M. Heidari, N. Amirfazli, H. Ghorbani and F. Zafarian
Water deficit or drought stress is one of the most significant abiotic stresses that induce reduction in plant growth and crops yield. Calcium chloride has been shown to ameliorate the adverse effects of drought stress on many plants. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the role of calcium chloride in drought resistance and its effect on some physiological characteristics in sesame. Calcium is essential for good growth and structure of plants. In sesame (Sesamum indicum L.), the foliar application of calcium chloride (C1=0 (control), C2=5, C3=10 and C4=15 mM concentration) significantly affected on grain yield under drought stress (W1= 7 (control, no drought stress-plants irrigation at a 7-day interval), W2= 12 (severe drought and plants irrigation at a 12- day interval) and W3= 17 (the most severe drought and plants irrigation at a 17-day interval). Drought stress reduced grain yield and 1000 seed weight, but these were enhanced by foliar application of calcium chloride when drought levels increased from W1 to W3. Although the increasing calcium chloride concentration reduced the content of photosynthesis pigments in leaves, the drought treatment until W2 increased the content of photosynthetic pigments (chlorophyll “a” and carotenoids) in leaves. The foliar application of calcium chloride increased the seed weight in plant, the number of capsules per plant, plant height, and the concentration of potassium and phosphorus in leaves and seeds. The greatest amount of potassium in leaves and seeds were measured under the W1C3 treatment. Sesame plants under W3C3 and W2C3 had the highest amount of phosphorus in leaves and seeds, respectively. Overall, although drought stress reduced the growth and grain yield in sesame, the foliar application of calcium chloride at the concentration of 10 mM, prevented the drought-stressed sesame plants from damage by improving their physiological parameters.
The technology of grain corn production has recently been continuously changing due to spreading of insecticidal in-crop treatments in Europe. The aim of these interventions is to prevent damage caused by serious lepidopterous pests in maize. We carried out in-maize field experiments using two different active ingredients of insecticides in four consecutive years (2014–2017). A field experiment was conducted to compare the effect of applications of rynaxypyr (ANT) and rynaxypyr + lambda-cyhalothrin (PYR) on the canopy-dwelling arthropod community in commercial maize grain acreage. The effects of both ANT and PYR treatments against Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner (Lep.: Crambidae) were tested through four-year field experiments. The quantitative and qualitative assemblages of the perished arthropods and diversity alterations measured by canopy netting and grounded tarpaulins greatly differed in the different insecticide treatments. A significant number of dead arthropods was recorded after PYR treatment. Populations of other natural enemies (Coccinellidae, Chrysopidae, etc.) and endangered species (Calomobius filum, Rossi) were also negatively affected. The arthropod community of the examined maize plots was drastically altered by sprayings, which, among other factors, may account for the mass appearance of the other non-target pest organisms (Aphidae: Rhopalosiphum spp., Miridae: Trygonotylus spp.).
Good knowledge of genetic merits governing the inheritance of economic traits is of paramount importance to plant breeders for crop improvement. Objectives of the study were to investigate the genetic nature of ear traits in sweet corn (Zea mays convar. saccharata var. rugosa) based on the general and specific combining ability (GCA and SCA) analysis, and to determine the breeding potential of eight promising inbred lines for the development of new hybrid cultivars well suited for organic production. Thirty-six genotypes (hybrid families) derived from a half diallel cross design were grown under organic crop management at three agro-ecological zones of the tropics. Although the genotypes varied significantly for all the observed ear traits, some of them showed clear inconsistencies in performing husked ear size (length, diameter, and weight), kernel row number, and kernel number per row across environments. The combining ability analysis showed that additive gene action was more preponderance than non-additive gene actions in governing the inheritance of the studied ear traits. The inbred lines: Caps 5, Caps 17A, Caps 17B, and Caps 22 showed their potential as good partners for the improvement of ear performances as to the development of superior sweet corn cultivars for organic production.
Climate change is an inevitable global challenge of the 21st century. For developing countries like Ethiopia, it intensifies existing challenges towards ensuring sustainable development. Adopting the protection motivation theory, this study examined factors affecting the practice of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies among farmers. The study employed a mixed research approach to assess the subjective understanding of farmers about climate change threats and identify factors determining their responses to climate change effects. Qualitative data were collected using focus group discussions and interviews. Quantitative information was gathered using semi-structured survey from 296 randomly selected farmers. Qualitative data was dominantly analyzed using content analysis, while descriptive and inferential statistics were applied to analyze quantitative data. Almost all respondents (97%) perceived that climate change was occurring and threatening their wellbeing. Dwindling precipitation, increasing temperature and occurrence of human and animal disease were perceived to represent climate change effects. From nationally initiated strategies, farmers were found to largely practice soil and water conservation, which they perceived as less costly and compatible to local knowledge. The result of binary logistic regression revealed that perceived severity of climate change, perceived susceptibility to climate change threat, perceived own ability to respond, response efficacy, and cost of practices predicted farmers’ motivation to practice climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. Thus, building a resilient system should go beyond sensitizing climate response mechanisms. Policies should focus on human capital development and economic empowerment which would enable farmers to pursue context-specific adaptation and mitigation strategies, thereby maintaining a sustainable livelihood.
Wioletta Wróblewska, Joanna Pawlak and Dariusz Paszko
For many years Poland and Serbia have played the dominating roles in European raspberry production. However, the growing production in Ukraine might threaten the relative stability of the raspberry market for both countries. It is projected that in the coming years Ukraine will strengthen its competitive position in relation to the current industrial raspberry production leaders. This justifies the need to conduct comparative analyses of competitive power, and its contributory factors, including production costs in individual countries. The aim of this study was to compare economic viability and cost-effectiveness in raspberry production, using the examples of selected horticultural holdings in Poland, Serbia, and Ukraine. The production volumes of raspberries in Poland, Serbia and Ukraine were analysed. The levels of costs and the financial results generated in raspberry cultivation for processing purposes were also determined, using the example of horticultural holdings in this countries. The results indicated that the direct costs in Ukraine, were just over half lower those in Poland and Serbia. The raspberry crop yields in the three investigated countries were similar, and the sales prices in the analysed years made it possible to obtain a surplus of receipts over direct costs.
Kalina Sikorska-Zimny, Karolina Wójcicka, Anita Rochmińska, Krzysztof P. Rutkowski, Eligia M. Szewczyk and Paweł Lisiecki
Parsley leaves (Petroselinum crispum) have long been known for their organoleptic properties. They are widely used in cuisine all over the world in fresh and dried form and also as pharmaceutical raw material. The presented work assessed if the storage of parsley leaves (as whole leaves or leave pieces) and packaging with PE or Xtend® foils influence the content of selected chemical compounds and the microbiological quality of the product. For this purpose, the leaves were dried, packaged and analyzed after 3 weeks’ storage under room temperature. Neither the degree of fragmentation nor the type of packaging foil affected the content of vit. C and total sugars. Higher content of reducing sugars was obtained in the samples packed in PE foil. Number of detected bacteria did not exceed the safety border. Less bacterial colonies were detected in the material packed as fragmented in the PE foil. No fungal colonies were detected in the leaves packed in the Xtend® foil.
In this study, ‘Rabbab’ pomegranates (Punica granatum L.) were subjected before storage to single-layered wax coating (SLW), double-layered wax coating (DLW), individual-seal film packaging (ISP), tray wrap film packaging (TWP), and combined treatments of SLW + ISP or SLW + TWP. Treated fruits were then stored at ambient temperature (15–20 °C; 45–50% relative humidity – RH) or in cold conditions (5 °C ± 0.5; 85% RH) for 18 weeks. TWP, ISP, DLW, and SLW extended the shelf life of pomegranates for 18, 18, 12, and 11 weeks at cold (5 °C) condition, and also for 6, 5, 3, and 3 weeks at ambient condition, respectively, whereas the shelf life of control fruits were 10 and 2 weeks at cold and ambient conditions, respectively. After 18 weeks of storage, the weight loss in ISP and TWP fruits was 0.6 and 0.4% at cold condition and 12.4 and 5.4% at ambient condition, respectively. In general, film packaging maintained vitamin C, total titratable acidity, and sensory analysis scores for color, freshness, juiciness, and taste of pomegranates more effectively than wax coating and control. However, the combination of SLW and ISP or TWP did not improve the efficiency of pomegranates packaged as either ISP or TWP.
Corrugated cardboard covered with ethylene absorbers is an innovation that can be used to extend the shelf life of mango fruit to slow the loss of fruit quality. Mango fruits ‘Gedong’ were placed in boxes having as the inner parts corrugated cardboard covered with ethylene absorbers. Three storage treatments – corrugated cardboard without ethylene absorber, with activated carbon or activated carbon + potassium permanganate – were used to find the best method to prevent quality deterioration of mango. The color change, mass loss, texture value, and total soluble solids content were evaluated after 10 days of storage. The initial results showed that the highest accumulation of ethylene production by fruit samples was 0.628 ppm·kg−1 on the fourth day after harvest, while the total ethylene production during 8 days of storage was 2.231 ppm·kg−1. The use of ethylene absorbers had significant effects on the quality parameters except for the color changes. Storage for 10 days in boxes lined with corrugated cardboard ethylene absorber in form of activated carbon + potassium permanganate resulted in the lowest mass loss (4.40 ± 2.6%), softness (0.2 ± 0.1 mm·g−1·s−1) and total soluble solids (14.7 ± 1.2 °Brix).
Anna Skorupińska, Dorota E. Kruczyńska, Dorota Konopacka, Urszula Kaczmarek, Krzysztof P. Rutkowski and Zbigniew B. Jóźwiak
The aim of this study was to evaluate the fruit quality of 13 Asian pear cultivars grown in climatic conditions of central Poland. The following cultivars were tested: ‘Chojuro’, ‘Hayatama’, ‘Hosui’, ‘Kosui’, ‘Yuan Huang’, ‘Nijisseiki’, ‘Dżin Li’, ‘Er Shi Shinge’, ‘Er Jang Li’, ‘Golden 20th’, ‘Min Czi Li’, ‘San Li’, and ‘Shinseiki’. Pears were harvested in Experimental Orchard of Research Institute of Horticulture in Dąbrowice (near Skierniewice). Fruits were stored for 10 weeks at 0 °C in regular atmospheric conditions. Flesh firmness (FF), total soluble solids (TSS), and titratable acidity (TA) were measured at harvest and after the storage followed with 1 and 7 days of shelf life (SL) at 18 °C. After the storage, the sensory evaluation was also performed. Among the tested cultivars, ‘Min Czi Li’ and ‘San Li’ were the most firm (above 45 N) and ‘Kosui’ was the least firm (below 28 N) at harvest time. High amount of TSS (above 11% in both seasons and harvest dates) was observed in ‘Chojuro’, ‘Hayatama’, ‘Kosui’, ‘Yuan Huang’, and ‘Er Jang Li’ pears. Low TSS (not more than 10.6% at harvest) was observed in ‘Nijisseiki’, ‘Dżin Li’, and ‘Er Shi Shinge’ cultivars. The large differences among cultivars were observed in TA. High TA was observed in ‘Nijisseiki’ (above 0.32% in all terms of analyses) and low TA in ‘Hayatama’ and ‘Kosui’ (below 0.14%). All of the evaluated cultivars can be stored for 10 weeks at 0 °C in regular atmosphere without major negative impact on their quality characteristics. Fruits showed a slight (sometimes significant) decrease in FF after storage and a slight or no changes in TSS and TA. In sensory evaluations, ‘Chojuro’, ‘Hayatama’, ‘Hosui’, ‘Kosui’, ‘Yuan Huang’, ‘Er Jang Li’, ‘Er Shi Shinge’, and ‘Shinseiki’ (mostly cultivars characterized by high TSS) obtained highest scores for the overall quality (above 5.0 points in 10 points scale).
H. Chýlová, P. Michálek, P. Rymešová and L. Natovová
The future of agriculture in the EU is endangered by a constantly diminishing number of young skilled agricultural workers starting their career in agribusiness. The problem of not pursuing in the agricultural career after the university graduation forced us to compare different attitudes of students from the USA (Ohio State University) and the Czech Republic (Czech University of Life Sciences Prague). The article deals with the attitudes towards agriculture in two groups of agriculture university students (n = 201). The data were collected with the use of a standardized Questionnaire on Measuring the Affective and Cognitive Properties of Attitudes. The results of Man-Whitney test indicate that both groups of students show significantly more the affective than the cognitive base of their attitude. Furthermore, U.S. students display more positive attitudes towards the agriculture workers than Czech students. Authors bring forward the issue of attitudes in an attempt to find a way to influence the decision making of skilled agri-graduates to prefer the field of agribusiness over other careers and propose to focus on a change in attitudes, for example by the increase of the level of practical experience with agribusiness in school farm estates.