Innovative Strategies and Management Practices for Improving Product Quality and Resource Use Efficiency in Agriculture

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Use and Scarcity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 June 2024 | Viewed by 1208

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council (CNR-ISPA), Bari, Italy
Interests: evapotranspiration; irrigation management; water quality; ecophysiology; abiotic stress; vegetables; yield quality
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Guest Editor
Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council (CNR-ISPA), Bari, Italy
Interests: evapotranspiration; irrigation management; water stress; salinity stress; water use efficiency; sustainable water management; vegetables; irrigation DSS; sustainable fertilization
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CIHEAM – Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, Bari, Italy
Interests: water management in agriculture; irrigation; soil water balance and crop growth modelling; climate change impact; adaptation and mitigation; eco-efficiency
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Guest Editor
Department of Soil, Plant and Food Sciences (DiSSPA), University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy
Interests: sensor-based irrigation and fertigation management; water use efficiency; mineral plant nutrition; greenhouse cultivation

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Guest Editor
National Research Council of Italy, Institute for Mediterranean Agricultural and Forestry Systems (CNR-ISAFOM), Portici, Italy
Interests: environmental crop eco-physiology and agronomy; crop response to abiotic stresses; gas-exchange measurements at both leaf and canopy scales; evapotranspiration; water use efficiency; water relations; crop modelling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

To meet the growing demand for high-quality food by a growing global population, within a context of limited resources (arable land, water, nutrients), the primary challenge of agriculture is to produce better and more, using resources sparingly and increasing the efficiency of their use, in order to reduce the environmental impact and promote the role of agriculture in sustainable development. Furthermore, climate variability and change will have a greater impact on agricultural production. It is expected that there will be an increase in crop irrigation water requirements or, in other cases, an excess of water as a consequence of extreme precipitation events, with negative repercussions also on the nutrient balance and loss due to leaching and volatilization.

We can actually produce more with less, with reference to the current consumption rate of resources, especially by relying on technological innovations and improved scientific knowledge. Digital tools are transforming traditional farming methods, improving efficiency and offering sustainable solutions. The short-term strategy calls for the application and expansion of the agricultural technologies currently in use in order to follow the fastest path to improve the situation.

The general objective of this Special Issue (SI) is, therefore, to collect original scientific works and reviews that can provide a contribution to the sustainable use of resources for agricultural production, with the main objective of producing more and better without necessarily increasing the use of resources (i.e., water, fertilisers).

In particular, this Special Issue will deal with research topics relating to the efficient management of water and fertilizers, and will also take into consideration the improvement of product quality, both in open fields and in greenhouses.

All types of manuscript (original research, reviews, short communications, letter to editor and discussion) are welcome.

Articles may include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Agronomic practices (e.g., water and nutrient management, cultivars, sowing/planting methods, mulching, soil management) that can lead to water and nutrient savings;
  • Irrigation and fertilization strategies and techniques that improve product quality, water use efficiency and fertilizers productivity;
  • Precision agriculture techniques to optimize water and fertilizer input and obtain high-quality products;
  • Assessment of agricultural production processes’ sustainability as affected by the adoption of innovative agronomic practices, with a focus on water and nutrient management. 

Dr. Francesca Boari
Dr. Vito Cantore
Prof. Dr. Mladen Todorovic
Dr. Francesco Fabiano Montesano
Dr. Rossella Albrizio
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

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

Keywords

  • water use efficiency
  • nitrogen use efficiency
  • water saving
  • nitrogen saving
  • DSS
  • sensors
  • precision agriculture
  • climate change
  • yield
  • product quality

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

22 pages, 3891 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Regulation of Water–Nitrogen Coupling in Hybrid Seed Maize in the Hexi Oasis Irrigation Area Based on the Synergy of Multiple Indicators
by Haoliang Deng, Xiaofan Pan, Hengjia Zhang, Zhanwen Xiao, Rang Xiao, Zhixi Zhao and Tao Chen
Water 2023, 15(22), 3927; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15223927 - 10 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 881
Abstract
Water scarcity and the excessive application of nitrogen fertilizer are key factors limiting the sustainable development of the hybrid seed maize industry in the oasis agricultural areas of the Hexi Corridor in China. To determine the optimal water–nitrogen management regime of hybrid seed [...] Read more.
Water scarcity and the excessive application of nitrogen fertilizer are key factors limiting the sustainable development of the hybrid seed maize industry in the oasis agricultural areas of the Hexi Corridor in China. To determine the optimal water–nitrogen management regime of hybrid seed maize, we established a field experiment in 2020–2021 with three irrigation quotas (W1, W2, and W3 were 60, 80, and 100% of the local conventional irrigation quota, respectively) and four nitrogen application levels (N0, N1, N2, and N3 were 0, 190, 285, 380 kg·hm−2). We analysed the influence of different water–nitrogen combinations on indices of seed vigour, yield, water use efficiency (WUE), irrigation water use efficiency (IUE), the partial productivity of nitrogen fertilizer (NFP), and the nitrogen fertilizer agronomic use efficiency (NFA) of hybrid seed maize. A comprehensive growth evaluation system for hybrid seed maize was established based on the AHP, entropy weight, and TOPSIS methods, and a coupled water–nitrogen response model for hybrid seed maize was established with the objectives of obtaining high-yield, efficient, and high-seed vigour. The results showed that the yield of hybrid seed maize, NFP, and NFA gradually increased with the increase in the irrigation amount, while IUE continuously decreased; the yield of hybrid seed maize, WUE, and NFA increased and then decreased, while NFP continuously decreased with an increase in the amount of nitrogen application. Further, treatment N2W3 had higher water and nitrogen use efficiency and the highest yield and seed viability with a yield of 9209.11 kg·hm−2 and germination percentage, germination index, and vigour index of 97.22, 58.91, and 1.55%, respectively. The model of the integrated growth response of hybrid seed maize to water–nitrogen showed that the combined benefits of the hybrid seed maize yield, WUE, and seed viability could be maximised in conjunction with the irrigation rate ranging from 3558.90 to 3971.64 m3·hm−2 and the fertiliser application rate of 262.20 to 320.53 kg·hm−2. This study can provide scientific guidance and act as a decision-making reference for the productive, efficient, and sustainable development of hybrid seed maize in the oasis agricultural area of the Hexi Corridor. Full article
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