The main objective of any irrigation program is the development of an efficient water management system to sustain crop growth and development and avoid physiological water stress in the growing plants. Field experiment to evaluate the effects of some soil moisture conservation practices on yield and water use efficiency (WUE) of maize was carried out in three locations (i.e. Mubi and Yola in the northern Guinea Savannah and Ganye in the southern Guinea Savannah of Adamawa State, Nigeria) during the dry seasons of 2013 and 2014. The experiment consisted of three different irrigation levels (7, 10 and 12 day irrigation intervals), two levels of mulch (mulch and un-mulched) and two tillage practices (no tillage and minimum tillage) arranged in a randomized complete block design with split-split plot arrangement and replicated three times. The Blaney-Criddle method was used for measuring crop evapotranspiration. The results indicated that seven-day irrigation intervals and mulched treatment were found to have significant effect (P>0.05) on grain yield and water use efficiency in all the locations. The main effect of tillage was non-significant (P<0.05) on grain yield and WUE. The interaction effects of irrigation and mulch were significant (P>0.05) on grain yield and WUE at Mubi and Yola. Generally, higher grain yield and WUE were recorded on mulched and seven-day irrigation intervals, whereas lower values were recorded on un-mulched with 12-day irrigation intervals. Tillage exerts little influence on the yield and WUE. Results from Ganye were found to be generally higher than those recorded in Mubi and Yola; it also showed that an irrigation interval of 10 days with mulching could be adopted for the Ganye area, while seven days interval is more appropriate for Mubi and Yola.
This paper discusses about the conceptual design and development of the control system software using Programmable logic controller (PLC) for autonomous driving and agricultural operations of Multipurpose Agricultural Robot Platform (MARP). Based on given initial conditions by field analysis and desired agricultural operations, the structural design development of MARP is done using modelling and analysis tool. PLC, being robust and easy to use, has been used to design the autonomous control system of robot platform for desired parameters. The robot is capable of performing autonomous driving and three automatic agricultural operations, viz. hilling, mulching, and sowing of seeds in the respective order. The input received from various sensors on the field is later transmitted to the controller via ZigBee network to make the changes in the control program to get desired field output. The research is conducted to provide assistance to farmers by reducing labor hours for agricultural activities by implementing automation. This study will provide an alternative to the existing systems with machineries attached behind tractors and rigorous manual operations on agricultural field at effective cost.
Polymeric materials have become an integral part of every aspect of today's industry. They have wide applications, inter alia, in areas such as medicine, food industry and agriculture. In agriculture, for example, they are used for the production of pots, irrigation systems and for soil mulching. The aim of this study was the attempt to produce a biodecomposable agricultural mat, by coating cotton fabric with a blend of carboxylated styrene-butadiene latex (LBSK) containing the enzymatic hydrolyzate of keratin from cattle hair, which would serve as a material for mulching.
The production of such material allows the beneficial management of burdensome tannery waste constituted by keratin from cattle hair and at the same time, the production of agricultural mats that much faster undergo decomposition than commonly used polyethylene mats.
This research was aimed at determining the impact of conservation techniques including bench terrace, stone terrace, mulching, grass strip and intercropping on soil erosion at tobacco-based farming system at Progo Hulu subwatershed, Central Java, Indonesia. Research was conducted from September 2007 to September 2009, located at Progo Hulu subwatershed, Central Java, Indonesia. Research site divided into 27 land units, and experimental fields were grouped based on the soil type and slope, ie: 30%, 45% and 70%, with the following treatments: 1) ST0= stone terrace (control); 2) ST1= stone terrace + Setaria spacelata grass strip on a 5 cm height dike at terrace lips + tobacco stem mulch with dose of 50% (7 ton/ ha); 3) ST2= stone terrace + Setaria spacelata grass strip on a 5 cm height dike at terrace lips + tobacco stem mulch with dose of 100% (14 ton/ ha); 4) ST3= stone terrace + tobacco and red bean intercropping + tobacco stem mulch with dose of 50% (7 ton/ ha). 5) BT0= bench terrace (control); 6) BT1= bench terrace + Setaria spacelata grass strip at terrace lips + tobacco stem mulch with dose of 50% (7 ton/ ha); 7) BT2= bench terrace + Setaria spacelata grass strip at terrace lips + tobacco stem mulch with dose of 100% (14 ton/ ha); 8) BT3= bench terrace + tobacco and red bean intercropping + tobacco stem mulch with dose of 50% (7 ton/ ha). The results showed that the actual erosion rates of research site were higher than that of tolerance erosion with mean value 89.08 ton/ha/year and 33.40 ton/ha/year, respectively. These resulted in 69% of total research site (5,119.15 ha) highly degraded. Conservation technique of ST2 was the most effective in suppressing soil erosion, by 42.87%, following with BT2 as much 30.63%. Others suppressed erosion only less than 21%.