Askary T H Editor (19)
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7: Nematophagous Fungi: Commercialization

Askary, T.H., Editor CAB International PDF

7 

Nematophagous Fungi:

Commercialization

Mohammad Reza Moosavi1* and Tarique Hassan Askary2

1

Department of Plant Pathology, Marvdasht Branch, Islamic

Azad University, Marvdasht, Iran; 2Division of Entomology,

Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and

Technology, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

7.1  Introduction

It is estimated that about 842 million people, or 12% of the global population, did not have enough food to satisfy their dietary energy requirements in 2011–13. This means that approximately one in eight people in the world are likely to have suffered from chronic starvation (FAO et al., 2013). Plant diseases are considered a significant threat to increasing agricultural productivity since they can cause serious losses and in turn endanger food security (Strange and Scott, 2005). At least 12% of worldwide food production is lost due to plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs)

(Nicol et al., 2011) and this quantity is too high to be ignored. Therefore, it becomes mandatory to decrease the level of damage caused by PPNs to agricultural and horticultural crops, though it is a daunting task and difficult to achieve. Management of PPNs has been principally based on application of chemical nematicides but there is a need to substitute chemicals with other effective methods. The efficient synthetic nematicides are not affordable by a lot of growers or have generally been taken off the market due to concerns about the environmental hazards and human

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4: Nematophagous Fungi: Ecology, Diversity and Geographical Distribution

Askary, T.H., Editor CAB International PDF

4 

Nematophagous Fungi: Ecology,

Diversity and Geographical Distribution

Mrinal Kanti Dasgupta1* and Matiyar Rahaman Khan2

Visva-Bharati; Palli-Siksha Bhavana (Institute of Agriculture), Department of

Plant Protection, Sriniketan, India; 2Department of Agricultural

Entomology, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur, India

1

4.1  Introduction

An organism lives in a state of dynamic

­equilibrium with the environment. Interactions of an organism with members of its community are intraspecific and interspecific. The ecosystem comprises the biotic community and the non-living environment and is the basic functional unit, as it includes both the organism and the environment, each influencing the properties of the other and both necessary for the survival and maintenance of life. Climate is the primary environmental factor influencing the nature of flora and fauna in a  region. The climatic components are temperature, rainfall and relative humidity. The physical, chemical and biological conditions of soil are secondary to the climate. But they all determine the population, seasonality and determine the survival and population fluctuations of soil micro- and meso-biota in particular.

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2: Significance of Biocontrol Agents of Phytonematodes

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2 

Significance of Biocontrol Agents of Phytonematodes

Christian Joseph R. Cumagun1* and Mohammad Reza Moosavi2

1

Crop Protection Cluster, College of Agriculture, University of the

Philippines Los Banos, Philippines; 2Department of Plant Pathology,

Marvdasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Marvdasht, Iran

2.1  Introduction

Plant parasitic nematodes (PPNs) pose a major constraint on world agriculture resulting in significant yield losses especially in the developing countries where suitable and effective control measures are unavailable (Webster, 1987;

Nicol et al., 2011). It is estimated that PPNs impose 8.8% and 14.6% annual losses to developed and developing countries, respectively

(Nicol et al., 2011), which are more or less equal to US$157 billion (Abad et al., 2008; Escudero and Lopez-Llorca, 2012), however the exact loss estimation of PPNs is too difficult (Schomaker and Been, 2006). Their microscopic size, underground existence and non-specific symptoms make their presence often undetec­ted; therefore, the diagnosis of nematode problems are frequently confused with nutritional deficiencies or other soil factors (Perry and Moens, 2011).

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14: Mites as Biocontrol Agents of Phytonematodes

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14 

Mites as Biocontrol Agents of

Phytonematodes

Uri Gerson*

Department of Entomology, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture,

Food and Environment, Rehovot, Israel

14.1  Introduction

Reductions in the extent of nematode damage to plants, which may occur without human intervention, are usually attributed to certain biota that decrease nematode numbers in what are termed suppressive soils. These have been reported from all over the world and include some of the best documented cases of natural, effective biological control of nematodes (Kerry,

1997; Sánchez-Moreno and Ferris, 2007). The biological control (BC) of plant nematodes

(phytonematodes) has been defined (Sayre and

Walter, 1991; Stirling, 1991) as reductions in nematode populations and/or their damage through the activities of organisms other than nematode-resistant host plants. Stirling (2011) later proposed a broader, more ecologicallyminded definition, that BC is the action of soil organisms in maintaining nematode population densities at lower average levels than would occur in their absence. Biological control is usually understood to be a scientific as well as a practical approach (and a management tool) in reducing pest numbers and/or their economic, medical and/or veterinary damage, through the activities of other organisms. When it is applied to arthropod pests, BC consists of three strategies, or modes, namely introductions

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1: Impact of Phytonematodes on Agriculture Economy

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1 

Impact of Phytonematodes on

Agriculture Economy

Mahfouz M.M. Abd-Elgawad1* and Tarique Hassan Askary2

Phytopathology Department, National Research Centre, Giza, Egypt;

2

Division of Entomology, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

1

1.1  Introduction

­ roduction potential in the agricultural sector. p

Moreover, individuals and groups of mankind

It is well known that the 2008 global financial cannot save huge financial resources to continue crisis, considered by many economists to be the policy of securing reasonable development the worst financial crisis since the Great De- for other reasons widely known all over the pression of the 1930s, has played a key role in world – economic losses due to war damage hindering many small and large businesses, effected globally, new diseases which demand and causing a decline in consumer wealth ample costs to overcome, and non-optimal utiland downturn in economic activity creating ization of available resources. All these in one high unemployment, unfavourable condi- way or another minimize such resources which tions for new businesses, increase in prices of could be directed to fill in the gap of agriculgoods and services and low income per cap- tural produce. In addition, a continuous challenge ita. In this context, agriculture, as a far-reaching is to face an ever-increasing world population activity in terms of both economy and soci- with more and better food. Now, experts at ology throughout world civilization in the almost all levels in developing and more dehistory of mankind, has been adversely affected. veloped countries recognize the seriousness

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Ball B C (9)
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5: Choosing and Evaluating Soil Improvements by Subsoiling and Compaction Control

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5 

Choosing and Evaluating Soil

Improvements by Subsoiling and Compaction Control

Richard J. Godwin1* and Gordon Spoor2

Harper Adams University, Newport, UK; 2Model Farm, Maulden, UK

1

5.1  Introduction

Soil compaction can seriously affect crop

­production, soil quality and biological activity, and considerable time and energy are often expended in attempts to alleviate it. Problems arise through increased mechanical impedance restricting water availability, root development and air and water movement, increasing the risk of anoxic conditions. Figure 5.1 illustrates how alleviating the compaction layer or pan in a sandy loam soil has transformed the root development of sugarbeet.

The influence of compaction on crop production depends on the thickness, location, macroporosity and moisture status of the compact layer, together with the prevailing weather conditions and soil management techniques.

Compaction can also significantly influence soil infiltration rates and the efficiency of sub-surface drainage. These are important locally at farm level, but also at catchment level through their influence on soil erosion and surface flooding, concerns likely to increase in these times of increasing extremes of weather. Visual soil assessment (VSA) has an important part to play in identifying all such potential problems (Ball et al.,

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7: Evaluating Land Quality for Carbon Storage, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Nutrient Leaching

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7 

Evaluating Land Quality for Carbon

Storage, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Nutrient Leaching

Joanna M. Cloy,1* Bruce C. Ball1 and T. Graham Shepherd2

1

SRUC, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK; 2BioAgriNomics Ltd,

Palmerston North, New Zealand

7.1  Introduction

Recently the importance of good soil structure in mitigating climate change and environmental contamination has been recognized because soil structure influences the storage of carbon (C) sources and sinks of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and cycling of nutrients, which are key soil system processes. This is because the maintenance of soil structure by aggregation, particle transport and formation of soil habitats operates across many spatial scales to regulate water drainage, water retention, air transfer to roots for favourable gas exchange and mineralization of nutrients for release to crop roots (Kibblewhite et al.,

2008; Ball et al., 2013a). For the functions being considered, the most important aspect of soil structure is the soil pore network, which determines the movement of gases, liquids and associated solutes, as well as particulates and organisms, through the soil matrix (Haygarth and Ritz, 2009;

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9: The Expanding Discipline and Role of Visual Soil Evaluation

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9 

1

The Expanding Discipline and Role of Visual Soil Evaluation

Bruce C. Ball1* and Lars J. Munkholm2

SRUC, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK; 2Aarhus University, Tjele, Denmark

9.1  Introduction

Drawing on the conclusions of previous chapters, our objective here is to show that methods of visual soil evaluation (VSE) are key aids to the management of soils. They can identify and quantify soil degradation, particularly compaction. These methods can be used to monitor soil quality and thus to maintain its cropping potential. We also identify the future roles of VSE in soils and the environment and suggest improvements in the methods to support these roles.

The prominence of the role of soils for food security and environmental sustainability is likely to increase as the area of land available shrinks and the quality of what is left decreases. Soil is basically a non-renewable resource and, with limited scope to bring new land into cultivation, degradation needs to be decreased or negated by conservation and by restoration of prior degraded land (Lal, 2013). New technologies such as genetic modification are restricted in their ability to increase crop yields by limitations in soil water and/or nitrogen supply (Sinclair and Rufty, 2012) and the constraints of photosynthetic efficiency.

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3: Reduction of Yield Gaps and Improvement of Ecological Function through Local-to-Global Applications of Visual Soil Assessment

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3 

Reduction of Yield Gaps and

Improvement of Ecological Function through Local-to-Global Applications of Visual Soil Assessment

David C. McKenzie,1* Mansonia A. Pulido Moncada2 and Bruce C. Ball3

1

Soil Management Designs, Orange, Australia; 2Universidad Central de Venezuela, Maracay, Venezuela; 3Scotland’s Rural College, Edinburgh, UK

3.1  Introduction

Although global hunger was reduced in the decade up to 2014, about one in every nine people in the world still had insufficient food for an active and healthy life (FAO et al., 2014). An estimated

25% increase in 2015 population to approximately 9.1 billion people in 2050 will aggravate the shortages of food. This means that the world’s farmers will be expected to boost their outputs, possibly by as much as 60% by 2050

(Fischer et al., 2014), and maintain those improvements indefinitely into the future in our pursuit of ‘food security’.

Food security is defined by the Food and

Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

(FAO et al., 2014) as: ‘A situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life’. Based on this definition, four food security dimensions can be identified: food availability, economic and physical access to food, food utilization and stability over time.

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6: Valuing the Neglected: Lessons and Methods from an Organic, Anthropic Soil System in the Outer Hebrides

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6 

Valuing the Neglected: Lessons and

Methods from an Organic, Anthropic Soil

System in the Outer Hebrides

Mary Norton Scherbatskoy,1* Anthony C. Edwards2 and Berwyn L. Williams3

1

Blackland Centre, Grimsay, North Uist, Scotland, UK; 2SRUC,

Craibstone, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK; 3formerly Macaulay

Land Use Research Institute, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

It is too simple to say that the ‘marginal’ farms of New England were abandoned because they were no longer productive or desirable as living places. They were given up for one very practical reason: they did not lend themselves readily to exploitation by fossil fuel technology . . . Industrial agriculture sticks itself deeper and deeper into a curious paradox: the larger its technology grows in order to ‘feed the world’, the more potentially productive ‘marginal’ land it either ruins or causes to be abandoned.

(Wendell Berry, 1979)

6.1  Introduction

Small-scale abandoned agricultural systems can be found worldwide: throughout Europe (MacDonald et al., 2000; Marini et al., 2011), on American prairie and hill farms (Manning, 1995; Berry,

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Banwart S A Noellemeyer E Milne E (31)
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17 Modelling Soil Carbon

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17 

Modelling Soil Carbon

Eleanor Milne* and Jo Smith

Abstract

Models that describe the dynamics of soil organic carbon (SOC) can be useful tools when estimating the impacts of land cover, land management and climate change on ecosystems. The development of

SOC models started with single-compartment models that assumed a constant decomposition rate. As understanding of SOC dynamics improved, these were replaced by models with different compartments with varying decomposition rate constants. Models that deal with the decomposition of SOC as a continuum have been developed, but they require complex mathematics and are therefore less popular. Compartmentalized soil carbon models are at the core of complex models such as CENTURY and

DNDC, which describe nutrient turnover in the entire ecosystem both above and below ground. The majority of such models have been developed using data from temperate ecosystems as studies on SOC stock change in temperate areas outnumber those from tropical areas. Application to tropical and subtropical areas therefore requires substantial parameterization and testing, and the availability of appropriate data sets remains a challenge.

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6 Soil Formation

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6 

Soil Formation

Marty Goldhaber* and Steven A. Banwart

Essentially, all life depends upon the soil . . . There can be no life without soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together.

USDA Yearbook of Agriculture (1938) by Charles E. Kellogg

Abstract

Soil formation reflects the complex interaction of many factors, among the most important of which are (i) the nature of the soil parent material, (ii) regional climate, (iii) organisms, including humans,

(iv) topography and (v) time. These processes operate in Earth’s critical zone; the thin veneer of our planet where rock meets life. Understanding the operation of these soil-forming factors requires an interdisciplinary approach and is a necessary predicate to charactering soil processes and functions, mitigating soil degradation and adapting soil management to environmental change. In this chapter, we discuss how these soil-forming factors operate both singly and in concert in natural and human modified environments. We emphasize the role that soil organic matter plays in these processes to provide context for understanding the benefits that it bestows on humanity.

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13 Wind Erosion of Agricultural Soils and the Carbon Cycle

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13 

Wind Erosion of Agricultural Soils and the Carbon Cycle

Daniel E. Buschiazzo* and Roger Funk

Abstract

Wind erosion is an important process of both progressive and regressive pedogenesis in arid and semi-arid environments around the world. In semi-arid regions, which are influenced by carbon-poor dust depositions from deserts, the properties as a sink area should be maintained to enable C enrichment by continued soil formation. On agricultural land, wind erosion is a soil-degrading process, resulting mainly from the very effective sorting processes. Coarse particles remain in the field, whereas the finest and most valuable parts of the soil get lost, like particles of the silt and clay fractions and soil organic matter. The latter is not regarded in most carbon balances, although this particulate loss can reach considerable amounts. The processes of wind erosion are subject to a great spatial and temporal variability, making its quantification difficult. In this chapter, we expose wind erosion in the context of its influence on soil organic carbon and prove considerable losses by first measurements.

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18 Valuation Approaches for Soil Carbon

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18 

Valuation Approaches for Soil Carbon

David J. Abson*, Unai Pascual and Mette Termansen

Abstract

Valuation of soil carbon can be understood as the process for assigning ‘weights’ to soil carbon when these are inadequately represented in decision making processes. There are different types of weights or ‘values’ that can be assigned to soil carbon. One approach is to assign monetary weights to such resources using economic valuation models. The total set of such monetized weights is referred to as total economic value (TEV). The different components of the value of soil carbon differ both conceptually and with respect to how they can be measured or manifested. There are various methods for quantifying soil carbon values that differ with respect to the types of values they are suitable or able to assess. This chapter reviews the various valuation approaches that can be applied to estimate different components of the TEV of soil carbon. In this respect, it discusses how soil carbon values can be estimated through both stated and reveal preferences methods, and places particular emphasis on the production function approach. In addition other approaches are presented, including the preventive or mitigation expenditure (marginal abatement costs) approach and the social cost of carbon approach. Lastly, the chapter addresses the question of how economic values can be included in economic decision making processes.

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2 Soil Carbon: a Critical Natural Resource – Wide-scale Goals, Urgent Actions

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2 

Soil Carbon: a Critical Natural

Resource – Wide-scale Goals,

Urgent Actions

Generose Nziguheba*, Rodrigo Vargas, Andre Bationo,

Helaina Black, Daniel Buschiazzo, Delphine de Brogniez,

Hans Joosten, Jerry Melillo, Dan Richter and Mette Termansen

Abstract

Across the world, soil organic carbon (SOC) is decreasing due to changes in land use such as the conversion of natural systems to food or bioenergy production systems. The losses of SOC have impacted crop productivity and other ecosystem services adversely. One of the grand challenges for society is to manage soil carbon stocks to optimize the mix of five essential services – provisioning of food, water and energy; maintaining biodiversity; and regulating climate. Scientific research has helped develop an understanding of the general SOC dynamics and characteristics; the influence of soil management on SOC; and management practices that can restore SOC and reduce or stop carbon losses from terrestrial ecosystems.

As the uptake of these practices has been very limited, it is necessary to identify and overcome barriers to the adoption of practices that enhance SOC. Actions should focus on multiple ecosystem services to optimize efforts and the benefits of SOC. Given that depleting SOC degrades most soil services, we suggest that in the coming decades increases in SOC will concurrently benefit all five of the essential services.

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Bedford M R Choct M O Neill H M (8)
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3 Practical Relevance of Test Diets

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3

Practical Relevance of Test

Diets

M. CHOCT*

University of New England, Armidale, Australia

3.1 Introduction

Most animal nutrition research belongs to applied science and as such its outcomes should be relevant to industry. This means the selection of ingredients, the nutrient specifications used for formulating the diet, the types of feed additives commonly used, the physical quality and the form of the diet should be appropriate for the age and class of the animal to which it is to be fed. Ignoring any of these factors may render the study results irrelevant to practice. However, despite the best efforts of the researcher, it is sometimes difficult to meet these criteria. When this happens, the most important parts, such as the nutrient balance of the diet, should be considered and areas that cannot be accommodated should be clearly stated and justified.

Preceding chapters detail all the basics for conducting proper nutritional experiments for monogastric animals. This chapter will focus on the production aspects of nutrition experiments, discussing how a practical diet can be formulated that will support animal performance relevant to commercial targets.

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4 Characterization of the Experimental Diets

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4

Characterization of the

Experimental Diets

H.V. MASEY O’NEILL*

AB Agri Ltd, Peterborough, UK

4.1 Introduction

One of the key tenets of the scientific method is the ability for experiments to be reproduced (Blow, 2014). To allow for reproduction, experimental methods, published or presented, must be described in such a way that every stage can be carried out by an independent laboratory (see Chapter 8). The intricate detail of an experimental diet is no exception, as this is likely to impact the outcome greatly and will form the basis of any experimental treatment in a feeding experiment. Clarity is important, not only for scientific rigour in the community, but also to enable the reader to interpret the results and fully understand the experiment. It also follows that the justification for the choice of diet or ingredients should be clear. A literature review is usually performed at the conception of an idea for an experimental study (Johnson and Besselsen, 2002). In order to maximize the likelihood of a successful outcome, scientists need to be able to interpret the literature that went before.

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5 Measurements of Nutrients and Nutritive Value

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5

Measurements of Nutrients and Nutritive Value

M. CHOCT*

University of New England, Armidale, Australia

5.1 Introduction

With an ever increasing volume of information to digest, it is essential that you present your research findings in a concise and meaningful manner. In scientific writing, brevity is preferred over long-windedness and strict adherence to technical terms is preferred over elegant variation. Being concise and meaningful is not just about writing; it has its base in the design of an experiment and the testing of the hypothesis. Which measurements are required should be dictated by the hypothesis. A very common oversight with some researchers is to measure what their laboratory is equipped for, or what others in the same field usually measure. One researcher once said to me that such research was like ‘a blind person throwing a rock into the ocean and hoping to hit a fish’. Such an approach bulks up manuscripts with irrelevant measurements without an overarching hypothesis, which in turn leads to irrelevant discussion and misleading conclusions. It is imperative to consider what your hypothesis is and then find the tools to test it. The tools in this case refer to the methods and equipment required to carry out the measurements.

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2 Most Common Designs and Understanding Their Limits

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2

Most Common Designs and

Understanding Their Limits

G.M. PESTI*, R.A. ALHOTAN, M.J. DA COSTA AND L. BILLARD

University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA

2.1 Introduction

Animal and poultry sciences are applied sciences whose practitioners’ questions ultimately involve economic applications. In their simplest forms the questions researchers ask are most often, ‘How much of something needs be administered to maximize performance (and profits)?’ or ‘How much of something can be administered without inhibiting performance (and profits)?’ Monogastric animal research then often involves administering or feeding a series of different levels of something and observing how it affects performance. The independent factors may be things like nutrients or environmental temperatures and the response (output) variables may be things like growth and egg production, feed intake and efficiency, carcass composition, egg size and composition, behaviours, bone quality, etc.

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1 General Principles of Designing a Nutrition Experiment

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1

General Principles of

Designing a Nutrition

Experiment

M.R. BEDFORD*

AB Vista Feed Ingredients Ltd, Marlborough, UK

1.1 Introduction

The clear goal of animal nutrition is to facilitate the optimal use of resources for production of a desired trait. Animals are produced for meat, eggs, milk, wool, leather and many other outputs that have significant economic value.

The cost of producing these outputs largely depends on the cost of the feed employed and the concomitant efficiency of that feed to produce the output of interest. Commercial least-cost formulation programmes are routinely employed to establish the lowest cost route for meeting these needs. The success of such programmes is dependent upon both the accuracy of the requirement and ingredient nutrient content data employed. Nutrition experiments are central to this process as they provide the very information that drives this optimization. As a result, it is important to ensure that when an experiment is conducted, the data generated are both accurate and relevant to the intended application. There should also be a minimum requirement for reporting of methods and data, so that the context in which the data are reported is known. This is important not only for the data at hand, but also for retrospective analysis where data from multiple publications can be combined to determine if a holistic model can more accurately predict the optimum nutrient content for a given output of interest. Clearly, the success of such reviews in deriving a satisfactory model is dependent upon the consistency of reporting of the relevant independent variable in the publications considered. Sadly, in many works, that reporting is far from consistent and, as a result, considerable opportunity for discovery is lost (Rosen, 2001). The focus of this chapter is to highlight the multiple considerations that need to be taken into account if the data generated are to be of value to academia and industry at large. It is split into the two areas of interest to the commercial

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Biddle A J (8)
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3 PEA AND BEAN BREEDING

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3

PEA AND BEAN BREEDING

BACKGROUND TO THE CURRENT TYPES

There is a significant number of similarities in the genetic, physiological and adaptational characteristics of leguminous food crop species that allows them to be considered together as well as genus by genus. The most significant historical work on peas (Pisum sativum) was carried out by Mendel (1866).

Although his work was overlooked by most applied botanists until its rediscovery at about the same time by Correns (1900), de Vries and Tshermack in

Germany and William Bateson in Cambridge (Bateson, 1901; Druery and

Bateson, 1901), it remains fundamental to genetic understanding of all studied plant species and animals. Peas are a largely self-pollinated and hence inbreeding species, as is the common bean species Phaseolus vulgaris (but notably not Phaseolus multiflorus syn. P. coccineus). Wild landraces (now regarded as locally adapted ecotypes) of such largely inbreeding species comprise mixtures mainly of homozygous plants and of heterozygotes from crosses that have occurred naturally as a result of insect pollination, which is facilitated by the form of the flowers and availability of nectar. Dry beans were studied by W.L.

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4 AGRONOMY OF PEAS AND BEANS

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4

AGRONOMY OF PEAS AND BEANS

Peas and beans have specific requirements for successful crop establishment, growth and yield of high-quality produce. Whilst there are many similarities in agronomy, particularly between peas and Vicia faba, the requirements for

Phaseolus beans are not too dissimilar. The successful management of crops is dependent on a number of factors, including the use of high-quality seed, providing a suitable location and soil conditions for sowing and the supply of adequate nutrients and moisture to maintain growth. In addition, crops must be protected from weed competition and pests and diseases; these subjects are discussed in Chapters 5 and 6.

CROP ROTATION

There are a number of traditional reasons put forward for the necessity of crop rotation when including peas or beans. Weed control may be improved by the use of spring-sown crops and there is the value of residual nitrogen (see Chapter 2) to improve fertility of the soil for the following crop. Large-seeded legumes fit in well with a rotation with cereals and they can generally be grown using the same machinery and stored with existing equipment. The vegetable crops are more demanding on machinery, labour and harvesting equipment but nevertheless their value as a break crop and general soil improver is still the same.

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8 THE FUTURE FOR PEAS AND BEANS

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8

THE FUTURE FOR PEAS AND BEANS

INTRODUCTION

In the earlier chapters, aspects of current development in pea and bean breeding and production have been discussed, albeit mainly concentrating on largescale developed commercial agriculture in the developed countries of the world. However, on a general note, it has been established that of all the largeseeded legume crops, peas and beans are the most versatile and are able to grow in a wide variety of geographical areas and soil types. Some species are more adaptable to conditions than others but within species there are many commercial varieties and types that perform well in most situations. These facts alone make the future of these crops much more certain.

As a food source, peas and beans are well accepted for animal nutrition and for human food with relatively little processing of the raw ingredient necessary in a wide variety of cases. In human nutrition, pulses have been shown to have an important role in preventing illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes (Pulse Canada, 2008). The dry edible seeds of large-seeded legumes, known as pulses, contain a higher level of protein than cereals and high levels of both soluble and non-soluble fibre with a low glycaemic index. In developing countries, pulses are an important source of vegetable proteins and constitute the main source of protein for most populations.

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1 INTRODUCTION TO PEAS AND BEANS

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1

INTRODUCTION TO PEAS AND BEANS

Amongst the world’s most important non-cereal food crops, peas and beans are probably the most versatile. They provide a source of protein, are easily stored for long periods and can be consumed as processed or whole food by both humans and livestock. Commonly known as pulse crops or grain legumes, they are widely grown in temperate, subtropical and arid climates all over the world. They can be consumed as fresh vegetables or frozen, canned or dehydrated and also can be harvested as dry seed or pulses, which can be milled for use as a flour, or rehydrated and cooked whole. It seems likely that the adoption of legumes as agricultural crops in part reflects the nutritional balance between legumes and cereal seeds as well as the ability of legumes to break cereal rotations. Because of their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen through their symbiotic relationship with soil-borne bacteria providing them with sufficient nitrogen for growth, the residue enriches the soil nitrogen supply for the following crop. The diversity of locations where peas and beans have been developed in agriculture is reflected in the diversity of species and varieties currently grown. They are found in agricultural systems throughout the world and have been domesticated in South and Central America, the Middle East, China, India and Africa. More recently they have been introduced to Europe and North

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6 MANAGEMENT OF PESTS AND DISEASES

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6

MANAGEMENT OF PESTS AND DISEASES

Pests and diseases of peas and beans are capable of reducing yields, spoiling quality, jeopardizing the reliability of production and disrupting throughput at the packing and processing facilities. Very occasionally there are dramatic losses, due to infections of disease at epidemic proportions, or due to unusually heavy infestations of a particular pest. Both are often linked with climatic conditions. There are less serious losses, such as where patches of diseased plants appear, or when pest infestation is not heavy and there are subtle and often unnoticed losses that may result from a gradual build-up of a soil-borne pest or pathogen, but gradually reducing vitality and profitability.

Control methods are now becoming more reliant on management and measures of prevention rather than a direct approach of treating when symptoms or pests appear. The reliance on synthetic pesticides is being discouraged and more emphasis is being made on prediction, forecasting and monitoring as a means of providing an avoidance strategy or a managed approach, by identifying the optimum timing for the application of pesticides and justification for their use. In many countries that produce processed crop products, there is a strong emphasis on the need for crop traceability from the field to the factory, where every input – agronomic, crop nutrition and pesticide application – is recorded by the producer and the records remain available for inspection for some time after harvest. The UK Assured Produce Scheme known as Red Tractor has been in operation for several years as a voluntary standard set up by the food industry and a similar scheme is used in Europe (GLOBALG.A.P.). Both schemes include crop protocols that are standardized in agreement with retailers, food processors and merchants to provide a means of transparency and food safety for the consumer.

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