Open Access Original Research Article

Roots of Hydroponically Grown Tea (Camellia sinensis) Plants as a Source of a Unique Amino Acid, Theanine

Kieko Saito, Kenji Furue, Hideki Kametani, Masahiko Ikeda

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 125-129
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/5122

The beneficial effects of green tea are well documented. However, most research has reported the effects of green tea brewed solely from leaves or leaf extracts. We focused on tea roots and developed a hydroponic system to explore the effect on roots that biosynthesize one of the rarest functional amino acids, theanine. The level of theanine in tea roots was much higher than in leaves, which was analyzed using HPLC. Moreover, a higher level of theanine was detected in white rootlets than in lignified roots. Thus, tea roots cultured hydroponically in a controlled environment might be considered a natural drug containing theanine, which could lead to synergistic effects with other ingredients of the root. This novel medicinal material from the roots demonstrates a significant medical function for tea that extends beyond its leaves

Open Access Original Research Article

Effects of Two Planting Patterns and Plant Densities on the Productivity and Profitability of Cotton

Dan D. Fromme, Lawrence L. Falconer, Roy D. Parker, Robert G. Lemon, Carlos J. Fernandez, W. James Grichar

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 130-141
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/5222

Aims: To evaluate the effect of two planting patterns across two plant densities on cotton growth, yield, fiber quality, and net returns.

Study Design: Randomized complete block design with a 2 x 2 factorial treatment arrangement with 3 replicates was used for a total of 12 plots. 

Place and Duration of Study: Studies were conducted during the 2003 and 2004 growing seasons on a producer’s farm located south of Eagle Lake, Texas in Colorado County (29.49360 N, 96.34060 W).

Methodology: Rows were spaced 91.4-cm apart on raised beds.  Plot size was eight rows by 972 m long.  The two different factors included two row planting patterns, the solid pattern with every single row planted and the skip-row pattern with a 2x1 planting pattern where 2 rows are planted and 1 row is left fallow.  For the skip-row pattern, rows three and six were not planted in the 8 row plot.  The second factor was seeding rate with two plant populations of 84000 and 126000 plants/ha.

Results: In neither year were any differences seen with seeding rate.  In 2003, days to cut-out with the skip-row pattern were 92.4d while with the solid pattern days to cut-out were 87.9d and plant height with the skip-row pattern was 100 cm while with the solid pattern, plant height was 87 cm. Lint yield was 1504 kg/ha for the solid pattern while with the skip-row pattern lint yield was 1347 kg/ha. In 2004, lint yield with the solid pattern was 27% greater than the skip-row pattern. Slight differences between the two planting patterns were observed during 2004 in days to cut-out or plant height.  In both years, the solid planting pattern produced a net dollar value/ha increase over the skip-row pattern and therefore should be the row pattern used along the upper Texas Gulf Coast

Open Access Original Research Article

Phosphate Rich Soil Additive Baked Pig Manure Effectively Reduces Arsenic Concentration in Japanese Mustard Spinach (Brassica rapa var. perviridis) Grown with Arsenic Contaminated Irrigation Water

J. C. Joardar, S. Kawai

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 142-152
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/6601

A pot experiment was conducted to assess the efficiency of baked pig manure (BPM) application in Japanese andosol to reduce the arsenic (As) concentration in Japanese mustard spinach (JMS) (Brassica rapa var. perviridis) grown with As-contaminated irrigation water. Irrigation water was artificially spiked with As to 0.5 mg L-1 dissolving di-sodium hydrogen arsenate heptahydrate (Na2HAsO4.7H2O). BPM was applied to soil at the rate of 1, 2, and 3%; each treatment had four replications. The plant was grown for 30 days. Plant samples were analyzed for As and other elements. Plant As concentration decreased significantly with BPM application and based on the plant dry weight (DW) the As concentration reduced by 39, 52 and 66%, with the application of 1, 2 and 3% BPM, respectively, compared with those of control plant. There was no significant change in the As uptake (µg plant-1) after the application of BPM. Plant FW and DW increased significantly with increasing amounts of BPM, which might function to decrease the As concentration in plants as ‘dilution effect’. The phosphorus (P) contents of JMS increased significantly with BPM application, whereas the Fe, K and Mg contents decreased. The decreased As concentration and increased P concentration in plant indicated the competitive absorption of As and P in plant but this effect was not so strong because the As uptake (µg plant-1) was not significantly reduced. Moreover, BPM might have properties that enable the adsorption of As because BPM contained charcoal due to the baking treatment. It is possible that the surface of BPM might adsorb As and thereby hindered the As absorption by the plant root. It is suggested that the phosphate rich BPM could be an environment friendly, cost effective and non-toxic soil additive for reducing As concentration in vegetable plant grown with As-contaminated irrigation water

Open Access Original Research Article

Dietary Influences of Aspilia africana on Litter Traits of Breeding Female Rabbits

NseAbasi N. Etim, Joseph S. Ekpo, Glory E. Enyenihi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 153-161
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/5933

The study examined the effect of feeding Aspilia africana on litter traits of breeding does in a replicated completely randomized design at College of Animal Science and Animal Production, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria, between March 2009 and June, 2009. Thirty dutch breed rabbit does aged 5 to 6 months were used for the experiment. The treatments consisted of mixed forages (Centrosema pubescens (200g)), Ipomea batatas leaves (100g) and Panicum maximum (200g) without Aspilia africana (T1; control), fresh Aspilia africana (500g/doe/day) and wilted Aspilia africana (500g/doe/day). The rabbits were fed the same concentrate diet (300g/animal/day) throughout the study and mixed forages from the commencement of the experiment till the does kindled. After parturition, fresh and wilted Aspilia africana forages were introduced in Treatment 2 (T2) and Treatment 3 (T3) respectively while the control continued on mixed forages throughout the study. The result of the study revealed no significant differences (P > .05) in the litter sizes at birth and at weaning among the various treatment groups, though T1 had the highest numerical mean value at birth (5.60) and lowest at weaning (3.70). Litter weight at birth revealed significant differences (P <.05) in which T1 recorded the highest mean litter weight (261.50g) while T2 and T3 weighed 116.50g and 175.00g respectively. At weaning, T2 recorded significantly higher (P < .05) litter weight (736.30g), followed by T3 (621.30g) while the control group (T1) weighed the least (410g). The weekly litter weights from birth to weaning showed no significant differences (P > .05) in week 1 but from weeks 2 to 4 there were significant differences (P < .05) in which litters in T2 had the highest values, 534.38g, 690.60g and 736.30g while T1 recorded the lowest mean values of 297.50, 405g and 410g respectively indicating the Aspilia africana groups had superior growth rate to the control group. This study revealed that Aspilia africana has the potential for increasing body weights of litters during lactation

Open Access Original Research Article

Sesame Tolerance to Herbicides Applied Postemergence-Directed

W. James Grichar, Peter A. Dotray, D. Ray Langham

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 162-170
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/6644

Aims: Studies were conducted to determine sesame tolerance to herbicides applied postemergence-directed (PDIR) to the lower 5 and 15 cm of the stem.

Study Design:  Randomized complete block design with a 14 (herbicide) x 2 (spray height) factorial arrangement with 3 replicates.

Place and Duration of Study: In south Texas near Uvalde and in the Texas High Plains near Lorenzo between May 2006 and November 2007.

Methodology: Herbicides included carfentrazone-ethyl at 0.02 kg/ha, glufosinate-ammonium at 0.58 kg/ha, glyphosate at 0.84 kg/ha, lactofen at 0.22 kg/ha, linuron at 1.12 kg /ha, paraquat at 0.28 kg/ha, propazine at 1.12 kg/ha, pyraflufen-ethyl at 0.002 kg/ha, pyrithiobac at 0.07 kg/ha, trifloxysulfuron-sodium at 0.008 kg/ha, trifloxysulfuron-sodium at 0.008 kg/ha plus prometryn at 1.12 kg/ha, linuron at 0.56 kg/ha plus diuron  at 0.56 kg/ha, glyphosate at 0.84 kg/ha plus prometryn at 1.12 kg/ha, and glyphosate at 0.84 kg/ha plus diuron at 1.12 kg/ha.  Herbicides were applied when sesame was < 76 cm tall with one spray tip on each side of the row adjusted to spray a PDIR band to the lower 5 to 15 cm of the stem.  

Results: Glyphosate at 0.84 kg/ha and pyrithiobac at 0.07 kg/ha resulted in 28 to 90% stunting when applied to lower 15 cm of the stem.  Glyphosate applied to lower 15 cm and pyrithiobac applied to the lower 5 and 15 cm consistently reduced sesame yield (51 to 89%) when compared with the control.  Glufosinate-ammonium and the premix of linuron plus diuron applied to the lower 5 cm caused the least sesame stunting (< 8%) and only linuron plus diuron resulted in a reduction in yield at one location when compared with the non-treated.

Conclusion: Sesame injury was greatest when herbicides were applied to the lower 15 cm of the stem compared to 5 cm applications

Open Access Original Research Article

Quality Attributes in Sudanese Sorghums Improved for Forage Yield

Maarouf I. Mohammed, Zeinab A. Zakaria

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 171-182
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/5480

Aims:  To investigate quality attributes in forage sorghum at different growth phases and plant parts in relation to some agronomic traits

Study Design: The treatments were arranged in split-plots in randomized complete block design

Place and Duration: Field experiments were conducted in Sudan at two environments: Shambat 2005 and Sennar 2006

Methodology: Quality attributes were studied in two growth phases (boot and dough stages) split over nine genotype with plant part (leaf and stem) further spilt on growth phases. The traits studied included: green and dry matter yields, days to flowering, plant height, crude protein (CP) neutral detergent fiber (NDF) acid detergent fiber (ADF) ash and ether extract (EE).

Results: The growth phases differed significantly for ADF, NDF and CP.  The plant parts differed significantly for ADF, CP and ASH. The interaction of growth stage with plant part was significant for all traits other than ADF. Correlation of forage yield with CP was significantly negative, with ADF was significantly positive and with NDF was also positive but insignificant. Correlation of CP with NDF was significantly negative, with ADF, EE and ASH was also negative but insignificant.

Conclusion: It was concluded that harvesting at boot stage will maximize the benefits gained from forage sorghum. Quality traits might be enhanced by developing cultivars with high leaf to stem ratio. Cultivars improved in protein content, intake potential and digestibility could be developed but concurrent improvement of these aspects with forage yield might be difficult to achieve. Forage yield, but not quality attributes of the selected lines has been improved over their parental population; this has been attributed to the adverse association between forage yield and CP. Screening for both quality and yield attributes in the earlier stages of the breeding program has been suggested

Open Access Original Research Article

Assessing the Feasibility of Commercial Meat Rabbit Production in the Kumasi Metropolis of Ghana

J. Osei Mensah, R. Aidoo, D. Amponsah, A. E. Buah, G. Aboagye, N. S. Acquah-Harrison

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 183-192
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/5739

Aim: The study aimed at assessing the feasibility of commercial meat rabbit production in the Kumasi Metropolis of Ghana.

Place and Duration: The study was conducted in Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti region of Ghana between February and May, 2013.

Methodology: Structured and unstructured questionnaires were utilized in obtaining information from two hundred meat consumers and 15 meat rabbit farmers. Data were analyzed using Net Present Value (NPV), Internal Rate of Return (IRR), Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR)/ Profitability Index (PI) technique, percentages and chi-square contingency test.

Results: The study found that the current demand for rabbit meat is low (36%). The desirable nutritional attributes of rabbit meat and other socio economic factors of meat consumers make the potential demand for rabbit meat high (69%). It was estimated that GH¢5,292 (approximately $ 2672) was needed as a start-up capital for a 40-doe unit meat rabbit farm in Kumasi Metropolis. The cost of breeding animals, housing and equipment formed 12.47%, 53.97% and 24.87% respectively of the initial estimated capital. A Net Present Value of GH¢ 5,910.75 (approximately $ 2984) was obtained at the end of the fifth year, with an Internal Rate Return and Profitability Index of 70% and 1.12 respectively. The major constraints identified in meat rabbit production were low price of rabbit meat, shortage of fodder, pest and diseases, high cost of capital, high cost of operating materials and veterinary care.

Conclusion: Based on the analysis it was concluded that meat rabbit production is feasible in the Kumasi Metropolis of Ghana. The study recommends embarking on mass advertisement; farmer association and adapting to new technologies in the production process will help to enhance productivity

Open Access Original Research Article

Changes in Rhizosphere Concentration of Mineral Elements as Affected by Differences in Root Uptake and Plant Growth of Five Cowpea Genotypes Grown in Mixed Culture and at Different Densities with Sorghum

Joachim H. J. R. Makoi, Samson B. M. Chimphango, Felix D. Dakora

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 193-214
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/5654

Aims: To evaluate the effect of planting density and cropping systems on the changes in rhizosphere concentration and uptake of mineral elements of five cowpea genotypes (i.e. Bensogla, ITH98-46, Sanzie, TVu1509 and Omondaw).

Study Design:  3-factorial randomized complete block design.

Place and Duration of Study: Nietvoorbij (33º54S, 18º14E), Stellenbosch, South Africa during 2005 and 2006 summer seasons.

Methodology: A field experiment involving two cowpea plant densities (83,333 and 166,666 plants.ha-1), two cropping systems (monocropping and intercropping) and five cowpea genotypes (i.e. Bensogla, ITH98-46, Sanzie, TVu1509 and Omondaw).

Results: The data for 2005 and 2006 were similar, and therefore pooled for statistical analysis. The concentrations of P, K, S, Na, Cu, and Zn were lower in rhizosphere of cowpea relative to bulk soil, while those of Ca and Mg were greater in the rhizosphere compared with bulk soil. With sorghum, only K, S, and Na were lower in the rhizosphere, in contrast to P, Ca, Mg, Cu, and Zn, which were higher in the rhizosphere. These differences in mineral concentration were due to alteration in rhizosphere pH, which was increased by cowpea but unchanged by sorghum. The data also showed that high plant density (166,666 plants.ha-1) and mixed culture significantly decreased rhizosphere soil pH, resulting in low availability of P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, S, Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn and B in the rhizosphere of cowpea and sorghum compared with low plant density (83,333 plants.ha-1) or monocropping. The results also showed significant differences in rhizosphere concentration of minerals between and among the five cowpea genotypes, with cv. Sanzie consistently indicating much lower levels of P and Ca as a result of higher root uptake, which was evidenced by the higher tissue content of P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, S, Fe, Zn, Mn and B in cv. Sanzie.

Conclusion: N2-fixing cowpea significantly lowered the concentration and increased the uptake of mineral elements from the rhizosphere soil relative to sorghum

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Marketing Cost on Marketing Margin Realizable from Beef Sales in Benin City, Nigeria

C. O. Emokaro, J. Egbodion

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 215-224
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/6584

Aims: There has been a continuous problem of price and sales volume fluctuation over the years as a result of marketing inefficiencies which has led to short supply of beef and beef products as well as a threat to the livelihood of families that depend on beef business for survival. The short fall in supply of cattle has often been linked to the high cost of cattle marketing. This study therefore focused on the analysis of factors that determine the marketing margin realizable from beef marketing in Benin City Metropolis.

Study Design:  A simple random sampling method was used in selecting 120 respondents from the sampling frame of the registered butchers in Benin. Half of this (60) were selected from the main abattoir while the remaining (60) were selected from the other slaughtering slabs and markets to give a total of 120 respondents. 

Place and Duration of Study: Benin City Metropolis, South-South Nigeria, between March and July 2011.

Methodology: The primary data used in this study were generated from the random sampling of 120 respondents, through the administration of well structured questionnaire. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics, tables and multiple regression analysis.

Results: Results from the study showed that majority of the marketers were married (85%), fairly educated with good marketing experience and still in their active age of production (87.5% were within the age bracket of 30-39 years). Result of the regression analysis indicated that marketing cost (packaging, handling, processing, and transportation costs) explained about 91% of the systematic variation in the marketing margin realized from beef marketing in the study area. It was also shown that unavailability of credit facilities, high cost of transportation, high marketing charges and perishability of beef were the most serious constraints faced by the marketers. 

Conclusion: The study concluded that steps must be taken to ensure the survival of the beef marketing sub-sector of the economy. It therefore recommended the provision of mobile cold rooms at rentable costs for improved transportation and hence, reduced perishability of beef. This would go a long way in sustaining the business of beef marketing in the study area.

Open Access Original Research Article

Influence of Water – Washed Neem Fruits (Azardirachta indica A. juss) on Haematology and Serum Biochemical Indices of West African Dwarf Ewes

T. O. Ososanya, M. K. Adewumi, T. O. Faniyi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 225-232
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/5191

Neem is a fast growing tree that thrives well in all parts of Nigeria. The seeds are readily available because the plant is used to control desertification. A 4 - week feeding trial was conducted to investigate the effect of supplementation of water – washed neem fruit (Azardirachta indica A.juss) in diets on haematological and serum biochemical indices of West African Dwarf (WAD) ewes.  Three diets were formulated to contain water-washed neem fruit at graded levels of inclusion; 0% (control), 5% and 10%. Twelve 10 month old WAD ewes were randomly assigned to 3 dietary treatments. Each treatment had 4 replicates. Variations in values of haematological and serum biochemical parameters of WAD ewes fed experimental diets were determined. Some haematological parameters (RBC and Hb counts) measured were significantly (p<0.05) different while PCV, WBC, some differential counts and serum biochemical parameters were not significantly different among the treatments.  However, urea, creatinine, glucose and alkaline phosphatase levels in serum of WAD ewes showed significant (p<0.05) differences, while, other serum biochemical indices measured were not significant. Although, the result of this study showed that the inclusion of water – washed neem fruit at 10% depressed some heamatological parameters, but showed no adverse effect on the ewes. However, all the values obtained for serum biochemical indices were within the normal physiological range except for alkaline phosphatase. Therefore, water – washed neem fruit can be included in the diet of WAD ewes at 10 % without any deleterious effect