Evaluation of new mathematical models for estimation of single olive leaves area

M.A. Mhanna*

General Commission for scientific agricultural research, Latakia research center, Ciano research station,

Latakia, Syria

(Manuscript received 7 March 2020; accepted for publication 24 April 2020)

Abstract. The study was conducted on “Khoderi” olive cultivar planted in Jableh Region-Latakia province, Syria in 2017 in order to evaluate some mathematical models adapted for olive single leaf area estimation. Leaf samples were taken from the middle of one-year branches. Actual areas of the leaves were measured using Adobe Photoshop CS5. Leaf dimensions (length and width) were measured accurately. Coefficients of determination were estimated for the relation between leaf dimensions and the actual area. The best coefficient of determination was between the natural logarithm of the product (leaf length × leaf width) and the natural logarithm of leaf area (R2= 0.962). Linear regression equation of the mentioned relation was fitted and evaluated. The accuracy of the new model (A=e0.9509ln LW – 0.2867) was compared to other models commonly used for olive single leaf area estimation. The comparison showed no significant differences between leaf area obtained by the new model and the actual leaf area values (p=0.01), whereas significant differences were found for the other models. The new model showed the lowest Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) and high efficiency in estimating olive leaf area of “Khoderi” cultivar in two different environments; the same results were obtained for olive cultivar “Picholine” the French. We recommend the new model for olive single leaf area estimation.

A study on the hopper unloading duration of the harvesting machine at different technical parameters

G. Tihanov*

Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 10 December 2019; accepted for publication 20 February 2020)

Abstract. When unloading grain harvester hoppers at standstill the time of emptying the hopper has a significant effect on the harvester productivity. The paper is about a conducted survey in 15 agricultural farms with 15 harvesters monitored including 14 models of 6 different brands during wheat harvesting. The time for emptying the grain hopper of the harvesters was defined by measuring the time. It was found that the actual time for emptying the hoppers of the studied harvesters was 134.85 s, and the actual flow rate of unloading of the screw in them being 69.63 L/s on average. A multivariate regression analysis was performed on the effect of the harvester grain hopper volume and the actual flow rate of the unloading screw on the time from switching on the unloading screw till its switching off in various grain harvesters. An adequate mathematical model of the effect of the hopper volume and the flow rate of the unloading screw of grain harvesters on the time for emptying the grain hopper under real production conditions has also been created. These results can also be used for minimizing costs in the technological process at harvesting.

Stochastic production function and costs-returns analyses of apiarists in Adamawa State, Nigeria

M.M. Audu, M.R. Ja’afar-Furo*, B.H. Gabdo

Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Faculty of Agriculture, Adamawa State University, PMB 25, Mubi, Nigeria

(Manuscript received 23 September 2019; accepted for publication 14 February 2020)

Abstract. This study assessed apiculture enterprise to determine the output elasticity of production, returns to scale, technical efficiency and profitability in Adamawa State, Nigeria. A total of four agricultural zones out of six, and 108 apiarists were selected through purposive and simple random methods, respectively. Descriptive statistics, stochastic frontier production function and budgetary technique were used in the analyses of data. Findings revealed that all (100%) the respondents were males within the age range of 21-30 years (44.44%). The majority of apiarists (87.0%) were married with household size of 1-10 persons (77.78%) and 50.0% of them had secondary school education. A larger proportion (37.0%) had between 6 and 10 years of beekeeping experience with 41.67% earning monthly income of N11000 (USD30.8) – N20000 (USD56.0) from other sources. Further, the findings revealed that labor and number of hives had reassuring influence on the industry, while age, education and experience could be used to reduce inefficiency in the industry to improve efficiency status. The apiarists also had mean technical efficiency of 89.9%, while the inefficiency estimate was only 10.1%. In terms of profitability, beekeeping in the study area was found to have had a high gross margin of N16800.00 (USD47.0) and net farm income of N15225.97 (USD42.6) for every beehive in a cropping season. The major constraints to beekeeping reported in the area included beehive crops theft, high propensity of bees’ stings, inadequacy of finance, rampant bush burning and deforestation, among others. It was concluded that beekeeping in the study area was found to be profitable and technically efficient. Improving beekeeping business in the area, among other things, would require its modernization and involvement of female participants, provision of soft credit facilities and enactment of stringent forestry laws to check unwholesome forestry practices.

Economic efficiency of Bulgarian dairy synthetic population and Assaf sheep breeds

K. Stankov*
Department of Management, Faculty of Economics, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria (Manuscript received 1 December 2019; accepted for publication 28 February 2020)

Abstract. The economic efficiency of ewes from the Bulgarian dairy synthetic population (BDSP) and Assaf sheep breeds, reared in three production systems, e.g. grazing on pasture, stall-pasture rearing and stall rearing was studied. The results from the study showed that BDSP ewes in the stall-pasture rearing system had a relatively low milk yield for a specialised dairy sheep breed – 80L for the lactation period. In this system, without the subsidy, the profit and cost efficiency were negative, while with subsidy, minimum positive results were achieved. For BDSP ewes reared in a stall-pasture rearing system with stall feeding during the grazing period and grazing on improved pastures, the obtained milk yield was by 33% higher. The subsidy resulted in satisfactory profit and cost efficiency, while without the subsidy, the farm ended in loss. BDSP and Assaf ewes reared in stalls, demonstrated substantially higher milk yield and productivity. They realised a profit and good cost efficiency. The milk yield of BSDP sheep reared in stalls was 200L per lactation, and fertility – 140%. The Assaf breed in which a high level of selection and regulated reproduction cycle was achieved, had 250L milk per lactation and 140% fertility. The profit with subsidy was 128.85 BGN (1Lev=0.975€) and without the subsidy: 48.85 BGN, with relatively high cost efficiency. An introduction of traits for higher milk yield, polyestrus and fertility from Assaf into BSDP sheep is necessary.

Еconomic efficiency of local, merino and meat-type sheep breeds raised in Bulgaria without milking

K. Stankov*
Department of Management, Faculty of Economics, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria (Manuscript received 1 December 2019; accepted for publication 14 February 2020)

Abstract. The goal of the present study is to perform an economic assessment of the local (autochthonic), merino and meat-type sheep breeds raised in Bulgaria without milking and under the conditions of a market economy and free commerce. We studied sheep from three herds, of the Srednostaroplaninska breed, Northeast Bulgarian Merino breed (NEBM) and the Île-de-France breed. The sheep from all three herds were under selection control. The results of the study indicated low economic effects for all three herds. Without subsidies, the local and merino breeds finished with negative values for profits and cost-efficiency of the income and expenses, and zero for the meat-types. The subsidy for the sheep of the Srednostaroplaninska breed made up 37.9% of the income, whereas the sold lambs and sheep culled for meat made up 60.7%. This indicated that the local mountain sheep cannot provide the necessary income for a farm’s normal function without milking and without subsidies, under the present market situation. The efforts in this field should be directed towards organic production of meat and dairy products and a closed production cycle. The income from sold lambs and sheep culled for meat from the NEBM breed made up 66.8% of the total income, whereas wool accounted for merely 4.6%. The subsidy provided 28.5% of the farm’s funds. Accomplishing an economic effect in merino breeds is possible only if prices for buying off wool were normalized, and the fertility of the ewes was increased. For the meat-type sheep of the Île-de-France breed, the income from selling meat and breeder lambs, as well as sold culled sheep made up 75.6%, and the subsidy – 22.7%. A higher economic effect for this breed could be achieved through selection towards fertility and more frequent births, i.e. 3 litters in 2 years. A significant productive and economic effect in the meat-type breeds could be achieved from ram breeding and conducting industrial crossbreeding in the stock part of the breeds.

Ginger value chain analysis: A case of smallholder ginger production and marketing in hills of central Nepal

Bhishma Raj Dahal*, Swodesh Rijal
Faculty of Agriculture, Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur, Chitwan, Nepal (Manuscript received 22 October 2019; accepted for publication 30 January 2020)

Abstract. Having high export potential and profitable to farmers, Ginger is an important spice crop of hills of central Nepal; however, ginger farmers continue to experience low productivity and were forced to share large profit with unscrupulous traders; further, they are traumatized by fluctuation of price and other problems. In this context, a study was undertaken in Sindhuli, a part of Central Nepal for analyzing value chain of ginger. A pretested semi-structured questionnaire was administered among 120 randomly selected farmers and 10 traders involved in ginger enterprise for the past two years. A face-to-face interview was scheduled to obtain data during October-November, 2018. Compound annual growth analysis revealed that area, production and yield of ginger were increasing at the rate of 1.73%, 1.65% and 0.95%, respectively, over the last seven years and price of ginger, over the past thirteen years, increasing at the rate of 3.28%. Value chain analysis revealed that producer, traders (wholesaler and exporter), retailer and consumer were the major actors involved. Farmers received substantial margin – 55% of the retail price, but the rest of the profit was shared to unscrupulous traders. B/C ratio of ginger farming in the study area was 2.42 revealing that ginger farming was a profitable business; with investment of Rs1.0 (0.0088US$) in ginger, farmers earned additional 1.42 rupees. Low productivity of ginger in the research area was caused by severe incidence of rhizome rot. In addition, price fluctuation, lack of processing and storing infrastructure, timely unavailability of rhizome seed, paucity of improved variety, and lack of farmers’ knowledge on improved cultivation practices were the major constraint of ginger farming. Overall, our study points out that solving the constraints, accessing new market, and organizing co-operatives are crucial for sustainable value chain development.

Estimation of technical efficiency of cattle feedlot system in Adamawa State, Nigeria: Comparison among estimators

B.H. Gabdo*, M.R. Ja’afar-Furo, M.Y. Hamid, Y.A. Thlaffa
Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Adamawa State University, P.M.B. 25, Mubi, Adamawa State, Nigeria (Manuscript received 22 September 2019; accepted for publication 10 January 2020)

Abstract. This study adopts an output oriented Shephard Distance Function (SDF) to estimate Technical Efficiency (TE) in cattle feedlot under five distinct estimators (Data Envelopment Analysis /DEA/, Free Disposal Hull /FDH/, Order-m, Order-α and Bootstrap). The aim is to rank the efficiency estimates based on descending order of the TE estimates from the five estimators and test the hypotheses of mean difference across the estimators. In addition, the independent variables used in the feedlot system were also ranked based on magnitude to total cost. Results show initial cost of animal, feed cost, water cost, labour cost, depreciation, medicaments and cost of salt lick are ranked 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th, respectively, in terms of proportion to total cost. The study found a combination of inappropriate scale of production and managerial problems as the causes of inefficiency in the cattle feedlot. The study advocates for proper pricing of inputs, commensurate and timely utilization of inputs to avert input waste. Similarly, the study recommends up-scaling (178 cattle feedlot) and down-scaling (92 cattle feedlot) the cattle feedlot production owing to their operation at increasing and decreasing returns to scale, respectively, to attain enhanced efficiency.

Effect of different tank colours on some productive parameters of European catfish (Silurus glanis L.) fingerlings

V. Krasteva*, A. Zaikov, M. Yankova
Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture, 4003 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
(Manuscript received 20 June 2019; accepted for publication 1 December 2019)

Abstract. The present study investigated the growth performance, weight gain, feed conversion ratio, growth and survival rate of European catfish (Silurus glanis L.) fingerlings reared for one month in tanks with different colours. Four colours were used: light blue, white, green and black. The experimental unit was a flow-through system (0.8 L.min-1) consisting of eight tanks with water volume of 30L, continuous air supply and water heaters. Two hundred fish with an average weight of 1.85±0.62g were stocked in each tank. Results from the study demonstrated that the weight gain and the feed conversion ratio were poorly affected by the tested tank colours. Weight gain is slightly higher in groups A (blue) and B (white) than in groups C (green) and D (black). However, no significant difference was found in terms of weight gain among the experimental groups (p>0.05). Survival rate was the highest in group C (91%) followed by group D (88.5%). Thus, for rearing of European catfish fingerlings it is preferable to use dark coloured tanks, which resemble the natural habitat of the fish.

Evaluation of technological traits of Bulgarian and imported merino wool batches

D. Pamukova*

Department of Animal Science – Ruminants and Dairy Farming, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 10 August 2019; accepted for publication 22 November 2019)

Аbstract. The aim of the present study was to perform a comparative evaluation of technological traits of industrial batches of Bulgarian and imported semifine wool. The study was carried out in an industrial setting in cooperation with Kolhida Ltd, Sliven. A total of 18 batches originating from Bulgaria (n=10), Serbia (n=6) and the Netherlands (n=2) among which 4 batches of greasy wool, 7 batches of clean wool and 7 batches of wool sliver were studied. The primary processing of wool batches comprising classification, washing and carding was performed by textile enterprise’s standard technology. After the classification, the relative shares of wool types from the total amount of greasy wool in a batch were determined. The washing yield of classified greasy medium wool was calculated. The following laboratory analyses of clean wool were carried out: fibre diameter (μm), mean weighted length (mm), short fibre percentage (%), fatness (%), mineral matter content (dustiness %), vegetable matter content (%) and moisture (%). For slivers, sliver yield (%), fibre diameter (measured with OFDI), mean weighted length (mm), length В (mm), short fibre percentage (%) and moisture (%) were determined. In Bulgarian and Serbian batches, high-grade wool types predominated with highest share of the merino worsted wool (70.54% and 63.70%; 60.66% and 46.64%, respectively). The highest industrial washing yield was that of Dutch wool – 63.89%. Yields of Serbian and Bulgarian batches were similar (53.73%-56.39% and 53.20%-55.89%, respectively). The highest mean weighted length of fibres was determined for Dutch wool – 74.87 mm. Serbian and Bulgarian batches were comparable with respect to this trait: 63.95-65.71 mm and 62.92-65.88 mm respectively. The vegetable matter in studied wool batches was higher than requirements of the standard – from 1.29% tо 2.24% vs the reference of 1.2%. The highest vegetable matter content was found in the wool from two Bulgarian batches (1.65% and 2.24%), one Serbian (1.82%), and the Dutch batch (1.92%). Sliver yield varied from 81.31% tо 86.91% in studied wool slivers. The highest values of this trait were found out in 3 Bulgarian wool slivers (86.91%; 85.79% and 84.48%) and the Dutch sliver (84.13%).

Technology adoption in maize farming: a comparative analysis between improved seed users and local seed users of Argakachi district of Nepal

S. Adhikari, B.R. Dahal*, V. Bist
Agriculture and Forestry University Rampur, Chitwan, Nepal
(Manuscript received 10 July 2019; accepted for publication 24 September 2019)

Abstract. Maize is one of the top agricultural commodities that has great share in the Agricultural Government Development Plan of Nepal. Despite being a major crop, productivity of maize is quite lower than global average. In this context, a study was undertaken to determine the extent of technology adoption between improved and local seed users of Arghakhanchi district of Nepal. A pretested semi-structured questionnaire was administered among 120 randomly selected farmers during the month of January 2018. The extent of technology adoption was measured on sowing time, seed replacement, variety change, seed rate, application of fertilizer, weeding and plant protection. The empirical evidence suggested that, extent of technology adoption and benefit cost ratio were magnificently higher for improved seed users than local seed users. So, there is still a gigantic scope to improve maize productivity in the area by adoption of recommended technology of maize farming. The probability of adoption of recommended technology (improved seed) for maize farming was found to be higher for those with access to extensive service. Overall, our study pointed out that extension facility is a key strategy to make famers aware of the new technologies and a crucial factor to increase the chance of adoption.