). In the last 3 years, TPSS 300 has been modified to incorporate more topics on environmental sustainability in agriculture ( Kobayashi and Perez, 2009 ). New topics that were added include sustainable agriculture, agroecology, aquaponics, precision
Kent D. Kobayashi, Theodore J.K. Radovich, and Brooke E. Moreno
M.S. Schroeder, N.G. Creamer, H.M Linker, J.P. Mueller, and P. Rzewnicki
There is an increasing demand for education in organic and sustainable agriculture from undergraduates, graduate students and extension agents. In this paper, we discuss highlights and evaluations of a multilevel approach to education currently being developed at North Carolina State University (NCSU) that integrates interdisciplinary training in organic and sustainable agriculture and the related discipline of agroecology through a variety of programs for undergraduate students, graduate students, and extension agents. These educational programs are possible because of a committed interdisciplinary faculty team and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, a facility dedicated to sustainable and organic agriculture research, education, and outreach. Undergraduate programs include an inquiry-based sustainable agriculture summer internship program, a sustainable agriculture apprenticeship program, and an interdisciplinary agroecology minor that includes two newly developed courses in agroecology and a web-based agroecology course. Research projects and a diversity of courses focusing on aspects of sustainable and organic agriculture are available at NCSU for graduate students and a PhD sustainable agriculture minor is under development. A series of workshops on organic systems training offered as a graduate-level course at NCSU for extension agents is also described. Connecting experiential training to a strong interdisciplinary academic curriculum in organic and sustainable agriculture was a primary objective and a common element across all programs. We believe the NCSU educational approach and programs described here may offer insights for other land grant universities considering developing multilevel sustainable agriculture educational programs.
Chandrappa Gangaiah, Amjad Ahmad, Hue V. Nguyen, Koon-Hui Wang, and Theodore J.K. Radovich
The application of locally available invasive algae biomass as a fertilizer for crop production in Hawaii is being investigated as a substitute for imported chemical fertilizers. Three closely related greenhouse trials were conducted to determine if the algae served as a source of potassium (K) on growth, yield, and K mineral nutrition in pak choi (Brassica rapa, Chinensis group). In the first trial, three algal species (Gracilaria salicornia, Kappaphycus alvarezii, and Eucheuma denticulatum) were applied at five rates of K, each to evaluate their effects on growth and K nutrition of pak choi plants. The pak choi was direct seeded into 0.0027-m3 pots containing peatmoss-based growth media. In trial 2, pak choi was grown in peat media at six rates of K provided by algae (E. denticulatum) or by potassium nitrate (KNO3). In trial 3, the six rates of K were provided through algae (K. alvarezii), KNO3, and potassium chloride (KCl) and were compared for growth and K nutrition. Results from the first greenhouse trial showed no significant differences among the three algal species in yield or tissue K content of pak choi. However, plant yield and tissue K concentration were increased with application rates. The maximum yield and tissue K were observed when K was provided within the range of 250–300 kg·ha−1. Similarly, in Expts. 2 and 3, there were no significant differences between commercial K fertilizers and algal K species for yield. Only K rates were significant for yields and tissue K concentrations. It was concluded that K in the invasive algae was similarly available as K in commercial synthetic fertilizers for pak choi growth in terms of yield and tissue K content under our experimental conditions.
Rukundo Placide, Hussein Shimelis, Mark Laing, and Daphrose Gahakwa
selected agro-ecologies of Rwanda. Results of the study may assist in the breeding and sustainable production of sweetpotato in Rwanda and countries with similar agro-ecologies. Materials and Methods Description of the study areas. The study was carried out
Nohra Rodríguez Castillo, Daniel Ambachew, Luz Marina Melgarejo, and Matthew Wohlgemuth Blair
Global demand for juice of the purple passion fruit, Passiflora edulis f. edulis, is growing, making it a promising species for farmers to grow in the highland tropics, to which it is adapted. However, research centers and private companies have done little to produce new high-yielding varieties. The objective of the present study, therefore, was to evaluate the agronomic and morphological characteristics of 50 passion fruit genotypes across two different elevations and agro-ecological sites as a base for germplasm enhancement. Three groups of genotypes were commercial cultivars (8 genotypes), genebank accessions (8), and landraces (34) collected from throughout the highlands of Colombia. The locations were at 1800 m above sea level (masl) (Pasca), in a place where cultivation of passion fruits is common; and at 2500 masl (Susacón), at a higher elevation site compared with most commercial plantings equal to a new agroecology for cultivation of the crop. Results indicated that the mid-elevation site produced higher yields (kg fruit/plant) than the high elevation site, although some landraces were highly productive there. Commercial cultivar and genebank accessions clustered together in a principal component analysis (PCA); while landraces showed high levels of variation in the trait descriptors with five different clusters. Therefore, landraces of purple passion fruit contained greater genetic diversity than commercial cultivars or the genebank, and breeding programs for the crop should use landraces to increase diversity of varieties available to producers and to further expand the crop to new regions, at higher elevations, or with different agro-ecologies.
M. Ngouajio, K. Delate, E. Carey, A.N. Azarenko, J.J. Ferguson, and W.J. Sciarappa
As organic agriculture continues to grow, pressure from students and the public to develop novel curricula to address specific needs of this sector of agriculture also will increase. More students from the cities and with limited background in production agriculture are enrolling in agricultural programs with special interest in organic production. This new student population is demanding new curricula based on a better understanding of agroecology principles and more experiential training. Several universities throughout the nation have engaged in a profound curriculum transformation to satisfy the emerging need of students in organic production. This workshop was organized to bring together experts that are working on different organic and sustainable agriculture curricula throughout the country to share their experiences and lessons learned. Most of these curricula include a traditional classroom teaching component, a major experiential component, a student farm for hands-on experience and internships, and in some cases a marketing—typically a community supported agriculture (CSA)—component. Others programs are more extension oriented, providing applied training to growers outside of the university teaching curriculum.
Robert O.M. Mwanga, Benson Odongo, Charles Niringiye, Agnes Alajo, Benjamin Kigozi, Rose Makumbi, Esther Lugwana, Joweria Namukula, Isaac Mpembe, Regina Kapinga, Berga Lemaga, James Nsumba, Silver Tumwegamire, and Craig G. Yencho
-station and on-farm trials in major selected agroecologies in Uganda, the five clones were coded using the following nomenclature: Namulonge Ipomoea selection (NIS)/the initial year selected/the female parent/the selection (genotype) number/similarity code
Robert O.M. Mwanga, Charles Niringiye, Agnes Alajo, Benjamin Kigozi, Joweria Namukula, Isaac Mpembe, Silver Tumwegamire, Richard W. Gibson, and G. Craig Yencho
sites on-station in Uganda Origin During sweetpotato PPB trials on-farm ( Gibson et al., 2008 ) and in on-station evaluations in major selected agroecologies in Uganda ( Mwanga et al., 2010 ), ‘NASPOT 11’ was coded as NIS/2003/NKA1081L, in which NIS
Damien Shumbusha, Jean Ndirigwe, Lydia Kankundiye, Anastasie Musabyemungu, Daphrose Gahakwa, Phanuel S. Ndayemeye, and Robert O.M. Mwanga
seasons from 2011 to 2013 on-station at Rubona, Karama, and Ngoma in three major agroecologies, which are the major sweetpotato-producing areas of Rwanda. Rubona is in the midaltitude agroecology, 1650 m above sea level (masl), characterized by low SPVD
Robert O.M. Mwanga, Gerald Kyalo, Gorrettie N. Ssemakula, Charles Niringiye, Benard Yada, Milton A. Otema, Joweria Namakula, Agnes Alajo, Benjamin Kigozi, Rose N.M. Makumbi, Anna-Marie Ball, Wolfgang J. Grüneberg, Jan W. Low, and G. Craig Yencho
; Ruel, 2001 ), especially where high dry matter and starchy sweetpotatoes are preferred. The cultivars can be used directly if adapted in similar agroecologies in sub-Saharan Africa and globally and/or used as parents in breeding programs to develop