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Sample records for agriculturally important crops

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-19

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Important Insect Pests of Fruit - Important Insect Pests of Nuts - Field Crop Insect Pests - Insect Pests of Vegetable Crops.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gesell, Stanley G.; And Others

    This document consists of four agriculture extension service publications from Pennsylvania State University. The titles are: (1) Important Insect Pests of Fruit; (2) Important Insect Pests of Nuts; (3) Field Crop Insect Pests; and (4) Insect Pests of Vegetable Crops. The first publication gives the hosts, injury, and description of 22 insect…

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 77 FR 51686 - Specialty Crops; Import Regulations; New Pistachio Import Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-27

    ... Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 999 Specialty Crops; Import Regulations; New Pistachio Import Requirements AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: This rule establishes a...: Laurel May or Kathleen Finn, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Programs,...

  18. Economic importance of bats in agriculture

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyles, Justin G.; Cryan, Paul M.; McCracken, Gary F.; Kunz, Thomas H.

    2011-01-01

    White-nose syndrome (WNS) and the increased development of wind-power facilities are threatening populations of insectivorous bats in North America. Bats are voracious predators of nocturnal insects, including many crop and forest pests. We present here analyses suggesting that loss of bats in North America could lead to agricultural losses estimated at more than $3.7 billion/year. Urgent efforts are needed to educate the public and policy-makers about the ecological and economic importance of insectivorous bats and to provide practical conservation solutions.

  19. Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that specialty crops are a vital part of agriculture in the United States, that the Committee on Agriculture should propose funding for programs that support specialty crops priorities, and that legislation should be passed that includes funding reflecting specialty crops as a growing and important part of United States agriculture.

    THOMAS, 113th Congress

    Rep. DelBene, Suzan K. [D-WA-1

    2013-04-25

    05/03/2013 Referred to the Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture. (All Actions) Tracker: This bill has the status IntroducedHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  20. 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...

  1. Crop Farmers' Willingness to Pay for Agricultural Extension Services in Bangladesh: Cases of Selected Villages in Two Important Agro-Ecological Zones

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Uddin, Ektear MD.; Gao, Qijie; Mamun-Ur-Rashid, MD.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Globally, many extension professionals and policy-makers are advocating fee based services, in addressing the fund shortage and sustainable provision of agricultural advisory services. Hence, the article attempts to expose the farmers' willingness to pay (WTP) as agricultural extension in Bangladesh is experiencing chronic fund crisis.…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. Mycotoxin contamination of commercially important agricultural commodities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fungal toxins, called aflatoxins and other mold toxins, are a serious problem in US agricultural commodities. Due to aflatoxins resilience to industrial processes contaminated crops (corn, cotton, peanuts, and tree nuts) cannot be used. The loss of these commodities results in serious economic impa...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

  16. Control of Vertebrate Pests of Agricultural Crops.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wingard, Robert G.; Studholme, Clinton R.

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. Importance of pollinators in changing landscapes for world crops

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Vaissière, Bernard E; Cane, James H; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Cunningham, Saul A; Kremen, Claire; Tscharntke, Teja

    2006-01-01

    The extent of our reliance on animal pollination for world crop production for human food has not previously been evaluated and the previous estimates for countries or continents have seldom used primary data. In this review, we expand the previous estimates using novel primary data from 200 countries and found that fruit, vegetable or seed production from 87 of the leading global food crops is dependent upon animal pollination, while 28 crops do not rely upon animal pollination. However, global production volumes give a contrasting perspective, since 60% of global production comes from crops that do not depend on animal pollination, 35% from crops that depend on pollinators, and 5% are unevaluated. Using all crops traded on the world market and setting aside crops that are solely passively self-pollinated, wind-pollinated or parthenocarpic, we then evaluated the level of dependence on animal-mediated pollination for crops that are directly consumed by humans. We found that pollinators are essential for 13 crops, production is highly pollinator dependent for 30, moderately for 27, slightly for 21, unimportant for 7, and is of unknown significance for the remaining 9. We further evaluated whether local and landscape-wide management for natural pollination services could help to sustain crop diversity and production. Case studies for nine crops on four continents revealed that agricultural intensification jeopardizes wild bee communities and their stabilizing effect on pollination services at the landscape scale. PMID:17164193

  20. 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

    climate change on crop productivity in a watershed. The first was carried out by the large-scale crop model alone. The second was carried out by the integrated model of the large-scale crop model and the H08 model. The former projected that changes in temperature and precipitation due to future climate change would give rise to increasing the water stress in crops. Nevertheless, the latter projected that the increasing amount of agricultural water resources in the watershed would supply sufficient amount of water for irrigation, consequently reduce the water stress. The integrated model demonstrated the importance of taking into account the water circulation in watershed when predicting the regional crop production.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    corn fields. The bioenergy crops used in this study were miscanthus, switchgrass and native prairie grasses. Results indicated that growing bioenergy crops in buffer strips mitigated nutrient runoff and reduced nitrate concentrations in groundwater to below EPA’s mandated drinking water limit (10 mg/l). Additionally, nitrous oxide emissions in these systems were reduced by 50-90% when compared to corn fields without the bioenergy buffer strips. While all the bioenergy crop buffers had significant positive environmental benefits, switchgrass performed the best with respect to minimizing nutrient runoff and nitrous oxide emissions. The findings of this research have important implications with respect to land management for agriculture and bioenergy.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Double-crop sunflowers for agricultural diesel fuel

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Importance of energy balance in agriculture.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meco, R.; Moreno, M. M.; Lacasta, C.; Tarquis, A. M.; Moreno, C.

    2012-04-01

    Since the beginning, man has tried to control nature and the environment, and the use of energy, mainly from non-renewable sources providing the necessary power for that. The consequences of this long fight against nature has reached a critical state of unprecedented worldwide environmental degradation, as evidenced by the increasing erosion of fertile lands, the deforestation processes, the pollution of water, air and land by agrochemicals, the loss of plant and animal species, the progressive deterioration of the ozone layer and signs of global warming. This is exacerbated by the increasing population growth, implying a steady increase in consumption, and consequently, in the use of energy. Unfortunately, all these claims are resulting in serious economic and environmental problems worldwide. Because the economic and environmental future of the countries is interrelated, it becomes necessary to adopt sustainable development models based on the use of renewable and clean energies, the search for alternative resources and the use of productive systems more efficient from an energy standpoint, always with a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In relation to the agricultural sector, the question we ask is: how long can we keep the current energy-intensive agricultural techniques in developed countries? To analyze this aspect, energy balance is a very helpful tool because can lead to more efficient, sustainable and environment-friendly production systems for each agro-climatic region. This requires the identification of all the inputs and the outputs involved and their conversion to energy values by means of corresponding energy coefficients or equivalents (International Federation of Institutes for Advanced Studies). Energy inputs (EI) can be divided in direct (energy directly used in farms as fuel, machines, fertilizers, seeds, herbicides, human labor, etc.) and indirect (energy not consumed in the farm but in the elaboration, manufacturing or manipulation of

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Some Important Diseases of Tree Fruits - Diseases of Vegetable Crops - Diseases of Grapes - Diseases of Tree Nuts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petersen, Donald H.; And Others

    This agriculture extension service publication from Pennsylvania State University consists of four sections on plant disease recognition and control. The titles of these four sections are: (1) Some Important Diseases of Tree Fruits; (2) Diseases of Vegetable Crops; (3) Diseases of Crops; and (4) Diseases of Tree Nuts. The first section discusses…

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1998-10-04

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Biology: An Important Agricultural Engineering Mechanism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henderson, S. M.

    1974-01-01

    Describes the field of bioengineering with particular emphasis on agricultural engineering, and presents the results of a survey of schools that combine biology and engineering in their curricula. (JR)

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Biodiversity of Aspergillus species in some important agricultural products.

    PubMed

    Perrone, G; Susca, A; Cozzi, G; Ehrlich, K; Varga, J; Frisvad, J C; Meijer, M; Noonim, P; Mahakarnchanakul, W; Samson, R A

    2007-01-01

    The genus Aspergillus is one of the most important filamentous fungal genera. Aspergillus species are used in the fermentation industry, but they are also responsible of various plant and food secondary rot, with the consequence of possible accumulation of mycotoxins. The aflatoxin producing A. flavus and A. parasiticus, and ochratoxinogenic A. niger, A. ochraceus and A. carbonarius species are frequently encountered in agricultural products. Studies on the biodiversity of toxigenic Aspergillus species is useful to clarify molecular, ecological and biochemical characteristics of the different species in relation to their different adaptation to environmental and geographical conditions, and to their potential toxigenicity. Here we analyzed the biodiversity of ochratoxin producing species occurring on two important crops: grapes and coffee, and the genetic diversity of A. flavus populations occurring in agricultural fields. Altogether nine different black Aspergillus species can be found on grapes which are often difficult to identify with classical methods. The polyphasic approach used in our studies led to the identification of three new species occurring on grapes: A. brasiliensis, A. ibericus, and A. uvarum. Similar studies on the Aspergillus species occurring on coffee beans have evidenced in the last five years that A. carbonarius is an important source of ochratoxin A in coffee. Four new species within the black aspergilli were also identified in coffee beans: A. sclerotioniger, A. lacticoffeatus, A. sclerotiicarbonarius, and A. aculeatinus. The genetic diversity within A. flavus populations has been widely studied in relation to their potential aflatoxigenicity and morphological variants L- and S-strains. Within A. flavus and other Aspergillus species capable of aflatoxin production, considerable diversity is found. We summarise the main recent achievements in the diversity of the aflatoxin gene cluster in A. flavus populations, A. parasiticus and the non

  1. The increasing importance of herbicides in worldwide crop production.

    PubMed

    Gianessi, Leonard P

    2013-10-01

    Herbicide use is increasingly being adopted around the world. Many developing countries (India, China, Bangladesh) are facing shortages of workers to hand weed fields as millions of people move from rural to urban areas. In these countries, herbicides are far cheaper and more readily available than labor for hand weeding. History shows that in industrializing countries in the past, including the United States, Germany, Japan and South Korea, the same phenomenon has occurred-as workers have left agriculture, herbicides have been adopted. It is inevitable that herbicide use will increase in sub-Saharan Africa, not only because millions of people are leaving rural areas, creating shortages of hand weeders, but also because of the need to increase crop yields. Hand weeding has never been a very efficient method of weed control-often performed too late and not frequently enough. Uncontrolled weeds have been a major cause of low crop yields in sub-Saharan Africa for a long time. In many parts of the world, herbicides are being increasingly used to replace tillage in order to improve environmental conditions. In comparison with tillage, herbicide use reduces erosion, fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient run-off and conserves water.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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…

  8. 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...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. Selected historic agricultural data important to environmental quality in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grey, Katia M.; Capel, Paul D.; Baker, Nancy T.; Thelin, Gail P.

    2012-01-01

    This report and the accompanying tables summarize some of the important changes in American agriculture in the form of a timeline and a compilation of selected annual time-series data that can be broadly related to environmental quality. Although these changes have been beneficial for increasing agricultural production, some of them have resulted in environmental concerns. The agriculture timeline is divided into four categories (1) crop and animal changes, (2) mechanical changes, (3) biological and chemical changes, and (4) regulatory and societal changes. The timeline attempts to compile events that have had a lasting impact on agriculture in the United States. The events and data presented in this report may help to improve the connections between agricultural activist and environmental concerns.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. The Importance of Agriculture Science Course Sequencing in High Schools: A View from Collegiate Agriculture Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wheelus, Robin P.

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the importance of Agriculture Science course sequencing in high schools, as a preparatory factor for students enrolled in collegiate agriculture classes. With the variety of courses listed in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for Agriculture Science, it has been possible for counselors,…

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Global consumptive water use for crop production: The importance of green water and virtual water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Junguo; Zehnder, Alexander J. B.; Yang, Hong

    2009-05-01

    Over the last 4 decades the use of blue water has received increasing attention in water resources research, but little attention has been paid to the quantification of green water in food production and food trade. In this paper, we estimate both the blue and green water components of consumptive water use (CWU) for a wide range of agricultural crops, including seven cereal crops, cassava, cotton, groundnuts, potatoes, pulses, rapeseed, soybeans, sugar beets, sugarcane, and sunflower, with a spatial resolution of 30 arc min on the land surface. The results show that the global CWU of these crops amounted to 3823 km3 a-1 for the period 1998-2002. More than 80% of this amount was from green water. Around 94% of the world crop-related virtual water trade has its origin in green water, which generally constitutes a low-opportunity cost of green water as opposed to blue water. High levels of net virtual water import (NVWI) generally occur in countries with low CWU on a per capita basis, where a virtual water strategy is an attractive water management option to compensate for domestic water shortage for food production. NVWI is constrained by income; low-income countries generally have a low level of NVWI. Strengthening low-income countries economically will allow them to develop a virtual water strategy to mitigate malnutrition of their people.

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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)

  5. The importance of agricultural lands for Himalayan birds in winter.

    PubMed

    Elsen, Paul R; Kalyanaraman, Ramnarayan; Ramesh, Krishnamurthy; Wilcove, David S

    2017-04-01

    The impacts of land-use change on biodiversity in the Himalayas are poorly known, notwithstanding widespread deforestation and agricultural intensification in this highly biodiverse region. Although intact primary forests harbor many Himalayan birds during breeding, a large number of bird species use agricultural lands during winter. We assessed how Himalayan bird species richness, abundance, and composition during winter are affected by forest loss stemming from agriculture and grazing. Bird surveys along 12 elevational transects within primary forest, low-intensity agriculture, mixed subsistence agriculture, and intensively grazed pastures in winter revealed that bird species richness and abundance were greatest in low-intensity and mixed agriculture, intermediate in grazed pastures, and lowest in primary forest at both local and landscape scales; over twice as many species and individuals were recorded in low-intensity agriculture than in primary forest. Bird communities in primary forests were distinct from those in all other land-use classes, but only 4 species were unique to primary forests. Low-, medium-, and high-intensity agriculture harbored 32 unique species. Of the species observed in primary forest, 80% had equal or greater abundance in low-intensity agricultural lands, underscoring the value of these lands in retaining diverse community assemblages at high densities in winter. Among disturbed landscapes, bird species richness and abundance declined as land-use intensity increased, especially in high-intensity pastures. Our results suggest that agricultural landscapes are important for most Himalayan bird species in winter. But agricultural intensification-especially increased grazing-will likely result in biodiversity losses. Given that forest reserves alone may inadequately conserve Himalayan birds in winter, comprehensive conservation strategies in the region must go beyond protecting intact primary forests and ensure that low-intensity agricultural

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The effect of excess copper on growth and physiology of important food crops: a review.

    PubMed

    Adrees, Muhammad; Ali, Shafaqat; Rizwan, Muhammad; Ibrahim, Muhammad; Abbas, Farhat; Farid, Mujahid; Zia-Ur-Rehman, Muhammad; Irshad, Muhammad Kashif; Bharwana, Saima Aslam

    2015-06-01

    In recent years, copper (Cu) pollution in agricultural soils, due to arbitrary use of pesticides, fungicides, industrial effluent and wastewater irrigation, present a major concern for sustainable agrifood production especially in developing countries. The world's major food requirement is fulfilled through agricultural food crops. The Cu-induced losses in growth and yield of food crops probably exceeds from all other causes of food safety and security threats. Here, we review the adverse effects of Cu excess on growth and yield of essential food crops. Numerous studies reported the Cu-induced growth inhibition, oxidative damage and antioxidant response in agricultural food crops such as wheat, rice, maize, sunflower and cucumber. This article also describes the toxic levels of Cu in crops that decreased plant growth and yield due to alterations in mineral nutrition, photosynthesis, enzyme activities and decrease in chlorophyll biosynthesis. The response of various crops to elevated Cu concentrations varies depending upon nature of crop and cultivars used. This review could be helpful to understand the Cu toxicity and the mechanism of its tolerance in food crops. We recommend that Cu-tolerant crops should be grown on Cu-contaminated soils in order to ameliorate the toxic effects for sustainable farming systems and to meet the food demands of the intensively increasing population.

  15. 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

  16. Safeguarding fruit crops in the age of agricultural globalization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Soil acidification and the importance of liming agricultural soils with particular reference to the United Kingdom.

    PubMed

    Goulding, K W T

    2016-09-01

    Soil acidification is caused by a number of factors including acidic precipitation and the deposition from the atmosphere of acidifying gases or particles, such as sulphur dioxide, ammonia and nitric acid. The most important causes of soil acidification on agricultural land, however, are the application of ammonium-based fertilizers and urea, elemental S fertilizer and the growth of legumes. Acidification causes the loss of base cations, an increase in aluminium saturation and a decline in crop yields; severe acidification can cause nonreversible clay mineral dissolution and a reduction in cation exchange capacity, accompanied by structural deterioration. Soil acidity is ameliorated by applying lime or other acid-neutralizing materials. 'Liming' also reduces N2O emissions, but this is more than offset by CO 2 emissions from the lime as it neutralizes acidity. Because crop plants vary in their tolerance to acidity and plant nutrients have different optimal pH ranges, target soil pH values in the UK are set at 6.5 (5.8 in peaty soils) for cropped land and 6.0 (5.3 in peaty soils) for grassland. Agricultural lime products can be sold as 'EC Fertiliser Liming Materials' but, although vital for soil quality and agricultural production, liming tends to be strongly influenced by the economics of farming. Consequently, much less lime is being applied in the UK than required, and many arable and grassland soils are below optimum pH.

  4. Worldwide dissemination of Radopholus similis and its importance in crop production.

    PubMed

    O'Bannon, J H

    1977-01-01

    The burrowing nematode, Radopholus similis, attacks agronomic and horticultural crops and many weeds, and is reported to reproduce on more than 250 plant species. Two races of R. similis are recognized. Although one race attacks citrus and the other race does not, they are morphologically similar. At present, the citrus race is found attacking citrus only in Florida, U.S.A., but it is known to infect more than 250 species and varieties of noncitrus plants. Although it has many hosts, R. similis is probably most widely distributed on banana and is found worldwide. Although best known as a pest of Piper nigrum, Musa spp., and Citrus spp., it also attacks many crops that are important in world commerce and in subsistence-type agriculture, a factor which makes it a significant agricultural pest. Worldwide dissemination occurs primarily when parasitized plants are moved into areas where the pest could adapt. Yield losses of 12.5 tons/ha in bananas have been reported from R. similis infection. Infections suppress orange and grapefruit yields as much as 70-80%. Because of the severity of R. similis damage (particularly to banana and citrus), extensive control programs have been developed. Prevention, cultural practices, resistant varieties, and chemical pesticides interact to reduce losses.

  5. Worldwide Dissemination of Radopholus similis and Its Importance in Crop Production

    PubMed Central

    O'Bannon, J. H.

    1977-01-01

    The burrowing nematode, Radopholus similis, attacks agronomic and horticultural crops and many weeds, and is reported to reproduce on more than 250 plant species. Two races of R. similis are recognized. Although one race attacks citrus and the other race does not, they are morphologically similar. At present, the citrus race is found attacking citrus only in Florida, U.S.A., but it is known to infect more than 250 species and varieties of noncitrus plants. Although it has many hosts, R. similis is probably most widely distributed on banana and is found worldwide. Although best known as a pest of Piper nigrum, Musa spp., and Citrus spp., it also attacks many crops that are important in world commerce and in subsistence-type agriculture, a factor which makes it a significant agricultural pest. Worldwide dissemination occurs primarily when parasitized plants are moved into areas where the pest could adapt. Yield losses of 12.5 tons/ha in bananas have been reported from R. similis infection. Infections suppress orange and grapefruit yields as much as 70-80%. Because of the severity of R. similis damage (particularly to banana and citrus), extensive control programs have been developed. Prevention, cultural practices, resistant varieties, and chemical pesticides interact to reduce losses. PMID:19305565

  6. The Importance of Soil Protein Fate to PIP Crop Registration

    EPA Science Inventory

    Plant Incorporated Protectant (PIP) crops are registered under the authority of the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and as part of this registration certain environmental fate information is required to properly judge the environmental compatibility of n...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. Perceptions of Vocational Agriculture Instructors Regarding Knowledge and Importance of Including Selected Agricultural Mechanics Units in the Vocational Agriculture Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heimgartner, Dale C.; Foster, Richard M.

    1981-01-01

    A survey of teachers in five northwestern states revealed that respondents in all states rated the units of arc welding and oxyacetylene welding as the most important units to be included in secondary vocational agriculture programs. (LRA)

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. The origins of an important cactus crop, Opuntia ficus-indica (Cactaceae): new molecular evidence.

    PubMed

    Griffith, M Patrick

    2004-11-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica is a long-domesticated cactus crop that is important in agricultural economies throughout arid and semiarid parts of the world. The biogeographic and evolutionary origins of this species have been obscured through ancient and widespread cultivation and naturalization. The origin of O. ficus-indica is investigated through the use of Bayesian phylogenetic analyses of nrITS DNA sequences. These analyses support the following hypotheses: that O. ficus-indica is a close relative of a group of arborescent, fleshy-fruited prickly pears from central and southern Mexico; that the center of domestication for this species is in central Mexico; and that the taxonomic concept of O. ficus-indica may include clones derived from multiple lineages and therefore be polyphyletic.

  19. 7 CFR 996.3 - Crop year.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... DOMESTIC AND IMPORTED PEANUTS MARKETED IN THE UNITED STATES Definitions § 996.3 Crop year. Crop year means... 7 Agriculture 8 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Crop year. 996.3 Section 996.3 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Marketing Agreements...

  20. 7 CFR 996.3 - Crop year.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... DOMESTIC AND IMPORTED PEANUTS MARKETED IN THE UNITED STATES Definitions § 996.3 Crop year. Crop year means... 7 Agriculture 8 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Crop year. 996.3 Section 996.3 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Marketing Agreements...

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-09-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. The Importance of Juvenile Root Traits for Crop Yields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Philip; Adu, Michael; Broadley, Martin; Brown, Lawrie; Dupuy, Lionel; George, Timothy; Graham, Neil; Hammond, John; Hayden, Rory; Neugebauer, Konrad; Nightingale, Mark; Ramsay, Gavin; Thomas, Catherine; Thompson, Jacqueline; Wishart, Jane; Wright, Gladys

    2014-05-01

    Genetic variation in root system architecture (RSA) is an under-exploited breeding resource. This is partly a consequence of difficulties in the rapid and accurate assessment of subterranean root systems. However, although the characterisation of root systems of large plants in the field are both time-consuming and labour-intensive, high-throughput (HTP) screens of root systems of juvenile plants can be performed in the field, glasshouse or laboratory. It is hypothesised that improving the root systems of juvenile plants can accelerate access to water and essential mineral elements, leading to rapid crop establishment and, consequently, greater yields. This presentation will illustrate how aspects of the juvenile root systems of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) and oilseed rape (OSR; Brassica napus L.) correlate with crop yields and examine the reasons for such correlations. It will first describe the significant positive relationships between early root system development, phosphorus acquisition, canopy establishment and eventual yield among potato genotypes. It will report the development of a glasshouse assay for root system architecture (RSA) of juvenile potato plants, the correlations between root system architectures measured in the glasshouse and field, and the relationships between aspects of the juvenile root system and crop yields under drought conditions. It will then describe the development of HTP systems for assaying RSA of OSR seedlings, the identification of genetic loci affecting RSA in OSR, the development of mathematical models describing resource acquisition by OSR, and the correlations between root traits recorded in the HTP systems and yields of OSR in the field.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. The angiosperm phloem sieve tube system: a role in mediating traits important to modern agriculture.

    PubMed

    Ham, Byung-Kook; Lucas, William J

    2014-04-01

    The plant vascular system serves a vital function by distributing water, nutrients and hormones essential for growth and development to the various organs of the plant. In this review, attention is focused on the role played by the phloem as the conduit for delivery of both photosynthate and information macromolecules, especially from the context of its mediation in traits that are important to modern agriculture. Resource allocation of sugars and amino acids, by the phloem, to specific sink tissues is of importance to crop yield and global food security. Current findings are discussed in the context of a hierarchical control network that operates to integrate resource allocation to competing sinks. The role of plasmodesmata that connect companion cells to neighbouring sieve elements and phloem parenchyma cells is evaluated in terms of their function as valves, connecting the sieve tube pressure manifold system to the various plant tissues. Recent studies have also revealed that plasmodesmata and the phloem sieve tube system function cooperatively to mediate the long-distance delivery of proteins and a diverse array of RNA species. Delivery of these information macromolecules is discussed in terms of their roles in control over the vegetative-to-floral transition, tuberization in potato, stress-related signalling involving miRNAs, and genetic reprogramming through the delivery of 24-nucleotide small RNAs that function in transcriptional gene silencing in recipient sink organs. Finally, we discuss important future research areas that could contribute to developing agricultural crops with engineered performance characteristics for enhance yield potential.

  17. Flavone-rich maize: an opportunity to improve the nutritional value of an important commodity crop.

    PubMed

    Casas, María I; Duarte, Silvia; Doseff, Andrea I; Grotewold, Erich

    2014-01-01

    Agricultural outputs have resulted in food production continuously expanding. To satisfy the needs of a fast growing human population, higher yields, more efficient food processing, and food esthetic value, new crop varieties with higher caloric intake have and continue to be developed, but which lack many phytochemicals important for plant protection and adequate human nutrition. The increasing incidence of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, combined with social disparity worldwide prompted the interest in developing enhanced crops that can simultaneously address the two sides of the current malnutrition sword, increasing yield while providing added nutritional value. Flavones, phytochemicals associated with the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet, have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activities. However, many Mediterranean diet-associated vegetables are inaccessible, or lowly consumed, in many parts of the world. Maize is the most widely grown cereal crop, yet most lines used for hybrid maize production lack flavones. As a first step toward a sustainable strategy to increasing the nutritional value of maize-based diets, we investigated the accumulation and chemical properties of flavones in maize seeds of defined genotypes. We show that the pericarps of the P1-rr genotype accumulate flavones at levels comparable to those present in some flavone-rich vegetables, and are mostly present in their C- and O-glycosylated forms. Some of these glycosides can be readily converted into the corresponding more active health beneficial aglycones during food processing. Our results provide evidence that nutritionally beneficial flavones could be re-introduced into elite lines to increase the dietary benefits of maize.

  18. Importance of impacts scenarios for the adaptation of agriculture to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zullo, J.; Macedo, C.; Pinto, H. S.; Assad, E. D.; Koga Vicente, A.

    2012-12-01

    The great possibility that the climate is already changing, and the most drastic way possible, increases the challenge of agricultural engineering, especially in environmentally vulnerable areas and in regions where agriculture has a high economic and social importance. Knowledge of potential impacts that may be caused by changes in water and thermal regimes in coming decades is increasingly strategic, as they allow the development of techniques to adapt agriculture to climate change and therefore minimizes the risk of undesirable impacts, for example, in food and nutritional security. Thus, the main objective of this paper is to describe a way to generate impacts scenarios caused by anomalies of precipitation and temperature in the definition of climate risk zoning of an agricultural crop very important in the tropics, such as the sugar cane, especially in central-southern Brazil, which is one of its main world producers. A key point here is the choice of the climate model to be used, considering that 23 different models were used in the fourth IPCC report published in 2007. The number and range of available models requires the definition of criteria for choosing the most suitable for the preparation of the impacts scenarios. One way proposed and used in this work is based on the definition of two groups of models according to 27 technical attributes of them. The clustering of 23 models in two groups, with a model representing each group (UKMO_HadCM3 and MIROC3.2_medres), assists the generation and comparison of impacts scenarios, making them more representative and useful. Another important aspect in the generation of impacts scenarios is the estimate of the relative importance of the anomalies of precipitation and temperature, which are the most commonly used. To assess the relative importance of the anomalies are generated scenarios considering an anomaly at a time and both together. The impacts scenarios for a high emission of greenhouse gases (A2), from 2010

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The tasselled cap - A graphic description of the spectral-temporal development of agricultural crops as seen by Landsat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kauth, R. J.; Thomas, G. S.

    1976-01-01

    The time trajectories of agricultural data points as seen in Landsat signal space form a pattern suggestive of a tasselled woolly cap. Most of the important crop phenomena can be described using this three dimensional construct: the distribution of signals from bare soil, the processes of green development, yellow development, and shadowing and harvesting. A linear preprocessing transformation which isolates green development, yellow development and soil brightness is used to reduce the dimension of the signal space. Specific measurable pattern elements of the tasselled cap are used to estimate and correct atmospheric haze and moisture effects.

  8. Breakthrough in chloroplast genetic engineering of agronomically important crops

    PubMed Central

    Daniell, Henry; Kumar, Shashi; Dufourmantel, Nathalie

    2012-01-01

    Chloroplast genetic engineering offers several unique advantages, including high-level transgene expression, multi-gene engineering in a single transformation event and transgene containment by maternal inheritance, as well as a lack of gene silencing, position and pleiotropic effects and undesirable foreign DNA. More than 40 transgenes have been stably integrated and expressed using the tobacco chloroplast genome to confer desired agronomic traits or express high levels of vaccine antigens and biopharmaceuticals. Despite such significant progress, this technology has not been extended to major crops. However, highly efficient soybean, carrot and cotton plastid transformation has recently been accomplished through somatic embryogenesis using species-specific chloroplast vectors. This review focuses on recent exciting developments in this field and offers directions for further research and development. PMID:15866001

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Importance of Animals in Agricultural Sustainability and Food Security.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Lawrence P; Wulster-Radcliffe, Meghan C; Aaron, Debra K; Davis, Teresa A

    2015-07-01

    A conservative projection shows the world's population growing by 32% (to 9.5 billion) by 2050 and 53% (to 11 billion) by 2100 compared with its current level of 7.2 billion. Because most arable land worldwide is already in use, and water and energy also are limiting, increased production of food will require a substantial increase in efficiency. In this article, we highlight the importance of animals to achieving food security in terms of their valuable contributions to agricultural sustainability, especially in developing countries, and the high nutritional value of animal products in the diet.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Photodegradation of bentazon, clopyralid, and triclopyr on model leaves: importance of a systematic evaluation of pesticide photostability on crops.

    PubMed

    Eyheraguibel, Boris; Ter Halle, Alexandra; Richard, Claire

    2009-03-11

    Photolyses of three herbicides, bentazon, clopyralid, and triclopyr, were studied on plant leaves after crop treatment. The experiments were carried out on cuticular wax films, which are good models for leaf surfaces. The pure compounds and their commercial formulations were investigated under simulated solar light. At the recommended agricultural application rates, the three formulated herbicides photolyzed more rapidly on films than on soil or in water. Their photolysis is likely to be an important dissipation path from crops after treatment. The effects induced by the adjuvants in formulations were varied. Adjuvants slowed the photodegradation of bentazon slightly. In Garlon, in which triclopyr and clopyralid are combined, the adjuvants did not affect the photolysis of clopyralid even though they accelerated the rate of photolysis of triclopyr by a factor of 7. The kinetics were also affected by the application rates. This work also underscores the importance of assessing the photoreactivity of active ingredients in conditions similar to those of their application.

  5. 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

  6. [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".

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Importance and Capability of Teaching Agricultural Mechanics as Perceived by Secondary Agricultural Educators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shultz, Matthew J.; Anderson, Ryan G.; Shultz, Alyx M.; Paulsen, Thomas H.

    2014-01-01

    Agricultural mechanics instruction is a long-standing and significant part of secondary agricultural education. Similar to the broader agricultural industry, agricultural mechanics instruction is in a constant state of dynamic change. Educators must be proactive to ensure agricultural mechanics curriculum retains its relevance within this changing…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burrows, Geoffrey E.

    2012-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 7 CFR 319.8-20 - Importations by the Department of Agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Importations by the Department of Agriculture. 319.8-20 Section 319.8-20 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Foreign Cotton...

  17. 7 CFR 319.8-20 - Importations by the Department of Agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Importations by the Department of Agriculture. 319.8-20 Section 319.8-20 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Foreign Cotton...

  18. 7 CFR 319.8-20 - Importations by the Department of Agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Importations by the Department of Agriculture. 319.8-20 Section 319.8-20 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Foreign Cotton...

  19. 7 CFR 319.8-20 - Importations by the Department of Agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Importations by the Department of Agriculture. 319.8-20 Section 319.8-20 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Foreign Cotton...

  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. 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.

  5. 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%).

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. 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).

  10. 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).

  11. 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%).

  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. Assessment of crop productivity over intensively managed agriculture regions in India and Australia using solar-induced fluorescence remote sensing data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devadas, R.; Huete, A. R.; Patel, N. R.; Padalia, H.; Restrepo-Coupe, N.; Kuruvilla, A.

    2015-12-01

    Satellite based estimation of solar-induced terrestrial fluorescence (SIF) is considered to be a direct measure of photosynthetic functional status of the vegetation. Prior studies have shown SIF to more accurately retrieve the productivity of intensively managed croplands, as in the U.S. corn belt. In this study, we assessed and compared agricultural productivity over two intensive crop production regions in Australia and India using SIF data, traditional spectral measures, and crop yield data. Regional level wheat yield data were obtained for the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) in India and the Murray Darling Basin (MDB) in Australia for analyses with GOME-2 SIF satellite and MODIS VI measurements, and gross primary productivity from flux towers. We investigated the importance of integrating traditional meteorological parameters and ground based data with time-series vegetation indices for scaling of SIF to obtain robust yield prediction models for application across years and continents. This study further explored the relationship of inter annual variations in crop phenology metrics through SIF retrievals and its relationship with crop yields. The IGP study region showed systematic cycles of double cropping. MDB region on the other hand showed cycles of pronounced winter cropping and a weaker and variable second cropping over the analysis period. For various winter wheat crop seasons in IGP, from 2007 to 2012, SIF explained and accounted between 48 to 74 per cent of the variations in regional wheat yields. Similar results were obtained in the case of MDB also, however, the relationship between SIF and yield estimates was weaker (R2 = 0.44). SIF measurements, as a surrogate of crop productivity, were considerably higher over the highly productive IGP region in almost all the years considered. The SIF data shows immense potential for modelling agricultural productivity, particularly as the resolution of SIF retrievals continues to improve.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Diversity of the Neglected and Underutilized Crop Species of Importance in Benin

    PubMed Central

    Dansi, A.; Vodouhè, R.; Azokpota, P.; Yedomonhan, H.; Assogba, P.; Adjatin, A.; Loko, Y. L.; Dossou-Aminon, I.; Akpagana, K.

    2012-01-01

    Many of the plant species that are cultivated for food across the world are neglected and underutilized. To assess their diversity in Benin and identify the priority species and establish their research needs, a survey was conducted in 50 villages distributed throughout the country. The study revealed 41 neglected and underutilized crop species (NUCS) among which 19 were identified as of priority base on 10 criteria among which included their extent and degree of consumption. Reasons for neglect vary with the producers and the agricultural technicians. Market surveys revealed that NUCS are important source of household incomes and substantially contribute to poverty reduction. Review of the literature available revealed that most of the species are rich in nutrients and have some proven medicinal values and the promotion of their use would help in combating malnutrition and improving the health status of the local populations. The knowledge gaps and research needs are immense on most of the species identified as no concrete scientific data is nationally available. In terms of research, almost all has to be done starting from basic ethnobotanical investigation. The results will help the scientists and students willing to conduct research on NUCS in Benin to better orient their research programs. PMID:22593712

  20. Diversity of the neglected and underutilized crop species of importance in Benin.

    PubMed

    Dansi, A; Vodouhè, R; Azokpota, P; Yedomonhan, H; Assogba, P; Adjatin, A; Loko, Y L; Dossou-Aminon, I; Akpagana, K

    2012-01-01

    Many of the plant species that are cultivated for food across the world are neglected and underutilized. To assess their diversity in Benin and identify the priority species and establish their research needs, a survey was conducted in 50 villages distributed throughout the country. The study revealed 41 neglected and underutilized crop species (NUCS) among which 19 were identified as of priority base on 10 criteria among which included their extent and degree of consumption. Reasons for neglect vary with the producers and the agricultural technicians. Market surveys revealed that NUCS are important source of household incomes and substantially contribute to poverty reduction. Review of the literature available revealed that most of the species are rich in nutrients and have some proven medicinal values and the promotion of their use would help in combating malnutrition and improving the health status of the local populations. The knowledge gaps and research needs are immense on most of the species identified as no concrete scientific data is nationally available. In terms of research, almost all has to be done starting from basic ethnobotanical investigation. The results will help the scientists and students willing to conduct research on NUCS in Benin to better orient their research programs.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    relationship to vegetation indices. Total amount of aboveground biomass was identified as the most important factor influencing the values of vegetation indices. Based on the results can be assumed that UAV and satellite monitoring provide reliable information about crop parameters for site specific crop management. The main difference of their utilization is coming from their specification and technical limits. Satellite survey can be used for periodic monitoring of crops as the indicator of their spatial heterogeneity within fields, but with low resolution (30 m per pixel for OLI). On the other hand UAV represents a special campaign aimed on the mapping of high-detailed spatial inputs for site specific crop management and variable rate application of fertilizers.

  4. Assessment of potential health risk for inhabitants living near a former lead smelter. Part 1: metal concentrations in soils, agricultural crops, and homegrown vegetables.

    PubMed

    Douay, Francis; Pelfrêne, Aurélie; Planque, Julie; Fourrier, Hervé; Richard, Antoine; Roussel, Hélène; Girondelot, Bertrand

    2013-05-01

    Soil contamination by metals engenders important environmental and health problems in northern France where a smelter (Metaleurop Nord) was in activity for more than a century. This study aims to look at the long-term effects of the smelter after its closedown by combining data on the degree of soil contamination and the quality of the crops grown (agricultural crops and homegrown vegetables) in these soils for a better assessment of the local population's exposure to Cd, Pb, and Zn. Seven years after the Metaleurop Nord closedown, (1) the agricultural and urban topsoils were strongly contaminated by Cd, Pb, and Zn; (2) the kitchen garden topsoils were even more polluted than the agricultural soils, with great variability in metal concentrations within the gardens studied; (3) a high proportion of the agricultural crops for foodstuffs did not conform with the European legislation; (4) for feedstuffs, most samples did not exceed the Cd and Pb legislation limits, indicating that feedstuffs may be an opportunity for most agricultural produce; and (5) a high proportion of the vegetables produced in the kitchen gardens did not conform with the European foodstuff legislation. The high contamination level of the soils studied continues to be a risk for the environment and the population's health. A further investigation (part 2) assesses the associated potential health risk for local inhabitants through consumption of homegrown vegetables and ingestion of soil particles by estimating the site-specific human health assessment criteria for Cd and Pb.

  5. Iowa Commercial Pesticide Applicator Manual, Category 1C: Agricultural Crop Disease Control. CS-11.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nyvall, Robert F.; Ryan, Stephen O.

    This manual provides information needed to meet specific standards for certification as a pesticide applicator. It summarizes the economically important diseases of field and forage crops such as corn, soybeans and alfalfa. Special attention is given to pesticide application methods and safety. (CS)

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-05-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. "What we need is a crop ecologist": ecology and agricultural science in Progressive-era America.

    PubMed

    Hersey, Mark D

    2011-01-01

    Though they are often seen as foils for each other, ecology and agricultural science co-evolved. With shared roots in late nineteenth-century botany, ecologists and agronomists fostered important connections during the Progressive era that have been largely overlooked despite a number of finely nuanced studies of ecology's origins. But if 'applied ecology' once effectively meant agriculture, over the course of the first decades of the twentieth century the relationship between ecology and scientific agriculture grew strained. Agriculturists narrowed their focus to increasing yields, and ecologists sought to establish their discipline as a distant theoretical science and so distanced themselves from its agricultural applications. By the end of World War I, the process of disciplinary specialization was well underway. In time, the two disciplines diverged so completely that the once vital connections between them were obscured and forgotten.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 76 FR 65411 - Specialty Crops; Import Regulations; Proposed Pistachio Import Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-21

    ... regulations for all domestic and imported peanuts marketed in the United States, for which USDA has...--Minimum Quality and Handling Standards for Domestic and Imported Peanuts Marketed in the United States... and submitted to a USDA or USDA-accredited laboratory for analysis. Test samples would be prepared...

  11. Few crop traits accurately predict variables important to productivity of processing sweet corn

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recovery, case production, and gross profit margin, hereafter called ‘processor variables’, are as important metrics to processing sweet corn as grain yield is to field corn production. However, crop traits such as ear number or ear mass alone are reported in sweet corn production research rather t...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. 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...

  5. Effects of agriculture crop residue burning on aerosol properties and long-range transport over northern India: A study using satellite data and model simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vijayakumar, K.; Safai, P. D.; Devara, P. C. S.; Rao, S. Vijaya Bhaskara; Jayasankar, C. K.

    2016-09-01

    Agriculture crop residue burning in the tropics is a major source of the global atmospheric aerosols and monitoring their long-range transport is an important element in climate change studies. In this paper, we study the effects of agriculture crop residue burning on aerosol properties and long-range transport over northern India during a smoke event that occurred between 09 and 17 November 2013, with the help of satellite measurements and model simulation data. Satellite data observations on aerosol properties suggested transport of particles from agriculture crop residue burning in Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) over large regions. Additionally, ECMWF winds at 850 hPa have been used to trace the source, path and spatial extent of smoke events. Most of the smoke aerosols, during the study period, travel from a west-to-east pathway from the source-to-sink region. Furthermore, aerosol vertical profiles from CALIPSO show a layer of thick smoke extending from surface to an altitude of about 3 km. Smoke aerosols emitted from biomass burning activity from Punjab have been found to be a major contributor to the deterioration of local air quality over the NE Indian region due to their long range transport.

  6. Biotechnological advancement in genetic improvement of broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica), an important vegetable crop.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Pankaj; Srivastava, Dinesh Kumar

    2016-07-01

    With the advent of molecular biotechnology, plant genetic engineering techniques have opened an avenue for the genetic improvement of important vegetable crops. Vegetable crop productivity and quality are seriously affected by various biotic and abiotic stresses which destabilize rural economies in many countries. Moreover, absence of proper post-harvest storage and processing facilities leads to qualitative and quantitative losses. In the past four decades, conventional breeding has significantly contributed to the improvement of vegetable yields, quality, post-harvest life, and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. However, there are many constraints in conventional breeding, which can only be overcome by advancements made in modern biology. Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) is an important vegetable crop, of the family Brassicaceae; however, various biotic and abiotic stresses cause enormous crop yield losses during the commercial cultivation of broccoli. Thus, genetic engineering can be used as a tool to add specific characteristics to existing cultivars. However, a pre-requisite for transferring genes into plants is the availability of efficient regeneration and transformation techniques. Recent advances in plant genetic engineering provide an opportunity to improve broccoli in many aspects. The goal of this review is to summarize genetic transformation studies on broccoli to draw the attention of researchers and scientists for its further genetic advancement.

  7. Conservation of Socioculturally Important Local Crop Biodiversity in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia: A Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balemie, Kebu; Singh, Ranjay K.

    2012-09-01

    In this study, we surveyed diversity in a range of local crops in the Lume and Gimbichu districts of Ethiopia, together with the knowledge of local people regarding crop uses, socio-economic importance, conservation, management and existing threats. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and participant observation. The study identified 28 farmers' varieties of 12 crop species. Among these, wheat ( Triticum turgidum) and tef ( Eragrostis tef) have high intra-specific diversity, with 9 and 6 varieties respectively. Self-seed supply or seed saving was the main (80 %) source of seeds for replanting. Agronomic performance (yield and pest resistance), market demand, nutritional and use diversity attributes of the crop varieties were highlighted as important criteria for making decisions regarding planting and maintenance. Over 74 % of the informants grow a combination of "improved" and farmers' varieties. Of the farmers' varieties, the most obvious decline and/or loss was reported for wheat varieties. Introduction of improved wheat varieties, pest infestation, shortage of land, low yield performance and climate variability were identified as the principal factors contributing to this loss or decline. Appropriate interventions for future conservation and sustainable use of farmers' varieties were suggested.

  8. Importance of Including Values Instruction As a Part of Vocational Agriculture Programs of Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Birkenholz, Robert J.; Kahler, Alan A.

    1982-01-01

    Vocational agriculture program participants were interviewed to determine the importance of including instruction in values development for students. Data analysis revealed that enhancing values is an important part of vocational agriculture programs. Students generally rated the importance of each value category lower than teachers,…

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Importance of Genetic Diversity Assessment in Crop Plants and Its Recent Advances: An Overview of Its Analytical Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Govindaraj, M.; Vetriventhan, M.; Srinivasan, M.

    2015-01-01

    The importance of plant genetic diversity (PGD) is now being recognized as a specific area since exploding population with urbanization and decreasing cultivable lands are the critical factors contributing to food insecurity in developing world. Agricultural scientists realized that PGD can be captured and stored in the form of plant genetic resources (PGR) such as gene bank, DNA library, and so forth, in the biorepository which preserve genetic material for long period. However, conserved PGR must be utilized for crop improvement in order to meet future global challenges in relation to food and nutritional security. This paper comprehensively reviews four important areas; (i) the significance of plant genetic diversity (PGD) and PGR especially on agriculturally important crops (mostly field crops); (ii) risk associated with narrowing the genetic base of current commercial cultivars and climate change; (iii) analysis of existing PGD analytical methods in pregenomic and genomic era; and (iv) modern tools available for PGD analysis in postgenomic era. This discussion benefits the plant scientist community in order to use the new methods and technology for better and rapid assessment, for utilization of germplasm from gene banks to their applied breeding programs. With the advent of new biotechnological techniques, this process of genetic manipulation is now being accelerated and carried out with more precision (neglecting environmental effects) and fast-track manner than the classical breeding techniques. It is also to note that gene banks look into several issues in order to improve levels of germplasm distribution and its utilization, duplication of plant identity, and access to database, for prebreeding activities. Since plant breeding research and cultivar development are integral components of improving food production, therefore, availability of and access to diverse genetic sources will ensure that the global food production network becomes more sustainable

  15. Importance of genetic diversity assessment in crop plants and its recent advances: an overview of its analytical perspectives.

    PubMed

    Govindaraj, M; Vetriventhan, M; Srinivasan, M

    2015-01-01

    The importance of plant genetic diversity (PGD) is now being recognized as a specific area since exploding population with urbanization and decreasing cultivable lands are the critical factors contributing to food insecurity in developing world. Agricultural scientists realized that PGD can be captured and stored in the form of plant genetic resources (PGR) such as gene bank, DNA library, and so forth, in the biorepository which preserve genetic material for long period. However, conserved PGR must be utilized for crop improvement in order to meet future global challenges in relation to food and nutritional security. This paper comprehensively reviews four important areas; (i) the significance of plant genetic diversity (PGD) and PGR especially on agriculturally important crops (mostly field crops); (ii) risk associated with narrowing the genetic base of current commercial cultivars and climate change; (iii) analysis of existing PGD analytical methods in pregenomic and genomic era; and (iv) modern tools available for PGD analysis in postgenomic era. This discussion benefits the plant scientist community in order to use the new methods and technology for better and rapid assessment, for utilization of germplasm from gene banks to their applied breeding programs. With the advent of new biotechnological techniques, this process of genetic manipulation is now being accelerated and carried out with more precision (neglecting environmental effects) and fast-track manner than the classical breeding techniques. It is also to note that gene banks look into several issues in order to improve levels of germplasm distribution and its utilization, duplication of plant identity, and access to database, for prebreeding activities. Since plant breeding research and cultivar development are integral components of improving food production, therefore, availability of and access to diverse genetic sources will ensure that the global food production network becomes more sustainable

  16. The Potential of Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) for Producing Important Components of Renewable Energy and Agricultural Products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwata, E.

    2012-04-01

    In agricultural systems, sustainable crop production is critical in meeting both environmental requirements and the limitations of drought imposed by the effects of global warming. The inputs for crop production and end use of the products should determine the choice of a crop particularly in environments prone to droughts. The objective of this paper is to highlight why a multi-purpose grain legume such as pigeonpea is an ideal crop that can be utilized for producing renewable energy. Firstly, it is highly tolerant to drought and does not require additional soil moisture after the seedling growth stage. The deep tape root extracts moisture and nutrients from deep layers of the soil concomitantly allowing for efficient nutrient recycling. The piscidic acid which is exuded from the roots enhances the solubilization of phosphorus in order to make it available for plant uptake. Secondly, the grain of pigeonpea is suitable for both human food and feedstocks. The grain is rich in oil, vitamins, minerals and protein. The grain can also be used for producing biofuel. In many countries particularly in the developing world, the stover is used as fuel wood or building (roofing) material, thus alleviating pressure on forest products. The crop is grown without the application of inorganic fertilizers as it can fix atmospheric nitrogen symbiotically in its root nodules. Pigeonpea is also ratoonable, producing two or more harvests per season. In addition, it is grown in mixed cropping systems thus optimizing land use. In these regards, pigeonpea is sustainable and environmentally friendly choice for agricultural production of food and energy balance.

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. [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

  4. 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

  5. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination.

    PubMed

    Rader, Romina; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A; Garratt, Michael P D; Howlett, Brad G; Winfree, Rachael; Cunningham, Saul A; Mayfield, Margaret M; Arthur, Anthony D; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brittain, Claire; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Chacoff, Natacha P; Entling, Martin H; Foully, Benjamin; Freitas, Breno M; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Griffin, Sean R; Gross, Caroline L; Herbertsson, Lina; Herzog, Felix; Hipólito, Juliana; Jaggar, Sue; Jauker, Frank; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kleijn, David; Krishnan, Smitha; Lemos, Camila Q; Lindström, Sandra A M; Mandelik, Yael; Monteiro, Victor M; Nelson, Warrick; Nilsson, Lovisa; Pattemore, David E; Pereira, Natália de O; Pisanty, Gideon; Potts, Simon G; Reemer, Menno; Rundlöf, Maj; Sheffield, Cory S; Scheper, Jeroen; Schüepp, Christof; Smith, Henrik G; Stanley, Dara A; Stout, Jane C; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Taki, Hisatomo; Vergara, Carlos H; Viana, Blandina F; Woyciechowski, Michal

    2016-01-05

    Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25-50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines.

  6. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination

    PubMed Central

    Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A.; Garratt, Michael P. D.; Howlett, Brad G.; Winfree, Rachael; Cunningham, Saul A.; Mayfield, Margaret M.; Arthur, Anthony D.; Andersson, Georg K. S.; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brittain, Claire; Carvalheiro, Luísa G.; Chacoff, Natacha P.; Entling, Martin H.; Foully, Benjamin; Freitas, Breno M.; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Griffin, Sean R.; Gross, Caroline L.; Herbertsson, Lina; Herzog, Felix; Hipólito, Juliana; Jaggar, Sue; Jauker, Frank; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kleijn, David; Krishnan, Smitha; Lemos, Camila Q.; Lindström, Sandra A. M.; Mandelik, Yael; Monteiro, Victor M.; Nelson, Warrick; Nilsson, Lovisa; Pattemore, David E.; de O. Pereira, Natália; Pisanty, Gideon; Potts, Simon G.; Reemer, Menno; Rundlöf, Maj; Sheffield, Cory S.; Scheper, Jeroen; Schüepp, Christof; Smith, Henrik G.; Stanley, Dara A.; Stout, Jane C.; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Taki, Hisatomo; Vergara, Carlos H.; Viana, Blandina F.; Woyciechowski, Michal

    2016-01-01

    Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25–50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines. PMID:26621730

  7. The Importance of Rotational Crops for Biodiversity Conservation in Mediterranean Areas.

    PubMed

    Chiatante, Gianpasquale; Meriggi, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Nowadays we are seeing the largest biodiversity loss since the extinction of the dinosaurs. To conserve biodiversity it is essential to plan protected areas using a prioritization approach, which takes into account the current biodiversity value of the sites. Considering that in the Mediterranean Basin the agro-ecosystems are one of the most important parts of the landscape, the conservation of crops is essential to biodiversity conservation. In the framework of agro-ecosystem conservation, farmland birds play an important role because of their representativeness, and because of their steady decline in the last Century in Western Europe. The main aim of this research was to define if crop dominated landscapes could be useful for biodiversity conservation in a Mediterranean area in which the landscape was modified by humans in the last thousand years and was affected by the important biogeographical phenomenon of peninsula effect. To assess this, we identify the hotspots and the coldspots of bird diversity in southern Italy both during the winter and in the breeding season. In particular we used a scoring method, defining a biodiversity value for each cell of a 1-km grid superimposed on the study area, using data collected by fieldwork following a stratified random sampling design. This value was analysed by a multiple linear regression analysis and was predicted in the whole study area. Then we defined the hotspots and the coldspots of the study area as 15% of the cells with higher and lower value of biodiversity, respectively. Finally, we used GAP analysis to compare hotspot distribution with the current network of protected areas. This study showed that the winter hotspots of bird diversity were associated with marshes and water bodies, shrublands, and irrigated crops, whilst the breeding hotspots were associated with more natural areas (e.g. transitional wood/shrubs), such as open areas (natural grasslands, pastures and not irrigated crops). Moreover, the

  8. The Importance of Rotational Crops for Biodiversity Conservation in Mediterranean Areas

    PubMed Central

    Chiatante, Gianpasquale; Meriggi, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Nowadays we are seeing the largest biodiversity loss since the extinction of the dinosaurs. To conserve biodiversity it is essential to plan protected areas using a prioritization approach, which takes into account the current biodiversity value of the sites. Considering that in the Mediterranean Basin the agro-ecosystems are one of the most important parts of the landscape, the conservation of crops is essential to biodiversity conservation. In the framework of agro-ecosystem conservation, farmland birds play an important role because of their representativeness, and because of their steady decline in the last Century in Western Europe. The main aim of this research was to define if crop dominated landscapes could be useful for biodiversity conservation in a Mediterranean area in which the landscape was modified by humans in the last thousand years and was affected by the important biogeographical phenomenon of peninsula effect. To assess this, we identify the hotspots and the coldspots of bird diversity in southern Italy both during the winter and in the breeding season. In particular we used a scoring method, defining a biodiversity value for each cell of a 1-km grid superimposed on the study area, using data collected by fieldwork following a stratified random sampling design. This value was analysed by a multiple linear regression analysis and was predicted in the whole study area. Then we defined the hotspots and the coldspots of the study area as 15% of the cells with higher and lower value of biodiversity, respectively. Finally, we used GAP analysis to compare hotspot distribution with the current network of protected areas. This study showed that the winter hotspots of bird diversity were associated with marshes and water bodies, shrublands, and irrigated crops, whilst the breeding hotspots were associated with more natural areas (e.g. transitional wood/shrubs), such as open areas (natural grasslands, pastures and not irrigated crops). Moreover, the

  9. 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...

  10. Identifying obstacles and ranking common biological control research priorities for Europe to manage most economically important pests in arable, vegetable and perennial crops.

    PubMed

    Lamichhane, Jay Ram; Bischoff-Schaefer, Monika; Bluemel, Sylvia; Dachbrodt-Saaydeh, Silke; Dreux, Laure; Jansen, Jean-Pierre; Kiss, Jozsef; Köhl, Jürgen; Kudsk, Per; Malausa, Thibaut; Messéan, Antoine; Nicot, Philippe C; Ricci, Pierre; Thibierge, Jérôme; Villeneuve, François

    2017-01-01

    EU agriculture is currently in transition from conventional crop protection to integrated pest management (IPM). Because biocontrol is a key component of IPM, many European countries recently have intensified their national efforts on biocontrol research and innovation (R&I), although such initiatives are often fragmented. The operational outputs of national efforts would benefit from closer collaboration among stakeholders via transnationally coordinated approaches, as most economically important pests are similar across Europe. This paper proposes a common European framework on biocontrol R&I. It identifies generic R&I bottlenecks and needs as well as priorities for three crop types (arable, vegetable and perennial crops). The existing gap between the market offers of biocontrol solutions and the demand of growers, the lengthy and expensive registration process for biocontrol solutions and their varying effectiveness due to variable climatic conditions and site-specific factors across Europe are key obstacles hindering the development and adoption of biocontrol solutions in Europe. Considering arable, vegetable and perennial crops, a dozen common target pests are identified for each type of crop and ranked by order of importance at European level. Such a ranked list indicates numerous topics on which future joint transnational efforts would be justified. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  11. Biodiversity of Aspergillus Species in Some Important Agricultural Products

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The genus Aspergillus is one of the most important filamentous fungal genera. Aspergillus species are used in the fermentation industry, but they are also responsible of various plant and food secondary rot, with the consequence of possible accumulation of mycotoxins. The aflatoxin-producing A. fl...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Advancing the climate data driven crop-modeling studies in the dry areas of Northern Syria and Lebanon: an important first step for assessing impact of future climate.

    PubMed

    Dixit, Prakash N; Telleria, Roberto

    2015-04-01

    Inter-annual and seasonal variability in climatic parameters, most importantly rainfall, have potential to cause climate-induced risk in long-term crop production. Short-term field studies do not capture the full nature of such risk and the extent to which modifications to crop, soil and water management recommendations may be made to mitigate the extent of such risk. Crop modeling studies driven by long-term daily weather data can predict the impact of climate-induced risk on crop growth and yield however, the availability of long-term daily weather data can present serious constraints to the use of crop models. To tackle this constraint, two weather generators namely, LARS-WG and MarkSim, were evaluated in order to assess their capabilities of reproducing frequency distributions, means, variances, dry spell and wet chains of observed daily precipitation, maximum and minimum temperature, and solar radiation for the eight locations across cropping areas of Northern Syria and Lebanon. Further, the application of generated long-term daily weather data, with both weather generators, in simulating barley growth and yield was also evaluated. We found that overall LARS-WG performed better than MarkSim in generating daily weather parameters and in 50 years continuous simulation of barley growth and yield. Our findings suggest that LARS-WG does not necessarily require long-term e.g., >30 years observed weather data for calibration as generated results proved to be satisfactory with >10 years of observed data except in area with higher altitude. Evaluating these weather generators and the ability of generated weather data to perform long-term simulation of crop growth and yield is an important first step to assess the impact of future climate on yields, and to identify promising technologies to make agricultural systems more resilient in the given region.

  18. Regional hybrid broccoli trials provide a means to further breeding efforts of this increasingly important vegetable crop

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) entitled “Establishing an Eastern Broccoli Industry” is funded under the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI), and a primary component of the project is a system of regional hybrid broccoli trials conducted along the eastern seaboard. Hybrids currently ...

  19. 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.

  20. Phylogeny of economically important insect pests that infesting several crops species in Malaysia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghazali, Siti Zafirah; Zain, Badrul Munir Md.; Yaakop, Salmah

    2014-09-01

    This paper reported molecular data on insect pests of commercial crops in Peninsular Malaysia. Fifteen insect pests (Metisa plana, Calliteara horsefeldii, Cotesia vestalis, Bactrocera papayae, Bactrocera carambolae, Bactrocera latifrons, Conopomorpha cramella, Sesamia inferens, Chilo polychrysa, Rhynchophorus vulneratus, and Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) of nine crops were sampled (oil palm, coconut, paddy, cocoa, starfruit, angled loofah, guava, chili and mustard) and also four species that belong to the fern's pest (Herpetogramma platycapna) and storage and rice pests (Tribolium castaneum, Oryzaephilus surinamensis and Cadra cautella). The presented phylogeny summarized the initial phylogenetic hypothesis, which concerning by implementation of the economically important insect pests. In this paper, phylogenetic relationships among 39 individuals of 15 species that belonging to three orders under 12 genera were inferred from DNA sequences of mitochondrial marker, cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and nuclear marker, ribosomal DNA 28S D2 region. The phylogenies resulted from the phylogenetic analyses of both genes are relatively similar, but differ in the sequence of evolution. Interestingly, this most recent molecular data of COI sequences data by using Bayesian Inference analysis resulted a more-resolved phylogeny that corroborated with traditional hypotheses of holometabolan relationships based on traditional hypotheses of holometabolan relationships and most of recently molecular study compared to 28S sequences. This finding provides the information on relationships of pests species, which infested several crops in Malaysia and also estimation on Holometabola's order relationships. The identification of the larval stages of insect pests could be done accurately, without waiting the emergence of adults and supported by the phylogenetic tree.

  1. Behavior of atrazine in limited irrigation cropping systems in colorado: prior use is important.

    PubMed

    Shaner, Dale L; Wiles, Lori; Hansen, Neil

    2009-01-01

    Glyphosate-resistant (GR) corn may be a major component of new cropping systems to optimize the use of limited irrigation water supply while sustaining production. Because atrazine is an important tool for residual weed control in GR corn, we examined atrazine binding to soil, dissipation, movement, and early season weed control in limited and full irrigation cropping systems. These systems included continuous corn under conventional tillage and full irrigation (CCC-FI) and under no-tillage and deficit irrigation (CCC-DI), a sunflower-wheat-corn rotation under no-tillage and deficit irrigation (SWC-DI), and a wheat-fallow-wheat-corn rotation under no tillage and natural precipitation (WFWC-NP). Crop rotation and herbicide use history influenced atrazine behavior more than amount or type of irrigation. Atrazine dissipated more rapidly in the top 30 cm of soil in the CCC-FI and CCC-DI plots (half-life [T(1/2)] = 3-12 d), which had received previous applications of the herbicide, compared with the SWC-DI and WFWC-NP plots, which had no history of atrazine use (T(1/2) = 15-22 d). Laboratory assays indicated that the different rates of degradation were at least partly due to differences in microbial degradation in the soil. Atrazine moved the most in the top 30 cm in the SWC-DI and WFWC-NP plots. This greater movement is probably due to the slower rate of atrazine degradation. Studies of the behavior of pre-emergence herbicides in new limited irrigation cropping systems must consider all characteristics of the systems, not just amount and timing of irrigation.

  2. Nutrient uptake by agricultural crops from biochar-amended soils: results from two field experiments in Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karer, Jasmin; Zehetner, Franz; Kloss, Stefanie; Wimmer, Bernhard; Soja, Gerhard

    2013-04-01

    The use of biochar as soil amendment is considered as a promising agricultural soil management technique, combining carbon sequestration and soil fertility improvements. These expectations are largely founded on positive experiences with biochar applications to impoverished or degraded tropical soils. The validity of these results for soils in temperate climates needs confirmation from field experiments with typical soils representative for intensive agricultural production areas. Frequently biochar is mixed with other organic additives like compost. As these two materials interact with each other and each one may vary considerably in its basic characteristics, it is difficult to attribute the effects of the combined additive to one of its components and to a specific physico-chemical parameter. Therefore investigations of the amendment efficacy require the study of the pure components to characterize their specific behavior in soil. This is especially important for adsorption behavior of biochar for macro- and micronutrients because in soil there are multiple nutrient sinks that compete with plant roots for vital elements. Therefore this contribution presents results from a field amendment study with pure biochar that had the objective to characterize the macro- and microelement uptake of crops from different soils in two typical Austrian areas of agricultural production. At two locations in North and South-East Austria, two identical field experiments on different soils (Chernozem and Cambisol) were installed in 2011 with varying biochar additions (0, 30 and 90 t/ha) and two nitrogen levels. The biochar was a product from slow pyrolysis of wood (SC Romchar SRL). During the installation of the experiments, the biochar fraction of <2 mm was mixed with surface soil to a depth of 15 cm in plots of 33 m2 each (n=4). Barley (at the Chernozem soil) and maize (at the Cambisol) were cultivated according to standard agricultural practices. The highest crop yields at both

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Importance of Including Language Arts Instruction as Part of the Vocational Agriculture Program of Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, Richard M.; Kahler, Alan A.

    1979-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the importance of including language arts instruction as part of the vocational agriculture program. Perceptions of students, parents, teachers, principals, and counselors were examined to identify specific skills to be integrated into vocational agriculture instruction. (SK)

  8. Nitrous Oxide Emission and Denitrifier Abundance in Two Agricultural Soils Amended with Crop Residues and Urea in the North China Plain

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Haiyang; Liu, Yuan; Bai, Xueying; Ma, Dongyun; Zhu, Yunji; Wang, Chenyang; Guo, Tiancai

    2016-01-01

    from the treatments of 250 kg N ha-1 were 1.1–3.3 times higher than those of treatments with 200 kg N ha-1 in both soils with adding equal amounts of the same type of crop residue. Abundance of the 16S rRNA gene did not significantly change in all treatments in two soils, but the nosZ and nirS genes were more abundant in soils amended with crop residues compared with CK or N-only treatments. N2O emission, however, were not related to the abundance of denitrifier containing nirS or nosZ. The research provided some information regarding the effect of crop residues with N fertilizer on N2O emissions and denitrifier abundances in two soils. Our results imply the property of crop residue and rate of N fertilizer are important influencing factors of N2O emission when crop residues combined with N fertilizer are applied to different agricultural soils. PMID:27152647

  9. Nitrous Oxide Emission and Denitrifier Abundance in Two Agricultural Soils Amended with Crop Residues and Urea in the North China Plain.

    PubMed

    Gao, Jianmin; Xie, Yingxin; Jin, Haiyang; Liu, Yuan; Bai, Xueying; Ma, Dongyun; Zhu, Yunji; Wang, Chenyang; Guo, Tiancai

    2016-01-01

    from the treatments of 250 kg N ha-1 were 1.1-3.3 times higher than those of treatments with 200 kg N ha-1 in both soils with adding equal amounts of the same type of crop residue. Abundance of the 16S rRNA gene did not significantly change in all treatments in two soils, but the nosZ and nirS genes were more abundant in soils amended with crop residues compared with CK or N-only treatments. N2O emission, however, were not related to the abundance of denitrifier containing nirS or nosZ. The research provided some information regarding the effect of crop residues with N fertilizer on N2O emissions and denitrifier abundances in two soils. Our results imply the property of crop residue and rate of N fertilizer are important influencing factors of N2O emission when crop residues combined with N fertilizer are applied to different agricultural soils.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. Multi-temporal UAV based data for mapping crop type and structure in smallholder dominated Tanzanian agricultural landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagol, J. R.; Chung, C.; Dempewolf, J.; Maurice, S.; Mbungu, W.; Tumbo, S.

    2015-12-01

    Timely mapping and monitoring of crops like Maize, an important food security crop in Tanzania, can facilitate timely response by government and non-government organizations to food shortage or surplus conditions. Small UAVs can play an important role in linking the spaceborne remote sensing data and ground based measurement to improve the calibration and validation of satellite based estimates of in-season crop metrics. In Tanzania most of the growing season is often obscured by clouds. UAV data, if collected within a stratified statistical sampling framework, can also be used to directly in lieu of spaceborne data to infer mid-season yield estimates at regional scales.Here we present an object based approach to estimate crop metrics like crop type, area, and height using multi-temporal UAV based imagery. The methods were tested at three 1km2 plots in Kilosa, Njombe, and Same districts in Tanzania. At these sites both ground based and UAV based data were collected on a monthly time-step during the year 2015 growing season. SenseFly eBee drone with RGB and NIR-R-G camera was used to collect data. Crop type classification accuracies of above 85% were easily achieved.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Worldwide Distribution of Potato-Cyst Nematodes and Their Importance in Crop Production

    PubMed Central

    Mai, W. F.

    1977-01-01

    The potato-cyst nematodes Heterodera rostochiensis and H. pallida are important pathogens of potatoes, a basic food crop. When soil populations of either species are high, potato yields are often less than the seed planted. Apparently, these nematodes originated in the Andean mountains of South America, the home of the potato. One or both species have spread from this region to approximately 47 countries. The two species may occur together or separately in potato-growing areas. Although these nematodes can be spread in numerous ways, contaminated soil associated with seed potatoes, farm machinery, and reusable containers is among the most important. An integrated control program used in the U.S.A. is described. PMID:19305567

  3. Estimating the Effect of Climate Change on Crop Yields and Farmland Values: The Importance of Extreme Temperatures

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This is a presentation titled Estimating the Effect of Climate Change on Crop Yields and Farmland Values: The Importance of Extreme Temperatures that was given for the National Center for Environmental Economics

  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. Genetic diversity and population structure of an important wild berry crop

    PubMed Central

    Zoratti, Laura; Palmieri, Luisa; Jaakola, Laura; Häggman, Hely

    2015-01-01

    The success of plant breeding in the coming years will be associated with access to new sources of variation, which will include landraces and wild relatives of crop species. In order to access the reservoir of favourable alleles within wild germplasm, knowledge about the genetic diversity and the population structure of wild species is needed. Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is one of the most important wild crops growing in the forests of Northern European countries, noted for its nutritional properties and its beneficial effects on human health. Assessment of the genetic diversity of wild bilberry germplasm is needed for efforts such as in situ conservation, on-farm management and development of plant breeding programmes. However, to date, only a few local (small-scale) genetic studies of this species have been performed. We therefore conducted a study of genetic variability within 32 individual samples collected from different locations in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Germany, and analysed genetic diversity among geographic groups. Four selected inter-simple sequence repeat primers allowed the amplification of 127 polymorphic loci which, based on analysis of variance, made it possible to identify 85 % of the genetic diversity within studied bilberry populations, being in agreement with the mixed-mating system of bilberry. Significant correlations were obtained between geographic and genetic distances for the entire set of samples. The analyses also highlighted the presence of a north–south genetic gradient, which is in accordance with recent findings on phenotypic traits of bilberry. PMID:26483325

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Climate impacts on European agriculture and water management in the context of adaptation and mitigation--the importance of an integrated approach.

    PubMed

    Falloon, Pete; Betts, Richard

    2010-11-01

    We review and qualitatively assess the importance of interactions and feedbacks in assessing climate change impacts on water and agriculture in Europe. We focus particularly on the impact of future hydrological changes on agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation and adaptation options. Future projected trends in European agriculture include northward movement of crop suitability zones and increasing crop productivity in Northern Europe, but declining productivity and suitability in Southern Europe. This may be accompanied by a widening of water resource differences between the North and South, and an increase in extreme rainfall events and droughts. Changes in future hydrology and water management practices will influence agricultural adaptation measures and alter the effectiveness of agricultural mitigation strategies. These interactions are often highly complex and influenced by a number of factors which are themselves influenced by climate. Mainly positive impacts may be anticipated for Northern Europe, where agricultural adaptation may be shaped by reduced vulnerability of production, increased water supply and reduced water demand. However, increasing flood hazards may present challenges for agriculture, and summer irrigation shortages may result from earlier spring runoff peaks in some regions. Conversely, the need for effective adaptation will be greatest in Southern Europe as a result of increased production vulnerability, reduced water supply and increased demands for irrigation. Increasing flood and drought risks will further contribute to the need for robust management practices. The impacts of future hydrological changes on agricultural mitigation in Europe will depend on the balance between changes in productivity and rates of decomposition and GHG emission, both of which depend on climatic, land and management factors. Small increases in European soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks per unit land area are anticipated considering changes in climate

  14. Wheat forecast economics effect study. [value of improved information on crop inventories, production, imports and exports

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mehra, R. K.; Rouhani, R.; Jones, S.; Schick, I.

    1980-01-01

    A model to assess the value of improved information regarding the inventories, productions, exports, and imports of crop on a worldwide basis is discussed. A previously proposed model is interpreted in a stochastic control setting and the underlying assumptions of the model are revealed. In solving the stochastic optimization problem, the Markov programming approach is much more powerful and exact as compared to the dynamic programming-simulation approach of the original model. The convergence of a dual variable Markov programming algorithm is shown to be fast and efficient. A computer program for the general model of multicountry-multiperiod is developed. As an example, the case of one country-two periods is treated and the results are presented in detail. A comparison with the original model results reveals certain interesting aspects of the algorithms and the dependence of the value of information on the incremental cost function.

  15. Development of the Land-use and Agricultural Management Practice web-Service (LAMPS) for generating crop rotations in space and time

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agroecosystem models and conservation planning tools require spatially and temporally explicit input data about agricultural management operations. The Land-use and Agricultural Management Practices web-Service (LAMPS) provides crop rotation and management information for user-specified areas within...

  16. Development of agricultural biotechnology and biosafety regulations used to assess the safety of genetically modified crops in Iran.

    PubMed

    Mousavi, Amir; Malboobi, Mohammad A; Esmailzadeh, Nasrin S

    2007-01-01

    Rapid progress in the application of biotechnological methodologies and development of genetically modified crops in Iran necessitated intensive efforts to establish proper organizations and prepare required rules and regulations at the national level to ensure safe application of biotechnology in all pertinent aspects. Practically, preparation of a national biotechnology strategic plan in the country coincided with development of a national biosafety framework that was the basis for the drafted biosafety law. Although biosafety measures were observed by researchers voluntarily, the establishment of national biosafety organizations since the year 2000 built a great capacity to deal with biosafety issues in the present and future time, particularly with respect to food and agricultural biotechnology.

  17. Importance of nitric oxide in cadmium stress tolerance in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Gill, Sarvajeet Singh; Hasanuzzaman, Mirza; Nahar, Kamrun; Macovei, Anca; Tuteja, Narendra

    2013-02-01

    Cadmium (Cd(2+)) is a widespread heavy metal pollutant in the environment with a long biological half-life, originating mainly from industrial processes and phosphate fertilizers. It is easily taken up by plants, resulting in toxicity symptoms, such as chlorosis, wilting, growth reduction, and cell death. This cellular toxicity might result from interactions with vital metabolic pathways, carboxyl or thiol groups of proteins and reactive oxygen species (ROS) burst in plants. Plant exposure even to low concentrations of Cd may lead to cell death but the mechanism of its toxicity is still debatable. Therefore, exploring various ways to improve crop productivity and/or alleviate Cd stress effects is one of the major areas of concern. Nitric oxide (NO) is a hydrophobic gaseous molecule involved in various physiological processes such as germination, root growth, stomatal closure, control of the flowering timing etc. NO also functions as cell signaling molecule in plants and play important roles in the regulation of plant responses to both abiotic and biotic stress conditions. At the molecular level, NO signaling includes protein modification by binding to critical cysteine residues, heme or iron-sulfur centers and tyrosine residue nitration via peroxynitrite formation (ONOO(-)), mobilization of secondary messengers (Ca(2+), cyclic GMP and cyclic ADP-Rib) and modulation of protein kinase activities. Significant research had been done to understand the NO biosynthesis and signaling in plants under stress, but several questions still need to be answered. The present review is focused specifically on the importance of NO as Cd stress modulator in crop plants.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexander, Sidko; Pugacheva, Irina; Shevyrnogov, Anatoly

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A need to increase agricultural production across the world to ensure continued food security appears to be at odds with the urgency to reduce the negative environmental impacts of intensive agriculture. Around the world, intensification has been associated with massive simplification and uniformity...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  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. Allelopathic cover crop prior to seeding is more important than subsequent grazing/mowing in Grassland establishment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Milchunas, D.G.; Vandever, M.W.; Ball, L.O.; Hyberg, S.

    2011-01-01

    The effects of grazing, mowing, and type of cover crop were evaluated in a previous winter wheat-fallow cropland seeded to grassland under the Conservation Reserve Program in eastern Colorado. Prior to seeding, the fallow strips were planted to forage sorghum or wheat in alternating strips (cover crops), with no grazing, moderate to heavy grazing, and mowing (grazing treatments) superimposed 4 yr after planting and studied for 3 yr. Plots previously in wheat had more annual and exotic species than sorghum plots. Concomitantly, there were much greater abundances of perennial native grass and all native species in sorghum than wheat cropped areas. The competitive advantage gained by seeded species in sorghum plots resulted in large increases in rhizomatous western wheatgrass. Sorghum is known to be allelopathic and is used in crop agriculture rotations to suppress weeds and increase crop yields, consistent with the responses of weed and desired native species in this study. Grazing treatment had relatively minor effects on basal and canopy cover composition of annual or exotic species versus perennial native grass or native species. Although grazing treatment never was a significant main effect, it occasionally modified cover crop or year effects. Opportunistic grazing reduced exotic cheatgrass by year 3 but also decreased the native palatable western wheatgrass. Mowing was a less effective weed control practice than grazing. Vegetative basal cover and aboveground primary production varied primarily with year. Common management practices for revegetation/restoration currently use herbicides and mowing as weed control practices and restrict grazing in all stages of development. Results suggest that allelopathic cover crop selection and opportunistic grazing can be effective alternative grass establishment and weed control practices. Susceptibility, resistance, and interactions of weed and seeded species to allelopathic cover species/cultivars may be a fruitful area of

  6. Allelopathic cover crop prior to seeding is more important than subsequent grazing/mowing in grassland establishment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Milchunas, Daniel G.; Vandever, Mark W.; Ball, Leonard O.; Hyberg, Skip

    2011-01-01

    The effects of grazing, mowing, and type of cover crop were evaluated in a previous winter wheat–fallow cropland seeded to grassland under the Conservation Reserve Program in eastern Colorado. Prior to seeding, the fallow strips were planted to forage sorghum or wheat in alternating strips (cover crops), with no grazing, moderate to heavy grazing, and mowing (grazing treatments) superimposed 4 yr after planting and studied for 3 yr. Plots previously in wheat had more annual and exotic species than sorghum plots. Concomitantly, there were much greater abundances of perennial native grass and all native species in sorghum than wheat cropped areas. The competitive advantage gained by seeded species in sorghum plots resulted in large increases in rhizomatous western wheatgrass. Sorghum is known to be allelopathic and is used in crop agriculture rotations to suppress weeds and increase crop yields, consistent with the responses of weed and desired native species in this study. Grazing treatment had relatively minor effects on basal and canopy cover composition of annual or exotic species versus perennial native grass or native species. Although grazing treatment never was a significant main effect, it occasionally modified cover crop or year effects. Opportunistic grazing reduced exotic cheatgrass by year 3 but also decreased the native palatable western wheatgrass. Mowing was a less effective weed control practice than grazing. Vegetative basal cover and aboveground primary production varied primarily with year. Common management practices for revegetation/restoration currently use herbicides and mowing as weed control practices and restrict grazing in all stages of development. Results suggest that allelopathic cover crop selection and opportunistic grazing can be effective alternative grass establishment and weed control practices. Susceptibility, resistance, and interactions of weed and seeded species to allelopathic cover species/cultivars may be a fruitful area

  7. Preparatory steps for a robust dynamic model for organically bound tritium dynamics in agricultural crops

    SciTech Connect

    Melintescu, A.; Galeriu, D.; Diabate, S.; Strack, S.

    2015-03-15

    The processes involved in tritium transfer in crops are complex and regulated by many feedback mechanisms. A full mechanistic model is difficult to develop due to the complexity of the processes involved in tritium transfer and environmental conditions. First, a review of existing models (ORYZA2000, CROPTRIT and WOFOST) presenting their features and limits, is made. Secondly, the preparatory steps for a robust model are discussed, considering the role of dry matter and photosynthesis contribution to the OBT (Organically Bound Tritium) dynamics in crops.

  8. Herbicide-resistant crop biotechnology: potential and pitfalls

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Herbicide-resistant crops are an important agricultural biotechnology that can enable farmers to effectively control weeds without harming their crops. Glyphosate-resistant (i.e. Roundup Ready) crops have been the most commercially successful varieties of herbicide-resistant crops and have been plan...

  9. Biogenic Volatile Organic Compound (BVOC) emissions from agricultural crop species: is guttation a possible source for methanol emissions following light/dark transition ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mozaffar, Ahsan; Amelynck, Crist; Bachy, Aurélie; Digrado, Anthony; Delaplace, Pierre; du Jardin, Patrick; Fauconnier, Marie-Laure; Schoon, Niels; Aubinet, Marc; Heinesch, Bernard

    2015-04-01

    In the framework of the CROSTVOC (CROp STress VOC) project, the exchange of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) between two important agricultural crop species, maize and winter wheat, and the atmosphere has recently been measured during an entire growing season by using the eddy covariance technique. Because of the co-variation of BVOC emission drivers in field conditions, laboratory studies were initiated in an environmental chamber in order to disentangle the responses of the emissions to variations of the individual environmental parameters (such as PPFD and temperature) and to diverse abiotic stress factors. Young plants were enclosed in transparent all-Teflon dynamic enclosures (cuvettes) through which BVOC-free and RH-controlled air was sent. BVOC enriched air was subsequently sampled from the plant cuvettes and an empty cuvette (background) and analyzed for BVOCs in a high sensitivity Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometer (hs-PTR-MS) and for CO2 in a LI-7000 non-dispersive IR gas analyzer. Emissions were monitored at constant temperature (25 °C) and at a stepwise varying PPFD pattern (0-650 µmol m-2 s-1). For maize plants, sudden light/dark transitions at the end of the photoperiod were accompanied by prompt and considerable increases in methanol (m/z 33) and water vapor (m/z 39) emissions. Moreover, guttation droplets appeared on the sides and the tips of the leaves within a few minutes after light/dark transition. Therefore the assumption has been raised that methanol is also coming out with guttation fluid from the leaves. Consequently, guttation fluid was collected from young maize and wheat plants, injected in an empty enclosure and sampled by PTR-MS. Methanol and a large number of other compounds were observed from guttation fluid. Recent studies have shown that guttation from agricultural crops frequently occurs in field conditions. Further research is required to find out the source strength of methanol emissions by this guttation

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  11. New roller concepts for mechanical terminating cover crops in conservation agriculture in the southern United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rollers may provide a viable option to herbicides for terminating cover crops; however, excessive vibration generated by rollers and transferred to tractors hinders adoption of this technology in the US. To avoid excessive vibration, producers must limit their operational speed, which increases time...

  12. Biochemical suitability of crop residues for cellulosic ethanol: disincentives to nitrogen fertilization in corn agriculture.

    PubMed

    Gallagher, Morgan E; Hockaday, William C; Masiello, Caroline A; Snapp, Sieglinde; McSwiney, Claire P; Baldock, Jeffrey A

    2011-03-01

    Concerns about energy security and climate change have increased biofuel demand, particularly ethanol produced from cellulosic feedstocks (e.g., food crop residues). A central challenge to cropping for cellulosic ethanol is the potential environmental damage from increased fertilizer use. Previous analyses have assumed that cropping for carbohydrate in residue will require the same amount of fertilizer as cropping for grain. Using (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance, we show that increases in biomass in response to fertilization are not uniform across biochemical classes (carbohydrate, protein, lipid, lignin) or tissues (leaf and stem, grain, reproductive support). Although corn grain responds vigorously and nonlinearly, corn residue shows only modest increases in carbohydrate yields in response to high levels of fertilization (25% increase with 202 kg N ha(-1)). Lignin yields in the residue increased almost twice as much as carbohydrate yields in response to nitrogen, implying that residue feedstock quality declines as more fertilizer is applied. Fertilization also increases the decomposability of corn residue, implying that soil carbon sequestration becomes less efficient with increased fertilizer. Our results suggest that even when corn is grown for grain, benefits of fertilization decline rapidly after the ecosystem's N demands are met. Heavy application of fertilizer yields minimal grain benefits and almost no benefits in residue carbohydrates, while degrading the cellulosic ethanol feedstock quality and soil carbon sequestration capacity.

  13. A new expanded host range of Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus includes three agricultural crops.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus (CYSDV) was identified in the fall of 2006 affecting cucurbit production in the Imperial Valley of California, the adjacent Yuma, AZ region, as well as nearby Sonora, Mexico. There was nearly universal infection of fall melon crops in 2006 and 2007, and late,...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. 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…

  18. The importance of comprehensive agricultural education in land-grant institutions: a historical perspective.

    PubMed

    Grant, P M; Field, T G; Green, R D; Rollin, B E

    2000-06-01

    Any thorough examination of the present and future of agricultural education must certainly begin with a look into its past. Since the creation of the United States, many leading American philosophers have viewed a strong agrarian culture as the bedrock of American vigor. These same philosophers repeatedly noted the significance of comprehensive agricultural education to a nation rich in agricultural wealth. The signing of the Agricultural Colleges Act legitimized the concept of formal education in the agricultural sciences and provided funding for such education. The Act, which came to be known as the Morrill Act, after one of its primary authors, stressed the importance of comprehensive education. In fact, the inclusion of liberal studies was specifically mentioned in the Morrill Act and was defended repeatedly by Morrill himself. Comprehensive education prevented graduating technically trained students who were lacking in the basic outcomes of education--critical, comprehensive problem solving, cohesive thought, and effective communication. However, throughout history, the demands of a growing population coupled with rapid advancements in scientific knowledge led to a gradual move away from comprehensive education in agricultural sciences toward increasing specialization, resulting in more narrowly trained students. Today's agricultural students are technically well versed but often lack the skill and knowledge required for cohesive thought and critical problem solving. Addressing the multitude of challenges facing leaders in the future of agriculture requires much more than technical skill. These challenges require quick, yet careful thinkers and communicators who can respond to changing market structure and consumer demand in a dynamic way. Students who are a product of a conscious move toward amalgamation of burgeoning scientific knowledge and technical prowess with an integrative education emphasizing relationships between disciplines would better serve

  19. 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.

  20. The soil moisture regimes beneath forest and an agricultural crop in southern India--Measurement and modelling

    SciTech Connect

    Harding, R.J.; Hall, R.L.; Swaminath, M.H.; Murthy, K.V.

    1992-12-31

    The environmental effects of plantations of fast growing tree species has been a subject of some controversy in recent years. Extensive soil moisture measurements were made at three sites in Karnataka, southern India. At each site measurements were made beneath a number of vegetation types. These included fast growing tree species (Eucalyptus, Casuarina and Leucaena), degraded natural forest and an agricultural crop (ragi). The measurements indicate that beneath mature forest the available soil water is exhausted towards the end of the dry season, usually by March. The soil only becomes completely wetted if the subsequent monsoon has above average rainfall; during the weak monsoon of 1989 the soil remained approximately 150 mm below field capacity. After the monsoon (and during breaks in the monsoon) soil moisture depletion is between three and five mm per day. This rate decreases as the soil drys out. All the mature forest types show a similar soil water regime. This contrasts strongly with that of the agricultural crop, which shows much smaller changes. A range of soil water accounting models was applied to these data. The most successful are those which use the Penman formulation to estimate the potential evaporation and include a two-layer soil water depletion model. The more general Penman-Monteith formulation was also tested.

  1. Agriculture Crop Burning in Northwestern India and Its Impact on Atmospheric Pollution and Air Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, R. P.; Chauhan, A.; Gonzalez Abad, G.

    2014-12-01

    Crop burning season, over northern India, occurs during October-November and April-May after harvesting season. The mechanized harvesting started in 1986, and every year crop residues are burnt in the northwestern parts of India. During post-monsoon season, October - November, the boundary layer is shallow; as a result the crop burning greatly impacts the regional air quality and climate of the northern parts of south Asia. Due to intense burning episodes, heavy smoke pollution-laden plumes are transported all along the Indo-Gangetic basin in the northern parts of India, depending upon diurnal changes in the wind patterns. We find that, in general, the dominant westerly winds transport the plumes and emissions far away from the source region up to the eastern parts of Indo-Gangetic basin, further dispersing over central India to the south. We use retrievals of formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide and Aerosol Index from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) onboard NASA Aura satellite together with Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard NASA Terra and Aqua fire counts to assess the seasonal variation and geographical extent of the emissions due to burning of crop residues. In addition, our results, based on satellite measurements, indicate that the smoke plumes and biomass burning emissions are also transported over the Himalayan region and beyond, resulting in enhanced concentrations of aerosol loading and trace gases. Overall, our findings suggest that, during post-monsoon season, crop burning smoke plumes and emissions are the main cause of poor air quality, high atmospheric pollution and dense haze/smog, especially in the Indo-Gangetic basin.

  2. Behavior of Atrazine In Limited Irrigation Cropping Systems in Colorado: Prior Use Is Important

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Irrigation Water Optimization Project was begun in 2005 at Colorado State University to develop cropping systems to optimize use of limited irrigation water supply while sustaining production. Corn is a major component of many of these cropping systems and atrazine is used to provide residual w...

  3. Impacts of elevated atmospheric CO2 on nutrient content and yield of important food crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One of the many ways that climate change may affect human health is by altering the nutrient content of food crops. However, previous attempts to study the effects of increased atmospheric CO2 on crop nutrition have been limited by small sample sizes and/or artificial growing conditions. Here we p...

  4. The importance of reproductive barriers and the effect of allopolyploidization on crop breeding

    PubMed Central

    Tonosaki, Kaoru; Osabe, Kenji; Kawanabe, Takahiro; Fujimoto, Ryo

    2016-01-01

    Inter-specific hybrids are a useful source for increasing genetic diversity. Some reproductive barriers before and/or after fertilization prevent production of hybrid plants by inter-specific crossing. Therefore, techniques to overcome the reproductive barrier have been developed, and have contributed to hybridization breeding. In recent studies, identification of molecules involved in plant reproduction has been studied to understand the mechanisms of reproductive barriers. Revealing the molecular mechanisms of reproductive barriers may allow us to overcome reproductive barriers in inter-specific crossing, and to efficiently produce inter-specific hybrids in cross-combinations that cannot be produced through artificial techniques. Inter-specific hybrid plants can potentially serve as an elite material for plant breeding, produced through the merging of genomes of parental species by allopolyploidization. Allopolyploidization provides some benefits, such as heterosis, increased genetic diversity and phenotypic variability, which are caused by dynamic changes of the genome and epigenome. Understanding of allopolyploidization mechanisms is important for practical utilization of inter-specific hybrids as a breeding material. This review discusses the importance of reproductive barriers and the effect of allopolyploidization in crop breeding programs. PMID:27436943

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

    PubMed

    Ajmal, M; Khan, M A

    1986-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marques, G.

    2015-12-01

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

  8. An automatic agricultural zone classification procedure for crop inventory satellite images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parada, N. D. J. (Principal Investigator); Kux, H. J.; Velasco, F. R. D.; Deoliveira, M. O. B.

    1982-01-01

    A classification procedure for assessing crop areal proportion in multispectral scanner image is discussed. The procedure is into four parts: labeling; classification; proportion estimation; and evaluation. The procedure also has the following characteristics: multitemporal classification; the need for a minimum field information; and verification capability between automatic classification and analyst labeling. The processing steps and the main algorithms involved are discussed. An outlook on the future of this technology is also presented.

  9. 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.

  10. Global potential to increase crop production through water management in rainfed agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rost, Stefanie; Gerten, Dieter; Hoff, Holger; Lucht, Wolfgang; Falkenmark, Malin; Rockström, Johan

    2009-12-01

    This modeling study explores—spatially explicitly, for current and projected future climate, and for different management intensity levels—the potential for increasing global crop production through on-farm water management strategies: (a) reducing soil evaporation ('vapor shift') and (b) collecting runoff on cropland and using it during dry spells ('runoff harvesting'). A moderate scenario, implying both a 25% reduction in evaporation and a 25% collection of runoff, suggests that global crop production can be increased by 19%, which is comparable with the effect of current irrigation (17%). Climate change alone (three climate models, SRES A2r emissions and population, constant land use) will reduce global crop production by 9% by 2050, which could be buffered by a vapor shift level of 50% or a water harvesting level of 25%. Even if realization of the beneficial effects of rising atmospheric CO2 concentration upon plants was ensured (by fertilizer use) in tandem with the above moderate water management scenario, the water available on current cropland will not meet the requirements of a world population of 9-10 billion.

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

    PubMed

    Wargent, Jason J; Jordan, Brian R

    2013-03-01

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

  12. Impacts of elevated atmospheric CO2 on nutrient content of important food crops

    PubMed Central

    Dietterich, Lee H.; Zanobetti, Antonella; Kloog, Itai; Huybers, Peter; Leakey, Andrew D. B.; Bloom, Arnold J.; Carlisle, Eli; Fernando, Nimesha; Fitzgerald, Glenn; Hasegawa, Toshihiro; Holbrook, N. Michele; Nelson, Randall L.; Norton, Robert; Ottman, Michael J.; Raboy, Victor; Sakai, Hidemitsu; Sartor, Karla A.; Schwartz, Joel; Seneweera, Saman; Usui, Yasuhiro; Yoshinaga, Satoshi; Myers, Samuel S.

    2015-01-01

    One of the many ways that climate change may affect human health is by altering the nutrient content of food crops. However, previous attempts to study the effects of increased atmospheric CO2 on crop nutrition have been limited by small sample sizes and/or artificial growing conditions. Here we present data from a meta-analysis of the nutritional contents of the edible portions of 41 cultivars of six major crop species grown using free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) technology to expose crops to ambient and elevated CO2 concentrations in otherwise normal field cultivation conditions. This data, collected across three continents, represents over ten times more data on the nutrient content of crops grown in FACE experiments than was previously available. We expect it to be deeply useful to future studies, such as efforts to understand the impacts of elevated atmospheric CO2 on crop macro- and micronutrient concentrations, or attempts to alleviate harmful effects of these changes for the billions of people who depend on these crops for essential nutrients. PMID:26217490

  13. Impacts of elevated atmospheric CO2 on nutrient content of important food crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dietterich, Lee H.; Zanobetti, Antonella; Kloog, Itai; Huybers, Peter; Leakey, Andrew D. B.; Bloom, Arnold J.; Carlisle, Eli; Fernando, Nimesha; Fitzgerald, Glenn; Hasegawa, Toshihiro; Holbrook, N. Michele; Nelson, Randall L.; Norton, Robert; Ottman, Michael J.; Raboy, Victor; Sakai, Hidemitsu; Sartor, Karla A.; Schwartz, Joel; Seneweera, Saman; Usui, Yasuhiro; Yoshinaga, Satoshi; Myers, Samuel S.

    2015-07-01

    One of the many ways that climate change may affect human health is by altering the nutrient content of food crops. However, previous attempts to study the effects of increased atmospheric CO2 on crop nutrition have been limited by small sample sizes and/or artificial growing conditions. Here we present data from a meta-analysis of the nutritional contents of the edible portions of 41 cultivars of six major crop species grown using free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) technology to expose crops to ambient and elevated CO2 concentrations in otherwise normal field cultivation conditions. This data, collected across three continents, represents over ten times more data on the nutrient content of crops grown in FACE experiments than was previously available. We expect it to be deeply useful to future studies, such as efforts to understand the impacts of elevated atmospheric CO2 on crop macro- and micronutrient concentrations, or attempts to alleviate harmful effects of these changes for the billions of people who depend on these crops for essential nutrients.

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  16. Trends in American agriculture. Their implications for biological warfare against crop and animal resources.

    PubMed

    Deen, W A

    1999-01-01

    Current trends in American agriculture have changed the vulnerability to use of biological weapons against plant and animal resources. The major effect has been a requirement to look again at the model of the U.S. BW program of widespread dissemination of agent and look to attack models requiring much lower levels of resources. The U.S. biological warfare program models must take the effects of these major trends into account when considering the possible widespread dissemination of a biological agent. The models must also acknowledge the lowered levels or resources required to make such attacks given the modern trends in American agriculture.

  17. Functional Roles of microRNAs in Agronomically Important Plants—Potential as Targets for Crop Improvement and Protection

    PubMed Central

    Djami-Tchatchou, Arnaud T.; Sanan-Mishra, Neeti; Ntushelo, Khayalethu; Dubery, Ian A.

    2017-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs that have recently emerged as important regulators of gene expression, mainly through cleavage and/or translation inhibition of the target mRNAs during or after transcription. miRNAs play important roles by regulating a multitude of biological processes in plants which include maintenance of genome integrity, development, metabolism, and adaptive responses toward environmental stresses. The increasing population of the world and their food demands requires focused efforts for the improvement of crop plants to ensure sustainable food production. Manipulation of mRNA transcript abundance via miRNA control provides a unique strategy for modulating differential plant gene expression and miRNAs are thus emerging as the next generation targets for genetic engineering for improvement of the agronomic properties of crops. However, a deeper understanding of its potential and the mechanisms involved will facilitate the design of suitable strategies to obtain the desirable traits with minimum trade-offs in the modified crops. In this regard, this review highlights the diverse roles of conserved and newly identified miRNAs in various food and industrial crops and recent advances made in the uses of miRNAs to improve plants of agronomically importance so as to significantly enhance crop yields and increase tolerance to various environmental stress agents of biotic—or abiotic origin. PMID:28382044

  18. Functional Roles of microRNAs in Agronomically Important Plants-Potential as Targets for Crop Improvement and Protection.

    PubMed

    Djami-Tchatchou, Arnaud T; Sanan-Mishra, Neeti; Ntushelo, Khayalethu; Dubery, Ian A

    2017-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs that have recently emerged as important regulators of gene expression, mainly through cleavage and/or translation inhibition of the target mRNAs during or after transcription. miRNAs play important roles by regulating a multitude of biological processes in plants which include maintenance of genome integrity, development, metabolism, and adaptive responses toward environmental stresses. The increasing population of the world and their food demands requires focused efforts for the improvement of crop plants to ensure sustainable food production. Manipulation of mRNA transcript abundance via miRNA control provides a unique strategy for modulating differential plant gene expression and miRNAs are thus emerging as the next generation targets for genetic engineering for improvement of the agronomic properties of crops. However, a deeper understanding of its potential and the mechanisms involved will facilitate the design of suitable strategies to obtain the desirable traits with minimum trade-offs in the modified crops. In this regard, this review highlights the diverse roles of conserved and newly identified miRNAs in various food and industrial crops and recent advances made in the uses of miRNAs to improve plants of agronomically importance so as to significantly enhance crop yields and increase tolerance to various environmental stress agents of biotic-or abiotic origin.

  19. Influence of crop load on almond tree water status and its importance in irrigation scheduling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puerto Conesa, Pablo; Domingo Miguel, Rafael; Torres Sánchez, Roque; Pérez Pastor, Alejandro

    2014-05-01

    In the Mediterranean area water is the main factor limiting crop production and therefore irrigation is essential to achieve economically viable yields. One of the fundamental techniques to ensure that irrigation water is managed efficiently with maximum productivity and minimum environmental impact is irrigation scheduling. The fact that the plant water status integrates atmospheric demand and soil water content conditions encourages the use of plant-based water status indicators. Some researchers have successfully scheduled irrigation in certain fruit trees by maintaining the maximum daily trunk diameter shrinkage (MDS) signal intensity at threshold values to generate (or not) water stress. However MDS not only depends on the climate and soil water content, but may be affected by tree factors such as age, size, phenological stage and fruit load. There is therefore a need to quantify the influence of these factors on MDS. The main objective of this work was to study the effects of crop load on tree water relations for scheduling purposes. We particularly focused on MDS vs VPD10-15 (mean air vapor pressure deficit during the period 10.00-15.00 h solar time) for different loads and phenological phases under non-limiting soil water conditions. The experiment was carried out in 2011 in a 1 ha plot in SE Spain with almond trees (Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb cv. 'Marta'). Three crop load treatments were studied according to three crop load levels, i) T100, high crop load, characteristic crop load, ii) T50, medium crop load, in which 50% of the fruits were removed and iii) T0, practically without fruits. Fruits were manually thinned. Each treatment, randomly distributed in blocks, was run in triplicate. Plant water status was assessed from midday stem water potential (Ψs), MDS, daily trunk growth rate (TGR), leaf turgor potential Ψp, fruit water potential (Ψf), stomatal conductance (gs) and photosynthesis (Pn) and transpiration rates (E). Yield, pruning weights and

  20. Fitness and beyond: preparing for the arrival of GM crops with ecologically important novel characters.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Mike; Tepfer, Mark

    2009-01-01

    The seemingly inexorable expansion of global human population size, significant increases in the use of biofuel crops and the growing pressures of multifunctional land-use have intensified the need to improve crop productivity. The widespread cultivation of high-yielding genetically modified (GM) crops could help to address these problems, although in doing so, steps must also be taken to ensure that any gene flow from these crops to wild or weedy recipients does not cause significant ecological harm. It is partly for this reason that new GM cultivars are invariably subjected to strict regulatory evaluation in order to assess the risks that each may pose to the environment. Regulatory bodies vary in their approach to decision-making, although all require access to large quantities of detailed information. Such an exhaustive case-by-case approach has been made tractable by the comparative simplicity of the portfolio of GM crops currently on the market, with four crops and two classes of traits accounting for almost all of the area under cultivation of GM crops. This simplified situation will change shortly, and will seriously complicate and potentially slow the evaluation process. Nowhere will the increased diversity of GM crops cause more difficulty to regulators than in those cases where there is a need to assess whether the transgene(s) will enhance fitness in a non-transgenic relative and thereafter cause ecological harm. Current practice to test this risk hypothesis focuses on attempting to detect increased fitness in the recipient. In this paper we explore the merits and shortcomings of this strategy, and investigate the scope for developing new approaches to streamline decision-making processes for transgenes that could cause unwanted ecological change.

  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. 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…

  3. Runoff and sediment reduction from integration of native prairie filter strips into row-crop agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agroecosystems provide multiple benefits including food, fiber, fuel, clean water and air, habitat, carbon sequestration, recreation, and aesthetics. But most agricultural landscapes are managed for only a few of these benefits. This project aimed to evaluate how the integration of diverse perennial...

  4. Low Energy Technology. A Unit of Instruction in Florida Agriculture. Crop Protection with Integrated Pest Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Florida Univ., Gainesville. Inst. of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

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

  5. Automated canopy estimator (ACE): Enhancing crop modelling and decision making in agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Caribbean agriculture sector is dominated by small holdings, which are overly reliant on rainfall and highly dependent on manual means of optimization. The sector is therefore very vulnerable to the vagaries of climate variability and change, with rainfall variations being of particular concern...

  6. 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...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lorenz, Marco; Fürst, Christine; Thiel, Enrico

    2013-09-01

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

  9. Estimating the Importance of Private Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture: A Review of Empirical Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, F.; Burke, M.

    2015-12-01

    A wide range of studies using a variety of methods strongly suggest that climate change will have a negative impact on agricultural production in many areas. Farmers though should be able to learn about a changing climate and to adjust what they grow and how they grow it in order to reduce these negative impacts. However, it remains unclear how effective these private (autonomous) adaptations will be, or how quickly they will be adopted. Constraining the uncertainty on this adaptation is important for understanding the impacts of climate change on agriculture. Here we review a number of empirical methods that have been proposed for understanding the rate and effectiveness of private adaptation to climate change. We compare these methods using data on agricultural yields in the United States and western Europe.

  10. Impact of paper mill effluent on growth and development of certain agricultural crops.

    PubMed

    Medhi, U J; Talukdar, A K; Deka, S

    2011-03-01

    The physico-chemical characteristics of paper mill industry effluent were measured and some were found to be above the permissible limits prescribed by Indian irrigation water standard. A study was conducted in pots to investigate the effects of different concentrations (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 100%) of paper mill effluent on growth and production of rice, mustard and peafor three years. The study reveals that the paper mill effluent has deleterious effect on the growth of crop at higher concentrations. However, at lower concentration (viz. 10 to 40% in rice, 10 to 50% in mustard and 10 to 60% in pea) of effluent, beneficial impact on general welfare of the crops was noticed. Growth and development was increased with increasing the concentration of the effluent up to 30% in rice, 40% in mustard and 50% in pea. Investigation showed that the growth and production of rice, mustard and pea was found maximum at a concentration of 30, 40 and 50% effluent respectively.

  11. Application of seasonal climate forecasts in agricultural crop monitoring in Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Avila, A. M. H.; Pereira, V. R.; Lopes, F. A.

    2014-12-01

    This work is investigating the contribution of seasonal climate forecasts of Eta regional climate model to support crops in Brazil. The weather conditions are directed related with the crop yield, being a basic parameter for its forecast. The southern region has a subtropical climate and is the major national producer of rice and wheat and also is the second one for soybean, bean and corn. The Eta seasonal forecast model data for southern Brazil was evaluated from 2001 to 2010. Observed data from National and state meteorological agencies were used to evaluate the monthly model performance. The model performance was evaluated by calculating two parameters. The Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) was used to evaluate the monthly forecast averages and the observed precipitation standard deviation. The Skill Score Climatology (SSC) was used to compare the accuracy between the forecast and the climatology. The RMSE showed that in some locations the predicted values by the model were closer to the observed. The SSC showed a systematic error for the predicted values by the Eta seasonal model. This behavior indicates that the climatological analysis is more accurate to predict the monthly climate than the ETA model forecast. Also the consecutive negative bias was observed in some locations that can be corrected removing the systematic error.

  12. Land-Use Planning in the Chaco Plain (Burruyacú, Argentina). Part 1: Evaluating Land-Use Options to Support Crop Diversification in an Agricultural Frontier Area Using Physical Land Evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Recatalá Boix, Luis; Zinck, Joseph Alfred

    2008-12-01

    The Burruyacú district (Tucumán province, Argentina) is a farming frontier in the western Chaco plain, at the foothills of the sub-Andean mountain ranges, where agricultural land-uses are in conflict with the conservation and management of the Chaco forest. Over the last decades, large-scale farming rapidly expanded due to population pressure, attractive market prices, easy accessibility, favourable annual rainfall, fertile soils, and flexible land tenure. Cropland extension, mainly for heavily mechanized soybean production, has resulted in important reduction of the Chaco forest and also caused physical soil degradation, especially soil compaction, and soil erosion. Land suitability was assessed using the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) framework for a set of crops ecologically adapted to the area, including soybean, maize, wheat, sugarcane, citrus, and safflower. Only 16% of the study area has high suitability for most of the selected crops. Major limitations for cropping are low annual rainfall and flooding in the east of the study area, and topography (slope) and flooding in the west. As climate varies over relatively short periods of time, with recurrent cycles of dry and rainy years, land suitability for the selected crops was also assessed under extreme but realistic climatic conditions. Under rainy-year conditions, almost all the study area is unsuitable or marginally suitable for most of the crops. Under dry-year conditions, the study area is unsuitable for all crops, except safflower, which is more drought-resistant. This article proposes alternatives to the mono-cropping of soybean with the aim to help farmers make adequate decisions on land-use and management under deteriorating environmental conditions and for addressing the issue of competitive land uses in the context of land-use planning.

  13. Outcrossing potential between 11 important genetically modified crops and the Chilean vascular flora.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Miguel A; Cid, Pablo; Navarrete, Humberto; Aguirre, Carlos; Chacón, Gustavo; Salazar, Erika; Prieto, Humberto

    2016-02-01

    The potential impact of genetically modified (GM) crops on biodiversity is one of the main concerns in an environmental risk assessment (ERA). The likelihood of outcrossing and pollen-mediated gene flow from GM crops and non-GM crops are explained by the same principles and depend primarily on the biology of the species. We conducted a national-scale study of the likelihood of outcrossing between 11 GM crops and vascular plants in Chile by use of a systematized database that included cultivated, introduced and native plant species in Chile. The database included geographical distributions and key biological and agronomical characteristics for 3505 introduced, 4993 native and 257 cultivated (of which 11 were native and 246 were introduced) plant species. Out of the considered GM crops (cotton, soya bean, maize, grape, wheat, rice, sugar beet, alfalfa, canola, tomato and potato), only potato and tomato presented native relatives (66 species total). Introduced relative species showed that three GM groups were formed having: a) up to one introduced relative (cotton and soya bean), b) up to two (rice, grape, maize and wheat) and c) from two to seven (sugar beet, alfalfa, canola, tomato and potato). In particular, GM crops presenting introduced noncultivated relative species were canola (1 relative species), alfalfa (up to 4), rice (1), tomato (up to 2) and potato (up to 2). The outcrossing potential between species [OP; scaled from 'very low' (1) to 'very high' (5)] was developed, showing medium OPs (3) for GM-native relative interactions when they occurred, low (2) for GMs and introduced noncultivated and high (4) for the grape-Vitis vinifera GM-introduced cultivated interaction. This analytical tool might be useful for future ERA for unconfined GM crop release in Chile.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Climate Change and Projected Impacts in Agriculture: an Example on Mediterranean Crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrise, R.; Moriondo, M.; Bindi, M.

    2009-04-01

    Recently, the availability of multi-model ensemble prediction methods has permitted the assignment of likelihoods to future climate projections. This allowed moving from the scenario-based approach to the risk-based approach in assessing the effects of climate change, thus providing more useful information for decision-makers that, as reported by Schneider (2001), need probability estimates to assess the seriousness of the projected impacts. The probabilistic approach to evaluate crop response to climate change mainly consists in applying an impact model (such as crop growth model) to a very large number of climate projections so to provide a probabilistic distribution of the variable selected to evaluate the impact. By comparing the outputs of the multi-simulation with a critical threshold (such as minimum yield below which it is not admissible to fall), it is possible to evaluate the risk related to future climate conditions. Unfortunately, such an approach is a time-consuming process due to the large number of model runs needed for such a procedure. An alternative method relies on the set up of impact response surfaces (RS) with respect to key climatic variables on which a probabilistic representation of projected changes in the same climatic variables may be overlaid (Fronzek et al. 2008). This approach was exploited within the ENSEMBLES EU Project aiming at assessing climate change impact on typical Mediterranean crops. This work presents the results of the project with a particular concerning about the assessment of risk, of durum wheat (T. turgidum L. subsp. durum (Desf.) Husn) and grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) yield falling below fixed thresholds, using probabilistic information about future climate. Methodology The simple mechanistic crop growth models, SIRIUS Quality (Jamieson et al., 1998) and VITE-model (Bindi et al., 1997a,b), were selected to respectively simulate durum wheat and grapevine yields in present and future scenarios. SIRIUS Quality is a

  17. Sensitivity of water balance and water use efficiency to climate and crop type at an agricultural site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brümmer, C.; Kutsch, W. L.

    2012-04-01

    The effects of climatic factors and crop type on evapotranspiration (E) and water use efficiency (WUE) were analyzed using tower-based eddy-covariance data for an agricultural site in Thuringia, Germany. During ten years of observation, winter wheat (five times) and winter barley (once) were alternately planted with potato (twice), rapeseed (once) and sugar beet (once). The seasonal pattern of E was closely linked to growing-season length and rainfall distribution. Although annual precipitation (P) was highly variable (380-700 mm), minimum annual E was not less than 250 mm and was limited to 380 mm. However, a positive correlation between annual P and annual E with E plateauing at high P as was usually found at forest, grassland and peatland sites could not be observed. Winter wheat tended to limit annual E and was found to be relatively insensitive with changing annual P and solar irradiance. A hysteretic relationship between monthly mean values of E and net radiation (Rn) indicated that E lagged behind the typical seasonal progression of Rn. Annual means of daytime dry-foliage Priestley-Taylor α much less than the theoretical maximum of 1.26 for extensive well-watered vegetation showed that E on an annual basis was either water limited and/or stomatal control of transpiration must have been prevalent. In all years, a strong linear correlation between monthly mean values of gross primary production and E resulted in WUE being relatively constant between 2.5 and 3.5 g C kg-1 H2O. Our study shows that crop selection has a major impact on the water balance of an agricultural site with the influence of climatic factors being significantly different than usually found for natural ecosystems.

  18. Evaluation of the impact of various agricultural practices on nitrate leaching under the root zone of potato and sugar beet using the STICS soil-crop model.

    PubMed

    Jégo, G; Martínez, M; Antigüedad, I; Launay, M; Sanchez-Pérez, J M; Justes, E

    2008-05-15

    The quaternary aquifer of Vitoria-Gasteiz (Basque Country, Northern Spain) is characterised by a shallow water table mainly fed by drainage water, and thus constitutes a vulnerable zone in regards to nitrate pollution. Field studies were performed with a potato crop in 1993 and a sugar beet crop in 2002 to evaluate their impact on nitrate leaching. The overall predictive quality of the STICS soil-crop model was first evaluated using field data and then the model was used to analyze dynamically the impacts of different crop management practices on nitrate leaching. The model was evaluated (i) on soil nitrate concentrations at different depths and (ii) on crop yields. The simulated values proved to be in satisfactory agreement with measured values. Nitrate leaching was more pronounced with the potato crop than with the sugar beet experiment due to i) greater precipitation, ii) lower N uptake of the potato crop due to shallow root depth, and iii) a shorter period of growth. The potato experiment showed that excessive irrigation could significantly increase nitrate leaching by increasing both drainage and nitrate concentrations. The different levels of N-fertilization examined in the sugar beet study had no notable effects on nitrate leaching due to its high N uptake capacity. Complementary virtual experiments were carried out using the STICS model. Our study confirmed that in vulnerable zones agricultural practices must be adjusted, that is to say: 1) N-fertilizer should not be applied in autumn before winter crops; 2) crops with low N uptake capacity (e.g. potatoes) should be avoided or should be preceded and followed by nitrogen catch crops or cover crops; 3) the nitrate concentration of irrigation water should be taken into account in calculation of the N-fertilization rate, and 4) N-fertilization must be precisely adjusted in particular for potato crops.

  19. Dynamic Patterns, Parameters, and Climatic Response of CO2 Exchange of Agricultural Crops: Monocotyledons VS. Dicotyledons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilmanov, T. G.; Wylie, B. K.; Howard, D. M.

    2012-12-01

    Net CO2 exchange data from long-term flux tower measurements in monocotyledonous (wheat, maize) and dicotyledonous (soybeans, alfalfa, peas, peanuts) crops were partitioned into photosynthesis (P) and respiration (R) using the light-soil temperature-VPD response method. Analysis of the resulting time series of P and R revealed patterns of temporal and phenological dynamics in these plant groups. We established differences in ranges and dynamic patterns of P and R as well as CO2 exchange parameters (quantum yield, photosynthetic capacity, respiration rate, light-use efficiency, curvature of the VPD response). Weekly P and R data combined with remotely sensed 7-day eMODIS NDVI allow identification of the quasi-linear relationships between P, R, and NDVI, as well as estimation of parameters of NDVI response (start of the growing season, duration of the linearity period, slope of NDVI response). While the linear-like patterns occur early in the season, later the flux response to NDVI becomes less pronounced, and for the whole season the flux-NDVI relationship assumes a hysteresis-like pattern. Introduction of VPD and soil moisture limitation as well as phenological controls (growing degree days) leads to more flexible models for P and R in relation to NDVI and on-site drivers. These models allow mapping of the cropland CO2 exchange at regional and larger scales (e.g., the Great Plains). Significant relationships of the crop GPP to the seasonally integrated NDVI were also established, providing an opportunity for mapping of crop productivity using geographically distributed historic NDVI data. On the other hand, long time series (6 to 12 years and longer) of weekly P and R data lead to models of annual photosynthesis and respiration in response to climatic factors that may be used for prognostic purposes. We developed a model of maize GPP on the Great Plains in relation to the sum of temperatures above 5 °C and the hydrologic year precipitation. The model describes 75

  20. Remote sensing in Iowa agriculture. [cropland inventory, soils, forestland, and crop diseases

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mahlstede, J. P. (Principal Investigator); Carlson, R. E.

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Results include the estimation of forested and crop vegetation acreages using the ERTS-1 imagery. The methods used to achieve these estimates still require refinement, but the results appear promising. Practical applications would be directed toward achieving current land use inventories of these natural resources. This data is presently collected by sampling type surveys. If ERTS-1 can observe this and area estimates can be determined accurately, then a step forward has been achieved. Cost benefit relationship will have to be favorable. Problems still exist in these estimation techniques due to the diversity of the scene observed in the ERTS-1 imagery covering other part of Iowa. This is due to influence of topography and soils upon the adaptability of the vegetation to specific areas of the state. The state mosaic produced from ERTS-1 imagery shows these patterns very well. Research directed to acreage estimates is continuing.

  1. Operation of agricultural test fields for study of stressed crops by remote sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toler, R. W.

    1974-01-01

    A test site for the study of winter wheat development and collection of ERTS data was established in September of 1973. The test site is a 10 mile square area located 12.5 miles west of Amarillo, Texas on Interstate Hwy. 40, in Randall and Potter counties. The center of the area is the Southwestern Great Plains Research Center at Bushland, Texas. Within the test area all wheat fields were identified by ground truth and designated irrigated or dryland. The fields in the test area other than wheat were identified as to pasture or the crop that was grown. A ground truth area of hard red winter wheat was established west of Hale Center, Texas. Maps showing the location of winter wheat fields in excess of 40 acres in size within a 10 mile radius were supplied NASA. Satellite data was collected for this test site (ERTS-1).

  2. Multi-frequency and polarimetric radar backscatter signatures for discrimination between agricultural crops at the Flevoland experimental test site

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freeman, A.; Villasenor, J.; Klein, J. D.

    1991-01-01

    We describe the calibration and analysis of multi-frequency, multi-polarization radar backscatter signatures over an agriculture test site in the Netherlands. The calibration procedure involved two stages: in the first stage, polarimetric and radiometric calibrations (ignoring noise) were carried out using square-base trihedral corner reflector signatures and some properties of the clutter background. In the second stage, a novel algorithm was used to estimate the noise level in the polarimetric data channels by using the measured signature of an idealized rough surface with Bragg scattering (the ocean in this case). This estimated noise level was then used to correct the measured backscatter signatures from the agriculture fields. We examine the significance of several key parameters extracted from the calibrated and noise-corrected backscatter signatures. The significance is assessed in terms of the ability to uniquely separate among classes from 13 different backscatter types selected from the test site data, including eleven different crops, one forest and one ocean area. Using the parameters with the highest separation for a given class, we use a hierarchical algorithm to classify the entire image. We find that many classes, including ocean, forest, potato, and beet, can be identified with high reliability, while the classes for which no single parameter exhibits sufficient separation have higher rates of misclassification. We expect that modified decision criteria involving simultaneous consideration of several parameters increase performance for these classes.

  3. Agriculture

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The EPA Agriculture Resource Directory offers comprehensive, easy-to-understand information about environmental stewardship on farms and ranches; commonsense, flexible approaches that are both environmentally protective and agriculturally sound.

  4. Light- and water-use efficiency model synergy: a revised look at crop yield estimation for agricultural decision-making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, M.; Tu, K. P.

    2015-12-01

    Large-area crop yield models (LACMs) are commonly employed to address climate-driven changes in crop yield and inform policy makers concerned with climate change adaptation. Production efficiency models (PEMs), a class of LACMs that rely on the conservative response of carbon assimilation to incoming solar radiation absorbed by a crop contingent on environmental conditions, have increasingly been used over large areas with remote sensing spectral information to improve the spatial resolution of crop yield estimates and address important data gaps. Here, we present a new PEM that combines model principles from the remote sensing-based crop yield and evapotranspiration (ET) model literature. One of the major limitations of PEMs is that they are evaluated using data restricted in both space and time. To overcome this obstacle, we first validated the model using 2009-2014 eddy covariance flux tower Gross Primary Production data in a rice field in the Central Valley of California- a critical agro-ecosystem of the United States. This evaluation yielded a Willmot's D and mean absolute error of 0.81 and 5.24 g CO2/d, respectively, using CO2, leaf area, temperature, and moisture constraints from the MOD16 ET model, Priestley-Taylor ET model, and the Global Production Efficiency Model (GLOPEM). A Monte Carlo simulation revealed that the model was most sensitive to the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) input, followed by Photosynthetically Active Radiation, vapor pressure deficit, and air temperature. The model will now be evaluated using 30 x 30m (Landsat resolution) biomass transects developed in 2011 and 2012 from spectroradiometric and other non-destructive in situ metrics for several cotton, maize, and rice fields across the Central Valley. Finally, the model will be driven by Daymet and MODIS data over the entire State of California and compared with county-level crop yield statistics. It is anticipated that the new model will facilitate agro-climatic decision-making in

  5. Farmers' perception on the importance of variegated grasshopper (Zonocerus variegatus (L.)) in the agricultural production systems of the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon

    PubMed Central

    Kekeunou, Sévilor; Weise, Stephan; Messi, Jean; Tamò, Manuel

    2006-01-01

    Background Zonocerus variegatus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Orthoptera: Pyrgomorphidae) is known as an agricultural pest in West and Central Africa. However, its importance in the agricultural production system in Cameroon has not been investigated. The study assesses farmers' perception on the importance of Z. variegatus in the agricultural production systems of the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon. Methods Research was carried out in 5 villages of each of three Agro-Ecological, Cultural and Demographic Blocks (AECD-Blocks) of the Forest Margin Benchmark Area (FMBA). In each village, a semi-structured survey was used; male and female groups of farmers were interviewed separately. Results Z. variegatus is present throughout the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon, where it is ranked as the third most economically important insect pest of agriculture. In the farmers' opinion, Z. variegatus is a polyphagous insect with little impact on young perennial crops. The length of the pre-farming fallow does not affect Z. variegatus pest pressure in the following crops. The increased impact of the grasshopper observed today in the fields, compared to what existed 10 years ago is as a result of deforestation and increase in surface of herbaceous fallow. The damage caused by Z. variegatus is higher in fields adjacent to C. odorata and herbaceous fallows than in those adjacent to forests and shrubby fallows. The fight against this grasshopper is often done through physical methods carried out by hand, for human consumption. The farmers highlight low usage of the chemical methods and a total absence of biological and ecological methods. Conclusion Farmers' perception have contributed to understanding the status of Z. variegatus in the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon. The results are in general similar to those obtained in other countries. PMID:16573815

  6. Recent trends/challenges in irrigated agriculture-Why is irrigation important in a discussion of agricultural migration?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    United States agriculture contributes 16% of the $9 trillion gross domestic product, 8% of U.S. exports, and 17% of employment while providing food to all citizens, despite the fact that only 2% of the U.S. workforces is on farms. Agricultural productivity has grown by 240% since 1948, while agricul...

  7. The full GHG balance over two crop rotations at an agricultural site near Gebesee, Thuringia, Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kutsch, Werner Leo; Brümmer, Christian; Don, Catharina; Dechow, Rene; Fuß, Roland; Freibauer, Annette; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Kolle, Olaf; Ziegler, Waldemar

    2013-04-01

    Gebesee in Thuringia is the eldest cropland eddy covariance (EC) site in Europe. The site has been part of CarboEurope, NitroEurope and IMECC and has been selected to be one of the German Level 1 sites within the European research infrastructure ICOS. Continuous measurements of NEE by EC, NPP by regular harvesting, lateral in- and outputs of carbon and nitrogen as well as climatic parameters have been conducted since 2001. Automated chamber measurements of N2O and CH4 were conducted since 2007. Fluxes of these greenhouse gases (GHG) for the years 2001 - 2006 were calculated based on a Fuzzy Logic model calibrated by means of the chamber measurements. In this study we present NEE, NBP and full GHG balances of over two rotation periods (2001 - 2004 and 2005 - 2009, respectively) comprising four times winter wheat, two times potatoes and one cropping period of oil seed rape, sugar beet and barley each. The GHG balance is dominated by moderate losses of soil organic matter (~120 +/- 50 g C m-2 y-1) and by N2O emissions of about 0.17 g N2O-N m-2 y-1 (50 g C-eq m-2 y-1). The on-site emissions of GHG balance about 43 % of the harvested carbon.

  8. The Importance of Landscape Elements for Bat Activity and Species Richness in Agricultural Areas

    PubMed Central

    Heim, Olga; Treitler, Julia T.; Tschapka, Marco; Knörnschild, Mirjam; Jung, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

    Landscape heterogeneity is regarded as a key factor for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in production landscapes. We investigated whether grassland sites at close vicinity to forested areas are more frequently used by bats. Considering that bats are important consumers of herbivorous insects, including agricultural pest, this is important for sustainable land management. Bat activity and species richness were assessed using repeated monitoring from May to September in 2010 with acoustic monitoring surveys on 50 grassland sites in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (North-East Germany). Using spatial analysis (GIS), we measured the closest distance of each grassland site to potentially connecting landscape elements (e.g., trees, linear vegetation, groves, running and standing water). In addition, we assessed the distance to and the percent land cover of forest remnants and urban areas in a 200 m buffer around the recording sites to address differences in the local landscape setting. Species richness and bat activity increased significantly with higher forest land cover in the 200 m buffer and at smaller distance to forested areas. Moreover, species richness increased in proximity to tree groves. Larger amount of forest land cover and smaller distance to forest also resulted in a higher activity of bats on grassland sites in the beginning of the year during May, June and July. Landscape elements near grassland sites also influenced species composition of bats and species richness of functional groups (open, edge and narrow space foragers). Our results highlight the importance of forested areas, and suggest that agricultural grasslands that are closer to forest remnants might be better buffered against outbreaks of agricultural pest insects due to higher species richness and higher bat activity. Furthermore, our data reveals that even for highly mobile species such as bats, a very dense network of connecting elements within the landscape is

  9. The Importance of Landscape Elements for Bat Activity and Species Richness in Agricultural Areas.

    PubMed

    Heim, Olga; Treitler, Julia T; Tschapka, Marco; Knörnschild, Mirjam; Jung, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

    Landscape heterogeneity is regarded as a key factor for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in production landscapes. We investigated whether grassland sites at close vicinity to forested areas are more frequently used by bats. Considering that bats are important consumers of herbivorous insects, including agricultural pest, this is important for sustainable land management. Bat activity and species richness were assessed using repeated monitoring from May to September in 2010 with acoustic monitoring surveys on 50 grassland sites in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (North-East Germany). Using spatial analysis (GIS), we measured the closest distance of each grassland site to potentially connecting landscape elements (e.g., trees, linear vegetation, groves, running and standing water). In addition, we assessed the distance to and the percent land cover of forest remnants and urban areas in a 200 m buffer around the recording sites to address differences in the local landscape setting. Species richness and bat activity increased significantly with higher forest land cover in the 200 m buffer and at smaller distance to forested areas. Moreover, species richness increased in proximity to tree groves. Larger amount of forest land cover and smaller distance to forest also resulted in a higher activity of bats on grassland sites in the beginning of the year during May, June and July. Landscape elements near grassland sites also influenced species composition of bats and species richness of functional groups (open, edge and narrow space foragers). Our results highlight the importance of forested areas, and suggest that agricultural grasslands that are closer to forest remnants might be better buffered against outbreaks of agricultural pest insects due to higher species richness and higher bat activity. Furthermore, our data reveals that even for highly mobile species such as bats, a very dense network of connecting elements within the landscape is

  10. Crop biotechnology. Where now?

    PubMed

    Miflin, B J

    2000-05-01

    Nature Biotechnology organized a conference in London on Agobiotech 99: Biotechnology and World Agriculture (November 14-16, 1999). The conference focused entirely on crop biotechnology and covered both societal and scientific aspects. Below is an account of the more important issues raised by the speakers and the audience.

  11. Development of drought and/or heat tolerant crop varieties, an adaptation approach to mitigate impact of climate change on agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As global climate change becomes inevitable, the sustainability of agricultural production in US and worldwide faces serious threat from extreme weather conditions, such as drought and high temperature (heat wave). Development of drought and/or heat tolerant crop varieties is one of the most effecti...

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. Agricultural crop mapping and classification by Landsat images to evaluate water use in the Lake Urmia basin, North-west Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fazel, Nasim; Norouzi, Hamid; Madani, Kaveh; Kløve, Bjørn

    2016-04-01

    Lake Urmia, once one of the largest hypersaline lakes in the world has lost more than 90% of its surface body mainly due to the intensive expansion of agriculture, using more than 90% of all water in the region. Access to accurate and up-to-date information on the extent and distribution of individual crop types, associated with land use changes and practices, has significant value in intensively agricultural regions. Explicit information of croplands can be useful for sustainable water resources, land and agriculture planning and management. Remote sensing, has been proven to be a more cost-effective alternative to the traditional statistically-based ground surveys for crop coverage areas that are costly and provide insufficient information. Satellite images along with ground surveys can provide the necessary information of spatial coverage and spectral responses of croplands for sustainable agricultural management. This study strives to differentiate different crop types and agricultural practices to achieve a higher detailed crop map of the Lake Urmia basin. The mapping approach consists of a two-stage supervised classification of multi-temporal multi-spectral high resolution images obtained from Landsat imagery archive. Irrigated and non-irrigated croplands and orchards were separated from other major land covers (urban, ranges, bare-lands, and water) in the region by means of maximum Likelihood supervised classification method. The field data collected during 2015 and land use maps generated in 2007 and Google Earth comparisons were used to form a training data set to perform the supervised classification. In the second stage, non-agricultural lands were masked and the supervised classification was applied on the Landsat images stack to identify seven major croplands in the region (wheat and barley, beetroot, corn, sunflower, alfalfa, vineyards, and apple orchards). The obtained results can be of significant value to the Urmia Lake restoration efforts which

  15. Biotechnological applications in in vitro plant regeneration studies of broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica), an important vegetable crop.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Pankaj; Srivastava, Dinesh Kumar

    2016-04-01

    Biotechnology holds promise for genetic improvement of important vegetable crops. Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) is an important vegetable crop of the family Brassicaceae. However, various biotic and abiotic stresses cause enormous crop yield losses during commercial cultivation of broccoli. Establishment of a reliable, reproducible and efficient in vitro plant regeneration system with cell and tissue culture is a vital prerequisite for biotechnological application of crop improvement programme. An in vitro plant regeneration technique refers to culturing, cell division, cell multiplication, de-differentiation and differentiation of cells, protoplasts, tissues and organs on defined liquid/solid medium under aseptic and controlled environment. Recent progress in the field of plant tissue culture has made this area one of the most dynamic and promising in experimental biology. There are many published reports on in vitro plant regeneration studies in broccoli including direct organogenesis, indirect organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis. This review summarizes those plant regeneration studies in broccoli that could be helpful in drawing the attention of the researchers and scientists to work on it to produce healthy, biotic and abiotic stress resistant plant material and to carry out genetic transformation studies for the production of transgenic plants.

  16. 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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 r...

  18. The importance of climate change and nitrogen use efficiency for future nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanter, David R.; Zhang, Xin; Mauzerall, Denise L.; Malyshev, Sergey; Shevliakova, Elena

    2016-09-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an important greenhouse gas and ozone depleting substance. Previous projections of agricultural N2O (the dominant anthropogenic source) show emissions changing in tandem, or at a faster rate than changes in nitrogen (N) consumption. However, recent studies suggest that the carbon dioxide (CO2) fertilization effect may increase plant N uptake, which could decrease soil N losses and dampen increases in N2O. To evaluate this hypothesis at a global scale, we use a process-based land model with a coupled carbon-nitrogen cycle to examine how changes in climatic factors, land-use, and N application rates could affect agricultural N2O emissions by 2050. Assuming little improvement in N use efficiency (NUE), the model projects a 24%-31% increase in global agricultural N2O emissions by 2040-2050 depending on the climate scenario—a relatively moderate increase compared to the projected increases in N inputs (42%-44%) and previously published emissions projections (38%-75%). This occurs largely because the CO2 fertilization effect enhances plant N uptake in several regions, which subsequently dampens N2O emissions. And yet, improvements in NUE could still deliver important environmental benefits by 2050: equivalent to 10 Pg CO2 equivalent and 0.6 Tg ozone depletion potential.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

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

  20. Transportability of confined field trial data from cultivation to import countries for environmental risk assessment of genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Nakai, Shuichi; Hoshikawa, Kana; Shimono, Ayako; Ohsawa, Ryo

    2015-12-01

    Requirement of in-country confined field trials for genetically modified (GM) crops prior to unrestricted release is well-established among countries with domestic regulations for the cultivation approval of GM crops. However, the requirement of in-country confined field trials is not common in countries where the scope of the application does not include cultivation. Nonetheless, Japan and China request in-country confined field trials for GM crops which are intended only for use as food, feed and processing. This paper considers the transportability of confined field trial data from cultivation countries (e.g. United States, Canada, and South American countries) to import countries like Japan for the environmental risk assessment of GM crops by reviewing: (1) the purpose of confined field trial assessment, (2) weediness potential, defined as "an ability to establish and persist in an unmanaged area that is frequently disturbed by human activity", of host crops, and (3) reliability of the confined field trial data obtained from cultivation countries. To review the reliability of the confined field data obtained in the US, this paper describes actual examples of three confined field trials of approved GM corn events conducted both in the US and Japan. Based on the above considerations, this paper concludes that confined field data of GM corn and cotton is transportable from cultivation countries to importing countries (e.g. from the US to Japan), regardless of the characteristics of the inserted gene(s). In addition, this paper advocates harmonization of protocols for confined field trials to facilitate more efficient data transportability across different geographies.

  1. Importance of Stream Denitrification in the Nitrogen Mass Balance of a Midwestern Agricultural Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    David, M. B.; Royer, T. V.; Opdyke, M. R.; Tank, J. L.

    2005-05-01

    Agricultural regions of the Midwestern US have large N fluxes as a result of inputs from fertilizer and biological fixation, and outputs through rivers and grain harvest. These inputs and outputs are not balanced, however, and denitrification has been suggested to be an important loss mechanism. We examined the role of in-stream denitrification in the N mass balance of Illinois, a predominantly agricultural region. Nitrate concentrations in streams were often >10 mg nitrate-N L-1, suggesting denitrification was not N-limited throughout most of the year. Denitrification rates were measured at many headwater stream sites throughout the year, in both sediments and primary producer habitat, under different geomorphic conditions. Although in-stream denitrification rates were generally high, hydraulic retention time limited the importance of denitrification in terms of export on an annual basis. Geomorphology was important in explaining rates, but extensive channelization has eliminated most in-stream structures, which could have more effectively reduced stream export of N. Therefore, stream denitrification was only minor sink for N and most nitrate in these headwater sites was exported downstream. In the overall mass balance of N, reservoir and in-field denitrification are thought to be much more important than in-stream denitrification.

  2. Fullerene-enhanced accumulation of p,p'-DDE in agricultural crop species.

    PubMed

    De La Torre-Roche, Roberto; Hawthorne, Joseph; Deng, Yingqing; Xing, Baoshan; Cai, Wenjun; Newman, Lee A; Wang, Chen; Ma, Xingmao; White, Jason C

    2012-09-04

    The effect of C(60) fullerene exposure on the accumulation of dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE; DDT metabolite) by Cucurbita pepo L. (zucchini), Glycine max L. (soybean), and Solanum lycopersicum L. (tomato) was determined. The plants were grown in 125 mL jars of vermiculite amended with 0 or 40 mg of C(60) fullerenes. Prior to planting, the jars were amended with 40 mL solution containing 100 ng/mL of p,p'-DDE with 0 or 100 mg/L humic acid. During three weeks of growth, plants were watered with the same p,p'-DDE containing solutions. Total shoot p,p'-DDE levels in nonfullerene exposed tomato, soybean, and zucchini were 26.9, 131, and 675 ng, respectively; total root DDE content for the three plants was 402, 5970, and 5830 ng, respectively. Fullerenes increased the shoot p,p'-DDE content of zucchini by 29%; contaminant levels in soybean shoots were decreased by 48% but tomato shoot content was unaffected. The root and total plant p,p'-DDE content of all three species was significantly increased by fullerene exposure; enhanced contaminant uptake ranged from 30 to 65%. Humic acid, regardless of fullerene presence or plant type, significantly decreased the p,p'-DDE uptake. Fullerenes were detected in the roots of all plants but were not detected in plant shoots in the initial study. In a follow up study with zucchini designed to maximize biomass for extraction, over half the analyzed stems contained fullerenes at 60.5 to 4490 ng/g. These findings show that the carbon-based nanomaterials may significantly alter the accumulation and potentially the toxicity of cocontaminants in agricultural systems.

  3. Bacterial endophyte communities of three agricultural important grass species differ in their response towards management regimes.

    PubMed

    Wemheuer, Franziska; Kaiser, Kristin; Karlovsky, Petr; Daniel, Rolf; Vidal, Stefan; Wemheuer, Bernd

    2017-01-19

    Endophytic bacteria are critical for plant growth and health. However, compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophyte communities towards agricultural practices are still poorly understood. Hence, we analyzed the influence of fertilizer application and mowing frequency on bacterial endophytes in three agriculturally important grass species. For this purpose, we examined bacterial endophytic communities in aerial plant parts of Dactylis glomerata L., Festuca rubra L., and Lolium perenne L. by pyrotag sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes over two consecutive years. Although management regimes influenced endophyte communities, observed responses were grass species-specific. This might be attributed to several bacteria specifically associated with a single grass species. We further predicted functional profiles from obtained 16S rRNA data. These profiles revealed that predicted abundances of genes involved in plant growth promotion or nitrogen metabolism differed between grass species and between management regimes. Moreover, structural and functional community patterns showed no correlation to each other indicating that plant species-specific selection of endophytes is driven by functional rather than phylogenetic traits. The unique combination of 16S rRNA data and functional profiles provided a holistic picture of compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophytes in agricultural relevant grass species towards management practices.

  4. Bacterial endophyte communities of three agricultural important grass species differ in their response towards management regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wemheuer, Franziska; Kaiser, Kristin; Karlovsky, Petr; Daniel, Rolf; Vidal, Stefan; Wemheuer, Bernd

    2017-01-01

    Endophytic bacteria are critical for plant growth and health. However, compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophyte communities towards agricultural practices are still poorly understood. Hence, we analyzed the influence of fertilizer application and mowing frequency on bacterial endophytes in three agriculturally important grass species. For this purpose, we examined bacterial endophytic communities in aerial plant parts of Dactylis glomerata L., Festuca rubra L., and Lolium perenne L. by pyrotag sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes over two consecutive years. Although management regimes influenced endophyte communities, observed responses were grass species-specific. This might be attributed to several bacteria specifically associated with a single grass species. We further predicted functional profiles from obtained 16S rRNA data. These profiles revealed that predicted abundances of genes involved in plant growth promotion or nitrogen metabolism differed between grass species and between management regimes. Moreover, structural and functional community patterns showed no correlation to each other indicating that plant species-specific selection of endophytes is driven by functional rather than phylogenetic traits. The unique combination of 16S rRNA data and functional profiles provided a holistic picture of compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophytes in agricultural relevant grass species towards management practices.

  5. Bacterial endophyte communities of three agricultural important grass species differ in their response towards management regimes

    PubMed Central

    Wemheuer, Franziska; Kaiser, Kristin; Karlovsky, Petr; Daniel, Rolf; Vidal, Stefan; Wemheuer, Bernd

    2017-01-01

    Endophytic bacteria are critical for plant growth and health. However, compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophyte communities towards agricultural practices are still poorly understood. Hence, we analyzed the influence of fertilizer application and mowing frequency on bacterial endophytes in three agriculturally important grass species. For this purpose, we examined bacterial endophytic communities in aerial plant parts of Dactylis glomerata L., Festuca rubra L., and Lolium perenne L. by pyrotag sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes over two consecutive years. Although management regimes influenced endophyte communities, observed responses were grass species-specific. This might be attributed to several bacteria specifically associated with a single grass species. We further predicted functional profiles from obtained 16S rRNA data. These profiles revealed that predicted abundances of genes involved in plant growth promotion or nitrogen metabolism differed between grass species and between management regimes. Moreover, structural and functional community patterns showed no correlation to each other indicating that plant species-specific selection of endophytes is driven by functional rather than phylogenetic traits. The unique combination of 16S rRNA data and functional profiles provided a holistic picture of compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophytes in agricultural relevant grass species towards management practices. PMID:28102323

  6. Association of N2-fixing cyanobacteria and plants: towards novel symbioses of agricultural importance

    SciTech Connect

    Elhai, Jeff

    2001-06-25

    Some nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria are able to form symbioses with a wide variety of plants. Nostoc 2S9B is unusual in its ability to infect the roots of wheat, raising the prospect of a productive association with an important crop plant. The goal of the project was to lay the groundwork for the use of novel associations between Nostoc and crops of agronomic importance, thereby reducing our reliance on nitrogenous fertilizer. Nostoc 2S9B was found to enter roots through mechanical damage of roots and reside primarily in intercellular spaces. The strain could also be incorporated into wheat calli grown in tissue culture. In both cases, the rate of nitrogen fixation by the cyanobacterium was higher than that of the same strain grown with no plant present. Artificial nodules induced by the action of hormone 2,4D were readily infected by Nostoc 2S9B, and the cyanobacteria within such nodules fixed nitrogen under fully aerobic conditions. The nitrogen fixed was shown to be incorporated into the growing wheat seedlings. Nostoc thus differs from other bacteria in its ability to fix nitrogen in para-nodules without need for artificially microaerobic conditions. It would be useful to introduce foreign DNA into Nostoc 2S9B in order to make defined mutations to understand the genetic basis of its ability to infect wheat and to create strains that might facilitate the study of the infection process. Transfer of DNA into the cyanobacterium appears to be limited by the presence of four restriction enzymes, with recognition sequences the same as BamHI, BglI, BsaHI, and Tth111I. Genes encoding methyltransferases that protect DNA against these four enzymes have been cloned into helper plasmids to allow transfer of DNA from E. coli to Nostoc 2S9B.

  7. The in vitro mass-produced model mycorrhizal fungus, Rhizophagus irregularis, significantly increases yields of the globally important food security crop cassava.

    PubMed

    Ceballos, Isabel; Ruiz, Michael; Fernández, Cristhian; Peña, Ricardo; Rodríguez, Alia; Sanders, Ian R

    2013-01-01

    The arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis is formed between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and plant roots. The fungi provide the plant with inorganic phosphate (P). The symbiosis can result in increased plant growth. Although most global food crops naturally form this symbiosis, very few studies have shown that their practical application can lead to large-scale increases in food production. Application of AMF to crops in the tropics is potentially effective for improving yields. However, a main problem of using AMF on a large-scale is producing cheap inoculum in a clean sterile carrier and sufficiently concentrated to cheaply transport. Recently, mass-produced in vitro inoculum of the model mycorrhizal fungus Rhizophagus irregularis became available, potentially making its use viable in tropical agriculture. One of the most globally important food plants in the tropics is cassava. We evaluated the effect of in vitro mass-produced R. irregularis inoculum on the yield of cassava crops at two locations in Colombia. A significant effect of R. irregularis inoculation on yield occurred at both sites. At one site, yield increases were observed irrespective of P fertilization. At the other site, inoculation with AMF and 50% of the normally applied P gave the highest yield. Despite that AMF inoculation resulted in greater food production, economic analyses revealed that AMF inoculation did not give greater return on investment than with conventional cultivation. However, the amount of AMF inoculum used was double the recommended dose and was calculated with European, not Colombian, inoculum prices. R. irregularis can also be manipulated genetically in vitro, leading to improved plant growth. We conclude that application of in vitro R. irregularis is currently a way of increasing cassava yields, that there is a strong potential for it to be economically profitable and that there is enormous potential to improve this efficiency further in the future.

  8. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in edible grain: a pilot study of agricultural crops as a human exposure pathway for environmental contaminants using wheat as a model crop.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Reiko; Okamoto, Robert A; Maddalena, Randy L; Kado, Norman Y

    2008-06-01

    The concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were investigated in a pilot study of field wheat grain as a model indicator for environmental contamination. The edible grain would serve as a portal for human exposure. Wheat grain was initially studied since it is one of the major food crops consumed internationally by many including infants and children. Wheat grain samples from five different geographical growing locations in California that span approximately 450 km were collected during the same growing season. The same variety of grain was harvested and analyzed for PAHs that ranged from 2- to 6-rings. PAHs were detected in all grain samples and were mainly 2- to 4-ring PAHs with naphthalene the most abundant among them. There were geographical differences in the levels of PAHs in the grain. The sources of the PAHs were not known in this pilot study, but the principal component analysis indicates that the major source is similar in all locations except for naphthalene. Grain naphthalene concentrations may reflect local naphthalene emissions. Diesel-fueled harvesting operations did not appear to contribute to the observed PAH concentrations in the grain. An estimate of naphthalene intake from eating grain compared to inhalation intake demonstrated the potential importance of field contamination of grain as a possible portal of human exposure. The relationship between PAH concentrations in grain and air should be quantitatively investigated to better quantitate exposure and to identify effective measures to lower the risk from PAH exposure through eating grain.

  9. 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.

  10. Vertical migration of 60Co, 137Cs and 226Ra in agricultural soils as observed in lysimeters under crop rotation.

    PubMed

    Shinonaga, T; Schimmack, W; Gerzabek, M H

    2005-01-01

    In most studies quantifying the migration parameters - apparent migration velocity and apparent dispersion coefficient - of radionuclides in the soil by model calculations, these parameters are determined for undisturbed soils. For soils disturbed by ploughing, however, no such data are available in the literature. Therefore, in the present study, the migration parameters of (137)Cs, (60)Co and (226)Ra were estimated for ploughed soils by means of a convection-dispersion model. The depth distributions of the radionuclides were determined in four lysimeters (area: 1m(2), depth of soil monolith: 0.75m) filled with artificially contaminated soils of different types in July 1990. The lysimeters were cropped with agricultural plants. The soil in each lysimeter was ploughed manually once a year until 1996 (plough depth 20cm). In July 1999, soil samples were collected from three pits in each lysimeter. The depth distributions of all radionuclides proved to be very similar in each soil pit. The spatial variability of the depth distributions of a given radionuclide within the lysimeters was about the same as their variability between the four lysimeters. Evaluation of the migration parameters revealed that the convective transport of the radionuclides was always rather small or even zero, while the dispersive transport caused a "melting" process of the initially sharp activity edge at the lower border of the Ap horizon. These results are explained by the high evapotranspiration (80-90% of the total precipitation plus irrigation) and the small amounts of seepage water during the observation period of 9 years.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Supplementary calcium ameliorates ammonium toxicity by improving water status in agriculturally important species.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Gómez, Elvia; Valdez-Aguilar, Luis A; Cartmill, Donita L; Cartmill, Andrew D; Alia-Tajacal, Irán

    2015-09-02

    Fertilization of agricultural plants with ammonium [Formula: see text] is often desirable because it is less susceptible to leaching than nitrate [Formula: see text] reducing environmental pollution, risk to human health and economic loss. However, a number of important agricultural species exhibit a reduction in growth when fertilized with [Formula: see text] and increasing the tolerance to [Formula: see text] may be of importance for the establishment of sustainable agricultural systems. The present study explored the feasibility of using calcium (Ca) to increase the tolerance of bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) to [Formula: see text] fertilization. Although [Formula: see text] at proportions ≥25 % of total nitrogen (N) decreased leaf dry mass (DM), supplementary Ca ameliorated this decrease. Increasing [Formula: see text] resulted in decreased root hydraulic conductance (Lo) and root water content (RWC), suggesting that water uptake by roots was impaired. The [Formula: see text]-induced reductions in Lo and RWC were mitigated by supplementary Ca. Ammonium induced increased damage to the cell membranes through lipid peroxidation, causing increased electrolyte leakage; Ca did not reduce lipid peroxidation and resulted in increased electrolyte leakage, suggesting that the beneficial effects of Ca on the tolerance to [Formula: see text] may be more of a reflection on its effect on the water status of the plant. Bell pepper plants that received [Formula: see text] had a low concentration of [Formula: see text] in the roots but a high concentration in the leaves, probably due to the high nitrate reductase activity observed. Ammonium nutrition depressed the uptake of potassium, Ca and magnesium, while increasing that of phosphorus. The results obtained in the present study indicate that [Formula: see text] caused growth reduction, nutrient imbalance, membrane integrity impairment, increased activity of antioxidant enzymes and affected water relations. Supplementary Ca

  14. Supplementary calcium ameliorates ammonium toxicity by improving water status in agriculturally important species

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Gómez, Elvia; Valdez-Aguilar, Luis A.; Cartmill, Donita L.; Cartmill, Andrew D.; Alia-Tajacal, Irán

    2015-01-01

    Fertilization of agricultural plants with ammonium (NH4+) is often desirable because it is less susceptible to leaching than nitrate (NO3−), reducing environmental pollution, risk to human health and economic loss. However, a number of important agricultural species exhibit a reduction in growth when fertilized with NH4+, and increasing the tolerance to NH4+ may be of importance for the establishment of sustainable agricultural systems. The present study explored the feasibility of using calcium (Ca) to increase the tolerance of bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) to NH4+ fertilization. Although NH4+ at proportions ≥25 % of total nitrogen (N) decreased leaf dry mass (DM), supplementary Ca ameliorated this decrease. Increasing NH4+ resulted in decreased root hydraulic conductance (Lo) and root water content (RWC), suggesting that water uptake by roots was impaired. The NH4+-induced reductions in Lo and RWC were mitigated by supplementary Ca. Ammonium induced increased damage to the cell membranes through lipid peroxidation, causing increased electrolyte leakage; Ca did not reduce lipid peroxidation and resulted in increased electrolyte leakage, suggesting that the beneficial effects of Ca on the tolerance to NH4+ may be more of a reflection on its effect on the water status of the plant. Bell pepper plants that received NO3−N had a low concentration of NH4+ in the roots but a high concentration in the leaves, probably due to the high nitrate reductase activity observed. Ammonium nutrition depressed the uptake of potassium, Ca and magnesium, while increasing that of phosphorus. The results obtained in the present study indicate that NH4+ caused growth reduction, nutrient imbalance, membrane integrity impairment, increased activity of antioxidant enzymes and affected water relations. Supplementary Ca partially restored growth of leaves by improving root Lo and water relations, and our results suggest that it may be used as a tool to increase the tolerance to NH4

  15. 7 CFR 999.300 - Regulation governing importation of raisins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Regulation governing importation of raisins. 999.300 Section 999.300 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL... SPECIALTY CROPS; IMPORT REGULATIONS § 999.300 Regulation governing importation of raisins. (a)...

  16. Fate of the insecticidal Cry1Ab protein of GM crops in two agricultural soils as revealed by ¹⁴C-tracer studies.

    PubMed

    Valldor, Petra; Miethling-Graff, Rona; Martens, Rainer; Tebbe, Christoph C

    2015-09-01

    Insecticidal delta-endotoxins of Bacillus thuringiensis are among the most abundant recombinant proteins released by genetically modified (GM) crops into agricultural soils worldwide. However, there is still controversy about their degradation and accumulation in soils. In this study, (14)C-labelled Cry1Ab protein was applied to soil microcosms at two concentrations (14 and 50 μg g(-1) soil) to quantify the mineralization of Cry1Ab, its incorporation into the soil microbial biomass, and its persistence in two soils which strongly differed in their texture but not in silt or pH. Furthermore, ELISA was used to quantify Cry1Ab and its potential immunoreactive breakdown products in aqueous soil extracts. In both soils, (14)CO2-production was initially very high and then declined during a total monitoring period of up to 135 days. A total of 16 to 23 % of the (14)C activity was incorporated after 29 to 37 days into the soil microbial biomass, indicating that Cry1Ab protein was utilized by microorganisms as a growth substrate. Adsorption in the clay-rich soil was the most important factor limiting microbial degradation; as indicated by higher degradation rates in the more sandy soil, extremely low concentrations of immunoreactive Cry1Ab molecules in the soils' aqueous extracts and a higher amount of (14)C activity bound to the soil with more clay. Ecological risk assessments of Bt-crops should therefore consider that the very low concentrations of extractable Cry1Ab do not reflect the actual elimination of the protein from soils but that, on the other hand, desorbed proteins mineralize quickly due to efficient microbial degradation.

  17. Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation of yam (Dioscorea rotundata): an important tool for functional study of genes and crop improvement

    PubMed Central

    Nyaboga, Evans; Tripathi, Jaindra N.; Manoharan, Rajesh; Tripathi, Leena

    2014-01-01

    Although genetic transformation of clonally propagated crops has been widely studied as a tool for crop improvement and as a vital part of the development of functional genomics resources, there has been no report of any existing Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of yam (Dioscorea spp.) with evidence of stable integration of T-DNA. Yam is an important crop in the tropics and subtropics providing food security and income to over 300 million people. However, yam production remains constrained by increasing levels of field and storage pests and diseases. A major constraint to the development of biotechnological approaches for yam improvement has been the lack of an efficient and robust transformation and regeneration system. In this study, we developed an Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of Dioscorea rotundata using axillary buds as explants. Two cultivars of D. rotundata were transformed using Agrobacterium tumefaciens harboring the binary vectors containing selectable marker and reporter genes. After selection with appropriate concentrations of antibiotic, shoots were developed on shoot induction and elongation medium. The elongated antibiotic-resistant shoots were subsequently rooted on medium supplemented with selection agent. Successful transformation was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction, Southern blot analysis, and reporter genes assay. Expression of gusA gene in transgenic plants was also verified by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis. Transformation efficiency varied from 9.4 to 18.2% depending on the cultivars, selectable marker genes, and the Agrobacterium strain used for transformation. It took 3–4 months from Agro-infection to regeneration of complete transgenic plant. Here we report an efficient, fast and reproducible protocol for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of D. rotundata using axillary buds as explants, which provides a useful platform for future genetic engineering studies in this economically important

  18. Collecting crop wild relatives: an emerging priority

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wild relatives of crop species (CWR) are an important resource to support the development of crops adapted to climate change. Historically, efforts to conserve agricultural biodiversity have relegated the collection of CWR species to the back burner. As a result, significant collecting gaps remain. ...

  19. Modelling climate change impacts on and adaptation strategies for agriculture in Sardinia and Tunisia using AquaCrop and value-at-risk.

    PubMed

    Bird, David Neil; Benabdallah, Sihem; Gouda, Nadine; Hummel, Franz; Koeberl, Judith; La Jeunesse, Isabelle; Meyer, Swen; Prettenthaler, Franz; Soddu, Antonino; Woess-Gallasch, Susanne

    2016-02-01

    In Europe, there is concern that climate change will cause significant impacts around the Mediterranean. The goals of this study are to quantify the economic risk to crop production, to demonstrate the variability of yield by soil texture and climate model and to investigate possible adaptation strategies. In the Rio Mannu di San Sperate watershed, located in Sardinia (Italy) we investigate production of wheat, a rainfed crop. In the Chiba watershed located in Cap Bon (Tunisia), we analyze irrigated tomato production. We find, using the FAO model AquaCrop that crop production will decrease significantly in a future climate (2040-2070) as compared to the present without adaptation measures. Using "value-at-risk", we show that production should be viewed in a statistical manner. Wheat yields in Sardinia are modelled to decrease by 64% on clay loams, and to increase by 8% and 26% respectively on sandy loams and sandy clay loams. Assuming constant irrigation, tomatoes sown in August in Cap Bon are modelled to have a 45% chance of crop failure on loamy sands; a 39% decrease in yields on sandy clay loams; and a 12% increase in yields on sandy loams. For tomatoes sown in March; sandy clay loams will fail 81% of the time; on loamy sands the crop yields will be 63% less while on sandy loams, the yield will increase by 12%. However, if one assume 10% less water available for irrigation then tomatoes sown in March are not viable. Some adaptation strategies will be able to counteract the modelled crop losses. Increasing the amount of irrigation one strategy however this may not be sustainable. Changes in agricultural management such as changing the planting date of wheat to coincide with changing rainfall patterns in Sardinia or mulching of tomatoes in Tunisia can be effective at reducing crop losses.

  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. Impacts of varying agricultural intensification on crop yield and groundwater resources: comparison of the North China Plain and US High Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pei, Hongwei; Scanlon, Bridget R.; Shen, Yanjun; Reedy, Robert C.; Long, Di; Liu, Changming

    2015-04-01

    Agricultural intensification is often considered the primary approach to meet rising food demand. Here we compare impacts of intensive cultivation on crop yield in the North China Plain (NCP) with less intensive cultivation in the US High Plains (USHP) and associated effects on water resources using spatial datasets. Average crop yield during the past decade from intensive double cropping of wheat and corn in the NCP was only 15% higher than the yield from less intensive single cropping of corn in the USHP, although nitrogen fertilizer application and percent of cropland that was irrigated were both ˜2 times greater in the NCP than in the USHP. Irrigation and fertilization in both regions have depleted groundwater storage and resulted in widespread groundwater nitrate contamination. The limited response to intensive management in the NCP is attributed in part to the two month shorter growing season for corn to accommodate winter wheat than that for corn in the USHP. Previous field and modeling studies of crop yield in the NCP highlight over application of N and water resulting in low nitrogen and water use efficiencies and indicate that cultivars, plant densities, soil fertility and other factors had a much greater impact on crop yields over the past few decades. The NCP-USHP comparison along with previous field and modeling studies underscores the need to weigh the yield returns from intensive management relative to the negative impacts on water resources. Future crop management should consider the many factors that contribute to yield along with optimal fertilization and irrigation to further increase crop yields while reducing adverse impacts on water resources.

  2. Climate Variability is Influencing Agricultural Expansion and Output in a Key Agricultural Region of Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spera, S. A.; Cohn, A.; VanWey, L.; Mustard, J. F.

    2013-12-01

    Over the last decade, the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso has both expanded and intensified its agricultural production to become the country's leading producer of soy, corn, and cotton. Yet this increase in agricultural production may be threatened due to changes in the region's climate stemming from deforestation caused by the agricultural expansion itself. The sensitivity of Mato Grosso's agriculture to climate variability has important implications for both climate change mitigation and climate adaptation. The vast bulk of research on the drivers of land use change in the region has examined economic and institutional drivers. Leveraging a novel remote sensing-derived dataset classifying shifts between single (cultivating one commercial crop per growing season) and double cropping (cultivating two commercial crops per growing season), we investigated the influence of climate variability on land use change during the period 2000 to 2011. Over the past decade, over half of Mato Grosso's farm area transitioned from single cropping to double cropping. We used regression analysis (controlling for space and time fixed effects) to show monthly rainfall, monthly temperature, agricultural commodity prices, and agricultural revenue to be the main drivers of adoption of double cropping and reversion to single cropping in the region. The influence of climate varies as much as five orders of magnitude across these outcomes, with both temperature and precipitation exhibiting the largest climatic influence on the transition from single to double cropping. Temperature consistently proves to be more important, explaining three times more of the variance than precipitation for each outcome. Months at the beginning of a given first crop season, the end of that first crop season, and middle of the subsequent second crop season are particularly important for planting decisions in the subsequent growing year. Fitting our land transition models using remote-sensing derived

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  4. Slow pyrolyzed biochars from crop residues for soil metal(loid) immobilization and microbial community abundance in contaminated agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Igalavithana, Avanthi Deshani; Park, Jinje; Ryu, Changkook; Lee, Young Han; Hashimoto, Yohey; Huang, Longbin; Kwon, Eilhann E; Ok, Yong Sik; Lee, Sang Soo

    2017-06-01

    This study evaluated the feasibility of using biochars produced from three types of crop residues for immobilizing Pb and As and their effects on the abundance of microbial community in contaminated lowland paddy (P-soil) and upland (U-soil) agricultural soils. Biochars were produced from umbrella tree [Maesopsis eminii] wood bark [WB], cocopeat [CP], and palm kernel shell [PKS] at 500 °C by slow pyrolysis at a heating rate of 10 °C min(-1). Soils were incubated with 5% (w w(-1)) biochars at 25 °C and 70% water holding capacity for 45 d. The biochar effects on metal immobilization were evaluated by sequential extraction of the treated soil, and the microbial community was determined by microbial fatty acid profiles and dehydrogenase activity. The addition of WB caused the largest decrease in Pb in the exchangeable fraction (P-soil: 77.7%, U-soil: 91.5%), followed by CP (P-soil: 67.1%, U-soil: 81.1%) and PKS (P-soil: 9.1%, U-soil: 20.0%) compared to that by the control. In contrast, the additions of WB and CP increased the exchangeable As in U-soil by 84.6% and 14.8%, respectively. Alkalinity and high phosphorous content of biochars might be attributed to the Pb immobilization and As mobilization, respectively. The silicon content in biochars is also an influencing factor in increasing the As mobility. However, no considerable effects of biochars on the microbial community abundance and dehydrogenase activity were found in both soils.

  5. The relative importance of microbial nitrate reduction processes in an agriculturally-impacted estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardarelli, E.; Francis, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    Human activities are increasing reactive nitrogen levels worldwide. Reactive nitrogen exists largely as nitrate and may be ecologically harmful to nutrient-limited systems. Nitrate loadings to the environment may be transformed by the microbial nitrate reduction processes of denitrification (converting nitrate to dinitrogen gas), or of dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) (allowing reactive nitrogen to persist). The predominant nitrate reduction pathway largely determines the nitrogen removal capacity of the estuary. Therefore, identifying the relative importance of denitrification and DNRA in a given system provides insight into how much nitrate is transformed to dinitrogen and ammonium. Estuary sediments often have high nitrate reduction rates, but the environmental factors that determine which process prevails are underexplored. Nitrate availability and salinity are thought to influence which nitrate reduction process predominates. Elkhorn Slough is a small California estuary that experiences a range of nitrate concentrations (0 to over 2,000 μM) and salinities (0 to 33.5) depending on the agricultural runoff introduced through the Old Salinas River and the tidal influence. This study investigates how the fluctuating nutrient and salinity conditions found over the diel cycle at the interface of the Old Salinas River and Elkhorn Slough influences the nitrogen transformation rates observed. Benthic denitrification and DNRA are evaluated using whole sediment core incubations amended with an overlying 15NO3- labeled pool. Rates of denitrification and DNRA in the sediment are calculated using the isotope pairing technique. The results of this research will help elucidate the relative importance of dissimilatory nitrate removal pathways in an agriculturally-impacted estuary and ultimately reveal whether anthropogenic nitrate inputs are preserved or removed from the system.

  6. Yield responses of wild C3 and C4 crop progenitors to subambient CO2 : a test for the role of CO2 limitation in the origin of agriculture.

    PubMed

    Cunniff, Jennifer; Jones, Glynis; Charles, Michael; Osborne, Colin P

    2017-01-01

    Limitation of plant productivity by the low partial pressure of atmospheric CO2 (Ca ) experienced during the last glacial period is hypothesized to have been an important constraint on the origins of agriculture. In support of this hypothesis, previous work has shown that glacial Ca limits vegetative growth in the wild progenitors of both C3 and C4 founder crops. Here, we present data showing that glacial Ca also reduces grain yield in both crop types. We grew four wild progenitors of C3 (einkorn wheat and barley) and C4 crops (foxtail and broomcorn millets) at glacial and postglacial Ca , measuring grain yield and the morphological and physiological components contributing to these yield changes. The C3 species showed a significant increase in unthreshed grain yield of ~50% with the glacial to postglacial increase in Ca , which matched the stimulation of photosynthesis, suggesting that increases in photosynthesis are directly translated into yield at subambient levels of Ca . Increased yield was controlled by a higher rate of tillering, leading to a larger number of tillers bearing fertile spikes, and increases in seed number and size. The C4 species showed smaller, but significant, increases in grain yield of 10-15%, arising from larger seed numbers and sizes. Photosynthesis was enhanced by Ca in only one C4 species and the effect diminished during development, suggesting that an indirect mechanism mediated by plant water relations could also be playing a role in the yield increase. Interestingly, the C4 species at glacial Ca showed some evidence that photosynthetic capacity was upregulated to enhance carbon capture. Development under glacial Ca also impacted negatively on the subsequent germination and viability of seeds. These results suggest that the grain production of both C3 and C4 crop progenitors was limited by the atmospheric conditions of the last glacial period, with important implications for the origins of agriculture.

  7. Bioenergy: Agricultural Crop Residues

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. 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.