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Horticulturae, Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2017)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Relationship Marketing: A Qualitative Case Study of New-Media Marketing Use by Kansas Garden Centers
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010026 - 11 Mar 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1097
Abstract
A primary factor limiting the expansion of many Kansas garden centers is marketing. Most of these businesses spend the majority of advertising dollars on traditional media (newspaper, radio, etc.). However, new-media tools such as social-media can be an effective method for developing profitable [...] Read more.
A primary factor limiting the expansion of many Kansas garden centers is marketing. Most of these businesses spend the majority of advertising dollars on traditional media (newspaper, radio, etc.). However, new-media tools such as social-media can be an effective method for developing profitable relationships with customers. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the perceptions and experiences of garden center stakeholders as they use new-media to market their businesses. Grunig’s Excellency Theory served as the theoretical framework for this study. Results indicate garden center operators prefer to use traditional media channels to market to their customers and asynchronously communicate with their target audiences. Stakeholders often have inaccurate or conflicting views of traditional media and new-media in regard to advertising and tend to approach new-media marketing from a public information or asynchronous viewpoint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing Strategies of Horticultural Production Chain)
Open AccessReview
Nitrogen Related Diffuse Pollution from Horticulture Production—Mitigation Practices and Assessment Strategies
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010025 - 28 Feb 2017
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2302
Abstract
Agriculture is considered one of the main nitrogen (N) pollution sources through the diffuse emissions of ammonia (NH3) and nitrous oxide (N2O) to the atmosphere and nitrate (NO3) to water bodies. The risk is particularly high [...] Read more.
Agriculture is considered one of the main nitrogen (N) pollution sources through the diffuse emissions of ammonia (NH3) and nitrous oxide (N2O) to the atmosphere and nitrate (NO3) to water bodies. The risk is particularly high in horticultural production systems (HPS), where the use of water and fertilizers is intensive and concentrated in space and time, and more specifically, in the case of vegetable crops that have high growth rates, demanding an abundant supply of water and nitrogen forms. Therefore, to comply with the EU environmental policies aimed at reducing diffuse pollution in agriculture, there is the need for mitigation practices or strategies acting at different levels such as the source, the timing and the transport of N. HPS are often well suited for improvement practices, but efficient and specific tools capable of describing and quantifying N losses for these particular production systems are required. The most common mitigation strategies found in the literature relate to crop, irrigation and fertilization management. Nevertheless, only the success of a mitigation strategy under specific conditions will allow its implementation to be increasingly targeted and more cost effective. Assessment methods are therefore required to evaluate and to quantify the impact of mitigation strategies in HPS and to select the most promising ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Refining Irrigation Strategies in Horticultural Production)
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Open AccessArticle
Shelf Life of Tropical Canarium Nut Stored under Ambient Conditions
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010024 - 03 Feb 2017
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1506
Abstract
There is a need to develop alternative crops to improve the food security and prosperity of developing countries. The tropical nut Canarium indicum (canarium nut) is increasingly used as a shade tree for cocoa and has potential for commercialization as a sustainable crop [...] Read more.
There is a need to develop alternative crops to improve the food security and prosperity of developing countries. The tropical nut Canarium indicum (canarium nut) is increasingly used as a shade tree for cocoa and has potential for commercialization as a sustainable crop that will improve food security and livelihoods in Melanesia and East Asia. There is no information on canarium nut shelf life characteristics. Canarium kernels may be prone to rancidity, due to a high content of unsaturated fatty acids. Kernels at 5.4% moisture content were vacuum-packed with a domestic vacuum-packaging system and stored for six months in Papua New Guinea and for nine months in Southeast Queensland, Australia at both ambient temperatures (22 to 31 °C and 22 to 25 °C, respectively) and under refrigeration. Nuts were analysed for changes in peroxide values and free fatty acids (FFAs) over the storage periods that might indicate development of rancidity. Peroxide values indicated very low levels of oxidation in all treatments. Free fatty acids were at low levels but increased significantly during storage at ambient temperatures. The results suggested that vacuum-packed Canarium nuts can be stored safely under ambient tropical conditions for six months with daytime temperatures around 31 °C, and for nine months at 25 °C. Increasing FFA levels at ambient temperatures indicate caution about longer storage time at ambient temperatures. Storage under refrigeration greatly prolonged shelf life. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Horticulturae in 2016
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010023 - 11 Jan 2017
Viewed by 1027
Abstract
The editors of Horticulturae would like to express their sincere gratitude to all of the reviewers who assessed manuscripts in 2016.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Regionalization of Maize Responses to Climate Change Scenarios, N Use Efficiency and Adaptation Strategies
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010009 - 30 Dec 2016
Viewed by 1415
Abstract
As with any other crop, maize yield is a response to environmental factors such as soil, weather, and management. In a context of climate change, understanding responses is crucial to determine mitigation and adaptation strategies. Crop models are an effective tool to address [...] Read more.
As with any other crop, maize yield is a response to environmental factors such as soil, weather, and management. In a context of climate change, understanding responses is crucial to determine mitigation and adaptation strategies. Crop models are an effective tool to address this. The objective was to present a procedure to assess the impacts of climate scenarios on maize N use efficiency and yield, with the effect of cultivar (n = 2) and planting date (n = 5) as adaptation strategies. The study region was Santa Catarina, Brazil, where maize is cultivated on more than 800,000 ha (average yield: 4.63 t·ha−1). Surveying and mapping of crop land was done using satellite data, allowing the coupling of weather and 253 complete soil profiles in single polygons (n = 4135). A Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) crop model was calibrated and validated using field data (2004–2010 observations). Weather scenarios generated by Regional Climatic Models (RCMs) were selected according their capability of reproducing observed weather. Simulations for the 2012–2040 period (437 ppm CO2) showed that without adaptation strategies maize production could be reduced by 12.5%. By only using the best cultivar for each polygon (combination of soil + weather), the total production was increased by 6%; when using both adaptation strategies—cultivar and best planting date—the total production was increase by 15%. The modelling process indicated that the N use efficiency increment ranged from 1%–3% (mostly due to CO2 increment, but also due to intrinsic soil properties and leaching occurrence). This analysis showed that N use efficiency rises in high CO2 scenarios, so that crop cultivar and planting date are effective tools to mitigate deleterious effects of climate change, supporting energy crops in the study region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
The Application of Mycorrhizal Fungi and Organic Fertilisers in Horticultural Potting Soils to Improve Water Use Efficiency of Crops
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010008 - 30 Dec 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1848
Abstract
In recent years, the addition of microorganisms such as Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria (PGPB) and mycorrhiza are becoming more popular, both in research as well as in practical use. While inoculants are usually not necessary for plants cultivated outdoors on biologically active soil, they [...] Read more.
In recent years, the addition of microorganisms such as Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria (PGPB) and mycorrhiza are becoming more popular, both in research as well as in practical use. While inoculants are usually not necessary for plants cultivated outdoors on biologically active soil, they can be useful on sterile substrates, newly created artificial landscapes, and also in soils that have been managed using non-selective sterilization methods, such as fumigation. In a multi-year lysimeter experiment, we investigated the influence of a commercial mycorrhizal inoculum on water use efficiency and biomass production of maize (Zea mays), sunflower (Helianthus annuus), sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis), sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), cup-plant (Silphium perfoliatum) and tall wheatgrass (Elymus elongatus subsp. ponticus cv. Szarvasi-1) when exposed to high or low ground-water levels. Results showed that all plants benefited from the mycorrhizal association. Mycorrhizal-inoculated plants were more successful in terms of dry matter production and water use than the non-mycorrhizal plants. The source of the mycorrhiza—autochthonous or introduced—made no significant difference. The results indicate that inoculation with mycorrhiza and promotion of the naturally abundant mycorrhiza in agricultural production systems can significantly contribute to a sustainable production of crops. Effects depended on plant species, cultivar, soil type, ground-water level and the mycotrophy of the individual crop species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydraulic Performance of Horticultural Substrates—3. Impact of Substrate Composition and Ingredients
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010007 - 30 Dec 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1112
Abstract
Horticultural substrates, also referred to as growing media, potting soils and gardening or soilless substrates, are widely used as a basis for vegetable and flower production in horticulture. They are created as a composition of different ingredients (bog peat, organic residuals, coir, perlite [...] Read more.
Horticultural substrates, also referred to as growing media, potting soils and gardening or soilless substrates, are widely used as a basis for vegetable and flower production in horticulture. They are created as a composition of different ingredients (bog peat, organic residuals, coir, perlite and other components). Hydraulic properties such as water storage capacity, air capacity, shrinkage behaviour, wettability or hydraulic conductivity are important variables for a comprehensive evaluation of the performance of horticultural substrates. A set of 36 commercial potting soils and substrates was selected and the hydraulic properties (water retention curve, unsaturated hydraulic conductivity function, capillary rise and shrinkage) were measured using the extended evaporation method (EEM). Additionally, the water drop penetration time was determined as a measure of wettability. The hydraulic performance of the horticultural substrates was evaluated. Generally, bog peat is the main component of horticultural substrates. Additionally, coir (raw coconut fibre), bark, different composts and mineral ingredients such as perlite, pumice, vermiculite, sand and others are used. The growing medium with the best hydraulic performance in this study revealed substrates composed of bog peat with added coir, perlite and organic residuals. Mineral ingredients in general decreased the content of easily available water but did not exhibit any significant effect on the other properties studied. However, the risk of a lack of air can be increased by the addition of clay. The presence of perlite had positive effects on the air content and the re-wettability. The presence of organic materials had significant and detrimental effects on the height of the capillary rise. We also found that some products declared as preferable for use in containers were better suited as substrates for bed cultivation. However, a comprehensive evaluation of the eligibility of horticultural substrates in horticulture requires not only hydraulic measurements but also growing experiments and an assessment of their chemical, biological and technological suitability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydraulic Performance of Horticultural Substrates—2. Development of an Evaluation Framework
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010006 - 30 Dec 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 912
Abstract
Sustainable, environmentally friendly and resource-saving water and nutrient management in horticulture requires knowledge of the hydraulic suitability of horticultural substrates for each specific application. The aim of this study was to develop methods and a rating framework to assess the hydraulic performance of [...] Read more.
Sustainable, environmentally friendly and resource-saving water and nutrient management in horticulture requires knowledge of the hydraulic suitability of horticultural substrates for each specific application. The aim of this study was to develop methods and a rating framework to assess the hydraulic performance of horticultural substrates. The hydraulic criteria related to high-quality horticultural substrates were defined as the amount of easily plant-available water (EAW) in the tension range between 10 and 100 hPa, the air capacity and the height of capillary rise. Limiting factors could be water repellency effects and shrinkage. The rating framework consisted of 5 classes between non-satisfactory and very good. The assessment of the hydraulic performance was split for the cultivation into 10-, 20-, and 30-cm-high containers. It was tested on 18 commercial substrates. More than 70% of the tested substrates revealed scores between very good and good. About 30% were evaluated as medium or satisfactory. The most critical aspect was the low air capacity in shallow containers. Shrinkage and water repellency sometimes strongly diminished the score. Both the measurement methods for quantifying substrate hydraulic properties and the evaluation procedure proved applicable. The impact of different ingredients and the composition of substrates of their hydraulic performance should be statistically analysed in further studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
Open AccessArticle
Hydraulic Performance of Horticultural Substrates—1. Method for Measuring the Hydraulic Quality Indicators
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010005 - 30 Dec 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1202
Abstract
Besides nutrient composition, the hydraulic performance of horticultural substrates is a main issue for evaluating their quality for horticultural purposes. Their water and air capacity and their suitability for transporting water are important hydraulic quality indicators. Shrinkage and water repellency could have a [...] Read more.
Besides nutrient composition, the hydraulic performance of horticultural substrates is a main issue for evaluating their quality for horticultural purposes. Their water and air capacity and their suitability for transporting water are important hydraulic quality indicators. Shrinkage and water repellency could have a negative impact on storing and transporting water and solutes. The commonly used methods and devices for quantifying the water retention properties of horticultural substrates (sand box, pressure plate extractor) are outdated. The measurements are time-consuming, the devices are expensive, and the results are affected by uncertainties. Here, the suitability of the extended evaporation method (EEM) and an associated HYPROP (HYdraulic PROPerty analyser, device was successfully tested for very loosely-bedded horticultural substrates. EEM and HYPROP enabled the simultaneous and effective measurement of the water retention curve and the unsaturated hydraulic functions. The measurement time of horticultural substrates ranges between 7 and 10 days. Furthermore, the shrinkage properties and the water rewetting time can be measured with the HYPROP system. Results using 18 horticultural substrates are presented. These results are discussed and compared with natural organic and mineral soils showing the specific hydraulic performance of substrates for horticultural applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
Organic Plant Breeding: A Key to Improved Vegetable Yield and Safe Food
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010004 - 30 Dec 2016
Viewed by 1562
Abstract
Most often, organic farming focuses on the improvement of management practices such as nutrient application and pest control, and very seldom deals with variety improvement or breeding. Because it has been dependent on commercially-available varieties developed under conventional high-input methods, traits are expressed [...] Read more.
Most often, organic farming focuses on the improvement of management practices such as nutrient application and pest control, and very seldom deals with variety improvement or breeding. Because it has been dependent on commercially-available varieties developed under conventional high-input methods, traits are expressed resulting in low yields that are commonly attributed to organic farming practices rather than to the adaptability of the cultivar to the system. A research program in the Philippines involving several regions and institutions has pioneered in the evaluation and improvement of varieties through breeding under low-input organic conditions. After making several crosses, pedigree selection, replicated yield and on-farm trials, promising and potential varieties were developed and identified in squash, cucumber, lettuce and yardlong bean. The most promising yield advantages over the respective check varieties ranged up to 47% in squash, 31% in yardlong bean, 42% in lettuce, and 43% in cucumber. Pest and disease resistance were also considered during the selection process, and top performers were moderately to highly resistant. General acceptability in appearance, taste and marketability provided additional selection criteria for considering the top performers and potential varieties. Commercial varieties developed and performing well under conventional high-input methods were mostly not suitable under organic low-input conditions. Hence, breeding under organic low-input conditions is a must to achieve high yield in organic farming systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Barriers to Development of Malagasy Horticultural Microenterprises in Madagascar
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010003 - 30 Dec 2016
Viewed by 1485
Abstract
The malagasy rural environment and the development of agricultural microenterprises are closely linked. For Ambalavao Atsimondrano located in the suburban area of Antananarivo, Madagascar, the horticultural chain appears as a buoyant sector; many rural or urban households are dependent upon it. Despite the [...] Read more.
The malagasy rural environment and the development of agricultural microenterprises are closely linked. For Ambalavao Atsimondrano located in the suburban area of Antananarivo, Madagascar, the horticultural chain appears as a buoyant sector; many rural or urban households are dependent upon it. Despite the reputation of the region in this field and support from different organizations, Rural Microenterprises (RMEs) encounter problems in their development. This study highlights the factors blocking entrepreneurial development including education of horticultural entrepreneurs and their ability to deal with complex situations. The aim of the study was to identify the factors affecting the growth of RMEs. A focus group on 33 small farmers considered as RMEs was conducted taking into account their individual characteristics. A typology and value chain analysis resulted in their classification and in comprehension of their empowerment in management. The results indicated that there were 3 types of entrepreneurs or promoters: the experienced traditional (36%), the educated young (33%), and the professional young (31%). Ishikawa diagrams highlight the problems related to entrepreneurial development in funding and information systems. Our conclusions insist on the necessity of improving communications strategies among microentrepreneurs, guidance for entering the market, and professionalizing the horticultural trade, while emphasizing the importance of cooperation between producers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
Occurrence and Distribution of Entomopathogenic Nematodes in Sweet Potato Fields in the Philippines and Their Implication in the Biological Control of Sweet Potato Weevil
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010022 - 30 Dec 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1379
Abstract
The sweet potato weevil (Cyclas formicarius Fabr.) remains a serious threat to sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas Poir.) production and is considered the most destructive pest of sweet potatoes in the field and storagein the Philippines. Chemical control of the weevil is [...] Read more.
The sweet potato weevil (Cyclas formicarius Fabr.) remains a serious threat to sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas Poir.) production and is considered the most destructive pest of sweet potatoes in the field and storagein the Philippines. Chemical control of the weevil is seldom practiced by farmers because they find it too costly, it may increase the chance for pesticide resistance, and because of public concern of its effectson non-target organisms. The use of biological controls such as entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) could offer an effective, economical, and environmentally-friendly alternative management of the weevil. This study determined the occurrence and distribution of entomopathogenic nematodes in selected sweet potato growing areas in the Philippines. Using soil from 13 sweet potato growing areas, EPNs were recovered using the insect baiting method. Morbid insect larvae were suspended in sterile water for 48 h, and the suspension was examined under a stereomicroscope for the presence of EPN. Out of 47 samples collected from the 13 sweet potato production areas, 39 (82%) were positive for the presence of EPNs. Preliminary identification of the EPNs through morphological characters showed that they belonged to Rhaditida: Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae. This is the first report on the occurrence of EPNs in sweet potato fields in the Philippines, and their distribution strongly supports the possibility of utilizing them in an IPM management approach as biological agents against the sweet potato weevil. Morphometric and molecular-based identification and pathogenicity studies are underway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
A Preliminary Comparison of Antioxidants of Tomato Fruit Grown Under Organic and Conventional Systems
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010021 - 30 Dec 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1701
Abstract
Organic farming is rapidly growing due to its perceived potential for producing higher nutritional quality. However, studies of organically- and conventionally-grown crops have not always shown differences between the systems. The objective of this research was to compare the antioxidant activities of organically-grown [...] Read more.
Organic farming is rapidly growing due to its perceived potential for producing higher nutritional quality. However, studies of organically- and conventionally-grown crops have not always shown differences between the systems. The objective of this research was to compare the antioxidant activities of organically-grown tomato to those from a conventional production system during postharvest cold storage. “Tub Tim Dang” tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) fruit were harvested at the breaker stage of maturity from both organic and conventional farms. Fruit were cold-stored at 10 °C for 20 days, and samples were collected at intervals to measure the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) activities, and total antioxidant activity by the 2,2′-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays. The activities of SOD, CAT and APX of organic tomato fruit did not differ from those of conventional fruit during cold storage. In addition, there was no effect of production system on FRAP activity. In contrast, DPPH activity of organic tomato fruit was lower than conventional fruit through 10 days of cold storage, but it was higher at 15 and 20 days. These results indicated that organic production did not have a significant effects on these antioxidant traits of tomato. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
Rehydration and Textural Properties of Dried Konjac Noodles: Effect of Alkaline and Some Gelling Agents
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010020 - 30 Dec 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1621
Abstract
Konjac glucomannan flour, which mainly consists of glucomannan, is an indigestible dietary fiber. Therefore, it has been broadly used as low-calorie food ingredient in various kinds of foods, beverages, and pharmaceutical products. In this study, the production of dried konjac noodles was evaluated [...] Read more.
Konjac glucomannan flour, which mainly consists of glucomannan, is an indigestible dietary fiber. Therefore, it has been broadly used as low-calorie food ingredient in various kinds of foods, beverages, and pharmaceutical products. In this study, the production of dried konjac noodles was evaluated by studying the effects of alkalinity using limewater versus calcium hydroxide and the gelling agent sodium alginate on textural properties of konjac noodles. Drying and rehydration conditions were studied to evaluate the optimum conditions for producing dried konjac noodles. By considering the springiness and cohesiveness of the konjac noodles, the results indicated that using 3% konjac glucomannan flour with limewater and an incubation time of 30 min were the most suitable conditions. In addition, hot air drying at 80 °C for 55 min and soaking in hot water for 9 min were the optimum drying and rehydration conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
Vermiculture for Sustainable Organic Agriculture in Madagascar
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010002 - 30 Dec 2016
Viewed by 1592
Abstract
Despite the possession of arable land, Malagasy farmers do not have sufficient access to capital and equipment and invest little to improve their low agricultural productivity in Madagascar. Vermicomposting is the result of research on the culture of earthworms to overcome problems with [...] Read more.
Despite the possession of arable land, Malagasy farmers do not have sufficient access to capital and equipment and invest little to improve their low agricultural productivity in Madagascar. Vermicomposting is the result of research on the culture of earthworms to overcome problems with fertilization and provide benefits to farmers, including improvement in crop performance and yield, and preservation of the environment. Each farmer can practice vermicomposting because of its simple technology. Our concern has been how to develop the production and use of vermicompost at the household level in rural areas in order to solve problems of soil fertility, improve agricultural productivity, and increase farmers' incomes with this organic technique. Thus, the objective of this research was to propose a model for the development of production and use of vermicompost in rural areas in order to minimize the costs of agricultural inputs, improve soil fertility and increase long-term household incomes. A typology of operators was carried out according to defined factors of production and activities performed, followed by a socio-economic analysis and a comparative analysis based on the types obtained. It will be essential to clearly define a national policy on organic farming by supporting private sector groups, NGOs or associations, and encouraging farmers to produce their own fertilizer. Technical and financial support will be needed for the development of concrete visual references which can demonstrate the technical and economic value that organic farming brings using vermicompost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
Clean Foods: The Inhibitory Effect of Five Natural Juices on the Browning of Apple Slices during Drying
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010019 - 30 Dec 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1289
Abstract
Enzymatic browning, which accompanies food preservation processes based on drying, is a common obstacle to obtaining marketable and consumer-appealing products. In this paper, we investigate the application of one of the methods commonly used in order to counter the browning process, namely dipping. [...] Read more.
Enzymatic browning, which accompanies food preservation processes based on drying, is a common obstacle to obtaining marketable and consumer-appealing products. In this paper, we investigate the application of one of the methods commonly used in order to counter the browning process, namely dipping. Dipping involves a soaking of the foods in liquids or solutions in order to suppress the activity of polyphenoloxidase (PPO) enzymes, either by physically preventing oxygen from interacting with it, or by dramatically decreasing water activity and thus slowing down water-dependent reactions. In this study, juices from selected fresh fruits with high ascorbic acid content were used as natural preservatives with antibrowning effects. The juices were prepared from fruit of the following species: Sorbus aucuparia, Diospyros kaki, Hippophae rhamnoides, Actinidia deliciosa, and Rosa canina. The effect of selected juices on color change was tested on dried “Idared” apple slices and was compared to slices of freshly cut apples (standard). The browning index of all sample groups showed significant differences between treatment groups and the standard except for samples treated with Rosa canina juice. The effect of the juices was also evaluated via a sensory panel, where color change, degree of browning, change of taste, and overall acceptability of the resulting color and taste were evaluated. Results showed that the best antibrowning effect was achieved by macerate from fruits of Rosa canina. The results of this study showed that dipping in some plant juices has the potential of complementing or replacing the sulphite-based approach, which is the current method of choice of the food industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Methyl Jasmonate on Physical and Chemical Properties of Mango Fruit cv. Nam Dok Mai
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010018 - 30 Dec 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1375
Abstract
The effect of methyl jasmonate (MeJA) on anthracnose severity and physical and chemical properties of mango fruit cv. Nam Dok Mai was investigated. The mango fruit were harvested at the mature-green stage and the fruit surface was disinfected with 100 ppm sodium hypochlorite [...] Read more.
The effect of methyl jasmonate (MeJA) on anthracnose severity and physical and chemical properties of mango fruit cv. Nam Dok Mai was investigated. The mango fruit were harvested at the mature-green stage and the fruit surface was disinfected with 100 ppm sodium hypochlorite solution. The fruit samples were then fumigated with 30 ppm MeJA in an enclosed container at 25 °C for 6 h, and subsequently stored at 13 °C for 18 days. Non-treated fruit were used as the control. The results showed that MeJA had no effect on anthracnose severity, stem end rot disease and color change. MeJA treatment induced ethylene production and enhanced the accumulation of β-carotene content throughout the storage period compared with non-treated fruit. This result indicated that MeJA treatment may be used to increase the accumulation of β-carotene content of mango fruit during storage at low temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
Production of Konjac Glucomannan Antimicrobial Film for Extending Shelf Life of Fresh-Cut Vegetables
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010017 - 30 Dec 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1267
Abstract
The aim of this research was to produce konjac glucomannan (KGM) antimicrobial film with added sweet basil oil (SB) (Ocimum basilicum) as an antimicrobial agent for inhibiting coliform bacteria which is the type most often found in fresh-cut vegetables. The concentrations [...] Read more.
The aim of this research was to produce konjac glucomannan (KGM) antimicrobial film with added sweet basil oil (SB) (Ocimum basilicum) as an antimicrobial agent for inhibiting coliform bacteria which is the type most often found in fresh-cut vegetables. The concentrations of SB oil in the emulsion that inhibited the most antimicrobial growth were 4% and 6% (v/v). Film-forming conditions were evaluated by varying the volume of KGM solution per area (0.325, 0.455 and 0.585 mL·cm−2) and the concentration of SB oil (4% and 6%). After mixing the film emulsions, the emulsions were dried on a tray dryer at 50 °C for 10 h. After drying, the results showed that KGM film made at 0.325 mL·cm−2 with SB oil at 4% resulted in the smoothest surface. When the film was tested against Escherichia coli, KGM at 0.325 mL·cm−2 with 4% SB oil and at 455 mL·cm−2 with 6% SB oil produced the greatest inhibition. Film with SB oil at 4% was used to study film properties. Physical properties of the film such as tensile strength (68.08 MPa) and % elongation (33.56%) as well as water vapor transmission rate (4.44 × 10−3 g·cm−2·h−1) were determined. The KGM/SB film did not show an antimicrobial effect on packages of fresh-cut baby cos lettuce or spring onion under the experimental conditions. Further work will be carried out to study more closely the controlled release properties of KGM/SB film to enhance its antimicrobial effects. These improvements could help to develop a more successful application for its use as a natural biopreservative in minimally-processed products like fresh-cut vegetables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Some Postharvest Storage Approaches on Essential Oil Characteristics of Fresh Organic Damask Rose (Rosa damascena Mill.) Flowers
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010016 - 30 Dec 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1398
Abstract
Damask rose (Rosa damascena Mill.) is an economically important species in the Rosaceae family for rose oil and rose water production, obtained exclusively from freshly-gathered Damask rose flowers. Iran is famous for producing organic rose essential oil, mainly used in the perfume [...] Read more.
Damask rose (Rosa damascena Mill.) is an economically important species in the Rosaceae family for rose oil and rose water production, obtained exclusively from freshly-gathered Damask rose flowers. Iran is famous for producing organic rose essential oil, mainly used in the perfume industry and for folk medicines due to its healing properties. Due to their high perishability, postharvest handling of the flowers prior to oil extraction are a key point in rose essential oil production. In this study, postharvest handling conditions of Damask rose flowers were evaluated for the effect on yield and quality of the extracted essential oils. Organically-grown flowers were stored under different conditions included packaging in polyethylene bags and immersing into water containers, and then held at 25 ± 2 °C or 4 ± 1 °C for 1, 2, or 3 days. Identification of the chemical composition of the essential oils was performed by GC and GC/MS. The results indicated that petal storage in water resulted in the highest essential oil content and quality, and storage in polyethylene bags resulted in the greatest loss, compared to those from unstored petals. The results provide a reference for interested groups such as producers and consumers who are concerned about Damask rose flower storage and subsequent oil extraction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
Improvement of Postharvest Quality of Asian Pear Fruits by Foliar Application of Boron and Calcium
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010015 - 30 Dec 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1479
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of foliar application of boron and calcium on postharvest storage characteristics of Asian pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) fruit. This experiment was carried out in the experimental orchard of Asian pear at Tarbiat [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of foliar application of boron and calcium on postharvest storage characteristics of Asian pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) fruit. This experiment was carried out in the experimental orchard of Asian pear at Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran. The treatments were two concentrations of boric acid (0% and 0.5%) and three concentrations of calcium chloride (0%, 0.5%, and 0.7%) which were sprayed on trees during the growing season. The data showed that foliar application of these two elements resulted in improvement in physicochemical characteristics of the pear fruit, particularly fruit firmness and polyphenol oxidase activity. At harvest, fruit firmness and total soluble solids (TSS) were significantly improved by B and Ca application, compared to control fruit. Although fruit firmness decreased during 3 months of cold storage, fruit which received higher rates of Ca and B retained more firmness. During the storage period, total phenolic content was significantly reduced in control fruit compared to fruit which were sprayed with Ca and/or B. The highest level of polyphenol oxidase activity was in B and Ca sprayed fruit and the lowest was in control fruit. In general, foliar application of Ca and B resulted in improvement of postharvest characteristics of Asian pear fruit and reduced internal browning symptoms. Thus, application of Ca and B could be recommended as treatments for increasing postharvest life of Asian pear in similar semi-arid climates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
Vacuum Packaging Controlled Crown Rot of Organically-Grown Balangon (Musa acuminata AAA Group) Banana
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010014 - 30 Dec 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1227
Abstract
Balangon bananas take about 23 to 28 days from harvest to reach Japan since the fruit have to be assembled from small and scattered farms, hence the problems of premature ripening and crown rot. The effectiveness of vacuum packaging in retarding ripening and [...] Read more.
Balangon bananas take about 23 to 28 days from harvest to reach Japan since the fruit have to be assembled from small and scattered farms, hence the problems of premature ripening and crown rot. The effectiveness of vacuum packaging in retarding ripening and in controlling crown rot has not been documented for organically-grown Balangon bananas. Balangon bananas harvested from farms in Don Severino Benedicto, Negros Occidental, Phillipines, were washed three times in tap water, then packed (wet packing) in a 13-kg capacity corrugated fibreboard carton lined with 0.05 mm thick low density polyethylene (LDPE) bag, and vacuum-packed using an ordinary vacuum cleaner. Bananas treated with 1% sodium bicarbonate were also subjected to vacuum packing. Packaged bananas were then loaded in refrigerated vans (13.0–13.5 °C), transported to Manila and then to the UPLB-PHTRC laboratory for simulated domestic and international shipments which took about 25 days from harvest until the bananas reached Japan. Bananas were then taken out of the sealed LDPE, allowed to equilibrate at 18 °C, treated with 2500 µL/L ethephon, and held at 23 °C for ripening. During the 25-day holding at 13.0–13.5 °C, bananas that were vacuum-packaged remained green. In the control (not vacuum-packaged), a few fingers in each hand started to ripen. The most significant effect of vacuum packaging in combination with 13 °C storage was the control of crown rot, particularly when bananas started to ripen. With vacuum packaging, the incidence of crown rot at the ripe stage was 2.8% compared with 55.7% in the control. Sodium bicarbonate did not control crown rot alone, nor contribute to the reduction caused by packaging and vacuum associated with the control of decay was the high visual quality rating of the fruit. Extended storage under vacuum-packed conditions did not significantly affect the physico-chemical and sensory attributes of bananas at the ripe stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Drying and Blanching on the Retention of Bioactive Compounds in Ginger and Turmeric
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010013 - 30 Dec 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1337
Abstract
Ginger and turmeric, members of the Zingiberaceae family, are widely used for their pungent and aromatic flavour in foods and also for their medicinal properties. Both crops are often grown by smallholders in mountain areas on rich former forest soils with no need [...] Read more.
Ginger and turmeric, members of the Zingiberaceae family, are widely used for their pungent and aromatic flavour in foods and also for their medicinal properties. Both crops are often grown by smallholders in mountain areas on rich former forest soils with no need for fertilizers and pesticides, fulfilling de facto the conditions of organic agriculture. They are consumed fresh or dried. Drying is often performed without taking into account the content of bioactive compounds in the dried product. Various bioactive compounds have been identified in their rhizomes, and their content affects the price of the dried product. Hence, this study focused on the effects of drying treatments and blanching on the retention of bioactive compounds in the dried products. The bioactive compounds in ginger rhizome (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) are gingerols (particularly 6-gingerol). The drying treatments that were applied to fresh ginger included constant and also changing temperature conditions. Due to the short drying time, 60 °C was the optimal drying temperature to retain 6-gingerol. However, the changing temperature conditions significantly improved the retention of 6-gingerol. As for blanching, it had a significant negative effect on 6-gingerol retention. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is known for its bright yellow colour and pharmacological properties due to curcumin, a phenolic compound. Drying was performed under constant conditions at 38 °C, 48 °C, 57 °C and 64 °C and a relative humidity of 20% and 40%. Drying at 57 °C with a lower relative humidity was the best drying treatment, yielding the highest amount of curcumin among non-blanched samples. Blanching for 15 min exhibited the highest curcumin yield while blanching for 5 min and 30 min did not have much effect. The findings of this study will benefit the industry in terms of improved quality control and cost reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessReview
Use of Nondestructive Devices to Support Pre- and Postharvest Fruit Management
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010012 - 30 Dec 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1514
Abstract
Fruit quality is greatly affected by the ripening stage at harvest. In order to preserve quality traits, increase product marketability, and extend both the storage time and the shelf life, it is crucial to tailor postharvest strategies to ripening and physiological stages, and [...] Read more.
Fruit quality is greatly affected by the ripening stage at harvest. In order to preserve quality traits, increase product marketability, and extend both the storage time and the shelf life, it is crucial to tailor postharvest strategies to ripening and physiological stages, and these need to be determined precisely. Surveying instruments working with modern technologies such as visible spectrometry can be precise and effective in assessing ripening stage and in grouping fruit in homogeneous classes. This paper reviews results using original nondestructive devices developed at the University of Bologna to define the fruit ripening of several fruit species through a new index (Index of Absorbance Difference (IAD)) to compare relationships among fruit ripening stage, fruit quality, and postharvest life. The devices defining the IAD can be used in the field (by the Difference Absorbance (DA)-Meter), at the packinghouse (with the DA-head, a stationary device), and at the cold storage level (with the DA Fruit Logger (DAFL)). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Bio-Organic and Inorganic Nutrient Sources on Growth and Flower Production of African Marigold
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010011 - 30 Dec 2016
Viewed by 1449
Abstract
African marigold (Tagetes erecta L.) is one of the most important flower crops grown commercially throughout India as a loose flower for worshipping, garland making, and garden display. The productivity and quality of flowers is greatly influenced by the quantity and source [...] Read more.
African marigold (Tagetes erecta L.) is one of the most important flower crops grown commercially throughout India as a loose flower for worshipping, garland making, and garden display. The productivity and quality of flowers is greatly influenced by the quantity and source of nutrients. At present, these nutrients are primarily supplied through chemical fertilizers. The indiscriminate use and complete reliance on the use of chemical fertilizers has also led to deterioration of soil health, thereby affecting sustainable flower production. Keeping these points in view, a field experiment was conducted on African marigold cv. “Orange Culcuttia” at the Horticultural Research Farm, Indira Gandhi Agricultural University, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India. The experiment was laid out in a randomized block design with three replications and twelve treatment combinations comprised of bio-organics (Cow Urine and Vermicompost), bio-fertilizers (Azospirillum and Phosphate-Solubilizing Bacteria) and NPK fertilizers. Application of Azospirillum + Phosphate-Solubilizing Bacteria + 5% Cow Urine + 50% recommended dose of “N” through Vermicompost + 50% recommended dose of NPK fertilizer was most effective in increasing vegetative growth parameters, such as plant height, number of branches, plant spread, as well as flower yield parameters like number of flowers, flower diameter, fresh and dry weight of flowers, flower yield, flowering duration, shelf life, and it also had the maximum benefit:cost ratio. Thus, use of inorganic fertilizers conjointly with bio-fertilizers and organic manures resulted in excellent vegetative growth and flower yield attributes in African marigold. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
Open AccessArticle
Trends of Soybean Yields under Climate Change Scenarios
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010010 - 30 Dec 2016
Viewed by 1371
Abstract
Soybean is a very important crop, cultivated mainly as stock feed for animal production, but also for other uses such as biodiesel. Brazil is the second largest producer of soybeans, and the main exporter. About 10% of total Brazilian production is aimed for [...] Read more.
Soybean is a very important crop, cultivated mainly as stock feed for animal production, but also for other uses such as biodiesel. Brazil is the second largest producer of soybeans, and the main exporter. About 10% of total Brazilian production is aimed for biodiesel production. The aim of this work was to assess the impact of climate change scenarios on soybean yield and evaluate two simple adaptation strategies: cultivar and planting date. Tests were done for soil profiles from two important producing regions: Chapecó-Red Oxisol, and Passo Fundo-Rodic Hapludox. Two commercial soybean cultivars (CD202 and CD204) and seven regional circulation models (RCM) were used. All simulations were done with DSSAT. After model calibration, eleven planting dates were run for two periods (2011–2040 and 2071–2100) using the RCM’s. There were no differences between cultivars. For Chapecó, the majority of RCM’s projected yield reductions, with few RCM’s projecting increments, and for only few planting dates (November). The response pattern for both time periods were identical, although the end-of-century period presented a further yield reduction. The main reason was reduced water holding capacity in soil, high temperatures, and changes in rainfall distribution along the cropping season. For Passo Fundo, 2011–2040 yields were distinct, depending on the RCM. Simulated yields tended to follow the actual yield pattern along the different planting dates, besides discrepancies. For 2071–2100, all but one RCM indicated yields equal or lower to actual levels. Regarding planting dates, no significant changes were identified, although reductions were observed for the early planting dates (August–September). The scenarios suggest that soybean yields will be reduced, jeopardizing the viability of this crop and biodiesel production in the studied regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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Open AccessReview
Breeding Trends of Fruit and Vegetable Crops for Organic Production in Lithuania
Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3010001 - 30 Dec 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1423
Abstract
At the Institute of Horticulture, Lithuanian Research Centre of Agriculture, Babtai, Lithuania, 27 fruit cultivars and 25 vegetable cultivars suitable for organic production were included in the National Plant Variety List and into the European Union Common Catalogue of Agricultural Plant and Vegetable [...] Read more.
At the Institute of Horticulture, Lithuanian Research Centre of Agriculture, Babtai, Lithuania, 27 fruit cultivars and 25 vegetable cultivars suitable for organic production were included in the National Plant Variety List and into the European Union Common Catalogue of Agricultural Plant and Vegetable Varieties. The cultivar development programs have focused on improving cold hardiness, resistance to diseases and pests, and yield, as well as on shipping, shelf life qualities, plant development, and biotechnological applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
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