Dr. Rusu Teodor
Professor, Department of Technical and Soil Sciences, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, 3-5 Manastur Street, 400372, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

ISBN 978-93-90768-69-1 (Print)
ISBN 978-93-90768-70-7 (eBook)
DOI: 10.9734/bpi/cras/v8

This book covers key areas of agricultural sciences. The contributions by the authors include   rectal temperature, respiratory rate, serum glucose, skin temperature, body weight, fleece weight, fibre diameter, fish pond sediments, growth parameters, prolamins, autotetraploids, genetic divergence, heritability, mid-altitude genotypes, quantitative traits, three-parameter model, vibration, rheology, material nonlinearity, geometric stiffness, banana/plantain production, income generation, horticultural crops, intercropping system, nitrogen-fixing perennial legume, malnutrition, Cassava beneficiaries, additional financing, mango production, tissue analysis, mineral content, physiological disorder, soil quality, soil fertility, organic matter, plant height, crop yield, biochar. This book contains various materials suitable for students, researchers and academicians in the field of agricultural sciences.


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Protective coats were tested on rectal, skin, and subcutaneous temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, shivering score, and serum glucose level in Angora goat kids exposed to cold, wet, and windy conditions. The experiment was carried out at the Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute on 24 ten-month-old castrated male Angora goat kids in 2009 and 30 nine-month-old castrated male Angora goat kids in 2010. Rectal temperature of animals in both the Coats and Control groups declined during both the 2009 and 2010 cold stress trial periods. Rectal temperature of the Coats group was 1.91°C higher (36.49 ± 0.45) than the Control group (34.58 ± 0.45) at the end of the trial in 2009.  The Coats group animals had a significant 2.21°C lower drop in rectal temperature than the Control group. In 2010, a similar trend was observed, though the rectal temperature of the Coats group animals was only 0.87°C higher than that of the Control group.

Skin temperature differences were also found between the two groups. The most noticeable difference was between skin temperatures measured on the shoulder and britch; the area directly covered by the coats. During the early days of the 2010 trial, when the animals were freshly shorn, the animals protected by coats had significantly lower daily temperature amplitudes than the Control group animals. The differences in daily amplitude between the groups became less pronounced as hair length increased. There were no significant differences in subcutaneous temperatures between Coats and Control group animals after four weeks of hair growth. Animals in both the Coats and Control groups had an increased heart rate for the first two hours of the trial, then it decreased to below the initial values at the end. Serum glucose levels of animals in both groups showed a marked drop towards the end of the trial period to 1.33 ng/ml and 1.66 ng/ml in the Coats and Control groups respectively. The fact that both groups of animals shivered to the same degree at the end of the trial period and had a decrease in skin temperature on the extremities and periphery suggests that the coats were not completely capable of providing complete protection against cold, wet, and windy conditions to the point that all of the body's thermoregulatory mechanisms were triggered. When protective coats are tested on a larger scale in practise under natural cold and wet weather conditions, the true test of whether they offer adequate protection to freshly shorn Angora goats during extreme weather conditions will be conducted. The results of this study indicated that Angora kids wearing protective coats were able to maintain their rectal temperatures at higher levels than goats without protective coats during cold, wet and windy conditions.

Angora goat ewes are expected to produce a lot of fleece and reproduce a lot during their lives. The identification of high producing ewes at an early age that will maintain their production levels throughout their lifetime in the flock is thus imperative. From 2000 to 2015, data on early and adult body weight, hair development, and reproduction were collected on the flocks of three South African Angora goat producers to determine the range in production, reproduction, and income of Angora ewes with five or six kidding opportunities in the flock. The relative contributions of hair development and reproduction to these ewes' income were also looked into. There were large differences in hair production, reproduction and income among ewes that had 5 or 6 kidding opportunities. It was clear when compiling lists of the top and bottom performing ewes for the adult productive traits that getting ewes that are top performers in all traits would be difficult. Top-producing ewes in terms of reproduction were not top-producing ewes in terms of fleece quality. The relative sources of income highlighted the negative relationship between reproduction and fleece development. When comparing the relative sources of income between ewes in the top and bottom income categories, it was clear that the main difference in overall yearly income was due to discrepancies in yearly reproduction income. It was further evident that reproduction income contributed more to total income in ewes in the top 25% income category compared to ewes in the bottom 25% category. When comparing the early and adult production and reproduction traits of ewes in the Top 100 Income and Bottom 100 Income lists, ewes in the Top 100 Income list had higher first parity reproduction, as well as lifetime reproduction, higher early body weights (from birth to 16 months of age), lower second shearing fleece weight and higher early fibre diameter than ewes in the Bottom 100 Income list. The negative relationship between adult ewe reproduction and fleece development emphasises the importance of not putting positive selection pressure on early fleece weight at the expense of reproduction. Only young ewes with unacceptably low fleece weights should be culled, and excessive selection pressure on early fibre diameter in ewes should be avoided. Selection for fleece production and fleece traits should rather be addressed through ram selection. Selection of young ewes should therefore be focussed on early body weight and weight of kids weaned at the first parity.

More often than not, the emphasis is laid on the essence of employing organic manures for raising plant seedlings and even in improving the nutrient status of their growth media for higher productivity. Afrormosia elata has numerous medicinal uses but not very much available. Thus, the study on the effects of fish pond sediments (FPS) and decomposed cow dung (DCD) on the early growth of  A. elata seedlings was carried out at the nursery ‘A’ of the Federal College of Forestry, Ibadan, Nigeria. The maintenance of pond volume and its environment by sediment removal is a helpful practice for profitable fish production. A. elata seeds were sown in a finely perforated sieve (filled with washed river sand) and seedlings were pricked – out 2 weeks after seedling emergence into polythene pots with varying levels of FPS and DCD. The experimental design was Completely Randomized Design (CRD) consisting of nine treatments and eight replicates. Treatments include; T1(2 kg of FPS + 2 kg of topsoil); T2 (2 kg of DCD + 2 kg of topsoil); T3 (1.5 kg of FPS + 2 kg of topsoil); T4 (1.5 kg of DCD + 2 kg of topsoil); T5 (1 kg of FPS + 2 kg of topsoil); T6 (1 kg of DCD + 2 kg of topsoil); T7 (500 g of FPS + 2 kg of topsoil); T8 (500 g of DCD + 2 kg topsoil); and 2 kg of topsoil without any treatment served as control). Morphological parameters such as seedling height, collar diameter and leaf count as well as leaf biomass were assessed and the data collected were subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The result showed that T3 (1.5 kg FPS + 2 Kg TS) had the best performance in height, leaf area and leaf biomass with mean values of 11.02 cm, 21.65 cm2 and 1.16 g respectively. Though, there were no significant differences amongst the growth parameters assessed for this study. But T3 (1.5 kg FPS + 2 Kg TS) could be employed in raising the seedlings of this plant for faster growth rate.

Storage Proteins Profile in Diploid and Tetraploid Seeds of Oryza sativa L.

Arvinder Singh, Yogesh Kumar, Bhumika Arora

Cutting-edge Research in Agricultural Sciences Vol. 8, 3 May 2021, Page 41-52

Four diploid rice lines vis-à-vis their respective tetraploids were analyzed by comparing the variations in the seed protein characteristics. The autotetraploids had higher protein content as compared to their parental lines with the maximum relative increase of 63% in case of tetraploid of the parental line ‘Kuma’. The alkali soluble glutelins were the dominating protein fraction in all the diploids and their tetraploid lines. The proportion of albumin and globulin fractions in the seeds of tetraploids of ‘Pusur’, ‘Kuma’ and ‘Tougou’ decreased and that in the tetraploid of ‘Nourin’ registered an increase. With major polypeptides resolving in the range of MW 110 to 13 kDa, the polypeptide patterns of the total seed protein extracts of diploids and their tetraploids under non-reducing and reducing conditions did not show any qualitative differences. Most of the polypeptides of ‘Nourin’ and ‘Pusur’ tetraploids appeared darker as compared to their respective diploid parents. Densitometric scanning of the SDS-gels exhibited more than 10% increase in the relative concentration of polypeptides of MW 78, 65, 60, 40.5, 38, 36, 29, 25, 21 and 13 kDa in ‘Nourin 4x’, 78, 36, 21 and 13 kDa in ‘Kuma 4x’, 78, 65, 40.5, 38, 36, 25 and 21 kDa in ‘ Pusur 4x’ and 38 and 21in ‘Tougou 4x’. Maximum densitometric increase was noticed for glutelin polypeptides of MW 25 kDa in ‘Nourin 4x’, 21 kDa in ‘Kuma 4x’, 36 kDa in ‘Pusur 4x’ and 38 kDa in ‘Tougou 4x’ as compared to their respective diploid parents.

Assessment of Genetic Variability in Mid-altitude Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) Collection of Ethiopia

Mohammed Abate, Firew Mekbib, Amsalu Ayana, Mandefro Nigussie

Cutting-edge Research in Agricultural Sciences Vol. 8, 3 May 2021, Page 53-67

Aim: The study was undertaken to assess the genetic variability and character association in 81 mid-altitude sesame accessions of Ethiopia based on important agronomic traits.

Study Design: A 9 x 9 Simple Lattice Design (SLD) with two replications was used.

Place and Duration of Study: Melkassa Agricultural Research Centre Ethiopia, during the July-December, 2011 main cropping seasons.

Methodology: The data recorded on 14 quantitative traits were analyzed for phenotypic and genotypic coefficient of variances, heritability and genetic advance, correlation coefficient, path coefficient analysis, principal component analysis and divergence analysis based on Mahalanobis statistics, using SAS 9.2. Statistical software to evaluate the pattern and extent of variation among 81 mid-altitude genotypes.

Results: Analysis of variance revealed significant difference among genotypes for all traits studied. Less than 50% heritability was noted in all traits studied. Moderate heritability coupled with moderate to high genetic advance was recorded for most of yield related traits, indicating that these traits are controlled by both additive and non-additive genes. Characters viz., number of capsules, biomass yield, harvest index and 1000 seed weight showed highly significant positive correlation with seed yield. Maximum positive direct effect on seed yield was exerted by number of capsules, biomass yield, days to maturity and harvest index, showing that these traits can be used for selection to improve the primary trait. Divergence analysis based on Mahalanobis statistics grouped the genotypes into seven different clusters. Genotypes were not grouped in relation to their geographical distribution. Maximum inter cluster distance was observed between cluster V and VII; hence, genotypes from these two clusters are suggested as parents for hybridization program to achieve promising recombinants.

Conclusion: The germplasm lines had sufficient level of genetic variability for seed yield and its components. Clustering was not associated with the geographical distribution instead genotypes were mainly grouped due to their morphological differences. Seed yield, biomass/plant, harvest index and number of capsules contributed highest towards genetic divergence. The use of these traits in sesame improvement program would increase yield.

Effect of Creep in the Fundamental Frequency and Stability of a Slender Wooden Column of Composite Section

Alexandre de M. Wahrhaftig, Reyolando M. L. R. F. Brasil, Sandro F. César

Cutting-edge Research in Agricultural Sciences Vol. 8, 3 May 2021, Page 68-84

Creep is a phenomenon that can occur in wooden structures since wood is a viscoelastic material. Creep may change the purely elastic parameters determined in wood characterization initial tests, as its behavior depends on the rheology of the material, even under a constant stress level. Mathematically, creep can be characterized by models in which the immediate elastic deformation is increased by a viscous deformation, resulting in a temporal function. For this reason, the calculation of the natural frequency of vibration and the stability verification of a slender column should include the reducing effects of stiffness both of axial force and creep. The first one can be considered through the geometrical portion and the second one by the introduction, in the conventional portion, of a variable elasticity modulus over time, obtained in relation to the adopted rheological model. A numerical simulation was performed to evaluate the aspects above, considering a bar compressed by a force at the free end equivalent to 10% of the Euler critical force, plus its own weight, adopting a rheological model with three parameters for the variation of the elasticity modulus. The results show differences of 60% and 50% for the frequency and elasticity modulus, besides defining the exact instant of column collapse in the case of its non-observance.

This study examined the contributions of social capital to banana/plantain production in Irewole local Government Area, Osun State. Social capital can be said to be an asset needed by banana/plantain producers to expand their production in order to boost their household food security and ensure sustainable livelihood contributing to the overall food security of the nation. Respondents were also divided into various social classes, according to the report. The sample for the analysis was chosen using a multistage sampling technique. Three rural based wards were purposively selected while two villages from each ward were purposively selected. Making a total of 110 respondents selected.. Descriptive statistics such as pie and bar charts were used to summarize the data while inferential statistical tools such as chi-square and regression analysis were used to analyze the data. 36.0% of respondents fell between the age group of 60-69 years. Banana/plantain producers were male dominated (94.0%). 97.0% of the respondents belong to religious groups while 6.0% belong to non-governmental organization (NGO). Chi-square analysis showed that gender, marital status, age, religion, size of household, farm size and year of experience (?2 = 83.782, 106.036, 103.0, 52.509, 64.909, 134.200, 159.208; P < 0.05) were all statistically significant to contributions of social capital respectively. It is concluded  that social capital played a significant role in banana/plantain production among rural residents. As a result, the use of social capital to supplement limited financial capital for increased food production should be encouraged.

A field experiment was carried out to study the performance of All India Co-Ordinated Vegetable Improvement Project (AICVIP) hybrid trials (IET,AVT-I and AVT-II) on growth, yield and quality of Bhendi (Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench) from 2012 to 2014 at the Department of Vegetable Crops, Horticultural College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India. The seeds of the okra hybrid (IET, AVT-I and AVT-II) entries were chosen for this study. Okra is one of the most important vegetable crops grown for its tender green fruits during summer and rainy seasons.  The results based on Bhendi hybrids trials mean revealed that different hybrid entries were applied in three replications. Among the entries tested (IET), the highest fruit yield (226.5 q/ha) was recorded in 2014/OKHYB-4 followed by 2014/OKHYB-6 (200.4 q/ha), the results revealed that (AVT-I) the highest fruit yield (243.5 q/ha) was recorded in 2013/OKHYB-9 followed by 2013/OKHYB-10 (224.6 q/ha). Among the entries tested (AVT-II), the highest fruit yield (238.7 q/ha) was recorded in 2012/OKHYB-13 followed by 012/OKHYB-15 (225.4 q/ha.).

An experiment was conducted to study the effect of different level of nutrients and intercropping (Pulses) on flowering behaviour of Cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) variety VRI -2 at State Horticultural Farm, Neyveli, and Tamil Nadu. The study was revealed that the application of 100% of the recommended dose of fertilizer + 100 kg of FYM and growing of cowpea as an intercrop was observed to be best which was recorded maximum total number of flowers panicle-1 (899.35), number of hermaphrodite flowers panicle-1 (65.71 and this was on par with the treatment 75% of the recommended dose of fertilizer + 100 kg of FYM and growing of cowpea as intercrop which recorded the total number of flowers panicle-1 (897.58), number of hermaphrodite flowers panicle-1 (64.56) as compared to control. Studies conducted elsewhere in the country in the nutrient requirement of Cashew revealed the necessity of the major nutrients like Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium in fairly big amount for its growth and development and also for ensuring its sustained productivity.

Studies on Consumption of an Aquatic Vegetable Eshing Ekai Thabi among the Meiteis of Manipur

Supriya Yenkokpam, Y. Ranjana Devi

Cutting-edge Research in Agricultural Sciences Vol. 8, 3 May 2021, Page 106-111

Eshing Ekai Thabi, commonly known as water mimosa, water sensitive plant, is a pantropical nitrogen-fixing perennial legume usually considered as an aquatic weed in some countries, however, the plant is used as a vegetable by the Meiteis, the valley inhabitants of the state of Manipur, and is considered as a local delicacy. The present study was undertaken to document the traditional mode of eating and the nutritional and medicinal benefit of consumption of water mimosa by the Meiteis of Manipur. It was observed that in addition to various use of the plant as a local delicacy, it is used for treatment of against intestinal infections, dysentery, earache and also as vermifuge. The nutrient rich potential of the plant plays an important role against malnutrition in the weaker section of the society. The plant is found cultivated during the rainy season in the ponds and wetlands in valley areas of Imphal and usually perish when the water level falls during the dry season.

The study assessed male and female cassava beneficiaries’ participation in the first phase of the Third National Fadama Additional Financing project in Anambra State, Nigeria. For the purpose of the objectives of the study, 120 cassava beneficiaries that participated in the project were selected using multi-stage sampling technique. Well-structured questionnaires were the instrument used for data collection, while descriptive statistics, paired sample t-test, multiple regression analysis and factor analysis were used for data analysis. The result of the study indicated that greater proportions (60% and 58.3%) of the sampled male and female beneficiaries fell between the active labour age of 40 and 59 years with mean age value of 43.67 and 43.08 years, respectively. The male respondents were mainly active in the project activities such as need assessment ( =2.65; 1st), development of business plan ( =2.65; 2nd) and production group formation ( =2.63; 3rd) while project activities such as strong linkage to financial institution ( =2.82; 1st), conflict resolution ( =2.72; 2nd) and monitoring and evaluation ( =2.67; 3rd) were actively carried out by the female beneficiaries. The project beneficiaries (male and female) recorded enormous benefits from the project in terms of access to improved farm inputs (95%; 100%), input disbursement (96.7%; 98.3%), increase in yield (93.3%; 96.7%) and access to facilitator (91.7%; 93.3%) respectively. Major agro-input constraining factors as indicated by the male beneficiaries includes: insufficient technical know-how (0.879), lack of improved cassava stems (0.544), inadequate storage facilities (-0.481), poor attitude to work on the part of the Fadama staff (0.792) and poor communication (0.802). Whereas, the female counterparts indicated high cost of inputs (0.774), lack of improved cassava stem (0.813), incident of pest and diseases (-0.661), inadequate access to farmland (0.454) and inadequate electricity supply (0.460) as the major agro-inputs constraining factors militating against their participation in the project. The study further showed that there was a significant difference between the level of male and female participation in the project. Based on the findings of the study, there is need for proactive measures such as timely organization and enlightenment of the farmers and the project staff concerning the project objectives and goals prior to project take off. As this will increase the beneficiaries’ level of participation and project staff commitment towards achieving the project objectives.

One of the factors contributing to mango (Mangifera indica L) losses in Kenya and other parts of the world is jelly seed physiological disorder. It is thought to be related to imbalances of N, K, Mg and Ca supply to the fruit. Mango production in Kenya has been on the increase due to increased demand for fruits as people are more aware of its health benefits. The objective of this study was to establish the effect of dolomitic lime and   muriate of potash (MOP) fertilization on mango jelly seed disorder and fruit tissue mineral content. MOP at a rate of  0, 1.0 and 2.0 kg/tree/year and dolomitic lime at a rate of 0 and 2 kg/tree/year were applied on ‘Tommy Atkins’ and ‘Van Dyke’ trees in 2013 and 2014. A sample of ten tree ripe fruits per treatment was scored for jelly seed incidence using hedonic scale. Another fruit sample was analyzed for K, Ca and Mg content. Dolomitic lime and MOP fertilization did not significantly influence jelly seed score however they significantly increased the fruit K, Mg and Ca content compared to control.

Jelly seed disorder is one of the major problems in mango production in Kenya as well as other mango producing countries in the world. This physiological disorder known as jelly seed which manifests itself through breakdown of tissues around the seed thus lowering the marketability of the affected fruits. This problem manifests itself through breakdown of tissues around the seed of the affected fruits resulting in unmarketable fruits. Although the exact cause of jelly seed in mango is unknown, some reports indicate that the condition could be due to imbalance related to Ca, Mg, N and K supply to the fruit. To establish the extent of this problem in Kenya, a study was conducted in 2013 in three major mango producing counties located in different agro-ecological zones namely Embu, Murang’a and Meru. Three farms with homogenous trees of “Tommy Atkins” and “Van Dyke” mangoes were randomly selected per county. Soil and mango leaf analysis were carried out to determine the nutrient status. Rainfall and temperature data were also recorded during the study period. At harvest time, 50 tree-ripe fruits of each variety were randomly sampled from 25 trees per site and sliced along the endocarp to expose the seed then visually examined and scored for the incidence of jelly seed using Galan Sauco scale. Soil analysis showed that, Meru vertisol and lithosols soils had higher Ca, Mg, K content compared to Murang’a eutric Nitisol soils and Embu ferralic arenosal soils. Similarly, mango leaves and fruits sampled from Meru county had higher Ca, Mg and K contents than those from Murang’a and Embu. Fruits (both varieties) from Embu county showed higher incidents of jelly seed that those from Murang’a and Meru county. Significantly higher jelly seed incidents were reported in ‘Van Dyke’ compared to ‘Tommy Atkins’ mangoes. It can therefore be concluded hat incidences of jelly seed depend on the variety as well as agro-ecological zone where the mangoes are produced.

The Effects of Biochar and Farm Yard Manure on Soil Properties and Crop Growth in the Himalayan Agroforestry System

Deepak K. Gautam, Roshan M. Bajracharya, Bishal K. Sitaula

Cutting-edge Research in Agricultural Sciences Vol. 8, 3 May 2021, Page 146-156

Many parts of South Asia are facing agricultural land degradation and reduced productivity while the population continues to grow and demand for food is ever-increasing. This paper presents the results of research specifically focused on application of biochar and Farm Yard Manure (FYM) at 5t/ha and 20t/ha, respectively as an amendment on degraded soil in a coffee agroforestry system of the mid-hills in the Nepal Himalaya. The study showed that there were significant (P<0.05) positive effects on soil chemical properties, crop growth (height) and crop productivity. In particular, the soil pH and SOM increased significantly, while other soil properties were not significantly improved. Also, plant growth increased dramatically with application of biochar, however, crop yields showed only slight increases. It is suggested that biochar applied at low rates along with FYM generally has immediate positive effects on the vegetative growth of plants, however, soil properties and overall crop yields may take a longer time to show improvement. Soil biophysical and chemical quality is critically important for sustaining the crop productivity and protecting the environment.