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Horticulturae, Volume 2, Issue 4 (December 2016)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Efficiency of Wicking Bed Irrigation Systems for Small-Scale Urban Agriculture
Horticulturae 2016, 2(4), 13; doi:10.3390/horticulturae2040013
Received: 5 July 2016 / Revised: 6 August 2016 / Accepted: 9 August 2016 / Published: 26 September 2016
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Abstract
A wicking bed (WB) is a plant driven system where plants receive water through capillary rise from a self-contained coarse material-filled subsoil reservoir. WBs have been widely promoted as a water-efficient irrigation solution for small-scale and urban food gardens. However, little published research
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A wicking bed (WB) is a plant driven system where plants receive water through capillary rise from a self-contained coarse material-filled subsoil reservoir. WBs have been widely promoted as a water-efficient irrigation solution for small-scale and urban food gardens. However, little published research exists to support popular claims about their effectiveness. In this study, the performance of WBs was compared with best-practice, precision surface irrigation in terms of water use efficiency (WUE), fruit yield, fruit quality and labour input, using tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) as the experimental crop. The influence of WB design variables (reservoir depths and soil bed depths) was tested. Results showed that WBs performed as well or better than precision surface irrigated pots, showing statistically significant improvement in WUE, yield and fruit quality. The results also suggest an optimum design exists for soil depth (where 300 mm outperformed 600 mm) but not reservoir depth (no difference between 150 and 300 mm). The WBs were more labour efficient, requiring significantly less frequent watering to achieve the same or better WUE. WBs are inherently low-tech and scalable and appear well-suited to a variety of urban agriculture settings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Combined Effects of Fertilizer, Irrigation, and Paclobutrazol on Yield and Fruit Quality of Mango
Horticulturae 2016, 2(4), 14; doi:10.3390/horticulturae2040014
Received: 29 June 2016 / Revised: 13 September 2016 / Accepted: 29 September 2016 / Published: 11 October 2016
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Abstract
Combinations of fertilizer rates, foliar N sprays, irrigation practices, and paclobutrazol were studied to determine how much they could alter and/or improve mango (Mangifera indica L.) growth, flowering, and yield. Two treatment combinations derived from several years of prior studies of individual
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Combinations of fertilizer rates, foliar N sprays, irrigation practices, and paclobutrazol were studied to determine how much they could alter and/or improve mango (Mangifera indica L.) growth, flowering, and yield. Two treatment combinations derived from several years of prior studies of individual practices were compared: one combination was comprised of the best (BT) individual practices from the prior studies and included three applications of fertilizer, a 4% KNO3 spray application before flowering, paclobutrazol at 7.5 g/L, and weekly irrigation, and the other combination was comprised of the next best (NB) individual practices including two applications of the same amount of fertilizer, a 4% urea spray before flowering, paclobutrazol at 10.0 g/L, and biweekly irrigation. Both combinations significantly reduced terminal shoot growth and leaves per terminal shoot, advanced the date of flowering and harvest, increased panicle number, length and secondary branching, increased fruit set, fruit number at harvest, fruit size, and yield, with BT producing larger fruit and a greater yield than NB. Although both combinations produced fruit with higher quality than the control, the BT combination produced fruit with the higher total soluble solids, reducing, non-reducing, and total sugar content, and vitamin C content than the NB combination. Both BT and NB combinations of the optimums identified in the prior studies were successful at advancing bloom and harvest and increasing yield more than any of the optimum individual components alone, by 14-fold more than untreated trees for the BT combination, suggesting there were additive, if not synergistic, effects on mango. Further studies are warranted to assess the sustainability of these effects over longer periods of time, and to ascertain if the effects occur across mango cultivars and production environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Influence of Crop Habitat and Control Strategies on Pepper Viruses in Andalusia (Spain)
Horticulturae 2016, 2(4), 15; doi:10.3390/horticulturae2040015
Received: 4 July 2016 / Revised: 9 September 2016 / Accepted: 7 October 2016 / Published: 14 October 2016
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Abstract
Andalusia, southern Spain, is a major horticultural production region within the Mediterranean, where over 10,000 ha are dedicated to the production of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.). Approximately two-thirds of the area dedicated to this crop is in a greenhouse and the remaining
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Andalusia, southern Spain, is a major horticultural production region within the Mediterranean, where over 10,000 ha are dedicated to the production of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.). Approximately two-thirds of the area dedicated to this crop is in a greenhouse and the remaining one-third is comprised of open field crops. Using pepper as a model, we identified and compared the major diseases caused by viruses in the different geographic regions and agronomic systems within the region. Symptomatic samples were collected during 2009 and analyzed by ELISA and RT-PCR for the presence of Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV), Pepper mild mottle virus (PMMoV), Potato virus Y (PVY), Tobacco mild green mosaic virus (TMGMV), Tomato chlorosis virus (ToCV) and Parietaria mottle virus (PMoV). Contingency table analysis showed a significant relationship between the presence of major diseases caused by viruses in pepper crops and the different agrosystems in terms of location (inland versus coastal), disease control management (chemical versus integrated), cropping system (open field versus greenhouse), and virus-resistant versus susceptible cultivars. Pepper crops in plastic-covered greenhouses were predominantly associated with arthropod-transmitted virus diseases, such as TSWV. CMV was predominant in provinces located inland, and PMoV was found independent of the agrosystem, disease control methods, or geographic location. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Apple Tree Responses to Deficit Irrigation Combined with Periodic Applications of Particle Film or Abscisic Acid
Horticulturae 2016, 2(4), 16; doi:10.3390/horticulturae2040016
Received: 8 August 2016 / Revised: 8 October 2016 / Accepted: 17 October 2016 / Published: 20 October 2016
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Abstract
The objective of this study was to determine if the application of two antitranspirant compounds would moderate water deficit stress effects on physiological responses of “Granny Smith”, “Royal Gala” and “Golden Delicious” apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) trees on MM106 rootstock that occur during
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The objective of this study was to determine if the application of two antitranspirant compounds would moderate water deficit stress effects on physiological responses of “Granny Smith”, “Royal Gala” and “Golden Delicious” apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) trees on MM106 rootstock that occur during deficit irrigation. Uniform trees were grown in pots under water supply regimes of 30%, 60%, and 80% depletion of available water (DAW) before irrigation to runoff and received applications of kaolin particle film (PF) or abscisic acid (ABA) at 0, 30 and 60 days. At 120 days, genotype and deficit irrigation affected nearly all leaf traits, but antitranspirant treatment had no significant effects. As the % DAW increased, the net photosynthetic rate (Pn), transpiration rate (T), stomatal conductance, leaf water and pressure potential, variable-to-maximal chlorophyll fluorescence, leaf number, and leaf N, P and K contents were reduced. A significant genotype by deficit irrigation interaction was evident on T, water use efficiency (WUE), and leaf osmotic pressure potential. A significant deficit irrigation by antitranspirant interaction was evident on only leaf Pn, with PF and ABA reducing it at 30% DAW and only PF reducing it at 80% DAW. However, the periodic use of PF or ABA during deficit irrigation did not alleviate most physiological effects of water deficit stress due to deficit irrigation. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Organic Horticulture in India
Horticulturae 2016, 2(4), 17; doi:10.3390/horticulturae2040017
Received: 1 December 2015 / Revised: 21 September 2016 / Accepted: 27 September 2016 / Published: 26 October 2016
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Abstract
During the previous three decades, organic produce has attracted the attention of a growing health-conscious population across the globe. Both international and domestic communities are becoming aware of issues like agrochemical residues, produce quality, and food safety. Worldwide, over 37.5 million ha of
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During the previous three decades, organic produce has attracted the attention of a growing health-conscious population across the globe. Both international and domestic communities are becoming aware of issues like agrochemical residues, produce quality, and food safety. Worldwide, over 37.5 million ha of land (0.87% of total agricultural land) is being managed organically by 1.9 million producers in 164 countries. In addition, there is another 31 million ha certified for wild harvest collection. Global sales of organic products have reached U.S. $75 billion, with the U.S. and Europe as the largest consumers. The concept of organic farming is not new to the Indian farming community. Several forms of organic farming are successfully practiced in diverse climates, particularly in rain-fed, tribal mountains, and hilly areas of the country. Many of the forest products of economic importance, such as herbs and medicinal plants are in this category by default. The report of the Task Force on Organic Farming appointed by the Government of India noted the vast areas of the country where limited amounts of synthetic chemicals are used, although they have low productivity, but also which could have unexploited potential for organic agriculture. As of March 2014, India had 4.72 million ha under an organic certification process, including 0.6 million ha of cultivated agricultural land and 4.12 million ha of wild harvest collection forest area. During 2012–2013, India exported 165,262 million tons of organic products across 135 commodities valued at $312 million. The domestic market for organic commodities is also growing at an annual growth rate of 15%–20%. The crops grown organically include cashew nut, spices, cotton, rice, sugarcane, pineapple, passion fruit, groundnut, sunflower, millet, vegetables, wheat castor, mustard, walnut, tea, coffee, banana, and mango. Institutional support for organic exports from India was created by the launch of the National Program for Organic Production (NPOP) by the Agriculture and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA), Ministry of Commerce. The NPOP supports promotional initiatives, accreditation by inspection and certification agencies, and offers support to agri-business enterprises to facilitate export. India now has 26 accredited certification agencies to facilitate the certification of growers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
Open AccessArticle Adoption and Income Effects of Public GAP Standards: Evidence from the Horticultural Sector in Thailand
Horticulturae 2016, 2(4), 18; doi:10.3390/horticulturae2040018
Received: 18 July 2016 / Revised: 28 October 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 21 November 2016
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Abstract
To reduce potential food hazards and increase the image of Thai horticultural products abroad, the Thai government introduced public standards of Good Agricultural Practices (Q-GAP). What makes orchid and mango producers in Thailand adopt Q-GAP standards and how do these affect their income
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To reduce potential food hazards and increase the image of Thai horticultural products abroad, the Thai government introduced public standards of Good Agricultural Practices (Q-GAP). What makes orchid and mango producers in Thailand adopt Q-GAP standards and how do these affect their income and export shares? Primary data from 400 certified and non-certified orchid and mango producers was collected from main exporting provinces in Thailand. The binary probit model estimations show that it is the orchid and mango producers with higher education, and more physical and social capital who tend to comply with Q-GAP standards. Results from the Propensity Score Matching approach reveal that adoption of public GAP standards results in positive income effects for mango producers, but not for orchid producers. This can be explained by the fact that certified mango producers can sell their products to high-value retail chains which offer higher prices for their products, while certified and non-certified orchid producers cooperate with traders from the same value chain. Full article
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