Agriculture: 10th Anniversary

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2022) | Viewed by 26633

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Plant Sciences and Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Interests: abiotic stress impacts; climate change; drought and heat responses; transport of nutrients and pollutants via xylem and phloem; photosynthesis under abiotic stress; rubisco activase properties
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, University of Padova, 35020 Legnaro, Padova, Italy
Interests: precision agriculture; agricultural mechanization; sensors; automation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Complesso Universitario Monte S. Angelo Via Cintia 4, I-80126 Naples, Italy
Interests: secondary metabolites in plant-pathogen interaction; natural substances with biological activity; chromatographic techniques; spectroscopic methods
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The MDPI journal Agriculture is a peer-reviewed, open access journal inaugurated in 2011. Since then, it has been serving as an international research forum for agricultural scientists and engineers. Agriculture has high visibility and has been indexed within Scopus, SCIE (Web of Science), AGRICOLA, AGRIS, RePEc, and many other databases. It has an impact factor (2020) of 2.925 and is ranked 20/91 (Q1) in the category "Agronomy". To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Agriculture has organized this Special Issue in which all researchers in the field of agricultural and food science are invited to submit a full paper. Specific topics of interest include but are not limited to the science and technology of crop and animal production, biosecurity, and postharvest handling of produce, agricultural technology, management of the natural resource base for agricultural production (land, soil and water), rural management and agricultural development, and agriculture in changing environments.

Prof. Dr. Bin Gao
Prof. Dr. Urs Feller
Prof. Dr. Sanzidur Rahman
Prof. Dr. Francesco Marinello
Prof. Dr. Isabel Lara
Prof. Dr. Rodomiro Ortiz
Dr. Jacopo Bacenetti
Prof. Dr. Massimo Cecchini
Dr. Anna Andolfi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • agriculture
  • crop production
  • animal production
  • soil and water
  • environmental impacts
  • rural management
  • agricultural development
  • agricultural safety

Published Papers (9 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research

4 pages, 165 KiB  
Editorial
Resilience of Agri-Food Systems
by Les Copeland
Agriculture 2022, 12(4), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12040543 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1875
Abstract
Agriculture was launched in June 2011 as a scholarly, open access journal for publishing research covering the breadth of the agriculture value chain from an international perspective [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture: 10th Anniversary)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

10 pages, 688 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Presence of a Monoculture: From Definition to Quantification
by Silvio Franco, Barbara Pancino, Angelo Martella and Tommaso De Gregorio
Agriculture 2022, 12(9), 1506; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091506 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2877
Abstract
The term monoculture is widely used in the scientific literature concerning the agricultural sector. However, it is very difficult to find a clear and shared definition of this term. This study investigates the concept of monoculture in agricultural areas where high specialization in [...] Read more.
The term monoculture is widely used in the scientific literature concerning the agricultural sector. However, it is very difficult to find a clear and shared definition of this term. This study investigates the concept of monoculture in agricultural areas where high specialization in a specific crop is observed. Therefore, we refer to a territorial-level definition, which associates the idea of monoculture to the prevalent presence of a crop in a region including many farms. The objectives of the paper are: (i) to define indicators capable of verifying the existence of this condition; (ii) to test the ability of such indicators in identifying the effective presence of a monoculture. A set of Italian areas identified as monoculture in the recent literature were selected to carry out a quantitative analysis, assessing different indexes of monoculture. On the basis of the obtained results, such an analysis should help in comparing the monoculture indexes and fostering a discussion on their suitability and descriptive capacities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture: 10th Anniversary)
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 7061 KiB  
Article
Sentinel-2 Satellite Imagery-Based Assessment of Soil Salinity in Irrigated Rice Fields in Portugal
by Romeu Gerardo and Isabel P. de Lima
Agriculture 2022, 12(9), 1490; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091490 - 17 Sep 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 5079
Abstract
Salinization is a major soil degradation threat in irrigated lands worldwide. In Portugal, it affects several pockets of irrigated agricultural areas, but the spatial distribution and intensity of soil salinity are not well known. Unlike conventional approaches to appraise soil salinity, remote sensing [...] Read more.
Salinization is a major soil degradation threat in irrigated lands worldwide. In Portugal, it affects several pockets of irrigated agricultural areas, but the spatial distribution and intensity of soil salinity are not well known. Unlike conventional approaches to appraise soil salinity, remote sensing multispectral data have great potential for detecting, monitoring, and investigating soil salinity problems in agricultural areas. This study explores the assessment of soil salinity in irrigated rice cultivation fields using two types of multispectral-based indices calculated from Sentinel-2 satellite imagery: (i) vegetation indices (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, Green Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, Generalized Difference Vegetation Index and Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index), to monitor the indirect effect of salinity on rice growth; and (ii) salinity indicators, namely those based on visible and near-infrared bands (Normalized Difference Salinity Index) and on shortwave infrared bands (Salinity Index ASTER). The data are for the Lower Mondego Valley (Central Portugal) and the period 2017–2018. Results revealed that salinity indices can be used for mapping soil salinity and constitute a valuable soil salinity assessment tool in rice cultivation areas affected by salinity issues. As there is less reported inventorying of spatial extent of such degradation in irrigated agricultural areas of Portugal, this innovative approach allowed by remote sensing technology can add to understanding the spatial extent of such areas and undertaking more such studies spatially and temporally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture: 10th Anniversary)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 5163 KiB  
Article
Effect of Shade Screen on Sap Flow, Chlorophyll Fluorescence, NDVI, Plant Growth and Fruit Characteristics of Cultivated Paprika in Greenhouse
by Kyeong Ho Kim, Md Rayhan Ahmed Shawon, Jin Hee An, Hyoun Jin Lee, Dong Jae Kwon, In-Chul Hwang, Jong Hyang Bae and Ki Young Choi
Agriculture 2022, 12(9), 1405; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091405 - 6 Sep 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2318
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of shade screens on the physiological activity, growth parameters and fruit characteristics of the paprika (Capsicum annuum L.) plant. Plants were grown in a protected greenhouse and treated under two different [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of shade screens on the physiological activity, growth parameters and fruit characteristics of the paprika (Capsicum annuum L.) plant. Plants were grown in a protected greenhouse and treated under two different shade screens, S1 (single screen) and S2 (double screens; 10% low light intensity compared to S1), during summer at a particular time of the day. The results revealed that the plant height was significantly enlarged by the S2 treatment. However, the number of leaves, leaf fresh weight and leaf dry weight were significantly decreased under S2-treated plants compared to those grown in the S1 treatment. The stem diameter and shoot fresh weight were not significantly different between the treatments. The sap flow and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) were higher in S1-treated plants than in those grown in the S2 treatment. The chlorophyll fluorescence fluctuated in both treatments. The fruit fresh weight, number of fruits, fruit pericarp thickness, fruit firmness, fruit volume, sugar content and acidity were significantly higher in S1-treated plants than in S2. Hunter values a and b were significantly higher in S2-treated plants. Moreover, the fruit length and width were not significantly different between the two treatments. The sugar content and acidity of paprika showed a positive correlation. These results suggest that, compared to a double screen for shade in the greenhouse, a single screen is suitable for the growth of paprika plants and enhanced their fruit production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture: 10th Anniversary)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 2294 KiB  
Article
GIS-Based Evaluation of Soil Suitability for Optimized Production on U.S. Tribal Lands
by Harrison W. Smith, Amanda J. Ashworth and Phillip R. Owens
Agriculture 2022, 12(9), 1307; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091307 - 25 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2082
Abstract
Optimizing soil—crop—landscape occurrence is essential for sustainable intensification and food security, but little work has been done to evaluate these parameters on Tribal lands. The objective of this study was to develop first ever high-resolution crop suitability maps and compare two established crop [...] Read more.
Optimizing soil—crop—landscape occurrence is essential for sustainable intensification and food security, but little work has been done to evaluate these parameters on Tribal lands. The objective of this study was to develop first ever high-resolution crop suitability maps and compare two established crop suitability models for their ability to optimize soil resource management of the Quapaw Tribal lands. We built on previously developed continuous soil properties maps for 22,880 ha of Quapaw Tribal lands that used a digital elevation model and a fuzzy-logic based data mining approach to calculate and evaluate the Dideriksen and Storie crop suitability indices. Suitability index results were evaluated against observed yield (n ≥ 130,000) within the study area. Results showed that the observed yield was positively correlated with the Storie suitability index (Spearman rho = 0.16, p < 0.01), but not the Dideriksen index, suggesting the Storie index is more appropriate than the Dideriksen for modeling crop suitability in this area. Additionally, very little (<13%) of the highly suitable soils in the Quapaw Tribal lands are currently used for crop production, suggesting potential yield gaps from the underutilization of highly suitable soils. Future research could improve estimates through the development of novel suitability indices for closing yield gaps and further improved sustainable intensification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture: 10th Anniversary)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

17 pages, 1140 KiB  
Article
Consequences of Ignoring Dependent Error Components and Heterogeneity in a Stochastic Frontier Model: An Application to Rice Producers in Northern Thailand
by Kexin Li, Jianxu Liu, Yuting Xue, Sanzidur Rahman and Songsak Sriboonchitta
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1078; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081078 - 22 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1685
Abstract
The traditional Stochastic Frontier Model (SFM) suffers from a very restrictive assumption of independence of its error components and also limited ability to address heterogeneity (inefficiency effects) satisfactorily, thereby leading to potential biases in the estimation of model parameters, identification of inefficiency effect [...] Read more.
The traditional Stochastic Frontier Model (SFM) suffers from a very restrictive assumption of independence of its error components and also limited ability to address heterogeneity (inefficiency effects) satisfactorily, thereby leading to potential biases in the estimation of model parameters, identification of inefficiency effect variables influencing efficiency and, ultimately, efficiency scores. This paper aims to investigate the consequences of ignoring any dependency in error components and heterogeneity in the stochastic frontier model, and proposes a copula-based SFM with heterogeneity to resolve such weaknesses based on a simulation study to prove its superiority over the traditional SFM, followed by an empirical application on a sample of rice producers from northern Thailand. We demonstrate that the proposed model, i.e., copula-based SFM with dependent error components and heterogeneity, is unbiased and robust. The simulation experiments show that the traditional SFM can cause biases in parameter estimation and severe overestimation of technical efficiency. The traditional SFM with heterogeneity also has similar consequences. However, just ignoring heterogeneity does not have a great impact on parameter estimation and technical efficiency compared to the consequence of ignoring dependency in error components. The empirical application of the proposed model results show that land, labor and material inputs are all significant drivers of rice production in our copula-based SFM with dependent error components and heterogeneity, whereas in the traditional SFM model only the land variable seems to be a significant driver of rice production. The mean technical efficiency (MTE) score was also overestimated by two points in the traditional SFM, i.e., MTE = 0.88 versus 0.86. Finally, results of the copula-based SFM with dependent error components and heterogeneity reveals that both subsistence pressure and the use of hired labor are significantly associated with technical inefficiency, whereas the traditional SFM could identify the effect of hired labor use only. Therefore, caution is necessary when interpreting results from the conventional SFM as the results may be biased, incomplete and/or inadequate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture: 10th Anniversary)
Show Figures

Figure 1

8 pages, 7222 KiB  
Communication
Production of Pelleted Biochar and Its Application as an Amendment in Paddy Condition for Reducing Methane Fluxes
by Jin-Ju Yun, Jae-Hyuk Park, Bharat Sharma Acharya, Jong-Hwan Park, Ju-Sik Cho and Se-Won Kang
Agriculture 2022, 12(4), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12040470 - 26 Mar 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3210
Abstract
The global focus continues with respect to increasing agricultural productivity, such as in paddy soils using inorganic fertilizers. Such practices could adversely affect the agricultural environment by deteriorating soils and increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The aim of this study was to assess the [...] Read more.
The global focus continues with respect to increasing agricultural productivity, such as in paddy soils using inorganic fertilizers. Such practices could adversely affect the agricultural environment by deteriorating soils and increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of biochar pellet blended with condensed molasses soluble (CMS) on rice productivity, soil quality, and methane (CH4) emissions in a paddy condition for healthy agricultural ecosystem. This study used a commercial scale pyrolysis system to produce biochar at 600 °C from bamboo. The experiment consisted of three different treatments: control, inorganic fertilizer (IF, N-P-K = 90-45-57 kg ha−1), and biochar pellet (BC_PT, 1000 kg ha−1). Compared to other treatments, the biochar pellet decreased annual CH4 flux by 15.8–18.8%. The rice grain yield under inorganic fertilizer as conventional rice management was slightly more than applied biochar pellets, despite lower soil chemical properties. However, for long-term paddy management, including environmental protection and rice production, biochar pellets are better suited for maintaining a healthy agricultural ecosystem than conventional practices. Indeed, the application of biochar pellets appears to potentially reduce CH4 emissions and maintain stable rice productivity through the slow release of nutrients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture: 10th Anniversary)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1836 KiB  
Article
Short and Long-Term Effect of Land Use and Management on Soil Organic Carbon Stock in Semi-Desert Areas of North Africa-Tunisia
by Fatma Baraket, Manuel González-Rosado, Nadhem Brahim, Núria Roca, Hadda Ben Mbarek, Marcin Świtoniak, Rayda Chaker, Ángel Sánchez-Bellón, Hafedh Rigane, Kamel Gargouri and Luis Parras-Alcántara
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11121267 - 14 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2954
Abstract
Soil organic carbon (SOC) plays an important role in the global C cycle, as well as in the maintenance and improvement of the soil quality. Over time, special attention has been paid to it in the study of the SOC reserves worldwide; however, [...] Read more.
Soil organic carbon (SOC) plays an important role in the global C cycle, as well as in the maintenance and improvement of the soil quality. Over time, special attention has been paid to it in the study of the SOC reserves worldwide; however, reduced attention has been given to assessing the spatial patterns of SOC stock (SOCS) in semi-desert ecosystems. In this line, there are no conclusive studies in drylands of Africa affected by aeolian processes (semi-desert conditions) mainly due to the complexity of sample collection, and this is especially significant in some soil types such as Arenosols (AR) and Calcisols (CL). This study evaluated the spatial variability of SOC and SOCS in AR and CL with woody crops in relation to land use and management (old plantations > 100 years: centenary olive grove; new plantations < 12 years: young olive grove, almond, and pistachio) in semi-desert conditions. For this purpose, 16 soil profiles (for 0–40 and 40–100 cm depth) were selected and studied in an experimental area of Menzel Chaker-Sfax in southeastern Tunisia (North Africa). The main results indicated that the SOCS on average was higher in Old Cultivated AR (OC-AR) with 41.16 Mg ha−1 compared to Newly Cultivated AR (NC-AR) with 25.13 Mg ha−1. However, the SOCS decreased after a long period of cultivation in CL from 43.00 Mg ha−1 (Newly Cultivated CL: NC-CL) to 32.19 Mg ha−1 (Old Cultivated CL: OC-CL). This indicates that in the long term, CL has more capacity to store SOC than AR, and that in the short term, AR is more sensitive to land management than CL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture: 10th Anniversary)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 5171 KiB  
Article
Characteristics of Agricultural Dust Emissions from Harvesting Operations: Case Study of a Whole-Feed Peanut Combine
by Peng Zhang, Hongbo Xu, Zhichao Hu, Youqing Chen, Mingzhu Cao, Zhaoyang Yu and Enrong Mao
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1068; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111068 - 29 Oct 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2377
Abstract
The rapid development of peanut mechanization has increased the amount of dust expelled from peanut mechanized operations, which degrades the air quality and endangers the health of agricultural workers. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to figure out the characteristics of dust [...] Read more.
The rapid development of peanut mechanization has increased the amount of dust expelled from peanut mechanized operations, which degrades the air quality and endangers the health of agricultural workers. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to figure out the characteristics of dust emission from mechanized peanut harvesting. To this end, the particulate matters of diameters ≤ 2.5 μm and ≤10 μm and the total suspended particles were sampled in real time during peanut harvesting in Henan Province, China, and the airborne particle concentrations and particle size distributions were measured. The dust particles discharged during the mechanized peanut harvesting were concentrated within the 2~30 µm size range. When the wind speed was reduced below the settling velocity of the largest particles, the more massive particles were carried in the downwind. The amount of free silica in the dust samples was determined by X-ray diffraction analysis. Both the total dust and free silica concentrations exceeded the occupational exposure and threshold limits. To improve the characteristics of dust emission, the microstructure and dispersion of the dust were also investigated. Reducing the agricultural operations during periods of high wind speed, low crop-moisture content, and low air humidity is recommended for reducing the dust exposure of workers. The results will provide guidance and technical support for reducing the dust emissions of mechanized harvesting operations, improving air quality, and reducing the health hazards to operators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture: 10th Anniversary)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop