Herbicide use while being of a great benefit in controlling weeds in agricultural systems can also pose a threat to environmental quality due to off-target and off-site impacts. The increasing concern about risks associated with agricultural chemicals and specifically their impact on surface and groundwater quality is a national and international concern. In Kentucky, herbicide off-site movement occurs, allowing them to enter the Kentucky River watershed and impact surface and groundwater quality. Accordingly, it is necessary to assess the distribution and degradation/dissipation of herbicides in agricultural soils and runoff water after field application and develop management practices and/or remediation techniques to mitigate environmental pollution by agrochemicals. The overall goal of the best management practices is to develop sustainable agricultural techniques that strike an acceptable balance between crop production benefits and ecological conservation by reducing herbicide impact on environmental quality to 1) protect watersheds by reducing the mobility of herbicides from soil into runoff and seepage water using binding agents; 2) enhance soil microbial activity that mineralizes herbicides in soil; and 3) enhance growers’ knowledge about bioremediation techniques (soil amendments, biofilters, biochar, and soil microorganisms) that could be implemented to reduce herbicide mobility and protect natural water resources.
Part of the book: Herbicides
The word organic, applied to fertilizers, indicates that the nutrients are derived from the remains or by‐products of a once‐living organism. Farmers are continually searching for alternatives to synthetic inorganic fertilizers to alleviate the escalating production costs associated with the increasing costs of energy and fertilizers and the problems of soil and surface water deterioration associated with intensive use and release of inorganic fertilizers such as N and P fertilizers. One of the advantages of organic fertilizers is that they provide their nutrients especially the principal nutrients (NPK) to growing plants over a long period of time in a slow release process. The soil has to be moist and warm enough to allow soil microorganisms to decompose and breakdown the complex forms of organic fertilizers. Generally, the application of organic amendments to agricultural soils makes good use of natural resources and reduces the need of synthetic inorganic fertilizers. Soil structure, nutrient composition, and microbiological activity of soil are usually increased following the application of organic amendments. This is because of the presence of sugars and amino acids as simple molecules in organic amendments that contribute to microbiological activity and fertility and elevated levels of enzymes secreted by soil microbes. To investigate the soil microbiological activity after the addition of soil amendments, three enzymes that control the C, N, and P cycles should be monitored in the plant rhizosphere zone, which is defined as the zone of increased microbial and enzyme activity where soil and root make contact. An increase of organic waste originated from different humans and productive activities is a continuous concern. Waste application (i.e., municipal sewage sludge, chicken manure, horse manure, and cow manure) to soil is proposed as a solution to disposal problem. This practice is popular in the agricultural fields because of the value of this waste as organic fertilizer. At KSU, numerous studies have been conducted on organic soil amendments and their impact on crop yield and quality, soil erosion and nutrient availability, soil enzymes activity, and bioremediation of heavy metals in organic amendments.
Part of the book: Organic Fertilizers
Four low-cost organic soil amendments (chicken manure, CM; horse manure, HM; yard water, YW; and sewage sludge, SS) that are generated daily in large amounts, and native bare soil were planted with tomato (Solanum lycopersicum var. Mountain spring) seedlings of 52 days old in raised black plastic-mulch. Each of the 5 treatments was also mixed with biochar to make a total of 10 treatments in a randomized complete block design (RCBD). Results revealed that total fresh weight of tomato fruits collected after three harvests from CM and CM mixed with biochar significantly (P < 0.05) increased, whereas yield obtained from HM was the lowest indicating a positive effect of CM on the growth and yield of tomato. HM increased soil urease activity, while CM and SS increased soil invertase activity. Total marketable tomato yield of biochar amended soils was increased by 63 and 20% in HM and YW treatments, respectively compared to other soil treatments. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) was greatest in fruits of plants grown in CM amended soil. Results of this investigation may help limited-resource farmers in selecting an affordable soil management practice to enhance crop yield, crop nutritional composition, and soil microbial activity.
Part of the book: Agricultural Waste and Residues
Members of the genus Capsicum (Family: Solanaceae), which belongs to a dicotyledonous group of flowering plants, show fluctuating degrees of spiciness that mirror the relative concentrations of capsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin, and other analogs (nordihydrocapsaicin, homocapsaicin, and homodihydrocapsaicin) collectively known as capsaicinoids present in the fruit placenta. Pungent Chili varieties are grown for their food value, health-promoting properties and as a source of capsaicinoids that have a variety of medicinal uses. Accessions of the cultivated species (Capsicum annuum, C. baccatum, C. chinense, C. frutescens, and C. pubescens) have not all been analyzed for their capsaicinoids content. Identifying Capsicum species and accessions (genotypes) within species with high levels of antioxidants and bioactive compounds (capsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin, vitamin C, vitamin E, phenols, and β-carotene) that contribute to human disease therapy is the focus of this investigation. The main objectives of this chapter are to compile an overview of most recent achievements of the pharmacological properties of hot pepper compounds and provide a rationale for their use as analgesics and to present an evidence that supports the use of capsaicinoids in the treatment of neuropathic pain and other top leading death of worldwide human diseases.
Part of the book: Capsaicin and its Human Therapeutic Development