Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 129

Search results for: pig manure

9 An Empirical Analysis of Farmers Field Schools and Effect on Tomato Productivity in District Malakand Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Pakistan

Authors: Mahmood Iqbal, Khalid Nawab, Tachibana Satoshi


Farmer Field School (FFS) is constantly aims to assist farmers to determine and learn about field ecology and integrated crop management. The study was conducted to examine the change in productivity of tomato crop in the study area; to determine increase in per acre yield of the crop, and find out reduction in per acre input cost. A study of tomato crop was conducted in ten villages namely Jabban, Bijligar Colony, Palonow, Heroshah, Zara Maira, Deghar Ghar, Sidra Jour, Anar Thangi, Miangano Korona and Wartair of district Malakand. From each village 15 respondents were selected randomly on the basis of identical allocation making sample size of 150 respondents. The research was based on primary as well as secondary data. Primary data was collected from farmers while secondary data were taken from Agriculture Extension Department Dargai, District Malakand. Interview schedule was planned and each farmer was interviewed personally. The study was based on comparison of cost, yield and income of tomato before and after FFS. Paired t-test and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for analysis; outcome of the study show that integrated pest management project has brought a positive change in the attitude of farmers of the project area through FFS approach. In district Malakand 66.0% of the respondents were between the age group of 31-50 years, 11.3% of respondents had primary level of education, 12.7% of middle level, 28.7% metric level, 3.3% of intermediate level and 2.0% of graduate level of education while 42.0% of respondents were illiterate and have no education. Average land holding size of farmers was 6.47 acres, cost of seed, crop protection from insect pest and crop protection from diseases was reduced by Rs. 210.67, Rs. 2584.43 and Rs. 3044.16 respectively, the cost of fertilizers and cost of farm yard manure was increased by Rs.1548.87 and Rs. 1151.40 respectively while tomato yield was increased by 1585.03 kg/acre from 7663.87 to 9248.90 kg/acre. The role of FFS initiate by integrated pest management project through department of agriculture extension for the development of agriculture was worth mentioning. It has brought enhancement in crop yield of tomato and their income through FFS approach. On the basis of results of the research studies, integrated pest management project should spread their developmental activities for maximum participation of the complete rural masses through participatory FFS approach.

Keywords: Agriculture, tomato, Farmers field schools, extension education

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8 Analysis of Influencing Factors on Infield-Logistics: A Survey of Different Farm Types in Germany

Authors: Heinz Bernhardt, Michael Mederle


The Management of machine fleets or autonomous vehicle control will considerably increase efficiency in future agricultural production. Especially entire process chains, e.g. harvesting complexes with several interacting combine harvesters, grain carts, and removal trucks, provide lots of optimization potential. Organization and pre-planning ensure to get these efficiency reserves accessible. One way to achieve this is to optimize infield path planning. Particularly autonomous machinery requires precise specifications about infield logistics to be navigated effectively and process optimized in the fields individually or in machine complexes. In the past, a lot of theoretical optimization has been done regarding infield logistics, mainly based on field geometry. However, there are reasons why farmers often do not apply the infield strategy suggested by mathematical route planning tools. To make the computational optimization more useful for farmers this study focuses on these influencing factors by expert interviews. As a result practice-oriented navigation not only to the field but also within the field will be possible. The survey study is intended to cover the entire range of German agriculture. Rural mixed farms with simple technology equipment are considered as well as large agricultural cooperatives which farm thousands of hectares using track guidance and various other electronic assistance systems. First results show that farm managers using guidance systems increasingly attune their infield-logistics on direction giving obstacles such as power lines. In consequence, they can avoid inefficient boom flippings while doing plant protection with the sprayer. Livestock farmers rather focus on the application of organic manure with its specific requirements concerning road conditions, landscape terrain or field access points. Cultivation of sugar beets makes great demands on infield patterns because of its particularities such as the row crop system or high logistics demands. Furthermore, several machines working in the same field simultaneously influence each other, regardless whether or not they are of the equal type. Specific infield strategies always are based on interactions of several different influences and decision criteria. Single working steps like tillage, seeding, plant protection or harvest mostly cannot be considered each individually. The entire production process has to be taken into consideration to detect the right infield logistics. One long-term objective of this examination is to integrate the obtained influences on infield strategies as decision criteria into an infield navigation tool. In this way, path planning will become more practical for farmers which is a basic requirement for automatic vehicle control and increasing process efficiency.

Keywords: Path Planning, autonomous vehicle control, infield logistics, process optimizing

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7 Transforming Ganges to be a Living River through Waste Water Management

Authors: S. Ganesh, P. M. Natarajan, Shambhu Kallolikar


By size and volume of water, Ganges River basin is the biggest among the fourteen major river basins in India. By Hindu’s faith, it is the main ‘holy river’ in this nation. But, of late, the pollution load, both domestic and industrial sources are deteriorating the surface and groundwater as well as land resources and hence the environment of the Ganges River basin is under threat. Seeing this scenario, the Indian government began to reclaim this river by two Ganges Action Plans I and II since 1986 by spending Rs. 2,747.52 crores ($457.92 million). But the result was no improvement in the water quality of the river and groundwater and environment even after almost three decades of reclamation, and hence now the New Indian Government is taking extra care to rejuvenate this river and allotted Rs. 2,037 cores ($339.50 million) in 2014 and Rs. 20,000 crores ($3,333.33 million) in 2015. The reasons for the poor water quality and stinking environment even after three decades of reclamation of the river are either no treatment/partial treatment of the sewage. Hence, now the authors are suggesting a tertiary level treatment standard of sewages of all sources and origins of the Ganges River basin and recycling the entire treated water for nondomestic uses. At 20million litres per day (MLD) capacity of each sewage treatment plant (STP), this basin needs about 2020 plants to treat the entire sewage load. Cost of the STPs is Rs. 3,43,400 million ($5,723.33 million) and the annual maintenance cost is Rs. 15,352 million ($255.87 million). The advantages of the proposed exercise are: we can produce a volume of 1,769.52 million m3 of biogas. Since biogas is energy, can be used as a fuel, for any heating purpose, such as cooking. It can also be used in a gas engine to convert the energy in the gas into electricity and heat. It is possible to generate about 3,539.04 million kilowatt electricity per annum from the biogas generated in the process of wastewater treatment in Ganges basin. The income generation from electricity works out to Rs 10,617.12million ($176.95million). This power can be used to bridge the supply and demand gap of energy in the power hungry villages where 300million people are without electricity in India even today, and to run these STPs as well. The 664.18 million tonnes of sludge generated by the treatment plants per annum can be used in agriculture as manure with suitable amendments. By arresting the pollution load the 187.42 cubic kilometer (km3) of groundwater potential of the Ganges River basin could be protected from deterioration. Since we can recycle the sewage for non-domestic purposes, about 14.75km3 of fresh water per annum can be conserved for future use. The total value of the water saving per annum is Rs.22,11,916million ($36,865.27million) and each citizen of Ganges River basin can save Rs. 4,423.83/ ($73.73) per annum and Rs. 12.12 ($0.202) per day by recycling the treated water for nondomestic uses. Further the environment of this basin could be kept clean by arresting the foul smell as well as the 3% of greenhouse gages emission from the stinking waterways and land. These are the ways to reclaim the waterways of Ganges River basin from deterioration.

Keywords: Wastewater Treatment and Management, Holy Ganges River, lifeline of India, making Ganges permanently holy

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6 Development of DNDC Modelling Method for Evaluation of Carbon Dioxide Emission from Arable Soils in European Russia

Authors: Olga Sukhoveeva


Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main component of carbon biogeochemical cycle and one of the most important greenhouse gases (GHG). Agriculture, particularly arable soils, are one the largest sources of GHG emission for the atmosphere including CO2.Models may be used for estimation of GHG emission from agriculture if they can be adapted for different countries conditions. The only model used in officially at national level in United Kingdom and China for this purpose is DNDC (DeNitrification-DeComposition). In our research, the model DNDC is offered for estimation of GHG emission from arable soils in Russia. The aim of our research was to create the method of DNDC using for evaluation of CO2 emission in Russia based on official statistical information. The target territory was European part of Russia where many field experiments are located. At the first step of research the database on climate, soil and cropping characteristics for the target region from governmental, statistical, and literature sources were created. All-Russia Research Institute of Hydrometeorological Information – World Data Centre provides open daily data about average meteorological and climatic conditions. It must be calculated spatial average values of maximum and minimum air temperature and precipitation over the region. Spatial average values of soil characteristics (soil texture, bulk density, pH, soil organic carbon content) can be determined on the base of Union state register of soil recourses of Russia. Cropping technologies are published by agricultural research institutes and departments. We offer to define cropping system parameters (annual information about crop yields, amount and types of fertilizers and manure) on the base of the Federal State Statistics Service data. Content of carbon in plant biomass may be calculated via formulas developed and published by Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation. At the second step CO2 emission from soil in this region were calculated by DNDC. Modelling data were compared with empirical and literature data and good results were obtained, modelled values were equivalent to the measured ones. It was revealed that the DNDC model may be used to evaluate and forecast the CO2 emission from arable soils in Russia based on the official statistical information. Also, it can be used for creation of the program for decreasing GHG emission from arable soils to the atmosphere. Financial Support: fundamental scientific researching theme 0148-2014-0005 No 01201352499 ‘Solution of fundamental problems of analysis and forecast of Earth climatic system condition’ for 2014-2020; fundamental research program of Presidium of RAS No 51 ‘Climate change: causes, risks, consequences, problems of adaptation and regulation’ for 2018-2020.

Keywords: carbon dioxide emission, arable soils, DNDC model, European Russia

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5 Interplay of Material and Cycle Design in a Vacuum-Temperature Swing Adsorption Process for Biogas Upgrading

Authors: Federico Capra, Emanuele Martelli, Matteo Gazzani, Marco Mazzotti, Maurizio Notaro


Natural gas is a major energy source in the current global economy, contributing to roughly 21% of the total primary energy consumption. Production of natural gas starting from renewable energy sources is key to limit the related CO2 emissions, especially for those sectors that heavily rely on natural gas use. In this context, biomethane produced via biogas upgrading represents a good candidate for partial substitution of fossil natural gas. The upgrading process of biogas to biomethane consists in (i) the removal of pollutants and impurities (e.g. H2S, siloxanes, ammonia, water), and (ii) the separation of carbon dioxide from methane. Focusing on the CO2 removal process, several technologies can be considered: chemical or physical absorption with solvents (e.g. water, amines), membranes, adsorption-based systems (PSA). However, none emerged as the leading technology, because of (i) the heterogeneity in plant size, ii) the heterogeneity in biogas composition, which is strongly related to the feedstock type (animal manure, sewage treatment, landfill products), (iii) the case-sensitive optimal tradeoff between purity and recovery of biomethane, and iv) the destination of the produced biomethane (grid injection, CHP applications, transportation sector). With this contribution, we explore the use of a technology for biogas upgrading and we compare the resulting performance with benchmark technologies. The proposed technology makes use of a chemical sorbent, which is engineered by RSE and consists of Di-Ethanol-Amine deposited on a solid support made of γ-Alumina, to chemically adsorb the CO2 contained in the gas. The material is packed into fixed beds that cyclically undergo adsorption and regeneration steps. CO2 is adsorbed at low temperature and ambient pressure (or slightly above) while the regeneration is carried out by pulling vacuum and increasing the temperature of the bed (vacuum-temperature swing adsorption - VTSA). Dynamic adsorption tests were performed by RSE and were used to tune the mathematical model of the process, including material and transport parameters (i.e. Langmuir isotherms data and heat and mass transport). Based on this set of data, an optimal VTSA cycle was designed. The results enabled a better understanding of the interplay between material and cycle tuning. As exemplary application, the upgrading of biogas for grid injection, produced by an anaerobic digester (60-70% CO2, 30-40% CH4), for an equivalent size of 1 MWel was selected. A plant configuration is proposed to maximize heat recovery and minimize the energy consumption of the process. The resulting performances are very promising compared to benchmark solutions, which make the VTSA configuration a valuable alternative for biomethane production starting from biogas.

Keywords: CO2 adsorption, biogas upgrading, biogas upgrading energetic cost, VTSA process modelling

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4 Effects of Temperature and Mechanical Abrasion on Microplastics

Authors: N. Singh, G. K. Darbha


Since the last decade, a wave of research has begun to study the prevalence and impact of ever-increasing plastic pollution in the environment. The wide application and ubiquitous distribution of plastic have become a global concern due to its persistent nature. The disposal of plastics has emerged as one of the major challenges for waste management landfills. Microplastics (MPs) have found its existence in almost every environment, from the high altitude mountain lake to the deep sea sediments, polar icebergs, coral reefs, estuaries, beaches, and river, etc. Microplastics are fragments of plastics with size less than 5 mm. Microplastics can be classified as primary microplastics and secondary microplastics. Primary microplastics includes purposefully introduced microplastics into the end products for consumers (microbeads used in facial cleansers, personal care product, etc.), pellets (used in manufacturing industries) or fibres (from textile industries) which finally enters into the environment. Secondary microplastics are formed by disintegration of larger fragments under the exposure of sunlight, mechanical abrasive forces by rain, waves, wind and/or water. A number of factors affect the quantity of microplastic present in freshwater environments. In addition to physical forces, human population density proximal to the water body, proximity to urban centres, water residence time, and size of the water body also affects plastic properties. With time, other complex processes in nature such as physical, chemical and biological break down plastics by interfering with its structural integrity. Several studies demonstrate that microplastics found in wastewater sludge being used as manure for agricultural fields, thus having the tendency to alter the soil environment condition influencing the microbial population as well. Inadequate data are available on the fate and transport of microplastics under varying environmental conditions that are required to supplement important information for further research. In addition, microplastics have the tendency to absorb heavy metals and hydrophobic organic contaminants such as PAHs and PCBs from its surroundings and thus acting as carriers for these contaminants in the environment system. In this study, three kinds of microplastics (polyethylene, polypropylene and expanded polystyrene) of different densities were chosen. Plastic samples were placed in sand with different aqueous media (distilled water, surface water, groundwater and marine water). It was incubated at varying temperatures (25, 35 and 40 °C) and agitation levels (rpm). The results show that the number of plastic fragments enhanced with increase in temperature and agitation speed. Moreover, the rate of disintegration of expanded polystyrene is high compared to other plastics. These results demonstrate that temperature, salinity, and mechanical abrasion plays a major role in degradation of plastics. Since weathered microplastics are more harmful as compared to the virgin microplastics, long-term studies involving other environmental factors are needed to have a better understanding of degradation of plastics.

Keywords: temperature, Fragmentation, Environmental Contamination, Weathering, Microplastics

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3 The Influence of a Radio Intervention on Farmers’ Practices in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Kilifi, Kenya

Authors: Fiona Mwaniki


Climate change is considered a serious threat to sustainable development globally and as one of the greatest ecological, economic and social challenges of our time. The global demand for food is projected to increase by 60% by 2050. Small holder farmers who are vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change are expected to contribute to this projected demand. Effective climate change education and communication is therefore required for smallholder and subsistence farmers’ in order to build communities that are more climate change aware, prepared and resilient. In Kenya radio is the most important and dominant mass communication tool for agricultural extension. This study investigated the potential role of radio in influencing farmers’ understanding and use of climate change information. The broad aims of this study were three-fold. Firstly, to identify Kenyan farmers’ perceptions and responses to the impacts of climate change. Secondly, to develop radio programs that communicate climate change information to Kenyan farmers and thirdly, to evaluate the impact of information disseminated through radio on farmers’ understanding and responses to climate change mitigation and adaptation. This study was conducted within the farming community of Kilifi County, located along the Kenyan coast. Education and communication about climate change was undertaken using radio to make available information understandable to different social and cultural groups. A mixed methods pre-and post-intervention design that provided the opportunity for triangulating results from both quantitative and qualitative data was used. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected simultaneously, where quantitative data was collected through semi structured surveys with 421 farmers’ and qualitative data was derived from 11 focus group interviews, six interviews with key informants and nine climate change experts. The climate change knowledge gaps identified in the initial quantitative and qualitative data were used in developing radio programs. Final quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis enabled an assessment of the impact of climate change messages aired through radio on the farming community in Kilifi County. Results of this study indicate that 32% of the farmers’ listened to the radio programs and 26% implemented technologies aired on the programs that would help them adapt to climate change. The most adopted technologies were planting drought tolerant crops including indigenous crop varieties, planting trees, water harvesting and use of manure. The proportion of farmers who indicated they knew “a fair amount” about climate change increased significantly (Z= -5.1977, p < 0.001) from 33% (at the pre intervention phase of this study) to 64% (post intervention). However, 68% of the farmers felt they needed “a lot more” information on agriculture interventions (43%), access to financial resources (21%) and the effects of climate change (15%). The challenges farmers’ faced when adopting the interventions included lack of access to financial resources (18%), high cost of adaptation measures (17%), and poor access to water (10%). This study concludes that radio effectively complements other agricultural extension methods and has the potential to engage farmers’ on climate change issues and motivate them to take action.

Keywords: Climate Change, Radio, farmers, climate change intervention

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2 Combination of Modelling and Environmental Life Cycle Assessment Approach for Demand Driven Biogas Production

Authors: Juan A. Arzate, Funda C. Ertem, M. Nicolas Cruz-Bournazou, Peter Neubauer, Stefan Junne


— One of the biggest challenges the world faces today is global warming that is caused by greenhouse gases (GHGs) coming from the combustion of fossil fuels for energy generation. In order to mitigate climate change, the European Union has committed to reducing GHG emissions to 80–95% below the level of the 1990s by the year 2050. Renewable technologies are vital to diminish energy-related GHG emissions. Since water and biomass are limited resources, the largest contributions to renewable energy (RE) systems will have to come from wind and solar power. Nevertheless, high proportions of fluctuating RE will present a number of challenges, especially regarding the need to balance the variable energy demand with the weather dependent fluctuation of energy supply. Therefore, biogas plants in this content would play an important role, since they are easily adaptable. Feedstock availability varies locally or seasonally; however there is a lack of knowledge in how biogas plants should be operated in a stable manner by local feedstock. This problem may be prevented through suitable control strategies. Such strategies require the development of convenient mathematical models, which fairly describe the main processes. Modelling allows us to predict the system behavior of biogas plants when different feedstocks are used with different loading rates. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a technique for analyzing several sides from evolution of a product till its disposal in an environmental point of view. It is highly recommend to use as a decision making tool. In order to achieve suitable strategies, the combination of a flexible energy generation provided by biogas plants, a secure production process and the maximization of the environmental benefits can be obtained by the combination of process modelling and LCA approaches. For this reason, this study focuses on the biogas plant which flexibly generates required energy from the co-digestion of maize, grass and cattle manure, while emitting the lowest amount of GHG´s. To achieve this goal AMOCO model was combined with LCA. The program was structured in Matlab to simulate any biogas process based on the AMOCO model and combined with the equations necessary to obtain climate change, acidification and eutrophication potentials of the whole production system based on ReCiPe midpoint v.1.06 methodology. Developed simulation was optimized based on real data from operating biogas plants and existing literature research. The results prove that AMOCO model can successfully imitate the system behavior of biogas plants and the necessary time required for the process to adapt in order to generate demanded energy from available feedstock. Combination with LCA approach provided opportunity to keep the resulting emissions from operation at the lowest possible level. This would allow for a prediction of the process, when the feedstock utilization supports the establishment of closed material circles within a smart bio-production grid – under the constraint of minimal drawbacks for the environment and maximal sustainability.

Keywords: Modelling, Life Cycle Assessment, GHG emissions, AMOCO model

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1 Organic Tuber Production Fosters Food Security and Soil Health: A Decade of Evidence from India

Authors: G. Suja, J. Sreekumar, A. N. Jyothi, V. S. Santhosh Mithra


Worldwide concerns regarding food safety, environmental degradation and threats to human health have generated interest in alternative systems like organic farming. Tropical tuber crops, cassava, sweet potato, yams, and aroids are food-cum-nutritional security-cum climate resilient crops. These form stable or subsidiary food for about 500 million global population. Cassava, yams (white yam, greater yam, and lesser yam) and edible aroids (elephant foot yam, taro, and tannia) are high energy tuberous vegetables with good taste and nutritive value. Seven on-station field experiments at ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram, India and seventeen on-farm trials in three districts of Kerala, were conducted over a decade (2004-2015) to compare the varietal response, yield, quality and soil properties under organic vs conventional system in these crops and to develop a learning system based on the data generated. The industrial, as well as domestic varieties of cassava, the elite and local varieties of elephant foot yam and taro and the three species of Dioscorea (yams), were on a par under both systems. Organic management promoted yield by 8%, 20%, 9%, 11% and 7% over conventional practice in cassava, elephant foot yam, white yam, greater yam and lesser yam respectively. Elephant foot yam was the most responsive to organic management followed by yams and cassava. In taro, slight yield reduction (5%) was noticed under organic farming with almost similar tuber quality. The tuber quality was improved with higher dry matter, starch, crude protein, K, Ca and Mg contents. The anti-nutritional factors, oxalate content in elephant foot yam and cyanogenic glucoside content in cassava were lowered by 21 and 12.4% respectively. Organic plots had significantly higher water holding capacity, pH, available K, Fe, Mn and Cu, higher soil organic matter, available N, P, exchangeable Ca and Mg, dehydrogenase enzyme activity and microbial count. Organic farming scored significantly higher soil quality index (1.93) than conventional practice (1.46). The soil quality index was driven by water holding capacity, pH and available Zn followed by soil organic matter. Organic management enhanced net profit by 20-40% over chemical farming. A case in point is the cost-benefit analysis in elephant foot yam which indicated that the net profit was 28% higher and additional income of Rs. 47,716 ha-1 was obtained due to organic farming. Cost-effective technologies were field validated. The on-station technologies developed were validated and popularized through on-farm trials in 10 sites (5 ha) under National Horticulture Mission funded programme in elephant foot yam and seven sites in yams and taro. The technologies are included in the Package of Practices Recommendations for crops of Kerala Agricultural University. A learning system developed using artificial neural networks (ANN) predicted the performance of elephant foot yam organic system. Use of organically produced seed materials, seed treatment in cow-dung, neem cake, bio-inoculant slurry, farmyard manure incubated with bio-inoculants, green manuring, use of neem cake, bio-fertilizers and ash formed the strategies for organic production. Organic farming is an eco-friendly management strategy that enables 10-20% higher yield, quality tubers and maintenance of soil health in tuber crops.

Keywords: Quality, Yield, Eco-Agriculture, root crops, healthy soil

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