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Agronomy, Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2020) – 169 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) In this study, we explored the feasibility of making a novel inter-generic graft between pac choi [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview
Benchmarking the Agronomic Performance of Biodegradable Mulches against Polyethylene Mulch Film: A Meta-Analysis
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1618; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101618 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 154
Abstract
Growers are interested in biodegradable alternatives to petroleum-based polyethylene mulch film (PEM). However, many growers cite limited knowledge about biodegradable mulch films (BDMs) as a significant barrier to adoption. Agronomic field tests of BDMs are often limited temporally or spatially, and the variability [...] Read more.
Growers are interested in biodegradable alternatives to petroleum-based polyethylene mulch film (PEM). However, many growers cite limited knowledge about biodegradable mulch films (BDMs) as a significant barrier to adoption. Agronomic field tests of BDMs are often limited temporally or spatially, and the variability of performance results relative to PEM may be contributing to this perceived knowledge gap. Our objective was to use data available in the scientific literature to provide the first quantitative performance benchmark of BDMs against PEM. We extracted data from 66 articles for meta-analysis. Response ratios were calculated for comparison of BDMs relative to black PEM, and differences among categorical groups were determined using 95% bootstrap confidence intervals. Overall, BDMs reduced soil temperature by 4.5% ± 0.8% (±one standard error) compared to PEM, and temperatures were coolest beneath paper-based BDM. Starch-polyester BDM was less effective than PEM for weed control, but paper-based BDM reduced weed density and biomass by 85.7% ± 9.2%. Paper-based BDMs were particularly useful for controlling Cyperus spp. weeds. Despite differences in soil temperature and weed suppression, crop yields were not different between BDMs and PEM. Future research should focus on reducing costs, adding functional value, and increasing the biodegradability of BDMs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perennial Living Mulch Systems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Data Mining Nitrogen-Responsive Gene Expression for Source–Sink Relations and Indicators of N Status in Potato
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1617; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101617 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 178
Abstract
Potato tuber yields depend on nitrogen (N) supply, which affects source–sink relations. Transcriptome sequencing of the foliar source using a single field trial identified gene expression responsive to 180 kg N ha−1. The expression of N-responsive genes was further analyzed in [...] Read more.
Potato tuber yields depend on nitrogen (N) supply, which affects source–sink relations. Transcriptome sequencing of the foliar source using a single field trial identified gene expression responsive to 180 kg N ha−1. The expression of N-responsive genes was further analyzed in the next stage using a NanoString nCounter over an expanded number of foliar samples from seven field trials with varying N rates, sites, and cultivars. Least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression models of gene expression predictive of yield, total plant N uptake, and tuber-specific gravity (proxy for dry matter) were built. Genes in the LASSO model for yield were associated with source–sink partitioning. A key gene regulating tuberization and senescence, StSP6A Flowering locus T, was found in the LASSO model predicting tuber yield, but not the other models. An aminotransferase involved in photorespiratory N assimilation and amino acid biosynthesis was found in all LASSO models. Other genes functioning in amino acid biosynthesis and integration of sulfur (S) and N metabolism were also found in the yield prediction model. The study provides insights on N responses in foliage of potato plants that affect source–sink partitioning. Additionally, N-responsive genes predictive of yield are candidate indicators of N status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Soil and Plant Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
A Concept of a Compact and Inexpensive Device for Controlling Weeds with Laser Beams
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1616; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101616 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 1380
Abstract
A prototype of a relatively cheap laser-based weeding device was developed and tested on couch grass (Elytrigia repens (L.) Desv. ex Nevski) mixed with tomatoes. Three types of laser were used (0.3 W, 1 W, and 5 W). A neural network was [...] Read more.
A prototype of a relatively cheap laser-based weeding device was developed and tested on couch grass (Elytrigia repens (L.) Desv. ex Nevski) mixed with tomatoes. Three types of laser were used (0.3 W, 1 W, and 5 W). A neural network was trained to identify the weed plants, and a laser guidance system estimated the coordinates of the weed. An algorithm was developed to estimate the energy necessary to harm the weed plants. We also developed a decision model for the weed control device. The energy required to damage a plant depended on the diameter of the plant which was related to plant length. The 1 W laser was not sufficient to eliminate all weed plants and required too long exposure time. The 5 W laser was more efficient but also harmed the crop if the laser beam became split into two during the weeding process. There were several challenges with the device, which needs to be improved upon. In particular, the time of exposure needs to be reduced significantly. Still, the research showed that it is possible to develop a concept for laser weeding using relatively cheap equipment, which can work in complicated situations where weeds and crop are mixed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
New Approach to the Assessment of Insecticide Losses from Paddy Fields Based on Frequent Sampling Post Application
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1615; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101615 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 231
Abstract
High concentration of insecticides may appear in waters surrounding paddy fields shortly after application. Capturing the dynamic feature of this insecticide pulse may help control insecticide load to receiving waters. Based on continuous monitoring of the drainage process and two monitoring campaigns of [...] Read more.
High concentration of insecticides may appear in waters surrounding paddy fields shortly after application. Capturing the dynamic feature of this insecticide pulse may help control insecticide load to receiving waters. Based on continuous monitoring of the drainage process and two monitoring campaigns of three insecticides—chlorpyrifos, abamectin and thiamethoxam—in a paddy, this study examined the pattern of insecticide concentrations at different locations of paddy waters during the period of insecticide application accompanied with pest-control irrigation, and analyzed the factors affecting the environmental behavior of these insecticides. The results showed that the pulse-type drainage exhibited the following features: short duration (normally less than 1 d), large flow rate (as large as 4 L s−1), frequent occurrence (20 times during a 40-d period) and long time interval (as long as 5 d). Concentrations of the insecticides with higher Henry’s constant and vapor pressure peaked quickly (within several hours) post application in the field ditch; more than half of chlorpyrifos and abamectin loads were detected within merely 1 h after application. The high insecticide concentrations in the ditch were partly attributed to the primary and secondary drift. Moreover, a new kinetic model was proposed to describe the behavior of chlorpyrifos at the field edge. It is recommended that controlled drainage be implemented for at least 1 d post application to prevent the loss of insecticides. Findings from this study may provide new insights into insecticide behavior in the paddy environment for preventing adverse environmental impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Integrating Cover Crops as a Source of Carbon for Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1614; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101614 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 240
Abstract
The adoption of anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD), a biologically-based method for the management of soilborne pests and pathogens at the commercial scale strictly depends on the availability of effective and low-cost sources of carbon (C). A three-phase pot study was conducted to evaluate [...] Read more.
The adoption of anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD), a biologically-based method for the management of soilborne pests and pathogens at the commercial scale strictly depends on the availability of effective and low-cost sources of carbon (C). A three-phase pot study was conducted to evaluate the performance of twelve cover crop species as alternative sources of C in comparison to molasses. Buckwheat produced the greatest above-ground and total plant dry biomass and accumulated the largest amount of total C. In the second phase, simulating the application of ASD in a pot-in-pot system, molasses-amended soil achieved substantially higher levels of anaerobicity, and lowered soil pH at 3 and 7 days after treatment application compared to soil amended with the cover crops tested. In the third phase of the study, after the ASD simulation, lettuce was planted to assess the impact of cover crops and molasses-based ASD on lettuce yield and quality. The treatments had limited effects on lettuce plant growth and quality as none of the treatments caused plant stunting or phytotoxicity. Tested cover crop species and molasses had a significant impact on the availability of macro and micro-elements in the soil, which in turn influenced the uptake of minerals in lettuce. Fast growing cover crops like buckwheat or oat, capable of accumulating high levels of C in a relatively short time, may represent a viable alternative to substitute or be combined with standard C sources like molasses, which could provide an on-farm C source and reduce cost of application. Further research is needed to assess the performance of cover crops at the field scale and verify their decomposability and efficacy in managing soil-borne pests and pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofortification of Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Dependence of Fresh Grapes and Wine Taste Scores on the Origin of Varieties and Weather Conditions of the Harvest Year in the Northern Zone of Industrial Viticulture in Russia
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1613; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101613 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 182
Abstract
Climate change affects all characteristics of grapes, including the taste of fresh berries and wine. The purpose of this study was to reveal the dependence of fresh grapes taste scores (GS) and wine taste scores (WS) on the origin of the varieties and [...] Read more.
Climate change affects all characteristics of grapes, including the taste of fresh berries and wine. The purpose of this study was to reveal the dependence of fresh grapes taste scores (GS) and wine taste scores (WS) on the origin of the varieties and weather conditions of the harvest year in the northern zone of industrial viticulture in Russia. The material used in the study were taste scores of 232 grape varieties from the Don Ampelographic Collection (47°25′ N 40°03′ E) 1981–2019. The correlation analysis, ANOVA, and regression were used. It was shown that GS negatively correlated with productivity, and WS with the berry mass of variety. In recent decades, GS have increased in groups of varieties of various interspecies origin, and WS have not changed. Regression models revealed that the reason for GS improvement was in the growth of average temperature above 15 °C, while WS varied depending on the sum of precipitation for the period with temperatures above 20 °C, which did not have a reliable trend. Together with data on the growth of grape yield and sugar content, the results indicate that observed climate warming is favorable for grapevine cultivation in the northern zone of industrial viticulture in Russia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Viticulture and Vineyard Management on Table Grape)
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Open AccessArticle
Fertility Impact of Separate and Combined Treatments with Biochar, Sewage Sludge Compost and Bacterial Inocula on Acidic Sandy Soil
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1612; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101612 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 237
Abstract
The short-term effects of processed waste materials: sewage sludge compost (up to 0.5%), biochar made of paper sludge and grain husk (BC) (up to 2%) combined with plant growth-promoting rhizobacterial (PGPR) inoculum, on the fertility of acidic sandy soil at 65% of field [...] Read more.
The short-term effects of processed waste materials: sewage sludge compost (up to 0.5%), biochar made of paper sludge and grain husk (BC) (up to 2%) combined with plant growth-promoting rhizobacterial (PGPR) inoculum, on the fertility of acidic sandy soil at 65% of field capacity were tested in a pot experiment in separate and combined treatments. The soil pH, organic matter content, total and plant-available nutrients, substrate-induced respiration, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) root colonisation parameters and maize (Zea mays L.) biomass were investigated in experiments lasting two months. The positive priming (21% organic matter loss) induced by BC alone was not observed after combined application. The combination of compost and PGPR with 1.5% BC resulted in 35% higher P and K availability due to greater microbial activity compared to BC alone. Only compost applied alone at 0.5% gave a 2.7 times increase in maize biomass. The highest microbial activity and lowest AMF colonisation were found in combined treatments. In the short term the combined application of BC, compost and PGPR did not result in higher fertility on the investigated soil. Further research is needed with a wider range of combined treatments on acidic sandy soil for better understanding of the process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Biochar and Compost on Soil Quality and Crop Yield)
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Open AccessReview
Simulation Models on the Ecology and Management of Arable Weeds: Structure, Quantitative Insights, and Applications
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1611; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101611 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 137
Abstract
In weed science and management, models are important and can be used to better understand what has occurred in management scenarios, to predict what will happen and to evaluate the outcomes of control methods. To-date, perspectives on and the understanding of weed models [...] Read more.
In weed science and management, models are important and can be used to better understand what has occurred in management scenarios, to predict what will happen and to evaluate the outcomes of control methods. To-date, perspectives on and the understanding of weed models have been disjointed, especially in terms of how they have been applied to advance weed science and management. This paper presents a general overview of the nature and application of a full range of simulation models on the ecology, biology, and management of arable weeds, and how they have been used to provide insights and directions for decision making when long-term weed population trajectories are impractical to be determined using field experimentation. While research on weed biology and ecology has gained momentum over the past four decades, especially for species with high risk for herbicide resistance evolution, knowledge gaps still exist for several life cycle parameters for many agriculturally important weed species. More research efforts should be invested in filling these knowledge gaps, which will lead to better models and ultimately better inform weed management decision making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Application of Models for Weed Management in Cropping Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical and Biological Properties of Sandy Loam Soil in Response to Long-Term Organic–Mineral Fertilisation in a Warm-Summer Humid Continental Climate
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1610; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101610 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 160
Abstract
In 2019, 71 years after the establishment of a static fertiliser experiment, the chemical and biological properties of Luvisol soil with sandy-loam grain-size composition were determined. Soil samples were taken from six fertilised treatments: half-dose nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in mineral fertilisers (½ [...] Read more.
In 2019, 71 years after the establishment of a static fertiliser experiment, the chemical and biological properties of Luvisol soil with sandy-loam grain-size composition were determined. Soil samples were taken from six fertilised treatments: half-dose nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in mineral fertilisers (½ NPK); full-dose nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium (NPK); manure fertilisation + nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and liming (FYM NPK Mg Ca); manure + mineral fertilisers without magnesium and liming (FYM NPK); manure + nitrogen and phosphorus (FYM NP); manure + nitrogen and potassium (FYM NK). The soil was tested in two layers at depths of 0–20 cm and 20–40 cm. Soil samples were tested for: pH in 1 M KCl (pH); electrical conductivity (EC); organic carbon content (OC); content of available phosphorus (Pa), potassium (Ka), magnesium (Mga) and sulphate sulphur (S-SO4); total number of bacteria (Bt), cellulolytic microorganisms (Bc), fungi (Ff) and actinomycetes (Ac); and alkaline phosphatase (AlP), acid phosphatase (AcP) and arylsulphatase (ArS) activity. The fertilisation that most favourably affected the chemical and biological properties of the soil was FYM NPK Mg Ca. This fertilisation increased: pH and EC; OC, Ka and Mga contents; Bt and Bc abundance; and AlP activity relative to all the methods of mineral and organic–mineral fertilisation that did not include all the ingredients of mineral fertilisers. On the other hand, the least favourable soil properties were formed by ½ NPK fertilisation in the 0–20 cm layer, and by the long-term use of mineral fertilisers only in the 20–40 cm layer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Fruit and Vegetable Wastes and Biodegradable Municipal Wastes Co-Mixed Composts on Nitrogen Dynamics in an Oxisol
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1609; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101609 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 170
Abstract
Organic waste generation in developing countries is increasing and appropriate disposal methods are needed. An open aerobic composting using 20 L bins was carried out using 6 composts made using ratios of 3:1, 1:2 and 1:4 fruit and vegetable wastes (FVW):biodegradable municipal waste [...] Read more.
Organic waste generation in developing countries is increasing and appropriate disposal methods are needed. An open aerobic composting using 20 L bins was carried out using 6 composts made using ratios of 3:1, 1:2 and 1:4 fruit and vegetable wastes (FVW):biodegradable municipal waste (BMW), with and without addition of homemade indigenous microorganisms (IMO), for 30 days to monitor compost quality. The nitrogen contents of the composts ranged from 1.52 to 2.76% N equivalent to 76–138 kg N ha−1 at 5 t ha−1 compost application rates. Heavy metals measured were below permissible levels of compost quality standards. Selected composts were incubated for 60 days to study nitrogen mineralization dynamics when applied to an Oxisol at the rates of 0, 5 and 10 t ha−1. The results showed significant differences (p ≤ 0.05) in the amounts of NH4-N, NO3-N and cumulative NH4-N + NO3-N released. Ammonium nitrogen released was higher on days 3, 21 and/or 40 for composts 3:1 − IMO at 10 t ha−1, 3:1 + IMO at 10 t ha−1 and 3:1 − IMO at 5 t ha−1. Cumulative N (NH4 -N + NO3 -N) released over control were 77.98, 64.09 and 64.35% higher for application of 3:1 + IMO, 1:2 − IMO and 1:2 + IMO, respectively, at an application rate of 10 t ha−1. The increased nitrogen content, low heavy metals concentrations and the amount of mineralized N from the composts exhibit potential for increased nutrient availability when applied to a soil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Soil and Plant Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Route Planning for Agricultural Machines with Multiple Depots: Manure Application Case Study
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1608; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101608 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 159
Abstract
Capacitated field operations involve input/output material flows where there are capacity constraints in the form of a specific load that a vehicle can carry. As such, a specific normal-sized field cannot be covered in one single operation using only one load, and the [...] Read more.
Capacitated field operations involve input/output material flows where there are capacity constraints in the form of a specific load that a vehicle can carry. As such, a specific normal-sized field cannot be covered in one single operation using only one load, and the vehicle needs to get serviced (i.e., refilling) from out-of-field facilities (depot). Although several algorithms have been developed to solve the routing problem of capacitated operations, these algorithms only considered one depot. The general goal of this paper is to develop a route planning tool for agricultural machines with multiple depots. The tool presented consists of two modules: the first one regards the field geometrical representation in which the field is partitioned into tracks and headland passes; the second one regards route optimization that is implemented by the metaheuristic simulated annealing (SA) algorithm. In order to validate the developed tool, a comparison between a well-known route planning approach, namely B-pattern, and the algorithm presented in this study was carried out. The results show that the proposed algorithm outperforms the B-pattern by up to 20.0% in terms of traveled nonworking distance. The applicability of the tool developed was tested in a case study with seven scenarios differing in terms of locations and number of depots. The results of this study illustrated that the location and number of depots significantly affect the total nonworking traversal distance during a field operation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Route Planning and Feasibility)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Modelling and Prediction of Organic Carbon Dynamics in Arable Soils Based on a 62-Year Field Experiment in the Voronezh Region, European Russia
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1607; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101607 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 139
Abstract
Organic carbon (OC) accumulation in soil mitigates greenhouse gases emission and improves soil health. We aimed to quantify the dynamics of OC stock in soils and to justify technologies that allow annual increasing OC stock in the arable soil layer by 4‰. We [...] Read more.
Organic carbon (OC) accumulation in soil mitigates greenhouse gases emission and improves soil health. We aimed to quantify the dynamics of OC stock in soils and to justify technologies that allow annual increasing OC stock in the arable soil layer by 4‰. We based the study on a field experiment established in 1936 in the 9-field crop rotation with a fallow on Chernozem in European Russia. The RothC version 26.3 was used for the reproducing and forecasting OC dynamics. In all fertilizer applications at FYM background, there was a decrease in the OC stock with preferable loss of active OC, except the period 1964–1971 with 2–5‰ annual OC increase. The model estimated the annual C input necessary to maintain OC stock as 1900 kg·ha−1. For increasing OC stocks by 4‰ per year, one should raise input to 2400 kg·ha−1. The simulation was made for 2016–2090 using climate scenarios RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. Crop rotation without fallowing provided an initial increase of 3‰ and 6‰ of stocks in the RCP8.5 and RCP4.5 scenarios accordingly, followed by a loss in accumulated OC. Simulation demonstrates difficulties to increase OC concentration in Chernozems under intensive farming and potential capacity to rise OC stock through yield management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Agricultural Management on Soil Properties and Health)
Open AccessArticle
Optimized Nitrogen Application Increases Soil Water Extraction by Changing in-Season Maize Root Morphology and Distribution in Rainfed Farmland
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1606; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101606 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 152
Abstract
The proper promotion of a deep root system is important for maize cultivation to improve water use efficiency in the arid and semi-arid Loess Plateau. Here, a field experiment was conducted to assess the effect of combined controlled release urea and normal urea [...] Read more.
The proper promotion of a deep root system is important for maize cultivation to improve water use efficiency in the arid and semi-arid Loess Plateau. Here, a field experiment was conducted to assess the effect of combined controlled release urea and normal urea on root growth and water extraction of maize in dryland fields. Maize in the combined controlled release urea and normal urea treatment had greater root systems compared to those in the normal urea treatment and no N application treatment. Compared to the urea treatment, combined controlled release urea and normal urea advanced the root length density and root weight density in the 0–10 cm soil layer at R1 stage by 30.99% and 45.03% in 2016 and by 20.54% and 19.13% in 2017. The root length density also increased at the dent stage (R5) by 52.05% and 47.75% in 2016 and 2017, and root weight density increased by 19.58% in 2016. Combined controlled release urea and normal urea promoted production of fine roots and root distribution, as well as decreased soil water storage (SWS) in the deep soil layer at the R5 stage. The grain yield was positively correlated with root length density and root weight density in the topsoil layer at the silking stage (R1) and in the whole soil profile at the R5 stage, suggesting that better root system management is helpful for increasing crop grain yield. Therefore, this work demonstrates that combined use of controlled release urea and normal urea to higher crop yields might attribute to increasing water extraction by optimizing in-season maize root morphology and distribution in the rainfed farmland of the Loess Plateau. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Innovative Cropping Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Potato Yield Gaps in North Korea and Strategies to Close the Gaps
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1605; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101605 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 213
Abstract
Potato has become one of the staple crops to improve food security in North Korea since the late 1990s. However, the potato yield has been stagnated around 11–12 t ha−1 for several decades, and a food shortage is still a primary issue [...] Read more.
Potato has become one of the staple crops to improve food security in North Korea since the late 1990s. However, the potato yield has been stagnated around 11–12 t ha−1 for several decades, and a food shortage is still a primary issue in North Korea. Yield gap analyses were carried out using the SUBSTOR-potato model to quantify the potato yield gaps and explore the potential ways to close the yield gaps in two different cropping seasons in North Korea (early- and main-season potatoes). Yield gaps were estimated to be around 80% for both early- and main-season potatoes. Early-season potato yield was substantially determined by water or nitrogen supplies, depending on the year’s weather condition (i.e., with or without spring drought). Irrigation during the vegetative stage could effectively reduce the year-to-year variation in yield as well as the yield gap (+7.0 t ha−1, +66.1%). Meanwhile, additional nitrogen fertilizer in the early-season potatoes was less effective compared to that in the main-season potatoes. For the main-season potatoes, where precipitation was sufficient, the primary limiting factor of yield was nitrogen supply. Since heavy rainfall aggravated nitrogen leaching, additional nitrogen fertilizer is recommended as a top dressing rather than a basal dressing. Additional top dressing at 50 days after planting with the current amount of nitrogen fertilizer was expected to increase the main-season potato yield by 42.0 t ha−1 (+191.4%). This study highlights that the primary limiting factor of potato yield may differ between the cropping seasons. Therefore, our findings suggest that different agronomic strategies should be applied for different cropping seasons to improve potato production in North Korea, where agronomic resources are limited. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Root and Agro-Morphological Traits Performance in Cowpea under Drought Stress
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1604; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101604 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 167
Abstract
Drought is responsible for major yield losses in many worldwide crops and is expected to occur more frequently due to climate change. Cowpea, one of the most drought tolerant legumes, stands as a promising crop in the future climatic context. The screening for [...] Read more.
Drought is responsible for major yield losses in many worldwide crops and is expected to occur more frequently due to climate change. Cowpea, one of the most drought tolerant legumes, stands as a promising crop in the future climatic context. The screening for genotypes well adapted to this constraint is an essential step to improve cowpea production. A collection of 29 cowpea genotypes (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp.) from the Iberian Peninsula and 11 other countries from worldwide regions was grown and submitted to drought stress using pipes with 30 cm (control) and 90 cm (stress) of height in which water was supplied through the bottom. A set of root and agro-morphological parameters were evaluated, including shoot and root dry weight, root:shoot ratio and stem greenness. Overall, results show that under drought stress, plants seem to invest in root development and reduce shoot biomass. Higher root dry weight under drought conditions could be related to a higher drought tolerance in cowpea. Based on the evaluated traits, it was possible to identify genotypes, particularly C47 (Iran), C56 and C11 (Portugal), which might represent promising cowpea genetic resources for improved drought tolerance breeding. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Strategy for Marker-Assisted Breeding of Anthocyanin-Rich Spring Bread Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Cultivars in Western Siberia
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1603; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101603 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 176
Abstract
In wheat, anthocyanin pigments can be accumulated in pericarp tissues (under control of the Pp genes) resulting in purple-colored grain. In the current study, a strategy, based on the use of molecular and morphological markers, was applied to create purple-grained bread wheat cultivars [...] Read more.
In wheat, anthocyanin pigments can be accumulated in pericarp tissues (under control of the Pp genes) resulting in purple-colored grain. In the current study, a strategy, based on the use of molecular and morphological markers, was applied to create purple-grained bread wheat cultivars adapted to the West Siberian region. The breeding scheme started from crossing of recipients (elite cultivars and lines) with donor lines carrying dominant alleles of the complementary genes Pp3 and Pp-D1. The F2 hybrids passed three-step marker-assisted selection, and those having dominant Pp-D1Pp-D1Pp3Pp3 genotypes were backcrossed with the recurrent parents. The desired BC1F2-3 progenies were selected using morphological marker, while BC1F3 also passed through field evaluation. At this stage, 120 lines were selected and planted in individual 1 m2 “breeding nursery (BN) plots” for assessment of heading dates, duration of vegetation period, resistance to powdery mildew, stem and leaf rusts, protein and gluten content, as well as productivity. After these investigations, a total of 17 promising anthocyanin-rich purple-grained lines characterized by multiple resistance and having best yield/quality characteristics were finally candidates for selection of commercial cultivars adapted to the West Siberian climate and suitable for functional food production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cereal Biofortification: Strategies, Challenges and Benefits)
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Open AccessArticle
Genome-Wide Association Study for Plant Architecture and Bioenergy Traits in Diverse Sorghum and Sudangrass Germplasm
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1602; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101602 - 19 Oct 2020
Viewed by 187
Abstract
Sorghum is an important grain, forage, and bioenergy crop. The objective of this study was to identify genetic signals associated with plant architecture and bioenergy traits in sorghum and sudangrass germplasm through a genome-wide association study (GWAS). Plant height (HT), tiller number (TN), [...] Read more.
Sorghum is an important grain, forage, and bioenergy crop. The objective of this study was to identify genetic signals associated with plant architecture and bioenergy traits in sorghum and sudangrass germplasm through a genome-wide association study (GWAS). Plant height (HT), tiller number (TN), internode number (IN), stem diameter (SD), panicle length (PL), panicle weight (PW), reducing sugar (RS) content, Brix, and protein (PRO) content were assessed in 300 germplasm consisting of grain sorghum, sweet sorghum, sudangrass, sweet sorghum-sweet sorghum recombinant inbred lines (RILs) and sudangrass-sudangrass RILs grown in three different environments over two years. Large variations of phenotypic traits were observed in the population panel. The heritability of traits were all higher than 0.5, ranging from 0.52 (PRO) to 0.92 (HT) with an average of 0.76. The population exhibited three population structures (Q) and minor relative kinship (K), assessed by using 7982 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). After controlling Q and K, GWAS identified 24 SNPs that were significantly associated with traits, including three SNPs with HT, four with TN, four with PL, three with Brix, and ten with RS. Of them, seven SNPs were novel signals that were not identified previously, including one for HT, one for TN, one for Brix, and four for RS. The putative candidate genes involved in brassinosteroid regulatory pathway, auxin biosynthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, and sugar transport were identified underlying the significant SNPs. Identification of SNP signals and related candidate genes would enrich the current genomic resource for further molecular breeding aimed at improvement of food, feed, and biofuel productions of sorghum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Breeding and Genetics)
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Open AccessArticle
Warming Reduces Net Carbon Gain and Productivity in Medicago sativa L. and Festuca arundinacea
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1601; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101601 - 19 Oct 2020
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Abstract
High temperature stress imposes constraints on the productivity of agricultural systems, such as pastures, and predicted increases in global temperatures are set to exacerbate these limitations. Here, we sought to understand the impact of warmer growth temperature on gas exchange and net primary [...] Read more.
High temperature stress imposes constraints on the productivity of agricultural systems, such as pastures, and predicted increases in global temperatures are set to exacerbate these limitations. Here, we sought to understand the impact of warmer growth temperature on gas exchange and net primary productivity for two widely cultivated pasture species. We grew a C3 legume, Medicago sativa (lucerne), and a C3 grass, Festuca arundinacea Schreb. (tall fescue), in a climate-controlled facility exposed to two temperature treatments (ambient: 26 °C, aT; elevated: 30 °C, eT). Soil water was maintained at non-limiting conditions in both temperature treatments to control for the confounding effects of warming on soil moisture. We found that warming reduced photosynthetic capacity and increased leaf dark respiration (Rdark) in lucerne, while tall fescue showed little physiological change at the leaf level, but increased ecosystem respiration (Reco). Growth temperature had no significant impact on the thermal optimum of photosynthesis (Topt) or water use efficiency in either species. Both species exhibited significant reductions in productivity with warming; lucerne had greater reductions in shoot biomass, while tall fescue had greater reductions in root biomass. Our results highlight the potential for significant declines in pasture productivity associated with even modest increases in average temperature and highlights the need for suitable management strategies and implementation of more heat-resistant cultivars. Improvements in photosynthetic performance for greater heat tolerance in lucerne, and traits associated with biomass allocation and root performance at higher temperatures in tall fescue, should be the focus for improving high temperature resistance in these plant species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photosynthetic Performance and Water-Use-Efficiency in Grasses)
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Open AccessArticle
Vegetable Crop Biomass Estimation Using Hyperspectral and RGB 3D UAV Data
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1600; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101600 - 19 Oct 2020
Viewed by 221
Abstract
Remote sensing (RS) has been an effective tool to monitor agricultural production systems, but for vegetable crops, precision agriculture has received less interest to date. The objective of this study was to test the predictive performance of two types of RS data—crop height [...] Read more.
Remote sensing (RS) has been an effective tool to monitor agricultural production systems, but for vegetable crops, precision agriculture has received less interest to date. The objective of this study was to test the predictive performance of two types of RS data—crop height information derived from point clouds based on RGB UAV data, and reflectance information from terrestrial hyperspectral imagery—to predict fresh matter yield (FMY) for three vegetable crops (eggplant, tomato, and cabbage). The study was conducted in an experimental layout in Bengaluru, India, at five dates in summer 2017. The prediction accuracy varied strongly depending on the RS dataset used. For all crops, a good predictive performance with cross-validated prediction error < 10% was achieved. The growth stage of the crops had no significant effect on the prediction accuracy, although increasing trends of an underestimation of FMY with later sampling dates for eggplant and tomato were found. The study proves that an estimation of vegetable FMY using RS data is successful throughout the growing season. Different RS datasets were best for biomass prediction of the three vegetables, indicating that multi-sensory data collection should be preferred to single sensor use, as no one sensor system is superior. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Can Control of Glyphosate Susceptible and Resistant Conyza sumatrensis Populations Be Dependent on the Herbicide Formulation or Adjuvants?
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1599; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101599 - 19 Oct 2020
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Abstract
In this work, we studied the effect of three glyphosate formulations (isopropylamine, ammonium and potassium salts) and two non-ionic adjuvants on the resistance response of two resistant (R1, R2) and one susceptible population of the highly invasive Asteraceae, Conyza sumatrensis, from Southern [...] Read more.
In this work, we studied the effect of three glyphosate formulations (isopropylamine, ammonium and potassium salts) and two non-ionic adjuvants on the resistance response of two resistant (R1, R2) and one susceptible population of the highly invasive Asteraceae, Conyza sumatrensis, from Southern France vineyards. Only in R1, an amino acid substitution (Pro106Thr) was found in the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS). The two adjuvants, in a similar fashion, significantly reduced GR50 values for every population and glyphosate formulation. Without adjuvants, glyphosate as potassium salt was the only formulation able to significantly reduce the GR50 values of every population. For every population, the two adjuvants improved, indistinguishably, leaf retention of the herbicidal solution and the potassium salt formulation led to the highest retention, both with and without the adjuvant added. Uptake responses paralleled those of retention and adjuvant addition was more effective in increasing foliar uptake of the lower performing formulations (isopropylamine and ammonium salts). The allocation pattern of glyphosate among plant compartments was only dependent on population, with R2 retaining most glyphosate in the treated leaf, clearly suggesting the occurrence of a Non-Target Site Resistance (NTSR) mechanism. Results indicate that control of weed populations possessing NTSR mechanisms of resistance to glyphosate may be improved through adequate selection of formulation and adjuvant use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Weed Management & Sustainable Agriculture)
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Open AccessCommunication
Protection of Highbush Blueberry Plants against Phytophthora cinnamomi Using Serendipita indica
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1598; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101598 - 18 Oct 2020
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Abstract
A greenhouse experiment was carried out on the use of Serendipita indica, an endomycorrhizal-like fungus, to increase the resistance of three highbush blueberry cultivars Chandler, Darrow and Spartan to the pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi. The cultivars differed in the acceptance of root [...] Read more.
A greenhouse experiment was carried out on the use of Serendipita indica, an endomycorrhizal-like fungus, to increase the resistance of three highbush blueberry cultivars Chandler, Darrow and Spartan to the pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi. The cultivars differed in the acceptance of root colonisation by S. indica and in susceptibility to P. cinnamomi. The lowest percentage (%) of colonised roots was found in the cultivar Spartan. The frequency of symptomatic plants (stunted growth, dark spots on stems, small, yellowing, and dropping leaves) among plants inoculated only with P. cinnamomi was 59, 83, and 100%, for ‘Chandler’, ‘Darrow’, and ‘Spartan’, respectively. In the treatment where both pathogen and endophyte were inoculated, the frequency in ‘Darrow’ and ‘Spartan’ dropped to 28 and 90%, respectively. Of non-protected ‘Spartan’ plants, 66% died, whereas only 14% of those protected with S. indica died. Colonisation by S. indica reduced the number of dead plants of ‘Chandler’ from 3 to 1 among those protected. In ‘Darrow’ only one plant died of the non-protected and none of the protected ones. S. indica increased the growth of non-infected plants of ‘Darrow’ and ‘Spartan’ by 11%. An increase in the growth of plants inoculated with S. indica and infected with P. cinnamomi after 21 days went from 74% to 182% over the plants only infected with the pathogen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Horticultural and Floricultural Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Phytoextraction with Maize of Soil Contaminated with Copper after Application of Mineral and Organic Amendments
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1597; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101597 - 18 Oct 2020
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Abstract
This study aimed to determine the possibility to increase the the effect of different amendments (compost, bentonite and zeolite) on the shoot yield and the concentration of trace elements in shoots of maize (Zea mays L.) on soil contaminated with Cu. The [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the possibility to increase the the effect of different amendments (compost, bentonite and zeolite) on the shoot yield and the concentration of trace elements in shoots of maize (Zea mays L.) on soil contaminated with Cu. The yield of shoots and concentration of the trace elements in shoots of maize depended on Cu dose and amendment incorporation into the sandy soil. Cu-spiked soil caused an increase the yield of shoots (only to 100 mg Cu/kg of soil), in the concentration of Cu, Co, Mn, Ni and Fe in shoots of maize and, to a smaller degree, in the concentration of Zn and bioconcentration factor (BCF) of all elements except copper, compared to the control soil without Cu. Under the influence of 150 and 200 mg Cu per kg of soil, a decrease in yield of shoots of maize was observed. Compost, bentonite and zeolite increased the yield of shoots and reduced the concentration of Cu, Co, Mn, Fe and Zn in shoots of maize. Bentonite had a more positive effect than compost and zeolite on the yield of shoots and the concentration of Co, Mn and Zn in shoots of maize. The effect of these amendments on the Cu and Fe concentration in shoots of maize was reverse. A reverse effect of these amendments (especially bentonite and zeolite) on the Ni concentration in plants was observed. The amendments applied to soil, especially compost, increased the BCF of Ni and, to a small degree, BCF of Cu in shoots of maize, compared to the control series. Compost, zeolite and especially bentonite are very good amendments in the restoration of maize growth in polluted areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remediation of Contaminated Soil for Food Security)
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Open AccessArticle
Soil Properties after Eight Years of the Use of Strip-Till One-Pass Technology
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1596; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101596 - 18 Oct 2020
Viewed by 217
Abstract
Tillage is an agrotechnical practice that strongly affects the soil environment. Its effect on soil properties depends on the system and, more specifically, on the degree of soil inversion and loosening. Strip-till is a non-inversive method that loosens only narrow soil strips. In [...] Read more.
Tillage is an agrotechnical practice that strongly affects the soil environment. Its effect on soil properties depends on the system and, more specifically, on the degree of soil inversion and loosening. Strip-till is a non-inversive method that loosens only narrow soil strips. In strip-till one-pass (ST-OP) technology, tillage is combined with a simultaneous application of fertilizers and seed sowing. In a static multi-year field experiment, the soil properties after application of ST-OP for 8 years were compared to those of soil under conventional tillage with the use of a moldboard plough to a depth of 20 cm (CT), and equally deep loosened and mixed reduced tillage (RT). A field experiment of these three treatments was performed since 2012 in sandy loam soil, Luvisol. A total of 44 features were examined that described the physical, chemical, biological, and biochemical soil properties in the 0–20 cm layer, and penetration resistance (PR), bulk density (BD), and soil moisture (SM) in the 25–30 cm layer. The influence of the ST-OP technology on the yield of crops was also determined. Multivariate analysis shows that the ST-OP method, in terms of affecting the soil properties, differs considerably from RT and CT treatments. The soil after the ST-OP method contained two- to four-fold more earthworms (En), with a mass (Em) 2- to 5-fold higher, than those in the soil following RT and CT, respectively. In the ST-OP soil the content of available phosphorus (Pa) and available potassium (Ka); the total count of bacteria (Bt), cellulolytic microorganisms (Bc), and fungi (Ff); and the activity of phosphatases (AlP, AcP) were significantly higher. Compared with CT, the content of total organic carbon (Ct) and its content in the fractions of organic matter were also higher, with the exception of humins (CH). The yields of winter rapeseed and winter wheat using the ST-OP technology were marginally higher compared with those using the CT and RT technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Agricultural Management on Soil Properties and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Drought Exerted during Spike Development on Tillering, Yield Parameters and Grain Chemical Composition in Semi-Dwarf Barley Mutants Deficient in the Brassinosteroid Metabolism
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1595; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101595 - 18 Oct 2020
Viewed by 243
Abstract
Drought is a major factor limiting plant development and negatively affecting crop yield. It was reported that mutants defective in the brassinosteroid (BR) metabolism from several species, including barley (Hordeum vulgare), show improved tolerance to drought during the vegetative phase of [...] Read more.
Drought is a major factor limiting plant development and negatively affecting crop yield. It was reported that mutants defective in the brassinosteroid (BR) metabolism from several species, including barley (Hordeum vulgare), show improved tolerance to drought during the vegetative phase of growth. Hence, semi-dwarf barley mutants defective in the BR metabolism may be regarded as an alternative in breeding programs. Occurrence of drought during spike development has a profound effect on yield. Thus, determining reaction of the semi-dwarf, BR-deficient barley mutants to drought during the reproductive phase is crucial. This study was conducted on barley Near-Isogenic Lines defective in the BR metabolism and the reference ‘Bowman’ cultivar. The experiments were performed under laboratory (optimal watering and drought) and field conditions. The following yield-related parameters were analyzed: total tillering, productive tillering, average grain weight per plant and per spike, as well as weight of 1000 seeds. Additionally, an analysis of chemical composition of grain was performed. The BR-insensitive BW312 line showed the highest values of the productive tillering and grain weight per plant under the drought conditions. Perturbations in the BR metabolism did not have any significant deteriorating effect on the contents of grain chemical ingredients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Growth Regulators in Crop under Abiotic Stress)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Water Stress Coefficient Ks in Different Olive Orchards
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1594; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101594 - 17 Oct 2020
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Abstract
The Mediterranean basin is characterized by hot and dry summers, which are aggravated by climate change, leading to water shortages for irrigation purposes. Olive trees (Olea europea L.) which are the most common cultivation in the area, while tolerant to drought conditions, [...] Read more.
The Mediterranean basin is characterized by hot and dry summers, which are aggravated by climate change, leading to water shortages for irrigation purposes. Olive trees (Olea europea L.) which are the most common cultivation in the area, while tolerant to drought conditions, are often irrigated due to the fact that they suffer from water deficits with negative impacts on yield. The knowledge of the onset and water stress intensity, essentially determines the accuracy of an irrigation schedule that avoids yield reduction and waste of water. Water stress can be quantified by stress coefficient Ks, as suggested by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Combinations and adjustments of the FAO method with field measured data have been used to calculate Ks more precisely and apply it on single experimental fields. The FAO method and a validation method were compared and evaluated with in situ measurements in two different olive orchards in terms of tree age and irrigation system. The results indicate that the FAO method fails to distinguish the differences between cultivars, attributed mainly to the tree age and irrigation system, rendering almost a similar slope of Ks and calculating a nearly simultaneous onset of stress, which was not confirmed by pre-dawn water potential (ΨPD) measurements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mediterranean Olive Trees and Olive Oil under Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Oviposition and Development of Tribolium Castaneum Herbst (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) on Different Types of Flour
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1593; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101593 - 17 Oct 2020
Viewed by 198
Abstract
The commercial availability of low-gluten or gluten-free flours has been increasing due to consumer demands, which raises new challenges for the management of stored product insects since little is known about the susceptibility of these flours to infestation. Here we measured oviposition and [...] Read more.
The commercial availability of low-gluten or gluten-free flours has been increasing due to consumer demands, which raises new challenges for the management of stored product insects since little is known about the susceptibility of these flours to infestation. Here we measured oviposition and development of Tribolium castaneum, the red flour beetle, a major pest of wheat and rice mills, on 18 different commercially available flours (almond, amaranth, barley, buckwheat, cassava, coconut, corn, garbanzo, millet, oat, potato, quinoa, rice, rye, sorghum, spelt, teff, and wheat) to assess the level of risk. The average number of eggs laid was highest for teff flour, with wheat, rice, buckwheat, sorghum, barley, rye, and spelt flour also having high oviposition. The lowest oviposition was for potato, quinoa, amaranth and cassava. Holding the eggs laid in these flours and evaluating the ability to develop to the adult stage demonstrated that the average number of adult progeny was highest for teff and wheat, followed by buckwheat, rye, oat, spelt, and millet. In an experiment where single eggs were placed directly in flour, the highest percentage development was in barley, buckwheat, sorghum, spelt, teff, and wheat. Time for 50% of single eggs to develop to adults was quickest for sorghum, spelt, teff, and wheat, while sorghum, buckwheat, corn, spelt, and barley had the quickest development of 90% of eggs to reach adults. There was substantial variation among the different flours which indicates variation in risk of insect infestation. As consumer interest in these flours continues to grow and these alternative flours become more prevalent in food facilities, understanding what diets insects successfully infest is critical to developing management tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pest Management for Agro-Food during Storage)
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Open AccessArticle
Relationship between Stalk and Cob Mechanical Strength during the Late Growth Stage of Maize (Zea mays L.)
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1592; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101592 - 17 Oct 2020
Viewed by 193
Abstract
The stalk strength of maize (Zea mays L.) has a significant effect on stalk lodging and harvesting loss, and the cob mechanical strength affects the grain broken rate in mechanical grain harvesting. Clarifying the relationship between maize stalk strength and cob mechanical [...] Read more.
The stalk strength of maize (Zea mays L.) has a significant effect on stalk lodging and harvesting loss, and the cob mechanical strength affects the grain broken rate in mechanical grain harvesting. Clarifying the relationship between maize stalk strength and cob mechanical strength could provide a theoretical basis for the selection of cultivars with high lodging resistance and high suitability for mechanical grain harvesting. In 2017 and 2018, 64 maize cultivars were planted in four locations to investigate the changes in the bending strength of stalks and cobs using the three-point bending method during the late growth stage. The results showed that, in the late growth stage, with increasing number of days after physiological maturity, the stalk bending strength (SBS) of the fifth internode above the soil gradually decreased, the cob bending strength (CBS) decreased first and then increased, and it was lowest at about six to eight days after physiological maturity. In the same experimental site and sampling period, there was no significant correlation between the SBS and the CBS of different maize cultivars. Cluster analysis showed that most of the investigated maize cultivars showed low stalk strength during the late growth stage. However, a few of the maize cultivars were suitable for mechanical grain harvesting due to their characteristics of high stalk bending strength and moderate cob bending strength during the late growth stage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Year Dynamics of Single-Step Genomic Prediction in an Applied Wheat Breeding Program
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1591; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101591 - 17 Oct 2020
Viewed by 209
Abstract
The availability of cost-efficient genotyping technologies has facilitated the implementation of genomic selection into numerous breeding programs. However, some studies reported a superiority of pedigree over genomic selection in line breeding, and as, aside from systematic record keeping, no additional costs are incurring [...] Read more.
The availability of cost-efficient genotyping technologies has facilitated the implementation of genomic selection into numerous breeding programs. However, some studies reported a superiority of pedigree over genomic selection in line breeding, and as, aside from systematic record keeping, no additional costs are incurring in pedigree-based prediction, the question about the actual benefit of fingerprinting several hundred lines each year might suggest itself. This study aimed thus on shedding some light on this question by comparing pedigree, genomic, and single-step prediction models using phenotypic and genotypic data that has been collected during a time period of ten years in an applied wheat breeding program. The mentioned models were for this purpose empirically tested in a multi-year forward prediction as well as a supporting simulation study. Given the availability of deep pedigree records, pedigree prediction performed similar to genomic prediction for some of the investigated traits if preexisting information of the selection candidates was available. Notwithstanding, blending both information sources increased the prediction accuracy and thus the selection gain substantially, especially for low heritable traits. Nevertheless, the largest advantage of genomic predictions can be seen for breeding scenarios where such preexisting information is not systemically available or difficult and costly to obtain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wheat Breeding: Procedures and Strategies – Series Ⅱ)
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Open AccessArticle
The Influences of Different Methods of Grassland Renovation on the Weight of Post-Harvest Residues and the Abundance of Selected Soil Nutrients
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1590; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101590 - 16 Oct 2020
Viewed by 169
Abstract
In Poland, half of the grassland is neglected and requires renovation, which was the reason for starting this research project. The aim of this research was to study the grassland habitat of lowland central Poland that has water-deficient, slightly acidic mineral soil, in [...] Read more.
In Poland, half of the grassland is neglected and requires renovation, which was the reason for starting this research project. The aim of this research was to study the grassland habitat of lowland central Poland that has water-deficient, slightly acidic mineral soil, in the years 2013–2016. Specifically, the impact of three methods of grassland renovation on the dry matter yield and the weight of post-harvest residues, as well as on the content of particular nutrient components in the soil, were determined. Three legume–grass mixtures were used for the renovation. The study shows that the method of renovation (ploughing, harrowing, and herbicide + direct sowing) did not have a significant effect on the dry matter yield nor on the weight of the post-harvest residues or the content in the soil of some nutrients. The highest yield was obtained from the “Original” mixture with 50% of legumes in the seed mix. After the renovation, 5.03–7.17 t·ha−1 of post-harvest residues were obtained (mainly grasses and roots of plants, 68.7–71.1%). After three years from renovation, the soil pH significantly decreased and the content of Ca and Mg increased, while the nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and Corg compounds remained at an unchanged level. The concentration of various forms of nitrogen, P2O5, K2O, Ca, and Corg decreased in the deeper soil layer (down to 60 cm). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Grassland and Pasture Science)
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Open AccessArticle
10-Years Studies of the Soil Physical Condition after One-Time Biochar Application
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1589; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101589 - 16 Oct 2020
Viewed by 183
Abstract
The ten-year experiment on the soil physical properties of biochar-amended Podzol was studied. Biochar was applied to the soil in the following rates: treatment BC10—10 Mg × ha−1, treatment BC20—20 Mg × ha−1, treatment BC30—30 Mg × ha−1 [...] Read more.
The ten-year experiment on the soil physical properties of biochar-amended Podzol was studied. Biochar was applied to the soil in the following rates: treatment BC10—10 Mg × ha−1, treatment BC20—20 Mg × ha−1, treatment BC30—30 Mg × ha−1 and treatment BC0—Control (soil without the addition of biochar). Biochar was mixed the soil arable layer (0–20 cm). Soil samples were collected ten times, once a year—after harvest rye. They were taken from layers: 0–10 cm and 10–20 cm, in six replicates, using 100 cm3 metal cylinders. The soil physical properties were determined: particle size distribution, particle density, bulk density, total porosity, air capacity and permeability (at −15.5 kPa), water content at sampling, field water capacity (at −15.5 kPa), available and unavailable water content, and the ratio of field water capacity and total porosity was calculated. It was found that biochar application causes changes in the soil physical condition. The soil density decreased, while the porosity, aeration and water retention increased; the ratio of field water capacity and total porosity was favorable. These changes cannot be considered as permanent. Most of the analyzed properties showed a durability of no more than 3–4 years. We found that biochar incorporation into soil is a good method for environmental management of waste biomass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Biochar and Compost on Soil Quality and Crop Yield)
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