Open Access Short Research Article

The Influence of Strong Static Magnetic Field on the Germination and Growth of Garden Cress (Lepidium sativum L.)

Filipina J. Krótki, Barbara K. KoÅ›cielniak, PrzemysÅ‚aw J. Tomasik

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 251-256
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/15862

Aims: The aim of the study was to analyze the effect of static magnetic field generated by a neodymium-iron-boron magnets on the growth of garden cress (Lepidium sativum L).
Methodology: At the bottom of vessels with garden cress seeds (sample tested) magnets with an established direction of the vector of magnetic field were placed. In the first phase the magnets were put with the south pole facing up, and in the second phase the magnets were put with the north pole facing up. The control group consisted of garden cress cultivated on nonmagnetic cylindrical bars of magnets size. Every day the diameter of the growing area were measured and simultaneously the photographic documentation was collected. On adjusted photos a percentage of green was analyzed.
Results: In both experiments Lepidium sativum seeds began to sprout on the first day. After three days the plants cultivated on the magnets with the south pole facing up had the field of growth significantly larger than the control probes on almost all days whereas the plants cultivated on the magnets with the north pole facing up had similar growth area to control except for day 7.
Conclusion: Magnetic field generated by neodymium magnets orientated similarly to Earth` magnetic field stimulated growth of garden cress.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Alternative Housing Systems on Blood Profile of Egg-type Chickens in Humid Tropics

O. M. Alabi, F. A. Aderemi, O. B. Adeniji

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 197-204
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/15291

Aims: General well being of animals is of paramount interest in some developed countries and of global importance hence the shift to alternative housing systems for egg-type chickens as replacement for conventional battery cage system. However, there is paucity of information on the effect of this shift on physiological status of the hens and how it affects their health via the blood profile. Therefore, investigation was carried out on two strains of hen kept in three different housing systems in humid tropics to evaluate changes in their blood parameters.
Study Design: A randomized complete block experimental design was used in this investigation.
Place and Duration of Study: Poultry unit of the Teaching and Research Farm, Bowen University, Iwo, Nigeria between June 2007 and April 2008.
Methodology: One hundred and eight, 17-weeks old Super Black (SBL) hens and one hundred and eight, 17-weeks old Super Brown (SBR) hens were randomly allotted to three different intensive systems namely; Partitioned Conventional Cage (PCC), Extended Conventional Cage (ECC) and Deep Litter System (DLS) in a randomized complete block design with 36 hens per housing system each with three replicates. The experiment lasted 37 weeks during which blood samples were collected at 18th week of age and every two weeks thereafter for analyses. Parameters measured were packed cell volume (PCV), hemoglobin concentration (Hb), Red blood cell counts (RBC), White blood cell counts (WBC) and serum metabolites such as Total Protein (TP), Albumin (Alb),Globulin (Glb), cholesterol, uric acid, serum cortisol and some serum enzymes such as Aspartate Trans aminase (AST), Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) and Acid Phosphatase (ACP), while blood indices such as Mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH),Mean cell volume (MCV) and Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) were calculated.
Results: The hematological values of the hens were not significantly (P>0.05) affected by the housing system and strain, while among the serum metabolites, serum cortisol was significantly (P<0.05) affected by the housing system only. Hens housed on PCC had higher values of serum cortisol (20.05 ng/ml for SBL and 20.55 ng/ml for SBR) indicating stress with conventionally caged birds, followed by hens on ECC (18.15 ng/ml for SBL and 18.38 ng/ml for SBL) while hens on DLS had the lowest value (16.50 ng/ml for SBL and 16.00 ng/ml for SBR).
Conclusion: Alternative housing systems can also be adopted for egg-type chickens in the humid tropics from welfare point of view with the results of this work indicate stress among caged hens.

Open Access Original Research Article

Genetic Characterization of Alupe Napier Grass Accessions Based on Simple Sequence Repeat Markers

Geofrey Kawube, Jolly Kabirizi, Clementine Namazzi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 205-213
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/14641

Genetic variability of 23 Napier grass clones, 22 of which were collected from Kenya Agricultural Research Institute – at Alupe in Kenya was determined using 17 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. All markers were polymorphic with the most discriminative being PSMP2267. Average gene diversity among the Napier grass clones was 0.54 with an average heterozygosity of 0.63. Total number of alleles across all loci was 90 with mean number of alleles per locus of 5.29 and a mean polymorphic information content of 0.50. Results also indicate a high genetic distance among the Napier grass clones with the most distant clone being 16814 while the closest was between kakamega1 and kakamega2 and kakamega2 and kakamega3. Principal Co-ordinates Analysis did not group the clones in a definitive structure, with most clones scattered. However, the SSR markers grouped the clones into two clusters derived from a dendogram generated by Neighbour joining analysis with clone 16814 being alone in a cluster. Clone Kakamega1, Kakamega2 and Kakamega3 as very closely related. These findings are key in guiding selection of clones for inclusion in breeding programs and conservation of Napier grass.

Open Access Original Research Article

Vertical Distribution of Available Plant Nutrients in Soils of Mid Central Valley at Odisha Zone, India

Antaryami Mishra, Trupti Mayee Pattnaik, D. Das, Mira Das

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 214-221
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/15611

Vertical distribution of plant nutrients is most importance for plant production. We always explored nutrients distribution in the top soil. But plants also take nutrients from the sub soil. It is hypothesizing that vertical nutrient distributions are dominated by plant cycling relative to leaching, weathering dissolution and atmospheric deposition. Therefore, four pedons were selected for the study of available plant nutrients with the objective to sustain the better productivity and sustainability. The study area consists of the upper and lower land of Dhenkanal district come under mid central valley at Odisha zone, India which is situated between 20º29’ and 21º11’ N latitudes and 85058’ and 86020’ E longitudes. Soils were analyzed for the status of pH, organic carbon, available nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur and boron content in vertical direction. Soil organic carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur content decreased from higher elevation to lower elevation while pH, potassium and boron showed reverse trend. Soils of upland are relatively more fertile with 1200 to 1400 mm annual precipitation and appropriate proportions of soil separates imparts the opportunity to the farmers to grow high value vegetable crops like maize, bottle gourd, okra, ridge gourd or cowpea in kharif whereas tomato, groundnut, sesamum, green gram, horse gram, potato, cabbage, cauliflower, brinjal, French bean or pea in rabi season. Soils of lowland area are suitable for rice cultivation. Long term crop productions planning may be done on the basis of variability of nutrients status in the vertical distribution of soil profile.

Open Access Original Research Article

Quality Assessment of Tubewell Water for Irrigation and Impact on Soil and Crops in Central Punjab, Pakistan

M. Ishaq, S. Javaid

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 222-230
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/15969

Aims: The study was conducted to assess the quality of tubewell (TW) waters for irrigation and their effects on soils and crops.
Place and Duration of Study: Canal Command Area (CCA) of Chichawatni and Sahiwal tehsils of district Sahiwal, Punjab, Pakistan during 2012 and 2013.
Methodology: A total of 529 TW water samples were collected from nine distributaries of Lower Bari Doab Canal (LBDC); four on right side (RD); five on left side (LD).Twenty composite soil samples were collected at plough layer depth (0 to 15 cm) from the selected farmer fields irrigated with TW and canal water (CW). Soils were analysed for pHs, ECe, and water samples were analysed for EC, cations (Ca2++ Mg2+, Na+) and anions (CO32-, HCO3-) and then RSC and SAR were computed. Total dissolved salts (TDS) of TW waters were used to estimate the amount of salts added into soil with the irrigation. The salts addition into soil under different crops was also calculated using the consumptive use by crops. The yield data of crops were recorded from 20 farmer’s fields irrigated with CW and TW waters to evaluate the effects of water quality on the yields.
Results: Data based on EC, RSC and SAR values showed that 71% TW waters were saline and >20% samples were sodic in nature. The quality of TW water in RD was comparatively better than in LD due to its location between LBDC and Ravi River. The farmers used poor quality TW waters (TDS from 218 to 3309 mg L-1) that added 0.66 to 10.05 t ha-1 salts into soil with 0.30 m irrigation water. Similarly, 15.75, 27.80, 33.36, 44.48 and 55.99 t ha-1 TDS were deposited in soil by wheat, cotton, potato, spring maize and rice, respectively, irrigated with TW water of TDS 3309 mg L-1. The yields of crops reduced from 3 to 15% where usually TW water was used compared to CW irrigated fields.
Conclusion: Results showed that quality of 71% TW waters was not suitable for irrigation purpose due to higher concentration of soluble salts. The concentrations of chemical constituents in water from the LBDC aquifer system vary both depth and location wise. The application of TW irrigation having different salinities added substantial amount of soluble salts into soil that affected the soil quality. Resultantly, the yields of different crops reduced from 3 to 15%. Presently the farmers are using brackish TW water with CW but the continuous use of poor quality irrigation water would have serious consequences for sustainability of soil and crop productivity in the area.

Open Access Original Research Article

Profit Efficiency of Cocoyam Production in Kaduna State, Nigeria

S. Abdulrahman, O. Yusuf, A. D. Suleiman

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 231-241
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/16219

Aims: Aims of the study were to describe socio-economic characteristics of cocoyam farmers, profitability of cocoyam production and determine the profit efficiency of cocoyam producers in Kaduna state.
Study Design: Primary data were collected from cocoyam producers through the use of structured questionnaires.
Place and Duration of Study: This study was carried out in three local government area in Kaduna state, Nigeria between August and November 2014 cropping season.
Methodology: Multistage purposive and random sampling techniques were employed for data collection.
Results: The study showed that 34% of the respondents fall within the age range of 30 and 39years. The majority of the farmers (50%) had no formal education. The household size ranged from 6-10 persons, whereas (73%) were not members of cooperative society. Results indicated that except for cost of fertilizer, all other factors were significant (P < 0.01 and P < 0.1). The mean profit efficiency is 66% while the range is 3-99%
Conclusion: The findings of the study revealed that none of the sampled cocoyam farms reached the frontier threshold. Also, amount of credit received and farming experience was the socio-economic variable responsible for the variation in profit efficiency of the cocoyam producers. It was therefore recommended that timely and adequate supply of seed should be made available to farmers at affordable price in order to increase profit from production of cocoyam.

Open Access Original Research Article

Partitioning of Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Genotypes Based on Morphometric Diversity

Ahasanul Hoque, S. N. Begum, A. H. K. Robin, Lutful Hassan

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 242-250
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/15687

Aims: The Objectives of this study were to partition the rice genotypes into different clusters, identification of heterotic groups, and most important traits contributing to divergence to utilize them for specific objective-oriented breeding programs in future.
Study Design: The experiment was set out in randomized complete block design with three replications.
Place and Duration of Study: The experiment was carried out at experimental farm of Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Bangladesh during Aus (Kharif) season of 2012.
Methodology: The diversity among sixty rice genotypes and contribution of thirteen traits towards diversity were analyzed using Mahalanobis’s D2 statistics and principal component analysis.
Results: Analysis of variance showed highly significant variation among the genotypes for all the traits. Cluster analysis based on D2 values exhibited seven distinct clusters. The highest intra-cluster distance (21.95) was observed in cluster II whereas that was lowest (7.62) for cluster VI. Maximum inter-cluster distance was observed between cluster III & VII (46.75) followed by cluster II & VII (42.91), cluster V & VII (38.48), and cluster III & VI (30.87). In all cases inter-cluster distance was higher than the intra-cluster distance suggesting wider diversity among the genotypes. All the short duration genotypes with high yield, high tiller number per hill and more filled grain per panicle were grouped in cluster VII whereas tall, long duration genotypes with low yield, wider flag leaf area, long panicle and more unfilled grain per panicle were grouped in cluster II. Cluster III composed of long duration & moderate yielded genotypes, but cluster V composed of genotypes with long duration and high yield. First three principal components explained about 81% of the total variation. Results of PCA suggested that traits such as number of filled grains per panicle, number of unfilled grains per panicle, flag leaf area, plant height and days to maturity were the principal discriminatory characteristics.
Conclusion: The studied rice genotypes showed considerable divergence for most of the traits. These results can now be used by the breeders to develop rice varieties having desirable characteristics and new breeding strategies for rice improvement.