Open Access Case Report

Precision Agriculture Using Remote Sensing and GIS for Peanut Crop Production in Arid Land

M. M. El-Sharkawy, A. S. Sheta, M. S. Abd El-Wahed, S. M. Arafat, O. M. El Behiery

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/20539

Precision agriculture is a farming management approach for a whole field with a potentiality to solve some of management problems based on observing and measuring field crops variability using more accurate and timely information of agricultural resources. Site-specific management for farming operations and data mining using good sampling design is an effective tool on precision agriculture while remote sensing facilities are perfect tools to assess the land cover, crop situation and status as well as their changes. This work aimed to identify management zones for Peanut crop using precision agriculture management practices. GIS, GPS, sensors and soil sampling are the major technological components which were used for that purpose. The results showed that using variable rate technology and management zones for Peanut crop production is greatly responsible for lowering cost of input and decreasing environmental impact using the least amount of chemicals necessary. Furthermore, soil suitability was successfully employed to simulate soil characteristics effect on canopy structure and final yield.


Open Access Original Research Article

Morphological and Biochemical Activities of Root Nodule Rhizobium Isolated From Five Multipurpose Forest Species of India

K. K. Chandra

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-6
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/23340

Five leguminous tree species viz. Dalbergia sissoo Albizia procera, Albizia labbeck, Pongamia pinnata and Leucaena leucocephala were evaluated for their rhizobial activities in different growth medium through biochemical test and the Rhizobium strain isolated from different tree species were coded as Ds1(D. sissoo), Ap1(A. procera), Al1 (A. lebbeck), Pp1(P. pinnata) and Ll1(L. leucocephala) respectively. All strains of Rhizobium isolated showed variation in their morphology and biochemical test. The nodule in A. procera and P. pinnata mainly recovered from lateral roots while in D. sissoo, A. lebbeck, and L. leucocephala nodules were principally formed in tape roots. The isolated Rhizobia were rod shaped, gram negative, showed no growth in Hofer’s alkaline medium and glucose peptone agar. The Rhizobium strain Ds1 exhibited fastest growth in YEMA and CRYEMA followed by Al1 strain as both isolates attained 6 to 11 mm diameter size within 3-4 days compared to other species under present investigation. In a salt tolerance test all the isolates found tolerant in 1% NaCl, however Ds1 and Ap1 strains both were showed their ability to grow even in 2% salt medium. The Pp1 strain was found the most active strain among all other isolates of tree species as this isolate rendered highest positive results in citrate utilization, carbohydrate catabolism, catalase activities, methyl red test and urease production test.


Open Access Original Research Article

Seedlings Emergence in Compacted Soil as Measured by a Pressure Transducer

K. M. Babatunde, D. J. Oyedele, M. F. Adelekun, K. A. Shittu

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/23118

Research was conducted to obtain an instrument for a more precise method of measuring seedlings emergence, also to indicate the amount of pressure exerted by seedlings before emerging to the surface, hence the design and fabrication of a data logger capable of measuring and logging the pressure exerted by seedlings of maize (hypogeal) and okra (epigeal) in emergence study on compacted Egbeda soil series (Ultisol). The PIC18F4550 Microchip microcontroller unit serves as the heart of the data-logging system, while seedling emergence pressure was determined using MPX5050DP pressure sensor (0-5000 milibar). The date and time were monitored with DS1307 RTC (Real Time Clock) timer, 24LC512 a 512 kbit EEPROM was used as the storage unit and LCD LM016L was used as the display unit. The circuit was designed with Proteus ISIS. The software that interfaced the design with computer was designed with Microsoft Visual Studio using Visual Basic.NET. The experiment was conducted at the departments of Physics, Civil Engineering and Soil Science and Land Resources Management of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, between August, 2013 and June, 2014. The emergence experiment was conducted with soil treatments consisting of four levels of soil compaction (0, 5, 15, and 25 blows of a standard proctor rammer of 2.5 kg; light BS 1377, equivalent to 0, 39, 116 and 193 kJm-3 respectively), at 0.12 g/g moisture content, and replicated three times in a completely randomized design. The results showed that soil strength had significant (p = 0.05) effect on percent seedlings emergence and pressure exerted by seedlings, percent seedlings emergence was negatively correlated (p ≤ 0.05) with pressure exerted by seedlings. Positive correlation (p ≤ 0.05) was also observed between soil strength and pressure exerted by seedlings at emergence as measured by the pressure transducer. Therefore the pressure transducer provides an alternative method of measuring seedling emergence as against indirect method being used.


Open Access Original Research Article

Measurement and Modeling Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Ferric Luvisols in the Guinea Savanna Agro-ecological Zone of Ghana

W. K. Atakora, P. K. Kwakye

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/24165

Agricultural sector in Ghana contributes to about 60% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is mainly characterized by fertilizer application to improve depleting soil fertility. With the increase in population and demand for increased productivity, application of inorganic fertilizers will result in enhanced greenhouse gas emissions. As nitrogen (N) is among the most limiting soil nutrient in the Guinea Savanna, chemical/organic fertilizers are applied in significant amounts to maintain crop productivity. Because of increased fertilizer and manure application to replenish dwindling soil fertility, the region is likely to become a significant source of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. To study the effect of fertilizer application on N2O emissions, Denitrification decomposition model (DNDC), a process-base model of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) biogeochemistry in agricultural ecosystems was calibrated with field data obtained in 2013 and was used to predict the impact of N fertilizer source and rate of application on N2O emissions.

The linear equation between measured and modeled annual fluxes from ferric luvisols showed a positive relationship between observed N2O fluxes from field experiments in the 2013 season and simulated N2O flux with with a coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.7773. For the validation period (2013) the predicted N2O emissions simulation agreed practically well with the observed data. Plots without fertilization resulted in the lowest N2O emissions in both measured and simulated data and the model was capable of simulating the highly dynamic changes in N2O emissions most of the time at different N application. However, N2O emissions on application of 120 kg N ha-1 as urea and sulphate of ammonia were underestimated by DNDC model. The results further showed that the DNDC model can be used to predict N2O gas flux from the Guinea Savanna agro-ecological conditions of Ghana. Simulated results further indicate that, application of 120 kg N ha-1 as sulphate of ammonia and urea respectively would had higher global warming potential compared to application of same N source at 60 kg N ha-1.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effects of Organic Acids Application on Olsen- extractable P and Eggplant (Solanum melongena) Yield

Dagoberto Osorio, Ken Mix

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/24271

This study investigated two low molecular weight organic acids (LMWOA), oxalic and citric acid, ability to mineralize fixed P in soils and the effects on production of eggplant when compared to conventional triple superphosphate fertilizer (TSP). Two calcareous soils were used: An alkaline (pH 7.6-7.8) Vertisol in the Houston Black soil series and a slightly acidic (pH 6.5-6.8) Mollisol in the Tarpley soil series. The Houston Black soil test indicated no significant difference in extractable P when comparing treatments of oxalic, citric acid or applied triple superphosphate (TSP) fertilizer (P > 0.05). Similarly, eggplant yields indicated no significant difference (P > 0.05) between treatments for this soils series. In the Tarpley series, LMWOA treatments produced significantly less extractable P and eggplant yield (P < 0.05) when compared to applied TSP fertilizer.


Open Access Original Research Article

Influence of Tillage Practice and Cropping System on Growth Attributes and Grain Yield of Maize [Zea mays L.] in the Forest Agro-ecological Zone of Ghana

Roland N. Issaka, Moro M. Buri, E. Dugan, H. Omae, F. Nagumo

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/ijpss/2016/v10i33384

Tillage is one of the most important practices in agricultural production due to its influence on the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the soil environment. Field experiments were conducted to find out the effects of tillage practice and cropping system on the growth attributes and grain yield of maize within the Forest agro-ecological zone of Ghana from 2011 to 2014. The experimental design was a randomized complete block, arranged in a split plot with four replications. Minimum tillage [MT] and Full tillage [FT] were the main treatments. Maize intercropped with mucuna [Maize/M]; maize intercropped with pigeon pea [Maize/Pp]; maize intercropped with cowpea [Maize/C]; sole maize with recommended rate of mineral fertilizer [Maize/F] and sole maize with minimum mineral fertilizer application [Maize] were the subplot treatments. In the first year all the treatments received 30-20-20 kg N-P2O5-K2Oha-1 [F1] except Maize/F which received 60-40-40 kg N-P2O5-K2Oha-1 [F2]. Interaction between tillage and cropping system showed a similar pattern of plant growth during the first and second years. However, grain yield for the second year was at least 50% less than the first year even though plant growth and grain yield were similar for most of the interactions. In the third year grain yield, Maize/Pp + F1 [3.34 t/ha] under MT produced significantly higher grain yield than most other treatment combinations except Maize/M + F1 [3.12 tha-1] and Maize/Pp + F1 [3.31 tha-1] both under FT. In the fourth year grain yield for Maize/Pp + F1 [3.41 tha-1] under MT and Maize/Pp + F1 [3.45 tha-1] under FT were similar but significantly higher than all the other treatment combinations. All other combinations recorded grain yields below 2.50 tha-1. From this study, Maize intercropped with Pigeon pea showed the highest potential under both minimum and full tillage practices. For increased and sustainable maize production within the forest agro-ecology in Ghana, this system  is therefore recommended for maize farmers, particularly the poorly resourced farmers.