Open Access Case study

Environmental Impact Assessment of Diversification of Horticultural Crops: A Case Study of Ethiopia

Mushir Ali

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 90-100
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/3787

Recently adopted horticultural crops under the policy of diversification of agriculture in Ethiopia will possibly have an impact on bio-physical, social-economic environment. This study was conducted to assess the potential impact of under construction horticultural project, for different crops of horticulture. Impacts were computed on soil and water resources, air quality, flora and fauna, local socio-economic aspects and human health in the peripheries of the Tana Lake, Ethiopia. Environmental quality index and range methods were used for impact assessment. The analysis shows that high level impact may be on soil and water resources, medium level impact on ecosystem and human health and low level of impact on the air quality and socio-economic conditions of surrounding population

Open Access Original Research Article

Predicting the Longevity of Sesame Seeds under Short-Term Containerized Storage with Charcoal Desiccant

K. O. Oyekale, C. C. Nwangburuka, O. A. Denton, J. A. Adeyeye, S. E. Ayeni, O. K. Raheem

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/4900

Seeds are characterized by rapid deterioration during storage under humid tropical conditions of high air temperature and relative humidity. Physiological changes that occur in seeds during storage are manifested as reduction in seedling vigor index, number of germination, percentage germination, speed of germination and rate of germination among others. This study aimed at prolonging the longevity of sesame seed through containerized storage with charcoal desiccant. Forty grams of sesame seeds was stored with varying amount of charcoal desiccant (0, 40, 80, 120, 160 and 200 g). The containerized seeds were then placed in a wooden cabinet with average ambient conditions of 29.8ºC and 80% relative humidity, and stored for 12weeks. Samples were taken from storage at interval of two weeks and tested for seed viability and seedling vigor. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was carried out on the data collected and treatment means were separated using Duncan’s Multiple Range Test (DMRT). Serial germination data were also subjected to probit analysis in order to model sesame seed deterioration in storage. ANOVA results show that charcoal treatments were highly significant (P≤0.01) on all the seed viability and seedling vigour parameters evaluated. Storage time was also highly significant on all the parameters. However, interaction between seed treatment and storage time was not significant (P≥0.01) on seed germination and seedling vigour index. There were also statistical differences among the charcoal treatments and among the storage periods.  Probit results indicate that seed preservation was optimal in seed treated with 200 g charcoal with seed half life (P50) of 13.19 weeks, and lowest seed deterioration rate (1/σ) of 0.1559. It is recommended that 200 g or more of dry charcoal should be adopted for short-term and medium- term sesame seed treatment as it effectively maintained seed viability and seedling vigour during storage as compared to other treatments

Open Access Original Research Article

Factors Affecting the Adoption and Intensity of Use of Improved Forages in North East Highlands of Ethiopia

Hassen Beshir

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 12-27
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/5481

Analysis of crop-livestock integration aims at understanding the existing interactions between crops and livestock and assessing their potential for improvement in smallholders' farming systems. The objective of this study was to identify factors affecting the probability of adoption and intensity of use of improved forage technologies in mixed farming systems in two districts of south Wollo zone, in Ethiopia.  A double hurdle model was employed using data collected from randomly selected 252 farmers between July 2009 and November 2009. The study revealed low utilization of improved forage seed which covered only 1.3% of total cultivated land in Ethiopia. The results of the study provided empirical evidence of a positive impact of extension and credit service in enhancing the probability of adoption of improved forage technologies. The intensity of use of improved forage in the study area was influenced by labour available, size of livestock ownership and farm size. Physical characteristics like distance from farmers’ home to all weather roads, markets and input supply played a critical role in the adoption of improved forage technologies. Therefore, the results of the study suggest that the adoption of improved forage should be enhanced by raising farm household asset formation, and providing extension and credit services.

Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of Sulfonyl-Urea Herbicides for the Control of Itch Grass (Rottboelia cochinchinensis Clayton) on Grain Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) in Nigeria

D. B. Ishaya, S. H. Shuaibu, H. Chindo, M. Haruna

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 28-40
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/4786

Aims: To address the problem of low yield due to infestation of Itch grass (Rottboelia cochinchinensis).

Study Design: Randomized Block Complete Design (RCBD).

Place and Duration of Study: Two trials were conducted during 2010 and 2011 raining seasons on the farm of the Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Samaru in Northern Nigeria.

Sample: Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture/Institute for Agricultural Research, Samaru Zaria, between June to December, 2010 and 2011.

Methodology: The experiment consisted of nine different doses of Sulfonyl-urea herbicides and Pendimenthalin which consisted of Cinosulfuron (Setoff) and Prosulfuron (CGA 152’005) each at 0.40, 0.60, 0.80 and 1.00kg a.i/ha all compared against Pendimenthalin which is the standard herbicide known for controlling itch grass in the Nigerian savanna at 2.5kg a.i/ha and a hoe-weeded control at 3, 6 and 9 WAS as well as a weedy control. There were a total of eleven treatments in the experiment; all were laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) replicated three times. The gross and net plot sizes were 24.0m2 and 22.5m2, respectively. Sorghum seeds (variety SAMSORG 14) were sown on ridges 75cm at an intra-row spacing of 25cm. Five seeds were sown per hole and later thinned to one plant per stand at 10 days after sowing (DAS). The herbicides were applied using a conventional CP 15 knapsack sprayer at a pressure of 2.1kg/cm2 and discharge rate of 240L/ha. The herbicides were applied at pre- emergence at one day after sowing (DAS) the crop.

Fertilizers as 30KgN, 13KgP and 25kg K were applied same day as sorghum was sown. A second dose of 30kg N/ha was applied at 6 WAS. Weeding was done to the hoe-weeded control plot using manual hoe at 3, 6 and 9 WAS, which is the farmer’s practice in the northern Guinea savanna ecological zone of Nigeria. The crop was harvested by cutting the stem at ground level with a hand hoe and the panicles were later cut off the stems and threshed on the floor. The grains were winnowed to remove chaff and cleaned grains were then obtained. The data collected were on crop stand counted, itch grass cover score using a scale of 1 to 9, cumulative itch grass dry weight, cumulative general weed dry weight and grain yield of sorghum.

Results: Among the various rates of the herbicides evaluated, application of 0.60kg a.i/ha of Cinosulfuron and 0.60 – 0.80kg a.i/ha of Prosulfuron gave better itch grass control, weed suppression, growth and yield of sorghum that were comparable to the hoe weeded control.

Conclusion: It can be concluded that, the 0.60kg a.i/ha dose of both herbicides which was the most economically efficient, can be adopted as an alternative to manual hoe-weeding of itch grass in Nigeria

Open Access Original Research Article

Determinants of Sugarcane Price and Revenue in Sokoto Metropolis, Sokoto State, Nigeria

M. A. Maikasuwa, N. A. Jatto, M. Maryam, A. Y. Abbas, Y. T. Abdullahi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 41-47
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/4735

Aims: The study was carried out to determine the price and revenue of sugarcane in Sokoto metropolis.

Study Design:  Purposive sampling technique was used to select.

Ramin Kura market because of the high concentration of sugarcane seller in the market. That was followed by systematic sampling of 50 respondents.

Place and Duration of Study: Sample for the study was obtained at Ramin Kura market in Sokoto metropolis between February 2012 and December 2012.

Methodology: From the list of the sugarcane sellers (comprising 252 registered members) collected from the association of sugarcane sellers at Ramin Kura market, systemic sampling was used  to select one respondent out of every five  interval  giving a total of 50 sugarcane marketers that were used for the study. Data collection was done using a structured questionnaire. Data analysis was done using Multiple regression.

Results: The study revealed that while the coefficient of quantity demanded (0.456) had significant positive effect on the price of sugarcane, distance from source (-1.182) and handling  cost (-0.570) had significant negative effects on the price of sugarcane. However, length of stem, tax and storage cost did not have any significant effect on the price of sugarcane at the Ramin Kura market. The study also showed that quantity sold (0.719), transportation cost (1.11) and storage cost (0.138) had significant effect on the total revenue obtained by the sugarcane sellers.

Conclusion: Based on the results, it was concluded that quantity   demanded,   distance from source and handling costs were the main determinanats of sugarcane price in Sokoto metropolis. Also, quantity sold, transportation cost and storage cost were the main determinant of sugarcane revenue in the metropolis

Open Access Original Research Article

Induction of Useful Mutation in Mulberry (Morus) Variety S54 by Gamma Irradiation in M1 Generation

H. L. Ramesh, V. N. Yogananda Murthy, Munirajappa .

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 48-57
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/5517

Aims: Plentiful mulberry varieties available in nature, they lack one or the other important economic trait required for silkworm Bombyx mori L. as food. Efforts have been made to induce phytomorphological variability in mulberry variety S54 using gamma rays. Experimental Design: RBD Method with three replications/treatment was followed.

Place and Duration of Study: Mulberry garden, Department of Sericulture, Jnana Bharathi, Bangalore University and Mist chamber, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bangalore, Karnataka, India between 2006-2011.

Methodology: Gamma ray (1kR-10Kr) was used to induce variability in juvenile twigs of mulberry for various agro-botanical characters viz., sprouting, rooting, internodal distance, leaf area, plant height etc. and leaves were subjected to biochemical analysis.

Results: Mulberry variety S54 showed linear decrease in growth parameters with the increased gamma ray dosage and plants exhibited variability with increased rooting (81.33%), plant height (147.86cm) and leaf area (146.22cm2) when compared to control in M1 generation at 7kR. Mutants showing favourable characters were grown for M2 generation which exhibited marked improvement in growth and yield parameters. Biochemical constituents in S54 mutant leaves recorded at 7kR showed increased proteins, carbohydrate, chlorophyll a and b.

Conclusion: Mulberry cuttings irradiated with gamma ray (7kR) exhibited favourable traits in rooting, plant height and leaf area over the control in M1 generation and mutants were grown for M2 generation and marked improvement in growth, yield and bio-chemical parameters were observed

Open Access Original Research Article

Comparison of Different Parameters for Evaluation of Partial Resistance to Rice Blast Disease

N. K. Mohapatra, A. K. Mukherje, A. V. Suriya Rao, N. N. Jambhulkar, P. Nayak

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 58-79
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/3756

Aim: To evaluate and identify the most suitable parameter for easy and quick recognisation of rice genotypes possessing partial resistance to rice blast disease.

Experimental Design: The tested varieties were grown in one meter long single-row plots surrounded by the blast susceptible spreader rows of Karuna, with a spacing of 10 x 5 cm in a Uniform Blast Nursery pattern. The experiment was conducted in a randomized complete block design with three replications.

Place and Duration of Study: The experiments were conducted at the Central Rice Research Institute farm, Cuttack, continuously for nine seasons from 1998 to 2001.

Methodology: The disease severity was recorded at every alternate day intervals from disease initiation till end of epidemic. The disease scores were subjected to estimation of 12 parameters for evaluation of resistance. The data on 12 parameters for 42 rice genotypes tested across nine seasons were subjected to principal component analysis, in order to classify and ordinate the response of the genotypes and determine the relative importance of parameters.

Results: The cluster analysis classified the 42 genotypes into 4 groups of A&B as susceptible and C&D as partial resistant (PR) clusters, during each season of study. The PR genotype groups were characterized by lower estimates of Final disease severity(FDS), Mean disease severity(MDS), Area under disease progress curve(AUDPC), Relative AUDPC(RAUDPC), logistic infection rate(r), Gompertz infection rate(k), genotype score on first(PC-1) and second(PC-2) principal components, logit line intercept(logit-a), Gompit line intercept(gompit-a), and higher estimates of days to reach 50% severity in logistic model(T50r ) and Gompertz model(T50k).Ordination of genotypes onto the PC-1 & PC-2 planes recognized 19 genotypes in group C and 12 genotypes in group D as PR, while rest of the 11 genotypes in cluster-A & B were susceptible. The relative importance of the parameters analyzed by factor analysis revealed that FDS, MDS, AUDPC, RAUDPC, r, k and PC-1 were the top ranking parameters with highly significant correlation among them.

Conclusion: One can choose any of the above seven top ranking parameters for easy identification of PR genotypes, depending upon the available resources for computation. Among the 42 rice genotypes, 12 in cluster-D and 19 in cluster-C were identified as possessing partial resistance. The technique of principal component analysis, the ordination and positioning of genotypes on the ordination figure emerged as a valuable tool in identification of rice genotypes possessing PR to blast disease

Open Access Original Research Article

An Agronomic and Economic Evaluation of Integrated use of Calliandra callothyrsus and Maize Stover with Urea in Western Kenya

Robert O. Nyambati, Peter A. Opala

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 80-89
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/6414

The agronomic effectiveness of integrating organic and inorganic nutrient sources has been demonstrated in Kenya but economic analysis is often lacking in such studies thus denying farmers the information required to make informed choices. We investigated the effect of two organic materials; leafy biomass of Calliandra callothyrsus (calliandra) or maize stover and urea on maize yield and economic benefits for three consecutive seasons at Bukura in western Kenya. A randomized complete block design with the following organic material:urea combinations were used so as to supply 75 kg N ha-1; 75:0, 60:15, 40:35, 35:40, 15:60 and 0:75. A control treatment where no nutrient inputs were applied was included. Economic analysis was conducted using partial budgeting. The highest increase in maize yields relative to the control in the first (107%) and third seasons (142%) was with calliandra  (30 kg N ha-1)  applied with urea (45 kg N ha-1) while in the second season (163%) it was calliandra (45 N ha-1) combined with urea (30 kg ha-1). Maize failed to respond to maize stover when applied alone (75 kg N ha-1) or in combination with low rates of urea but only responded when the rates of N from urea in the combination were higher than the N from the maize stover likely due to N immobilization. The highest net benefits were obtained with Calliandra (30 kg N ha-1) plus urea (45 kg N ha-1) in all the seasons. None of the treatments gave a benefit cost ratio (BCR) of > 2 which is considered adequate if a farmer has to adopt a particular technology. Thus despite the good agronomic performance obtained by combining calliandra (30 kg N ha-1) with urea (45 kg N ha-1), it is unlikely that farmers would adopt the practice mainly because of the high labour costs involved

Open Access Original Research Article

Performance of Maize and Beans under Castor-based Intercropping System

Charles Obiero, Rhoda Birech, Joyce Maling’a, Kibet Ngetich, Bernhard Freyer

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 101-113
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/5962

Castor (Ricinus communis L.) has attracted a lot of attention all over the world as a potential crop targeting on-farm biofuel production. In Kenya smallholder farmers are already growing castor with maize (Zea mays L.) and beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) under an intercrop system in spite of the limited knowledge that such a system would have on growth and yield. The aim of this research was to investigate the possible effect of castor-based intercropping system on the performance of maize and beans. A 3 × 3 × 2 factorial experiment randomized in complete block design with three levels of crops, three levels of cropping system and two levels of spacing was laid-out at Egerton University farm, Njoro campus; for three seasons in 2010 to 2012. Results at P =.0001 level of significance indicated high seed yield for castor monocrops ranging from 2.0 - 3.0 tons seeds ha-1 yr-1 while castor with beans intercrop were shown as the best intercrop combination with resultant yields levels reported in the range of 2.15 - 2.43 and 0.3 - 0.83 tons seeds ha-1 yr-1 for an intercrop of castor (1.5 m × 1.0 m) with beans (0.5 m × 0.2 m) respectively. In contrast, castor with maize intercrop gave low maize grain yield of between 0.0 – 0.25 tons ha-1 yr-1. It was concluded that castor could be grown successfully with beans without straining food crop production. In addition an intercrop of castor with maize and beans would not have significant effect on the yield performance of castor

Open Access Original Research Article

Studies on Some Important Consumer and Processing Traits for Breeding Sweet Potato for Varied End-uses

S. O. Afuape, I. I. M. Nwankwo, R. M. Omodamiro, T. N. C. Echendu, A. Toure

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 114-124
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/5827

Aims: To determine; (1) the variability among the elite sweet potato lines for root processing quality traits; (2) the heritability of each trait and the correlation among them; (3)the acceptability of the boiled and fried roots by sweet potato consumers; and (4) an easy-to-measure traits that are linked to consumer acceptability of sweet potato roots.

Study Design:  Completely randomized design with three replications.

Place and Duration of Study: The National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike, Nigeria.

Methodology: Fourteen advanced sweet potato lines were evaluated for processing traits such as dry matter, starch yield, flour yield, peel-loss, and total carotenoid. Correlation analysis among the traits was carried out, and broadsense heritability for each trait was calculated. Sensory evaluation was carried out on roots of the lines using selected panelists. Culinary traits that most influenced acceptability of boiled and fried sweet potato roots were determined using forward selection multiple regression analysis.

Results: There was significant (P=.05) variation among the 14 advanced lines for dry matter, starch content, flour content and peel loss. Dry matter ranged between 24.16 and 34.17%, starch content between 17.58 and 22.0%, flour yield between 21.34 and 32.32% and peel loss between 18.17 and 24.01%. Correlation studies showed that dry matter had significant (P<0.05) correlation with starch and flour yield. There were significant (P<0.05) differences among the genotypes for root colour and general acceptability for boiled roots, and root colour, mouth-feel, taste, aroma and general acceptability for fried roots. Forward selection multiple regression analyses for boiled and fried sensory traits identified fresh root colour as an easy-to-select trait to breed for consumer acceptability.

Conclusion: All the processing traits evaluated were heritable and most of them acceptable for boiled and fried food forms. The identification of root flesh colour as an easy-to-measure trait that influences consumer acceptability is a major achievement of this work