Special Issue "Recent Advances in Technological and Agronomic Practices for Sustainable Agriculture"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Mohsin Tanveer
Website
Guest Editor
School of Land and Food, University of Tasmania, Hobart 2007, Tasmania, Australia
Interests: agronomy; farming system; stress management; environmental pollution; sustainable development
Prof. Ejaz Ahmad Khan
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Gomal University, D.I.Khan, Pakistan
Interests: Weed managment; Allelopathy; Agronomy; Intercropping; cropping systems; irrigation management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainable agriculture is a kind of agriculture that specializes in generating long-term plants and cattle at the same time as having minimum outcomes on the surroundings. This kind of agriculture tries to discover a top balance among the demand for food production and the preservation of the ecological gadgets inside the environment. In addition to generating meals, there are several general goals associated with sustainable agriculture, consisting of holding water, reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides, and selling biodiversity in plants grown and the ecosystem. Sustainable agriculture additionally specializes in retaining the monetary balance of farms and assisting farmers with improving their techniques and satisfactoriness of existence.

Innovative technology and agronomic practices refer to specific practices used to improve soil fertility, crop diversification, and plant protection, promote crop growth, and increase productivity. A range of innovative technological development farming practices, approaches, and technologies exist that can increase output and productivity, supporting sustainability. At the farm level, several innovations related to improving production techniques are continuously evolving—for example, use of growth models to predict and estimate nutrient use efficiency, radiation use efficiency and water use efficiency, tillage practices that promote seed germination, priming techniques to improve seed germination and seedling growth, foliar application to improve plant growth, organic fertilization to support crop demands in nutrients, and growth regulators that improve crop growth under stress conditions, cover crop or crop rotation to increase crop diversity in the field.

Agricultural intensification increases crop productivity but simplifies production with a lower diversity of cropping systems, higher genetic uniformity, and a higher uniformity of agricultural landscapes. Associated detrimental effects on the environment and biodiversity as well as the resilience and adaptability of cropping systems to climate change are of growing concern. Crop diversification may stabilize the productivity of cropping systems and reduce the negative environmental impacts and loss of biodiversity, but a shared understanding of crop diversification, including approaches towards a more systematic research, is lacking.

For this Special Issue on ‘Recent Advances in Technological and Agronomic Practices for Sustainable Agriculture’, we are ready to accept papers that enhance our understanding of novel technologies and practices to improve crop production and discuss opportunities for maximizing agricultural productivity. Moreover, critical review and research articles are more than welcome to address the potential role of different techniques and practices to improve crop diversification and sustainable agriculture.

Dr. Mohsin Tanveer
Prof. Dr. Mirza Hasanuzzaman
Prof. Ejaz Ahmad Khan
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 papers will be 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 1400 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

  • Crop growth models
  • Radiation use efficiency
  • Tillage practices
  • Foliar application and seed priming
  • Novel cultivation techniques
  • Agricultural intensification
  • Cover crops and crop rotation
  • Sustainability of crop plants

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Effects of 1-Methylcyclopropene Treatment on the Fruit Quality of ‘Idared’ Apples during Storage and Transportation
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110490 - 22 Oct 2020
Abstract
1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) is applied as an inhibitor of ethylene action, which is widely used in postharvest technology to prolong the shelf life of many fruits. The aim of the study was to assess the possibility to apply 1-MCP treatment to maintain the quality [...] Read more.
1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) is applied as an inhibitor of ethylene action, which is widely used in postharvest technology to prolong the shelf life of many fruits. The aim of the study was to assess the possibility to apply 1-MCP treatment to maintain the quality of ‘Idared’ apples for long-distance transportation. The studied apples were assessed in three groups: (I) 1-MCP postharvest treatment; (II) 1-MCP postharvest treatment with Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) selected gas permeability bags; and (III) control groups (with neither 1-MCP treatment, nor dedicated packaging). Apples were subjected to storage in the Ultra Low Oxygen (ULO) chamber that was applied for 0 weeks, 10 weeks and 20 weeks (three periods of storage); simulated long-distance transport (6 weeks); and simulated distribution, which was applied for 0 days, 5 days, 10 days, and 15 days (4 periods of distribution). The obtained 36 groups (three postharvest treatments per three periods of storage per four periods of distribution) were analyzed to assess firmness, total soluble solids (TSS) and titratable acidity (TA). There were differences between firmness values for control groups and those with 1-MCP applied, which were characterized by higher values of firmness (p < 0.05). Groups with 1-MCP and MAP applied combined were characterized by higher values of TSS than control groups (p < 0.05). The majority of groups with 1-MCP applied alone were characterized by higher values of TA than control groups (p < 0.05), but values for samples attributed to 1-MCP and MAP combined were not higher than for 1-MCP alone. It may be concluded that 1-MCP applied postharvest contributed to higher results of firmness and TA of ‘Idared’ apples after long-distance transportation, but combining 1-MCP with MAP did not contribute to further differences for TA. However, for TSS the observed influence was inconclusive. It may be stated that 1-MCP is a beneficial treatment for ‘Idared’ apples for long-distance transportation as it prolongs their shelf life and improves firmness. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Indexes of Radicle are Sensitive and Effective for Assessing Copper and Zinc Tolerance in Germinating Seeds of Suaeda salsa
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100445 - 30 Sep 2020
Abstract
Euhalophytes, such as Suaeda salsa, are ideal candidates to remediate heavy metal-polluted saline soils. However, the metal tolerance ability of dimorphic seeds and subsequent seedlings is largely unknown. This study investigated the tolerance of S. salsa seeds to different concentrations of Cu [...] Read more.
Euhalophytes, such as Suaeda salsa, are ideal candidates to remediate heavy metal-polluted saline soils. However, the metal tolerance ability of dimorphic seeds and subsequent seedlings is largely unknown. This study investigated the tolerance of S. salsa seeds to different concentrations of Cu2+ (0–300 mM) and Zn2+ (0–300 mM) during germination and seedling growth stages. Results showed that dimorphic seeds of S. salsa had high metal tolerance during germination, and even germinated under 300 mM Cu and Zn treatments. However, seedling growth was more sensitive to metal solutions and radicle growth was almost completely inhibited by Cu at 10 mM, and by Zn at 50 mM. Germinating seeds and seedlings of S. salsa had a higher metal toxicity threshold of Zn than that of Cu. In all indexes, indexes of radicle were the most sensitive and effective indicator of metal tolerance. Seeds of S. salsa germinated successfully and seedlings survived under high Zn and Cu stress. The results suggest that S. salsa could be sown directly in heavy metal-contaminated soils for phytoremediation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Study on Leaf Gas Exchange, Growth, Grain Yield, and Water Use Efficiency under Irrigation Regimes for Two Maize Hybrids
Agriculture 2020, 10(9), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10090369 - 20 Aug 2020
Abstract
Drought stress has been a great challenge for the sustainability of maize (Zea mays L.) production in arid and semi-arid regions. The utilization of drought-tolerant hybrids and proper irrigation regimes represent a management strategy to stabilize maize production under water-limited conditions. A [...] Read more.
Drought stress has been a great challenge for the sustainability of maize (Zea mays L.) production in arid and semi-arid regions. The utilization of drought-tolerant hybrids and proper irrigation regimes represent a management strategy to stabilize maize production under water-limited conditions. A two-year field experiment was conducted to assess the leaf gas exchange, growth, grain yield, and water use efficiency in two cultivars of maize, i.e., Zhengdan 958 (H1) and Zhongdan 909 (H2), under different water regimes, i.e., full irrigation (FI), reproductive irrigation (RI), and rainfed (RF). Plant samples were collected at different growth stages to measure the maize growth and development under the three irrigation regimes. The grain yield in RF was significantly reduced by 30.4% (H1) and 31.1% (H2); and the water use efficiency (WUE) by 8.5% (H1) and 9.3% (H2) compared with FI. On the other hand, irrigation application at the flowering stage was shown to significantly boost the grain yield by 40.3% (H1) and 25.5% (H2); and the WUE by 27.6% (H1) and 14.1% (H2) compared to RF. This indicated that H1 benefited more from irrigation use compared to H2. The improved grain yield through reproductive irrigation was due to the greater soil plant analysis development (SPAD), net photosynthesis, and biomass production when compared to zero irrigation. Zhengdan 958 was shown to be relatively more resistant to drought stress during flowering compared to Zhongdan 909. Thus, to achieve reliable maize production in Huaibei Plain, reproductive irrigation is recommended, combined with Zhengdan 958. Full article
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