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Sample records for crop production costs

  1. Rehabilitating acid soils for increasing crop productivity through low-cost liming material.

    PubMed

    Bhat, Javid Ahmad; Kundu, Manik Chandra; Hazra, Gora Chand; Santra, Gour Hari; Mandal, Biswapati

    2010-09-15

    Productivity of red and lateritic soils is low because of their acidity and deficiencies in few essential nutrients viz., nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, boron, molybdenum etc. We compared the effectiveness of basic slag, a low-cost liming material, with that of calcite as an ameliorant for these soils using mustard followed by rice as test crops. Experiments were conducted with three levels of each of basic slag and calcite along with a control on farmers' fields at 14 different locations. Influence of farmyard manure (FYM) and poultry manure (PM) on the effectiveness of the slag was also tested. On an average, basic slag performed better than calcite in increasing yields of both mustard and rice and left over higher amounts of available Ca, Si and Zn in residual soils. The slag also improved N, P, K and Ca nutrition of mustard and Si and Zn nutrition of rice with a favorable benefit:cost (B:C) ratio over the calcite (4.82 vs. 1.44). Effectiveness of the basic slag improved when it was applied in combination with FYM or PM (B:C, 5.83 and 6.27). Basic slag can, therefore, be advocated for use in the acidic red and lateritic soils for economically improving their productivity.

  2. Energy balance and cost-benefit analysis of biogas production from perennial energy crops pretreated by wet oxidation.

    PubMed

    Uellendahl, H; Wang, G; Møller, H B; Jørgensen, U; Skiadas, I V; Gavala, H N; Ahring, B K

    2008-01-01

    Perennial crops need far less energy to plant, require less fertilizer and pesticides, and show a lower negative environmental impact compared with annual crops like for example corn. This makes the cultivation of perennial crops as energy crops more sustainable than the use of annual crops. The conversion into biogas in anaerobic digestion plants shows however much lower specific methane yields for the raw perennial crops like miscanthus and willow due to their lignocellulosic structure. Without pretreatment the net energy gain is therefore lower for the perennials than for corn. When applying wet oxidation to the perennial crops, however, the specific methane yield increases significantly and the ratio of energy output to input and of costs to benefit for the whole chain of biomass supply and conversion into biogas becomes higher than for corn. This will make the use of perennial crops as energy crops competitive to the use of corn and this combination will make the production of biogas from energy crops more sustainable.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chukalla, Abebe; Krol, Maarten; Hoekstra, Arjen

    2016-04-01

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

  5. Conservation cropping systems: Increasing water use efficiency and lowering production costs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As of the 2007 Census of Agriculture, irrigated acres were only found on 4.4% of agricultural operations in Alabama. To increase irrigated acres, the Alabama Legislature passed the Irrigation Incentives Bill in 2012 to provide a state income tax credit of 20 percent of the costs of the purchase and ...

  6. An Application of the Phosphorus Consistent Rule for Environmentally Acceptable Cost-Efficient Management of Broiler Litter in Crop Production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paudel, Krishna P.; Limaye, Ashutosh; Adhikari, Murali; Martin, Neil R., Jr.

    2004-01-01

    We calculated the profitability of using broiler litter as a source of plant nutrients using the phosphorus consistent litter application rule. The cost saving by using litter is 37% over the use of chemical fertilizer-only option to meet the nutrient needs of major crops grown in Alabama. In the optimal solution, only a few routes of all the possible routes developed were used for inter- and intra- county litter hauling. If litter is not adopted as the sole source of crop nutrients, the best environmental policy may be to pair the phosphorus consistent rule with taxes, marketable permits, and subsidies.flaws

  7. Alternative Crops and Biofuel Production

    SciTech Connect

    Kenkel, Philip; Holcomb, Rodney B.

    2013-03-01

    In order for the biofuel industry to meet the RFS benchmarks for biofuels, new feedstock sources and production systems will have to be identified and evaluated. The Southern Plains has the potential to produce over a billion gallons of biofuels from regionally produced alternative crops, agricultural residues, and animal fats. While information on biofuel conversion processes is available, it is difficult for entrepreneurs, community planners and other interested individuals to determine the feasibility of biofuel processes or to match production alternatives with feed stock availability and community infrastructure. This project facilitates the development of biofuel production from these regionally available feed stocks. Project activities are concentrated in five major areas. The first component focused on demonstrating the supply of biofuel feedstocks. This involves modeling the yield and cost of production of dedicated energy crops at the county level. In 1991 the DOE selected switchgrass as a renewable source to produce transportation fuel after extensive evaluations of many plant species in multiple location (Caddel et al,. 2010). However, data on the yield and cost of production of switchgrass are limited. This deficiency in demonstrating the supply of biofuel feedstocks was addressed by modeling the potential supply and geographic variability of switchgrass yields based on relationship of available switchgrass yields to the yields of other forage crops. This model made it possible to create a database of projected switchgrass yields for five different soil types at the county level. A major advantage of this methodology is that the supply projections can be easily updated as improved varieties of switchgrass are developed and additional yield data becomes available. The modeling techniques are illustrated using the geographic area of Oklahoma. A summary of the regional supply is then provided.

  8. Patterns of energy use, energy cost increases, and their impacts on crop production on the Big Island of Hawaii: a linear-programming approach

    SciTech Connect

    Koffi-Tessio, E.N.

    1982-01-01

    This study examines the interrelationship between the energy sector and the production of three agricultural crops (sugar, macadamia nut, and coffee) by small growers on the Big Island of Hawaii. Specifically, it attempts: to explore the patterns of energy use in agriculture; to determine the relative efficiency of fuel use by farm size among the three crops; and to investigate the impacts of higher energy costs on farmers' net revenues under three output-price and three energy-cost scenarios. To meet these objectives, a linear-programming model was developed. The objective function was to maximize net revenues subject to resource availability, production, marketing, and non-negativity constraints. The major conclusions emerging are: higher energy costs have not significantly impacted on farmers' net revenues, but do have a differential impact depending on the output price and resource endowments of each crop grower; farmers are faced with many constraints that do not permit factor substitution. For policy formulation, it was observed that policy makers are overly concerned with the problems facing growers at the macro level, without considering their constraints at the micro level. These micro factors play a dominant role in resource allocation. They must, therefore, be incorporated into a comprehensive energy and agricultural policy at the county and state level.

  9. Genetic Engineering and Crop Production.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Helen C.; Frost, S.

    1991-01-01

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

  10. PETRO: Higher Productivity Crops for Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    2012-01-01

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

  11. On farm evaluation of the effect of low cost drip irrigation on water and crop productivity compared to conventional surface irrigation system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maisiri, N.; Senzanje, A.; Rockstrom, J.; Twomlow, S. J.

    This on-farm research study was carried out at Zholube irrigation scheme in a semi-arid agro tropical climate of Zimbabwe to determine how low cost drip irrigation technologies compare with conventional surface irrigation systems in terms of water and crop productivity. A total of nine farmers who were practicing surface irrigation were chosen to participate in the study. The vegetable English giant rape ( Brassica napus) was grown under the two irrigation systems with three fertilizer treatments in each system: ordinary granular fertilizer, liquid fertilizer (fertigation) and the last treatment with no fertilizer. These trials were replicated three times in a randomized block design. Biometric parameters of leaf area index (LAI) and fresh weight of the produce, water use efficiency (WUE) were used to compare the performance of the two irrigation systems. A water balance of the inflows and outflows was kept for analysis of WUE. The economic profitability and the operation, maintenance and management requirements of the different systems were also evaluated. There was no significant difference in vegetable yield between the irrigation systems at 8.5 ton/ha for drip compared to 7.8 ton/ha in surface irrigation. There were significant increases in yields due to use of fertilizers. Drip irrigation used about 35% of the water used by the surface irrigation systems thus giving much higher water use efficiencies. The leaf area indices were comparable in both systems with the same fertilizer treatment ranging between 0.05 for surface without fertilizer to 6.8 for low cost drip with fertigation. Low cost drip systems did not reflect any labour saving especially when manually lifting the water into the drum compared to the use of siphons in surface irrigation systems. The gross margin level for surface irrigation was lower than for low cost drip irrigation but the gross margin to total variable cost ratio was higher in surface irrigation systems, which meant that surface

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. 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. The limits of crop productivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugbee, Bruce; Monje, Oscar

    1992-01-01

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

  16. Potential supply and cost of biomass from energy crops in the TVA region

    SciTech Connect

    Graham, R.L.; Downing, M.E.

    1995-04-01

    The economic and supply structures of energy crop markets have not been established. Establishing the likely price and supply of energy crop biomass in a region is a complex task because biomass is not an established commodity as are oil, natural gas, and coal. In this study, the cost and supply of short-rotation woody crop (SRWC) and switchgrass biomass for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) region-a 276-county area that includes portions of 11 states in the southeastern United States - are projected. Projected prices and quantities of biomass are assumed to be a function of the amount and quality of crop and pasture land available in a region, expected energy crop yields and production costs on differing soils and land types, and the profit that could be obtained from current conventional crop production on these same lands. Results include the supply curves of SRWC and switchgrass biomass that are projected to be available from the entire region, the amount and location of crop and pasture land that would be used, and the conventional agricultural crops that would be displaced as a function of energy crop production. Finally, the results of sensitivity analysis on the projected cost and supply of energy crop biomass are shown. In particular, the separate impacts of varying energy crop production costs and yields, and interest rates are examined.

  17. Crop kites: Determining crop-water production functions using crop coefficients and sensitivity indices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smilovic, Mikhail; Gleeson, Tom; Adamowski, Jan

    2016-11-01

    The crop-water production function quantitatively evaluates the relationship between seasonal water use and crop yield and is used to evaluate optimal irrigation depth and assess the potential of deficit and supplemental irrigation. A simple and easily applicable methodology to develop crop- and region-specific crop-water production functions using crop coefficients and sensitivity-indices is presented. Previous efforts to describe the crop-water production function have not accounted for the effects of the temporal distribution of water use and trivialize the associated variability in yields by assuming an optimized or arbitrary temporal distribution. The temporal distribution of water use throughout the growing season can significantly influence crop yield, and the ability of farmers to manage both the timing and amount of irrigation water may result in higher yields. We propose crop kites, a tool that explicitly acknowledges crop yield as a function of the temporal distribution of water use to both evaluate the complete space of water use and crop yield relationships, and extract from this space specific crop-water production functions. An example for winter wheat is presented using previously validated crop-specific sensitivity indices. Crop-water production functions are extracted from the crop kite related to specific irrigation schedules and temporal distributions of water use. Crop-water production functions associated with maximizing agricultural production agree with previous efforts characterizing the shape as a diminishing curvilinear function. Crop kites provide the tools for water managers and policy makers to evaluate crop- and region-specific agricultural production as it relates to water management and the associated economics, and to determine appropriate policies for developing and supporting the infrastructure to increase water productivity.

  18. Bioethanol production from dedicated energy crops and residues in Arkansas, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Globally, one of the major technological goals is cost-effective lignocellulosic ethanol production from biomass feedstocks. Lignocellulosic biomass of five dedicated energy crops and two crops residues were tested for bioethanol production using cellulose solvent-based lignocellulose fractionation...

  19. Genetically engineered crops: from idea to product.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1982-12-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. Establishing Crop Productivity Using RADARSAT-2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. How Do We Improve Crop Production in a Warming World?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Global analysis of crop yields from 1981-2002, showed a negative response of wheat, maize and barley yields to rising temperature, costing an estimated $5 billion per year. An analysis of maize and soybean production in the northern Corn Belt region of the U.S. found that productivity was adversely ...

  7. Embodied crop calories in animal products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  8. Sensing technologies for precision specialty crop production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  9. Alcohol co-production from tree crops

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-06-01

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

  10. Water Production Functions for High Plains Crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. Water savings of redistributing global crop production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  12. Production cost analysis and use of pesticides in the transgenic and conventional corn crop [Zea mays (L.)] in the valley of San Juan, Tolima.

    PubMed

    Méndez, Kelly Avila; Chaparro Giraldo, Alejandro; Moreno, Giovanni Reyes; Castro, Carlos Silva

    2011-01-01

    A survey of 10 producers of conventional corn (Hybrids PAC 105 and Maximus) and 10 producers of transgenic corn (Pioneer Hybrid 30T17) was carried out in the municipality of Valle de San Juan in the territorial division of Tolima (Colombia), in order to analyze the differences in production costs and environmental impacts of these two agricultural technologies.  The environmental impacts were determined by calculating the field "Environmental Index Quotient" (EIQ). In the production cost analysis, a difference of 15% was found in benefit of the transgenic technology. The structure of costs of the transgenic technology was benefited by the reduced use of pesticides (insecticides and herbicides). In regards to production, the transgenic technology showed a greater yield, 5.22 ton/ha in comparison to 4.25 ton/ha the conventional technology, thus a 22% difference in yield. Finally, the EIQ calculation showed quantitative differences of 196.12 for the conventional technology (EIQ insecticides 165.14 + EIQ herbicides 30.98), while the transgenic technology was of 4.24 (EIQ insecticides 0 + EIQ herbicides 4.24). These results show a minor environmental impact when using the transgenic technology in comparison to the conventional technology, in regards to the use of insecticides and herbicides in a temporal, spatial and genotypical context analysis. :

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Geosensors to support crop production: current applications and user requirements.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Improving water use in crop production.

    PubMed

    Morison, J I L; Baker, N R; Mullineaux, P M; Davies, W J

    2008-02-12

    Globally, agriculture accounts for 80-90% of all freshwater used by humans, and most of that is in crop production. In many areas, this water use is unsustainable; water supplies are also under pressure from other users and are being affected by climate change. Much effort is being made to reduce water use by crops and produce 'more crop per drop'. This paper examines water use by crops, taking particularly a physiological viewpoint, examining the underlying relationships between carbon uptake, growth and water loss. Key examples of recent progress in both assessing and improving crop water productivity are described. It is clear that improvements in both agronomic and physiological understanding have led to recent increases in water productivity in some crops. We believe that there is substantial potential for further improvements owing to the progress in understanding the physiological responses of plants to water supply, and there is considerable promise within the latest molecular genetic approaches, if linked to the appropriate environmental physiology. We conclude that the interactions between plant and environment require a team approach looking across the disciplines from genes to plants to crops in their particular environments to deliver improved water productivity and contribute to sustainability.

  16. 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.

  17. Production of Pharmaceutical Proteins in Solanaceae Food Crops

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Educational Costs and Productivity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hallak, Jacques, Comp.

    This seminar focused on costs and productivity as they are defined within both education and economics. Some topics that received special attention were: definition problems, estimating methods, analysis methods, existing research results, and examples of improvement in educational efficiency. The document groups seminar papers under (1) general…

  19. Costs of using crop residues in direct combustion applications

    SciTech Connect

    Flaim, S.; Urban, D.

    1980-03-01

    The economic feasibility of burning crop residues for on-farm grain drying, grain drying at a grain elevator, and electricity generation at a utility are examined. Following dramatic price increases for petroleum during 1979, grain drying is the most economically attractive alternative studied. For on-farm applications, a typical 400-acre grain harvest would consume nearly 5,500 gallons of propane to dry 52,000 bushels of corn from 22% moisture content wet basis (MCWB) to 15% MCWB. Fuel savings from using crop residues instead of propane amount to nearly $2,080 for a typical 8-day harvest. Since one grain elevator services many customers, the front-end capital costs of a residue burner cane spread over a larger harvest. The fuel savings over propane for grain elevators amount to nearly $27,400 per year - approximately the cost of the drying equipment (bin excluded). The cost of using crop residues in utility aplications are prohibitive if the average cost of coal for utilities is used for comparison. The potential use of crop residues as a utility boiler fuel is much greater than grain drying, but relative costs depend on the specific characteristics of each application and on the accessibility and cost of coal.

  20. Industrial protein production crops: new needs and new opportunities.

    PubMed

    Herman, Eliot M; Schmidt, Monica A

    2010-01-01

    There are many diverse uses for industrial proteins with new opportunities for novel uses frequently emerging. Prominent among these uses are enzymes catalyzing the processing of food/feed and for the production of cellulosic biofuels. Other significant industrial protein uses include antibodies and other binding proteins for purification and/or clean-up of industrial product streams. Enabling technology is needed to produce these now expensive industrial proteins could be produced cost-effectively. Plant-based production of industrial enzymes offers the prospect of massive, scalable production, coupled with low production cost especially if a co-product, such as seed oil or starch, subsidizes the primary crop production costs. High-protein seeds whose composition is remodeled to produce industrial proteins can be a cost-effective means to produce industrial proteins. There are both technical and regulatory issues to resolve in order to deploy plants and seeds as industrial protein production platforms and many of these issues may be more easily resolved by developing nonfood crops specifically for use as industrial production platforms. An emerging industrial plant, Camelina, has potential as a protein-production platform subsidized by the seed oil co-product.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sammuels, G.

    1983-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. Methanol and the productivity of tropical crops

    SciTech Connect

    Ferguson, T.U.

    1995-12-31

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

  5. Phosphorus Management in Crop Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  6. Crop water productivity and irrigation management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. Introduction to Crop Production. Unit A-7.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luft, Vernon D.; Backlund, Paul

    This document is a teacher's guide for a unit in vocational agriculture for college freshmen. It is intended to be used for 20 hours of instruction as an introductory course on the crop industry. It provides a broad background of the industry, including production, marketing, processing, and transportation, with emphasis on identifying major crops…

  8. An approach to assess NEE and C-costs associated with an energy-crop production at different erosion-induced transient states in a typical Northeastern Germany landscape using process-based agroecosystem modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatskikh, D.; Nendel, C.; Hagemann, U.; Specka, X.; Augustin, J.; Sommer, M.; Van Oost, K.

    2012-04-01

    Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) and C-costs associated with energy-crop production systems which are outside of NEE must be determined to suggest optimal mitigation options. In theory, NEE can be positive, if SOC is building up, neutral or balanced, with no change in SOC, or negative, if SOC is lost as a result of a soil degradation processes. Unclearness in complex multiscale interactions between different processes in the landscape in combination with a well-known wide range of uncertainties around NEE estimations makes these estimations for landscape scale scarce. In this study we used a process-based modeling to assess C-costs associated with soil erosion, assessing NEE at different erosion-induced transient states in the experiment settled Northeastern Germany (near Dedelow) in a representative section of younger landscape of hummocky ground moraine (CarboZALF-D). We used Monica, a soil-crop-atmosphere model, which is well-validated for various crops and soil in Germany. In the model, NEE (=-NEP) refer to NPP minus C losses in heterotrophic respiration, while NBE (=-NBP) refers to the change in SOC stocks after C losses due to regular (e.g. soil erosion) or occasional (e.g. harvest) disturbances. In this study we applied Monica to analyze relationships between past geomorphic processes, landscape position, crop growth and NEE. In this study we were interested in general trends and associated agroecosystem properties, rather than on magnitude of the fluxes. The results showed that past soil redistribution affected NEE at both positions, while the Monica-based scenarios in combination with data-based interpolations helped to interpret the NEE budgets. The model captured the magnitude of differences in the daily NEE values, but also the differences in an accumulated NEE fluxes between different erosion-induced transient states. Thus for both eroded and deposited positions NEE was negative. However absolute values of NEE were smaller for the deposited site compare to

  9. Cotton production in the united states: production expenses and crop diversity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the United States (U.S) cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) production expenses, as well as the diversity of crops grown on cotton operations, have changed over time. Census of Agriculture data from 1997, 2002, 2007, and 2012 and cost of production estimates from USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) we...

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

    PubMed

    Gregory, Peter J; George, Timothy S

    2011-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Reddy, Chilekampalli A; Saravanan, Ramu S

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Toward cropping systems that enhance productivity and sustainability

    PubMed Central

    Cook, R. James

    2006-01-01

    The defining features of any cropping system are (i) the crop rotation and (ii) the kind or intensity of tillage. The trend worldwide starting in the late 20th century has been (i) to specialize competitively in the production of two, three, a single, or closely related crops such as different market classes of wheat and barley, and (ii) to use direct seeding, also known as no-till, to cut costs and save soil, time, and fuel. The availability of glyphosate- and insect-resistant varieties of soybeans, corn, cotton, and canola has helped greatly to address weed and insect pest pressures favored by direct seeding these crops. However, little has been done through genetics and breeding to address diseases caused by residue- and soil-inhabiting pathogens that remain major obstacles to wider adoption of these potentially more productive and sustainable systems. Instead, the gains have been due largely to innovations in management, including enhancement of root defense by antibiotic-producing rhizosphere-inhabiting bacteria inhibitory to root pathogens. Historically, new varieties have facilitated wider adoption of new management, and changes in management have facilitated wider adoption of new varieties. Although actual yields may be lower in direct-seed compared with conventional cropping systems, largely due to diseases, the yield potential is higher because of more available water and increases in soil organic matter. Achieving the full production potential of these more-sustainable cropping systems must now await the development of varieties adapted to or resistant to the hazards shown to account for the yield depressions associated with direct seeding. PMID:17130454

  13. Water Footprint of crop productions: A review.

    PubMed

    Lovarelli, Daniela; Bacenetti, Jacopo; Fiala, Marco

    2016-04-01

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

  14. The California Biomass Crop Adoption Model estimates biofuel feedstock crop production across diverse agro-ecological zones within the state, under different future climates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaffka, S.; Jenner, M.; Bucaram, S.; George, N.

    2012-12-01

    Both regulators and businesses need realistic estimates for the potential production of biomass feedstocks for biofuels and bioproducts. This includes the need to understand how climate change will affect mid-tem and longer-term crop performance and relative advantage. The California Biomass Crop Adoption Model is a partial mathematical programming optimization model that estimates the profit level needed for new crop adoption, and the crop(s) displaced when a biomass feedstock crop is added to the state's diverse set of cropping systems, in diverse regions of the state. Both yield and crop price, as elements of profit, can be varied. Crop adoption is tested against current farmer preferences derived from analysis of 10 years crop production data for all crops produced in California, collected by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Analysis of this extensive data set resulted in 45 distinctive, representative farming systems distributed across the state's diverse agro-ecological regions. Estimated yields and water use are derived from field trials combined with crop simulation, reported elsewhere. Crop simulation is carried out under different weather and climate assumptions. Besides crop adoption and displacement, crop resource use is also accounted, derived from partial budgets used for each crop's cost of production. Systematically increasing biofuel crop price identified areas of the state where different types of crops were most likely to be adopted. Oilseed crops like canola that can be used for biodiesel production had the greatest potential to be grown in the Sacramento Valley and other northern regions, while sugar beets (for ethanol) had the greatest potential in the northern San Joaquin Valley region, and sweet sorghum in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Up to approximately 10% of existing annual cropland in California was available for new crop adoption. New crops are adopted if the entire cropping system becomes more profitable. In

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

    PubMed

    Herrmann, Christiane; Idler, Christine; Heiermann, Monika

    2016-04-01

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

  16. Managing water resources for crop production

    PubMed Central

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  18. Relay cropping as a sustainable approach: problems and opportunities for sustainable crop production.

    PubMed

    Tanveer, Mohsin; Anjum, Shakeel Ahmad; Hussain, Saddam; Cerdà, Artemi; Ashraf, Umair

    2017-03-01

    Climate change, soil degradation, and depletion of natural resources are becoming the most prominent challenges for crop productivity and environmental sustainability in modern agriculture. In the scenario of conventional farming system, limited chances are available to cope with these issues. Relay cropping is a method of multiple cropping where one crop is seeded into standing second crop well before harvesting of second crop. Relay cropping may solve a number of conflicts such as inefficient use of available resources, controversies in sowing time, fertilizer application, and soil degradation. Relay cropping is a complex suite of different resource-efficient technologies, which possesses the capability to improve soil quality, to increase net return, to increase land equivalent ratio, and to control the weeds and pest infestation. The current review emphasized relay cropping as a tool for crop diversification and environmental sustainability with special focus on soil. Briefly, benefits, constraints, and opportunities of relay cropping keeping the goals of higher crop productivity and sustainability have also been discussed in this review. The research and knowledge gap in relay cropping was also highlighted in order to guide the further studies in future.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  20. Evaluating cost center productivity.

    PubMed

    DiJerome, L; Dunham-Taylor, J; Ash, D; Brown, R

    1999-01-01

    The monthly and yearly productivity summaries were developed and applied to a computer spreadsheet to aid the nurse manager in better understanding and communicating budget issues for diverse ambulatory care departments. A computerized spreadsheet using a commercially available personal computer program, such as Lotus, Quattro Pro, or Excel, can be used to more quickly and accurately track and summarize monthly budget reports. The data can be entered into the spreadsheet either manually or imported by query from the financial mainframe system. Contact your agency's finance or information department for information on how to accomplish this. Periodically acuity and resources should be measured and compared with quality monitors to maintain standards. For the past 10 years, our facility has successfully used this tool to make more informed decisions by identifying trouble spots early, and taking corrective action to avoid crisis management.

  1. Researchers fine-tune production of energy crops

    SciTech Connect

    Parish, D.J. )

    1990-04-01

    Renewable energy sources, plant materials that can be processed into liquid fuels, are becoming increasingly important as fossil fuel sources dwindle and environmental impacts of releasing fossilized carbon into the atmosphere become more evident. But which plant species provide the most material and can be grown on land not used to produce food, feed, and fiber Switchgrass exceeds all other herbaceous species we have tested in production of biomass on marginal sites in the Virginia Piedmont reports David J. Parrish, Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) professor of crop and soil environmental sciences. In a study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) at Virginia Tech, graduate student Steven Nagle, Parrish, professor Dale Wolf, and associate professor W.L. Daniels are comparing the biomass productivity of switchgrass, weeping lovegrass, and tall fescue. Since 1985, the crops - selected for their marginal crop value - have been grown on 12 sites in the Virginia Piedmont. Planting was done using no-till procedures that slice but do not turn the soil, because the sites are subject to erosion. The two warm-season grasses are harvested once a year, the fescue twice. Switchgrass has been the most productive on clay soils, and lovegrass on sandy soil. In a second DOE-sponsored study - this one by graduate student Preston Sullivan, Parish, Wolf, Daniels, and Nagle - the Virginia Tech researchers have begun to investigate planting winter-annual legumes in with switchgrass as a source of nitrogen to reduce cost of production, and as a means to increase biomass. In the fall of 1988, crimson clover, arrowleaf clover, and hairy vetch were planted into the switchgrass stubble. Other plots of switchgrass are being provided with various levels of nitrogen fertilizer to compare those yields with legume-planted plots. Crimson clover had provided the most fall growth, but by mid-May 1989, the hairy vetch had produced a dense webbing of biomass over the new switchgrass.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. The cost of silage harvest and transport systems for herbaceous crops

    SciTech Connect

    Turhollow, A.; Downing, M.; Butler, J.

    1996-12-31

    Some of the highest yielding herbaceous biomass crops are thick- stemmed species. Their relatively high moisture content necessitates they be handled and stored as silage rather than hay bales or modules. This paper presents estimated costs of harvesting and transporting herbaceous crops as silage. Costs are based on an engineering- economic approach. Equipment costs are estimated by combining per hour costs with the hours required to complete the operation. Harvest includes severing, chopping, and blowing stalks into a wagon or truck.

  4. Genomics Opportunities, New Crops and New Products

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. Putting mechanisms into crop production models.

    PubMed

    Boote, Kenneth J; Jones, James W; White, Jeffrey W; Asseng, Senthold; Lizaso, Jon I

    2013-09-01

    Crop growth models dynamically simulate processes of C, N and water balance on daily or hourly time-steps to predict crop growth and development and at season-end, final yield. Their ability to integrate effects of genetics, environment and crop management have led to applications ranging from understanding gene function to predicting potential impacts of climate change. The history of crop models is reviewed briefly, and their level of mechanistic detail for assimilation and respiration, ranging from hourly leaf-to-canopy assimilation to daily radiation-use efficiency is discussed. Crop models have improved steadily over the past 30-40 years, but much work remains. Improvements are needed for the prediction of transpiration response to elevated CO₂ and high temperature effects on phenology and reproductive fertility, and simulation of root growth and nutrient uptake under stressful edaphic conditions. Mechanistic improvements are needed to better connect crop growth to genetics and to soil fertility, soil waterlogging and pest damage. Because crop models integrate multiple processes and consider impacts of environment and management, they have excellent potential for linking research from genomics and allied disciplines to crop responses at the field scale, thus providing a valuable tool for deciphering genotype by environment by management effects.

  6. ORECCL - Summary of a national database on energy crop landbase, yields, and costs

    SciTech Connect

    Graham, R.L.; Allison, L.J.; Becker, D.A.

    1997-07-01

    The Biofuels Feedstock Development Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a county-level database on energy crops-the Oak Ridge Energy Crop County-Level database (RECCL). This database encompasses all U.S. counties and provides easy access to energy crop information specific to a state or county. The database contains predictions of energy crop yields and farmgate prices along with county-level data on the acreage of land suitable for energy crop production. This paper describes the database and presents state-level summary statistics on land suitable for energy crop production and average predicted yields and farmgate prices.

  7. New energy crop giant cane (Arundo donax L.) can substitute traditional energy crops increasing biogas yield and reducing costs.

    PubMed

    Luca, Corno; Pilu, Roberto; Tambone, Fulvia; Scaglia, Barbara; Adani, Fabrizio

    2015-09-01

    Giant cane is a promising non-food crop for biogas production. Giant cane and corn silages coming from full-scale fields were tested, in mixtures with pig slurry, for biomethane production by a continuous stirred tank lab-scale-reactor (CSTR) approach. Results indicated that giant cane produced less biomethane than corn, i.e. 174±10 N m(3) CH4 Mg(-1) TS(-1) and 245±26 N m(3) CH4 Mg(-1) TS(-1), respectively. On the other hand, because of its high field biomass production, the biogas obtainable per Ha was higher for giant cane than for corn, i.e. 12,292 N m(3) CH4 Ha(-1) and 4549 N m(3) CH4 Ha(-1), respectively. Low energetic and agronomic inputs for giant cane cultivation led to a considerable reduction in the costs of producing both electricity and biomethane, i.e. 0.50 € N m(-3) CH4(-1) and 0.81 € N m(-3) CH4(-1), and 0.10 € kW hEE(-1) and 0.19 € kW hEE(-1) for biomethane and electricity production, and for giant cane and corn mixtures respectively.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  9. Impact of Corn Residue Removal on Crop and Soil Productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, J. M.; Wilhelm, W. W.; Hatfield, J. L.; Voorhees, W. B.; Linden, D.

    2003-12-01

    Over-reliance on imported fuels, increasing atmospheric levels of greenhouses and sustaining food production for a growing population are three of the most important problems facing society in the mid-term. The US Department of Energy and private enterprise are developing technology necessary to use high cellulose feedstock, such as crop residues, for ethanol production. Based on production levels, corn (Zea mays L.) residue has potential as a biofuel feedstock. Crop residues are a renewable and domestic fuel source, which can reduce the rate of fossil fuel use (both imported and domestic) and provide an additional farm commodity. Crop residues protect the soil from wind and water erosion, provide inputs to form soil organic matter (a critical component determining soil quality) and play a role in nutrient cycling. Crop residues impact radiation balance and energy fluxes and reduce evaporation. Therefore, the benefits of using crop residues as fuel, which removes crop residues from the field, must be balanced against negative environmental impacts (e.g. soil erosion), maintaining soil organic matter levels, and preserving or enhancing productivity. All ramifications of new management practices and crop uses must be explored and evaluated fully before an industry is established. There are limited numbers of long-term studies with soil and crop responses to residue removal that range from negative to negligible. The range of crop and soil responses to crop residue removal was attributed to interactions with climate, management and soil type. Within limits, corn residue can be harvested for ethanol production to provide a renewable, domestic source of energy feedstock that reduces greenhouse gases. Removal rates must vary based on regional yield, climatic conditions and cultural practices. Agronomists are challenged to develop a protocol (tool) for recommending maximum permissible removal rates that ensure sustained soil productivity.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-05-01

    This study quantifies the green, blue and grey water footprint of global crop production in a spatially-explicit way for the period 1996-2005. The assessment improves upon earlier research by taking a high-resolution approach, estimating the water footprint of 126 crops at a 5 by 5 arc minute grid. We have used a grid-based dynamic water balance model to calculate crop water use over time, with a time step of one day. The model takes into account the daily soil water balance and climatic conditions for each grid cell. In addition, the water pollution associated with the use of nitrogen fertilizer in crop production is estimated for each grid cell. The crop evapotranspiration of additional 20 minor crops is calculated with the CROPWAT model. In addition, we have calculated the water footprint of more than two hundred derived crop products, including various flours, beverages, fibres and biofuels. We have used the water footprint assessment framework as in the guideline of the Water Footprint Network. Considering the water footprints of primary crops, we see that the global average water footprint per ton of crop increases from sugar crops (roughly 200 m3 ton-1), vegetables (300 m3 ton-1), roots and tubers (400 m3 ton-1), fruits (1000 m3 ton-1), cereals (1600 m3 ton-1), oil crops (2400 m3 ton-1) to pulses (4000 m3 ton-1). The water footprint varies, however, across different crops per crop category and per production region as well. Besides, if one considers the water footprint per kcal, the picture changes as well. When considered per ton of product, commodities with relatively large water footprints are: coffee, tea, cocoa, tobacco, spices, nuts, rubber and fibres. The analysis of water footprints of different biofuels shows that bio-ethanol has a lower water footprint (in m3 GJ-1) than biodiesel, which supports earlier analyses. The crop used matters significantly as well: the global average water footprint of bio-ethanol based on sugar beet amounts to 51 m3 GJ-1

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-01-01

    This study quantifies the green, blue and grey water footprint of global crop production in a spatially-explicit way for the period 1996-2005. The assessment is global and improves upon earlier research by taking a high-resolution approach, estimating the water footprint of 126 crops at a 5 by 5 arc min grid. We have used a grid-based dynamic water balance model to calculate crop water use over time, with a time step of one day. The model takes into account the daily soil water balance and climatic conditions for each grid cell. In addition, the water pollution associated with the use of nitrogen fertilizer in crop production is estimated for each grid cell. The crop evapotranspiration of additional 20 minor crops is calculated with the CROPWAT model. In addition, we have calculated the water footprint of more than two hundred derived crop products, including various flours, beverages, fibres and biofuels. We have used the water footprint assessment framework as in the guideline of the water footprint network. Considering the water footprints of primary crops, we see that global average water footprint per ton of crop increases from sugar crops (roughly 200 m3 ton-1), vegetables (300 m3 ton-1), roots and tubers (400 m3 ton-1), fruits (1000 m3 ton-1), cereals} (1600 m3 ton-1), oil crops (2400 m3 ton-1) to pulses (4000 m3 ton-1). The water footprint varies, however, across different crops per crop category and per production region as well. Besides, if one considers the water footprint per kcal, the picture changes as well. When considered per ton of product, commodities with relatively large water footprints are: coffee, tea, cocoa, tobacco, spices, nuts, rubber and fibres. The analysis of water footprints of different biofuels shows that bio-ethanol has a lower water footprint (in m3 GJ-1) than biodiesel, which supports earlier analyses. The crop used matters significantly as well: the global average water footprint of bio-ethanol based on sugar beet amounts to 51

  12. Low Cost Hydrogen Production Platform

    SciTech Connect

    Timothy M. Aaron, Jerome T. Jankowiak

    2009-10-16

    A technology and design evaluation was carried out for the development of a turnkey hydrogen production system in the range of 2.4 - 12 kg/h of hydrogen. The design is based on existing SMR technology and existing chemical processes and technologies to meet the design objectives. Consequently, the system design consists of a steam methane reformer, PSA system for hydrogen purification, natural gas compression, steam generation and all components and heat exchangers required for the production of hydrogen. The focus of the program is on packaging, system integration and an overall step change in the cost of capital required for the production of hydrogen at small scale. To assist in this effort, subcontractors were brought in to evaluate the design concepts and to assist in meeting the overall goals of the program. Praxair supplied the overall system and process design and the subcontractors were used to evaluate the components and system from a manufacturing and overall design optimization viewpoint. Design for manufacturing and assembly (DFMA) techniques, computer models and laboratory/full-scale testing of components were utilized to optimize the design during all phases of the design development. Early in the program evaluation, a review of existing Praxair hydrogen facilities showed that over 50% of the installed cost of a SMR based hydrogen plant is associated with the high temperature components (reformer, shift, steam generation, and various high temperature heat exchange). The main effort of the initial phase of the program was to develop an integrated high temperature component for these related functions. Initially, six independent concepts were developed and the processes were modeled to determine overall feasibility. The six concepts were eventually narrowed down to the highest potential concept. A US patent was awarded in February 2009 for the Praxair integrated high temperature component design. A risk analysis of the high temperature component was

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. Performance of the CELSS Antarctic Analog Project (CAAP) crop production system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bubenheim, D. L.; Schlick, G.; Wilson, D.; Bates, M.

    2003-01-01

    Regenerative life support systems potentially offer a level of self-sufficiency and a decrease in logistics and associated costs in support of space exploration and habitation missions. Current state-of-the-art in plant-based, regenerative life support requires resources in excess of allocation proposed for candidate mission scenarios. Feasibility thresholds have been identified for candidate exploration missions. The goal of this paper is to review recent advances in performance achieved in the CELSS Antarctic Analog Project (CAAP) in light of the likely resource constraints. A prototype CAAP crop production chamber has been constructed and operated at the Ames Research Center. The chamber includes a number of unique hardware and software components focused on attempts to increase production efficiency, increase energy efficiency, and control the flow of energy and mass through the system. Both single crop, batch production and continuous cultivation of mixed crops production studies have been completed. The crop productivity as well as engineering performance of the chamber are described. For each scenario, energy required and partitioned for lighting, cooling, pumping, fans, etc. is quantified. Crop production and the resulting lighting efficiency and energy conversion efficiencies are presented. In the mixed-crop scenario, with 27 different crops under cultivation, 17 m2 of crop area provided a mean of 515 g edible biomass per day (85% of the approximate 620 g required for one person). Enhanced engineering and crop production performance achieved with the CAAP chamber, compared with current state-of-the-art, places plant-based life support systems at the threshold of feasibility. c2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd on behalf of COSPAR.

  15. Performance of the CELSS Antarctic Analog Project (CAAP) crop production system.

    PubMed

    Bubenheim, D L; Schlick, G; Wilson, D; Bates, M

    2003-01-01

    Regenerative life support systems potentially offer a level of self-sufficiency and a decrease in logistics and associated costs in support of space exploration and habitation missions. Current state-of-the-art in plant-based, regenerative life support requires resources in excess of allocation proposed for candidate mission scenarios. Feasibility thresholds have been identified for candidate exploration missions. The goal of this paper is to review recent advances in performance achieved in the CELSS Antarctic Analog Project (CAAP) in light of the likely resource constraints. A prototype CAAP crop production chamber has been constructed and operated at the Ames Research Center. The chamber includes a number of unique hardware and software components focused on attempts to increase production efficiency, increase energy efficiency, and control the flow of energy and mass through the system. Both single crop, batch production and continuous cultivation of mixed crops production studies have been completed. The crop productivity as well as engineering performance of the chamber are described. For each scenario, energy required and partitioned for lighting, cooling, pumping, fans, etc. is quantified. Crop production and the resulting lighting efficiency and energy conversion efficiencies are presented. In the mixed-crop scenario, with 27 different crops under cultivation, 17 m2 of crop area provided a mean of 515 g edible biomass per day (85% of the approximate 620 g required for one person). Enhanced engineering and crop production performance achieved with the CAAP chamber, compared with current state-of-the-art, places plant-based life support systems at the threshold of feasibility.

  16. Ecosystem services of woody crop production systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. 120 years of sustainable crop production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the late 1800s, the Southern U.S. was producing most of the world’s cotton on highly erodible soils with little or no lime or fertilizer. Cotton every year without cover crops was taking a toll from the land and its farmers. Land Grant Universities and Experiment Stations were just getting star...

  18. Methane production through anaerobic digestion of various energy crops grown in sustainable crop rotations.

    PubMed

    Amon, Thomas; Amon, Barbara; Kryvoruchko, Vitaliy; Machmüller, Andrea; Hopfner-Sixt, Katharina; Bodiroza, Vitomir; Hrbek, Regina; Friedel, Jürgen; Pötsch, Erich; Wagentristl, Helmut; Schreiner, Matthias; Zollitsch, Werner

    2007-12-01

    Biogas production is of major importance for the sustainable use of agrarian biomass as renewable energy source. Economic biogas production depends on high biogas yields. The project aimed at optimising anaerobic digestion of energy crops. The following aspects were investigated: suitability of different crop species and varieties, optimum time of harvesting, specific methane yield and methane yield per hectare. The experiments covered 7 maize, 2 winter wheat, 2 triticale varieties, 1 winter rye, and 2 sunflower varieties and 6 variants with permanent grassland. In the course of the vegetation period, biomass yield and biomass composition were measured. Anaerobic digestion was carried out in eudiometer batch digesters. The highest methane yields of 7500-10200 m(N)(3)ha(-1) were achieved from maize varieties with FAO numbers (value for the maturity of the maize) of 300 to 600 harvested at "wax ripeness". Methane yields of cereals ranged from 3200 to 4500 m(N)(3)ha(-1). Cereals should be harvested at "grain in the milk stage" to "grain in the dough stage". With sunflowers, methane yields between 2600 and 4550 m(N)(3)ha(-1) were achieved. There were distinct differences between the investigated sunflower varieties. Alpine grassland can yield 2700-3500 m(N)(3)CH(4)ha(-1). The methane energy value model (MEVM) was developed for the different energy crops. It estimates the specific methane yield from the nutrient composition of the energy crops. Energy crops for biogas production need to be grown in sustainable crop rotations. The paper outlines possibilities for optimising methane yield from versatile crop rotations that integrate the production of food, feed, raw materials and energy. These integrated crop rotations are highly efficient and can provide up to 320 million t COE which is 96% of the total energy demand of the road traffic of the EU-25 (the 25 Member States of the European Union).

  19. Hydrogen production costs -- A survey

    SciTech Connect

    Basye, L.; Swaminathan, S.

    1997-12-04

    Hydrogen, produced using renewable resources, is an environmentally benign energy carrier that will play a vital role in sustainable energy systems. The US Department of Energy (DOE) supports the development of cost-effective technologies for hydrogen production, storage, and utilization to facilitate the introduction of hydrogen in the energy infrastructure. International interest in hydrogen as an energy carrier is high. Research, development, and demonstration (RD and D) of hydrogen energy systems are in progress in many countries. Annex 11 of the International Energy Agency (IEA) facilitates member countries to collaborate on hydrogen RD and D projects. The United States is a member of Annex 11, and the US representative is the Program Manager of the DOE Hydrogen R and D Program. The Executive Committee of the Hydrogen Implementing Agreement in its June 1997 meeting decided to review the production costs of hydrogen via the currently commercially available processes. This report compiles that data. The methods of production are steam reforming, partial oxidation, gasification, pyrolysis, electrolysis, photochemical, photobiological, and photoelectrochemical reactions.

  20. Climate Change Impacts on Crop Production in Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  1. A National Assessment of Promising Areas for Switchgrass, Hybrid Poplar, or Willow Energy Crop Production

    SciTech Connect

    Graham, R.L.; Walsh, M.E.

    1999-02-01

    The objective of this paper is to systematically assess the cropland acreage that could support energy crops and the expected farm gate and delivered prices of energy crops. The assessment is based on output from two modeling approaches: (1) the Oak Ridge County-Level Energy Crop (ORECCL) database (1996 version) and (2) the Oak Ridge Integrated Bioenergy Analysis System (ORIBAS). The former provides county-level estimates of suitable acres, yields, and farmgate prices of energy crops (switchgrass, hybrid poplar, willow) for all fifty states. The latter estimates delivered feedstock prices and quantities within a state at a fine resolution (1 km2) and considers the interplay between transportation costs, farmgate prices, cropland density, and facility demand. It can be used to look at any type of feedstock given the appropriate input parameters. For the purposes of this assessment, ORIBAS has been used to estimate farmgate and delivered switchgrass prices in 11 states (AL, FL, GA, IA, M N, MO, ND, NE, SC, SD, and TN). Because the potential for energy crop production can be considered from several perspectives, and is evolving as policies, economics and our basic understanding of energy crop yields and production costs change, this assessment should be viewed as a snapshot in time.

  2. Performance of the CELSS Antarctic Analog Project (CAAP) Crop Production System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bubenheim, David L.; Flynn, Michael T.; Bates, Maynard; Schlick, Greg; Kliss, Mark (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    Regenerative life support systems potentially offer a level of self-sufficiency and a concomitant decrease in logistics and associated costs in support of space exploration and habitation missions. Current state-of-the-art in plant based, regenerative life support requires resources in excess of resource allocations proposed for candidate mission scenarios. Feasibility thresholds have been identified for candidate exploration missions. The goal of this paper is to review recent advances in performance achieved in the CELSS Antarctic Analog Project (CAAP) in light of likely resource constraints. A prototype CAAP crop production chamber has been constructed and operated at the Ames Research Center. The chamber includes a number of unique hardware and software components focused on attempts to increase production efficiency, increase energy efficiency, and control the flow of energy and mass through the system to achieve enhanced performance efficiency. Both single crop, batch production, and continuous cultivation of mixed crops Product ion scenarios have been completed. The crop productivity as well as engineering performance of the chamber will be described. For each scenario, energy required and partitioned for lighting, cooling, pumps, fans, etc. is quantified. Crop production and the resulting lighting efficiency and energy conversion efficiencies are presented. In the mixed-crop scenario, with up to 25 different crops under cultivation, 17 sq m of crop area provided a mean of 515 g edible biomass per day (83% of the approximately 620 g required for one person). Lighting efficiency (moles on photons kWh-1) approached 4 and the conversion efficiency of light energy to biomass was greatly enhanced compared with conventional growing systems. Engineering and biological performance achieved place plant-based life support systems at the threshold of feasibility.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Turhollow, A.F. Jr.

    1982-01-01

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

  4. Productivity and nutrient cycling in bioenergy cropping systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heggenstaller, Andrew Howard

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

  5. Deriving vulnerability indicators for crop production regions in Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perdinan; Atmaja, Tri; Sehabuddin, Ujang; Sugiarto, Yon; Febrianti, Lina; Farysca Adi, Ryco

    2017-01-01

    Food supply is considered as one of the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Higher temperature and changes in rainfall patterns and intensity may adversely impact crop production, which will eventually affect the food supply. Consequently, adaptation strategies should be devised to minimize the potential adverse impacts and maximize its potential benefits. The adaptation strategies should be devised by considering factors contributed to causing vulnerability following the concept of food supply chain, starting from production to consumption. This study focuses on identifying the contributed factors to vulnerability of crop production regions in Indonesia. The contributed factors were identified by defining indicators for each component of the food supply chain using an example of crop production centers in Indonesia, the West Java Province. The identification considers existing issues of the food supply chain, covering aspects of production, post-harvest and storage, distribution, and consumption, based on the field surveys conducted in Indramayu district of the West Java, the main grower of paddy production, and Garut district of the West Java, the main grower of corn production. The selection of the vulnerability indicators was also considered the data availability for the study area. The analysis proposed a list of indicators classified into production, post-harvest and storage, distribution and consumption that are proposed to assess the regional vulnerability of crop production regions in Indonesia. This result is expected to contribute in understanding the process of devising climate change adaptation intended for enhancing food supply resilience to climate change.

  6. Global crop production forecasting data system analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1978-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Osborne, Edward W.

    1988-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2016-01-02

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

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

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharifan, H.; Ghahreman, B.

    2009-04-01

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

  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. Crop Management Effects on Crop Residue Production and Changes in Soil Organic Carbon in the Central Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop biomass has been proposed as a source stock for bioethanol production. Acceptable levels of crop residue removal must be determined to prevent loss of soil organic carbon (SOC) and the degradation of soil physical and chemical properties resulting from SOC loss. Crop residue inputs and changes ...

  17. 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.

  18. Cover crops in vegetable production systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, X.

    2014-12-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugbee, Bruce

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Opportunities for Energy Crop Production Based on Subfield Scale Distribution of Profitability

    DOE PAGES

    Bonner, Ian J.; Cafferty, Kara G.; Muth, Jr., David J.; ...

    2014-10-01

    Incorporation of dedicated herbaceous energy crops into row crop landscapes is a promising means to supply an expanding biofuel industry while increasing biomass yields, benefiting soil and water quality, and increasing biodiversity. Despite these positive traits energy crops remain largely unaccepted due to concerns over their practicality and cost of implementation. This paper presents a case study on Hardin County, Iowa to demonstrate how subfield decision making can be used to target candidate areas for conversion to energy crop production. The strategy presented integrates switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) into subfield landscape positions where corn (Zea mays L.) grain is modeledmore » to operate at a net economic loss. The results of this analysis show that switchgrass integration has the potential to increase sustainable biomass production from 48 to 99% (depending on the rigor of conservation practices applied to corn stover collection) while also improving field level profitability. Candidate land area is highly sensitive to grain price (0.18 to 0.26 US$ kg-1) and dependent on the acceptable net profit for corn production (ranging from 0 to -1,000 US$ ha-1). This work presents the case that switchgrass can be economically implemented into row crop production landscapes when management decisions are applied at a subfield scale and compete against areas of the field operating at a negative net profit.« less

  4. Opportunities for Energy Crop Production Based on Subfield Scale Distribution of Profitability

    SciTech Connect

    Bonner, Ian J.; Cafferty, Kara G.; Muth, Jr., David J.; Tomer, Mark; James, David; Porter, Sarah; Karlen, Douglas

    2014-10-01

    Incorporation of dedicated herbaceous energy crops into row crop landscapes is a promising means to supply an expanding biofuel industry while increasing biomass yields, benefiting soil and water quality, and increasing biodiversity. Despite these positive traits energy crops remain largely unaccepted due to concerns over their practicality and cost of implementation. This paper presents a case study on Hardin County, Iowa to demonstrate how subfield decision making can be used to target candidate areas for conversion to energy crop production. The strategy presented integrates switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) into subfield landscape positions where corn (Zea mays L.) grain is modeled to operate at a net economic loss. The results of this analysis show that switchgrass integration has the potential to increase sustainable biomass production from 48 to 99% (depending on the rigor of conservation practices applied to corn stover collection) while also improving field level profitability. Candidate land area is highly sensitive to grain price (0.18 to 0.26 US$ kg-1) and dependent on the acceptable net profit for corn production (ranging from 0 to -1,000 US$ ha-1). This work presents the case that switchgrass can be economically implemented into row crop production landscapes when management decisions are applied at a subfield scale and compete against areas of the field operating at a negative net profit.

  5. Cost Accounting: Production and Equipment Services.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmid, William T.

    Cost accounting for audiovisual productions should include direct costs, and, in some cases, the media administrator may have to calculate a per-hour surcharge for general operating overhead as well. Such procedures enable the administrator to determine cost effectiveness, to control cost overruns, and to generate more staff efficiency. Cost…

  6. Bioethanol production from dedicated energy crops and residues in Arkansas, USA.

    PubMed

    Ge, Xumeng; Burner, David M; Xu, Jianfeng; Phillips, Gregory C; Sivakumar, Ganapathy

    2011-01-01

    Globally, one of the major technologic goals is to achieve cost-effective lignocellulosic ethanol production from biomass feedstocks. Lignocellulosic biomass of four dedicated energy crops [giant reed (Arundo donax L.), elephantgrass (Pennisetum purpureum (Schumach), Miscanthus × giganteus (Illinois clone), and (clone Q42641) {hybrid of Miscanthus sinensis Anderss. and Miscanthus sacchariflorus (Maxim)}, Hack. called giant miscanthus, and sugarcane clone US 84-1028 (Saccharum L. spp. hybrid)] and residues from two crops [soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) litter and rice (Oryza sativa L.) husk] were tested for bioethanol production using cellulose solvent-based lignocellulose fractionation (CSLF) pretreatment and enzymatic (cellulase) hydrolysis. Giant miscanthus (Illinois), giant reed, giant miscanthus (Q42641), elephantgrass, and sugarcane all yielded higher amount of glucose on a biomass dry weight basis (0.290-0.331 g/g), than did rice husk (0.181 g/g) and soybean litter (0.186 g/g). To reduce the capital investment for energy consumption in fermentation, we used a self-flocculating yeast strain (SPSC01) to ferment the lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysates. Bioethanol production was ∼0.1 g/g in dedicated energy crops and less in two crop residues. These methods and data can help to develop a cost-effective downstream process for bioethanol production.

  7. Precision Farming and Precision Pest Management: The Power of New Crop Production Technologies

    PubMed Central

    Strickland, R. Mack; Ess, Daniel R.; Parsons, Samuel D.

    1998-01-01

    The use of new technologies including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the Global Positioning System (GPS), Variable Rate Technology (VRT), and Remote Sensing (RS) is gaining acceptance in the present high-technology, precision agricultural industry. GIS provides the ability to link multiple data values for the same geo-referenced location, and provides the user with a graphical visualization of such data. When GIS is coupled with GPS and RS, management decisions can be applied in a more precise "micro-managed" manner by using VRT techniques. Such technology holds the potential to reduce agricultural crop production costs as well as crop and environmental damage. PMID:19274236

  8. Precision farming and precision pest management: the power of new crop production technologies.

    PubMed

    Strickland, R M; Ess, D R; Parsons, S D

    1998-12-01

    The use of new technologies including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the Global Positioning System (GPS), Variable Rate Technology (VRT), and Remote Sensing (RS) is gaining acceptance in the present high-technology, precision agricultural industry. GIS provides the ability to link multiple data values for the same geo-referenced location, and provides the user with a graphical visualization of such data. When GIS is coupled with GPS and RS, management decisions can be applied in a more precise "micro-managed" manner by using VRT techniques. Such technology holds the potential to reduce agricultural crop production costs as well as crop and environmental damage.

  9. Agroecological zones and the assessment of crop production potential

    PubMed Central

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

    1997-01-01

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

  10. Costing blood products and services.

    PubMed

    Wallace, E L

    1991-05-01

    At present, blood centers and transfusion services have limited alternatives for offsetting the ever-rising costs of health care inputs. In the face of current revenue constraints, cost reduction or cost containment through efficiency improvements or service reduction is the principal available means. Such methods ought to be pursued vigorously by blood bankers with the aid of well-designed costing and other physical measurements systems. Experience indicates, however, that blood bankers, in their attempts to reduce or contain costs, are likely to place undue reliance on cost accounting systems as the means of capturing sought-for benefits. Management must learn enough about methods of costing to judge directly the uses and limitations of the information produced. Such understanding begins with recognition that all costs and cost comparisons should be specific to the purpose for which they are developed. No costing procedure is capable of producing measures generally applicable to all management decisions. A measure relevant to a planning decision is unlikely to be appropriate for performance evaluation. Useful comparisons among sets of organizations of costs, or of measures of physical inputs and outputs, require assurance that the methods of measurement employed are the same and that the sets of organizations from which the measures are drawn are reasonably comparable.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Water Production Functions For High Plains Crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  15. Environmental technologies of woody crop production systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Land degradation is a threat to global sustainability with an estimated 25% of the world’s land area already degraded. Soil erosion, loss of productivity potential, biodiversity loss, water shortage, and soil pollution are ongoing processes that decrease or degrade ecosystem services. Degradation ra...

  16. Launch Vehicle Production and Operations Cost Metrics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watson, Michael D.; Neeley, James R.; Blackburn, Ruby F.

    2014-01-01

    Traditionally, launch vehicle cost has been evaluated based on $/Kg to orbit. This metric is calculated based on assumptions not typically met by a specific mission. These assumptions include the specified orbit whether Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO), or both. The metric also assumes the payload utilizes the full lift mass of the launch vehicle, which is rarely true even with secondary payloads.1,2,3 Other approaches for cost metrics have been evaluated including unit cost of the launch vehicle and an approach to consider the full program production and operations costs.4 Unit cost considers the variable cost of the vehicle and the definition of variable costs are discussed. The full program production and operation costs include both the variable costs and the manufacturing base. This metric also distinguishes operations costs from production costs, including pre-flight operational testing. Operations costs also consider the costs of flight operations, including control center operation and maintenance. Each of these 3 cost metrics show different sensitivities to various aspects of launch vehicle cost drivers. The comparison of these metrics provides the strengths and weaknesses of each yielding an assessment useful for cost metric selection for launch vehicle programs.

  17. Illinois Occupational Skill Standards: Row Crop Production Cluster.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois Occupational Skill Standards and Credentialing Council, Carbondale.

    This document, which is intended as a guide for work force preparation program providers, details the Illinois occupational skill standards for programs preparing students for employment in occupations in the row crop production cluster. The document begins with a brief overview of the Illinois perspective on occupational skill standards and…

  18. Plastid biotechnology for crop production: present status and future perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Daniell, Henry

    2012-01-01

    The world population is expected to reach an estimated 9.2 billion by 2050. Therefore, food production globally has to increase by 70% in order to feed the world, while total arable land, which has reached its maximal utilization, may even decrease. Moreover, climate change adds yet another challenge to global food security. In order to feed the world in 2050, biotechnological advances in modern agriculture are essential. Plant genetic engineering, which has created a new wave of global crop production after the first green revolution, will continue to play an important role in modern agriculture to meet these challenges. Plastid genetic engineering, with several unique advantages including transgene containment, has made significant progress in the last two decades in various biotechnology applications including development of crops with high levels of resistance to insects, bacterial, fungal and viral diseases, different types of herbicides, drought, salt and cold tolerance, cytoplasmic male sterility, metabolic engineering, phytoremediation of toxic metals and production of many vaccine antigens, biopharmaceuticals and biofuels. However, useful traits should be engineered via chloroplast genomes of several major crops. This review provides insight into the current state of the art of plastid engineering in relation to agricultural production, especially for engineering agronomic traits. Understanding the bottleneck of this technology and challenges for improvement of major crops in a changing climate are discussed. PMID:21437683

  19. Potential feedstock supply and costs for biodiesel production

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, R.G.; Howell, S.A.; Weber, J.A.

    1994-12-31

    Without considering technology constraints, tallows and waste greases have definite potential as feedstocks for the production of biodiesel in the United States. These materials are less expensive than most oils produced from oilseed crops such as soybeans, sunflowers, canola and rapeseed. At current crude petroleum prices, biodiesel derived from any of these materials will be more expensive than diesel derived from petroleum. However, when compared to other clean burning alternate fuels, recent data suggest biodiesel blends produced from any of these feedstocks may be the lowest total cost alternative fuel in certain areas of the United States. Economic feasibility analyses were performed to investigate the cost of producing biodiesel ($/gallon) subject to variances in feedstock cost, by-product credit (glycerol and meal) and capital costs. Cost of production per gallon of esterified biodiesel from soybean, sunflower, tallow and yellow grease ranged from $0.96 to $3.39 subject to feedstock and chemical costs, by-product credit and system capital cost.

  20. Criteria for evaluating experiments on crop production in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berry, W. L.; Koontz, H.; Wheeler, R.; Prince, R.

    1989-01-01

    Consideration is given to the development of criteria for successful CELSS experiments on crop production in space. Also, the development of a standard procedure to produce a given expected yield is examined. Factors influencing the success of CELSS experiments are discussed, including environmental limits to growth, efficient use of resources, data collection sensitivity, stress, and the space in which the experiment is performed. The implications of the study for designing CELSS food production systems are noted.

  1. Root architecture and root and tuber crop productivity.

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  2. Fungal endophytes for sustainable crop production.

    PubMed

    Lugtenberg, Ben J J; Caradus, John R; Johnson, Linda J

    2016-12-01

    This minireview highlights the importance of endophytic fungi for sustainable agriculture and horticulture production. Fungal endophytes play a key role in habitat adaptation of plants resulting in improved plant performance and plant protection against biotic and abiotic stresses. They encode a vast variety of novel secondary metabolites including volatile organic compounds. In addition to protecting plants against pathogens and pests, selected fungal endophytes have been used to remove animal toxicities associated with fungal endophytes in temperate grasses, to create corn and rice plants that are tolerant to a range of biotic and abiotic stresses, and for improved management of post-harvest control. We argue that practices used in plant breeding, seed treatments and agriculture, often caused by poor knowledge of the importance of fungal endophytes, are among the reasons for the loss of fungal endophyte diversity in domesticated plants and also accounts for the reduced effectiveness of some endophyte strains to confer plant benefits. We provide recommendations on how to mitigate against these negative impacts in modern agriculture.

  3. 78 FR 49724 - Notice To Reopen Comment Period for Federal Crop Insurance Program Delivery Cost Survey and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-15

    ... crops covered by Federal crop insurance, and other factors. In addition, the survey will obtain... Risk Management Agency Notice To Reopen Comment Period for Federal Crop Insurance Program Delivery Cost... interviews of Approved Insurance Providers, and on the survey instruments for insurance agents and...

  4. Accounting for soil biotic effects on soil health and crop productivity in the design of crop rotations.

    PubMed

    Dias, Teresa; Dukes, Angela; Antunes, Pedro M

    2015-02-01

    There is an urgent need for novel agronomic improvements capable of boosting crop yields while alleviating environmental impacts. One such approach is the use of optimized crop rotations. However, a set of measurements that can serve as guiding principles for the design of crop rotations is lacking. Crop rotations take advantage of niche complementarity, enabling the optimization of nutrient use and the reduction of pests and specialist pathogen loads. However, despite the recognized importance of plant-soil microbial interactions and feedbacks for crop yield and soil health, this is ignored in the selection and management of crops for rotation systems. We review the literature and propose criteria for the design of crop rotations focusing on the roles of soil biota and feedback on crop productivity and soil health. We consider that identifying specific key organisms or consortia capable of influencing plant productivity is more important as a predictor of soil health and crop productivity than assessing the overall soil microbial diversity per se. As such, we propose that setting up soil feedback studies and applying genetic sequencing tools towards the development of soil biotic community databases has a strong potential to enable the establishment of improved soil health indicators for optimized crop rotations.

  5. Natural and within-farmland biodiversity enhances crop productivity.

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

  6. Implications of climate change for crop production in Japan

    SciTech Connect

    Seino, Hiroshi

    1995-12-31

    This study uses climate change scenarios derived from three global climate models (GCMs) to assess the possible impacts of climate change on rice (Oryza sativa L. japonica), maize (Zea mays L.), and wheat (Triticum spp.) production in Japan. Crop models were used to simulate the possible changes in crop yields under different climate change scenarios. Increased temperatures resulted in decreases in simulated crop yield in many regions under the present management systems. While the direct beneficial effects of CO{sub 2} may compensate for the yield decreases in central and northern Japan, the effects did not compensate for the larger yield decreases in southwestern japan, especially in Kyushu. Early planting and irrigation are possible adaptation strategies of the management systems to climate change. In most cases, simulated yields increased under climate change conditions if an earlier planting date was adopted; however, in Kyushu because of high temperature stress, an earlier planting did not improve simulated yields, and the introduction of new cultivars better adapted to the climate change conditions would be required. In Hokkaido, the major upland production area of Japan, climate change increased simulated crop yields under some conditions, depending on the scenario precipitation and irrigation systems.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugbee, B.

    1995-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Economics of biomass fuels for electricity production: A case study with crop residues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maung, Thein Aye

    In the United Sates and around the world, electric power plants are among the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change argued was the main cause of climate change and global warming. This dissertation explores the factors which may induce electricity producers to use biomass fuels for power generation and thereby mitigate the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. Analyses in this dissertation suggest that there are two important factors which will play a major role in determining the future degree of bioelectricity production: the price of coal and the future price of carbon emissions. Using The Forest and Agricultural Sector Optimization Model--Green House Gas version (FASOMGHG) in a case study examining the competitiveness of crop residues, this dissertation finds that crop residues currently cost much more than coal as an electricity generation feedstock because they have lower heat content and higher production/hauling costs. For them to become cost competitive with coal, the combined costs of production and hauling must be cut by more than half or the coal price needs to rise. In particular, for crop residues to have any role in electricity generation either the price of coal has to increase to about 43 per ton or the carbon equivalent price must rise to about 15 per ton. The simulation results also show that crop residues with higher heat content such as wheat residues will have greater opportunities in bioelectricity production than the residues with lower heat content. In addition, the analysis shows that improvements in crop yield do not have much impact on bioelectricity production. However, the energy recovery efficiency does have significant positive impact on the bioelectricity desirability but again only if the carbon equivalent price rises substantially. The analysis also shows the desirability of cofiring biomass as opposed to 100% replacement because this reduces haling costs and increases the

  11. Establishment of new crops for the production of natural rubber.

    PubMed

    van Beilen, Jan B; Poirier, Yves

    2007-11-01

    Natural rubber is a unique biopolymer of strategic importance that, in many of its most significant applications, cannot be replaced by synthetic alternatives. The rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis is the almost exclusive commercial source of natural rubber currently and alternative crops should be developed for several reasons, including: a disease risk to the rubber tree that could potentially decimate current production, a predicted shortage of natural rubber supply, increasing allergic reactions to rubber obtained from the Brazilian rubber tree and a general shift towards renewables. This review summarizes our knowledge of plants that can serve as alternative sources of natural rubber, of rubber biosynthesis and the scientific gaps that must be filled to bring the alternative crops into production.

  12. Using membrane transporters to improve crops for sustainable food production

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, Julian I.; Delhaize, Emmanuel; Frommer, Wolf B.; Guerinot, Mary Lou; Harrison, Maria J.; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Horie, Tomoaki; Kochian, Leon V.; Munns, Rana; Nishizawa, Naoko K.; Tsay, Yi-Fang; Sanders, Dale

    2013-01-01

    With the global population predicted to grow by at least 25 per cent by 2050, the need for sustainable production of nutritious foods is critical for human and environmental health. Recent advances show that specialized plant membrane transporters can be used to enhance yields of staple crops, increase nutrient content and increase resistance to key stresses, including salinity, pathogens and aluminium toxicity, which in turn could expand available arable land. PMID:23636397

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  14. Using membrane transporters to improve crops for sustainable food production.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Julian I; Delhaize, Emmanuel; Frommer, Wolf B; Guerinot, Mary Lou; Harrison, Maria J; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Horie, Tomoaki; Kochian, Leon V; Munns, Rana; Nishizawa, Naoko K; Tsay, Yi-Fang; Sanders, Dale

    2013-05-02

    With the global population predicted to grow by at least 25 per cent by 2050, the need for sustainable production of nutritious foods is critical for human and environmental health. Recent advances show that specialized plant membrane transporters can be used to enhance yields of staple crops, increase nutrient content and increase resistance to key stresses, including salinity, pathogens and aluminium toxicity, which in turn could expand available arable land.

  15. Air Pollution Impacts on Global Crop Productivity and Nitrogen Depositio

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heald, C. L.; Tai, A. P. K.; Val Martin, M.

    2014-12-01

    The biosphere is undeniably transformed by air pollution. Emissions, climate change, and land use change are all expected to substantially alter future air quality. In this presentation, we discuss near-term projections (2050) of air quality impacts on both crop productivity and nitrogen deposition. First, we contrast the relative impacts of ozone air pollution and a warming climate on global crop yields. To do so, we define statistical crop yield functions to a warming climate based on the historical record. We combine these relationships with ozone-damage estimates and apply these to future air quality and climate projections from a global coupled chemistry-climate model (CESM). We find substantial variability in the response, with certain regions or crops more sensitive to ozone pollution and others more sensitive to warming. This work demonstrates that air quality management is a key element to ensuring global food security. Second, we examine the relative impacts of anthropogenic emissions, climate change, and land use change on global nitrogen deposition. Nitrogen deposition has rapidly increased over the Anthropocene. Excess deposition of nitrogen to ecosystems can lead to eutrophication of waters, and a decrease in biodiversity. We use the CESM to investigate two scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP8.5) and focus our analysis on the impacts on diverse ecoregions in North America, Europe, and Asia.

  16. From the Academy: Colloquium perspective. Toward cropping systems that enhance productivity and sustainability.

    PubMed

    Cook, R James

    2006-12-05

    The defining features of any cropping system are (i) the crop rotation and (ii) the kind or intensity of tillage. The trend worldwide starting in the late 20th century has been (i) to specialize competitively in the production of two, three, a single, or closely related crops such as different market classes of wheat and barley, and (ii) to use direct seeding, also known as no-till, to cut costs and save soil, time, and fuel. The availability of glyphosate- and insect-resistant varieties of soybeans, corn, cotton, and canola has helped greatly to address weed and insect pest pressures favored by direct seeding these crops. However, little has been done through genetics and breeding to address diseases caused by residue- and soil-inhabiting pathogens that remain major obstacles to wider adoption of these potentially more productive and sustainable systems. Instead, the gains have been due largely to innovations in management, including enhancement of root defense by antibiotic-producing rhizosphere-inhabiting bacteria inhibitory to root pathogens. Historically, new varieties have facilitated wider adoption of new management, and changes in management have facilitated wider adoption of new varieties. Although actual yields may be lower in direct-seed compared with conventional cropping systems, largely due to diseases, the yield potential is higher because of more available water and increases in soil organic matter. Achieving the full production potential of these more-sustainable cropping systems must now await the development of varieties adapted to or resistant to the hazards shown to account for the yield depressions associated with direct seeding.

  17. Crop residues as soil amendments and feedstock for bioethanol production.

    PubMed

    Lal, R

    2008-01-01

    Traditional solid fuels account for more than 90% of the energy supply for 3 billion people in developing countries. However, liquid biofuels (e.g., ethanol) are perceived as an important alternative to fossil fuel. Global crop residue production is estimated at about 4 billion Mg for all crops and 3 billion Mg per annum for lignocellulosic residues of cereals. One Mg of corn stover can produce 280L of ethanol, compared with 400L from 1Mg of corn grains; 1Mg of biomass is also equivalent to 18.5GJ of energy. Thus, 3 billion Mg of residues are equivalent to 840 billion L of ethanol or 56x10(9)GJ of energy. However, removal of crop residues exacerbates soil degradation, increases net emission of CO2, and aggravates food insecurity. Increasing the SOC pool by 1 Mg C ha(-1)yr(-1) through residue retention on soil can increase world food grain production by 24-40 million Mg yr(-1), and root/tuber production by 6-11 million Mg yr(-1). Thus, identifying alternate sources of biofuel feedstock (e.g., biofuel plantations, animal waste, municipal sold waste) is a high priority. Establishing biofuel plantations on agriculturally marginal or degraded lands can off-set 3.5-4 Pg Cyr(-1).

  18. Type of fitness cost influences the rate of evolution of resistance to transgenic Bt crops.

    PubMed

    Hackett, Sean C; Bonsall, Michael B

    2016-10-01

    The evolution of resistance to pesticides by insect pests is a significant challenge for sustainable agriculture. For transgenic crops expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), crystalline (Cry) toxins resistance evolution may be delayed by the high-dose/refuge strategy in which a non-toxic refuge is planted to promote the survival of susceptible insects. The high-dose/refuge strategy may interact with fitness costs associated with resistance alleles to further delay resistance. However, while a diverse range of fitness costs are reported in the field, they are typically represented as a fixed reduction in survival or viability which is insensitive to ecological conditions such as competition. Furthermore, the potential dynamic consequences of restricting susceptible insects to a refuge which represents only a fraction of the available space have rarely been considered.We present a generalized discrete time model which utilizes dynamic programming methods to derive the optimal management decisions for the control of a theoretical insect pest population exposed to Bt crops. We consider three genotypes (susceptible homozygotes, resistant homozygotes and heterozygotes) and implement fitness costs of resistance to Bt toxins as either a decrease in the relative competitive ability of resistant insects or as a penalty on fecundity. Model analysis is repeated and contrasted for two types of density dependence: uniform density dependence which operates equally across the landscape and heterogeneous density dependence where the intensity of competition scales inversely with patch size and is determined separately for the refuge and Bt crop.When the planting of Bt is decided optimally, fitness costs to fecundity allow for the planting of larger areas of Bt crops than equivalent fitness costs that reduce the competitive ability of resistant insects.Heterogeneous competition only influenced model predictions when the proportional area of Bt planted in each season was decided

  19. Replacing fallow with continuous cropping reduces crop water productivity of semiarid wheat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water supply frequently limits crop yield in semiarid cropping systems; water deficits can restrict yields in drought-affected subhumid regions. In semiarid wheat (Triticum aestivumL.)-based cropping systems, replacing an uncropped fallow period with a crop can increase precipitation use efficiency ...

  20. 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...

  1. Long-term impacts of cropping systems and landscape positions on grain crop production on claypan soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sustainable grain crop production on vulnerable claypan soils requires improved knowledge of long-term impacts of conservation cropping systems (CS) with reduced inputs. Therefore, effects of CS and landscape positions (LP) on corn (Zea mays L.), soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], and wheat (Triticum...

  2. Long-term impacts of cropping systems and landscape positions on claypan-soil grain crop production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sustainable grain crop production on vulnerable claypan soils requires improved knowledge of long-term impacts of conservation cropping systems (CS) with reduced inputs. Therefore, effects of CS and landscape positions (LP) on corn (Zea mays L.), soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], and wheat (Triticum...

  3. Lamb Production Costs: Analyses of Composition and Elasticities Analysis of Lamb Production Costs.

    PubMed

    Raineri, C; Stivari, T S S; Gameiro, A H

    2015-08-01

    Since lamb is a commodity, producers cannot control the price of the product they sell. Therefore, managing production costs is a necessity. We explored the study of elasticities as a tool for basing decision-making in sheep production, and aimed at investigating the composition and elasticities of lamb production costs, and their influence on the performance of the activity. A representative sheep production farm, designed in a panel meeting, was the base for calculation of lamb production cost. We then performed studies of: i) costs composition, and ii) cost elasticities for prices of inputs and for zootechnical indicators. Variable costs represented 64.15% of total cost, while 21.66% were represented by operational fixed costs, and 14.19% by the income of the factors. As for elasticities to input prices, the opportunity cost of land was the item to which production cost was more sensitive: a 1% increase in its price would cause a 0.2666% increase in lamb cost. Meanwhile, the impact of increasing any technical indicator was significantly higher than the impact of rising input prices. A 1% increase in weight at slaughter, for example, would reduce total cost in 0.91%. The greatest obstacle to economic viability of sheep production under the observed conditions is low technical efficiency. Increased production costs are more related to deficient zootechnical indexes than to high expenses.

  4. Lamb Production Costs: Analyses of Composition and Elasticities Analysis of Lamb Production Costs

    PubMed Central

    Raineri, C.; Stivari, T. S. S.; Gameiro, A. H.

    2015-01-01

    Since lamb is a commodity, producers cannot control the price of the product they sell. Therefore, managing production costs is a necessity. We explored the study of elasticities as a tool for basing decision-making in sheep production, and aimed at investigating the composition and elasticities of lamb production costs, and their influence on the performance of the activity. A representative sheep production farm, designed in a panel meeting, was the base for calculation of lamb production cost. We then performed studies of: i) costs composition, and ii) cost elasticities for prices of inputs and for zootechnical indicators. Variable costs represented 64.15% of total cost, while 21.66% were represented by operational fixed costs, and 14.19% by the income of the factors. As for elasticities to input prices, the opportunity cost of land was the item to which production cost was more sensitive: a 1% increase in its price would cause a 0.2666% increase in lamb cost. Meanwhile, the impact of increasing any technical indicator was significantly higher than the impact of rising input prices. A 1% increase in weight at slaughter, for example, would reduce total cost in 0.91%. The greatest obstacle to economic viability of sheep production under the observed conditions is low technical efficiency. Increased production costs are more related to deficient zootechnical indexes than to high expenses. PMID:26104531

  5. Predicting Production Costs for Advanced Aerospace Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bao, Han P.; Samareh, J. A.; Weston, R. P.

    2002-01-01

    For early design concepts, the conventional approach to cost is normally some kind of parametric weight-based cost model. There is now ample evidence that this approach can be misleading and inaccurate. By the nature of its development, a parametric cost model requires historical data and is valid only if the new design is analogous to those for which the model was derived. Advanced aerospace vehicles have no historical production data and are nowhere near the vehicles of the past. Using an existing weight-based cost model would only lead to errors and distortions of the true production cost. This paper outlines the development of a process-based cost model in which the physical elements of the vehicle are soared according to a first-order dynamics model. This theoretical cost model, first advocated by early work at MIT, has been expanded to cover the basic structures of an advanced aerospace vehicle. Elemental costs based on the geometry of the design can be summed up to provide an overall estimation of the total production cost for a design configuration. This capability to directly link any design configuration to realistic cost estimation is a key requirement for high payoff MDO problems. Another important consideration in this paper is the handling of part or product complexity. Here the concept of cost modulus is introduced to take into account variability due to different materials, sizes, shapes, precision of fabrication, and equipment requirements. The most important implication of the development of the proposed process-based cost model is that different design configurations can now be quickly related to their cost estimates in a seamless calculation process easily implemented on any spreadsheet tool.

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

    PubMed

    Lesk, Corey; Rowhani, Pedram; Ramankutty, Navin

    2016-01-07

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

  7. Influence of extreme weather disasters on global crop production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lesk, Corey; Rowhani, Pedram; Ramankutty, Navin

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-09-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Envisioning a metropolitan foodshed: potential environmental consequences of increasing food-crop production around Chicago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowen, E. E.; Martin, P. A.; Schuble, T. J.

    2009-12-01

    Nationwide, cities are increasingly developing policies aimed at greater sustainability, particularly focusing on reducing environmental impact. Such policies commonly emphasize more efficiently using energy to decrease the greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint of the city. However, most plans ignore the food system as a factor in regional energy use and GHG emissions. Yet, the food system in the United States accounts for ~20% of per capita greenhouse gas emissions. Local, sustainable food production is cited as one strategy for mitigating GHG emissions of large metropolitan areas. “Sustainable” for regional agriculture is often identified as small-scale, diversified food crop production using best practices management. Localized food production (termed “foodshed”) using sustainable agriculture could mitigate climate change in multiple ways: (1) energy and therefore CO2-intensive portions of the conventional food system might be replaced by local, lower-input food production resulting in carbon offsets; (2) increased regional carbon storage might result from well-managed food crop production vs. commodity crop production; and (3) averted N2O emissions might result from closing nutrient cycles on agricultural lands following changes in management practices. The broader implications for environmental impact of widespread conversion to sustainable food crop agriculture, however, remain largely unknown. We examine the Chicago metropolitan region to quantify the impact of increased local food production on regional energy efficiency and GHG emissions. Geospatial analysis is used to quantify the resource potential for establishing a Chicago metropolitan foodshed. A regional foodshed is defined by minimizing cost through transportation mode (road, rail, or water) and maximizing the production potential of different soil types. Simple biogeochemical modeling is used to predict changes in N2O emissions and nutrient flows following changes in land management practices

  12. SOIL ECOLOGY AS KEY TO SUSTAINABLE CROP PRODUCTION.

    PubMed

    De Deyn, G B

    2015-01-01

    Sustainable production of food, feed and fiberwarrants sustainable soil management and crop protection. The tools available to achieve this are both in the realm of the plants and of the soil, with a key role for plant-soil interactions. At the plant level we have vast knowledge of variation within plant species with respect to pests and diseases, based on which we can breed for resistance. However, given that systems evolve this resistance is bound to be temporarily, hence also other strategies are needed. Here I plea for an integrative approach for sustainable production using ecological principles. Ecology, the study of how organisms interact with their environment, teaches us that diversity promotes productivity and yield stability. These effects are thought to be governed through resource use complementarity and reduced build-up of pests and diseases both above- and belowground. In recent years especially the role of soil biotic interactions has revealed new insights in how plant diversity and productivity are related to soil biodiversity and the functions soil biota govern. In our grassland biodiversity studies we found that root feeders can promote plant diversity and succession without reducing plant community productivity, this illustrates the role of diversity to maintain productivity. Also diversity within species offers scope for sustainable production, for example through awareness of differences between plant genotypes in chemical defense compounds that can attract natural enemies of pests aboveground- and belowground thereby providing plant protection. Plant breeding can also benefit from using complementarity between plant species in the selection for new varieties, as our work demonstrated that when growing in species mixtures plant species adapt to each other over time such that their resource acquisition traits become more complementing. Finally, in a recent meta-analysis we show that earthworms can stimulate crop yield with on average 25%, but

  13. Application Problem of Biomass Combustion in Greenhouses for Crop Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawamura, Atsuhiro; Akisawa, Atsushi; Kashiwagi, Takao

    It is consumed much energy in fossil fuels to production crops in greenhouses in Japan. And fl ue gas as CO2 fertilization is used for growing crops in modern greenhouses. If biomass as renewable energy can use for production vegetables in greenhouses, more than 800,000 kl of energy a year (in crude oil equivalent) will be saved. In this study, at fi rst, we made the biomass combustion equipment, and performed fundamental examination for various pellet fuel. We performed the examination that considered an application to a real greenhouse next. We considered biomass as both a source of energy and CO2 gas for greenhouses, and the following fi ndings were obtained: 1) Based on the standard of CO2 gas fertilization to greenhouses, it is diffi cult to apply biomass as a CO2 fertilizer, so that biomass should be applied to energy use only, at least for the time being. 2) Practical biomass energy machinery for economy, high reliability and greenhouses satisfying the conservatism that it is easy is necessary. 3) It is necessary to develop crop varieties and cultivation systems requiring less strict environmental control. 4) Disposal of combustion ash occurring abundantly, effective practical use is necessary.

  14. Land application of sugar beet by-products: effects on nitrogen mineralization and crop yields.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Kuldip; Rosen, Carl J; Gupta, Satish C; McNearney, Matthew

    2009-01-01

    Land application of food processing wastes has become an acceptable practice because of the nutrient value of the wastes and potential cost savings in their disposal. Spoiled beets and pulp are among the main by-products generated by the sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) processing industry. Farmers commonly land apply these by-products at rates >224 Mg ha(-1) on a fresh weight basis. However, information on nutrient release in soils treated with these by-products and their subsequent impacts on crop yield is lacking. Field studies were conducted to determine the effects of sugar beet by-product application on N release and crop yields over two growing seasons. Treatments in the first year were two rates (224 and 448 Mg ha(-1) fresh weight) of pulp and spoiled beets and a nonfertilized control. In the second year after by-product application, the control treatment was fertilized with N fertilizer and an additional treatment was added as a nonfertilized control in buffer areas. Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) was grown in the year of by-product application and sugar beet in the subsequent year. By-product treatments caused a significant reduction in wheat grain yield compared with the control. This was due to a decline in N availability as a result of immobilization. Based on microplots receiving 15N labeled beets, wheat took up <1% of spoiled beet-N (approximately 4.7 kg ha(-1)) during the year of by-product application. In the second cropping year, sugar beet root yields were significantly higher in the fertilized control and by-product treatments than the nonfertilized control. The lack of significant difference in sugar beet yield between the fertilized control and by-product treatments was likely due to the greater availability of N in the second year. Labeled 15N data also showed that the sugar beet crop recovered a 17% of sugar beet-N, an equivalent of 86 kg N ha(-1), during the second cropping year. There was no difference in sugar beet root yield, N uptake, or

  15. Climate trends and global crop production since 1980.

    PubMed

    Lobell, David B; Schlenker, Wolfram; Costa-Roberts, Justin

    2011-07-29

    Efforts to anticipate how climate change will affect future food availability can benefit from understanding the impacts of changes to date. We found that in the cropping regions and growing seasons of most countries, with the important exception of the United States, temperature trends from 1980 to 2008 exceeded one standard deviation of historic year-to-year variability. Models that link yields of the four largest commodity crops to weather indicate that global maize and wheat production declined by 3.8 and 5.5%, respectively, relative to a counterfactual without climate trends. For soybeans and rice, winners and losers largely balanced out. Climate trends were large enough in some countries to offset a significant portion of the increases in average yields that arose from technology, carbon dioxide fertilization, and other factors.

  16. Climate Trends and Global Crop Production Since 1980

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobell, David B.; Schlenker, Wolfram; Costa-Roberts, Justin

    2011-07-01

    Efforts to anticipate how climate change will affect future food availability can benefit from understanding the impacts of changes to date. We found that in the cropping regions and growing seasons of most countries, with the important exception of the United States, temperature trends from 1980 to 2008 exceeded one standard deviation of historic year-to-year variability. Models that link yields of the four largest commodity crops to weather indicate that global maize and wheat production declined by 3.8 and 5.5%, respectively, relative to a counterfactual without climate trends. For soybeans and rice, winners and losers largely balanced out. Climate trends were large enough in some countries to offset a significant portion of the increases in average yields that arose from technology, carbon dioxide fertilization, and other factors.

  17. Human productivity in space and systems costs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, R. H.

    Human productivity during assembly operations in-orbit is dependent on limits set by fatigue, metabolic rates, learning, and assembly techniques. In order to quantify these effects, tests were conducted in the NASA MSFC Neutral Buoyancy Simulator, in the NASA KC-135 in parabolic flight, and in space with the EASE program during the Shuttle Atlantis mission 61-B. A separate program attempted to relate productivity to system costs. Because of the surprisingly high productivity which had been demonstrated in orbit, it was shown that assembly operations would have only a small effect on system costs at the present level of launch costs. The results of these continuing studies have been reported in a recent paper(1). They will be briefly summarized here and the results updated to include additional cost elements and to examine the effects of reductions in transportation costs, resulting from advances in technology and from increased demand, on system costs. It is shown that, as launch costs are reduced, the assembly costs could become an increasingly important component of the total system costs.

  18. 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.

  19. Food and nutritional security requires adequate protein as well as energy, delivered from whole-year crop production

    PubMed Central

    Wratten, Stephen D.; Porter, John R.

    2016-01-01

    Human food security requires the production of sufficient quantities of both high-quality protein and dietary energy. In a series of case-studies from New Zealand, we show that while production of food ingredients from crops on arable land can meet human dietary energy requirements effectively, requirements for high-quality protein are met more efficiently by animal production from such land. We present a model that can be used to assess dietary energy and quality-corrected protein production from various crop and crop/animal production systems, and demonstrate its utility. We extend our analysis with an accompanying economic analysis of commercially-available, pre-prepared or simply-cooked foods that can be produced from our case-study crop and animal products. We calculate the per-person, per-day cost of both quality-corrected protein and dietary energy as provided in the processed foods. We conclude that mixed dairy/cropping systems provide the greatest quantity of high-quality protein per unit price to the consumer, have the highest food energy production and can support the dietary requirements of the highest number of people, when assessed as all-year-round production systems. Global food and nutritional security will largely be an outcome of national or regional agroeconomies addressing their own food needs. We hope that our model will be used for similar analyses of food production systems in other countries, agroecological zones and economies. PMID:27478691

  20. Food and nutritional security requires adequate protein as well as energy, delivered from whole-year crop production.

    PubMed

    Coles, Graeme D; Wratten, Stephen D; Porter, John R

    2016-01-01

    Human food security requires the production of sufficient quantities of both high-quality protein and dietary energy. In a series of case-studies from New Zealand, we show that while production of food ingredients from crops on arable land can meet human dietary energy requirements effectively, requirements for high-quality protein are met more efficiently by animal production from such land. We present a model that can be used to assess dietary energy and quality-corrected protein production from various crop and crop/animal production systems, and demonstrate its utility. We extend our analysis with an accompanying economic analysis of commercially-available, pre-prepared or simply-cooked foods that can be produced from our case-study crop and animal products. We calculate the per-person, per-day cost of both quality-corrected protein and dietary energy as provided in the processed foods. We conclude that mixed dairy/cropping systems provide the greatest quantity of high-quality protein per unit price to the consumer, have the highest food energy production and can support the dietary requirements of the highest number of people, when assessed as all-year-round production systems. Global food and nutritional security will largely be an outcome of national or regional agroeconomies addressing their own food needs. We hope that our model will be used for similar analyses of food production systems in other countries, agroecological zones and economies.

  1. Soil and water quality implications of production of herbaceous and woody energy crops

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Lindberg, J.E.; Green, T.H.

    1997-10-01

    Field-scale studies in three physiographic regions of the Tennessee Valley in the Southeastern US are being used to address the environmental effects of producing biomass energy crops on former agricultural lands. Comparison of erosion, surface water quality and quantity, and subsurface movement of water and nutrients from woody crops, switchgrass and agricultural crops began with crop establishment in 1994. Nutrient cycling, soil physical changes, and productivity of the different crops are also being monitored at the three sites.

  2. Crop area estimation based on remotely-sensed data with an accurate but costly subsample

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gunst, R. F.

    1983-01-01

    Alternatives to sampling-theory stratified and regression estimators of crop production and timber biomass were examined. An alternative estimator which is viewed as especially promising is the errors-in-variable regression estimator. Investigations established the need for caution with this estimator when the ratio of two error variances is not precisely known.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  4. Productivity and carbon dioxide exchange of leguminous crops: estimates from flux tower measurements

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gilmanov, Tagir G.; Baker, John M.; Bernacchi, Carl J.; Billesbach, David P.; Burba, George G.; Castro, Saulo; Chen, Jiquan; Eugster, Werner; Fischer, Marc L.; Gamon, John A.; Gebremedhin, Maheteme T.; Glenn, Aaron J.; Griffis, Timothy J.; Hatfield, Jerry L.; Heuer, Mark W.; Howard, Daniel M.; Leclerc, Monique Y.; Loescher, Henry W.; Marloie, Oliver; Meyers, Tilden P.; Olioso, Albert; Phillips, Rebecca L.; Prueger, John H.; Skinner, R. Howard; Suyker, Andrew E.; Tenuta, Mario; Wylie, Bruce K.

    2014-01-01

    Net CO2 exchange data of legume crops at 17 flux tower sites in North America and three sites in Europe representing 29 site-years of measurements were partitioned into gross photosynthesis and ecosystem respiration by using the nonrectangular hyperbolic light-response function method. The analyses produced net CO2 exchange data and new ecosystem-scale ecophysiological parameter estimates for legume crops determined at diurnal and weekly time steps. Dynamics and annual totals of gross photosynthesis, ecosystem respiration, and net ecosystem production were calculated by gap filling with multivariate nonlinear regression. Comparison with the data from grain crops obtained with the same method demonstrated that CO2 exchange rates and ecophysiological parameters of legumes were lower than those of maize (Zea mays L.) but higher than for wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) crops. Year-round annual legume crops demonstrated a broad range of net ecosystem production, from sinks of 760 g CO2 m–2 yr–1 to sources of –2100 g CO2 m–2 yr–1, with an average of –330 g CO2 m–2 yr–1, indicating overall moderate CO2–source activity related to a shorter period of photosynthetic uptake and metabolic costs of N2 fixation. Perennial legumes (alfalfa, Medicago sativa L.) were strong sinks for atmospheric CO2, with an average net ecosystem production of 980 (range 550–1200) g CO2 m–2 yr–1.

  5. Productivity, absorbed photosynthetically active radiation, and light use efficiency in crops: implications for remote sensing of crop primary production.

    PubMed

    Gitelson, Anatoly A; Peng, Yi; Arkebauer, Timothy J; Suyker, Andrew E

    2015-04-01

    Vegetation productivity metrics such as gross primary production (GPP) at the canopy scale are greatly affected by the efficiency of using absorbed radiation for photosynthesis, or light use efficiency (LUE). Thus, close investigation of the relationships between canopy GPP and photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by vegetation is the basis for quantification of LUE. We used multiyear observations over irrigated and rainfed contrasting C3 (soybean) and C4 (maize) crops having different physiology, leaf structure, and canopy architecture to establish the relationships between canopy GPP and radiation absorbed by vegetation and quantify LUE. Although multiple LUE definitions are reported in the literature, we used a definition of efficiency of light use by photosynthetically active "green" vegetation (LUE(green)) based on radiation absorbed by "green" photosynthetically active vegetation on a daily basis. We quantified, irreversible slowly changing seasonal (constitutive) and rapidly day-to-day changing (facultative) LUE(green), as well as sensitivity of LUE(green) to the magnitude of incident radiation and drought events. Large (2-3-fold) variation of daily LUE(green) over the course of a growing season that is governed by crop physiological and phenological status was observed. The day-to-day variations of LUE(green) oscillated with magnitude 10-15% around the seasonal LUE(green) trend and appeared to be closely related to day-to-day variations of magnitude and composition of incident radiation. Our results show the high variability of LUE(green) between C3 and C4 crop species (1.43 g C/MJ vs. 2.24 g C/MJ, respectively), as well as within single crop species (i.e., maize or soybean). This implies that assuming LUE(green) as a constant value in GPP models is not warranted for the crops studied, and brings unpredictable uncertainties of remote GPP estimation, which should be accounted for in LUE models. The uncertainty of GPP estimation due to facultative and

  6. Farm-scale costs and returns for second generation bioenergy cropping systems in the US Corn Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manatt, Robert K.; Hallam, Arne; Schulte, Lisa A.; Heaton, Emily A.; Gunther, Theo; Hall, Richard B.; Moore, Ken J.

    2013-09-01

    While grain crops are meeting much of the initial need for biofuels in the US, cellulosic or second generation (2G) materials are mandated to provide a growing portion of biofuel feedstocks. We sought to inform development of a 2G crop portfolio by assessing the profitability of novel cropping systems that potentially mitigate the negative effects of grain-based biofuel crops on food supply and environmental quality. We analyzed farm-gate costs and returns of five systems from an ongoing experiment in central Iowa, USA. The continuous corn cropping system was most profitable under current market conditions, followed by a corn-soybean rotation that incorporated triticale as a 2G cover crop every third year, and a corn-switchgrass system. A novel triticale-hybrid aspen intercropping system had the highest yields over the long term, but could only surpass the profitability of the continuous corn system when biomass prices exceeded foreseeable market values. A triticale/sorghum double cropping system was deemed unviable. We perceive three ways 2G crops could become more cost competitive with grain crops: by (1) boosting yields through substantially greater investment in research and development, (2) increasing demand through substantially greater and sustained investment in new markets, and (3) developing new schemes to compensate farmers for environmental benefits associated with 2G crops.

  7. NPR (New Production Reactor) capacity cost evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    1988-07-01

    The ORNL Cost Evaluation Technical Support Group (CETSG) has been assigned by DOE-HQ Defense Programs (DP) the task defining, obtaining, and evaluating the capital and life-cycle costs for each of the technology/proponent/site/revenue possibilities envisioned for the New Production Reactor (NPR). The first part of this exercise is largely one of accounting, since all NPR proponents use different accounting methodologies in preparing their costs. In order to address this problem of comparing ''apples and oranges,'' the proponent-provided costs must be partitioned into a framework suitable for all proponents and concepts. If this is done, major cost categories can then be compared between concepts and major cost differences identified. Since the technologies proposed for the NPR and its needed fuel and target support facilities vary considerably in level of technical and operational maturity, considerable care must be taken to evaluate the proponent-derived costs in an equitable manner. The use of cost-risk analysis along with derivation of single point or deterministic estimates allows one to take into account these very real differences in technical and operational maturity. Chapter 2 summarizes the results of this study in tabular and bar graph form. The remaining chapters discuss each generic reactor type as follows: Chapter 3, LWR concepts (SWR and WNP-1); Chapter 4, HWR concepts; Chapter 5, HTGR concept; and Chapter 6, LMR concept. Each of these chapters could be a stand-alone report. 39 refs., 36 figs., 115 tabs.

  8. Environmental assessment of two different crop systems in terms of biomethane potential production.

    PubMed

    Bacenetti, Jacopo; Fusi, Alessandra; Negri, Marco; Guidetti, Riccardo; Fiala, Marco

    2014-01-01

    The interest in renewable energy sources has gained great importance in Europe due to the need to reduce fossil energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, as required by the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) of the European Parliament. The production of energy from energy crops appears to be consistent with RED. The environmental impact related to this kind of energy primarily originates from crop cultivation. This research aimed to evaluate the environmental impact of different crop systems for biomass production: single and double crop. The environmental performances of maize and maize plus wheat were assessed from a life cycle perspective. Two alternative scenarios considering different yields, crop management, and climatic conditions, were also addressed. One normal cubic metre of potential methane was chosen as a functional unit. Methane potential production data were obtained through lab experimental tests. For both of the crop systems, the factors that have the greatest influence on the overall environmental burden are: fertilizer emissions, diesel fuel emissions, diesel fuel production, and pesticide production. Notwithstanding the greater level of methane potential production, the double crop system appears to have the worse environmental performance with respect to its single crop counterpart. This result is due to the bigger quantity of inputs needed for the double crop system. Therefore, the greater amount of biomass (silage) obtained through the double crop system is less than proportional to the environmental burden that results from the bigger quantity of inputs requested for double crop.

  9. Microbial Diversity-Based Novel Crop Protection Products

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-05-10

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

  10. GPP estimates in a biodiesel crop using MERIS products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  11. Cost benefits from human productivity design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bluth, B. J.

    1984-01-01

    The degree to which changing definitions of productivity influence the design of space systems is discussed from a sociological point of view. Particular attention is given to the importance of subjective criteria used in judgements about the cost and benefits of designing a Space Station. It is recommended that designers, administrators, and potential private industrial participants recognize the objectives and goals of other groups involved in the Space Station program in order to establish the most cooperative and productive design environment.

  12. Summary of cover crop effects on cotton production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cover crop use in field crop research, especially cotton, dates back to Auburn University’s “Old Rotation”, the world’s oldest continuous cotton experiment, established in 1896. Despite the long history of cover crop research in the literature, meta-analytic methods have not been used to evaluate co...

  13. Cost of heliostats in low volume production

    SciTech Connect

    Drumheller, K.; Williams, T. A.; Dilbeck, R. A.; Allison, G. S.

    1980-01-01

    This study indicates that in small volumes, heliostats can be produced at an installed cost of approximately 200 $/M/sup 2/ for a 49.053 m/sup 2/ heliostat. Initial one-time costs of $10 to $15 million would be required, although part of the one-time costs are recoverable. This study provides estimated costs of heliostats that are produced in a plant operating on a continuous basis for a period of four years at a production rate of 2,500 heliostats per year. This scenario was selected somewhat arbitrarily as a scenario that could lead to heliostat market of 5,000 to 10,000 units per year.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Double- and relay-cropping offers a means to produce a biofuel and food or forage crop in a single season on the same land without sacrificing food security, while potentially boosting profits. Field studies were conducted between 2009 and 2012 in Morris, Minnesota (MN), and Prosper and Carrington, ...

  15. Genetic improvement for root growth angle to enhance crop production

    PubMed Central

    Uga, Yusaku; Kitomi, Yuka; Ishikawa, Satoru; Yano, Masahiro

    2015-01-01

    The root system is an essential organ for taking up water and nutrients and anchoring shoots to the ground. On the other hand, the root system has rarely been regarded as breeding target, possibly because it is more laborious and time-consuming to evaluate roots (which require excavation) in a large number of plants than aboveground tissues. The root growth angle (RGA), which determines the direction of root elongation in the soil, affects the area in which roots capture water and nutrients. In this review, we describe the significance of RGA as a potential trait to improve crop production, and the physiological and molecular mechanisms that regulate RGA. We discuss the prospects for breeding to improve RGA based on current knowledge of quantitative trait loci for RGA in rice. PMID:26069440

  16. Breeding technologies to increase crop production in a changing world.

    PubMed

    Tester, Mark; Langridge, Peter

    2010-02-12

    To feed the several billion people living on this planet, the production of high-quality food must increase with reduced inputs, but this accomplishment will be particularly challenging in the face of global environmental change. Plant breeders need to focus on traits with the greatest potential to increase yield. Hence, new technologies must be developed to accelerate breeding through improving genotyping and phenotyping methods and by increasing the available genetic diversity in breeding germplasm. The most gain will come from delivering these technologies in developing countries, but the technologies will have to be economically accessible and readily disseminated. Crop improvement through breeding brings immense value relative to investment and offers an effective approach to improving food security.

  17. [Ecological cost of grain production in gully area of Loess Plateau].

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao; Xie, Yong-sheng; Zhang, Ying-long; Li, Wen-zhuo

    2010-12-01

    Economic and ecological methods were applied to investigate the ecological cost of grain production in the gully area of Loess Plateau. In the study area in 2008, the ecological loss due to grain production was 7.2% of the total crop output, and the ecological cost reached 2.42 yuan x kg(-1) for wheat and 2.12 yuan x kg(-1) for corn. However, the per unit sales were 1.70 yuan x kg(-1) for wheat and 1.28 yuan x kg(-1) for corn. The combination of high production cost and low income affected the sustainable development of local ecological economy. The analysis of grey relationships among various factors affecting the ecological cost of grain production indicated that yield, sown area, and agricultural mechanical cost were the important factors affecting the ecological cost of grain production, while chemical fertilizer cost and organic fertilizer cost had less impact on the ecological cost of grain production. Under current production conditions, the ecological cost of grain production in the area could be reduced by raising the level of scientific and technological inputs, expanding the scale of family agricultural production, and improving the grain yield.

  18. 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.

  19. 75 FR 16575 - Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures-Productivity Adjustment

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-01

    ... Surface Transportation Board Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures--Productivity Adjustment AGENCY: Surface Transportation Board. ACTION: Adoption of a railroad cost recovery procedures productivity adjustment. SUMMARY... productivity adjustment, as measured by the average change in railroad productivity for the years 2004...

  20. Modeling the water-satisfied degree for production of the main food crops in China.

    PubMed

    Yu, Guangming; Yang, Yumeng; Tu, Zhenfa; Jie, Yi; Yu, Qiwu; Hu, Xiaoyan; Yu, Hailong; Zhou, Ruirui; Chen, Xiaoxu; Wang, Hongzhi

    2016-03-15

    Water resources are one of the important factors that influence regional crop production and the food security of humans. Most traditional models of crop water demand analysis are built on the basis of a certain crop or macroscopic analysis, which neglect regional crop allocation and the difference of water demand in different crop growing periods. In this paper, a new assessing model, the satisfied degree of crop water requirement, is developed to assess the impacts of water resources on production of six main food crops in China. The six main food crops are spring wheat, winter wheat, corn, early season rice, middle-season rice and late rice. The results show that: (1) there are serious risks of water shortage in China, even in south China with its abundant precipitation; (2) the satisfied degree of crop water demand represents great temporal-spatial changes. On spatial distribution the risks are high in major bases of food production due to influences of cropping system and crop-combinations. Northwest China is a special interesting case. In seasonal fluctuation water shortage is severe in March and September. These risks seriously restrict food production in China. The results also show that the strategic measures of water resources management must be chosen carefully to deal with food security and regional sustainable development in China.

  1. Effects of modified atmosphere on crop productivity and mineral content

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chagvardieff, P.; Dimon, B.; Souleimanov, A.; Massimino, D.; Le Bras, S.; Péan, M.; Louche-Teissandier, D.

    1997-01-01

    Wheat, potato, pea and tomato crops were cultivated from seeding to harvest in a controlled and confined growth chamber at elevated CO_2 concentration (3700 muL.L^-1) to examine the effects on biomass production and edible part yields. Different responses to high CO_2 were recorded, ranging from a decline in productivity for wheat, to slight stimulation for potatoes, moderate increase for tomatoes, and very large enhancement for pea. Mineral content in wheat and pea seeds was not greatly modified by the elevated CO_2. Short-term experiments (17 d) were conducted on potato at high (3700 muL.L^-1) and very high (20,000 muL.L^-1) CO_2 concentration and/or low O_2 partial pressure (~ 20,600 muL.L^-1 or 2 kPa). Low O_2 was more effective than high CO_2 in total biomass accumulation, but development was affected: Low O_2 inhibited tuberization, while high CO_2 significantly increased production of tubers.

  2. Advances in shrub-willow crops for bioenergy, renewable products, and environmental benefits

    SciTech Connect

    Volk, Timothy A.; Heavey, Justin P.; Eisenbies, Mark H.

    2016-05-02

    Short-rotation coppice systems like shrub willow are projected to be an important source of biomass in the United States for the production of bioenergy, biofuels, and renewable bio-based products, with the potential for auxiliary environmental benefits and multifunctional systems. Almost three decades of research has focused on the development of shrub willow crops for biomass and ecosystem services. The current expansion of willow in New York State (about 500 ha) for the production of renewable power and heat has been possible because of incentive programs offered by the federal government, commitments by end users, the development of reliable harvesting systems, and extension services offered to growers. Improvements in the economics of the system are expected as willow production expands further, which should help lower establishment costs, enhance crop management options and increase efficiencies in harvesting and logistics. As a result, deploying willow in multifunctional value-added systems provides opportunities for both potential producers and end users to learn about the system and the quality of the biomass feedstock, which in turn will help overcome barriers to expansion.

  3. Advances in shrub-willow crops for bioenergy, renewable products, and environmental benefits

    DOE PAGES

    Volk, Timothy A.; Heavey, Justin P.; Eisenbies, Mark H.

    2016-05-02

    Short-rotation coppice systems like shrub willow are projected to be an important source of biomass in the United States for the production of bioenergy, biofuels, and renewable bio-based products, with the potential for auxiliary environmental benefits and multifunctional systems. Almost three decades of research has focused on the development of shrub willow crops for biomass and ecosystem services. The current expansion of willow in New York State (about 500 ha) for the production of renewable power and heat has been possible because of incentive programs offered by the federal government, commitments by end users, the development of reliable harvesting systems,more » and extension services offered to growers. Improvements in the economics of the system are expected as willow production expands further, which should help lower establishment costs, enhance crop management options and increase efficiencies in harvesting and logistics. As a result, deploying willow in multifunctional value-added systems provides opportunities for both potential producers and end users to learn about the system and the quality of the biomass feedstock, which in turn will help overcome barriers to expansion.« less

  4. Projective analysis of staple food crop productivity in adaptation to future climate change in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qing; Zhang, Wen; Li, Tingting; Sun, Wenjuan; Yu, Yongqiang; Wang, Guocheng

    2017-02-01

    Climate change continually affects our capabilities to feed the increasing population. Rising temperatures have the potential to shorten the crop growth duration and therefore reduce crop yields. In the past decades, China has successfully improved crop cultivars to stabilize, and even lengthen, the crop growth duration to make use of increasing heat resources. However, because of the complex cropping systems in the different regions of China, the possibility and the effectiveness of regulating crop growth duration to reduce the negative impacts of future climate change remain questionable. Here, we performed a projective analysis of the staple food crop productivity in double-rice, wheat-rice, wheat-maize, single-rice, and single-maize cropping systems in China using modeling approaches. The results indicated that from the present to the 2040s, the warming climate would shorten the growth duration of the current rice, wheat, and maize cultivars by 2-24, 11-13, and 9-29 days, respectively. The most significant shortening of the crop growth duration would be in Northeast China, where single-rice and single-maize cropping dominates the croplands. The shortened crop growth duration would consequently reduce crop productivity. The most significant decreases would be 27-31, 6-20, and 7-22% for the late crop in the double-rice rotation, wheat in the winter wheat-rice rotation, and single maize, respectively. However, our projection analysis also showed that the negative effects of the warming climate could be compensated for by stabilizing the growth duration of the crops via improvement in crop cultivars. In this case, the productivity of rice, wheat, and maize in the 2040s would increase by 4-16, 31-38, and 11-12%, respectively. Our modeling results implied that the possibility of securing future food production exists by adopting proper adaptation options in China.

  5. Projective analysis of staple food crop productivity in adaptation to future climate change in China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qing; Zhang, Wen; Li, Tingting; Sun, Wenjuan; Yu, Yongqiang; Wang, Guocheng

    2017-02-28

    Climate change continually affects our capabilities to feed the increasing population. Rising temperatures have the potential to shorten the crop growth duration and therefore reduce crop yields. In the past decades, China has successfully improved crop cultivars to stabilize, and even lengthen, the crop growth duration to make use of increasing heat resources. However, because of the complex cropping systems in the different regions of China, the possibility and the effectiveness of regulating crop growth duration to reduce the negative impacts of future climate change remain questionable. Here, we performed a projective analysis of the staple food crop productivity in double-rice, wheat-rice, wheat-maize, single-rice, and single-maize cropping systems in China using modeling approaches. The results indicated that from the present to the 2040s, the warming climate would shorten the growth duration of the current rice, wheat, and maize cultivars by 2-24, 11-13, and 9-29 days, respectively. The most significant shortening of the crop growth duration would be in Northeast China, where single-rice and single-maize cropping dominates the croplands. The shortened crop growth duration would consequently reduce crop productivity. The most significant decreases would be 27-31, 6-20, and 7-22% for the late crop in the double-rice rotation, wheat in the winter wheat-rice rotation, and single maize, respectively. However, our projection analysis also showed that the negative effects of the warming climate could be compensated for by stabilizing the growth duration of the crops via improvement in crop cultivars. In this case, the productivity of rice, wheat, and maize in the 2040s would increase by 4-16, 31-38, and 11-12%, respectively. Our modeling results implied that the possibility of securing future food production exists by adopting proper adaptation options in China.

  6. Crop growth and production responses to commercial humic products in U.S. Midwestern rainfed conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Humic products (humic and/or fulvic acids) have been in use for over 100 years, yet published research is scant on crop responses to humics under differing soil and weather conditions. We initiated field research experiments on corn (Zea mays L.) in Iowa in 2009 and have since expanded to multiple U...

  7. Integrated nutrient management (INM) for sustaining crop productivity and reducing environmental impact: a review.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wei; Ma, Baoluo

    2015-04-15

    The increasing food demands of a growing human population and the need for an environmentally friendly strategy for sustainable agricultural development require significant attention when addressing the issue of enhancing crop productivity. Here we discuss the role of integrated nutrient management (INM) in resolving these concerns, which has been proposed as a promising strategy for addressing such challenges. INM has multifaceted potential for the improvement of plant performance and resource efficiency while also enabling the protection of the environment and resource quality. This review examines the concepts, objectives, procedures and principles of INM. A comprehensive literature search revealed that INM enhances crop yields by 8-150% compared with conventional practices, increases water-use efficiency, and the economic returns to farmers, while improving grain quality and soil health and sustainability. Model simulation and fate assessment further reveal that reactive nitrogen (N) losses and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions are reduced substantially under advanced INM practices. Lower inputs of chemical fertilizer and therefore lower human and environmental costs (such as intensity of land use, N use, reactive N losses and GHG emissions) were achieved under advanced INM practices without compromising crop yields. Various approaches and perspectives for further development of INM in the near future are also proposed and discussed. Strong and convincing evidence indicates that INM practice could be an innovative and environmentally friendly strategy for sustainable agriculture worldwide.

  8. Increased Productivity of a Cover Crop Mixture Is Not Associated with Enhanced Agroecosystem Services

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Richard G.; Atwood, Lesley W.; Warren, Nicholas D.

    2014-01-01

    Cover crops provide a variety of important agroecological services within cropping systems. Typically these crops are grown as monocultures or simple graminoid-legume bicultures; however, ecological theory and empirical evidence suggest that agroecosystem services could be enhanced by growing cover crops in species-rich mixtures. We examined cover crop productivity, weed suppression, stability, and carryover effects to a subsequent cash crop in an experiment involving a five-species annual cover crop mixture and the component species grown as monocultures in SE New Hampshire, USA in 2011 and 2012. The mean land equivalent ratio (LER) for the mixture exceeded 1.0 in both years, indicating that the mixture over-yielded relative to the monocultures. Despite the apparent over-yielding in the mixture, we observed no enhancement in weed suppression, biomass stability, or productivity of a subsequent oat (Avena sativa L.) cash crop when compared to the best monoculture component crop. These data are some of the first to include application of the LER to an analysis of a cover crop mixture and contribute to the growing literature on the agroecological effects of cover crop diversity in cropping systems. PMID:24847902

  9. Innovations in LED lighting for reduced-ESM crop production in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Massa, Gioia; Mitchell, Cary; Bourget, C. Michael; Morrow, Robert

    In controlled-environment crop production such as will be practiced at the lunar outpost and Mars base, the single most energy-demanding aspect is electric lighting for plant growth, including energy costs for energizing lamps as well as for removing excess heat. For a variety of reasons, sunlight may not be a viable option as the main source of crop lighting off-Earth and traditional electric lamps for crop lighting have numerous drawbacks for use in a space environment. A collaborative research venture between the Advanced Life Support Crops Group at Purdue University and the Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC) has led to the development of efficient, reconfigurable LED lighting technologies for crop growth in an ALSS. The light sources use printed-circuit red and blue LEDs, which are individually tunable for a range of photosynthetic photon fluxes and photomorphogenic plant responses. Initial lighting arrays have LEDs that can be energized from the bottom upward when deployed in a vertical, intracanopy configuration, allowing the illumination to be tailored for stand height throughout the cropping cycle. Preliminary testing with the planophile crop cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp, breeding line IT87D-941-1), resulted in optimizing internal reflectance of growth compartments by lining walls, floor, and a movable ceiling with white Poly film, as well as by determining optimal planting density and plant positioning. Additionally, these light strips, called "lightsicles", can be configured into an overhead plane of light engines. When intracanopy and overhead-LED-lit cowpea crop production was compared, cowpea plants grown with intracanopy lighting had much greater understory leaf retention and produced more dry biomass per kilowatt-hour of lighting energy than did overhead-lit plants. The efficiency of light capture is reduced in overhead-lit scenarios due to mutual shading of lower leaves by upper leaves in closed canopies leading to premature abscission

  10. Global crop yield reductions due to surface ozone exposure: 1. Year 2000 crop production losses and economic damage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avnery, Shiri; Mauzerall, Denise L.; Liu, Junfeng; Horowitz, Larry W.

    2011-04-01

    Exposure to elevated concentrations of surface ozone (O 3) causes substantial reductions in the agricultural yields of many crops. As emissions of O 3 precursors rise in many parts of the world over the next few decades, yield reductions from O 3 exposure appear likely to increase the challenges of feeding a global population projected to grow from 6 to 9 billion between 2000 and 2050. This study estimates year 2000 global yield reductions of three key staple crops (soybean, maize, and wheat) due to surface ozone exposure using hourly O 3 concentrations simulated by the Model for Ozone and Related Chemical Tracers version 2.4 (MOZART-2). We calculate crop losses according to two metrics of ozone exposure - seasonal daytime (08:00-19:59) mean O 3 (M12) and accumulated O 3 above a threshold of 40 ppbv (AOT40) - and predict crop yield losses using crop-specific O 3 concentration:response functions established by field studies. Our results indicate that year 2000 O 3-induced global yield reductions ranged, depending on the metric used, from 8.5-14% for soybean, 3.9-15% for wheat, and 2.2-5.5% for maize. Global crop production losses totaled 79-121 million metric tons, worth $11-18 billion annually (USD 2000). Our calculated yield reductions agree well with previous estimates, providing further evidence that yields of major crops across the globe are already being substantially reduced by exposure to surface ozone - a risk that will grow unless O 3-precursor emissions are curbed in the future or crop cultivars are developed and utilized that are resistant to O 3.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  12. Grain production versus resource and environmental costs: towards increasing sustainability of nutrient use in China.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Xiaoqiang; Lyu, Yang; Wu, Xiaobin; Li, Haigang; Cheng, Lingyun; Zhang, Chaochun; Yuan, Lixing; Jiang, Rongfeng; Jiang, Baiwen; Rengel, Zed; Zhang, Fusuo; Davies, William J; Shen, Jianbo

    2016-09-01

    Over the past five decades, Chinese grain production has increased 4-fold, from 110 Mt in 1961 to 557 Mt in 2014, with less than 9% of the world's arable land feeding 22% of the world's population, indicating a substantial contribution to global food security. However, compared with developed economies, such as the USA and the European Union, more than half of the increased crop production in China can be attributed to a rapid increase in the consumption of chemicals, particularly fertilizers. Excessive fertilization has caused low nutrient use efficiency and high environmental costs in grain production. We analysed the key requirements underpinning increased sustainability of crop production in China, as follows: (i) enhance nutrient use efficiency and reduce nutrient losses by fertilizing roots not soil to maximize root/rhizosphere efficiency with innovative root zone nutrient management; (ii) improve crop productivity and resource use efficiency by matching the best agronomic management practices with crop improvement; and (iii) promote technology transfer of the root zone nutrient management to achieve the target of high yields and high efficiency with low environmental risks on a broad scale. Coordinating grain production and environmental protection by increasing the sustainability of nutrient use will be a key step in achieving sustainable crop production in Chinese agriculture.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gobin, Anne

    2013-04-01

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

  14. Greenhouse tomato limited cluster production systems: crop management practices affect yield

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Logendra, L. S.; Gianfagna, T. J.; Specca, D. R.; Janes, H. W.

    2001-01-01

    Limited-cluster production systems may be a useful strategy to increase crop production and profitability for the greenhouse tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill). In this study, using an ebb-and-flood hydroponics system, we modified plant architecture and spacing and determined the effects on fruit yield and harvest index at two light levels. Single-cluster plants pruned to allow two leaves above the cluster had 25% higher fruit yields than did plants pruned directly above the cluster; this was due to an increase in fruit weight, not fruit number. Both fruit yield and harvest index were greater for all single-cluster plants at the higher light level because of increases in both fruit weight and fruit number. Fruit yield for two-cluster plants was 30% to 40% higher than for single-cluster plants, and there was little difference in the dates or length of the harvest period. Fruit yield for three-cluster plants was not significantly different from that of two-cluster plants; moreover, the harvest period was delayed by 5 days. Plant density (5.5, 7.4, 9.2 plants/m2) affected fruit yield/plant, but not fruit yield/unit area. Given the higher costs for materials and labor associated with higher plant densities, a two-cluster crop at 5.5 plants/m2 with two leaves above the cluster was the best of the production system strategies tested.

  15. Winter cover crops impact on corn production in semiarid regions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cover crops have been proposed as a technique to increase soil health. This study examined the impact of winter brassica cover crop cocktails grown after wheat (Triticum aestivum) on corn yields; corn yield losses due to water and N stress; soil bacteria to fungi ratios; mycorrhizal markers; and ge...

  16. Black oat cover crop management in watermelon production systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Black oats (Avena strigosa Schreb.) were sown as a cover crop near Weslaco, Texas (Lat. 26 deg N) in Fall 2010. The cover crop was allowed to senesce naturally and was planted to watermelons in both the spring and in the fall of 2011. Watermelon transplants planted in the spring into mowed black o...

  17. 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

  18. Crop area estimation based on remotely-sensed data with an accurate but costly subsample

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gunst, R. F.

    1985-01-01

    Research activities conducted under the auspices of National Aeronautics and Space Administration Cooperative Agreement NCC 9-9 are discussed. During this contract period research efforts are concentrated in two primary areas. The first are is an investigation of the use of measurement error models as alternatives to least squares regression estimators of crop production or timber biomass. The secondary primary area of investigation is on the estimation of the mixing proportion of two-component mixture models. This report lists publications, technical reports, submitted manuscripts, and oral presentation generated by these research efforts. Possible areas of future research are mentioned.

  19. El Nino southern oscillation effects on dryland crop production in the Texas High Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Risk adverse dryland crop management in the US Southern High Plains may stabilize year to year productivity, however in some years the full yield potential is unrealized thereby reducing the overall cropping system productivity. Equatorial Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) systematica...

  20. Past and future climate patterns affecting temperate, sub-tropical and tropical horticultural crop production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Perennial horticultural crop production will be impacted by climate change effects on temperature, water availability, solar radiation, air pollution, and carbon dioxide. Horticultural crop value is derived from both the quantity and the quality of the harvested product; both of which are affected ...

  1. 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.

  2. 7 CFR 205.602 - Nonsynthetic substances prohibited for use in organic crop production.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

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

  3. 7 CFR 205.602 - Nonsynthetic substances prohibited for use in organic crop production.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 7 CFR 205.602 - Nonsynthetic substances prohibited for use in organic crop production.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 7 CFR 205.602 - Nonsynthetic substances prohibited for use in organic crop production.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) ORGANIC FOODS PRODUCTION ACT PROVISIONS NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM Administrative The... 7 Agriculture 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Nonsynthetic substances prohibited for use in organic... organic crop production. The following nonsynthetic substances may not be used in organic crop...

  6. 7 CFR 205.602 - Nonsynthetic substances prohibited for use in organic crop production.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Crop Production Handbook for Peace Corps Volunteers. Appropriate Technologies for Development. Reprint R-6.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1982

    This manual, prepared for use by Peace Corps volunteers, provides background information and practical knowledge about crop production. The manual is designed to convey insights into basic crop production, principles, and practices. Primary emphasis is given to providing explanations and illustrations of soil, plant, and water relationships as…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gobin, Anne

    2014-05-01

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

  10. 78 FR 10262 - Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures-Productivity Adjustment

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-13

    ... Surface Transportation Board Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures--Productivity Adjustment AGENCY: Surface Transportation Board, DOT. ACTION: Proposed railroad cost recovery procedures productivity adjustment. SUMMARY... of average change in railroad productivity for the 2007-2011 (5-year) averaging period....

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

    PubMed

    Raven, Peter H

    2014-12-01

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

  12. Controlled environment crop production - Hydroponic vs. lunar regolith

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugbee, Bruce G.; Salisbury, Frank B.

    1989-01-01

    The potential of controlled environment crop production in a lunar colony is discussed. Findings on the effects of optimal root-zone and aerial environments derived as part of the NASA CELSS project at Utah State are presented. The concept of growing wheat in optimal environment is discussed. It is suggested that genetic engineering might produce the ideal wheat cultivar for CELSS (about 100 mm in height with fewer leaves). The Utah State University hydroponic system is outlined and diagrams of the system and plant container construction are provided. Ratio of plant mass to solution mass, minimum root-zone volume, maintenance, and pH control are discussed. A comparison of liquid hydrophonic systems and lunar regoliths as substrates for plant growth is provided. The physiological processes that are affected by the root-zone environment are discussed including carbon partitioning, nutrient availability, nutrient absorption zones, root-zone oxygen, plant water potential, root-produced hormones, and rhizosphere pH control.

  13. Substituting energy crops with organic wastes and agro-industrial residues for biogas production.

    PubMed

    Schievano, Andrea; D'Imporzano, Giuliana; Adani, Fabrizio

    2009-06-01

    In this study, industrial and agro-industrial by-products and residues (BRs), animal manures (AMs), and various types of organic wastes (OWs) were analyzed to evaluate their suitability as substitutes for energy crops (ECs) in biogas production. A comparison between the costs of the volume of biogas that can be produced from each substrate was presented with respect to the prices of the substrates in the Italian market. Furthermore, four different feeding mixtures were compared with a mixture of EC and swine manure (Mixture A) used in a full-scale plant in Italy. Swine manure is always included as a basic substrate in the feeding mixtures, because many of the Italian biogas plants are connected to farms. When EC were partially substituted with BR (Mixture B), the cost (0.28 euro Nm(-3)) of the volume of biogas of Mixture A dropped to 0.18 euro Nm(-3). Furthermore, when the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) and olive oil sludge (OS) were used as possible solutions (Mixtures C and D), the costs of the volume of biogas were -0.20 and 0.11euroNm(-3), respectively. The negative price signifies that operators earn money for treating the waste. For the fifth mix (Mixture E) of the OFMSW with a high solid substrate, such as glycerin from biodiesel production, the resulting cost of the volume of biogas produced was -0.09 euro Nm(-3). By comparing these figures, it is evident that the biogas plants at farm level are good candidates for treating organic residues of both municipalities and the agro-industrial sector in a cost-effective way, and in providing territorially diffused electric and thermal power. This may represent a potential development for agrarian economy.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  15. Photovoltaic subsystem production cost model (SAMIS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1982-07-01

    A complete introduction to the SAMIS model is provided. The purpose of the model is to estimate the costs of manufacturing photovoltaic solar energy products. The model procedure for estimating the long run or steady-state manufacturing cost is divided into four submodels: manufacturing process submodel, factory construction and staffing algorithm, capital requirements submodel, and the financial model of the firm. The model has been applied by Sandia National Laboratories for DOE's National Photovoltaics Program to assess the commercial viability of new solar energy manufacturing processes. However, given the proper input data, the model structure is flexible enough to support the design and analysis of any manufacturing industry. This document explains what the model can and cannot do, and what data is required. An example for a photovoltaic power conditioning unit demonstrates the application of the model.

  16. 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

  17. Regional crop productivity and greenhouse gas emissions from Swiss soils under organic farming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Juhwan; Necpalova, Magdalena; Six, Johan

    2016-04-01

    There is worldwide concern about the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHG) and their impact on climate change and food security. As a sustainable alternative, organic cropping in various forms has been promoted to minimize the environmental impacts of conventional practices. However, relatively little is known about the potential to reduce GHG emissions while maintaining crop productivity through the large-scale adoption of organic practices. Therefore, we simulated and compared regional crop production, soil organic carbon status, and net soil GHG emissions under organic and conventional practices. Grid-level (2.2 km by 2.2 km) simulation was performed using previously validated DailyDayCent by considering typical crop rotations. Regional model estimates are presented and discussed specifically with the focus on Swiss organic and conventional cropping systems, which differ by type and intensity of manuring, tillage, and cover crop.

  18. How to estimate productivity costs in economic evaluations.

    PubMed

    Krol, Marieke; Brouwer, Werner

    2014-04-01

    Productivity costs are frequently omitted from economic evaluations, despite their often strong impact on cost-effectiveness outcomes. This neglect may be partly explained by the lack of standardization regarding the methodology of estimating productivity costs. This paper aims to contribute to standardization of productivity cost methodology by offering practical guidance on how to estimate productivity costs in economic evaluations. The paper discusses the identification, measurement and valuation of productivity losses. It is recommended to include not only productivity losses related to absenteeism from and reduced productivity at paid work, but also those related to unpaid work. Hence, it is recommended to use a measurement instrument including questions about both paid and unpaid productivity, such as the iMTA Productivity Cost Questionnaire (iPCQ) or the Valuation of Lost Productivity (VOLP). We indicate how to apply the friction cost and the human capital approach and give practical guidance on deriving final cost estimates.

  19. An integrative modeling framework to evaluate the productivity and sustainability of biofuel crop production systems

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, X; Izaurralde, R. C.; Manowitz, D.; West, T. O.; Thomson, A. M.; Post, Wilfred M; Bandaru, Vara Prasad; Nichols, Jeff; Williams, J.

    2010-10-01

    The potential expansion of biofuel production raises food, energy, and environmental challenges that require careful assessment of the impact of biofuel production on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, soil erosion, nutrient loading, and water quality. In this study, we describe a spatially explicit integrative modeling framework (SEIMF) to understand and quantify the environmental impacts of different biomass cropping systems. This SEIMF consists of three major components: (1) a geographic information system (GIS)-based data analysis system to define spatial modeling units with resolution of 56 m to address spatial variability, (2) the biophysical and biogeochemical model Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) applied in a spatially-explicit way to predict biomass yield, GHG emissions, and other environmental impacts of different biofuel crops production systems, and (3) an evolutionary multiobjective optimization algorithm for exploring the trade-offs between biofuel energy production and unintended ecosystem-service responses. Simple examples illustrate the major functions of the SEIMF when applied to a nine-county Regional Intensive Modeling Area (RIMA) in SW Michigan to (1) simulate biofuel crop production, (2) compare impacts of management practices and local ecosystem settings, and (3) optimize the spatial configuration of different biofuel production systems by balancing energy production and other ecosystem-service variables. Potential applications of the SEIMF to support life cycle analysis and provide information on biodiversity evaluation and marginal-land identification are also discussed. The SEIMF developed in this study is expected to provide a useful tool for scientists and decision makers to understand sustainability issues associated with the production of biofuels at local, regional, and national scales.

  20. An Integrative Modeling Framework to Evaluate the Productivity and Sustainability of Biofuel Crop Production Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Xuesong; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Manowitz, David H.; West, T. O.; Post, W. M.; Thomson, Allison M.; Bandaru, V. P.; Nichols, J.; Williams, J.R.

    2010-09-08

    The potential expansion of biofuel production raises food, energy, and environmental challenges that require careful assessment of the impact of biofuel production on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, soil erosion, nutrient loading, and water quality. In this study, we describe a spatially-explicit integrative modeling framework (SEIMF) to understand and quantify the environmental impacts of different biomass cropping systems. This SEIMF consists of three major components: 1) a geographic information system (GIS)-based data analysis system to define spatial modeling units with resolution of 56 m to address spatial variability, 2) the biophysical and biogeochemical model EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate) applied in a spatially-explicit way to predict biomass yield, GHG emissions, and other environmental impacts of different biofuel crops production systems, and 3) an evolutionary multi-objective optimization algorithm for exploring the trade-offs between biofuel energy production and unintended ecosystem-service responses. Simple examples illustrate the major functions of the SEIMF when applied to a 9-county Regional Intensive Modeling Area (RIMA) in SW Michigan to 1) simulate biofuel crop production, 2) compare impacts of management practices and local ecosystem settings, and 3) optimize the spatial configuration of different biofuel production systems by balancing energy production and other ecosystem-service variables. Potential applications of the SEIMF to support life cycle analysis and provide information on biodiversity evaluation and marginal-land identification are also discussed. The SEIMF developed in this study is expected to provide a useful tool for scientists and decision makers to understand sustainability issues associated with the production of biofuels at local, regional, and national scales.

  1. Studies on production and characterization of enriched urban waste composts and their influence on crops productivity.

    PubMed

    Salakinkop, S R; Hunshal, C S; Gorogi, P T; Basavaraj, B

    2008-01-01

    Enriched compost produced with use of municipal solid wastes (MSW) recorded narrow C:N ratio at the end of decomposition period than municipal solid wastes decomposed without enrichers. To enhance the decomposition rate, quality of municipal solid wastes and enrichers/amendments are found very significant for production of compost. Nutrient content particularly nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium could be enhanced with addition of organic amendment/enrichers. Response of different crops for composts produced with addition of different enrichers like night soil, 25% distillery sludge and bio-fertilizers (Azospirillum sp and Bacillus sp) was conspicuous compared to the compost derived from municipal solid wastes alone with respect to increased growth and yield of crops. Among the enriched composts, night soil enriched compost significantly increased the response of potato and groundnut crops. According to farmer's opinion obtained with matrix scoring, chemical fertilizers and sheep penning are cheaper compared to pit compost or urban solid waste compost. While chemical fertilizers are considered to have adverse effects on soil more than pit compost, tank silt, sheep penning and urban solid waste. Weed infestation is associated more with urban waste than other sources. For dry land, agriculture urban waste could be useful due to good moisture holding capacity. Crop yields could be improved under low rainfall condition whenever pit compost or urban solid waste is used.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  3. Crop productivities and radiation use efficiencies for bioregenerative life support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, R. M.; Mackowiak, C. L.; Stutte, G. W.; Yorio, N. C.; Ruffe, L. M.; Sager, J. C.; Prince, R. P.; Knott, W. M.

    NASA’s Biomass Production Chamber (BPC) at Kennedy Space Center was decommissioned in 1998, but several crop tests were conducted that have not been reported in the open literature. These include several monoculture studies with wheat, soybean, potato, lettuce, and tomato. For all of these studies, either 10 or 20 m2 of plants were grown in an atmospherically closed chamber (113 m3 vol.) using a hydroponic nutrient film technique along with elevated CO2 (1000 or 1200 μmol mol-1). Canopy light (PAR) levels ranged from 17 to 85 mol m-2 d-1 depending on the species and photoperiod. Total biomass (DM) productivities reached 39.6 g m-2 d-1 for wheat, 27.2 g m-2 d-1 for potato, 19.6 g m-2 d-1 for tomato, 15.7 g m-2 d-1 for soybean, and 7.7 g m-2 d-1 for lettuce. Edible biomass (DM) productivities reached 18.4 g m-2 d-1 for potato, 11.3 g m-2 d-1 for wheat, 9.8 g m-2 d-1 for tomato, 7.1 g m-2 d-1 for lettuce, and 6.0 g m-2 d-1 for soybean. The corresponding radiation (light) use efficiencies for total biomass were 0.64 g mol-1 PAR for potato, 0.59 g DM mol-1 for wheat, 0.51 g mol-1 for tomato, 0.46 g mol-1 for lettuce, and 0.43 g mol-1 for soybean. Radiation use efficiencies for edible biomass were 0.44 g mol-1 for potato, 0.42 g mol-1 for lettuce, 0.25 g mol-1 for tomato, 0.17 g DM mol-1 for wheat, and 0.16 g mol-1 for soybean. By initially growing seedlings at a dense spacing and then transplanting them to the final production area could have saved about 12 d in each production cycle, and hence improved edible biomass productivities and radiation use efficiencies by 66% for lettuce (to 11.8 g m-2 d-1 and 0.70 g mol-1), 16% for tomato (to 11.4 g m-2 d-1and 0.29 g mol-1), 13% for soybean (to 6.9 g m-2 d-1 and 0.19 g mol-1), and 13% for potato (to 20.8 g m-2 d-1 and 0.50 g mol-1). Since wheat was grown at higher densities, transplanting seedlings would not have improved yields. Tests with wheat resulted in a relatively low harvest index of 29%, which may have been

  4. Circofer -- Low cost approach to DRI production

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, P.; Bresser, W.; Hirsch, M. )

    1994-09-01

    Lurgi's Circofer Process for reducing fine ores with coal in a Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) is a direct approach by using a widely applied and proven reactor in commercializing a state of the art technology. The technology is in response to the demand for a direct reduction process of the future by making possible: the use of low cost ore fines and inexpensive primary energy, fine coal; production of a high grade product used as feedstock by mini mills with the additional advantage of dilution of contaminants introduced by scrap; low environmental impact; and low specific investment costs due to the closed energy circuit. With the incorporation of the latest developments in CFB technology, Circofer offers excellent heat and mass transfer conditions and, consequently, improved gas and energy utilization. High gas conversions using recycle gas have a positive influence on the process economics whereby no export gas is produced. Sticking, accretion and reoxidation problems, which have plagued all previous attempts at developing direct reduction processes using fine ore and coal as a reductant, are avoided, essentially by operating with defined amounts of excess carbon and separation of the reduction and gasifying zones.

  5. Ozone phytotoxicity evaluation and prediction of crops production in tropical regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohammed, Nurul Izma; Ramli, Nor Azam; Yahya, Ahmad Shukri

    2013-04-01

    Increasing ozone concentration in the atmosphere can threaten food security due to its effects on crop production. Since the 1980s, ozone has been believed to be the most damaging air pollutant to crops. In Malaysia, there is no index to indicate the reduction of crops due to the exposure of ozone. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the accumulated exposure over a threshold of X ppb (AOTX) indexes in assessing crop reduction in Malaysia. In European countries, crop response to ozone exposure is mostly expressed as AOT40. This study was designed to evaluate and predict crop reduction in tropical regions and in particular, the Malaysian climate, by adopting the AOT40 index method and modifying it based on Malaysian air quality and crop data. Nine AOTX indexes (AOT0, AOT5, AOT10, AOT15, AOT20, AOT25, AOT30, AOT40, and AOT50) were analyzed, crop responses tested and reduction in crops predicted. The results showed that the AOT50 resulted in the highest reduction in crops and the highest R2 value between the AOT50 and the crops reduction from the linear regression analysis. Hence, this study suggests that the AOT50 index is the most suitable index to estimate the potential ozone impact on crops in tropical regions. The result showed that the critical level for AOT50 index if the estimated crop reduction is 5% was 1336 ppb h. Additionally, the results indicated that the AOT40 index in Malaysia gave a minimum percentage of 6% crop reduction; as contrasted with the European guideline of 5% (due to differences in the climate e.g., average amount of sunshine).

  6. 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.

  7. Quantifying blue and green virtual water contents in global crop production as well as potential production losses without irrigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siebert, Stefan; Döll, Petra

    2010-04-01

    SummaryCrop production requires large amounts of green and blue water. We developed the new global crop water model GCWM to compute consumptive water use (evapotranspiration) and virtual water content (evapotranspiration per harvested biomass) of crops at a spatial resolution of 5' by 5', distinguishing 26 crop classes, and blue versus green water. GCWM is based on the global land use data set MIRCA2000 that provides monthly growing areas for 26 crop classes under rainfed and irrigated conditions for the period 1998-2002 and represents multi-cropping. By computing daily soil water balances, GCWM determines evapotranspiration of blue and green water for each crop and grid cell. Cell-specific crop production under both rainfed and irrigated conditions is computed by downscaling average crop yields reported for 402 national and sub-national statistical units, relating rainfed and irrigated crop yields reported in census statistics to simulated ratios of actual to potential crop evapotranspiration for rainfed crops. By restricting water use of irrigated crops to green water only, the potential production loss without any irrigation was computed. For the period 1998-2002, the global value of total crop water use was 6685 km 3 yr -1, of which blue water use was 1180 km 3 yr -1, green water use of irrigated crops was 919 km 3 yr -1 and green water use of rainfed crops was 4586 km 3 yr -1. Total crop water use was largest for rice (941 km 3 yr -1), wheat (858 km 3 yr -1) and maize (722 km 3 yr -1). The largest amounts of blue water were used for rice (307 km 3 yr -1) and wheat (208 km 3 yr -1). Blue water use as percentage of total crop water use was highest for date palms (85%), cotton (39%), citrus fruits (33%), rice (33%) and sugar beets (32%), while for cassava, oil palm and cocoa, almost no blue water was used. Average crop yield of irrigated cereals was 442 Mg km -2 while average yield of rainfed cereals was only 266 Mg km -2. Average virtual water content of cereal

  8. 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…

  9. Best management practices: Managing cropping systems for soil protection and bioenergy production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Interest in renewable alternatives to fossil fuels has increased. Crop residue such as corn stover or wheat straw can be used for bioenergy including a substitution for natural gas or coal. Harvesting crop residue needs to be managed to protect the soil and future soil productivity. The amount of bi...

  10. 75 FR 5170 - Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures-Productivity Adjustment

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-02-01

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures--Productivity Adjustment AGENCY: Surface Transportation Board, DOT. ACTION: Proposed Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures Productivity Adjustment....

  11. SUPERSONIC TRANSPORT DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION. VOLUME I. COST ANALYSIS PROGRAM.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    SUPERSONIC AIRCRAFT, *COSTS), (*AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION ), MANAGEMENT ENGINEERING, AIRFRAMES, ECONOMICS, COMPUTER PROGRAMS, STATISTICAL ANALYSIS, MONEY, AIRCRAFT ENGINES, FEASIBILITY STUDIES

  12. Sustainable crop intensification through surface water irrigation in Bangladesh? A geospatial assessment of landscape-scale production potential.

    PubMed

    Krupnik, Timothy J; Schulthess, Urs; Ahmed, Zia Uddin; McDonald, Andrew J

    2017-01-01

    Changing dietary preferences and population growth in South Asia have resulted in increasing demand for wheat and maize, along side high and sustained demand for rice. In the highly productive northwestern Indo-Gangetic Plains of South Asia, farmers utilize groundwater irrigation to assure that at least two of these crops are sequenced on the same field within the same year. Such double cropping has had a significant and positive influence on regional agricultural productivity. But in the risk-prone and food insecure lower Eastern Indo-Gangetic Plains (EIGP), cropping is less intensive. During the dryer winter months, arable land is frequently fallowed or devoted to lower yielding rainfed legumes. Seeing opportunity to boost cereals production, particularly for rice, donors and land use policy makers have consequently reprioritized agricultural development investments in this impoverished region. Tapping groundwater for irrigation and intensified double cropping, however, is unlikely to be economically viable or environmentally sound in the EIGP. Constraints include saline shallow water tables and the prohibitively high installation and energetic extraction costs from deeper freshwater aquifers. The network of largely underutilized rivers and natural canals in the EIGP could conversely be tapped to provide less energetically and economically costly surface water irrigation (SWI). This approach is now championed by the Government of Bangladesh, which has requested USD 500 million from donors to implement land and water use policies to facilitate SWI and double cropping. Precise geospatial assessment of where freshwater flows are most prominent, or where viable fallow or low production intensity cropland is most common, however remains lacking. In response, we used remotely sensed data to identify agricultural land, detect the temporal availability of freshwater in rivers and canals, and assess crop production intensity over a three-year study period in a 33,750

  13. 75 FR 33379 - Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures-Productivity Adjustment; Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-11

    ... Surface Transportation Board Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures--Productivity Adjustment; Quarterly Rail... Railroads that the Board restate the previously published productivity adjustment for the 2003-2007 averaging period (2007 productivity adjustment) so that it tracks the 2007 productivity adjustment...

  14. 40 CFR 257.3-5 - Application to land used for the production of food-chain crops (interim final).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... production of food-chain crops (interim final). 257.3-5 Section 257.3-5 Protection of Environment... Application to land used for the production of food-chain crops (interim final). (a) Cadmium. A facility or... for the production of food-chain crops shall not exist or occur, unless in compliance with...

  15. 40 CFR 257.3-5 - Application to land used for the production of food-chain crops (interim final).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... production of food-chain crops (interim final). 257.3-5 Section 257.3-5 Protection of Environment... Application to land used for the production of food-chain crops (interim final). (a) Cadmium. A facility or... for the production of food-chain crops shall not exist or occur, unless in compliance with...

  16. 40 CFR 257.3-5 - Application to land used for the production of food-chain crops (interim final).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... production of food-chain crops (interim final). 257.3-5 Section 257.3-5 Protection of Environment... Application to land used for the production of food-chain crops (interim final). (a) Cadmium. A facility or... for the production of food-chain crops shall not exist or occur, unless in compliance with...

  17. 40 CFR 257.3-5 - Application to land used for the production of food-chain crops (interim final).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... production of food-chain crops (interim final). 257.3-5 Section 257.3-5 Protection of Environment... Application to land used for the production of food-chain crops (interim final). (a) Cadmium. A facility or... for the production of food-chain crops shall not exist or occur, unless in compliance with...

  18. 40 CFR 257.3-5 - Application to land used for the production of food-chain crops (interim final).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... production of food-chain crops (interim final). 257.3-5 Section 257.3-5 Protection of Environment... Application to land used for the production of food-chain crops (interim final). (a) Cadmium. A facility or... for the production of food-chain crops shall not exist or occur, unless in compliance with...

  19. DETERMINISTIC PRODUCTION PLANNING WITH CONCAVE COSTS AND CAPACITY CONSTRAINTS.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION , MANAGEMENT PLANNING AND CONTROL), (*PRODUCTION CONTROL, DYNAMIC PROGRAMMING), INVENTORY ANALYSIS, SCHEDULING, COST EFFECTIVENESS, STORAGE, MANPOWER, OPTIMIZATION, MATHEMATICAL MODELS, ALGORITHMS

  20. Improving the monitoring of crop productivity using spaceborne solar-induced fluorescence.

    PubMed

    Guan, Kaiyu; Berry, Joseph A; Zhang, Yongguang; Joiner, Joanna; Guanter, Luis; Badgley, Grayson; Lobell, David B

    2016-02-01

    Large-scale monitoring of crop growth and yield has important value for forecasting food production and prices and ensuring regional food security. A newly emerging satellite retrieval, solar-induced fluorescence (SIF) of chlorophyll, provides for the first time a direct measurement related to plant photosynthetic activity (i.e. electron transport rate). Here, we provide a framework to link SIF retrievals and crop yield, accounting for stoichiometry, photosynthetic pathways, and respiration losses. We apply this framework to estimate United States crop productivity for 2007-2012, where we use the spaceborne SIF retrievals from the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2 satellite, benchmarked with county-level crop yield statistics, and compare it with various traditional crop monitoring approaches. We find that a SIF-based approach accounting for photosynthetic pathways (i.e. C3 and C4 crops) provides the best measure of crop productivity among these approaches, despite the fact that SIF sensors are not yet optimized for terrestrial applications. We further show that SIF provides the ability to infer the impacts of environmental stresses on autotrophic respiration and carbon-use-efficiency, with a substantial sensitivity of both to high temperatures. These results indicate new opportunities for improved mechanistic understanding of crop yield responses to climate variability and change.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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…

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. Two intelligent spraying systems developed for tree crop production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Precision pesticide application technologies are needed to achieve efficient and effective spray deposition on target areas and minimize off-target losses. Two variable-rate intelligent sprayers were developed as an introduction of new generation sprayers for tree crop applications. The first spraye...

  5. Rolled cover crop mulches for organic corn and soybean production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Interest in cover crop mulches has increased out of both economic and soil conservation concerns. The number of tractor passes required to produce corn and a soybean organically is expensive and logistically challenging. Farmers currently use blind cultivators, such as a rotary hoe or flex-tine harr...

  6. Evaluation of gypsum rates on greenhouse crop production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study was to determine the potential of an added value distribution channel for gypsum waste by evaluating various greenhouse crops with captious pH and calcium needs. Three studies consisting of: Zonal geranium (Pelargonium x hortorum) and petunia (Petunia x hybrida); tomato (Solanum lycoper...

  7. Peroxisomal polyhydroxyalkanoate biosynthesis is a promising strategy for bioplastic production in high biomass crops.

    PubMed

    Tilbrook, Kimberley; Gebbie, Leigh; Schenk, Peer M; Poirier, Yves; Brumbley, Stevens M

    2011-12-01

    Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are bacterial carbon storage polymers with diverse plastic-like properties. PHA biosynthesis in transgenic plants is being developed as a way to reduce the cost and increase the sustainability of industrial PHA production. The homopolymer polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) is the simplest form of these biodegradable polyesters. Plant peroxisomes contain the substrate molecules and necessary reducing power for PHB biosynthesis, but peroxisomal PHB production has not been explored in whole soil-grown transgenic plants to date. We generated transgenic sugarcane (Saccharum sp.) with the three-enzyme Ralstonia eutropha PHA biosynthetic pathway targeted to peroxisomes. We also introduced the pathway into Arabidopsis thaliana, as a model system for studying and manipulating peroxisomal PHB production. PHB, at levels up to 1.6%-1.8% dry weight, accumulated in sugarcane leaves and A. thaliana seedlings, respectively. In sugarcane, PHB accumulated throughout most leaf cell types in both peroxisomes and vacuoles. A small percentage of total polymer was also identified as the copolymer poly (3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) in both plant species. No obvious deleterious effect was observed on plant growth because of peroxisomal PHA biosynthesis at these levels. This study highlights how using peroxisomal metabolism for PHA biosynthesis could significantly contribute to reaching commercial production levels of PHAs in crop plants.

  8. Fuel from Tobacco and Arundo Donax: Synthetic Crop for Direct Drop-in Biofuel Production through Re-routing the Photorespiration Intermediates and Engineering Terpenoid Pathways

    SciTech Connect

    2012-02-15

    PETRO Project: Biofuels offer renewable alternatives to petroleum-based fuels that reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to nearly zero. However, traditional biofuels production is limited not only by the small amount of solar energy that plants convert through photosynthesis into biological materials, but also by inefficient processes for converting these biological materials into fuels. Farm-ready, non-food crops are needed that produce fuels or fuel-like precursors at significantly lower costs with significantly higher productivity. To make biofuels cost-competitive with petroleum-based fuels, biofuels production costs must be cut in half.

  9. Effects of soil and water conservation on crop productivity: Evidences from Anjenie watershed, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adgo, Enyew; Teshome, Akalu

    2014-05-01

    Widespread soil and water conservation activities have been implemented in many parts of eastern Africa to control soil erosion by water and improve land productivity for the last few decades. Following the 1974 severe drought, soil and water conservation became more important to Ethiopia and the approach shifted to watershed based land management initiatives since the 1980s. To capture long-term impacts of these initiatives, a study was conducted in Anjenie Watershed of Ethiopia, assessing fanya juu terraces and grass strips constructed in a pilot project in 1984, and which are still functional nearly 30 years later. Data were collected from government records, field observations and questionnaire surveys administered to 60 farmers. Half of the respondents had terraced farms in the watershed former project area (with terrace technology) and the rest were outside the terraced area. The crops assessed were teff, barley and maize. Cost-benefit analyses were used to determine the economic benefits with and without terraces, including gross and net profit values, returns on labour, water productivity and impacts on poverty. The results indicated that soil and water conservation had improved crop productivity. The average yield on terraced fields was 0.95 t ha-1 for teff (control 0.49), 1.86 t ha-1 for barley (control 0.61), and 1.73 t ha-1 for maize (control 0.77). The net benefit was significantly higher on terraced fields, recording US 20.9 (US -112 control) for teff, US 185 (US -41 control) for barley and US -34.5 (US - 101 control) ha-1 yr-1 for maize. The returns on family labour were 2.33 for barley, 1.01 for teff, and 0.739 US per person-day for maize grown on terraced plots, compared to US 0.44, 0.27 and 0.16 per person-day for plots without terraces, respectively. Using a discount rate of 10%, the average net present value (NPV) of barley production with terrace was found to be about US 1542 over a period of 50 years. In addition, the average financial

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  11. Nutrient resources for crop production in the tropics

    PubMed Central

    Vlek, P. L. G.; Kühne, R. F.; Denich, M.

    1997-01-01

    For the foreseeable future a majority of the population, and almost all the mal- and under-nourished, will continue to be found in the tropics and subtropics. Food security in these parts of the world will have to be met largely from local resources. The productivity of the land is to a large extent determined by the fertlity of the soil, which in turn is mostly determined by its organic matter content and stored nutrients. Soil organic matter is readily lost when organic matter inputs are reduced upon cultivation and more so upon intensification. The concomitant loss of topsoil and possible exposure of subsoil acidity may cause further soil degradation.
    Plant nutrients to replenish what is yearly taken from the soil to meet the demands for food and fibre amount to 230 million tonnes (Mt). Current fertilizer consumption stands at about 130 Mt of N, P2O5,and K2O, supplemented by an estimated 90 Mt of N from biological nitrogen fixation worldwide. Although 80 per cent of the population lives in the developing world, only half the world's fertilizer is consumed there. Yet, as much as 50% of the increase in agricultural productivity in the developing world is due to the adoption of fertilizers. World population growth will cause a doubling in these nutrients requirements for the developing world by 2020, which, in the likely case of inadequate production, will need to be met from soil reserves. Because expansion of the cultivable land area is reaching its limits, the reliance on nutrient inputs and their efficient use is bound to grow.
    With current urban expansion, nutrients in harvested products are increasingly lost from the rural environment as a whole. Estimates of soil nutrient depletion rates for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are alarmingly high. The situation may be more favourable in Latin America and Asia where fertilizer inputs are tenfold those of SSA. Closing the nutrient cycle at a community level in rural areas may be tedious; on an inter-regional level

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. A Demonstration Project in New York and Virginia: Retrofitting Cost-Effective Roll-over Protective Structures (CROPS) on Tractors

    PubMed Central

    Hard, David L.; McKenzie, E. A.; Cantis, Douglas; May, John; Sorensen, Julie; Bayes, Barbara; Madden, Erin; Wyckoff, Sherry; Stone, Bruce; Maass, Jimmy

    2015-01-01

    The NIOSH cost-effective roll-over protective structure (CROPS) demonstration project sought to determine whether three prototype roll-over protective structures (ROPS) designed to be retrofitted on Ford 8N, Ford 3000, Ford 4000, and Massey Ferguson 135 tractors could be installed in the field and whether they would be acceptable by the intended end users (farmers). There were a total of 50 CROPS demonstrators (25 in New York and 25 in Virginia), with 45 observers attending the New York CROPS demonstrations and 36 observers attending the Virginia CROPS demonstrations, for a total of 70 participants in New York and 61 in Virginia. The oldest retrofitted tractors were 77 to 62 years old, while the newest retrofitted tractors were 40 to 37 years old. The most frequently retrofitted tractor in the CROPS demonstration project was a Ford 3000 series tractor (n = 19; 38%), followed by Ford 4000 (n = 11; 22%), Massey Ferguson 135 (n = 11; 22%), and Ford 8N (n = 9; 18%). A major issue of CROPS retrofitting was the rear wheel fenders. The effort involved in disassembling the fenders (removing the old bolts was often faster by cutting them with a torch), modifying the fender mounting brackets, and then reinstalling the fenders with the CROPS generally required the most time. In addition, various other semi-permanent equipment attachments, such as front-end loaders, required additional time and effort to fit with the CROPS. Demonstrators were asked to rank the reasons why they had not retrofitted their tractors with ROPS until they had enrolled in the CROPS demonstration program. ROPS “cost too much” was ranked as the primary reason for participants in both states (80% for New York and 88% for Virginia). The second highest ranked reasons were “ROPS wasn’t available” for Virginia (80%) and “hassle to find ROPS” for New York (69%). The third highest ranked reasons were “not enough time to find ROPS” for New York (67%) and “hassle to find ROPS” for Virginia

  15. A Demonstration Project in New York and Virginia: Retrofitting Cost-Effective Roll-over Protective Structures (CROPS) on Tractors.

    PubMed

    Hard, D L; McKenzie, E A; Cantis, D; May, J; Sorensen, J; Bayes, B; Madden, E; Wyckoff, S; Stone, B; Maass, J

    2015-07-01

    The NIOSH cost-effective roll-over protective structure (CROPS) demonstration project sought to determine whether three prototype roll-over protective structures (ROPS) designed to be retrofitted on Ford 8N, Ford 3000, Ford 4000, and Massey Ferguson 135 tractors could be installed in the field and whether they would be acceptable by the intended end users (farmers). There were a total of 50 CROPS. demonstrators (25 in New York and 25 in Virginia), with 45 observers attending the New York CROPS demonstrations and 36 observers attending the Virginia CROPS demonstrations, for a total of 70 participants in New York and 61 in Virginia. The oldest retrofitted tractors were 77 to 62 years old, while the newest retrofitted tractors were 40 to 37 years old. The most frequently retrofitted tractor in the CROPS demonstration project was a Ford 3000 series tractor (n = 19; 38%), followed by Ford 4000 (n = 11; 22%), Massey Ferguson 135 (n = 11; 22%), and Ford 8N (n = 9; 18%). A major issue of CROPS retrofitting was the rear wheel fenders. The effort involved in disassembling the fenders (removing the old bolts was often faster by cutting them with a torch), modifying the fender mounting brackets, and then reinstalling the fenders with the CROPS generally required the most time. In addition, various other semi-permanent equipment attachments, such as front-end loaders, required additional time and effort to fit with the CROPS. Demonstrators were asked to rank the reasons why they had not retrofitted their tractors with ROPS until they had enrolled in the CROPS demonstration program. ROPS "cost too much" was ranked as the primary reason for participants in both states (80% for New York and 88% for Virginia). The second highest ranked reasons were "ROPS wasn't available" for Virginia (80%) and "hassle to find ROPS" for New York (69%). The third highest ranked reasons were "not enough time to find ROPS" for New York (67%) and "hassle to find ROPS" for Virginia (79%). All

  16. Farm Crop Production Technology: Field and Forage Crop and Fruit and Vine Production Options. A Suggested 2-Year Post High School Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Division of Vocational and Technical Education, BAVT.

    Prepared by a junior college under contract with the Office of Education, the curriculum materials are designed to assist school administrators, advisory committees, supervisors, and teachers in developing or evaluating postsecondary programs in farm crop production technology. Information was gathered by visits to the important farm regions and…

  17. Spatial evaluation of crop maps by the spatial production allocation model in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Jieyang; Li, Zhengguo; Yang, Peng; Yu, Qiangyi; Zhang, Li; Wu, Wenbin; Tang, Pengqin; Liu, Zhenhuan; You, Liangzhi

    2014-01-01

    The spatial production allocation model (SPAM) is one of the broadest spatial models of crop distribution and applies a cross-entropy method to downscale the global area and yield for multiple crops in the years 2000 and 2005 with a resolution of 5 arc min. To evaluate the allocation accuracy of SPAM for three staple crops (rice, wheat, and maize) in China, we compared these crop maps with remote-sensed cropland data derived from national land cover datasets. This comparison was conducted using a scheme that accounts for spatial differences at the pixel level. Overall, the map of maize has the highest area accuracy, with 64% reasonable pixels (covering 96% of the total maize area); these values were 57% (90% coverage) and 44% (81% coverage) for the wheat and rice maps, respectively. On the provincial scale, the area accuracies of crop maps in the top 10 provinces are better than those of the other provinces. Furthermore, the crop area consistency in rain-fed cropland is better than that in irrigated cropland. These evaluations provide decision makers with information regarding the strengths and weaknesses of SPAM products. This study also recommends priorities for further work to improve the reliability, utility, and periodic repeatability of crop distribution products.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Technology targeting for sustainable intensification of crop production in the Delta region of Bangladesh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulthess, U.; Krupnik, T. J.; Ahmed, Z. U.; McDonald, A. J.

    2015-04-01

    Remote sensing data are nowadays being acquired within short intervals and made available at a low cost or for free. This opens up opportunities for new remote sensing applications, such as the characterization of entire regions to identify most suitable areas for technology targeting. Increasing population growth and changing dietary habits in South Asia call for higher cereal production to ensure future food security. In the Delta area of Bangladesh, surface water is considered to be available in quantities large enough to support intensification by adding an irrigated dry season crop. Fuel-efficient, low lift axial flow pumps have shown to be suitable to carry water to fields that are within a buffer of four hundred meters of the rivers. However, information on how and where to target surface water irrigation efforts is currently lacking. We describe the opportunities and constraints encountered in developing a procedure to identify cropland for which axial flow pumps could be successfully deployed upon in a 43'000 km2 area. First, we isolated cropland and waterways using Landsat 5 and 7 scenes using image segmentation followed by classification with the random forest algorithm. Based on Landsat 7 and 8 scenes, we extracted maximum dry season enhanced vegetation index (EVI) values, which we classified into fallow, low-, and high-intensity cropland for the last three years. Last, we investigated the potential for surface water irrigation on fallow and low-intensity land by applying a cropping risk matrix to address the twin threats of soil and water salinity. Our analysis indicates that there are at least 20,000 ha of fallow land under the low-risk category, while more than 100,000 ha of low-intensity cropland can be brought into intensified production. This information will aid in technology targeting for the efficient deployment of surface water irrigation as a tool for intensification.

  1. Guidelines for Cost-Effective Training Product Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Awotua-Efebo, Ebi Bio

    1984-01-01

    Presents guidelines for cost effective product development for training managers charged with quality control of products and training specialists who design materials. Discusses phases of educational product development--diagnosis, design, development, and evaluation. (MBR)

  2. A low-cost microcontroller-based system to monitor crop temperature and water status

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A prototype microcontroller-based system was developed to automate the measurement and recording of soil-moisture status and canopy-, air-, and soil-temperature levels in cropped fields. Measurements of these conditions within the cropping system are often used to assess plant stress, and can assis...

  3. Connecting Science and Stakeholders for Improved Drought and Crop Productivity Assessments in East Africa: Early Lessons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granger, S. L.; Macharia, D.; Andreadis, K.; Das, N. N.

    2014-12-01

    Agriculture is the 'backbone' of the economies in East Africa and is dominated by smallholder farms that are mainly rain-fed and highly vulnerable to climate change, variability, and drought. However the region lacks access to developed, reliable, and effective data and analysis to guide planning for agriculture and drought mitigation. Advances in remote sensing technologies and associated tools enable the collection and quantitative analysis of observations over large geographic regions. As such, data from remote sensing platforms have become a critical tool in developed countries for climate adaptation, water resources management, drought planning and mitigation, and agriculture. Yet barriers remain in Africa due to cost (even as costs decline), issues of sustainability, and lack of capacity and expertise. A shift must be facilitated at the policy maker and practitioner level to adopt or incorporate remote sensing observations and analysis to make better, more informed decisions for drought and agricultural management and planning. Based on an on-going NASA-USAID SERVIR East Africa Drought and Crop Productivity project, recent experience is presented to illustrate best practices and lessons learned in transitioning NASA Earth Science research results to decision making in Kenya through capacity building.

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. Yield and Economic Responses of Peanut to Crop Rotation Sequence

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Proper crop rotation is essential to maintaining high peanut yield and quality. However, the economic considerations of maintaining or altering crop rotation sequences must incorporate the commodity prices, production costs, and yield responses of all crops in, or potentially in, the crop rotation ...

  7. Cost Contributors to Geothermal Power Production

    SciTech Connect

    Nathwani, Jay; Mines, Greg

    2011-07-01

    The US Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Office (DOE-GTO) has developed the tool Geothermal Electricity Technologies Evaluation Model (GETEM) to assess the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of power produced from geothermal resources. Recently modifications to GETEM allow the DOE-GTO to better assess how different factors impact the generation costs, including initial project risk, time required to complete a development, and development size. The model characterizes the costs associated with project risk by including the costs to evaluate and drill those sites that are considered but not developed for commercial power generation, as well as to assign higher costs to finance those activities having more risk. This paper discusses how the important parameters impact the magnitude project costs for different project scenarios. The cost distributions presented include capital cost recovery for the exploration, confirmation, well field completion and power plant construction, as well as the operation and maintenance (O&M) costs. The paper will present these cost distributions for both EGS and hydrothermal resources.

  8. Assessing the impacts of climate change on winter crop production in Uruguay and Argentina using crop simulation models

    SciTech Connect

    Baethgen, W.E.; Magrin, G.O.

    1995-12-31

    Enhanced greenhouse effect caused by the increase in atmospheric concentration of CO{sub 2} and other trace gases could lead to higher global surface temperature and altered hydrological cycles. Most possible climate change scenarios include higher atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations, higher temperatures, and changes in precipitation. Three global climate models (GCMs) were applied to generate climate change scenarios for the Pampas region in southern South America. The generated scenarios were then used with crop simulation models to study the possible impact of climate change on wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) production in the Pampas. The authors evaluated the impact of possible climate change scenarios on wheat and barley production in Uruguay for a wide range of soil and crop management strategies including planting dates, cultivar types, fertilizer management, and tillage practices. They also studied the impact of climate change on wheat production across two transects of the Pampas: north to south transect with decreasing temperature, and east to west transect with decreasing precipitation. Finally, sensitivity analyses were conducted for both, the Uruguayan site and the transects, by increasing daily maximum and minimum temperature by 0, 2, and 4 C, and changing the precipitation by {minus}20, 0, and +20%.

  9. Yield and Economic Responses of Peanut to Crop Rotation Sequence

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    National Peanut Research Laboratory, Dawson, GA 39842. Proper crop rotation is essential to maintaining high peanut yield and quality. However, the economic considerations of maintaining or altering crop rotation sequences must incorporate the commodity prices, production costs, and yield responses...

  10. Improving crop productivity and resource use efficiency to ensure food security and environmental quality in China.

    PubMed

    Fan, Mingsheng; Shen, Jianbo; Yuan, Lixing; Jiang, Rongfeng; Chen, Xinping; Davies, William J; Zhang, Fusuo

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, agricultural growth in China has accelerated remarkably, but most of this growth has been driven by increased yield per unit area rather than by expansion of the cultivated area. Looking towards 2030, to meet the demand for grain and to feed a growing population on the available arable land, it is suggested that annual crop production should be increased to around 580 Mt and that yield should increase by at least 2% annually. Crop production will become more difficult with climate change, resource scarcity (e.g. land, water, energy, and nutrients) and environmental degradation (e.g. declining soil quality, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and surface water eutrophication). To pursue the fastest and most practical route to improved yield, the near-term strategy is application and extension of existing agricultural technologies. This would lead to substantial improvement in crop and soil management practices, which are currently suboptimal. Two pivotal components are required if we are to follow new trajectories. First, the disciplines of soil management and agronomy need to be given increased emphasis in research and teaching, as part of a grand food security challenge. Second, continued genetic improvement in crop varieties will be vital. However, our view is that the biggest gains from improved technology will come most immediately from combinations of improved crops and improved agronomical practices. The objectives of this paper are to summarize the historical trend of crop production in China and to examine the main constraints to the further increase of crop productivity. The paper provides a perspective on the challenge faced by science and technology in agriculture which must be met both in terms of increased crop productivity but also in increased resource use efficiency and the protection of environmental quality.

  11. Tillage as a tool to manage crop residue: impact on sugar beet production.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiel, Marie-Pierre; Chélin, Marie; Degrune, Florine; Parvin, Nargish; Bodson, Bernard

    2015-04-01

    Crop residues and plant cover represent a pool of organic matter that can be used either to restore organic matter in soils, and therefore maintain soil fertility, or that can be valorized outside of the field (e.g. energy production). However, it is crucial that the exportation of residues is not done to the detriment of the system sustainability. Three long term experiments have been settled in the loamy region in Belgium. All of them are designed to study the effect of residues management by several tillage systems (conventional plowing versus reduced tillage) on the whole soil-water-plant system. SOLRESIDUS is a field experiment where we study the impact of crop residue management while in SOLCOUVERT and SOLCOUVERT-BIS, we study the impact of cover crop management. SOLRESIDUS was started in 2008. In this field, four contrasted crop residues managements are tested in order to contrast as much as possible the responses from the soil-water plant system. Two practices characterize the four modalities: soil tillage (ploughing at 25 cm depth or reduce tillage at 10 cm max) and residue management (exportation or restitution). SOLCOUVERT and SOLCOUVERT-BIS were started in 2012 and 2013 respectively. In those fields cover crop management is also diverse: destruction of the cover crop by winter ploughing, spring ploughing, strip tillage (with a chemical destruction if needed) or shallow tillage (with a decompaction before cover crop sowing). Although although the overall project aims at studying the impact of management on the whole soil-water-plant system, here we will only present the results concerning crop production (sugar beet) in SOLCOUVERT experiments. The presented data will include germination rate, crop development (biomass quantification and BBCH stages) weeds population, disease occurrence, pest occurrences, nitrogen uptake by plants, quality and quantity of harvested products.

  12. Modeling Regional Groundwater Implications of Biofuel Crop Production in the Great Lakes Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parish, A.; Kendall, A. D.; Basso, B.; Hyndman, D. W.

    2013-12-01

    In response to a growing call for renewable sources of energy that do not compete directly with food resources, the use of second-generation 'cellulosic' biofuel feedstocks has gained much attention in recent years. The push to advance the technologies that would make such a transformation possible is motivated by the United States Renewable Fuel Standard mandate to produce 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022, an increase of 334 percent from 2009. Many different crops, including maize, miscanthus, switchgrass, and poplar have shown promise as cellulosic feedstocks, and in an attempt to supply the needed biomass to meet the 2022 mandate, production of these crops have been on the rise. Yet little is known about the sustainability of large-scale conversion of land to cellulosic biofuel crop production; more research is needed to understand the effects that these crops will have on the quality and quantity of groundwater. This study presents a model scale-up approach to address three questions: What are the hydrologic and nutrient demands of the primary biofuel crops? Which biofuel crops are more water efficient in terms of demand verses energy produced? What are the types and availabilities of land to expand production of these biofuel crops? To answer these questions, we apply a point-based crop dynamics model in combination with a regional-scale hydrologic model, parameterized using stream discharge and chemistry data collected from two representative watersheds in Wisconsin. Approximately 17 stream sites in each watershed are selected for data collection for model parameterization, including stream discharge, nutrient concentrations, and basic chemical characteristics. We then use the System Approach to Land Use Sustainability (SALUS) model, which predicts crop growth under varying soil and climate conditions, to drive vegetation dynamics and groundwater transport of nutrients within the Integrated Landscape Hydrology Model (ILHM). ILHM predictions of stream

  13. Productivity costs in economic evaluations: past, present, future.

    PubMed

    Krol, Marieke; Brouwer, Werner; Rutten, Frans

    2013-07-01

    Productivity costs occur when the productivity of individuals is affected by illness, treatment, disability or premature death. The objective of this paper was to review past and current developments related to the inclusion, identification, measurement and valuation of productivity costs in economic evaluations. The main debates in the theory and practice of economic evaluations of health technologies described in this review have centred on the questions of whether and how to include productivity costs, especially productivity costs related to paid work. The past few decades have seen important progress in this area. There are important sources of productivity costs other than absenteeism (e.g. presenteeism and multiplier effects in co-workers), but their exact influence on costs remains unclear. Different measurement instruments have been developed over the years, but which instrument provides the most accurate estimates has not been established. Several valuation approaches have been proposed. While empirical research suggests that productivity costs are best included in the cost side of the cost-effectiveness ratio, the jury is still out regarding whether the human capital approach or the friction cost approach is the most appropriate valuation method to do so. Despite the progress and the substantial amount of scientific research, a consensus has not been reached on either the inclusion of productivity costs in economic evaluations or the methods used to produce productivity cost estimates. Such a lack of consensus has likely contributed to ignoring productivity costs in actual economic evaluations and is reflected in variations in national health economic guidelines. Further research is needed to lessen the controversy regarding the estimation of health-related productivity costs. More standardization would increase the comparability and credibility of economic evaluations taking a societal perspective.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  15. The elasticity of global cropland with respect to crop production and its implications for peak cropland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajagopal, Deepak

    2016-11-01

    Trends in average crop yield i.e., crop output per unit area, are the basis for numerous forecasts of the future global expanse of agriculture. Although a number of studies predict a sizable expansion in global cropland area through the year 2050, some argue, to the contrary, that peak cropland is at hand. This paper analyzes historical trends in the ‘correlation’ between annual global cropland and annual crop production using a new measure called the elasticity of cropland with respect to production (crop output). Three different statistics of elasticity—the mean, the frequency of different combinations of directional changes in crop area and output, and time trend, each computed over different but fixed time intervals (5, 10, 15 and 20 years, which were chosen arbitrarily) suggest that the global area of cropland is set to increase with consumption. Achieving an absolute reduction in global cropland hinges on increasing crop yields beyond anything seen in the last fifty years. While this is consistent with several existing forecasts, the salience of an elasticity-based analysis is that it captures the effect of changing marginal as well as average crop yield as opposed to just the latter. The elasticity-based approach is applicable to trends in the exploitation of other scarce natural resources as well as releases of different pollutants.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  17. Can leguminous cover crops partially replace nitrogen fertilization in Mississippi delta cotton production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Petroleum prices impacts cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) N fertilization cost. A 3-year field study was conducted on a Dundee silt loam to assess the interactions of leguminous cover crops [none, Austrian winter field pea (Pisum sativum L.) or hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth] and N fertilization rate...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Energy Product Options for Eucalyptus Species Grown as Short Rotation Woody Crops

    PubMed Central

    Rockwood, Donald L.; Rudie, Alan W.; Ralph, Sally A.; Zhu, J.Y.; Winandy, Jerrold E.

    2008-01-01

    Eucalyptus species are native to Australia but grown extensively worldwide as short rotation hardwoods for a variety of products and as ornamentals. We describe their general importance with specific emphasis on existing and emerging markets as energy products and the potential to maximize their productivity as short rotation woody crops. Using experience in Florida USA and similar locations, we document their current energy applications and assess their productivity as short-term and likely long-term energy and related products. PMID:19325808

  1. 77 FR 7237 - Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures-Productivity Adjustment

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-10

    ... Surface Transportation Board Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures--Productivity Adjustment AGENCY: Surface Transportation Board. ACTION: Proposed railroad cost recovery procedures productivity adjustment. SUMMARY: In a... change in railroad productivity for the 2006-2010 (5-year) averaging period. This represents a...

  2. Topographic and soil influences on root productivity of three bioenergy cropping systems.

    PubMed

    Ontl, Todd A; Hofmockel, Kirsten S; Cambardella, Cynthia A; Schulte, Lisa A; Kolka, Randall K

    2013-08-01

    Successful modeling of the carbon (C) cycle requires empirical data regarding species-specific root responses to edaphic characteristics. We address this need by quantifying annual root production of three bioenergy systems (continuous corn, triticale/sorghum, switchgrass) in response to variation in soil properties across a toposequence within a Midwestern agroecosystem. Using ingrowth cores to measure annual root production, we tested for the effects of topography and 11 soil characteristics on root productivity. Root production significantly differed among cropping systems. Switchgrass root productivity was lowest on the floodplain position, but root productivity of annual crops was not influenced by topography or soil properties. Greater switchgrass root production was associated with high percent sand, which explained 45% of the variation. Percent sand was correlated negatively with soil C and nitrogen and positively with bulk density, indicating this variable is a proxy for multiple important soil properties. Our results suggest that easily measured soil parameters can be used to improve model predictions of root productivity in bioenergy switchgrass, but the edaphic factors we measured were not useful for predicting root productivity in annual crops. These results can improve C cycling modeling efforts by revealing the influence of cropping system and soil properties on root productivity.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Oil crop biomass residue-based media for enhanced algal lipid production.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhen; Ma, Xiaochen; Zhou, Wenguang; Min, Min; Cheng, Yanling; Chen, Paul; Shi, Jian; Wang, Qin; Liu, Yuhuan; Ruan, Roger

    2013-10-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of hydrolysates from acid hydrolysis of four different oil crop biomass residues (OCBR) as low cost culture media for algae growth. The one-factor-at-a-time method was used to design a series of experiments to optimize the acid hydrolysis conditions through examining the total nitrogen, total phosphorus, chemical oxygen demand, and ammonia nitrogen in the hydrolysates. The optimal conditions were found to be using 3% sulfuric acid and hydrolyzing residues at 90 °C for 20 h. The hydrolysates (OCBR media) produced under the optimal conditions were used to cultivate the two algae strains, namely UM258 and UM268. The results from 5 days of cultivation showed that the OCBR media supported faster algae growth with maximal algal biomass yield of 2.7 and 3 g/L, respectively. Moreover, the total lipids for UM258 and UM268 were 54 and 35%, respectively, after 5 days of cultivation, which suggested that the OCBR media allowed the algae strains to accumulate higher lipids probably due to high C/N ratio. Furthermore, over 3% of omega-3 fatty acid (EPA) was produced for the two algae strains. In conclusion, OCBR media are excellent alternative for algae growth and have a great potential for large-scale production of algae-based ingredients for biodiesel as well as high-value food and pharmaceutical products.

  5. Global Simulation of Bioenergy Crop Productivity: Analytical Framework and Case Study for Switchgrass

    SciTech Connect

    Kang, Shujiang; Kline, Keith L; Nair, S. Surendran; Nichols, Dr Jeff A; Post, Wilfred M; Brandt, Craig C; Wullschleger, Stan D; Wei, Yaxing; Singh, Nagendra

    2013-01-01

    A global energy crop productivity model that provides geospatially explicit quantitative details on biomass potential and factors affecting sustainability would be useful, but does not exist now. This study describes a modeling platform capable of meeting many challenges associated with global-scale agro-ecosystem modeling. We designed an analytical framework for bioenergy crops consisting of six major components: (i) standardized natural resources datasets, (ii) global field-trial data and crop management practices, (iii) simulation units and management scenarios, (iv) model calibration and validation, (v) high-performance computing (HPC) simulation, and (vi) simulation output processing and analysis. The HPC-Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (HPC-EPIC) model simulated a perennial bioenergy crop, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), estimating feedstock production potentials and effects across the globe. This modeling platform can assess soil C sequestration, net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, nonpoint source pollution (e.g., nutrient and pesticide loss), and energy exchange with the atmosphere. It can be expanded to include additional bioenergy crops (e.g., miscanthus, energy cane, and agave) and food crops under different management scenarios. The platform and switchgrass field-trial dataset are available to support global analysis of biomass feedstock production potential and corresponding metrics of sustainability.

  6. Giant cane (Arundo donax L.) can substitute traditional energy crops in producing energy by anaerobic digestion, reducing surface area and costs: A full-scale approach.

    PubMed

    Corno, Luca; Lonati, Samuele; Riva, Carlo; Pilu, Roberto; Adani, Fabrizio

    2016-10-01

    Arundo donax L. (Giant cane) was used in a full-scale anaerobic digester (AD) plant (power of 380kWhEE) in partial substitution for corn to produce biogas and electricity. Corn substitution was made on a biomethane potential (BMP) basis so that A. donax L. after substitution accounted for 15.6% of the total mix-BMP (BMPmix) and corn for 66.6% BMPmix. Results obtained indicated that Giant cane was able to substitute for corn, reducing both biomass and electricity production costs, because of both higher biomass productivity (Mg total solid Ha(-1)) and lower biomass cost (€Ha(-1)). Total electricity biogas costs were reduced by 5.5%. The total biomass cost, the total surface area needed to produce the energy crop and the total cost of producing electricity can be reduced by 75.5%, 36.6% and 22%, by substituting corn completely with Giant cane in the mix fed to the full-scale plant.

  7. Environmental and genetic effects on yield and secondary metabolite production in Brassica rapa crops.

    PubMed

    Francisco, Marta; Cartea, María Elena; Butrón, Ana María; Sotelo, Tamara; Velasco, Pablo

    2012-06-06

    Twelve Brassica rapa varieties grown, such as turnip green and turnip top, were evaluated in seven environments to determine the environmental and genotypic variables that have an influence on crop production and on the content of glucosinolates and phenolic compounds. Factorial regression analysis showed that, in general, crop production was favored by high temperatures all along the crop cycle. However, the lack of a period of intense cold could be a limiting factor. The metabolite content seems to be regulated by extreme temperatures (daily maximum and minimum temperatures) rather than by average daily temperatures. With regard to genotypic covariables, turnip top production was significantly affected by traits related to the vegetative development and time to flowering. Meanwhile, turnip green production was largely affected by a sinapoyl derivative compound, which is a precursor of cell wall components. Cross-talk between glucosinolate biosynthesis and phenylpropanoid signaling pathways is suggested.

  8. Photo-fermentative hydrogen production from crop residue: A mini review.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Quanguo; Wang, Yi; Zhang, Zhiping; Lee, Duu-Jong; Zhou, Xuehua; Jing, Yanyan; Ge, Xumeng; Jiang, Danping; Hu, Jianjun; He, Chao

    2017-04-01

    Photofermentative hydrogen production from crop residues, if feasible, can lead to complete conversion of organic substances to hydrogen (and carbon dioxide). This mini review lists the studies on photofermentative hydrogen production using crop residues as feedstock. Pretreatment methods, substrate structure, mechanism of photosynthetic bacteria growth and metabolism were discussed. Photofermentative hydrogen production from pure culture, consortia and mutants, and the geometry, light sources, mass transfer resistances and the operational strategies of the photo-bioreactor were herein reviewed. Future studies of regulation mechanism of photosynthetic bacteria, such as highly-efficient strain breeding and gene reconstruction, and development of new-generation photo-bioreactor were suggested.

  9. Potential Impacts of Droughts on Crop Productivity in the United States over 21st Century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, W.; Tian, H.; Yang, J.; Tao, B.; Pan, S.

    2014-12-01

    Crop productivity in the US plays a critical role in ensuring global food security. However, US agricultural ecosystems have experienced frequent and intensive droughts over past decades including extreme droughts in recent two years, which led to large reductions in crop productivity and have been posing unprecedented challenges to US agricultural land. Therefore, there is an increasing concern about how future drought condition would be and how agricultural ecosystems would respond to future droughts. Here, we use the process-based ecosystem model DLEM-Ag (the agricultural module of the Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model) driven by future climate change scenarios, new-released RCPs data from the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, to examine the impacts of future climate change/extremes on crop productivity and yield in the US during 2015-2099. The preliminary results show that more pervasive global-change-type droughts over the 21st century would be projected to occur in large areas of cropland in the Mississippi River basin and the southeastern US, which would significantly cause adverse impacts on crop productivity, particularly under high emission scenario RCP8.5. Our study implies that the restrictions on anthropogenic greenhouse gases emissions would benefit crop productivity in US.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-06-03

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

  11. Climate change impacts on crop productivity in Africa and South Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knox, Jerry; Hess, Tim; Daccache, Andre; Wheeler, Tim

    2012-09-01

    Climate change is a serious threat to crop productivity in regions that are already food insecure. We assessed the projected impacts of climate change on the yield of eight major crops in Africa and South Asia using a systematic review and meta-analysis of data in 52 original publications from an initial screen of 1144 studies. Here we show that the projected mean change in yield of all crops is - 8% by the 2050s in both regions. Across Africa, mean yield changes of - 17% (wheat), - 5% (maize), - 15% (sorghum) and - 10% (millet) and across South Asia of - 16% (maize) and - 11% (sorghum) were estimated. No mean change in yield was detected for rice. The limited number of studies identified for cassava, sugarcane and yams precluded any opportunity to conduct a meta-analysis for these crops. Variation about the projected mean yield change for all crops was smaller in studies that used an ensemble of > 3 climate (GCM) models. Conversely, complex simulation studies that used biophysical crop models showed the greatest variation in mean yield changes. Evidence of crop yield impact in Africa and South Asia is robust for wheat, maize, sorghum and millet, and either inconclusive, absent or contradictory for rice, cassava and sugarcane.

  12. Cover crop, soil amendments, and variety effects on organic rice production in Texas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The major challenges in organic rice production include optimization of nutrient utilization, weed management, and variety selection. In this study, we tested the effects of two soil amendment products, two fertilizer rates, and three cover cropping systems (clover, ryegrass, and fallow) on organic ...

  13. 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.

  14. Evaluating shade effects on crop productivity in sorghum-legume intercropping systems using support vector machines

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sorghum-legume intercropping has the potential to improve forage productivity, resource use efficiency, and forage quality under irrigation in the Southern High Plains of the United States. Crop production is conversion of solar radiation into biomass and solar radiation is wasted early in the seaso...

  15. Does the conversion of grasslands to row crop production in semi-arid areas threaten global food supplies?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the world’s semi-arid regions, high crop demands have produced short term economic incentives to convert native grasslands to dryland row crop production, while genetic enhancements and equipment have reduced the risk of crop failure. The objectives of this paper were to discuss: 1) the importanc...

  16. Biomass production of 12 winter cereal cover crop cultivars and their effect on subsequent no-till corn yield

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cover crops can improve the sustainability and resilience of corn and soybean production systems. However, there have been isolated reports of corn yield reductions following winter rye cover crops. Although there are many possible causes of corn yield reductions following winter cereal cover crops,...

  17. Assessing evapotranspiration, basal crop coefficient, and irrigation efficiency in production peach orchard in California's San Joaquin Valley

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Accurate field scale observations of crop water use are necessary to maximize crop productivity with limited water resources and to parameterize regional and continental satellite models to estimate near real-time crop water use. However, rapid, continuous observations of field-scale water use in Ca...

  18. Multi crop model climate risk country-level management design: case study on the Tanzanian maize production system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chavez, E.

    2015-12-01

    Future climate projections indicate that a very serious consequence of post-industrial anthropogenic global warming is the likelihood of the greater frequency and intensity of extreme hydrometeorological events such as heat waves, droughts, storms, and floods. The design of national and international policies targeted at building more resilient and environmentally sustainable food systems needs to rely on access to robust and reliable data which is largely absent. In this context, the improvement of the modelling of current and future agricultural production losses using the unifying language of risk is paramount. In this study, we use a methodology that allows the integration of the current understanding of the various interacting systems of climate, agro-environment, crops, and the economy to determine short to long-term risk estimates of crop production loss, in different environmental, climate, and adaptation scenarios. This methodology is applied to Tanzania to assess optimum risk reduction and maize production increase paths in different climate scenarios. The simulations carried out use inputs from three different crop models (DSSAT, APSIM, WRSI) run in different technological scenarios and thus allowing to estimate crop model-driven risk exposure estimation bias. The results obtained also allow distinguishing different region-specific optimum climate risk reduction policies subject to historical as well as RCP2.5 and RCP8.5 climate scenarios. The region-specific risk profiles obtained provide a simple framework to determine cost-effective risk management policies for Tanzania and allow to optimally combine investments in risk reduction and risk transfer.

  19. Economic Indicators of the Farm Sector. Costs of Production, 1986.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Economic Research Service (USDA), Washington, DC.

    This report contains 121 tables that estimate the costs of production of various commodities on United States farms in 1986. The report first assesses costs and returns on a per-unit basis, such as one acre or one animal, under three sections of a budget: cash receipts, cash expenses, and economic costs. The budgets are based on national…

  20. Benefits of supplementing an industrial waste anaerobic digester with energy crops for increased biogas production.

    PubMed

    Nges, Ivo Achu; Escobar, Federico; Fu, Xinmei; Björnsson, Lovisa

    2012-01-01

    Currently, there is increasing competition for waste as feedstock for the growing number of biogas plants. This has led to fluctuation in feedstock supply and biogas plants being operated below maximum capacity. The feasibility of supplementing a protein/lipid-rich industrial waste (pig manure, slaughterhouse waste, food processing and poultry waste) mesophilic anaerobic digester with carbohydrate-rich energy crops (hemp, maize and triticale) was therefore studied in laboratory scale batch and continuous stirred tank reactors (CSTR) with a view to scale-up to a commercial biogas process. Co-digesting industrial waste and crops led to significant improvement in methane yield per ton of feedstock and carbon-to-nitrogen ratio as compared to digestion of the industrial waste alone. Biogas production from crops in combination with industrial waste also avoids the need for micronutrients normally required in crop digestion. The batch co-digestion methane yields were used to predict co-digestion methane yield in full scale operation. This was done based on the ratio of methane yields observed for laboratory batch and CSTR experiments compared to full scale CSTR digestion of industrial waste. The economy of crop-based biogas production is limited under Swedish conditions; therefore, adding crops to existing industrial waste digestion could be a viable alternative to ensure a constant/reliable supply of feedstock to the anaerobic digester.

  1. Monitoring paddy rice crops through remote sensing: productivity estimation by light use efficiency model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boschetti, Mirco; Mauri, Emanuela; Gadda, Chiara; Busetto, Lorenzo; Confalonieri, Roberto; Bocchi, Stefano; Brivio, Pietro A.

    2004-10-01

    Rice is one of the most important crops in the whole world, providing staple food for more than 3000 million people. For this reason FAO declared the year 2004 as The International Year of Rice promoting initiatives and researches on this valuable crop. Assessing the Net Primary Production (NPP) is fundamental to support a sustainable development and to give crop yield forecast essential to food security policy. Crop growth models can be useful tools for estimating growth, development and yield but require complex spatial distributed input parameters to produce valuable map. Light use efficiency (LUE) models, using satellite-borne data to achieve daily surface parameters, represent an alternative approach able to monitor differences in vegetation compound providing spatial distributed NPP maps. An experiment aimed at testing the capability of a LUE model using daily MODIS data to estimate rice crop production was conducted in a rice area of Northern Italy. Direct LAI measurements and indirect LAI2000 estimation were collected on different fields during the growing season to define a relationship with MODIS data. An hyperspectral MIVIS image was acquired in early July on the experimental site to provide high spatial resolution information on land cover distribution. LUE-NPP estimations on several fields were compared with CropSyst model outputs and field biomass measurements. A comparison of different methods performance is presented and relative advantages and drawbacks in spatialization are discussed.

  2. The Interplay of Bioenergy Crop Production and Water Resource Availability in the US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Y.; Jain, A. K.; Landuyt, W.; Kheshgi, H. S.

    2014-12-01

    Large-scale growing of bioenergy crops, such as switchgrass (Panicum viragatum) and Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), may introduce new challenges for water resource availability in the US. However, the strength of the interplay between bioenergy crop production and water resource availability is highly uncertain at the spatial scale and determined by (1) the spatial distribution of land cover types; (2) availability of soil water resources; (3) climate conditions and (4) biophysical characteristics of different bioenergy crops, such as water use efficiency (WUE), tolerances to extreme water and thermal conditions (dry, high temperature, low temperature etc.) and photoperiod adaptability, etc. To address potential water availability concerns the spatial distribution of bioenergy crops needs to be optimized by considering the maximum WUE and the minimum dependence and impact on water resource availability. To address this objective, we apply a coupled biophysical and biogeochemical model (ISAM), to investigate spatial variability in the interplay between water resources and bioenergy crop production in the US. The bioenergy crops considered in this study include Miscanthus, Cave-in-Rock and Alamo switchgrasses, and corn (grain and stover). The interplay between bioenergy crop and corn production with water resources is quantitatively evaluated by calculating WUE and average water stress for different bioenergy crops and change in plant available soil water between bioenergy crops and natural vegetation. Our results indicate that low soil water availability limits production of bioenergy grasses in central and eastern Great Plains. Growing energy grasses here strengthens water depletion and limits its potential production. Miscanthus has the highest WUE in the central Midwest, followed by corn stover and Cave-in-Rock. However, growing Miscanthus and Cave-in-Rock here strengthens soil water depletion and induces water stress on their production. Though production

  3. Potential negative consequences of geoengineering on crop production: A study of Indian groundnut

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Huiyi; Dobbie, Steven; Ramirez-Villegas, Julian; Feng, Kuishuang; Challinor, Andrew J.; Chen, Bing; Gao, Yao; Lee, Lindsay; Yin, Yan; Sun, Laixiang; Watson, James; Koehler, Ann-Kristin; Fan, Tingting; Ghosh, Sat

    2016-11-01

    Geoengineering has been proposed to stabilize global temperature, but its impacts on crop production and stability are not fully understood. A few case studies suggest that certain crops are likely to benefit from solar dimming geoengineering, yet we show that geoengineering is projected to have detrimental effects for groundnut. Using an ensemble of crop-climate model simulations, we illustrate that groundnut yields in India undergo a statistically significant decrease of up to 20% as a result of solar dimming geoengineering relative to RCP4.5. It is somewhat reassuring, however, to find that after a sustained period of 50 years of geoengineering crop yields return to the nongeoengineered values within a few years once the intervention is ceased.

  4. Potential negative consequences of geoengineering on crop production: A study of Indian groundnut.

    PubMed

    Yang, Huiyi; Dobbie, Steven; Ramirez-Villegas, Julian; Feng, Kuishuang; Challinor, Andrew J; Chen, Bing; Gao, Yao; Lee, Lindsay; Yin, Yan; Sun, Laixiang; Watson, James; Koehler, Ann-Kristin; Fan, Tingting; Ghosh, Sat

    2016-11-28

    Geoengineering has been proposed to stabilize global temperature, but its impacts on crop production and stability are not fully understood. A few case studies suggest that certain crops are likely to benefit from solar dimming geoengineering, yet we show that geoengineering is projected to have detrimental effects for groundnut. Using an ensemble of crop-climate model simulations, we illustrate that groundnut yields in India undergo a statistically significant decrease of up to 20% as a result of solar dimming geoengineering relative to RCP4.5. It is somewhat reassuring, however, to find that after a sustained period of 50 years of geoengineering crop yields return to the nongeoengineered values within a few years once the intervention is ceased.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Effects of a Possible Pollinator Crisis on Food Crop Production in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Nunes, Cássio A.; Santos, Natália B.; D`Amico, Ana R.; Fernandes, G. Wilson; Quesada, Maurício; Braga, Rodrigo F.; Neves, Ana Carolina O.

    2016-01-01

    Animal pollinators contribute to human food production and security thereby ensuring an important component of human well-being. The recent decline of these agents in Europe and North America has aroused the concern of a potential global pollinator crisis. In order to prioritize efforts for pollinator conservation, we evaluated the extent to which food production depends on animal pollinators in Brazil—one of the world’s agriculture leaders—by comparing cultivated area, produced volume and yield value of major food crops that are pollinator dependent with those that are pollinator non-dependent. In addition, we valued the ecosystem service of pollination based on the degree of pollinator dependence of each crop and the consequence of a decline in food production to the Brazilian Gross Domestic Product and Brazilian food security. A total of 68% of the 53 major food crops in Brazil depend to some degree on animals for pollination. Pollinator non-dependent crops produce a greater volume of food, mainly because of the high production of sugarcane, but the cultivated area and monetary value of pollinator dependent crops are higher (59% of total cultivated area and 68% of monetary value). The loss of pollination services for 29 of the major food crops would reduce production by 16.55–51 million tons, which would amount to 4.86–14.56 billion dollars/year, and reduce the agricultural contribution to the Brazilian GDP by 6.46%– 19.36%. These impacts would be largely absorbed by family farmers, which represent 74.4% of the agricultural labor force in Brazil. The main effects of a pollinator crisis in Brazil would be felt by the poorer and more rural classes due to their lower income and direct or exclusive dependence on this ecosystem service. PMID:27902787

  8. Effects of a Possible Pollinator Crisis on Food Crop Production in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Novais, Samuel M A; Nunes, Cássio A; Santos, Natália B; D Amico, Ana R; Fernandes, G Wilson; Quesada, Maurício; Braga, Rodrigo F; Neves, Ana Carolina O

    2016-01-01

    Animal pollinators contribute to human food production and security thereby ensuring an important component of human well-being. The recent decline of these agents in Europe and North America has aroused the concern of a potential global pollinator crisis. In order to prioritize efforts for pollinator conservation, we evaluated the extent to which food production depends on animal pollinators in Brazil-one of the world's agriculture leaders-by comparing cultivated area, produced volume and yield value of major food crops that are pollinator dependent with those that are pollinator non-dependent. In addition, we valued the ecosystem service of pollination based on the degree of pollinator dependence of each crop and the consequence of a decline in food production to the Brazilian Gross Domestic Product and Brazilian food security. A total of 68% of the 53 major food crops in Brazil depend to some degree on animals for pollination. Pollinator non-dependent crops produce a greater volume of food, mainly because of the high production of sugarcane, but the cultivated area and monetary value of pollinator dependent crops are higher (59% of total cultivated area and 68% of monetary value). The loss of pollination services for 29 of the major food crops would reduce production by 16.55-51 million tons, which would amount to 4.86-14.56 billion dollars/year, and reduce the agricultural contribution to the Brazilian GDP by 6.46%- 19.36%. These impacts would be largely absorbed by family farmers, which represent 74.4% of the agricultural labor force in Brazil. The main effects of a pollinator crisis in Brazil would be felt by the poorer and more rural classes due to their lower income and direct or exclusive dependence on this ecosystem service.

  9. Computation of electric power production cost with transmission contraints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Earle, Robert Leonard

    The production cost in operating an electric power system is the cost of generation to meet the customer load or demand. Production costing models are used in analysis of electric power systems to estimate this cost for various purposes such as evaluating long term investments in generating capacity, contracts for sales, purchases, or trades of power. A multi-area production costing model includes the effects of transmission constraints in calculating costs. Including transmission constraints in production costing models is important because the electric power industry is interconnected and trades or sales of power amongst systems can lower costs. This thesis develops an analytical model for multi-area production costing. The advantage of this approach is that it explicitly examines the underlying structure of the problem. The major contributions of our research are as follows. First, we develop the multivariate model not just for transportation type models of electric power network flows, but also for the direct current power flow model. Second, this thesis derives the multi-area production cost curve in the general case. This new result gives a simple formula for determination of system cost and the gradient of cost with respect to transmission capacities. Third, we give an algorithm for generating the non-redundant constraints from a Gale-Hoffman type region. The Gale-Hoffman conditions characterize feasibility of flow in a network. We also gather together some existing and new results on Gale-Hoffman regions and put them in a unified framework. Fourth, in order to derive the multi-area production cost curves and also to perform the integration of the multivariate Edgeworth series, we need wedge shaped regions (a wedge is the affine image of an orthant). We give an algorithm for decomposing any polyhedral set into wedges. Fifth, this thesis gives a new method for one dimensional numerical integration of the trivariate normal. The best methods previously known

  10. The Metabolic Cost of Sound Production in Odontocete Cetaceans

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. The Metabolic Cost of Sound Production in Odontocete...strategy to help reduce the probability of masking from environmental sounds (NRC 2003). Although accumulating evidence from recent research...data on the metabolic cost of sound production for any marine mammal species. Given that changes in vocal behavior in response to masking noise

  11. Effects of Irrigating with Treated Oil and Gas Product Water on Crop Biomass and Soil Permeability

    SciTech Connect

    Terry Brown; Jeffrey Morris; Patrick Richards; Joel Mason

    2010-09-30

    Demonstrating effective treatment technologies and beneficial uses for oil and gas produced water is essential for producers who must meet environmental standards and deal with high costs associated with produced water management. Proven, effective produced-water treatment technologies coupled with comprehensive data regarding blending ratios for productive long-term irrigation will improve the state-of-knowledge surrounding produced-water management. Effective produced-water management scenarios such as cost-effective treatment and irrigation will discourage discharge practices that result in legal battles between stakeholder entities. The goal of this work is to determine the optimal blending ratio required for irrigating crops with CBNG and conventional oil and gas produced water treated by ion exchange (IX), reverse osmosis (RO), or electro-dialysis reversal (EDR) in order to maintain the long term physical integrity of soils and to achieve normal crop production. The soils treated with CBNG produced water were characterized with significantly lower SAR values compared to those impacted with conventional oil and gas produced water. The CBNG produced water treated with RO at the 100% treatment level was significantly different from the untreated produced water, while the 25%, 50% and 75% water treatment levels were not significantly different from the untreated water. Conventional oil and gas produced water treated with EDR and RO showed comparable SAR results for the water treatment technologies. There was no significant difference between the 100% treated produced water and the control (river water). The EDR water treatment resulted with differences at each level of treatment, which were similar to RO treated conventional oil and gas water. The 100% treated water had SAR values significantly lower than the 75% and 50% treatments, which were similar (not significantly different). The results of the greenhouse irrigation study found the differences in biomass

  12. Enrichment of fertilizers with zinc: An excellent investment for humanity and crop production in India.

    PubMed

    Cakmak, Ismail

    2009-01-01

    Micronutrient malnutrition is a growing concern in the developing world, resulting in diverse health and social problems, such as mental retardations, impairments of the immune system and overall poor health. In recent years, the zinc (Zn) deficiency problem has received increasing attention and appears to be the most serious micronutrient deficiency together with vitamin A deficiency. Zinc deficiency is particularly widespread among children and represents a major cause of child death in the world. In countries where Zn deficiency is well documented as an important public health problem, cereal-based foods are the predominant source of daily calorie and protein intake. Because the concentration of Zn in cereal crops is inherently very low, growing cereals on potentially Zn-deficient soils further decreases grain Zn concentrations. It is, therefore, not surprising that high Zn deficiency incidence in humans occurs predominantly on areas where soils are deficient in plant-available Zn, as shown in many Southeast Asian countries. India has some of the most Zn-deficient soils in the world. Nearly 50% of cultivated soils in India are low in plant-available Zn; these soils are under intensive cultivation of wheat and rice with no or little application of Zn fertilizers. Consequently, cereal crops grown on such Zn-deficient soils contribute only marginally to daily Zn intake. In the rural areas of India, rice and wheat contributes nearly 75% of the daily calorie intake. These facts clearly point to an urgent need for improved Zn concentration of cereal grains in India. Recent calculations indicate that biofortification (enrichment) of rice and wheat grain with Zn, for example by breeding, may save lives of up to 48,000 children in India annually. Breeding new cereal genotypes for high grain Zn concentration is the most realistic and cost-effective strategy to address the problem. However, this strategy is a long-term one, and the size of plant-available Zn pools in soils

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-22

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

  14. A process model to estimate biodiesel production costs.

    PubMed

    Haas, Michael J; McAloon, Andrew J; Yee, Winnie C; Foglia, Thomas A

    2006-03-01

    'Biodiesel' is the name given to a renewable diesel fuel that is produced from fats and oils. It consists of the simple alkyl esters of fatty acids, most typically the methyl esters. We have developed a computer model to estimate the capital and operating costs of a moderately-sized industrial biodiesel production facility. The major process operations in the plant were continuous-process vegetable oil transesterification, and ester and glycerol recovery. The model was designed using contemporary process simulation software, and current reagent, equipment and supply costs, following current production practices. Crude, degummed soybean oil was specified as the feedstock. Annual production capacity of the plant was set at 37,854,118 l (10 x 10(6)gal). Facility construction costs were calculated to be US dollar 11.3 million. The largest contributors to the equipment cost, accounting for nearly one third of expenditures, were storage tanks to contain a 25 day capacity of feedstock and product. At a value of US dollar 0.52/kg (dollar 0.236/lb) for feedstock soybean oil, a biodiesel production cost of US dollar 0.53/l (dollar 2.00/gal) was predicted. The single greatest contributor to this value was the cost of the oil feedstock, which accounted for 88% of total estimated production costs. An analysis of the dependence of production costs on the cost of the feedstock indicated a direct linear relationship between the two, with a change of US dollar 0.020/l (dollar 0.075/gal) in product cost per US dollar 0.022/kg (dollar 0.01/lb) change in oil cost. Process economics included the recovery of coproduct glycerol generated during biodiesel production, and its sale into the commercial glycerol market as an 80% w/w aqueous solution, which reduced production costs by approximately 6%. The production cost of biodiesel was found to vary inversely and linearly with variations in the market value of glycerol, increasing by US dollar 0.0022/l (dollar 0.0085/gal) for every US

  15. 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.

  16. Crop production management: Organic wheat and small grains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Key management practices for organic wheat and small grain production are provided, including variety selection, planting date, seeding rate, drill calibration and operation, soil fertility, and management of weeds, insect pests, and diseases. ...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. Availability, production, and consumption of crops biofortified by plant breeding: current evidence and future potential.

    PubMed

    Saltzman, Amy; Birol, Ekin; Oparinde, Adewale; Andersson, Meike S; Asare-Marfo, Dorene; Diressie, Michael T; Gonzalez, Carolina; Lividini, Keith; Moursi, Mourad; Zeller, Manfred

    2017-02-01

    Biofortification is the process of increasing the density of vitamins and minerals in a crop through plant breeding-using either conventional methods or genetic engineering-or through agronomic practices. Over the past 15 years, conventional breeding efforts have resulted in the development of varieties of several staple food crops with significant levels of the three micronutrients most limiting in diets: zinc, iron, and vitamin A. More than 15 million people in developing countries now grow and consume biofortified crops. Evidence from nutrition research shows that biofortified varieties provide considerable amounts of bioavailable micronutrients, and consumption of these varieties can improve micronutrient deficiency status among target populations. Farmer adoption and consumer acceptance research shows that farmers and consumers like the various production and consumption characteristics of biofortified varieties, as much as (if not more than) popular conventional varieties, even in the absence of nutritional information. Further development and delivery of these micronutrient-rich varieties can potentially reduce hidden hunger, especially in rural populations whose diets rely on staple food crops. Future work includes strengthening the supply of and the demand for biofortified staple food crops and facilitating targeted investment to those crop-country combinations that have the highest potential nutritional impact.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Costing Complex Products, Operations, and Support

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-04-30

    Airborne, Maritime and Fixed Station Joint Tactical Radio System = ==================^Åèìáëáíáçå=oÉëÉ~êÅÜW=`ob^qfkd=pvkbodv=clo=fkclojba=`e^kdb=====- ii...positions in Econometrics and Operations Research and in National Security Studies at Washington State University and Harvard University. He is active...research at the present time and to guide its future development. Background The costing of major defense projects is an area of perennial difficulty

  2. Smart investments in sustainable food production: revisiting mixed crop-livestock systems.

    PubMed

    Herrero, M; Thornton, P K; Notenbaert, A M; Wood, S; Msangi, S; Freeman, H A; Bossio, D; Dixon, J; Peters, M; van de Steeg, J; Lynam, J; Parthasarathy Rao, P; Macmillan, S; Gerard, B; McDermott, J; Seré, C; Rosegrant, M

    2010-02-12

    Farmers in mixed crop-livestock systems produce about half of the world's food. In small holdings around the world, livestock are reared mostly on grass, browse, and nonfood biomass from maize, millet, rice, and sorghum crops and in their turn supply manure and traction for future crops. Animals act as insurance against hard times and supply farmers with a source of regular income from sales of milk, eggs, and other products. Thus, faced with population growth and climate change, small-holder farmers should be the first target for policies to intensify production by carefully managed inputs of fertilizer, water, and feed to minimize waste and environmental impact, supported by improved access to markets, new varieties, and technologies.

  3. Global crop production forecasting: An analysis of the data system problems and their solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neiers, J.; Graf, H.

    1978-01-01

    Data related problems in the acquisition and use of satellite data necessary for operational forecasting of global crop production are considered for the purpose of establishing a measurable baseline. For data acquisition the world was divided into 37 crop regions in 22 countries. These regions represent approximately 95 percent of the total world production of the selected crops of interest, i.e., wheat, corn, soybeans, and rice. Targets were assigned to each region. Limited time periods during which data could be taken (windows) were assigned to each target. Each target was assigned to a cloud region. The DSDS was used to measure the success of obtaining data for each target during the specified windows for the regional cloud conditions and the specific alternatives being analyzed. The results of this study suggest several approaches for an operational system that will perform satisfactorily with two LANDSAT type satellites.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  5. Row crops production practices effects on greenhouse gas emissions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One of the grand challenges facing humankind is meeting projected demands for agricultural products in a world undergoing anthropogenically-driven global climate change. As demands increase for the reliable and environmentally-responsible supply of food and fiber, how management is adapted to meet d...

  6. Development of Intelligent Spray Systems for Nursery Crop Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two intelligent sprayer prototypes were developed to increase pesticide application efficiency in nursery production. The first prototype was a hydraulic vertical boom system using ultrasonic sensors to detect tree size and volume for liner-sized trees and the second prototype was an air-assisted sp...

  7. Alfalfa -- a sustainable crop for biomass energy production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) has the potential to be a significant contributor to America's renewable energy future. In an alfalfa biomass energy production system, alfalfa forage would be separated into stem and leave fractions. The stems would be processed to produce energy, and the leaves would be s...

  8. Ecophysiological characteristics and biogas production of cadmium-contaminated crops.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Huayong; Tian, Yonglan; Wang, Lijun; Zhang, Luyi; Dai, Liming

    2013-10-01

    The present study proposes a novel strategy to get a rational production of biogas of the biomass residues from phytoremediation. This study investigates physiological responses, cadmium (Cd) accumulation and biogas production from canola, oat and wheat in pot and batch experiments. The results indicate that (1) aerial biomasses for canola, oat and wheat were enhanced by 5 mg Cd/kg soil by 19.41%, 8.78% and 3.38%, and the upper limit of Cd concentration that canola, oat and wheat can tolerate for aerial biomass production were 50, 10 and 10 mg Cd/kg soil; (2) canola accumulates more Cd than oat and wheat in its aerial parts; (3) cumulative biogas yields were 159.37%, 179.23% and 111.34% of the control when Cd in the shoot were 2.00±0.44, 39.80±1.25 and 6.37±0.15 mg Cd/kg biomass for canola, oat and wheat. Phytoremediation in cooperation with bioenergy production provide new insights for both soil remediation and energy research.

  9. Develop a New Lesquerella fendleri Crop for Castor Oil Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seed oil of Lesquerella fendleri contains a valuable hydroxy fatty acid (HFA), lesquerolic acid (20:1OH). The conventional source of HFA is ricinoleic acid (18:1OH) from castor seeds. Ricinoleic acid and its derivatives are used as raw materials for numerous industrial products, such as lubricants, ...

  10. Government regulation and public opposition create high additional costs for field trials with GM crops in Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Bernauer, Thomas; Tribaldos, Theresa; Luginbühl, Carolin; Winzeler, Michael

    2011-12-01

    Field trials with GM crops are not only plant science experiments. They are also social experiments concerning the implications of government imposed regulatory constraints and public opposition for scientific activity. We assess these implications by estimating additional costs due to government regulation and public opposition in a recent set of field trials in Switzerland. We find that for every Euro spent on research, an additional 78 cents were spent on security, an additional 31 cents on biosafety, and an additional 17 cents on government regulatory supervision. Hence the total additional spending due to government regulation and public opposition was around 1.26 Euros for every Euro spent on the research per se. These estimates are conservative; they do not include additional costs that are hard to monetize (e.g. stakeholder information and dialogue activities, involvement of various government agencies). We conclude that further field experiments with GM crops in Switzerland are unlikely unless protected sites are set up to reduce these additional costs.

  11. Management of Lignite Fly Ash for Improving Soil Fertility and Crop Productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ram, Lal C.; Srivastava, Nishant K.; Jha, Sangeet K.; Sinha, Awadhesh K.; Masto, Reginald E.; Selvi, Vetrivel A.

    2007-09-01

    Lignite fly ash (LFA), being alkaline and endowed with excellent pozzolanic properties, a silt loam texture, and plant nutrients, has the potential to improve soil quality and productivity. Long-term field trials with groundnut, maize, and sun hemp were carried out to study the effect of LFA on growth and yield. Before crop I was sown, LFA was applied at various doses with and without press mud (an organic waste from the sugar industry, used as an amendment and source of nutrients). LFA with and without press mud was also applied before crops III and V were cultivated. Chemical fertilizer, along with gypsum, humic acid, and biofertilizer, was applied in all treatments, including the control. With one-time and repeat applications of LFA (with and without press mud), yield increased significantly (7.0-89.0%) in relation to the control crop. The press mud enhanced the yield (3.0-15.0%) with different LFA applications. The highest yield LFA dose was 200 t/ha for one-time and repeat applications, the maximum yield being with crop III (combination treatment). One-time and repeat application of LFA (alone and in combination with press mud) improved soil quality and the nutrient content of the produce. The highest dose of LFA (200 t/ha) with and without press mud showed the best residual effects (eco-friendly increases in the yield of succeeding crops). Some increase in trace- and heavy-metal contents and in the level of γ-emitters in soil and crop produce, but well within permissible limits, was observed. Thus, LFA can be used on a large scale to boost soil fertility and productivity with no adverse effects on the soil or crops, which may solve the problem of bulk disposal of fly ash in an eco-friendly manner.

  12. Management of mine spoil for crop productivity with lignite fly ash and biological amendments.

    PubMed

    Ram, L C; Srivastava, N K; Tripathi, R C; Jha, S K; Sinha, A K; Singh, G; Manoharan, V

    2006-04-01

    Long-term field trials using lignite fly ash (LFA) were carried out in rice crops during the period 1996-2000 at Mine I, Neyveli Lignite Corporation, Tamil Nadu. LFA, being alkaline and endowed with an excellent pozzolanic nature, silt loam texture, and plant nutrients, has the potential to improve the texture, fertility, and crop productivity of mine spoil. The rice crops were the first, third, fifth, and sixth crops in rotation. The other crops, such as green gram (second) and sun hemp (fourth), were grown as green manure. For experimental trials, LFA was applied at various dosages (0, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 t/ha), with and without press mud (10 t/ha), before cultivation of the first crop. Repeat applications of LFA were made at the same dosages in treatments of up to 50 t/ha (with and without press mud) before cultivation of the third and fifth crops. Press mud, a lightweight organic waste product from the sugar industry, was used as an organic amendment and source of plant nutrients. Also, a recommended dosage of chemical fertilizer, along with gypsum, humic acid, and biofertilizer as supplementing agents, was applied in all the treatments, including control. With one-time and repeat applications of LFA, from 5 to 20 t/ha (with and without press mud), the crop yield (grain and straw) increased significantly (p < 0.05), in the range from 3.0 to 42.0% over the corresponding control. The maximum yield was obtained with repeat applications of 20 t/ha of LFA with press mud in the third crop. The press mud enhanced the yield in the range of 1.5-10.2% with various dosages of LFA. The optimum dosage of LFA was 20 t/ha for both one-time and repeat applications. Repeat applications of LFA at lower dosages of up to 20 t/ha were more effective in increasing the yield than the corresponding one-time applications of up to 20 t/ha and repeat applications at 50 t/ha. One-time and repeat applications of LFA of up to 20 t/ha (with and without press mud), apart from

  13. Global Simulation of Bioenergy Crop Productivity: Analytical framework and Case Study for Switchgrass

    SciTech Connect

    Nair, S. Surendran; Nichols, Jeff A. {Cyber Sciences}; Post, Wilfred M; Wang, Dali; Wullschleger, Stan D; Kline, Keith L; Wei, Yaxing; Singh, Nagendra; Kang, Shujiang

    2014-01-01

    Contemporary global assessments of the deployment potential and sustainability aspects of biofuel crops lack quantitative details. This paper describes an analytical framework capable of meeting the challenges associated with global scale agro-ecosystem modeling. We designed a modeling platform for bioenergy crops, consisting of five major components: (i) standardized global natural resources and management data sets, (ii) global simulation unit and management scenarios, (iii) model calibration and validation, (iv) high-performance computing (HPC) modeling, and (v) simulation output processing and analysis. A case study with the HPC- Environmental Policy Integrated Climate model (HPC-EPIC) to simulate a perennial bioenergy crop, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and global biomass feedstock analysis on grassland demonstrates the application of this platform. The results illustrate biomass feedstock variability of switchgrass and provide insights on how the modeling platform can be expanded to better assess sustainable production criteria and other biomass crops. Feedstock potentials on global grasslands and within different countries are also shown. Future efforts involve developing databases of productivity, implementing global simulations for other bioenergy crops (e.g. miscanthus, energycane and agave), and assessing environmental impacts under various management regimes. We anticipated this platform will provide an exemplary tool and assessment data for international communities to conduct global analysis of biofuel biomass feedstocks and sustainability.

  14. Cost estimate for muddy water palladium production facility at Mound

    SciTech Connect

    McAdams, R.K.

    1988-11-30

    An economic feasibility study was performed on the ''Muddy Water'' low-chlorine content palladium powder production process developed by Mound. The total capital investment and total operating costs (dollars per gram) were determined for production batch sizes of 1--10 kg in 1-kg increments. The report includes a brief description of the Muddy Water process, the process flow diagram, and material balances for the various production batch sizes. Two types of facilities were evaluated--one for production of new, ''virgin'' palladium powder, and one for recycling existing material. The total capital investment for virgin facilities ranged from $600,000 --$1.3 million for production batch sizes of 1--10 kg, respectively. The range for recycle facilities was $1--$2.3 million. The total operating cost for 100% acceptable powder production in the virgin facilities ranged from $23 per gram for a 1-kg production batch size to $8 per gram for a 10-kg batch size. Similarly for recycle facilities, the total operating cost ranged from $34 per gram to $5 per gram. The total operating cost versus product acceptability (ranging from 50%--100% acceptability) was also evaluated for both virgin and recycle facilities. Because production sizes studied vary widely and because scale-up factors are unknown for batch sizes greater than 1 kg, all costs are ''order-of-magnitude'' estimates. All costs reported are in 1987 dollars.

  15. Can reducing tillage and increasing crop diversity benefit grain and forage production?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Benefits of reduced tillage and diverse rotation cropping systems include reversing soil C loss, mitigating greenhouse gas production, and improving soil health. However, adoption of these strategies is lagging, particularly in the upper Midwest, due to a perception that reduced tillage reduces cro...

  16. Enzymatic saccharification of dilute acid pretreated saline crops for fermentable sugar production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Four saline crops [athel (Tamarix aphylla L), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), Jose Tall Wheatgrass (Agropyron elongatum), and Creeping Wild Ryegrass (Leymus triticoides)] that are used in farms for salt uptake from soil and drainage irrigation water have the potential for fuel ethanol product...

  17. Enzymatic saccharization of dilute acid pretreated saline crops for fermentable sugar production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Four saline crops [athel (Tamarix aphylla L), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), Jose Tall Wheatgrass (Agropyron elongatum), and Creeping Wild Ryegrass (Leymus triticoides)] that are used in farms for salt uptake from soil and drainage irrigation water have the potential for fuel ethanol product...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schweitzer, L. E.

    1986-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  2. Uncertainty analysis of an irrigation scheduling model for water management in crop production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Irrigation scheduling tools are critical to allow producers to manage water resources for crop production in an accurate and timely manner. To be useful, these tools need to be accurate, complete, and relatively reliable. The current work presents the uncertainty analysis and its results for the Mis...

  3. Soil water infiltration affected by topsoil thickness in row crop and switchgrass production systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conversion of annual grain crop systems to biofuel production systems can restore soil hydrologic function; however, information on these effects is limited. Hence, the objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of topsoil thickness on water infiltration in claypan soils for grain and swi...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1969

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1969

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

  6. Meteorological fluctuations define long-term crop yield patterns in conventional and organic production systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Periodic variability in meteorological patterns presents significant challenges to crop production consistency and yield stability. Meteorological influences on corn and soybean grain yields were analyzed over an 18-year period at a long-term experiment in Beltsville, Maryland, U.S.A., comparing c...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. Reactors Save Energy, Costs for Hydrogen Production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2014-01-01

    While examining fuel-reforming technology for fuel cells onboard aircraft, Glenn Research Center partnered with Garrettsville, Ohio-based Catacel Corporation through the Glenn Alliance Technology Exchange program and a Space Act Agreement. Catacel developed a stackable structural reactor that is now employed for commercial hydrogen production and results in energy savings of about 20 percent.

  9. A probabilistic model framework for evaluating year-to-year variation in crop productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yokozawa, M.; Iizumi, T.; Tao, F.

    2008-12-01

    Most models describing the relation between crop productivity and weather condition have so far been focused on mean changes of crop yield. For keeping stable food supply against abnormal weather as well as climate change, evaluating the year-to-year variations in crop productivity rather than the mean changes is more essential. We here propose a new framework of probabilistic model based on Bayesian inference and Monte Carlo simulation. As an example, we firstly introduce a model on paddy rice production in Japan. It is called PRYSBI (Process- based Regional rice Yield Simulator with Bayesian Inference; Iizumi et al., 2008). The model structure is the same as that of SIMRIW, which was developed and used widely in Japan. The model includes three sub- models describing phenological development, biomass accumulation and maturing of rice crop. These processes are formulated to include response nature of rice plant to weather condition. This model inherently was developed to predict rice growth and yield at plot paddy scale. We applied it to evaluate the large scale rice production with keeping the same model structure. Alternatively, we assumed the parameters as stochastic variables. In order to let the model catch up actual yield at larger scale, model parameters were determined based on agricultural statistical data of each prefecture of Japan together with weather data averaged over the region. The posterior probability distribution functions (PDFs) of parameters included in the model were obtained using Bayesian inference. The MCMC (Markov Chain Monte Carlo) algorithm was conducted to numerically solve the Bayesian theorem. For evaluating the year-to-year changes in rice growth/yield under this framework, we firstly iterate simulations with set of parameter values sampled from the estimated posterior PDF of each parameter and then take the ensemble mean weighted with the posterior PDFs. We will also present another example for maize productivity in China. The

  10. Comparing the Net Ecosystem Exchange of Two Cropping Systems for Dairy Feed Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulaiman, M. F.; Wagner-Riddle, C.; Brown, S. E.

    2015-12-01

    A three-year study was conducted from 2012 to 2014 to determine the net CO2 fluxes from corn and hay, the two main feed crops used in dairy production. The aim of this study is to better understand the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) in annual and perennial cropping systems used in dairy production to benefit greenhouse gas emission model developments and the life cycle analysis of dairy production. The study was conducted on two 4-ha plots where one plot was a 5-year old hayfield and the other plot was planted in a continuous cycle corn. All plots were continuously monitored using the flux-gradient method deployed with a tunable diode laser trace gas analyzer and sonic anemometers. All plots received dairy manure as fertilizer applied according to common practice. The cumulative NEE for the three years of the study was -873.15 g C m-2 for corn and -409.36 g C m-2 for hay. Differences in respiration between the two cropping systems was found to be the larger factor compared to differences in gross ecosystem production (GEP) that resulted in the contrasting cumulative NEE where cumulative respiration for the three years for hay was 3094.23 g C m-2 as opposed to 2078.11 g C m-2 for corn. Cumulative GEP for the three years was 3503.60 and 2951.31 g C m-2 for hay and corn respectively. Inter-annual and inter-crop variability of the NEE, GEP and respiration will be discussed in relation to biomass production, climatic conditions and crop physiological characteristics.

  11. The Production Effect: Costs and Benefits in Free Recall

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Angela C.; Pyc, Mary A.

    2014-01-01

    The production effect, the memorial benefit for information read aloud versus silently, has been touted as a simple memory improvement tool. The current experiments were designed to evaluate the relative costs and benefits of production using a free recall paradigm. Results extend beyond prior work showing a production effect only when production…

  12. Rice production in relation to soil quality under different rice-based cropping systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tran Ba, Linh; Sleutel, Steven; Nguyen Van, Qui; Thi, Guong Vo; Le Van, Khoa; Cornelis, Wim

    2016-04-01

    Soil quality of shallow paddy soils may be improved by introducing upland crops and thus a more diverse crop cultivation pattern. Yet, the causal relationship between crop performance and enhanced soil traits in rice-upland crop rotations remains elusive. The objectives of this study were to (i) find correlations among soil properties under different rice-upland crop systems and link selected soil properties to rice growth and yield, (ii) present appropriate values of soil parameters for sustainable rice productivity in heavy clay soil, (iii) evaluate the effect of rotating rice with upland crops on rice yield and economic benefit in a long-term experiment. A rice-upland crop rotational field experiment in the Vietnamese Mekong delta was conducted for 10 years using a randomized complete block design with four treatments and four replications. Treatments were: (i) rice-rice-rice (control - conventional system as farmers' practice), (ii) rice-maize-rice, (iii) rice-mung bean-rice, and (iv) rice-mung bean-maize. Soil and plant sampling were performed after harvest of the rice crop at the end of the final winter-spring cropping season (i.e. year 10). Results show differences in rice growth and yield, and economic benefit as an effect of the crop rotation system. These differences were linked with changes in bulk density, soil porosity, soil aggregate stability index, soil penetration resistance, soil macro-porosity, soil organic carbon, acid hydrolysable soil C and soil nutrient elements, especially at soil depth of 20-30 cm. This is evidenced by the strong correlation (P < 0.01) between rice plant parameters, rice yield and soil properties such as bulk density, porosity, penetration resistance, soil organic carbon and Chydrolysable. It turned out that good rice root growth and rice yield corresponded to bulk density values lower than 1.3 Mg m-3, soil porosity higher than 50%, penetration resistance below 1.0 MPa, and soil organic carbon above 25 g kg-1. The optimal

  13. Genetically engineered crops for biofuel production: regulatory perspectives.

    PubMed

    Lee, David; Chen, Alice; Nair, Ramesh

    2008-01-01

    There are numerous challenges in realizing the potential of biofuels that many policy makers have envisioned. The technical challenges in making the production of biofuels economical and on a scale to replace a significant fraction of transportation fuel have been well described, along with the potential environmental concerns. The use of biotechnology can potentially address many of these technical challenges and environmental concerns, but brings significant regulatory hurdles that have not been discussed extensively in the scientific community. This review will give an overview of the approaches being developed to produce transgenic biofuel feedstocks, particularly cellulosic ethanol, and the regulatory process in the United States that oversees the development and commercialization of new transgenic plants. We hope to illustrate that the level of regulation for transgenic organisms is not proportional to their potential risk to human health or the environment, and that revisions to the regulatory system in the U.S. currently under consideration are necessary to streamline the process.

  14. Benefits of supplementing an industrial waste anaerobic digester with energy crops for increased biogas production

    SciTech Connect

    Nges, Ivo Achu; Escobar, Federico; Fu Xinmei; Bjoernsson, Lovisa

    2012-01-15

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer This study demonstrates the feasibility of co-digestion food industrial waste with energy crops. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Laboratory batch co-digestion led to improved methane yield and carbon to nitrogen ratio as compared to mono-digestion of industrial waste. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Co-digestion was also seen as a means of degrading energy crops with nutrients addition as crops are poor in nutrients. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Batch co-digestion methane yields were used to predict co-digestion methane yield in full scale operation. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer It was concluded that co-digestion led an over all economically viable process and ensured a constant supply of feedstock. - Abstract: Currently, there is increasing competition for waste as feedstock for the growing number of biogas plants. This has led to fluctuation in feedstock supply and biogas plants being operated below maximum capacity. The feasibility of supplementing a protein/lipid-rich industrial waste (pig manure, slaughterhouse waste, food processing and poultry waste) mesophilic anaerobic digester with carbohydrate-rich energy crops (hemp, maize and triticale) was therefore studied in laboratory scale batch and continuous stirred tank reactors (CSTR) with a view to scale-up to a commercial biogas process. Co-digesting industrial waste and crops led to significant improvement in methane yield per ton of feedstock and carbon-to-nitrogen ratio as compared to digestion of the industrial waste alone. Biogas production from crops in combination with industrial waste also avoids the need for micronutrients normally required in crop digestion. The batch co-digestion methane yields were used to predict co-digestion methane yield in full scale operation. This was done based on the ratio of methane yields observed for laboratory batch and CSTR experiments compared to full scale CSTR digestion of industrial waste. The economy of crop-based biogas

  15. Production costs of biodiversity zones on field and forest margins: a case study in Finland.

    PubMed

    Miettinen, Antti; Hyytiäinen, Kari; Mäkinen, Antti

    2012-07-30

    This paper estimates and compares the costs incurred to a private landowner from establishing and managing 25-m wide biodiversity zones on field and forest margins in southern Finland. Crop and timber prices being at their long-term averages, current agricultural support paid and the real discount rate 3%, the average annual net costs per hectare of field and forest biodiversity zones were €30 ha(-1) and €108 ha(-1), respectively, the field zones being the less costly alternative in 95% of cases. This result is mainly due to the poor productivity of field cultivation relative to timber production under boreal climate conditions. In addition to soil quality, the initial stand structure affects the costs of both biodiversity zone types. It is less costly for a landowner to establish biodiversity zones in forests where no final felling is imminent but which already contain some tree volume. In field biodiversity zones, costs are slightly lower on fields where forest shading is great. Uneven-aged management practiced in forest biodiversity zones was found to lead to a 3-32% reduction in the net present value of forest land compared to conventional forest management. An increase in the real discount rate increases the relative efficiency of forest biodiversity zones.

  16. Matching Crew Diet and Crop Food Production in BIO-Plex

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Harry; Kwauk, Xianmin; Mead, Susan C. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    This paper matches the BIO-Plex crop food production to the crew diet requirements. The expected average calorie requirement for BIO-Plex is 2,975 Calories per crewmember per day, for a randomly selected crew with a typical level of physical activity. The range of 2,550 to 3,400 Calories will cover about two-thirds of all crews. The exact calorie requirement will depend on the gender composition, individual weights, exercise, and work effort of the selected crew. The expected average crewmember calorie requirement can be met by 430 grams of carbohydrate, 100 grams of fat, and 90 grams of protein per crewmember per day, for a total of 620 grams. Some fat can replaced by carbohydrate. Each crewmember requires only 2 grams of vitamins and minerals per day. Only unusually restricted diets may lack essential nutrients. The Advanced Life Support (ALS) consensus is that BIO-Plex should grow wheat, potato, and soybean, and maybe sweet potato or peanut, and maybe lettuce and tomato. The BIO-Plex Biomass Production System food production and the external food supply must be matched to the crew diet requirement for calories and nutritional balance. The crop production and external supply specifications can each be varied as long as their sum matches the required diet specification. We have wide flexibility in choosing the crops and resupply. We can easily grow one-half the crew calories in one BIO-Plex Biomass Production Chamber (BPC) if we grow only the most productive crops (wheat, potato, and sweet potato) and it we achieve nominal crop productivity. If we assume higher productivity we can grow a wider variety of crops. If we grow one-half of the crew calories, externally supplied foods can easily provide the other half of the calories and balance the diet. We can not grow 95 percent of the crew calories in two BPCs at nominal productivity while growing a balanced diet. We produce maximum calories by growing wheat, potato, and peanut.

  17. The Metabolic Costs of Sound Production in Odontocete Cetaceans

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. The Metabolic Costs of Sound Production in Odontocete...of masking from environmental sounds (NRC 2003). Although accumulating evidence from recent research (Scheifele et al. 2005, Holt et al. 2009, Parks...potential energetic costs of such compensation behavior are unknown. To our knowledge, there is no empirical data on the metabolic cost of sound

  18. Farmers' Perception of Integrated Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management for Sustainable Crop Production: A Study of Rural Areas in Bangladesh

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farouque, Md. Golam; Takeya, Hiroyuki

    2007-01-01

    This study aimed to determine farmers' perception of integrated soil fertility and nutrient management for sustainable crop production. Integrated soil fertility (ISF) and nutrient management (NM) is an advanced approach to maintain soil fertility and to enhance crop productivity. A total number of 120 farmers from eight villages in four districts…

  19. Low-cost process for hydrogen production

    DOEpatents

    Cha, C.H.; Bauer, H.F.; Grimes, R.W.

    1993-03-30

    A method is provided for producing hydrogen and carbon black from hydrocarbon gases comprising mixing the hydrocarbon gases with a source of carbon and applying radiofrequency energy to the mixture. The hydrocarbon gases and the carbon can both be the products of gasification of coal, particularly the mild gasification of coal. A method is also provided for producing hydrogen and carbon monoxide by treating a mixture of hydrocarbon gases and steam with radio-frequency energy.

  20. Low-cost process for hydrogen production

    DOEpatents

    Cha, Chang Y.; Bauer, Hans F.; Grimes, Robert W.

    1993-01-01

    A method is provided for producing hydrogen and carbon black from hydrocarbon gases comprising mixing the hydrocarbon gases with a source of carbon and applying radiofrequency energy to the mixture. The hydrocarbon gases and the carbon can both be the products of gasification of coal, particularly the mild gasification of coal. A method is also provided for producing hydrogen an carbon monoxide by treating a mixture of hydrocarbon gases and steam with radio-frequency energy.

  1. Potential negative consequences of geoengineering on crop production: A study of Indian groundnut

    PubMed Central

    Dobbie, Steven; Ramirez‐Villegas, Julian; Feng, Kuishuang; Challinor, Andrew J.; Chen, Bing; Gao, Yao; Lee, Lindsay; Yin, Yan; Sun, Laixiang; Watson, James; Koehler, Ann‐Kristin; Fan, Tingting; Ghosh, Sat

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Geoengineering has been proposed to stabilize global temperature, but its impacts on crop production and stability are not fully understood. A few case studies suggest that certain crops are likely to benefit from solar dimming geoengineering, yet we show that geoengineering is projected to have detrimental effects for groundnut. Using an ensemble of crop‐climate model simulations, we illustrate that groundnut yields in India undergo a statistically significant decrease of up to 20% as a result of solar dimming geoengineering relative to RCP4.5. It is somewhat reassuring, however, to find that after a sustained period of 50 years of geoengineering crop yields return to the nongeoengineered values within a few years once the intervention is ceased. PMID:28190903

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  3. Economic Indicators of the Farm Sector. Costs of Production, 1985.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Economic Research Service (USDA), Washington, DC.

    This report presents the Economic Research Service's estimates of the costs of producing wheat, feed grains, cotton, and dairy commodities. It includes costs for other farm products that compete with the required commodities, namely rice, peanuts, soybeans, flax, sunflowers, fed cattle, hogs, sheep, and sugar. The report begins by assessing costs…

  4. Increased production of nutriments by genetically engineered crops.

    PubMed

    Sévenier, Robert; van der Meer, Ingrid M; Bino, Raoul; Koops, Andries J

    2002-06-01

    Plants are the basis of human nutrition and have been selected and improved to assure this purpose. Nowadays, new technologies such as genetic engineering and genomics approaches allow further improvement of plants. We describe here three examples for which these techniques have been employed. We introduced the first enzyme involved in fructan synthesis, the sucrose sucrose fructosyltransferase (isolated from Jerusalem artichoke), into sugar beet. The transgenic sugar beet showed a dramatic change in the nature of the accumulated sugar, 90% of the sucrose being converted into fructan. The use of transgenic sugar beet for the production and isolation of fructans will result in a more efficient plant production system of fructans and should promote their use in human food. The second example shows how the over-expression of the key enzyme of flavonoid biosynthesis could increase anti-oxidant levels in tomato. Introduction of a highly expressed chalcone isomerase led to a seventyfold increase of the amount of quercetin glucoside, which is a strong anti-oxidant in tomato. We were also able to modify the essential amino acid content of potato in order to increase its nutritional value. The introduction of a feedback insensitive bacterial gene involved in biosynthesis of aspartate family amino acids led to a sixfold increase of the lysine content. Because the use of a bacterial gene could appear to be controversial, we also introduced a mutated form of the plant key enzyme of lysine biosynthesis (dihydrodipicolinate synthase) in potato. This modification led to a 15 times increase of the lysine content of potato. This increase of the essential amino acid lysine influences the nutritional value of potato, which normally has low levels of several essential amino acids. These three examples show how the metabolism of primary constituents of the plant cell such as sugar or amino acids, but also of secondary metabolites such as flavonoids, can be modified by genetic

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  6. [Simulating net primary production of rice and wheat crops: model validation and scenario prediction].

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhao-fang; Yu, Yong-qiang; Huang, Yao

    2005-03-01

    A model developed by the authors was validated against a total of 98 independent data sets to simulate net primary production (NPP) of rice and wheat crops. These data sets come from literature review and include field measurements conducted in different regions of China with various rates of N application. Model validation indicates that NPP of rice and wheat crops in main cultivated-area of China can be well simulated from weather, soil and N fertilization. A comparison between the simulated (y) and the observed NPP (x) resulted in a regression of y = 1.05x- 16.8 (r2= 0.771,p < 0.001, n = 98). Model scenario prediction for Nanjing area suggests that the increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration will enhance carbon fixation, while the increase of air temperature will reduce carbon fixation by rice and wheat crops. Effect of global warming on the wheat carbon fixation is less than on the rice. Under present and future scenario with atmospheric CO2 concentration of 540 micromol x mol(-1) and temperature increment of 1-4 degrees C, N fertilization will enhance carbon fixation of rice and wheat crops. The enhancement for wheat is more significant than that for rice crop. However, the application of N will not significantly improve the carbon fixation, even reduce rice NPP when the N application rate is higher than 150 kg x hm(-2).

  7. Production-Built Homes: The Cost Advantages of Smart Growth

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This study identifies the components and techniques of home building in traditional versus conventional developments, and attempts to help production builders better understand the cost differences between the two types of developments.

  8. Cost Benefit Analysis of Consumer Product Safety Standards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Betty F.; Dardis, Rachel

    1977-01-01

    This paper investigates the role of cost-benefit analysis in evaluating consumer product safety standards and applys such analysis to an evaluation of flammability standards for children's sleepwear. (Editor)

  9. Pre-measured Products Boost Efficiency, Cut Costs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Floyd G.; Pleasant, James

    1974-01-01

    Reduction of storage requirements, purchasing problems, handling, and costs has become a reality through the use of cleaning products in portion-controlled packages at the Chicago Circle Campus and the Medical Center of the University of Illinois. (Author)

  10. Risk of water scarcity and water policy implications for crop production in the Ebro Basin in Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quiroga, S.; Fernández-Haddad, Z.; Iglesias, A.

    2010-08-01

    The increasing pressure on water systems in the Mediterranean enhances existing water conflicts and threatens water supply for agriculture. In this context, one of the main priorities for agricultural research and public policy is the adaptation of crop yields to water pressures. This paper focuses on the evaluation of hydrological risk and water policy implications for food production. Our methodological approach includes four steps. For the first step, we estimate the impacts of rainfall and irrigation water on crop yields. However, this study is not limited to general crop production functions since it also considers the linkages between those economic and biophysical aspects which may have an important effect on crop productivity. We use statistical models of yield response to address how hydrological variables affect the yield of the main Mediterranean crops in the Ebro River Basin. In the second step, this study takes into consideration the effects of those interactions and analyzes gross value added sensitivity to crop production changes. We then use Montecarlo simulations to characterize crop yield risk to water variability. Finally we evaluate some policy scenarios with irrigated area adjustments that could cope in a context of increased water scarcity. A substantial decrease in irrigated land, of up to 30% of total, results in only moderate losses of crop productivity. The response is crop and region specific and may serve to prioritise adaptation strategies.

  11. Management of lignite fly ash for improving soil fertility and crop productivity

    SciTech Connect

    Ram, L.C.; Srivastava, N.K.; Jha, S.K.; Sinha, A.K.; Masto, R.E.; Selvi, V.A.

    2007-09-15

    Lignite fly ash (LFA), being alkaline and endowed with excellent pozzolanic properties, a silt loam texture, and plant nutrients, has the potential to improve soil quality and productivity. Long-term field trials with groundnut, maize, and sun hemp were carried out to study the effect of LFA on growth and yield. Before crop I was sown, LFA was applied at various doses with and without press mud (an organic waste from the sugar industry, used as an amendment and source of nutrients). LFA with and without press mud was also applied before crops III and V were cultivated. Chemical fertilizer, along with gypsum, humic acid, and bioferfertilizer, was applied in all treatments, including the control. With one-time and repeat applications of LFA (with and without press mud), yield increased significantly (7.0-89.0%) in relation to the control crop. The press mud enhanced the yield (3.0-15.0%) with different LFA applications. One-time and repeat application of LFA (alone and in combination with press mud) improved soil quality and the nutrient content of the produce. The highest dose of LFA (200 t/ha) with and without press mud showed the best residual effects (eco-friendly increases in the yield of succeeding crops). Some increase in trace- and heavy metal contents and in the level of gamma-emitters in soil and crop produce, but well within permissible limits, was observed. Thus, LFA can be used on a large scale to boost soil fertility and productivity with no adverse effects on the soil or crops, which may solve the problem of bulk disposal of fly ash in an eco-friendly manner.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  13. Evaluation of electric vehicle production and operating costs

    SciTech Connect

    Cuenca, R. M.; Gaines, L. L.; Vyas, A. D.

    2000-05-23

    This report presents an analysis of the initial cost of electric vehicles (EVs). The manufacturing and retail cost structure of mature conventional vehicles produced at high volume is analyzed first, and the contributions by various cost categories to vehicle price are estimated. The costs are then allocated to such vehicle component groups as body, chassis, and powertrain. The similarities and differences among various component systems are reviewed. In electric vehicles, an electric drive replaces the conventional powertrain, and a battery pack replaces the fuel system. Three types of traction motors are reviewed, and their cost in high-volume production is analyzed. Various components of the motor and controller package are analyzed, and their representative costs are summarized. Four types of EV batteries are reviewed, and their costs are presented. Various alternatives for the low-, medium-, and high-volume production of EVs are evaluated, and some sample costs are presented. A methodology that estimates initial and operating costs on the basis of this analysis is presented. The methodology also estimates the average lifetime cost of owning and operating an electric vehicle.

  14. Irrigation with Treated Urban Wastewater for Bioenergy Crop Production in the Far West Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ganjegunte, G. K.; Clark, J. A.; Wu, Y.

    2011-12-01

    In the recent years, interest in biobased fuels is increasing and the congressionally mandated goal is to use at least 36 billion gallons of bio-based transportation fuels by 2022. However, in 2009 the U.S. produced about 10.75 billion gallons of ethanol, primarily as corn starch ethanol and 550 million gallons of biodiesel. Thus, there is a huge gap between the current capacity and the mandated goal. USDA estimates that about 27 million acres of land has to be brought under bioenergy crops to produce 36 billion gallons of bio-based fuels. Meeting the challenge of bridging this huge gap requires a comprehensive regional strategy that includes bringing addition area from different regions within the country under bioenergy crops. In the southwest U.S. region such as west Texas or southern New Mexico, bringing vast abandoned crop lands and areas having permeable soils under bioenergy crops can be a part of such a regional strategy. While the region has adequate supply of land, finding reliable source of water to produce bioenergy crops is the main challenge. This challenge can be met by developing marginal quality water sources for bioenergy crops production. Use of marginal quality waters such as treated urban wastewater/saline groundwater to irrigate bioenergy crops may prove beneficial, if the bioenergy crops can grow under elevated salinity and the effects on soil and shallow groundwater can be minimized by appropriate management. The region has enormous potential for marginal quality water irrigation to produce bioenergy crops for a greater farm return. For example, at present, in El Paso alone, the total volume of treated municipal and industrial wastewater is about 65,000 acre-feet/year, of which only 13% is being reused for industrial processes and irrigating urban landscapes. The major concern associated with treated wastewater irrigation is its salinity (electrical conductivity or EC which measures salinity ranges from 1.8 to 2.1 dS m-1) and sodicity

  15. Magnesium for automotive applications: Primary production cost assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, Sujit

    2003-11-01

    Production technologies must be cost effective for primary magnesium to become an economically viable alternative material for wide spread automotive applications. In this article, the prices at which magnesium becomes competitive with aluminum and steel are examined, including magnesium production cost estimates for current and future scenarios using electrolytic and thermal processes. The economic viability of the industry for automotive applications is also examined in the context of magnesium market price, taking into consideration the dynamics of its supply and demand as well.

  16. The Metabolic Cost of Click Production in Bottlenose Dolphins

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    duration, and/or repetition rate of their acoustic signals as a strategy to help reduce the probability of masking from environmental sounds (NRC 2003...behavior are unknown. To date, the only empirical data on the metabolic cost of sound production as well as the metabolic cost of increasing the...previous work was on whistle and social sound production in bottlenose dolphins (Holt et al. 2011 a, b, Noren et al. 2011). There is currently no

  17. The Metabolic Costs of Sound Production in Odontocete Cetaceans

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. The Metabolic Costs of Sound Production in Odontocete...of their acoustic signals as a strategy to help reduce the probability of masking from environmental sounds (NRC 2003). Although accumulating...our knowledge, there is no empirical data on the metabolic cost of sound production for any marine mammal species. Given that changes in vocal

  18. The Metabolic Costs of Sound Production in Odontocete Cetaceans

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. The Metabolic Costs of Sound Production in Odontocete...or repetition rate of their acoustic signals as a strategy to help reduce the probability of masking from environmental sounds (NRC 2003...are unknown. To our knowledge, there is no empirical data on the metabolic cost of sound production for any marine mammal species. Given that

  19. Simulating changes in cropping practices in conventional and glyphosate-resistant maize. II. Weed impacts on crop production and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Colbach, Nathalie; Darmency, Henri; Fernier, Alice; Granger, Sylvie; Le Corre, Valérie; Messéan, Antoine

    2017-04-06

    Overreliance on the same herbicide mode of action leads to the spread of resistant weeds, which cancels the advantages of herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops. Here, the objective was to quantify, with simulations, the impact of glyphosate-resistant (GR) weeds on crop production and weed-related wild biodiversity in HT maize-based cropping systems differing in terms of management practices. We (1) simulated current conventional and probable HT cropping systems in two European regions, Aquitaine and Catalonia, with the weed dynamics model FLORSYS; (2) quantified how much the presence of GR weeds contributed to weed impacts on crop production and biodiversity; (3) determined the effect of cultural practices on the impact of GR weeds and (4) identified which species traits most influence weed-impact indicators. The simulation study showed that during the analysed 28 years, the advent of glyphosate resistance had little effect on plant biodiversity. Glyphosate-susceptible populations and species were replaced by GR ones. Including GR weeds only affected functional biodiversity (food offer for birds, bees and carabids) and weed harmfulness when weed effect was initially low; when weed effect was initially high, including GR weeds had little effect. The GR effect also depended on cultural practices, e.g. GR weeds were most detrimental for species equitability when maize was sown late. Species traits most harmful for crop production and most beneficial for biodiversity were identified, using RLQ analyses. None of the species presenting these traits belonged to a family for which glyphosate resistance was reported. An advice table was built; the effects of cultural practices on crop production and biodiversity were synthesized, explained, quantified and ranked, and the optimal choices for each management technique were identified.

  20. SIDE-EFFECTS OF COMMONLY USED CROP PROTECTION PRODUCTS IN PEAR ON TWO BENEFICIAL MIRIDAE BUGS.

    PubMed

    Vrancken, K; Belien, T; Bylemans, D

    2015-01-01

    Anthocoris nemoralis, Anthocoris nemorum and Orius spp. are not the only beneficial predatory bugs inhabiting pear orchards in Belgium. Quite often, the Miridae bugs Heterotoma spp. and Pilophorus spp. can be found during spring and summer in these orchards, thereby feeding on several pests such as psyllids, aphids, spider mites, ... . Side-effects are usually assessed on Anthocoris and Orius spp., but due to the potential importance of Miridae bugs in pest reduction, we tested some commonly used crop protection products used in pear cultivation on Heterotoma planicornis and Pilophorus perplexus (residue-based tests in petri-dishes). One day after treatment, mortalities already could be observed for some products. Seven days after treatment, abamectin, deltamethrin and thiacloprid were considered the most toxic products as stated by the IOBC classification. This outcome was then analysed with regard to different treatment schedules, providing insights in potential side-effects on crop protection treatments on the composition of beneficial fauna in pear orchards.

  1. Global regulatory framework for production and marketing of crops biofortified with vitamins and minerals.

    PubMed

    Mejia, Luis A; Dary, Omar; Boukerdenna, Hala

    2017-02-01

    Biofortification of crops is being introduced in several countries as a strategy to reduce micronutrient deficiencies. Biofortified products, with increased contents of micronutrients, are currently produced by conventional plant breeding, genetic modification, or nutrient-enhanced fertilization. Corn, rice, wheat, beans, pearl millet, sweet potato, and cassava have been biofortified with increased contents of provitamin A carotenoids, iron, or zinc. However, regulatory considerations are rare or nonexistent. The objective of this paper is to review the regulatory framework for production and marketing of biofortified crops in countries that have adopted this strategy. The information was identified using Internet search engines and websites of health and nutrition organizations and nongovernmental organizations and by consulting scientists and government authorities. Thus far, biofortified products introduced in Latin America, Africa, and Asia have been produced only by conventional breeding. Cultivars using other techniques are still under testing. The production and marketing of these products have been conducted without regulatory framework and under limited government control or regulatory guidance. Nevertheless, some countries have integrated biofortified crops into their nutrition agendas. Although improvements by conventional breeding have not been subject to regulations, when biofortification becomes expanded by including other techniques, an appropriate regulatory framework will be necessary.

  2. Bio-based and biodegradable plastics for use in crop production.

    PubMed

    Riggi, Ezio; Santagata, Gabriella; Malinconico, Mario

    2011-01-01

    The production and management of crops uses plastics for many applications (e.g., low tunnels, high tunnels, greenhouses, mulching, silage bags, hay bales, pheromone traps, coatings of fertilizers or pesticides or hormones or seeds, and nursery pots and containers for growing transplants). All these applications have led some authors to adopt the term "plasticulture" when discussing the use of plastic materials in agriculture and related industries. Unfortunately, the sustainability of this use of plastics is low, and renewability and degradability have become key words in the debate over sustainable production and utilization of plastic. Recently, researchers and the plastics industry have made strong efforts (i) to identify new biopolymers and natural additives from renewable sources that can be used in plastics production and (ii) to enhance the degradability (biological or physical) of the new ecologically sustainable materials. In the present review, we describe the main research results, current applications, patents that have been applied for in the last two decades, and future perspectives on sustainable use of plastics to support crop production. The article presents some promising patents on bio-based and biodegradable plastics for use in crop production.

  3. Plant Productivity and Characterization of Zeoponic Substrates after Three Successive Crops of Radish (Raphanus sativus L.)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gruener, J. E.; Ming, Douglas W.; Galindo, C., Jr.; Henderson, K. E.; Golden, D. C.

    2007-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has developed a zeolite-based synthetic substrate, termed zeoponics. The zeoponic substrate (consisting of NH4(-) and K-exchanged clinoptilolite, synthetic apatite, and dolomite) provides all of the plant-essential nutrients through mineral dissolution and ion exchange, with only the addition of water. Previous studies have shown high productivity of wheat in zeoponic substrates; however, no experiments have been conducted on other crops. The objective of this study was to determine the productivity and nutrient uptake of radish (Raphanus sativus L.) grown in zeoponic substrates with three successive crops in the same substrate. Radish was chosen because of its sensitivities to NH4(+). Average fresh weights of edible roots were similar for radish grown in zeoponic substrates watered with deionized H2O (10.97 g/plant) and in potting mix control substrate irrigated with nutrient solution (10.92 g/plant). Average fresh weight production of edible roots for radish grown in same zeoponic substrate increased in yield over time with the lowest yield in the first crop (7.10 g/plant) and highest in the third crop (13.90 g/plant). The Ca plant tissue levels in radishes (1.8-2.9 wt. %) grown in zeoponic substrates are lower than the suggested sufficient range of 3.0-4.5 wt. % Ca; however, the Ca level is highest (2.9 wt. %) in radishes grown in the third crop in the same zeoponic substrates. The higher radish yield in the third crop was attributed to a reduction in an NH4(-) induced Ca deficiency that has been previously described for wheat grown in zeoponic substrates. The P levels in plant tissues of radish grown in the zeoponic substrates ranged from 0.94-1.15 wt. %; which is slightly higher than the sufficient levels of 0.3-0.7 wt. %. With the exception of Ca and P, other macronutrient and micronutrient levels in radish grown in zeoponic substrates were well within the recommended sufficient ranges. After three

  4. Soil Microbial Substrate Properties and Microbial Community Responses under Irrigated Organic and Reduced-Tillage Crop and Forage Production Systems

    PubMed Central

    Ghimire, Rajan; Norton, Jay B.; Stahl, Peter D.; Norton, Urszula

    2014-01-01

    Changes in soil microbiotic properties such as microbial biomass and community structure in response to alternative management systems are driven by microbial substrate quality and substrate utilization. We evaluated irrigated crop and forage production in two separate four-year experiments for differences in microbial substrate quality, microbial biomass and community structure, and microbial substrate utilization under conventional, organic, and reduced-tillage management systems. The six different management systems were imposed on fields previously under long-term, intensively tilled maize production. Soils under crop and forage production responded to conversion from monocropping to crop rotation, as well as to the three different management systems, but in different ways. Under crop production, four years of organic management resulted in the highest soil organic C (SOC) and microbial biomass concentrations, while under forage production, reduced-tillage management most effectively increased SOC and microbial biomass. There were significant increases in relative abundance of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, with two- to 36-fold increases in biomarker phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs). Under crop production, dissolved organic C (DOC) content was higher under organic management than under reduced-tillage and conventional management. Perennial legume crops and organic soil amendments in the organic crop rotation system apparently favored greater soil microbial substrate availability, as well as more microbial biomass compared with other management systems that had fewer legume crops in rotation and synthetic fertilizer applications. Among the forage production management systems with equivalent crop rotations, reduced-tillage management had higher microbial substrate availability and greater microbial biomass than other management systems. Combined crop rotation, tillage management, soil amendments, and legume crops in rotations considerably influenced soil

  5. Soil microbial substrate properties and microbial community responses under irrigated organic and reduced-tillage crop and forage production systems.

    PubMed

    Ghimire, Rajan; Norton, Jay B; Stahl, Peter D; Norton, Urszula

    2014-01-01

    Changes in soil microbiotic properties such as microbial biomass and community structure in response to alternative management systems are driven by microbial substrate quality and substrate utilization. We evaluated irrigated crop and forage production in two separate four-year experiments for differences in microbial substrate quality, microbial biomass and community structure, and microbial substrate utilization under conventional, organic, and reduced-tillage management systems. The six different management systems were imposed on fields previously under long-term, intensively tilled maize production. Soils under crop and forage production responded to conversion from monocropping to crop rotation, as well as to the three different management systems, but in different ways. Under crop production, four years of organic management resulted in the highest soil organic C (SOC) and microbial biomass concentrations, while under forage production, reduced-tillage management most effectively increased SOC and microbial biomass. There were significant increases in relative abundance of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, with two- to 36-fold increases in biomarker phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs). Under crop production, dissolved organic C (DOC) content was higher under organic management than under reduced-tillage and conventional management. Perennial legume crops and organic soil amendments in the organic crop rotation system apparently favored greater soil microbial substrate availability, as well as more microbial biomass compared with other management systems that had fewer legume crops in rotation and synthetic fertilizer applications. Among the forage production management systems with equivalent crop rotations, reduced-tillage management had higher microbial substrate availability and greater microbial biomass than other management systems. Combined crop rotation, tillage management, soil amendments, and legume crops in rotations considerably influenced soil

  6. Hydrogen Production Cost Estimate Using Biomass Gasification: Independent Review

    SciTech Connect

    Ruth, M.

    2011-10-01

    This independent review is the conclusion arrived at from data collection, document reviews, interviews and deliberation from December 2010 through April 2011 and the technical potential of Hydrogen Production Cost Estimate Using Biomass Gasification. The Panel reviewed the current H2A case (Version 2.12, Case 01D) for hydrogen production via biomass gasification and identified four principal components of hydrogen levelized cost: CapEx; feedstock costs; project financing structure; efficiency/hydrogen yield. The panel reexamined the assumptions around these components and arrived at new estimates and approaches that better reflect the current technology and business environments.

  7. Effect of manure vs. fertilizer inputs on productivity of forage crop models.

    PubMed

    Annicchiarico, Giovanni; Caternolo, Giovanni; Rossi, Emanuela; Martiniello, Pasquale

    2011-06-01

    Manure produced by livestock activity is a dangerous product capable of causing serious environmental pollution. Agronomic management practices on the use of manure may transform the target from a waste to a resource product. Experiments performed on comparison of manure with standard chemical fertilizers (CF) were studied under a double cropping per year regime (alfalfa, model I; Italian ryegrass-corn, model II; barley-seed sorghum, model III; and horse-bean-silage sorghum, model IV). The total amount of manure applied in the annual forage crops of the model II, III and IV was 158, 140 and 80 m3 ha(-1), respectively. The manure applied to soil by broadcast and injection procedure provides an amount of nitrogen equal to that supplied by CF. The effect of manure applications on animal feeding production and biochemical soil characteristics was related to the models. The weather condition and manures and CF showed small interaction among treatments. The number of MFU ha(-1) of biomass crop gross product produced in autumn and spring sowing models under manure applications was 11,769, 20,525, 11,342, 21,397 in models I through IV, respectively. The reduction of MFU ha(-1) under CF ranges from 10.7% to 13.2% those of the manure models. The effect of manure on organic carbon and total nitrogen of topsoil, compared to model I, stressed the parameters as CF whose amount was higher in models II and III than model IV. In term of percentage the organic carbon and total nitrogen of model I and treatment with manure was reduced by about 18.5 and 21.9% in model II and model III and 8.8 and 6.3% in model IV, respectively. Manure management may substitute CF without reducing gross production and sustainability of cropping systems, thus allowing the opportunity to recycle the waste product for animal forage feeding.

  8. Effect of Manure vs. Fertilizer Inputs on Productivity of Forage Crop Models

    PubMed Central

    Annicchiarico, Giovanni; Caternolo, Giovanni; Rossi, Emanuela; Martiniello, Pasquale

    2011-01-01

    Manure produced by livestock activity is a dangerous product capable of causing serious environmental pollution. Agronomic management practices on the use of manure may transform the target from a waste to a resource product. Experiments performed on comparison of manure with standard chemical fertilizers (CF) were studied under a double cropping per year regime (alfalfa, model I; Italian ryegrass-corn, model II; barley-seed sorghum, model III; and horse-bean-silage sorghum, model IV). The total amount of manure applied in the annual forage crops of the model II, III and IV was 158, 140 and 80 m3 ha−1, respectively. The manure applied to soil by broadcast and injection procedure provides an amount of nitrogen equal to that supplied by CF. The effect of manure applications on animal feeding production and biochemical soil characteristics was related to the models. The weather condition and manures and CF showed small interaction among treatments. The number of MFU ha−1 of biomass crop gross product produced in autumn and spring sowing models under manure applications was 11,769, 20,525, 11,342, 21,397 in models I through IV, respectively. The reduction of MFU ha−1 under CF ranges from 10.7% to 13.2% those of the manure models. The effect of manure on organic carbon and total nitrogen of topsoil, compared to model I, stressed the parameters as CF whose amount was higher in models II and III than model IV. In term of percentage the organic carbon and total nitrogen of model I and treatment with manure was reduced by about 18.5 and 21.9% in model II and model III and 8.8 and 6.3% in model IV, respectively. Manure management may substitute CF without reducing gross production and sustainability of cropping systems, thus allowing the opportunity to recycle the waste product for animal forage feeding. PMID:21776208

  9. The Direct Effects of Atmospheric Change on Vegetation: From Gene Expression to Crop Production in the Field

    SciTech Connect

    Long, Stephen

    2005-08-31

    The CO2 and ozone (O3) concentrations of the troposphere are rising with direct impacts on plants. O3 currently costs crop production > 5bn Euro a year with parallel damage to natural ecosystems. In the short-term, elevated CO2 stimulates and elevated O3 depresses photosynthesis in highly predictable ways. Longer-term effects are less predictable, but new patterns are now emerging via meta-analysis of realistic field treatment in Free-Air Concentration Enrichment (FACE) facilities. The chain of effects from gene expression to acclimated phenotype that result from long-term growth in elevated CO2 or O3 will be reviewed. Significant season long increases in photosynthesis and production with CO2 are found, with some surprising changes in plant development that were not apparent or suspected in studies with field enclosures. Season-long exposures to the moderate increases in O3 observed in the field cause: more gene transcripts to be down-regulated than up-regulated; a chronic decrease in photosynthetic capacity, largely attributable to decreased activity of the primary carboxylation step; and accelerated senescence. The large FACE facilities, a biologists equivalent of the physicists accelerators, are providing new insights into plant responses to atmospheric change and will provide a basis for adapting crop plants to change.

  10. Epi-fingerprinting and epi-interventions for improved crop production and food quality

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez López, Carlos M.; Wilkinson, Mike J.

    2015-01-01

    Increasing crop production at a time of rapid climate change represents the greatest challenge facing contemporary agricultural research. Our understanding of the genetic control of yield derives from controlled field experiments designed to minimize environmental variance. In spite of these efforts there is substantial residual variability among plants attributable to Genotype × Environment interactions. Recent advances in the field of epigenetics have revealed a plethora of gene control mechanisms that could account for much of this unassigned variation. These systems act as a regulatory interface between the perception of the environment and associated alterations in gene expression. Direct intervention of epigenetic control systems hold the enticing promise of creating new sources of variability that could enhance crop performance. Equally, understanding the relationship between various epigenetic states and responses of the crop to specific aspects of the growing environment (epigenetic fingerprinting) could allow for a more tailored approach to plant agronomy. In this review, we explore the many ways in which epigenetic interventions and epigenetic fingerprinting can be deployed for the improvement of crop production and quality. PMID:26097484

  11. 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.

  12. Value of crops: Quantity, quality and cost price. [algae as a nutritional supplement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyer, C.

    1979-01-01

    Possibilities of using algae as a nutritional supplement are examined. The nutritional value and protein content of spirulines of blue algae are discussed. A cost analysis of growing them artificially is presented.

  13. Time Domain Partitioning of Electricity Production Cost Simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Barrows, C.; Hummon, M.; Jones, W.; Hale, E.

    2014-01-01

    Production cost models are often used for planning by simulating power system operations over long time horizons. The simulation of a day-ahead energy market can take several weeks to compute. Tractability improvements are often made through model simplifications, such as: reductions in transmission modeling detail, relaxation of commitment variable integrality, reductions in cost modeling detail, etc. One common simplification is to partition the simulation horizon so that weekly or monthly horizons can be simulated in parallel. However, horizon partitions are often executed with overlap periods of arbitrary and sometimes zero length. We calculate the time domain persistence of historical unit commitment decisions to inform time domain partitioning of production cost models. The results are implemented using PLEXOS production cost modeling software in an HPC environment to improve the computation time of simulations while maintaining solution integrity.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Posselius, J.H. Jr.

    1981-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. A comprehensive assessment of the correlations between field crop yields and commonly used MODIS products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, David M.

    2016-10-01

    An exploratory assessment was undertaken to determine the correlation strength and optimal timing of several commonly used Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) composited imagery products against crop yields for 10 globally significant agricultural commodities. The crops analyzed included barley, canola, corn, cotton, potatoes, rice, sorghum, soybeans, sugarbeets, and wheat. The MODIS data investigated included the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FPAR), Leaf Area Index (LAI), and Gross Primary Production (GPP), in addition to daytime Land Surface Temperature (DLST) and nighttime LST (NLST). The imagery utilized all had 8-day time intervals, but NDVI had a 250 m spatial resolution while the other products were 1000 m. These MODIS datasets were also assessed from both the Terra and Aqua satellites, with their differing overpass times, to document any differences. A follow-on analysis, using the Terra 250 m NDVI data as a benchmark, looked at the yield prediction utility of NDVI at two spatial scales (250 m vs. 1000 m), two time precisions (8-day vs. 16-day), and also assessed the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI, at 250 m, 16-day). The analyses spanned the major farming areas of the United States (US) from the summers of 2008-2013 and used annual county-level average crop yield data from the US Department of Agriculture as a basis. All crops, except rice, showed at least some positive correlations to each of the vegetation related indices in the middle of the growing season, with NDVI performing slightly better than FPAR. LAI was somewhat less strongly correlated and GPP weak overall. Conversely, some of the crops, particularly canola, corn, and soybeans, also showed negative correlations to DLST mid-summer. NLST, however, was never correlated to crop yield, regardless of the crop or seasonal timing. Differences between the Terra and Aqua results were found to be minimal. The 1000 m

  17. The water footprint of Indonesian provinces related to the consumption of crop products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bulsink, F.; Hoekstra, A. Y.; Booij, M. J.

    2009-07-01

    National water use accounts are generally limited to statistics on water withdrawals in the different sectors of economy. They are restricted to "blue water accounts" related to production, thus excluding (a) "green" and "grey water accounts", (b) accounts of internal and international virtual water flows and (c) water accounts related to consumption. This paper shows how national water-use accounts can be extended through an example for Indonesia. The study quantifies interprovincial virtual water flows related to trade in crop products and assesses the green, blue and grey water footprint related to the consumption of crop products per Indonesian province. The study shows that the average water footprint in Indonesia insofar related to consumption of crop products is 1131 m3/cap/yr, but provincial water footprints vary between 859 and 1895 m3/cap/yr. Java, the most water-scarce island, has a net virtual water import and the most significant external water footprint. This large external water footprint is releasing the water scarcity on this island. There are two alternative routes to reduce the overall water footprint of Indonesia. On the one hand, it may be reduced by promoting wise crop trade between provinces - i.e. trade from places with high to places with low water efficiency. On the other hand, the water footprint can be reduced by improving water efficiency in those places that currently have relatively low efficiency, which equalises production efficiencies and thus reduces the need for imports and enhances the opportunities for exports. In any case, trade will remain necessary to supply food to the most densely populated areas where water scarcity is highest (Java).

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  19. Recycling of inorganic nutrients for hydroponic crop production following incineration of inedible biomass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bubenheim, D. L.; Wignarajah, K.

    1997-01-01

    The goal of resource recovery in a regenerative life support system is maintenance of product quality to insure support of reliable and predictable levels of life support function performance by the crop plant component. Further, these systems must be maintained over extended periods of time, requiring maintenance of nutrient solutions to avoid toxicity and deficiencies. The focus of this study was to determine the suitability of the ash product following incineration of inedible biomass as a source of inorganic nutrients for hydroponic crop production. Inedible wheat biomass was incinerated and ash quality characterized. The incinerator ash was dissolved in adequate nitric acid to establish a consistent nitrogen concentration is all nutrient solution treatments. Four experimental nutrient treatments were included: control, ash only, ash supplemented to match the control treatment, and ash only quality formulated with reagent grade chemicals. When nutrient solutions were formulated using only ash following incineration of inedible biomass, a balance in solution is established representing elemental retention following incineration and nutrient proportions present in the original biomass. The resulting solution is not identical to the control. This imbalance resulted in a suppression of crop growth. When the ash is supplemented with reagent grade chemicals to establish the same balance as in the control - growth is identical to the control. The ash appears to carry no phytotoxic materials. Growth in solution formulated with reagent grade chemicals but matching the quality of the ash only treatment resulted in similar growth to that of the ash only treatment. The ash product resulting from incineration of inedible biomass appears to be a suitable form for recycle of inorganic nutrients to crop production.

  20. 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.

  1. Recycling of inorganic nutrients for hydroponic crop production following incineration of inedible biomass.

    PubMed

    Bubenheim, D L; Wignarajah, K

    1997-01-01

    The goal of resource recovery in a regenerative life support system is maintenance of product quality to sure support of reliable and predictable levels of life support function performance by the crop plant component. Further, these systems must be maintained over extended periods of time, requiring maintenance of nutrient solutions to avoid toxicity and deficiencies. The focus of this study was to determine the suitability of the ash product following incineration of inedible biomass as a source of inorganic nutrients for hydroponic crop production. Inedible wheat biomass was incinerated and ash quality characterized. The incinerator ash was dissolved in adequate nitric acid to establish a consistent nitrogen concentration is all nutrient solution treatments. Four experimental nutrient treatments were included: control, ash only, ash supplemented to match the control treatment, and ash only quality formulated with reagent grade chemicals. When nutrient solutions were formulated using only ash following incineration of inedible biomass, a balance in solution is established representing elemental retention following incineration and nutrient proportions present in the original biomass. The resulting solution is not identical to the control. This imbalance resulted in a suppression of crop growth. When the ash is supplemented with reagent grade chemicals to establish the same balance as in the control--growth is identical to the control. The ash appears to carry no phytotoxic materials. Growth in solution formulated with reagent grade chemicals but matching the quality of the ash only treatment resulted in similar growth to that of the ash only treatment. The ash product resulting from incineration of inedible biomass appears to be a suitable form for recycle of inorganic nutrients to crop production.

  2. Evaluation of preservation methods for improving biogas production and enzymatic conversion yields of annual crops

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The use of energy crops and agricultural residues is expected to increase to fulfil the legislative demands of bio-based components in transport fuels. Ensiling methods, adapted from the feed sector, are suitable storage methods to preserve fresh crops throughout the year for, for example, biogas production. Various preservation methods, namely ensiling with and without acid addition for whole crop maize, fibre hemp and faba bean were investigated. For the drier fibre hemp, alkaline urea treatment was studied as well. These treatments were also explored as mild pretreatment methods to improve the disassembly and hydrolysis of these lignocellulosic substrates. Results The investigated storage treatments increased the availability of the substrates for biogas production from hemp and in most cases from whole maize but not from faba bean. Ensiling of hemp, without or with addition of formic acid, increased methane production by more than 50% compared to fresh hemp. Ensiling resulted in substantially increased methane yields also from maize, and the use of formic acid in ensiling of maize further enhanced methane yields by 16%, as compared with fresh maize. Ensiled faba bean, in contrast, yielded somewhat less methane than the fresh material. Acidic additives preserved and even increased the amount of the valuable water-soluble carbohydrates during storage, which affected most significantly the enzymatic hydrolysis yield of maize. However, preservation without additives decreased the enzymatic hydrolysis yield especially in maize, due to its high content of soluble sugars that were already converted to acids during storage. Urea-based preservation significantly increased the enzymatic hydrolysability of hemp. Hemp, preserved with urea, produced the highest carbohydrate increase of 46% in enzymatic hydrolysis as compared to the fresh material. Alkaline pretreatment conditions of hemp improved also the methane yields. Conclusions The results of the present

  3. Low-cost production of solar-cell panels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bickler, D. B.; Gallagher, B. D.; Sanchez, L. E.

    1980-01-01

    Large-scale production model combines most modern manufacturing techniques to produce silicon-solar-cell panels of low costs by 1982. Model proposes facility capable of operating around the clock with annual production capacity of 20 W of solar cell panels.

  4. Industry/government collaborations on short-rotation woody crops for energy, fiber and wood products

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, L.L.; Berg, S.

    1996-12-31

    More than twenty-five organizations can be identified in the US and Canada that have research plantings of 20 ha in size or greater of short-rotation woody crops and most of those are well-established forest products companies. In 1990, only 9 forest products companies had commercial or substantial research plantings of short-rotation woody crops. The recent harvest and use of hybrid poplars for pulp and paper production in the Pacific Northwest has clearly stimulated interest in the use of genetically superior hybrid poplar clones across North America. Industry and government supported research cooperatives have been formed to develop sophisticated techniques for producing genetically superior hybrid poplars and willows suited for a variety of locations in the US. While the primary use of commercially planted short-rotation woody crops is for pulp and paper, energy is a co-product in most situations. A document defining a year 2020 technology vision for America`s forest, wood and paper industry affirms that {open_quotes}biomass will be used not only for building materials and paper and paperboard products, but also increasingly for steam, power, and liquid fuel production.{close_quotes} To accomplish the goals of {open_quotes}Agenda 2020{close_quotes} a new collaborative research effort on sustainable forestry has been initiated by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA). Both the new and old collaborative efforts are focusing on achieving substantial and sustainable gains in U.S. wood production for both energy and traditional wood products. AF&PA and DOE hope that industry and government partnerships addressing the competitiveness and energy efficiency of U.S. industries, can serve as a model for future research efforts.

  5. Vector Production in an Academic Environment: A Tool to Assess Production Costs

    PubMed Central

    Boeke, Aaron; Doumas, Patrick; Reeves, Lilith; McClurg, Kyle; Bischof, Daniela; Sego, Lina; Auberry, Alisha; Tatikonda, Mohan

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Generating gene and cell therapy products under good manufacturing practices is a complex process. When determining the cost of these products, researchers must consider the large number of supplies used for manufacturing and the personnel and facility costs to generate vector and maintain a cleanroom facility. To facilitate cost estimates, the Indiana University Vector Production Facility teamed with the Indiana University Kelley School of Business to develop a costing tool that, in turn, provides pricing. The tool is designed in Microsoft Excel and is customizable to meet the needs of other core facilities. It is available from the National Gene Vector Biorepository. The tool allows cost determinations using three different costing methods and was developed in an effort to meet the A21 circular requirements for U.S. core facilities performing work for federally funded projects. The costing tool analysis reveals that the cost of vector production does not have a linear relationship with batch size. For example, increasing the production from 9 to18 liters of a retroviral vector product increases total costs a modest 1.2-fold rather than doubling in total cost. The analysis discussed in this article will help core facilities and investigators plan a cost-effective strategy for gene and cell therapy production. PMID:23360377

  6. Analysis of data systems requirements for global crop production forecasting in the 1985 time frame

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Downs, S. W.; Larsen, P. A.; Gerstner, D. A.

    1978-01-01

    Data systems concepts that would be needed to implement the objective of the global crop production forecasting in an orderly transition from experimental to operational status in the 1985 time frame were examined. Information needs of users were converted into data system requirements, and the influence of these requirements on the formulation of a conceptual data system was analyzed. Any potential problem areas in meeting these data system requirements were identified in an iterative process.

  7. Production costs and operative margins in electric energy generation from biogas. Full-scale case studies in Italy.

    PubMed

    Riva, C; Schievano, A; D'Imporzano, G; Adani, F

    2014-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to observe the economic sustainability of three different biogas full scale plants, fed with different organic matrices: energy crops (EC), manure, agro-industrial (Plants B and C) and organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) (Plant A). The plants were observed for one year and total annual biomass feeding, biomass composition and biomass cost (€ Mg(-1)), initial investment cost and plant electric power production were registered. The unit costs of biogas and electric energy (€ Sm(-3)biogas, € kWh(-1)EE) were differently distributed, depending on the type of feed and plant. Plant A showed high management/maintenance cost for OFMSW treatment (0.155 € Sm(-3)biogas, 45% of total cost), Plant B suffered high cost for EC supply (0.130 € Sm(-3)biogas, 49% of total cost) and Plant C showed higher impact on the total costs because of the depreciation charge (0.146 € Sm(-3)biogas, 41% of total costs). The breakeven point for the tariff of electric energy, calculated for the different cases, resulted in the range 120-170 € MWh(-1)EE, depending on fed materials and plant scale. EC had great impact on biomass supply costs and should be reduced, in favor of organic waste and residues; plant scale still heavily influences the production costs. The EU States should drive incentives in dependence of these factors, to further develop this still promising sector.

  8. Proximate composition of CELSS crops grown in NASA's Biomass Production Chamber

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wheeler, R. M.; Mackowiak, C. L.; Sager, J. C.; Knott, W. M.; Berry, W. L.

    1996-01-01

    Edible biomass from four crops of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), four crops of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), four crops of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), and three crops of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) grown in NASA's CELSS Biomass Production Chamber were analyzed for proximate composition. All plants were grown using recirculating nutrient (hydroponic) film culture with pH and electrical conductivity automatically controlled. Temperature and humidity were controlled to near optimal levels for each species and atmospheric carbon dioxide partial pressures were maintained near 100 Pa during the light cycles. Soybean seed contained the highest percentage of protein and fat, potato tubers and wheat seed contained the highest levels of carbohydrate, and lettuce leaves contained the highest level of ash. Analyses showed values close to data published for field-grown plants with several exceptions: In comparison with field-grown plants, wheat seed had higher protein levels; soybean seed had higher ash and crude fiber levels; and potato tubers and lettuce leaves had higher protein and ash levels. The higher ash and protein levels may have been a result of the continuous supply of nutrients (e.g., potassium and nitrogen) to the plants by the recirculating hydroponic culture.

  9. Nitrous oxide emissions in cover crop-based corn production systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Brian Wesley

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas; the majority of N2O emissions are the result of agricultural management, particularly the application of N fertilizers to soils. The relationship of N2O emissions to varying sources of N (manures, mineral fertilizers, and cover crops) has not been well-evaluated. Here we discussed a novel methodology for estimating precipitation-induced pulses of N2O using flux measurements; results indicated that short-term intensive time-series sampling methods can adequately describe the magnitude of these pulses. We also evaluated the annual N2O emissions from corn-cover crop (Zea mays; cereal rye [Secale cereale], hairy vetch [Vicia villosa ], or biculture) production systems when fertilized with multiple rates of subsurface banded poultry litter, as compared with tillage incorporation or mineral fertilizer. N2O emissions increased exponentially with total N rate; tillage decreased emissions following cover crops with legume components, while the effect of mineral fertilizer was mixed across cover crops.

  10. Proximate composition of CELSS crops grown in NASA's Biomass Production Chamber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, R. M.; Mackowiak, C. L.; Sager, J. C.; Knott, W. M.; Berry, W. L.

    Edible biomass from four crops of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), four crops of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), four crops of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), and three crops of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) grown in NASA's CELSS Biomass Production Chamber were analyzed for proximate composition. All plants were grown using recirculating nutrient (hydroponic) film culture with pH and electrical conductivity automatically controlled. Temperature and humidity were controlled to near optimal levels for each species and atmospheric carbon dioxide partial pressures were maintained near 100 Pa during the light cycles. Soybean seed contained the highest percentage of protein and fat, potato tubers and wheat seed contained the highest levels of carbohydrate, and lettuce leaves contained the highest level of ash. Analyses showed values close to data published for field-grown plants with several exceptions: In comparison with field-grown plants, wheat seed had higher protein levels; soybean seed had higher ash and crude fiber levels; and potato tubers and lettuce leaves had higher protein and ash levels. The higher ash and protein levels may have been a result of the continuous supply of nutrients (e.g., potassium and nitrogen) to the plants by the recirculating hydroponic culture.

  11. Effects of soil moisture depletion on vegetable crop uptake of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs).

    PubMed

    Santiago, Sergio; Roll, Deborah M; Ray, Chittaranjan; Williams, Clinton; Moravcik, Philip; Knopf, Allan

    2016-10-01

    Agricultural crops have a long history of being irrigated with recycled wastewater (RW). However, its use on vegetable crops has been of concern due to the potential prevalence of microcontaminants, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the latter, which represents a possible health hazard to consumers. We investigated the uptake of three PPCPs (atenolol, diclofenac, and ofloxacin), at three different concentrations in irrigation water (0.5, 5, and 25 μg L(-1)) in relation to three varying volumetric soil moisture depletion levels of 14 % (-4.26 kPa), 10 % (-8.66 kPa), and 7 % (-18.37 kPa) by various vegetable crop species. Experiments were conducted in a split-split block completely randomized design. PPCPs were extracted using a developed method of accelerated solvent extraction and solid phase extraction and analyzed via liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LCMS). Results indicate that all treated crops were capable of PPCP uptake at nanogram per gram concentrations independent of the applied soil moisture depletion levels and PPCP concentrations. Ofloxacin was the chemical with the highest uptake amounts, followed by atenolol and then diclofenac. Although the results were not statistically significant, higher concentrations of PPCPs were detected in plants maintained under higher soil moisture levels of 14 % (-4.26 kPa).

  12. Soil properties and crop productivity as influenced by flyash incorporation in soil.

    PubMed

    Kalra, Naveen; Jain, M C; Joshi, H C; Chaudhary, R; Kumar, Sushil; Pathak, H; Sharma, S K; Kumar, Vinod; Kumar, Ravindra; Harit, R C; Khan, S A; Hussain, M Z

    2003-09-01

    Field experiments were carried out during 1996-97 at Gulawathi, Muthiani and Salarpur Villages, IARI Farm, New Delhi and NCPP Campus, Dadri to evaluate changes in soil characteristics and growth of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), mustard (Brassica juncea L.), lentil (Lence esculenta Moench.), rice (Oryza sativa L.) and maize (Zea mays L.) by varying amounts of flyash addition (up to 50t ha(-1)) in soils at sowing/transplanting time of crops. Flyash addition in areas adjoining NCPP Thermal Power Plant, Dadri, Ghaziabad, U.P. ranged from 5-12 t ha(-1)] yr(-1) in 1995-96. Shoot and root growth and yield of test crops at different locations after flyash incorporation resulted in beneficial effects of flyash addition in most cases. The silt dominant texture of flyash improved loamy sand to sandy loam textures of the surface soils at the farmers' fields. The increased growth in yield of crops with flyash incorporation was possibly due to modifications in soil moisture retention and transmission characteristics, bulk density, physico-chemical characters such as pH and EC and organic carbon content. The response of flyash addition in the soil on soil health and crop productivity needs to be evaluated on long-term sustainable aspects.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  16. Production of pathogen-free horticultural crops by cryotherapy of in vitro-grown shoot tips.

    PubMed

    Feng, Chaohong; Wang, Renrui; Li, Jingwei; Wang, Biao; Yin, Zhenfang; Cui, Zhenhua; Li, Baiquan; Bi, Wenlu; Zhang, Zhibo; Li, Mingfu; Wang, Qiaochun

    2013-01-01

    Horticultural crops are economically valuable for sustainable agricultural production. Plant diseases caused by Pathogens including virus, phytoplasma and bacterium have been a great threat to production of horticultural crops. The efficient use of pathogen-free plant materials has overcome the menace of plant diseases and has sustained crop production. Cryotherapy of shoot tips, a novel application of cryopreservation technique, has become a new plant biotechnology tool for plant pathogen eradication. When compared with the traditional methods, cryotherapy of shoot tips produces high frequency of pathogen-free plants, which is independent of shoot tip size and cryogenic methods. Cryotherapy of shoot tips has six major steps to produce pathogen-free plants: (1) introduction of infected plant materials into in vitro cultures; (2) excision of shoot tips; (3) cryotherapy; (4) post-culture for plant regeneration; (5) indexing of pathogens in regenerated plants after cryotherapy; and (6) establishment of pathogen-free nuclear stock plants. The key steps 2, 3, and 4 are similar to cryopreservation, and play a major role in obtaining high pathogen eradication frequency.

  17. Single-tube hydroponics as a novel idea for small-scale production of crop seed in a plant incubator.

    PubMed

    Kuroda, Masaharu; Ikenaga, Sachiko

    2015-01-01

    We present a novel protocol for small-scale production of crop seed in a plant incubator termed "Single-tube hydroponics." Our protocol minimizes the materials and methods for cultivation whereby a large number of independent plants can be cultured in a limited space. This study may aid in the improvement of crop seed components, especially in the cultivation of transgenic plants.

  18. A novel integrated cropping system for efficient grain production, improved soil quality, and enhanced beneficial arthropod communities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The solar corridor crop system (SCCS) is designed for improved crop productivity by using broad strips (corridors or skip rows) that promote highly efficient use of solar radiation and ambient carbon dioxide by C-4 plants including corn. Field trials in 2013 and 2014 showed that yields of selected c...

  19. Field pennycress: A new oilseed crop for the production of biofuels, lubricants, and high-quality proteins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) has numerous positive attributes that make it a very promising industrial oilseed crop. Its short growing season makes it suitable as an off-season crop between corn and soybean production in most of the upper Midwestern U.S. Fall planting of pennycress may also...

  20. Developing and normalizing average corn crop water production functions across years and locations using a system model

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop water production functions (CWPFs) are often expressed as crop yield vs. consumptive water use or irrigation water applied. CWPFs are helpful for optimizing management of limited water resources, but are site-specific and vary from year to year, especially when yield is expressed as a function ...

  1. The production effect: costs and benefits in free recall.

    PubMed

    Jones, Angela C; Pyc, Mary A

    2014-01-01

    The production effect, the memorial benefit for information read aloud versus silently, has been touted as a simple memory improvement tool. The current experiments were designed to evaluate the relative costs and benefits of production using a free recall paradigm. Results extend beyond prior work showing a production effect only when production is manipulated within subject, not between, using a free recall paradigm. Furthermore, the results also indicate that the production effect is primarily driven by decreased memory for items read silently, not increased memory for items read aloud.

  2. The Metabolic Cost of Click Production in Bottlenose Dolphins

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    of their acoustic signals as a strategy to help reduce the probability of masking from environmental sounds (NRC 2003). Although accumulating...date, the only empirical data on the metabolic cost of sound production as well as the metabolic cost of increasing the amplitude of acoustic signals...dolphins producing whistles and other communicative sounds (Holt et al. 2011 a, b, Noren et al. 2011). There is currently no information on energy

  3. Climate Change Impacts for the Conterminous USA: An Integrated Assessment Part 3. Dryland Production of Grain and Forage Crops

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-05-31

    Here we simulate dryland agriculture in the United States with a suite of climate change projections. The total production of three major grain crops (corn, soybean, winter wheat) and two forage crops (alfalfa and clover hay) is calculated based on the Core Production Area (CPA) of each crop. Changes in production occur with each of the crops. In general, higher global mean temperature (GMT) reduces production and higher atmospheric CO2 increases production. The results varied depending on the General Circulation Model (GCM) used to simulate climate. Regional production followed trends similar to national production, but the magnitude of change was variable and substantially larger in some regions. An analysis of Currently Possible Production Areas (CPPA) for each crop indicates that the regions most likely to experience change with climate change are those on the edge of the area where the crop is currently grown. While national production of dryland agriculture does not change drastically, it is apparent that the regional impacts may be significant.

  4. Rejuvenation of agriculture in India: Cost benefits in using EO products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jayaraman, V.; Parihar, J. S.; Srivastava, S. K.

    2008-07-01

    India is looking for rejuvenating its sagging agricultural production and productivity by integrating high technology space inputs for both irrigated and rainfed areas. The Earth Observations (EO) products today serve as major inputs to policy, planning and targeted interventions, contributing to building social capitals, natural resources assets and environmental gains on the long-term basis. The benefits are mostly indirect and often difficult to quantify in terms of money. The cost benefit analysis of EO products is therefore an involved exercise and not many examples exist globally. The present paper, taking into account major national as well as some local level agriprojects in India, highlights the criticality of EO products in terms of their short-term as well as long-term economic and social values. Three aspects viz., catalytic, timeliness and enabling have been analyzed to visualize the role of EO products in a holistic fashion. In the catalytic role, EO inputs have been found to play a role in the successful implementation of major natural resources development projects. The cost of EO inputs may be of less than 2-5% to the total cost of the development projects, but the nature of such inputs are critical and catalytic. For example, a major project on reclamation of around 0.6 Mha sodic soils in Indo-Gangetic Plans costs US89 million where EO products costs less than 2%; but demonstrates their catalytic roles in terms of identification, monitoring and evaluation and as inputs to mid-course corrections. The second aspect is timeliness in terms of opportunity cost. In India, Forecasting Agricultural Output Using Space-borne, Agro-meteorological and Land Observations (FASAL) project is carried out for in-season multiple crop production forecasting in support of strategic decision on trade, price and procurements. In the past, timely forecasts from FASAL have been found to be accurate and helpful for the country to plan many of its activities, including

  5. Evaluation of crop production, trade, and consumption from the perspective of water resources: a case study of the Hetao irrigation district, China, for 1960-2010.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing; Sun, Shikun; Wu, Pute; Wang, Yubao; Zhao, Xining

    2015-02-01

    The integration of water footprints and virtual water flows allows the mapping of the links between production, trade, and consumption and could potentially help to alleviate water scarcity and improve water management. We evaluated the water footprints and virtual water flows of crop production, consumption, and trade and their influencing factors in the Hetao irrigation district in China for 1960-2010. The water footprint of crop production and the export of virtual water fluctuated but tended to increase during this period and were influenced mainly by agricultural factors such as crop yield, irrigation efficiency, and area sown. The water footprint of crop consumption and the import of virtual water increased during 1960-1979 and decreased during 1980-2010 and were influenced by socio-economic factors such as total population, the retail-price index, and the proportion of the population in urban areas. Most of the water footprint of production was exported to other areas, which added to the pressure on local water systems. The import of virtual water led to a saving of water for the Hetao irrigation district, while its share of the water footprint of consumption has decreased significantly since 1977. An increase in irrigation efficiency can alleviate water scarcity, and its application should be coupled with measures that constrain the continued expansion of agriculture. Full-cost pricing of irrigation water was an effective policy tool for its management. Re-shaping regional water-production and water-trade nexuses by changing crop structures could provide alternative opportunities for addressing the problems of local water scarcity, but the trade-offs involved should first be assessed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  7. Low-Cost Hydrogen Distributed Production System Development

    SciTech Connect

    C.E. Thomas, Ph.D., President Franklin D. Lomax, Ph.D, CTO & Principal Investigator, and Maxim Lyubovski, Ph.D.

    2011-03-10

    H{sub 2}Gen, with the support of the Department of Energy, successfully designed, built and field-tested two steam methane reformers with 578 kg/day capacity, which has now become a standard commercial product serving customers in the specialty metals and PV manufacturing businesses. We demonstrated that this reformer/PSA system, when combined with compression, storage and dispensing (CSD) equipment could produce hydrogen that is already cost-competitive with gasoline per mile driven in a conventional (non-hybrid) vehicle. We further showed that mass producing this 578 kg/day system in quantities of just 100 units would reduce hydrogen cost per mile approximately 13% below the cost of untaxed gasoline per mile used in a hybrid electric vehicle. If mass produced in quantities of 500 units, hydrogen cost per mile in a FCEV would be 20% below the cost of untaxed gasoline in an HEV in the 2015-2020 time period using EIA fuel cost projections for natural gas and untaxed gasoline, and 45% below the cost of untaxed gasoline in a conventional car. This 20% to 45% reduction in fuel cost per mile would accrue even though hydrogen from this 578 kg/day system would cost approximately $4.14/kg, well above the DOE hydrogen cost targets of $2.50/kg by 2010 and $2.00/kg by 2015. We also estimated the cost of a larger, 1,500 kg/day SMR/PSA fueling system based on engineering cost scaling factors derived from the two H{sub 2}Gen products, a commercial 115 kg/day system and the 578 kg/day system developed under this DOE contract. This proposed system could support 200 to 250 cars per day, similar to a medium gasoline station. We estimate that the cost per mile from this larger 1,500 kg/day hydrogen fueling system would be 26% to 40% below the cost per mile of untaxed gasoline in an HEV and ICV respectively, even without any mass production cost reductions. In quantities of 500 units, we are projecting per mile cost reductions between 45% (vs. HEVs) and 62% (vs ICVs), with hydrogen

  8. Cost effective technologies and renewable substrates for biosurfactants’ production

    PubMed Central

    Banat, Ibrahim M.; Satpute, Surekha K.; Cameotra, Swaranjit S.; Patil, Rajendra; Nyayanit, Narendra V.

    2014-01-01

    Diverse types of microbial surface active amphiphilic molecules are produced by a range of microbial communities. The extraordinary properties of biosurfactant/bioemulsifier (BS/BE) as surface active products allows them to have key roles in various field of applications such as bioremediation, biodegradation, enhanced oil recovery, pharmaceutics, food processing among many others. This leads to a vast number of potential applications of these BS/BE in different industrial sectors. Despite the huge number of reports and patents describing BS and BE applications and advantages, commercialization of these compounds remain difficult, costly and to a large extent irregular. This is mainly due to the usage of chemically synthesized media for growing producing microorganism and in turn the production of preferred quality products. It is important to note that although a number of developments have taken place in the field of BS industries, large scale production remains economically challenging for many types of these products. This is mainly due to the huge monetary difference between the investment and achievable productivity from the commercial point of view. This review discusses low cost, renewable raw substrates, and fermentation technology in BS/BE production processes and their role in reducing the production cost. PMID:25566213

  9. Cost effective technologies and renewable substrates for biosurfactants' production.

    PubMed

    Banat, Ibrahim M; Satpute, Surekha K; Cameotra, Swaranjit S; Patil, Rajendra; Nyayanit, Narendra V

    2014-01-01

    Diverse types of microbial surface active amphiphilic molecules are produced by a range of microbial communities. The extraordinary properties of biosurfactant/bioemulsifier (BS/BE) as surface active products allows them to have key roles in various field of applications such as bioremediation, biodegradation, enhanced oil recovery, pharmaceutics, food processing among many others. This leads to a vast number of potential applications of these BS/BE in different industrial sectors. Despite the huge number of reports and patents describing BS and BE applications and advantages, commercialization of these compounds remain difficult, costly and to a large extent irregular. This is mainly due to the usage of chemically synthesized media for growing producing microorganism and in turn the production of preferred quality products. It is important to note that although a number of developments have taken place in the field of BS industries, large scale production remains economically challenging for many types of these products. This is mainly due to the huge monetary difference between the investment and achievable productivity from the commercial point of view. This review discusses low cost, renewable raw substrates, and fermentation technology in BS/BE production processes and their role in reducing the production cost.

  10. Interactive effects among ecosystem services and management practices on crop production: pollination in coffee agroforestry systems.

    PubMed

    Boreux, Virginie; Kushalappa, Cheppudira G; Vaast, Philippe; Ghazoul, Jaboury

    2013-05-21

    Crop productivity is improved by ecosystem services, including pollination, but this should be set in the context of trade-offs among multiple management practices. We investigated the impact of pollination services on coffee production, considering variation in fertilization, irrigation, shade cover, and environmental variables such as rainfall (which stimulates coffee flowering across all plantations), soil pH, and nitrogen availability. After accounting for management interventions, bee abundance improved coffee production (number of berries harvested). Some management interventions, such as irrigation, used once to trigger asynchronous flowering, dramatically increased bee abundance at coffee trees. Others, such as the extent and type of tree cover, revealed interacting effects on pollination and, ultimately, crop production. The effects of management interventions, notably irrigation and addition of lime, had, however, far more substantial positive effects on coffee production than tree cover. These results suggest that pollination services matter, but managing the asynchrony of flowering was a more effective tool for securing good pollination than maintaining high shade tree densities as pollinator habitat. Complex interactions across farm and landscape scales, including both management practices and environmental conditions, shape pollination outcomes. Effective production systems therefore require the integrated consideration of management practices in the context of the surrounding habitat structure. This paper points toward a more strategic use of ecosystem services in agricultural systems, where ecosystem services are shaped by the coupling of management interventions and environmental variables.

  11. On the Global Water Productivity Distribution for Major Cereal Crops: some First Results from Satellite Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bastiaanssen, W. G.; Verstegen, J. A.; Steduto, P.; Goudriaan, R.; Wada, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Feeding the world requires 70 percent more food for an additional 2.3 billion people by 2050. The increasing competition for water resources prompts the modern consumer society to become more efficient with scarce water resources. The water footprint of agriculture is hundred times more than the footprint for domestic water use, yet we do not fully know how much water is used in relation to the amount of food being produced. Water Productivity describes the crop yield per unit of water consumed and is the ultimate indicator for the efficiency of water use in agriculture. Our basic understanding of actual and benchmark values for Water Productivity is limited, partially because operational measurements and guidelines for Water Productivity do not currently exist. Remote sensing algorithms have been developed over the last 20 years to compute crop yield Y and evapotranspiration ET, often in an independent manner. The new WatPro and GlobWat algorithms are based on directly solving the Y/ET ratio. Several biophysical parameter and processes such as solar radiation, Leaf Area Index, stomatal aperture and soil moisture affect biomass production and crop transpiration simultaneously, and this enabled us to simplify the schematization of a Y/ET model. Global maps of wheat, rice and maize were prepared from various open-access data sources, and Y/ET was computed across a period of 10 years. The global distribution demonstrates that 66 percent of the world's agricultural land cultivated with wheat, rice and corn performs below average. Furthermore, Water Productivity in most countries exhibits a significant spatial variability. Therefore, there is significant scope to produce the same food - or more food - from less water resources if packages with good practices are locally implemented. The global maps of water productivity will be demonstrated, along with some country examples.

  12. Recycle of Inorganic Nutrients for Hydroponic Crop Production Following Incineration of Inedible Biomass

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bubenheim, David L.; Wignarajah, Kanapathipillai; Kliss, Mark H. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    Recovery of resources from waste streams is essential for future implementation and reliance on a regenerative life support system. The major waste streams of concern are from human activities and plant wastes. Carbon, water and inorganics are the primary desired raw materials of interest. The goal of resource recovery is maintenance of product quality to insure support of reliable and predictable levels of life support function performance by the crop plant component. Further, these systems must be maintained over extended periods of time, requiring maintenance of nutrient solutions to avoid toxicity and deficiencies. Today, reagent grade nutrients are used to make nutrient solutions for hydroponic culture and these solutions are frequently changed during the life cycle or sometimes managed for only one crop life cycle. The focus of this study was to determine the suitability of the ash product following incineration of inedible biomass as a source of inorganic nutrients for hydroponic crop production. Inedible wheat biomass was incinerated and ash quality characterized. The incinerator ash was dissolved in adequate nitric acid to establish a consistent nitrogen concentration in all nutrient solution treatments. Four experimental nutrient treatments were included: control, ash only, ash supplemented to match control, and ash only quality formulated with reagent grade chemicals. When nutrient solutions are formulated using only ash following-incineration of inedible biomass, a balance in solution is established representing elemental retention following incineration and nutrient proportions present in the original biomass. The resulting solution is not identical to the control. This imbalance resulted in suppression of crop growth. When the ash is supplemented with nutrients to establish the same balance as in the control, growth is identical to the control. The ash appears to carry no phytotoxic materials. Growth in solution formulated with reagent grade chemicals

  13. Low cost manned Mars mission based on indigenous propellant production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bruckner, A. P.; Cinnamon, M.; Hamling, S.; Mahn, K.; Phillips, J.; Westmark, V.

    1993-01-01

    The paper describes a low-cost approach to the manned exploration of Mars (which involves an unmanned mission followed two years later by a manned mission) based on near-term technologies and in situ propellant production. Particular attention is given to the basic mission architecture and its major components, including the orbital analysis, the unmanned segment, the Earth Return Vehicle, the aerobrake design, life sciences, guidance, communications, power, propellant production, the surface rovers, and Mars science. Also discussed are the cost per mission over an assumed 8-yr initiative.

  14. Livestock and feed water productivity in the mixed crop-livestock system.

    PubMed

    Bekele, M; Mengistu, A; Tamir, B

    2017-02-22

    Recently with limited information from intensified grain-based farming systems in developed countries, livestock production is challenged as being huge consumer of freshwater. The smallholder mixed crop-livestock (MCL) system which is predominant in developing countries like Ethiopia, is maintained with considerable contributions of crop residues (CR) to livestock feeding. Inclusion of CR is expected to reduce the water requirement for feed production resulting improvement in livestock water productivity (LWP). This study was conducted to determine feed water productivity (FWP) and LWP in the MCL system. A multistage sampling procedure was followed to select farmers from different wealth status. Wealth status dictated by ownership of key farm resources such as size of cropland and livestock influenced the magnitude of livestock outputs, FWP and LWP. Significant difference in feed collected, freshwater evapotranspired, livestock outputs and water productivity (WP) were observed between wealth groups, where wealthier are relatively more advantaged. Water productivity of CR and grazing land (GL) analyzed separately showed contrasting differences where better-off gained more on CR, whereas vice versa on GL. These counterbalancing of variations may justify the non-significant difference in total FWP between wealth groups. Despite observed differences, low WP on GL indicates the need of interventions at all levels. The variation in WP of CR is attributed to availability of production factors which restrained the capacity of poor farmers most. A linear relationship between the proportion of CR in livestock feed and FWP was evident, but the relationship with LWP was not likely linear. As CR are inherently low in digestibility and nutritive values which have an effect on feed conversion into valuable livestock products and services, increasing share of CR beyond an optimum level is not a viable option to bring improvements in livestock productivity as expressed in terms of

  15. Effects of SO/sub 2/ and ozone on crop physiology and productivity. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Laeuchli, A.; Timm, H.

    1985-08-26

    Growth and productivity of several crop cultivars were related to physiological and biochemical parameters. In laboratory studies seed germination was not sensitive to SO/sub 2/ and ozone but root growth was sensitive. SO/sub 2/ inhibited pollen tube growth; ozone had no effect on pollen viability. Differential SO/sub 2/ sensitivity in corn cultivars was related to cellular uptake and detoxification. SO/sub 2/ induced ethylene production in a sensitive corn cultivar without visible injury. In bean cultivars sensitivity to ozone was correlated with stomatal uptake. Ozone decreased plant growth and pod yield, and lowered leaf water potential prior to bloom.

  16. Current status of the production of high temperature tolerant transgenic crops for cultivation in warmer climates.

    PubMed

    Lavania, Dhruv; Dhingra, Anuradha; Siddiqui, Manzer H; Al-Whaibi, Mohamed H; Grover, Anil

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is resulting in heightened incidences of plant heat stress episodes. Production of transgenic crops with enhanced heat stress tolerance is a highly desired agronomic trait for the sustainability of food production in 21st century. We review the current status of our understanding of the high temperature stress response of plants. We specifically deliberate on the progress made in altering levels of heat shock proteins (Hsp100, Hsp70/Hsp40 and sHsps), heat shock factors and specific metabolic proteins in improving plant tolerance to heat stress by transgenic approach.

  17. Pesticide occurrence in groundwater in areas of high-density row crop production in Alabama, 2009

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moreland, Richard S.

    2011-01-01

    High-density row crop production occurs in three areas of Alabama that are underlain by productive aquifers, northern Alabama, southeastern Alabama, and Baldwin County in southwestern Alabama. The U.S. Geological Survey collected five groundwater samples from each of these three areas during 2009 for analysis of selected pesticides. Results of these analyses showed detections for 37 of 152 analytes. The three most frequently detected compounds were atrazine, 2-Chloro-4-isopropylamino-6-amino-triazine (CIAT), and metolachlor. The highest concentration for any analyte was 4.08 micrograms per liter for metolachlor.

  18. Climatic and management drivers of CO2 exchanges by a production crop: analysis over three successive 4-year cycles.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buysse, Pauline; Moureaux, Christine; Bodson, Bernard; Aubinet, Marc

    2016-04-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) exchanges between crops and the atmosphere are influenced by both climatic and crop management drivers. The investigated crop, situated at the Lonzée Terrestrial Observatory (candidate ICOS site) in the Hesbaye region in Belgium and managed for more than 70 years using conventional farming practices, was monitored over three complete sugar beet/winter wheat/potato/winter wheat rotation cycles from 2004 to 2016. Eddy covariance, automatic and manual soil chambers, leaf diffusion and biomass measurements were performed continuously in order to obtain the daily and seasonal Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE), Gross Primary Productivity (GPP), total Ecosystem Respiration (TER), Net Primary Productivity (NPP), autotrophic respiration, heterotrophic respiration and Net Biome Production (NBP). Meteorological data and crop management practices were also recorded. Climatic and seasonal evolutions of the carbon balance components were studied and crop carbon budgets were computed both at the yearly and crop rotation cycle scales. On average over the 12 years, NEE was negative but NBP was positive, i.e. as far as carbon exportation by harvest are included in the budget, the site behaved as a carbon source. Impacts of both meteorological drivers and crop management operations on CO2 exchanges were analyzed and compared between crop types, years, and rotation cycles. The uncertainties associated to the carbon fluxes were also evaluated and discussed.

  19. The limits of crop productivity: validating theoretical estimates and determining the factors that limit crop yields in optimal environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugbee, B.; Monje, O.

    1992-01-01

    Plant scientists have sought to maximize the yield of food crops since the beginning of agriculture. There are numerous reports of record food and biomass yields (per unit area) in all major crop plants, but many of the record yield reports are in error because they exceed the maximal theoretical rates of the component processes. In this article, we review the component processes that govern yield limits and describe how each process can be individually measured. This procedure has helped us validate theoretical estimates and determine what factors limit yields in optimal environments.

  20. Intercropping of aromatic crop Pelargonium graveolens with Solanum tuberosum for better productivity and soil health.

    PubMed

    Vermal, Rajesh Kumar; Yadav, Ajai; Verma, Ram Swaroop; Khan, Khushboo

    2014-11-01

    Farmers in hilly regions experience low production potential and resource use efficiency due to low valued crops and poorsoil health. Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens L.) is a vegetatively propagated initially slow growing, high value aromatic crop. Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is also vegetatively propagated high demand cash crop. A field experiment was carried out in temperate climate to investigate the influence of geranium intercropping at different row strips (1:1 and 1:2) and plant density (60 x 45, 75 x 45 and 90 x 45 cm) with potato intercrop on biomass, oil yield, monetary advantage and soil quality parameters. The row spacing 60x45cm and row strip 1:1 was found to be superior and produced 92 t ha(-1) and 14 kg ha(-1) biomass and oil yield, respectively. The row strip 1:2 intercrop earned a maximum $2107, followed by $1862 with row strip 1:1 at 60 x 45 cm plant density. Significant variations were noticed in soil organic carbon (Corg), total N (Nt), available nutrients, soil microbial biomass (Cmic) and nitrogen (Nmic) content. Maximum improvement of Corg (41.0%) and Nt (27.5%)with row strip 1:1 at 75 x 45 cm plant density. While higher soil respiration rate, Cmic, Nmic, and qCO2 was found with 1:2 row strip at 60 x 45 plant density. The buildup of Corg and Cmic potato intercrop can promote long term sustainability on productivity and soil health.

  1. Impact of crop production on air quality in life support dynamics in closed habitats

    SciTech Connect

    Volk, T.

    1987-01-01

    Interest in human-designed closed habitats - where the substances needed for human life support are continuously regenerated from waste products - is growing, as apparent from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Closed Ecological Life Support Systems Program, the Soviet Union's Bios experiments, and the Biosphere II Project in Arizona. Nuclear-powered bases on the moon and Mars will have food-growing capabilities, and through gas-exchange processes these crops will alter the atmospheric composition. This study focuses on major gases tied to human life support: CO/sub 2/, O/sub 2/, and water vapor. Since actual systems are years and likely decades away, simulation studies can indicate necessary further research and provide instruction about the predicted behavior of such systems. To look at the first-order plant dynamics, i.e., the production of O/sub 2/ and water vapor and the consumption of CO/sub 2/, a simulation model is constructed with crop, human, and waste subsystems. The plant can either share an atmosphere with the humans or be separate, linked by osmotic or mechanical gas exchangers. The crop subsystem is sketched. Stoichiometric equations for the biosynthesis of protein, carbohydrates, and lipids in the edible portion and carbohydrates, fiber, and lignin in the inedible portion govern growth, mimicking that currently observed in the latest hydroponic wheat experiments.

  2. Satellite remote sensing - An integral tool in acquiring global crop production information

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, F. G.

    1982-01-01

    Since NASA's program of research concerning remote sensing was initiated in the 1960s, one of its major objectives has been to advance the state-of-the-art in machine processing of satellite acquired multispectral data. Possibilities have been studied regarding a use of these data to identify type, to monitor condition, and to estimate the ontogenetic stage of cultural vegetation. The present investigation provides a review of the state-of-the-art of the technology used to make remote sensing crop production estimates in foreign regions. Attention is given to Landsat data acquisition, aspects of registration and preprocessing, questions of data transformation, data modeling, proportion estimation, labeling, development stage models, crop condition models, and an outlook regarding future developments.

  3. Aflatoxin Production of Species and Strains of the Aspergillus flavus Group Isolated from Field Crops

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, H. W.; Boller, R. A.

    1973-01-01

    Peanuts, cottonseed, rice, and sorghum from Texas were sampled over a 3-year period. To insure adequate isolation of alfatoxin-producing species of fungi, low-quality lots were sampled at a rate greater than their respective proportional representation. Aflatoxins were found each year in peanut and cottonseed and were found in 2 of 3 years in rice and sorghum. Aflatoxins were detected in all four crops. The Aspergillus flavus group was much more prevalent in peanut and rice than in cottonseed and sorghum. Of the isolates of the A. flavus group, 96% from peanuts, 79% from cottonseed, 49% from sorghum, and 35% from rice produced aflatoxins. The average toxin production of isolates from rice was much less than that from peanuts, cottonseed, or sorghum. More than 90% of all isolates of the A. flavus group were identified as the species A. flavus. A. parasiticus was isolated from all four crops. Only A. parasiticus produced aflatoxin G. PMID:4197766

  4. 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.

  5. Effect of diversified crop rotations on groundwater levels and crop water productivity in the North China Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xiaolin; Chen, Yuanquan; Pacenka, Steven; Gao, Wangsheng; Ma, Li; Wang, Guangya; Yan, Peng; Sui, Peng; Steenhuis, Tammo S.

    2015-03-01

    Water shortage is the major bottleneck that limits sustainable yield of agriculture in the North China Plain. Due to the over-exploitation of groundwater for irrigating the winter wheat-summer maize double cropping systems, a groundwater crisis is becoming increasingly serious. To help identify more efficient and sustainable utilization of the limited water resources, the water consumption and water use efficiency of five irrigated cropping systems were calculated and the effect of cropping systems on groundwater table changes was estimated based on a long term field experiment from 2003 to 2013 in the North China Plain interpreted using a soil-water-balance model. The five cropping systems included sweet potato → cotton → sweet potato → winter wheat-summer maize (SpCSpWS, 4-year cycle), ryegrass-cotton → peanuts → winter wheat-summer maize (RCPWS, 3-year cycle), peanuts → winter wheat-summer maize (PWS, 2-year cycle), winter wheat-summer maize (WS, 1-year cycle), and continuous cotton (Cont C). The five cropping systems had a wide range of annual average actual evapotranspiration (ETa): Cont C (533 mm/year) < SpCSpWS (556 mm/year) < PWS (615 mm/year) < RCPWS (650 mm/year) < WS rotation (734 mm/year). The sequence of the simulated annual average groundwater decline due to the five cropping systems was WS (1.1 m/year) > RCPWS (0.7 m/year) > PWS (0.6 m/year) > SPCSPWS and Cont C (0.4 m/year). The annual average economic output water use efficiency (WUEe) increased in the order SpCSpWS (11.6 yuan ¥ m-3) > RCPWS (9.0 ¥ m-3) > PWS (7.3 ¥ m-3) > WS (6.8 ¥ m-3) > Cont C (5.6 ¥ m-3) from 2003 to 2013. Results strongly suggest that diversifying crop rotations could play a critically important role in mitigating the over-exploitation of the groundwater, while ensuring the food security or boosting the income of farmers in the North China Plain.

  6. A Guide to Energy Savings - For the Field Crops Producer.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schienbein, Allen

    This booklet gives a brief overview of energy use in field crop production and gives examples of cutting costs of fertilizer use, irrigation, grain drying, tobacco drying, forate production, and tractor and truck use. Recordkeeping is also discussed. (BB)

  7. Reducing pesticide use while preserving crop productivity and profitability on arable farms.

    PubMed

    Lechenet, Martin; Dessaint, Fabrice; Py, Guillaume; Makowski, David; Munier-Jolain, Nicolas

    2017-03-01

    Achieving sustainable crop production while feeding an increasing world population is one of the most ambitious challenges of this century(1). Meeting this challenge will necessarily imply a drastic reduction of adverse environmental effects arising from agricultural activities(2). The reduction of pesticide use is one of the critical drivers to preserve the environment and human health. Pesticide use could be reduced through the adoption of new production strategies(3-5); however, whether substantial reductions of pesticide use are possible without impacting crop productivity and profitability is debatable(6-17). Here, we demonstrated that low pesticide use rarely decreases productivity and profitability in arable farms. We analysed the potential conflicts between pesticide use and productivity or profitability with data from 946 non-organic arable commercial farms showing contrasting levels of pesticide use and covering a wide range of production situations in France. We failed to detect any conflict between low pesticide use and both high productivity and high profitability in 77% of the farms. We estimated that total pesticide use could be reduced by 42% without any negative effects on both productivity and profitability in 59% of farms from our national network. This corresponded to an average reduction of 37, 47 and 60% of herbicide, fungicide and insecticide use, respectively. The potential for reducing pesticide use appeared higher in farms with currently high pesticide use than in farms with low pesticide use. Our results demonstrate that pesticide reduction is already accessible to farmers in most production situations. This would imply profound changes in market organization and trade balance.

  8. Increase Productivity and Cost Optimization in CNC Manufacturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musca, Gavril; Mihalache, Andrei; Tabacaru, Lucian

    2016-11-01

    The advantage of the technological assisted design consists in easy modification of the machining technologies for obtaining machine alternation, tool changing, working parameters variation or the modification of loads to which the tools are subjected. By determining tool movement inside machining and by using tool related moving speeds needed for both positioning and manufacturing we are able to compute the required machining time for each component of the machining operation in progress. The present study describes a cost optimization model for machining operations which uses the following components: machine and its operator related cost, set-up and adjustment, unproductive costs (idle state), direct and indirect costs. By using manufacturing technologies assisted design procedures we may obtain various variants for the technological model by modifying the machining strategy, tooling, working regimes or the machine-tool that are used. Simulating those variants allows us to compare and establish the optimal manufacturing variant as well as the most productive one.

  9. Crop production data for bioregenerative life support: Observations from testing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, R. M.; Mackowiak, C. L.; Stutte, G. W.; Yorio, N. C.; Ruffe, L. M.; Sager, J. C.; Knott, W. M.

    NASA s Biomass Production Chamber BPC at Kennedy Space Center was decommissioned ca 1998 but in the preceding decade several crop tests were conducted that have not been reported in the open literature These included monoculture studies with wheat soybean potato and tomato For each of these studies 20 m 2 of crops were grown in an atmospherically closed chamber 113 m 3 vol using a nutrient film hydroponic technique along with elevated CO 2 1000 or 1200 mu mol mol -1 Canopy light PAR levels ranged from 30 to 85 mol m -2 d -1 depending on the crop and selected photoperiod Total biomass DM productivities reached 40 g m -2 d -1 for wheat 16 g m -2 d -1 for soybean 33 g m -2 d -1 for potato and 20 g m -2 d -1 for tomato Edible biomass DM productivities reached 13 g m -2 d -1 for wheat 6 g m -2 d -1 for soybean 20 g m -2 d -1 for potato and 10 g m -2 d -1 for tomato The highest radiation use efficiencies for biomass were 0 60 g DM mol -1 PAR for wheat 0 50 g mol -1 for soybean 0 95 g mol -1 for potato and 0 51 g mol -1 for tomato The highest radiation use efficiencies for edible biomass were 0 22 g DM mol -1 for wheat 0 18 g mol -1 for soybean 0 58 g mol -1 for potato and 0 25 g mol -1 for tomato Use of transplanting cycles or spacing techniques to reduce open gaps between plants early in growth would have improved productivities and radiation use efficiencies for soybeans potatoes and

  10. Arundo donax L.: a non-food crop for bioenergy and bio-compound production.

    PubMed

    Corno, Luca; Pilu, Roberto; Adani, Fabrizio

    2014-12-01

    Arundo donax L., common name giant cane or giant reed, is a plant that grows spontaneously in different kinds of environments and that it is widespread in temperate and hot areas all over the world. Plant adaptability to different kinds of environment, soils and growing conditions, in combination with the high biomass production and the low input required for its cultivation, give to A. donax many advantages when compared to other energy crops. A. donax can be used in the production of biofuels/bioenergy not only by biological fermentation, i.e. biogas and bio-ethanol, but also, by direct biomass combustion. Both its industrial uses and the extraction of chemical compounds are largely proved, so that A. donax can be proposed as the feedstock to develop a bio-refinery. Nowadays, the use of this non-food plant in both biofuel/bioenergy and bio-based compound production is just beginning, with great possibilities for expanding its cultivation in the future. To this end, this review highlights the potential of using A. donax for energy and bio-compound production, by collecting and critically discussing the data available on these first applications for the crop.

  11. Pretreatment of Whole-Crop Harvested, Ensiled Maize for Ethanol Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomsen, M. H.; Holm-Nielsen, J. B.; Oleskowicz-Popiel, P.; Thomsen, A. B.

    To have all-year-round available feedstock, whole-crop maize is harvested premature, when it still contains enough moisture for the anaerobic ensiling process. Silage preparation is a well-known procedure for preserving plant material. At first, this method was applied to obtain high-quality animal feed. However, it was found that such ensiled crops are very suitable for bioenergy production. Maize silage, which consists of hardly degradable lignocellulosic material, hemicellulosic material, and starch, was evaluated for its potential as a feedstock in the production of bioethanol. It was pretreated at low severity (185 °C, 15 min) giving very high glucan (˜100%) and hemicellulose recoveries (<80%)—as well as very high ethanol yield in simultaneous saccharification and fermentation experiments (98% of the theoretical production based on available glucan in the medium). The theoretical ethanol production of maize silage pretreated at 185 °C for 15 min without oxygen or catalyst was 392 kg ethanol per ton of dry maize silage.

  12. Soil Carbon Changes in Transitional Grain Crop Production Systems in South Dakota

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woodard, H. J.

    2004-12-01

    Corn-C (Zea Mays L.), soybean-S (Glycine max L.) and spring wheat-W (Triticum aestivum L.) crops were seeded as a component of either a C-S, S-W, or C-S-W crop rotation on silt-loam textured soils ranging from 3.0-5.0% organic matter. Conservation tillage(chisel plow-field cultivator) was applied to half of the plots. The other plots were direct seeded as a no-till (zero-tillage) treatment. Grain yield and surface crop residues were weighed from each treatment plot. Crop residue (stover and straw) was removed from half of the plots. After four years, soil samples were removed at various increments of depth and soil organic carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) was measured. The ranking of crop residue weights occurred by the order corn>>soybean>wheat. Surface residue accumulation was also greatest with residue treatments that were returned to the plots, those rotations in which maize was a component, and those without tillage. Mean soil organic carbon levels in the 0-7.5cm depth decreased from 3.41% to 3.19% (- 0.22%) with conventional tillage (chisel plow/field cultivator) as compared to a decrease from 3.19% to 3.05% (-0.14%) in plots without tillage over a four year period. Organic carbon in the 0-7.5cm depth decreased from 3.21% to 3.01% (- 0.20%) after residue removed as compared to a decrease from 3.39% to 3.23% (-0.17%) in plots without tillage applied after four years. The soil C:N ratio (0-7.5cm) decreased from 10.63 to 10.37 (-0.26 (unitless)) in the tilled plots over a four-year period. Soil C:N ratio at the 0-7.5cm depth decreased from 10.72 to 10.04 (-0.68) in the no-till plots over a four year period. Differences in the soil C:N ratio comparing residue removed and residue returned were similar (-0.51 vs. -0.43 respectively). These soils are highly buffered for organic carbon changes. Many cropping cycles are required to determine how soil carbon storage is significantly impacted by production systems.

  13. Advances in plant proteomics toward improvement of crop productivity and stress resistancex

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Junjie; Rampitsch, Christof; Bykova, Natalia V.

    2015-01-01

    Abiotic and biotic stresses constrain plant growth and development negatively impacting crop production. Plants have developed stress-specific adaptations as well as simultaneous responses to a combination of various abiotic stresses with pathogen infection. The efficiency of stress-induced adaptive responses is dependent on activation of molecular signaling pathways and intracellular networks by modulating expression, or abundance, and/or post-translational modification (PTM) of proteins primarily associated with defense mechanisms. In this review, we summarize and evaluate the contribution of proteomic studies to our understanding of stress response mechanisms in different plant organs and tissues. Advanced quantitative proteomic techniques have improved the coverage of total proteomes and sub-proteomes from small amounts of starting material, and characterized PTMs as well as protein–protein interactions at the cellular level, providing detailed information on organ- and tissue-specific regulatory mechanisms responding to a variety of individual stresses or stress combinations during plant life cycle. In particular, we address the tissue-specific signaling networks localized to various organelles that participate in stress-related physiological plasticity and adaptive mechanisms, such as photosynthetic efficiency, symbiotic nitrogen fixation, plant growth, tolerance and common responses to environmental stresses. We also provide an update on the progress of proteomics with major crop species and discuss the current challenges and limitations inherent to proteomics techniques and data interpretation for non-model organisms. Future directions in proteomics research toward crop improvement are further discussed. PMID:25926838

  14. Integrated modelling of crop production and nitrate leaching with the Daisy model.

    PubMed

    Manevski, Kiril; Børgesen, Christen D; Li, Xiaoxin; Andersen, Mathias N; Abrahamsen, Per; Hu, Chunsheng; Hansen, Søren

    2016-01-01

    An integrated modelling strategy was designed and applied to the Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere Transfer model Daisy for simulation of crop production and nitrate leaching under pedo-climatic and agronomic environment different than that of model original parameterisation. The points of significance and caution in the strategy are: •Model preparation should include field data in detail due to the high complexity of the soil and the crop processes simulated with process-based model, and should reflect the study objectives. Inclusion of interactions between parameters in a sensitivity analysis results in better account for impacts on outputs of measured variables.•Model evaluation on several independent data sets increases robustness, at least on coarser time scales such as month or year. It produces a valuable platform for adaptation of the model to new crops or for the improvement of the existing parameters set. On daily time scale, validation for highly dynamic variables such as soil water transport remains challenging. •Model application is demonstrated with relevance for scientists and regional managers. The integrated modelling strategy is applicable for other process-based models similar to Daisy. It is envisaged that the strategy establishes model capability as a useful research/decision-making, and it increases knowledge transferability, reproducibility and traceability.

  15. Assimilation of a satellite-based soil moisture product into a two-layer water balance model for a global crop production decision support system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The monitoring of global food supplies performed by the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Production Estimates and Crop Assessment Division (PECAD) is essential for early warning of food shortages, and providing greater economic security within the agriculture sector. Monthly crop yield and for...

  16. Sugarcane and other crops as fuel feedstocks

    SciTech Connect

    Irvine, J.E.

    1980-07-01

    The use of sugarcane as a feedstock for fuel alcohol production in Brazil, and in Zimbabwe Rhodesia and Panama stimulated tremendous interest in the potential of agricultural crops for renewable energy sources. The cost of the feedstock is important. Corn, the current major agricultural feedstock in US fuel alcohol production, costs 60 to 80% of the selling price of the alcohol produced from it. Production costs for sugarcane and sugarbeets are higher than for corn. Sugarcane and sugarbeets, yield more fermentable carbohydrates per acre than any other crop. Sugarcane has the distinct advantage of containing a large amount of fiber in the harvested portion. The feedstock cost of sugarcane can be reduced by producing more cane per acre. Sweet sorghum has been discussed as a fuel crop. Cassana, the tapioca source, is thought to be a fuel crop of major potential. Feedstock cost can also be reduced through management decisions that reduce costly practices. Cultivation and fertilizer costs can be reduced. The operating cost of the processing plant is affected by the choice of crops grown for feedstock, both by their cost and by availability. (DP)

  17. Estimating emissions from crop residue open burning in China based on statistics and MODIS fire products.

    PubMed

    Li, Jing; Bo, Yu; Xie, Shaodong

    2016-06-01

    With the objective of reducing the large uncertainties in the estimations of emissions from crop residue open burning, an improved method for establishing emission inventories of crop residue open burning at a high spatial resolution of 0.25°×0.25° and a temporal resolution of 1month was established based on the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) Thermal Anomalies/Fire Daily Level3 Global Product (MOD/MYD14A1). Agriculture mechanization ratios and regional crop-specific grain-to-straw ratios were introduced to improve the accuracy of related activity data. Locally observed emission factors were used to calculate the primary pollutant emissions. MODIS satellite data were modified by combining them with county-level agricultural statistical data, which reduced the influence of missing fire counts caused by their small size and cloud cover. The annual emissions of CO2, CO, CH4, nonmethane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), N2O, NOx, NH3, SO2, fine particles (PM2.5), organic carbon (OC), and black carbon (BC) were 150.40, 6.70, 0.51, 0.88, 0.01, 0.13, 0.07, 0.43, 1.09, 0.34, and 0.06Tg, respectively, in 2012. Crop residue open burning emissions displayed typical seasonal and spatial variation. The highest emission regions were the Yellow-Huai River and Yangtse-Huai River areas, and the monthly emissions were highest in June (37%). Uncertainties in the emission estimates, measured as 95% confidence intervals, range from a low of within ±126% for N2O to a high of within ±169% for NH3.

  18. Economic Benefits of Improved Information on Worldwide Crop Production: An Optimal Decision Model of Production and Distribution with Application to Wheat, Corn, and Soybeans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Andrews, J.

    1977-01-01

    An optimal decision model of crop production, trade, and storage was developed for use in estimating the economic consequences of improved forecasts and estimates of worldwide crop production. The model extends earlier distribution benefits models to include production effects as well. Application to improved information systems meeting the goals set in the large area crop inventory experiment (LACIE) indicates annual benefits to the United States of $200 to $250 million for wheat, $50 to $100 million for corn, and $6 to $11 million for soybeans, using conservative assumptions on expected LANDSAT system performance.

  19. Influence of Three Citrus Herbicides on Potential Production of Sorghum bicolor 'Topper 76-6' as a Bioenergy Crop.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Patrick C; Gruber, Barrett; Lin, Youjian; Kumar, Prem; Niebch, David; Wilson, Sandra

    2016-11-01

    Planting bioenergy crops on land previously used for citrus production may offer an alternative source of revenue for growers looking for alternative-to-citrus crops. However, residual herbicides used in citrus production may adversely affect alternative crops. This study evaluated effects of three herbicides (bromacil, norflurazon, and simazine) commonly used in citrus production on the bioenergy crop Sorghum bicolor 'Topper 76-6'. Plants were exposed to herbicides in soil for 1-5 weeks and observations of effects on photosynthetic quantum yield, leaf greenness, height, and biomass were made. Results indicate that concentrations of bromacil and norflurazon greater than 0.09 and 0.07 mg/kg and simazine >0.46 mg/kg will impair growth and development in similar soils. Concentrations below these may also be toxic.

  20. Environmental Nitrogen Losses from Commercial Crop Production Systems in the Suwannee River Basin of Florida.

    PubMed

    Prasad, Rishi; Hochmuth, George J

    2016-01-01

    The springs and the Suwannee river of northern Florida in Middle Suwanee River Basin (MSRB) are among several examples in this planet that have shown a temporal trend of increasing nitrate concentration primarily due to the impacts of non-point sources such as agriculture. The rate of nitrate increase in the river as documented by Ham and Hatzell (1996) was 0.02 mg N L-1 y-1. Best management practices (BMPs) for nutrients were adopted by the commercial farms in the MSRB region to reduce the amounts of pollutants entering the water bodies, however the effectiveness of BMPs remains a topic of interest and discussion among the researchers, environmental administrators and policy makers about the loads of nitrogen entering into groundwater and river systems. Through this study, an initiative was taken to estimate nitrogen losses into the environment from commercial production systems of row and vegetable crops that had adopted BMPs and were under a presumption of compliance with state water quality standards. Nitrogen mass budget was constructed by quantifying the N sources and sinks for three crops (potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), sweet corn (Zea mays L.) and silage corn (Zea mays L.)) over a four year period (2010-2013) on a large representative commercial farm in northern Florida. Fertilizer N was found to be the primary N input and represented 98.0 ± 1.4, 91.0 ± 13.9, 78.0 ± 17.3% of the total N input for potato, sweet corn, and silage corn, respectively. Average crop N uptake represented 55.5%, 60.5%, and 65.2% of the mean total input N whereas average mineral N left in top 0.3 m soil layer at harvest represented 9.1%, 4.5%, and 2.6% of the mean total input N. Mean environmental N losses represented 35.3%, 34.3%, and 32.7% of the mean total input N for potato, sweet corn, and silage corn, respectively. Nitrogen losses showed a linear trend with increase in N inputs. Although, there is no quick fix for controlling N losses from crop production in MSRB, the

  1. Environmental Nitrogen Losses from Commercial Crop Production Systems in the Suwannee River Basin of Florida

    PubMed Central

    Prasad, Rishi; Hochmuth, George J.

    2016-01-01

    The springs and the Suwannee river of northern Florida in Middle Suwanee River Basin (MSRB) are among several examples in this planet that have shown a temporal trend of increasing nitrate concentration primarily due to the impacts of non-point sources such as agriculture. The rate of nitrate increase in the river as documented by Ham and Hatzell (1996) was 0.02 mg N L-1 y-1. Best management practices (BMPs) for nutrients were adopted by the commercial farms in the MSRB region to reduce the amounts of pollutants entering the water bodies, however the effectiveness of BMPs remains a topic of interest and discussion among the researchers, environmental administrators and policy makers about the loads of nitrogen entering into groundwater and river systems. Through this study, an initiative was taken to estimate nitrogen losses into the environment from commercial production systems of row and vegetable crops that had adopted BMPs and were under a presumption of compliance with state water quality standards. Nitrogen mass budget was constructed by quantifying the N sources and sinks for three crops (potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), sweet corn (Zea mays L.) and silage corn (Zea mays L.)) over a four year period (2010–2013) on a large representative commercial farm in northern Florida. Fertilizer N was found to be the primary N input and represented 98.0 ± 1.4, 91.0 ± 13.9, 78.0 ± 17.3% of the total N input for potato, sweet corn, and silage corn, respectively. Average crop N uptake represented 55.5%, 60.5%, and 65.2% of the mean total input N whereas average mineral N left in top 0.3 m soil layer at harvest represented 9.1%, 4.5%, and 2.6% of the mean total input N. Mean environmental N losses represented 35.3%, 34.3%, and 32.7% of the mean total input N for potato, sweet corn, and silage corn, respectively. Nitrogen losses showed a linear trend with increase in N inputs. Although, there is no quick fix for controlling N losses from crop production in MSRB, the

  2. Genotypic diversity effects on biomass production in native perennial bioenergy cropping systems.

    PubMed

    Morris, Geoffrey P; Hu, Zhenbin; Grabowski, Paul P; Borevitz, Justin O; de Graaff, Marie-Anne; Miller, R Michael; Jastrow, Julie D

    2016-09-01

    The perennial grass species that are being developed as biomass feedstock crops harbor extensive genotypic diversity, but the effects of this diversity on biomass production are not well understood. We investigated the effects of genotypic diversity in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) on perennial biomass cropping systems in two experiments conducted over 2008-2014 at a 5.4-ha fertile field site in northeastern Illinois, USA. We varied levels of switchgrass and big bluestem genotypic diversity using various local and nonlocal cultivars - under low or high species diversity, with or without nitrogen inputs - and quantified establishment, biomass yield, and biomass composition. In one experiment ('agronomic trial'), we compared three switchgrass cultivars in monoculture to a switchgrass cultivar mixture and three different species mixtures, with or without N fertilization. In another experiment ('diversity gradient'), we varied diversity levels in switchgrass and big bluestem (1, 2, 4, or 6 cultivars per plot), with one or two species per plot. In both experiments, cultivar mixtures produced yields equivalent to or greater than the best cultivars. In the agronomic trial, the three switchgrass mixture showed the highest production overall, though not significantly different than best cultivar monoculture. In the diversity gradient, genotypic mixtures had one-third higher biomass production than the average monoculture, and none of the monocultures were significantly higher yielding than the average mixture. Year-to-year variation in yields was lowest in the three-cultivar switchgrass mixtures and Cave-In-Rock (the southern Illinois cultivar) and also reduced in the mixture of switchgrass and big bluestem relative to the species monocultures. The effects of genotypic diversity on biomass composition were modest relative to the differences among species and genotypes. Our findings suggest that local genotypes can be included in

  3. Managing soil microbial communities in grain production systems through cropping practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Vadakattu

    2013-04-01

    Cropping practices can significantly influence the composition and activity of soil microbial communities with consequences to plant growth and production. Plant type can affect functional capacity of different groups of biota in the soil surrounding their roots, rhizosphere, influencing plant nutrition, beneficial symbioses, pests and diseases and overall plant health and crop production. The interaction between different players in the rhizosphere is due to the plethora of carbon and nutritional compounds, root-specific chemical signals and growth regulators that originate from the plant and are modulated by the physico-chemical properties of soils. A number of plant and environmental factors and management practices can influence the quantity and quality of rhizodeposition and in turn affect the composition of rhizosphere biota communities, microbe-fauna interactions and biological processes. Some of the examples of rhizosphere interactions that are currently considered important are: proliferation of plant and variety specific genera or groups of microbiota, induction of genes involved in symbiosis and virulence, promoter activity in biocontrol agents and genes correlated with root adhesion and border cell quality and quantity. The observation of variety-based differences in rhizodeposition and associated changes in rhizosphere microbial diversity and function suggests the possibility for the development of varieties with specific root-microbe interactions targeted for soil type and environment i.e. designer rhizospheres. Spatial location of microorganisms in the heterogeneous field soil matrix can have significant impacts on biological processes. Therefore, for rhizosphere research to be effective in variable seasonal climate and soil conditions, it must be evaluated in the field and within a farming systems context. With the current focus on security of food to feed the growing global populations through sustainable agricultural production systems there is a

  4. LOW COST PRODUCTION OF CARBON FIBERS FROM LIGNIN MATERIALS

    SciTech Connect

    Gallego, Nidia C; Baker, Darren A; Baker, Frederick S

    2009-01-01

    The DOE Vehicle Technologies-funded work at ORNL is directed to the development of processes for the low cost production of carbon fibers. The objective of the project is to develop more energy-efficient, cost-effective processes for production of carbon fibers for use in composite materials for vehicles, which would substantially reduce vehicle weight, increase vehicle fuel economy, and result in lower CO2 emissions. Carbon fibers have the potential for substantial weight saving in vehicles because of their remarkable high strength, high modulus, and low density. However, carbon fibers are currently too expensive for large scale automotive use, which necessitates a large reduction in the cost of commercial grade fiber from about $20/lb to $5-7/lb. Lignin, a renewable resource material, has significant potential as a precursor material for low cost carbon fiber production. In this paper we report on progress to demonstrate the melt-spinning of precursor fibers from various lignin sources, the subsequent processing of the lignin precursor fibers into carbon fibers, and carbon fiber properties.

  5. Low cost production of disposable microfluidics by blister packaging technology.

    PubMed

    Disch, A; Mueller, C; Reinecke, H

    2007-01-01

    Large scale production of disposable microfluidics mostly is accomplished by injection moulding techniques today. A cost effective alternative to injection moulding might be vacuum thermoforming of polymer films. Vacuum thermoforming is the basis for medical and pharmaceutical packaging such as pharmaceutical blister packs. It allows for cheap and reliable forming of polymer films and thus seems suitable for the fabrication of disposables. Our goal is to investigate and demonstrate the potential of vacuum thermoforming for the fabrication of microtechnology components. For this purpose we have developed a simple low cost process allowing for the fabrication of disposable microfluidics by vacuum thermoforming.

  6. Suitability of Gray Water for Hydroponic Crop Production Following Biological and Physical Chemical and Biological Subsystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bubenheim, David L.; Harper, Lynn D.; Wignarajah, Kanapathipillai; Greene, Catherine

    1994-01-01

    The water present in waste streams from a human habitat must be recycled in Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) to limit resupply needs and attain self-sufficiency. Plants play an important role in providing food, regenerating air, and producing purified water via transpiration. However, we have shown that the surfactants present in hygiene waste water have acute toxic effects on plant growth (Bubenheim et al. 1994; Greene et al., 1994). These phytotoxic affects can be mitigated by allowing the microbial population on the root surface to degrade the surfactant, however, a significant suppression (several days) in crop performance is experienced prior to reaching sub-toxic surfactant levels and plant recovery. An effective alternative is to stabilize the microbial population responsible for degradation of the surfactant on an aerobic bioreactor and process the waste water prior to utilization in the hydroponic solution (Wisniewski and Bubenheim, 1993). A sensitive bioassay indicates that the surfactant phytotoxicity is suppressed by more than 90% within 5 hours of introduction of the gray water to the bioreactor; processing for more than 12 hours degrades more than 99% of the phytotoxin. Vapor Compression Distillation (VCD) is a physical / chemical method for water purification which employees sequential distillation steps to separate water from solids and to volatilize contaminants. The solids from the waste water are concentrated in a brine and the pure product water (70 - 90% of the total waste water volume depending on operating conditions) retains non of the phytotoxic effects. Results of the bioassay were used to guide evaluations of the suitability of recovered gray water following biological and VCD processing for hydroponic lettuce production in controlled environments. Lettuce crops were grown for 28 days with 100% of the input water supplied with recovered water from the biological processor or VCD. When compared with the growth of plants

  7. Implementation of Sustainable Soil Management Practices to Improve Crop Production in the Different Ethiopian Agro Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Moreno, R.; Gameda, S.; Diaz Alvarez, M. C.; Selasie, Y. G.

    2012-04-01

    Agriculture in Ethiopia is one of first priority since close to 10 In this context, the Ethiopian crop production faces to the following soil management challenges: lack of updated soil data, macro and micro nutrient depletion, acidity, salinity and soil surface erosion and crusting. One of the biggest issues is the loss of arable land, above 137 T/yr, reaching during some particularly dried periods until 300 T/yr. In this context, the authors constituted a working group of experts from Spanish and Ethiopian universities, local producers and international and governmental organisms to analyse the problems related to the different agro ecological zones found in Ethiopia and the management practices of different local producers. The study produced the trends to implement in the different areas to improve soil management practices in order to contribute to increase the crop production mainly to achieve food security problems. The analyse produced different working fields for the next years for addressing soil degradation, improving land resources management practices, increasing agricultural productivity, updating the available soil data, developing an international program of education, transferring of knowledge from similar study cases and implementing economical tools to help producers to assure income after severe edapho-climatic events. The practical work and the projects developed for the next period is addressed to smallholder farms belonging to the different 34 agro ecological zones identified in Ethiopia, each of them with very specific environmental, cultural and soil management practices.

  8. Coexistence between conventional, organic and GM crops production: the Portuguese system.

    PubMed

    Chiarabolli, Alessandro

    2011-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to analyze the way of Portugal is addressing the issue of the coexistence between conventional, organic and Genetically Modified (GM) crops production. In the EU, no form of agriculture, be it conventional, organic or transgenic, should be excluded. Farmers are free to choose the production type they prefer, without being forced to change patterns already established in the area and without spending more resources. Farmers' choice of growing GM or non-GM crops depends not only on technical aspects related to the productivity gains and agronomic benefits to be gained from adopting this technology, but also on consumers' preferences. Today only few Member States have adopted specific legislation on coexistence. Portugal was one of the first European Country that, in 2005, adopted a coexistence law and it has implemented one of the most complete systems of coexistence regulation. Today Portugal has a well-balanced regime based on free choice for consumers and growers. It has a coexistence system complete regulation and farmers who wish to cultivate GM maize must fulfill with national coexistence legislation that includes the following compulsory rules: participate in specific coexistence training courses, register the cultivation area, inform by written notification about their intent to cultivate GM, apply measures of coexistence, among others.

  9. Cellulosic Biofuel Production with Winter Cover Crops: Yield and Nitrogen Implications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Interest in renewable energy sources derived from plant biomass is increasing. Growing cover crops after harvest of the primary crop has been proposed as a solution to producing cellulosic biomass on existing crop-producing land without reducing food-harvest potential. Growing cover crops is a recom...

  10. Anticipating on amplifying water stress: Optimal crop production supported by anticipatory water management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartholomeus, Ruud; van den Eertwegh, Gé; Simons, Gijs

    2015-04-01

    Agricultural crop yields depend largely on the soil moisture conditions in the root zone. Drought but especially an excess of water in the root zone and herewith limited availability of soil oxygen reduces crop yield. With ongoing climate change, more prolonged dry periods alternate with more intensive rainfall events, which changes soil moisture dynamics. With unaltered water management practices, reduced crop yield due to both drought stress and waterlogging will increase. Therefore, both farmers and water management authorities need to be provided with opportunities to reduce risks of decreasing crop yields. In The Netherlands, agricultural production of crops represents a market exceeding 2 billion euros annually. Given the increased variability in meteorological conditions and the resulting larger variations in soil moisture contents, it is of large economic importance to provide farmers and water management authorities with tools to mitigate risks of reduced crop yield by anticipatory water management, both at field and at regional scale. We provide the development and the field application of a decision support system (DSS), which allows to optimize crop yield by timely anticipation on drought and waterlogging situations. By using this DSS, we will minimize plant water stress through automated drainage and irrigation management. In order to optimize soil moisture conditions for crop growth, the interacting processes in the soil-plant-atmosphere system need to be considered explicitly. Our study comprises both the set-up and application of the DSS on a pilot plot in The Netherlands, in order to evaluate its implementation into daily agricultural practice. The DSS focusses on anticipatory water management at the field scale, i.e. the unit scale of interest to a farmer. We combine parallel field measurements ('observe'), process-based model simulations ('predict'), and the novel Climate Adaptive Drainage (CAD) system ('adjust') to optimize soil moisture

  11. Sensitivity of Crop Gross Primary Production Simulations to In-situ and Reanalysis Meteorological Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, C.; Xiao, X.; Wagle, P.

    2014-12-01

    Accurate estimation of crop Gross Primary Production (GPP) is important for food securityand terrestrial carbon cycle. Numerous publications have reported the potential of the satellite-based Production Efficiency Models (PEMs) to estimate GPP driven by in-situ climate data. Simulations of the PEMs often require surface reanalysis climate data as inputs, for example, the North America Regional Reanalysis datasets (NARR). These reanalysis datasets showed certain biases from the in-situ climate datasets. Thus, sensitivity analysis of the PEMs to the climate inputs is needed before their application at the regional scale. This study used the satellite-based Vegetation Photosynthesis Model (VPM), which is driven by solar radiation (R), air temperature (T), and the satellite-based vegetation indices, to quantify the causes and degree of uncertainties in crop GPP estimates due to different meteorological inputs at the 8-day interval (in-situ AmeriFlux data and NARR surface reanalysis data). The NARR radiation (RNARR) explained over 95% of the variability in in-situ RAF and TAF measured from AmeriFlux. The bais of TNARR was relatively small. However, RNARR had a systematical positive bias of ~3.5 MJ m-2day-1 from RAF. A simple adjustment based on the spatial statistic between RNARR and RAF produced relatively accurate radiation data for all crop site-years by reducing RMSE from 4 to 1.7 MJ m-2day-1. The VPM-based GPP estimates with three climate datasets (i.e., in-situ, and NARR before and after adjustment, GPPVPM,AF, GPPVPM,NARR, and GPPVPM,adjNARR) showed good agreements with the seasonal dynamics of crop GPP derived from the flux towers (GPPAF). The GPPVPM,AF differed from GPPAF by 2% for maize, and -8% to -12% for soybean on the 8-day interval. The positive bias of RNARR resulted in an overestimation of GPPVPM,NARR at both maize and soybean systems. However, GPPVPM,adjNARR significantly reduced the uncertainties of the maize GPP from 25% to 2%. The results from this

  12. Is increased UV-B a threat to crop photosynthesis and productivity?

    PubMed

    Fiscus, E L; Booker, F L

    1995-02-01

    It has been suggested that increases in ground-level UV-B, as a result of stratospheric ozone depletion, may have major deleterious effects on crop photosynthesis and productivity. The direct consequences of such effects have been projected by some as a world-wide decrease in crop yields of 20-25%. Further losses, or unrealized gains, have also been suggested as a result of increased UV-B counteracting the beneficial effects of elevated atmospheric CO2. Deleterious UV-B effects may be largely partitioned between damage to the plant genome and damage to the photosynthetic machinery. Direct damage to DNA is a common result of absorption of high energy UV-B photons. However, most plants possess repair mechanisms adequate to deal with the levels of damage expected from projected increases in ground-level UV-B. In addition, most plants have the ability to increase production of UV-absorbing compounds in their leaves as a result of exposure to UV-B, UV-A and visible radiation. These compounds contribute substantially to reducing UV-B damage in situ. It has also been shown that in some plants, under the proper conditions, almost every facet of the photosynthetic machinery can be damaged directly by very high UV-B exposures. However, electron transport, mediated by Photosystem II (PS II) appears to be the most sensitive part of the system. Various laboratories have reported damage to virtually all parts of the PS II complex from the Mn binding site to the plastoquinone acceptor sites on the opposite surface of the thylakoid membrane. However, a critical review of the literature with emphasis on exposure protocols and characterization of the radiation environment, revealed that most growth chamber and greenhouse experiments and very many field experiments have been conducted at unrealistic or indeterminate UV-B exposure levels, especially with regard to the spectral balance of their normal radiation environment. Thus, these experiments have led directly to large

  13. Biochar Impacts on Crop Productivity and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from an Andosol.

    PubMed

    Koga, Nobuhisa; Shimoda, Seiji; Iwata, Yukiyoshi

    2017-01-01

    To assess the impacts of biochar application on crop productivity and global warming mitigation, a 4-yr field experiment was conducted in a well-drained Andosol in northern Japan. Wood residue-derived biochar (pyrolyzed at >800°C) was applied at rates of 0, 10, 20, and 40 Mg ha for potatoes, winter wheat, sugar beet, and soybeans cultivated in rotation, and CO, NO, and CH emissions from the soil and yield and quality of the harvested materials were measured. Biochar application, regardless of rate, had no significant impact on yield and quality of the harvested materials, except for soybean grain yield. It also had no effect on cumulative CO, NO, and CH emissions from the soil. Andosols are inherently highly porous, and biochar application increased soil porosity only at the highest amendment level. The small changes in soil properties and the recalcitrance of the biochar's C components probably account for the unchanged soil-associated greenhouse gas emissions and the minimal impact on crop yield and quality. Because soil CO emission was not increased, the net ecosystem C budget during the study period increased with the rate of biochar application from -3.55 ± 0.19 Mg C ha without biochar application to 4.89 ± 0.46, 13.4 ± 0.3, and 29.9 ± 0.4 Mg C ha at application rates of 10, 20, and 40 Mg ha, respectively; therefore, application of wood residue-derived biochar to an Andosol has great potential for mitigating global warming through enhanced soil C sequestration without sacrificing crop productivity.

  14. Long-term global trends in crop yield and production reveal no current pollination shortage but increasing pollinator dependency.

    PubMed

    Aizen, Marcelo A; Garibaldi, Lucas A; Cunningham, Saul A; Klein, Alexandra M

    2008-10-28

    There is evidence that pollinators are declining as a result of local and global environmental degradation [1-4]. Because a sizable proportion of the human diet depends directly or indirectly on animal pollination [5], the issue of how decreases in pollinator stocks could affect global crop production is of paramount importance [6-8]. Using the extensive FAO data set [9], we compared 45 year series (1961-2006) in yield, and total production and cultivated area of pollinator-dependent and nondependent crops [5]. We investigated temporal trends separately for the developed and developing world because differences in agricultural intensification, and socioeconomic and environmental conditions might affect yield and pollinators [10-13]. Since 1961, crop yield (Mt/ha) has increased consistently at average annual growth rates of approximately 1.5%. Temporal trends were similar between pollinator-dependent and nondependent crops in both the developed and developing world, thus not supporting the view that pollinator shortages are affecting crop yield at the global scale. We further report, however, that agriculture has become more pollinator dependent because of a disproportionate increase in the area cultivated with pollinator-dependent crops. If the trend toward favoring cultivation of pollinator-dependent crops continues, the need for the service provided by declining pollinators will greatly increase in the near future.

  15. Sustainable energy crop: An analysis of ethanol production from cassava in Thailand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ubolsook, Aerwadee

    The first essay formulates a dynamic general equilibrium optimal control model of an energy crop as part of a country's planned resource use over a period of time. The model attempts to allocate consumption, production, and factors of production to achieve the country's sustainable development goal. A Cobb-Douglas specification is used for both utility and production functions in the model. We calibrate the model with Thailand data. The selected model is used to generate the stationary state solution and to simulate the optimal policy function and optimal time paths. Two methods are used: a linear approximation method and the Runke-Kutta reverse shooting method. The model provides numerical results that can be used as information for decision makers and stakeholders to devise an economic plan to achieve sustainable development goals. The second essay studies the effect of international trade and changes in labor supply, land supply, and the price of imported energy on energy crop production for bio fuel and food, as well as impacts on social welfare. We develop a dynamic general equilibrium model to describe two baseline scenarios, a closed economy and an open economy. We find that international trade increases welfare and decreases the energy price. Furthermore, resources are allocated to produce more food under the open economy scenario than the quantities produced under a closed economy assumption. An increase in labor supply and land supply result in an increase in social welfare. An increase in imported energy price leads to a welfare loss, higher energy production, and lower food production. The third essay develops a partial equilibrium econometric model to project the impacts of an increase in ethanol production on the Thai agriculture sector over the next ten years. The model is applied to three scenarios for analyzing the effect of government ethanol production targets. The results from the baseline model and scenario analysis indicate that an expansion

  16. Moly99 Production Facility: Report on Beamline Components, Requirements, Costs

    SciTech Connect

    Bishofberger, Kip A.

    2015-12-23

    In FY14 we completed the design of the beam line for the linear accelerator production design concept. This design included a set of three bending magnets, quadrupole focusing magnets, and octopoles to flatten the beam on target. This design was generic and applicable to multiple different accelerators if necessary. In FY15 we built on that work to create specifications for the individual beam optic elements, including power supply requirements. This report captures the specification of beam line components with initial cost estimates for the NorthStar production facility.This report is organized as follows: The motivation of the beamline design is introduced briefly, along with renderings of the design. After that, a specific list is provided, which accounts for each beamline component, including part numbers and costs, to construct the beamline. After that, this report details the important sections of the beamline and individual components. A final summary and list of follow-on activities completes this report.

  17. Biodiesel production from low cost and renewable feedstock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gude, Veera; Grant, Georgene; Patil, Prafulla; Deng, Shuguang

    2013-12-01

    Sustainable biodiesel production should: a) utilize low cost renewable feedstock; b) utilize energy-efficient, nonconventional heating and mixing techniques; c) increase net energy benefit of the process; and d) utilize renewable feedstock/energy sources where possible. In this paper, we discuss the merits of biodiesel production following these criteria supported by the experimental results obtained from the process optimization studies. Waste cooking oil, non-edible (low-cost) oils (Jatropha curcas and Camelina Sativa) and algae were used as feedstock for biodiesel process optimization. A comparison between conventional and non-conventional methods such as microwaves and ultrasound was reported. Finally, net energy scenarios for different biodiesel feedstock options and algae are presented.

  18. Cover crop water use

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cover crops are being widely promoted because of soil health benefits. However, semi-arid dryland production systems, chronically short of water for crop production, may not be able to profitably withstand the yield reduction that follows cover crops because of cover crop water use. Some studies sug...

  19. Assessing the potential for algae and macrophytes to degrade crop protection products in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Kevin A; Hand, Laurence H

    2011-03-01

    Rates of pesticide degradation in aquatic ecosystems often differ between those observed within laboratory studies and field trials. Under field conditions, a number of additional processes may well have a significant role, yet are excluded from standard laboratory studies, for example, metabolism by aquatic plants, phytoplankton, and periphyton. These constituents of natural aquatic ecosystems have been shown to be capable of metabolizing a range of crop protection products. Here we report the rate of degradation of six crop protection products assessed in parallel in three systems, under reproducible, defined laboratory conditions, designed to compare aquatic sediment systems which exclude macrophytes and algae against those in which macrophytes and/or algae are included. All three systems remained as close as possible to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 308 guidelines, assessing degradation of parent compound in the total system in mass balanced studies using ((14) C) labeled compounds. We observed, in all cases where estimated, significant increases in the rate of degradation in both the algae and macrophyte systems when compared to the standard systems. By assessing total system degradation within closed, mass balanced studies, we have shown that rates of degradation are enhanced in water/sediment systems that include macrophytes and algae. The contribution of these communities should therefore be considered if the aquatic fate of pesticides is to be fully understood.

  20. Dedicated Industrial Oilseed Crops as Metabolic Engineering Platforms for Sustainable Industrial Feedstock Production.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Li-Hua; Krens, Frans; Smith, Mark A; Li, Xueyuan; Qi, Weicong; van Loo, Eibertus N; Iven, Tim; Feussner, Ivo; Nazarenus, Tara J; Huai, Dongxin; Taylor, David C; Zhou, Xue-Rong; Green, Allan G; Shockey, Jay; Klasson, K Thomas; Mullen, Robert T; Huang, Bangquan; Dyer, John M; Cahoon, Edgar B

    2016-02-26

    Feedstocks for industrial applications ranging from polymers to lubricants are largely derived from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. Vegetable oils with fatty acid structures and storage forms tailored for specific industrial uses offer renewable and potentially sustainable sources of petrochemical-type functionalities. A wide array of industrial vegetable oils can be generated through biotechnology, but will likely require non-commodity oilseed platforms dedicated to specialty oil production for commercial acceptance. Here we show the feasibility of three Brassicaceae oilseeds crambe, camelina, and carinata, none of which are widely cultivated for food use, as hosts for complex metabolic engineering of wax esters for lubricant applications. Lines producing wax esters >20% of total seed oil were generated for each crop and further improved for high temperature oxidative stability by down-regulation of fatty acid polyunsaturation. Field cultivation of optimized wax ester-producing crambe demonstrated commercial utility of these engineered crops and a path for sustainable production of other industrial oils in dedicated specialty oilseeds.

  1. Energy efficiency and energy homeostasis as genetic and epigenetic components of plant performance and crop productivity.

    PubMed

    De Block, Marc; Van Lijsebettens, Mieke

    2011-06-01

    The importance of energy metabolism in plant performance and plant productivity is conceptually well recognized. In the eighties, several independent studies in Lolium perenne (ryegrass), Zea mays (maize), and Festuca arundinacea (tall fescue) correlated low respiration rates with high yields. Similar reports in the nineties largely confirmed this correlation in Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) and Cucumis sativus (cucumber). However, selection for reduced respiration does not always result in high-yielding cultivars. Indeed, the ratio between energy content and respiration, defined here as energy efficiency, rather than respiration on its own, has a major impact on the yield potential of a crop. Besides energy efficiency, energy homeostasis, representing the balance between energy production and consumption in a changing environment, also contributes to an enhanced plant performance and this happens mainly through an increased stress tolerance. Although a few single gene approaches look promising, probably whole interacting networks have to be modulated, as is done by classical breeding, to improve the energy status of plants. Recent developments show that both energy efficiency and energy homeostasis have an epigenetic component that can be directed and stabilized by artificial selection (i.e. selective breeding). This novel approach offers new opportunities to improve yield potential and stress tolerance in a wide variety of crops.

  2. Dedicated Industrial Oilseed Crops as Metabolic Engineering Platforms for Sustainable Industrial Feedstock Production

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Li-Hua; Krens, Frans; Smith, Mark A.; Li, Xueyuan; Qi, Weicong; van Loo, Eibertus N.; Iven, Tim; Feussner, Ivo; Nazarenus, Tara J.; Huai, Dongxin; Taylor, David C.; Zhou, Xue-Rong; Green, Allan G.; Shockey, Jay; Klasson, K. Thomas; Mullen, Robert T.; Huang, Bangquan; Dyer, John M.; Cahoon, Edgar B.

    2016-01-01

    Feedstocks for industrial applications ranging from polymers to lubricants are largely derived from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. Vegetable oils with fatty acid structures and storage forms tailored for specific industrial uses offer renewable and potentially sustainable sources of petrochemical-type functionalities. A wide array of industrial vegetable oils can be generated through biotechnology, but will likely require non-commodity oilseed platforms dedicated to specialty oil production for commercial acceptance. Here we show the feasibility of three Brassicaceae oilseeds crambe, camelina, and carinata, none of which are widely cultivated for food use, as hosts for complex metabolic engineering of wax esters for lubricant applications. Lines producing wax esters >20% of total seed oil were generated for each crop and further improved for high temperature oxidative stability by down-regulation of fatty acid polyunsaturation. Field cultivation of optimized wax ester-producing crambe demonstrated commercial utility of these engineered crops and a path for sustainable production of other industrial oils in dedicated specialty oilseeds. PMID:26916792

  3. Membrane separation cuts disposal costs for wire-products maker

    SciTech Connect

    Nichele, V.B.

    1996-03-01

    To reduce disposal and maintenance costs associated with alkaline washing stations, a manufacturer of wire-welded products installed a membrane-separation wastewater treatment system. The Missouri-based company produces welded-wire products, such as shelves, closet conversions, wire baskets, display racks and coat hangers. The steel parts undergo an extensive cleaning process that consists of five spray-washing stages. An alkaline solution first washes oil and solids from the steel parts, then is washed off the parts. A phosphatizing solution etches the steel parts. Finally, the parts are rinsed thoroughly with potable water before they are powder coated.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dogaru, Diana

    2016-04-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Exploring the limits of crop productivity: A model to evaluate progress

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugbee, Bruce

    1990-01-01

    The goal was to determine the limits of crop productivity when all environmental constraints were removed. Researchers define productivity as food output per unit of input. Researchers evaluated cultivars of wheat with reduced leaf size and number to decrease the leaf area index at high plant densities. These cultivars may also have an improved harvest index. Hydroponic studies indicate that 1 mM nitrate in solution is adequate to support maximum growth in these systems, provided iron nutrition is adequate. Wheat does not accumulate nitrate in leaves even when the solution nitrate concentration is 15 mM. Long-term photosynthetic efficiency (g mol (exp -1) of photons) and harvest index were not altered by photoperiod (16, 20, or 24 hours). Wheat does not need, nor benefit from, a diurnal dark period.

  7. Vegetable Oil from Leaves and Stems: Vegetative Production of Oil in a C4 Crop

    SciTech Connect

    2012-01-01

    PETRO Project: Arcadia Biosciences, in collaboration with the University of California-Davis, is developing plants that produce vegetable oil in their leaves and stems. Ordinarily, these oils are produced in seeds, but Arcadia Biosciences is turning parts of the plant that are not usually harvested into a source of concentrated energy. Vegetable oil is a concentrated source of energy that plants naturally produce and is easily separated after harvest. Arcadia Biosciences will isolate traits that control oil production in seeds and transfer them into leaves and stems so that all parts of the plants are oil-rich at harvest time. After demonstrating these traits in a fast-growing model plant, Arcadia Biosciences will incorporate them into a variety of dedicated biofuel crops that can be grown on land not typically suited for food production

  8. The net return from animal activity in agro-ecosystems: trading off benefits from ecosystem services against costs from crop damage

    PubMed Central

    Luck, Gary W

    2014-01-01

    Animals provide benefits to agriculture through the provision of ecosystem services, but also inflict costs such as damaging crops. These benefits and costs are mostly examined independently, rather than comparing the trade-offs of animal activity in the same system and quantifying the net return from beneficial minus detrimental activities. Here, I examine the net return associated with the activity of seed-eating birds in almond orchards by quantifying the economic costs and benefits of bird consumption of almonds. Pre-harvest, the consumption of harvestable almonds by birds cost growers AUD$57.50 ha -1 when averaged across the entire plantation. Post-harvest, the same bird species provide an ecosystem service by removing mummified nuts from trees that growers otherwise need to remove to reduce threats from fungal infection or insect pest infestations. The value of this ecosystem service ranged from AUD$82.50 ha -1–$332.50 ha -1 based on the replacement costs of mechanical or manual removal of mummified nuts, respectively. Hence, bird consumption of almonds yielded a positive net return of AUD$25–$275 ha -1 averaged across the entire plantation. However, bird activity varied spatially resulting in positive net returns occurring primarily at the edges of crops where activity was higher, compared to negative net returns in crop interiors. Moreover, partial mummy nut removal by birds meant that bird activity may only reduce costs to growers rather than replace these costs completely. Similar cost-benefit trade-offs exist across nature, and quantifying net returns can better inform land management decisions such as when to control pests or promote ecosystem service provision. PMID:25285202

  9. Relationship between physicochemical properties and maximum residue levels and tolerances of crop-protection products for crops set by the USA, European Union and Codex.

    PubMed

    Thorbek, P; Hyder, K

    2006-08-01

    Residues on foodstuffs resulting from the use of crop-protection products are a function of many factors, e.g. environmental conditions, dissipation and application rate, some of which are linked to the physicochemical properties of the active ingredients. Residue limits (maximum residue levels (MRLs) and tolerances) of fungicides, herbicides and insecticides set by different regulatory authorities are compared, and the relationship between physicochemical properties of the active ingredients and residue limits are explored. This was carried out using simple summary statistics and artificial neural networks. US tolerances tended to be higher than European Union MRLs. Generally, fungicides had the highest residue limits followed by insecticides and herbicides. Physicochemical properties (e.g. aromatic proportion, non-carbon proportion and water solubility) and crop type explained up to 50% of the variation in residue limits. This suggests that physicochemical properties of the active ingredients may control important aspects of the processes leading to residues.

  10. Intercropping Enhances Productivity and Maintains the Most Soil Fertility Properties Relative to Sole Cropping

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhi-Gang; Jin, Xin; Bao, Xing-Guo; Li, Xiao-Fei; Zhao, Jian-Hua; Sun, Jian-Hao; Christie, Peter; Li, Long

    2014-01-01

    Yield and nutrient acquisition advantages are frequently found in intercropping systems. However, there are few published reports on soil fertility in intercropping relative to monocultures. A field experiment was therefore established in 2009 in Gansu province, northwest China. The treatments comprised maize/faba bean, maize/soybean, maize/chickpea and maize/turnip intercropping, and their correspoding monocropping. In 2011 (the 3rd year) and 2012 (the 4th year) the yields and some soil chemical properties and enzyme activities were examined after all crop species were harvested or at later growth stages. Both grain yields and nutrient acquisition were significantly greater in all four intercropping systems than corresponding monocropping over two years. Generally, soil organic matter (OM)