Agronomy Research Papers/Topics

Farmers’ perception and evaluation of brachiaria grass (Brachiaria spp.) genotypes for smallholder cereal–livestock production in East Africa.

Abstract: Brachiaria (Urochloa) is a genus, common name brachiaria, of forage grasses that is increasingly transforming integrated crop-livestock production systems in East Africa. A study was undertaken to (i) assess smallholder farmers’ perception on benefits of brachiaria in cereal-livestock production, (ii) identify brachiaria production constraints, and (iii) identify farmer preferred brachiaria genotypes. A multi-stage sampling technique was adopted for sample selection. Data were co...

Impacts of plant spacing and nitrogen fertiliser on incidences and density of spotted and African pink stem borers in Tanzania.

Abstract: Nitrogen fertilisation and plant spacing hold potential for the integrated management of rice insect pests. Field experiments were conducted in Kilombero, Tanzania to evaluate the effects of plant spacing and nitrogenous fertiliser on incidences and density of spotted and African pink stem borers. A 3 × 4 × 4 factorial experiment was used in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Treatments included application of urea fertiliser at four levels (0, 40...

Rapid acquisition, management, and analysis of spatial maize (Zea mays L.) phenological data—Towards ‘Big Data’ for agronomy transformation in Africa

Abstract: Mobile smartphones, open-source set tools, and mobile applications have provided vast opportunities for timely, accurate, and seamless data collection, aggregation, storage, and analysis of agricultural data in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In this paper, we advanced and demonstrated the practical use and application of a mobile smartphone-based tool, i.e., the Open Data Kit (ODK), to assemble and keep track of real-time maize (Zea mays L.) phenological data in three SSA countries. Far...

Agronomic Factors Influencing Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) Infestation and Damage and Its Co-Occurrence with Stemborers in Maize Cropping Systems in Kenya

Abstract: Fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda J.E Smith, (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a serious invasive pest of maize that has been established in Kenya since 2016. Little is known about its co-occurrence with resident stemborers, relative infestation and damage and how agronomic factors influence its infestation and damage in maize cropping systems across different agro-ecological zones. This study assessed FAW co-occurrence with resident stemborers, relative infestation and damage a...

Consequences of shade management on the taxonomic patterns and functional diversity of termites (Blattodea: Termitidae) in cocoa agroforestry systems.

Abstract: Termites have gained importance as major pests in cocoa agroforests. Proper identi‐fication of termite species and knowledge on their functional diversity are the first steps in developing environmentally compatible management strategies. We tested the hypothesis that patterns of termite species richness in different cocoa agrofor‐ests is related to responses by termite functional groups to changes in shade man‐agement. We compared termite assemblages under five cocoa agrofor...

Suitability of resampled multispectral datasets for mapping flowering plants in the Kenyan savannah

Abstract: Pollination services and honeybee health in general are important in the African savannahs particularly to farmers who often rely on honeybee products as a supplementary source of income. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the floral cycle, abundance and spatial distribution of melliferous plants in the African savannah landscapes. Furthermore, placement of apiaries in the landscapes could benefit from information on spatiotemporal patterns of flowering plants, by optimising...

Removing constraints to sustainable food production: new ways to exploit secondary metabolism from companion planting and GM.

Abstract: The entire process of agricultural and horticultural food production is unsustainable as practiced by current highly intensive industrial systems. Energy consumption is particularly intensive for cultivation, and for fertilizer production and its incorporation into soil. Provision of nitrogen contributes a major source of the greenhouse gas, N2O. All losses due to pests, diseases and weeds are of food for which the carbon footprint has already been committed and so crop protection ...

Remote and Field Level Quantification of Vegetation Covariates for Malaria Mapping in Three Rice Agro-village Complexes in Central Kenya

Abstract: Background: We examined algorithms for malaria mapping using the impact of reflectance calibration uncertainties on the accuracies of three vegetation indices (VI)'s derived from QuickBird data in three rice agro-village complexes Mwea, Kenya. We also generated inferential statistics from field sampled vegetation covariates for identifying riceland Anopheles arabiensis during the crop season. All aquatic habitats in the study sites were stratified based on levels of rice stages; fl...

Climate change and maize productivity in Uganda: Simulating the impacts and alleviation with climate smart agriculture practices

Abstract: Climate change continues to affect maize production, food security and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in most of the developing countries. Climate smart agriculture (CSA) practices can enhance agricultural production by alleviating adverse climate effects on maize productivity through improved soil moisture storage, water use efficiency, increased soil carbon (C) and nutrient supply with long-term resilience to climate change.

Competitive Plant-Mediated and Intraguild Predation Interactions of the Invasive Spodoptera frugiperda and Resident Stemborers Busseola fusca and Chilo partellus in Maize Cropping Systems in

Abstract: Following its recent invasion of African countries, fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), now co-exists with resident stemborers such as Busseola fusca (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and Chilo partellus (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) causing severe damage to maize crops. Due to niche overlap, interspecific interactions occur among the three species, but the mechanisms and degree remain unclear. In this study, we assessed plant-mediated intraspecific and interspec...

Influence of Si in maize plants in Kenyan populations of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

Abstract: The fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), native to the Americas, was confirmed in West and Central Africa in 2016 and reported in almost all countries of sub-Saharan Africa in 2017, becoming thereafter one of the major constraints on the production of maize, the main staple food crop in the region. Cereals depend on silicon (Si)-based defences to fight off herbivores. Both FAW strains, namely rice and corn strains, have been found to be present in Ke...

Agrochemical contaminants in six species of edible insects from Uganda and Kenya

Abstract: Edible insects are currently promoted worldwide as an alternative animal protein source, but they are mostly still harvested from the wild where they are predisposed to contamination with agrochemicals. This study analysed six species of edible insects (Ruspolia differens, Rhynchophorus phoenicis, Schistocerca gregaria, Oryctes sp, Pachnoda ephippiata and Acanthoplus sp) collected from different habitats and/or reared in the laboratory in Kenya and Uganda for safety from agrochemic...

Improving phosphorus acquisition efficiency through modification of root growth responses to phosphate starvation in legumes

Abstract: Phosphorus (P) is one of the essential macronutrients for plant growth and development, and it is an integral part of the major organic components, including nucleic acids, proteins and phospholipids. Although total P is abundant in most soils, a large amount of P is not easily absorbed by plants. Inorganic phosphate (Pi) is the plant-available P, which is generally immobile and of low availability in soils. Hence, Pi starvation is a major constraint limiting plant growth and produ...

Use of time series normalized differencevegetation index (NDVI) to monitor fall armyworm(Spodoptera frugiperda) damage on maizeproduction systems in Africa

Abstract: Fall armyworm (FAW)Spodoptera frugiperda(J.E. Smith), damagewas monitored at a regional scale using time series data inWestern and Southern African countries. The study employed thenormalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) computed fromLandsat 8 imagery using the Google Earth Engine (GEE) usingimage composites for the years 2013 to 2020 for the study areas.The index was then reclassified based on the NDVI threshold val-ues into low, sparse, moderate, and dense classes. FAW prev...

Black Soldier Fly-Composted Organic Fertilizer Enhances Growth, Yield, and Nutrient Quality of Three Key Vegetable Crops in Sub-Saharan Africa

Abstract: Worldwide, French beans (Phaseolus vulgarisL.), tomato (Solanum lycopersicumL.), andkales (Brassica oleraceaL.var. acephala) are considered economically important foodcrops. There is a rapid decline in their yield due to severe soil degradation. Thus, highcommercial fertilizer inputs are crucial, though they remain expensive and inaccessibleto resource poor farmers. We investigated the comparative performance of compostedblack soldier fly frass fertilizer (BSFFF), conventionallycom...


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