Open Access Short Research Article

Estimates of Leaf Area of Curcubita moschata Duch. Based on Linear Measures and Degree-days in Planting of Winter in the Central-Western Region of Brazil

A. P. Souza, A. C. Silva, F. F. Mallmann, W. F. B. Demartini, A. A. Tanaka, M. E. Souza

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 562-572
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/14184

Aims: Evaluate the evolution of leaf area of the pumpkin cv. Menina Brasileira Precoce by simplified estimation models based on linear measurements of the blade leaf.

Study Design: Field experiment, distributed in randomized block design with four replicates of four plants each block. The sowings occurred at intervals of 10 days during the winter period to 5 planting dates (which are recommended due to the lower incidence of disease in plants), being measured 80 plants.

Place and Duration of Study: Experimental Area of the Vegetal Production, University Federal of Mato Grosso, Sinop, Mato Grosso State (transition Amazon-Cerrado region), between June 2013 and December 2013.

Methodology: Were obtained linear measurements (length, width and transverse) to estimate the total leaf area (LA) of plants from pumpkin cv. Menina Brasileira Precoce. The linear, polynomial and exponential simplified models to estimation of LA and the number of leaves in different size classes and position in the branches of the plant. The coefficients of the regressions were adjusted by maximizing the coefficient of determination (R²), being also employed statistical indicative MBE, RMSE, adjustment index and position value for evaluating the statistical performance of the models generated.

Results: Were generated 29 simplified models estimative of LA, with R² ranging from 0.2138 to 0.7232, with maximum underestimation of 3.73 cm² and overestimation to 9.52 cm², scattering ranging from 10.46 to 17.59 cm² and adjustments above 46%.

Conclusion: The leaf area of pumpkin cv. Menima Brasileira Precoce can be predicted by equation LA = 0.2720 (L + WL)1.8467 with precision, simplicity and practicality on the field cultivated.

Open Access Original Research Article

Influence of Silicon and Nano-Silicon on Germination, Growth and Yield of Faba Bean (Vicia faba L.) Under Salt Stress Conditions

Amira M. S. Abdul Qados, Ansary E. Moftah

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 509-524
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/14109

Aims: The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of Silicon (Si) and Nano-Silicon (NSi) for ameliorating negative effects of salinity on germination, growth and yield of faba bean (Vicia faba L.).

Study Design: Factorial completely randomized design Pot experiments used with Si and NSi applied at 4 concentrations each (0, 1, 2 and 3 mM) and NaCl (0, 50, 100 and 200 mM) were studied.

Place and Duration of Study: Experiments were carried out in the greenhouse of Faculty of Science, Princess Nora Bint Abdulrahman University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during winter season of 2010/2011

Methodology: Si and NSi applied at 4 concentrations each (0, 1, 2 and 3 mM) and NaCl (0, 50, 100 and 200 mM) were studied. Germination characteristics such as germination percentage (GP), germination rate (GR) and mean germination time (MGT) were measured. Vegetative growth including plant height, leaf area and fresh and dry weights was also studied. Yield and its components were determined. Nutrient elements (N, P, K, Ca and Na) in the seeds were also determined.

Results: Results showed that salinity had deleterious effects on seed germination, plant growth and yield. N, P, Ca and K in seeds decreased at salinity stress but Na increased. Application of Si and NSiO2 significantly enhanced the characteristics of seed germination. Among the treatments, 2mM of Si or NSiO2 improved GP, GR and MGT. The harmful effect of salt stress on vegetative growth and relative water content (RWC) was also alleviated by the addition of Si and NSi which caused significant increases in plant height, fresh and dry weights, RWC and total yield. Seed quality, represented by nutrient elements, was also improved by application of Si and NSi.

Conclusion: It is concluded that the application of Si was beneficial in improving the salt tolerance of Vicia faba plants.

Open Access Original Research Article

Response of Maize Varieties (Zea mays) to Biochar Amended Soil in Lafia, Nigeria

E. Ndor, S. N. Dauda, E. D. Azagaku

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 525-531
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/12375

The experiments were conducted during 2010 and 2011 at the research and teaching farm of the college of agriculture, Lafia, Nasarawa state, Nigeria. To determine the effect of biochar-amended soil on the performance of maize varieties (Zea mays). The study was carried out in screen house and field. The first phase of the experiment: treatment consist of three rates of biochar: 0, 100, 200g/pot and maize varieties (Oba 98 and Sammaize 18). The second phase of the experiment was carried out in the field; the treatment consisted of three levels of biochar: 0, 5, 10t/ha and two varieties of maize (oba 98 and sammaize 18) factorialy combined to form six treatments. The experimental design used was Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD). The result showed that 10t/ha Biochar had a significant (P=0.05) effect on the percentage germination, seedling height, seedling stem girth, number of roots, length of roots and seedling vigour index. Application of 10t/ha of biochar produced the highest grain weight of 5.05 t/ha and 5.54 t/ha in both years; which is at par with application of 5t/ha of biochar, but higher than control (3.5t/ha and 3.32t/ha) in both years. However, maize varieties did not showed any significant effect in both cropping season, but oba 98 proofs to be superior to the other variety in most of the character assessed. Interaction between biochar and maize varieties did not produced any significant effect

Open Access Original Research Article

Characterization of Organic Manures for Polysaccharides, Microbial Biomass and Humic Substances

Kashif Bashir, Safdar Ali, Shahzada Sohail Ijaz

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 532-539
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/13945

Soil organic matter (SOM) is an important indicator of soil quality as it determines many soil characteristics such as nutrient mineralization, structural stability and water holding capacity. An understanding of different bio-chemical processes undergoing inside the conventional sources of organic matter, which are used for farm management regarding improvement of soil structure which rely on organic carbon input as organic carbon is the main binding force between soil particles. Farm yard manure (FYM), poultry litter (PL) and municipal solid waste compost (MSWC) were characterized in an incubation experiment for six months in a completely randomized design (CRD). This study was carried out in 2011 at Department of Soil Science and SWC, PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi. Organic matter fractionation, total organic carbon (TOC), total polysaccharide content (TPC) and microbial biomass carbon (MBC) were determined. Results showed that PL has significantly highest values for all of the parameters except humic acid as compared to other manures. Results showed that TOC, MBC and humic acid decreased, fulvic acid remained unchanged and TPC increased significantly with incubation period. Interaction of manures and days showed that PL at 180 days had significantly highest contents of TOC and TPC. MBC content and humic acid were significantly highest at 0 and 30 days, respectively. Fulvic acid was highest at 30, 120, 150 and 180 days in PL. Correlation analysis showed that TPC was positively and significantly correlated with fulvic acid (0.732), TOC was negatively correlated with humic acid  (-0.295) and positively correlated with MBC (0.668). These results suggested that the PL was better among other manures under study regarding TOC, TPC and MBC.

Open Access Original Research Article

Performance of Broilers Fed Graded Levels of Bio-Detheobrominized Cocoa Bean Shell (CBS) Based Diets

G. O. Adeyemo, A. O. Ajayi, O. O. Olubamiwa

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 540-545
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/10581

A study was carried out to observe the effect of bio-detheobromised cocoa bean shell based diets on the performance of broilers. One hundred and ninety six (196) day-old broiler chicks were randomly assigned to seven diets, with each diet replicated four times and seven birds allocated to each replicate. Cocoa Bean Shell was included at varying levels of 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30% in the diets. Results showed that Cocoa Bean Shell inclusion had significant influence on the final weight, weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio (p<0.05), while there were no significant differences observed (p>0.05) for gut weight and primal cuts. It was observed that Cocoa Bean Shell inclusion at up to 10% had no adverse effect on the performance and primal cut output of broilers.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Profitability Analysis and Perceived Constraints of Farmers in Pineapple Production in Edo State, Nigeria

L. O. Akhilomen, G. M. Bivan, S. A. Rahman, S. A. Sanni

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 546-554
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/13489

This study examined the profitability and farmers’ perceived constraints in pineapple production in Edo State, Nigeria. Structured questionnaire and interview schedules were used to collect data from 175 pineapple farmers who were selected through a multi-stage sampling technique during the 2012/2013 cropping season. The data were analyzed using simple descriptive statistics and gross margin analysis. The results indicated that 76% of the farmers were males, aged 50 years on average, were mostly married (95%) with a mean household size of 7 people and engaged full time in agricultural production. The respondents were fairly educated with 86% of them having attained some form of formal schooling and only 21.6% being members of cooperative societies. The average period of experience in pineapple farming was 12 years with 59% of the respondents having no contact with the extension agents. The gross margin analysis revealed that pineapple production was a profitable venture in the study area with total variable cost and gross revenue of N167,121.00 and N772,854.00 respectively resulting in a gross margin of N605,733.00 per hectare. However, a number of constraints, such as inadequate credit facilities, weather and disease, poor network of roads, high transportation cost, lack of land & herbicides and poor extension services were perceived by farmers to hinder pineapple production in the study area. These constraints, if addressed, will lead to an increase in the productivity of pineapple not only in the study area, but also in Nigeria in general, by contributing to the wellbeing of farmers as well as their disposable income.

Open Access Original Research Article

Low Concentrations of Humic Substances Enhanced the Growth of Lactuca sativa L.

P. Verdi, M. Cano, E. Liem

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 555-561
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/13243

Aim: The experiments were completed to evaluate the efficacy of humic substances at low concentrations on the growth of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.).

Methodology: Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) of Grand Rapids variety seedlings were grown in seven deep water culture growing units. Each unit represented one treatment, in which twelve plants were grown in solution containing limited amount of nutrients and different rates of a liquid (extracted) humic product at 0, 70, 500, 4,000, 6,000, 14,000 and 42,000 mgL-1, corresponding to 0, 1, 7, 55, 83, 193 and 580 mgL-1 humic substances, respectively. All plants were harvested and evaluated in a two month period.

Results: Only one plant perished from a total of 84, indicating that the growing units were effective. Plant length measurements were analyzed for means, standard deviations, ANOVA (P=.05) and Fisher’s least significant difference (α=.05). Leaf counts and plant weight measurements were recorded. Significant plant growth was observed at low product ratesbetween70 and 500 mgL-1, corresponding to 1 and 7 mgL-1 humic substances. At increased rates, the growth was reduced. At much higher rates, plant growth was again observed, that was likely caused by the presence of nutrients in the product.

Conclusion: These experiments demonstrated the efficacy of humic substances at low concentrations on the growth of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), a critical finding in the context of sustainable horticulture, in which maximum yields from minimum input would be desired.