Science.gov

Sample records for agricultural crop production

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. 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. PMID:26070897

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. [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.

  3. [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. PMID:25757330

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Atmospheric flux of agricultural fumigants from raised-bed, plastic-mulch crop production systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chellemi, Dan O.; Ajwa, Husein A.; Sullivan, David A.

    2010-12-01

    Atmospheric emission of methyl isothiocyanate (MITC), chloropicrin (CP), 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D), and dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) were measured in the field under fumigant application scenarios representative of raised bed-plastic-mulched crop production systems. For three fumigation sites located in Florida, cumulative emissions of 1,3-D, MITC and CP were less than 11%, 6% and 2%, respectively. For three fumigation sites in located in Georgia, cumulative emissions of MITC and CP were <13% and 12%, respectively while DMDS emissions varied from 37% to 95%. In the Florida sites, emission peak flux of CP occurred within the first 6 h after application. Peak emission of 1,3-D and MITC occurred between 100 and 144 h after application. In the Georgia sites where fumigated soil was covered by low density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic, emission peak flux of DMDS and MITC occurred between 12and 48 h after application. Key factors affecting atmospheric emissions were soil moisture, soil tilth and the resistance to fumigant diffusion of the plastic film used to cover soil following application. This study demonstrated reduced atmospheric emissions of agricultural fumigants under commercial production conditions when applied using good agricultural practices including soil water contents above field capacity, uniform soil tilth in the fumigation zone and the use of metalized or virtually impermeable films to further reduce fumigant emissions. The results of this study show a need for regional flux studies due to the various interactions of soil and climate with local agricultural land management practices.

  11. Ethanol and agriculture: Effect of increased production on crop and livestock sectors. Agricultural economic report

    SciTech Connect

    House, R.; Peters, M.; Baumes, H.; Disney, W.T.

    1993-05-01

    Expanded ethanol production could increase US farm income by as much as $1 billion (1.4 percent) by 2000. Because corn is the primary feedstock for ethanol, growers in the Corn Belt would benefit most from improved ethanol technology and heightened demand. Coproducts from the conversion process (corn gluten meal, corn gluten feed, and others) compete with soybean meal, soybean growers in the South may see revenues decline. The US balance of trade would improve with increased ethanol production as oil import needs decline.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Grassland-cropping rotations: An avenue for agricultural diversification to reconcile high production with environmental quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  18. Long-term impact of a precision agriculture system on grain crop production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Research is lacking on the long-term impacts of field-scale precision agriculture practices on grain production. Following more than a decade (1993-2003) of yield and soil mapping and water quality assessment, a multi-faceted, ‘precision agriculture system’ (PAS) was implemented from 2004 to 2014 on...

  19. Agricultural Production.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lehigh County Area Vocational-Technical School, Schnecksville, PA.

    This brochure describes the philosophy and scope of a secondary-level course in agricultural production. Addressed in the individual units of the course are the following topics: careers in agriculture and agribusiness, animal science and livestock production, agronomy, agricultural mechanics, supervised occupational experience programs, and the…

  20. Developing novel bacterial based bioformulation having PGPR properties for enhanced production of agricultural crops.

    PubMed

    Kalita, Munmi; Bharadwaz, Moonmee; Dey, Tapan; Gogoi, Kabita; Dowarah, Pallavi; Unni, Bala Gopalan; Ozah, Dibyajyoti; Saikia, Indira

    2015-01-01

    Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are beneficial rhizobacteria which enhance plant growth as well as the productivity by a variety of mechanisms PGPR were isolated from the rhizosphere region of som plants (Machilus bombycina King) maintained at the Central Muga Eri Research and Training Institute, Lahdoigarh, Jorhat. A bacterial based bioformulation was prepared and sprayed over the experimental crops including tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var botrytis), chili (Capsicum annuum) and brinjal (Solanum melongena). Biochemical analysis was done on these PGPR treated crops as well as the untreated crops. The bioformulations prepared from Bacillus cereus (MTCC 8297), Pseudomonas rhodesiae (MTCC 8299) and Pseudomonas rhodesiae (MTCC 8300) was found to be the most effective in increasing the shoot height, number of leaves, early fruiting and total biomass content of the plants after treatment. PMID:25675713

  1. 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

  2. Prospects for dedicated energy crop production and attitudes towards agricultural straw use: The case of livestock farmers

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, P.; Glithero, N.J.; Ramsden, S.J.

    2014-01-01

    Second generation biofuels utilising agricultural by-products (e.g. straw), or dedicated energy crops (DECs) produced on ‘marginal’ land, have been called for. A structured telephone survey of 263 livestock farmers, predominantly located in the west or ‘marginal’ upland areas of England captured data on attitudes towards straw use and DECs. Combined with farm physical and business data, the survey results show that 7.2% and 6.3% of farmers would respectively consider growing SRC and miscanthus, producing respective maximum potential English crop areas of 54,603 ha and 43,859 ha. If higher market prices for straw occurred, most livestock farmers would continue to buy straw. Reasons for not being willing to consider growing DECs include concerns over land quality, committing land for a long time period, lack of appropriate machinery, profitability, and time to financial return; a range of moral, land quality, production conflict and lack of crop knowledge factors were also cited. Results demonstrate limited potential for the production of DECs on livestock farms in England. Changes in policy support to address farmer concerns with respect to DECs will be required to incentivise farmers to increase energy crop production. Policy support for DEC production must be cognisant of farm-level economic, tenancy and personal objectives. PMID:25844008

  3. 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.

  4. Teaching Diversified Organic Crop Production Using the Community Supported Agriculture Farming System Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Falk, Constance L.; Pao, Pauline; Cramer, Christopher S.

    2005-01-01

    An organic garden operated as a community supported agriculture (CSA) venture on the New Mexico State University (NMSU) main campus was begun in January 2002. Students enroll in an organic vegetable production class during spring and fall semesters to help manage and work on the project. The CSA model of farming involves the sale of shares to…

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:24144612

  7. Towards a Quantitative Use of Satellite Remote Sensing in Crop Growth Models for Large Scale Agricultural Production Estimate (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Defourny, P.

    2013-12-01

    The development of better agricultural monitoring capabilities is clearly considered as a critical step for strengthening food production information and market transparency thanks to timely information about crop status, crop area and yield forecasts. The documentation of global production will contribute to tackle price volatility by allowing local, national and international operators to make decisions and anticipate market trends with reduced uncertainty. Several operational agricultural monitoring systems are currently operating at national and international scales. Most are based on the methods derived from the pioneering experiences completed some decades ago, and use remote sensing to qualitatively compare one year to the others to estimate the risks of deviation from a normal year. The GEO Agricultural Monitoring Community of Practice described the current monitoring capabilities at the national and global levels. An overall diagram summarized the diverse relationships between satellite EO and agriculture information. There is now a large gap between the current operational large scale systems and the scientific state of the art in crop remote sensing, probably because the latter mainly focused on local studies. The poor availability of suitable in-situ and satellite data over extended areas hampers large scale demonstrations preventing the much needed up scaling research effort. For the cropland extent, this paper reports a recent research achievement using the full ENVISAT MERIS 300 m archive in the context of the ESA Climate Change Initiative. A flexible combination of classification methods depending to the region of the world allows mapping the land cover as well as the global croplands at 300 m for the period 2008 2012. This wall to wall product is then compared with regards to the FP 7-Geoland 2 results obtained using as Landsat-based sampling strategy over the IGADD countries. On the other hand, the vegetation indices and the biophysical variables

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Genetic Engineering and Crop Production.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Helen C.; Frost, S.

    1991-01-01

    With a spotlight upon current agricultural difficulties and environmental dilemmas, this paper considers both the extant and potential applications of genetic engineering with respect to crop production. The nonagricultural factors most likely to sway the impact of this emergent technology upon future crop production are illustrated. (JJK)

  11. Estimating Phenology Of Agricultural Crops From Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez-Sanchez, Juan M.; Vicente-Guijalba, Fernando; Ballester-Berman, J. David; Cloude, Shane R.

    2013-12-01

    This paper summarises the main results derived from a study developed under the ESA funded PolSAR-Ap project, aimed to demonstrate the contribution of SAR polarimetry in diverse Earth observation products. The specific application treated here is the retrieval of phenology of agricultural crops by exploiting C-band polarimetric images. Using a set of 20 images acquired by Radarsat-2 during the AgriSAR2009 campaign, we show the sensitivity of polarimetry for some crop types (mainly cereals) and present a number of retrieval results with simple algorithms that exhibit excellent performance for some crops, e.g. barley and wheat.

  12. Field spectroscopy of agricultural crops

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bauer, M. E.; Daughtry, C. S. T.; Biehl, L. L.; Kanemasu, E. T.; Hall, F. G.

    1986-01-01

    The development of the full potential of multispectral data acquired from satellites, requires quantitative knowledge, and physical models of the spectral properties of specific earth surface features. Knowledge of the relationships between spectral-radiometric characteristics and important biophysical parameters of agricultural crops and soils can best be obtained by carefully controlled studies of fields or plots. It is important to select plots where data describing the agronomic-biophysical properties of the crop canopies and soil background are attainable, taking into account also the feasibility of frequent timely calibrated spectral measurements. The term 'field spectroscopy' is employed for this research. The present paper is concerned with field research which was sponsored by NASA as part of the AgRISTARS Supporting Research Project. Attention is given to field research objectives, field research instrumentation, measurement procedures, spectral-temporal profile modeling, and the effects of cultural and environmental factors on crop reflectance.

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    2015-10-01

    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.

  15. 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

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

    2015-10-01

    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

  16. Utilizing by-products in agriculture and reducing metal uptake by crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Several million tons of industrial, municipal, and agricultural byproducts are produced annually in the United States (U.S.). Some of the byproducts that are being used in agriculture are coal combustion materials, drinking water treatment residual (DWTR), biosolids, animal manure, steel slag, and ...

  17. 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.

  18. Production and Adaptation Assessments of Agricultural Crops under Climate Change in the Southeastern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Absar, S. M.; Touma, D. E.; Preston, B. L.; Ashfaq, M.

    2012-12-01

    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 40 years (1960-1999) in the baseline period, and 90 years (2010-2100) in the future period under the baseline emissions scenario of Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5. The DSSAT model has been calibrated for 29 sites, representing the study area, using field experiment data. The input soil parameters for DSSAT include soil classification, surface slope, color, permeability, and drainage. For the analyses of projected changes, we divide the 21st century into the near-term (2010-2049) and long-term (2050-2100) periods and focus on comparing the yields of major crops grown at the selected sites, during each future period, with the corresponding yields in the baseline period. In particular, we investigate the effect of changes in mean and extreme hydro-meteorological characteristics on crop yields in the region. Given the projected changes in the crop yields in the future periods, we focus on the adaptation strategies at the local level based on the optimal management practices such as irrigation, fertilization, sowing date that will be needed to cope with climate variability and change in the region.

  19. Agricultural fuel crops, 201-county Tennessee Valley region

    SciTech Connect

    Madewell, C.E.; D'Souza, G.E.; Esensoy, Y.; Broder, J.D.; Simpson, G.S.

    1983-11-01

    The main objective of the report is to identify and analyze the potential economic and environmental impacts arising from the supplementation of a conventional liquid fuels energy system utilizing fossil-derived fuels with a renewable liquid fuels energy source relying primarily on agricultural fuel crops. The scope of this study is limited to the 201 counties of the Tennessee Valley region. Corn and soybeans, the two predominant crops in this region, are used as surrogates around which certain scenarios are constructed to evaluate the impacts of agricultural fuel crops production. Corn and soybeans are believed to represent greatest regional impact cases. Further, this report presents a data base and inventory summary of the region's agricultural land resources, crops and crop residues, land use patterns, erosion problems, conservation needs, and land suitability and potential availability for fuel crop production. Also included is a profile of institutions associated with agricultural fuel crop production, together with functions and responsibilities. The study is multidisciplinary in nature and is part of the overall biomass integrated environmental assessment for the Tennessee Valley region. The report contains the following sections: (1) inventory summary of Tennessee Valley agricultural resources; crops and crop residues; land use; current erosion status; trends in crop and use and yields; land suitability and potential availability for fuel crops production; and background information on alcohol and major economic related factors; (2) economic and environmental impacts arising from production of corn for ethanol fuel; (3) crop residue availability in the Tennessee Valley; (4) an integrated environmental assessment of vegetable oil crops; and (5) profile of institutions associated with agricultural fuel crops production including policies, functions, and responsibilities. 87 references, 17 figures, 29 tables.

  20. Water Production Functions for Central Plains Crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sustaining irrigated agriculture with limited water supplies requires maximizing productivity per unit of water. Relationships between crop production and water consumed are basic information required to maximize productivity. This information can be used to determine if deficit irrigation is eco...

  1. Biofuel Crops Expansion: Evaluating the Impact on the Agricultural Water Scarcity Costs and Hydropower Production with Hydro Economic Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marques, G.

    2015-12-01

    Biofuels such as ethanol from sugar cane remain an important element to help mitigate the impacts of fossil fuels on the atmosphere. However, meeting fuel demands with biofuels requires technological advancement for water productivity and scale of production. This may translate into increased water demands for biofuel crops and potential for conflicts with incumbent crops and other water uses including domestic, hydropower generation and environmental. It is therefore important to evaluate the effects of increased biofuel production on the verge of water scarcity costs and hydropower production. The present research applies a hydro-economic optimization model to compare different scenarios of irrigated biofuel and hydropower production, and estimates the potential tradeoffs. A case study from the Araguari watershed in Brazil is provided. These results should be useful to (i) identify improved water allocation among competing economic demands, (ii) support water management and operations decisions in watersheds where biofuels are expected to increase, and (iii) identify the impact of bio fuel production in the water availability and economic value. Under optimized conditions, adoption of sugar cane for biofuel production heavily relies on the opportunity costs of other crops and hydropower generation. Areas with a lower value crop groups seem more suitable to adopt sugar cane for biofuel when the price of ethanol is sufficiently high and the opportunity costs of hydropower productions are not conflicting. The approach also highlights the potential for insights in water management from studying regional versus larger scales bundled systems involving water use, food production and power generation.

  2. Maximizing root/rhizosphere efficiency to improve crop productivity and nutrient use efficiency in intensive agriculture of China.

    PubMed

    Shen, Jianbo; Li, Chunjian; Mi, Guohua; Li, Long; Yuan, Lixing; Jiang, Rongfeng; Zhang, Fusuo

    2013-03-01

    Root and rhizosphere research has been conducted for many decades, but the underlying strategy of root/rhizosphere processes and management in intensive cropping systems remain largely to be determined. Improved grain production to meet the food demand of an increasing population has been highly dependent on chemical fertilizer input based on the traditionally assumed notion of 'high input, high output', which results in overuse of fertilizers but ignores the biological potential of roots or rhizosphere for efficient mobilization and acquisition of soil nutrients. Root exploration in soil nutrient resources and root-induced rhizosphere processes plays an important role in controlling nutrient transformation, efficient nutrient acquisition and use, and thus crop productivity. The efficiency of root/rhizosphere in terms of improved nutrient mobilization, acquisition, and use can be fully exploited by: (1) manipulating root growth (i.e. root development and size, root system architecture, and distribution); (2) regulating rhizosphere processes (i.e. rhizosphere acidification, organic anion and acid phosphatase exudation, localized application of nutrients, rhizosphere interactions, and use of efficient crop genotypes); and (3) optimizing root zone management to synchronize root growth and soil nutrient supply with demand of nutrients in cropping systems. Experiments have shown that root/rhizosphere management is an effective approach to increase both nutrient use efficiency and crop productivity for sustainable crop production. The objectives of this paper are to summarize the principles of root/rhizosphere management and provide an overview of some successful case studies on how to exploit the biological potential of root system and rhizosphere processes to improve crop productivity and nutrient use efficiency.

  3. 7 CFR 457.117 - Forage production crop insurance provisions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Forage production crop insurance provisions. 457.117 Section 457.117 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) FEDERAL CROP INSURANCE CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COMMON CROP INSURANCE REGULATIONS § 457.117...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Agricultural Yield Trends in Malawi: Utilizing Remote Sensing to Observe Crop Productivity and Sensitivity to Biophysical and Social Drivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peter, B.

    2015-12-01

    The primary objective of this research is to distinguish primary and secondary trends in the spatiotemporal variability of agricultural productivity in Malawi. The assessment was performed by analyzing the Net Primary Productivity (NPP) product derived from NASA MODIS satellite imagery and by drawing comparisons between individual land areas and the country-wide statistics. The data were categorized by placing each individual land area into one of six categories: low, average, or high productivity, and whether or not they were resilient or sensitive to biophysical and/or social production drivers. In order to mitigate productivity interference from forest and other land cover types, a custom agricultural land use was developed. Five land cover datasets, including FAO, GLC, IFPRI, GlobCover, and MODIS were combined to minimize errors of commission. Model assessment occurred via field work in Malawi. Approximately 200 sites were visited across nearly the entire extent of the country. Cropland and land cover were assessed via visual inspection, true color/near-infrared photography, and on-site interviews with farmers and extension officers to inquire about productivity and limiting factors for yield. Additionally, we present a continental scale application of the model to demonstrate its performance across scales.

  7. Natural products in crop protection.

    PubMed

    Dayan, Franck E; Cantrell, Charles L; Duke, Stephen O

    2009-06-15

    The tremendous increase in crop yields associated with the 'green' revolution has been possible in part by the discovery and utilization of chemicals for pest control. However, concerns over the potential impact of pesticides on human health and the environment has led to the introduction of new pesticide registration procedures, such as the Food Quality Protection Act in the United States. These new regulations have reduced the number of synthetic pesticides available in agriculture. Therefore, the current paradigm of relying almost exclusively on chemicals for pest control may need to be reconsidered. New pesticides, including natural product-based pesticides are being discovered and developed to replace the compounds lost due to the new registration requirements. This review covers the historical use of natural products in agricultural practices, the impact of natural products on the development of new pesticides, and the future prospects for natural products-based pest management.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. Integrating crops and livestock in subtropical agricultural systems.

    PubMed

    Wright, Iain A; Tarawali, Shirley; Blümmel, Michael; Gerard, Bruno; Teufel, Nils; Herrero, Mario

    2012-03-30

    As the demand for livestock products increases, and is expected to continue to increase over the next few decades, especially in developing countries, smallholder mixed systems are becoming more intensive. However, with limited land and water resources and concern about the environmental impact of agricultural practices and climate change, the challenge is to find ways of increasing productivity that do not compromise household food security, but rather increase incomes equitably and sustain or enhance the natural resource base. In developed countries there has been increased specialisation of crop and livestock production. In contrast, the majority of livestock in developing countries is kept in mixed crop/livestock systems. Crops (cereal grains and pulses) and crop residues provide the basis of the diet for animals, e.g. cereal straw fed to dairy cattle or sweet potato vines fed to pigs. Animal manure can provide significant nutrient inputs to crops. Water productivity is higher in mixed crop/livestock systems compared with growing crops alone. Mixed systems allow for a more flexible and profitable use of family labour where employment opportunities are limited. They also spread risks across several enterprises, a consideration in smallholder systems that may become even more important under certain climate change scenarios. Integrated crop/livestock systems can play a significant role in improving global food security but will require appropriate technological developments, institutional arrangements and supportive policy environments if they are to fulfil that potential in the coming decades.

  16. 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.

  17. Coal as a feedstock for the production of humic preparations to increase the yield of agricultural crops

    SciTech Connect

    Alyautdinova, R.Kh.; Ekaterinina, L.N.; Vishnyakova, L.V.; Dolmatova, A.G.; Andreeva, A.I.; Zharova, M.N.

    1984-01-01

    The attention of coking specialists has been attracted to the possibility of using humic fertilizers and growth stimulators for various plants in agricultural practice. Previously, investigations were conducted showing the feasibility of using brown and oxidized hard coal for production of humic fertilizers and plant growth stimulators. Humic acids, as phenolcarboxylic acids with various functional groups and containing delocalized electrons, exert various effects on plants. It is shown that the positive effect of humic acids on the development of plants is exerted most effectively against a background of addition of mineral fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. It has also been suggested that the effect of complex organomineral humic fertilizers - coal-ammonium, humophos and others - be studied.

  18. 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.

  19. Establishing Crop Productivity Using RADARSAT-2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNairn, H.; Shang, J.; Jiao, X.; Deschamps, B.

    2012-07-01

    Crop productivity is influenced by a number of management and environmental conditions, and variations in crop growth can occur in-season due to, for example, unfavourable meteorological conditions. Consequently information on crop growth must be temporally frequent in order to adequately characterize crop productivity. Leaf Area Index (LAI) is a key indicator of crop productivity and a number of methods have been developed to derive LAI from optical satellite data. Integration of LAI estimates from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors would assist in efforts to monitor crop production through the growing season, particularly during periods of persistent cloud cover. Consequently, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has assessed the capability of RADARSAT-2 data to estimate LAI. The results of a sensitivity analysis revealed that several SAR polarimetric variables were strongly correlated with LAI derived from optical sensors for small grain crops. As the growing season progressed, contributions from volume scattering from the crop canopies increased. This led to the sensitivity of the intensity of linear cross-polarization backscatter, entropy and the Freeman-Durden volume scattering component, to LAI. For wheat and oats, correlations above 0.8 were reported. Following this sensitivity analysis, the Water Cloud Model (WCM) was parameterized using LAI, soil moisture and SAR data. A look up table inversion approach to estimate LAI from SAR parameters, using the WCM, was subsequently developed. This inversion approach can be used to derive LAI from sensors like RADARSAT-2 to support the monitoring of crop condition throughout the cropping season.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    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

  2. 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

  3. Water savings of redistributing global crop production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Kyle; Seveso, Antonio; Rulli, Maria Cristina; D'Odorico, Paolo

    2016-04-01

    Human demand for crop production is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades as a result of population growth, richer diets and biofuel use. For food production to keep pace, unprecedented amounts of resources - water, fertilizers, energy - will be required. This has led to calls for 'sustainable intensification' in which yields are increased on existing croplands while seeking to minimize impacts on water and other agricultural resources. Recent studies have quantified aspects of this, showing that there is a large potential to improve crop yields and increase harvest frequencies to better meet human demand. Though promising, both solutions would necessitate large additional inputs of water and fertilizer in order to be achieved under current technologies. However, the question of whether the current distribution of crops is, in fact, the best for realizing maximized production has not been considered to date. To this end, we ask: Is it possible to minimize water demand by simply growing crops where soil and climate conditions are best suited? Here we use maps of agro-ecological suitability - a measure of physical and chemical soil fertility - for 15 major food crops to identify differences between current crop distributions and where they can most suitably be planted. By redistributing crops across currently cultivated lands, we determine what distribution of crops would maintain current calorie production and agricultural value while minimizing the water demand of crop production. In doing this, our study provides a novel tool for policy makers and managers to integrate food security, environmental sustainability, and rural livelihoods by improving the use of freshwater resources without compromising crop calorie production or rural livelihoods.

  4. 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

  5. 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 ...

  6. Biomass energy crop production versus food crop production in the Caribbean

    SciTech Connect

    Sammuels, G.

    1983-12-01

    The Caribbean countries have traditionally grown sugar cane, coffee and bananas as major agriculture export crops. Food crop production was sufficient in most cases for domestic consumption. In recent years powerful social and economic changes of increasing population, industrial development and higher living standards have placed pressure on local governments to provide food, clothing, shelter and energy. Energy that is mainly supplied by imported oil. Biomass, primarily as sugar cane, can provide a solution, either partial or total, to the problem. Unfortunately, the arable land area for the majority of the countries is limited. Food crop production is needed for local consumption and export. Possible energy crop production to provide local needs will place an increasing demand on arable land. The objective of this paper is to present the scope of food versus energy crop production and a suggested renewable energy crop program to help achieve a balance within the limited land resources of the Caribbean.

  7. 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.

  8. PETRO: Higher Productivity Crops for Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    2012-01-01

    PETRO Project: The 10 projects that comprise ARPA-E’s PETRO Project, short for “Plants Engineered to Replace Oil,” aim to develop non-food crops that directly produce transportation fuel. These crops can help supply the transportation sector with agriculturally derived fuels that are cost-competitive with petroleum and do not affect U.S. food supply. PETRO aims to redirect the processes for energy and carbon dioxide (CO2) capture in plants toward fuel production. This would create dedicated energy crops that serve as a domestic alternative to petroleum-based fuels and deliver more energy per acre with less processing prior to the pump.

  9. Connecting Groundwater, Crop Price, and Crop Production Variability in India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollack, A.; Lobell, D. B.; Jain, M.

    2015-12-01

    Farmers in India rely on groundwater resources for irrigation and production of staple crops that provide over half of the calories consumed domestically each year. While this has been a productive strategy in increasing agricultural production and maintaining high yields, groundwater resources are depleting at a quicker rate than natural resources can replace. This issue gains relevance as climate variability concurrently adds to yearly fluctuations in farmer demand for irrigation each year, which can create high risk for farmers that depend on consistent yields, but do not have access to dwindling water resources. This study investigates variability in groundwater levels from 2005 to 2013 in relation to crop prices and production by analyzing district-level datasets made available through India's government. Through this analysis, we show the impact of groundwater variability on price variability, crop yield, and production during these years. By examining this nine-year timescale, we extend our analysis to forthcoming years to demonstrate the increasing importance of groundwater resources in irrigation, and suggest strategies to reduce the impact of groundwater shortages on crop production and prices.

  10. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 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...

  11. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 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...

  12. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Anatomy of a local-scale drought: Application of assimilated remote sensing products, crop model, and statistical methods to an agricultural drought study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishra, Ashok K.; Ines, Amor V. M.; Das, Narendra N.; Prakash Khedun, C.; Singh, Vijay P.; Sivakumar, Bellie; Hansen, James W.

    2015-07-01

    Drought is of global concern for society but it originates as a local problem. It has a significant impact on water quantity and quality and influences food, water, and energy security. The consequences of drought vary in space and time, from the local scale (e.g. county level) to regional scale (e.g. state or country level) to global scale. Within the regional scale, there are multiple socio-economic impacts (i.e., agriculture, drinking water supply, and stream health) occurring individually or in combination at local scales, either in clusters or scattered. Even though the application of aggregated drought information at the regional level has been useful in drought management, the latter can be further improved by evaluating the structure and evolution of a drought at the local scale. This study addresses a local-scale agricultural drought anatomy in Story County in Iowa, USA. This complex problem was evaluated using assimilated AMSR-E soil moisture and MODIS-LAI data into a crop model to generate surface and sub-surface drought indices to explore the anatomy of an agricultural drought. Quantification of moisture supply in the root zone remains a gray area in research community, this challenge can be partly overcome by incorporating assimilation of soil moisture and leaf area index into crop modeling framework for agricultural drought quantification, as it performs better in simulating crop yield. It was noted that the persistence of subsurface droughts is in general higher than surface droughts, which can potentially improve forecast accuracy. It was found that both surface and subsurface droughts have an impact on crop yields, albeit with different magnitudes, however, the total water available in the soil profile seemed to have a greater impact on the yield. Further, agricultural drought should not be treated equal for all crops, and it should be calculated based on the root zone depth rather than a fixed soil layer depth. We envisaged that the results of

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Impacts on Water Management and Crop Production of Regional Cropping System Adaptation to Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, H.; Sun, L.; Tian, Z.; Liang, Z.; Fischer, G.

    2014-12-01

    China is one of the most populous and fast developing countries, also faces a great pressure on grain production and food security. Multi-cropping system is widely applied in China to fully utilize agro-climatic resources and increase land productivity. As the heat resource keep improving under climate warming, multi-cropping system will also shifting northward, and benefit crop production. But water shortage in North China Plain will constrain the adoption of new multi-cropping system. Effectiveness of multi-cropping system adaptation to climate change will greatly depend on future hydrological change and agriculture water management. So it is necessary to quantitatively express the water demand of different multi-cropping systems under climate change. In this paper, we proposed an integrated climate-cropping system-crops adaptation framework, and specifically focused on: 1) precipitation and hydrological change under future climate change in China; 2) the best multi-cropping system and correspondent crop rotation sequence, and water demand under future agro-climatic resources; 3) attainable crop production with water constraint; and 4) future water management. In order to obtain climate projection and precipitation distribution, global climate change scenario from HADCAM3 is downscaled with regional climate model (PRECIS), historical climate data (1960-1990) was interpolated from more than 700 meteorological observation stations. The regional Agro-ecological Zone (AEZ) model is applied to simulate the best multi-cropping system and crop rotation sequence under projected climate change scenario. Finally, we use the site process-based DSSAT model to estimate attainable crop production and the water deficiency. Our findings indicate that annual land productivity may increase and China can gain benefit from climate change if multi-cropping system would be adopted. This study provides a macro-scale view of agriculture adaptation, and gives suggestions to national

  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. PMID:27611577

  6. 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.

  7. Allelopathic potential of oil seed crops in production of crops: a review.

    PubMed

    Shah, Adnan Noor; Iqbal, Javaid; Ullah, Abid; Yang, Guozheng; Yousaf, Muhammad; Fahad, Shah; Tanveer, Mohsin; Hassan, Waseem; Tung, Shahbaz Atta; Wang, Leishan; Khan, Aziz; Wu, Yingying

    2016-08-01

    Agricultural production enhancement has been realized by more consumption of fossil energy such as fertilizer and agrochemicals. However, the production provides the present human with sufficient and diversified commodities, but at the same time, deprives in some extent the resources from the future human as well. In the other hand, it is known that synthetic herbicides face worldwide threats to human's health and environment as well. Therefore, it is a great challenge for agricultural sustainable development. The current review has been focussed on various oilseed crop species which launch efficient allelopathic intervention, either with weeds or other crops. Crop allelopathic properties can make one species more persistent to a native species. Therefore, these crops are potentially harmful to both naturalized as well as agricultural settings. On the other side, allelopathic crops provide strong potential for the development of cultivars that are more highly weed suppressive in managed settings. It is possible to utilize companion plants that have no deleterious effect on neighbor crops and can be included in intercropping system, thus, a mean of contributing to agricultural sustainable development. In mixed culture, replacement method, wherein differing densities of a neighbor species are planted, has been used to study phytotoxic/competitive effects. So, to use alternative ways for weed suppression has become very crucial. Allelochemicals have the ability to create eco-friendly products for weed management, which is beneficial for agricultural sustainable development. Our present study assessed the potential of four oilseed crops for allelopathy on other crops and associated weeds. PMID:27263104

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Marginal cost curves for water footprint reduction in irrigated agriculture: a policy and decision making guide for efficient water use in crop production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chukalla, Abebe; Krol, Maarten; Hoekstra, Arjen

    2016-04-01

    Reducing water footprints (WF) in irrigated crop production is an essential element in water management, particularly in water-scarce areas. To achieve this, policy and decision making need to be supported with information on marginal cost curves that rank measures to reduce the WF according to their cost-effectiveness and enable the estimation of the cost associated with a certain WF reduction target, e.g. towards a certain reasonable WF benchmark. This paper aims to develop marginal cost curves (MCC) for WF reduction. The AquaCrop model is used to explore the effect of different measures on evapotranspiration and crop yield and thus WF that is used as input in the MCC. Measures relate to three dimensions of management practices: irrigation techniques (furrow, sprinkler, drip and subsurface drip); irrigation strategies (full and deficit irrigation); and mulching practices (no mulching, organic and synthetic mulching). A WF benchmark per crop is calculated as resulting from the best-available production technology. The marginal cost curve is plotted using the ratios of the marginal cost to WF reduction of the measures as ordinate, ranking with marginal costs rise with the increase of the reduction effort. For each measure, the marginal cost to reduce WF is estimated by comparing the associated WF and net present value (NPV) to the reference case (furrow irrigation, full irrigation, no mulching). The NPV for each measure is based on its capital costs, operation and maintenances costs (O&M) and revenues. A range of cases is considered, including: different crops, soil types and different environments. Key words: marginal cost curve, water footprint benchmark, soil water balance, crop growth, AquaCrop

  11. 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.

  12. Multi-use crops and botanochemical production

    SciTech Connect

    Bagby, M.O.; Buchanan, R.A.; Otey, F.H.

    1981-01-01

    Oil- and hydrocarbon-producing plants are especially attractive as future energy and chemical resources. Plants already supply several products competitive with synthetic petrochemicals. These products include tall oil, naval stores, seed oils, and plant oils. For this discussion, we refer to such products collectively as oils and hydrocarbons. For many years, the US Department of Agriculture has actively pursued a multi-disciplined approach to identify and establish new crops as renewable resources. Patterned after the Department's program to identify annually renewable fibrous plants that could be cultivated for papermaking, an analytical screening program was instituted in 1974 to identify and evaluate species as sources of multi-use oil- and hydrocarbon-producing crops for food material and energy production. The multi-use concept requires plant breeders and agronomists to deal with a variety of new crops, each yielding several different products of varying economic value. In screening plant species as potential crops, a rating system was employed that emphasized potential economy of plant production, total biomass yield, and oil and hydrocarbon content. Subsequently, all candidates were ranked by this rating system. It should be emphasized that vigorous perennials were given preference over annuals, with the concept that seed-bed preparation would be infrequent for perennials. Data for over 300 species have been accumulated, and about 40 species have been identified that have sufficient potential to merit further consideration. Nearly all of these species are being further investigated by USDA plant scientists; meanwhile, the screening program continues.

  13. Crop insurance: a tool to stabilize Spanish agricultural income

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calatayud Piñero, E.; Escribano Pintor, S.

    2009-04-01

    Agricultural insurance was born as a need for farmers, opposite to the erratic behavior of the climatology, natural disaster, which strangles the farmer during the cycle of his crops and harvest, reverberating negatively in the economy of the farmer. Before this situation, it became necessary to determine, inside the agricultural policies, a specific regulation of the agricultural insurance across a participation of the State by means of contributions to the agricultural insurance which result was, in Spain, the current Law 87/1978, of December 28 of Agricultural Insurance. The benefits of the existence of a good system of agricultural insurance not only are to level of the farmer but also to regional level and top areas, since to the regional production turns diminished, it reverberates in the economic productivity and in the rest of economic sectors, with the consequent tensions and imbalances, and the probability of being translated in a decrease of the quality of life of the rural way. But the analysis of the importance of his situation, not only must be carried out from a theoretical perspective, where already there exist numerous studies that treat the relation and importance of the agricultural insurance with regard to the traditional agriculture characterized by his limited capacity of innovation. For it, in this paper, we will proceed to realize an empirical analysis, inside our country, across the principal agrarian information statistics, as faithful reflection of the economic dimension of the sector, for across his evolution as well as that of the indemnifications paid for the agricultural insurance, to be able to show the importance of the same one in his contribution to the maintenance and improvement of the agriculture, avoiding the uncertainty of the farmer By means of the utilization of mobile averages, which eliminate the erratic behavior in the annual series, first we will realize a national analysis for the set of the lines of agricultural

  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. 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. PMID:27197837

  16. 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

  17. Managing water resources for crop production

    PubMed Central

    Wallace, J. S.; Batchelor, C. H.

    1997-01-01

    Increasing crop production to meet the food requirements of the world's growing population will put great pressure on global water resources. Given that the vast freshwater resources that are available in the world are far from fully exploited, globally there should be sufficient water for future agricultural requirements. However, there are large areas where low water supply and high human demand may lead to regional shortages of water for future food production. In these arid and semi-arid areas, where water is a major constraint on production, improving water resource management is crucial if Malthusian disasters are to be avoided. There is considerable scope for improvement, since in both dryland and irrigated agriculture only about one-third of the available water (as rainfall, surface, or groundwater) is used to grow useful plants. This paper illustrates a range of techniques that could lead to increased crop production by improving agricultural water use efficiency. This may be achieved by increasing the total amount of water available to plants or by increasing the efficiency with which that water is used to produce biomass. Although the crash from the Malthusian precipice may ultimately be inevitable if population growth is not addressed, the time taken to reach the edge of the precipice could be lengthened by more efficient use of existing water resources.

  18. 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. PMID:26045394

  19. 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.

  20. Agricultural Productivity Forecasts for Improved Drought Monitoring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Limaye, Ashutosh; McNider, Richard; Moss, Donald; Alhamdan, Mohammad

    2010-01-01

    Water stresses on agricultural crops during critical phases of crop phenology (such as grain filling) has higher impact on the eventual yield than at other times of crop growth. Therefore farmers are more concerned about water stresses in the context of crop phenology than the meteorological droughts. However the drought estimates currently produced do not account for the crop phenology. US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have developed a drought monitoring decision support tool: The U.S. Drought Monitor, which currently uses meteorological droughts to delineate and categorize drought severity. Output from the Drought Monitor is used by the States to make disaster declarations. More importantly, USDA uses the Drought Monitor to make estimates of crop yield to help the commodities market. Accurate estimation of corn yield is especially critical given the recent trend towards diversion of corn to produce ethanol. Ethanol is fast becoming a standard 10% ethanol additive to petroleum products, the largest traded commodity. Thus the impact of large-scale drought will have dramatic impact on the petroleum prices as well as on food prices. USDA's World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) serves as a focal point for economic intelligence and the commodity outlook for U.S. WAOB depends on Drought Monitor and has emphatically stated that accurate and timely data are needed in operational agrometeorological services to generate reliable projections for agricultural decision makers. Thus, improvements in the prediction of drought will reflect in early and accurate assessment of crop yields, which in turn will improve commodity projections. We have developed a drought assessment tool, which accounts for the water stress in the context of crop phenology. The crop modeling component is done using various crop modules within Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT). DSSAT is an agricultural crop

  1. The limits of crop productivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugbee, Bruce; Monje, Oscar

    1992-01-01

    The component processes that govern yield limits in food crops are reviewed and how each process can be individually measured is described. The processes considered include absorption of photosynthetic radiation by green tissue, carbon-fixation efficiency in photosynthesis, carbon use efficiency in respiration, biomass allocation to edible products, and efficiency of photosynthesis and respiration. The factors limiting yields in optimal environments are considered.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Water Footprint of crop productions: A review.

    PubMed

    Lovarelli, Daniela; Bacenetti, Jacopo; Fiala, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Water Footprint is an indicator recently developed with the goal of quantifying the virtual content of water in products and/or services. It can also be used to identify the worldwide virtual water trade. Water Footprint is composed of three parts (green, blue and grey waters) that make the assessment complete in accordance with the Water Footprint Network and with the recent ISO14046. The importance of Water Footprint is linked to the need of taking consciousness about water content in products and services and of the achievable changes in productions, diets and market trades. In this study, a literature review has been completed on Water Footprint of agricultural productions. In particular, the focus was paid on crops for the production of food and bioenergy. From the review, the development of the Water Footprint concept emerged: in early studies the main goal was to assess products' water trade on a global scale, while in the subsequent years, the goal was the rigorous quantification of the three components for specific crops and in specific geographical areas. In the most recent assessments, similarities about the methodology and the employed tools emerged. For 96 scientific articles on Water Footprint indicator of agricultural productions, this literature review reports the main results and analyses weaknesses and strengths. Seventy-eight percent of studies aimed to quantify Water Footprint, while the remaining 22% analysed methodology, uncertainty, future trends and comparisons with other footprints. It emerged that most studies that quantified Water Footprint concerned cereals (33%), among which maize and wheat were the most investigated crops. In 46% of studies all the three components were assessed, while in 18% no indication about the subdivision was given; in the remaining 37%, only blue or green and blue components were quantified.

  7. Water Footprint of crop productions: A review.

    PubMed

    Lovarelli, Daniela; Bacenetti, Jacopo; Fiala, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Water Footprint is an indicator recently developed with the goal of quantifying the virtual content of water in products and/or services. It can also be used to identify the worldwide virtual water trade. Water Footprint is composed of three parts (green, blue and grey waters) that make the assessment complete in accordance with the Water Footprint Network and with the recent ISO14046. The importance of Water Footprint is linked to the need of taking consciousness about water content in products and services and of the achievable changes in productions, diets and market trades. In this study, a literature review has been completed on Water Footprint of agricultural productions. In particular, the focus was paid on crops for the production of food and bioenergy. From the review, the development of the Water Footprint concept emerged: in early studies the main goal was to assess products' water trade on a global scale, while in the subsequent years, the goal was the rigorous quantification of the three components for specific crops and in specific geographical areas. In the most recent assessments, similarities about the methodology and the employed tools emerged. For 96 scientific articles on Water Footprint indicator of agricultural productions, this literature review reports the main results and analyses weaknesses and strengths. Seventy-eight percent of studies aimed to quantify Water Footprint, while the remaining 22% analysed methodology, uncertainty, future trends and comparisons with other footprints. It emerged that most studies that quantified Water Footprint concerned cereals (33%), among which maize and wheat were the most investigated crops. In 46% of studies all the three components were assessed, while in 18% no indication about the subdivision was given; in the remaining 37%, only blue or green and blue components were quantified. PMID:26802352

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:27552217

  16. 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

  17. Climate Change Impacts on Crop Production in Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mereu, V.; Gallo, A.; Carboni, G.; Spano, D.

    2011-12-01

    The agricultural sector in Nigeria is particularly important for the country's food security, natural resources, and growth agenda. The cultivable areas comprise more than 70% of the total area; however, the cultivated area is about the 35% of the total area. The most important components in the food basket of the nation are cereals and tubers, which include rice, maize, corn, millet, sorghum, yam, and cassava. These crops represent about 80% of the total agricultural product in Nigeria (from NPAFS). The major crops grown in the country can be divided into food crops (produced for consumption) and export products. Despite the importance of the export crops, the primary policy of agriculture is to make Nigeria self-sufficient in its food and fiber requirements. The projected impacts of future climate change on agriculture and water resources are expected to be adverse and extensive in these area. This implies the need for actions and measures to adapt to climate change impacts, and especially as they affect agriculture, the primary sector for Nigerian economy. In the framework of the Project Climate Risk Analysis in Nigeria (founded by World Bank Contract n.7157826), a study was made to assess the potential impact of climate change on the main crops that characterize Nigerian agriculture. The DSSAT-CSM (Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer - Cropping System Model) software, version 4.5 was used for the analysis. Crop simulation models included in DSSAT are tools that simulate physiological processes of crop growth, development and production by combining genetic crop characteristics and environmental (soil and weather) conditions. For each selected crop, the models were calibrated to evaluate climate change impacts on crop production. The climate data used for the analysis are derived by the Regional Circulation Model COSMO-CLM, from 1971 to 2065, at 8 km of spatial resolution. The RCM model output was "perturbed" with 10 Global Climate Models to have

  18. 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

    Global food production and yield have increased substantially over the past 50 years to keep up with the demands of the world's growing population. At the forefront of some recent developments is Brazil, where Mato Grosso State has contributed to this increase in yield and production by both extensifying (converting forest to pasture or row crops) and intensifying (converting pasture to row crops or one-crop/growing year to two-crops/growing year) large areas of land. Our research reported here is focused on characterizing the land-cover and -use dynamics in this rapidly evolving region. We have developed a new algorithm to quantify both the conversion of land to mechanized agriculture and the character of those crop rotations. We use the systematic MODIS enhanced vegetation index (EVI) product (MODIS13Q1) aggregated from daily observations to a 16-day cloud free measurement. Each pixel's resulting 2000-2011 EVI time series is analyzed with a decision tree-like algorithm created in ENVI+IDL to determine not only the area of agricultural land for each of the past decade's growing seasons, but also the specific crop dynamic of that agricultural land: a soy or cotton single-cropping rotation or a soy/corn or soy/cotton double-cropping rotation. The algorithm is based on analysis of growing season EVI patterns of forest, pasture/cerrado, and annual crops. We define specific thresholds for the magnitude of EVI over the growing season to distinguish between natural vegetation, pasture, and cropland, and then use growing season length and crop calendars to separate specific crop types. Because the intra-annual EVI phenology of forest and pasture/cerrado is relatively constant but cropland shows a large dynamic range, the algorithm uses the standard deviation of a growing season's EVI time series to separate between forest and pasture/cerrado and agricultural land. For pixels identified as agricultural land, the algorithm then uses crop-specific growing season lengths and

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Bartomeus, Ignasi; 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

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

    PubMed

    Bartomeus, Ignasi; 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

  2. International Agriculture. Crops of the World: A Demonstration Plot.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wood, Jeffrey A.; Henderson, Janet L.

    1991-01-01

    "Agriculture of Developing Countries," a course offered to nonagricultural majors at Illinois State University, uses a demonstration plot at a university farm to show students 60 species or subspecies of crops from around the world. Plant culture and harvesting techniques can be observed by university as well as high school students. (SK)

  3. Methods Used for Teaching Psychomotor Skills in Crop Production.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Osborne, Edward W.

    1988-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the degree of psychomotor skill instruction in crop production provided by agricultural production teachers in Illinois and the methods used for this teaching. Responses from 79 of 100 teachers indicated that most do not have students observe or practice a procedure for skill improvement. More experienced…

  4. Increasing cropping system diversity balances productivity, profitability and environmental health

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Balancing productivity, profitability, and environmental health is a key challenge for agricultural sustainability. Most crop production systems in the United States are characterized by low species and management diversity, high use of fossil energy and agrichemicals, and can have large negative im...

  5. Extreme weather events and global crop production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, D. K.; Gerber, J. S.; West, P. C.

    2014-12-01

    Extreme weather events can lead to significant loss in crop production and even trigger global price spikes. However it is still not clear where exactly and what types of extreme events have resulted in sharp declines in crop production. Neither is it clear how frequently such extreme events have resulted in extreme crop production losses. Using extreme event metrics with a newly developed high resolution and long time series of crop statistics database we identify the frequency and type of extreme event driven crop production losses globally at high resolutions. In this presentation we will present our results as global maps identifying the frequency and type of extreme weather events that resulted in extreme crop production losses and quantify the losses. Understanding how extreme events affects crop production is critical for managing risk in the global food system

  6. Genetically engineered crops: from idea to product.

    PubMed

    Prado, Jose Rafael; Segers, Gerrit; Voelker, Toni; Carson, Dave; Dobert, Raymond; Phillips, Jonathan; Cook, Kevin; Cornejo, Camilo; Monken, Josh; Grapes, Laura; Reynolds, Tracey; Martino-Catt, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Genetically engineered crops were first commercialized in 1994 and since then have been rapidly adopted, enabling growers to more effectively manage pests and increase crop productivity while ensuring food, feed, and environmental safety. The development of these crops is complex and based on rigorous science that must be well coordinated to create a plant with desired beneficial phenotypes. This article describes the general process by which a genetically engineered crop is developed from an initial concept to a commercialized product.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. [Antimony accumulation in agricultural food crops].

    PubMed

    Rafel', Iu B; Popov, Iu P; Zakusilova, R M

    1985-01-01

    A study was made of the antimony content in some farm products of plant and animal origin in the zones of wastes of antimony factories and those having nothing to do with antimony processing. The content of antimony was discovered to be elevated in all foods obtained in the zone where antimony factories are located, especially in vegetables with ground fruit. A high antimony content was detected in milk. The content of antimony in a "standard" diet calculated on the basis of maximally allowable concentrations of the metal in foods and in analogous diets containing products of plant and animal origin grown in the Fergana and Chuisk valleys was 0.405, 8.585 and 1.702, respectively. The high proportion of vegetables and fruit in the local diets makes them, apart from milk and dairy products, the main sources of antimony supply to the human body.

  11. Economic feasibility of agricultural alcohol production within a biomass system

    SciTech Connect

    Hertzmark, D.; Flaim, S.; Ray, D.; Parvin, G.

    1980-12-01

    The technical and economic feasibility of agricultural alcohol production in the United States is discussed. The beverage fermentation processes are compared and contrasted with the wet milling of corn, and alternative agricultural products for alcohol production are discussed. Alcohol costs for different fermentation methods and for various agricultural crops (corn, sugar cane, sugar beets, etc.) are presented, along with a brief discussion of US government policy implications. (JMT)

  12. Recycling crop residues for use in recirculating hydroponic crop production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mackowiak, C. L.; Garland, J. L.; Sager, J. C.

    1996-01-01

    As part of bioregenerative life support feasibility testing by NASA, crop residues are being used to resupply elemental nutrients to recirculating hydroponic crop production systems. Methods for recovering nutrients from crop residues have evolved from water soaking (leaching) to rapid aerobic bioreactor processing. Leaching residues recovered the majority of elements but it also recovered significant amounts of soluble organics. The high organic content of leachates was detrimental to plant growth. Aerobic bioreactor processing reduced the organic content ten-fold, which reduced or eliminated phytotoxic effects. Wheat and potato production studies were successful using effluents from reactors having with 8- to 1-day retention times. Aerobic bioreactor effluents supplied at least half of the crops elemental mass needs in these studies. Descriptions of leachate and effluent mineral content, biomass productivity, microbial activity, and nutrient budgets for potato and wheat are presented.

  13. Recycling crop residues for use in recirculating hydroponic crop production.

    PubMed

    Mackowiak, C L; Garland, J L; Sager, J C

    1996-12-01

    As part of bioregenerative life support feasibility testing by NASA, crop residues are being used to resupply elemental nutrients to recirculating hydroponic crop production systems. Methods for recovering nutrients from crop residues have evolved from water soaking (leaching) to rapid aerobic bioreactor processing. Leaching residues recovered the majority of elements but it also recovered significant amounts of soluble organics. The high organic content of leachates was detrimental to plant growth. Aerobic bioreactor processing reduced the organic content ten-fold, which reduced or eliminated phytotoxic effects. Wheat and potato production studies were successful using effluents from reactors having with 8- to 1-day retention times. Aerobic bioreactor effluents supplied at least half of the crops elemental mass needs in these studies. Descriptions of leachate and effluent mineral content, biomass productivity, microbial activity, and nutrient budgets for potato and wheat are presented.

  14. 7 CFR 205.602 - Nonsynthetic substances prohibited for use in organic crop production.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Nonsynthetic substances prohibited for use in organic... AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) ORGANIC FOODS PRODUCTION ACT PROVISIONS NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM Administrative The... organic crop production. The following nonsynthetic substances may not be used in organic crop...

  15. 7 CFR 205.602 - Nonsynthetic substances prohibited for use in organic crop production.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Nonsynthetic substances prohibited for use in organic... AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) ORGANIC FOODS PRODUCTION ACT PROVISIONS NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM Administrative The... organic crop production. The following nonsynthetic substances may not be used in organic crop...

  16. 7 CFR 205.602 - Nonsynthetic substances prohibited for use in organic crop production.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Nonsynthetic substances prohibited for use in organic... AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) ORGANIC FOODS PRODUCTION ACT PROVISIONS NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM Administrative The... organic crop production. The following nonsynthetic substances may not be used in organic crop...

  17. 7 CFR 205.602 - Nonsynthetic substances prohibited for use in organic crop production.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Nonsynthetic substances prohibited for use in organic... AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) ORGANIC FOODS PRODUCTION ACT PROVISIONS NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM Administrative The... organic crop production. The following nonsynthetic substances may not be used in organic crop...

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:24834741

  20. Drought, Climate Change and Potential Agricultural Productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheffield, J.; Herrera-Estrada, J. E.; Caylor, K. K.; Wood, E. F.

    2011-12-01

    Drought is a major factor in agricultural productivity, especially in developing regions where the capacity for water resources management is limited and climate variability ensures that drought is recurrent and problematic. Recent events in East Africa are testament to this, where drought conditions that have slowly developed over multiple years have contributed to reduced productivity and ultimately food crises and famine. Prospects for the future are not promising given ongoing problems of dwindling water supplies from non-renewable sources and the potential for increased water scarcity and increased drought with climate change. This is set against the expected increase in population by over 2 billion people by 2050 and rise in food demand, coupled with changes in demographics that affect food choices and increases in non-food agriculture. In this talk we discuss the global variability of drought over the 20th century and recent years, and the projected changes over the 21st century, and how this translates into changes in potential agricultural productivity. Drought is quantified using land surface hydrological models driven by a hybrid reanalysis-observational meteorological forcing dataset. Drought is defined in terms of anomalies of hydroclimatic variables, in particular precipitation, evaporation and soil moisture, and we calculate changes in various drought characteristics. Potential agricultural productivity is derived from the balance of precipitation to crop water demand, where demand is based on potential evaporation and crop coefficients for a range of staple crops. Some regional examples are shown of historic variations in drought and potential productivity, and the estimated water deficit for various crops. The multitude of events over the past decade, including heat waves in Europe, fires in Russia, long-term drought in northern China, southeast Australia, the Western US and a series of droughts in the Amazon and Argentina, hint at the influence of

  1. Double- and relay-cropping oilseed and biomass crops for sustainable energy production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Economically and environmentally sustainable bioenergy production requires strategic integration of biofuel crops into modern cropping systems. Double- and relay-cropping can offer a means of increasing production efficiency to boost profits and provide environmental benefits through crop diversific...

  2. Agricultural fuel crops: 201-County Tennessee Valley region policy assessment

    SciTech Connect

    D'Souza, G.E.; Bohac, C.E.

    1985-10-01

    Almost no fuel can be produced without environmental implications. Similarly, the production of crops for fuel is associated with certain externalities. The primary one is the erosive nature of some of these fuel crops, causing a long-term loss in soil productivity. This environmental spillover was examined within the framework of two fuel crop production scenarios, impacts from these scenarios assumed to be the upper bounds for those that could possibly occur. Corn was used as a surrogate crop for the assessment, which was limited to the 201 counties of the Tennessee Valley region, and included a timeframe extending to the year 2000. Due to the paucity of data and time limitations, a large portion of this discussion was based more on casual observation rather than hard empirical evidence. 30 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  3. Renewable energy: energy from agricultural products

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-06-01

    This report discusses the major issues concerning fuels derived from agricultural products. Agricultural products, particularly sugarcane and corn, are currently meeting major energy needs in Florida. Recent figures indicate that about 10 percent of the gasoline sold in Florida is ethanol enriched. This gasohol contains a 10 percent mix of ethanol, which is generally produced from corn or sugarcane molasses. Sugarcane residues (bagasse) also supply most of the fuel to power Florida's large sugar processing industry. These products have the potential to play an expanded role in Florida's energy future. Principle areas of interest are: growing crops such as napier grass or harvesting water hyacinths to produce methane that can be substituted for natural gas; expanded use of sugar, starch, and industrial and agricultural wastes as raw materials for ethanol production; and improved efficiency in conversion processes such as anaerobic digestion and fermentation. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida plays a leading national role in energy crops research, while Walt Disney World is using a demonstration project to convert water hyacinths into methane. Increased use of fuels produced from agricultural products depends largely on their costs compared to other fuels. Ethanol is currently attractive because of federal and state tax incentives. The growth potential of ethanol and methane is enhanced by the ease with which they can be blended with fossil fuels and thereby utilize the current energy distribution system. Neither ethanol nor methane appear able to compete in the free market for mass distribution at present, although studies indicate that genetic engineering and more efficient conversion processes may lower prices to cost effective levels. These fuels will be most cost effective in cases where waste products are utilized and the fuel is used close to the site of production.

  4. Renewable energy: energy from agricultural products

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-06-01

    This study discusses major issues concerning fuels derived from agricultural products. Agricultural products, particularly sugarcane and corn, are currently meeting major energy needs in Florida. Recent figures indicate that about 10% of the gasoline sold in Florida is ethanol enriched. This gasohol contains a 10% mix of ethanol, which is generally produced from corn or sugarcane molasses. Sugarcane residues (bagasse) also supply most of the fuel to power Florida's large sugar processing industry. These products have the potential to play an expanded role in Florida's energy future. Principle areas of interest are: Growing crops such as napier grass or harvesting water hyacinths to produce methane that can be substituted for natural gas; expanded use of sugar, starch, and industrial and agricultural wastes as raw materials for ethanol production; improved efficiency in conversion processes such as anaerobic digestion and fermentation. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida plays a leading national role in energy crops research, while Walt Disney World is using a demonstration project to convert water hyacinths into methane. Increased use of fuels produced from agricultural products depends largely on their costs compared to other fuels. Ethanol is currently attractive because of federal and state tax incentives. The growth potential of ethanol and methane is enhanced by the ease with which they can be blended with fossil fuels and thereby utilize the current energy distribution system. Neither ethanol nor methane appear able to compete in the free market for mass distribution at present, although studies indicate that genetic engineering and more efficient conversion processes may lower prices to cost effective levels. These fuels will be most cost effective in cases where waste products are utilized and the fuel is used close to the site of production.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Tracing crop-specific sediment sources in agricultural catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blake, William H.; Ficken, Katherine J.; Taylor, Philip; Russell, Mark A.; Walling, Desmond E.

    2012-02-01

    A Compound Specific Stable Isotope (CSSI) sediment tracing approach is evaluated for the first time in an agricultural catchment setting against established geochemical fingerprinting techniques. The work demonstrates that novel CSSI techniques have the potential to provide important support for soil resource management policies and inform sediment risk assessment for the protection of aquatic habitats and water resources. Analysis of soil material from a range of crop covers in a mixed land-use agricultural catchment shows that the carbon CSSI signatures of particle-reactive fatty acids label surface agricultural soil with distinct crop-specific signatures, thus permitting sediment eroded from each land-cover to be tracked downstream. High resolution sediment sampling during a storm event and analysis for CSSI and conventional geochemical fingerprints elucidated temporal patterns of sediment mobilisation under different crop regimes and the specific contribution that each crop type makes to downstream sediment load. Pasture sources (65% of the catchment area) dominated the sediment load but areal yield (0.13 ± 0.02 t ha - 1 ) was considerably less than that for winter wheat (0.44 ± 0.15 t ha - 1 ). While temporal patterns in crop response matched runoff and erosion response predictions based on plot-scale rainfall simulation experiments, comparison of biomarker and geochemical fingerprinting data indicated that the latter overestimated cultivated land inputs to catchment sediment yield due to inability to discriminate temporary pasture (in rotation) from cultivated land. This discrepancy, however, presents an opportunity since combination of the two datasets revealed the extremely localised nature of erosion from permanent pasture fields in this system (estimated at up to 0.5 t ha - 1 ). The novel use of CSSI and geochemical tracers in tandem provided unique insights into sediment source dynamics that could not have been derived from each method alone. Research

  8. Calorie increase and water savings of redistributing global crop production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, K. F.; Seveso, A.; Rulli, M. C.; D'Odorico, P.

    2015-12-01

    Human demand for crop production is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades as a result of population growth, richer diets and biofuel use. In order for food production to keep pace, unprecedented amounts of resources - water, fertilizers, energy - will be required. This has led to calls for 'sustainable intensification' in which yields are increased on existing croplands while seeking to minimize impacts on water and other agricultural resources. Recent studies have quantified aspects of this, showing that there is a large potential to improve crop yields and increase harvest frequencies to better meet human demand. Though promising, both solutions would necessitate large additional inputs of water and fertilizer in order to be achieved under current technologies. However, the question of whether the current distribution of crops is, in fact, the best for realizing maximized production has not been considered to date. To this end, we ask: Is it possible to increase calorie production and minimize water demand by simply growing crops where soil and climate conditions are best suited? Here we use maps of agro-ecological suitability - a measure of physical and chemical soil fertility - for 15 major food crops to identify differences between current crop distributions and where they can most suitably be planted. By redistributing crops across currently cultivated lands, we determine the potential improvement in calorie production as well as the associated change in water demand. We also consider what distribution of crops would maintain current calorie production while minimizing crop water demand. In doing all of this, our study provides a novel tool for improving crop calorie production without necessarily increasing resource demands.

  9. "Development of an interactive crop growth web service architecture to review and forecast agricultural sustainability"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seamon, E.; Gessler, P. E.; Flathers, E.; Walden, V. P.

    2014-12-01

    As climate change and weather variability raise issues regarding agricultural production, agricultural sustainability has become an increasingly important component for farmland management (Fisher, 2005, Akinci, 2013). Yet with changes in soil quality, agricultural practices, weather, topography, land use, and hydrology - accurately modeling such agricultural outcomes has proven difficult (Gassman et al, 2007, Williams et al, 1995). This study examined agricultural sustainability and soil health over a heterogeneous multi-watershed area within the Inland Pacific Northwest of the United States (IPNW) - as part of a five year, USDA funded effort to explore the sustainability of cereal production systems (Regional Approaches to Climate Change for Pacific Northwest Agriculture - award #2011-68002-30191). In particular, crop growth and soil erosion were simulated across a spectrum of variables and time periods - using the CropSyst crop growth model (Stockle et al, 2002) and the Water Erosion Protection Project Model (WEPP - Flanagan and Livingston, 1995), respectively. A preliminary range of historical scenarios were run, using a high-resolution, 4km gridded dataset of surface meteorological variables from 1979-2010 (Abatzoglou, 2012). In addition, Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project (CMIP5) global climate model (GCM) outputs were used as input to run crop growth model and erosion future scenarios (Abatzoglou and Brown, 2011). To facilitate our integrated data analysis efforts, an agricultural sustainability web service architecture (THREDDS/Java/Python based) is under development, to allow for the programmatic uploading, sharing and processing of variable input data, running model simulations, as well as downloading and visualizing output results. The results of this study will assist in better understanding agricultural sustainability and erosion relationships in the IPNW, as well as provide a tangible server-based tool for use by researchers and farmers - for both

  10. Population pressure and agricultural productivity in Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Chaudhury, R H

    1983-01-01

    The relationship between population pressure or density and agricultural productivity is examined by analyzing the changes in the land-man ratio and the changes in the level of land yield in the 17 districts of Bangladesh from 1961-64 and 1974-77. The earlier years were pre-Green Revolution, whereas in the later years new technology had been introduced in some parts of the country. Net sown area, value of total agricultural output, and number of male agricultural workers were the main variables. For the country as a whole, agricultural output grew by 1.2%/year during 1961-64 to 1974-77, while the number of male agricultural workers grew at 1.5%/year. The major source of agricultural growth during the 1960s was found to be increased land-yield associated with a higher ratio of labor to land. The findings imply that a more intensified pattern of land use, resulting in both higher yield and higher labor input/unit of land, is the main source of growth of output and employment in agriculture. There is very little scope for extending the arable area in Bangladesh; increased production must come from multiple cropping, especially through expansion of irrigation and drainage, and from increases in per acre yields, principly through adoption of high yield variants, which explained 87% of the variation in output per acre during the 1970s. Regional variation in output was also associated with variation in cropping intensity and proportion of land given to high yield variants. There is considerable room for modernizing agricultural technology in Bangladesh: in 1975-76 less than 9% of total crop land was irrigated and only 12% of total acreage was under high yield variants. The adoption of new food-grain technology and increased use of high yield variants in Bangladesh's predominantly subsistence-based agriculture would require far-reaching institutional and organizational changes and more capital. Without effective population control, expansion of area under high yield

  11. Management controls on nitrous oxide emissions from row crop agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gelfand, I.; Shcherbak, I.; Millar, N.; Robertson, G. P.

    2011-12-01

    Agriculture is a significant source of the potent greenhouse gas (GHG) nitrous oxide (N2O), accounting for ~70% of total anthropic N2O emissions in the US primarily as a result of N fertilizer application. Emissions of N2O are the largest contributor to the global warming potential of row-crop agriculture. Management, including choice of crop type and rotation strongly impacts N2O emissions, but continuous emissions data from row-crops over multiple rotations are lacking. Empirical quantification of these long-term emissions and the development of crop- and rotation-specific N2O emission factors are vital for improving estimates of agricultural GHG emissions, important for informing management practices to reduce agriculture's GHG footprint, and developing mitigation protocols for environmental markets. Over 20 years we measured soil N2O emissions and calculated crop and management specific emission factors in four continuous rotations of corn (Zea mays) - soybean (Glycine max) - wheat (Triticum aestivum) under conventional tillage (CT), zero tillage (NT), low chemical input (LI), and biologically (Org) based management. Two of these systems (LI and Org) included winter cover crops, red clover (Trifolium pratense) or ray (Secale cereale). While average soil N2O fluxes in all systems where similar (2.9±0.2 to 3.8±0.5 g N2O-N ha-1 d-1), there was a significant interaction of total emissions with crop and phase. Surprisingly, the lowest total emissions from the corn period of the rotation were from CT, and the highest from LI, with 608±4 and 983±8 g N2O-N ha-1 crop year-1, respectively. Total emissions during the wheat period of the rotation showed the opposite trend, with total emissions of 942±7 and 524±38 g N2O-N ha-1 crop year-1, for CT ant LI, respectively. Total emissions from the soybean period of the rotation were highest under NT and lowest under CT management (526±5 and 296±2 g N2O-N ha-1 crop year-1, respectively). Emission efficiency, N2O emitted

  12. Control of abscission in agricultural crops and its physiological basis.

    PubMed

    Cooper, W C; Rasmussen, G K; Rogers, B J; Reece, P C; Henry, W H

    1968-09-01

    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 mumoles/l) are sprayed on the fruit, the rapid effect of

  13. Water Production Functions For High Plains Crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing demands on limited water supplies will require maximizing crop production per unit water. Field studies are being carried out near Greeley, Colorado to develop water production functions for crops grown in the Great Plains. These yield per unit water relationships can be used to determi...

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24853475

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:26235605

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The green, blue and grey water footprint of crops and derived crop products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mekonnen, M. M.; Hoekstra, A. Y.

    2011-01-01

    m3 GJ-1, while this is 121 m3 GJ-1 for maize. The global water footprint related to crop production in the period 1996-2005 was 7404 billion cubic meters per year (78% green, 12% blue, 10% grey). A large total water footprint was calculated for wheat (1087 Gm3 yr-1), rice (992 Gm3 yr-1) and maize (770 Gm3 yr-1). Wheat and rice have the largest blue water footprints, together accounting for 45% of the global blue water footprint. At country level, the total water footprint was largest for India (1047 Gm3 yr-1), China (967 Gm3 yr-1) and the USA (826 Gm3 yr-1). A relatively large total blue water footprint as a result of crop production is observed in the Indus River Basin (117 Gm3 yr-1) and the Ganges River Basin (108 Gm3 yr-1). The two basins together account for 25% of the blue water footprint related to global crop production. Globally, rain-fed agriculture has a water footprint of 5173 Gm3 yr-1 (91% green, 9% grey); irrigated agriculture has a water footprint of 2230 Gm3 yr-1 (48% green, 40% blue, 12% grey).

  2. The green, blue and grey water footprint of crops and derived crop products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mekonnen, M. M.; Hoekstra, A. Y.

    2011-05-01

    , while this is 121 m3 GJ-1 for maize. The global water footprint related to crop production in the period 1996-2005 was 7404 billion cubic meters per year (78 % green, 12 % blue, 10 % grey). A large total water footprint was calculated for wheat (1087 Gm3 yr-1), rice (992 Gm3 yr-1) and maize (770 Gm3 yr-1). Wheat and rice have the largest blue water footprints, together accounting for 45 % of the global blue water footprint. At country level, the total water footprint was largest for India (1047 Gm3 yr-1), China (967 Gm3 yr-1) and the USA (826 Gm3 yr-1). A relatively large total blue water footprint as a result of crop production is observed in the Indus river basin (117 Gm3 yr-1) and the Ganges river basin (108 Gm3 yr-1). The two basins together account for 25 % of the blue water footprint related to global crop production. Globally, rain-fed agriculture has a water footprint of 5173 Gm3 yr-1 (91 % green, 9 % grey); irrigated agriculture has a water footprint of 2230 Gm3 yr-1 (48 % green, 40 % blue, 12 % grey).

  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. Analysis of Production-Water-Salinity of Index Crops in

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharifan, H.; Ghahreman, B.

    2009-04-01

    One method to investigate the advantages of irrigation in cultivation is to evaluate the amount of increase in productions as a result of irrigation. Such relations which usually characterized by mathematics formulas or curves are called production to water function. In the agricultural analysis like pattern optimization and culture accumulation, we need some function like agricultural crops production, water and salinity. The amount of water used and salinity has influence on crops function, so that by increase in both components in various stages of plant growth, crop function decreases. Many researches have been performed on production-water and production-salinity function, therefore less researches on production-water-salinity components. The equation provided by Letey and Dinar (1986) is a sample of these researches. Their model is a quadratics equation from independent variables of water salinity in irrigation (ECi) and dimensionless proportion of the amount of water used to evaporation in class A (AW/EP) in plant growth stage. Therefore, by using this model and parameters like evaporation, rainfall and also quantity and quality water potential in Golestan farmlands, we obtained production-water-salinity components for each product in three different areas across Golestan province (moisture to dry areas). These products include sunflower, cotton, wheat, barely, potato, tomato, corn, sorgom, water melon, soybean and rice. Finally, these equations were compared by results of previous experiments, some results correspond and others were different. Key Word: production-water, production-salinity and production-water-salinity function, Letey and Dinar, Golestan.

  5. Embodied crop calories in animal products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pradhan, Prajal; Lüdeke, Matthias K. B.; Reusser, Dominik E.; Kropp, Jürgen P.

    2013-12-01

    Increases in animal products consumption and the associated environmental consequences have been a matter of scientific debate for decades. Consequences of such increases include rises in greenhouse gas emissions, growth of consumptive water use, and perturbation of global nutrients cycles. These consequences vary spatially depending on livestock types, their densities and their production system. In this letter, we investigate the spatial distribution of embodied crop calories in animal products. On a global scale, about 40% of the global crop calories are used as livestock feed (we refer to this ratio as crop balance for livestock) and about 4 kcal of crop products are used to generate 1 kcal of animal products (embodied crop calories of around 4). However, these values vary greatly around the world. In some regions, more than 100% of the crops produced is required to feed livestock requiring national or international trade to meet the deficit in livestock feed. Embodied crop calories vary between less than 1 for 20% of the livestock raising areas worldwide and greater than 10 for another 20% of the regions. Low values of embodied crop calories are related to production systems for ruminants based on fodder and forage, while large values are usually associated with production systems for non-ruminants fed on crop products. Additionally, we project the future feed demand considering three scenarios: (a) population growth, (b) population growth and changes in human dietary patterns and (c) changes in population, dietary patterns and feed conversion efficiency. When considering dietary changes, we project the global feed demand to be almost doubled (1.8-2.3 times) by 2050 compared to 2000, which would force us to produce almost equal or even more crops to raise our livestock than to directly nourish ourselves in the future. Feed demand is expected to increase over proportionally in Africa, South-Eastern Asia and Southern Asia, putting additional stress on these

  6. Agroecological zones and the assessment of crop production potential

    PubMed Central

    Sivakumar, M. V. K.; Valentin, C.

    1997-01-01

    The rapidly growing world population puts considerable pressure on the scarce natural resources, and there is an urgent need to develop more efficient and sustainable agricultural production systems to feed the growing population. This should be based on an initial assessment of the physical and biological potential of natural resources, which can vary greatly. The agroecological zonation (AEZ) approach presents a useful preliminary evaluation of this potential, and ensures that representation is maintained at an appropriate biogeographic scale for regional sustainable development planning. The principal AEZs of the world, as described by the Technical Advisory Committee of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, are presented along with their extent and characteristics. Net primary productivity of terrestrial vegetation can be assessed from weather data, and it varies from 1 t dry matter ha-1 yr-1 in high latitude zones and dry regions to 29 t ha-1 yr-1 in tropical wet regions, depending on the climatic conditions. To assess the crop production potential, length of the growing period zones, a concept introduced by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, is very useful as it describes an area within which rainfall and temperature conditions are suitable for crop growth for a given number of days in the year. These data, combined with the information on soils and known requirements of different food crops, can be used to assess the potential crop productivity. Some perspectives on AEZs and crop production potential are presented by describing the manner in which production potential can be integrated with present constraints. Efforts to intensify production should place emphasis on methods appropriate to the socio-economic conditions in a given AEZ, and on promotion of conservation-effective and sustainable production systems to meet the food, fodder and fuel needs for the future.

  7. Acidic deposition: Effects on agricultural crops: Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Shriner, D.S.; Johnston, J.W. Jr.; Taylor, G.E. Jr.; Luxmoore, R.J.; McConathy, R.K.; McLaughlin, S.B.; Norby, R.J.; Abner, C.H.; Heagle, A.S.; Dubay, D.T.

    1987-04-01

    During the late 1970's there developed an increasing recognition that attempts to understand the impact of acidic precipitation on vegetation would be difficult to interpret without also being able to understand the relationship between acid precipitation and other, potentially interacting stresses. Important among these other stress factors are the mixture of gaseous pollutants to which vegetation is also exposed during the growing season. The research project described in this report was conceived and developed to address the role and importance of the contribution of wet deposition (acid rain) to crop vegetation growth and yield in the context of the ambient gaseous pollutant environment existing in an agricultural field situation.

  8. Alcohol co-production from tree crops

    SciTech Connect

    Seibert, M.; Folger, G.; Milne, T.

    1982-06-01

    A concept for the sustainable production of alcohol from fermentable substrates produced on an annual basis by the reproductive organs (pods, fruits, nuts, berries, etc.) of tree crops is presented. The advantages of tree-crop systems include suitability for use on marginal land, potential productivity equivalent to row crops, minimal maintenance and energy-input requirements, environmental compatibility, and the possibility of co-product production. Honeylocust, mesquite, and persimmon are examined as potential US tree-crop species. Other species not previously considered, including osage orange and breadfruit, are suggested as tree-crop candidates for North America and the tropical developing world, respectively. Fermentation of tree-crop organs and the economics of tree-crop systems are also discussed. Currently the greatest area of uncertainty lies in actual pod or fruit yields one can expect from large tree farms under real life conditions. However, ballpark ethanol yield estimates of from 880 to 3470 l hectare/sup -1/ (94 to 400 gal acre/sup -1/) justify further consideration of tree crop systems.

  9. Sensing technologies for precision specialty crop production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    With the advances in electronic and information technologies, various sensing systems have been developed for specialty crop production around the world. Accurate information concerning the spatial variability within fields is very important for precision farming of specialty crops. However, this va...

  10. Water Production Functions for High Plains Crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water Production Functions for High Plains Crops Water consumptive use by a crop can be reduced through limited (deficit) irrigation. If the reduced consumptive use (CU) can be quantified, the saved water can be transferred to other users. If the value of the transferred water is greater than the fa...

  11. Irradiation of northwest agricultural products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eakin, D. E.; Tingey, G. I.

    1985-02-01

    Irradiation of food for disinfestation and preservation is increasing in importance because of increasing restrictions on various chemical treatments. Irradiation treatment is of particular interest in the Northwest because of a growing supply of agricultural products and the need to develop new export markets. Several products have, or could potentially have, significant export markets if stringent insect ocntrol procedures are developed and followed. Due to the recognized potential benefits of irradiation, this program was conducted to evaluate the benefits of using irradiation on Northwest agricultural products. Commodities currently included in the program are cherries, apples, asparagus, spices, hay, and hides.

  12. Nitrogen mineralization in production agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding the effects of N management and how it relates to the N cycle in soil ecosystems is essential to determining N availability. This manuscript describes the importance of N mineralization to production agriculture and introduces a special issue on “N Mineralization in Production Agricult...

  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. Natural and within-farmland biodiversity enhances crop productivity.

    PubMed

    Carvalheiro, Luísa Gigante; Veldtman, Ruan; Shenkute, Awraris Getachew; Tesfay, Gebreamlak Bezabih; Pirk, Christian Walter Werner; Donaldson, John Sydney; Nicolson, Susan Wendy

    2011-03-01

    Ongoing expansion of large-scale agriculture critically threatens natural habitats and the pollination services they offer. Creating patches with high plant diversity within farmland is commonly suggested as a measure to benefit pollinators. However, farmers rarely adopt such practice, instead removing naturally occurring plants (weeds). By combining pollinator exclusion experiments with analysis of honeybee behaviour and flower-visitation webs, we found that the presence of weeds allowed pollinators to persist within sunflower fields, maximizing the benefits of the remaining patches of natural habitat to productivity of this large-scale crop. Weed diversity increased flower visitor diversity, hence ameliorating the measured negative effects of isolation from natural habitat. Although honeybees were the most abundant visitors, diversity of flower visitors enhanced honeybee movement, being the main factor influencing productivity. Conservation of natural patches combined with promoting flowering plants within crops can maximize productivity and, therefore, reduce the need for cropland expansion, contributing towards sustainable agriculture.

  15. H.R. 2339: A Bill to amend the Agricultural Act of 1949 to permit producers to adopt integrated, site-specific farm management plans that provide for resource-conserving crop rotation, special conservation practices, rotational grazing, and biomass production operations and practices. Introduced in the House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, First session

    SciTech Connect

    1995-12-31

    This document contains H.R. 2339, A Bill to amend the Agricultural Act of 1949 to permit producers to adopt integrated, site-specific farm management plans that provide for resource-conserving crop rotation, special conservation practices, rotational grazing, and biomass production operations and practices. This Bill was introduced in the House of Representatives, 104th Congress, First Session, September 14, 1995.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Application of water footprint combined with a unified virtual crop pattern to evaluate crop water productivity in grain production in China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Y B; Wu, P T; Engel, B A; Sun, S K

    2014-11-01

    Water shortages are detrimental to China's grain production while food production consumes a great deal of water causing water crises and ecological impacts. Increasing crop water productivity (CWP) is critical, so China is devoting significant resources to develop water-saving agricultural systems based on crop planning and agricultural water conservation planning. A comprehensive CWP index is necessary for such planning. Existing indices such as water use efficiency (WUE) and irrigation efficiency (IE) have limitations and are not suitable for the comprehensive evaluation of CWP. The water footprint (WF) index, calculated using effective precipitation and local water use, has advantages for CWP evaluation. Due to regional differences in crop patterns making the CWP difficult to compare directly across different regions, a unified virtual crop pattern is needed to calculate the WF. This project calculated and compared the WF of each grain crop and the integrated WFs of grain products with actual and virtual crop patterns in different regions of China for 2010. The results showed that there were significant differences for the WF among different crops in the same area or among different areas for the same crop. Rice had the highest WF at 1.39 m(3)/kg, while corn had the lowest at 0.91 m(3)/kg among the main grain crops. The WF of grain products was 1.25 m(3)/kg in China. Crop patterns had an important impact on WF of grain products because significant differences in WF were found between actual and virtual crop patterns in each region. The CWP level can be determined based on the WF of a virtual crop pattern, thereby helping optimize spatial distribution of crops and develop agricultural water savings to increase CWP.

  19. Water Production Functions For High Plains Crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Declining water supplies is the critical resource issue for irrigated agriculture in the High Plains and much of the western U.S. Farmers need to maximize production per unit water consumed to remain economically viable and sustain irrigated agriculture. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Wat...

  20. Renewable energy: Energy from agricultural products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1984-06-01

    Agricultural products, particularly sugarcane and corn, are currently meeting major energy needs in Florida. Recent figures indicate that about 10 percent of the gasoline sold in Florida is ethanol enriched. This gasohol contains a 10 percent mix of ethanol, which is generally produced from corn or sugarcane molasses. Sugarcane residues (bagasse) also supply most of the fuel to power Florida's large sugar processing industry. These products have the potential to play an expanded role in Florida's energy future. Neither ethanol nor methane appear able to compete in the free market for mass distribution at present, although studies indicate that genetic engineering and more efficient conversion processes may lower prices to cost effective levels. These fuels will be most cost effective in cases where waste products are utilized and the fuel is used close to the site of production. Wider applications will require either government incentives or genetic engineering of crops and improve efficiencies in conversion processes to lower costs.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Diversifying crop rotations with pulses enhances system productivity.

    PubMed

    Gan, Yantai; Hamel, Chantal; O'Donovan, John T; Cutforth, Herb; Zentner, Robert P; Campbell, Con A; Niu, Yining; Poppy, Lee

    2015-01-01

    Agriculture in rainfed dry areas is often challenged by inadequate water and nutrient supplies. Summerfallowing has been used to conserve rainwater and promote the release of nitrogen via the N mineralization of soil organic matter. However, summerfallowing leaves land without any crops planted for one entire growing season, creating lost production opportunity. Additionally, summerfallowing has serious environmental consequences. It is unknown whether alternative systems can be developed to retain the beneficial features of summerfallowing with little or no environmental impact. Here, we show that diversifying cropping systems with pulse crops can enhance soil water conservation, improve soil N availability, and increase system productivity. A 3-yr cropping sequence study, repeated for five cycles in Saskatchewan from 2005 to 2011, shows that both pulse- and summerfallow-based systems enhances soil N availability, but the pulse system employs biological fixation of atmospheric N2, whereas the summerfallow-system relies on 'mining' soil N with depleting soil organic matter. In a 3-yr cropping cycle, the pulse system increased total grain production by 35.5%, improved protein yield by 50.9%, and enhanced fertilizer-N use efficiency by 33.0% over the summerfallow system. Diversifying cropping systems with pulses can serve as an effective alternative to summerfallowing in rainfed dry areas. PMID:26424172

  4. Diversifying crop rotations with pulses enhances system productivity

    PubMed Central

    Gan, Yantai; Hamel, Chantal; O’Donovan, John T.; Cutforth, Herb; Zentner, Robert P.; Campbell, Con A.; Niu, Yining; Poppy, Lee

    2015-01-01

    Agriculture in rainfed dry areas is often challenged by inadequate water and nutrient supplies. Summerfallowing has been used to conserve rainwater and promote the release of nitrogen via the N mineralization of soil organic matter. However, summerfallowing leaves land without any crops planted for one entire growing season, creating lost production opportunity. Additionally, summerfallowing has serious environmental consequences. It is unknown whether alternative systems can be developed to retain the beneficial features of summerfallowing with little or no environmental impact. Here, we show that diversifying cropping systems with pulse crops can enhance soil water conservation, improve soil N availability, and increase system productivity. A 3-yr cropping sequence study, repeated for five cycles in Saskatchewan from 2005 to 2011, shows that both pulse- and summerfallow-based systems enhances soil N availability, but the pulse system employs biological fixation of atmospheric N2, whereas the summerfallow-system relies on ‘mining’ soil N with depleting soil organic matter. In a 3-yr cropping cycle, the pulse system increased total grain production by 35.5%, improved protein yield by 50.9%, and enhanced fertilizer-N use efficiency by 33.0% over the summerfallow system. Diversifying cropping systems with pulses can serve as an effective alternative to summerfallowing in rainfed dry areas. PMID:26424172

  5. Findings from the National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS) 1990. A Demographic and Employment Profile of Perishable Crop Farm Workers. Research Report No. 1.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mines, Richard; And Others

    This report provides information on the characteristics and work patterns of United States agricultural workers performing seasonal agricultural services (SAS) during fiscal year 1990. SAS crops include the majority of nursery products, cash grains, field crops, and all fruits and vegetables. More than 2,000 personal interviews with SAS workers…

  6. 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...

  7. Assimilation of LAI time-series in crop production models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kooistra, Lammert; Rijk, Bert; Nannes, Louis

    2014-05-01

    Agriculture is worldwide a large consumer of freshwater, nutrients and land. Spatial explicit agricultural management activities (e.g., fertilization, irrigation) could significantly improve efficiency in resource use. In previous studies and operational applications, remote sensing has shown to be a powerful method for spatio-temporal monitoring of actual crop status. As a next step, yield forecasting by assimilating remote sensing based plant variables in crop production models would improve agricultural decision support both at the farm and field level. In this study we investigated the potential of remote sensing based Leaf Area Index (LAI) time-series assimilated in the crop production model LINTUL to improve yield forecasting at field level. The effect of assimilation method and amount of assimilated observations was evaluated. The LINTUL-3 crop production model was calibrated and validated for a potato crop on two experimental fields in the south of the Netherlands. A range of data sources (e.g., in-situ soil moisture and weather sensors, destructive crop measurements) was used for calibration of the model for the experimental field in 2010. LAI from cropscan field radiometer measurements and actual LAI measured with the LAI-2000 instrument were used as input for the LAI time-series. The LAI time-series were assimilated in the LINTUL model and validated for a second experimental field on which potatoes were grown in 2011. Yield in 2011 was simulated with an R2 of 0.82 when compared with field measured yield. Furthermore, we analysed the potential of assimilation of LAI into the LINTUL-3 model through the 'updating' assimilation technique. The deviation between measured and simulated yield decreased from 9371 kg/ha to 8729 kg/ha when assimilating weekly LAI measurements in the LINTUL model over the season of 2011. LINTUL-3 furthermore shows the main growth reducing factors, which are useful for farm decision support. The combination of crop models and sensor

  8. Irradiation of Northwest agricultural products

    SciTech Connect

    Eakin, D.E.; Tingey, G.L.

    1985-02-01

    Irradiation of food for disinfestation and preservation is increasing in importance because of increasing restrictions on various chemical treatments. Irradiation treatment is of particular interest in the Northwest because of a growing supply of agricultural products and the need to develop new export markets. Several products have, or could potentially have, significant export markets if stringent insect control procedures are developed and followed. Due to the recognized potential benefits of irradiation, Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) is conducting this program to evaluate the benefits of using irradiation on Northwest agricultural products under the US Department of Energy (DOE) Defense Byproducts Production and Utilization Program. Commodities currently included in the program are cherries, apples, asparagus, spices, hay, and hides.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Implications of climate mitigation for future agricultural production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Christoph; Elliott, Joshua; Chryssanthacopoulos, James; Deryng, Delphine; Folberth, Christian; Pugh, Thomas A. M.; Schmid, Erwin

    2015-12-01

    Climate change is projected to negatively impact biophysical agricultural productivity in much of the world. Actions taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate future climate changes, are thus of central importance for agricultural production. Climate impacts are, however, not unidirectional; some crops in some regions (primarily higher latitudes) are projected to benefit, particularly if increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is assumed to strongly increase crop productivity at large spatial and temporal scales. Climate mitigation measures that are implemented by reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations lead to reductions both in the strength of climate change and in the benefits of carbon dioxide fertilization. Consequently, analysis of the effects of climate mitigation on agricultural productivity must address not only regions for which mitigation is likely to reduce or even reverse climate damages. There are also regions that are likely to see increased crop yields due to climate change, which may lose these added potentials under mitigation action. Comparing data from the most comprehensive archive of crop yield projections publicly available, we find that climate mitigation leads to overall benefits from avoided damages at the global scale and especially in many regions that are already at risk of food insecurity today. Ignoring controversial carbon dioxide fertilization effects on crop productivity, we find that for the median projection aggressive mitigation could eliminate ∼81% of the negative impacts of climate change on biophysical agricultural productivity globally by the end of the century. In this case, the benefits of mitigation typically extend well into temperate regions, but vary by crop and underlying climate model projections. Should large benefits to crop yields from carbon dioxide fertilization be realized, the effects of mitigation become much more mixed, though still positive globally and beneficial in many food insecure

  12. Agricultural R&D, technology and productivity.

    PubMed

    Piesse, J; Thirtle, C

    2010-09-27

    The relationships between basic and applied agricultural R&D, developed and developing country R&D and between R&D, extension, technology and productivity growth are outlined. The declining growth rates of public R&D expenditures are related to output growth and crop yields, where growth rates have also fallen, especially in the developed countries. However, growth in output value per hectare has not declined in the developing countries and labour productivity growth has increased except in the EU. Total factor productivity has generally increased, however it is measured. The public sector share of R&D expenditures has fallen and there has been rapid concentration in the private sector, where six multinationals now dominate. These companies are accumulating intellectual property to an extent that the public and international institutions are disadvantaged. This represents a threat to the global commons in agricultural technology on which the green revolution has depended. Estimates of the increased R&D expenditures needed to feed 9 billion people by 2050 and how these should be targeted, especially by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), show that the amounts are feasible and that targeting sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and South Asia can best increase output growth and reduce poverty. Lack of income growth in SSA is seen as the most insoluble problem.

  13. Agricultural R&D, technology and productivity

    PubMed Central

    Piesse, J.; Thirtle, C.

    2010-01-01

    The relationships between basic and applied agricultural R&D, developed and developing country R&D and between R&D, extension, technology and productivity growth are outlined. The declining growth rates of public R&D expenditures are related to output growth and crop yields, where growth rates have also fallen, especially in the developed countries. However, growth in output value per hectare has not declined in the developing countries and labour productivity growth has increased except in the EU. Total factor productivity has generally increased, however it is measured. The public sector share of R&D expenditures has fallen and there has been rapid concentration in the private sector, where six multinationals now dominate. These companies are accumulating intellectual property to an extent that the public and international institutions are disadvantaged. This represents a threat to the global commons in agricultural technology on which the green revolution has depended. Estimates of the increased R&D expenditures needed to feed 9 billion people by 2050 and how these should be targeted, especially by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), show that the amounts are feasible and that targeting sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and South Asia can best increase output growth and reduce poverty. Lack of income growth in SSA is seen as the most insoluble problem. PMID:20713401

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE RECORD BOOK FOR PRODUCTION AGRICULTURE.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1966

    FORMS ARE PROVIDED FOR RECORDING FINANCIAL INFORMATION ABOUT SUPERVISED FARM PROGRAM ENTERPRISES BY INDIVIDUAL VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE STUDENTS. THE BOOK IS DESIGNED ON AN ENTERPRISE BASIS AND PROVIDES SPACE FOR AGREEMENTS, INVENTORIES, EXPENSES, INCOME, SUMMARIES, AND ANALYSES. ASSISTANCE FOR TEACHERS USING THIS RECORD BOOK IS AVAILABLE IN "GUIDE…

  18. Phytoremediation of soil polluted by nickel using agricultural crops.

    PubMed

    Giordani, Cesare; Cecchi, Stefano; Zanchi, Camillo

    2005-11-01

    Soil pollution due to heavy metals is widespread; on the world scale, it involves about 235 million hectares. The objectives of this research were to establish the uptake efficiency of nickel by some agricultural crops. In addition, we wanted to establish also in which part of plants the metal is stored for an eventual use of biomass or for recycling the metal. The experiments included seven herbaceous crops such as: barley (Hordeum vulgaris), cabbage (Brassica juncea), spinach (Spinacea oleracea), sorghum (Sorgum vulgare), bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), and ricinus (Ricinus communis). We used three levels of treatment (150, 300, and 600 ppm) and one control. At the end of the biological cycle of the crops, the different parts of plants, i.e., roots, stems, leaves, fruits, or seeds, were separately collected, oven dried, weighed, milled, and separately analysed. The leaves and stems of spinach showed a very good nickel storage capacity. The ricinus too proved to be a very good nickel storer. The ability of spinach and ricinus to store nickel was observed also in the leaves of cabbage, even if with a lower storage capacity. The bean, barley, and tomato, in decreasing order of uptake and storage capacity, showed a high concentration of nickel in leaves and stems, whereas the sorghum evidenced a lesser capacity to uptake and store nickel in leaves and stems. The bean was the most efficient in storing nickel in fruits or grains. Tomato, sorghum, and barley have shown a storage capacity notably less than bean. The bean appeared to be the most efficient in accumulating nickel in the roots, followed in decreasing order by sorghum, ricinus, and tomato. With regard to the removal of nickel, spinach was the most efficient as it contains the highest level of this metal per gram of dry matter. The ricinus, cabbage, bean, sorghum, barley, and tomato evidenced a progressively decreasing efficiency in the removal of nickel.

  19. Phytoremediation of soil polluted by nickel using agricultural crops.

    PubMed

    Giordani, Cesare; Cecchi, Stefano; Zanchi, Camillo

    2005-11-01

    Soil pollution due to heavy metals is widespread; on the world scale, it involves about 235 million hectares. The objectives of this research were to establish the uptake efficiency of nickel by some agricultural crops. In addition, we wanted to establish also in which part of plants the metal is stored for an eventual use of biomass or for recycling the metal. The experiments included seven herbaceous crops such as: barley (Hordeum vulgaris), cabbage (Brassica juncea), spinach (Spinacea oleracea), sorghum (Sorgum vulgare), bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), and ricinus (Ricinus communis). We used three levels of treatment (150, 300, and 600 ppm) and one control. At the end of the biological cycle of the crops, the different parts of plants, i.e., roots, stems, leaves, fruits, or seeds, were separately collected, oven dried, weighed, milled, and separately analysed. The leaves and stems of spinach showed a very good nickel storage capacity. The ricinus too proved to be a very good nickel storer. The ability of spinach and ricinus to store nickel was observed also in the leaves of cabbage, even if with a lower storage capacity. The bean, barley, and tomato, in decreasing order of uptake and storage capacity, showed a high concentration of nickel in leaves and stems, whereas the sorghum evidenced a lesser capacity to uptake and store nickel in leaves and stems. The bean was the most efficient in storing nickel in fruits or grains. Tomato, sorghum, and barley have shown a storage capacity notably less than bean. The bean appeared to be the most efficient in accumulating nickel in the roots, followed in decreasing order by sorghum, ricinus, and tomato. With regard to the removal of nickel, spinach was the most efficient as it contains the highest level of this metal per gram of dry matter. The ricinus, cabbage, bean, sorghum, barley, and tomato evidenced a progressively decreasing efficiency in the removal of nickel. PMID:16215654

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. CWEX (Crop/Wind-Energy Experiment): Measurements of the interaction between crop agriculture and wind power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajewski, Daniel Andrew

    The current expansion of wind farms in the U.S. Midwest promotes an alternative renewable energy portfolio to conventional energy sources derived from fossil fuels. The construction of wind turbines and large wind farms within several millions of cropland acres creates a unique interaction between two unlike energy sources: electric generation by wind and bio-fuel production derived from crop grain and plant tissues. Wind turbines produce power by extracting mean wind speed and converting a portion of the flow to turbulence downstream of each rotor. Turbine-scale turbulence modifies fluxes of momentum, heat, moisture, and other gaseous constituents (e.g. carbon dioxide) between the crop canopy and the atmospheric boundary layer. Conversely, crop surfaces and tillage elements produce drag on the hub-height wind resource, and the release of sensible and latent heat flux from the canopy or soil influences the wind speed profile. The Crop-Wind Energy Experiment (CWEX) measured momentum, energy, and CO2 fluxes at several locations within the leading line of turbines in a large operational wind farm, and overall turbines promote canopy mixing of wind speed, temperature, moisture, and carbon dioxide in both the day and night. Turbine-generated perturbations of these fluxes are dependent on several factors influencing the turbine operation (e.g. wind speed, wind direction, stability, orientation of surrounding turbines within a wind park) and the cropland surface (e.g. crop type and cultivar, planting density, chemical application, and soil composition and drainage qualities). Additional strategies are proposed for optimizing the synergy between crop and wind power.

  3. Root architecture and root and tuber crop productivity.

    PubMed

    Villordon, Arthur Q; Ginzberg, Idit; Firon, Nurit

    2014-07-01

    It is becoming increasingly evident that optimization of root architecture for resource capture is vital for enabling the next green revolution. Although cereals provide half of the calories consumed by humans, root and tuber crops are the second major source of carbohydrates globally. Yet, knowledge of root architecture in root and tuber species is limited. In this opinion article, we highlight what is known about the root system in root and tuber crops, and mark new research directions towards a better understanding of the relation between root architecture and yield. We believe that unraveling the role of root architecture in root and tuber crop productivity will improve global food security, especially in regions with marginal soil fertility and low-input agricultural systems.

  4. 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.

  5. Methanol and the productivity of tropical crops

    SciTech Connect

    Ferguson, T.U.

    1995-12-31

    Studies are being conducted in Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia and St. Kitts/Nevis to determine the effect of aqueous solutions of methanol on the growth and yield of a wide range of vegetable, field and perennial crops. The paper presents a summary of results to data for ten of the crops studied. Six of these crops, lettuce, sweet pepper, tomato, mango and breadfruit, have shown significant increases in growth or yield with methanol application, while others such as pigeon pea, rice, banana and cocoa have shown more limited responses. There appears to be some potential for the use of methanol in tropical crop production but further studies are required before this apparent potential can be harnessed.

  6. 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.

  7. Farm Laboratory Aids Post-Secondary Instruction in Agricultural Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Statler, Larry L.; Juhl, R. J.

    1970-01-01

    Reports a farm laboratory of 1500 swine, 40 beef cattle, 52 sheep, a 300-crop acres, and a full line of leased new farm machinery for post-secondary agricultural production students. A student board of directors manages the demonstration farm. (DM)

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. Ozone impacts on the productivity of selected crops. [Corn, wheat, soybean and peanut crops

    SciTech Connect

    Heck, W.W.; Cure, W.W.; Shriner, D.S.; Olson, R.J.; Heagle, A.S.

    1982-01-01

    The regional impacts of ozone on corn, wheat, soybean, and peanut crops are estimated by using dose-response functions to relate ambient maximum 7 h/d seasonal ozone concentrations to crop productivity data. Linear dose-response functions were developed from open-top field chamber studies. It was assumed that the limited number of cultivars and growing conditions available for the analysis were representative of major agricultural regions. Hourly ozone data were selected to represent rural concentrations and used to calculate maximum 7-h/d average values. Seasonal ozone averages for counties were extrapolated from approximately 300 monitoring sites. Results must be interpreted with knowledge of these assumptions and sources of uncertainty. Impacts are calculated for county units for the conterminous United States with maps showing patterns and tables summarizing the potential magnitude of ozone effects on selected crop yields. The assessment estimates that approximately three billion dollars of productivity could be gained if current maximum 7 hour per day ozone levels were reduced from present levels to below 25 parts per billion. Dollar values are based on 1978 crop prices, without accounting for price effects, to provide an overall estimate of the impact. Of the estimated economic impact, soybean represents 64%, corn 17%, wheat 12%, and peanuts 7%.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Phosphorus Management in Crop Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    World population is projected to increase to about 9 Billion people by 2050. To feed the increasing world population, it is projected that global food supply should be increased by about 60-70% by 2050. Increase in food production could be achieved by improving yield per unit land area, increase lan...

  15. 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...

  16. Increasing Cropping System Diversity Balances Productivity, Profitability and Environmental Health

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Adam S.; Hill, Jason D.; Chase, Craig A.; Johanns, Ann M.; Liebman, Matt

    2012-01-01

    Balancing productivity, profitability, and environmental health is a key challenge for agricultural sustainability. Most crop production systems in the United States are characterized by low species and management diversity, high use of fossil energy and agrichemicals, and large negative impacts on the environment. We hypothesized that cropping system diversification would promote ecosystem services that would supplement, and eventually displace, synthetic external inputs used to maintain crop productivity. To test this, we conducted a field study from 2003–2011 in Iowa that included three contrasting systems varying in length of crop sequence and inputs. We compared a conventionally managed 2-yr rotation (maize-soybean) that received fertilizers and herbicides at rates comparable to those used on nearby farms with two more diverse cropping systems: a 3-yr rotation (maize-soybean-small grain + red clover) and a 4-yr rotation (maize-soybean-small grain + alfalfa-alfalfa) managed with lower synthetic N fertilizer and herbicide inputs and periodic applications of cattle manure. Grain yields, mass of harvested products, and profit in the more diverse systems were similar to, or greater than, those in the conventional system, despite reductions of agrichemical inputs. Weeds were suppressed effectively in all systems, but freshwater toxicity of the more diverse systems was two orders of magnitude lower than in the conventional system. Results of our study indicate that more diverse cropping systems can use small amounts of synthetic agrichemical inputs as powerful tools with which to tune, rather than drive, agroecosystem performance, while meeting or exceeding the performance of less diverse systems. PMID:23071739

  17. Increasing cropping system diversity balances productivity, profitability and environmental health.

    PubMed

    Davis, Adam S; Hill, Jason D; Chase, Craig A; Johanns, Ann M; Liebman, Matt

    2012-01-01

    Balancing productivity, profitability, and environmental health is a key challenge for agricultural sustainability. Most crop production systems in the United States are characterized by low species and management diversity, high use of fossil energy and agrichemicals, and large negative impacts on the environment. We hypothesized that cropping system diversification would promote ecosystem services that would supplement, and eventually displace, synthetic external inputs used to maintain crop productivity. To test this, we conducted a field study from 2003-2011 in Iowa that included three contrasting systems varying in length of crop sequence and inputs. We compared a conventionally managed 2-yr rotation (maize-soybean) that received fertilizers and herbicides at rates comparable to those used on nearby farms with two more diverse cropping systems: a 3-yr rotation (maize-soybean-small grain + red clover) and a 4-yr rotation (maize-soybean-small grain + alfalfa-alfalfa) managed with lower synthetic N fertilizer and herbicide inputs and periodic applications of cattle manure. Grain yields, mass of harvested products, and profit in the more diverse systems were similar to, or greater than, those in the conventional system, despite reductions of agrichemical inputs. Weeds were suppressed effectively in all systems, but freshwater toxicity of the more diverse systems was two orders of magnitude lower than in the conventional system. Results of our study indicate that more diverse cropping systems can use small amounts of synthetic agrichemical inputs as powerful tools with which to tune, rather than drive, agroecosystem performance, while meeting or exceeding the performance of less diverse systems.

  18. 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

  19. Crop and non-crop productivity in a traditional maize agroecosystem of the highland of Mexico

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background In Mexico, the traditional maize cultivation system has resisted intensification attempts for many decades in some areas, even in some well-connected regions of the temperate highlands. We suggest that this is due to economics. Methods The total useful biomass of several fields in Nanacamilpa, Tlaxcala, are evaluated for productivity and costs. Results Maize grain production is low (1.5 t ha-1) and does not cover costs. However, maize stover demands a relatively high price. If it included, a profit is possible (about 110 US $ ha-1). We show that non-crop production (weeds for food and forage) potentially has a higher value than the crop. It is only partially used, as there are constraints on animal husbandry, but it diversifies production and plays a role as a back-up system in case of crop failure. Conclusion The diversified system described is economically rational under current conditions and labor costs. It is also stable, low-input and ecologically benign, and should be recognized as an important example of integrated agriculture, though some improvements could be investigated. PMID:19943939

  20. Crop water productivity and irrigation management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Modern irrigation systems offer large increases in crop water productivity compared with rainfed or gravity irrigation, but require different management approaches to achieve this. Flood, sprinkler, low-energy precision application, LEPA, and subsurface drip irrigation methods vary widely in water a...

  1. 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

  2. Productivity limits and potentials of the principles of conservation agriculture.

    PubMed

    Pittelkow, Cameron M; Liang, Xinqiang; Linquist, Bruce A; van Groenigen, Kees Jan; Lee, Juhwan; Lundy, Mark E; van Gestel, Natasja; Six, Johan; Venterea, Rodney T; van Kessel, Chris

    2015-01-15

    One of the primary challenges of our time is to feed a growing and more demanding world population with reduced external inputs and minimal environmental impacts, all under more variable and extreme climate conditions in the future. Conservation agriculture represents a set of three crop management principles that has received strong international support to help address this challenge, with recent conservation agriculture efforts focusing on smallholder farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. However, conservation agriculture is highly debated, with respect to both its effects on crop yields and its applicability in different farming contexts. Here we conduct a global meta-analysis using 5,463 paired yield observations from 610 studies to compare no-till, the original and central concept of conservation agriculture, with conventional tillage practices across 48 crops and 63 countries. Overall, our results show that no-till reduces yields, yet this response is variable and under certain conditions no-till can produce equivalent or greater yields than conventional tillage. Importantly, when no-till is combined with the other two conservation agriculture principles of residue retention and crop rotation, its negative impacts are minimized. Moreover, no-till in combination with the other two principles significantly increases rainfed crop productivity in dry climates, suggesting that it may become an important climate-change adaptation strategy for ever-drier regions of the world. However, any expansion of conservation agriculture should be done with caution in these areas, as implementation of the other two principles is often challenging in resource-poor and vulnerable smallholder farming systems, thereby increasing the likelihood of yield losses rather than gains. Although farming systems are multifunctional, and environmental and socio-economic factors need to be considered, our analysis indicates that the potential contribution of no-till to the

  3. Coastal eutrophication in Europe caused by production of energy crops.

    PubMed

    van Wijnen, Jikke; Ivens, Wilfried P M F; Kroeze, Carolien; Löhr, Ansje J

    2015-04-01

    In Europe, the use of biodiesel may increase rapidly in the coming decades as a result of policies aiming to increase the use of renewable fuels. Therefore, the production of biofuels from energy crops is expected to increase as well as the use of fertilisers to grow these crops. Since fertilisers are an important cause of eutrophication, the use of biodiesel may have an effect on the water quality in rivers and coastal seas. In this study we explored the possible effects of increased biodiesel use on coastal eutrophication in European seas in the year 2050. To this end, we defined a number of illustrative scenarios in which the biodiesel production increases to about 10-30% of the current diesel use. The scenarios differ with respect to the assumptions on where the energy crops are cultivated: either on land that is currently used for agriculture, or on land used for other purposes. We analysed these scenarios with the Global NEWS (Nutrient Export from WaterSheds) model. We used an existing Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Scenario for 2050, Global Orchestration (GO2050), as a baseline. In this baseline scenario the amount of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) exported by European rivers to coastal seas decreases between 2000 and 2050 as a result of environmental and agricultural policies. In our scenarios with increased biodiesel production the river export of N and P increases between 2000 and 2050, indicating that energy crop production may more than counterbalance this decrease. Largest increases in nutrient export were calculated for the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. Differences in nutrient export among river basins are large. PMID:25536176

  4. Coastal eutrophication in Europe caused by production of energy crops.

    PubMed

    van Wijnen, Jikke; Ivens, Wilfried P M F; Kroeze, Carolien; Löhr, Ansje J

    2015-04-01

    In Europe, the use of biodiesel may increase rapidly in the coming decades as a result of policies aiming to increase the use of renewable fuels. Therefore, the production of biofuels from energy crops is expected to increase as well as the use of fertilisers to grow these crops. Since fertilisers are an important cause of eutrophication, the use of biodiesel may have an effect on the water quality in rivers and coastal seas. In this study we explored the possible effects of increased biodiesel use on coastal eutrophication in European seas in the year 2050. To this end, we defined a number of illustrative scenarios in which the biodiesel production increases to about 10-30% of the current diesel use. The scenarios differ with respect to the assumptions on where the energy crops are cultivated: either on land that is currently used for agriculture, or on land used for other purposes. We analysed these scenarios with the Global NEWS (Nutrient Export from WaterSheds) model. We used an existing Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Scenario for 2050, Global Orchestration (GO2050), as a baseline. In this baseline scenario the amount of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) exported by European rivers to coastal seas decreases between 2000 and 2050 as a result of environmental and agricultural policies. In our scenarios with increased biodiesel production the river export of N and P increases between 2000 and 2050, indicating that energy crop production may more than counterbalance this decrease. Largest increases in nutrient export were calculated for the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. Differences in nutrient export among river basins are large.

  5. 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. PMID:26752267

  6. Breeding and Domesticating Crops Adapted to Drought and Salinity: A New Paradigm for Increasing Food Production.

    PubMed

    Fita, Ana; Rodríguez-Burruezo, Adrián; Boscaiu, Monica; Prohens, Jaime; Vicente, Oscar

    2015-01-01

    World population is expected to reach 9.2 × 10(9) people by 2050. Feeding them will require a boost in crop productivity using innovative approaches. Current agricultural production is very dependent on large amounts of inputs and water availability is a major limiting factor. In addition, the loss of genetic diversity and the threat of climate change make a change of paradigm in plant breeding and agricultural practices necessary. Average yields in all major crops are only a small fraction of record yields, and drought and soil salinity are the main factors responsible for yield reduction. Therefore there is the need to enhance crop productivity by improving crop adaptation. Here we review the present situation and propose the development of crops tolerant to drought and salt stress for addressing the challenge of dramatically increasing food production in the near future. The success in the development of crops adapted to drought and salt depends on the efficient and combined use of genetic engineering and traditional breeding tools. Moreover, we propose the domestication of new halophilic crops to create a 'saline agriculture' which will not compete in terms of resources with conventional agriculture. PMID:26617620

  7. University degrees consistent with agricultural production in the European Union

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perdigones, Alicia; del Cerro, Jesus; Tarquis, Ana Maria; Benedicto, Susana; García, Jose Luis

    2013-04-01

    Degrees clearly oriented to rural and agricultural engineering are distinguished from the rest of the engineering areas by the need to involve the biological phenomena of engineering calculations. These degrees, which include subjects such as crop production, biotechnology and physics, among others, have evolved tremendously over the last ten years, implanting new curricula and introducing new specialties such as those dedicated to the environment or rural development, thereby adapting new social, economic and environmental aspects of each country. Currently being finalized to implement new titles in most Spanish universities, and in rest of Europe, following the guidelines set by Bologna. The process of elaboration of these degrees is complicated precisely because of the great variety of areas and subjects involved in these degrees. In this paper we study, for several countries of the European Union, the core subjects of the university degrees of agricultural engineering and the correlations between the core contents and the importance of the related uses of the soil in the different sectors of crop production (arable crops, horticulture, fruit growing, gardening, etc.) as well as other socio-economic criteria. The objective is to detect if the design of the core content is consistent in each country with the importance of the related socio-economic sector. Key-words: curriculum, crop production, agricultural engineer.

  8. Polymicrobial Multi-functional Approach for Enhancement of Crop Productivity.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Chilekampalli A; Saravanan, Ramu S

    2013-01-01

    There is an increasing global need for enhancing the food production to meet the needs of the fast-growing human population. Traditional approach to increasing agricultural productivity through high inputs of chemical nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers and pesticides is not sustainable because of high costs and concerns about global warming, environmental pollution, and safety concerns. Therefore, the use of naturally occurring soil microbes for increasing productivity of food crops is an attractive eco-friendly, cost-effective, and sustainable alternative to the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. There is a vast body of published literature on microbial symbiotic and nonsymbiotic nitrogen fixation, multiple beneficial mechanisms used by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), the nature and significance of mycorrhiza-plant symbiosis, and the growing technology on production of efficacious microbial inoculants. These areas are briefly reviewed here. The construction of an inoculant with a consortium of microbes with multiple beneficial functions such as N(2) fixation, biocontrol, phosphate solubilization, and other plant growth-promoting properties is a positive new development in this area in that a single inoculant can be used effectively for increasing the productivity of a broad spectrum of crops including legumes, cereals, vegetables, and grasses. Such a polymicrobial inoculant containing several microorganisms for each major function involved in promoting the plant growth and productivity gives it greater stability and wider applications for a range of major crops. Intensifying research in this area leading to further advances in our understanding of biochemical/molecular mechanisms involved in plant-microbe-soil interactions coupled with rapid advances in the genomics-proteomics of beneficial microbes should lead to the design and development of inoculants with greater efficacy for increasing the productivity of a wide range of crops.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Methodology for calculation of carbon balances for biofuel crops production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerlfand, I.; Hamilton, S. K.; Snapp, S. S.; Robertson, G. P.

    2012-04-01

    Understanding the carbon balance implications for different biofuel crop production systems is important for the development of decision making tools and policies. We present here a detailed methodology for assessing carbon balances in agricultural and natural ecosystems. We use 20 years of data from Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) experiments at the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS), combined with models to produce farm level CO2 balances for different management practices. We compared four grain and one forage systems in the U.S. Midwest: corn (Zea mays) - soybean (Glycine max) - wheat (Triticum aestivum) rotations managed with (1) conventional tillage, (2) no till, (3) low chemical input, and (4) biologically-based (organic) practices; and (5) continuous alfalfa (Medicago sativa). In addition we use an abandoned agricultural field (successionnal ecosystem) as reference system. Measurements include fluxes of N2O and CH4, soil organic carbon change, agricultural yields, and agricultural inputs (e.g. fertilization and farm fuel use). In addition to measurements, we model carbon offsets associated with the use of bioenergy from agriculturally produced crops. Our analysis shows the importance of establishing appropriate system boundaries for carbon balance calculations. We explore how different assumptions regarding production methods and emission factors affect overall conclusions on carbon balances of different agricultural systems. Our results show management practices that have major the most important effects on carbon balances. Overall, agricultural management with conventional tillage was found to be a net CO2 source to the atmosphere, while agricultural management under reduced tillage, low input, or organic management sequestered carbon at rates of 93, -23, -51, and -14 g CO2e m-2 yr-1, respectively for conventionally tilled, no-till, low-input, and organically managed ecosystems. Perennial systems (alfalfa and the successionnal fields) showed net carbon

  12. 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).

  13. 7 CFR 1412.35 - Incorrect or false production evidence of oilseeds and pulse crops.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Incorrect or false production evidence of oilseeds... false production evidence of oilseeds and pulse crops. (a) If production evidence submitted in... payments earned for the farm for the first year such payments were made; (ii) For designated oilseeds...

  14. Alcohol production from agricultural and forestry residues

    SciTech Connect

    Opilla, R.; Dale, L.; Surles, T.

    1980-05-01

    A variety of carbohydrate sources can be used as raw material for the production of ethanol. Section 1 is a review of technologies available for the production of ethanol from whole corn. Particular emphasis is placed on the environmental aspects of the process, including land utilization and possible air and water pollutants. Suggestions are made for technological changes intended to improve the economics of the process as well as to reduce some of the pollution from by-product disposal. Ethanol may be derived from renewable cellulosic substances by either enzymatic or acid hydrolysis of cellulose to sugar, followed by conventional fermentation and distillation. Section 2 is a review of the use of two agricultural residues - corn stover (field stalks remaining after harvest) and straw from wheat crops - as a cellulosic feedstock. Two processes have been evaluated with regard to environmental impact - a two-stage acid process developed by G.T. Tsao of Purdue University and an enzymatic process based on the laboratory findings of C.R. Wilke of the University of California, Berkeley. Section 3 deals with the environmental residuals expected from the manufacture of methyl and ethyl alcohols from woody biomass. The methanol is produced in a gasification process, whereas ethanol is produced by hydrolysis and fermentation processes similar to those used to derive ethanol from cellulosic materials.

  15. Nitrogen in crop production: An account of global flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smil, Vaclav

    1999-06-01

    Human activities have roughly doubled the amount of reactive N that enters the element's biospheric cycle. Crop production is by far the single largest cause of this anthropogenic alteration. Inorganic fertilizers now provide 80 Tg N yr-1 (Tg = 1012 g), managed (symbiotic) biofixation adds about 20 Tg N yr-1, and between 28 and 36 Tg N yr-1 are recycled in organic wastes. Anthropogenic inputs (including N in seeds and irrigation water) now supply about 85% of 170 (151-186) Tg N reaching the world's cropland every year. About half of this input, 85 Tg N yr-1, is taken up by harvested crops and their residues. Quantification of N losses from crop fields is beset by major uncertainties. Losses to the atmosphere (denitrification and volatilization) amount to 26-60 Tg N yr-1, while waters receive (from leaching and erosion) 32-45 Tg N yr-1. These N losses are the major reason behind the growing concerns about the enrichment of the biosphere with reactive N. The best evidence suggests that in spite of some significant local and regional losses, the world's agricultural land accumulates N. The addition of 3-4 billion people before the year 2050 will require further substantial increases of N input in cropping, but a large share of this demand can come from improved efficiency of N fertilizer use.

  16. 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…

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. Quantifying the link between crop production and mined groundwater irrigation in China.

    PubMed

    Grogan, Danielle S; Zhang, Fan; Prusevich, Alexander; Lammers, Richard B; Wisser, Dominik; Glidden, Stanley; Li, Changsheng; Frolking, Steve

    2015-04-01

    In response to increasing demand for food, Chinese agriculture has both expanded and intensified over the past several decades. Irrigation has played a key role in increasing crop production, and groundwater is now an important source of irrigation water. Groundwater abstraction in excess of recharge (which we use here to estimate groundwater mining) has resulted in declining groundwater levels and could eventually restrict groundwater availability. In this study we used a hydrological model, WBMplus, in conjunction with a process based crop growth model, DNDC, to evaluate Chinese agriculture's recent dependence upon mined groundwater, and to quantify mined groundwater-dependent crop production across a domain that includes variation in climate, crop choice, and management practices. This methodology allowed for the direct attribution of crop production to irrigation water from rivers and reservoirs, shallow (renewable) groundwater, and mined groundwater. Simulating 20 years of weather variability and circa year 2000 crop areas, we found that mined groundwater fulfilled 20%-49% of gross irrigation water demand, assuming all demand was met. Mined groundwater accounted for 15%-27% of national total crop production. There was high spatial variability across China in irrigation water demand and crop production derived from mined groundwater. We find that climate variability and mined groundwater demand do not operate independently; rather, years in which irrigation water demand is high due to the relatively hot and dry climate also experience limited surface water supplies and therefore have less surface water with which to meet that high irrigation water demand. PMID:25544335

  1. Global crop production forecasting data system analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Castruccio, P. A. (Principal Investigator); Loats, H. L.; Lloyd, D. G.

    1978-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Findings led to the development of a theory of radiometric discrimination employing the mathematical framework of the theory of discrimination between scintillating radar targets. The theory indicated that the functions which drive accuracy of discrimination are the contrast ratio between targets, and the number of samples, or pixels, observed. Theoretical results led to three primary consequences, as regards the data system: (1) agricultural targets must be imaged at correctly chosen times, when the relative evolution of the crop's development is such as to maximize their contrast; (2) under these favorable conditions, the number of observed pixels can be significantly reduced with respect to wall-to-wall measurements; and (3) remotely sensed radiometric data must be suitably mixed with other auxiliary data, derived from external sources.

  2. Breeding and Domesticating Crops Adapted to Drought and Salinity: A New Paradigm for Increasing Food Production

    PubMed Central

    Fita, Ana; Rodríguez-Burruezo, Adrián; Boscaiu, Monica; Prohens, Jaime; Vicente, Oscar

    2015-01-01

    World population is expected to reach 9.2 × 109 people by 2050. Feeding them will require a boost in crop productivity using innovative approaches. Current agricultural production is very dependent on large amounts of inputs and water availability is a major limiting factor. In addition, the loss of genetic diversity and the threat of climate change make a change of paradigm in plant breeding and agricultural practices necessary. Average yields in all major crops are only a small fraction of record yields, and drought and soil salinity are the main factors responsible for yield reduction. Therefore there is the need to enhance crop productivity by improving crop adaptation. Here we review the present situation and propose the development of crops tolerant to drought and salt stress for addressing the challenge of dramatically increasing food production in the near future. The success in the development of crops adapted to drought and salt depends on the efficient and combined use of genetic engineering and traditional breeding tools. Moreover, we propose the domestication of new halophilic crops to create a ‘saline agriculture’ which will not compete in terms of resources with conventional agriculture. PMID:26617620

  3. Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Columbia River Basin Agriculture through Integrated Crop Systems, Hydrologic, and Water Management Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajagopalan, K.; Chinnayakanahalli, K.; Adam, J. C.; Barber, M. E.; Yorgey, G.; Stockle, C.; Nelson, R.; Brady, M.; Dinesh, S.; Malek, K.; Kruger, C.; Yoder, J.; Marsh, T.

    2011-12-01

    The Columbia River Basin (CRB) in the Pacific Northwest covers parts of US and Canada with a total drainage area of about 670,000 square kilometers. The water resources of the CRB are managed to satisfy multiple objectives including agricultural withdrawal, which is the largest consumptive user of Columbia River water with 14,000 square kilometers of irrigated area in the CRB. Agriculture is an important component of the economy in the region, with an annual value over $5 billion in Washington State alone. The availability of surface water for irrigation in the basin is expected to be negatively impacted by climate change. Previous climate change studies in the CRB region suggest a likelihood of increasing temperatures and a shift in precipitation patterns, with precipitation higher in the winter and lower in the summer. Warming further exacerbates summer water availability in many CRB tributaries as they shift from snowmelt-dominant towards rain-dominant hydrologic regimes. The goal of this research is to study the impacts of climate change on CRB water availability and agricultural production in the expectation that curtailment will occur more frequently in an altered climate. Towards this goal it is essential that we understand the interactions between crop-growth dynamics, climate dynamics, the hydrologic cycle, water management, and agricultural economy. To study these interactions at the regional scale, we use the newly developed crop-hydrology model VIC-CropSyst, which integrates a crop growth model CropSyst with the hydrologic model, Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC). Simulation of future climate by VIC-CropSyst captures the socio-economic aspects of this system through economic analysis of the impacts of climate change on crop patterns. This integrated framework (submitted as a separate paper) is linked to a reservoir operations simulations model, Colsim. ColSim is modified to explicitly account for agricultural withdrawals. Washington State water

  4. Biogas crops grown in energy crop rotations: Linking chemical composition and methane production characteristics.

    PubMed

    Herrmann, Christiane; Idler, Christine; Heiermann, Monika

    2016-04-01

    Methane production characteristics and chemical composition of 405 silages from 43 different crop species were examined using uniform laboratory methods, with the aim to characterise a wide range of crop feedstocks from energy crop rotations and to identify main parameters that influence biomass quality for biogas production. Methane formation was analysed from chopped and over 90 days ensiled crop biomass in batch anaerobic digestion tests without further pre-treatment. Lignin content of crop biomass was found to be the most significant explanatory variable for specific methane yields while the methane content and methane production rates were mainly affected by the content of nitrogen-free extracts and neutral detergent fibre, respectively. The accumulation of butyric acid and alcohols during the ensiling process had significant impact on specific methane yields and methane contents of crop silages. It is proposed that products of silage fermentation should be considered when evaluating crop silages for biogas production. PMID:26836846

  5. Influence of extreme weather disasters on global crop production.

    PubMed

    Lesk, Corey; Rowhani, Pedram; Ramankutty, Navin

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, several extreme weather disasters have partially or completely damaged regional crop production. While detailed regional accounts of the effects of extreme weather disasters exist, the global scale effects of droughts, floods and extreme temperature on crop production are yet to be quantified. Here we estimate for the first time, to our knowledge, national cereal production losses across the globe resulting from reported extreme weather disasters during 1964-2007. We show that droughts and extreme heat significantly reduced national cereal production by 9-10%, whereas our analysis could not identify an effect from floods and extreme cold in the national data. Analysing the underlying processes, we find that production losses due to droughts were associated with a reduction in both harvested area and yields, whereas extreme heat mainly decreased cereal yields. Furthermore, the results highlight ~7% greater production damage from more recent droughts and 8-11% more damage in developed countries than in developing ones. Our findings may help to guide agricultural priorities in international disaster risk reduction and adaptation efforts. PMID:26738594

  6. Influence of extreme weather disasters on global crop production.

    PubMed

    Lesk, Corey; Rowhani, Pedram; Ramankutty, Navin

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, several extreme weather disasters have partially or completely damaged regional crop production. While detailed regional accounts of the effects of extreme weather disasters exist, the global scale effects of droughts, floods and extreme temperature on crop production are yet to be quantified. Here we estimate for the first time, to our knowledge, national cereal production losses across the globe resulting from reported extreme weather disasters during 1964-2007. We show that droughts and extreme heat significantly reduced national cereal production by 9-10%, whereas our analysis could not identify an effect from floods and extreme cold in the national data. Analysing the underlying processes, we find that production losses due to droughts were associated with a reduction in both harvested area and yields, whereas extreme heat mainly decreased cereal yields. Furthermore, the results highlight ~7% greater production damage from more recent droughts and 8-11% more damage in developed countries than in developing ones. Our findings may help to guide agricultural priorities in international disaster risk reduction and adaptation efforts.

  7. Alcohol production from agricultural and forestry residues

    SciTech Connect

    Dale, L; Opilla, R; Surles, T

    1980-09-01

    Technologies available for the production of ethanol from whole corn are reviewed. Particular emphasis is placed on the environmental aspects of the process, including land utilization and possible air and water pollutants. Suggestions are made for technological changes intended to improve the economics of the process as well as to reduce some of the pollution from by-product disposal. Ethanol may be derived from renewable cellulosic substances by either enzymatic or acid hydrolysis of cellulose to sugar, followed by conventional fermentation and distillation. The use of two agricultural residues - corn stover (field stalks remaining after harvest) and straw from wheat crops - is reviewed as a cellulosic feedstock. Two processes have been evaluated with regard to environmental impact - a two-stage acid process developed by G.T. Tsao of Purdue University and an enzymatic process based on the laboratory findings of C.R. Wilke of the University of California, Berkeley. The environmental residuals expected from the manufacture of methyl and ethyl alcohols from woody biomass are covered. The methanol is produced in a gasification process, whereas ethanol is produced by hydrolysis and fermentation processes similar to those used to derive ethanol from cellulosic materials.

  8. Yield Trends Are Insufficient to Double Global Crop Production by 2050

    PubMed Central

    Ray, Deepak K.; Mueller, Nathaniel D.; West, Paul C.; Foley, Jonathan A.

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have shown that global crop production needs to double by 2050 to meet the projected demands from rising population, diet shifts, and increasing biofuels consumption. Boosting crop yields to meet these rising demands, rather than clearing more land for agriculture has been highlighted as a preferred solution to meet this goal. However, we first need to understand how crop yields are changing globally, and whether we are on track to double production by 2050. Using ∼2.5 million agricultural statistics, collected for ∼13,500 political units across the world, we track four key global crops—maize, rice, wheat, and soybean—that currently produce nearly two-thirds of global agricultural calories. We find that yields in these top four crops are increasing at 1.6%, 1.0%, 0.9%, and 1.3% per year, non-compounding rates, respectively, which is less than the 2.4% per year rate required to double global production by 2050. At these rates global production in these crops would increase by ∼67%, ∼42%, ∼38%, and ∼55%, respectively, which is far below what is needed to meet projected demands in 2050. We present detailed maps to identify where rates must be increased to boost crop production and meet rising demands. PMID:23840465

  9. Hierarchical Satellite-based Approach to Global Monitoring of Crop Condition and Food Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Y.; Wu, B.; Gommes, R.; Zhang, M.; Zhang, N.; Zeng, H.; Zou, W.; Yan, N.

    2014-12-01

    The assessment of global food security goes beyond the mere estimate of crop production: It needs to take into account the spatial and temporal patterns of food availability, as well as physical and economic access. Accurate and timely information is essential to both food producers and consumers. Taking advantage of multiple new remote sensing data sources, especially from Chinese satellites, such as FY-2/3A, HJ-1 CCD, CropWatch has expanded the scope of its international analyses through the development of new indicators and an upgraded operational methodology. The new monitoring approach adopts a hierarchical system covering four spatial levels of detail: global (sixty-five Monitoring and Reporting Units, MRU), seven major production zones (MPZ), thirty-one key countries (including China) and "sub- countries." The thirty-one countries encompass more that 80% of both global exports and production of four major crops (maize, rice, soybean and wheat). The methodology resorts to climatic and remote sensing indicators at different scales, using the integrated information to assess global, regional, and national (as well as sub-national) crop environmental condition, crop condition, drought, production, and agricultural trends. The climatic indicators for rainfall, temperature, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) as well as potential biomass are first analysed at global scale to describe overall crop growing conditions. At MPZ scale, the key indicators pay more attention to crops and include Vegetation health index (VHI), Vegetation condition index (VCI), Cropped arable land fraction (CALF) as well as Cropping intensity (CI). Together, they characterise agricultural patterns, farming intensity and stress. CropWatch carries out detailed crop condition analyses for thirty one individual countries at the national scale with a comprehensive array of variables and indicators. The Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), cropped areas and crop condition are

  10. 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.

  11. SACRA - global data sets of satellite-derived crop calendars for agricultural simulations: an estimation of a high-resolution crop calendar using satellite-sensed NDVI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotsuki, S.; Tanaka, K.

    2015-01-01

    To date, many studies have performed numerical estimations of food production and agricultural water demand to understand the present and future supply-demand relationship. A crop calendar (CC) is an essential input datum to estimate food production and agricultural water demand accurately with the numerical estimations. CC defines the date or month when farmers plant and harvest in cropland. This study aims to develop a new global data set of a satellite-derived crop calendar for agricultural simulations (SACRA) and reveal advantages and disadvantages of the satellite-derived CC compared to other global products. We estimate global CC at a spatial resolution of 5 min (≈10 km) using the satellite-sensed NDVI data, which corresponds well to vegetation growth and death on the land surface. We first demonstrate that SACRA shows similar spatial pattern in planting date compared to a census-based product. Moreover, SACRA reflects a variety of CC in the same administrative unit, since it uses high-resolution satellite data. However, a disadvantage is that the mixture of several crops in a grid is not considered in SACRA. We also address that the cultivation period of SACRA clearly corresponds to the time series of NDVI. Therefore, accuracy of SACRA depends on the accuracy of NDVI used for the CC estimation. Although SACRA shows different CC from a census-based product in some regions, multiple usages of the two products are useful to take into consideration the uncertainty of the CC. An advantage of SACRA compared to the census-based products is that SACRA provides not only planting/harvesting dates but also a peak date from the time series of NDVI data.

  12. Production and characterization of biochars from agricultural by-products for use in soil quality enhancement

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    By-products are produced in significant amounts from crop residues such as pecan shells (PC), peanut shells (PS), and cotton gin (CG) trash. These residues can be used to produce biochar suitable for use in agricultural soil to sequester carbon and enhance plant growth by supplying and retaining nut...

  13. Economic incentives to capture ecosystem services through increased temporal intensification of crop production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Land resources are becoming progressively more constrained with increasing demands for food, feed, fiber, and now fuel production. Developing strategies to intensify crop production without increasing the negative impacts on water, soil, and air resources are critical. Much of the best agricultural ...

  14. Effects of acid deposition on agricultural production

    SciTech Connect

    Moskowitz, P.D.; Medeiros, W.H.; Oden, N.L.; Thode, H.C. Jr.; Coveney, E.A.; Jacobson, J.S.; Rosenthal, R.E.; Evans, L.S.; Lewin, K.F.; Allen, F.L.

    1985-09-01

    A preliminary assessment, both qualitative and quantitative, was carried out on the effects of acid deposition on agriculture. An inventory was made of US crops exposed to different acid deposition levels in 1982. Most crops (valued at more than $50 billion) were exposed to annual average acid deposition levels greater than pH 4.6, but crops worth more than $220 billion were exposed to even lower pH levels. Published results of experiments on crop response to acid deposition have not identified any single crop as being consistently sensitive, and suggest that present levels of acidic precipitation in the US are not significantly affecting growth and yield of crops. Because relatively few experiments appropriate to a quantitative acid deposition assessment have been conducted, the quantitative section is necessarily based on a restricted data set. Corn, potatoes, and soybeans have been studied in experimental environments which simulate agronomic conditions and which have adequate statistical power for yield estimates; only some varieties of soybeans have demonstrated statistically significant sensitivity to acid deposition.

  15. Integrated assessment of impacts of climate change on US crop production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tong, D. Q.; Nolte, C.; Mathur, R.; Schere, K.

    2006-12-01

    Optimistic predictions of impacts of changing climate on agriculture have been made that rising carbon-dioxide levels are likely to increase food production. Much of the work, however, has ignored the potential damage of air pollution to agricultural crops. This study assesses the potential impact of climate change on ozone- induced crop production losses in the United States. Ozone (O3) is well documented as the air pollutant most damaging to agricultural crops and is, either alone or in concurrence with acid rain precursors, responsible for up to 90% of US crop losses resulting from exposure to all major air pollutants. We use a new integrated assessment approach that links global greenhouse gas emissions to regional climate change, to air quality, crop exposure, yield losses and resultant economic cost. A global climate model (GCM) utilizing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) A1B scenario for greenhouse gas concentrations is used to derive changes in global climate and air quality scenarios for five years representing current climate and for five years in the 2050s. The GCM outputs are linked to the regional climate and air quality models via lateral boundary conditions without feedback by the regional models on the global model. We use results from the air quality model and county-level crop data from USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Services to estimate changes in crop exposures to surface O3. Dose-response functions from the National Crop Loss Assessment Network (NCLAN) studies are then used to convert calculated change in O3 exposures into damages and hence economic cost. Such an integrated assessment approach, by linking climate change to air quality and crop production, could provide a more comprehensive view of the impacts of global climatic change on society from a regional perspective.

  16. 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...

  17. Global warming threatens agricultural productivity in Africa and South Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sultan, Benjamin

    2012-12-01

    The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC; Christensen et al 2007) has, with greater confidence than previous reports, warned the international community that the increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases emissions will result in global climate change. One of the most direct and threatening impacts it may have on human societies is the potential consequences on global crop production. Indeed agriculture is considered as the most weather-dependent of all human activities (Hansen 2002) since climate is a primary determinant for agricultural productivity. The potential impact of climate change on crop productivity is an additional strain on the global food system which is already facing the difficult challenge of increasing food production to feed a projected 9 billion people by 2050 with changing consumption patterns and growing scarcity of water and land (Beddington 2010). In some regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia that are already food insecure and where most of the population increase and economic development will take place, climate change could be the additional stress that pushes systems over the edge. A striking example, if needed, is the work from Collomb (1999) which estimates that by 2050 food needs will more than quintuple in Africa and more than double in Asia. Better knowledge of climate change impacts on crop productivity in those vulnerable regions is crucial to inform policies and to support adaptation strategies that may counteract the adverse effects. Although there is a growing literature on the impact of climate change on crop productivity in tropical regions, it is difficult to provide a consistent assessment of future yield changes because of large uncertainties in regional climate change projections, in the response of crops to environmental change (rainfall, temperature, CO2 concentration), in the coupling between climate models and crop productivity functions, and in the adaptation of

  18. Evaluating risks to agricultural production from acid deposition

    SciTech Connect

    Moskowitz, P.D.; Oden, N.L.; Medeiros, W.H.; Coveney, E.A.

    1986-10-01

    Although it has been established that agricultural yields can be affected adversely by ozone and other air pollutants, the effects of existing levels of acid deposition on crops are less well understood. Evaluations of potential effects from growth chamber, greenhouse and field experiments have not identified any single crop as being consistently sensitive to acid deposition. Quantitative analysis of one crop (soybeans), which has demonstrated some sensitivity to acid deposition treatments in field settings, suggest that if current acid deposition levels are reduced by 50%, then US soybean production would increase by approximately 1%. These estimates are based on the fundamental assumption that estimated dose-response functions are homogeneous across biologic, geographic and temporal space; an assumption not supported by recently developed experimental data. As a result, confidence in this conclusion is weak.

  19. Effects of Climate Change on Regional Crop Production in Eastern Pennsylvania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, S. T.; Mangan, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    Regional climate changes can significantly alter crop yields for agriculturally important areas. Berks County, PA, is an agrarian community whose crop production is typical of southeastern Pennsylvania, with corn as a major crop. Mean annual temperatures in Pennsylvania are predicted to increase by 4 degrees C and precipitation is expected to increase 5% by 2100. We examined changes in 20th Century Berks County crop yields, particularly corn, in response to yearly variations in temperature and precipitation. Crop yields for corn are predicted by models to increase up to a 29 degrees C threshold, beyond which yields will significantly decrease. This study quantifies the effects of recent climate change on Berks County crop production and predicts potential changes for the future. It is important to consider regional climate change effects if we are to fully understand the impacts of global change on food crop production. This study also incorporates anecdotal data from farmers to note their perceptions of crop productivity as related to environmental changes and to determine other factors that may affect farming practices and crop yields.

  20. Large-scale alcohol production from corn, grain sorghum, and crop residues

    SciTech Connect

    Turhollow, A.F. Jr.

    1982-01-01

    The potential impacts that large-scale alcohol production from corn, grain sorghum, and crop residues may have on US agriculture in the year 2000 are investigated. A one-land-group interregional linear-programming model is used. The objective function is to minimize the cost of production in the agricultural sector, given specified crop demands and constrained resources. The impacts that levels of alcohol production, ranging from zero to 12 billion gallons, have at two projected levels of crop demands, two grain-to-alcohol conversion and two milling methods, wet and dry, rates are considered. The impacts that large-scale fuel alcohol production has on US agriculture are small. The major impacts that occur are the substitution of milling by-products, DDG, gluten feed, and gluten meal, for soybean meal in livestock feed rations. Production of 12 billion gallons of alcohol is estimated to be equivalent to an 18 percent increase in crop exports. Improving the grain-to-alcohol conversion rate from 2.6 to 3.0 gallons per bushels reduces the overall cost of agricultural production by $989 billion when 12 billion gallons of alcohol are produced.

  1. Extended time weather forecasts contributes to agricultural productivity estimates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Oliveira Cardoso, Andrea; Pinto, Hilton Silveira; de Ávila, Ana Maria Heuminski; da Silva Dias, Pedro Leite; Marin, Fabio Ricardo; Pilau, Felipe

    2010-11-01

    Weather conditions in critical periods of the vegetative crop development influence crop productivity, thus being a basic parameter for crop forecast. Reliable extended period weather forecasts may contribute to improve the estimation of agricultural productivity. The production of soybean plays an important role in the Brazilian economy, because this country is ranked among the largest producers of soybeans in the world. This culture can be significantly affected by water conditions, depending on the intensity of water deficit. This work explores the role of extended period weather forecasts for estimating soybean productivity in the southern part of Brazil, Passo Fundo, and Londrina (State of Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná, respectively) in the 2005/2006 harvest. The goal was to investigate the possible contribution of precipitation forecasts as a substitute for the use of climatological data on crop forecasts. The results suggest that the use of meteorological forecasts generate more reliable productivity estimates during the growth period than those generated only through climatological information.

  2. 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)

  3. PRODUCTION OF XYLITOL FROM AGRICULTURAL HEMICELLULOSIC BIOMASS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The production of value-added co-products from agricultural biomass is an important economic driver for the success of a biorefinery approach to the production of ethanol and other fuels. During most ethanol production methods, significant amounts of hemicellulose by-products are produced which are...

  4. 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

  5. Using high resolution CIR imagery in the classification of non-cropped areas in agricultural landscapes in the UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Connell, Jerome; Bradter, Ute; Benton, Tim G.

    2013-10-01

    With global food demand on course to double in the next 50 years the pressures of agricultural intensification on ecosystem services in highly managed landscapes are increasing. Within an agricultural landscape non-cropped areas are a key component of ecological heterogeneity and the sustainability of ecosystem services. Management of the landscape for both production of food and ecosystem services requires configuring the non-cropped areas in an optimal way, which, in turn requires large scale information on the distribution of non-cropped areas. In this study the Canny edge detection algorithm was used to delineate 93% of all boundaries within 422 ha of agricultural land in south east England. The resulting image was used in conjunction with vegetation indices derived from Color Infra Red (CIR) aerial photography and auxiliary landuse data in an Object Orientated (OO) Knowledge Based Classifier (KBC) to identify non-cropped areas. An overall accuracy of 94.27% (Kappa 0.91) for the KBC compared favorably with 63.04% (Kappa 0.55) for a pixel based hybrid classifier of the same area.

  6. Pesticide fate modeling in soils with the crop model STICS: Feasibility for assessment of agricultural practices.

    PubMed

    Queyrel, Wilfried; Habets, Florence; Blanchoud, Hélène; Ripoche, Dominique; Launay, Marie

    2016-01-15

    Numerous pesticide fate models are available, but few of them are able to take into account specific agricultural practices, such as catch crop, mixing crops or tillage in their predictions. In order to better integrate crop management and crop growth in the simulation of diffuse agricultural pollutions, and to manage both pesticide and nitrogen pollution, a pesticide fate module was implemented in the crop model STICS. The objectives of the study were: (i) to implement a pesticide fate module in the crop model STICS; (ii) to evaluate the model performance using experimental data from three sites with different pedoclimatic contexts, one in The Netherlands and two in northern France; (iii) to compare the simulations with several pesticide fate models; and (iv) to test the impact of specific agricultural practices on the transfer of the dissolved fraction of pesticides. The evaluations were carried out with three herbicides: bentazone, isoproturon, and atrazine. The strategy applied in this study relies on a noncalibration approach and sensitivity test to assess the operating limits of the model. To this end, the evaluation was performed with default values found in the literature and completed by sensitivity tests. The extended version of the STICS named STICS-Pest, shows similar results with other pesticide fate models widely used in the literature. Moreover, STICS-Pest was able to estimate realistic crop growth and catch crop dynamic, which thus illustrate agricultural practices leading to a reduction of nitrate and a change in pesticide leaching. The dynamic plot-scale model, STICS-Pest is able to simulate nitrogen and pesticide fluxes, when the hydrologic context is in the validity range of the reservoir (or capacity) model. According to these initial results, the model may be a relevant tool for studying the effect of long-term agricultural practices on pesticide residue dynamics in soil and the associated diffuse pollution transfer.

  7. [Wildlife damage mitigation in agricultural crops in a Bolivian montane forest].

    PubMed

    Perez, Eddy; Pacheco, Luis F

    2014-12-01

    Wildlife is often blamed for causing damage to human activities, including agricultural practices and the result may be a conflict between human interests and species conservation. A formal assessment of the magnitude of damage is necessary to adequately conduct management practices and an assessment of the efficiency of different management practices is necessary to enable managers to mitigate the conflict with rural people. This study was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of agricultural management practices and controlled hunting in reducing damage to subsistence annual crops at the Cotapata National Park and Natural Area of Integrated Management. The design included seven fields with modified agricultural practices, four fields subjected to control hunting, and five fields held as controls. We registered cultivar type, density, frequency of visiting species to the field, crops lost to wildlife, species responsible for damage, and crop biomass. Most frequent species in the fields were Dasyprocta punctata and Dasypus novemcinctus. Hunted plots were visited 1.6 times more frequently than agriculturally managed plots. Crop lost to wildlife averaged 7.28% at agriculturally managed plots, 4.59% in plots subjected to hunting, and 27.61% in control plots. Species mainly responsible for damage were Pecari tajacu, D. punctata, and Sapajus apella. We concluded that both management strategies were effective to reduce damage by >50% as compared to unmanaged crop plots.

  8. Water and Land Limitations to Future Agricultural Production in the Middle East

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, J. A. M.; Wimmer, F.; Schaldach, R.

    2015-12-01

    Countries in the Middle East use a large fraction of their scarce water resources to produce cash crops, such as fruit and vegetables, for international markets. At the same time, these countries import large amounts of staple crops, such as cereals, required to meet the nutritional demand of their populations. This makes food security in the Middle East heavily dependent on world market prices for staple crops. Under these preconditions, increasing food demand due to population growth, urban expansion on fertile farmlands, and detrimental effects of a changing climate on the production of agricultural commodities present major challenges to countries in the Middle East that try to improve food security by increasing their self-sufficiency rate of staple crops.We applied the spatio-temporal land-use change model LandSHIFT.JR to simulate how an expansion of urban areas may affect the production of agricultural commodities in Jordan. We furthermore evaluated how climate change and changes in socio-economic conditions may influence crop production. The focus of our analysis was on potential future irrigated and rainfed production (crop yield and area demand) of fruit, vegetables, and cereals. Our simulation results show that the expansion of urban areas and the resulting displacement of agricultural areas does result in a slight decrease in crop yields. This leads to almost no additional irrigation water requirements due to the relocation of agricultural areas, i.e. there is the same amount of "crop per drop". However, taking into account projected changes in socio-economic conditions and climate conditions, a large volume of water would be required for cereal production in order to safeguard current self-sufficiency rates for staple crops. Irrigation water requirements are expected to double until 2025 and to triple until 2050. Irrigated crop yields are projected to decrease by about 25%, whereas there is no decrease in rainfed crop yields to be expected.

  9. Interactions of U.S. Agricultural Production with Climatic Stresses and Reactive Nitrogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gehl, R. J.; Robertson, G. P.; Bruulsema, T. W.; Kanter, D.; Mauzerall, D. L.; Rotz, C. A.; Williams, C. O.

    2011-12-01

    Agricultural production both contributes to and responds to climatic variations across spatial and temporal continuums. The agriculture sector is responsible for over 6% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, primarily as methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) gases emitted by agricultural activities. Agriculture activities specifically account for about 69% of U.S. N2O emissions, largely as a result of production practices including fertilizer management, cropping systems, and manure management. Fertilizers, together with manure and legume fixation, are the three main inputs of N to US agricultural soils. All three sources have been increasing over the past two decades, while the rate at which they are removed in the form of harvested crops has been increasing at a slightly slower rate. The outlook for continued large areas of cultivation in the U.S., specifically for corn production and supported by biofuel production goals, is a major factor in sustaining demand for N fertilizer. However, rising fertilizer prices and environmental pressures on producers are encouraging increased adoption of emerging technologies such as precision agriculture, cultivars with higher N use efficiency, and enhanced-efficiency N sources such as controlled-release forms or forms with urease or nitrification inhibitors. Crop productivity also responds to climatic changes, as crop growth is affected by variables including heat, drought, ozone (O3), and increased ambient carbon dioxide (CO2). We summarize sources and fates of N for cropping systems and intensive animal systems and assess how climate change will affect crop response to and recovery of N and subsequent cascading effects on Nr. The complex interactions between agricultural Nr and climate present opportunities for mitigation/adaption relative to N use. N fertilizer and manure management, tillage, technology, and decision support models provide significant opportunities for climate mitigation and adaption in U.S. agriculture

  10. Hydroponic Crop Production using Recycled Nutrients from Inedible Crop Residues

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garland, Jay L.; Mackowiak, Cheryl L.; Sager, John C.

    1993-01-01

    The coupling of plant growth and waste recycling systems is an important step toward the development of bioregenerative life support systems. This research examined the effectiveness of two alternative methods for recycling nutrients from the inedible fraction (residue) of candidate crops in a bioregenerative system as follows: (1) extraction in water, or leaching, and (2) combustion at 550 C, with subsequent reconstitution of the ash in acid. The effectiveness of the different methods was evaluated by (1) comparing the percent recovery of nutrients, and (2) measuring short- and long-term plant growth in hydroponic solutions, based on recycled nutrients.

  11. Regional disparities in the beneficial effects of rising CO2 concentrations on crop water productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deryng, Delphine; Elliott, Joshua; Folberth, Christian; Müller, Christoph; Pugh, Thomas A. M.; Boote, Kenneth J.; Conway, Declan; Ruane, Alex C.; Gerten, Dieter; Jones, James W.; Khabarov, Nikolay; Olin, Stefan; Schaphoff, Sibyll; Schmid, Erwin; Yang, Hong; Rosenzweig, Cynthia

    2016-08-01

    Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations ([CO2]) are expected to enhance photosynthesis and reduce crop water use. However, there is high uncertainty about the global implications of these effects for future crop production and agricultural water requirements under climate change. Here we combine results from networks of field experiments and global crop models to present a spatially explicit global perspective on crop water productivity (CWP, the ratio of crop yield to evapotranspiration) for wheat, maize, rice and soybean under elevated [CO2] and associated climate change projected for a high-end greenhouse gas emissions scenario. We find CO2 effects increase global CWP by 10[047]%-27[737]% (median[interquartile range] across the model ensemble) by the 2080s depending on crop types, with particularly large increases in arid regions (by up to 48[25;56]% for rainfed wheat). If realized in the fields, the effects of elevated [CO2] could considerably mitigate global yield losses whilst reducing agricultural consumptive water use (4-17%). We identify regional disparities driven by differences in growing conditions across agro-ecosystems that could have implications for increasing food production without compromising water security. Finally, our results demonstrate the need to expand field experiments and encourage greater consistency in modelling the effects of rising [CO2] across crop and hydrological modelling communities.

  12. Regional Disparities in the Beneficial Effects of Rising CO2 Emissions on Crop Water Productivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deryng, Delphine; Elliott, Joshua; Folberth, Christian; Meuller, Christoph; Pugh, Thomas A. M.; Boote, Kenneth J.; Conway, Declan; Ruane, Alex C.; Gerten, Dieter; Jones, James W.; Khabarov, Nikolay; Olin, Stefan; Schaphoff, Sibyll; Schmid, Erwin; Yang, Hong; Rosenzweig, Cynthia

    2016-01-01

    Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are expected to enhance photosynthesis and reduce crop water use. However, there is high uncertainty about the global implications of these effects for future crop production and agricultural water requirements under climate change. Here we combine results from networks of field experiments and global crop models to present a spatially explicit global perspective on crop water productivity (CWP, the ratio of crop yield to evapotranspiration) for wheat, maize, rice and soybean under elevated carbon dioxide and associated climate change projected for a high-end greenhouse gas emissions scenario. We find carbon dioxide effects increase global CWP by 10[0;47]%-27[7;37]% (median[interquartile range] across the model ensemble) by the 2080s depending on crop types, with particularly large increases in arid regions (by up to 48[25;56]% for rain fed wheat). If realized in the fields, the effects of elevated carbon dioxide could considerably mitigate global yield losses whilst reducing agricultural consumptive water use (4-17%). We identify regional disparities driven by differences in growing conditions across agro-ecosystems that could have implications for increasing food production without compromising water security. Finally, our results demonstrate the need to expand field experiments and encourage greater consistency in modeling the effects of rising carbon dioxide across crop and hydrological modeling communities.

  13. Crop rotations that include legumes and reduced tillage improve the energy efficiency of crop production systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Modern crop production requires large inputs of energy and these inputs represent a substantial cost. Management practices such as crop rotation and choice of tillage practice influence the energy balance for a production system. Legumes support bacteria that are capable of fixing nitrogen (N). This...

  14. Crop rotations that include legumes and reduced tillage improve the energy efficiency of crop production systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Text: Modern crop production requires large inputs of energy and these inputs represent a substantial cost. Management practices such as crop rotation and choice of tillage practice influence the energy balance for a production system. Legumes support bacteria that are capable of fixing nitrogen (N)...

  15. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27249349

  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. Effects of Altered Weather Variables and Increased CO2 Concentrations on the Main Agricultural Crops of California's Central Valley Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flores-Lopez, F.; Young, C. A.; Tansey, M.; Yates, D.

    2010-12-01

    Potential changes in crop water demand and due to climate change is a growing concern among scientists and policy makers. In this study we analyze the potential response of evapotranspiration to climate change through the estimation of agricultural crops’ water use response to altered weather variables (temperature, precipitation, solar radiation, relative humidity, and wind speed) and an increased atmospheric CO2 concentration. Changes in growing season length, production of biomass and crop yields are also estimated through the use of downscaled climate futures selected to cover a wide range of the existing GCM results. An existing model, the Land, Air, and Water Simulator (LAWS) has been modified to include algorithms that account for the effects of altered weather variables, and the modeling of the top five agricultural crops in three representative regions of the California’s Central Valley Project System (Sacramento, San Joaquin river basin and the Delta area) is described. Study results show that atmospheric conditions can have complex and opposing influences on important evaluation metrics such as plant transpiration rates and cumulative water use, initiation and duration of the growing season, biomass production and crop yields. The magnitude of changes relative to historic conditions could be significant. Additional simulations are underway to expand the scope of the results throughout the California’s Central Valley Project System. These results will be directly relevant to the development of climate adaptation strategies effecting future Delta inflows.

  18. Synergies and liabilities: a full-cost approach to the abatement of greenhouse gas fluxes in row-crop agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philip Robertson, G.; Grace, P. R.

    2003-04-01

    According to the IPCC TAR, agriculture is responsible for 21-25% of the global anthropic CO2 flux, 55-60% of the anthropic CH4 flux, and 65-80% of the anthropic flux of N2O. A number of CO2 stabilization strategies target agricultural production practices, and the potential for simultaneously abating fluxes of the non-CO2 greenhouse gases is substantial. But so is the potential for creating greenhouse gas (GHG) liabilities, the unintentional increase in one or more GHGs by activities that mitigate another. Whole-system accounting provides a means for including all GHG-contributing processes in the same cropping system analysis in order to illuminate major liabilities and synergies. We contrast a field crop system in the upper U.S. midwest with a similar system in tropical India, and provide evidence that N2O flux - the major contributor to radiative forcing in both row-crop systems - can be abated with little loss of crop productivity.

  19. A GPS Backpack System for Mapping Soil and Crop Parameters in Agricultural Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stafford, J. V.; Lebars, J. M.

    Farmers are having to gather increasing amounts of data on their soils and crops. Precision agriculture metre-by-metre is based on a knowledge of the spatial variation of soil and crop parameters across a field. The data has to be spatially located and GPS is an effective way of doing this. A backpack data logging system with GPS position tagging is described which has been designed to aid a fanner in the manual collection of data.

  20. Nutrient Losses from Row Crop Agriculture in Indiana

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nutrient losses from agriculture in the Midwestern United States have been identified as contributing to water quality problems such as hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico, and eutrophication in the great lakes. Fields and catchments in the Cedar Creek sub-watershed of the St. Joseph River basin were mon...

  1. 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…

  2. Lady Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae: Coccinellini) Associated with Alaskan Agricultural Crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Coccinellid populations were monitored in agricultural areas of the Tanana and Matanuska-Susitna river valleys of Alaska from 2004 to 2005. Ten species were confirmed from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Museum of the North Insect Collection and 13 species were collected in association with Ala...

  3. Agricultural Products: Program Planning Guide: Volume 4.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Welton, Richard; Robb, Sam

    The program planning guide for agricultural products was written to assist Applied Biological and Agricultural Occupations (ABAO) teachers in enriching existing programs and/or to provide the basis for expansion of offerings to include additional materials for the cluster areas of meat and meat byproducts, dairy processing, fruit and vegetable…

  4. Field kites: Crop-water production functions and the timing of water application for supplementary irrigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smilovic, M.; Gleeson, T.; Adamowski, J. F.

    2015-12-01

    Agricultural production is directly related to water management and water supply. The temporal distribution of water use throughout the growing season can significantly influence crop yield, and the facility to manage both the timing and amount of irrigation water may result in higher yields. The crop-water production function quantitatively evaluates the relationship between seasonal water use and crop yield. Previous efforts have attempted to describe and formalize the crop-water production function as a single-variable function of seasonal water use. However, these representations do not account for the effects of temporal distribution of water use and trivialize the associated variability in yields by assuming an optimized or arbitrary temporal distribution of soil moisture. This over-simplification renders the function inappropriate for recommendations related to irrigation scheduling, water management, economically optimal irrigation, water and agricultural productivity, and assessing the role of full and supplementary irrigation. We propose field kites, a novel representation of the crop-water production function that explicitly acknowledges crop yield variability as a function of both seasonal water use and associated temporal distributions of water use. Field kites are a tool that explicitly considers the farmers' capacity to manage their water resources, to more appropriately evaluate the optimal depth of irrigation water under water-limiting conditions. The field kite for winter wheat is presented both generally and cultivar- and climate-specific for Western Canada. The field kites are constructed using AquaCrop and previously validated cultivar-specific variables. Field kites provide the tools for water authorities and policy makers to evaluate agricultural production as it relates to farm water management, and to determine appropriate policies related to developing and supporting the necessary irrigation infrastructure to increase water productivity.

  5. 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.

  6. 7 CFR 1412.34 - Submitting production evidence for establishing direct payment yields for oilseeds and pulse crops.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... direct payment yields for oilseeds and pulse crops. 1412.34 Section 1412.34 Agriculture Regulations of... oilseeds and pulse crops. (a)(1) Reports of production evidence must be submitted when the owner elects to establish a direct payment yield for designated oilseeds for which a yield was not established by...

  7. 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.

  8. Global Agricultural Monitoring (GLAM) using MODAPS and LANCE Data Products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anyamba, A.; Pak, E. E.; Majedi, A. H.; Small, J. L.; Tucker, C. J.; Reynolds, C. A.; Pinzon, J. E.; Smith, M. M.

    2012-12-01

    The Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies / Global Agricultural Monitoring (GIMMS GLAM) system is a web-based geographic application that offers Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) imagery and user interface tools to data query and plot MODIS NDVI time series. The system processes near real-time and science quality Terra and Aqua MODIS 8-day composited datasets. These datasets are derived from the MOD09 and MYD09 surface reflectance products which are generated and provided by NASA/GSFC Land and Atmosphere Near Real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE) and NASA/GSFC MODIS Adaptive Processing System (MODAPS). The GIMMS GLAM system is developed and provided by the NASA/GSFC GIMMS group for the U.S. Department of Agriculture / Foreign Agricultural Service / International Production Assessment Division (USDA/FAS/IPAD) Global Agricultural Monitoring project (GLAM). The USDA/FAS/IPAD mission is to provide objective, timely, and regular assessment of the global agricultural production outlook and conditions affecting global food security. This system was developed to improve USDA/FAS/IPAD capabilities for making operational quantitative estimates for crop production and yield estimates based on satellite-derived data. The GIMMS GLAM system offers 1) web map imagery including Terra & Aqua MODIS 8-day composited NDVI, NDVI percent anomaly, and SWIR-NIR-Red band combinations, 2) web map overlays including administrative and 0.25 degree Land Information System (LIS) shape boundaries, and crop land cover masks, and 3) user interface tools to select features, data query, plot, and download MODIS NDVI time series.

  9. Reduced nitrogen losses after conversion of row crop agriculture to perennial biofuel crops.

    PubMed

    Smith, Candice M; David, Mark B; Mitchell, Corey A; Masters, Michael D; Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J; Bernacchi, Carl J; Delucia, Evan H

    2013-01-01

    Current biofuel feedstock crops such as corn lead to large environmental losses of N through nitrate leaching and NO emissions; second-generation cellulosic crops have the potential to reduce these N losses. We measured N losses and cycling in establishing miscanthus (), switchgrass ( L. fertilized with 56 kg N ha yr), and mixed prairie, along with a corn ( L.)-corn-soybean [ (L.) Merr.] rotation (corn fertilized at 168-202 kg N ha). Nitrous oxide emissions, soil N mineralization, mid-profile nitrate leaching, and tile flow and nitrate concentrations were measured. Perennial crops quickly reduced nitrate leaching at a 50-cm soil depth as well as concentrations and loads from the tile systems (year 1 tile nitrate concentrations of 10-15 mg N L declined significantly by year 4 in all perennial crops to <0.6 mg N L, with losses of <0.8 kg N ha yr). Nitrous oxide emissions were 2.2 to 7.7 kg N ha yr in the corn-corn-soybean rotation but were <1.0 kg N ha yr by year 4 in the perennial crops. Overall N balances (atmospheric deposition + fertilization + soybean N fixation - harvest, leaching losses, and NO emissions) were positive for corn and soybean (22 kg N ha yr) as well as switchgrass (9.7 kg N ha yr) but were -18 and -29 kg N ha yr for prairie and miscanthus, respectively. Our results demonstrate rapid tightening of the N cycle as perennial biofuel crops established on a rich Mollisol soil.

  10. 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.

  11. Crop pollination from native bees at risk from agricultural intensification

    PubMed Central

    Kremen, Claire; Williams, Neal M.; Thorp, Robbin W.

    2002-01-01

    Ecosystem services are critical to human survival; in selected cases, maintaining these services provides a powerful argument for conserving biodiversity. Yet, the ecological and economic underpinnings of most services are poorly understood, impeding their conservation and management. For centuries, farmers have imported colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera) to fields and orchards for pollination services. These colonies are becoming increasingly scarce, however, because of diseases, pesticides, and other impacts. Native bee communities also provide pollination services, but the amount they provide and how this varies with land management practices are unknown. Here, we document the individual species and aggregate community contributions of native bees to crop pollination, on farms that varied both in their proximity to natural habitat and management type (organic versus conventional). On organic farms near natural habitat, we found that native bee communities could provide full pollination services even for a crop with heavy pollination requirements (e.g., watermelon, Citrullus lanatus), without the intervention of managed honey bees. All other farms, however, experienced greatly reduced diversity and abundance of native bees, resulting in insufficient pollination services from native bees alone. We found that diversity was essential for sustaining the service, because of year-to-year variation in community composition. Continued degradation of the agro-natural landscape will destroy this “free” service, but conservation and restoration of bee habitat are potentially viable economic alternatives for reducing dependence on managed honey bees. PMID:12486221

  12. Impacts of Stratospheric Sulfate Geoengineering on Chinese Agricultural Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, L.; Robock, A.

    2012-12-01

    Possible food supply change is one of the most important concerns in the discussion of stratospheric sulfate geoengineering. In China, the high population density and strong summer monsoon influence on agriculture make this region sensitive to climate changes, such as reductions of precipitation, temperature, and solar radiation spurred by stratospheric sulfate injection. We used results from the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project G2 scenario to force the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) crop model to predict crop yield changes from rice, maize, and winter wheat. We first evaluated the DSSAT model by forcing it with daily observed weather data and management practices for the period 1978-2008 for all the provinces in China, and compared the results to observations of the yields of the three major crops in China. We then created two 50-year sets of climate anomalies using the results from eight climate models, for 1%/year increase of CO2 and for G2 (1%/year increase of CO2 balanced by insolation reduction), and compared the resulting agricultural responses. Considering that geoengineering could happen in the future, we used two geoengineering starting years, 2020 and 2060. For 2020, we increased the mean temperature by 1°C and started the CO2 concentration at 410 ppm. For 2060, we increased temperature by 2°C and started the CO2 concentration at 550 ppm. Without changing agriculture technology, we find that compared to the control run, geoengineering with the G2 scenario starting in 2020 or 2060 would both moderately increase rice and winter wheat production due to the CO2 fertilization effect, but the increasing rates are different. However, as a C4 crop, without a significant CO2 fertilization effect, maize production would decrease slightly because of regional drought. Compared to the reference run, the three crops all have less heat stress in southern China and their yields increase, but in northern China cooler

  13. Low Energy Technology. A Unit of Instruction on Energy Conservation in Field Crop Production.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, George; Scanlon, Dennis C.

    This unit of instruction on energy conservation in field crop production was designed for use by agribusiness and natural resources teachers in Florida high schools and by agricultural extension agents as they work with adults and students. It is one of a series of 11 instructional units (see note) written to help teachers and agents to educate…

  14. Ameliorating soil acidity of tropical Oxisols by liming for sustainable crop production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The greatest potential for expanding the world’s agricultural frontier lies in the savanna regions of the tropics, which are dominated by Oxisols. Soil acidity and low native fertility, however, are major constraints for crop production on tropical Oxisols. Soil acidification is an ongoing natural p...

  15. Management Team Analysis of Crop Production Systems: A Course in Problem Identification and Resolution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schweitzer, L. E.

    1986-01-01

    Describes the organization of a crop production systems course for undergraduates in agriculture. Emphasis is placed on problem solving and student interaction and co-operation while working on grain farms and in the classroom. Samples of student evaluations of the course are included. (ML)

  16. Description of historical crop calendar data bases developed to support foreign commodity production forecasting project experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    West, W. L., III (Principal Investigator)

    1981-01-01

    The content, format, and storage of data bases developed for the Foreign Commodity Production Forecasting project and used to produce normal crop calendars are described. In addition, the data bases may be used for agricultural meteorology, modeling of stage sequences and planting dates, and as indicators of possible drought and famine.

  17. Meta-analysis as a tool to study crop productivity response to poultry litter application

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Extensive research on the use of poultry litter (PL) under different agricultural practices in the USA has shown both negative and positive effects on crop productivity (either yield or aboveground biomass). However, these experimental results are substantially dependent on the experimental set-up, ...

  18. Greenhouse Crop Production; A Teacher's Manual. Teacher Education Series, Volume 10 Number 3t.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1969

    Developed by the Department of Agricultural Education of the Pennsylvania State University and field-tested by 54 teachers, this guide is for teacher use in planning a unit in greenhouse crop production. The unit is intended for upper high school and post-high school students interested in careers in this field. Teacher suggestions, references,…

  19. Greenhouse Crop Production; A Student Handbook, Teacher Education Series, Volume 10 Number 3s.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1969

    This study guide, developed by the Department of Agricultural Education of The Pennsylvania State University and field-tested by 54 teachers, is for student use in a unit on greenhouse crop production. Learning objectives, key questions, vocabulary terms, subject matter, and references are included for each of these problem areas: (1) Occupational…

  20. An original experiment to determine impact of catch crop introduction in a crop rotation on N2O production fate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tallec, Tiphaine; Le Dantec, Valérie; Zawilski, Bartosz; Brut, Aurore; Boussac, Marion; Ferlicoq, Morgan; Ceschia, Eric

    2015-04-01

    The raise in N2O concentration from the preindustrial era (280 ppb) to nowadays (324 ppb) is estimated to account for approximately 6% of the predicted global warming (IPCC 2014). Worldwide, soils are considered to be the dominant source of N2O, releasing an estimated 9.5 Tg N2O-N y-1 (65% of global N2O emissions), of which 36.8% are estimated to originate from agricultural soils (IPCC 2001). Most N2O originating from agricultural soils is a by- or end-product of nitrification or denitrification. The fate of N2O produced by microbiological processes in the subsoil is controlled by biotic (crop species, occurring soil organic matter, human pressure via mineral and organic nitrogen fertilisation) and abiotic (environmental conditions such as temperature, soil moisture, pH, etc.) factors. In cropland, contrary to forest and grassland, long bare soil periods can occurred between winter and summer crops with a high level of mineral (fertilizer) and organic (residues) nitrogen remaining in the soil, causing important emissions of carbon and nitrogen induced by microbial activities. Introduction of catch crop has been identified as an important mitigation option to reduce environmental impact of crops mainly thanks to their ability to increase CO2 fixation, to decrease mineral nitrogen lixiviation and also reduce the potential fate of N2O production. Uncertainty also remains about the impact of released mineral nitrogen coming from crushed catch crop on N2O production if summer crop seedling and mineral nitrogen release are not well synchronized. To verify those assumptions, a unique paired-plot experiment was carried in the south-west of France from September 2013 to august 2014 to test impact of management change on N2O budget and production dynamic. A crop plot was divided into two subplots, one receiving a catch crop (mustard), the other one remaining conventionally managed (bare-soil during winter). This set-up allowed avoiding climate effect. Each subplot was

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Co-existence of agricultural production systems.

    PubMed

    Jank, Bernhard; Rath, Johannes; Gaugitsch, Helmut

    2006-05-01

    Strategies and best practices for the co-existence of GM and non-GM crops need to be developed and implemented with the participation of farmers and other stakeholders. According to the principle of 'subsidiarity', decisions should be made by the lowest authority possible. When applying this concept to the case of GM crops, the affected society should determine their use and management in a regional decision-making process. Public participation is better accomplished at a lower level, and democratic deficits in decision-making on GMOs are better resolved, enabling farmers to manage or avoid GM crops. Ultimately, voluntary GMO-free zones might be a tool for sustainable co-existence and GM-free production and GMO-free zones might create a specific image for marketing regional products and services, such as tourism. PMID:16545877

  4. Co-existence of agricultural production systems.

    PubMed

    Jank, Bernhard; Rath, Johannes; Gaugitsch, Helmut

    2006-05-01

    Strategies and best practices for the co-existence of GM and non-GM crops need to be developed and implemented with the participation of farmers and other stakeholders. According to the principle of 'subsidiarity', decisions should be made by the lowest authority possible. When applying this concept to the case of GM crops, the affected society should determine their use and management in a regional decision-making process. Public participation is better accomplished at a lower level, and democratic deficits in decision-making on GMOs are better resolved, enabling farmers to manage or avoid GM crops. Ultimately, voluntary GMO-free zones might be a tool for sustainable co-existence and GM-free production and GMO-free zones might create a specific image for marketing regional products and services, such as tourism.

  5. Herbicide and cover crop residue integration for amaranth control in conservation agriculture cotton and implications for resistance management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation agriculture practices are threatened by glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth. Integrated practices including PRE herbicides and high-residue conservation agriculture systems may decrease Amaranth emergence. Field experiments were conducted from autumn 2006 through cash crop harvest in...

  6. Implications of salinity pollution hotspots on agricultural production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Floerke, Martina; Fink, Julia; Malsy, Marcus; Voelker, Jeanette; Alcamo, Joseph

    2016-04-01

    Salinity pollution can have many negative impacts on water resources used for drinking, irrigation, and industrial purposes. Elevated concentrations of salinity in irrigation water can lead to decreased crop production or crop death and, thus, causing an economic problem. Overall, salinity pollution is a global problem but tends to be more severe in arid and semi-arid regions where the dilution capacity of rivers and lakes is lower and the use of irrigation higher. Particularly in these regions agricultural production is exposed to high salinity of irrigation water as insufficient water quality further reduces the available freshwater resources. According to the FAO, irrigated agriculture contributes about 40 percent of the total food production globally, and therefore, high salinity pollution poses a major concern for food production and food security. We use the WaterGAP3 modeling framework to simulate hydrological, water use, and water quality conditions on a global scale for the time period 1990 to 2010. The modeling framework is applied to simulate total dissolved solids (TDS) loadings and in-stream concentrations from different point and diffuse sources to get an insight on potential environmental impacts as well as risks to agricultural food production. The model was tested and calibrated against observed data from GEMStat and literature sources. Although global in scope, the focus of this study is on developing countries, i.e., in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, as these are most threatened by salinity pollution. Furthermore, insufficient water quality for irrigation and therefore restrictions in irrigation water use are examined, indicating limitations to crop production. Our results show that elevated salinity concentrations in surface waters mainly occur in peak irrigation regions as irrigated agriculture is not only the most relevant water use sector contributing to water abstractions, but also the dominant source of salinity pollution. Additionally

  7. Peering into the Secrets of Food and Agricultural Co-products

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Scanning electron microscopy is a useful tool for directing product development and is equally important for developing products from food crops and co-products from the agricultural waste after harvest. The current trend in food research is to produce foods that are fast to prepare and/or ready to ...

  8. GPP estimates in a biodiesel crop using MERIS products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez, M. L.; Pardo, N.; Pérez, I.; García, M. A.; Paredes, V.

    2012-04-01

    Greenhouse gas emissions in Spain in 2008-2009 were 34.3 % higher than the base-year level, significantly above the burden-sharing target of 15 % for the period 2008-2012. Based on this result, our country will need to make a major effort to meet the committed target on time using domestic measures as well as others foreseen in the Kyoto Protocol, such as LULUFC activities. In this framework, agrofuels, in other words biofuels produced by crops that contain high amounts of vegetable oil such as sorghum, sunflower, rape seed and jatropha, appear to be an interesting mitigation alternative. Bearing in mind the meteorological conditions in Spain, sunflower and rape seed in particular are considered the most viable crops. Sunflower cultivated surface in Spain has remained fairly constant in recent years, in contrast to rapeseed crop surface which, although still scarce, has followed an increasing trend. In order to assess rape seed ability as a CO2 sink as well as to describe GPP dynamic evolution, we installed an eddy correlation station in an agricultural plot of the Spanish plateau. Measurements at the plot consisted of 30-min NEE flux measurements (using a LI-7500 and a METEK USA-1 sonic anemometer) as well as other common meteorological variables. Measurements were performed from March to October. This paper presents the results of the GPP 8-d estimated values using a Light Use Efficiency Model, LUE. Input data for the LUE model were the FPAR 8-d products supplied by MERIS, the PAR in situ measurements, and a scalar f varying, between 0 and 1, to take into account the reduction of the maximum PAR conversion efficiency, ɛ0, under limiting environmental conditions. The f values were assumed to be dependent on air temperature and the evaporative fraction, EF, which was considered as a proxy of soil moisture. ɛ0, a key parameter, which depends on biome types, was derived through the results of a linear regression fit between the GPP 8-d eddy covariance composites

  9. 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.

  10. Biofuels production on abandoned and marginal agriculture lands in the Midwestern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, J. E.; Lobell, D. B.; Field, C. B.

    2008-12-01

    The location of biofuels agriculture land is a critical parameter for predicting biomass feedstock yields, land use emissions, and optimal plant varieties. Using abandoned and marginal agriculture lands to grow feedstocks for second-generation biofuels could provide a sustainable alternative to conventional biofuels production. These marginal areas are in a state of flux in the Midwestern U.S. where a 2007 surge in biofuels has contributed to competing land use demands including conventional biofuels crops, food agriculture, and conservation. Here we apply land use and agriculture data to consider the extent and productivity of abandoned and marginal lands in the Midwestern U.S. for production of second-generation biofuels.

  11. 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.

  12. Genomics Opportunities, New Crops and New Products

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter describes use of molecular markers and transgenics in development of new cultivars in a survey obtained from public and private sector breeders. It also reviews traits in Rosaceae crops for which markers are currently available for use in developing new crops. The surprising results a...

  13. Microbial Diversity-Based Novel Crop Protection Products

    SciTech Connect

    Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc.; DuPont Experimental Station; Yalpani, Ronald Flannagan, Rafael Herrmann, James Presnail, Tamas Torok, and Nasser; Herrmann, Rafael; Presnail, James; Torok, Tamas; Yalpani, Nasser

    2007-05-10

    Extremophilic microorganisms are adapted to survive in ecological niches with high temperatures, extremes of pH, high salt concentrations, high pressure, radiation, etc. Extremophiles produce unique biocatalysts and natural products that function under extreme conditions comparab le to those prevailing in various industrial processes. Therefore, there is burgeoning interest in bioprospecting for extremophiles with potential immediate use in agriculture, the food, chemical, and pharm aceutical industries, and environmental biotechnology. Over the years, several thousand extremophilic bacteria, archaea, and filamentous fungi were collected at extreme environmental sites in the USA, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone surrounding the faeild nuclear power plant in Ukraine, in and around Lake Baikal in Siberia, and at geothermal sites on the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia. These organisms were cultured under proprietary conditions, and the cell- free supernatants were screened for biological activities against plant pathogenic fungi and major crop damaging insects. Promising peptide lead molecules were isolated, characterized, and sequenced. Relatively high hit rates characterized the tested fermentation broths. Of the 26,000 samples screened, over thousand contained biological activity of interest. A fair number of microorganisms expressed broad- spectrum antifungal or insecticidal activity. Two- dozen broadly antifungal peptides (AFPs) are alr eady patent protected, and many more tens are under further investigation. Tapping the gene pool of extremophilic microorganisms to provide novel ways of crop protection proved a successful strategy.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Tracking historical increases in nitrogen-driven crop production possibilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, N. D.; Lassaletta, L.; Billen, G.; Garnier, J.; Gerber, J. S.

    2015-12-01

    The environmental costs of nitrogen use have prompted a focus on improving the efficiency of nitrogen use in the global food system, the primary source of nitrogen pollution. Typical approaches to improving agricultural nitrogen use efficiency include more targeted field-level use (timing, placement, and rate) and modification of the crop mix. However, global efficiency gains can also be achieved by improving the spatial allocation of nitrogen between regions or countries, due to consistent diminishing returns at high nitrogen use. This concept is examined by constructing a tradeoff frontier (or production possibilities frontier) describing global crop protein yield as a function of applied nitrogen from all sources, given optimal spatial allocation. Yearly variation in country-level input-output nitrogen budgets are utilized to parameterize country-specific hyperbolic yield-response models. Response functions are further characterized for three ~15-year eras beginning in 1961, and series of calculations uses these curves to simulate optimal spatial allocation in each era and determine the frontier. The analyses reveal that excess nitrogen (in recent years) could be reduced by ~40% given optimal spatial allocation. Over time, we find that gains in yield potential and in-country nitrogen use efficiency have led to increases in the global nitrogen production possibilities frontier. However, this promising shift has been accompanied by an actual spatial distribution of nitrogen use that has become less optimal, in an absolute sense, relative to the frontier. We conclude that examination of global production possibilities is a promising approach to understanding production constraints and efficiency opportunities in the global food system.

  17. 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…

  18. Sustainable agriculture for a dynamic world: Forage-Crop-Livestock systems research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Research at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Grazinglands Research Laboratory is focused on development and delivery of improved technologies, strategies, and planning tools for integrated crop-forage-livestock systems under variable climate, energy, and market conditions. The GRL research p...

  19. 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...

  20. Meeting the demand for crop production: the challenge of yield decline in crops grown in short rotations.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Amanda J; Bending, Gary D; Chandler, David; Hilton, Sally; Mills, Peter

    2012-02-01

    There is a trend world-wide to grow crops in short rotation or in monoculture, particularly in conventional agriculture. This practice is becoming more prevalent due to a range of factors including economic market trends, technological advances, government incentives, and retailer and consumer demands. Land-use intensity will have to increase further in future in order to meet the demands of growing crops for both bioenergy and food production, and long rotations may not be considered viable or practical. However, evidence indicates that crops grown in short rotations or monoculture often suffer from yield decline compared to those grown in longer rotations or for the first time. Numerous factors have been hypothesised as contributing to yield decline, including biotic factors such as plant pathogens, deleterious rhizosphere microorganisms, mycorrhizas acting as pathogens, and allelopathy or autotoxicity of the crop, as well as abiotic factors such as land management practices and nutrient availability. In many cases, soil microorganisms have been implicated either directly or indirectly in yield decline. Although individual factors may be responsible for yield decline in some cases, it is more likely that combinations of factors interact to cause the problem. However, evidence confirming the precise role of these various factors is often lacking in field studies due to the complex nature of cropping systems and the numerous interactions that take place within them. Despite long-term knowledge of the yield-decline phenomenon, there are few tools to counteract it apart from reverting to longer crop rotations or break crops. Alternative cropping and management practices such as double-cropping or inter-cropping, tillage and organic amendments may prove valuable for combating some of the negative effects seen when crops are grown in short rotation. Plant breeding continues to be important, although this does require a specific breeding target to be identified. This

  1. 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.

  2. Assessing Agricultural Risks of Climate Change in the 21st Century in a Global Gridded Crop Model Intercomparison

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenzweig, Cynthia E.; Elliott, Joshua; Deryng, Delphine; Ruane, Alex C.; Mueller, Christoph; Arneth, Almut; Boote, Kenneth J.; Folberth, Christian; Glotter, Michael; Khabarov, Nikolay

    2014-01-01

    Here we present the results from an intercomparison of multiple global gridded crop models (GGCMs) within the framework of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project and the Inter-Sectoral Impacts Model Intercomparison Project. Results indicate strong negative effects of climate change, especially at higher levels of warming and at low latitudes; models that include explicit nitrogen stress project more severe impacts. Across seven GGCMs, five global climate models, and four representative concentration pathways, model agreement on direction of yield changes is found in many major agricultural regions at both low and high latitudes; however, reducing uncertainty in sign of response in mid-latitude regions remains a challenge. Uncertainties related to the representation of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and high temperature effects demonstrated here show that further research is urgently needed to better understand effects of climate change on agricultural production and to devise targeted adaptation strategies.

  3. Assessing agricultural risks of climate change in the 21st century in a global gridded crop model intercomparison

    PubMed Central

    Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Elliott, Joshua; Deryng, Delphine; Ruane, Alex C.; Müller, Christoph; Arneth, Almut; Boote, Kenneth J.; Folberth, Christian; Glotter, Michael; Khabarov, Nikolay; Neumann, Kathleen; Piontek, Franziska; Pugh, Thomas A. M.; Schmid, Erwin; Stehfest, Elke; Yang, Hong; Jones, James W.

    2014-01-01

    Here we present the results from an intercomparison of multiple global gridded crop models (GGCMs) within the framework of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project and the Inter-Sectoral Impacts Model Intercomparison Project. Results indicate strong negative effects of climate change, especially at higher levels of warming and at low latitudes; models that include explicit nitrogen stress project more severe impacts. Across seven GGCMs, five global climate models, and four representative concentration pathways, model agreement on direction of yield changes is found in many major agricultural regions at both low and high latitudes; however, reducing uncertainty in sign of response in mid-latitude regions remains a challenge. Uncertainties related to the representation of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and high temperature effects demonstrated here show that further research is urgently needed to better understand effects of climate change on agricultural production and to devise targeted adaptation strategies. PMID:24344314

  4. Assessing agricultural risks of climate change in the 21st century in a global gridded crop model intercomparison.

    PubMed

    Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Elliott, Joshua; Deryng, Delphine; Ruane, Alex C; Müller, Christoph; Arneth, Almut; Boote, Kenneth J; Folberth, Christian; Glotter, Michael; Khabarov, Nikolay; Neumann, Kathleen; Piontek, Franziska; Pugh, Thomas A M; Schmid, Erwin; Stehfest, Elke; Yang, Hong; Jones, James W

    2014-03-01

    Here we present the results from an intercomparison of multiple global gridded crop models (GGCMs) within the framework of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project and the Inter-Sectoral Impacts Model Intercomparison Project. Results indicate strong negative effects of climate change, especially at higher levels of warming and at low latitudes; models that include explicit nitrogen stress project more severe impacts. Across seven GGCMs, five global climate models, and four representative concentration pathways, model agreement on direction of yield changes is found in many major agricultural regions at both low and high latitudes; however, reducing uncertainty in sign of response in mid-latitude regions remains a challenge. Uncertainties related to the representation of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and high temperature effects demonstrated here show that further research is urgently needed to better understand effects of climate change on agricultural production and to devise targeted adaptation strategies.

  5. Preliminary process engineering evaluation of ethanol production from vegetative crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreira, A. R.; Linden, J. C.; Smith, D. H.; Villet, R. H.

    1982-12-01

    Vegetative crops show good potential as feedstock for ethanol production via cellulose hydrolysis and yeast fermentation. The low levels of lignin encountered in young plant tissues show an inverse relationship with the high cellulose digestibility during hydrolysis with cellulose enzymes. Ensiled sorghum species and brown midrib mutants of sorghum exhibit high glucose yields after enzyme hydrolysis as well. Vegetative crop materials as candidate feedstocks for ethanol manufacture should continue to be studied. The species studied so far are high value cash crops and result in relatively high costs for the final ethanol product. Unconventional crops, such as pigweed, kochia, and Russian thistle, which can use water efficiently and grow on relatively arid land under conditions not ideal for food production, should be carefully evaluated with regard to their cultivation requirements, photosynthesis rates, and cellulose digestibility. Such crops should result in more favorable process economics for alcohol production.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Weather based risks and insurances for crop production in Belgium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gobin, Anne

    2014-05-01

    Extreme weather events such as late frosts, droughts, heat waves and rain storms can have devastating effects on cropping systems. Damages due to extreme events are strongly dependent on crop type, crop stage, soil type and soil conditions. The perspective of rising risk-exposure is exacerbated further by limited aid received for agricultural damage, an overall reduction of direct income support to farmers and projected intensification of weather extremes with climate change. According to both the agriculture and finance sectors, a risk assessment of extreme weather events and their impact on cropping systems is needed. The impact of extreme weather events particularly during the sensitive periods of the farming calendar requires a modelling approach to capture the mixture of non-linear interactions between the crop, its environment and the occurrence of the meteorological event. The risk of soil moisture deficit increases towards harvesting, such that drought stress occurs in spring and summer. Conversely, waterlogging occurs mostly during early spring and autumn. Risks of temperature stress appear during winter and spring for chilling and during summer for heat. Since crop development is driven by thermal time and photoperiod, the regional crop model REGCROP (Gobin, 2010) enabled to examine the likely frequency, magnitude and impacts of frost, drought, heat stress and waterlogging in relation to the cropping season and crop sensitive stages. The risk profiles were subsequently confronted with yields, yield losses and insurance claims for different crops. Physically based crop models such as REGCROP assist in understanding the links between different factors causing crop damage as demonstrated for cropping systems in Belgium. Extreme weather events have already precipitated contraction of insurance coverage in some markets (e.g. hail insurance), and the process can be expected to continue if the losses or damages from such events increase in the future. Climate

  9. Rapid Prototyping of NASA's Solar and Meteorological Data For Regional Level Modeling of Agricultural and Bio-fuel Crop Phenology and Yield Potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoell, J. M.; Stackhouse, P. W.; Eckman, R. S.

    2006-12-01

    Global demand for food, feedstock and bio-fuel crops is expanding rapidly due to population growth, increasing consumption of these products (especially in developing countries), and more recently skyrocketing use of these crops to produce ethanol as a bio-fuel. As a result, there are growing concerns, both in the US and world wide, about the ability to meet the projected demand for agricultural/bio-fuel crops without expanding production areas into environmentally sensitive regions. Concurrently, there are increasing concerns over the negative impact of global warming on crop yields. Accurate ecophysiological crop models have been developed for many of the food and bio-fuel crops and serve as the back-bone in sophisticated Decision Support Systems (DSS). These DSS's are increasingly being used to address the balance between the need to increase production/efficiency and environmental concerns, as well as the impact of global warming on crop production. Realistic application of these agricultural DSS's requires accurate environmental data on time scales ranging from hours to decades. To date only sparse surface measurements are used that typically do not measure solar irradiance. NASA's Prediction of Worldwide Energy Resource (POWER) project, which has as one of its objectives the development of data products for agricultural applications, currently provides a climatological data base of meteorological parameters and surface solar energy fluxes on a global 1-degree latitude by 1- degree longitude grid. NASA is also developing capabilities to produce near-real time data sets specifically designed for application by agricultural DSS's. In this presentation, we discuss the development of 1-degree global data products which combine the climatological data in the POWER project archive (http://earth-www.larc.nasa.gov/power), near real time (2 to 3 day lag) meteorological data from the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) quick-look products, and global solar energy

  10. Vulnerability of Agriculture to Climate Change as Revealed by Relationships between Simulated Crop Yield and Climate Change Indices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, A. W.; Absar, S. M.; Nair, S.; Preston, B. L.

    2012-12-01

    The vulnerability of agriculture is among the leading concerns surrounding climate change. Agricultural production is influenced by drought and other extremes in weather and climate. In regions of subsistence farming, worst case reductions in yield lead to malnutrition and famine. Reduced surplus contributes to poverty in agrarian economies. In more economically diverse and industrialized regions, variations in agricultural yield can influence the regional economy through market mechanisms. The latter grows in importance as agriculture increasingly services the energy market in addition to markets for food and fiber. Agriculture is historically a highly adaptive enterprise and will respond to future changes in climate with a variety of adaptive mechanisms. Nonetheless, the risk, if not expectation, of increases in climate extremes and hazards exceeding historical experience motivates scientifically based anticipatory assessment of the vulnerability of agriculture to climate change. We investigate the sensitivity component of that vulnerability using EPIC, a well established field-scale model of cropping systems that includes the simulation of economic yield. The core of our analysis is the relationship between simulated yield and various indices of climate change, including the CCI/CLIVAR/JCOM ETCCDI indices, calculated from weather inputs to the model. We complement this core with analysis using the DSSAT cropping system model and exploration of relationships between historical yield statistics and climate indices calculated from weather records. Our analyses are for sites in the Southeast/Gulf Coast region of the United States. We do find "tight" monotonic relationships between annual yield and climate for some indices, especially those associated with available water. More commonly, however, we find an increase in the variability of yield as the index value becomes more extreme. Our findings contribute to understanding the sensitivity of crop yield as part of

  11. 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.

  12. Crop and irrigation management strategies for saline-sodic soils and waters aimed at environmentally sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Qadir, M; Oster, J D

    2004-05-01

    Irrigation has long played a key role in feeding the expanding world population and is expected to play a still greater role in the future. As supplies of good-quality irrigation water are expected to decrease in several regions due to increased municipal-industrial-agricultural competition, available freshwater supplies need to be used more efficiently. In addition, reliance on the use and reuse of saline and/or sodic drainage waters, generated by irrigated agriculture, seems inevitable for irrigation. The same applies to salt-affected soils, which occupy more than 20% of the irrigated lands, and warrant attention for efficient, inexpensive and environmentally acceptable management. Technologically and from a management perspective, a couple of strategies have shown the potential to improve crop production under irrigated agriculture while minimizing the adverse environmental impacts. The first strategy, vegetative bioremediation--a plant-assisted reclamation approach--relies on growing appropriate plant species that can tolerate ambient soil salinity and sodicity levels during reclamation of salt-affected soils. A variety of plant species of agricultural significance have been found to be effective in sustainable reclamation of calcareous and moderately sodic and saline-sodic soils. The second strategy fosters dedicating soils to crop production systems where saline and/or sodic waters predominate and their disposal options are limited. Production systems based on salt-tolerant plant species using drainage waters may be sustainable with the potential of transforming such waters from an environmental burden into an economic asset. Such a strategy would encourage the disposal of drainage waters within the irrigated regions where they are generated rather than exporting these waters to other regions via discharge into main irrigation canals, local streams, or rivers. Being economically and environmentally sustainable, these strategies could be the key to future

  13. Crop and irrigation management strategies for saline-sodic soils and waters aimed at environmentally sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Qadir, M; Oster, J D

    2004-05-01

    Irrigation has long played a key role in feeding the expanding world population and is expected to play a still greater role in the future. As supplies of good-quality irrigation water are expected to decrease in several regions due to increased municipal-industrial-agricultural competition, available freshwater supplies need to be used more efficiently. In addition, reliance on the use and reuse of saline and/or sodic drainage waters, generated by irrigated agriculture, seems inevitable for irrigation. The same applies to salt-affected soils, which occupy more than 20% of the irrigated lands, and warrant attention for efficient, inexpensive and environmentally acceptable management. Technologically and from a management perspective, a couple of strategies have shown the potential to improve crop production under irrigated agriculture while minimizing the adverse environmental impacts. The first strategy, vegetative bioremediation--a plant-assisted reclamation approach--relies on growing appropriate plant species that can tolerate ambient soil salinity and sodicity levels during reclamation of salt-affected soils. A variety of plant species of agricultural significance have been found to be effective in sustainable reclamation of calcareous and moderately sodic and saline-sodic soils. The second strategy fosters dedicating soils to crop production systems where saline and/or sodic waters predominate and their disposal options are limited. Production systems based on salt-tolerant plant species using drainage waters may be sustainable with the potential of transforming such waters from an environmental burden into an economic asset. Such a strategy would encourage the disposal of drainage waters within the irrigated regions where they are generated rather than exporting these waters to other regions via discharge into main irrigation canals, local streams, or rivers. Being economically and environmentally sustainable, these strategies could be the key to future

  14. Agricultural production and water use scenarios in Cyprus under global change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruggeman, Adriana; Zoumides, Christos; Camera, Corrado; Pashiardis, Stelios; Zomeni, Zomenia

    2014-05-01

    In many countries of the world, food demand exceeds the total agricultural production. In semi-arid countries, agricultural water demand often also exceeds the sustainable supply of water resources. These water-stressed countries are expected to become even drier, as a result of global climate change. This will have a significant impact on the future of the agricultural sector and on food security. The aim of the AGWATER project consortium is to provide recommendations for climate change adaptation for the agricultural sector in Cyprus and the wider Mediterranean region. Gridded climate data sets, with 1-km horizontal resolution were prepared for Cyprus for 1980-2010. Regional Climate Model results were statistically downscaled, with the help of spatial weather generators. A new soil map was prepared using a predictive modelling and mapping technique and a large spatial database with soil and environmental parameters. Stakeholder meetings with agriculture and water stakeholders were held to develop future water prices, based on energy scenarios and to identify climate resilient production systems. Green houses, including also hydroponic systems, grapes, potatoes, cactus pears and carob trees were the more frequently identified production systems. The green-blue-water model, based on the FAO-56 dual crop coefficient approach, has been set up to compute agricultural water demand and yields for all crop fields in Cyprus under selected future scenarios. A set of agricultural production and water use performance indicators are computed by the model, including green and blue water use, crop yield, crop water productivity, net value of crop production and economic water productivity. This work is part of the AGWATER project - AEIFORIA/GEOGRO/0311(BIE)/06 - co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research Promotion Foundation.

  15. Water saving through international trade of agricultural products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapagain, A. K.; Hoekstra, A. Y.; Savenije, H. H. G.

    2005-11-01

    Many nations save domestic water resources by importing water-intensive products and exporting commodities that are less water intensive. National water saving through the import of a product can imply saving water at a global level if the flow is from sites with high to sites with low water productivity. The paper analyses the consequences of international virtual water flows on the global and national water budgets. The assessment shows that the total amount of water that would have been required in the importing countries if all imported agricultural products would have been produced domestically is 1605 Gm3/yr. These products are however being produced with only 1253 Gm3/yr in the exporting countries, saving global water resources by 352 Gm3/yr. This saving is 28% of the international virtual water flows related to the trade of agricultural products and 6% of the global water use in agriculture. National policy makers are however not interested in global water savings but in the status of national water resources. Egypt imports wheat and in doing so saves 3.6 Gm3/yr of its national water resources. Water use for producing export commodities can be beneficial, as for instance in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana and Brazil, where the use of green water resources (mainly through rain-fed agriculture) for the production of stimulant crops for export has a positive economic impact on the national economy. However, export of 28 Gm3/yr of national water from Thailand related to rice export is at the cost of additional pressure on its blue water resources. Importing a product which has a relatively high ratio of green to blue virtual water content saves global blue water resources that generally have a higher opportunity cost than green water.

  16. Water saving through international trade of agricultural products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapagain, A. K.; Hoekstra, A. Y.; Savenije, H. H. G.

    2006-06-01

    Many nations save domestic water resources by importing water-intensive products and exporting commodities that are less water intensive. National water saving through the import of a product can imply saving water at a global level if the flow is from sites with high to sites with low water productivity. The paper analyses the consequences of international virtual water flows on the global and national water budgets. The assessment shows that the total amount of water that would have been required in the importing countries if all imported agricultural products would have been produced domestically is 1605 Gm3/yr. These products are however being produced with only 1253 Gm3/yr in the exporting countries, saving global water resources by 352 Gm3/yr. This saving is 28 per cent of the international virtual water flows related to the trade of agricultural products and 6 per cent of the global water use in agriculture. National policy makers are however not interested in global water savings but in the status of national water resources. Egypt imports wheat and in doing so saves 3.6 Gm3/yr of its national water resources. Water use for producing export commodities can be beneficial, as for instance in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana and Brazil, where the use of green water resources (mainly through rain-fed agriculture) for the production of stimulant crops for export has a positive economic impact on the national economy. However, export of 28 Gm3/yr of national water from Thailand related to rice export is at the cost of additional pressure on its blue water resources. Importing a product which has a relatively high ratio of green to blue virtual water content saves global blue water resources that generally have a higher opportunity cost than green water.

  17. Agricultural phosphorus, water quality, and poultry production: are they compatible?

    PubMed

    Sharpley, A

    1999-05-01

    With the concentration of poultry production and increase in operation size in several regions of the U.S., more manure is applied to agricultural land. This application of manure has resulted in more P being added than crops require, an accumulation in soil P, and increased potential for P loss in surface runoff. This situation has been exacerbated by manure management being N-based. Increased outputs of P to fresh waters can accelerate eutrophication, which impairs water use and can lead to fish kills and toxic algal blooms. As a result, information is needed on the effect of poultry production on the fate of P in agricultural systems so that compatible production and water quality goals can be met. Overall, these goals will be met by focusing on ways to increase P use-efficiency by attempting to balance inputs of P in feed and fertilizer into a watershed with output in crop and livestock. This will involve refining feed rations, using feed additives to increase P absorption by the animal, moving manure from surplus to deficit areas, finding alternative uses for manure, and targeting conservation practices, such as reduced tillage, buffer strips, and cover crops, to critical areas of P export from a watershed. These critical areas are where high P soils coincide with parts of the landscape where surface runoff and erosion potential is high. Development of management systems that address both production and environmental concerns must consider the socioeconomic and political impacts of any management changes on both rural and urban communities, and of the mechanisms by which change can be achieved in a diverse and dispersed community of land users. PMID:10228962

  18. Impact of climate change and adaptation strategies on crop production in Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mereu, V.; Gallo, A.; Carboni, G.; Spano, D.

    2012-04-01

    The vulnerability of agricultural to climate change is of particular interest to policy makers because the high social and economical importance of agriculture sector in Nigeria, which contributes approximately 40 percent to total GDP and support 70 percent of the population. It is necessary to investigate the potential climate change impacts in order to identify specific agricultural sectors and Agro-Ecological Zones that will be more vulnerable to changes in climatic conditions and implement and develop the most appropriate policies to cope with these changes. In this framework, this study aimed to assess the climate change impacts on Nigerian agricultural sector and to explore some of potential adaptation strategies for the most important crops in the food basket of the Country. The analysis was made using the DSSAT-CSM (Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer - Cropping System Model) software, version 4.5. Crop simulation models included in DSSAT are tools that allows to simulate physiological process of crop growth, development and production, by combining genetic crop characteristics and environmental (soil and weather) conditions. In this analysis, for each selected crop, the models included into DSSAT-CSM software were ran, after a calibration phase, to evaluate climate change impacts on crop production. The climate data used for the analysis are derived by the Regional Circulation Model COSMO-CLM, from 1971 to 2065, at 8 km of spatial resolution. The RCM model output were "perturbed" with 10 Global Climate Models in order to have a wide variety of possible climate projections for impact analysis. Multiple combinations of soils and climate conditions, crop management and varieties were considered for each Agro-Ecological Zone of Nigeria. The climate impact assessment was made by comparing the yield obtained with the climate data for the present period and the yield obtainable under future changed climate conditions. The models ran by keeping

  19. Methodologies for simulating impacts of climate change on crop production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecophysiological models of crop growth have seen wide use in IPCC and related assessments. However, the diversity of modeling approaches constrains cross-study syntheses and increases potential for bias. We reviewed 139 peer-reviewed papers dealing with climate change and agriculture, considering si...

  20. Occupational exposure to particulate matter from three agricultural crops in California.

    PubMed

    Moran, Rebecca E; Bennett, Deborah H; Garcia, John; Schenker, Marc B

    2014-03-01

    Agricultural work is a major contributor to California's and the nation's economy and employs a large number of workers. However, agricultural work can have numerous risks, such as exposure to elevated levels of particulate matter (PM) and other airborne pollutants with potential adverse health effects. To determine the magnitude of occupational exposures, PM levels were assessed for 89 workers from three major crops in California; almonds, melons and tomatoes. Personal samples were collected for PM2.5 and inhalable PM using personal sampling equipment. Geometric mean concentrations from personal exposure for workers in almonds (inhalable PM=4368 μg/m(3), PM2.5=122 μg/m(3), N=5), tomatoes (inhalable PM=1410 μg/m(3), PM2.5=12 μg/m(3), N=33), and melons (inhalable PM=1118 μg/m(3), PM2.5=19 μg/m(3), N=51) showed high PM exposure when working with these three crops. Large exposure differences by crop were more common than by task (i.e. harvesting, packing and weeding) among the three crops studied. This is the largest study of agricultural workers engaged in hand harvesting, a significant employer of farm labor, and relatively high levels of exposure to PM were measured.

  1. Estimating the Soil Thermal Conductivity in a Agricultural Crop Site in Southern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmer, Tamíres; Roberti, Debora; Moreira, Virnei; Silveira, Marcos

    The thermal conductivity is higher when the heat storage is higher and the soil surface temperature is lower. The soil thermal conductivity is also dependant on the soil texture, porosity and moisture. Therefore, it varies from soil to soil and in the same soil, depending on its soil moisture. In the present work, it is shown soil thermal conductivity estimates in a agricultural crop located at the Cruz Alta city in southern Brazil. Also the dynamic of soil heat flux (G) is analyzed and the soil thermal conductivity (Ks) is estimated using experimental data form soil heat flux and soil temperature in a agricultural crop farm in a subtropical location in Southern Brazil. In this specific site, there is a crop rotation scheme along the year. The soil type is Rhodic Hapludox (FAO) or Typic Haplorthox (US Soil Taxonomy), characterized as a deep, clay soil. The experimental soil heat flux was compared with estimated soil heat flux by two forms: (1) using a known Ks from literature for this type of soil; (2) using Ks estimated using the inversion of the equation Qg=-ks* ((T2-T1)/ (Z2-Z1)), where T1 and T2 are the temperature in different layers above the soil and Z2-Z1 is the difference between the positions in temperature measurement. The general results agree with the literature for the specific agricultural crop for Ks values in the current study for the measurement period.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Integrating Sunflower Oil Seed Crops into Florida Horticultural Production Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Locally produced biodiesel feedstock plant oil creates a unique possibility to integrate multiple-goal oriented cover crops into Florida horticultural production systems. Typically, cover crops are planted to improve soil fertility and the natural suppression of soilborne pests at times when fields...

  5. Radiation disinfestation of food and agricultural products

    SciTech Connect

    Moy, J.H.

    1985-01-01

    This book presents the papers given at a conference on the radiodisinfestation of food and crops. Topics considered at the conference included food irradiation's impact of the US Agency for International Development, FDA regulations, irradiation as a quarantine treatment, quality attributes of irradiated fruits, low-dose irradiation, cesium 137 as a radiation source, radiosterilization, economic feasibility, marketing, consumer acceptance, and the packaging of irradiated products.

  6. A methodological approach for deriving regional crop rotations as basis for the assessment of the impact of agricultural strategies using soil erosion as example.

    PubMed

    Lorenz, Marco; Fürst, Christine; Thiel, Enrico

    2013-09-01

    Regarding increasing pressures by global societal and climate change, the assessment of the impact of land use and land management practices on land degradation and the related decrease in sustainable provision of ecosystem services gains increasing interest. Existing approaches to assess agricultural practices focus on the assessment of single crops or statistical data because spatially explicit information on practically applied crop rotations is mostly not available. This provokes considerable uncertainties in crop production models as regional specifics have to be neglected or cannot be considered in an appropriate way. In a case study in Saxony, we developed an approach to (i) derive representative regional crop rotations by combining different data sources and expert knowledge. This includes the integration of innovative crop sequences related to bio-energy production or organic farming and different soil tillage, soil management and soil protection techniques. Furthermore, (ii) we developed a regionalization approach for transferring crop rotations and related soil management strategies on the basis of statistical data and spatially explicit data taken from so called field blocks. These field blocks are the smallest spatial entity for which agricultural practices must be reported to apply for agricultural funding within the frame of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) program. The information was finally integrated into the spatial decision support tool GISCAME to assess and visualize in spatially explicit manner the impact of alternative agricultural land use strategies on soil erosion risk and ecosystem services provision. Objective of this paper is to present the approach how to create spatially explicit information on agricultural management practices for a study area around Dresden, the capital of the German Federal State Saxony.

  7. Future crop production threatened by extreme heat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siebert, Stefan; Ewert, Frank

    2014-04-01

    Heat is considered to be a major stress limiting crop growth and yields. While important findings on the impact of heat on crop yield have been made based on experiments in controlled environments, little is known about the effects under field conditions at larger scales. The study of Deryng et al (2014 Global crop yield response to extreme heat stress under multiple climate change futures Environ. Res. Lett. 9 034011), analysing the impact of heat stress on maize, spring wheat and soya bean under climate change, represents an important contribution to this emerging research field. Uncertainties in the occurrence of heat stress under field conditions, plant responses to heat and appropriate adaptation measures still need further investigation.

  8. Monitoring Agricultural Production in Primary Export Countries within the framework of the GEOGLAM Initiative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker-Reshef, I.; Justice, C. O.; Vermote, E.

    2012-12-01

    Up to date, reliable, global, information on crop production prospects is indispensible for informing and regulating grain markets and for instituting effective agricultural policies. The recent price surges in the global grain markets were in large part triggered by extreme weather events in primary grain export countries. These events raise important questions about the accuracy of current production forecasts and their role in market fluctuations, and highlight the deficiencies in the state of global agricultural monitoring. Satellite-based earth observations are increasingly utilized as a tool for monitoring agricultural production as they offer cost-effective, daily, global information on crop growth and extent and their utility for crop production forecasting has long been demonstrated. Within this context, the Group on Earth Observations developed the Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative which was adopted by the G20 as part of the action plan on food price volatility and agriculture. The goal of GEOGLAM is to enhance agricultural production estimates through the use of Earth observations. This talk will explore the potential contribution of EO-based methods for improving the accuracy of early production estimates of main export countries within the framework of GEOGLAM.

  9. Crop and cattle production responses to tillage and cover crop management in an integrated crop-livestock system in the southeastern USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Integrated crop-livestock systems can help achieve greater environmental quality from disparate crop and livestock systems by recycling nutrients and taking advantage of synergies between systems. We investigated crop and animal production responses in integrated crop-livestock systems with two typ...

  10. Ground-based hyperspectral remote sensing for weed management in crop production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural remote sensing has been developed and applied in monitoring soil, crop growth, weed infestation, insects, diseases, and water status in farm fields to provide data and information to guide agricultural management practices. Precision agriculture has been implemented through prescription...

  11. The role of N2O derived from crop-based biofuels, and from agriculture in general, in Earth's climate.

    PubMed

    Smith, Keith A; Mosier, Arvin R; Crutzen, Paul J; Winiwarter, Wilfried

    2012-05-01

    In earlier work, we compared the amount of newly fixed nitrogen (N, as synthetic fertilizer and biologically fixed N) entering agricultural systems globally to the total emission of nitrous oxide (N(2)O). We obtained an N(2)O emission factor (EF) of 3-5%, and applied it to biofuel production. For 'first-generation' biofuels, e.g. biodiesel from rapeseed and bioethanol from corn (maize), that require N fertilizer, N(2)O from biofuel production could cause (depending on N uptake efficiency) as much or more global warming as that avoided by replacement of fossil fuel by the biofuel. Our subsequent calculations in a follow-up paper, using published life cycle analysis (LCA) models, led to broadly similar conclusions. The N(2)O EF applies to agricultural crops in general, not just to biofuel crops, and has made possible a top-down estimate of global emissions from agriculture. Independent modelling by another group using bottom-up IPCC inventory methodology has shown good agreement at the global scale with our top-down estimate. Work by Davidson showed that the rate of accumulation of N(2)O in the atmosphere in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries was greater than that predicted from agricultural inputs limited to fertilizer N and biologically fixed N (Davidson, E. A. 2009 Nat. Geosci. 2, 659-662.). However, by also including soil organic N mineralized following land-use change and NO(x) deposited from the atmosphere in our estimates of the reactive N entering the agricultural cycle, we have now obtained a good fit between the observed atmospheric N(2)O concentrations from 1860 to 2000 and those calculated on the basis of a 4 per cent EF for the reactive N.

  12. Food, Feed, or Fuel? Phosphorus Flows Embodied in US Agricultural Production and Trade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, G.; Bennett, E.; Carpenter, S.

    2012-12-01

    Agricultural phosphorus (P) use is integral to sustainable food production and water quality regulation. Globalization of agricultural systems, changing diets, and increasing biofuel production pose new challenges for managing non-renewable P reserves, particularly in key agricultural producing regions such as the US. We used a detailed model of the US agricultural system to assess the quantity of mineral P fertilizers used to produce food crops, livestock, and biofuels relative to the P ultimately consumed in domestic diets. We also quantified linkages in fertilizer use between the US and its trading partners globally via agricultural trade. Feed and livestock production drove by far the largest demand for P fertilizers in the US (56% of all P use for domestic and imported products). Of the total mineral P inputs to US domestic agriculture in 2007 (1905 Gg P), 28% were retained in agricultural soils as surplus P, 40% were lost through processing and waste prior to consumption in human diets, while 10% were diverted directly to biofuel production. One quarter of P fertilizer in the US was required to produce exports, particularly major food and feed crops (corn, soybean, and wheat) that drove a large net P flux out of the country (338 Gg P) with strongly crop-specific effects on soil P imbalances nationally. However, US meat consumption involved considerable reliance on P fertilizer use in other countries to produce red meat imports linked primarily to soil P surpluses abroad. We show that changes in domestic farm management and consumer waste could together reduce the P fertilizer needed to produce food consumed in the US by half, which is comparable to the P fertilizer reduction attainable by cutting domestic meat consumption (44%). More effective distribution of P use for major crops nationally and greater recycling of all agricultural wastes is critical to using US phosphate rock reserves as efficiently as possible while maintaining export-oriented agriculture.

  13. Modelling adaptation to climate change of Ecuadorian agriculture and associated water resources: uncertainties in coastal and highland cropping systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz-Ramos, Margarita; Bastidas, Wellington; Cóndor, Amparo; Villacís, Marcos; Calderón, Marco; Herrera, Mario; Zambrano, José Luis; Lizaso, Jon; Hernández, Carlos; Rodríguez, Alfredo; Capa-Morocho, Mirian

    2016-04-01

    Climate change threatens sustainability of farms and associated water resources in Ecuador. Although the last IPCC report (AR5) provides a general framework for adaptation, , impact assessment and especially adaptation analysis should be site-specific, taking into account both biophysical and social aspects. The objective of this study is to analyse the climate change impacts and to sustainable adaptations to optimize the crop yield. Furthermore is also aimed to weave agronomical and hydrometeorological aspects, to improve the modelling of the coastal ("costa") and highland ("sierra") cropping systems in Ecuador, from the agricultural production and water resources points of view. The final aim is to support decision makers, at national and local institutions, for technological implementation of structural adaptation strategies, and to support farmers for their autonomous adaptation actions to cope with the climate change impacts and that allow equal access to resources and appropriate technologies. . A diagnosis of the current situation in terms of data availability and reliability was previously done, and the main sources of uncertainty for agricultural projections have been identified: weather data, especially precipitation projections, soil data below the upper 30 cm, and equivalent experimental protocol for ecophysiological crop field measurements. For reducing these uncertainties, several methodologies are being discussed. This study was funded by PROMETEO program from Ecuador through SENESCYT (M. Ruiz-Ramos contract), and by the project COOP-XV-25 funded by Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

  14. Hyperspectral versus multispectral crop-productivity modeling and type discrimination for the HyspIRI mission

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mariotto, Isabella; Thenkabail, Prasad S.; Huete, Alfredo; Slonecker, E. Terrence; Platonov, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    Precise monitoring of agricultural crop biomass and yield quantities is critical for crop production management and prediction. The goal of this study was to compare hyperspectral narrowband (HNB) versus multispectral broadband (MBB) reflectance data in studying irrigated cropland characteristics of five leading world crops (cotton, wheat, maize, rice, and alfalfa) with the objectives of: 1. Modeling crop productivity, and 2. Discriminating crop types. HNB data were obtained from Hyperion hyperspectral imager and field ASD spectroradiometer, and MBB data were obtained from five broadband sensors: Landsat-7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM +), Advanced Land Imager (ALI), Indian Remote Sensing (IRS), IKONOS, and QuickBird. A large collection of field spectral and biophysical variables were gathered for the 5 crops in Central Asia throughout the growing seasons of 2006 and 2007. Overall, the HNB and hyperspectral vegetation index (HVI) crop biophysical models explained about 25% greater variability when compared with corresponding MBB models. Typically, 3 to 7 HNBs, in multiple linear regression models of a given crop variable, explained more than 93% of variability in crop models. The evaluation of λ1 (400–2500 nm) versus λ2 (400–2500 nm) plots of various crop biophysical variables showed that the best two-band normalized difference HVIs involved HNBs centered at: (i) 742 nm and 1175 nm (HVI742-1175), (ii) 1296 nm and 1054 nm (HVI1296-1054), (iii) 1225 nm and 697 nm (HVI1225-697), and (iv) 702 nm and 1104 nm (HVI702-1104). Among the most frequently occurring HNBs in various crop biophysical models, 74% were located in the 1051–2331 nm spectral range, followed by 10% in the moisture sensitive 970 nm, 6% in the red and red-edge (630–752 nm), and the remaining 10% distributed between blue (400–500 nm), green (501–600 nm), and NIR (760–900 nm). Discriminant models, used for discriminating 3 or 4 or 5 crop types, showed significantly higher accuracies

  15. Meteorological risks and impacts on crop production systems in Belgium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gobin, Anne

    2013-04-01

    Extreme weather events such as droughts, heat stress, rain storms and floods can have devastating effects on cropping systems. The perspective of rising risk-exposure is exacerbated further by projected increases of extreme events with climate change. More limits to aid received for agricultural damage and an overall reduction of direct income support to farmers further impacts farmers' resilience. Based on insurance claims, potatoes and rapeseed are the most vulnerable crops, followed by cereals and sugar beets. Damages due to adverse meteorological events are strongly dependent on crop type, crop stage and soil type. Current knowledge gaps exist in the response of arable crops to the occurrence of extreme events. The degree of temporal overlap between extreme weather events and the sensitive periods of the farming calendar requires a modelling approach to capture the mixture of non-linear interactions between the crop and its environment. The regional crop model REGCROP (Gobin, 2010) enabled to examine the likely frequency and magnitude of drought, heat stress and waterlogging in relation to the cropping season and crop sensitive stages of six arable crops: winter wheat, winter barley, winter rapeseed, potato, sugar beet and maize. Since crop development is driven by thermal time, crops matured earlier during the warmer 1988-2008 period than during the 1947-1987 period. Drought and heat stress, in particular during the sensitive crop stages, occur at different times in the cropping season and significantly differ between two climatic periods, 1947-1987 and 1988-2008. Soil moisture deficit increases towards harvesting, such that earlier maturing winter crops may avoid drought stress that occurs in late spring and summer. This is reflected in a decrease both in magnitude and frequency of soil moisture deficit around the sensitive stages during the 1988-2008 period when atmospheric drought may be compensated for with soil moisture. The risk of drought spells during

  16. 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

  17. Impact of tillage on N2O and CO2 efflux in an agricultural crop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lognoul, Margaux; Theodorakopoulos, Nicolas; Hiel, Marie-Pierre; Heinesch, Bernard; Bodson, Bernard; Aubinet, Marc

    2016-04-01

    In an experiment conducted in the Belgian loess belt between June and October 2015, the effect of two tillage treatments (CT - conventional tillage and RT - reduced tillage) on CO2 and N2O fluxes exchanged by a maize crop were compared. The experimental site included two parcels subjected to crop residues incorporation and to their respective tillage treatment (CT and RT) since 2008. Fluxes were measured using two fully automated sets of dynamic closed chambers, allowing a 4.5h temporal resolution. Soil water content and temperature were also monitored as well as pH, total N (TN) and total organic C (TOC) content. Results suggest that tillage practices significantly impacted emissions of both gases, with average soil respiration twice as large for RT than CT (91 μg C.m-2.s-1 versus 44.5 μg C.m-2.s-1) and N2O fluxes 8 times greater for RT than CT (5.55 ng N2O_N.m-2.s-1 versus 0.68 ng N2O_N.m-2.s-1). These observations could be explained by an effect of tillage treatment on stratification of crop residues within the soil profile, as shown in our experiment. Indeed significantly higher TN and TOC content were measured in the surface layer (0-10cm) under RT and that might have enhanced microbial activity responsible for CO2 and N2O production. A single N2O emission burst was observed in both treatments, most likely triggered by a sudden and important increase of soil moisture with a time delay of 4.5h for RT and 27h for CT. Here again, peak mean emissions were 9 times larger for RT than for CT (13.3 ng N2O_N.m-2.s-1 versus 1.43 ng N2O_N.m-2.s-1 for CT). The absence of peak emissions later during the experiment, despite the occurrence of similar soil moisture increases suggests that such increase is not the sole condition to generate N2O bursts. In the present case, it is possible that the absence of further peaks was due to a non-availability of soil N caused by increased competition for N because of maize growth. The system of automated chambers proved it

  18. Can genomics boost productivity of orphan crops?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Advances in genomics over the past 20 years have enhanced the precision and efficiency of breeding programs in many temperate cereal crops. One of the first applications of genomics-assisted breeding has been the introgression of loci for resistance to biotic stresses or major quantitative trait loc...

  19. Livestock in a changing climate: production system transitions as an adaptation strategy for agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weindl, Isabelle; Lotze-Campen, Hermann; Popp, Alexander; Müller, Christoph; Havlík, Petr; Herrero, Mario; Schmitz, Christoph; Rolinski, Susanne

    2015-09-01

    Livestock farming is the world’s largest land use sector and utilizes around 60% of the global biomass harvest. Over the coming decades, climate change will affect the natural resource base of livestock production, especially the productivity of rangeland and feed crops. Based on a comprehensive impact modeling chain, we assess implications of different climate projections for agricultural production costs and land use change and explore the effectiveness of livestock system transitions as an adaptation strategy. Simulated climate impacts on crop yields and rangeland productivity generate adaptation costs amounting to 3% of total agricultural production costs in 2045 (i.e. 145 billion US). Shifts in livestock production towards mixed crop-livestock systems represent a resource- and cost-efficient adaptation option, reducing agricultural adaptation costs to 0.3% of total production costs and simultaneously abating deforestation by about 76 million ha globally. The relatively positive climate impacts on grass yields compared with crop yields favor grazing systems inter alia in South Asia and North America. Incomplete transitions in production systems already have a strong adaptive and cost reducing effect: a 50% shift to mixed systems lowers agricultural adaptation costs to 0.8%. General responses of production costs to system transitions are robust across different global climate and crop models as well as regarding assumptions on CO2 fertilization, but simulated values show a large variation. In the face of these uncertainties, public policy support for transforming livestock production systems provides an important lever to improve agricultural resource management and lower adaptation costs, possibly even contributing to emission reduction.

  20. Toward systems-level analysis of agricultural production from crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM): scaling from cell to commercial production.

    PubMed

    Davis, Sarah C; Ming, Ray; LeBauer, David S; Long, Stephen P

    2015-10-01

    Systems-level analyses have become prominent tools for assessing the yield, viability, economic consequences and environmental impacts of agricultural production. Such analyses are well-developed for many commodity crops that are used for food and biofuel, but have not been developed for agricultural production systems based on drought-tolerant plants that use crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). We review the components of systems-level evaluations, and identify the information available for completing such analyses for CAM cropping systems. Specific needs for developing systems-level evaluations of CAM agricultural production include: improvement of physiological models; assessment of product processing after leaving the farm gate; and application of newly available genetic tools to the optimization of CAM species for commercial production. PMID:26094655

  1. Estrogenicity of agricultural by-products

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Some Minnesota farms were found to have reduced conception rates in cattle receiving embryo transfers by a local veterinarian, and dietary components were called into question. Affected farms were feeding agricultural by-products, available in either a “shredded” form or a pelletized form. These by-...

  2. Torrefaction of agricultural by-products (abstract)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Torrefaction of biomass involves heating at 200°C-300°C under inert atmosphere to remove volatiles and produce materials with higher energy values and low moisture. Agricultural by-products, such as apple, grape, olive, and tomato pomaces as well as almond and walnut shells, were torrefied at differ...

  3. The crop assessment subsystem: System implementation and approaches used for the generation of crop production reports

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcallum, W. E.; Hatch, R. E.; Boatwright, S. M.; Liszcz, C. J.; Evans, S. M. (Principal Investigator)

    1979-01-01

    The primary responsibility of the crop assessment subsystem (CAS) during the three phases of LACIE was to produce crop reports that included estimates of wheat area, yield, and production, as well as a specified set of associated statistical descriptors. The operations of CAS are described with emphasis on sampling strategy, input/output data, evolution of aggregation/reporting system capabilities, and CAS aggregation procedures.

  4. 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.

  5. Economies of Size in Production Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Duffy, Michael

    2009-07-01

    Economies of size refer to the ability of a farm to lower costs of production by increasing production. Agriculture production displays an L-shaped average cost curve where costs are lower initially but reach a point where no further gains are achieved. Spreading fixed costs, bulk purchases, and marketing power are cited as reasons for economies of size. Labor-reducing technologies may be the primary reason. Most studies do not include the external costs from prophylactic antibiotic use, impact on rural communities, and environmental damage associated with large-scale production. These can contribute to the economies of size.

  6. Fuel alcohol production from agricultural lignocellulosic feedstocks

    SciTech Connect

    Farina, G.E.; Barrier, J.W.; Forsythe, M.L. )

    1988-01-01

    A two-stage, low-temperature, ambient pressure, acid hydrolysis process that utilizes separate unit operations to convert hemicellulose and cellulose in agricultural residues and crops to fermentable sugars is being developed and tested. Based on the results of the bench-scale tests, an acid hydrolysis experimental plant to demonstrate the concepts of low-temperature acid hydrolysis on a much larger scale was built. Plant tests using corn stover have been conducted for more that a year and conversion efficiences have equaled those achieved in the laboratory. Laboratory tests to determine the potential for low-temperature acid hydrolysis of other feedstocks - including red clover, alfalfa, kobe lespedeza, winter rape, and rye grass - are being conducted. Where applicable, process modifications to include extraction before or after hydrolysis also are being studied. This paper describes the experimental plant and process, results obtained in the plant, results of alternative feedstocks testing in the laboratory, and a plan for an integrated system that will produce other fuels, feed, and food from crops grown on marginal land.

  7. Biogenic carbon fluxes from global agricultural production and consumption

    SciTech Connect

    Wolf, Julie; West, Tristram O.; Le Page, Yannick LB; Kyle, G. Page; Zhang, Xuesong; Collatz, George; Imhoff, Marc L.

    2015-10-01

    Quantification of biogenic carbon fluxes from agricultural lands is needed to generate comprehensive bottom-up estimates of net carbon exchange for global and regional carbon monitoring. We estimated global agricultural carbon fluxes associated with annual crop net primary production (NPP), harvested biomass, and consumption of biomass by humans and livestock. These estimates were combined for a single estimate of net carbon exchange (NCE) and spatially distributed to 0.05 degree resolution using MODIS satellite land cover data. Global crop NPP in 2011 was estimated at 5.25 ± 0.46 Pg C yr-1, of which 2.05 ± 0.05 Pg C yr-1 was harvested and 0.54 Pg C yr-1 was collected from crop residues for livestock fodder. Total livestock feed intake in 2011 was 2.42 ± 0.21 Pg C yr-1, of which 2.31 ± 0.21 Pg C yr-1 was emitted as CO2, 0.07 ± 0.01 Pg C yr-1 was emitted as CH4, and 0.04 Pg C yr-1 was contained within milk and egg production. Livestock grazed an estimated 1.27 Pg C yr-1 in 2011, which constituted 52.4% of total feed intake. Global human food intake was 0.57 ± 0.03 Pg C yr-1 in 2011, the majority of which is respired as CO2. Completed global cropland carbon budgets accounted for the ultimate use of ca. 80% of harvested biomass. The spatial distribution of these fluxes may be used for global carbon monitoring, estimation of regional uncertainty, and for use as input to Earth system models.

  8. 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.

  9. Production of a raw material for energy production in agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hellstroem, G.

    1980-04-01

    The total amount of energy in products produced by Swedish agriculture was estimated to 80 TWH: 30 TWh for cereals, 15 TWh for grass and leguminosae, and 35 TWh for straw and other agricultural wastes. Of this production a large part will be used as food even in the future. New plants that would produce more energy than the ones traditionally grown in Sweden are discussed. Also other types of energy from agriculture are discussed such as methane from manure, methanol from gasification processes, and ethanol from fermentative processes. Costs were estimated from different alternatives.

  10. Modelling the effect of field management on crop water productivity and catchment hydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Gaelen, Hanne; Willems, Patrick; Diels, Jan; Raes, Dirk

    2014-05-01

    Upgrading crop water productivity (WPET) is crucial to assure food production in a future world, where simultaneously the world population grows and land and water resources become increasingly limited. Adapted field management is one of the key solutions to upgrade WPET for rainfed agriculture in drought prone regions. However field management strategies should be assessed considering their impact on a larger scale (catchment hydrology), and this for current and future climatic conditions. By linking a crop water productivity model (AquaCrop) to a lumped conceptual hydrological model (VHM), we aimed to develop a general modeling procedure to evaluate the impact of field management on WPET and catchment hydrology. To avoid disadvantages related to other model approaches, we specifically aimed at a procedure that (i) can be applied for both current and future climatic conditions, (ii) is widely applicable and generally relevant, i.e. also for developing countries, and (iii) requires a relatively small number of explicit parameters and mostly-intuitive input variables. The linkage between AquaCrop and VHM is tested for two catchments in Flanders with a high proportion of agricultural land. After the VHM model is calibrated and AquaCrop simulations are run for the different land units (crop-soil combinations) of the catchment, the response behaviour of the VHM unsaturated zone model and the AquaCrop soil water balance is compared. Differences are identified and interpreted and a final coupling of the two models is established trough the water balance of the unsaturated zone. Thereby the overland runoff and water percolation to the groundwater or subsurface flow are the most crucial linkage components. After both models are linked different field management scenarios can be investigated with respect to their effect on both WPET and catchment hydrology.

  11. Research to develop improved production methods for woody and herbaceous biomass crops

    SciTech Connect

    Ferrell, J.E.; Wright, L.L.; Tuskan, G.A.

    1995-09-01

    DOE`s Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP) has led the nation in developing short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) and herbaceous energy crops (HEC) as feedstocks for renewable energy. Over the past 15 years, the BFDP has examined the performance of 154 woody species and 35 herbaceous species in field trials across the US. One result of this effort to date has been the prescription of silvicultural systems for hybrid poplars and hybrid willows and agricultural systems for switchgrass. Selected clones of woody species are producing dry weight yields in research plots on agricultural land that are 3 to 7 times greater than those obtained from mixed species stands on forest land, and at least 2 times the yields of southern plantation pines. Selected switchgrass varieties are producing dry weight yields 2 to 7 times greater than average forage grass yields on similar sites. Crop development research is continuing efforts to translate this potential, in a sustainable manner, to larger, more geographically diverse acreage. Research on environmental aspects of biomass crop production are aimed at developing sustainable systems that will contribute to the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. Systems integration aims to understand all factors affecting bringing the crop to market. Factors affecting price and potential supplies of biomass crops are being evaluated at regional and national scales. Scale-up studies, feasibility analysis and demonstrations are establishing actual costs and facilitating the commercialization of integrated biomass systems. Information management and dissemination activities are facilitating the communication of results among a community of researchers, policymakers, and potential users and producers of energy crops.

  12. Food productivity trend analysis of Raichur district for the management of agricultural drought.

    PubMed

    Swathandran, Sruthi; Aslam, M A Mohammed

    2016-01-01

    Drought is an extreme climatic situation where there is a water shortage arising due to sub-normal rainfall, erratic distribution of precipitation, increased water supply demand, etc. India faced several years of drought in last six decades. As Indian agriculture is largely dependent on the monsoon, a slight change affects production as well as crop yield drastically. Statistical analysis is important for mapping the drought prone areas. Raichur district of the northern interior state of Karnataka is a drought-prone region where the economy is mainly based on agriculture. So, the uneven distribution of rainfall as well as the delay in the arrival of the southwest monsoon adversely affects the growth stage of crops which result in a decline in crop production. The effect of drought on the agriculture for the past decade has been analyzed using crop productivity data. When the production rate of Raichur district was studied for the years 1998 to 2009, it was seen that major crops like rice and jowar faced a decline in its production during the years 2002 and 2003, whereas bajra, maize, etc. mostly decreased in the year 2004. PMID:26718944

  13. Food productivity trend analysis of Raichur district for the management of agricultural drought.

    PubMed

    Swathandran, Sruthi; Aslam, M A Mohammed

    2016-01-01

    Drought is an extreme climatic situation where there is a water shortage arising due to sub-normal rainfall, erratic distribution of precipitation, increased water supply demand, etc. India faced several years of drought in last six decades. As Indian agriculture is largely dependent on the monsoon, a slight change affects production as well as crop yield drastically. Statistical analysis is important for mapping the drought prone areas. Raichur district of the northern interior state of Karnataka is a drought-prone region where the economy is mainly based on agriculture. So, the uneven distribution of rainfall as well as the delay in the arrival of the southwest monsoon adversely affects the growth stage of crops which result in a decline in crop production. The effect of drought on the agriculture for the past decade has been analyzed using crop productivity data. When the production rate of Raichur district was studied for the years 1998 to 2009, it was seen that major crops like rice and jowar faced a decline in its production during the years 2002 and 2003, whereas bajra, maize, etc. mostly decreased in the year 2004.

  14. 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

  15. Simulating the effects of climate and agricultural management practices on global crop yield

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deryng, D.; Sacks, W. J.; Barford, C. C.; Ramankutty, N.

    2011-06-01

    Climate change is expected to significantly impact global food production, and it is important to understand the potential geographic distribution of yield losses and the means to alleviate them. This study presents a new global crop model, PEGASUS 1.0 (Predicting Ecosystem Goods And Services Using Scenarios) that integrates, in addition to climate, the effect of planting dates and cultivar choices, irrigation, and fertilizer application on crop yield for maize, soybean, and spring wheat. PEGASUS combines carbon dynamics for crops with a surface energy and soil water balance model. It also benefits from the recent development of a suite of global data sets and analyses that serve as model inputs or as calibration data. These include data on crop planting and harvesting dates, crop-specific irrigated areas, a global analysis of yield gaps, and harvested area and yield of major crops. Model results for present-day climate and farm management compare reasonably well with global data. Simulated planting and harvesting dates are within the range of crop calendar observations in more than 75% of the total crop-harvested areas. Correlation of simulated and observed crop yields indicates a weighted coefficient of determination, with the weighting based on crop-harvested area, of 0.81 for maize, 0.66 for soybean, and 0.45 for spring wheat. We found that changes in temperature and precipitation as predicted by global climate models for the 2050s lead to a global yield reduction if planting and harvesting dates remain unchanged. However, adapting planting dates and cultivar choices increases yield in temperate regions and avoids 7-18% of global losses.

  16. Crop water productivity under increasing irrigation capacities in Romania. A spatially-explicit assessment of winter wheat and maize cropping systems in the southern lowlands of the country

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dogaru, Diana

    2016-04-01

    Improved water use efficiency in agriculture is a key issue in terms of sustainable management and consumption of water resources in the context of peoples' increasing food demands and preferences, economic growth and agricultural adaptation options to climate variability and change. Crop Water Productivity (CWP), defined as the ratio of yield (or value of harvested crop) to actual evapotranspiration or as the ratio of yield (or value of harvested crop) to volume of supplied irrigation water (Molden et al., 1998), is a useful indicator in the evaluation of water use efficiency and ultimately of cropland management, particularly in the case of regions affected by or prone to drought and where irrigation application is essential for achieving expected productions. The present study investigates the productivity of water in winter wheat and maize cropping systems in the Romanian Plain (49 594 sq. km), an important agricultural region in the southern part of the country which is increasingly affected by drought and dry spells (Sandu and Mateescu, 2014). The scope of the analysis is to assess the gains and losses in CWP for the two crops, by considering increased irrigated cropland and improved fertilization, these being the most common measures potentially and already implemented by the farmers. In order to capture the effects of such measures on agricultural water use, the GIS-based EPIC crop-growth model (GEPIC) (Williams et al., 1989; Liu, 2009) was employed to simulate yields, seasonal evapotranspiration from crops and volume of irrigation water in the Romanian Plain for the 2002 - 2013 interval with focus on 2007 and 2010, two representative years for dry and wet periods, respectively. The GEPIC model operates on a daily time step, while the geospatial input datasets for this analysis (e.g. climate data, soil classes and soil parameters, land use) were harmonized at 1km resolution grid cell. The sources of the spatial data are mainly the national profile agencies

  17. 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.

  18. Conservation Agriculture Practices in Rainfed Uplands of India Improve Maize-Based System Productivity and Profitability.

    PubMed

    Pradhan, Aliza; Idol, Travis; Roul, Pravat K

    2016-01-01

    Traditional agriculture in rainfed uplands of India has been experiencing low agricultural productivity as the lands suffer from poor soil fertility, susceptibility to water erosion and other external pressures of development and climate change. A shift toward more sustainable cropping systems such as conservation agriculture production systems (CAPSs) may help in maintaining soil quality as well as improving crop production and farmer's net economic benefit. This research assessed the effects over 3 years (2011-2014) of reduced tillage, intercropping, and cover cropping practices customized for maize-based production systems in upland areas of Odisha, India. The study focused on crop yield, system productivity and profitability through maize equivalent yield and dominance analysis. Results showed that maize grain yield did not differ significantly over time or among CAPS treatments while cowpea yield was considered as an additional yield in intercropping systems. Mustard and horsegram grown in plots after maize cowpea intercropping recorded higher grain yields of 25 and 37%, respectively, as compared to those without intercropping. Overall, the full CAPS implementation, i.e., minimum tillage, maize-cowpea intercropping and mustard residue retention had significantly higher system productivity and net benefits than traditional farmer practices, i.e., conventional tillage, sole maize cropping, and no mustard residue retention. The dominance analysis demonstrated increasing benefits of combining conservation practices that exceeded thresholds for farmer adoption. Given the use of familiar crops and technologies and the magnitude of yield and income improvements, these types of CAPS should be acceptable and attractive for smallholder farmers in the area. This in turn should support a move toward sustainable intensification of crop production to meet future household income and nutritional needs. PMID:27471508

  19. Conservation Agriculture Practices in Rainfed Uplands of India Improve Maize-Based System Productivity and Profitability.

    PubMed

    Pradhan, Aliza; Idol, Travis; Roul, Pravat K

    2016-01-01

    Traditional agriculture in rainfed uplands of India has been experiencing low agricultural productivity as the lands suffer from poor soil fertility, susceptibility to water erosion and other external pressures of development and climate change. A shift toward more sustainable cropping systems such as conservation agriculture production systems (CAPSs) may help in maintaining soil quality as well as improving crop production and farmer's net economic benefit. This research assessed the effects over 3 years (2011-2014) of reduced tillage, intercropping, and cover cropping practices customized for maize-based production systems in upland areas of Odisha, India. The study focused on crop yield, system productivity and profitability through maize equivalent yield and dominance analysis. Results showed that maize grain yield did not differ significantly over time or among CAPS treatments while cowpea yield was considered as an additional yield in intercropping systems. Mustard and horsegram grown in plots after maize cowpea intercropping recorded higher grain yields of 25 and 37%, respectively, as compared to those without intercropping. Overall, the full CAPS implementation, i.e., minimum tillage, maize-cowpea intercropping and mustard residue retention had significantly higher system productivity and net benefits than traditional farmer practices, i.e., conventional tillage, sole maize cropping, and no mustard residue retention. The dominance analysis demonstrated increasing benefits of combining conservation practices that exceeded thresholds for farmer adoption. Given the use of familiar crops and technologies and the magnitude of yield and income improvements, these types of CAPS should be acceptable and attractive for smallholder farmers in the area. This in turn should support a move toward sustainable intensification of crop production to meet future household income and nutritional needs.

  20. Conservation Agriculture Practices in Rainfed Uplands of India Improve Maize-Based System Productivity and Profitability

    PubMed Central

    Pradhan, Aliza; Idol, Travis; Roul, Pravat K.

    2016-01-01

    Traditional agriculture in rainfed uplands of India has been experiencing low agricultural productivity as the lands suffer from poor soil fertility, susceptibility to water erosion and other external pressures of development and climate change. A shift toward more sustainable cropping systems such as conservation agriculture production systems (CAPSs) may help in maintaining soil quality as well as improving crop production and farmer’s net economic benefit. This research assessed the effects over 3 years (2011–2014) of reduced tillage, intercropping, and cover cropping practices customized for maize-based production systems in upland areas of Odisha, India. The study focused on crop yield, system productivity and profitability through maize equivalent yield and dominance analysis. Results showed that maize grain yield did not differ significantly over time or among CAPS treatments while cowpea yield was considered as an additional yield in intercropping systems. Mustard and horsegram grown in plots after maize cowpea intercropping recorded higher grain yields of 25 and 37%, respectively, as compared to those without intercropping. Overall, the full CAPS implementation, i.e., minimum tillage, maize–cowpea intercropping and mustard residue retention had significantly higher system productivity and net benefits than traditional farmer practices, i.e., conventional tillage, sole maize cropping, and no mustard residue retention. The dominance analysis demonstrated increasing benefits of combining conservation practices that exceeded thresholds for farmer adoption. Given the use of familiar crops and technologies and the magnitude of yield and income improvements, these types of CAPS should be acceptable and attractive for smallholder farmers in the area. This in turn should support a move toward sustainable intensification of crop production to meet future household income and nutritional needs. PMID:27471508

  1. GM crops, the environment and sustainable food production.

    PubMed

    Raven, Peter H

    2014-12-01

    Today, over 7.1 billion people rely on the earth's resources for sustenance, and nearly a billion people are malnourished, their minds and bodies unable to develop properly. Globally, population is expected to rise to more than 9 billion by 2050. Given the combined pressures of human population growth, the rapidly growing desire for increased levels of consumption, and the continued use of inappropriate technologies, it is not surprising that humans are driving organisms to extinction at an unprecedented rate. Many aspects of the sustainable functioning of the natural world are breaking down in the face of human-induced pressures including our individual and collective levels of consumption and our widespread and stubborn use of destructive technologies. Clearly, agriculture must undergo a redesign and be better and more effectively managed so as to contribute as well as possible to feeding people, while at the same time we strive to lessen the tragic loss of biodiversity and damage to all of its productive systems that the world is experiencing. For GM crops to be part of the solution, biosafety assessments should not be overly politically-driven or a burdensome impedance to delivering this technology broadly. Biosafety scientists and policy makers need to recognize the undeniable truth that inappropriate actions resulting in indecision also have negative consequences. It is no longer acceptable to delay the use of any strategy that is safe and will help us achieve the ability to feed the world's people.

  2. [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

  3. Monitoring Agricultural Cropping Patterns across the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin Using MODIS-NDVI Data

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) 16-day composite data product (MOD12Q) was used to develop annual cropland and crop-specific map products (corn, soybeans, and wheat) for the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin (GLB). Th...

  4. Biomass Crop Production: Benefits for Soil Quality and Carbon Sequestration

    SciTech Connect

    Bandaranayake, W.; Bock, B.R.; Houston, A.; Joslin, J.D.; Pettry, D.E.; Schoenholtz, S.; Thornton, F.C.; Tolbert, V.R.; Tyler, D.

    1999-08-29

    Research at three locations in the southeastern US is quantifying changes in soil quality and soil carbon storage that occur during production of biomass crops compared with row crops. After three growing seasons, soil quality improved and soil carbon storage increased on plots planted to cottonwood, sycamore, sweetgum with a cover crop, switchgrass, and no-till corn. For tree crops, sequestered belowground carbon was found mainly in stumps and large roots. At the TN site, the coarse woody organic matter storage belowground was 1.3 Mg ha{sup {minus}1}yr{sup {minus}1}, of which 79% was stumps and large roots and 21% fine roots. Switchgrass at the AL site also stored considerable carbon belowground as coarse roots. Most of the carbon storage occurred mainly in the upper 30 cw although coarse roots were found to depths of greater than 60 cm. Biomass crops contributed to improvements in soil physical quality as well as increasing belowground carbon sequestration. The distribution and extent of carbon sequestration depends on the growth characteristics and age of the individual biomass crop species. Time and increasing crop maturity will determine the potential of these biomass crops to significantly contribute to the overall national goal of increasing carbon sequestration and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  5. 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

  6. The income and production effects of biotech crops globally 1996-2010.

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2012-01-01

    A critical feature in evaluating the global value of crop biotechnology in agriculture must include an assessment of its economic impact at the farm level. This paper follows earlier studies which examined economic impacts on yields, key costs of production, direct farm income, indirect (non-pecuniary) farm level income effects and impacts on the production base of the four main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. The commercialization of biotech crops is continuing to proceed rapidly, with significant changes in the overall level of adoption and impact taking place in 2010. This updated analysis shows that there have been substantial net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $14 billion in 2010 and $78.4 billion for the 15-year period (in nominal terms). The non-pecuniary benefits associated with the use of the technology have also had a positive impact on adoption (in the US accounting for the equivalent of 22% of the total US direct farm income benefit). Biotech crops are, moreover, making important contributions to increasing global production levels of the four main crops. They have, for example, now added 97.5 million tons and 159 million tons respectively, to the global production of soybeans and corn since the introduction of the technology in the mid-1990s. PMID:22750951

  7. The income and production effects of biotech crops globally 1996-2010.

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2012-01-01

    A critical feature in evaluating the global value of crop biotechnology in agriculture must include an assessment of its economic impact at the farm level. This paper follows earlier studies which examined economic impacts on yields, key costs of production, direct farm income, indirect (non-pecuniary) farm level income effects and impacts on the production base of the four main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. The commercialization of biotech crops is continuing to proceed rapidly, with significant changes in the overall level of adoption and impact taking place in 2010. This updated analysis shows that there have been substantial net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $14 billion in 2010 and $78.4 billion for the 15-year period (in nominal terms). The non-pecuniary benefits associated with the use of the technology have also had a positive impact on adoption (in the US accounting for the equivalent of 22% of the total US direct farm income benefit). Biotech crops are, moreover, making important contributions to increasing global production levels of the four main crops. They have, for example, now added 97.5 million tons and 159 million tons respectively, to the global production of soybeans and corn since the introduction of the technology in the mid-1990s.

  8. Sustainable biochar effects for low carbon crop production: A 5-crop season field experiment on a low fertility soil from Central China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, X.

    2014-12-01

    Biochar's effects on improving soil fertility, enhancing crop productivity and reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) emission from croplands had been well addressed in numerous short-term experiments with biochar soil amendment (BSA) mostly in a single crop season / cropping year. However, the persistence of these effects, after a single biochar application, has not yet been well known due to limited long-term field studies so far. Large scale BSA in agriculture is often commented on the high cost due to large amount of biochar in a single application. Here, we try to show the persistence of biochar effects on soil fertility and crop productivity improvement as well as GHGs emission reduction, using data from a field experiment with BSA for 5 crop seasons in central North China. A single amendment of biochar was performed at rates of 0 (C0), 20 (C20) and 40 t ha-1 (C40) before sowing of the first crop season. Emissions of CO2, CH4 and N2O were monitored with static closed chamber method throughout the crop growing season for the 1st, 2nd and 5th cropping. Crop yield was measured and topsoil samples were collected at harvest of each crop season. BSA altered most of the soil physic-chemical properties with a significant increase over control in soil organic carbon (SOC) and available potassium (K) content. The increase in SOC and available K was consistent over the 5 crop seasons after BSA. Despite a significant yield increase in the first maize season, enhancement of crop yield was not consistent over crop seasons without corresponding to the changes in soil nutrient availability. BSA did not change seasonal total CO2 efflux but greatly reduced N2O emissions throughout the five seasons. This supported a stable nature of biochar carbon in soil, which played a consistent role in reducing N2O emission, which showed inter-annual variation with changes in temperature and soil moisture conditions. The biochar effect was much more consistent under C40 than under C20 and with

  9. Development and prospect of unmanned aerial vehicles for agricultural production management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Unmanned aerial vehicles have been developed and applied to support agricultural production management. Compared to piloted aircrafts, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) can focus on small crop fields in lower flight altitude than regular airplanes to perform site-specific management with high precisi...

  10. Production of Pharmaceutical Proteins in Solanaceae Food Crops

    PubMed Central

    Rigano, Maria Manuela; De Guzman, Giorgio; Walmsley, Amanda M.; Frusciante, Luigi; Barone, Amalia

    2013-01-01

    The benefits of increased safety and cost-effectiveness make vegetable crops appropriate systems for the production and delivery of pharmaceutical proteins. In particular, Solanaceae edible crops could be inexpensive biofactories for oral vaccines and other pharmaceutical proteins that can be ingested as minimally processed extracts or as partially purified products. The field of crop plant biotechnology is advancing rapidly due to novel developments in genetic and genomic tools being made available today for the scientific community. In this review, we briefly summarize data now available regarding genomic resources for the Solanaceae family. In addition, we describe novel strategies developed for the expression of foreign proteins in vegetable crops and the utilization of these techniques to manufacture pharmaceutical proteins. PMID:23434646

  11. Productivity and nutrient cycling in bioenergy cropping systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heggenstaller, Andrew Howard

    One of the greatest obstacles confronting large-scale biomass production for energy applications is the development of cropping systems that balance the need for increased productive capacity with the maintenance of other critical ecosystem functions including nutrient cycling and retention. To address questions of productivity and nutrient dynamics in bioenergy cropping systems, we conducted two sets of field experiments during 2005-2007, investigating annual and perennial cropping systems designed to generate biomass energy feedstocks. In the first experiment we evaluated productivity and crop and soil nutrient dynamics in three prototypical bioenergy double-crop systems, and in a conventionally managed sole-crop corn system. Double-cropping systems included fall-seeded forage triticale (x Triticosecale Wittmack), succeeded by one of three summer-adapted crops: corn (Zea mays L.), sorghum-sudangrass [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], or sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.). Total dry matter production was greater for triticale/corn and triticale/sorghum-sudangrass compared to sole-crop corn. Functional growth analysis revealed that photosynthetic duration was more important than photosynthetic efficiency in determining biomass productivity of sole-crop corn and double-crop triticale/corn, and that greater yield in the tiritcale/corn system was the outcome of photosynthesis occurring over an extended duration. Increased growth duration in double-crop systems was also associated with reductions in potentially leachable soil nitrogen relative to sole-crop corn. However, nutrient removal in harvested biomass was also greater in the double-crop systems, indicating that over the long-term, double-cropping would mandate increased fertilizer inputs. In a second experiment we assessed the effects of N fertilization on biomass and nutrient partitioning between aboveground and belowground crop components, and on carbon storage by four perennial, warm-season grasses: big bluestem

  12. Estimating crop net primary production using inventory data and MODIS-derived parameters

    SciTech Connect

    Bandaru, Varaprasad; West, Tristram O.; Ricciuto, Daniel M.; Izaurralde, Roberto C.

    2013-06-03

    National estimates of spatially-resolved cropland net primary production (NPP) are needed for diagnostic and prognostic modeling of carbon sources, sinks, and net carbon flux. Cropland NPP estimates that correspond with existing cropland cover maps are needed to drive biogeochemical models at the local scale and over national and continental extents. Existing satellite-based NPP products tend to underestimate NPP on croplands. A new Agricultural Inventory-based Light Use Efficiency (AgI-LUE) framework was developed to estimate individual crop biophysical parameters for use in estimating crop-specific NPP. The method is documented here and evaluated for corn and soybean crops in Iowa and Illinois in years 2006 and 2007. The method includes a crop-specific enhanced vegetation index (EVI) from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), shortwave radiation data estimated using Mountain Climate Simulator (MTCLIM) algorithm and crop-specific LUE per county. The combined aforementioned variables were used to generate spatially-resolved, crop-specific NPP that correspond to the Cropland Data Layer (CDL) land cover product. The modeling framework represented well the gradient of NPP across Iowa and Illinois, and also well represented the difference in NPP between years 2006 and 2007. Average corn and soybean NPP from AgI-LUE was 980 g C m-2 yr-1 and 420 g C m-2 yr-1, respectively. This was 2.4 and 1.1 times higher, respectively, for corn and soybean compared to the MOD17A3 NPP product. Estimated gross primary productivity (GPP) derived from AgI-LUE were in close agreement with eddy flux tower estimates. The combination of new inputs and improved datasets enabled the development of spatially explicit and reliable NPP estimates for individual crops over large regional extents.

  13. Integrating herbicides in a high-residue cover crop conservation agriculture setting

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation agriculture systems provide a means to ensure long-term agricultural productivity, protect environmental quality, and reduce inputs into farming systems. Weed control in these systems rely on multiple tactics to achieve effective weed management while limiting chemical inputs. Practic...

  14. Application of remote sensing in South Dakota to provide accurate inventories of agricultural crops, enhance contrast in photographic products, monitor rangeland habitat loss, map Aspen, and prepare hydrogeologic surveys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, V. I. (Principal Investigator); Dalsted, K. J.; Best, R. G.; Smith, J. R.; Eidenshink, J. C.; Schmer, F. A.; Andrawis, A. S.; Rahn, P. H.

    1977-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Digital analysis of LANDSAT CCT's indicated that two discrete spectral background zones occurred among the five soil zone. K-CLASS classification of corn revealed that accuracy increased when two background zones were used, compared to the classification of corn stratified by five soil zones. Selectively varying film type developer and development time produces higher contract in reprocessed imagery. Interpretation of rangeland and cropped land data from 1968 aerial photography and 1976 LANDSAT imagery indicated losses in rangeland habitat. Thermal imagery was useful in locating potential sources of sub-surface water and geothermal energy, estimating evapotranspiration, and inventorying the land.

  15. Geosensors to Support Crop Production: Current Applications and User Requirements

    PubMed Central

    Thessler, Sirpa; Kooistra, Lammert; Teye, Frederick; Huitu, Hanna; Bregt, Arnold K.

    2011-01-01

    Sensor technology, which benefits from high temporal measuring resolution, real-time data transfer and high spatial resolution of sensor data that shows in-field variations, has the potential to provide added value for crop production. The present paper explores how sensors and sensor networks have been utilised in the crop production process and what their added-value and the main bottlenecks are from the perspective of users. The focus is on sensor based applications and on requirements that users pose for them. Literature and two use cases were reviewed and applications were classified according to the crop production process: sensing of growth conditions, fertilising, irrigation, plant protection, harvesting and fleet control. The potential of sensor technology was widely acknowledged along the crop production chain. Users of the sensors require easy-to-use and reliable applications that are actionable in crop production at reasonable costs. The challenges are to develop sensor technology, data interoperability and management tools as well as data and measurement services in a way that requirements can be met, and potential benefits and added value can be realized in the farms in terms of higher yields, improved quality of yields, decreased input costs and production risks, and less work time and load. PMID:22163978

  16. Amazon basin soils: management for continuous crop production.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, P A; Bandy, D E; Villachica, J H; Nicholaides, J J

    1982-05-21

    Technology has been developed which permits continuous production of annual crops in some of the acid, infertile soils of the Amazon Basin. Studies in Yurimaguas, Peru, show that three grain crops can be produced annually with appropriate fertilizer inputs. Twenty-one crops have been harvested during the past 8(1/2) years in the same field, with an average annual production of 7.8 tons of grain per hectare. Soil properties are improving with continuous cultivation. The technology has been validated by local farmers, who normally practice shifting cultivation. Economic interpretations indicate large increases in annual family farm income and a high return on the investment of chemical inputs. Other promising land use alternatives include low-input crop production systems, paddy rice production in fertile alluvial soils, and pastures or agroforestry in rolling areas. Stable, continuous food crop production is an attractive alternative to shifting cultivation in humid tropical regions experiencing severe demographic pressures. For each hectare of land managed in a highly productive manner, there may be less need for clearing additional tropical forests to meet food demands. PMID:17819134

  17. [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". PMID:22768736

  18. 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…

  19. Modeling the Climate Change Adaptation of Crop Production using Irrigation over Water-Limited Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Replacing rainfed cropping system by irrigated one is assumed to be an effective measure for climate change adaptation in agriculture. However, in many agricultural impact assessments, future irrigation scenarios are externally given and do not consider the space-time varying available agricultural water under changing climate and land use. For these reason, this study aimed to (1) develop a crop-river coupled model that can simultaneously simulate crop growth and yield over a river watershed, river discharge and their dynamic interactions by embedded a large-area crop model, PRYSBI-2 [Sakurai et al., 2014] into a hydrologic model, H08 [Hanasaki et al., 2008]; (2) apply the developed coupled model to the Songhua River watershed in Northeast China and evaluate the model's performance by comparing the historical model simulations outputs; (3) assess the effects of adaption measure expanding irrigated area under climate change. The modeled year-to-year variations in soil moisture were comparable to the reference with the Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) of 0.75 (p<0.001) and root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 13 %. The modeled river discharge accurately matched with the observation data with the r of 0.83 (p<0.01) and RMSE of 22 %. And the modeled soybean yields were quantitatively comparable to the reference with the r of 0.66 (p<0.001) and RMSE of 21 %. We made simulations to project the changes of potential soybean production under climate change scenarios and irrigation area expanding scenarios. It was projected that the soybean production effectively increase until the irrigated area has been increased 5 times compared to around the year 2000. However, the more increase in the irrigated area would bring significant reduction of the increase rate in soybean production due to depletion of available agricultural water resources.

  20. Environmental Filtering of Microbial Communities in Agricultural Soil Shifts with Crop Growth.

    PubMed

    Hargreaves, Sarah K; Williams, Ryan J; Hofmockel, Kirsten S

    2015-01-01

    Plant and soil properties cooperatively structure soil microbial communities, with implications for ecosystem functioning. However, the extent to which each factor contributes to community structuring is not fully understood. To quantify the influence of plants and soil properties on microbial diversity and composition in an agricultural context, we conducted an experiment within a corn-based annual cropping system and a perennial switchgrass cropping system across three topographic positions. We sequenced barcoded 16S ribosomal RNA genes from whole soil three times throughout a single growing season and across two years in July. To target the belowground effects of plants, we also sampled rhizosphere soil in July. We hypothesized that microbial community α-diversity and composition (β-diversity) would be more sensitive to cropping system effects (annual vs. perennial inputs) than edaphic differences among topographic positions, with greater differences occurring in the rhizosphere compared to whole soil. We found that microbial community composition consistently varied with topographic position, and cropping system and the rhizosphere influenced α-diversity. In July, cropping system and rhizosphere structured a small but specific group of microbes implying a subset of microbial taxa, rather than broad shifts in community composition, may explain previously observed differences in resource cycling between treatments. Using rank abundance analysis, we detected enrichment of Saprospirales and Actinomycetales, including cellulose and chitin degraders, in the rhizosphere soil and enrichment of Nitrospirales, Syntrophobacterales, and MND1 in the whole soil. Overall, these findings support environmental filtering for the soil microbial community first by soil and second by the rhizosphere. Across cropping systems, plants selected for a general rhizosphere community with evidence for plant-specific effects related to time of sampling.

  1. Value of Available Global Soil Moisture Products for Agricultural Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mladenova, Iliana; Bolten, John; Crow, Wade; de Jeu, Richard

    2016-04-01

    The first operationally derived and publicly distributed global soil moil moisture product was initiated with the launch of the Advanced Scanning Microwave Mission on the NASA's Earth Observing System Aqua satellite (AMSR-E). AMSR-E failed in late 2011, but its legacy is continued by AMSR2, launched in 2012 on the JAXA Global Change Observation Mission-Water (GCOM-W) mission. AMSR is a multi-frequency dual-polarization instrument, where the lowest two frequencies (C- and X-band) were used for soil moisture retrieval. Theoretical research and small-/field-scale airborne campaigns, however, have demonstrated that soil moisture would be best monitored using L-band-based observations. This consequently led to the development and launch of the first L-band-based mission-the ESA's Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission (2009). In early 2015 NASA launched the second L-band-based mission, the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP). These satellite-based soil moisture products have been demonstrated to be invaluable sources of information for mapping water stress areas, crop monitoring and yield forecasting. Thus, a number of agricultural agencies routinely utilize and rely on global soil moisture products for improving their decision making activities, determining global crop production and crop prices, identifying food restricted areas, etc. The basic premise of applying soil moisture observations for vegetation monitoring is that the change in soil moisture conditions will precede the change in vegetation status, suggesting that soil moisture can be used as an early indicator of expected crop condition change. Here this relationship was evaluated across multiple microwave frequencies by examining the lag rank cross-correlation coefficient between the soil moisture observations and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). A main goal of our analysis is to evaluate and inter-compare the value of the different soil moisture products derived using L-band (SMOS

  2. Proximity to forest edge does not affect crop production despite pollen limitation.

    PubMed

    Chacoff, Natacha P; Aizen, Marcelo A; Aschero, Valeria

    2008-04-22

    A decline in pollination function has been linked to agriculture expansion and intensification. In northwest Argentina, pollinator visits to grapefruit, a self-compatible but pollinator-dependent crop, decline by approximately 50% at 1km from forest edges. We evaluated whether this decrease in visitation also reduces the pollination service in this crop. We analysed the quantity and quality of pollen deposited on stigmas, and associated limitation of fruit production at increasing distances (edge: 10, 100, 500 and 1000m) from the remnants of Yungas forest. We also examined the quantitative and qualitative efficiency of honeybees as pollen vectors. Pollen receipt and pollen tubes in styles decreased with increasing distance from forest edge; however, this decline did not affect fruit production. Supplementation of natural pollen with self- and cross-pollen revealed that both pollen quantity and quality limited fruit production. Despite pollen limitation, honeybees cannot raise fruit production because they often do not deposit sufficient high-quality pollen per visit to elicit fruit development. However, declines in visitation frequency well below seven visits during a flower's lifespan could decrease production beyond current yields. In this context, the preservation of forest remnants, which act as pollinator sources, could contribute to resilience in crop production. Like wild plants, pollen limitation of the yield among animal-pollinated crops may be common and indicative not only of pollinator scarcity, but also of poor pollination quality, whereby pollinator efficiency, rather than just abundance, can play a broader role than previously appreciated.

  3. Climate trends and crop production in China at county scale, 1980 to 2008

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhao; Song, Xiao; Tao, Fulu; Zhang, Shuai; Shi, Wenjiao

    2016-01-01

    Our understanding on the impact of climate change on agricultural production, as well as the potential adaption options, can be accelerated by shedding insights on the historical experiences in the past few decades. Here, we used improved datasets of climate, crop phenology, and crop yields to investigate climate-crop yield relationships, recent trends in seasonal climate and their impact on yields of major crops (i.e., rice, wheat, maize, and soybean) by county throughout China during the period of 1980-2008. The temporal and spatial patterns of climate trends and the impact on major crop yields were presented. We found crop yields declined by up to 5-10 % or more for each 1 °C increase in mean temperature over crop growing period at some regions, and trends in mean temperature during the period of 1980-2008 reduced crop yields by up to 2.5-5.0 % or more at some regions. For the whole country, planting area-weighted average of yield change due to trends in mean temperature and precipitation together was about 1.16, -0.31, -0.40, and 0.11 % over the whole period for rice, wheat, maize, and soybean, respectively. Climate trends were large enough at some regions to offset a notable portion of the increases in average yields that arose from technology and other factors. The particular crops and regions that have been most affected and should be the priorities to adapt are maize and wheat in the arid and semi-arid areas of northern and northeastern China, where climate warming-induced droughts are one of major challenges.

  4. Crop water production functions for grain sorghum and winter wheat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Productivity of water-limited cropping systems can be reduced by untimely distribution of water as well as cold and heat stress. The objective was to develop relationships among weather parameters, water use, and grain productivity to produce functions forecasting grain yields of grain sorghum and w...

  5. 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. PMID:24242193

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Occurrence and potential crop uptake of emerging contaminants and related compounds in an agricultural irrigation network.

    PubMed

    Calderón-Preciado, Diana; Matamoros, Víctor; Bayona, Josep M

    2011-12-15

    Emerging contaminants have received much attention in recent years due to their presence in surface waters, but little attention has been paid to their occurrence in agricultural irrigation waters. This study investigated the occurrence of these compounds in an agricultural irrigation network in northeastern Spain and, for the first time, using two plant uptake models, estimated the concentration of selected micropollutants in crops. The concentration of micropollutants in agricultural irrigation waters ranged from 10 to 5130 ng L(-1) and exhibited some attenuation over the course of the irrigation network. Bromoform, chloroform, diclofenac, caffeine, ibuprofen, naproxen, methyl dihydrojasmonate, galaxolide, butylated hydroxytoluene, and butylated hydroxyanisole were the most abundant contaminants (>200 ng L(-1), on average). The estimated concentration of micropollutants in crops ranged from <1 to 7677 ng kg(-1), with the neutral compounds being the most abundant. Moreover, the predicted data obtained by fate models generally agreed with experimental data. Finally, human exposure to micropollutants through fruit and vegetable consumption was estimated to be 9.8 μg per person and week (Σ 27 contaminants detected). Further studies are needed to determine the health implications that the presence of these compounds in fruit and vegetables may have for consumers. PMID:22030249

  9. Occurrence and potential crop uptake of emerging contaminants and related compounds in an agricultural irrigation network.

    PubMed

    Calderón-Preciado, Diana; Matamoros, Víctor; Bayona, Josep M

    2011-12-15

    Emerging contaminants have received much attention in recent years due to their presence in surface waters, but little attention has been paid to their occurrence in agricultural irrigation waters. This study investigated the occurrence of these compounds in an agricultural irrigation network in northeastern Spain and, for the first time, using two plant uptake models, estimated the concentration of selected micropollutants in crops. The concentration of micropollutants in agricultural irrigation waters ranged from 10 to 5130 ng L(-1) and exhibited some attenuation over the course of the irrigation network. Bromoform, chloroform, diclofenac, caffeine, ibuprofen, naproxen, methyl dihydrojasmonate, galaxolide, butylated hydroxytoluene, and butylated hydroxyanisole were the most abundant contaminants (>200 ng L(-1), on average). The estimated concentration of micropollutants in crops ranged from <1 to 7677 ng kg(-1), with the neutral compounds being the most abundant. Moreover, the predicted data obtained by fate models generally agreed with experimental data. Finally, human exposure to micropollutants through fruit and vegetable consumption was estimated to be 9.8 μg per person and week (Σ 27 contaminants detected). Further studies are needed to determine the health implications that the presence of these compounds in fruit and vegetables may have for consumers.

  10. Hotspots of inefficiency: Mapping the difference between crop production and food calorie delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, E. S.; Foley, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    Meeting growing demands for food calories will be a substantial challenge. One place to search for solutions is in how we allocate the world's crops, and finding ways to feed more people with current crop production. Currently, a substantial proportion of crop calories are used as animal feed, and only a small fraction of those feed calories ultimately contribute to human diets. Countries like the United States and China, which together produce over a third of the world's meat, eggs and dairy, lose a substantial portion of calories and protein to the feed-to-animal conversion process. This study looks at global croplands that have a large difference between calories grown, and the food calories available for consumption. These hotspots have the potential to feed more people, while reducing environmental impacts of agriculture.;

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:27531385

  13. Mapping Drought Impacts on Agricultural Production in California's Central Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melton, F. S.; Guzman, A.; Johnson, L.; Rosevelt, C.; Verdin, J. P.; Dwyer, J. L.; Mueller, R.; Zakzeski, A.; Thenkabail, P. S.; Wallace, C.; Jones, J.; Windell, S.; Urness, J.; Teaby, A.; Hamblin, D.; Post, K. M.; Nemani, R. R.

    2014-12-01

    The ongoing drought in California has substantially reduced surface water supplies for millions of acres of irrigated farmland in California's Central Valley. Rapid assessment of drought impacts on agricultural production can aid water managers in assessing mitigation options, and guide decision making with respect to requests for local water transfers, county drought disaster designations, and allocation of emergency funds to mitigate drought impacts. Satellite remote sensing offers an efficient way to provide quantitative assessments of drought impacts on agricultural production and increases in idle acreage associated with reductions in water supply. A key advantage of satellite-based assessments is that they can provide a measure of land fallowing that is consistent across both space and time. We describe an approach for monthly and seasonal mapping of uncultivated agricultural acreage developed as part of a joint effort by USGS, USDA, NASA, and the California Department of Water Resources to provide timely assessments of land fallowing during drought events. This effort has used the Central Valley of California as a pilot region for development and testing of an operational approach. To provide quantitative measures of uncultivated agricultural acreage from satellite data early in the season, we developed a decision tree algorithm and applied it to timeseries of data from Landsat TM, ETM+, OLI, and MODIS. Our effort has been focused on development of indicators of drought impacts in the March - August timeframe based on measures of crop development patterns relative to a reference period with average or above average rainfall. To assess the accuracy of the algorithms, monthly ground validation surveys were conducted across 640 fields from March - September, 2014. We present the algorithm along with updated results from the accuracy assessment, and discuss potential applications to other regions.

  14. [Characteristics of the microflora of soddy-podzol soil during single-crop cultivation of agricultural plants and during crop rotation].

    PubMed

    Berestetskiĭ, O A; Torzhevskiĭ, V I; Mochalov, Iu M

    Structural organization of microbial populations in soddy-podzolic soil was studied during growth of agricultural plants in monoculture and in crop rotation. The content of bacteria and their biomass decreased when plants were grown in monoculture. The content of actinomycetes, bacilli and oligonitrophilic microorganisms increased in soil during crop rotation as compared with monocultures, suggesting a higher rate of mobilization processes. The content of microscopic fingi in soil increased when lupine was grown in monoculture. Growth of plants in monoculture affects the cenotic structure of soil microflora. The composition of active soil microflora was characterized by a wider spectrum of microbial forms during crop rotation of monocultures. PMID:135916

  15. Emerging technologies in ethanol production. Agriculture information bulletin

    SciTech Connect

    Hohmann, N.; Rendleman, C.M.

    1993-01-01

    The fuel ethanol industry is poised to adopt a wide range of technologies that would reduce costs at every stage of the production process. Improved enzymes and fermenter designs can reduce the time needed to convert corn to ethanol and lower capital costs. Membrane filtration can allow the recovery of high-value coproducts such as lactic acid. Adoption of these and other innovations in the next 5 years is expected in new ethanol plants constructed to cope with new demand resulting from Clean Air Act stipulations for cleaner burning fuel. Biomass (agricultural residues, municipal and yard waste, energy crops like switchgrass) can also be converted to ethanol, although commercial-scale ventures are limited by current technology. While biomass requires more handling and sorting before conversion, those costs may be offset by the abundance of biomass relative to corn.

  16. The economic impact of climate change on Kenyan crop agriculture: A Ricardian approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kabubo-Mariara, Jane; Karanja, Fredrick K.

    2007-06-01

    This paper measures the economic impact of climate on crops in Kenya. We use cross-sectional data on climate, hydrological, soil and household level data for a sample of 816 households. We estimate a seasonal Ricardian model to assess the impact of climate on net crop revenue per acre. The results show that climate affects crop productivity. There is a non-linear relationship between temperature and revenue on one hand and between precipitation and revenue on the other. Estimated marginal impacts suggest that global warming is harmful for crop productivity. Predictions from global circulation models confirm that global warming will have a substantial impact on net crop revenue in Kenya. The results also show that the temperature component of global warming is much more important than precipitation. Findings call for monitoring of climate change and dissemination of information to farmers to encourage adaptations to climate change. Improved management and conservation of available water resources, water harvesting and recycling of wastewater could generate water for irrigation purposes especially in the arid and semi-arid areas.

  17. Contemporary and projected changes in global water use efficiency and crop productivity induced by land use and climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, S.; Tian, H.; Ouyang, Z.; Ren, W.; Tao, B.; Yang, J.; Lu, C.; Wang, X.

    2012-12-01

    Much concern has been raised about the impacts of climate and land use changes on water resource and food security through the climate-lwater-food nexus. However, it is short of investigation on the quantitative understanding and assessment of how land use and climate change have affected global water use efficiency and crop productivity, the key measures of water and food security. By using the Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model (DLEM) driven by spatially-explicit information on land use, climate and other environmental changes, we have assessed the spatial and temporal patterns of crop productivity, evapotranspiration (ET) and water use efficiency across the global land surface in the past three decades (1980-2010) and the projected period (2011-2099). Specifically, we have examined the following three questions: 1) How have global crop productivity and ET been affected by climate variability and land use change in the past three decades; 2) How will global crop productivity respond to climate changes (temperature, precipitation, and solar radiation) in the future (2011-2099)? and 3) What are the relative roles of climate change and land us in altering global crop productivity and water use efficiency? Our preliminary results indicate that crop productivity in the past three decades shows an increasing trend primarily due to agricultural intensification including the increased uses of fertilizers and irrigation. However, Crop productivity shows substantially spatial and temporal variations due to inter-annual and inter-decadal climate variability and spatial heterogeneity of environmental drivers. Climate extremes especially droughts and heat wave have largely reduced crop productivity, particularly in South Asia, Northern China, Africa, South America and US. Future climate warming could reduce crop productivity and shift cropland distribution. Our study further suggests that improving water use efficiency through land management practices will be the key for reducing

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Simultaneous improvement in productivity, water use, and albedo through crop structural modification.

    PubMed

    Drewry, Darren T; Kumar, Praveen; Long, Stephen P

    2014-06-01

    Spanning 15% of the global ice-free terrestrial surface, agricultural lands provide an immense and near-term opportunity to address climate change, food, and water security challenges. Through the computationally informed breeding of canopy structural traits away from those of modern cultivars, we show that solutions exist that increase productivity and water use efficiency, while increasing land-surface reflectivity to offset greenhouse gas warming. Plants have evolved to maximize capture of radiation in the upper leaves, thus shading competitors. While important for survival in the wild, this is suboptimal in monoculture crop fields for maximizing productivity and other biogeophysical services. Crop progenitors evolved over the last 25 million years in an atmosphere with less than half the [CO2] projected for 2050. By altering leaf photosynthetic rates, rising [CO2] and temperature may also alter the optimal canopy form. Here using soybean, the world's most important protein crop, as an example we show by applying optimization routines to a micrometeorological leaf canopy model linked to a steady-state model of photosynthesis, that significant gains in production, water use, and reflectivity are possible with no additional demand on resources. By modifying total canopy leaf area, its vertical profile and angular distribution, and shortwave radiation reflectivity, all traits available in most major crop germplasm collections, increases in productivity (7%) are possible with no change in water use or albedo. Alternatively, improvements in water use (13%) or albedo (34%) can likewise be made with no loss of productivity, under Corn Belt climate conditions. PMID:24700722

  1. Simultaneous improvement in productivity, water use, and albedo through crop structural modification.

    PubMed

    Drewry, Darren T; Kumar, Praveen; Long, Stephen P

    2014-06-01

    Spanning 15% of the global ice-free terrestrial surface, agricultural lands provide an immense and near-term opportunity to address climate change, food, and water security challenges. Through the computationally informed breeding of canopy structural traits away from those of modern cultivars, we show that solutions exist that increase productivity and water use efficiency, while increasing land-surface reflectivity to offset greenhouse gas warming. Plants have evolved to maximize capture of radiation in the upper leaves, thus shading competitors. While important for survival in the wild, this is suboptimal in monoculture crop fields for maximizing productivity and other biogeophysical services. Crop progenitors evolved over the last 25 million years in an atmosphere with less than half the [CO2] projected for 2050. By altering leaf photosynthetic rates, rising [CO2] and temperature may also alter the optimal canopy form. Here using soybean, the world's most important protein crop, as an example we show by applying optimization routines to a micrometeorological leaf canopy model linked to a steady-state model of photosynthesis, that significant gains in production, water use, and reflectivity are possible with no additional demand on resources. By modifying total canopy leaf area, its vertical profile and angular distribution, and shortwave radiation reflectivity, all traits available in most major crop germplasm collections, increases in productivity (7%) are possible with no change in water use or albedo. Alternatively, improvements in water use (13%) or albedo (34%) can likewise be made with no loss of productivity, under Corn Belt climate conditions.

  2. Global income and production impacts of using GM crop technology 1996–2013

    PubMed Central

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2015-01-01

    abstract This paper provides an economic assessment of the value of using genetically modified (GM) crop technology in agriculture at the farm level. It follows and updates earlier annual studies which examined economic impacts on yields, key costs of production, direct farm income and effects, and impacts on the production base of the 4 main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. The commercialisation of GM crops has continued to occur at a rapid rate since the mid 1990s, with important changes in both the overall level of adoption and impact occurring in 2013. This annual updated analysis shows that there continues to be very significant net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $20.5 billion in 2013 and $133.4 billion for the 18 years period (in nominal terms). These economic gains have been divided roughly 50% each to farmers in developed and developing countries. About 70% of the gains have derived from yield and production gains with the remaining 30% coming from cost savings. The technology have also made important contributions to increasing global production levels of the 4 main crops, having added 138 million tonnes and 273 million tonnes respectively, to the global production of soybeans and maize since the introduction of the technology in the mid 1990s. PMID:25738324

  3. Global income and production impacts of using GM crop technology 1996-2014.

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2016-01-01

    This paper provides an economic assessment of the value of using genetically modified (GM) crop technology in agriculture at the farm level. It follows and updates earlier annual studies which examined economic impacts on yields, key costs of production, direct farm income and effects, and impacts on the production base of the 4 main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. The commercialisation of GM crops has continued to occur at a rapid rate since the mid 1990s, with important changes in both the overall level of adoption and impact occurring in 2014. This annual updated analysis shows that there continues to be very significant net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $17.7 billion in 2014 and $150.3 billion for the 19-year period 1996-2014 (in nominal terms). These economic gains have been divided roughly 50% each to farmers in developed and developing countries. About 65% of the gains have derived from yield and production gains with the remaining 35% coming from cost savings. The technology has also made important contributions to increasing global production levels of the 4 main crops, having, for example, added 158 million tonnes and 322 million tonnes respectively, to the global production of soybeans and maize since the introduction of the technology in the mid 1990s. PMID:27116697

  4. Global income and production impacts of using GM crop technology 1996-2013.

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2015-01-01

    This paper provides an economic assessment of the value of using genetically modified (GM) crop technology in agriculture at the farm level. It follows and updates earlier annual studies which examined economic impacts on yields, key costs of production, direct farm income and effects, and impacts on the production base of the 4 main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. The commercialisation of GM crops has continued to occur at a rapid rate since the mid 1990s, with important changes in both the overall level of adoption and impact occurring in 2013. This annual updated analysis shows that there continues to be very significant net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $20.5 billion in 2013 and $133.4 billion for the 18 years period (in nominal terms). These economic gains have been divided roughly 50% each to farmers in developed and developing countries. About 70% of the gains have derived from yield and production gains with the remaining 30% coming from cost savings. The technology have also made important contributions to increasing global production levels of the 4 main crops, having added 138 million tonnes and 273 million tonnes respectively, to the global production of soybeans and maize since the introduction of the technology in the mid 1990s.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. A laboratory study of agricultural crop residue combustion in China: Emission factors and emission inventory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Hefeng; Ye, Xingnan; Cheng, Tiantao; Chen, Jianmin; Yang, Xin; Wang, Lin; Zhang, Renyi

    The burning of agricultural crop residue represents a major source of trace gases (CO, CO 2, NO, NO 2, and NO x) and particulate matter on a regional and global scale. This study investigates the gaseous and particulate emissions from the burning of rice, wheat and corn straws, which are three major agricultural crop residues in China, using a self-built burning stove and an aerosol chamber. Emission factors of CO 2, CO, NO, NO 2 and NO x were measured to be 791.3, 64.2, 1.02, 0.79 and 1.81 g kg -1 for rice straw, 1557.9, 141.2, 0.79, 0.32 and 1.12 g kg -1 for wheat straw, and 1261.5, 114.7, 0.85, 0.43 and 1.28 g kg -1 for corn straw, respectively. The corresponding emission factors of particle number are 1.8 × 10 13, 1.0 × 10 13, and 1.7 × 10 13 particles kg -1, respectively. The total emissions of CO, CO 2, and NO x from rice, wheat and corn straw burnings in China for the year 2004 were estimated to be 22.59, 252.92, and 0.28 Tg, respectively. The percentages of CO, CO 2, and NO x to the total emissions were 13.9%, 15.3%, and 31.4% for rice straw, 32.9%, 32.5%, and 20.9% for wheat straw, and 53.2%, 52.2%, and 47.6% for corn straw, respectively. In addition, the emission allocations of agricultural crop residue burning were also plotted in different regions of China using a simple geographic information system (GIS).

  9. Crop Storage and Handling. An Instructional Unit for Adult Vocational Education in Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hammer, James L.; Iverson, Maynard J.

    Farm output projections show increases for all farm products, with large increases needed in feed grains. This instructional unit was developed to promote the effective ability of producers to plan and develop a system of storing and handling home grown grain crops for maximum profits. The unit is structured in eight lessons which can be adapted…

  10. Cover crops in vegetable production systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Current vegetable production systems require an intensive amount Current vegetable production systems require an intensive amount of work and inputs, and if not properly managed could have detrimental effects on soil and the environment. Practices such as intensive tillage, increased herbicide use, ...

  11. 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. PMID:26187862

  12. 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.

  13. Comparing three gap filling methods for eddy covariance crop evapotranspiration measurements within a hilly agricultural catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boudhina, Nissaf; Prévot, Laurent; Zitouna Chebbi, Rim; Mekki, Insaf; Jacob, Frédéric; Ben Mechlia, Netij; Masmoudi, Moncef

    2015-04-01

    Hilly watersheds are widespread throughout coastal areas around the Mediterranean Basin. They experience agricultural intensification since hilly topographies allow water-harvesting techniques that compensate for rainfall storage, water being a strong limiting factor for crop production. Their fragility is likely to increase with climate change and human pressure. Within semi-arid hilly watershed conditions, evapotranspiration (ETR) is a major term of both land surface energy and water balances. Several methods allow determining ETR, based either on direct measurements, or on estimations and forecast from weather and soil moisture data using simulation models. Among these methods, eddy covariance technique is based on high-frequency measurements of fluctuations of wind speed and air temperature / humidity, to directly determine the convective fluxes between land surface and atmosphere. In spite of experimental and instrumental progresses, datasets of eddy covariance measurements often experience large portions of missing data. The latter results from energy power failure, experimental maintenance, instrumental troubles such as krypton hygrometer malfunctioning because of air humidity, or quality assessment based filtering in relation to spatial homogeneity and temporal stationarity of turbulence within surface boundary layer. This last item is all the more important as hilly topography, when combined with strong winds, tends to increase turbulence within surface boundary layer. The main objective of this study is to establish gap-filling procedures to provide complete chronicles of eddy-covariance measurements of crop evapotranspiration (ETR) within a hilly agricultural watershed. We focus on the specific conditions induced by the combination of hilly topography and wind direction, by discriminating between upslope and downslope winds. The experiment was set for three field configurations within hilly conditions: two flux measurement stations (A, B) were installed

  14. 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.

  15. Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions in China's agriculture: from farm production to food consumption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yue, Qian; Cheng, Kun; Pan, Genxing

    2016-04-01

    Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture could be mitigated from both supple side and demand side. Assessing carbon footprint (CF) of agricultural production and food consumption could provide insights into the contribution of agriculture to climate change and help to identify possible GHG mitigation options. In the present study, CF of China's agricultural production was firstly assessed from site scale to national scale, and from crop production to livestock production. Data for the crop and livestock production were collected from field survey and national statistical archive, and both life cycle assessment and input-output method were employed in the estimations. In general, CF of crop production was lower than that of livestock production on average. Rice production ranked the highest CF in crop production, and the highest CFs of livestock production were observed in mutton and beef production. Methane emissions from rice paddy, emissions from fertilizer application and water irrigation exerted the largest contribution of more than 50% for CF of crop production; however, emissions from forage feeding, enteric fermentation and manure treatment made the most proportion of more than 90 % for CF of livestock production. In China, carbon efficiency was shown in a decreasing trend in recent years. According to the present study, overuse of nitrogen fertilizer caused no yield effect but significant emissions in some sites and regions of China, and aggregated farms lowered the CFs of crop production and livestock production by 3% to 25% and 6% to 60% respectively compared to household farms. Given these, improving farming management efficiency and farm intensive development is the key strategy to mitigate climate change from supply side. However, changes in food consumption may reduce GHG emissions in the production chain through a switch to the consumption of food with higher GHG emissions in the production process to food with lower GHG emissions. Thus, CFs

  16. Closing the gap: global potential for increasing biofuel production through agricultural intensification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnston, Matt; Licker, R.; Foley, J.; Holloway, T.; Mueller, N. D.; Barford, C.; Kucharik, C.

    2011-07-01

    Since the end of World War II, global agriculture has undergone a period of rapid intensification achieved through a combination of increased applications of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, the implementation of best management practice techniques, mechanization, irrigation, and more recently, through the use of optimized seed varieties and genetic engineering. However, not all crops and not all regions of the world have realized the same improvements in agricultural intensity. In this study we examine both the magnitude and spatial variation of new agricultural production potential from closing of 'yield gaps' for 20 ethanol and biodiesel feedstock crops. With biofuels coming under increasing pressure to slow or eliminate indirect land-use conversion, the use of targeted intensification via established agricultural practices might offer an alternative for continued growth. We find that by closing the 50th percentile production gap—essentially improving global yields to median levels—the 20 crops in this study could provide approximately 112.5 billion liters of new ethanol and 8.5 billion liters of new biodiesel production. This study is intended to be an important new resource for scientists and policymakers alike—helping to more accurately understand spatial variation of yield and agricultural intensification potential, as well as employing these data to better utilize existing infrastructure and optimize the distribution of development and aid capital.

  17. Simultaneous Improvement in Water Use, Productivity and Albedo Through Crop Structural Modification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drewry, D.; Kumar, P.; Long, S.

    2014-12-01

    Agricultural lands provide a tremendous opportunity to address challenges at the intersection of climate change, food and water security. Global demand for the major grain and seed crops is beginning to outstrip production, while population growth and the expansion of the global middle class have motivated calls for a doubling of food production by the middle of this century. This is occurring as yield gains for the major food crops have stagnated. At current rates of yield improvement this doubling will not be achieved. Plants have evolved to maximize the capture of radiation in the upper leaves, resulting in sub-optimal monoculture crop fields for maximizing productivity and other biogeophysical services. Using the world's most important protein crop, soybean, as an example, we show that by applying numerical optimization to a micrometeorological crop canopy model that significant, simultaneous gains in water use, productivity and reflectivity are possible with no increased demand on resources. Here we apply the MLCan multi-layer canopy biophysical model, which vertically resolves the radiation and micro-environmental variations that stimulate biochemical and ecophysiological functions that govern canopy-atmosphere exchange processes. At each canopy level photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, and energy balance are solved simultaneously for shaded and sunlit foliage. A multi-layer sub-surface model accounts for water availability as a function of root biomass distribution. MLCan runs at sub-hourly temporal resolution, allowing it to capture variability in CO2, water and energy exchange as a function of environmental variability. By modifying total canopy leaf area, its vertical distribution, leaf angle, and shortwave radiation reflectivity, all traits available in most major crop germplasm collections, we show that increases in either productivity (7%), water use (13%) or albedo (34%) could be achieved with no detriment to the other objectives, under United

  18. Determining the potential productivity of food crops in controlled environments.

    PubMed

    Bugbee, B

    1992-01-01

    The quest to determine the maximum potential productivity of food crops is greatly benefitted by crop growth models. Many models have been developed to analyze and predict crop growth in the field, but it is difficult to predict biological responses to stress conditions. Crop growth models for the optimal environments of a Controlled Environment Life Support System (CELSS) can be highly predictive. This paper discusses the application of a crop growth model to CELSS; the model is used to evaluate factors limiting growth. The model separately evaluates the following four physiological processes: absorption of PPF by photosynthetic tissue, carbon fixation (photosynthesis), carbon use (respiration), and carbon partitioning (harvest index). These constituent processes determine potentially achievable productivity. An analysis of each process suggests that low harvest index is the factor most limiting to yield. PPF absorption by plant canopies and respiration efficiency are also of major importance. Research concerning productivity in a CELSS should emphasize: 1) the development of gas exchange techniques to continuously monitor plant growth rates and 2) environmental techniques to reduce plant height in communities.

  19. Determining the potential productivity of food crops in controlled environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugbee, Bruce

    1992-01-01

    The quest to determine the maximum potential productivity of food crops is greatly benefitted by crop growth models. Many models have been developed to analyze and predict crop growth in the field, but it is difficult to predict biological responses to stress conditions. Crop growth models for the optimal environments of a Controlled Environment Life Support System (CELSS) can be highly predictive. This paper discusses the application of a crop growth model to CELSS; the model is used to evaluate factors limiting growth. The model separately evaluates the following four physiological processes: absorption of PPF by photosynthetic tissue, carbon fixation (photosynthesis), carbon use (respiration), and carbon partitioning (harvest index). These constituent processes determine potentially achievable productivity. An analysis of each process suggests that low harvest index is the factor most limiting to yield. PPF absorption by plant canopies and respiration efficiency are also of major importance. Research concerning productivity in a CELSS should emphasize: (1) the development of gas exchange techniques to continuously monitor plant growth rates and (2) environmental techniques to reduce plant height in communities.

  20. Agricultural Production: Task Analyses. Competency-Based Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henrico County Public Schools, Glen Allen, VA. Virginia Vocational Curriculum Center.

    This task analysis guide is intended to help teachers and administrators develop instructional materials and implement competency-based education in the agricultural production program. Section 1 contains a validated task inventory for agricultural production. Tasks are divided into 10 duty areas: orienting the student to agricultural production,…

  1. 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.

  2. Weather based risks and insurances for agricultural production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gobin, Anne

    2015-04-01

    Extreme weather events such as frost, drought, heat waves and rain storms can have devastating effects on cropping systems. According to both the agriculture and finance sectors, a risk assessment of extreme weather events and their impact on cropping systems is needed. The principle of return periods or frequencies of natural hazards is adopted in many countries as the basis of eligibility for the compensation of associated losses. For adequate risk management and eligibility, hazard maps for events with a 20-year return period are often used. Damages due to extreme events are strongly dependent on crop type, crop stage, soil type and soil conditions. The impact of extreme weather events particularly during the sensitive periods of the farming calendar therefore requires a modelling approach to capture the mixture of non-linear interactions between the crop, its environment and the occurrence of the meteorological event in the farming calendar. Physically based crop models such as REGCROP (Gobin, 2010) assist in understanding the links between different factors causing crop damage. Subsequent examination of the frequency, magnitude and impacts of frost, drought, heat stress and soil moisture stress in relation to the cropping season and crop sensitive stages allows for risk profiles to be confronted with yields, yield losses and insurance claims. The methodology is demonstrated for arable food crops, bio-energy crops and fruit. The perspective of rising risk-exposure is exacerbated further by limited aid received for agricultural damage, an overall reduction of direct income support to farmers and projected intensification of weather extremes with climate change. Though average yields have risen continuously due to technological advances, there is no evidence that relative tolerance to adverse weather events has improved. The research is funded by the Belgian Science Policy Organisation (Belspo) under contract nr SD/RI/03A.

  3. Enhancing Soil Productivity Using a Multi-Crop Rotation and Beef Cattle Grazing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Şentürklü, Songül; Landblom, Douglas; Cihacek, Larry; Brevik, Eric

    2016-04-01

    Agricultural production systems that include complimentary plant, soil and animal interaction contribute to sustainability. In sustainable livestock systems integrated with crop production, the soil resource is impacted positively. The goal of this research was to maximize beef cattle and crop economic yield, while improving the soil resource by increasing soil organic matter (SOM) and subsequently seasonal soil nitrogen fertility over a 5-year period (2011-2015). Each experimental crop field used in the study was 1.74 ha. Small-seeded crops were planted using a JD 1590 No-Till drill. Corn (C) and sunflowers (SF) were planted using a JD 7000 No-Till planter. The cropping sequence used in the study was SF, hard red spring wheat (HRSW), fall seeded winter triticale-hairy vetch (T-HV), spring harvested for hay/mid-June seeded 7-species cover crop (CC; SF, Everleaf Oat, Flex Winter Pea, HV, Winfred Forage Rape, Ethiopian Cabbage, Hunter Leaf Turnip), C (85-day var.), and field pea-barley intercrop (PBY). The HRSW and SF were harvested as cash crops and the PBY, C, and CC were harvested by grazing cattle. In the system, yearling beef steers grazed PBY and unharvested C before feedlot entry, and after weaning, gestating cows grazed CC. Seasonal soil nitrogen fertility was measured at 0-15, 15-30, and 30-61 cm depths approximately every two weeks from June to October, 2014. The regression illustrating the relationship between SOM and average seasonal available mineral nitrogen shows that for each percentage increase in SOM there is a corresponding N increase of 1.47 kg/ha. Nitrogen fertilizer applications for the 5-year period of the study were variable; however, the overall trend was for reduced fertilizer requirement as SOM increased. At the same time, grain, oilseed, and annual forage crop yields increased year over year (2011-2015) except for the 2014 crop year, when above average precipitation delayed seeding and early frost killed the C and SF crops prematurely

  4. Assessing the probability of infection by Salmonella due to sewage sludge use in agriculture under several exposure scenarios for crops and soil ingestion.

    PubMed

    Krzyzanowski, Flávio; de Souza Lauretto, Marcelo; Nardocci, Adelaide Cássia; Sato, Maria Inês Zanoli; Razzolini, Maria Tereza Pepe

    2016-10-15

    A deeper understanding about the risks involved in sewage sludge practice in agriculture is required. The aims of the present study were to determine the annual risk of infection of consuming lettuce, carrots and tomatoes cultivated in soil amended with sewage sludge. The risk to agricultural workers of accidental ingestion of sludge or amended soil was also investigated. A Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment was conducted based on Salmonella concentrations from five WWTPs were used to estimate the probability of annual infection associated with crops and soil ingestion. The risk of infection was estimated for nine exposure scenarios considering concentration of the pathogen, sewage sludge dilution in soil, variation of Salmonella concentration in soil, soil attachment to crops, seasonal average temperatures, hours of post-harvesting exposure, Salmonella regrowth in lettuce and tomatoes, Salmonella inhibition factor in carrots, crop ingestion and frequency of exposure, sludge/soil ingestion by agricultural workers and frequency of exposure. Annual risks values varied across the scenarios evaluated. Highest values of annual risk were found for scenarios in which the variation in the concentration of Salmonella spp. in both soil and crops (scenario 1) and without variation in the concentration of Salmonella spp. in soil and variation in crops (scenario 3) ranging from 10(-3) to 10(-2) for all groups considered. For agricultural workers, the highest annual risks of infection were found when workers applied sewage sludge to agricultural soils (2.26×10(-2)). Sensitivity analysis suggests that the main drivers for the estimated risks are Salmonella concentration and ingestion rate. These risk values resulted from conservative scenarios since some assumptions were derived from local or general studies. Although these scenarios can be considered conservative, the sensitivity analysis yielded the drivers of the risks, which can be useful for managing risks from the

  5. Economic impact of GM crops: the global income and production effects 1996-2012.

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2014-01-01

    A key part of any assessment of the global value of crop biotechnology in agriculture is an examination of its economic impact at the farm level. This paper follows earlier annual studies which examined economic impacts on yields, key costs of production, direct farm income and effects, and impacts on the production base of the four main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. The commercialization of genetically modified (GM) crops has continued to occur at a rapid rate, with important changes in both the overall level of adoption and impact occurring in 2012. This annual updated analysis shows that there have been very significant net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $18.8 billion in 2012 and $116.6 billion for the 17-year period (in nominal terms). These economic gains have been divided roughly 50% each to farmers in developed and developing countries. GM technology have also made important contributions to increasing global production levels of the four main crops, having added 122 million tonnes and 230 million tonnes respectively, to the global production of soybeans and maize since the introduction of the technology in the mid-1990s.

  6. The global income and production effects of genetically modified (GM) crops 1996-2011.

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2013-01-01

    A key part of any assessment of the global value of crop biotechnology in agriculture is an examination of its economic impact at the farm level. This paper follows earlier annual studies which examined economic impacts on yields, key costs of production, direct farm income and effects and impacts on the production base of the four main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. The commercialization of genetically modified (GM) crops has continued to occur at a rapid rate, with important changes in both the overall level of adoption and impact occurring in 2011. This annual updated analysis shows that there have been very significant net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $19.8 billion in 2011 and $98.2 billion for the 16 year period (in nominal terms). The majority (51.2%) of these gains went to farmers in developing countries. GM technology have also made important contributions to increasing global production levels of the four main crops, having added 110 million tonnes and 195 million tonnes respectively, to the global production of soybeans and maize since the introduction of the technology in the mid-1990s.

  7. Agricultural Production. Numeracy. Level 1. Level 2. Level 3. Support Materials for Agricultural Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Batman, Kangan; Tully, Chris

    This publication contains the three numeracy units of the three levels of Support Materials for Agricultural Training (SMAT) in agricultural production: Level 1 (starting), 2 (continuing), and 3 (completing). The units are designed to help the learner improve his or her numeracy skills needed to deal with agricultural production. SMAT materials…

  8. Feeding nine billion: the challenge to sustainable crop production.

    PubMed

    Gregory, Peter J; George, Timothy S

    2011-11-01

    In the recent past there was a widespread working assumption in many countries that problems of food production had been solved, and that food security was largely a matter of distribution and access to be achieved principally by open markets. The events of 2008 challenged these assumptions, and made public a much wider debate about the costs of current food production practices to the environment and whether these could be sustained. As in the past 50 years, it is anticipated that future increases in crop production will be achieved largely by increasing yields per unit area rather than by increasing the area of cropped land. However, as yields have increased, so the ratio of photosynthetic energy captured to energy expended in crop production has decreased. This poses a considerable challenge: how to increase yield while simultaneously reducing energy consumption (allied to greenhouse gas emissions) and utilizing resources such as water and phosphate more efficiently. Given the timeframe in which the increased production has to be realized, most of the increase will need to come from crop genotypes that are being bred now, together with known agronomic and management practices that are currently under-developed.

  9. Phytoremediation of sewage sludge and use of its leachate for crop production.

    PubMed

    Xu, Tianfen; Xie, Fangwen; Wei, Zebin; Zeng, Shucai; Wu, Qi-Tang

    2015-01-01

    The land application of sewage sludge has the potential risk of transferring heavy metals to soil or groundwater. The agricultural reuse of sludge leachate could be a cost-effective way to decrease metal contamination. Sludge leachate collected during the phytoremediation of sludge by co-cropping with Sedum alfredii and Zea mays was used for irrigating vegetables in a field experiment. Results indicate that the concentrations of Cu, Zn, Pb, and Cd in sludge leachates complied with the National Standards for agricultural irrigation water in China. For the vegetable crop Ipomoea aquatica, nutrients obtained only from the sludge leachate were not sufficient to support growth. For the second crop, Brassica parachinensis, no differences in biomass were observed between the treatment with leachate plus a half dose of inorganic fertilizer and the treatment with a full dose of inorganic fertilizers. The concentrations of heavy metals in I. aquatica and B. parachinensis were not significantly affected by the application of sludge leachates. Compared with initial values, there were no significant differences in Zn, Cd, Cu, and Pb concentrations in soil following treatment with sludge leachate. This study indicates that on range lands, sludge phytoremediation can be conducted at the upper level, and the generated sludge leachate can be safely and easily used in crop production at the lower level.

  10. Integrated production of ethanol and coproducts from agricultural biomass

    SciTech Connect

    Barrier, J.W.; Moore, M.R.; Broder, J.D.

    1986-04-01

    Two years of experimental facility testing have proven that all important concepts for concentrated acid hydrolysis are workable. Conversion efficiencies of hemicellulose and cellulose to sugars have exceeded 90 percent in laboratory and plant-scale tsting with corn stover. Laboratory testing of alternate feedstocks gave similar results. Efforts are being made to improve the economics of acid hydrolysis process by combining processing steps and improving process conditions. Acid recovery research is being conducted to decrease acid consumption in the process. Another effort to improve the system economics involves the development of an integrated biomass refinery system for converting agricultural crops to useful foods, fuels, and chemical. Modifications are being made in the existing experimental facility to include the preoduction of such products as protein, methane, aquaculture feed, and distiller's solids as well as fuel ethanol. Refining of biomass feedstocks would provide new cash markets for farm crops, decrease soil erosion, improve efficiency in resource use, and in