatively affecting agricultural productivity, which makes it a necessity to introduce sustainable water resource management. Nowadays, there is a number of commercial IoT systems for irrigation scheduling, helping farmers to manage and save water. However, these systems focus on using the available fresh water sources, without being able to manage alternative water sources. In this study, an Arduino-based low-cost IoT system for automated irrigation scheduling is developed and implemented, which can provide measurements of water parameters with high precision using low-cost sensors. The system used weather station data combined with the FAO56 model for computing the water requirements for various crops, and it was capable of handling and monitoring different water streams by supervising their quality and quantity. The developed IoT system was tested in several field trials, to evaluate its capabilities and functionalities, including the sensors’ accuracy, its autonomous controlling and operation, and its power consumption. The results of this study show that the system worked efficiently on the management and monitoring of different types of water sources (rainwater, groundwater, seawater, and wastewater) and on automating the irrigation scheduling. In addition, it was proved that the system is can be used for long periods of time without any power source, making it ideal for using it on annual crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Water Management in the Era of Climatic Change)
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24 pages, 1715 KiB  
Article
An Integrated Assessment of Different Types of Environment-Friendly Technological Progress and Their Spatial Spillover Effects in the Chinese Agriculture Sector
by Guang Chen, Yue Deng, Apurbo Sarkar and Zhengbing Wang
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1043; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071043 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1626
Abstract
The progress of environment-friendly technology is an important means and fundamental way to achieve high-quality agricultural development. Based on the panel data of 30 provinces of China from 2000 to 2010, the study used the slack-based models (SBM) to measure the progress of [...] Read more.
The progress of environment-friendly technology is an important means and fundamental way to achieve high-quality agricultural development. Based on the panel data of 30 provinces of China from 2000 to 2010, the study used the slack-based models (SBM) to measure the progress of China’s environment-based technology and its different types and discusses its dynamic evolution characteristics over time. First, the study adopted MATLAB software and used a slack-based models (SBM) method to split the environment-friendly technology progress (AGTP) into agricultural emission-reduction environment-friendly technology progress (AEGTP) and the agricultural re-source-saving environment-friendly technology progress (ARGTP). Then, global and local spatial autocorrelation analysis, spatial model testing, and Spatial Durbin Model (SDM) were performed on different types of environment-friendly technology progress using STATA15. Moreover, OpenGeoDa and ArcGIS software was used for visualization. The empirical results showed that: (i) from the perspective of time and space, the AGTP showed a slightly higher level in technological regression trend from 2000 to 2012, and rebounded rapidly from 2012 to 2019. In the spatial dimension, the spatial autocorrelation test results of environment-friendly technology progress at the global Moran I level showed a significant positive correlation; however, the phenomenon of the regional level showed a negative correlation. (ii) From the perspective of the type of heterogeneity, only the spatial distribution has a high degree of chance, and the aggregation area is more concentrated. Various influencing factors have a very significant impact on ACGTP but are less significant on agricultural resource-saving environment-friendly technology progress. However, various influencing factors have a more significant impact on the ACGTP than AEGTP. (iii) From the perspective of the spatial spillover effect, labor level, per capita agricultural gross product, and agricultural internal structure are positively and significantly related to environment-friendly technology progress and its different types. Agricultural price policy, financial support policy, economic environmental regulation, and administrative environmental regulation have significant negative effects on the progress of environment-friendly technology and its different types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Agriculture Adoption Strategies)
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