Detection of Arcobacter and Helicobacter pylori Contamination in Organic Vegetables by Cultural and PCR Methods

The most demanded organic foods worldwide are those that are consumed fresh, such as fruits and vegetables. However, there is a knowledge gap about some aspects of organic food microbiological quality and safety. Organic fruits and vegetables are more exposed to pathogenic microorganisms due to surface contact with natural fertilizers such as animal manure, wastes and vermicompost used during farming. Therefore, the objective of this work was to study the contamination of organic fresh green leafy vegetables by two emergent pathogens, Arcobacter spp. and Helicobacter pylori. For this purpose, a total of 24 vegetable samples, 13 lettuce and 11 spinach were acquired from 10 different ecological supermarkets and greengroceries and analyzed by culture and PCR. Arcobacter spp. was detected in five samples (20%) by PCR, four spinach and one lettuce. One spinach sample was found to be also positive by culture. For H. pylori, the H. pylori VacA gene-specific band was detected in 12 vegetable samples (50%), 10 lettuces and two spinach. Isolation in the selective medium did not yield any positive result, possibly because of low contamination levels together with the presence of the organism in its viable but non-culturable form. Results showed significant levels of H. pylori and Arcobacter contamination in organic vegetables that are generally consumed raw, which seems to confirm that these foods can act as transmission vehicles to humans.

Production and Application of Organic Waste Compost for Urban Agriculture in Emerging Cities

Composting is one of the conventional techniques adopted for organic waste management but the practice is very limited in emerging cities despite that most of the waste generated is organic. This paper aims to examine the viability of composting for organic waste management in the emerging city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by addressing the composting practice, quality of compost and application of compost in urban agriculture. The study collects data using compost laboratory testing and urban farm households’ survey and uses descriptive analysis on the state of compost production and application, physicochemical analysis of the compost samples, and regression analysis on the urban farmer’s willingness to pay for compost. The findings of the study indicated that there is composting practice at a small scale, most of the producers use unsorted feedstock materials, aerobic composting is dominantly used and the maturation period ranged from four to 10 weeks. The carbon content of the compost ranges from 30.8 to 277.1 due to the type of feedstock applied and this surpasses the ideal proportions for C:N ratio. The total nitrogen, pH, organic matter and moisture content are relatively optimal. The levels of heavy metals measured for Mn, Cu, Pb, Cd and Cr6+ in the compost samples are also insignificant. In the urban agriculture sector, chemical fertilizer is the dominant type of soil input in crop productions but vegetable producers use a combination of both fertilizer and other organic inputs including compost. The willingness to pay for compost depends on income, household size, gender, type of soil inputs, monitoring soil fertility, the main product of the farm, farming method and farm ownership. Finally, this study recommends the need for collaboration among stakeholders along the value chain of waste, awareness creation on the benefits of composting and addressing challenges faced by both compost producers and users.

Influence of Laser Treatment on the Growth of Sprouts of Different Wheat Varieties

Cereals are considered as a strategic product in human life and their demand is increasing with the growth of world population. Increasing wheat production is important for the country. One of the ways to solve the problem is to develop and implement new, environmentally and economically acceptable technologies. Such technologies include pre-sowing treatment of seed with a laser and associative nitrogen-fixing bacteria - Azospirillum brasilense. In the region there are the wheat varieties - Dika and Lomtagora, which are among the most common in Georgia. Dika is a frost-resistant wheat, with a high ability to adapt to the environment, resistant to falling and it is sown in highlands. Lomtagora 126 differs with its winter and drought resistance, and it has a great ability to germinate. Lomtagora is characterized by a strong root system and a high budding capacity. It is an early variety, fall-resistant, easy to thresh and suitable for mechanized harvesting with large and red grains. This paper presents some preliminary experimental results where a continuous CO2 laser with a power of 25-40 W was used to radiate grains at a flow rate of 10 and 15 cm/sec. The treatment was carried out on grains of the Triticum aestivum L. var. Lutescens (local variety name - Lomtagora 126), and Triticum carthlicum Nevski (local variety name - Dika). Here the grains were treated with A. brasilense isolate (108-109 CFU/ml), which was isolated from the rhizosphere of wheat. It was observed that the germination of the wheat was not significantly influenced by either laser or bacteria treatment. The results of our research show that combined treatment with laser and A. brasilense significantly influenced the germination of wheat. In the case of the Lomtagora 126 variety, grains were exposed to the beam on a speed of 10 cm/sec, only slightly improved the growth for 38-day seedlings, in case of exposition of grains with a speed of 15 cm/sec - by 23%. Treatment of seeds with A. brasilense in both exposed and non-exposed variants led to an improvement in the growth of seedlings, with A. brasilense alone - by 22%, and with combined treatment of grains - by 29%. In the case of the Dika variety, only exposure led to growth by 8-9%, and the combined treatment - by 10-15%, in comparison with the control variant. Superior effect on growth of seedlings of different varieties was achieved with the combinations of laser treatment on grains in a beam of 15 cm/sec (radiation power 30-40 W) and in addition of A. brasilense - nitrogen fixing bacteria. Therefore, this is a promising application of A. brasilense as active agents of bacterial fertilizers due to their ability of molecular nitrogen fixation in cereals in combination with laser irradiation: choosing a proper strain gives a good ability to colonize roots of agricultural crops, providing a high nitrogen-fixing ability and the ability to mobilize soil phosphorus, and laser treatment stimulates natural processes occurring in plant cells, will increase the yield.

Organic Agriculture Harmony in Nutrition, Environment and Health: Case Study in Iran

Organic agriculture is a kind of living and dynamic agriculture that was introduced in the early 20th century. The fundamental basis for organic agriculture is in harmony with nature. This version of farming emphasizes removing growth hormones, chemical fertilizers, toxins, radiation, genetic manipulation and instead, integration of modern scientific techniques (such as biologic and microbial control) that leads to the production of healthy food and the preservation of the environment and use of agricultural products such as forage and manure. Supports from governments for the markets producing organic products and taking advantage of the experiences from other successful societies in this field can help progress the positive and effective aspects of this technology, especially in developing countries. This research proves that till 2030, 25% of the global agricultural lands would be covered by organic farming. Consequently Iran, due to its rich genetic resources and various climates, can be a pioneer in promoting organic products. In addition, for sustainable farming, blend of organic and other innovative systems is needed. Important limitations exist to accept these systems, also a diversity of policy instruments will be required to comfort their development and implementation. The paper was conducted to results of compilation of reports, issues, books, articles related to the subject with library studies and research. Likewise we combined experimental and survey to get data.

Study on the Use of Manganese-Containing Materials as a Micro Fertilizer Based on the Local Mineral Resources and Industrial Wastes in Hydroponic Systems

Hydroponic greenhouses systems (production of the artificial substrate without soil) are becoming popular in the world. Mostly the system is used to grow vegetables and berries. Different countries are taking action to participate in the development of hydroponic technology and solutions such as EU members, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Scandinavian countries, etc. Many vegetables and berries are grown by hydroponics in Europe. As a result of our research, we have obtained material containing manganese and nitrogen. It became possible to produce this fertilizer by means of one-stage thermal processing, using industrial waste containing manganese (ores and sludges) and mineral substance (ammonium nitrate) that exist in Georgia. The received material is usable as a micro-fertilizer with economic efficiency. It became possible to turn practically water-insoluble manganese dioxide substance into the soluble condition from industrial waste in an indirect way. The ability to use the material as a fertilizer is predetermined by its chemical and phase composition, as the amount of the active component of the material in relation to manganese is 30%. At the same time, the active component elements presented non-ballast sustained action compounds. The studies implemented in Poland and in Georgia by us have shown that the manganese-containing micro-fertilizer- Mn(NO3)2 can provide the plant with nitrate nitrogen, which is a form that can be used for plants, providing the economy and simplicity of the application of fertilizers. Given the fact that the application of the manganese-containing micro-fertilizers significantly increases the productivity and improves the quality of the big number of agricultural products, it is necessary to mention that it is recommended to introduce the manganese containing fertilizers into the following cultures: sugar beet, corn, potato, vegetables, vine grape, fruit, berries, and other cultures. Also, as a result of the study, it was established that the material obtained is the predominant fertilizer for vegetable cultures in the soil. Based on the positive results of the research, we consider it expedient to conduct research in hydroponic systems, which will enable us to provide plants the required amount of manganese; we also introduce nitrogen in solution and regulate the solution of pH, which is one of the main problems in hydroponic production. The findings of our research will be used in hydroponic greenhouse farms to increase the fertility of vegetable crops and, consequently, to get bountiful and high-quality harvests, which will promote the development of hydroponic greenhouses in Georgia as well as abroad.

Radish Sprout Growth Dependency on LED Color in Plant Factory Experiment

Recent rapid progress in ICT (Information and Communication Technology) has advanced the penetration of sensor networks (SNs) and their attractive applications. Agriculture is one of the fields well able to benefit from ICT. Plant factories control several parameters related to plant growth in closed areas such as air temperature, humidity, water, culture medium concentration, and artificial lighting by using computers and AI (Artificial Intelligence) is being researched in order to obtain stable and safe production of vegetables and medicinal plants all year anywhere, and attain self-sufficiency in food. By providing isolation from the natural environment, a plant factory can achieve higher productivity and safe products. However, the biggest issue with plant factories is the return on investment. Profits are tenuous because of the large initial investments and running costs, i.e. electric power, incurred. At present, LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are being adopted because they are more energy-efficient and encourage photosynthesis better than the fluorescent lamps used in the past. However, further cost reduction is essential. This paper introduces experiments that reveal which color of LED lighting best enhances the growth of cultured radish sprouts. Radish sprouts were cultivated in the experimental environment formed by a hydroponics kit with three cultivation shelves (28 samples per shelf) each with an artificial lighting rack. Seven LED arrays of different color (white, blue, yellow green, green, yellow, orange, and red) were compared with a fluorescent lamp as the control. Lighting duration was set to 12 hours a day. Normal water with no fertilizer was circulated. Seven days after germination, the length, weight and area of leaf of each sample were measured. Electrical power consumption for all lighting arrangements was also measured. Results and discussions: As to average sample length, no clear difference was observed in terms of color. As regards weight, orange LED was less effective and the difference was significant (p < 0.05). As to leaf area, blue, yellow and orange LEDs were significantly less effective. However, all LEDs offered higher productivity per W consumed than the fluorescent lamp. Of the LEDs, the blue LED array attained the best results in terms of length, weight and area of leaf per W consumed. Conclusion and future works: An experiment on radish sprout cultivation under 7 different color LED arrays showed no clear difference in terms of sample size. However, if electrical power consumption is considered, LEDs offered about twice the growth rate of the fluorescent lamp. Among them, blue LEDs showed the best performance. Further cost reduction e.g. low power lighting remains a big issue for actual system deployment. An automatic plant monitoring system with sensors is another study target.

Impact of Foliar Application of Zinc on Micro and Macro Elements Distribution in Phyllanthus amarus

The present study was carried out to investigate the interaction of foliar applied zinc with other elements in Phyllanthus amarus plants. The plant samples for our experiment were collected from Lam Dong province, Vietnam. Seven suspension solutions of nanosized zinc hydroxide nitrate (Zn5(OH)8(NO3)2·2H2O) with different Zn concentration were used. Fertilization and irrigation were the same for all variants. The Zn content and the content of selected micro (Cu, Fe, Mn) and macro (Ca, Mg, P and K) nutrients in plant roots, and stems and leaves were determined. It was concluded that the zinc content of plant roots varies narrowly, with no significant impact of ZnHN fertilization. The same trend can be seen in the content of Cu, Mn, and macronutrients. The zinc content of plant stems and leaves varies within wide limits, with the significant impact of ZnHN fertilization. The trends in the content of Cu, Mn, and macronutrients are kept the same as in the root, whereas the iron trends to increase its content at increasing the zinc content.

Farmers’ Perception, Willingness and Capacity in Utilization of Household Sewage Sludge as Organic Resources for Peri-Urban Agriculture around Jos Nigeria

Peri-urban agriculture in Jos Nigeria serves as a major means of livelihood for both urban and peri-urban poor, and constitutes huge commercial inclination with a target market that has spanned beyond Plateau State. Yet, the sustainability of this sector is threatened by intensive application of urban refuse ash contaminated with heavy metals, as a result of the highly heterogeneous materials used in ash production. Hence, this research aimed to understand the current fertilizer employed by farmers, their perception and acceptability in utilization of household sewage sludge for agricultural purposes and their capacity in mitigating risks associated with such practice. Mixed methods approach was adopted, and data collection tools used include survey questionnaire, focus group discussion with farmers, participants and field observation. The study identified that farmers maintain a complex mixture of organic and chemical fertilizers, with mixture composition that is dependent on fertilizer availability and affordability. Also, farmers have decreased the rate of utilization of urban refuse ash due to labor and increased logistic cost and are keen to utilize household sewage sludge for soil fertility improvement but are mainly constrained by accessibility of this waste product. Nevertheless, farmers near to sewage disposal points have commenced utilization of household sewage sludge for improving soil fertility. Farmers were knowledgeable on composting but find their strategic method of dewatering and sun drying more convenient. Irrigation farmers were not enthusiastic for treatment, as they desired both water and sludge. Secondly, household sewage sludge observed in the field is heterogeneous due to nearness between its disposal point and that of urban refuse, which raises concern for possible cross-contamination of pollutants and also portrays lack of extension guidance as regards to treatment and management of household sewage sludge for agricultural purposes. Hence, farmers concerns need to be addressed, particularly in providing extension advice and establishment of decentralized household sewage sludge collection centers, for continuous availability of liquid and concentrated sludge. Urgent need is also required for the Federal Government of Nigeria to increase commitment towards empowering her subsidiaries for efficient discharge of corporate responsibilities.

Flexible Technologies of Granulated Complex Fertilizers

The article focuses on the latest research and developments (R&D) aimed at the development of plants for production of complex phosphorus-containing fertilizers which are in line with the principles of the best available techniques (BAT). The advantages of the implemented technical solutions are given. The paper describes developed options of flexible technologies for schemes with DGD (drum granulator dryer) and for schemes with AG-DD (ammoniator-granulator and dryer drum).

The Use of Bituminaria bituminosa (L.) Stirton and Microbial Biotechnologies for Restoration of Degraded Pastoral Lands: The Case of the Middle Atlas of Morocco

Rangelands and silvopastoral systems of the middle Atlas are under a heavy pressure, which led to pasture degradation, invasion by non-palatable and toxic species and edaphic aridification due to the regression of the global vegetation cover. In this situation, the introduction of multipurpose leguminous shrubs, such as Bituminaria bituminosa (L.) Stirton, commonly known as bituminous clover, could be a promising socio-ecological alternative for the rehabilitation of these degraded areas. The application of biofertilizers like plant growth promoting rhizobacteria especially phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB) can ensure a successful installation of this plant in the selected degraded areas. The main objective of the present work is to produce well-inoculated seedlings using the best efficient PSB strains in the greenhouse to increase their ability to resist to environmental constraints once transplanted to the field in the central Middle Atlas.

Poultry Manure and Its Derived Biochar as a Soil Amendment for Newly Reclaimed Sandy Soils under Arid and Semi-Arid Conditions

Sandy soils under arid and semi-arid conditions are characterized by poor physical and biochemical properties such as low water retention, rapid organic matter decomposition, low nutrients use efficiency, and limited crop productivity. Addition of organic amendments is crucial to develop soil properties and consequently enhance nutrients use efficiency and lessen organic carbon decomposition. Two years field experiments were developed to investigate the feasibility of using poultry manure and its derived biochar integrated with different levels of N fertilizer as a soil amendment for newly reclaimed sandy soils in Western Desert of El-Minia Governorate, Egypt. Results of this research revealed that poultry manure and its derived biochar addition induced pronounced effects on soil moisture content at saturation point, field capacity (FC) and consequently available water. Data showed that application of poultry manure (PM) or PM-derived biochar (PMB) in combination with inorganic N levels had caused significant changes on a range of the investigated sandy soil biochemical properties including pH, EC, mineral N, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved organic N (DON) and quotient DOC/DON. Overall, the impact of PMB on soil physical properties was detected to be superior than the impact of PM, regardless the inorganic N levels. In addition, the obtained results showed that PM and PM application had the capacity to stimulate vigorous growth, nutritional status, production levels of wheat and sorghum, and to increase soil organic matter content and N uptake and recovery compared to control. By contrast, comparing between PM and PMB at different levels of inorganic N, the obtained results showed higher relative increases in both grain and straw yields of wheat in plots treated with PM than in those treated with PMB. The interesting feature of this research is that the biochar derived from PM increased treated sandy soil organic carbon (SOC) 1.75 times more than soil treated with PM itself at the end of cropping seasons albeit double-applied amount of PM. This was attributed to the higher carbon stability of biochar treated sandy soils increasing soil persistence for carbon decomposition in comparison with PM labile carbon. It could be concluded that organic manures applied to sandy soils under arid and semi-arid conditions are subjected to high decomposition and mineralization rates through crop seasons. Biochar derived from organic wastes considers as a source of stable carbon and could be very hopeful choice for substituting easily decomposable organic manures under arid conditions. Therefore, sustainable agriculture and productivity in newly reclaimed sandy soils desire one high rate addition of biochar derived from organic manures instead of frequent addition of such organic amendments.

The Effects of Drought and Nitrogen on Soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill) Physiology and Yield

Legume crops are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen by the symbiotic relation with specific bacteria, which allows the use of the mineral nitrogen-fertilizer to be reduced, or even excluded, resulting in more profit for the farmers and less pollution for the environment. Soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill) is one of the most important legumes with its high content of both protein and oil. However, it is recommended to combine the two nitrogen sources under stress conditions in order to overcome its negative effects. Drought stress is one of the most important abiotic stresses that increasingly limits soybean yields. A precise rate of mineral nitrogen under drought conditions is not confirmed, as it depends on many factors; soybean yield-potential and soil-nitrogen content to name a few. An experiment was conducted during 2017 growing season in Debrecen, Hungary to investigate the effects of nitrogen source on the physiology and the yield of the soybean cultivar 'Boglár'. Three N-fertilizer rates including no N-fertilizer (0 N), 35 kg ha-1 of N-fertilizer (35 N) and 105 kg ha-1 of N-fertilizer (105 N) were applied under three different irrigation regimes; severe drought stress (SD), moderate drought stress (MD) and control with no drought stress (ND). Half of the seeds in each treatment were pre-inoculated with Bradyrhizobium japonicum inoculant. The overall results showed significant differences associated with fertilization and irrigation, but not with inoculation. Increasing N rate was mostly accompanied with increased chlorophyll content and leaf area index, whereas it positively affected the plant height only when the drought was waived off. Plant height was the lowest under severe drought, regardless of inoculation and N-fertilizer application and rate. Inoculation increased the yield when there was no drought, and a low rate of N-fertilizer increased the yield furthermore; however, the high rate of N-fertilizer decreased the yield to a level even less than the inoculated control. On the other hand, the yield of non-inoculated plants increased as the N-fertilizer rate increased. Under drought conditions, adding N-fertilizer increased the yield of the non-inoculated plants compared to their inoculated counterparts; moreover, the high rate of N-fertilizer resulted in the best yield. Regardless of inoculation, the mean yield of the three fertilization rates was better when the water amount increased. It was concluded that applying N-fertilizer to provide the nitrogen needed by soybean plants, with the absence of N2-fixation process, is very important. Moreover, adding relatively high rate of N-fertilizer is very important under severe drought stress to alleviate the drought negative effects. Further research to recommend the best N-fertilizer rate to inoculated soybean under drought stress conditions should be executed.

The Role of Home Composting in Waste Management Cost Reduction

Due to the economic and environmental benefits of producing less waste, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduces source reduction as one of the most important means to deal with the problems caused by increased landfills and pollution. Waste reduction involves all waste management methods, including source reduction, recycling, and composting, which reduce waste flow to landfills or other disposal facilities. Source reduction of waste can be studied from two perspectives: avoiding waste production, or reducing per capita waste production, and waste deviation that indicates the reduction of waste transfer to landfills. The present paper has investigated home composting as a managerial solution for reduction of waste transfer to landfills. Home composting has many benefits. The use of household waste for the production of compost will result in a much smaller amount of waste being sent to landfills, which in turn will reduce the costs of waste collection, transportation and burial. Reducing the volume of waste for disposal and using them for the production of compost and plant fertilizer might help to recycle the material in a shorter time and to use them effectively in order to preserve the environment and reduce contamination. Producing compost in a home-based manner requires very small piece of land for preparation and recycling compared with other methods. The final product of home-made compost is valuable and helps to grow crops and garden plants. It is also used for modifying the soil structure and maintaining its moisture. The food that is transferred to landfills will spoil and produce leachate after a while. It will also release methane and greenhouse gases. But, composting these materials at home is the best way to manage degradable materials, use them efficiently and reduce environmental pollution. Studies have shown that the benefits of the sale of produced compost and the reduced costs of collecting, transporting, and burying waste can well be responsive to the costs of purchasing home compost machine and the cost of related trainings. Moreover, the process of producing home compost may be profitable within 4 to 5 years and as a result, it will have a major role in reducing waste management.

Probabilistic Life Cycle Assessment of the Nano Membrane Toilet

Developing countries are nowadays confronted with great challenges related to domestic sanitation services in view of the imminent water scarcity. Contemporary sanitation technologies established in these countries are likely to pose health risks unless waste management standards are followed properly. This paper provides a solution to sustainable sanitation with the development of an innovative toilet system, called Nano Membrane Toilet (NMT), which has been developed by Cranfield University and sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The particular technology converts human faeces into energy through gasification and provides treated wastewater from urine through membrane filtration. In order to evaluate the environmental profile of the NMT system, a deterministic life cycle assessment (LCA) has been conducted in SimaPro software employing the Ecoinvent v3.3 database. The particular study has determined the most contributory factors to the environmental footprint of the NMT system. However, as sensitivity analysis has identified certain critical operating parameters for the robustness of the LCA results, adopting a stochastic approach to the Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) will comprehensively capture the input data uncertainty and enhance the credibility of the LCA outcome. For that purpose, Monte Carlo simulations, in combination with an artificial neural network (ANN) model, have been conducted for the input parameters of raw material, produced electricity, NOX emissions, amount of ash and transportation of fertilizer. The given analysis has provided the distribution and the confidence intervals of the selected impact categories and, in turn, more credible conclusions are drawn on the respective LCIA (Life Cycle Impact Assessment) profile of NMT system. Last but not least, the specific study will also yield essential insights into the methodological framework that can be adopted in the environmental impact assessment of other complex engineering systems subject to a high level of input data uncertainty.

Design and Experiment of Orchard Gas Explosion Subsoiling and Fertilizer Injection Machine

At present, the orchard ditching and fertilizing technology has a series of problems, such as easy tree roots damage, high energy consumption and uneven fertilizing. In this paper, a gas explosion subsoiling and fertilizer injection machine was designed, which used high pressure gas to shock soil body and then injected fertilizer. The drill pipe mechanism with pneumatic chipping hammer excitation and hydraulic assistance was designed to drill the soil. The operation of gas and liquid fertilizer supply was controlled by PLC system. The 3D model of the whole machine was established by using SolidWorks software. The machine prototype was produced, and field experiments were carried out. The results showed that soil fractures were created and diffused by gas explosion, and the subsoiling effect radius reached 40 cm under the condition of 0.8 MPa gas pressure and 30 cm drilling depth. What’s more, the work efficiency is 0.048 hm2/h at least. This machine could meet the agronomic requirements of orchard, garden and city greening fertilization, and the tree roots were not easily damaged and the fertilizer evenly distributed, which was conducive to nutrient absorption of root growth.

Humic Acid and Azadirachtin Derivatives for the Management of Crop Pests

Organic cultivation of crops is gaining importance consumer awareness towards pesticide residue free foodstuffs is increasing globally. This is also because of high costs of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, making the conventional farming non-remunerative. In India, organic manures (such as vermicompost) are an important input in organic agriculture.  Though vermicompost obtained through earthworm and microbe-mediated processes is known to comprise most of the crop nutrients, but they are in small amounts thus necessitating enrichment of nutrients so that crop nourishment is complete. Another characteristic of organic manures is that the pest infestations are kept under check due to induced resistance put up by the crop plants. In the present investigation, deoiled neem cake containing azadirachtin, copper ore tailings (COT), a source of micro-nutrients and microbial consortia were added for enrichment of vermicompost. Neem cake is a by-product obtained during the process of oil extraction from neem plant seeds. Three enriched vermicompost blends were prepared using vermicompost (at 70, 65 and 60%), deoiled neem cake (25, 30 and 35%), microbial consortia and COTwastes (5%). Enriched vermicompost was thoroughly mixed, moistened (25+5%), packed and incubated for 15 days at room temperature. In the crop response studies, the field trials on chili (Capsicum annum var. longum) and soybean, (Glycine max cv JS 335) were conducted during Kharif 2015 at the Main Agricultural Research Station, UAS, Dharwad-Karnataka, India. The vermicompost blend enriched with neem cake (known to possess higher amounts of nutrients) and vermicompost were applied to the crops and at two dosages and at two intervals of crop cycle (at sowing and 30 days after sowing) as per the treatment plan along with 50% recommended dose of fertilizer (RDF). 10 plants selected randomly in each plot were studied for pest density and plant damage. At maturity, crops were harvested, and the yields were recorded as per the treatments, and the data were analyzed using appropriate statistical tools and procedures. In the crops, chili and soybean, crop nourishment with neem enriched vermicompost reduced insect density and plant damage significantly compared to other treatments. These treatments registered as much yield (16.7 to 19.9 q/ha) as that realized in conventional chemical control (18.2 q/ha) in soybean, while 72 to 77 q/ha of green chili was harvested in the same treatments, being comparable to the chemical control (74 q/ha). The yield superiority of the treatments was of the order neem enriched vermicompost>conventional chemical control>neem cake>vermicompost>untreated control.  The significant features of the result are that it reduces use of inorganic manures by 50% and synthetic chemical insecticides by 100%.

A Close Study on the Nitrate Fertilizer Use and Environmental Pollution for Human Health in Iran

Nitrogen accumulates in soils during the process of fertilizer addition to promote the plant growth. When the organic matter decomposes, the form of available nitrogen produced is in the form of nitrate, which is highly mobile. The most significant health effect of nitrate ingestion is methemoglobinemia in infants under six months of age (blue baby syndrome). The mobile nutrients, like nitrate nitrogen, are not stored in the soil as the available forms for the long periods and in large amounts. It depends on the needs for the crops such as vegetables. On the other hand, the vegetables will compete actively for nitrate nitrogen as a mobile nutrient and water. The mobile nutrients must be shared. The fewer the plants, the larger this share is for each plant. Also, this nitrate nitrogen is poisonous for the people who use these vegetables. Nitrate is converted to nitrite by the existing bacteria in the stomach and the Gastro-Intestinal (GI) tract. When nitrite is entered into the blood cells, it converts the hemoglobin to methemoglobin, which causes the anoxemia and cyanosis. The increasing use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, especially the fertilizers with nitrates compounds, which have been common for the increased production of agricultural crops, has caused the nitrate pollution in the (soil, water, and environment). They have caused a lot of damage to humans and animals. In this research, the nitrate accumulation in different kind of vegetables such as; green pepper, tomatoes, egg plants, watermelon, cucumber, and red pepper were observed in the suburbs of Mashhad, Neisabour, and Sabzevar cities. In some of these cities, the information forms of agronomical practices collected were such as; different vegetable crops fertilizer recommendations, varieties, pesticides, irrigation schedules, etc., which were filled out by some of our colleagues in the research areas mentioned above. Analysis of the samples was sent to the soil and water laboratory in our department in Mashhad. The final results from the chemical analysis of samples showed that the mean levels of nitrates from the samples of the fruit crops in the mentioned cities above were all lower than the critical levels. These fruit crop samples were in the order of: 35.91, 8.47, 24.81, 6.03, 46.43, 2.06 mg/kg dry matter, for the following crops such as; tomato, cucumber, eggplant, watermelon, green pepper, and red pepper. Even though, this study was conducted with limited samples and by considering the mean levels, the use of these crops from the nutritional point of view will not cause the poisoning of humans.

Analysis of Fertilizer Effect in the Tilapia Growth of Mozambique (Oreochromis mossambicus)

This paper analyses the effect of fertilizer (organic and inorganic) in the growth of tilapia. An experiment was implemented in the Aquapesca Company of Mozambique; there were considered four different treatments. Each type of fertilizer was applied in two of these treatments; a feed was supplied to the third treatment, and the fourth was taken as control. The weight and length of the tilapia were used as the growth parameters, and to measure the water quality, the physical-chemical parameters were registered. The results show that the weight and length were different for tilapias cultivated in different treatments. These differences were evidenced mainly by organic and feed treatments, where there was the largest and smallest value of these parameters, respectively. In order to prove that these differences were caused only by applied treatment without interference for the aquatic environment, a Fisher discriminant analysis was applied, which confirmed that the treatments were exposed to the same environment condition.

Soybean Based Farming System Assessment in Pasuruan East Java Indonesia

The study aims to assess efficient specific-location soybean farming technology assembly by assisting the farmers in applying the suggested technology. Superimposed trial was conducted to know NPK fertilizer effect toward soybean growth and yield and soybean improved variety test for the dissemination of improved variety. The assessment was conducted at the farmers group of Sumber Rejeki, Kepulungan Village, Gempol Sub-district, Pasuruan Regency as the soybean central at Pasuruan area. The number of farmers involved in the study was 38 people with 25 ha soybean area. This study was held from July to October 2012.  The recommended technology package agreed at the socialization time and used in this research were: using Argomulyo variety seeds of 40 kg/ha, planting by drilling, planting by distance of 40x10 cm, deciding the seeds amount of 2-3 seeds per hole, and giving fertilization based on recommendation of East Java AIAT of 50 kg Urea, 100 kg SP-36 and 50 kg KCl.  Farmers around the research location were used as control group. Assessment on soybean farming system was considered effective because it could increase the production up to 38%. The farming analysis showed that the result collaborator farmers gained were positively higher than non-collaborator farmers with RC ratio of 2.03 and 1.54, respectively. Argomulyo variety has the prospect to be developed due to the high yield of about 2 tons/ha and the larger seeds. The NPK fertilization test at the soybean plants showed that the fertilization had minor effect on the yield.

Effects of Lateness Gene on Yield and Related Traits in Indica Rice

Various genes which control or affect heading time have been found in rice. Out of them, Se1 and E1 loci play important roles in determining heading time by controlling photosensitivity. An isogenic-line pair of late and early lines were developed from progenies of the F1 from Suweon 258 × 36U. A lateness gene tentatively designated as “Ex” was found to control the difference in heading time between the early and late lines mentioned above. The present study was conducted to examine the effect of Ex on yield and related traits. Indica-type variety Suweon 258 was crossed with 36U, which is an Ur1 (Undulate rachis-1) isogenic line of IR36. In the F2 population, comparatively early-heading, late-heading and intermediate-heading plants were segregated. Segregation similar to that by the three types of heading was observed in the F3 and later generations. A late-heading plant and an early-heading plant were selected in the F8 population from an intermediate-heading F7 plant, for developing L and E of the isogenic-line pair, respectively. Experiments for L and E were conducted by randomized block design with three replications. Transplanting was conducted on May 3 at a planting distance of 30 cm × 15 cm with two seedlings per hill to an experimental field of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kochi University. Chemical fertilizers containing N, P2O5 and K2O were applied at the nitrogen levels of 4 g/m2, 9 g/m2 and 18 g/m2 in total being denoted by "N4", "N9" and "N18", respectively. Yield, yield components and other traits were measured. Ex delayed 80%-heading by 17 or 18 days in L as compared with E. In total brown rice yield (g/m2), L was 635, 606 and 590, and E was 577, 548 and 501, respectively, at N18, N9 and N4, indicating that Ex increased this trait by 10% to 18%. Ex increased yield-1.5 mm sieve (g/m2) b 9% to 15% at the three fertilizer levels. Ex increased the spikelet number per panicle by 16% to 22%. As a result, the spikelet number per m2 was increased by 11% to 18% at the three fertilizer levels. Ex decreased 1000-grain weight (g) by 2 to 4%. L was not significantly different from E in ripened-grain percentage, fertilized-spikelet percentage and percentage of ripened grains to fertilized spikelets. Hence, it is inferred that Ex increased yield by increasing spikelet number per panicle. Hence, Ex could be utilized to develop high yielding varieties for warmer districts.