American Journal of Agricultural Research

  • Development of a General-Purpose Test Platform for Agricultural Navigation

    Field tests are necessary in establishing navigation models and algorithms for agricultural vehicle robots. And it costs much to use tractors or combine harvesters as the platform in terms of system modification, routine maintenance and fuel consumption. The objective of this research was to develop a general-purpose test platform for conducting experiments in agricultural autonomous navigation at a low cost based on a commercially available electric vehicle. A brushless motor was utilized as the power source for automatic steering. An analog PID controller was designed to compare steering commands and actual steering angle and calculate an appropriate voltage signal as the input of the motor driver. A rotary encoder was attached to the driving wheel and a digital PID controller was implemented to determine the throttle value in real-time in maintaining the test platform at a desired speed. A CAN-bus network was established to integrate the automatic steering system and the speed control system as two nodes for information communication. And a CAN node interface was reserved for receiving commands from autonomous navigation systems to be evaluated. Field tests showed that RMS errors were 2.6 cm and 0.054 m·s-1 for lateral offset and speed control, respectively, in tracking straight paths, which indicated that the newly developed test platform met requirements for agricultural navigation experiments.

  • Active ingredients for weed control of food and vegetable crops in northern Côte d’Ivoire

    Agriculture in the north of Côte d’Ivoire, like the rest of the country, is undergoing genuine development. This situation is leading producers to adopt new cultivation techniques, including the use of herbicides for weed control. Herbicides have advantages and disadvantages in their handling. Knowing how dangerous these products can be, identifying them would be advantageous, hence this study. The main objective of this study is to establish a list of herbicides used on vegetable and food crops in the study area. In the departments of Boundiali, Ferké, Korhogo, and Séguéla directed interviews were conducted with traders, producers, and firms. They focused on the active ingredients of the herbicides, the type, and the mode of use. At the end of the study, seventy-seven herbicides divided into twenty-two active ingredients were identified. Glyphosate was the most present followed by nicosulfuron. To conclude, it should be noted that herbicides are present in the habits of the producers in our study area. They still do not use the products according to the standards. These results will help improve the quality and sustainability of agriculture.

  • Design of Twin Screw Feather Extruder and Study of Screw Parameters

    Poultry feathers are rich in amino acids and keratin resources, which is a kind of protein feed raw materials with high nutritional value. A twin-screw extruder was designed to deal with the environmental damage caused by the shortage of rapidly developing protein feed and the large amount of feather waste in China’s livestock breeding industry. The bulking machine can break the disulfide bond and hydrogen bond in feather keratin to form crude protein which can be absorbed by livestock. A kind of high-protein feed feather powder was developed while protecting the environment. The combination mode and rotation direction between two screws are discussed, the relationship between the key basic parameters of the twin screw is derived by combining the motion principle of the twin screw and the relative geometric position. It provides theoretical basis for determining screw parameters and working condition parameters in the following experimental research.

  • Nutritional Potential of Some Invasive Species of Macaronesia for Ruminants

    Macaronesia islands’ invasive plant use in animal feed or composting may bring economic and environmental benefits to the region. Arundo donax, Pennisetum setaceum, Agave americana, and Ricinus communis, present in the three archipelagos (Canary, Azores and Madeira), were characterized chemically and biologically. A. donax and P. setaceum showed elevated crude protein (CP) content, 13.25 and 16.33 DM%, respectively, and extremely high NDF values, 75.87 and 80.83 DM%, with a DM digestibility of 55.02 to 59.77%. A. americana showed a low NDF value (22.78 to 27.94 DM%) and a very low CP value (4.24 to 5.61 DM%). However, its DM digestibility was high (79.89 to 86.33%). R. communis presented the best values for CP (24.62%) and NDF (26.56 DM%), however, due to the presence of toxic substances (ricin), it cannot be easily used in animal feed. The P. setaceum and R. communis were found to be the least gas-producing forage, with A. americana being the major producer. To increase these plants’ value for animal feed, treatment with urea or NaOH to A. donax and P. setaceum, and enrichment with nitrogen to Agave is proposed. Due to its toxic properties, R. communis must be used in composting.

  • Research status and prospects of potato seed-metering device

    Potato has been widely planted, and China’s potato planting area and total output have become the first in the world. As an important part of the whole mechanization technology, potato planting mechanization directly affects the quality and yield of potato. As the core component of potato planter, the performance of seed metering device directly affects the operation quality of planter. In recent years, with the continuous efforts of researchers and manufacturers at home and abroad, the types and research technology of seed metering device are constantly innovating and improving. This paper mainly introduces the key technologies and types of seed metering devices used in the main models in China and abroad, as well as the existing problems and future development direction of different types of seed metering devices.

  • The influence of biofertilizer effect on switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) crop yield under greenhouse and field conditions in Guelph, Ontario, Canada

    Greenhouse and field experiments were conducted to test the effectiveness of biofertilizers on switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) yields compared to inorganic fertilizer and a zero-control. In the greenhouse, Variovorax paradoxus JM63, JumpStart® (Penicillium bilaii), inorganic fertilizer and control treatments resulted in significantly higher per L pot biomass yields compared to the control treatment; 2.74 (±0.24), 2.55 (±0.10), 2.52 (±0.24) and 1.34 (±0.09) g L-1, respectively. As JumpStart® is a commercially available biofertilizer, it was used in the field experiment along with inorganic and control treatments. All three treatments were applied to established (2014) switchgrass plots. Significantly (p

  • Comparative analyses of plantain vivoplants responses to different clam shells and Tithonia diversifolia treatments in terms of growth promotion and induced resistance against Mycosphaerella fijiensis

    The seeds availability and quality are the main constraints for agricultural explosion of plantain productivity in sub-Saharan Africa countries. Plantain vivoplants were generated and submitted to different treatments in the nursery, the plant responses were analysed and compared in other to determine the best treatment influencing the growth promotion and induced resistance to Mycosphaerella fijiensis. Plantain explants and vivoplants were treated with five different treatments: clam shells powder (T1), clam shells and Tithonia diversifolia powder (T2), Tithonia diversifolia flakes (T3), Tithonia diversifolia mulch (T4), Tithonia diversifolia liquid extract (T5). The treatments were applied by their incorporation in the substrate (T1, T2, T3 and T4) or by watering of the whole plant (T5). The germination rate was evaluated and recorded in the greenhouse at the germination and pre-emergence stage, followed by the agromorphological measurements on the vivoplants and their inoculation with Mycosphaerella fijiensis in the shade at the vegetative growth stage. Biochemical analysis was done on the vivoplants leaves tissues. The vivoplants respond positively to all the treatments by a quick germination and emergence, coupled with an important biomarker’s accumulation (total proteins and phenolics). It turns out that the best treatment was T5 (T. diversifolia liquid extract), followed by T4 (T. diversifolia mulch). However, depending on the expected response in the vivoplants, all these treatments have proven to be impactful. Therefore, a combination of Tithonia diversifolia liquid extract (T5) with clams’ shells (T1) could be useful to boost the production at low cost and without chemical inputs of large amount of improved vigorous (clean and less susceptible) planting material, impacting thus the food security and poverty alleviation.

  • Research status and development trend of seed-metering device in China

    As the main tool of soybean mechanization production, the performance of soybean seeder is directly related to the sowing quality and yield of soybean.As the core component of the seeder, the soybean seed-metering device directly affects the seeding accuracy, uniformity, seed emergence rate, etc.This article introduces the research status and future development trend of soybean seed-metering devices in China in recent years, analyzes the characteristics of soybean seed-metering devices in China, and provides a basis for the further development of seed metering devices in China.

  • DETERMINATION OF PROPOSED MAXIMUM RESIDUE LIMIT OF DELTAMETHRIN IN BLACK PEPPER (PIPER NIGRUM L.)

    Residue trials of deltamethrin in black pepper (Piper nigrum) were conducted to estimate the maximum residue limit (MRL). Five residue trials were conducted at three commercial growers’ plots in Johor, Perak and Sarawak (Malaysia). The study plots contained 120 mature pepper vines which were selected and treated with deltamethrin using the manufacturer’s recommended rate (0.01 kg a.i./ha). The insecticide was applied with a motorized sprayer on monthly intervals. Green pepper berries samples (500g) were randomly collected from the plots at 1, 3, 5 and/or 7 days after the last spray. Analytical procedure of deltamethrin extraction was validated prior to actual analysis. Satisfactory recoveries ranging from 86.2% to 110.2% were obtained for the fortified pepper berries samples. The limits of detection and limits of quantification for deltamethrin were 0.521 μg kg−1 and 1.63 μg kg−1, respectively. Results showed that deltamethrin residues were at the low level with the residue value ranging between

  • Research status of Rice direct seeding device in China

    Aiming at the problems of rice seedling raising, transplanting and so on, low production efficiency and low mechanization efficiency, we popularize the rice direct seeding technology, through investigating and studying the development status of representative rice direct seeding machine in China, analyze its basic structure and working principle, and put forward the existing problems and development suggestions of rice direct seeding machine. Research shows that rice direct seeding technology has a broad development space in China. It is necessary to further optimize the design of key components such as seed metering devices and improve independent research and development capabilities to improve the versatility and efficiency of the rice direct seeding machine, so that China’s rice direct seeding technology can Rapid development.