Next Issue
Volume 13, June
Previous Issue
Volume 13, April
 
 

Agronomy, Volume 13, Issue 5 (May 2023) – 253 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Grapevine is an economically important crop, and climate change is significantly affecting viticulture via direct effects on productivity, phenology, and quality. This article explored different pruning techniques with which to reduce vine phenological progression over three growing seasons. Late pruning and forcing vine re-growth reduced phenological progression from 10 up to 50 days. Juice chemical parameters highlighted specific components in berries subjected to contrasting pruning treatments, such as higher acidity, lower sugar, and higher yeast-available nitrogen. Our work provides evidence of the potential usefulness of the pruning method in manipulating phenological progression and berry ripening dynamics under a climate change scenario in the Trento DOC area (North Italy). View this paper
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Reader to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
20 pages, 2375 KiB  
Perspective
Resistance to Anthracnose Rot Disease in Capsicum
by Lei Cui, Michiel C. van den Munckhof, Yuling Bai and Roeland E. Voorrips
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1434; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051434 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2966
Abstract
Pepper (Capsicum spp.) is an important vegetable crop worldwide with high economic and nutritional value. The Capsicum genus comprises more than 30 species, of which C. annuum, C. chinense, C. baccatum, C. frutescens, and C. pubescens are the [...] Read more.
Pepper (Capsicum spp.) is an important vegetable crop worldwide with high economic and nutritional value. The Capsicum genus comprises more than 30 species, of which C. annuum, C. chinense, C. baccatum, C. frutescens, and C. pubescens are the five domesticated ones. Anthracnose fruit rot, caused by Colletotrichum spp., is one of the most destructive fungal diseases of pepper. In this review, we compiled up-to-date information from 40 publications on anthracnose resistance in Capsicum species. In total, 375 accessions were described as showing different levels of resistance against Colletotrichum spp. These accessions belonged to different species, including C. annuum (160), C. baccatum (86), C. chacoense (4), C. chinense (90), and C. frutescens (16), as well as 19 accessions of which the species were not reported. High levels of resistance were mainly present in C. baccatum and C. chinense. For some of the resistant accessions, resistance genes or quantitative trait loci (QTL) were reported. Using associated molecular markers, we located 31 QTLs and 17 resistance-related genes in the recently published Capsicum genomes, including C. annuum CM334 version 1.6, C. chinense version 1.2, and C. baccatum version 1.2. Our results could be helpful for making use of some reported accessions in the breeding of pepper cultivars with resistance to anthracnose rot disease. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 842 KiB  
Article
Agronomic Practices in Lemon Balm Production under Temperate Climate Conditions: Raw Material Yield and Active Substances Content
by Renata Nurzyńska-Wierdak, Grażyna Zawiślak and Rafał Papliński
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1433; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051433 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1610
Abstract
The cultivation of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) is necessary for pharmaceutical and cosmetic production. The aim of our work was to investigate the effect of the plant density as well as the harvesting method on the yield and quality characteristics of [...] Read more.
The cultivation of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) is necessary for pharmaceutical and cosmetic production. The aim of our work was to investigate the effect of the plant density as well as the harvesting method on the yield and quality characteristics of M. officinalis, which is used as a source of polyphenols and essential oil in the pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetic industries. The field experiment was carried out in two growing seasons (2019 and 2020). The experiment was set up as a 2-factor experiment; the factors studied were the plant spacing (30 × 30 cm or 40 × 40 cm) and the harvesting method (single harvesting or double harvesting). The lemon balm herb was cut twice (in mid-July and early September) or once (in early September) depending on the combination. The air-dried leaves were subjected to laboratory tests to determine the essential oil, total tannin, and total flavonoid contents. The yield of lemon balm in the individual years in the study depended more on the harvesting method than on the plant density. The essential oil content was 0.25–0.38% depending on the plant density. Considering the yields of the fresh and air-dried herb and leaves, essential oil yield and oil, and tannin and flavonoid contents, a higher plant density (40 × 40 cm) is a better agronomic option than a lower density (30 × 30 cm). Harvesting the herb twice proved to be more efficient in terms of quantity and quality than a single harvest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Biosystem and Biological Engineering)
Show Figures

Figure 1

8 pages, 459 KiB  
Article
Quantifying and Disentangling the Competition Effect of a Weed Community in a Long-Term Biennial Cereal-Legume Rotation
by Jose L. Gonzalez-Andujar, Maria J. Aguilera and Rene Van Acker
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1432; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051432 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1108
Abstract
Weeds are a permanent constraint on crop productivity in agriculture. Due to the importance of the effect of weeds on the crop, there has been great interest in establishing the competitive ability of each species to optimize its control. This work presents a [...] Read more.
Weeds are a permanent constraint on crop productivity in agriculture. Due to the importance of the effect of weeds on the crop, there has been great interest in establishing the competitive ability of each species to optimize its control. This work presents a new methodology approach to determining the relative competitiveness of weed species based on population dynamics theory, which is applied to establish the competitiveness of Papaver rhoeas L. (PAP), Veronica hederifolia L. (VER), Descurainia sophia L. (DES) and Fumaria spp. (FUM) infesting a biennial cereal-legume rotation under conventional tillage. Data to fit the nonlinear population dynamic models were obtained from a long-term experiment (32 years) in Mediterranean drylands. The results showed asymmetric competitive interactions, and the competitive ability of weeds was crop specific. In cereals, the competitiveness ranking order was FUM > PAP > VER > DES, with strong interspecific competition; in legumes, it was VER > FUM > DES > PAP, with weak interspecific competition intensity. Overall, intraspecific competition was stronger than interspecific competition in the rotation system. The information gained in these studies can provide insights into the role of the intraspecific and interspecific competition in weed communities and help identify weed species that are relatively poor competitors in given crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Weed Science and Weed Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 964 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Population and Hybrid Varieties of Winter Rye in the Conditions of Eastern Siberia
by Anatolii V. Pomortsev, Nikolay V. Dorofeev, Svetlana Yu. Zorina, Natalia B. Katysheva, Lada G. Sokolova, Anna S. Zhuravkova and Elena V. Mikhailova
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1431; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051431 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1071
Abstract
Winter rye has a high adaptive capacity to abiotic and biotic stressors compared to other winter crops (wheat, triticale, barley, and oats). High resistance of winter rye to adverse environmental factors and a wide range of its uses increase interest in this crop. [...] Read more.
Winter rye has a high adaptive capacity to abiotic and biotic stressors compared to other winter crops (wheat, triticale, barley, and oats). High resistance of winter rye to adverse environmental factors and a wide range of its uses increase interest in this crop. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the adaptive capacity of population and hybrid varieties of winter rye and to identify varieties suitable for the soil and climate conditions of Eastern Siberia. A number of winter rye varieties of various geographical origins were tested during three field seasons. In all the field seasons, the population varieties (Tagna, Mininskaya, and Chulpan) were the most productive and most resistant to adverse environmental factors compared to the hybrid wheat (KWS Aviator, KWS Prommo, and KWS Ravo). Statistically significant (p < 0.001 in 2019/2020 and p < 0.001 in 2021/2022) differences in field survival and yield between the population and hybrid varieties were noted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cereal Breeding for Abiotic Stress Tolerance)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 26838 KiB  
Article
Spider Plant (Cleome gynandra L.): An Emerging Weed in the Sweet Corn–Brassica Cropping System
by Khaled Saifullah, Alwyn Williams and Steve Adkins
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1430; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051430 - 22 May 2023
Viewed by 2173
Abstract
Spider plant (Cleome gynandra L.) is an emerging noxious weed, affecting cultivated vegetables in Queensland, Australia. It is a prolific seed producer, forming large seedbanks with variable seedling emergence. A study was carried out to investigate the seed biology of spider plant, [...] Read more.
Spider plant (Cleome gynandra L.) is an emerging noxious weed, affecting cultivated vegetables in Queensland, Australia. It is a prolific seed producer, forming large seedbanks with variable seedling emergence. A study was carried out to investigate the seed biology of spider plant, focusing on its seed germination ecology, viz., influence of temperatures, illumination conditions, medium salinity, pH, substrate moisture, burial depth, and after-ripening. Freshly harvested seeds were negatively photoblastic and had combinational dormancy. Improved germination was obtained by physical scarification followed by soaking for 16 h, by dry storage for over 6 months, and by the imbibition of gibberellic acid. Maximum germination percentages of 70 to 80% were recorded under constant darkness at alternating day/night temperatures of 20/30 °C, or with 18 to 27 °C constant temperatures. Spider plant showed a broad tolerance to pH but only moderate salt and moisture stress tolerance, since only 42 and 26% germination were observed with 60 mM NaCl and at −0.40 MPa, respectively. Seeds placed on the soil surface did not germinate, however, at a burial depth of 1.0 to 1.5 cm, which resulted in ca. 80% seedling emergence. These findings will assist land managers to predict seasonal emergence and will aid in deploying management approaches to control this weed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Weed Science and Weed Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 241 KiB  
Article
Using Biostimulants, Soil Additives, and Plant Protectants to Improve Corn Yield in South Texas
by W. James Grichar, Travis W. Janak, Joshua A. McGinty and Michael J. Brewer
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1429; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051429 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1240
Abstract
Field studies were conducted in 2016, 2017, and 2020 in the south-central and Coastal Bend regions of Texas to determine the effects of various biostimulants, soil additives, and plant protectants on corn growth and yield. In south-central Texas, the use of pop-up fertilizer [...] Read more.
Field studies were conducted in 2016, 2017, and 2020 in the south-central and Coastal Bend regions of Texas to determine the effects of various biostimulants, soil additives, and plant protectants on corn growth and yield. In south-central Texas, the use of pop-up fertilizer (9-30-0 + Zn) either alone or in combination with either 2% N, bifenthrin, or bifenthrin + pyraclostrobin resulted in the greatest corn vigor but a yield response was only noted with pop-up fertilizer alone at 28,062 or 46,771 mL ha−1 in one year. In the Coastal Bend region, leaf tissue analysis showed that only Fe was affected with the use of any soil additive. Bacillus licheniformis + Bacillus megaterium + Bacillus pumilus increased Fe leaf tissue content by 20% over the untreated check. Radicoat seed coating at 438 mL ha−1 reduced corn plant stand by 10%, and Pseudomonas brassicaceanum reduced corn height when compared with the untreated check; however, no differences in test weight or yield from the untreated check were noted with any soil additives. Little if any impacts of the use of biostimulants, soil amendments, or plant protectants were seen in these studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Soil and Plant Nutrition)
21 pages, 8346 KiB  
Article
County Scale Corn Yield Estimation Based on Multi-Source Data in Liaoning Province
by Ge Qu, Yanmin Shuai, Congying Shao, Xiuyuan Peng and Jiapeng Huang
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1428; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051428 - 22 May 2023
Viewed by 1579
Abstract
Corn as a dominant and productive cereal crop has been recognized as indispensable to the global food system and industrial raw materials. China’s corn consumption reached 2.82 × 108 t in 2021, but its production was only 2.65 × 108 t, [...] Read more.
Corn as a dominant and productive cereal crop has been recognized as indispensable to the global food system and industrial raw materials. China’s corn consumption reached 2.82 × 108 t in 2021, but its production was only 2.65 × 108 t, and China’s corn industry is still in short supply. Timely and reliable corn yield estimation at a large scale is imperative and prerequisite to prevent climate risk and meet the growing demand for corn. While crop growth models are well suited to simulate yield formation, they lack the ability to provide fast and accurate estimates of large-scale yields, owing to the sheer quantity of data they require for parameterization. This study was conducted in the typical rain-fed corn belt, Liaoning province, to evaluate the applicability of our modeling practices. We developed the factors using climate data and MCD43A4 production, and built a county-level corn yield estimation model based on correlation analysis and corn growth mechanisms. We used corn yield data from the county between 2007 and 2017, leaving out 2017 for verification. The results show that our model, with an R2 (the Coefficient of Determination) of 0.82 and an RMSE (Root Mean Square Error) of 279.33 kg/hm2, significantly improved estimation accuracy compared to only using historical records and climate data. Our model’s R2 was 0.34 higher than the trend yield estimation model and 0.27 higher than the climate yield estimation model. Additionally, RMSE was reduced by 300–400 kg/hm2 compared to the other two models. The improvement in performance achieved by adding remote sensing information to the model was due to the inclusion of variables such as monitored corn growth state, which corrected the model predictions. Our work demonstrates a simple, scalable, and accurate method for timely estimation of corn yield at the county level with publicly available multiple-source data, which can potentially be employed in situations with sparse ground data for estimating crop yields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Spectral Technology Applications in Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 4995 KiB  
Article
Rhizoglomus intraradices Is More Prominent in Improving Soil Aggregate Distribution and Stability Than in Improving Plant Physiological Activities
by Wei-Jia Wu, Ying-Ning Zou, Abeer Hashem, Graciela Dolores Avila-Quezada, Elsayed Fathi Abd_Allah and Qiang-Sheng Wu
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1427; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051427 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1571
Abstract
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) confer positive and negative effects on many plants, but it is unclear whether AMF has an effect on soil fertility, aggregate distribution, and stability. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of Rhizoglomus intraradices on plant [...] Read more.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) confer positive and negative effects on many plants, but it is unclear whether AMF has an effect on soil fertility, aggregate distribution, and stability. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of Rhizoglomus intraradices on plant growth, root morphology, leaf chlorophyll and gas exchange, sugar concentrations, and soil nutrients, aggregate distribution, and stability in marigold (Tagetes erecta L.), maize (Zea mays L.), white clover (Trifolium repens L.), and vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.) plants. Twelve weeks after R. intraradices inoculation, maize presented the highest mycorrhizal development, while mycorrhizal dependence was shown to be the decreasing trend in marigold > white clover > vetch > maize. AMF inoculation significantly increased the chlorophyll index of marigold and white clover, the net photosynthetic rate of white clover, the stomatal conductance of maize and white clover, and the transpiration rate of maize. Fructose, glucose, and sucrose in the four plants were differentially affected by R. intraradices. R. intraradices significantly increased the soil organic carbon (SOC) of marigold, maize, and white clover, the Olsen-P of white clover, the available K content of marigold, the easily extractable glomalin-related soil protein (GRSP) of maize, and the difficultly extractable and total GRSP levels of marigold and vetch. In addition, R. intraradices significantly increased the stability of soil water-stable aggregates (WSAs) in all four plants, plus it increased WSA at 0.5–4 mm sizes. Root AMF colonization was significantly positively correlated with WSA stability, SOC, difficultly extractable GRSP, and total GRSP. It is concluded that AMF-triggered changes in plant growth, physiological activities, and soil fertility depended on plant species, but AMF-improved WSA distribution and stability were not dependent on plant species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal(AM) Fungi on Crop and Its Mechanism)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 1692 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Use of Biochar, Poultry and Cattle Manure for the Production of Organic Granular Fertilizers
by Aloyzas Gaudutis, Eglė Jotautienė, Ramūnas Mieldažys, Vaidas Bivainis and Algirdas Jasinskas
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1426; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051426 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2958
Abstract
In agricultural activities, there is an increasing need for organic fertilizers to use nature-friendly materials used to fertilize the soil. Farmers have been using granular organic fertilizers made from composted or dried manure of cattle, poultry, pigs, ash, bone meal, and other materials [...] Read more.
In agricultural activities, there is an increasing need for organic fertilizers to use nature-friendly materials used to fertilize the soil. Farmers have been using granular organic fertilizers made from composted or dried manure of cattle, poultry, pigs, ash, bone meal, and other materials for some time, but the quantities of these organic fertilizers are not large. Biochar is also being intensively studied as a material to improve soil quality and plant growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from soil. The suitability of cattle manure compost, poultry manure, biochar, and their combinations for granular fertilizers was analyzed in this work. The preparation of biochar for granulation may have differences compared to other organic materials due to the moisture content, fractional composition, bulk density, and other parameters of the granulated material, so this work examines the physical–mechanical and chemical properties of cattle and poultry manure and biochar raw material and the final granulated product. Research has found that the fractional composition of raw materials under investigation manure and biochar was up to 2 mm. The moisture content of the studied raw material varied from 8.97% in the case of poultry manure to 25.11% in the case of cattle manure compost. The lowest moisture content was obtained due to additional drying. The addition of biochar reduces the granule density in investigated cases. Poultry manure granules were the most mechanically stable, with a semi-static stability of 382.6 ± 78.08 N. After the addition of biochar, weaker binding properties were determined in the experimental granules. Analysis of the composition of elements shows that these granules can be used for fertilization or soil improvement. High concentrations of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) were detected in the granules. The obtained results showed that it is appropriate to enrich the manure granules with biochar. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 6509 KiB  
Article
Molecular Mechanism of Exogenous Selenium Affecting the Nutritional Quality, Species and Content of Organic Selenium in Mustard
by Linling Li, Shuai Wu, Shiyan Wang, Xinyu Shi, Shuiyuan Cheng and Hua Cheng
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1425; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051425 - 21 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1858
Abstract
It is an essential method for healthy Selenium (Se) supplementation to convert exogenous Se into organic Se via crops. Brassica juncea (L.) Czern (leaf mustard) was employed as plant material in this investigation and was treated with sodium selenite (Na2SeO3 [...] Read more.
It is an essential method for healthy Selenium (Se) supplementation to convert exogenous Se into organic Se via crops. Brassica juncea (L.) Czern (leaf mustard) was employed as plant material in this investigation and was treated with sodium selenite (Na2SeO3). Its physiological indicators, nutritional quality, antioxidant enzyme activity, total Se content, and Se morphology were all evaluated. The absorption, transportation, and transformation mechanisms of Se in mustard were studied using transcriptome data. The results revealed that low concentration of Se treatment promoted the growth of mustard, while high concentration Se treatment inhibited it. The concentration of 10 mg/L Na2SeO3 treatment had the best growth parameters for mustard. Compared to the control group, the content of vitamin C (Vc) and anthocyanins in the treatment group increased to varying degrees, while the content of flavonoids, total phenols, soluble sugar, and soluble protein increased first and then decreased. Five Se forms, Se (IV), Se (VI), selenocystine(SeCys2), selenomethionine (SeMet), and methylselenocysteine (MeSeCys), were detected in the Na2SeO3 treatment group, with organic Se accounting for over 95%. Na2SeO3 treatment can significantly reduce the accumulation of ROS in mustard plants and enhance their stress resistance. Transcriptome data and metabolite association analysis showed that PHO1-H8 promoted the absorption of Na2SeO3 by mustard roots, while SULTR3;3 and SULTR4;1 promoted the transport of Se from roots to the aboveground portion and chloroplasts. Se in mustard was transformed into SeMet, SeCys, MeSeCys, and selenoprotein through the action of genes such as APS, APR, and SEP1, and stored in plant leaves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Breeding and Genetics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 4732 KiB  
Article
A Plastid RNA Polymerase-Associated Protein Is Involved in Early Chloroplast Development in Rice
by Shuang Song, Ying Wang, Xin Ding, Yunlu Tian, Zewan Wu, Hang Li, Qing Li, Yunpeng Wang, Shirong Zhou, Xiaoou Dong, Jianmin Wan and Linglong Liu
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1424; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051424 - 21 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1610
Abstract
Plastid-encoded RNA polymerase (PEP) regulates the expression of chloroplast genes involved in photosynthesis and chloroplast development in rice. The PEP-associated protein (PAP) PAP7/pTAC14 is essential for the formation of the PEP complex. However, the function of PAP7 in chloroplast development in rice remains [...] Read more.
Plastid-encoded RNA polymerase (PEP) regulates the expression of chloroplast genes involved in photosynthesis and chloroplast development in rice. The PEP-associated protein (PAP) PAP7/pTAC14 is essential for the formation of the PEP complex. However, the function of PAP7 in chloroplast development in rice remains unclear. In this study, we identified a mutant, w81, which displays a yellow-green leaf symptom before the four-leaf stage. The seedlings of the w81 mutant display reduced chlorophyll content, abnormal chloroplast structure, and elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) level. After the four-leaf stage, plant leaves of the w81 mutant gradually turn green with increased chlorophyll content. Map-based cloning reveals that the PAP7 in the w81 mutant harbors a T to A single-base substitution. This mutation blocks the normal splicing of the fifth intron and generates 74 bp longer transcripts in the mutant. The OsPAP7 protein mainly localizes to the chloroplast and directly interacts with OsPAP5. Our results highlight that OsPAP7 regulates the expression of PEP-dependent chloroplast genes and plays a key role in chloroplast development in rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Discovery and Utilization of Germplasm Resources in Rice)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 5867 KiB  
Article
Research and Design of Hybrid Optimized Backpropagation (BP) Neural Network PID Algorithm for Integrated Water and Fertilizer Precision Fertilization Control System for Field Crops
by Fenglei Zhu, Lixin Zhang, Xue Hu, Jiawei Zhao, Zihao Meng and Yu Zheng
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1423; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051423 - 21 May 2023
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2186
Abstract
China’s field crops such as cotton, wheat, and tomato have been produced on a large scale, but their cultivation process still adopts more traditional manual fertilization methods, which makes the use of chemical fertilizers in China high and causes waste of fertilizer resources [...] Read more.
China’s field crops such as cotton, wheat, and tomato have been produced on a large scale, but their cultivation process still adopts more traditional manual fertilization methods, which makes the use of chemical fertilizers in China high and causes waste of fertilizer resources and ecological environmental damage. To address the above problems, a hybrid optimization of genetic algorithms and particle swarm optimization (GA–PSO) is used to optimize the initial weights of the backpropagation (BP) neural network, and a hybrid optimization-based BP neural network PID controller is designed to realize the accurate control of fertilizer flow in the integrated water and fertilizer precision fertilization control system for field crops. At the same time, the STM32 microcontroller-based precision fertilizer application control system for integrated water and fertilizer application of large field crops was developed and the performance of the controller was verified experimentally. The results show that the controller has an average maximum overshoot of 5.1% and an average adjustment time of 68.99 s, which is better than the PID and PID control algorithms based on BP neural network (BP–PID) controllers; among them, the hybrid optimization of PID control algorithm based on BP neural network by particle swarm optimization and genetic algorithm(GA–PSO–BP–PID) controller has the best-integrated control performance when the fertilizer application flow rate is 0.6m3/h. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 13348 KiB  
Article
Optimizing Planting Density in Alpine Mountain Strawberry Cultivation in Martell Valley, Italy
by Sebastian Soppelsa, Michael Gasser and Massimo Zago
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1422; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051422 - 21 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2153
Abstract
Optimizing profitability is a challenge that strawberry farmers must face in order to remain competitive. Within this framework, plant density can play a central role. The aim of this two-year study was to investigate how planting density can induce variations in plant growth [...] Read more.
Optimizing profitability is a challenge that strawberry farmers must face in order to remain competitive. Within this framework, plant density can play a central role. The aim of this two-year study was to investigate how planting density can induce variations in plant growth and yield performances in an alpine mountain strawberry cultivation (Martell Valley, South Tyrol, Italy), and consequently quantify the farm profit. Frigo strawberry plants cv. Elsanta were planted in soil on raised beds and subjected to five different planting density levels (30,000 and 45,000 as large spacing; 60,000 as middle spacing; 90,000 and 100,000 plants ha−1 as narrow spacing, corresponding to a plant spacing of 28, 19, 14, 9, and 8.5 cm, respectively). Our findings indicate that the aboveground biomass in plants subjected to low planting density was significantly increased by +50% (end of first year) and even doubled in the second year in comparison with plants in high planting density. Those results were related to higher leaf photosynthetic rate (+12%), and the number of crowns and flower trusses per plant (+40% both) (p < 0.05). The low yield (about 300 g plant−1) observed in the high planting density regime was attributable to smaller fruit size during the first cropping year and to both a reduced number of flowers per plant and fruit size during the second year (p < 0.05). Although the highest yield (more than 400 g plant−1) was obtained with wide plant spacing, the greatest yield per hectare was achieved with high planting densities (28 t ha−1 in comparison with 17 t ha−1 with low plant density level). However, the farm profit must take into account the costs (especially related to the plant material and harvesting costs) that are higher under the high planting density compared with the other density regimes. Indeed, the maximum farm profit was reached with a density of 45,000 plants ha−1 which corresponded to EUR 22,579 ha−1 (over 2 years). Regarding fruit quality, fruits coming from the low plant density level showed a significantly higher color index (+15% more red color) than fruits from high plant density (p < 0.05). In conclusion, our results suggest that a middle planting density can be a fair compromise in terms of plant growth, yield, and farm profit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 630 KiB  
Article
Diversity of Summer Weed Communities in Response to Different Plum Orchard Floor Management in-Row
by Jerzy Lisek
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1421; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051421 - 21 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1059
Abstract
The effect of five methods of in-row weed management on the species composition and diversity of summer weed communities in a plum orchard was evaluated. Different methods of orchard floor management (OFM) were implemented for seven consecutive years from 2009 to 2015. Festuca [...] Read more.
The effect of five methods of in-row weed management on the species composition and diversity of summer weed communities in a plum orchard was evaluated. Different methods of orchard floor management (OFM) were implemented for seven consecutive years from 2009 to 2015. Festuca rubra L. ssp. rubra–rhizomatous perennial grass was sown as a cover crop in the alleys of the orchard, in the tree planting year. In the seventh year of OFM implementation, the treatments were ranked according to the decreasing value of the Shannon–Wiener floristic diversity index as follows: tillage, post-emergence herbicides spraying, mowing, mulch, and weedy control. The highest value of Simpson dominance index was found in the control treatment. In plots with such treatments as control, mowing, tillage, and mulch, the dominant species was F. rubra. This meant that the rhizomatous cover crop from the alleys penetrated and affected the in-row flora. Vegetation of mulched plots was characterized by low value of density and soil cover. The obtained results indicated that the flora developing in the control, sprayed with post-emergence herbicides, tilled and mowed plots had greater potential to provide ecosystem services, than the flora of mulched plots. Full article
19 pages, 4476 KiB  
Article
The Nondestructive Model of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy with Different Pretreatment Transformation for Predicting “Dangshan” Pear Woolliness Disease
by Jiahui Zhang, Li Liu, Yuanfeng Chen, Yuan Rao, Xiaodan Zhang and Xiu Jin
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1420; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051420 - 20 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1600
Abstract
The “Dangshan” pear woolliness response is a physiological disease that mostly occurs in the pear growth process. The appearance of the disease is not obvious, and it is difficult to detect with the naked eye. Therefore, finding a way to quickly and nondestructively [...] Read more.
The “Dangshan” pear woolliness response is a physiological disease that mostly occurs in the pear growth process. The appearance of the disease is not obvious, and it is difficult to detect with the naked eye. Therefore, finding a way to quickly and nondestructively identify “Dangshan” pear woolliness disease is of great significance. In this paper, the near-infrared spectral (NIR) data of “Dangshan” pear samples were collected at 900–1700 nm reflectance spectra using a handheld miniature NIR spectrometer, and the data were modelled and analysed using random forest (RF), support vector machine (SVM) and boosting algorithms under the processing of 24 pretreatment methods. Considering the variations between different pretreatment methods, this work determined the relative optimality index of different pretreatment methods by evaluating their effects on model accuracy and Kappa and selected the best-performing first derivative with standard normal variate and Savitzky–Golay and first derivative with multiplicative scatter correction and Savitzky–Golay as the best pretreatment methods. With the best pretreatment method, all five models in the three categories showed good accuracy and stability after parameter debugging, with accuracy and F1 greater than 0.8 and Kappa floating at approximately 0.7, reflecting the good classification ability of the models and proving that near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in the rapid identification of “Dangshan” pear woolliness response disease was feasible. By comparing the performance differences of the models before and after the pretreatment methods, it was found that the ensemble-learning models such as RF and boosting were more stringent on pretreatment methods in identifying “Dangshan” pear woolliness response disease than support vector machines, and the performance of the ensemble learning models was significantly improved under appropriate pretreatment methods. This experiment provided a relatively stable detection method for “Dangshan” pear woolliness response disease under nonideal detection conditions by analysing the impact of pretreatment methods and models on the prediction result. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Application of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy in Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 6199 KiB  
Article
Detection and Counting of Small Target Apples under Complicated Environments by Using Improved YOLOv7-tiny
by Li Ma, Liya Zhao, Zixuan Wang, Jian Zhang and Guifen Chen
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1419; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051419 - 20 May 2023
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2898
Abstract
Weather disturbances, difficult backgrounds, the shading of fruit and foliage, and other elements can significantly affect automated yield estimation and picking in small target apple orchards in natural settings. This study uses the MinneApple public dataset, which is processed to construct a dataset [...] Read more.
Weather disturbances, difficult backgrounds, the shading of fruit and foliage, and other elements can significantly affect automated yield estimation and picking in small target apple orchards in natural settings. This study uses the MinneApple public dataset, which is processed to construct a dataset of 829 images with complex weather, including 232 images of fog scenarios and 236 images of rain scenarios, and proposes a lightweight detection algorithm based on the upgraded YOLOv7-tiny. In this study, a backbone network was constructed by adding skip connections to shallow features, using P2BiFPN for multi-scale feature fusion and feature reuse at the neck, and incorporating a lightweight ULSAM attention mechanism to reduce the loss of small target features, focusing on the correct target and discard redundant features, thereby improving detection accuracy. The experimental results demonstrate that the model has an mAP of 80.4% and a loss rate of 0.0316. The mAP is 5.5% higher than the original model, and the model size is reduced by 15.81%, reducing the requirement for equipment; In terms of counts, the MAE and RMSE are 2.737 and 4.220, respectively, which are 5.69% and 8.97% lower than the original model. Because of its improved performance and stronger robustness, this experimental model offers fresh perspectives on hardware deployment and orchard yield estimation. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 1898 KiB  
Article
Better Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Improved Mchare Banana Productivity and Profitability in Northern Highlands, Tanzania
by Akida I. Meya, Rony Swennen, Patrick A. Ndakidemi, Kelvin M. Mtei and Roel Merckx
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1418; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051418 - 20 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1552
Abstract
Declining land productivity is a major problem constraining banana (Musa spp.) production in Tanzania. Banana fruit yield consequently reaches only 15% of the potential, primarily due to inadequate soil nutrient replenishment. Improving farmers’ soil nutrient replenishment strategy in banana home gardens, which [...] Read more.
Declining land productivity is a major problem constraining banana (Musa spp.) production in Tanzania. Banana fruit yield consequently reaches only 15% of the potential, primarily due to inadequate soil nutrient replenishment. Improving farmers’ soil nutrient replenishment strategy in banana home gardens, which relies on applications of cattle manure only, by mixing with inorganic fertilizer resources can increase land productivity and can improve the overall profitability of banana production in the country. Experiments were conducted at Tarakea, Lyamungo, and Tengeru to determine the effects of organic fertilizer resources (animal manure and crop residue) and their combination with inorganic fertilizer resources on the productivity and profitability of Mchare banana production. Banana fruit yield differed significantly among the experimental sites, with drier areas of Tengeru recording, on average, 19.6 t ha−1 year−1, while the more humid areas of Lyamungo recorded, on average, 39.3 ha−1 year−1. Mchare banana plants grown under sole inorganic fertilizer produced significantly low yields (33.0 t ha−1 year−1) compared with those fertilized with cattle manure only, which lifted the yields to 38.8 t ha−1 year−1, but the latter required more labor input. Soil nitrogen (N) fertilization via cattle manure + mineral fertilizer gave the highest average banana fruit yield (43.0 t ha−1 year−1) across the sites, and reduced fertilization costs by 32%. Subsequently, this integrated fertilization technique generated the highest average net benefits in all sites and both cropping cycles. Thus, the findings of this study form a basis to improve land productivity and profitability in banana-based home gardens in the study area by directing more labor input to good soil N management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Organic Amendments in Agricultural Production)
Show Figures

Figure 1

23 pages, 5001 KiB  
Article
Deciphering the Impact of Induced Drought in Agriculture Soils: Changes in Microbial Community Structure, Enzymatic and Metabolic Diversity
by Kalisa Amarsingh Bogati, Patrycja Golińska, Piotr Sewerniak, Aleksandra Burkowska-But and Maciej Walczak
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1417; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051417 - 20 May 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1960
Abstract
Prolonged drought stress may have a significant impact on the structure and activity of the soil microbial community. Our study aims to investigate the impact of short-term drought (2 months) on the microbial community structure, enzymes, and metabolic diversity in four agricultural soils [...] Read more.
Prolonged drought stress may have a significant impact on the structure and activity of the soil microbial community. Our study aims to investigate the impact of short-term drought (2 months) on the microbial community structure, enzymes, and metabolic diversity in four agricultural soils (Gniewkowo (G), Lulkowo (L), Wielka Nieszawka (N) and Suchatówka (S) sites) in Poland. These four types of soil were selected based on differences in their texture (gleyic luvisol Phaeozem in G (rich in clay and humus), stagnic luvisol in L, fluvisol in N and haplic luvisol in S (sandy)). We investigated the (1) number of bacteria, actinomycetes (formally phylum Actinomycetota) and fungi; (2) microbial community (16S rRNA and ITS amplicon regions); (3) biological activity by community-level physiological profiling (CLPP); (4) soil enzyme activities (dehydrogenases (DH), phosphatases (acid ACP and alkaline ALP) and urease (UR)); and (5) soil chemical properties. At the end of our experiment, we observed a significant decrease in soil moisture content with the highest in the soil from the S site. Overall, there was no change in total bacteria, but actinomycetes and fungal numbers increased after the 1st week with a decrease in moisture content. ACP activity decreased in three out of four analyzed soil samples. The exception was in sample G, where activity increased for 1–2 weeks and then decreased. ALP activity significantly increased with a decrease in moisture in the 1st week and was lowest at the end of the experiment. DH activity increased up to the 4th week in the G and N samples and up to the 2nd week in the L and S samples. UR activity showed variations in the analyzed samples. A reduction in the utilization of carbon sources (except D-mannitol and L-asparagine) was noted with the highest reduction in the G sample followed by the L, N and S samples. Thus, the pattern of changes was different depending on the analyzed soil type. The 16S rRNA and ITS amplicon sequencing revealed a decrease in the relative abundance of Pseudomonadota, Basidiomycota, Apicomplexa, and increased abundance of Actinomycetota, Bacillota and Ascomycota under prolonged drought conditions. With this, we concluded that drought conditions resulted in a significant alteration of soil microbial communities, enzyme activities, and metabolic diversity in the investigated soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Climate Change Effect on the Diversity of Soil Microorganisms)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 5119 KiB  
Article
Continuous Cropping Alters Soil Hydraulic and Physicochemical Properties in the Karst Region of Southwestern China
by Xu Yang, Ke Zhang, Hiba Shaghaleh, Zhiming Qi, Chao Gao, Tingting Chang, Jie Zhang, Muhammad Zia-ur-Rehman and Yousef Alhaj Hamoud
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1416; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051416 - 20 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1721
Abstract
Continuous cropping causes soil degradation and decreases crop yield in the karst region of southwestern China. However, the relationship between continuous cropping systems and soil hydraulic and physicochemical properties remains incompletely elucidated. In this study, we performed a comparative investigation on the soil [...] Read more.
Continuous cropping causes soil degradation and decreases crop yield in the karst region of southwestern China. However, the relationship between continuous cropping systems and soil hydraulic and physicochemical properties remains incompletely elucidated. In this study, we performed a comparative investigation on the soil physicochemical properties and soil-water-characteristic-curve-derived parameters from sites subjected to 3, 5, or 7 years of continuous cropping (CC3, CC5, and CC7) and cropping rotation (CC0). Soil organic matter content, clay content, and pH were significantly greater in soils under CC0 and short-term cropping (CC3) than in soils under long-term cropping (CC5 and CC7). This finding illustrated that continuous cropping reduced soil organic matter content, clay content, and pH. Across all continuous cropping durations, soil water holding capacity at 40~60 cm was greater than the 20~40 cm and 0~20 cm layers. The significantly greater soil water characteristics (except saturated moisture) in CC0 and CC3 soils than in CC5 or CC7 soils at all soil depths demonstrated that soil water characteristics deteriorated with the prolongation of cropping duration. The same soil water characteristics were positively correlated with soil organic matter content, clay content, and pH. These correlations, when viewed within the context of continuous cropping, can inform the development of more sustainable cropping systems in similar karst regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Research and Extension in Agronomic Soil Fertility Series II)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 1734 KiB  
Article
Field–Road Operation Classification of Agricultural Machine GNSS Trajectories Using Spatio-Temporal Neural Network
by Ying Chen, Guangyuan Li, Kun Zhou and Caicong Wu
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1415; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051415 - 20 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1521
Abstract
The classification that distinguishes whether machines are driving on roads or working in fields based on their global navigation satellite system (GNSS) trajectories is essential for effective management of cross-regional agricultural machinery services in China. In this paper, a novel field–road classification method [...] Read more.
The classification that distinguishes whether machines are driving on roads or working in fields based on their global navigation satellite system (GNSS) trajectories is essential for effective management of cross-regional agricultural machinery services in China. In this paper, a novel field–road classification method utilizing multiple deep neural networks (MultiDNN) is proposed to enhance the accuracy of field and road point classification. The MultiDNN model incorporates a bi-directional long short-term memory network (BiLSTM), a topology adaptive graph convolution network (TAG), and a self-attention network (ATT) to effectively extract spatio-temporal features for field–road classification. The BiLSTM is used to capture temporal relationships along the time axis of a trajectory, providing global contextual information for each point. Then, the TAG network is used to obtain the spatio-temporal relationships between adjacent points in a trajectory, offering local contextual information for each point. Finally, the ATT network assigns varying weights to features to emphasize important characteristics. The performance of the MultiDNN model was evaluated using a wheat harvesting trajectory dataset, and the results showed that it achieved a high degree of accuracy, up to 89.75%, outperforming the best baseline method (GCN) by 2.79%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Precision and Digital Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 854 KiB  
Article
Yield, Nutritional Composition, and In Vitro Ruminal Digestibility of Conventional and Brown Midrib (BMR) Corn for Silage as Affected by Planting Population and Harvest Maturity
by Omar Manuel Peña, Cesar Velasquez, Gonzalo Ferreira and Matias Jose Aguerre
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1414; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051414 - 20 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1317
Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of corn-planting population, using two conventional (Conv) and two brown-midrib (BMR) hybrids, and maturity stage at harvest on forage dry-matter (DM) yield, silage quality, and in-vitro fiber digestibility. The study was conducted in [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of corn-planting population, using two conventional (Conv) and two brown-midrib (BMR) hybrids, and maturity stage at harvest on forage dry-matter (DM) yield, silage quality, and in-vitro fiber digestibility. The study was conducted in two fields with contrasting production potential, where both corn hybrids were planted at a theoretical planting population of 59,000, 79,000, and 99,000 seeds/ha. Corn was harvested at the early-dent (early) or 2/3 milk-line (late) maturity stage. An interaction between planting population and field existed for biomass yield. We observed a consistent increase in forage yield with increased planting population only in the field of higher production potential. Corn hybrids that contained the BMR trait did not penalize yield but had a consistently higher digestibility of neutral detergent fiber (aNDFom) compared to conventional hybrids. Except for starch concentration, no interaction existed between planting population and maturity for forage yield, fiber digestibility, and nutritional composition. A response to increasing planting population on starch concentration was observed only when corn was harvested at the L = late maturity stage. In conclusion, increasing corn-planting population may increase forage yield, but such an effect may depend on the soil’s growing potential. In addition, planting population had a negligible effect on the nutritional composition and fiber digestibility of corn silage and was minimally affected by the maturity stage at harvest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prospects for the Development of Silage and Green Fodder)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 3509 KiB  
Article
Soil Aggregates Stability Response to Summer Fallow Tillage in Rainfed Winter Wheat Fields on the Loess Plateau
by Zewei Qi, Weihua Cui, Zimeng Tian, Jiahua Li, Yuechao Wang, Peng Wu, Zhiqiang Gao and Jianfu Xue
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1413; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051413 - 19 May 2023
Viewed by 1187
Abstract
Soil aggregates are one of the most important indicators of soil quality, which can be affected strongly by soil tillage. Little is known about the composition and stability of soil aggregates under summer fallow tillage in rainfed winter wheat fields on the Loess [...] Read more.
Soil aggregates are one of the most important indicators of soil quality, which can be affected strongly by soil tillage. Little is known about the composition and stability of soil aggregates under summer fallow tillage in rainfed winter wheat fields on the Loess Plateau. Soil aggregates were assessed before sowing and after the harvest of winter wheat under three tillage treatments during summer fallow, including minimum tillage (FMT), subsoiling (FST) and plough tillage (FPT). The results showed that the 0.25–2 mm soil mechanical-stable aggregates (MSA) under the FPT treatment were significantly higher (25.5–42.1%) compared with the FMT treatment in the 0–40 cm soil layer before sowing. The FMT treatment significantly increased the 0.5–2 mm size WSA content (24.6–342.4%) compared with the FPT treatment in the 0–20 cm soil layer before sowing and after harvesting. Compared with the FMT treatment, the FPT treatment significantly increased the stability of the MSA in the 0–20 cm soil layer before sowing and the FST treatment significantly increased the stability of the MSA in the 0–50 cm soil layer after harvest. The FPT treatment significantly decreased the geometric mean diameter (4.2–9.3%) and the stability rate (73.6–252.6%) and increased the destruction rate (1.3–3.5%) and the unstable aggregate index of the WSA (0.8–2.3%) in the 0–20 cm soil layer before sowing, compared with the FMT treatment. In summary, the application of FPT and FST increased the stability of the MSA in the 0–20 cm soil layer; however, FMT improved the stability of the WSA in the 0–40 cm soil layer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management and Tillage Practice in Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 1691 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Vegetative Development of Quinoa under Water Stress by Applying Different Organic Amendments
by Muhammad Zubair Akram, Angela Libutti and Anna Rita Rivelli
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1412; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051412 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1494
Abstract
Prolonged drought periods, increasingly occurring worldwide due to global climate change, could affect the growth and productivity of both traditional and climate-resilient crops, including quinoa. Specifically, the vegetative growing cycle of this species is highly sensitive to drought conditions. In this context, using [...] Read more.
Prolonged drought periods, increasingly occurring worldwide due to global climate change, could affect the growth and productivity of both traditional and climate-resilient crops, including quinoa. Specifically, the vegetative growing cycle of this species is highly sensitive to drought conditions. In this context, using organic amendments could help plants cope with drought due to their ability to enhance soil water status. So, the current study aimed to investigate the effect of different organic amendments, i.e., two biochars (from woodchips and vineyard prunings) and a vermicompost (from cattle manure), applied to the soil alone and mixed at 2% rate (w/w), on the vegetative development of quinoa (cv. Titicaca), during which a period of water stress was imposed from the twelve-leaf stage to the bud stage. A set of growth-related parameters were measured both during and at the end of the experiment, along with a set of water-related parameters, at the end of the water-stress period and after soil re-watering. The results showed that woodchip biochar, both alone and mixed with vermicompost, significantly affected plant growth during the water-stress period, also allowing a quicker recovery once drought conditions ended. Indeed, the leaf number and area, SPAD index, leaf and stem fresh weight, and dry matter content in plants treated with woodchip biochar, alone and mixed with vermicompost, were higher than vineyard pruning biochar, alone and mixed with vermicompost and similar to the well-watered control plants. Similar results were observed considering the yield contributing traits detected at the end of the experiment, including the main panicle length, number of sub-panicle, as well as fresh weight and dry matter content of both panicle and sub-panicles. Additionally, the water-related parameters, especially the low turgid weight to dry weight ratio of woodchip biochar treated plants, showed evidence of better growth than vineyard pruning biochar. At the end of the experiment, the WUE of plants treated with woodchip biochar and vermicompost, both alone and mixed, was higher than vineyard pruning biochar alone and mixed with vermicompost. Among the tested organic amendments, woodchip biochar alone and mixed with vermicompost positively affected the vegetative growth response of quinoa under water-stress conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Resource Management for Crop Production and Quality)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 12324 KiB  
Article
TS-YOLO: An All-Day and Lightweight Tea Canopy Shoots Detection Model
by Zhi Zhang, Yongzong Lu, Yiqiu Zhao, Qingmin Pan, Kuang Jin, Gang Xu and Yongguang Hu
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1411; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051411 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1782
Abstract
Accurate and rapid detection of tea shoots within the tea canopy is essential for achieving the automatic picking of famous tea. The current detection models suffer from two main issues: low inference speed and difficulty in deployment on movable platforms, which constrain the [...] Read more.
Accurate and rapid detection of tea shoots within the tea canopy is essential for achieving the automatic picking of famous tea. The current detection models suffer from two main issues: low inference speed and difficulty in deployment on movable platforms, which constrain the development of intelligent tea picking equipment. Furthermore, the detection of tea canopy shoots is currently limited to natural daylight conditions, with no reported studies on detecting tea shoots under artificial light during the nighttime. Developing an all-day tea picking platform would significantly improve the efficiency of tea picking. In view of these problems, the research objective was to propose an all-day lightweight detection model for tea canopy shoots (TS-YOLO) based on YOLOv4. Firstly, image datasets of tea canopy shoots sample were collected under low light (6:30–7:30 and 18:30–19:30), medium light (8:00–9:00 and 17:00–18:00), high light (11:00–15:00), and artificial light at night. Then, the feature extraction network of YOLOv4 and the standard convolution of the entire network were replaced with the lightweight neural network MobilenetV3 and the depth-wise separable convolution. Finally, to compensate for the lack of feature extraction ability in the lightweight neural network, a deformable convolutional layer and coordinate attention modules were added to the network. The results showed that the improved model size was 11.78 M, 18.30% of that of YOLOv4, and the detection speed was improved by 11.68 FPS. The detection accuracy, recall, and AP of tea canopy shoots under different light conditions were 85.35%, 78.42%, and 82.12%, respectively, which were 1.08%, 12.52%, and 8.20% higher than MobileNetV3-YOLOv4, respectively. The developed lightweight model could effectively and rapidly detect tea canopy shoots under all-day light conditions, which provides the potential to develop an all-day intelligent tea picking platform. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue AI, Sensors and Robotics for Smart Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 2110 KiB  
Article
Changes in Soil Sulfate Sulfur Content as an Effect of Fertilizer Granules Containing Elemental Sulfur, Halloysite and Phosphate Rock
by Aneta Lisowska, Barbara Filipek-Mazur, Andrzej Kalisz, Olga Gorczyca and Agnieszka Kowalczyk
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1410; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051410 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2159
Abstract
With a shortage of sulfur in the soil and an increasing world population and, thus, food consumption volume, the demand for this important nutrient is likely to increase, both globally and regionally. The purpose of this model incubation study was to evaluate the [...] Read more.
With a shortage of sulfur in the soil and an increasing world population and, thus, food consumption volume, the demand for this important nutrient is likely to increase, both globally and regionally. The purpose of this model incubation study was to evaluate the effect of fertilizer granule applications containing elemental sulfur, halloysite and phosphate rock on the content of the bioavailable form of sulfur and phosphorus, as well as dehydrogenase activity and pH value of two soils differing in granulometric composition and chemical parameters. In addition to the standard procedure of analysis of variance, the authors propose various methods of advanced statistical analysis: regression modeling, including simple regression and multiple regression, or multivariate methods of grouping objects and traits resulting in the creation of heatmaps. With respect to the control, the application of fertilizer granules generally had no significant effect on the content of available phosphorus and the activity of dehydrogenase, and had little effect on the degree of acidity of the soils tested. There was a greater effect of introducing fertilizer granules on the content of sulfate sulfur in heavy soil than in medium soil. Using advanced statistical techniques revealed relationships between the studied soil parameters and changes in their values as affected by the experimental factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Crop Production Management Practices)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 2242 KiB  
Article
The Potential of Bacterial Strains of Luteovulum sphaeroides W22 and W47 for Producing δ-Aminolevulinic Acid to Improve Soil Quality, Growth and Yield of Saline-Irrigated Rice Cultivated in Salt-Contaminated Soil
by Nguyen Quoc Khuong, Dang Phan Thien Minh, Le Thi My Thu and Le Vinh Thuc
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1409; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051409 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1591
Abstract
The present study aimed to identify the abilities of the δ-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) producing purple non-sulfur bacteria (PNSB), Luteovulum sphaeroides W22 and W47, to reduce the Na+ concentration, and to ameliorate the soil fertility, nutrients uptake, growth and yield of rice [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to identify the abilities of the δ-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) producing purple non-sulfur bacteria (PNSB), Luteovulum sphaeroides W22 and W47, to reduce the Na+ concentration, and to ameliorate the soil fertility, nutrients uptake, growth and yield of rice on the salt-contaminated soil. A two-factor experiment was conducted following a completely randomized block design. The factors were the frequency of applying saline irrigation (zero, one, two, three and four times) and the ALA-producing PNSB supplementation (applying only W22, only W47 and mixed W22 + W47). The results revealed that supplying the PNSB mixture not only reduced the proline content but also increased the plant height, number of panicles per pot, percentage of filled seeds, contents of NH4+, PO43−, total N, P uptake and grain yield. The mixed PNSB application also reduced the Na content and the total Na uptake in plants. L. sphaeroides W22 and W47 decreased the proline content by 31.3% and increased the grain yield by 27.2% in the condition of applying 5‰ saline irrigation four times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Soil and Plant Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 2993 KiB  
Article
The Inhibitory Mechanism of Eugenol on Lasiodiplodia theobromae and Its Induced Disease Resistance of Passion Fruit
by Yanzheng Sun, Liang Shuai, Donglan Luo and Liangjie Ba
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1408; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051408 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1460
Abstract
The inhibitory effects and mechanisms of eugenol were studied in pathogenic fungi that were isolated from passion fruit affected with naturally occurring fruit rot; additionally, the effect of eugenol treatment on fruit rot resistance in passion fruit was investigated. The corresponding results demonstrated [...] Read more.
The inhibitory effects and mechanisms of eugenol were studied in pathogenic fungi that were isolated from passion fruit affected with naturally occurring fruit rot; additionally, the effect of eugenol treatment on fruit rot resistance in passion fruit was investigated. The corresponding results demonstrated that the pathogenic fungus causing passion fruit rot was Lasiodiplodia theobromae and that the minimal inhibitory concentration of eugenol against L. theobromae was 0.30 mg/mL. Eugenol significantly inhibited mycelial growth and spore germination of this fruit rot fungus. Further, nucleic acid release, electrical conductivity, and protein and soluble sugar content of the fruit rot fungus gradually increased with increasing eugenol concentrations. Propidium iodide staining revealed that the cell membrane integrity of L. theobromae hyphae was disrupted when treated with eugenol. In addition, eugenol treatment inhibited the spread of disease spot diameter after inoculation with L. theobromae, effectively increased APX, SOD, CAT, POD, 4CL, C4H, and PAL activities, promoted the accumulation of disease-stage-related proteins CHI and GLU, and increased the total phenol and flavonoid content during storage in passion fruit. Overall, these results suggest that eugenol has good application prospects for the effective control of fruit rot in passion fruit. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 3450 KiB  
Review
Research Status, Methods and Prospects of Air-Assisted Spray Technology
by Zhiming Wei, Rui Li, Xinyu Xue, Yitian Sun, Songchao Zhang, Qinglong Li, Chun Chang, Zhihong Zhang, Yongjia Sun and Qingqing Dou
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1407; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051407 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1749
Abstract
Air-assisted boom sprayer is proven to be one of the best pesticide application methods to achieve uniform deposition of droplets in the canopy and improve the effective utilization of pesticides. However, the air flow velocity, air flow volume and air flow direction of [...] Read more.
Air-assisted boom sprayer is proven to be one of the best pesticide application methods to achieve uniform deposition of droplets in the canopy and improve the effective utilization of pesticides. However, the air flow velocity, air flow volume and air flow direction of the orchard sprayer should match the characteristic parameters of the target canopy, equipment spraying parameters and meteorological conditions so as to improve the spraying quality and reduce environmental pollution. This paper elaborates on the research status of air-assisted field sprayers and orchard sprayers, summarizes the research methods of air-assisted sprayers in four aspects, including experimental verification, theoretical analysis, simulation and structural optimization, and clarifies the advantages and disadvantages of these methods. It also presents two future research and development trends, including the intelligent, precise dynamic regulation of air flow velocity, air flow volume and air flow direction and the instant feedback of spraying quality, hoping to provide a reference for the research of air-assisted spray technology and equipment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Precision and Digital Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 4458 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Sequence Analysis of Defense Response of Resistant and Susceptible Bottle Gourd to Powdery Mildew
by Zhaohui Zhang, Kuanhong Wang, Chunhong Chen, Shoubo Tian, Jue Wu, Jianyong Li, Lingjuan Kong, Xiaofeng Yang, Changwei Zhang, Ying Li, Hongfang Zhu and Dong Xiao
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1406; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051406 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1444
Abstract
Powdery mildew (PM) is the main disease that afflicts bottle gourd. Previous studies on PM mainly focused on its effects on pumpkin, melon, and other crops; however, the exact molecular mechanism of bottle gourd resistance to PM remains unclear. RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) technology [...] Read more.
Powdery mildew (PM) is the main disease that afflicts bottle gourd. Previous studies on PM mainly focused on its effects on pumpkin, melon, and other crops; however, the exact molecular mechanism of bottle gourd resistance to PM remains unclear. RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) technology was used to investigate the dynamic changes in leaf transcriptome profiles between resistant and susceptible gourd at 12, 24, 48, and 72 h post-inoculation with powdery mildew. Compared with a susceptible variety (G3), the expression levels of the differentially expressed genes of phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, starch, and sucrose metabolism, and plant–pathogen interaction pathways in disease-resistant plants were upregulated. We propose that disease resistance and tolerance in bottle gourd are enhanced via several pathways, including the antioxidant system, phenylalanine biosynthesis, and cell wall cellulose synthesis. Our research will provide an important basis for further screening and breeding PM resistance in bottle gourd. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegetable Molecular Biology for Plant Growth and Development)
Show Figures

Figure 1

25 pages, 4951 KiB  
Article
Polyphenolic Acid Changes in Stem Cuttings of Rosa Cultivars in Relation to Phenological Stage and Rooting Enhancers
by Marta Joanna Monder and Andrzej Pacholczak
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1405; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051405 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1275
Abstract
Biostimulants and rooting enhancers, i.e., auxins, affect many aspects of plant development. The experiment in this paper focused on the response of single-node rose semi-woody cuttings to rhizogenesis-enhancing preparations based on plant extracts in terms of changes in polyphenolic acid content. The shoots [...] Read more.
Biostimulants and rooting enhancers, i.e., auxins, affect many aspects of plant development. The experiment in this paper focused on the response of single-node rose semi-woody cuttings to rhizogenesis-enhancing preparations based on plant extracts in terms of changes in polyphenolic acid content. The shoots were cut at four stages of flowering development: (i) flower buds closed, (ii) open flower, (iii) immediately after petal shedding, (iv) 7–14 days after petal shedding. The experimental material consisted of six old, once-flowering rose cultivars (‘Duchesse d’Angoulême’, ‘Hurdals’, ‘Maiden’s Blush’, ‘Mousseuse Rouge’, Rosa beggeriana ‘Polstjårnan’, R. helenae ‘Semiplena’). The following rooting-enhancers were applied: commercial powder containing (i) 0.4% indolebutyric acid (IBA) or (ii) 0.2% naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) or commercial plant-extract mixtures named in the experiment, i.e., (iii) Seaweed Preparation, (iv) Humic Preparation, and (v) Plant Preparation, and (vi) the control cuttings, which remained untreated. The level of polyphenolic acids was determined before and after rooting. The content of polyphenolic acids had a tendency to decrease during the period of rhizogenesis for all cultivars and all phenological stages. Changes in polyphenolics were affected by all the rooting enhancers, but the contents of these compounds before and after rooting was not found to unambiguously correlate with either the final rooting percentage or quality of cuttings. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop