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Sample records for agricultural cropping systems

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Dazhong, W.; Pimentel, D.

    1986-03-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. Simulating semiarid dryland cropping systems using the precision agricultural landscape modeling system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Precision Agricultural Landscape Modeling System (PALMS) is a terrain and weather driven, and distributed parameter hydrological-biophysical model primarily used in the Midwestern United States. Recently, research was started to evaluate the effectiveness of PALMS on irrigated and on dryland cro...

  15. Dynamic cropping systems: Holistic approach for dryland agricultural systems in the northern Great Plains of North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cropping systems over the past century have developed greater crop specialization, more effectively conserve our soil and water resources, and are more resilient. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the evolution of cropping systems in the Northern Great Plains and provide an approach to crop...

  16. Spatial data in geographic information system format on agricultural chemical use, land use, cropping practices in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Battaglin, W.A.; Goolsby, D.A.

    1995-01-01

    The spatial data in geographic information system format described in this report consist of estimates for all counties in the conterminous United States of the annual use of 96 herbicides in 1989; annual sales of nitrogen fertilizer, in tons, for 1985-91; and agricultural expenses, land use, chemical use, livestock holdings, and cropping practices in 1987. The source information, originally in tabular form, is summarized as digital polygon attribute data in the 18 geographic information system spatial data layers (coverages) provided. The information in these coverages can be used in estimating regional agricultural-chemical use or agricultural practices and in producing visual displays and mapping relative rates of agricultural-chemical use or agricultural practices across broad regions of the United States.

  17. [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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-14

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

  20. 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.

  1. Object-Oriented Agricultural System Modeling: Component-Driven Nutrient Dynamics and Crop Yield Simulations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Challenges in agro-ecosystem conservation management have created demand for state-of-the-art, integrated, and flexible modeling tools. For example, agricultural system modeling tools are needed which are robust and fast enough to be applied on large watershed scales, but which are also able to sim...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. A preliminary study of the statistical analyses and sampling strategies associated with the integration of remote sensing capabilities into the current agricultural crop forecasting system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sand, F.; Christie, R.

    1975-01-01

    Extending the crop survey application of remote sensing from small experimental regions to state and national levels requires that a sample of agricultural fields be chosen for remote sensing of crop acreage, and that a statistical estimate be formulated with measurable characteristics. The critical requirements for the success of the application are reviewed in this report. The problem of sampling in the presence of cloud cover is discussed. Integration of remotely sensed information about crops into current agricultural crop forecasting systems is treated on the basis of the USDA multiple frame survey concepts, with an assumed addition of a new frame derived from remote sensing. Evolution of a crop forecasting system which utilizes LANDSAT and future remote sensing systems is projected for the 1975-1990 time frame.

  5. Agricultural Residues and Biomass Energy Crops

    SciTech Connect

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  10. Cover crops support ecological intensification of arable cropping systems

    PubMed Central

    Wittwer, Raphaël A.; Dorn, Brigitte; Jossi, Werner; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A.

    2017-01-01

    A major challenge for agriculture is to enhance productivity with minimum impact on the environment. Several studies indicate that cover crops could replace anthropogenic inputs and enhance crop productivity. However, so far, it is unclear if cover crop effects vary between different cropping systems, and direct comparisons among major arable production systems are rare. Here we compared the short-term effects of various cover crops on crop yield, nitrogen uptake, and weed infestation in four arable production systems (conventional cropping with intensive tillage and no-tillage; organic cropping with intensive tillage and reduced tillage). We hypothesized that cover cropping effects increase with decreasing management intensity. Our study demonstrated that cover crop effects on crop yield were highest in the organic system with reduced tillage (+24%), intermediate in the organic system with tillage (+13%) and in the conventional system with no tillage (+8%) and lowest in the conventional system with tillage (+2%). Our results indicate that cover crops are essential to maintaining a certain yield level when soil tillage intensity is reduced (e.g. under conservation agriculture), or when production is converted to organic agriculture. Thus, the inclusion of cover crops provides additional opportunities to increase the yield of lower intensity production systems and contribute to ecological intensification. PMID:28157197

  11. Cover crops support ecological intensification of arable cropping systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittwer, Raphaël A.; Dorn, Brigitte; Jossi, Werner; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A.

    2017-02-01

    A major challenge for agriculture is to enhance productivity with minimum impact on the environment. Several studies indicate that cover crops could replace anthropogenic inputs and enhance crop productivity. However, so far, it is unclear if cover crop effects vary between different cropping systems, and direct comparisons among major arable production systems are rare. Here we compared the short-term effects of various cover crops on crop yield, nitrogen uptake, and weed infestation in four arable production systems (conventional cropping with intensive tillage and no-tillage; organic cropping with intensive tillage and reduced tillage). We hypothesized that cover cropping effects increase with decreasing management intensity. Our study demonstrated that cover crop effects on crop yield were highest in the organic system with reduced tillage (+24%), intermediate in the organic system with tillage (+13%) and in the conventional system with no tillage (+8%) and lowest in the conventional system with tillage (+2%). Our results indicate that cover crops are essential to maintaining a certain yield level when soil tillage intensity is reduced (e.g. under conservation agriculture), or when production is converted to organic agriculture. Thus, the inclusion of cover crops provides additional opportunities to increase the yield of lower intensity production systems and contribute to ecological intensification.

  12. The edge extraction of agricultural crop leaf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  13. Mapping Crop Patterns in Central US Agricultural Systems from 2000 to 2014 Based on Landsat Data: To What Degree Does Fusing MODIS Data Improve Classification Accuracies?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, L.; Radeloff, V.; Ives, A. R.; Barton, B.

    2015-12-01

    Deriving crop pattern with high accuracy is of great importance for characterizing landscape diversity, which affects the resilience of food webs in agricultural systems in the face of climatic and land cover changes. Landsat sensors were originally designed to monitor agricultural areas, and both radiometric and spatial resolution are optimized for monitoring large agricultural fields. Unfortunately, few clear Landsat images per year are available, which has limited the use of Landsat for making crop classification, and this situation is worse in cloudy areas of the Earth. Meanwhile, the MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data has better temporal resolution but cannot capture fine spatial heterogeneity of agricultural systems. Our question was to what extent fusing imagery from both sensors could improve crop classifications. We utilized the Spatial and Temporal Adaptive Reflectance Fusion Model (STARFM) algorithm to simulate Landsat-like images at MODIS temporal resolution. Based on Random Forests (RF) classifier, we tested whether and by what degree crop maps from 2000 to 2014 of the Arlington Agricultural Research Station (Wisconsin, USA) were improved by integrating available clear Landsat images each year with synthetic images. We predicted that the degree to which classification accuracy can be improved by incorporating synthetic imagery depends on the number and acquisition time of clear Landsat images. Moreover, multi-season data are essential for mapping crop types by capturing their phenological dynamics, and STARFM-simulated images can be used to compensate for missing Landsat observations. Our study is helpful for eliminating the limits of the use of Landsat data in mapping crop patterns, and can provide a benchmark of accuracy when choosing STARFM-simulated images to make crop classification at broader scales.

  14. 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…

  15. Detecting transition in agricultural systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neary, P. J.; Coiner, J. C.

    1979-01-01

    Remote sensing of agricultural phenomena has been largely concentrated on analysis of agriculture at the field level. Concern has been to identify crop status, crop condition, and crop distribution, all of which are spatially analyzed on a field-by-field basis. A more general level of abstraction is the agricultural system, or the complex of crops and other land cover that differentiate various agricultural economies. The paper reports on a methodology to assist in the analysis of the landscape elements of agricultural systems with Landsat digital data. The methodology involves tracing periods of photosynthetic activity for a fixed area. Change from one agricultural system to another is detected through shifts in the intensity and periodicity of photosynthetic activity as recorded in the radiometric return to Landsat. The Landsat-derived radiometric indicator of photosynthetic activity appears to provide the ability to differentiate agricultural systems from each other as well as from conterminous natural vegetation.

  16. 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...

  17. 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…

  18. Nitrous oxide emissions from intensive agricultural systems: Variations between crops and seasons, key driving variables, and mean emission factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobbie, K. E.; McTaggart, I. P.; Smith, K. A.

    1999-11-01

    Emissions of nitrous oxide from intensively managed agricultural fields were measured over 3 years. Exponential increases in flux occurred with increasing soil water- filled pore space (WFPS) and temperature; increases in soil mineral N content due to fertilizer application also stimulated emissions. Fluxes were low when any of these variables was below a critical value. The largest fluxes occurred when WFPS values were very high (70-90%), indicating that denitrification was the major process responsible. The relationships with the driving variables showed strong similarities to those reported for very different environments: irrigated sugar cane crops, pastures, and forest in the tropics. Annual emissions varied widely (0.3-18.4 kg N2O-N ha-1). These variations were principally due to the degree of coincidence of fertilizer application and major rainfall events. It is concluded therefore that several years' data are required from any agricultural ecosystem in a variable climate to obtain a robust estimate of mean N2O fluxes. The emissions from small-grain cereals (winter wheat and spring barley) were consistently lower (0.2-0.7 kg N2O-N per 100 kg N applied) than from cut grassland (0.3-5.8 kg N2O- N per 100 kg N). Crops such as broccoli and potatoes gave emissions of the same order as those from the grassland. Although these differences between crop types are not apparent in general data comparisons, there may well be distinct regional differences in the relative and absolute emissions from different crops, due to local factors relating to soil type, weather patterns, and agricultural management practices. This will only be determined by more detailed comparative studies.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. Effects of crop rotation and management system on water-extractable organic matter concentration, structure, and bioavailability in a chernozemic agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Xu, Na; Wilson, Henry F; Saiers, James E; Entz, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Water-extractable organic matter (WEOM) in soil affects contaminant mobility and toxicity, heterotrophic production, and nutrient cycling in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This study focuses on the influences of land use history and agricultural management practices on the water extractability of organic matter and nutrients from soils. Water-extractable organic matter was extracted from soils under different crop rotations (an annual rotation of wheat-pea/bean-wheat-flax or a perennial-based rotation of wheat-alfalfa-alfalfa-flax) and management systems (organic or conventional) and examined for its concentration, composition, and biodegradability. The results show that crop rotations including perennial legumes increased the concentration of water-extractable organic carbon (WEOC) and water-extractable organic nitrogen (WEON) and the biodegradability of WEOC in soil but depleted the quantity of water-extractable organic phosphorus (WEOP) and water-extractable reactive phosphorus. The 30-d incubation experiments showed that bioavailable WEOC varied from 12.5% in annual systems to 22% for perennial systems. The value of bioavailable WEOC was found to positively correlate with WEON concentrations and to negatively correlate with C:N ratio and the specific ultraviolet absorbance of WEOM. No significant treatment effect was present with the conventional and organic management practices, which suggested that WEOM, as the relatively labile pool in soil organic matter, is more responsive to the change in crop rotation than to mineral fertilizer application. Our results indicated that agricultural landscapes with contrasting crop rotations are likely to differentially affect rates of microbial cycling of organic matter leached to soil waters.

  3. How can crop intra-specific biodiversity mitigate the vulnerability of agricultural systems to climate change? A case study on durum wheat in Southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monaco, Eugenia; Alfieri, Silvia Maria; Basile, Angelo; Menenti, Massimo; Bonfante, Antonello; De Lorenzi, Fracesca

    2014-05-01

    Climate evolution may lead to changes in the amount and distribution of precipitations and to reduced water availability, with constraints on the cultivation of some crops. Recently, foreseen crop responses to climate change raise a crucial question for the agricultural stakeholders: are the current production systems resilient to this change? An active debate is in progress about the definition of adaptation of agricultural systems, particularly about the integrated assessment of climate stressors, vulnerability and resilece towards the evaluation of climate impact on agricultural systems. Climate change represents a risk for rain-fed agricultural systems, where irrigations cannot compensate reductions in precipitations. The intra-specific biodiversity of crops can be a resource towards adaptation. The knowledge of the responses to environmental conditions (temperature and water availability) of different cultivars can allow to identify options for adaptation to future climate. Simulation models of water flow in the soil-plant-atmosphere system, driven by different climate scenarios, can describe present and foreseen soil water regime. The present work deals with a case-study on the adaptive capacity of durum wheat to climate change. The selected study area is a hilly region in Southern Italy (Fortore Beneventano, Campania Region). Two climate cases were studied: "reference" (1961-1990) and "future" (2021-2050). A mechanistic model of water flow in the soil-plant-atmosphere system (SWAP) was run to determine the water regime in some soil units, representative of the soil variability in the study area. From model output, the Relative Evapotranspiration Deficit (RETD) was determined as an indicator of hydrological conditions during the crop growing period for each year and climate case; and periods with higher frequencies of soil water deficits were identified. The timing of main crop development stages was calculated. The occurrence of water deficit at different

  4. Eight years of Conservation Agriculture-based cropping systems research in Eastern Africa to conserve soil and water and mitigate effects of climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araya, Tesfay; Nyssen, Jan; Govaerts, Bram; Lanckriet, Sil; Baudron, Frédéric; Deckers, Jozef; Cornelis, Wim

    2014-05-01

    In Ethiopia, repeated plowing, complete removal of crop residues at harvest, aftermath grazing of crop fields and occurrence of repeated droughts have reduced the biomass return to the soil and aggravated cropland degradation. Conservation Agriculture (CA)-based resource conserving cropping systems may reduce runoff and soil erosion, and improve soil quality, thereby increasing crop productivity. Thus, a long-term tillage experiment has been carried out (2005 to 2012) on a Vertisol to quantify - among others - changes in runoff and soil loss for two local tillage practices, modified to integrate CA principles in semi-arid northern Ethiopia. The experimental layout was a randomized complete block design with three replications on permanent plots of 5 m by 19 m. The tillage treatments were (i) derdero+ (DER+) with a furrow and permanent raised bed planting system, ploughed only once at planting by refreshing the furrow from 2005 to 2012 and 30% standing crop residue retention, (ii) terwah+ (TER+) with furrows made at 1.5 m interval, plowed once at planting, 30% standing crop residue retention and fresh broad beds, and (iii) conventional tillage (CT) with a minimum of three plain tillage operations and complete removal of crop residues. All the plowing and reshaping of the furrows was done using the local ard plough mahresha and wheat, teff, barley and grass pea were grown. Glyphosate was sprayed starting from the third year onwards (2007) at 2 l ha-1 before planting to control pre-emergent weeds in CA plots. Runoff and soil loss were measured daily. Soil water content was monitored every 6 days. Significantly different (p<0.05) runoff coefficients averaged over 8 years were 14, 20 and 27% for DER+, TER+ and CT, respectively. Mean soil losses were 4 t ha-1 y-1 in DER+, 13 in TER+ and 18 in CT. Soil water storage during the growing season was constantly higher in CA-based systems compared with CT. A period of at least three years of cropping was required before

  5. Integrated forage crop refinery system

    SciTech Connect

    Barrier, J.W.; Broder, J.D.; Madewell, C.E.; Mays, D.A.

    1985-04-01

    The proposed program involves the development of an integrated agricultural-chemical refining system for converting forage crops to useful foods, feeds, fuels, and chemicals. TVA has facilities and resources available to support extensive research and development activities. Modification can easily be made in the existing experimental facility being used to develop acid hydrolysis of corn stover, to include production of products other than fuel ethanol from forages. These products include protein, lignin-derived products, chemicals, single-cell protein, methane, aquaculture feed, and distillers solids. Refining forage crops in this manner has potential to increase the value of that crop and produce an economical integrated system. The results of the program will also be directly applicable to other areas and regions of the US. 11 refs., 7 figs., 9 tabs.

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. Glyphosate sustainability in South American cropping systems.

    PubMed

    Christoffoleti, Pedro J; Galli, Antonio J B; Carvalho, Saul J P; Moreira, Murilo S; Nicolai, Marcelo; Foloni, Luiz L; Martins, Bianca A B; Ribeiro, Daniela N

    2008-04-01

    South America represents about 12% of the global land area, and Brazil roughly corresponds to 47% of that. The major sustainable agricultural system in South America is based on a no-tillage cropping system, which is a worldwide adopted agricultural conservation system. Societal benefits of conservation systems in agriculture include greater use of conservation tillage, which reduces soil erosion and associated loading of pesticides, nutrients and sediments into the environment. However, overreliance on glyphosate and simpler cropping systems has resulted in the selection of tolerant weed species through weed shifts (WSs) and evolution of herbicide-resistant weed (HRW) biotypes to glyphosate. It is a challenge in South America to design herbicide- and non-herbicide-based strategies that effectively delay and/or manage evolution of HRWs and WSs to weeds tolerant to glyphosate in cropping systems based on recurrent glyphosate application, such as those used with glyphosate-resistant soybeans. The objectives of this paper are (i) to provide an overview of some factors that influence WSs and HRWs to glyphosate in South America, especially in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay soybean cropped areas; (ii) to discuss the viability of using crop rotation and/or cover crops that might be integrated with forage crops in an economically and environmentally sustainable system; and (iii) to summarize the results of a survey of the perceptions of Brazilian farmers to problems with WSs and HRWs to glyphosate, and the level of adoption of good agricultural practices in order to prevent or manage it.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Precision agricultural systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Precision agriculture is a new farming practice that has been developing since late 1980s. It has been variously referred to as precision farming, prescription farming, site-specific crop management, to name but a few. There are numerous definitions for precision agriculture, but the central concept...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poffenbarger, Hanna

    2010-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Crop Sequence Economics in Dynamic Cropping Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    No-till production systems allow more intensified and diversified production in the northern Great Plains; however, this has increased the need for information on improving economic returns through crop sequence selection. Field research was conducted 6 km southwest of Mandan ND to determine the inf...

  19. 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

  20. Impact of seasonal forecast use on agricultural income in a system with varying crop costs and returns: an empirically-grounded simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunda, T.; Bazuin, J. T.; Nay, J.; Yeung, K. L.

    2017-03-01

    Access to seasonal climate forecasts can benefit farmers by allowing them to make more informed decisions about their farming practices. However, it is unclear whether farmers realize these benefits when crop choices available to farmers have different and variable costs and returns; multiple countries have programs that incentivize production of certain crops while other crops are subject to market fluctuations. We hypothesize that the benefits of forecasts on farmer livelihoods will be moderated by the combined impact of differing crop economics and changing climate. Drawing upon methods and insights from both physical and social sciences, we develop a model of farmer decision-making to evaluate this hypothesis. The model dynamics are explored using empirical data from Sri Lanka; primary sources include survey and interview information as well as game-based experiments conducted with farmers in the field. Our simulations show that a farmer using seasonal forecasts has more diversified crop selections, which drive increases in average agricultural income. Increases in income are particularly notable under a drier climate scenario, when a farmer using seasonal forecasts is more likely to plant onions, a crop with higher possible returns. Our results indicate that, when water resources are scarce (i.e. drier climate scenario), farmer incomes could become stratified, potentially compounding existing disparities in farmers’ financial and technical abilities to use forecasts to inform their crop selections. This analysis highlights that while programs that promote production of certain crops may ensure food security in the short-term, the long-term implications of these dynamics need careful evaluation.

  1. Modifying agricultural crops for improved nutrition.

    PubMed

    McGloughlin, Martina Newell

    2010-11-30

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

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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

    drought early warning; and drought occurring in Early-May has the most significant agricultural impacts. This research intends to help prototype an agricultural drought alert system, which could alert crop analysts to agricultural drought vulnerable areas/periods and provide tools for assessing crop outlooks in these regions.

  6. Expert systems in agriculture and resource management

    SciTech Connect

    Plant, R.E.

    1993-05-01

    This paper gives a description of some representative examples of expert systems applied to problems in agriculture and biological resource management. The discussion of agricultural expert systems focuses on several decision support systems for crop management, describing the systems themselves and the implementation efforts surrounding them. The examples of the application of expert systems to biological resource management focus on the integration of expert systems with geographic information systems. A description of some of the more recent developments in agricultural expert systems, still in the prototype stage, is then given, followed by a summary discussion of possible environmental implications of the use of expert systems in agriculture and resource management. 63 refs.

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. Hyperspectral mapping of crop and soils for precision agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-08-01

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

  11. Simulating Stochastic Crop Management in Cropping Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Introduction -- Crop simulation models are uniquely suitable for examining long term crop responses to environmental variability due to changes in climate or other factors. Long-term studies typically emphasize variability related to weather conditions; certain weather-dependent cropping practices m...

  12. Divesting in crop diversity: trade-offs of modern cropping systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engstrom, P.

    2013-12-01

    Since the advent of the Green Revolution in the 1960's, agriculture has experienced great advances in yield, seed genetics and management. This focus on increased yields and production came at the cost of many marginal, traditional crops because they could no longer compete with the bountiful harvests of massive mono-culture food systems. In the modern agricultural world, three staple crops are responsible for 46% of global agricultural production on 33% of global harvested area. Further, seventeen crops account for 73% of global crop production and use 58% of global harvested area. How has the distribution of individual crops today changed from before the Green Revolution began, and what are the broader implications of these changes for our food systems?

  13. Crop pest management with an aerial imaging system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Remote sensing along with Global Positioning Systems, Geographic Information Systems, and variable rate technology has been developed, which scientists can implement to help farmers maximize the economic and environmental benefits of crop pest management through precision agriculture. Airborne remo...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. Incorporating Grasslands into Cropping Systems: What are the Keys?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    American agriculture in the 20th century has been shaped by social/political, economic, environmental and technological drivers. During this time, American agricultural systems became increasingly specialized and input driven resulting in agricultural production being dominated by ‘commodity crop p...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  4. Alternative cropping systems for sugarcane

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Planting cover crops during the fallow period prior to planting sugarcane has the potential to influence not only the following sugarcane crop, but the economics of the production system as a whole. Research was conducted at the USDA, ARS, Sugarcane Research Unit at Houma, LA to determine the impac...

  5. The Use of Cover Crops as Climate-Smart Management in Midwest Cropping Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basche, A.; Miguez, F.; Archontoulis, S.; Kaspar, T.

    2014-12-01

    The observed trends in the Midwestern United States of increasing rainfall variability will likely continue into the future. Events such as individual days of heavy rain as well as seasons of floods and droughts have large impacts on agricultural productivity and the natural resource base that underpins it. Such events lead to increased soil erosion, decreased water quality and reduced corn and soybean yields. Winter cover crops offer the potential to buffer many of these impacts because they essentially double the time for a living plant to protect and improve the soil. However, at present, cover crops are infrequently utilized in the Midwest (representing 1-2% of row cropped land cover) in particular due to producer concerns over higher costs and management, limited time and winter growing conditions as well as the potential harm to corn yields. In order to expand their use, there is a need to quantify how cover crops impact Midwest cropping systems in the long term and namely to understand how to optimize the benefits of cover crops while minimizing their impacts on cash crops. We are working with APSIM, a cropping systems platform, to specifically quantify the long term future impacts of cover crop incorporation in corn-based cropping systems. In general, our regional analysis showed only minor changes to corn and soybean yields (<1% differences) when a cover crop was or was not included in the simulation. Further, a "bad spring" scenario (where every third year had an abnormally wet/cold spring and cover crop termination and planting cash crop were within one day) did not result in any major changes to cash crop yields. Through simulations we estimate an average increase of 4-9% organic matter improvement in the topsoil and an average decrease in soil erosion of 14-32% depending on cover crop planting date and growth. Our work is part of the Climate and Corn-based Cropping Systems Coordinated Agriculture Project (CSCAP), a collaboration of eleven Midwestern

  6. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. Development of an airborne remote sensing system for crop pest management: System integration and verification

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Remote sensing along with Global Positioning Systems, Geographic Information Systems, and variable rate technology has been developed, which scientists can implement to help farmers maximize the economic and environmental benefits of crop pest management through precision agriculture. Airborne remo...

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

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Daniel De La Torre Ugarte

    2000-07-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Economic implications of alternative potato cropping systems in Maine

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sustainable cropping systems and management practices are needed to improve agricultural viability and rural economic vitality in Maine and the surrounding region. Research is being conducted to 1) identify the constraints to potato system sustainability and 2) develop practices and management strat...

  10. 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

  11. Quality assurance of weather data for agricultural system model input

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    It is well known that crop production and hydrologic variation on watersheds is weather related. Rarely, however, is meteorological data quality checks reported for agricultural systems model research. We present quality assurance procedures for agricultural system model weather data input. Problems...

  12. 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.

  13. CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) for weather impact assessment on global agriculture.

    PubMed

    Gommes, René; Wu, Bingfang; Zhang, Ning; Feng, Xueliang; Zeng, Hongwei; Li, Zhongyuan; Chen, Bo

    2017-02-01

    CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) are a monitoring tool developed by the CropWatch global crop monitoring system in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS; www.cropwatch.com.cn , Wu et al Int J Digital Earth 7(2):113-137, 2014, Wu et al Remote Sens 7:3907-3933, 2015). Contrary to most other environmental and agroclimatic indicators, they are "agronomic value-added", i.e. they are spatial values averaged over agricultural areas only and they include a weighting that enhances the contribution of the areas with the largest production potential. CWAIs can be computed for any time interval (starting from dekads) and yield one synthetic value per variable over a specific area and time interval, for instance a national annual value. Therefore, they are very compatible with socio-economic and other variables that are usually reported at regular time intervals over administrative units, such as national environmental or agricultural statistics. Two of the CWAIs are satellite-based (RAIN and Photosynthetically Active radiation, PAR) while the third is ground based (TEMP, air temperature); capitals are used when specifically referring to CWAIs rather than the climate variables in general. The paper first provides an overview of some common agroclimatic indicators, describing their procedural, systemic and normative features in subsequent sections, following the terminology of Binder et al Environ Impact Assess Rev 30:71-81 (2010). The discussion focuses on the systemic and normative aspects: the CWAIs are assessed in terms of their coherent description of the agroclimatic crop environment, at different spatial scales (systemic). The final section shows that the CWAIs retain key statistical properties of the underlying climate variables and that they can be compared to a reference value and used as monitoring and early warning variables (normative).

  14. 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).

  15. CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) for weather impact assessment on global agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gommes, René; Wu, Bingfang; Zhang, Ning; Feng, Xueliang; Zeng, Hongwei; Li, Zhongyuan; Chen, Bo

    2017-02-01

    CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) are a monitoring tool developed by the CropWatch global crop monitoring system in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS; http://www.cropwatch.com.cn, Wu et al Int J Digital Earth 7(2):113-137, 2014, Wu et al Remote Sens 7:3907-3933, 2015). Contrary to most other environmental and agroclimatic indicators, they are "agronomic value-added", i.e. they are spatial values averaged over agricultural areas only and they include a weighting that enhances the contribution of the areas with the largest production potential. CWAIs can be computed for any time interval (starting from dekads) and yield one synthetic value per variable over a specific area and time interval, for instance a national annual value. Therefore, they are very compatible with socio-economic and other variables that are usually reported at regular time intervals over administrative units, such as national environmental or agricultural statistics. Two of the CWAIs are satellite-based (RAIN and Photosynthetically Active radiation, PAR) while the third is ground based (TEMP, air temperature); capitals are used when specifically referring to CWAIs rather than the climate variables in general. The paper first provides an overview of some common agroclimatic indicators, describing their procedural, systemic and normative features in subsequent sections, following the terminology of Binder et al Environ Impact Assess Rev 30:71-81 (2010). The discussion focuses on the systemic and normative aspects: the CWAIs are assessed in terms of their coherent description of the agroclimatic crop environment, at different spatial scales (systemic). The final section shows that the CWAIs retain key statistical properties of the underlying climate variables and that they can be compared to a reference value and used as monitoring and early warning variables (normative).

  16. Crop diversity effects on productivity and economic returns under dryland agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing crop diversity has been identified as a method to improve agronomic performance of cropping systems and increase provision of ecosystem services. However, there is a need to understand the economic performance of more diverse cropping systems. Crop productivity and economic net returns we...

  17. How well can we assess impacts of agricultural land management changes on the total greenhouse gas balance (CO2, CH4 and N2O) of tropical rice-cropping systems with biogeochemical models?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraus, David; Weller, Sebastian; Janz, Baldur; Klatt, Steffen; Santabárbara, Ignacio; Haas, Edwin; Werner, Christian; Wassmann, Reiner; Kiese, Ralf; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus

    2016-04-01

    Paddy rice cultivation is increasingly challenged by physical and economic irrigation water scarcity. This already results in the trend of converting paddy rice to upland crop cultivation (e.g., maize, aerobic rice) in large parts of South East Asia. Such land management change from flooded lowland systems to well-aerated upland systems drastically affects soil C and N cycling and related emissions of greenhouse gases. Emissions of methane (CH4) are expected to decrease, while emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) will most likely increase. In addition to such fast evolving 'pollution swapping' it is expected that on longer time scales significant amounts of soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks will be lost in form of carbon dioxide (CO2). Within the DFG-funded research unit ICON (Introducing non-flooded crops in rice-dominated landscapes: Impact on carbon, nitrogen and water cycles), we investigated environmental impacts of land management change from historical paddy rice cultivation to the upland crops maize and aerobic rice at experimental sites at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the Philippines. To present, more than three years of continuous measurement data of CH4 and N2O emissions under different fertilization regimes have been collected. In addition, measurements of SOC contents and bulk densities in different soil horizons allow for an overall very good characterization of the environmental impacts of mentioned land management change. In this contribution we will show how well mentioned land management change effects in tropical agricultural systems can be represented and thus better understood by the help of process-based biogeochemical models. Seasonal emissions of CH4 and N2O are simulated with r2 values of 0.85 and 0.78 and average underestimations of 15 and 14 %, respectively. These underestimations predominantly originate from treatments in which no fertilizer is applied (CH4) as well as uncertainties of soil hydrology (N2O). Long

  18. Reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions: role of biotechnology, organic systems, and consumer behavior

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    All agricultural systems have environmental and societal costs and benefits that should be objectively quantified before recommending specific management practices. Agricultural biotechnology, which takes advantage of genetically engineered organisms (GEOs), along with organic cropping systems, econ...

  19. Greenhouse gas mitigation potential of dryland cropping systems in the U.S. Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The U.S. Great Plains contain significant expanses of agricultural land dedicated to dryland cropping. Dryland cropping systems in the region that sequester soil organic carbon (SOC) and minimize nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions can serve to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of U.S. agriculture....

  20. Cover crops and crop residue management under no-till systems improve soils and environmental quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Sandeep; Wegner, Brianna; Vahyala, Ibrahim; Osborne, Shannon; Schumacher, Thomas; Lehman, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Crop residue harvest is a common practice in the Midwestern USA for the ethanol production. However, excessive removal of crop residues from the soil surface contributes to the degradation of important soil quality indicators such as soil organic carbon (SOC). Addition of a cover crop may help to mitigate these negative effects. The present study was set up to assess the impacts of corn (Zea mays L.) residue removal and cover crops on various soil quality indicators and surface greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes. The study was being conducted on plots located at the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory (NCARL) in Brookings, South Dakota, USA. Three plots of a corn and soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) rotation under a no-till (NT) system are being monitored for soils and surface gas fluxes. Each plot has three residue removal (high residue removal, HRR; medium residue removal, MRR; and low residue removal, LRR) treatments and two cover crops (cover crops and no cover crops) treatments. Both corn and soybean are represented every year. Gas flux measurements were taken weekly using a closed static chamber method. Data show that residue removal significantly impacted soil quality indicators while more time was needed for an affect from cover crop treatments to be noticed. The LRR treatment resulted in higher SOC concentrations, increased aggregate stability, and increased microbial activity. The LRR treatment also increased soil organic matter (SOM) and particulate organic matter (POM) concentrations. Cover crops used in HRR (high corn residue removal) improved SOC (27 g kg-1) by 6% compared to that without cover crops (25.4 g kg-1). Cover crops significantly impacted POM concentration directly after the residue removal treatments were applied in 2012. CO2 fluxes were observed to increase as temperature increased, while N2O fluxes increased as soil moisture increased. CH4 fluxes were responsive to both increases in temperature and moisture. On average, soils under

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. Water use in camelina-soybean dual cropping systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dual cropping systems can be potentially used as a sustainably intensified approach to integrating the production of food, feed, fiber, and fuel (i.e., bioenergy) on agriculturally productive landscapes. Recently, we reported that winter camelina (Camelina sativa) can be feasibly double- and relay-c...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. 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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Multiwavelength laser line profile sensing for agricultural crop characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strothmann, Wolfram; Ruckelshausen, Arno; Hertzberg, Joachim

    2014-05-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. An integrated landscape designed for commodity and bioenergy crops for a tile-drained agricultural watershed

    SciTech Connect

    Ssegane, Herbert; Negri, M. Cristina

    2016-09-16

    Here, locating bioenergy crops on strategically selected subfield areas of marginal interest for commodity agriculture can increase environmental sustainability. Location and choice of bioenergy crops should improve environmental benefits with minimal disruption of current food production systems. We identified subfield soils of a tile-drained agricultural watershed as marginal if they had areas of low crop productivity index (CPI), were susceptible to nitrate-nitrogen (NO3–N) leaching, or were susceptible to at least two other forms of environmental degradation (marginal areas). In the test watershed (Indian Creek watershed, IL) with annual precipitation of 852 mm, 3% of soils were CPI areas and 22% were marginal areas. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool was used to forecast the impact of growing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), willow (Salix spp.), and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi Vitman) in these subfield areas on annual grain yields, NO3–N and sediment exports, and water yield. Simulated conversion of CPI areas from current land use to bioenergy crops had no significant (p ≤ 0.05) impact on grain production and reduced NO3–N and sediment exports by 5.0 to 6.0% and 3.0%, respectively. Conversion of marginal areas from current land use to switchgrass forecasted the production of 34,000 t of biomass and reductions in NO3–N (26.0%) and sediment (33.0%) exports. Alternatively, conversion of marginal areas from current land use to willow forecasted similar reductions as switchgrass for sediment but significantly (p ≤ 0.01) lower reductions in annual NO3–N export (18.0 vs. 26.0%).

  17. An integrated landscape designed for commodity and bioenergy crops for a tile-drained agricultural watershed

    DOE PAGES

    Ssegane, Herbert; Negri, M. Cristina

    2016-09-16

    Here, locating bioenergy crops on strategically selected subfield areas of marginal interest for commodity agriculture can increase environmental sustainability. Location and choice of bioenergy crops should improve environmental benefits with minimal disruption of current food production systems. We identified subfield soils of a tile-drained agricultural watershed as marginal if they had areas of low crop productivity index (CPI), were susceptible to nitrate-nitrogen (NO3–N) leaching, or were susceptible to at least two other forms of environmental degradation (marginal areas). In the test watershed (Indian Creek watershed, IL) with annual precipitation of 852 mm, 3% of soils were CPI areas and 22%more » were marginal areas. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool was used to forecast the impact of growing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), willow (Salix spp.), and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi Vitman) in these subfield areas on annual grain yields, NO3–N and sediment exports, and water yield. Simulated conversion of CPI areas from current land use to bioenergy crops had no significant (p ≤ 0.05) impact on grain production and reduced NO3–N and sediment exports by 5.0 to 6.0% and 3.0%, respectively. Conversion of marginal areas from current land use to switchgrass forecasted the production of 34,000 t of biomass and reductions in NO3–N (26.0%) and sediment (33.0%) exports. Alternatively, conversion of marginal areas from current land use to willow forecasted similar reductions as switchgrass for sediment but significantly (p ≤ 0.01) lower reductions in annual NO3–N export (18.0 vs. 26.0%).« less

  18. An Integrated Landscape Designed for Commodity and Bioenergy Crops for a Tile-Drained Agricultural Watershed.

    PubMed

    Ssegane, Herbert; Negri, M Cristina

    2016-09-01

    Locating bioenergy crops on strategically selected subfield areas of marginal interest for commodity agriculture can increase environmental sustainability. Location and choice of bioenergy crops should improve environmental benefits with minimal disruption of current food production systems. We identified subfield soils of a tile-drained agricultural watershed as marginal if they had areas of low crop productivity index (CPI), were susceptible to nitrate-nitrogen (NO-N) leaching, or were susceptible to at least two other forms of environmental degradation (marginal areas). In the test watershed (Indian Creek watershed, IL) with annual precipitation of 852 mm, 3% of soils were CPI areas and 22% were marginal areas. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool was used to forecast the impact of growing switchgrass ( L.), willow ( spp.), and big bluestem ( Vitman) in these subfield areas on annual grain yields, NO-N and sediment exports, and water yield. Simulated conversion of CPI areas from current land use to bioenergy crops had no significant ( 0.05) impact on grain production and reduced NO-N and sediment exports by 5.0 to 6.0% and 3.0%, respectively. Conversion of marginal areas from current land use to switchgrass forecasted the production of 34,000 t of biomass and reductions in NO-N (26.0%) and sediment (33.0%) exports. Alternatively, conversion of marginal areas from current land use to willow forecasted similar reductions as switchgrass for sediment but significantly ( 0.01) lower reductions in annual NO-N export (18.0 vs. 26.0%).

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Separation of agroclimatic areas for optimal crop growing within the framework of the natural-agricultural zoning of Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bulgakov, D. S.; Rukhovich, D. I.; Shishkonakova, E. A.; Vil'chevskaya, E. V.

    2016-09-01

    The separation of agroclimatic areas for optimal crop growing within is suggested within the framework of the natural-agricultural zoning of Russia developed under the supervision of I. Karmanov. Overall, 64 agroclimatic areas have been separated in Russia. They are specified by the particular soil and agroclimatic conditions and by the particular crops recommended for cultivation. The biological potential of these crops should correspond to the soil potential of the given area. A combined scheme of the natural-agricultural zoning of Russia and the separated agroclimatic areas is presented. It is argued that the information contained in this scheme can be used for developing landscape-adaptive farming systems, land cadaster, and land valuation; it is also helpful for terrain and remote sensing monitoring of soil fertility on arable lands and for soilecological monitoring.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  5. 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...

  6. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bauer, M. E. (Principal Investigator); Vanderbilt, V. C.; Robinson, B. F.; Daughtry, C. S. T.

    1981-01-01

    Investigations of the multispectral reflectance characteristics of crops and soils as measured from laboratory, field, aerial, and satellite sensor systems are reviewed. The relationships of important biological and physical characteristics to the spectral properties of crops and soils are addressed.

  8. 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)

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keifer, Jarrett Alexander

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

  16. Using cover crops and cropping systems for nitrogen management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The reasons for using cover crops and optimized cropping sequences to manage nitrogen (N) are to maximize economic returns, improve soil quality and productivity, and minimize losses of N that might adversely impact environmental quality. Cover crops and cropping systems’ effects on N management are...

  17. Paradoxical EU agricultural policies on genetically engineered crops.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-29

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

  20. Sustainability of Switchgrass Cropping Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a perennial C4 grass that is native to the eastern two thirds of temperate North America. It has been used for conservation purposes and as a pasture grass since the 1940’s. It is currently being developed as a cellulosic biomass energy crop because it can produ...

  1. 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...

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Mapping Agricultural Crops with AVIRIS Spectra in Washington State

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Impact of Bioenergy Crops in a Carbon Dioxide Constrained World: An Application of the MiniCAM Energy-Agriculture and Land Use Model

    SciTech Connect

    Gillingham, Kenneth; Smith, Steven J.; Sands, Ronald D.

    2007-10-01

    In the coming century, modern bioenergy crops have the potential to play a crucial role in the global energy mix, especially under policies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as proposed by many in the international community. Previous studies have not fully addressed many of the dynamic interactions and effects of a policy-induced expansion of bioenergy crop production, particularly on crop yields and human food consumption. This study combines an updated agriculture and land use (AgLU) model with a well-developed energy-economic model to provide an analysis of the effects of bioenergy crops on energy, agricultural and land use systems. The results indicate that carbon mitigation policies can stimulate a large production of bioenergy crops, dependent on the severity of the policy. This production of bioenergy crops can lead to several impacts on the agriculture and land use system: decreases in forestland and unmanaged land, decreases in the average yield of food crops, increases in the prices of food crops, and decreases in the level of human consumption of calories.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  17. Direct and indirect impacts of crop-livestock organization on mixed crop-livestock systems sustainability: a model-based study.

    PubMed

    Sneessens, I; Veysset, P; Benoit, M; Lamadon, A; Brunschwig, G

    2016-11-01

    Crop-livestock production is claimed more sustainable than specialized production systems. However, the presence of controversial studies suggests that there must be conditions of mixing crop and livestock productions to allow for higher sustainable performances. Whereas previous studies focused on the impact of crop-livestock interactions on performances, we posit here that crop-livestock organization is a key determinant of farming system sustainability. Crop-livestock organization refers to the percentage of the agricultural area that is dedicated to each production. Our objective is to investigate if crop-livestock organization has both a direct and an indirect impact on mixed crop-livestock (MC-L) sustainability. In that objective, we build a whole-farm model parametrized on representative French sheep and crop farming systems in plain areas (Vienne, France). This model permits simulating contrasted MC-L systems and their subsequent sustainability through the following indicators of performance: farm income, production, N balance, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (/kg product) and MJ consumption (/kg product). Two MC-L systems were simulated with contrasted crop-livestock organizations (MC20-L80: 20% of crops; MC80-L20: 80% of crops). A first scenario - constraining no crop-livestock interactions in both MC-L systems - permits highlighting that crop-livestock organization has a significant direct impact on performances that implies trade-offs between objectives of sustainability. Indeed, the MC80-L20 system is showing higher performances for farm income (+44%), livestock production (+18%) and crop GHG emissions (-14%) whereas the MC20-L80 system has a better N balance (-53%) and a lower livestock MJ consumption (-9%). A second scenario - allowing for crop-livestock interactions in both MC20-L80 and MC80-L20 systems - stated that crop-livestock organization has a significant indirect impact on performances. Indeed, even if crop-livestock interactions permit

  18. Climate change impacts on dryland cropping systems in the central Great Plains, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural systems models are essential tools to assess potential climate change (CC) impacts on crop production and help guide policy decisions. In this study, impacts of GCM projected CC on dryland crop rotations of wheat-fallow (WF), wheat-corn-fallow (WCF), and wheat-corn-millet (WCM) at Akro...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  1. A coupled hydrologic and process-based crop dynamics model for studying climate change impacts on water resources and agricultural production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chinnayakanahalli, K.; Adam, J. C.; Stöckle, C. O.; Nelson, R. L.; Barber, M. E.

    2010-12-01

    The hydrology of the Pacific Northwest (PNW), a prominent agricultural region in the U.S., is expected to be affected by climate change. Previous climate change studies in the PNW region suggest a likelihood of increasing temperatures and a shift in precipitation patterns, with precipitation higher in the winter and lower in the summer. The climate change-induced stress on the availability of water resources during the growing season may constrain irrigation and agricultural practices which will in turn affect crop production. In order to assess the climate change impacts on PNW agriculture, it is essential that we understand the relationships between crop dynamics and the hydrological cycle. The Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model, which solves the coupled water and energy balances of the hydrological cycle at the macro scale, has been previously used and calibrated for the PNW region. In order to improve the VIC model’s simulation of agricultural water dynamics, a crop growth sub-model based on the CropSyst cropping system model was developed and integrated into VIC. The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cropland data layer was used to identify agricultural land use patterns. For land uses identified as agricultural regions, the VIC model applies the crop sub-model to simulate biomass growth, crop yield, transpiration, and irrigation water demand. This coupled model presents opportunities for studying the impacts of climate change on irrigation water demand and agricultural production of the region. The historical period 1970 - 2000 was simulated to establish a baseline for surface water availability, irrigation demand, and biomass production in the Columbia River basin. The model will then be applied under a future (2030s) climate change scenario derived from statistically-downscaled Global Circulation Models output, in order to assess these climate change impacts. The results from this modeling approach are expected to help stakeholders

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Sustainable intensification in agricultural systems

    PubMed Central

    Pretty, Jules; Bharucha, Zareen Pervez

    2014-01-01

    Background Agricultural systems are amended ecosystems with a variety of properties. Modern agroecosystems have tended towards high through-flow systems, with energy supplied by fossil fuels directed out of the system (either deliberately for harvests or accidentally through side effects). In the coming decades, resource constraints over water, soil, biodiversity and land will affect agricultural systems. Sustainable agroecosystems are those tending to have a positive impact on natural, social and human capital, while unsustainable systems feed back to deplete these assets, leaving fewer for the future. Sustainable intensification (SI) is defined as a process or system where agricultural yields are increased without adverse environmental impact and without the conversion of additional non-agricultural land. The concept does not articulate or privilege any particular vision or method of agricultural production. Rather, it emphasizes ends rather than means, and does not pre-determine technologies, species mix or particular design components. The combination of the terms ‘sustainable’ and ‘intensification’ is an attempt to indicate that desirable outcomes around both more food and improved environmental goods and services could be achieved by a variety of means. Nonetheless, it remains controversial to some. Scope and Conclusions This review analyses recent evidence of the impacts of SI in both developing and industrialized countries, and demonstrates that both yield and natural capital dividends can occur. The review begins with analysis of the emergence of combined agricultural–environmental systems, the environmental and social outcomes of recent agricultural revolutions, and analyses the challenges for food production this century as populations grow and consumption patterns change. Emergent criticisms are highlighted, and the positive impacts of SI on food outputs and renewable capital assets detailed. It concludes with observations on policies and

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. 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…

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. 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

  11. A Comparative Analysis of Global Cropping Systems Models and Maps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, W. B.; You, L.; Wood, S.; Wood-Sichra, U.; Wu, W.

    2013-12-01

    Agricultural practices have dramatically altered the land cover of the Earth, but the spatial extent and intensity of these practices is often difficult to catalogue. Cropland accounts for nearly 15 million km2 of the Earth's land cover - amounting to 12% of the Earth's ice-free land surface - yet information on the distribution and performance of specific crops is often available only through national or sub-national statistics. While remote sensing products offer spatially disaggregated information, those currently available on a global scale are ill-suited for many applications due to the limited separation of crop types within the area classified as cropland. Recently, however, there have been multiple independent efforts to incorporate the detailed information available from statistical surveys with supplemental spatial information to produce a spatially explicit global dataset specific to individual cropss for the year 2000. While these datasets provide analysts and decision makers with improved information on global cropping systems, the final global cropping maps differ from one another substantially. This study aims to explore and quantify systematic similarities and differences between four major global cropping systems products: the monthly irrigated and rainfed crop areas around the year 2000 (MIRAC2000) dataset, the spatial production allocation model (SPAM), the global agro-ecological zone (GAEZ) dataset, and the dataset developed by Monfreda et al., 2008. The analysis explores not only the final cropping systems maps but also the interdependencies of each product, methodological differences and modeling assumptions, which will provide users with information vital for discerning between datasets in selecting a product appropriate for each intended application.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  13. Operationalizing crop monitoring system for informed decision making related to food security in Nepal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qamer, F. M.; Shah, S. N. Pd.; Murthy, M. S. R.; Baidar, T.; Dhonju, K.; Hari, B. G.

    2014-11-01

    In Nepal, two thirds of the total population depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and more than one third of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from the agriculture sector. However, effective agriculture production across the country remains a serious challenge due to various factors, such as a high degree of spatial and temporal climate variability, irrigated and rain-fed agriculture systems, farmers' fragile social and economic fabric, and unique mountain practices. ICIMOD through SERVIR-Himalaya initiative with collaboration of Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) is working on developing a comprehensive crop monitoring system which aims to provide timely information on crop growth and drought development conditions. This system analyzes historical climate and crop conditions patterns and compares this data with the current growing season to provide timely assessment of crop growth. Using remote sensing data for vegetation indices, temperature and rainfall, the system generated anomaly maps are inferred to predict the increase or shortfall in production. Comparisons can be made both spatially and in graphs and figures at district and Village Developmental Committee (VDC) levels. Timely information on possible anomaly in crop production is later used by the institutions like Ministry of Agricultural Development, Nepal and World Food Programme, Nepal to trigger appropriate management response. Future potential includes integrating data on agricultural inputs, socioeconomics, demographics, and transportation to holistically assess food security in the region served by SERVIR-Himalaya.

  14. Integrated agricultural energy system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, R. M.

    1985-08-01

    The purpose of this program is to show New England farmers and other New England energy users how they can use alternative energy sources to reduce their energy cost and dependency on conventional sources. The project demonstrates alternative energy technologies in solar, alcohol and methane. Dissemination is planned through tours to be conducted by the Worcester County Extension Service. Most of these goals were completed as planned. A few things have yet to be completed. The solar panels and solar hot water tanks have to be installed. The fermenter's agitating and cooling system have to be secured inside the fermenter. Once these items are complete tours will begin early in the spring.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. A bioenergy feedstock/vegetable double-cropping system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Certain warm-season vegetable crops may lend themselves to bioenergy double-cropping systems, which involve growing a winter annual bioenergy feedstock crop followed by a summer annual crop. The objective of the study was to compare crop productivity and weed communities in different pumpkin product...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. A National Crop Progress Monitoring and Decision Support System Based on NASA Earth Science Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    di, L.; Yang, Z.

    2009-12-01

    Timely and accurate information on weekly crop progress and development is essential to a dynamic agricultural industry in the U. S. and the world. By law, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) is responsible for monitoring and assessing U.S. agricultural production. Currently NASS compiles and issues weekly state and national crop progress and development reports based on reports from knowledgeable state and county agricultural officials and farmers. Such survey-based reports are subjectively estimated for an entire county, lack spatial coverage, and are labor intensive. There has been limited use of remote sensing data to assess crop conditions. NASS produces weekly 1-km resolution un-calibrated AVHRR-based NDVI static images to represent national vegetation conditions but there is no quantitative crop progress information. This presentation discusses the early result for developing a National Crop Progress Monitoring and Decision Support System. The system will overcome the shortcomings of the existing systems by integrating NASA satellite and model-based land surface and weather products, NASS’ wealth of internal crop progress and condition data and Cropland Data Layers (CDL), and the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Common Land Units (CLU). The system, using service-oriented architecture and web service technologies, will automatically produce and disseminate quantitative national crop progress maps and associated decision support data at 250-m resolution, as well as summary reports to support NASS and worldwide users in their decision-making. It will provide overall and specific crop progress for individual crops from the state level down to CLU field level to meet different users’ needs on all known croplands. This will greatly enhance the effectiveness and accuracy of the NASS aggregated crop condition data and charts of and provides objective and scientific evidence and guidance for the

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Assessment of Carbon Sequestration in German Alley Cropping Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsonkova, P. B.; Quinkenstein, A.; Böhm, C.; Freese, D.

    2012-04-01

    Alley cropping systems (ACS) are agroforestry practices in which perennial trees or shrubs are grown in wide rows and arable crops are cultivated in the alleys between the tree rows. Recently, ACS which integrate stripes of short rotation coppices into conventional agricultural sites have gained interest in Germany. These systems can be used for simultaneous production of crops and woody biomass which enables farmers to diversify the provision of market goods. Adding trees into the agricultural landscape creates additional benefits for the farmer and society also known as ecosystem services. An ecosystem service provided by land use systems is carbon sequestration. The literature indicates that ACS are able to store more carbon compared to agriculture and their implementation may lead to greater benefits for the environment and society. Moreover, carbon sequestration in ACS could be included in carbon trading schemes and farmers rewarded additionally for the provision of this ecosystem service. However, methods are required which are easy to use and provide reliable information regarding change in carbon sequestration with change of the land use practice. In this context, our aim was to develop a methodology to assess carbon sequestration benefit provided by ACS in Germany. Therefore, the change of carbon in both soil and biomass had to be considered. To predict the change in soil carbon our methodology combined the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories and the soil organic carbon balance recommended by the Association of German Agricultural Investigation and Research Centers (VDLUFA). To reflect the change in biomass carbon average annual yields were adopted. The results showed that ACS established on agricultural sites can increase the carbon stored because in the new soil-plant system carbon content is higher compared to agriculture. ACS have been recommended as suitable land use systems for marginal sites, such as post-mining areas. In

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  9. Climate change: Cropping system changes and adaptations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Climate change impacts the life of every person; however, there is little comprehensive understanding of the direct and indirect effects of climate change on agriculture. Since our food, feed, fiber, and fruit is derived from agricultural systems, understanding the effects of changing temperature, p...

  10. Sequential use of the STICS crop model and of the MACRO pesticide fate model to simulate pesticides leaching in cropping systems.

    PubMed

    Lammoglia, Sabine-Karen; Moeys, Julien; Barriuso, Enrique; Larsbo, Mats; Marín-Benito, Jesús-María; Justes, Eric; Alletto, Lionel; Ubertosi, Marjorie; Nicolardot, Bernard; Munier-Jolain, Nicolas; Mamy, Laure

    2016-05-18

    The current challenge in sustainable agriculture is to introduce new cropping systems to reduce pesticides use in order to reduce ground and surface water contamination. However, it is difficult to carry out in situ experiments to assess the environmental impacts of pesticide use for all possible combinations of climate, crop, and soils; therefore, in silico tools are necessary. The objective of this work was to assess pesticides leaching in cropping systems coupling the performances of a crop model (STICS) and of a pesticide fate model (MACRO). STICS-MACRO has the advantage of being able to simulate pesticides fate in complex cropping systems and to consider some agricultural practices such as fertilization, mulch, or crop residues management, which cannot be accounted for with MACRO. The performance of STICS-MACRO was tested, without calibration, from measurements done in two French experimental sites with contrasted soil and climate properties. The prediction of water percolation and pesticides concentrations with STICS-MACRO was satisfactory, but it varied with the pedoclimatic context. The performance of STICS-MACRO was shown to be similar or better than that of MACRO. The improvement of the simulation of crop growth allowed better estimate of crop transpiration therefore of water balance. It also allowed better estimate of pesticide interception by the crop which was found to be crucial for the prediction of pesticides concentrations in water. STICS-MACRO is a new promising tool to improve the assessment of the environmental risks of pesticides used in cropping systems.

  11. Effects of climate change on suitable rice cropping areas, cropping systems and crop water requirements in southern China

    SciTech Connect

    Ye, Qing; Yang, Xiaoguang; Dai, Shuwei; Chen, Guangsheng; Li, Yong; Zhang, Caixia

    2015-06-05

    Here, we discuss that rice is one of the main crops grown in southern China. Global climate change has significantly altered the local water availability and temperature regime for rice production. In this study, we explored the influence of climate change on suitable rice cropping areas, rice cropping systems and crop water requirements (CWRs) during the growing season for historical (from 1951 to 2010) and future (from 2011 to 2100) time periods. The results indicated that the land areas suitable for rice cropping systems shifted northward and westward from 1951 to 2100 but with different amplitudes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Identifying populations potentially exposed to agricultural pesticides using remote sensing and a Geographic Information System

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ward, M.H.; Nuckols, J.R.; Weigel, S. J.; Cantor, K.P.; Miller, Roger S.

    2000-01-01

    Pesticides used in agriculture may cause adverse health effects among the population living near agricultural areas. However, identifying the populations most likely to be exposed is difficult. We conducted a feasibility study to determine whether satellite imagery could be used to reconstruct historical crop patterns. We used historical Farm Service Agency records as a source of ground reference data to classify a late summer 1984 satellite image into crop species in a three-county area in south central Nebraska. Residences from a population-based epidemiologic study of non-Hodgkin lymphoma were located on the crop maps using a geographic information system (GIS). Corn, soybeans, sorghum, and alfalfa were the major crops grown in the study area. Eighty-five percent of residences could be located, and of these 22% had one of the four major crops within 500 m of the residence, an intermediate distance for the range of drift effects from pesticides applied in agriculture. We determined the proximity of residences to specific crop species and calculated crop-specific probabilities of pesticide use based on available data. This feasibility study demonstrated that remote sensing data and historical records on crop location can be used to create historical crop maps. The crop pesticides that were likely to have been applied can be estimated when information about crop-specific pesticide use is available. Using a GIS, zones of potential exposure to agricultural pesticides and proximity measures can be determined for residences in a study.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-12-31

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

  7. 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.

  8. Unique cropping systems for Louisiana sugarcane

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A Louisiana sugarcane field is typically replanted every four years due to declining yields, and, although, it is a costly process, it is both necessary and an opportunity to maximize the financial return during the next four year cropping cycle. Fallow planting systems (FPS) during the fallow perio...

  9. Environmental sustainability of cellulosic energy cropping systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The environmental sustainability of bioenergy production depends on both direct and indirect effects of the production systems to produce bioenergy feedstocks. This chapter evaluates what is known about the environmental sustainability of cellulosic bioenergy crop production for the types of produc...

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

    PubMed

    Chang, Hung-Hao; Mishra, Ashok K

    2012-08-30

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Mixed crop-livestock systems: an economic and environmental-friendly way of farming?

    PubMed

    Ryschawy, J; Choisis, N; Choisis, J P; Joannon, A; Gibon, A

    2012-10-01

    Intensification and specialisation of agriculture in developed countries enabled productivity to be improved but had detrimental impacts on the environment and threatened the economic viability of a huge number of farms. The combination of livestock and crops, which was very common in the past, is assumed to be a viable alternative to specialised livestock or cropping systems. Mixed crop-livestock systems can improve nutrient cycling while reducing chemical inputs and generate economies of scope at farm level. Most assumptions underlying these views are based on theoretical and experimental evidence. Very few assessments of their environmental and economic advantages have nevertheless been undertaken in real-world farming conditions. In this paper, we present a comparative assessment of the environmental and economic performances of mixed crop-livestock farms v. specialised farms among the farm population of the French 'Coteaux de Gascogne'. In this hilly region, half of the farms currently use a mixed crop-livestock system including beef cattle and cash crops, the remaining farms being specialised in either crops or cattle. Data were collected through an exhaustive survey of farms located in our study area. The economic performances of farming systems were assessed on 48 farms on the basis of (i) overall gross margin, (ii) production costs and (iii) analysis of the sensitivity of gross margins to fluctuations in the price of inputs and outputs. The environmental dimension was analysed through (i) characterisation of farmers' crop management practices, (ii) analysis of farm land use diversity and (iii) nitrogen farm-gate balance. Local mixed crop-livestock farms did not have significantly higher overall gross margins than specialised farms but were less sensitive than dairy and crop farms to fluctuations in the price of inputs and outputs considered. Mixed crop-livestock farms had lower costs than crop farms, while beef farms had the lowest costs as they are grass

  19. Groundwater economics: An object-oriented foundation for integrated studies of irrigated agricultural systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An integrated foundation is presented to study the impacts of external forcings on irrigated agricultural systems. Individually, models are presented that simulate groundwater hydrogeology and econometric farm level crop choices and irrigated water use. The natural association between groundwater we...

  20. Cumulative and residual effects of potato cropping system management strategies on crop and soil health parameters

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil and crop management practices can greatly affect parameters related to soil health, as well as crop productivity and disease development, and may provide options for more sustainable production. Different 3-yr potato cropping systems focused on specific management goals of soil conservation (SC...

  1. A Centralized Regional Database for Winter Cover Crops in Annual Cropping Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Winter cover crops have the potential to reduce erosion, minimize losses of nitrogen and phosphorus, and increase soil carbon in annual cropping systems in the Midwest. Public support, however, for incentives to farmers to adopt cover crops is minimal. Therefore, development of location-specific rec...

  2. Trade-Offs between Economic and Environmental Impacts of Introducing Legumes into Cropping Systems

    PubMed Central

    Reckling, Moritz; Bergkvist, Göran; Watson, Christine A.; Stoddard, Frederick L.; Zander, Peter M.; Walker, Robin L.; Pristeri, Aurelio; Toncea, Ion; Bachinger, Johann

    2016-01-01

    Europe's agriculture is highly specialized, dependent on external inputs and responsible for negative environmental impacts. Legume crops are grown on less than 2% of the arable land and more than 70% of the demand for protein feed supplement is imported from overseas. The integration of legumes into cropping systems has the potential to contribute to the transition to a more resource-efficient agriculture and reduce the current protein deficit. Legume crops influence the production of other crops in the rotation making it difficult to evaluate the overall agronomic effects of legumes in cropping systems. A novel assessment framework was developed and applied in five case study regions across Europe with the objective of evaluating trade-offs between economic and environmental effects of integrating legumes into cropping systems. Legumes resulted in positive and negative impacts when integrated into various cropping systems across the case studies. On average, cropping systems with legumes reduced nitrous oxide emissions by 18 and 33% and N fertilizer use by 24 and 38% in arable and forage systems, respectively, compared to systems without legumes. Nitrate leaching was similar with and without legumes in arable systems and reduced by 22% in forage systems. However, grain legumes reduced gross margins in 3 of 5 regions. Forage legumes increased gross margins in 3 of 3 regions. Among the cropping systems with legumes, systems could be identified that had both relatively high economic returns and positive environmental impacts. Thus, increasing the cultivation of legumes could lead to economic competitive cropping systems and positive environmental impacts, but achieving this aim requires the development of novel management strategies informed by the involvement of advisors and farmers. PMID:27242870

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Collaboration between the US Forest Service and the USDA Agricultural Research Service on the complementary conservation of crop wild relatives in the United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two USDA agencies, the Forest Service (USFS) and the Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) are cooperating on the complementary conservation of crop wild relatives (CWR) native to the United States. The USFS manages 193 million acres of National Forest System lands in 43 states and provides suppo...

  7. Design of a solar controlled environment agriculture system (SCEAS)

    SciTech Connect

    Landstrom, D.K.; Stickford, G.H.; Talbert, S.G.; Wilkinson, W.H.

    1983-06-01

    The overall objective of the SCEAS project was to integrate advanced greenhouse agriculture technology with various energy sources and innovative cooling/ventilation concepts to demonstrate technical and economic feasibility of these facilities in several climatic regions where conventional greenhouse technology will not permit yearround growing of certain crops. The designed facility is capable of high yields of practically any crop, even temperaturesensitive vegetables such as lettuce, in extremely hostile external environments. The recirculation and ventilation system provides considerable flexibility in precise control of temperature and humidity throughout the year and in reducing water and energy consumption.

  8. 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

    2012-05-05

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Ecosystem Services from Edible Insects in Agricultural Systems: A Review.

    PubMed

    Payne, Charlotte L R; Van Itterbeeck, Joost

    2017-02-17

    Many of the most nutritionally and economically important edible insects are those that are harvested from existing agricultural systems. Current strategies of agricultural intensification focus predominantly on increasing crop yields, with no or little consideration of the repercussions this may have for the additional harvest and ecology of accompanying food insects. Yet such insects provide many valuable ecosystem services, and their sustainable management could be crucial to ensuring future food security. This review considers the multiple ecosystem services provided by edible insects in existing agricultural systems worldwide. Directly and indirectly, edible insects contribute to all four categories of ecosystem services as outlined by the Millennium Ecosystem Services definition: provisioning, regulating, maintaining, and cultural services. They are also responsible for ecosystem disservices, most notably significant crop damage. We argue that it is crucial for decision-makers to evaluate the costs and benefits of the presence of food insects in agricultural systems. We recommend that a key priority for further research is the quantification of the economic and environmental contribution of services and disservices from edible insects in agricultural systems.

  11. Ecosystem Services from Edible Insects in Agricultural Systems: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Payne, Charlotte L. R.; Van Itterbeeck, Joost

    2017-01-01

    Many of the most nutritionally and economically important edible insects are those that are harvested from existing agricultural systems. Current strategies of agricultural intensification focus predominantly on increasing crop yields, with no or little consideration of the repercussions this may have for the additional harvest and ecology of accompanying food insects. Yet such insects provide many valuable ecosystem services, and their sustainable management could be crucial to ensuring future food security. This review considers the multiple ecosystem services provided by edible insects in existing agricultural systems worldwide. Directly and indirectly, edible insects contribute to all four categories of ecosystem services as outlined by the Millennium Ecosystem Services definition: provisioning, regulating, maintaining, and cultural services. They are also responsible for ecosystem disservices, most notably significant crop damage. We argue that it is crucial for decision-makers to evaluate the costs and benefits of the presence of food insects in agricultural systems. We recommend that a key priority for further research is the quantification of the economic and environmental contribution of services and disservices from edible insects in agricultural systems. PMID:28218635

  12. [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".

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. ENERGY AND CARBON BUDGETS IN TRANSITIONAL CROPPING SYSTEMS IN MINNESOTA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Energy and carbon budgets were constructed for a wide range of cropping systems during the transition from conventional cropping practices. Cropping system treatments included factorial combinations of: conventional and organic systems (CNV and ORG), conventional tillage and strip tillage (CT and ST...

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. DayCent modelling of Swiss cropping systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Necpalova, Magdalena; Lee, Juhwan; Büchi, Lucie; Mäder, Paul; Mayer, Jochen; Charles, Raphael; van der Heijden, Marcel; Six, Johan

    2016-04-01

    There is a growing need to identify and evaluate sustainable greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation options, their bio-economic feasibility in the agricultural sector, and support implementation of agricultural GHG mitigation activities that are an integral part of climate change strategies. In recent years, several ecosystem biogeochemical process-based models and comprehensive decision making tools integrated with these models have been developed. The DayCent model simulates all major ecosystem processes that affect soil C and N dynamics, including plant production, water flow, heat transport, SOC decomposition, N mineralization and immobilization, nitrification, denitrification, and methane oxidation. However, if the model is to be reliably used for identification of GHG mitigation options and climate change strategies across the EU agricultural regions, it requires site- and region-specific calibration and evaluation. Here, we calibrated and validated the model to Swiss climate and soil conditions and management options using available long-term experimental data. Data on crop productivity, soil organic carbon and N2O emissions were derived from four field sites located in Thervil (1977-2013), Frick (2003-2013), Changins (1971-2013), and Reckenholz (2009-2013) that have evaluated the effects of agricultural input systems (specifically, organic, biodynamic, and conventional with and without manure additions) and soil management options (various tillage practices and cover cropping). The preliminary results show that the DayCent model was able to reproduce 76% of variability in the crop productivity (n = 1 316) and 75% variability in measured soil organic carbon (n = 402) across all long-term trials. Model calibration was evaluated against independent proportions of the data. The uncertainty in model predictions induced by model structure and uncertainty in the measured data still needs to be further evaluated using the Monte Carlo approach. The calibrated model will be

  9. Soil organic carbon assessments in cropping systems using isotopic techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martín De Dios Herrero, Juan; Cruz Colazo, Juan; Guzman, María Laura; Saenz, Claudio; Sager, Ricardo; Sakadevan, Karuppan

    2016-04-01

    Introduction of improved farming practices are important to address the challenges of agricultural production, food security, climate change and resource use efficiency. The integration of livestock with crops provides many benefits including: (1) resource conservation, (2) ecosystem services, (3) soil quality improvements, and (4) risk reduction through diversification of enterprises. Integrated crop livestock systems (ICLS) with the combination of no-tillage and pastures are useful practices to enhance soil organic carbon (SOC) compared with continuous cropping systems (CCS). In this study, the SOC and its fractions in two cropping systems namely (1) ICLS, and (2) CCS were evaluated in Southern Santa Fe Province in Argentina, and the use of delta carbon-13 technique and soil physical fractionation were evaluated to identify sources of SOC in these systems. Two farms inside the same soil cartographic unit and landscape position in the region were compared. The ICLS farm produces lucerne (Medicago sativa Merrill) and oat (Avena sativa L.) grazed by cattle alternatively with grain summer crops sequence of soybean (Glicine max L.) and corn (Zea mays L.), and the farm under continuous cropping system (CCS) produces soybean and corn in a continuous sequence. The soil in the area is predominantly a Typic Hapludoll. Soil samples from 0-5 and 0-20 cm depths (n=4) after the harvest of grain crops were collected in each system and analyzed for total organic carbon (SOC, 0-2000 μm), particulate organic carbon (POC, 50-100 μm) and mineral organic carbon (MOC, <50 μm). Delta carbon-13 was determined by isotopic ratio mass spectrometry. In addition, a site with natural vegetation (reference site, REF) was also sampled for delta carbon-13 determination. ANOVA and Tukey statistical analysis were carried out for all data. The SOC was higher in ICLS than in CCS at both depths (20.8 vs 17.7 g kg-1 for 0-5 cm and 16.1 vs 12.7 g kg-1 at 0-20 cm, respectively, P<0.05). MOC was

  10. Integrated soil-crop system management: reducing environmental risk while increasing crop productivity and improving nutrient use efficiency in China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Fusuo; Cui, Zhenling; Fan, Mingsheng; Zhang, Weifeng; Chen, Xinping; Jiang, Rongfeng

    2011-01-01

    During the past 47 yr (1961-2007), Chinese cereal production has increased by 3.2-fold, successfully feeding 22% of the global human population with only 9% of the world's arable land, but at high environmental cost and resource consumption. Worse, crop production has been stagnant since 1996 while the population and demand for food continue to rise. New advances for sustainability of agriculture and ecosystem services will be needed during the coming 50 yr to reduce environmental risk while increasing crop productivity and improving nutrient use efficiency. Here, we advocate and develop integrated soil-crop system management (ISSM). In this approach, the key points are (i) to take all possible soil quality improvement measures into consideration, (ii) to integrate the utilization of various nutrient resources and match nutrient supply to crop requirements, and (iii) to integrate soil and nutrient management with high-yielding cultivation systems. Recent field experiments have shed light on how ISSM can lead to significant increases in crop yields while increasing nutrient use efficiency and reducing environmental risk.

  11. Demarcation of coastal transition zone in Gulf of Guayaquil (Ecuador) for agriculture crops and bioaquatic hatcheries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pozo, Wilson; Pardo, Francisco; Sanfeliu, Teófilo; Belen Vicente, Ana; Jordan, Manuel Miguel; Bech, Jaume

    2014-05-01

    The Gulf of Guayaquil (Ecuador) is the largest estuary in the South American Pacific coast. It has special characteristics which make it to have a great diversity of agricultural crops and bioaquatic hatcheries.The study was focused on demarcating of Coastal Transition Zone in Gulf of Guayaquil for agriculture crops and bioaquatic hatcheries, based on salinity indexes and characterization of physicochemical properties of soils in order to establish similarities and differences between groups using multivariate analysis. In this paper, cluster analysis of 12 parameters (conductivity, pH, anions, cations, metals and organic matter) was carried on. 15 transects towards the coastline were performed, each consisting of 6 stations equidistant sampling 1 km covering a distance of 5 km from the margin of mangrove inland a total of 90 stations. The sampling points were established as a representative area because of its hydrological characteristics and tidal influence. Soils were sampled between 0 and 20 cm of depth (Topsoil). The salinity analysis was performed by the method of the saturation extract, the pH was measured with a potentiometer, chemical analysis was carried by colorimetry and atomic absorption spectrophotometry and the organic matter was determined by the method of Walkley and Black. The cluster analysis allowed to establish suitable and restrictive zones for shrimp farming and agricultural crops. It has been established that the coastal transition zone of the Gulf of Guayaquil is located at 4.2 km from the mangroves with a soil salinity of 4 mS / cm. There is a suitable zone for shrimp farming with a salinity of 13.5 mS / cm from the edge of the mangrove to 2.8 km, then the concentration of salinity prevents its use for bioaquatic hatcheries to 4.2 km. The area for agriculture crops is limited from a restricted area using a salinity value from 2mS/cm to 4 mS / cm. The characterization of the coastal transition zone using multivariate analysis established

  12. 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.

  13. The global impact of ozone on agricultural crop yields under current and future air quality legislation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Dingenen, Rita; Dentener, Frank J.; Raes, Frank; Krol, Maarten C.; Emberson, Lisa; Cofala, Janusz

    In this paper we evaluate the global impact of surface ozone on four types of agricultural crop. The study is based on modelled global hourly ozone fields for the year 2000 and 2030, using the global 1°×1° 2-way nested atmospheric chemical transport model (TM5). Projections for the year 2030 are based on the relatively optimistic "current legislation (CLE) scenario", i.e. assuming that currently approved air quality legislation will be fully implemented by the year 2030, without a further development of new abatement policies. For both runs, the relative yield loss due to ozone damage is evaluated based on two different indices (accumulated concentration above a 40 ppbV threshold and seasonal mean daytime ozone concentration respectively) on a global, regional and national scale. The cumulative metric appears to be far less robust than the seasonal mean, while the seasonal mean shows satisfactory agreement with measurements in Europe, the US, China and Southern India and South-East Asia. Present day global relative yield losses are estimated to range between 7% and 12% for wheat, between 6% and 16% for soybean, between 3% and 4% for rice, and between 3% and 5% for maize (range resulting from different metrics used). Taking into account possible biases in our assessment, introduced through the global application of "western" crop exposure-response functions, and through model performance in reproducing ozone-exposure metrics, our estimates may be considered as being conservative. Under the 2030 CLE scenario, the global situation is expected to deteriorate mainly for wheat (additional 2-6% loss globally) and rice (additional 1-2% loss globally). India, for which no mitigation measures have been assumed by 2030, accounts for 50% of these global increase in crop yield loss. On a regional-scale, significant reductions in crop losses by CLE-2030 are only predicted in Europe (soybean) and China (wheat). Translating these assumed yield losses into total global economic

  14. A National Crop Progress Monitoring System Based on NASA Earth Science Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di, L.; Yu, G.; Zhang, B.; Deng, M.; Yang, Z.

    2011-12-01

    Crop progress is an important piece of information for food security and agricultural commodities. Timely monitoring and reporting are mandated for the operation of agricultural statistical agencies. Traditionally, the weekly reporting issued by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is based on reports from the knowledgeable state and county agricultural officials and farmers. The results are spatially coarse and subjective. In this project, a remote-sensing-supported crop progress monitoring system is being developed intensively using the data and derived products from NASA Earth Observing satellites. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Level 3 product - MOD09 (Surface Reflectance) is used for deriving daily normalized vegetation index (NDVI), vegetation condition index (VCI), and mean vegetation condition index (MVCI). Ratio change to previous year and multiple year mean can be also produced on demand. The time-series vegetation condition indices are further combined with the NASS' remote-sensing-derived Cropland Data Layer (CDL) to estimate crop condition and progress crop by crop. To facilitate the operational requirement and increase the accessibility of data and products by different users, each component of the system has being developed and implemented following open specifications under the Web Service reference model of Open Geospatial Consortium Inc. Sensor observations and data are accessed through Web Coverage Service (WCS), Web Feature Service (WFS), or Sensor Observation Service (SOS) if available. Products are also served through such open-specification-compliant services. For rendering and presentation, Web Map Service (WMS) is used. A Web-service based system is set up and deployed at dss.csiss.gmu.edu/NDVIDownload. Further development will adopt crop growth models, feed the models with remotely sensed precipitation and soil moisture information, and incorporate

  15. 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.

  16. A quality assessment of the MARS crop yield forecasting system for the European Union

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Velde, Marijn; Bareuth, Bettina

    2015-04-01

    Timely information on crop production forecasts can become of increasing importance as commodity markets are more and more interconnected. Impacts across large crop production areas due to (e.g.) extreme weather and pest outbreaks can create ripple effects that may affect food prices and availability elsewhere. The MARS Unit (Monitoring Agricultural ResourceS), DG Joint Research Centre, European Commission, has been providing forecasts of European crop production levels since 1993. The operational crop production forecasting is carried out with the MARS Crop Yield Forecasting System (M-CYFS). The M-CYFS is used to monitor crop growth development, evaluate short-term effects of anomalous meteorological events, and provide monthly forecasts of crop yield at national and European Union level. The crop production forecasts are published in the so-called MARS bulletins. Forecasting crop yield over large areas in the operational context requires quality benchmarks. Here we present an analysis of the accuracy and skill of past crop yield forecasts of the main crops (e.g. soft wheat, grain maize), throughout the growing season, and specifically for the final forecast before harvest. Two simple benchmarks to assess the skill of the forecasts were defined as comparing the forecasts to 1) a forecast equal to the average yield and 2) a forecast using a linear trend established through the crop yield time-series. These reveal a variability in performance as a function of crop and Member State. In terms of production, the yield forecasts of 67% of the EU-28 soft wheat production and 80% of the EU-28 maize production have been forecast superior to both benchmarks during the 1993-2013 period. In a changing and increasingly variable climate crop yield forecasts can become increasingly valuable - provided they are used wisely. We end our presentation by discussing research activities that could contribute to this goal.

  17. How efficiently do corn- and soybean-based cropping systems use water? A systems modeling analysis.

    PubMed

    Dietzel, Ranae; Liebman, Matt; Ewing, Robert; Helmers, Matt; Horton, Robert; Jarchow, Meghann; Archontoulis, Sotirios

    2016-02-01

    Agricultural systems are being challenged to decrease water use and increase production while climate becomes more variable and the world's population grows. Low water use efficiency is traditionally characterized by high water use relative to low grain production and usually occurs under dry conditions. However, when a cropping system fails to take advantage of available water during wet conditions, this is also an inefficiency and is often detrimental to the environment. Here, we provide a systems-level definition of water use efficiency (sWUE) that addresses both production and environmental quality goals through incorporating all major system water losses (evapotranspiration, drainage, and runoff). We extensively calibrated and tested the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM) using 6 years of continuous crop and soil measurements in corn- and soybean-based cropping systems in central Iowa, USA. We then used the model to determine water use, loss, and grain production in each system and calculated sWUE in years that experienced drought, flood, or historically average precipitation. Systems water use efficiency was found to be greatest during years with average precipitation. Simulation analysis using 28 years of historical precipitation data, plus the same dataset with ± 15% variation in daily precipitation, showed that in this region, 430 mm of seasonal (planting to harvesting) rainfall resulted in the optimum sWUE for corn, and 317 mm for soybean. Above these precipitation levels, the corn and soybean yields did not increase further, but the water loss from the system via runoff and drainage increased substantially, leading to a high likelihood of soil, nutrient, and pesticide movement from the field to waterways. As the Midwestern United States is predicted to experience more frequent drought and flood, inefficiency of cropping systems water use will also increase. This work provides a framework to concurrently evaluate production and

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nikishanova, T. I.

    1978-01-01

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

  19. Evolutionary ecology of mycorrhizal functional diversity in agricultural systems

    PubMed Central

    Verbruggen, Erik; Toby Kiers, E

    2010-01-01

    The root systems of most agronomic crops are colonized by diverse assemblages of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), varying in the functional benefits (e.g. nutrient transfer, pathogen protection, water uptake) provided to hosts. Little is known about the evolutionary processes that shape the composition of these fungal assemblages, nor is it known whether more diverse assemblages are beneficial to crop productivity. In this review we aim to identify the evolutionary selection pressures that shape AMF diversity in agricultural systems and explore whether promotion of AMF diversity can convincingly be linked to increases in agricultural productivity and/or sustainability. We then ask whether farmers can (and should) actively modify evolutionary selection pressures to increase AMF functioning. We focus on three agriculturally imposed selection regimes: tillage, fertilization, and continuous monoculture. We find that the uniform nature of these practices strongly selects for dominance of few AMF species. These species exhibit predictable, generally non-beneficial traits, namely heavy investment in reproduction at the expense of nutrient scavenging and transfer processes that are beneficial for hosts. A number of focus-points are given based on empirical and theoretical evidence that could be utilized to slow down negative selection pressures on AMF functioning, therein increasing crop benefit. PMID:25567946

  20. Satellite Mapping of Agricultural Water Requirements in California with the Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melton, F. S.; Lund, C.; Johnson, L.; Michaelis, A.; Pierce, L.; Guzman, A.; Hiatt, S.; Purdy, A. J.; Rosevelt, C.; Brandt, W. T.; Votava, P.; Nemani, R. R.

    2012-12-01

    Satellite mapping of evapotranspiration (ET) from irrigated agricultural lands can provide water managers and agricultural producers with information that can be used to optimize agricultural water use, especially in regions with limited water supplies. In particular, the timely delivery of information on agricultural crop water requirements has the potential to make irrigation scheduling more practical, convenient, and accurate. We present findings from the development and deployment of a prototype system for irrigation scheduling and management support in California. The system utilizes the NASA Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System to integrate satellite observations and meteorological observations to map crop canopy development, basal crop coefficients (Kcb), and evapotranspiration (ETcb) values for multiple crop types in the Central Valley of California at the scale of individual fields. Information is distributed to agricultural producers and water managers via a web-based irrigation management decision support system and web services. We present the prototype system, including comparisons of estimates of ETcb from the prototype system against estimates of ET from other methods, including surface renewal stations and observations from wireless sensor networks deployed in operational agricultural fields across California. We discuss the potential for integration of ET from energy balance models to support near real-time mapping of consumptive water use and crop water stress.

  1. TMDL implementation in agricultural landscapes: a communicative and systemic approach.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Nicholas R; Slotterback, Carissa Schively; Cadieux, Kirsten Valentine; Mulla, David J; Pitt, David G; Olabisi, Laura Schmitt; Kim, Jin-Oh

    2011-07-01

    Increasingly, total maximum daily load (TMDL) limits are being defined for agricultural watersheds. Reductions in non-point source pollution are often needed to meet TMDL limits, and improvements in management of annual crops appear insufficient to achieve the necessary reductions. Increased adoption of perennial crops and other changes in agricultural land use also appear necessary, but face major barriers. We outline a novel strategy that aims to create new economic opportunities for land-owners and other stakeholders and thereby to attract their voluntary participation in land-use change needed to meet TMDLs. Our strategy has two key elements. First, focused efforts are needed to create new economic enterprises that capitalize on the productive potential of multifunctional agriculture (MFA). MFA seeks to produce a wide range of goods and ecosystem services by well-designed deployment of annual and perennial crops across agricultural landscapes and watersheds; new revenue from MFA may substantially finance land-use change needed to meet TMDLs. Second, efforts to capitalize on MFA should use a novel methodology, the Communicative/Systemic Approach (C/SA). C/SA uses an integrative GIS-based spatial modeling framework for systematically assessing tradeoffs and synergies in design and evaluation of multifunctional agricultural landscapes, closely linked to deliberation and design processes by which multiple stakeholders can collaboratively create appropriate and acceptable MFA landscape designs. We anticipate that application of C/SA will strongly accelerate TMDL implementation, by aligning the interests of multiple stakeholders whose active support is needed to change agricultural land use and thereby meet TMDL goals.

  2. TMDL Implementation in Agricultural Landscapes: A Communicative and Systemic Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, Nicholas R.; Slotterback, Carissa Schively; Cadieux, Kirsten Valentine; Mulla, David J.; Pitt, David G.; Olabisi, Laura Schmitt; Kim, Jin-Oh

    2011-07-01

    Increasingly, total maximum daily load (TMDL) limits are being defined for agricultural watersheds. Reductions in non-point source pollution are often needed to meet TMDL limits, and improvements in management of annual crops appear insufficient to achieve the necessary reductions. Increased adoption of perennial crops and other changes in agricultural land use also appear necessary, but face major barriers. We outline a novel strategy that aims to create new economic opportunities for land-owners and other stakeholders and thereby to attract their voluntary participation in land-use change needed to meet TMDLs. Our strategy has two key elements. First, focused efforts are needed to create new economic enterprises that capitalize on the productive potential of multifunctional agriculture (MFA). MFA seeks to produce a wide range of goods and ecosystem services by well-designed deployment of annual and perennial crops across agricultural landscapes and watersheds; new revenue from MFA may substantially finance land-use change needed to meet TMDLs. Second, efforts to capitalize on MFA should use a novel methodology, the Communicative/Systemic Approach (C/SA). C/SA uses an integrative GIS-based spatial modeling framework for systematically assessing tradeoffs and synergies in design and evaluation of multifunctional agricultural landscapes, closely linked to deliberation and design processes by which multiple stakeholders can collaboratively create appropriate and acceptable MFA landscape designs. We anticipate that application of C/SA will strongly accelerate TMDL implementation, by aligning the interests of multiple stakeholders whose active support is needed to change agricultural land use and thereby meet TMDL goals.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. 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 ...

  5. A study on agricultural drought vulnerability at disaggregated level in a highly irrigated and intensely cropped state of India.

    PubMed

    Murthy, C S; Yadav, Manoj; Mohammed Ahamed, J; Laxman, B; Prawasi, R; Sesha Sai, M V R; Hooda, R S

    2015-03-01

    Drought is an important global hazard, challenging the sustainable agriculture and food security of nations. Measuring agricultural drought vulnerability is a prerequisite for targeting interventions to improve and sustain the agricultural performance of both irrigated and rain-fed agriculture. In this study, crop-generic agricultural drought vulnerability status is empirically measured through a composite index approach. The study area is Haryana state, India, a prime agriculture state of the country, characterised with low rainfall, high irrigation support and stable cropping pattern. By analysing the multiyear rainfall and crop condition data of kharif crop season (June-October) derived from satellite data and soil water holding capacity and groundwater quality, nine contributing indicators were generated for 120 blocks (sub-district administrative units). Composite indices for exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity components were generated after assigning variance-based weightages to the respective input indicators. Agricultural Drought Vulnerability Index (ADVI) was developed through a linear combination of the three component indices. ADVI-based vulnerability categorisation revealed that 51 blocks are with vulnerable to very highly vulnerable status. These blocks are located in the southern and western parts of the state, where groundwater quality is saline and water holding capacity of soils is less. The ADVI map has effectively captured the spatial pattern of agricultural drought vulnerability in the state. Districts with large number of vulnerable blocks showed considerably larger variability of de-trended crop yields. Correlation analysis reveals that crop condition variability, groundwater quality and soil factors are closely associated with ADVI. The vulnerability index is useful to prioritise the blocks for implementation of long-term drought management plans. There is scope for improving the methodology by adding/fine-tuning the indicators and

  6. Sustainable Uses of FGD Gypsum in Agricultural Systems: Introduction.

    PubMed

    Watts, Dexter B; Dick, Warren A

    2014-01-01

    Interest in using gypsum as a management tool to improve crop yields and soil and water quality has recently increased. Abundant supply and availability of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum, a by-product of scrubbing sulfur from combustion gases at coal-fired power plants, in major agricultural producing regions within the last two decades has attributed to this interest. Currently, published data on the long-term sustainability of FGD gypsum use in agricultural systems is limited. This has led to organization of the American Society of Agronomy's Community "By-product Gypsum Uses in Agriculture" and a special collection of nine technical research articles on various issues related to FGD gypsum uses in agricultural systems. A brief review of FGD gypsum, rationale for the special collection, overviews of articles, knowledge gaps, and future research directions are presented in this introductory paper. The nine articles are focused in three general areas: (i) mercury and other trace element impacts, (ii) water quality impacts, and (iii) agronomic responses and soil physical changes. While this is not an exhaustive review of the topic, results indicate that FGD gypsum use in sustainable agricultural production systems is promising. The environmental impacts of FGD gypsum are mostly positive, with only a few negative results observed, even when applied at rates representing cumulative 80-year applications. Thus, FGD gypsum, if properly managed, seems to represent an important potential input into agricultural systems.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

  8. Particle size distribution and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons emissions from agricultural crop residue burning.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hefeng; Hu, Dawei; Chen, Jianmin; Ye, Xingnan; Wang, Shu Xiao; Hao, Ji Ming; Wang, Lin; Zhang, Renyi; An, Zhisheng

    2011-07-01

    Laboratory measurements were conducted to determine particle size distribution and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) emissions from the burning of rice, wheat, and corn straws, three major agricultural crop residues in China. Particle size distributions were determined by a wide-range particle spectrometer (WPS). PAHs in both the particulate and gaseous phases were simultaneously collected and analyzed by GC-MS. Particle number size distributions showed a prominent accumulation mode with peaks at 0.10, 0.15, and 0.15 μm for rice, wheat, and corn-burned aerosols, respectively. PAHs emission factors of rice, wheat, and corn straws were 5.26, 1.37, and 1.74 mg kg(-1), respectively. It was suggested that combustion with higher efficiency was characterized by smaller particle size and lower PAHs emission factors. The total PAHs emissions from the burning of three agricultural crop residues in China were estimated to be 1.09 Gg for the year 2004.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-11-01

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

  10. Estimated annual agricultural pesticide use by crop group for states of the conterminous United States, 1992-2014

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baker, Nancy T.

    2017-01-01

    This dataset provides estimates of annual agricultural use of pesticide compounds by crop group at the state level for states in the conterminous United States, for the time period 1992-2014, compiled from data used to make county-level estimates by means of methods described in Thelin and Stone (2013) and Baker and Stone (2015). The source of this data is the same as the published county-level pesticide use estimates for 1992-2009 (Stone, 2013), estimates for 2008-2012 (Baker and Stone, 2015), and preliminary estimates for 2013 and 2014 respectively, Baker (2015), and Baker (2016). County level by-crop estimates are not published because of the increased uncertainty in estimating the geographic distribution of compounds applied to specific crops. County level estimates were aggregated to state level for high acreage crops such as corn and soybeans, and crop groups for lower acreage crops.

  11. RF-CLASS: A Remote-sensing-based Interoperable Web service system for Flood Crop Loss Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di, L.; Yu, G.; Kang, L.

    2014-12-01

    Flood is one of the worst natural disasters in the world. Flooding often causes significant crop loss over large agricultural areas in the United States. Two USDA agencies, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and Risk Management Agency (RMA), make decisions on flood statistics, crop insurance policy, and recovery management by collecting, analyzing, reporting, and utilizing flooded crop acreage and crop loss information. NASS has the mandate to report crop loss after all flood events. RMA manages crop insurance policy and uses crop loss information to guide the creation of the crop insurance policy and the aftermath compensation. Many studies have been conducted in the recent years on monitoring floods and assessing the crop loss due to floods with remote sensing and geographic information technologies. The Remote-sensing-based Flood Crop Loss Assessment Service System (RF-CLASS), being developed with NASA and USDA support, aims to significantly improve the post-flood agricultural decision-making supports in USDA by integrating and advancing the recently developed technologies. RF-CLASS will operationally provide information to support USDA decision making activities on collecting and archiving flood acreage and duration, recording annual crop loss due to flood, assessing the crop insurance rating areas, investigating crop policy compliance, and spot checking of crop loss claims. This presentation will discuss the remote sensing and GIS based methods for deriving the needed information to support the decision making, the RF-CLASS cybersystem architecture, the standards and interoperability arrangements in the system, and the current and planned capabilities of the system.

  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. 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.

  14. Consideration in selecting crops for the human-rated life support system: a linear programming model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, E. F.; Kossowski, J.; Goto, E.; Langhans, R. W.; White, G.; Albright, L. D.; Wilcox, D.

    A Linear Programming model has been constructed which aids in selecting appropriate crops for CELSS (Controlled Environment Life Support System) food production. A team of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) faculty, staff, graduate students and invited experts representing more than a dozen disciplines, provided a wide range of expertise in developing the model and the crop production program. The model incorporates nutritional content and controlled-environment based production yields of carefully chosen crops into a framework where a crop mix can be constructed to suit the astronauts' needs. The crew's nutritional requirements can be adequately satisfied with only a few crops (assuming vitamin mineral supplements are provided) but this will not be satisfactory from a culinary standpoint. This model is flexible enough that taste and variety driven food choices can be built into the model.

  15. Consideration in selecting crops for the human-rated life support system: a Linear Programming model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wheeler, E. F.; Kossowski, J.; Goto, E.; Langhans, R. W.; White, G.; Albright, L. D.; Wilcox, D.; Henninger, D. L. (Principal Investigator)

    1996-01-01

    A Linear Programming model has been constructed which aids in selecting appropriate crops for CELSS (Controlled Environment Life Support System) food production. A team of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) faculty, staff, graduate students and invited experts representing more than a dozen disciplines, provided a wide range of expertise in developing the model and the crop production program. The model incorporates nutritional content and controlled-environment based production yields of carefully chosen crops into a framework where a crop mix can be constructed to suit the astronauts' needs. The crew's nutritional requirements can be adequately satisfied with only a few crops (assuming vitamin mineral supplements are provided) but this will not be satisfactory from a culinary standpoint. This model is flexible enough that taste and variety driven food choices can be built into the model.

  16. 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…

  17. Genetic engineering in agriculture and corporate engineering in public debate: risk, public relations, and public debate over genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Patel, Rajeev; Torres, Robert J; Rosset, Peter

    2005-01-01

    Corporations have long influenced environmental and occupational health in agriculture, doing a great deal of damage, making substantial profits, and shaping public debate to make it appear that environmental misfortunes are accidents of an otherwise well-functioning system, rather than systemic. The debate over the genetically modified (GM) crops is an example. The largest producer of commercial GM seeds, Monsanto, exemplifies the industry's strategies: the invocation of poor people as beneficiaries, characterization of opposition as technophobic or anti-progress, and portrayal of their products as environmentally beneficial in the absence of or despite the evidence. This strategy is endemic to contemporary market capitalism, with its incentives to companies to externalize health and environmental costs to increase profits.

  18. Cover crops alter phosphorus soil fractions and organic matter accumulation in a Peruvian cacao agroforestry system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In many tropical soils, excessive weathering of primary minerals confounded by intense agricultural production has resulted in the depletion of organic matter and plant available forms of phosphorus (P). Long-term growth of cover crops in tropical agroforestry systems have been shown to influence nu...

  19. Simulation of Climate Change Impacts on Wheat-Fallow Cropping Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural system simulation models are predictive tools for assessing climate change impacts on crop production. In this study, RZWQM2 that contains the DSSAT 4.0-CERES model was evaluated for simulating climate change impacts on wheat growth. The model was calibrated and validated using data fro...

  20. 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)

  1. Noah-MP-Crop: Enhancing cropland representation in the community land surface modeling system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, X.; Chen, F.; Barlage, M. J.; Zhou, G.; Niyogi, D.

    2015-12-01

    Croplands are important in land-atmosphere interactions and in modifying local and regional weather and climate. Despite their importance, croplands are poorly represented in the current version of the coupled Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF)/ Noah land-surface modeling system, resulting in significant surface temperature and humidity biases across agriculture- dominated regions of the United States. This study aims to improve the WRF weather forecasting and regional climate simulations during the crop growing season by enhancing the representation of cropland in the Noah-MP land model. We introduced dynamic crop growth parameterization into Noah-MP and evaluated the enhanced model (Noah-MP-Crop) at both the field and regional scales with multiple crop biomass datasets, surface fluxes and soil moisture/temperature observations. We also integrated a detailed cropland cover map into WRF, enabling the model to simulate corn and soybean field across the U.S. Great Plains. Results show marked improvement in the Noah-MP-Crop performance in simulating leaf area index (LAI), crop biomass, soil temperature, and surface fluxes. Enhanced cropland representation is not only crucial for improving weather forecasting but can also help assess potential impacts of weather variability on regional hydrometeorology and crop yields. In addition to its applications to WRF, Noah-MP-Crop can be applied in high-spatial-resolution regional crop yield modeling and drought assessments

  2. 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)...

  3. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  5. Agro-climatic adaptation of cropping systems under climate change in Shanghai

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Zhuoran; Gu, Tingting; Tian, Zhan; Zhong, Honglin; Liang, Yuqi

    2015-09-01

    Climate change affects the heat and water resources required by agriculture, thus shifting cropping rotation and intensity. Shanghai is located in the Taihu Lake basin, a transition zone for various cropping systems. In the basin, moderate climate changes can cause major shifts in cropping intensity and rotation. In the present study, we integrated observational climate data, one regional climate model, land use maps, and agricultural statistics to analyze the relationship between heat resources and multi-cropping potential in Shanghai. The results of agro-climatic assessment showed that climate change over the past 50 years has significantly enhanced regional agroclimatic resources, rendering a shift from double cropping to triple cropping possible. However, a downward trend is evident in the actual multi-cropping index, caused principally by the increasing costs of farming and limitations in the supply of labor. We argue that improving the utilization rate of the enhanced agro-climatic resources is possible by introducing new combinations of cultivars, adopting more laborsaving technologies, and providing incentives to farmers.

  6. Development, implementation and evaluation of satellite-aided agricultural monitoring systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cicone, R. C.; Crist, E. P.; Metzler, M.; Nuesch, D.

    1982-01-01

    Research activities in support of AgRISTARS Inventory Technology Development Project in the use of aerospace remote sensing for agricultural inventory described include: (1) corn and soybean crop spectral temporal signature characterization; (2) efficient area estimation techniques development; and (3) advanced satellite and sensor system definition. Studies include a statistical evaluation of the impact of cultural and environmental factors on crop spectral profiles, the development and evaluation of an automatic crop area estimation procedure, and the joint use of SEASAT-SAR and LANDSAT MSS for crop inventory.

  7. Adverse weather impacts on arable cropping systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gobin, Anne

    2016-04-01

    Damages due to extreme or adverse weather strongly depend on crop type, crop stage, soil conditions and management. The impact is largest during the sensitive periods of the farming calendar, and requires a modelling approach to capture the interactions between the crop, its environment and the occurrence of the meteorological event. The hypothesis is that extreme and adverse weather events can be quantified and subsequently incorporated in current crop models. Since crop development is driven by thermal time and photoperiod, a regional crop model was used 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. Risk profiles and associated return levels were obtained by fitting generalized extreme value distributions to block maxima for air humidity, water balance and temperature variables. The risk profiles were subsequently confronted with yields and yield losses for the major arable crops in Belgium, notably winter wheat, winter barley, winter oilseed rape, sugar beet, potato and maize at the field (farm records) to regional scale (statistics). The average daily vapour pressure deficit (VPD) and reference evapotranspiration (ET0) during the growing season is significantly lower (p < 0.001) and has a higher variability before 1988 than after 1988. Distribution patterns of VPD and ET0 have relevant impacts on crop yields. The response to rising temperatures depends on the crop's capability to condition its microenvironment. Crops short of water close their stomata, lose their evaporative cooling potential and ultimately become susceptible to heat stress. Effects of heat stress therefore have to be combined with moisture availability such as the precipitation deficit or the soil water balance. Risks of combined heat and moisture deficit stress appear during the summer. These risks are subsequently related to crop damage. The methodology of defining

  8. The value of seasonal forecasting and crop mix adaptation to climate variability for agriculture under climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, H. S.; Schneider, U.; Schmid, E.; Held, H.

    2012-04-01

    Changes to climate variability and frequency of extreme weather events are expected to impose damages to the agricultural sector. Seasonal forecasting and long range prediction skills have received attention as an option to adapt to climate change because seasonal climate and yield predictions could improve farmers' management decisions. The value of seasonal forecasting skill is assessed with a crop mix adaptation option in Spain where drought conditions are prevalent. Yield impacts of climate are simulated for six crops (wheat, barely, cotton, potato, corn and rice) with the EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate) model. Daily weather data over the period 1961 to 1990 are used and are generated by the regional climate model REMO as reference period for climate projection. Climate information and its consequent yield variability information are given to the stochastic agricultural sector model to calculate the value of climate information in the agricultural market. Expected consumers' market surplus and producers' revenue is compared with and without employing climate forecast information. We find that seasonal forecasting benefits not only consumers but also producers if the latter adopt a strategic crop mix. This mix differs from historical crop mixes by having higher shares of crops which fare relatively well under climate change. The corresponding value of information is highly sensitive to farmers' crop mix choices.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    -14 times higher than in shoots); rape (Brassicaceae family) and potatoes (Solanaceae family) are characterized by similar Cs-137 concentrations in the structural parts (but note, that belowground part of the last is mostly represented by modified shoots); while galega and amaranth (Fabaceae and Amaranthaceae families respectively) are characterized by higher Cs-137 activity in aboveground part (4-6 times more than in roots). Therefore, meadow grasses and cereals that are true accumulators of Cs-137 seem to be useless for phytoremediation purposes, as 86-97% of the radionuclide inventory is associated with roots and remains in soil after cutting of aboveground parts. On the other hand, galega and amaranth could be considered as agricultural crops potentially being used for phytoremediation, since 87-93% of Cs-137 inventory is located in shoots. Potatoes having rather high aboveground biomass and easily removed from soil underground part could be also used for phytoremediation. However, it should be clearly understood that in total Cs-137 inventory in "soil-plant" system the annual amount of the radionuclide's consumption (that may be alienated when harvesting) is less than 0.01%, while the rate of Cs-137 radioactive decay is estimated as about 2% per year. Study was conducted with the support from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no. 14-05-00903).

  10. Integrating High Resolution Water Footprint and GIS for Promoting Water Efficiency in the Agricultural Sector: A Case Study of Plantation Crops in the Jordan Valley.

    PubMed

    Shtull-Trauring, Eliav; Aviani, Ido; Avisar, Dror; Bernstein, Nirit

    2016-01-01

    Addressing the global challenges to water security requires a better understanding of humanity's use of water, especially the agricultural sector that accounts for 70% of global withdrawals. This study combined high resolution-data with a GIS system to analyze the impact of agricultural practices, crop type, and spatial factors such as drainage basins, climate, and soil type on the Water Footprint (WF) of agricultural crops. The area of the study, the northern Lower Jordan Valley, covers 1121 ha in which three main plantation crops are grown: banana (cultivated in open-fields or net-houses), avocado and palm-dates. High-resolution data sources included GIS layers of the cultivated crops and a drainage pipe-system installed in the study area; meteorological data (2000-2013); and crop parameters (yield and irrigation recommendations). First, the study compared the WF of the different crops on the basis of yield and energy produced as well as a comparison to global values and local irrigation recommendations. The results showed that net-house banana has the lowest WF based on all different criteria. However, while palm-dates showed the highest WF for the yield criteria, it had the second lowest WF for energy produced, emphasizing the importance of using multiple parameters for low and high yield crop comparisons. Next, the regional WF of each drainage basin in the study area was calculated, demonstrating the strong influence of the Gray WF, an indication of the amount of freshwater required for pollution assimilation. Finally, the benefits of integrating GIS and WF were demonstrated by computing the effect of adopting net-house cultivation throughout the area of study with a result a reduction of 1.3 MCM irrigation water per year. Integrating the WF methodology and local high-resolution data using GIS can therefore promote and help quantify the benefits of adopting site-appropriate crops and agricultural practices that lower the WF by increasing yield, reducing water

  11. Integrating High Resolution Water Footprint and GIS for Promoting Water Efficiency in the Agricultural Sector: A Case Study of Plantation Crops in the Jordan Valley

    PubMed Central

    Shtull-Trauring, Eliav; Aviani, Ido; Avisar, Dror; Bernstein, Nirit

    2016-01-01

    Addressing the global challenges to water security requires a better understanding of humanity's use of water, especially the agricultural sector that accounts for 70% of global withdrawals. This study combined high resolution-data with a GIS system to analyze the impact of agricultural practices, crop type, and spatial factors such as drainage basins, climate, and soil type on the Water Footprint (WF) of agricultural crops. The area of the study, the northern Lower Jordan Valley, covers 1121 ha in which three main plantation crops are grown: banana (cultivated in open-fields or net-houses), avocado and palm-dates. High-resolution data sources included GIS layers of the cultivated crops and a drainage pipe-system installed in the study area; meteorological data (2000–2013); and crop parameters (yield and irrigation recommendations). First, the study compared the WF of the different crops on the basis of yield and energy produced as well as a comparison to global values and local irrigation recommendations. The results showed that net-house banana has the lowest WF based on all different criteria. However, while palm-dates showed the highest WF for the yield criteria, it had the second lowest WF for energy produced, emphasizing the importance of using multiple parameters for low and high yield crop comparisons. Next, the regional WF of each drainage basin in the study area was calculated, demonstrating the strong influence of the Gray WF, an indication of the amount of freshwater required for pollution assimilation. Finally, the benefits of integrating GIS and WF were demonstrated by computing the effect of adopting net-house cultivation throughout the area of study with a result a reduction of 1.3 MCM irrigation water per year. Integrating the WF methodology and local high-resolution data using GIS can therefore promote and help quantify the benefits of adopting site-appropriate crops and agricultural practices that lower the WF by increasing yield, reducing

  12. 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.

  13. Phytotoxic risk assessment of ambient air pollution on agricultural crops in Selangor State, Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Ishii, S; Bell, J N B; Marshall, F M

    2007-11-01

    The phytotoxic risk of ambient air pollution to local vegetation was assessed in Selangor State, Malaysia. The AOT40 value was calculated by means of the continuously monitored daily maximum concentration and the local diurnal pattern of O3. Together with minor risks associated with the levels of NO2 and SO2, the study found that the monthly AOT40 values in these peri-urban sites were consistently over 1.0 ppm.h, which is well in exceedance of the given European critical level. Linking the O3 level to actual agricultural crop production in Selangor State also indicated that the extent of yield losses could have ranged from 1.6 to 5.0% (by weight) in 2000. Despite a number of uncertainties, the study showed a simple but useful methodological framework for phytotoxic risk assessment with a limited data set, which could contribute to appropriate policy discussion and countermeasures in countries under similar conditions.

  14. SPATIO-TEMPORAL MODELING OF AGRICULTURAL YIELD DATA WITH AN APPLICATION TO PRICING CROP INSURANCE CONTRACTS

    PubMed Central

    Ozaki, Vitor A.; Ghosh, Sujit K.; Goodwin, Barry K.; Shirota, Ricardo

    2009-01-01

    This article presents a statistical model of agricultural yield data based on a set of hierarchical Bayesian models that allows joint modeling of temporal and spatial autocorrelation. This method captures a comprehensive range of the various uncertainties involved in predicting crop insurance premium rates as opposed to the more traditional ad hoc, two-stage methods that are typically based on independent estimation and prediction. A panel data set of county-average yield data was analyzed for 290 counties in the State of Paraná (Brazil) for the period of 1990 through 2002. Posterior predictive criteria are used to evaluate different model specifications. This article provides substantial improvements in the statistical and actuarial methods often applied to the calculation of insurance premium rates. These improvements are especially relevant to situations where data are limited. PMID:19890450

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  16. Impact of management strategies on the global warming potential at the cropping system level.

    PubMed

    Goglio, Pietro; Grant, Brian B; Smith, Ward N; Desjardins, Raymond L; Worth, Devon E; Zentner, Robert; Malhi, Sukhdev S

    2014-08-15

    Estimating the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agricultural systems is important in order to assess the impact of agriculture on climate change. In this study experimental data supplemented with results from a biophysical model (DNDC) were combined with life cycle assessment (LCA) to investigate the impact of management strategies on global warming potential of long-term cropping systems at two locations (Breton and Ellerslie) in Alberta, Canada. The aim was to estimate the difference in global warming potential (GWP) of cropping systems due to N fertilizer reduction and residue removal. Reducing the nitrogen fertilizer rate from 75 to 50 kg N ha(-1) decreased on average the emissions of N2O by 39%, NO by 59% and ammonia volatilisation by 57%. No clear trend for soil CO2 emissions was determined among cropping systems. When evaluated on a per hectare basis, cropping systems with residue removal required 6% more energy and had a little change in GWP. Conversely, when evaluated on the basis of gigajoules of harvestable biomass, residue removal resulted in 28% less energy requirement and 33% lower GWP. Reducing nitrogen fertilizer rate resulted in 18% less GWP on average for both functional units at Breton and 39% less GWP at Ellerslie. Nitrous oxide emissions contributed on average 67% to the overall GWP per ha. This study demonstrated that small changes in N fertilizer have a minimal impact on the productivity of the cropping systems but can still have a substantial environmental impact.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-04-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Sesquiterpenoid emissions from agricultural crops: correlations to monoterpenoid emissions and leaf terpene content.

    PubMed

    Ormeño, Elena; Gentner, Drew R; Fares, Silvano; Karlik, John; Park, Jeong Hoo; Goldstein, Allen H

    2010-05-15

    Emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are important precursors to both ozone and secondary organic aerosol formation. In this study, we identify and quantify volatile (C(10)) and intermediate-volatility (C(15)) BVOCs stored in and emitted from 22 prominent woody and herbaceous crops with a particular focus on sesquiterpenoids (SQTs), which have presented measurement challenges in previous studies. Monoterpenoids (MNTs) and SQTs were simultaneously emitted from all the crops studied; there were significant correlations between emission rates and leaf content for both MNTs and SQTs and additional correlations between MNTs and SQTs in both emissions and leaf content. Our results suggest that species with high concentrations of stored terpenoids in their leaves, such as those grown commercially for their essential oil content, are likely high BVOC emitters. Emissions from agricultural species were dominated by SQTs at low MNT emission rates (on the order of several tens of ng/(g(DM)*h)), while at higher MNT levels (on the order of several hundreds of ng/(g(DM)*h)), SQT emissions were approximately equivalent. Based on our empirical correlations, we estimate that global SQT emissions are similar to MNT emissions and on the order of 100 Tg yr(-1), which justifies the need for better representation of SQTs in both BVOC emission and atmospheric models.

  1. Agricultural crop harvest progress monitoring by fully polarimetric synthetic aperture radar imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Hao; Zhao, Chunjiang; Yang, Guijun; Li, Zengyuan; Chen, Erxue; Yuan, Lin; Yang, Xiaodong; Xu, Xingang

    2015-01-01

    Dynamic mapping and monitoring of crop harvest on a large spatial scale will provide critical information for the formulation of optimal harvesting strategies. This study evaluates the feasibility of C-band polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) for monitoring the harvesting progress of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) fields. Five multitemporal, quad-pol Radarsat-2 images and one optical ZY-1 02C image were acquired over a farmland area in China during the 2013 growing season. Typical polarimetric signatures were obtained relying on polarimetric decomposition methods. Temporal evolutions of these signatures of harvested fields were compared with the ones of unharvested fields in the context of the entire growing cycle. Significant sensitivity was observed between the specific polarimetric parameters and the harvest status of oilseed rape fields. Based on this sensitivity, a new method that integrates two polarimetric features was devised to detect the harvest status of oilseed rape fields using a single image. The validation results are encouraging even for the harvested fields covered with high residues. This research demonstrates the capability of PolSAR remote sensing in crop harvest monitoring, which is a step toward more complex applications of PolSAR data in precision agriculture.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Draper, H.M. III

    1982-01-01

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

  3. Mapping Farming Practices in Belgian Intensive Cropping Systems from Sentinel-1 SAR Time Series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chome, G.; Baret, P. V.; Defourny, P.

    2016-08-01

    The environmental impact of the so-called conventional farming system calls for new farming practices reducing negative externalities. Emerging farming practices such as no-till and new inter-cropping management are promising tracks. The development of methods to characterize crop management across an entire region and to understand their spatial dimension offers opportunities to accompany the transition towards a more sustainable agriculture.This research takes advantage of the unmatched polarimetric and temporal resolutions of Sentinel-1 SAR C- band to develop a method to identify farming practices at the parcel level. To this end, the detection of changes in backscattering due to surface roughness modification (tillage, inter-crop cover destruction ...) is used to detect the farming management. The final results are compared to a reference dataset collected through an intensive field campaign. Finally, the performances are discussed in the perspective of practices monitoring of cropping systems through remote sensing.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Impact of Wheat/Faba Bean Mixed Cropping or Rotation Systems on Soil Microbial Functionalities

    PubMed Central

    Wahbi, Sanâa; Prin, Yves; Thioulouse, Jean; Sanguin, Hervé; Baudoin, Ezékiel; Maghraoui, Tasnime; Oufdou, Khalid; Le Roux, Christine; Galiana, Antoine; Hafidi, Mohamed; Duponnois, Robin

    2016-01-01

    Cropping systems based on carefully designed species mixtures reveal many potential advantages in terms of enhancing crop productivity, reducing pest and diseases, and enhancing ecological services. Associating cereals and legume production either through intercropping or rotations might be a relevant strategy of producing both type of culture, while benefiting from combined nitrogen fixed by the legume through its symbiotic association with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and from a better use of P and water through mycorrhizal associations. These practices also participate to the diversification of agricultural productions, enabling to secure the regularity of income returns across the seasonal and climatic uncertainties. In this context, we designed a field experiment aiming to estimate the 2 years impact of these practices on wheat yield and on soil microbial activities as estimated through Substrate Induced Respiration method and mycorrhizal soil infectivity (MSI) measurement. It is expected that understanding soil microbial functionalities in response to these agricultural practices might allows to target the best type of combination, in regard to crop productivity. We found that the tested cropping systems largely impacted soil microbial functionalities and MSI. Intercropping gave better results in terms of crop productivity than the rotation practice after two cropping seasons. Benefits resulting from intercrop should be highly linked with changes recorded on soil microbial functionalities. PMID:27695462

  6. 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.

  7. Agriculture: the real nexus for enhancing bioavailable micronutrients in food crops.

    PubMed

    Welch, Ross M; Graham, Robin D

    2005-01-01

    Human existence requires that agriculture provide at least 50 nutrients (e.g., vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids, essential fatty acids) in amounts needed to meet metabolic demands during all seasons. If national food systems do not meet these demands, mortality and morbidity rates increase, worker productivity declines, livelihoods are diminished and societies suffer. Today, many food systems within the developing world cannot meet the nutritional needs of the societies they support mostly due to farming systems that cannot produce enough micronutrients to meet human needs throughout the year. Nutrition transitions are also occurring in many rapidly developing countries that are causing chronic disease (e.g., cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis) rates to increase substantially. These global developments point to the need to explicitly link agricultural technologies to human health. This paper reviews some ways in which agriculture can contribute significantly to reducing micronutrient malnutrition globally. It concludes that it is imperative that close linkages be forged between the agriculture, nutrition and health arenas in order to find sustainable solutions to micronutrient malnutrition with agriculture becoming the primary intervention tool to use in this fight.

  8. Cropping system effects on wind erosion potential

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wind erosion of soil is a destructive process impacting crop productivity and human health and safety. The mechanics of wind erosion and soil properties that influence erosion are well understood. Less well-studied are the effects that cropping intensity has upon those soil properties. We collected ...

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

    PubMed

    Corbel, Sylvain; Mougin, Christian; Bouaïcha, Noureddine

    2014-02-01

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

  11. Sustainability of Agricultural Systems: Concept to Application

    EPA Science Inventory

    Agriculture not only feeds the planet, it also is the biggest overall factor affecting the environment. Thus, innovative sustainable farming systems that produce healthy food and protect the environment at the same time are very much needed. We, as agricultural engineers, need ...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  13. Assessment of the availability of agricultural crop residues in the European Union: potential and limitations for bioenergy use.

    PubMed

    Scarlat, Nicolae; Martinov, Milan; Dallemand, Jean-François

    2010-10-01

    This paper provides a resource-based assessment of the available agricultural crop residues for bioenergy production in the European Union, at the level of the 27 Member States. The assessment provides the amount of the residues produced, collected, their present uses and the residues left available for bioenergy. This study considers the crop production and yields and multi-annual yield variation for each crop. The calculation was based on specific residues to product ratios, which were determined, depending on the crop type and crop yield. Sustainable removal rates were considered in order to protect soil fertility. The results show large spatial and temporal variations of available crop residues within EU27. The average amount of crop residues available for bioenergy in EU27 was estimated at 1530 PJ/year, with a variation between 1090 and 1900 PJ/year. The average value represents about 3.2% in final energy consumption in the EU27 while the variation 2.3-4%. This variation, which is even larger at the level of Member States, may result in shortages in biomass supply in some years, when crop residues are available in a lower amount than the average.

  14. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. An Ultrasonic System for Weed Detection in Cereal Crops

    PubMed Central

    Andújar, Dionisio; Weis, Martin; Gerhards, Roland

    2012-01-01

    Site-specific weed management requires sensing of the actual weed infestation levels in agricultural fields to adapt the management accordingly. However, sophisticated sensor systems are not yet in wider practical use, since they are not easily available for the farmers and their handling as well as the management practice requires additional efforts. A new sensor-based weed detection method is presented in this paper and its applicability to cereal crops is evaluated. An ultrasonic distance sensor for the determination of plant heights was used for weed detection. It was hypothesised that the weed infested zones have a higher amount of biomass than non-infested areas and that this can be determined by plant height measurements. Ultrasonic distance measurements were taken in a winter wheat field infested by grass weeds and broad-leaved weeds. A total of 80 and 40 circular-shaped samples of different weed densities and compositions were assessed at two different dates. The sensor was pointed directly to the ground for height determination. In the following, weeds were counted and then removed from the sample locations. Grass weeds and broad-leaved weeds were separately removed. Differences between weed infested and weed-free measurements were determined. Dry-matter of weeds and crop was assessed and evaluated together with the sensor measurements. RGB images were taken prior and after weed removal to determine the coverage percentages of weeds and crop per sampling point. Image processing steps included EGI (excess green index) computation and thresholding to separate plants and background. The relationship between ultrasonic readings and the corresponding coverage of the crop and weeds were assessed using multiple regression analysis. Results revealed a height difference between infested and non-infested sample locations. Density and biomass of weeds present in the sample influenced the ultrasonic readings. The possibilities of weed group discrimination were

  17. An ultrasonic system for weed detection in cereal crops.

    PubMed

    Andújar, Dionisio; Weis, Martin; Gerhards, Roland

    2012-12-13

    Site-specific weed management requires sensing of the actual weed infestation levels in agricultural fields to adapt the management accordingly. However, sophisticated sensor systems are not yet in wider practical use, since they are not easily available for the farmers and their handling as well as the management practice requires additional efforts. A new sensor-based weed detection method is presented in this paper and its applicability to cereal crops is evaluated. An ultrasonic distance sensor for the determination of plant heights was used for weed detection. It was hypothesised that the weed infested zones have a higher amount of biomass than non-infested areas and that this can be determined by plant height measurements. Ultrasonic distance measurements were taken in a winter wheat field infested by grass weeds and broad-leaved weeds. A total of 80 and 40 circular-shaped samples of different weed densities and compositions were assessed at two different dates. The sensor was pointed directly to the ground for height determination. In the following, weeds were counted and then removed from the sample locations. Grass weeds and broad-leaved weeds were separately removed. Differences between weed infested and weed-free measurements were determined. Dry-matter of weeds and crop was assessed and evaluated together with the sensor measurements. RGB images were taken prior and after weed removal to determine the coverage percentages of weeds and crop per sampling point. Image processing steps included EGI (excess green index) computation and thresholding to separate plants and background. The relationship between ultrasonic readings and the corresponding coverage of the crop and weeds were assessed using multiple regression analysis. Results revealed a height difference between infested and non-infested sample locations. Density and biomass of weeds present in the sample influenced the ultrasonic readings. The possibilities of weed group discrimination were

  18. General description and operation of the agro-environmental system: Crop management modeling. [Virginia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gross, E.; Scott, J. H., Jr.

    1981-01-01

    Input for a data management system to provide farmers with information to improve crop management practices in Virginia requires monitoring of control crops at field stations, crop surveys derived from remotely sensed aircraft data, meteorological data from synchronous satellites, and details of local agricultural conditions. Presently models are under development for determining pest problems, water balance in the soil, stages of plant maturity, and optimum planting date. The status of the Cerospora leafspot model for peanut crop management is considered. Other models under development planned relate to Cylindtocladium Blackrot and Sclerotinia blight of peanuts, cyst nematode (Globerdena solanacearum) of tobacco, and red crown rot of soybeans. A software for program for estimating precipitation and solar radiation on a statewise basis is also being developed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

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

  20. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands could be beneficial: distribution of carabid beetles and spiders in agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Knapp, Michal; Řezáč, Milan

    2015-01-01

    Carabid beetles and ground-dwelling spiders inhabiting agroecosystems are beneficial organisms with a potential to control pest species. Intensification of agricultural management and reduction of areas covered by non-crop vegetation during recent decades in some areas has led to many potentially serious environmental problems including a decline in the diversity and abundance of beneficial arthropods in agricultural landscapes. This study investigated carabid beetle and spider assemblages in non-crop habitat islands of various sizes (50 to 18,000 square metres) within one large field, as well as the arable land within the field, using pitfall traps in two consecutive sampling periods (spring to early summer and peak summer). The non-crop habitat islands situated inside arable land hosted many unique ground-dwelling arthropod species that were not present within the surrounding arable land. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands with areas of tens of square metres were inhabited by assemblages substantially different from these inhabiting arable land and thus enhanced the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. The non-crop habitat area substantially affected the activity density, recorded species richness and recorded species composition of carabid and ground-dwelling spider assemblages; however, the effects were weakened when species specialised to non-crop habitats species were analysed separately. Interestingly, recorded species richness of spiders increased with non-crop habitat area, whereas recorded species richness of carabid beetles exhibited an opposite trend. There was substantial temporal variation in the spatial distribution of ground-dwelling arthropods, and contrasting patterns were observed for particular taxa (carabid beetles and spiders). In general, local environmental conditions (i.e., non-crop habitat island tree cover, shrub cover, grass cover and litter depth) were better determinants of arthropod assemblages than non-crop habitat island

  1. Even the Smallest Non-Crop Habitat Islands Could Be Beneficial: Distribution of Carabid Beetles and Spiders in Agricultural Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Knapp, Michal; Řezáč, Milan

    2015-01-01

    Carabid beetles and ground-dwelling spiders inhabiting agroecosystems are beneficial organisms with a potential to control pest species. Intensification of agricultural management and reduction of areas covered by non-crop vegetation during recent decades in some areas has led to many potentially serious environmental problems including a decline in the diversity and abundance of beneficial arthropods in agricultural landscapes. This study investigated carabid beetle and spider assemblages in non-crop habitat islands of various sizes (50 to 18,000 square metres) within one large field, as well as the arable land within the field, using pitfall traps in two consecutive sampling periods (spring to early summer and peak summer). The non-crop habitat islands situated inside arable land hosted many unique ground-dwelling arthropod species that were not present within the surrounding arable land. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands with areas of tens of square metres were inhabited by assemblages substantially different from these inhabiting arable land and thus enhanced the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. The non-crop habitat area substantially affected the activity density, recorded species richness and recorded species composition of carabid and ground-dwelling spider assemblages; however, the effects were weakened when species specialised to non-crop habitats species were analysed separately. Interestingly, recorded species richness of spiders increased with non-crop habitat area, whereas recorded species richness of carabid beetles exhibited an opposite trend. There was substantial temporal variation in the spatial distribution of ground-dwelling arthropods, and contrasting patterns were observed for particular taxa (carabid beetles and spiders). In general, local environmental conditions (i.e., non-crop habitat island tree cover, shrub cover, grass cover and litter depth) were better determinants of arthropod assemblages than non-crop habitat island

  2. Can Impacts of Climate Change and Agricultural Adaptation Strategies Be Accurately Quantified if Crop Models Are Annually Re-Initialized?

    PubMed

    Basso, Bruno; Hyndman, David W; Kendall, Anthony D; Grace, Peter R; Robertson, G Philip

    2015-01-01

    Estimates of climate change impacts on global food production are generally based on statistical or process-based models. Process-based models can provide robust predictions of agricultural yield responses to changing climate and management. However, applications of these models often suffer from bias due to the common practice of re-initializing soil conditions to the same state for each year of the forecast period. If simulations neglect to include year-to-year changes in initial soil conditions and water content related to agronomic management, adaptation and mitigation strategies designed to maintain stable yields under climate change cannot be properly evaluated. We apply a process-based crop system model that avoids re-initialization bias to demonstrate the importance of simulating both year-to-year and cumulative changes in pre-season soil carbon, nutrient, and water availability. Results are contrasted with simulations using annual re-initialization, and differences are striking. We then demonstrate the potential for the most likely adaptation strategy to offset climate change impacts on yields using continuous simulations through the end of the 21st century. Simulations that annually re-initialize pre-season soil carbon and water contents introduce an inappropriate yield bias that obscures the potential for agricultural management to ameliorate the deleterious effects of rising temperatures and greater rainfall variability.

  3. Can Impacts of Climate Change and Agricultural Adaptation Strategies Be Accurately Quantified if Crop Models Are Annually Re-Initialized?

    PubMed Central

    Basso, Bruno; Hyndman, David W.; Kendall, Anthony D.; Grace, Peter R.; Robertson, G. Philip

    2015-01-01

    Estimates of climate change impacts on global food production are generally based on statistical or process-based models. Process-based models can provide robust predictions of agricultural yield responses to changing climate and management. However, applications of these models often suffer from bias due to the common practice of re-initializing soil conditions to the same state for each year of the forecast period. If simulations neglect to include year-to-year changes in initial soil conditions and water content related to agronomic management, adaptation and mitigation strategies designed to maintain stable yields under climate change cannot be properly evaluated. We apply a process-based crop system model that avoids re-initialization bias to demonstrate the importance of simulating both year-to-year and cumulative changes in pre-season soil carbon, nutrient, and water availability. Results are contrasted with simulations using annual re-initialization, and differences are striking. We then demonstrate the potential for the most likely adaptation strategy to offset climate change impacts on yields using continuous simulations through the end of the 21st century. Simulations that annually re-initialize pre-season soil carbon and water contents introduce an inappropriate yield bias that obscures the potential for agricultural management to ameliorate the deleterious effects of rising temperatures and greater rainfall variability. PMID:26043188

  4. To establish pilot projects for agriculture renewable energy systems.

    THOMAS, 111th Congress

    Rep. Holden, Tim [D-PA-17

    2010-09-29

    11/16/2010 Referred to the Subcommittee on Rural Development, Biotechnology, Specialty Crops, and Foreign Agriculture. (All Actions) Tracker: This bill has the status IntroducedHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  5. Extension Education for Dryland Cropping Systems in Iraq

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abi-Ghanem, Rita; Carpenter-Boggs, Lynne; Koenig, Richard; Pannkuk, Chris; Pan, William; Parker, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Iraq, formerly known as Mesopotamia, is the birthplace of agriculture. The recent war and instability have significantly impacted the country's agricultural production and knowledge support systems. To support revitalization of the Iraqi agricultural system, the USDA funded a consortium of five U.S. universities (Washington State University,…

  6. Managing adaptively for multifunctionality in agricultural systems.

    PubMed

    Hodbod, Jennifer; Barreteau, Olivier; Allen, Craig; Magda, Danièle

    2016-12-01

    The critical importance of agricultural systems for food security and as a dominant global landcover requires management that considers the full dimensions of system functions at appropriate scales, i.e. multifunctionality. We propose that adaptive management is the most suitable management approach for such goals, given its ability to reduce uncertainty over time and support multiple objectives within a system, for multiple actors. As such, adaptive management may be the most appropriate method for sustainably intensifying production whilst increasing the quantity and quality of ecosystem services. However, the current assessment of performance of agricultural systems doesn't reward ecosystem service provision. Therefore, we present an overview of the ecosystem functions agricultural systems should and could provide, coupled with a revised definition for assessing the performance of agricultural systems from a multifunctional perspective that, when all satisfied, would create adaptive agricultural systems that can increase production whilst ensuring food security and the quantity and quality of ecosystem services. The outcome of this high level of performance is the capacity to respond to multiple shocks without collapse, equity and triple bottom line sustainability. Through the assessment of case studies, we find that alternatives to industrialized agricultural systems incorporate more functional goals, but that there are mixed findings as to whether these goals translate into positive measurable outcomes. We suggest that an adaptive management perspective would support the implementation of a systematic analysis of the social, ecological and economic trade-offs occurring within such systems, particularly between ecosystem services and functions, in order to provide suitable and comparable assessments. We also identify indicators to monitor performance at multiple scales in agricultural systems which can be used within an adaptive management framework to increase

  7. Effect of crop residue incorporation on soil organic carbon (SOC) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in European agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehtinen, Taru; Schlatter, Norman; Baumgarten, Andreas; Bechini, Luca; Krüger, Janine; Grignani, Carlo; Zavattaro, Laura; Costamagna, Chiara; Spiegel, Heide

    2014-05-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) improves soil physical (e.g. increased aggregate stability), chemical (e.g. cation exchange capacity) and biological (e.g. biodiversity, earthworms) properties. The sequestration of soil organic carbon (SOC) may mitigate climate change. However, as much as 25-75% of the initial SOC in world agricultural soils may have been lost due to intensive agriculture (Lal, 2013). The European Commission has described the decline of organic matter (OM) as one of the major threats to soils (COM(2006) 231). Incorporation of crop residues may be a sustainable and cost-efficient management practice to maintain the SOC levels and to increase soil fertility in European agricultural soils. Especially Mediterranean soils that have low initial SOC concentrations, and areas where stockless croplands predominate may be suitable for crop residue incorporation. In this study, we aim to quantify the effects of crop residue incorporation on SOC and GHG emissions (CO2 and N2O) in different environmental zones (ENZs, Metzger et al., 2005) in Europe. Response ratios for SOC and GHG emissions were calculated from pairwise comparisons between crop residue incorporation and removal. Specifically, we investigated whether ENZs, clay content and experiment duration influence the response ratios. In addition, we studied how response ratios of SOM and crop yields were correlated. A total of 718 response ratios (RR) were derived from a total of 39 publications, representing 50 experiments (46 field and 4 laboratory) and 15 countries. The SOC concentrations and stocks increased by approximately 10% following crop residue incorporation. In contrast, CO2 emissions were approximately six times and N2O emissions 12 times higher following crop residue incorporation. The effect of ENZ on the response ratios was not significant. For SOC concentration, the >35% clay content had significantly approximately 8% higher response ratios compared to 18-35% clay content. As the duration of the

  8. Using dual-purpose crops in sheep-grazing systems.

    PubMed

    Dove, Hugh; Kirkegaard, John

    2014-05-01

    The utilisation of dual-purpose crops, especially wheat and canola grown for forage and grain production in sheep-grazing systems, is reviewed. When sown early and grazed in winter before stem elongation, later-maturing wheat and canola crops can be grazed with little impact on grain yield. Recent research has sought to develop crop- and grazing-management strategies for dual-purpose crops. Aspects examined have been grazing effects on crop growth, recovery and yield development along with an understanding of the grazing value of the crop fodder, its implications for animal nutrition and grazing management to maximise live-weight gain. By alleviating the winter 'feed gap', the increase in winter stocking rate afforded by grazing crops allows crop and livestock production to be increased simultaneously on the same farm. Integration of dual-purpose wheat with canola on mixed farms provides further systems advantages related to widened operational windows, weed and disease control and risk management. Dual-purpose crops are an innovation that has potential to assist in addressing the global food-security challenge.

  9. Effects of crop species richness on pest-natural enemy systems based on an experimental model system using a microlandscape.

    PubMed

    Zhao, ZiHua; Shi, PeiJian; Men, XingYuan; Ouyang, Fang; Ge, Feng

    2013-08-01

    The relationship between crop richness and predator-prey interactions as they relate to pest-natural enemy systems is a very important topic in ecology and greatly affects biological control services. The effects of crop arrangement on predator-prey interactions have received much attention as the basis for pest population management. To explore the internal mechanisms and factors driving the relationship between crop richness and pest population management, we designed an experimental model system of a microlandscape that included 50 plots and five treatments. Each treatment had 10 repetitions in each year from 2007 to 2010. The results showed that the biomass of pests and their natural enemies increased with increasing crop biomass and decreased with decreasing crop biomass; however, the effects of plant biomass on the pest and natural enemy biomass were not significant. The relationship between adjacent trophic levels was significant (such as pests and their natural enemies or crops and pests), whereas non-adjacent trophic levels (crops and natural enemies) did not significantly interact with each other. The ratio of natural enemy/pest biomass was the highest in the areas of four crop species that had the best biological control service. Having either low or high crop species richness did not enhance the pest population management service and lead to loss of biological control. Although the resource concentration hypothesis was not well supported by our results, high crop species richness could suppress the pest population, indicating that crop species richness could enhance biological control services. These results could be applied in habitat management aimed at biological control, provide the theoretical basis for agricultural landscape design, and also suggest new methods for integrated pest management.

  10. 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

  11. Toward agricultural sustainability through integrated crop–livestock systems. II. Production responses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  12. Toward agricultural sustainability through integrated crop–livestock systems. III. Social aspects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. Evaluation of the precision agricultural landscape modeling system (PALMS) in the semiarid Texas southern high plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Accurate models to simulate the soil water balance in semiarid cropping systems are needed to evaluate management practices for soil and water conservation in both irrigated and dryland production systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the application of the Precision Agricultural Land...

  14. Evaluation of the Precision Agricultural Landscape Modeling System (PALMS) in the Semiarid Texas Southern High Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Accurate models to simulate the soil water balance in semiarid cropping systems are needed to evaluate management practices for soil and water conservation in both irrigated and dryland production systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the application of the Precision Agricultural Land...

  15. Climate Change Impacts for the Conterminous USA: An Integrated Assessment Part 5. Irrigated Agriculture and National Grain Crop Production

    SciTech Connect

    Thomson, Allison M.; Rosenberg, Norman J.; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Brown, Robert A.

    2005-04-01

    Over the next century global warming will lead to changes in weather patterns, affecting many aspects of our environment. In the United States, the one sector of the economy most likely to be directly impacted by the changes in climate is agriculture. We have examined potential changes in dryland agriculture (Part 2) and in water resources necessary for crop production (Part 3). Here we assess to what extent, under a set of climate change scenarios, water supplies will be sufficient to meet the irrigation requirement of major grain crops in the U.S. In addition, we assess the overall impacts of changes in water supply on national grain production. We applied 12 climate change scenarios based on the predictions of General Circulation Models to a water resources model and a crop growth simulator for the conterminous United States. We calculate national production in current crop growing regions by applying irrigation where it is necessary and water is available. Irrigation declines under all climate change scenarios employed in this study. In certain regions and scenarios, precipitation declines so much that water supplies are too limited; in other regions it plentiful enough that little value is derived from irrigation. Total crop production is greater when irrigation is applied, but corn and soybean production declines under most scenarios. Winter wheat production responds significantly to elevated atmospheric CO2 and appears likely to increase under climate change.

  16. Crop yield network and its response to changes in climate system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yokozawa, M.

    2013-12-01

    Crop failure (reduction in crop yield) due to extreme weather and climate change could lead to unstable food supply, reflecting the recent globalization in world agricultural production. Specifically, in several major production countries producing large amount of main cereal crops, wheat, maize, soybean and rice, abrupt crop failures in wide area are significantly serious for world food supply system. We examined the simultaneous changes in crop yield in USA, China and Brazil, in terms of the changes in climate system such as El Nino, La nina and so on. In this study, we defined a crop yield networks, which represent the correlation between yearly changes in crop yields and climate resources during the crop growing season in two regions. The climate resources during the crop growing season represents here the average temperature and the accumulated precipitation during the crop growing season of a target crop. As climate data, we used a reanalysis climate data JRA-25 (Japan Meteorological Agency). The yearly changes in crop yields are based on a gridded crop productivity database with a resolution of 1.125 degree in latitude/longitude (Iizumi et al. 2013). It is constructed from the agriculture statistics issued by local administrative bureau in each country, which covers the period during 1982 to 2006 (25 years). For the regions being lack of data, the data was interpolated referring to NPP values estimated by satellite data. Crop yield network is constructed as follows: (1) let DY(i,y) be negative difference in crop yield of year y from the trend yield at grid i; (2) define the correlation of the differences Cij(y) = DY(i, y) DY(j, y); (3) if Cij(y) > Q, then grids i and j are mutually linked for a threshold value Q. Links between grids make a crop yield network. It is here noted that only negative differences are taken into account because we focused on the lean year cases (i.e. yields of both grids were lower than those in the long-term trend). The arrays of

  17. Tracing organic and inorganic pollution sources of agricultural crops and water resources in Güzelhisar Basin of the Aegean Region - Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czarnecki, Sezin; Colak Esetlili, Bihter; Esetlili, Tolga; Tepecik, Mahmut; Anac, Dilek; Düring, Rolf-Alexander

    2014-05-01

    The study area Güzelhisar Basin is 6 km far from the city Aliaga, Aegean Region in Turkey which represents a rather industrialized area having five large iron and steel factories, but also areas of agriculture. Steel industry in Aliaga is causing metal pollution. Around Güzelhisar Basin and nearby, the dominant crop fields are cotton, maize, vegetables, olive trees and vineyards. Güzelhisar stream and dam water is used for irrigation of the agricultural land. Due to contamination from metal industry in Aliaga, organic farming is not allowed in this region. Industrial activities in the region present a threat on sustainable agriculture. The region is a multi-impacted area in terms of several pollutant sources affecting soil and water quality. The overall objective of the project is to trace back plant nutrients (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, and B), hazardous substances (i. e. persistent organic pollutants), radionuclides (40K, 232Th, 226Ra/238U), and metal contents (As, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) by examining the soils, agricultural crops and natural plants from Güzelhisar Basin and water and sediments from Güzelhisar stream and dam. Spatial distribution of pollution will be evaluated by regionalization methods. For this, an advanced analytical methodology will be applied which provides an understanding of sources and occurrence of the respective substances of concern. An innovative multi-tracer approach comprising organic and inorganic marker substances, will identify and quantitatively assess sources and their impact on water pollution and the pollutant pathways in this agricultural crop production system.

  18. Study on an agricultural environment monitoring server system using Wireless Sensor Networks.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Jeonghwan; Shin, Changsun; Yoe, Hyun

    2010-01-01

    This paper proposes an agricultural environment monitoring server system for monitoring information concerning an outdoors agricultural production environment utilizing Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) technology. The proposed agricultural environment monitoring server system collects environmental and soil information on the outdoors through WSN-based environmental and soil sensors, collects image information through CCTVs, and collects location information using GPS modules. This collected information is converted into a database through the agricultural environment monitoring server consisting of a sensor manager, which manages information collected from the WSN sensors, an image information manager, which manages image information collected from CCTVs, and a GPS manager, which processes location information of the agricultural environment monitoring server system, and provides it to producers. In addition, a solar cell-based power supply is implemented for the server system so that it could be used in agricultural environments with insufficient power infrastructure. This agricultural environment monitoring server system could even monitor the environmental information on the outdoors remotely, and it could be expected that the use of such a system could contribute to increasing crop yields and improving quality in the agricultural field by supporting the decision making of crop producers through analysis of the collected information.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-22

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

  3. Automatic Training Site Selection for Agricultural Crop Classification: a Case Study on Karacabey Plain, Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozdarici Ok, A.; Akyurek, Z.

    2011-09-01

    This study implements a traditional supervised classification method to an optical image composed of agricultural crops by means of a unique way, selecting the training samples automatically. Panchromatic (1m) and multispectral (4m) Kompsat-2 images (July 2008) of Karacabey Plain (~100km2), located in Marmara region, are used to evaluate the proposed approach. Due to the characteristic of rich, loamy soils combined with reasonable weather conditions, the Karacabey Plain is one of the most valuable agricultural regions of Turkey. Analyses start with applying an image fusion algorithm on the panchromatic and multispectral image. As a result of this process, 1m spatial resolution colour image is produced. In the next step, the four-band fused (1m) image and multispectral (4m) image are orthorectified. Next, the fused image (1m) is segmented using a popular segmentation method, Mean- Shift. The Mean-Shift is originally a method based on kernel density estimation and it shifts each pixel to the mode of clusters. In the segmentation procedure, three parameters must be defined: (i) spatial domain (hs), (ii) range domain (hr), and (iii) minimum region (MR). In this study, in total, 176 parameter combinations (hs, hr, and MR) are tested on a small part of the area (~10km2) to find an optimum segmentation result, and a final parameter combination (hs=18, hr=20, and MR=1000) is determined after evaluating multiple goodness measures. The final segmentation output is then utilized to the classification framework. The classification operation is applied on the four-band multispectral image (4m) to minimize the mixed pixel effect. Before the image classification, each segment is overlaid with the bands of the image fused, and several descriptive statistics of each segment are computed for each band. To select the potential homogeneous regions that are eligible for the selection of training samples, a user-defined threshold is applied. After finding those potential regions, the

  4. [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

  5. Census parcels cropping system classification from multitemporal remote imagery: a proposed universal methodology.

    PubMed

    García-Torres, Luis; Caballero-Novella, Juan J; Gómez-Candón, David; Peña, José Manuel

    2015-01-01

    A procedure named CROPCLASS was developed to semi-automate census parcel crop assessment in any agricultural area using multitemporal remote images. For each area, CROPCLASS consists of a) a definition of census parcels through vector files in all of the images; b) the extraction of spectral bands (SB) and key vegetation index (VI) average values for each parcel and image; c) the conformation of a matrix data (MD) of the extracted information; d) the classification of MD decision trees (DT) and Structured Query Language (SQL) crop predictive model definition also based on preliminary land-use ground-truth work in a reduced number of parcels; and e) the implementation of predictive models to classify unidentified parcels land uses. The software named CROPCLASS-2.0 was developed to semi-automatically perform the described procedure in an economically feasible manner. The CROPCLASS methodology was validated using seven GeoEye-1 satellite images that were taken over the LaVentilla area (Southern Spain) from April to October 2010 at 3- to 4-week intervals. The studied region was visited every 3 weeks, identifying 12 crops and others land uses in 311 parcels. The DT training models for each cropping system were assessed at a 95% to 100% overall accuracy (OA) for each crop within its corresponding cropping systems. The DT training models that were used to directly identify the individual crops were assessed with 80.7% OA, with a user accuracy of approximately 80% or higher for most crops. Generally, the DT model accuracy was similar using the seven images that were taken at approximately one-month intervals or a set of three images that were taken during early spring, summer and autumn, or set of two images that were taken at about 2 to 3 months interval. The classification of the unidentified parcels for the individual crops was achieved with an OA of 79.5%.

  6. Census Parcels Cropping System Classification from Multitemporal Remote Imagery: A Proposed Universal Methodology

    PubMed Central

    García-Torres, Luis; Caballero-Novella, Juan J.; Gómez-Candón, David; Peña, José Manuel

    2015-01-01

    A procedure named CROPCLASS was developed to semi-automate census parcel crop assessment in any agricultural area using multitemporal remote images. For each area, CROPCLASS consists of a) a definition of census parcels through vector files in all of the images; b) the extraction of spectral bands (SB) and key vegetation index (VI) average values for each parcel and image; c) the conformation of a matrix data (MD) of the extracted information; d) the classification of MD decision trees (DT) and Structured Query Language (SQL) crop predictive model definition also based on preliminary land-use ground-truth work in a reduced number of parcels; and e) the implementation of predictive models to classify unidentified parcels land uses. The software named CROPCLASS-2.0 was developed to semi-automatically perform the described procedure in an economically feasible manner. The CROPCLASS methodology was validated using seven GeoEye-1 satellite images that were taken over the LaVentilla area (Southern Spain) from April to October 2010 at 3- to 4-week intervals. The studied region was visited every 3 weeks, identifying 12 crops and others land uses in 311 parcels. The DT training models for each cropping system were assessed at a 95% to 100% overall accuracy (OA) for each crop within its corresponding cropping systems. The DT training models that were used to directly identify the individual crops were assessed with 80.7% OA, with a user accuracy of approximately 80% or higher for most crops. Generally, the DT model accuracy was similar using the seven images that were taken at approximately one-month intervals or a set of three images that were taken during early spring, summer and autumn, or set of two images that were taken at about 2 to 3 months interval. The classification of the unidentified parcels for the individual crops was achieved with an OA of 79.5%. PMID:25689830

  7. A powered roller/crimper for walk-behind tractors to terminate cover crops in conservation agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Roller/crimper implements have been used in large conservation farming systems to terminate cover crops near maturity and flatten them down to create a mulch through which cash crops can be planted directly into the cover residue. On small farms, tractors are usually small and less powerful relative...

  8. Canola Oil Fuel Cell Demonstration: Volume 2 - Market Availability of Agricultural Crops for Fuel Cell Applications

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-06-01

    canola, crambe, mus- tard, rapeseed, safflower , and sunflower. These six species were selected for evaluation based on the production requirements for...each crop. By comparison, other less-known crops such as camelina are poorly defined in terms of production. Crops such as safflower and sunflower...are also as well known as canola. Consequently, more variables are used to define ca- nola, flax, safflower , and sunflower. Crops with relatively

  9. Agricultural policy and childhood obesity: a food systems and public health commentary.

    PubMed

    Wallinga, David

    2010-01-01

    For thirty-five years, U.S. agriculture has operated under a "cheap food" policy that spurred production of a few commodity crops, not fruit or vegetables, and thus of the calories from them. A key driver of childhood obesity is the consumption of excess calories, many from inexpensive, nutrient-poor snacks, sweets, and sweetened beverages made with fats and sugars derived from these policy-supported crops. Limiting or eliminating farm subsidies to commodity farmers is wrongly perceived as a quick fix to a complex agricultural system, evolved over decades, that promotes obesity. Yet this paper does set forth a series of policy recommendations that could help, including managing commodity crop oversupply and supporting farmers who produce more fruit and vegetables to build a healthier, more balanced agricultural policy.

  10. An Interoperable, Agricultural Information System Based on Satellite Remote Sensing Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teng, William; Chiu, Long; Doraiswamy, Paul; Kempler, Steven; Liu, Zhong; Pham, Long; Rui, Hualan

    2005-01-01

    Monitoring global agricultural crop conditions during the growing season and estimating potential seasonal production are critically important for market development of US. agricultural products and for global food security. The Goddard Space Flight Center Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center Distributed Active Archive Center (GES DISC DAAC) is developing an Agricultural Information System (AIS), evolved from an existing TRMM Online Visualization and Analysis System (TOVAS), which will operationally provide satellite remote sensing data products (e.g., rainfall) and services. The data products will include crop condition and yield prediction maps, generated from a crop growth model with satellite data inputs, in collaboration with the USDA Agricultural Research Service. The AIS will enable the remote, interoperable access to distributed data, by using the GrADS-DODS Server (GDS) and by being compliant with Open GIS Consortium standards. Users will be able to download individual files, perform interactive online analysis, as well as receive operational data flows. AIS outputs will be integrated into existing operational decision support systems for global crop monitoring, such as those of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service and the U.N. World Food Program.

  11. Cover crop use for weed management in Southern reduced-tillage vegetable cropping systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    With growing agricultural demands from both conventional and organic systems comes the need for sustainable practices to ensure long-term productivity. Implementation of reduced- or no-till practices offers a number of environmental benefits for agricultural land and maintains adequate yield for cu...

  12. Changes of water demand - possible adaptation of agricultural crops and management options to improve water use efficiency in the Marchfeld area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thaler, S.; Eitzinger, J.; Dubrovsky, M.; Trnka, M.

    2009-04-01

    The main objective of this study was to determine the vulnerability of current agricultural cropping systems in the Marchfeld region to climate change. The investigation area Marchfeld is located in the north-eastern (NE) part of Austria and is characterized by a semi-arid climate with low annual rainfall. It is one of the driest regions in the country, but also one of the main field crop production areas. The soil conditions in Marchfeld demonstrate a significant spatial variability, which include soils with low to moderate water-storage capacities. Higher temperatures in the next decades imply higher evaporation and consequently higher water demand for the crops. The phenological development rates of the cultivars will accelerate and an increase of heat stress as well as drought stress can be expected. These points influence intense the water balance and subsequently the yield of the crops in the investigation area. In order to improve water use efficiency under those changing conditions, a shift of average sowing dates and an adjustment of tillage were analyzed. The DSSAT cropping system model was applied for winter wheat and spring barley to assess potential yield under climate scenarios for NE Austria. The scenarios were carried out with ECHAM5, HadCM3 and NCAR PCM global circulation models (GCMs) for present conditions (reference period 1961-1990) and 2035's (2021-2050), based on SRES-A1B emission scenarios. Yield model simulations were done for all defined scenarios (climate, management, crop) and different soil classes. The simulations contain the CO2 fertilizing effect, rain fed farming, adapted sowing date and contemporary crops without consideration of potential profit cuts caused by pest or diseases. Simulation results indicate that climate change will force a delay of the sowing date for winter wheat of maximal 14 days in October. In case of spring barley, climate change allows an earlier sowing date in spring (up to 14 days). Both crops show a

  13. Economic Benefits of Predictive Models for Pest Control in Agricultural Crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Various forms of crop models or decision making tools for managing crops have existed for many years. The potential advantage of all of these decision making tools is that more informed and economically improved crop management or decision making is accomplished. However, examination of some of thes...

  14. Regenerative Life Support Systems Test Bed performance - Lettuce crop characterization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barta, Daniel J.; Edeen, Marybeth A.; Eckhardt, Bradley D.

    1992-01-01

    System performance in terms of human life support requirements was evaluated for two crops of lettuce (Lactuca sative cv. Waldmann's Green) grown in the Regenerative Life Support Systems Test Bed. Each crop, grown in separate pots under identical environmental and cultural conditions, was irrigated with half-strength Hoagland's nutrient solution, with the frequency of irrigation being increased as the crop aged over the 30-day crop tests. Averaging over both crop tests, the test bed met the requirements of 2.1 person-days of oxygen production, 2.4 person-days of CO2 removal, and 129 person-days of potential potable water production. Gains in the mass of water and O2 produced and CO2 removed could be achieved by optimizing environmental conditions to increase plant growth rate and by optimizing cultural management methods.

  15. Life-cycle assessment of net greenhouse-gas flux for bioenergy cropping systems.

    PubMed

    Adler, Paul R; Del Grosso, Stephen J; Parton, William J

    2007-04-01

    Bioenergy cropping systems could help offset greenhouse gas emissions, but quantifying that offset is complex. Bioenergy crops offset carbon dioxide emissions by converting atmospheric CO2 to organic C in crop biomass and soil, but they also emit nitrous oxide and vary in their effects on soil oxidation of methane. Growing the crops requires energy (e.g., to operate farm machinery, produce inputs such as fertilizer) and so does converting the harvested product to usable fuels (feedstock conversion efficiency). The objective of this study was to quantify all these factors to determine the net effect of several bioenergy cropping systems on greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. We used the DAYCENT biogeochemistry model to assess soil GHG fluxes and biomass yields for corn, soybean, alfalfa, hybrid poplar, reed canarygrass, and switchgrass as bioenergy crops in Pennsylvania, USA. DAYCENT results were combined with estimates of fossil fuels used to provide farm inputs and operate agricultural machinery and fossil-fuel offsets from biomass yields to calculate net GHG fluxes for each cropping system considered. Displaced fossil fuel was the largest GHG sink, followed by soil carbon sequestration. N20 emissions were the largest GHG source. All cropping systems considered provided net GHG sinks, even when soil C was assumed to reach a new steady state and C sequestration in soil was not counted. Hybrid poplar and switchgrass provided the largest net GHG sinks, >200 g CO2e-C x m(-2) x yr(-1) for biomass conversion to ethanol, and >400 g CO2e-C x m(-2) x yr(-1) for biomass gasification for electricity generation. Compared with the life cycle of gasoline and diesel, ethanol and biodiesel from corn rotations reduced GHG emissions by approximately 40%, reed canarygrass by approximately 85%, and switchgrass and hybrid poplar by approximately 115%.

  16. The Potato Systems Planner: Integrating Cropping System Impacts on Crop Yield and Quality, Soil Biology, Nutrient Cycling, Diseases, and Economics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Finding and developing profitable cropping systems is a high priority for the potato industry. Consequently, an interdisciplinary team of ARS scientists from the New England Plant, Soil, & Water Laboratory evaluated 14 different rotations for their impacts on crop yield and quality, nutrient availa...

  17. A synthesis of AOT40-based response functions and critical levels of ozone for agricultural and horticultural crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mills, G.; Buse, A.; Gimeno, B.; Bermejo, V.; Holland, M.; Emberson, L.; Pleijel, H.

    Crop-response data from over 700 published papers and conference proceedings have been analysed with the aim of establishing ozone dose-response functions for a wide range of European agricultural and horticultural crops. Data that met rigorous selection criteria (e.g. field-based, ozone concentrations within European range, full season exposure period) were used to derive AOT40-yield response functions for 19 crops by first converting the published ozone concentration data into AOT40 (AOT40 is the hourly mean ozone concentration accumulated over a threshold ozone concentration of 40 ppb during daylight hours, units ppm h). For any individual crop, there were no significant differences in the linear response functions derived for experiments conducted in the USA or Europe, or for individual cultivars. Three statistically independent groups were identified: ozone sensitive crops (wheat, water melon, pulses, cotton, turnip, tomato, onion, soybean and lettuce); moderately sensitive crops (sugar beet, potato, oilseed rape, tobacco, rice, maize, grape and broccoli) and ozone resistant (barley and fruit represented by plum and strawberry). Critical levels of a 3 month AOT40 of 3 ppm h and a 3.5 month AOT40 of 6 ppm h were derived from the functions for wheat and tomato, respectively.

  18. Market projections and factors influencing the development of new products and energy derived from agricultural crops in the European Union

    SciTech Connect

    Knight, B.E.A.; Houghton, T.M.

    1995-11-01

    Following the 1992 revision of the Common Agricultural Policy in the European Union, it is projected that 25-50 million acres of arable land currently used for food production could be surplus to requirements by 2000. This strategic study was carried out in order to assess factors that will determine, over the next twenty years, the use of a range of crops for non food outlets. Analysis of published research and economic reports and interviews with legislators and opinion leaders in different Member States was carried out. Five defined market sectors were covered: (i) biomass crops for the generation of heat and electricity, (ii) oilseed and cereal crops as sources of transport fuel, (iii) products from vegetable oils, (iv) products from starch and sugar, and (v) products from fibre crops. Opportunities and constraints were ranked and maximum and minimum land use requirements forecast for each sector. Biomass for electricity is projected to need most land, up to 20 million acres by 2015, if all factors are favourable. In the shorter term, crops grown to produce liquid transport fuel are likely to show the most rapid expansion in area. Market demand for environmentally superior products will be a driving force despite, currently, poor relative economics in comparison with fossil fuel derived products. Better integration between crop production and the end markets will be essential.

  19. Integrating NASA Earth Science Enterprise (ESE) Data Into Global Agricultural Decision Support Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teng, W.; Kempler, S.; Chiu, L.; Doraiswamy, P.; Liu, Z.; Milich, L.; Tetrault, R.

    2003-12-01

    Monitoring global agricultural crop conditions during the growing season and estimating potential seasonal production are critically important for market development of U.S. agricultural products and for global food security. Two major operational users of satellite remote sensing for global crop monitoring are the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP). The primary goal of FAS is to improve foreign market access for U.S. agricultural products. The WFP uses food to meet emergency needs and to support economic and social development. Both use global agricultural decision support systems that can integrate and synthesize a variety of data sources to provide accurate and timely information on global crop conditions. The Goddard Space Flight Center Earth Sciences Distributed Active Archive Center (GES DAAC) has begun a project to provide operational solutions to FAS and WFP, by fully leveraging results from previous work, as well as from existing capabilities of the users. The GES DAAC has effectively used its recently developed prototype TRMM Online Visualization and Analysis System (TOVAS) to provide ESE data and information to the WFP for its agricultural drought monitoring efforts. This prototype system will be evolved into an Agricultural Information System (AIS), which will operationally provide ESE and other data products (e.g., rainfall, land productivity) and services, to be integrated into and thus enhance the existing GIS-based, decision support systems of FAS and WFP. Agriculture-oriented, ESE data products (e.g., MODIS-based, crop condition assessment product; TRMM derived, drought index product) will be input to a crop growth model in collaboration with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, to generate crop condition and yield prediction maps. The AIS will have the capability for remotely accessing distributed data, by being compliant with community-based interoperability standards, enabling easy access to

  20. Ecosystem services of woody crop production systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The use of fast growing forest tree species to produce biomass for fuel, fodder, and building materials has a long history. Research programs on short rotation wood crops began in the 1960s; 50 years ago, the concept of silage sycamore (Platanus sp.) was conceived in Georgia. The basic premise was t...

  1. An optimization model for a crop deficit irrigation system under uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Ping; Chen, Xiaohong; Tong, Ling; Li, Jianbing; Li, Mo

    2014-01-01

    In this study, an inexact nonlinear programming model under uncertainty is developed by incorporating a water production function into the crop irrigation system optimization framework. By introducing a time parameter, this model can address the uncertainty associated with the irrigation schedule for different crops and their planting stages. The developed model was applied to a case study of an agricultural water resources management problem to demonstrate its applicability. Through scenario analysis under different precipitation levels, the key planting stage of crops and the amount of water for the irrigation schedule that could significantly affect system benefits were identified. By using intervals to represent uncertain parameters, more reliable and practical decision alternatives were generated through the presented model in typical hydrological years (i.e. wet, normal and dry years).

  2. Crop candidates for the bioregenerative life support systems in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chunxiao, Xu; Hong, Liu

    The use of plants for life support applications in space is appealing because of the multiple life support functions by the plants. Research on crops that were grown in the life support system to provide food and oxygen, remove carbon dioxide was begun from 1960. To select possible crops for research on the bioregenerative life support systems in China, criteria for the selection of potential crops were made, and selection of crops was carried out based on these criteria. The results showed that 14 crops including 4 food crops (wheat, rice, soybean and peanut) and 7 vegetables (Chinese cabbage, lettuce, radish, carrot, tomato, squash and pepper) won higher scores. Wheat ( Triticum aestivum L.), rice ( Oryza sativa L.), soybean ( Glycine max L.) and peanut ( Arachis hypogaea L.) are main food crops in China. Chinese cabbage ( Brassica campestris L. ssp. chinensis var. communis), lettuce ( Lactuca sativa L. var. longifolia Lam.), radish ( Raphanus sativus L.), carrot ( Daucus carota L. var. sativa DC.), tomato ( Lycopersicon escalentum L.), squash ( Cucurbita moschata Duch.) and pepper ( Capsicum frutescens L. var. longum Bailey) are 7 vegetables preferred by Chinese. Furthermore, coriander ( Coriandum sativum L.), welsh onion ( Allium fistulosum L. var. giganteum Makino) and garlic ( Allium sativum L.) were selected as condiments to improve the taste of space crew. To each crop species, several cultivars were selected for further research according to their agronomic characteristics.

  3. Methodological discussion for interdisciplinary project on the effects of climatic variability on cropping systems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capa-Morocho, M.; Ruiz-Ramos, M.; Rodríguez-Fonseca, B.

    2012-04-01

    The Campus of International Excellence Moncloa (CEI, 2009) is a joint project of the Universities Complutense (UCM) and Politécnica of Madrid (UPM) which aims to promote connectivity between both of them in a context of scientific excellence. Within this framework an interdisciplinary doctoral Thesis is being developed, whose methodological line is presented here to collect the comments from the international scientific community. The aim of the Thesis is to assess the effect of the climatic variability in the agricultural systems of the Iberian Peninsula. It takes place between the group of agricultural systems (AgSystems) of the UPM and the TROPA group of Climatic Variability of the UCM. The provisional methodology consists on using time series of simulated crop yields and to correlate the monthly deviations with different atmospheric and oceanic anomalous fields in order to characterize the climate variability patterns affecting the fluctuations in productivity. We use observed data of climate reanalysis, general circulation models and crop simulation models. We have identified a common tool to connect both modeling disciplines: MATLAB software is used to program the functions used in data processing, for both climate and agricultural data. In this paper the methodological scheme will be shown. Both the potentials and synergies that we are finding between the group of modelers of climate and cropping systems, as well as the problems and methodological points to be resolved will be specified. We invite researchers with similar experiences to contribute to this discussion.

  4. Adapting to climate change in the mixed crop and livestock farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thornton, Philip K.; Herrero, Mario

    2015-09-01

    Mixed crop-livestock systems are the backbone of African agriculture, providing food security and livelihood options for hundreds of millions of people. Much is known about the impacts of climate change on the crop enterprises in the mixed systems, and some, although less, on the livestock enterprises. The interactions between crops and livestock can be managed to contribute to environmentally sustainable intensification, diversification and risk management. There is relatively little information on how these interactions may be affected by changes in climate and climate variability. This is a serious gap, because these interactions may offer some buffering capacity to help smallholders adapt to climate change.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 3-D Imaging Systems for Agricultural Applications—A Review

    PubMed Central

    Vázquez-Arellano, Manuel; Griepentrog, Hans W.; Reiser, David; Paraforos, Dimitris S.

    2016-01-01

    Efficiency increase of resources through automation of agriculture requires more information about the production process, as well as process and machinery status. Sensors are necessary for monitoring the status and condition of production by recognizing the surrounding structures such as objects, field structures, natural or artificial markers, and obstacles. Currently, three dimensional (3-D) sensors are economically affordable and technologically advanced to a great extent, so a breakthrough is already possible if enough research projects are commercialized. The aim of this review paper is to investigate the state-of-the-art of 3-D vision systems in agriculture, and the role and value that only 3-D data can have to provide information about environmental structures based on the recent progress in optical 3-D sensors. The structure of this research consists of an overview of the different optical 3-D vision techniques, based on the basic principles. Afterwards, their application in agriculture are reviewed. The main focus lays on vehicle navigation, and crop and animal husbandry. The depth dimension brought by 3-D sensors provides key information that greatly facilitates the implementation of automation and robotics in agriculture. PMID:27136560

  7. 3-D Imaging Systems for Agricultural Applications-A Review.

    PubMed

    Vázquez-Arellano, Manuel; Griepentrog, Hans W; Reiser, David; Paraforos, Dimitris S

    2016-04-29

    Efficiency increase of resources through automation of agriculture requires more information about the production process, as well as process and machinery status. Sensors are necessary for monitoring the status and condition of production by recognizing the surrounding structures such as objects, field structures, natural or artificial markers, and obstacles. Currently, three dimensional (3-D) sensors are economically affordable and technologically advanced to a great extent, so a breakthrough is already possible if enough research projects are commercialized. The aim of this review paper is to investigate the state-of-the-art of 3-D vision systems in agriculture, and the role and value that only 3-D data can have to provide information about environmental structures based on the recent progress in optical 3-D sensors. The structure of this research consists of an overview of the different optical 3-D vision techniques, based on the basic principles. Afterwards, their application in agriculture are reviewed. The main focus lays on vehicle navigation, and crop and animal husbandry. The depth dimension brought by 3-D sensors provides key information that greatly facilitates the implementation of automation and robotics in agriculture.

  8. Modelling crop canopy and residue rainfall interception effects on soil hydrological components for semi-arid agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozak, Joseph A.; Ahuja, Lajpat R.; Green, Timothy R.; Ma, Liwang

    2007-01-01

    Crop canopies and residues have been shown to intercept a significant amount of rainfall. However, rainfall or irrigation interception by crops and residues has often been overlooked in hydrologic modelling. Crop canopy interception is controlled by canopy density and rainfall intensity and duration. Crop residue interception is a function of crop residue type, residue density and cover, and rainfall intensity and duration. We account for these controlling factors and present a model for both interception components based on Merriam's approach. The modified Merriam model and the current modelling approaches were examined and compared with two field studies and one laboratory study. The Merriam model is shown to agree well with measurements and was implemented within the Agricultural Research Service's Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM). Using this enhanced version of RZWQM, three simulation studies were performed to examine the quantitative effects of rainfall interception by corn and wheat canopies and residues on soil hydrological components. Study I consisted of 10 separate hypothetical growing seasons (1991-2000) for canopy effects and 10 separate non-growing seasons (1991-2000) for residue effects for eastern Colorado conditions. For actual management practices in a no-till wheat-corn-fallow cropping sequence at Akron, Colorado (study II), a continuous 10-year RZWQM simulation was performed to examine the cumulative changes on water balance components and crop growth caused by canopy and residue rainfall interception. Finally, to examine a higher precipitation environment, a hypothetical, no-till wheat-corn-fallow rotation scenario at Corvallis, Oregon, was simulated (study III). For all studies, interception was shown to decrease infiltration, runoff, evapotranspiration from soil, deep seepage of water and chemical transport, macropore flow, leaf area index, and crop/grain yield. Because interception decreased both infiltration and soil evapotranspiration

  9. Root System Architecture and Abiotic Stress Tolerance: Current Knowledge in Root and Tuber Crops

    PubMed Central

    Khan, M. A.; Gemenet, Dorcus C.; Villordon, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    The challenge to produce more food for a rising global population on diminishing agricultural land is complicated by the effects of climate change on agricultural productivity. Although great progress has been made in crop improvement, so far most efforts have targeted above-ground traits. Roots are essential for plant adaptation and productivity, but are less studied due to the difficulty of observing them during the plant life cycle. Root system architecture (RSA), made up of structural features like root length, spread, number, and length of lateral roots, among others, exhibits great plasticity in response to environmental changes, and could be critical to developing crops with more efficient roots. Much of the research on root traits has thus far focused on the most common cereal crops and model plants. As cereal yields have reached their yield potential in some regions, understanding their root system may help overcome these plateaus. However, root and tuber crops (RTCs) such as potato, sweetpotato, cassava, and yam may hold more potential for providing food security in the future, and knowledge of their root system additionally focuses directly on the edible portion. Root-trait modeling for multiple stress scenarios, together with high-throughput phenotyping and genotyping techniques, robust databases, and data analytical pipelines, may provide a valuable base for a truly inclusive ‘green revolution.’ In the current review, we discuss RSA with special reference to RTCs, and how knowledge on genetics of RSA can be manipulated to improve their tolerance to abiotic stresses. PMID:27847508

  10. Root System Architecture and Abiotic Stress Tolerance: Current Knowledge in Root and Tuber Crops.

    PubMed

    Khan, M A; Gemenet, Dorcus C; Villordon, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    The challenge to produce more food for a rising global population on diminishing agricultural land is complicated by the effects of climate change on agricultural productivity. Although great progress has been made in crop improvement, so far most efforts have targeted above-ground traits. Roots are essential for plant adaptation and productivity, but are less studied due to the difficulty of observing them during the plant life cycle. Root system architecture (RSA), made up of structural features like root length, spread, number, and length of lateral roots, among others, exhibits great plasticity in response to environmental changes, and could be critical to developing crops with more efficient roots. Much of the research on root traits has thus far focused on the most common cereal crops and model plants. As cereal yields have reached their yield potential in some regions, understanding their root system may help overcome these plateaus. However, root and tuber crops (RTCs) such as potato, sweetpotato, cassava, and yam may hold more potential for providing food security in the future, and knowledge of their root system additionally focuses directly on the edible portion. Root-trait modeling for multiple stress scenarios, together with high-throughput phenotyping and genotyping techniques, robust databases, and data analytical pipelines, may provide a valuable base for a truly inclusive 'green revolution.' In the current review, we discuss RSA with special reference to RTCs, and how knowledge on genetics of RSA can be manipulated to improve their tolerance to abiotic stresses.

  11. Potential endocrine disruption of sexual development in free ranging male northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) from areas of intensive row crop agriculture.

    PubMed

    McDaniel, Tana V; Martin, Pamela A; Struger, John; Sherry, Jim; Marvin, Chris H; McMaster, Mark E; Clarence, Stacey; Tetreault, Gerald

    2008-07-30

    Intensive row crop agriculture (IRCA) for corn and soybean production is predominant in eastern and central North America. IRCA relies heavily on pesticide and nutrient inputs to maximize production under conventional systems. In 2003-2005, we assessed the occurrence of a suite of potential endocrine effects in amphibians inhabiting farm ponds and agricultural drains in IRCA areas of southwestern Ontario. Effects were compared to amphibians from two agricultural reference sites as well as four non-agricultural reference sites. Pesticide and nutrient concentrations were also determined in water samples from those sites. Atrazine and metolachlor were detected in most samples, exceeding 1 microg L(-1) at some sites. Blood samples were taken from northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) for analysis of circulating sex steroids and vitellogenin-like protein (Vtg-lp), a biomarker of exposure to environmental estrogens. Gonads were histologically examined for evidence of abnormalities. Some evidence of exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds was apparent from the data. The occurrence of testicular ovarian follicles (TOFS) in male R. pipiens was significantly higher (42%; p<0.05) at agricultural sites, particularly those in Chatham county compared to frogs from reference sites (7%). There was no difference in circulating sex steroid levels between frogs from agricultural and reference sites and sex steroid levels did not correlate with pesticide concentrations in the environment. No differences were detected in the gonadosomatic indices or stage of spermatogenesis between frogs from agricultural and non-agricultural regions (p>0.05). Plasma Vtg-lp was detected in only one male R. pipiens from an agricultural site. Neither gonad size, gonad maturity nor sex steroid levels differed between normal males and those with testicular oocytes. Although the proportion of testicular oocytes did not correlate directly with atrazine concentrations, it

  12. 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)

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Crop Dusting Using GPS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers and GPS-based swath guidance systems are used on agricultural aircraft for remote sensing, airplane guidance, and to support variable-rate aerial application of crop inputs such as insecticides, cotton growth regulators, and defoliants. Agricultural aircraf...

  17. The Relationship Between Carbon Input, Aggregation, and Soil Organic Carbon Stabilization in Sustainable Cropping Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, A. Y.; Six, J.; Bryant, D. C.; Denison, R.; van Kessel, C.

    2003-12-01

    Approximately 10% of the earth's soil C is stored within agricultural soil ecosystems. Because farming systems hold promise for sequestering C, their sustainability, environmental impact, and potential role in mitigating rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations must be addressed. Our current challenges are to provide credible evidence that agricultural practices can sequester significant amounts of C and to quantify the mechanisms, capacity, and longevity of agricultural lands as C sinks. Agronomic practices that influence yield and, therefore, affect the proportion of crop residues returned to the soil (e.g. cover cropping, irrigation, fertilizer addition, and compost application) are likely to influence soil organic carbon (SOC). The objectives of this study were (1) to determine the influence of C input on C sequestration in SOC fractions and (2) to evaluate how aggregation (MWD) relates to SOC and cumulative C input, across 10 different cropping systems. Using SOM fractionation techniques, soil samples from 10 cropping systems at LTRAS (Long-term Research on Agricultural Systems, Davis, CA) were separated into four aggregate size classes (LM: >2000μ m, sM: 250-2000μ m, m: 53-250μ m, and silt&clay: <53μ m) and into three SOM fractions within LM and sM (cPOM:250-2000μ m, mM: 53-250μ m, and silt&clay: <53μ m). All fractions were analyzed for their C content. Empirically derived relationships between yield and aboveground biomass-C plus yield and belowground biomass-C were used to quantify C input from corn, wheat, and tomato residues as well as for legume cover crops and compost for the different cropping systems. We found a positive correlation between cumulative C input and SOC (R2=0.45, P<0.0001). After 9 years, MWD increased linearly with greater C input (R2=0.64, P<0.0001) and SOC (R2=0.61, P<0.0001), respectively. We observed that aggregate-C shifts from the microaggregate fraction (53-250μ m) in low C input systems to macroaggregate fractions (>2000

  18. Comparative genomics of Clavibacter michiganensis subspecies, pathogens of important agricultural crops

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Subspecies of Clavibacter michiganensis are important phytobacterial pathogens causing devastating diseases in several agricultural crops. The genome organizations of these pathogens are poorly understood. Here, the complete genomes of 5 subspecies (C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, Cmi; C. michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus, Cms; C. michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis, Cmn; C. michiganensis subsp. insidiosus, Cmi and C. michiganensis subsp. capsici, Cmc) were analyzed. This study assessed the taxonomic position of the subspecies based on 16S rRNA and genome-based DNA homology and concludes that there is ample evidence to elevate some of the subspecies to species-level. Comparative genomics analysis indicated distinct genomic features evident on the DNA structural atlases and annotation features. Based on orthologous gene analysis, about 2300 CDSs are shared across all the subspecies; and Cms showed the highest number of subspecies-specific CDS, most of which are mobile elements suggesting that Cms could be more prone to translocation of foreign genes. Cms and Cmi had the highest number of pseudogenes, an indication of potential degenerating genomes. The stress response factors that may be involved in cold/heat shock, detoxification, oxidative stress, osmoregulation, and carbon utilization are outlined. For example, the wco-cluster encoding for extracellular polysaccharide II is highly conserved while the sucrose-6-phosphate hydrolase that catalyzes the hydrolysis of sucrose-6-phosphate yielding glucose-6-phosphate and fructose is highly divergent. A unique second form of the enzyme is only present in Cmn NCPPB 2581. Also, twenty-eight plasmid-borne CDSs in the other subspecies were found to have homologues in the chromosomal genome of Cmn which is known not to carry plasmids. These CDSs include pathogenesis-related factors such as Endocellulases E1 and Beta-glucosidase. The results presented here provide an insight of the functional organization of the genomes of

  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. 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

  1. The Development of a Remote Sensor System and Decision Support Systems Architecture to Monitor Resistance Development in Transgenic Crops

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cacas, Joseph; Glaser, John; Copenhaver, Kenneth; May, George; Stephens, Karen

    2008-01-01

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has declared that "significant benefits accrue to growers, the public, and the environment" from the use of transgenic pesticidal crops due to reductions in pesticide usage for crop pest management. Large increases in the global use of transgenic pesticidal crops has reduced the amounts of broad spectrum pesticides used to manage pest populations, improved yield and reduced the environmental impact of crop management. A significant threat to the continued use of this technology is the evolution of resistance in insect pest populations to the insecticidal Bt toxins expressed by the plants. Management of transgenic pesticidal crops with an emphasis on conservation of Bt toxicity in field populations of insect pests is important to the future of sustainable agriculture. A vital component of this transgenic pesticidal crop management is establishing the proof of concept basic understanding, situational awareness, and monitoring and decision support system tools for more than 133650 square kilometers (33 million acres) of bio-engineered corn and cotton for development of insect resistance . Early and recent joint NASA, US EPA and ITD remote imagery flights and ground based field experiments have provided very promising research results that will potentially address future requirements for crop management capabilities.

  2. Improving potato cropping systems: longer-term effects on diseases and yield

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The development of effective cropping systems can provide the structural basis for enhanced crop production and sustainability through the conservation, maintenance, and replenishment of various soil resources. In 2004, field trials evaluating potato cropping systems focused on different specific cr...

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Hand-held radiometer red and photographic infrared spectral measurements of agricultural crops

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tucker, C. J.; Fan, C. J.; Elgin, J. H., Jr.; Mcmurtrey, J. E., III

    1978-01-01

    Red and photographic infrared radiance data, collected under a variety of conditions at weekly intervals throughout the growing season using a hand-held radiometer, were used to monitor crop growth and development. The vegetation index transformation was used to effectively compensate for the different irradiational conditions encountered during the study period. These data, plotted against time, compared the different crops measured by comparing their green leaf biomass dynamics. This approach, based entirely upon spectral inputs, closely monitors crop growth and development and indicates the promise of ground-based hand-held radiometer measurements of crops.

  6. Effects of Reduced Terrestrial LiDAR Point Density on High-Resolution Grain Crop Surface Models in Precision Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Hämmerle, Martin; Höfle, Bernhard

    2014-01-01

    3D geodata play an increasingly important role in precision agriculture, e.g., for modeling in-field variations of grain crop features such as height or biomass. A common data capturing method is LiDAR, which often requires expensive equipment and produces large datasets. This study contributes to the improvement of 3D geodata capturing efficiency by assessing the effect of reduced scanning resolution on crop surface models (CSMs). The analysis is based on high-end LiDAR point clouds of grain crop fields of different varieties (rye and wheat) and nitrogen fertilization stages (100%, 50%, 10%). Lower scanning resolutions are simulated by keeping every n-th laser beam with increasing step widths n. For each iteration step, high-resolution CSMs (0.01 m2 cells) are derived and assessed regarding their coverage relative to a seamless CSM derived from the original point cloud, standard deviation of elevation and mean elevation. Reducing the resolution to, e.g., 25% still leads to a coverage of >90% and a mean CSM elevation of >96% of measured crop height. CSM types (maximum elevation or 90th-percentile elevation) react differently to reduced scanning resolutions in different crops (variety, density). The results can help to assess the trade-off between CSM quality and minimum requirements regarding equipment and capturing set-up. PMID:25521383

  7. Effects of reduced terrestrial LiDAR point density on high-resolution grain crop surface models in precision agriculture.

    PubMed

    Hämmerle, Martin; Höfle, Bernhard

    2014-12-16

    3D geodata play an increasingly important role in precision agriculture, e.g., for modeling in-field variations of grain crop features such as height or biomass. A common data capturing method is LiDAR, which often requires expensive equipment and produces large datasets. This study contributes to the improvement of 3D geodata capturing efficiency by assessing the effect of reduced scanning resolution on crop surface models (CSMs). The analysis is based on high-end LiDAR point clouds of grain crop fields of different varieties (rye and wheat) and nitrogen fertilization stages (100%, 50%, 10%). Lower scanning resolutions are simulated by keeping every n-th laser beam with increasing step widths n. For each iteration step, high-resolution CSMs (0.01 m2 cells) are derived and assessed regarding their coverage relative to a seamless CSM derived from the original point cloud, standard deviation of elevation and mean elevation. Reducing the resolution to, e.g., 25% still leads to a coverage of >90% and a mean CSM elevation of >96% of measured crop height. CSM types (maximum elevation or 90th-percentile elevation) react differently to reduced scanning resolutions in different crops (variety, density). The results can help to assess the trade-off between CSM quality and minimum requirements regarding equipment and capturing set-up.

  8. 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

  9. Comparative net energy ratio analysis of pellet produced from steam pretreated biomass from agricultural residues and energy crops

    SciTech Connect

    Shahrukh, Hassan; Oyedun, Adetoyese Olajire; Kumar, Amit; Ghiasi, Bahman; Kumar, Linoj; Sokhansanj, Shahab

    2016-04-05

    Here, a process model was developed to determine the net energy ratio (NER) for production of pellets from steam pretreated agricultural residue (AR) and energy crop (i.e. switchgrass in this case). The NER is a ratio of the net energy output to the total net energy input from non-renewable energy sources into a system. Scenarios were developed to measure the effects of temperature and level of steam pretreatment on the NER of steam pretreated AR- and switch grass-based pellets. The NER for the base case at 6 kg h-1 is 1.76 and 1.37 for steam-pretreated AR- and switchgrass-based pellets, respectively. The reason behind the difference is that more energy is required to dry switchgrass pellets than AR pellets. The sensitivity analysis for the model shows that the optimum temperature for steam pretreatment is 160 C with 50% pretreatment (half the feedstock is pretreated, while the rest is undergoes regular pelletization). The uncertainty results for NER for steam pretreated AR and switch grass pellets are 1.62 ± 0.10 and 1.42 ± 0.11, respectively.

  10. Comparative net energy ratio analysis of pellet produced from steam pretreated biomass from agricultural residues and energy crops

    DOE PAGES

    Shahrukh, Hassan; Oyedun, Adetoyese Olajire; Kumar, Amit; ...

    2016-04-05

    Here, a process model was developed to determine the net energy ratio (NER) for production of pellets from steam pretreated agricultural residue (AR) and energy crop (i.e. switchgrass in this case). The NER is a ratio of the net energy output to the total net energy input from non-renewable energy sources into a system. Scenarios were developed to measure the effects of temperature and level of steam pretreatment on the NER of steam pretreated AR- and switch grass-based pellets. The NER for the base case at 6 kg h-1 is 1.76 and 1.37 for steam-pretreated AR- and switchgrass-based pellets, respectively.more » The reason behind the difference is that more energy is required to dry switchgrass pellets than AR pellets. The sensitivity analysis for the model shows that the optimum temperature for steam pretreatment is 160 C with 50% pretreatment (half the feedstock is pretreated, while the rest is undergoes regular pelletization). The uncertainty results for NER for steam pretreated AR and switch grass pellets are 1.62 ± 0.10 and 1.42 ± 0.11, respectively.« less

  11. GEOGLAM Crop Monitor Assessment Tool: Developing Monthly Crop Condition Assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) developed the Global Agricultural Monitoring initiative (GEOGLAM) to improve existing agricultural information through a network of international partnerships, data sharing, and operational research. This presentation will discuss the Crop Monitor component of GEOGLAM, which provides the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) with an international, multi-source, and transparent consensus assessment of crop growing conditions, status, and agro-climatic conditions likely to impact global production. This activity covers the four primary crop types (wheat, maize, rice, and soybean) within the main agricultural producing regions of the AMIS countries. These assessments have been produced operationally since September 2013 and are published in the AMIS Market Monitor Bulletin. The Crop Monitor reports provide cartographic and textual summaries of crop conditions as of the 28th of each month, according to crop type. This presentation will focus on the building of international networks, data collection, and data dissemination.

  12. Wind erosion potential from oilseed cropping systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The United States Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandates the use of 36 billion gallons of biofuel by 2022 with 21 billion gallons being derived from advanced biofuel feedstocks. To meet this goal, the United States Department of Agriculture developed a strategy entitled “A USDA region...

  13. Seasonal and diurnal variation in CO fluxes from an agricultural bioenergy crop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pihlatie, Mari; Rannik, Üllar; Haapanala, Sami; Peltola, Olli; Shurpali, Narasinha; Martikainen, Pertti J.; Lind, Saara; Hyvönen, Niina; Virkajärvi, Perttu; Zahniser, Mark; Mammarella, Ivan

    2016-10-01

    Carbon monoxide (CO) is an important reactive trace gas in the atmosphere, while its sources and sinks in the biosphere are poorly understood. Soils are generally considered as a sink of CO due to microbial oxidation processes, while emissions of CO have been reported from a wide range of soil-plant systems. We measured CO fluxes using the micrometeorological eddy covariance method from a bioenergy crop (reed canary grass) in eastern Finland from April to November 2011. Continuous flux measurements allowed us to assess the seasonal and diurnal variability and to compare the CO fluxes to simultaneously measured net ecosystem exchange of CO2, N2O and heat fluxes as well as to relevant meteorological, soil and plant variables in order to investigate factors driving the CO exchange.The reed canary grass (RCG) crop was a net source of CO from mid-April to mid-June and a net sink throughout the rest of the measurement period from mid-June to November 2011, excluding a measurement break in July. CO fluxes had a distinct diurnal pattern with a net CO uptake in the night and a net CO emission during the daytime with a maximum emission at noon. This pattern was most pronounced in spring and early summer. During this period the most significant relationships were found between CO fluxes and global radiation, net radiation, sensible heat flux, soil heat flux, relative humidity, N2O flux and net ecosystem exchange. The strong positive correlation between CO fluxes and radiation suggests abiotic CO production processes, whereas the relationship between CO fluxes and net ecosystem exchange of CO2, and night-time CO fluxes and N2O emissions indicate biotic CO formation and microbial CO uptake respectively. The study shows a clear need for detailed process studies accompanied by continuous flux measurements of CO exchange to improve the understanding of the processes associated with CO exchange.

  14. Nitrate in aquifers beneath agricultural systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burkart, M.R.; Stoner, J.D.

    2002-01-01

    Research from several regions of the world provides spatially anecdotal evidence to hypothesize which hydrologic and agricultural factors contribute to groundwater vulnerability to nitrate contamination. Analysis of nationally consistent measurements from the U.S. Geological Survey's NAWOA program confirms these hypotheses for a substantial range of agricultural systems. Shallow unconfined aquifers are most susceptible to nitrate contamination associated with agricultural systems. Alluvial and other unconsolidated aquifers are the most vulnerable and shallow carbonate aquifers provide a substantial but smaller contamination risk. Where any of these aquifers are overlain by permeable soils the risk of contamination is larger. Irrigated systems can compound this vulnerability by increasing leaching facilitated by additional recharge and additional nutrient applications. The agricultural system of corn, soybeans, and hogs produced significantly larger concentrations of groundwater nitrate than all other agricultural systems, although mean nitrate concentrations in counties with dairy, poultry, cattle and grains, and horticulture systems were similar. If trends in the relation between increased fertilizer use and groundwater nitrate in the United States are repeated in other regions of the world, Asia may experience increasing problems because of recent increases in fertilizer use. Groundwater monitoring in Western and Eastern Europe as well as Russia over the next decade may provide data to determine if the trend in increased nitrate contamination can be reversed. If the concentrated livestock trend in the United States is global, it may be accompanied by increasing nitrogen contamination in groundwater. Concentrated livestock provide both point sources in the confinement area and intense non-point sources as fields close to facilities are used for manure disposal. Regions where irrigated cropland is expanding, such as in Asia, may experience the greatest impact of

  15. Digital Mapping of Soil Salinity and Crop Yield across a Coastal Agricultural Landscape Using Repeated Electromagnetic Induction (EMI) Surveys.

    PubMed

    Yao, Rongjiang; Yang, Jingsong; Wu, Danhua; Xie, Wenping; Gao, Peng; Jin, Wenhui

    2016-01-01

    Reliable and real-time information on soil and crop properties is important for the development of management practices in accordance with the requirements of a specific soil and crop within individual field units. This is particularly the case in salt-affected agricultural landscape where managing the spatial variability of soil salinity is essential to minimize salinization and maximize crop output. The primary objectives were to use linear mixed-effects model for soil salinity and crop yield calibration with horizontal and vertical electromagnetic induction (EMI) measurements as ancillary data, to characterize the spatial distribution of soil salinity and crop yield and to verify the accuracy of spatial estimation. Horizontal and vertical EMI (type EM38) measurements at 252 locations were made during each survey, and root zone soil samples and crop samples at 64 sampling sites were collected. This work was periodically conducted on eight dates from June 2012 to May 2013 in a coastal salt-affected mud farmland. Multiple linear regression (MLR) and restricted maximum likelihood (REML) were applied to calibrate root zone soil salinity (ECe) and crop annual output (CAO) using ancillary data, and spatial distribution of soil ECe and CAO was generated using digital soil mapping (DSM) and the precision of spatial estimation was examined using the collected meteorological and groundwater data. Results indicated that a reduced model with EMh as a predictor was satisfactory for root zone ECe calibration, whereas a full model with both EMh and EMv as predictors met the requirement of CAO calibration. The obtained distribution maps of ECe showed consistency with those of EMI measurements at the corresponding time, and the spatial distribution of CAO generated from ancillary data showed agreement with that derived from raw crop data. Statistics of jackknifing procedure confirmed that the spatial estimation of ECe and CAO exhibited reliability and high accuracy. A general

  16. Digital Mapping of Soil Salinity and Crop Yield across a Coastal Agricultural Landscape Using Repeated Electromagnetic Induction (EMI) Surveys

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Rongjiang; Yang, Jingsong; Wu, Danhua; Xie, Wenping; Gao, Peng; Jin, Wenhui

    2016-01-01

    Reliable and real-time information on soil and crop properties is important for the development of management practices in accordance with the requirements of a specific soil and crop within individual field units. This is particularly the case in salt-affected agricultural landscape where managing the spatial variability of soil salinity is essential to minimize salinization and maximize crop output. The primary objectives were to use linear mixed-effects model for soil salinity and crop yield calibration with horizontal and vertical electromagnetic induction (EMI) measurements as ancillary data, to characterize the spatial distribution of soil salinity and crop yield and to verify the accuracy of spatial estimation. Horizontal and vertical EMI (type EM38) measurements at 252 locations were made during each survey, and root zone soil samples and crop samples at 64 sampling sites were collected. This work was periodically conducted on eight dates from June 2012 to May 2013 in a coastal salt-affected mud farmland. Multiple linear regression (MLR) and restricted maximum likelihood (REML) were applied to calibrate root zone soil salinity (ECe) and crop annual output (CAO) using ancillary data, and spatial distribution of soil ECe and CAO was generated using digital soil mapping (DSM) and the precision of spatial estimation was examined using the collected meteorological and groundwater data. Results indicated that a reduced model with EMh as a predictor was satisfactory for root zone ECe calibration, whereas a full model with both EMh and EMv as predictors met the requirement of CAO calibration. The obtained distribution maps of ECe showed consistency with those of EMI measurements at the corresponding time, and the spatial distribution of CAO generated from ancillary data showed agreement with that derived from raw crop data. Statistics of jackknifing procedure confirmed that the spatial estimation of ECe and CAO exhibited reliability and high accuracy. A general

  17. Agroforestry Systems in Zimbabwe: Promoting Trees in Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vukasin, Helen L., Ed.

    Agroforestry has been defined as a sustainable crop management system which combines the production of forest crops with field crops. In June, 1987, an agroforestry workshop took place in Nyanga, Manicaland, Zimbabwe. This document was prepared to share the information presented at this workshop with other non-government organizations around the…

  18. 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.

  19. 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

    2014-03-04

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  1. Crop parameters estimation by fuzzy inference system using X-band scatterometer data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pandey, Abhishek; Prasad, R.; Singh, V. P.; Jha, S. K.; Shukla, K. K.

    2013-03-01

    Learning fuzzy rule based systems with microwave remote sensing can lead to very useful applications in solving several problems in the field of agriculture. Fuzzy logic provides a simple way to arrive at a definite conclusion based upon imprecise, ambiguous, vague, noisy or missing input information. In the present paper, a subtractive based fuzzy inference system is introduced to estimate the potato crop parameters like biomass, leaf area index, plant height and soil moisture. Scattering coefficient for HH- and VV-polarizations were used as an input in the Fuzzy network. The plant height, biomass, and leaf area index of potato crop and soil moisture measured at its various growth stages were used as the target variables during the training and validation of the network. The estimated values of crop/soil parameters by this methodology are much closer to the experimental values. The present work confirms the estimation abilities of fuzzy subtractive clustering in potato crop parameters estimation. This technique may be useful for the other crops cultivated over regional or continental level.

  2. Benchmark study on glyphosate-resistant crop systems in the United States. Part 2: Perspectives.

    PubMed

    Owen, Micheal D K; Young, Bryan G; Shaw, David R; Wilson, Robert G; Jordan, David L; Dixon, Philip M; Weller, Stephen C

    2011-07-01

    A six-state, 5 year field project was initiated in 2006 to study weed management methods that foster the sustainability of genetically engineered (GE) glyphosate-resistant (GR) crop systems. The benchmark study field-scale experiments were initiated following a survey, conducted in the winter of 2005-2006, of farmer opinions on weed management practices and their views on GR weeds and management tactics. The main survey findings supported the premise that growers were generally less aware of the significance of evolved herbicide resistance and did not have a high recognition of the strong selection pressure from herbicides on the evolution of herbicide-resistant (HR) weeds. The results of the benchmark study survey indicated that there are educational challenges to implement sustainable GR-based crop systems and helped guide the development of the field-scale benchmark study. Paramount is the need to develop consistent and clearly articulated science-based management recommendations that enable farmers to reduce the potential for HR weeds. This paper provides background perspectives about the use of GR crops, the impact of these crops and an overview of different opinions about the use of GR crops on agriculture and society, as well as defining how the benchmark study will address these issues.

  3. Decision support system to study climate change impacts on crop production

    SciTech Connect

    Hoogenboom, G.; Tsuji, G.Y.; Pickering, N.B.; Curry, R.B.; Jones, J.W.; Singh, U. |; Godwin, D.C.

    1995-12-31

    Under the auspices of the International Benchmark Sites Network for Agrotechnology Transfer (IBSNAT) Project a Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) has been developed. DSSAT operates on a personal compute rand includes data base management programs for climate, soil, and cultural practice information; crop simulation models for cereal grains, grain legumes, and root crops; and seasonal strategy and risk analysis programs. The IBSNAT crop models use daily weather data, i.e., maximum and minimum air temperature, solar radiation, and precipitation, as inputs. One of the applications of DSSAT is, therefore, to study the potential impact of climate change on agricultural production. A new and special version of DSSAT (Version 2.5) was developed to facilitate studies of the effect of climate change on crop performance. In this version, the daily canopy photosynthesis and transpiration sections of the CERES and GRO models were modified to respond to changes in CO{sub 2} concentration. The management sections of the models and the strategy analysis program were expanded to include the option to modify weather data interactively. This decision support system has been used to study changes in crop yield, irrigation requirements, and other responses to global climate change in various regional, national, and international research programs. 65 refs., 7 figs., 6 tabs.

  4. Translational research in agricultural biology - enhancing crop resistivity against environmental stress alongside nutritional quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural security, including producing nutritious food, is needed to make agriculture sustainable. All kinds of genetically engineered (transgenic) lines have been developed, including transgenic lines that have promise of withstanding environmental extremes (abiotic and biotic) and others that...

  5. Remote sensing in precision farming: real-time monitoring of water and fertilizer requirements of agricultural crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zilberman, Arkadi; Ben Asher, Jiftah; Kopeika, Norman S.

    2016-10-01

    The advancements in remote sensing in combination with sensor technology (both passive and active) enable growers to analyze an entire crop field as well as its local features. In particular, changes of actual evapo-transpiration (ET) as a function of water availability can be measured remotely with infrared radiometers. Detection of crop water stress and ET and combining it with the soil water flow model enable rational irrigation timing and application amounts. Nutrient deficiency, and in particular nitrogen deficiency, causes substantial crop losses. This deficiency needs to be identified immediately. A faster the detection and correction, a lesser the damage to the crop yield. In the present work, to retrieve ET a novel deterministic approach was used which is based on the remote sensing data. The algorithm can automatically provide timely valuable information on plant and soil water status, which can improve the management of irrigated crops. The solution is capable of bridging between Penman-Monteith ET model and Richards soil water flow model. This bridging can serve as a preliminary tool for expert irrigation system. To support decisions regarding fertilizers the greenness of plant canopies is assessed and quantified by using the spectral reflectance sensors and digital color imaging. Fertilization management can be provided on the basis of sampling and monitoring of crop nitrogen conditions using RS technique and translating measured N concentration in crop to kg/ha N application in the field.

  6. Nitrogen, tillage, and crop rotation effects on nitrous oxide emissions from irrigated cropping systems.

    PubMed

    Halvorson, Ardell D; Del Grosso, Stephen J; Reule, Curtis A

    2008-01-01

    We evaluated the effects of irrigated crop management practices on nitrous oxide (N(2)O) emissions from soil. Emissions were monitored from several irrigated cropping systems receiving N fertilizer rates ranging from 0 to 246 kg N ha(-1) during the 2005 and 2006 growing seasons. Cropping systems included conventional-till (CT) continuous corn (Zea mays L.), no-till (NT) continuous corn, NT corn-dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) (NT-CDb), and NT corn-barley (Hordeum distichon L.) (NT-CB). In 2005, half the N was subsurface band applied as urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN) at planting to all corn plots, with the rest of the N applied surface broadcast as a polymer-coated urea (PCU) in mid-June. The entire N rate was applied as UAN at barley and dry bean planting in the NT-CB and NT-CDb plots in 2005. All plots were in corn in 2006, with PCU being applied at half the N rate at corn emergence and a second N application as dry urea in mid-June followed by irrigation, both banded on the soil surface in the corn row. Nitrous oxide fluxes were measured during the growing season using static, vented chambers (1-3 times wk(-1)) and a gas chromatograph analyzer. Linear increases in N(2)O emissions were observed with increasing N-fertilizer rate, but emission amounts varied with growing season. Growing season N(2)O emissions were greater from the NT-CDb system during the corn phase of the rotation than from the other cropping systems. Crop rotation and N rate had more effect than tillage system on N(2)O emissions. Nitrous oxide emissions from N application ranged from 0.30 to 0.75% of N applied. Spikes in N(2)O emissions after N fertilizer application were greater with UAN and urea than with PCU fertilizer. The PCU showed potential for reducing N(2)O emissions from irrigated cropping systems.

  7. 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

  8. Development of a Global Agricultural Hotspot Detection and Early Warning System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemoine, G.; Rembold, F.; Urbano, F.; Csak, G.

    2015-12-01

    The number of web based platforms for crop monitoring has grown rapidly over the last years and anomaly maps and time profiles of remote sensing derived indicators can be accessed online thanks to a number of web based portals. However, while these systems make available a large amount of crop monitoring data to the agriculture and food security analysts, there is no global platform which provides agricultural production hotspot warning in a highly automatic and timely manner. Therefore a web based system providing timely warning evidence as maps and short narratives is currently under development by the Joint Research Centre. The system (called "HotSpot Detection System of Agriculture Production Anomalies", HSDS) will focus on water limited agricultural systems worldwide. The automatic analysis of relevant meteorological and vegetation indicators at selected administrative units (Gaul 1 level) will trigger warning messages for the areas where anomalous conditions are observed. The level of warning (ranging from "watch" to "alert") will depend on the nature and number of indicators for which an anomaly is detected. Information regarding the extent of the agricultural areas concerned by the anomaly and the progress of the agricultural season will complement the warning label. In addition, we are testing supplementary detailed information from other sources for the areas triggering a warning. These regard the automatic web-based and food security-tailored analysis of media (using the JRC Media Monitor semantic search engine) and the automatic detection of active crop area using Sentinel 1, upcoming Sentinel-2 and Landsat 8 imagery processed in Google Earth Engine. The basic processing will be fully automated and updated every 10 days exploiting low resolution rainfall estimates and satellite vegetation indices. Maps, trend graphs and statistics accompanied by short narratives edited by a team of crop monitoring experts, will be made available on the website on a

  9. Assessment of Cropping System Diversity in the Fergana Valley Through Image Fusion of Landsat 8 and SENTINEL-1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimov, D.; Kuhn, J.; Conrad, C.

    2016-06-01

    In the transitioning agricultural societies of the world, food security is an essential element of livelihood and economic development with the agricultural sector very often being the major employment factor and income source. Rapid population growth, urbanization, pollution, desertification, soil degradation and climate change pose a variety of threats to a sustainable agricultural development and can be expressed as agricultural vulnerability components. Diverse cropping patterns may help to adapt the agricultural systems to those hazards in terms of increasing the potential yield and resilience to water scarcity. Thus, the quantification of crop diversity using indices like the Simpson Index of Diversity (SID) e.g. through freely available remote sensing data becomes a very important issue. This however requires accurate land use classifications. In this study, the focus is set on the cropping system diversity of garden plots, summer crop fields and orchard plots which are the prevalent agricultural systems in the test area of the Fergana Valley in Uzbekistan. In order to improve the accuracy of land use classification algorithms with low or medium resolution data, a novel processing chain through the hitherto unique fusion of optical and SAR data from the Landsat 8 and Sentinel-1 platforms is proposed. The combination of both sensors is intended to enhance the object's textural and spectral signature rather than just to enhance the spatial context through pansharpening. It could be concluded that the Ehlers fusion algorithm gave the most suitable results. Based on the derived image fusion different object-based image classification algorithms such as SVM, Naïve Bayesian and Random Forest were evaluated whereby the latter one achieved the highest classification accuracy. Subsequently, the SID was applied to measure the diversification of the three main cropping systems.

  10. Combining Crop Model and Remote Sensing Data at High Resolution for the Assessment of Rice Agricultural Practices in the South-Eastern France (Take 5 Experiment SPOT4-SPOT5)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Courault, D.; Ruget, F.; Talab-ou-Ali, H.; Hagolle, O.; Delmotte, S.; Barbier, J. M.; Boschetti, M.; Mouret, J. C.

    2016-08-01

    Crop systems are constantly changing due to modifications in the agricultural practices to respond to market changes, the constraints of the environment, the climate hazards... Rice cultivation practiced in the Camargue region (SE France) have decreased these last years, however rice plays a crucial role for the hydrological balance of the region and for crop systems desalinizing soils. The aim of this study is to analyze the potentialities of remote sensing data acquired at high spatial and temporal resolution (HRST) to identify the main agricultural practices and estimate their impact on rice production. A large dataset acquired over the Camargue from the Take5 experiment (SPOT4 in 2013 and SPOT5 in 2015), completed by Landsat data has been used. Two assimilation methods of HRST data were evaluated within a crop model. Results showed the impact of the spatial variability of practices on the yields. The sowing dates were retrieved from inverse procedures and gave satisfactory results compared to ground surveys.

  11. Surprising yields with no-till cropping systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Producers using no-till systems have found that crop yields often exceed their expectation based on nutrient and water supply. For example, corn yields 7% higher in a no-till system in central South Dakota than in a tilled system in eastern South Dakota. This is surprising because rainfall is 5 in...

  12. Agricultural biology in the 3rd millennium: nutritional food security & specialty crops through sustainable agriculture and biotechnology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Food security and agricultural sustainability are of prime concern in the world today in light of the increasing trends in population growth in most parts of the globe excepting Europe. The need to develop capacity to produce more to feed more people is complicated since the arable land is decreasin...

  13. Nitrate in aquifers beneath agricultural systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burkart, M.R.; Stoner, J.D.; ,

    2007-01-01

    Research from several regions of the world provides spatially anecdotal evidence to hypothesize which hydrologic and agricultural factors contribute to groundwater vulnerability to nitrate contamination. Analysis of nationally consistent measurements from the U.S. Geological Survey's NAWQA program confirms these hypotheses for a substantial range of agricultural systems. Shallow unconfined aquifers are most susceptible to nitrate contamination associated with agricultural systems. Alluvial and other unconsolidated aquifers are the most vulnerable and also shallow carbonate aquifers that provide a substantial but smaller contamination risk. Where any of these aquifers are overlain by permeable soils the risk of contamination is larger. Irrigated systems can compound this vulnerability by increasing leaching facilitated by additional recharge and additional nutrient applications. The system of corn, soybean, and hogs produced significantly larger concentrations of groundwater nitrate than all other agricultural systems because this system imports the largest amount of N-fertilizer per unit production area. Mean nitrate under dairy, poultry, horticulture, and cattle and grains systems were similar. If trends in the relation between increased fertilizer use and groundwater nitrate in the United States are repeated in other regions of the world, Asia may experience increasing problems because of recent increases in fertilizer use. Groundwater monitoring in Western and Eastern Europe as well as Russia over the next decade may provide data to determine if the trend in increased nitrate contamination can be reversed. If the concentrated livestock trend in the United States is global, it may be accompanied by increasing nitrogen contamination in groundwater. Concentrated livestock provide both point sources in the confinement area and intense non-point sources as fields close to facilities are used for manure disposal. Regions where irrigated cropland is expanding, such as

  14. Nitrate in aquifers beneath agricultural systems.

    PubMed

    Burkart, M R; Stoner, J D

    2007-01-01

    Research from several regions of the world provides spatially anecdotal evidence to hypothesize which hydrologic and agricultural factors contribute to groundwater vulnerability to nitrate contamination. Analysis of nationally consistent measurements from the U.S. Geological Survey's NAWQA program confirms these hypotheses for a substantial range of agricultural systems. Shallow unconfined aquifers are most susceptible to nitrate contamination associated with agricultural systems. Alluvial and other unconsolidated aquifers are the most vulnerable and also shallow carbonate aquifers that provide a substantial but smaller contamination risk. Where any of these aquifers are overlain by permeable soils the risk of contamination is larger. Irrigated systems can compound this vulnerability by increasing leaching facilitated by additional recharge and additional nutrient applications. The system of corn, soybean, and hogs produced significantly larger concentrations of groundwater nitrate than all other agricultural systems because this system imports the largest amount of N-fertilizer per unit production area. Mean nitrate under dairy, poultry, horticulture, and cattle and grains systems were similar. If trends in the relation between increased fertilizer use and groundwater nitrate in the United States are repeated in other regions of the world, Asia may experience increasing problems because of recent increases in fertilizer use. Groundwater monitoring in Western and Eastern Europe as well as Russia over the next decade may provide data to determine if the trend in increased nitrate contamination can be reversed. If the concentrated livestock trend in the United States is global, it may be accompanied by increasing nitrogen contamination in groundwater. Concentrated livestock provide both point sources in the confinement area and intense non-point sources as fields close to facilities are used for manure disposal. Regions where irrigated cropland is expanding, such as

  15. Climate change predicted to negatively influence surface soil health of dryland cropping systems in the Inland Pacific Northwest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil organic matter (SOM) is a key indicator of agricultural productivity and overall soil health. Currently, dryland cropping systems of the inland Pacific Northwest (iPNW) span a large gradient in mean annual temperature (MAT) and precipitation (MAP). These climatic drivers are major determinants ...

  16. Microbial Community Composition and Functionality As Affected by An Integrated Crop-Livestock System Compared to Continuous Cotton

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water availability is a primary limiting factor facing agricultural systems in most semi-arid regions across the world. This study is part of a larger long-term project to develop and evaluate integrated crop and livestocksystems in order to reduce dependence on underground water sources by optimizi...

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-09-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. A framework for developing an impact-oriented agricultural drought monitoring system from remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jie

    2016-04-01

    With a changing climate, drought has become more intensified, of which agriculture is the major affected sector. Satellite observations have proven great utilities for real-time drought monitoring as well as crop yield estimation, and many remotely sensed indicators have been developed for drought monitoring based on vegetation growth conditions, surface temperature and evapotranspiration information. However, those current drought indicators typically don't take into account the different responses of various input information and the drought impacts during the growing season, revealing some limitations for effective agricultural drought monitoring and impact analysis. Therefore, the goal of this research is to build a framework for the development of an impact-oriented and remote sensing based agricultural drought indicator. Firstly, the global agricultural drought risk was characterized to provide an overview of the agricultural drought prone areas in the world. Then, the responses of different remotely sensed indicators to drought and the impacts of drought on crop yield from the remote sensing perspective during the growing season were explored. Based on previous works on drought risk, drought indicator response and drought impact analysis, an impact-oriented drought indicator will be prototyped from the integration of the drought responses of different indicators and the drought impacts during the growing season. This research can inform an impact-oriented agricultural drought indicator, help prototype an impact-oriented agricultural drought monitoring system, and thus provide valuable inputs for effective agricultural management.

  1. Between China and South Asia: A Middle Asian corridor of crop dispersal and agricultural innovation in the Bronze Age.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Chris J; Murphy, Charlene; Roberts, Rebecca; Lucas, Leilani; Silva, Fabio; Fuller, Dorian Q

    2016-10-01

    The period from the late third millennium BC to the start of the first millennium AD witnesses the first steps towards food globalization in which a significant number of important crops and animals, independently domesticated within China, India, Africa and West Asia, traversed Central Asia greatly increasing Eurasian agricultural diversity. This paper utilizes an archaeobotanical database (AsCAD), to explore evidence for these crop translocations along southern and northern routes of interaction between east and west. To begin, crop translocations from the Near East across India and Central Asia are examined for wheat (Triticum aestivum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare) from the eighth to the second millennia BC when they reach China. The case of pulses and flax (Linum usitatissimum) that only complete this journey in Han times (206 BC-AD 220), often never fully adopted, is also addressed. The discussion then turns to the Chinese millets, Panicum miliaceum and Setaria italica, peaches (Amygdalus persica) and apricots (Armeniaca vulgaris), tracing their movement from the fifth millennium to the second millennium BC when the Panicum miliaceum reaches Europe and Setaria italica Northern India, with peaches and apricots present in Kashmir and Swat. Finally, the translocation of japonica rice from China to India that gave rise to indica rice is considered, possibly dating to the second millennium BC. The routes these crops travelled include those to the north via the Inner Asia Mountain Corridor, across Middle Asia, where there is good evidence for wheat, barley and the Chinese millets. The case for japonica rice, apricots and peaches is less clear, and the northern route is contrasted with that through northeast India, Tibet and west China. Not all these journeys were synchronous, and this paper highlights the selective long-distance transport of crops as an alternative to demic-diffusion of farmers with a defined crop package.

  2. Between China and South Asia: A Middle Asian corridor of crop dispersal and agricultural innovation in the Bronze Age

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Chris J; Murphy, Charlene; Roberts, Rebecca; Lucas, Leilani; Silva, Fabio; Fuller, Dorian Q

    2016-01-01

    The period from the late third millennium BC to the start of the first millennium AD witnesses the first steps towards food globalization in which a significant number of important crops and animals, independently domesticated within China, India, Africa and West Asia, traversed Central Asia greatly increasing Eurasian agricultural diversity. This paper utilizes an archaeobotanical database (AsCAD), to explore evidence for these crop translocations along southern and northern routes of interaction between east and west. To begin, crop translocations from the Near East across India and Central Asia are examined for wheat (Triticum aestivum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare) from the eighth to the second millennia BC when they reach China. The case of pulses and flax (Linum usitatissimum) that only complete this journey in Han times (206 BC–AD 220), often never fully adopted, is also addressed. The discussion then turns to the Chinese millets, Panicum miliaceum and Setaria italica, peaches (Amygdalus persica) and apricots (Armeniaca vulgaris), tracing their movement from the fifth millennium to the second millennium BC when the Panicum miliaceum reaches Europe and Setaria italica Northern India, with peaches and apricots present in Kashmir and Swat. Finally, the translocation of japonica rice from China to India that gave rise to indica rice is considered, possibly dating to the second millennium BC. The routes these crops travelled include those to the north via the Inner Asia Mountain Corridor, across Middle Asia, where there is good evidence for wheat, barley and the Chinese millets. The case for japonica rice, apricots and peaches is less clear, and the northern route is contrasted with that through northeast India, Tibet and west China. Not all these journeys were synchronous, and this paper highlights the selective long-distance transport of crops as an alternative to demic-diffusion of farmers with a defined crop package. PMID:27942165

  3. Impacts of Cropping Systems on Aggregates Associated Organic Carbon and Nitrogen in a Semiarid Highland Agroecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Jiashu; Zhang, Tianzhe; Chang, Weidong; Zhang, Dan; Zulfiqar, Saman; Fu, Aigen; Hao, Yaqi

    2016-01-01

    The effect of cropping system on the distribution of organic carbon (OC) and nitrogen (N) in soil aggregates has not been well addressed, which is important for understanding the sequestration of OC and N in agricultural soils. We analyzed the distribution of OC and N associated with soil aggregates in three unfertilized cropping systems in a 27-year field experiment: continuously cropped alfalfa, continuously cropped wheat and a legume-grain rotation. The objectives were to understand the effect of cropping system on the distribution of OC and N in aggregates and to examine the relationships between the changes in OC and N stocks in total soils and in aggregates. The cropping systems increased the stocks of OC and N in total soils (0–40 cm) at mean rates of 15.6 g OC m-2 yr-1 and 1.2 g N m-2 yr-1 relative to a fallow control. The continuous cropping of alfalfa produced the largest increases at the 0–20 cm depth. The OC and N stocks in total soils were significantly correlated with the changes in the >0.053 mm aggregates. 27-year of cropping increased OC stocks in the >0.053 mm size class of aggregates and N stocks in the >0.25 mm size class but decreased OC stocks in the <0.053 mm size class and N stocks in the <0.25 mm size class. The increases in OC and N stocks in these aggregates accounted for 99.5 and 98.7% of the total increases, respectively, in the continuous alfalfa system. The increases in the OC and N stocks associated with the >0.25 mm aggregate size class accounted for more than 97% of the total increases in the continuous wheat and the legume-grain rotation systems. These results suggested that long-term cropping has the potential to sequester OC and N in soils and that the increases in soil OC and N stocks were mainly due to increases associated with aggregates >0.053 mm. PMID:27764209

  4. 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

  5. Nitrate in aquifers beneath agricultural systems.

    PubMed

    Burkart, M R; Stoner, J D

    2002-01-01

    Research from several regions of the world provides spatially anecdotal evidence to hypothesize which hydrologic and agricultural factors contribute to groundwater vulnerability to nitrate contamination. Analysis of nationally consistent measurements from the U.S. Geological Survey's NAWOA program confirms these hypotheses for a substantial range of agricultural systems. Shallow unconfined aquifers are most susceptible to nitrate contamination associated with agricultural systems. Alluvial and other unconsolidated aquifers are the most vulnerable and shallow carbonate aquifers provide a substantial but smaller contamination risk. Where any of these aquifers are overlain by permeable soils the risk of contamination is larger. Irrigated systems can compound this vulnerability by increasing leaching facilitated by additional recharge and additional concentrations of groundwater nitrate than all other agricultural systems, although mean nitrate concentrations in counties with dairy, poultry, cattle and grains, and horticulture systems were similar. If trends in the relation between increased fertilizer use and groundwater nitrate in the United States are repeated in other regions of the world, Asia may experience increasing problems because of recent increases in fertilizer use. Groundwater monitoring in Western and Eastern Europe as well as Russia over the next decade may provide data to determine if the trend in increased nitrate contamination can be reversed. If the concentrated livestock trend in the United States is global, it may be accompanied by increasing nitrogen contamination in groundwater. Concentrated livestock provide both point sources in the confinement area and intense non-point sources as fields close to facilities are used for manure disposal. Regions where irrigated cropland is expanding, such as in Asia, may experience the greatest impact of this practice.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

  7. Health effect of agricultural pesticide use in China: implications for the development of GM crops.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chao; Hu, Ruifa; Huang, Jikun; Huang, Xusheng; Shi, Guanming; Li, Yifan; Yin, Yanhong; Chen, Zhaohui

    2016-10-10

    It is notable that the adoption of GM glyphosate-tolerant crops increases glyphosate use but reduces non-glyphosate herbicide use; and adoption of GM insect-resistant crops significantly reduces insecticide use. While the health hazard of pesticide use has been well documented, little literature evaluates the health effects of different pesticides related to GM crops in an integrated framework. This study aims to associate the uses of different pesticides related to GM crops with the blood chemistry panel and peripheral nerve conduction of Chinese farmers. Pesticides used by farmers were recorded and classified as glyphosate, non-glyphosate herbicides, chemical lepidopteran insecticides, biological lepidopteran insecticides, non-lepidopteran insecticides and fungicides. The multivariate regression results show that none of the examined 35 health indicators was associated with glyphosate use, while the use of non-glyphosate herbicides was likely to induce renal dysfunction and decrease of serum folic acid. The use of chemical lepidopteran insecticides might be associated with hepatic dysfunction, serum glucose elevation, inflammation and even severe nerve damage. In this context, if GM crops are adopted, the alterations in pesticide use may benefit farmer health in China and globe, which has positive implications for the development of GM crops.

  8. Trading carbon for food: Global comparison of carbon stocks vs. crop yields on agricultural land

    PubMed Central

    West, Paul C.; Gibbs, Holly K.; Monfreda, Chad; Wagner, John; Barford, Carol C.; Carpenter, Stephen R.; Foley, Jonathan A.

    2010-01-01

    Expanding croplands to meet the needs of a growing population, changing diets, and biofuel production comes at the cost of reduced carbon stocks in natural vegetation and soils. Here, we present a spatially explicit global analysis of tradeoffs between carbon stocks and current crop yields. The difference among regions is striking. For example, for each unit of land cleared, the tropics lose nearly two times as much carbon (∼120 tons·ha−1 vs. ∼63 tons·ha−1) and produce less than one-half the annual crop yield compared with temperate regions (1.71 tons·ha−1·y−1 vs. 3.84 tons·ha−1·y−1). Therefore, newly cleared land in the tropics releases nearly 3 tons of carbon for every 1 ton of annual crop yield compared with a similar area cleared in the temperate zone. By factoring crop yield into the analysis, we specify the tradeoff between carbon stocks and crops for all areas where crops are currently grown and thereby, substantially enhance the spatial resolution relative to previous regional estimates. Particularly in the tropics, emphasis should be placed on increasing yields on existing croplands rather than clearing new lands. Our high-resolution approach can be used to determine the net effect of local land use decisions. PMID:21041633

  9. Health effect of agricultural pesticide use in China: implications for the development of GM crops

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Chao; Hu, Ruifa; Huang, Jikun; Huang, Xusheng; Shi, Guanming; Li, Yifan; Yin, Yanhong; Chen, Zhaohui

    2016-01-01

    It is notable that the adoption of GM glyphosate-tolerant crops increases glyphosate use but reduces non-glyphosate herbicide use; and adoption of GM insect-resistant crops significantly reduces insecticide use. While the health hazard of pesticide use has been well documented, little literature evaluates the health effects of different pesticides related to GM crops in an integrated framework. This study aims to associate the uses of different pesticides related to GM crops with the blood chemistry panel and peripheral nerve conduction of Chinese farmers. Pesticides used by farmers were recorded and classified as glyphosate, non-glyphosate herbicides, chemical lepidopteran insecticides, biological lepidopteran insecticides, non-lepidopteran insecticides and fungicides. The multivariate regression results show that none of the examined 35 health indicators was associated with glyphosate use, while the use of non-glyphosate herbicides was likely to induce renal dysfunction and decrease of serum folic acid. The use of chemical lepidopteran insecticides might be associated with hepatic dysfunction, serum glucose elevation, inflammation and even severe nerve damage. In this context, if GM crops are adopted, the alterations in pesticide use may benefit farmer health in China and globe, which has positive implications for the development of GM crops. PMID:27721390

  10. Trading carbon for food: global comparison of carbon stocks vs. crop yields on agricultural land.

    PubMed

    West, Paul C; Gibbs, Holly K; Monfreda, Chad; Wagner, John; Barford, Carol C; Carpenter, Stephen R; Foley, Jonathan A

    2010-11-16

    Expanding croplands to meet the needs of a growing population, changing diets, and biofuel production comes at the cost of reduced carbon stocks in natural vegetation and soils. Here, we present a spatially explicit global analysis of tradeoffs between carbon stocks and current crop yields. The difference among regions is striking. For example, for each unit of land cleared, the tropics lose nearly two times as much carbon (∼120 tons·ha(-1) vs. ∼63 tons·ha(-1)) and produce less than one-half the annual crop yield compared with temperate regions (1.71 tons·ha(-1)·y(-1) vs. 3.84 tons·ha(-1)·y(-1)). Therefore, newly cleared land in the tropics releases nearly 3 tons of carbon for every 1 ton of annual crop yield compared with a similar area cleared in the temperate zone. By factoring crop yield into the analysis, we specify the tradeoff between carbon stocks and crops for all areas where crops are currently grown and thereby, substantially enhance the spatial resolution relative to previous regional estimates. Particularly in the tropics, emphasis should be placed on increasing yields on existing croplands rather than clearing new lands. Our high-resolution approach can be used to determine the net effect of local land use decisions.

  11. Sustainable use of glyphosate in North American cropping systems.

    PubMed

    Gustafson, David I

    2008-04-01

    Roundup Ready (glyphosate-resistant) cropping systems enable the use of glyphosate, a non-selective herbicide that offers growers several benefits, including superior weed control, flexibility in weed control timing and economic advantages. The rapid adoption of such crops in North America has resulted in greater glyphosate use and concern over the potential for weed resistance to erode the sustainability of its efficacy. Computer modeling is one method that can be used to explore the sustainability of glyphosate when used in glyphosate-resistant cropping systems. Field tests should help strengthen the assumptions on which the models are based, and have been initiated for this purpose. Empirical evaluations of published data show that glyphosate-resistant weeds have an appearance rate of 0.007, defined as the number of newly resistant species per million acres treated, which ranks low among herbicides used in North America. Modeling calculations and ongoing field tests support a practical recommendation for growers occasionally to include other herbicides in glyphosate-resistant cropping systems, to lower further the potential for new resistance to occur. The presented data suggest that the sustainability of glyphosate in North America would be enhanced by prudent use of additional herbicides in glyphosate-resistant cropping systems.

  12. Soil Modification by Native Shrubs Boosts Crop Productivity in Sudano-Sahelian Agroforestry System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    A changing climate along with human and animal population pressure can have a devastating effect on crop yields and food security in the Sudano-Sahel. Agricultural solutions to address soil degradation and crop water stress are needed to combat this increasingly difficult situation. Significant differences in crop success have been observed in peanut and millet grown in association with two native evergreen shrubs Piliostigma reticulatum, and Guiera senegalensis at the sites of Nioro du Rip and Keur Matar, respectively.We investigate how farmers can increase crop productivity by capitalizing on the evolutionary adaptation of native shrubs to the harsh Sudano-Sahelian environment as well as the physical mechanisms at work in the system that can lead to more robust yields. Soil moisture and water potential data were collected during a dry season millet irrigation experiment where stress was imposed in the intercropped system. Despite lower soil moisture content, crops grown in association with shrubs have increased biomass production and a faster development cycle. Hydraulic redistribution is thought to exist in this system and we found diurnal fluctuations in water potential within the intercropped system that increased in magnitude of to 0.4 Mpa per day as the soil dried below 1.0 Mpa during the stress treatment. An isotopic tracer study investigating hydraulic redistribution was carried out by injecting labeled water into shrub roots and sampling shrubs and nearby crops for isotopic analysis of plant water. These findings build on work that was completed in 2004 at the site, but point to lower overall magnitude of diurnal soil water potential fluctuations in dry soils. Using even the limited resources that farmers possess, this agroforestry technique can be expanded over wide swaths of the Sahel.

  13. Senior Research Connects Students with a Living Laboratory As Part of an Integrated Crop and Livestock System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senturklu, Songul; Landblom, Douglas; Brevik, Eric C.

    2015-04-01

    Soil, water, soil microbes, and solar energy are the main sources that sustain life on this planet. Without them working in concert, neither plants nor animals would survive. Considering the efficiency of animal production targets, soil must be protected and improved. Therefore, through our sustainable integrated crop and livestock research, we are studying animal and soil interactions from the soil to the plate. Integrating beef cattle systems into a diverse cropping system is providing a living laboratory for education beyond the traditional classroom setting. To establish the living learning laboratory at the Dickinson Research Extension Center, a five-crop rotation was established that included adapted cool and warm season grasses and broadleaf crops. The crop rotation is: sunflower > hard red spring wheat > fall seeded winter triticale-hairy vetch (hay)/spring seeded 7-species cover crop > Corn (85-95 day varieties) > field pea-barley intercrop. Sunflower and spring wheat are harvested for cash crop income in the rotation. Livestock integration occurs when yearling steers that had previously grazed perennial pastures until mid-August graze field pea-barley and subsequently unharvested corn. Average grazing days for field pea-barley and unharvested corn is 30 and 70 days, respectively. At the end of the grazing period, the yearling steers average 499-544 kg and are moved to a feedlot and fed an additional 75 days until slaughter. Maximizing grazing days and extending the grazing season through integration with the cropping system reduces custom feeding costs and enhances animal profit. Beef cows do not require high quality feed after their calves have been weaned. Therefore, gestating beef cows are an ideal animal to graze cover crops and crop aftermath (residue) after yearling steer grazing and farming operations have been completed. Extending the grazing season for beef cows by grazing cover crops and residues reduces winter feed cost, which is one of the

  14. PERUN system and its application for assessing the crop yield potential of the Czech Republic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubrovsky, M.; Zalud, Z.; Eitzinger, J.; Trnka, M.; Semeradova, D.

    2003-04-01

    The main purpose of the first version of the computer system PERUN, which has been developed in 2001-2002 (presented in EGS 2002), is the probabilistic seasonal crop yield forecasting for a given site. The system is based on the crop growth model WOFOST (version 7, slightly modified) and the six-variate version of the stochastic weather generator Met&Roll. The system is now being enhanced to allow assessment of the crop yield potential of a larger area. As this assessment requires a great amount of meteorological, pedological and crop data to be gathered, but these data are not yet all available to the authors, the presentation will rather focus on the methodological aspects and the results of the sensitivity analysis. The presentation will consist of the following points: (i) Overview of the PERUN system. The results of the validation experiments (spring barley and winter wheat at selected Czech locations) will be presented, too. (ii) Methodology used for a spatial assessment. The assessment is based on integrating model crop yields simulated at multiple sub-regions with region-specific climatic and pedological conditions. The input daily weather series are produced by the stochastic generator. The multi-year crop model simulation is performed for each sub-region to assess the mean and variability of the model yields. (iii) Sensitivity of the regional crop production potential to uncertainties in selected input characteristics: crop cultivar, soil type, hydrological characteristics (e.g. amount of available water at the beginning of the simulation), and climatic conditions (e.g temperature, precipitation). In assessing sensitivity to climate, the climatic characteristics will be varied within the range of values typical for the territory of the Czech Republic. The crops applied in the analysis are spring barley and winter wheat. Acknowledgement: The system PERUN has been developed within the frame of project QC1316 sponsored by the Czech National Agency for

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  17. Scope for improved eco-efficiency varies among diverse cropping systems.

    PubMed

    Carberry, Peter S; Liang, Wei-li; Twomlow, Stephen; Holzworth, Dean P; Dimes, John P; McClelland, Tim; Huth, Neil I; Chen, Fu; Hochman, Zvi; Keating, Brian A

    2013-05-21

    Global food security requires eco-efficient agriculture to produce the required food and fiber products concomitant with ecologically efficient use of resources. This eco-efficiency concept is used to diagnose the state of agricultural production in China (irrigated wheat-maize double-cropping systems), Zimbabwe (rainfed maize systems), and Australia (rainfed wheat systems). More than 3,000 surveyed crop yields in these three countries were compared against simulated grain yields at farmer-specified levels of nitrogen (N) input. Many Australian commercial wheat farmers are both close to existing production frontiers and gain little prospective return from increasing their N input. Significant losses of N from their systems, either as nitrous oxide emissions or as nitrate leached from the soil profile, are infrequent and at low intensities relative to their level of grain production. These Australian farmers operate close to eco-efficient frontiers in regard to N, and so innovations in technologies and practices are essential to increasing their production without added economic or environmental risks. In contrast, many Chinese farmers can reduce N input without sacrificing production through more efficient use of their fertilizer input. In fact, there are real prospects for the double-cropping systems on the North China Plain to achieve both production increases and reduced environmental risks. Zimbabwean farmers have the opportunity for significant production increases by both improving their technical efficiency and increasing their level of input; however, doing so will require improved management expertise and greater access to institutional support for addressing the higher risks. This paper shows that pathways for achieving improved eco-efficiency will differ among diverse cropping systems.

  18. Potential Economic Benefits of Adapting Agricultural Production Systems to Future Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prato, Tony; Zeyuan, Qiu; Pederson, Gregory; Fagre, Dan; Bengtson, Lindsey E.; Williams, Jimmy R.

    2010-03-01

    Potential economic impacts of future climate change on crop enterprise net returns and annual net farm income (NFI) are evaluated for small and large representative farms in Flathead Valley in Northwest Montana. Crop enterprise net returns and NFI in an historical climate period (1960-2005) and future climate period (2006-2050) are compared when agricultural production systems (APSs) are adapted to future climate change. Climate conditions in the future climate period are based on the A1B, B1, and A2 CO2 emission scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. Steps in the evaluation include: (1) specifying crop enterprises and APSs (i.e., combinations of crop enterprises) in consultation with locals producers; (2) simulating crop yields for two soils, crop prices, crop enterprises costs, and NFIs for APSs; (3) determining the dominant APS in the historical and future climate periods in terms of NFI; and (4) determining whether NFI for the dominant APS in the historical climate period is superior to NFI for the dominant APS in the future climate period. Crop yields are simulated using the Environmental/Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model and dominance comparisons for NFI are based on the stochastic efficiency with respect to a function (SERF) criterion. Probability distributions that best fit the EPIC-simulated crop yields are used to simulate 100 values for crop yields for the two soils in the historical and future climate periods. Best-fitting probability distributions for historical inflation-adjusted crop prices and specified triangular probability distributions for crop enterprise costs are used to simulate 100 values for crop prices and crop enterprise costs. Averaged over all crop enterprises, farm sizes, and soil types, simulated net return per ha averaged over all crop enterprises decreased 24% and simulated mean NFI for APSs decreased 57% between the historical and future climate periods. Although adapting APSs to

  19. Potential economic benefits of adapting agricultural production systems to future climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fagre, Daniel B.; Pederson, Gregory; Bengtson, Lindsey E.; Prato, Tony; Qui, Zeyuan; Williams, Jimmie R.

    2010-01-01

    Potential economic impacts of future climate change on crop enterprise net returns and annual net farm income (NFI) are evaluated for small and large representative farms in Flathead Valley in Northwest Montana. Crop enterprise net returns and NFI in an historical climate period (1960–2005) and future climate period (2006–2050) are compared when agricultural production systems (APSs) are adapted to future climate change. Climate conditions in the future climate period are based on the A1B, B1, and A2 CO2 emission scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. Steps in the evaluation include: (1) specifying crop enterprises and APSs (i.e., combinations of crop enterprises) in consultation with locals producers; (2) simulating crop yields for two soils, crop prices, crop enterprises costs, and NFIs for APSs; (3) determining the dominant APS in the historical and future climate periods in terms of NFI; and (4) determining whether NFI for the dominant APS in the historical climate period is superior to NFI for the dominant APS in the future climate period. Crop yields are simulated using the Environmental/Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model and dominance comparisons for NFI are based on the stochastic efficiency with respect to a function (SERF) criterion. Probability distributions that best fit the EPIC-simulated crop yields are used to simulate 100 values for crop yields for the two soils in the historical and future climate periods. Best-fitting probability distributions for historical inflation-adjusted crop prices and specified triangular probability distributions for crop enterprise costs are used to simulate 100 values for crop prices and crop enterprise costs. Averaged over all crop enterprises, farm sizes, and soil types, simulated net return per ha averaged over all crop enterprises decreased 24% and simulated mean NFI for APSs decreased 57% between the historical and future climate periods. Although adapting

  20. Potential economic benefits of adapting agricultural production systems to future climate change.

    PubMed

    Prato, Tony; Zeyuan, Qiu; Pederson, Gregory; Fagre, Dan; Bengtson, Lindsey E; Williams, Jimmy R

    2010-03-01

    Potential economic impacts of future climate change on crop enterprise net returns and annual net farm income (NFI) are evaluated for small and large representative farms in Flathead Valley in Northwest Montana. Crop enterprise net returns and NFI in an historical climate period (1960-2005) and future climate period (2006-2050) are compared when agricultural production systems (APSs) are adapted to future climate change. Climate conditions in the future climate period are based on the A1B, B1, and A2 CO(2) emission scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. Steps in the evaluation include: (1) specifying crop enterprises and APSs (i.e., combinations of crop enterprises) in consultation with locals producers; (2) simulating crop yields for two soils, crop prices, crop enterprises costs, and NFIs for APSs; (3) determining the dominant APS in the historical and future climate periods in terms of NFI; and (4) determining whether NFI for the dominant APS in the historical climate period is superior to NFI for the dominant APS in the future climate period. Crop yields are simulated using the Environmental/Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model and dominance comparisons for NFI are based on the stochastic efficiency with respect to a function (SERF) criterion. Probability distributions that best fit the EPIC-simulated crop yields are used to simulate 100 values for crop yields for the two soils in the historical and future climate periods. Best-fitting probability distributions for historical inflation-adjusted crop prices and specified triangular probability distributions for crop enterprise costs are used to simulate 100 values for crop prices and crop enterprise costs. Averaged over all crop enterprises, farm sizes, and soil types, simulated net return per ha averaged over all crop enterprises decreased 24% and simulated mean NFI for APSs decreased 57% between the historical and future climate periods. Although adapting APSs