Prof. Marcello Iriti
Professor of Plant Biology and Pathology, Milan State University, Italy.

Short Biosketch

ISBN 978-81-969009-6-0 (Print)
ISBN 978-81-969009-1-5 (eBook)
DOI: 10.9734/bpi/racas/v1

This book covers key areas of agricultural sciences. The contributions by the authors include crop canopy, simulation models, rain-fed crop production, irrigation management, agrochemical inputs, crop productivity, resistant genotypes, salt stress, cytokinin synthesis genes, leaf senescence, silicon fertilization, entisols, integrated crop management practices, phosphorus deficiency, chickpea yield, genetic diversity, banana cultivation, crop diversification, farmyard manure,  vermicompost, crop health, microbial population, crop development, organic manure, aerobic irrigation, intercropping system, biofertilizer, NPK fertilizers, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, rice intensification, fertigation, agro-techniques, drip technology, integrated pest management, nutrition management, canopy management, heat stress, animal health, cattle husbandry, starchy food crops, cassava- based foods, drip irrigation; fertilizer application, crop performance. This book contains various materials suitable for students, researchers and academicians in the field of agricultural sciences.


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Increasing Yield of Colored Rice through Rice-Peanut Intercropping under Aerobic Irrigation Systems

Wayan Wangiyana , I. Gusti Putu Muliarta Aryana, Siti Zainab

Research Advances and Challenges in Agricultural Sciences Vol. 1, 2 January 2024, Page 1-19

An increased yield of cereal crops, such as maize and rice, can be achieved through intercropping them with legume crops, such as peanut, soybean, and mungbean. In additive series, population of the main crops, such as rice, is the exactly same between intercropping and monocropping systems, but in the replacement series of intercropping, it becomes only 50%. On average, grain yield per clump of rice plants grown under aerobic irrigation systems was increased by intercropping with peanut both under additive and replacement series of intercropping systems. Under additive series, relay-planting (adding) one row of peanut between double rows of red rice was found to significantly increase grain yield of red rice per clump or per unit area, mainly due to increases in panicle number per clump, filled-grain number per panicle, and weight of 100 grains or harvest index. Under replacement series, however, intercropping black rice with peanut under 2:2 row proportion resulted in significant competition between black rice and peanut plants, resulting in lower grain yield of the black rice in intercropping than in monocropping systems, if they were fertilized only with NPK fertilizers. However, application of organic and biofertilizer containing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), in addition to NPK fertilizers, significantly increased grain yield of the black rice, resulting in significantly higher grain yield of the intercropped than the monocropped black rice plants. Therefore, adoption of additive intercropping of rice with legume crops under aerobic irrigation systems could be a better choice to increase rice yield per unit area.

Integrated Crop Management Practices for Achieving Higher Productivity in Chickpea in Dharmapuri District, Tamil Nadu

M. Sangeetha , K. Indhumathi , P. Ayyadurai , P. S. Shanmugam , A. Anuratha

Research Advances and Challenges in Agricultural Sciences Vol. 1, 2 January 2024, Page 20-25

Chickpea is an important cool season food legume crop grown during rabi season in black soil areas of Dharmapuri District. Its productivity is decreasing day by day due to the various biotic and abiotic factors. Particularly, the occurrences of drought stress and fusarium wilt disease incidence are the major concern in deciding the yield of chickpea. To overcome the above problems, frontline demonstration on chickpea variety JAKI 9218 with integrated crop management practices was conducted at 10 farmers’ holdings of Dharmapuri district during Rabi season of 2017-18. The results of the demonstration indicated that demonstration of integrated crop management practices along with improved variety recorded higher grain yield of 7.98 q/ha and farmers practice recorded the lower yield of 6.36 q/ha. The increase in grain yield of chickpea over farmers practice was 22.5 per cent. The extension gap of 1.62 q/ha recorded for grain yield between demonstration and farmers practice indicated that dissemination of integrated crop management practices including improved variety through demonstration is needed among the chickpea growers for achieving higher yield thereby income.

Effect of NPK Fertilizers, FYM and Vermicompost on Growth and Yield Attributes of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.) var. Devika

Bhushan Sawant Dessai , Arun Alfred David , Neha Toppo , Iska Srinath Reddy

Research Advances and Challenges in Agricultural Sciences Vol. 1, 2 January 2024, Page 26-36

This chapter highlights the effects of NPK fertilizers, FYM and Vermicompost on growth and yield attributed of okra. A field experiment was conducted in the year 2022 during the Kharif season at research farm of Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences Prayagraj (Allahabad) 211007 U.P., India. The design applied for statistical analysis was carried out with randomized block design having three levels of NPK @ 0, 50 and 100% ha-1, three levels of FYM @ 0, 50 and 100% ha-1 and three levels of Vermicompost @ 0, 50 and 100% ha-1 respectively. The soil experimental area was sandy loam in texture. The design was laid out in randomized block design with three levels of NPK (0, 50, & 100%), three levels of FYM and three levels of Vermicompost (0, 50, & 100%) respectively. The results obtained with treatment T9-[120:60:50 Kg NPK + 25 t FYM + 6 t Vermicompost] showed highest  plant height, number of branches plant-1, number of leaves plants-1, number of fruits plant-1, total fruit per plant. Among the treatments, Organic manures as well as its mixture with full NPK considerably increase in growth and total yield attributes of okra. In contrast to all other treatments, combination of NPK, FYM and Vermicompost at 100% each respectively gave the most significant impact on okra growth. The study revealed that the application of NPK FYM and Vermicompost in treatment was found best in increasing growth and yield of okra.

Determining the Effect of Natural Silica to Alleviate Salinity Stress of Tomatoes (Lycopersicum escullentum Mill.) on Entisol

Kharisun, S. R. Suparto , R. Noorhidayah , C. M. Astuti

Research Advances and Challenges in Agricultural Sciences Vol. 1, 2 January 2024, Page 37-46

This chapter primarily focuses on the effect of silica fertilizer (Si), salt stress and their interactions on the agronomic characteristics of tomato plants on Entisol soil. High salinity leads to a decrease in plant growth, biomass, yield, photosynthesis, and water use efficiency as salinity stress negatively impacts the morphological, biochemical, and physiological processes of plants. Tomato is one of the most common and widely consumed vegetable crops in the world. This research was conducted in ex-farm screen houses, Agronomy and Horticulture laboratories, and Soil Science laboratories, Faculty of Agriculture, Jenderal Soedinnan University from January 2020 to April 2020. The experiment employed factorial randomized complete block design (RCBD) wid1 2 factors experiments i.e. level of conductivity, namely KO= 0 ds/m / pot, KI = 1 ds/m / pot, K2 = 2 ds/m/ pot, and K3 = 3 ds/m/pot, and doses of Si fertilizer, namely SO= 0 g/pot, SI = Sg/pot, S2 = 10 g/pot, and S3 = 15 g/pot. There are 16 treatment combinations with 3 replications, in total 48 experimental unit were used. The variables observed were plant height, number of leaves, chlorophyll content, flowering age, 1 number of flowers, number of fits, fruit weight, and fruit volume. Tomato blooms multiplied when Si fertilizer was applied. Tomato plant height and weight were lowered by salinity stress. The quantity of leaves and blooms is influenced by the combination of salt stress and silica fertilizer (Si). The highest number of leaves was at the dose of KCl 1 ds/m/plant and silica fertilizer 5 g/plant, while the highest number of flowers was at the dose of KCl 3 ds.lm. plant and silica fertilizer 10 g/plant. The application of Si fertilizer causes the plant to maintain the number of flowers. Si applied to plants affects increasing the photosynthetic capacity. This has a positive correlation with growth rates such as the number of productive branches and the number of flowers.

Research Inventory on Genetic Diversity of Cultivated Banana in The Market Place of Ambon, Maluku Province, Indonesia

Leunufna Semuel, Woltering Ernst , Hogeveen-Van Echteld Esther , Van der Waal Hans-Willem

Research Advances and Challenges in Agricultural Sciences Vol. 1, 2 January 2024, Page 47-79

This study was conducted with the aim of providing the latest situation on banana genotypic diversity present in the market places, their cultivations, their market chain and trading facilities in Maluku Province, Indonesia. Survey method was used, in which different markets, farmers and government institutions were visited and interviewed.

Seventeen genotypes of three different species and different genome and ploidy levels were seen at the market places with two highly demanded genotypes, Pisang Raja Hitam and Pisang 40 Hari. The major suppliers of banana commodities in Ambon market were Ceram, Ambon, Buru, Obi and Bacan Islands. Lack of knowledge in implementing proper cultural practices, lack of capital, lack of aid provided by government and several other obstacles have been the reasons for low banana production in Maluku Province as indicated by this study, and confirmed by the survey’s data provided by the government. Lack of sufficient infra-structure for large scale cultivations, storage and transport, and the use of harmful chemicals in post-harvest handling are some of the factors potentially hindering the international trading of banana products. However, there are development plans by the government, which possibly improve the banana export situation in the future.

Calibration and Validation of Aquacrop for Hot Pepper (Legon 18) Irrigation

L. K. Sam-Amoah , R. O. Darko , J. D. Owusu-Sekyere

Research Advances and Challenges in Agricultural Sciences Vol. 1, 2 January 2024, Page 80-87

This paper presents the findings of a study that aimed to calibrate and test the performance of AquaCrop in predicting crop yield and seasonal water requirements for hot pepper (Legon 18) cultivation in a tropical humid coastal savanna zone in south-central Ghana (Cape Coast). The study examined four treatments: T1 (100% ETc), T2 (90% ETc), T3 (80% ETc), and T4 (70% ETc). While AquaCrop was unable to accurately simulate the yield of hot pepper (Legon 18) for all treatments, it did show a low deviation of 4% for Treatment T2. However, the model was able to accurately predict the seasonal water requirements for both experiments. It should be noted that the calibration of AquaCrop was hindered by a lack of data on crop canopy cover, which is a crucial parameter in the model's development.

Intensive Cultivation of Mango Using Ultra-High Density Planting (UHDP), and Drip and Fertigation Technologies for Higher Productivity

P. Soman , A. U. Chaudhari , B. Krishna , V. R. Balasubramanyam

Research Advances and Challenges in Agricultural Sciences Vol. 1, 2 January 2024, Page 88-102

Availability of arable land for extending mango cultivation has been a limitation over the years. Considering the continual increase in human population and land use pressure in the country, there is limited scope to expand the area. India has the largest area under Mango crop; however the productivity is one of lowest among the mango growing countries. The reasons for low yields are many: large number senile orchards, traditional methods of cultivation, mostly rain-fed or with occasional flow irrigation during fruit development, poor attention to the canopy, nutrition, pest and diseases, and lack of use of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), lack of awareness among farmers of modern techniques like  micro-irrigation and fertigation, Integrated  Pest Management (IPM), Integrated Nutrition Management (INM), and modern post-harvest management methods. The observations and the results of experiments carried out have shown that to get optimum benefits of UHDP in several mango cultivars, the strict adherence to the following important aspects of practices are required. The Research and Development team of Jain Irrigation carried out a number of field trials, with high and ultra-high density plantation techniques in mango and tried to determine, irrigation and fertilizer requirement using drip technology and based on the results of soil and leaf analysis for targeted yields, and crop regulation by optimum canopy management and use of Placobutrazol (PBZ) for early uniform and regular flowering. They followed, IPM, Global-GAP and standardized, a package of practices for mango cultivars, under high density (4.5 m X 4.5 m) and ultra- high density mango (3 m X 2 m). The composite mango production technology thus developed over a period of 14 years in the R,D&D farm of JISL is now extended to many growers in the country.

The mango yields increased two to three times, the gestation period for the  first harvest was reduced to  three to four  years, the quality of fruits were good for export  and fruiting was regular even  in shy-bearing  cultivars like Alphonso and Himampasand. JISL is the only organization in the country which has invested quite a large funds and supported its research and extension team in educating farmers in improved agro-techniques and expose them to latest technologies.

Heat Stress in Dairy Cattle: Detection and Strategies for Effective Management

Jos Noordhuizen

Research Advances and Challenges in Agricultural Sciences Vol. 1, 2 January 2024, Page 103-126

Heat stress problems in dairy cattle are rather common in tropical and subtropical regions. Over the last decade, however, we have observed several days and even periods of heat stress in European countries and the United States too, affecting both humans and cattle. While in the tropical and subtropical regions dairy farmers may be used to handle such problems more or less adequately, it is not sure that European and American farmers, or their veterinary practitioners, are sufficiently prepared to diagnose heat stress and to properly deal with those problems, nor that they understand the negative consequences of heat stress for the dairy cattle, such as in the area of metabolism in general, and of production, reproduction and health in particular. Especially high yielding cows are susceptible, due to the increased level of their metabolism. This chapter presents the occurrence of heat stress, its signs and diagnosis, and major practical management measures to control and to prevent heat stress. These measures can be divided into general measures (a Good Heat Stress Management code of practice) and farm-specific measures (the application of appropriate cooling and cooling cycles). It is concluded that veterinary practitioners can play a substantial role as a consultant-coach to farmers for both understanding heat stress and implementing the measures. Finally, the most adequate solution to repeated heat stress problems on dairy farms, in terms of applying cooling cycles and the necessary equipment, is the tailor-made, individual farm approach.

Effects of Coloration and Processing Time on Garri Quality Produced from Mixed Cassava Cultivars

Anthony Chimezie Ehiemere , Kingsley Meje , Justina Chikaodiri Ndulaka , Emeka Friday Onuh

Research Advances and Challenges in Agricultural Sciences Vol. 1, 2 January 2024, Page 127-142

As a staple food, garri is well known throughout Nigeria, a byproduct of cassava. Like all starchy food crops, it can also be processed in different ways to produce a variety of garri food stuffs that differ not only in appearance, but also in taste and shelf life. This work compared the quality characteristics of garri, produced from a sample of mixed cultivars, as affected by duration of processing and coloration. Harvested cassava was processed in four different forms coded AA, BB, CC, and DD. White samples are represented as W; yellow samples as Y. Highest values (in %) were recorded in white garri (19.11, AA) for Water Absorption Capacity; yellow garri (0.213, BB) for Total Titrable Acidity; white garri (3.7, BB) for pH; white garri (0.54, AA); for Hydrocyanic acid; ash content (3.22, yellow, DD); fat content at 0.71 (yellow, CC); crude fiber at 87.54 (yellow, AA); loose density at 0.680 (yellow AA); and bulk density at 0.721 (yellow, AA, sample). In all, white sample was found to contain better overall qualities.

Effect of Fertilizer on Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) under Greenhouse Conditions

Peter B. S. Gama, Annet Manua Moses

Research Advances and Challenges in Agricultural Sciences Vol. 1, 2 January 2024, Page 143-153

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is regarded as an important vegetable crop in the tropics and it is one of the widely consumed member of Cucurbitaceae family. It ranks fourth after tomato, cabbage and onion in Asia. However, like any crop, cucumber requires appropriate nutrient and water management for proper growth and good yield, thus, the need for fertilizer application to achieve high yield is crucial. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to examine the effect of fertilizer [CAN (CaCO3 + NH4NO3)] levels on the growth and yield potential of cucumber under greenhouse conditions. Cucumber (variety: Ashely) and different levels of fertilizers [CAN (CaCO3 + NH4NO3)]; zero (T1), low (T2), medium (T3) and full strength (T3) were applied. Consequently, fertilizer levels exhibited higher plant growth for treatments (T2, T3, and T4) than the control (T1). Highest number of flowers were registered in T4 (32.33) followed by T2 and the lowest number of flowers for T1. . Relatively, while treatment T1 (control) had the least germination percentage (86.66%), treatment (T2) scored the highest germination percentage (94.6%) followed by treatment T4 (93.3%) and T3 (92.0%). Surprisingly, T2, T3, and T4 showed notable increase in fruit length, fruit diameter and dry weight. Comparatively, T2 had better performance in term of crop growth, development and yield, T4 was not recommended since it was not cost-effective to use high level of fertilizer. Additionally, the results also revealed that the lower level of fertilizer had significant impact on various growth stages of cucumber. It was clearly noted that although soils in South Sudan are fertile, there is need to apply, depending on soil health, minimum doses of fertilizer to improve crop performance. The result of this research showed that lower level of [CAN (CaCO3 + NH4NO3)] fertilizer and drip irrigation especially for off-season production had positive effect on growth and yield of cucumber obtained per unit area.