Elsevier, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Volume 292, 15 April 2020
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is the most important greenhouse gas produced by agricultural soils and is a byproduct of microbial nitrification and denitrification processes. The N2O emission rates depend on soil, climatic and management factors. The objectives of this study were i) to evaluate N2O emissions during a barley crop period and its subsequent barley-maize interperiod, under two management systems, and ii) to relate the N2O flux rates with soil mineral N content, waterfilled pore space (WFPS) and soil temperature.
A grand challenge facing humanity is how to produce food for a growing population in the face of a changing climate and environmental degradation. Although empirical evidence remains sparse, management strategies that increase environmental sustainability, such as increasing agroecosystem diversity through crop rotations, may also increase resilience to weather extremes without sacrificing yields.
An Ultra-High Performance Liquid Chromatography combined with Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (UHPLC–ToF-MS) method has been developed for determination of nine mycotoxins, namely aflatoxins (AFB1, AFB2, AFG1 and AFG2), ochratoxin A (OTA), zearalenone (ZEA), toxin T2 (T2) and fumonisins (FB1 and FB2) in maize. The method included a two-step extraction with acetonitrile 80% (v/v). After optimization, the analytical method was validated. The different concentrations tested take in account the Maximum Levels (ML) for maize (Commission Regulation EC no.
Irrigation management may influence soil greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Solid-set sprinkler irrigation systems allow to modify the irrigation time and frequency. The objective of this study was to quantify the effect of two irrigation times (daytime, D; nighttime, N)and two irrigation frequencies (low, L; high, H)on soil carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O)emissions in a solid-set sprinkler-irrigated maize (Zea mays L.)field located in NE Spain during 2015 and 2016 growing seasons and the fallow period between growing seasons.
Rising demand for renewable resources has increased silage maize (Zea mays L.)production characterized by intensive soil management, high fertilizer and pesticide inputs as well as simplified crop rotations. Advantages of renewable biomass production may thus be cancelled out by adverse environmental effects. Perennial crops, like cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum L.), are said to benefit arthropods. Substituting silage maize could hence increase biodiversity and foster ecosystem services.
Although the effects of nitrogen (N) fertilization on soil microflora have been well studied, the effects should be verified across soil types and N-added levels. To understand the impacts of N fertilization on shifts in soil biological traits and bacterial communities and to further explore the coupling mediation of these parameters with respect to crop yields, we sampled soils from three experimental sites (each site received three levels of N fertilization (0, 168 and 312 kg N ha−1)) that share the same climatic conditions but have different soil types (clay, alluvial and sandy soils).
Household methodologies (HHM) intervene directly in intra-household gender relations to strengthen overall smallholder agency and efficacy as economic agents and development actors. Strengthening women's agency is one mechanism for progressing towards collaborative, systemic farm management. It is expected this will contribute to improved farm resilience in the face of climate change, strengthen food and nutrition security, and improve other development indicators.
Despite much policy attention to agricultural development in South Africa, efforts since democratisation have failed to raise smallholder engagement in agriculture and to break the trend of persistent rural poverty. This paper presents results from a study of the Massive Food Production Programme (MFPP) in three villages in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The MFPP aimed to reduce poverty by raising maize yields.