Next Issue
Volume 12, September
Previous Issue
Volume 12, July
 
 

Agriculture, Volume 12, Issue 8 (August 2022) – 212 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The weaning period is a very important stage in the lives of pigs, as during weaning, animals are very susceptible to pathogens and develop postweaning diarrhoea. The aim of our study was to counteract weaning stress and to improve piglets’ gut health by using a nutritional intervention consisting of a mix of agro-industrial wastes (grapeseed, flaxseed and sea blackthorn meals) rich in omega-3 PUFA. Our results showed that agro-industrial wastes rich in omega-3 PUFA can be used as ecological, environmentally friendly nutritional interventions to improve the negative effects associated with weaning stress. View this paper
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Reader to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
22 pages, 52390 KiB  
Article
HBRNet: Boundary Enhancement Segmentation Network for Cropland Extraction in High-Resolution Remote Sensing Images
by Jiajia Sheng, Youqiang Sun, He Huang, Wenyu Xu, Haotian Pei, Wei Zhang and Xiaowei Wu
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1284; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081284 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2008
Abstract
Cropland extraction has great significance in crop area statistics, intelligent farm machinery operations, agricultural yield estimates, and so on. Semantic segmentation is widely applied to remote sensing image cropland extraction. Traditional semantic segmentation methods using convolutional networks result in a lack of contextual [...] Read more.
Cropland extraction has great significance in crop area statistics, intelligent farm machinery operations, agricultural yield estimates, and so on. Semantic segmentation is widely applied to remote sensing image cropland extraction. Traditional semantic segmentation methods using convolutional networks result in a lack of contextual and boundary information when extracting large areas of cropland. In this paper, we propose a boundary enhancement segmentation network for cropland extraction in high-resolution remote sensing images (HBRNet). HBRNet uses Swin Transformer with the pyramidal hierarchy as the backbone to enhance the boundary details while obtaining context. We separate the boundary features and body features from the low-level features, and then perform a boundary detail enhancement module (BDE) on the high-level features. Endeavoring to fuse the boundary features and body features, the module for interaction between boundary information and body information (IBBM) is proposed. We select remote sensing images containing large-scale cropland in Yizheng City, Jiangsu Province as the Agricultural dataset for cropland extraction. Our algorithm is applied to the Agriculture dataset to extract cropland with mIoU of 79.61%, OA of 89.4%, and IoU of 84.59% for cropland. In addition, we conduct experiments on the DeepGlobe, which focuses on the rural areas and has a diversity of cropland cover types. The experimental results indicate that HBRNet improves the segmentation performance of the cropland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Digital Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 2943 KiB  
Article
The Potential Function of SiLOX4 on Millet Discoloration during Storage in Foxtail Millet
by Qi Ma, Junjie Wang, Lu Cheng, Yaqiong Li, Qianxiang Zhang, Hongying Li, Yuanhuai Han, Xiaoxi Zhen and Bin Zhang
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1283; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081283 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1775
Abstract
Millet color is an important index for consumers to assess foxtail millet quality. The yellow color of millet is mainly because of the accumulation of carotenoids, which are essential for human nutrition. However, the discoloration of millet during storage due to carotenoid degradation [...] Read more.
Millet color is an important index for consumers to assess foxtail millet quality. The yellow color of millet is mainly because of the accumulation of carotenoids, which are essential for human nutrition. However, the discoloration of millet during storage due to carotenoid degradation seriously reduces the nutritional and commercial value of millet products. The essential quality traits of millet discoloration during storage were analyzed using two foxtail millet varieties, namely 9806-1 and Baomihunzi. We observed that the millet discoloration was caused by carotenoid degradation during storage, and different genotypes exhibited different discoloration rates. The carotenoid reduction rate in 9806-1 (32.2%) was higher than that in Baomihunzi (10.5%). The positive correlation between carotenoid reduction and the expression of SiLOX protein indicated that SiLOX from foxtail millet played a major role in carotenoid reduction during storage. The expression profiles of the SiLOX gene family were analyzed at different grain maturing stages, from S1 to S3, in these two varieties to determine the key SiLOX genes responsive to millet discoloration in foxtail millet. The consecutively low expression of SiLOX2, SiLOX3, and SiLOX4 contributed to the low level of SiLOX protein in Baomihunzi. Furthermore, the undetectable expression of SiLOX4 in the later stage of maturation in Baomihunzi was associated with low discoloration, indicating that SiLOX4 might be a key gene in regulating the discoloration of millet. This study provided critical information on the mechanism of carotenoid degradation during millet storage and laid the foundation for further understanding of carotenoid metabolism in foxtail millet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Germplasm Resources Exploration and Genetic Breeding of Crops)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 2972 KiB  
Article
Effect of Rabbit Urine on the Larval Behavior, Larval Mortality, Egg Hatchability, Adult Emergence and Oviposition Preference of the Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda J.E. Smith)
by Diana Kemunto, Evanson R. Omuse, David K. Mfuti, Amanuel Tamiru, Girma Hailu, Ignath Rwiza, Yeneneh T. Belayneh, Sevgan Subramanian and Saliou Niassy
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1282; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081282 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 19790
Abstract
The fall armyworm (FAW) (Spodoptera frugiperda J.E. Smith) is a major cereal pest threatening food security in Africa. African smallholder farmers apply various indigenous pest management practices, including rabbit urine; however, there is no scientific evidence for its efficacy. The FAW eggs, [...] Read more.
The fall armyworm (FAW) (Spodoptera frugiperda J.E. Smith) is a major cereal pest threatening food security in Africa. African smallholder farmers apply various indigenous pest management practices, including rabbit urine; however, there is no scientific evidence for its efficacy. The FAW eggs, first, second and third instar larvae and moths were exposed to rabbit urine-treated maize leaves alongside untreated maize leaves (control). More FAW larvae (46.0–70.0%) remained on the untreated leaves than those (27.0–43.0%) on the rabbit urine-treated leaves. Rabbit urine caused 6.4 and 12.8% damage reduction of the second and third instars, respectively, 24 h post-exposure. Rabbit urine significantly reduced the survival of FAW, had a lethal time (LT50) of 5.0, 7.3 and 8.7 days and a lethal dose (LD50) of 48, 94, and 55% for the first, second and third instars, respectively. Egg hatchability and adult emergence were reduced by 55.0 and 13.3%, respectively. The FAW female moths laid more eggs on the rabbit urine-treated plants (647 ± 153 eggs) than they did on the untreated plants (72 ± 64 eggs). This study confirms farmers’ assertions about using rabbit urine to manage FAW. For successful integration into the FAW IPM package, additional studies on the chemistry of rabbit urine, the behavioral response and the field might be required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Integrated Pest Management of Crops)
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 1252 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of Environmental and Economic Performance of Agricultural Cooperatives and Smallholder Farmers for Apple Production in China
by Juanjuan Cheng, Qian Wang, Dongjian Li and Jin Yu
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1281; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081281 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2664
Abstract
China is the world’s largest apple producer, and agricultural cooperatives play an important role in promoting sustainable production in its whole life cycle system. However, few studies on cooperatives have evaluated the environmental and economic performance from the life cycle thinking perspective. In [...] Read more.
China is the world’s largest apple producer, and agricultural cooperatives play an important role in promoting sustainable production in its whole life cycle system. However, few studies on cooperatives have evaluated the environmental and economic performance from the life cycle thinking perspective. In this study, the combined methods of life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle cost (LCC) were used to comparatively analyze the environmental and economic performance of apple production between cooperatives and smallholder farmers. The results showed that, compared to the smallholder farmers, cooperatives significantly reduced resource depletion and environmental impacts by 12.50–22.16% in each category. The total environmental index for the cooperatives was 7.44% and 22.09% lower than smallholder farmers; meanwhile, the total LCC was 2659.71 Chinese Yuan (CNY), 19.27% lower than smallholder farmers. However, the net profit was 2990.29 CNY for the cooperatives, 21.23% higher than smallholder farmers. The results indicated that cooperatives exhibited a higher net profit while having lower resource input, environmental impact, and LCC than smallholder farmers. Moreover, pesticides and fertilizers were identified as the most critical environmental hotspots. Moreover, human labor cost was the most significant contributor to the total economic cost of the apple production system. These findings provide insights into optimizing farm inputs for apple production and active participation in agricultural cooperatives to alleviate multiple environmental impacts while maintaining apple yield and improving economic benefits, intending to make a marginal contribution to promoting sustainable development of the apple industry in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Economics, Policies and Rural Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 16573 KiB  
Article
DepthFormer: A High-Resolution Depth-Wise Transformer for Animal Pose Estimation
by Sicong Liu, Qingcheng Fan, Shanghao Liu and Chunjiang Zhao
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1280; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081280 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1771
Abstract
Animal pose estimation has important value in both theoretical research and practical applications, such as zoology and wildlife conservation. A simple but effective high-resolution Transformer model for animal pose estimation called DepthFormer is provided in this study to address the issue of large-scale [...] Read more.
Animal pose estimation has important value in both theoretical research and practical applications, such as zoology and wildlife conservation. A simple but effective high-resolution Transformer model for animal pose estimation called DepthFormer is provided in this study to address the issue of large-scale models for multi-animal pose estimation being problematic with limited computing resources. We make good use of a multi-branch parallel design that can maintain high-resolution representations throughout the process. Along with two similarities, i.e., sparse connectivity and weight sharing between self-attention and depthwise convolution, we utilize the delicate structure of the Transformer and representative batch normalization to design a new basic block for reducing the number of parameters and the amount of computation required. In addition, four PoolFormer blocks are introduced after the parallel network to maintain good performance. Benchmark evaluation is performed on a public database named AP-10K, which contains 23 animal families and 54 species, and the results are compared with the other six state-of-the-art pose estimation networks. The results demonstrate that the performance of DepthFormer surpasses that of other popular lightweight networks (e.g., Lite-HRNet and HRFormer-Tiny) when performing this task. This work can provide effective technical support to accurately estimate animal poses with limited computing resources. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 582 KiB  
Article
New Approach to the Public Authorities’ Activities Development in the Crop Insurance System: Lithuanian Case
by Rolandas Drejeris and Martynas Rusteika
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1279; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081279 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1554
Abstract
This article substantiates the structure of the crop insurance system and describes the participants of the insurance system and their activities. The positive impact of crop insurance development on all participants of the system has also been clarified. The aim of the article [...] Read more.
This article substantiates the structure of the crop insurance system and describes the participants of the insurance system and their activities. The positive impact of crop insurance development on all participants of the system has also been clarified. The aim of the article is to present a methodology for assessing substantiated directs of activity for public authorities in order to make more active crop insurance system performance. The application of the proposed methodology can help to activate crop insurance processes and to expand farmers’ activities and achieve better commercial results of insurance companies. It has been proven that it is beneficial for the public authorities to reinsure farmers’ crops and to refuse to pay direct payments to farmers for the losses incurred. The criteria selected for the assessment of the development directions are relevant to all participants of the insurance system. The research was carried out in a region of Lithuania in which the composition of agricultural business entities corresponds to the situation in the whole agricultural sector of the country. The identification of the insurance system participants and their functions, as well as the use of an expert assessment method with the application of quantitative data processing, showed directions for the activation of crop insurance activities. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 3447 KiB  
Article
Precise Monitoring of Lettuce Functional Responses to Minimal Nutrient Supplementation Identifies Aquaponic System’s Nutrient Limitations and Their Time-Course
by Evangelia Tsoumalakou, Eleni Mente, Konstantinos A. Kormas, Nikolaos Katsoulas, Nikolaos Vlahos, Panagiotis Kapsis and Efi Levizou
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1278; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081278 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2872
Abstract
In aquaponics, a closed-loop system which combines fish and crop production, essential nutrients for plant growth are often at sub-optimal concentrations. The aim of the present study was to identify system limitations and thoroughly examine the integrated response of its components to minimal [...] Read more.
In aquaponics, a closed-loop system which combines fish and crop production, essential nutrients for plant growth are often at sub-optimal concentrations. The aim of the present study was to identify system limitations and thoroughly examine the integrated response of its components to minimal external inputs, notably crop’s functional parameters, fish performance, and microorganism profile. Lettuce and red tilapia were co-cultivated under only Fe and Fe with K supplementation and their performance was evaluated against the control of no nutrient addition. Photosynthesis, the photosynthetic apparatus state, and efficiency, pigments, leaf elemental composition, and antioxidant activity of lettuce were monitored throughout the growth period, along with several parameters related to water quality, fish growth, plant productivity and bacterial community composition. Nutrient deficiency in control plants severely impacted gas exchange, PSII efficiency, and chlorophyll a content, from day 14 of the experiment, causing a significant increase in dissipation energy and signs of photoinhibition. Fe+K input resulted in 50% and two-fold increase in lettuce production compared with Fe and control groups respectively. Nutrient supplementation resulted in higher specific growth rate of tilapias, but did not affect root microbiota which was distinct from the water bacterial community. Collectively, the results emphasize the importance of monitoring crop’s functional responses for identifying the system’s limitations and designing effective nutrient management to sustain the reduced environmental footprint of aquaponics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Abiotic Stress on Horticultural Crops)
Show Figures

Figure 1

23 pages, 4156 KiB  
Article
IoAT Enabled Smart Farming: Urdu Language-Based Solution for Low-Literate Farmers
by Sehrish Munawar Cheema, Muhammad Ali, Ivan Miguel Pires, Norberto Jorge Gonçalves, Mustahsan Hammad Naqvi and Maleeha Hassan
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1277; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081277 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 12847
Abstract
The agriculture sector is the backbone of Pakistan’s economy, reflecting 26% of its GPD and 43% of the entire labor force. Smart and precise agriculture is the key to producing the best crop yield. Moreover, emerging technologies are reducing energy consumption and cost-effectiveness [...] Read more.
The agriculture sector is the backbone of Pakistan’s economy, reflecting 26% of its GPD and 43% of the entire labor force. Smart and precise agriculture is the key to producing the best crop yield. Moreover, emerging technologies are reducing energy consumption and cost-effectiveness for saving agricultural resources in control and monitoring systems, especially for those areas lacking these resources. Agricultural productivity is thwarted in many areas of Pakistan due to farmers’ illiteracy, lack of a smart system for remote access to farmland, and an absence of proactive decision-making in all phases of the crop cycle available in their native language. This study proposes an internet of agricultural things (IoAT) based smart system armed with a set of economical, accessible devices and sensors to capture real-time parameters of farms such as soil moisture level, temperature, soil pH level, light intensity, and humidity on frequent intervals of time. The system analyzes the environmental parameters of specific farms and enables the farmers to understand soil and environmental factors, facilitating farmers in terms of soil fertility analysis, suitable crop cultivation, automated irrigation and guidelines, harvest schedule, pest and weed control, crop disease awareness, and fertilizer guidance. The system is integrated with an android application ‘Kistan Pakistan’ (prototype) designed in bilingual, i.e., ‘Urdu’ and ‘English’. The mobile application is equipped with visual components, audio, voice, and iconic and textual menus to be used by diverse literary levels of farmers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet and Computers for Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 20956 KiB  
Article
The Impacts of Rapid Urbanization on Farmland Marginalization: A Case Study of the Yangtze River Delta, China
by Junna Liu, Siyan Zeng, Jing Ma, Yuanyuan Chang, Yan Sun and Fu Chen
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1276; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081276 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2175
Abstract
Farmland is the most precious natural resource and the primary source of food for human beings. Urbanization not only occupies a large amount of farmland spatially, but also economically squeezes agricultural production, resulting in farmland marginalization and causing serious threats to food security. [...] Read more.
Farmland is the most precious natural resource and the primary source of food for human beings. Urbanization not only occupies a large amount of farmland spatially, but also economically squeezes agricultural production, resulting in farmland marginalization and causing serious threats to food security. However, the manner in which rapid urbanization drives farmland marginalization in surrounding areas and the factors that might play a dominant role in this process remain elusive. Therefore, the present study considered rapidly urbanized regions of 128 county-level units in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) of China from 2000 to 2020 as the study area. Methods such as spatial autocorrelation analysis, hotspot analysis, and multiple linear regression analysis were used to explore the spatiotemporal evolution characteristics and the driving factors of farmland marginalization. The results showed that: (i) the marginalization ratio of farmland in YRD from 2000 to 2020 was 31.34%, with a distinctly increasing trend, generally high in the central and southern and low in the north areas; (ii) marginalization exhibited different spatial agglomeration under different influencing factors: the economy-induced marginalization ratio was 23.19%, playing a dominant role, in general, distributed as high in the middle and low on the sides, while the nature-induced marginalization ratio was 8.15%, and in general, the spatial pattern shifted from discrete- to a clear- distribution of high in the south and low in the north; and, (iii) farmland area per capita, total power of agricultural machinery, GDP per capita and government farmland subsidies were the main factors driving farmland marginalization. In addition, nature-induced marginalization was primarily driven by economic level and topographical conditions, whereas economy-induced marginalization was primarily driven by production conditions. We suggest that in the future, corresponding policies and measures should be established to reduce farmland marginalization in rapidly urbanized areas and to ensure food security. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 1554 KiB  
Article
Hierarchical Linkage between the Basic Characteristics of Smallholders and Technology Awareness Determines Small-Holders’ Willingness to Adopt Green Production Technology
by Shilei Cui, Yajuan Li, Xiaoqiang Jiao and Dong Zhang
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1275; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081275 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2141
Abstract
As a collection of technologies that match the carrying capacity of resources and the environment, harmonize ecology and life, and balance the quantity and quality of agricultural products in agricultural production, green production technologies are regarded as an important means to help promote [...] Read more.
As a collection of technologies that match the carrying capacity of resources and the environment, harmonize ecology and life, and balance the quantity and quality of agricultural products in agricultural production, green production technologies are regarded as an important means to help promote sustainable agricultural production. It includes scientific fertilization technology, water-saving irrigation technology, biological control technology, and conservation tillage technology. However, the smallholders’ low level of awareness and application of green production technology has become a key factor limiting the sustainable development of Chinese agriculture. Several technological innovations have been implemented to address these problems while many studies have been conducted on the smallholders’ willingness to adopt the technology. However, the correlation and the hierarchical structure among different factors are not clear. Therefore, to clarify these issues, we used the logit model and interpretative structural modeling (ISM) to analyze the factors influencing the adoption of green production technologies by smallholders and the hierarchical linkage between them based on a sample of 709 from 16 provinces in China. Our results revealed that scientific fertilization and biological control technology were most preferred by smallholders. Compared with wheat (38.8%, 43.2%) and maize (29.3%, 39.4%), rice smallholders (66.7%, 82.5%) were more willing to adopt the two technologies. In addition, the technology awareness and technology benefits were expected to significantly affect the smallholders’ willingness to adopt the technology directly. Household characteristics and land characteristics are the root factors affecting the smallholders’ willingness to adopt green production technology. Family characteristics and land characteristics also changed the willingness of smallholders to adopt green production technologies by changing their awareness of production technology and the technological benefits expected. Therefore, accelerating the promotion of green production technologies through the implementation of policies such as increasing the promotion of high-value-added agricultural products and cultivation techniques, increasing out-of-school knowledge education, and enhancing the construction of agricultural production infrastructure can be potentially viable ways to promote green transformation in agriculture. This study provides case support for increasing the smallholders’ adoption of green production technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Economics, Policies and Rural Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 533 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Dairy Cattle Breeding Programs with Genotype by Environment Interaction in Kenya
by Peter K. Wahinya, Gilbert M. Jeyaruban, Andrew A. Swan and Julius H. J. van der Werf
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1274; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081274 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1724
Abstract
Genotype by environment interaction influences the effectiveness of dairy cattle breeding programs in developing countries. This study aimed to investigate the optimization of dairy cattle breeding programs for three different environments within Kenya. Multi-trait selection index theory was applied using deterministic simulation in [...] Read more.
Genotype by environment interaction influences the effectiveness of dairy cattle breeding programs in developing countries. This study aimed to investigate the optimization of dairy cattle breeding programs for three different environments within Kenya. Multi-trait selection index theory was applied using deterministic simulation in SelAction software to determine the optimum strategy that would maximize genetic response for dairy cattle under low, medium, and high production systems. Four different breeding strategies were simulated: a single production system breeding program with progeny testing bulls in the high production system environment (HIGH); one joint breeding program with progeny testing bulls in three environments (JOINT); three environment-specific breeding programs each with testing of bulls within each environment (IND); and three environment-specific breeding programs each with testing of bulls within each environment using both phenotypic and genomic information (IND-GS). Breeding strategies were evaluated for the whole industry based on the predicted genetic response weighted by the relative size of each environment. The effect of increasing the size of the nucleus was also evaluated for all four strategies using 500, 1500, 2500, and 3000 cows in the nucleus. Correlated responses in the low and medium production systems when using a HIGH strategy were 18% and 3% lower, respectively, compared to direct responses achieved by progeny testing within each production system. The JOINT strategy with one joint breeding program with bull testing within the three production systems produced the highest response among the strategies using phenotypes only. The IND-GS strategy using phenotypic and genomic information produced extra responses compared to a similar strategy (IND) using phenotypes only, mainly due to a lower generation interval. Going forward, the dairy industry in Kenya would benefit from a breeding strategy involving progeny testing bulls within each production system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Genetics and Genomics in Livestock Production)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 2035 KiB  
Article
Silicon and Nitric Oxide Applications Allow Mitigation of Water Stress in Myrobalan 29C Rootstocks (Prunus cerasifera Ehrh.)
by Ibrahim Bolat, Asuman Gundogdu Bakır, Kubra Korkmaz, Gastón Gutiérrez-Gamboa and Ozkan Kaya
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1273; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081273 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1734
Abstract
(1) Background: Silicon (Si) and nitric oxide (NO) have been proven to protect against cellular injury caused by stress conditions, mostly by salinity and water stress in agriculture. (2) Methods: The goal was to study the effect of soil applications of NO, Si, [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Silicon (Si) and nitric oxide (NO) have been proven to protect against cellular injury caused by stress conditions, mostly by salinity and water stress in agriculture. (2) Methods: The goal was to study the effect of soil applications of NO, Si, and their combination (Si+NO) on the response of Myrobalan 29C rootstocks (Prunus cerasifera Ehrh.) subjected to water stress and well-watered conditions. (3) Results: The results showed that water stress decreased growth parameters (i.e., leaf area, shoot dry weight, root fresh weight, shoot fresh weight, root dry weight, and relative shoot diameter), physio-biochemical parameters (i.e., chlorophyll and relative water content in leaves), and leaf and root minerals (i.e., P, Ca, Fe, and Zn in leaves and N, K, Ca, and Zn in roots), compared to well-watered plants. Under these conditions, all treatments mitigated the detrimental effects of water stress on Myrobalan 29C rootstocks, being the most effective the Si+NO treatment. (4) Conclusions: These findings briefly highlight that the combination of silicon and nitric oxide may provide greater tolerance to water stress in Myrobalan 29C rootstocks. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

8 pages, 241 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Three Cooling Methods (Hydrocooling, Forced-Air Cooling and Slush Icing) and Plastic Overwrap on Broccoli Quality during Simulated Commercial Handling
by Carina Theodore, Steven A. Sargent, Jeffrey K. Brecht, Lincoln Zotarelli and Adrian D. Berry
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1272; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081272 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1795
Abstract
Broccoli is a highly perishable crop, due to its high respiration rate, and rapidly loses quality under inappropriate handling temperatures. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of commercial hydrocooling (HY), forced-air cooling (FA) or slushed-ice cooling (SI) on the [...] Read more.
Broccoli is a highly perishable crop, due to its high respiration rate, and rapidly loses quality under inappropriate handling temperatures. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of commercial hydrocooling (HY), forced-air cooling (FA) or slushed-ice cooling (SI) on the quality and shelf-life of two commercial broccoli cultivars (‘Marathon’ and ‘Eastern Crown’) grown in northeast Florida during the early spring season. Following HY and FA, individual bunches (‘Marathon’) or crowns (‘Eastern Crown’) were placed in plastic film bags and stored at 1 °C for 7 days then transferred to 5 °C for 8 days to simulate retail conditions. It was found that HY removed the field heat 3.6 and 4.8 times faster than FA and SI, respectively. For both cultivars, using a texture analyzer, broccoli cooled by SI were softer (20.4 to 27.9 N) with higher head deformation than those by HY or FA (45.6 to 58.9 N) after 15 days of storage. Overall appearance of both cultivars decreased during storage if infected in the field by the fungal pathogen Alternaria brassicicola, which causes black spot disease. However, by the end of storage ‘Eastern Crown’ had a higher quality rating (6.2) than ‘Marathon’ (5.4). Broccoli floret moisture content was not affected during storage; however, ‘Marathon’ had higher moisture content (94.7%) than ‘Eastern Crown’ (89.2%). Yellowing was expressed more for ‘Marathon’, which had higher chroma* value (21.4) and lower hue* angle (h*) (122.3) value than ‘Eastern Crown’ after 7 days at 1 °C, plus 8 days at 5 °C. Carotenoid content was similar for both cultivars at harvest (2.3 mg/100 g) then decreased 39% for ‘Marathon’ and 12% for ‘Eastern Crown’ by day 15. Total chlorophyll was similar for both cultivars throughout storage (22.6 mg/100 g). Ascorbic acid decreased for both cultivars during storage but was higher in ‘Eastern Crown’ (92.0 to 101.9 mg/100 g) compared to ‘Marathon’ (80.7 to 88.6 mg/100 g). Hydrocooling and forced-air plus overwrapping have potential to reduce cooling costs during commercial handling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Production)
18 pages, 4834 KiB  
Article
A Real-Time Sorting Robot System for Panax Notoginseng Taproots Equipped with an Improved Deeplabv3+ Model
by Fujie Zhang, Yuhao Lin, Yinlong Zhu, Lixia Li, Xiuming Cui and Yongping Gao
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081271 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2135
Abstract
The classification of the taproots of Panax notoginseng is conducive to improving the economic added value of its products. In this study, a real-time sorting robot system for Panax notoginseng taproots was developed based on the improved DeepLabv3+ model. The system is equipped [...] Read more.
The classification of the taproots of Panax notoginseng is conducive to improving the economic added value of its products. In this study, a real-time sorting robot system for Panax notoginseng taproots was developed based on the improved DeepLabv3+ model. The system is equipped with the improved DeepLabv3+ classification model for different grades of Panax notoginseng taproots. The model uses Xception as the taproot feature extraction network of Panax notoginseng. In the residual structure of the Xception network, a group normalization layer with deep separable convolution is adopted. Meanwhile, the global maximum pooling method is added in the Atrous Spatial Pyramid Pooling (ASPP) part to retain more texture information, and multiple shallow effective feature layers are designed to overlap in the decoding part to minimize the loss of features and improve the segmentation accuracy of Panax notoginseng taproots of all grades. The model test results show that the Xception-DeepLabv3+ model performs better than VGG16-U-Net and ResNet50-PSPNet models, with a Mean Pixel Accuracy (MPA) and a Mean Intersection over Union (MIoU) of 78.98% and 88.98% on the test set, respectively. The improved I-Xce-DeepLabv3+ model achieves an average detection time of 0.22 s, an MPA of 85.72%, and an MIoU of 90.32%, and it outperforms Xce-U-Net, Xce-PSPNet, and Xce-DeepLabv3+ models. The system control software was developed as a multi-threaded system to design a system grading strategy, which solves the problem that the identification signal is not synchronized with the grading signal. The system test results show that the average sorting accuracy of the system is 77% and the average false detection rate is 21.97% when the conveyor belt running speed is 1.55 m/s. The separation efficiency for a single-channel system is 200–300 kg/h, which can replace the manual work of three workers. The proposed method meets the requirements of current Panax notoginseng processing enterprises and provides technical support for the intelligent separation of Panax notoginseng taproots. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet of Things (IoT) for Precision Agriculture Practices)
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 5729 KiB  
Article
Exogenous Spermidine Optimizes Nitrogen Metabolism and Improves Maize Yield under Drought Stress Conditions
by Ling Dong, Lijie Li, Yao Meng, Hongliang Liu, Jing Li, Yang Yu, Chunrong Qian, Shi Wei and Wanrong Gu
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1270; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081270 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2007
Abstract
This study was to explore the nitrogen metabolism and transcriptome mechanism of spermidine (Spd) under drought stress conditions. Firstly, maize variety Xianyu 335 (drought insensitive type) and Fenghe 1 (drought sensitive type) were chosen as experimental materials under hydroponic conditions. The effects of [...] Read more.
This study was to explore the nitrogen metabolism and transcriptome mechanism of spermidine (Spd) under drought stress conditions. Firstly, maize variety Xianyu 335 (drought insensitive type) and Fenghe 1 (drought sensitive type) were chosen as experimental materials under hydroponic conditions. The effects of PEG-6000 combined with Spd application on nitrogen metabolism were studied. Secondly, we chose maize variety Xianyu 335 for the field experiment. At the flowering stage, normal water treatment and moderate drought stress were carried out, respectively. The results showed that: (1) Hydroponics experiment showed that the content of NH4+ in the leaves of maize seedlings under drought stress increased significantly, while the content of NO3 and nitrate reductase (NR), glutamine synthetase (GS), glutamate synthase (GOGAT), glutamine dehydrogenase (GDH), glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT) and glutamic pyruvic transaminase (GPT) increased significantly. Spd can promote the assimilation of excess ammonia by enhancing the activities of ammonia assimilating enzymes GS/GOGAT and GDH, and transaminase (GOT and GPT), effectively alleviate the ammonia toxicity and nitrogen metabolism disorder induced by drought stress. (2) Pot experiment showed that Spd significantly promoted the root growth of maize under drought stress, so as to improve the absorption and utilization of water and nutrients. In addition, Spd can improve the chlorophyll content and photosynthetic rate of maize leaves under drought stress. After the application of exogenous Spd, the photosynthetic green leaf area increased, the leaf senescence rate slowed down, and the dry matter accumulation increased after anthesis, resulting in the increase of grain weight and grain number per ear, and finally improve the maize yield. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 1399 KiB  
Article
Osmopriming Combined with Boron-Tolerant Bacteria (Bacillus sp. MN54) Improved the Productivity of Desi Chickpea under Rainfed and Irrigated Conditions
by Noman Mehboob, Tauqeer Ahmad Yasir, Shahid Hussain, Shahid Farooq, Muhammad Naveed and Mubshar Hussain
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1269; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081269 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1522
Abstract
Chickpeas are rich source of protein and predominantly grown in boron (B)-deficient sandy-loam soils in Pakistan. Boron-tolerant bacteria (BTB) could tolerate higher B levels in soil and increase B availability to the plants. Field trials were conducted under irrigated (district Layyah) and rainfed [...] Read more.
Chickpeas are rich source of protein and predominantly grown in boron (B)-deficient sandy-loam soils in Pakistan. Boron-tolerant bacteria (BTB) could tolerate higher B levels in soil and increase B availability to the plants. Field trials were conducted under irrigated (district Layyah) and rainfed (district Chakwal) conditions to evaluate the interactive effects of pre-optimized B application methods and BTB (Bacillus sp. MN54) on the nodule’s population, grain quality, productivity, and grain-B concentration in desi chickpea during 2019–2020 and 2020–2021. Boron was applied as soil application (1 kg B ha−1), foliar application (0.025% B), osmopriming (0.001% B), and seed coating (1.5 g B kg−1 seed) with or without BTB inoculation. Untreated seeds receiving no B through any of the methods were regarded as control. The individual and interactive effects (up to three-way interaction of location × BTB inoculation × B application methods) of year, location, B application methods and BTB inoculation significantly altered the growth and yield-related traits of desi chickpea. The four-way interaction of year × location × BTB inoculation × B application methods was non-significant for all recorded growth and yield-related traits. Regarding individual effects, the higher values of growth and yield-related traits were noted for 2020–2021, rainfed location, BTB inoculation and B application through seed priming. Similarly, in two-way interactions 2020–2021 with rainfed location and BTB inoculation, rainfed location with BTB inoculation and osmopriming and osmopriming with BTB inoculation recorded higher values of the growth and yield-related traits. Osmopriming combined with BTB inoculation significantly improved dry matter accumulation and leaf area index in both locations. Boron application through all the methods significantly improved grain quality, yield grain B concentration. The highest grain and biological yields, and nodules’ population were recorded with osmopriming followed by soil application of B combined with BTB inoculation. The highest plant B concentration (75.05%) was recorded with foliar application of B followed by osmopriming (68.73%) combined with BTB inoculation. Moreover, the highest economic returns (USD 2068.5 ha−1) and benefit–cost ratio (3.7%) were recorded with osmopriming + BTB inoculation in 2020–2021 under rainfed conditions. Overall, B application through osmopriming and soil application combined with BTB inoculation could be used to increase productivity and profitability of desi chickpea, whereas foliar application is a better method to enhance grain and plant B concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Crop Management in Sustainable Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 457 KiB  
Article
Effect of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Supplementation on Reproductive Performance and Ruminal Digestibility of Queue Fine de l’Ouest Adult Rams Fed a Wheat Straw-Based Diet
by Samia Ben Saïd, Jihene Jabri, Sihem Amiri, Mohamed Aroua, Amel Najjar, Sana Khaldi, Zied Maalaoui, Mohamed Kammoun and Mokhtar Mahouachi
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1268; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081268 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1596
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the effect of supplementing a wheat straw-based diet with Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S.C.) on feed intake, nutrient digestibility, nitrogen balance, body weight and reproduction performance. The experiment was conducted on 14 Queue Fine de l’Ouest rams between 3 and [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the effect of supplementing a wheat straw-based diet with Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S.C.) on feed intake, nutrient digestibility, nitrogen balance, body weight and reproduction performance. The experiment was conducted on 14 Queue Fine de l’Ouest rams between 3 and 4 years of age (body weight (B.W.): 54.7 ± 2.03 kg; body condition score (B.C.S.): 3.5 ± 0.5), for 80 days during the breeding season. The rams were divided into two homogenous groups (n = 7), housed individually in floor pens, and allocated to two dietary treatments. The control group was offered a basal diet of 1 kg/d of wheat straw and 700 g of concentrate. The experimental group (yeast) received the same basal diet supplemented with 10 g of S.C./head/day. The results indicated that the S.C. supplementation had no significant effect on the animal’s body weight, volume and concentration of semen, dry matter intake, crude protein digestibility and nitrogen balance. Compared to the control group, the S.C. addition improved (p < 0.05) the digestibility of dry matter by 7.3%, organic matter by 11.9% and crude fiber by 24%. In addition, the mass motility score increased for the yeast group compared to the control (3.7 ± 0.24 vs. 1.9 ± 0.27, p < 0.05). The total number of dead and abnormal spermatozoa decreased for the yeast group in contrast to the control group (9.28 ± 0.95 vs. 26.8 ± 3.85% and 25.5 ± 3.33 vs. 59.2 ± 2.78%, respectively; p < 0.05). These results showed that adding S.C. to Queue Fine de l’Ouest ram’s diet during breeding season could improve nutrient digestibility and reproductive performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Nutrition and Productions)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 3397 KiB  
Article
Estimation of Maize LAI Using Ensemble Learning and UAV Multispectral Imagery under Different Water and Fertilizer Treatments
by Qian Cheng, Honggang Xu, Shuaipeng Fei, Zongpeng Li and Zhen Chen
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081267 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2368
Abstract
The leaf area index (LAI), commonly used as an indicator of crop growth and physiological development, is mainly influenced by the degree of water and fertilizer stress. Accurate assessment of the LAI can help to understand the state of crop water and fertilizer [...] Read more.
The leaf area index (LAI), commonly used as an indicator of crop growth and physiological development, is mainly influenced by the degree of water and fertilizer stress. Accurate assessment of the LAI can help to understand the state of crop water and fertilizer deficit, which is important for crop management and the precision agriculture. The objective of this study is to evaluate the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-based multispectral imaging to estimate the LAI of maize under different water and fertilizer stress conditions. For this, multispectral imagery of the field was conducted at different growth stages (jointing, trumpet, silking and flowering) of maize under three water treatments and five fertilizer treatments. Subsequently, a stacking ensemble learning model was built with Gaussian process regression (GPR), support vector regression (SVR), random forest (RF), least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (Lasso) and cubist regression as primary learners to predict the LAI using UAV-based vegetation indices (VIs) and ground truth data. Results showed that the LAI was influenced significantly by water and fertilizer stress in both years’ experiments. Multispectral VIs were significantly correlated with maize LAI at multiple growth stages. The Pearson correlation coefficients between UAV-based VIs and ground truth LAI ranged from 0.64 to 0.89. Furthermore, the fusion of multiple stage data showed that the correlations were significantly higher between ground truth LAI and UAV-based VIs than that of single growth stage data. The ensemble learning algorithm with MLR as the secondary learner outperformed as a single machine learning algorithm with high prediction accuracy R2 = 0.967 and RMSE = 0.198 in 2020, and R2 = 0.897 and RMSE = 0.220 in 2021. We believe that the ensemble learning algorithm based on stacking is preferable to the single machine learning algorithm to build the LAI prediction model. This study can provide certain theoretical guidance for the rapid and precise management of water and fertilizer for large experimental fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Digital Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 965 KiB  
Review
Advances in Applications of Cereal Crop Residues in Green Concrete Technology for Environmental Sustainability: A Review
by Md Amir Suhail, Sandeep Shrivastava, Kunwar Paritosh, Nidhi Pareek, Andrey A. Kovalev, Dmitriy A. Kovalev, Yuri V. Litti, Vladimir Panchenko, Vadim Bolshev and Vivekanand Vivekanand
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1266; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081266 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2177
Abstract
Concrete is mainly employed as a construction material. Due to the manufacturing of cement and the extent of concrete usage, numerous environmental issues and water suction have presented challenges. There is an immediate need to overcome these problematic issues by substituting natural resources [...] Read more.
Concrete is mainly employed as a construction material. Due to the manufacturing of cement and the extent of concrete usage, numerous environmental issues and water suction have presented challenges. There is an immediate need to overcome these problematic issues by substituting natural resources with wastes and by-products of different biological processes in the production of concrete in order to make green concrete. Green concrete provides a relatively low-impact material to satisfy potential concrete demand and offers a cheaper, robust and highly reliable alternative that could fulfil future construction requirements in an environmentally safer way. The present review highlights the possible use of waste residues of agricultural origin from cereal farming in concrete as alternative materials to cement, fine aggregate and fiber reinforcement. The review also considers appropriate methods of treatment, the selection of residual resources and the blending ratios that may allow the development of next-generation green concrete with better physicochemical and mechanical properties. It also explores in-depth studies and the wider range of innovations in cereal farming residues for appropriate use in green construction for environmental sustainability. Green concrete could be an alternative material that could replace those used in conventional methods of construction and help make a further step towards environmental sustainability and a circular bioeconomy. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 3282 KiB  
Article
In Situ Measurement of Stemflow, Throughfall and Canopy Interception of Sprinkler Irrigation Water in a Wheat Field
by Haijun Liu, Jie Chang, Xiaopei Tang and Jinping Zhang
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1265; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081265 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1802
Abstract
The sprinkler irrigation method has been widely used in agricultural fields due to its high water productivity and microclimate regulation traits. Quantitative analysis of the water distribution of sprinkler irrigation water by considering canopy influence is critical to evaluate crop growth and water [...] Read more.
The sprinkler irrigation method has been widely used in agricultural fields due to its high water productivity and microclimate regulation traits. Quantitative analysis of the water distribution of sprinkler irrigation water by considering canopy influence is critical to evaluate crop growth and water use efficiency. In this study, stemflow was measured by collecting the water flowing down along stems using a high-adsorption sheet, throughfall water was measured by contains placed between wheat rows, and canopy interception was measured by the mass difference of plants between before and after sprinkler irrigation during wheat anthesis and grain-filling stages in the North China Plain. The results showed that the canopy interception water was between 0.6 and 1.3 mm, with a mean of 0.9 mm per sprinkler irrigation event for a leaf area index of approximately 4. Stemflow water was linearly related to the irrigation water and approximately 30% of the irrigation water. The throughfall water was also linearly related to the irrigation water above the canopy and accounted for approximately 60% of the irrigation water. The three components of sprinkler water are weakly influenced by the plant leaf area index, wind conditions and sprinkler irrigation system layouts in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Saving Irrigation Technology and Strategies for Crop Production)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 1341 KiB  
Article
Optimizing Tillage and Fertilization Patterns to Improve Soil Physical Properties, NUE and Economic Benefits of Wheat-Maize Crop Rotation Systems
by Daijing Zhang, Xinru Hao, Zhiyao Fan, Xiao Hu, Jianhui Ma, Yuxin Guo and Lin Wu
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1264; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081264 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1982
Abstract
Winter wheat and summer maize rotation is the main cropping pattern in the North China Plain (NCP). There are still problems with farmers’ production modes, including shallow tillage layers, single application of chemical fertilizer causing plow bottom layer thickening and soil pH decrease. [...] Read more.
Winter wheat and summer maize rotation is the main cropping pattern in the North China Plain (NCP). There are still problems with farmers’ production modes, including shallow tillage layers, single application of chemical fertilizer causing plow bottom layer thickening and soil pH decrease. A two-factor location experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of different tillage and fertilization patterns on the soil physical properties, soil organic carbon (SOC), nitrogen-use efficiency, and crop yield of wheat–maize rotation systems during the years 2018–2020. The different treatments were deep tillage + organic fertilizer (DTF), shallow tillage + organic fertilizer (STF), no tillage + organic fertilizer (NTF), deep tillage + nitrogen fertilizer (DT), shallow tillage + nitrogen fertilizer (ST), and no tillage + nitrogen fertilizer (NT). The results showed that STF treatment could effectively improve the physical properties of soil and, SOC content, and increase both the crop yield and revenue of farmers. In the STF treatment, soil water content was highest in the 0–20 cm layer (2018), which was 4.89–11.31% higher than that of the other treatments; additional organic fertilizer application reduced soil bulk and increased the proportion of <0.25 mm aggregates; SOC and soil total nitrogen (TN) content were highest in the 20–40 cm layer, (15.82–32.63% and 28.57–42.86%, respectively). The total yield of wheat–maize rotation for both years was the highest under STF treatment. The annual economic benefits under this treatment were 42,182.26 and 42,254.54 CNY ha−1, which were 1.02–12.94% and 2.29–9.87% higher than those of the other treatments. Therefore, the suggested planting method in the NCP is tillage of over 20 cm and additional organic fertilizer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Production)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

23 pages, 3966 KiB  
Article
Prediction of Corn Yield in the USA Corn Belt Using Satellite Data and Machine Learning: From an Evapotranspiration Perspective
by Zhonglin Ji, Yaozhong Pan, Xiufang Zhu, Dujuan Zhang and Jiajia Dai
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1263; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081263 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2397
Abstract
The reliable prediction of corn yield for the United States of America is essential for effective food and energy management of the world. Three satellite-derived variables were selected, namely enhanced vegetation index (EVI), leaf area index (LAI) and land surface temperature (LST). The [...] Read more.
The reliable prediction of corn yield for the United States of America is essential for effective food and energy management of the world. Three satellite-derived variables were selected, namely enhanced vegetation index (EVI), leaf area index (LAI) and land surface temperature (LST). The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) was used for regression, while random forest (RF), support vector regression (SVR) and long short-term memory (LSTM) methods were selected for machine learning. The three variables serve as inputs to these methods, and their efficacy in predicting corn yield was assessed in relation to evapotranspiration (ET). The results confirmed that a high level of performance can be achieved for yield prediction (mean predicted R2 = 0.63) by combining EVI + LAI + LST with the four methods. Among them, the best results were obtained by using LSTM (mean predicted R2 = 0.67). EVI and LST provided extra and unique information in peak and early growth stages for corn yield, respectively, and the usefulness of including LAI was not readily apparent across the whole season, which was consistent with the field growing conditions affecting the ET of corn. The satellite-derived data and the methods used in this study could be used for predicting the yields of other crops in different regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote-Sensing-Based Technologies for Crop Monitoring)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 329 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Cotton Lint from Agribusiness in Diets on Intake, Digestibility, Nitrogen Balance, Blood Metabolites and Ingestive Behaviour of Rams
by Anderson Zanine, Wanderson Castro, Daniele Ferreira, Alexandre Sousa, Henrique Parente, Michelle Parente, Edson Santos, Luiz Geron, Anny Graycy Lima, Marinaldo Ribeiro, Arlan Rodrigues, Cledson Sá, Renata Costa, Thiago Vinicius Nascimento, Francisco Naysson Santos and Fagton Negrão
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1262; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081262 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1532
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate intake, digestibility, nitrogen balance, ingestive behavior, and blood parameters of sheep fed with cotton lint levels. Twenty rams weighing 30.2 ± 3.7 kg and aged 12 ± 1.3 months were distributed in a completely randomized design, with four [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate intake, digestibility, nitrogen balance, ingestive behavior, and blood parameters of sheep fed with cotton lint levels. Twenty rams weighing 30.2 ± 3.7 kg and aged 12 ± 1.3 months were distributed in a completely randomized design, with four treatments and five repetitions. Diets consisted of 50% roughage and 50% concentrate. The treatments consisted of replacing corn with cotton lint at levels of 0, 70, 140, and 210 g/kg of dry matter (DM) of the diets. The animals’ feeding behavior was determined in the last three days of the experimental period. Data were subjected to regression analysis. Decreased linear effect (p < 0.05) was observed for the nutritional fraction’s intake. However, neutral detergent fibre (NDF) intake and plasma urea-N were not affected (p > 0.05) by lint levels. Apparent digestibility of DM, crude protein (CP), ethereal extract (EE), and non-fibrous carbohydrate (NFC) were affected (p < 0.05), except for total carbohydrate. There was a decreased linear effect (p < 0.05) for the intake efficiency of DM and NDF in g/h. The nitrogen balance (g/day) and glucose levels (mg/dL) were reduced with the addition of lint in the diet. The addition of cotton lint up to 70 g/kg in DM can be used over a short-term period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Nutrition and Productions)
15 pages, 3267 KiB  
Article
Effect of Water Deficit on Growth and Photoassimilate Partitioning in Leersia hexandra and Luziola peruviana
by Renan Souza Silva, Ananda Scherner, Cristiane Jovelina Da-Silva, Edinalvo Rabaioli Camargo, Roque Mauricio Palacios-Zuñiga, Fabio Schreiber, Luciano do Amarante, José Maria Barbat Parfitt and Luis Antonio de Avila
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1261; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081261 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1345
Abstract
Minimum tillage in rice production is increasing in southern Brazil, reaching 60% of the total planted area. Compared to conventional tillage, in this system there is an increase in the occurrence of perennial weeds, such as Luziola peruviana and Leersia hexandra, which [...] Read more.
Minimum tillage in rice production is increasing in southern Brazil, reaching 60% of the total planted area. Compared to conventional tillage, in this system there is an increase in the occurrence of perennial weeds, such as Luziola peruviana and Leersia hexandra, which are amphibious plants, as they can occur in both flooded environments and aerobic conditions. These weeds are controlled in burn-down before rice planting by glyphosate applications, the efficacy of which depends on the soil moisture. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of different soil moisture regimes in L. hexandra and L. peruviana growth and photoassimilate partitioning. Both species were assessed under soil moisture regimes of flooded, saturated, 7 kPa, 15 kPa, 40 kPa, and 100 kPa (experiment 1) and flooded, saturated, and 7 kPa (experiment 2). Plants were sampled immediately after drainage (3 months after transplant) and 1 and 2 weeks after drainage. The results showed that as soil moisture levels decreased, growth and development parameters were negatively affected in both species. Photoassimilate partitioning was affected by water regime and differences were observed between species. The total soluble sugars and starch content decreased in the leaves, and sucrose concentration increased in the roots following drainage. Soil drainage affects the growth and alters carbohydrate partitioning of these weeds, increasing the sugar storage in roots. The agronomic impact of these findings is that this behavior may affect herbicide transport in phloem and may affect herbicide efficacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Protection, Diseases, Pests and Weeds)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

14 pages, 4426 KiB  
Article
Influence of Spray Control Parameters on the Performance of an Air-Blast Sprayer
by Yaohua Hu, Huanbo Yang, Bingru Hou, Ziting Xi and Zidong Yang
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1260; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081260 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1568
Abstract
Orchard plant protection machinery in China still has a low application efficiency. Air-blast sprayers represent the primary development direction of pesticide applications in orchards. The spray control parameters have to be matched to the tree canopy status to achieve precise results. In this [...] Read more.
Orchard plant protection machinery in China still has a low application efficiency. Air-blast sprayers represent the primary development direction of pesticide applications in orchards. The spray control parameters have to be matched to the tree canopy status to achieve precise results. In this study, a vertical patternator was used to determine the accuracy of spraying fruit trees. The influences of three control parameters (blower speed, spray angle, and spray distance) on the spray performance of the air-blast sprayer were analyzed, and the volume of the spray was measured in collection plates at different heights. The quantitative relationship between the overall collection volume and the critical height collection volume was obtained for different parameter values, and the combined effects of any two control parameters on the collection performance and the position of the optimum collection area were obtained. The regression model describing the relationship between the collection volume in the critical height range and the three factors was established, and the main effects of the control parameters were determined. The results showed that if one parameter remained constant, the correlation between the other two parameters was non-significant. The collection volume in the critical height range increased initially and then decreased as the spray distance increased. The maximum collection volume was obtained at a spray distance of 1.762 m. The regression model can be used to obtain the optimum values of the parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 1474 KiB  
Article
Regional Differences of Farmers’ Willingness to Grow Grain and Its Influencing Factors in Shandong Province under the Background of New-Type Urbanization
by Xufang Zhang, Minghua Zhao, Xiaojie Wang and Rongqing Han
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1259; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081259 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1819
Abstract
Taking Shandong Province as the research area, we explored the willingness of farmers to grow grain and the influencing factors. By constructing the evaluation system of their willingness with 6 levels and 15 indicators based on field investigation, and quantitatively analyzing the influence [...] Read more.
Taking Shandong Province as the research area, we explored the willingness of farmers to grow grain and the influencing factors. By constructing the evaluation system of their willingness with 6 levels and 15 indicators based on field investigation, and quantitatively analyzing the influence degree and impact assessment of factors through a logistic regression model, the regional differences in farmers’ willingness were summarized, and the influencing factors were recognized. This study indicates that there were obvious regional differences in farmers’ willingness, which were the highest in the western region, the second in the eastern region, and the lowest in the central region. Specifically, the willingness varies significantly among cities, among which Laiwu has the highest willingness (0.76), while Tai’an has the lowest (0.41). The level of urbanization in different regions and the main influencing factors are different, and the same factor has different degrees of influence on cities, leading to regional differences. In terms of urbanization level, the main influencing factors in areas with high urbanization levels are the proportion of grain income and grain expenditure. However, in areas with a low urbanization level, it is the farmers’ planting attitude. From the perspective of influence mode, different factors have positive and negative differences in the willingness. Additionally, farmers’ willingness is becoming more and more rational, and more consideration is given to economic benefits. Among the influencing factors, the land planting mode, the proportion of grain income, and the proportion of grain expenditure are the most important factors, and 82% (11) of the cities are affected by the above three factors. Finally, the corresponding incentive measures are proposed by the regional differences in the influencing factors in various cities. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 1425 KiB  
Article
Establishment of Non-Destructive Methods for the Detection of Amylose and Fat Content in Single Rice Kernels Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy
by Shuang Fan, Zhuopin Xu, Weimin Cheng, Qi Wang, Yang Yang, Junyao Guo, Pengfei Zhang and Yuejin Wu
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1258; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081258 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2061
Abstract
For the efficient selection of high-quality rice varieties, the near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technique has been widely applied to detect constituents in single rice kernels. Compared with other constituents, amylose content (AC) and fat content (FC) are the key parameters that can affect the [...] Read more.
For the efficient selection of high-quality rice varieties, the near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technique has been widely applied to detect constituents in single rice kernels. Compared with other constituents, amylose content (AC) and fat content (FC) are the key parameters that can affect the quality of rice. Based on two modified AC and FC trace detection methods, two NIRS methods to detect AC and FC in single rice kernels were developed. Using the proposed methods, the AC and FC in two groups of rice kernel datasets were measured. The datasets were collected on two spectrometers with different sample movement states (static and dynamic) and measurement modes (diffuse reflectance (NIRr) and diffuse transmission (NIRt)). By optimizing the pre-treatment method and spectral range, the determination coefficients of cross-validation (R2cv) and prediction (R2p) of the NIRS models under different measurement conditions were all above 0.6. The results indicated that the proposed methods were applicable to the rapid, non-destructive detection and sorting of individual rice seeds with different AC and FC, and it was shown that these methods can meet the requirements of the rough screening of rice seed varieties. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

10 pages, 2080 KiB  
Article
RNAi Suppression of Hormone Receptor HR3 Blocks Larval Molting and Metamorphosis in the Cigarette Beetle, Lasioderma serricorne
by Li-Xin Ma, Rong-Tao He, Shu-Yan Yan and Wen-Jia Yang
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1257; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081257 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1516
Abstract
Hormone receptor 3 (HR3), an early-late gene of the 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) signaling pathway, plays a critical role in insect metamorphosis and development. In this study, we identified and characterized an HR3 gene (LsHR3) from the cigarette beetle, Lasioderma serricorne. The open [...] Read more.
Hormone receptor 3 (HR3), an early-late gene of the 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) signaling pathway, plays a critical role in insect metamorphosis and development. In this study, we identified and characterized an HR3 gene (LsHR3) from the cigarette beetle, Lasioderma serricorne. The open reading frame of LsHR3 is 1581 bp encoding a 527 amino acid protein that contains a conserved DNA binding domain and a ligand binding domain. LsHR3 was mainly expressed in the fourth-instar larvae, prepupae, and pupae and showed high expression in the fat body. The expression of LsHR3 was induced by 20E, while it was significantly suppressed by silencing of six 20E synthesis and signaling pathway genes. RNA interference (RNAi)-aided knockdown of LsHR3 in the fourth-instar larvae disrupted the larval–pupal molting and caused 100% mortality. The 20E titer of LsHR3-depletion larvae was decreased, and expressions of five 20E synthesis genes were dramatically decreased. Silencing LsHR3 reduced chitin content and downregulated the expression of genes involved in chitin synthesis and degradation. Hematoxylin and eosin staining of abdominal cuticle showed that no apolysis occurred after silencing LsHR3. These results suggest that LsHR3-mediated 20E signaling is involved in the regulation of chitin metabolism during the molting process of L. serricorne, and targeting this gene by RNAi has potential in controlling this pest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Ecology and Pest Management in Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 1736 KiB  
Review
Soil Inorganic Carbon as a Potential Sink in Carbon Storage in Dryland Soils—A Review
by Anandkumar Naorem, Somasundaram Jayaraman, Ram C. Dalal, Ashok Patra, Cherukumalli Srinivasa Rao and Rattan Lal
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1256; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081256 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4432
Abstract
Soil organic carbon (SOC) pool has been extensively studied in the carbon (C) cycling of terrestrial ecosystems. In dryland regions, however, soil inorganic carbon (SIC) has received increasing attention due to the high accumulation of SIC in arid soils contributed by its high [...] Read more.
Soil organic carbon (SOC) pool has been extensively studied in the carbon (C) cycling of terrestrial ecosystems. In dryland regions, however, soil inorganic carbon (SIC) has received increasing attention due to the high accumulation of SIC in arid soils contributed by its high temperature, low soil moisture, less vegetation, high salinity, and poor microbial activities. SIC storage in dryland soils is a complex process comprising multiple interactions of several factors such as climate, land use types, farm management practices, irrigation, inherent soil properties, soil biotic factors, etc. In addition, soil C studies in deeper layers of drylands have opened-up several study aspects on SIC storage. This review explains the mechanisms of SIC formation in dryland soils and critically discusses the SIC content in arid and semi-arid soils as compared to SOC. It also addresses the complex relationship between SIC and SOC in dryland soils. This review gives an overview of how climate change and anthropogenic management of soil might affect the SIC storage in dryland soils. Dryland soils could be an efficient sink in C sequestration through the formation of secondary carbonates. The review highlights the importance of an in-depth understanding of the C cycle in arid soils and emphasizes that SIC dynamics must be looked into broader perspective vis-à-vis C sequestration and climate change mitigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Organic Matter and Its Role in Soil Fertility)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

13 pages, 2584 KiB  
Article
Aerial Seeding Promotes the Restoration of Ecosystem Health in Mu Us Sandy Grasslands in China
by Yina Ma, Shixiong Wang, Qing Zhang, Kun Guo, Yuejun He, Danmei Chen, Mingzhen Sui, Guangqi Zhang, Lipeng Zang and Qingfu Liu
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1255; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081255 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1532
Abstract
Grassland ecosystem health is related to global ecological problems, and large areas of grassland are threatened by degradation. Various measures, such as aerial seeding, have been applied to restore degraded grassland ecosystems. However, the effects of these measures remain unclear. In this study, [...] Read more.
Grassland ecosystem health is related to global ecological problems, and large areas of grassland are threatened by degradation. Various measures, such as aerial seeding, have been applied to restore degraded grassland ecosystems. However, the effects of these measures remain unclear. In this study, based on the CVOR (condition, vitality, organization, and resilience) model, the entropy method was used to calculate the ecosystem health of aerial seeding restoration sites in the Mu Us sandy grassland, China. Then, the relationship between CVOR value, various indices in the model, and restoration time was measured using correlation analysis. The results show that (1) the vitality criterion layer has the highest weight in the CVOR model; (2) the cautionary hierarchy is the most (40.0%), and the healthy hierarchy is the opposite (10.0%) among all the restoration sites; and (3) 30-year aerial seeding can promote ecosystem health in sandy grasslands. This study demonstrates that aerial seeding is an effective method for restoring degraded grassland ecosystems and can guide future restoration measures and policies for degraded ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Restoration of Degraded Grasslands and Sustainable Grazing)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Back to TopTop