Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 694

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

694
10011498
Maximizing Nitrate Absorption of Agricultural Waste Water in a Tubular Microalgae Reactor by Adapting the Illumination Spectrum
Abstract:

Microalgae-based photobioreactors (PBR) for Life Support Systems (LSS) are currently being investigated for future space missions such as a crewed base on planets or moons. Biological components may help reducing resupply masses by closing material mass flows with the help of regenerative components. Via photosynthesis, the microalgae use CO2, water, light and nutrients to provide oxygen and biomass for the astronauts. These capabilities could have synergies with Earth applications that tackle current problems and the developed technologies can be transferred. For example, a current worldwide discussed issue is the increased nitrate and phosphate pollution of ground water from agricultural waste waters. To investigate the potential use of a biological system based on the ability of the microalgae to extract and use nitrate and phosphate for the treatment of polluted ground water from agricultural applications, a scalable test stand is being developed. This test stand investigates the maximization of intake rates of nitrate and quantifies the produced biomass and oxygen. To minimize the required energy, for the uptake of nitrate from artificial waste water (AWW) the Flashing Light Effect (FLE) and the adaption of the illumination spectrum were realized. This paper describes the composition of the AWW, the development of the illumination unit and the possibility of non-invasive process optimization and control via the adaption of the illumination spectrum and illumination cycles. The findings were a doubling of the energy related growth rate by adapting the illumination setting.

693
10011491
Multivariate Analysis of Spectroscopic Data for Agriculture Applications
Abstract:

In this study, a multivariate analysis of potato spectroscopic data was presented to detect the presence of brown rot disease or not. Near-Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy (1,350-2,500 nm) combined with multivariate analysis was used as a rapid, non-destructive technique for the detection of brown rot disease in potatoes. Spectral measurements were performed in 565 samples, which were chosen randomly at the infection place in the potato slice. In this study, 254 infected and 311 uninfected (brown rot-free) samples were analyzed using different advanced statistical analysis techniques. The discrimination performance of different multivariate analysis techniques, including classification, pre-processing, and dimension reduction, were compared. Applying a random forest algorithm classifier with different pre-processing techniques to raw spectra had the best performance as the total classification accuracy of 98.7% was achieved in discriminating infected potatoes from control.

692
10011457
Influence of Environmental Temperature on Dairy Herd Performance and Behaviour
Abstract:

The objective of this study was to determine the effects of environmental stressors on the performance of lactating dairy cows and discuss some future trends. There exists a relationship between the meteorological data and milk yield prediction accuracy in pasture-based dairy systems. New precision technologies are available and are being developed to improve the sustainability of the dairy industry. Some of these technologies focus on welfare of individual animals on dairy farms. These technologies allow the automatic identification of animal behaviour and health events, greatly increasing overall herd health and yield while reducing animal health inspection demands and long-term animal healthcare costs. The data set consisted of records from 489 dairy cows at two dairy farms and temperature measured from the nearest meteorological weather station in 2018. The effects of temperature on milk production and behaviour of animals were analyzed. The statistical results indicate different effects of temperature on milk yield and behaviour. The “comfort zone” for animals is in the range 10 °C to 20 °C. Dairy cows out of this zone had to decrease or increase their metabolic heat production, and it affected their milk production and behaviour.

691
10011423
Seed Dressing and Foliar Spray of Green Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) with Essential Oils and Disinfectants for Suppressing Root Rot and Wilt Incidence under Field Conditions
Abstract:

The efficacy of two essential oils applied as a bean seed dressing followed by seedlings foliar spray with four commercial disinfectants against root rot and wilt incidence was evaluated under field conditions. The essential oils, grape seed and peppermint oils and the disinfectants, Gold, Revarest, Klenva, Malva were applied. Chitosan and the fungicide Topsin-M were used as comparison treatment. Essential oils individually or combined with disinfectants were applied as a bean seed dressing. Furthermore, emerged bean plants were sprayed with the same treatments. Under laboratory conditions, growth inhibition effect was observed for the isolated, tested fungi R. solani and F. oxysporum when exposed to essential oils individually or combined with disinfectants. A high inhibitor effect was recorded for peppermint followed by grape seed oils. Concentrations of 1% and 2% of chitosan as well as Topsin M at 400 ppm showed complete reduction (100%) in the two fungal growths. Under field conditions, the obtained results showed that the applied treatments of chitosan had a superior effect on root rot and wilt disease incidence compared with other tested treatments. It was found that seed coating treatment provides good protection of emerged green bean seeds against the root pathogens attack compared with the fungicide and control treatments. Also, the application of seed dressing with essential oils accompanied by seedling spray demonstrated similar results. It was observed that essential oils had an enhancing effect against disease incidence when combined with disinfectants compared with their application. The obvious yield increase was significantly higher in all applied treatments than in fungicide and control.

690
10011396
Contaminant Transport in Soil from a Point Source
Abstract:

The work sought to understand the pattern of movement of contaminant from a continuous point source through soil. The soil used was sandy-loam in texture. The contaminant used was municipal solid waste landfill leachate, introduced as a point source through an entry point located at the center of top layer of the soil tank. Analyses were conducted after maturity periods of 50 and 80 days. The maximum change in chemical concentration was observed on soil samples at a radial distance of 0.25 m. Finite element approximation based model was used to assess the future prediction, management and remediation in the polluted area. The actual field data collected for the case study were used to calibrate the modeling and thus simulated the flow pattern of the pollutants through soil. MATLAB R2015a was used to visualize the flow of pollutant through the soil. Dispersion coefficient at 0.25 and 0.50 m radial distance from the point of application of leachate shows a measure of the spreading of a flowing leachate due to the nature of the soil medium, with its interconnected channels distributed at random in all directions. Surface plots of metals on soil after maturity period of 80 days shows a functional relationship between a designated dependent variable (Y), and two independent variables (X and Z). Comparison of measured and predicted profile transport along the depth after 50 and 80 days of leachate application and end of the experiment shows that there were no much difference between the predicted and measured concentrations as they were all lying close to each other. For the analysis of contaminant transport, finite difference approximation based model was very effective in assessing the future prediction, management and remediation in the polluted area. The experiment gave insight into the most likely pattern of movement of contaminant as a result of continuous percolations of the leachate on soil. This is important for contaminant movement prediction and subsequent remediation of such soils.

689
10011392
Behavioral Response of Bee Farmers to Climate Change in South East, Nigeria
Abstract:
The enigma climate change is no longer an illusion but a reality. In the recent years, the Nigeria climate has changed and the changes are shown by the changing patterns of rainfall, the sunshine, increasing level carbon and nitrous emission as well as deforestation. This study analyzed the behavioural response of bee keepers to variations in the climate and the adaptation techniques developed in response to the climate variation. Beekeeping is a viable economic activity for the alleviation of poverty as the products include honey, wax, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, venom, queens, bees and their larvae and are all marketable. The study adopted the multistage sampling technique to select 120 beekeepers from the five states of Southeast Nigeria. Well-structured questionnaires and focus group discussions were adopted to collect the required data. Statistical tools like the Principal component analysis, data envelopment models, graphs, and charts were used for the data analysis. Changing patterns of rainfall and sunshine with the increasing rate of deforestation had a negative effect on the habitat of the bees. The bee keepers have adopted the Kenya Top bar and Langstroth hives and they establish the bee hives on fallow farmland close to the cultivated communal farms with more flowering crops.
688
10011353
Effect of Good Agriculture Management Practices and Constraints on Grape Farming: A Case Study in Mirbachakot, Kalakan and Shakardara Districts Kabul, Afghanistan
Abstract:

Skillful management is one of the most important success factors for today’s farms. When a farm is well managed, it can generate funds for its sustainability. Grape is one of the most diffused fruits in the world and one of the most important cash crops with high potential of production in Afghanistan as well. While there are several organizations intervening for improvement of this cash crop, the quality and quantity are still not satisfactory for producers and external markets. The situation has not changed over the years. Therefore, a survey was conducted in 2017 with 60 grape growers, supported by questionnaires in Mirbachakot, Kalakan and Shakardara districts of Kabul province. The purpose was to get an understanding of the current socio-demographic characteristics of farmers, management methods, constraints, farm size, yield and contribution of grape farming to household income. Findings indicate that grape farming was predominant 83.3% male, 16.6% female and small-scale farmers were the main grape producers, 60% < 1 ha of land under grape production. Likewise, 50% had more than > 10 years and 33.3% between 1-5 years’ experience in grape farming. The high level of illiteracy and diseases had significant digit effect on growth, yield and quality of grapes. The results showed that vineyard management operations to protect grapes from mechanical damage are very poor or completely absent. Comparing developed countries, table grape is one of the fruits with the highest input of technology, while in developing countries the cost of labor is low but the purchase of the equipment is very high due to financial situation. Hence the low quality and quantity of grape are influenced by poor management methods, such as non-availability of experts and lack of technical guidance in the study site. Thereby, the study suggested that improved agricultural extension services and managerial skills could contribute to addressing the problems.

687
10011295
Investigation of Boll Properties on Cotton Picker Machine Performance
Abstract:

Cotton, as a strategic crop, plays an important role in providing human food and clothing need, because of its oil, protein, and fiber. Iran has been one of the largest cotton producers in the world in the past, but unfortunately, for economic reasons, its production is reduced now. One of the ways to reduce the cost of cotton production is to expand the mechanization of cotton harvesting. Iranian farmers do not accept the function of cotton harvesters. One reason for this lack of acceptance of cotton harvesting machines is the number of field losses on these machines. So, the majority of cotton fields are harvested by hand. Although the correct setting of the harvesting machine is very important in the cotton losses, the morphological properties of the cotton plant also affect the performance of cotton harvesters. In this study, the effect of some cotton morphological properties such as the height of the cotton plant, number, and length of sympodial and monopodial branches, boll dimensions, boll weight, number of carpels and bracts angle were evaluated on the performance of cotton picker. In this research, the efficiency of John Deere 9920 spindle Cotton picker is investigated on five different Iranian cotton cultivars. The results indicate that there was a significant difference between the five cultivars in terms of machine harvest efficiency. Golestan cultivar showed the best cotton harvester performance with an average of 87.6% of total harvestable seed cotton and Khorshid cultivar had the least cotton harvester performance. The principal component analysis showed that, at 50.76% probability, the cotton picker efficiency is affected by the bracts angle positively and by boll dimensions, the number of carpels and the height of cotton plants negatively. The seed cotton remains (in the plant and on the ground) after harvester in PCA scatter plot were in the same zone with boll dimensions and several carpels.

686
10011269
Soil Organic Carbon Pool Assessment and Chemical Evaluation of Soils in Akure North and South Local Government Area of Ondo State
Abstract:

Aggregate soil carbon distribution and stock in the soil in the form of a carbon pool is important for soil fertility and sequestration. The amount of carbon pool and other nutrients statues of the soil are to benefit plants, animal and the environment in the long run. This study was carried out at Akure North and South Local Government; the study area is one of the 18 Local Government Areas of Ondo State in the Southwest geo-political zone of Nigeria. The sites were divided into Map Grids and geo-referenced with Global Positioning System (GPS). Horizons were designated and morphological description carried out on the field. Pedons were characterized and classified according to USDA soil taxonomy. The local government area shares boundaries with; Ikere Local Government (LG) in the North, Ise Orun LG in the northwest, Ifedore LG in the northeast Akure South LG in the East, Ose LG in the South East, and Owo LG in the South. SOC-pool at Federal College of Agriculture topsoil horizon A2 is significantly higher than all horizons, 67.83 th⁻¹. The chemical properties of the pedons have shown that the soil is very strongly acidic to neutral reaction (4.68 – 6.73). The nutrients status of the soil topsoil A1 and A2 generally indicates that the soils have a low potential for retaining plant nutrients, and therefore call for adequate soil management.

685
10011237
Effect of Plant Nutrients on Anthocyanin Content and Yield Component of Black Glutinous Rice Plants
Abstract:
The cultivation of black glutinous rice rich in anthocyanins can provide great benefits to both farmers and consumers. Total anthocyanins content and yield component data of black glutinous rice cultivar (KHHK) grown with the addition of mineral elements (Ca, Mg, Cu, Cr, Fe and Se) under soilless conditions were studied. Ca application increased seed anthocyanins content by three-folds compared to controls. Cu application to rice plants obtained the highest number of grains panicle, panicle length and subsequently high panicle weight. Se application had the largest effect on leaf anthocyanins content, the number of tillers, number of panicles and 100-grain weight. These findings showed that the addition of mineral elements had a positive effect on increasing anthocyanins content in black rice plants and seeds as well as the heightened development of black glutinous rice plant growth.
684
10011136
Study on the Use of Manganese-Containing Materials as a Micro Fertilizer Based on the Local Mineral Resources and Industrial Wastes in Hydroponic Systems
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.

683
10011122
Plant Supporting Units (Ekobox) Application Project for Increasing Planting Success in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas
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.
682
10011100
Species Profiling of White Grub Beetles and Evaluation of Pre and Post Sown Application of Insecticides against White Grub Infesting Soybean
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.

681
10011096
Res2ValHUM: Creation of Resource Management Tool and Microbial Consortia Isolation and Identification
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.

680
10010979
An Open Loop Distribution Module for Precise and Uniform Drip Fertigation in Soilless Culture
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.
679
10010955
Cutting Propagation Studies in Pennisetum divisum and Tamarix aucheriana as Native Plant Species of Kuwait
Authors:
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.

678
10010953
Application of Medium High Hydrostatic Pressure in Preserving Textural Quality and Safety of Pineapple Compote
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.

677
10010923
Effects of Oilfield Water Treated by Electroflocculation and Reverse Osmosis in a Typical Brazilian Semiarid Soil
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.

676
10010917
Efficacy of Methyl Eugenol and Food-Based Lures in Trapping Oriental Fruit Fly Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae) on Mango Homestead Trees
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.

675
10010883
Radish Sprout Growth Dependency on LED Color in Plant Factory Experiment
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.

674
10010881
Evaluation of the Hepatitis C Virus and Classical and Modern Immunoassays Used Nowadays to Diagnose It in Tirana
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.

673
10010880
Microbial Assessment of Dairy Byproducts in Albania as a Basis for Consumer Safety
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.

672
10010879
Micropropagation and in vitro Conservation via Slow Growth Techniques of Prunus webbii (Spach) Vierh: An Endangered Plant Species in Albania
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.

671
10010847
Hairy Beggarticks (Bidens pilosa L. - Asteraceae) Control in Sunflower Fields Using Pre-Emergence Herbicides
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.

670
10010845
Low-Cost Monitoring System for Hydroponic Urban Vertical Farms
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.

669
10010816
Evaluation of Two Earliness Cotton Genotypes in Three Ecological Regions
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.

668
10010788
An Efficient Approach for Shear Behavior Definition of Plant Stalk
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.

667
10010784
Selenium Content in Agricultural Soils and Wheat from the Balkan Peninsula
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.

666
10010642
Growth and Yield Assessment of Two Types of Sorghum-Sudangrass Hybrids as Affected by Deficit Irrigation
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).

665
10010541
Impact of Foliar Application of Zinc on Micro and Macro Elements Distribution in Phyllanthus amarus
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.

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