Open Access Short communication

Evaluation of Cucumis ficifolius A. Rich. Accessions for Resistance to Fusarium Wilt

Yuichi Matsumoto

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 470-476
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/1421

Aims: Fusarium wilt of melon (Cucumis melo L.), which is caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. melonis is regarded as a severe disease worldwide. Among the races (0, 1, 2 and 1,2), no gene conferringhigh resistance to race 1,2 has been identified in melon Wild Cucumis species have been reported to possess resistance to some melon diseases, andsome of the methods of overcome to the reproductive barriers in genus Cucumis interspecific crosses were reported. We evaluated C. ficifolius for novel resistance to F. oxysporum f. sp. melonis and searched for novel sources of resistance.
Study Design: A total of 10–20 plants were evaluated for each accession. Results were expressed as mean values and standard errors. Disease severity was log-transformed and data were analyzed using least-squares analysis of variance (ANOVA). A post hoc Tukey-HSD test was performed to compare disease severity among the accessions.
Place and Duration of Study: Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, and Plant Biotechnology Institute, Ibaraki Agricultural Center between October 2008 and September 2011.
Methodology: Inoculation was conducted using a root dip method. The resistance to each race was evaluated 21 days after inoculation according to a 0–3 disease severity scale (0=no symptoms, 1=small lesions on leaves, 2=leaves strongly affected, 3=plant death).
Results:All inoculated accessions showed susceptibility both in race 0 and 1. In race 2 and 1,2, only the accession PI 273648 showed resistance to both. However, the other accessions showed susceptibility to race 2 and 1,2 and the symptoms were almost severe.
Conclusion: These results suggest that the accession PI 273648 would be a suitable genetic resource to breed the melon cultivar, which has resistance to race 2 and 1,2.

Open Access Original Research Article

Seedling Root Growth Response to Cool Environmental Conditions for Diverse Cotton Cultivars

N. B. Mills, D. M. Oosterhuis, B. L. McMichael

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 269-287
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/1029

Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) grown in the Mississippi River Delta is generally planted in cool conditions that can lead to slow germination, uneven emergence, and poor root growth. A study was conducted to determine the effects of low temperature on four genetic and geographically diverse cotton genotypes. The cultivars chosen were: Acala Maxxa, grown primarily in California; Stoneville 4892BR, grown primarily in the Mississippi River Delta; Tamcot Sphinx, from the plains of Texas; and FiberMax 966, with a genetic makeup from Australia. The cultivars were grown for 10 days in six temperature regimes: 15/20°C, 15/25°C, 15/30°C, 15/35°C, 15/40°C, and 15/45°C (night/day). The temperature regimes resulted in different root growth patterns for each cultivar. Tamcot Sphinx was statistically greater than all other cultivars in root dry matter, while the statistical least amount of cotyledon dry matter was produced in the 15/20°C temperature regime. The highest lateral root length, lateral root numbers, and root branch intensity were produced at 15/35°C. Tamcot Sphinx was numerically higher than all other cultivars in mean taproot length and total lateral root number over all temperature regimes. In the cool temperature regime of 15/20°C, Stoneville 4892BR had the greatest taproot length, showing tolerance for cooler temperatures. The results from the study on taproot and lateral root growth showed the existence of genetic diversity for root growth among cotton genotypes which can be exploited to find a cultivar able to tolerate cool temperatures and produce a more vigorous cotton seedling.

Open Access Original Research Article

Analysis of Non-Farm Employment Growth in Alabama

LaTravis Brazil, James O. Bukenya

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 288-305
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/611

Aims: The paper examines the economic linkages between rural farm and rural non-farm sectors in Alabama. Because growing land scarcity and land conversation pressure from urban development raises concerns about prospects for rural labor absorption, the paper highlights the impact of agricultural growth on rural nonfarm employment.
Study Design: Cross-section study.
Place and Duration of Study: Alabama counties, 2001 - 2007.
Methodology: The analysis employs cross-section county-level data to test the null hypothesis of no significant relationship between agricultural and non-agricultural employment growth in Alabama. The hypothesis is tested using instrumental variables approach.
Results: The key findings suggest that growth of the rural agricultural employment sector positively influences growth in the non-agricultural employment sector. The average multiplier was estimated at 1.10 percent, implying that one percent growth of the rural agricultural sector induces 1.10 percent growth of the non-agricultural sector in Alabama.
Conclusion: The results support the conclusion reached by previous studies that although agriculture continues to play a central role in rural development, the promotion of complementary engines of rural growth is of paramount importance.

Open Access Original Research Article

Entomofauna of Oil Palm Tree Inflorescences at La Mé Experimental Station (Côte d’Ivoire)

N. Hala, Y. Tuo, A. A. M. Akpesse, H. K. Koua, Y. Tano

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 306-319
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/1128

Pollination of oil palm tree is mainly entomophilous. The inflorescences of this plant lodge many insects. The identification and quantification of these insects have proven ability to hold their pollination. The entomofauna of female and male inflorescences was inventoried and quantified at La Mé, a station of CNRA, the National Center of Agronomic Research of Côte d'Ivoire (West Africa) for a period of 2 years. The insects of the male inflorescences were listed at the beginning, the full and the end of anthesis on 1536 spikelets of 384 male inflorescences. For the insects of female inflorescences, 96 inflorescences were covered with a muslin sheath. The insects arriving on these inflorescences were captured in 2 days corresponding to anthesis length, during 10 minutes per hour, from 6 am to 6 pm. Species Elaeidobius sp, Microporum sp., Prosoestus sp. and Atheta burgeoni were common and regular present regardless of inflorescence type. Species Gabrius sp., Thrips sp., Anthocoride sp., Lithargus sp and the bees (Nomia sp.and Apis mellifera) were rarely observed in female inflorescences. Elaeidobius kamerunicus and Prosoestus sp. were more abundant on the female than on the male inflorescences. The higher level of insects was observed in full anthesis on male inflorescences whereas among female inflorescences it was noted at the first day of flowering. Knowledge of the insect fauna of oil palm inflorescences according to different stages of flowering allows better management of pollination.

Open Access Original Research Article

Radio-Sensitivity of Some Selected Landraces of Pulses to Gamma Irradiation: Indices for Use as Improvement and Preservation Techniques

O. Udensi, G. A. Arong, J. A. Obu, E. V. Ikpeme, T. O. Ojobe

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 320-335
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/1209

Aim: Effects of gamma irradiation on amino acid profile, proximate and anti-nutritional compositions of selected landraces of pulses were investigated. 
Methods: Seeds of Brown “Fiofio”, White “Fiofio” (Cajanus cajan) and “Olaudi” (Vigna unguiculata) were exposed to gamma irradiation. Each variety was divided into five groups of fifty grams weight and was exposed to 200, 400, 600, 800Gray (Gy) doses of gamma irradiation from Cobalt60 source while the fifth group served as control. 
Results: Our results revealed that the proximate, anti-nutritive factors and amino acid profile were significantly (P<0.05) reduced with increasing gamma irradiation dose. Though percentage germination was not significantly (P>0.05) affected, there was delayed germination and survival percentage became zero percent on exposure to 400Gy and above. “Olaudi” variety was less affected by the gamma rays exposure going by the result of the days to seedling emergence and percentage survival, making pigeon pea species more sensitive to the irradiation. 
Conclusion: Taking the results together, it does importantly suggest, however, that lower doses of gamma irradiation might be preferred for achieving the dual purpose of improvement and preservation but high enough to reduce the anti-nutritional factors.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of NPK Fertilization on Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) Expression in a Sub-Saharan African Region

M. Muengula-Manyi, K. K. Nkongolo, C. Bragard, P. Tshilenge-Djim, S. Winter, A. Kalonji-Mbuyi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 336-350
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/1211

The influence of NPK fertilizer on the incidence, severity and gravity of cassava mosaic disease (CMD) was investigated using eight genetically improved cassava varieties and eight local farmer’s varieties. The study was carried out in a savannah region (Gandajika) in D.R. Congo at two locations. The varieties were planted with and without NPK fertilization. Application of NPK fertilizer significantly (P<0.05) increased CMD incidence, severity (AUDPC) and gravity overtime compared to the trials without fertilizers for all the improved cassava varieties evaluated. The CMD incidence remained below 30% of infected plants for improved cassava varieties and reached 100% of plants for local varieties during the six months trial. The same trend was observed for CMD gravity (number of infected leaves per plant) that was below 50% for improved varieties while reaching 100% for all the local varieties at 6 MAP. High incidence and gravity of CMD were observed on local varieties just one month after planting. NPK fertilizers increased significantly the CMD incidence and gravity compared to control site during the first month after plantation. Thereafter, the effect of NPK fertilizer on CMD symptom expression was not noticeable since all the plants from local varieties were infected regardless of the fertilization regimen.

Open Access Original Research Article

Correlation and Path Coefficient Analyses of Seed Yield and its Contributing Traits in Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp

O. Udensi, E. V. Ikpeme

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 351-358
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/952

Aims: It is utmost desire for plant breeders to know the extent of relationship between yield and its various components, which will inevitably facilitate selection of desirable characteristics. This research focused on computing the correlation coefficients and path coefficients of yield and its contributing traits in pigeon pea landraces Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp. 
Methods: Seeds of two varieties of locally grown pigeon pea were sown in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) in ten replications. The field study was done at the University of Calabar Experimental Farm, University of Calabar, Calabar, South-South, Nigeria, during the 2009-2010 growing season. Correlation coefficients and path coefficients (partitioned into direct and indirect effects) were estimated on yield and its contributing traits.
Results: Correlation results revealed that there was significant positive correlations between plant height plant-1 and number of leaves plant-1 (0.926**), leaf area plant-1 (0.574*) and number of seeds plant-1(0.616*). It also showed that the number of leaves plant-1 was positively correlated with the pod length plant-1 (0.589*) and number of seeds plant-1 (0.682*). Leaf area plant-1 had a positive significant association with the number of seeds plant-1 (0.581*). Additionally, pod length plant-1 correlated positively with the number of seed plant-1 (0.850**) while number of nodules plant-1 correlated positively with 100-seed weight (0.804**). Path coefficient results showed that 100-seed weight had the highest direct effect on yield (0.583), which was positive. This was followed by the pod length plant-1 (0.519), number of leaves (0.452), and leaf area (0.252) while plant height plant-1 had negative direct effect but very high (-0.633). Number of pod plant-1 had the lowest direct effect on yield (0.033). Additionally, genotypic correlation coefficient with yield showed very high coefficients, especially for pod length plant-1 (0.827), 100-seed weight (0.798), number of leaves plant-1 (0.644), plant height plant-1 (0.582) and leaf area plant-1 (0.549), respectively. Number of nodules plant-1 had the lowest genotypic correlation coefficient (0.042) followed by number of flowers plant-1 (-0.063). 
Conclusion: The two results from correlation and path coefficient analyses strongly suggest that plant height plant-1, number of leaves plant-1, leaf area plant-1 and pod length plant-1 and 100- seed weight should be considered as indices for selecting high yielding pigeon pea genotypes, especially the landraces.

Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of Environmental and Vulnerability Impact of Bush Burning in Southern Guinea Savanna of Adamawa State, Nigeria

G. Y. Jamala, P. G. Boni, P. Abraham, C. P. Teru

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 359-369
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/687

Aims: To evaluate farmer’s perceptions about the environmental and vulnerability impact of bush burning. 
Study Design: Field survey.
Place and Duration of Study: Southern Guinea savanna of Adamawa State, Nigeria, between 1995 and 2010. 
Methodology: The respondents interviewed were selected using a simple random sampling and purposive sampling techniques proportional to the size of the areas studied. A sample of 120 respondents formed the sample size. Data were collected from hunters, farmers, herdsmen, foresters and civil servants in the study area. At the end of data collection only 100 questionnaires were correctly filled and returned. The remaining 20 were rejected owing to inconsistencies in their responses. Descriptive statistical analyses such as frequency and percentage were used to analyze the data obtained using statistical package for social science (SPSS 13).
Results: The results obtained show that 96% of the respondents interviewed were males and 4% females. Most of them were aged between 31 to 40 years with 45% representing active part of the population. 30% of the respondents engaged in farming, 21% hunting, 20% pastoralists, 16% foresters and 13% civil servants. Almost all the respondents agreed that they practice bush burning in order to derive various benefits that include; 24% as a means of land clearing and 18% on maintenance of soil productivity. 23% were on the view that it promotes rapid growth of succulent vegetation for livestock. 18% said that it helps them in their hunting expedition and 14% looked at it as a means of conserving the natural vegetation. At the same time 27% of the respondents maintained that this practice leads to lack of pasture for livestock, 22% pointed out that it leads to destruction of wildlife habitat, others, 18% observed that it brings about reduction in soil fertility, promotes soil erosion and also destroys soil micro-organisms. An overwhelming view was that due to this practice, the climate was getting drier. 27% of the respondents attributed the dryness to a reduction in the amount of rainfall, 24% observed that there was decrease in vegetation cover, 20% maintained that there is increase in hammattan dust and others, 16% and 13% said there has been drying of water bodies and poor harvest. A pressing issue is how to support people to use the soils, the biota and other natural resources without destroying those resources, and without affecting the climate adversely.

Open Access Original Research Article

Character Association and Path Analysis in Pearl Millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.)

Atif Ibrahim Abuali, Awadalla Abdalla Abdelmulla, Atif Elsadig Idris

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 370-381
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/1108

Fifteen genotypes of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.) were studied at two locations (Elrawakeeb and Shambat) of Sudan, during the years 2003 and 2004. The study was conducted to determine the interrelationship between yield and yield components and other quantitative traits, including days to 50%flowering, date to maturity, panicle length, dead part length/main head and plant height. The path analysis and phenotypic and genotypic correlation coefficients were calculated. The results showed that strong positive significant genotypic and phenotypic correlations were observed between grain yield/plant and harvest index (rp=0.754, rg=1.08), grain yield/plant and biomass dry weight (rp=0.639, rg=1.064) and grain yield/plant and number of seeds per panicle (rp=0.608, rg 0.820) and with other quantitative characters. However, grain yield/plant has negative association with days to 50% flowering, date to maturity and dead part length/main head. The path analysis indicated that number of fertile tillers/plant had the highest direct effect (0.512) on grain yield/plant. However, thousand-seed weight was greatly reduced by the negative indirect effects, through number of fertile tillers/plant and number of seeds/head. Based on the present results, it could be concluded that the number of fertile tillers/plant, number of seeds/head, thousand-seeds weight and panicle length/main head could be identified as the most important characters that associated with yield, and therefore can be used as selection criteria for yield improvement of pearl millet.

Open Access Original Research Article

Economic Efficiency of Pig Production in Oyo State, Nigeria: A Stochastic Production Frontier Approach

M. O. Adetunji, K. E. Adeyemo

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 382-394
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/746

This study investigated the economic efficiency of pig production in Ogbomoso zone, agricultural zone in Oyo State, Nigeria, between June and October 2009 using stochastic production frontier approach. A multistage sampling technique was employed in the selection; Ogbomoso North and South Local Government Areas were purposively selected because of the larger population of pig farmers and structured questionnaires were used to collect data from randomly chosen one hundred and ten (110) pig farmers. Descriptive statistics, cost benefit analysis and stochastic frontier production function were used for analyzing the data. It was revealed from the findings that mean benefit cost ratio for pig production was 2.82, this means that the enterprise is profitable. The result of the Cobb- Douglass stochastic production frontier function also showed that stocking cost, cost of feed and cost of labour had positive significant effects on the production output, the estimated gamma parameter (γ) was 0.780 and highly significant at 99% (0.01). Sex, age and household size had negative significant effects on economic inefficiency. The sum of elasticity was 1.191, indicating a positive increasing return to scale in the study area which might lead to over utilization of inputs in terms of excess spending on inputs. Although, the pig farmers were found to be operating on the frontier and were generally economically efficient, higher improvement could still be achieved through easy accessibility to institutional credit, pens expansion, improved breeding stocks and provision of technical assistance.

Open Access Original Research Article

Socio-economic Effects of Schistosomiasis on Irrigation Rice Growers in Morogoro, Tanzania

Farida Said Salehe, Shombe N. Hassan

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 395-406
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/1215

Aims: To assess Socio-economic effects of schistosomiasis on irrigation rice farmers in Modern, Improved traditional and Traditional irrigation schemes in Morogoro Region.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Mkindo (improved traditional) in Mvomero district, and Mwega (Modern) and Chabi (Traditional) in Kilosa District, between March and April 2010.
Methodology: In each scheme we used 40 farmers practicing irrigation rice farming. Between-scheme differences for infected farmers were tested using one way-ANOVA, and t-test for differences between infected and non-infected farmers within and irrespective of schemes.
Results: Over 60% of all farmers surveyed reported to have had suffered from schistosomiasis, with traditional scheme exhibiting the highest number. Differences in financial expenditures on treatment and care were detected between improved traditional and traditional (P<0.001), and improved traditional and modern (p=0.014). Similarly, hours spent on treatment and care differed between improved traditional and traditional (p=0.001) and between traditional and modern (p=0.028). Additionally, net working hours per month differed between traditional and improved traditional (p=0.002) and between traditional and modern (p=0.056). Contrary, only net working hours per month differed between infected and non-infected farmers within traditional (p=0.003) and modern (p=0.001) before and after converting hours spent on caring of oneself/other family members into monetary cost. The same variable exhibited significant difference all schemes pooled together (p<0.001). Results of this study contravene the hypothesis that farmers in the modern scheme would have high income balance compared to farmers in traditional and improved traditional. 
Conclusion: Four key conclusions were reached:

  1. Contrary to our expectation, net income balance remained highest in the improved traditional scheme both before and after conversion of time spent on treatment and care into monetary cost, but remained smallest amount in the traditional scheme.
  2. Failure of expenditures related to treatment and care to trigger significant difference in net income balance between infected and non-infected farmers, both between and within schemes caused the proposed hypothesis not to be accepted.
  3. Apparently, the family that replaces the labour of a family that fails to indulge in production process due to schistosomiasis illness is likely to undergo an economic cost as they will have abandoned their own production activities. But then, the tendency of ignoring such cost is deep rooted in many African traditions including rice farmers in Morogoro schemes thus causing underestimation of the actual Socio-economic cost of schistosomiasis in Sub-Sahara Africa.
  4. Occurrence of higher expenditures on treatment and care in traditional than in modern and improved traditional schemes justify the need for improvement of traditional irrigation infrastructures and cleanliness as well as training on water management and cropping calendar that would “cut” the pathways of schistosomiasis transmission.

Open Access Original Research Article

Using Regression Indices and Multiple Criteria Analysis for Study of Some Rice Genotypes under Interaction of Variable Environmental Conditions

Atif Elsadig Idris, Khalid A. Mohamed, Hassan Ibrahim Mohammed

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 407-425
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/1193

Sixteen genotypes of rice (Oryza sativa L.) were evaluated during 2008 and 2009 growing seasons at two regions at the State of White Nile- Sudan (EDduim and Kosti) to assess stability of performance, and identify high yielding genotypes. The aim of the comparative study was to assess the performance of breeding lines developed for various ecosystems and to identify stable genotypes with wide adaptability. A randomized complete block design with three replications was used in each location. Combined analysis of variance revealed highly significant effects of locations, seasons, genotypes and their interactions for most of the studied traits. All the genotypes gave high grain yield which ranged from 2.17 to 4.03 t ha-1 under irrigated conditions. Simple and combined analyses of variance indicated that genotypes differed significantly in grain yield, (NERICA 4, NERICA 14, NERICA 15, YUNLU 33 and WAB-1-38-19-14-P2-HB) were higher yielding genotypes giving 3.78, 4.03, 3.24, 3.55 and 3.51 t ha-1 respectively. Due to the observed temporal and spatial variability multi-objective compromise programming technique is employed to screen these Rice (Oryza sativa L.) genotypes according to their vegetative and yield traits for purpose of selecting the most stable ones that suit irrigated farming conditions of the studied areas Ranking of alternatives was explored in reference to selection criteria weights preferred by an agronomist, in comparison to equal weights. Two genotypes, NERICA 14 and YUNLU 33, were classified as high yielding and stable genotypes across environments (locations and years) because of their high grain yield and best performance of traits, with both a regression coefficient and multi-criteria analysis. These two genotypes could be used in the breeding program and/or may be released to farmers for cultivation in the White Nile State.

Open Access Original Research Article

Rice Cultivar Production and Seed Overwinter Potential in Upstate Missouri

Leah Sandler, Kelly A. Nelson, Randall L. Smoot

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 426-441
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/1385

Climate change and opportunities for pharmaceutical rice (Oryza sativa L.) production in the U.S. may affect future production opportunities. Field research in 2005–2007 at Bethel (39º56'N, 92º3'W) and in 2005 at Novelty (40º01'N, 92º11'W) evaluated the production potential of rice cultivars (10 conventional or hybrid varieties), overwinter seed survival, and the effects of weeds on yield in upstate Missouri. Grain yields ranged from 3,880 kg ha-1 (Ilpumbyeo) to 10,540 kg ha-1 (Trenase). M103, M202 and XP723 yielded similarly to Trenase. Late-maturing cultivars had the greatest risk of yield loss due to frost damage. Weed interference [barnyard grass (Echinochloa crus-galli L.), fall panicum (Panicum dichotomiflorum Michx.), giant foxtail (Setaria faberi Herrm.), common cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium L.), and common waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis Sauer)] reduced grain yields of Cocodrie 35%, emergence by 4%, plant height by 21%, and head number by 21%. In fall 2005 and 2006, rice seed produced during the previous year was seeded on the soil surface, with vertebrate exclusion, and vertebrate plus invertebrate exclusion. Viable seed overwintered with 0.06 to more than 12% emergence the following spring. The yield potential of rice in upstate Missouri looks promising, but correct cultivar selection and weed control are essential for successful production.

Open Access Original Research Article

Screening of Inter-Specific Rice Progeny Lines for African Rice Gall Midge (AfRGM) Resistance

M. Bashir, A. S. Gana, A. T. Maji, A. A. Shaibu, E. K. Tsado

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 442-448
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/786

Nine hundred and seventeen inter-specific rice lines were subjected to field screening for African Rice Midge Resistance in both Rainfed and Irrigated lowland ecologies at Badeggi and Edozhigi experimental fields respectively in 2009 cropping season, to determine the levels of African Rice Gall Midge (AfRGM) resistance in Bc3F3 inter-specific lines. The field was laid out in an Augmented Block Design, comprising of three blocks with 305 progenies in each block. The checks were randomized three times in each block. The result indicated that the progenies differ significantly in their resistance to AfRGM, four progenies were found to be resistance across the two locations. However, 7 out of the 146 progenies that have good phenotypic acceptability were resistant at Badeggi, while 5 out of 122 progenies with phenotypic acceptability were found resistant at Edozhigi location. Considering both resistance and phenotypic acceptability scores, only 16 progenies were selected for yield trial in both locations.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Diet Containing Different Amount of Wheat Dried Distillers’ Grain as a Substitute for Alfalfa Hay on Holstein Lactating Cow Responses

S. Gohari, M. DaneshMesgaran, A. R. Vakili, M. Mojtahedi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 449-457
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/1046

Wheat dried distillers' grain (WDDG) as a co-product has a high content of neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and crude protein (CP), due to the selective removal of starch during the production process. Therefore, it has been proposed to use this by product as a good source of non-forage fiber in ruminant rations. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of diets containing different amount of Wheat dried distillers' grain as a partial substitute for alfalfa hay on lactation performance, blood metabolites and chewing activity of lactating Holstein dairy cows. Nine primiparous Holstein lactating dairy cows (76±18 days in milk) were assigned randomly to a replicated 3×3 Latin square design with 21 d periods. Basal diet (BD) was provided using 31.2% alfalfa hay, 15.6% corn silage, 12.5% barley grain, 12.5% corn grain, 8.6% cottonseed, 7.1% wheat bran, 10.5% soybean meal and 2% premix on dry matter basis. Alfalfa hay and soybean meal was partially substituted with WDDG as 5% (BD+WDDG5) and 8.7% (BD+WDDG8.7). Experimental diets were calculated to achieve same amount of CP and metabolizable energy. Throughout the experiment, cows were housed in tie-stalls barn and fed ad libitum a total mixed ration twice daily at 008 and 1800 h. Dry matter intake (DMI) and milk yield was recorded daily. Milk samples were collected weekly at each milking, then, analyzed for protein, lactose and fat. Blood samples were drawn from the jugular vein into heparinized evacuated tubes on the last day of each experimental period at 4 h post-feeding, then, plasma was provided. Plasma samples were analyzed to determine glucose and urea-N concentrations. Chewing activity (i.e. eating, ruminating, idle)for cows were monitored over a 24 h by manually observing individual cows every 5 min. Inclusion of WDDG in the experimental diets did not affect DMI, milk yield, milk composition, blood glucose. Except for total chewing activity (min/kg NDF) that was decreased significantly with inclusion of WDDG, all other evaluating indices were not affected by treatments. However, diet containing WDDG at 5% caused a significant decrease (P<0.05) in blood plasma urea-N compared with that of the cows fed basal diet (BD= 21.6 and BD+WDDG5= 19.9 mg/dl). Therefore, it was concluded that WDDG might include in the lactating cow diets, up to 8.7%, without any negatively impacting on milk yield, milk composition and blood metabolites evaluated.

Open Access Original Research Article

Development of Cassava Digger and Conveyor Units

Danuwat Thangdee, Seree Wongpichet

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 458-469
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/1395

Aims: To design and develop the cassava digging and preparing unit and the conveying unit for the Cassava Harvester Machine.
Study Design: Efficiency data.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Khon Kaen University, between September 2011 and February 2012.
Methodology: The Cassava Digging and Preparing Unit, and the Cassava Conveyor Unit were constructed. The Cassava Digging and Preparing Unit were functional tested on three digging angles of 20, 25 and 30 degrees on the three randomized soil moisture. The Cassava Conveying Unit was functional tested on six scooping speeds of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0 m/s. After adapted the two units to the results from above. The field performance test of the prototype machine was evaluated. 
Results: The Digging and Preparing Unit found to be working on the angle of 20 degrees. The Conveyor Unit found to be scooping with less than 1.5 m/s of speed. The field performance test were showed that: filed capacity, field efficiency, and conveying losses were, 0.05 ha/hr., 59.10%, and 3.23% respectively without any losses caused by digging and preparing process. 
Conclusion: From the functional test of Cassava Digging and Preparing Unit and Conveyor Unit that were designed and developed in this research, it has been found to have the ability to solve the problem in collecting and conveying cassavas from the ground. This data will pave the way for a prototype of Cassava Harvesting Machine to be fabricated.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Influence of Benomyl on Penicillin Production and Rhizosphere Organisms

F. O. Ekundayo, M. K. Oladunmoye, O. Fagbola, O. Osonubi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 477-484
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/1042

Aims: To evaluate the antimicrobial effects of benomyl (a systemic fungicide) on penicillin production and rhizosphere organisms of cowpea plant.
Study Design: 3 factor factorial experiment.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Microbiology, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, 2006.
Methodology: Complementary plate and pot experiments were designed to achieve these objectives. Bioassay methods such as the agar cup plate and the agar plug techniques were used to examine the metabolic fitness of Penicillium italicum and Penicillium oxalicum for penicillin production when cultured in agar medium with varying concentrations of benomyl. The pot experiment was also carried out to determine the effect of 0.8g of benomyl on the microbial load of 1.5kg of rhizosphere soil of cowpea.
Results: Biological assay predominantly shows that benomyl at different concentration has the ability to impair the metabolic and mitotic activity of Penicillium species mentioned above. This development resulted in the inhibition of penicillin and other allied metabolites. It was discovered that there was a reduction in the microbial load of rhizosphere soil containing benomyl and the fungicide was incriminated to be responsible for it. 
Conclusion: Certain species of bacteria and fungi that predominated in the rhizosphere soil sample without benomyl were either few or absent in the sample with benomyl.

Open Access Original Research Article

Energy Consumption, Input–Output Relationship and Cost Analysis for Greenhouse Productions in Esfahan Province of Iran

Morteza Taki, Yahya Ajabshirchi, Hassan Ghasemi Mobtaker, Reza Abdi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 485-501
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/1461

The objectives of this study were to determine the energy consumption and evaluation of inputs sensitivity for greenhouse vegetable production in the Esfahan province of Iran. Data were collected from 60 farmers using a face–to–face questionnaire method. The majority of farmers in the surveyed region were growing cucumber and tomato. The results revealed that cucumber production was the most energy intensive rather than tomato production. Cucumber production consumed a total of 124.44 G J ha–1 followed by tomato with 116.76 G J ha–1. The energy ratio (energy use efficiency) for greenhouse tomato and cucumber were estimated to be 0.92 and 0.56 respectively. This indicated an intensive use of inputs in greenhouse vegetable production not accompanied by increase in the final product. Econometric model evaluation showed the impact of human power for both tomato and cucumber production was significant at 1% levels and had the highest impact among the other inputs in greenhouse tomato and cucumber production. Economic analysis indicated that the total costs of production for one hectare of tomato and cucumber production were around 34939 and 31956$, respectively. Accordingly, the benefit–cost ratio for these productions was 2.74 and 1.79, respectively. The total amounts of CO2 for tomato and cucumber production were calculated as 4.622 and 4.930 tons ha–1 respectively, which indicated the high CO2 output in both cultivations. The use of diesel fuel and pesticide is in excess for tomato and cucumber production, causing an environmental risk problem in the region.

Open Access Original Research Article

Women Participation in Microcredit and Its Impact on Income: A Study of Small-Scale Businesses in the Central Region of Ghana

Dadson Awunyo-Vitor, Vincent Abankwah, Julius Kwesi Kum Kwansah

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 502-515
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/1127

Aim: To examine women participation in microcredit and its impact on business income.
Study Design: Cross-sectional data.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out from March 1 to 30, 2011 in five districts from the Central Region of Ghana which is basically agrarian.
Methodology: A multistage randomized sampling method was used in selecting 300 business women from the five districts: Agona West Municipality; Cape Coast Metropolis; Efutu Municipality; Mfantsiman Municipality and Upper Denkyira East District. Structured questionnaire and interview schedule were used to elicit information from the respondents. Information sought bordered on business income, the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents and other factors that influence participation in microcredit. Analysis of data was carried out using propensity score matching (PSM) approach.
Results: Results revealed that number of years in formal education, satisfaction of application procedures, membership to business associations, amount of savings with financial institutions, and the satisfaction of interest charges are factors that positively influence women’s likelihood of participating in microcredit programmes. The PSM results showed that women operating small businesses with microcredit had statistically significant higher income compared with their non-microcredit participating counterpart.
Conclusion: It is, therefore, concluded that formal schooling, satisfaction with lending procedures and interest as well as amount of money saved with the micro finance institution influence their participation in the micro credit programme. Also microcredit provides a means for increasing income of women in small scale businesses. Based on the PSM results women in small businesses should be encouraged to participate in microcredit as it significantly increases their income levels.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Influence of Glomus mosseae and Trichoderma harzianum on Phytohormone Production in Soybeans (Glycine max L. Merr) Planted in Sterilized and Unsterilized Soils

O. Egberongbe Haneefat, A. A. Sobowale, O. A. F. Ilusanya, R.T. Feyisola

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 516-524
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/910

This study was carried out to investigate the effect of the mycorrhizae; Glomus mosseae and Trichoderma harzianum; singly and in combination on the level of phytohormones (auxin, gibberrelin and abscisic acid) of soybean (Glycine max L. Merr) planted in sterilized and unsterilized soils. The experimental design adopted was completely randomized with four treatments i.e Glomus mosseae (G), Trichoderma harzianum(T) and combination of G. mosseae and T. harzianum (GT) and an uninoculated (control (C)). There were four replications harvested at maturity after a growth period of 15 weeks. The experiment was carried out in the Department of Microbiology, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria between March 2009 to April 2010. Phytohormone levels before and after treatments were determined using documented method. The volume of phytohormones obtained were significantly (P>0.05) higher (7.05-70.43mg/100ml) in sterilized than unsterilized (6.27-52.73mg/100ml) soil. In all the treatments, auxin volume was highest (63.64mg/100ml) followed by abscisic acid (60.55mg/100ml) and gibberrellin (7.75mg/100ml). Treatment of soil with combined mycorrhizae G. mosseae and T. harzianum enhanced phytohormone production in soybean compared to soil treatment with single mycorrhiza and trichodermal inoculations.

Open Access Original Research Article

On the Impact of Zucchini Yellow and Watermelon Mosaic Viruses on the Production Rhythms of Transgenic ZW-20 and Nontransgenic Squash (Cucurbita pepo L.)

Ferdinand E. Klas

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 525-541
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/1287

Throughout the growing season the numbers of harvested young fruits that reached marketable size fluctuated per unit of time, depicting the production rhythm of the crop. Most studies on the impact of disease on a crop pertain to the extent of yield reductions caused, and not to perturbation or annihilation of the production rhythm. 
On the Crittenden Farm of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY, field trials were conducted to study the impact of cucurbit viruses Zucchini yellow mosaic (ZYMV) and Watermelon mosaic (WMV) on production rhythms of transgenic ZW-20 (H and B) and nontransgenic cv Pavo squash. Both, ZW-20H and ZW-20B were genetically engineered from cv Pavo and expressed virus-resistance evoked by coat protein genes of ZYMV and WMV. The nontransgenic cv. Pavo control did not contain virus resistance and was fully susceptible to ZYMV and WMV. Production rhythms were depicted by time series of successive average numbers of small fruits of marketable size, harvested at 2-3 day intervals between 31 and 49 days post planting (dpp). For both, virus-infected and virus-free transgenic ZW-20 ( H and B ), as well as for virusfree nontransgenic cv Pavo the trend was manifest that, at each harvest the number of fruits was higher than at the previous one; indicating the existence of autocorrelation between harvest rounds of these genotypes. In contrast, this trend of increasing numbers of fruits could not be identified with virus-infected nontransgenic cv Pavo. Consistent with these trends, Von Neumann’s Q confirmed the occurrence of significant autocorrelations between harvest rounds of ZW-20 (both, virusfree and infected) and of virus free nontransgenic cv Pavo. In contrast, Von Neumann’s Q did not detect autocorrelation between harvest rounds of virus-infected nontransgenic cv Pavo. These results reveal that autocorrelation between harvest rounds was retained in transgenic ZW-20 squash, irrespective if they were virus-infected or not, but was lost in infected virus-susceptible nontransgenic cv Pavo crops. The outcomes of this study sustain the hypothesis that ZYMV and WMV have no impact on the production rhythms of virus-resistant transgenic ZW-20 squash, but they do alter those of nontransgenic cv Pavo.

Open Access Original Research Article

Estimating the Model of Investigating Attitude and Intention in the Usage of Variable Rate Irrigation Technology

Abdolazim Ajili, Saeid Salehi, Kurosh Rezaei-moghaddam, Dariush Hayati, Fereshteh Karbalaee

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 542-556
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2012/1267

Aims: This study investigated the attitude and intention of experts in Agriculture Organization of Fars and Khuzestan Provinces towards the usage of variable rate irrigation technology.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: In Agricultural Organization of Fars and Khuzestan Provinces, between July 2006 and September 2006.
Methodology: According to multiple stratified random sampling, We included 249 experts (135 Fars experts, 114 Khuzestan experts, 193 men, 56 women; age range 23-68 years) in both provinces. Davis’s Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and Rogers’s Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT) was theoretical framework. Data analyzed by Structural Equation Modeling Technique (SEM) base on LISREL software.
Results: Findings suggest that experts have intention towards application of this technology. Observability, perceived ease of use, attitude to use and perceived usefulness variables have a direct effect on experts’ intention to use for the application of VRT-I; and experts’ attitudes to use of technology directly affects variables of observability and perceived usefulness.
Conclusion: this study was successful adding some variables in Davis’s TAM and made it more complete. Some applicable recommendations have been presented at the end of article according to the research conclusion.