Open Access Short communication

Categorization of Rural Youth on Utilization of Agricultural Information on Arable Crop in Southwest Nigeria

Olumuyiwa Akin Olaniyi, Jacob Gbenga Adewale

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 571-578
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/2629

Aims: This study was designed to categorize rural youth on utilization of agricultural information on arable crop in southwest Nigeria.

Study Design:  Multi-stage Sampling technique with quantitative approach was adopted.

Place and Duration of Study: Rural youth planting arable crops in Oyo and Osun States, Nigeria, observed between February 2009 and July 2010.

Methodology: Respondents sampled included 455 rural youth (389 males, 66 females; age range 18-35 years).

Results: The sampled rural youth were categorized into three: low, average and high users’ of agricultural information based on their utilization scores. Test of Mean of difference using ANOVA shows significant increase in mean age (28.22 to 30.79, (F= 10.593; P=.05), perception of utilization of agricultural information (35.54 to 40.27 (F= 20.32, P=.05) from low to high users’ categories. On the other hand the mean household size significantly increase (3.69 to 4.35) but declined from average users’ category to high (4.35 to 4.31) with F= 6.371; P= .05. Rural youth in the low users’ category were found to have higher mean farm size and decrease significantly (2.50 to 1.14 (F= 11.484, P=.05).

Conclusion: The rural youths’ age, household size, farm size and perception of utilization of agricultural information significantly influenced the categories of users’ of agricultural information on arable crops

Open Access Original Research Article

Developing an Integrated Management Approach for the Fruit Fly Dacus punctatifrons on Tomatoes

Nelson N. Ntonifor, Divine N. S. Nsobinenyui, Eric B. Fokam, Lum A. Fontem

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 470-481
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/3846

Aims: To document the various insecticides employed and also test alternative and/or complementary less-toxic and eco-friendly management methods against the notorious fruit fly Dacus punctatifrons on tomatoes as potential components of a multi-pronged eco-friendly integrated approach for this pest.

Study Design: Random interviewing of tomato farmers and field testing of different pest management methods in a randomized block design.

Place and Duration of Study: Interviewed farmers in Buea and its environs. Field experiments at the Research Farm of the University of Buea, South Western Cameroon. October 2010 to September 2011.

Methodology: Structured questionnaires administered to 110 farmers to document how they managed Dacus punctatifrons on their tomatoes and testing the efficacy of Piper guineense aqueous extract, cultural practices like staking, pruning and farm sanitation against this pest in field studies.

Results: Most of the farmers, 58(52.73%) cited Dacus punctatifrons as their main insect pest on tomatoes. All the farmers used conventional insecticides injudiciously to control the insect pests. The synthetic pyrethroid, Cypercal® 50EC was the most popular insecticide used. The numbers of fruits with fruit fly damage signs, and number of adult flies that emerged from plots treated with Piper guineense seed extract were not significantly different from those of plots treated with the neonicotinoid Parastar® 40EC insecticide. These two treatments were significantly superior to the untreated control plots and those where the plants were staked, regularly weeded and judiciously pruned. Fallen fruits and those harvested from farms even up to five weeks after farmers had harvested all marketable fruits still contained Dacus punctatifrons larvae that eventually developed into adults which emerged after laboratory incubation.

Conclusion: Integrating the judicious use of appropriately formulated insecticides, Piper guineense aqueous seed extract, early detection, collection and destruction of fruit fly-infested tomato fruits and destruction of crop residue after harvest can be a sustainable and reduced-risk multi-trigger management system for Dacus punctatifrons on tomatoes

Open Access Original Research Article

Development of Tractor Operated Cotton Stalk Puller

Elnougomi. A. Gadir, Taief M. Gibreel

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 495-505
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/2568

The implement was designed and developed in a workshop held at the Agricultural Engineering Department, College of Agricultural Studies, Sudan University of Science and Technology between April 2011 and June 2012. The implement was constructed from a series of disc blades mounted on a frame. The two discs arranged together with specific space and angles to adapt with cotton stalks pulling operation. The implement mounted on the tractor by three hitches linkage.

The field performance test was done for the implementation in Gezira Scheme by measuring the tilt and rake angles parameters, operation speed, pulling operation cost for both systems; manual and mechanical and total cost to product the implement. The experimental design was split plot in a complete randomized block adopted with three replications.

The results revealed that the best performance efficiency of the implement (94%) was found at both 30, 20 degrees of tilt angle and rake angle respectively. The suitable operating speed was found to be 2.8 km/h. When estimated, the total cost to achieve the cotton stalks removal per using two systems hand puller and designed implement found that 200,50 SDG required per feddans respectively. The current implement design can be manufactured in both industrial and semi-industrial factories and even small workshops due to design simplicity. Finally it was found that the total manufacturing cost of the implement was 3000 SDG (500$)

Open Access Original Research Article

Nutritional Potential of Centrosema pubescens Mimosa invisa and Pueraria phaseoloides Leaf Meals on Growth Performance Responses of Broiler Chickens

F. C. Nworgu, G. N. Egbunike

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 506-519
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/2947

Aims: The objective of this study was to access the growth responses of chickens fed different leaf meal supplements.

Study Design: The experimental design used was completely randomized design for the chicks and completely randomized block design for the growing pullets and cockerels.

Place and Duration of Study: The experiments were carried out at Bora Poultry Unit of Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) Ibadan, Nigeria. The experiments were carried out between the years 2004 to 2009.

Methodology: Nutritive potentials of Centrosema pubescens, Mimosa invisa and Pueraria phaseoloides leaf meals (LM) were determined and evaluated using different types of chicken within the years 2004-2009. The diets were formulated to contain 0,20/25, 30/40, 60/75 and 80/90g LM/kg feed and 120 to 150 birds were used in each experiment. Each treatment was replicated three times. All ingredients in each experiment were of constant weight, except the soybean and groundnut cake which test ingredients replaced some percentages weight for weight. Data on feed intake and weight gain were subjected to one-way ANOVA and comparisons were made using Duncan’s Multiple Range Test.

Results: Results revealed that the LM are rich in crude protein (21.36-23.34%) and ash (4.25 – 9.14%). The most available mineral elements were potassium (0.45-1.85%) and calcium (0.60 – 1.726%). The concentration of tannin was highest in the LM (1.57-3.35g/100gDM) unlike oxalate (0.037-0.065g/100gDM). The poorest LM in terms of nutritive value and chicken performance was Mimosa invisa leaf meal (MLM), while the best was Centrosema pubescens leaf meal (CLM). Inclusion of 40 – 60gCLM/kg feed for Black Nera chicks and finisher pullets and 75gCLM/kg feed for broiler starters and finishers resulted to significant (P<0.05) reduction in feed intake and weight gain. Feed intake and weight gain of broiler starters and finishers and cockerel growers fed 20 – 60gMLM/kg feed supplements significantly (P<0.05) and progressively decreased with increased dietary concentration of MLM supplement. Broiler starters and finishers fed 30-90PLM/kg feed had increased feed intake, which was progressive, unlike their weight gain which depressed significantly (P<0.05) with increased concentration of Pueraria phaseoloids leaf meal (PLM).

Conclusion: Hence, 20 and 25g CLM/kg feed is recommended for pullet chicks/growing pullets and broiler chicken, respectively, while PLM and MLM are not recommended, for chicken nutrition due to depression in growth rate.

Open Access Original Research Article

Assessing the Effects of Integrated Soil Fertility Management on Biological Efficiency and Economic Advantages of Intercropped Maize (Zea Mays L.) and Soybean (Glycine Max L.) in DR Congo

G. M. Muyayabantu, B. D. Kadiata, K. K. Nkongolo

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 520-541
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/2628

Interactions among species play an important role in determining the structure and the dynamics of plant communities. The main objectives of the study were (i) to assess and compare different competition indices and their relationship with yield component under different inorganic and organic fertilizers regimes; and (ii), to identify nutrient management regimes options that lead to high yields and incomes in a maize-soybean intercropping system. Effects of integrated soil practices management on crop competition, yields components and economics advantage in maize-soybean intercropping system in a savannah region of the DR-Congo were investigated. Field trials were conducted at two sites in a randomized complete block design with six treatments replicated four times. Grain yield and yield components increased under integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) (inorganic or mineral and organic fertilization combined) than other treatments at the two sites of the study. Organic biomass application resulted in similar grain yield production than the inorganic (mineral) fertilizer application. The required land decreased when soil was fertilized compared to the control. Land equivalent coefficient (LEC) values ranged from 0.50 to 0.79. Soybean intercropped with maize resulted in an area-time equivalency ratio (ATER) higher than 1 for all the treatments confirming the intrinsic advantage of intercropping over sole crops. Among all the treatments, integrated nutrient management (ISFM) resulted in higher yields and monetary advantage index (MAI) values for maize/soybean mixture compared to other treatments. The highest MAI of 343891 was generated by the Tithonia (organic) – inorganic applications

Open Access Original Research Article

Contributions of Short Duration Legume Fallow to Maize (Zea mays L.) Varieties Under Different Nitrogen Levels in a Semi-Arid Environment

A. G. Adesoji, I. U. Abubakar, D. A. Labe

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 542-556
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/3172

Aims: To evaluate the contributions of short duration legume fallow to maize (Zea mays L.) varieties under different nitrogen levels in a semi-arid environment of Nigeria.

Study Design: Split-plot design.

Place and Duration: This study was carried out at the Research Farm of the Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, during rainy seasons of 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Methodology: The treatments consisted of two maize varieties (SAMMAZ 12 and SAMMAZ 27) and five rates of nitrogen (0, 30, 60, 90 and 120kg N ha-1) in the main plots, while three green manure crops (Lablab (Lablab purpureus), Mucuna (Mucuna pruriens) and Soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill)) and a weedy fallow were accommodated in the sub-plots. The treatments were laid out in a split-plot design with three replications. The green manure crops were incorporated at 49 days (7weeks) after planting. After 3 days of incorporation, maize seeds were planted.

Results: SAMMAZ 12 and SAMMAZ 27 were similar on grain yield and most of the yield components studied. Nitrogen fertilization significantly increased yield components and grain yield. In combined mean, application of 30, 60, 90 and 120 kg N ha-1 gave 81.4, 127.2, 151.6 and 165.5% increases in maize grain yield over zero N treatment, respectively. Increasing N rate beyond 90 kg N ha-1 did not significantly increased maize grain yield. Incorporation of mucuna, lablab and soybean significantly increased yield components and grain yield. In combined mean, incorporation of mucuna, lablab and soybean gave 68.8, 73.7 and 59.4% increases in maize grain yield over weedy fallow, respectively.

Conclusion: Although, application of nitrogen gave marked increases in maize grain yield as did green manure, however, incorporation of short duration legume, which is environmentally friendly and a soil improver, will be a better option for sustainable maize production in northern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria.

Open Access Original Research Article

Evidence of Improving Yield and Morphological Attributes via Half-Sib Family Recurrent Selection in Maize

Muhammad Noor, Hidayatur Rahman, Muhammad Iqbal, Irfan Ahmed Shah, Ihteramullah ., Durrishahwar ., Farhan Ali

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 557-570
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/2914

Grain yield is a complex phenomenon which results from the interaction of various contributing factors highly influenced by different selection procedures. Recurrent selection is vital selection method for improving morphological and yield related attributes in maize crop. Half-sib families (HS) were generated from the most adapted maize variety “Pahari” at Cereal Crop Research Institute, CCRI Pakistan with the objective to improve its yield in 2009 and 2010, respectively. All the HS families were detassled well before pollen shedding to avoid any kind of selfing. At maturity, each family was harvested and shelled separately for evaluation in the respective years. 12 x 12 and 11 x 11, Partial balanced lattice square design were used during summer crop seasons 2009 and 2010, respectively at The University of Agriculture, Peshawar Pakistan. Results revealed significant differences in both cycle among families for all traits. High heritability (0.74) was observed for grain yield in C0, while moderate heritability (0.45) was recorded for kernel rows ear_1 in C1. Selection differential was quite reasonable and varied according to the traits of interest. Observed response (815.74) was greater for grain yield in C0 than the expected response (681.76). Negative value of gain cycle-1 for plant height and ear height showed a declining trend, while positive value for grain yield validated selection for high yield. Regression of all the morphological and yield related traits were calculated based on the selected individuals in each cycle. Highly significant positive correlation was observed among grain yield with all the traits under investigation

Open Access Original Research Article

The Efficiency of Nitrogen Fertilization of Spring Wheat Depending on Seasonal Rainfall

Edward Wilczewski

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 579-594
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/3297

Aims: The main objective was to determine the influence of nitrogen fertilization on spring wheat grown after catch crops or without them.

Study Design: The split-plot experimental design with four replications was used.

Place and Duration of Study: A field experiments were carried out in the years 2005-2008 at Mochełek (17º 51′ E; 53º 13′ N) – an Experimental Station of the University of Technology and Life Sciences in Bydgoszcz.

Methodology: A two-factor, field experiment was conducted on Alfisols formed of a sandy loam in the north-central Poland. The N rates were [kg·ha-1]: 0, 40, 80, 120, 160. The second factor was the catch crops – that were investigated – field pea (Pisum sativum var. arvense L.), oilseed radish (Raphanus sativus var. oleiformis L.), and a control without a catch crop. The main studied features were spring wheat yield and its components, depending on nitrogen rates. Moreover the most economic rate of nitrogen for spring wheat in years with different amount of rainfall were calculated.

Results: The optimal rate of nitrogen in spring wheat cultivation depended mainly on the total precipitation that prevailed during its growth. The highest grain yield of this plant grown after catch crops could be obtained applying 140-160 kg N∙ha-1 in the year with a very good supply of rain water and 41-42 kg N∙ha-1, in the extremely dry year.

The effect of catch crops on the yield of spring wheat depended on the rate of nitrogen. Very large increase in grain yield was obtained when no nitrogen was applied. After the application of 120 and 160 kg N∙ha-1 there was no effect of catch crops on spring wheat productivity. 

Conclusion: The most economic rate of nitrogen for spring wheat was lower than the agronomically optimal rate by about 30% in the year with a favourable rainfall distribution. In the extremely dry year, the nitrogen fertilization of spring wheat grown after catch crops was economically unjustified. The effect of catch crops on grain yield was positive only in spring wheat fertilized with nitrogen at a rate of up to 80 kg∙ha-1.

Open Access Original Research Article

On-Farm Evaluation of Deleafing Frequency on the Severity of Black Sigatoka Disease (Mycosphaerella fijiensis Morelet) and Yield of Banana (Musa spp)

Fon Dorothy Engwali, Tarla Divine Nfor, Kong Alain

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 595-605
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/3509

Bananas are susceptible to the highly damaging black Sigatoka disease (BSD) caused by the fungus (Mycosphaerella fijiensis). The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of leaf pruning frequency on the control of the BSD and the yield of banana. The study was carried out at Njombe (Lat 4º 36’ N, Long 9º 40’ E, 170 m above sea level) in a randomized complete block design with four treatments (3-day, 6-day, 9-day and 12-day pruning frequencies) and three replications. Data were collected on the different stages of evolution of the disease, percentage infection rate, weekly rate of leaf loss, number of leaves at harvest, yields (bunch weight and mid finger circumference and the monetary value of the yields. The results show that the highest maximum percentage rate of infestation of the disease (54.00 % and 50.53 %) was recorded in the 12-day and 9-day frequencies respectively. The lowest weekly rate of leaf loss (0.82 and 0.85 leaves/week) was recorded in the 6-day and 3-day frequencies which differ significantly from 1.90 and 1.38 leaves/week in the 12-day and 9-day frequencies. A statistically significant difference was recorded in the number of leaves at harvest with the highest of 4.20 leaves recorded in the 6-day frequencies. The highest average bunch weight of 32 kg (26.10 %) estimated at 57.36 t/ha was recorded in the 6 day frequency, while 36.8 cm average mid finger circumference was recorded in the 3-day frequency. The 6-day frequency registered the highest monetary value of USD 52,184 /ha, which does not differ significantly from that of the 3-day frequency of USD 52, 021 /ha. The lowest monetary value was recorded in the 12-day frequency of USD 45, 878. From the results of the study, the 6-day pruning frequency could be recommended for practice to accompany the chemical control

Open Access Original Research Article

Determinants of Commercialization of Smallholder Tomato and Pineapple Farms in Ghana

Samuel Asuming-Brempong, John K. Anarfi, Samuel Arthur, Seth Asante

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 606-630
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/2868

Smallholder commercialisation may be broadly defined as the situation where farmers of small individual and family farms have greater engagement with markets, either for inputs, outputs, or both. A key premise of commercialization as a development strategy is that markets provide increased incomes to households who are able to maximize the returns to land and labor through market opportunities, using earned income for household consumption in ways that are more efficient than subsistence production. This study assesses the characteristics of smallholder farmers in Ghana using tomato and pineapple production as a case study; analyses the relationship between commercialization and smallholder land holdings; assesses the determinants of commercialization of smallholder agriculture, as well as the benefits or otherwise of smallholder farmers from commercialization; and discusses how commercialization affects household food security among smallholder farmers. Descriptive statistics, correlations and regression analysis are used to describe the characteristics of smallholder farmers and determine the key factors that influence household decision to undertake commercialization among both tomato and pineapple farmers. Based on the study, it was found that 96.3 percent of the respondents in the study communities are farmers; and they fall between the ages of 15 and 59 years (91%), which indicates that they are relatively young. The key determinants of commercialization among tomato farmers are land productivity and labour productivity. Similarly, the main determinants of commercialization among pineapple smallholder farmers are land productivity and savings. The study recommends that both public and private agencies work should together to facilitate the move of smallholder farmers from mainly subsistence to commercialization because it comes with several benefits, including higher household incomes, and improvements in household food security

Open Access Original Research Article

Novel Application of ALMANAC: Modelling a Functional Group, Exotic Warm-season Perennial Grasses

J. R. Kiniry, M. V. V. Johnson, B. C. Venuto, deceased, B. L. Burson

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 631-650
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/4313

Aim: To determine the efficacy of the ALMANAC model in simulating leaf canopy growth and biomass production of a plant functional group, specifically “exotic warm-season perennial grasses,” represented by buffelgrass [Pennisetum ciliare (L.) Link] and “Old World Bluestems” (Bothriochloa Kuntze, Capillipedium Stapf, and Dichanthium Willemet).

Study Design: Leaf area index (LAI) over the growing season, the light extinction coefficient (k) for Beer's Law, and the radiation use efficiency (RUE) were quantified for Old World Bluestems and buffelgrass. 

Place and Duration of Study: This study was conducted in central Oklahoma in 2005 and 2007 and in south-central Texas in 2008 and 2009.

Methodology: Serial dates of measurement over the growing season of leaf area index, light extinction coefficient for Beer's Law, and the radiation use efficiency were used to quantify these growth parameters for simulation modeling.

Results: All assayed grasses in the exotic warm-season perennial grasses functional group had similar values for LAI (mean = 4), k (mean = -0.5), and RUE (mean = 1.3 g MJ-1 IPAR). 

Conclusion: When these parameters were applied in a simulation model, the model successfully simulated mean yields near the reported yields for exotic warm-season perennial grasses on all simulated soils in Texas and Oklahoma and in Mexico. These results suggest that with further parameterization, the applicability of such process-based models could be expanded from species simulation to functional group simulation, whereby land managers could determine potential adaptability, water use, soil erosion, and forage productivity of various plant functional groups over a wide range of soils and climatic conditions

Open Access Original Research Article

Susceptibility of Some Dry Date Cultivars to Infestation by Oryzaephilus surinamensis (L.) (Coleoptera: Silvanidae)

Sawsan S. Moawad, F. F. Al-Ghamdi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 651-663
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/3181

Susceptibility of eight date cultivars (namely Barhi, Barni Al Madina, Deglet Noor, Rushodia, Sukari, Ajwa, Mabroom and Nabtat Ali) to an attack by saw-toothed grain beetle Oryzaephilus surinamensis (L.), was estimated under laboratory conditions. Physical characteristics (texture, shapes and colour) and chemical constituents (total amount soluble solid, sugar, moisture, nitrogen, lipids, and fatty acid and percentage of ash) of the tested date cultivars were recorded. The laboratory evaluation indicated that the most preferable cultivar to eggs deposition and attack adults of the saw- toothed grain beetle was Sukari while the most resistance cultivars were Deglet Noor and Ajwa. The growth index of immature stages increased in the most susceptible cultivars (Sukari) but decreased in the resistance one (Deglet Noor and Ajwa). On the other hand the susceptible index indicated that three cultivars as Sukari, Barhi, and Rushodia were the most susceptible cultivars compared to others. There was a positive and significant correlation between moisture contents and the susceptible index while ash content elicited negative and highly significant correlation with susceptible index. During six months of storage, the highest rate of weight loss of tested date cultivars, that caused by infestation of saw-toothed grain beetle, was for Barhi followed by Barni Al Madina, Rushodia, and Sukari.

Open Access Review Article

Neem (Azadirachta indica) Seed Cake/Kernel as Protein Source in Ruminants Feed

A. Aruwayo, S. A. Maigandi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 482-494
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/3176

Ruminant production that is very popular in Nigeria livestock production faces series of problems, chief among them is the shortage of protein supply in adequate amount for optimum performance of the animals. The forages, which constitute the bulk of the source of feed for these animals, fluctuate in supply with poor nutrient content especially during the dry season of the year. The convectional protein concentrates which boost the protein supply faces intense competition from man. It has become imperative for intensive effort to be made at making the unconventional sources of protein available to the farmers. Neem seed cake/ kernel cake fits as one of the unconventional protein supply in view of the high level of the protein content and balancing of the amino acids. It is capable of offering a big relief to these protein shortages. The neem seed is readily available in the northern part of Nigeria that is the home to the largest of number of ruminants in the country. However, they are not readily acceptable to the animals due its pungent smell and bitterness caused by the bioactive principles present. This paper reviewed availability of neem seed in Nigeria, the antinutritional and other bioactive factors inherent in the cake as well as the methods of processing and removing them. The review also highlighted the nutritional quality of the cake, effect on haematological and biochemical characteristics; and the economics of use of the cake. The paper concluded that neem seed cake/kernel could readily serve as safe source of protein to the ruminants with appropriate treatment to remove active principles