Growth and Yield Assessment of Two Types of Sorghum-Sudangrass Hybrids as Affected by Deficit Irrigation

In order to evaluate the growth and yield properties of two Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids under different irrigation levels, an investigation was done in the experiment site of Collage of Agriculture, University of Duhok, Kurdistan region of Iraq (36°5´38⸗ N, 42°52´02⸗ E) in the years 2015-16. The experiment was conducted under Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications, which main factor was irrigation treatments (I100, I75 and I50) according to evaporation pan class A and type of Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids (KH12SU9001, G1) and (KH12SU9002, G2) were factors of subplots. The parameters studied were: plant height (cm), number of green leaves per plant; leaf area (m2/m2), stem thickness (mm), percent of protein, fresh and dry biomass (ton.ha-1) and also crop water productivity. The results of variance analysis showed that KH12SU9001 variety had more amount of leaf area, percent of protein, fresh and dry biomass yield in comparison to KH12SU9002 variety. By comparing effects of irrigation levels on vegetative growth and yield properties, results showed that amount of plant height, fresh and dry biomass weight was decreased by decreasing irrigation level from full irrigation regime to 5 o% of irrigation level. Also, results of crop water productivity (CWP) indicated that improvement in quantity of irrigation would impact fresh and dry biomass yield significantly. Full irrigation regime was recorded the highest level of CWP (1.28-1.29 kg.m-3).

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.

Characterisation of Fractions Extracted from Sorghum Byproducts

Sorghum byproducts, namely bran, stalk, and panicle are examples of lignocellulosic biomass. These raw materials contain large amounts of polysaccharides, in particular hemicelluloses, celluloses, and lignins, which if efficiently extracted, can be utilised for the development of a range of added value products with potential applications in agriculture and food packaging sectors. The aim of this study was to characterise fractions extracted from sorghum bran and stalk with regards to their physicochemical properties that could determine their applicability as food-packaging materials. A sequential alkaline extraction was applied for the isolation of cellulosic, hemicellulosic and lignin fractions from sorghum stalk and bran. Lignin content, phenolic content and antioxidant capacity were also investigated in the case of the lignin fraction. Thermal analysis using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) revealed that the glass transition temperature (Tg) of cellulose fraction of the stalk was ~78.33 oC at amorphous state (~65%) and water content of ~5%. In terms of hemicellulose, the Tg value of stalk was slightly lower compared to bran at amorphous state (~54%) and had less water content (~2%). It is evident that hemicelluloses generally showed a lower thermal stability compared to cellulose, probably due to their lack of crystallinity. Additionally, bran had higher arabinose-to-xylose ratio (0.82) than the stalk, a fact that indicated its low crystallinity. Furthermore, lignin fraction had Tg value of ~93 oC at amorphous state (~11%). Stalk-derived lignin fraction contained more phenolic compounds (mainly consisting of p-coumaric and ferulic acid) and had higher lignin content and antioxidant capacity compared to bran-derived lignin fraction.

Determinants of Selenium Intake in a High HIV Prevalence Fishing Community in Bondo District, Kenya

A study was done to establish determinants of selenium intake in a high HIV prevalence fishing community in the Pala Bondo district, Kenya. It was established that most of the respondents (61%) were small holder Farmers and Fishermen {χ2 (1, N=386) p

Factors Influencing Household Expenditure Patterns on Cereal Grains in Nasarawa State, Nigeria

This study aims at describing the expenditure pattern of households on millet, maize and sorghum across income groups in Nasarawa State. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select a sample size of 316 respondents for the study. The Almost Ideal Demand System (AIDS) model was adopted in this study. Results from the study shows that the average household size was five persons with dependency ratio of 52 %, which plays an important role on the household’s expenditure pattern by increasing the household budget share. On the average 82 % were male headed households with an average age of 49 years and 13 years of formal education. Results on expenditure share show that maize has the highest expenditure share of 38 % across the three income groups and that most of the price effects are significantly different from zero at 5 % significant level. This shows that the low price of maize increased its demand as compared to other cereals. Household size and age of household members are major factors affecting the demand for cereals in the study. This agrees with the fact that increased household population (size) will bring about increase consumption. The results on factors influencing preferences for cereal grains reveals that cooking quality and appearance (65.7 %) were the most important factors affecting the demand for maize in the study area. This study recommends that cereal crop production should be prioritized in government policies and farming activities that help to boost food security and alleviate poverty should be subsidized.

Diversification of Sweet Potato Blends and Utilization for Malnutrition and Poverty Alleviation

Value addition to agricultural produce is of possible potential in reducing poverty, improving food security and malnutrition, therefore the need to develop small and microenterprises of sweet potato production. A study was carried out in Nigeria to determine the acceptability of blends sweet potato (Ipomea batatas) and commodities yellow maize (Zea mays), millet (Pennisetum glaucum), soybean (Glycine max), bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranean), guinea corn (Sorghum vulgare), wheat (Triticum aestivum), and roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) through sensory evaluation. Sweet potato (Ipomea batatas) roots were processed using two methods: oven and sun drying. The blends were also assessed in terms of functional, chemical and color properties. Most acceptable blends include BAW (80:20 of sweet potato/wheat), BBC (80:20 of sweet potato/guinea corn), AAB (60:40 of sweet potato/guinea corn), YTE (100% soybean), TYG (100% sweet potato), KTN (100% wheat flour), XGP (80:20 of sweet potato/soybean), XAX (60:40 of sweet potato/wheat), LSS (100% Roselle), CHK (100% Guinea corn), and ABC (60:40% of sweet potato/ yellow maize). In addition, carried out chemical analysis revealed that sweet potato has high percentage of vitamins A and C, potassium (K), manganese (Mn), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and iron (Fe) and fibre content. There is also an increase of vitamin A and Iron in the blended products.

The Effects of Wood Ash on Ignition Point of Wood

The effects of wood ash from five common tropical woods on the ignition point of four common tropical woods in Nigeria were investigated. The ash and moisture contents of the wood sawdust from Mahogany (Khaya ivorensis), Opepe (Sarcocephalus latifolius), Abura (Mitragyna ciliata), Rubber (Heavea brasilensis) and Poroporo (Sorghum bicolour) used, were determined using a furnace (Vecstar furnaces, model ECF2, serial no. f3077) and oven (Genlab laboratory oven, model MINO/040) respectively. The metal contents of the five wood sawdust ash samples were determined using a Perkin Elmer optima 3000 dv atomic absorption spectrometer while the ignition points were determined using Vecstar furnaces model ECF2. Poroporo had the highest ash content, 2.263g while rubber had the least, 0.710g. The results for the moisture content range from 2.971g to 0.903g. Magnesium metal had the highest concentration of all the metals, in all the wood ash samples; with mahogany ash having the highest concentration, 9.196ppm while rubber ash had the least concentration of magnesium metal, 2.196 ppm. The ignition point results showed that the wood ashes from mahogany and opepe increased the ignition points of the test wood samples, Danta (Nesogordonia papaverifera), Ekpaya, Akomu (Pycnanthus angolensis) and Oleku when coated on them while the ashes from poroporo, rubber and abura decreased the ignition points of the test wood samples when coated on them. However, Opepe saw dust ash decreased the ignition point in one of the test wood samples, suggesting that the metal content of the test wood sample was more than that of the Opepe saw dust ash. Therefore, Mahogany and Opepe saw dust ashes could be used in the surface treatment of wood to enhance their fire resistance or retardancy. However, the caution to be exercised in this application is that the metal content of the test wood samples should be evaluated as well.

Degree of Milling Effects on the Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) Flours, Physicochemical Properties and Kinetics of Starch Digestion

Two types of crushing were applied to grains of red sorghum: manual crushing using a mortar and pestle of kitchen and mechanical crushing using a hammer mill. The flours obtained at the end of these various crushing were filtered and subdivided in different fractions according to the diameters of the mesh of the sieves (0.16mm; 0.25mm; 0.315mm; 0.4mm, and 0.63mm…). Some physical, chemical and nutritional traits of these flours were evaluated using Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC). In vitro digestibility of these flours was also studied with freezing of flour 1% like substrate and α-amylase from B. licheniformis (E.C.; Megazyme, Wicklow, Ireland). The results revealed that the batches of flours which have the finest diameters as 0.16mm; 0.25mm are the richest one in nutrients and are also the most digestible. Also mechanical crushing is the best mean to obtain significant amount of flours. In conclusion, the type of crushing and the size of the particles have an impact on the final concentration of some nutrients of the flours obtained. Indeed, the finest particles (0.16mm – 0.25mm 0.315mm) obtained after sifting of the flours are more nutritive and have a better digestibility than others size. So the finest particles could be advised for management of cereals namely the sorghum for the production of the infantile foods.

Nutritional Evaluation of Sorghum Flour (Sorghumbicolor L. Moench) During Processing of Injera

The present study was carried out to evaluate the nutritional value of sorghum flour during processing of injera (unleavened thick bread). The proximate composition of sorghum flour before and after fermentation and that of injera was determined. Compared to the raw flour and fermented one, injera had low protein (11.55%), ash (1.57%) and fat (2.40%) contents but high in fiber content. Moreover, injera was found to have significantly (P ≤ 0.05) higher energy (389.08 Kcal/100g) compared to raw and fermented sorghum flour. Injera contained lower levels of anti-nutritional factors (polyphenols, phytate and tannins) compared to raw and fermented sorghum. Also it was found to be rich in Ca (4.75mg/100g), Fe (3.95 mg/100g), and Cu (0.7 mg/100g) compared to that of raw and fermented flour. Moreover, both the extractable minerals and protein digestibility were high for injera due to low amount of anti-nutrients. Injera was found to contain an appreciable amount of amino acids except arginine and tyrosine.

Chemical Compositions and Physico-Chemical Properties of Malted Sorghum Flour and Characteristics of Gluten Free Bread

This study investigated the effect of germination on chemical compositions, physio-chemical properties of malted (germinated) red sorghum flours and evaluated characteristics of gluten free breads from sorghum flour. Results showed that germinated sorghum flour had higher amylase activity, swelling power and solubility at 95°C, but lower in the peak, break down, final and set back viscosities than ungerminated sample (p≤0.05). Five gluten free breads made from sorghum flour blends, with different ratios of ungerminated and germinated sorghum flour, were compared for the physical properties with those made from wheat flour. Crumb hardness, cohesiveness, gumminess and chewiness of sorghum breads were found significantly higher than those of wheat bread. With increasing of ungerminated flour proportion, the bread hardness increased while the cohesiveness declined. Sorghum breads appeared red to human eyes with a*values of 10.41-15.77.Their crust and crumb colors differed significantly from those of wheat bread.

Effect of Indole-3-Acetic Acid on Arsenic Translocation in Agricultural Crops

The problem of agricultural-soil pollution is closely linked to the production of ecologically pure foodstuffs and to human health. An important task, therefore, is to rehabilitate agricultural soils with the help of state-of-the-art biotechnologies, based on the use of metal-accumulating plants. In this work, on the basis of literature data and the results of prior research from this laboratory, plants were selected for which the growing technology is well developed and which are widespread locally: sugar sorghum (Sorghum saccharatum), sudangrass (Sorghum sudanense (Piper.) Stapf.), and sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). I report on laboratory experiments designed to study the influence of synthetic indole-3- acetic acid and the extracellular indole-3-acetic acid released by the plant-growth-promoting rhizobacterium Azospirillum brasilense Sp245 on growth of and arsenic accumulation by these plants.

Influence of Watertable Depth on Soil Sodicity and Salinity

In order to monitor the water table depth on soil profile salinity buildup, a field study was carried out during 2006-07. Wheat (Rabi) and Sorghum (Kharif) fodder were sown in with three treatments. The results showed that watertable depth lowered from 1.15m to 2.89 m depth at the end of experiment. With lower of watertable depth, pH, ECe and SAR decreased under crops both without and with gypsum and increased in fallowing. Soil moisture depletion was directly proportional to lowering of watertable. With the application of irrigation water (58cm) pH, ECe and SAR were reduced in cropped plots, reduction was higher in gypsum applied plots than non-gypsum plots. In case of fallowing, there was increase in pH, EC, while slight reduction occurred in SAR values. However, soil salinity showed an increasing upward trend under fallowing and its value in 0-30 cm soil layer was the highest amongst the treatments.

Biochemical Characteristics of Sorghum Flour Fermented and/or Supplemented with Chickpea Flour

Sorghum flour was supplemented with 15 and 30% chickpea flour. Sorghum flour and the supplement were fermented at 35 oC for 0, 8, 16, and 24 h. Changes in pH, titrable acidity, total soluble solids, protein content, in vitro protein digestibility and amino acid composition were investigated during fermentation and/or after supplementation of sorghum flour with chickpea. The pH of the fermenting material decreased sharply with a concomitant increase in the titrable acidity. The total soluble solids remained unchanged with progressive fermentation time. The protein content of sorghum cultivar was found to be 9.27 and that of chickpea was 22.47%. The protein content of sorghum cultivar after supplementation with15 and 30% chickpea was significantly (P ≤ 0.05) increased to 11.78 and 14.55%, respectively. The protein digestibility also increased after fermentation from 13.35 to 30.59 and 40.56% for the supplements, respectively. Further increment in protein content and digestibility was observed when supplemented and unsupplemented samples were fermented for different periods of time. Cooking of fermented samples was found to increase the protein content slightly and decreased digestibility for both supplements. Amino acid content of fermented and fermented and cooked supplements was determined. Supplementation was found to increase the lysine and therionine content. Cooking following fermentation decreased lysine, isoleucine, valine and sulfur containg amino acids.

Salinity on Survival and Early Development of Biofuel Feedstock Crops

Salinity level may affect early development of biofuel feedstock crops. The biofuel feedstock crops canola (Brassica napus L.), sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], and sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.); and the potential feedstock crop sweet corn (Zea mays L.) were planted in media in pots and treated with aqueous solutions of 0, 0.1, 0.5 and 1.0 M NaCl once at: 1) planting; 2) 7-10 days after planting or 3) first true leaf expansion. An additional treatment (4) comprised of one-half strength of the 0.1, 0.5 and 1.0 M (concentrations 0.05, 0.25, 0.5 M at each application) was applied at first true leaf expansion and four days later. Survival of most crops decreased below 90% above 0.5 M; survival of canola decreased above 0.1 M. Application timing had little effect on crop survival. For canola root fresh and dry weights improved when application was at plant emergence; for sorghum top and root fresh weights improved when the split application was used. When application was at planting root dry weight was improved over most other applications. Sunflower top fresh weight was among the highest when saline solutions were split and top dry weight was among the highest when application was at plant emergence. Sweet corn root fresh weight was improved when the split application was used or application was at planting. Sweet corn root dry weight was highest when application was at planting or plant emergence. Even at high salinity rates survival rates greater than what might be expected occurred. Plants that survived appear to be able to adjust to saline during the early stages of development.