Editor’s Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to readers, or important in the respective research area. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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13 pages, 3551 KiB  
Article
Imidacloprid Uptake and Leaching in the Critical Root Zone of a Florida Entisol
by Qudus O. Uthman, Miguel Vasconez, Davie M. Kadyampakeni, Yu Wang, Demetris Athienitis and Jawwad A. Qureshi
Agrochemicals 2024, 3(1), 94-106; https://doi.org/10.3390/agrochemicals3010008 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 753
Abstract
Imidacloprid (IDP) products are applied via soil drenching in the citrus critical root zone (CCRZ) at 0–60 cm soil depth. This study aimed to determine the uptake and leaching of IDP in the CCRZ of a Florida Entisol. The treatments include: (1) a [...] Read more.
Imidacloprid (IDP) products are applied via soil drenching in the citrus critical root zone (CCRZ) at 0–60 cm soil depth. This study aimed to determine the uptake and leaching of IDP in the CCRZ of a Florida Entisol. The treatments include: (1) a control with no IDP applied, (2) 1.6 g of active ingredient (a.i.) per tree (×2), and (3) 3.2 g a.i. per tree of IDP (×4). The treatments were applied to two trees within each experiment unit, replicated five times, and completely randomized. The IDP concentration in the Entisol was affected by the amount of water received within the sampling intervals. IDP movement in the Entisol was evident for the field trials in Fall 2021 and 2022, irrespective of the treatment. A total of 10 mm of daily irrigation was the major driver of IDP movement in Fall 2021 (September–December 2021), while 11.7 cm of cumulative rainfall plus 10 mm of daily irrigation were the major drivers for IDP in Fall 2022 (November–December 2022). The IDP uptake level by leaves was relatively low probably because of the relatively low temperature and humidity. More applications of IDP did not result in its higher uptake by citrus leaves in the Entisol. Given the persistence of IDP, there is a possibility of leaching, which could potentially contaminate the groundwater, surface water, and non-target organisms. Therefore, it is crucial to carefully manage the use of IDP in citrus production systems to mitigate the unintended environmental impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pesticides)
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24 pages, 916 KiB  
Review
Toxicity and Risk of Biopesticides to Insect Pollinators in Urban and Agricultural Landscapes
by Joshua Chavana and Neelendra K. Joshi
Agrochemicals 2024, 3(1), 70-93; https://doi.org/10.3390/agrochemicals3010007 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1186
Abstract
Pollinators play important roles in providing pollination services, maintaining biodiversity, and boosting crop production. Even though pollinators are essential to the environment and agriculture, their decline has been noted across multiple studies in the recent past. Both natural and anthropogenic factors have contributed [...] Read more.
Pollinators play important roles in providing pollination services, maintaining biodiversity, and boosting crop production. Even though pollinators are essential to the environment and agriculture, their decline has been noted across multiple studies in the recent past. Both natural and anthropogenic factors have contributed to their decline. Much of the focus has been placed on climate change, habitat loss, pests and pathogens, and synthetic pesticides, but relatively little is known about the effects of biopesticides. Biopesticides are biological control agents derived from living organisms and are classified into three groups: microbial, biochemical, and plant-incorporated protectant-based products. Biopesticides are formulated similarly to their synthetic counterparts and are readily available and used within urban and agricultural settings by pest management experts and household residents. The general public and much scientific literature support the prevailing idea that biopesticides are environmentally safe and pollinator friendly in comparison with synthetic versions. However, such generalizations are based on studies with a few key pollinator species and may not be relevant to several other species that provide crop pollination services. Studies focused on native pollinators have shown that some biopesticides have lethal and sublethal effects. Because each biopesticide exhibits varying effects across pollinator species, it could be dangerous to generalize their non-toxicity across taxa and environmental settings. In this article, recent research in this direction is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pesticides)
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13 pages, 871 KiB  
Review
Neonicotinoid Insecticide-Degrading Bacteria and Their Application Potential in Contaminated Agricultural Soil Remediation
by Yuechun Zeng, Shaolin Sun, Pengfei Li, Xian Zhou and Jian Wang
Agrochemicals 2024, 3(1), 29-41; https://doi.org/10.3390/agrochemicals3010004 - 19 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 853
Abstract
Recent advances in the microbial degradation of persistent organic pollutants have the potential to mitigate the damage caused by anthropogenic activities that are harmfully impacting agriculture soil ecosystems and human health. In this paper, we summarize the pollution characteristics of neonicotinoid insecticides (NNIs) [...] Read more.
Recent advances in the microbial degradation of persistent organic pollutants have the potential to mitigate the damage caused by anthropogenic activities that are harmfully impacting agriculture soil ecosystems and human health. In this paper, we summarize the pollution characteristics of neonicotinoid insecticides (NNIs) in agricultural fields in China and other countries and then discuss the existing research on screening for NNI-degrading functional bacterial strains, their degradation processes, the construction of microbial consortia, and strategies for their application. We explore the current needs and solutions for improving the microbial remediation rate of NNI-contaminated soil and how these solutions are being developed and applied. We highlight several scientific and technological advances in soil microbiome engineering, including the construction of microbial consortia with a broad spectrum of NNI degradation and microbial immobilization to improve competition with indigenous microorganisms through the provision of a microenvironment and niche suitable for NNI-degrading bacteria. This paper highlights the need for an interdisciplinary approach to improving the degradation capacity and in situ survival of NNI-degrading strains/microbial consortia to facilitate the remediation of NNI-contaminated soil using strains with a broad spectrum and high efficiency in NNI degradation. Full article
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11 pages, 3036 KiB  
Article
Adjuvant Pluronic F68 Is Compatible with a Plant Root-Colonizing Probiotic, Pseudomonas chlororaphis O6
by Amanda R. Streeter, Anthony Cartwright, Mohammad Zargaran, Anagha Wankhade, Anne J. Anderson and David W. Britt
Agrochemicals 2024, 3(1), 1-11; https://doi.org/10.3390/agrochemicals3010001 - 22 Dec 2023
Viewed by 927
Abstract
Plant probiotic bacteria are being increasingly used to maximize both the productivity and quality of field crops. Pseudomonas chlororaphis O6 (PcO6) is a plant root colonizer with probiotic activities. This bacterium produces an array of metabolites, including a group of phenazines [...] Read more.
Plant probiotic bacteria are being increasingly used to maximize both the productivity and quality of field crops. Pseudomonas chlororaphis O6 (PcO6) is a plant root colonizer with probiotic activities. This bacterium produces an array of metabolites, including a group of phenazines that are functional in plant protection. The paper reports responses of PcO6 to a nonionic triblock copolymer surfactant, Pluronic F68. This Pluronic exhibits membrane “healing” activity and improves cryopreservation recovery in eukaryotic cells. The product is FDA-approved and is applied as an adjuvant in formulations used in agriculture, medicine, and biotechnology. Growth of PcO6 on lysogeny broth at 25 °C was unhindered by 0.1 and 1.0 g/L F68, reduced at 10 g/L, and with significant inhibition at 100 g/L F68; micelle formation could account for inhibited growth at higher doses. Phenazine production was not changed by F68, whereas the surfactant activity of F68 induced the spread of bacterial colonization on 0.5% agar. Exposure of cells to fluorescein-labeled F68 resulted in intense fluorescence, stable to washing, showing a direct association of the Pluronic with the bacterium. However, neither protection nor harm was found for PcO6 cells suspended in either 0.1% or 1% F68 after three freeze (−20 °C)/thaw cycles. These findings suggest that F68 could be compatible for use in agricultural formulations with little effect on probiotics such as PcO6. Full article
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17 pages, 340 KiB  
Review
Propolis: Harnessing Nature’s Hidden Treasure for Sustainable Agriculture
by Vassya Bankova and Milena Popova
Agrochemicals 2023, 2(4), 581-597; https://doi.org/10.3390/agrochemicals2040033 - 29 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1224
Abstract
Recently, the search for sustainable and environmentally friendly agrochemicals from natural origin is steadily growing. Propolis, a resinous substance collected by honeybees, well known for its diverse biological activities, has attracted the attention of scientists and farmers with its agrochemical potential in the [...] Read more.
Recently, the search for sustainable and environmentally friendly agrochemicals from natural origin is steadily growing. Propolis, a resinous substance collected by honeybees, well known for its diverse biological activities, has attracted the attention of scientists and farmers with its agrochemical potential in the last years. This review article aims to delve into the fascinating world of propolis and its utilization in agriculture. Here, we provide a brief overview of propolis: its chemical composition and the bioactive substances responsible for its biological properties. The effectiveness of propolis in controlling common pests and diseases that affect crops, suppressing postharvest illnesses of fruits and vegetables, stimulating plant defenses and increasing stress resistance, is reviewed. Discussion of the challenges and future perspectives related to the integration of propolis in agriculture is also one of our objectives, including chemical variability, standardization and regulatory considerations. We also focused on the latest research trends and technological advances that promise to unlock the full potential of propolis as a sustainable agricultural tool. Full article
13 pages, 2056 KiB  
Article
BioControl Agents in Europe: Substitution Plant Protection Active Substances or a New Paradigm?
by Patrice A. Marchand
Agrochemicals 2023, 2(4), 538-550; https://doi.org/10.3390/agrochemicals2040030 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1206
Abstract
Biocontrol agent (BCA) plant protection active substances composed from microorganisms, semiochemicals and substances from natural origins are increasing in Europe, since their entry into force of Regulation (EC) 1107/2009, in number and as a percentage of total active substances. As they are included [...] Read more.
Biocontrol agent (BCA) plant protection active substances composed from microorganisms, semiochemicals and substances from natural origins are increasing in Europe, since their entry into force of Regulation (EC) 1107/2009, in number and as a percentage of total active substances. As they are included in the scope of plant protection products (PPPs), this raises the question as to whether they are only substitute active substances, more socially acceptable, sustainable and environmentally preferable, or really another way of managing bioaggressors, pests and diseases. As we have conducted a survey of all active substances listed in all Parts of Regulation EU 540/2011 and compared chemical to BCA active substances, described their evolution and characteristics since 2011 and predicted the global perspective in the future years for both chemical, which are in decline, and BCA AS separately, these works raised the question of whether these BCA AS are a substitution, as is often the case for users, for the previous chemical AS, or whether they are fundamentally different new substances, which clearly obey a new vision of crop protection. This study therefore encompasses all active substances approved at any time in Europe since 2011 for both categories, whether still approved or not. At the end of this assessment, the following conclusion can be drawn: BCA AS are mainly fundamentally different substances from chemical AS, in all the compartments studied. A comparison between BCAs and chemical active substances allowed under (EC) 1107/2009 PPP Regulation is described together with a characterisation of BCA AS listed in EC 540/2011 PPP Regulation. Finally, the specific distinction of BCA vs. chemical active substance profile is analysed. This work allows us to conclude on the evolution of crop protection and the means that must be implemented to face current and new threats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers on Agrochemicals)
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14 pages, 2613 KiB  
Article
Phosphorus and Glyphosate Adsorption and Desorption Trends across Different Depths in Sandy Soil
by Rachel A. Fenn, Davie M. Kadyampakeni, Ramdas G. Kanissery, Jonathan Judy and Mahesh Bashyal
Agrochemicals 2023, 2(4), 503-516; https://doi.org/10.3390/agrochemicals2040028 - 2 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1479
Abstract
The unintended loss of glyphosate and P from cropland may pose an environmental risk to downstream water quality and marine ecosystems. Glyphosate and P compete for exchange sites, and since glyphosate is an organophosphate, it reacts similarly to phosphates in soil. The competition [...] Read more.
The unintended loss of glyphosate and P from cropland may pose an environmental risk to downstream water quality and marine ecosystems. Glyphosate and P compete for exchange sites, and since glyphosate is an organophosphate, it reacts similarly to phosphates in soil. The competition for exchange sites between glyphosate and P could lead to an increased risk of loss due to leaching, leading to water quality degradation and harm to aquatic wildlife. The focus of this study was to (i) determine the sorption tendencies of P and orthophosphate in Florida Entisols and (ii) determine the sorption tendencies of glyphosate in Florida Entisols. Adsorption and desorption experiments were performed for both P and glyphosate. The data from the sorption experiments were fitted to linear, Freundlich, and Langmuir models. Orthophosphate-P (ortho-P) was best represented by the linear isotherm. Glyphosate adsorption was best represented by the linear isotherm, and desorption was best represented by both the linear and Freundlich models. Phosphorus and glyphosate sorption and desorption increased with soil depth, likely due to the higher concentrations of Fe and Al with greater depth. These results could improve P and glyphosate application rates when applied in tandem to citrus trees, increasing overall tree health and improving soil quality. Full article
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26 pages, 754 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Hungarian Consumers’ Exposure to Pesticide Residues Based on the Results of Pesticide Residue Monitoring between 2017 and 2021
by Árpád Ambrus, Júlia Szenczi-Cseh, Lajos Bíró, Adrienn Vásárhelyi and Henriett Szemánné Dobrik
Agrochemicals 2023, 2(3), 458-483; https://doi.org/10.3390/agrochemicals2030026 - 11 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1286
Abstract
The short-term intake (ESTI) of pesticide residues in Hungarian consumers was assessed based on 2331 test results obtained during the 2017–2021 monitoring program on frequently analyzed apples, sour cherries, table grapes, peaches, nectarines, peppers, and strawberries (23.5% of all samples taken from 119 [...] Read more.
The short-term intake (ESTI) of pesticide residues in Hungarian consumers was assessed based on 2331 test results obtained during the 2017–2021 monitoring program on frequently analyzed apples, sour cherries, table grapes, peaches, nectarines, peppers, and strawberries (23.5% of all samples taken from 119 crops). The age-specific consumption data were obtained from national food consumption surveys (2009 and 2018–2020). The exposure was characterized by Hazard Quotient and Hazard Index considering the acute reference doses of pesticide residues detected in the samples. When ESTI was calculated with all detected “single” residues and a variability factor of 3.6, recommended for evaluation of monitoring results, the HI only exceeded 1 for children <3 years old eating grapes (1.50–1.81). HI was <1 when any of the six foods were eaten together within one day. Between forty and fifty percent of samples contained 2–23 residues. Though the individual residue concentrations were below the corresponding MRLs, multiple residues being present in one sample resulted in maximum HI values in apples (1.14); grapes (6.57); peaches and nectarines (2.57); strawberries (2.74); and peppers (10.44). Residues with low ARfD values contributed the most. Applying HI is simple, but provides only point estimates; therefore, it should only be used in first-tier risk assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pesticides)
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10 pages, 2304 KiB  
Article
Seed Germination and Plant Growth under Drought Stress of Herbicide-Resistant and Herbicide-Susceptible Biotypes of Conyza Species and Smart Farming Approaches
by Panagiotis Kanatas, Vasilis Ntaoulis, Ioannis Gazoulis, Athanasios Andreou, Marios Danaskos, Dimitrios Mpounanos, Eleni-Anna Karanika, Panayiota Papastylianou and Ilias Travlos
Agrochemicals 2023, 2(3), 436-445; https://doi.org/10.3390/agrochemicals2030024 - 1 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1035
Abstract
Horseweed (C. canadensis) and fleabane (C. sumatrensis) are two annual or perennial herbaceous weeds present with high frequency and density in many parts of the world. Their response to water deficit was studied by means of seed germination tests [...] Read more.
Horseweed (C. canadensis) and fleabane (C. sumatrensis) are two annual or perennial herbaceous weeds present with high frequency and density in many parts of the world. Their response to water deficit was studied by means of seed germination tests and pot experiments. Seed germination was tested in solutions with different concentrations of polyethylene glycol (PEG). Two biotypes of each species were examined, one glyphosate resistant and the other susceptible. Growth responses were similar in the two species, both being more affected by lower (−1 MPa) than higher water potential (−0.2 MPa). The results revealed a significant effect of the biotype and the weed species on the drought stress response and adaptation. When high PEG concentrations were applied (−0.6 MPa), both C. sumatrensis biotypes had higher germination percentages (up to 88%) than the C. canadensis biotypes, while in most cases the seeds of the resistant biotypes germinated more (up to 72%) compared to the susceptible ones. These findings were confirmed by means of NDVI values, indicating that remote sensing can be used for a quick evaluation of the drought stress response of these weeds. The results obtained highlight the significant effect of species, biotypes and drought stress level on the germination, survival and growth of the weeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Herbicides)
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27 pages, 497 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Results of Pesticide Residue Analysis in Food Sampled between 2017 and 2021
by Árpád Ambrus, Adrienn Vásárhelyi, Géza Ripka, Henriett Szemánné-Dobrik and Júlia Szenczi-Cseh
Agrochemicals 2023, 2(3), 409-435; https://doi.org/10.3390/agrochemicals2030023 - 27 Jul 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1536
Abstract
As mandated by the EU and the national risk management duties, pesticide residues were determined by four specialized laboratories in 9924 samples taken from 119 crops of economic importance in Hungary and imported foodstuffs during 2017–2021. The screening method applied covered 622 pesticide [...] Read more.
As mandated by the EU and the national risk management duties, pesticide residues were determined by four specialized laboratories in 9924 samples taken from 119 crops of economic importance in Hungary and imported foodstuffs during 2017–2021. The screening method applied covered 622 pesticide residues as defined for enforcement purposes. The limit of detection ranged between 0.002 and 0.008 mg/kg. The 1.0% violation rate concerning all commodities was lower than in the European Union. No residue was detectable in 45.9% of the samples. For detailed analyses, six commodities (apple, cherry, grape, nectarine/peach, sweet peppers, and strawberry) were selected as they were analyzed in over 195 samples and most frequently contained residues. Besides testing their conformity with national MRLs, applying 0.3 MRL action limits for pre-export control, we found that 73% of the sampled lots would be compliant with ≥90% probability based on a second independent sampling. Multiple residues (2–23) in one sample were detected in 36–50% of the tested lots. Considering the provisions of integrated pest management, and the major pests and diseases of selected crops, normally three to four and exceptionally, seven to nine active ingredients with different modes of action should suffice for their effective and economic protection within four weeks before harvest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pesticides)
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15 pages, 2116 KiB  
Article
Phytochemical Constituents of Indonesian Adlay (Coix lacrima-jobi L.) and Their Potential as Antioxidants and Crop Protection Agents
by Yusuf Andriana, Nabila Ayunisa Fajriani, Ade Chandra Iwansyah and Tran Dang Xuan
Agrochemicals 2023, 2(1), 135-149; https://doi.org/10.3390/agrochemicals2010010 - 13 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2094
Abstract
Adlay (Coix lacryma-jobi L.) is a cereal crop that has traditionally been used for medicinal purposes. It is processed into nutritious food in China and Southeast Asian countries. This study assesses the phytochemical constituents of this plant and their potential as antioxidants [...] Read more.
Adlay (Coix lacryma-jobi L.) is a cereal crop that has traditionally been used for medicinal purposes. It is processed into nutritious food in China and Southeast Asian countries. This study assesses the phytochemical constituents of this plant and their potential as antioxidants and crop protection agents. The methanolic extracts from seeds of Indonesian adlay (C. lacryma-jobi) varieties including Agrotis, Ma-yuen, and Aquatic, were tested against 2,2-diphnyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2’-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) to determine their free radical scavenging activity. The relationship between extraction solvents, phytochemical composition, and antioxidant activity was analyzed statistically using principal component analysis (PCA) to classify them based on the similarities among the components. The potential use of the phytochemicals as crop protection agents was also explored through a review of the literature. The Agrotis variety demonstrated the highest antioxidant activities (IC50 DPPH = 741.49 and ABTS =152.69 µg/mL). The ethyl acetate fraction of this variety showed the greatest antioxidant activity (IC50 DPPH and ABTS = 106.34 and 17.62 µg/mL, respectively), total phenolic content (275.16 mg GAE/g extract), and flavonoid content (37.41 mg QE/g extract). Fatty acids (FAs) and fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) accounted for 47.71 ± 0.02 and 41.73 ± 0.04%, respectively, and they were the major components of the extracts. The principal component analysis (PCA) revealed three different groups of phytochemical components in the seeds of Agrotis variety, including fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs), such as methyl linoleate, methyl stearate, methyl vaccinates, and methyl palmitate, and fatty acids (FAs), including 7-hexadecanoid acid, bovinic acid, and 15-hydroxipentadecanoic acid. The final phytochemical group consisted of minor components, including uncategorized compounds such as decamethyl-tetrasiloxane and cycloalkenes. This study highlights the fact that C. lacrima-jobi is a promising source of natural antioxidants and agrochemicals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Growth Regulators and Other Agrochemicals)
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22 pages, 702 KiB  
Article
Genotoxicity Assays Published since 2016 Shed New Light on the Oncogenic Potential of Glyphosate-Based Herbicides
by Charles Benbrook, Robin Mesnage and William Sawyer
Agrochemicals 2023, 2(1), 47-68; https://doi.org/10.3390/agrochemicals2010005 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 8566
Abstract
Controversy over the oncogenicity of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) persists seven years after a 2015 IARC Monograph classified glyphosate/GBHs as “probably carcinogenic” to humans. Most regulatory authorities have concluded that technical glyphosate poses little or no oncogenic risk via dietary exposure. The US EPA [...] Read more.
Controversy over the oncogenicity of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) persists seven years after a 2015 IARC Monograph classified glyphosate/GBHs as “probably carcinogenic” to humans. Most regulatory authorities have concluded that technical glyphosate poses little or no oncogenic risk via dietary exposure. The US EPA classified glyphosate as “not likely” to pose cancer risk in 1991, a decision reaffirmed in reports issued in 2017 and 2020. A Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in the US vacated EPA’s assessment of glyphosate human-health risks in 2022 and required EPA to revisit old and take into account new data in its forthcoming, possibly final glyphosate/GBH reregistration decision. Divergent assessments of GBH genotoxicity are the primary reason for differing conclusions regarding GBH oncogenic potential. We assessed whether assays published since completion of the EPA and IARC reviews shed new light on glyphosate/GBH genotoxicity. We found 94 such assays, 33 testing technical glyphosate (73% positive) and 61 on GBHs (95% positive). Seven of 7 in vivo human studies report positive results. In light of genotoxicity results published since 2015, the conclusion that GBHs pose no risk of cancer via a genotoxic mechanism is untenable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Herbicides)
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16 pages, 1075 KiB  
Article
Glyphosate Effects on Earthworms: Active Ingredients vs. Commercial Herbicides at Different Temperature and Soil Organic Matter Levels
by Ricarda Schmidt, Bernhard Spangl, Edith Gruber, Eszter Takács, Mária Mörtl, Szandra Klátyik, András Székács and Johann G. Zaller
Agrochemicals 2023, 2(1), 1-16; https://doi.org/10.3390/agrochemicals2010001 - 22 Dec 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3097
Abstract
Little is known about the non-target effects of glyphosate active ingredients (GLY) versus glyphosate-based herbicide (GBH) formulations on soil organisms, and whether effects are influenced by environmental conditions. We investigated the avoidance behavior, biomass growth, and reproduction of earthworms (Eisenia fetida, [...] Read more.
Little is known about the non-target effects of glyphosate active ingredients (GLY) versus glyphosate-based herbicide (GBH) formulations on soil organisms, and whether effects are influenced by environmental conditions. We investigated the avoidance behavior, biomass growth, and reproduction of earthworms (Eisenia fetida, E. andrei) in response to two GLYs (glyphosate ammonium and potassium salt), the corresponding GBHs (Touchdown Quattro, Roundup PowerFlex) containing these GLYs, and the “inert” co-formulant alkylpolyglycoside (APG) at two temperature (15 °C vs. 20 °C) and soil organic matter levels (3.2% vs. 4.3%). Earthworm avoidance was lower at high soil organic matter content, but remained unaffected by substances and temperature. Earthworm biomass growth and reproduction (cocoons and juveniles) were significantly affected by substances and temperature; reproduction was also affected by a substance and temperature interaction. Biomass growth was almost zero at higher temperature; reproduction was generally higher at higher temperature. More cocoons were produced under Roundup PowerFlex than under the corresponding AI, due to the impact of the co-formulant APG. No other differences were observed between GBH and the corresponding AIs. We conclude that the non-target effects of pesticides can only be fully assessed if all ingredients in a formulation are known and environmental parameters are included in environmental risk assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Herbicides)
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7 pages, 267 KiB  
Review
Using Nitrogen for the Control of Stored Product Insects: One Single Application for Multiple Purposes
by Christos G. Athanassiou and Maria K. Sakka
Agrochemicals 2022, 1(1), 22-28; https://doi.org/10.3390/agrochemicals1010004 - 11 Oct 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2278
Abstract
Nitrogen treatment can be used as an alternative method to chemical control. Most of the research on nitrogen treatment mainly investigated the optimum concentration of oxygen level as well as duration as a means of insect control. Other parameters such as temperature and [...] Read more.
Nitrogen treatment can be used as an alternative method to chemical control. Most of the research on nitrogen treatment mainly investigated the optimum concentration of oxygen level as well as duration as a means of insect control. Other parameters such as temperature and different insect species have been extensively studied and recent research focus on the modelling of nitrogen concentration and the efficacy on commodity. In this paper, we briefly review the major parameters (temperature, oxygen level, relative humidity, exposure time) using nitrogen treatment against stored product insects. Exposure to different oxygen levels or different exposure times can remarkably change pest control mortality. Moreover, different insect species and life stages have differing susceptibility to nitrogen treatment. Finally, these studies are reviewed in this paper to illustrate that nitrogen treatment can be used as a part of an IPM strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers to Celebrate the Inaugural Issue of Agrochemicals)
14 pages, 2351 KiB  
Article
Effects of Organic Amendments on Phenol Oxidase, Peroxidase, Urease, and Nitrogen Mineralization: A Laboratory Incubation Study
by Emma E. Leaseburg, Lili Lei and Linda S. Fink
Agrochemicals 2022, 1(1), 3-16; https://doi.org/10.3390/agrochemicals1010002 - 16 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1911
Abstract
Mitigating climate change and enhancing fertility in agricultural systems require the adoption of more sustainable fertilizer management practices. Applications of recycled organic materials, such as animal and green wastes, can promote soil carbon stabilization via changing extracellular enzyme activities while providing the necessary [...] Read more.
Mitigating climate change and enhancing fertility in agricultural systems require the adoption of more sustainable fertilizer management practices. Applications of recycled organic materials, such as animal and green wastes, can promote soil carbon stabilization via changing extracellular enzyme activities while providing the necessary nitrogen (N) for plant growth. The goals of this study were to quantify the effects of compost type (cow manure, green manures, mixtures of green and cow manure at various proportions, and inorganic fertilizers) on (1) enzyme activity (phenol oxidase, peroxidase, and urease), and (2) mineralized N under laboratory incubation at 30 °C over an eight-week period. The lowest oxidative enzyme activities (phenol oxidase and peroxidase) were found in the soil treated with a mixture of 50% cow manure and 50% green manure (2.45 μmol h−1 g−1) and a mixture of 30% cow manure and 70% green manure (3.21 μmol h−1 g−1) compared to all other fertilizer treatments. The highest phenol oxidase activity was found in soils amended with green manures (3.52 μmol h−1 g−1), while the highest peroxidase activity was found in soils amended with a mixture of 70% cow manure and 30% green manure (5.68 μmol h−1 g−1). No significant differences were found in total net mineralized N content among all organic fertilizer treatments, but these were significantly lower than total net mineralized N in soil treated with inorganic fertilizers. These results indicate similar effects of organic amendments and mixtures in providing plant-available N, but different effects on lignin-degrading enzyme activities, which may lead to differences in soil organic carbon cycling and long-term C storage depending on which organic amendment is utilized. Full article
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