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Agriculture, Volume 11, Issue 11 (November 2021) – 152 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Struvite and ammonium nitrate are products obtained from widely studied processes to remove phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) from waste streams. Particularly, struvite has not been implemented in fertigation as the unique source of P fertilizer so far. To boost circularity in horticulture, both recovered products were used in a nutrient solution (NS) for fertigation on a soilless system greenhouse experiment with tomato crops. Two different N concentrations of the NS were tested to evaluate the impact on N-leaching. Satisfactory results of struvite solubilization were obtained. Results show that both nutrient-recovered products can be used as fertilizers in NS, showing no differences in total yield production and fruit quality. View this paper
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Article
Organic Amendments and Sampling Date Influences on Soil Bacterial Community Composition and Their Predictive Functional Profiles in an Olive Grove Ecosystem
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1178; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111178 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 618
Abstract
A collapse of soil microbial diversity, mainly due to chemical inputs, has been reported to lead to the degradation of conventional agroecosystems. The use of compost from urban and agricultural waste management, in order to achieve a net gain in the storage of [...] Read more.
A collapse of soil microbial diversity, mainly due to chemical inputs, has been reported to lead to the degradation of conventional agroecosystems. The use of compost from urban and agricultural waste management, in order to achieve a net gain in the storage of C, is an adequate management of agricultural soils, especially in rainfed conditions. However, the great variability of composts of different maturity and origins and of the soils to which they are added limits the ability to predict the impact of these amendments on the dynamics of soil microbial communities. This study was designed to gain insights on the effect of exogenous organic matter management on the soil bacterial community and its contribution to key functions relevant to agricultural soils. To achieve this, two different types of compost (alperujo or biosolids composts) at two doses were used as soil amendments twice for 3 years in a rainfed olive grove ecosystem. A metagenomic analysis was carried out to assess the abundance and composition of the soil bacterial communities and predicted functions. We only detected a minor and transitory effect on the bacterial abundance of the soil, the structure of the community and the potential functions, less related to the dose or the type of compost than to seasonal variations. Although the result suggests that the soil bacteria were highly resilient, promoting community stability and functional resilience after the addition of the two composts, more efforts are necessary to assess not only the resulting soil microbial community after organic fertilization but the intrinsic microbial community within the organic amendment that acts as an inoculum, and to what extent the changes in its dose could lead to the functionality of the soil. Full article
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Article
Effective Management of Cucumber Powdery Mildew with Essential Oils
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111177 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 785
Abstract
This research evaluated the efficacy of essential oils in the management of cucumber powdery mildew. Essential oils of lemongrass, lemon, thyme, peppermint, abundance blend, purification blend, and thieves blend were tested in vitro and under greenhouse conditions in two separate experiments. The effects [...] Read more.
This research evaluated the efficacy of essential oils in the management of cucumber powdery mildew. Essential oils of lemongrass, lemon, thyme, peppermint, abundance blend, purification blend, and thieves blend were tested in vitro and under greenhouse conditions in two separate experiments. The effects of essential oils were tested against powdery mildew disease at concentrations of 1.0–2.5 mL/L, and the consequent impact of the oils on plant growth was evaluated. Powdery mildew fungus, Podosphaera xanthii, was identified using sequencing of the ITS region. The essential oils significantly reduced disease incidence up to 77.3% compared with the positive control (p < 0.5). Moreover, the essential oils increased the plant length (up to 187 cm), leaf area (up to 27.5 cm2), fresh weight (up to 123 g), dry weight (up to 22.5 g), number of flowers (16.3), and metabolite content compared with the positive control (p < 0.5). Cell membrane injury decreased significantly in the oil-treated pants (p < 0.5), indicating the protective effect of essential oils. This study recommends the application of essential oils in an appropriate dose (2.5 mL/L) to protect cucumber plants against powdery mildew. Overdose of the oils (more than 2.5 mL/L) should be avoided due to adverse effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management of Field Crops: Series II)
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Article
The Effects of Feeding a Whole-in-Shell Peanut-Containing Diet on Layer Performance and the Quality and Chemistry of Eggs Produced
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1176; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111176 - 22 Nov 2021
Viewed by 515
Abstract
The abundance of peanut and poultry production within the state of North Carolina and the US Southeast, led us to conduct a layer feeding trial to determine the utilization of whole-in-shell high-oleic peanuts (WPN) and/or unblanched high-oleic peanuts (HOPN) as an alternative feed [...] Read more.
The abundance of peanut and poultry production within the state of North Carolina and the US Southeast, led us to conduct a layer feeding trial to determine the utilization of whole-in-shell high-oleic peanuts (WPN) and/or unblanched high-oleic peanuts (HOPN) as an alternative feed ingredient for poultry. To meet this objective, we randomly assigned 576 shaver hens to 4 dietary treatments (4 rep/trt). The dietary treatments consisted of a conventional control diet (C1), a diet containing 4% WPN, an 8% HOPN diet, and a control diet containing soy protein isolate (C2). Feed and water were provided for 6 weeks ad libitum. Pen body weights (BW) were recorded at week 0 and week 6 (wk6), and feed weights were recorded bi-weekly. Shell eggs were collected daily and enumerated. Bi-weekly 120 eggs/treatment were collected for quality assessment and egg weight (EW), while 16 eggs/treatment were collected for chemical analysis. There were no significant differences in BW or EW at week 6. Hens fed the C2 produced more total dozen eggs relative to C1 hens over the feeding trial (p < 0.05). Hens fed the C1 diet consumed less total feed relative to the other treatments with the best feed conversion ratio (p < 0.05). Most eggs produced from each treatment were USDA grade A, large eggs. There were no differences in egg quality, with the exception of yolk color, with significantly higher yolk color scores in eggs produced from the C1 and C2 treatments relative to the other treatments (p < 0.05). Eggs produced from the HOPN treatment had significantly reduced stearic and linoleic fatty acid levels relative to the other treatments (p < 0.05). Eggs produced from hens fed the WPN diet had significantly greater β-carotene content relative to eggs from the other treatment groups (p < 0.05). In summary, this study suggests that WPN and/or HOPN may be a suitable alternative layer feed ingredient and a dietary means to enrich the eggs produced while not adversely affecting hen performance. Full article
Communication
The Perennial Grain Crop Thinopyrum intermedium (Host) Barkworth & D.R. Dewey (Kernza™) as an Element in Crop Rotations: A Pilot Study on Termination Strategies and Pre-Crop Effects on a Subsequent Root Vegetable
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111175 - 21 Nov 2021
Viewed by 607
Abstract
Intermediate wheatgrass (IWG) may benefit soil fertility in crop rotations. To investigate termination strategies, i.e., autumn ploughing (AP), autumn harrowing (AH) and spring harrowing (SH) on a five-year-old IWG stand, a pilot study was performed. After the treatments, beetroots were sown and the [...] Read more.
Intermediate wheatgrass (IWG) may benefit soil fertility in crop rotations. To investigate termination strategies, i.e., autumn ploughing (AP), autumn harrowing (AH) and spring harrowing (SH) on a five-year-old IWG stand, a pilot study was performed. After the treatments, beetroots were sown and the IWG plants were counted twice during the beetroot growing season. The number of IWG plants was highest (20) after the SH strategy, intermediate (14) after the AH, and lowest (3) after the conventional termination strategy, AP. After the first plant count, the plots were subject to mechanical weeding in the form of a stale seedbed (i.e., harrowing twice before sowing). At beetroot harvest, the number of IWG plants was low (3 in SH and AH, 0 in AP) and similar between the treatments. The beetroot production was highest after AP and lowest in SH, and intermediary in AH, which showed no difference from AP and SH. At beetroot harvest, the weed biomass did not differ between the termination strategies. The weeds were mainly annuals. There were no differences in soil bulk density between termination strategies. Our results show that shallow soil tillage is enough to terminate IWG, as long as it repeated. We suggest further studies that investigate the dynamics of crop sequences with IWG, and how to benefit from this crop in rotations. Full article
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Article
Genome-Wide Association Study for Detecting Salt-Tolerance Loci and Candidate Genes in Rice
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1174; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111174 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 623
Abstract
Salinity is one of the major constraints causing soil problems and is considered a limitation to increased rice production in rice-growing countries. This genome-wide association study (GWAS) experiment was conducted to understand the genetic basis of salt tolerance at the seedling stage in [...] Read more.
Salinity is one of the major constraints causing soil problems and is considered a limitation to increased rice production in rice-growing countries. This genome-wide association study (GWAS) experiment was conducted to understand the genetic basis of salt tolerance at the seedling stage in Korean rice. After 10 days of salt stress treatment, salt tolerance was evaluated with a standard evaluation system using a visual salt injury score. With 191 Korean landrace accessions and their genotypes, including 266,040 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), using a KNU Axiom Oryza 580K Genotyping Array, GWAS was conducted to detect three QTLs with significant SNPs with a −log10(P) threshold of ≥3.66. The QTL of qSIS2, showed −log10(P) = 3.80 and the lead SNP explained 7.87% of total phenotypic variation. The QTL of qSIS4, showed −log10(P) = 4.05 and the lead SNP explained 10.53% of total phenotypic variation. The QTL of qSIS8 showed −log10(P) = 3.78 and the lead SNP explained 7.83% of total phenotypic variation. Among the annotated genes located in these three QTL regions, five genes were selected as candidates (Os04g0481600, Os04g0485300, Os04g0493000, Os04g0493300, and Os08g0390200) for salt tolerance in rice seedlings based on the gene expression database and their previously known functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rice Breeding and Genetics)
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Article
Why Do Agricultural Cooperative Mergers Not Cross the Finishing Line?
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1173; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111173 - 20 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 657
Abstract
Mergers have played a relevant role in the business development of many agri-food cooperatives and have led to the consolidation of large cooperative groups which are leaders in their respective business sectors. However, many of the merger processes undertaken fail: some are aborted [...] Read more.
Mergers have played a relevant role in the business development of many agri-food cooperatives and have led to the consolidation of large cooperative groups which are leaders in their respective business sectors. However, many of the merger processes undertaken fail: some are aborted at the negotiation stage, and others are not approved by members. These failures entail financial and social costs due to frustrated expectations and the time invested in the negotiation process. The objective of this paper is to establish the economic, socio-cultural, organisational and process management factors that underlie this outcome. A survey was conducted among the directors and administrators of a sample of Spanish agri-food cooperatives that had participated in merger processes which were aborted at the negotiation stage or were not approved by their members. Factor and discriminant analyses established the aspects which had the greatest impact on the failure of the merger processes. Far from being economic factors, these analyses reveal that defensive localisms, a lack of commitment to the merger on the part of members and directors, and communication failures were more significant. Full article
Perspective
Challenges and Opportunities in Applying Genomic Selection to Ruminants Owned by Smallholder Farmers
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111172 - 20 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 959
Abstract
Genomic selection has transformed animal and plant breeding in advanced economies globally, resulting in economic, social and environmental benefits worth billions of dollars annually. Although genomic selection offers great potential in low- to middle-income countries because detailed pedigrees are not required to estimate [...] Read more.
Genomic selection has transformed animal and plant breeding in advanced economies globally, resulting in economic, social and environmental benefits worth billions of dollars annually. Although genomic selection offers great potential in low- to middle-income countries because detailed pedigrees are not required to estimate breeding values with useful accuracy, the difficulty of effective phenotype recording, complex funding arrangements for a limited number of essential reference populations in only a handful of countries, questions around the sustainability of those livestock-resource populations, lack of on-farm, laboratory and computing infrastructure and lack of human capacity remain barriers to implementation. This paper examines those challenges and explores opportunities to mitigate or reduce the problems, with the aim of enabling smallholder livestock-keepers and their associated value chains in low- to middle-income countries to also benefit directly from genomic selection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Genetics and Genomics in Livestock Production)
Article
Transcriptomic Analysis of Late-Ripening Sweet Orange Fruits (Citrus sinensis) after Foliar Application of Glomalin-Related Soil Proteins
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1171; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111171 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 651
Abstract
Glomalin, one of the glycoproteins generated in the spores and hyphae of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, has multiple functions in plants and soil, while the role of foliar spray of easily extractable glomalin-related soil proteins (EE-GRSP) in citrus fruits is not well defined. [...] Read more.
Glomalin, one of the glycoproteins generated in the spores and hyphae of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, has multiple functions in plants and soil, while the role of foliar spray of easily extractable glomalin-related soil proteins (EE-GRSP) in citrus fruits is not well defined. Our study aimed to use referenced transcriptome sequencing to uncover the mechanism and the role of exogenous EE-GRSP in two late-ripening varieties of sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) fruits including Navel Lane Late (LW) and Rohde Red Valencia (XC). The 1804 and 1861 differentially expressed genes were identified in fruits of LW and XC, respectively, following foliar spray of EE-GRSP. Photosynthesis ranked second in the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) metabolism in the LW variety, and carbon fixation in photosynthetic organizations ranked first in KEGG metabolism in the XC variety. The response to foliar spray of EE-GRSP affected the fruit starch and sucrose metabolism of KEGG, with 15 (10 up-regulated and 5 down-regulated) and 13 (2 up-regulated and 11 down-regulated) differentially expressed genes identified in the LW and XC variety, respectively. Cs5g19060 (sucrose phosphate synthase 4) was activated and reduced by EE-GRSP on XC and LW, respectively. Cs1g18220 (β-fructofuranosidase) and Cs2g12180 (glycosyl hydrolase family 9) genes were up-regulated and down-regulated in LW and XC, respectively. These results established the involvement of molecular signaling in response to foliar spray of EE-GRSP activating fruit sugar metabolism is dependent on citrus varieties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Biostimulants on Crops)
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Article
Research on the Spatial Network Structure and Influencing Factors of the Allocation Efficiency of Agricultural Science and Technology Resources in China
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1170; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111170 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 636
Abstract
The allocation efficiency of China’s agricultural science and technology resources (ASTR) varies in different regions and has a complicated spatial distribution pattern. To visually study whether there are correlations and mutual influences between the allocation efficiency of different regions, we use social network [...] Read more.
The allocation efficiency of China’s agricultural science and technology resources (ASTR) varies in different regions and has a complicated spatial distribution pattern. To visually study whether there are correlations and mutual influences between the allocation efficiency of different regions, we use social network analysis methods (SNA). The study found that: (i) China’s allocation efficiency of ASTR has significant spatial correlation and spillover effects. The overall network density is declining. (ii) The spatial correlation network has significant regional heterogeneity. Some eastern provinces play “intermediaries” and “bridges” in the network. (iii) Geographical proximity, differences in economic development levels, industrial structure levels, and differences in urbanization have a significant impact on the formation of spatial association networks. Full article
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Article
Antifungal Activities of Ageratum conyzoides L. Extract against Rice Pathogens Pyricularia oryzae Cavara and Rhizoctonia solani Kühn
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1169; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111169 - 19 Nov 2021
Viewed by 845
Abstract
Blast disease and sheath blight disease caused by infection with Pyricularia oryzae and Rhizoctonia solani, respectively, are serious fungal diseases in paddy fields. Although synthetic fungicides have been used to control these diseases, the development of ecologically friendly alternatives is required because [...] Read more.
Blast disease and sheath blight disease caused by infection with Pyricularia oryzae and Rhizoctonia solani, respectively, are serious fungal diseases in paddy fields. Although synthetic fungicides have been used to control these diseases, the development of ecologically friendly alternatives is required because fungicides can cause health problems and environmental pollution. Natural herbs possessing antifungal activities are among the candidates as alternatives. Ageratum conyzoides is known to contain antifungal compounds, such as precocene II and polymethoxyflavones. Here, we report the antifungal activities of five compounds isolated after ethanol extraction from Ageratum conyzoides against Pyricularia oryzae and Rhizoctonia solani in vitro. Further, we demonstrated the protective effect of the extract on rice from Pyricularia oryzae infection by field trial testing in a shaded net-house. Full article
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Article
Effects of Composts Made from Broiler Chicken Residues and Blended with Biochar on the Minerals and Phenolic Compounds in Parsley (Petroselinum crispum Mill.)
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1168; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111168 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 624
Abstract
Soil amendments, such as composts and biochar, are currently widely used as substrates in container gardening. Although different types of wastes have been used in composting, formulating growing mediums for specific plants using different materials is necessary. In the present study, organic substrates [...] Read more.
Soil amendments, such as composts and biochar, are currently widely used as substrates in container gardening. Although different types of wastes have been used in composting, formulating growing mediums for specific plants using different materials is necessary. In the present study, organic substrates comprising mixtures of (a) broiler chicken wastes composted with sugar bagasse, sawdust, urban tree, napier grass, or cotton residues, and (b) five different proportions of biochar (0%, 15%, 30%, 45%, and 60%) were used to produce mineral and flavonoid-rich parsley plants. The sawdust-based substrate led to the highest yields (27.86 g pot−1 on average), regardless of the amount of biochar added; however, this substrate resulted in plants with no appreciable antioxidant activities. Plants grown using the tree-based substrate had moderate yields (16.95 g pot−1), and the highest phenolic levels (e.g., 7.93 mg GAE g−1) and antioxidant activities (DPPH scavenging activity over 11.17 g TE g−1). Such activities were better described by the presence of apigenin-7-apiosylglucoside and diosmetin-apiosylglucoside. Moderate yields were also obtained with the cotton-based substrate; however, such yields were only obtained at biochar proportions greater than 30%; this substrate led to the highest K contents (47.19 g kg−1). The lowest yields (3.20 g pot−1) and N (20.96 g kg−1), P (1.33 g kg−1), K (33.26 g kg−1), and flavonoid (13.63 mg CE g−1) contents were obtained with the napier-based substrate. However, this substrate led to the production of parsley plants with the highest levels of anthocyanins (0.40 mg CGE g−1), which may have accumulated as stress sensors and defense components. The bagasse-based substrate also led to high yields and appreciable flavonoid contents with 60% biochar. In most cases, no linear relationship was found between the biochar amount and the chemical parameters evaluated. Overall, the substrates formulated using urban tree residues had higher suitability for parsley development than those formulated using sugar bagasse, sawdust, napier grass, or cotton residues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Waste to Fertilizer in Sustainable Agriculture)
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Article
Evapotranspiration Partition and Dual Crop Coefficients in Apple Orchard with Dwarf Stocks and Dense Planting in Arid Region, Aksu Oasis, Southern Xinjiang
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1167; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111167 - 19 Nov 2021
Viewed by 629
Abstract
Crop coefficients are critical to developing irrigation scheduling and improving agricultural water management in farmland ecosystems. Interest in dwarf cultivation with high density (DCHD) for apple production increases in Aksu oasis, southern Xinjiang. The lack of micro-irrigation scheduling limits apple yield and water [...] Read more.
Crop coefficients are critical to developing irrigation scheduling and improving agricultural water management in farmland ecosystems. Interest in dwarf cultivation with high density (DCHD) for apple production increases in Aksu oasis, southern Xinjiang. The lack of micro-irrigation scheduling limits apple yield and water productivity of the DCHD-cultivated orchard. A two-year experiment with the DCHD-cultivated apple (Malus × domestica ‘Royal Gala’) orchard was conducted to determine crop coefficients and evapotranspiration (ETa) with the SIMDualKc model, and to investigate apple yield and water productivity (WP) in response to different irrigation scheduling. The five levels of irrigation rate were designed as W1 of 13.5 mm, W2 of 18.0 mm, W3 of 22.5 mm, W4 of 27.0 mm, and W5 of 31.5 mm. The mean value of basal crop coefficient (Kcb) at the initial-, mid-, and late-season was 1.00, 1.30, and 0.89, respectively. The Kc-local (ETa/ET0) range for apple orchard with DCHD was 1.11–1.20, 1.33–1.43, and 1.09–1.22 at the initial, middle, and late season, respectively. ETa of apple orchard in this study ranged between 415.55–989.71 mm, and soil evaporation accounted for 13.85–29.97% of ETa. Relationships between total irrigation amount and apple yield and WP were developed, and W3 was suggested as an optimum irrigation schedule with an average apple yield of 30,540.8 kg/ha and WP of 4.45 kg/m3 in 2019–2020. The results have implications in developing irrigation schedules and improving water management for apple production in arid regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Water Management in Dryland Agriculture)
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Article
Crop Models: Important Tools in Decision Support System to Manage Wheat Production under Vulnerable Environments
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1166; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111166 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 764
Abstract
Decision support systems are key for yield improvement in modern agriculture. Crop models are decision support tools for crop management to increase crop yield and reduce production risks. Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) and an Agricultural System simulator (APSIM), intercomparisons were [...] Read more.
Decision support systems are key for yield improvement in modern agriculture. Crop models are decision support tools for crop management to increase crop yield and reduce production risks. Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) and an Agricultural System simulator (APSIM), intercomparisons were done to evaluate their performance for wheat simulation. Two-year field experimental data were used for model parameterization. The first year was used for calibration and the second-year data were used for model evaluation and intercomparison. Calibrated models were then evaluated with 155 farmers’ fields surveyed for data in rice-wheat cropping systems. Both models simulated crop phenology, leaf area index (LAI), total dry matter and yield with high goodness of fit to the measured data during both years of evaluation. DSSAT better predicted yield compared to APSIM with a goodness of fit of 64% and 37% during evaluation of 155 farmers’ data. Comparison of individual farmer’s yields showed that the model simulated wheat yield with percent differences (PDs) of −25% to 17% and −26% to 40%, Root Mean Square Errors (RMSEs) of 436 and 592 kg ha−1 with reasonable d-statistics of 0.87 and 0.72 for DSSAT and APSIM, respectively. Both models were used successfully as decision support system tools for crop improvement under vulnerable environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Decision Support Systems in Agriculture)
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Article
Grain-Filling Characteristics in Extra-Large Panicle Type of Early-Maturing japonica/indica Hybrids
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1165; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111165 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 561
Abstract
Early-maturing japonica/indica hybrids (EJIH) have recently been released, performing a yield potential of 13.5 t ha−1 and greater yield increase over conventional japonica rice (CJ) and hybrid indica rice (HI) in production. More spikelets per panicle and improved grain-filling efficiency [...] Read more.
Early-maturing japonica/indica hybrids (EJIH) have recently been released, performing a yield potential of 13.5 t ha−1 and greater yield increase over conventional japonica rice (CJ) and hybrid indica rice (HI) in production. More spikelets per panicle and improved grain-filling efficiency underlined the basis for the superior yield performance of EJIH. However, few studies are available on the panicle traits and grain-filling characteristics of EJIH, as well as their differences to CJ and HI. In our study, two EJIH, two CJ, and two HI cultivars with similar growth patterns were grown in the same fields. EJIH had a 12.2–18.8% increased (p < 0.05) grain yield relative to CJ and HI, mainly attributed to their higher daily grain yield. Although it had a lower panicle per m2, EJIH exhibited 28.0–38.3% more (p < 0.05) spikelets per m2 from an increase of 58.0–87.8% (p < 0.05) in spikelets per panicle than CJ and HI. Compared with CJ and HI, EJIH had a higher single panicle weight and more grains in the six parts of the panicle, especially in the upper secondary branches (US) and middle secondary branches (MS). EJIH exhibited a higher leaf area index (LAI), leaf area duration (LAD), leaf photosynthetic rate, and SPAD values after heading, which helped increase shoot biomass weight at heading and maturity and post-heading biomass accumulation. For CJ and HI, the grain-filling dynamics of grains in the six parts were all well simulated by the Richards equation. For EJIH, the grain-filling dynamics of grains in the lower secondary branches (LS) were well fitted by the logistics equation, with the Richards equation simulating grain positioning on the other five parts. EJIH had a lower mean grain-filling rate (GRmean) and longer days and grain filling amounts (GFA) during early, middle, and late stages than CJ and HI. Our results suggest EJIH gave a yield advantage over CJ and HI through a higher daily grain yield. The panicle traits and grain-filling characteristics differed greatly among the three cultivar types. Compared with CJ and HI, EJIH had lower GRmean and higher days and more grains in the panicle during early, middle, and late stages, which contributed to an increased GFA after heading, improved filled-grain efficiency, and higher grain yield. Full article
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Article
Development Indicators and Soybean Production in Brazil
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1164; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111164 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 679
Abstract
Due to its agricultural potential, land extensions, and favorable climate, Brazil is one of the largest producers and exporters of various agricultural products. A significant part of this production is placed in Mato Grosso, the primary national producer of several agricultural commodities. The [...] Read more.
Due to its agricultural potential, land extensions, and favorable climate, Brazil is one of the largest producers and exporters of various agricultural products. A significant part of this production is placed in Mato Grosso, the primary national producer of several agricultural commodities. The soybean complex alone produced more than 33 million tons of soybean for the 2019/2020 harvest, representing 27% of national production. The economic potential that the soybean commodity represents is linked to the increase in demand for inputs, planted area, production, and productivity. Given these factors, the present study aims to analyze how the largest municipalities of soybean production behave, and the degree of interaction and positive associations between the economic potential promoted by soybean production and the economic/social development and environmental impacts in the Mato Grosso State, Brazil. The methodology was to categorize the thirty largest soybean producing municipalities, using the factor analysis method for selected indicators. The interpretation is made through the adoption of the Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework. The results indicated that the groups formed are not homogeneous in terms of socio-economic and environmental development. The three factors that formed, were interpreted using the DPSIR are characterized by the significant influence of the population, reflect on its development, how economic activities are other and not just agriculture. The second also belongs to the driver in the DPSRI framework group. It is associated with the soybean production indicator, implying larger planting areas, generating jobs focused on agricultural activities. The interpretation is made through the adoption of the Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework. The results indicated that the groups formed are not homogeneous in terms of socio-economic and environmental development. The significant influence of the population characterizes the three found factors. The first reflects on the region’s development and how other economic activities (not just agriculture) are carried on. The second also belongs to the driver in the DPSRI framework group, and it is associated with the soybean production indicator, generating jobs focused on agricultural activities. The third group, formed by municipalities in the Amazon region, with environmental factors associated with large geographical areas, extensive native forests, and more significant carbon sequestration, considers the DPSRI framework’s impacts. Showing that there are behavior patterns and taking this into account is the optimal way to use the predictors appropriately. Municipalities are expected to be more reactive to some changes than to others to achieve a good level of development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Economics, Policies and Rural Management)
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Article
QTL Analysis for Chlorophyll Content in Strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) Leaves
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1163; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111163 - 18 Nov 2021
Viewed by 881
Abstract
Chlorophyll is an important factor facilitating plants to capture, allocate and transforms light energy and plays a major role in yield formation. Strawberry is one of the most important fruit crops worldwide. Breeding strawberry for better light utilization by improving photosynthetic efficiency can [...] Read more.
Chlorophyll is an important factor facilitating plants to capture, allocate and transforms light energy and plays a major role in yield formation. Strawberry is one of the most important fruit crops worldwide. Breeding strawberry for better light utilization by improving photosynthetic efficiency can improve the yield potential. In strawberry, genetic studies have been done for several traits, but no reports on the genetic mapping of chlorophyll content in leaves. In the present study, we used two independent F2 mapping populations (BS-F2 and BC-F2) and, Axiom 35 K strawberry chip and genotyping-by-sequencing derived single nucleotide polymorphisms based linkage maps to identify the quantitative trait loci (QTLs) controlling leaf chlorophyll content. SPAD values were used to estimate the leaf chlorophyll content of parental lines and F2 populations. A total of seven QTLs, including major and minor effects, common and specific to populations, were identified across the strawberry genome explaining phenotypic variation (R2) ranging from 1.4 to 26.4%. Candidate genes associated with the photosynthesis and chlorophyll content were inferred in commonly detected QTLs. This work thus provides not only information for novel loci controlling chlorophyll content in strawberry leaves but also forms the basis for future marker assisted breeding in strawberry to select the plants for required chlorophyll content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Breeding and Genetics of Horticultural Crops)
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Article
SLL1-ZH Regulates Spikelets Architecture and Grain Yield in Rice
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1162; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111162 - 18 Nov 2021
Viewed by 482
Abstract
The spikelet developmental processes that control structure and floral organ identity play critical roles in rice grain yield formation. In this study, we characterized a novel rice mutant, SLL1-ZH, which exhibits a variety of defective agronomic characters, including semi-dwarf, rolling leaf, deformed [...] Read more.
The spikelet developmental processes that control structure and floral organ identity play critical roles in rice grain yield formation. In this study, we characterized a novel rice mutant, SLL1-ZH, which exhibits a variety of defective agronomic characters, including semi-dwarf, rolling leaf, deformed panicles, and reduced grains production. Morphological analysis also revealed that the SLL1-ZH mutant shows numerous defects of floral organs, such as cracked glumes, hooked and thin lemmas, shrunken but thickened paleas, an indeterminate number of stamens and stigmas, and heterotopic ovaries. Map-based cloning identified a single nucleotide substitution (C to G) in the first exon of LOC_Os09g23200 that is responsible for the SLL1-ZH phenotype. In addition, qPCR analysis showed a significant change in the relative expression of SLL1-ZH in the mutant during inflorescence differentiation and in the different floral organs. Transcription of rice floral organ development-related factors also changed significantly in the mutant. Therefore, our results suggested that SLL1-ZH plays a great role in plant growth, spikelet development, and grain yield in rice. Full article
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Communication
Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Communities in the Roots of Sago Palm in Mineral and Shallow Peat Soils
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1161; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111161 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 805
Abstract
Communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in plant roots improve host plant growth. In this study, AMF communities in the roots of the sago palm (Metroxylon sagu Rottb.) were investigated in mineral soil (MS) and shallow peat soil (SPS) in Sarawak, Malaysia. [...] Read more.
Communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in plant roots improve host plant growth. In this study, AMF communities in the roots of the sago palm (Metroxylon sagu Rottb.) were investigated in mineral soil (MS) and shallow peat soil (SPS) in Sarawak, Malaysia. MS exhibited lower moisture content (MS, 38.1; SPS, 79.8%), higher pH (H2O) (MS, 4.6; SPS, 4.1), higher soil bulk density (MS, 1.03; SPS, 0.20 g cm−3), and higher nitrogen content (MS, 16.9; SPS, 2.7 kg m−3) than SPS at the same soil depth, while the phosphorus (P) content (Bray II) (MS, 1.6; SPS, 1.9 g P2O5 m−3) was similar. The AMF colonization rate was significantly lower in SPS (39.2 ± 12.5%) than in MS (73.2 ± 4.6%). The higher number of AMF operational taxonomic units (OTUs) was detected by amplicon sequencing of the partial small-subunit rRNA gene (MS, 78; SPS, 50). A neighbor-joining tree of obtained OTUs revealed that they belonged to Acaulosporaceae, Ambisporaceae, Claroideoglomeraceae, Gigasporaceae, and Glomeraceae. The lower abundance and diversity of AMF in SPS are possibly caused by abiotic factors, including soil physicochemical properties. Glomus and Acaulospora species detected in SPS might have strong tolerance against acidity and high soil moisture content. Full article
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Article
Coordinated Effect of Ascorbate Biosynthesis and Recycling in Maize Seed Germination and Seedling Establishment under Low Temperature
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1160; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111160 - 18 Nov 2021
Viewed by 542
Abstract
The impacts of low temperature occasionally encountered at higher latitude regions on maize seed germination present significant threats to yield and cultivation. Exploring the association of antioxidant system with low temperature (LT) germination could support the breeding strategies for better responding to LT [...] Read more.
The impacts of low temperature occasionally encountered at higher latitude regions on maize seed germination present significant threats to yield and cultivation. Exploring the association of antioxidant system with low temperature (LT) germination could support the breeding strategies for better responding to LT disturbance. In this study, we have examined the germination rate and growth potential of a set of elite maize inbred accessions under LT and normal temperature (NT) conditions in the field. These accessions were found to have variable germination rate and growth potential when grown at LT, whereas the difference is not significant under NT. Physiological study revealed lower hydrogen peroxide content in LT tolerant accessions when compared with sensitive ones. LT-tolerant and LT-sensitive lines maintained similar content of ascorbate (AsA) and glutathione (GSH), whereas the reduced substrate content of which were significantly higher in LT-tolerant accessions. Consistently, activities of ascorbate peroxidase and dehydroascorbate reductase, the enzyme components that responsible for the AsA-GSH recycling, were much higher in LT-tolerant lines. Transcription profile revealed the increased expression of ZmVTC2 gene in LT-tolerant inbred line, which was rate limited step in AsA biosynthesis. These data indicates that the coordinated improvement of AsA biosynthesis and AsA-GSH recycling increase the pool size of the total antioxidants, which ameliorate LT-induced oxidative stress during maize seed germination. Full article
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Article
Influence of Calving Ease on In-Line Milk Urea and Relationship with Other Milk Characteristics in Dairy Cows
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1159; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111159 - 18 Nov 2021
Viewed by 579
Abstract
The aim of this research was to identify the relationship of calvin ease and level of in-line milk urea (MU) and other milk components, namely milk yield (MY), electrical conductivity (EC), milk fat (MF), milk protein (MP), milk fat/protein ratio (MF/MP), and somatic [...] Read more.
The aim of this research was to identify the relationship of calvin ease and level of in-line milk urea (MU) and other milk components, namely milk yield (MY), electrical conductivity (EC), milk fat (MF), milk protein (MP), milk fat/protein ratio (MF/MP), and somatic cell count (SCC) in dairy cows. The cows for the research were selected following such criteria: cows were tested within the period of up to the first 30 days after calving and had had a range of lactation numbers from two to four. Each selected farm housed more than 500 dairy cows and a total of 4712 calving cases from the eight dairy farms were studied and evaluated. The 4-point scale was used for the evaluation of the calving according to the point value meanings where 1 = easy, unassisted; 2 = easy, assisted; 3 = difficult, assisted; 4 = difficult, requiring veterinary intervention. A total of 4712 calving cases were researched and scored. The chemical properties of milk in all research cows were analyzed during the early phase of lactation (from the onset of calving to 30 days past calving) every day, during each milking. Cows were classified into groups according to the level of urea in milk: Group 1 had MU ≤ 15 mg/dL (12.6% of cows), Group 2 had MU 16–30 mg/dL (62.4% of cows), and Group 3 had MU > 30 mg/dL (25.0% of cows). We found that cows with milk urea levels between 16 and 30 mg/dL had the lowest incidence of dystocia, and also the highest concentration of milk lactose (ML ≥ 4.6%), the lowest mean value of milk electrical conductivity, and the lowest value of milk SCC. Dystocia increased the risk of somatic cell growth in cow’s milk above the herd average (OR = 1.364; 95% CI = 1.184–1.571, p < 0.001), and normal urea in milk reduced this risk (OR = 0.749; 95% CI = 0.642–0.869, p = 0.05). In all groups of cows, according to the level of urea in milk, the productivity of cows without dystocia at calving was higher (2.50–5.51 kg) as well as the milk protein % (0.13–0.21%) and milk lactose % (0.07–0.19%). We concluded that, in all groups of cows, according to the level of urea in milk, the productivity and milk lactose concentration of cows without dystocia at calving was higher, and lower somatic cells count and electrical conductivity values were found in the milk compared with cows diagnosed with dystocia at calving. We can state that dystocia has a negative effect on milk urea concentration and can increase the risk of mastitis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Cow Nutrition and Milk Quality)
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Article
Evaluation of Chestnut Susceptibility to Cryphonectria parasitica: Screening under Controlled Conditions
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1158; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111158 - 18 Nov 2021
Viewed by 575
Abstract
Cryphonectria parasitica (Murrill) M.E. Barr (Sordariomycetes, Valsaceae) is the causal agent of chestnut blight. This disease is a major concern for chestnut cultivation in Europe. The fungus colonizes vascular tissues and evolves generating cankers causing severe dieback and the death of the tree. [...] Read more.
Cryphonectria parasitica (Murrill) M.E. Barr (Sordariomycetes, Valsaceae) is the causal agent of chestnut blight. This disease is a major concern for chestnut cultivation in Europe. The fungus colonizes vascular tissues and evolves generating cankers causing severe dieback and the death of the tree. Excised and debarked well-lignified shoots of 28 C. sativa genotypes (assay A) and of 10 progenies (assay B) were inoculated with C. parasitica strain FMT3bc2 (vcg: EU2). Fungal growth was measured along the longitudinal axis on the 3rd and 6th days after inoculation. Results indicated the inoculation methodology works and the results were clear after 6 days. Differences in susceptibility to chestnut blight among C. sativa trees of Montseny have been detected both at the individual genotype level and at the progeny level. Nineteen genotypes and four progenies showed a susceptibility to Blight not significantly different from C. mollissima. The methodology was easy to apply in extensive/preliminary selection screenings to assess the susceptibility of C. sativa materials to the Blight. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Cultivar Improvement of Nut Crops)
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Article
Perceptions of Smallholder Farmers towards Organic Farming in South Africa
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1157; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111157 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 803
Abstract
In South Africa, smallholder farming is an important aspect of livelihood. More so, organic farming is increasingly becoming popular among farmers. However, many studies undertaken focused on the trade possibilities of the industry leaving the farmers’ perceptions underrepresented. This study, therefore, aims to [...] Read more.
In South Africa, smallholder farming is an important aspect of livelihood. More so, organic farming is increasingly becoming popular among farmers. However, many studies undertaken focused on the trade possibilities of the industry leaving the farmers’ perceptions underrepresented. This study, therefore, aims to capture the farmers’ opinions by evaluating the critical factors and policy implications of organic farming in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. A total of 220 semi-structured questionnaires were administered to smallholder farmers in the province. The results revealed that organic farming is gaining recognition according to 82.8% of the participants, and 86.6% believed that organic farming has high-profit returns. However, 88.4% of the respondents agreed that the required standards for organic farming are too restrictive while a further 74.6% indicated that organic farming certification is difficult to obtain. The results also indicated a statistically significant difference in the perceived benefits of organic farming (p ≤ 0.001) and access to markets (p = 0.042). Based on the results, the study suggests more awareness, training and ease of certification as a way forward in changing the perceptions of the farmers in the province. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies in Organic Farming Systems)
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Article
Genome-Wide Characterization of Glutamine Synthetase Family Genes in Cucurbitaceae and Their Potential Roles in Cold Response and Rootstock-Scion Signaling Communication
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1156; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111156 - 18 Nov 2021
Viewed by 613
Abstract
Glutamine synthetase (GS; EC 6.3.1.2, L-glutamate: ammonia ligase ADP-forming) is the key enzyme responsible for the primary assimilation and reassimilation of nitrogen (N) in higher plants. There are two main isoforms of GS in higher plants, classified as cytosolic GS (GS1) and chloroplastic [...] Read more.
Glutamine synthetase (GS; EC 6.3.1.2, L-glutamate: ammonia ligase ADP-forming) is the key enzyme responsible for the primary assimilation and reassimilation of nitrogen (N) in higher plants. There are two main isoforms of GS in higher plants, classified as cytosolic GS (GS1) and chloroplastic GS (GS2) by their size and subcellular localization. In order to improve the stress tolerance, quality, and yield of cucurbit crops such as cucumbers (Csa, Cucumis sativus L.), pumpkins (Cmo, Cucurbita moschata var. Rifu) are often used as rootstocks. Here, the GS family of the two species were comprehensively analyzed using bioinformatics in terms of aspects of the phylogenic tree, gene structure, chromosome location, subcellular localization, and evolutionary and expression patterns. Seven and four GS gene family members were screened in pumpkin and cucumber, respectively. GS family genes were divided into three groups (one for GS2 and two for GS1) according to their homology and phylogenetic relationships with other species. The analysis of gene ontology annotation of GS family genes, promoter regulatory elements, and tissue-specific expression patterns indicates the potential different biological roles of GS isoforms in Cucurbitaceae. In particular, we have identified a potentially available gene (GS1: CmoCh08G004920) from pumpkin that is relatively highly expressed and tissue-specifically expressed. RT-PCR analysis showed that most CmoGSs are induced by low temperature, and long-term (day 2 to day 9) cold stress has a more obvious effect on the RNA abundance of CmoGS. Our work presents the structure and expression patterns of all candidate members of the pumpkin and cucumber GS gene family, and to the best of our knowledge, this is the first time such work has been presented. It is worth focusing on the candidate genes with strong capacity for improving pumpkin rootstock breeding in order to increase nitrogen-use efficiency in cold conditions, as well as rootstock-scion communication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Horticultural Grafting)
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Article
Growth of Pancreas and Intestinal Enzyme Activities in Growing Goats: Influence of a Low-Protein Diet
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1155; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111155 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 518
Abstract
A dependence between dietary protein and starch levels flowing to the duodenum has been characterized in monogastric animals for optimal enzymatic secretions of the pancreas, but those in ruminants remain unclarified. The present experiment was conveyed to assess the pancreas growth and mRNA [...] Read more.
A dependence between dietary protein and starch levels flowing to the duodenum has been characterized in monogastric animals for optimal enzymatic secretions of the pancreas, but those in ruminants remain unclarified. The present experiment was conveyed to assess the pancreas growth and mRNA expression of the small intestine enzymes in growing goats fed a low-protein diet. Twenty-four Liuyang goats (19.55 ± 3.55 of body weight (BW)) and aged approximately 8 months were randomly assigned to either a control protein diet (NP: 10.77% CP) or a low-protein diet (LP: 5.52% CP) for 70 days. The results show that no statistical differences (p > 0.05) were observed in the pancreas growth indices between the groups. Pancreas and small intestine α-amylase and lipase activities were unaffected (p > 0.05) by the LP diet, while activities of trypsin and chymotrypsin were decreased (p < 0.05). The LP diet reduced (p < 0.05) the mRNA expressions of trypsin and chymotrypsin in the duodenum and jejunum, and had no effects (p > 0.05) on the mRNA expressions of α-amylase and lipase. Goats fed with the LP diet had higher (p < 0.05) concentrations of cholecystokinin and insulin than those fed with the NP diet. In conclusion, feeding an LP diet (5.52% CP) had no profound influence on pancreas growth and digestive enzyme synthesis in goats. Full article
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Article
Field Study of the Effects of Two Different Environmental Conditions on Wheat Productivity and Chlorophyll Fluorescence Induction (OJIP) Parameters
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1154; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111154 - 17 Nov 2021
Viewed by 592
Abstract
Wheat is one of the main cereal crops for ensuring food supply. Thus, increasing grain yield is a major target for plant breeders, where insights into wheat productivity can be gained by studying the activity of the components of photosynthetic apparatus. The objectives [...] Read more.
Wheat is one of the main cereal crops for ensuring food supply. Thus, increasing grain yield is a major target for plant breeders, where insights into wheat productivity can be gained by studying the activity of the components of photosynthetic apparatus. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the agronomical performance of three winter wheat varieties and test photosynthetic efficiency over two different locations. Chlorophyll fluorescence was used to evaluate the maximum quantum yield of photosystem II (PSII) (TR0/ABS) and performance index on absorption basis (PIabs) of flag leaves and glumes of heads at the flowering stage until the mid-senescence stage. The grain yield of all varieties on average was significantly higher at Osijek compared to Tovarnik. Variety Tika Taka exhibited the highest yield reduction (27.1%) at Tovarnik compared to Osijek, followed by El Nino (20.5%) and Vulkan (18.7%), respectively. A higher amount of precipitation in June at Tovarnik provoked higher Fusarium head blight disease intensity, which could be seen as the bleaching of plant heads at the plots and resulted in an earlier decrease in photosynthetic activity. Therefore, earlier senescence and contracted grain fill duration could occur. Full article
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Article
Influence of Gypsum-Containing Waste on Ammonia Binding in Animal Waste Composting
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1153; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111153 - 17 Nov 2021
Viewed by 564
Abstract
The possibility of using gypsum-containing waste–citrogypsum, which is a by-product of the chemical biosynthesis of citric acid, was considered as an additive for composting poultry manure from poultry farms that practice litter-free poultry keeping. The research was carried out on an experimental batch [...] Read more.
The possibility of using gypsum-containing waste–citrogypsum, which is a by-product of the chemical biosynthesis of citric acid, was considered as an additive for composting poultry manure from poultry farms that practice litter-free poultry keeping. The research was carried out on an experimental batch of 1500 tons. The production of the batch was carried out by mixing citrogypsum with a moisture content of 30% and litterless chicken manure with a moisture content of no more than 80% in a ratio of 1:2. The resulting mixture was placed on an open landfill in piles 3 m wide, 1 m high and 400 m long and was mixed twice with a compost turner. Further processing consisted of mixing the mass once every seven days. The controlled parameters were changes in humidity, temperature, pH and nitrogen content during composting. In the course of the experiment, it was found that the introduction of citrogypsum into the composition of the compost helps to optimize the moisture, temperature and pH of the mixture, and a decrease in ammonia emission to 87% was recorded, with an increase in nitrogen content of 2.4 times compared to the initial value. It was concluded that citrogypsum can be used in composting poultry waste to reduce volatilization of ammonia and preserve nutrients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Waste to Fertilizer in Sustainable Agriculture)
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Article
Research on Government Subsidy Strategies for the Development of Agricultural Products E-Commerce
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1152; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111152 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 830
Abstract
In many countries, the governments support the development of local agriculture through subsidization. Subsidizing the sales of agricultural products through E-commerce channels is a way to support the development of agriculture in China. This study aims to develop a profit model and apply [...] Read more.
In many countries, the governments support the development of local agriculture through subsidization. Subsidizing the sales of agricultural products through E-commerce channels is a way to support the development of agriculture in China. This study aims to develop a profit model and apply Stackelberg game theory to determine which type of subsidies and decision-making can provide the maximum benefits for agricultural products E-commerce supply chains. The results indicate that for both centralized decisions and decentralized decisions, the subsidizing to the agricultural cooperative is better than the subsidizing to consumers and no subsidization. The sales volume, preservation level, sales efforts, and overall profit of the agricultural products E-commerce supply chain are significantly higher. It suggests that the government should play a leading role to support the development of agricultural products E-commerce. This study contributes to agricultural research by developing a profit model to examine the effects of different government subsidy strategies on each member of the agricultural online shopping supply chain. Recommendations are provided for agricultural cooperatives, E-commerce platforms, and the government to improve the quality and sales of agricultural products through online shopping channels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies)
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Article
Trust in Collective Entrepreneurship in the Context of the Development of Rural Areas in Poland
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1151; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111151 - 16 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 730
Abstract
The aim of this research was to examine whether trust influences the functioning of various forms of collective entrepreneurship in rural areas. The study focused on organizations which are most common in rural Poland: agricultural producer organizations, rural women’s circles, and local action [...] Read more.
The aim of this research was to examine whether trust influences the functioning of various forms of collective entrepreneurship in rural areas. The study focused on organizations which are most common in rural Poland: agricultural producer organizations, rural women’s circles, and local action groups. Hence, the survey sample included people engaged in these types of collective entrepreneurship. Data collection was based on a standardized questionnaire distributed online utilizing the computer-assisted web interviewing method. The statistical analysis of the empirical material obtained from 132 respondents involved Pearson and Spearman correlation and principal component analysis. The conducted research shows (1) the superior role of personal trust over institutional trust in the emergence and functioning of the studied forms of collective entrepreneurship in rural areas, (2) the greater importance of social than economic factors determining the functioning of rural collective entrepreneurship, (3) the positive impact of generalized trust on trust placed in the forms of entrepreneurship covered by the analysis, (4) the increase in trust over time of cooperation, and (5) the impact of trust on the functioning of collective entrepreneurship, in both the economic and the social dimensions, with a slight advantage of the latter. By focusing on trust, this article contributes to the literature on the role of trust in developing collective entrepreneurship in rural areas. The authors point out that this article only opens the space for a discussion on trust in the concept of the economics of trust. Full article
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Article
Biodiversity of Culturable Endophytic Actinobacteria Isolated from High Yield Camellia oleifera and Their Plant Growth Promotion Potential
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1150; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111150 - 16 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 681
Abstract
Camellia oleifera Abel. is one of the world’s four famous woody oil trees and has drawn increasing attention because of its high commercial value. Endophytes are microorganisms inhabiting inside plant tissues, and their functions vary with the change of host status and environmental [...] Read more.
Camellia oleifera Abel. is one of the world’s four famous woody oil trees and has drawn increasing attention because of its high commercial value. Endophytes are microorganisms inhabiting inside plant tissues, and their functions vary with the change of host status and environmental parameters. To deepen our understanding of the interactions between C. oleifera and their endophytic actinobacteria, the present study investigated the four endophytic actinobacterial composition-residing high-yield C. oleifera trees. A total of 156 endophytic actinobacterial isolates were obtained distributed in 17 genera. Among them, Streptomyces was the dominant endophytic actinobacteria, followed by Nocardia, Amycolatopsis, Microbiospora, Micromonospora and other rare actinobacteria genera. Soil characteristics including soil pH and organic matter were found to play crucial roles in shaping the endophytic actinobacterial community composition. Furthermore, all isolates were studied to determine their plant growth-promotion traits, 86.54% could produce Indole 3-Acetic Acid, 16.03% showed nitrogen-fixing, 21.15% showed phosphorus solubilizing, and 35.26% produced siderophore. Under the glasshouse condition, some isolates exhibited growth promotion effects on C. oleifera seedlings with significant increase in spring shoot length and ground diameter. Altogether, this study demonstrated that C. oleifera plants harbored a high diversity and novelty of culturable endophytic actinobacteria, which represent important potential as natural biofertilizers for the high production of C. oleifera. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microorganisms in Plant Diseases)
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Article
Epistatic QTLsPlay a Major Role in Nitrogen Use Efficiency and Its Component Traits in Indian Spring Wheat
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1149; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111149 - 16 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 545
Abstract
Nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in wheat may significantly reduce the excessive use of N fertilizers. However, being a quantitative trait, understanding its genetic basis is required for efficient wheat breeding. The present study was carried out to dissect the complex trait through the [...] Read more.
Nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in wheat may significantly reduce the excessive use of N fertilizers. However, being a quantitative trait, understanding its genetic basis is required for efficient wheat breeding. The present study was carried out to dissect the complex trait through the mapping of quantitative trait locus (QTLs) related to NUE component traits in Indian wheat. A linkage map was constructed using F2 population derived from two parents contrasting for nitrogen-responsive traits using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. Phenotyping for root dry weight, N uptake and utilization were carried out under a high nitrogen environment. Twenty-seven main effect QTLs for eight traits and 26 interaction QTLs for three traits were detected. The main effect QTLs explained a significant amount of phenotypic variance up to the extent of 11.18%. The QTLs were also found to have significant epistatic interactions governed by both additive and non-additive gene action. In particular, chromosome 2A harbours QTLs for many traits viz. SDW, RDW, TDW, R:S, %N, NUtE, and NUpE, including epistasis and interaction QTLs that were flanked by markers Xwmc728-Xwmc473 and Xwmc779-Xgwm249. Taken together, the genomic regions on 2A, 4A, and 7A were found to contain QTLs for a majority of the studied NUE traits that can be potentially exploited in future wheat breeding programmes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Genotype Evaluation and Breeding)
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