Open Access Original Research Article

Nutrients Metabolizability of Nectar for Long-Term Maintenance of Amazilia amazilia and Effect of a Dietary Fiber Source

Carla Fabro, Stefano Rimoli, Piero A. Susmel

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 208-222
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/12445

Aims: To formulate an artificial nectar for long-term maintenance of captive hummingbird, to measure the metabolizability of nutrients in the artificial nectar and to evaluate the effects of dietary fiber (inulin) addition on its digestive utilization.

Study Design: Two groups of seven hummingbirds randomly distributed in two diets with different levels of inulin (0-7% DM).

Methodology: The trial was conducted on two groups of seven non-reproductive Amazilia amazilia averagely weighing 4.0 g, giving nectar containing about 179 g/l dry matter (DM). DM content of sucrose and hexoses was 92.3%, (0.75 M), that of crude protein (CP) 4.3% and fat (EE) 2.3%. Inulin was added in the ratio of 7 g/100 g, as fed, of nectar powder. The experiment lasted 24 days; the birds were separately housed in experimental cages.

Results: The daily DM intake of hummingbirds was about 2054 mg/d and upraised by 14%, to 2348 mg/d, when inulin was added to the nectar; the energy intake averaged 34 kJ/d. The average metabolizabilities of nectar were about 94% for DM and energy, 98.4% for sugars, 57% for CP and 44% for EE. The absorption of DM, sugars, energy and protein were statistically reduced by inulin addition, instead that of ash increased. From the balance trial it results that about one third of inulin should undergo a fermentation in the intestine. Adjustment of sugar and protein contents and of protein quality to hummingbirds’ species and rearing environment should be useful.

Open Access Original Research Article

Adoption of Improved Soyabean Technologies in Processing and Utilization as Supplement with Local Foods in Bauchi Local Government Area, Bauchi State, Nigeria

E. F. Fabiyi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 223-230
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/12667

The study was carried out to determine the level of adoption of improved soyabean (Glycine Max (L) Merril) processing and utilization technologies as supplement with local food in Bauchi Local Government Area (LGA), Bauchi State, Nigeria. Bauchi LGA was purposively selected because there were many soyabean farmers in the area.  Random sampling technique was used to select three villages from Bauchi LGA. Random cluster technique was used to select 15 farmers from each village totaling 45 farmers as sample size. Interview schedule was used to source relevant information from soyabean farmers on their socio-economic characteristics and level of adoption of the technologies. Twenty soyabean improved technologies were selected for supplementation with local foods, to assess the level of adoption of these technologies. The result revealed that both old and young, ranging from 20 to 70 years were involved in soyabean utilization and processing. The result also revealed that majority of the soyabean farmers were small-scale farmers ranging from 0.1 to 4 hectares (ha) and family size ranging from 1 to 21 members. The respondents had many years of processing experience (1-15years) but were using local methods which may not eliminate the anti-nutritional factors in soyabean. Majority of the farmers were illiterate having only Quranic education (58%), 33% had formal education at different levels while, 9% had no formal education. The regression analysis revealed that out of nine socio- economic characteristics used as predictors, only household size and labour were positively significant (P<0.001) and processing was negatively significant (P<0.05) while, other six were not significant. These technologies were poorly adopted. Three of them were fairly adopted namely soya “awara” (cheese) (73%), soya daddawa (36%) and soya kunu (36%). Ten innovations were poorly adopted while, 7 innovations had zero adoption. The poor adoption of these soyabean improved technologies may probably be mainly due to lack of adequate education and inadequate extension services. To increase the adoption of these technologies, extension workers need to reach out to people by creating awareness through mass media and practical demonstration of processing methods. This is necessary because soyabean is good for the poor and the rich, also to both old and the young for good health and vitality.

Open Access Original Research Article

An Outline for Economical and Technical Analysis of Solar Panels for Agricultural uses: A Case Study on Texas Weather Conditions

David Lacey, Jersson Placido, Sergio Capareda

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 231-241
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/14692

Aims: To outline the necessary steps in the evaluation of solar panel systems in agriculture.

Study Design:  Using the outline proposed, GaAs and Si solar panels were evaluated under central Texas weather conditions.

Place and Duration of Study: Bioenergy Testing Laboratory (BETALab) between January and August 2013 in College Station, Texas. 

Materials and Methods: The study includes an outline on how to do a technical and simple economic comparison between solar panels. The outline includes the solar panel efficiency, required area, installations and power generation costs and simple payback period. To exhibit the application of the outline, two different photovoltaic systems were compared (silicon (Si) PV panels and the gallium arsenide (GaAs) PV panels). The solar panels were compared simultaneously, taking measurements of voltage and current automatically in College Station, Texas.

Results: The GaAs solar panel showed conversion efficiency (18.36%) higher than Si panels (14.02% Si); however, it also has a capital cost ($3/Wp) higher than Si panels ($2/Wp). The study suggested that both panels are viable alternatives for energy independence in a small farm or ranch application. The final selection will depend on the economic alternatives and power necessities of the farmer or rancher. In this study, the GaAs have provided less payback period (6.8 years) compared with 7.5 years for the Si units using various assumptions. The larger efficiency of the GaAs (4%) unit translated into a better payback period despite its higher initial installed cost.

Conclusion: The technical and economical outline proposed in this paper was useful to decide between GaAs and Si panels using basic economic assumptions. However, this paper did not recommend a specific solar panel over the other in every situation. Each situation needs to be analyzed individually taking in consideration geographical situation, government subsidies, rebates and tax credits.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Impact of Weather Conditions on Response of Sorghum Genotypes to Anthracnose (Colletotrichum sublineola) Infection

Louis K. Prom, Ramasamy Perumal, Thomas Isakeit, Ghada Radwan, William L. Rooney, Clint Magill

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 242-250
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/14589

Rainfall is a major climatic factor influencing anthracnose development.  In this study, 68 sorghum accessions were evaluated for anthracnose resistance under dry and wet growing conditions at the Texas A&M Agricultural Experiment Station, near College Station, Texas.  Accessions, planted in a randomized complete block design with three replications, were inoculated with a mixture of Colletotrichum sublineola isolates 30 days after planting. Under dry growing conditions, three accessions showed a susceptible response across replications, whereas 41 accessions exhibited susceptibility under wet growing conditions. Also, 15 accessions that showed variation in susceptibility across replications under dry conditions were rated as susceptible across replications under wet growing conditions. Nineteen accessions consistently showed a resistant response under both dry and wet growing conditions. There was no significant correlation between weather variables and anthracnose development during the dry growing season, suggesting that climatic conditions were unfavorable for disease development.  In contrast, there was a significant positive correlation between total rainfall and anthracnose infection and moderately significant relationships between number of days with rain and minimum relative humidity, with anthracnose infection during wet growing conditions. These results indicate that frequency and cumulative rainfall, as well as relative humidity are critical factors for disease development.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Organic and Chemical Fertilizers on Yield and Yield Components of Peppermint (Mentha piperita L.)

Z. Sheykholeslami, M. Qasempour Almdari, S. Qanbari, M. Akbarzadeh

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 251-257
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/14953

The current study examined the effect of chemical and organic fertilizers on yield components and essence content of peppermint (Mentha piperita L.). The experiment was carried out in randomized complete design with 7 treatments and 4 replications in Sari Agricultural Research Center, Iran, in 2013. Treatments were: 1-control, 2-sheep manure, 3-vermicompost, and basic chemical fertilizers at different contents as 4-N60,P50,K60 kg ha-1 which equals 0.24, 0.2 and 0.24 g per pot, respectively), 5-N60,P80,K60, 6-N90,P50,K80 and 7-N90,P80,K80. There were 28 pots that 10 kg soil was added to each of those and chemical fertilizer (at determined rates), sheep manure and vermicompost fertilizers (both at the content of 20 ton ha-1 equal 80 g per pot) were also added in per selected pot as treatment. The results showed that the effect of all treatments was very significant on the all agronomic properties and yield of peppermint. Some agronomic and quantitative traits of peppermint like plant height, number of chain, stem wet and dry weight, leaves wet weight and total wet and dry weight were obtained at the maximum values when basic chemical fertilizers was applied at the rate of 90-80-80. The maximum number of stems, number of flowers, number of suckers, leaves dry weight and essence content were also attained by sheep manure. Thus, to prevent soil, plant and finally environment pollution by using chemical fertilizers and also to achieve the maximum leaves dry weight and essence content of peppermint, application of sheep manure as organic fertilizers is recommended.

Open Access Original Research Article

Assessment of Factors Associated with Low Yield of Cashew among Farmers in Growing Areas of Nigeria

A. E. Agbongiarhuoyi, E. O. Uwagboe, O. S. Ibiremo, O. S. Ibiremo, F. O. Olasupo, E. O. Aigbekaen

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 258-266
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/14564

The study assessed the factors affecting low yield of cashew among farmers in Kwara and Edo States between March and April, 2014. It examined the socio-economic characteristics, factors contributing to cashew low yield, sources of cashew planting materials and sources of information on cashew cultivation among farmers in the study areas. Data collection was through structured questionnaire administered on 160 respondents selected through multistage sampling procedure. Descriptive statistics and chi-square were used in data analysis. Results showed that majority of the farmers were ageing with a mean age of 52 years and 60% of them had more than 16 years of cashew farming experience. Most (69%) cashew farms were less than 15 years indicating that the cashew trees were of average age and are still in their productive years. The mean yield of respondents was 10 bags using 80kg bag which was low because this number is not economical considering other inputs of production. Majority of respondents obtained cashew planting materials from fellow farmers and their own farms and got information on cashew cultivation from fellow farmers. Chi-square results revealed  that there was significant relationship (p<0.05) between insect pest attack, poor cashew price, lack of improved variety, farm abandonment, high cost of farm labour, inadequate farm maintenance, no government support and yield of cashew. Efforts should be made by stakeholders in the cashew value chain to address relevant factors affecting low yield through a holistic government intervention programme such as Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA).This will develop a sustainable marketing strategy that will guarantee good prices of cashew nuts.

Open Access Review Article

Grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus) Production in West Africa: Prospects, Challenges and Role in Disease Transmission

L. A. F. Akinola, I. Etela, S. R. Emiero

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 196-207
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/14194

This review brings together and consolidates the various researches that had been undertaken in grass-cutter with the aim of providing adequate information that will be capable of improving and sustaining the production of the animal as well as its consumption in West Africa. Given the above scenario, this paper reviewed the results obtained by different researchers on feeding and nutritional requirement of the grasscutter, housing, performance, anatomy and morphology, some environmental issues, the challenges and the role of grasscutter in disease transmission. It was clear from this study that grasscutter is widely acceptable, utilizes inexpensive feed to produce good meat of high biological value, survives in simple housing apartments when confined, has good litter size and short generation interval, has simple anatomical dispositions which helps in breeding and they are capable of adapting to intensive rearing environments. However, some challenges of the grasscutter production include irregular supply of breeding stock, environmental issues, poor processing and marketing plan, lack of balanced diet, poor producer training and education, inadequate infrastructural development, poor information dissemination, incidences of diseases and mortality. With good understanding of the prospects and positive utilization of the challenges, there will be great improvement and sustainability in the production of the animal, such that more jobs will be created, more income generated and protein intake in the sub-region will be increased. This overview therefore highlights essential elements for sustainable grasscutter production and consumption in West Africa as well as suggests the direction of further research on grasscutter production.