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Agronomy, Volume 11, Issue 9 (September 2021) – 215 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Agricultural robotics has been a popular subject in recent years. This is because agricultural robotics addresses critical issues such as seasonal shortages in manual labor, as well as the increasing concern regarding environmentally friendly practices. On one hand, several individual agricultural robots have already been developed for specific tasks, such as mapping, spraying, or harvesting, with varying degrees of effectiveness. On the other hand, the use of cooperative teams of agricultural robots in farming tasks is not as widespread, yet it is an emerging trend. This paper presents a comprehensive overview of the work carried out so far in the area of cooperative agricultural robotics and identifies the state of the art. Challenges to be addressed in fully automating agricultural production are also outlined. View this paper
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Article
Crop Establishment Methods and Integrated Nutrient Management Improve: Part II. Nutrient Uptake and Use Efficiency and Soil Health in Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Field in the Lower Indo-Gangetic Plain, India
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1894; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091894 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 821
Abstract
Rice, the predominant food crop in India, is being grown traditionally with improper plant nutrient management mostly under the flooded situation. Recent advancement in research on crop science focuses on water-saving rice technologies for maximization in crop and water productivity under the backdrop [...] Read more.
Rice, the predominant food crop in India, is being grown traditionally with improper plant nutrient management mostly under the flooded situation. Recent advancement in research on crop science focuses on water-saving rice technologies for maximization in crop and water productivity under the backdrop of a shrinking water resource base for ensuring environmental and agricultural sustainability. Under this situation, an experiment was conducted in two consecutive years in a split-plot design keeping rice cultivation methodologies, viz., aerobic culture, System of Rice Intensification (SRI), and conventional flooded culture in main plots and integrated plant nutrient management (INM) treatments in sub-plots. The experiment was aimed at understanding the effects of different rice production systems and INM on nutrient content, uptake, and use efficiency. The change in soil quality parameters was also studied to understand the impact of crop establishment methods (CEM) and INM options. Significant reduction (p ≤ 0.05) in nutrient uptake and use efficiency was observed under aerobic culture compared to SRI and flooded method, although aerobic culture showed the highest physiological nitrogen use efficiency. Post-harvest available Fe status was significantly lower in aerobic rice (mean 10.39 ppm) compared to other crop establishment technologies; however, Zn status was higher in aerobic rice over the flooded situation. Although available potassium was not affected due to rice cultivation methods, available nitrogen and phosphorus status were influenced remarkably. Soil microbial quality was improved in aerobic rice in comparison to flooded rice. SRI proved to be the most efficient rice establishment method for enhancement in nutrient uptake, use efficiency, and enrichment of soil chemical and microbiological quality. Irrespective of crop culture, integrated plant nutrition in rice improved the nutrient uptake, use efficiency, and soil quality parameters. The study revealed that, under the alluvial soils of the Indo-Gangetic Plains of Eastern India, SRI can be considered as a water-saving rice production method. The method can also improve nutrient uptake, efficiency, and soil quality parameters if proper INM is adopted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Tillage and Sowing Technologies)
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Article
Crop Diversity Management System Commons: Revisiting the Role of Genebanks in the Network of Crop Diversity Actors
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1893; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091893 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1091
Abstract
This paper rethinks the governance of genebanks in a social and political context that has significantly evolved since their establishment. The theoretical basis for the paper is the commons conceptual framework in relation to both seed and plant genetic resources. This framework is [...] Read more.
This paper rethinks the governance of genebanks in a social and political context that has significantly evolved since their establishment. The theoretical basis for the paper is the commons conceptual framework in relation to both seed and plant genetic resources. This framework is applied to question the current policy ecosystem of genetic research and breeding and explore different collective governance models. The concept of crop diversity management system (CDMS) commons is proposed as the new foundation for a more holistic and inclusive framework for crop diversity management, that covers a broad range of concerns and requires different actors. The paper presents a multi-stakeholder process established within the context of the two recent projects CoEx and Dynaversity, imagining possible collective arrangements to overcome existing deadlocks, foster collective learning, and design collaborative relationships among genebanks, researchers, and farmers’ civil society organizations involved in crop diversity management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Policies in Plant Breeding—Rights and Obligations)
Article
The Effect of the Manure from Sheep Treated with Anthelmintics on Clover (Trifolium pratense)
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1892; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091892 - 21 Sep 2021
Viewed by 747
Abstract
The anthelmintics (regularly administered to livestock to control the infections caused by parasitic worms) and their metabolites formed in treated animals are excreted to the environment. This contamination might have a negative influence on non-target organisms including plants. Our previous studies described the [...] Read more.
The anthelmintics (regularly administered to livestock to control the infections caused by parasitic worms) and their metabolites formed in treated animals are excreted to the environment. This contamination might have a negative influence on non-target organisms including plants. Our previous studies described the uptake, metabolism, and effects of anthelmintics in plants using in vitro models exposed to anthelmintic drugs in solutions. The present study was performed in clover grown in soil fertilized with manure from sheep treated with the recommended dose of albendazole (ABZ), ivermectin (IVM), or monepantel (MOP). The uptake and metabolism of drugs in clover were monitored for six weeks using UHPLC-MS/MS, and several stress markers (proline accumulation, lipid peroxidation, and antioxidant enzymes activities) were evaluated. The results showed that ABZ and MOP were absorbed, metabolized, and translocated to leaves, while IVM was detected only in the roots. No or minimal drug-response was observed in monitored stress markers, and only a temporary increase of several antioxidative enzymes activities was observed. Overall, manure from sheep treated with anthelmintics does not evoke chronic stress in clover, but it can cause the entry of anthelmintics in other organisms and the food-chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Grassland and Pasture Science)
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Article
Detection of Epistasis for Seed and Some Phytochemical Traits in Coriander under Different Irrigation Regimes
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1891; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091891 - 21 Sep 2021
Viewed by 754
Abstract
Coriander (Coriander sativum L.) is an annual herb mainly cultivated for its seed characteristics. Drought stress is a major problem which affects coriander behaviour through biochemical responses. This study aimed to determine the nature and magnitude of epistasis in inheritance of seed [...] Read more.
Coriander (Coriander sativum L.) is an annual herb mainly cultivated for its seed characteristics. Drought stress is a major problem which affects coriander behaviour through biochemical responses. This study aimed to determine the nature and magnitude of epistasis in inheritance of seed yield (SY), percent of dehulled seed (PODS), percent of seed hulls (POSH), essential oil content (EOC), essential oil yield (EOY), dehulled seed fatty acid content (DSFAC), hull fatty acid content (HFAC), fatty acid content (FAC), and fatty acid yield (FAY), and to estimate additive and dominance variance for the traits not influenced by epistasic effects. Three testers, TN-59-158 (highly drought-susceptible), TN-58-230 (highly drought-tolerant, but low-yielding), and their F1 hybrid were each crossed for six genotypes. The experiment was performed under different levels of water deficit: control (C), moderate water deficit (MWD), and severe water deficit (SWD) conditions. Epistasis affected the expression of SY, EOC, EOY, FAC, and FAY in all water conditions, PODS in C, POSH in SWD, HFAC in MWD, and DSFAC in both C and MWD conditions. Total epistasic effects were partitioned, showing that both [i] and [j + l] type interactions were significant, with a prevalent influence of [i] type interactions on these traits except for POSH and FAC in the SWD condition, which exhibited a higher value of the [j + l] type. Both additive and non-additive gene actions were significant for those traits not significantly affected by epistasis in C, MWD, or SWD conditions. An additive type of gene action was preponderant for PODS in MWD and SWD, POSH in MWD, DSFAC in SWD, and HFAC in C and SWD conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Breeding and Genetics)
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Article
Grape Bunch Detection at Different Growth Stages Using Deep Learning Quantized Models
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1890; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091890 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1256
Abstract
The agricultural sector plays a fundamental role in our society, where it is increasingly important to automate processes, which can generate beneficial impacts in the productivity and quality of products. Perception and computer vision approaches can be fundamental in the implementation of robotics [...] Read more.
The agricultural sector plays a fundamental role in our society, where it is increasingly important to automate processes, which can generate beneficial impacts in the productivity and quality of products. Perception and computer vision approaches can be fundamental in the implementation of robotics in agriculture. In particular, deep learning can be used for image classification or object detection, endowing machines with the capability to perform operations in the agriculture context. In this work, deep learning was used for the detection of grape bunches in vineyards considering different growth stages: the early stage just after the bloom and the medium stage where the grape bunches present an intermediate development. Two state-of-the-art single-shot multibox models were trained, quantized, and deployed in a low-cost and low-power hardware device, a Tensor Processing Unit. The training input was a novel and publicly available dataset proposed in this work. This dataset contains 1929 images and respective annotations of grape bunches at two different growth stages, captured by different cameras in several illumination conditions. The models were benchmarked and characterized considering the variation of two different parameters: the confidence score and the intersection over union threshold. The results showed that the deployed models could detect grape bunches in images with a medium average precision up to 66.96%. Since this approach uses low resources, a low-cost and low-power hardware device that requires simplified models with 8 bit quantization, the obtained performance was satisfactory. Experiments also demonstrated that the models performed better in identifying grape bunches at the medium growth stage, in comparison with grape bunches present in the vineyard after the bloom, since the second class represents smaller grape bunches, with a color and texture more similar to the surrounding foliage, which complicates their detection. Full article
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Article
Effect of Seed Dressing and Soil Chemical Properties on Communities of Microorganisms Associated with Pre-Emergence Damping-Off of Broad Bean Seedlings
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1889; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091889 - 21 Sep 2021
Viewed by 601
Abstract
Combating soil pathogens that disable plant emergence is among the most difficult challenges of global agriculture. Legumes, preferred in sustainable cultivation systems, are particularly sensitive to pre-emergence damping-off of seedlings. Seed dressing is therefore a very important element in the cultivation technology. The [...] Read more.
Combating soil pathogens that disable plant emergence is among the most difficult challenges of global agriculture. Legumes, preferred in sustainable cultivation systems, are particularly sensitive to pre-emergence damping-off of seedlings. Seed dressing is therefore a very important element in the cultivation technology. The aim of this study was to compare the impact of biological (Pythium oligandrum) and chemical (carboxin + thiuram) seed dressing on the quantitative and qualitative composition of microorganisms participating in the epidemiology of this disease, under specific hydrothermal conditions and chemical properties of the soil (pH, humus, macro-, and micronutrient). Microorganism identification was done using the MALDI-TOF MS (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry) technique. Species were assigned to frequency groups, and populations of pathogens, saprophytes, and antagonists were identified. The biodiversity of these communities was expressed with Simpson’s Reciprocal, Shannon–Wiener, and Evenness (Shannon) indices. In individual variants of seed pre-treatment, the correlations between individual edaphic factors and the suppression of pre-emergence damping-off, the number of isolates obtained from infected seedlings, and the share of individual trophic groups of fungi were assessed. The main causes of pre-emergence damping-off of broad bean seedlings are Ilyonectria destructans, Globisporangium irregulare, Fusarium equiseti, Rhizoctonia solani, and Fusarium solani. Eliminating seed treatment results in a seedling mortality rate of 33.5–42.5%. The effectiveness of the chemical protection product is 44.2% and 25.9%. Carboxin and thiuram reduce the diversity of microorganisms involved in the pathogenesis of pre-emergence damping-off and limit the presence of antagonistic fungi. Under the influence of P. oligandrum, there was a five-fold increase in the population of antagonists. An increase in humus in the soil reduces the percentage of diseased broad bean seedlings. Full article
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Article
Growth of Vegetables in an Agroecological Garden-Orchard System: The Role of Spatiotemporal Variations of Microclimatic Conditions and Soil Properties
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1888; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091888 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1140
Abstract
Garden-orchard systems (GOS) consist in intercropping various vegetables with fruit trees. They are very promising to produce fruits and vegetables in sufficient quantity and of adequate quality while limiting environmental impacts. We assessed the effects of apple trees on the spatiotemporal variations of [...] Read more.
Garden-orchard systems (GOS) consist in intercropping various vegetables with fruit trees. They are very promising to produce fruits and vegetables in sufficient quantity and of adequate quality while limiting environmental impacts. We assessed the effects of apple trees on the spatiotemporal variations of microclimatic conditions and soil properties, and their influence on the growth of two vegetables (radish and lettuce). We performed measurements on five vegetable beds situated at different distances from apple tree rows (from 1.5 to 5 m). Vegetable beds near the apple trees received on average 8% less radiation. Air temperature near the trees was on average 1.5 °C lower during daytime while air relative humidity was up to 5% higher. Apple trees improved the soil surface properties. Soil organic matter was up to 40% higher in the vegetable beds near the rows whereas soil bulk density was 16% lower, N mineralization was up to two times faster. Mineral N and bulk density were the primary limiting factors for the growth of radish while lettuce growth was mainly affected by microclimate. Our results provide a framework to define a spatial arrangement of GOS that optimize the ecosystem services of fruit trees and, therefore, the productivity of GOS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Nutrient Management on Soil Productivity and Water Quality)
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Article
Potential Application of Rhizobacteria Isolated from the Central Highland of Vietnam as an Effective Biocontrol Agent of Robusta Coffee Nematodes and as a Bio-Fertilizer
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1887; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091887 - 20 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1096
Abstract
Robusta coffee is a major commercial crop in the Central Highland of Vietnam with high economic and export value. However, this crop is adversely affected by various pathogens, particularly nematodes. This study aimed to screen active anti-nematode rhizobacterial strains for sustainable coffee production. [...] Read more.
Robusta coffee is a major commercial crop in the Central Highland of Vietnam with high economic and export value. However, this crop is adversely affected by various pathogens, particularly nematodes. This study aimed to screen active anti-nematode rhizobacterial strains for sustainable coffee production. Among more than 200 isolates, the isolate TUN03 demonstrated efficient biocontrol with nearly 100% mortality of J2 coffee nematodes Meloidogyne spp. and 84% inhibition of nematode egg hatching. This active strain was identified as Pseudomonas aeruginosa TUN03 based on its 16S rRNA gene sequence and phylogenetic analysis. In greenhouse tests, the strain TUN03 significantly reduced the coffee nematode population in the rhizome-soil with an 83.23% inhibition rate and showed plant growth-promoting effects. Notably, this is the first report of the nematicidal effect of P. aeruginosa against coffee nematodes. This potent strain further showed an antifungal effect against various crop-pathogenic fungi and was found to be the most effective against Fusarium solani F04 (isolated from coffee roots) with a 70.51% inhibition rate. In addition, high-performance liquid chromatography analysis revealed that this bacterial strain also secretes plant growth regulators including indole acetic acid (IAA), gibberellic acid (GA3), kinetin, and zeatin in significant amounts of 100, 2700, 37, and 9.5 µg/mL, respectively. The data from this study suggest that P. aeruginosa TUN03 may be a potential biocontrol agent and biofertilizer for the sustainable production of Robusta coffee and other crops. Full article
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Review
Jasmonic Acid in Plant Abiotic Stress Tolerance and Interaction with Abscisic Acid
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1886; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091886 - 20 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1030
Abstract
The phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA), a cyclopentane fatty acid, mediates plant responses to abiotic stresses. Abiotic stresses rapidly and dynamically affect JA metabolism and JA responses by upregulating the expression of genes involved in JA biosynthesis and signaling, indicating that JA has a [...] Read more.
The phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA), a cyclopentane fatty acid, mediates plant responses to abiotic stresses. Abiotic stresses rapidly and dynamically affect JA metabolism and JA responses by upregulating the expression of genes involved in JA biosynthesis and signaling, indicating that JA has a crucial role in plant abiotic stress responses. The crucial role of JA has been demonstrated in many previous studies showing that JA response regulates various plant defense systems, such as removal of reactive oxygen species and accumulation of osmoprotectants. Furthermore, increasing evidence shows that plant tolerance to abiotic stresses is linked to the JA response, suggesting that abiotic stress tolerance can be improved by modulating JA responses. In this review, we briefly describe the JA biosynthetic and signaling pathways and summarize recent studies showing an essential role of JA in plant responses and tolerance to a variety of abiotic stresses, such as drought, cold, salt, and heavy metal stress. Additionally, we discuss JA crosstalk with another key stress hormone, abscisic acid, in plant abiotic stress responses. Full article
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Article
Exploiting Agronomic and Biochemical Traits to Develop Heat Resilient Cotton Cultivars under Climate Change Scenarios
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1885; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091885 - 20 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 906
Abstract
The development of high-yielding heat-tolerant cotton cultivars harboring plastic phenotypes across warming climatic regions is prime objectives of today’s cotton breeding programs. We evaluated eight parents and 15 F1 hybrids under normal and heat stress conditions. Agronomic and biochemical characters were analyzed [...] Read more.
The development of high-yielding heat-tolerant cotton cultivars harboring plastic phenotypes across warming climatic regions is prime objectives of today’s cotton breeding programs. We evaluated eight parents and 15 F1 hybrids under normal and heat stress conditions. Agronomic and biochemical characters were analyzed using standard least square, correlation, principal component analysis (PCA), and hierarchical clustering. The results explained a significant reduction in all traits except hydrogen peroxide contents, catalase, and peroxidase activities with a prominent increase under heat stress. A significant positive correlation was observed among all agronomic and biochemical traits. POD was found to have a maximum positive correlation with CAT (0.947) and minimum with boll weight (0.050). PCA showed first two components accounting for 78.64% of the total variation, with 55.83% and 22.80% of the total variation, respectively. Based on multivariate analyses methods 23 genotypes have been placed in 3 groups: tolerant (cluster-3), moderately tolerant (cluster-2), and susceptible (cluster-1). In a general perspective hybrids have better performance across normal and heat stress supports the idea of hybrid adaptability across stress environments. In specific FH-458 × FH-313 cross performed best across both conditions for yield and physiological traits. Hence, the generated information from the present study would support breeders in developing heat-resilient cultivars to endure the prevailing extreme environmental conditions. Full article
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Article
Mitigation of High-Temperature Damage by Application of Kaolin and Pinolene on Young Olive Trees (Olea europaea L.): A Preliminary Experiment to Assess Biometric, Eco-Physiological and Nutraceutical Parameters
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1884; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091884 - 20 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 797
Abstract
Various products are used to mitigate the negative effects of abiotic stress in olive trees. The aim of the research was to examine an anti-transpirant product (Vapor Gard®, V) and a kaolin- based product (Manisol, K) effect on the growth of [...] Read more.
Various products are used to mitigate the negative effects of abiotic stress in olive trees. The aim of the research was to examine an anti-transpirant product (Vapor Gard®, V) and a kaolin- based product (Manisol, K) effect on the growth of two-year-old olive tree seedlings under high temperature. The study was conducted in a greenhouse on trees of a native cultivar of Campania (cv. Salella) grown in pot during the growing season from May to September 2020. The experimental design included two products: di-1-p-menthene (product V) and kaolin (product K), applied five times at 20 day intervals compared with a control. The following biometric, physiological, and nutraceutical parameters were evaluated: stomatal conductance, chlorophyll a fluorescence, Soil Plant Analysis Development (SPAD) index, relative water content (RWC), shoots growth, total leaf area per plant, trunk cross-sectional area, dry matter partitioning, total polyphenols, and antioxidant activity. The results obtained showed that the application of di-1-p-menthene (V) was able to induce a significant improvement of shoots growth (+37.22%) and trunk cross-sectional area (+46.60%) and a reduction of the stomatal conductance and an increase of leaf RWC values. Application with kaolin had positive effects on the total polyphenol content, with an increase over the control of 240.33% and higher antioxidant activity values. Further studies are necessary to determine the effect of these products on the biometric, physiological and nutraceutical parameters of mature olive trees cultivated in open field conditions. Full article
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Article
Suitability of Image Analysis in Evaluating Air and Water Permeability of Soil
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1883; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091883 - 19 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 978
Abstract
A comprehensive understanding of the water and air permeability of soil is necessary for modelling the transport properties which depend on soil structure. We aimed to evaluate the suitability of image analysis to estimate gas and liquid transport in soil using resin-impregnated soil [...] Read more.
A comprehensive understanding of the water and air permeability of soil is necessary for modelling the transport properties which depend on soil structure. We aimed to evaluate the suitability of image analysis to estimate gas and liquid transport in soil using resin-impregnated soil blocks. The soil texture, TOC, density, porosity, air capacity (VV), air permeability (logAP), and the saturated hydraulic conductivity (logKS) of a Cambisol developed from loess were measured. To characterise the pores, using the soil structure images, we determined the macroporosity (AA), index of soil pore-network growth rate, percolation number (lognPER), length of pore path/unit area (PLA), and relative volume of pores overlapping top and/or bottom edge of the image (VTB). logKS and logAP related to morphometric parameters of soil structure derived from the image analysis. The main factor controlling the soil’s infiltration was the total volume of soil pores (VV and AA). AA, PLA, VTB, and lognPER were equally useful for characterising the soil pore system. These results will contribute to more accurate estimations of gas and liquid transport in soils and allow to obtain historical hydraulic properties and model long-term trends in the soil water regime based on the existing collections of thin sections and polished blocks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Water Use and Irrigation)
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Toward Fraudulent Pesticides in Rural Areas: Do Farmers’ Recognition and Purchasing Behaviors Matter?
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1882; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091882 - 19 Sep 2021
Viewed by 656
Abstract
The growth of fraudulent pesticide trade has become a threat to farmers’ health, agrochemical businesses, and agricultural sustainability, as well as to the environment. However, assessment of the levels of farmers’ exposure to fraudulent pesticides in the literature is often limited. This paper [...] Read more.
The growth of fraudulent pesticide trade has become a threat to farmers’ health, agrochemical businesses, and agricultural sustainability, as well as to the environment. However, assessment of the levels of farmers’ exposure to fraudulent pesticides in the literature is often limited. This paper conducted a quantitative study of farmers’ recognition and purchasing behaviors with regard to fraudulent pesticides in the Dakhalia governorate of Egypt. Using a structured questionnaire, data were collected by face-to-face interviews with 368 farmers in three districts of the governorate. The questionnaire included questions on socioeconomic characteristics, risk perception, recognition behavior, and purchasing behavior regarding fraudulent pesticides. The findings indicate that farmers perceived high risks to farmer health and crop yield (a score of 4 out of 5) and a moderate risk to the environment (3.5 out of 5) from fraudulent pesticides. Nonetheless, nearly three-fourths of the farmers had purchased fraudulent pesticides anyway. The statistical analysis suggests that farmers who resist purchasing fraudulent pesticides have higher education, longer experience in farming, and better recognition of fraudulent pesticides. To improve farmers’ ability to distinguish and avoid fraudulent pesticides, the paper recommends communication-related anti-counterfeiting measures such as awareness extension programs, as well as distribution measures in cooperation with other stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economy and Sociology in Sustainable Agriculture)
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Article
FPGA-Embedded Smart Monitoring System for Irrigation Decisions Based on Soil Moisture and Temperature Sensors
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1881; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091881 - 19 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1006
Abstract
The basic need common to all living beings is water. Less than 1% of the water on earth is fresh water and water use is increasing daily. Agricultural practices alone require huge amounts of water. The drip technique improved the efficiency of water [...] Read more.
The basic need common to all living beings is water. Less than 1% of the water on earth is fresh water and water use is increasing daily. Agricultural practices alone require huge amounts of water. The drip technique improved the efficiency of water use in irrigation and initiated the introduction and development of fertigation, the integrated distribution of water and fertilizer. The past few decades have seen extensive research being carried out in the area of development and evaluation of different technologies available to estimate/measure soil moisture to aid in various applications and to facilitate the use of drip irrigation for users and farmers. In this technology, plant moisture and temperature are accurately monitored and controlled in real time over roots in the form of droplets, by developing smart monitoring system to save water and avoid water waste using drip irrigation technology. Water is delivered to the roots drop by drop, which saves water as well as prevents plants from being flooded and decaying due to excess water released by irrigation methods such as flood irrigation, border irrigation, furrow irrigation, and control basin irrigation. Drip irrigation with an embedded intelligent monitoring system is one of the most valuable techniques used to save water and farmers’ time and energy. In this paper, we design an embedded monitoring system based in the integrated 65 nm CMOS technology in agricultural practices which would facilitate agriculture and enable farmers to monitor crops. Hence, to demonstrate the feasibility, a prototype was constructed and simulated with modelsim and validated with nclaunch the both tools from Cadence, as well as implementation on the FPGA board, was be performed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Soil Sensing Technology in Irrigated Agricultural Land)
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Article
High Density and Uniform Plant Distribution Improve Soybean Yield by Regulating Population Uniformity and Canopy Light Interception
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1880; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091880 - 19 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 803
Abstract
Optimizing the spatial distribution of plants under normal conditions of water and fertilizer is widely used by farmers to improve soybean yield. However, the relationship between soybean yield and spatial plant distribution in the field has not been well studied. This study examined [...] Read more.
Optimizing the spatial distribution of plants under normal conditions of water and fertilizer is widely used by farmers to improve soybean yield. However, the relationship between soybean yield and spatial plant distribution in the field has not been well studied. This study examined the effect of planting density and plant distribution pattern on soybean plant growth, yield components, canopy light interception, and dry matter accumulation. We also analyzed the relationship between photosynthetic rate, dry matter accumulation, and yield under different planting densities and plant distribution. A two year field experiment was conducted during the 2018 and 2019 soybean planting seasons. Two planting densities (1.8 × 105 and 2.7 × 105 plants ha−1) and two plant distribution patterns (uniform and non-uniform plant spacing) were tested. Higher planting density significantly increased the canopy light interception and dry matter accumulation during soybean growth, leading to increased soybean productivity. The seed yield of soybean under higher planting density was 22.8% higher than under normal planting density. Soybean planted under uniform spacing significantly reduced the differences plant-to-plant. Uniform plant spacing significantly increased the canopy light interception and dry matter accumulation of the soybean population. In addition, the coefficient of variation of seed weight per plant between individual plants under uniform plant distribution decreased by 71.5% compared with non-uniform plant distribution. Furthermore, uniform plant distribution increased soybean seed yield by 9.5% over non-uniform plant distribution. This study demonstrates that increasing planting density under uniform plant distribution can be useful to obtain higher seed yield without increasing other farm inputs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Innovative Cropping Systems)
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Article
Organic Matter and Mineral Composition of Silicate Soils: FTIR Comparison Study by Photoacoustic, Diffuse Reflectance, and Attenuated Total Reflection Modalities
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1879; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091879 - 19 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 978
Abstract
This study aims to compare photoacoustic (FTIR–PAS), diffuse reflectance (DRIFT), and attenuated total reflection (ATR) FTIR modalities in the wide wavenumber range from NIR (7500 cm−1) to FIR (150 cm−1) for the same silicate soil samples under the same [...] Read more.
This study aims to compare photoacoustic (FTIR–PAS), diffuse reflectance (DRIFT), and attenuated total reflection (ATR) FTIR modalities in the wide wavenumber range from NIR (7500 cm−1) to FIR (150 cm−1) for the same silicate soil samples under the same conditions. The possibilities of non-destructive rapid qualitative analysis of soils by these modalities without comprehensive data treatment were compared. The assignment of more than 100 bands for the chernozem and sod-podzolic as common types of silicate types of soil was made. The following groups of bands of organic matter and inorganic matrix were reliably found in spectra of all or at least two modalities: 3690–3680 cm−1 (hydrogen-bonded SiO–H…H2O stretch, not ATR), 2930–2910 cm−1 and 2860–2850 cm−1 (methylene stretch), 1390–1380 cm−1, (symmetric stretch carboxylate, DRIFT and FTIR–PAS); 2000–1990 cm−1, 1885 cm−1, and 1790–1783 cm−1 (SiO2 overtones, DRIFT and FTIR–PAS), 1163–1153 cm−1, SiO2 lattice (not FTIR–PAS), 1037 cm−1 (Si–O or Al–O stretch), 796 cm−1 (lattice symmetrical Si–O–Si stretch); 697 cm−1, SiO2; and 256 cm−1 (not FTIR–PAS). Amide I, II, and III bands appear in DRIFT and FTIR–PAS spectra while not in ATR. Except for methylene and carboxylate groups, CH vibrations (3100–2900 cm−1) are not seen in ATR. Bands at 1640–1630 cm−1, 1620–1610 cm−1, 1600–1598 cm−1 (primary water bands and probably carboxylate) appear in the spectra of all three modalities but are unresolved and require data treatment. It is preferable to use all three modalities to characterize both soil organic matter and mineral composition. DRIFT provides the maximum number of bands in all three modalities and should be selected as a primary technique in the NIR and 4000–2000 cm−1 regions for hydrogen-bonding bands, CHX groups, and the silicate matrix. ATR–FTIR complements DRIFT and provides a good sensitivity for soil water and the matrix in 2000–400 cm−1. FTIR–PAS in 4000–1500 cm−1 reveals more bands than DRIFT and shows the highest sensitivity for absorption bands that do not appear in DRIFT or ATR-IR spectra. Thus, FTIR–PAS is expedient for supporting either DRIFT or ATR–FTIR. This modality comparison can be a basis for methodological support of IR spectroscopy of soils and similar organomineral complexes. Full article
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Article
Artificial-Intelligence-Based Time-Series Intervention Models to Assess the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Tomato Supply and Prices in Hyderabad, India
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1878; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091878 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1197
Abstract
This study’s objective was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tomato supply and prices in Gudimalkapur market in Hyderabad, India. The lockdown imposed by the government of India from 25 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 particularly affected the supply [...] Read more.
This study’s objective was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tomato supply and prices in Gudimalkapur market in Hyderabad, India. The lockdown imposed by the government of India from 25 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 particularly affected the supply chain of perishable agricultural products, including tomatoes as one of the major vegetable crops in the study area. The classical time series models such as autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) intervention models and artificial intelligence (AI)-based time-series models namely support vector regression (SVR) intervention and artificial neural network (ANN) intervention models were used to predict tomato supplies and prices in the studied market. The modelling results show that the pandemic had a negative impact on supply and a positive impact on tomato prices. Moreover, the ANN intervention model outperformed the other models in both the training and test data sets. The superior performance of the ANN intervention model could be due to its ability to account for the nonlinear and complex nature of the data with exogenous intervention variable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Crises & Implications to Agri-Food Sector)
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Article
Tuning Potassium and Magnesium Fertilization of Potato in the South of West Siberia
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1877; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091877 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 645
Abstract
Imbalance of nutrients limits crop yields. Although K fertilization receives sufficient attention in research and practice, Mg supply is rather neglected. The effect of Mg fertilization (0, 5 and 10 g Mg/m2), combined with two K fertilization rates (10 and 15 [...] Read more.
Imbalance of nutrients limits crop yields. Although K fertilization receives sufficient attention in research and practice, Mg supply is rather neglected. The effect of Mg fertilization (0, 5 and 10 g Mg/m2), combined with two K fertilization rates (10 and 15 g K/m2), on potato production and soil exchangeable K and Mg was studied in a three-season microplot field experiment in the Novosibirsk region, Russia. Tuber yield did not respond to the increased K fertilization, but increased at 5 and decreased at 10 g Mg/m2. Total Mg concentration in tubers increased at 15 g K/m2, whereas N, P and K were not affected by fertilization. The tuber yield was maximal (3.6 kg/m2) at 10 g K/m2 and 5 g Mg/m2. Soil exchangeable Mg increased by the year, resulting in preferential development of the aboveground phytomass due to apparently increased Mg availability and K/Mg imbalance. Potato production depended on the year, strongly implicating weather conditions. Therefore, the weather and the chemical nature of K and Mg fertilizers (as pertinent to their release mode from fertilizer in soil), are important for balancing their proportions and amounts while assessing interactions among nutrients in potato production and adjusting regional fertilization strategies. Full article
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Article
Synthesis and Characterization of Nano Fe and Mn (hydr)oxides to Be Used as Natural Sorbents and Micronutrient Fertilizers
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1876; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091876 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 777
Abstract
Fe and Mn (hydr)oxides are widely used as contaminant sorbents in water/wastewater systems but their potential use as micronutrient fertilizers is still poorly known. In this research, four nano-metal (hydr)oxides (amorphous Mn oxide (AMO), Fe-Mn binary oxide (FMBO), two-line ferrihydrite (2L-Fh) and goethite) [...] Read more.
Fe and Mn (hydr)oxides are widely used as contaminant sorbents in water/wastewater systems but their potential use as micronutrient fertilizers is still poorly known. In this research, four nano-metal (hydr)oxides (amorphous Mn oxide (AMO), Fe-Mn binary oxide (FMBO), two-line ferrihydrite (2L-Fh) and goethite) were successfully synthesized and completely characterized (infrared and Mössbauer spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction particle size, specific surface area, point of zero charge). AMO, FMBO and 2L-Fh were introduced to interact with AgNO3 (20.0 µM) and TlNO3 (100.0 µM) diluted solutions for three days to check their potential capability as potential Ag+ and Tl+ adsorbents. AMO and FMBO (4% w/w) were tested as nanofertilizers by arranging a hydroponic bioassay for 35 days on white lupin culture as a Mn-hyperaccumulator plant model. AMO structure was identified as an amorphous mixture of Mn oxides while FMBO was an Fe dopped birnessite. Both materials were efficient in extracting Ag+ and Tl+ although large Mn concentration was released from FMBO to the solutions. AMO and FMBO promoted Fe and Mn nutrition in plants. Synthetic iron chelate (Fe-EDDHA), present in the nutrient dissolution, could be adsorbed onto AMO surface by producing Fe and Mn accumulation in roots and increasing Mn uptake rate without toxicity symptoms. Therefore, AMO and FMBO not only demonstrated their efficiency as adsorbents, but also displayed they would be promising nanomaterials as micronutrient fertilizers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Efficiency of New Micronutrient Fertilizers)
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Article
Seed Priming with Sulfhydral Thiourea Enhances the Performance of Camelina sativa L. under Heat Stress Conditions
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1875; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091875 - 17 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 993
Abstract
Temperature is a key factor influencing plant growth and productivity; however, temperature fluctuations can cause detrimental effects on crop growth. This study aimed to assess the effect of seed priming on Camelina sativa L. under heat stress. Experimental treatments were comprised of; seed [...] Read more.
Temperature is a key factor influencing plant growth and productivity; however, temperature fluctuations can cause detrimental effects on crop growth. This study aimed to assess the effect of seed priming on Camelina sativa L. under heat stress. Experimental treatments were comprised of; seed priming including, no-priming, hydropriming (distilled water priming), and osmopriming (thiourea applications at 500 ppm), heat stress (control = 20 °C and heat stress = 32 °C), and camelina varieties (7126 and 8046). Heat stress hammered crop growth as relative water content and photosynthetic rate were reduced by 35.9% and 49.05% in 7126, respectively, and 25.6% and 41.2% in 8046 as compared with control-no thiourea applied. However, osmopriming with thiourea improved the root and shoot length, and biomass production compared to control–no application under heat stress, with more improvement in variety 8046 as compared with 7126. Moreover, the maximum values of gas exchange and water relations were recorded at thiourea priming and no stress as compared with no-priming under heat stress that helped to improve seed yield by 12% in 7126 and 15% in 8046, respectively. Among the varieties, camelina variety 8046 showed better performance than 7126 by producing higher seed yield especially when subjected to thiourea priming. In conclusion, thiourea seed priming helped the plants to mitigate the adverse effects of heat stress by upregulating plant physiological attributes that lead to maintain camelina seed yield. Full article
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Article
The Performance of Representative Asian Vegetables in Different Production Systems in Texas
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1874; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091874 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 660
Abstract
Demand for Asian vegetables is rising rapidly due to changing demographics and increasing consumer awareness of their health benefits. However, growers are not familiar with growing these “foreign” crops due to insufficient technical information regarding suitable cultivars for different regions, production schedules, disease [...] Read more.
Demand for Asian vegetables is rising rapidly due to changing demographics and increasing consumer awareness of their health benefits. However, growers are not familiar with growing these “foreign” crops due to insufficient technical information regarding suitable cultivars for different regions, production schedules, disease and pest susceptibility, and postharvest management. The objective of this study was to conduct trials in different production systems and climate regions to demonstrate the potential of growing Asian vegetables in Texas. We conducted preliminary trials of nine leafy greens in the open field, high tunnel, and greenhouse (container and hydroponic production) to explore the suitability and potential for year-round production. We also conducted field trials for warm season crops in the open field in different climate zones. Results indicated that for cool season leafy greens, open field production has a limited growing season, high tunnel has the potential to extend the growing season, while greenhouse may provide year-round production using soilless substrate container culture or hydroponic system. For warm season crops, early planting is recommended for high yield. Additional research is warranted in different regions to test more species and cultivars and optimize the production system of high-performing cultivars to maximize production and profitability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethnic Crops in the United States of America)
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Article
Characterization of Nonconventional Food Plants Seeds Guizotia abyssinica (L.f.) Cass., Panicum miliaceum L., and Phalaris canariensis L. for Application in the Bakery Industry
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1873; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091873 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 939
Abstract
Consumers have given preferences to food products that, in addition to the nutritional properties, also present bioactive characteristics with beneficial health effects. The use of Nonconventional Food Plants (NCFP) has been an asset for the food industry, not only due to its abundance [...] Read more.
Consumers have given preferences to food products that, in addition to the nutritional properties, also present bioactive characteristics with beneficial health effects. The use of Nonconventional Food Plants (NCFP) has been an asset for the food industry, not only due to its abundance but, also, because it does not compete with other vegetable matrices used for human consumption for its nutritional properties, chemical and bioactive potentiality. The present work aimed to study the granulometry and water absorption index of three seeds of unconventional food plants: niger, millet and birdseed, followed by their nutritional value, content in free sugars, fatty acids, organic acids, tocopherols and phenolic compounds by chromatographic methods and, also, the evaluation of the antioxidant, hepatotoxic and antimicrobial potential in their hydroethanolic extracts. Bakery products were developed with a partial replacement of wheat flour, using the centroid simplex method to understand the effect of applying NCFP flours in the final physical–chemical characteristics. The high granulometry associated with the high water absorption index indicates that the use of NCFP flours would have to be complemented with other flours for baking. The chemical composition of niger seed stood out the most; however, all seeds presented relatively low IC50 and MIC values for the inhibition of lipid peroxidation and antimicrobial activity, respectively. Finally, breads made with a mixture of millet and birdseed flour showed the greatest similarity to the control bread. Considering their composition in bioactive compounds, the use of these seeds is highly advisable in the context of a fortified diet, being sources of compounds of high nutritional value and with beneficial health effects for the final consumer. Full article
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Article
Does Intellectual Capital Measurement Matter in Financial Performance? An Investigation of Chinese Agricultural Listed Companies
by and
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1872; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091872 - 17 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 676
Abstract
Intellectual capital (IC) has become a crucial strategic resource in the knowledge economy. The purpose of this study is to understand the IC-financial performance relationship of listed Chinese agricultural companies. This paper uses the original value added intellectual coefficient (VAIC) model, the adjusted [...] Read more.
Intellectual capital (IC) has become a crucial strategic resource in the knowledge economy. The purpose of this study is to understand the IC-financial performance relationship of listed Chinese agricultural companies. This paper uses the original value added intellectual coefficient (VAIC) model, the adjusted VAIC (AVAIC) model, and the modified VAIC (MVAIC) model to measure IC. The results show a positive and significant relationship between IC and financial performance (return on assets and return on equity) in three models. Additionally, human capital and physical capital are two major driving forces. In the AVAIC model, innovation capital exerts a positive impact on financial performance, whereas this impact is not significant at the 5% level in the MVAIC model. The results suggest that further improvements in IC measurement are still needed. This study has important implications for both academia and industry regarding IC measurement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economy and Sociology in Sustainable Agriculture)
Article
Heat Waves and Broomrape Are the Major Constraints for Lentil Cultivation in Southern Spain
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1871; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091871 - 17 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 644
Abstract
There is potential for expanding lentil cultivation to dry and warm Mediterranean rain-fed environments at low altitudes, where early sowings are recommended to profit from winter rains and escape drought and excessive heat at the grain filling stage. In cooler areas, frost might [...] Read more.
There is potential for expanding lentil cultivation to dry and warm Mediterranean rain-fed environments at low altitudes, where early sowings are recommended to profit from winter rains and escape drought and excessive heat at the grain filling stage. In cooler areas, frost might be a problem in the early sowings, however, in warmer areas such as our low altitude warm southern Spanish environments the most detrimental factor on lentil seed yield appeared to be high temperatures at grain-filling stage, particularly heat waves of more than 5 days with Tmax > 30 °C. This was followed by broomrape infection, the combination of both being dramatic. We detected variation for stress tolerance, with S17 and R7 accessions outstanding for all stress indexes used, followed by S23, Nsir, S6, and S12. Broomrape infection ranked second risk in the area. No complete resistance to broomrape was identified, but there was a significant variation in the level of infection, with accessions S14 and R17 being the more resistant across environments. This offers prospects for combining heat tolerance and broomrape resistance by breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Legumes Cultivars and Their Genetic Improvements)
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Article
Management of Green Waste Streams from Different Origins: Assessment of Different Composting Scenarios
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1870; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091870 - 17 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 708
Abstract
The organic wastes of plant origin and, in particular, those coming from sources related to tourism activities, such as those generated from golf courses and touristic coasts, constitute an increasing concern due to the rise in their production and their unsuitable management. Thus, [...] Read more.
The organic wastes of plant origin and, in particular, those coming from sources related to tourism activities, such as those generated from golf courses and touristic coasts, constitute an increasing concern due to the rise in their production and their unsuitable management. Thus, this work aimed to assess the use of different composting strategies to manage these specific green wastes, such as grass clippings and pruning waste from a golf course and marine plant debris, mainly from posidonia (Posidonia oceanica L.). To this end, two composting scenarios were established: the first only considered green wastes in the composition of the composting mixtures, and the second used sewage sludge as a co-composting agent. The temperature of the piles was monitored, and physicochemical and chemical parameters were also studied throughout the process. The results obtained showed that composting is a feasible method to manage and recycle this type of green waste, obtaining end products with suitable physicochemical and chemical characteristics. However, proportions of sea plant wastes in the composting mixture higher than 30% can compromise the fertilizing value of the final compost. Moreover, the use of an additional co-composting agent (sewage sludge) improved the characteristics of the end products obtained, provided that this co-composting agent had suitable initial characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composting as Key Driver for Sustainable Agricultural Scenarios)
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Article
Sound Splits as Influenced by Seed Size for Runner and Virginia Market Type Peanut Shelled on a Reciprocating Sheller
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1869; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091869 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 598
Abstract
The objective of this study was to examine peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) kernel percent sound splits as a function of sound mature kernel seed size when shelled on a reciprocating sheller. Data were compiled from a total of 139 field experiments conducted [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to examine peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) kernel percent sound splits as a function of sound mature kernel seed size when shelled on a reciprocating sheller. Data were compiled from a total of 139 field experiments conducted in the Virginia-Carolina region and Georgia from 2005 to 2020. Runner and Virginia peanut market types were graded according to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards using standard sheller screens with upper grid sizes corresponding to the red pan from the pre-sizer of 10.3 × 19.1 mm (26/64 × 3/4 ″) and 13.5 × 25.4 mm (34/64 × 1 ″) with minimum bar grid clearances of 8.7 (11/32 ″) and 12.7 mm (1/2 ″), respectively. A subset of runner market type samples was graded using the Virginia sheller screen. Grade data per market type and sheller screen was analyzed separately. Among runner market types shelled with the standard runner-type screen, percent sound splits increased linearly with increasing seed size at the logit rate of 1.16 per sound mature kernel g (p < 0.001). Sound splits for Virginia and runner market types shelled on the standard Virginia-type screen did not significantly vary by kernel size (p = 0.939 and 0.687, respectively). Extra-large kernels (proportion) for Virginia types linearly increased with seed size at 1.91 per sound mature kernel g (logit scale) (p < 0.001). Runner market types sized 75 to 91 g/100 sound mature kernels (605 to 500 seed/lb) were estimated to have a 50% probability of a 2.3 to 4.5% or greater increase in sound splits when shelled with the standard runner-type screen compared to runner-type seed sized 55 g/100 sound mature kernels (820 seed/lb), respectively, equivalent to a potential deduction increase of 1.8 to 4.4 USD /1000 kg. For both Virginia and runner market types, seed weight linearly increased with pod weight at 0.169 and 0.195 g/g (p < 0.001), respectively. Results from this study may be used as a reference to suggest runner-type seed sizes above which larger reciprocating sheller screen utilization in line with USDA grading practices is warranted to reduce mechanically induced sound splits during grading and subsequent economic deduction penalties for corresponding farmer stock peanut. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peanut: A Promising Star to Feed the Future)
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Article
Critical Evaluation of Two Commercial Biocontrol Agents for Their Efficacy against B. cinerea under In Vitro and In Vivo Conditions in Relation to Different Abiotic Factors
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1868; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091868 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 702
Abstract
The study evaluated the dose–response relationship of two commercial microbial biocontrol agents, Bacillus subtilis and Gliocladium catenulatum, against Botrytis cinerea both in vitro and in vivo. Inoculum doses, formulation, temperature and foliar leaf part all affected the control achieved by the two [...] Read more.
The study evaluated the dose–response relationship of two commercial microbial biocontrol agents, Bacillus subtilis and Gliocladium catenulatum, against Botrytis cinerea both in vitro and in vivo. Inoculum doses, formulation, temperature and foliar leaf part all affected the control achieved by the two BCAs. In vitro competition assays on modified PDA plates tested a range of BCA doses (log10 3–10 CFUs or spores/droplet) at 4, 10 and 20 °C on the development of B. cinerea colonies. The dose–response relationship was influenced by both the BCA formulation and temperature. In vivo studies on lettuce plants in semi-commercial greenhouses examined the BCA dose (log10 5–9 CFUs or spores/mL) for controlling B. cinerea with a high inoculum (log10 6 spores/mL). Leaf disc assays showed that the dose–response relationship was influenced by the leaf parts sampled. These results suggest that the dose–response relationship between a BCA and specific pathogen will be significantly influenced by environmental conditions, formulation and plant phyllosplane tissue. Full article
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Article
Determination and Metabolite Profiling of Mixtures of Triterpenoid Saponins from Seeds of Chilean Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) Germplasm
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1867; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091867 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 981
Abstract
The seed pericarp of Chenopodium quinoa Willd. (quinoa) contains a mixture of triterpenoid saponins conferring undesired organoleptic properties. In this study, we evaluated saponin content and their corresponding sapogenins in 114 different quinoa accessions. Relative saponin content ranged from 0.22 to 15.04 mg/g [...] Read more.
The seed pericarp of Chenopodium quinoa Willd. (quinoa) contains a mixture of triterpenoid saponins conferring undesired organoleptic properties. In this study, we evaluated saponin content and their corresponding sapogenins in 114 different quinoa accessions. Relative saponin content ranged from 0.22 to 15.04 mg/g of seed dry weight among the genotypes studied and the genotype effect was significant (p < 0.001). About 75% of the genotypes could be classified as low-saponin content lines which is promising in view of ongoing plant breeding efforts. In addition to the quantitative determination of saponins, metabolic profiling was performed by LC-FTICR-MS and LC-MS/MS. We obtained highly accurate mass estimation from ion spectra allowing the identification of twelve saponins of the oleanane type. These differ in their aglycons and in the number and type of glycoside units. Interestingly, we identified a saponin compound that, to our knowledge, had not been reported previously. Our study highlights that there is considerable variability concerning saponin content in quinoa, which contributes to the valorization of genetic resources towards the identification of genotypes that could be utilized in current and future quinoa breeding programs. Full article
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Article
Effect of Banana Bunchy Top Virus on the Heat Shock Protein Genes of Pentalonia nigronervosa during Temperature Susceptibility and Its Effect on Virus Transmission
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1866; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091866 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 856
Abstract
Acquisition of plant viruses is known to exert various effects on vectors’ developmental biology. Pentalonia nigronervosa is the only known vector of banana bunchy top virus (BBTV), which is an economically detrimental virus infecting banana cultivars all over the world. In the present [...] Read more.
Acquisition of plant viruses is known to exert various effects on vectors’ developmental biology. Pentalonia nigronervosa is the only known vector of banana bunchy top virus (BBTV), which is an economically detrimental virus infecting banana cultivars all over the world. In the present study, the developmental biology of viruliferous (Vr) and non-viruliferous (NVr) aphids was compared, with a marked reduction noted in the lifespan of aphids upon acquisition of BBTV. Among all the environmental parameters temperature is an important determinant of an insect’s abundance and geographical distribution. Temperature susceptibility of P. nigronervosa was scrutinized by comparing the mortality percentage and differential expression pattern of three heat shock proteins (Hsps; Hsp40, Hsp70, and Hsp90) at the mRNA level between NVr and Vr aphids. After exposure to different temperature stress (5 °C, 15 °C, 38 °C and 25 °C as control) highest mortality of Vr aphids were recorded at 5 °C. Analysis of expression levels of Hsp genes using qPCR showed that both cold and heat shock treatment stimulated higher expression of the three Hsps at various rates in Vr than NVr aphids.. Finally, the effect of temperature stress on the BBTV titer level and their transmission by P.nigronervosa was determined by absolute quantification. The transmission efficiency along with the virus titer was found to be the lowest at 15 °C compared to 38 °C. Overall, our results provide a novel insight into the intricate interaction between aphid fitness and thermal stress concerning the acquisition and transmission of BBTV, which could be a roadmap for the future epidemiological control system. Full article
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Review
Strategies for Coffee Leaf Rust Management in Organic Crop Systems
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1865; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091865 - 17 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1141
Abstract
Coffee is a crop of great economic importance in many countries. The organic coffee crop stands out from other production systems by aiming to eliminate the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. One of the most important limitations in the organic system is [...] Read more.
Coffee is a crop of great economic importance in many countries. The organic coffee crop stands out from other production systems by aiming to eliminate the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. One of the most important limitations in the organic system is the management of diseases, especially coffee rust, which is considered the main disease of this crop. Coffee rust causes a production slump of up to 50%, significantly affecting the profitability of coffee growers. This work aims to review the integrated rust management in organic coffee crop in different producing countries. Regarding the disease management strategies, this review addresses the use of rust-resistant cultivars, cultural management, biological control, use of plant extracts, and chemical rust control by cupric fungicides. Considering the importance of the organic system, the increase in world coffee consumption, and the potential market for this kind of coffee, this review may help researchers and producers looking for alternative strategies to control rust in an organic coffee cultivation system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Status and Management of Coffee Rust Disease)
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