Science.gov

Sample records for agricultural crop plants

  1. Not all GMOs are crop plants: non-plant GMO applications in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Hokanson, K E; Dawson, W O; Handler, A M; Schetelig, M F; St Leger, R J

    2014-12-01

    Since tools of modern biotechnology have become available, the most commonly applied and often discussed genetically modified organisms are genetically modified crop plants, although genetic engineering is also being used successfully in organisms other than plants, including bacteria, fungi, insects, and viruses. Many of these organisms, as with crop plants, are being engineered for applications in agriculture, to control plant insect pests or diseases. This paper reviews the genetically modified non-plant organisms that have been the subject of permit approvals for environmental release by the United States Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service since the US began regulating genetically modified organisms. This is an indication of the breadth and progress of research in the area of non-plant genetically modified organisms. This review includes three examples of promising research on non-plant genetically modified organisms for application in agriculture: (1) insects for insect pest control using improved vector systems; (2) fungal pathogens of insects to control insect pests; and (3) virus for use as transient-expression vectors for disease control in plants.

  2. Plant growth promotion in cereal and leguminous agricultural important plants: from microorganism capacities to crop production.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Montaño, F; Alías-Villegas, C; Bellogín, R A; del Cerro, P; Espuny, M R; Jiménez-Guerrero, I; López-Baena, F J; Ollero, F J; Cubo, T

    2014-01-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are free-living bacteria which actively colonize plant roots, exerting beneficial effects on plant development. The PGPR may (i) promote the plant growth either by using their own metabolism (solubilizing phosphates, producing hormones or fixing nitrogen) or directly affecting the plant metabolism (increasing the uptake of water and minerals), enhancing root development, increasing the enzymatic activity of the plant or "helping" other beneficial microorganisms to enhance their action on the plants; (ii) or may promote the plant growth by suppressing plant pathogens. These abilities are of great agriculture importance in terms of improving soil fertility and crop yield, thus reducing the negative impact of chemical fertilizers on the environment. The progress in the last decade in using PGPR in a variety of plants (maize, rice, wheat, soybean and bean) along with their mechanism of action are summarized and discussed here.

  3. Potential alternative fuel sources for agricultural crops and plant components

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The changing landscape of agricultural production is placing unprecedented demands on farmers as they face increasing global competition and greater natural resource conservation challenges. However, shrinking profit margins due to increasing input costs, particularly of fuel and fertilizer, can res...

  4. Environmental effects of planting energy crops at larger scales on agricultural lands

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Downing, M.

    1995-09-01

    Increasing from research-scale to larger-scale plantings of herbaceous and short rotation woody crops on agricultural land in the United States has raised questions about the positive and negative environmental effects of farmland conversion. Research currently underway at experimental plot scales enables us examine runoff quality and quantity, erosion, and changes in soil characteristics associated with these energy crops compared to conventional row crops. A study of the fate of chemicals applied to the different crop types will enhance our knowledge of uptake, release, and off-site movement of nutrients and pesticides. Ongoing biodiversity studies in the North Central US allow us to compare differences in scale of plantings on bird and small mammal populations and habitat use. Plantings of 50--100 or more contiguous acres are needed to allow both researchers and producers to determine the benefits of including temporal energy crop rotations in the landscape. Results from these larger-scale plantings will help identify (1) the monitoring requirements needed to determine environmental effects of larger-scale plantings, (2) the best methods to determine the environmental effects of rotation length and the best crop management strategies for full-scale production. Because of the variations in soils, temperature, rainfall and other climatic conditions, as well as differences in the types of energy crops most suited for different regions, monitoring of large-scale plantings in these different regions of the US will be required to predict the environmental effects of regional agricultural land-use shifts for full-scale plantings.

  5. Environmental effects of planting biomass crops at larger scales on agricultural lands

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Downing, M.E.

    1995-09-01

    Increasing from research-scale to larger-scale plantings of herbaceous. and short rotation woody crops on agricultural land in the United States has raised questions about the positive and negative environmental effects of farmland conversion. Research currently underway at experimental plot scales enables us examine runoff quality and quantity, erosion, and changes in soil characteristics associated with these energy crops compared to conventional row crops. A study of the fate of chemicals applied to the different crop types will enhance our knowledge of uptake, release, and off-site movement of nutrients and pesticides. Ongoing biodiversity studies in the North Central US allow us to compare differences in scale of plantings on bird and small mammal populations and habitat use. Plantings of 50--100 or more contiguous acres are needed to allow both researchers and producers to determine the benefits of including temporal energy crop rotations in the landscape. Results from these larger-scale plantings will help identify (1) the monitoring requirements needed to determine environmental effects of larger-scale plantings, (2) the best methods to determine the environmental effects of rotation length and the best crop management strategies for full-scale production. Because of the variations in soils, temperature, rainfall and other climatic conditions, as well as differences in the types of energy crops most suited for different regions, monitoring of large-scale plantings in these different regions of the US will be required to predict the environmental effects of regional agricultural land-use shifts for full-scale plantings.

  6. Fabrication Of Biogenic Silver Nanoparticles Using Agricultural Crop Plant Leaf Extracts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajani, P.; SriSindhura, K.; Prasad, T. N. V. K. V.; Hussain, O. M.; Sudhakar, P.; Latha, P.; Balakrishna, M.; Kambala, V.; Reddy, K. Raja

    2010-10-01

    Nanoparticles are being viewed as fundamental building blocks of nanotechnology. Biosynthesis of nanoparticles by plant extracts is currently under exploitation. Use of agricultural crop plant extracts for synthesis of metal nanoparticles would add a new dimension to the agricultural sector in the utilization of crop waste. Silver has long been recognized as having an inhibitory effect towards many bacterial strains and microorganisms commonly present in medical and industrial processes. Four pulse crop plants and three cereal crop plants (Vigna radiata, Arachis hypogaea, Cyamopsis tetragonolobus, Zea mays, Pennisetum glaucum, Sorghum vulgare) were used and compared for their extra cellular synthesis of metallic silver nanoparticles. Stable silver nanoparticles were formed by treating aqueous solution of AgNO3 with the plant leaf extracts as reducing agent at temperatures 50 °C-95 °C. UV-Visible spectroscopy was utilized to monitor the formation of silver nanoparticles. XRD analysis of formed silver nanoparticles revealed face centered cubic structure with (111), (200), (220) and (311) planes. SEM and EDAX analysis confirm the size of the formed silver nanoparticles to be in the range of 50-200 nm. Our proposed work offers a enviro-friendly method for biogenic silver nanoparticles production. This could provide a faster synthesis rate comparable to those of chemical methods and potentially be used in areas such as cosmetics, food and medical applications.

  7. Not all GMOs are crop plants: non-plant GMO applications in agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the time since the tools of modern biotechnology have become available, the most commonly applied and often discussed genetically modified organisms are genetically modified crop plants, although genetic engineering is also being used successfully in organisms other than plants, including bacteri...

  8. Effects of coal-fired thermal power plant discharges on agricultural soil and crop plants.

    PubMed

    Ajmal, M; Khan, M A

    1986-04-01

    The physicochemical properties of the upstream and downstream waters from the Upper Ganga canal, discharged cooling tower water, machine washings, and scrubber and bottom ash effluents of a 530 MW Kasimpur coal-fired thermal power plant have been determined, and their effects directly on fertile soil and indirectly on pea (Pisum sativam) and wheat (Triticum aestivum) crops have also been studied. The effluents were found to be alkaline in nature. The scrubber and bottom ash effluent was found to contain large amounts of solids and had high biochemical and chemical oxygen demands. All the effluents were found to be responsible for altering the chemical composition of the soil. The soils irrigated with the different effluents exhibited an increase in pH, organic matter, calcium carbonate, water-soluble salts, cation exchange capacity, electrical conductivity, and nitrogen and phosphorus contents while potassium content decreased, probably due to being leached to the lower layers of the soil. The effects of 100, 50, and 0% (tap water control) dilutions of cooling tower, machine washings, and scrubber and bottom ash effluents on the germination and growth of pea and wheat crops were also monitored. Using the undiluted effluents, there was 100% germination for both the crops when the irrigation was done with cooling tower effluent. The germination was restricted to 90% for the two crops when irrigated with machine washings effluent, and to 80 and 70% for pea and wheat, respectively, when irrigated with scrubber and bottom ash effluent. The samples of upstream and downstream canal water were also used for irrigating soils with and without crop plants in order to ascertain the impact of the effluents on the canal water and its subsequent effect on the crops. The soils irrigated with downstream canal water were found to contain slightly more calcium carbonate, phosphorus, and ammonia-nitrogen than those receiving upstream canal water. Though 100% germination was obtained

  9. The mechanisms of plant stress mitigation by kaolin-based particle films and its applications in horticultural and agricultural crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Kaolin-based particle films have utility in reducing insect, heat, light, and uv stress in plants due to the reflective nature of the particles. Particle films with a residue density of 1 to 3 g/ square meter have been evaluated in a range of crops and agricultural environments. The particle film ...

  10. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers. PMID:24885352

  11. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity.

    PubMed

    Bhardwaj, Deepak; Ansari, Mohammad Wahid; Sahoo, Ranjan Kumar; Tuteja, Narendra

    2014-05-08

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers.

  12. Insights into plant size-density relationships from models and agricultural crops

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Jianming; Zuo, Wenyun; Wang, Zhiqiang; Fan, Zhexuan; Ji, Mingfei; Wang, Genxuan; Ran, Jinzhi; Zhao, Changming; Liu, Jianquan; Niklas, Karl J.; Hammond, Sean T.; Brown, James H.

    2012-01-01

    There is general agreement that competition for resources results in a tradeoff between plant mass, M, and density, but the mathematical form of the resulting thinning relationship and the mechanisms that generate it are debated. Here, we evaluate two complementary models, one based on the space-filling properties of canopy geometry and the other on the metabolic basis of resource use. For densely packed stands, both models predict that density scales as M−3/4, energy use as M0, and total biomass as M1/4. Compilation and analysis of data from 183 populations of herbaceous crop species, 473 stands of managed tree plantations, and 13 populations of bamboo gave four major results: (i) At low initial planting densities, crops grew at similar rates, did not come into contact, and attained similar mature sizes; (ii) at higher initial densities, crops grew until neighboring plants came into contact, growth ceased as a result of competition for limited resources, and a tradeoff between density and size resulted in critical density scaling as M−0.78, total resource use as M−0.02, and total biomass as M0.22; (iii) these scaling exponents are very close to the predicted values of M−3/4, M0, and M1/4, respectively, and significantly different from the exponents suggested by some earlier studies; and (iv) our data extend previously documented scaling relationships for trees in natural forests to small herbaceous annual crops. These results provide a quantitative, predictive framework with important implications for the basic and applied plant sciences. PMID:22586097

  13. Agricultural Residues and Biomass Energy Crops

    SciTech Connect

    2016-06-01

    There are many opportunities to leverage agricultural resources on existing lands without interfering with production of food, feed, fiber, or forest products. In the recently developed advanced biomass feedstock commercialization vision, estimates of potentially available biomass supply from agriculture are built upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Long-Term Forecast, ensuring that existing product demands are met before biomass crops are planted. Dedicated biomass energy crops and agricultural crop residues are abundant, diverse, and widely distributed across the United States. These potential biomass supplies can play an important role in a national biofuels commercialization strategy.

  14. The costs of anti-herbivore defense traits in agricultural crop plants: a case study involving leafhoppers and trichomes.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Ian; Dively, Galen P; Denno, Robert F

    2009-06-01

    The expression of plant defenses is thought to entail costs (e.g., the allocation of resources away from growth or reproduction) that constrain the evolution of plant genotypes maximally defended against herbivores. Although central to the ecological theory underlying plant-insect interactions at large, the concept of defense costs is particularly evident in agricultural crops where plants may be under simultaneous selection for enhanced growth and/or reproduction (i.e., yield) and anti-herbivore resistance traits that deter pests. In this study we investigate the role of trichomes as a resistance mechanism against a sap-feeding insect (the leafhopper, Empoasca fabae) on potato. Natural variation in trichome density among 17 potato cultivars was used to test for the role of trichomes as a putative defense against leafhoppers, and evidence of costs in trichome expression. Two different types of costs were explored: (1) allocation costs (i.e., the relationship between trichomes and yield), and (2) costs involving trade-offs with alternative defense strategies (e.g., tolerance). Although leafhopper abundance did not decrease as trichome density increased, leafhopper injury to potato plants (foliar necrosis) was negatively correlated with trichome density. As a result, the per capita effect of leafhopper adults and nymphs on foliar damage was lower on plants with high trichome densities. We found no evidence, however, for costs of expressing this resistance trait; trichomes were not correlated with either potato yield or tolerance to herbivory. Thus, selection for multiple plant defenses to alleviate the impact of pests in agronomic crops may indeed be possible without inherent losses in plant yield.

  15. Bioenergy: Agricultural Crop Residues

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The increasing cost of fossil fuels especially natural gas and petroleum as well as a desire to curtail greenhouse gas emissions are driving the expansion of bioenergy. Plant biomass (woody, grain and nongrain) is a potential energy source. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, plant biomass was a maj...

  16. Volatile Organic Compound Emissions by Agricultural Crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ormeno, E.; Farres, S.; Gentner, D.; Park, J.; McKay, M.; Karlik, J.; Goldstein, A.

    2008-12-01

    Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (BVOCs) participate in ozone and aerosol formation, and comprise a substantial fraction of reactive VOC emission inventories. In the agriculturally intensive Central Valley of California, emissions from crops may substantially influence regional air quality, but emission potentials have not been extensively studied with advanced instrumentation for many important crops. Because crop emissions may vary according to the species, and California emission inventories are constructed via a bottom-up approach, a better knowledge of the emission rate at the species-specific level is critical for reducing uncertainties in emission inventories and evaluating emission model performance. In the present study we identified and quantified the BVOCs released by dominant agricultural crops in California. A screening study to investigate both volatile and semivolatile BVOC fractions (oxygenated VOCs, isoprene, monoterepenes, sesquiterpenes, etc.) was performed for 25 crop species (at least 3 replicates plants each), including branch enclosures of woody species (e.g. peach, mandarin, grape, pistachio) and whole plant enclosures for herbaceous species (e.g. onion, alfalfa, carrot), through a dynamic cuvette system with detection by PTRMS, in-situ GCMS/FID, and collection on carbon-based adsorbents followed by extraction and GCMS analysis. Emission data obtained in this study will allow inclusion of these crops in BVOC emission inventories and air quality simulations.

  17. Caesium-137 soil-to-plant transfer for representative agricultural crops of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants in post-Chernobyl steppe landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paramonova, Tatiana; Komissarova, Olga; Turykin, Leonid; Kuzmenkova, Natalia; Belyaev, Vladimir

    2016-04-01

    The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 had a large-scale action on more than 2.3 million hectares agricultural lands in Russia. The area of radioactively contaminated chernozems of semi-arid steppe zone with initial levels of Cs-137 185-555 kBq/m2 in Tula region received the name "Plavsky radioactive hotspot". Nowadays, after the first half-life period of Cs-137 arable chernozems of the region are still polluted with 3-6-fold excess above the radioactive safety standard (126-228 kBq/m2). Therefore, qualitative and quantitative characteristics of Cs-137 soil-to-plant transfer are currently a central problem for land use on the territory. The purpose of the present study was revealing the biological features of Cs-137 root uptake from contaminated arable chernozems by different agricultural crops. The components of a grass mixture growing at the central part of Plavsky radioactive hotspot with typical dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous plants - galega (Galega orientalis, Fabaceae family) and bromegrass (Bromus inermis, Gramineae family) respectively - were selected for the investigation, that was conducted during the period of harvesting in 2015. An important point was that the other factors influenced on Cs-137 soil-to-plant transfer - the level of soil pollution, soil properties, climatic conditions, vegetative phase, etc. - were equal. So, biological features of Cs-137 root uptake could be estimated the most credible manner. As a whole, general discrimination of Cs-137 root uptake was clearly shown for both agricultural crops. Whereas Cs-137 activity in rhizosphere 30-cm layer of arable chernozem was 371±74 Bq/kg (140±32 kBq/m2), Cs-137 activities in plant biomass were one-two orders of magnitude less, and transfer factor (TF) values (the ratio of the Cs-137 activities in vegetation and in soil) not exceeded 0.11. At the same time bioavailability of Cs-137 for bromegrass was significantly higher than for galega: TFs in total biomass of the

  18. [Effects of agricultural activities and transgenic crops on agricultural biodiversity].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xi-Tao; Luo, Hong-Bing; Li, Jun-Sheng; Huang, Hai; Liu, Yong-Bo

    2014-09-01

    Agricultural biodiversity is a key part of the ecosystem biodiversity, but it receives little concern. The monoculture, environmental pollution and habitat fragmentation caused by agricultural activities have threatened agricultural biodiversity over the past 50 years. To optimize agricultural management measures for crop production and environmental protection, we reviewed the effects of agricultural activities, including cultivation patterns, plastic mulching, chemical additions and the cultivation of transgenic crops, on agricultural biodiversity. The results showed that chemical pesticides and fertilizers had the most serious influence and the effects of transgenic crops varied with other factors like the specific transgene inserted in crops. The environmental risk of transgenic crops should be assessed widely through case-by-case methods, particularly its potential impacts on agricultural biodiversity. It is important to consider the protection of agricultural biodiversity before taking certain agricultural practices, which could improve agricultural production and simultaneously reduce the environmental impacts.

  19. Plant biotechnology: transgenic crops.

    PubMed

    Shewry, Peter R; Jones, Huw D; Halford, Nigel G

    2008-01-01

    Transgenesis is an important adjunct to classical plant breeding, in that it allows the targeted manipulation of specific characters using genes from a range of sources. The current status of crop transformation is reviewed, including methods of gene transfer, the selection of transformed plants and control of transgene expression. The application of genetic modification technology to specific traits is then discussed, including input traits relating to crop production (herbicide tolerance and resistance to insects, pathogens and abiotic stresses) and output traits relating to the composition and quality of the harvested organs. The latter include improving the nutritional quality for consumers as well as the improvement of functional properties for food processing.

  20. Crop monitoring using remote sensing orientated for government decision making and agricultural management: a case study of China's soybean planting area estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Bangjie; Qian, Yonglan; Pei, Zhiyuan; Jiao, Xianfeng

    2006-12-01

    China is one of the main soybean production countries in the world and soybean is of great importance in agricultural industry, domestic consumption and international trade. In recent years, however, China has become the largest soybean importer in the world. Therefore timely credible information about soybean planting area and production is essential for government decision making and agricultural management on domestic consumption and international trade. Moreover, information on soybean planting and continuous planting location is critical for distributing farmer subsidies and production management. In this paper, an operational system based on multi-resolution remotely sensed data was developed for the soybean area inventory and continuous cropping area monitoring. A stratified sampling method is employed to extract and locate major soybean-planting regions, which are later surveyed using remote sensing data. At the same time, sub regions are constructed based on cropping systems in which remotely sensed data of different resolutions are applied for the soybean area estimation and replanting area location assessment.

  1. Agricultural impacts: Mapping future crop geographies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Travis, William R.

    2016-06-01

    Modelled patterns of climate change impacts on sub-Saharan agriculture provide a detailed picture of the space- and timescales of change. They reveal hotspots where crop cultivation may disappear entirely, but also large areas where current or substitute crops will remain viable through this century.

  2. Assessment of heavy metal accumulation in macrophyte, agricultural soil, and crop plants adjacent to discharge zone of sponge iron factory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, S.; Nayek, S.; Saha, R. N.; Satpati, S.

    2008-08-01

    The present study deals with the characterization of effluent released from sponge iron industries and distribution of heavy metals in soil and macrophytes near to effluent discharge channel. Apart from this, accumulation of heavy metals in nearby soil and vegetation system irrigated with effluent-contaminated water is also the subject of this study. Physico-chemical analysis of effluent reveals that the concentration of total suspended solids (TSS), total hardness (TH), iron (Fe2+), and oil and grease are greater than the IS (1981) norms for discharge of water into inland water body. The soil along the sides of the effluent channel also shows higher concentration of heavy metals than the background soil. The enrichment of the heavy metals are in the order of Chromium (Cr) > Iron (Fe) > Manganese (Mn) > Zinc (Zn) > Copper (Cu) > Cadmium (Cd). Macrophytes growing along the sides of the effluent channel also show significant accumulation of heavy metals almost in the same order as accumulated in soil. Higher uptake of heavy metals by these varieties reveals that these species can be used for future phytoremediation. The effluent as well as contaminated water is extensively used for irrigation for growing vegetables like tomato ( Lycopersicon esculatum) in the surrounding areas. Heavy metal accumulation in this agricultural soil are in the sequence of Cr > Fe > Mn > Zn > Cu > Cd. More or less similar type of accumulation pattern are also found in tomato plants except Fe and Zn exceeding Cr and Mn. Transfer Factor of heavy metals from soil to tomato plants (TFS) shows average value of <1, suggesting less uptake of heavy metals from soil. Among the plant parts studied, fruit shows least accumulation. Although tomato plants show some phenotypic changes, the survival of tomato plants as well as least accumulation of metals in fruit reveals their tolerance to heavy metals. Therefore it may be suggested that this plant can be grown successfully in the heavy metal

  3. The edge extraction of agricultural crop leaf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Beilei; Cao, Ying; Xiao, Huiming; Jiang, Huiyan; Liu, Hongjuan

    2009-07-01

    In agricultural engineering, to ensure rational use of pesticide and improvement of crop production, computer image recognition technology is currently applied to help farmers to identify the degree of crop diseases. Considering the importance of feature extraction in this field, in this paper, we first present and discuss several widely used edge operator, including Sobel, Prewitt, Roberts, Canny and LoG. Furthermore, an experiment is conducted to compare performance and accuracy of five operators by applying them to a leaf image taken from agricultural crop for edge detection. The results of experiment show that, in practice, LoG edge operator is relatively a better choice and performs well for edge detection of agricultural crop leaf image.

  4. Topography Mediates the Influence of Cover Crops on Soil Nitrate Levels in Row Crop Agricultural Systems

    PubMed Central

    Ladoni, Moslem; Kravchenko, Alexandra N.; Robertson, G. Phillip

    2015-01-01

    Supplying adequate amounts of soil N for plant growth during the growing season and across large agricultural fields is a challenge for conservational agricultural systems with cover crops. Knowledge about cover crop effects on N comes mostly from small, flat research plots and performance of cover crops across topographically diverse agricultural land is poorly understood. Our objective was to assess effects of both leguminous (red clover) and non-leguminous (winter rye) cover crops on potentially mineralizable N (PMN) and NO3--N levels across a topographically diverse landscape. We studied conventional, low-input, and organic managements in corn-soybean-wheat rotation. The rotations of low-input and organic managements included rye and red clover cover crops. The managements were implemented in twenty large undulating fields in Southwest Michigan starting from 2006. The data collection and analysis were conducted during three growing seasons of 2011, 2012 and 2013. Observational micro-plots with and without cover crops were laid within each field on three contrasting topographical positions of depression, slope and summit. Soil samples were collected 4–5 times during each growing season and analyzed for NO3--N and PMN. The results showed that all three managements were similar in their temporal and spatial distributions of NO3—N. Red clover cover crop increased NO3--N by 35% on depression, 20% on slope and 32% on summit positions. Rye cover crop had a significant 15% negative effect on NO3--N in topographical depressions but not in slope and summit positions. The magnitude of the cover crop effects on soil mineral nitrogen across topographically diverse fields was associated with the amount of cover crop growth and residue production. The results emphasize the potential environmental and economic benefits that can be generated by implementing site-specific topography-driven cover crop management in row-crop agricultural systems. PMID:26600462

  5. Topography Mediates the Influence of Cover Crops on Soil Nitrate Levels in Row Crop Agricultural Systems.

    PubMed

    Ladoni, Moslem; Kravchenko, Alexandra N; Robertson, G Phillip

    2015-01-01

    Supplying adequate amounts of soil N for plant growth during the growing season and across large agricultural fields is a challenge for conservational agricultural systems with cover crops. Knowledge about cover crop effects on N comes mostly from small, flat research plots and performance of cover crops across topographically diverse agricultural land is poorly understood. Our objective was to assess effects of both leguminous (red clover) and non-leguminous (winter rye) cover crops on potentially mineralizable N (PMN) and [Formula: see text] levels across a topographically diverse landscape. We studied conventional, low-input, and organic managements in corn-soybean-wheat rotation. The rotations of low-input and organic managements included rye and red clover cover crops. The managements were implemented in twenty large undulating fields in Southwest Michigan starting from 2006. The data collection and analysis were conducted during three growing seasons of 2011, 2012 and 2013. Observational micro-plots with and without cover crops were laid within each field on three contrasting topographical positions of depression, slope and summit. Soil samples were collected 4-5 times during each growing season and analyzed for [Formula: see text] and PMN. The results showed that all three managements were similar in their temporal and spatial distributions of NO3-N. Red clover cover crop increased [Formula: see text] by 35% on depression, 20% on slope and 32% on summit positions. Rye cover crop had a significant 15% negative effect on [Formula: see text] in topographical depressions but not in slope and summit positions. The magnitude of the cover crop effects on soil mineral nitrogen across topographically diverse fields was associated with the amount of cover crop growth and residue production. The results emphasize the potential environmental and economic benefits that can be generated by implementing site-specific topography-driven cover crop management in row-crop

  6. Commercial Pesticides Applicator Manual: Agriculture - Plant.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fitzwater, W. D.; And Others

    This training manual provides information needed to meet the minimum EPA standards for certification as a commercial applicator of pesticides in the agriculture-plant pest control category. The text discusses identification and control of insects, diseases, nematodes, and weeds of agricultural crops. Proper use of application equipment and safety…

  7. Energy from biological processes. Volume III. Appendixes, Part B: Agriculture, unconventional crops, and select biomass wastes

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-09-01

    This volume contains the following working papers written for OTA to assist in preparation of the report, Energy from Biological Processes: The Potential of Producing Energy From Agriculture; Cropland Availability for Biomass Production; Energy From Agriculture: Unconventional Crops; Energy From Aquaculture Biomass Systems: Fresh and Brackish Water Aquatic Plants; Energy From Agriculture: Animal Wastes; and Energy From Agriculture: Agricultural Processing Wastes.

  8. Why we need GMO crops in agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The fact that in a very short period of 35 years the global population will reach an estimated 9 billion people presents a massive challenge to agriculture: how do we feed all of these people with nutritious food in a sustainable way? At the present time the yields of most of our major crops are sta...

  9. Crop Farm Employee. Agricultural Cooperative Training. Vocational Agriculture. Revised.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyd, Chester; And Others

    Designed for students enrolled in the Vocational Agricultural Cooperative Part-Time Training Program, this course of study contains 13 units for crop farm employees. Units include (examples of unit topics in parentheses): introduction (opportunities in farming, farming as a science, and farming in the United States), farm records (keeping farm…

  10. Hyperspectral mapping of crop and soils for precision agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whiting, Michael L.; Ustin, Susan L.; Zarco-Tejada, Pablo; Palacios-Orueta, Alicia; Vanderbilt, Vern C.

    2006-08-01

    Precision agriculture requires high spectral and spatial resolution imagery for advanced analyses of crop and soil conditions to increase environmental protection and producers' sustainability. GIS models that anticipate crop responses to nutrients, water, and pesticides require high spatial detail to generate application prescription maps. While the added precision of geo-spatial interpolation to field scouting generates improved zone maps and are an improvement over field-wide applications, it is limited in detail due to expense, and lacks the high precision required for pixel level applications. Multi-spectral imagery gives the spatial detail required, but broad band indexes are not sensitive to many variables in the crop and soil environment. Hyperspectral imagery provides both the spatial detail of airborne imagery and spectral resolution for spectroscopic and narrow band analysis techniques developed over recent decades in the laboratory that will advance precise determination of water and bio-physical properties of crops and soils. For several years, we have conducted remote sensing investigations to improve cotton production through field spectrometer measurements, and plant and soil samples in commercial fields and crop trials. We have developed spectral analyses techniques for plant and soil conditions through determination of crop water status, effectiveness of pre-harvest defoliant applications, and soil characterizations. We present the most promising of these spectroscopic absorption and narrow band index techniques, and their application to airborne hyperspectral imagery in mapping the variability in crops and soils.

  11. Separability of agricultural crops with airborne scatterometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mehta, N. C.

    1983-01-01

    Backscattering measurements were acquired with airborne scatterometers over a site in Cass County, North Dakota on four days in the 1981 crop growing season. Data were acquired at three frequencies (L-, C- and Ku-bands), two polarizations (like and cross) and ten incidence angles (5 degrees to 50 degrees in 5 degree steps). Crop separability is studied in an hierarchical fashion. A two-class separability measure is defined, which compares within-class to between-class variability, to determine crop separability. The scatterometer channels with the best potential for crop separability are determined, based on this separability measure. Higher frequencies are more useful for discriminating small grains, while lower frequencies tend to separate non-small grains better. Some crops are more separable when row direction is taken into account. The effect of pixel purity is to increase the separability between all crops while not changing the order of useful scatterometer channels. Crude estimates of separability errors are calculated based on these analyses. These results are useful in selecting the parameters of active microwave systems in agricultural remote sensing.

  12. Bumper transgenic plant crop

    SciTech Connect

    Moffat, A.S.

    1991-07-05

    Although it may seem hard to believe, it's been almost 10 years since researchers showed that they could use gene transfer technology on plants. Since then the plant genetic engineers have taken great strides. With several dozen field trials already under way, they may soon achieve their original goal - the development of high-yielding plant varieties with enhanced resistance to herbicides, disease, or insects. So now the researchers are branching out, beginning to design plants with improved consumer appeal, such as tomatoes that hold up better to freezing, as well as creating plants that can serve as factories for pharmaceuticals and industrial oils, just as researchers are now attempting to use pigs to make human hemoglobin. Some of the plant varieties being developed include: tobacco plants, soybeans, tomatoes, and dry, navy and green beans.

  13. Sequencing Crop Genomes: A Gateway to Improve Tropical Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Thottathil, Gincy Paily; Jayasekaran, Kandakumar; Othman, Ahmad Sofiman

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural development in the tropics lags behind development in the temperate latitudes due to the lack of advanced technology, and various biotic and abiotic factors. To cope with the increasing demand for food and other plant-based products, improved crop varieties have to be developed. To breed improved varieties, a better understanding of crop genetics is necessary. With the advent of next-generation DNA sequencing technologies, many important crop genomes have been sequenced. Primary importance has been given to food crops, including cereals, tuber crops, vegetables, and fruits. The DNA sequence information is extremely valuable for identifying key genes controlling important agronomic traits and for identifying genetic variability among the cultivars. However, massive DNA re-sequencing and gene expression studies have to be performed to substantially improve our understanding of crop genetics. Application of the knowledge obtained from the genomes, transcriptomes, expression studies, and epigenetic studies would enable the development of improved varieties and may lead to a second green revolution. The applications of next generation DNA sequencing technologies in crop improvement, its limitations, future prospects, and the features of important crop genome projects are reviewed herein. PMID:27019684

  14. Environmental effects of growing short-rotation woody crops on former agricultural lands

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Thornton, F.C.; Joslin, J.D.

    1997-10-01

    Field-scale studies in the Southeast have been addressing the environmental effects of converting agricultural lands to biomass crop production since 1994. Erosion, surface water quality and quantity and subsurface movement of water and nutrients from woody crops, switchgrass and agricultural crops are being compared. Nutrient cycling, soil physical changes and crop productivity are also being monitored at the three sites. Maximum sediment losses occurred in the spring and fall. Losses were greater from sweetgum planted without a cover crop than with a cover crop. Nutrient losses of N and P in runoff and subsurface water occurred primarily after spring fertilizer application.

  15. Modifying agricultural crops for improved nutrition.

    PubMed

    McGloughlin, Martina Newell

    2010-11-30

    The first generation of biotechnology products commercialized were crops focusing largely on input agronomic traits whose value was often opaque to consumers. The coming generations of crop plants can be grouped into four broad areas each presenting what, on the surface, may appear as unique challenges and opportunities. The present and future focus is on continuing improvement of agronomic traits such as yield and abiotic stress resistance in addition to the biotic stress tolerance of the present generation; crop plants as biomass feedstocks for biofuels and "bio-synthetics"; value-added output traits such as improved nutrition and food functionality; and plants as production factories for therapeutics and industrial products. From a consumer perspective, the focus on value-added traits, especially improved nutrition, is undoubtedly one of the areas of greatest interest. From a basic nutrition perspective, there is a clear dichotomy in demonstrated need between different regions and socioeconomic groups, the starkest being inappropriate consumption in the developed world and under-nourishment in Less Developed Countries (LDCs). Dramatic increases in the occurrence of obesity and related ailments in affluent regions are in sharp contrast to chronic malnutrition in many LDCs. Both problems require a modified food supply, and the tools of biotechnology have a part to play. Developing plants with improved traits involves overcoming a variety of technical, regulatory and indeed perception hurdles inherent in perceived and real challenges of complex traits modifications. Continuing improvements in molecular and genomic technologies are contributing to the acceleration of product development to produce plants with the appropriate quality traits for the different regions and needs. Crops with improved traits in the pipeline, the evolving technologies and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead are covered.

  16. Climate impacts on agriculture: Implications for crop production

    SciTech Connect

    Hatfield, Jerry L.; Boote, Kenneth J.; Kimball, B. A.; Ziska, Lewis A.; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Ort, Don; Thomson, Allison M.; Wolfe, David W.

    2011-04-19

    Changes in temperature, CO2, and precipitation under the scenarios of climate change for the next 30 years present a challenge to crop production. This review focuses on the impact of temperature, CO2, and ozone on agronomic crops and the implications for crop production. Understanding these implications for agricultural crops is critical for developing cropping systems resilient to stresses induced by climate change. There is variation among crops in their response to CO2, temperature, and precipitation changes and, with the regional differences in predicted climate, a situation is created in which the responses will be further complicated. For example, the temperature effects on soybean could potentially cause yield reductions of 2.4% in the South but an increase of 1.7% in the Midwest. The frequency of years when temperatures exceed thresholds for damage during critical growth stages is likely to increase for some crops and regions. The increase in CO2 contributes significantly to enhanced plant growth and improved water use efficiency; however, there may be a downscaling of these positive impacts due to higher temperatures plants will experience during their growth cycle. A challenge is to understand the interactions of the changing climatic parameters because of the interactions among temperature, CO2, and precipitation on plant growth and development and also on the biotic stresses of weeds, insects, and diseases. Agronomists will have to consider the variations in temperature and precipitation as part of the production system if they are to ensure the food security required by an ever increasing population.

  17. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds). 201.18 Section... SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing Practices), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) FEDERAL SEED ACT FEDERAL SEED ACT REGULATIONS Labeling Agricultural Seeds § 201.18 Other agricultural seeds...

  18. Double-crop sunflowers for agricultural diesel fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Glenn, T.L.; Keener, H.M.; Henry, J.E.; Triplett, G.B. Jr.

    1982-01-01

    Agronomic and engineering information on double-crop sunflower production, processing and utilization is presented. This and other available information is used to assess feasibility and future directions in the use of sunflower oil for agricultural diesel fuel in the US Eastern Corn Belt area. Double-cropping yields varied considerably due to precipitation extremes, plus different soil characteristics and management practices. Average expeller oil yields of 0.344 kg of oil per kg of moisture free seed were achieved with a feed rate of 125 kg per hour for a range in seed and processing conditions. Results from feasibility analyses suggest that sunflower oil can be grown in Ohio and processed in a community cooperative plant with a favorable energy ratio and marginal profitability. 3 figures, 4 tables.

  19. Transgenic Crops: Implications for Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcia, Maria Alice; Altieri, Miguel A.

    2005-01-01

    The potential for genetically modified (GM) crops to threaten biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture is substantial. Megadiverse countries and centers of origin and/or diversity of crop species are particularly vulnerable regions. The future of sustainable agriculture may be irreversibly jeopardized by contamination of in situ…

  20. Agricultural Development Workers Training Manual. Volume III. Crops.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leonard, David; And Others

    This training manual, the third volume in a four-volume series of curriculum guides for use in training Peace Corps agricultural development workers, deals with crops. The first chapter provides suggested guidelines for setting up and carrying out the crops component of the agricultural development worker training series. Included in the second…

  1. Genomics generates new insights into host plant defense and offers novel strategies for crop protection

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant diseases and insect pests are the important threats to agricultural production, and crop losses to diseases and insects can be greater than about 30% of the annual global production. Managing the health of crop plants to assure sustainable agricultural production can be very challenging. How...

  2. Lessons from crop plants struggling with salinity.

    PubMed

    Cabot, Catalina; Sibole, John V; Barceló, Juan; Poschenrieder, Charlotte

    2014-09-01

    Salinity is a persistent problem, causing important losses in irrigated agriculture. According to global climate change prediction models, salinity is expected to expand in the near future. Although intensive studies have been conducted on the mechanisms by which plants cope with saline conditions, the multi-component nature of salt stress tolerance has rendered most plant breeding efforts to improve the plant's response to salinity unsuccessful. This occurs despite the extensive genetic diversity shown by higher plants for salt tolerance and the similar mechanisms found in salt-sensitive and salt-tolerant genotypes in response to the presence of excess of salts in the growth media. On the other hand, there is an urge to increase crop yield to the maximum to cope with the growing world population demands for food and fuel. Here, we examine some major elements and signaling mechanisms involved in the plant's response to salinity following the pathway of salt-footprints from the soil environment to leaf. Some of the possible contrasting determinants for a better-balanced resource allocation between salt tolerance and plant growth and yield are considered.

  3. Priorities for worldwide remote sensing of agricultural crops

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowker, D. E.

    1985-01-01

    The world's crops are ranked according to total harvested area, and comparisons are made among major world regions of differences in crops produced. The eight leading world crops are wheat, rice, corn, barley, millet, soybeans, sorghum, and cotton. Regionally, millet and sorghum are most important in Africa, wheat is the most extensively grown crop in north-central America, Europe, USSR, and Oceania; corn is the dominant crop in South America; and rice is the most extensively grown crop in Asia. Agriculture in the USA is considered in more detail to show the national economic impact of variations in value per hectare among crops. On the world scene, the cereals are the most important crops, but locally, such crops as tobacco can play a dominant role.

  4. Alternative scenarios of bioenergy crop production in an agricultural landscape and implications for bird communities.

    PubMed

    Blank, Peter J; Williams, Carol L; Sample, David W; Meehan, Timothy D; Turner, Monica G

    2016-01-01

    Increased demand and government mandates for bioenergy crops in the United States could require a large allocation of agricultural land to bioenergy feedstock production and substantially alter current landscape patterns. Incorporating bioenergy landscape design into land-use decision making could help maximize benefits and minimize trade-offs among alternative land uses. We developed spatially explicit landscape scenarios of increased bioenergy crop production in an 80-km radius agricultural landscape centered on a potential biomass-processing energy facility and evaluated the consequences of each scenario for bird communities. Our scenarios included conversion of existing annual row crops to perennial bioenergy grasslands and conversion of existing grasslands to annual bioenergy row crops. The scenarios explored combinations of four biomass crop types (three potential grassland crops along a gradient of plant diversity and one annual row crop [corn]), three land conversion percentages to bioenergy crops (10%, 20%, or 30% of row crops or grasslands), and three spatial configurations of biomass crop fields (random, clustered near similar field types, or centered on the processing plant), yielding 36 scenarios. For each scenario, we predicted the impact on four bird community metrics: species richness, total bird density, species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) density, and SGCN hotspots (SGCN birds/ha ≥ 2). Bird community metrics consistently increased with conversion of row crops to bioenergy grasslands and consistently decreased with conversion of grasslands to bioenergy row crops. Spatial arrangement of bioenergy fields had strong effects on the bird community and in some cases was more influential than the amount converted to bioenergy crops. Clustering grasslands had a stronger positive influence on the bird community than locating grasslands near the central plant or at random. Expansion of bioenergy grasslands onto marginal agricultural lands will

  5. Genetic engineering of crop plants for fungal resistance: role of antifungal genes.

    PubMed

    Ceasar, S Antony; Ignacimuthu, S

    2012-06-01

    Fungal diseases damage crop plants and affect agricultural production. Transgenic plants have been produced by inserting antifungal genes to confer resistance against fungal pathogens. Genes of fungal cell wall-degrading enzymes, such as chitinase and glucanase, are frequently used to produce fungal-resistant transgenic crop plants. In this review, we summarize the details of various transformation studies to develop fungal resistance in crop plants.

  6. Fuel production potential of several agricultural crops

    SciTech Connect

    Mays, D.A.; Buchanan, W.; Bradford, B.N.

    1984-11-01

    Data collected on starch and sugar crops indicate that sweet potato and sweet sorghum have the best potential for alcohol production in the TVA area. Of the oil crops evaluated in this series of experiments only sunflower and okara appear to offer potential in the Tennessee Valley for oil production for fuel or other uses. 21 tabs.

  7. Estimation of flood losses to agricultural crops using remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tapia-Silva, Felipe-Omar; Itzerott, Sibylle; Foerster, Saskia; Kuhlmann, Bernd; Kreibich, Heidi

    2011-01-01

    The estimation of flood damage is an important component of risk-oriented flood design, risk mapping, financial appraisals and comparative risk analyses. However, research on flood loss modelling, especially in the agricultural sector, has not yet gained much attention. Agricultural losses strongly depend on the crops affected, which need to be predicted accurately. Therefore, three different methods to predict flood-affected crops using remote sensing and ancillary data were developed, applied and validated. These methods are: (a) a hierarchical classification based on standard curves of spectral response using satellite images, (b) disaggregation of crop statistics using a Monte Carlo simulation and probabilities of crops to be cultivated on specific soils and (c) analysis of crop rotation with data mining Net Bayesian Classifiers (NBC) using soil data and crop data derived from a multi-year satellite image analysis. A flood loss estimation model for crops was applied and validated in flood detention areas (polders) at the Havel River (Untere Havelniederung) in Germany. The polders were used for temporary storage of flood water during the extreme flood event in August 2002. The flood loss to crops during the extreme flood event in August 2002 was estimated based on the results of the three crop prediction methods. The loss estimates were then compared with official loss data for validation purposes. The analysis of crop rotation with NBC obtained the best result, with 66% of crops correctly classified. The accuracy of the other methods reached 34% with identification using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) standard curves and 19% using disaggregation of crop statistics. The results were confirmed by evaluating the loss estimation procedure, in which the damage model using affected crops estimated by NBC showed the smallest overall deviation (1%) when compared to the official losses. Remote sensing offers various possibilities for the improvement of

  8. Operational results of an agricultural biogas plant equipped with modern instrumentation and automation.

    PubMed

    Wiese, J; Kujawski, O

    2008-01-01

    Agricultural biogas plants based on energy crops gain more and more importance because of numerous energetic, environmental and agricultural benefits. In contrast to older biogas plants, the newest generation of biogas plants is equipped with modern ICA equipment and reliable machines/engines. In this paper, the authors present technical details and operational results of a modern full-scale agricultural biogas plant using energy crops.

  9. Remote sensing of agricultural crops and soils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bauer, M. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1983-01-01

    Research in the correlative and noncorrelative approaches to image registration and the spectral estimation of corn canopy phytomass and water content is reported. Scene radiation research results discussed include: corn and soybean LANDSAT MSS classification performance as a function of scene characteristics; estimating crop development stages from MSS data; the interception of photosynthetically active radiation in corn and soybean canopies; costs of measuring leaf area index of corn; LANDSAT spectral inputs to crop models including the use of the greenness index to assess crop stress and the evaluation of MSS data for estimating corn and soybean development stages; field research experiment design data acquisition and preprocessing; and Sun-view angles studies of corn and soybean canopies in support of vegetation canopy reflection modeling.

  10. Germany wide seasonal flood risk analysis for agricultural crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klaus, Stefan; Kreibich, Heidi; Kuhlmann, Bernd; Merz, Bruno; Schröter, Kai

    2016-04-01

    In recent years, large-scale flood risk analysis and mapping has gained attention. Regional to national risk assessments are needed, for example, for national risk policy developments, for large-scale disaster management planning and in the (re-)insurance industry. Despite increasing requests for comprehensive risk assessments some sectors have not received much scientific attention, one of these is the agricultural sector. In contrast to other sectors, agricultural crop losses depend strongly on the season. Also flood probability shows seasonal variation. Thus, the temporal superposition of high flood susceptibility of crops and high flood probability plays an important role for agricultural flood risk. To investigate this interrelation and provide a large-scale overview of agricultural flood risk in Germany, an agricultural crop loss model is used for crop susceptibility analyses and Germany wide seasonal flood-frequency analyses are undertaken to derive seasonal flood patterns. As a result, a Germany wide map of agricultural flood risk is shown as well as the crop type most at risk in a specific region. The risk maps may provide guidance for federal state-wide coordinated designation of retention areas.

  11. Radiation hybrid mapping in crop plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Map-based cloning and manipulation of genes controlling important traits for crop remains a great challenge due to the complex of crop genomes and lack of a high resolution of genetic and physical maps. In this review article, we compared the various mapping methods available for plant research and ...

  12. Wild chimpanzees show group differences in selection of agricultural crops

    PubMed Central

    McLennan, Matthew R.; Hockings, Kimberley J.

    2014-01-01

    The ability of wild animals to respond flexibly to anthropogenic environmental changes, including agriculture, is critical to survival in human-impacted habitats. Understanding use of human foods by wildlife can shed light on the acquisition of novel feeding habits and how animals respond to human-driven land-use changes. Little attention has focused on within-species variation in use of human foods or its causes. We examined crop-feeding in two groups of wild chimpanzees – a specialist frugivore – with differing histories of exposure to agriculture. Both groups exploited a variety of crops, with more accessible crops consumed most frequently. However, crop selection by chimpanzees with long-term exposure to agriculture was more omnivorous (i.e., less fruit-biased) compared to those with more recent exposure, which ignored most non-fruit crops. Our results suggest chimpanzees show increased foraging adaptations to cultivated landscapes over time; however, local feeding traditions may also contribute to group differences in crop-feeding in this species. Understanding the dynamic responses of wildlife to agriculture can help predict current and future adaptability of species to fast-changing anthropogenic landscapes. PMID:25090940

  13. Proximity to crops and residential to agricultural herbicides in Iowa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ward, M.H.; Lubin, J.; Giglierano, J.; Colt, J.S.; Wolter, C.; Bekiroglu, N.; Camann, D.; Hartge, P.; Nuckols, J.R.

    2006-01-01

    Rural residents can be exposed to agricultural pesticides through the proximity of their homes to crop fields. Previously, we developed a method to create historical crop maps using a geographic information system. The aim of the present study was to determine whether crop maps are useful for predicting levels of crop herbicides in carpet dust samples from residences. From homes of participants in a case-control study of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in Iowa (1998-2000), we collected vacuum cleaner dust and measured 14 herbicides with high use on corn and soybeans in Iowa. Of 112 homes, 58% of residences had crops within 500 m of their home, an intermediate distance for primary drift from aerial and ground applications. Detection rates for herbicides ranged from 0% for metribuzin and cyanazine to 95% for 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. Six herbicides used almost exclusively in agriculture were detected in 28% of homes. Detections and concentrations were highest in homes with an active farmer. Increasing acreage of corn and soybean fields within 750 m of homes was associated with significantly elevated odds of detecting agricultural herbicides compared with homes with no crops within 750 m (adjusted odds ratio per 10 acres = 1.06; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.11). Herbicide concentrations also increased significantly with increasing acreage within 750 m. We evaluated the distance of crop fields from the home at < 100, 101-250, 251-500, and 501-750 m. Including the crop buffer distance parameters in the model did not significantly improve the fit compared with a model with total acres within 750 m. Our results indicate that crop maps may be a useful method for estimating levels of herbicides in homes from nearby crop fields.

  14. Environmental enhancement using short-rotation woody crops and perennial grasses as alternative agricultural crops

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Schiller, A.

    1995-12-31

    Short-rotation woody crops and perennial grasses are grown as biomass feedstocks for energy and fiber. When replacing traditional row crops on similar lands, these alternative crops can provide multiple environmental benefits in addition to enhancing rural economies and providing valuable feedstock resources. The Department of Energy is supporting research to address how these crops can provide environmental benefits to soil, water and native wildlife species in addition to providing bioenergy feedstocks. Research is underway to address the potential for biomass crops to provide soil conservation and water quality improvements in crop settings. Replacement of traditional erosive row crops with biomass crops on marginal lands and establishment of biomass plantations as filter strips adjacent to streams and wetlands are being studied. The habitat value of different biomass crops for selected wildlife species is also under study. To date, these studies have shown that in comparison with row crops biomass plantings of both grass and tree crops increased biodiversity of birds; however, the habitat value of tree plantations is not equivalent to natural forests. The effects on native wildlife of establishing multiple plantations across a landscape are being studied. Combining findings on wildlife use of individual plantations with information on the cumulative effects of multiple plantations on wildlife populations can provide guidance for establishing and managing biomass crops to enhance biodiversity while providing biomass feedstocks. Data from site-specific environmental studies can provide input for evaluation of the probable effects of large-scale plantings at both landscape and regional levels of resolution.

  15. Technical Guidelines and References: Crops Training Component. From: Agricultural Development Workers Training Manual. Volume III: Crops.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peace Corps, Washington, DC. Information Collection and Exchange Div.

    This reference manual for training Peace Corps agricultural development workers deals with crops. The document begins with common units of area, length, weight, volume, and conversions between them. A practice problem is worked and other conversion problems are given. The second section is intended to show agricultural field workers how to survey…

  16. Control of Vertebrate Pests of Agricultural Crops.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wingard, Robert G.; Studholme, Clinton R.

    This agriculture extension service publication of Pennsylvania State University discusses the damage from and control of vertebrate pests. Specific discussions describe the habits, habitat, and various control measures for blackbirds and crows, deer, meadow and pine mice, European starlings, and woodchucks. Where confusion with non-harmful species…

  17. Contribution of insect pollinators to crop yield and quality varies with agricultural intensification

    PubMed Central

    Potts, Simon G.; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Vaissière, Bernard E.; Woyciechowski, Michal; Krewenka, Kristin M.; Tscheulin, Thomas; Roberts, Stuart P.M.; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Westphal, Catrin; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2014-01-01

    Background. Up to 75% of crop species benefit at least to some degree from animal pollination for fruit or seed set and yield. However, basic information on the level of pollinator dependence and pollinator contribution to yield is lacking for many crops. Even less is known about how insect pollination affects crop quality. Given that habitat loss and agricultural intensification are known to decrease pollinator richness and abundance, there is a need to assess the consequences for different components of crop production. Methods. We used pollination exclusion on flowers or inflorescences on a whole plant basis to assess the contribution of insect pollination to crop yield and quality in four flowering crops (spring oilseed rape, field bean, strawberry, and buckwheat) located in four regions of Europe. For each crop, we recorded abundance and species richness of flower visiting insects in ten fields located along a gradient from simple to heterogeneous landscapes. Results. Insect pollination enhanced average crop yield between 18 and 71% depending on the crop. Yield quality was also enhanced in most crops. For instance, oilseed rape had higher oil and lower chlorophyll contents when adequately pollinated, the proportion of empty seeds decreased in buckwheat, and strawberries’ commercial grade improved; however, we did not find higher nitrogen content in open pollinated field beans. Complex landscapes had a higher overall species richness of wild pollinators across crops, but visitation rates were only higher in complex landscapes for some crops. On the contrary, the overall yield was consistently enhanced by higher visitation rates, but not by higher pollinator richness. Discussion. For the four crops in this study, there is clear benefit delivered by pollinators on yield quantity and/or quality, but it is not maximized under current agricultural intensification. Honeybees, the most abundant pollinator, might partially compensate the loss of wild pollinators in

  18. More 'crop per drop': constraints and opportunities for precision irrigation in European agriculture.

    PubMed

    Monaghan, James M; Daccache, Andre; Vickers, Laura H; Hess, Tim M; Weatherhead, E Keith; Grove, Ivan G; Knox, Jerry W

    2013-03-30

    Dwindling water supplies, increasing drought frequency and uncertainties associated with a changing climate mean Europe's irrigated agriculture sector needs to improve water efficiency and produce more 'crop per drop'. This paper summarizes the drivers for change, and the constraints and opportunities for improving agricultural water management through uptake of precision irrigation technologies. A multi-disciplinary and integrated approach involving irrigation engineers, soil scientists, agronomists and plant physiologists will be needed if the potential for precision irrigation within the field crop sector is to be realized.

  19. Soil, Plant, and Crop Science. Teacher Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oklahoma State Dept. of Vocational and Technical Education, Stillwater. Curriculum and Instructional Materials Center.

    This package contains an instructor's manual, an instructor's resource package, and a student workbook for a course in agricultural production and management as it relates to crop production. The module contains 17 units of instruction, each of which contains some or all of the following components: objective sheet, instructor's guide, information…

  20. Novel enabling technologies of gene isolation and plant transformation for improved crop protection

    SciTech Connect

    Torok, Tamas

    2013-02-04

    Meeting the needs of agricultural producers requires the continued development of improved transgenic crop protection products. The completed project focused on developing novel enabling technologies of gene discovery and plant transformation to facilitate the generation of such products.

  1. Use of antibiotics in plant agriculture.

    PubMed

    Stockwell, V O; Duffy, B

    2012-04-01

    Antibiotics are essential for control of bacterial diseases of plants, especially fire blight of pear and apple and bacterial spot of peach. Streptomycin is used in several countries; the use of oxytetracycline, oxolinic acid and gentamicin is limited to only a few countries. Springtime antibiotic sprays suppress pathogen growth on flowers and leaf surfaces before infection; after infection, antibiotics are ineffective. Antibiotics are applied when disease risk is high, and consequently the majority of orchards are not treated annually. In 2009 in the United States, 16,465 kg (active ingredient) was applied to orchards, which is 0.12% of the total antibiotics used in animal agriculture. Antibiotics are active on plants for less than a week, and significant residues have not been found on harvested fruit. Antibiotics have been indispensable for crop protection in the United States for more than 50 years without reports of adverse effects on human health or persistent impacts on the environment.

  2. Lab to Farm: Applying Research on Plant Genetics and Genomics to Crop Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Ronald, Pamela C.

    2014-01-01

    Over the last 300 years, plant science research has provided important knowledge and technologies for advancing the sustainability of agriculture. In this Essay, I describe how basic research advances have been translated into crop improvement, explore some lessons learned, and discuss the potential for current and future contribution of plant genetic improvement technologies to continue to enhance food security and agricultural sustainability. PMID:24915201

  3. Development of an agricultural biotechnology crop product: testing from discovery to commercialization.

    PubMed

    Privalle, Laura S; Chen, Jingwen; Clapper, Gina; Hunst, Penny; Spiegelhalter, Frank; Zhong, Cathy X

    2012-10-17

    "Genetically modified" (GM) or "biotech" crops have been the most rapidly adopted agricultural technology in recent years. The development of a GM crop encompasses trait identification, gene isolation, plant cell transformation, plant regeneration, efficacy evaluation, commercial event identification, safety evaluation, and finally commercial authorization. This is a lengthy, complex, and resource-intensive process. Crops produced through biotechnology are the most highly studied food or food component consumed. Before commercialization, these products are shown to be as safe as conventional crops with respect to feed, food, and the environment. This paper describes this global process and the various analytical tests that must accompany the product during the course of development, throughout its market life, and beyond.

  4. Rapid Intensification of Agriculture in Brazil: Dynamics and Implications of Double Cropping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spera, S. A.; Mustard, J. F.; Rudorff, B.; VanWey, L.; Risso, J.; Adami, M.

    2012-12-01

    maximum EVI thresholds to separate between soy/ and cotton/cover crop rotations, soy/corn, and soy/cotton rotations. Preliminary results show that in Mato Grosso, the area of land in mechanized agriculture has nearly doubled and the area of multi-cropped land has more than doubled between 2000 and 2011, with greater emphasis on soy/corn production along the BR-163 and soy/cotton production in the southeast near the municipality of Primavera do Leste. These are remarkable changes with respect to their magnitude and the potential consequences of increased agricultural activity in this frontier state: the planting of a second economic crop rather than a cover crop may have marked effects on soil fertility and biogeochemistry. The results are being validated with data collected during field campaigns in 2011 and 2012 and the use of a web tool created at the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) that allows for the simultaneous analysis of medium spatial resolution images (LANDSAT) and high temporal resolution images (MODIS) over Mato Grosso. The ability to remotely monitor when and where specific crops are planted and the drivers of these agricultural trends would provide useful information when addressing questions of biogeochemistry, conservation, and food security.

  5. Does agricultural crop diversity enhance soil microbial biomass and organic matter dynamics? A meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    McDaniel, M D; Tiemann, L K; Grandy, A S

    2014-04-01

    Our increasing dependence on a small number of agricultural crops, such as corn, is leading to reductions in agricultural biodiversity. Reductions in the number of crops in rotation or the replacement of rotations by monocultures are responsible for this loss of biodiversity. The belowground implications of simplifying agricultural plant communities remain unresolved; however, agroecosystem sustainability will be severely compromised if reductions in biodiversity reduce soil C and N concentrations, alter microbial communities, and degrade soil ecosystem functions as reported in natural communities. We conducted a meta-analysis of 122 studies to examine crop rotation effects on total soil C and N concentrations, and the faster cycling microbial biomass C and N pools that play key roles in soil nutrient cycling and physical processes such as aggregate formation. We specifically examined how rotation crop type and management practices influence C and N dynamics in different climates and soil types. We found that adding one or more crops in rotation to a monoculture increased total soil C by 3.6% and total N by 5.3%, but when rotations included a cover crop (i.e., crops that are not harvested but produced to enrich the soil and capture inorganic N), total C increased by 8.5% and total N 12.8%. Rotations substantially increased the soil microbial biomass C (20.7%) and N (26.1%) pools, and these overwhelming effects on microbial biomass were not moderated by crop type or management practices. Crop rotations, especially those that include cover crops, sustain soil quality and productivity by enhancing soil C, N, and microbial biomass, making them a cornerstone for sustainable agroecosystems.

  6. Land Resources for Crop Production. Agricultural Economic Report Number 572.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hexem, Roger; Krupa, Kenneth S.

    About 35 million acres not being cultivated have high potential for crop use and 117 million more have medium potential, according to the 1982 National Resources Inventory (NRI) conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA committees evaluated the economic potential for converting land based on physical characteristics of the soil; size…

  7. Plant Defense against Herbivorous Pests: Exploiting Resistance and Tolerance Traits for Sustainable Crop Protection

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Carolyn; Brennan, Rex M.; Graham, Julie; Karley, Alison J.

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between plants and insect herbivores are important determinants of plant productivity in managed and natural vegetation. In response to attack, plants have evolved a range of defenses to reduce the threat of injury and loss of productivity. Crop losses from damage caused by arthropod pests can exceed 15% annually. Crop domestication and selection for improved yield and quality can alter the defensive capability of the crop, increasing reliance on artificial crop protection. Sustainable agriculture, however, depends on reduced chemical inputs. There is an urgent need, therefore, to identify plant defensive traits for crop improvement. Plant defense can be divided into resistance and tolerance strategies. Plant traits that confer herbivore resistance typically prevent or reduce herbivore damage through expression of traits that deter pests from settling, attaching to surfaces, feeding and reproducing, or that reduce palatability. Plant tolerance of herbivory involves expression of traits that limit the negative impact of herbivore damage on productivity and yield. Identifying the defensive traits expressed by plants to deter herbivores or limit herbivore damage, and understanding the underlying defense mechanisms, is crucial for crop scientists to exploit plant defensive traits in crop breeding. In this review, we assess the traits and mechanisms underpinning herbivore resistance and tolerance, and conclude that physical defense traits, plant vigor and herbivore-induced plant volatiles show considerable utility in pest control, along with mixed species crops. We highlight emerging approaches for accelerating the identification of plant defensive traits and facilitating their deployment to improve the future sustainability of crop protection. PMID:27524994

  8. Agricultural land application of pulp and paper mill sludges in the Donnacona area, Quebec: Chemical evaluation and crop response

    SciTech Connect

    Veillette, A.X.; Tanguay, M.G.

    1997-12-31

    Primary paper mill sludges from a thermomechanical pulp (TMP) mill were land applied at the rate of 20 metric ton per hectare (t/ha) for agricultural purposes in the Donnacona area, Quebec, in May 1994 and May 1995. Eleven agricultural sites featuring various crops were tested over two seasons to measure the impact of TMP primary paper mill sludges on soil, plant tissue and crop yield. Cereal and potato crops showed a significant increase in yield. TMP Primary sludges were also applied at the rate of 225 t/ha for land reclamation purposes of one site at the end of 1994. Soils were tested every second month. Chemical crop analyses were also performed. The first year crop response was satisfactory. Combined (primary and secondary) TMP sludges were added at the rate of 200 t/ha in the beginning of 1996. Soil, vadose zone water and crop analysis are being investigated. Impressive crop responses were obtained in the 1996 season.

  9. Envirotyping for deciphering environmental impacts on crop plants.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yunbi

    2016-04-01

    Global climate change imposes increasing impacts on our environments and crop production. To decipher environmental impacts on crop plants, the concept "envirotyping" is proposed, as a third "typing" technology, complementing with genotyping and phenotyping. Environmental factors can be collected through multiple environmental trials, geographic and soil information systems, measurement of soil and canopy properties, and evaluation of companion organisms. Envirotyping contributes to crop modeling and phenotype prediction through its functional components, including genotype-by-environment interaction (GEI), genes responsive to environmental signals, biotic and abiotic stresses, and integrative phenotyping. Envirotyping, driven by information and support systems, has a wide range of applications, including environmental characterization, GEI analysis, phenotype prediction, near-iso-environment construction, agronomic genomics, precision agriculture and breeding, and development of a four-dimensional profile of crop science involving genotype (G), phenotype (P), envirotype (E) and time (T) (developmental stage). In the future, envirotyping needs to zoom into specific experimental plots and individual plants, along with the development of high-throughput and precision envirotyping platforms, to integrate genotypic, phenotypic and envirotypic information for establishing a high-efficient precision breeding and sustainable crop production system based on deciphered environmental impacts.

  10. Airborne Hyperspectral Imagery for the Detection of Agricultural Crop Stress

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cassady, Philip E.; Perry, Eileen M.; Gardner, Margaret E.; Roberts, Dar A.

    2001-01-01

    Multispectral digital imagery from aircraft or satellite is presently being used to derive basic assessments of crop health for growers and others involved in the agricultural industry. Research indicates that narrow band stress indices derived from hyperspectral imagery should have improved sensitivity to provide more specific information on the type and cause of crop stress, Under funding from the NASA Earth Observation Commercial Applications Program (EOCAP) we are identifying and evaluating scientific and commercial applications of hyperspectral imagery for the remote characterization of agricultural crop stress. During the summer of 1999 a field experiment was conducted with varying nitrogen treatments on a production corn-field in eastern Nebraska. The AVIRIS (Airborne Visible-Infrared Imaging Spectrometer) hyperspectral imager was flown at two critical dates during crop development, at two different altitudes, providing images with approximately 18m pixels and 3m pixels. Simultaneous supporting soil and crop characterization included spectral reflectance measurements above the canopy, biomass characterization, soil sampling, and aerial photography. In this paper we describe the experiment and results, and examine the following three issues relative to the utility of hyperspectral imagery for scientific study and commercial crop stress products: (1) Accuracy of reflectance derived stress indices relative to conventional measures of stress. We compare reflectance-derived indices (both field radiometer and AVIRIS) with applied nitrogen and with leaf level measurement of nitrogen availability and chlorophyll concentrations over the experimental plots (4 replications of 5 different nitrogen levels); (2) Ability of the hyperspectral sensors to detect sub-pixel areas under crop stress. We applied the stress indices to both the 3m and 18m AVIRIS imagery for the entire production corn field using several sub-pixel areas within the field to compare the relative

  11. WEBGIS based CropWatch online agriculture monitoring system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, X.; Wu, B.; Zeng, H.; Zhang, M.; Yan, N.

    2015-12-01

    CropWatch, which was developed by the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), has achieved breakthrough results in the integration of methods, independence of the assessments and support to emergency response by periodically releasing global agricultural information. Taking advantages of the multi-source remote sensing data and the openness of the data sharing policies, CropWatch group reported their monitoring results by publishing four bulletins one year. In order to better analysis and generate the bulletin and provide an alternative way to access agricultural monitoring indicators and results in CropWatch, The CropWatch online system based on the WEBGIS techniques has been developed. Figure 1 shows the CropWatch online system structure and the system UI in Clustering mode. Data visualization is sorted into three different modes: Vector mode, Raster mode and Clustering mode. Vector mode provides the statistic value for all the indicators over each monitoring units which allows users to compare current situation with historical values (average, maximum, etc.). Users can compare the profiles of each indicator over the current growing season with the historical data in a chart by selecting the region of interest (ROI). Raster mode provides pixel based anomaly of CropWatch indicators globally. In this mode, users are able to zoom in to the regions where the notable anomaly was identified from statistic values in vector mode. Data from remote sensing image series at high temporal and low spatial resolution provide key information in agriculture monitoring. Clustering mode provides integrated information on different classes in maps, the corresponding profiles for each class and the percentage of area of each class to the total area of all classes. The time series data is categorized into limited types by the ISODATA algorithm. For each clustering type, pixels on the map, profiles, and percentage legend are all linked

  12. Ethylene synthesis and sensitivity in crop plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klassen, Stephen P.; Bugbee, Bruce

    2004-01-01

    Closed and semi-closed plant growth chambers have long been used in studies of plant and crop physiology. These studies include the measurement of photosynthesis and transpiration via photosynthetic gas exchange. Unfortunately, other gaseous products of plant metabolism can accumulate in these chambers and cause artifacts in the measurements. The most important of these gaseous byproducts is the plant hormone ethylene (C2H4). In spite of hundreds of manuscripts on ethylene, we still have a limited understanding of the synthesis rates throughout the plant life cycle. We also have a poor understanding of the sensitivity of intact, rapidly growing plants to ethylene. We know ethylene synthesis and sensitivity are influenced by both biotic and abiotic stresses, but such whole plant responses have not been accurately quantified. Here we present an overview of basic studies on ethylene synthesis and sensitivity.

  13. The effects of combined cover crop termination and planting in a cotton no-till system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One method to save resources while positively impacting the environment is combining agricultural field operations. In no-till systems, cover crop termination and cash crop planting can be performed simultaneously utilizing a tractor as a single power source. A no-till field experiment merging cover...

  14. Determination of caloric values of agricultural crops and crop waste by Adiabatic Bomb Calorimetry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Calorific values of agricultural crops and their waste were measured by adiabatic bomb calorimetry. Sustainable farming techniques require that all potential sources of revenue be utilized. A wide variety of biomass is beginning to be used as alternative fuels all over the world. The energy potentia...

  15. Environmental enhancement using short-rotation woody crops and perennial grasses as alternative agricultural crops

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Schiller, A.

    1996-10-01

    Short-rotation woody crops and perennial grasses are grown as biomass feedstocks for energy and fiber. When replacing traditional row crops on similar lands, these alternative crops can provide multiple environmental benefits in addition to enhancing rural economies and providing valuable resources. The DOE is supporting research to address how these crops can provide environmental benefits to soil, water, and native wildlife species in addition to providing bioenergy feedstocks. Research is underway to address the potential for biomass crops to provide soils conservation and water quality improvements in crop settings. Replacement of traditional erosive row drops with biomass crops on marginal lands and establishment of biomass plantations as filter strips adjacent to streams and wetlands are being studied. The habitat value of different crops for wildlife species is also considered. Combining findings on wildlife use of individual plantations with information on the cumulative effects of multiple plantations on wildlife populations can provide guidance for establishing and managing biomass crops to enhance biodiversity while providing feedstocks. Data from site-specific environmental studies can provide input for evaluation of the effects of large-scale plantings at both landscape and regional levels of resolution.

  16. Agricultural sectoral demand and crop productivity response across the world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnston, M.; Ray, D. K.; Cassidy, E. S.; Foley, J. A.

    2013-12-01

    With an increasing and increasingly affluent population, humans will need to roughly double agricultural production by 2050. Continued yield growth forms the foundation of all future strategies aiming to increase agricultural production while slowing or eliminating cropland expansion. However, a recent analysis by one of our co-authors has shown that yield trends in many important maize, wheat and rice growing regions have begun stagnating or declining from the highs seen during the green revolution (Ray et al. 2013). Additional research by our group has shown that nearly 50% of new agricultural production since the 1960s has gone not to direct human consumption, but instead to animal feed and other industrial uses. Our analysis for GLP looks at the convergence of these two trends by examining time series utilization data for 16 of the biggest crops to determine how demand from different sectors has shaped our land-use and intensification strategies around the world. Before rushing headlong into the next agricultural doubling, it would be prudent to first consult our recent agricultural history to better understand what was driving past changes in production. Using newly developed time series dataset - a fusion of cropland maps with historic agricultural census data gathered from around the world - we can examine yield and harvested area trends over the last half century for 16 top crops. We combine this data with utilization rates from the FAO Food Balance Sheet to see how demand from different sectors - food, feed, and other - has influenced long-term growth trends from the green revolution forward. We will show how intensification trends over time and across regions have grown or contracted depending on what is driving the change in production capacity. Ray DK, Mueller ND, West PC, Foley JA (2013) Yield Trends Are Insufficient to Double Global Crop Production by 2050. PLoS ONE 8(6): e66428. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066428

  17. Plant biotechnology patents: applications in agriculture and medicine.

    PubMed

    Hefferon, Kathleen

    2010-06-01

    Recent advances in agricultural biotechnology have enabled the field of plant biology to move forward in great leaps and bounds. In particular, recent breakthroughs in molecular biology, plant genomics and crop science have brought about a paradigm shift of thought regarding the manner by which plants can be utilized both in agriculture and in medicine. Besides the more well known improvements in agronomic traits of crops such as disease resistance and drought tolerance, plants can now be associated with topics as diverse as biofuel production, phytoremediation, the improvement of nutritional qualities in edible plants, the identification of compounds for medicinal purposes in plants and the use of plants as therapeutic protein production platforms. This diversification of plant science has been accompanied by the great abundance of new patents issued in these fields and, as many of these inventions approach commercial realization, the subsequent increase in agriculturally-based industries. While this review chapter is written primarily for plant scientists who have great interest in the new directions being taken with respect to applications in agricultural biotechnology, those in other disciplines, such as medical researchers, environmental scientists and engineers, may find significant value in reading this article as well. The review attempts to provide an overview of the most recent patents issued for plant biotechnology with respect to both agriculture and medicine. The chapter concludes with the proposal that the combined driving forces of climate change, as well as the ever increasing needs for clean energy and food security will play a pivotal role in leading the direction for applied plant biotechnology research in the future.

  18. Agricultural management practices to sustain crop yields and improve soil and environmental qualities.

    PubMed

    Sainju, Upendra M; Whitehead, Wayne F; Singh, Bharat P

    2003-08-20

    In the past several decades, agricultural management practices consisting of intensive tillage and high rate of fertilization to improve crop yields have resulted in the degradation of soil and environmental qualities by increasing erosion and nutrient leaching in the groundwater and releasing greenhouses gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O), that cause global warming in the atmosphere by oxidation of soil organic matter. Consequently, management practices that sustain crop yields and improve soil and environmental qualities are needed. This paper reviews the findings of the effects of tillage practices, cover crops, and nitrogen (N) fertilization rates on crop yields, soil organic carbon (C) and N concentrations, and nitrate (NO3)-N leaching from the soil. Studies indicate that conservation tillage, such as no-till or reduced till, can increase soil organic C and N concentrations at 0- to 20-cm depth by as much as 7-17% in 8 years compared with conventional tillage without significantly altering crop yields. Similarly, cover cropping and 80-180 kg N ha(-1) year(-1) fertilization can increase soil organic C and N concentrations by as much as 4-12% compared with no cover cropping or N fertilization by increasing plant biomass and amount of C and N inputs to the soil. Reduced till, cover cropping, and decreased rate of N fertilization can reduce soil N leaching compared with conventional till, no cover cropping, and full rate of N fertilization. Management practices consisting of combinations of conservation tillage, mixture of legume and nonlegume cover crops, and reduced rate of N fertilization have the potentials for sustaining crop yields, increasing soil C and N storage, and reducing soil N leaching, thereby helping to improve soil and water qualities. Economical and social analyses of such practices are needed to find whether they are cost effective and acceptable to the farmers.

  19. Cash cropping, subsistence agriculture, and nutritional status among mothers and children in lowland Papua New Guinea.

    PubMed

    Shack, K W; Grivetti, L E; Dewey, K G

    1990-01-01

    The influence of cash crop income, subsistence agriculture, and purchased foods on nutritional status was examined among three ethnic groups in lowland Papua New Guinea. In their home areas, these groups had been hunter-gatherers, agriculturalists, and hunter-gatherers with limited agriculture. Multiple regression revealed that cash crop income was positively associated with anthropometric status and energy intake among children. Expenditure on food was related to the child's arm circumference but not to nutrient intake. The amount of food planted in the garden was not related to child nutritional status. In contrast, the amount of food planted was positively associated with body mass index of mothers. Consumption of rice and fish was related to food expenditures. Nutritional status was better among families who were agriculturalists prior to resettlement than among hunter-gatherers. The former had more income from cash crops, smaller households, and planted more food in their gardens. Therefore, cash cropping need not decrease nutritional status if home gardens are maintained.

  20. Agronomic conditions and crop evolution in ancient Near East agriculture.

    PubMed

    Araus, José L; Ferrio, Juan P; Voltas, Jordi; Aguilera, Mònica; Buxó, Ramón

    2014-05-23

    The appearance of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent propelled the development of Western civilization. Here we investigate the evolution of agronomic conditions in this region by reconstructing cereal kernel weight and using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope signatures of kernels and charcoal from a set of 11 Upper Mesopotamia archaeological sites, with chronologies spanning from the onset of agriculture to the turn of the era. We show that water availability for crops, inferred from carbon isotope discrimination (Δ(13)C), was two- to fourfold higher in the past than at present, with a maximum between 10,000 and 8,000 cal BP. Nitrogen isotope composition (δ(15)N) decreased over time, which suggests cultivation occurring under gradually less-fertile soil conditions. Domesticated cereals showed a progressive increase in kernel weight over several millennia following domestication. Our results provide a first comprehensive view of agricultural evolution in the Near East inferred directly from archaeobotanical remains.

  1. Agronomic conditions and crop evolution in ancient Near East agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Aguilera, Mònica; Buxó, Ramón

    2014-01-01

    The appearance of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent has propelled the development of Western civilization. Here we investigate the evolution of agronomic conditions in this region by reconstructing cereal kernel weight and using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope signatures of kernels and charcoal from a set of 11 Upper Mesopotamia archaeological sites, with chronologies spanning from the onset of agriculture to the turn of the era. We show that water availability for crops, inferred from carbon isotope discrimination (Δ13C), was two- to fourfold higher in the past than at present, with a maximum between 10,000 and 8,000 cal BP. Nitrogen isotope composition (δ15N) decreased over time, which suggests cultivation occurring under gradually less fertile soil conditions. Domesticated cereals showed a progressive increase in kernel weight over several millennia following domestication. Our results provide a first comprehensive view of agricultural evolution in the Near East inferred directly from archaeobotanical remains. PMID:24853475

  2. Cost Methodology for Biomass Feedstocks: Herbaceous Crops and Agricultural Residues

    SciTech Connect

    Turhollow Jr, Anthony F; Webb, Erin; Sokhansanj, Shahabaddine

    2009-12-01

    This report describes a set of procedures and assumptions used to estimate production and logistics costs of bioenergy feedstocks from herbaceous crops and agricultural residues. The engineering-economic analysis discussed here is based on methodologies developed by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and the American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA). An engineering-economic analysis approach was chosen due to lack of historical cost data for bioenergy feedstocks. Instead, costs are calculated using assumptions for equipment performance, input prices, and yield data derived from equipment manufacturers, research literature, and/or standards. Cost estimates account for fixed and variable costs. Several examples of this costing methodology used to estimate feedstock logistics costs are included at the end of this report.

  3. Agriculture and Bioactives: Achieving Both Crop Yield and Phytochemicals

    PubMed Central

    García-Mier, Lina; Guevara-González, Ramón G.; Mondragón-Olguín, Víctor M.; Verduzco-Cuellar, Beatriz del Rocío; Torres-Pacheco, Irineo

    2013-01-01

    Plants are fundamental elements of the human diet, either as direct sources of nutrients or indirectly as feed for animals. During the past few years, the main goal of agriculture has been to increase yield in order to provide the food that is needed by a growing world population. As important as yield, but commonly forgotten in conventional agriculture, is to keep and, if it is possible, to increase the phytochemical content due to their health implications. Nowadays, it is necessary to go beyond this, reconciling yield and phytochemicals that, at first glance, might seem in conflict. This can be accomplished through reviewing food requirements, plant consumption with health implications, and farming methods. The aim of this work is to show how both yield and phytochemicals converge into a new vision of agricultural management in a framework of integrated agricultural practices. PMID:23429238

  4. Prediction of Potato Crop Yield Using Precision Agriculture Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Al-Gaadi, Khalid A.; Hassaballa, Abdalhaleem A.; Tola, ElKamil; Kayad, Ahmed G.; Madugundu, Rangaswamy; Alblewi, Bander; Assiri, Fahad

    2016-01-01

    Crop growth and yield monitoring over agricultural fields is an essential procedure for food security and agricultural economic return prediction. The advances in remote sensing have enhanced the process of monitoring the development of agricultural crops and estimating their yields. Therefore, remote sensing and GIS techniques were employed, in this study, to predict potato tuber crop yield on three 30 ha center pivot irrigated fields in an agricultural scheme located in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia. Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 satellite images were acquired during the potato growth stages and two vegetation indices (the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and the soil adjusted vegetation index (SAVI)) were generated from the images. Vegetation index maps were developed and classified into zones based on vegetation health statements, where the stratified random sampling points were accordingly initiated. Potato yield samples were collected 2–3 days prior to the harvest time and were correlated to the adjacent NDVI and SAVI, where yield prediction algorithms were developed and used to generate prediction yield maps. Results of the study revealed that the difference between predicted yield values and actual ones (prediction error) ranged between 7.9 and 13.5% for Landsat-8 images and between 3.8 and 10.2% for Sentinel-2 images. The relationship between actual and predicted yield values produced R2 values ranging between 0.39 and 0.65 for Landsat-8 images and between 0.47 and 0.65 for Sentinel-2 images. Results of this study revealed a considerable variation in field productivity across the three fields, where high-yield areas produced an average yield of above 40 t ha-1; while, the low-yield areas produced, on the average, less than 21 t ha-1. Identifying such great variation in field productivity will assist farmers and decision makers in managing their practices. PMID:27611577

  5. Prediction of Potato Crop Yield Using Precision Agriculture Techniques.

    PubMed

    Al-Gaadi, Khalid A; Hassaballa, Abdalhaleem A; Tola, ElKamil; Kayad, Ahmed G; Madugundu, Rangaswamy; Alblewi, Bander; Assiri, Fahad

    2016-01-01

    Crop growth and yield monitoring over agricultural fields is an essential procedure for food security and agricultural economic return prediction. The advances in remote sensing have enhanced the process of monitoring the development of agricultural crops and estimating their yields. Therefore, remote sensing and GIS techniques were employed, in this study, to predict potato tuber crop yield on three 30 ha center pivot irrigated fields in an agricultural scheme located in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia. Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 satellite images were acquired during the potato growth stages and two vegetation indices (the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and the soil adjusted vegetation index (SAVI)) were generated from the images. Vegetation index maps were developed and classified into zones based on vegetation health statements, where the stratified random sampling points were accordingly initiated. Potato yield samples were collected 2-3 days prior to the harvest time and were correlated to the adjacent NDVI and SAVI, where yield prediction algorithms were developed and used to generate prediction yield maps. Results of the study revealed that the difference between predicted yield values and actual ones (prediction error) ranged between 7.9 and 13.5% for Landsat-8 images and between 3.8 and 10.2% for Sentinel-2 images. The relationship between actual and predicted yield values produced R2 values ranging between 0.39 and 0.65 for Landsat-8 images and between 0.47 and 0.65 for Sentinel-2 images. Results of this study revealed a considerable variation in field productivity across the three fields, where high-yield areas produced an average yield of above 40 t ha-1; while, the low-yield areas produced, on the average, less than 21 t ha-1. Identifying such great variation in field productivity will assist farmers and decision makers in managing their practices.

  6. Research priorities for harnessing plant microbiomes in sustainable agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Soman, Chinmay; Wagner, Maggie R.; Friesen, Maren L.; Kremer, James; Bennett, Alison; Morsy, Mustafa; Eisen, Jonathan A.; Leach, Jan E.; Dangl, Jeffery L.

    2017-01-01

    Feeding a growing world population amidst climate change requires optimizing the reliability, resource use, and environmental impacts of food production. One way to assist in achieving these goals is to integrate beneficial plant microbiomes—i.e., those enhancing plant growth, nutrient use efficiency, abiotic stress tolerance, and disease resistance—into agricultural production. This integration will require a large-scale effort among academic researchers, industry researchers, and farmers to understand and manage plant-microbiome interactions in the context of modern agricultural systems. Here, we identify priorities for research in this area: (1) develop model host–microbiome systems for crop plants and non-crop plants with associated microbial culture collections and reference genomes, (2) define core microbiomes and metagenomes in these model systems, (3) elucidate the rules of synthetic, functionally programmable microbiome assembly, (4) determine functional mechanisms of plant-microbiome interactions, and (5) characterize and refine plant genotype-by-environment-by-microbiome-by-management interactions. Meeting these goals should accelerate our ability to design and implement effective agricultural microbiome manipulations and management strategies, which, in turn, will pay dividends for both the consumers and producers of the world food supply. PMID:28350798

  7. Salt tolerant green crop species for sodium management in space agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Shimoda, Toshifumi; Nose, Akihiro; Space Agriculture Task Force, J.

    Ecological system and materials recycling loop of space agriculture are quite tight compared to natural ecological system on Earth. Sodium management will be a keen issue for space agricul-ture. Human nutritional requirements include sodium salt. Since sodium at high concentration is toxic for most of plant growth, excreted sodium of human waste should be removed from compost fertilizer. Use of marine algae is promising for harvesting potassium and other min-erals required for plant growth and returning remained sodium to satisfy human need of its intake. Farming salt tolerant green crop species is another approach to manage sodium problem in both space and terrestrial agriculture. We chose ice plant and New Zealand spinach. These two plant species are widely accepted green vegetable with many recipe. Ice plant can grow at the salinity level of sea water, and contain sodium salt up to 30% of its dry mass. Sodium distributes mainly in its bladder cells. New Zealand spinach is a plant species found in the front zone of sea shore, and tolerant against high salinity as well. Plant body size of both species at harvest is quite large, and easy to farm. Capability of bio-remediation of high saline soil is examined with ice plant and New Zealand spinach. Incubation medium was chosen to contain high concentration of sodium and potassium at the Na/K ratio of human excreta. In case Na/K ratio of plant body grown by this medium is greatly higher than that of incubation medium or soil, these halophytes are effective to remediate soil for farming less tolerant plant crop. Experimental results was less positive in this context.

  8. Plant genetics, sustainable agriculture and global food security.

    PubMed

    Ronald, Pamela

    2011-05-01

    The United States and the world face serious societal challenges in the areas of food, environment, energy, and health. Historically, advances in plant genetics have provided new knowledge and technologies needed to address these challenges. Plant genetics remains a key component of global food security, peace, and prosperity for the foreseeable future. Millions of lives depend upon the extent to which crop genetic improvement can keep pace with the growing global population, changing climate, and shrinking environmental resources. While there is still much to be learned about the biology of plant-environment interactions, the fundamental technologies of plant genetic improvement, including crop genetic engineering, are in place, and are expected to play crucial roles in meeting the chronic demands of global food security. However, genetically improved seed is only part of the solution. Such seed must be integrated into ecologically based farming systems and evaluated in light of their environmental, economic, and social impacts-the three pillars of sustainable agriculture. In this review, I describe some lessons learned, over the last decade, of how genetically engineered crops have been integrated into agricultural practices around the world and discuss their current and future contribution to sustainable agricultural systems.

  9. Milk Processing Plant Employee. Agricultural Cooperative Training. Vocational Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blaschke, Nolan; Page, Foy

    This course of study is designed for the vocational agricultural student enrolled in an agricultural cooperative part-time training program in the area of milk processing occupations. The course consists of 11 units, each with 4 to 13 individual topics that milk processing plant employees should know. Subjects covered by the units are the…

  10. Plant-pathogen interactions: disease resistance in modern agriculture.

    PubMed

    Boyd, Lesley A; Ridout, Christopher; O'Sullivan, Donal M; Leach, Jan E; Leung, Hei

    2013-04-01

    The growing human population will require a significant increase in agricultural production. This challenge is made more difficult by the fact that changes in the climatic and environmental conditions under which crops are grown have resulted in the appearance of new diseases, whereas genetic changes within the pathogen have resulted in the loss of previously effective sources of resistance. To help meet this challenge, advanced genetic and statistical methods of analysis have been used to identify new resistance genes through global screens, and studies of plant-pathogen interactions have been undertaken to uncover the mechanisms by which disease resistance is achieved. The informed deployment of major, race-specific and partial, race-nonspecific resistance, either by conventional breeding or transgenic approaches, will enable the production of crop varieties with effective resistance without impacting on other agronomically important crop traits. Here, we review these recent advances and progress towards the ultimate goal of developing disease-resistant crops.

  11. Crop plants as models for understanding plant adaptation and diversification

    PubMed Central

    Olsen, Kenneth M.; Wendel, Jonathan F.

    2013-01-01

    Since the time of Darwin, biologists have understood the promise of crop plants and their wild relatives for providing insight into the mechanisms of phenotypic evolution. The intense selection imposed by our ancestors during plant domestication and subsequent crop improvement has generated remarkable transformations of plant phenotypes. Unlike evolution in natural settings, descendent and antecedent conditions for crop plants are often both extant, providing opportunities for direct comparisons through crossing and other experimental approaches. Moreover, since domestication has repeatedly generated a suite of “domestication syndrome” traits that are shared among crops, opportunities exist for gaining insight into the genetic and developmental mechanisms that underlie parallel adaptive evolution. Advances in our understanding of the genetic architecture of domestication-related traits have emerged from combining powerful molecular technologies with advanced experimental designs, including nested association mapping, genome-wide association studies, population genetic screens for signatures of selection, and candidate gene approaches. These studies may be combined with high-throughput evaluations of the various “omics” involved in trait transformation, revealing a diversity of underlying causative mutations affecting phenotypes and their downstream propagation through biological networks. We summarize the state of our knowledge of the mutational spectrum that generates phenotypic novelty in domesticated plant species, and our current understanding of how domestication can reshape gene expression networks and emergent phenotypes. An exploration of traits that have been subject to similar selective pressures across crops (e.g., flowering time) suggests that a diversity of targeted genes and causative mutational changes can underlie parallel adaptation in the context of crop evolution. PMID:23914199

  12. Dispersal of viable row-crop seeds of commercial agriculture by farmland birds: implication for genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Cummings, John L; Handley, Levis W; Macbryde, Bruce; Tupper, Shelagh K; Werner, Scott J; Byram, Zachary J

    2008-01-01

    To address some concerns about the expansion of genetically engineered pharmaceutical and industrial crops to outdoor plantings and potential impacts on the human food supply, we determined whether commercial agriculture seeds of maize or corn Zea mays L., barley Hordeum vulgare L., safflower Carthamus tinctorius L. and rice Oryza sativa L. are digested or pass viably through the digestive tract, or are transported externally, by captive mallard ducks Anas platyrhynchos L., ring-necked pheasants Phasianus colchicus L., red-winged blackbirds Agelaius phoeniceus (L.) and rock pigeons Columba livia Gmelin (with the exception of whole maize seeds which were too large to feed to the blackbirds). These crop seeds, whether free-fed or force-fed, did not pass through the digestive tract of these bird species. The birds nonetheless did retain viable seeds in the esophagus/crop and gizzard for several hours. For example, after foraging for 6 h, mallards had retained an average of 228 +/- 112 barley seeds and pheasants 192 +/- 78 in the esophagus/crop, and their germination rates were 93 and 50%, respectively. Birds externally transported seeds away from the feeding location, but in only four instances were seeds found attached to their muddy feet or legs and in no case to feathers. Risk of such crop seeds germinating, establishing and reproducing off site after transport by a bird (externally or internally) or movement of a carcass by a predator, will depend greatly on the crop and bird species, location, environmental conditions (including soil characteristics), timing, and seed condition.

  13. Agricultural diversification: the potential for underutilised crops in Africa's changing climates.

    PubMed

    Azam-Ali, Sayed

    2007-01-01

    Two of the greatest challenges currently facing humanity are the potential consequences of climate change and the actual consequences of reduced agricultural diversity. This paper considers the consequences of both climate change and reduced agricultural diversity on global food security and nutrition. The inextricable link between climate change and crop diversity is examined, particularly in the context of crop production in Africa where most agricultural diversity exists and where climate change will have most impact. The Green Revolution, often seen as a model for increasing global agricultural productivity, is reconsidered in terms of its failure to make a significant impact in hostile tropical environments such as those of much of Africa. An alternative or, at least, a complementary strategy, is advocated where we might better harness the huge repository of indigenous plant species cultivated and conserved by local communities for many generations across variable climates. An example is given of multidisciplinary research on bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea), an ancient grain legume grown, cooked, processed and traded mainly by subsistence women farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. The experience gained on bambara groundnut is considered as a basis for similar efforts on many other potentially useful underutilised food crops in the climates of the future.

  14. Drought Effects on Agricultural Yield: Comparison Across Regions and Crop Types

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daryanto, S.; Wang, L.; Jacinthe, P. A.

    2014-12-01

    Global agricultural production is dominated by rainfed agriculture, and is therefore prone to disruption from climate extreme weathers. These uncertainties become more problematic when considering the projection of increased drought frequency suggested by several climate models for various world regions. Curiously, few regional analyses of drought impact of food production have been attempted. We collated and analyzed data from the last 25 years to disentangle the effects of drought (i.e. timing, intensity and duration) on agricultural production in different eco-regions and with varying crop types. Our preliminary results suggested greater yield reduction in annual (-21.5%) than perennial plants (-16%), in C4 (-21%) compared to C3 crops (-17%), and when drought occurred during generative (i.e. flowering until maturity; -16.5%) than vegetative stage (-15.5%). Although drought caused similar amounts of yield reduction in both tropical and subtropical regions (i.e. -17%), it carries a greater food security risk in the tropics due to inherently low productivity (i.e. less than half than in the subtropical regions). Consequently, cultivating drought-resistant C3 perennial plants (e.g. sweet potato and cassava) in the tropics could prove a viable adaptive strategy to mitigate the effects of climate variability. In addition, these crops have limited input requirements, are well adapted to nutrient-poor Oxisols and Ultisols of the tropics, and generally outyield cereal crops in the region. Our analysis is ongoing and needs to take into account agronomic traits (e.g. water requirement), as well as the energy and nutritional values (e.g. protein, minerals) of alternative crops. Our results could inform the selection and development of new cultivars for the drought-prone regions of the world.

  15. Carbon consequences and agricultural implications of growing biofuel crops on marginal agricultural lands in China.

    PubMed

    Qin, Zhangcai; Zhuang, Qianlai; Zhu, Xudong; Cai, Ximing; Zhang, Xiao

    2011-12-15

    Using marginal agricultural lands to grow energy crops for biofuel feedstocks is a promising option to meet the biofuel needs in populous China without causing further food shortages or environmental problems. Here we quantify the effects of growing switchgrass and Miscanthus on Chinese marginal agricultural lands on biomass production and carbon emissions with a global-scale biogeochemical model. We find that the national net primary production (NPP) of these two biofuel crops are 622 and 1546 g C m(-2) yr(-1), respectively, whereas the NPP of food crops is about 600 g C m(-2) yr(-1) in China. The net carbon sink over the 47 Mha of marginal agricultural lands across China is 2.1 Tg C yr(-1) for switchgrass and 5.0 Tg C yr(-1) for Miscanthus. Soil organic carbon is estimated to be 10 kg C m(-2) in both biofuel ecosystems, which is equal to the soil carbon levels of grasslands in China. In order to reach the goal of 12.5 billion liters of bioethanol in 2020 using crop biomass as biofuel feedstocks, 7.9-8.0 Mha corn grain, 4.3-6.1 Mha switchgrass, or 1.4-2.0 Mha Miscanthus will be needed. Miscanthus has tremendous potential to meet future biofuel needs, and to benefit CO(2) mitigation in China.

  16. Safeguarding fruit crops in the age of agricultural globalization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The expansion of fruit production and markets into new geographic areas provides novel opportunities and challenges for the agricultural and marketing industries. In today’s competitive global market environment, growers need access to the best material available in terms of genetics and plant heal...

  17. Plant Genetics, Sustainable Agriculture and Global Food Security

    PubMed Central

    Ronald, Pamela

    2011-01-01

    The United States and the world face serious societal challenges in the areas of food, environment, energy, and health. Historically, advances in plant genetics have provided new knowledge and technologies needed to address these challenges. Plant genetics remains a key component of global food security, peace, and prosperity for the foreseeable future. Millions of lives depend upon the extent to which crop genetic improvement can keep pace with the growing global population, changing climate, and shrinking environmental resources. While there is still much to be learned about the biology of plant–environment interactions, the fundamental technologies of plant genetic improvement, including crop genetic engineering, are in place, and are expected to play crucial roles in meeting the chronic demands of global food security. However, genetically improved seed is only part of the solution. Such seed must be integrated into ecologically based farming systems and evaluated in light of their environmental, economic, and social impacts—the three pillars of sustainable agriculture. In this review, I describe some lessons learned, over the last decade, of how genetically engineered crops have been integrated into agricultural practices around the world and discuss their current and future contribution to sustainable agricultural systems. PMID:21546547

  18. Grassland-Cropping Rotations: An Avenue for Agricultural Diversification to Reconcile High Production with Environmental Quality.

    PubMed

    Lemaire, Gilles; Gastal, François; Franzluebbers, Alan; Chabbi, Abad

    2015-11-01

    A need to increase agricultural production across the world to ensure continued food security appears to be at odds with the urgency to reduce the negative environmental impacts of intensive agriculture. Around the world, intensification has been associated with massive simplification and uniformity at all levels of organization, i.e., field, farm, landscape, and region. Therefore, we postulate that negative environmental impacts of modern agriculture are due more to production simplification than to inherent characteristics of agricultural productivity. Thus by enhancing diversity within agricultural systems, it should be possible to reconcile high quantity and quality of food production with environmental quality. Intensification of livestock and cropping systems separately within different specialized regions inevitably leads to unacceptable environmental impacts because of the overly uniform land use system in intensive cereal areas and excessive N-P loads in intensive animal areas. The capacity of grassland ecosystems to couple C and N cycles through microbial-soil-plant interactions as a way for mitigating the environmental impacts of intensive arable cropping system was analyzed in different management options: grazing, cutting, and ley duration, in order to minimize trade-offs between production and the environment. We suggest that integrated crop-livestock systems are an appropriate strategy to enhance diversity. Sod-based rotations can temporally and spatially capture the benefits of leys for minimizing environmental impacts, while still maintaining periods and areas of intensive cropping. Long-term experimental results illustrate the potential of such systems to sequester C in soil and to reduce and control N emissions to the atmosphere and hydrosphere.

  19. Grassland-Cropping Rotations: An Avenue for Agricultural Diversification to Reconcile High Production with Environmental Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemaire, Gilles; Gastal, François; Franzluebbers, Alan; Chabbi, Abad

    2015-11-01

    A need to increase agricultural production across the world to ensure continued food security appears to be at odds with the urgency to reduce the negative environmental impacts of intensive agriculture. Around the world, intensification has been associated with massive simplification and uniformity at all levels of organization, i.e., field, farm, landscape, and region. Therefore, we postulate that negative environmental impacts of modern agriculture are due more to production simplification than to inherent characteristics of agricultural productivity. Thus by enhancing diversity within agricultural systems, it should be possible to reconcile high quantity and quality of food production with environmental quality. Intensification of livestock and cropping systems separately within different specialized regions inevitably leads to unacceptable environmental impacts because of the overly uniform land use system in intensive cereal areas and excessive N-P loads in intensive animal areas. The capacity of grassland ecosystems to couple C and N cycles through microbial-soil-plant interactions as a way for mitigating the environmental impacts of intensive arable cropping system was analyzed in different management options: grazing, cutting, and ley duration, in order to minimize trade-offs between production and the environment. We suggest that integrated crop-livestock systems are an appropriate strategy to enhance diversity. Sod-based rotations can temporally and spatially capture the benefits of leys for minimizing environmental impacts, while still maintaining periods and areas of intensive cropping. Long-term experimental results illustrate the potential of such systems to sequester C in soil and to reduce and control N emissions to the atmosphere and hydrosphere.

  20. Mapping Agricultural Crops with AVIRIS Spectra in Washington State

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Green, Robert; Pavri, Betina; Roberts, Dar; Ustin, Susan

    1998-01-01

    Spectroscopy is used in the laboratory to measure the molecular components and concentrations of plant constituents to answer questions about the plant type, status, and health. Imaging spectrometers measure the upwelling spectral radiance above the Earth's surface as images. Ideally, imaging spectrometer data sets should be used to understand plant type, plant status, and health of plants in an agricultural setting. An Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) data set was acquired over agricultural fields near Wallula, Washington on July 23rd, 1997. AVIRIS measures upwelling radiance spectra through 224 spectral channels with contiguous 10-nm sampling from 400 to 2500 nm in the solar-reflected spectrum. The spectra are measured as images of 11 by up to 800 km with 20-m spatial resolution. The spectral images measured by AVIRIS represent the integrated signal resulting from: the solar irradiance; two way transmittance and scattering of the atmosphere; the absorptions and scattering of surface materials; as well as the spectral, radiometric and spatial response functions of AVIRIS. This paper presents initial research to derive properties of the agricultural fields near Wallula from the calibrated spectral images measured by AVIRIS near the top of the atmosphere.

  1. Mapping Agricultural Crops with AVIRIS Spectra in Washington State

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Green, Robert O.; Pavri, Betina; Roberts, Dar; Ustin, Susan

    2000-01-01

    Spectroscopy is used in the laboratory to measure the molecular components and concentrations of plant constituents to answer questions about the plant type, status, and health. Imaging spectrometers measure the upwelling spectral radiance above the Earth's surface as images. Ideally, imaging spectrometer data sets should be used to understand plant type, plant status, and health of plants in an agricultural setting. An Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) data set was acquired over agricultural fields near Wallula, Washington on July 23rd, 1997. AVIRIS measures upwelling radiance spectra through 224 spectral channels with contiguous 10-nm sampling from 400 to 2500 run in the solar-reflected spectrum. The spectra are measured as images of 11 by up to 800 km with 20-m spatial resolution. The spectral images measured by AVIRIS represent the integrated signal resulting from: the solar irradiance; two way transmittance and scattering of the atmosphere; the absorptions and scattering of surface materials; as well as the spectral, radiometric and spatial response functions of AVIRIS. This paper presents initial research to derive properties of the agricultural fields near Wallula from the calibrated spectral images measured by AVIRIS near the top of the atmosphere.

  2. GM crops in Ethiopia: a realistic way to increase agricultural performance?

    PubMed

    Azadi, Hossein; Talsma, Nanda; Ho, Peter; Zarafshani, Kiumars

    2011-01-01

    Much has been published on the application of genetically modified (GM) crops in Africa, but agricultural performance has hardly been addressed. This paper discusses the main consequences of GM crops on agricultural performance in Ethiopia. Three main criteria of performance - productivity, equitability and sustainability - are evaluated in the context of the Ethiopian agricultural sector. We conclude that the application of GM crops can improve the agricultural productivity and sustainability, whereas equitability cannot be stimulated and might even exacerbate the gap between socioeconomic classes. Before introducing GM crops to Ethiopian agriculture, regulatory issues should be addressed, public research should be fostered, and more ex ante values and socioeconomic studies should be included.

  3. Classification of crops across heterogeneous agricultural landscape in Kenya using AisaEAGLE imaging spectroscopy data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piiroinen, Rami; Heiskanen, Janne; Mõttus, Matti; Pellikka, Petri

    2015-07-01

    Land use practices are changing at a fast pace in the tropics. In sub-Saharan Africa forests, woodlands and bushlands are being transformed for agricultural use to produce food for the rapidly growing population. The objective of this study was to assess the prospects of mapping the common agricultural crops in highly heterogeneous study area in south-eastern Kenya using high spatial and spectral resolution AisaEAGLE imaging spectroscopy data. Minimum noise fraction transformation was used to pack the coherent information in smaller set of bands and the data was classified with support vector machine (SVM) algorithm. A total of 35 plant species were mapped in the field and seven most dominant ones were used as classification targets. Five of the targets were agricultural crops. The overall accuracy (OA) for the classification was 90.8%. To assess the possibility of excluding the remaining 28 plant species from the classification results, 10 different probability thresholds (PT) were tried with SVM. The impact of PT was assessed with validation polygons of all 35 mapped plant species. The results showed that while PT was increased more pixels were excluded from non-target polygons than from the polygons of the seven classification targets. This increased the OA and reduced salt-and-pepper effects in the classification results. Very high spatial resolution imagery and pixel-based classification approach worked well with small targets such as maize while there was mixing of classes on the sides of the tree crowns.

  4. Plants for space plantations. [crops for closed life support systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nikishanova, T. I.

    1978-01-01

    Criteria for selection of candidate crops for closed life support systems are presented and discussed, and desired characteristics of candidate higher plant crops are given. Carbohydrate crops, which are most suitable, grown worldwide are listed and discussed. The sweet potato, ipomoea batatas Poir., is shown to meet the criteria to the greatest degree, and the criteria are recommended as suitable for initial evaluation of candidate higher plant crops for such systems.

  5. Current challenges and future perspectives of plant and agricultural biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Moshelion, Menachem; Altman, Arie

    2015-06-01

    Advances in understanding plant biology, novel genetic resources, genome modification, and omics technologies generate new solutions for food security and novel biomaterials production under changing environmental conditions. New gene and germplasm candidates that are anticipated to lead to improved crop yields and other plant traits under stress have to pass long development phases based on trial and error using large-scale field evaluation. Therefore, quantitative, objective, and automated screening methods combined with decision-making algorithms are likely to have many advantages, enabling rapid screening of the most promising crop lines at an early stage followed by final mandatory field experiments. The combination of novel molecular tools, screening technologies, and economic evaluation should become the main goal of the plant biotechnological revolution in agriculture.

  6. Managing Phenol Contents in Crop Plants by Phytochemical Farming and Breeding—Visions and Constraints

    PubMed Central

    Treutter, Dieter

    2010-01-01

    Two main fields of interest form the background of actual demand for optimized levels of phenolic compounds in crop plants. These are human health and plant resistance to pathogens and to biotic and abiotic stress factors. A survey of agricultural technologies influencing the biosynthesis and accumulation of phenolic compounds in crop plants is presented, including observations on the effects of light, temperature, mineral nutrition, water management, grafting, elevated atmospheric CO2, growth and differentiation of the plant and application of elicitors, stimulating agents and plant activators. The underlying mechanisms are discussed with respect to carbohydrate availability, trade-offs to competing demands as well as to regulatory elements. Outlines are given for genetic engineering and plant breeding. Constraints and possible physiological feedbacks are considered for successful and sustainable application of agricultural techniques with respect to management of plant phenol profiles and concentrations. PMID:20479987

  7. Managing phenol contents in crop plants by phytochemical farming and breeding-visions and constraints.

    PubMed

    Treutter, Dieter

    2010-03-02

    Two main fields of interest form the background of actual demand for optimized levels of phenolic compounds in crop plants. These are human health and plant resistance to pathogens and to biotic and abiotic stress factors. A survey of agricultural technologies influencing the biosynthesis and accumulation of phenolic compounds in crop plants is presented, including observations on the effects of light, temperature, mineral nutrition, water management, grafting, elevated atmospheric CO(2), growth and differentiation of the plant and application of elicitors, stimulating agents and plant activators. The underlying mechanisms are discussed with respect to carbohydrate availability, trade-offs to competing demands as well as to regulatory elements. Outlines are given for genetic engineering and plant breeding. Constraints and possible physiological feedbacks are considered for successful and sustainable application of agricultural techniques with respect to management of plant phenol profiles and concentrations.

  8. Economic Analysis of Energy Crop Production in the U.S. - Location, Quantities, Price, and Impacts on Traditional Agricultural Crops

    SciTech Connect

    Walsh, M.E.; De La Torre Ugarte, D.; Slinsky, S.; Graham, R.L.; Shapouri, H.; Ray, D.

    1998-10-04

    POLYSYS is used to estimate US locations where, for any given energy crop price, energy crop production can be economically competitive with conventional crops. POLYSYS is a multi-crop, multi-sector agricultural model developed and maintained by the University of Tennessee and used by the USDA-Economic Research Service. It includes 305 agricultural statistical districts (ASD) which can be aggregated to provide state, regional, and national information. POLYSYS is being modified to include switchgrass, hybrid poplar, and willow on all land suitable for their production. This paper summarizes the preliminary national level results of the POLYSYS analysis for selected energy crop prices for the year 2007 and presents the corresponding maps (for the same prices) of energy crop production locations by ASD. Summarized results include: (1) estimates of energy crop hectares (acres) and quantities (dry Mg, dry tons), (2) identification of traditional crops allocated to energy crop production and calculation of changes in their prices and hectares (acres) of production, and (3) changes in total net farm returns for traditional agricultural crops. The information is useful for identifying areas of the US where large quantities of lowest cost energy crops can most likely be produced.

  9. Progress toward understanding heterosis in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Schnable, Patrick S; Springer, Nathan M

    2013-01-01

    Although heterosis, or hybrid vigor, is widely exploited in agriculture, a complete description of its molecular underpinnings has remained elusive despite extensive investigation. It appears that there is not a single, simple explanation for heterosis. Instead, it is likely that heterosis arises in crosses between genetically distinct individuals as a result of a diversity of mechanisms. Heterosis generally results from the action of multiple loci, and different loci affect heterosis for different traits and in different hybrids. Hence, multigene models are likely to prove most informative for understanding heterosis. Complementation of allelic variation, as well as complementation of variation in gene content and gene expression patterns, is likely to be an important contributor to heterosis. Epigenetic variation has the potential to interact in hybrid genotypes via novel mechanisms. Several other intriguing hypotheses are also under investigation. In crops, heterosis must be considered within the context of the genomic impacts of prior selection for agronomic traits.

  10. Development of an unmanned agricultural robotics system for measuring crop conditions for precision aerial application

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An Unmanned Agricultural Robotics System (UARS) is acquired, rebuilt with desired hardware, and operated in both classrooms and field. The UARS includes crop height sensor, crop canopy analyzer, normalized difference vegetative index (NDVI) sensor, multispectral camera, and hyperspectral radiometer...

  11. Plant ID. Agricultural Lesson Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale. Dept. of Agricultural Education and Mechanization.

    This lesson plan is intended for use in conducting classes on plant identification. Presented first are a series of questions and answers designed to convey general information about the scientific classification of plants. The following topics are among those discussed: main types of plants; categories of vascular plants; gymnosperms and…

  12. Effect of coal fly ash-amended organic compost as a manure for agricultural crops

    SciTech Connect

    Ghuman, G.S.; Menon, M.P.; James, J.; Chandra, K.; Sajwan, K. )

    1991-04-01

    Coal-fired electric power plants generate large quantities of fly ash as a byproduct. In continuation of previous studies on the utilization of fly ash as an amendment to organic compost for use as a manure for agricultural crops, the authors have now determined the effects of this manure on the yield and uptake of selected elements by several plants including collard green, corn, mustard green, bell pepper, egg plant, and climbing beans. An amended compost containing 30-40% fly ash with a compost:soil ratio of 1:3 was found to be most effective to enhance the yield and nutrient uptake of most of the plants. At 20% fly ash level, no increase in yield of any of the above crops was observed. The uptake of K, Mg, Mn, and P was increased in most plants. Boron which is known to be detrimental to the growth of plants above certain level was also found to be increased in plants nourished with the manure.

  13. Planting dates for multiple cropping of biofuel feedstock and specialty crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    It is necessary to determine planting and harvesting windows in order to develop production systems for biofuel feedstock and specialty crops in rotation. The biodiesel feedstock crops Canola and Sunflower; and the bioethanol feedstock crops Sorghum and Sweet corn were established at various dates ...

  14. Irrigation and Maize Cultivation Erode Plant Diversity Within Crops in Mediterranean Dry Cereal Agro-Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Fagúndez, Jaime; Olea, Pedro P; Tejedo, Pablo; Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Gómez, David

    2016-07-01

    The intensification of agriculture has increased production at the cost of environment and biodiversity worldwide. To increase crop yield in dry cereal systems, vast farmland areas of high conservation value are being converted into irrigation, especially in Mediterranean countries. We analyze the effect of irrigation-driven changes on the farm biota by comparing species diversity, community composition, and species traits of arable plants within crop fields from two contrasting farming systems (dry and irrigated) in Spain. We sampled plant species within 80 fields of dry wheat, irrigated wheat, and maize (only cultivated under irrigation). Wheat crops held higher landscape and per field species richness, and beta diversity than maize. Within the same type of crop, irrigated wheat hosted lower plant diversity than dry wheat at both field and landscape scales. Floristic composition differed between crop types, with higher frequencies of perennials, cosmopolitan, exotic, wind-pollinated and C4 species in maize. Our results suggest that irrigation projects, that transform large areas of dry cereal agro-ecosystems into irrigated crop systems dominated by maize, erode plant diversity. An adequate planning on the type and proportion of crops used in the irrigated agro-ecosystems is needed in order to balance agriculture production and biodiversity conservation.

  15. Irrigation and Maize Cultivation Erode Plant Diversity Within Crops in Mediterranean Dry Cereal Agro-Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fagúndez, Jaime; Olea, Pedro P.; Tejedo, Pablo; Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Gómez, David

    2016-07-01

    The intensification of agriculture has increased production at the cost of environment and biodiversity worldwide. To increase crop yield in dry cereal systems, vast farmland areas of high conservation value are being converted into irrigation, especially in Mediterranean countries. We analyze the effect of irrigation-driven changes on the farm biota by comparing species diversity, community composition, and species traits of arable plants within crop fields from two contrasting farming systems (dry and irrigated) in Spain. We sampled plant species within 80 fields of dry wheat, irrigated wheat, and maize (only cultivated under irrigation). Wheat crops held higher landscape and per field species richness, and beta diversity than maize. Within the same type of crop, irrigated wheat hosted lower plant diversity than dry wheat at both field and landscape scales. Floristic composition differed between crop types, with higher frequencies of perennials, cosmopolitan, exotic, wind-pollinated and C4 species in maize. Our results suggest that irrigation projects, that transform large areas of dry cereal agro-ecosystems into irrigated crop systems dominated by maize, erode plant diversity. An adequate planning on the type and proportion of crops used in the irrigated agro-ecosystems is needed in order to balance agriculture production and biodiversity conservation.

  16. Plant Tissues. Agricultural Lesson Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale. Dept. of Agricultural Education and Mechanization.

    This lesson plan is intended for use in conducting classes on plant tissues. Presented first are an attention step and a series of questions and answers designed to convey general information about plant tissues and the effect of water and minerals on them. The following topics are among those discussed: reasons why water is important to plants,…

  17. Reusable Software and Open Data Incorporate Ecological Understanding To Optimize Agriculture and Improveme Crops.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LeBauer, D.

    2015-12-01

    Humans need a secure and sustainable food supply, and science can help. We have an opportunity to transform agriculture by combining knowledge of organisms and ecosystems to engineer ecosystems that sustainably produce food, fuel, and other services. The challenge is that the information we have. Measurements, theories, and laws found in publications, notebooks, measurements, software, and human brains are difficult to combine. We homogenize, encode, and automate the synthesis of data and mechanistic understanding in a way that links understanding at different scales and across domains. This allows extrapolation, prediction, and assessment. Reusable components allow automated construction of new knowledge that can be used to assess, predict, and optimize agro-ecosystems. Developing reusable software and open-access databases is hard, and examples will illustrate how we use the Predictive Ecosystem Analyzer (PEcAn, pecanproject.org), the Biofuel Ecophysiological Traits and Yields database (BETYdb, betydb.org), and ecophysiological crop models to predict crop yield, decide which crops to plant, and which traits can be selected for the next generation of data driven crop improvement. A next step is to automate the use of sensors mounted on robots, drones, and tractors to assess plants in the field. The TERRA Reference Phenotyping Platform (TERRA-Ref, terraref.github.io) will provide an open access database and computing platform on which researchers can use and develop tools that use sensor data to assess and manage agricultural and other terrestrial ecosystems. TERRA-Ref will adopt existing standards and develop modular software components and common interfaces, in collaboration with researchers from iPlant, NEON, AgMIP, USDA, rOpenSci, ARPA-E, many scientists and industry partners. Our goal is to advance science by enabling efficient use, reuse, exchange, and creation of knowledge.

  18. Estimating riparian and agricultural evapotranspiration by reference crop evapotranspiration and MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nagler, Pamela L.; Glenn, Edward P.; Nguyen, Uyen; Scott, Russell; Doody, Tania

    2013-01-01

    Dryland river basins frequently support both irrigated agriculture and riparian vegetation and remote sensing methods are needed to monitor water use by both crops and natural vegetation in irrigation districts. We developed an algorithm for estimating actual evapotranspiration (ETa) based on the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) sensor on the EOS-1 Terra satellite and locally-derived measurements of reference crop ET (ETo). The algorithm was calibrated with five years of ETa data from three eddy covariance flux towers set in riparian plant associations on the upper San Pedro River, Arizona, supplemented with ETa data for alfalfa and cotton from the literature. The algorithm was based on an equation of the form ETa = ETo [a(1 − e−bEVI) − c], where the term (1 − e−bEVI) is derived from the Beer-Lambert Law to express light absorption by a canopy, with EVI replacing leaf area index as an estimate of the density of light-absorbing units. The resulting algorithm capably predicted ETa across riparian plants and crops (r2 = 0.73). It was then tested against water balance data for five irrigation districts and flux tower data for two riparian zones for which season-long or multi-year ETa data were available. Predictions were within 10% of measured results in each case, with a non-significant (P = 0.89) difference between mean measured and modeled ETa of 5.4% over all validation sites. Validation and calibration data sets were combined to present a final predictive equation for application across crops and riparian plant associations for monitoring individual irrigation districts or for conducting global water use assessments of mixed agricultural and riparian biomes.

  19. Catchments Under Change: Assessing Impacts and Feedbacks from New Biomass Crops in the Agricultural Midwestern USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaeger, Mary; Housh, Mashor; Ng, Tze Ling; Cai, Ximing; Sivapalan, Murugesu

    2013-04-01

    In order to meet the challenges of future change, it is essential to understand the environmental response to current conditions and historical changes. The central Midwestern US is an example of anthropogenic change and environmental feedbacks, having been transformed from a natural grassland system to an artificially-drained agricultural system. Environmental feedbacks from reduced soil residence times coupled with increasing crop fertilization have manifested as a hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. In an effort to address these feedbacks while meeting new crop demands, large-scale planting of high-yielding perennial biomass crops has been proposed. This could be detrimental to both human and environmental streamflow users because these plants require more water than do current crops. The lowest natural flows in this shallow groundwater-dependent region coincide with the peak of the growing season, thus compounding the problem. Therefore, for large-scale biomass crop production to be sustainable, these tradeoffs between water quality and water quantity must be fully understood. To better understand the catchment response to current conditions, we have analyzed streamflow data in a central Illinois agricultural watershed. To deal with future changes, we have developed an integrated systems model which provides, among other outputs, the land usage that maximizes the benefit to the human system. This land use is then implemented in a separate hydrologic model to determine the impact to the environmental system. Interactively running the two models, taking into account the catchment response to human actions as well as possible anthropogenic responses to the environment, allows us to examine the feedbacks between the two systems. This lets us plot the trajectory of the state of the system, which we hypothesize will show emergent internal properties of the coupled system. Initial tests of this modeling framework show promise that this may indeed be the case. External

  20. Integrated genomics and molecular breeding approaches for dissecting the complex quantitative traits in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Kujur, Alice; Saxena, Maneesha S; Bajaj, Deepak; Laxmi; Parida, Swarup K

    2013-12-01

    The enormous population growth, climate change and global warming are now considered major threats to agriculture and world's food security. To improve the productivity and sustainability of agriculture, the development of highyielding and durable abiotic and biotic stress-tolerant cultivars and/climate resilient crops is essential. Henceforth, understanding the molecular mechanism and dissection of complex quantitative yield and stress tolerance traits is the prime objective in current agricultural biotechnology research. In recent years, tremendous progress has been made in plant genomics and molecular breeding research pertaining to conventional and next-generation whole genome, transcriptome and epigenome sequencing efforts, generation of huge genomic, transcriptomic and epigenomic resources and development of modern genomics-assisted breeding approaches in diverse crop genotypes with contrasting yield and abiotic stress tolerance traits. Unfortunately, the detailed molecular mechanism and gene regulatory networks controlling such complex quantitative traits is not yet well understood in crop plants. Therefore, we propose an integrated strategies involving available enormous and diverse traditional and modern -omics (structural, functional, comparative and epigenomics) approaches/resources and genomics-assisted breeding methods which agricultural biotechnologist can adopt/utilize to dissect and decode the molecular and gene regulatory networks involved in the complex quantitative yield and stress tolerance traits in crop plants. This would provide clues and much needed inputs for rapid selection of novel functionally relevant molecular tags regulating such complex traits to expedite traditional and modern marker-assisted genetic enhancement studies in target crop species for developing high-yielding stress-tolerant varieties.

  1. Plant-Parasitic Nematodes in Maine Agricultural Soils

    PubMed Central

    Huettel, W N.; Francl, L. J.; Henn, A.; Bourgoin, T.

    1990-01-01

    In a survey of plant-parasitic nematodes associated with agricultural crops in nine Maine counties, 744 soil samples from 26 potential host plants were analyzed between November 1987 and January 1989. The most commonly encountered nematode genus was Pratylenchus, occurring in 85% of the samples from most crops, except blueberries and onions. Pratylenchus penetrans and P. crenatus were found commonly as species mixtures, with P. penetrans composing 40-80% of the mixture. Meloidogyne hapla was encountered in 16% of the samples in four counties, generally in potato rotations. Other nematodes encountered were Aphelenchoides spp., Criconemella curvature, Ditylenchus spp., Helicotylenchus pseudorobustus, H. digonicus, Heterodera trifolii, Paratylenchus projectus, Trichodorus spp., Tylenchorhynchus maximus, and Xiphinema americanum. Potato fields were the most heavily sampled and thus weighted the statewide results. PMID:19287791

  2. The potential of agricultural practices to increase C storage in cropped soils: an assessment for France

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chenu, Claire; Angers, Denis; Métay, Aurélie; Colnenne, Caroline; Klumpp, Katja; Bamière, Laure; Pardon, Lenaic; Pellerin, Sylvain

    2014-05-01

    Though large progress has been achieved in the last decades, net GHG emissions from the agricultural sector are still more poorly quantified than in other sectors. In this study, we examined i) technical mitigation options likely to store carbon in agricultural soils, ii) their potential of additional C storage per unit surface area and iii) applicable areas in mainland France. We considered only agricultural practices being technically feasible by farmers and involving no major change in either production systems or production levels. Moreover, only currently available techniques with validated efficiencies and presenting no major negative environmental impacts were taken into account. Four measures were expected to store additional C in agricultural soils: - Reducing tillage: either a switch to continuous direct seeding, direct seeding with occasional tillage once every five years, or continuous superficial (<15 cm) tillage. - Introducing cover crops in cropping systems: sown between two cash crops on arable farms, in orchards and vineyards (permanent or temporary cover cropping) . - Expanding agroforestry systems; planting of tree lines in cultivated fields and grasslands, and hedges around the field edges. - Increasing the life time of temporary sown grasslands: increase of life time to 5 years. The recent literature was reviewed in order to determine long term (>20yrs) C storage rates (MgC ha-1 y-1,) of cropping systems with and without the proposed practice. Then we analysed the conditions for potential application, in terms of feasibility, acceptance, limitation of yield losses and of other GHG emissions. According to the literature, additional C storage rates were 0.15 (0-0.3) MgC ha-1 y-1 for continuous direct seeding, 0.10 (0-0.2) MgC ha-1 y-1for occasional tillage one year in five, and 0.0 MgC ha-1 y-1 for superficial tillage. Cover crops were estimated to store 0.24 (0.13-0.37) MgC ha-1 y-1 between cash crops and 0.49 (0.23-0.72) MgC ha-1 y-1 when

  3. Attenuation of urban agricultural production potential and crop water footprint due to shading from buildings and trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Mark S.; Lathuillière, Michael J.; Tooke, Thoreau R.; Coops, Nicholas C.

    2015-06-01

    Urban agriculture requires local water to replace ‘hydrologic externalities’ associated with food produced outside of the local area, with an accompanying shift of the water footprint (WF) for agricultural production from rural to urban areas. Water requirements of urban agriculture have been difficult to estimate due to the heterogeneity of shading from trees and buildings within urban areas. We developed CityCrop, a plant growth and evapotranspiration (ET) model that couples a 3D model of tree canopies and buildings derived from LiDAR with a ray-casting approach to estimate spatially-explicit solar inputs in combination with local climate data. Evaluating CityCrop over a 1 km2 mixed use, residential neighborhood of Vancouver Canada, we estimated median light attenuation to result in 12% reductions in both reference ET (ETo) and crop ET (ETc). However, median crop yields were reduced by only 3.5% relative to potential yield modeled without any light attenuation, while the median crop WF was 9% less than the WF for areas unimpeded by shading. Over the 75 day cropping cycle, median crop water requirements as ETc were 17% less than that required for a well-watered grass (as ETo). If all lawns in our modeled area were replaced with crops, we estimate that about 37% of the resident population could obtain the vegetable portion of their diet from within the local area over a 150 day growing season. However doing so would result in augmented water demand if watering restrictions apply to lawns only. The CityCrop model can therefore be useful to evaluate trade-offs related to urban agriculture and to inform municipal water policy development.

  4. Impact of treated urban wastewater for reuse in agriculture on crop response and soil ecotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Belhaj, Dalel; Jerbi, Bouthaina; Medhioub, Mounir; Zhou, John; Kallel, Monem; Ayadi, Habib

    2016-08-01

    The scarcity of freshwater resources is a serious problem in arid regions, such as Tunisia, and marginal quality water is gradually being used in agriculture. This study aims to study the impact of treated urban wastewater for reuse in agriculture on the health of soil and food crops. The key findings are that the effluents of Sfax wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) did not meet the relevant guidelines, therefore emitting a range of organic (e.g., up to 90 mg L(-1) COD and 30 mg L(-1) BOD5) and inorganic pollutants (e.g., up to 0.5 mg L(-1) Cu and 0.1 mg L(-1) Cd) in the receiving aquatic environments. Greenhouse experiments examining the effects of wastewater reuse on food plants such as tomato, lettuce, and radish showed that the treated effluent adversely affected plant growth, photosynthesis, and antioxidant enzyme contents. However, the pollution burden and biological effects on plants were substantially reduced by using a 50 % dilution of treated sewage effluent, suggesting the potential of reusing treated effluent in agriculture so long as appropriate monitoring and control is in place.

  5. Mass-flowering crops dilute pollinator abundance in agricultural landscapes across Europe.

    PubMed

    Holzschuh, Andrea; Dainese, Matteo; González-Varo, Juan P; Mudri-Stojnić, Sonja; Riedinger, Verena; Rundlöf, Maj; Scheper, Jeroen; Wickens, Jennifer B; Wickens, Victoria J; Bommarco, Riccardo; Kleijn, David; Potts, Simon G; Roberts, Stuart P M; Smith, Henrik G; Vilà, Montserrat; Vujić, Ante; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2016-10-01

    Mass-flowering crops (MFCs) are increasingly cultivated and might influence pollinator communities in MFC fields and nearby semi-natural habitats (SNHs). Across six European regions and 2 years, we assessed how landscape-scale cover of MFCs affected pollinator densities in 408 MFC fields and adjacent SNHs. In MFC fields, densities of bumblebees, solitary bees, managed honeybees and hoverflies were negatively related to the cover of MFCs in the landscape. In SNHs, densities of bumblebees declined with increasing cover of MFCs but densities of honeybees increased. The densities of all pollinators were generally unrelated to the cover of SNHs in the landscape. Although MFC fields apparently attracted pollinators from SNHs, in landscapes with large areas of MFCs they became diluted. The resulting lower densities might negatively affect yields of pollinator-dependent crops and the reproductive success of wild plants. An expansion of MFCs needs to be accompanied by pollinator-supporting practices in agricultural landscapes.

  6. Agricultural Issues of Significance to Iowa Crop Producers and Their Educational Implications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Licht, Melea A. R.; Martin, Robert A.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the agricultural information preferences of crop producers in Iowa and the implications for agricultural extension education. The objective was to identify agricultural information issues producers perceive as significant to their businesses. The results will help agricultural extension educators and…

  7. Understanding plant response to nitrogen limitation for the improvement of crop nitrogen use efficiency.

    PubMed

    Kant, Surya; Bi, Yong-Mei; Rothstein, Steven J

    2011-02-01

    Development of genetic varieties with improved nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is essential for sustainable agriculture. Generally, NUE can be divided into two parts. First, assimilation efficiency involves nitrogen (N) uptake and assimilation and second utilization efficiency involves N remobilization. Understanding the mechanisms regulating these processes is crucial for the improvement of NUE in crop plants. One important approach is to develop an understanding of the plant response to different N regimes, especially to N limitation, using various methods including transcription profiling, analysing mutants defective in their normal response to N limitation, and studying plants that show better growth under N-limiting conditions. One can then attempt to improve NUE in crop plants using the knowledge gained from these studies. There are several potential genetic and molecular approaches for the improvement of crop NUE discussed in this review. Increased knowledge of how plants respond to different N levels as well as to other environmental conditions is required to achieve this.

  8. Hybridization of powdery mildew strains gives rise to pathogens on novel agricultural crop species.

    PubMed

    Menardo, Fabrizio; Praz, Coraline R; Wyder, Stefan; Ben-David, Roi; Bourras, Salim; Matsumae, Hiromi; McNally, Kaitlin E; Parlange, Francis; Riba, Andrea; Roffler, Stefan; Schaefer, Luisa K; Shimizu, Kentaro K; Valenti, Luca; Zbinden, Helen; Wicker, Thomas; Keller, Beat

    2016-02-01

    Throughout the history of agriculture, many new crop species (polyploids or artificial hybrids) have been introduced to diversify products or to increase yield. However, little is known about how these new crops influence the evolution of new pathogens and diseases. Triticale is an artificial hybrid of wheat and rye, and it was resistant to the fungal pathogen powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis) until 2001 (refs. 1,2,3). We sequenced and compared the genomes of 46 powdery mildew isolates covering several formae speciales. We found that B. graminis f. sp. triticale, which grows on triticale and wheat, is a hybrid between wheat powdery mildew (B. graminis f. sp. tritici) and mildew specialized on rye (B. graminis f. sp. secalis). Our data show that the hybrid of the two mildews specialized on two different hosts can infect the hybrid plant species originating from those two hosts. We conclude that hybridization between mildews specialized on different species is a mechanism of adaptation to new crops introduced by agriculture.

  9. Occurence of phytoparasitic nematodes associated with some crop plants in Northern Egypt

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Information concerning the occurrence and distribution of phytoparasitic nematodes in Egypt is very important for agricultural production. A nematode survey was conducted in northern Egypt to identify the genera and species of phytoparasitic nematodes associated with some crop plants. A total of 240...

  10. An overview of crop growing condition monitoring in China agriculture remote sensing monitoring system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Qing; Zhou, Qing-bo; Zhang, Li

    2009-07-01

    China is a large agricultural country. To understand the agricultural production condition timely and accurately is related to government decision-making, agricultural production management and the general public concern. China Agriculture Remote Sensing Monitoring System (CHARMS) can monitor crop acreage changes, crop growing condition, agriculture disaster (drought, floods, frost damage, pest etc.) and predict crop yield etc. quickly and timely. The basic principles, methods and regular operation of crop growing condition monitoring in CHARMS are introduced in detail in the paper. CHARMS can monitor crop growing condition of wheat, corn, cotton, soybean and paddy rice with MODIS data. An improved NDVI difference model was used in crop growing condition monitoring in CHARMS. Firstly, MODIS data of every day were received and processed, and the max NDVI values of every fifteen days of main crop were generated, then, in order to assessment a certain crop growing condition in certain period (every fifteen days, mostly), the system compare the remote sensing index data (NDVI) of a certain period with the data of the period in the history (last five year, mostly), the difference between NDVI can indicate the spatial difference of crop growing condition at a certain period. Moreover, Meteorological data of temperature, precipitation and sunshine etc. as well as the field investigation data of 200 network counties were used to modify the models parameters. Last, crop growing condition was assessment at four different scales of counties, provinces, main producing areas and nation and spatial distribution maps of crop growing condition were also created.

  11. Expansion of mass-flowering crops leads to transient pollinator dilution and reduced wild plant pollination.

    PubMed

    Holzschuh, Andrea; Dormann, Carsten F; Tscharntke, Teja; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2011-11-22

    Agricultural land use results in direct biodiversity decline through loss of natural habitat, but may also cause indirect cross-habitat effects on conservation areas. We conducted three landscape-scale field studies on 67 sites to test the hypothesis that mass flowering of oilseed rape (Brassica napus) results in a transient dilution of bees in crop fields, and in increased competition between crop plants and grassland plants for pollinators. Abundances of bumble-bees, which are the main pollinators of the grassland plant Primula veris, but also pollinate oilseed rape (OSR), decreased with increasing amount of OSR. This landscape-scale dilution affected bumble-bee abundances strongly in OSR fields and marginally in grasslands, where bumble-bee abundances were generally low at the time of Primula flowering. Seed set of Primula veris, which flowers during OSR bloom, was reduced by 20 per cent when the amount of OSR within 1 km radius increased from 0 to 15 per cent. Hence, the current expansion of bee-attractive biofuel crops results in transient dilution of crop pollinators, which means an increased competition for pollinators between crops and wild plants. In conclusion, mass-flowering crops potentially threaten fitness of concurrently flowering wild plants in conservation areas, despite the fact that, in the long run, mass-flowering crops can enhance abundances of generalist pollinators and their pollination service.

  12. Review of anthraquinone applications for pest management and agricultural crop protection.

    PubMed

    DeLiberto, Shelagh T; Werner, Scott J

    2016-10-01

    We have reviewed published anthraquinone applications for international pest management and agricultural crop protection from 1943 to 2016. Anthraquinone (AQ) is commonly found in dyes, pigments and many plants and organisms. Avian repellent research with AQ began in the 1940s. In the context of pest management, AQ is currently used as a chemical repellent, perch deterrent, insecticide and feeding deterrent in many wild birds, and in some mammals, insects and fishes. Criteria for evaluation of effective chemical repellents include efficacy, potential for wildlife hazards, phytotoxicity and environmental persistence. As a biopesticide, AQ often meets these criteria of efficacy for the non-lethal management of agricultural depredation caused by wildlife. We summarize published applications of AQ for the protection of newly planted and maturing crops from pest birds. Conventional applications of AQ-based repellents include preplant seed treatments [e.g. corn (Zea mays L.), rice (Oryza sativa L.), sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), wheat (Triticum spp.), millet (Panicum spp.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.), pelletized feed and forest tree species] and foliar applications for rice, sunflower, lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), turf, sugar beets (Beta vulgaris L.), soybean (Glycine max L.), sweet corn and nursery, fruit and nut crops. In addition to agricultural repellent applications, AQ has also been used to treat toxicants for the protection of non-target birds. Few studies have demonstrated AQ repellency in mammals, including wild boar (Sus scrofa, L.), thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus, Mitchill), black-tailed prairie dogs (Cyomys ludovicainus, Ord.), common voles (Microtus arvalis, Pallas), house mice (Mus musculus, L.), Tristram's jirds (Meriones tristrami, Thomas) and black rats (Rattus rattus L.). Natural sources of AQ and its derivatives have also been identified as insecticides and insect repellents. As a natural or synthetic biopesticide, AQ

  13. Vegetation index-based crop coefficients to estimate evapotranspiration by remote sensing in agricultural and natural ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Glenn, E.P.; Neale, C. M. U.; Hunsaker, D.J.; Nagler, P.L.

    2011-01-01

    Crop coefficients were developed to determine crop water needs based on the evapotranspiration (ET) of a reference crop under a given set of meteorological conditions. Starting in the 1980s, crop coefficients developed through lysimeter studies or set by expert opinion began to be supplemented by remotely sensed vegetation indices (VI) that measured the actual status of the crop on a field-by-field basis. VIs measure the density of green foliage based on the reflectance of visible and near infrared (NIR) light from the canopy, and are highly correlated with plant physiological processes that depend on light absorption by a canopy such as ET and photosynthesis. Reflectance-based crop coefficients have now been developed for numerous individual crops, including corn, wheat, alfalfa, cotton, potato, sugar beet, vegetables, grapes and orchard crops. Other research has shown that VIs can be used to predict ET over fields of mixed crops, allowing them to be used to monitor ET over entire irrigation districts. VI-based crop coefficients can help reduce agricultural water use by matching irrigation rates to the actual water needs of a crop as it grows instead of to a modeled crop growing under optimal conditions. Recently, the concept has been applied to natural ecosystems at the local, regional and continental scales of measurement, using time-series satellite data from the MODIS sensors on the Terra satellite. VIs or other visible-NIR band algorithms are combined with meteorological data to predict ET in numerous biome types, from deserts, to arctic tundra, to tropical rainforests. These methods often closely match ET measured on the ground at the global FluxNet array of eddy covariance moisture and carbon flux towers. The primary advantage of VI methods for estimating ET is that transpiration is closely related to radiation absorbed by the plant canopy, which is closely related to VIs. The primary disadvantage is that they cannot capture stress effects or soil

  14. Evolution of crop production under a pseudo-space environment using model plants, Lotus japonicus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Motohashi, Kyohei; Omi, Naomi; Sato, Seigo; Aoki, Toshio; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Yamashita, Masamichi

    Habitation in outer space is one of our challenges. We have been studying space agriculture and/or spacecraft agriculture to provide food and oxygen for the habitation area in the space environment. However, careful investigation should be made concerning the results of exotic environmental effects on the endogenous production of biologically active substances in indi-vidual cultivated plants in a space environment. We have already reported that the production of functional substances in cultivated plants as crops are affected by gravity. The amounts of the main physiological substances in these plants grown under terrestrial control were different from that grown in a pseudo-microgravity. These results suggested that the nutrition would be changed in the plants/crops grown in the space environment when human beings eat in space. This estimation required us to investigate each of the useful components produced by each plant grown in the space environment. These estimations involved several study fields, includ-ing nutrition, plant physiology, etc. On the other hand, the analysis of model plant genomes has recently been remarkably advanced. Lotus japonicus, a leguminous plant, is also one of the model plant. The leguminosae is a large family in the plant vegetable kingdom and almost the entire genome sequence of Lotus japonicus has been determined. Nitrogen fixation would be possible even in a space environment. We are trying to determine the best conditions and evolution for crop production using the model plants.

  15. The Economic Impacts of Bioenergy Crop Production on U.S. Agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Daniel De La Torre Ugarte

    2000-07-01

    The oil embargoes of the 1970s raised concerns about energy security. Large scale production of bioenergy crops could have significant impacts on the US agricultural sector in terms of quantities, prices and production location of traditional crops as well as farm income. USDA, UT and ORNL modified an agricultural sector model to include switchgrass, hybrid poplar, and willow.

  16. Effects of cover crop management and planting operations on cotton establishment and yield in a no-till system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One method to save resources while positively impacting the environment is combining agricultural field operations. In no-till systems, for example, termination of cover crops and planting of the cash crop can be performed simultaneously utilizing a tractor as a single power source. A no-till field ...

  17. Abscisic Acid and Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop Plants

    PubMed Central

    Sah, Saroj K.; Reddy, Kambham R.; Li, Jiaxu

    2016-01-01

    Abiotic stress is a primary threat to fulfill the demand of agricultural production to feed the world in coming decades. Plants reduce growth and development process during stress conditions, which ultimately affect the yield. In stress conditions, plants develop various stress mechanism to face the magnitude of stress challenges, although that is not enough to protect them. Therefore, many strategies have been used to produce abiotic stress tolerance crop plants, among them, abscisic acid (ABA) phytohormone engineering could be one of the methods of choice. ABA is an isoprenoid phytohormone, which regulates various physiological processes ranging from stomatal opening to protein storage and provides adaptation to many stresses like drought, salt, and cold stresses. ABA is also called an important messenger that acts as the signaling mediator for regulating the adaptive response of plants to different environmental stress conditions. In this review, we will discuss the role of ABA in response to abiotic stress at the molecular level and ABA signaling. The review also deals with the effect of ABA in respect to gene expression. PMID:27200044

  18. Could Crop Roughness Impact the Wind Resource at Agriculturally Productive Wind Farm Sites?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderwende, B. J.; Lundquist, J. K.

    2014-12-01

    The high concentration of both large-scale agriculture and wind power production in the United States Midwest region raises new questions concerning the interaction of the two activities. For instance, it is known from internal boundary layer theory that changes in the roughness of the land-surface resulting from crop choices could modify the momentum field aloft. Upward propagation of such an effect might impact the properties of the winds encountered by modern turbines, which typically span a layer from about 40 to 120 meters above the surface. As direct observation of such interaction would require impractical interference in the planting schedules of farmers, we use numerical modeling to quantify the magnitude of crop-roughness effects. To simulate a collocated farm and turbine array, we use version 3.4.1 of the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF). The hypothetical farm is inserted near the real location of the 2013 Crop Wind Energy Experiment (CWEX). Reanalyses provide representative initial and boundary conditions. A month-long period spanning August 2013 is used to evaluate the differences in flows above corn (maize) and soybean crops at the mature, reproductive stage. Simulations are performed comparing the flow above each surface regime, both in the absence and presence of a wind farm, which consists of a parameterized 11x11 array of 1.8 MW Vestas V90 turbines. Appreciable differences in rotor-layer wind speeds emerge. The use of soybeans results in an increase in wind speeds and a corresponding reduction in rotor-layer shear when compared to corn. Despite the turbulent nature of flow within a wind farm, high stability reduces the impact of crop roughness on the flow aloft, particularly in the upper portion of the rotor disk. We use these results to estimate the economic impact of crop selection on wind power producers.

  19. Genetic consequences of radioactive contamination by the Chernobyl fallout to agricultural crops.

    PubMed

    Geraskin, S A; Dikarev, V G; Zyablitskaya, Ye Ya; Oudalova, A A; Spirin, Ye V; Alexakhin, R M

    2003-01-01

    The genetic consequences of radioactive contamination by the fallout to agricultural crops after the accident at the Chernobyl NPP in 1986 have been studied. In the first, acute, period of this accident, when the absorbed dose was primarily due to external beta- and gamma-irradiation, the radiation injury of agricultural crops, according to the basic cytogenetic tests, resembled the effect produced by acute gamma-irradiation at comparable doses. The yield of cytogenetic damage in leaf meristem of plants grown in the 10-km zone of the ChNPP in 1987-1989 (the period of chronic, lower level radiation exposure) was shown to be enhanced and dependent on the level of radioactive contamination. The rate of decline with time in cytogenetic damage induced by chronic exposure lagged considerably behind that of the radiation exposure. Analysis of genetic variability in three sequential generations of rye and wheat revealed increased cytogenetic damage in plants exposed to chronic irradiation during the 2nd and 3rd years.

  20. The Urban Food-Water Nexus: Modeling Water Footprints of Urban Agriculture using CityCrop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tooke, T. R.; Lathuilliere, M. J.; Coops, N. C.; Johnson, M. S.

    2014-12-01

    Urban agriculture provides a potential contribution towards more sustainable food production and mitigating some of the human impacts that accompany volatility in regional and global food supply. When considering the capacity of urban landscapes to produce food products, the impact of urban water demand required for food production in cities is often neglected. Urban agricultural studies also tend to be undertaken at broad spatial scales, overlooking the heterogeneity of urban form that exerts an extreme influence on the urban energy balance. As a result, urban planning and management practitioners require, but often do not have, spatially explicit and detailed information to support informed urban agricultural policy, especially as it relates to potential conflicts with sustainability goals targeting water-use. In this research we introduce a new model, CityCrop, a hybrid evapotranspiration-plant growth model that incorporates detailed digital representations of the urban surface and biophysical impacts of the built environment and urban trees to account for the daily variations in net surface radiation. The model enables very fine-scale (sub-meter) estimates of water footprints of potential urban agricultural production. Results of the model are demonstrated for an area in the City of Vancouver, Canada and compared to aspatial model estimates, demonstrating the unique considerations and sensitivities for current and future water footprints of urban agriculture and the implications for urban water planning and policy.

  1. Fly ash-amended compost as a manure for agricultural crops

    SciTech Connect

    Menon, M.P.; Sajwan, K.S.; Ghuman, G.S.; James, J.; Chandra, K. )

    1993-11-01

    Homemade organic compost prepared from lawn grass clippings was amended with fine fly ash collected from a coal-fired power plant (SRS 484.D. Savannah River Site, Aiken, SC) to investigate its usefulness as a manure in enhancing nutrient uptake and increasing dry matter yield in selected agricultural crops. Three treatments were compared: five crops (mustard, collard, string beans, bell pepper, and eggplant) were each grown on three kinds of soil: soil alone, soil amended with composted grass clippings, and soil amended with the mixed compost of grass clippings and 20% fly ash. The fly ash-amended compost was found to be effective in enhancing the dry matter yield of collard greens and mustard greens by 378% and 348%, respectively, but string beans, bell pepper, and eggplant did not show any significant increase in dry matter yield. Analysis of the above-ground biomass of these last three plants showed they assimilated high levels of boron, which is phytotoxic; and this may be the reason for their poor growth. Soils treated with fly ash-amended compost often gave higher concentrations than the control for K, Ca, Mg, S, Zn, and B in the Brassica crops. 18 refs., 2 figs., 5 tabs.

  2. Analysis of backscattered spectra dynamics of agricultural crops in the south of Krasnoyarsk krai and Khakasia based on ground and satellite data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexander, Sidko; Pugacheva, Irina; Shevyrnogov, Anatoly

    The physical basis of land vegetation satellite monitoring is the backscattered light spectra of different plant species. The morphological structure of plants, having effect upon the measure of incident radiation scattering, also plays a considerable role. The spectral reflectance time dynamics of wheat, oat and barley crops is studied simultaneously with the physiological parameters characterizing crop state for monitoring of agricultural crops and their differentiation. The spectral reflectance time dynamics is studied during growth period within 400-850 nm the optical spectral wavelength range. Based on the analysis of spectrometric field and satellite measurements of agricultural crop spectral reflectance, it was found that structural changes occurring in the growing crop plants can be estimated by spectral reflectance and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). The normal dynamics of the agricultural crop spectral reflectance during growth period was established as a result of long-term data processing. The obtained data are the basis for monitoring and species identification of crops. It has been shown that the spectral reflectance dynamics reflects morphological and physiological changes in investigated crop phytoelements connected with both phenological calendar and climatic anomalies (absence of precipitations, extreme temperatures). It is established that, the lack of moisture caused by 30-day drought in the region of investigation leads to structural changes in plant phytoelements, which significantly affects their reflectance, in the near-infrared region (λ = 760 - 820 nm) in particular. This trend was registered simultaneously on all study fields during the investigation.

  3. Traditional agricultural practices enable sustainable remediation of highly polluted soils in Southern Spain for cultivation of food crops.

    PubMed

    Madejón, P; Barba-Brioso, C; Lepp, N W; Fernández-Caliani, J C

    2011-07-01

    This study relates elemental content of a range of edible crops grown in soils severely polluted by metals and metalloids as affected by traditional smallholder management practices. Five agricultural plots close to a sulfidic waste dump were monitored. Soil analysis demonstrated elevated concentrations of As, Cu, Pb and Zn that were greatly in excess of maximum statutory limits for agricultural soils in the studied region. The main vegetables (lettuce, chard, onion, potatoes) and lemon, together with their associated soils, were measured for elemental content. Extractable soil element concentrations were very low. There were differences in elemental accumulation between crops, but none exceeded statutory concentrations in edible parts. Soil-plant transfer factors were uniformly low for all elements and crops. It is concluded that traditional soil management practices (annual liming and application of animal manures) have created conditions for sustainable long-term safety use, with potential for multiple end-use, of these highly polluted soils.

  4. GEOGLAM Crop Assessment Tool: Adapting from global agricultural monitoring to food security monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humber, M. L.; Becker-Reshef, I.; Nordling, J.; Barker, B.; McGaughey, K.

    2014-12-01

    The GEOGLAM Crop Monitor's Crop Assessment Tool was released in August 2013 in support of the GEOGLAM Crop Monitor's objective to develop transparent, timely crop condition assessments in primary agricultural production areas, highlighting potential hotspots of stress/bumper crops. The Crop Assessment Tool allows users to view satellite derived products, best available crop masks, and crop calendars (created in collaboration with GEOGLAM Crop Monitor partners), then in turn submit crop assessment entries detailing the crop's condition, drivers, impacts, trends, and other information. Although the Crop Assessment Tool was originally intended to collect data on major crop production at the global scale, the types of data collected are also relevant to the food security and rangelands monitoring communities. In line with the GEOGLAM Countries at Risk philosophy of "foster[ing] the coordination of product delivery and capacity building efforts for national and regional organizations, and the development of harmonized methods and tools", a modified version of the Crop Assessment Tool is being developed for the USAID Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). As a member of the Countries at Risk component of GEOGLAM, FEWS NET provides agricultural monitoring, timely food security assessments, and early warnings of potential significant food shortages focusing specifically on countries at risk of food security emergencies. While the FEWS NET adaptation of the Crop Assessment Tool focuses on crop production in the context of food security rather than large scale production, the data collected is nearly identical to the data collected by the Crop Monitor. If combined, the countries monitored by FEWS NET and GEOGLAM Crop Monitor would encompass over 90 countries representing the most important regions for crop production and food security.

  5. Role of transgenic plants in agriculture and biopharming.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Parvaiz; Ashraf, Muhammad; Younis, Muhammad; Hu, Xiangyang; Kumar, Ashwani; Akram, Nudrat Aisha; Al-Qurainy, F

    2012-01-01

    At present, environmental degradation and the consistently growing population are two main problems on the planet earth. Fulfilling the needs of this growing population is quite difficult from the limited arable land available on the globe. Although there are legal, social and political barriers to the utilization of biotechnology, advances in this field have substantially improved agriculture and human life to a great extent. One of the vital tools of biotechnology is genetic engineering (GE) which is used to modify plants, animals and microorganisms according to desired needs. In fact, genetic engineering facilitates the transfer of desired characteristics into other plants which is not possible through conventional plant breeding. A variety of crops have been engineered for enhanced resistance to a multitude of stresses such as herbicides, insecticides, viruses and a combination of biotic and abiotic stresses in different crops including rice, mustard, maize, potato, tomato, etc. Apart from the use of GE in agriculture, it is being extensively employed to modify the plants for enhanced production of vaccines, hormones, etc. Vaccines against certain diseases are certainly available in the market, but most of them are very costly. Developing countries cannot afford the disease control through such cost-intensive vaccines. Alternatively, efforts are being made to produce edible vaccines which are cheap and have many advantages over the commercialized vaccines. Transgenic plants generated for this purpose are capable of expressing recombinant proteins including viral and bacterial antigens and antibodies. Common food plants like banana, tomato, rice, carrot, etc. have been used to produce vaccines against certain diseases like hepatitis B, cholera, HIV, etc. Thus, the up- and down-regulation of desired genes which are used for the modification of plants have a marked role in the improvement of genetic crops. In this review, we have comprehensively discussed the role

  6. Estimating the Sensitivity of CLM-Crop to Plant Date and Growing Season Length

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drewniak, B. A.; Kotamarthi, V. R.

    2012-12-01

    The Community Land Model (CLM), the land component of the Community Earth System Model (CESM), is designed to estimate the land surface response to climate through simulated vegetation phenology and soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics. Since human influences play a significant role shaping the land surface, the vegetation has been expanded to include agriculture (CLM-Crop) for three crop types: corn, soybean, and spring wheat. CLM-Crop parameters, which define crop phenology, are optimized against AmeriFlux observations of gross primary productivity, net ecosystem exchange, and stored biomass and carbon, for two sites in the U.S. growing corn and soybean. However, there is uncertainty in the measurements and using a small subset of data to determine model parameters makes validation difficult. In order to account for the differences in plant behavior across climate zones, an input dataset is used to define the planting dates and the length of the growing season. In order to improve model performance, and to understand the impacts of uncertainty from the input data, we evaluate the sensitivity of crop productivity and production against planting date and the length of the growing season. First, CLM-Crop is modified to establish plant date based on temperature trends for the previous 10-day period, constrained against the range of observed planting dates. This new climate-based model is compared with the standard fixed plant dates to determine how sensitive the model is to when seeding occurs, and how comparable the climate calculated plant dates are to the fixed dates. Next, the length of the growing season will be revised to account for an alternative climate. Finally, both the climate-based planting and new growth season will be simulated together. Results of the different model runs will be compared to the standard model and to observations to determine the importance of planting date and growing season length on crop productivity and yield.

  7. New oilseed crops for fuels and chemicals: ecological and agricultural considerations

    SciTech Connect

    Draper, H.M. III

    1982-01-01

    A new approach to agriculture involving oilseed crops for fuels and chemicals is proposed. Such an approach to biomass energy would be designed to benefit the limited-resource farmer in the United States and the Third World, while at the same time not aggravating global ecological problems such as deforestation and desertification. Since food versus fuel conflicts arise when plants are grown for industrial uses on good lands, productivity questions are examined, with the conclusion that fundamental biological constraints will limit yields on marginal lands. Conventional vegetable oil crops are limited in their climatic requirements or are not well adapted to limited-resource farming; therefore, new oilseeds more adaptable to small farming are proposed. Such plants would be for specialty chemicals or to meet local energy needs. Chemicals produced would be low-volume, labor-intensive, and possibly high-priced. A list of 281 potential new oilseeds is provided, and each is classified according to potential, multiple product potential, and vegetative characteristics. Using climatic data which are available for most areas, a method of making rough productivity estimates for unconventional wild plant oilseeds is proposed, and example resource estimates are provided for the southeastern United States.

  8. Plant, soil, and shadow reflectance components of row crops

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richardson, A. J.; Wiegand, C. L.; Gausman, H. W.; Cuellar, J. A.; Gerbermann, A. H.

    1975-01-01

    Data from the first Earth Resource Technology Satellite (LANDSAT-1) multispectral scanner (MSS) were used to develop three plant canopy models (Kubelka-Munk (K-M), regression, and combined K-M and regression models) for extracting plant, soil, and shadow reflectance components of cropped fields. The combined model gave the best correlation between MSS data and ground truth, by accounting for essentially all of the reflectance of plants, soil, and shadow between crop rows. The principles presented can be used to better forecast crop yield and to estimate acreage.

  9. Modeling Halophytic Plants in APEX for Sustainable Water and Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeRuyter, T.; Saito, L.; Nowak, B.; Rossi, C.; Toderich, K.

    2013-12-01

    A major problem for irrigated agricultural production is soil salinization, which can occur naturally or can be human-induced. Human-induced, or secondary salinization, is particularly a problem in arid and semi-arid regions, especially in irrigated areas. Irrigated land has more than twice the production of rainfed land, and accounts for about one third of the world's food, but nearly 20% of irrigated lands are salt-affected. Many farmers worldwide currently seasonally leach their land to reduce the soil salt content. These practices, however, create further problems such as a raised groundwater table, and salt, fertilizer, and pesticide pollution of nearby lakes and groundwater. In Uzbekistan, a combination of these management practices and a propensity to cultivate 'thirsty' crops such as cotton has also contributed to the Aral Sea shrinking nearly 90% by volume since the 1950s. Most common agricultural crops are glycophytes that have reduced yields when subjected to salt-stress. Some plants, however, are known as halophytic or 'salt-loving' plants and are capable of completing their life-cycle in higher saline soil or water environments. Halophytes may be useful for human consumption, livestock fodder, or biofuel, and may also be able to reduce or maintain salt levels in soil and water. To assess the potential for these halophytes to assist with salinity management, we are developing a model that is capable of tracking salinity under different management practices in agricultural environments. This model is interdisciplinary as it combines fields such as plant ecology, hydrology, and soil science. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) model, Agricultural Policy/Environmental Extender (APEX), is being augmented with a salinity module that tracks salinity as separate ions across the soil-plant-water interface. The halophytes Atriplex nitens, Climacoptera lanata, and Salicornia europaea are being parameterized and added into the APEX model database. Field sites

  10. Genomics Approaches For Improving Salinity Stress Tolerance in Crop Plants

    PubMed Central

    Nongpiur, Ramsong Chantre; Singla-Pareek, Sneh Lata; Pareek, Ashwani

    2016-01-01

    Salinity is one of the major factors which reduces crop production worldwide. Plant responses to salinity are highly complex and involve a plethora of genes. Due to its multigenicity, it has been difficult to attain a complete understanding of how plants respond to salinity. Genomics has progressed tremendously over the past decade and has played a crucial role towards providing necessary knowledge for crop improvement. Through genomics, we have been able to identify and characterize the genes involved in salinity stress response, map out signaling pathways and ultimately utilize this information for improving the salinity tolerance of existing crops. The use of new tools, such as gene pyramiding, in genetic engineering and marker assisted breeding has tremendously enhanced our ability to generate stress tolerant crops. Genome editing technologies such as Zinc finger nucleases, TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9 also provide newer and faster avenues for plant biologists to generate precisely engineered crops. PMID:27499683

  11. Socioeconomic Impacts of Agricultural Processing Plants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leistritz, F. Larry; Sell, Randall S.

    2001-01-01

    Studies in four North Dakota communities that had suffered economic and population decline in the 1980s examined the economic and community impacts of new agricultural processing plants in the late 1990s, including effects on residents' incomes, total and school-age population, needs for day care and community services, housing needs, public…

  12. Agricultural Plant Pest Control. Manual 93.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Missouri Univ., Columbia. Agricultural Experiment Station.

    This training manual provides information needed to meet the minimum EPA standards for certification as a commercial applicator of pesticides for the agricultural plant pest control category. The text discusses the insect pests including caterpillars, beetles, and soil inhabiting insects; diseases and nematodes; and weeds. Consideration is given…

  13. Lunar base agriculture: Soils for plant growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, Douglas W. (Editor); Henninger, Donald L. (Editor)

    1989-01-01

    This work provides information on research and experimentation concerning various aspects of food production in space and particularly on the moon. Options for human settlement of the moon and Mars and strategies for a lunar base are discussed. The lunar environment, including the mineralogical and chemical properties of lunar regolith are investigated and chemical and physical considerations for a lunar-derived soil are considered. It is noted that biological considerations for such a soil include controlled-environment crop production, both hydroponic and lunar regolith-based; microorganisms and the growth of higher plants in lunar-derived soils; and the role of microbes to condition lunar regolith for plant cultivation. Current research in the controlled ecological life support system (CELSS) project is presented in detail and future research areas, such as the growth of higher research plants in CELSS are considered. Optimum plant and microbiological considerations for lunar derived soils are examined.

  14. [Climatic suitability of single cropping rice planting region in China].

    PubMed

    Duan, Ju-Qi; Zhou, Guang-Sheng

    2012-02-01

    To clarify the leading climate factors affecting the distribution of single cropping rice planting region in China at national and annual temporal scales and to reveal the potential distribution and climatic suitability divisions of this planting region in China could not only provide scientific basis for optimizing the allocation of single cropping rice production, modifying planting pattern, and introducing fine varieties, but also ensure the food security of China. In this paper, the potential climate factors affecting the single cropping rice distribution in China at regional and annual scales were selected from related literatures, and the single cropping rice geographic information from the national agro-meteorological observation stations of China Meteorological Administration (CMA), together with the maximum entropy model (MaxEnt) and spatial analyst function of Arc-GIS software, were adopted to clarify the leading climate factors affecting the potential distribution of single cropping rice planting region in China, and to construct a model about the relationships between the potential distribution of the planting region and the climate. The results showed that annual precipitation, moisture index, and days of not less than 18 degrees C stably were the leading climate factors affecting the potential distribution of single cropping rice planting region in China, with their cumulative contribution rate reached 94.5% of all candidate climate factors. The model constructed in this paper could well simulate the potential distribution of single cropping rice planting region in China. According to the appearance frequency, the low, medium and high climatic suitability divisions of single cropping rice planting region in China were clarified, and the climate characteristics of the planting region in each climatic suitability division were analyzed.

  15. Attitudes of Agricultural Experts Toward Genetically Modified Crops: A Case Study in Southwest Iran.

    PubMed

    Ghanian, Mansour; Ghoochani, Omid M; Kitterlin, Miranda; Jahangiry, Sheida; Zarafshani, Kiumars; Van Passel, Steven; Azadi, Hossein

    2016-04-01

    The production of genetically modified (GM) crops is growing around the world, and with it possible opportunities to combat food insecurity and hunger, as well as solutions to current problems facing conventional agriculture. In this regard the use of GMOs in food and agricultural applications has increased greatly over the past decade. However, the development of GM crops has been a matter of considerable interest and worldwide public controversy. This, in addition to skepticism, has stifled the use of this practice on a large scale in many areas, including Iran. It stands to reason that a greater understanding of this practice could be formed after a review of the existing expert opinions surrounding GM crops. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze the predictors that influence agricultural experts' attitudes toward the development of and policies related to GM crops. Using a descriptive correlational research method, questionnaire data was collected from 65 experts from the Agricultural Organization in the Gotvand district in Southwest Iran. Results indicated that agricultural experts were aware of the environmental benefits and possible risks associated with GM crops. The majority of participants agreed that GM crops could improve food security and accelerate rural development, and were proponents of labeling practices for GM crops. Finally, there was a positive correlation between the perception of benefits and attitudes towards GM crops.

  16. Multi-country evidence that crop diversification promotes ecological intensification of agriculture.

    PubMed

    Gurr, Geoff M; Lu, Zhongxian; Zheng, Xusong; Xu, Hongxing; Zhu, Pingyang; Chen, Guihua; Yao, Xiaoming; Cheng, Jiaan; Zhu, Zengrong; Catindig, Josie Lynn; Villareal, Sylvia; Van Chien, Ho; Cuong, Le Quoc; Channoo, Chairat; Chengwattana, Nalinee; Lan, La Pham; Hai, Le Huu; Chaiwong, Jintana; Nicol, Helen I; Perovic, David J; Wratten, Steve D; Heong, Kong Luen

    2016-02-22

    Global food security requires increased crop productivity to meet escalating demand(1-3). Current food production systems are heavily dependent on synthetic inputs that threaten the environment and human well-being(2,4,5). Biodiversity, for instance, is key to the provision of ecosystem services such as pest control(6,7), but is eroded in conventional agricultural systems. Yet the conservation and reinstatement of biodiversity is challenging(5,8,9), and it remains unclear whether the promotion of biodiversity can reduce reliance on inputs without penalizing yields on a regional scale. Here we present results from multi-site field studies replicated in Thailand, China and Vietnam over a period of four years, in which we grew nectar-producing plants around rice fields, and monitored levels of pest infestation, insecticide use and yields. Compiling the data from all sites, we report that this inexpensive intervention significantly reduced populations of two key pests, reduced insecticide applications by 70%, increased grain yields by 5% and delivered an economic advantage of 7.5%. Additional field studies showed that predators and parasitoids of the main rice pests, together with detritivores, were more abundant in the presence of nectar-producing plants. We conclude that a simple diversification approach, in this case the growth of nectar-producing plants, can contribute to the ecological intensification of agricultural systems.

  17. Changes of crop rotation in Iowa determined from the United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service cropland data layer product

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, Alan J.; Doraiswamy, Paul C.; Raymond Hunt, E.

    2012-01-01

    Crop rotation is one of the important decisions made independently by numerous farm managers, and is a critical variable in models of crop growth and soil carbon. In Iowa and much of the Midwestern United States (US), the typical management decision is to rotate corn and soybean crops for a single field; therefore, the land-cover changes each year even though the total area of agricultural land-use remains the same. The price for corn increased from 2001 to 2010, which increased corn production in Iowa. We tested the hypothesis that the production increase was the result of changes in crop rotation in Iowa using the annual remote sensing classification (the cropland data layer) produced by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service. It was found that the area planted in corn increased from 4.7 million hectares in 2001 to 5.7 million hectares in 2007, which was correlated with the market price for corn. At the county level, there were differences in how the increase in corn production was accomplished. Northern and central counties had little land to expand cultivation and generally increased corn production by converting to a corn-corn rotation from the standard corn-soybean rotation. Southern counties in Iowa increased corn production by expanding into land that was not under recent cultivation. These changes affect the amount of soil carbon sequestration.

  18. Glyphosate Effects on Plant Mineral Nutrition, Crop Rhizosphere Microbiota, and Plant Disease in Glyphosate-Resistant Crops

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Claims have been made recently that glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops sometimes have mineral deficiencies and increased plant disease. This review evaluates the literature that is germane to these claims. Our conclusions are: (1) although there is conflicting literature on the effects of glyphosate on mineral nutrition on GR crops, most of the literature indicates that mineral nutrition in GR crops is not affected by either the GR trait or by application of glyphosate; (2) most of the available data support the view that neither the GR transgenes nor glyphosate use in GR crops increases crop disease; and (3) yield data on GR crops do not support the hypotheses that there are substantive mineral nutrition or disease problems that are specific to GR crops. PMID:23013354

  19. Amazon river flow regime and flood recessional agriculture: Flood stage reversals and risk of annual crop loss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coomes, Oliver T.; Lapointe, Michel; Templeton, Michael; List, Geneva

    2016-08-01

    The annual flood cycle is an important driver of ecosystem structure and function in large tropical rivers such as the Amazon. Riparian peasant communities rely on river fishing and annual floodplain agriculture, closely adapted to the recession phase of the flood pulse. This article reports on a poorly documented but important challenge facing farmers practicing flood recessional agriculture along the Amazon river: frequent, unpredictable stage reversals (repiquetes) which threaten to ruin crops growing on channel bars. We assess the severity of stage reversals for rice production on exposed river mud bars (barreales) near Iquitos, Peru. Crop loss risk is estimated based on a quantitative analysis of 45 years of daily Amazon stage data and field data from floodplain communities nearby in the Muyuy archipelago, upstream of Iquitos. Rice varieties selected, elevations of silt rich bars where rice is sown, as well as planting and harvest dates are analyzed in the light of the timing, frequencies and amplitudes of observed stage reversals that have the potential to destroy growing rice. We find that unpredictable stage reversals can produce substantial crop losses and shorten significantly the length of average growing seasons on lower elevation river bars. The data reveal that local famers extend planting down to lower bar elevations where the mean probabilities of re-submergence before rice maturity (due to reversals) approach 50%, below which they implicitly consider that the risk of crop loss outweighs the potential reward of planting.

  20. Effects of agricultural practices of three crops on the soil communities under Mediterranean conditions: field evaluation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leitão, Sara; José Cerejeira, Maria; Abreu, Manuela; Sousa, José Paulo

    2014-05-01

    Sustainable agricultural production relies on soil communities as the main actors in key soil processes necessary to maintain sustainable soil functioning. Soil biodiversity influences soil physical and chemical characteristics and thus the sustainability of crop and agro-ecosystems functioning. Agricultural practices (e.g.: soil tillage, pesticides and fertilizer applications, irrigation) may affects negatively or positively soil biodiversity and abundances by modifying the relationships between organisms in the soil ecosystem. The present study aimed to study the influence of agricultural practices of three crops (potato, onion and maize) under Mediterranean climate conditions on soil macro- and mesofauna during their entire crop cycles. Effects on soil communities were assessed at a higher tier of environmental risk assessment comprising field testing of indigenous edaphic communities in a selected study-site located in a major agriculture region of Central Portugal, Ribatejo e Oeste, neighbouring protected wetlands. A reference site near the agricultural field site was selected as a Control site to compare the terrestrial communities' composition and variation along the crop cycle. The field soil and Control site soil are sandy loam soils. Crops irrigation was performed by center-pivot (automated sprinkler that rotates in a half a circle area) and by sprinklers. Soil macro- and mesofauna were collected at both sites (field and Control) using two methodologies through pitfall trapping and soil sampling. The community of soil macro- and mesofauna of the three crops field varied versus control site along the crops cycles. Main differences were due to arachnids, coleopterans, ants and adult Diptera presence and abundance. The feeding activity of soil fauna between control site and crop areas varied only for potato and onion crops vs. control site but not among crops. Concentration of pesticides residues in soil did not cause apparent negative effects on the soil

  1. Crop Insurance Increases Water Withdrawals for Irrigation in Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konar, M.; Deryugina, T.; Lin, X.

    2015-12-01

    Agricultural production remains particularly vulnerable to weather fluctuations and extreme events, such as droughts, floods, and heat waves. Crop insurance is a risk management tool that has been developed to mitigate some of this weather risk and protect farmer income in times of poor production. However, it is not clear what the implications of crop insurance are for crop irrigation. By providing a guaranteed level of income in case of crop failure, crop insurance can reduce the farmer's incentive to irrigate. Thus, crop insurance can decrease water use in times of drought and promote water sustainability. However, to minimize this "moral hazard", the insurer may require farmers to irrigate crops more than necessary. Further, by shifting crop production, crop insurance may increase demand for water. Thus, it is unclear whether crop insurance increases or decreases crop water use. Here, we determine the empirical relationship between crop insurance and irrigation withdrawals in the United States. To establish causality, we exploit variation in crop insurance policies over time, using an instrumental variables approach. We find that a 1% increase in insured crop acreage leads to a 0.223% increase in irrigation withdrawals, primarily from groundwater aquifers.

  2. Characteristics of AVIRIS bands measurements in agricultural crops at Blythe area, California: II. Studies on kenaf, Hibiscus canabinus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shakir Hanna, Safwat H.; Rethwisch, Michael D.

    2002-01-01

    AVIRIS data from Blythe,Calfornia , were acquired in June 1997 to study the agricultural spectra from different crops and for identification of crops in other areas with similar environmental factors and similar spectral properties. In this respect; the main objectives of this study are: 1) to compare the spectral and radiometric characteristics of AVIRIS data from agriculture crops with the spectra measured by FieldSpecR ASD radiometer; 2) to explore the use of AVIRIS images in identifying agriculture crops; and; 3) to build a spectral library for the crops that were studied. A long-term goal is to extend the spectral library for different vegetation or crops in different stages of growth. In order to support our study, on July 18-19, 2000 we collected spectra using the FieldSpecR ASD spectrometer from selected fields planted with different crops at Blythe area, California (at the Longitude 114 degree(s) 33.28 W and Latitude 33 degree(s) 25.42 N to Longitude 114 degree(s) 44.35 W and 33 degree(s) 39.77 N Latitude). The results of this study showed that there is a significant correlation between the data that were collected by AVIRIS image scene in 1997 and spectral data collected by the FieldSpecR spectrometer. This correlation allowed us to build a spectral library to be used in ENVI_IDL software. This leads to identification of different crops and in particular the visible part of the spectra. Furthermore, using IDL-ENVI algorithms of Spectral Angle Mapper classification (SAM), Spectral Feature Fitting (SFF) and Spectral Binary Encoding (SPE) showed that there is an excellent agreement between the predicted and the actual crop type (i.e. The correlation is between 85-90% match). Further use of the AVIRIS images can be of a value to crops identification or crops yield for commercial use. Kenaf crop spectra were studied. The kenaf varieties (Tainung 2, Everglades 41) were significantly differentiated by both the spectral data from AVIRIS and from the hand

  3. The Role of Crop Systems Simulation in Agriculture and Environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Over the past 30 to 40 years, simulation of crop systems has advanced from a neophyte science with inadequate computing power into a robust and increasingly accepted science supported by improved software, languages, development tools, and computer capabilities. Crop system simulators contain mathe...

  4. Transgenic Crops and Sustainable Agriculture in the European Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ponti, Luigi

    2005-01-01

    The rapid adoption of transgenic crops in the United States, Argentina, and Canada stands in strong contrast to the situation in the European Union (EU), where a de facto moratorium has been in place since 1998. This article reviews recent scientific literature relevant to the problematic introduction of transgenic crops in the EU to assess if…

  5. Cover Crop Chart: An Outreach Tool for Agricultural Producers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Interest in cover crops by farmers and ranchers throughout the Northern Great Plains has increased the need for information on the suitability of a diverse portfolio of crops for different production and management resource goals. To help address this need, Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory...

  6. Glyphosate effects on plant mineral nutrition, crop rhizosphere microbiota, and plant disease in glyphosate-resistant crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There have been recent claims that glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops sometimes have mineral deficiencies. Claimed deficiencies, such as with Mn, have been linked to alleged increases in plant disease in GR crops. This review evaluates the literature that is germane to these claims. Our conclusions a...

  7. ROS Regulation During Abiotic Stress Responses in Crop Plants.

    PubMed

    You, Jun; Chan, Zhulong

    2015-01-01

    Abiotic stresses such as drought, cold, salt and heat cause reduction of plant growth and loss of crop yield worldwide. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) including hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), superoxide anions (O2 (•-)), hydroxyl radical (OH•) and singlet oxygen ((1)O2) are by-products of physiological metabolisms, and are precisely controlled by enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant defense systems. ROS are significantly accumulated under abiotic stress conditions, which cause oxidative damage and eventually resulting in cell death. Recently, ROS have been also recognized as key players in the complex signaling network of plants stress responses. The involvement of ROS in signal transduction implies that there must be coordinated function of regulation networks to maintain ROS at non-toxic levels in a delicate balancing act between ROS production, involving ROS generating enzymes and the unavoidable production of ROS during basic cellular metabolism, and ROS-scavenging pathways. Increasing evidence showed that ROS play crucial roles in abiotic stress responses of crop plants for the activation of stress-response and defense pathways. More importantly, manipulating ROS levels provides an opportunity to enhance stress tolerances of crop plants under a variety of unfavorable environmental conditions. This review presents an overview of current knowledge about homeostasis regulation of ROS in crop plants. In particular, we summarize the essential proteins that are involved in abiotic stress tolerance of crop plants through ROS regulation. Finally, the challenges toward the improvement of abiotic stress tolerance through ROS regulation in crops are discussed.

  8. ROS Regulation During Abiotic Stress Responses in Crop Plants

    PubMed Central

    You, Jun; Chan, Zhulong

    2015-01-01

    Abiotic stresses such as drought, cold, salt and heat cause reduction of plant growth and loss of crop yield worldwide. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) including hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), superoxide anions (O2•-), hydroxyl radical (OH•) and singlet oxygen (1O2) are by-products of physiological metabolisms, and are precisely controlled by enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant defense systems. ROS are significantly accumulated under abiotic stress conditions, which cause oxidative damage and eventually resulting in cell death. Recently, ROS have been also recognized as key players in the complex signaling network of plants stress responses. The involvement of ROS in signal transduction implies that there must be coordinated function of regulation networks to maintain ROS at non-toxic levels in a delicate balancing act between ROS production, involving ROS generating enzymes and the unavoidable production of ROS during basic cellular metabolism, and ROS-scavenging pathways. Increasing evidence showed that ROS play crucial roles in abiotic stress responses of crop plants for the activation of stress-response and defense pathways. More importantly, manipulating ROS levels provides an opportunity to enhance stress tolerances of crop plants under a variety of unfavorable environmental conditions. This review presents an overview of current knowledge about homeostasis regulation of ROS in crop plants. In particular, we summarize the essential proteins that are involved in abiotic stress tolerance of crop plants through ROS regulation. Finally, the challenges toward the improvement of abiotic stress tolerance through ROS regulation in crops are discussed. PMID:26697045

  9. Monitoring Agricultural Cropping Patterns in the Great Lakes Basin Using MODIS-NDVI Time Series Data

    EPA Science Inventory

    This research examined changes in agricultural cropping patterns across the Great Lakes Basin (GLB) using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data. Specific research objectives were to characterize the distribut...

  10. Fall cover cropping can increase arbuscular mycorrhizae in soils supporting intensive agricultural production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Intensive agricultural practices, such as tillage, monocropping, seasonal fallow periods, and inorganic nutrient application have been shown to reduce arbuscular mycorrrhizal fungi (AMF) populations and thus may reduce benefits frequently provided to crops by AMF, such as nutrient acquisition, disea...

  11. An Integrated Approach to Identify and Deploy Novel Genetic Determinants From Resurrection Plants for Improved Dehydration Tolerance of Crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An understanding of plant responses to dehydration has important consequences not only for plant biology in general but also more directly for agriculture and bioenergy. Over 10% of arable lands are affected by drought and salinity, declining average yields for most crops by more than 50%. In 2000 c...

  12. Role of native shrubs of the Sahel in mitigating water and nutrient stresses of agricultural crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bayala, R.; Ghezzehei, T. A.; Bogie, N. A.; Diedhiou, I.; Dick, R.

    2015-12-01

    In the semi arid zone of the Sahel native woody shrubs are present in many farmers' fields. The native density of these shrubs is fairly low at around 200 to 300 individuals per hectare. An ongoing study in the Peanut Basin, Senegal has shown a vast improvement in crop yields when annual food crops are planted with the shrub Guiera senegalensis, especially in years of low or irregular precipitation. Shrubs in field plots established in 2003 where a rotation of peanuts and millet are grown are planted at a much higher density of 1500-1830 individuals per hectare. In order to increase the density of shrubs on the landscape, the shrubs must be cultivated. We monitored soil moisture, soil temperature, and growth of recently transplanted individuals at a field station in Thies, Senegal.This study seeks to determine the growth characteristics and water use of young shrubs in order to inform possible future plantations of the shrubs in a more intensely managed agroecosystem. If this technique of intercropping is to be expanded we must not exceed the carrying capacity of the landscape. In vulnerable ecosystems where natural resources are scarce and farming inputs are low, we must work to determine ways of exploiting the adaptation of local agroecosystems to increase the sustainability of agriculture in the region.

  13. Agricultural Microbiology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brill, Winston J.

    1981-01-01

    Elucidates strategies for applying microbiological techniques to traditional agricultural practices. Discusses the manipulation of microorganisms that live with plants and also the problems involved in the introduction of new genes into crop plants by recombinant DNA methods. (CS)

  14. Arsenic behaviour from groundwater and soil to crops: impacts on agriculture and food safety.

    PubMed

    Heikens, Alex; Panaullah, Golam M; Meharg, Andy A

    2007-01-01

    High levels of As in groundwater commonly found in Bangladesh and other parts of Asia not only pose a risk via drinking water consumption but also a risk in agricultural sustainability and food safety. This review attempts to provide an overview of current knowledge and gaps related to the assessment and management of these risks, including the behaviour of As in the soil-plant system, uptake, phytotoxicity, As speciation in foods, dietary habits, and human health risks. Special emphasis has been given to the situation in Bangladesh, where groundwater via shallow tube wells is the most important source of irrigation water in the dry season. Within the soil-plant system, there is a distinct difference in behaviour of As under flooded conditions, where arsenite (AsIII) predominates, and under nonflooded conditions, where arsenate (AsV) predominates. The former is regarded as most toxic to humans and plants. Limited data indicate that As-contaminated irrigation water can result in a slow buildup of As in the topsoil. In some cases the buildup is reflected by the As levels in crops, in others not. It is not yet possible to predict As uptake and toxicity in plants based on soil parameters. It is unknown under what conditions and in what time frame As is building up in the soil. Representative phytotoxicity data necessary to evaluate current and future soil concentrations are not yet available. Although there are no indications that crop production is currently inhibited by As, long-term risks are clearly present. Therefore, with concurrent assessments of the risks, management options to further prevent As accumulation in the topsoil should already have been explored. With regard to human health, data on As speciation in foods in combination with food consumption data are needed to assess dietary exposure, and these data should include spatial and seasonal variability. It is important to control confounding factors in assessing the risks. In a country where malnutrition

  15. Ruminant Grazing of Cover Crops: Effects on Soil Properties and Agricultural Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poffenbarger, Hanna

    2010-01-01

    Integrating livestock into a cropping system by allowing ruminant animals to graze cover crops may yield economic and environmental benefits. The effects of grazing on soil physical properties, soil organic matter, nitrogen cycling and agricultural production are presented in this literature review. The review found that grazing cover crops…

  16. Testing the validity of a Cd soil quality standard in representative Mediterranean agricultural soils under an accumulator crop.

    PubMed

    Recatalá, L; Sánchez, J; Arbelo, C; Sacristán, D

    2010-12-01

    The validity of a quality standard for cadmium (Cd) in representative agricultural Mediterranean soils under an accumulator crop (Lactuca sativa L.) is evaluated in this work considering both its effect on the crop growth (biomass production) and the metal accumulation in the edible part of the plant. Four soils with different properties relevant to regulate the behaviour of heavy metals were selected from the Valencian Region, a representative area of the European Mediterranean Region. For all soils, the effective concentration of added Cd causing 50% inhibition (EC(50)) on the biomass production was much higher than the minimum legal concentration used to declare soils as contaminated by cadmium, i.e. 100 times the baseline value for Cd, in Spain (Spanish Royal Decree 9/2005). As expected, Cd toxicity in the crop was higher in the soils having less carbonate content. On the other hand, for all soils, from the second dose on, which represents 10-times the baseline value for Cd, the metal content in crops exceeded the maximum level established for leaf crops by the European legislation (Regulation EC no. 466/2001). Soil salinity and coarse textures make the accumulation of Cd in the edible part of the plant easier. Therefore, the legal baseline soil cadmium content established by the Spanish legislation seems not valid neither from the point of view of the effect on the crop growth nor from the point of view of the metal accumulation in the edible part of the plant. In order to realistically declare contaminated soils by heavy metals, soil quality standards should be proposed taking into account the soil properties. Further research in other agricultural areas of the region would improve the basis for proposing adequate soil quality standards for heavy metals as highlighted by the European Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection.

  17. Metaproteome analysis of the microbial communities in agricultural biogas plants.

    PubMed

    Heyer, R; Kohrs, F; Benndorf, D; Rapp, E; Kausmann, R; Heiermann, M; Klocke, M; Reichl, U

    2013-09-25

    In biogas plants agricultural waste and energy crops are converted by complex microbial communities to methane for the production of renewable energy. In Germany, this process is widely applied namely in context of agricultural production systems. However, process disturbances, are one of the major causes for economic losses. In addition, the conversion of biomass, in particular of cellulose, is in most cases incomplete and, hence, insufficient. Besides technical aspects, a more profound characterization concerning the functionality of the microbial communities involved would strongly support the improvement of yield and stability in biogas production. To monitor these communities on the functional level, metaproteome analysis was applied in this study to full-scale agricultural biogas plants. Proteins were extracted directly from sludge for separation by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and subsequent identification with mass spectrometry. Protein profiles obtained with SDS-PAGE were specific for different biogas plants and often stable for several months. Differences of protein profiles were visualized by clustering, which allowed not only the discrimination between mesophilic and thermophilic operated biogas plants but also the detection of process disturbances such as acidification. In particular, acidification of a biogas plant was detected in advance by disappearance of major bands in SDS-PAGE. Identification of proteins from SDS-PAGE gels revealed that methyl CoM reductase, which is responsible for the release of methane during methanogenesis, from the order Methanosarcinales was significantly decreased. Hence, it is assumed that this enzyme might be a promising candidate to serve as a predictive biomarker for acidification.

  18. Temporal relationships between heavy-metal concentrations in water and food crops at a Zambian urban agriculture site.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holden, Jennifer A.; Malamud, Bruce D.; Chishala, Benson H.; Kapungwe, Evaristo; Volk, John; Harpp, Karen S.

    2010-05-01

    In this paper, for a suite of 17 elements, we examine the temporal relationships between heavy-metal concentrations in water and food crops, and between different elements, at Chunga, Zambia, August 2004 to July 2005. In many locations in the developing world, the water source used for urban agriculture is often wastewater from industrial sources, and is potentially contaminated with heavy metals. In Zambia, the location of this study, the wastewater source for irrigation use in some urban areas has been called 'a sink for sewage, mining and industrial effluents' all of which potentially contain heavy metals. We present field research results examining relationships between heavy-metal concentrations in both the water and the foodcrops from an urban agriculture location in northwest Lusaka (Chunga), the capital of Zambia. Monthly monitoring of water and food crops irrigated by the water was carried out at the study site, August 2004 to July 2005, for n = 39 water samples and n = 17 food crop samples. Heavy-metal concentrations were examined for Al, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Cd, Ba, Hg, Tl, Pb, U (17 elements) using ICP-MS. We find that both water and food-crop samples have peak concentrations for many elements in the wet season (October to February). When examining temporal relationships, we find some positive and negative statistically significant correlations between elements for both [water]:[food crop] and [food crop]:[food crop]. For the concentrations of [water]:[food crop] we find particularly strong positive correlations for V:Se and (V, Cr, Co, Zn, Cd, Hg, Pb, U):Tl; strong negative correlations are observed for V:Zn, Ni:Cu, Cd:Cu. For [food crop]:[food crop] particularly strong positive relationships are observed for Al:V, Al:Cr, Cr:V, and Cd:U. Theoretically, concentrations of heavy-metals in plant samples normally should reflect the heavy-metal contamination in the water used to irrigate the plants throughout the growth cycle (typically six

  19. Investigate the Capabilities of Remotely Sensed Crop Indicators for Agricultural Drought Monitoring in Kansas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, J.; Becker-Reshef, I.; Justice, C. O.

    2013-12-01

    Although agricultural production has been rising in the past years, drought remains the primary cause of crop failure, leading to food price instability and threatening food security. The recent 'Global Food Crisis' in 2008, 2011 and 2012 has put drought and its impact on crop production at the forefront, highlighting the need for effective agricultural drought monitoring. Satellite observations have proven a practical, cost-effective and dynamic tool for drought monitoring. However, most satellite based methods are not specially developed for agriculture and their performances for agricultural drought monitoring still need further development. Wheat is the most widely grown crop in the world, and the recent droughts highlight the importance of drought monitoring in major wheat producing areas. As the largest wheat producing state in the US, Kansas plays an important role in both global and domestic wheat markets. Thus, the objective of this study is to investigate the capabilities of remotely sensed crop indicators for effective agricultural drought monitoring in Kansas wheat-grown regions using MODIS data and crop yield statistics. First, crop indicators such as NDVI, anomaly and cumulative metrics were calculated. Second, the varying impacts of agricultural drought at different stages were explored by examining the relationship between the derived indicators and yields. Also, the starting date of effective agricultural drought early detection and the key agricultural drought alert period were identified. Finally, the thresholds of these indicators for agricultural drought early warning were derived and the implications of these indicators for agricultural drought monitoring were discussed. The preliminary results indicate that drought shows significant impacts from the mid-growing-season (after Mid-April); NDVI anomaly shows effective drought early detection from Late-April, and Late-April to Early-June can be used as the key alert period for agricultural

  20. Crop and medicinal plants proteomics in response to salt stress

    PubMed Central

    Aghaei, Keyvan; Komatsu, Setsuko

    2013-01-01

    Increasing of world population marks a serious need to create new crop cultivars and medicinal plants with high growth and production at any environmental situations. Among the environmental unfavorable conditions, salinity is the most widespread in the world. Crop production and growth severely decreases under salt stress; however, some crop cultivars show significant tolerance against the negative effects of salinity. Among salt stress responses of crops, proteomic responses play a pivotal role in their ability to cope with it and have become the main center of notification. Many physiological responses are detectable in terms of protein increase and decrease even before physiological responses take place. Thus proteomic approach makes a short cut in the way of inferring how crops response to salt stress. Nowadays many salt-responsive proteins such as heat shock proteins, pathogen-related proteins, protein kinases, ascorbate peroxidase, osmotin, ornithine decarboxylase, and some transcription factors, have been detected in some major crops which are thought to give them the ability of withstanding against salt stress. Proteomic analysis of medicinal plants also revealed that alkaloid biosynthesis related proteins such as tryptophan synthase, codeinone reductase, strictosidine synthase, and 12-oxophytodienoate reductase might have major role in production of secondary metabolites. In this review we are comparing some different or similar proteomic responses of several crops and medicinal plants to salt stress and discuss about the future prospects. PMID:23386857

  1. Research on Estimation Crop Planting Area by Integrating the Optical and Microwave Remote Sensing Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Y.; Yu, F.

    2013-07-01

    Considering the problem in monitoring agricultural condition in the semi-arid areas of Northwest of China, we propose a new method for estimation of crop planting area, using the single phase optical and microwave remote sensing data collaboratively, which have demonstrated their respective advantages in the extraction of surface features. In the model, the ASAR backscatter coefficient is normalized by the incident angle at first, then the classifier based on Bayesian network is developed, and the VV, VH polarization of ASAR and all the 7 TM bands are taken as the input of the classifier to get the class labels of each pixel of the images. Moreover the crop planting areas can be extracted by the classification results. At last, the model is validated for the necessities of normalization by the incident angle and integration of TM and ASAR respectively. It results that the estimation accuracy of crop planting area of corn and other crops garden are 98.47% and 78.25% respectively using the proposed method, with an improvement of estimation accuracy of about 3.28% and 4.18% relative to single TM classification. These illustrate that synthesis of optical and microwave remote sensing data is efficient and potential in estimation crop planting area.

  2. Research on estimation crop planting area by integrating the optical and microwave remote sensing data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jiang; Yu, Fan; Liu, Dandan; Tian, Jing; Zhang, Weicheng; Wang, Qiang; Yang, Jinling; Zhang, Lei

    2015-12-01

    Considering the problem in monitoring agricultural condition in the semi-arid areas of Northwest of China, we propose a new method for estimation of crop planting area, using the single phase optical and microwave remote sensing data collaboratively, which have demonstrated their respective advantages in the extraction of surface features. In the model, the ASAR backscatter coefficient is normalized by the incident angle at first, then the classifier based on Bayesian network is developed, and the VV, VH polarization of ASAR and all the 7 TM bands are taken as the input of the classifier to get the class labels of each pixel of the images. Moreover the crop planting areas can be extracted by the classification results. At last, the model is validated for the necessities of normalization by the incident angle and integration of TM and ASAR respectively. It results that the estimation accuracy of crop planting area of corn and other crops garden are 98.47% and 78.25% respectively using the proposed method, with an improvement of estimation accuracy of about 3.28% and 4.18% relative to single TM classification. These illustrate that synthesis of optical and microwave remote sensing data is efficient and potential in estimation crop planting area.

  3. A transgenic approach to enhance phosphorus use efficiency in crops as part of a comprehensive strategy for sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Gaxiola, Roberto A; Edwards, Mark; Elser, James J

    2011-08-01

    Concerns about phosphorus (P) sustainability in agriculture arise not only from the potential of P scarcity but also from the known effects of agricultural P use beyond the field, i.e., eutrophication leading to dead zones in lakes, rivers and coastal oceans due to runoffs from fertilized fields. Plants possess a large number of adaptive responses to P(i) (orthophosphate) limitation that provide potential raw materials to enhance P(i) scavenging abilities of crop plants. Understanding and engineering these adaptive responses to increase the efficiency of crop capture of natural and fertilizer P(i) in soils is one way to optimize P(i) use efficiency (PUE) and, together with other approaches, help to meet the P sustainability challenge in agriculture. Research on the molecular and physiological basis of P(i) uptake is facilitating the generation of plants with enhanced P(i) use efficiency by genetic engineering. Here we describe work done in this direction with emphasis on the up-regulation of plant proton-translocating pyrophosphatases (H(+)-PPases).

  4. Impacts of Watershed Characteristics and Crop Rotations on Winter Cover Crop Nitrate-Nitrogen Uptake Capacity within Agricultural Watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay Region

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Sangchul; Yeo, In-Young; Sadeghi, Ali M.; McCarty, Gregory W.; Hively, W. Dean; Lang, Megan W.

    2016-01-01

    The adoption rate of winter cover crops (WCCs) as an effective conservation management practice to help reduce agricultural nutrient loads in the Chesapeake Bay (CB) is increasing. However, the WCC potential for water quality improvement has not been fully realized at the watershed scale. This study was conducted to evaluate the long-term impact of WCCs on hydrology and NO3-N loads in two adjacent watersheds and to identify key management factors that affect the effectiveness of WCCs using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and statistical methods. Simulation results indicated that WCCs are effective for reducing NO3-N loads and their performance varied based on planting date, species, soil characteristics, and crop rotations. Early-planted WCCs outperformed late-planted WCCs on the reduction of NO3-N loads and early-planted rye (RE) reduced NO3-N loads by ~49.3% compared to the baseline (no WCC). The WCCs were more effective in a watershed dominated by well-drained soils with increased reductions in NO3-N fluxes of ~2.5 kg N·ha-1 delivered to streams and ~10.1 kg N·ha-1 leached into groundwater compared to poorly-drained soils. Well-drained agricultural lands had higher transport of NO3-N in the soil profile and groundwater due to increased N leaching. Poorly-drained agricultural lands had lower NO3-N due to extensive drainage ditches and anaerobic soil conditions promoting denitrification. The performance of WCCs varied by crop rotations (i.e., continuous corn and corn-soybean), with increased N uptake following soybean crops due to the increased soil mineral N availability by mineralization of soybean residue compared to corn residue. The WCCs can reduce N leaching where baseline NO3-N loads are high in well-drained soils and/or when residual and mineralized N availability is high due to the cropping practices. The findings suggested that WCC implementation plans should be established in watersheds according to local edaphic and agronomic

  5. Plant gnotobiology: Epiphytic microbes and sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kutschera, Ulrich; Khanna, Rajnish

    2016-12-01

    In 1963, a monograph by Thomas D. Luckey entitled Germfree Life and Gnotobiology was published, with a focus on animals treated with microbes and reference to the work of Louis Pasteur (1822-1895). Here, we review the history and current status of plant gnotobiology, which can be traced back to the experiments of Jean-Baptiste Boussingault (1801-1887) published in 1838. Since the outer surfaces of typical land plants are much larger than their internal areas, embryophytes "wear their guts on the outside." We describe the principles of gnotobiological analyses, with reference to epiphytic metylobacteria, and sunflower (Helianthus annuus) as well as Arabidopsis as model dicots. Finally, a Californian field experiment aiming to improve crop yield in strawberries (Fragaria ananassa) is described to document the practical value of this novel research agenda.

  6. Activated Carbon Derived from Fast Pyrolysis Liquids Production of Agricultural Residues and Energy Crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fast pyrolysis is a thermochemical method that can be used for processing energy crops such as switchgrass, alfalfa, soybean straw, corn stover as well as agricultural residuals (broiler litter) for bio-oil production. Researchers with the Agriculture Research Service (ARS) of the USDA developed a 2...

  7. Spatial and temporal contrasts in the distribution of crops and pastures across Amazonia: A new agricultural land use data set from census data since 1950

    PubMed Central

    Imbach, P; Manrow, M; Barona, E; Barretto, A; Hyman, G; Ciais, P

    2015-01-01

    Amazonia holds the largest continuous area of tropical forests with intense land use change dynamics inducing water, carbon, and energy feedbacks with regional and global impacts. Much of our knowledge of land use change in Amazonia comes from studies of the Brazilian Amazon, which accounts for two thirds of the region. Amazonia outside of Brazil has received less attention because of the difficulty of acquiring consistent data across countries. We present here an agricultural statistics database of the entire Amazonia region, with a harmonized description of crops and pastures in geospatial format, based on administrative boundary data at the municipality level. The spatial coverage includes countries within Amazonia and spans censuses and surveys from 1950 to 2012. Harmonized crop and pasture types are explored by grouping annual and perennial cropping systems, C3 and C4 photosynthetic pathways, planted and natural pastures, and main crops. Our analysis examined the spatial pattern of ratios between classes of the groups and their correlation with the agricultural extent of crops and pastures within administrative units of the Amazon, by country, and census/survey dates. Significant correlations were found between all ratios and the fraction of agricultural lands of each administrative unit, with the exception of planted to natural pastures ratio and pasture lands extent. Brazil and Peru in most cases have significant correlations for all ratios analyzed even for specific census and survey dates. Results suggested improvements, and potential applications of the database for carbon, water, climate, and land use change studies are discussed. The database presented here provides an Amazon-wide improved data set on agricultural dynamics with expanded temporal and spatial coverage. Key Points Agricultural census database covers Amazon basin municipalities from 1950 to 2012Harmonized database groups crops and pastures by cropping system, C3/C4, and main crops

  8. The threat of plant pathogens as weapons against U.S. crops.

    PubMed

    Madden, L V; Wheelis, M

    2003-01-01

    The U.S. National Research Council (NRC) concluded in 2002 that U.S. agriculture is vulnerable to attack and that the country has inadequate plans for dealing with agricultural bioterrorism. This article addresses the vulnerability of U.S. crops to attack from biological weapons by reviewing the costs and impact of plant diseases on crops, pointing out the difficulty in preventing deliberate introduction of pathogens and discovering new disease outbreaks quickly, and discussing why a plant pathogen might be chosen as a biological weapon. To put the threat into context, a brief historical review of anti-crop biological weapons programs is given. The argument is made that the country can become much better prepared to counter bioterrorism by developing a list of likely anti-crop threat agents, or categories of agents, that is based on a formal risk analysis; making structural changes to the plant protection system, such as expanding diagnostic laboratories, networking the laboratories in a national system, and educating first responders; and by increasing our understanding of the molecular biology and epidemiology of threat agents, which could lead to improved disease control, faster and more sensitive diagnostic methods, and predictions of disease invasion, persistence, and spread following pathogen introduction.

  9. An integrated model for assessing both crop productivity and agricultural water resources at a large scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okada, M.; Sakurai, G.; Iizumi, T.; Yokozawa, M.

    2012-12-01

    Agricultural production utilizes regional resources (e.g. river water and ground water) as well as local resources (e.g. temperature, rainfall, solar energy). Future climate changes and increasing demand due to population increases and economic developments would intensively affect the availability of water resources for agricultural production. While many studies assessed the impacts of climate change on agriculture, there are few studies that dynamically account for changes in water resources and crop production. This study proposes an integrated model for assessing both crop productivity and agricultural water resources at a large scale. Also, the irrigation management to subseasonal variability in weather and crop response varies for each region and each crop. To deal with such variations, we used the Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique to quantify regional-specific parameters associated with crop growth and irrigation water estimations. We coupled a large-scale crop model (Sakurai et al. 2012), with a global water resources model, H08 (Hanasaki et al. 2008). The integrated model was consisting of five sub-models for the following processes: land surface, crop growth, river routing, reservoir operation, and anthropogenic water withdrawal. The land surface sub-model was based on a watershed hydrology model, SWAT (Neitsch et al. 2009). Surface and subsurface runoffs simulated by the land surface sub-model were input to the river routing sub-model of the H08 model. A part of regional water resources available for agriculture, simulated by the H08 model, was input as irrigation water to the land surface sub-model. The timing and amount of irrigation water was simulated at a daily step. The integrated model reproduced the observed streamflow in an individual watershed. Additionally, the model accurately reproduced the trends and interannual variations of crop yields. To demonstrate the usefulness of the integrated model, we compared two types of impact assessment of

  10. Reduced nitrogen losses following conversion of row crop agriculture to perennial biofuel crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Current biofuel feedstock crops such as corn lead to large environmental losses of N through nitrate leaching and N2O emissions, and require large inputs of N fertilizer. Second generation cellulosic crops have the potential to reduce these N losses, and provide even greater biomass for conversion t...

  11. The components of crop productivity: measuring and modeling plant metabolism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugbee, B.

    1995-01-01

    Several investigators in the CELSS program have demonstrated that crop plants can be remarkably productive in optimal environments where plants are limited only by incident radiation. Radiation use efficiencies of 0.4 to 0.7 g biomass per mol of incident photons have been measured for crops in several laboratories. Some early published values for radiation use efficiency (1 g mol-1) were inflated due to the effect of side lighting. Sealed chambers are the basic research module for crop studies for space. Such chambers allow the measurement of radiation and CO2 fluxes, thus providing values for three determinants of plant growth: radiation absorption, photosynthetic efficiency (quantum yield), and respiration efficiency (carbon use efficiency). Continuous measurement of each of these parameters over the plant life cycle has provided a blueprint for daily growth rates, and is the basis for modeling crop productivity based on component metabolic processes. Much of what has been interpreted as low photosynthetic efficiency is really the result of reduced leaf expansion and poor radiation absorption. Measurements and models of short-term (minutes to hours) and long-term (days to weeks) plant metabolic rates have enormously improved our understanding of plant environment interactions in ground-based growth chambers and are critical to understanding plant responses to the space environment.

  12. Net carbon balance of three full crop rotations at an agricultural site near Gebesee, Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurkuck, M.; Brümmer, C.; Kolle, O.; Kutsch, W. L.; Moffat, A. M.; Mukwashi, K.; Truckenbrodt, S. C.; Herbst, M.

    2015-12-01

    Continuous eddy-covariance (EC) measurements of biosphere-atmosphere CO2 and H2O exchange have been conducted since 2001 at an agricultural site near Gebesee, Germany, thus providing one of the longest EC time series of European croplands. During the experimental period, winter wheat and winter barley were alternately planted with potatoes, sugar beet, rape, and peppermint covering three full crop rotations (2001-2004, 2005-2009, and 2010-2014). In this study, data of 14 years of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and evapotranspiration (E) were re-calculated. Based on these data, we present the net carbon (C) balance (net biome production, NBP) accounting for any additional C input by fertilization and C output by harvest. Further emphasis was placed on the sensitivity of water use efficiency (WUE) and E to climate and crop type. The main aim was to investigate the interannual variability in both NBP and WUE, thus disentangling the impacts of climatic conditions and land management on the net C balance as well as on WUE and E.

  13. Subsistence Agriculture versus Cash Cropping: The Social Repercussions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rennie, Sandra Joy

    1991-01-01

    The introduction of cash cropping in the Solomon Islands and Tonga has had negative effects on women, leading to deterioration in their status, decreased leisure time, fewer opportunities to earn cash, increased birth rate (to help with the increased workload), and more sharply defined sex roles. (SV)

  14. Genetically Engineered Crops and Certified Organic Agriculture for Improving Nutrition Security in Africa and South Asia.

    PubMed

    Pray, Carl; Ledermann, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    In Africa and South Asia, where nutrition insecurity is severe, two of the most prominent production technologies are genetically modified (GM) crops and certified organic agriculture. We analyze the potential impact pathways from agricultural production to nutrition. Our review of data and the literature reveals increasing farm-level income from cash crop production as the main pathway by which organic agriculture and GM agriculture improve nutrition. Potential secondary pathways include reduced prices of important food crops like maize due to GM maize production and increased food production using organic technology. Potential tertiary pathways are improvements in health due to reduced insecticide use. Challenges to the technologies achieving their impact include the politics of GM agriculture and the certification costs of organic agriculture. Given the importance of agricultural production in addressing nutrition security, accentuated by the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, the chapter concludes by stressing the importance of private and public sector research in improving the productivity and adoption of both GM and organic crops. In addition, the chapter reminds readers that increased farm income and productivity require complementary investments in health, education, food access and women's empowerment to actually improve nutrition security.

  15. Non-GMO genetically edited crop plants.

    PubMed

    Kanchiswamy, Chidananda Nagamangala; Malnoy, Mickael; Velasco, Riccardo; Kim, Jin-Soo; Viola, Roberto

    2015-09-01

    Direct delivery of purified Cas9 protein with guide RNA into plant cells, as opposed to plasmid-mediated delivery, displays high efficiency and reduced off-target effects. Following regeneration from edited cells, the ensuing plant is also likely to bypass genetically modified organism (GMO) legislation as the genome editing complex is degraded in the recipient cells.

  16. Public Acceptance of Plant Biotechnology and GM Crops.

    PubMed

    Lucht, Jan M

    2015-07-30

    A wide gap exists between the rapid acceptance of genetically modified (GM) crops for cultivation by farmers in many countries and in the global markets for food and feed, and the often-limited acceptance by consumers. This review contrasts the advances of practical applications of agricultural biotechnology with the divergent paths-also affecting the development of virus resistant transgenic crops-of political and regulatory frameworks for GM crops and food in different parts of the world. These have also shaped the different opinions of consumers. Important factors influencing consumer's attitudes are the perception of risks and benefits, knowledge and trust, and personal values. Recent political and societal developments show a hardening of the negative environment for agricultural biotechnology in Europe, a growing discussion-including calls for labeling of GM food-in the USA, and a careful development in China towards a possible authorization of GM rice that takes the societal discussions into account. New breeding techniques address some consumers' concerns with transgenic crops, but it is not clear yet how consumers' attitudes towards them will develop. Discussions about agriculture would be more productive, if they would focus less on technologies, but on common aims and underlying values.

  17. Targeted modification of plant genomes for precision crop breeding.

    PubMed

    Hilscher, Julia; Bürstmayr, Hermann; Stoger, Eva

    2017-01-01

    The development of gene targeting and gene editing techniques based on programmable site-directed nucleases (SDNs) has increased the precision of genome modification and made the outcomes more predictable and controllable. These approaches have achieved rapid advances in plant biotechnology, particularly the development of improved crop varieties. Here, we review the range of alterations which have already been implemented in plant genomes, and summarize the reported efficiencies of precise genome modification. Many crop varieties are being developed using SDN technologies and although their regulatory status in the USA is clear there is still a decision pending in the EU. DNA-free genome editing strategies are briefly discussed because they also present a unique regulatory challenge. The potential applications of genome editing in plant breeding and crop improvement are highlighted by drawing examples from the recent literature.

  18. Precision agriculture in the 21st Century: Geospatial and information technologies in crop management

    SciTech Connect

    1997-12-31

    Agricultural managers have for decades taken advantage of new technologies, including information technologies, that enabled better management decision making and improved economic efficiency of operations. The extent and rate of change now occurring in the development of information technologies have opened the way for significant change in crop production management and agricultural decision making. This vision is reflected in the concept of precision agriculture. Precision agriculture is a phrase that captures the imagination of many concerned with the production of food, feed, and fiber. The concepts embodied in precision agriculture offer the promise of increasing productivity while decreasing production costs and minimizing environmental impacts. Precision agriculture conjures up images of farmers overcoming the elements with computerized machinery that is precisely controlled via satellites and local sensors and using planning software that accurately predicts crop development. This image has been called the future of agriculture. Such high-tech images are engaging. Precision agriculture, however, is in early and rapidly changing phases of innovation. Techniques and practices not anticipated by the committee will likely become common in the future, and some techniques and practices thought to hold high promise today may turn out to be less desirable than anticipated. This report defines precision agriculture as a management strategy that uses information technologies to bring data from multiple sources to bear on decisions associated with crop production. Precision agriculture has three components: capture of data at an appropriate scale and frequency, interpretation and analysis of that data, and implementation of a management response at an appropriate scale and time. The most significant impact of precision agriculture is likely to be on how management decisions address spatial and temporal variability in crop production systems.

  19. Development and testing of crop monitoring methods to improve global agricultural monitoring in support of GEOGLAM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilliams, S. J. B.; Bydekerke, L.

    2014-12-01

    The SIGMA project (Stimulating Innovation for Global Monitoring of Agriculture) is funded through the EC FPY7 Research programme with the particular aim to contribute to the GEOGLAM Research Agenda. It is a partnership of globally distributed expert organizations, focusses on developing innovative techniques and datasets in support of agricultural monitoring and its impact on the environment in support of GEOGLAM. SIGMA has 3 generic objectives which are: (i) develop and test methods to characterize cropland and assess its changes at various scales; (ii) develop and test methods to assess changes in agricultural production levels; and; (iii) study environmental impacts of agriculture. Firstly, multi-scale remote sensing data sets, in combination with field and other ancillary data, are used to generate an improved (global) agro-ecological zoning map and crop mask. Secondly, a combination of agro-meteorological models, satellite-based information and long-term time series are be explored to better assess crop yield gaps and shifts in cultivation. The third research topic entails the development of best practices for assessing the impact of crop land and cropping system change on the environment. In support of the GEO JECAM (Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring) initiative, case studies in Ukraine, Russia, Europe, Africa, Latin America and China are carried out in order to explore possible methodological synergies and particularities according to different cropping systems. This presentation will report on the progress made with respect to the three topics above.

  20. Linking agricultural crop management and air quality models for regional to national-scale nitrogen assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooter, E. J.; Bash, J. O.; Benson, V.; Ran, L.

    2012-10-01

    While nitrogen (N) is an essential element for life, human population growth and demands for energy, transportation and food can lead to excess nitrogen in the environment. A modeling framework is described and implemented to promote a more integrated, process-based and system-level approach to the estimation of ammonia (NH3) emissions which result from the application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers to agricultural soils in the United States. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model is used to simulate plant demand-driven fertilizer applications to commercial cropland throughout the continental US. This information is coupled with a process-based air quality model to produce continental-scale NH3 emission estimates. Regional cropland NH3 emissions are driven by the timing and amount of inorganic NH3 fertilizer applied, soil processes, local meteorology, and ambient air concentrations. Initial fertilizer application often occurs when crops are planted. A state-level evaluation of EPIC-simulated, cumulative planted area compares well with similar USDA reported estimates. EPIC-annual, inorganic fertilizer application amounts also agree well with reported spatial patterns produced by others, but domain-wide the EPIC values are biased about 6% low. Preliminary application of the integrated fertilizer application and air quality modeling system produces a modified geospatial pattern of seasonal NH3 emissions that improves current simulations of observed atmospheric particle nitrate concentrations. This modeling framework provides a more dynamic, flexible, and spatially and temporally resolved estimate of NH3 emissions than previous factor-based NH3 inventories, and will facilitate evaluation of alternative nitrogen and air quality policy and adaptation strategies associated with future climate and land use changes.

  1. Commercial Crop Yields Reveal Strengths and Weaknesses for Organic Agriculture in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Savage, Steven D.; Jabbour, Randa

    2016-01-01

    Land area devoted to organic agriculture has increased steadily over the last 20 years in the United States, and elsewhere around the world. A primary criticism of organic agriculture is lower yield compared to non-organic systems. Previous analyses documenting the yield deficiency in organic production have relied mostly on data generated under experimental conditions, but these studies do not necessarily reflect the full range of innovation or practical limitations that are part of commercial agriculture. The analysis we present here offers a new perspective, based on organic yield data collected from over 10,000 organic farmers representing nearly 800,000 hectares of organic farmland. We used publicly available data from the United States Department of Agriculture to estimate yield differences between organic and conventional production methods for the 2014 production year. Similar to previous work, organic crop yields in our analysis were lower than conventional crop yields for most crops. Averaged across all crops, organic yield averaged 80% of conventional yield. However, several crops had no significant difference in yields between organic and conventional production, and organic yields surpassed conventional yields for some hay crops. The organic to conventional yield ratio varied widely among crops, and in some cases, among locations within a crop. For soybean (Glycine max) and potato (Solanum tuberosum), organic yield was more similar to conventional yield in states where conventional yield was greatest. The opposite trend was observed for barley (Hordeum vulgare), wheat (Triticum aestevum), and hay crops, however, suggesting the geographical yield potential has an inconsistent effect on the organic yield gap. PMID:27552217

  2. Commercial Crop Yields Reveal Strengths and Weaknesses for Organic Agriculture in the United States.

    PubMed

    Kniss, Andrew R; Savage, Steven D; Jabbour, Randa

    2016-01-01

    Land area devoted to organic agriculture has increased steadily over the last 20 years in the United States, and elsewhere around the world. A primary criticism of organic agriculture is lower yield compared to non-organic systems. Previous analyses documenting the yield deficiency in organic production have relied mostly on data generated under experimental conditions, but these studies do not necessarily reflect the full range of innovation or practical limitations that are part of commercial agriculture. The analysis we present here offers a new perspective, based on organic yield data collected from over 10,000 organic farmers representing nearly 800,000 hectares of organic farmland. We used publicly available data from the United States Department of Agriculture to estimate yield differences between organic and conventional production methods for the 2014 production year. Similar to previous work, organic crop yields in our analysis were lower than conventional crop yields for most crops. Averaged across all crops, organic yield averaged 80% of conventional yield. However, several crops had no significant difference in yields between organic and conventional production, and organic yields surpassed conventional yields for some hay crops. The organic to conventional yield ratio varied widely among crops, and in some cases, among locations within a crop. For soybean (Glycine max) and potato (Solanum tuberosum), organic yield was more similar to conventional yield in states where conventional yield was greatest. The opposite trend was observed for barley (Hordeum vulgare), wheat (Triticum aestevum), and hay crops, however, suggesting the geographical yield potential has an inconsistent effect on the organic yield gap.

  3. Boosting Crop Yields with Plant Steroids[W

    PubMed Central

    Vriet, Cécile; Russinova, Eugenia; Reuzeau, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    Plant sterols and steroid hormones, the brassinosteroids (BRs), are compounds that exert a wide range of biological activities. They are essential for plant growth, reproduction, and responses to various abiotic and biotic stresses. Given the importance of sterols and BRs in these processes, engineering their biosynthetic and signaling pathways offers exciting potentials for enhancing crop yield. In this review, we focus on how alterations in components of sterol and BR metabolism and signaling or application of exogenous steroids and steroid inhibitors affect traits of agronomic importance. We also discuss areas for future research and identify the fine-tuning modulation of endogenous BR content as a promising strategy for crop improvement. PMID:22438020

  4. Agricultural Classification of Multi-Temporal MODIS Imagery in Northwest Argentina Using Kansas Crop Phenologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keifer, Jarrett Alexander

    Subtropical deforestation in Latin America is thought to be driven by demand for agricultural land, particularly to grow soybeans. However, existing remote sensing methods that can differentiate crop types to verify this hypothesis require high spatial or spectral resolution data, or extensive ground truth information to develop training sites, none of which are freely available for much of the world. I developed a new method of crop classification based on the phenological signatures of crops extracted from multi-temporal MODIS vegetation indices. I tested and refined this method using the USDA Cropland Data Layer from Kansas, USA as a reference. I then applied the method to classify crop types for a study site in Pellegrini, Santiago Del Estero, Argentina. The results show that this method is unable to effectively separate summer crops in Pellegrini, but can differentiate summer crops and non-summer crops. Unmet assumptions about agricultural practices are primarily responsible for the ineffective summer crop classification, underlining the need for researchers to have a complete understanding of ground conditions when designing a remote sensing analysis.

  5. Designing bioenergy crop buffers to mitigate nitrous oxide emissions and water quality impacts from agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gopalakrishnan, G.; Negri, C. M.

    2010-12-01

    There is a strong societal need to evaluate and understand the environmental aspects of bioenergy production, especially due to the significant increases in production mandated by many countries, including the United States. Bioenergy is a land-based renewable resource and increases in production are likely to result in large-scale conversion of land from current uses to bioenergy crop production; potentially causing increases in the prices of food, land and agricultural commodities as well as disruption of ecosystems. Current research on the environmental sustainability of bioenergy has largely focused on the potential of bioenergy crops to sequester carbon and mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and possible impacts on water quality and quantity. A key assumption in these studies is that bioenergy crops will be grown in a manner similar to current agricultural crops such as corn and hence would affect the environment similarly. This study presents a systems approach where the agricultural, energy and environmental sectors are considered as components of a single system, and bioenergy crops are used to design multi-functional agricultural landscapes that meet society’s requirements for food, energy and environmental protection. We evaluate the production of bioenergy crop buffers on marginal land and using degraded water and discuss the potential for growing cellulosic bioenergy crops such as miscanthus and switchgrass in optimized systems such that (1) marginal land is brought into productive use; (2) impaired water is used to boost yields (3); clean freshwater is left for other uses that require higher water quality; and (4) feedstock diversification is achieved that helps ecological sustainability, biodiversity, and economic opportunities for farmers. The process-based biogeochemical model DNDC was used to simulate crop yield, nitrous oxide production and nitrate concentrations in groundwater when bioenergy crops were grown in buffer strips adjacent to

  6. Paradoxical EU agricultural policies on genetically engineered crops.

    PubMed

    Masip, Gemma; Sabalza, Maite; Pérez-Massot, Eduard; Banakar, Raviraj; Cebrian, David; Twyman, Richard M; Capell, Teresa; Albajes, Ramon; Christou, Paul

    2013-06-01

    European Union (EU) agricultural policy has been developed in the pursuit of laudable goals such as a competitive economy and regulatory harmony across the union. However, what has emerged is a fragmented, contradictory, and unworkable legislative framework that threatens economic disaster. In this review, we present case studies highlighting differences in the regulations applied to foods grown in EU countries and identical imported products, which show that the EU is undermining its own competitiveness in the agricultural sector, damaging both the EU and its humanitarian activities in the developing world. We recommend the adoption of rational, science-based principles for the harmonization of agricultural policies to prevent economic decline and lower standards of living across the continent.

  7. Breeding crop plants with deep roots: their role in sustainable carbon, nutrient and water sequestration

    PubMed Central

    Kell, Douglas B.

    2011-01-01

    Background The soil represents a reservoir that contains at least twice as much carbon as does the atmosphere, yet (apart from ‘root crops’) mainly just the above-ground plant biomass is harvested in agriculture, and plant photosynthesis represents the effective origin of the overwhelming bulk of soil carbon. However, present estimates of the carbon sequestration potential of soils are based more on what is happening now than what might be changed by active agricultural intervention, and tend to concentrate only on the first metre of soil depth. Scope Breeding crop plants with deeper and bushy root ecosystems could simultaneously improve both the soil structure and its steady-state carbon, water and nutrient retention, as well as sustainable plant yields. The carbon that can be sequestered in the steady state by increasing the rooting depths of crop plants and grasses from, say, 1 m to 2 m depends significantly on its lifetime(s) in different molecular forms in the soil, but calculations (http://dbkgroup.org/carbonsequestration/rootsystem.html) suggest that this breeding strategy could have a hugely beneficial effect in stabilizing atmospheric CO2. This sets an important research agenda, and the breeding of plants with improved and deep rooting habits and architectures is a goal well worth pursuing. PMID:21813565

  8. The Genetics of Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Crop Plants.

    PubMed

    Han, Mei; Okamoto, Mamoru; Beatty, Perrin H; Rothstein, Steven J; Good, Allen G

    2015-01-01

    In the past 50 years, the application of synthetic nitrogen (N) fertilizer to farmland resulted in a dramatic increase in crop yields but with considerable negative impacts on the environment. New solutions are therefore needed to simultaneously increase yields while maintaining, or preferably decreasing, applied N to maximize the nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of crops. In this review, we outline the definition of NUE, the selection and development of NUE crops, and the factors that interact with NUE. In particular, we emphasize the challenges of developing crop plants with enhanced NUE, using more classical genetic approaches based on utilizing existing allelic variation for NUE traits. The challenges of phenotyping, mapping quantitative trait loci (QTLs), and selecting candidate genes for NUE improvement are described. In addition, we highlight the importance of different factors that lead to changes in the NUE components of nitrogen uptake efficiency (NUpE) and nitrogen utilization efficiency (NUtE).

  9. Plant exomics: Concepts, applications and methodologies in crop improvement

    PubMed Central

    Hashmi, Uzair; Shafqat, Samia; Khan, Faria; Majid, Misbah; Hussain, Harris; Kazi, Alvina Gul; John, Riffat; Ahmad, Parvaiz

    2015-01-01

    Molecular breeding has a crucial role in improvement of crops. Conventional breeding techniques have failed to ameliorate food production. Next generation sequencing has established new concepts of molecular breeding. Exome sequencing has proven to be a significant tool for assessing natural evolution in plants, studying host pathogen interactions and betterment of crop production as exons assist in interpretation of allelic variation with respect to their phenotype. This review covers the platforms for exome sequencing, next generation sequencing technologies that have revolutionized exome sequencing and led toward development of third generation sequencing. Also discussed in this review are the uses of these sequencing technologies to improve wheat, rice and cotton yield and how these technologies are used in exploring the biodiversity of crops, providing better understanding of plant-host pathogen interaction and assessing the process of natural evolution in crops and it also covers how exome sequencing identifies the gene pool involved in symbiotic and other co-existential systems. Furthermore, we conclude how integration of other methodologies including whole genome sequencing, proteomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics with plant exomics covers the areas which are left untouched with exomics alone and in the end how these integration will transform the future of crops. PMID:25482786

  10. Modeling technical change in climate analysis: evidence from agricultural crop damages.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Adeel; Devadason, Evelyn S; Al-Amin, Abul Quasem

    2017-03-29

    This study accounts for the Hicks neutral technical change in a calibrated model of climate analysis, to identify the optimum level of technical change for addressing climate changes. It demonstrates the reduction to crop damages, the costs to technical change, and the net gains for the adoption of technical change for a climate-sensitive Pakistan economy. The calibrated model assesses the net gains of technical change for the overall economy and at the agriculture-specific level. The study finds that the gains of technical change are overwhelmingly higher than the costs across the agriculture subsectors. The gains and costs following technical change differ substantially for different crops. More importantly, the study finds a cost-effective optimal level of technical change that potentially reduces crop damages to a minimum possible level. The study therefore contends that the climate policy for Pakistan should consider the role of technical change in addressing climate impacts on the agriculture sector.

  11. Innovating Conservation Agriculture: The Case of No-Till Cropping

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coughenour, C. Milton

    2003-01-01

    The extensive sociological studies of conservation agriculture have provided considerable understanding of farmers' use of conservation practices, but attempts to develop predictive models have failed. Reviews of research findings question the utility of the conceptual and methodological perspectives of prior research. The argument advanced here…

  12. Agricultural Production and Business Management: Volume 1 (Crops).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mercer, R. J., Ed.

    The curriculum guide is the first part of a two-year program developed as part of revision of the total agricultural education curriculum in South Carolina. The project was designed to implement the following changes: (1) provide a more comprehensive vocational offering; (2) place a greater emphasis on behavioral objectives; (3) place a greater…

  13. Agricultural water demand, water quality and crop suitability in Souk-Alkhamis Al-Khums, Libya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abunnour, Mohamed Ali; Hashim, Noorazuan Bin Md.; Jaafar, Mokhtar Bin

    2016-06-01

    Water scarcity, unequal population distribution and agricultural activities increased in the coastal plains, and the probability of seawater intrusion with ground water. According to this, the quantitative and qualitative deterioration of underground water quality has become a potential for the occurrence, in addition to the decline in agricultural production in the study area. This paper aims to discover the use of ground water for irrigation in agriculture and their suitability and compatibility for agricultural. On the other hand, the quality is determines by the cultivated crops. 16 random samples of regular groundwater are collected and analyzed chemically. Questionnaires are also distributed randomly on regular basis to farmers.

  14. Modeling Agricultural Crop Production in China using AVHRR-based Vegetation Health Indices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, B.; Kogan, F.; Guo, W.; Zhiyuan, P.; Xianfeng, J.

    Weather related crop losses have always been a concern for farmers On a wider scale it has always influenced decision of Governments traders and other policy makers for the purpose of balanced food supplies trade and distribution of aid to the nations in need Therefore national policy and decision makers are giving increasing importance to early assessment of crop losses in response to weather fluctuations This presentation emphasizes utility of AVHRR-based Vegetation health index VHI for early warning of drought-related losses of agricultural production in China The VHI is a three-channel index characterizing greenness vigor and temperature of land surface which can be used as proxy for estimation of how healthy and potentially productive could be vegetation China is the largest in the world producer of grain including wheat and rice and cotton In the major agricultural areas China s crop production is very dependent on weather The VHI being a proxy indicator of weather impact on vegetation showed some correlation with productivity of agricultural crops during the critical period of their development The periods of the strongest correlation were investigated and used to build regression models where crop yield deviation from technological trend was accepted as a dependent and VHI as independent variables The models were developed for several major crops including wheat corn and soybeans

  15. Tentative critical levels of tropospheric ozone for agricultural crops in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yonekura, T.

    2010-12-01

    Ground level ozone concentrations have increased year by year in Japan. High ozone concentrations have been known to affect growth and yield of agricultural crops. In the US and Europe, much effort has been directed to establish regulatory policies such as secondary air quality standard and critical levels to protect vegetation against ozone. On the contrary, in Japan, there is a few data of agricultural crops sensitivity to ozone. Furthermore, there is no information about the ozone risk of agricultural crop loss by based on ozone index (e.g. AOT40, SUM06, W126)-crop response relationship, yet. The objects of our research are: (1) to screen sensitivity of ozone on 10 crops cultivated in urban area in Japan. (2) to establish critical levels of ozone for protecting agricultural crops based on ozone index-crop response relationship. The 10 Japanese agricultural crops such as Japanese rice, Hanegi (Welsh onion), Shungiku (Crown daisy), Saradana (Lettus), Hatsukadaikon (Radish), Kokabu (Small Turnip), Santosai (Chinese cabbage), Tasai (Spinach mustard), Komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach) and Chingensai (Bok Choy), were fumigated to three levels of ozone (clean air (< 5 ppbv), ambient level of ozone, 1.5 times ambient ozone) in open-top chambers during 30 to 120 days. Those experiments were repeated five times during two growing season. Throughout the experimental period, the growth or yield were measured, and the relationship between growth (or yield) and ozone index was examined. As a result, the influences of ozone on growth or yield were different among 10 crops. Relatively good correlations of coefficients of determination (r2) for linear regressions to growth or yield were obtained with “8h means” and “AOT40” rather than “SUM00”, “SUM06” and “W126”. Critical level for 10 crops in terms of an AOT40 were 1.1 to 2.1 ppm h per month. The ozone sensitive crop in our study was sound to be 1.0 ppm h per month in AOT40.

  16. Agricultural Management Practices Explain Variation in Global Yield Gaps of Major Crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, N. D.; Gerber, J. S.; Ray, D. K.; Ramankutty, N.; Foley, J. A.

    2010-12-01

    The continued expansion and intensification of agriculture are key drivers of global environmental change. Meeting a doubling of food demand in the next half-century will further induce environmental change, requiring either large cropland expansion into carbon- and biodiversity-rich tropical forests or increasing yields on existing croplands. Closing the “yield gaps” between the most and least productive farmers on current agricultural lands is a necessary and major step towards preserving natural ecosystems and meeting future food demand. Here we use global climate, soils, and cropland datasets to quantify yield gaps for major crops using equal-area climate analogs. Consistent with previous studies, we find large yield gaps for many crops in Eastern Europe, tropical Africa, and parts of Mexico. To analyze the drivers of yield gaps, we collected sub-national agricultural management data and built a global dataset of fertilizer application rates for over 160 crops. We constructed empirical crop yield models for each climate analog using the global management information for 17 major crops. We find that our climate-specific models explain a substantial amount of the global variation in yields. These models could be widely applied to identify management changes needed to close yield gaps, analyze the environmental impacts of agricultural intensification, and identify climate change adaptation techniques.

  17. Molecular Breeding to Create Optimized Crops: From Genetic Manipulation to Potential Applications in Plant Factories

    PubMed Central

    Hiwasa-Tanase, Kyoko; Ezura, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Crop cultivation in controlled environment plant factories offers great potential to stabilize the yield and quality of agricultural products. However, many crops are currently unsuited to these environments, particularly closed cultivation systems, due to space limitations, low light intensity, high implementation costs, and high energy requirements. A major barrier to closed system cultivation is the high running cost, which necessitates the use of high-margin crops for economic viability. High-value crops include those with enhanced nutritional value or containing additional functional components for pharmaceutical production or with the aim of providing health benefits. In addition, it is important to develop cultivars equipped with growth parameters that are suitable for closed cultivation. Small plant size is of particular importance due to the limited cultivation space. Other advantageous traits are short production cycle, the ability to grow under low light, and high nutriculture availability. Cost-effectiveness is improved from the use of cultivars that are specifically optimized for closed system cultivation. This review describes the features of closed cultivation systems and the potential application of molecular breeding to create crops that are optimized for cost-effectiveness and productivity in closed cultivation systems. PMID:27200016

  18. Molecular Breeding to Create Optimized Crops: From Genetic Manipulation to Potential Applications in Plant Factories.

    PubMed

    Hiwasa-Tanase, Kyoko; Ezura, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Crop cultivation in controlled environment plant factories offers great potential to stabilize the yield and quality of agricultural products. However, many crops are currently unsuited to these environments, particularly closed cultivation systems, due to space limitations, low light intensity, high implementation costs, and high energy requirements. A major barrier to closed system cultivation is the high running cost, which necessitates the use of high-margin crops for economic viability. High-value crops include those with enhanced nutritional value or containing additional functional components for pharmaceutical production or with the aim of providing health benefits. In addition, it is important to develop cultivars equipped with growth parameters that are suitable for closed cultivation. Small plant size is of particular importance due to the limited cultivation space. Other advantageous traits are short production cycle, the ability to grow under low light, and high nutriculture availability. Cost-effectiveness is improved from the use of cultivars that are specifically optimized for closed system cultivation. This review describes the features of closed cultivation systems and the potential application of molecular breeding to create crops that are optimized for cost-effectiveness and productivity in closed cultivation systems.

  19. Spectral properties of agricultural crops and soils measured from space, aerial, field and laboratory sensors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bauer, M. E.; Vanderbilt, V. C.; Robinson, B. F.; Daughtry, C. S. T.

    1980-01-01

    It is pointed out that in order to develop the full potential of multispectral measurements acquired from satellite or aircraft sensors to monitor, map, and inventory agricultural resources, increased knowledge and understanding of the spectral properties of crops and soils are needed. The present state of knowledge is reviewed, emphasizing current investigations of the multispectral reflectance characteristics of crops and soils as measured from laboratory, field, aerial, and satellite sensor systems. The relationships of important biological and physical characteristics to their spectral properties of crops and soils are discussed. Future research needs are also indicated.

  20. Linking agricultural crop management and air quality models for regional to national-scale nitrogen assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooter, E. J.; Bash, J. O.; Benson, V.; Ran, L.

    2012-05-01

    While nitrogen (N) is an essential element for life, human population growth and demands for energy, transportation and food can lead to excess nitrogen in the environment. A modeling framework is described and implemented, to promote a more integrated, process-based and system-level approach to the estimation of ammonia (NH3) emissions resulting from the application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers to agricultural soils in the United States. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model is used to simulate plant demand-driven fertilizer applications to commercial cropland throughout the continental US. This information is coupled with a process-based air quality model to produce continental-scale NH3 emission estimates. Regional cropland NH3 emissions are driven by the timing and amount of fertilizer applied, local meteorology, and ambient air concentrations. An evaluation of EPIC-simulated crop management activities associated with fertilizer application at planting compared with similar USDA state-level event estimates shows temporally progressive spatial patterns that agree well with one another. EPIC annual inorganic fertilizer application amounts also agree well with reported spatial patterns produced by others, but domain-wide the EPIC values are biased about 6 % low. Preliminary application of the integrated fertilizer application and air quality modeling system produces a modified geospatial pattern of seasonal NH3 emissions that improves current simulations of observed atmospheric nitrate concentrations. This modeling framework provides a more dynamic, flexible, and spatially and temporally resolved estimate of NH3 emissions than previous factor-based NH3 inventories, and will facilitate evaluation of alternative nitrogen and air quality policy and adaptation strategies associated with future climate and land use changes.

  1. PLANT INCORPORATED PROTECTANT CROP MONITORING USING REMOTE SENSING

    EPA Science Inventory

    The extent of past and anticipated plantings of transgenic corn in the United States requires a new approach to monitor this important crop for the development of pest resistance. Remote sensing by aerial and/or satellite images may provide a method of identifying transgenic pest...

  2. Local Crop Planting Systems Enhance Insecticide-Mediated Displacement of Two Invasive Leafminer Fly

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Yulin; Reitz, Stuart R.; Wei, Qingbo; Yu, Wenyan; Zhang, Zhi; Lei, Zhongren

    2014-01-01

    Liriomyza sativae and L. trifolii are highly invasive leafminer pests of vegetable crops that have invaded southern China in recent years. Liriomyza sativae was the first of these species to invade China, but it is now being displaced by L. trifolii. The rate and extent of this displacement vary across southern China. In Hainan, monocultures of highly valuable cowpea are planted and treated extensively with insecticides in attempts to control leafminer damage. In Guangdong, cowpea fields are interspersed with other less valuable crops, such as towel gourd (Luffa cylindrica), which receive significantly fewer insecticide applications than cowpea. To determine how differences in cropping systems influence the Liriomyza species composition, we conducted field trials in 2011 and 2012 in Guangdong where both species were present. We replicated conditions in Hainan by planting cowpea monocultures that were isolated from other agricultural fields, and we replicated conditions in Guangdong by planting cowpea in a mixed crop environment with towel gourd planted in neighboring plots. We then compared leafminer populations in cowpea treated with the insecticide avermectin and untreated cowpea. We also monitored leafminer populations in the untreated towel gourd. Untreated cowpea and towel gourd had comparatively low proportions of L. trifolii, which remained relatively stable over the course of each season. Avermectin applications led to increases in the proportions of L. trifolii, and after three weekly applications populations were >95% L. trifolii in both crop systems. However, the rate of change and persistence of L. trifolii in the mixed crop system were less than in the monocrop. These results indicate that L. trifolii is much less susceptible to avermectin than is L. sativae. Further, L. sativae was able to persist in the untreated towel gourd, which probably enabled it to recolonize treated cowpea. PMID:24651465

  3. Public Acceptance of Plant Biotechnology and GM Crops

    PubMed Central

    Lucht, Jan M.

    2015-01-01

    A wide gap exists between the rapid acceptance of genetically modified (GM) crops for cultivation by farmers in many countries and in the global markets for food and feed, and the often-limited acceptance by consumers. This review contrasts the advances of practical applications of agricultural biotechnology with the divergent paths—also affecting the development of virus resistant transgenic crops—of political and regulatory frameworks for GM crops and food in different parts of the world. These have also shaped the different opinions of consumers. Important factors influencing consumer’s attitudes are the perception of risks and benefits, knowledge and trust, and personal values. Recent political and societal developments show a hardening of the negative environment for agricultural biotechnology in Europe, a growing discussion—including calls for labeling of GM food—in the USA, and a careful development in China towards a possible authorization of GM rice that takes the societal discussions into account. New breeding techniques address some consumers’ concerns with transgenic crops, but it is not clear yet how consumers’ attitudes towards them will develop. Discussions about agriculture would be more productive, if they would focus less on technologies, but on common aims and underlying values. PMID:26264020

  4. Selenium speciation in seleniferous agricultural soils under different cropping systems using sequential extraction and X-ray absorption spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Qin, Hai-Bo; Zhu, Jian-Ming; Lin, Zhi-Qing; Xu, Wen-Po; Tan, De-Can; Zheng, Li-Rong; Takahashi, Yoshio

    2017-03-14

    Selenium (Se) speciation in soil is critically important for understanding the solubility, mobility, bioavailability, and toxicity of Se in the environment. In this study, Se fractionation and chemical speciation in agricultural soils from seleniferous areas were investigated using the elaborate sequential extraction and X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy. The speciation results quantified by XANES technique generally agreed with those obtained by sequential extraction, and the combination of both approaches can reliably characterize Se speciation in soils. Results showed that dominant organic Se (56-81% of the total Se) and lesser Se(IV) (19-44%) were observed in seleniferous agricultural soils. A significant decrease in the proportion of organic Se to the total Se was found in different types of soil, i.e., paddy soil (81%) > uncultivated soil (69-73%) > upland soil (56-63%), while that of Se(IV) presented an inverse tendency. This suggests that Se speciation in agricultural soils can be significantly influenced by different cropping systems. Organic Se in seleniferous agricultural soils was probably derived from plant litter, which provides a significant insight for phytoremediation in Se-laden ecosystems and biofortification in Se-deficient areas. Furthermore, elevated organic Se in soils could result in higher Se accumulation in crops and further potential chronic Se toxicity to local residents in seleniferous areas.

  5. Residues, spatial distribution and risk assessment of DDTs and HCHs in agricultural soil and crops from the Tibetan Plateau.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chuanfei; Wang, Xiaoping; Gong, Ping; Yao, Tandong

    2016-04-01

    Due to its high elevation and cold temperature, the Tibetan Plateau (TP) is regarded as the "Third Pole". Different from other polar regions, which are truly remote, the TP has a small population and a few agricultural activities. In this study, agricultural soil and crop samples (including highland barley and rape) were collected in the main farmland of the TP to obtain the contamination levels of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) in the Tibetan agricultural system as well as the relevant human exposure risks. The average concentrations of DDTs and HCHs in the agricultural soil, highland barley and rape were 1.36, 0.661, 1.03 ng/g dw and 0.349, 0.0364, 0.0225 ng/g dw, respectively. In the agricultural soil, DDTs and HCHs metabolism (DDE, DDD and β-HCH) were abundant, which indicated a "historical" source, whereas crops contained a similar composition ((DDE + DDD)/DDT, α/β-HCH and α/γ-HCH) to that of wild plants, suggesting that the DDTs and HCHs in crops are likely from long range atmospheric transport. The human health risks via non-dietary and dietary to DDTs and HCHs in the farmland were assessed. All of the hazard index (HI) values of DDTs and HCHs for non-carcinogenic risks were <1, and most of the cancer risk values were <10(-6), suggesting that DDTs and HCHs in the farmland will not pose non-carcinogenic risks and will pose only very low cancer risks to the Tibetan residents.

  6. New insights into phosphorus management in agriculture--A crop rotation approach.

    PubMed

    Łukowiak, Remigiusz; Grzebisz, Witold; Sassenrath, Gretchen F

    2016-01-15

    This manuscript presents research results examining phosphorus (P) management in a soil–plant system for three variables: i) internal resources of soil available phosphorus, ii) cropping sequence, and iii) external input of phosphorus (manure, fertilizers). The research was conducted in long-term cropping sequences with oilseed rape (10 rotations) and maize (six rotations) over three consecutive growing seasons (2004/2005, 2005/2006, and 2006/2007) in a production farm on soils originated from Albic Luvisols in Poland. The soil available phosphorus pool, measured as calcium chloride extractable P (CCE-P), constituted 28% to 67% of the total phosphorus input (PTI) to the soil–plant system in the spring. Oilseed rape and maize dominant cropping sequences showed a significant potential to utilize the CCE-P pool within the soil profile. Cropping sequences containing oilseed rape significantly affected the CCE-P pool, and in turn contributed to the P(TI). The P(TI) uptake use efficiency was 50% on average. Therefore, the CCE-P pool should be taken into account as an important component of a sound and reliable phosphorus balance. The instability of the yield prediction, based on the P(TI), was mainly due to an imbalanced management of both farmyard manure and phosphorus fertilizer. Oilseed rape plants provide a significant positive impact on the CCE-P pool after harvest, improving the productive stability of the entire cropping sequence. This phenomenon was documented by the P(TI) increase during wheat cultivation following oilseed rape. The Unit Phosphorus Uptake index also showed a higher stability in oilseed rape cropping systems compared to rotations based on maize. Cropping sequences are a primary factor impacting phosphorus management. Judicious implementation of crop rotations can improve soil P resources, efficiency of crop P use, and crop yield and yield stability. Use of cropping sequences can reduce the need for external P sources such as farmyard manure

  7. Agriculture on Mars: Soils for Plant Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, D. W.

    2016-01-01

    Robotic rovers and landers have enabled the mineralogical, chemical, and physical characterization of loose, unconsolidated materials on the surface of Mars. Planetary scientists refer to the regolith material as "soil." NASA is currently planning to send humans to Mars in the mid 2030s. Early missions may rely on the use of onsite resources to enable exploration and self-sufficient outposts on Mars. The martian "soil" and surface environment contain all essential plant growth elements. The study of martian surface materials and how they might react as agricultural soils opens a new frontier for researchers in the soil science community. Other potential applications for surface "soils" include (i) sources for extraction of essential plant-growth nutrients, (ii) sources of O2, H2, CO2, and H2O, (iii) substrates for microbial populations in the degradation of wastes, and (iv) shielding materials surrounding outpost structures to protect humans, plants, and microorganisms from radiation. There are many challenges that will have to be addressed by soil scientists prior to human exploration over the next two decades.

  8. Variation block-based genomics method for crop plants

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In contrast with wild species, cultivated crop genomes consist of reshuffled recombination blocks, which occurred by crossing and selection processes. Accordingly, recombination block-based genomics analysis can be an effective approach for the screening of target loci for agricultural traits. Results We propose the variation block method, which is a three-step process for recombination block detection and comparison. The first step is to detect variations by comparing the short-read DNA sequences of the cultivar to the reference genome of the target crop. Next, sequence blocks with variation patterns are examined and defined. The boundaries between the variation-containing sequence blocks are regarded as recombination sites. All the assumed recombination sites in the cultivar set are used to split the genomes, and the resulting sequence regions are termed variation blocks. Finally, the genomes are compared using the variation blocks. The variation block method identified recurring recombination blocks accurately and successfully represented block-level diversities in the publicly available genomes of 31 soybean and 23 rice accessions. The practicality of this approach was demonstrated by the identification of a putative locus determining soybean hilum color. Conclusions We suggest that the variation block method is an efficient genomics method for the recombination block-level comparison of crop genomes. We expect that this method will facilitate the development of crop genomics by bringing genomics technologies to the field of crop breeding. PMID:24929792

  9. Stagnating crop yields: An overlooked risk for the carbon balance of agricultural soils?

    PubMed

    Wiesmeier, Martin; Hübner, Rico; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2015-12-01

    The carbon (C) balance of agricultural soils may be largely affected by climate change. Increasing temperatures are discussed to cause a loss of soil organic carbon (SOC) due to enhanced decomposition of soil organic matter, which has a high intrinsic temperature sensitivity. On the other hand, several modeling studies assumed that potential SOC losses would be compensated or even outperformed by an increased C input by crop residues into agricultural soils. This assumption was based on a predicted general increase of net primary productivity (NPP) as a result of the CO2 fertilization effect and prolonged growing seasons. However, it is questionable if the crop C input into agricultural soils can be derived from NPP predictions of vegetation models. The C input in European croplands is largely controlled by the agricultural management and was strongly related to the development of crop yields in the last decades. Thus, a glance at past yield development will probably be more instructive for future estimations of the C input than previous modeling approaches based on NPP predictions. An analysis of European yield statistics indicated that yields of wheat, barley and maize are stagnating in Central and Northern Europe since the 1990s. The stagnation of crop yields can probably be related to a fundamental change of the agricultural management and to climate change effects. It is assumed that the soil C input is concurrently stagnating which would necessarily lead to a decrease of agricultural SOC stocks in the long-term given a constant temperature increase. Remarkably, for almost all European countries that are faced with yield stagnation indications for agricultural SOC decreases were already found. Potentially adverse effects of yield stagnation on the C balance of croplands call for an interdisciplinary investigation of its causes and a comprehensive monitoring of SOC stocks in agricultural soils of Europe.

  10. Systems Biology for Smart Crops and Agricultural Innovation: Filling the Gaps between Genotype and Phenotype for Complex Traits Linked with Robust Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability

    PubMed Central

    Pathak, Rajesh Kumar; Gupta, Sanjay Mohan; Gaur, Vikram Singh; Pandey, Dinesh

    2015-01-01

    Abstract In recent years, rapid developments in several omics platforms and next generation sequencing technology have generated a huge amount of biological data about plants. Systems biology aims to develop and use well-organized and efficient algorithms, data structure, visualization, and communication tools for the integration of these biological data with the goal of computational modeling and simulation. It studies crop plant systems by systematically perturbing them, checking the gene, protein, and informational pathway responses; integrating these data; and finally, formulating mathematical models that describe the structure of system and its response to individual perturbations. Consequently, systems biology approaches, such as integrative and predictive ones, hold immense potential in understanding of molecular mechanism of agriculturally important complex traits linked to agricultural productivity. This has led to identification of some key genes and proteins involved in networks of pathways involved in input use efficiency, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, photosynthesis efficiency, root, stem and leaf architecture, and nutrient mobilization. The developments in the above fields have made it possible to design smart crops with superior agronomic traits through genetic manipulation of key candidate genes. PMID:26484978

  11. Energy crop mapping with enhanced TM/MODIS time series in the BCAP agricultural lands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Cuizhen; Fan, Qian; Li, Qingting; SooHoo, William M.; Lu, Linlin

    2017-02-01

    Since the mid-2000s, agricultural lands in the United States have been undergoing rapid change to meet the increasing bioenergy demand. In 2009 the USDA Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) was established. In its Project Area 1, land owners are financially supported to grow perennial prairie grasses (switchgrass) in their row-crop lands. To promote the program, this study tested the feasibility of biomass crop mapping based on unique timings of crop development. With a previously published data fusion algorithm - the Enhanced Spatial and Temporal Adaptive Reflectance Fusion Model (ESTARFM), a 10-day normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) time series in 2007 was established by fusing MODIS reflectance into TM image series. Two critical dates - peak growing (PG) and peak drying (PD) - were extracted and a unique "PG-0-PD" timing sequence was defined for each crop. With a knowledge-based decision tree approach, the classification of enhanced TM/MODIS time series reached an overall accuracy of 76% against the USDA Crop Data layer (CDL). Especially, our results showed that winter wheat single cropping and wheat-soybean double cropping were much better classified, which may provide additional information for the CDL product. More importantly, this study extracted the first spatial layer of warm-season prairie grasses that have not been published in any national land cover products, which could serve as a base map for decision making of bioenergy land use in BCAP land.

  12. Hormone balance and abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Peleg, Zvi; Blumwald, Eduardo

    2011-06-01

    Plant hormones play central roles in the ability of plants to adapt to changing environments, by mediating growth, development, nutrient allocation, and source/sink transitions. Although ABA is the most studied stress-responsive hormone, the role of cytokinins, brassinosteroids, and auxins during environmental stress is emerging. Recent evidence indicated that plant hormones are involved in multiple processes. Cross-talk between the different plant hormones results in synergetic or antagonic interactions that play crucial roles in response of plants to abiotic stress. The characterization of the molecular mechanisms regulating hormone synthesis, signaling, and action are facilitating the modification of hormone biosynthetic pathways for the generation of transgenic crop plants with enhanced abiotic stress tolerance.

  13. Quantifying the effect of crop spatial arrangement on weed suppression using functional-structural plant modelling.

    PubMed

    Evers, Jochem B; Bastiaans, Lammert

    2016-05-01

    Suppression of weed growth in a crop canopy can be enhanced by improving crop competitiveness. One way to achieve this is by modifying the crop planting pattern. In this study, we addressed the question to what extent a uniform planting pattern increases the ability of a crop to compete with weed plants for light compared to a random and a row planting pattern, and how this ability relates to crop and weed plant density as well as the relative time of emergence of the weed. To this end, we adopted the functional-structural plant modelling approach which allowed us to explicitly include the 3D spatial configuration of the crop-weed canopy and to simulate intra- and interspecific competition between individual plants for light. Based on results of simulated leaf area development, canopy photosynthesis and biomass growth of the crop, we conclude that differences between planting pattern were small, particularly if compared to the effects of relative time of emergence of the weed, weed density and crop density. Nevertheless, analysis of simulated weed biomass demonstrated that a uniform planting of the crop improved the weed-suppression ability of the crop canopy. Differences in weed suppressiveness between planting patterns were largest with weed emergence before crop emergence, when the suppressive effect of the crop was only marginal. With simultaneous emergence a uniform planting pattern was 8 and 15 % more competitive than a row and a random planting pattern, respectively. When weed emergence occurred after crop emergence, differences between crop planting patterns further decreased as crop canopy closure was reached early on regardless of planting pattern. We furthermore conclude that our modelling approach provides promising avenues to further explore crop-weed interactions and aid in the design of crop management strategies that aim at improving crop competitiveness with weeds.

  14. Could Crop Height Impact the Wind Resource at Agriculturally Productive Wind Farm Sites?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderwende, B. J.; Lundquist, J. K.

    2013-12-01

    The agriculture-intensive United States Midwest and Great Plains regions feature some of the best wind resources in the nation. Collocation of cropland and wind turbines introduces complex meteorological interactions that could affect both agriculture and wind power production. Crop management practices may modify the wind resource through alterations of land-surface properties. In this study, we used the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to estimate the impact of crop height variations on the wind resource in the presence of a large turbine array. We parameterized a hypothetical array of 121 1.8 MW turbines at the site of the 2011 Crop/Wind-energy Experiment field campaign using the WRF wind farm parameterization. We estimated the impact of crop choices on power production by altering the aerodynamic roughness length in a region approximately 65 times larger than that occupied by the turbine array. Roughness lengths of 10 cm and 25 cm represent a mature soy crop and a mature corn crop respectively. Results suggest that the presence of the mature corn crop reduces hub-height wind speeds and increases rotor-layer wind shear, even in the presence of a large wind farm which itself modifies the flow. During the night, the influence of the surface was dependent on the boundary layer stability, with strong stability inhibiting the surface drag from modifying the wind resource aloft. Further investigation is required to determine the optimal size, shape, and crop height of the roughness modification to maximize the economic benefit and minimize the cost of such crop management practices.

  15. Effects of crop residue returning on nitrous oxide emissions in agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shan, Jun; Yan, Xiaoyuan

    2013-06-01

    Crop residue returning is a common practice in agricultural system that consequently influences nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Much attention has been focused on the effects of crop residue on N2O release. However, no systematic result has yet been drawn because environmental factors among different studies vary. A meta-analysis was described to integrate 112 scientific assessments of crop residue returning on N2O emissions in this study. Results showed that crop residue returning, when averaged across all studies, had no statistically significant effect on N2O release compared with control treatments. However, the range of effects of crop residue returning on N2O emission was significantly affected by synthetic nitrogen (N) fertilizer application, type of crop residue, specific manner in which crop residue has returned, and type of land-use. N2O release was significantly inhibited by 11.7% and 27.1% (P < 0.05) when crop residue was with synthetic N fertilizer and when type of land-use was paddy, respectively. While N2O emissions were significantly enhanced by 42.1% and 23.5% (P < 0.05) when crop residue was applied alone and when type of land-use was upland, respectively. N2O emissions were likewise increased when crop residue with lower C/N ratio was used, mulching of crop residue was performed, and type of land-use was fallow. Our study provides the first quantitative analysis of crop residue returning on N2O emissions, indicating that crop residue returning has no statistically significant effect on N2O release at regional scale, and underlining that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change guidelines should take the opposite effects of crop residue returning on upland and paddy into account when estimating the N2O emission factor of crop residue for different land-use types. Given that most of data are dominated by certain types of crop residue and specific application methods, more field data are required to reduce uncertainty.

  16. Using a Decision Support System to Optimize Production of Agricultural Crop Residue Biofeedstock

    SciTech Connect

    Reed L. Hoskinson; Ronald C. Rope; Raymond K. Fink

    2007-04-01

    For several years the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has been developing a Decision Support System for Agriculture (DSS4Ag) which determines the economically optimum recipe of various fertilizers to apply at each site in a field to produce a crop, based on the existing soil fertility at each site, as well as historic production information and current prices of fertilizers and the forecast market price of the crop at harvest, for growing a crop such as wheat, potatoes, corn, or cotton. In support of the growing interest in agricultural crop residues as a bioenergy feedstock, we have extended the capability of the DSS4Ag to develop a variable-rate fertilizer recipe for the simultaneous economically optimum production of both grain and straw, and have been conducting field research to test this new DSS4Ag. In this paper we report the results of two years of field research testing and enhancing the DSS4Ag’s ability to economically optimize the fertilization for the simultaneous production of both grain and its straw, where the straw is an agricultural crop residue that can be used as a biofeedstock.

  17. Cyanobacterial toxins: modes of actions, fate in aquatic and soil ecosystems, phytotoxicity and bioaccumulation in agricultural crops.

    PubMed

    Corbel, Sylvain; Mougin, Christian; Bouaïcha, Noureddine

    2014-02-01

    The occurrence of harmful cyanobacterial blooms in surface waters is often accompanied by the production of a variety of cyanotoxins. These toxins are designed to target in humans and animals specific organs on which they act: hepatotoxins (liver), neurotoxins (nervous system), cytotoxic alkaloids, and dermatotoxins (skin), but they often have important side effects too. When introduced into the soil ecosystem by spray irrigation of crops they may affect the same molecular pathways in plants having identical or similar target organs, tissues, cells or biomolecules. There are also several indications that terrestrial plants, including food crop plants, can bioaccumulate cyanotoxins and present, therefore, potential health hazards for human and animals. The number of publications concerned with phytotoxic effects of cyanotoxins on agricultural plants has increased recently. In this review, we first examine different cyanotoxins and their modes of actions in humans and mammals and occurrence of target biomolecules in vegetable organisms. Then we present environmental concentrations of cyanotoxins in freshwaters and their fate in aquatic and soil ecosystems. Finally, we highlight bioaccumulation of cyanotoxins in plants used for feed and food and its consequences on animals and human health. Overall, our review shows that the information on the effects of cyanotoxins on non-target organisms in the terrestrial environment is particularly scarce, and that there are still serious gaps in the knowledge about the fate in the soil ecosystems and phytotoxicity of these toxins.

  18. Simulated crop yield in response to changes in climate and agricultural practices: results from a simple process based model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caldararu, S.; Smith, M. J.; Purves, D.; Emmott, S.

    2013-12-01

    Global agriculture will, in the future, be faced with two main challenges: climate change and an increase in global food demand driven by an increase in population and changes in consumption habits. To be able to predict both the impacts of changes in climate on crop yields and the changes in agricultural practices necessary to respond to such impacts we currently need to improve our understanding of crop responses to climate and the predictive capability of our models. Ideally, what we would have at our disposal is a modelling tool which, given certain climatic conditions and agricultural practices, can predict the growth pattern and final yield of any of the major crops across the globe. We present a simple, process-based crop growth model based on the assumption that plants allocate above- and below-ground biomass to maintain overall carbon optimality and that, to maintain this optimality, the reproductive stage begins at peak nitrogen uptake. The model includes responses to available light, water, temperature and carbon dioxide concentration as well as nitrogen fertilisation and irrigation. The model is data constrained at two sites, the Yaqui Valley, Mexico for wheat and the Southern Great Plains flux site for maize and soybean, using a robust combination of space-based vegetation data (including data from the MODIS and Landsat TM and ETM+ instruments), as well as ground-based biomass and yield measurements. We show a number of climate response scenarios, including increases in temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations as well as responses to irrigation and fertiliser application.

  19. New roller/crimper concepts for mechanical termination of cover crops in conservaton agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rollers/crimpers have been used in conservation agriculture to terminate cover crops, however, excessive vibration generated by the original straight-bar roller design has delayed adoption of this technology in the United States. To avoid excessive vibration, producers generally reduce operating spe...

  20. Radio/antenna mounting system for wireless networking under row-crop agriculture conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Interest in and deployment of wireless monitoring systems is increasing in many diverse environments, including row-crop agricultural fields. While many studies have been undertaken to evaluate various aspects of wireless monitoring and networking, such as electronic hardware components, data-colle...

  1. Optimization based trade-off analysis of biodiesel crop production for managing a German agricultural catchment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In agricultural production, the existence of multiple trade-offs among several conflicting objectives, such as food production, water quantity, water quality, biodiversity and ecosystem services, is well known. However, quantification of the trade-offs among objectives in bioenergy crop production i...

  2. ADJUSTMENT, MAINTENANCE, AND REPAIR OF CROP HARVESTING MACHINERY. AGRICULTURAL MACHINERY--SERVICE OCCUPATIONS, MODULE NUMBER 11.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ohio State Univ., Columbus. Center for Vocational and Technical Education.

    ONE OF A SERIES DESIGNED FOR HELPING TEACHERS PREPARE POSTSECONDARY-LEVEL STUDENTS FOR AGRICULTURAL MACHINERY SERVICE OCCUPATIONS AS PARTS MEN, MECHANICS, MECHANIC'S HELPERS, AND SERVICE SUPERVISORS, THIS GUIDE AIMS TO DEVELOP STUDENT COMPETENCY IN ADJUSTING, REPAIRING, AND MAINTAINING CROP HARVESTING MACHINERY. SUGGESTIONS FOR INTRODUCTION OF THE…

  3. Airborne and satellite imagery for mapping crop yield variability and other precision agriculture applications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    With increased use of precision agriculture techniques, information concerning within-field yield variability is becoming important for effective crop management. Despite the commercial availability of yield monitors, most of the harvesters are not equipped with them. Moreover, yield monitor data ca...

  4. Selected examples of dispersal of arthropods associated with agricultural crop and animal production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henneberry, T. J.

    1979-01-01

    The economic importance of arthropods in agricultural production systems and the possibilities of using dispersal behavior to develop and manipulate control are examined. Examples of long and short distance dispersal of economic insect pests and beneficial species from cool season host reservoirs and overwintering sites are presented. Significant dispersal of these species often occurring during crop and animal production is discussed.

  5. Micronutrient-Efficient Genotypes for Crop Yield and Nutritional Quality in Sustainable Agriculture: A Review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Micronutrient deficiency is a limiting factor for crop productivity in many agricultural lands worldwide. Furthermore, many food systems in developing countries can not provide sufficient micronutrient contents to meet the demands of their people, especially low-income families. Several approaches...

  6. Toward agricultural sustainability through integrated crop-livestock systems: Environmental outcomes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Intensification of cropping and animal production as two separately specialized agricultural systems has led to unacceptable deterioration of the environment due to (i) excessive concentration of nutrients and pathogens in livestock production systems and (ii) loss of natural biodiversity and excess...

  7. Satellite Estimates of Crop Area and Maize Yield in Zambia's Agricultural Districts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azzari, G.; Lobell, D. B.

    2015-12-01

    Predicting crop yield and area from satellite is a valuable tool to monitor different aspects of productivity dynamics and food security. In Sub-Saharan Africa, where the agricultural landscape is complex and dominated by smallholder systems, such dynamics need to be investigated at the field scale. We leveraged the large data pool and computational power of Google Earth Engine to 1) generate 30 m resolution cover maps of selected provinces of Zambia, 2) estimate crop area, and 3) produce yearly maize yield maps using the recently developed SCYM (Scalable satellite-based Crop Yield Mapper) algorithm. We will present our results and their validation against a ground survey dataset collected yearly by the Zambia Ministry of Agriculture from about 12,500 households.

  8. Agricultural pesticide emissions associated with common crops in the United States

    SciTech Connect

    Benjey, W.G.

    1993-01-01

    Annual emissions for the year 1987 from the application of agricultural pesticides have been estimated by crop type by county for the United States using a geographic information system. The emissions estimates are based upon computed volatilization rates accounting for the properties of each pesticide, evaporation rates, mode of application (surface or soil incorporation) and percent of interception by leaves. Key pesticide properties include the Henry's Law constant, half-life in soil and the organic carbon partitioning coefficient. The volatilization rates are multiplied by the amount of pesticide applied by crop acreage in each county as determined from agricultural census and pesticide sales data. The geographic distribution of the dominant emissions, such as atrazine and diazinon, etc. are presented by crop type and state. For a given pesticide, the geographic variability is controlled principally by amount applied and water availability as reflected in evaporation rates.

  9. U.S. Department of Agriculture UV-Monitoring and Research Program and Integrated Crop Modeling Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, W.; Davis, J. M.; Liang, X.; Schmoldt, D. L.

    2008-12-01

    The US Department of Agriculture's UV Monitoring and Research Program (USDA-UVMRP) has monitored surface solar irradiance in the UV and visible regions of the spectrum for over a decade. Measurements of spectral irradiance have been made at 34 sites in the US as well as one site in New Zealand and two in Canada. These measurements are complemented by readings of the erythemally weighted irradiance and Photosynthetically Active Radiation. The purpose of the network is to supply datan used to assess the risk to agriculture of variations in incident solar radiation. A robust climatology of these data has been constructed, and it serves a multitude of requests from the agricultural, medical and industrial communities. The USDA- UVMRP at Colorado State University is also the home of the Center of Remote Sensing and Modeling for Agricultural Sustainability (CRSMAS). The purpose of CRSMAS is twofold: first, to evaluate response of plants, forests, ecosystems, and animals to UV-B and other climate stress factors; and second, to develop an Integrated Agricultural Impact Assessment System. The Integrated Agricultural Impact Assessment System couples a state-of-the-art mesoscale region Climate-Weather Research and Forecasting model (CWRF) with the most comprehensive crop growth models to study climate-crop interactions. The data from the USDA- UVMRP network is used in conjunction with data assimilated from various satellite platforms as input into the CWRF model. A overview of the UVMRP network, its instrumentation and climatological results will be presented as well as an example of the application of the Integrated Impact Assessment System to a study of the response of cotton yields to climate stresses during the 1979-2005 period.

  10. Multiwavelength laser line profile sensing for agricultural crop characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strothmann, Wolfram; Ruckelshausen, Arno; Hertzberg, Joachim

    2014-05-01

    Triangulation-based laser line profile sensing is a widely used technique for precise and fast 3D measurement in industrial applications. More recently, it is used for applications in the area of outdoor agricultural sensing as well. However, in many agricultural applications high resolution range data by itself is insufficient. There is also a strong need for local spectral intensity information. As a consequence the combination of image-based range scanners with spectral imaging is often necessary. Under varying environmental conditions this is a tedious and error-prone problem, though. In contrast, the novel approach shown here allows capturing range data along with spectral laser reflectance and pixel-wise backscattering information at multiple, selectable wavelengths using a single sensor system. The system consists of multiple continuous wave (CW) line lasers simultaneously captured by a single monochrome imager. A system ready to capture 3 line lasers at 100 Hz was set up. Line lasers at different wavelengths in the visible and NIR range can be combined in accordance with the requirements of a specific application. Consecutively captured images are matched using sum of absolute differences (SAD) in order for tracking relative movement between the sensor system and the analyzed object. This allows normalizing images before the evaluation of reflectance and scattering. Furthermore, the SAD-based matching is used for accurate assembly of range and reflectance information gathered from different laser lines. It results in 3D point clouds with spectral laser reflectance and backscattering information at multiple, selectable wavelengths available for each point.

  11. Cover crop mixtures for promoting arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in production agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associate with an estimated 80-90 percent of flowering plants and virtually every crop species that supplies food to the world. AMF play a vital role in nutrient uptake and are particularly adept at increasing phosphorus availability to plants. With the growing e...

  12. GEOGLAM best available crop masks and calendars for the four primary crop types (corn, wheat, soy and rice) within the main agricultural producing regions of the world.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barker, B.; McGaughey, K.; Humber, M. L.; Nordling, J.; Claverie, M.; Justice, C. O.; Deshayes, M.; Becker-Reshef, I.

    2014-12-01

    The Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative was developed by the Group on Earth Observations in order to produce and disseminate relevant, timely and accurate forecasts of agricultural production at national, regional and global scales through the use of earth observations, agro-meteorological data, field reports and national level expertise. As part of this goal GEOGLAM has developed the monthly GEOGLAM Crop Monitor, which provides coordinated global crop assessments on the four primary crop types (corn, wheat, soy and rice) within the main agricultural producing regions of the world. As a component of these assessments the GEOGLAM Crop Monitor has developed best available crop specific masks and seasonal specific calendars for each of the four primary crop types within these main producing regions of the world based on Crop Monitor partner products and inputs. These crop masks and calendars are due to be publically released in order to be of benefit to the greater agricultural research and monitoring communities. This talk will discuss the sources and development of these crop specific masks and calendars.

  13. Rationalising vitamin B6 biofortification in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Fudge, Jared; Mangel, Nathalie; Gruissem, Wilhelm; Vanderschuren, Hervé; Fitzpatrick, Teresa B

    2017-01-10

    Vitamin B6 encompasses a group of related compounds (vitamers) that can only be biosynthesised de novo by plants and microorganisms. Enzymatic cofactor and antioxidant functions for vitamin B6 are established in all kingdoms. Human vitamin B6 dietary insufficiency or genetic defects in B6 vitamer interconversion result in various neurological and inflammatory pathologies with several populations at-risk or marginal for vitamin B6 status. Three (rice, wheat and cassava) of the world's top five staple crops do not meet the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin B6, when consumed as a major proportion of the diet. In addition, controlled enhancement of the appropriate B6 vitamer in crops has the potential to confer stress resistance. Thus, crop biofortification strategies represent an opportunity to reduce the risk of deficiency in populations with limited diet diversity and quality, as well as improving stress tolerance.

  14. Cover crop biomass harvest for bioenergy: implications for crop productivity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Winter cover crops, such as rye (Secale cereale), are usually used in conservation agriculture systems in the Southeast. Typically, the cover crop is terminated two to three weeks before planting the summer crop, with the cover biomass left on the soil surface as a mulch. However, these cover crops ...

  15. Spatial Optimization of Cropping Pattern in an Agricultural Watershed for Food and Biofuel Production with Minimum Downstream Pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pv, F.; Sudheer, K.; Chaubey, I.; RAJ, C.; Her, Y.

    2013-05-01

    Biofuel is considered to be a viable alternative to meet the increasing fuel demand, and therefore many countries are promoting agricultural activities that help increase production of raw material for biofuel production. Mostly, the biofuel is produced from grain based crops such as Corn, and it apparently create a shortage in food grains. Consequently, there have been regulations to limit the ethanol production from grains, and to use cellulosic crops as raw material for biofuel production. However, cultivation of such cellulosic crops may have different effects on water quality in the watershed. Corn stover, one of the potential cellulosic materials, when removed from the agricultural field for biofuel production, causes a decrease in the organic nutrients in the field. This results in increased use of pesticides and fertilizers which in turn affect the downstream water quality due to leaching of the chemicals. On the contrary, planting less fertilizer-intensive cellulosic crops, like Switch Grass and Miscanthus, is expected to reduce the pollutant loadings from the watershed. Therefore, an ecologically viable land use scenario would be a mixed cropping of grain crops and cellulosic crops, that meet the demand for food and biofuel without compromising on the downstream water quality. Such cropping pattern can be arrived through a simulation-optimization framework. Mathematical models can be employed to evaluate various management scenarios related to crop production and to assess its impact on water quality. Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model is one of the most widely used models in this context. SWAT can simulate the water and nutrient cycles, and also quantify the long-term impacts of land management practices, in a watershed. This model can therefore help take decisions regarding the type of cropping and management practices to be adopted in the watershed such that the water quality in the rivers is maintained at acceptable level. In this study, it

  16. The Impact of Crop, Pest, and Agricultural Management Practices on Mycotoxin Contamination of Field Crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mycotoxins are highly toxic secondary metabolites produced by several fungal genera which occur in a wide variety of agricultural commodities worldwide. Health issues and economic losses due to mycotoxin contamination occur at all stages of the food and feed production process. Mycotoxigenic fungi...

  17. Early agriculture and crop transmission among Bronze Age mobile pastoralists of Central Eurasia

    PubMed Central

    Spengler, Robert; Frachetti, Michael; Doumani, Paula; Rouse, Lynne; Cerasetti, Barbara; Bullion, Elissa; Mar'yashev, Alexei

    2014-01-01

    Archaeological research in Central Eurasia is exposing unprecedented scales of trans-regional interaction and technology transfer between East Asia and southwest Asia deep into the prehistoric past. This article presents a new archaeobotanical analysis from pastoralist campsites in the mountain and desert regions of Central Eurasia that documents the oldest known evidence for domesticated grains and farming among seasonally mobile herders. Carbonized grains from the sites of Tasbas and Begash illustrate the first transmission of southwest Asian and East Asian domesticated grains into the mountains of Inner Asia in the early third millennium BC. By the middle second millennium BC, seasonal camps in the mountains and deserts illustrate that Eurasian herders incorporated the cultivation of millet, wheat, barley and legumes into their subsistence strategy. These findings push back the chronology for domesticated plant use among Central Eurasian pastoralists by approximately 2000 years. Given the geography, chronology and seed morphology of these data, we argue that mobile pastoralists were key agents in the spread of crop repertoires and the transformation of agricultural economies across Asia from the third to the second millennium BC. PMID:24695428

  18. Early agriculture and crop transmission among Bronze Age mobile pastoralists of Central Eurasia.

    PubMed

    Spengler, Robert; Frachetti, Michael; Doumani, Paula; Rouse, Lynne; Cerasetti, Barbara; Bullion, Elissa; Mar'yashev, Alexei

    2014-05-22

    Archaeological research in Central Eurasia is exposing unprecedented scales of trans-regional interaction and technology transfer between East Asia and southwest Asia deep into the prehistoric past. This article presents a new archaeobotanical analysis from pastoralist campsites in the mountain and desert regions of Central Eurasia that documents the oldest known evidence for domesticated grains and farming among seasonally mobile herders. Carbonized grains from the sites of Tasbas and Begash illustrate the first transmission of southwest Asian and East Asian domesticated grains into the mountains of Inner Asia in the early third millennium BC. By the middle second millennium BC, seasonal camps in the mountains and deserts illustrate that Eurasian herders incorporated the cultivation of millet, wheat, barley and legumes into their subsistence strategy. These findings push back the chronology for domesticated plant use among Central Eurasian pastoralists by approximately 2000 years. Given the geography, chronology and seed morphology of these data, we argue that mobile pastoralists were key agents in the spread of crop repertoires and the transformation of agricultural economies across Asia from the third to the second millennium BC.

  19. Meteorological risks, impacts on crop production systems and agricultural insurances in Belgium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gobin, A.; Piccard, I.

    2012-04-01

    Devastating weather-related events recorded in recent years have captured the interest of the general public in Belgium. Extreme weather events such as droughts, heat stress, rain storms and floods are projected to increase both in frequency and magnitude with climate change. Since more than half of the Belgian territory is managed by the agricultural sector, extreme events have significant impacts on agro-ecosystem services and pose severe limitations to sustainable agricultural land management. The perspective of rising risk-exposure is exacerbated further by more limits to aid received for agricultural damage (amendments to EC Regulation 1857/2006) and an overall reduction of direct income support to farmers. Current knowledge gaps related to the occurrence of extreme events and the response of agro-ecosystems need to be addressed in conjunction with their vulnerability, resilience and adaptive possibilities. A chain of risks approach starts with assessing the likely frequency and magnitude of extreme meteorological events by means of probability density functions. Impacts are subsequently based on physically based models that provide information on the state of the damage at any given time and assist in understanding the links between different factors causing damage and in determining bio-physical vulnerability. The output of regional bio-physical models is compared with remote sensing based algorithms applied on SPOT-VGT temporal data. Crop damage and risk indicators are derived from remote sensing, meteorological records, crop modelling and agricultural statistics and compared to damage statistics obtained from the government-based agricultural disaster funds. Damages due to adverse meteorological events are strongly dependent on crop type, crop stage and soil type. Spatio-temporal indicators of drought during the growing season and waterlogging at harvest showed the highest agreement with damage, followed by hail and frost. In general potatoes, flax and

  20. Agricultural biotechnology for crop improvement in a variable climate: hope or hype?

    PubMed

    Varshney, Rajeev K; Bansal, Kailash C; Aggarwal, Pramod K; Datta, Swapan K; Craufurd, Peter Q

    2011-07-01

    Developing crops that are better adapted to abiotic stresses is important for food production in many parts of the world today. Anticipated changes in climate and its variability, particularly extreme temperatures and changes in rainfall, are expected to make crop improvement even more crucial for food production. Here, we review two key biotechnology approaches, molecular breeding and genetic engineering, and their integration with conventional breeding to develop crops that are more tolerant of abiotic stresses. In addition to a multidisciplinary approach, we also examine some constraints that need to be overcome to realize the full potential of agricultural biotechnology for sustainable crop production to meet the demands of a projected world population of nine billion in 2050.

  1. Diamondback Moth (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) Exhibits Oviposition and Larval Feeding Preferences Among Crops, Wild plants, and Ornamentals as Host Plants.

    PubMed

    Newman, K; You, M; Vasseur, L

    2016-04-01

    Diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), is an agricultural pest with high reproductive potential, widespread distribution, and high resistance to different types of insecticides. Although diamondback moth is a common research subject, questions remain regarding its spatial and temporal host plant usage patterns and preferences within agroecosystems. We examined the adult oviposition and larval feeding preferences of the diamondback moth to assess the potential of alternate host plants as either reservoirs or trap crops. Adult females and third and fourth instars were offered multiple plant species within the plant family Brassicaceae to examine contact preferences and larval ingestion rates. Adult oviposition and larval feeding preferences were identical, with garden cress (Lepidium sativum) (L.) highly preferred, followed by wintercress (Barbarea vulgaris) (L.) and black mustard (Brassica nigra) (L.). Ingestion rates varied among tested plants, with the lowest rate on black mustard and highest on aubretia (Aubretia deltoidea) (L.). Highly preferred plant species were determined to be unfavorable for larval growth and potentially lethal to neonates, suggesting their possible use as trap crops. Understanding ovipositional and larval feeding preferences of diamondback moth can also aid in the development of more accurate monitoring and control strategies for this pest.

  2. Agricultural anaerobic digestion power plants in Ireland and Germany: policy and practice.

    PubMed

    Auer, Agathe; Vande Burgt, Nathan H; Abram, Florence; Barry, Gerald; Fenton, Owen; Markey, Bryan K; Nolan, Stephen; Richards, Karl; Bolton, Declan; De Waal, Theo; Gordon, Stephen V; O'Flaherty, Vincent; Whyte, Paul; Zintl, Annetta

    2017-02-01

    The process of anaerobic digestion (AD) is valued as a carbon-neutral energy source, while simultaneously treating organic waste, making it safer for disposal or use as a fertilizer on agricultural land. The AD process in many European nations, such as Germany, has grown from use of small, localized digesters to the operation of large-scale treatment facilities, which contribute significantly to national renewable energy quotas. However, these large AD plants are costly to run and demand intensive farming of energy crops for feedstock. Current policy in Germany has transitioned to support funding for smaller digesters, while also limiting the use of energy crops. AD within Ireland, as a new technology, is affected by ambiguous governmental policies concerning waste and energy. A clear governmental strategy supporting on-site AD processing of agricultural waste will significantly reduce Ireland's carbon footprint, improve the safety and bioavailability of agricultural waste, and provide an indigenous renewable energy source. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  3. The biospeckle method for the investigation of agricultural crops: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zdunek, Artur; Adamiak, Anna; Pieczywek, Piotr M.; Kurenda, Andrzej

    2014-01-01

    Biospeckle is a nondestructive method for the evaluation of living objects. It has been applied to medicine, agriculture and microbiology for monitoring processes related to the movement of material particles. Recently, this method is extensively used for evaluation of quality of agricultural crops. In the case of botanical materials, the sources of apparent biospeckle activity are the Brownian motions and biological processes such as cyclosis, growth, transport, etc. Several different applications have been shown to monitor aging and maturation of samples, organ development and the detection and development of defects and diseases. This review will focus on three aspects: on the image analysis and mathematical methods for biospeckle activity evaluation, on published applications to botanical samples, with special attention to agricultural crops, and on interpretation of the phenomena from a biological point of view.

  4. Differential Impacts of Climate Change on Crops and Agricultural Regions in India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, A. N.

    2015-12-01

    As India's farmers and policymakers consider potential adaptation strategies to climate change, some questions loom large: - Which climate variables best explain the variability of crop yields? - How does the vulnerability of crop yields to climate vary regionally? - How are these risks likely to change in the future? While process-based crop modelling has started to answer many of these questions, we believe statistical approaches can complement these in improving our understanding of climate vulnerabilities and appropriate responses. We use yield data collected over three decades for more than ten food crops grown in India along with a variety of statistical approaches to answer the above questions. The ability of climate variables to explain yield variation varies greatly by crop and season, which is expected. Equally important, the ability of models to predict crop yields as well as their coefficients varies greatly by district even for districts which are relatively close to each other and similar in their agricultural practices. We believe these results encourage caution and nuance when making projections about climate impacts on crop yields in the future. Most studies about climate impacts on crop yields focus on a handful of major food crops. By extending our analysis to all the crops with long-term district level data in India as well as two growing seasons we gain a more comprehensive picture. Our results indicate that there is a great deal of variability even at relatively small scales, and that this must be taken into account if projections are to be made useful to policymakers.

  5. How do crop plants tolerate acid soils? Mechanisms of aluminum tolerance and phosphorous efficiency.

    PubMed

    Kochian, Leon V; Hoekenga, Owen A; Pineros, Miguel A

    2004-01-01

    Acid soils significantly limit crop production worldwide because approximately 50% of the world's potentially arable soils are acidic. Because acid soils are such an important constraint to agriculture, understanding the mechanisms and genes conferring tolerance to acid soil stress has been a focus of intense research interest over the past decade. The primary limitations on acid soils are toxic levels of aluminum (Al) and manganese (Mn), as well as suboptimal levels of phosphorous (P). This review examines our current understanding of the physiological, genetic, and molecular basis for crop Al tolerance, as well as reviews the emerging area of P efficiency, which involves the genetically based ability of some crop genotypes to tolerate P deficiency stress on acid soils. These are interesting times for this field because researchers are on the verge of identifying some of the genes that confer Al tolerance in crop plants; these discoveries will open up new avenues of molecular/physiological inquiry that should greatly advance our understanding of these tolerance mechanisms. Additionally, these breakthroughs will provide new molecular resources for improving crop Al tolerance via both molecular-assisted breeding and biotechnology.

  6. Could Crop Height Affect the Wind Resource at Agriculturally Productive Wind Farm Sites?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderwende, Brian; Lundquist, Julie K.

    2016-03-01

    The collocation of cropland and wind turbines in the US Midwest region introduces complex meteorological interactions that could influence both agriculture and wind-power production. Crop management practices may affect the wind resource through alterations of land-surface properties. We use the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model to estimate the impact of crop height variations on the wind resource in the presence of a large turbine array. A hypothetical wind farm consisting of 121 1.8-MW turbines is represented using the WRF model wind-farm parametrization. We represent the impact of selecting soybeans rather than maize by altering the aerodynamic roughness length in a region approximately 65 times larger than that occupied by the turbine array. Roughness lengths of 0.1 and 0.25 m represent the mature soy crop and a mature maize crop, respectively. In all but the most stable atmospheric conditions, statistically significant hub-height wind-speed increases and rotor-layer wind-shear reductions result from switching from maize to soybeans. Based on simulations for the entire month of August 2013, wind-farm energy output increases by 14 %, which would yield a significant monetary gain. Further investigation is required to determine the optimal size, shape, and crop height of the roughness modification to maximize the economic benefit and minimize the cost of such crop-management practices. These considerations must be balanced by other influences on crop choice such as soil requirements and commodity prices.

  7. Could crop height affect the wind resource at agriculturally productive wind farm sites?

    SciTech Connect

    Vanderwende, Brian; Lundquist, Julie K.

    2015-11-07

    The collocation of cropland and wind turbines in the US Midwest region introduces complex meteorological interactions that could influence both agriculture and wind-power production. Crop management practices may affect the wind resource through alterations of land-surface properties. We use the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model to estimate the impact of crop height variations on the wind resource in the presence of a large turbine array. A hypothetical wind farm consisting of 121 1.8-MW turbines is represented using the WRF model wind-farm parametrization. We represent the impact of selecting soybeans rather than maize by altering the aerodynamic roughness length in a region approximately 65 times larger than that occupied by the turbine array. Roughness lengths of 0.1 and 0.25 m represent the mature soy crop and a mature maize crop, respectively. In all but the most stable atmospheric conditions, statistically significant hub-height wind-speed increases and rotor-layer wind-shear reductions result from switching from maize to soybeans. Based on simulations for the entire month of August 2013, wind-farm energy output increases by 14 %, which would yield a significant monetary gain. Further investigation is required to determine the optimal size, shape, and crop height of the roughness modification to maximize the economic benefit and minimize the cost of such crop-management practices. As a result, these considerations must be balanced by other influences on crop choice such as soil requirements and commodity prices.

  8. Agriculture in the developing world: Connecting innovations in plant research to downstream applications

    PubMed Central

    Delmer, Deborah P.

    2005-01-01

    Enhancing agricultural productivity in those areas of the world bypassed by the Green Revolution will require new approaches that provide incentives and funding mechanisms that promote the translation of new innovations in plant science into concrete benefits for poor farmers. Through better dialogue, plant breeders and laboratory scientists from both the public and private-sectors need to find solutions for the key constraints to crop production, many of which center around abiotic and biotic stresses. The revolution in plant genomics has opened up new perspectives and opportunities for plant breeders who can now apply molecular markers to assess and enhance diversity in their germplasm collections, to introgress valuable traits from new sources, and to identify genes that control key traits. Functional genomics is also providing another powerful route to the identification of such genes. The ability to introgress beneficial genes under the control of specific promoters through transgenic approaches is yet one more stepping stone in the path to targeted approaches to crop improvement, and the new sciences have identified a vast array of genes that have exciting potential for crop improvement. For a few crops with viable markets, such as maize and cotton, some of the traits developed by the private sector are already showing benefits for farmers of the developing world, but the public sector will need to develop new skills and overcome a number of hurdles to carry out similar efforts for other crops and traits useful to very poor farmers. PMID:16263937

  9. Accumulation of contaminants of emerging concern in food crops-part 2: Plant distribution.

    PubMed

    Hyland, Katherine C; Blaine, Andrea C; Higgins, Christopher P

    2015-10-01

    Arid agricultural regions often turn to using treated wastewater (reclaimed water) to irrigate food crops. Concerns arise, however, when considering the potential for persistent contaminants of emerging concern to accumulate into plants intended for human consumption. The present study examined the accumulation of a suite of 9 contaminants of emerging concern into 2 representative food crops, lettuce and strawberry, following uptake via the roots and subsequent distribution to other plant tissues. Calculating accumulation metrics (concentration factors) allowed for comparison of the compartmental affinity of each chemical for each plant tissue compartment. The root concentration factor was found to exhibit a positive linear correlation with the pH-adjusted octanol-water partition coefficient (DOW ) for the target contaminants of emerging concern. Coupled with the concentration-dependent accumulation observed in the roots, this result implies that accumulation of these contaminants of emerging concern into plant roots is driven by passive partitioning. Of the contaminants of emerging concern examined, nonionizable contaminants, such as triclocarban, carbamazepine, and organophosphate flame retardants displayed the greatest potential for translocation from the roots to above-ground plant compartments. In particular, the organophosphate flame retardants displayed increasing affinity for shoots and fruits with decreasing size/octanol-water partition coefficient (KOW ). Cationic diphenhydramine and anionic sulfamethoxazole, once transported to the shoots of the strawberry plant, demonstrated the greatest potential of the contaminants examined to be then carried to the edible fruit portion.

  10. Agriculture: Climate Change

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Climate change affects agricultural producers because agriculture and fisheries depend on specific climate conditions. Temperature changes can cause crop planting dates to shift. Droughts and floods due to climate change may hinder farming practices.

  11. Agricultural Intensification in the Amazon: Tracking Nitrogen Fertilizer from Soy-Maize Double Cropping to Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabrera, V. D.; Jankowski, K.; Neill, C.; Macedo, M.; Deegan, L.; Brando, P. M.; Nascimento, S.; Nascimento, E.; Rocha, S.; Coe, M. T.; Nunes, D.

    2015-12-01

    Globalization and the increasing demand for food create pressure to both expand and intensify agriculture. These changes have potentially large consequences for the solute concentrations and functioning of streams. In the Brazilian Amazon, crop agriculture expanded greatly during the last 20 years. More recently, farmers have intensified production on existing cropland by double cropping of soy and maize during the same year. Maize, a novel crop for the region, requires much higher applications of nitrogen (N) fertilizer than soybeans. To determine whether this novel land use and associated N addition influenced N concentrations in groundwater and stream water, we measured N concentrations in groundwater wells and streams from small headwater watersheds across three land uses (soy-maize, soy, and tropical forest) in the Upper Xingu Basin, a region of rapid cropland intensification in the southern Amazon. Each watershed contained six groundwater wells arranged in a transect reaching cropland field edge on either side of the stream. Total inorganic N concentrations were higher in wells adjacent to fields where double cropping occurred, while stream concentrations did not differ overall among land uses. This suggests the riparian zones are critical in the removal of N, but as the intensification of agriculture continues the ability of the riparian zone to prevent N from traveling to streams is unknown. Their protection is critical to the functioning of tropical watersheds.

  12. Distinguishing succulent plants from crop and woody plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gausman, H. W.; Escobar, D. E.; Everitt, J. H.; Richardson, A. J.; Rodriguez, R. R.

    1978-01-01

    We compared laboratory spectrophotometrically measured leaf reflectances of six succulents (peperomia, possum-grape, prickly pear, spiderwort, Texas tuberose, wolfberry) with those of four nonsucculents (cenizo, honey mesquite, cotton, sugarcane) for plant species discrimination. Succulents (average leaf water content of 92.2 percent) could be distinguished from nonsucculents (average leaf water content of 71.2 percent) within the near-infrared water absorption waveband (1.35 to 2.5 microns). This was substantiated by field spectrophotometric reflectances of plant canopies. Sensor bands encompassing either the 1.6- or 2.2-wavelengths may be useful to distinguish succulent from nonsucculent plant species.

  13. Functional roles of melatonin in plants, and perspectives in nutritional and agricultural science.

    PubMed

    Tan, Dun-Xian; Hardeland, Rudiger; Manchester, Lucien C; Korkmaz, Ahmet; Ma, Shuran; Rosales-Corral, Sergio; Reiter, Russel J

    2012-01-01

    The presence of melatonin in plants is universal. Evidence has confirmed that a major portion of the melatonin is synthesized by plants themselves even though a homologue of the classic arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) has not been identified as yet in plants. Thus, the serotonin N-acetylating enzyme in plants may differ greatly from the animal AANAT with regard to sequence and structure. This would imply multiple evolutionary origins of enzymes with these catalytic properties. A primary function of melatonin in plants is to serve as the first line of defence against internal and environmental oxidative stressors. The much higher melatonin levels in plants compared with those found in animals are thought to be a compensatory response by plants which lack means of mobility, unlike animals, as a means of coping with harsh environments. Importantly, remarkably high melatonin concentrations have been measured in popular beverages (coffee, tea, wine, and beer) and crops (corn, rice, wheat, barley, and oats). Billions of people worldwide consume these products daily. The beneficial effects of melatonin on human health derived from the consumption of these products must be considered. Evidence also indicates that melatonin has an ability to increase the production of crops. The mechanisms may involve the roles of melatonin in preservation of chlorophyll, promotion of photosynthesis, and stimulation of root development. Transgenic plants with enhanced melatonin content could probably lead to breakthroughs to increase crop production in agriculture and to improve the general health of humans.

  14. Sustainability of Italian Agriculture: A Methodological Approach for Assessing Crop Water Footprint at Local Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Altobelli, F.; Dalla Marta, A.; Cimino, O.; Orlandini, S.; Natali, F.

    2014-12-01

    In a world where population is rapidly growing and where several planetary boundaries (i.e. climate change, biodiversity loss and nitrogen cycle) have already been crossed, agriculture is called to respond to the needs of food security through a sustainable use of natural resources. In particular, water is one of the main elements of fertility so the agricultural activity, and the whole agro-food chain, is one of the productive sectors more dependent on water resource and it is able to affect, at regional level, its availability for all the other sectors. In this study, we proposed a methodology for assessing the green and blue water footprint of the main Italian crops typical of the different geographical areas (northwest, northeast, center, and south) based on data extracted from Italian Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN). FADN is an instrument for evaluating the income of agricultural holdings and the impacts of the Common Agricultural Policy. Crops were selected based on incidence of cultivated area on the total arable land of FADN farms net. Among others, the database contains data on irrigation management (irrigated surface, length of irrigation season, volumes of water, etc.), and crop production. Meteorological data series were obtained by a combination of local weather stations and ECAD E-obs spatialized database. Crop water footprints were evaluated against water availability and risk of desertification maps of Italy. Further, we compared the crop water footprints obtained with our methodology with already existing data from similar studies in order to highlight the effects of spatial scale and level of detail of available data.

  15. Standing crops and ecology of aquatic invertebrates in agricultural drainwater ponds in California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Euliss, N.H.; Jarvis, R.L.; Gilmer, D.S.

    1991-01-01

    We examined standing crops and ecology of aquatic invertebrates in agricultural drainwater evaporation ponds in California from October 1982 to March 1983 and September 1983 to March 1984. Evaporation ponds supported low diversities but high standing crops of aquatic invertebrates. A water boatman (Trichocorixa reticulata) and a midge (Tanypus grodhausi) were the most abundant invertebrates, constituting 44.9% and 51.4% of total macroinvertebrate biomass. Regression models indicated that of 6 environmental variables measured, only electrical conductivity (EC) and Julian date affected biomass and density of water boatmen. EC was the only significant correlate of midge biomass in evaporation ponds.

  16. Recognising Differences in Weed and Crop Species Recognition Skills of Agriculture Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burrows, Geoffrey E.

    2012-01-01

    Students in an agricultural science degree were surveyed to assess their ability to recognise plants of agricultural importance. The survey consisted of high quality images of 25 species. Students were surveyed at the start of their studies in first year, and at various times during their second year of studies. At the start of their studies…

  17. Bacterial Indicator of Agricultural Management for Soil under No-Till Crop Production

    PubMed Central

    Rosa, Silvina M.; Simonetti, Leandro; Duval, Matías E.; Galantini, Juan A.; Bedano, José C.; Wall, Luis G.; Erijman, Leonardo

    2012-01-01

    The rise in the world demand for food poses a challenge to our ability to sustain soil fertility and sustainability. The increasing use of no-till agriculture, adopted in many areas of the world as an alternative to conventional farming, may contribute to reduce the erosion of soils and the increase in the soil carbon pool. However, the advantages of no-till agriculture are jeopardized when its use is linked to the expansion of crop monoculture. The aim of this study was to survey bacterial communities to find indicators of soil quality related to contrasting agriculture management in soils under no-till farming. Four sites in production agriculture, with different soil properties, situated across a west-east transect in the most productive region in the Argentinean pampas, were taken as the basis for replication. Working definitions of Good no-till Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Poor no-till Agricultural Practices (PAP) were adopted for two distinct scenarios in terms of crop rotation, fertilization, agrochemicals use and pest control. Non-cultivated soils nearby the agricultural sites were taken as additional control treatments. Tag-encoded pyrosequencing was used to deeply sample the 16S rRNA gene from bacteria residing in soils corresponding to the three treatments at the four locations. Although bacterial communities as a whole appeared to be structured chiefly by a marked biogeographic provincialism, the distribution of a few taxa was shaped as well by environmental conditions related to agricultural management practices. A statistically supported approach was used to define candidates for management-indicator organisms, subsequently validated using quantitative PCR. We suggest that the ratio between the normalized abundance of a selected group of bacteria within the GP1 group of the phylum Acidobacteria and the genus Rubellimicrobium of the Alphaproteobacteria may serve as a potential management-indicator to discriminate between sustainable vs. non

  18. Bacterial indicator of agricultural management for soil under no-till crop production.

    PubMed

    Figuerola, Eva L M; Guerrero, Leandro D; Rosa, Silvina M; Simonetti, Leandro; Duval, Matías E; Galantini, Juan A; Bedano, José C; Wall, Luis G; Erijman, Leonardo

    2012-01-01

    The rise in the world demand for food poses a challenge to our ability to sustain soil fertility and sustainability. The increasing use of no-till agriculture, adopted in many areas of the world as an alternative to conventional farming, may contribute to reduce the erosion of soils and the increase in the soil carbon pool. However, the advantages of no-till agriculture are jeopardized when its use is linked to the expansion of crop monoculture. The aim of this study was to survey bacterial communities to find indicators of soil quality related to contrasting agriculture management in soils under no-till farming. Four sites in production agriculture, with different soil properties, situated across a west-east transect in the most productive region in the Argentinean pampas, were taken as the basis for replication. Working definitions of Good no-till Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Poor no-till Agricultural Practices (PAP) were adopted for two distinct scenarios in terms of crop rotation, fertilization, agrochemicals use and pest control. Non-cultivated soils nearby the agricultural sites were taken as additional control treatments. Tag-encoded pyrosequencing was used to deeply sample the 16S rRNA gene from bacteria residing in soils corresponding to the three treatments at the four locations. Although bacterial communities as a whole appeared to be structured chiefly by a marked biogeographic provincialism, the distribution of a few taxa was shaped as well by environmental conditions related to agricultural management practices. A statistically supported approach was used to define candidates for management-indicator organisms, subsequently validated using quantitative PCR. We suggest that the ratio between the normalized abundance of a selected group of bacteria within the GP1 group of the phylum Acidobacteria and the genus Rubellimicrobium of the Alphaproteobacteria may serve as a potential management-indicator to discriminate between sustainable vs. non

  19. Carbon stocks quantification in agricultural systems employing succession and rotation of crops in Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter, Michele K. C.; Marinho, Mara de A.; Denardin, José E.; Zullo, Jurandir, Jr.; Paz-González, Antonio

    2013-04-01

    Soil and vegetation constitute respectively the third and the fourth terrestrial reservoirs of Carbon (C) on Earth. C sequestration in these reservoirs includes the capture of the CO2 from the atmosphere by photosynthesis and its storage as organic C. Consequently, changes in land use and agricultural practices affect directly the emissions of the greenhouse gases and the C sequestration. Several studies have already demonstrated that conservation agriculture, and particularly zero tillage (ZT), has a positive effect on soil C sequestration. The Brazilian federal program ABC (Agriculture of Low Carbon Emission) was conceived to promote agricultural production with environmental protection and represents an instrument to achieve voluntary targets to mitigate emissions or NAMAS (National Appropriated Mitigation Actions). With financial resources of about US 1.0 billion until 2020 the ABC Program has a target of expand ZT in 8 million hectares of land, with reduction of 16 to 20 million of CO2eq. Our objective was to quantify the C stocks in soil, plants and litter of representative grain crops systems under ZT in Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Two treatments of a long term experimental essay (> 20 years) were evaluated: 1) Crop succession with wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)/soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merril); 2) Crop rotation with wheat/soybean (1st year), vetch (Vicia sativa L.)/soybean (2nd year), and white oat (Avena sativa L.)/sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) (3rd year). C quantification in plants and in litter was performed using the direct method of biomass quantification. The soil type evaluated was a Humic Rhodic Hapludox, and C quantification was executed employing the method referred by "C mass by unit area". Results showed that soybean plants under crop succession presented greater C stock (4.31MgC ha-1) comparing with soybean plants cultivated under crop rotation (3.59 MgC ha-1). For wheat, however, greater C stock was quantified in plants under rotation

  20. Effects of potato-cotton cropping systems and nematicides on plant-parasitic nematodes and crop yields.

    PubMed

    Crow, W T; Weingartner, D P; Dickson, D W

    2000-09-01

    Belonolaimus longicaudatus has been reported as damaging both potato (Solanum tuberosum) and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). These crops are not normally grown in cropping systems together in areas where the soil is infested with B. longicaudatus. During the 1990s cotton was grown in a potato production region that was a suitable habitat for B. longicaudatus. It was not known how integrating the production of these two crops by rotation or double-cropping would affect the population densities of B. longicaudatus, other plant-parasitic nematodes common in the region, or crop yields. A 3-year field study evaluated the viability of both crops in monocropping, rotation, and double-cropping systems. Viability was evaluated using effects on population densities of plant-parasitic nematodes and yields. Rotation of cotton with potato was found to decrease population densities of B. longicaudatus and Meloidogyne incognita in comparison with continuous potato. Population densities of B. longicaudatus following double-cropping were greater than following continuous cotton. Yields of both potato and cotton in rotation were equivalent to either crop in monocropping. Yields of both crops were lower following double-cropping when nematicides were not used.

  1. Single and joint stress of acetochlor and Pb on three agricultural crops in northeast China.

    PubMed

    Chao, Lei; Zhou, Qi-xing; Chen, Su; Cui, Shuang; Wang, Mei-e

    2007-01-01

    In order to evaluate ecological risk of agrochemicals in agricultural environment, single and joint toxic effects of an important herbicide and a typical heavy metal on root elongation of crops were investigated. Seeds of the three crops including wheat (Triticum aestivum), Chinese cabbage (Brassica pekimensis) and soybean (Glycine max) as the main crops in northeast China were exposed to acetochlor as a herbicide and lead (Pb) as a heavy metal using the pot-culture method, and meadow brown soil as one of the main soils distributed in northeast China was applied in the investigation. The results indicated that the interactive effects of the two pollutants on root elongation of the three crops were very complicated although they had markedly significant (P < 0.01) linear interrelationships based on the regression analyses. When the concentration of added Pb2+ reached 200 mg/kg, acetochlor and Pb had an antagonistic effect on the inhibition of root elongation of the three crops. However, acetochlor and Pb had significantly (P < 0.05) synergic effects on the inhibition of root elongation when concentration of added Pb2+ was up to 1000 mg/kg. At the low concentration of added Pb, joint toxicity of acetochlor and Pb was more dependent on the concentration of Pb. Among the three crops, wheat was the most sensitive to the toxicity of Pb and Chinese cabbage was the most sensitive to the toxicity of acetochlor.

  2. Seventeenth century organic agriculture in China: I. Cropping systems in Jiaxing Region

    SciTech Connect

    Dazhong, W.; Pimentel, D.

    1986-03-01

    The cropping systems of seventeenth century traditional organic agriculture in the Jiaxing Region of eastern China required about 2000 hr of labor per hectare for rice production. Rice and related grain crops were produced employing only human power. The input was about 200 times that for most mechanized grain production today. The charcoal or fossil energy input to produce simple hand tools accounted for only 1-2% total energy in the crop systems. Organic wastes including manures, pond sediments, and green manure crops supplied most of the nutrients. Rice yields, ranging as high as 6700-8400 kg/ha, were similar to some of the highest yields today. The energy output/input ratio ranged from 9 for compost-fertilized rice to 12 for green manure-fertilized rice production. These ratios were 2-10 times higher than most mechanized rice production systems of today. Knowledge of the crop and soil system enabled the early Chinese farms to maintain high crop yields and sustain highly productive soils.

  3. Host plant associated genetic divergence of two Diatraea spp. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) stemborers on novel crop plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Diatraea lineolata and Diatraea saccharalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) are moths with stemboring larvae that feed and develop on economically important grasses. This study investigated whether these moths have diverged from a native host plant, corn, onto introduced crop plants including sorghum, suga...

  4. Time interval between cover crop termination and planting influences corn seedling disease, plant growth, and yield

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Experiments were established in controlled and field environment to evaluate the effect of time intervals between cereal rye cover crop termination and corn planting on corn seedling disease, corn growth, and grain yield in 2014 and 2015. Rye termination dates ranged from 25 days before planting (DB...

  5. Role of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria in Agricultural Sustainability-A Review.

    PubMed

    Vejan, Pravin; Abdullah, Rosazlin; Khadiran, Tumirah; Ismail, Salmah; Nasrulhaq Boyce, Amru

    2016-04-29

    Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) shows an important role in the sustainable agriculture industry. The increasing demand for crop production with a significant reduction of synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides use is a big challenge nowadays. The use of PGPR has been proven to be an environmentally sound way of increasing crop yields by facilitating plant growth through either a direct or indirect mechanism. The mechanisms of PGPR include regulating hormonal and nutritional balance, inducing resistance against plant pathogens, and solubilizing nutrients for easy uptake by plants. In addition, PGPR show synergistic and antagonistic interactions with microorganisms within the rhizosphere and beyond in bulk soil, which indirectly boosts plant growth rate. There are many bacteria species that act as PGPR, described in the literature as successful for improving plant growth. However, there is a gap between the mode of action (mechanism) of the PGPR for plant growth and the role of the PGPR as biofertilizer-thus the importance of nano-encapsulation technology in improving the efficacy of PGPR. Hence, this review bridges the gap mentioned and summarizes the mechanism of PGPR as a biofertilizer for agricultural sustainability.

  6. Plant breeding for harmony between agriculture and the environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop improvements made since the 1950’s coupled with inexpensive agronomic inputs (fertilizers, herbicides, etc.) have resulted in agricultural production that has kept pace with population growth. Breeding programs primarily focus on improving a crop’s environmental adaptability and biotic stress t...

  7. [Responses of agricultural crops of free-air CO2 enrichment].

    PubMed

    Kimball, B A; Zhu, Jianguo; Cheng, Lei; Kobayashi, K; Bindi, M

    2002-10-01

    Over the past decade, free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments have been conducted on several agricultural crops: wheat(Triticum aestivum L.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), and rice(Oryza sativa L.) which are C3 grasses; sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Möench), a C4 grass; white clover (Trifolium repens), a C3 legume; potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), a C3 forb with tuber storage; and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and grape (Vitis vinifera L.) which are C3 woody perennials. Using reports from these experiments, the relative responses of these crops was discussed with regard to photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, canopy temperature, water use, water potential, leaf area index, shoot and root biomass accumulation, agricultural yield, radiation use efficiency, specific leaf area, tissue nitrogen concentration, nitrogen yield, carbohydrate concentration, phenology, soil microbiology, soil respiration, trace gas emissions, and soil carbon sequestration. Generally, the magnitude of these responses varied with the functional type of plant and with the soil nitrogen and water status. As expected, the elevated CO2 increased photosynthesis and biomass production and yield substantially in C3 species, but little in C4, and it decreased stomatal conductance and transpiration in both C3 and C4 species and greatly improved water-use efficiency in all the crops. Growth stimulations were as large or larger under water-stress compared to well-watered conditions. Growth stimulations of non-legumes were reduced at low soil nitrogen, whereas elevated CO2 strongly stimulated the growth of the clover legume both at ample and under low N conditions. Roots were generally stimulated more than shoots. Woody perennials had larger growth responses to elevated CO2, while at the same time, their reductions in stomatal conductance were smaller. Tissue nitrogen concentrations went down while carbohydrate and some other carbon-based compounds went up due to elevated CO2, with leaves and

  8. Enhancing crop yield with the use of N-based fertilizers co-applied with plant hormones or growth regulators.

    PubMed

    Zaman, Mohammad; Kurepin, Leonid V; Catto, Warwick; Pharis, Richard P

    2015-07-01

    Crop yield, vegetative or reproductive, depends on access to an adequate supply of essential mineral nutrients. At the same time, a crop plant's growth and development, and thus yield, also depend on in situ production of plant hormones. Thus optimizing mineral nutrition and providing supplemental hormones are two mechanisms for gaining appreciable yield increases. Optimizing the mineral nutrient supply is a common and accepted agricultural practice, but the co-application of nitrogen-based fertilizers with plant hormones or plant growth regulators is relatively uncommon. Our review discusses possible uses of plant hormones (gibberellins, auxins, cytokinins, abscisic acid and ethylene) and specific growth regulators (glycine betaine and polyamines) to enhance and optimize crop yield when co-applied with nitrogen-based fertilizers. We conclude that use of growth-active gibberellins, together with a nitrogen-based fertilizer, can result in appreciable and significant additive increases in shoot dry biomass of crops, including forage crops growing under low-temperature conditions. There may also be a potential for use of an auxin or cytokinin, together with a nitrogen-based fertilizer, for obtaining additive increases in dry shoot biomass and/or reproductive yield. Further research, though, is needed to determine the potential of co-application of nitrogen-based fertilizers with abscisic acid, ethylene and other growth regulators.

  9. Procedures for the description of agricultural crops and soils in optical and microwave remote sensing studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cihlar, J.; Dobson, M. C.; Schmugge, T.; Hoogeboom, P.; Janse, A. R. P.

    1987-01-01

    This paper describes procedures for characterizing agricultural crops and soils in remote sensing studies. The procedures are based on the accumulated experience of a number of researchers active in this field. Therefore, they represent a compromise between the theoretically desirable and the practically feasible, and should thus be an effective aid in further studies of this type. Although the guidelines were prepared specifically for microwave studies, adjustments were made to render the procedures applicable to optical studies as well. Given the increasing number of research teams involved in remote sensing applied to agriculture, there is an opportunity to acquire a broad data base on soils and crops in various geographic regions. To allow intercomparisons of such data, they must be obtained in a consistent manner. By following the proposed procedures and reporting results using the parameters described here, such intercomparisons should be possible on a continental or a global scale.

  10. Chemical usage in production agriculture: do crop insurance and off-farm work play a part?

    PubMed

    Chang, Hung-Hao; Mishra, Ashok K

    2012-08-30

    In recent years a growing body of literature in the agricultural policy arena has examined the association between crop insurance and off-farm employment. However, little is known about the extent to which these two activities may be related to environmental quality, in particular their impacts on fertilizer/chemical use of the farm. To fill this gap, this paper examines the effect of crop insurance and off-farm work on fertilizer/chemical expenses within the farm household framework. Quantile regression results from a national representative farm-level data show that off-farm work by the farm operator tends to decrease fertilizer/chemical expenses, and the effect is more pronounced at the higher percentiles of the distribution of fertilizer/chemical expense. In contrast, a positive effect of crop insurance on fertilizer/chemical expenses is evident, and the effect is robust across the entire distribution.

  11. The Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring (JECAM) Initiative: Developing methods and best practices for global agricultural monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Champagne, C.; Jarvis, I.; Defourny, P.; Davidson, A.

    2014-12-01

    Agricultural systems differ significantly throughout the world, making a 'one size fits all' approach to remote sensing and monitoring of agricultural landscapes problematic. The Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring (JECAM) was established in 2009 to bring together the global scientific community to work towards a set of best practices and recommendations for using earth observation data to map, monitor and report on agricultural productivity globally across an array of diverse agricultural systems. These methods form the research and development component of the Group on Earth Observation Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative to harmonize global monitoring efforts and increase market transparency. The JECAM initiative brings together researchers from a large number of globally distributed, well monitored agricultural test sites that cover a range of crop types, cropping systems and climate regimes. Each test site works independently as well as together across multiple sites to test methods, sensors and field data collection techniques to derive key agricultural parameters, including crop type, crop condition, crop yield and soil moisture. The outcome of this project will be a set of best practices that cover the range of remote sensing monitoring and reporting needs, including satellite data acquisition, pre-processing techniques, information retrieval and ground data validation. These outcomes provide the research and development foundation for GEOGLAM and will help to inform the development of the GEOGLAM "system of systems" for global agricultural monitoring. The outcomes of the 2014 JECAM science meeting will be discussed as well as examples of methods being developed by JECAM scientists.

  12. Crop Improvement through Modification of the Plant's Own Genome

    PubMed Central

    Rommens, Caius M.; Humara, Jaime M.; Ye, Jingsong; Yan, Hua; Richael, Craig; Zhang, Lynda; Perry, Rachel; Swords, Kathleen

    2004-01-01

    Plant genetic engineering has, until now, relied on the incorporation of foreign DNA into plant genomes. Public concern about the extent to which transgenic crops differ from their traditionally bred counterparts has resulted in molecular strategies and gene choices that limit, but not eliminate, the introduction of foreign DNA. Here, we demonstrate that a plant-derived (P-) DNA fragment can be used to replace the universally employed Agrobacterium transfer (T-) DNA. Marker-free P-DNAs are transferred to plant cell nuclei together with conventional T-DNAs carrying a selectable marker gene. By subsequently linking a positive selection for temporary marker gene expression to a negative selection against marker gene integration, 29% of derived regeneration events contain P-DNA insertions but lack any copies of the T-DNA. Further refinements are accomplished by employing Ω-mutated virD2 and isopentenyl transferase cytokinin genes to impair T-DNA integration and select against backbone integration, respectively. The presented methods are used to produce hundreds of marker-free and backbone-free potato (Solanum tuberosum) plants displaying reduced expression of a tuber-specific polyphenol oxidase gene in potato. The modified plants represent the first example of genetically engineered plants that only contain native DNA. PMID:15133156

  13. Estimating Hydrologic Fluxes, Crop Water Use, and Agricultural Land Area in China using Data Assimilation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Tiziana; McLaughlin, Dennis B.; Hoisungwan, Piyatida

    2016-04-01

    Crop production has significantly altered the terrestrial environment by changing land use and by altering the water cycle through both co-opted rainfall and surface water withdrawals. As the world's population continues to grow and individual diets become more resource-intensive, the demand for food - and the land and water necessary to produce it - will continue to increase. High-resolution quantitative data about water availability, water use, and agricultural land use are needed to develop sustainable water and agricultural planning and policies. However, existing data covering large areas with high resolution are susceptible to errors and can be physically inconsistent. China is an example of a large area where food demand is expected to increase and a lack of data clouds the resource management dialogue. Some assert that China will have insufficient land and water resources to feed itself, posing a threat to global food security if they seek to increase food imports. Others believe resources are plentiful. Without quantitative data, it is difficult to discern if these concerns are realistic or overly dramatized. This research presents a quantitative approach using data assimilation techniques to characterize hydrologic fluxes, crop water use (defined as crop evapotranspiration), and agricultural land use at 0.5 by 0.5 degree resolution and applies the methodology in China using data from around the year 2000. The approach uses the principles of water balance and of crop water requirements to assimilate existing data with a least-squares estimation technique, producing new estimates of water and land use variables that are physically consistent while minimizing differences from measured data. We argue that this technique for estimating water fluxes and agricultural land use can provide a useful basis for resource management modeling and policy, both in China and around the world.

  14. Response to issues on GM agriculture in Africa: Are transgenic crops safe?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The controversies surrounding transgenic crops, often called Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), call for a need to raise the level of public awareness of Genetic Modification (GM) technology in Africa. This should be accomplished by educating the public about the potential benefits and risks that may be associated with this new technology. In the last 15 years, GM crop producing countries have benefited from adoption of this new technology in the form of improved crop productivity, food security, and quality of life. The increased income to resource-poor farmers is a key benefit at the individual level especially as most countries using this technology are in the developing world, including three African countries (South Africa, Burkina Faso and Egypt). Despite clear benefits to countries and farmers who grow GMOs, many people are concerned about suspected potential risks associated with GMOs. This sparks debate as to whether GM technology should be adopted or not. Given the concerns regarding the safety of GMO products, thorough scientific investigation of safe application of GMOs is required. The objective of this paper is to respond to the issues of GM agriculture in Africa and some of the issues surrounding the adoption of GM crops between developed and developing countries. In this article, I analyse relevant papers relating to the adoption of GM technology particularly in developing countries including the few African countries that have adopted GM crops. The issues discussed span a wide range including: safety; potential benefits and risks; disputes between the United States of America (USA) and the European Union (EU) over adoption of GM crops with a focus on Africa continent. This article is concluded by summarising the issues raised and how GM technology can be adopted for agricultural development in Africa. PMID:21981823

  15. Response to issues on GM agriculture in Africa: Are transgenic crops safe?

    PubMed

    Adenle, Ademola A

    2011-10-08

    The controversies surrounding transgenic crops, often called Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), call for a need to raise the level of public awareness of Genetic Modification (GM) technology in Africa. This should be accomplished by educating the public about the potential benefits and risks that may be associated with this new technology. In the last 15 years, GM crop producing countries have benefited from adoption of this new technology in the form of improved crop productivity, food security, and quality of life. The increased income to resource-poor farmers is a key benefit at the individual level especially as most countries using this technology are in the developing world, including three African countries (South Africa, Burkina Faso and Egypt). Despite clear benefits to countries and farmers who grow GMOs, many people are concerned about suspected potential risks associated with GMOs. This sparks debate as to whether GM technology should be adopted or not. Given the concerns regarding the safety of GMO products, thorough scientific investigation of safe application of GMOs is required. The objective of this paper is to respond to the issues of GM agriculture in Africa and some of the issues surrounding the adoption of GM crops between developed and developing countries. In this article, I analyse relevant papers relating to the adoption of GM technology particularly in developing countries including the few African countries that have adopted GM crops. The issues discussed span a wide range including: safety; potential benefits and risks; disputes between the United States of America (USA) and the European Union (EU) over adoption of GM crops with a focus on Africa continent. This article is concluded by summarising the issues raised and how GM technology can be adopted for agricultural development in Africa.

  16. Impact of nowcasting on the production and processing of agricultural crops. [in the US

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dancer, W. S.; Tibbitts, T. W.

    1973-01-01

    The value was studied of improved weather information and weather forecasting to farmers, growers, and agricultural processing industries in the United States. The study was undertaken to identify the production and processing operations that could be improved with accurate and timely information on changing weather patterns. Estimates were then made of the potential savings that could be realized with accurate information about the prevailing weather and short term forecasts for up to 12 hours. This weather information has been termed nowcasting. The growing, marketing, and processing operations of the twenty most valuable crops in the United States were studied to determine those operations that are sensitive to short-term weather forecasting. Agricultural extension specialists, research scientists, growers, and representatives of processing industries were consulted and interviewed. The value of the crops included in this survey and their production levels are given. The total value for crops surveyed exceeds 24 billion dollars and represents more than 92 percent of total U.S. crop value.

  17. Pesticides residues and metals in plant products from agricultural area of Belgrade, Serbia.

    PubMed

    Ethorđević, Tijana; Ethurović, Rada

    2012-03-01

    The objective of study was to assess the levels of selected metals and pesticides in plant products from agricultural area of Belgrade, Serbia in order to indicate their possible sources and risks of contamination and to evaluate their sanitary probity and safety. The concentrations of cadmium, copper, iron, manganese, nickel, lead and zinc were below limits established by national and international regulations (maximum found concentrations were 0.028, 1.91, 11.16, 1.77, 0.605, 0.073 and 1.76 mg kg(-1) respectively). Only residue of one of examined pesticides was found in amount below MRL (bifenthrin 2.46 μg kg(-1)) in only one of analysed samples, while others were below detection limits. Obtained results indicate that crops from examined agricultural areas are unpolluted by contaminants used for plant protection and nutrition, indicating good agricultural practice regarding pesticides and fertilizer usage as well as moderate industrial production within examined areas.

  18. A review of plant-pharmaceutical interactions: from uptake and effects in crop plants to phytoremediation in constructed wetlands.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Pedro N; Basto, M Clara P; Almeida, C Marisa R; Brix, Hans

    2014-10-01

    Pharmaceuticals are commonly found both in the aquatic and the agricultural environments as a consequence of the human activities and associated discharge of wastewater effluents to the environment. The utilization of treated effluent for crop irrigation, along with land application of manure and biosolids, accelerates the introduction of these compounds into arable lands and crops. Despite the low concentrations of pharmaceuticals usually found, the continuous introduction into the environment from different pathways makes them 'pseudo-persistent'. Several reviews have been published regarding the potential impact of veterinary and human pharmaceuticals on arable land. However, plant uptake as well as phytotoxicity data are scarcely studied. Simultaneously, phytoremediation as a tool for pharmaceutical removal from soils, sediments and water is starting to be researched, with promising results. This review gives an in-depth overview of the phytotoxicity of pharmaceuticals, their uptake and their removal by plants. The aim of the current work was to map the present knowledge concerning pharmaceutical interactions with plants in terms of uptake and the use of plant-based systems for phytoremediation purposes.

  19. Agricultural Biodiversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Postance, Jim

    1998-01-01

    The extinction of farm animals and crops is rarely brought up during discussions of endangered species and biodiversity; however, the loss of diversity in crops and livestock threatens the sustainability of agriculture. Presents three activities: (1) "The Colors of Diversity"; (2) "Biodiversity among Animals"; and (3) "Heirloom Plants." Discusses…

  20. Sexual and apomictic plant reproduction in the genomics era: exploring the mechanisms potentially useful in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Dwivedi, Sangam L; Perotti, Enrico; Upadhyaya, Hari D; Ortiz, Rodomiro

    2010-12-01

    Arabidopsis, Mimulus and tomato have emerged as model plants in researching genetic and molecular basis of differences in mating systems. Variations in floral traits and loss of self-incompatibility have been associated with mating system differences in crops. Genomics research has advanced considerably, both in model and crop plants, which may provide opportunities to modify breeding systems as evidenced in Arabidopsis and tomato. Mating system, however, not recombination per se, has greater effect on the level of polymorphism. Generating targeted recombination remains one of the most important factors for crop genetic enhancement. Asexual reproduction through seeds or apomixis, by producing maternal clones, presents a tremendous potential for agriculture. Although believed to be under simple genetic control, recent research has revealed that apomixis results as a consequence of the deregulation of the timing of sexual events rather than being the product of specific apomixis genes. Further, forward genetic studies in Arabidopsis have permitted the isolation of novel genes reported to control meiosis I and II entry. Mutations in these genes trigger the production of unreduced or apomeiotic megagametes and are an important step toward understanding and engineering apomixis.

  1. Biosolids amendment dramatically increases sequestration of crop residue-carbon in agricultural soils in western Illinois

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Release of carbon dioxide through microbial respiration from the world’s crop residues (non-edible plant parts left in the field after harvest) represents an important form of carbon transfer from terrestrial ecosystems to the atmosphere. We hypothesized that alleviation of environmental stress (moi...

  2. Assessment of Crop Water Requirement Methods for Annual Agricultural Water Allocation Planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aghdasi, F.; Sharifi, M. A.; van der Tol, C.

    2010-05-01

    The potential use of remote sensing in water resource and in particular in irrigation management has been widely acknowledged. However, in reality, operational applications of remote sensing in irrigation management are few. In this study, the applicability of the main available remote sensing based techniques of irrigation management is evaluated in a pilot area in Iran. The evaluated techniques include so called Crop Water Requirement "CWR" methods for the planning of annual water allocation in irrigated agriculture. A total of 40 years of historical weather data were classified into wet, normal, and dry years using a Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI). For each of these three classes the average CWR was calculated. Next, by applying Markov Chain Process to the time series of precipitation, the expected CWR for the forthcoming planning year was estimated. Using proper interpolation techniques the expected CWR at each station was converted to CWR map of the area, which was then used for annual water allocation planning. To estimate the crop water requirement, methods developed for the DEMETER project (DEMonstration of Earth observation Technologies in Routine irrigation advisory services) and Surface Energy Balance System "SEBS" algorithm were used, and their results were compared with conventional methods, including FAO-56 and lysimeter data amongst others. Use was made of both ASTER and MODIS images to determine crop water requirement at local and regional scales. Four methods of estimating crop coefficients were used: DEMETER Kc-NDVI, DEMETER Kc-analytical, FAO-56 and SEBS algorithm. Results showed that DEMETER (analytical approach) and FAO methods with lowest RMSE are more suitable methods for determination of crop coefficient than SEBS, which gives actual rather than potential evapotranspiration. The use of ASTER and MODIS images did not result in significantly different crop coefficients in the pilot area for the DEMETER analytical approach (α=0

  3. Linking the planting of cover crops to soil and water nutrient dynamics in Shatto Ditch Watershed, IN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christopher, S. F.; Tank, J. L.; Hanrahan, B. R.; Mahl, U. H.; Huang, K.

    2013-12-01

    Tile drainage systems are common in the Midwest, and facilitate the transfer of excess inorganic nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from agricultural soils to adjacent streams. These non-point sources contribute to elevated nutrient loads to tributaries in the Mississippi River Basin, which have been linked to widespread hypoxia and associated ecological and economic problems in the Gulf of Mexico. In agricultural areas dominated by row-crops, the planting of cover crops after the cash crop has been harvested offers a potential mechanism to reduce nutrient leaching from fields to tile drains in the off-season. In general, cover crops retain nutrients on fields and increase soil organic matter (SOM) content after they are harvested. The planting of cover crops also promotes immobilization of soil N and reduction in losses of dissolved P from soils due to reduced erosion, resulting in significantly less leaching to surface waters through tile drains. As part of a demonstration project in the Shatto Ditch Watershed, located in the Tippecanoe River Basin, IN, we are testing whether the planting of cover crops will influence soil nutrient and organic matter, and how cover crops alter the dynamics of nutrient leaching from tile drains. We have been sampling tile drain outflows on a twice-monthly sampling regime and have been measuring dissolved inorganic N and P concentrations in tile water since November 2012. During Spring 2013, tile drain nitrate concentrations sampled synoptically throughout the watershed ranged from 2.6 - 38.9 mg NO3- L -1 (mean = 17.2 +/- 1.6 mg NO3- L -1) with the lowest concentrations coming from fields planted in cover crops (range = 2.6 - 19.0 mg NO3- L -1, mean = 9.7 +/- 1.5 mg NO3- L -1). In contrast, soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) concentrations were much lower in tile drain water and ranged from 7.5 - 182.7 μg L-1 (mean = 24.5 +/- 5.0 μg L-1 SRP) and preliminary data suggest that there were no differences between fields with and without

  4. Interaction of turbine-generated turbulence with agricultural crops: Conceptual framework and preliminary results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takle, E. S.; Rajewski, D. A.; Segal, M.; Elmore, R.; Hatfield, J.; Prueger, J. H.; Taylor, S. E.

    2009-12-01

    The US Midwest is a unique location for wind power production because wind farms in this region, unlike any other, are co-located within major agricultural production systems that are among the most highly productive in the world. Iowa has over 3,000 MW of installed power in wind farms typically consisting of 75-120 turbines positioned within agricultural fields with irregular spacing but inter-turbine distances in some cases less than 300 m. Wind turbines extract energy from the ambient flow and change mean and turbulent characteristics of wind flow over and within the crop canopy. Turbulent exchange of air from within the crop canopy regulates vertical fluxes of heat, moisture, momentum, and CO2. Changes in wind speed and turbulence structure by wind farms and isolated wind turbines will influence crop growth, productivity, and seed quality in unknown ways. For instance, enhanced vertical fluxes of heat and moisture may help cool the crop on hot summer days (beneficial) but may enhance loss of soil moisture (detrimental). Faster drying of dew from the crop in the morning reduces leaf wetness, which is a condition favoring growth of fungus, mold and toxins. Corn and soybeans typically draw down ambient CO2 levels by 15-20% during the day in the peak growing season, providing an opportunity to enhance downward fluxes of CO2 into the crop canopy by turbine-induced turbulence. Reduction of high winds and resulting leaf shredding and stalk lodging are documented positive effects of agricultural shelterbelts and may be benefits of turbines as well. Enhanced surface evaporation during fall dry-down would improve seed readiness for storage and reduce artificial drying costs. Modification of surface wind convergence/divergence patterns may enhance convection and change rainfall patterns and modify snow deposition, melting, and soil-moisture-recharge in winter. Wind machines are widely used in orchards and vineyards for avoiding killing freezes, but turbine benefits for

  5. Understanding and engineering beneficial plant-microbe interactions: plant growth promotion in energy crops.

    PubMed

    Farrar, Kerrie; Bryant, David; Cope-Selby, Naomi

    2014-12-01

    Plant production systems globally must be optimized to produce stable high yields from limited land under changing and variable climates. Demands for food, animal feed, and feedstocks for bioenergy and biorefining applications, are increasing with population growth, urbanization and affluence. Low-input, sustainable, alternatives to petrochemical-derived fertilizers and pesticides are required to reduce input costs and maintain or increase yields, with potential biological solutions having an important role to play. In contrast to crops that have been bred for food, many bioenergy crops are largely undomesticated, and so there is an opportunity to harness beneficial plant-microbe relationships which may have been inadvertently lost through intensive crop breeding. Plant-microbe interactions span a wide range of relationships in which one or both of the organisms may have a beneficial, neutral or negative effect on the other partner. A relatively small number of beneficial plant-microbe interactions are well understood and already exploited; however, others remain understudied and represent an untapped reservoir for optimizing plant production. There may be near-term applications for bacterial strains as microbial biopesticides and biofertilizers to increase biomass yield from energy crops grown on land unsuitable for food production. Longer term aims involve the design of synthetic genetic circuits within and between the host and microbes to optimize plant production. A highly exciting prospect is that endosymbionts comprise a unique resource of reduced complexity microbial genomes with adaptive traits of great interest for a wide variety of applications.

  6. Could crop height affect the wind resource at agriculturally productive wind farm sites?

    DOE PAGES

    Vanderwende, Brian; Lundquist, Julie K.

    2015-11-07

    The collocation of cropland and wind turbines in the US Midwest region introduces complex meteorological interactions that could influence both agriculture and wind-power production. Crop management practices may affect the wind resource through alterations of land-surface properties. We use the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model to estimate the impact of crop height variations on the wind resource in the presence of a large turbine array. A hypothetical wind farm consisting of 121 1.8-MW turbines is represented using the WRF model wind-farm parametrization. We represent the impact of selecting soybeans rather than maize by altering the aerodynamic roughness length inmore » a region approximately 65 times larger than that occupied by the turbine array. Roughness lengths of 0.1 and 0.25 m represent the mature soy crop and a mature maize crop, respectively. In all but the most stable atmospheric conditions, statistically significant hub-height wind-speed increases and rotor-layer wind-shear reductions result from switching from maize to soybeans. Based on simulations for the entire month of August 2013, wind-farm energy output increases by 14 %, which would yield a significant monetary gain. Further investigation is required to determine the optimal size, shape, and crop height of the roughness modification to maximize the economic benefit and minimize the cost of such crop-management practices. As a result, these considerations must be balanced by other influences on crop choice such as soil requirements and commodity prices.« less

  7. Agriculture In Uruguay: New Methods For Drought Monitoring and Crop Identification Using Remotely Sensed Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lessel, J.; Ceccato, P.

    2014-12-01

    Agriculture is a vital resource in the country of Uruguay. Here we propose new methods using remotely sensed data for assisting ranchers, land managers, and policy makers in the country to better manage their crops. Firstly, we created a drought severity index based on the climatological anomalies of land surface temperature (LST) data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), precipitation data from the Tropical Rainfall Monitoring Mission (TRMM), and normalized difference water index (NDWI) data also using MODIS. The use of the climatological anomalies on the variables has improved the ability of the index to correlate with known drought indices versus previously published indices, which had not used them. We applied various coefficient schemes and vegetation indices in order to choose the model which best correlated with the drought indices across 10 sites throughout Uruguay's rangelands. The model was tested over summer months from 2009-2013. In years where drought had indeed been a problem in the country (such as 2009) the model showed intense signals of drought. Secondly, we used Landsat images to identify winter and summer crops in Uruguay. We first classified them using ENVI and then used the classifications in an ArcMap model to identify specific crop areas. We first created a polygon of the classifications for soils and vegetation for each month (omitting cloud covered images). We then used the crop growing cycle to identify the times during the year for which specific polygons should be soil and which should be vegetation. By intersecting the soil polygons with the vegetation polygons during their respective time periods during the crop growing cycle we were able to create an accurately identify crops. When compared to a shapefile of proposed crops for the year the model obtained a kappa value of 0.60 with a probability of detection of 0.79 and a false alarm ratio of 0.31 for the south-western study area over the 2013-2014 summer.

  8. Assessment of impacts of agricultural and climate change scenarios on watershed water quantity and quality, and crop production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teshager, Awoke D.; Gassman, Philip W.; Schoof, Justin T.; Secchi, Silvia

    2016-08-01

    Modeling impacts of agricultural scenarios and climate change on surface water quantity and quality provides useful information for planning effective water, environmental and land use policies. Despite the significant impacts of agriculture on water quantity and quality, limited literature exists that describes the combined impacts of agricultural land use change and climate change on future bioenergy crop yields and watershed hydrology. In this study, the soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) eco-hydrological model was used to model the combined impacts of five agricultural land use change scenarios and three downscaled climate pathways (representative concentration pathways, RCPs) that were created from an ensemble of eight atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs). These scenarios were implemented in a well-calibrated SWAT model for the intensively farmed and tiled Raccoon River watershed (RRW) located in western Iowa. The scenarios were executed for the historical baseline, early century, mid-century and late century periods. The results indicate that historical and more corn intensive agricultural scenarios with higher CO2 emissions consistently result in more water in the streams and greater water quality problems, especially late in the 21st century. Planting more switchgrass, on the other hand, results in less water in the streams and water quality improvements relative to the baseline. For all given agricultural landscapes simulated, all flow, sediment and nutrient outputs increase from early-to-late century periods for the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 climate scenarios. We also find that corn and switchgrass yields are negatively impacted under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios in the mid- and late 21st century.

  9. Extreme temperature trends in major cropping systems and their relation to agricultural land use change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, N. D.; Butler, E. E.; McKinnon, K. A.; Rhines, A. N.; Tingley, M.; Siebert, S.; Holbrook, N. M.; Huybers, P. J.

    2015-12-01

    High temperature extremes during the growing season can reduce agricultural production. At the same time, agricultural practices can modify temperatures by altering the surface energy budget. Here we investigate growing season climate trends in major cropping systems and their relationship with agricultural land use change. In the US Midwest, 100-year trends exhibit a transition towards more favorable conditions, with cooler summer temperature extremes and increased precipitation. Statistically significant correspondence is found between the cooling pattern and trends in cropland intensification, as well as with trends towards greater irrigated land over a small subset of the domain. Land conversion to cropland, often considered an important influence on historical temperatures, is not significantly associated with cooling. We suggest that cooling is primarily associated with agricultural intensification increasing the potential for evapotranspiration, consistent with our finding that cooling trends are greatest for the highest temperature percentiles, and that increased evapotranspiration generally leads to greater precipitation. Temperatures over rainfed croplands show no cooling trend during drought conditions, consistent with evapotranspiration requiring adequate soil moisture, and implying that modern drought events feature greater warming as baseline cooler temperatures revert to historically high extremes. Preliminary results indicate these relationships between temperature extremes, irrigation, and intensification are also observed in other major summer cropping systems, including northeast China, Argentina, and the Canadian Prairies.

  10. Modeling the impact of conservation agriculture on crop production and soil properties in Mediterranean climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moussadek, Rachid; Mrabet, Rachid; Dahan, Rachid; Laghrour, Malika; Lembiad, Ibtissam; ElMourid, Mohamed

    2015-04-01

    In Morocco, rainfed agriculture is practiced in the majority of agricultural land. However, the intensive land use coupled to the irregular rainfall constitutes a serious threat that affect country's food security. Conservation agriculture (CA) represents a promising alternative to produce more and sustainably. In fact, the direct seeding showed high yield in arid regions of Morocco but its extending to other more humid agro-ecological zones (rainfall > 350mm) remains scarce. In order to promote CA in Morocco, differents trials have been installed in central plateau of Morocco, to compare CA to conventional tillage (CT). The yields of the main practiced crops (wheat, lentil and checkpea) under CA and CT were analyzed and compared in the 3 soils types (Vertisol, Cambisol and Calcisol). Also, we studied the effect of CA on soil organic matter (SOM) and soil losses (SL) in the 3 different sites. The APSIM model was used to model the long term impact of CA compared to CT. The results obtained in this research have shown favorable effects of CA on crop production, SOM and soil erosion. Key words: Conservation agriculture, yield, soil properties, modeling, APSIM, Morocco.

  11. Present and future of folate biofortification of crop plants.

    PubMed

    Blancquaert, Dieter; De Steur, Hans; Gellynck, Xavier; Van Der Straeten, Dominique

    2014-03-01

    Improving nutritional health is one of the major socio-economic challenges of the 21st century, especially with the continuously growing and ageing world population. Folate deficiency is an important and underestimated problem of micronutrient malnutrition affecting billions of people worldwide. More and more countries are adapting policies to fight folate deficiency, mostly by fortifying foods with folic acid. However, there is growing concern about this practice, calling for alternative or complementary strategies. In addition, fortification programmes are often inaccessible to remote and poor populations where folate deficiency is most prevalent. Enhancing folate content in staple crops by metabolic engineering is a promising, cost-effective strategy to eradicate folate malnutrition worldwide. Over the last decade, major progress has been made in this field. Nevertheless, engineering strategies have thus far been implemented on a handful of plant species only and need to be transferred to highly consumed staple crops to maximally reach target populations. Moreover, successful engineering strategies appear to be species-dependent, hence the need to adapt them in order to biofortify different staple crops with folate.

  12. From ozone depletion to agriculture: understanding the role of UV radiation in sustainable crop production.

    PubMed

    Wargent, Jason J; Jordan, Brian R

    2013-03-01

    Largely because of concerns regarding global climate change, there is a burgeoning interest in the application of fundamental scientific knowledge in order to better exploit environmental cues in the achievement of desirable endpoints in crop production. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is an energetic driver of a diverse range of plant responses and, despite historical concerns regarding the damaging consequences of UV-B radiation for global plant productivity as related to stratospheric ozone depletion, current developments representative of a range of organizational scales suggest that key plant responses to UV-B radiation may be exploitable in the context of a sustainable contribution towards the strengthening of global crop production, including alterations in secondary metabolism, enhanced photoprotection, up-regulation of the antioxidative response and modified resistance to pest and disease attack. Here, we discuss the prospect of this paradigm shift in photobiology, and consider the linkages between fundamental plant biology and crop-level outcomes that can be applied to the plant UV-B response, in addition to the consequences for related biota and many other facets of agro-ecosystem processes.

  13. Asexual Plant Reproduction. Agricultural Lesson Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale. Dept. of Agricultural Education and Mechanization.

    These lesson plans are intended for use in conducting classes on asexual plant reproduction. Presented first are an attention step/problem statement and a series of questions and answers designed to convey general information about asexual plant reproduction/propagation. The following topics are among those discussed: plant reproduction methods,…

  14. Spatial and temporal contrasts in the distribution of crops and pastures across Amazonia: A new agricultural land use data set from census data since 1950.

    PubMed

    Imbach, P; Manrow, M; Barona, E; Barretto, A; Hyman, G; Ciais, P

    2015-06-01

    Amazonia holds the largest continuous area of tropical forests with intense land use change dynamics inducing water, carbon, and energy feedbacks with regional and global impacts. Much of our knowledge of land use change in Amazonia comes from studies of the Brazilian Amazon, which accounts for two thirds of the region. Amazonia outside of Brazil has received less attention because of the difficulty of acquiring consistent data across countries. We present here an agricultural statistics database of the entire Amazonia region, with a harmonized description of crops and pastures in geospatial format, based on administrative boundary data at the municipality level. The spatial coverage includes countries within Amazonia and spans censuses and surveys from 1950 to 2012. Harmonized crop and pasture types are explored by grouping annual and perennial cropping systems, C3 and C4 photosynthetic pathways, planted and natural pastures, and main crops. Our analysis examined the spatial pattern of ratios between classes of the groups and their correlation with the agricultural extent of crops and pastures within administrative units of the Amazon, by country, and census/survey dates. Significant correlations were found between all ratios and the fraction of agricultural lands of each administrative unit, with the exception of planted to natural pastures ratio and pasture lands extent. Brazil and Peru in most cases have significant correlations for all ratios analyzed even for specific census and survey dates. Results suggested improvements, and potential applications of the database for carbon, water, climate, and land use change studies are discussed. The database presented here provides an Amazon-wide improved data set on agricultural dynamics with expanded temporal and spatial coverage.

  15. Caesium-137 root uptake by agricultural and wild crops in post-Chernobyl landscape: the possibilities for phytoremediation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paramonova, Tatiana; Shamshurina, Eugenia; Komissarova, Olga; Belyaev, Vladimir

    2015-04-01

    In spite of long term period after Chernobyl fallout (≈25 years after the accident) the level of Cs-137 in soils of contaminated landscapes remains several times more than radiation safety standard (= 37 kBq/m2). In particular, within the area of Plavsk radioactive hot spot (Tula region, Russia) current Cs-137 activities in soil are 460-500 Bq/kg (170-200 kBq/m2) on watershed, 580-680 Bq/kg (200-220 kBq/m2) in arable lower parts of slopes and 620-710 Bq/kg (210-280 kBq/m2) in untilled foots of slopes and river floodplains. To estimate the process of Cs-137 root uptake and incorporation of the radionuclide in plant tissues 6 agricultural crops of typical field rotation (spring barley, maize, summer rape, galega, potatoes, amaranth) as well as natural ecosystems of dry and wet meadows were selected for the detailed study. Total bioproductivity of agricultural crops varies between 1.7-3.9 kg/m2, natural grass ecosystems - 1.9-2.2 g/m2, and is obviously unaffected by radioactive land contamination. At the same time Cs-137 activity in total biomass slightly increases with Cs-137 activity in soil (correlation coefficient r=0.45) and with total biomass (correlation coefficient r=0.51) in the row: rape (5 Bq/kg) < amaranth, galega (17-19 Bq/kg) < barley, potatoes (31-37 Bq/kg) < maize (58 Bq/kg) < dry meadow (73 Bq/kg) < wet meadow (120 Bq/kg). Commonly, Cs-137 activity in vegetation of natural ecosystems with predominance of perennial grasses is significantly higher than in agrosystems with annual crops. But a substantial portion of Cs-137 in meadow vegetation is associated with belowground biomass, where the radionuclide's activity is 3-5 times greater than in the aboveground part. The distribution of Cs-137 activities between above- and belowground parts of agricultural crops greatly varies depending on the biological characteristics of plants: barley and maize (Gramíneae family) are also characterized by elevated Cs-137 concentrations in belowground parts (12

  16. Understanding the relative influence of climatic variations and agricultural management practices on crop yields at the US county level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leng, G.; Zhang, X.; Huang, M.; Yang, Q.; Rafique, R.; Asrar, G.; Leung, L. R.

    2015-12-01

    Crop yields are largely determined by climate variations and agricultural management practices, such as irrigation, fertilization and residue management. Understanding the role of these factors in regulating crop yield variations is not only important for improved crop yield production, but also equally valuable for future crop yield prediction and food security assessments. Recently, the Community Land Model (CLM) has been augmented and evaluated for simulating corn, soybean and cereals at coarse aerial resolutions of 2 degrees (2000x2000 km). To better understand the underlying mechanisms controlling yield variations, we implemented and validated the agricultural version of CLM (CLM-crop) at a 0.125 degree resolution over the Conterminous United States (CONUS). We conducted a suite of numerical experiments to untangle the relative influence of climatic variations (temperature, precipitation, and radiation) and agricultural management practices on yield variations for the past 30 years at the US county level. Preliminary results show that the model with default parameter settings captures well the temporal variations in crop yields, as compared with the actual yield reported by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, the magnitude of simulated crop yields is substantially higher, especially in the Mid-western US. We find that improved characterization of fertilizers and irrigation practices is key to model performance. Retrospectively (1979-2012), crop yields are more sensitive to changes in climate factors (such as temperature) than to changes in crop management practices. The results of this study advances understanding of the dominant factors in regulating the crop yield variations at the county level, which is essential for credible prediction of crop yields in a changing climate, under different agricultural management practices.

  17. Opportunities for improving phosphorus-use efficiency in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Veneklaas, Erik J; Lambers, Hans; Bragg, Jason; Finnegan, Patrick M; Lovelock, Catherine E; Plaxton, William C; Price, Charles A; Scheible, Wolf-Rüdiger; Shane, Michael W; White, Philip J; Raven, John A

    2012-07-01

    Limitation of grain crop productivity by phosphorus (P) is widespread and will probably increase in the future. Enhanced P efficiency can be achieved by improved uptake of phosphate from soil (P-acquisition efficiency) and by improved productivity per unit P taken up (P-use efficiency). This review focuses on improved P-use efficiency, which can be achieved by plants that have overall lower P concentrations, and by optimal distribution and redistribution of P in the plant allowing maximum growth and biomass allocation to harvestable plant parts. Significant decreases in plant P pools may be possible, for example, through reductions of superfluous ribosomal RNA and replacement of phospholipids by sulfolipids and galactolipids. Improvements in P distribution within the plant may be possible by increased remobilization from tissues that no longer need it (e.g. senescing leaves) and reduced partitioning of P to developing grains. Such changes would prolong and enhance the productive use of P in photosynthesis and have nutritional and environmental benefits. Research considering physiological, metabolic, molecular biological, genetic and phylogenetic aspects of P-use efficiency is urgently needed to allow significant progress to be made in our understanding of this complex trait.

  18. [Cumulative risk assessment for consumers of agricultural crops polluted with one chemical class pesticide residues (case of triazole fungicides)].

    PubMed

    Koval'chuk, N M; Omel'chuk, S T

    2011-01-01

    Different indices of cumulative risk assessment of combination of residues of pesticides which may simultaneously be present in raw agricultural crops, based on toxic evaluation of such combination have been presented. Risk for population health due to consumption of raw agricultural crops with triazole residues is acceptable on hazard index, point of departure index and cumulative risk index, exceeds allowable level on criterion "total margin of exposure".

  19. Farmer's Incentives for Adoption of Recommended Farm Practices in Wheat Crop in Aligarh Intensive Agricultural District, India.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vidyarthy, Gopal Saran

    This study was undertaken to identify farmer incentives that led them to adopt wheat crop practices in Aligarh Intensive Agricultural District Program: the association between the farmer's characteristics and adoption groups; the incentives that lead the farmers to adopt recommended wheat crop practices; relationship between identified incentives…

  20. Genetic Modification for Improving Seed Vigor Is Transitioning from Model Plants to Crop Plants

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiaolin; Ning, Fen; Hu, Xiuli; Wang, Wei

    2017-01-01

    Although seed vigor is a complex physiological trait controlled by quantitative trait loci, technological advances in the laboratory are being translated into applications for enhancing seed vigor in crop plants. In this article, we summarize and discuss pioneering work in the genetic modification of seed vigor, especially through the over-expression of protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT, EC 2.1.1.77) in seeds. The impressive success in improving rice seed vigor through the over-expression of PIMT provides a valuable reference for engineering high-vigor seeds for crop production. In recent decades, numerous genes/proteins associated with seed vigor have been identified. It is hoped that such potential candidates may be used in the development of genetically edited crops for a high and stable yield potential in crop production. This possibility is very valuable in the context of a changing climate and increasing world population. PMID:28149305

  1. From rainfed agriculture to stress-avoidance irrigation: II. Sustainability, crop yield, and profitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vico, Giulia; Porporato, Amilcare

    2011-02-01

    The optimality of irrigation strategies may be sought with respect to a number of criteria, including water requirements, crop yield, and profitability. To explore the suitability of different demand-based irrigation strategies, we link the probabilistic description of irrigation requirements under stochastic hydro-climatic conditions, provided in a companion paper [Vico G, Porporato A. From rainfed agriculture to stress-avoidance irrigation: I. A generalized irrigation scheme with stochastic soil moisture. Adv Water Resour 2011;34(2):263-71], to crop-yield and economic analyses. Water requirements, application efficiency, and investment costs of different irrigation methods, such as surface, sprinkler and drip irrigation systems, are described via a unified conceptual and theoretical approach, which includes rainfed agriculture and stress-avoidance irrigation as extreme cases. This allows us to analyze irrigation strategies with respect to sustainability, productivity, and economic return, using the same framework, and quantify them as a function of climate, crop, and soil parameters. We apply our results to corn ( Zea mays), a food staple and biofuel source, which is currently mainly irrigated through surface systems. As our analysis shows, micro-irrigation maximizes water productivity, but more traditional solutions may be more profitable at least in some contexts.

  2. Rhizo-lysimetry: facilities for the simultaneous study of root behaviour and resource use by agricultural crop and pasture systems

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Rhizo-lysimeters offer unique advantages for the study of plants and their interactions with soils. In this paper, an existing facility at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga Australia is described in detail and its potential to conduct both ecophysiological and ecohydrological research in the study of root interactions of agricultural crops and pastures is quantitatively assessed. This is of significance to future crop research efforts in southern Australia, in light of recent significant long-term drought events, as well as potential impacts of climate change as predicted for the region. The rhizo-lysimeter root research facility has recently been expanded to accommodate larger research projects over multiple years and cropping rotations. Results Lucerne, a widely-grown perennial pasture in southern Australia, developed an expansive root system to a depth of 0.9 m over a twelve month period. Its deeper roots particularly at 2.05 m continued to expand for the duration of the experiment. In succeeding experiments, canola, a commonly grown annual crop, developed a more extensive (approximately 300%) root system than wheat, but exhibited a slower rate of root elongation at rates of 7.47 x 10–3 m day–1 for canola and 1.04 x10–2 m day–1 for wheat. A time domain reflectometry (TDR) network was designed to accurately assess changes in soil water content, and could assess water content change to within 5% of the amount of water applied. Conclusions The rhizo-lysimetry system provided robust estimates of root growth and soil water change under conditions representative of a field setting. This is currently one of a very limited number of global research facilities able to perform experimentation under field conditions and is the largest root research experimental laboratory in the southern hemisphere. PMID:23363534

  3. A study of backscattered spectra dynamics of agricultural crops during growth period on the territory of the Krasnoyarskii Krai (Russia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pugacheva, I. Yu.; Sid'ko, A. F.; Shevyrnogov, A. P.

    2010-05-01

    The work presents the results of the study aimed at determining the seasonal dynamics of the spectral brightness and reflectance of agricultural crops (wheat, barley and oats) in the Krasnoyarskii Krai (Russia). The analysis of spectral curves obtained through field ground measurements and from satellite data showed that fine spectral differences can be used to study the spatial distribution of various types of vegetation and their ecological state. Based on the created electronic spectral brightness data base, the possibilities are shown of using spectrophotometric information for determining morphophysiological changes occurring in the plants and their species composition. The determined contrasts can be effectively used to obtain necessary information while processing space images, which suffer from natural interferences (varying optical thickness of the atmosphere, cloudiness, alterations in the scanner's angle of view, varying solar height, and highly inhomogeneous underlying surface).

  4. Geographic Variation of Plant Circadian Clock Function in Natural and Agricultural Settings.

    PubMed

    Greenham, Kathleen; Lou, Ping; Puzey, Joshua R; Kumar, Ganesh; Arnevik, Cindy; Farid, Hany; Willis, John H; McClung, C Robertson

    2017-02-01

    The increasing demand for improved agricultural production will require more efficient breeding for traits that maintain yield under heterogeneous environments. The internal circadian oscillator is essential for perceiving and coordinating environmental cues such as day length, temperature, and abiotic stress responses within physiological processes. To investigate the contribution of the circadian clock to local adaptability, we have analyzed circadian period by leaf movement in natural populations of Mimulus guttatus and domesticated cultivars of Glycine max. We detected consistent variation in circadian period along a latitudinal gradient in annual populations of the wild plant and the selectively bred crop, and this provides novel evidence of natural and artificial selection for circadian performance. These findings provide new support that the circadian clock acts as a central regulator of plant adaptability and further highlight the potential of applying circadian clock gene variation to marker-assisted breeding programs in crops.

  5. Biochemical production of bioenergy from agricultural crops and residue in Iran.

    PubMed

    Karimi Alavijeh, Masih; Yaghmaei, Soheila

    2016-06-01

    The present study assessed the potential for biochemical conversion of energy stored in agricultural waste and residue in Iran. The current status of agricultural residue as a source of bioenergy globally and in Iran was investigated. The total number of publications in this field from 2000 to 2014 was about 4294. Iran ranked 21st with approximately 54 published studies. A total of 87 projects have been devised globally to produce second-generation biofuel through biochemical pathways. There are currently no second-generation biorefineries in Iran and agricultural residue has no significant application. The present study determined the amount and types of sustainable agricultural residue and oil-rich crops and their provincial distribution. Wheat, barley, rice, corn, potatoes, alfalfa, sugarcane, sugar beets, apples, grapes, dates, cotton, soybeans, rapeseed, sesame seeds, olives, sunflowers, safflowers, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts have the greatest potential as agronomic and horticultural crops to produce bioenergy in Iran. A total of 11.33million tonnes (Mt) of agricultural biomass could be collected for production of bioethanol (3.84gigaliters (Gl)), biobutanol (1.07Gl), biogas (3.15billion cubic meters (BCM)), and biohydrogen (0.90BCM). Additionally, about 0.35Gl of biodiesel could be obtained using only 35% of total Iranian oilseed. The potential production capacity of conventional biofuel blends in Iran, environmental and socio-economic impacts including well-to-wheel greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the social cost of carbon dioxide reduction are discussed. The cost of emissions could decrease up to 55.83% by utilizing E85 instead of gasoline. The possible application of gaseous biofuel in Iran to produce valuable chemicals and provide required energy for crop cultivation is also studied. The energy recovered from biogas produced by wheat residue could provide energy input for 115.62 and 393.12 thousand hectares of irrigated and rain-fed wheat

  6. The first crop plant genetically engineered to release an insect pheromone for defence

    PubMed Central

    Bruce, Toby J.A.; Aradottir, Gudbjorg I.; Smart, Lesley E.; Martin, Janet L.; Caulfield, John C.; Doherty, Angela; Sparks, Caroline A.; Woodcock, Christine M.; Birkett, Michael A.; Napier, Johnathan A.; Jones, Huw D.; Pickett, John A.

    2015-01-01

    Insect pheromones offer potential for managing pests of crop plants. Volatility and instability are problems for deployment in agriculture but could be solved by expressing genes for the biosynthesis of pheromones in the crop plants. This has now been achieved by genetically engineering a hexaploid variety of wheat to release (E)-β-farnesene (Eβf), the alarm pheromone for many pest aphids, using a synthetic gene based on a sequence from peppermint with a plastid targeting amino acid sequence, with or without a gene for biosynthesis of the precursor farnesyl diphosphate. Pure Eβf was produced in stably transformed wheat lines with no other detectable phenotype but requiring targeting of the gene produced to the plastid. In laboratory behavioural assays, three species of cereal aphids were repelled and foraging was increased for a parasitic natural enemy. Although these studies show considerable potential for aphid control, field trials employing the single and double constructs showed no reduction in aphids or increase in parasitism. Insect numbers were low and climatic conditions erratic suggesting the need for further trials or a closer imitation, in the plant, of alarm pheromone release. PMID:26108150

  7. The Combination of Uav Survey and Landsat Imagery for Monitoring of Crop Vigor in Precision Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lukas, V.; Novák, J.; Neudert, L.; Svobodova, I.; Rodriguez-Moreno, F.; Edrees, M.; Kren, J.

    2016-06-01

    Mapping of the with-in field variability of crop vigor has a long tradition with a success rate ranging from medium to high depending on the local conditions of the study. Information about the development of agronomical relevant crop parameters, such as above-ground biomass and crop nutritional status, provides high reliability for yield estimation and recommendation for variable rate application of fertilizers. The aim of this study was to utilize unmanned and satellite multispectral imaging for estimation of basic crop parameters during the growing season. The experimental part of work was carried out in 2014 at the winter wheat field with an area of 69 ha located in the South Moravia region of the Czech Republic. An UAV imaging was done in April 2014 using Sensefly eBee, which was equipped by visible and near infrared (red edge) multispectral cameras. For ground truth calibration the spectral signatures were measured on 20 sites using portable spectroradiometer ASD Handheld 2 and simultaneously plant samples were taken at BBCH 32 (April 2014) and BBCH 59 (Mai 2014) for estimation of above-ground biomass and nitrogen content. The UAV survey was later extended by selected cloud-free Landsat 8 OLI satellite imagery, downloaded from USGS web application Earth Explorer. After standard pre-processing procedures, a set of vegetation indices was calculated from remotely and ground sensed data. As the next step, a correlation analysis was computed among crop vigor parameters and vegetation indices. Both, amount of above-ground biomass and nitrogen content were highly correlated (r > 0.85) with ground spectrometric measurement by ASD Handheld 2 in BBCH 32, especially for narrow band vegetation indices (e.g. Red Edge Inflection Point). UAV and Landsat broadband vegetation indices varied in range of r = 0.5 - 0.7, highest values of the correlation coefficients were obtained for crop biomass by using GNDVI. In all cases results from BBCH 59 vegetation stage showed lower

  8. Sexual Plant Reproduction. Agricultural Lesson Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale. Dept. of Agricultural Education and Mechanization.

    These lesson plans are intended for use in conducting classes on sexual plant reproduction. Presented first are an attention step/problem statement and a series of questions and answers designed to convey general information about sexual plant reproduction/propagation. The following topics are among those discussed: sexual and asexual plant…

  9. Agricultural Plant Pest Control. Bulletin 763.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    French, John C.; And Others

    This manual gives general information on plant pests and pesticides. First, the life-cycle and habits of some common insect pests are given. These include caterpillars, beetles and beetle larvae, and sucking insects. Next, plant diseases such as leaf diseases, wilts, root and crown rots, stem cankers, fruit rots, seed and seedling diseases, and…

  10. A review of the use of engineered nanomaterials to suppress plant disease and enhance crop yield

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Servin, Alia; Elmer, Wade; Mukherjee, Arnab; De la Torre-Roche, Roberto; Hamdi, Helmi; White, Jason C.; Bindraban, Prem; Dimkpa, Christian

    2015-02-01

    Nanotechnology has the potential to play a critical role in global food production, food security, and food safety. The applications of nanotechnology in agriculture include fertilizers to increase plant growth and yield, pesticides for pest and disease management, and sensors for monitoring soil quality and plant health. Over the past decade, a number of patents and products incorporating nanomaterials into agricultural practices (e.g., nanopesticides, nanofertilizers, and nanosensors) have been developed. The collective goal of all of these approaches is to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of agricultural practices by requiring less input and generating less waste than conventional products and approaches. This review evaluates the current literature on the use of nanoscale nutrients (metals, metal oxides, carbon) to suppress crop disease and subsequently enhance growth and yield. Notably, this enhanced yield may not only be directly linked to the reduced presence of pathogenic organisms, but also to the potential nutritional value of the nanoparticles themselves, especially for the essential micronutrients necessary for host defense. We also posit that these positive effects are likely a result of the greater availability of the nutrients in the "nano" form. Last, we offer comments on the current regulatory perspective for such applications.

  11. Brassinosteroids play a critical role in the regulation of pesticide metabolism in crop plants

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yanhong; Xia, Xiaojian; Yu, Gaobo; Wang, Jitao; Wu, Jingxue; Wang, Mengmeng; Yang, Youxin; Shi, Kai; Yu, Yunlong; Chen, Zhixiang; Gan, Jay; Yu, Jingquan

    2015-01-01

    Pesticide residues in agricultural produce pose a threat to human health worldwide. Although the detoxification mechanisms for xenobiotics have been extensively studied in mammalian cells, information about the regulation network in plants remains elusive. Here we show that brassinosteroids (BRs), a class of natural plant hormones, decreased residues of common organophosphorus, organochlorine and carbamate pesticides by 30–70% on tomato, rice, tea, broccoli, cucumber, strawberry, and other plants when treated externally. Genome-wide microarray analysis showed that fungicide chlorothalonil (CHT) and BR co-upregulated 301 genes, including a set of detoxifying genes encoding cytochrome P450, oxidoreductase, hydrolase and transferase in tomato plants. The level of BRs was closely related to the respiratory burst oxidase 1 (RBOH1)-encoded NADPH oxides-dependent H2O2 production, glutathione biosynthesis and the redox homeostasis, and the activity of glutathione S-transferase (GST). Gene silencing treatments showed that BRs decreased pesticide residues in plants likely by promoting their metabolism through a signaling pathway involving BRs-induced H2O2 production and cellular redox change. Our study provided a novel approach for minimizing pesticide residues in crops by exploiting plants' own detoxification mechanisms. PMID:25761674

  12. Effects of crop residue on soil and plant water evaporation in a dryland cotton system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lascano, R. J.; Baumhardt, R. L.

    1996-03-01

    Dryland agricultural cropping systems emphasize sustaining crop yields with limited use of fertilizer while conserving both rain water and the soil. Conservation of these resources may be achieved with management systems that retain residues at the soil surface simultaneously modifying both its energy and water balance. A conservation practice used with cotton grown on erodible soils of the Texas High Plains is to plant cotton into chemically terminated wheat residues. In this study, the partitioning of daily and seasonal evapotranspiration ( E t) into soil and plant water evaporation was compared for a conventional and a terminated-wheat cotton crop using the numerical model ENWATBAL. The model was configured to account for the effects of residue on the radiative fluxes and by introducing an additional resistance to latent and sensible heat fluxes derived from measurements of wind speed and vapor conductance from a soil covered with wheat-stubble. Our results showed that seasonal E t was similar in both systems and that cumulative soil water evaporation was 50% of E t in conventional cotton and 31% of E t in the wheat-stubble cotton. Calculated values of E t were in agreement with measured values. The main benefit of the wheat residues was to suppress soil water evaporation by intercepting irradiance early in the growing season when the crop leaf area index (LAI) was low. In semiarid regions LAI of dryland cotton seldom exceeds 2 and residues can improve water conservation. Measured soil temperatures showed that early in the season residues reduced temperature at 0.1 m depth by as much as 5°C and that differences between systems diminished with depth and over time. Residues increased lint yield per unit of E t while not modifying seasonal E t and reducing cumulative soil water evaporation.

  13. Heavy metals in agricultural soils and crops and their health risks in Swat District, northern Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Khan, Kifayatullah; Lu, Yonglong; Khan, Hizbullah; Ishtiaq, Muhammad; Khan, Sardar; Waqas, Muhammad; Wei, Luo; Wang, Tieyu

    2013-08-01

    This study assessed the concentrations of heavy metals such as cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn) in agricultural soils and crops (fruits, grains and vegetable) and their possible human health risk in Swat District, northern Pakistan. Cd concentration was found higher than the limit (0.05 mg/kg) set by world health organization in 95% fruit and 100% vegetable samples. Moreover, the concentrations of Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni and Zn in the soils were shown significant correlations with those in the crops. The metal transfer factor (MTF) was found highest for Cd followed by Cr>Ni>Zn>Cu>Mn, while the health risk assessment revealed that there was no health risk for most of the heavy metals except Cd, which showed a high level of health risk index (HRI⩾10E-1) that would pose a potential health risk to the consumers.

  14. Past and present trends of agricultural production and crop residues available for removal in the Mid-American Region

    SciTech Connect

    Posselius, J.H. Jr.

    1981-09-01

    This report consists of two separate studies. Part I discusses past and present trends of agricultural production in the MASEC region, while Part II emphasizes crop residues available for removal in the MASEC region. Part I analyzes agricultural crop and livestock production levels and trends by crop and livestock type on a state level basis. The resource base is divided into three main categories: starch crops, sugar crops, and livestock. The term starch crops refers to crops which are currently grown in significant acreage in the North Central region, such as: barley, beans, corn, oats, rice, rye, grain sorghum, sunflowers, and wheat. The term sugar crops refers to; sugar beets and sweet sorghum, and the term livestock refers to; cattle, dairy, hogs, chickens, and turkeys. The states that comprise the North Central region includes; Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Part II estimates the amount of crop residue available for removal in the MASEC region by crop type, on a county and state level basis. Wind and water erosion are considered as are nutrient losses and the net energy aspects of residue removal.

  15. Genetic Engineering of Plants. Agricultural Research Opportunities and Policy Concerns.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, Leslie

    Plant scientists and science policymakers from government, private companies, and universities met at a convocation on the genetic engineering of plants. During the convocation, researchers described some of the ways genetic engineering may be used to address agricultural problems. Policymakers delineated and debated changes in research funding…

  16. In silico analysis of the 16S rRNA gene of endophytic bacteria, isolated from the aerial parts and seeds of important agricultural crops.

    PubMed

    Bredow, C; Azevedo, J L; Pamphile, J A; Mangolin, C A; Rhoden, S A

    2015-08-19

    Because of human population growth, increased food production and alternatives to conventional methods of biocontrol and development of plants such as the use of endophytic bacteria and fungi are required. One of the methods used to study microorganism diversity is sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, which has several advantages, including universality, size, and availability of databases for comparison. The objective of this study was to analyze endophytic bacterial diversity in agricultural crops using published papers, sequence databases, and phylogenetic analysis. Fourteen papers were selected in which the ribosomal 16S rRNA gene was used to identify endophytic bacteria, in important agricultural crops, such as coffee, sugar cane, beans, corn, soybean, tomatoes, and grapes, located in different geographical regions (America, Europe, and Asia). The corresponding 16S rRNA gene sequences were selected from the NCBI database, aligned using the Mega 5.2 program, and phylogenetic analysis was undertaken. The most common orders present in the analyzed cultures were Bacillales, Enterobacteriales, and Actinomycetales and the most frequently observed genera were Bacillus, Pseudomonas, and Microbacterium. Phylogenetic analysis showed that only approximately 1.56% of the total sequences were not properly grouped, demonstrating reliability in the identification of microorganisms. This study identified the main genera found in endophytic bacterial cultures from plants, providing data for future studies on improving plant agriculture, biotechnology, endophytic bacterium prospecting, and to help understand relationships between endophytic bacteria and their interactions with plants.

  17. An integrated landscape designed for commodity and bioenergy crops for a tile-drained agricultural watershed

    SciTech Connect

    Ssegane, Herbert; Negri, M. Cristina

    2016-09-16

    Here, locating bioenergy crops on strategically selected subfield areas of marginal interest for commodity agriculture can increase environmental sustainability. Location and choice of bioenergy crops should improve environmental benefits with minimal disruption of current food production systems. We identified subfield soils of a tile-drained agricultural watershed as marginal if they had areas of low crop productivity index (CPI), were susceptible to nitrate-nitrogen (NO3–N) leaching, or were susceptible to at least two other forms of environmental degradation (marginal areas). In the test watershed (Indian Creek watershed, IL) with annual precipitation of 852 mm, 3% of soils were CPI areas and 22% were marginal areas. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool was used to forecast the impact of growing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), willow (Salix spp.), and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi Vitman) in these subfield areas on annual grain yields, NO3–N and sediment exports, and water yield. Simulated conversion of CPI areas from current land use to bioenergy crops had no significant (p ≤ 0.05) impact on grain production and reduced NO3–N and sediment exports by 5.0 to 6.0% and 3.0%, respectively. Conversion of marginal areas from current land use to switchgrass forecasted the production of 34,000 t of biomass and reductions in NO3–N (26.0%) and sediment (33.0%) exports. Alternatively, conversion of marginal areas from current land use to willow forecasted similar reductions as switchgrass for sediment but significantly (p ≤ 0.01) lower reductions in annual NO3–N export (18.0 vs. 26.0%).

  18. An integrated landscape designed for commodity and bioenergy crops for a tile-drained agricultural watershed

    DOE PAGES

    Ssegane, Herbert; Negri, M. Cristina

    2016-09-16

    Here, locating bioenergy crops on strategically selected subfield areas of marginal interest for commodity agriculture can increase environmental sustainability. Location and choice of bioenergy crops should improve environmental benefits with minimal disruption of current food production systems. We identified subfield soils of a tile-drained agricultural watershed as marginal if they had areas of low crop productivity index (CPI), were susceptible to nitrate-nitrogen (NO3–N) leaching, or were susceptible to at least two other forms of environmental degradation (marginal areas). In the test watershed (Indian Creek watershed, IL) with annual precipitation of 852 mm, 3% of soils were CPI areas and 22%more » were marginal areas. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool was used to forecast the impact of growing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), willow (Salix spp.), and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi Vitman) in these subfield areas on annual grain yields, NO3–N and sediment exports, and water yield. Simulated conversion of CPI areas from current land use to bioenergy crops had no significant (p ≤ 0.05) impact on grain production and reduced NO3–N and sediment exports by 5.0 to 6.0% and 3.0%, respectively. Conversion of marginal areas from current land use to switchgrass forecasted the production of 34,000 t of biomass and reductions in NO3–N (26.0%) and sediment (33.0%) exports. Alternatively, conversion of marginal areas from current land use to willow forecasted similar reductions as switchgrass for sediment but significantly (p ≤ 0.01) lower reductions in annual NO3–N export (18.0 vs. 26.0%).« less

  19. CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) for weather impact assessment on global agriculture.

    PubMed

    Gommes, René; Wu, Bingfang; Zhang, Ning; Feng, Xueliang; Zeng, Hongwei; Li, Zhongyuan; Chen, Bo

    2017-02-01

    CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) are a monitoring tool developed by the CropWatch global crop monitoring system in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS; www.cropwatch.com.cn , Wu et al Int J Digital Earth 7(2):113-137, 2014, Wu et al Remote Sens 7:3907-3933, 2015). Contrary to most other environmental and agroclimatic indicators, they are "agronomic value-added", i.e. they are spatial values averaged over agricultural areas only and they include a weighting that enhances the contribution of the areas with the largest production potential. CWAIs can be computed for any time interval (starting from dekads) and yield one synthetic value per variable over a specific area and time interval, for instance a national annual value. Therefore, they are very compatible with socio-economic and other variables that are usually reported at regular time intervals over administrative units, such as national environmental or agricultural statistics. Two of the CWAIs are satellite-based (RAIN and Photosynthetically Active radiation, PAR) while the third is ground based (TEMP, air temperature); capitals are used when specifically referring to CWAIs rather than the climate variables in general. The paper first provides an overview of some common agroclimatic indicators, describing their procedural, systemic and normative features in subsequent sections, following the terminology of Binder et al Environ Impact Assess Rev 30:71-81 (2010). The discussion focuses on the systemic and normative aspects: the CWAIs are assessed in terms of their coherent description of the agroclimatic crop environment, at different spatial scales (systemic). The final section shows that the CWAIs retain key statistical properties of the underlying climate variables and that they can be compared to a reference value and used as monitoring and early warning variables (normative).

  20. CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) for weather impact assessment on global agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gommes, René; Wu, Bingfang; Zhang, Ning; Feng, Xueliang; Zeng, Hongwei; Li, Zhongyuan; Chen, Bo

    2016-07-01

    CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) are a monitoring tool developed by the CropWatch global crop monitoring system in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS; www.cropwatch.com.cn, Wu et al Int J Digital Earth 7(2):113-137, 2014, Wu et al Remote Sens 7:3907-3933, 2015). Contrary to most other environmental and agroclimatic indicators, they are "agronomic value-added", i.e. they are spatial values averaged over agricultural areas only and they include a weighting that enhances the contribution of the areas with the largest production potential. CWAIs can be computed for any time interval (starting from dekads) and yield one synthetic value per variable over a specific area and time interval, for instance a national annual value. Therefore, they are very compatible with socio-economic and other variables that are usually reported at regular time intervals over administrative units, such as national environmental or agricultural statistics. Two of the CWAIs are satellite-based (RAIN and Photosynthetically Active radiation, PAR) while the third is ground based (TEMP, air temperature); capitals are used when specifically referring to CWAIs rather than the climate variables in general. The paper first provides an overview of some common agroclimatic indicators, describing their procedural, systemic and normative features in subsequent sections, following the terminology of Binder et al Environ Impact Assess Rev 30:71-81 (2010). The discussion focuses on the systemic and normative aspects: the CWAIs are assessed in terms of their coherent description of the agroclimatic crop environment, at different spatial scales (systemic). The final section shows that the CWAIs retain key statistical properties of the underlying climate variables and that they can be compared to a reference value and used as monitoring and early warning variables (normative).

  1. CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) for weather impact assessment on global agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gommes, René; Wu, Bingfang; Zhang, Ning; Feng, Xueliang; Zeng, Hongwei; Li, Zhongyuan; Chen, Bo

    2017-02-01

    CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) are a monitoring tool developed by the CropWatch global crop monitoring system in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS; http://www.cropwatch.com.cn, Wu et al Int J Digital Earth 7(2):113-137, 2014, Wu et al Remote Sens 7:3907-3933, 2015). Contrary to most other environmental and agroclimatic indicators, they are "agronomic value-added", i.e. they are spatial values averaged over agricultural areas only and they include a weighting that enhances the contribution of the areas with the largest production potential. CWAIs can be computed for any time interval (starting from dekads) and yield one synthetic value per variable over a specific area and time interval, for instance a national annual value. Therefore, they are very compatible with socio-economic and other variables that are usually reported at regular time intervals over administrative units, such as national environmental or agricultural statistics. Two of the CWAIs are satellite-based (RAIN and Photosynthetically Active radiation, PAR) while the third is ground based (TEMP, air temperature); capitals are used when specifically referring to CWAIs rather than the climate variables in general. The paper first provides an overview of some common agroclimatic indicators, describing their procedural, systemic and normative features in subsequent sections, following the terminology of Binder et al Environ Impact Assess Rev 30:71-81 (2010). The discussion focuses on the systemic and normative aspects: the CWAIs are assessed in terms of their coherent description of the agroclimatic crop environment, at different spatial scales (systemic). The final section shows that the CWAIs retain key statistical properties of the underlying climate variables and that they can be compared to a reference value and used as monitoring and early warning variables (normative).

  2. An Integrated Landscape Designed for Commodity and Bioenergy Crops for a Tile-Drained Agricultural Watershed.

    PubMed

    Ssegane, Herbert; Negri, M Cristina

    2016-09-01

    Locating bioenergy crops on strategically selected subfield areas of marginal interest for commodity agriculture can increase environmental sustainability. Location and choice of bioenergy crops should improve environmental benefits with minimal disruption of current food production systems. We identified subfield soils of a tile-drained agricultural watershed as marginal if they had areas of low crop productivity index (CPI), were susceptible to nitrate-nitrogen (NO-N) leaching, or were susceptible to at least two other forms of environmental degradation (marginal areas). In the test watershed (Indian Creek watershed, IL) with annual precipitation of 852 mm, 3% of soils were CPI areas and 22% were marginal areas. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool was used to forecast the impact of growing switchgrass ( L.), willow ( spp.), and big bluestem ( Vitman) in these subfield areas on annual grain yields, NO-N and sediment exports, and water yield. Simulated conversion of CPI areas from current land use to bioenergy crops had no significant ( 0.05) impact on grain production and reduced NO-N and sediment exports by 5.0 to 6.0% and 3.0%, respectively. Conversion of marginal areas from current land use to switchgrass forecasted the production of 34,000 t of biomass and reductions in NO-N (26.0%) and sediment (33.0%) exports. Alternatively, conversion of marginal areas from current land use to willow forecasted similar reductions as switchgrass for sediment but significantly ( 0.01) lower reductions in annual NO-N export (18.0 vs. 26.0%).

  3. Monitoring agricultural crops using a light-weight hyperspectral mapping system for unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kooistra, Lammert; Suomalainen, Juha; Franke, Jappe; Bartholomeus, Harm; Mücher, Sander; Becker, Rolf

    2014-05-01

    quality. Next we would like to present the relations between sensor derived spectral measurements and crop status variables for a time-series of measurements over the growing season. In addition, the spatial variation of crop characteristics within the field can be adopted for variable rate application of fertilizers within the field. The outcome of the experiments should guide the operational use of UAV based systems in precision agriculture systems.

  4. Determine metrics and set targets for soil quality on agriculture residue and energy crop pathways

    SciTech Connect

    Ian Bonner; David Muth

    2013-09-01

    There are three objectives for this project: 1) support OBP in meeting MYPP stated performance goals for the Sustainability Platform, 2) develop integrated feedstock production system designs that increase total productivity of the land, decrease delivered feedstock cost to the conversion facilities, and increase environmental performance of the production system, and 3) deliver to the bioenergy community robust datasets and flexible analysis tools for establishing sustainable and viable use of agricultural residues and dedicated energy crops. The key project outcome to date has been the development and deployment of a sustainable agricultural residue removal decision support framework. The modeling framework has been used to produce a revised national assessment of sustainable residue removal potential. The national assessment datasets are being used to update national resource assessment supply curves using POLYSIS. The residue removal modeling framework has also been enhanced to support high fidelity sub-field scale sustainable removal analyses. The framework has been deployed through a web application and a mobile application. The mobile application is being used extensively in the field with industry, research, and USDA NRCS partners to support and validate sustainable residue removal decisions. The results detailed in this report have set targets for increasing soil sustainability by focusing on primary soil quality indicators (total organic carbon and erosion) in two agricultural residue management pathways and a dedicated energy crop pathway. The two residue pathway targets were set to, 1) increase residue removal by 50% while maintaining soil quality, and 2) increase soil quality by 5% as measured by Soil Management Assessment Framework indicators. The energy crop pathway was set to increase soil quality by 10% using these same indicators. To demonstrate the feasibility and impact of each of these targets, seven case studies spanning the US are presented

  5. Demarcation of coastal transition zone in Gulf of Guayaquil (Ecuador) for agriculture crops and bioaquatic hatcheries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pozo, Wilson; Pardo, Francisco; Sanfeliu, Teófilo; Belen Vicente, Ana; Jordan, Manuel Miguel; Bech, Jaume

    2014-05-01

    The Gulf of Guayaquil (Ecuador) is the largest estuary in the South American Pacific coast. It has special characteristics which make it to have a great diversity of agricultural crops and bioaquatic hatcheries.The study was focused on demarcating of Coastal Transition Zone in Gulf of Guayaquil for agriculture crops and bioaquatic hatcheries, based on salinity indexes and characterization of physicochemical properties of soils in order to establish similarities and differences between groups using multivariate analysis. In this paper, cluster analysis of 12 parameters (conductivity, pH, anions, cations, metals and organic matter) was carried on. 15 transects towards the coastline were performed, each consisting of 6 stations equidistant sampling 1 km covering a distance of 5 km from the margin of mangrove inland a total of 90 stations. The sampling points were established as a representative area because of its hydrological characteristics and tidal influence. Soils were sampled between 0 and 20 cm of depth (Topsoil). The salinity analysis was performed by the method of the saturation extract, the pH was measured with a potentiometer, chemical analysis was carried by colorimetry and atomic absorption spectrophotometry and the organic matter was determined by the method of Walkley and Black. The cluster analysis allowed to establish suitable and restrictive zones for shrimp farming and agricultural crops. It has been established that the coastal transition zone of the Gulf of Guayaquil is located at 4.2 km from the mangroves with a soil salinity of 4 mS / cm. There is a suitable zone for shrimp farming with a salinity of 13.5 mS / cm from the edge of the mangrove to 2.8 km, then the concentration of salinity prevents its use for bioaquatic hatcheries to 4.2 km. The area for agriculture crops is limited from a restricted area using a salinity value from 2mS/cm to 4 mS / cm. The characterization of the coastal transition zone using multivariate analysis established

  6. Britain's genetically modified crop controversies: the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission and the negotiation of 'uncertainty'.

    PubMed

    Grove-White, Robin

    2006-01-01

    The genetically modified crop controversies in Britain between 1997 and 2004 involved tensions surrounding the role of science in policy. The author of the paper was a member of the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission, a novel government advisory body created in 2000, which played a central role in negotiating new policy frameworks. The commission was also a key influence in the creation and execution of the three-pronged official 'GM dialogue' in 2002 and 2003. New understandings of 'uncertainty', both scientific and social, emerged as a result. The outcomes have relevance for the future political handling of other technological fields, including human genetics.

  7. The global impact of ozone on agricultural crop yields under current and future air quality legislation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Dingenen, Rita; Dentener, Frank J.; Raes, Frank; Krol, Maarten C.; Emberson, Lisa; Cofala, Janusz

    In this paper we evaluate the global impact of surface ozone on four types of agricultural crop. The study is based on modelled global hourly ozone fields for the year 2000 and 2030, using the global 1°×1° 2-way nested atmospheric chemical transport model (TM5). Projections for the year 2030 are based on the relatively optimistic "current legislation (CLE) scenario", i.e. assuming that currently approved air quality legislation will be fully implemented by the year 2030, without a further development of new abatement policies. For both runs, the relative yield loss due to ozone damage is evaluated based on two different indices (accumulated concentration above a 40 ppbV threshold and seasonal mean daytime ozone concentration respectively) on a global, regional and national scale. The cumulative metric appears to be far less robust than the seasonal mean, while the seasonal mean shows satisfactory agreement with measurements in Europe, the US, China and Southern India and South-East Asia. Present day global relative yield losses are estimated to range between 7% and 12% for wheat, between 6% and 16% for soybean, between 3% and 4% for rice, and between 3% and 5% for maize (range resulting from different metrics used). Taking into account possible biases in our assessment, introduced through the global application of "western" crop exposure-response functions, and through model performance in reproducing ozone-exposure metrics, our estimates may be considered as being conservative. Under the 2030 CLE scenario, the global situation is expected to deteriorate mainly for wheat (additional 2-6% loss globally) and rice (additional 1-2% loss globally). India, for which no mitigation measures have been assumed by 2030, accounts for 50% of these global increase in crop yield loss. On a regional-scale, significant reductions in crop losses by CLE-2030 are only predicted in Europe (soybean) and China (wheat). Translating these assumed yield losses into total global economic

  8. Cover crops in mixtures do not use water differently than single-species plantings

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Some recent statements have been made about the benefits of growing cover crops in mixtures as compared with single-species plantings of cover crops. One of those stated benefits is greatly reduced water use by cover crops grown in mixtures. The objectives of this study were to characterize soil wat...

  9. Relationship between soil copper content and copper content of selected crop plants in central Chile.

    PubMed

    Badilla-Ohlbaum, R; Ginocchio, R; Rodríguez, P H; Céspedes, A; González, S; Allen, H E; Lagos, G E

    2001-12-01

    A survey of copper levels in agricultural soils of central Chile revealed two soil clusters-one with a mean copper level of 162 mg/kg and one with a mean copper level of 751 mg/kg of soil. Samples of soils from both soil clusters were characterized on the basis of physicochemical characteristics, and copper extractability was compared by saturation and CaCl2 extraction as well as an acid-leaching procedure (TCLP). We also measured the copper content of various tissues of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) and onion (Allium cepa) crops growing on these soils. Other than copper levels, soils from the two clusters were quite similar, with slightly greater levels of molybdenum and cadmium in the high-copper soils. Within each cluster, extracted copper levels and total soil copper levels were not correlated. However, the three extraction procedures solubilized significantly more copper from the high-Cu soils. Mineralogical characterization of the soil particles and depth profiles of soil metal levels in a subsample of sites suggested that highly insoluble copper ore and mining wastes might account for the high copper levels. Neither total nor extractable copper levels allowed statistical prediction of the levels of copper in plant tissue. The edible tissues of both crops had the same mean copper content, regardless of the copper soil level. However, copper contents of stems and leaves were significantly higher for plants growing on the high-Cu soils. These results show that in these soils, high copper levels are associated with very insoluble copper species and thus low bioavailability of copper to crop plants.

  10. Environmental factors that influence the location of crop agriculture in the conterminous United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baker, Nancy T.; Capel, Paul D.

    2011-01-01

    Most crops are grown on land with shallow slope where the temperature, precipitation, and soils are favorable. In areas that are too steep, wet, or dry, landscapes have been modified to allow cultivation. Some of the limitations of the environmental factors that determine the location of agriculture can be overcome through modifications, but others cannot. On a larger-than-field scale, agricultural modifications commonly influence water availability through irrigation and (or) drainage and soil fertility and (or) organic-matter content through amendments such as manure, commercial fertilizer and lime. In general, it is not feasible to modify the other environmental factors, soil texture, soil depth, soil mineralogy, temperature, and terrain at large scales.

  11. Control of Abscission in Agricultural Crops and Its Physiological Basis 1

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, W. C.; Rasmussen, G. K.; Rogers, B. J.; Reece, P. C.; Henry, W. H.

    1968-01-01

    Some naphthalene and phenoxy compounds prevent preharvest drop of apples, pears, and citrus fruits. These studies have been complicated by an unrecognized high level of ethylene produced by leaves and fruit on trees sprayed with these growth regulators. An apparent contradiction is the effectiveness of both 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and n-dimethylaminosuccinamic acid (a growth retardant which retards biosynthesis of auxin) in preventing abscission of apples. Thus, in the presence of low auxin concentrations in the tissue, this growth retardant prevents fruit abscission even more effectively than 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid at high auxin concentrations in the tissue. This anomaly is clarified on the basis that n-dimethylaminosuccinamic acid, in the presence of a known low ethylene biosynthesis, delays maturity of the fruit and thus prevents fruit abscission. On the other hand, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid prevents abscission by direct growth hormone action, in spite of the side effects of ethylene production which speeds ripening of the fruit. With the promotion of abscission of leaves and fruit of agricultural crops, attention is given to the use of chemicals which induce ethylene production when applied to the plant, but which have no growth promotion effect to retard abscission. We can distinguish 5 kinds of such chemicals. One group includes gibberellic and abscisic acids that induce treated leaves to produce ethylene and abscise (under certain circumstances). However, they do not induce ethylene production by fruit and do not promote fruit abscission. A second group includes ascorbic acid, which, when used at relatively high levels, induces fruit to produce enough ethylene to promote abscission. Ascorbic acid-treated leaves also produce ethylene but not enough to cause much defoliation. A third group includes protein-synthesis inhibitors, such as cycloheximide. When low concentrations (about 30 μmoles/l) are sprayed on the fruit, the rapid effect of

  12. Fructooligosaccharides and fructans analysis in plants and food crops.

    PubMed

    Benkeblia, Noureddine

    2013-10-25

    Because fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and fructans are increasingly important in food and nutrition sciences, separation and analysis tools, in particular with the development of analytical chemistry, are slowly but rationally being developed for their separation and identification in plants, crops, and food products. Several chromatographic and other methods have been described to assess FOS and fructans, however, most of these methods are technically complicated, time-consuming and expensive. Although modern techniques have evolved tremendously, FOS and fructans analyses involve multiple and/or sequential extractions, chemical or biochemical polymers hydrolysis, and multiple chromatographic and/or other analytical runs to quantify these polymers. This paper aims to review and describe the different chromatographic techniques and other methods that are used to separate, analyze and quantify FOS and fructans.

  13. Plant tolerance to high temperature in a changing environment: scientific fundamentals and production of heat stress-tolerant crops

    PubMed Central

    Bita, Craita E.; Gerats, Tom

    2013-01-01

    Global warming is predicted to have a general negative effect on plant growth due to the damaging effect of high temperatures on plant development. The increasing threat of climatological extremes including very high temperatures might lead to catastrophic loss of crop productivity and result in wide spread famine. In this review, we assess the impact of global climate change on the agricultural crop production. There is a differential effect of climate change both in terms of geographic location and the crops that will likely show the most extreme reductions in yield as a result of expected extreme fluctuations in temperature and global warming in general. High temperature stress has a wide range of effects on plants in terms of physiology, biochemistry and gene regulation pathways. However, strategies exist to crop improvement for heat stress tolerance. In this review, we present recent advances of research on all these levels of investigation and focus on potential leads that may help to understand more fully the mechanisms that make plants tolerant or susceptible to heat stress. Finally, we review possible procedures and methods which could lead to the generation of new varieties with sustainable yield production, in a world likely to be challenged both by increasing population, higher average temperatures and larger temperature fluctuations. PMID:23914193

  14. Nitrogen uptake, assimilation and remobilization in plants: challenges for sustainable and productive agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Masclaux-Daubresse, Céline; Daniel-Vedele, Françoise; Dechorgnat, Julie; Chardon, Fabien; Gaufichon, Laure; Suzuki, Akira

    2010-01-01

    Background Productive agriculture needs a large amount of expensive nitrogenous fertilizers. Improving nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of crop plants is thus of key importance. NUE definitions differ depending on whether plants are cultivated to produce biomass or grain yields. However, for most plant species, NUE mainly depends on how plants extract inorganic nitrogen from the soil, assimilate nitrate and ammonium, and recycle organic nitrogen. Efforts have been made to study the genetic basis as well as the biochemical and enzymatic mechanisms involved in nitrogen uptake, assimilation, and remobilization in crops and model plants. The detection of the limiting factors that could be manipulated to increase NUE is the major goal of such research. Scope An overall examination of the physiological, metabolic, and genetic aspects of nitrogen uptake, assimilation and remobilization is presented in this review. The enzymes and regulatory processes manipulated to improve NUE components are presented. Results obtained from natural variation and quantitative trait loci studies are also discussed. Conclusions This review presents the complexity of NUE and supports the idea that the integration of the numerous data coming from transcriptome studies, functional genomics, quantitative genetics, ecophysiology and soil science into explanatory models of whole-plant behaviour will be promising. PMID:20299346

  15. A study on agricultural drought vulnerability at disaggregated level in a highly irrigated and intensely cropped state of India.

    PubMed

    Murthy, C S; Yadav, Manoj; Mohammed Ahamed, J; Laxman, B; Prawasi, R; Sesha Sai, M V R; Hooda, R S

    2015-03-01

    Drought is an important global hazard, challenging the sustainable agriculture and food security of nations. Measuring agricultural drought vulnerability is a prerequisite for targeting interventions to improve and sustain the agricultural performance of both irrigated and rain-fed agriculture. In this study, crop-generic agricultural drought vulnerability status is empirically measured through a composite index approach. The study area is Haryana state, India, a prime agriculture state of the country, characterised with low rainfall, high irrigation support and stable cropping pattern. By analysing the multiyear rainfall and crop condition data of kharif crop season (June-October) derived from satellite data and soil water holding capacity and groundwater quality, nine contributing indicators were generated for 120 blocks (sub-district administrative units). Composite indices for exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity components were generated after assigning variance-based weightages to the respective input indicators. Agricultural Drought Vulnerability Index (ADVI) was developed through a linear combination of the three component indices. ADVI-based vulnerability categorisation revealed that 51 blocks are with vulnerable to very highly vulnerable status. These blocks are located in the southern and western parts of the state, where groundwater quality is saline and water holding capacity of soils is less. The ADVI map has effectively captured the spatial pattern of agricultural drought vulnerability in the state. Districts with large number of vulnerable blocks showed considerably larger variability of de-trended crop yields. Correlation analysis reveals that crop condition variability, groundwater quality and soil factors are closely associated with ADVI. The vulnerability index is useful to prioritise the blocks for implementation of long-term drought management plans. There is scope for improving the methodology by adding/fine-tuning the indicators and

  16. Native root-associated bacteria rescue a plant from a sudden-wilt disease that emerged during continuous cropping.

    PubMed

    Santhanam, Rakesh; Luu, Van Thi; Weinhold, Arne; Goldberg, Jay; Oh, Youngjoo; Baldwin, Ian T

    2015-09-08

    Plants maintain microbial associations whose functions remain largely unknown. For the past 15 y, we have planted the annual postfire tobacco Nicotiana attenuata into an experimental field plot in the plant's native habitat, and for the last 8 y the number of plants dying from a sudden wilt disease has increased, leading to crop failure. Inadvertently we had recapitulated the common agricultural dilemma of pathogen buildup associated with continuous cropping for this native plant. Plants suffered sudden tissue collapse and black roots, symptoms similar to a Fusarium-Alternaria disease complex, recently characterized in a nearby native population and developed into an in vitro pathosystem for N. attenuata. With this in vitro disease system, different protection strategies (fungicide and inoculations with native root-associated bacterial and fungal isolates), together with a biochar soil amendment, were tested further in the field. A field trial with more than 900 plants in two field plots revealed that inoculation with a mixture of native bacterial isolates significantly reduced disease incidence and mortality in the infected field plot without influencing growth, herbivore resistance, or 32 defense and signaling metabolites known to mediate resistance against native herbivores. Tests in a subsequent year revealed that a core consortium of five bacteria was essential for disease reduction. This consortium, but not individual members of the root-associated bacteria community which this plant normally recruits during germination from native seed banks, provides enduring resistance against fungal diseases, demonstrating that native plants develop opportunistic mutualisms with prokaryotes that solve context-dependent ecological problems.

  17. Particle size distribution and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons emissions from agricultural crop residue burning.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hefeng; Hu, Dawei; Chen, Jianmin; Ye, Xingnan; Wang, Shu Xiao; Hao, Ji Ming; Wang, Lin; Zhang, Renyi; An, Zhisheng

    2011-07-01

    Laboratory measurements were conducted to determine particle size distribution and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) emissions from the burning of rice, wheat, and corn straws, three major agricultural crop residues in China. Particle size distributions were determined by a wide-range particle spectrometer (WPS). PAHs in both the particulate and gaseous phases were simultaneously collected and analyzed by GC-MS. Particle number size distributions showed a prominent accumulation mode with peaks at 0.10, 0.15, and 0.15 μm for rice, wheat, and corn-burned aerosols, respectively. PAHs emission factors of rice, wheat, and corn straws were 5.26, 1.37, and 1.74 mg kg(-1), respectively. It was suggested that combustion with higher efficiency was characterized by smaller particle size and lower PAHs emission factors. The total PAHs emissions from the burning of three agricultural crop residues in China were estimated to be 1.09 Gg for the year 2004.

  18. Tracing organic and inorganic pollution sources of agricultural crops and water resources in Güzelhisar Basin of the Aegean Region - Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czarnecki, Sezin; Colak Esetlili, Bihter; Esetlili, Tolga; Tepecik, Mahmut; Anac, Dilek; Düring, Rolf-Alexander

    2014-05-01

    The study area Güzelhisar Basin is 6 km far from the city Aliaga, Aegean Region in Turkey which represents a rather industrialized area having five large iron and steel factories, but also areas of agriculture. Steel industry in Aliaga is causing metal pollution. Around Güzelhisar Basin and nearby, the dominant crop fields are cotton, maize, vegetables, olive trees and vineyards. Güzelhisar stream and dam water is used for irrigation of the agricultural land. Due to contamination from metal industry in Aliaga, organic farming is not allowed in this region. Industrial activities in the region present a threat on sustainable agriculture. The region is a multi-impacted area in terms of several pollutant sources affecting soil and water quality. The overall objective of the project is to trace back plant nutrients (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, and B), hazardous substances (i. e. persistent organic pollutants), radionuclides (40K, 232Th, 226Ra/238U), and metal contents (As, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) by examining the soils, agricultural crops and natural plants from Güzelhisar Basin and water and sediments from Güzelhisar stream and dam. Spatial distribution of pollution will be evaluated by regionalization methods. For this, an advanced analytical methodology will be applied which provides an understanding of sources and occurrence of the respective substances of concern. An innovative multi-tracer approach comprising organic and inorganic marker substances, will identify and quantitatively assess sources and their impact on water pollution and the pollutant pathways in this agricultural crop production system.

  19. Estimated annual agricultural pesticide use by crop group for states of the conterminous United States, 1992-2014

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baker, Nancy T.

    2017-01-01

    This dataset provides estimates of annual agricultural use of pesticide compounds by crop group at the state level for states in the conterminous United States, for the time period 1992-2014, compiled from data used to make county-level estimates by means of methods described in Thelin and Stone (2013) and Baker and Stone (2015). The source of this data is the same as the published county-level pesticide use estimates for 1992-2009 (Stone, 2013), estimates for 2008-2012 (Baker and Stone, 2015), and preliminary estimates for 2013 and 2014 respectively, Baker (2015), and Baker (2016). County level by-crop estimates are not published because of the increased uncertainty in estimating the geographic distribution of compounds applied to specific crops. County level estimates were aggregated to state level for high acreage crops such as corn and soybeans, and crop groups for lower acreage crops.

  20. Sensitivity of water balance and water use efficiency to climate and crop type at an agricultural site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brümmer, C.; Kutsch, W. L.

    2012-04-01

    The effects of climatic factors and crop type on evapotranspiration (E) and water use efficiency (WUE) were analyzed using tower-based eddy-covariance data for an agricultural site in Thuringia, Germany. During ten years of observation, winter wheat (five times) and winter barley (once) were alternately planted with potato (twice), rapeseed (once) and sugar beet (once). The seasonal pattern of E was closely linked to growing-season length and rainfall distribution. Although annual precipitation (P) was highly variable (380-700 mm), minimum annual E was not less than 250 mm and was limited to 380 mm. However, a positive correlation between annual P and annual E with E plateauing at high P as was usually found at forest, grassland and peatland sites could not be observed. Winter wheat tended to limit annual E and was found to be relatively insensitive with changing annual P and solar irradiance. A hysteretic relationship between monthly mean values of E and net radiation (Rn) indicated that E lagged behind the typical seasonal progression of Rn. Annual means of daytime dry-foliage Priestley-Taylor α much less than the theoretical maximum of 1.26 for extensive well-watered vegetation showed that E on an annual basis was either water limited and/or stomatal control of transpiration must have been prevalent. In all years, a strong linear correlation between monthly mean values of gross primary production and E resulted in WUE being relatively constant between 2.5 and 3.5 g C kg-1 H2O. Our study shows that crop selection has a major impact on the water balance of an agricultural site with the influence of climatic factors being significantly different than usually found for natural ecosystems.

  1. Trends in American agriculture. Their implications for biological warfare against crop and animal resources.

    PubMed

    Deen, W A

    1999-01-01

    Current trends in American agriculture have changed the vulnerability to use of biological weapons against plant and animal resources. The major effect has been a requirement to look again at the model of the U.S. BW program of widespread dissemination of agent and look to attack models requiring much lower levels of resources. The U.S. biological warfare program models must take the effects of these major trends into account when considering the possible widespread dissemination of a biological agent. The models must also acknowledge the lowered levels or resources required to make such attacks given the modern trends in American agriculture.

  2. Biotech crops: imperative for achieving the millenium development goals and sustainability of agriculture in the climate change era.

    PubMed

    Husaini, Amjad M; Tuteja, Narendra

    2013-01-01

    Biotechnological intervention in the development of crops has opened new vistas in agriculture. Central to the accomplishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), biotech-agriculture is essential in meeting these targets. Biotech crops have already made modest contributions toward ensuring food and nutrition security by reducing losses and increasing productivity, with less pesticide input. These crops could help address some of the major challenges in agriculture-based economies created by climate change. Projections of global climate change expect the concentration of greenhouse gases to increase, aridization of the environment to increase, temperature fluctuations to occur sharply and frequently, and spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall to be disturbed-all of which will increase abiotic stress-related challenges to crops. Countering these challenges and to meet the food requirement of the ever-increasing world population (expected to reach 9 billion by 2030) we need to (1) develop and use biotech crops for mitigating adverse climatic changes; (2) develop biotech crops resilient to adverse environmental conditions; and (3) address the issues/non-issues raised by NGO's and educate the masses about the benefits of biotech crops.

  3. An intellectual property sharing initiative in agricultural biotechnology: development of broadly accessible technologies for plant transformation.

    PubMed

    Chi-Ham, Cecilia L; Boettiger, Sara; Figueroa-Balderas, Rosa; Bird, Sara; Geoola, Josef N; Zamora, Pablo; Alandete-Saez, Monica; Bennett, Alan B

    2012-06-01

    The Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture (PIPRA) was founded in 2004 by the Rockefeller Foundation in response to concerns that public investments in agricultural biotechnology benefiting developing countries were facing delays, high transaction costs and lack of access to important technologies due to intellectual property right (IPR) issues. From its inception, PIPRA has worked broadly to support a wide range of research in the public sector, in specialty and minor acreage crops as well as crops important to food security in developing countries. In this paper, we review PIPRA's work, discussing the failures, successes, and lessons learned during its years of operation. To address public sector's limited freedom-to-operate, or legal access to third-party rights, in the area of plant transformation, we describe PIPRA's patent 'pool' approach to develop open-access technologies for plant transformation which consolidate patent and tangible property rights in marker-free vector systems. The plant transformation system has been licensed and deployed for both commercial and humanitarian applications in the United States (US) and Africa, respectively.

  4. Production and Adaptation Assessments of Agricultural Crops under Climate Change in Southeastern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Absar, M.; Touma, D. E.; Mei, R.; Rastogi, D.; Surendran Nair, S.; Ahmed, K. F.; Wu, W.; Preston, B. L.; Ashfaq, M.

    2013-12-01

    We use multiple Global Climate Models (GCMs) data from the 5th phase of the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project (CMIP5) in a point based crop simulation model, Decision Support System for Agro-technology Transfer (DSSAT), to investigate the impact of climate variability and change on crop yields in the southeastern United States. The input data consists of maximum and minimum temperatures, precipitation and solar radiation at daily time-scale, covering 30 years (1975-2004) in the baseline period, and 90 years (2010-2100) in the future period under the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5. The DSSAT model is run for 1009 counties of 10 southeastern states, representing the study area. Default DSSAT crop and biophysical process parameter values are used with some minor adjustments based on suggestions from scientific literature. For the analyses of projected changes, we divide the 21st century into the near-term (2010-2039), mid-term (2040-2069) and long-term (2070-2100) periods and investigate the effect of changes in mean and extreme hydro-meteorological characteristics on crop yields by using future temperature, precipitation and CO2 data. We conduct two sets of experiments; the first set of experiments isolates the effect of temperature and precipitation on crop yields by using temperature and precipitation data from each of the three future periods while keeping CO2 at the baseline level (380ppm). The second set of experiments isolates the effect of CO2 on crop yields by using temperature and precipitation from the baseline period and using CO2 level as an average of the last 10 years in each of the three future periods (467ppm, 636ppm and 886ppm). Given the projected changes in the crop yields in the future, we focus on the adaptation strategies at the local level based on the optimal management practices such as irrigation, fertilization and planting date that will be needed to adapt to regional climate variability and change.

  5. Modelling climate change impacts on and adaptation strategies for agriculture in Sardinia and Tunisia using AquaCrop and value-at-risk.

    PubMed

    Bird, David Neil; Benabdallah, Sihem; Gouda, Nadine; Hummel, Franz; Koeberl, Judith; La Jeunesse, Isabelle; Meyer, Swen; Prettenthaler, Franz; Soddu, Antonino; Woess-Gallasch, Susanne

    2016-02-01

    In Europe, there is concern that climate change will cause significant impacts around the Mediterranean. The goals of this study are to quantify the economic risk to crop production, to demonstrate the variability of yield by soil texture and climate model and to investigate possible adaptation strategies. In the Rio Mannu di San Sperate watershed, located in Sardinia (Italy) we investigate production of wheat, a rainfed crop. In the Chiba watershed located in Cap Bon (Tunisia), we analyze irrigated tomato production. We find, using the FAO model AquaCrop that crop production will decrease significantly in a future climate (2040-2070) as compared to the present without adaptation measures. Using "value-at-risk", we show that production should be viewed in a statistical manner. Wheat yields in Sardinia are modelled to decrease by 64% on clay loams, and to increase by 8% and 26% respectively on sandy loams and sandy clay loams. Assuming constant irrigation, tomatoes sown in August in Cap Bon are modelled to have a 45% chance of crop failure on loamy sands; a 39% decrease in yields on sandy clay loams; and a 12% increase in yields on sandy loams. For tomatoes sown in March; sandy clay loams will fail 81% of the time; on loamy sands the crop yields will be 63% less while on sandy loams, the yield will increase by 12%. However, if one assume 10% less water available for irrigation then tomatoes sown in March are not viable. Some adaptation strategies will be able to counteract the modelled crop losses. Increasing the amount of irrigation one strategy however this may not be sustainable. Changes in agricultural management such as changing the planting date of wheat to coincide with changing rainfall patterns in Sardinia or mulching of tomatoes in Tunisia can be effective at reducing crop losses.

  6. Impact of seasonal forecast use on agricultural income in a system with varying crop costs and returns: an empirically-grounded simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunda, T.; Bazuin, J. T.; Nay, J.; Yeung, K. L.

    2017-03-01

    Access to seasonal climate forecasts can benefit farmers by allowing them to make more informed decisions about their farming practices. However, it is unclear whether farmers realize these benefits when crop choices available to farmers have different and variable costs and returns; multiple countries have programs that incentivize production of certain crops while other crops are subject to market fluctuations. We hypothesize that the benefits of forecasts on farmer livelihoods will be moderated by the combined impact of differing crop economics and changing climate. Drawing upon methods and insights from both physical and social sciences, we develop a model of farmer decision-making to evaluate this hypothesis. The model dynamics are explored using empirical data from Sri Lanka; primary sources include survey and interview information as well as game-based experiments conducted with farmers in the field. Our simulations show that a farmer using seasonal forecasts has more diversified crop selections, which drive increases in average agricultural income. Increases in income are particularly notable under a drier climate scenario, when a farmer using seasonal forecasts is more likely to plant onions, a crop with higher possible returns. Our results indicate that, when water resources are scarce (i.e. drier climate scenario), farmer incomes could become stratified, potentially compounding existing disparities in farmers’ financial and technical abilities to use forecasts to inform their crop selections. This analysis highlights that while programs that promote production of certain crops may ensure food security in the short-term, the long-term implications of these dynamics need careful evaluation.

  7. Impacts of varying agricultural intensification on crop yield and groundwater resources: comparison of the North China Plain and US High Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pei, Hongwei; Scanlon, Bridget R.; Shen, Yanjun; Reedy, Robert C.; Long, Di; Liu, Changming

    2015-04-01

    Agricultural intensification is often considered the primary approach to meet rising food demand. Here we compare impacts of intensive cultivation on crop yield in the North China Plain (NCP) with less intensive cultivation in the US High Plains (USHP) and associated effects on water resources using spatial datasets. Average crop yield during the past decade from intensive double cropping of wheat and corn in the NCP was only 15% higher than the yield from less intensive single cropping of corn in the USHP, although nitrogen fertilizer application and percent of cropland that was irrigated were both ˜2 times greater in the NCP than in the USHP. Irrigation and fertilization in both regions have depleted groundwater storage and resulted in widespread groundwater nitrate contamination. The limited response to intensive management in the NCP is attributed in part to the two month shorter growing season for corn to accommodate winter wheat than that for corn in the USHP. Previous field and modeling studies of crop yield in the NCP highlight over application of N and water resulting in low nitrogen and water use efficiencies and indicate that cultivars, plant densities, soil fertility and other factors had a much greater impact on crop yields over the past few decades. The NCP-USHP comparison along with previous field and modeling studies underscores the need to weigh the yield returns from intensive management relative to the negative impacts on water resources. Future crop management should consider the many factors that contribute to yield along with optimal fertilization and irrigation to further increase crop yields while reducing adverse impacts on water resources.

  8. A powered roller/crimper for walk-behind tractors to terminate cover crops in conservation agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Roller/crimper implements have been used in large conservation farming systems to terminate cover crops near maturity and flatten them down to create a mulch through which cash crops can be planted directly into the cover residue. On small farms, tractors are usually small and less powerful relative...

  9. Microbially Mediated Plant Salt Tolerance and Microbiome-based Solutions for Saline Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Qin, Yuan; Druzhinina, Irina S; Pan, Xueyu; Yuan, Zhilin

    2016-11-15

    Soil salinization adversely affects plant growth and has become one of the major limiting factors for crop productivity worldwide. The conventional approach, breeding salt-tolerant plant cultivars, has often failed to efficiently alleviate the situation. In contrast, the use of a diverse array of microorganisms harbored by plants has attracted increasing attention because of the remarkable beneficial effects of microorganisms on plants. Multiple advanced '-omics' technologies have enabled us to gain insights into the structure and function of plant-associated microbes. In this review, we first focus on microbe-mediated plant salt tolerance, in particular on the physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying root-microbe symbiosis. Unfortunately, when introducing such microbes as single strains to soils, they are often ineffective in improving plant growth and stress tolerance, largely due to competition with native soil microbial communities and limited colonization efficiency. Rapid progress in rhizosphere microbiome research has revived the belief that plants may benefit more from association with interacting, diverse microbial communities (microbiome) than from individual members in a community. Understanding how a microbiome assembles in the continuous compartments (endosphere, rhizoplane, and rhizosphere) will assist in predicting a subset of core or minimal microbiome and thus facilitate synthetic re-construction of microbial communities and their functional complementarity and synergistic effects. These developments will open a new avenue for capitalizing on the cultivable microbiome to strengthen plant salt tolerance and thus to refine agricultural practices and production under saline conditions.

  10. Migration of plant viruses: Time correlations with the agriculture history and human immigration.

    PubMed

    Ohshima, Kazusato

    2015-01-01

    In this review, I made the phylodynamic comparisons of three plant viruses, Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV), Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) and Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), using the genomic sequences of a large numbers of isolates collected worldwide. We analyzed these genomic nucleotide sequences, in combination with published sequences, to estimate the timescale and rate of evolution of the individual genes of TuMV, CaMV and CMV. The main hosts of the viruses are Brassicaceae crops. We also compared these estimates from complete sequences with those from which non-synonymous and invariate codons had been removed. Our analyses provided a preliminary definition of the present geographical structure of three plant virus populations in the world, and showed that the time of migration of three plant viruses correlate well with agriculture history and human immigration.

  11. Global potential to increase crop production through water management in rainfed agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rost, Stefanie; Gerten, Dieter; Hoff, Holger; Lucht, Wolfgang; Falkenmark, Malin; Rockström, Johan

    2009-12-01

    This modeling study explores—spatially explicitly, for current and projected future climate, and for different management intensity levels—the potential for increasing global crop production through on-farm water management strategies: (a) reducing soil evaporation ('vapor shift') and (b) collecting runoff on cropland and using it during dry spells ('runoff harvesting'). A moderate scenario, implying both a 25% reduction in evaporation and a 25% collection of runoff, suggests that global crop production can be increased by 19%, which is comparable with the effect of current irrigation (17%). Climate change alone (three climate models, SRES A2r emissions and population, constant land use) will reduce global crop production by 9% by 2050, which could be buffered by a vapor shift level of 50% or a water harvesting level of 25%. Even if realization of the beneficial effects of rising atmospheric CO2 concentration upon plants was ensured (by fertilizer use) in tandem with the above moderate water management scenario, the water available on current cropland will not meet the requirements of a world population of 9-10 billion.

  12. The value of seasonal forecasting and crop mix adaptation to climate variability for agriculture under climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, H. S.; Schneider, U.; Schmid, E.; Held, H.

    2012-04-01

    Changes to climate variability and frequency of extreme weather events are expected to impose damages to the agricultural sector. Seasonal forecasting and long range prediction skills have received attention as an option to adapt to climate change because seasonal climate and yield predictions could improve farmers' management decisions. The value of seasonal forecasting skill is assessed with a crop mix adaptation option in Spain where drought conditions are prevalent. Yield impacts of climate are simulated for six crops (wheat, barely, cotton, potato, corn and rice) with the EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate) model. Daily weather data over the period 1961 to 1990 are used and are generated by the regional climate model REMO as reference period for climate projection. Climate information and its consequent yield variability information are given to the stochastic agricultural sector model to calculate the value of climate information in the agricultural market. Expected consumers' market surplus and producers' revenue is compared with and without employing climate forecast information. We find that seasonal forecasting benefits not only consumers but also producers if the latter adopt a strategic crop mix. This mix differs from historical crop mixes by having higher shares of crops which fare relatively well under climate change. The corresponding value of information is highly sensitive to farmers' crop mix choices.

  13. A critical review on fungi mediated plant responses with special emphasis to Piriformospora indica on improved production and protection of crops.

    PubMed

    Ansari, Mohammad Wahid; Trivedi, Dipesh Kumar; Sahoo, Ranjan Kumar; Gill, Sarvajeet Singh; Tuteja, Narendra

    2013-09-01

    The beneficial fungi are potentially useful in agriculture sector to avail several services to crop plants such as water status, nutrient enrichment, stress tolerance, protection, weed control and bio-control. Natural agro-ecosystem relies on fungi because of it takes part in soil organic matter decomposition, nutrient acquisition, organic matter recycling, nutrient recycling, antagonism against plant pests, and crop management. The crucial role of fungi in normalizing the toxic effects of phenols, HCN and ROS by β-CAS, ACC demainase and antioxidant enzymes in plants is well documented. Fungi also play a part in various physiological processes such as water uptake, stomatal movement, mineral uptake, photosynthesis and biosynthesis of lignan, auxins and ethylene to improve growth and enhance plant fitness to cope heat, cold, salinity, drought and heavy metal stress. Here, we highlighted the ethylene- and cyclophilin A (CypA)-mediated response of Piriformospora indica for sustainable crop production under adverse environmental conditions.

  14. Changes in bird community composition in response to growth changes in short-rotation woody crop plantings

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Hanowski, J.; Christian, D.; Hoffman, W.; Schiller, A.; LIndberg, J.

    1997-10-01

    Hybrid poplar established as intensively managed short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) former agricultural lands can provide habitat for wildlife. Studies of bird use of SRWC for nesting and during fall migration have shown that the numbers and kinds of breeding birds using mature plantings of hybrid poplar are similar to natural-forested lands. In Minnesota, the number and species of breeding birds using habitat provided by clonal-trial plantings and young larger-scale plantings (12--64 ha) of hybrid poplar were initially most similar to those using grasslands and row-crops. As the plantings approached canopy closure, successional species became predominant. In the Pacific Northwest, breeding bird composition and density were very similar for mature plantings and forested areas; however, fall migrants were found primarily in forested areas. In the Southeast, preliminary comparisons of breeding bird use of plantings of sweetgum and sycamore with naturally regenerating forests of different ages and sizes and vegetation structure are showing no size effect on use. As with hybrid poplar, species use of the more mature plantings of sweetgum and sycamore was most similar to that of natural forests.

  15. Phytotoxic risk assessment of ambient air pollution on agricultural crops in Selangor State, Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Ishii, S; Bell, J N B; Marshall, F M

    2007-11-01

    The phytotoxic risk of ambient air pollution to local vegetation was assessed in Selangor State, Malaysia. The AOT40 value was calculated by means of the continuously monitored daily maximum concentration and the local diurnal pattern of O3. Together with minor risks associated with the levels of NO2 and SO2, the study found that the monthly AOT40 values in these peri-urban sites were consistently over 1.0 ppm.h, which is well in exceedance of the given European critical level. Linking the O3 level to actual agricultural crop production in Selangor State also indicated that the extent of yield losses could have ranged from 1.6 to 5.0% (by weight) in 2000. Despite a number of uncertainties, the study showed a simple but useful methodological framework for phytotoxic risk assessment with a limited data set, which could contribute to appropriate policy discussion and countermeasures in countries under similar conditions.

  16. SPATIO-TEMPORAL MODELING OF AGRICULTURAL YIELD DATA WITH AN APPLICATION TO PRICING CROP INSURANCE CONTRACTS

    PubMed Central

    Ozaki, Vitor A.; Ghosh, Sujit K.; Goodwin, Barry K.; Shirota, Ricardo

    2009-01-01

    This article presents a statistical model of agricultural yield data based on a set of hierarchical Bayesian models that allows joint modeling of temporal and spatial autocorrelation. This method captures a comprehensive range of the various uncertainties involved in predicting crop insurance premium rates as opposed to the more traditional ad hoc, two-stage methods that are typically based on independent estimation and prediction. A panel data set of county-average yield data was analyzed for 290 counties in the State of Paraná (Brazil) for the period of 1990 through 2002. Posterior predictive criteria are used to evaluate different model specifications. This article provides substantial improvements in the statistical and actuarial methods often applied to the calculation of insurance premium rates. These improvements are especially relevant to situations where data are limited. PMID:19890450

  17. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR): emergence in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, P N; Jha, D K

    2012-04-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are the rhizosphere bacteria that can enhance plant growth by a wide variety of mechanisms like phosphate solubilization, siderophore production, biological nitrogen fixation, rhizosphere engineering, production of 1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase (ACC), quorum sensing (QS) signal interference and inhibition of biofilm formation, phytohormone production, exhibiting antifungal activity, production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), induction of systemic resistance, promoting beneficial plant-microbe symbioses, interference with pathogen toxin production etc. The potentiality of PGPR in agriculture is steadily increased as it offers an attractive way to replace the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and other supplements. Growth promoting substances are likely to be produced in large quantities by these rhizosphere microorganisms that influence indirectly on the overall morphology of the plants. Recent progress in our understanding on the diversity of PGPR in the rhizosphere along with their colonization ability and mechanism of action should facilitate their application as a reliable component in the management of sustainable agricultural system. The progress to date in using the rhizosphere bacteria in a variety of applications related to agricultural improvement along with their mechanism of action with special reference to plant growth-promoting traits are summarized and discussed in this review.

  18. Sesquiterpenoid emissions from agricultural crops: correlations to monoterpenoid emissions and leaf terpene content.

    PubMed

    Ormeño, Elena; Gentner, Drew R; Fares, Silvano; Karlik, John; Park, Jeong Hoo; Goldstein, Allen H

    2010-05-15

    Emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are important precursors to both ozone and secondary organic aerosol formation. In this study, we identify and quantify volatile (C(10)) and intermediate-volatility (C(15)) BVOCs stored in and emitted from 22 prominent woody and herbaceous crops with a particular focus on sesquiterpenoids (SQTs), which have presented measurement challenges in previous studies. Monoterpenoids (MNTs) and SQTs were simultaneously emitted from all the crops studied; there were significant correlations between emission rates and leaf content for both MNTs and SQTs and additional correlations between MNTs and SQTs in both emissions and leaf content. Our results suggest that species with high concentrations of stored terpenoids in their leaves, such as those grown commercially for their essential oil content, are likely high BVOC emitters. Emissions from agricultural species were dominated by SQTs at low MNT emission rates (on the order of several tens of ng/(g(DM)*h)), while at higher MNT levels (on the order of several hundreds of ng/(g(DM)*h)), SQT emissions were approximately equivalent. Based on our empirical correlations, we estimate that global SQT emissions are similar to MNT emissions and on the order of 100 Tg yr(-1), which justifies the need for better representation of SQTs in both BVOC emission and atmospheric models.

  19. Agricultural crop harvest progress monitoring by fully polarimetric synthetic aperture radar imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Hao; Zhao, Chunjiang; Yang, Guijun; Li, Zengyuan; Chen, Erxue; Yuan, Lin; Yang, Xiaodong; Xu, Xingang

    2015-01-01

    Dynamic mapping and monitoring of crop harvest on a large spatial scale will provide critical information for the formulation of optimal harvesting strategies. This study evaluates the feasibility of C-band polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) for monitoring the harvesting progress of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) fields. Five multitemporal, quad-pol Radarsat-2 images and one optical ZY-1 02C image were acquired over a farmland area in China during the 2013 growing season. Typical polarimetric signatures were obtained relying on polarimetric decomposition methods. Temporal evolutions of these signatures of harvested fields were compared with the ones of unharvested fields in the context of the entire growing cycle. Significant sensitivity was observed between the specific polarimetric parameters and the harvest status of oilseed rape fields. Based on this sensitivity, a new method that integrates two polarimetric features was devised to detect the harvest status of oilseed rape fields using a single image. The validation results are encouraging even for the harvested fields covered with high residues. This research demonstrates the capability of PolSAR remote sensing in crop harvest monitoring, which is a step toward more complex applications of PolSAR data in precision agriculture.

  20. Agriculture: Nurseries and Greenhouses

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Nurseries and Greenhouses. Information about environmental requirements specifically relating to the production of many types of agricultural crops grown in nurseries and greenhouses, such as ornamental plants and specialty fruits and vegetables.

  1. Entomopathogenic and plant pathogenic nematodes as opposing forces in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kenney, Eric; Eleftherianos, Ioannis

    2016-01-01

    Plant-parasitic nematodes are responsible for substantial damages within the agriculture industry every year, which is a challenge that has thus far gone largely unimpeded. Chemical nematicides have been employed with varying degrees of success, but their implementation can be cumbersome, and furthermore they could potentially be neutralising an otherwise positive effect from the entomopathogenic nematodes that coexist with plant-parasitic nematodes in soil environments and provide protection for plants against insect pests. Recent research has explored the potential of employing entomopathogenic nematodes to protect plants from plant-parasitic nematodes, while providing their standard degree of protection against insects. The interactions involved are highly complex, due to both the three-organism system and the assortment of variables present in a soil environment, but a strong collection of evidence has accumulated regarding the suppressive capacity of certain entomopathogenic nematodes and their mutualistic bacteria, in the context of limiting the infectivity of plant-parasitic nematodes. Specific factors produced by certain entomopathogenic nematode complexes during the process of insect infection appear to have a selectively nematicidal, or at least repellant, effect on plant-parasitic nematodes. Using this information, an opportunity has formed to adapt this relationship to large-scale, field conditions and potentially relieve the agricultural industry of one of its most substantial burdens.

  2. Remote sensing in Virginia agriculture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pettry, D. E.; Newhouse, M. E.; Dunton, E. M., Jr.; Scott, J. H., Jr.

    1972-01-01

    An experimental investigation, designed to develop and evaluate multispectral sensing techniques used in sensing agricultural crops, is described. Initial studies were designed to detect plant species and associated diseases, soil variations, and cultural practices under natural environment conditions. In addition, crop varieties, age, spacing, plant height, percentage of ground cover, and plant vigor are determined.

  3. Research Progress on the use of Plant Allelopathy in Agriculture and the Physiological and Ecological Mechanisms of Allelopathy.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Fang; Cheng, Zhihui

    2015-01-01

    Allelopathy is a common biological phenomenon by which one organism produces biochemicals that influence the growth, survival, development, and reproduction of other organisms. These biochemicals are known as allelochemicals and have beneficial or detrimental effects on target organisms. Plant allelopathy is one of the modes of interaction between receptor and donor plants and may exert either positive effects (e.g., for agricultural management, such as weed control, crop protection, or crop re-establishment) or negative effects (e.g., autotoxicity, soil sickness, or biological invasion). To ensure sustainable agricultural development, it is important to exploit cultivation systems that take advantage of the stimulatory/inhibitory influence of allelopathic plants to regulate plant growth and development and to avoid allelopathic autotoxicity. Allelochemicals can potentially be used as growth regulators, herbicides, insecticides, and antimicrobial crop protection products. Here, we reviewed the plant allelopathy management practices applied in agriculture and the underlying allelopathic mechanisms described in the literature. The major points addressed are as follows: (1) Description of management practices related to allelopathy and allelochemicals in agriculture. (2) Discussion of the progress regarding the mode of action of allelochemicals and the physiological mechanisms of allelopathy, consisting of the influence on cell micro- and ultra-structure, cell division and elongation, membrane permeability, oxidative and antioxidant systems, growth regulation systems, respiration, enzyme synthesis and metabolism, photosynthesis, mineral ion uptake, protein and nucleic acid synthesis. (3) Evaluation of the effect of ecological mechanisms exerted by allelopathy on microorganisms and the ecological environment. (4) Discussion of existing problems and proposal for future research directions in this field to provide a useful reference for future studies on plant

  4. Research Progress on the use of Plant Allelopathy in Agriculture and the Physiological and Ecological Mechanisms of Allelopathy

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Fang; Cheng, Zhihui

    2015-01-01

    Allelopathy is a common biological phenomenon by which one organism produces biochemicals that influence the growth, survival, development, and reproduction of other organisms. These biochemicals are known as allelochemicals and have beneficial or detrimental effects on target organisms. Plant allelopathy is one of the modes of interaction between receptor and donor plants and may exert either positive effects (e.g., for agricultural management, such as weed control, crop protection, or crop re-establishment) or negative effects (e.g., autotoxicity, soil sickness, or biological invasion). To ensure sustainable agricultural development, it is important to exploit cultivation systems that take advantage of the stimulatory/inhibitory influence of allelopathic plants to regulate plant growth and development and to avoid allelopathic autotoxicity. Allelochemicals can potentially be used as growth regulators, herbicides, insecticides, and antimicrobial crop protection products. Here, we reviewed the plant allelopathy management practices applied in agriculture and the underlying allelopathic mechanisms described in the literature. The major points addressed are as follows: (1) Description of management practices related to allelopathy and allelochemicals in agriculture. (2) Discussion of the progress regarding the mode of action of allelochemicals and the physiological mechanisms of allelopathy, consisting of the influence on cell micro- and ultra-structure, cell division and elongation, membrane permeability, oxidative and antioxidant systems, growth regulation systems, respiration, enzyme synthesis and metabolism, photosynthesis, mineral ion uptake, protein and nucleic acid synthesis. (3) Evaluation of the effect of ecological mechanisms exerted by allelopathy on microorganisms and the ecological environment. (4) Discussion of existing problems and proposal for future research directions in this field to provide a useful reference for future studies on plant

  5. Comparison of soil microbial respiration and carbon turnover under perennial and annual biofuel crops in two agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szymanski, L. M.; Marin-Spiotta, E.; Sanford, G. R.; Jackson, R. D.; Heckman, K. A.

    2015-12-01

    Bioenergy crops have the potential to provide a low carbon-intensive alternative to fossil fuels. More than a century of agricultural research has shown that conventional cropping systems can reduce soil organic matter (SOM) reservoirs, which cause long-term soil nutrient loss and C release to the atmosphere. In the face of climate change and other human disruptions to biogeochemical cycles, identifying biofuel crops that can maintain or enhance soil resources is desirable for the sustainable production of bioenergy. The objective of our study was to compare the effects of four biofuel crop treatments on SOM dynamics in two agricultural soils: Mollisols at Arlington Agricultural Research Station in Wisconsin and Alfisols at Kellogg Biological Station in Michigan, USA. We used fresh soils collected in 2013 and archived soils from 2008 to measure the effects of five years of crop management. Using a one-year long laboratory soil incubation coupled with a regression model and radiocarbon measurements, we separated soils into three SOM pools and their corresponding C turnover times. We found that the active pool, or biologically available C, was more sensitive to management and is an earlier indicator of changes to soil C dynamics than bulk soil C measurements. There was no effect of treatment on the active pool size at either site; however, the percent C in the active pool decreased, regardless of crop type, in surface soils with high clay content. At depth, the response of the slow pool differed between annual and perennial cropping systems. The distribution of C among SOM fractions varied between the two soil types, with greater C content associated with the active fraction in the coarser textured-soil and greater C content associated with the slow-cycling fraction in the soils with high clay content. These results suggest that the effects of bioenergy crops on soil resources will vary geographically, with implications for the carbon-cost of biocrop production.

  6. Gully evolution in field crops on vertic soils under conventional agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castillo, Carlos; Pérez, Rafael; Mora, Jose; Gómez, Jose A.

    2015-04-01

    Gully erosion is a major process contributing to soil degradation on cultivated areas. Its effects are especially intense in farms under conventional agriculture characterised by the use of heavy machinery for land levelling and herbicides leading to the depletion of natural vegetation in valley locations. When the soil (e.g. vertic soils) and parent material conditions (e.g. soft erodible marls) are favourable to incision, gully features may present large dimensions, producing the loss of significant proportions of productive land. This study evaluates the evolution of several gully networks located in Córdoba (Spain) within the Campiña area (a rolling landscape on Miocene marls) with conventional agriculture and gully filling operations as the predominant farm practices. The area of the catchments ranged from 10 to 100 ha, they were covered by field crops (mostly bean, sunflower and wheat) on vertic soils. Firstly, we carried out a historical analysis of the gully development during the last six decades by aerial image interpretation. Secondly, a number of field surveys were conducted to characterise the evolution of the gully morphology in a period of five years (2010-2014). For this purpose, a range of measurement techniques were used: pole and tape, differential GPS and 3D photo-reconstruction. Finally, the influence of topography (slope and drainage area) on gully dimensions along the longitudinal profile was assessed.

  7. Cytogenetic changes induced by aqueous ferrofluids in agricultural plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Răcuciu, Mihaela; Creangă, Dorina

    2007-04-01

    In this paper, the authors present their results regarding the cellular division rate and the percentage of chromosomal aberrations in the root meristematic cells of agricultural plants when cultivated in the presence of different concentrations of aqueous ferrofluid, ranging between 10 and 250 μL/L. The agricultural species ( Zea mays) with a major role in the life of people was chosen for the experimental project. The water-based ferrofluid was prepared following the chemical co-precipitation method, using tetramethylammonium hydroxide as magnetite core stabilizer. Microscopic investigations (cytogenetic tests) resulted in the evaluation of the mitotic and chromosomal aberration index. They appeared to increase following ferrofluid addition.

  8. Regulation of Na+ and K+ homeostasis in plants: towards improved salt stress tolerance in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Diego M; Oliveira, M Margarida; Saibo, Nelson J M

    2017-03-27

    Soil salinity is a major abiotic stress that results in considerable crop yield losses worldwide. However, some plant genotypes show a high tolerance to soil salinity, as they manage to maintain a high K+/Na+ ratio in the cytosol, in contrast to salt stress susceptible genotypes. Although, different plant genotypes show different salt tolerance mechanisms, they all rely on the regulation and function of K+ and Na+ transporters and H+ pumps, which generate the driving force for K+ and Na+ transport. In this review we will introduce salt stress responses in plants and summarize the current knowledge about the most important ion transporters that facilitate intra- and intercellular K+ and Na+ homeostasis in these organisms. We will describe and discuss the regulation and function of the H+-ATPases, H+-PPases, SOS1, HKTs, and NHXs, including the specific tissues where they work and their response to salt stress.

  9. Biogenic Volatile Organic Compound (BVOC) emissions from agricultural crop species: is guttation a possible source for methanol emissions following light/dark transition ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mozaffar, Ahsan; Amelynck, Crist; Bachy, Aurélie; Digrado, Anthony; Delaplace, Pierre; du Jardin, Patrick; Fauconnier, Marie-Laure; Schoon, Niels; Aubinet, Marc; Heinesch, Bernard

    2015-04-01

    In the framework of the CROSTVOC (CROp STress VOC) project, the exchange of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) between two important agricultural crop species, maize and winter wheat, and the atmosphere has recently been measured during an entire growing season by using the eddy covariance technique. Because of the co-variation of BVOC emission drivers in field conditions, laboratory studies were initiated in an environmental chamber in order to disentangle the responses of the emissions to variations of the individual environmental parameters (such as PPFD and temperature) and to diverse abiotic stress factors. Young plants were enclosed in transparent all-Teflon dynamic enclosures (cuvettes) through which BVOC-free and RH-controlled air was sent. BVOC enriched air was subsequently sampled from the plant cuvettes and an empty cuvette (background) and analyzed for BVOCs in a high sensitivity Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometer (hs-PTR-MS) and for CO2 in a LI-7000 non-dispersive IR gas analyzer. Emissions were monitored at constant temperature (25 °C) and at a stepwise varying PPFD pattern (0-650 µmol m-2 s-1). For maize plants, sudden light/dark transitions at the end of the photoperiod were accompanied by prompt and considerable increases in methanol (m/z 33) and water vapor (m/z 39) emissions. Moreover, guttation droplets appeared on the sides and the tips of the leaves within a few minutes after light/dark transition. Therefore the assumption has been raised that methanol is also coming out with guttation fluid from the leaves. Consequently, guttation fluid was collected from young maize and wheat plants, injected in an empty enclosure and sampled by PTR-MS. Methanol and a large number of other compounds were observed from guttation fluid. Recent studies have shown that guttation from agricultural crops frequently occurs in field conditions. Further research is required to find out the source strength of methanol emissions by this guttation

  10. Small RNA Based Genetic Engineering for Plant Viral Resistance: Application in Crop Protection

    PubMed Central

    Khalid, Annum; Zhang, Qingling; Yasir, Muhammad; Li, Feng

    2017-01-01

    Small RNAs regulate a large set of gene expression in all plants and constitute a natural immunity against viruses. Small RNA based genetic engineering (SRGE) technology had been explored for crop protection against viruses for nearly 30 years. Viral resistance has been developed in diverse crops with SRGE technology and a few viral resistant crops have been approved for commercial release. In this review we summarized the efforts generating viral resistance with SRGE in different crops, analyzed the evolution of the technology, its efficacy in different crops for different viruses and its application status in different crops. The challenge and potential solution for application of SRGE in crop protection are also discussed. PMID:28167936

  11. Assessment of the availability of agricultural crop residues in the European Union: potential and limitations for bioenergy use.

    PubMed

    Scarlat, Nicolae; Martinov, Milan; Dallemand, Jean-François

    2010-10-01

    This paper provides a resource-based assessment of the available agricultural crop residues for bioenergy production in the European Union, at the level of the 27 Member States. The assessment provides the amount of the residues produced, collected, their present uses and the residues left available for bioenergy. This study considers the crop production and yields and multi-annual yield variation for each crop. The calculation was based on specific residues to product ratios, which were determined, depending on the crop type and crop yield. Sustainable removal rates were considered in order to protect soil fertility. The results show large spatial and temporal variations of available crop residues within EU27. The average amount of crop residues available for bioenergy in EU27 was estimated at 1530 PJ/year, with a variation between 1090 and 1900 PJ/year. The average value represents about 3.2% in final energy consumption in the EU27 while the variation 2.3-4%. This variation, which is even larger at the level of Member States, may result in shortages in biomass supply in some years, when crop residues are available in a lower amount than the average.

  12. Plant available nitrogen from anaerobically digested sludge and septic tank sludge applied to crops grown in the tropics.

    PubMed

    Sripanomtanakorn, S; Polprasert, C

    2002-04-01

    Agricultural land is an attractive alternative for the disposal of biosolids since it utilises the recyclable nutrients in the production of crops. In Thailand and other tropical regions, limited field-study information exists on the effect of biosolids management strategies on crop N utilisation and plant available N (PAN) of biosolids. A field study was conducted to quantify the PAN of the applied biosolids, and to evaluate the N uptake rates of some tropical crops. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) were chosen in this study. Two types of biosolids used were: anaerobically digested sludge and septic tank sludge. The soil is acid sulfate and is classified as Sulfic Tropaquepts with heavy clay in texture. The anaerobically digested sludge applied rates were: 0, 156 and 312 kg N ha(-1) for the sunflower plots, and 0, 586, and 1172 kg N ha(-1) for the tomato plots. The septic tank sludge applied rates were: 0, 95 and 190 kg N ha(-1) for the sunflower plots, and 0, 354 and 708 kg N ha(-1) for the tomato plots, respectively. The results indicated the feasibility of applying biosolids to grow tropical crops. The applications of the anaerobically digested sludge and the septic tank sludge resulted in the yields of sunflower seeds and tomato fruits and the plant N uptakes comparable or better than that applied with only the chemical fertiliser. The estimated PAN of the anaerobically digested sludge was about 27-42% of the sludge organic N during the growing season. For the septic tank sludge, the PAN was about 15-58% of the sludge organic N. It is interesting to observe that an increase of the rate of septic tank sludge incorporated into this heavy clay soil under the cropping system resulted in the decrease of N mineralisation rate. This situation could cause the reduction of yield and N uptake of crops.

  13. Toward Martian agriculture: responses of plants to hypobaria

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Corey, Kenneth A.; Barta, Daniel J.; Wheeler, Raymond M.

    2002-01-01

    The recent surge of interest in human missions to Mars has also generated considerable interest in the responses of plants to hypobaria (reduced atmospheric pressure), particularly among those in the advanced life support community. Potential for in situ resource utilization, challenges in meeting engineering constraints for mass and energy, the prospect of using lightweight plant growth structures on Mars, and the minimal literature on plant responses to low pressure all suggest much needed research in this area. However, the limited literature on hypobaria combined with previous findings on plant responses to atmospheric composition and established principles of mass transfer of gases suggest that some plants will be capable of tolerating and growing at pressures below 20 kPa; and for other species, perhaps as low as 5-10 kPa. In addition, normal and perhaps enhanced growth of many plants will likely occur at reduced partial pressures of oxygen (e.g., 5 kPa). Growth of plants at such low and partial pressures indicates the feasibility of cultivating plants in lightweight, transparent "greenhouses" on the surface of Mars or in other extraterrestrial or extreme environment locations. There are numerous, accessible terrestrial analogs for moderately low pressure ranges, but not for very low and extremely low atmospheric pressures. Research pertaining to very low pressures has been historically restricted to the use of vacuum chambers. Future research prospects, approaches, and priorities for plant growth experiments at low pressure are considered and discussed as they apply to prospects for Martian agriculture.

  14. Fullerene-enhanced accumulation of p,p'-DDE in agricultural crop species.

    PubMed

    De La Torre-Roche, Roberto; Hawthorne, Joseph; Deng, Yingqing; Xing, Baoshan; Cai, Wenjun; Newman, Lee A; Wang, Chen; Ma, Xingmao; White, Jason C

    2012-09-04

    The effect of C(60) fullerene exposure on the accumulation of dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE; DDT metabolite) by Cucurbita pepo L. (zucchini), Glycine max L. (soybean), and Solanum lycopersicum L. (tomato) was determined. The plants were grown in 125 mL jars of vermiculite amended with 0 or 40 mg of C(60) fullerenes. Prior to planting, the jars were amended with 40 mL solution containing 100 ng/mL of p,p'-DDE with 0 or 100 mg/L humic acid. During three weeks of growth, plants were watered with the same p,p'-DDE containing solutions. Total shoot p,p'-DDE levels in nonfullerene exposed tomato, soybean, and zucchini were 26.9, 131, and 675 ng, respectively; total root DDE content for the three plants was 402, 5970, and 5830 ng, respectively. Fullerenes increased the shoot p,p'-DDE content of zucchini by 29%; contaminant levels in soybean shoots were decreased by 48% but tomato shoot content was unaffected. The root and total plant p,p'-DDE content of all three species was significantly increased by fullerene exposure; enhanced contaminant uptake ranged from 30 to 65%. Humic acid, regardless of fullerene presence or plant type, significantly decreased the p,p'-DDE uptake. Fullerenes were detected in the roots of all plants but were not detected in plant shoots in the initial study. In a follow up study with zucchini designed to maximize biomass for extraction, over half the analyzed stems contained fullerenes at 60.5 to 4490 ng/g. These findings show that the carbon-based nanomaterials may significantly alter the accumulation and potentially the toxicity of cocontaminants in agricultural systems.

  15. Effect of Seeding Rate and Planting Arrangement on Rye Cover Crop and Weed Growth

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Weed growth in winter cover crops in warm climates may contribute to weed management costs in subsequent crops. A two year experiment was conducted on an organic vegetable farm in Salinas, California, to determine the impact of seeding rate and planting arrangement on rye (Secale cereale L. cv. Merc...

  16. Forage radish winter cover crop suppresses winter annual weeds in fall and before corn planting

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forage radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. longipinnatus) is a new winter cover crop in the Mid-Atlantic region. The objective of this project was to characterize the repeatability, amount, and duration of weed suppression during and after a fall-planted forage radish cover crop and to quantify the sub...

  17. Increasing Crop Yields in Water Stressed Countries by Combining Operations of Freshwater Reservoir and Wastewater Reclamation Plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhushan, R.; Ng, T. L.

    2015-12-01

    Freshwater resources around the world are increasing in scarcity due to population growth, industrialization and climate change. This is a serious concern for water stressed countries, including those in Asia and North Africa where future food production is expected to be negatively affected by this. To address this problem, we investigate the potential of combining freshwater reservoir and wastewater reclamation operations. Reservoir water is the cheaper source of irrigation, but is often limited and climate sensitive. Treated wastewater is a more reliable alternative for irrigation, but often requires extensive further treatment which can be expensive. We propose combining the operations of a reservoir and a wastewater reclamation plant (WWRP) to augment the supply from the reservoir with reclaimed water for increasing crop yields in water stressed regions. The joint system of reservoir and WWRP is modeled as a multi-objective optimization problem with the double objective of maximizing the crop yield and minimizing total cost, subject to constraints on reservoir storage, spill and release, and capacity of the WWRP. We use the crop growth model Aquacrop, supported by The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), to model crop growth in response to water use. Aquacrop considers the effects of water deficit on crop growth stages, and from there estimates crop yield. We generate results comparing total crop yield under irrigation with water from just the reservoir (which is limited and often interrupted), and yield with water from the joint system (which has the potential of higher supply and greater reliability). We will present results for locations in India and Africa to evaluate the potential of the joint operations for improving food security in those areas for different budgets.

  18. Separation of agroclimatic areas for optimal crop growing within the framework of the natural-agricultural zoning of Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bulgakov, D. S.; Rukhovich, D. I.; Shishkonakova, E. A.; Vil'chevskaya, E. V.

    2016-09-01

    The separation of agroclimatic areas for optimal crop growing within is suggested within the framework of the natural-agricultural zoning of Russia developed under the supervision of I. Karmanov. Overall, 64 agroclimatic areas have been separated in Russia. They are specified by the particular soil and agroclimatic conditions and by the particular crops recommended for cultivation. The biological potential of these crops should correspond to the soil potential of the given area. A combined scheme of the natural-agricultural zoning of Russia and the separated agroclimatic areas is presented. It is argued that the information contained in this scheme can be used for developing landscape-adaptive farming systems, land cadaster, and land valuation; it is also helpful for terrain and remote sensing monitoring of soil fertility on arable lands and for soilecological monitoring.

  19. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands could be beneficial: distribution of carabid beetles and spiders in agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Knapp, Michal; Řezáč, Milan

    2015-01-01

    Carabid beetles and ground-dwelling spiders inhabiting agroecosystems are beneficial organisms with a potential to control pest species. Intensification of agricultural management and reduction of areas covered by non-crop vegetation during recent decades in some areas has led to many potentially serious environmental problems including a decline in the diversity and abundance of beneficial arthropods in agricultural landscapes. This study investigated carabid beetle and spider assemblages in non-crop habitat islands of various sizes (50 to 18,000 square metres) within one large field, as well as the arable land within the field, using pitfall traps in two consecutive sampling periods (spring to early summer and peak summer). The non-crop habitat islands situated inside arable land hosted many unique ground-dwelling arthropod species that were not present within the surrounding arable land. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands with areas of tens of square metres were inhabited by assemblages substantially different from these inhabiting arable land and thus enhanced the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. The non-crop habitat area substantially affected the activity density, recorded species richness and recorded species composition of carabid and ground-dwelling spider assemblages; however, the effects were weakened when species specialised to non-crop habitats species were analysed separately. Interestingly, recorded species richness of spiders increased with non-crop habitat area, whereas recorded species richness of carabid beetles exhibited an opposite trend. There was substantial temporal variation in the spatial distribution of ground-dwelling arthropods, and contrasting patterns were observed for particular taxa (carabid beetles and spiders). In general, local environmental conditions (i.e., non-crop habitat island tree cover, shrub cover, grass cover and litter depth) were better determinants of arthropod assemblages than non-crop habitat island

  20. Even the Smallest Non-Crop Habitat Islands Could Be Beneficial: Distribution of Carabid Beetles and Spiders in Agricultural Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Knapp, Michal; Řezáč, Milan

    2015-01-01

    Carabid beetles and ground-dwelling spiders inhabiting agroecosystems are beneficial organisms with a potential to control pest species. Intensification of agricultural management and reduction of areas covered by non-crop vegetation during recent decades in some areas has led to many potentially serious environmental problems including a decline in the diversity and abundance of beneficial arthropods in agricultural landscapes. This study investigated carabid beetle and spider assemblages in non-crop habitat islands of various sizes (50 to 18,000 square metres) within one large field, as well as the arable land within the field, using pitfall traps in two consecutive sampling periods (spring to early summer and peak summer). The non-crop habitat islands situated inside arable land hosted many unique ground-dwelling arthropod species that were not present within the surrounding arable land. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands with areas of tens of square metres were inhabited by assemblages substantially different from these inhabiting arable land and thus enhanced the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. The non-crop habitat area substantially affected the activity density, recorded species richness and recorded species composition of carabid and ground-dwelling spider assemblages; however, the effects were weakened when species specialised to non-crop habitats species were analysed separately. Interestingly, recorded species richness of spiders increased with non-crop habitat area, whereas recorded species richness of carabid beetles exhibited an opposite trend. There was substantial temporal variation in the spatial distribution of ground-dwelling arthropods, and contrasting patterns were observed for particular taxa (carabid beetles and spiders). In general, local environmental conditions (i.e., non-crop habitat island tree cover, shrub cover, grass cover and litter depth) were better determinants of arthropod assemblages than non-crop habitat island

  1. Crop diversity effects on productivity and economic returns under dryland agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing crop diversity has been identified as a method to improve agronomic performance of cropping systems and increase provision of ecosystem services. However, there is a need to understand the economic performance of more diverse cropping systems. Crop productivity and economic net returns we...

  2. The responding relationship between plants and environment is the essential principle for agricultural sustainable development on the globe.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yi; Shao, Hong-Bo

    2008-04-01

    The mutual-responding relationship between plants and environment is involved in all life processes, which are the essential bases for different types of sustainable development on the globe, particularly the critical basis for agricultural sustainable development. How to regulate the above relationship between plants and the corresponding environment (in particular soil environment) is the key problem to modern sustainable agriculture development under global climate change, which is one of the hot topics in the field of plant biology. Detailed dissection of this responding relationship is also important for conducting global eco-environmental restoration and construction. Although powerful methodology and dataset related to genomics, post-genomics, and metabolomics have provided some insights into this relationship, crop physiological measures are also critical for crop full performance in field. With the increase of tested plants (including model plants) and development of integrated molecular biology, a complete understanding of the relationship at different scales under biotic and abiotic stresses will be accelerated. In the current paper, we will cover some important aspects in combination with the recent work from our laboratory and related advances reflected by international academic journals, as follows: plant physiological function performance under natural condition, plant gene regulatory network system under abiotic stresses, gene regulatory network system and drought resistance improvement, summary of the related work from our laboratory, conclusions, and acknowledgement.

  3. Changes of water demand - possible adaptation of agricultural crops and management options to improve water use efficiency in the Marchfeld area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thaler, S.; Eitzinger, J.; Dubrovsky, M.; Trnka, M.

    2009-04-01

    The main objective of this study was to determine the vulnerability of current agricultural cropping systems in the Marchfeld region to climate change. The investigation area Marchfeld is located in the north-eastern (NE) part of Austria and is characterized by a semi-arid climate with low annual rainfall. It is one of the driest regions in the country, but also one of the main field crop production areas. The soil conditions in Marchfeld demonstrate a significant spatial variability, which include soils with low to moderate water-storage capacities. Higher temperatures in the next decades imply higher evaporation and consequently higher water demand for the crops. The phenological development rates of the cultivars will accelerate and an increase of heat stress as well as drought stress can be expected. These points influence intense the water balance and subsequently the yield of the crops in the investigation area. In order to improve water use efficiency under those changing conditions, a shift of average sowing dates and an adjustment of tillage were analyzed. The DSSAT cropping system model was applied for winter wheat and spring barley to assess potential yield under climate scenarios for NE Austria. The scenarios were carried out with ECHAM5, HadCM3 and NCAR PCM global circulation models (GCMs) for present conditions (reference period 1961-1990) and 2035's (2021-2050), based on SRES-A1B emission scenarios. Yield model simulations were done for all defined scenarios (climate, management, crop) and different soil classes. The simulations contain the CO2 fertilizing effect, rain fed farming, adapted sowing date and contemporary crops without consideration of potential profit cuts caused by pest or diseases. Simulation results indicate that climate change will force a delay of the sowing date for winter wheat of maximal 14 days in October. In case of spring barley, climate change allows an earlier sowing date in spring (up to 14 days). Both crops show a

  4. Risk assessment of Bt crops on the non-target plant-associated insects and soil organisms.

    PubMed

    Yaqoob, Amina; Shahid, Ahmad Ali; Samiullah, Tahir Rehman; Rao, Abdul Qayyum; Khan, Muhammad Azmat Ullah; Tahir, Sana; Mirza, Safdar Ali; Husnain, Tayyab

    2016-06-01

    Transgenic plants containing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) genes are being cultivated worldwide to express toxic insecticidal proteins. However, the commercial utilisation of Bt crops greatly highlights biosafety issues worldwide. Therefore, assessing the risks caused by genetically modified crops prior to their commercial cultivation is a critical issue to be addressed. In agricultural biotechnology, the goal of safety assessment is not just to identify the safety of a genetically modified (GM) plant, rather to demonstrate its impact on the ecosystem. Various experimental studies have been made worldwide during the last 20 years to investigate the risks and fears associated with non-target organisms (NTOs). The NTOs include beneficial insects, natural pest controllers, rhizobacteria, growth promoting microbes, pollinators, soil dwellers, aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates, mammals and humans. To highlight all the possible risks associated with different GM events, information has been gathered from a total of 76 articles, regarding non-target plant and soil inhabiting organisms, and summarised in the form of the current review article. No significant harmful impact has been reported in any case study related to approved GM events, although critical risk assessments are still needed before commercialisation of these crops. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  5. Organic farming benefits local plant diversity in vineyard farms located in intensive agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Nascimbene, Juri; Marini, Lorenzo; Paoletti, Maurizio G

    2012-05-01

    The majority of research on organic farming has considered arable and grassland farming systems in Central and Northern Europe, whilst only a few studies have been carried out in Mediterranean agro-systems, such as vineyards, despite their economic importance. The main aim of the study was to test whether organic farming enhances local plant species richness in both crop and non-crop areas of vineyard farms located in intensive conventional landscapes. Nine conventional and nine organic farms were selected in an intensively cultivated region (i.e. no gradient in landscape composition) in northern Italy. In each farm, vascular plants were sampled in one vineyard and in two non-crop linear habitats, grass strips and hedgerows, adjacent to vineyards and therefore potentially influenced by farming. We used linear mixed models to test the effect of farming, and species longevity (annual vs. perennial) separately for the three habitat types. In our intensive agricultural landscapes organic farming promoted local plant species richness in vineyard fields, and grassland strips while we found no effect for linear hedgerows. Differences in species richness were not associated to differences in species composition, indicating that similar plant communities were hosted in vineyard farms independently of the management type. This negative effect of conventional farming was probably due to the use of herbicides, while mechanical operations and mowing regime did not differ between organic and conventional farms. In grassland strips, and only marginally in vineyards, we found that the positive effect of organic farming was more pronounced for perennial than annual species.

  6. Introduction to Grassland Management. Instructor Guide, Student Reference [and] Crop and Grassland Plant Identification Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suits, Susie

    This packet contains an Instructor guide and student reference for a course in introduction to grassland management, as well as a crop and grassland plant identification manual. The three-unit curriculum contains the following 11 lessons: (unit I, grasslands and grassland plants): (1) an introduction to grasslands; (2) plant classification; (3)…

  7. Nutrient uptake by agricultural crops from biochar-amended soils: results from two field experiments in Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karer, Jasmin; Zehetner, Franz; Kloss, Stefanie; Wimmer, Bernhard; Soja, Gerhard

    2013-04-01

    The use of biochar as soil amendment is considered as a promising agricultural soil management technique, combining carbon sequestration and soil fertility improvements. These expectations are largely founded on positive experiences with biochar applications to impoverished or degraded tropical soils. The validity of these results for soils in temperate climates needs confirmation from field experiments with typical soils representative for intensive agricultural production areas. Frequently biochar is mixed with other organic additives like compost. As these two materials interact with each other and each one may vary considerably in its basic characteristics, it is difficult to attribute the effects of the combined additive to one of its components and to a specific physico-chemical parameter. Therefore investigations of the amendment efficacy require the study of the pure components to characterize their specific behavior in soil. This is especially important for adsorption behavior of biochar for macro- and micronutrients because in soil there are multiple nutrient sinks that compete with plant roots for vital elements. Therefore this contribution presents results from a field amendment study with pure biochar that had the objective to characterize the macro- and microelement uptake of crops from different soils in two typical Austrian areas of agricultural production. At two locations in North and South-East Austria, two identical field experiments on different soils (Chernozem and Cambisol) were installed in 2011 with varying biochar additions (0, 30 and 90 t/ha) and two nitrogen levels. The biochar was a product from slow pyrolysis of wood (SC Romchar SRL). During the installation of the experiments, the biochar fraction of <2 mm was mixed with surface soil to a depth of 15 cm in plots of 33 m2 each (n=4). Barley (at the Chernozem soil) and maize (at the Cambisol) were cultivated according to standard agricultural practices. The highest crop yields at both

  8. 7 CFR 760.814 - Calculation of acreage for crop losses other than prevented planted.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... planted. (a) Payment acreage of a crop is limited to the lesser of insured acreage or NAP covered acreage... Deputy Administrator and separately meet all requirements, including insurance or NAP requirements ;...

  9. 7 CFR 760.814 - Calculation of acreage for crop losses other than prevented planted.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... planted. (a) Payment acreage of a crop is limited to the lesser of insured acreage or NAP covered acreage... Deputy Administrator and separately meet all requirements, including insurance or NAP requirements ;...

  10. 7 CFR 760.814 - Calculation of acreage for crop losses other than prevented planted.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... planted. (a) Payment acreage of a crop is limited to the lesser of insured acreage or NAP covered acreage... Deputy Administrator and separately meet all requirements, including insurance or NAP requirements ;...

  11. 7 CFR 760.814 - Calculation of acreage for crop losses other than prevented planted.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... planted. (a) Payment acreage of a crop is limited to the lesser of insured acreage or NAP covered acreage... Deputy Administrator and separately meet all requirements, including insurance or NAP requirements ;...

  12. 7 CFR 760.814 - Calculation of acreage for crop losses other than prevented planted.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... planted. (a) Payment acreage of a crop is limited to the lesser of insured acreage or NAP covered acreage... Deputy Administrator and separately meet all requirements, including insurance or NAP requirements ;...

  13. Vertical migration of 60Co, 137Cs and 226Ra in agricultural soils as observed in lysimeters under crop rotation.

    PubMed

    Shinonaga, T; Schimmack, W; Gerzabek, M H

    2005-01-01

    In most studies quantifying the migration parameters - apparent migration velocity and apparent dispersion coefficient - of radionuclides in the soil by model calculations, these parameters are determined for undisturbed soils. For soils disturbed by ploughing, however, no such data are available in the literature. Therefore, in the present study, the migration parameters of (137)Cs, (60)Co and (226)Ra were estimated for ploughed soils by means of a convection-dispersion model. The depth distributions of the radionuclides were determined in four lysimeters (area: 1m(2), depth of soil monolith: 0.75m) filled with artificially contaminated soils of different types in July 1990. The lysimeters were cropped with agricultural plants. The soil in each lysimeter was ploughed manually once a year until 1996 (plough depth 20cm). In July 1999, soil samples were collected from three pits in each lysimeter. The depth distributions of all radionuclides proved to be very similar in each soil pit. The spatial variability of the depth distributions of a given radionuclide within the lysimeters was about the same as their variability between the four lysimeters. Evaluation of the migration parameters revealed that the convective transport of the radionuclides was always rather small or even zero, while the dispersive transport caused a "melting" process of the initially sharp activity edge at the lower border of the Ap horizon. These results are explained by the high evapotranspiration (80-90% of the total precipitation plus irrigation) and the small amounts of seepage water during the observation period of 9 years.

  14. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Exploring Principles of Ecology with Agricultural Plants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruesink, Jennifer; O'Connor, Eileen; Sparks, Grace

    2006-01-01

    To date, little of the ecological research on biological diversity and ecosystem functioning has been carried out in agricultural systems, despite the fact that agriculture is a major contributor to loss of native habitats and species. However, agricultural research has demonstrated that polycultures of multiple crop species can have higher total…

  15. Suppression of plant parasitic nematodes in the chinampa agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Zuckerman, B M; Dicklow, M B; Coles, G C; Garcia-E, R; Marban-Mendoza, N

    1989-06-01

    Soil from the chinampa agricultural system in the Valley of Mexico suppressed damage by plant-parasitic nematodes to tomatoes and beans in greenhouse and growth chamber trials. Sterilization of the chinampa soil resulted in a loss of the suppressive effect, thereby indicating that one or more biotic factors were responsible for the low incidence of nematode damage. Nine organisms were isolated from chinampa soil, which showed antinematodal properties in culture. Naturally occurring populations of plant-parasitic nematodes were of lower incidence in chinampa soil than in Chapingo soil.

  16. The influence of plants on atmospheric methane in an agriculture-dominated landscape.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xin; Lee, Xuhui; Griffis, Timothy J; Baker, John M; Erickson, Matt D; Hu, Ning; Xiao, Wei

    2014-07-01

    The primary objective of this study was to clarify the influence of crop plants on atmospheric methane (CH4) in an agriculture-dominated landscape in the Upper Midwest of the United States. Measurements were carried out at two contrasting scales. At the plant scale, CH4 fluxes from soybean and corn plants were measured with a laser-based plant chamber system. At the landscape scale, the land surface flux was estimated with a modified Bowen ratio technique using measurements made on a tall tower. The chamber data revealed a diurnal pattern for the plant CH4 flux: it was positive (an emission rate of 0.4±0.1 nmol m(-2) s(-1), average of soybean and corn, in reference to the unit ground area) during the day, and negative (an uptake rate of -0.8±0.8 nmol m(-2) s(-1)) during the night. At the landscape scale, the flux was estimated to be 14.8 nmol m(-2) s(-1) at night and highly uncertain during the day, but the available references and the flux estimates from the equilibrium methods suggested that the CH4 flux during the entire observation period was similar to the estimated nighttime flux. Thus, soybean and corn plants have a negligible role in the landscape-scale CH4 budget.

  17. Noncrop flowering plants restore top-down herbivore control in agricultural fields.

    PubMed

    Balmer, Oliver; Pfiffner, Lukas; Schied, Johannes; Willareth, Martin; Leimgruber, Andrea; Luka, Henryk; Traugott, Michael

    2013-08-01

    Herbivore populations are regulated by bottom-up control through food availability and quality and by top-down control through natural enemies. Intensive agricultural monocultures provide abundant food to specialized herbivores and at the same time negatively impact natural enemies because monocultures are depauperate in carbohydrate food sources required by many natural enemies. As a consequence, herbivores are released from both types of control. Diversifying intensive cropping systems with flowering plants that provide nutritional resources to natural enemies may enhance top-down control and contribute to natural herbivore regulation. We analyzed how noncrop flowering plants planted as "companion plants" inside cabbage (Brassica oleracea) fields and as margins along the fields affect the plant-herbivore-parasitoid-predator food web. We combined molecular analyses quantifying parasitism of herbivore eggs and larvae with molecular predator gut content analysis and a comprehensive predator community assessment. Planting cornflowers (Centaurea cynanus), which have been shown to attract and selectively benefit Microplitis mediator, a larval parasitoid of the cabbage moth Mamestra brassicae, between the cabbage heads shifted the balance between trophic levels. Companion plants significantly increased parasitism of herbivores by larval parasitoids and predation on herbivore eggs. They furthermore significantly affected predator species richness. These effects were present despite the different treatments being close relative to the parasitoids' mobility. These findings demonstrate that habitat manipulation can restore top-down herbivore control in intensive crops if the right resources are added. This is important because increased natural control reduces the need for pesticide input in intensive agricultural settings, with cascading positive effects on general biodiversity and the environment. Companion plants thus increase biodiversity both directly, by introducing

  18. Next biotech plants: new traits, crops, developers and technologies for addressing global challenges.

    PubMed

    Ricroch, Agnès E; Hénard-Damave, Marie-Cécile

    2016-08-01

    Most of the genetically modified (GM) plants currently commercialized encompass a handful of crop species (soybean, corn, cotton and canola) with agronomic characters (traits) directed against some biotic stresses (pest resistance, herbicide tolerance or both) and created by multinational companies. The same crops with agronomic traits already on the market today will continue to be commercialized, but there will be also a wider range of species with combined traits. The timeframe anticipated for market release of the next biotech plants will not only depend on science progress in research and development (R&D) in laboratories and fields, but also primarily on how demanding regulatory requirements are in countries where marketing approvals are pending. Regulatory constraints, including environmental and health impact assessments, have increased significantly in the past decades, delaying approvals and increasing their costs. This has sometimes discouraged public research entities and small and medium size plant breeding companies from using biotechnology and given preference to other technologies, not as stringently regulated. Nevertheless, R&D programs are flourishing in developing countries, boosted by the necessity to meet the global challenges that are food security of a booming world population while mitigating climate change impacts. Biotechnology is an instrument at the service of these imperatives and a wide variety of plants are currently tested for their high yield despite biotic and abiotic stresses. Many plants with higher water or nitrogen use efficiency, tolerant to cold, salinity or water submergence are being developed. Food security is not only a question of quantity but also of quality of agricultural and food products, to be available and accessible for the ones who need it the most. Many biotech plants (especially staple food) are therefore being developed with nutritional traits, such as biofortification in vitamins and metals. The main

  19. Camelina as a sustainable oilseed crop: contributions of plant breeding and genetic engineering.

    PubMed

    Vollmann, Johann; Eynck, Christina

    2015-04-01

    Camelina is an underutilized Brassicaceae oilseed plant with a considerable agronomic potential for biofuel and vegetable oil production in temperate regions. In contrast to most Brassicaceae, camelina is resistant to alternaria black spot and other diseases and pests. Sequencing of the camelina genome revealed an undifferentiated allohexaploid genome with a comparatively large number of genes and low percentage of repetitive DNA. As there is a close relationship between camelina and the genetic model plant Arabidopsis, this review aims at exploring the potential of translating basic Arabidopsis results into a camelina oilseed crop for food and non-food applications. Recently, Arabidopsis genes for drought resistance or increased photosynthesis and overall productivity have successfully been expressed in camelina. In addition, gene constructs affecting lipid metabolism pathways have been engineered into camelina for synthesizing either long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, hydroxy fatty acids or high-oleic oils in particular camelina strains, which is of great interest in human food, industrial or biofuel applications, respectively. These results confirm the potential of camelina to serve as a biotechnology platform in biorefinery applications thus justifying further investment in breeding and genetic research for combining agronomic potential, unique oil quality features and biosafety into an agricultural production system.

  20. A photorespiratory bypass increases plant growth and seed yield in biofuel crop Camelina sativa

    DOE PAGES

    Dalal, Jyoti; Lopez, Harry; Vasani, Naresh B.; ...

    2015-10-29

    Camelina sativa is an oilseed crop with great potential for biofuel production on marginal land. The seed oil from camelina has been converted to jet fuel and improved fuel efficiency in commercial and military test flights. Hydrogenation-derived renewable diesel from camelina is environmentally superior to that from canola due to lower agricultural inputs, and the seed meal is FDA approved for animal consumption. However, relatively low yield makes its farming less profitable. Our study is aimed at increasing camelina seed yield by reducing carbon loss from photorespiration via a photorespiratory bypass. Genes encoding three enzymes of the Escherichia coli glycolatemore » catabolic pathway were introduced: glycolate dehydrogenase (GDH), glyoxylate carboxyligase (GCL) and tartronic semialdehyde reductase (TSR). These enzymes compete for the photorespiratory substrate, glycolate, convert it to glycerate within the chloroplasts, and reduce photorespiration. As a by-product of the reaction, CO2 is released in the chloroplast, which increases photosynthesis. Camelina plants were transformed with either partial bypass (GDH), or full bypass (GDH, GCL and TSR) genes. Furthermore, transgenic plants were evaluated for physiological and metabolic traits.« less

  1. Seasonal and diurnal variation in CO fluxes from an agricultural bioenergy crop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pihlatie, Mari; Rannik, Üllar; Haapanala, Sami; Peltola, Olli; Shurpali, Narasinha; Martikainen, Pertti J.; Lind, Saara; Hyvönen, Niina; Virkajärvi, Perttu; Zahniser, Mark; Mammarella, Ivan

    2016-10-01

    Carbon monoxide (CO) is an important reactive trace gas in the atmosphere, while its sources and sinks in the biosphere are poorly understood. Soils are generally considered as a sink of CO due to microbial oxidation processes, while emissions of CO have been reported from a wide range of soil-plant systems. We measured CO fluxes using the micrometeorological eddy covariance method from a bioenergy crop (reed canary grass) in eastern Finland from April to November 2011. Continuous flux measurements allowed us to assess the seasonal and diurnal variability and to compare the CO fluxes to simultaneously measured net ecosystem exchange of CO2, N2O and heat fluxes as well as to relevant meteorological, soil and plant variables in order to investigate factors driving the CO exchange.The reed canary grass (RCG) crop was a net source of CO from mid-April to mid-June and a net sink throughout the rest of the measurement period from mid-June to November 2011, excluding a measurement break in July. CO fluxes had a distinct diurnal pattern with a net CO uptake in the night and a net CO emission during the daytime with a maximum emission at noon. This pattern was most pronounced in spring and early summer. During this period the most significant relationships were found between CO fluxes and global radiation, net radiation, sensible heat flux, soil heat flux, relative humidity, N2O flux and net ecosystem exchange. The strong positive correlation between CO fluxes and radiation suggests abiotic CO production processes, whereas the relationship between CO fluxes and net ecosystem exchange of CO2, and night-time CO fluxes and N2O emissions indicate biotic CO formation and microbial CO uptake respectively. The study shows a clear need for detailed process studies accompanied by continuous flux measurements of CO exchange to improve the understanding of the processes associated with CO exchange.

  2. Crop size, plant aggregation, and microhabitat type affect fruit removal by birds from individual melastome plants in the Upper Amazon.

    PubMed

    Blendinger, Pedro G; Loiselle, Bette A; Blake, John G

    2008-11-01

    We studied the efficiency (proportion of the crop removed) and quantitative effectiveness (number of fruits removed) of dispersal of Miconia fosteri and M. serrulata (Melastomataceae) seeds by birds in lowland tropical wet forest of Ecuador. Specifically, we examined variation in fruit removal in order to reveal the spatial scale at which crop size influences seed dispersal outcome of individual plants, and to evaluate how the effect of crop size on plant dispersal success may be affected by conspecific fruit abundance and by the spatial distribution of frugivore abundance. We established two 9-ha plots in undisturbed terra-firme understory, where six manakin species (Pipridae) disperse most seeds of these two plant species. Mean levels of fruit removal were low for both species, with high variability among plants. In general, plants with larger crop sizes experienced greater efficiency and effectiveness of fruit removal than plants with smaller crops. Fruit removal, however, was also influenced by microhabitat, such as local topography and local neighborhood. Fruit-rich and disperser-rich patches overlapped spatially for M. fosteri but not M. serrulata, nonetheless fruit removal of M. serrulata was still much greater in fruit-rich patches. Fruit removal from individual plants did not decrease in patches with many fruiting conspecifics and, in fact, removal effectiveness was enhanced for M. fosteri with small crop sizes when such plants were in patches with more conspecifics. These results suggest that benefits of attracting dispersers to a patch balanced or outweighed the costs of competition for dispersers. Spatial pattern of fruit removal, a measure of plant fitness, depended on a complex interaction among plant traits, spatial patterns of plant distribution, and disperser behavior.

  3. Effects of co-cropping Bidens pilosa (L.) and Tagetes minuta (L.) on bioaccumulation of Pb in Lactuca sativa (L.) growing in polluted agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Cid, Carolina Vergara; Rodriguez, Judith Hebelen; Salazar, María Julieta; Blanco, Andrés; Pignata, María Luisa

    2016-09-01

    Polluted agricultural soils are a serious problem for food safety, with phytoremediation being the most favorable alternative from the environmental perspective. However, this methodology is generally time-consuming and requires the cessation of agriculture. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate two potential phytoextractor plants (the native species Bidens pilosa and Tagetes minuta) co-cropped with lettuce growing on agricultural lead-polluted soils. The concentrations of Pb, as well as of other metals, were investigated in the phytoextractors, crop species, and in soils, with the potential risk to the health of consumers being estimated. The soil parameters pH, EC, organic matter percentage and bioavailable lead showed a direct relationship with the accumulation of Pb in roots. In addition, the concentration of Pb in roots of native species was closely related to Fe (B. pilosa, r = 0.81; T. minuta r = 0.75), Cu (T. minuta, r = 0.93), Mn (B. pilosa, r = 0.89) and Zn (B. pilosa, r = 0.91; T. minuta, r = 0.91). Our results indicate that the interaction between rhizospheres increased the phytoextraction of lead, which was accompanied by an increase in the biomass of the phytoextractor species. However, the consumption of lettuce still revealed a toxicological risk from Pb in all treatments.

  4. Spatial data in geographic information system format on agricultural chemical use, land use, cropping practices in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Battaglin, W.A.; Goolsby, D.A.

    1995-01-01

    The spatial data in geographic information system format described in this report consist of estimates for all counties in the conterminous United States of the annual use of 96 herbicides in 1989; annual sales of nitrogen fertilizer, in tons, for 1985-91; and agricultural expenses, land use, chemical use, livestock holdings, and cropping practices in 1987. The source information, originally in tabular form, is summarized as digital polygon attribute data in the 18 geographic information system spatial data layers (coverages) provided. The information in these coverages can be used in estimating regional agricultural-chemical use or agricultural practices and in producing visual displays and mapping relative rates of agricultural-chemical use or agricultural practices across broad regions of the United States.

  5. Remote sensing in precision farming: real-time monitoring of water and fertilizer requirements of agricultural crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zilberman, Arkadi; Ben Asher, Jiftah; Kopeika, Norman S.

    2016-10-01

    The advancements in remote sensing in combination with sensor technology (both passive and active) enable growers to analyze an entire crop field as well as its local features. In particular, changes of actual evapo-transpiration (ET) as a function of water availability can be measured remotely with infrared radiometers. Detection of crop water stress and ET and combining it with the soil water flow model enable rational irrigation timing and application amounts. Nutrient deficiency, and in particular nitrogen deficiency, causes substantial crop losses. This deficiency needs to be identified immediately. A faster the detection and correction, a lesser the damage to the crop yield. In the present work, to retrieve ET a novel deterministic approach was used which is based on the remote sensing data. The algorithm can automatically provide timely valuable information on plant and soil water status, which can improve the management of irrigated crops. The solution is capable of bridging between Penman-Monteith ET model and Richards soil water flow model. This bridging can serve as a preliminary tool for expert irrigation system. To support decisions regarding fertilizers the greenness of plant canopies is assessed and quantified by using the spectral reflectance sensors and digital color imaging. Fertilization management can be provided on the basis of sampling and monitoring of crop nitrogen conditions using RS technique and translating measured N concentration in crop to kg/ha N application in the field.

  6. CropEx Web-Based Agricultural Monitoring and Decision Support

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harvey. Craig; Lawhead, Joel

    2011-01-01

    CropEx is a Web-based agricultural Decision Support System (DSS) that monitors changes in crop health over time. It is designed to be used by a wide range of both public and private organizations, including individual producers and regional government offices with a vested interest in tracking vegetation health. The database and data management system automatically retrieve and ingest data for the area of interest. Another stores results of the processing and supports the DSS. The processing engine will allow server-side analysis of imagery with support for image sub-setting and a set of core raster operations for image classification, creation of vegetation indices, and change detection. The system includes the Web-based (CropEx) interface, data ingestion system, server-side processing engine, and a database processing engine. It contains a Web-based interface that has multi-tiered security profiles for multiple users. The interface provides the ability to identify areas of interest to specific users, user profiles, and methods of processing and data types for selected or created areas of interest. A compilation of programs is used to ingest available data into the system, classify that data, profile that data for quality, and make data available for the processing engine immediately upon the data s availability to the system (near real time). The processing engine consists of methods and algorithms used to process the data in a real-time fashion without copying, storing, or moving the raw data. The engine makes results available to the database processing engine for storage and further manipulation. The database processing engine ingests data from the image processing engine, distills those results into numerical indices, and stores each index for an area of interest. This process happens each time new data is ingested and processed for the area of interest, and upon subsequent database entries, the database processing engine qualifies each value for each area of

  7. Evaluation of phytotoxicity effect on selected crops using treated and untreated wastewater from different configurative domestic wastewater plants.

    PubMed

    Ravindran, B; Kumari, S K Sheena; Stenstrom, T A; Bux, F

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the phytotoxicity effect of untreated and treated wastewater collected from two different configurations of domestic wastewater treatment plants in South Africa. The phytotoxicity effect on vegetable seed growth was studied in terms of germination index (GI), relative seed germination (RSG) and relative root elongation (RRE) using four commercial crop varieties, viz., tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), radish (Raphanus sativus), carrot (Daucus carota) and onion (Allium cepa). According to phyototoxicity limits, 80% germination and above is regarded as non-toxic and less than 50% GI is regarded as highly toxic and not suitable for agricultural purposes. In our study, seeds were irrigated with concentrations of 25%, 50%, 75%, 100% of treated effluent (TE) and untreated effluent (UTE). The TE results were best with the highest GI (%) recorded as tomato, 177; carrot, 158.5; onion, 132; and lettuce, 124. The results of this study indicate that TE showed no phytotoxicty effects and recorded above 80% GI. The UTE irrigated crops reached a GI of only 50% and above which is clear evidence of the beneficial effect of waste water treatment. The overall results confirmed that treated wastewater has a beneficial effect on agricultural crops and can be used as a liquid fertilizer.

  8. Verticillium dahliae Infects, Alters Plant Biomass, and Produces Inoculum on Rotation Crops.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, D L; Johnson, D A

    2016-06-01

    Verticillium wilt, caused by Verticillium dahliae, reduces yields of potato and mint. Crop rotation is a potential management tactic for Verticillium wilt; however, the wide host range of V. dahliae may limit the effectiveness of this tactic. The hypothesis that rotation crops are infected by V. dahliae inoculum originating from potato and mint was tested by inoculation of mustards, grasses, and Austrian winter pea with eight isolates of V. dahliae. Inoculum density was estimated from plants and soil. Typical wilt symptoms were not observed in any rotation crop but plant biomass of some crops was reduced, not affected, or increased by infection of specific isolates. Each isolate was host-specific and infected a subset of the rotation crops tested but microsclerotia from at least one isolate were observed on each rotation crop. Some isolates were host-adapted and differentially altered plant biomass or produced differential amounts of inoculum on rotation crops like arugula and Austrian winter pea, which supported more inoculum of specific isolates than potato. Evidence of asymptomatic and symptomatic infection and differential inoculum formation of V. dahliae on rotation crops presented here will be useful in designing rotations for management of Verticillium wilt.

  9. Effect of crop residue incorporation on soil organic carbon (SOC) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in European agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehtinen, Taru; Schlatter, Norman; Baumgarten, Andreas; Bechini, Luca; Krüger, Janine; Grignani, Carlo; Zavattaro, Laura; Costamagna, Chiara; Spiegel, Heide

    2014-05-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) improves soil physical (e.g. increased aggregate stability), chemical (e.g. cation exchange capacity) and biological (e.g. biodiversity, earthworms) properties. The sequestration of soil organic carbon (SOC) may mitigate climate change. However, as much as 25-75% of the initial SOC in world agricultural soils may have been lost due to intensive agriculture (Lal, 2013). The European Commission has described the decline of organic matter (OM) as one of the major threats to soils (COM(2006) 231). Incorporation of crop residues may be a sustainable and cost-efficient management practice to maintain the SOC levels and to increase soil fertility in European agricultural soils. Especially Mediterranean soils that have low initial SOC concentrations, and areas where stockless croplands predominate may be suitable for crop residue incorporation. In this study, we aim to quantify the effects of crop residue incorporation on SOC and GHG emissions (CO2 and N2O) in different environmental zones (ENZs, Metzger et al., 2005) in Europe. Response ratios for SOC and GHG emissions were calculated from pairwise comparisons between crop residue incorporation and removal. Specifically, we investigated whether ENZs, clay content and experiment duration influence the response ratios. In addition, we studied how response ratios of SOM and crop yields were correlated. A total of 718 response ratios (RR) were derived from a total of 39 publications, representing 50 experiments (46 field and 4 laboratory) and 15 countries. The SOC concentrations and stocks increased by approximately 10% following crop residue incorporation. In contrast, CO2 emissions were approximately six times and N2O emissions 12 times higher following crop residue incorporation. The effect of ENZ on the response ratios was not significant. For SOC concentration, the >35% clay content had significantly approximately 8% higher response ratios compared to 18-35% clay content. As the duration of the

  10. Engineering pathogen resistance in crop plants: current trends and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Collinge, David B; Jørgensen, Hans J L; Lund, Ole S; Lyngkjaer, Michael F

    2010-01-01

    Transgenic crops are now grown commercially in 25 countries worldwide. Although pathogens represent major constraints for the growth of many crops, only a tiny proportion of these transgenic crops carry disease resistance traits. Nevertheless, transgenic disease-resistant plants represent approximately 10% of the total number of approved field trials in North America, a proportion that has remained constant for 15 years. In this review, we explore the socioeconomic and biological reasons for the paradox that although technically useful solutions now exist for providing transgenic disease resistance, very few new crops have been introduced to the global market. For bacteria and fungi, the majority of transgenic crops in trials express antimicrobial proteins. For viruses, three-quarters of the transgenics express coat protein (CP) genes. There is a notable trend toward more biologically sophisticated solutions involving components of signal transduction pathways regulating plant defenses. For viruses, RNA interference is increasingly being used.

  11. Agricultural origins from the ground up: archaeological approaches to plant domestication.

    PubMed

    Langlie, BrieAnna S; Mueller, Natalie G; Spengler, Robert N; Fritz, Gayle J

    2014-10-01

    The timing, geographical locations, causes, and consequences of crop domestication have long been major concerns of archaeologists, and agricultural origins and dispersals are currently more relevant than ever to scientists seeking solutions to elusive problems involving food insecurity and global health disparities. Perennial research issues that archaeologists continue to tackle include (1) thinking outside centers of origin that were based on limited and insufficient past knowledge; (2) distinguishing between single and multiple domestications of specific crops; (3) measuring the pace of domestication; and (4) decoupling domestication from agricultural economies. Paleoethnobotanists have expanded their toolkits to include analysis of ancient and modern DNA and have added increasingly sophisticated techniques in the field and the laboratory to derive precise chronological sequences to assess morphological changes in ancient and often fragmentary archaeobotanical remains and to correctly interpret taphonomy and context. Multiple lines of archaeological evidence are ideally brought together, and whenever possible, these are integrated with information from complementary sources. We discuss current perspectives and anthropological approaches to research that have as their goals the fuller and broader understanding of ancient farming societies, the plants that were domesticated, the landscapes that were created, and the culinary legacies that were passed on.

  12. Comparison of soil bacterial communities under diverse agricultural land management and crop production practices.

    PubMed

    Wu, Tiehang; Chellemi, Dan O; Graham, Jim H; Martin, Kendall J; Rosskopf, Erin N

    2008-02-01

    The composition and structure of bacterial communities were examined in soil subjected to a range of diverse agricultural land management and crop production practices. Length heterogeneity polymerase chain reaction (LH-PCR) of bacterial DNA extracted from soil was used to generate amplicon profiles that were analyzed with univariate and multivariate statistical methods. Five land management programs were initiated in July 2000: conventional, organic, continuous removal of vegetation (disk fallow), undisturbed (weed fallow), and bahiagrass pasture (Paspalum notatum var Argentine). Similar levels in the diversity of bacterial 16S rDNA amplicons were detected in soil samples collected from organically and conventionally managed plots 3 and 4 years after initiation of land management programs, whereas significantly lower levels of diversity were observed in samples collected from bahiagrass pasture. Differences in diversity were attributed to effects on how the relative abundance of individual amplicons were distributed (evenness) and not on the total numbers of bacterial 16S rDNA amplicons detected (richness). Similar levels of diversity were detected among all land management programs in soil samples collected after successive years of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) cultivation. A different trend was observed after a multivariate examination of the similarities in genetic composition among soil bacterial communities. After 3 years of land management, similarities in genetic composition of soil bacterial communities were observed in plots where disturbance was minimized (bahiagrass and weed fallow). The genetic compositions in plots managed organically were similar to each other and distinct from bacterial communities in other land management programs. After successive years of tomato cultivation and damage from two major hurricanes, only the composition of soil bacterial communities within organically managed plots continued to maintain a high degree of similarity

  13. Towards personalized agriculture: what chemical genomics can bring to plant biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Stokes, Michael E; McCourt, Peter

    2014-01-01

    In contrast to the dominant drug paradigm in which compounds were developed to "fit all," new models focused around personalized medicine are appearing in which treatments are developed and customized for individual patients. The agricultural biotechnology industry (Ag-biotech) should also think about these new personalized models. For example, most common herbicides are generic in action, which led to the development of genetically modified crops to add specificity. The ease and accessibility of modern genomic analysis, when wedded to accessible large chemical space, should facilitate the discovery of chemicals that are more selective in their utility. Is it possible to develop species-selective herbicides and growth regulators? More generally put, is plant research at a stage where chemicals can be developed that streamline plant development and growth to various environments? We believe the advent of chemical genomics now opens up these and other opportunities to "personalize" agriculture. Furthermore, chemical genomics does not necessarily require genetically tractable plant models, which in principle should allow quick translation to practical applications. For this to happen, however, will require collaboration between the Ag-biotech industry and academic labs for early stage research and development, a situation that has proven very fruitful for Big Pharma.

  14. Towards personalized agriculture: what chemical genomics can bring to plant biotechnology

    PubMed Central

    Stokes, Michael E.; McCourt, Peter

    2014-01-01

    In contrast to the dominant drug paradigm in which compounds were developed to “fit all,” new models focused around personalized medicine are appearing in which treatments are developed and customized for individual patients. The agricultural biotechnology industry (Ag-biotech) should also think about these new personalized models. For example, most common herbicides are generic in action, which led to the development of genetically modified crops to add specificity. The ease and accessibility of modern genomic analysis, when wedded to accessible large chemical space, should facilitate the discovery of chemicals that are more selective in their utility. Is it possible to develop species-selective herbicides and growth regulators? More generally put, is plant research at a stage where chemicals can be developed that streamline plant development and growth to various environments? We believe the advent of chemical genomics now opens up these and other opportunities to “personalize” agriculture. Furthermore, chemical genomics does not necessarily require genetically tractable plant models, which in principle should allow quick translation to practical applications. For this to happen, however, will require collaboration between the Ag-biotech industry and academic labs for early stage research and development, a situation that has proven very fruitful for Big Pharma. PMID:25183965

  15. Climate Change Impacts for the Conterminous USA: An Integrated Assessment Part 5. Irrigated Agriculture and National Grain Crop Production

    SciTech Connect

    Thomson, Allison M.; Rosenberg, Norman J.; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Brown, Robert A.

    2005-04-01

    Over the next century global warming will lead to changes in weather patterns, affecting many aspects of our environment. In the United States, the one sector of the economy most likely to be directly impacted by the changes in climate is agriculture. We have examined potential changes in dryland agriculture (Part 2) and in water resources necessary for crop production (Part 3). Here we assess to what extent, under a set of climate change scenarios, water supplies will be sufficient to meet the irrigation requirement of major grain crops in the U.S. In addition, we assess the overall impacts of changes in water supply on national grain production. We applied 12 climate change scenarios based on the predictions of General Circulation Models to a water resources model and a crop growth simulator for the conterminous United States. We calculate national production in current crop growing regions by applying irrigation where it is necessary and water is available. Irrigation declines under all climate change scenarios employed in this study. In certain regions and scenarios, precipitation declines so much that water supplies are too limited; in other regions it plentiful enough that little value is derived from irrigation. Total crop production is greater when irrigation is applied, but corn and soybean production declines under most scenarios. Winter wheat production responds significantly to elevated atmospheric CO2 and appears likely to increase under climate change.

  16. Eight years of Conservation Agriculture-based cropping systems research in Eastern Africa to conserve soil and water and mitigate effects of climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araya, Tesfay; Nyssen, Jan; Govaerts, Bram; Lanckriet, Sil; Baudron, Frédéric; Deckers, Jozef; Cornelis, Wim

    2014-05-01

    In Ethiopia, repeated plowing, complete removal of crop residues at harvest, aftermath grazing of crop fields and occurrence of repeated droughts have reduced the biomass return to the soil and aggravated cropland degradation. Conservation Agriculture (CA)-based resource conserving cropping systems may reduce runoff and soil erosion, and improve soil quality, thereby increasing crop productivity. Thus, a long-term tillage experiment has been carried out (2005 to 2012) on a Vertisol to quantify - among others - changes in runoff and soil loss for two local tillage practices, modified to integrate CA principles in semi-arid northern Ethiopia. The experimental layout was a randomized complete block design with three replications on permanent plots of 5 m by 19 m. The tillage treatments were (i) derdero+ (DER+) with a furrow and permanent raised bed planting system, ploughed only once at planting by refreshing the furrow from 2005 to 2012 and 30% standing crop residue retention, (ii) terwah+ (TER+) with furrows made at 1.5 m interval, plowed once at planting, 30% standing crop residue retention and fresh broad beds, and (iii) conventional tillage (CT) with a minimum of three plain tillage operations and complete removal of crop residues. All the plowing and reshaping of the furrows was done using the local ard plough mahresha and wheat, teff, barley and grass pea were grown. Glyphosate was sprayed starting from the third year onwards (2007) at 2 l ha-1 before planting to control pre-emergent weeds in CA plots. Runoff and soil loss were measured daily. Soil water content was monitored every 6 days. Significantly different (p<0.05) runoff coefficients averaged over 8 years were 14, 20 and 27% for DER+, TER+ and CT, respectively. Mean soil losses were 4 t ha-1 y-1 in DER+, 13 in TER+ and 18 in CT. Soil water storage during the growing season was constantly higher in CA-based systems compared with CT. A period of at least three years of cropping was required before

  17. Cadmium contamination of agricultural soils and crops resulting from sphalerite weathering.

    PubMed

    Robson, T C; Braungardt, C B; Rieuwerts, J; Worsfold, P

    2014-01-01

    The biogeochemistry and bioavailability of cadmium, released during sphalerite weathering in soils, were investigated under contrasting agricultural scenarios to assess health risks associated with sphalerite dust transport to productive soils from mining. Laboratory experiments (365 d) on temperate and sub-tropical soils amended with sphalerite (<63 μm, 0.92 wt.% Cd) showed continuous, slow dissolution (0.6-1.2% y(-1)). Wheat grown in spiked temperate soil accumulated ≈38% (29 μmol kg(-1)) of the liberated Cd, exceeding food safety limits. In contrast, rice grown in flooded sub-tropical soil accumulated far less Cd (0.60 μmol kg(-1)) due to neutral soil pH and Cd bioavailability was possibly also controlled by secondary sulfide formation. The results demonstrate long-term release of Cd to soil porewaters during sphalerite weathering. Under oxic conditions, Cd may be sufficiently bioavailable to contaminate crops destined for human consumption; however flooded rice production limits the impact of sphalerite contamination.

  18. Automatic Training Site Selection for Agricultural Crop Classification: a Case Study on Karacabey Plain, Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozdarici Ok, A.; Akyurek, Z.

    2011-09-01

    This study implements a traditional supervised classification method to an optical image composed of agricultural crops by means of a unique way, selecting the training samples automatically. Panchromatic (1m) and multispectral (4m) Kompsat-2 images (July 2008) of Karacabey Plain (~100km2), located in Marmara region, are used to evaluate the proposed approach. Due to the characteristic of rich, loamy soils combined with reasonable weather conditions, the Karacabey Plain is one of the most valuable agricultural regions of Turkey. Analyses start with applying an image fusion algorithm on the panchromatic and multispectral image. As a result of this process, 1m spatial resolution colour image is produced. In the next step, the four-band fused (1m) image and multispectral (4m) image are orthorectified. Next, the fused image (1m) is segmented using a popular segmentation method, Mean- Shift. The Mean-Shift is originally a method based on kernel density estimation and it shifts each pixel to the mode of clusters. In the segmentation procedure, three parameters must be defined: (i) spatial domain (hs), (ii) range domain (hr), and (iii) minimum region (MR). In this study, in total, 176 parameter combinations (hs, hr, and MR) are tested on a small part of the area (~10km2) to find an optimum segmentation result, and a final parameter combination (hs=18, hr=20, and MR=1000) is determined after evaluating multiple goodness measures. The final segmentation output is then utilized to the classification framework. The classification operation is applied on the four-band multispectral image (4m) to minimize the mixed pixel effect. Before the image classification, each segment is overlaid with the bands of the image fused, and several descriptive statistics of each segment are computed for each band. To select the potential homogeneous regions that are eligible for the selection of training samples, a user-defined threshold is applied. After finding those potential regions, the

  19. Spectral properties of agricultural crops and soils measured from space, aerial, field, and laboratory sensors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bauer, M. E. (Principal Investigator); Vanderbilt, V. C.; Robinson, B. F.; Daughtry, C. S. T.

    1981-01-01

    Investigations of the multispectral reflectance characteristics of crops and soils as measured from laboratory, field, aerial, and satellite sensor systems are reviewed. The relationships of important biological and physical characteristics to the spectral properties of crops and soils are addressed.

  20. Tightly-Coupled Plant-Soil Nitrogen Cycling: Comparison of Organic Farms across an Agricultural Landscape.

    PubMed

    Bowles, Timothy M; Hollander, Allan D; Steenwerth, Kerri; Jackson, Louise E

    2015-01-01

    How farming systems supply sufficient nitrogen (N) for high yields but with reduced N losses is a central challenge for reducing the tradeoffs often associated with N cycling in agriculture. Variability in soil organic matter and management of organic farms across an agricultural landscape may yield insights for improving N cycling and for evaluating novel indicators of N availability. We assessed yields, plant-soil N cycling, and root expression of N metabolism genes across a representative set of organic fields growing Roma-type tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) in an intensively-managed agricultural landscape in California, USA. The fields spanned a three-fold range of soil carbon (C) and N but had similar soil types, texture, and pH. Organic tomato yields ranged from 22.9 to 120.1 Mg ha-1 with a mean similar to the county average (86.1 Mg ha-1), which included mostly conventionally-grown tomatoes. Substantial variability in soil inorganic N concentrations, tomato N, and root gene expression indicated a range of possible tradeoffs between yields and potential for N losses across the fields. Fields showing evidence of tightly-coupled plant-soil N cycling, a desirable scenario in which high crop yields are supported by adequate N availability but low potential for N loss, had the highest total and labile soil C and N and received organic matter inputs with a range of N availability. In these fields, elevated expression of a key gene involved in root N assimilation, cytosolic glutamine synthetase GS1, confirmed that plant N assimilation was high even when inorganic N pools were low. Thus tightly-coupled N cycling occurred on several working organic farms. Novel combinations of N cycling indicators (i.e. inorganic N along with soil microbial activity and root gene expression for N assimilation) would support adaptive management for improved N cycling on organic as well as conventional farms, especially when plant-soil N cycling is rapid.

  1. Canola Oil Fuel Cell Demonstration: Volume 2 - Market Availability of Agricultural Crops for Fuel Cell Applications

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-06-01

    canola, crambe, mus- tard, rapeseed, safflower , and sunflower. These six species were selected for evaluation based on the production requirements for...each crop. By comparison, other less-known crops such as camelina are poorly defined in terms of production. Crops such as safflower and sunflower...are also as well known as canola. Consequently, more variables are used to define ca- nola, flax, safflower , and sunflower. Crops with relatively

  2. Linking agricultural practices, mycorrhizal fungi, and traits mediating plant-insect interactions.

    PubMed

    Barber, Nicholas A; Kiers, E Toby; Theis, Nina; Hazzard, Ruth V; Adler, Lynn S

    2013-10-01

    Agricultural management has profound effects on soil communities. Activities such as fertilizer inputs can modify the composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities, which form important symbioses with the roots of most crop plants. Intensive conventional agricultural management may select for less mutualistic AMF with reduced benefits to host plants compared to organic management, but these differences are poorly understood. AMF are generally evaluated based on their direct growth effects on plants. However, mycorrhizal colonization also may alter plant traits such as tissue nutrients, defensive chemistry, or floral traits, which mediate important plant-insect interactions like herbivory and pollination. To determine the effect of AMF from different farming practices on plant performance and traits that putatively mediate species interactions, we performed a greenhouse study by inoculating Cucumis sativus (cucumber, Cucurbitaceae) with AMF from conventional farms, organic farms, and a commercial AMF inoculum. We measured growth and a suite of plant traits hypothesized to be important predictors of herbivore resistance and pollinator attraction. Several leaf and root traits and flower production were significantly affected by AMF inoculum. Both conventional and organic AMF reduced leaf P content but increased Na content compared to control and commercial AMF. Leaf defenses were unaffected by AMF treatments, but conventional AMF increased root cucurbitacin C, the primary defensive chemical of C. sativus, compared to organic AMF. These effects may have important consequences for herbivore preference and population dynamics. AMF from both organic and conventional farms decreased flower production relative to commercial and control treatments, which may reduce pollinator attraction and plant reproduction. AMF from both farm types also reduced seed germination, but effects on plant growth were limited. Our results suggest that studies only considering AMF

  3. Economic Benefits of Predictive Models for Pest Control in Agricultural Crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Various forms of crop models or decision making tools for managing crops have existed for many years. The potential advantage of all of these decision making tools is that more informed and economically improved crop management or decision making is accomplished. However, examination of some of thes...

  4. Dynamic Patterns, Parameters, and Climatic Response of CO2 Exchange of Agricultural Crops: Monocotyledons VS. Dicotyledons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilmanov, T. G.; Wylie, B. K.; Howard, D. M.

    2012-12-01

    Net CO2 exchange data from long-term flux tower measurements in monocotyledonous (wheat, maize) and dicotyledonous (soybeans, alfalfa, peas, peanuts) crops were partitioned into photosynthesis (P) and respiration (R) using the light-soil temperature-VPD response method. Analysis of the resulting time series of P and R revealed patterns of temporal and phenological dynamics in these plant groups. We established differences in ranges and dynamic patterns of P and R as well as CO2 exchange parameters (quantum yield, photosynthetic capacity, respiration rate, light-use efficiency, curvature of the VPD response). Weekly P and R data combined with remotely sensed 7-day eMODIS NDVI allow identification of the quasi-linear relationships between P, R, and NDVI, as well as estimation of parameters of NDVI response (start of the growing season, duration of the linearity period, slope of NDVI response). While the linear-like patterns occur early in the season, later the flux response to NDVI becomes less pronounced, and for the whole season the flux-NDVI relationship assumes a hysteresis-like pattern. Introduction of VPD and soil moisture limitation as well as phenological controls (growing degree days) leads to more flexible models for P and R in relation to NDVI and on-site drivers. These models allow mapping of the cropland CO2 exchange at regional and larger scales (e.g., the Great Plains). Significant relationships of the crop GPP to the seasonally integrated NDVI were also established, providing an opportunity for mapping of crop productivity using geographically distributed historic NDVI data. On the other hand, long time series (6 to 12 years and longer) of weekly P and R data lead to models of annual photosynthesis and respiration in response to climatic factors that may be used for prognostic purposes. We developed a model of maize GPP on the Great Plains in relation to the sum of temperatures above 5 °C and the hydrologic year precipitation. The model describes 75

  5. Noncrop flowering plants restore top-down herbivore control in agricultural fields

    PubMed Central

    Balmer, Oliver; Pfiffner, Lukas; Schied, Johannes; Willareth, Martin; Leimgruber, Andrea; Luka, Henryk; Traugott, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Herbivore populations are regulated by bottom-up control through food availability and quality and by top-down control through natural enemies. Intensive agricultural monocultures provide abundant food to specialized herbivores and at the same time negatively impact natural enemies because monocultures are depauperate in carbohydrate food sources required by many natural enemies. As a consequence, herbivores are released from both types of control. Diversifying intensive cropping systems with flowering plants that provide nutritional resources to natural enemies may enhance top-down control and contribute to natural herbivore regulation. We analyzed how noncrop flowering plants planted as “companion plants” inside cabbage (Brassica oleracea) fields and as margins along the fields affect the plant–herbivore–parasitoid–predator food web. We combined molecular analyses quantifying parasitism of herbivore eggs and larvae with molecular predator gut content analysis and a comprehensive predator community assessment. Planting cornflowers (Centaurea cynanus), which have been shown to attract and selectively benefit Microplitis mediator, a larval parasitoid of the cabbage moth Mamestra brassicae, between the cabbage heads shifted the balance between trophic levels. Companion plants significantly increased parasitism of herbivores by larval parasitoids and predation on herbivore eggs. They furthermore significantly affected predator species richness. These effects were present despite the different treatments being close relative to the parasitoids’ mobility. These findings demonstrate that habitat manipulation can restore top-down herbivore control in intensive crops if the right resources are added. This is important because increased natural control reduces the need for pesticide input in intensive agricultural settings, with cascading positive effects on general biodiversity and the environment. Companion plants thus increase biodiversity both

  6. Dynamics of plant nutrients, utilization and uptake, and soil microbial community in crops under ambient and elevated carbon dioxide

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In natural settings such as under field conditions, the plant available soil nutrients in conjunction with other environmental factors such as, solar radiation, temperature, precipitation, and atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration determine crop adaptation and productivity. Therefore, crop...

  7. Utilization of urea, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate by crop plants in a Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huffaker, R. C.; Rains, D. W.; Qualset, C. O.

    1982-01-01

    The utilization of nitrogen compounds by crop plants is studied. The selection of crop varieties for efficient production using urea, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and the assimilation of mixed nitrogen sources by cereal leaves and roots are discussed.

  8. Native root-associated bacteria rescue a plant from a sudden-wilt disease that emerged during continuous cropping

    PubMed Central

    Santhanam, Rakesh; Luu, Van Thi; Weinhold, Arne; Goldberg, Jay; Oh, Youngjoo; Baldwin, Ian T.

    2015-01-01

    Plants maintain microbial associations whose functions remain largely unknown. For the past 15 y, we have planted the annual postfire tobacco Nicotiana attenuata into an experimental field plot in the plant’s native habitat, and for the last 8 y the number of plants dying from a sudden wilt disease has increased, leading to crop failure. Inadvertently we had recapitulated the common agricultural dilemma of pathogen buildup associated with continuous cropping for this native plant. Plants suffered sudden tissue collapse and black roots, symptoms similar to a Fusarium–Alternaria disease complex, recently characterized in a nearby native population and developed into an in vitro pathosystem for N. attenuata. With this in vitro disease system, different protection strategies (fungicide and inoculations with native root-associated bacterial and fungal isolates), together with a biochar soil amendment, were tested further in the field. A field trial with more than 900 plants in two field plots revealed that inoculation with a mixture of native bacterial isolates significantly reduced disease incidence and mortality in the infected field plot without influencing growth, herbivore resistance, or 32 defense and signaling metabolites known to mediate resistance against native herbivores. Tests in a subsequent year revealed that a core consortium of five bacteria was essential for disease reduction. This consortium, but not individual members of the root-associated bacteria community which this plant normally recruits during germination from native seed banks, provides enduring resistance against fungal diseases, demonstrating that native plants develop opportunistic mutualisms with prokaryotes that solve context-dependent ecological problems. PMID:26305938

  9. A synthesis of AOT40-based response functions and critical levels of ozone for agricultural and horticultural crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mills, G.; Buse, A.; Gimeno, B.; Bermejo, V.; Holland, M.; Emberson, L.; Pleijel, H.

    Crop-response data from over 700 published papers and conference proceedings have been analysed with the aim of establishing ozone dose-response functions for a wide range of European agricultural and horticultural crops. Data that met rigorous selection criteria (e.g. field-based, ozone concentrations within European range, full season exposure period) were used to derive AOT40-yield response functions for 19 crops by first converting the published ozone concentration data into AOT40 (AOT40 is the hourly mean ozone concentration accumulated over a threshold ozone concentration of 40 ppb during daylight hours, units ppm h). For any individual crop, there were no significant differences in the linear response functions derived for experiments conducted in the USA or Europe, or for individual cultivars. Three statistically independent groups were identified: ozone sensitive crops (wheat, water melon, pulses, cotton, turnip, tomato, onion, soybean and lettuce); moderately sensitive crops (sugar beet, potato, oilseed rape, tobacco, rice, maize, grape and broccoli) and ozone resistant (barley and fruit represented by plum and strawberry). Critical levels of a 3 month AOT40 of 3 ppm h and a 3.5 month AOT40 of 6 ppm h were derived from the functions for wheat and tomato, respectively.

  10. Market projections and factors influencing the development of new products and energy derived from agricultural crops in the European Union

    SciTech Connect

    Knight, B.E.A.; Houghton, T.M.

    1995-11-01

    Following the 1992 revision of the Common Agricultural Policy in the European Union, it is projected that 25-50 million acres of arable land currently used for food production could be surplus to requirements by 2000. This strategic study was carried out in order to assess factors that will determine, over the next twenty years, the use of a range of crops for non food outlets. Analysis of published research and economic reports and interviews with legislators and opinion leaders in different Member States was carried out. Five defined market sectors were covered: (i) biomass crops for the generation of heat and electricity, (ii) oilseed and cereal crops as sources of transport fuel, (iii) products from vegetable oils, (iv) products from starch and sugar, and (v) products from fibre crops. Opportunities and constraints were ranked and maximum and minimum land use requirements forecast for each sector. Biomass for electricity is projected to need most land, up to 20 million acres by 2015, if all factors are favourable. In the shorter term, crops grown to produce liquid transport fuel are likely to show the most rapid expansion in area. Market demand for environmentally superior products will be a driving force despite, currently, poor relative economics in comparison with fossil fuel derived products. Better integration between crop production and the end markets will be essential.

  11. New thrips-transmitted plant viruses in Florida crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The thrips-transmitted tospoviruses Tomato spotted wilt virus, Groundnut ringspot virus and Tomato chlorotic spot virus are present in south Florida. All three species cause economically significant disease in vegetable and ornamental crops, and may also be problematic in peanut. Control of both t...

  12. Unlimited Thirst for Genome Sequencing, Data Interpretation, and Database Usage in Genomic Era: The Road towards Fast-Track Crop Plant Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Govindaraj, Mahalingam

    2015-01-01

    The number of sequenced crop genomes and associated genomic resources is growing rapidly with the advent of inexpensive next generation sequencing methods. Databases have become an integral part of all aspects of science research, including basic and applied plant and animal sciences. The importance of databases keeps increasing as the volume of datasets from direct and indirect genomics, as well as other omics approaches, keeps expanding in recent years. The databases and associated web portals provide at a minimum a uniform set of tools and automated analysis across a wide range of crop plant genomes. This paper reviews some basic terms and considerations in dealing with crop plant databases utilization in advancing genomic era. The utilization of databases for variation analysis with other comparative genomics tools, and data interpretation platforms are well described. The major focus of this review is to provide knowledge on platforms and databases for genome-based investigations of agriculturally important crop plants. The utilization of these databases in applied crop improvement program is still being achieved widely; otherwise, the end for sequencing is not far away. PMID:25874133

  13. Plant Stress Responses and Phenotypic Plasticity in the Epigenomics Era: Perspectives on the Grapevine Scenario, a Model for Perennial Crop Plants.

    PubMed

    Fortes, Ana M; Gallusci, Philippe

    2017-01-01

    Epigenetic marks include Histone Post-Translational Modifications and DNA methylation which are known to participate in the programming of gene expression in plants and animals. These epigenetic marks may be subjected to dynamic changes in response to endogenous and/or external stimuli and can have an impact on phenotypic plasticity. Studying how plant genomes can be epigenetically shaped under stressed conditions has become an essential issue in order to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying plant stress responses and enabling epigenetic in addition to genetic factors to be considered when breeding crop plants. In this perspective, we discuss the contribution of epigenetic mechanisms to our understanding of plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. This regulation of gene expression in response to environment raises important biological questions for perennial species such as grapevine which is asexually propagated and grown worldwide in contrasting terroirs and environmental conditions. However, most species used for epigenomic studies are annual herbaceous plants, and epigenome dynamics has been poorly investigated in perennial woody plants, including grapevine. In this context, we propose grape as an essential model for epigenetic and epigenomic studies in perennial woody plants of agricultural importance.

  14. Plant Stress Responses and Phenotypic Plasticity in the Epigenomics Era: Perspectives on the Grapevine Scenario, a Model for Perennial Crop Plants

    PubMed Central

    Fortes, Ana M.; Gallusci, Philippe

    2017-01-01

    Epigenetic marks include Histone Post-Translational Modifications and DNA methylation which are known to participate in the programming of gene expression in plants and animals. These epigenetic marks may be subjected to dynamic changes in response to endogenous and/or external stimuli and can have an impact on phenotypic plasticity. Studying how plant genomes can be epigenetically shaped under stressed conditions has become an essential issue in order to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying plant stress responses and enabling epigenetic in addition to genetic factors to be considered when breeding crop plants. In this perspective, we discuss the contribution of epigenetic mechanisms to our understanding of plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. This regulation of gene expression in response to environment raises important biological questions for perennial species such as grapevine which is asexually propagated and grown worldwide in contrasting terroirs and environmental conditions. However, most species used for epigenomic studies are annual herbaceous plants, and epigenome dynamics has been poorly investigated in perennial woody plants, including grapevine. In this context, we propose grape as an essential model for epigenetic and epigenomic studies in perennial woody plants of agricultural importance. PMID:28220131

  15. Effects of acid rain, alone and in combination with gaseous pollutants, on growth and yield of crop plants

    SciTech Connect

    Shriner, D.S.; Johnston, J.W. Jr.

    1985-01-01

    Greenhouse, growth chamber, and field experiments were conducted to determine the response of crop plants to levels of acidity in simulated rain. The major objectives were: to determine the levels of acidity in rain that alter crop productivity; to evaluate varietal differences in crop response; and to determine the response of crop plants to the combined stress of acid rain and gaseous pollutants, primarily ozone. Results showed additive effects rather than synergistic ones.

  16. Plant adaptation to acid soils: the molecular basis for crop aluminum resistance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aluminum (Al) toxicity on acid soils is a significant limitation to crop production worldwide, as approximately 50% of the world’s potentially arable soils are acidic. Because acid soils are such an important constraint to agriculture, understanding the mechanisms and genes conferring resistance to ...

  17. Multi-objective optimization of crop planting structure in irrigation area based on remote sensing technology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the regions short of water, the adjustment of cropping structure is also an important measure to save water in agriculture besides water-saving irrigation techniques and cultivation techniques. This paper describes a method of water saving and high efficient water usage by adjusting the differen...

  18. Developing robust crop plants for sustaining growth and yield under adverse climatic changes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural production and quality are expected to suffer from adverse changes in climatic conditions, including global warming, and this will affect worldwide human and animal food security. Global warming has been shown to negatively impact crop yield and therefore will affect sustainability of a...

  19. The integrated web service and genome database for agricultural plants with biotechnology information.

    PubMed

    Kim, Changkug; Park, Dongsuk; Seol, Youngjoo; Hahn, Jangho

    2011-01-01

    The National Agricultural Biotechnology Information Center (NABIC) constructed an agricultural biology-based infrastructure and developed a Web based relational database for agricultural plants with biotechnology information. The NABIC has concentrated on functional genomics of major agricultural plants, building an integrated biotechnology database for agro-biotech information that focuses on genomics of major agricultural resources. This genome database provides annotated genome information from 1,039,823 records mapped to rice, Arabidopsis, and Chinese cabbage.

  20. The World's Crop Plant Germplasm--An Endangered Resource

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilkes, Garrison

    1977-01-01

    Discusses the fact that many food plants derive from domesticated rather than natural strains, and that natural germplasm or genetic strains used in the plant-improvement process must be carefully preserved. (MLH)

  1. Estimating plant available water for general crop simulations in ALMANAC/APEX/EPIC/SWAT

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Process-based simulation models ALMANAC/APEX/EPIC/SWAT contain generalized plant growth subroutines to predict biomass and crop yield. Environmental constraints typically restrict plant growth and yield. Water stress is often an important limiting factor; it is calculated as the sum of water use f...

  2. Arthropod-associated plant effectors (AAPEs):elicitors and suppressors of crop defense

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In response to insect attack, many plants undergo a suite of rapid biochemical changes that serve to directly reduce subsequent feeding damage and also promote the attraction of predators and parasitoids, the natural enemies of crop pests. In many cases, these insect-induced plant defense responses ...

  3. Mapping changes in agricultural cropping frequency across Zimbabwe using cross-scale time-series remote sensing data and a novel signal decomposition method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khandelwal, A.; Van Den Hoek, J.; Sedano, F.; Kumar, V.; Tucker, C. J.

    2014-12-01

    A central challenge in agricultural remote sensing is the detection of changes in intra-annual cropping frequency, often necessary in monitoring crop productivity, agricultural management practices, or policy implementation. Though remote sensing imagery offers synoptic and systematic measurements relevant to monitoring crop phenology across spatial scales, broad-scale (i.e., country-wide) changes in cropping frequency have seldom been quantified due to spatio-temporal heterogeneity in phenological and climatic cycles, signal noise, and missing data resulting from cloud cover. For example, in Zimbabwe, once the breadbasket of southern Africa, large-scale changes to agricultural production followed land distribution policies introduced in the early 2000s. The diverse impacts of land reform on the agricultural economy continue to be debated yet the underlying changes in cropping frequency and pattern have never been systematically assessed. Using Zimbabwean agriculture as a case study and MODIS 16-day composite Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and complementary Landsat imagery collected since 2000 across Zimbabwe, this presentation introduces a novel time-series signal decomposition and spatiotemporal clustering approach to map intra-annual cropping frequency and changes therein. MODIS-derived results indicate a massive decline in double-cropped acreage since 2000, a complete overhaul of cropping pattern with the disaggregation of large-scale commercial farms into multiple smallholder plots, and a spatial contraction of double-cropped fields to peri-urban lands, while Landsat trends capture the recent emergence of small-scale double-cropping systems unseen in MODIS data. These findings provide an independent and objective assessment of field-level changes in agricultural productivity, spatiotemporally explicit land reform effects on large-scale as well as smallholder agriculture and potential for food production, and have importance for regional water

  4. Ultrasonic Sensing of Plant Water Needs for Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Gómez Álvarez-Arenas, Tomas; Gil-Pelegrin, Eustaquio; Ealo Cuello, Joao; Fariñas, Maria Dolores; Sancho-Knapik, Domingo; Collazos Burbano, David Alejandro; Peguero-Pina, Jose Javier

    2016-01-01

    Fresh water is a key natural resource for food production, sanitation and industrial uses and has a high environmental value. The largest water use worldwide (~70%) corresponds to irrigation in agriculture, where use of water is becoming essential to maintain productivity. Efficient irrigation control largely depends on having access to reliable information about the actual plant water needs. Therefore, fast, portable and non-invasive sensing techniques able to measure water requirements directly on the plant are essential to face the huge challenge posed by the extensive water use in agriculture, the increasing water shortage and the impact of climate change. Non-contact resonant ultrasonic spectroscopy (NC-RUS) in the frequency range 0.1–1.2 MHz has revealed as an efficient and powerful non-destructive, non-invasive and in vivo sensing technique for leaves of different plant species. In particular, NC-RUS allows determining surface mass, thickness and elastic modulus of the leaves. Hence, valuable information can be obtained about water content and turgor pressure. This work analyzes and reviews the main requirements for sensors, electronics, signal processing and data analysis in order to develop a fast, portable, robust and non-invasive NC-RUS system to monitor variations in leaves water content or turgor pressure. A sensing prototype is proposed, described and, as application example, used to study two different species: Vitis vinifera and Coffea arabica, whose leaves present thickness resonances in two different frequency bands (400–900 kHz and 200–400 kHz, respectively), These species are representative of two different climates and are related to two high-added value agricultural products where efficient irrigation management can be critical. Moreover, the technique can also be applied to other species and similar results can be obtained. PMID:27428968

  5. Modelling crop canopy and residue rainfall interception effects on soil hydrological components for semi-arid agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozak, Joseph A.; Ahuja, Lajpat R.; Green, Timothy R.; Ma, Liwang

    2007-01-01

    Crop canopies and residues have been shown to intercept a significant amount of rainfall. However, rainfall or irrigation interception by crops and residues has often been overlooked in hydrologic modelling. Crop canopy interception is controlled by canopy density and rainfall intensity and duration. Crop residue interception is a function of crop residue type, residue density and cover, and rainfall intensity and duration. We account for these controlling factors and present a model for both interception components based on Merriam's approach. The modified Merriam model and the current modelling approaches were examined and compared with two field studies and one laboratory study. The Merriam model is shown to agree well with measurements and was implemented within the Agricultural Research Service's Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM). Using this enhanced version of RZWQM, three simulation studies were performed to examine the quantitative effects of rainfall interception by corn and wheat canopies and residues on soil hydrological components. Study I consisted of 10 separate hypothetical growing seasons (1991-2000) for canopy effects and 10 separate non-growing seasons (1991-2000) for residue effects for eastern Colorado conditions. For actual management practices in a no-till wheat-corn-fallow cropping sequence at Akron, Colorado (study II), a continuous 10-year RZWQM simulation was performed to examine the cumulative changes on water balance components and crop growth caused by canopy and residue rainfall interception. Finally, to examine a higher precipitation environment, a hypothetical, no-till wheat-corn-fallow rotation scenario at Corvallis, Oregon, was simulated (study III). For all studies, interception was shown to decrease infiltration, runoff, evapotranspiration from soil, deep seepage of water and chemical transport, macropore flow, leaf area index, and crop/grain yield. Because interception decreased both infiltration and soil evapotranspiration

  6. Anaerobic co-digestion plants for the revaluation of agricultural waste: Sustainable location sites from a GIS analysis.

    PubMed

    Villamar, Cristina Alejandra; Rivera, Diego; Aguayo, Mauricio

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this study was to establish sustainably feasible areas for the implementation of anaerobic co-digestion plants for agricultural wastes (cattle/swine slurries and cereal crop wastes). The methodology was based on the use of geographic information systems (GIS), the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and map algebra generated from hedges related to environmental, social and economic constraints. The GIS model obtained was applied to a region of Chile (Bío Bío Region) as a case study showing the energy potential (205 MW-h) of agricultural wastes (swine/cattle manures and cereal crop wastes) and thereby assessing its energy contribution (3.5%) at country level (Chile). From this model, it was possible to spatially identify the influence of each factor (environmental, economic and social) when defining suitable areas for the siting of anaerobic co-digestion plants. In conclusion, GIS-based models establish appropriate areas for the location of anaerobic co-digestion plants in the revaluation of agricultural waste from the production of energy through biogas production.

  7. Plant domestication versus crop evolution: a conceptual framework for cereals and grain legumes.

    PubMed

    Abbo, Shahal; Pinhasi van-Oss, Ruth; Gopher, Avi; Saranga, Yehoshua; Ofner, Itai; Peleg, Zvi

    2014-06-01

    'Domestication syndrome' (DS) denotes differences between domesticated plants and their wild progenitors. Crop plants are dynamic entities; hence, not all parameters distinguishing wild progenitors from cultigens resulted from domestication. In this opinion article, we refine the DS concept using agronomic, genetic, and archaeobotanical considerations by distinguishing crucial domestication traits from traits that probably evolved post-domestication in Near Eastern grain crops. We propose that only traits showing a clear domesticated-wild dimorphism represent the pristine domestication episode, whereas traits showing a phenotypic continuum between wild and domesticated gene pools mostly reflect post-domestication diversification. We propose that our approach may apply to other crop types and examine its implications for discussing the timeframe of plant domestication and for modern plant science and breeding.

  8. Plant defense activators: applications and prospects in cereal crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This review addresses the current understanding of the plant immune response and the molecular mechanisms responsible for systemic acquired resistance as well as the phenomenon of "priming" in plant defense. A detailed discussion of the role of salicylic acid in activating the plant transcription c...

  9. How can crop intra-specific biodiversity mitigate the vulnerability of agricultural systems to climate change? A case study on durum wheat in Southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monaco, Eugenia; Alfieri, Silvia Maria; Basile, Angelo; Menenti, Massimo; Bonfante, Antonello; De Lorenzi, Fracesca

    2014-05-01

    Climate evolution may lead to changes in the amount and distribution of precipitations and to reduced water availability, with constraints on the cultivation of some crops. Recently, foreseen crop responses to climate change raise a crucial question for the agricultural stakeholders: are the current production systems resilient to this change? An active debate is in progress about the definition of adaptation of agricultural systems, particularly about the integrated assessment of climate stressors, vulnerability and resilece towards the evaluation of climate impact on agricultural systems. Climate change represents a risk for rain-fed agricultural systems, where irrigations cannot compensate reductions in precipitations. The intra-specific biodiversity of crops can be a resource towards adaptation. The knowledge of the responses to environmental conditions (temperature and water availability) of different cultivars can allow to identify options for adaptation to future climate. Simulation models of water flow in the soil-plant-atmosphere system, driven by different climate scenarios, can describe present and foreseen soil water regime. The present work deals with a case-study on the adaptive capacity of durum wheat to climate change. The selected study area is a hilly region in Southern Italy (Fortore Beneventano, Campania Region). Two climate cases were studied: "reference" (1961-1990) and "future" (2021-2050). A mechanistic model of water flow in the soil-plant-atmosphere system (SWAP) was run to determine the water regime in some soil units, representative of the soil variability in the study area. From model output, the Relative Evapotranspiration Deficit (RETD) was determined as an indicator of hydrological conditions during the crop growing period for each year and climate case; and periods with higher frequencies of soil water deficits were identified. The timing of main crop development stages was calculated. The occurrence of water deficit at different

  10. A new grading system for plant-available potassium using exhaustive cropping techniques combined with chemical analyses of soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Ting; Wang, Huoyan; Zhou, Zijun; Chen, Xiaoqin; Zhou, Jianmin

    2016-11-01

    A new grading system for plant-available potassium (K) in soils based on K release rate from soils and plant growth indices was established. In the study, fourteen different agricultural soils from the southern subtropical to the northern temperate zones in China were analyzed by both chemical extraction methods and exhaustive cropping techniques. Based on the change trends in plant growth indices, relative biomass yields of 70% and 50%, K-deficient coefficients of 35 and 22 under conventional exhaustive experiments, and tissue K concentrations of 40 g kg‑1 and 15 g kg‑1 under intensive exhaustive experiments were obtained as critical values that represent different change trends. In addition, the extraction method using 0.2 mol L‑1 sodium tetraphenylboron (NaTPB) suggested soil K release rates of 12 mg kg‑1 min‑1 and 0.4 mg kg‑1 min‑1 as turning points that illustrated three different release trends. Thus, plant-available K in soils was classified into three categories: high available K, medium available K and low available K, and grading criteria and measurement methods were also proposed. This work has increased our understanding of soil K bioavailability and has direct application in terms of routine assessment of agriculture soils.

  11. A new grading system for plant-available potassium using exhaustive cropping techniques combined with chemical analyses of soils

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ting; Wang, Huoyan; Zhou, Zijun; Chen, Xiaoqin; Zhou, Jianmin

    2016-01-01

    A new grading system for plant-available potassium (K) in soils based on K release rate from soils and plant growth indices was established. In the study, fourteen different agricultural soils from the southern subtropical to the northern temperate zones in China were analyzed by both chemical extraction methods and exhaustive cropping techniques. Based on the change trends in plant growth indices, relative biomass yields of 70% and 50%, K-deficient coefficients of 35 and 22 under conventional exhaustive experiments, and tissue K concentrations of 40 g kg−1 and 15 g kg−1 under intensive exhaustive experiments were obtained as critical values that represent different change trends. In addition, the extraction method using 0.2 mol L−1 sodium tetraphenylboron (NaTPB) suggested soil K release rates of 12 mg kg−1 min−1 and 0.4 mg kg−1 min−1 as turning points that illus