Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 684

World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology

[Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering]

Online ISSN : 1307-6892

684 Study on the Use of Manganese-Containing Materials as a Micro Fertilizer Based on the Local Mineral Resources and Industrial Wastes in Hydroponic Systems

Authors: Marine Shavlakadze

Abstract:

Hydroponic greenhouses systems (production of the artificial substrate without soil) are becoming popular in the world. Mostly the system is used to grow vegetables and berries. Different countries are taking action to participate in the development of hydroponic technology and solutions such as EU members, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Scandinavian countries, etc. Many vegetables and berries are grown by hydroponics in Europe. As a result of our research, we have obtained material containing manganese and nitrogen. It became possible to produce this fertilizer by means of one-stage thermal processing, using industrial waste containing manganese (ores and sludges) and mineral substance (ammonium nitrate) that exist in Georgia. The received material is usable as a micro-fertilizer with economic efficiency. It became possible to turn practically water-insoluble manganese dioxide substance into the soluble condition from industrial waste in an indirect way. The ability to use the material as a fertilizer is predetermined by its chemical and phase composition, as the amount of the active component of the material in relation to manganese is 30%. At the same time, the active component elements presented non-ballast sustained action compounds. The studies implemented in Poland and in Georgia by us have shown that the manganese-containing micro-fertilizer- Mn(NO3)2 can provide the plant with nitrate nitrogen, which is a form that can be used for plants, providing the economy and simplicity of the application of fertilizers. Given the fact that the application of the manganese-containing micro-fertilizers significantly increases the productivity and improves the quality of the big number of agricultural products, it is necessary to mention that it is recommended to introduce the manganese containing fertilizers into the following cultures: sugar beet, corn, potato, vegetables, vine grape, fruit, berries, and other cultures. Also, as a result of the study, it was established that the material obtained is the predominant fertilizer for vegetable cultures in the soil. Based on the positive results of the research, we consider it expedient to conduct research in hydroponic systems, which will enable us to provide plants the required amount of manganese; we also introduce nitrogen in solution and regulate the solution of pH, which is one of the main problems in hydroponic production. The findings of our research will be used in hydroponic greenhouse farms to increase the fertility of vegetable crops and, consequently, to get bountiful and high-quality harvests, which will promote the development of hydroponic greenhouses in Georgia as well as abroad.

Keywords: Hydroponics, micro-fertilizers, manganese ore, chemical amelioration

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683 Species Profiling of White Grub Beetles and Evaluation of Pre and Post Sown Application of Insecticides against White Grub Infesting Soybean

Authors: Mayank Kumar, Ajay Kumar Pandey

Abstract:

White grub (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) is a major destructive pest in western Himalayan region of Uttarakhand. Beetles feed on apple, apricot, plum, walnut etc. during night while, second and third instar grubs feed on live roots of cultivated as well as non-cultivated crops. Collection and identification of scarab beetles through light trap was carried out at Crop Research Centre, Govind Ballab Pant University Pantnagar, Udham Singh Nagar (Uttarakhand) during 2018. Field trials were also conducted in 2018 to evaluate pre and post sown application of different insecticides against the white grub infesting soybean. The insecticides like Carbofuran 3 Granule (G) (750 g a.i./ha), Clothianidin 50 Water Dispersal Granule (WG) (120 g a.i./ha), Fipronil 0.3 G (50 g a.i./ha), Thiamethoxam 25 WG (80 g a.i./ha), Imidacloprid 70 WG (300 g a.i./ha), Chlorantraniliprole 0.4% G(100 g a.i./ha) and mixture of Fipronil 40% and Imidacloprid 40% WG (300 g a.i./ha) were applied at the time of sowing in pre sown experiment while same dosage of insecticides were applied in standing soybean crop during (first fortnight of July). Commutative plant mortality data were recorded after 20, 40, 60 days intervals and compared with untreated control. Total 23 species of white grub beetles recorded on the light trap and Holotrichia serrata Fabricious (Coleoptera: Melolonthinae) was found to be predominant species by recording 20.6% relative abundance out of the total light trap catch (i.e. 1316 beetles) followed by Phyllognathus sp. (14.6% relative abundance). H. rosettae and Heteronychus lioderus occupied third and fourth rank with 11.85% and 9.65% relative abundance, respectively. The emergence of beetles of predominant species started from 15th March, 2018. In April, average light trap catch was 382 white grub beetles, however, peak emergence of most of the white grub species was observed from June to July, 2018 i.e. 336 beetles in June followed by 303 beetles in the July. On the basis of the emergence pattern of white grub beetles, it may be concluded that the Peak Emergence Period (PEP) for the beetles of H. serrata was second fortnight of April for the total period of 15 days. In May, June and July relatively low population of H. serrata was observed. A decreasing trend in light trap catch was observed and went on till September during the study. No single beetle of H. serrata was observed on light trap from September onwards. The cumulative plant mortality data in both the experiments revealed that all the insecticidal treatments were significantly superior in protection-wise (6.49-16.82% cumulative plant mortality) over untreated control where highest plant mortality was 17.28 to 39.65% during study. The mixture of Fipronil 40% and Imidacloprid 40% WG applied at the rate of 300 g a.i. per ha proved to be most effective having lowest plant mortality i.e. 9.29 and 10.94% in pre and post sown crop, followed by Clothianidin 50 WG (120 g a.i. per ha) where the plant mortality was 10.57 and 11.93% in pre and post sown treatments, respectively. Both treatments were found significantly at par among each other. Production-wise, all the insecticidal treatments were found statistically superior (15.00-24.66 q per ha grain yields) over untreated control where the grain yield was 8.25 & 9.13 q per ha. Treatment Fipronil 40% + Imidacloprid 40% WG applied at the rate of 300 g a.i. per ha proved to be most effective and significantly superior over Imidacloprid 70WG applied at the rate of 300 g a.i. per ha.

Keywords: soybean, insecticide, bio efficacy, white grub, Holotrichia

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682 Res2ValHUM: Creation of Resource Management Tool and Microbial Consortia Isolation and Identification

Authors: A. Ribeiro, N. Valério, C. Vilarinho, J. Araujo, J. Carvalho

Abstract:

Res2ValHUM project involves institutions from the Spanish Autonomous Region of Galicia and the north of Portugal (districts of Porto and Braga) and has as overall objectives of promotion of composting as an process for the correct managing of organic waste, valorization of compost in different fields or applications for the constitution of products with high added value, reducing of raw materials losses, and reduction of the amount of waste throw in landfills. Three main actions were designed to achieve the objectives: development of a management tool to improve collection and residue channeling for composting, sensibilization of the population for composting and characterization of the chemical and biological properties of compost and humic and fulvic substances to envisage high-value applications of compost. Here we present the cooperative activity of Galician and northern Portuguese institutions to valorize organic waste in both regions with common socio-economic characteristics and residue management problems. Results from the creation of the resource manage tool proved the existence of a large number of agricultural wastes that could be valorized. In the North of Portugal, the wastes from maize, oats, potato, apple, grape pomace, rye, and olive pomace can be highlighted. In the Autonomous Region of Galicia the wastes from maize, wheat, potato, apple, and chestnuts can be emphasized. Regarding the isolation and identification of microbial consortia from compost samples, results proved microorganisms belong mainly to the genus Bacillus spp. Among all the species identified in compost samples, Bacillus licheniformis can be highlighted in the production of humic and fulvic acids.

Keywords: Agricultural wastes, Bacillus spp, Bacillus licheniformis, humic-acids, fulvic-acids

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681 Plant Supporting Units (Ekobox) Application Project for Increasing Planting Success in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas

Authors: Ali Tanış, Gürcan D. Baysal

Abstract:

In this study, samples of plant types including rose hip (Rosa canina L.), jujube (Ziziphus jujube), sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides), elderberry (Sambucus nigra), apricot (Prunus armeniaca), scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), and cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) were grown using plant supporting units called Ekobox and drip irrigation systems in the Karapınar, Konya region of Turkey to reveal the efficiency of Ekobox and drip irrigation compared against a control with no irrigation. The plant diameter, height, and survival rates were determined, compared with each other, and statistically analyzed. According to the statistical analysis of the results, Ekobox applications resulted in the highest values for survival rate, diameter, and height measurements whereas the lowest values were determined in the control groups. These results indicate that the cultivation of plants with Ekobox may help protect against the loss of fertile soils as an effective mechanism for combating erosion and desertification. These advantages may also lead to a lasting economic effect on the cultivation of plants by locals of the Karapınar, Konya province who suffer from an ever-decreasing underground water level as a result of agricultural consumption.

Keywords: Drip Irrigation, plant height, ekobox, plant diameter, plant survival rate

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680 An Open Loop Distribution Module for Precise and Uniform Drip Fertigation in Soilless Culture

Authors: Giacomo Barbieri, Juan Ignacio Arango, Andres Diaz

Abstract:

In soilless culture, the definition of efficient fertigation strategies is fundamental for the growth of crops. Flexible test-benches able to independently manage groups of crops are key for investigating efficient fertigation practices through experimentation. These test-benches must be able to provide nutrient solution (NS) in a precise, uniform and repeatable way in order to effectively implement and compare different fertigation strategies. This article describes a distribution module for investigating fertigation practices able to control the fertigation dose and frequency. The proposed solution is characterized in terms of precision, uniformity and repeatability since these parameters are fundamental in the implementation of effective experiments for the investigation of fertigation practices. After a calibration process, the implemented system reaches a precision of 1mL, a uniformity of 98.5% at a total cost of 735USD.

Keywords: Automation, Flexibility, test-bench, fertigation strategy, Precision horticulture

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679 Application of Medium High Hydrostatic Pressure in Preserving Textural Quality and Safety of Pineapple Compote

Authors: Nazim Uddin, Yohiko Nakaura, Kazutaka Yamamoto

Abstract:

Compote (fruit in syrup) of pineapple (Ananas comosus L. Merrill) is expected to have a high market potential as one of convenient ready-to-eat (RTE) foods worldwide. High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) in combination with low temperature (LT) was applied to the processing of pineapple compote as well as medium HHP (MHHP) in combination with medium-high temperature (MHT) since both processes can enhance liquid impregnation and inactivate microbes. MHHP+MHT (55 or 65 °C) process, as well as the HHP+LT process, has successfully inactivated the microbes in the compote to a non-detectable level. Although the compotes processed by MHHP+MHT or HHP+LT have lost the fresh texture as in a similar manner as those processed solely by heat, it was indicated that the texture degradations by heat were suppressed under MHHP. Degassing process reduced the hardness, while calcium (Ca) contributed to be retained hardness in MHT and MHHP+MHT processes. Electrical impedance measurement supported the damage due to degassing and heat. The color, Brix, and appearance were not affected by the processing methods significantly. MHHP+MHT and HHP+LT processes may be applicable to produce high-quality, safe RTE pineapple compotes. Further studies on the optimization of packaging and storage condition will be indispensable for commercialization.

Keywords: compote of pineapple, medium high hydrostatic pressure, postharvest loss, ready-to-eat, and texture

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678 Cutting Propagation Studies in Pennisetum divisum and Tamarix aucheriana as Native Plant Species of Kuwait

Authors: L. Almulla

Abstract:

Native plants are better adapted to the local environment providing a more natural effect on landscape projects; their use will both conserve natural resources and produce sustainable greenery. Continuation of evaluation of additional native plants is essential to increase diversity of plant resources for greenery projects. Therefore, in this project an effort was made to study the mass multiplication of further native plants for greenery applications. Standardization of vegetative propagation methods is essential for conservation and sustainable utilization of native plants in restoration projects. Moreover, these simple propagation methods can be readily adapted by the local nursery sector in Kuwait. In the present study, various treatments were used to mass multiply selected plants using vegetative parts to secure maximum rooting and initial growth. Soft or semi-hardwood cuttings of selected native plants were collected from mother plants and subjected to different treatments. Pennisetum divisum can be vegetatively propagated by cuttings/off-shoots. However, Tamarix aucheriana showed maximum number of rooted cuttings and stronger vigor seedlings with the lowest growth hormone concentration. Standardizing the propagation techniques for the native plant species will add to the rehabilitation and landscape revegetation projects in Kuwait.

Keywords: Landscape, Kuwait desert, rooting percentage vegetative propagation

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677 Effects of Oilfield Water Treated by Electroflocculation and Reverse Osmosis in a Typical Brazilian Semiarid Soil

Authors: P. S. A. Souza, M. R. C. Marques, M. M. Rigo, A. A. Cerqueira, J. L. Paiva, F. Merçon, D. V. Perez

Abstract:

Produced water (PW), which is water extracted along with oil, is the largest waste stream in the oil and gas industry. With the proper treatment, this wastewater can be used in agricultural irrigation. This study evaluated the effects the application of PW treated by electroflocculation (EF) and combined electroflocculation-reverse osmosis (EF-RO) on soil salinity and sodification parameters. Excessive sodium levels in PW treated by EF may affect soil structural stability and plant growth, and tends to accumulate in upper layers, displacing the nutrient K to deeper layers of the soil profile. PW treated by EF-RO did not promote salinization and soil sodification, indicating that this combined technique may be a viable alternative for oily water treatment aiming at irrigation use in semiarid regions.

Keywords: irrigation, Soil, Reverse osmosis, produced water, Electroflocculation

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676 Radish Sprout Growth Dependency on LED Color in Plant Factory Experiment

Authors: Tatsuya Kasuga, Hidehisa Shimada, Kimio Oguchi

Abstract:

Recent rapid progress in ICT (Information and Communication Technology) has advanced the penetration of sensor networks (SNs) and their attractive applications. Agriculture is one of the fields well able to benefit from ICT. Plant factories control several parameters related to plant growth in closed areas such as air temperature, humidity, water, culture medium concentration, and artificial lighting by using computers and AI (Artificial Intelligence) is being researched in order to obtain stable and safe production of vegetables and medicinal plants all year anywhere, and attain self-sufficiency in food. By providing isolation from the natural environment, a plant factory can achieve higher productivity and safe products. However, the biggest issue with plant factories is the return on investment. Profits are tenuous because of the large initial investments and running costs, i.e. electric power, incurred. At present, LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are being adopted because they are more energy-efficient and encourage photosynthesis better than the fluorescent lamps used in the past. However, further cost reduction is essential. This paper introduces experiments that reveal which color of LED lighting best enhances the growth of cultured radish sprouts. Radish sprouts were cultivated in the experimental environment formed by a hydroponics kit with three cultivation shelves (28 samples per shelf) each with an artificial lighting rack. Seven LED arrays of different color (white, blue, yellow green, green, yellow, orange, and red) were compared with a fluorescent lamp as the control. Lighting duration was set to 12 hours a day. Normal water with no fertilizer was circulated. Seven days after germination, the length, weight and area of leaf of each sample were measured. Electrical power consumption for all lighting arrangements was also measured. Results and discussions: As to average sample length, no clear difference was observed in terms of color. As regards weight, orange LED was less effective and the difference was significant (p < 0.05). As to leaf area, blue, yellow and orange LEDs were significantly less effective. However, all LEDs offered higher productivity per W consumed than the fluorescent lamp. Of the LEDs, the blue LED array attained the best results in terms of length, weight and area of leaf per W consumed. Conclusion and future works: An experiment on radish sprout cultivation under 7 different color LED arrays showed no clear difference in terms of sample size. However, if electrical power consumption is considered, LEDs offered about twice the growth rate of the fluorescent lamp. Among them, blue LEDs showed the best performance. Further cost reduction e.g. low power lighting remains a big issue for actual system deployment. An automatic plant monitoring system with sensors is another study target.

Keywords: LED lighting, Plant Factory, electric power consumption, LED color

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675 Efficacy of Methyl Eugenol and Food-Based Lures in Trapping Oriental Fruit Fly Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae) on Mango Homestead Trees

Authors: Juliana Amaka Ugwu

Abstract:

Trapping efficiency of methyl eugenol and three locally made food-based lures were evaluated in three locations for trapping of B. dorsalis on mango homestead trees in Ibadan South west Nigeria. The treatments were methyl eugenol, brewery waste, pineapple juice, orange juice, and control (water). The experiment was laid in a Complete Randomized Block Design (CRBD) and replicated three times in each location. Data collected were subjected to analysis of variance and significant means were separated by Turkey’s test. The results showed that B. dorsalis was recorded in all locations of study. Methyl eugenol significantly (P < 0.05) trapped higher population of B. dorsalis in all the study area. The population density of B. dorsalis was highest during the ripening period of mango in all locations. The percentage trapped flies after 7 weeks were 77.85%-82.38% (methyl eugenol), 7.29%-8.64% (pineapple juice), 5.62-7.62% (brewery waste), 4.41%-5.95% (orange juice), and 0.24-0.47% (control). There were no significance differences (p > 0.05) on the population of B. dorsalis trapped in all locations. Similarly, there were no significant differences (p > 0.05) on the population of flies trapped among the food attractants. However, the three food attractants significantly (p < 0.05) trapped higher flies than control. Methyl eugenol trapped only male flies while brewery waste and other food based attractants trapped both male and female flies. The food baits tested were promising attractants for trapping B. dorsalis on mango homestead tress, hence increased dosage could be considered for monitoring and mass trapping as management strategies against fruit fly infestation.

Keywords: mango, bactrocera dorsalis, attractants, trapping

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674 Micropropagation and in vitro Conservation via Slow Growth Techniques of Prunus webbii (Spach) Vierh: An Endangered Plant Species in Albania

Authors: Valbona Sota, Efigjeni Kongjika

Abstract:

Wild almond is a woody species, which is difficult to propagate either generatively by seed or by vegetative methods (grafting or cuttings) and also considered as Endangered (EN) in Albania based on IUCN criteria. As a wild relative of cultivated fruit trees, this species represents a source of genetic variability and can be very important in breeding programs and cultivation. For this reason, it would be of interest to use an effective method of in vitro mid-term conservation, which involves strategies to slow plant growth through physicochemical alterations of in vitro growth conditions. Multiplication of wild almond was carried out using zygotic embryos, as primary explants, with the purpose to develop a successful propagation protocol. Results showed that zygotic embryos can proliferate through direct or indirect organogenesis. During subculture, stage was obtained a great number of new plantlets identical to mother plants derived from the zygotic embryos. All in vitro plantlets obtained from subcultures underwent in vitro conservation by minimal growth in low temperature (4ºC) and darkness. The efficiency of this technique was evaluated for 3, 6, and 10 months of conservation period. Maintenance in these conditions reduced micro cuttings growth. Survival and regeneration rates for each period were evaluated and resulted that the maximal time of conservation without subculture on 4ºC was 10 months, but survival and regeneration rates were significantly reduced, specifically 15.6% and 7.6%. An optimal period of conservation in these conditions can be considered the 5-6 months storage, which can lead to 60-50% of survival and regeneration rates. This protocol may be beneficial for mass propagation, mid-term conservation, and for genetic manipulation of wild almond.

Keywords: Storage, Micropropagation, minimal growth, wild almond

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673 Microbial Assessment of Dairy Byproducts in Albania as a Basis for Consumer Safety

Authors: Klementina Puto, Ermelinda Nexhipi, Evi Llaka

Abstract:

Dairy by-products are a fairly good environment for microorganisms due to their composition for their growth. Microbial populations have a significant impact in the production of cheese, butter, yogurt, etc. in terms of their organoleptic quality and at the same time some also cause their breakdown. In this paper, the microbiological contamination of soft cheese, butter and yogurt produced in the country (domestic) and imported is assessed, as an indicator of hygiene with impact on public health. The study was extended during September 2018-June 2019 and was divided into three periods, September-December, January-March, and April-June. During this study, a total of 120 samples were analyzed, of which 60 samples of cheese and butter locally produced, and 60 samples of imported soft cheese and butter productions. The microbial indicators analyzed are Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. Analyzes have been conducted at the Food Safety Laboratory (FSIV) in Tirana in accordance with EU Regulation 2073/2005. Sampling was performed according to the specific international standards for these products (ISO 6887 and ISO 8261). Sampling and transport of samples were done under sterile conditions. Also, coding of samples was done to preserve the anonymity of subjects. After the analysis, the country's soft cheese products compared to imports were more contaminated with S. aureus and E. coli. Meanwhile, the imported butter samples that were analyzed, resulted within norms compared to domestic ones. Based on the results, it was concluded that the microbial quality of samples of cheese, butter and yogurt analyzed remains a real problem for hygiene in Albania. The study will also serve business operators in Albania to improve their work to ensure good hygiene on the basis of the HACCP plan and to provide a guarantee of consumer health.

Keywords: Health, Microbial, Consumer, Dairy, by-products

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672 Evaluation of the Hepatitis C Virus and Classical and Modern Immunoassays Used Nowadays to Diagnose It in Tirana

Authors: Klementina Puto, Stela Papa, Migena Pllaha

Abstract:

HCV is a hepatotropic RNA virus, transmitted primarily via the blood route, which causes progressive disease such as chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, or hepatocellular carcinoma. HCV nowadays is a global healthcare problem. A variety of immunoassays including old and new technologies are being applied to detect HCV in our country. These methods include Immunochromatography assays (ICA), Fluorescence immunoassay (FIA), Enzyme linked fluorescent assay (ELFA), and Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect HCV antibodies in blood serum, which lately is being slowly replaced by more sensitive methods such as rapid automated analyzer chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA). The aim of this study is to estimate HCV infection in carriers and chronic acute patients and to evaluate the use of new diagnostic methods. This study was realized from September 2016 to May 2018. During this study period, 2913 patients were analyzed for the presence of HCV by taking samples from their blood serum. The immunoassays performed were ICA, FIA, ELFA, ELISA, and CLIA assays. Concluding, 82% of patients taken in this study, resulted infected with HCV. Diagnostic methods in clinical laboratories are crucial in the early stages of infection, in the management of chronic hepatitis and in the treatment of patients during their disease.

Keywords: Hepatitis C Virus, Immunoassay, ELISA, CLIA

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671 Evaluation of Two Earliness Cotton Genotypes in Three Ecological Regions

Authors: Gholamhossein Hosseini

Abstract:

Two earliness cotton genotypes I and II, which had been developed by hybridization and backcross methods between sindise-80 as an early maturing gene parent and two other lines i.e. Red leaf and Bulgare-557 as a second parent, are subjected to different environmental conditions. The early maturing genotypes with coded names of I and II were compared with four native cotton cultivars in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications in three ecological regions of Iran from 2016-2017. Two early maturing genotypes along with four native cultivars viz. Varamin, Oltan, Sahel and Arya were planted in Agricultural Research Station of Varamin, Moghan and Kashmar for evaluation. Earliness data were collected for six treatments during two years in the three regions except missing data for the second year of Kashmar. Therefore, missed data were estimated and imputed. For testing the homogeneity of error variances, each experiment at a given location or year is analyzed separately using Hartley and Bartlett’s Chi-square tests and both tests confirmed homogeneity of variance. Combined analysis of variance showed that genotypes I and II were superior in Varamin, Moghan and Kashmar regions. Earliness means and their interaction effects were compared with Duncan’s multiple range tests. Finally combined analysis of variance showed that genotypes I and II were superior in Varamin, Moghan and Kashmar regions. Earliness means and their interaction effects are compared with Duncan’s multiple range tests.

Keywords: Analysis, Cotton, combined, earliness

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670 Low-Cost Monitoring System for Hydroponic Urban Vertical Farms

Authors: Francesco Ruscio, Paolo Paoletti, Jens Thomas, Paul Myers, Sebastiano Fichera

Abstract:

This paper presents the development of a low-cost monitoring system for a hydroponic urban vertical farm, enabling its automation and a quantitative assessment of the farm performance. Urban farming has seen increasing interest in the last decade thanks to the development of energy efficient and affordable LED lights; however, the optimal configuration of such systems (i.e. amount of nutrients, light-on time, ambient temperature etc.) is mostly based on the farmers’ experience and empirical guidelines. Moreover, even if simple, the maintenance of such systems is labor intensive as it requires water to be topped-up periodically, mixing of the nutrients etc. To unlock the full potential of urban farming, a quantitative understanding of the role that each variable plays in the growth of the plants is needed, together with a higher degree of automation. The low-cost monitoring system proposed in this paper is a step toward filling this knowledge and technological gap, as it enables collection of sensor data related to water and air temperature, water level, humidity, pressure, light intensity, pH and electric conductivity without requiring any human intervention. More sensors and actuators can also easily be added thanks to the modular design of the proposed platform. Data can be accessed remotely via a simple web interface. The proposed platform can be used both for quantitatively optimizing the setup of the farms and for automating some of the most labor-intensive maintenance activities. Moreover, such monitoring system can also potentially be used for high-level decision making, once enough data are collected.

Keywords: Automation, Internet of Things, Urban farming, Monitoring System, Hydroponics

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669 Hairy Beggarticks (Bidens pilosa L. - Asteraceae) Control in Sunflower Fields Using Pre-Emergence Herbicides

Authors: Alexandre M. Brighenti

Abstract:

One of the most damaging species in sunflower crops in Brazil is the hairy beggarticks (Bidens pilosa L.). The large number of seeds, the various vegetative cycles during the year, the staggered germination and the scarcity of selective and effective herbicides to control this weed in sunflower are some of attributes that hinder the effectiveness in controlling hairy beggarticks populations. The experiment was carried out with the objectives of evaluating the control of hairy beggarticks plants in sunflower crops, and to assess sunflower tolerance to residual herbicides. The treatments were as follows: S-metolachlor (1,200 and 2,400 g ai ha-1), flumioxazin (60 and 120 g ai ha-1), sulfentrazone (150 and 300 g ai ha-1) and two controls (weedy and weed-free check). Phytotoxicity on sunflower plants, percentage of control and density of hairy beggarticks plants, sunflower stand and plant height, head diameter, oil content and sunflower yield were evaluated. The herbicides flumioxazin and sulfentrazone were the most efficient in hairy beggarticks control. S-metolachlor provided acceptable control levels. S-metolachlor (1,200 g ha-1), flumioxazin (60 g ha-1) and sulfentrazone (150 g ha-1) were the most selective doses for sunflower crop.

Keywords: Weeds, flumioxazin, Helianthus annuus, S-metolachlor, sulfentrazone

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668 Selenium Content in Agricultural Soils and Wheat from the Balkan Peninsula

Authors: S. Krustev, V. Angelova, P. Zaprjanova

Abstract:

Selenium (Se) is an essential micro-nutrient for human and animals but it is highly toxic. Its organic compounds play an important role in biochemistry and nutrition of the cells. Concentration levels of this element in the different regions of the world vary considerably. This study aimed to compare the availability and levels of the Se in some rural areas of the Balkan Peninsula and relationship with the concentrations of other trace elements. For this purpose soil samples and wheat grains from different regions of Bulgaria, Serbia, Nord Macedonia, Romania, and Greece situated far from large industrial centers have been analyzed. The main methods for their determination were the atomic spectral techniques – atomic absorption and plasma atomic emission. As a result of this study, data on microelements levels from the main grain-producing regions of the Balkan Peninsula were determined and systematized. The presented results confirm the low levels of Se in this region: 0.222– 0.962 mg.kg-1 in soils and 0.001 - 0.005 mg.kg-1 in wheat grains and require measures to offset the effect of this deficiency.

Keywords: rural areas, Agricultural Soils, Selenium, balkan peninsula

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667 An Efficient Approach for Shear Behavior Definition of Plant Stalk

Authors: M. R. Kamandar, J. Massah

Abstract:

The information of the impact cutting behavior of plants stalk plays an important role in the design and fabrication of plants cutting equipment. It is difficult to investigate a theoretical method for defining cutting properties of plants stalks because the cutting process is complex. Thus, it is necessary to set up an experimental approach to determine cutting parameters for a single stalk. To measure the shear force, shear energy and shear strength of plant stalk, a special impact cutting tester was fabricated. It was similar to an Izod impact cutting tester for metals but a cutting blade and data acquisition system were attached to the end of pendulum's arm. The apparatus was included four strain gages and a digital indicator to show the real-time cutting force of plant stalk. To measure the shear force and also testing the apparatus, two plants’ stalks, like buxus and privet, were selected. The samples (buxus and privet stalks) were cut under impact cutting process at four loading rates 1, 2, 3 and 4 m.s-1 and three internodes fifth, tenth and fifteenth by the apparatus. At buxus cutting analysis: the minimum value of cutting energy was obtained at fifth internode and loading rate 4 m.s-1 and the maximum value of shear energy was obtained at fifteenth internode and loading rate 1 m.s-1. At privet cutting analysis: the minimum value of shear consumption energy was obtained at fifth internode and loading rate: 4 m.s-1 and the maximum value of shear energy was obtained at fifteenth internode and loading rate: 1 m.s-1. The statistical analysis at both plants showed that the increase of impact cutting speed would decrease the shear consumption energy and shear strength. In two scenarios, the results showed that with increase the cutting speed, shear force would decrease.

Keywords: Buxus, Privet, impact cutting, shear energy

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666 Growth and Yield Assessment of Two Types of Sorghum-Sudangrass Hybrids as Affected by Deficit Irrigation

Authors: A. Abbas Khalaf, L. Issazadeh, Z. Arif Abdullah, J. Hassanpour

Abstract:

In order to evaluate the growth and yield properties of two Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids under different irrigation levels, an investigation was done in the experiment site of Collage of Agriculture, University of Duhok, Kurdistan region of Iraq (36°5´38 N, 42°52´02 E) in the years 2015-16. The experiment was conducted under Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications, which main factor was irrigation treatments (I100, I75 and I50) according to evaporation pan class A and type of Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids (KH12SU9001, G1) and (KH12SU9002, G2) were factors of subplots. The parameters studied were: plant height (cm), number of green leaves per plant; leaf area (m2/m2), stem thickness (mm), percent of protein, fresh and dry biomass (ton.ha-1) and also crop water productivity. The results of variance analysis showed that KH12SU9001 variety had more amount of leaf area, percent of protein, fresh and dry biomass yield in comparison to KH12SU9002 variety. By comparing effects of irrigation levels on vegetative growth and yield properties, results showed that amount of plant height, fresh and dry biomass weight was decreased by decreasing irrigation level from full irrigation regime to 5 o% of irrigation level. Also, results of crop water productivity (CWP) indicated that improvement in quantity of irrigation would impact fresh and dry biomass yield significantly. Full irrigation regime was recorded the highest level of CWP (1.28-1.29 kg.m-3).

Keywords: Growth, Yield, deficit irrigation, sorghum-sudangrass hybrid

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665 Impact of Foliar Application of Zinc on Micro and Macro Elements Distribution in Phyllanthus amarus

Authors: Krasimir I. Ivanov, Penka S. Zapryanova, Nguyen Cao Nguyen

Abstract:

The present study was carried out to investigate the interaction of foliar applied zinc with other elements in Phyllanthus amarus plants. The plant samples for our experiment were collected from Lam Dong province, Vietnam. Seven suspension solutions of nanosized zinc hydroxide nitrate (Zn5(OH)8(NO3)2·2H2O) with different Zn concentration were used. Fertilization and irrigation were the same for all variants. The Zn content and the content of selected micro (Cu, Fe, Mn) and macro (Ca, Mg, P and K) nutrients in plant roots, and stems and leaves were determined. It was concluded that the zinc content of plant roots varies narrowly, with no significant impact of ZnHN fertilization. The same trend can be seen in the content of Cu, Mn, and macronutrients. The zinc content of plant stems and leaves varies within wide limits, with the significant impact of ZnHN fertilization. The trends in the content of Cu, Mn, and macronutrients are kept the same as in the root, whereas the iron trends to increase its content at increasing the zinc content.

Keywords: Phyllanthus amarus, Micro and macro elements, Zinc fertilizers

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664 Effect of Different Media and Mannitol Concentrations on Growth and Development of Vandopsis lissochiloides (Gaudich.) Pfitz. under Slow Growth Conditions

Authors: P. Inthima, A. Kongbangkerd, J. Linjikao

Abstract:

In vitro conservation of orchid germplasm provides an effective technique for ex situ conservation of orchid diversity. In this study, an efficient protocol for in vitro conservation of Vandopsis lissochiloides (Gaudich.) Pfitz. plantlet under slow growth conditions was investigated. Plantlets were cultured on different strength of Vacin and Went medium (½VW and ¼VW) supplemented with different concentrations of mannitol (0, 2, 4, 6 and 8%), sucrose (0 and 3%) and 50 g/L potato extract, 150 mL/L coconut water. The cultures were incubated at 25±2 °C and maintained under 20 µmol/m2s light intensity for 24 weeks without subculture. At the end of preservation period, the plantlets were subcultured to fresh medium for growth recovery. The results found that the highest leaf number per plantlet could be observed on ¼VW medium without adding sucrose and mannitol while the highest root number per plantlet was found on ½VW added with 3% sucrose without adding mannitol after 24 weeks of in vitro storage. The results showed that the maximum number of leaves (5.8 leaves) and roots (5.0 roots) of preserved plantlets were produced on ¼VW medium without adding sucrose and mannitol. Therefore, ¼VW medium without adding sucrose and mannitol was the best minimum growth conditions for medium-term storage of V. lissochiloides plantlets.

Keywords: Germplasm, Preservation, In vitro, vandopsis

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663 Technological Value of Selected Spring Wheat Cultivars Depending on the Sowing Date

Authors: Marta Wyzińska, Jerzy Grabiński, Alicja Sułek

Abstract:

The grain quality is a decisive factor in its use. In Poland, spring wheat is characterized by more favorable quality parameters in relation to the winter form of this species. In the present study, the effects of three different sowing dates (autumn, delayed autumn, and spring) and cultivar (Tybalt, Cytra, Bombona, Monsun, and Parabola) on the selected technological value parameters of spring wheat over three years were studied. The field trials were carried out in two locations (Bezek, Czesławice) in the Lubelskie Vivodeship, Poland. It was found that the falling number of spring wheat grains from autumn sowing dates was at a similar level to wheat sown in spring. The amount of wet gluten in the grain was variable in years, and its quality was better in wheat sown in spring. Sedimentation index was dependent upon on the cultivar.

Keywords: Quality, spring wheat, Sowing term, technological value

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662 Influence of Nitrogen Fertilization on the Yields and Grain Quality of Winter Wheat under Different Environmental Conditions

Authors: Marta Wyzińska, Alicja Sułek, Grażyna Cacak-Pietrzak, Anna Nieróbca

Abstract:

In 2013/2014 and 2014/2015, a field experiment was conducted in two locations: Osiny and Wielichowo (Poland). The two-factor experiment was based on the method of randomized subblocks, in three replications. The first factor (A) was dose of nitrogen fertilization (two levels). The second factor (B) was nine winter wheat cultivars. It was found that winter wheat cultivars exhibited different reactions to higher nitrogen fertilization depending on the years and localities. Only KWS Dacanto cultivar under all growing conditions showed a significant increase in grain yield after the application of a higher level of nitrogen fertilization. The increase in nitrogen fertilization influenced the increase in gluten proteins content in wheat grain, but these changes were statistically significant only in the first year of the study. The quality of gluten does not depend on nitrogen fertilization. The quality of wheat grain depends on cultivars.

Keywords: fertilization, Yield, winter wheat, grain quality

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661 Influence of Organic Supplements on Shoot Multiplication Efficiency of Phaius tankervilleae var. alba

Authors: M. Nakkuntod, T. Punjansing, S. Homchan, P. Inthima, A. Kongbangkerd

Abstract:

The influence of organic supplements on growth and multiplication efficiency of Phaius tankervilleae var. alba seedlings was investigated. 12 week-old seedlings were cultured on half-strength semi-solid Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 30 g/L sucrose, 8 g/L agar and various concentrations of coconut water (0, 50, 100, 150 and 200 mL/L) combined with potato extract (0, 25 and 50 g/L) and the pH was adjusted to 5.8 prior to autoclaving. The cultures were then kept under constant photoperiod (16 h light: 8 h dark) at 25 ± 2 °C for 12 weeks. The highest number of shoots (3.0 shoots/explant) was obtained when cultured on the medium added with 50 ml/L coconut water and 50 g/L potato extract whereas the highest number of leaves (5.9 leaves/explant) and roots (6.1 roots/explant) could receive on the medium supplemented with 150 ml/L coconut water and 50 g/L potato extract. with 150 ml/L coconut water and 50 g/L potato extract. Additionally, plantlets of P. tankervilleae var. alba were transferred to grow into seven different substrates i.e. soil, sand, coconut husk chip, soil-sand mix (1: 1), soil-coconut husk chip mix (1: 1), sand-coconut husk chip mix (1: 1) and soil-sand-coconut husk chip mix (1: 1: 1) for four weeks. The results found that acclimatized plants showed 100% of survivals when sand, coconut husk chip and sand-coconut husk chip mix are used as substrates. The number of leaves induced by sand-coconut husk chip mix was significantly higher than that planted in other substrates (P > 0.05). Meanwhile, no significant difference in new shoot formation among these substrates was observed (P < 0.05). This precursory developing protocol was likely to be applied for more large scale of plant production as well as conservation of germplasm of this orchid species.

Keywords: orchid, acclimatization, Phaius tankervilleae var. alba, coconut water, potato extract

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660 Effects of Intercropping Maize (Zea mays L.) with Jack Beans (Canavalia ensiformis L.) at Different Spacing and Weeding Regimes on Crops Productivity

Authors: Oluseun S. Oyelakin, Olalekan W. Olaniyi

Abstract:

A field experiment was conducted at Ido town in Ido Local Government Area of Oyo state, Nigeria to determine the effects of intercropping maize (Zea mays L.) with Jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis L.) at different spacing and weeding regimes on crops productivity. The treatments were 2 x 2 x 3 factorial arrangement involving two spatial crop arrangements. Spacing of 75 cm x 50 cm and 90 cm x 42 cm (41.667 cm) with two plants per stand resulted in plant population of approximately 53,000 plants/hectare. Also, Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with two cropping patterns (sole and intercrop), three weeding regimes (weedy check, weeds once, and weed twice) with three replicates was used. Data were analyzed with SAS (Statistical Analysis System) and statistical means separated using Least Significant Difference (LSD) (P ≤ 0.05). Intercropping and crop spacing did not have significant influence on the growth parameters and yield parameters. The maize grain yield of 1.11 t/ha obtained under sole maize was comparable to 1.05 t/ha from maize/jack beans. Weeding regime significantly influenced growth and yields of maize in intercropping with Jack beans. Weeding twice resulted in significantly higher growth than that of the other weeding regimes. Plant height at 6 Weeks After Sowing (WAS) under weeding twice regime (3 and 6 WAS) was 83.9 cm which was significantly different from 67.75 cm and 53.47 cm for weeding once (3 WAS) and no weeding regimes respectively. Moreover, maize grain yield of 1.3 t/ha obtained from plots weeded twice was comparable to that of 1.23 t/ha from single weeding and both were significantly higher than 0.71 t/ha maize grain yield obtained from the no weeding control. The dry matter production of Jack beans reduced at some growth stages due to intercropping of maize with Jack beans though with no significance effect on the other growth parameters of the crop. There was no effect on the growth parameters of Jack beans in maize/jack beans intercrop based on cropping spacing while comparable growth and dry matter production in Jack beans were produced in maize/Jack beans mixture with single weeding.

Keywords: intercropping, crop spacing, growth parameter, weeding regime, sole cropping, week after sowing

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659 Matching Farmer Competence and Farm Resources with the Transformation of Agri-Food Marketing Systems

Authors: Bhawat Chiamjinnawat

Abstract:

The agri-food market transformation has implied market growth for the fruit industry in Thailand. This article focuses on analysis of farmer competence and farm resources which affect market strategies used by fruit farmers in Chanthaburi province of Thailand. The survey data were collected through the use of face-to-face interviews with structured questionnaires. This study identified 14 drivers related to farmer competence and farm resources of which some had significant effect on the decision to use either high-value markets or traditional markets. The results suggest that farmers who used high-value markets were better educated and they had longer experience and larger sized business. Identifying the important factors that match with the market transformation provides policy with opportunities to support the fruit farmers to increase their market power. Policies that promote business expansion of agricultural cooperatives and knowledge sharing among farmers are recommended to reduce limitations due to limited knowledge, low experience, and small business sizes.

Keywords: Thailand, farmer competence, farm resources, fruit industry, high-value markets

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658 Effects of Multilayer Coating of Chitosan and Polystyrene Sulfonate on Quality of ‘Nam Dok Mai No.4’ Mango

Authors: N. Hadthamard, P. Chaumpluk, M. Buanong, P. Boonyaritthongchai, C. Wongs-Aree

Abstract:

Ripe ‘Nam Dok Mai’ mango (Mangifera indica L.) is an important exported fruit of Thailand, but rapidly declined in the quality attributes mainly by infection of anthracnose and stem end rot diseases. Multilayer coating is considered as a developed technique to maintain the postharvest quality of mangoes. The utilization of alternated coating by matching oppositely electrostatic charges between 0.1% chitosan and 0.1% polystyrene sulfonate (PSS) was studied. A number of the coating layers (layer by layer) were applied on mature green ‘Nam Dok Mai No.4’ mangoes prior to storage at 25 oC, 65-70% relative humidity (RH). There were significant differences in some quality attributes of mangoes coated by 3½ layers, 4½ layers and 5½ layers. In comparison to coated mangoes, uncoated fruits were higher in weight loss, total soluble solids, respiration rate, ethylene production and disease incidence except the titratable acidity. Coating fruit at 3½ layers exhibited the ripening delay and reducing disease infection without off flavour. On the other hand, fruit coated with 5½ layers comprised the lowest acceptable score, caused by exhibiting disorders from fermentation at the end of storage. As a result, multilayer coating between chitosan and PSS could effectively maintain the postharvest quality of mango, but number of coating layers should be thoroughly considered.

Keywords: Multilayer, chitosan, polystyrene sulfonate, Nam Dok Mai No.4

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657 Effects of Grape Seed Oil on Postharvest Life and Quality of Some Grape Cultivars

Authors: Zeki Kara, Kevser Yazar

Abstract:

Table grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) are an important crop worldwide. Postharvest problems like berry shattering, decay and stem dehydration are some of the important factors that limit the marketing of table grapes. Edible coatings are an alternative for increasing shelf-life of fruits, protecting fruits from humidity and oxygen effects, thus retarding their deterioration. This study aimed to compare different grape seed oil applications (GSO, 0.5 g L-1, 1 g L-1, 2 g L-1) and SO2 generating pads effects (SO2-1, SO2-2). Treated grapes with GSO and generating pads were packaged into polyethylene trays and stored at 0 ± 1°C and 85-95% moisture. Effects of the applications were investigated by some quality and sensory evaluations with intervals of 15 days. SO2 applications were determined the most effective treatments for minimizing weight loss and changes in TA, pH, color and appearance value. Grape seed oil applications were determined as a good alternative for grape preservation, improving weight losses and °Brix, TA, the color values and sensory analysis. Commercially, ‘Alphonse Lavallée’ clusters were stored for 75 days and ‘Antep Karası’ clusters for 60 days. The data obtained from GSO indicated that it had a similar quality result to SO2 for up to 40 days storage.

Keywords: Quality, Postharvest, Vitis vinifera L, sensory analyses

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656 The Features of Formation of Russian Agriculture’s Sectoral Structure

Authors: Natalya G. Filimonova, Mariya G. Ozerova, Irina N. Ermakova

Abstract:

The long-term strategy of the economic development of Russia up to 2030 is based on the concept of sustainable growth. The determining factor of such development is complex changes in the economic system which may be achieved by making progressive changes in its structure. The structural changes determine the character and the direction of economic development, as well as they include all elements of this system without exception, and their regulated character ensures the most rapid aim achievement. This article has discussed the industrial structure of the agriculture in Russia. With the use of the system of indexes, the article has determined the directions, intensity, and speed of structural shifts. The influence of structural changes on agricultural production development has been found out. It is noticed that the changes in the industrial structure are synchronized with the changes in the organisation and economic structure. Efficiency assessment of structural changes allowed to trace the efficiency of structural changes and elaborate the main directions for agricultural policy improvement.

Keywords: structural changes, sectoral structure, organizational and economic structure, Russian agriculture system

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655 A Small-Scale Flexible Test Bench for the Investigation of Fertigation Strategies in Soilless Culture

Authors: Giacomo Barbieri

Abstract:

In soilless culture, the management of the nutrient solution is the most important aspect for crop growing. Fertigation dose, frequency and nutrient concentration must be planned with the objective of reaching an optimal crop growth by limiting the utilized resources and the associated costs. The definition of efficient fertigation strategies is a complex problem since fertigation requirements vary on the basis of different factors, and crops are sensitive to small variations on fertigation parameters. To the best of author knowledge, a small-scale test bench that is flexible for both nutrient solution preparation and precise irrigation is currently missing, limiting the investigations in standard practices for soilless culture. Starting from the analysis of the state of the art, this paper proposes a small-scale system that is potentially able to concurrently test different fertigation strategies. The system will be designed and implemented throughout a three year project started on August 2018. However, due to the importance of the topic within current challenges as food security and climate change, this work is spread considering that may inspire other universities and organizations.

Keywords: Automation, fertigation, Soilless Culture, small-scale, test bench

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