Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Scientia Agricola]]> vol. 74 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Positioning of sensors for control of ventilation systems in broiler houses: a case study]]> ABSTRACT Ventilation systems are incorporated at intensive poultry farms to control environment conditions and thermal comfort of broilers. The ventilation system operates based on environmental data, particularly measured by sensors of temperature and relative humidity. Sensors are placed at different positions of the facility. Quality, number and positioning of the sensors are critical factors to achieve an efficient performance of the system. For this reason, a strategic positioning of the sensors associated to controllers could support the maintenance and management of the microclimate inside the facility. This research aims to identify the three most representative points for the positioning of sensors in order to support the ventilation system during the critical period from 12h00 to 15h00 on summer days. Temperature, relative humidity and wind speed were measured in four different tunnel ventilated barns at the final stage of the production cycle. The descriptive analysis was performed on these data. The Temperature and Humidity Index (THI) was also calculated. Then, the geostatistical analysis of THI was performed by GS+ and the position of sensors was determined by ordinary kriging. The methodology was able to detect the most representative points for the positioning of sensors in a case study (southeastern Brazil). The results suggested that this strategic positioning would help controllers to obtain a better inference of the microclimate during the studied period (the hottest microclimate), considered critical in Brazil. In addition, these results allow developing a future road map for a decision support system based on 24 h monitoring of the ventilation systems in broiler houses. <![CDATA[Water restriction and physiological traits in soybean genotypes contrasting for nitrogen fixation drought tolerance]]> ABSTRACT Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) is essential to the economic viability of the soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill] crop in Brazil, but drought may impair the BNF processes. We evaluated physiological traits of nitrogen fixation drought-tolerant (NFDT) (R01-581F, R01-416F and R02-1325) and drought-susceptible (CD 215 and BRS 317) genotypes of soybean subjected to drought or regular water supply between 45 and 55 days after emergence, in an experiment under greenhouse conditions in pots containing non-sterile soil. R01-581F had more stable photosynthetic and transpiration rates, and higher intercellular CO2 levels under drought. Drought reduced the chlorophyll concentration in all genotypes, but with less intensity in R01-581F and R02-1325. The NFDT genotypes generally showed higher concentrations of N, K and Mn in shoots, irrespective of the water condition. Exposure to drought increased total soluble sugars in nodules in all genotypes, as well as the concentrations of ureides in leaves and nodules, whereas ureides in petioles increased only in the susceptible genotypes. Drought negatively affected photosynthetic and BNF attributes; however, R01-581F showed the best performance, with potential for use in breeding programs aiming at drought-tolerant varieties. <![CDATA[Data visualization in yield component analysis: an expert study]]> ABSTRACT Even though data visualization is a common analytical tool in numerous disciplines, it has rarely been used in agricultural sciences, particularly in agronomy. In this paper, we discuss a study on employing data visualization to analyze a multiplicative model. This model is often used by agronomists, for example in the so-called yield component analysis. The multiplicative model in agronomy is normally analyzed by statistical or related methods. In practice, unfortunately, usefulness of these methods is limited since they help to answer only a few questions, not allowing for a complex view of the phenomena studied. We believe that data visualization could be used for such complex analysis and presentation of the multiplicative model. To that end, we conducted an expert survey. It showed that visualization methods could indeed be useful for analysis and presentation of the multiplicative model. <![CDATA[Late nitrogen application enhances spikelet number in indica hybrid rice (<em>Oryza sativa</em> L.)]]> ABSTRACT To increase rice yield potential, field experiments were conducted in farmers’ paddies in 2011 and 2012 to evaluate the effects of different nitrogen applications on the yield and panicle components of three typical indica hybrid rice varieties in Sichuan Province. The number of grains per panicle resulting from late nitrogen application (LA) was 12 % greater than that obtained from traditional nitrogen application (TA); this increase was the main source of improvements in yield. The number of surviving and differentiated spikelets (NSS and NDiS) resulting from LA was significantly higher than that measured under TA, especially for the Fyou498 cultivar, where the NSS and NDiS increased by 15 % and 14 %, respectively. Compared with TA, the number of degenerated secondary branches and the percentage of degenerated secondary branches (NDeSB and PDeSB) were significantly reduced by 9 % and 11 %, respectively, by LA. This is the first study to demonstrate that an increase in NSS and a decrease in NDeSB lead to yield-improving effects attributable to LA. The grain yields of different varieties ranged from 9225.6 to 9408.7 kg ha−1, the PDeSB was as high as 31 %, and the number of surviving secondary branches (NSSB) was significantly and positively correlated with NSS. These data indicate that the yield of indica hybrid rice has considerable potential for being improved, and increasing NSSB is key to increasing NSS and improving the grain yield. These improvements should be pursued so as to increase the yield of hybrid rice to ensure both food security and sustainable agricultural development. <![CDATA[Rootstock on vine performance and wine quality of ‘Syrah’ under double pruning management]]> ABSTRACT In the Brazilian Southeast, the production of high quality wines is attained by a new management approach called double pruning. This management changes the harvesting of wine grape (Vitis vinifera L.) from wet summer to dry winter through a two pruning procedures carried out during the year. The first pruning is done during the winter to induce a vegetative cycle (all clusters are removed) and a second pruning is done during the summer to induce the reproductive cycle. In this study, ten different rootstocks were compared in order to optimize yield and wine quality of Syrah vines conducted under autumn-winter season by double pruning approach. Syrah grapevines grafted onto ‘Rupestris du Lot’ and ‘IAC 766’ showed the highest pruning weight, while ‘110 Richter’ and ‘161-49 Courdec’ induced the lowest cane vigor. The average production of two seasons identified ‘IAC 766’, ‘Kober 5BB’ and ‘Rupestris du Lot’ as the most productive rootstocks. In both seasons, the grape quality was more influenced by the plant development status than by rootstocks. ‘Syrah’ wine from vigorous and high yielding rootstocks, ‘IAC 766’ and ‘Rupestris du Lot’, showed satisfactory wine phenolic composition and alcohol/acidity balance. This study showed that vigorous rootstock increased yield without compromising grape and winter wine quality of Syrah grapevines subjected to double pruning management in the Brazilian Southeast. <![CDATA[Estimating foliar nitrogen in <em>Eucalyptus</em> using vegetation indexes]]> ABSTRACT Nitrogen (N) has commonly been applied in Eucalyptus stands in Brazil and it has a direct relation with biomass production and chlorophyll content. Foliar N concentrations are used to diagnose soil and plant fertility levels and to develop N fertilizer application rates. Normally, foliar N is obtained using destructive methods, but indirect analyses using Vegetation Indexes (VIs) may be possible. The aim of this work was to evaluate VIs to estimate foliar N concentration in three Eucalyptus clones. Lower crown leaves of three clonal Eucalyptus plantations (25 months old) were classified into five color patterns using the Munsell Plant Tissue Color Chart. For each color, N concentration was determined by the Kjeldahl method and foliar reflectance was measured using a CI-710 Miniature Leaf Spectrometer. Foliar reflectance data were used to obtain the VIs and the VIs were used to estimate N concentrations. In the visible region, the relationship between N concentration and reflectance percentage was negative. The highest correlations between VIs and N concentrations were obtained by the Inflection Point Position (IPP, r = 0.97), Normalized Difference Red-Edge (reNDVI, r = 0.97) and Modified Red-Edge Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (mNDI, r = 0.97). Vegetation indexes on the red edge region provided the most accurate estimates of foliar N concentration. The reNDVI index provided the best N concentration estimates in leaves of different colors of Eucalyptus urophylla × grandis and Eucalyptus urophylla × urophylla (R2 = 0.97 and RMSE = 0.91 g kg−1). <![CDATA[Least limiting water range for oil palm production in Amazon region, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT In areas cultivated with oil palm, typically mechanized field operations using heavy vehicles may negatively affect soil physical properties and productivity. The aim of this study was to evaluate soil physical quality in an area cultivated with oil palm by monitoring the temporal variation of the soil water content and relating it to the critical limits of the least limiting water range. Soil bulk density (Bd), soil penetration resistance (SR), least limiting water range (LLWR), and water stress days (WSD) were used to assess soil physical quality in planting rows (PR) and the traffic zone (TZ) at depths 0-20, 20-40, and 40-60 cm. The Bd was higher and the LLWR was reduced in TZ only at the surface layer. The effect of temporal variation in soil water content on the soil physical quality was higher in TZ, mainly in subsurface layers. Bd and LLWR did not affect the fresh fruit bunch production; however, WSD in TZ at 20-40 and 40-60 cm layers provided evidence of effects of temporal variation of soil water content on oil palm productivity. <![CDATA[High fire temperature changes soil aggregate stability in slash-and-burn agricultural systems]]> ABSTRACT Fire is a key controlling factor in ecosystem dynamics worldwide, especially, in tropical areas under slash-and-burn agricultural systems. Farmers use fire as a tool to clean the land, and benefit from nutrient enrichment from ash-soil heating. However, fire can cause some detrimental effects on soil systems, such as organic carbon depletion, increased soil erodibility, and changes to aggregate stability. In this study, an experimental fire was applied to a plot of land following the local traditional practice of slash-and-burn. The fire temperature was monitored in the field, and its effect on soil aggregate stability was assessed. The fire temperature on soil surface was measured in four trenches, and it ranged from 355 to 660 °C (average 484 ± 142 °C). The fire temperature did not affect soil organic matter content. However, aggregate stability increased by 10 % in comparison to unburned soil. Moreover, the geometric mean diameter of burned soil was 20 % higher than that of unburned soil. In conclusion, high fire temperature changes soil aggregate stability in slash-and-burn agricultural systems. <![CDATA[Universal tail sequence-SSR applied to molecular characterization of tropical maize hybrids]]> ABSTRACT The development of efficient and low-cost genotyping methods is essential to precise genetic characterization of cultivars. Here, we present a system based on fluorescently labeled universal tail sequence primers (UTSP) to resolve microsatellite (SSR) markers as an alternative for molecular fingerprinting of maize. A set of 20 SSRs using the UTSP presented an average polymorphic information content of 0.84, which provided a probability of random identity ranging from 10−7 to 10−14, and a minimum exclusion power of 99.99998 % in a group of 48 tropical maize single-cross hybrids traded in Brazil. The genetic diversity analysis based on multidimensional scaling explained approximately 28 % of the total variance for the first two coordinates, tending to group the hybrids according to their respective origin. Additionally, this genotyping system presented a high distinctiveness capacity, which is widely recommended for genetic purity and fingerprinting analyses. Thus, this marker system has a strong potential as a tool for complementary analysis of distinguishability, uniformity and stability required for cultivar registration. <![CDATA[Reduced sensitivity to azoxystrobin is stable in <em>Monilinia fructicola</em> isolates]]> ABSTRACT A shift towards declining azoxystrobin sensitivity has been previously documented in a collection of Brazilian Monilinia fructicola isolates, but information on the stability of this trait after in vitro sub-culturing is not available. In this study, one highly-sensitive isolate and two isolates with reduced sensitivity to azoxystrobin, not exhibiting point mutations at codons 129, 137 and 143 in the target gene of cytochrome b were used. Two independent experiments consisted of 10 weekly transfers of each strain in potato dextrose agar (PDA). Conidial production and germination were quantified in the initial culture and, again, after the third, sixth and tenth transfer. Measures of mycelial growth were obtained in colonies growing on PDA amended with azoxystrobin at 1 µg mL−1 and salicylhydroxamic acid at 100 µg mL−1. Data were normalized to mycelial growth rate after each of the 10 transfers. The colony diameter in the less sensitive isolates was stable across the transfers in the PDA amended with the fungicide. The conidial production and mycelial growth rate did not decrease in non-amended media either. Our results suggest that the trait of reduced sensitivity to azoxystrobin is stable under no selection pressure for azoxystrobin.