Browsing ETDs: Virginia Tech Electronic Theses and Dissertations by Author "Abaye, Azenegashe Ozzie"
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- Alkanes as Internal and External Markers in Horses and the Digestibility of a High Fat Cereal By-ProductByrd, Bridgett McIntosh (Virginia Tech, 2003-11-13)Determining intake of feeds in horses is an important factor in incorporating supplements in their diets. Fecal recoveries (R), fecal output (FO), dry matter digestibility (DMD) and dry matter intake (DMI) were estimated using alkanes as markers in 8 thoroughbred geldings. The experiment compared two diets in a 2 X 2 latin square experiment. The diets were mixed grass hay only (H) and the same hay plus a cereal by-product (H + CBP). The cereal by-product (CBP) was the high fat component added to feeds at Virginia Tech's Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension Center. The apparent digestibility of ether extract (EE) and other nutrients in the H and H + CBP, as well as the partial digestibility of CBP were also determined. The periods were 21 d each with a dietary accommodation period followed by eight days of dosing the even chain alkanes dotriacontaine (C32) and hexatriacontane (C36) as external markers. Total collection (TC) was performed the last 4 d of dosing. The results show that mean recoveries of alkanes were close to 100%, but the range for individual alkanes was wide, and the pattern of recoveries for alkanes of different chain length was inconsistent from feed to feed. The results also indicate that mean estimates of the DMI, DMD and FO of a feed, such as H or H + CBP, are determined with reasonable accuracy by means of alkane markers. In contrast, alkane estimates of DMI and DMD in an individual horse fail to predict corresponding TC estimates. The alkane estimate of FO in an individual horse predicts a TC value with error of 16.4%. The CBP was found to be an excellent source of EE, CP and fiber but a poor source of Ca.
- Arsenic Adsorption on Iron Oxides in the Presence of Soluble Organic Carbon and the Influence of Arsenic on Radish and Lettuce DevelopmentGrafe, Markus (Virginia Tech, 2000-12-12)Chapter 2: Germination and Growth of Radish (Raphanus sativus) and Lettuce (Lactuca sativus) Exposed to Arsenite and Arsenate in Hydroponic Growth Solution Little information is available on the survival, uptake, and dry mass production of vegetable seedlings and maturing plants in arsenic enriched environments. Such information is however very important to many vegetable growers in areas of subsistent agricultural like Bangladesh or home-gardeners in closer proximity of As sources such as metal smelters. Accordingly we conducted research investigating (i) the germination and radical formation of radish and lettuce seeds at varying As (V) and As (III) concentrations and (ii) radish and lettuce plants in solution culture. Seed germination studies demonstrated that 0.1mM and 0.025mM are toxic threshold levels of As (III and V) for radishes and lettuce, respectively, while As (V) is more toxic to radish seeds than As (III). Arsenic (III and V) impacted both germination and radical development in radish seeds. For lettuce we observed that As had no impact on germination but reduced radical length significantly (p < 0.01). At most equimolar concentrations, As (III) was more toxic than As (V) in lettuce seeds (0.025 - 0.10mM As), a result contrary to those obtained in radish seeds (0.05 - 0.5mM As). The hydroponic growth studies showed that losses and increases in dry weight are a function of absorbed As and are dependent on the source of As: As (V) or As (III). Moreover, the effect of absorbed As (V) or As (III) on dry weight reductions and increases differed between root and shoot portions of the plants and are crop dependent. Tissue-As (originally solution As (V)) was more toxic at the radish root level and tissue-As (originally solution As (III)) was more toxic at the radish shoot level. Conversely for lettuce, As (III) caused reductions in dry weight, while As (V) had a stimulating effect on biomass production. Lower As (V) concentrations in plant tissue throughout the lettuce study and at low As (V) concentrations (0.02mM) in the radish study may be explained by the molar ratio of P:As of approximately 5. From a food nutrition safety standpoint, studies need to concentrate on sub-lethal levels in order to ensure the proper formation of the harvestable portion of the plant. Chapter 3: Adsorption of Arsenate (V) and Arsenite (III) on Goethite in the Presence and Absence of Soluble Organic Carbon The environmental fate of arsenic is of utmost importance as the U.S. EPA has recently proposed to tighten the arsenic drinking water standard from 50 ppb to 5 ppb. In natural systems the presence of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) may compete with As for adsorption to mineral surfaces, hence increasing its potential bioavailability. Accordingly, the adsorption of arsenate As (V) and As (III) on goethite (α-FeOOH) was investigated in the presence of either a peat humic acid (Hap), a Suwannee River Fulvic Acid (FA) (IHSS) or citric acid (CA). Adsorption edges and kinetic experiments were used to examine the effects of equimolar concentrations of organic adsorbates on arsenic adsorption. Adsorption envelopes were conducted over a pH range of 11 to 3, while the kinetic studies were conducted at pH 6.5 for As (V) and pH 5.0 for As (III). Arsenate adsorption was inhibited in the order of Hap > FA > CA while arsenite adsorption was inhibited in the order of CA > FA > Hap. Humic acid reduces As V adsorption starting at pH 9, with a maximum reduction at pH 6.5. Fulvic acid slightly inhibited As (V) adsorption starting at pH 5, and this inhibition increased with a decrease in pH. No effect was observed in the presence of CA. Arsenite adsorption is inhibited by HA starting a pH 7 and increases with a decrease in pH, while FA and CA reduce As (III) adsorption beginning at pH 8, with a continuous reduction as the pH decreases. The differential extent of As V adsorption in the presence of the organic acids suggests that the distribution and the respective densities of the abundant functional groups (phenol/ catechol OH or COO⁻) are significant in the adsorption of As (V). Furthermore, larger organic acids may hydrophobically partition to surfaces via a more favorable entropy driven reaction mechanism which may influence As (V) diffusion and its subsequent adsorption to surfaces. The decrease in As (III) adsorption is caused by its reduced affinity for the surface at pH values lower than 9, and the simultaneous increase in surface activity by the organic substances' via their COO⁻ functional groups. The results of these experiments suggests that dissolved organic carbon substances are capable of increasing the bioavailability of As in soil and water systems in which the dominant solid phase is a crystalline iron oxide. Chapter 4: Adsorption of Arsenate and Arsenite on Ferrihydrite in the Presence and Absence of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) The adsorption of As (V) and As (III) on synthetic 2-line ferrihydrite in the presence and absence of a peat humic acid (Hap), Suwannee River Fulvic Acid (FA) or citric acid (CA) was investigated. Previous work with goethite has demonstrated the ability of DOC materials to reduce As (V) and As (III) adsorption. In this study, a batch technique was used to examine the adsorption of arsenic (III and V) and DOCs on ferrihydrite in the pH range from 3 to 11. The results obtained demonstrated that As (V) adsorption on ferrihydrite was reduced only in the presence of CA. Arsenate reduced the adsorption of all organic acids except Hap. Both FA and CA reduced As (III) adsorption on ferrihydrite, while Hap had no effect. Fulvic and citric acid adsorption on ferrihydrite was reduced in the presence of As (III), however, adsorption increases of FA and CA were observed at lower pH, which is consistent with a decrease in As(III) adsorption. The peat humic acid had no effect on As (III) adsorption, and we believe that the adsorption process of Hap and As (III and V) on ferrihydrite are independent of each other. The observed differences between this study and the study on goethite are believed to be an intricate function of ferrihydrite's surface characteristics, which affects the mechanisms of surface adsorption and hence the affinity of organic acids such as Hap, FA, and CA for the ferrihydrite surface. As such, the adsorption of DOCs to ferrihydrite are assumed to be energetically less favorable and to occur with a fewer number of ligands, resulting in lower surface coverage of weaker bond strength. Additional factors for the observed differences are discussed. This work demonstrates the importance of the solid phase in adsorption processes and functional group composition, as noticeable differences are observed in comparison to a crystalline Fe-oxide solid phase.
- Assessing the Distribution and Impact of Bean pod mottle virus (BPMV) as a Re-emerging Virus, and Soybean mosaic virus (SMV) in Soybean Grown in VirginiaMackasmiel, Lucas A. (Virginia Tech, 2004-07-12)Bean pod mottle virus (BPMV, Genus Comovirus, Family: Comoviridae)is an important virus in soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill), causing quality and yield loss due to seed coat mottling and seed weight reduction. Although BPMV has been known in Virginia since 1958 and has always been regarded as causing negligible losses, its impact is changing as BPMV incidence has increased in many soybean growing areas of Virginia and the USA in general. From 1997 to 2001, a total of five BPMV isolates (V-W1, V-W2, V-S98-1, V-S98-15 and V-S01-10) were collected in Virginia and characterized. In this study, the effects of these isolates were studied, alone or with Soybean mosaic virus (SMV, Genus Potyvirus, Family Potyviridae) strain SMV G1, and isolates S98-51 and S98-52, on selected soybean cultivars. Individual isolates of BPMV showed variable symptom severity, and resulted in yield loss of between 40.4 to 58.1%, while SMV caused 23.7% in the most severe interactions. Up to 100% yield loss was realized from double inoculations of selected BPMV and SMV isolates, BPMV V-S98-1 + SMV S98-52 and BPMV S98-15 + SMV S98-52 on Hutcheson and Hutcheson Roundup Ready® (BC5) soybeans, respectively. Time of inoculation, a critical factor in the impact of many virus diseases, affected seed coat mottling in four cultivars and seed weight in two cultivars, in tests with four BPMV isolates and three stages of soybean development. All BPMV isolates inoculated to plants at vegetative stage V1-V3 severely increased seed coat mottling and reduced seed weight than those inoculated at V4-V6 and reproductive stage R1-R3. Seedlings grown from non-mottled seeds germinated more uniformly had fewer thin-stemmed seedlings and grew faster than those grown from mottled seeds. Inoculation of various cultivars and breeding lines showed that there was no correlation between the severity of virus-induced foliar symptoms, relative accumulation of SMV, and extent of seed coat mottling. Thus, by avoiding the presence of BPMV at an early growth stage through proper timing of planting to avoid vectors, proper cultural practices like weed control, use of SMV free seeds, and chemical control, it is possible to greatly improve seed quality and reduce yield losses in soybean.
- Assessing the Effect of Nitrogen Sources, Rates and Time of applications on Yield and Quality of Stockpiled Fescue and Tall Fescue PasturesYarber, Elizabeth Lee (Virginia Tech, 2008-08-01)In Virginia, tall fescue [(Schedonorus phoenix (Scop.) Holub,) formally known as Festuca arundinacea L.] can be found on more than 4 million ac of hay and pastureland. Two separate experiments were conducted at three different geographical locations over two growing seasons. The objective of Experiment 1 was to evaluate the influence of N sources and rates on yield and nutritive value of stockpiled tall fescue. Experiment 2 examined the effect of split spring and fall N applications at various rates on yield and nutritive value of tall fescue pastures. The first experiment was conducted at three locations (Blacksburg, Blackstone, and Steeles Tavern, VA) while the second experiment was conducted only at the Blacksburg and Steeles Tavern locations. In Experiment 1, the N sources included ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate, urea, urea + AgrotainÂ®, Environmentally Smart NÂ® (ESN), Nutrisphere (NSN), NitaminÂ® (Blackstone only), pelleted biosolids (Blackstone only), and broiler litter (Steeles Tavern only) applied at 0, 28, 56, 84, and 112 kg plant available N (PAN) ha-1. Plots were harvested in mid-December (Blacksburg and Steeles Tavern) and late January (Blackstone). The yield of the stockpiled tall fescue in 2006 ranged from 1,300 to 2,900, 1,700 to 3,000, and 2,600 to 3,300 kg DM ha-1 for the Blacksburg, Steeles Tavern and Blackstone locations, respectively. In 2007, however, the yield response to N rate and sources was significantly less than that of 2006 due to low rainfall. At the Blacksburg location, ammonium sulfate and ESN resulted in higher CP concentrations, ranging from 11-14% and 12-20% for 2006 and 2007 growing seasons, respectively. Similar variation (12-20%) was observed for the Steeles Tavern location in 2006. In general, the ADF and NDF content decreased as N rate increased from 0-112 kg ha1. Although the source and rate that resulted in high yield and nutritive value varied across location and years, N rates and sources improved the quality and yield of stockpiled fescue. Experiment 2 utilized urea which was applied in the fall at the rates of 0, 45, 90 or 135 kg N ha-1. followed by spring application of 0, 45, 90 or 135 kg N ha-1. A total of 16 treatment combinations per replication were used. Yields ranged from 1,900 to 3,600 kg DM ha-1 and 700 to 2,500 kg DM ha-1 in 2007 and 2008, respectively. At the Steeles Tavern location, yields ranged from 3,100 to 5,700 kg DM ha-1 and 2,500 to 5,100 kg DM ha-1, in 2007 and 2008, respectively. In both years CP increased with increasing N fertilization. On a dry matter basis, CP values ranged from 14 to 23% for both years. Treatments did not affect on NDF and ADF values. Split fall/spring N applications did not maximize yield of cool-season grass pastures in these experiments.
- Assessing the potential of mixed grazing goats with beef cattle to improve animal performance and increase the utilization of marginal pasturelands in the Appalachian coal regionWebb, Darryl Matthew (Virginia Tech, 2008-01-14)Reclaimed coal-mined lands in the Appalachian region can be successful established and utilized for beef cattle production. Currently, these areas are underutilized partly due to an increase in invasive plant species, such as multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora Thunb. Ex Murr.), autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata Thunb.), and sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata (Dum.-Cours.) G. Don). The steep topography and low economic returns from beef cattle make conventional control methods inhibitive. Goats are effective browsing on invasive plant species. An experiment was conducted in 2006 and 2007 at the Powell River Research and Education Center near Wise, VA (77° 43' 30" west longitude, 38° 57' 30" north latitude, elevation 155.5 m) to determine the effects of an ungrazed control, cattle alone grazing, and mixed grazing goats with cattle on forage biomass, botanical composition, relative plant abundance, and animal performance. The three treatments included an ungrazed control, cattle grazing alone, and mixed grazing goats with cattle. Experimental design was a randomized complete block design with two replicates for the control and three replicates for the grazed treatments. Three times during the grazing season the following were measured, analyzed or assessed: nutritive values of pasture, autumn olive, multiflora rose, and sericea lespedeza were assessed; forage biomass was determined by clipping four 0.25 mÂ² quadrants per control replicate and eight 0.25 mÂ² quadrants per grazed replicate; botanical composition and relative abundance of plant species was assessed by the Double DAFOR method from five fixed points in each control replicate and ten fixed points in each grazed replicate; animals were weighed; autumn olive shrub height was measured with a clinometer from a distance of 10 m from the shrub. Branch length was measured with a tape measure from the base of the branch to the end tip. Shrub survival was measured by counting shrubs in each replicate and determining visually percent leaf-out. Each year, control and cattle alone treatments had greater (P < 0.05). Generally, grass content increased in the grazed treatments from spring to fall while weed content increased in the control treatment (P < 0.05). By the end of the two experimental years, the legume components of the pasture were low. This was more evident in the ungrazed control than the grazed treatments. The relative abundance of tall fescue and orchardgrass (P < 0.05) increased in grazed treatments while sericea lespedeza became a dominant weed in the control (P < 0.05). Goats showed high preference for sericea lespedeza and maintain this plant in a leafy, vegetative stage. This leafy, vegetative growth was found to acceptable to cattle. Cattle performance was not affected by treatment (P < 0.05) but total animal output was higher for mixed grazed compared to cattle alone treatments (P < 0.05). The nutritive values of multiflora rose, autumn olive, and sericea lespedeza were higher than pasture in most instances (P < 0.05). In our experiment, autumn olive was severely impacted by goat browsing. Shrub survival was lower in mixed grazing (61%) by the end of the experiment compared to over 90% for the control and cattle grazing treatments (P < 0.05). Overall, pastures were utilized more uniformly in mixed grazing compared to other treatments. Mixed grazing goats with cattle appear to be a viable option for livestock producers in the Appalachian coal mining region.
- Assessing the Potential Use of Teff as an Alternative Grain Crop in VirginiaColeman, Jennifer Marie (Virginia Tech, 2012-04-27)Teff (Eragrostis tef (Zucc.)) is an annual, warm-season cereal crop most notable for its gluten-free, nutrient-packed seed. Experiments were conducted in two regions of Virginia (Blacksburg and Steeles Tavern) in 2010 and 2011 to determine the grain production potential of two teff varieties (brown and white). Additionally, commercially purchased teff flour was evaluated for its suitability in producing a satisfactory baked product. Teff varieties were planted in early June and July at a seeding rate of 6 kg PLS ha??. Nitrogen fertilizer was applied at planting in the form of urea at a rate of 56 kg ha??. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with a two-way factorial treatment structure (variety and planting date) and four replications. Grain yield and nutritive value, straw yield and quality, and plant height were evaluated for each variety and planting date at Steeles Tavern in 2010. Due to failure in crop establishment and difficulties involved in threshing and processing the harvested crop, no data is available in 2010 or 2011 for Kentland or in 2011 for Steeles Tavern. In 2010 at Steeles Tavern, grain yield was significantly higher for the brown variety (367 kg ha??) compared to the white variety (97 kg ha??) for both planting dates. There was no significant difference in straw yield between varieties or planting dates with straw yield averaging 2645 and 2475 kg DM ha?? for brown and white varieties, respectively. Precipitation accumulation at Steeles Tavern was higher in 2010 (greater than 10 cm) during June and July compared to 2011 and the historic average. This may explain why the plots in 2010 were able to successfully establish and out compete weeds. In the lab, four types of baked products were tested to determine the suitability of teff for baked goods. Cakes, cookies, biscuits and bread were tested with varying treatments of teff: control (100% wheat flour) and 10, 20, 30, 40 and 100% teff flour. Each treatment was replicated three times for each product. Generally, bread and cake volumes decreased as the percent of teff increased. Teff flour was best suited for use in cookie and biscuit products compared to cakes and breads since cookies and biscuits require less leavening. Overall, both experiments (field and laboratory) demonstrated the potential of teff as an alternative grain crop in Virginia. However, additional research is needed to overcome problems associated with establishment, harvest, threshing and processing.
- Assessment of stockpiling methods to increase late summer and early fall forage biomassHickman, Amber Leanna (Virginia Tech, 2013-05-06)As one of the major forage crops of the United States management programs to optimize stockpiled tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) can potentially increase livestock profitability. This study consists of two experiments designed to assess different aspects of summer stockpiling. Experiment 1 evaluated the effects of summer stockpiling endophyte infected Kentucky 31 tall fescue on biomass and nutritive value of tall fescue forage. Treatments included four whole plot treatments (two nitrogen (N) application timing, legume inclusion, and control) each divided into sub-plot cut and no cut treatments. The cut treatment consisted of a single cutting taken in May. Nitrogen in the form of urea was applied at a rate of 56 kg/ha for the March N treatment and for the June N treatment. Yield and quality of summer stockpiled fescue was adequate to support dry beef cows. Experiment 2 evaluated the effects of summer stockpiling on the biomass yield and nutritive value of three types of tall fescue with N fertilization (endophyte infected (E+), endophyte-free (E-), and novel endophyte (MaxQ)) and four species of native warm-season grasses without N fertilization (switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii Vitman), indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash), and little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash)). Native warm-season grasses produced much higher yields than all tall fescue types but the nutritive value was not adequate to support the nutrient requirements of livestock. Summer stockpiled tall fescue is a viable resource to provide low requirement animals with quality forage during late summer and early fall.
- Benefits of Dung Beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) on Nutrient Cycling and Forage Growth in Alpaca PasturesArnaudin, Mary Elin (Virginia Tech, 2012-02-28)Alpacas have been gaining prominence in the U.S. since the early 1980s. In pastures, dung beetle activity has been shown to enhance the degradation and incorporation of dung into the soil. The benefits of this activity have been quantified for cattle, but not for alpacas. The objectives of this study were to document the dung beetle species present in alpaca pastures, and to evaluate the impact of dung beetle activity on the growth of a common summer annual grass. In 2010 and 2011, dung beetle species present in alpaca pastures located at Virginia State University (VSU), were evaluated weekly from late May until late August. Eleven species of dung beetles were found, with Onthophagus taurus Schreber being the most dominant. In 2011, a greenhouse study was conducted at Virginia Tech's Southern Piedmont Research Station. Treatments included a control (no dung, no beetles), dung only, dung with five pairs of O. taurus, and dung that was allowed to be colonized in alpaca pastures at VSU. The addition of O. taurus and the field colonization both significantly increased total yield over the no dung control by 10% and 14%, respectively. These results indicate that healthy and diverse dung beetle communities occur in alpaca pastures in the mid-Atlantic region, and that the presence of these beetles would likely enhance nutrient cycling and pasture growth. However, it is important to remember that dung beetles are just one component of many found in a healthy grassland ecosystem, and the functions of these components are interrelated.
- Circadian and Seasonal Variation in Pasture Nonstructural Carbohydrates and the Physiological Response of Grazing HorsesMcIntosh, Bridgett J. (Virginia Tech, 2006-12-14)Nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC), which includes sugars, starches and fructans in pasture forages, undergo circadian and seasonal variation which has direct effects on metabolism in grazing horses. Increased intake of NSC is implicated in the development of digestive and metabolic disorders, such as laminitis. A series of five studies at Virginia Tech's M.A.R.E. Center in April, May, August, and October 2005, and January 2006, examined circadian and seasonal variability in forage NSC content and metabolic and digestive variables in horses over a 36 h sampling period. Fourteen mares were randomly assigned to grazing (housed on a 5-ha predominantly tall fescue pasture; n = 10) or control (stabled within the pasture and fed timothy/alfalfa hay; n = 4) groups. Blood samples were collected hourly from the horses which corresponded to hourly pasture forage samples. In all five studies, plasma glucose and insulin were measured and proxies for insulin resistance were calculated. In the April study, plasma L-lactate and fecal pH, L-lactate, D-lactate and volatile fatty acids (VFAs) were also measured. Two approaches were used for the determination of carbohydrate profiles in pasture forage samples. For the first (LAB1), sugar was water soluble carbohydrates extracted prior to analysis for starch, and included fructans. The NSC was the sum of starch and sugar. For the second (LAB2), samples were analyzed for specific NSC fractions using hydrolytic enzymes, with the addition of HCL for the determination of fructans including graminans, the type of fructans in cool season grasses. Both the LAB1 and LAB2 analyses revealed circadian and seasonal patterns in forage NSC and its constituents. In general, pasture forage NSC content was lowest in the morning and highest in the late afternoon. April had the highest NSC content which was comprised mostly of simple sugars. Forage NSC content (LAB1) was associated with environmental variables in all months with strongest correlations in April; ambient temperature (r = 0.72, P < 0.001), solar radiation (r = 0.62, P < 0.001), and humidity (r = -0.84, P < 0.001). In the animals, plasma insulin was highest in grazing horses in April (P < 0.001) followed by May (P < 0.001). Plasma insulin was higher in grazing compared to control horses at all sample points in April, and a circadian pattern was evident (P = 0.012). In grazing horses, plasma glucose was higher in April than all months except for May, and plasma glucose was higher in grazing horses compared to controls in April. In grazing horses, plasma insulin was significantly correlated with NSC and sugar in April (r = 0.69 and r = 0.67, respectively); May (r = 0.46 and r = 0.47, respectively); and January (r = 0.44 and r = 0.46, respectively). In April only, individual mean insulin response was proportional to the increase in insulin per increase in unit of NSC (r2 = 0.033, P < 0.001). Sinusoidal circadian patterns in NSC (r2 = 0.51, P < 0.001) and insulin in grazing horses (r2 = 0.12, P < 0.001) had similar frequency (P = 0.36). Plasma L-lactate was higher in grazing horses (0.64 mmol/L) than control horses (0.40 mmol/L) (P < 0.001). Fecal pH was lower in grazing horses (pH 6.9) than control horses (pH 7.2) (P = 0.008). Fecal VFAs, including acetic acid, butyric acid, and D- and L-lactate were higher in grazing horses compared to control horses (P < 0.05). These studies identified a link between forage NSC content and alterations in carbohydrate metabolism and digestion that may increase risk of laminitis via exacerbation of insulin resistance. Strategies for management practices to decrease intakes of pasture NSC by horses at risk of developing metabolic disorders are needed.
- Community Decision Making Aids for Improved Pasture Resources in the Madiama Commune of MaliEl Hadj, Meriem (Virginia Tech, 2004-11-29)The lack of forage resources in the Sahelian region of Mali is a major constraint to food production and food sufficiency. Madiama commune is located in northern Mali, in the Niger Delta region. Three separate experiments were conducted to investigate ways to improve pasture resources and productivity. The first experiment (2003) was designed to investigate the influence of sheep grazing tethered at two different residual heights on botanical composition, forage biomass and animal performance. Young sheep weighing approximately 18-24 kg were tethered for a certain period of time depending on residual canopy height. Two treatments 3 or 6 cm residual height were each replicated 4 times. Animals were rotated based on canopy height and each tethered animal followed an 8 paddock rotation. Measurements included forage biomass, plant diversity, animal performance, and botanical composition. The forage species found on these pastures were primarily Schoenfeldia gracilis, Panicum laetum, Setaria palludefusca, Eragrostis turgida, Eragrostis tremula, Zornia glauchidiata, Tephrosia pedicellata, and Cynodon spp. Accumulated seasonal forage biomass increased while forage quality declined as the growing season progressed. Treatment had only a slight effect on animal weight gains (1 to 3kg season-1). These results suggest that residual height may not affect livestock gain. The second experiment was designed to investigate the potential of Cassia tora (C. tora) which is an invasive weed in the region as a supplemental feed for livestock. Cassia tora was harvested within the Madiama commune and ensiled with or without additives (water and or honey/sugar) for 60 or 90 days. Harvest occurred at the vegetative stage in year 1 and mature growth stage in year 2. Prior to placing the chopped material in the bags for ensiling, sub-samples of fresh C. tora were obtained for dry matter (DM) and chemical analysis (NDF, ADF, CP, IVDMD and TDN). In year 1, the ensiled material/fresh material across treatments and locations had NDF varying from 48 to 56 %/ 56 to 57%, ADF from 34 to 41 %/40 to 42%, CP from 9 to 10 %/9 to 23%, and IVDMD from 53 to 64 %/52 to 54%. In year 2, CP averaged twice as much as year 1 with significantly less fiber probably due to the fact that harvest occurred at the vegetative stage. Addition of water or sugar/honey improved the nutritive values of the ensiled material. These results suggest that C. tora can be a reliable feed source during the dry season. A greenhouse experiment was conducted using various P sources (Tilemsi phosphate rock (TPR), North Carolina phosphate rock (NCPR), Aluminum phosphate (AlP), Iron phosphate (FeP), and Triple superphosphate (TSP) and rates (0, 20, 40, 60, and 80 mg P kg-1 soil). Plants were grown for 10 wks, harvested and separated into above and below ground plant parts. The root and plant material were dried, ground and analyzed for elemental P. The result showed variable P solubility and uptake by the plant. Overall, addition of P resulted in an increase in above ground biomass as well as root mass compared with the untreated control. Field and greenhouse experiments showed that in the Sahel region of Africa where feed resources are scarce 8 out of 12 months a year, anything we can do to increase pasture resources and animal productivity while maintaining a healthy ecosystem, could improve the quality of life in the community.
- Comparison of techniques for estimating pasture herbage mass and productive ground cover for Lakota prairie grass, Kentucky 31 endophyte free tall fescue, Kentucky 31 endophyte infected tall fescue and Quantum 542 tall fescue grazed by stocker steersRotz, Jonathan Daniel (Virginia Tech, 2006-04-10)In terms of acreage, forage is the number one crop in Virginia. The backbone of these forages has long been tall fescue (Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) S.J. Darbyshire). Knowledge of the plant species that make up a pasture and the relative amounts of each species present is important for interpreting potential animal performance. It is also important to know the relative amounts and types of weeds present and to monitor for the presence of poisonous plants or noxious weeds. An experiment was conducted in 2003 through 2005 to investigate botanical composition and yield of "Lakota" prairie grass (Bromus catharticus Vahl.), "Kentucky 31" endophyte-infected (KY31 E+), endophyte-free (KY31 E-), and "Quantum" tall fescue (non toxic endophyte infected) under grazing by stocker steers. Forage botanical composition and yield were determined by clipping three 0.25-m2 areas per treatment replicate. Prior to harvesting, the canopy height within each quadrate was measured with a disc meter. In 2005, productive ground cover was assessed using visual evaluation techniques, point quadrat method, and digital imagery quantified with terrestrial remote sensing. Forages were established September 2002 and grazing was initiated in July of 2003. Experimental design was a randomized complete block with four replications. Averaged over the three years the yield of KY31E+ was higher (p<0.05) than all other treatments. Lakota prairie grass had lower (p<0.05) yields than both KY31 E+ and Quantum tall fescue, however no yields did not differ between Lakota prairie grass and KY31 E-. Our results showed a typical forage distribution curve for all the treatments. Early spring, summer, and fall productivity of Lakota prairie grass was less than all the fescues, thus did not extend the grazing season. Forage persistence was greatest for KY31 E+ and Quantum and lowest for Lakota when averaged over all years. Among sampling methods for ground cover, terrestrial remote sensing was the most accurate, compared with visual evaluation and point quadrat methods. For estimates of all yield indirect methods of assessment had high errors; however the plate meter calibrated by sward density seemed the least variable of the methods tested.
- Compatibility, Yield, and Quality of Matua Prairie Grass, Bromus willdenowii (Kunth), with LegumesGuay, Jennifer Fincham (Virginia Tech, 2003-12-08)Matua prairie grass has a potential to extend the grazing season in Virginia due to its higher early spring and fall production. However, little is known about the compatibility of Matua prairie grass with legumes or the effects of legumes on the yield and quality of Matua prairie grass/legume mixtures. An experiment was conducted in 1998 and 1999 to investigate the botanical composition, yield, and chemical composition of Matua prairie grass grown with legumes. Legume treatments consisting of ladino clover (Trifolium repens), red clover (Trifolium pratense), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), and annual lespedeza (Lespedeza stipulacea) were drilled into a Matua prairie grass stand. Nitrogen was applied once each fall at two treatment levels of 0 or 84 kg/ha. The experiment was arranged in a randomized split block design with four replications. Legume treatments had no effect on percentage Matua prairie grass or total dry matter yield in 1998. However, in 1999 the ladino clover and red clover treatments increased (P<0.05) total dry matter yield, but also resulted in a substantial decrease (P<0.05) in percentage Matua prairie grass. Nitrogen application in the fall of 1998 had a residual effect (P<0.05) on the percentage Matua prairie grass and yield in 1999. The highest response to nitrogen fertilization occurred in the harvest immediately after fertilization, in October of 1999, which resulted in the largest increase (P<0.05) in percentage Matua prairie grass and yield, and the greatest decrease (P<0.05) in percentage legumes. The legume and nitrogen treatments similarly influenced the chemical composition of the Matua prairie grass/legume mixed forage. Ladino clover, red clover, and alfalfa treatments generally improved forage quality as indicated by a decrease (P<0.05) in NDF, ADF, hemicellulose, and cellulose, and an increase (P<0.05) in CP and IVDMD. Nitrogen fertilization did not influence the chemical composition of the forages to the same extent as the legume treatments, as a decrease in fiber components and an increase in CP and IVDMD were observed due to nitrogen. Overall, alfalfa appeared to be most compatible with Matua prairie grass, and the incorporation of alfalfa into a Matua prairie grass stand resulted in some improvements in total dry matter yield and nutritive value of the forage, without the detrimental suppression of Matua prairie grass.
- Compensation of Cotton to Square Removal at Various RatesPitman, Virginia Leigh (Virginia Tech, 2000-04-22)Fruit abscission is a natural occurrence in cotton. Fruiting retention is very important since yields are highly correlated with number of bolls produced. There are many factors contributing to the abscission of squares by cotton, including environmental conditions, heavy boll load, diseases, and insect feeding. An experiment was designed to evaluate the compensation capacity of cotton at various levels of square removal using two cotton cultivars at two planting dates over two Virginia locations; the effect of mechanical square removal on cotton yield components and quality; and to evaluate the use and effectiveness of COTMAN in tracking major phenological stages PHS, FF, and Cutout of cotton at various rates of square removal. In 1998, DPL 51 was planted on May first at the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Suffolk, Virginia. This was an ideal location, planting date, and variety, so in 1999, the experiment was expanded to ascertain whether cotton would have the same compensation capacity in less ideal conditions. In 1999, two varieties were planted, DPL 51 (early maturing) and DPL 5111 (late maturing), on two planting dates (two weeks apart), and in a location outside the traditional cotton growing region, the Southern Piedmont AREC in Blackstone, Virginia. Five levels of manual desquaring treatments (0%, 12-15%, 20-25%, and 30-40% of first position squares, and 20% of small bolls [Suffolk, 1999 only]) were used in both years. The physiological progress of the crop was monitored using the COTMAN cotton monitoring system and compared to the Target Development Curve (TDC). Over both years, there were no significant differences in boll numbers or yield among any of the square removal treatments. Comparison of fruiting curves with the TDC showed that in both 1998 and 1999, the influence of square removal in excess of 30-40% resulted in a lower apogee and premature cut-out. Also, though not statistically significant, yield was greatly reduced at the 30-40% square removal rate, often by as much as 448 kg/ha. In many cases, a lower level of square removal (varying between the 12-15% and the 20-25% rates) seemed to stimulate the growth and development of the crop. It may also contribute to a higher level of square retention. The results of this study suggest that cotton plants will compensate for up to 30% of first position square loss, with no reduction in yields.
- Conservation agriculture in Senegal: comparing the effects of intercropping and mulching on millet yieldsTrail, Patrick James (Virginia Tech, 2015-02-25)Situated on the western edge of Africa's harsh Sahel region, Senegal faces a number of agricultural production constraints. Limited rainfall, poor soil fertility, and insufficient agronomic inputs all contribute to low yielding millet production systems. This study was initiated to assess the potential for intercropping either cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) or mungbean (Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek) into traditional pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.) cropping systems. During the 2013 and 2014 growing seasons two varieties of cowpea (upright and viney), and one variety of mungbean (upright) were grown in monoculture and subsequently intercropped with millet to evaluate the potential for increasing millet and overall yields. Millet was also planted with a mulch (2 t/ha of neem leaves) to test the effectiveness of increased ground cover on millet yields. In addition to yield data, soil moisture and plant NDVI data were also collected. Millet grain yields increased when intercropped with either cowpea or mungbean compared to millet that was grown alone, with grain yield increases of up to 55%. Additionally, the combined grain yields (millet + bean) were up to 67% higher than the traditional monoculture millet. The addition of mulch was the most effective treatment and increased millet grain yields up to 70%. Soil moisture increased up to 14% in mulched treatments over millet monoculture treatments. All yield increases were achieved without the addition of fertilizers or nutrient amendments. In an attempt to mimic local practices our experiment was rainfed and no soil amendments were introduced.
- Cotton Yield as Related to Selected Physical and Chemical Properties of Soils of the Coastal Plain of Virginia and North CarolinaAdcock, Clyde Wesley (Virginia Tech, 1998-08-28)Cotton (Gossipium hiristum, L) is a warm season perennial with indeterminant growth habit. In 1995, 42,500 and 300,000 hectares were grown in Virginia and North Carolina, respectively. Soil physical and chemical properties may limit cotton yields. The objective of this study was to; 1) determine influences of soil physical and chemical properties on yield, 2) validate existing preharvest yield estimators, and 3) determine the effect of subsoiling and/or subsurface liming on cotton development and root growth. Two hundred sites were sampled across the Coastal Plain of Virginia and North Carolina to a depth of 92 cm representing 5 major soil series. Soil samples were analyzed for selected physical and chemical properties from each horizon. Boll and plant counts were obtained while harvesting a 3-meter length of row at each site to determine yield for the 1996 and 1997 growing season. Cotton was grown in the greenhouse on 30 cm diameter cores of a soil with low subsoil pH and a hard pan to determine the effects of subsoiling and/or subsurface liming. Ninety days after planting, the cotton plants were harvested and the above ground biomass and rootmass were analyzed. Physical and chemical properties explained 52% of yield variability in 1996 and 27% in 1997. Physical and chemical properties that were significant to yield were surface bulk density, available water holding capacity, depth of the water table and Bt horizon, Mg, K, Ca, and Al content. Soil analysis for nutrient status at depths up to 45 cm were better indicators of cotton yield. Subsoiling with or without subsurface liming increased rooting depth over the untreated check. The subsurface liming reached first flower 11 days prior to the other treatments. The additional period for flowering and boll set in Virginia and North Carolina could increase potential yield.
- Dynamics and Characterization of Soil Organic Matter on Mine Soils 16 Years after Amendment with Topsoil, Sawdust, and Sewage SludgeBendfeldt, Eric S. (Virginia Tech, 1999-07-14)The present state and future prospect of the world's soil resources has prompted scientists and researchers to address the issue of soil quality and sustainable land management. Soil quality research has focused on intensively-managed agricultural and forest soils, but the concept and importance of soil quality is also pertinent to disturbed systems such as reclaimed mine soils. The restoration of soil function and mine soil quality is essential to long-term ecosystem stability. The objectives of this study were (i) to determine the comparative ability of topsoil, sawdust, and sewage sludge amendments, after 16 years, to positively affect mine soil quality using the following key soil quality variables: organic matter content, aggregate stability, and mineralizable nitrogen, (ii) to determine the effects of these key soil quality variables on plant productivity, and (iii) to determine the comparative ability of trees and herbaceous plants to persist and to conserve or maintain mine soil quality. In 1982, a mined site was amended with seven different surface treatments: a fertilized control (2:1 sandstone:siltstone), 30 cm of native soil + 7.8 Mg ha-1 lime, 112 Mg ha-1 sawdust, and municipal sewage sludge (SS) at rates of 22, 56, 112, and 224 Mg ha-1. Four replicates of each treatment were installed as a randomized complete block design. Whole plots were split according to vegetation type: pitch x loblolly pine hybrid (Pinus rigida x taeda) trees and Kentucky-31 tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). Soil analyses of composite samples for 1982, 1987, and 1998 were evaluated for changing levels of mine soil quality. The positive effect of these organic amendments on organic matter content, total nitrogen, and other soil parameters was most apparent and pronounced after 5 growing seasons. However, after 16 years, soil organic matter content and total nitrogen appear to be equilibrating at about 4.3 and 1.5%. There was a significant difference in organic matter content and nitrogen mineralization potential between vegetation types. Organic matter inputs by vegetation alone over the 16-yr period in the control plots resulted in organic matter and nitrogen mineralization potential values comparable to levels in the organically amended plots. The results suggest that about 15 years is needed for climate, moisture availability, and other edaphic features to have the same influence on overall organic matter decomposition, N accretion, organic nitrogen mineralization levels, system equilibrium, and overall mine soil quality as a one-time 100-Mg ha-1 application of organic amendment. Tree volume and biomass were measured as indices of the effects of organic matter content 16 years after initial amendment. Individual tree volumes of the sawdust, 22, 56, and 112 Mg ha -1 SS treatments retained 18 to 26% more volume than the control, respectively. Overall, fescue production was the same among treatments. Organic amendments improved initial soil fertility for fescue establishment, but it appears that they will have little or no long-lasting effect on plant productivity.
- The Effect of Antioxidants on Flaxseed Stability in Yeast BreadCachaper, Katherine Faith (Virginia Tech, 2005-03-17)The antioxidants BHA, BHT, and ascorbic acid were added to flaxmeal breads to prevent rancidity. Six types of yeast leavened breads were evaluated: control (100% bread flour), flaxmeal (15%) bread, and flaxmeal (15%) bread that contained 0.01% respectively of BHA, BHT, BHA and BHT, and ascorbic acid. Vital wheat gluten was added in all the flaxmeal breads. Chemical, objective and sensory tests were used to evaluate the breads. The crumb texture of all the experimental breads was significantly softer (pÂ¡Ã 0.05) than the control breads, but the control breads were significantly moister (pÂ¡Ã 0.05) than the flaxmeal breads that contained BHA and BHT, separately. No significant differences (p>0.05) were found in loaf volume of the control bread and the experimental breads. The crumb color of the experimental breads was significantly darker (p<0.0001) due to the incorporation of flaxmeal. The acid value of the flaxmeal breads was significantly higher (pÂ¡Ã 0.05) than the control breads. No significant differences (p>0.05) were found in peroxide values between the control breads and experimental breads after eight weeks. The QDA sensory tests showed that breads containing BHA or in combination with BHT were moister, chewier and had the least noticeable stale taste when compared to the control breads. Ascorbic acid was not as effective as BHA or a combination of BHA and BHT in preventing lipid oxidation, but produced the softest bread. This study showed that flaxmeal breads made with BHA and BHT provided the best protection against lipid oxidation and produced a moist and chewy bread.
- The effect of mung bean on improving dietary diversity in women and children in SenegalVashro, Taylor Nadine (Virginia Tech, 2017-06-20)Since 2015, a U.S. Agency for International Development and Virginia Tech Education and Research in Agriculture collaboration has introduced and tested mung bean as a potential crop to alleviate malnutrition and food insecurity in Senegal. This MS thesis describes a study conducted to assess the impact of mung bean on dietary diversity of Senegalese women and children in the Kaolack, Matam and Bakel localities of Senegal. A mixed-methods research approach included individual surveys to determine dietary diversity scores (DDS) and focus groups to assess the perceived impacts of mung bean. The dietary diversity survey was conducted with 194 participants including adult women, ages 15 to 70 years (n=109) and children, ages 0-10 years (n=85). Half (52%) of the population were mung bean consumers. The dietary diversity surveys revealed an average DDS of 5.73 on a scale of one to 10, with 5.83 and 5.62 for mung bean and non-mung bean consuming groups, respectively. There was a statistically significant difference in DDS between mung-bean consuming women and both mung bean and non-mung bean children, and between mung bean and non-mung bean consumers in Bakel; however, there was no significant difference between overall mung bean and non-mung bean groups DDS. Focus groups (n=11) with mung bean consuming women identified perceived agricultural, health, and financial benefits associated with mung bean consumption. These results can increase our understanding of how mung bean may influence policy-relevant issues for the Senegalese population, including agricultural, health and financial outcomes that are not reflected in dietary diversity surveys.
- The Effect of Three Fescue Types and Lakota Prairie Grass on Copper Status, Dry Matter Intake, and Alkaloid Appearance of Beef SteersStewart, Robert Lawton Jr. (Virginia Tech, 2006-10-27)Tall fescue [Schedonorus arundinaceus (Schreb.) Dumort.] is an important forage crop in the United States and covers over 14 million ha. The presence of Neotyphodium coenophialum, an endophytic fungus in tall fescue, is associated with several disorders in grazing livestock, but also increased persistence of tall fescue. These disorders, commonly called fescue toxicosis, are responsible for large economic losses in the beef cattle industry each year. This research examined the effect of three fescue types [endophyte-infected Kentucky 31 tall fescue (E+), endophyte-free Kentucky 31 tall fescue (E-), non-ergot alkaloid-producing endophyte Q4508-AR542 tall fescue (Q)], and Lakota prairie grass (L; Bromus catharticus Vahl.) on animal response, alkaloid appearance, DMI, and copper status. Ergovaline (EV) is the most abundant ergot alkaloid in tall fescue and has previously been considered the causative toxin in fescue toxicosis. More recently it is simpler ergot alkaloids, such as lysergic acid amide (LSA) have been implicated. The objective of the first project was to evaluate animal performance and alkaloid (EV and LSA) appearance in forage and ruminal fluid of steers grazing E-, Q, E+, and L. Average daily gains were greater (P < 0.05) on E-, Q and L compared to E+, and there was a trend (P = 0.11) for gains on E- to be higher than with Q. The seasonal appearance of LSA in ruminal fluid was similar to the seasonal pattern of alkaloids in E+ forage. Ergovaline was not detectable in ruminal fluid of steers grazing E+. Alkaloids were not detectable in forage or ruminal fluid of steers grazing E-, Q, or L. The appearance of LSA in ruminal fluid of steers grazing E+ suggests that this alkaloid may contribute to fescue toxicosis. Low DMI of animals grazing E+ tall fescue is considered a key factor in decreased animal performance compared to other fescue types. The objective of the second project was to evaluate DMI of steers grazing E-, E+, Q, and L pastures using the alkane technique. Dry matter intake of steers grazing E- was greater (P < 0.001) than Q, E+, and L and DMI of steers grazing Q and E+ were similar (P > 0.10) in 2004. In 2005, DMI did not differ (P = 0.23) among fescue types. These results suggest that decreased DMI effects ADG of steers grazing E+ compared to those grazing E-, and lower DMI of Q suggests that the fescue variety Q4508 may not be the optimal variety for the incorporation on non-ergot alkaloid-producing endophytes. Reactive oxygen metabolites such as superoxide (O₂⁻) are produced by both endogenous and exogenous sources and an accumulation of these compounds can result in oxidative stress. Copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD) is a Cu-based antioxidant metalloprotein that acts as a defense against oxidative stress by the scavenging of O₂⁻. Neotyphodium-infected tall fescue is typically lower in Cu which could potentially increase oxidative stress of animals grazing this forage. Therefore the objective of the third project was to investigate the Cu and SOD status of steers grazing E-, E+, Q, and L forages. Copper levels of all forages were below the dietary requirement (10μg Cu/g DM) of growing cattle. In 2004, steers grazing E+ exhibited lower (P <0.05) liver Cu compared to E- and Cu intake was lower (P < 0.001). Cu/Zn SOD enzymatic activity and mRNA relative expression did not differ (P > 0.10) among treatments. Copper intake of steers grazing E+ tall fescue was sufficient to maintain, but not replenish liver Cu, and SOD status did not appear compromised by grazing E+ at these Cu levels.
- Effects of Biofertilizers and Organic Amendments on Nutrient Availability in Soil and Plant GrowthMott, Joshua Darell (Virginia Tech, 2022-04-28)Applications of fertilizers derived from non-renewable resources, along with improved land management practices have contributed greatly increased crop yields in the past 70 years. Biofertilizers and organic amendments, provide alternative sources of nutrients for increased plant yields and resistance against abiotic stress. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effectiveness of various biofertilizers and an organic amendment on improve plant health and/or crop yield. The first study focused on the organic amendment, glucoheptonate and found that applications of 800-1600 kg/ha can increase available water capacity in fine textured soils by up to 3%. The second study evaluated the effectiveness of dual-inoculating biofertilizers Mung beans (Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek) with two, bradyrhizobium spp. and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Dual inoculation significantly increased grain yield (+33%) compared to a synthetic N fertilizer application but did not significantly increase grain yield compared to the control (+22%). Dual inoculation may increase grain yields of mung beans compared to synthetic fertilizer regime but does not show evidence of improving N fixation. The final study was a greenhouse experiment focused on evaluating some mung bean cultivars to determine their susceptibility to salt stress while also evaluating the effect of inoculation in combating saline soils. Germination was significantly decreased at 6 dS/m in all cultivars by about 36% when compared to the control treatment (0 dS/m). Seed yields, pods per plant and seeds per plant, increased as salt concentration increased. No factors recorded where affected by inoculation. Overall, our research suggests that the use of biofertilizers and organic amendments can improve crop health, but other management and environmental considerations need to be accounted for when reporting effectiveness of such alternative soil amendments