Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Innovative Cropping Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2023) | Viewed by 115638

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Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A), University of Catania, I-95123 Catania, Italy
Interests: agronomy; cropping systems; oilseed crops; legume crops; cereal crops field crops; cover crops; agrobiodiversity; ecophysiology, abiotic stress; product quality
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Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Messina, Polo Universitario dell’Annunziata, 98168 Messina, Italy
Interests: agronomy; crop production; allelopathy; weed science; weed management; cover crops; fertilization; Cynara cardunculus; potato
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Dear Colleagues,

Agriculture is facing the challenge of the transition to sustainability to meet the growing demand for food, feed, and for several other renewable nonfood raw materials under a changing climatic scenario. Understanding the complexity of the agroecosystems can favor research on innovative agronomic practices to guide this change. The optimization of the spatiotemporal combination among plants in farming systems (crop sequence and intercropping), the exploitation of the different forms of biodiversity at soil and plant level, the increase in the use efficiency of native resources (radiation and rainfall, N2, CO2, H2O, etc.) and the reduction of the dependence on external energy input (soil tillage, agrochemicals and mineral fertilizers) represent the driving force behind this paradigmatic change. This approach will ensure the enhancement of the territorial vocation in productive and qualitative terms, also promoting several ecosystem services, from carbon sequestration to landscape ecology.

The scientific community is called to take up this challenge, which can contribute to the progress of agriculture while safeguarding the biosphere. For these reasons, the present Special Issue will focus on recent advancements in the wide scientific area of field crops in order to identify strategies and tactics calibrated site-by-site for an eco-friendly and efficient agronomic management. We encourage, in particular, contributions on the choice of plant species and cultivars (traditional and improved) and agronomic practices (soil tillage, fertilization, irrigation, weed control) to design and manage productive and sustainable cropping systems with different degrees of intensification and scale, from traditional to commercial farming (smallholding, organic, protected areas; mixed, pastoral, hay, site-specific), variously spread throughout the world. The influence of these agronomic aspects on the quality of the products of field crops will also be considered. Research papers, communications, and review articles on the abovementioned topics are welcome.

Dr. Umberto Anastasi
Dr. Aurelio Scavo
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • agronomy
  • field crops
  • agrobiodiversity
  • fertilization
  • irrigation
  • weed management
  • soil management
  • crop quality
  • cover cropping
  • crop physiology
  • organic farming
  • climatic change
  • sustainability
  • ecosystem services

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Published Papers (40 papers)

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Editorial

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6 pages, 220 KiB  
Editorial
Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops
by Umberto Anastasi and Aurelio Scavo
Agronomy 2023, 13(9), 2328; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13092328 - 6 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1990
Abstract
Agriculture is facing the challenge of a transition to sustainability to meet the growing demands for food, feed, and several other renewable nonfood raw materials under a changing climatic scenario [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

14 pages, 2738 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Different Sowing Density and Nitrogen Topdressing on Wheat Were Investigated under the Cultivation Mode of Hole Sowing
by Yitao Sun, Wenlong Yang, Yilun Wu, Youhe Cui, Yongli Dong, Zhoujia Dong and Jiangbo Hai
Agronomy 2023, 13(7), 1733; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13071733 - 28 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 911
Abstract
Hole sowing is a new and efficient cultivation method with few studies. This study investigated the effects of different sowing densities and nitrogen topdressing at the jointing stage on dry matter, quality, and yield under wheat hole sowing to provide a theoretical basis [...] Read more.
Hole sowing is a new and efficient cultivation method with few studies. This study investigated the effects of different sowing densities and nitrogen topdressing at the jointing stage on dry matter, quality, and yield under wheat hole sowing to provide a theoretical basis for integrating wheat fertilizer and density-supporting technology. In this study, a two-factor split-plot design was used. The sowing density was the main plot, and four levels were set: D1, D2, D3, and D4 (238, 327, 386, and 386 suitable seeds·m−2). The four sowing levels were sown according to 8 grains/hole, 11 grains/hole, 13 grains/hole, and 16 grains/hole, respectively, with a row spacing of 25 cm and a hole spacing of 13.5 cm; the amount of nitrogen fertilizer applied at the jointing stage was the sub-area, with four levels: N1, N2, N3, and N4 (0, 60, 120, and 180 kg·ha−1). After two years of experimental research, the following main conclusions are drawn: the use of high sowing density and nitrogen topdressing is helpful to improve the dry matter quality of wheat spikes at the maturing stage; the sowing density had significant or highly significant effects on protein content, starch content, and sedimentation value. The yield from 2018–2019 reached a maximum of 8448.67 kg·ha−1 under D4N4 treatment, and the yield from 2019–2020 reached a maximum of 10,136.40 kg·ha−1 under D4N3 treatment. Therefore, the combination of 225 kg·ha−1 sowing density and 120–180 kg·ha−1 nitrogen topdressing at the jointing stage can be used in field production, which can help improve wheat production potential. Similarly, understanding the interaction between wheat hole sowing and different sowing densities and nitrogen topdressing amounts provides a practical reference for high-yield wheat cultivation techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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13 pages, 2554 KiB  
Article
Response of Crop Performance and Yield of Spring Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas [L.] Lam) as Affected by Mechanized Transplanting Properties
by Hui Li, Baoqing Wang, Song Shi, Jilei Zhou, Yupeng Shi, Xuechuan Liu, Hu Liu and Tengfei He
Agronomy 2023, 13(6), 1611; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13061611 - 15 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2158
Abstract
The sweet potato transplanters of diverse transplanting configurations have been shown to produce various planting properties in relation to different raised bed cropping systems, thus affecting crop growth and yield in sweet potato cultivation. In Shandong Province, a field experiment assessed the effects [...] Read more.
The sweet potato transplanters of diverse transplanting configurations have been shown to produce various planting properties in relation to different raised bed cropping systems, thus affecting crop growth and yield in sweet potato cultivation. In Shandong Province, a field experiment assessed the effects of three treatments (RB1, mulched raised beds with a finger-clip type transplanter; RB2, bare raised beds with a finger-clip type transplanter; and RB3, bare raised beds with a clamping-plate type transplanter) on soil temperature, plant growth, yield, and economic benefits. With the lowest coefficient variation of plant spacing and planting depth, the RB1 with the finger-clip type transplanter had 6.4% and 6.0% higher temperature at 5–10 cm soil layer by using the plastic-mulch for rapid early slips growth as compared with the RB2 and the RB3, respectively. Consequently, the leaf area index in the RB1 was increased by 5.6% and 6.4% as compared to the RB2 and the RB3, separately. This finally contributed to 57.5–70.8% greater fresh vines weight and 23.8–33.8% higher tubers yield in the RB1 compared with both the RB2 and the RB3 treatments, respectively. In general, in the mulched raised bed system of the Huang-Huai-Hai region of China, the finger-clip type transplanter could be a suitable option for the transplanting of sweet potato slips. In the bare raised bed system, meanwhile, the clamping-plate type transplanter has the potential to increase the production of sweet potatoes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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14 pages, 1876 KiB  
Article
Plasma Treated Cattle Slurry Moderately Increases Cereal Yields
by Thomas Cottis, Hesam Mousavi and Svein Øivind Solberg
Agronomy 2023, 13(6), 1549; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13061549 - 2 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1726
Abstract
Plasma treatment offers an approach to enhance the nitrogen (N) content of livestock slurry and biogas digestate, thereby increasing the efficacy of organic fertilizers. This innovative method is used to produce nitrogen-enriched organic fertilizer (NEO) containing a double concentration of plant-available N. Over [...] Read more.
Plasma treatment offers an approach to enhance the nitrogen (N) content of livestock slurry and biogas digestate, thereby increasing the efficacy of organic fertilizers. This innovative method is used to produce nitrogen-enriched organic fertilizer (NEO) containing a double concentration of plant-available N. Over three years, we conducted a comprehensive study in 14 spring wheat and barley field trials in Norway. The primary objective was to assess and compare the cereal grain yield achieved by applying NEO to other conventional fertilizers. The NEO utilized in our research was derived from the unit developed by the Norwegian company N2 Applied. The results indicated that 120 kg N ha−1 in NEO yielded in the same range of cereal grains as 95 kg N ha−1 in mineral fertilizer. Moreover, the combination of untreated slurry and 55 kg N ha−1 in mineral fertilizer Opti-NS yielded the same as 120 kg N ha−1 in NEO. Surprisingly a combination of 12 kg N ha−1 in mineral fertilizer at sowing day and 108 kg N ha−1 in NEO at the three-leaf stage led to a higher yield in spring wheat than 120 kg N ha−1 NEO spread at sowing day in two out of three experimental years. Moreover, applying NEO directly to plants has shown no visible signs of harm. Lastly, filtering the slurry resulted in higher cereal grain yields than the untreated slurry. In conclusion, despite possessing the same N content, utilizing NEO yielded a 15–20% lower cereal grain yield than mineral fertilizer. Nonetheless, 20–30% more yield than the native amount of cattle slurry it derived. However, we have observed an unexplained loss of approximately 17% of the nitrogen in NEO, which does not translate into increased grain yield or nitrogen productivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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19 pages, 13348 KiB  
Article
Optimizing Planting Density in Alpine Mountain Strawberry Cultivation in Martell Valley, Italy
by Sebastian Soppelsa, Michael Gasser and Massimo Zago
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1422; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051422 - 21 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2057
Abstract
Optimizing profitability is a challenge that strawberry farmers must face in order to remain competitive. Within this framework, plant density can play a central role. The aim of this two-year study was to investigate how planting density can induce variations in plant growth [...] Read more.
Optimizing profitability is a challenge that strawberry farmers must face in order to remain competitive. Within this framework, plant density can play a central role. The aim of this two-year study was to investigate how planting density can induce variations in plant growth and yield performances in an alpine mountain strawberry cultivation (Martell Valley, South Tyrol, Italy), and consequently quantify the farm profit. Frigo strawberry plants cv. Elsanta were planted in soil on raised beds and subjected to five different planting density levels (30,000 and 45,000 as large spacing; 60,000 as middle spacing; 90,000 and 100,000 plants ha−1 as narrow spacing, corresponding to a plant spacing of 28, 19, 14, 9, and 8.5 cm, respectively). Our findings indicate that the aboveground biomass in plants subjected to low planting density was significantly increased by +50% (end of first year) and even doubled in the second year in comparison with plants in high planting density. Those results were related to higher leaf photosynthetic rate (+12%), and the number of crowns and flower trusses per plant (+40% both) (p < 0.05). The low yield (about 300 g plant−1) observed in the high planting density regime was attributable to smaller fruit size during the first cropping year and to both a reduced number of flowers per plant and fruit size during the second year (p < 0.05). Although the highest yield (more than 400 g plant−1) was obtained with wide plant spacing, the greatest yield per hectare was achieved with high planting densities (28 t ha−1 in comparison with 17 t ha−1 with low plant density level). However, the farm profit must take into account the costs (especially related to the plant material and harvesting costs) that are higher under the high planting density compared with the other density regimes. Indeed, the maximum farm profit was reached with a density of 45,000 plants ha−1 which corresponded to EUR 22,579 ha−1 (over 2 years). Regarding fruit quality, fruits coming from the low plant density level showed a significantly higher color index (+15% more red color) than fruits from high plant density (p < 0.05). In conclusion, our results suggest that a middle planting density can be a fair compromise in terms of plant growth, yield, and farm profit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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10 pages, 1144 KiB  
Article
Effects of Planting Pre-Germinated Buds on Stand Establishment in Sugarcane
by Hima Varsha Madala, Ricardo A. Lesmes-Vesga, Calvin D. Odero, Lakesh K. Sharma and Hardev S. Sandhu
Agronomy 2023, 13(4), 1001; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13041001 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2412
Abstract
Sugarcane (a complex hybrid of Saccharum spp.) is propagated vegetatively by using stem pieces of mature cane with healthy buds. Abiotic and biotic stress may cause pre-germination of these buds, which may have an impact on both emergence and plant cane stand establishment. [...] Read more.
Sugarcane (a complex hybrid of Saccharum spp.) is propagated vegetatively by using stem pieces of mature cane with healthy buds. Abiotic and biotic stress may cause pre-germination of these buds, which may have an impact on both emergence and plant cane stand establishment. There is very limited information available in the literature. A greenhouse study was conducted with single-budded seed pieces of three levels of bud germination (ungerminated buds, Pop-eyes, and Lalas) from three different cultivars (CP 96-1252, CPCL 05-1201, and CPCL 02-0926) planted in pots and repeated over time. Data on growth parameters (tiller count, primary shoot height, SPAD, and dry biomass of shoots and roots) at early growth showed that Lalas produced more tillers and higher shoot dry biomass than Pop-eyes and ungerminated buds. Both Lalas and Pop-eyes produced higher root dry biomass than ungerminated buds in one of the two experiments. The cultivar had a significant effect on primary shoot height and SPAD. A small plot field experiment was conducted with cultivar CP 96-1252 to validate the results of greenhouse experiments, and similar results were reported for tiller count. The results indicate that pre-germinated buds may have a neutral or positive effect on early sugarcane growth and establishment. Further on-farm research needs to be conducted to confirm these results before using pre-germinated buds as a potential seed source for the late season planting of sugarcane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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12 pages, 1016 KiB  
Article
Physiological Quality of Soybean Seeds as a Function of Soil Management Systems and Pre-Harvest Desiccation
by Gustavo Ferreira da Silva, Larissa Chamma, Bruno Cesar Ottoboni Luperini, Prínscilla Pâmela Nunes Chaves, Juliano Carlos Calonego, João Nakagawa and Edvaldo Aparecido Amaral da Silva
Agronomy 2023, 13(3), 847; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13030847 - 14 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2248
Abstract
Soil management systems directly interfere in the soil–plant relationship. However, there are still few studies evaluating the influence of long-term management systems on the physiological quality of soybean seeds. Another little-known topic is the influence of pre-harvest desiccation on the physiological quality of [...] Read more.
Soil management systems directly interfere in the soil–plant relationship. However, there are still few studies evaluating the influence of long-term management systems on the physiological quality of soybean seeds. Another little-known topic is the influence of pre-harvest desiccation on the physiological quality of soybean seeds, especially on seed longevity. Thus, the aim of this research was to evaluate the physiological quality of soybean seeds cultivated under conventional tillage and no-tillage systems with and without desiccant use. The experiment was carried out in design is a split plot in a randomized complete block design. The treatments consisted of soil management systems (conventional tillage and no-tillage), with and without pre-harvest desiccation. In the treatment with desiccation, the herbicide Paraquat was applied, when the plants were at the R7.3 phenological stage (most of the seeds had a yellowish coat, with a shiny surface and were already detached from the pod). Seed germination, vigor (first germination count, seedling dry mass, seedling length, time to reach 50% germination (T50), seedling emergence and emergence speed index) and longevity (P50) were evaluated. Seeds cultivated under conventional tillage showed greater vigor for most traits evaluated, with values of T50 and seedling length higher by 24.39% and 24.77%, respectively, compared to NT. In addition, non-desiccation increased the seedling length and dry mass, in 15.45% and 21.59%, respectively. The use of desiccant aiming at seed vigor is dependent on the soil management system. Soybean seed longevity was superior in the no-tillage system, but desiccant application reduced seed longevity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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16 pages, 4891 KiB  
Article
The Border Effects of Dry Matter, Photosynthetic Characteristics, and Yield Components of Wheat under Hole Sowing Condition
by Yitao Sun, Chao Yang, Huajun Liang, Yuyan Yang, Kangmin Bu, Yongli Dong and Jiangbo Hai
Agronomy 2023, 13(3), 766; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13030766 - 7 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1907
Abstract
Wheat can be cultivated by hole sowing, but its border effect has not yet been studied. Therefore, we carried out a field experiment from 2021 to 2022 at the Doukou Crop Experimental Demonstration Station (108°52′ E, 34°37′ N) of Northwest A&F University in [...] Read more.
Wheat can be cultivated by hole sowing, but its border effect has not yet been studied. Therefore, we carried out a field experiment from 2021 to 2022 at the Doukou Crop Experimental Demonstration Station (108°52′ E, 34°37′ N) of Northwest A&F University in Jingyang County, Xianyang City, Shaanxi Province, China. The response of dry matter, photosynthetic characteristics, and yield components of wheat to the border effects under the hole sowing method was studied. The results showed specific border effects on each index of five wheat varieties (XN136, XN175, XN527, XN536, and XN765), among which the border effects of XN175 and XN765 were the most significant, with the highest yield. Subsequent correlation analysis revealed that only grain per spike and intercellular carbon dioxide concentration responded negatively to the border effects, and the rest were positively correlated. Finally, we conducted a random forest model analysis of different indicators of wheat varieties with significant border effects. We found that net photosynthetic rate and aboveground dry matter per plant had the most significant impact and contribution to the border effects. In contrast, grain per spike had the most negligible impact on the border effects. Our results fill a gap in the study of the border effects of wheat under hole sowing cultivation for future researchers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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24 pages, 1626 KiB  
Article
Establishing Optimal Planting Windows for Contrasting Sorghum Cultivars across Diverse Agro-Ecologies of North-Eastern Nigeria: A Modelling Approach
by Folorunso M. Akinseye, Hakeem A. Ajeigbe, Alpha Y. Kamara, Akinrotimi O. Omotayo, Abdullahi I. Tofa and Anthony M. Whitbread
Agronomy 2023, 13(3), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13030727 - 28 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1963
Abstract
In the context of climate change, the sowing date and cultivar choice can influence the productivity of sorghum, especially where production is constrained by low soil fertility and early terminal drought across the challenging agro-ecologies of north-eastern Nigeria. Planting within an optimal sowing [...] Read more.
In the context of climate change, the sowing date and cultivar choice can influence the productivity of sorghum, especially where production is constrained by low soil fertility and early terminal drought across the challenging agro-ecologies of north-eastern Nigeria. Planting within an optimal sowing window to fit the cultivar’s maturity length is critical for maximizing/increasing the crop yield following the appropriate climate-smart management practices. In this study, the APSIM crop model was calibrated and validated to simulate the growth and yield of sorghum cultivars with differing maturing periods sown within varying planting time windows under improved agricultural practices. The model was run to simulate long-term crop performance from 1985 to 2010 to determine the optimal planting windows (PWs) and most suitable cultivars across different agro-ecological zones (AEZs). The performance of the model, validated with the observed farm-level grain yield, was satisfactory across all planting dates and cropping systems. The model predicted a lower mean bias error (MBE), either positive or negative, under the sole cropping system in the July sowing month compared to in the June and August sowing months. The seasonal climate simulations across sites and AEZs suggested increased yields when using adapted sorghum cultivars based on the average grain yield threshold of ≥1500 kgha−1 against the national average of 1160 kgha−1. In the Sudan Savanna (SS), the predicted optimum PWs ranged from 25 May to 30 June for CSR01 and Samsorg-44, while the PWs could be extended to 10 July for ICSV400 and Improved Deko. In the Northern Guinea Savanna (NGS) and Southern Guinea Savanna (SGS), the optimal PWs ranged from 25 May to 10 July for all cultivars except for SK5912, for which predicted optimal PWs ranged from 25 May to 30 June. In the NGS zone, all cultivars were found to be suitable for cultivation with exception of SK5912. Meanwhile, in the SGS zone, the simulated yield below the threshold (1500 kgha−1) could be explained by the sandy soil and the very low soil fertility observed there. It was concluded that farm decisions to plant within the predicted optimal PWs alongside the use of adapted sorghum cultivars would serve as key adaptation strategies for increasing the sorghum productivity in the three AEZs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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14 pages, 503 KiB  
Article
Winter Oilseed Rape: Agronomic Management in Different Tillage Systems and Seed Quality
by Mateusz Sokólski, Dariusz Załuski, Artur Szatkowski and Krzysztof Józef Jankowski
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020524 - 11 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1474
Abstract
A three-year study was conducted to analyze agronomic management in the production of winter oilseed rape (WOSR) under different tillage systems. A field experiment was conducted at the University’s Agricultural Experiment Station in Bałcyny (north-eastern Poland), in three growing seasons (2016/2017, 2017/2018, and [...] Read more.
A three-year study was conducted to analyze agronomic management in the production of winter oilseed rape (WOSR) under different tillage systems. A field experiment was conducted at the University’s Agricultural Experiment Station in Bałcyny (north-eastern Poland), in three growing seasons (2016/2017, 2017/2018, and 2018/2019). The experiment had a 35–2 resolution III fractional factorial design with five fixed factors that were tested at three levels of intensity. The experimental factors were: A—tillage: (A0) strip-till, (A1) low-till, (A2) conventional tillage; B—weed control: (B0) pre-emergent, (B1) foliar, (B2) sequential; C—growth regulation: (C0) none, (C1) in fall, (C2)—in fall and spring; D—rate of nitrogen (N) fertilizer applied in spring: (D0) 160, (D1) 200, (D2) 240 kg ha−1; and E—rate of sulfur (S) fertilizer applied in spring: (E0) 0, (E1) 40, (E2) 80 kg ha−1. The crude fat (CF) content of WOSR seeds was highest in the strip-till system (498 g kg−1 dry matter, DM), and the total protein (TP) content of seeds was highest (196 g kg−1 DM) in low-till and conventional tillage systems. The content of neutral detergent fiber (NDF) was higher in seeds harvested from strip-till and low-till systems than from the conventional tillage system. The seeds of WOSR plants grown in the conventional tillage system accumulated more (by 0.4%) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and less (by 0.5–0.6%) monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). An increase in the N rate from 160–200 to 240 kg ha−1 decreased the CF content (495 vs. 484 g kg−1 DM) and increased the TP content of seeds (191 vs. 199 g kg−1 DM). Sulfur fertilization induced a 34% increase in glucosinolate (GLS) concentrations in WOSR seeds, mainly by enhancing the biosynthesis of alkenyl GLS (by 39%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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18 pages, 1443 KiB  
Article
Performance of Winter Wheat (Triticum aestivum) Depending on Fungicide Application and Nitrogen Top-Dressing Rate
by Zinta Gaile, Biruta Bankina, Ieva Pluduma-Paunina, Linda Sterna, Gunita Bimsteine, Agrita Svarta, Janis Kaneps, Irina Arhipova and Aigars Sutka
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020318 - 20 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1666
Abstract
Winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) is a crop of which production is associated with rather large investments for nitrogen fertilization and disease control. The aim of this study was to estimate the effect of five variants of fungicide application and four levels [...] Read more.
Winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) is a crop of which production is associated with rather large investments for nitrogen fertilization and disease control. The aim of this study was to estimate the effect of five variants of fungicide application and four levels of N (nitrogen) top-dressing rate on the yield and grain quality of winter wheat. Field trials were carried out in Latvia (56° 31′ N; 23° 42′ E) for four seasons. Grain yield and quality depended significantly on the conditions of the trial year, as three of them were characterized by drought in varying degrees. Although the average four-year grain yield increased significantly in all fungicide application variants, the effect of this factor was different in individual years. The application of fungicides increased the yield significantly in one year, decreased significantly in another year, while it had no significant effect on the yield in remaining two seasons. The enhancement of N top-dressing rate increased the grain yield significantly every year. The interaction between both examined factors was significant; however, the use of higher N rates not always means that also spraying with fungicides has to be more intensive. A clear effect of fungicide application was observed on 1000 grain weight and volume weight, while the effect of N top-dressing rate was observed on the crude protein, wet gluten and starch content, and Zeleny index. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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12 pages, 10726 KiB  
Article
A Trade-Off between the Growing Performance and Sowing Density of Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) under Fertigation in an Arid Saline Area
by Shide Dong, Guangmei Wang, Xiaobin Li and Yaohu Kang
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010179 - 5 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1457
Abstract
Sunflower is one of the pioneer crops cultivated in salt-affected arid areas. The influences of sowing density on the growth performance of this crop under fertigation conditions have not been well studied. This study arranged four sowing density treatments, 41,667, 35,714, 31,250, and [...] Read more.
Sunflower is one of the pioneer crops cultivated in salt-affected arid areas. The influences of sowing density on the growth performance of this crop under fertigation conditions have not been well studied. This study arranged four sowing density treatments, 41,667, 35,714, 31,250, and 27,778 plants ha−1, marked as D30, D35, D40, and D45, respectively, to reveal the relationships between soil salinity, growth performance, and sowing density under drip fertigation conditions. The results showed that the electrical conductivity of saturated paste extracts (ECe) decreased during the growing seasons but increased on the topsoil during the non-growing seasons in all of the treatments. The sowing densities had remarkable influences on the ECe in the 0–40 cm soil layer (ECe-40). The average ECe-40 during the two seasons for treatments D30–D45 correspondingly decreased by 7.0%, 33.9%, 11.1%, and 15.8% when compared to the original value. The soil pH in the 0–40 cm soil layer during the two seasons for treatments D30–D45 correspondingly decreased by −0.03, 0.20, 0.20, and 0.27 when compared to the original value. Increasing the spacing in the rows could promote the stem diameter, plant biomass, and proportion of biomass allocated underground. The yield and related yield components in this experiment under fertigation were significantly higher than those under surface irrigation. A sowing density between 31,250 and 35,714 plants ha−1 could ensure both the high yield and high morphological quality of the seeds, which could be recommended for sunflower cultivation under drip fertigation conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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14 pages, 1197 KiB  
Article
Microdosing of Compost for Sustainable Production of Improved Sorghum in Southern Mali
by Moumini Guindo, Bouba Traoré, Birhanu Zemadim Birhanu, Alou Coulibaly and Ramadjita Tabo
Agronomy 2022, 12(6), 1480; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12061480 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2173
Abstract
The depletion of soil organic matter is one of the major challenges constraining agricultural production in the southern zone of Mali. This study evaluated the effects of compost types, methods, and dose applications on the productivity and sustainability of sorghum. Two types of [...] Read more.
The depletion of soil organic matter is one of the major challenges constraining agricultural production in the southern zone of Mali. This study evaluated the effects of compost types, methods, and dose applications on the productivity and sustainability of sorghum. Two types of compost (farmer practice and cotton stems) were applied to sorghum at two rates (microdosing at 2.5 t ha−1 and broadcasting at 5 t ha−1) and evaluated on 30 farmer fields in 2019 and 2020. The treatments used included CPA (cotton stem compost at 5 t ha−1 + 100 kg ha−1 DAP), CPA (cotton stem compost at 2.5 t ha−1 + 100 kg ha−1 DAP), CP (farmer compost at 5 t ha−1 + 100 kg ha−1 DAP), CP (famer compost at 2.5 t ha−1 + 100 kg ha−1 DAP), control (100 kg ha−1 DAP), and control. The results showed that regardless of the compost type, applying a microdose of 2.5 t ha−1 improved the growth rate, plant height, grain yield, and biomass yield by 15%, 18%, 47%, and 27%, respectively, when compared to the control. No statistical difference was observed in the yield of 2061 kg ha−1 between applying compost by microdosing at 2.5 t ha−1 and broadcasting at 5 t ha−1. It can be inferred that the application of compost by microdosing makes it possible to achieve a 100% fertilized surface compared to broadcasting, with a nitrogen use efficiency of more than 55%. The application of compost by microdosing at 2.5 t ha−1 resulted in an economic gain of 334,800 XOF ha−1, which was 27% higher than that obtained with the application of compost by broadcasting at 5 t ha−1. Conversely, the contribution to the improvement of soil nitrogen stock varied from 12–20% with a microdose of 2.5 t ha−1 compared to 100% for broadcasting compost at 5 t ha−1 per application. Therefore, the availability of cotton stems in the southern zone of Mali presents an opportunity for farmers to implement compost microdose technology to double the fertilized area and improve sorghum productivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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16 pages, 2649 KiB  
Article
Analysis on Heat Characteristics for Summer Maize Cropping in a Semi-Arid Region
by Zhiwei Wang, Weiwei Sun, Xiaoli Liu, Yangyang Li, Brian Collins, Najeeb Ullah and Youhong Song
Agronomy 2022, 12(6), 1435; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12061435 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2102
Abstract
Heat stress during flowering is a critical limitation for summer maize production. However, the incidence of heat varies with years and locations, and it poses a great risk to successful maize reproduction and kernel setting. Therefore, it is essential to provide a sound [...] Read more.
Heat stress during flowering is a critical limitation for summer maize production. However, the incidence of heat varies with years and locations, and it poses a great risk to successful maize reproduction and kernel setting. Therefore, it is essential to provide a sound quantification of heat occurrence in relation to maize growth and development. Here, we analyzed the characteristics of heat occurrence based on climate data for over 60 years on Huaibei Plain, China. The effective accumulated temperature showed a slight interannual variation. The average maximum temperature (T¯max) during flowering was 32 °C–33 °C, which was approximately 2 °C higher than that over the whole growing season. The probability (P) for the daily Tmax > 33 °C during flowering was closer to 50% and this maximum temperature ranged between 33 °C and 37 °C. The five levels from normal to extreme heat for Tmax were defined. Across the six studied sites, the mild level heat stress accounted for most of incidents (P, 25–50%), followed by moderate (P, 13–25%) and severe (P, 0.5–13%), and the minimum for extreme heat stress (P, 0.5%). Four phases bracketing flowering during maize development were given, i.e., 1 week prior to anthesis, 1 week during anthesis, 1 week for anthesis-silking, and 1week post silking. There was a greater probability for heat stress incidents from anthesis to silking compared to the other developmental stages. Additionally, maize grain yield slightly increased with the increase in Tmax to 33 °C, but it declined as Tmax surpassed 33 °C. In conclusion, the pattern and characteristics of heat stress were quantified bracketing maize flowering. These findings assist to advise summer maize cropping strategies on the semi-arid and semi-humid Huaibei Plain, China or similar climate and cropping regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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17 pages, 3936 KiB  
Article
Genetic Divergence and Spatial Configuration Influence the Weed Spectrum, Herbage Yield and Nutritive Quality of Temperate Cowpea
by Muhammad Aamir Iqbal, Arslan Ahmed, Muhammad Imran, Hanaa E. Ahmed, Rehab M. Hafez and Asmaa A. Hamad
Agronomy 2022, 12(6), 1323; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12061323 - 30 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1537
Abstract
Under a changing climate, the biologically viable management of weeds and the exploration of the genetic divergence of spreading and towering cultivars of forage cowpea in different row configuration systems hold the potential to boost sustainable feed supply for dairy animals. A field [...] Read more.
Under a changing climate, the biologically viable management of weeds and the exploration of the genetic divergence of spreading and towering cultivars of forage cowpea in different row configuration systems hold the potential to boost sustainable feed supply for dairy animals. A field study was undertaken to sort out the most nutritive and high-biomass-producing cultivar (Cowpea−,2007 and Rawan−,2010) of cowpea and optimize the row configuration (R × R of 15, 30, 45 and 60 cm) to manage the weed spectrum. The results revealed that Rawan-2010 remained superior in the 15 cm row configuration by recording 39% lesser weed density (WD) than the corresponding value recorded by the same cultivar sown in the 60 cm row configuration. The same treatment combination recorded a 20% lesser fresh weed weight than Cowpea−,2007 sown in the same row configuration, while it exhibited a 5.6 g m−2 lesser corresponding value of dry weed weight. In contrast, Cowpea-2010 sown in the 45 cm row configuration recorded the maximum yield attributes (stem girth, leaf and branch numbers, leaf area, fresh and dry weights per plant), except plant height (PH), which resulted in 7% and 13% higher green herbage yield (GH) and dry matter biomass (DM), respectively, than the same cultivar sown in the 30 cm row configuration. Pertaining to nutritional value, Rawan-2010 in the 45 cm row configuration yielded the maximum crude protein and minimum crude fiber content, while the same cultivar gave the greatest ash content in the wider row spacing. With GH, the correlation analyses indicated an antagonistic association for PH, a moderately linear relationship between stem girth and branch numbers and a strong direct association between leaf area and fresh plant weight. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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18 pages, 4732 KiB  
Article
Seed Priming and Foliar Application of Nutrients Influence the Productivity of Relay Grass Pea (Lathyrus sativus L.) through Accelerating the Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) Use Efficiency
by Purabi Banerjee, Visha Kumari Venugopalan, Rajib Nath, Prodip Kumar Chakraborty, Ahmed Gaber, Walaa F. Alsanie, Bassem M. Raafat and Akbar Hossain
Agronomy 2022, 12(5), 1125; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12051125 - 6 May 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2768
Abstract
The efficiency of a crop to intercept and utilize solar radiation for photosynthates production serves as one of the deciding factors of the productive potential of the crop stand. Interception and use efficiency of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) were estimated in relay grass [...] Read more.
The efficiency of a crop to intercept and utilize solar radiation for photosynthates production serves as one of the deciding factors of the productive potential of the crop stand. Interception and use efficiency of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) were estimated in relay grass pea under different nutrient management schedules in consecutive two crop seasons of 2017–2018 and 2018–2019. Treatments were two levels of seed priming (i.e., 1. S1: Without seed priming and 2. S2: Seed priming with ammonium molybdate at 0.5 g kg−1 seed) and five levels of foliar-applied nutritions with various combinations of 2% Urea and 0.5% NPK (19:19:19) shuffling their times of application, replicated thrice laying out in a factorial randomized block design. Seed priming along with twice sprays of NPK (19:19:19) at pre-flowering followed by a second one after 15 days recorded maximum leaf area index (LAI) and total chlorophyll content augmenting greater interception and use efficiency of PAR with highest biomass accumulation, crop growth rate (CGR) and leaf nutrient contents leading to a significant increase in seed yield over control (1696.70 and 1182.00 kg ha−1, respectively) in a pooled analysis. LAI and total chlorophyll content established linear relationships with PAR interception explaining about 94 and 88% variations in intercepted PAR at 90 DAS. Intercepted PAR during different phenophases was positively correlated to dry matter accumulation and net photosynthetic rate with polynomial relationships. Seed yield of grass pea varied about 95 and 96% respectively during 2017–2018 and 2018–2019 with the variations in PAR interception at the pod developmental stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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13 pages, 1859 KiB  
Article
Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Yield Production from an Organic and Conventional Fertilization on Quinoa
by Jorge Alvar-Beltrán, Anna Dalla Marta, Roberto Vivoli, Leonardo Verdi and Simone Orlandini
Agronomy 2022, 12(5), 1015; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12051015 - 23 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2441
Abstract
The high nutritional properties of quinoa have resulted in a production increase worldwide. The resistance to environmental stresses renders this crop suitable for sustainable farming systems. Few studies have examined the impact of different agricultural management strategies and its contribution to climate change. [...] Read more.
The high nutritional properties of quinoa have resulted in a production increase worldwide. The resistance to environmental stresses renders this crop suitable for sustainable farming systems. Few studies have examined the impact of different agricultural management strategies and its contribution to climate change. In this work, we quantify soil greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), and crop productivity (yields and biomass) under conventional (urea) and organic (digestate) fertilization. Significant differences (p < 0.05) in N2O cumulative emissions are reported between digestate (50–100 kg N ha−1), urea (50–100 kg N ha−1) and the control (0 kg N ha−1). Higher cumulative GHG emissions are observed under 100 kg N ha−1 of digestate (337.8 kg C ha−1 CO2 and 0.23 kg N ha−1 for N2O) compared to treatments with lower nitrogen (N) inputs. However, yield and biomass production do not show significant differences (p > 0.05) with increasing nutrient application. Hence, this study opens the discussion about the pros and cons of increasing fertilization to improve yields besides providing agricultural extension workers with additional information to promote sustainable quinoa production worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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21 pages, 5242 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of Rice and Weeds and Their Nutrient Partitioning under Various Establishment Methods and Weed Management Practices in Temperate Environment
by Aijaz Nazir, Mohammad Anwar Bhat, Tauseef Ahmad Bhat, Suhail Fayaz, Mohammad Salim Mir, Umar Basu, Shafat Ahmad Ahanger, Suhail Altaf, Bisma Jan, Bilal Ahmad Lone, Muntazir Mushtaq, Mohamed El-Sharnouby, Milan Skalicky, Marian Brestic and Ayman El Sabagh
Agronomy 2022, 12(4), 816; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12040816 - 27 Mar 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4492
Abstract
A research trial was conducted at Agronomy Farm (SKUAST-K, Wadura, Jammu & Kashmir), during kharif 2017 and 2018 to evaluate nutrient removal in rice under various rice establishment methods and weed control measures. The study comprised of two factors: rice establishment techniques {Transplanting [...] Read more.
A research trial was conducted at Agronomy Farm (SKUAST-K, Wadura, Jammu & Kashmir), during kharif 2017 and 2018 to evaluate nutrient removal in rice under various rice establishment methods and weed control measures. The study comprised of two factors: rice establishment techniques {Transplanting (TPR); Direct seeding (DSR) and System of rice intensification (SRI)} as main plot treatments and weed control measures {Butachlor @ 1500 g a.i ha−1 (B); Penoxsulam @ 22.5 g a.i ha−1 (P); Pyrazosulfuron ethyl + Pretilachlor @ 15 and 600 g a.i ha−1 (PP); Bensulfuron methyl + Pretilachlor @ 60 and 600 g a.i ha−1 (BP); 2 Conoweeding/Hand Weeding (CW/HW); Weed free (WF) and weedy check (WC)} as sub-plot treatments meant to evaluate the best establishment method and weed management practice for rice. Over DSR and transplanted rice, the SRI technique yielded a significant increase in dry biomass accumulation (17.04 and 17.20 t ha−1) and grain (7.92 and 8.17 t ha−1) and straw (9.60 and 10.17 t ha−1) yields. Penoxsulam herbicide significantly showed higher grain and straw yield of 8.19 and 8.28 t ha−1 and 10.13 and 10.44 t ha−1, respectively, than other weed management measures by comparing the means using critical difference. TPR excelled in reducing dry weed biomass more than other established methods. All herbicides considerably reduced dry weed biomass, but Penoxsulam herbicide showed the greatest reduction in dry weed biomass and proved superior against complex weed flora. Weeds showed maximum contribution towards total Biomass under DSR, among rice establishment techniques. In contrast, among different weed control measures, it was maximum in weedy check treatment (Untreated Control) and minimum in penoxsulam treatment. SRI significantly excelled in crop (grain and straw) nutrient uptake compared to the DSR and TPR method, although different crop establishment techniques non-significantly influenced nutrient concentrations. Furthermore, penoxsulam treatment demonstrated higher crop (grain and straw) nutrient uptake among the various weed management measures. However, available soil nutrients were observed among establishment techniques, highest in DSR and lowest in SRI. Moreover, direct-seeded rice excelled SRI and transplanted rice in weed nutrient uptake, and among the different herbicidal treatments, penoxsulam recorded the lowest uptake in weeds. Nutrient budgeting demonstrated that DSR showed the maximum percentage of nutrient removal by weeds, and the minimum ratio was in TPR. In contrast, the lowest rate of nutrients removed via weeds were seen in penoxsulam application under various weed management measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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20 pages, 2497 KiB  
Article
How Cover Crop Sowing Date Impacts upon Their Growth, Nutrient Assimilation and the Yield of the Subsequent Commercial Crop
by Paul Cottney, Lisa Black, Paul Williams and Ethel White
Agronomy 2022, 12(2), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12020369 - 1 Feb 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2461
Abstract
Cover crops are typically sown post-harvest of commercial crops, prior to winter, which means that as sowing date is delayed, so will biomass production potential. The wide range of benefits associated with cover crops relies on them to produce sufficient biomass. Therefore, it [...] Read more.
Cover crops are typically sown post-harvest of commercial crops, prior to winter, which means that as sowing date is delayed, so will biomass production potential. The wide range of benefits associated with cover crops relies on them to produce sufficient biomass. Therefore, it must be identified how late certain species of cover crops can be sown. In the climatic conditions of Northern Ireland, not only has no research been conducted on how cover crops perform at various sowing dates but also their effect on the subsequent commercial crop yield has not been investigated. Addressing these issue will in turn help provide recommendations to maximise and encourage later sowing of cover crops. Consequently, five species of cover crops were chosen, from a range of families, then sown on 14 August, 7 September and 27 September. This is to mimic when land becomes fallow post-harvest of typical crops/rotations to this region. It was found that tillage radish (Raphanus sativus L.), when sown on the earliest date, could accumulate a maximum of 261 kg/ha of nitrogen (N), whereas, when sown on the last date, phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia L.) significantly outperformed all other species and assimilated 70 kg/ha of N. The cover crops were then incorporated into the soil and over-sown with spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). However, the spring barley yield was unaffected by any treatments. This trial shows that the non-leguminous species chosen are highly effective in assimilating nutrients when sown mid-August until early-September. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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12 pages, 995 KiB  
Article
Leaching of Glyphosate and AMPA from Field Lysimeters
by Marco Milan, Francesco Vidotto and Silvia Fogliatto
Agronomy 2022, 12(2), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12020328 - 27 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2217
Abstract
Leaching of glyphosate and AMPA as affected by the time elapsed between the spraying and first leaching event was studied on large-scale lysimeters in a two-year study. The leaching events were induced by irrigation interventions able to deliver 336 L, equivalent to a [...] Read more.
Leaching of glyphosate and AMPA as affected by the time elapsed between the spraying and first leaching event was studied on large-scale lysimeters in a two-year study. The leaching events were induced by irrigation interventions able to deliver 336 L, equivalent to a rainfall of 40 mm. Four groups of three lysimeters were randomly selected between the 12 lysimeters available. They were irrigated on either one day after herbicide treatment (1 DAT), 7 DAT, 14 DAT or 28 DAT. The same group of lysimeters were irrigated a second time 14 days after the first irrigation, corresponding to a period of time of 15 DAT (1 + 14), 21 DAT (7 + 14), 28 DAT (14 + 14) and 42 DAT (28 + 14). In both years, lysimeters were sprayed with glyphosate (360 L ha−1) at a rate of 12 L ha1, the maximum field rate allowed on the label. Our results pointed out that the leaching of glyphosate and AMPA is effectively event-driven and highlighted the importance of the first rainfall event in moving glyphosate through the soil, increasing the potential risk of water contamination. Overall, both chemicals showed a risk of water contamination. Glyphosate may persist more than usually considered, and its residues were found in leached waters from lysimeters treated 30 days before the leaching event. Other factors may affect the movement of these two compounds through the soil profile after spraying: temperature pattern and soil moisture. Finally, the results of this study refer to a very high application rate of glyphosate. Hence, at lower field rates, observed concentrations can likely be minor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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16 pages, 1101 KiB  
Article
Soil Macroinvertebrate Response to Paddy Rice Farming Pathways in Mpologoma Catchment, Uganda
by Jackson Bunyangha, Agnes W. Muthumbi, Nathan N. Gichuki, Mwanjalolo J. G. Majaliwa and Anthony Egeru
Agronomy 2022, 12(2), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12020312 - 26 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3222
Abstract
Agricultural practices play a major role in influencing soil fauna abundance and diversity. Interest in these practices has increased owing to the growing need for sustainable agricultural systems in this era of increasing agricultural intensification. In this study, two paddy rice farming pathways [...] Read more.
Agricultural practices play a major role in influencing soil fauna abundance and diversity. Interest in these practices has increased owing to the growing need for sustainable agricultural systems in this era of increasing agricultural intensification. In this study, two paddy rice farming pathways (smallholder and large-scale commercial) and an adjacent natural wetland in Mpologoma catchment were studied to determine the response of soil macroinvertebrates to paddy rice farming pathways. Eighteen macroinvertebrate taxa were observed, some of which were not the usual soil taxa (Hirudinea, Decapoda, Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera, and Odonata). SIMPER analysis showed that Oligochaeta, Gastropoda, and Coleoptera were the major taxa responsible for dissimilarity among sites. Macroinvertebrate richness and diversity also varied among sites. Some taxa showed habitat exclusivity: Diptera, Odonata, and Trichoptera were exclusive to both rice paddies; Decapoda, Chilopoda, Diplopoda, and Blattodea to natural wetland; Diplura and Ephemeroptera were exclusive to large-scale commercial paddies. NMDS ordination showed that macroinvertebrate distribution among sites was strongly correlated with soil pH and calcium and moderately correlated with phosphorus. These results indicate that wetland conversion to rice paddies could affect macroinvertebrate richness and diversity and underscore the importance of soil environment in influencing the macroinvertebrate community in rice paddies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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13 pages, 690 KiB  
Article
Effects of Two Varieties and Fertilization Regimes on Growth, Fruit, and Silymarin Yield of Milk Thistle Crop
by Vasiliki Liava, Anestis Karkanis, Nicholaos Danalatos and Nikolaos Tsiropoulos
Agronomy 2022, 12(1), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12010105 - 1 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1863
Abstract
Milk thistle is an alternative crop to winter cereals for southern Europe as this species is drought tolerant and its fruits contain silymarin. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of two varieties and fertilization regimes (sheep manure and inorganic [...] Read more.
Milk thistle is an alternative crop to winter cereals for southern Europe as this species is drought tolerant and its fruits contain silymarin. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of two varieties and fertilization regimes (sheep manure and inorganic fertilizer) on crop productivity. A two-factor experiment was conducted in a randomized split-plot design with three replicates. The varieties were Palaionterveno and Spata, while the fertilization treatments were control, sheep manure, and calcium ammonium nitrate applied at 75 and 125 kg N ha−1. Variety and fertilization significantly affected plants development and productivity, as well as oil and silymarin yield. The use of manure and inorganic nitrogen fertilizer increased rosette diameter, oil and silymarin yield, above-ground biomass, and fruit yield. The influence of inorganic fertilization, regardless of the application dose, was more apparent than organic fertilization. Moreover, variety significantly affected plants growth and silymarin content, as well as silymarin composition. The variety Spata had the greatest silymarin content, reaching 4.40%, and a high silybin B concentration. In conclusion, the selection of a suitable variety is important for achieving high fruit and silymarin yields, while inorganic nitrogen fertilization can maximize the productivity of the milk thistle crop. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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15 pages, 2047 KiB  
Article
Weed-Free Durations and Fertilization Regimes Boost Nutrient Uptake and Paddy Yield of Direct-Seeded Fine Rice (Oryza sativa L.)
by Rana Nadeem Abbas, Asif Iqbal, Muhammad Aamir Iqbal, Omar M. Ali, Raees Ahmed, Raina Ijaz, Adel Hadifa and Brandon J. Bethune
Agronomy 2021, 11(12), 2448; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11122448 - 30 Nov 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2287
Abstract
Under the changing climate, fertilization regimes and weed infestation management in aromatic direct-seeded fine rice (DSR) remain vital for curbing environmental hazards and ensuring food security. A multi-year field study was undertaken to appraise the influence of fertilization techniques and weed-free periods on [...] Read more.
Under the changing climate, fertilization regimes and weed infestation management in aromatic direct-seeded fine rice (DSR) remain vital for curbing environmental hazards and ensuring food security. A multi-year field study was undertaken to appraise the influence of fertilization techniques and weed-free periods on weed dynamics, nutrient uptake and paddy yield in a semi-arid environment. Treatments included two fertilization methods (broadcasting and side placement) and five weed-free durations (20, 30, 40, 50 post-seeding days, DAS) along with a weed-free crop for a whole season. Weed competition for a season-long crop (weedy check) was maintained for each fertilizer application method. Our results revealed that the side placement of fertilizers resulted in a significantly lower weed density and biomass, even under season-long weed competition. The highest paddy yield was recorded for a crop without weeds, while weed-free duration of up to 50 DAS followed it. The uptake of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) for a weed-free duration of up to 50 DAS were only 19%, 9% and 8%, respectively, as compared to the weedy check. The uptake of N, P and K by weeds in the broadcast method was 18%, 30% and 24% higher, compared to side-placed fertilizers. The period of 20–50 DAS remained critical in DSR as far as weed control was concerned. Thus, the side placement of fertilizers and controlling weeds for up to 50 days after rice sowing can be recommended for general adoption in semi-arid agro-ecological conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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15 pages, 1356 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Integrated Nutrient Management in the Maize–Wheat Cropping System in Alluvial Soils of North-Western India: Influence on Soil Organic Carbon, Microbial Activity and Nutrient Status
by Salwinder Singh Dhaliwal, Sandeep Sharma, Vivek Sharma, Arvind Kumar Shukla, Sohan Singh Walia, Majid Alhomrani, Ahmed Gaber, Amardeep Singh Toor, Vibha Verma, Mehakpreet Kaur Randhawa, Lovedeep Kaur Pandher, Prabhjot Singh and Akbar Hossain
Agronomy 2021, 11(11), 2258; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11112258 - 8 Nov 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3080
Abstract
Integrated nutrient management (INM) is a widely recognized tool to ensure sustainable crop productivity while preserving soil fertility. The addition of organic manures in soil has been evidenced to improve soil characteristics, in addition to improving nutrient availability. The soil samples, with five [...] Read more.
Integrated nutrient management (INM) is a widely recognized tool to ensure sustainable crop productivity while preserving soil fertility. The addition of organic manures in soil has been evidenced to improve soil characteristics, in addition to improving nutrient availability. The soil samples, with five treatment combinations of chemical fertilizers with farmyard manure (FYM), were collected from a 17-year-old field experiment conducted at PAU, Ludhiana to investigate the effect of INM on the buildup of organic carbon (OC), microbial community, soil nutrient status and improvement in soil physical properties under the maize–wheat cropping system. The INM technique enhanced the OC content (0.44 to 0.66%), available N (152.8 to 164.9 kg ha−1), P (22.8 to 31.4 kg ha−1) and K (140.6 to 168.0 kg ha−1) after 17 years. The DTPA-extractable and total micronutrients (Zn, Cu, Fe, and Mn) status also improved significantly with FYM supplementation. The organic source, coupled with inorganic fertilizers, improved the water holding capacity, total porosity, soil respiration, microbial biomass C, microbial biomass N, and potentially mineralizable N. However, pH, EC, and bulk density of soil decreased with the addition of FYM, coupled with chemical fertilizers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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16 pages, 905 KiB  
Article
Potassium and Water-Deficient Conditions Influence the Growth, Yield and Quality of Ratoon Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) in a Semi-Arid Agroecosystem
by Rajan Bhatt, Jagdish Singh, Alison M. Laing, Ram Swaroop Meena, Walaa F. Alsanie, Ahmed Gaber and Akbar Hossain
Agronomy 2021, 11(11), 2257; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11112257 - 8 Nov 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2545
Abstract
Groundwater and soil potassium deficiencies are present in northern India. Sugarcane is a vital crop in the Indian Punjab; it is grown on approximately 91,000 hectares with an average yield of 80 tonnes ha−1 and a sugar recovery rate of 9.59%. The [...] Read more.
Groundwater and soil potassium deficiencies are present in northern India. Sugarcane is a vital crop in the Indian Punjab; it is grown on approximately 91,000 hectares with an average yield of 80 tonnes ha−1 and a sugar recovery rate of 9.59%. The role of potassium (K) fertilizer under both sufficient and deficient irrigation in ratoon sugarcane crops is not well documented. We conducted a split-plot ratoon cane experiment during 2020–2021 at the Gurdaspur Regional Research Station of Punjab Agricultural University, India, on K-deficient soils. Main treatments were fully irrigated (I1) and water stressed (I0) conditions, with sub-treatments reflecting K fertilizer application rates of 0 (M1), 67 (M2), 133 (M3), and 200 (M4) kg K ha−1. The ratoon sugarcane performance was assessed in terms of growth, productivity, sugar quality and incidence of key insect pests. At harvest, trends in the growth and yield parameters in I1 were improved over the I0 treatment, with cane height (+12.2%), diameter (+3.3%), number of internodes (+5.4%), biomass yield (+7.6%) and cane yield (+5.9%) all higher, although little significant difference was observed between treatments. Ratoon cane yield under irrigation was 57.1 tonnes ha−1; in water-stressed conditions, it was 54.7 tonnes ha−1. In terms of sugarcane quality parameters, measured 12 months after harvesting the initial seed crop, values of Brix (+3.6%), pol (+3.9%), commercial cane sugar percentage (+4.0%) and extractable sugar percentage (+2.8%) were all higher in the irrigated treatments than the water-stressed plot. Irrigated treatments also had a significantly lower incidence of two key insect pests: top borer (Scirpophaga excerptalis) was reduced by 18.5% and stalk borer (Chilo auricilius) by 21.7%. The M3 and M4 treatments resulted in the highest cane yield and lowest incidence of insect pests compared to other K-fertilizer treatments. Economic return on K-fertilizer application increased with increasing fertilizer dosage. Under the potassium-deficient water-stressed conditions of the region of north India, a fertilizer application rate of 133 kg K ha−1 is recommended to improve ratoon sugarcane growth, yield, and quality parameters and economic returns for sugarcane farmers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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17 pages, 1507 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Productivity, Quality and Profitability of Orange Fleshed Sweet Potatoes Grown in Riverbank of the Tista Floodplain Agro-Ecological Zone of Bangladesh
by Abdullah-Al Mahmud, Md Jahangir Alam, Simon Heck, Wolfgang J. Grüneberg, Debashish Chanda, E. H. M. Shofiur Rahaman, Md Samim Hossain Molla, Md Mazharul Anwar, Md Al-Amin Hossain Talukder, Md Akkas Ali, Md Nurul Amin, Majid Alhomrani, Ahmed Gaber and Akbar Hossain
Agronomy 2021, 11(10), 2046; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11102046 - 12 Oct 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2709
Abstract
Orange fleshed sweet potatoes (OFSP) are desirable for high productivity and profitability and their distribution to improve the nutrition of river bank inhabitants of Gaibandha and Rangpur districts of Bangladesh. In this context, a field trial was conducted in two riverbank-based farmers’ fields [...] Read more.
Orange fleshed sweet potatoes (OFSP) are desirable for high productivity and profitability and their distribution to improve the nutrition of river bank inhabitants of Gaibandha and Rangpur districts of Bangladesh. In this context, a field trial was conducted in two riverbank-based farmers’ fields such as Saghata, Gaibandha, and Pirganj, Rangpur, particularly in the Active Tista Floodplain Agro-ecological Zone of Bangladesh. Four OFSP varieties were evaluated, i.e., G1: BARI SP-8; G2: BARI SP-12; G3: BARI SP-14; G4: BARI SP-15, along with one local cultivar as a control (Red skin with white flesh). Significant variations among the sweet potato genotypes were noted for a number of tuberous roots plant−1, length of root diameter of roots, tuberous root weight plant−1, root yield (fresh), root yield (dry), beta-carotene yield, as well as energy output. Over the locations, BARI SP-12 produced about 73% higher root yield (32.00 t ha−1) and it was like the BARI SP-8 (31.07 t ha−1), which produced about 68% higher yield in comparison with local cultivar (18.51 t ha−1). Across the location, BARI SP-8 performed better in root yield (31.89 t ha−1) in Gaibandha, 69% superior to local cultivar, whereas BARI SP-12 performed better in Rangpur (33.66 t ha−1), which was 86% greater than the local sweet potato cultivar. Considering the root dry yield production, BARI SP-8 produced the highest in the Gaibandha location after that Rangpur location. Further, BARI SP-14 had wider adaptability and stability over the year and location depended on the AMMI model. The beta carotene yield (Vitamin-A precursor) ranged 336–2957 kg ha−1 among the OFSP varieties, whereas the highest (2957 kg ha−1) carotene was recorded in BARI SP-14, similar to BARI SP-15 (2952 kg ha−1) but was much lower in BARI SP-8 and BARI SP-12. Moreover, BARI SP-8 and BARI SP-12 were also economically profitable in terms of gross margin (3233 and 3364 US$ ha−1, respectively), net return (3039 and 3170 US$ ha−1, respectively) and BCR (3.21 and 3.31, respectively, vs. 1.91) due to higher returns with a similar production cost of the local cultivar. The results suggested that BARI SP-8 is economically profitable in the riverbank areas of Gaibandha, and BARI SP-12 is suitable for the riverbank areas of Rangpur. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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17 pages, 1481 KiB  
Article
Soil Test Based Fertilizer Application Improves Productivity, Profitability and Nutrient Use Efficiency of Rice (Oryza sativa L.) under Direct Seeded Condition
by Vijay Kant Singh, Poonam Gautam, Gangadhar Nanda, Salwinder Singh Dhaliwal, Biswajit Pramanick, Shiv Singh Meena, Walaa F. Alsanie, Ahmed Gaber, Samy Sayed and Akbar Hossain
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1756; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091756 - 31 Aug 2021
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 5782
Abstract
A field investigation on direct seeded rice (DSR) was carried out in the two consecutive rice growing seasons of 2017 and 2018 at Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, India for the development and validation of soil test crop response (STCR) to fertilizer and for assessing the [...] Read more.
A field investigation on direct seeded rice (DSR) was carried out in the two consecutive rice growing seasons of 2017 and 2018 at Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, India for the development and validation of soil test crop response (STCR) to fertilizer and for assessing the performance of STCR-treatments as compared to the general recommended dose (GRD) in terms of yield, nutrient uptake and use efficiency, and the economics of DSR. For producing 1 Mg of rice-grain, the required nutrients (N, P, and K) were 2.01 kg, 0.44 kg, and 3.06 kg; the contribution from the soil was 22.05%, 37.34%, and 41.48%; from applied farmyard manure 23.25%, 28.34%, and 16.80%, from fertilizer 38.08%, 49.93%, and 252.98%; and from fertilizer with FYM 44.83%, 60.57%, and 278.70%; for N, P, and K, respectively. The STCR approach, with or without FYM, at both the target yields (4.5 Mg ha−1 and 5.0 Mg ha−1) markedly enhanced the grain yield (20.2% to 32.3%) and production efficiency over the GRD. It also exhibited a higher NPK uptake and use efficiency, along with better profitability, than the GRD. Therefore, the STCR-targeted yield approach could improve the yield, economics, and efficiency of nutrient use for direct seeded rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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18 pages, 1529 KiB  
Article
Improvement of Soil Health and System Productivity through Crop Diversification and Residue Incorporation under Jute-Based Different Cropping Systems
by Mukesh Kumar, Sabyasachi Mitra, Sonali Paul Mazumdar, Bijan Majumdar, Amit Ranjan Saha, Shiv Ram Singh, Biswajit Pramanick, Ahmed Gaber, Walaa F. Alsanie and Akbar Hossain
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1622; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11081622 - 16 Aug 2021
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 3167
Abstract
Crop diversity through residue incorporation is the most important method for sustaining soil health. A field study was conducted over five consecutive years (2012–2017) to see the impact of residue incorporartions in Inceptisol of eastern India. The main plot treatments had five cropping [...] Read more.
Crop diversity through residue incorporation is the most important method for sustaining soil health. A field study was conducted over five consecutive years (2012–2017) to see the impact of residue incorporartions in Inceptisol of eastern India. The main plot treatments had five cropping systems (CS), namely, fallow−rice−rice (FRR), jute−rice−wheat (JRW), jute−rice−baby corn (JRBc), jute−rice−vegetable pea (JRGp), jute−rice−mustard−mungbean/green gram (JRMMu), which cinsisted of four sub-plots with varied nutrient and crop residue management (NCRM) levels, namely crops with no residue +75% of the recommended dose of fertilizers (RDF) (F1R0), crops with the residue of the previous crops +75% RDF (F1R1), crops with no resiude +100% RDF (F2R0), and crops with residue +100% RDF (F2R1). The highest system productivity was obtained for JRBc (15.3 Mg·ha−1), followed by JRGp (8.81 Mg·ha−1) and JRMMu (7.61 Mg·ha−1); however, the highest sustainability index was found with the JRGp cropping system (0.88), followed by JRMMu (0.82). Among the NCRMs, the highest productivity (8.78 Mg·ha−1) and sustainability index (0.83) were recorded in F2R1. Five soil parameters, namely, bulk density, available K, urease activity, dehydrogenase activity, and soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC), were used in the minimum data-set (MDS) for the calculation of the soil quality index (SQI). The best attainment of SQI was found in the JRGp system (0.63), closely followed by the JRMMu (0.61) cropping system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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14 pages, 10658 KiB  
Article
Weeds Spectrum, Productivity and Land-Use Efficiency in Maize-Gram Intercropping Systems under Semi-Arid Environment
by Rana Nadeem Abbas, Muhammad Awais Arshad, Asif Iqbal, Muhammad Aamir Iqbal, Muhammad Imran, Ali Raza, Jen-Tsung Chen, Mohammed Nasser Alyemeni and Daniel Ingo Hefft
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1615; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11081615 - 13 Aug 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2867
Abstract
To ensure food security on sustainable basis, reducing weeds interference and boosting land use efficiency are critical. A field study was conducted at research farm of University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan, to sort out the most productive maize-gram intercropping system under semi-arid environment. [...] Read more.
To ensure food security on sustainable basis, reducing weeds interference and boosting land use efficiency are critical. A field study was conducted at research farm of University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan, to sort out the most productive maize-gram intercropping system under semi-arid environment. Treatments included sole maize in single row (60 cm apart) (T1) and double rows (90 cm apart) (T2) strips, sole black (T3) and green gram (T4) crops, six single rows (60 cm apart) of maize with twelve double rows (20 cm) of black (T5) and green gram (T6), three double rows (90 cm apart) of maize with three sets of quadratic rows (20 cm apart) of black (T7) and green gram (T8). The experiment was executed in regular arrangement of randomized complete block design with three replications. The results revealed that T1 produced the highest grain yield (6.97 t ha−1) of maize and significantly lower weeds infestation compared to wider row spacing (T2). Among intercropping systems, T8 significantly decreased weeds density (16.33 plants m−2) and their fresh (20.93 g m−2) and dry weights (5.63 g m−2), while the maximum land use efficiency as indicated by unmatched land equivalent ratio and intercropping advantage were recorded by T7 and T8. Interestingly, green gram in intercropping recorded over 58% higher productivity than black gram. We conclude that maize-green gram intercropping hold potential to impart sustainability to maize production by reducing weeds infestation (431% lower than sole maize) and could be a viable option for smallholder farmers in semi-arid environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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15 pages, 1941 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Production and Qualitative Characteristics of Different Populations of Salvia sclarea L. Found in Sicily (Italy)
by Teresa Tuttolomondo, Giuseppe Virga, Mario Licata, Nicolò Iacuzzi, Davide Farruggia and Salvatore La Bella
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1508; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11081508 - 29 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1788
Abstract
Salvia sclarea L. is an important industrial crop, valued for its herbal-aromatic properties and high quality essential oils, that is used in food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. In this study, carried out from 2009 to 2010, the morphological and production characteristics and essential oil [...] Read more.
Salvia sclarea L. is an important industrial crop, valued for its herbal-aromatic properties and high quality essential oils, that is used in food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. In this study, carried out from 2009 to 2010, the morphological and production characteristics and essential oil content and composition of three Sicilian populations were studied. In particular, the composition of essential oils extracted from primary and secondary inflorescences using steam distillation was assessed. Morphological, production and qualitative data from the three populations were subjected to analysis of variance and cluster analysis. Regarding the quality of the oils, only the most prevalent compounds were taken into consideration in this study. The three populations were linalyl acetate/linalool chemotypes. Highly significant variations were found for the effective local population and inflorescence type in the composition of the essential oil principal components. In particular, the primary inflorescences were found to be accumulation sites favoured by monoterpenes, and secondary inflorescences were favoured by sesquiterpenes and sclareol. Populations “S. Stefano Quisquina” and “Alcara Li Fusi” performed best on a morphological and production level, whereas populations “Prizzi”and “Alcara Li Fusi” performed best in terms of quality. Population “S. Stefano Quisquina” produced high levels of sclareol. Biotype selection from within the populations should be based on both morphological, production and quality analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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15 pages, 328 KiB  
Article
High Nitrogen Fertilization Modulates Morpho-Physiological Responses, Yield, and Water Productivity of Lowland Rice under Deficit Irrigation
by Nasr M. Abdou, Mohamed A. Abdel-Razek, Shimaa A. Abd El-Mageed, Wael M. Semida, Ahmed A. A. Leilah, Taia A. Abd El-Mageed, Esmat F. Ali, Ali Majrashi and Mohamed O. A. Rady
Agronomy 2021, 11(7), 1291; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11071291 - 25 Jun 2021
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 2569
Abstract
Sustainability of rice production under flooding conditions has been challenged by water shortage and food demand. Applying higher nitrogen fertilization could be a practical solution to alleviate the deleterious effects of water stress on lowland rice (Oryza sativa L.) in semi-arid conditions. [...] Read more.
Sustainability of rice production under flooding conditions has been challenged by water shortage and food demand. Applying higher nitrogen fertilization could be a practical solution to alleviate the deleterious effects of water stress on lowland rice (Oryza sativa L.) in semi-arid conditions. For this purpose, field experiments were conducted during the summer of 2017 and 2018 seasons. These trials were conducted as split-split based on randomized complete blocks design with soil moisture regimes at three levels (120, 100 and 80% of crop evapotranspiration (ETc), nitrogen fertilizers at two levels (N1—165 and N2—200 kg N ha−1) and three lowland Egyptian rice varieties [V1 (Giza178), V2 (Giza177) and V3 (Sakha104)] using three replications. For all varieties, growth (plant height, tillers No, effective tillers no), water status ((relative water content RWC, and membrane stability index, MSI), physiological responses (chlorophyll fluorescence, Relative chlorophyll content (SPAD), and yield were significantly increased with higher addition of nitrogen fertilizer under all water regimes. Variety V1 produced the highest grain yield compared to other varieties and the increases were 38% and 15% compared with V2 and V3, respectively. Increasing nitrogen up to 200 kg N ha−1 (N2) resulted in an increase in grain and straw yields by 12.7 and 18.2%, respectively, compared with N1. The highest irrigation water productivity (IWP) was recorded under I2 (0.89 kg m−3) compared to (0.83 kg m−3) and (0.82 kg m−3) for I1 and I3, respectively. Therefore, the new applied agro-management practice (deficit irrigation and higher nitrogen fertilizer) effectively saved irrigation water input by 50–60% when compared with the traditional cultivation method (flooding system). Hence, the new proposed innovative method for rice cultivation could be a promising strategy for enhancing the sustainability of rice production under water shortage conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
19 pages, 1806 KiB  
Article
Productivity and Profitability of Kharif Rice Are Influenced by Crop Establishment Methods and Nitrogen Management in the Lateritic Belt of the Subtropical Region
by Samata Mohanta, Mahua Banerjee, Ganesh Chandra Malik, Tanmoy Shankar, Sagar Maitra, Ismail Ahmed Ismail, Eldessoky S. Dessoky, Attia O. Attia and Akbar Hossain
Agronomy 2021, 11(7), 1280; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11071280 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3640
Abstract
Nitrogen management is vital for economic and environmental sustainability. Asynchrony of fertilizer application with crop demand along various nitrogen losses in Eastern India leads to low fertilizer efficiency in Kharif rice. At the same time, direct-sowing is gaining popularity due to water and [...] Read more.
Nitrogen management is vital for economic and environmental sustainability. Asynchrony of fertilizer application with crop demand along various nitrogen losses in Eastern India leads to low fertilizer efficiency in Kharif rice. At the same time, direct-sowing is gaining popularity due to water and labor scarcity. In an experiment between 2017–2018 in West Bengal, India, the main plots represented establishment methods: conventional transplanting, TPR; direct-seeded rice, DSR; and drum seeded rice, DRR; while subplots represented nitrogen management options: farmer’s practice (FP), the state-recommended (SR), nutrient expert-based (NE), Green seeker-based (GS) and LCC-based (LCC) in a split-plot design with three repetitions. Plant growth, productivity, and profitability were evaluated. All indicators of growth or production were affected by establishment methods and by N-management options. The yield enhancement of TPR and DSR over DRR was 21.1 and 16.8%, respectively, while it was enhanced by 19.21, 14.71, 6.49, and 2.52% by GS, NE, LCC, and SR, respectively, over FP. The highest net return and return per rupee invested were recorded with DSR, while both GS and NE had better economics. The results suggest that the combination of DSR establishment with GS or NE requires further studies to find climate-smart management techniques in Kharif rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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15 pages, 774 KiB  
Article
Understanding the Dynamic of Rice Farming Systems in Southern Mozambique to Improve Production and Benefits to Smallholders
by Fátima Ismael, Aires A. Mbanze, Alexis Ndayiragije and David Fangueiro
Agronomy 2021, 11(5), 1018; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11051018 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4082
Abstract
Rice farming systems (RFSs) in southern Mozambique are very heterogeneous and diversified, which has implications for smallholders’ adoption of each RFS, as well as on rice production and productivity in the region. In this regard, it is important to understand: (i) which RFS [...] Read more.
Rice farming systems (RFSs) in southern Mozambique are very heterogeneous and diversified, which has implications for smallholders’ adoption of each RFS, as well as on rice production and productivity in the region. In this regard, it is important to understand: (i) which RFS typologies can be leveraged to improve rice production and productivity; (ii) the drivers for smallholder farmers’ decisions to adopt an RFS; and (iii) which policies/incentives could enhance existing RFSs. The present study was based on surveys of 341 smallholder rice farmers in the Chókwè Irrigation Scheme (CIS), southern Mozambique. Data on the productivity of rice, size of the herd, and total other crop types were used to frame the RFS typologies. A multinomial logit model (MLM) and multiple linear regression (MLR) were applied to determine the driver for each RFS, and predict the constraints for production and yield. Based on cluster analysis, four typologies of RFSs were identified: the subsistence farming system (FS), specialised rice FS, mixed crops FS, and rice–livestock FS. Farms with longer experience reported applying more fertiliser and seedlings per unit hectare. The availability of labour increased the likelihood of adopting the mixed crops FS and rice–livestock FS. Older households were more likely to adopt the subsistence FS, and live closer to the farming fields. Yield of rice was positively associated with inputs such as fertilisers, pesticides, and seedlings, as well as years of experience of the household. Our results suggest that smallholder farmers need more assistance and technical support to identify and adopt more productive and less costly RFSs in this region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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15 pages, 1641 KiB  
Article
Maximizing Land Use Efficiency and Productivity of Soybean and Fodder Maize Intercrops through Manipulating Sowing Schedule and Maize Harvest Regime
by Heba S. A. Salama and Mahmoud H. Abdel-Moneim
Agronomy 2021, 11(5), 863; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11050863 - 28 Apr 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2439
Abstract
The incorporation of both food and forage crops in an intercropping system is receiving increasing attention, especially in developing countries with increasing populations and limited resources. In a two-year (2019–2020) field trial, conducted in Northern Egypt, productivity of soybean and fodder maize, as [...] Read more.
The incorporation of both food and forage crops in an intercropping system is receiving increasing attention, especially in developing countries with increasing populations and limited resources. In a two-year (2019–2020) field trial, conducted in Northern Egypt, productivity of soybean and fodder maize, as well as the quality of maize herbage, were investigated under three sowing schedules; soybean and maize sown together, and maize sown 15 and 30 days after soybean, in addition to soybean and fodder maize sown in pure stands, with maize harvested at green fodder maturity (GFM), and silage maturity (SM). Harvesting fodder maize at SM resulted in higher herbage yield than harvesting it at GFM, yet it negatively affected the soybean productivity. However, this negative impact was offset when fodder maize sowing was delayed 30 days after soybean sowing. Maize harvested at GFM was characterized by a higher leaf component, which was reflected in its higher crude protein content, yet the decline in quality with advanced maturity was to a great extent, counterbalanced by the presence of high-quality ears in maize harvested at SM. This was clear in its lower fiber and higher non-fiber carbohydrate contents. Land equivalent ratio (LER) demonstrated yield advantage with the delayed sowing of fodder maize (LER > 1), while the dry matter equivalent ratio (DMER) associated the yield advantage with the late harvesting of fodder maize at SM (DMER > 1), across all sowing schedules, which was more realistic for an additive intercropping model where the dry matter is the economic component. In a soybean-fodder maize intercropping system, whether fodder maize will be cultivated for green feeding or for silage production, it is recommended that sowing is delayed until 30 days after the soybean, in order to maximize yield advantage and land use efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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17 pages, 1221 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Subsurface Placement of Mineral Fertilizer on Some Soil Properties under Reduced Tillage Soybean Cultivation
by Piotr Kraska, Sylwia Andruszczak, Paweł Gierasimiuk and Hubert Rusecki
Agronomy 2021, 11(5), 859; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11050859 - 28 Apr 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2640
Abstract
One of the adverse effects of no-tillage is the accumulation of nutrients (in particular P and K) in the top soil layer. The subsurface application of mineral fertilizers at a depth of 10–30 cm can reduce this phenomenon and at the same time [...] Read more.
One of the adverse effects of no-tillage is the accumulation of nutrients (in particular P and K) in the top soil layer. The subsurface application of mineral fertilizers at a depth of 10–30 cm can reduce this phenomenon and at the same time provide a relatively uniform access to soil nutrients for plant roots. Such a method of mineral fertilizer application can additionally decrease the environmental risk associated with water eutrophication because the water runoff from fields, where the soil P content is high, is reduced. The aim of this research was to evaluate the effect of the subsurface application of different rates of a compound mineral fertilizer on the content of some macronutrients, soil organic carbon content (SOC), and soil pH in a field after the harvest of soybean grown under reduced tillage conditions. The field experiment was conducted during the growing seasons of 2014/2015–2016/2017 in the village of Rogów, Zamość County, Poland. It was set up as a split-plot design in four replicates. The first experimental factor included two methods of mineral fertilization application: fertilizer broadcast over the soil surface (S); fertilizer applied deep (subsurface placed) using a specially designed cultivator (Sub-S). The other factor was the rates of the mineral fertilizer (NPKS): 85 kg∙ha−1 (F85) and 170 kg∙ha−1 (F170). Over the successive years of the study, the SOC content was found to increase. However, neither the fertilization rate nor the method of fertilizer application caused any significant difference in organic carbon. Under subsurface fertilizer application conditions, a higher soil pH was found in treatment F85, however, when the fertilizer was surface-applied, the soil in treatment F170 had a higher pH value. During the three-year study period, the P and K content in the 0–30 cm soil layer was higher than in the 30–60 cm and 60–90 cm layers. In turn, the highest Mg content was determined in the 30–60 cm layer. In the case of both mineral fertilizer application methods, a higher P content was determined in the soil fertilized at a rate of 170 kg NPKS, compared with a rate of 85 kg∙ha−1. The surface application of the higher rate of mineral fertilization resulted in an increase in the soil K content. On the other hand, when the mineral fertilizer was subsurface-applied, a higher soil K was determined in the treatments with lower mineral fertilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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11 pages, 253 KiB  
Article
Interseeding Camelina and Rye in Soybean with Varying Maturity Provides Soil Cover without Affecting Soybean Yield
by Kory L. Johnson, Hans J. Kandel, Dulan P. Samarappuli and Marisol T. Berti
Agronomy 2021, 11(2), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11020353 - 16 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2747
Abstract
Low adoption to utilize cover crops interseeded into soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.), in the northern Plains in the USA, is due to a short growing season and a few adapted winter-hardy species. The objective was to evaluate the impact of interseeded [...] Read more.
Low adoption to utilize cover crops interseeded into soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.), in the northern Plains in the USA, is due to a short growing season and a few adapted winter-hardy species. The objective was to evaluate the impact of interseeded winter camelina (Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz) and winter rye (Secale cereale L.) using different soybean relative maturities on soybean yield, canopy coverage, spring cover crop biomass, and subsequent wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) yield. Cover crops interseeded into early-maturing (0.4–0.8) soybean cultivars had more fall coverage compared with the 0.9 maturity cultivar, but the spring biomass was similar for all maturities. The soybean yield of the 0.9 cultivar was significantly higher, 2365 kg ha−1 compared with 2037 kg ha−1 for the 0.4 cultivar. Rye outperformed winter camelina and had higher fall canopy cover (15 vs. 7%), spring canopy cover (16% vs. 4%), and higher spring biomass (313 vs. 100 kg ha−1 dry matter). Spring wheat, after rye, yielded 90% of the check. It is not recommended to plant spring wheat following winter rye, but there was no negative yield effect from winter camelina. Interseeding cover crops into soybean in the northern Plains is possible but needs further research to optimize interseeding systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
19 pages, 1182 KiB  
Article
Potato Growth and Yield Characteristics under Different Cropping System Management Strategies in Northeastern U.S.
by Robert P. Larkin, C. Wayne Honeycutt, Timothy S. Griffin, O. Modesto Olanya and Zhongqi He
Agronomy 2021, 11(1), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11010165 - 16 Jan 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 4802
Abstract
Cropping systems and management practices that improve soil health may greatly enhance crop productivity. Four different potato cropping systems designed to address specific management goals of soil conservation (SC), soil improvement (SI), disease suppression (DS), and a status quo (SQ) standard rotation, along [...] Read more.
Cropping systems and management practices that improve soil health may greatly enhance crop productivity. Four different potato cropping systems designed to address specific management goals of soil conservation (SC), soil improvement (SI), disease suppression (DS), and a status quo (SQ) standard rotation, along with a non-rotation (PP) control, were evaluated for their effects on potato crop growth, nutrient, and yield characteristics under both irrigated and non-irrigated (rainfed) conditions in field trials in Maine, USA, from 2004 to 2010. Both cropping system and irrigation significantly (p < 0.05) affected most potato crop parameters associated with growth and yield. All rotations increased tuber yield relative to the non-rotation PP control, and the SI system, which included yearly compost amendments, resulted in overall higher yields and a higher percentage of large-size tubers than all other systems with no irrigation (increases of 14 to 90%). DS, which contained disease-suppressive green manures and cover crops, produced the highest yields overall under irrigation (increases of 11 to 35%). Irrigation increased tuber yields in all cropping systems except SI (average increase of 27–37%). SI also resulted in significant increases in leaf area duration and chlorophyll content (as indicators of photosynthetic potential) and root and shoot biomass relative to other cropping systems, particularly under non-irrigated conditions. SI also resulted in higher shoot and tuber tissue concentrations of N, P, and K, but not most micronutrients. Overall, cropping systems that incorporate management practices such as increased rotation length and the use of cover crops, green manures, reduced tillage, and particularly, organic amendments, can substantially improve potato crop growth and yield. Irrigation also substantially increased growth and yield under normal field conditions in Maine, but SI, with its large organic amendments, was essentially a substitute for irrigation, producing comparable results without irrigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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14 pages, 1536 KiB  
Article
Response of Milling and Appearance Quality of Rice with Good Eating Quality to Temperature and Solar Radiation in Lower Reaches of Huai River
by Nianbing Zhou, Haiyan Wei and Hongcheng Zhang
Agronomy 2021, 11(1), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11010077 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2736
Abstract
The effects of temperature and solar radiation on milling and appearance quality of rice (Oryza sativa L.) were evaluated to find the optimal temperature and solar radiation for optimizing milling and appearance quality of rice in the lower reaches of Huai River. [...] Read more.
The effects of temperature and solar radiation on milling and appearance quality of rice (Oryza sativa L.) were evaluated to find the optimal temperature and solar radiation for optimizing milling and appearance quality of rice in the lower reaches of Huai River. Field experiments were conducted with two medium-maturing japonica soft rice varieties (SMR), two late-maturing japonica soft rice varieties (SLR) and two late-maturing japonica non-soft rice varieties (LR) as experimental materials. Seeds were sown on 10 May (T1), 17 May (T2), 24 May (T3), 31 May (T4), 7 June (T5), 14 June (T6), and 21 June (T7) in 2017 and 2018. Compared with solar radiation, temperature was the main environmental factor affecting the milling and appearance quality of rice in the lower reaches of Huai River. Under the condition of ensuring relatively high-yield, the milling quality of SMR and SLR can reach the second grade of China’s national standard of high quality paddy. The mean daily temperature (Tmean) range were 20.2–22.7 °C and 20.4–22.0 °C respectively. The temperature range for LR to obtain a relatively high-yield, good milling and appearance quality was 20.4–20.7 °C. The optimal sowing dates of SMR, SLR and LR were 15 May to 1 June, 15 May to 20 May and 15 May to 20 May, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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Review

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20 pages, 3951 KiB  
Review
Perspectives and Advances in Organic Formulations for Agriculture: Encapsulation of Herbicides for Weed Control
by Francisco J. Rodríguez-Mejías, Aurelio Scavo, Nuria Chinchilla, José M. G. Molinillo, Stefan Schwaiger, Giovanni Mauromicale and Francisco A. Macías
Agronomy 2023, 13(7), 1898; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13071898 - 18 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1632
Abstract
This article offers a critical analysis of the evolution of encapsulation methods for herbicides and natural products, with a main focus on organic formulations. It extols the possibilities presented by these micro- and nanomaterials, such as their slow release, stability, bioavailability, water solubility, [...] Read more.
This article offers a critical analysis of the evolution of encapsulation methods for herbicides and natural products, with a main focus on organic formulations. It extols the possibilities presented by these micro- and nanomaterials, such as their slow release, stability, bioavailability, water solubility, and stability for classical and natural herbicides from their origins to the present. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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23 pages, 1668 KiB  
Review
Crop Allelopathy for Sustainable Weed Management in Agroecosystems: Knowing the Present with a View to the Future
by Aurelio Scavo and Giovanni Mauromicale
Agronomy 2021, 11(11), 2104; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11112104 - 20 Oct 2021
Cited by 72 | Viewed by 11966
Abstract
In the face of yield losses caused by weeds, especially in low-input agricultural systems, and environmental pollution due to the excessive use of synthetic herbicides, sustainable weed management has become mandatory. To address these issues, allelopathy, i.e., the biochemical phenomenon of chemical interactions [...] Read more.
In the face of yield losses caused by weeds, especially in low-input agricultural systems, and environmental pollution due to the excessive use of synthetic herbicides, sustainable weed management has become mandatory. To address these issues, allelopathy, i.e., the biochemical phenomenon of chemical interactions between plants through the release of secondary metabolites into the environment, is gaining popularity. Although many important crops are known for their allelopathic potential, farmers are still reluctant to use such knowledge practically. It is therefore important to assist advisors and farmers in assessing whether allelopathy can be effectively implemented into an eco-friendly weed management strategy. Here, we aim to give a comprehensive and updated review on the herbicidal potential of allelopathy. The major findings are the following: (1) Crops from different botanical families show allelopathic properties and can be cultivated alone or in combination with other non-allelopathic crops. (2) Many allelopathic tools can be adopted (crop rotation, intercropping, cover cropping as living or dead mulches, green manuring, use of allelochemical-based bioherbicides). (3) These methods are highly flexible and feature increased efficiency when combined into an integrated weed management strategy. (4) Recent advances in the chemistry of allelopathy are facilitating the use of allelochemicals for bioherbicide production. (5) Several biotechnologies, such as stress induction and genetic engineering techniques, can enhance the allelopathic potential of crops or introduce allelopathic traits de novo. This review shows how important the role of allelopathy for sustainable weed management is and, at the same time, indicates the need for field experiments, mainly under an integrated approach. Finally, we recommend the combination of transgenic allelopathy with the aforementioned allelopathic tools to increase the weed-suppressive efficacy of allelopathy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping Systems and Agronomic Management Practices of Field Crops)
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