Some irrigation methods

Irrigation is the the controlled application of water for agricultural purposes through manmade systems to supply water requirements not satisfied by rainfall. Crop irrigation is vital throughout the world in order to provide the world's ever-growing populations with enough food. Many different irrigation methods are used worldwide, including: Center-Pivot: Automated sprinkler irrigation achieved by automatically rotating the sprinkler pipe or boom, supplying water to the sprinkler heads or nozzles, as a radius from the center of the field to be irrigated. Water is delivered to the center or pivot point of the system. The pipe is supported above the crop by towers at fixed spacings and propelled by pneumatic, mechanical, hydraulic, or electric power on wheels or skids in fixed circular paths at uniform angular speeds. Water is applied at a uniform rate by progressive increase of nozzle size from the pivot to the end of the line. The depth of water applied is determined by the rate of travel of the system. Single units are ordinarily about 1,250 to 1,300 feet long and irrigate about a 130-acre circular area. Drip: A planned irrigation system in which water is applied directly to the Root Zone of plants by means of applicators (orifices, emitters, porous tubing, perforated pipe, etc.) operated under low pressure with the applicators being placed either on or below the surface of the ground. Flood: The application of irrigation water where the entire surface of the soil is covered by ponded water. Furrow: A partial surface flooding method of irrigation normally used with clean-tilled crops where water is applied in furrows or rows of sufficient capacity to contain the designed irrigation system. Gravity: Irrigation in which the water is not pumped but flows and is distributed by gravity. Rotation: A system by which irrigators receive an allotted quantity of water, not a continuous rate, but at stated intervals. Sprinkler: A planned irrigation system in which water is applied by means of perforated pipes or nozzles operated under pressure so as to form a spray pattern. Subirrigation: Applying irrigation water below the ground surface either by raising the water table within or near the root zone or by using a buried perforated or porous pipe system that discharges directly into the root zone. Traveling Gun: Sprinkler irrigation system consisting of a single large nozzle that rotates and is self-propelled. The name refers to the fact that the base is on wheels and can be moved by the irrigator or affixed to a guide wire. Supplemental: Irrigation to ensure increased crop production in areas where rainfall normally supplies most of the moisture needed. Surface: Irrigation where the soil surface is used as a conduit, as in furrow and border irrigation as opposed to sprinkler irrigation or subirrigation.

Resistance development in pests
How does resistance develop?

Certain individuals within a pest population may already possess genetically-determined resistance to a particular active substance – even before it has been applied. Individuals possessing genes for resistance might normally only be present as a small proportion of the population, but when an insecticide is applied, the selection pressure in favour of the resistance they possess increases. Resistance will then spread quickly within the population,particularly if the organism has a rapid turnover of generations and reproduces itself in large numbers. Examples of pests with a strong ability to develop insecticide resistance are aphids, white flies, mites, and various lepidopteran species, including the genera Spodoptera, Heliothis and Plutella. These pests possess the biological characteristics described above: they produce several generations a year, and show a very high reproduction rate. This allows genetic selection and adaptation to changes in external factors to happen particularly quickly in these types of insect. The development of resistance is often associated with reduced biological fitness in the absence of the factor selecting for that resistance; so if the insecticide is no longer used, the frequency of resistance within the population usually declines. But it may remain latent, such that it can reemerge if selection pressure increases again, should the insecticide enter into regular use once more. Reduced activity, or indeed complete loss of activity of insecticides, can occur as the result of a selection process acting over several generations of insect pest. Resistance can take various forms: Metabolic resistance -The resistant pest can degrade the active substance before it has a chance to express its toxicity.

Target-Resistance-The site of action of the active substance –i.e. the molecular target in the pest – has changed so much that the active substance is no longer effective. Resistance to penetration-The resistant pest takes up the active substance more slowly and/or in lower quantities than the normal, sensitive pest. Behavioural resistance-The resistant pest avoids contact with the active substance. This leads to reduced uptake of the insecticide, and therefore,reduced activity. Quite often, resistance is not the result of a single mechanism, but of the interaction between two or more mechanisms. Which factors favour the development and expression of resistance? The ability to develop resistance depends strongly on the biology of a particularspecies (generation frequency, reproduction rate, genetic variability). But pest biology is only one factor influencing resistance development. Not using pesticides according to the manufacturer’s recommendations can also encourage the development of resistance. Wherever a pest species develops resistance to a particular active substance, it is usually also resistant to other active substances with the same mode of action. This means that crops can no longer be protected against pest attack using products based on this particular chemical class. As many pests are not restricted to a single crop, and because crop protection agents may be used in different crops against the same pests, predictions of the risk of resistance developing should consider the entire spectrum of crops attacked by a particular pest within a region – this determines how often and how intensively a pest species is exposed to a particular active substance. Isolated pest populations – for example those found in association with large-scale glasshouse growing – represent a particularly strong risk of resistance development. How can the risk of resistance development be reduced? The activity of a product can only be guaranteed when: 1. the product is only applied at the recommended rate, with the right timing, and with appropriate application equipment; 2. no more than the maximum permissible number of applications is made; 3. beneficial insects are protected, according to the spirit of integrated agriculture; 4. agronomic activities (removal of harvest residues, avoiding monocultures and short rotations) are performed as part of an ’Integrated Crop Management’approach. Treating with reduced application rates can jeopardize the chances of successful control, especially where infestation pressure is high; it also increases the risk of resistance development. The recommended application rates should also be kept to,even when products are mixed. In fact,combining products or alternating with active substances from different chemical classes can bring about a higher level of activity, completing the spectrum of action, and reducing the risk of resistance development. Detailed information about the correct use of a crop protection agent is provided in the instructions for use that accompany every packaged product. Resistance development in pests is a complex process. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that resistance can spread rapidly within a pest population. Therefore,all of the

agronomic measures available under Good Agricultural Practice should be put to use, and the available crop protection agents should be used responsibly,in the spirit of sustainable agriculture.

Weed Control Tips
How to Pull Weeds

To weed by hand, get down on your hands and knees and use your hands or a small handheld tool to remove the weeds. Getting close to the weeds lets you pull each weed individually while causing little, if any, harm to your plants. Additionally, while you are weeding, look at your plants to ensure that they are in good health. Weeding can serve two purposes: getting rid of interlopers and alerting you to plant problems before it is too late. Pull even the smallest of the weeds; they are easier to pull when they are small. Their roots are less developed, and they have less chance to wreak havoc on your plants. Afterall, a weed takes away moisture and nutrients intended for your plant. Be sure to pull out the entire weed, including roots. Merely snipping weeds at the base leaves the main problem in the ground. You can use a small trowel to help you get under the weed. It also helps to water your garden a few hours before you weed to loosen the soil a little. You probably want to pull weeds early in the day when it’s cooler. Weed regularly, once or twice a week. By setting a regular schedule, you can make weed control part of your weekly routine and make sure that small weeds do not grow into large ones. You can add dead weeds to your compost heap. Using Mulch to Control Weeds

Another method of weed control is mulch. Mulch keeps weeds out and retains moisture in your garden. You could use plastic mulch, which will almost entirely eliminate weeds. However, it will not return nutrients to your soil, nor is it environmentally friendly. Organic mulch, created from compost, can keep weeds down as long as it is applied thickly. Any weeds that do appear through the mulch are easy to pull. Organic mulch is environmentally friendly and acts as a natural fertilizer. Herbicides Of course, you could use weed killers and herbicides for weed control. These chemicals are often the fastest way to get rid of weeds and require little effort to apply. However, be careful, as the chemicals are harmful and can damage your plants if not applied properly. The chemicals can also be harmful to people and pets. Read the labels to ensure that you apply them properly and use proper protection for yourself to avoid skin contact or breathing the vapours.

LIQUID BIOFUELS AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Introduction Liquid fossil fuels, such as paraffin (kerosene) and fuel oil, have been with us for many years.Over the past decade, similar fuels, made by processing plants, trees and organic wasteproducts have become much more widely available. The rapid growth in the use of biofuelsstems from the soaring price of fossil oil, growing concern over security of supply and theenvironmental impact of fossil fuels. The three main types of liquid fuel looked at in thisdocument comprise: • Ethanol, made by fermenting sugar cane, grain, straw, grass and wood. • Biodiesel, made from new or recycled vegetable oils and animal fats (e.g. from palm oil) • Oils made by compressing seeds (such as jatropha oil). Production from algae iscurrently being researched. Grown sustainably , biofuels have the potential to alleviate global warming and other negativeenvironmental issues such as the disposal of vast quantities of organic wastes. Used responsibly , biofuels can have a major impact on levels of pollutants, both within thehomes of those living in poverty, and in the crowded cities of the developing world.When biofuels first became widelyavailable they were heralded as thenew sustainable way to provide theworld with energy. More recently, theuse of land for growing crops whichare solely for energy has led to majorenvironmental issues.The market in biofuels has grown veryfast, as shown in the figures forbiodiesel provided by the Biodiesel2020 survey (Emerging MarketsOnline). As a result, environmentalistsare calling for stricter global controlson production. Growing biofuels Sustainable cultivation Of all opportunities for renewable energy from energy plantation biomass, sugar cane makesthe most sense. In many African countries where sugar was developed under

colonialeconomies, sugar was produced (mainly for export to Europe and beyond), while theresidues, such as molasses, were dumped into the rivers, leaching the oxygen from thewater and destroying life. These sugar factories were very dirty operations - many still are.Developing a market for ethanol can form part of a beneficial re-use strategy that can cleansugar factories and use the residues that previously had no value and were dumped. Withadvanced technologies now available, biomass, such as trees and grasses, can also be usedas feedstocks for ethanol production

A vast variety of oil plants originate in the tropics and subtropics. Many oil-bearing plants,whose oils are often toxic to humans, grow on low-grade land, or in marginal locationsunsuitable for food crops. Some of these plants are cultivated on waste lands to preventfurther erosion and to inhibit desertification. Use of these oils for energy provision does notneed to compete with food production. Examples of these oil plants are the Physic nut tree(Jatropha Curcas L.), the castor oil plant varieties (Ricinus communis L.) and the babassúpalm (Orbignya phalerata Mart.), among others.Some oil plants grow in symbiosis with food plants by being used, for example, as shadetrees, or to provide barriers against animals; jatropha is not eaten by animals so can be usedin this way. Plant oils from seeds such as jatropha (which grow in many regions of tropicaland subtropical countries), can be harvested and the oil extracted using hand tools. This localoil production strengthens decentralized supply, provides employment and incomeopportunities for the local population and promotes sustainability. The presscake, a by-product of the oil processing, can be used either as fodder or as high-quality fertilizer. Ingeneral, all plant oils which are liquid at ambient temperatures can be utilized as cooking fuel(Stumpf, 2002). Large-scale cultivation of biofuels The problems associated with growing biofuels stem from the industrialised world trying togrow its way out of its dependence on the internal combustion engine, and the huge profitsthat are to be made from growing palm oil and other high energy crops. A single hectare of oilpalm may yield five tonnes of crude oil (Mongabay.com) – and where rainforests are cleared,for example in Malaysia, further profits can be made through the sale of timber from landclearance. There is evidence that not all cleared land is suitable for palms and that hardwoodis the main objective. This indiscriminate culling of forests has led, for instance, to oil-palmplantations covering 5.3 million hectares of Indonesia (2004).The destruction of prime foresthas led to major social and cultural upheaval for indigenous peoples whose rights have beenignored (Mongabay.com).After 25 years, lands are often so leached of nutrients that they are abandoned and becomescrubland where few plants will grow. In the USA, which is seeking to reduce its dependenceon overseas oil products, subsidies may mask the costs of spraying both pesticides andfertilizers, and from using of large-scale farm machinery.

How are biofuels made? Bio-ethan

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