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Biol. Life Sci. Forum, 2024, IOCAG 2023

The 2nd International Online Conference on Agriculture

Online | 1–15 November 2023

Volume Editor: Bin Gao, University of Florida, USA

Number of Papers: 13
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Cover Story (view full-size image): The 2nd International Online Conference on Agriculture—Research Achievements and Challenges (IOCAG2023) provided an online open forum for agricultural scientists and engineers to discuss these [...] Read more.
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234 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Assessing the Optimum Harvesting Stage of Tithonia diversifolia as Climate Smart Soil Amendment for Coconut Plantations
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2024, 30(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/IOCAG2023-15967 - 10 Nov 2023
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Abstract
Tithonia diversifolia is often grown as a cover crop or as a green manure crop in climate-smart agriculture practices. This plant can be harvested at various growth stages, and the biomass can be incorporated into the soil. The decomposition of plant biomass enhances [...] Read more.
Tithonia diversifolia is often grown as a cover crop or as a green manure crop in climate-smart agriculture practices. This plant can be harvested at various growth stages, and the biomass can be incorporated into the soil. The decomposition of plant biomass enhances the soil’s nutrients, organic matter content, and crop productivity. This study aimed to determine the best harvesting stage of T. diversifolia to be used as an efficient soil amendment for coconut plantations. Samples were collected at one-, two-, three-, and four-month harvesting stages from an existing T. diversifolia field at Rathmalagara Research Station of the Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka. In the study, both plant-growth parameters and the nutrient composition of each plant part were individually evaluated for every section of the plant. Biochar was prepared from hardwood stems of T. diversifolia using them as the feedstock under five different temperatures from 300 ℃ to 700 ℃, and a proximate analysis was performed for the characterization of produced biochar. The mean values of measured parameters of T. diversifolia and the properties of biochar were significantly different (p < 0.05) at different growth stages and temperatures, respectively. Considering all the measured parameters of T. diversifolia, the three-month harvesting stage can be suggested as the best growth stage for it to be used as green manure. According to the proximate-analysis results, and by observing the half-burning of produced biochar, 500 ℃ can be proposed as the ideal temperature to produce biochar from hardwood stems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The 2nd International Online Conference on Agriculture)
524 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Variability of Genomic Profile of ypr-10 Gene in Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2024, 30(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/IOCAG2023-15888 - 07 Nov 2023
Viewed by 67
Abstract
Citrus fruits enjoy widespread consumption globally, being among the most popular fruits. They are highly regarded for their nutritional composition, offering a range of beneficial nutrients. However, it is important to acknowledge that they can also elicit allergic reactions in sensitized individuals, which [...] Read more.
Citrus fruits enjoy widespread consumption globally, being among the most popular fruits. They are highly regarded for their nutritional composition, offering a range of beneficial nutrients. However, it is important to acknowledge that they can also elicit allergic reactions in sensitized individuals, which presents a contrasting aspect. The Bet v 1 cross-reacting allergen is a major birch pollen allergen, and it is the most commonly sensitizing allergen in central Europe. Bet v 1 belongs to the group of PR-10 proteins in the plant kingdom that cause various allergic reactions. The Bet v 1 allergen has a number of isoforms and homologs. These homolog genes are inherited from a common ancestor and subsequent amino acid similarity. They can cause the phenomenon of cross-reactivity in food allergies. The aim of the study was to analyze the length of polymorphism variability of the Bet v 1 homolog in orange varieties by using degenerated and nondegenerated primers. A total of eight varieties of Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck were used in the analysis. The BBAP technique (Bet v 1 based amplified polymorphism) was used to detect the length variability of fingerprints of allergen encoding genes of Bet v 1 homologs. Degenerated primer combinations and only one of the nondegenerated variants of primers provided fingerprints that were unique for every individual variety of analyzed oranges. By using other primer variants, from two up to the four varieties generated by the same BBAP profile, indicate a higher degree of Bet v 1 homolog sequential conservativity when compared to other fruit species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The 2nd International Online Conference on Agriculture)
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225 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Can Precision Agriculture Be the Future of Indian Farming?—A Case Study across the South-24 Parganas District of West Bengal, India
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2024, 30(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/IOCAG2023-16680 - 26 Dec 2023
Viewed by 100
Abstract
Agricultural practices such as tilling, sowing, cropping, It’s duty but arvesting, and land-use patterns in any agrarian economy depend on climate. Therefore, any adverse climatic conditions can seriously affect the production or yield of crops. Increased temperature enhances the susceptibility of crops to [...] Read more.
Agricultural practices such as tilling, sowing, cropping, It’s duty but arvesting, and land-use patterns in any agrarian economy depend on climate. Therefore, any adverse climatic conditions can seriously affect the production or yield of crops. Increased temperature enhances the susceptibility of crops to pests and various plant diseases. Weeds are also known to multiply rapidly and decrease the nutritive value of soil, negatively affecting crop production. Our present study is designed to address similar problems faced by the farming community in the South-24 Parganas district of West Bengal, India, and suggest several probable technological solutions. Importantly, West Bengal is included in one of the six agro-climatic zones. Major crops from this study site are rice, wheat, maize, jute, green gram, black gram, pigeon pea, lentils, sugarcane, pulses, rapeseed, mustard, sesame, linseed, and vegetables. Significantly, cultivable land area has decreased in comparison to the overall crop area in this region. Reduced interest in agriculture, irrigation problems, increased profit in the non-agricultural economy, and rapid conversion of agricultural land for commercial purposes (construction of plots, hatcheries for fishing practices), along with uncertainties associated with rainfall patterns and frequent cyclones, are matters of grave concern in this study area. Agricultural scientists, researchers, environmentalists, local bodies, and government organizations are suggesting alternatives to benefit farmers. Thus, precision agriculture or crop management is required to recognize site-specific variables within agricultural lands and formulate strategies for improving decision-making regarding crop sowing, appropriate use of herbicides, weedicides, and precision irrigation, along with innovative harvesting technologies. Thus, the present paper provides a vision for the farming community in our study area to overcome their traditional practices and adopt different techniques of precision agriculture to increase flexibility, performance, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness. Soil temperature, humidity, and moisture monitoring sensors could be beneficial. Precision soil management, precision irrigation, crop disease management, weed management, and harvesting technologies are the different modules considered for discussion in this paper. Machine learning algorithms, such as decision tree, K-nearest neighbor (KNN), Gaussian naïve Bayes (GNB), K-means clustering, artificial neural network (ANN), fuzzy logic system (FLS), and support vector machine (SVM), could prove helpful for progressive farmers. The use of AI-powered weeding machines, drones, and UAVs for rapid weed removal and the localized application of herbicides and pesticides could also improve the accuracy and efficiency of agriculture. Utilizing drones fitted with high-resolution cameras could help gather precision field images, proving to be quite helpful in crop monitoring and crop health assessment. Unmanned driverless tractors and harvesting machines using robotics integrated with data from GPS/GIS sensors or radars could also be considered an effective and time-saving option. Thus, machine learning, along with innovative agricultural technologies, could contribute to improving the livelihoods of the farming fraternity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The 2nd International Online Conference on Agriculture)
252 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Enhancing Vegetative Growth of Quinoa and Soil Properties under Water Shortage through Targeted Organic Amendments
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2024, 30(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/IOCAG2023-16532 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 109
Abstract
The scarcity of water resources is considered a major threat and challenge for agriculture. Water limitations could strongly affect the growth and development of many crops including quinoa, a nutrition-rich, climate-resilient crop that is gaining attention globally. Organic amendment application has been reported [...] Read more.
The scarcity of water resources is considered a major threat and challenge for agriculture. Water limitations could strongly affect the growth and development of many crops including quinoa, a nutrition-rich, climate-resilient crop that is gaining attention globally. Organic amendment application has been reported as a suitable option to mitigate the detrimental impacts of water shortage on soil and plant growth. In this context, two experiments were conducted on Chenopodium quinoa “Titicaca”; in the first experiment, we investigated the effect of different organic amendments, namely woodchips biochar (Bw), vineyard pruning biochar (Bv), and vermicompost (V), applied (alone and mixed) at 2% soil dry weight, on soil properties and the plant biomass of quinoa subjected to a water stress period during vegetative development. Among organic amendments tested, Bw and Bw+V increased plant biomass on average by 15%, while Bv and Bv+V reduced the plant biomass by 62% compared to non-amended soil (C). A significant reduction in soil pH was observed with Bw (7.61), while BV increased pH (8.04) compared to C (7.76). The Bw and Bv also reduced soil bulk density (BD) (1.19 g/m3 and 1.13 g/m3, respectively) compared to C (1.28 g/m3). As Bw performed better in the first experiment, the second experiment assessed only Bw at different doses, i.e., 0%, 2%, and 4% under water shortage by restoring only 50% evapotranspiration losses, when soil water content reached the 50% of available water content. Considering the Bw rates, the plants treated with Bw2% showed 34% and 19% more biomass and 36% and 66% more panicles than Bw0% and Bw4%, respectively. The Bw2% decreased the soil pH (7.79 versus 7.85) and electrical conductivity (286 versus 307 µS/cm) compared to Bw0%, which was not different from Bw4%. No differences were observed in BD between Bw0% and Bw2% (on average 1.28 g/m3), while BD decreased in Bw4% (1.06 g/m3). The findings of both experiments highlighted that the appropriate type and dose of biochar could improve soil properties and help quinoa plants to grow better under water-limited conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The 2nd International Online Conference on Agriculture)
558 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Cropping System and Nitrogen Supply Interfere in Sustainability of Maize Production in the Dry Season
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2024, 30(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/IOCAG2023-15828 - 06 Nov 2023
Viewed by 60
Abstract
Diversification in cropping systems can increase production and reduce environmental impacts. Thus, we studied maize production as a function of the cropping system and the nitrogen rates applied as side-dressing. The experimental design involved randomized blocks with four replications in a split-plot scheme. [...] Read more.
Diversification in cropping systems can increase production and reduce environmental impacts. Thus, we studied maize production as a function of the cropping system and the nitrogen rates applied as side-dressing. The experimental design involved randomized blocks with four replications in a split-plot scheme. The main plots were maize monoculture; maize intercropped with Congo grass (Urochloa ruziziensis cv. Comum); and maize intercropped with Aruana Guinea grass (Megathyrsus maximus cv. Aruana). The subplots were four nitrogen rates (0; 50; 100 and 150 kg ha−1) applied as side-dressing. The maize and grasses row were fertilized with nitrogen. Maize intercropped with grasses needs an adequate nitrogen supply to be applied as side-dressing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The 2nd International Online Conference on Agriculture)
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3357 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
YOLO-AppleScab: A Deep Learning Approach for Efficient and Accurate Apple Scab Detection in Varied Lighting Conditions Using CARAFE-Enhanced YOLOv7
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2024, 30(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/IOCAG2023-16688 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 114
Abstract
Plant and fruit diseases significantly impact agricultural economies by diminishing crop quality and yield. Developing precise, automated detection techniques is crucial to minimize losses and drive economic growth. We introduce YOLO-AppleScab, integrating Content-Aware ReAssembly of FEature (CARAFE [...] Read more.
Plant and fruit diseases significantly impact agricultural economies by diminishing crop quality and yield. Developing precise, automated detection techniques is crucial to minimize losses and drive economic growth. We introduce YOLO-AppleScab, integrating Content-Aware ReAssembly of FEature (CARAFE) architecture into YOLOv7 for enhanced apple fruit detection and disease classification. The model achieves impressive metrics: F1, recall, and precision of 89.75%, 85.20%, and 94.80%, and a mean average precision of 89.30% at IoU 0.5. With 64% efficiency, this model’s integration with YOLOv7 improves detection, promising economic benefits by accurately detecting apple scab disease and reducing agricultural damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The 2nd International Online Conference on Agriculture)
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532 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Qualities and Origins of Out-of-Home Food Products: Midday Meals in the Cities of Southeastern Gabon
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2024, 30(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/IOCAG2023-15827 - 06 Nov 2023
Viewed by 61
Abstract
The place of local products in out-of-home catering and the growth of non-communicable metabolic diseases in sub-Saharan Africa raise questions. To identify the influence of the economic and social environments on this phenomenon, this study analyzes the foods and consumers concerning the main [...] Read more.
The place of local products in out-of-home catering and the growth of non-communicable metabolic diseases in sub-Saharan Africa raise questions. To identify the influence of the economic and social environments on this phenomenon, this study analyzes the foods and consumers concerning the main meal of the day. A survey of 180 customers from seventy-three catering establishments in the province of Haut Ogooué in southeastern Gabon was conducted. They were interviewed between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. over a month using a semi-structured questionnaire providing socio-demographic variables, foods, side dishes, cooking methods, prices, and food additives consumed in restaurants and at home. The results show that clients are disadvantaged young people (30.3 ± 9.7 years) who consume animal proteins that are less available at home. Low prices, imported food, proximity, the availability of food additives rich in oils and salts, and the possibility of consuming local side foods explain the success of out-of-home catering. The cooking and consumption patterns are conducive to the development in the long-term of non-communicable metabolic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The 2nd International Online Conference on Agriculture)
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605 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Impact of Planting Techniques and Nutrient Management on Crop Productivity and Profitability of Rice (Oryza sativa L.)
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2024, 30(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/IOCAG2023-15874 - 07 Nov 2023
Viewed by 78
Abstract
A field experiment was conducted at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology, Meerut (U.P.), India, during the kharif season (June–September) in 2019 to study the impact of planting techniques and nutrient management on the crop productivity and profitability of rice ( [...] Read more.
A field experiment was conducted at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology, Meerut (U.P.), India, during the kharif season (June–September) in 2019 to study the impact of planting techniques and nutrient management on the crop productivity and profitability of rice (Oryza sativa L.). The treatment comprised four planting techniques as the main (M) treatments and six fertility levels as subplot (S) treatments in a split-plot design with three replications. The results of the experimentation revealed that Conventional Tillage Transplanted rice and the combination of nitrogen chemical fertilizer with organic nitrogen from FYM (farmyard yard manure) resulted in the highest effective tillers, grains per panicle and grain yield. Conventional Tillage Transplanted rice (M2) stood out with the highest gross returns (USD 1151.27 per ha) and net returns (USD 690.03 per ha) due to its superior yield. The Reduce Tillage Transplanted rice (M1) and Unpuddled Transplanted rice (M4) techniques produced good yields, with net returns of USD 564.97 per ha and USD 634.93 per ha, respectively. Among the fertility levels, 75% NPK + 25% N FYM (S5) led with the highest gross returns (USD 1257.74 per ha) and net returns (USD 815.90 per ha). The treatment with 100% NPK + 25% N from FYM (S6) also performed well, with net returns of USD 837.70 per ha, emphasizing the value of combining chemical fertilizers and organic sources for optimal results. Among the planting techniques, M2 resulted in the highest benefit-cost ratio (1.5), while S5 yielded the highest benefit-cost ratio (1.85), indicating their economic viability Full article
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The 2nd International Online Conference on Agriculture)
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746 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
The Contribution of Tribal Women Entrepreneurs to Long-Term Economic Growth: A Bibliometric Analysis and Prospects for Future Study
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2024, 30(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/IOCAG2023-16686 - 26 Dec 2023
Viewed by 96
Abstract
Tribal women entrepreneurship has gained significant attention in recent years as a means to empower women from indigenous communities and foster sustainable development within their societies. However, with the recognition of their unique skills, knowledge, and cultural heritage, tribal women are increasingly embracing [...] Read more.
Tribal women entrepreneurship has gained significant attention in recent years as a means to empower women from indigenous communities and foster sustainable development within their societies. However, with the recognition of their unique skills, knowledge, and cultural heritage, tribal women are increasingly embracing entrepreneurship as a pathway to economic self-sufficiency and empowerment. Our research analysed bibliometric data from 2002 to 2023 to see how the field of study on tribal women entrepreneurs has evolved. This study looked at a wide range of factors, including publication details, authorship details, country of origin, and author-related keywords. The R studio Bibliometrix programme was used to make the visuals. The annual output of publications increased by 9.82% after the COVID-19 pandemic, and there was a notable increase in the number of publications on tribal women entrepreneurship. Possible causes include supportive technological development, a thriving environment for new businesses, and government initiatives. India and the United States have produced the most comprehensive studies of entrepreneurship followed by the United Kingdom, but researchers from all over the world have worked together on similar projects. This study has shown that there has been a significant increase in entrepreneurial research activity, as well as demonstrating the breadth and interdisciplinary character of this research. However, more work needs to be carried out to bring together scholars from different fields to examine how different organisations have impacted the study of tribal women entrepreneurs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The 2nd International Online Conference on Agriculture)
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1516 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Biochar Production from Wastewater Sludge for Application in Sustainable Lettuce Plant Cultivation and Climate Change Mitigation
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2024, 30(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/IOCAG2023-15934 - 09 Nov 2023
Viewed by 37
Abstract
Compared with conventional soil additives, biochar has found successful application as an organic soil amendment to improve crop productivity coupled with climate change mitigation via carbon sequestration. This study investigated the synthesis of biochar from wastewater sludge, followed by its application for lettuce [...] Read more.
Compared with conventional soil additives, biochar has found successful application as an organic soil amendment to improve crop productivity coupled with climate change mitigation via carbon sequestration. This study investigated the synthesis of biochar from wastewater sludge, followed by its application for lettuce plant growth. Biochar was added to the soil at three rates of 2.5%, 5%, and 10% (w/w) using pot experiments under greenhouse conditions. Biochar application demonstrated an economic feasibility scenario with a payback period of 0.89 years. Hence, the study outcomes can contribute to eco-friendly crop management, soil conservation, and combat climate change, providing a reliable strategy for achieving targets of SDG 2 “Zero hunger,” SDG 13 “Climate action,” and SDG 15 “Life on land.” Full article
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The 2nd International Online Conference on Agriculture)
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1189 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Agriculture Revolutionized by Artificial Intelligence: Harvesting the Future
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2024, 30(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/IOCAG2023-15875 - 07 Nov 2023
Viewed by 34
Abstract
According to the United Nations FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), the world population will expand by another 2 billion in 2050, but extra land area under cultivation will account for only 4% of the total land area at that time. In such cases, [...] Read more.
According to the United Nations FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), the world population will expand by another 2 billion in 2050, but extra land area under cultivation will account for only 4% of the total land area at that time. In such cases, more efficient farming practices can be achieved by utilizing recent technical developments and solutions to current farming bottlenecks. Crop metrics could be constructed over hundreds of acres of cultivable land using remote sensing (RS) techniques and 3D laser scanning. AI-based crops produced a 30% increase in average crop output per ha and provided a rapid GTM (go-to-market) approach for crops. This article raises the image of boosting agriculture and analyzes the AI-powered concepts in the future and the obstacles that are expected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The 2nd International Online Conference on Agriculture)
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571 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Evaluation of Durum Wheat Genotypes at Germination Stage under Salinity Stress
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2024, 30(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/IOCAG2023-16339 - 27 Nov 2023
Viewed by 39
Abstract
The aim of this work was to investigate several durum wheat genotypes (eleven landraces, two old varieties and seven modern cultivars) for salt tolerance at germination and early growth stages. Seeds were tested under two different concentrations of NaCl solution (50 mM and [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to investigate several durum wheat genotypes (eleven landraces, two old varieties and seven modern cultivars) for salt tolerance at germination and early growth stages. Seeds were tested under two different concentrations of NaCl solution (50 mM and 100 mM) and a control (T) with distilled water. Experiments were laid out in a two-factorial design with three replications. Two-way ANOVA was performed and means were compared with Duncan’s Multiple Range test. Seven parameters were measured under laboratory conditions: germination, mean germination time, shoot length, root length, root number, shoot dry matter and root dry matter. Rusticano, with the highest value of root number (5.44), was statistically different from all other genotypes. Timilia reste bianche, Timilia reste nere, Ciciredda and Cappelli are highlighted for the best root length performance at 100 mM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The 2nd International Online Conference on Agriculture)
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534 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Calcium Biofortification in Solanum tuberosum L.: Assessing the Influence of Calcium Nitrate and Calcium Chloride on Yield
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2024, 30(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/IOCAG2023-15920 - 08 Nov 2023
Viewed by 33
Abstract
Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is a widely consumed and essential food crop globally, making it an ideal food matrix for biofortification. Agronomic biofortification is one of the strategies used to enhance Ca content in edible parts of crops, considering the adverse health [...] Read more.
Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is a widely consumed and essential food crop globally, making it an ideal food matrix for biofortification. Agronomic biofortification is one of the strategies used to enhance Ca content in edible parts of crops, considering the adverse health issues associated with Ca deficiency. This study aims to investigate the impact of Ca agronomic biofortification through four foliar applications after the beginning of tuberization on the yield of tubers of Solanum tuberosum L. (Picasso variety) produced in Lourinhã (Portugal) in 2018, focusing on the application of calcium chloride or, alternatively, calcium nitrate at different concentrations (calcium chloride—1, 3, 6 and 12 kg/ha or calcium nitrate—0.5, 1, 2 and 4 kg/ha). Control plants and plants subjected to the different Ca treatments were placed in plots of 20 × 24 m; the treatments were carried out in quadruplicate (compass 60–80 cm). As such, the Ca content in tubers was quantified by atomic absorption spectrophotometry in the different treatments. The Ca biofortification index with calcium chloride or calcium nitrate ranged between 5 and 40%, with the treatment with 6 kg/ha CaCl2 being the one which presented the highest Ca content in tubers at harvest and 1 kg/ha CaCl2 being the treatment with the lowest Ca biofortification index. However, 6 kg/ha CaCl2, despite presenting the highest Ca content, was not the treatment that presented the highest yield. Indeed, all the calcium nitrate treatments demonstrated a substantial increase in tubers yield, which varied between 2.3 (4 kg/ha Ca(NO3)2) and 24.3% (2 kg/ha Ca(NO3)2). Statistical analysis was carried out in all the analyses using one-way ANOVA to assess differences among treatments in Solanum tuberosum L. (Picasso variety), followed by Tukey’s analysis for mean comparison, with a 95% confidence level. Furthermore, these findings emphasize the potential of Ca biofortification, especially calcium nitrate treatments, in enhancing the yield of Solanum tuberosum L. tubers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The 2nd International Online Conference on Agriculture)
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