Open Access Short Research Article

rrigation Water Productivity and Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Yield in Different Planting Methods under Mulch Conditions

M. S. Kahlon, K. L. Khera

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 107-112
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/15069

To investigate the effect of planting methods i.e. drip irrigated beds (DIB+M), furrow irrigated beds (FIB+M) and ridge (R+M) methods under mulch condition at different irrigation regimes on irrigation water productivity and potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) yield, a field experiment was conducted in sandy loam soil at the Research Farm of Department of Soil Science, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. Three irrigation levels based on IW/PAN-E ratios of 1.2, 1.6 and 2.0 were tested under FIB+M and R+M, while 0.3, 0.4 and 0.5 were tested under DIB+M. The treatments were replicated thrice a time with split plot design. Paddy straw mulch was applied @ 6 t ha-1 in all the treatments. The potato tuber yield increases with increase in irrigation level for all the methods. The highest mean tuber yield of 26.5 t ha-1 was recorded in DIB+M at IW/PAN-E 0.5, followed by FIB+M (24.2 t ha-1) and R+M (22.6 t ha-1) at equivalent IW/PAN-E ratio 2.0. Potato biomass yield and irrigation water productivity (IWP) was also observed to be highest under DIB+M. The IWP decreases with increase in irrigation level. The results revealed that DIB+M at IW/PAN-E ratio of 0.5 could successfully be used for potato cultivation with water saving and higher productivity.

Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of Potential Allelopathic Relationship between Velvet bean (Mucuna cochinchinensis (Lour.) A. Chevand Speargrass (Imperata cylindrical (L.) Raeushel) with Selected Methods

Ochekwu E. Bernard, Udensi E. Udensi

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 89-96
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/15450

Velvet bean [Mucuna cochinchinensis (Lour.) A. Chev] has been reported to smother the growth of Speargrass [Imperata cylindrical (L) Raeushel.] through competition and potential allelopathic effect on speargrass.
Greenhouse experiments involving three methods were conducted at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan Nigeria in 2009. The aim of the trials was to establish if mucuna exhibits allelopathic effect on speargrass, besides smothering effect. These methods included: (1) Mucuna fresh parts[(Leaves (L), leaves + vine (L+V), vine(V) and roots (R)] incorporation into pot planted to speargrass rhizome and a control pot without mucuna part incorporation; (2) Mucuna plant part extracts (of leaves, leaves +vines, vines and roots) and control with ordinary water; and (3) Mucuna seed and speargrass rhizome interplant (One mucuna seed-interplant, Two mucuna seeds interplant and Three-mucuna seeds interplant).
Results showed that every mucuna part has the potentials of being allelopathic to speargrass. Incorporating mucuna parts into pot with speargrass reduced both speargrass shoot height and number by ≥ 20% and ≥ 50% respectively. Similarly mucuna parts extract on the average, reduced shoot and rhizome biomass by ≥ 60% and ≥ 50% respectively when compared to the control. The pot interplant method on the average showed a reduction of speargrass shoot and rhizome biomass by ≥ 20% and ≥ 16% respectively. The effect of speargrass and mucuna interplant on speargrass shoot height was not variable between the speargrass-mucuna interplant and the sole speargrass control except at 12 WAP.
This investigation revealed that mucuna also exhibits allelopathic effect on speargrass, and this could serve as a bio-control method for speargrass. All the mucuna parts studied have the potentials of exhibiting allelopathy effect on neighboring and susceptible plants. The allelopathy effect appears to be greater with the leaves or the vines or both.

Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of Potential Accessions of African Rice (Oryza glaberrima Steud) with Essential Mineral Elements for Breeding Purposes

H. M. Amoatey, H. A. Doku, K. Nyalemegbe, D. Bansa

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 97-106
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/15314

Aim: The study was to identify superior accessions of African rice (Oryza glaberrima Steud.) for breeding to obtain nutrient-rich varieties to combat micro-nutrient malnutrition.
Place and Duration of Study: Field experimentation was carried out at Soil and Irrigation Research Institute, University of Ghana. Laboratory analyses were done at Ghana Research Reactor 1 (GHARR-1) and the Department of Chemistry and Environmental Research Centre, both of the National Nuclear Research Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission. All the research activities were conducted between the period July, 2010 and June, 2011.
Methodology: Seventeen local accessions of African rice were evaluated for their reproductive and yield characteristics alongside NERICA 1, a high-yielding, protein-rich hybrid purposely bred for Africa. The dried seeds were analyzed for seven essential mineral elements: calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc using atomic absorption spectrophotometry and neutron activation analysis.
Results: The study did not identify any accession with high or appreciable levels of both iron and zinc which are considered vital in alleviating micro-nutrient malnutrition. However, the accession N/4 showed significantly (P < 0.05) high zinc content (30.10 mg kg-1) while Awerema significantly (P < 0.05) recorded the highest amount of iron (386.6 mg kg-1).
Conclusion: The two accessions may therefore be utilized in a hybridization program for developing new lines of African rice rich in both iron and zinc.

Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluations of Bentonite Plated Sulfur Application on Fe and Zn Bioavailability of Saline and Sodic Soil

A. R. Jafarnejadi, A. Gholami

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 113-118
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/15710

In saline and sodic soils, high pH strongly have affected on soil micronutrient availability. The study was conducted to evaluate using soil amendments (sulfur and manure) on some soil characteristics, iron and zinc concentrations of saline and sodic soil. A factorial randomized complete blocks design was considered with three replications. The main factor included organic matter (manure) as two levels (M0 = without manure and M1 = 40 tons manure/ha) and subfactors were bentonite plated sulfur and Thiobacillus thiooxidans (five treatments) includes S0 = control without S, S1 = sulfur applying as soil gypsum requirement (1620 kg/ha), S2 = sulfur applying as double soil gypsum requirement (3240 kg/ha), S1T= S1Thiobacillus thiooxidans treatment, S2T = S2Thiobacillus thiooxidans. The irrigation treatments were performed based on soil moisture monitoring plots. Also, the soil samples were taken in depth 0-30 cm and analyzed for determing soil pH, electrical conductivity (EC), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), soil Fe and Zn DTPA (diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid) -extractable concentrations. The results showed that the manure and sulfur treatments were significant difference on soil EC, SAR and Zn DTPA-extractable. Also, the compare mean Duncan's treatments revealed that Zn DTPA-extractable concentrations was increased from 1.7 (M0S0) to 4.1 (M1S2) mg/kg (p<0.05). Fe DTPA-extractable concentrations had increasing trend from 5.3 (M0S0) to 8.2 (M0S1T) mg/kg but the differences had not significant statistics (p<0.05). The interactive effects of sulfur and organic matter application reduced soil SAR from 15.5 in the M0S0) treatment to 9.9 in the M0S2T treatment (in which sulfur was used together with Thiobacillus thiooxidans. Finally, organic manure and sulfur were recommended for increasing efficiency saline and sodic soils.

Open Access Original Research Article

Agricultural Commercialization and Adaptation to Climate Change and Variability in Semi-Arid Central Tanzania

A. B. Chitimbe, E. T. Liwenga

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 119-130
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/16276

Aims: The study was conducted to investigate the implications of smallholder agricultural commercialization on adaptation to climate change in semi-arid central Tanzania.
Study Design: Descriptive survey and observational designs were used in this study. Moreover, analytical design was used to analyze the trends of climate and commercialization in the area.
Place and Duration of Study: Hembahemba and Manyata villages in Kongwa district, Dodoma region, Tanzania were selected for the study. The study was conducted between October 2012 and October 2013.
Methodology: A variety of methods were used in the study including participatory assessment techniques, field visits and household surveys. Primary data collection involved the use of key informant interviews, household questionnaires, focus group discussions and field observations. Secondary data were collected through literature and documentary review. Temperature and rainfall data from 1970 to 2012 were analysed by simple linear regression performed using Microsoft Excel. Non-numeric data were coded and analyzed by Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Household Commercialization Index (HCI) was used to analyze levels of agricultural commercialization.
Results: The experience of the interviewed respondents on rainfall and temperature trends corresponded to the analysis of climatic data from Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA). The analysis indicated an increase of temperature at a rate of 0.0137°C annually for the past 42 years and a decrease of rainfall at a rate of 1.5062mm annually from 1983 to 2012. However, rainfall decreased more rapidly at a rate of 4.597mm annually between 1995 and 2012, putting agricultural sector into risk. On the other side, agricultural commercialization influenced mechanization and changes of agricultural practices in diverse ways. Changes, such as abandonment of mixed farming and drought tolerant traditional crop varieties exposed the farmers into risks of climatic shocks while changes on tillage practices and crop diversification contributed to adaptation.
Conclusion: Taking into account the climatic changes and market forces, it is likely that agricultural diversification can further contribute to resilience.