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Agriculture, Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2020) – 67 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The aim of this research is to evaluate residue levels (LC-MS/MS method) of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam applied as seed dressing in sugar beet plants during two growing seasons in fields located in different agro-climatic regions and in greenhouse trials. In 2015, 25 to 27 days post planting (PP) maximum of 0.028% of imidacloprid and 0.077% of thiamethoxam were recovered from the emerged plants, respectively. In 2016, the recovery rate from the emerged plants 40 days PP was 0.003% for imidacloprid and 50 days PP was up to 0.022% for thiamethoxam. There were no neonicotinoid residues above the maximum residue level in roots at the time of harvesting, except in case of samples from thiamethoxam variant collected from greenhouse trials in 2016 (0.053 mg/kg). View this paper
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Article
Comparative Response of Huanglongbing-Affected Sweet Orange Trees to Nitrogen and Zinc Fertilization under Microsprinkler Irrigation
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100489 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1125
Abstract
Nitrogen and micronutrients have a key role in many citrus plant enzyme reactions. Although enough micronutrients may be present in the soil, deficiency can develop due to soil depletion or the formation of insoluble compounds. The objectives of this study were to (1) [...] Read more.
Nitrogen and micronutrients have a key role in many citrus plant enzyme reactions. Although enough micronutrients may be present in the soil, deficiency can develop due to soil depletion or the formation of insoluble compounds. The objectives of this study were to (1) determine the adsorption, distribution, and availability of Zn in a sandy soil; (2) compare the effectiveness of foliar and soil application methods of Zn on Huanglongbing [HLB] affected trees; (3) compare foliar application rates of Zn for HLB-affected trees; (4) determine the effect of N rates on yield, soil inorganic N distribution patterns, and tree growth parameters. Tree rows were supplied with three N rates of 168, 224 and 280 kg·N·ha−1 and Zn at single and double recommended rates (recommended rate = 5.6 kg·Zn·ha−1) using foliar and soil application methods, in a split-plot experimental design. The results show that Zn concentration in the 0–15 cm soil depth was three times higher than the 30–45 and 45–60 cm soil depths during the study. An adsorption study revealed high Zn (KD = 6.5) sorption coefficients at 0–15 cm soil depth, while 30–45 and 45–60 cm depths showed little sorption. Leaf Zn concentration for foliar spray was two times higher than the soil application method. A nitrogen level of 224 kg N ha−1 improved canopy volume when compared to other N levels at the expense of reduced fruit weight. Foliar Zn application at 5.6 or 11.2 kg ha−1 and N rate at 224 kg ha−1 appear to be adequate for improving the performance of HLB-affected citrus trees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecosystem, Environment and Climate Change in Agriculture)
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Review
The Thin Line between Pathogenicity and Endophytism: The Case of Lasiodiplodia theobromae
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100488 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1939
Abstract
Many fungi reported for endophytic occurrence are better known as plant pathogens on different crops, raising questions about their actual relationships with the hosts and other plants in the biocoenosis and about the factors underlying the lifestyle shift. This paper offers an overview [...] Read more.
Many fungi reported for endophytic occurrence are better known as plant pathogens on different crops, raising questions about their actual relationships with the hosts and other plants in the biocoenosis and about the factors underlying the lifestyle shift. This paper offers an overview of the endophytic occurrence of Lasiodiplodia theobromae (Dothideomycetes, Botryosphaeriaceae), a species known to be able to colonize many plants as both an endophyte and a pathogen. Prevalently spread in tropical and subtropical areas, there are concerns that it may propagate to the temperate region following global warming and the increasing trade of plant materials. The state of the art concerning the biochemical properties of endophytic strains of this species is also examined with reference to a range of biotechnological applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occurrence and Functions of Endophytic Fungi in Crop Species)
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Article
Herbicide Uptake and Regrowth Ability of Tall Fescue and Orchardgrass in S-Metolachlor-Contaminated Leachates from Sand Pot Experiment
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 487; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100487 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 759
Abstract
The ability of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea L.) and orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), to remediate leachates polluted with S-metolachlor (SMR) has been assessed in static hydroponic cultures. Different SMR concentrations (0.25, 1.00, and 2.00 mg L−1) were applied in [...] Read more.
The ability of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea L.) and orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), to remediate leachates polluted with S-metolachlor (SMR) has been assessed in static hydroponic cultures. Different SMR concentrations (0.25, 1.00, and 2.00 mg L−1) were applied in the growth media to test the capacity of the two grasses to tolerate and uptake this herbicide, and to regrowth after mowing. S-metolachlor did not severely affect the dry weight aerial biomass of D. glomerata and F. arundinacea, which were reduced by 5% and 10%, respectively, when compared to the untreated control, regardless of the SMR concentrations in the leachate. The regrowth ability of aerial biomass after mowing was reduced at the different SMR concentrations, according to a dose–response model. The SMR concentrations, which reduced the regrowth ability of F. arundinacea and D. glomerata of 10% and 30%, were found to be EC10 (Effective Concentration) of 0.21 and 0.38 mg L−1 and EC30 of 0.45 and 0.74 mg L−1, respectively. These values could be assumed as the SMR concentrations that were well tolerated by both the species, without compromising their aerial biomass regrowth. Finally, tall fescue was found to be more effective and faster than orchardgrass in decreasing the SMR in the leachate and, therefore, this species should be preferred to be used in the vegetative buffer strips (VBS). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioremediation in Agricultural and Urban Soils)
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Article
Agronomic Biofortification with Selenium in Tomato Crops (Solanum lycopersicon L. Mill)
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100486 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 832
Abstract
Biofortification aims to increase the concentration of bioavailable elements in crops, to increase their nutritional quality. Selenium is a trace element of great impact on the antioxidant metabolism of plants and its accumulation is poor in species such as Solanum lycopersicon, so [...] Read more.
Biofortification aims to increase the concentration of bioavailable elements in crops, to increase their nutritional quality. Selenium is a trace element of great impact on the antioxidant metabolism of plants and its accumulation is poor in species such as Solanum lycopersicon, so adding it is part of biofortification programs. The present work analyzes the capacity of sodium selenite (Na2SeO3) to increase the concentration of Selenium in tomatoes plants and fruits. For this, three treatments were applied (0, 2, and 5 mg L−1 of sodium selenite) using irrigation water as a vehicle. 40 days after transplanting, the accumulation of selenium and macronutrients in leaves, stems, and fruits was quantified, as well as their impact on tomato plant productivity. Agronomic variables such as height (cm), diameter (mm) of stems, number and weight (g) of fruits produced were determined. The results were analyzed by ANOVA and later, a Tukey mean comparison test was performed. An increase in the accumulation of Se was observed, being up to 53% in the fruits under the 5 mg L−1 treatment compared to the control. However, this increase did not have a noticeable impact on macronutrient content and tomato yield, but rather, contributed to the improvement of the nutritional quality of the tomato. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Production)
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Article
Contrasting Response Mechanisms of Maize Lines to Striga hermonthica
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100485 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 794
Abstract
Strigahermonthica (Del.) Benth is a parasitic weed that devastates cereals in Sub-Saharan Africa. Several control measures have been proposed for the parasite, of these, host plant resistance is considered the most cost-effective for poor farmers. Some tolerant/resistant lines have been developed and [...] Read more.
Strigahermonthica (Del.) Benth is a parasitic weed that devastates cereals in Sub-Saharan Africa. Several control measures have been proposed for the parasite, of these, host plant resistance is considered the most cost-effective for poor farmers. Some tolerant/resistant lines have been developed and these lines display tolerance/resistance mechanisms to the parasite. A series of studies was done to investigate some of the mechanisms through which a resistant (TZISTR1108) and a susceptible (5057) maize line responds to S. hermonthica infestation, as well as the effects of parasitism on these lines. In this study, TZISTR1108 stimulated the germination and attachment of fewer S. hermonthica plants than 5057, both in the laboratory and on the field. In TZISTR1108, the growth of the S. hermonthica plants, that successfully attached, was slowed. When compared to the un-infested plants, the infested resistant plants showed fewer effects of parasitism than the infested susceptible plants. The infested TZISTR1108 plants were more vigorous, taller and resembled their un-infected counterparts. There were substantial reductions in the stomatal conductance and nitrogen content of the 5057 upon infestation. The resistant inbred line showed multiple mechanisms of resistance to S. hermonthica infestation. It thrives better than the susceptible line by reducing the attachment of S. hermonthica and it delays the parasite’s development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Protection, Diseases, Pest and Weeds)
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Article
Neonicotinoid Residues in Sugar Beet Plants and Soil under Different Agro-Climatic Conditions
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100484 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1321
Abstract
European sugar beet was mostly grown from seeds treated by neonicotinoids which provided efficient control of some important sugar beet pests (aphids and flea beetles). The EU commission regulation from 2018 to ultimately restrict the outdoor application of imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, and clothianidin could [...] Read more.
European sugar beet was mostly grown from seeds treated by neonicotinoids which provided efficient control of some important sugar beet pests (aphids and flea beetles). The EU commission regulation from 2018 to ultimately restrict the outdoor application of imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, and clothianidin could significantly affect European sugar beet production. Although alternative insecticides (spinosad, chlorantraniliprole, neem) are shown to have certain effects on particular pests when applied as seed treatment, it is not likely that in near future any insecticide will be identified as a good candidate for neonicotinoids’ substitution. The aim of this research is to evaluate residue levels (LC-MS/MS method) of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam applied as seed dressing in sugar beet plants during two growing seasons in fields located in different agro-climatic regions and in greenhouse trials. In 2015, 25 to 27 days post planting (PP) maximum of 0.028% of imidacloprid and 0.077% of thiamethoxam were recovered from the emerged plants, respectively. In 2016, the recovery rate from the emerged plants 40 days PP was 0.003% for imidacloprid and 50 days PP was up to 0.022% for thiamethoxam. There were no neonicotinoid residues above the maximum residue level in roots at the time of harvesting, except in case of samples from thiamethoxam variant collected from greenhouse trials in 2016 (0.053 mg/kg). The results of this research lead to the conclusion that the seed treatment of sugar beet leaves minimal trace in plants because of the complete degradation while different behavior has been observed in the two fields and a glasshouse trial regarding the residues in soil. Dry conditions, leaching incapacity, or irregular flushing can result in higher concentrations in soil which can present potential risk for the succeeding crops. The results of our study could provide additional arguments about possible risk assessment for seed treatment in sugar beet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management of Field Crops)
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Article
Mapping Paddy Rice Using Weakly Supervised Long Short-Term Memory Network with Time Series Sentinel Optical and SAR Images
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100483 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 988
Abstract
Rice is one of the most important staple food sources worldwide. Effective and cheap monitoring of rice planting areas is demanded by many developing countries. This study proposed a weakly supervised paddy rice mapping approach based on long short-term memory (LSTM) network and [...] Read more.
Rice is one of the most important staple food sources worldwide. Effective and cheap monitoring of rice planting areas is demanded by many developing countries. This study proposed a weakly supervised paddy rice mapping approach based on long short-term memory (LSTM) network and dynamic time warping (DTW) distance. First, standard temporal synthetic aperture radar (SAR) backscatter profiles for each land cover type were constructed on the basis of a small number of field samples. Weak samples were then labeled on the basis of their DTW distances to the standard temporal profiles. A time series feature set was then created that combined multi-spectral Sentinel-2 bands and Sentinel-1 SAR vertical received (VV) band. With different combinations of training and testing datasets, we trained a specifically designed LSTM classifier and validated the performance of weakly supervised learning. Experiments showed that weakly supervised learning outperformed supervised learning in paddy rice identification when field samples were insufficient. With only 10% of field samples, weakly supervised learning achieved better results in producer’s accuracy (0.981 to 0.904) and user’s accuracy (0.961 to 0.917) for paddy rice. Training with 50% of field samples also presented improvement with weakly supervised learning, although not as prominent. Finally, a paddy rice map was generated with the weakly supervised approach trained on field samples and DTW-labeled samples. The proposed data labeling approach based on DTW distance can reduce field sampling cost since it requires fewer field samples. Meanwhile, validation results indicated that the proposed LSTM classifier is suitable for paddy rice mapping where variance exists in planting and harvesting schedules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Neural Networks in Agriculture)
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Article
Foliar Aspersion of Salicylic Acid Improves Nutraceutical Quality and Fruit Yield in Tomato
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100482 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1319
Abstract
The use of elicitors or biostimulants such as salicylic acid (SA) is an emerging novel practice to improve the yield and quality of crops since it plays an important role in the regulation of various physiological and metabolic processes. The objective of this [...] Read more.
The use of elicitors or biostimulants such as salicylic acid (SA) is an emerging novel practice to improve the yield and quality of crops since it plays an important role in the regulation of various physiological and metabolic processes. The objective of this research was to study the effect of the foliar application of SA on the nutraceutical quality and yield of tomato fruits. A completely randomized experimental design with 10 repetitions was used. SA was applied at five doses (0.025 mM, 0.05 mM, 0.075 mM, 0.1 mM, and 0.125 mM) every 15 days through foliar sprays after transplantation, accumulating seven applications through the cycle. The response variables were yield (total fruit weight per plant), fruit parameters (weight, diameter, firmness, and total soluble solids), percentage of weight loss, and nutraceutical quality. The obtained results suggest that the foliar spraying of SA improves the yield and biosynthesis of phytochemical compounds in tomato fruits, compared to control plants. According to the results, it is advisable to use the dose of 0.125 mM of SA since it has a higher content of bioactive compounds without compromising yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Biostimulants on Crops)
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Article
Effects of Vermireactor Modifications on the Welfare of Earthworms Eisenia fetida (Sav.) and Properties of Vermicomposts
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100481 - 17 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 852
Abstract
Vermicomposting is a method that allows for the environmentally friendly management of plant organic waste through the activity of concentrated earthworm populations. As a result of an appropriately conducted process, it is possible to obtain a valuable organic fertilizer, abundant in nutrients for [...] Read more.
Vermicomposting is a method that allows for the environmentally friendly management of plant organic waste through the activity of concentrated earthworm populations. As a result of an appropriately conducted process, it is possible to obtain a valuable organic fertilizer, abundant in nutrients for plants as well as the development of a favorable (qualitatively and quantitatively) earthworm population structure. This paper presents the results of the vermicomposting process of waste plant mass with the use of vermireactors with different designs. In conventional no protective substrate (NPS) vermireactors, plant waste was the only habitat for earthworms, whilst protective substrate (PS) vermireactors also had a medium to shield the earthworm population in the event of the accidental introduction of toxic waste to these invertebrates. A positive effect of the PS vermireactor construction in the protection of an earthworm population against the potential use of stressful waste was found, as populations of Eisenia fetida were monitored and the development was noted during the vermicomposting with both methods. The largest differences between the populations (PS vs. NPS vermireactors) were demonstrated after 40 and 50 days and related to the number of immature animals (PS > NPS by 30.7%; p < 0.05) and cocoons (PS > NPS by 34.8%; p < 0.05). There were no significant differences between the PS and NPS in the biomass of immature E. fetida and cocoons. The vermicomposts obtained were not significantly different form each other but they were characterized by a higher content of C, N, P, K, Ca and Mg compared to the initial waste biomass. Contents of Cu, Mn, Zn, Cd and Pb in vermicomposts did not prevent their use as fertilizers. Full article
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Article
Poultry Litter Biochar Increases Mycorrhizal Colonisation, Soil Fertility and Cucumber Yield in a Fertigation System on Sandy Soil
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100480 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1418
Abstract
There is a continuing argument about the benefits of biochar on arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis, crop growth, yield, and fertility of soil. There is also limited research on the effects of biochar on AM colonization, cucumber yield, and soil fertility improvement. Therefore, this [...] Read more.
There is a continuing argument about the benefits of biochar on arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis, crop growth, yield, and fertility of soil. There is also limited research on the effects of biochar on AM colonization, cucumber yield, and soil fertility improvement. Therefore, this investigation aimed to determine the impact of poultry litter biochar (PLB) on colonization of roots by indigenous AM fungi in agricultural soil and their contribution to cucumber yield, nutrition, and soil fertility improvement. A field trial was conducted to assess the effect of PLB combined with compound poultry manure (CPM) and nitrophos (NP) fertilizer to investigate the response of treatments on nutrient-deficient sandy soils. Plant growth responses to biochar showed better plant growth and yield of cucumber. Application of biochar with and without CPM and NP reduced the negative impact of nutrient deficiency stress on cucumber growth. AM fungal colonization, soil fertility, and cucumber yield were improved with the combined application of biochar, CPM, and NP fertilizer. Post-harvest, soil C, N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Zn, Cu, Fe, and Mn increased with application of biochar applied with CPM and NP. Biochar application with CPM and NP also increased the percent root colonization of cucumber. Use of biochar with CPM and NP has the potential to improve plant growth, yield, nutrient uptake, and soil fertility. Further studies in various agro-ecological conditions would help utilize this technology in sustainable crop production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Biochar and Compost Amendments on Soil Fertility)
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Article
Packaging in a High O2 or Air Atmospheres and in Microperforated Films Effects on Quality of Button Mushrooms Stored at Room Temperature
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100479 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 689
Abstract
Cold conditions are obligatory for mushrooms storage. However, in most cases, the cold chain is interrupted at various stages. Thus, is of great importance to propose a packaging system capable of inhibiting the detrimental effect of high temperature on mushrooms’ quality. The study [...] Read more.
Cold conditions are obligatory for mushrooms storage. However, in most cases, the cold chain is interrupted at various stages. Thus, is of great importance to propose a packaging system capable of inhibiting the detrimental effect of high temperature on mushrooms’ quality. The study evaluates the effect of high oxygen atmosphere (80% O2) in conjunction with films of different levels of microperforations (polysulfon (PSF) films, low: PSF_1000, PSF_2000; medium: PSF_3500; and high: PSF_7000) on antioxidant capacity, volatile compounds profile, sensory acceptance, and quality of mushrooms stored at 20 °C. Results showed that high O2 atmosphere inhibits the respiration rate of mushrooms. Application of high O2 atmosphere and film of high level of microperforations preserved desired color and profile of volatile compounds, ensured consumers color and overall acceptance. In turn, the single effect of the perforation level of the applied film was observed for antioxidant capacity, weight loss, vitamin C, malonylodialdehyde (MDA), and phenolics content. Packaging in low microperforated films led to the least amount of phenolics, highest MDA content, and poor antioxidant capacity in mushrooms. In turn, packaging with films of a medium level of perforation contributed to the highest vitamin C and phenolic content. There was no effect of treatment on texture, maturity index, protein content, and percentage of open capped mushrooms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Product Quality and Safety)
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Article
Selection of Habanero Pepper F1 Hybrids (Capsicum chinense Jacq.) at the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico with a High Potential for Different Markets
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100478 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 899
Abstract
This study evaluated 29 F1 lines and the 11 genotypes of habanero peppers used in the crossbreeding program developed by the Scientific Research Center of Yucatan, México. A randomized complete block design with four repetitions was used. Eight plants of each of the [...] Read more.
This study evaluated 29 F1 lines and the 11 genotypes of habanero peppers used in the crossbreeding program developed by the Scientific Research Center of Yucatan, México. A randomized complete block design with four repetitions was used. Eight plants of each of the genotypes were studied per block. A total of 22 qualitative and 18 quantitative descriptors established in the manuals of the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI) and the National Service for Seed Inspection and Certification (SNICS) was used. The multiple correspondence analysis of the qualitative traits explained 38.2% of the total variability. The trait that contributed the most to the qualitative variability identified was the presence of anthocyanins in the node. Principal component analysis showed that the first two axes explained 85.1% of the total variability and that capsaicin content and fruit pericarp thickness were the major contributors to the variation recorded. Based on these results, four F1 hybrids of habanero pepper were selected because of their promising traits for the different markets, i.e., high productive potential and/or high pungency. These traits are described in the section on Results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Breeding and Genetics)
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Article
Assessment of Water Needs of Grapevines in Western Poland from the Perspective of Climate Change
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100477 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1021
Abstract
Climate changes lead to a rise in air temperature, which significantly increases the water needs of plants. Maintaining crop productivity will increasingly require the use of plant irrigation. The aim of this study was to assess the water needs of grapevines cultivated in [...] Read more.
Climate changes lead to a rise in air temperature, which significantly increases the water needs of plants. Maintaining crop productivity will increasingly require the use of plant irrigation. The aim of this study was to assess the water needs of grapevines cultivated in the western provinces of Poland. The calculations were made on the basis of temperature and precipitation measurements collected at three meteorological stations in the period 1981–2010. Water needs were calculated as crop evapotranspiration, which was estimated by crop coefficients and reference evapotranspiration, determined using the Blaney–Criddle formula. The rainfall deficit was assessed by Ostromęcki’s method. The tendency to increase the water needs was observed in each subsequent decade of the thirty-year period, both in the whole growing season (May–October), as well as in June–August and July. The highest values of the linear correlation coefficient for the trend of time variability in water needs occurred from June to August. An analysis of water needs and rainfall deficits indicates the need for the additional irrigation of vineyards in western Poland, especially in very dry years and in June–August. Current research results are helpful in designing vineyard irrigation systems and allow an economical and efficient planning of grapevine irrigation. Full article
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Article
Viability of Red (Ribes rubrum L.) and Black (Ribes nigrum L.) Currant Cuttings in Field Conditions after Cryopreservation in Vapors of Liquid Nitrogen
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100476 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 912
Abstract
One of the prospective ways to safely preserve the genetic resources of red and black currant for breeding needs is the cryopreservation of cuttings with dormant buds. Vegetative cuttings of 12 varieties of red and 11 varieties of black currant were harvested in [...] Read more.
One of the prospective ways to safely preserve the genetic resources of red and black currant for breeding needs is the cryopreservation of cuttings with dormant buds. Vegetative cuttings of 12 varieties of red and 11 varieties of black currant were harvested in various regions of Russia: North, Northwest, and Central. Their viability after cryopreservation in nitrogen vapors (about −184 °C) under field conditions was studied. For red currant samples, it ranged from 61.2 ± 1.2% to 72.3 ± 3.0%, black currant—from 58.9 ± 1.1% to 73.5 ± 1.9%. In the group of red currant varieties, there were no significant differences in viability between varieties after cryopreservation. In the group of black currant varieties, “Chereshneva” and “Georgiy” had lower viability after storage in liquid nitrogen vapors than the others, 61.1% and 58.9%, respectively. On red currant, dry growing conditions of the experiment year significantly decreased the viability after cryopreservation. Neither black nor red currants revealed the influence of the place of harvesting on the survival of cuttings after cryopreservation. These results indicate the possibility of using cryopreservation to preserve cuttings of red and black currant with dormant buds collected in regions with different climatic environments. Full article
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Article
Time Series Prediction with Artificial Neural Networks: An Analysis Using Brazilian Soybean Production
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100475 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1427
Abstract
Food production to meet human demand has been a challenge to society. Nowadays, one of the main sources of feeding is soybean. Considering agriculture food crops, soybean is sixth by production volume and the fourth by both production area and economic value. The [...] Read more.
Food production to meet human demand has been a challenge to society. Nowadays, one of the main sources of feeding is soybean. Considering agriculture food crops, soybean is sixth by production volume and the fourth by both production area and economic value. The grain can be used directly to human consumption, but it is highly used as a source of protein for animal production that corresponds 75% of the total, or as oil and derived food products. Brazil and the US are the most important players responsible for more than 70% of world production. Therefore, a reliable forecasting is essential for decision-makers to plan adequate policies to this important commodity and to establish the necessary logistical resources. In this sense, this study aims to predict soybean harvest area, yield, and production using Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) and compare with classical methods of Time Series Analysis. To this end, we collected data from a time series (1961–2016) regarding soybean production in Brazil. The results reveal that ANN is the best approach to predict soybean harvest area and production while classical linear function remains more effective to predict soybean yield. Moreover, ANN presents as a reliable model to predict time series and can help the stakeholders to anticipate the world soybean offer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Neural Networks in Agriculture)
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Erratum
Erratum: Appiah, M.O., et al. Microflora in the Reproductive Tract of Cattle: A Review (Running Title: The Microflora and Bovine Reproductive Tract), Agriculture 2020, 10, 232
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100474 - 14 Oct 2020
Viewed by 657
Abstract
There is an error in the title [...] Full article
Article
The Influence of Three Years of Supplemental Nitrogen on Above- and Belowground Biomass Partitioning in a Decade-Old Miscanthus × giganteus in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship (Poland)
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100473 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 882
Abstract
Because of the different opinions regarding nitrogen (N) requirements for Miscanthus × giganteus biomass production, we conducted an experiment with a set dose of nitrogen. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of nitrogen fertilization on the biomass yield, water [...] Read more.
Because of the different opinions regarding nitrogen (N) requirements for Miscanthus × giganteus biomass production, we conducted an experiment with a set dose of nitrogen. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of nitrogen fertilization on the biomass yield, water content, and morphological features of rhizomes and aboveground plant parts in various terms during a growing season over the course of three years (2014–2016) in Lower Silesia (Wroclaw, Poland). The nitrogen fertilization (dose 60 kg/ha and control) significantly affected the number of shoots (p = 0.0018), the water concentration of rhizomes (p = 0.0004) and stems (p = 0.0218), the dry matter yield of leaves (p = 0.0000), and the nitrogen uptake (p = 0.0000). Nitrogen fertilization significantly affected the nitrogen uptake in all plant parts (p = 0.0000). Although low levels of nitrogen appeared to be important in maintaining the maximum growth potentials of mature Miscanthus × giganteus, the small reductions in the above- and belowground biomass production are unlikely to outweigh the environmental costs of applying nitrogen. More studies should use the protocols for the above- and belowground yield determination described in this paper in order to create site- and year-specific fertilizer regimes that are optimized for quality and yield for autumn (green) and spring (delayed) harvests. Full article
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Article
Applying a Mathematical Model to Compare, Choose, and Optimize the Management and Economics of Milking Parlors in Dairy Farms
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100472 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 888
Abstract
Dairy farms are growing in several areas of the world, with consequent need for a modernization of milking equipment. The objective of this research is to evaluate milking parlors in current and future situations in modern farms. Several Italian farms were studied: three [...] Read more.
Dairy farms are growing in several areas of the world, with consequent need for a modernization of milking equipment. The objective of this research is to evaluate milking parlors in current and future situations in modern farms. Several Italian farms were studied: three farms with side-by-side milking parlors (50 cows, 82 cows, and 100 cows), two with herringbone milking parlors (70 cows and 90 cows) and two with rotary milking parlors (360 cows and 900 cows). The choosing and evaluation of milking parlor parameters is based on results of previous research, using the mathematical model developed in the Czech University. The time for milking and the final specific direct costs are the main parameters which enable evaluation and choosing of suitable milking parlor from the dairy; neglect or promotion of only one of the mentioned criteria may lead to uneconomic investment or impaired operation of a farm. The evaluation of existing milking parlors can help to enhance the milking process and operations from the point of view of either technical improvement or improved activity of milkers. The results of measurement and calculation in current farms are compared with possible future enlarged farms. The study demonstrated that increasing the capacity of dairy farms enables a reduction of the final specific direct costs for milking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Engineering for Rural Development)
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Article
Investigating the Influence of Biochar Amendment on the Physicochemical Properties of Podzolic Soil
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 471; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100471 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1051
Abstract
Research into biochar, as an amendment to soil, has increased over the last decade. However, there is still much to understand regarding the effects of biochar type and rates on the physicochemical properties of different soil types. This study aimed to investigate the [...] Read more.
Research into biochar, as an amendment to soil, has increased over the last decade. However, there is still much to understand regarding the effects of biochar type and rates on the physicochemical properties of different soil types. This study aimed to investigate the effects of biochar application on the physicochemical properties of podzolic soils. Soil samples were collected from the research site in Pasadena, Newfoundland, Canada. Experimental treatments consisted of three types of soils (topsoil, E-horizon soil and mixed soil (topsoil 2: E-horizon soil 1)), two biochar types (granular and powder) and four biochar application rates (0%, 0.5%, 1% and 2% on a weight basis). Ten physicochemical parameters (bulk density (BD), porosity, field capacity (FC), plant available water (PAW), water repellency (WR), electrical conductivity (EC), pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC), total carbon (TC), and nitrogen (N)) were investigated through a total of 72 experimental units. Biochar morphological structure and pore size distribution were examined using a scanning electron microscope, whereas specific surface area was assessed by the Brunauer−Emmett−Teller method. The result indicated that the E-horizon soil was highly acidic compared to control (topsoil) and mixed soils. A significant difference was observed between the control and 2% biochar amendment in all three soil mixtures tested in this experiment. Biochar amendments significantly reduced the soil BD (E-horizon: 1.40–1.25 > mixed soil: 1.34–1.21 > topsoil: 1.31–1.18 g cm−3), increased the CEC (mixed soil: 2.83–3.61 > topsoil: 2.61–2.70 > E-horizon: 1.40–1.25 cmol kg−1) and total C (topsoil: 2.40–2.41 > mixed soil: 1.74–1.75 > E-horizon: 0.43–0.44%). Water drop penetration tests showed increased WR with increasing biochar doses from 0 to 2% (topsoil: 2.33–4.00 > mixed soil: 2.33–3.33 > E-horizon: 4.00–4.67 s), and all the biochar–soil combinations were classified as slightly-repellent. We found significant effects of biochar application on soil water retention. Porosity increased by 2.8%, FC by 10%, and PAW by 12.9% when the soil was treated with powdered biochar. Additionally, we examined the temporal effect of biochar (0 to 2% doses) on pH and EC and observed an increase in pH (4.3–5.5) and EC (0.0–0.20 dS/m) every day from day 1–day 7. Collectively the study findings suggest 2% powder biochar application rate is the best combination to improve the physicochemical properties of the tested mixed podzolic soil. Granular and powdered biochar was found to be hydrophobic and hydrophilic, respectively. These findings could be helpful to better understand the use of biochar for improving the physicochemical properties of podzolic soils when used for agricultural practices in boreal ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Soils)
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Article
Phenology and Dwarfing Gene Interaction Effects on the Adaptation of Selected Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Advanced Lines across Diverse Water-Limited Environments of Western Australia
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100470 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 794
Abstract
Photoperiod, vernalization, and plant height controlling genes are major developmental genes in wheat that govern environmental adaptation and hence, knowledge on the interaction effects among different alleles of these genes is crucial in breeding cultivars for target environments. The interaction effects among these [...] Read more.
Photoperiod, vernalization, and plant height controlling genes are major developmental genes in wheat that govern environmental adaptation and hence, knowledge on the interaction effects among different alleles of these genes is crucial in breeding cultivars for target environments. The interaction effects among these genes were studied in nineteen Australian advanced lines from diverse germplasm pools and four commercial checks. Diagnostic markers for the Vrn-A1 locus revealed the presence of the spring allele Vrn-A1a in 10 lines and Vrn-A1c in one line. The dominant alleles of Vrn-B1a and Vrn-D1a were identified in 19 and 8 lines, respectively. The most common photoperiod-insensitive allele of Ppd-D1a was identified in 19 lines and three and four copy photoperiod-insensitive alleles (Ppd-B1a and Ppd-B1c) were present in five and one lines, respectively. All the lines were photoperiod-sensitive for the Ppd-A1 locus. All lines were semi-dwarf, having either of the two dwarfing alleles; 14 lines had the Rht-B1b (Rht-1) and the remaining had the Rht-D1b (Rht-2) dwarfing allele. The presence of the photoperiod-insensitive allele Ppd-D1a along with one or two spring alleles at the Vrn1 loci resulted in an earlier heading and better yield. Dwarfing genes were found to modify the heading time—the Rht-D1b allele advanced heading by three days and also showed superior effects on yield-contributing traits, indicating its beneficial role in yield under rain-fed conditions along with an appropriate combination of photoperiod and vernalization alleles. This study also identified the adaptability value of these allelic combinations for higher grain yield and protein content across the different the water-limited environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Genotype Evaluation and Breeding)
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Article
Assessing the Influence of Soil Quality on Rainfed Wheat Yield
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100469 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1227
Abstract
Soil quality assessment based on crop yields and identification of key indicators of it can be used for better management of agricultural production. In the current research, the weighted additive soil quality index (SQIw), factor analysis (FA), and multiple linear regression (MLR) are [...] Read more.
Soil quality assessment based on crop yields and identification of key indicators of it can be used for better management of agricultural production. In the current research, the weighted additive soil quality index (SQIw), factor analysis (FA), and multiple linear regression (MLR) are used to assess the soil quality of rainfed winter wheat fields with two soil orders on 53.20 km2 of agricultural land in western Iran. A total of 18 soil quality indicators were determined for 100 soil samples (0–20 cm depth) from two soil orders (Inceptisols and Entisols). The soil properties measured were: pH, soil texture, organic carbon (OC), cation exchange capacity (CEC), electrical conductivity (EC), soil microbial respiration (SMR), carbonate calcium equivalent (CCE), soil porosity (SP), bulk density (BD), exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP), mean weight diameter (MWD), available potassium (AK), total nitrogen (TN), available phosphorus (AP), available Fe (AFe), available Zn (AZn), available Mn (AMn), and available Cu (ACu). Wheat grain yield for all of the 100 sampling sites was also gathered. The SQIw was calculated using two weighting methods (FA and MLR) and maps were created using a digital soil mapping framework. The soil indicators determined for the minimum data set (MDS) were AK, clay, CEC, AP, SMR, and sand. The correlation between the MLR weighting technique (SQIw-M) and the rainfed wheat yield (r = 0.62) was slightly larger than that the correlation of yield with the FA weighted technique (SQIw-F) (r = 0.58). Results showed that the means of both SQIw-M and SQIw-F and rainfed wheat yield for Inceptisols were higher than for Entisols, although these differences were not statistically significant. Both SQIw-M and SQIw-F showed that areas with Entisols had lower proportions of good soil quality grades (Grades I and II), and higher proportions of poor soil quality grades (Grades IV and V) compared to Inceptisols. Based on these results, soil type must be considered for soil quality assessment in future studies to maintain and enhance soil quality and sustainable production. The overall soil quality of the study region was of poor and moderate grades. To improve soil quality, it is therefore recommended that effective practices such as the implementation of scientifically integrated nutrient management involving the combined use of organic and inorganic fertilizers in rainfed wheat fields should be promoted. Full article
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Review
Currents Status, Challenges, and Future Directions in Identifying Critical Source Areas for Non-Point Source Pollution in Canadian Conditions
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100468 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1448
Abstract
Non-point source (NPS) pollution is an important problem that has been threatening freshwater resources throughout the world. Best Management Practices (BMPs) can reduce NPS pollution delivery to receiving waters. For economic reasons, BMPs should be placed at critical source areas (CSAs), which are [...] Read more.
Non-point source (NPS) pollution is an important problem that has been threatening freshwater resources throughout the world. Best Management Practices (BMPs) can reduce NPS pollution delivery to receiving waters. For economic reasons, BMPs should be placed at critical source areas (CSAs), which are the areas contributing most of the NPS pollution. The CSAs are the areas in a watershed where source coincides with transport factors, such as runoff, erosion, subsurface flow, and channel processes. Methods ranging from simple index-based to detailed hydrologic and water quality (HWQ) models are being used to identify CSAs. However, application of these methods for Canadian watersheds remains challenging due to the diversified hydrological conditions, which are not fully incorporated into most existing methods. The aim of this work is to review potential methods and challenges in identifying CSAs under Canadian conditions. As such, this study: (a) reviews different methods for identifying CSAs; (b) discusses challenges and the current state of CSA identification; and (c) highlights future research directions to address limitations of currently available methods. It appears that applications of both simple index-based methods and detailed HWQ models to determine CSAs are limited in Canadian conditions. As no single method/model is perfect, it is recommended to develop a ‘Toolbox’ that can host a variety of methods to identify CSAs so as to allow flexibility to the end users on the choice of the methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Water Management)
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Article
Experimental Study of Disc Fertilizer Spreader Performance
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100467 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1203 | Correction
Abstract
We report the experimental results of tests aimed at assessing the effects of different settings on the mean radius of mineral fertilizer distribution using a disc fertilizer spreader. Our aim was to improve the performance of fertilizer distribution in sustainable agriculture. Three types [...] Read more.
We report the experimental results of tests aimed at assessing the effects of different settings on the mean radius of mineral fertilizer distribution using a disc fertilizer spreader. Our aim was to improve the performance of fertilizer distribution in sustainable agriculture. Three types of mineral fertilizers with different physical characteristics, commonly used in agriculture, were considered: urea, calcium ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate. A complete randomization method based on a four-factor experimental model was used to study the influence of the functional and operational parameters on the mean radius of fertilizer spread. Fixed model analysis of variance showed that fertilizer type, vane configuration and disc angular velocity explained 91.74% of the variance of the spread mean radius, while linear multiple regression analysis highlighted that the fertilizer dust fraction and disc angular velocity had an overall effect of 82.72%, the former showing an inverse correlation as high as 72.77%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Engineering for Rural Development)
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Article
Organic Matter Composition and Phosphorus Speciation of Solid Waste from an African Catfish Recirculating Aquaculture System
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100466 - 11 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1060
Abstract
Recycling of phosphorus (P) from feed input in aquaculture systems gains increasing importance, especially relating to sustainable agriculture and food production. In order to find possible areas of application of African catfish solid waste, the purpose of this study was to characterize the [...] Read more.
Recycling of phosphorus (P) from feed input in aquaculture systems gains increasing importance, especially relating to sustainable agriculture and food production. In order to find possible areas of application of African catfish solid waste, the purpose of this study was to characterize the elemental and organic matter composition and P speciation in the aquaculture fish waste. Pyrolysis-field ionization mass spectrometry (Py-FIMS) was used to investigate the composition of organic matter and P K-edge X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy to describe the occurring P-containing compounds in African catfish solid waste from an intensive recirculation aquaculture system (RAS). The solid fish waste was mainly composed of sterols, free fatty acids and alkylaromatics, as it is common for digestive systems of animals. Ingredients such as the phytosterol beta-sitosterin confirm plant-based feed ingredients and some recalcitrance against digestion in the African catfish gut. The P in the solid fish waste was exclusively bound as calcium-phosphates. These calcium-phosphate minerals as major constituents of African catfish waste may have beneficial effects when applied to soils, suggesting the use of this waste as possible soil amendment in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Systems and Management)
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Article
The Comparison of Density-Based Clustering Approach among Different Machine Learning Models on Paddy Rice Image Classification of Multispectral and Hyperspectral Image Data
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100465 - 10 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 952
Abstract
The analysis, measurement, and computation of remote sensing images often require enhanced unsupervised/supervised classification approaches. The goal of this study is to have a better understanding of (a) the classification performance of multispectral image and hyperspectral image data; (b) the classification performance of [...] Read more.
The analysis, measurement, and computation of remote sensing images often require enhanced unsupervised/supervised classification approaches. The goal of this study is to have a better understanding of (a) the classification performance of multispectral image and hyperspectral image data; (b) the classification performance of unsupervised and supervised models; and (c) the classification performance of feature selection among different models. More specifically, the multispectral images and hyperspectral images with high spatial resolution are well accepted for improving land use and classification. Hence, this study used multispectral images (WorldView-2) and hyperspectral images (CASI-1500) and focused on the classifiers K-means, density-based spatial clustering of applications with noise (DBSCAN), linear discriminant analysis (LDA), and back-propagation neural network (BPN). Then the feature selection (principle component analysis, PCA) on four classifiers is studied. The results show that the image material of CASI-1500 classification accuracy is slightly better than that of WorldView-2. The overall classification of BPN is the best, the overall data has a κ value of 0.89 and the overall accuracy is 97%. The DBSCAN presents a reality with good accuracy and the integrity of the thematic map. The DBSCAN can attain an accuracy of about 88% and save 95.1% of computational time. Full article
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Article
Structural and Physicochemical Characterization of Chitosan Obtained by UAE and Its Effect on the Growth Inhibition of Pythium ultimum
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100464 - 09 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1080
Abstract
The objective of this work was the recovery of chitosan by ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) from white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) chitin, and the physicochemical and structural characterization of the obtained biopolymer, as well as its antimicrobial effect on Pythium ultimum growth. A [...] Read more.
The objective of this work was the recovery of chitosan by ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) from white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) chitin, and the physicochemical and structural characterization of the obtained biopolymer, as well as its antimicrobial effect on Pythium ultimum growth. A 23 factorial design was used to evaluate chitosan extraction conditions. Instrumental analysis techniques for chitosan characterization and radial growth inhibition, as an antifungal activity test, were performed. The ultrasonically extracted chitosan (UC) reached a yield of 86.96% with 100% solubility, a degree of deacetylation (DDA) >78%, molecular weight (MW) of 3.928 × 105 g mol−1, and a crystallinity index (Icr) of 87%, calculated through nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), size exclusion chromatography (SEC), and X-ray diffraction (XRD), respectively. The inhibitory activity of the chitosan was evaluated against the oomycete Pythium ultimum, observing a 93% radial inhibition over 24 h. UAE proved to be an excellent alternative to the conventional deacetylation, reducing reaction time and obtaining a UC with higher MW and (Icr) than the commercial one, which could potentiate its applications. Full article
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Article
Improving the Quality of Turkey Meat via Storage Temperature, Packaging Atmosphere, and Oregano (Origanum vulgare) Essential Oil Addition
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100463 - 09 Oct 2020
Viewed by 1029
Abstract
The provision of plentiful good-quality food is a primary issue in the modern world. This work was planned to study the influence of packaging atmosphere and oregano (Origanum vulgare) essential oil addition [(vacuum packaging: T1 or modified atmosphere packaging or T2 [...] Read more.
The provision of plentiful good-quality food is a primary issue in the modern world. This work was planned to study the influence of packaging atmosphere and oregano (Origanum vulgare) essential oil addition [(vacuum packaging: T1 or modified atmosphere packaging or T2 (CO2/N2 = 4:6) or T3, T2 with oregano essential oil (T2 + EO)] under various storage temperatures (0, 5, 10, and 15 °C) on the control of survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and associated spoilage flora in sliced smoked turkey meat. The pathogen increased by only <1.0 log colony-forming unit (CFU)/g under all packaging and temperature combinations. Moreover, T1, T2, and T3 exerted practically similar inhibitory activity against the pathogen and dominating bacteria, with a relatively low growth of E. coli O157:H7 in sliced smoked turkey during the shelf life under all storage regimes compared to the control. However, the pathogen survival was highest on the sliced smoked turkey under T1, decreasing by only 0.67, 0.74, 0.63, and 1.30 log CFU/g within 37 days if kept at 0, 5, 10, and 15 °C, respectively. Under T2 and the same condition, E. coli O157:H7 in the product declined by only 0.31, 0.50, 0.72, and 1.10 log CFU/g within 37 days of storage, respectively. In the T3 samples, the pathogen was reduced by only 0.33, 0.67, 1.72, and 3.46 log CFU/g through 37 days of storage, respectively. Under T3 were E. coli O157:H7 populations in smoked turkey eliminated (negative by enrichment) under all conditions (after 129, 95, 95, and 43 days maintained at 0, 5, 10, and 15 °C, respectively) compared with other packaging temperature combinations. Thus, T3 contributed to developing ready-to-eat smoked turkey with enhanced product quality and eliminating the pathogen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animal Production)
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Review
Research Status and Prospects on Plant Canopy Structure Measurement Using Visual Sensors Based on Three-Dimensional Reconstruction
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100462 - 08 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1242
Abstract
Three-dimensional (3D) plant canopy structure analysis is an important part of plant phenotype studies. To promote the development of plant canopy structure measurement based on 3D reconstruction, we reviewed the latest research progress achieved using visual sensors to measure the 3D plant canopy [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional (3D) plant canopy structure analysis is an important part of plant phenotype studies. To promote the development of plant canopy structure measurement based on 3D reconstruction, we reviewed the latest research progress achieved using visual sensors to measure the 3D plant canopy structure from four aspects, including the principles of 3D plant measurement technologies, the corresponding instruments and specifications of different visual sensors, the methods of plant canopy structure extraction based on 3D reconstruction, and the conclusion and promise of plant canopy measurement technology. In the current research phase on 3D structural plant canopy measurement techniques, the leading algorithms of every step for plant canopy structure measurement based on 3D reconstruction are introduced. Finally, future prospects for a standard phenotypical analytical method, rapid reconstruction, and precision optimization are described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet of Things (IoT) for Precision Agriculture Practices)
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Article
Characterization of Nutrient Disorders and Impacts on Chlorophyll and Anthocyanin Concentration of Brassica rapa var. Chinensis
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100461 - 08 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1245
Abstract
Essential plant nutrients are needed at crop-specific concentrations to obtain optimal growth and yield. Foliar tissue analysis is the standard method for assessing nutrient levels in plants. Symptoms of nutrient deficiency or toxicity occur when the foliar tissue values become too low or [...] Read more.
Essential plant nutrients are needed at crop-specific concentrations to obtain optimal growth and yield. Foliar tissue analysis is the standard method for assessing nutrient levels in plants. Symptoms of nutrient deficiency or toxicity occur when the foliar tissue values become too low or high. Diagnostic nutrient deficiency criteria for Brassica rapa var. Chinensis (bok choy) is lacking in the current literature. In this study, green (‘Black Summer’) and purple (‘Red Pac’) bok choy plants were grown in silica sand culture, with control plants receiving a complete modified Hoagland’s all-nitrate solution, and nutrient-deficient plants induced by using a complete nutrient formula withholding a single nutrient. Tissue samples were collected at the first sign of visual disorder symptoms and analyzed for dry weight and nutrient concentrations of all plant essential elements. Six weeks into the experiment, the newest matured leaves were sampled for chlorophyll a, b, and total carotenoids concentrations for both cultivars, and total anthocyanin concentration in ‘Red Pac’. Compared to control plants, the dry weight of ‘Black Summer’ green bok choy was significantly lower for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), or boron (B) deficiency treatments, and nutrient concentrations were lower for all variables except iron (Fe) deficiency. Dry weight was less in ‘Red Pac’ plants grown without N, potassium (K), Ca, B, or molybdenum (Mo), and nutrient concentrations were lower for all except Mo-deficiency compared to controls. Total chlorophyll and total carotenoid concentrations were lower in leaves from N−, Fe-, and manganese- (Mn) deficient plants of both cultivars. Leaf anthocyanin concentration was lower only for K-, Ca-, and B-deficiencies in ‘Red Pac’. Our results indicate that visual symptoms of nutrient deficiency are well correlated with nutrient disorders. In contrast, changes in dry weight, chlorophyll, and anthocyanin did not show consistent changes across nutrient disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Production)
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Article
Landscape Features Associated with Damage to Maize (Zea mays) Fields in Central México: A Comparison of Wind and Wildlife Damage
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100460 - 08 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1056
Abstract
Damage to maize (Zea mays) fields leads to negative attitudes towards wildlife that can affect conservation. In a Biosphere Reserve in central Mexico, local inhabitants perceive that wildlife causes major damage to maize fields. Therefore, we quantified maize damaged by wildlife [...] Read more.
Damage to maize (Zea mays) fields leads to negative attitudes towards wildlife that can affect conservation. In a Biosphere Reserve in central Mexico, local inhabitants perceive that wildlife causes major damage to maize fields. Therefore, we quantified maize damaged by wildlife species and by wind, and we explored whether this was related to the proportion of land-use categories in the landscape surrounding maize fields and the distance from maize fields to the nearest human settlements, water sources and forest patches. We quantified damaged maize plants and cobs in 180 samples from six 100 m2 quadrats in each of 30 maize fields. On average, damage in maize fields was less than 2% and 6.5% of the total maize cobs and plants, respectively. The white-nosed coati (Nasua narica) and the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were responsible for most of the total damage to maize cobs, while wind was responsible for most of the damage to plants. Classification and regression tree analyses (CARTs) revealed that the highest levels of maize cob damage occurred in maize fields with less agricultural land cover in the surrounding landscape units and with longer distances to the nearest villages. Measured levels of maize damage were lower than the amount of damage perceived by local inhabitants. This human–wildlife conflict should be further addressed in the study area to avoid negative consequences for wildlife conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Protection, Diseases, Pest and Weeds)
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