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Oumarou Halilou, Halime Mahamat Hissene, José A Clavijo Michelangeli, Falalou Hamidou, Thomas R Sinclair, Afshin Soltani, Saadou Mahamane, Vincent Vadez
Rapid leaf area development may be attractive under a number of cropping conditions to enhance the vigor of crop establishment and allow rapid canopy closure for maximizing light interception and shading of weed competitors. This study was undertaken to determine (1) if parameters describing leaf area development varied among ten peanut (Arachis hypogeae L.) genotypes grown in field and pot experiments, (2) if these parameters were affected by the planting density, and (3) if these parameters varied between Spanish and Virginia genotypes...
December 2016: Field Crops Research
Xuejun Dong
The need for improved crop water use efficiency calls for flexible modeling platforms to implement new ideas in plant root uptake and its regulation mechanisms. This paper documents the details of modifying a soil infiltration and redistribution model to include (a) dynamic root growth, (b) non-uniform root distribution and water uptake, (c) the effect of water stress on plant water uptake, and (d) soil evaporation. The paper also demonstrates strategies of using the modified model to simulate soil water dynamics and plant transpiration considering different sensitivity of plants to soil dryness and different mechanisms of root water uptake...
2016: F1000Research
Janak Raj Joshi, Netaly Khazanov, Hanoch Senderowitz, Saul Burdman, Alexander Lipsky, Iris Yedidia
Quorum sensing (QS) is a population density-dependent regulatory system in bacteria that couples gene expression to cell density through accumulation of diffusible signaling molecules. Pectobacteria are causal agents of soft rot disease in a range of economically important crops. They rely on QS to coordinate their main virulence factor, production of plant cell wall degrading enzymes (PCWDEs). Plants have evolved an array of antimicrobial compounds to anticipate and cope with pathogens, of which essential oils (EOs) are widely recognized...
December 1, 2016: Scientific Reports
Rebecca D Marjerison, Jeff Melkonian, John L Hutson, Harold M van Es, Shai Sela, Larry D Geohring, Jeffrey Vetsch
Environmental nitrogen (N) losses (e.g., nitrate leaching, denitrification, and ammonia volatilization) frequently occur in maize ( L.) agroecosystems. Decision support systems, designed to optimize the application of N fertilizer in these systems, have been developed using physically based models such as the Precision Nitrogen Management (PNM) model of soil and crop processes, which is an integral component of Adapt-N, a decision support tool providing N fertilizer recommendations for maize production. Such models can also be used to estimate N losses associated with particular management practices and over a range of current climates and future climate projections...
November 2016: Journal of Environmental Quality
Laila A Puntel, John E Sawyer, Daniel W Barker, Ranae Dietzel, Hanna Poffenbarger, Michael J Castellano, Kenneth J Moore, Peter Thorburn, Sotirios V Archontoulis
Improved prediction of optimal N fertilizer rates for corn (Zea mays L.) can reduce N losses and increase profits. We tested the ability of the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM) to simulate corn and soybean (Glycine max L.) yields, the economic optimum N rate (EONR) using a 16-year field-experiment dataset from central Iowa, USA that included two crop sequences (continuous corn and soybean-corn) and five N fertilizer rates (0, 67, 134, 201, and 268 kg N ha(-1)) applied to corn. Our objectives were to: (a) quantify model prediction accuracy before and after calibration, and report calibration steps; (b) compare crop model-based techniques in estimating optimal N rate for corn; and (c) utilize the calibrated model to explain factors causing year to year variability in yield and optimal N...
2016: Frontiers in Plant Science
M A Becher, V Grimm, J Knapp, J Horn, G Twiston-Davies, J L Osborne
Social bees are central place foragers collecting floral resources from the surrounding landscape, but little is known about the probability of a scouting bee finding a particular flower patch. We therefore developed a software tool, BEESCOUT, to theoretically examine how bees might explore a landscape and distribute their scouting activities over time and space. An image file can be imported, which is interpreted by the model as a "forage map" with certain colours representing certain crops or habitat types as specified by the user...
November 24, 2016: Ecological Modelling
Xiang Gao, Wei Ouyang, Zengchao Hao, Yandan Shi, Peng Wei, Fanghua Hao
Although climate warming and agricultural land use changes are two of the primary instigators of increased diffuse pollution, they are usually considered separately or additively. This likely lead to poor decisions regarding climate adaptation. Climate warming and farmland responses have synergistic consequences for diffuse nitrogen pollution, which are hypothesized to present different spatio-temporal patterns. In this study, we propose a modeling framework to simulate the synergistic impacts of climate warming and warming-induced farmland shifts on diffuse pollution...
November 18, 2016: Science of the Total Environment
Christine M F Miller, Patricia L Price, Deanne Meyer
Effective regulations may help reduce nitrate contamination of groundwater from agriculture. Dairy farmers in California must maintain a ratio below 1.4 of total nitrogen (N) applied to total N-removed (N-Ratio) on cropland receiving manure application. In annual reports to the regulatory agency, farmers detail nutrients applied to cropland, removed in harvests, and exported off farm. Data were extracted from all available annual reports for 62 dairies from 2011, 2012, and 2013. Excretions of N, phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) were calculated using reported herd demographics and standard excretion equations from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers...
November 18, 2016: Science of the Total Environment
Barbara Pfister, Antoni Sánchez-Ferrer, Ana Diaz, Kuanjen Lu, Caroline Otto, Mirko Holler, Farooque Razvi Shaik, Florence Meier, Raffaele Mezzenga, Samuel C Zeeman
Starch, as the major nutritional component of our staple crops and a feedstock for industry, is a vital plant product. It is composed of glucose polymers that form massive semi-crystalline granules. Its precise structure and composition determine its functionality and thus applications; however, there is no versatile model system allowing the relationships between the biosynthetic apparatus, glucan structure and properties to be explored. Here, we expressed the core Arabidopsis starch-biosynthesis pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae purged of its endogenous glycogen-metabolic enzymes...
November 22, 2016: ELife
J De Waele, K D'Haene, J Salomez, G Hofman, S De Neve
Nitrate (NO3(-)) leaching from farmland remains the predominant source of nitrogen (N) loads to European ground- and surface water. As soil mineral N content at harvest is often high and may increase by mineralisation from crop residues and soil organic matter, it is critical to understand which post-harvest management measures can be taken to restrict the average NO3(-) concentration in ground- and surface waters below the norm of 50 mg l(-1). Nitrate leaching was simulated with the EU-rotate_N model on a silty and a sandy soil following the five main arable crops cultivated in Flanders: cut grassland, silage maize, potatoes, sugar beets and winter wheat, in scenarios of optimum fertilisation with and without post-harvest measures...
November 15, 2016: Journal of Environmental Management
Cesar A Marchioro, Flavia S Krechemer, Luis A Foerster
BACKGROUND: Tuta absoluta Meyrick (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) is native to South America and recently invaded European, African and Asian countries, where it is causing severe damage to tomato crops leading to an increase in the number of insecticide applications. This situation has prompted a demand for alternative pest management strategies aiming to control T. absoluta and concomitantly reduce insecticide applications. The development period for immature stages of T. absoluta at constant temperatures was modelled to select appropriate mathematical functions for simulating its development...
November 14, 2016: Pest Management Science
Venkatraman Srinivasan, Praveen Kumar, Stephen P Long
Without new innovations, present rates of increase in yields of food crops globally are inadequate to meet the projected rising food demand for 2050 and beyond. A prevailing response of crops to rising [CO2 ] is an increase in leaf area. This is especially marked in soybean, the world's fourth largest food crop in terms of seed production, and the most important vegetable protein source. Is this increase in leaf area beneficial, with respect to increasing yield, or is it detrimental? It is shown from theory and experiment using open-air whole-season elevation of atmospheric [CO2 ] that it is detrimental not only under future conditions of elevated [CO2 ] but also under today's [CO2 ]...
November 17, 2016: Global Change Biology
Chuang Zhao, Shilong Piao, Yao Huang, Xuhui Wang, Philippe Ciais, Mengtian Huang, Zhenzhong Zeng, Shushi Peng
Wheat growth is sensitive to temperature, but the effect of future warming on yield is uncertain. Here, focusing on China, we compiled 46 observations of the sensitivity of wheat yield to temperature change (SY,T, yield change per °C) from field warming experiments and 102 SY,T estimates from local process-based and statistical models. The average SY,T from field warming experiments, local process-based models and statistical models is -0.7±7.8(±s.d.)% per °C, -5.7±6.5% per °C and 0.4±4.4% per °C, respectively...
November 17, 2016: Nature Communications
Shumaila Khan, Sabahuddin Ahmad, Mohammad Imran Siddiqi, Bilqees Bano
This study describes the isolation and purification of a phytocystatin from seeds of Brassica juncea (Indian mustard; cultivar RoAgro 5444), which is an important oilseed crop both agriculturally and economically. The protein was purified by gel filtration chromatography with 24.3% yield and 204-fold purification, and visualised by 2D gel electrophoresis. The 18.1 kDa mustard cystatin was highly specific for cysteine proteinases. The plant cystatin inhibited cathepsin B, confirming its role in conferring pest resistance...
December 2016: Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Biochimie et Biologie Cellulaire
Michelle Barcellos, Milena Michele Faletti, Luiz Augusto Dos Santos Madureira, Fernando Cesar Bauer
The practice of large-scale agriculture requires the use of pesticides in order to maximize production. This activity has gained increasing attention in recent years, especially from rural workers, due to the risks associated with long-term exposure to pesticides. To minimize these risks, personal protection equipment (e.g., covers, gloves, and goggles) and collective protection equipment (e.g., agricultural tractors with sealed cabins) have been developed. In general, these approaches are intended to reduce the contact of farmers and agricultural machinery operators with the more toxic and stable compounds, an example of which is fenitrothion...
December 0: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Abhinav Mishra, Hao Pang, Robert L Buchanan, Donald W Schaffner, Abani K Pradhan
: Majority of foodborne outbreaks in the U.S. associated with the consumption of leafy greens contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 have been reported during July-November. A dynamic system model consisting of subsystems and inputs to the system (soil, irrigation, cattle, wild pig, and rainfall) simulating a hypothetical farm was developed. The model assumed two crops of lettuce in a year, and simulated planting, irrigation, harvesting, ground preparation for the new crop, contamination of soil and plants, and survival of E...
November 11, 2016: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Sagor Biswas, William L Kranz, Charles A Shapiro, Daniel D Snow, Shannon L Bartelt-Hunt, Mitiku Mamo, David D Tarkalson, Tian C Zhang, David P Shelton, Simon J van Donk, Terry L Mader
Runoff generated from livestock manure amended row crop fields is one of the major pathways of hormone transport to the aquatic environment. The study determined the effects of manure handling, tillage methods, and rainfall timing on the occurrence and transport of steroid hormones in runoff from the row crop field. Stockpiled and composted manure from hormone treated and untreated animals were applied to test plots and subjected to two rainfall simulation events 30days apart. During the two rainfall simulation events, detection of any steroid hormone or metabolites was identified in 8-86% of runoff samples from any tillage and manure treatment...
November 4, 2016: Journal of Hazardous Materials
Jingling Sun, Marios Drosos, Pierluigi Mazzei, Davide Savy, Daniele Todisco, Giovanni Vinci, Genxing Pan, Alessandro Piccolo
It is not yet clear whether the carbon released from biochar in the soil solution stimulates biological activities. Soluble fractions (AQU) from wheat and maize biochars, whose molecular content was thoroughly characterized by FTIR, (13)C and (1)H NMR, and high-resolution ESI-IT-TOF-MS, were separated in dilute acidic solution to simulate soil rhizospheric conditions and their effects evaluated on maize seeds germination activity. Elongation of maize-seeds coleoptile was significantly promoted by maize biochar AQU, whereas it was inhibited by wheat biochar AQU...
November 7, 2016: Science of the Total Environment
Ding Kuke, Liu Shujuan, He Yingxue, Yan Dong, Zhang Fengshou, Wang Shuifeng, Guo Jinghua, Zhang Wei, Wang Xin, Jiang Xiaoyan
The transfer, from soil to Chinese cabbage and spinach, of radioactive strontium-90 released as a result of accidents in nuclear power stations was studied using a stable isotope of strontium, namely nuclide strontium-88 ((88)Sr). The study led to an experimental model for assessing the hazard of radionuclide strontium-90 ((90)Sr) entering the food chain and for predicting the risk to food safety. Chinese cabbage and spinach were grown in pots in a greenhouse and irrigated with deionized water containing known quantities of strontium...
2016: Water, Air, and Soil Pollution
Tilele Stevens, Kaveh Madani
Agriculture is the mainstay of Malawi's economy and maize is the most important crop for food security. As a Least Developed Country (LDC), adverse effects of climate change (CC) on agriculture in Malawi are expected to be significant. We examined the impacts of CC on maize production and food security in Malawi's dominant cereal producing region, Lilongwe District. We used five Global Circulation Models (GCMs) to make future (2011 to 2100) rainfall and temperature projections and simulated maize yields under these projections...
November 8, 2016: Scientific Reports
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