Economic Potential of Okra Cultivation for Limited Resource Farmers
Phillip Harris, Eric Obeng, Aruna Weerasooriya, and Peter A.Y. Ampim
Background: Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench), is an economically important vegetable crop with a potential to increase farm incomes of small producers. This is because okra is popular, easy to grow, and valuable with average retail prices of up to $7.07/kg. In Texas, research has shown that diversification of farm operations boosts income and farm sustainability. Hence, exposing farmers to economically important crops that are not typically grown is necessary. Production success is linked to crop variety choices. As result, the objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of multiple varieties of okra (Red Burgundy, Jambalaya, Zarah and Hybrid Green Sparkler) to determine the variety with the highest yield and profitability. We hypothesized that yield and revenue will differ among the okra varieties. Methods: In this study, each okra variety was grown in replicates on three plots. The plants were established at a density of 16,600 plants ha-1 using plasticulture and drip irrigation. N and K were supplied at 33.60 kgha-1 and 11.2 kgha-1 respectively according to soil test recommendations. The okra was picked every other day to prevent development of undesirable pods. Results and Conclusion: When comparing the number of pods per plant, Red Burgundy had a greater yield as compared to Jambalaya (p < 0.05), but the yield was similar to the Zarah and Hybrid Green Sparkler varieties. Similarly, Zarah had a greater yield as compared to Jambalaya but similar to Hybrid Green Sparkler. In terms of pod weight per plant, Red Burgundy’s weight was statistically greater than Jambalaya but similar to the other varieties. Estimated revenue per hectare for Red Burgundy, Zarah, Jambalaya, Hybrid Green Sparkler were $9,565.00, $7,018.20, $6,290.60 and $6,020.00, respectively. These represent 58.9%, 16.6% and 4.5% revenue increase over the green hybrid sparkler variety. Frozen okra revenue estimates followed the same trend. These findings suggests that Red Burgundy provides the highest revenue potential in terms of production and economics and would be the best variety for farmers in East Texas to grow.
Spatial Variability of Manganese Oxide in Two Soilscapes: Upland-Lowland, and Riparian Buffer-Wetland Boundary-Wetland
Benjamin A. Onweni, Richard W. Griffin, PhD, Robert J.F. Thomas, Edward K. Timms, Javon D. Polk, and Annette A. James, PhD
Background: This research project describes the development of a quantitative measurement methodology to determine the concentration of manganese oxide (MnOx) in two soilscape positions (Upland-Lowland and Riparian Buffer-Wetland Boundary-Wetland). Methods: A reaction between the MnOx in the soil sample and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) was initiated to determine the level of MnOx reactivity in the soil sample. Data was collected from four sites on Soilscape 1 (Upland, Lowland, and two sites between the Uplands and Lowlands); within each site, five soil profile depths and three sample replicates were measured which comprised a total of 60 samples. Additionally, data was collected from three sites on Soilscape 2 (Riparian Buffer-Wetland Boundary-Wetland), within each site, three soil profile depths and three sample replicates were measured which comprised a total of 27 samples. Measurements were collected and revalidated to assess the accuracy of the measurement protocol. Results: Analysis of data collected from the surface layers in Soilscape 1 indicated that the Lowland (Site 4) had the highest level of MnOx followed by Site 3 with the lowest value occurring at Site 2. A follow up, revalidation study of three of the four sites from the surface layers on Soilscape 1 indicated that the Lowland (Site 4) had the highest level followed by the Midslope (Site 3) with the lowest value occurring at the Upland (Site 1). Therefore, the revalidation study results matched two of the three sites from the initial study. Correspondingly, the data collected from the three sites from the surface layers on Soilscape 2 indicated that the Wetland Boundary had the highest level followed by Riparian Buffer with the lowest value occurring at Wetland. The revalidation study results matched the initial study for each of the three sites from the surface layers on Soilscape 2, which indicated that the Wetland Boundary had the highest level followed by the Riparian Buffer with the lowest value occurring at the Wetland. Conclusion: The results of this study can be used to easily determine the spatial variability of MnOx levels in soilscapes that range from Upland-Lowland and Riparian Buffer-Wetland Boundary-Wetland, and the movement of soluble MnOx ions within soilscapes by mass flow and/or diffusion processes. In soils with adequate levels of MnOx ions, the use of this methodology can assist in the delineation of the wetland boundary, which has both an economic and land-use importance to society, because of the importance of the ecological functions of wetland ecosystems.
Keywords: Wetlands, Wetland Boundary, Soilscapes, Manganese Oxide (MnOx), Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2)
The Importance of Properly Modeling the Hydrogen Bond in Histidine
Falonne Moumbogno Tchodimo, Guoquan Zhou, Hua-Jun Fan
The hydrogen bond plays a vital role in many reactions. This study is to investigate the effect of different hydrogen bonding modes, such as single and double hydrogen bonds, via the quantum mechanic (QM) methods. Four histidine models (A, B, C, and D) with different numbers of intra-molecular hydrogen bonds were studied. The QM model results indicate that the double hydrogen bond is plausible and has a more stable geometry. However, this study suggests that the data from QM methods require further evaluation with solvation models to produce an even better energy profile.
Keywords: hydrogen bond, density functional theory, basis set, electronic structure