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International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics

 

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International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics (17 papers in press)

 

Regular Issues

 

  • Effects of Manure Application Rates on Soil Loss and Crop Yields   Order a copy of this article
    by Taffa Tulu 
    Abstract: Application of manure is one of the cost effective and important methods of soil and water conservation for it has the capacity of improving soil chemical and physical properties to affect runoff, soil loss and crop yield. With the above point in view, a study was carried out in a region of Ethiopia with the objective of analyzing the effect of manure application rate on soil erosion and crop yield. Twenty-four experimental plots were established and eight rates of manure applications with three replicates arranged in randomised complete block design were used for the investigation. The manure application was kept uniform as much as possible. Each plot was uniformly broadcasted with wheat. The effectiveness of the manure application rate in preventing the detachment of soil particles was analyzed. Application of manure had improved soil properties reducing runoff and soil loss; and increased total biomass, straw and grain yields. The data were fitted well to the exponential model. The achieved results are useful to farmers, Extension Services and Policy Makers.
    Keywords: biomass; crop yield; exponential model; manure application rate; runoff; soil loss.

  • Planning of agricultural production in agro-energy districts of Greece   Order a copy of this article
    by ANNA KALIOROPOULOU 
    Abstract: This paper presents a multicriteria model for agricultural production planning in agro-energy districts. The use of crop residues to produce thermal and electric energy promotes a sustainable environment. This is the reason that the formation of agro-energy districts and the increase of biomass energy production are among the main goals of the EU programming period 2014-2020. The model has two main objectives: income maximization and maximization of biomass energy produced by the crops residues. The utility function of the multicriteria model combines the two objectives and is maximized under a set of constraints. The model is applied in two prefectures of northern Greece, Imathia and Kilkis, located in the region of Central Macedonia. The two prefectures have different characteristics in relation to the main crops cultivated in their respective crops plans. In both prefectures, the optimum production plan achieves greater income and greater biomass energy production.
    Keywords: energy districts; biomass energy; multicriteria model; farm planning.

  • Finding a State of Sustainable Wine: Implications for Sustainable Viticulture and Oenology in New Jersey, USA.   Order a copy of this article
    by Daniel Moscovici, Paul Gottlieb 
    Abstract: New Jersey is the most urbanized state in the United States, yet positioned as a sustainable wine region of the world. The methodology includes a thorough literature review of sustainable wine combined with a quantitative and qualitative survey of wineries in New Jersey. Data collected from 71% of wineries demonstrate sustainable opportunities for developing wine regions. A variety of conclusion are drawn from the research. First, farmers are generally sustainable at a small scale and employ a variety of sustainable best management practices. Second, support from the growers association and government would advance sustainability. Third, additional funding would expedite this move; many of New Jersey wines are already labelled or marketed as sustainable. By creating a certification, guidelines, or set of best management practices, New Jersey could differentiate and improve sales locally, nationally and even globally. These lessons can be applied to other developing wine regions of the world.
    Keywords: sustainability; wine; viticulture; environment; stewardship; agriculture; oenology; triple bottom line; certification; best management practices sustainable.

  • Physical and biochemical traits of selected grape varieties cultivated in Tekirda   Order a copy of this article
    by Demir KOK 
    Abstract: This research was performed during the 2014 growing season for determining some physical and biochemical properties of 8 different grape varieties, including Red Globe, Michele Palieri, Balbal, Antep Karas, Alphonse Lavallee, Pembe Gemre, Ozbek, Efes Karas grown in Tekirda province of Turkey. In the study, grape length, grape width, grape weight, grape firmness, cluster length, cluster width and cluster weight were measured as physical properties and total soluble solids content, titratable acidity, pH, total phenolic content, total anthocyanin content and total tannin content in the juice of grape varieties were evaluated as the biochemical properties. The study results shown that grape weight means varied from 3.3 (Pembe Gemre variety) to 12.9 g (Red Globe variety), cluster weight ranged from 232 (Balbal variety) to 863.2 g (Red Globe variety) and grape firmness changed from 367.5 (Efes Karas variety) to 855 g mm-1 (Michele Palieri variety). Research data demonstrated that biochemical properties of grape varieties varied highly among the grape varieties. Total phenolic content means were between 103.62 (Balbal variety) and 314.55 mg GAE 100 g-1 (Alphonse Lavallee variety), total anthocyanin content means were between 19.92 (Ozbek variety) and 91.22 mg 100 g-1 (Efes Karas variety) and total tannin content means were between 10.62 (Balbal variety) and 62 mg 100 g-1 (Alphonse Lavallee variety).
    Keywords: V. vinifera L.; table grape; phenolic content; anthocyanins; tannins; grape quality.

  • Supply response of sunflower in Turkey   Order a copy of this article
    by Derya Ilkay Abdikoglu, Gokhan Unakitan 
    Abstract: Domestic oil seed production in Turkey does not meet the growing population's vegetable oil consumption. For this reason, there is a foreign dependency on oil seeds. Sunflower is one of the most important oil seeds in Turkey. Sunflower is 46% of total oil seed production (BYSD, 2017). Sunflower production should be increased in order to meet the vegetable oil demand from the domestic production. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the sunflower sowing areas and sunflower yield. Sunflower supply is affected by various factors such as sunflower prices, other oil seeds prices and alternative products that can be produced. The aim of the study is to determine the sensitivity of the change in sunflower sowing areas to sunflower price and other product prices in Turkey. Data between 1970 and 2014 are obtained from FAO. According to the results, the short run elasticity of sunflower price is calculated as 0.09 and the long run elasticity is 0.32. When the elasticity coefficients are examined, it is seen that in sunflower production, the producers are not very sensitive to prices when taking the decisions of sowing area. For this reason, while determining agricultural policies to increase production, structural policies should be more emphasized.
    Keywords: wheat price; sunflower price; sunflower production area; supply response.

  • Determination of effects of bacteria, mineral fertilizer and their combination on the plant growth of tulip (Tulipa gesneriana L.)   Order a copy of this article
    by Melek Ekinci, Atilla Dursun, Recep Kotan, Fazilet Parlakova Karagöz, Raziye Kul, Soner Kazaz, Adem Güneş 
    Abstract: Growing ornamental plants have lately become an important part of sustainable agriculture. As in other agricultural productions, fertilizing is used to increase the plant growth of ornamental plants. Biofertilizer has become popular in agricultural production in worldwide. For this reason, in this study, it was determined that the effects of Paenibacillus polymyxa (BI), Pseudomonas putida (BII), Bacillus subtilis (BIII) and Kluyvera cryocrescens (BIV) bacteria isolates and 50 % reduction mineral fertilizer (MF) suggested with bacterial isolates on plant growth of different tulip (Cassini (C), Banja Luca (BL), Golden Apeldoorn (GA), Ollioules (O), American Dream (AD), Parade (P) and Jan Reus (JR)) cultivars were determined in field conditions. The effect of applications on plant growth parameters of tulip were indicated. As a result of the study, the interaction between cultivar and application was significant in terms of plant growth parameters of tulip. Also, the effects of applications and cultivar on this parameters were generally significant. The applications had generally shortened the period in bulb sprouting. This period was 2% earlier than control. With 1/2MF+BIII combination was ensure of shorter sprouting time. The bulb sprouting ratio was observed 97.33% (JR) and 99.78% (P) in varying proportions including the cultivars. The vegetation period had been longest with 1/2MF+BIII application and AD cultivar. Applications showed the highest length and thickness of peduncle with an increase in ratio of 7.82 % and 7.86 % compared to control and the highest peduncle length and peduncle thickness were obtained from P and AD cultivars, respectively. The applications have increased in ratio of 7.88% (BI) in plant height and ratio of 6.06% (BIII) in stem diameter. Number of tillering has been more than C cultivar. The perianth size of C cultivar has been in smaller compared to the others. Applications have been increase in perianth dry matter as 6.30% (1/2MF+BIV) ratio. In the research result, the applications statistically affected on plant growth parameters and there were statistically important differences among the tulip cultivars.
    Keywords: Tulip; PGPB; plant growth; fertilizer.

  • Assessing and Mitigating the Impact of Livestock Agriculture on the Environment through Geospatial and Big Data Analysis   Order a copy of this article
    by Andreas Kamilaris, Francesc Prenafeta, Assumpcio Anton 
    Abstract: Intensive livestock farming has been linked to excessive pollution and contamination of land, water and air. A common body of knowledge is required in order to under-stand and assess this impact of agriculture, and take proper countermeasures with a focus on the sustainability and the protection of the physical environment, affecting agricultural productivity as little as possible. In this paper, we examine the problem of the environmental impact of livestock agriculture, targeting animal manure, which is a serious problem in various territories of Europe and the United States. Aiming to address this problem, we have developed AgriBigCAT, an online software platform that uses geophysical information from various diverse sources, employing geospatial and big data analysis, together with web technologies, in order to estimate the impact of the livestock agricultural sector on the environment, examining possible pollution of land, water and air, considering various scenarios and potential applications to miti-gate the problem. The AgriBigCAT platform can assist both the farmers' decision-making processes and the administration planning and policy making, with the ulti-mate objective of meeting the challenge of increasing food production at a lower environmental impact.
    Keywords: Policy tool; Agriculture; Environmental Impact; Geospatial Analysis; Big Data Analysis.

  • Mobile Technology for Smart Agriculture: Deployment Case for Cocoa Production   Order a copy of this article
    by Richard Lomotey 
    Abstract: In order to maximize the quality and quantity of agricultural production, smart farming has become imperative where mobile technologies can be employed to access: real-time information on crop yields and soil-mapping, fertilizer application, weather data, and intelligent assessment. However, in some economies, there is huge gap between agriculture production and the required supporting mobile technology. Thus, the goal of this research is to narrow this gap by proposing a smartphone application that facilitates intelligent real-time access to agronomic information. Specific to cocoa production in Ghana, our proposed research can aid farmers to use their smartphones to 1) access agronomic information on cocoa management, 2) perform self-assessment of cocoa pod infestation, 3) perform stock analysis of their produce, and 4) offers a crowdsourcing forum for the farmers to discuss cocoa-related issues. The work received 96.88% strong satisfaction rating from the evaluated feedback collected from 32 cocoa producers who also said they will recommend it for community usage. Also, 87.50% of the test users find the developed app to be helpful and useful. Furthermore, 100% of the users expressed interest in using the app to better manage cocoa production.
    Keywords: Mobile devices; Agriculture; Ontology; Data Transfer; Cocoa production.

  • An overview of food businesses in the Western Greece and the extent to which they use information systems   Order a copy of this article
    by Bill Mitsos, Grigorios Beligiannis 
    Abstract: Nowadays, even small businesses must use information systems. In a competitive business environment it is impossible to run a business without the use of information systems. This study presents general information about food businesses in the Western Greece and the extent to which they use information systems. A questionnaire survey was conducted in 85 food businesses. Analysis of primary data shows that most owners have secondary education while women are preferred for employees. Moreover the majority of export businesses deal with olives-olive oil and dairy and most businesses are small. Only 30% of food businesses are export ones and about 49% of them are sole proprietorships. In addition, 67% of food businesses apply quality systems while just 45% apply information systems. The findings of the study suggest that businesses having a larger size, a greater turnover and more departments use information systems to a greater extent.
    Keywords: Information Systems; Food Businesses; Western Greece.

Special Issue on: HELORS 2017 Latest Developments and Applications of Operational Research in Food, Agriculture and the Environment

  • Potentials of biomass production in the region of Central Macedonia in Northern Greece   Order a copy of this article
    by Christina Moulogianni, Georgios Banias, Thomas Bournaris, Thomas Kotsopoulos 
    Abstract: The aim of the study is to examine the potentials of biomass production in the Region of Central Macedonia (RCM)in Northern Greece. For this reason the crop plans of the seven regional units of the RCM were analysed. The final goal is to select the optimal crop plan between the seven regional units as a pilot case for biomass production. The main indicators that were analysed are the farm income, the gross margin, the residual biomass, the variable costs, and the cogeneration of thermal and electrical energy. Alongside a technical and economic analysis of the study area was conducted for the existent crop plans of each regional unit. The main findings of the study are the biomass potential for the seven regional units of the region of Central Macedonia and the optimal crop plan for producing biomass from agricultural residues. The results show that crop plans with cereals and arable crops have better results than crop plans with fruit trees and other crops.
    Keywords: Biomass production; indicators; energy;.

  • Optimal Irrigation Water Management for Adaptation to Climate Change   Order a copy of this article
    by Pantazis Georgiou, Dimitrios Karpouzos 
    Abstract: In this paper, an optimization model is developed to determine the optimal crop pattern and allocation of irrigation water under full and deficit irrigation conditions for adaptation to climate change. Climate change is considered as a global challenge with significant impacts on different aspects of social activity and on the natural environment. For this purpose, the optimization model is applied for two study periods. The one period refer to historical data (1977-1997) and the other one refer to climate change during 2030-2050. Two climate change scenarios were used (SRES scenarios Β1 and Α2) - which were taken from the General Circulation Models (GCMs), CGCM3.1/T63. The optimization approach is performed using a Simulated Annealing (SA) algorithm combined with a stochastic gradient descent technique. Given the continuous decrease of water resources availability due to climate change, the results of the optimization model reinforce the necessity of adequate deficit irrigation practices.
    Keywords: reservoir operation; deficit irrigation; climate change; simulated annealing.

  • Reciprocity in trades: an experimental game approach   Order a copy of this article
    by Antonios Avgeris, Achilleas Kontogeorgos, Panagiota Sergaki 
    Abstract: The central idea of Expected Utility Theory (EUT) defines the way that individuals make decisions under emergency and risk situations. Instead of this, various field and lab studies of the last decades, indicate that this theory does not represent a realistic image of human behaviour. Therefore, experimental findings show that reciprocity constitutes, in many cases, the basic driving force of decision-making behaviour. In a few words, people are reciprocal if they repay kind and unkind actions, too. On the other hand, they are utility maximizers if they act rationally. So, on the basis of the above mentioned, this study survey aims to highlight the behavioural attitudes of individuals through the measuring of reciprocity. For this scope, two games of Game Theory (Ultimatum and Dictator) were practiced and interacted among undergraduate students under real circumstances and were produced reliable conclusions about the two kinds of economic people, Homo Economicus and Homo Reciprocans. The research reveals that people have reciprocal behaviour even if this sometimes drives in irrational behaviour according to the economic theory.
    Keywords: dictator game; economic behaviour; experimental economics; game theory; homo reciprocans; homo economicus; reciprocity; ultimatum game.

  • A multivariate exploratory approach of the attributes of the visitors of Greek thermal springs by using a content management system(CMS)   Order a copy of this article
    by Stratos Moschidis, John Tarnanidis 
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to capture intense variations in service satisfaction with regard to the purpose of visiting the Greek thermal springs. The definition and the measurement of the quality of the services are important in this sector because it impacts in the general satisfaction. Thermal springs are an upcoming, mixed touristic product, used for healing or/and entertaining reasons. Therefore, we questioned a set of thermal springs users and recorded their answers into variables that cover their personal, geographical, educational, economical profiles as well as their responses about thermal spring services. Data were collected through a Joomla Content Management System that implements access control list functionality and custom user fields. Next, data were processed with exploratory statistic analysis methods that find application space in exploratory holistic analysis in order to highlight the strongest trends in a phenomenon structure, especially when this has not been analyzed before.
    Keywords: exploratory analysis; marketing; management; multiple correspondence analysis; thermal springs.

  • A multicriteria approach for assessing agricultural productivity   Order a copy of this article
    by Theodore Tarnanidis, Jason Papathanasiou, Maro Vlachopoulou, Anna Kalioropoulou, Basil Manos 
    Abstract: This paper investigates the agricultural productivity in rural areas based on productivity indicators of agricultural resources, like the gross return produced per agricultural land in these areas, by using the decision-making approach PROMETHEE II. This approach was applied for the assessment of productivity and for the ranking of the seven prefectures of the region of Central Macedonia in Northern Greece with data for the period from 2013 to 2014. The results revealed that the prefecture of Pella surpasses in productivity the remaining six, followed by Imathia and Chalkidiki. Finally, the validity of the specific ranking results is discussed and recommendations are given for the improvement of regional performance and productivity.
    Keywords: Multicriteria analysis; PROMETHEE II; productivity of agricultural resources.

Special Issue on: 18th Panhellenic Forestry Congress Information Technology and Sustainable Agro-Environmental Management

  • Geoinformatics as a tool for the application of energy policy   Order a copy of this article
    by Konstantinos Ioannou, Lazaroros Kosmatopoulos, George Zaimes, Georgios Tsantopoulos 
    Abstract: In many countries, including Greece, the majority of mountainous watersheds are ungauged in respect to hydrologic and weather data. The lack of stream flow monitoring makes it very difficult and time consuming, in regards to the pre-processing development studies of hydropower projects that find possible locations for their construction. Field observations and in stream measurements may become too expensive due to the need for special instruments and labour costs. The present study focuses on the combination of a hydrologic simulation model and a climate reanalysis system for the estimation of a watersheds hydrologic characteristics, mainly stream flow, which will help in small hydropower plants placement decision making. The foundation of the method is based on the ArcGIS system that is used for the introduction and display of spatial information. The SWAT semi distributed hydrologic model in the form of ArcSWAT extension for ArcMap, was used for running a series of hydraulic simulations of Ekaterinis stream watershed for extracting average monthly and annual streamflow data in each one delineated sub-watershed outlets by SWAT. Because of the lack of a weather station close to the study area with the adequate climatic data, weather parameters time series generated by the global climate model Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) were used as inputs for the SWAT model. The results of the simulation show a realistic prediction regarding the produced streamflow data in many predefined selection points within the whole watershed. The method developed here is promising especially regarding larger scale projects, like studying a group of watersheds within the boundaries of a municipality or even a prefecture.
    Keywords: G.I.S. SWAT; CFSR; Hydropower Plant; Watersheds.

  • LAND USE CHANGE AND SOIL FERTILITY ASSESSMENT IN THE VICINITY OF ZAGREB LANDFILL   Order a copy of this article
    by Ivana Šestak, Milan Mesić, Željka Zgorelec, Aleksandra Perčin, Darija Bilandžija 
    Abstract: The aim of this study was to give quantification of the present land use, land use change and assessment of agricultural soil in the area surrounding Jakuevec landfill in Zagreb, Croatia. A map of land use types of approximately 2 km zone around the landfill was created, based on photointerpretation during 2012 and according to Corine Land Cover 2000, 2006 and 2012 database. For soil fertility evaluation, soil was sampled at 4 locations at a distance of up to 300 m around the landfill. Spatial analysis revealed thirteen land use categories of total size around 3161 ha. These categories were divided into three larger groups based on land use types (water: 5 %, agricultural land: 50 % and city: 45 % of the total analysed area). Mixed agriculture is very important in this urban area regardless of the closeness of the waste landfill, because it relies on fertile soil and vicinity of large market of the capital city. The main land use changes included increase in industrial or commercial units and transport infrastructure, and decrease of agricultural land.
    Keywords: land use change; waste landfill; mixed agriculture; urban/suburban area; soil monitoring; soil fertility; soil chemical properties; CLC; Corine Land Cover.

  • THE USE OF VEGETATION INDICES AND CHANGE DETECTION TECHNIQUES AS A TOOL FOR MONITORING ECOSYSTEM AND BIODIVERSITY INTEGRITY   Order a copy of this article
    by Georgios Kefalas, Panagiotis Lattas, Panteleimon Xofis, Roxanne Suzette Lorilla, Aristotelis Martinis, Konstantinos Poirazidis 
    Abstract: The use of satellite data has been widely applied to provide a cost-effective mean to analyse land cover changes over large geographic regions. The aim of this study was the multi-temporal change analysis of vegetation over the last 30 years, using freely available remote sensing data in three steps in Ilia Prefecture, Greece. In the first step, four vegetation indices were adopted to analyse the dynamic change of vegetation. At the second step, the investigation of the vegetation density changes was succeeded through thematic change detection techniques, and lastly, at the third step, a Comprehensive Change Detection Method (CCDM) was applied for mapping biomass progress/regress. Finally, after the catastrophic mega-fire of 2007 in Ilia, a change analysis of four vegetation indices focused on this affected region was implemented to investigate the vegetation restoration. Although some spatial changes of vegetation cover were observed during the study period, the state of biomass either improved or remained constant through time, demonstrating the high potential of Mediterranean ecosystems to recover after disturbance events.
    Keywords: Remote Sensing; Vegetation Cover; Multi-temporal Analysis; Change Detection Analysis; Vegetation Indices.