Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Scientia Agricola]]> vol. 73 num. 5 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[A cost prediction model for machine operation in multi-field production systems]]> ABSTRACT Capacity planning in agricultural field operations needs to give consideration to the operational system design which involves the selection and dimensioning of production components, such as machinery and equipment. Capacity planning models currently onstream are generally based on average norm data and not on specific farm data which may vary from year to year. In this paper a model is presented for predicting the cost of in-field and transport operations for multiple-field and multiple-crop production systems. A case study from a real production system is presented in order to demonstrate the model’s functionalities and its sensitivity to parameters known to be somewhat imprecise. It was shown that the proposed model can provide operation cost predictions for complex cropping systems where labor and machinery are shared between the various operations which can be individually formulated for each individual crop. By so doing, the model can be used as a decision support system at the strategic level of management of agricultural production systems and specifically for the mid-term design process of systems in terms of labor/machinery and crop selection conforming to the criterion of profitability. <![CDATA[Biogas production: litter from broilers receiving direct-fed microbials and an enzyme blend]]> ABSTRACT The effect of additives used in the feed of broilers on anaerobic bio-digestion of poultry litter was evaluated. Four diets were used: NC: negative control; DFM: NC + 500 ppm direct-fed microbials (DFM) containing Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus licheniformis; ENZ: diet formulated with an enzyme blend (20 ppm phytase, 200 ppm protease and 200 ppm xylanase); DFM+E: ENZ + DFM. Substrates for the anaerobic bio-digestion were prepared with litter from each treatment, containing 4 % total solids (TS). These were used in 16 continuous bio-digesters with a 2 kg d−1 load, to determine the production and potential biogas production and composition during an 85-day period. Influent and effluent samples were collected for the amounts of TS and volatile solids (VS), fiber fraction (neutral detergent fiber [NDF], acid detergent fiber [ADF] and lignin), nutrients (N, P and K), and total and thermotolerant coliforms to be determined. For all treatments a reduction in the following effluents was observed as follows: TS (49, 48, 48 and 50 %) VS (70, 54, 55 and 62 %) NDF (91, 90, 95 and 96 %) ADF (89, 88, 93 and 94 %) and lignin (80, 76, 89 and 88 %). The efficiency of the treatment for coliforms in bio-digesters was higher than 90 % in the 85-day period in all treatment groups. There was a reduction in biogas and methane production when DFM (5500 and 4000 mL) and DFM + E (5800 and 4100 mL) were used, compared to treatments NC (6300 mL and 4400) and ENZ (6400 and 4500 mL). The potential production of reduced TS and VS was higher in ENZ (1:00 and 1.74 106 mL kg−1) when compared to NC (0.88 and 1:02 106 mL kg−1), DFM (0.80 and 1:40 106 mL kg−1) and DFM + E (0.88 1:25 and 106 mL kg−1). The additives did not affect the percentage of methane production, and all treatments showed values higher than 70 %. Adding enzymes to the diet of broilers influences the litter characteristics and, as a consequence, increases biogas production. The addition of DFM and DFM + E to broiler diets reduced biogas and methane production. <![CDATA[Cassava processing wastewater as a platform for third generation biodiesel production]]> ABSTRACT This study aimed to evaluate third generation biodiesel production by microalgae Phormidium autumnale using cassava processing wastewater as a platform. Experiments were performed in a heterotrophic bubble column bioreactor. The study focused on the evaluation of the bioreactor (batch and fed-batch) of different operational modes and the analysis of biofuel quality. Results indicate that fed-batch cultivations improved system performance, elevating biomass and oil productions to 12.0 g L−1 and 1.19 g L−1, respectively. The composition of this oil is predominantly saturated (60 %) and monounsaturated (39 %), resulting in a biodiesel that complys with U.S., European and Brazilian standards. The technological route developed indicates potential for sustainable production of bulk oil and biodiesel, through the minimization of water and chemical demands required to support such a process. <![CDATA[Decline of phosphorus, copper, and zinc in anaerobic swine lagoon columns receiving pretreated influent]]> ABSTRACT Land application of both anaerobic lagoon liquid and sludge can increase nutrient accumulation beyond the soil’s assimilative capacity and become a threat to water quality in regions with intensive, confined swine production. In a 15-month meso-scale column study, we evaluated the effect of manure pretreatment on the reduction of total suspended solids (TSS), total phosphorus (TP), soluble reactive P (SRP), and total copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) in swine lagoons using (i) enhanced solid-liquid separation (SS) and (ii) solid-liquid separation plus biological nitrogen treatment with nitrification-denitrification (SS + NDN). A conventional anaerobic lagoon treatment was included as a control. A mass flow balance revealed that with both pretreatments the net mass input of TP, Cu, and Zn in the lagoon columns declined 80 to 100 % when compared to the control. Even though both pretreatments significantly reduced P in the inflow, TP and SRP were negatively correlated (r = -0.51 to -0.87) with TSS in the liquid fraction because of the dissolution of P from sludge into the overlying lagoon liquid. On the other hand, the removal of solids by both pretreatments effectively reduced Cu and Zn concentrations in the lagoon liquid, and their concentrations were positively correlated (r = 0.79 to 0.90) with TSS. The decline in mass accumulation of TP, Cu, and Zn in sludge as a result of the reduction of input solids can help minimize both the frequency of sludge removal for lagoon maintenance and the land area for its disposal. <![CDATA[Energy generation in a Microbial Fuel Cell using anaerobic sludge from a wastewater treatment plant]]> ABSTRACT In microbial fuel cells (MFCs), the oxidation of organic compounds catalyzed by microorganisms (anode) generates electricity via electron transfer to an external circuit that acts as an electron acceptor (cathode). Microbial fuel cells differ in terms of the microorganisms employed and the nature of the oxidized organic compound. In this study, a consortium of anaerobic microorganisms helped to treat the secondary sludge obtained from a sewage treatment plant. The microorganisms were grown in a 250 mL bioreactor containing a carbon cloth. The reactor was fed with media containing acetate (as the carbon source) for 48 days. Concomitantly, the electrochemical data were measured with the aid of a digital multimeter and data acquisition system. At the beginning of the MFC operation, power density was low, probably due to slow microorganism growth and adhesion. The power density increased from the 15th day of operation, reaching a value of 13.5 μW cm–2 after ca. 24 days of operation, and remained stable until the end of the process. Compared with data in the literature, this power density value is promising; improvements in the MFC design and operation could increase this value even further. The system investigated herein employed excess sludge as a biocatalyst in an MFC. This opens up the possibility of using organic acids and/or carbohydrate-rich effluents to feed MFCs, and thereby provide simultaneous effluent treatment and energy generation. <![CDATA[Growth of <em>Burkholderia sacchari</em> LFM 101 cultivated in glucose, sucrose and glycerol at different temperatures]]> ABSTRACT Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) have attracted major industrial interest as alternatives to conventional plastics. They are produced by several bacteria as cytoplasmic inclusions when nutrients are in limited supply. Among the many factors influencing bacterial growth, the effect of temperature on both specific growth rates and growth yields in terms of carbon source intake is of considerable interest. This study aimed to evaluate the influence of the bacterium Burkholderia sacchari LFM 101 on growth and PHA production, using glucose, sucrose or glycerol as a carbon source, at 30 and 35 °C. The results showed that B. sacchari cultured with glucose at 35 °C presented both higher productivity and polymer yield in dried cell mass. There were no differences in growth rates (μmax) in sucrose and glucose. The growth conditions studied were not favorable to glycerol consumption due to limitations in the energy supply from glycerol. <![CDATA[Recovery of ammonia from anaerobically digested manure using gas-permeable membranes]]> ABSTRACT Nitrogen (N) can be recovered from different types of wastewaters. Among these wastewaters, anaerobically digested swine manure (digestate) has the highest N content in ammonia form (NH3). It is desirable to reduce N in digestate effluents to safely incorporate them in arable soil in N vulnerable zones (NVZ) and to mitigate NH3 emissions during N land application. Additional benefit is to minimize inhibition of the anaerobic process by removing NH3 during the anaerobic digestion process. This work aimed to apply the gas-permeable membrane technology to evaluate ammonia (NH3) recovery from high-ammonia digested swine manure. Anaerobically digested swine manure with NH4+ content of 4,293 mg N L−1 was reduced by 91 % (to 381 mg N L−1) during the 32-day experiment. Although the results showed a total N recovery efficiency of 71 %, it is possible to increase this recovery efficiency to &gt; 90 % by adjusting the area of the membrane system to match the high free ammonia concentration (FA) in digested swine manure. Moreover, final digestate pH and alkalinity were kept around 8.1 and 8,923 mgCaCO3 L−1, which are convenient for the anaerobic process or incorporation in arable soil when the process is finished. <![CDATA[Swine manure digestate treatment using electrocoagulation]]> ABSTRACT Anaerobic biodigestion is an appropriate alternative for the treatment of swine wastewater due to its biogas generation properties and the possibility of its application as a source of energy for heating or electricity. However, digestate can still contain high levels of turbidity, organic carbon and nutrients and must be correctly managed as a biofertilizer, or treated to avoid any impact on the environment. Considering this, electrocoagulation (EC) shows promise as a technology because of its ease of handling and high efficiency in effluent remediation. This study aimed to evaluate the performance of EC in a batch system in the treatment of swine wastewater digestate. The wastewater used in the treatment was sampled from a 10 m3 biodigestor effluent (digestate) located at Concórdia, Santa Catarina, Brazil. A batch-scale experiment was carried out to evaluate the following two variables: electrode distance (ED) and voltage applied (V). The removal efficiency levels (%) for the best operational condition (2 cm, 5 V) after 30 min were: 97 %, 98 %, 77 % and 10 % for color, turbidity, total organic carbon (TOC) and total nitrogen (TN), respectively. The EC batch system produced efficient results, underlining its promise as an alternative to be applied in the treatment of digestate. <![CDATA[Treatment of swine manure: case studies in European’s N-surplus areas]]> ABSTRACT In this study, eight different manure treatment plants were monitored. The plants were four on-farm and four centralized treatment plants, all of them at full-scale level. Assessment includes a total of seven pre-treatment and process units as follows: mechanical separation, with and without coagulant and flocculant addition, pasteurization, nitrification-denitrification, anaerobic digestion, and composting. The plants are located in nutrient surplus areas of three European Member States (Spain, Italy and Denmark), the majority of these areas being Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZ). Results presented herein are data collected over a six-month period and comprise performance data of the treatment plants, pathogen indicators (E.coli and Salmonella) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data under two scenarios: 1) the baseline scenario and 2) the treatment plant scenario. The assessment includes GHG emissions of the storage facilities, transportation, and subsequent intermediate storage, electric consumption, electric production, composting, and land application. All treatment plants studied generated a significant reduction in GHG emissions (between 53 and 90 %) in comparison to the baseline scenario. Organic matter and total solids (TS) content in manure were also greatly reduced, with values ranging between 35-53 % of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and, 24-61 % of TS for anaerobic digestion (AD) treatment plants, 77-93 % COD and 70 % TS in the case of AD combined with nitrogen (N)-removal unit plants. Nitrogen concentrations were also greatly reduced (between 65-85 %) total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) and 68-83 % ammonium (NH4+-N)) in plants with N-removal units. <![CDATA[Spatial prediction of soil penetration resistance using functional geostatistics]]> ABSTRACT Knowledge of agricultural soils is a relevant factor for the sustainable development of farming activities. Studies on agricultural soils usually begin with the analysis of data obtained from sampling a finite number of sites in a particular region of interest. The variables measured at each site can be scalar (chemical properties) or functional (infiltration water or penetration resistance). The use of functional geostatistics (FG) allows to perform spatial curve interpolation to generate prediction curves (instead of single variables) at sites that lack information. This study analyzed soil penetration resistance (PR) data measured between 0 and 35 cm depth at 75 sites within a 37 ha plot dedicated to livestock. The data from each site were converted to curves using non-parametric smoothing techniques. In this study, a B-splines basis of 18 functions was used to estimate PR curves for each of the 75 sites. The applicability of FG as a spatial prediction tool for PR curves was then evaluated using cross-validation, and the results were compared with classical spatial prediction methods (univariate geostatistics) that are generally used for studying this type of information. We concluded that FG is a reliable tool for analyzing PR because a high correlation was obtained between the observed and predicted curves (R2 = 94 %). In addition, the results from descriptive analyses calculated from field data and FG models were similar for the observed and predicted values. <![CDATA[Correlation maps to assess soybean yield from EVI data in Paraná State, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Vegetation indices are widely used to monitor crop development and generally used as input data in models to forecast yield. The first step of this study consisted of using monthly Maximum Value Composites to create correlation maps using Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor mounted on Terra satellite and historical yield during the soybean crop cycle in Paraná State, Brazil, from 2000/2001 to 2010/2011. We compared the ability of forecasting crop yield based on correlation maps and crop specific masks. We ran a preliminary regression model to test its ability on yield estimation for four municipalities during the soybean growing season. A regression model was developed for both methodologies to forecast soybean crop yield using leave-one-out cross validation. The Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) values in the implementation of the model ranged from 0.037 t ha−1 to 0.19 t ha−1 using correlation maps, while for crop specific masks, it varied from 0.21 t ha−1 to 0.35 t ha−1. The model was able to explain 96 % to 98 % of the variance in estimated yield from correlation maps, while it was able to explain only 2 % to 67 % for crop specific mask approach. The results showed that the correlation maps could be used to predict crop yield more effectively than crop specific masks. In addition, this method can provide an indication of soybean yield prior to harvesting. <![CDATA[Heterosis and genetic parameters for grain quality in oat segregating populations]]> ABSTRACT Improvement of quality-related traits of grains is a constant concern in white oat breeding programs, which challenges breeders to understand their dynamics. The performance of different genetic combinations must be thoroughly evaluated to make high nutritional quality cultivars available. This study aimed to estimate the heterosis on F1 and F2 generations, vigor loss, due to inbreeding, and correlation between the grain chemical components to understand the dynamics of these traits, considering two segregating oat progenies. The populations Albasul × UPF 15 (population 1) and IAC 7 × UFRGS 19 (population 2) were developed. Both populations showed transgressive segregant individuals. The combination Albasul × UPF 15 provided significant heterosis for traits β-glucan total and soluble fiber contents, while the population obtained by crossing IAC 7 × UFRGS 19 generated significant gain by heterosis for total fiber, insoluble fibers and non-structural carbohydrate contents. Considering the F2 average for each population, one can observe that population 1 presents higher β-glucan and lipid contents than population 2. On the other hand, population 2 has higher protein content than population 1. In both populations, the non-structural carbohydrate content is strongly and negatively correlated whith protein, total and insoluble fibers. Correlations between total fibers and lipids and between total fibers and insoluble fibers were both positive and high in both populations. <![CDATA[Quantitative trait locus mapping associated with earliness and fruit weight in tomato]]> ABSTRACT The flowering time is regarded as an important factor that affects yield in various crops. In order to understand how the molecular basis controlling main components of earliness in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), and to deduce whether the correlation between fruit weight, days to flowering and seed weight, is caused by pleiotropic effects or genetic linkage, a QTLs analysis was carried out using an F2 interspecific population derived from the cross of S. lycopersicum and S. pimpinellifolium. The analysis revealed that most of the components related to earliness were independent due to the absence of phenotypic correlation and lack of co-localization of their QTLs. QTLs affecting the flowering time showed considerable variation over time in values of explained phenotypic variation and average effects, which suggested dominance becomes more evident over time. The path analysis showed that traits such as days to flowering, seed weight, and length of the first leaf had a significant effect on the expression of fruit weight, confirming that their correlations were due to linkage. This result was also confirmed in two genomic regions located on chromosomes 1 and 4, where despite showing high co-localization of QTLs associated to days to flowering, seed weight and fruit weight, the presence and absence of epistasis in dfft1.1 × dftt4.1 and fw1.1 × fw4.1, suggested that the linkage was the main cause of the co-localization.