Open Access Policy Article

The Impact of the Fadama II Intervention on Rural Households in Kogi and Kwara States, Nigeria

A. A. Tijani, M. B. Masuku, M. O. Raufu

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1996-2010
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/10726

The Fadama II project was designed to reduce poverty by improving the living condition of the rural poor, contribute to food security and increase access to rural infrastructure. This study estimates the direct impacts of the project on poverty reduction in respect of the project beneficiaries.
The study employed a multistage sampling technique to select 480 households from Fadama II Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 120 households from non-Fadama II LGAs in Kogi and Kwara states of Nigeria. Poverty index as well as propensity score matching (PSM) were used to determine the direct impact of the project on the beneficiary households.
The results showed that average per capita daily calorie intake for the beneficiaries was higher than the minimum of 2,250 kilocalories per person per day recommended for the country. The average per capita daily protein intake for the beneficiaries was also higher than the 35g minimum per person per day recommended from animal material. The poverty index indicated that the percentage of households below poverty line was lower among the beneficiaries.
The results from PSM estimates on household income showed that Fadama II had a statistically significant positive impact on incomes of participants in both states as expected given the large and significant impact it had on their productive assets.
Overall, the study concluded that Fadama II had impacted positively on the beneficiaries and therefore recommended that Fadama programme be sustained and expanded through greater support from donor, local, state and federal governments of Nigeria.

Open Access Original Research Article

Composition and Dynamics of Some Nutrient and Physic-Chemical Parameter in Lower Course of Gwagwalada River in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria

R. O. Ojutiku, R. J. Kolo, C. A. Mbanaso

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1480-1491
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/10862

Aims: Jabi dam, Lower Usuma dam and Gwagwalada river in the Federal Capital Territory were studied for a period of twelve months (January 2007–December 2007) to determine their nutrient composition and dynamics.
Methodology: Samples were collected from these water bodies on monthly basis. The concentration of some nutrient parameters such as Phosphate-phosphorus (PO4-P), Nitrate-Nitrogen (NO4-N), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Calcium (Ca), Potassium (K) and Sodium (Na) were assessed. The results obtained were statistically analysed to show any relationship amongst them.
Results: The mean values for NO4-N, Ca and K were not significantly different (P>0.05) between the three water bodies. While the mean value for PO4-P were significantly different (P<0.05), with Jabi dam having the highest mean value of 11.61mg/l, followed by Gwagwalada river, 9.96mg/l and Lower Usuma dam had least mean value of 2.46mg/l. Jabi dam, Lower Usuma dam and Gwagwalada river had mean TDS of 95.0mg/l, 88.5mg/l and 104.5mg/l respectively, Gwagwalada river being significantly different (P<0.05) from Jabi and Lower Usuma dams. Similarly, Jabi dam, Lower Usuma dam and Gwagwalada river had mean Sodium values of 2.42mg/l, 2.85mg/l and 3.73mg/l respectively, Gwagwalada river being also significantly different (P<0.05) from Jabi and Lower Usuma dams. PO4-P and NO4-N showed no significant (P>0.05) monthly variations in the three water bodies. However, TDS, Ca, K, and Na showed significant (P<0.05) difference in monthly variations in the three water bodies. TDS, Ca, K, and Na had all their wet season mean values higher than their dry season mean values in all the three water bodies studied, while PO4-P and NO4-N had their wet season mean values lower than the dry season mean values in the three water bodies.
Conclusion: The study revealed that the nutrient parameters measured were slightly lower than the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended values for aquatic life.

Open Access Original Research Article

Qualitative Characteristics and Suture Measurements of Two Breeds of Snail Reared in Nigeria

F. A. Aluko, A. A. Adisa

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1492-1499
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/10720

Heliculture is gradually gaining more attention in Nigeria. There are still constraint to snail production en mass which include breed and strain identification, feeding, management and health. In this study, the Qualitative characteristics and suture measurement of two breed of snails were observed. A total of 90 snails comprising of 50 Archachatina marginata and 40 Achatina achatina were purchased at different markets in towns around Ayetoro. Most (64%) of the A. marginata had brown shell colour, a few (36%) had brown with light yellow shell colour. 100% of A. achatina had brown with light brown-yellow shell colour. 22% of A. marginata had black foot, 64% had brown and 14% had brown-black foot colour. 100% of A. achatina had brown-black foot colour. There is a significant difference (P<0.01) in the brown-black foot colour of A. achatina and A. marginata. 94% of A. marginata had broad and wide apex, 6% had pointed apex, (0%) narrow and wider apex while 100% A. achatina had narrow and wider apex. A. achatina had zig zag thick brown lines on the shell which was significantly different (P<0.01) from the A. marginata. The distance between the 1st and 2nd suture, 2nd and 3rd suture of A. marginata respectively (1.69±0.08, 0.79±0.04) cm is longer than the respective lengths (1.59±0.03, 0.78±0.02) cm of A. achatina. This distance in suture of the 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 4th and 5th of A. marginata is not significantly different (P>0.01) from A. achatina, the 2nd and 3rd suture is significantly different (P<0.01). Snail live weight is highly positively correlated with the distance between the 1st and 2nd suture (0.889) and the 2nd and 3rd suture (0.718) in A. marginata and A. achatina respectively. The SLW is determined more by the distance between the 4th and 5th suture in A. marginata.

Open Access Original Research Article

Morpho-Physiological Characterization of Cold-and Pre-flowering Drought Tolerance in Grain Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) Inbreds

Yves Emendack, Dariusz Malinowski, John Burke, Gloria Burow, Zhanguo Xin

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1500-1516
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/11682

Aim: The relationships between early-season cold temperature germination and pre-flowering drought stress in eight grain sorghum inbreds were assessed using morpho-physiological traits.
Study Design: Field was laid out in a randomized complete block design.
Place and Duration: The experiment was conducted at Vernon, Texas (34º9'4"N 99°17'26"W) during the month of April to August, 2013.
Methodology: Lines were sown in the field in early April to determine early-season cold temperature germination. At the pre-booting stage, lines were subjected to limited and no irrigation treatments, to establish a correlation between cold temperature germination and pre-flowering drought stress tolerance. Pre-flowering drought tolerance was assessed at five defined phenological phases of the reproductive growth stage, using morpho-physiological traits.
Results: Final germination percent (FGP) differed among lines (range 30-80%) and was positively correlated with leaf area index, plant height (HGT), and harvest index (HI). These three traits and single plant biomass (SPB) also positively correlated with grain yield (SPY) under pre-flowering drought. Most significant correlations among measured traits were observed at the heading to flowering phase. HI explained 75 and 91% variability in SPY for the limited and no irrigation treatments respectively. Other predictors for SPY were; FGP, HGT and SPB under limited irrigation, and FGP and HGT under no irrigation.
Conclusion: The ability to cease growth, maintain LAI, and retain high CLC and high HI, will be important selection traits to develop sorghum cultivars for temperate and highland regions, with possibility of pre-flowering drought occurrence.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effects of Phosphorus Fertilizer Sources and Application Time on Grain Yield and Nutrient Composition of Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L., Walp)

O. J. Ayodele, A. A. Oso

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1517-1525
DOI: 10.9734/2014/10345

The appropriate time to apply water-soluble phosphate fertilizer sources for the production of cowpea (IT84E-2246-4) was evaluated in an Oxic Paleustalf at the Teaching and Research Farm, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti. Cowpea growth and yield were significantly improved by single superphosphate (SSP) and triple superphosphate (TSP), each applied to supply 45 kg P2O5.ha-1. The increase in vegetative growth and nodulation enhanced earliness to flowering and the combined effects produced significantly higher grain yield from TSP and SSP compared to NPK 15-15-15 and the control (0kg P.ha-1) treatments. P fertilizer applied at sowing enhanced early vegetative growth and produced the highest number of nodules, flowers and pods.plant-1 which ensured significantly higher grain yield than withholding the application till 3 and 5 weeks after sowing. The low grain yields obtained from application of P fertilizer at 3 and 5 weeks after sowing were not significantly different which favour applying P fertilizer at sowing time as the recommended practice.

Open Access Original Research Article

Dose Optimization of Potassium (K) for Yield and Quality Increment of Strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch) Chandler

Husain Ahmad, Muhammad Sajid, Rizwan Ullah, Sikandar Hayat, Muhammad Shahab

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1526-1535
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/10989

Aims: Strawberry, being introduced recently to the fruit industry of Pakistan, is a new commodity therefore the growers are still unaware of the optimum fertilizer dose needed to obtain better yield. To achieve this goal the present research study was designed to optimize the proper dose of Potassium (K) for strawberry under the agro-climatic conditions of Peshawar-Pakistan.
Place and Duration of Study: The Research was conducted in open field conditions at newly Developed Farm (NDF) at Horticulture section, The University of Agriculture Peshawar, Pakistan during 2011-12.
Methodology: Phenotypic parameters such as days to flowering, fruit set, fruit maturity, number of fruit, number of runners, fruit size, fruit yield and physiological aspects such as fruit acidity, ascorbic acid, TSS and pH were evaluated to test potassium dose optimization for better yield of strawberries.
Results: The results obtained (for various yield and quality related attributes) were then compared with that of untreated control plants. The evaluation depicted some significantly influenced parameters attributed to different levels of Potassium. Days to flowering, fruit set, fruit maturity, number of fruit, runners, fruit size, total yield, fruit acidity, ascorbic acid, TSS and pH were efficiently influenced by Potassium applied at 70 kg ha-1.
Conclusion: Results findings lead to conclusion that Potassium should be applied at 70 kg ha-1 in order to get good yield and to improve the quality of strawberry fruits under the agro-climatic conditions of Peshawar.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effects of Induced Mutagenesis on Agronomic Traits in Barley (Hordeum vulgare L)

I. J. Obare, M. G. Kinyua, O. K. Kiplagat

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1536-1543
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/11158

Induced mutagenesis has been extensively used to improve main crop species, particularly cereals including barley (Hordeum vulgare L).The main strategy in mutation-based breeding is to upgrade the well adapted plant varieties by improving a few desirable major traits such as yield component, tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress for consumer preferences. The present experiment was set out to determine the effects of induced mutagenesis on agronomic traits in mutant barley. The experiment was carried out in University of Eldoret research field in May –August 2012. One hundred and eighty three mutant lines were selected and used in the experiment with the parent (Nguzo) as a check. They were laid in a randomized complete block design with three replicates. The following parameters were used for the study; Number of tillers, plant height, a thousand seeds weight, spike length and days to 50% heading. The data obtained were analysed by Genstat software and mean separated by Duncan Multiple Range test. It was found that muta had a significant effect on number of tillers, plant height, weight of 1000 seeds, spike length and days to 50% heading at P<.001. From the results it is evident that mutagenesis had effects on agronomic traits in mutant barley lines hence can be used in creation of the much needed variation in breeding strategies in barley. The barley mutant lines that had superior characteristics in terms of the agronomic traits could be advanced and used in breeding programme or released as varieties.

Open Access Original Research Article

Dynamic Crop Water Production Model of Plantain Yield Response to Water

O. Akinro Akinola, A. A. Olufayo, P. G. Oguntunde

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1544-1556
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/9319

Crop Water Production Function Model (CWPFM) has been studied for quite few decades and since recent years developing a non- time specific and non-site-specific CWPFM has been receiving more and more attentions. A dynamic model of plantain bunch yield response to daily available soil moisture is presented. Using a priori information on dry matter accumulation in the plant when water is not limiting and using a piecewise linear regression, functions of crop response to soil moisture from experimental test plot data were estimated. With the estimated model, the bunch yields for various irrigation schedules were predicted. The predictions demonstrate the sensitivity of the model to the timing of irrigations.

Open Access Original Research Article

Assessment of Soil Nutrient Balances in Organic Based Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) and Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) Cropping Systems of Yatta Subcounty, Kenya

N. L. Namoi, R. N. Onwonga, C. M. Onyango, G. N. Karuku, V. M. Kathumo

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1557-1578
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/10230

Long-term food production in developing countries is under threat due to soil nutrient mining resulting from unsustainable production practices. In this study, the sustainability of various cropping systems and organic input combinations were assessed through monitoring nutrient flows and balances at crop production level. The study was conducted in Katangi and Ikombe divisions of Kitui sub-county between October 2010 and August 2012. A randomised complete block design with a split plot arrangement was used. The main plots were three cropping systems: (i) Intercropping (Dolichos [Lablab purpureus]/Cassava, Dolichos/Sorghum, Pigeon pea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.]/Sorghum, Pigeon pea/Cassava); (ii) Rotation (Dolichos-Cassava, Dolichos-Sorghum, Pigeon pea-Cassava, Pigeon pea-Sorghum); (iii) Monocrop (pure cassava and sorghum). The split plots were; farm yard manure (FYM), compost and control. All crops had above ground biomass incorporated after harvest in the same plot they were harvested from. Nutrient flows; nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), were monitored for four seasons; short rain season (SRS) of 2010, long rain season (LRS) of 2011, SRS of 2011 and LRS of 2012 using NUTMON toolbox. There were no significant differences in nutrient balances between the four seasons except in sorghum based cropping systems where N and P balances were significantly lower in the second year. Losses across the seasons occurred mainly through harvested products in both sorghum and cassava cropping systems while addition mainly occurred through biological N fixation and incorporation of crop residue. Negative NPK balances were found in cassava than sorghum-based cropping systems regardless of legumes used in both sites. Dolichos rotation with sorghum and compost applied resulted in positive N balances. Dolichos-cassava rotation with compost also had reduced N losses compared to when pigeon pea was used. P losses were less negative under pigeon pea-sorghum and pigeon pea-cassava rotation with FYM applied. Pigeon pea rotation with sorghum and FYM applied resulted in reduced K losses while with cassava the same cropping system was superior but with application of compost. The choice of legume and organic input for use would depend on environment farmer operates in. In N, P and K limited environments; dolichos rotation with compost application, pigeon pea rotation plus FYM and, pigeon pea-sorghum rotation plus FYM and pigeon pea-cassava rotation with compost applied would, respectively, be recommended as farming practices.

Open Access Original Research Article

Ranking Traditional Rice Cultivars Based on Yield and Some Morphological Traits using Path Analysis, Multi-Criteria Decision Making Model and Compromise Programming

A. L. Ranawake, U. G. S. Amarasinghe, S. G. J. N. Senanayake

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1579-1592
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/11325

Aims: To rank traditional rice cultivars based on yield and some morphological traits.
Study Design: Experiment was conducted with four replications according to the randomized complete block design. Germinated seeds were planted in rows with 15 cm X 20 cm spacing with twenty plants per each line and three lines per each replication. Data were collected in middle raw of each three lines in four replicates.
Place and Duration of Study: A field experiment was carried out during 2011/2012 Maha and 2012 Yala seasons at Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka.
Methodology: Plant height (cm), number of tillers/plant and number of fertile tillers/plant were counted before harvesting and panicle length (cm), panicle weight (g), number of spikelets/panicle and number of fertile spikelets/panicle were measured after harvesting in 80 plants of each rice cultivar in four replicates. Hundred grain weight (g) and yield/plant (g) were measured after drying grains for 14% moisture content. Total effect of each yield attributing character to the final grain yield which is defined by total effect of path analysis was calculated using SPSS software. Traditional rice cultivars were ranked according to yield and agronomic characters by multi criteria analysis and compromise programming technique.
Results: According to the path coefficients, number of fertile spikelets/panicle (β=0.982) and number of fertile tillers/plant (β=0.787) recorded the highest positive direct effect on grain yield. Plant height (β = 0.036), panicle length (β=0.048), panicle weight (β=0.305) 100-grain weight (β = 0.260) and filled grain percentage (β=0.130) recorded positive direct effects on grain yield. Negative direct effects were recorded for the number of tillers (β -0.267), number of spikelets per panicle (β =-0.363). Plant height (β =0.179), number of tillers/plant (β =0.838), number of fertile tillers/plant (β =0.077), panicle length (β =0.034) and number of spikelets/panicle (β =0.733) had positive indirect effects on grain yield while number of fertile spikelets/panicle (β=-0.122) recorded negative indirect effects on grain yield. Hence total effect of individual trait on yield was considered for ranking traditional rice cultivars in muti-criteria decision making model where number of fertile spikelets/panicle (0.870), number of fertile tillers/plant (0.864), plant height (0.571), panicle length (0.082), panicle weight (0.305), 100 grain weight (0.260) and filled grain percentage (0.141) effect differently on grain yield. All the rice cultivars were ranked from 1 to 100 according to yield and agronomic characters using total effect of path analysis.
Conclusion: Among tested hundred traditional rice cultivars Hondarawala was the best genotype followed by cultivar EAT Samba and cultivar Bathkiri el. All the other cultivars were placed in between 2-99 positions according to the results of multi criteria decision making model.

Open Access Original Research Article

Haematological and Blood Biochemical Changes in African Catfish, Clarias gariepinus Fed Walnut (Tetracarpidium conophorum Mull Arg) Leaf and Onion (Allium cepa Linn) Bulb Supplemented Diets

O. S. Bello, F. E. Olaifa, B. O. Emikpe

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1593-1603
DOI: 10.9734/ajea/2014/6622

Juvenile Clarias gariepinus were fed diets containing Onion Bulb (OB) and Walnut Leaf (WL) residues at different graded levels: control (0%), OB2 (0.5%), OB3 (1.0%), OB4 (1.5%), OB5 (2.0%), WL6 (0.5%), WL7 (1.0%), WL8 (1.5%) and WL9 (2.0%). Packed Cell Volume (PCV), Haemoglobin (Hb) content, Red Blood Cells (RBC) and White Blood Cells (WBC) counts were measured in test fish after 84 days of feeding. Biochemical indices such as total protein, Albumin as well as blood serum, aspartate amino-transferase and alanine amino-transferase were investigated before and after the experiment. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA at p = 0.05. The results obtained showed that packed cell volume and haemoglobin content were significantly different (p<0.05) among the treatments while red blood cell, white blood cell and mean cell volume and mean cell haemoglobin were not significantly different (p>0.05) among the dietary groups. There were increases in total protein and albumin but values of aspartate amino-transferase and alanine amino-transferase decreased though not significantly (p>0.05) among the treatments. However, fish fed the walnut leaves and onion bulbs residue- based diets recorded higher values in PCV, Hb, WBC and total protein compared to the values obtained before experiment and the control. The results of this study suggested that the dietary supplementation of walnut leaves and onion bulbs residues could be a potential, less expensive and positively affected haematological factor and boost immune response of cultured Clarias gariepinus juveniles.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Effect of Macro and Micro-nutrient Fertilizers on Yield and Yield Attributes of Rice in a Calcareous Soil

Majid Qasempour Alamdari, Hamid Reaza Mobasser

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1604-1615
DOI: 10.9734/ajea/2014/3536

In order to examine the effect of macro and micronutrient fertilizers on the growth and yield of rice (Oryza sativa L.) under calcareous soils, the experiment carried out as split- split plot design in randomized complete block with three replications. Macro, sulfur powder and micronutrient fertilizers have chosen as main, sub and sub-sub plots, respectively. The amount of lime and pH of the experimental soil is 16.7% and 7.54, respectively that categorized as calcareous soils. The aim of the present study is decrease soil pH at the five stages of rice plant growth and investigation of vegetative growth and rice grain yield. The results showed that soil pH decreased by using NPK+S+Zn fertilizers (0.32) compared to the control plot. With decreasing soil pH all the agronomic characteristics of rice plant and its grain yield increased significantly, except 1000-grain weight. The number of filled grain (119) and total number of seed per panicle (127) and grain yield (4376 kg ha-1) reached at the maximum values when NPK+S+Zn fertilizers applied together. Rice grain yield was increased 1483 kg ha-1 by this treatment compared to the control plot (2893 kg ha-1). Thus, this treatment can be resulted as the best treatment under calcareous soils conditions with high soil pH.

Open Access Original Research Article

Damage and Loss Caused by ‘Offa’ (Rhyparochromus littoralis dist.) [Heteroptera: lygaeidae] on Groundnut in Song Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Nigeria

A. E. Samaila, A. M. Malgwi, M. M. Degri

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1616-1624
DOI: 10.9734/ajea/2014/11102

Field experiments were carried out in four out of six Districts of Song Local Government Area of Adamawa State in Nigeria. The objectives of this research were to establish the damage potential and loss caused by the ‘offa’ [the groundnut sucking bug (Rhyparochromus littoralis Dist.)] on groundnut during the 2011, 2012 and 2013 cropping seasons. The experiment was set up as a split plot design (SPD) where all treatments were replicated three times. The main treatment was the groundnut cultivar in the main plots while the sub-treatments are the harvesting times. The data collected were analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) on SAS statistical package using the generalized linear model and significant P = 0.05, means were separated using Student Neumann- Keuls (SNK) test. Damage caused includes, kernel shriveling, which increases the free fatty acid content of the oil, distortion or discolouration of the kernel, loss in weight and the production of rancid flavor. The percentage reduction of harvested pod and kernels when groundnut was left for 3 – 28 days fell within 24 – 68%. Results obtained from these investigations indicated that R. littoralis causes significant damage on groundnut exposed to the insect pest for more than 3 days in the field before picking (decorting). It was therefore concluded that R. littoralis is a potential economic pest, emerging as a serious threat to the harvesting of quality, healthy and edible groundnut in the study area.

Open Access Original Research Article

Information Needs of Kenaf Farmers in Ogbomoso Zone of Oyo State, Nigeria

A. S. Amusat, A. O. Ademola

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1625-1636
DOI: 10.9734/ajea/2014/9557

The constraints to kenaf production are extensive because farmers lack the information to mitigate them. This study determined the information needs of kenaf farmers. The study was carried out in Ogbomoso Agricultural Zone of Oyo State, in the year 2013. Multistage sampling technique was used to select 120 kenaf farmers. Information was collected using focus group discussion and structured interview schedule. Frequencies, percentages and means were used to summarise the data, while chi-square and Pearson Product Moment Correlation was used to analyze the data. Result of analysis showed that kenaf production in the zone is male dominated. The mean age of the farmers was 45 years and the mean household size was five. The mean years of experience in kenaf production was 18years and the mean land area under kenaf plants was 1.4 acres. Many of the farmers either had vocational education or primary education, with an average monthly income of N27, 000. The kenaf farmers unanimously chose agricultural extension agents as their primary source of information on kenaf’s cultivation, agrochemical use, processing, utilisation, packaging, storage and marketing. Inadequate market information is the highest ranking constraint, implying that kenaf farmers do not have information on how to access markets to sell their kenaf products. The farmers also did not have a good knowledge of the economic and industrial values of kenaf. Their knowledge of kenaf production was a function of their sex, marital status, educational level, income and constraints in kenaf production. It is recommended that agricultural extension services should be involved all through the value chain of kenaf, especially marketing and not only at the cultivation level.

Open Access Original Research Article

Performance and Carcass Characteristics of Broiler Chicken Fed Soybean and Sesame/Soybean Based Diets Supplemented With or Without Microbial Phytase

A. B. Omojola, T. A. Otunla, O. O. Olusola, O. A. Adebiyi, A. D. Ologhobo

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1637-1648
DOI: 10.9734/ajea/2014/10513

Aims: The experiment was conducted to investigate the performance and carcass characteristics of meat-type chicken fed Soybean Meal (SBM) and Sesame/Soybean Meal (SSBM) supplemented with or without microbial phytase.
Study Design: The experiment employed a complete randomized design; all data generated were subjected to analysis of variance, P=0.05.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out at the Teaching and Research Farm of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, between October and December, 2011.
Methodology: One hundred and sixty-eight unsexed two weeks old Arbor Acre strain chickens were used in a 35-day feeding trial. Two feeding regimes of soybean meal and Sesame/soybean meal based diets were formulated. Each feeding regime comprised of control diet and two levels of phytase units (300 and 600 FTU/kg) of 500 unit /g activity making a total of six dietary treatments. The birds were fed the experimental diets for a 35-day period during which data were obtained on Feed Intake (FI), Body Weight Gain (BWG) and Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR). At the end of the feeding trial, three birds were slaughtered per replicate to evaluate carcass and meat characteristics.
Results: The addition of phytase improved the birds’ performance, FI and FCR. Significant (P<0.05) increase was obtained for apparent retention of nitrogen (67.22%), ash (74.85%), ether extract (65.43%), crude fibre (76.22%) and Phosphorus (45.58%). Cooking loss values increased while the Water Holding Capacity (WHC) reduced with microbial phytase supplementation.
Conclusion: Sesame/soybean diet supplemented with 300 FTU/Kg microbial phytase gave optimum performance and should probably be adopted as the feeding regime of choice since it also resulted in better nutrient utilization by the birds.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effects of Climate Change Critical Factors on the Seedling Growth and Development of Maize (Zea mays L.)

N. E. Edema

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1649-1657
DOI: 10.9734/ajea/2014/10802

Crop production is highly dependent on weather and change in climate has a major effect on crop yield, and thus on food supply. The effect of critical factors for climate change on growth and development of Zea mays was investigated. The treatments used were water, temperature, light intensity and soil (pH and nutrients). Growth factors such as height, leaf area, fresh and dry weights as well as dry and fresh weight ratio were determined. An average weight of 3kg of sandy, clay, loamy and laterite (red) soils in black planting bags of 21 by 25cm were used. Single (SN) and double (DN) netted cages were constructed to reduce the amount of light absorbed by plants. The control was without net (WN) while another set without net1 (WN1) was subjected to drought (watered only once). Three replicates for each soil treatment were used, and the experiment lasted for 8 Weeks. The results revealed that seeds sown in clay and laterite soils for WN1 germinated and died after three weeks because of the drought condition. Loamy soil for SN showed the highest mean height of 125cm±0.95. Also, loamy soil (WN) had the highest values of 214.49cm2±0.35 and 92.90g±3.21 for leaf area and dry weight, respectively. Soil pH values for sandy and loamy soils were within the acceptable pH range of 6.5 – 8.5. Plants sown in loamy soil for SN, DN and WN flowered within the period of the experiment. The highest value of 1.80g weight for inflorescence was recorded for WN with loamy soil. For loamy soil, there was significant difference between all soil treatments (nutrient, temperature and light intensity) at P<0.05. Since salts (ions) absorption is through solution in the soil, water may be considered as the most critical factor for the growth and development of plants.

Open Access Original Research Article

Seasonal and Genotypic Influence on Insect Pests, Growth and Yield of Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp)

I. E. Ezeaku, B.C. Echezona, K. P. Baiyeri, B. N. Mbah

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1658-1667
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/10320

Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) is rich in dietary protein and a relish in most West African countries. Four elite genotypes (IT 97K-499-35, lT 97K-568-18, IT 98K-131- 2 and IT 93K-452-2) emanating from the breeding programme of International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (11TA), Ibadan were therefore evaluated for their relative adaptations to a rainy season environment. A local variety was added as a check. The accessions were laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) in two seasons (early and late) for two years (2009 and 2010) at DEMACCO Integrated Farms Ltd., AKO, Enugu state, Nigeria. The result revealed the presence of genotype x season interaction. Reproductive grain yield and insect damage on the crop differed significantly (p<0.05) between genotypes and/or season. Pod weight, 100-seed weight, grain weight, threshing percentage and harvest index of the late crop increased by 31%, 25%, 72%, 71% and 41% respectively over that of the early. Late season grain yields of IT 93K-131-2 (1177.0 kg ha-I) and IT 93K-452-1 (1121.0kg ha-1) were outstanding compared to other genotypes and seasons and were more tolerant to pre-and post flowering insect pest. The early season grain yields of IT 93K-452-1 (1000.02 kg ha-1) and IT 97K-499-35 (987.00kg ha-1) were comparable to their respective late season yields (1121.00kg ha-1 and 898.22kg ha-1 respectively). Prevalence of pod sucking bugs and thrips were more evident on the late crops than on the early, while the reverse was the case for aphid, Maruca and Ootheca counts. Bruchid populations were not affected by seasonal variation.

Open Access Original Research Article

Non-Parametric Estimation of the Production Efficiency of Poultry Egg farming in Ogun State, Nigeria

D. A. Adegbite, O. I. Afolabi, O. F. Ashaolu, S. O. Akinbode, T. O. Olarewaju

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1668-1679
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/10611

This study estimated the efficiency of poultry egg farming in Ogun state, Nigeria. Primary data were collected with the use of structured questionnaire from 120 farmers drawn by a multi-stage random sampling technique. Descriptive statistics, Tobit regression model and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) were used to analyze the data. The Data Envelopment Analysis (A Non-Parametric measure) gave the mean technical, scale, allocative and economic efficiency to be 88.9%, 96.6%, 13.95%, and 12.41% respectively, implying that inefficiency exists in the poultry (egg) enterprise. Farmers can still increase output by 11.1% and also increase revenue by 86.05% by ensuring efficient use of resources and access to price information without the need to change existing technology. The Tobit analysis showed that married farmers (P<0.05) and those that have higher flock size (p<0.05) were more efficient, while older farmers (p<0.01) were less efficient. This study concludes that membership of cooperative society, marital status of farmers; credit sufficiency, flock size, and age of farmers are factors affecting the production efficiency of poultry (egg) farmers.

Open Access Original Research Article

Market Information and Extent of Agricultural Commercialization: Empirical Evidence from Smallholder Farmers in Effutu Municipality of Ghana

Edward Martey

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1680-1696
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/10386

Aims: Agricultural commercialization literature has shown that access to market information influences market participation by smallholder farmers. However, documentation on which type of access to market information influences the extent of market participation in the study area is missing. Therefore, this paper analyzed the effect of the different types of access to market information on the extent of agricultural commercialization by using data on smallholder maize farmers in the Effutu Municipality of Ghana.
Study Design: The study basically used primary data collected through farmer interviews. A structured questionnaire was used to collect information on demographic characteristics, institutional factors, production, marketing and post-harvest activities.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in 15 communities of Effutu Municipality of Ghana between April and May, 2011.
Methodology: The selection of 150 farmers followed a multi-stage systematic random sampling technique. The truncated regression model was used for the analysis.
Results: The truncated regression estimate revealed that gender, total number of male adults within the household, education, market information, farm size, access to land and non-farm income significantly explain variation in the extent of agricultural commercialization.
Conclusion: The study concluded that the type of access to market information is critical for market decision-making. Access to market information from informal sources, such as farmer association, friends and relatives significantly influence the extent of household agricultural commercialization. It is recommended that agricultural development projects strengthen the delivery system of the informal market information by strengthening farmer based organizations complemented with incentive packages to sustain farmers' interest.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effects of Time of Weed Removal and Cropping system on Weed Control and Crop Performance in Okra/Amaranthus Intercrop

O. R. Adeyemi, T. O. Fabunmi, V. O. Adedeji, J. A. Adigun

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1697-1707
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/10232

A field trial was conducted during the late wet seasons of 2011 and 2012 at the Research Farm of the Federal University of Agriculture, Alabata, Abeokuta (7015’N, 3025’E) in the forest savanna- transition zone of Ogun State, South Western Nigeria. The objective was to evaluate the effect of time of weed removal and cropping system on weed control and crop performance in okra/amaranthus intercrop. The experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) in a Split- plot arrangement. The treatments consisted of three main plots and five sub plots replicated three times. The main plot treatments were single hoe- weeding at 3 weeks after planting (WAP), double weeding at 3 & 6 WAP and no weeding, while the sub plots consisted of okra intercropped with amaranthus at 0.5g/m2or 1.0g/m2, okra sole and amaranthus sole at 0.5g/m2 or 1.0g/m2. Results from the study showed that intercropping of okra with amaranthus reduced weed infestation significantly (p<0.05) compared to sole okra. Weed control treatments significantly (p<0.05) reduced weed infestation in the intercrop while cropping system did not have any significant effect (p<0.05) on the weed biomass, plant height, pod length, number of pods and pod fresh weight. Uncontrolled weed infestation led to 50.7% yield loss in okra. It is therefore concluded that intercropping of okra with amaranthus is an effective means of reducing weed pressure in okra production as well as increasing land productivity.

Open Access Original Research Article

Mineral Content of Five Tropical Leafy Vegetables and Effect of Holding Methods

E. C. Nwanekezie, P. N. Obiakor-Okeke

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1708-1717
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/11961

Objective: This study was undertaken to determine the mineral content of five popular leafy vegetables consumed in southeast Nigeria and to evaluate the effects of time and methods of holding on minerals.
Methodology: Five vegetables Pterocarpus soyauxii ("oha"), pterocarpus santalinidies ("nturukpa"), Gongronema latifolium (utazi), Corchorus olitorious ("ahihiara") and Amaranthis Hybridus ("green") were harvested from farm. Some of the leafy vegetables were wrapped and some unwrapped. They were analyzed for minerals using standard analytical methods. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) at 5% level of significances was also calculated for mineral content of fresh leafy vegetables. The mean were separated using Turkey's test. All the experiments were carried out in triplicates.
Results: Among these five leafy vegetables, Gongronema latifolium ("utazi") had the highest content of potassium (78.5mg), calcium (68.30mg), magnesium (54.60mg) and iron (7.83mg) per 100g of each of the leaf. Amaranthis Hybridus ("green") recorded the highest sodium content of 38.90mg/100g. There was decrease in the level of minerals in all the five leafy vegetables with increases in the time of holding. The rate and percentage of loss of minerals among the leafy vegetables varied depending on the method and time of holding. Unwrapped leafy vegetables held day and night in a room recorded the highest percentage loss of minerals. While the wrapped leafy vegetables recorded the lowest percentage loss of minerals. The unwrapped Pterocarpus santalinidies ("nturukpa") held day and night in a room recorded the highest loss of 54.71% sodium in four days.
Conclusion: The rate of metabolism of nutrients (minerals) in harvested leafy vegetables was influenced by their temperature, the lower the temperature the less the loss of minerals.

Open Access Original Research Article

An Analysis of the Adoption of Glyphosate Herbicide for the Control of Speargrass (Imperata cylindrica) by Yam Farmers in Guinea Savanna Agricultural Zone of Nigeria

S. Ajanya, C. P. O. Obinne, O. J. Saliu

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1718-1730
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/6771

Aims: To analyse the adoption of glyphosate herbicide on the control of speargrass.
Study Design: Three local government areas were purposively selected. Data collection was carried out in three stages. First stage was through purposive sampling. The second stage was by random sampling to pick three cells of Agricultural Development Project (ADP), Agricultural Extension Structure from each of the three local government areas. In summary 108 participating and 108 non-participating farmers were randomly selected in the three identified LGAs to make a total of 216 respondents (see Table 1).
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Faculty of Agriculture, Kogi State University, Anyigba from June 2011 – December, 2012.
Methodology: The sampling technique used were interviews, structured questionnaire, use of descriptive statistics, use of logit regression analysis, and z-test was used to analyzed the variables.
Results: The results showed that the yam farmers were in various stages of adoption. The three yam packages introduced to the farmers, directs application of glyphosate at 4 and 8 weeks after planning+ 1hoe weeding at 12 weeks after planting has the highest percentage of 53.24 and therefore has the patronage of the farmers. The results of logit regression showed that Extension visits and knowledge of the use of glyphosate herbicide significantly influenced the adoption of glyphosate herbicide at 100%. Mean score showed that high cost of herbicides, lack of capital, lack of access to credit and lack of technical know-how were very serious constraints, while unavailability of herbicide and lack of Extension services were less serious.
Conclusion: Aggressive and sustainable training and visit on glyphosate adoption should be put in place by both public and private extension outfits who advocate glyphosate usage for the control of this stubborn, energy shaping weed.

 

Open Access Original Research Article

Health Status of Spring Barley Grown on Alfisol as Affected by Catch Crop

Grzegorz Lemańczyk, Edward Wilczewski

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1731-1742
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/10416

Aims: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of field pea grown as a catch crop and used for green manure on the health of spring barley grown in cereal crop rotation.
Study Design: The experiment was carried out in the randomized block design with four replications.
Place and Duration of Study: A field experiment was carried out in the years 2008-2011 at Mochelek (17º51′E; 53º13′N), the Experiment Station of the University of Technology and Life Sciences in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Methodology: The experimental factor was made up by the manner and the time of the catch crop biomass incorporation into the soil: the catch crop plowed-in in autumn; catch crop left as mulch for winter and incorporated in spring; control. The evaluation of the health of roots, stem base and spikes was complemented by mycological analysis.
Results: Catch crop has an ambiguous effect on the health of barley. Averaged over the three years it significantly decreased the stem infection with Fusarium spp. and Cochliobolus sativus and leaf infection with Puccinia hordei. On the other hand, the use of cover crop increased leaf infection with Blumeria graminis and Rhynchosporium secalis as well as spike infestation with Fusarium spp. and C. sativus. There was no significant effect of catch crop on the occurrence of eyespot, sharp eyespot, root rot and net blotch. The pathogens which occurred on diseased roots were predominantly Gaeumannomyces graminis. There were also many Fusarium and C. sativus isolates. The infected stems were most often infested by Fusarium spp., C. sativus and Glomerella graminicola. The pathogens on necrotic spots on barley spikelets were mostly represented by C. sativus and less frequently - by Fusarium spp.
Conclusion: Catch crop decreased the stem infection with Fusarium spp. and C. sativus and leaf infection with P. hordei. It also contributed to the increase in leaf infection with B. graminis and R. secalis and spike infestation with Fusarium spp. and C. sativus.

Open Access Original Research Article

Incidence of Lasiodiplodia theobromae and other Fungi in Kolanuts (Cola nitida and Cola acuminata) in Nigeria

Sunday O. Agbeniyi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1764-1772
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/11180

Aim: A study was conducted to determine the frequency of occurrence of fungi associated with kolanuts (Cola nitida and Cola acuminata) at processing and storage.
Methodology: Healthy and infected kolanuts (Cola nitida and Cola. acuminata) collected randomly during processing and storage from various locations in Nigeria were used in this study. Infected kolanut samples were plated on potato dextrose agar (PDA). The plates were incubated at 250C and the incidence of associated fungi was recorded after 5-10 days depending on when growth could be observed. The fungal colonies emerging from the tissue piece were hyphal-tip-transferred onto new PDA plates to obtain pure cultures.
Results: Lasiodiplodia theobromae, Fusarium pallidoroseum, Fusarium moniliforme, Fusarium cacispermum. Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus and Paecilomyces variotii were obtained from the infected kolanuts. The means frequency of occurrence of Lasiodiplodia theobromae on Cola nitida and Cola acuminata ranged between 40-47% and 33.5-40% respectively. The mean frequency of occurrence of other isolated fungi ranged between 3-14% on both species of Cola. The pathogenesis tests established Lasiodiplodia theobromae as the causal pathogen of black rot disease of kolanuts. When kolanuts were artificially wounded before inoculation with Lasiodiplodia theobromae, 79.2% infection was recorded compared to 33.3% infection recorded in unwounded nuts. A highly significant positive correlation (r2 = 0.8844) existed between wounding of nuts and incidence of black rot diseases.
Conclusion: The present study established that kolanuts were susceptible to fungal infections. This study confirmed the occurrence of storage rot fungi on kolanuts in all the locations of sampling, which represent the rain forest and guinea savanna zones of Nigeria.

Open Access Original Research Article

Environmental Effects of Poultry Production In Edo State, Nigeria

Reuben Adeolu Alabi, Christopher I. Aghimien, Daniel I. Osasogie, Otasowie Gladys Erie

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1773-1782
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/11958

This study was designed to investigate the environmental hazards associated with poultry production among poultry farmers in Edo State. To carry out the investigation, a total of 366 respondents made up of 122 poultry owners, 122 poultry farm workers and 122 poultry farm neighbours were randomly selected. Multiple regression and chi-square tests were the statistical tools used for the analyses. The results of the study revealed that only 12.3% of the farms were located at least 500 metres away from living houses as recommended by Environmental Protection Agency. The major complaint about poultry farms by neighbours (74.6%) were bad odour with majority of the farmers (55.7%) and workers (51.6%) adopting the use of covering of nose for protection from bad odour. The regression analysis indicated that age of the complainant had negative and significant relationship with frequency of environmental hazard complaint (b=0.387, P<0.05). The relationship between distance of poultry farms and living houses on hazard complaint was also negative and significant (b=-0.418, P<0.05). The significance and negative relationship between the poultry farms and number of complaint was also confirmed by chi-square test (χcal2 = 121.3 ≥ χtab2 =15.1). The study concludes that the environmental hazard posed by the establishment of poultry farming is high in Edo due to the fact commercial poultry houses are located too close to residential houses. The study then recommends the need for Edo State Ministries of Health and Environment to ensure that the poultry farms are located at least about half a kilometer far from the living houses. The huge waste generated by the poultry farms in Edo State can also be converted to inorganic manure using modern recycling facilities.

Open Access Original Research Article

Residual Effect of Phosphorus Fertilizer on Yield of Pigeon Pea (Cajanas cajan) in Ultisol

O. Dania Stephen, B. Ozegbe, G. O. Osawe, C. G. Michael

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1783-1792
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/7200

Phosphorus (P) is one of the essential plant nutrients and plays an important role in nitrogen fixation of leguminous crops. A two-year experiment was conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria to investigate the effect of different rates of phosphorus fertilizer on the growth, yield, nodulation and nutrient uptake of pigeon pea (Cajanas cajan). Seven P rates (0kg (control), 25, 50, 75, 100, 125 and 150kg ha-1) were laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design with three replicates and managed for two consecutive years. Data on plant growth, yield, nutrient uptake and soil properties were collected for the two seasons. The application of phosphorus significantly increased the soil nutrient content after the first season. There was no significant difference in height and stem girth of pigeon pea. The application of 75 kg ha-1 significantly (p=.05) increased the number of leaves, biomass and nodules of pigeon pea. The application of 25 - 75kg ha-1 of phosphorus fertilizer increased the grain yield of pigeon pea than other rates of application in the first cropping season. In the residual experiment, the control and 25kg ha-1 application of P had the grain yield of 1,493.3kg ha-1 and 1,498.0kg ha-1 respectively, and were significantly (p=.05) higher compared to other treatments. The application of phosphorus fertilizer at the rate of 25 – 75kg ha-1 significantly improved the yield, nodulation and nutrient uptake of pigeon pea in degraded ultisol. Increasing the quantity of P fertilizer above 25kg ha-1 showed no significant difference in the yield of pigeon pea, it will be more ideal to use 25kg ha-1 as the recommended rate.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Relationship between Body Conformation, Testicular Traits and Serum Testosterone Levels in Pre-pubertal Male Boer Goat Crosses

Chukwuemeka Okere, Latoya Keith, Olga Bolden-Tiller

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1812-1819
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/4929

In the present study, the relationship among body conformation traits, scrotal circumference and serum testosterone concentrations were investigated in pre pubertal male Boer goat crosses at the Caprine Research and Education Unit Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama. Body conformation traits (chest girth -CG, height at withers-HTW, body length -BL, body condition scores -BCS, body weight – BW, shoulder width –SW), and scrotal circumference –SC were monitored at week intervals for 12 weeks. Also, blood samples were collected and a calibrated IMMULITE 1000 assay system was used for the quantitative measurement of total serum testosterone levels (TT). Although, results show a non-significant relationship between TT levels and many body conformation traits, serum testosterone levels were lowly and positively correlated to BL (r = 0.19), BW (r = 0.19). Whereas, CG (r= 0.13), HTW (r= 0.11) and SC (r = 0.18) were non-significant. SC was moderately correlated to BL (r = 0.30; P= 0.001) and SW(r = 0.33; P< .001) and strongly correlated with BW (0.61), CG (r = 0.53), HTW (r = 0.41) respectively. In addition, SC and BW increased (P<.01) linearly from week 6 through 1. It is speculated that the week 9 peak of TT levels obtained in this study represents the attainment of sexual maturity (puberty) in Boer goat male crosses. Based on the results of this study, we hypothesized that SC measurements, when used in conjunction with TT levels and body conformation traits can be a valuable breeding soundness evaluation tool for selecting or culling breeding Boer goat sires at an early age by limited resource producers.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Effect of Commercial Additive (Toxic-Chec) and Propionic Acid on the Fermentation and Aerobic Stability of Silage with Pig Excreta

Serafin J. López-Garrido, Mario A. Cobos Peralta, Germán D. Mendoza Martinez, Marco A. Camacho-Escobar Camacho-Escobar

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1820-1831
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/12035

The experiment was carried out to evaluate the effect of Toxic-chec commercial additive and propionic acid on the fermentation and aerobic Stability of silage made with pig excreta, corn stover, molasses and urea; during fermentation. The growth of microorganisms in the silage and aerobic stability of the silage were tested. Microsilos were conducted in the laboratory with the following treatments made in triplicate (T): T1 = silage without additive; T2 = silage + 0.05% commercial additive; T3 = silage + 0.05% propionic acid. Three microsilos were realized by treatment in a complete randomized design. The study was carried out in the laboratories of Rumen Microbiology and Animal Nutrition, Graduate College, Montecillo State Campus, Mexico, between June and November 2012. The results showed that the additives tested affected the pH in treatments, but did not affect the concentration of volatile fatty acids, acetic, propionic and butyric acid, and ammonia nitrogen. To evaluate the aerobic stability of the silages with treatments upon exposure to the presence of air for 16 days and the concentration of microorganisms in colony forming units per gram of silage was characterized. The additives tested did not avoid the decrease in the concentration of lactic acid bacteria and lactobacilli (P<0.05) between 8 and 16 days; in contrast, lactobacilli disappeared completely by 16 days in T1, maintaining a low concentration in T2 and T3. Enterobacteriae concentration was not affected by additives tested; yeast concentration decreased (P<0.05) between treatments, being more evident at day 16. Results suggest that the additives tested did not affect the fermentation to maintain viable populations of lactic acid bacteria and lactobacilli, and decreasing the concentration of yeast potentiate aerobic stability and preventing aerobic deterioration of silage pig excreta.

Open Access Original Research Article

Sustainable Production of Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) Through Screening and Selection of Soil Salinity-Tolerant Genotypes

Otitoloju Kekere

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1842-1852
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/11495

Crop plants that are tolerant to soil salinity are needed for a sustainable food production in areas where there is salt build-up caused by irrigation practices. Ten groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) genotypes (ICGY-6M-5236, ICG-IS-11687, ICGY-5M-4746, ICG-IS-6646, ICG-IS- 3584, ICG49-85A, UGA-7-M, RRB12, RMP91 and RMP12) were screened in laboratory and field studies to identify those tolerant to soil salinity. Plants were irrigated with 0 (control), 25, 50, 100, 150 and 200mM NaCl solution, prepared artificially from table salt. Germination rate and percentage germination decreased with increasing salinity. RRB12, RMP91 and RMP12 did not germinate up to 200mM while others germinated with low percentages. Agronomic characters were significantly reduced by salinity above 50mM NaCl. Biomass and growth decreased with increasing salinity. Mortality of 25-40% was caused at 150mM but only ICGY-5M-4746 and ICG-IS-6646 did survive at 200mM with 52.17 and 55.16%, respectively. Plants irrigated with saline water had lower yield than the control. However, ICGY-5M-4746 did not produce pods at 200mM while ICG-IS-6646 produced pods without seeds at maturity. There was a large variation in germination, plant survival and yield among the genotypes. ICGY-5M-4746, ICG-IS-6646 and ICG-IS-3584 with high survival and yield under high salinity were identified as salt tolerant genotypes and recommended for planting in soil with salinity below 200mM NaCl. The traits from the salt tolerant genotypes could be a source for developing salt tolerant variants for improvement in groundnut production.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Effect of Bud Splitting on Suppression of Apical Dominance and Inducing Multiple Buds Development in Banana Shoot Tip Cultures of cv. ‘Yangambi’ (AAA) in Tanzania

Munguatosha Ngomuo, Emerald Mneney, Patrick Ndakidemi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1853-1860
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/7290

Aims: The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of bud splitting technique on suppression of apical dominance and induction of multiple buds development in banana shoot tips of cv. Yangambi.
Study Design: The experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design, with three treatments each replicated ten times.
Place and Duration of Study: The samples (explants sources) were collected from research farm at Chambezi near Bagamoyo Tanzania. The research was conducted at Mikocheni Agricultural Research laboratories at Dar es salaam. The duration of the study was three months.
Methodology: The buds containing the shoot tips were cut and longitudinally split into halves and quarter fourteen days after culture initiation. MS media supplemented with 5mg/l of BAP was used in buds proliferation stage.
Results: The results indicated that there was significant (p≤0.001) difference in number of shoots produced in each bud splitting technique; where by highest number of shoots were observed in quarter split buds (8.37±1.48) shoots per bud. Significant (p≤0.001) increase in fresh weight was also observed in quarter split buds (12.02±2.25) grams compared with the control.
Conclusion: Due to increased demand of banana planting material and increased costs of tissue culture materials and reagents, application of bud splitting technique stands a better chance of promoting buds proliferation and cut on the costs of sub culturing and time. This technique also minimizes physiological barriers that might require additional media formulations and the rate of somaclonal variation which results from continuous sub culturing.

Open Access Original Research Article

Performance and Blood Profile of West African Dwarf Goat Fed Concentrate Supplement containing Varying Levels of Corncobs

F. O. Ogunleke, F. T. Ajayi, O. A. Morakinyo, A. A. Saka

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1861-1868
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/11271

Aim: This study was conducted to investigate the effects of feeding concentrate with varying level of corncobs using twelve West African dwarf goats (WAD).
Study Design and Duration: The study lasted for 84 days during which the performance and blood parameters were monitored in twelve WAD goats using a completely randomized design.
Methodology: Four diets consisting of milled corncob at varying proportions of 0% (control), 15%, 30% and 45% respectively were formulated with other feed ingredients. Goats were offered concentrates and guinea grass at 09:00 and 14:00 respectively. Parameters monitored were feed intake, weight gain, haematology and serum biochemical indices.
Results: Results obtained showed that bucks fed on 30% corncob inclusion had the highest dry matter intake (559g/d), feed conversion ratio (7.89) and weight gain (7.08g/d). There was no significant difference (P> .05) in the serum biochemical parameters of WAD goats among all the dietary treatments except in globulin and creatinine where goats on diet 3 had the highest values. No significant differences (P>.05) were also observed in the haematological parameters of WAD goats across all the dietary treatments.
Conclusion: The study revealed that inclusion of corncobs in the diets of WAD goats had no deleterious effects on the haematological and serum biochemical parameters and could therefore be included in ruminant diets up to 30%.

Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of Some Plant Extracts for the Control of Bacterial Soft Rot of Tubers

Amodu Umoru Simeon, Akpa Abubakar

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1869-1876
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/12309

The use of protective chemicals on ware tubers can render it unfit for consumption as tubers undergo little processes before consumption. Hitherto, there is no effective control measure to manage this disease (Pectobactrium ssp); therefore, selection of some plant extracts for the management the disease will be the preferred option. The objective of the study therefore was to evaluate some plant materials for the management of tuber soft rot bacteria induced by pectobacterium ssp. Aqueous extracts of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss), Eucalyptus leaves (Eucalyptus citrodorus (L)), Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus (Stapf)), Garlic bulb (Allium Sativum (Linn)), Ginger (Zingiber officinale) (Roscoe)) and Aloe vera were evaluated for the management of bacterial soft rot of some tubers (cocoyam, Irish potato, sweet cassava, sweet potato and white) induced by Erwinia spp. Two methods involving in vitro and tuber assays were used. Lemon grass, garlic, Aloe vera, neem extracts and borax salt had the greatest inhibitory effect on Pectobacterium spp., and therefore recommended for the management of tuber soft rot bacteria.

Open Access Original Research Article

Growth Response of Quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) to Varying Levels of Cassava (Manihot esculenta) Tuber Meal as a Replacement for Maize (Zea mays)

B. I. Odo, A. E. Nnadi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1898-1903
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/11412

The study was conducted to determine the growth response of quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) to varying levels of cassava tuber meal as a replacement for maize. Thirty two (32) unsexed Japanese quails were randomly allotted to four dietary treatments. In each of the four diets, sun-dried cassava tuber meal was used to replace maize at 0, 25, 50 and 75% levels. The quails were fed one of four experimental diets over a period of 42 days (6 weeks). Result showed that there was no significant difference (P>0.05) in feed intake between quails fed 0% (T1) and 25% (T2) and those fed 50% (T3) and 75% (T4) levels of inclusion of cassava tuber meal as a replacement for maize. However, MWFI was significantly (P<0.05) higher in (T3) 152.2±2.07) than T2 (131.94±11.24) group. No significant difference in weight gain (P>0.05) was observed between T1 and T3 groups just as there was no significant difference in weight gain between T2 and T4groups. MWWG was significantly higher (P<0.05) in T3 (125.60±10.96) than T2 (111.41±10.31) group. MWFCR was highest in T4 (1.58±0.23) with 75% inclusion level of cassava tuber meal and lowest in T1 (1.18±0.10) with 0% inclusion level of cassava tuber meal. It implies therefore that sun-dried cassava tuber meal can favorably replace maize at 50% level of inclusion in quail diet.

Open Access Original Research Article

Species Complex and Seasonal Abundance of Panicle Pests of Sorghum, Sorghum bicolor (L.) (Moench) in North-Eastern Nigeria

D. M. Dunuwel, A. M. Malgwi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1904-1915
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/11935

Aims: The species complex and abundance of panicle pests of sorghum was studied on eight sorghum varieties and cultivars in field trial in order identify the pest spectrum complexity on sorghum and at what time of the season they are in abundance and identify which of the sorghum varieties supports fewer pests and incorporate it in integrated pest management programme (IPM) for future studies.
Study Design: The experiment was laid in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) which was replicated 3 times on 12m2 plots consisting of eight sorghum varieties and cultivars.
Place and Duration of Study: The field trial was conducted in two locations at Yola, Adamawa State and Kaltungo, Gombe State in 2011 cropping season in North-eastern Nigeria.
Methodology: Data was collected as from Complete Anthesis Stage (CAS) in September up to Hard Dough Stage (HDS) of sorghum development in November ending. Ten panicles /plot were sampled using transparent polythene bags.
Results: During this trial, 21 pests were identified, but only 18 were common at both Yola and Kaltungo. At both locations three of the pests found were different. Insects identified in order of their abundance were: Eurystylus oldi, Sitophilus zeamais, Monolepta sp., Orius sp., Nola sorghiella, Agnoscelis versicola, Mirperus jaculus, Spilostethus sp., Nezara viridula, Campylomma sp., Achaearanea tepidoriorum, Forficula senegalensis, Apis mellifera, Messor sp., Erythroneura variabilis, Poophilus costalis, Apocrita polistes, Kraussaria angulifera, Pachnoda chordata, Mantis religiosa and Silidius apicalis. The variety that haboured the highest population of pests was SAMSORG-17 at Yola with a mean population of (609.68/10 panicles) and the least was on Tiksha-Mamza (Ex-Garkida) with a population of (153.33/10 panicles). At Kaltungo, it was SAMSORG-14 haboured the highest population of panicle insect pests (834.34/10 panicles) and the least was on Ex-Tula Farafara cultivar (182.34/10 panicles).The cultivars (Tiksha-mamza, Ex-Tula red and farafara) haboured fewer pests and are more promising than the Samsorgs (14, 17, 37, 39 and 41) improved varieties that haboured more pests. Peak population was in mid-october at soft dough stage.
Conclusion: The local cultivars were more promising than the Samsorg varieties which could be improved for further studies to plant breeders and planting dates could be manipulated to escape period of high pests abundance and hence incorporated in IPM programme as a recommendation for further studies.

Open Access Original Research Article

Impact of Climate Change on Food Security in South-West Coastal Region of Bangladesh

Md. Abdur Rahman, Md. Lokman Hossain, Muhammad Abul Foysal, Asma Akter

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1916-1934
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/6165

The study was carried out during March to April 2010 to identify the impacts of climate change on food security in context of southwest coastal region of Bangladesh and to address appropriate strategies to overcome it. Multistage sampling technique was adopted to select the households. Four villages of 3 unions of Dacope upazila were selected purposively from 9 upazilas of Khulna district. Twenty households were taken from each selected village. The heads of households were taken as the respondents to carry out the survey. Collected data were analyzed to identify percentage, mean, standard deviation, standard error of mean using statistical software SPSS 16. The study demonstrated the sources of income in two time periods: 2010 and 2003. In 2003, 62.5% of the respondents were engaged in agriculture, followed by 22.5% in fisheries, and 5% in small business. There happened a drastic change in income sources due to compulsion by climate change. In 2010, share of agriculture was drastically declined to 47%, whereas, fisheries increased to 27% and similarly, share of small business and day laborer increased to 7% and 5% respectively. Study revealed that cyclone resulting 89% respondents to shortage of drinking water, followed by 75%, 65%, 50%, and 42% to food shortage, property loss, homeless, and decreased production respectively. Most of the respondents were unable to fulfill their daily needs as there was a gulf of differences between the income and expenditure of the people of the study area reflecting the extent of misery of coastal lives. Alternative livelihood adaptation practices such as cultivation of vegetables on floating bed, multi cropping, salt tolerant crop or cultivation of beans, gourds and other vegetables on embankment’s surrounding should be adapted.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effects of Indole-3-Butyric Acid (IBA) and Cutting Type on Rooting of Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze

Hamdi Zenginbal, Ayhan Haznedar, OÄŸuz Dolgun

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1935-1943
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/11274

The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of cutting type, and IBA (Indole-3-butyric acid) on rooting of Turkish tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) clone ‘Fener-3’ cuttings. The cuttings collected at 1 September in 2012. After pre-treating with 0, 2000, 4000 and 6000ppm IBA, the cuttings with full leaf and half leaf rooted in perlite medium in unheated trays under misting glasshouse for 60 days. And then, they all were removed from media to determine the survival rate, rooting rate, root number, root length, root diameter and root quality. In conclusion; survival percentages varied from 70.0% to 90.0%. The highest survival percentage (90%) was observed on full-leaf cuttings treated with 6000 ppm IBA. The rooting percentage varied from 43.3% to 78.3%. The best results were obtained for rooting (78.3%), which is 6000 ppm IBA doses, was gathered with full- leaf cutting. The root lengths varied from 9.83 to 14.77cm. The best result (14.77cm) was taken from 6000 ppm IBA dose based on the full leaf cutting. The root diameters varied from 0.99 mm to 1.30mm. The best result (1.30mm), prepared the full leaf cuttings, 6000 ppm IBA doses has been application. The number of root varied from 3.40 to 6.37 units. The best results (6.37 units) were taken 6000ppm IBA doses based on the full-leaf cuttings. The quality of the root varied from 1.93 to 3.50 points. The best result (3.50 points) was taken 6000 ppm IBA doses based on the full-leaf cuttings. Among all parameters the best type of cutting was full-leaf cutting, and 6000 ppm IBA was the most appropriate dose. The lowest rooting and rooting quality were taken from control (0 ppm IBA) treatment.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Preceding Crops and Supplementary Irrigation on Yield and Yield Components of Two Varieties of Common Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

Dilsher Shawkat Al-Mahmada, Ahmed Salih Khalaf

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1944-1957
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/10889

The experiment was carried out at the farm of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Duhok, Kurdistan Region, at Sumail county, for the growing season 2010-2011. A Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) in spilt-spilt plot arrangement, with  three replications was designed including the preceding crops (Fallow, Barley, Sunflower and Cucumber) as the main plot, while the two supplement irrigations were allocated as a sub-plot, and the two wheat varieties (Abu Ghraib 3 and Sham 6) as sub-sub-plot.  The results revealed that fallow land, sunflower and cucumber enhanced some traits and the highest values were recorded after cucumber for  biological weight, grain weight per square meter and grain yield; which were (596.58 g, 270.64 g and 2.71 ton/ha), respectively.   The increment in wheat grain yield after fallow, sunflower and cucumber in comparison with barley was 413.95%, 437.20% and 530.23%, respectively. The influence of supplementary irrigation was obvious, with the exception of harvest index and 1000-grain weight; all other traits were increased gradually by irrigation repetition. The increment in grain yield due to one and two irrigations was   37.5 and 84.55%, respectively, as compared to non-irrigation. Abu Ghraib 3 surpassed Sham 6 in the trait of number of grain/spike, it was 18.35 and 15.91, respectively.  The weight of grain/spike was 0.55 and 0.50g, respectively.  The least biological yield was noticed for barley with no irrigation (57.53), while application of two irrigations after fallow, sunflower and cucumber exceeded barley with an amount of 1104.59%, 1007.37%, and 1311.83%, respectively. The ultimate goal for growing wheat is grain yield; therefore it was raised after fallow, sunflower and cucumber in comparison to barley with no irrigation by 1195.45%, 1268.18%, 1536.36%, respectively.  The results revealed significant interaction on some traits; they had no significant effect on grain yield and yield components between the three factors while the second order interaction was not significant.

Open Access Review Article

Air Contaminants Emissions at Sheep Feeding Operations as a Part of AFO’s Emissions Inventory

Emad A. Almuhanna

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1877-1897
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/12119

Information about the air pollutants at sheep and goat feeding operations (SFOs) is presented in this review. This survey covers the effects of environmental parameters, including ambient air temperature, relative humidity, gaseous and particulate contaminants on sheep health.
Furthermore, factors affecting air contaminants in sheep buildings, including facility design, manure handling and storage, ventilation, animal activity, type of floor, and stocking density, are discussed. This review found that floor bedding, feces, feed and outdoor dust are the main sources of particulate and gaseous contaminants in sheep husbandry. The majority of the secondary pollutants could be related to an increase in air temperature, which caused dryness of the bedding soil and helped with the aerosolization of dust. Shielding the wind side of the building will possibly help toreduce the effect of ambient dust and control the indoor dust concentration. The ranges of literature values for total suspended particles (TSP), particulate matter with a diameter less than or equal to 10 µm (PM10) and particulate matter with a diameter less than or equal to 2.5 µm (PM2.5) were0.75-3.6, 0.03-2.0 and 0.04-0.05mg/m3, respectively.

Open Access Review Article

Apples (Malus domestica, Borkh.) Phenology in Ethiopian Highlands: Plant Growth, Blooming, Fruit Development and Fruit Quality Perspectives

Abayneh Melke, Masresha Fetene

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1958-1995
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/9783

Fruit quality is the result of a complex interaction of management and environmental factors. By understanding the impact of environment, culture, harvesting, handling and storage on fruit quality, growers should be able to improve both average qualities in their crop as well as improving the proportion of fruit in the highest quality grade. Whilst management practices such as pruning, training, and crop regulation methods contributed widely for development of quality fruit. The relationships between apple rootstock-scion are important and provide a basis for selecting the best graft combination for particular environmental conditions and high fruit quality. Because these interaction influences chilling requirements for bud-break, water relations, nutrient uptake, plant size, blossoming, time for fruit set, fruit quality and yield efficiency. Also, both the degree and timing of pruning can affect crop load, fruit size, and fruit quality. Pruning during the dormant winter period resulted in better fruit quality than when pruning was delayed until after fruit set. Early thinning had a positive effect on fruit quality, resulting in larger, firmer fruit with higher sugar levels. However, all these parameters are directly or indirectly affected by the environment. Responses of apple fruit to different environmental conditions (temperature, rainfall, relative humidity of the atmosphere and various soil types) was given prior consideration before starting fruit culture in some location. Even though growing conditions (environmental and cultural factors) influence cultivar performance, this can be well compensated by different cultural practices required for appropriate orchard management such as tree training and pruning, use of artificial dormancy breaking chemicals (Dormex, Winter oil and others) to promote flowering and fruit setting as well as for better yield of cultivars by overcoming the influence of fluctuating temperature that would result in incomplete or partial chilling. Cultivar introduction must be based on its temperature requirements (i.e. low, medium or high) for successful orchard establishment. In most of the tropical highland conditions where apple is growing, introducing low-chill cultivar is recommended for quality fruit production because these cultivars are easily satisfied by the existing low temperature and able to tolerate temperature fluctuation in most of the highland areas. Alternatively, medium chill-requiring cultivars were supposed to grow when supported by hand defoliation followed by dormancy breaking agents better yield with good fruit quality. This review mainly focuses on increasing awareness of the impact of environmental influence on apple fruit tree physiology and how to find out solutions for effective orchard management practices in Ethiopia/tropical highlands for quality and sustainable fruit production.

Open Access Review Article

Dwarfing of Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) Trees: Opportunities and Challenges

Yuchan Zhou, Mary B. Taylor, Steven J. R. Underhill

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1743-1763
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/12012

Breadfruit [Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson) Fosberg)] is a traditional staple crop grown for its starchy fruit throughout the tropics. It has long been recognized for its potential to alleviate hunger in the region. However, being a tree of 10 – 30m, breadfruit is vulnerable to wind damage. Owing to the continuing trend of global climate change, the success of the species as a sustainable crop for delivering local food security is compromised by the likelihood of more intense tropical windstorms in the island nations. Tree height also forms a major constraint to disease management and fruit harvesting. These imperatives have driven an increasing interest in developing breadfruit varieties with short stature. While a great diversity of breadfruit cultivars with varying nutritional and agronomic characteristics exists, the genetic resource showing dwarfing traits is largely uncharacterised. Historically, there has been no intentional breeding for breadfruit cultivars. The long growth cycle, predominantly vegetative propagation and lack of genome information create challenge for crop improvement through traditional breeding. In this review, we highlight the current knowledge of plant dwarfism and its application in agricultural practices and genetic improvement for dwarf phenotype, and present options and tools for breadfruit dwarfing with special reference to natural genetic variability for dwarfing rootstocks, plant growth regulators, potential of mutagenesis and its combination with the currently established in vitro propagation protocol in breadfruit. The role of genetic transformation, high-throughput mutant detection by using Targeting-Induced Local Lesions IN Genomes (TILLING) and tools of next generation sequencing is also discussed.

Open Access Review Article

Challenges Facing Pasture In The Context of Agricultural Multifunctionality In Brazil

D. J. Ferreira, A. M. Zanine

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1793-1811
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/12597

The concept of multi functionality of agriculture, of European origin, is an expanded form of addressing agriculture in relation to the traditional perspective, which in turn, focuses on the economic aspect, the production of food and fiber for the market, whose values are regulated based on market transactions. When talking about multi functionality takes into account that agriculture today, not only provides agricultural products (basic function), but also performs other functions, such as environmental or ecological, social and territorial. In this context, the rationalisation of land use is necessary and strategies of use leading to greater economic improvement that respect the environmental medium are necessary to ensure the sustainability of farmers. Among the alternatives for developing competitive, sustainable livestock with minimal environmental impact are crop-livestock integration, silvopastoral systems, agrosilvopastoral systems, integrated systems of cattle-sheep-goat production, rural tourism, organic crop and livestock technology, cooperation systems and most recently, the international burden for carbon sequestration by pasture. There are differences formed by agricultural multi functionality with the emphasis on sustainability of livestock through tropical grazing, and the rational use of different values from Brazilian agricultural properties to generate savings and subsistence for both producers and the environment.