Agricultural Science Agricultural Science seeks to publish the results of original research on fields, plants, crops, poultries, and fisheries grown for food or feed, or for industrial purposes, and on farming systems, including livestock and people. Selection of New Barley Advanced Lines Considering Several Agricultural Traits Simultaneously: Comparison of Two Mathematical Procedures Plant breeders often handle large number of plants in a segregating population using limited resources. Therefore, the sooner they can reduce the number of plants to the barest minimum, but more importantly, to the most desirable and promising individuals, the better. The present short report deals with the selection of new advanced barley lines considering several agricultural traits simultaneously. We exemplify two new alternative uses of the Euclidean distance to identify the best 20% plant materials from a gamma radiation-mutant population. Plant height; days to flowering; plant lodging; coefficient of infection with leaf rust (Puccinia hordei), with powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei), with spot blotch (Cochliobolus sativus); yield; test weight; grain protein content and 1000 kernel weight were recorded and considered in the simultaneous selections described here. Essentially, selection indexes are proposed to calculate an overall value to a breeders' germplasm based on a number of traits. In reality, for many of the traits listed above, breeders are aiming for acceptable values such as for disease resistance and perhaps some morphological traits. For other traits, such as yield, the breeders are looking for the highest possible value. Therefore, each breeder will have different selection indexes; however, the mathematically defined indexes shown here would be particularly practical for plant breeders. Volume 4, Issue 3, 2016
Short-Term Liquid Nitrogen Storage of Maize, Common Bean and Soybean Seeds Modifies Their Biochemical Composition We studied the effects of liquid nitrogen storage of maize, common bean and soybean seeds on their germination, electrolyte leakage, levels of chlorophylls, phenolics, aldehydes, proteins and peroxidase activity. After storage for 28 days, seeds were retrieved from liquid nitrogen, some were set to germinate and others were analyzed biochemically. No phenotypic modifications were observed visually 5 days after beginning of germination, although percentage of seed germination was reduced by LN in maize and soybean. Moreover, numerous significant effects of seed cryopreservation were recorded at the biochemical status. In maize seeds, the most important and statistically significant modifications were observed in the increased levels of chlorophyll b and total chlorophyll pigments and in the decreased contents of free phenolics after 28 days of exposure to LN, compared to the control treatment. In common bean, relevant changes were observed in the increased electrolyte leakage and in the reduced levels of chlorophyll pigments (b, total) and free phenolics. In soybean, modifications were observed in the increased levels of chlorophyll pigments (a, b, total), malondialdehyde and electrolyte leakage, and in the decreased peroxidase activity. We have shown for the first time that immersion of maize, common bean and soybean seeds in liquid nitrogen modified the levels of different biochemicals. Volume 4, Issue 3, 2016
Inter- and Double-crop Yield Response to Alternative Crop Planting Dates Planting date is an integral part of a successful double-crop system, and in intercropping it can affect crop yields. Cool-adapted species that can be frost-seeded benefit from an earlier planting date by taking advantage of unused light and space between rows of slow-growing spring or fall crops such as winter wheat. This research evaluated differences between early frost-seeding, mid-season relay-intercropping, and double-cropping planting dates of alternative crops (buckwheat, sunflower, radish, faba bean, and hairy vetch) on wheat and alternative crop yields. Field research took place in 2012 and 2013 near Novelty, Missouri. Wheat yields were affected by cropping system and alternative crop selection with significant differences up to 455 kg ha-1. Alternative crop yields were harder to determine. In 2012, emergence occurred but drought precluded alternative crop yields for the frost-seeded and relay-intercrop systems. However, in 2013, planting date and cropping system affected alternative crops differently, with land equivalent ratio (LER) values showing an advantage for alternative crops when they survived past emergence. In both years, frost-seeding provided yield advantages among almost all alternative crops. This research shows that farmers could increase their yield potential for a given field and perhaps produce additional forage or green manure yields in a year with a less severe drought by using alternative crops. Volume 4, Issue 2, 2016
Status of Cacao Trees Following Seasonal Floods in Major Watersheds of the Peruvian Amazon Three cacao (Theobroma cacao) production systems (traditional, mixed and monoculture) were studied in Peru between February and July 2012 in order to evaluate the response of the species to an extremely high seasonal inundation along Amazonian rivers. Survival rates of cacao individuals after flooding varied greatly, between 0.6% to 100%, depending on the type of production system and the age of the plants. The highest number of flower cushions was found on trees from 8 to 10 years old, with an average of 9.7 flower cushions 30 cm above the high water line and 9.1 cushions 30 cm below the water line. Results indicate that younger, unshaded cacao trees are most vulnerable to floodwater mortality and flower cushion damage, and the importance of agroforestry systems in cultivating this tree species in highly disturbed and increasingly unpredictable floodplain environments. Volume 4, Issue 2, 2016
Comparism of Yield Potential of Hybrids and Open Pollinated Varieties of Maize Seeds in Northern Guinea Savanna Alfisols, North-West Nigeria A two year study was conducted on maize (Zea mays L.) at the I.A.R farm, Samaru, Zaria, Nigeria, during 2013 and 2014 cropping season. The objective was to investigate the yield potentials of hybrids and OPV maize varieties under the same management condition. The experiment consisted of six maize varieties as the treatments, this includes; four hybrid seeds from some selected seed companies in North-western Region and two open pollinated varieties from I.A.R. The treatments were laid out in a randomized complete block design with four replicates. The results showed that all the six varieties of seeds were good planting materials, with highest disease incidence of 0.5 (mean across treatments) in 2014 for Mr-White from Manoma seed company and highest mean value of off-types (0.75) from the hybrid seeds. Hybrid maize from Maslaha seed company (SDM-1) out yielded all other varieties in both 2013, 2014 and combine (4490.0Kgha-1, 5210.2 Kgha-1 and 4850.1 Kgha-1) respectively, while a hybrid seed- NG-Samaru had the least yield in both 2013, 2014 and combine (2586.7Kgha-1, 3632.4 Kgha-1 and 3109.6 Kgha-1) compared to open pollinated varieties from I.A.R (Sammaz 14 and Sammaz 34). Volume 4, Issue 1, 2016
Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Diversity in Greece and Their Future Prospects: A Review The Mediterranean, a biodiversity hotspot, is rich in medicinal and aromatic plants covering an extensive area with different environmental conditions. The geographical position of Greece, its geomorphology, the presence of flora of past geological eras and the coexistence and interplay of biotic and non biotic factors have defined it as a region of high plant diversity and endemism, a fact that also impacts the category of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs). The past 30 years there has been a rapid growth of interest in MAPs as a result of the vital contributions these goods make to large numbers of rural communities. At the same time there is a shift within many developing countries from subsistence to commercial usage. MAPs are important factors in sustainable development, environmental protection and public health. In Greece, they are expected to play an important role in the country’s agricultural profile due to quantitative and qualitative advantages. MAP cultivation can help small-scale farmers strengthen their livelihoods and as a result, greater access to a wider range of assets can be achieved, and a capacity to build these into successful and sustainable activities. This review aims at profiling the current state of MAP cultivation in Greece, as well as their future sustainability prospects. Volume 4, Issue 1, 2016
Microbe Selection and Optimizing Process Parameters for Degradation of Glucosinolates in Rapeseed Meal by Box-Behnken Design The present study applied Aspergillus oryzae, Aspergillus niger, Penicillium purpurogenum, Trichoderma sp. MAB-2010b and Saccharomyces cerevisiae in solid state fermentation to degrade the glucosinolates in rapeseed meal. In addition, SDS-PAGE was used to determine the effect of hydrolysis of those five microbes on peptide size in rapeseed meal. The results indicated that the solid state fermentation with S. cerevisiae degraded the glucosinolates more than those with other microbes. The peptides were hydrolyzed by S. cerevisiae to a greater extent than others. Thus the following procedure was just focused on the solid state fermentation with S. cerevisiae. Box-Behnken design of response surface methodology was applied to optimize the substrate to water ratio, inoculum amount, and duration. The glucosinolate level in rapeseed meal was as the response. The optimal conditions derived from response surface methodology for S. cerevisiae fermentation were: 1.0 of substrate to water ratio, 1.5 mL (equal to 5%) of inoculum amount, and 48 h of duration. The minimum content of glucosinolates was 0.46 μmol/g dry matter. S. cerevisiae used in the present study thus exhibit the potential use in large scale solid state fermentation for increasing nutrition quality of rapeseed meal. Volume 3, Issue 2, 2015
Quantitative Assessment on Spatial Suitability for Tobacco Planting in Bozhou in Northern Anhui Province, China While Qiaocheng district currently is the main tobacco planting region in Northern Anhui Province, China, the quantitative assessment on spatial suitability for tobacco planting is necessary for the scientific instruction in the adjustment of planting regionalization and fertilization. In this paper, soil samples of the plough layers were collected from 1224 typical farmlands in 2008, and 18 types of soil properties, pH, clay, silt, sand, organic matter, total nitrogen, available phosphorus, slowly available potassium, rapidly available potassium, exchangeable Ca2+ and Mg2+, Cl-, HCO3-, SO42-, available Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn were measured. Meanwhile irrigation water samples of 90 typical pumping wells were collected, and Cl-, HCO3-, SO42-, K+, Ca2+ and Mg2+ were measured. The above measured properties were used as the assessing indexes for spatial suitability for tobacco planting, in which the weights were generated by the method of principal component analysis and the fuzzy membership functions were produced based on the practical experiences with the related literatures. The soil suitabilities were quantitatively assessed using the ArcGIS 10.0 platform. The experimental results showed that: (1) areas of the highest, higher, middle, lower and lowest levels of suitability are 4.28×104, 4.36×104, 4.82×104, 4.47×104 and 4.81×104 hm2. respectively, constituted of 18.84%, 19.16%, 21.20%, 19.66% and 21.14% of the total area of the farmland, respectively; (2) in general, the Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest regions are the most suitable areas, and (3) for tobacco farmland in the North region, more potassium fertilizers should be applied due to the low available potassium content in soil, and the flood irrigation should be prevented due to the high content of Cl- in irrigation water. Chengfu in the Sourtheast, Shihe and Feihe in the Southwest, and Longyang and Gucheng in the South could be regarded as the new potential tobacco planting regions. Volume 3, Issue 2, 2015
Profitable and Sustainable Fertilizer-Management Option in Double Cropping of Irrigated Rice in Senegal River Valley One of the main factors limiting the yield and productivity of irrigated rice in the Sahel of West Africa is the high cost of fertilizers and inefficient use of nutrients in the cropping systems. A two-year experiment was conducted over four consecutive seasons at Ndiaye (16°11'N, 16°15'W) and Fanaye (16°32'N, 15°11'W) along the Senegal River Valley to investigate alternative fertilizer management options in the double cropping system of rice. Eight fertilizer management options (FMO) were compared to the recommended seasonal application of NPK fertilizer based on yield data, the value-cost ratio (V/C) and the sustainabily of the recommendation. Rice yields increased from 2.5 t/ha without fertilizer application to 8 t/ha under the nine FMOs, which produced similar yields each season at both sites. The V/Cs of the recommended NPK fertilizer (applied each season) varied from 2.3 to 3.7. The V/Cs of FMO that supplied NPK during the hot dry season (HDS) and N during the wet season (WS), or conversely (NPK-N) varied from 3.2 to 5.7. The V/Cs of NPK-NP varied from 2.4 to 4.3. The V/Cs of NPK-NK varied from 2.4 to 4.4. The highest V/Cs ratios (5.2 to 6.3) were obtained by FMOs that supplied NP during the HDS and N during the WS, or conversely. It is concluded that when soil P-Bray1 is above 7 mg P ha-1, FMOs that supply NPK fertilizer in one season and only N fertilizer in the following season could reduce the cost of fertilization by 26% and improve rice productivity for sustainable management of the double cropping system of rice in the Senegal River Valley. Volume 3, Issue 2, 2015
Toxicity Effect of Three Insecticides on Important Pests and Predators in Tomato Plants The objective of this study was to evaluate insecticide toxicity on Bemisia tabaci, Tetranychus evansi, Orius insidiosus, Cycloneda sanguinea and Chauliognathus flavipes in tomato plants. The following toxicity treatments were applied: T1: control, T2: chlorpyrifos (Pitcher) 450 EC (1.25 L.ha-1), T3: chlorpyrifos 450 EC (Pitcher) (0.62 L.ha-1), T4: thiamethoxam 100 WG (1.00 L.ha-1), T5: thiamethoxam 250 WG (0.50 L.ha-1), T6: teflubenzuron 150 CS (0.025 L.ha-1) and T7: teflubenzuron 150 CS (0.0125 L.ha-1). For the sub-lethal effect, a tenth of the recommended concentration was used. The insecticide teflubenzuron was effective against whitefly nymphs, while chlorpyrifos and thiamethoxam were efficient against adult whiteflies. Insecticides at the dose and lower dose were not efficient to control the adults and nymphs of mite T. evansi. Teflubenzuron was selective at the two doses tested against C. sanguinea and C. flavipes, while thiamethoxam was selective (lower dose) against these two predators. Chlorpyrifos was selective against C. flavipes (lower dose). All insecticides were selective or moderately selective at 21 days after application. Insecticides were not efficient to control the adults and nymphs of T. evansi. The growth regulating insecticide teflubenzuron was effective against whitefly nymphs. Chlorpyrifos and thiamethoxam were efficient against adult whiteflies. In general, the insecticides neonicotinoid and pyrethroid were selective to three predatory species and had lower sublethal impact compared with the organophosphate. Volume 3, Issue 1, 2015
Challenges in the Teaching and Learning of Agricultural Science in Selected Public Senior High Schools in the Cape Coast Metropolis The study was conducted in selected Public Senior High Schools in the Cape Coast Metropolis aimed at investigating the challenges in the teaching and learning of Agricultural Science. In all a sample of 78 respondents involving 60 Agricultural Science students and 18 Agricultural Science teachers were involved. The research instrument used for the data collection was questionnaire which was developed by the researcher in two different forms, one for the Agricultural Science students and the other for the Agricultural science teachers. Research findings from the study indicated that the major challenges facing the teaching and learning of Agricultural Science include frequent use of lecture method in teaching, large class size and poor remuneration of teachers. Others include inadequate teaching and learning materials and their availability, difficulty in planning field trips as well as laziness and truancy on the part of teachers. However, it must be emphasized that motivational factors such as one’s own interest, having a role model, future ambitions and the supply of adequate textbooks positively affect the teaching and learning of Agricultural Science in Public Senior High Schools in the Metropolis. The study recommends that parents must be educated to understand the important role and prospects the learning of Agricultural Science contributes to the development of a country. Also the Government, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and other stakeholders must help to improve the service of Agricultural Science Teachers. Volume 3, Issue 1, 2015
Empirical Link between Macroeconomic Policy Variables and the Performance of Quoted Agro-Based Firms in Nigeria This paper modeled the determinants of quoted agro-based firm’s performance equation in Nigeria. Time series data employed in the analysis covered the period 2000-2012 and was obtained from Central bank of Nigeria. Data were analyzed using the Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression technique. To ascertain for stationarity, Augmented Dickey Fuller (ADF) unit root test was conducted on the variables. Result revealed that while Energy consumption per capita (ENRt), Install Capacity Utilization Rate (ICUt),Total Commercial Bank credit to Small Scale Industries (TCBCt), exerted significant positive impact on agro-based performance, exchange rate ( EXRt) impacted negatively on agro-based performance. This underscores the need to pursue policies that would improve energy production in the country, ensure proper funding of the sector and stabilizes exchange rate as the way out. Volume 3, Issue 1, 2015
Determinants of Off-Farm Labor Supply among Farming Households in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria The study analyzes the various determinants of off-farm labor choice decision in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Primary data collected from 120 respondents were employed in the study and analyzed using the logistic regression model. Result of the socio-economic characteristics of respondents revealed the prevalence of female farmers (63.3%), majority which were married (50%) with average household size of eight persons. Majority were educated with average experience of eighteen years. The prevailing off-farm work typology and pattern in the study area were self-employment (50%) and part time engagement (63.3%). Result of the logistic regression revealed that farm size, household size, total annual off-farm income and educational attainment of respondents were the major determinants of off-farm labor choice decision in the study area. This informed the need to pursue policies that would enhance educational attainment in the study area, enhance and stabilize income in the off-farm sector as well as educating and enlightening rural households, especially women on the benefit of off-farm work and the creation of enabling environment in rural areas through infrastructure provision with view to reducing migration to urban areas in search of off-farm work as the way out. Volume 3, Issue 1, 2015
Cocoa Production and Related Social-Economic and Climate Factors: A Case Study of Ayedire Local Government Area of Osun State, Nigeria Cocoa has been a major source of income for many Nigerians and a major source of foreign exchange earnings for the country. However its production has been experiencing a declining trend in recent times. Many factors have been implicated. One major factor is changes in climate variables. This study therefore investigates into the socio-economic effects of some climate variables on cocoa production and aims at guiding policy makers in drawing policies that will mitigate the effect of these variables. The study was carried out in Ayedire Local Government Area (LGA) of Osun State. Data were collected with the aid of structured questionnaire employing interview schedule. One hundred cocoa farmers registered with the state’s Cocoa Growers Association (CGA) were randomly selected from four major cocoa growing areas of the L.G.A. The data set was then analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression techniques. The study found that major climate variables affecting cocoa production were rainfall, sunshine and temperature. Other factors observed was ageing cocoa tree and the prevalence of pest infestation and disease emergence occurring as the result of climate variation thereby causing yield reduction as well as loss of income. In the short run, enactment and implementation of policies that can mitigate the adverse impact of climate variations can help to improve the yield of cocoa, thereby increasing the producers’ income and consequently boost their living standard. In the long run, conscientious efforts should be made to educate and train the minds of all towards safety and best practices for the prevention of climatic adversities. Volume 2, Issue 4, 2014
Influence of Planting Methods and Density on Performance of Chia (Salvia hispanica) and its Suitability as an Oilseed Plant A 2-year field experiment was conducted in 2012 and 2013 at the research fields of CSIR-Crops Research Institute to determine the best agronomic practices for the field establishment and cultivation of Chia (Salvia hispanica) and determine insect pests and diseases associated with the plant. The study also determined the nutritional composition of the plant under Ghanaian environment. A split-plot field trial with 2 planting methods (direct planting with seed; planting from seedling) as main plot and 3 planting density (10,000 plants/ha; 20,000 plantst/ha; 40,000 plantst/ha) as subplot were used for the agronomic evaluation of the plant. A sweep net was used to sweep diagonally across the field under two separate regimes to collect insects on the crop for the entomological investigations. Major insects collected were coreid bugs, lagria sp., Zonocerus variegatus and Diopsis thoracica. The method used for the pathological investigations were the moist blotter test and culture of pathogens on Potato Dextrose Agar. The results of the study in both years show high biomass and seed yield of chia when the crop was planted directly in the field. Narrow-row spacing of 0.5m x 0.5m consistently produced the highest biomass and seed yield in both years of the study. The results indicated that interaction between planting method and planting density positively influenced most of the growth and yield parameters of Chia plants. Nutritional profile analysis from the Chia seeds shows medium to high proximate and mineral composition. Disease evaluation revealed evidence of Fusarium wilt infection on Salvia hispanica in the field. The study recommends the adoption of direct planting method and narrow-row spacing (0.5m x 0.5m) (SP3) as the best option for the production of Chia plants in Ghana. Volume 2, Issue 4, 2014
Effect of Poultry Manure and Different Combinations of Inorganic Fertilizers on Growth and Yield of Four Tomato Varieties in Ghana The agronomic response of four tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) varieties to fertilizer application was examined at the CSIR-Crops Research Institute, Kwadaso-Kumasi in the Forest agro-ecological zone of Ghana during the 2013 growing season. The four tomato varieties Shasta, Heinz, CRI POO and CRI 034 were evaluated on five different fertilizer types using a split plot arrangements in randomized complete block design with three replications. The Tomato varieties were the main plots, with the fertilizer treatments as the subplots. The CSIR-CRI breeding lines (CRI P00 and CRI P034) were able to yield higher than the exotic varieties. Using Winner fertilizer (6 g/plant at two weeks after transplanting (WAT) ) and Sulfan (3 g/plant at 4 WAT) CRI P00 produced the highest yield (26.4 t/ha) followed by chicken manure (250 g/plant at 2 and 4 WAT) (23.1 t/ha). CRI P00 with Winner + Sulfan fertilizer application also produced significantly (p≤0.05) higher fruit yield (26.4 t/ha). Fertilizer application however did not have any significant effect on the days to flowering over the control.Fertilizer application however, increased the number of branching for the tomato plants with Unik15 + Urea having significantly more branches compared to the control. Results from this study showed that tomato yields in the Forest zones in Ghana can be increased using improved varieties and recommended fertilizer rates. Volume 2, Issue 4, 2014
Proteomic Responses of Wheat Roots during Enhanced Ultraviolet-B Radiation Stress Enhanced ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation is one of the most important abiotic stresses that could influence the growth and physiological traits of plants. Wheat (Triticum aestivum) is also affected by present-day enhanced UV-B radiation. As protein metabolism plays an important role in plant adaptation to UV-B radiation, this study was designed to identify UV-B -responsive proteins in wheat roots. Wheat (Lin Fen NO.3) was exposed to UV-B radiation with normal light (group B) and only normal light (group CK) in growth chambers. Roots were harvested at 3d, 6d and 9d after UV-B radiation. Proteins were extracted and separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE). 15 protein spots were regulated by UV-B radiation at 6d. Among these protein spots, 3 proteins were up-regulated and 10 proteins were down-regulated. 2 proteins were expressed only in CK group. 3 protein spots were identified using mass spectrometry. They were further verified as Ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase activase; Catalase (CAT); Hypothetical protein. These data support the assumption that UV-B may have a regulatory role besides damaging effects and that an increased UV-B environment will likely increase this regulatory influence of UV-B radiation. Volume 2, Issue 4, 2014
Growth and Yield Performance of Improved Cowpea (Vigna Unguiculata L.) Varieties in Ghana Cowpea is well adapted to environmental conditions that affect crop production such as drought, high temperatures and other biotic stresses compared with other crops. Notwithstanding, growth and development of many cowpea cultivars are affected by drought and high temperatures, especially during floral development. This is because cowpea cultivars tend to have narrow range of adaptation as cultivars developed for one zone usually are not very productive in other zones. A study on the growth and yield performance of seven cowpea varieties was conducted during the 2012 major and minor rainy seasons at the CSIR-Crops Research Institute, Kwadaso-Kumasi, Ghana to compare the performance of the seasonal variation on each variety. These improved varieties Nhyira, Tona, Asetenapa, Asomdwe, Hewale, Videza and IT 89KD374-57 were evaluated using a randomized complete block design and replicated three times. The results showed that varieties Hewale, Videza and Nhyira gave higher seed yields, whereas IT 89KD374-57 and Asetenapa had lower seed yields. Nhyira and Hewale gave comparatively better seed yields under both conditions. Hewale was the highest seed-yielding genotype under both major and minor raining season. Cowpea production could be a profitable agribusiness for cowpea growers in Ghana considering the higher returns in terms of grain yield obtained in both seasons. Volume 2, Issue 4, 2014
Food Security and Productivity of Urban Food Crop Farming Households in Southern Nigeria The study investigated the effect of urban food crop farming household’s productivity on household food security in Cross River State, Southern Nigeria. A two-stage sampling technique was used to obtain a sample size of 217 urban food crop farmers. The data was analyzed using food security index, food insecurity/surplus gap index, head count index, productivity index and logistic regression. The result showed that 53.5% of the households were food insecure while 46.5% were food secure. The average daily per capita calorie intake for food secure households was 8732.29 kcal, which is higher than the national average; and 880.26 kcal for food insecure households, which is far lower than the national average and the recommended minimum requirement by FAO. The food insecurity gap/surplus index result showed that food secure households exceeded the calorie requirement by 218% while the food insecure households fell short of the calorie requirement by 89%. The logistic regression estimates revealed that the productivity of urban farming households had a significant and positive effect on household’s food security status. This means that the higher the productivity of urban farming household’s, the higher is the probability that households would be food secure. The study therefore recommends that, to reduce food insecurity in the study area government must make sure that appropriate measures should be implemented to boost farmer’s productivity. Volume 2, Issue 3, 2014
Effect of Soil Water Environment and Simulated Savanna Climate on Growth and Mineral Nutrition in Jatropha curcas L. This study aimed to determine the optimal soil water conditions for J. curcas L. cultivation under the bi-annual rain seasons of the African Savannah climate. Changes in J. curcas L. seedling biomass and mineral nutrient uptake and movement patterns were examined under soil water matric potentials of -2.5, -2.9, -3.4 and -4.0kPa, and two rain seasons separated by a dry spell. The bi-annual savannah rain conditions were simulated using automated buried-type tensiometer system. During the first rain season (irrigation), -3.4kPa soil water matric potential showed the highest water-use efficiency (2.44 g dry weight L-) and biomass yield (57.14g). Seedlings were variously affected by the subsequent dry spell, including total defoliation and stunting. On re-irrigation, seedling recovery (biomass and water use efficiency) was less as compared to the first rain season. Among the nutrients monitored, N, P and K were the most predominantly uptaken, with N showing the closest correlation with seedling growth. Soil matric water potential of -3.4 kPa is the optimum soil water environment for J. curcas cultivation in the savannah conditions; additionally, irrigation during the dry season is essential for a stable harvest. Volume 2, Issue 3, 2014
Evaluation of NaCl Tolerance in the Physical Reduction of Jatropha Curcus L. Seedlings Jatropha curcas L. is an important bio-fuel crop however, it’s tolerance to salinity especially with reference to changes in physical characteristics has been hardly studied. This work aimed to evaluate Jatropha. curcas L. tolerance to salinity stress using physical growth patterns, leaf shedding and mineral nutrient deposition. Jatropha curcas L. seedlings were grown under four different levels of NaCl concentration: 0 (control), 25, 50 and 100 mM under greenhouse conditions. Harvesting was done when average transpiration of each treatment was less than 50% and 75% as compared to the control. Results showed a significant variation in transpiration rate among the salinity treatments and control. A gradual reduction in the biomass yield of seedlings with increasing concentration of NaCl was observed. Reference to the result of IC50, the seedlings were tolerant to NaCl irrigation up to 54 mM. Additionally, seedling stems and roots accumulated large amounts of Na and K; a large amount of K particularly accumulated in the stem part, and was likely responsible for the low Na/K ratio observed in the stem. Defoliation however occurred with even irrigation of as low NaCl concentration as 25 mM. Thus, we report that Jatropha curcas L. is highly sensitive to Na accumulation, especially in the root-zone. Volume 2, Issue 3, 2014
White Jabon (Anthocephalus cadamba) and Red Jabon (Anthocephalus macrophyllus) for Community Land Rehabilitation: Improving Local Propagation Efforts Native to South and Southeast Asia, white jabon (Anthocephalus cadamba) and red jabon (Anthocephalus macrophyllus) are ideal choices for plantation and community forestry. Fast-growing and resistance to pests, the wood of these species have multiple uses. The species are preferred by local communities due to their adaptability and economic profitability. However, a lack of propagation technology appropriate for rural communities limits the domestication of jabon species. The research aimed to identify the best practices for seed germination and seedlings growth under rural conditions. The study used a completely randomized design, testing five treatments for germination media and nine treatments for growing media. Each treatment was replicated three times. All media tested were well-drained, of light texture, fertile, and can be easily produced by farmers by mixing appropriate portions of soils, sand and organic matter. The best soil media for germinating jabon seed is pure soil medium (100%) with the number of germinants equally 634 per 0.5 gram of seed, followed by the mixed soil-sand medium (1:1), which produced 514 germinants per 0.5 grams of seed. The best soil medium for height growth, diameter growth, and total dry weight of jabon seedlings was the mixed soil, cow-manure compost, and husk charcoal medium (3:1:1). These media can be produced under rural conditions with material easily available and improve local propagation of jabon species. Results are widely applicable. Volume 2, Issue 3, 2014
Family Farms and Modern Industrialization in China: Analysis of the Shanghai Songjiang Area as a Case Study Accompanied by the continuous transformation of the industrial structure, massive rural labor in China has begun their migration to nonagricultural industries. This huge transfer of rural labor has shown a positive pushing influence on the transformation of China’s industrial structure, creating a timely opportunity to the development of agriculture and the structural transformation of the rural area. This paper investigates the interrelations between the transformation in the industrial structure and the rural-urban labor movement, and provides an in-depth analysis of the unique advantages of the family farm system as well as its bottlenecks by exploring the practices of the Songjiang family farm system in Shanghai as a case study. Volume 2, Issue 3, 2014
Break-Even Profitability for Food-Grade Specialty Soybeans Cultivar selection for specialty soybeans is mainly based on seed-yield performance, disease resistance, and value-increasing seed attributes. However, adoption of food-grade specialty soybean cultivars by farmers for commercial production requires studies on profitability and economic factors. This research evaluated the profitability of small-seeded, large-seeded, and high-protein specialty soybeans using break-even (BE) analysis to establish guidelines for cultivar selection and adoption based on economic feasibility. Differential costs for seed and weed control were considered in the BE analysis of two different planting systems: conventional (Scenario I) and herbicide tolerant (Scenario II) soybeans. Average BE premiums were $2.74, $4.26, and $1.30 bu-¹ under Scenario I, and $2.02, $4.57, and $0.66 bu-¹ under Scenario II for small seeded, large seeded, and high-protein test lines, respectively. At current premium level of $3.50 bu-¹ for small seeded, $2.50 bu-¹ for large seeded, and $1.50bu-¹ for high-protein specialty soybean, BE yields for these three types of specialty soybean should be 76.46, 85.21, and 89.28% of the check’s yield when compared with conventional soybean; and 77.47, 92.92, and 90.71% of the check’s yield when compared with Roundup Ready soybean, respectively. Additional positive returns will be expected when the current premiums offered in the market are higher than the BE premium of a specialty soybean cultivar, or when the actual yields of this cultivar are higher than the BE yield at current premiums. Based on the economic feasibilities, the present study proposed a new model for the selection and adoption of specialty soybean cultivars, both in breeding programs and for commercial production. Volume 2, Issue 2, 2014
Protective Role of Alginic Acid and Fucoidan from Nitric Oxide-Induced Oxidative Stress The protective activities of alginic acid and fucoidan from oxidative stress (OS) were investigated under cellular system using LLC-PK1 renal epithelial cells that are widely used for study cellular OS. The cellular OS in LLC-PK1 cells was induced by the free radical generators. The treatment of pyrogallol, sodium nitroprusside or 3-morpholinosydnonimine led to the production of superoxide anion (O2-), nitric oxide (NO) and peroxynitrite (ONOO-), respectively. The free radical generators decreased cell viability and elevated lipid peroxidation compared OSwith non-treated cells. However, the treatment of alginic acid and fucoidan attenuated OS significantly induced by NO, O2- and ONOO-, resulting in the significant increase of cell viability and inhibition of lipid peroxidation in concentration-dependent manner. In particular, fucoidan showed the stronger protective effect from oxidative stress than alginic acid. These results indicated that alginic acid and fucoidan played the protective role from NO-induced OS. The present study suggests the promising antioxidative agents of alginc acid and fucoidan with protective activity from free radical-induced OS. Volume 2, Issue 2, 2014
Assessment of Carrier Materials to Formulate Trichoderma Harzianum Bio-Fungicide for Controlling Foot and Root Rot Disease of Brinjal in Seed Bed Efficacy of eight different carrier materials and their combinations were tested to formulate a suitable Trichoderma harzianum based bio-fungicides for controlling foot and root rot diseases of brinjal caused by Sclerotium rolfsii in tray soil as well as seed bed soil under net house condition of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI). The results from a series of experiments revealed that four combination of carrier materials based T. harzianum bio-fungicides such as (1) wheat bran + rice bran, (2) wheat bran + mustard oil cake (MOC) + rice bran, (3) khesari bran + rice bran, and (4) khesari bran +MOC+ rice bran were suitable for controlling the soil borne foot and root rot disease (S. rolfsii) of brinjal in tray soil as well as seed bed soil conditions. Volume 2, Issue 2, 2014
Differences in Fruit Quality and Plant Growth of ‘Shiranuhi’ Mandarin Trees, Planted and Top-Grafted Stock Differences in fruit characteristics (soluble solids content, acidity and fruit weight) and growth properties of fruiting branches in both planted and top-grafted stock for ‘Shiranuhi’ mandarin [(C. unshiu x C. sinensis) x C. reticulate] trees were determined when fruit was harvested. It was found that fruiting branch length, leaves and soluble solids contents tended to be higher in the planted stock compared with the top-grafted trees. Fruit diameter, fruit weight, stem end protrusion, pulp weight and pulp thickness were larger in the planted than top-grafted stock. However, titratable acidity was higher in the top-grafted than in the planted stock. These results suggest that planted stock should be cultivated as part of crop management for improvement of fruit quality and plant growth in ‘Shiranuhi’ mandarin trees. Volume 2, Issue 1, 2014
Variability in Salt Tolerance of Sorghum bicolor L. Salt tolerance of ten sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) varieties (‘1790E’, ‘BTx642’, ‘Desert Maize’, ‘Macia’, ‘RTx430’, ‘Schrock’, ‘Shallu’, ‘Tx2783’, ‘Tx7078’, and ‘Wheatland’) was evaluated in two greenhouse experiments. In the first experiment, sorghum were sown in substrates moistened with either nutrient solution (no addition of salts, control) at electrical conductivity (EC) of 1.2 dS·m-1 or salt solution at EC 5, 10 or 17 dS·m-1. Seedling emergence percentage decreased in all varieties only at EC of 17 dS·m-1 compared to the control. Seedling emergence percentage of sorghum ‘Macia’ and ‘1790E’ irrigated with salt solution at EC of 17 dS·m-1 decreased by 50% and 51%, while that of ‘RTx430’ reduced by 97%, other varieties ranged from 64% to 90%. Both salt solution at EC of 5 and 10 dS·m-1 reduced the dry weight of sorghum seedlings by 29% and 72% on average, respectively, compared to control. In the 2nd experiment, plants were irrigated with nutrient solution or salt solution at EC of 5.0 or 10.0 dS·m-1 for 30 days. Salt solution at EC of 5.0 and 10.0 dS·m-1 had similar influences on dry weight (DW) of all sorghum varieties except ‘Tx2783’. The relative dry weight of ‘Shallu’, ‘Desert Maize’, and ‘1790E’ irrigated with salt solution at EC of 10 dS·m-1 were over 67%, those of ‘Macia’, ‘Schrock’, and ‘RTx430’ ranged from 30% to 33%, and other varieties were 45% to 59%. Foliar salt damage was observed on all salt-treated sorghum varieties except for ‘Shallu’, which had the lowest shoot DW reduction and greatest visual score. Leaf photosynthesis of all sorghum plants irrigated with salt solution at EC of 5 and 10 dS·m-1 was decreased by 6.0% and 10.6%, respectively. Leaf Na+ concentration at EC of 5.0 and 10.0 dS·m-1 increased by 25.6% and 60.7%, respectively, compared to the control; while Cl- concentration increased by 16.4% and 41.2%, and Ca2+ concentration increased by 17.8% and 34.3%. In conclusion, salt tolerance of sorghum varied with plant growing stage and varieties. ‘Shallu’, ‘Desert Maize’, and ‘1790E’ were the most salt tolerant varieties, while ‘Schrock’ and ‘RTx430’ showed the least salt tolerance in both experiments. All varieties had high Na+ exclusion ability. Volume 2, Issue 1, 2014
What Drives Decline Productivity in Ageing Tea Plantation - Soil Physical Properties or Soil Nutrient Status? Over the years, the tea plantations in the Ribeira Valley, Brazil had been recording declining productivity and reduced tea quality. This had been associated with several factors including the age of the plantation, decling fertility, soil degradation among others factor. In this study, our objective was to identify the main driver of declining productivity in tea yield in the Ribeira Valley tea plantation in Brazil and to evaluate the effects of long-term tea cultivation on the physico-chemical changes and nutrient dynamics in the soil at 2 profile depths. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of long-term cultivation on changes in the physical and chemical properties of Acrisol Haplic planted to Tea in the Ribeira Valley region, Brazil. The soil samples were collected at two depths 0-10 cm and 10-20 cm in two representative plantations and analyzed for chemical, physical and mechanical soil properties. The selected sites; Thea Hills – TH1987 and Braço Preto – BP1972 presents different plantation ages on a similar cultivation practices. The harvested quantities of tea from the sites were monitored and their quality classified following international standards. We observed declining productivity in terms of harvested tea from both sites and the quality of harvested tea were better in TH1987 than BP1972. The soil nutrient study indicated an improvement in fertility parameters in the older plantation (BP1972). We observed degradation in the soil physical quality parament and all possible factors indicated that degradation of the soil structure through compaction was the main factor resulting in the observed declined productivity (quantitatively and qualitatively). Soil structure degradation adversely affects the soil functions including aeration, crop water use efficiency and soil nutrient conversion. We recommend appropriate soil tillage management in tea plantations too improve the productive cycle and capacities. Volume 2, Issue 1, 2014
Haematological Parameters and Factors Affecting Their Values This article presents an overview of haematological parameters and factors affecting their values. Blood act as a pathological reflector of the status of the exposed animals to toxicants and other conditions. The examination of blood provides the opportunity to clinically investigate the presence of metabolites and other constituents in the body of animals and it plays a vital role in the physiological, nutritional and pathological status of an animal. Blood constituents change in relation to the physiological status of an animal. These changes are important in assessing the response of farm animals to various physiological situations. These changes are often caused by several factors; some of which are genetic and others, non-genetic. Age, sex, breed and management systems are among the factors that influence blood-based parameters of farm animals. It is important to establish baseline indices for these parameters on the basis of these factors and determine the effects of these factors on these indices. Volume 2, Issue 1, 2014
Monthly Price Analysis of Cassava Derivatives in Rural and Urban Markets in Akwa Ibom State, Southern Nigeria The study examined the price transmission and extent of market integration of yellow Garri and Fufu (fermented cassava tubers) in the rural and urban markets of Akwa Ibom State in Southern region of Nigeria. Average monthly prices (measured in naira per kilogram) of Garri and Fufu in the rural and urban markets were used in the analysis. The data was obtained from the quarterly publications of the Akwa Ibom State Agricultural Development Programme [AKADEP] (2013). The data covered January 2005 to June 2013. The trend analysis showed that, prices of Garri and Fufu in the rural and urban markets have exponential growth rates less than unity, which suggests possible co-movement of these prices in the study area. Also, the Pearson correlation coefficient generated for the pair of rural and urban prices of Garri and Fufu revealed significant linear symmetric relationships. The Granger causality test further revealed bi-directional relationships between the rural and urban price of Garri and Fufu in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The results of the co-integration test revealed the presence of co-integration between the rural and urban prices of Garri. The theory of one price was tested for; in the Fufu markets and the result implies weak Fufu market integration in the study area. The results of the error correction model (ECM) confirm the existence of short run market integration between rural and urban prices of Garri in the study area. In addition, the result shows that, the price of Garri in urban market adjusted faster than that of the rural market once there is exogenous shock in the marketing system in the State. The estimated index of market connection (IMC) supported the high short run market integration between prices in rural and urban markets for Garri. Based on the findings, it is recommended that, the Akwa Ibom State government should continue to provide marketing infrastructures and reduced externality costs in order to improve the symmetric nature of information among participants in Garri and Fufu marketing in the state. Also, individuals and government should established market information units or centers and awareness programmes on mass media to facilitate efficient communication of market information in the state. Volume 2, Issue 1, 2014
The Pattern of Stomatal Opening through the Exposure of High-Frequency Sound Wave with the Different Duration and Age of Soybeans (Glycine max (L.) Merril) Since the productivity of soybean in Indonesia is still low, a new innovation is needed to improve it. The objectives of this study are to determine a pattern of the stomatal opening of soybean’s leaves which exposed by high-frequency sound waves with different duration time and age of soybean plants. This study was carried out at the Experimental Farm Agriculture Faculty and Biology Laboratory of Science Faculty of the Islamic University of Malang, East Java in April to August 2013.The first factor was duration time of the exposure which consist of three levels: 20 minutes (D1), 40 minutes (D2) and 60 minute (D3).The second factor was the age of the soybean which consist of three levels: 15 days after planting (dap) (A1), 25 dap (A2) and 35 dap (A3). The soybean plants were exposure by the 5000 hertz frequency. The variables measured consisted of stomatal opening width, plant height, leaf area, fresh weight of pods, fresh weight of seed, oven dry weight of beans and harvest index. Increase of the duration time of exposure of high frequency sound waves by 20 to 60 minutes, tends to decrease the width of stomatal opening. The treatment of duration of exposure by 40 minutes at the age of 15 dap had the highest soybean grain yield by 24.10 g.plant-1, equivalent to 3.93 ton.ha-1. The relationship between the widths of the stomatal opening with soybean production showed no significant correlation. The results of this study suggest that maintaining stomatal opening at optimum width through the manipulation of high-frequency sound waves will increase the yield of soybean plants. Volume 2, Issue 1, 2014
The Analysis of a Feed Component Imported into South Africa for Aflatoxin in Relation to Fungal and Mycotoxin Contamination Currently there is concern with respect to the occurrence of mycotoxins in feed commodities, which could result in the loss of animal production and danger to consumers. Recent legislation to control the trading of such contaminated materials has been initiated with the result that it is imperative to be able to analyse for mycotoxins in feed commodities, rapidly and with sufficient accuracy to ensure that bulk cargoes of such materials are within set safety limits. To this end a large batch (800 tonnes) of cotton-seed meal was consigned to a South African feed miller and was sampled according to a protocol devised under the European Union Framework 6 Biotracer programme. These were split and analysed for aflatoxins (AFs) by two laboratories using the VICAM fluorimetry aflatoxin method (VF) and by an high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method (HPLC) as part of another study to determine the statistical variation of using composite samples derived from a large bulk cargo (Reiter et al., 2011) . The results from the HPLC method showed that all the composites were contaminated with aflatoxins (AF) ranging from 24 – 93μg/kg. A comparison of the two analytical methods used, showed that the results compared in terms of trend but in general the Vicam fluorimetry method (VF) gave a higher concentration of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) ranging between 26 – 164μg/kg. The levels of AF found were in several cases higher than those permitted by current legislation and would not have been allowed into the European Union. The methodology used allowed for reduced sampling and a more rapid method of analysis to assess AF contamination in commodities, subject to further development. The predominant fungi isolated and identified were Aspergillus flavus and parasiticus, which are main producer of AFs in the environment. Volume 1, Issue 4, 2013
Nodulation, Nitrogen Yield and Fixation by Bambara Groundnut (Vigna Subterranea (L.)Verdc.) Landraces Intercropped with Cowpea and Maize in Southern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria Two separate field experiments were undertaken during the rainy seasons (August – December) of 2010 and 2011 at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria. The objective of the study was to evaluate some landraces of bambara groundnut intercropped separately with cowpea and maize at varying planting densities for nodulation, nitrogen (N) yield and fixation. Each experiment was a 2 x 3 x 3 split-split plot set out in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Intercropping decreased the number and weight of nodules; nitrogen derived from the atmosphere and fixed in both bambara groundnut/maize and bambara groundnut/cowpea intercropping systems. No significant differences were noticed between the landraces in N content of shoot and roots, but ‘Okirikiri’ had significantly higher N content (3.11 %) of pod with seed than the other two landraces. ‘Okirikiri’ and ‘Adikpo’ landraces fixed more N than ‘Karo’. N fixed increased with decline in bambara groundnut planting density. Mean percentage of plant N derived from atmosphere varied from 49.80 in the bambara groundnut/maize systems to 56.80 in the bambara groundnut/cowpea intercrops, while N fixed was 11.27 kg/ha and 34.90 kg/ha in the respective intercrop systems. The expectation of enormous contribution of nitrogen fixation to bambrara groundnut yields and its residual effects on soil medium for ensuing crops may be an illusion with the use of the landraces tested in this work, except, probably when inoculated with the appropriate rhizobia? Volume 1, Issue 4, 2013
Forest Ecosystem Health Assessment on the Basis of Fuzzy Comprehensive Evaluation Model Both of qualitative and quantitative methods are applied to screen the indicators for forest ecosystem health assessment in nature reserves in Beichuan County. The indicator weights are obtained by Principal Component Analysis, and the Fuzzy Model is built to assess the forest ecosystem health. The values show that the forest ecosystem is of sub-health with the health value 2.77, and the elevation is the most influential element to forest ecosystem health. Volume 1, Issue 4, 2013
Analysis of the Determinants of Capital Structure: Evidence from Unlisted Agro-Based Firms in Nigeria 2005-2010 The study furthers evidence of capital structure theories in developing countries by investigating the determinants of capital structure of a sample of 60 unquoted agro-based firms in Nigeria. Data collected through a multi-stage random sampling for the period 2005-2010 were analyzed using the Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression and descriptive statistics. The result revealed that only growth and educational level of firms’ owners were significant determinants of both long and short-term debt ratios. While asset structure, age of firms, gender of owners and export status impacted significantly on long–term debt ratios, only business risk, size and profitability of firms were major determinants of short-term debt ratio for the firms under investigation. This, therefore, informed the need to pursue policies that would encourage asset accumulation, promote exportation, address gender inequality and reduce business risk as policy measures. Volume 1, Issue 4, 2013
Residual Effect of Ammonium Sulfate Substitution on Soil Properties and Productivity of Plant and Ratoon Cane Overuse of the Ammonium Sulfate (AS) fertilizer in the long-term sugarcane cultivation has a negative impact on the soil properties which in turn can decrease soil and crop productivity. The study to describe the residual effect of AS substitute fertilizers on soil physico-chemical properties and cane productivity compared with AS fertilizer, was conducted at up-land in East Java during two cycles of the sugarcane growth (plant cane and ratoon cane). There were ten treatments which were tested consisting of three treatments using AS fertilizer, six treatments using the AS substitute fertilizer, and one control (without the use of the fertilizers). The measured variables were soil bulk density, total N, SO42- content, soil pH, and yield variables. The use of the AS fertilizer substitute decreased the soil bulk density and increased the total N, SO42- content, and soil pH at the post-harvest of plant and ratoon cane. It confirmed a better condition in the soil with the AS fertilizer substitute rather than the AS fertilizer by itself. The residual effect of the AS fertilizer substitute on the soil properties at the post-harvest of plant cane significantly provided a positive impact on cane and sugar yield at the ratoon cane. The soil SO42- and total soil N content were the most important soil properties that influenced cane and sugar yield of ratoon cane. It suggests that the use of the AS fertilizer substitute is recommended on sugarcane cultivation for minimizing adverse residual effect and maintaining the soil quality. Volume 1, Issue 3, 2013
Effects of Manure Management and Nitrogen Levels on Soil Organic Carbon in the Northern Guinea Savanna, Nigeria A two years study was carried out in two locations at Institute for Agricultural Research and the Samaru College of Agriculture Farms (Lat. 11° 11’’ and Long. 7° 38’’) in the Northern Guinea Savanna zone of Nigeria. The study aimed at investigating the effects of cow dung management practices, time of application when combined with inorganic fertilizer (urea) and their direct and residual effects on organic carbon content of the soil. The treatments consisted of three cow dung management practices, four different storage times after one month ageing and two levels of nitrogen. There was a control treatment where no cow dung or nitrogen fertilizer was applied. The study was a factorial experiment with three factors, laid out in a randomized complete block design replicated three times. The manure amended treatments were generally higher than the control treatments in the two years and at both direct and residual effects. This showed that the addition of cow dung actually increased the organic carbon content of the soil. However, the highest organic carbon value for 2003 and 2004 years of direct effects, at 4 WAP were on treatments pit covered May (54.5 g kg -1 and 49.0 g kg -1 respectively), while the lowest values were observed on the control treatments (30.7 g kg -1 and 24.7 g kg -1 respectively). The management practices and the time (month) of application did not show any significant effect on the content of the soil organic matter of the soil. Volume 1, Issue 3, 2013
Estimation of Economic Value of Gardening Produces Hidden Harvest (Case Study: Prunus Persica) Due to growing population and needs more food supply, increased productivity in agricultural production have been more considered and for this purpose, different strategies such as increasing acreage, yield per unit area, achieving superior cultivars, field operations management and the like have been suggested by the researchers. One of the ways (strategies) is that lower hitherto been considered, reduce postharvest losses, or "hidden harvest". Plant produces are living systems: due to doing postharvest biological processes that concluded to be ruined quickly. Harvesting and postharvest handling of crops, play a critical role in assuring their price and quality. Peach is perishable produce and after harvest a high percentage of it is useless immediately. Improvement of postharvest quality and efficiency in the marketing system necessitates improved harvesting methodologies, training of farmers, as well as the use of appropriate facilities and equipment for transportation, packaging and storage. So in this study for estimation the economic value peaches hidden harvest was used benefit-cost method. The required data were collected with through a questionnaire from 45 peach growers of east Golestan province. The results of this investigation disclosed that use of appropriate facilities and equipment for transportation, packaging, storage and increasing the awareness of farmers will be increased peach produce with reducing losses till 40 percent in the region. It is suggested measures such as precooling and cool keeping till the time of selling or processing, using refrigerated vehicles, equipping sales centers to refrigerators, proper packaging and maintenance of fruit at a temperature of 2 to 3 °C should be implemented. Volume 1, Issue 3, 2013
A Preliminary Investigation on the Toxicity of Tetracera Alnifolia on Piscicola Geometra in Fish Culture The toxicity of varying concentrations of T. alnifolia extract on P. geometra (leeches) was investigated. Aqueous crude extract of roots and stem bark of T. alnifolia plant was obtained and concentrations of 5%, 10%, 15% and 20% of extract were made. Twenty-five juvenile C. gariepinus fish were distributed into five tanks of A-control (0%), B (5%), C (10%), D (15%) and E (20%) of herb extract with two replicates all held in static renewal bioassays. Twenty leeches were introduced into each tank and six hourly observations show that leeches were negatively affected by the herb extract. The extract elicited reduction in swimming activity, caused weakness, paleness and death of the leeches. The concentration- response relationship of P. geometra and T. alnifolia extract shows a mortality of 25%, 40%, 70% and 80% and a median lethal time (LT50) of 42h, 30h, 18h and 12h for 5%, 10%, 15% and 20% at 24h exposure respectively. The resulting sigmoid curve had an arithmetic median lethal (LC50) value of 113mg/l and a logarithmic median lethal (LC50) value of 1.72mg/l. Probit mortality of 4.33, 4.75, 5.52 and 5.84 were observed for 5%, 10%, 15% and 2% concentrations. The herb extract did not have any noticeable effect on the fish. Dissolved oxygen was significantly (P<0.05) higher in control than in treatment tanks. The herb extract had a significant effect (P<0.05) on the rate of mortality of P. geometra at 24h exposure time indicating that T. alnifolia extract may be effective in the control of leeches in fish culture. Volume 1, Issue 2, 2013
Saprolegniasis in Freshwater Catfishes Sold in Fish Markets in Asaba, Southern Nigeria The prevalence of saprolegniasis in freshwater catfishes sold in fish markets in Asaba was investigated. Two hundred and sixty-five freshly caught table-sized freshwater catfishes namely: Clarias anguillaris (Pellegrin), Heterobranchus bidorsalis (Geoffrey St. Hilaire), Synodontis clarias (Linnaeus), Schilbe mystus (Linnaeus) and Bagrus bayad (Ruppell) were used for the study which lasted for three months. Fish samples bought on a weekly basis from two major markets (Ogbeogonogo and Cable point) were transported to the laboratory and examined by smear scrapping of mucus on skin of fish for saprolegniasis and possible secondary bacterial and protozoal infections using routine procedures. Isolates from cultures revealed the presence of saprolegniasis, scyphidian flora and bacterial infections of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coil. Out of 265 catfishes examined, 46 (17.4%) had saprolegniasis. This prevalence of infection was not significant (P >0.05). The number of fungal zoospores from saprolegniasis ulcerative lesion was however significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those of the control which were free from Saprolegnia infection. A significant (P<0. 05) number, 25 (54%) of Saprolegnia infected catfishes had scyphidian flora. S. aureus was isolated from all catfishes examined while E. coli was found in 193 (72.8%) of the fishes. Fish culturist and fresh fish handlers should maintain good water quality for cultured fishes and a high standard of personal hygiene to avoid the health implications of fish diseases. Volume 1, Issue 2, 2013
Participatory Rural Appraisal of Bambara Groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.) Production in Southern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) study of bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L.)Verdc.) production was conducted in six villages sampled from three Local Government Areas (LGA). The LGAs were Ogbadibo, Kwande (Benue State) and Olamaboro (Kogi State), all located in Southern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria. The study involved 6 group discussions and 240 individual key informants who were interviewed using a check list with a view to provide information on existing bambara groundnut-based cropping systems. Results indicated that most bambara groundnut farmers were literate (99.58%). 52.91% of the farmers were males and 47.08% were females. Bambara groundnut production was mainly in small holdings (≤1ha). About 30 % of bambara groundnut farmers plant the crop as sole while 65.83% intercropped it with other crops. Intercropping with cassava dominated the intercrop systems. Planting was mainly on ridges (83.33%). About 77% of the farmers do not apply fertilizer to bambara groundnut with the belief that it could grow well on poor soils. Weeding was done manually by 87.08% of the farmers, while 21.25% of them used herbicides for weed control mainly in Kwande LGA. Yields of bambara groundnut were generally low (100-600 kg/ha). Labour and lack of finance ranked the highest consideration by farmers as constraints to the production of bambara groundnut in Southern Guinea Savanna. Scientific investigation into the suitability of some of the popular landraces of bambara groundnut in the various cropping systems in Southern Guinea Savanna might be necessary to ensure food security in the region. Volume 1, Issue 2, 2013
Impact of Previous Vegetation Cover on Mycorrhizal Colonization and Performance of Moringa oleifera in Rainforest Regions of Cameroon Moringa oleifera is a nutritional and medicinal plant. Conditions required for its cultivation have not yet been fully determined. This study was carried out in two localities in Cameroon to assess the impact of the previous vegetation cover (forest, Chromolaena odorata fallows and crop field) on mycorrhization and plant growth of M. oleifera. M. oleifera seedlings were grown in a greenhouse for 3 months in soil samples from the top soil layer. Plant height was measured every 2 weeks after sowing. Plant mortality, mycorrhizal colonization rate, plant height and biomass production were recorded after three months at the end of the experiment. Statistical analyses showed an effect of the type of previous land use on mycorrhizal colonization and growth of M. oleifera. The soil that had been C. odorata fallows was found to be more suitable for M. oleifera cropping in rainforest areas. In the second phase, soil biological and physicochemical properties will be determined to understand the extent to which these factors exert an impact on the mycorrhizal colonization rate and on M. oleifera performance. Volume 1, Issue 2, 2013
Hargreaves Equation as an All-Season Simulator of Daily FAO-56 Penman-Monteith ETo This work showed the Hargreaves equation (HG) can be modified into a highly efficient computational replacement for the FAO-56 Penman-Monteith equation and its auxiliary functions for the computation of daily reference evapotranspiration (ETo) estimation when only available data are daily temperature data. By modifying all the constants (i.e., '0.0023', '0.5' and '17.8') in HG and adding a new constant, a modified HG (HG1234) gave almost identical estimates of daily ETo as FPM, with modified coefficient of efficiency, 𝐸1 = 0.99, 𝑟2 = 1.00, and MAE of 0.00 mm/d for a weather station in Accra, Ghana. HG1234 and ten other less drastic modifications of HG were compared against FPM at simulated average wind speeds, 𝑢2, of 0.5 m/s, 2.0 m/s and 4.0 m/s for daily estimates of ETo. In general the uncalibrated HG predicted FPM with very low 𝐸1 at 𝑢2 other than the global average of 2 m/s, and the more drastic the modification of HG the higher its efficiency at simulating FPM ETo at all wind velocities. Thus although HG was not originally developed for daily ETo estimation, modifying it to HG1234 can turn it into a very efficient and much faster simulator of FPM daily ETo estimation that would be very useful in applications, such as areal ETo estimation research using satellite images, where fast and frequent re-evaluations of FPM ETo for millions of points are necessary. Volume 1, Issue 2, 2013
Intermarket Performance and Pricing Efficiency of Imported Rice Marketing in South-South Nigeria: The Case of Akwa Ibom State Traders The paper examines the market performance and pricing efficiency of rice uses primary data from a sample of 60 rice traders selected from four markets in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Data were analyzed using simple descriptive statistics, t-test, gross margin and bivariate correlation coefficient. From the findings of the study, married (70%) and educated (85%) female (63.3%) rice traders with average marketing experience of 11.6 years dominated the study area. Average Gross return and margin across the markets were #8852.5 and 27.67%, indicating that rice marketing was profitable in the study area. Rice prices were higher in the rural than the urban markets. The correlation coefficient between the urban market pair was higher (0.81) than those between the urban and the rural market pairs which ranged from 0.21 to 0.46.This shows that the flow of marketing information was higher among the urban market pairs and lower between the rural and urban market pairs. This implies that the urban market pair was highly integrated than the other market pairs that were poorly integrated. There were significant differences in the mean wholesale prices between the urban and rural market pairs as well as within the rural market pair, while there were no significant differences in the mean wholesale prices between the two urban market pair. Also, high cost of transportation, high rent and taxes, lack of credit facilities and rampant incidence of theft were among the perennial marketing problems identified as major challenges in the study area. Series of recommendations have been offered. Volume 1, Issue 2, 2013
The Potential for Using Ozone to Decrease Pesticide Residues in Honey Bee Comb Ozone is a strong oxidizer, and we evaluated its potential to eliminate pesticides from honeycomb and empty honey bee hives. Honey bees are exposed to pesticides when foraging for nectar and pollen and when beekeepers use in-hive chemical pest control measures. Persistent pesticides can accumulate in the hive over years, potentially harming the bees. Honeycomb is removed from bee colonies for honey extraction and then placed back on the colonies at a later date, providing a time when combs could be fumigated to eliminate or reduce pesticide residues. We found that ozone gas at a rate >920 mg O3/m3 for 10-20 h lowers coumaphos residues on a glass surface by 93-100% and tau-fluvalinate by 75-98%. Ozone was less effective at eliminating pesticides on beeswax, and residues were more effectively eliminated with new combs (comb built by bees within 3 y) than with old combs (combs used by beekeepers for >10 y). Ozone significantly reduced dimethylphenyl formamide, chlorpyrifos, and fenpyroximate contaminations in comb. When comb is treated with ozone, an off-odor is created, but the volatiles were found to be primarily straight chain aldehydes and carboxylic acids that are probably harmless to bees and humans. Ozone may have some utility for lowering pesticide residues in bee hives, but it would be more effective if a mechanism could be found that provides better penetration into wax, a goal not fully accomplished in our method. Volume 1, Issue 1, 2013
Vermiculture for Organic Horticulture: Producing Chemical-Free, Nutritive and Health Protective Foods by Earthworms Earthworms have fed the world as ‘farm managers’ since mankind arrived on earth. Earthworm's vermicompost is scientifically proving to be an ‘extraordinary powerful growth promoters and protectors’ for crops (5-7 times over other bulky organic fertilizers and 20-40 % higher over chemical fertilizers). They are rich in NKP, micronutrients, beneficial soil microbes like ‘nitrogen-fixing’ and ‘phosphate solubilizing’ bacteria, ‘mycorrhizal fungi’, humus and growth hormones – auxins, gibberlins and cytokinins. It has very high ‘porosity’, ‘aeration’, ‘drainage’ and ‘water holding capacity’. It also protects plants against various pests and diseases either by suppressing or repelling them or by inducing biological resistance in plants. ‘Vermiwash’ (liquid from the body of worms) and the ‘vermicompost tea’ (solution of vermicompost) also work as very ‘powerful bio-pesticides’ eliminating the use of toxic chemical pesticides. Presence of live earthworms in soils has been found to significantly influence the development of quality of fruits in vegetable and fruit crops. Earthworms and vermicompost can boost horticultural production without agrochemicals. It will provide several social, economic and environmental benefits to the society by way of producing ‘chemical-free’ safe, ‘nutritive and health protective’ (rich in minerals and antioxidants) foods (even against some forms of cancers) for the people; salvaging human wastes and replacing the dangerous ‘agrochemicals’ from the face of earth. Use of vermicompost in farms also ‘sequester’ huge amounts of atmospheric carbon (assimilated by green plants during photosynthesis) and bury them back into the soil improving the soil fertility, preventing erosion or compaction and also reducing greenhouse gas and mitigating global warming. Volume 1, Issue 1, 2013
Soil Solarization for Managing Weeds in Cabbage Brassica Oleraceae var Capitata in Trinidad and Tobago A study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of soil solarization at the University Field Station (UFS), Trinidad and Tobago, in a cabbage (Brassica oleraceae var. capitata) field naturally infested with weeds. Well prepared pre-irrigated plots 2.4m × 5.4m were covered with 4mm thick clear polyethylene sheeting for the duration of seven weeks from the14th February to 3rd April, 2007. Cow manure was incorporated at a rate of 500m3/ ha in some solarized plots. Non-solarized plots were either treated with pre-emergent pendimethalin at a rate of 4.2L /ha three days after transplanting; treated with glyphosate two weeks before transplanting at a rate of 5L/ha in a stale seedbed preparation or were hand weeded. The cabbage variety salvation was transplanted on the 4th April, 2007. At the end of 10 weeks solarized plots were more effective in controlling weeds. Clear plastic give the best weed control (97.6%) followed by clear plastic + manure (96%) with pendimethalin giving 85.6% control. However, pendimethalin gave a more consistent control of weeds for the duration of the crop. At all stages of assessment of the soil weed seed bank there was no significant difference in the weed count. Clear plastic had the highest yield of 36.45 t/ha and was significantly different from all other treatments. This yield was almost twice that of stale seedbed which gave the next best result of 18.75 t/ha. Pendimethalin had the lowest yield of 4.563 t/ha and seemed to have an adverse effect on the growth of cabbage. Cabbage grew more vigorously on solarized plots. Clear plastic yielded the highest dry matter up to week eight, followed by clear plastic + manure and stale seedbed. At week 10 however stale seedbed produced the highest dry matter of 1.695 kg/m2 but did not differ significantly from clear plastic (1.655 kg/m2). Ten weeks after transplanting there was no significant difference in the weed dry matter among treatments although clear plastic had the lowest dry matter of 0.5g/m2. Soil temperature during solarization was generally higher in plots with only clear plastic than those with manure, averaging 38.86 °C and 37.69 °C respectively between the 43rd and 48th day. Soil solarization with clear plastic can be used as an effective means of managing weeds in cabbage and to increase crop yield. Volume 1, Issue 1, 2013
Lentil: Origin, Cultivation Techniques, Utilization and Advances in Transformation Lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) is the most ancient cultivated crops among the legumes. It is indigenous to South Western Asia and the Mediterranean region. There is archaeological evidence of lentil, dated back to 7.500 - 6.500 BC. It is cultivated worldwide, with 4.2 million ha of harvest area, producing 4.6 million tons with an average yield of 110 kg/da. It is commonly used for human nutrition, animal feed and soil fertility. The aim of this study is to give information about cultivation, origin and utilization of lentil. Volume 1, Issue 1, 2013
Cd, Cu, Hg and Pb, and Organochlorines Pesticides in Commercially Important Benthic Organisms Coastal Lagoons SW Gulf of Mexico The objective of this study was to determine the concentrations of insecticides (DDT and their metabolites) and heavy metals (Cd, Pb, Cu and Hg) in benthic organisms such as oysters, crab and shrimp. The studies were carried out in six lagoon systems along the Gulf of Mexico: Madre, Tamiahua, Grande, Mandinga, Alvarado and Mecoacán. The sampling sites in each lagoon system were selected in the areas of commercial fishing. The levels of pesticides in oysters and crabs indicated they were in constant contact with these compounds, which are used in livestock, agricultural and aquacultural activities, and in the efforts carried out in adjoining zones to control the vectors of dengue and malaria. The concentration ranking of heavy metals in F. aztecus in the Tamiahua system was Cu > Cd > Pb, while for L. setiferus in the Alvarado system it was Pb > Cd > Hg. Volume 1, Issue 1, 2013