Soils into which crop plants root and from which they obtain essential minerals and water contain huge arrays of microbes. Many have highly beneficial effects on crop growth and productivity, others are pathogens causing diseases and losses to yield and quality, a few microbes offer protection from these pathogenic forms and others have little or no effect. These intimate and often complex inter-relationships are being explored with increasing success providing exciting opportunities for increasing crop yields and quality in sustainable harmony with the populations of beneficial soil microbes and to the detriment of pathogens. This book explores current knowledge for each of these aspects of soil microbiology and indicates where future progress is most likely to aid in increasing crop productivity by means which are environmentally benign and beneficial.
Agricultural mechanization has often been characterized by scale-effects and increased specialization. Such characterizations, however, fail to explain how mechanization may grow in Africa where production environments are more heterogeneous and diversification of production may help in mitigating risks from increasingly uncertain climatic conditions. Using panel data from farm households and crop-specific production costs in Nigeria, we estimate how the adoption of animal traction or tractors affects the economies of scope (EOS) between rice, non-rice grains, legume/seed crops, and other crops, which are the crop groups that are most widely grown with animal traction or tractors in Nigeria. The results indicate that the adoption of these mechanization technologies is associated with lower EOS between non-rice grains, legume/seed crops, and other crops, but greater EOS between rice and other crops. An increase in EOS for rice is indicated in both primal and dual analytical approaches. Mechanical technologies may raise EOS between crops that are grown in more heterogeneous environments, even though it may lower EOS between crops that are grown in relatively similar environments. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows the effects of mechanical technologies on EOS in agriculture in developing countries.
This book collects all the latest technologies with their implications on the global rice cultivation. It discusses all aspects of rice production and puts together the latest trends and best practices in the rice production. Rice is produced and consumed worldwide and especially an important crop for Asia. It is a staple food in majority of population living is this continent which distinguishes this from rest of the world. Climatic fluctuations, elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide, enhanced temperature have created extreme weather conditions for rice cultivation. Also, increasing pest attacks make situation complicated for the farmers. Therefore, rice production technology also has to be adjusted accordingly. This book is of interest to teachers, researchers, plant biotechnologists, pathologists, agronomists, soil scientists, food technologists from different part of the globe. Also, the book serves as additional reading material for students of agriculture, soil science, and environmental sciences. National and international agricultural scientists, policy makers will also find this to be a useful read
Soils, Plant Growth and Crop Production is a component of Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Engineering and Technology Resources in the global Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), which is an integrated compendium of twenty Encyclopedias. Plants, and crops in particular, grow and develop through the uptake of water and nutrients by the root system in soils and their transformation into biomass through processes governed by photosynthesis. The quality and amount of products harvested from this biomass depend largely on the intrinsic properties of the soil, i.e. the moisture and nutrients made available for uptake by the roots. These volumes describe in a synthetic form the impact of the most important soil properties on general agronomy, crop production, cultivation methods, and yields, including the specific management aspects which take away some production constraints. Changes in general agronomy as a result of plant breeding, climatic change and competition between newly introduced crops are discussed. The three volumes with contributions from distinguished experts in the field discusses about soils, plant growth and crop production in several related topics. These volumes are aimed at the following five major target audiences: University and College students Educators, Professional practitioners, Research personnel and Policy analysts, managers, and decision makers and NGOs.
While international efforts in the development of short rotation woody crops (SRWCs) have historically focused on the production of biomass for bioenergy, biofuels, and bioproducts, research and deployment over the past decade has expanded to include broader objectives of achieving multiple ecosystem services. In particular, silvicultural prescriptions developed for SRWCs have been refined to include woody crop production systems for environmental benefits such as carbon sequestration, water quality and quantity, and soil health. In addition, current systems have been expanded beyond traditional fiber production to other environmental technologies that incorporate SRWCs as vital components for phytotechnologies, urban afforestation, ecological restoration, and mine reclamation. In this Special Issue of the journal Forests, we explore the broad range of current research dedicated to our topic: International Short Rotation Woody Crop Production Systems for Ecosystem Services and Phytotechnologies