Volume 8 (2010)
  Number I

Contents


Pages

759-768 T. Albert, K. Karp, M. Starast and T. Paal
The effect of mulching and pruning on the vegetative growth and yield of the half-high blueberry
Abstract |
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The effect of mulching and pruning on the vegetative growth and yield of the half-high blueberry

T. Albert¹, K. Karp¹, M. Starast¹ and T. Paal²

¹Estonian University of Life Sciences, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental
Sciences , Kreutzwaldi 1A, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
²Estonian University of Life Sciences, Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering,
Kreutzwaldi 1A, 51014 Tartu, Estonia, e- mail: tairi.albert@emu.ee

Abstract:

The aim of this research was to determine the influence of different mulches (peat, sawdust, plastic) and different pruning methods (moderate, severe) on the growth and yield of the half–high blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum x Vaccinium angustifolium) ´Northblue´. The effect of a mixture of soil and peat was studied in the case of peat alone and peat and plastic mulches. The experiment was established in 1996 in South Estonia and in 2002 blueberry bushes were pruned. The results of the study showed that mulching significantly influenced nutrient content and pH. Depending on the mulch, the soil pH ranged from 4.5 to 6.1 – there was more acid soil in the peat treatment. The use of mulches had some influence on productivity of pruned half-high blueberry plants. When peat was applied a canopy of pruned plants recovered very well after one year. Within three years the plants had the same yield as un-pruned variants but four years after pruning the yield was highest in the variants where peat was applied. Plastic mulch is not suitable for blueberries: it decreases the yield and four years after pruning the normal plant growth in our study had not recovered. Severe pruning is more suitable for half-high blueberry fruiting plants in northern climate conditions.

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769-779 L. Brazdeikis
Thermal properties and temperature regime of champignon cultivation substrate
Abstract |
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Thermal properties and temperature regime of champignon cultivation substrate

L. Brazdeikis

Institute of Agricultural Engineering Lithuanian University of Agriculture, Raudondvaris, LT-54132 Kaunas reg., Lithuania;
e-mail: autlab@mei.lt

Abstract:

In designing and analysing the systems of automatic regulation of substrate
temperature for champignon cultivation it is necessary to know substrate thermal properties
(thermal conductivity and specific heat), intensity of substrate self-heating and the distribution
of overtemperature caused by self-heating within a substrate briquette. It is proposed to estimate
substrate thermal properties by the nonsteady method of combined determination of thermal
characteristics using a flat constant power heat source. The scheme of experiments,
mathematical expressions for calculating thermal indicators, examples of temperature variation,
examples of thermal indicators calculations and the established mean thermal indicators for
champignon cultivation substrate are presented.
An electrical analogy model of thermal process in substrate briquette was made for selfheating
investigations. It was established by modelling that the distribution of overtemperature
caused by self-heating within the thickness of a briquette is parabolic. The mean specific heat of
substrate self-heating was established by comparison of modelling and experiments results. An
equation to assess the overtemperature of substrate briquette centre in engineering calculations
is presented. 

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781-795 P. Felix-Henningsen, T. Urushadze, D. Steffens, B. Kalandadze, E. Narimanidze
Uptake of heavy metals by food crops from highly-polluted Chernozem-like soils in an irrigation district south of Tbilisi, eastern Georgia
Abstract |
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Uptake of heavy metals by food crops from highly-polluted Chernozem-like soils in an irrigation district south of Tbilisi, eastern Georgia

P. Felix-Henningsen¹, T. Urushadze², D. Steffens³, B. Kalandadze², E. Narimanidze⁴

¹Institute of Soil Science and Soil Conservation, Justus Liebig University Giessen,
Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26, D-35392 Giessen, e-mail: Peter.Felix-H@umwelt.unigiessen.de
²Tbilisi State University, Ilia Chavchavadze Ave.3, 0128, Tbilisi, Georgia, e-mail:
t_urushadze@yahoo.com; kalandabeso@gmx.net
³Institute of Plant Nutrition, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26,
35392 Giessen, Germany, e-mail: Diedrich.Steffens@ernaehrung.uni-giessen.de
⁴Centre for International Development and Environmental Research, Justus Liebig
University Giessen, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26, 35392 Giessen, Germany e-mail:
nareli@gmx.net

Abstract:

In the middle and lower reaches of the Mashavera valley in SE Georgia, most of the
irrigated soils under different agricultural land use display a strong enrichment of heavy metals
(HM) that can be traced back to irrigation with water polluted by mining wastes contributed
over a period of several decades. The concentrations of total amounts of Cu, Zn and Cd increase
with intensity of land use and amount of irrigation in the following sequence: arable fields < occasionally submerged meadows < vegetable gardens < wine gardens and orchards with mixed cropping of vegetables. A high proportion of HM belongs to the supply fraction, which displays the (un-)specifically adsorbed HM, dissolvable in ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid (EDTA). The narrow correlation of this fraction with the mobile and plant-available fraction of HM indicates a high long-term risk potential for the food chain. Due to the recent high adsorption capacity of the soils for HM, only a small amount of HM in the mobile fraction was found with proportions less than 1 % of the total amounts for Cu and Zn, and a maximum of 1.5 % for Cd. On the other hand, initial investigations of cereals and vegetable species indicate a high uptake of Cu, Zn and Cd, which for Cu and Cd causes concentrations in plants exceeding the tolerance thresholds for plants, animals and human beings. A field experiment established the strong uptake of heavy metals by spinach, which was unexpected due to the weakly alkaline pH as well as the high contents of clay and organic matter of the soils. This result indicates the high risk of soil pollution by heavy metals for the food chain and consumers.

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797-806 M. Hakojärvi, M. Hautala, J. Ahokas, T. Oksanen, T. Maksimow, A. Aspiala, A. Visala
Platform for simulation of automated crop production
Abstract |

Platform for simulation of automated crop production

M. Hakojärvi¹, M. Hautala¹, J. Ahokas¹, T. Oksanen², T. Maksimow², A. Aspiala², A. Visala²

¹University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences
²Helsinki University of Technology, Department of Automation and Systems Technology

Abstract:

During  the  last  few  decades  technology  used  in  crop  production  has  developed noticeably.  The  work  of  farmers  has  decreased  and  continues  decreasing  by  means  of technology and automation. The aim of this research project was to find out requirements for methods and automated machines needed in automated crop production. Agricultural  machines  capable  of  utilizing  variable  rate  application  (VRA)  technology enable  considering  spatial  variability  in  agricultural  fields  during  different  field  operations. Agricultural  field  robots  are  the  next  step  in  technology,  capable  of  utilizing  sensor  and actuating  technologies,  without  human  driven  tractors.  However,  agricultural  field  robots  are stil  under research, and commercial products do not exist. The next generation of crop farming, in the vision of authors, is based on automatic crop farming, which incorporates stationary and moving sensors systems, robots, model based decision making, automated operation planning which are adapting to spatial variability according to the measurements as wel  as to weather conditions. This article presents a top-down approach of automated crop farming  using simulation, trying  to  cover  the  most  important  pieces  on  a  ful y  automatic  farm  and  the  environment  is model ed. The developed simulation environment is presented as wel  as preliminary simulation results.  The  environment  simulator  is  based  on  a  col ection  of  models,  including  models  for crop  and  weed  growth,  soil  water  flow  and  generators  for  spatial  variation  and  statistical y varying weather.

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807-814 M. Lillenberg, S. V. Litvin, L. Nei, M. Roasto and K. Sepp
Enrofloxacin and Ciprofloxacin Uptake by Plants from Soil
Abstract |
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Enrofloxacin and Ciprofloxacin Uptake by Plants from Soil

M. Lillenberg¹, S. V. Litvin², L. Nei², M. Roasto¹ and K. Sepp³

¹Department of Food Science and Hygiene, Estonian University of Life Sciences,
Kreutzwaldi 58A, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
²Department of Environmental Protection, Tartu College of Tallinn University of
Technology, Puiestee 78, 51008 Tartu, Estonia, e-mail: lembit.nei@ttu.ee
³Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life
Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 64, 51014 Tartu, Estonia

Abstract:

Very small amounts of pharmaceuticals present in everyday food may generate
strains of resistant microorganisms in human and animal organisms. This study involves the
uptake and accumulation of some widely used fluoroquinolones – enrofloxacin and
ciprofloxacin – by plants cultivated in soil augmented with drugs using the microbiological agar
diffusion method. Bacillus subtilis was used as the test bacterium. The three plants chosen for
the experiment were lettuce (Lactuca sativa), common barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and
cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), which were cultivated in a laboratory in soils mixed with enroor
ciprofloxacin at nominal concentrations of 500, 200, 50 and 10 µg/g. The concentrations of
fluoroquinolones remained unchanged in the soil during the experiment. The presence of
enrofloxacin was detected in all plants grown at enrofloxacin concentrations of 500, 200 and 50
µg/g. The presence of ciprofloxacin was only detected in barley and cucumber grown in soil
with a base concentration of 500 µg/g. In lettuce, which had a longer vegetation period, the
presence of ciprofloxacin was detected at all concentrations. The content of ciprofloxacin in the
lettuce was 44 µg/g at a soil concentration of 10 µg/g: fluoroquinolones accumulate in a plant
during the vegetation period.

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815-826 M. Musto and M. L. Satriano
Fruit responses to postharvest heat treatment time: characterisation of heat-treated strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) cv. ‘Candonga’ fruits
Abstract |
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Fruit responses to postharvest heat treatment time: characterisation of heat-treated strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) cv. ‘Candonga’ fruits

M. Musto¹ and M. L. Satriano²

¹Metapontum Agrobios S.r.l., s.s. 106 Jonica Km 448.2, 75010 Metaponto (MT), Italy;
e-mail: mauro.musto@gmail.com
²Freelance researcher

Abstract:

Strawberries cv. ‘Candonga’ were heat-treated in an air oven (45°C) for 0.2 and 4 h,
and then stored at 0°C for 2 days. One-way ANOVA revealed significant differences in terms of
physical and chemical quality properties due to heat treatment time (P=0.000). In particular, as
treatment time increased, strawberries showed a significant decrease of weight, firmness,
redness (a*), yellowness (b*) and colour saturation (chroma). Additionally, the fruits were
darker (lower L* value) after 2 h of treatment and lighter after 4 h (higher L* value). Among
chemical quality properties, ph and soluble solids content (SSC) increased during treatments,
whereas vitamin C content (TAA) decreased. After 4 h of treatment, total anthocyanins and total
soluble phenolics (TSP) significantly decreased and increased, respectively. Principal
component analysis (PCA) was executed on the correlation matrix of significant variables. Two
principal components were extracted, explaining the 73.38% of the data variance. PC1 (60.15%
variance) was associated with most of the physical and chemical variables, whereas PC2
(13.23% variance) was associated with fruit lightness. PCA was found to be of value in
obtaining a visual representation of fruit samples based on heat treatment time.

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827-836 K. Styla, A. Sawicka
Microbiological activity of soil against the background of differentiated irrigation and fertilization in apple (Malus domestica) orchard after replantation
Abstract |
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Microbiological activity of soil against the background of differentiated irrigation and fertilization in apple (Malus domestica) orchard after replantation

K. Styla¹, A. Sawicka²

¹Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment Polish Academy of Sciences,
Poznań, Poland; e-mail: styla.katarzyna@gmail.com
²Department of Agricultural Microbiology, University of Life Science, Poznań, Poland

Abstract:

The effect of differentiated irrigation and fertilization on the number of microorganisms in the soil of an apple (Malus domestica) orchard after replantation was investigated. In the experiment, three irrigation levels were used: W0 – maintenance of soil moisture at the level of atmospheric precipitations, W1 – maintenance of soil moisture at the level of -0.03MPa of water potential, and W2 – maintenance of soil moisture at the level of – 0.01MPA of water potential. Three fertilization combinations were used, i.e. 65 kg N/ha, 65 kg N/ha and 95 kg/ha K2O as well as 130 kg N/ha and 190 kg/ha K2O. The highest number of fungi was noted in the 130 kg N/ha and 190 kg/ha combination. The highest number of actinomycetes, Azotobacter, proteolytic bacteria, phosphate solubilizing bacteria, and the total number of bacteria were found of 65kg N/ha and 95kg/ha combination. A high number of fungi was observed in W0 combination. The highest number of actinomycetes, Azotobacter, proteolytic bacteria, phosphate solubilizing bacteria, and the total number of bacteria were confirmed in the W1 and W2 combination. A high number of actinomycetes, Azotobacter, proteolytic bacteria, phosphate solubilizing bacteria, and the total number of bacteria and lower number of fungi in control object (Nowina and virgin soil) were recorded.

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