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Agricultural systems are amended ecosystems with a variety of properties. Modern agroecosystems have tended towards high through-flow systems, with energy supplied by fossil fuels directed out of the system either deliberately for harvests or accidentally through side effects. In the coming decades, resource constraints over water, soil, biodiversity and land will affect agricultural systems. Sustainable agroecosystems are those tending to have a positive impact on natural, social and human capital, while unsustainable systems feed back to deplete these assets, leaving fewer for the future.
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Log In. The ojective of such a system is maximum profit for the farm. The system you choose should take into account your location, availability of markets, production seasons, and personal interest. This system differs from most extensive crop production systems because land and other resources are used several times a year, rather than for a short, very active period.
An important caution is to reduce the intensity of activity to a measured level throughout the year so that you do not experience burnout. Then, select crops that can give you a spread of cash flow and labor demands throughout the year. We suggest that you start with no more than six crops and that these crops mature in different seasons.
With experience, you can increase the number of crops as the markets dictate. For example: lettuce in the early spring, snap beans in the late spring, cucumbers for early summer, peppers in early midsummer, tomatoes in midsummer, snap beans again in early fall, and greens or broccoli for late fall and early winter.
Good planning and attention to the production and marketing practices described in this bulletin can help you attain this level of profit. Most vegetable growers are quite aware that any income realized from their efforts depends greatly on their marketing success. For intensive vegetable production, growers with good marketing skills—but average production practices—are likely to realize more profit than growers with average marketing skills and good production practices.
There is widespread agreement that marketing is important; however, there is less agreement on how to succeed in marketing, even among those individuals who are successful. Marketing vegetables is similar to marketing other agricultural commodities in certain respects. Careful and timely attention to cultural practices is required.
There must be a reasonable expectation that the price received will exceed the total per-unit cost. Growers must deliver farm products to buyers at locations, times, and in forms that the buyers want.
However, the inability to store vegetables for an extended period of time, the labor required to grow and harvest vegetables, and the extreme variability in prices present unique challenges for vegetable growers. Successful marketing of vegetables requires more individual initiative and close coordination of production, handling, and marketing activities than do most other agricultural commodities.
In this process, particular equipment and handling needs are identified. Next, probable expense and yield forecasts are made. Cultivars horticultural varieties that can be grown are investigated and cultural practice information is collected. In contrast, "market potential assessments" are usually less complete and often are accomplished simply by making several telephone calls to other growers or perhaps "an expert" to inquire about last year's average price, or by reading trade publication articles.
Often, a marking plan is synonymous with identification of a seller. Too few growers develop a sound marketing plan. Key elements in development of a marketing plan are studying market situations and evaluating available opportunities. All available sales options should be identified. It is crucial to deliver the right products in correct containers at the right time to consumers and growers must acquire knowledge about current prices and adjust variety selection, cultural practices, grading standards and packing procedures to satisfy what buyers want.
Finally, you should investigate the advisability of extending product shelf life through the use of precooling equipment. Many growers examine the market window potential of a crop as a starting point in developing a market plan. A market window is defined as the particular period of time during which vegetables can be sold at a profit. Information needed to analyze a crop's market window potential includes historical daily or weekly prices at a particular sales market, a cost-of-production estimate, and an indicator of price volatility.
A "window of opportunity" exists to market the crop if expected prices exceed average costs. Unfortunately, development of a marketing plan and conducting market window analyses will not guarantee marketing success. Many other factors influence marketing success, such as weather, pests, the volume and quality of product available, and grower contacts and relationships with buyers. However, it is prudent for growers to recognize that vegetable production is a risky agricultural venture and substantial financial losses or profits can occur.
The same motivation exists in thoroughly assessing production or marketing potentials. Try to reduce and manage risks rather than eliminate them.
Produce marketing opportunities are expanding as many consumers have renewed their interest in eating healthful and nutritious fruits and vegetables. During the past decade, total United States per-capita consumption of vegetables increased 25 percent.
Consumption levels for selected crops such as broccoli and tomatoes have exceeded this average increase. The trend toward increased consumption of vegetables has been helpful to growers, yet it has also produced changes in buyer and producer interaction. Buyers often need value-added services such as precooling and want a more diverse product mix. Most now stress better price-value relationships in their buying practices. Consumer interest has established produce as the premier image-maker in most grocery stores.
Industry analysts report that the produce department is the most profitable operation in the typical chain-operated supermarket. Expanded floor space and a doubling in the number of items carried by the average produce department have increased complexities in handling and buying items. Competitive pressures and image concerns also have reduced buyers' willingness to accept items of poor quality.
Intensive vegetable growers in North Carolina usually have one or more of the following sales options: 1 direct sales to consumers through pick-your-own, roadside stand, or farmers' markets; 2 packers and shippers; 3 food service and institutional markets such as prisons, hospitals, and restaurants; 4 direct delivery to independent and locally-owned grocery stores; 5 marketing cooperatives; 6 processors; 7 wholesalers, pinhookers, and truckers; 8 warehouse operations for chain stores; 9 repackers and terminal markets.
Produce growers should study all these alternatives and determine those options that are realistic and feasible for their situation. Sales options available to growers often depend on the size of the farming operation and the volume grown, farm location, availability of labor, timing of the harvest window, resourcefulness of the grower, and the customer services provided.
All market participants agree that providing top quality improves sales prospects. The concept of quality should include not only cosmetic and grading elements but also service features. Other aspects of quality to many buyers include availability of many lines of vegetables. Extending shelf life by using precooling technologies, reinforced shipping containers, and consistent delivery of uniformly packed vegetables are necessities for all buyers.
The service aspects of quality in glutted market conditions can mean the difference between selling and "smelling" not selling a crop. A grower should always be involved in developing a marketing plan, although he or she may elect to employ someone else to handle sales.
Remember that "middlemen" specialize in trade and are not necessarily experts in production, credit, and grading. Preceding sections have emphasized the need to develop an overall marketing plan—considering sales options and production factors—if vegetable farming is to be profitable over time. Limiting factors for most growers involve devoting adequate time and effort to coordinate production and marketing efforts and evaluating their marketing options realistically.
Complete development of a marketing plan usually occurs over several years and is refined by "trial and error" methods. But you must start somewhere! Ill-defined marketing terms such as "sufficient volume," "proper grades and containers," and "at the right time" will be more meaningful over time. Increased consumer concerns about the environment and pesticide residues will require even closer linkages between farm management practices and and marketing.
Greater emphasis must be placed on coordinating production and marketing efforts so that growers can compete in today's marketplace. Successful intensive vegetable production relies on satisfying buyer wants and needs through coordination of production and marketing activities.
Vegetable crops need a uniform supply of soil moisture throughout the growing season. Thus, an irrigation system is essential to successful intensive vegetable production. Irrigation increases yields and allows for a reliable supply of product for market. Vegetables are 80 to 95 percent of water; thus, it might be said that "vegetable growers sell a sack of water and flavor. The most critical time to irrigate most vegetables is during flower and product development.
A water shortage at the time snap beans flower or sweet corn tassels can cut yield by 50 to 75 percent. Another effect of water stress is reduced fruit size in crops such as tomatoes, peppers, and watermelon.
Irrigation sources can be ponds, streams, or wells. A small well can be used to fill a holding pond in areas or low groundwater supplies. This is enough water to drip-irrigate 2 to 3 acres daily or to sprinkle-irrigate 3 acres weekly. Drip irrigation or small sprinkler irrigation is recommended for vegetables. Either of these systems can be used to moisten the soil, stimulate germination, and assure a good stand.
Large gun-type irrigation systems produce large droplets that may injure young vegetable seedlings. Also, these systems may pack the soil and reduce soil oxygen—thus hurting many vegetable crops. A good rule of thumb for vegetable crop irrigation is to apply 1. Consider using a tensiometer or soil moisture blocks for more precise water application. The reading on the tensiometer gauge for sprinkler irrigation should be 30 to 40 centibars for sandy soils and 40 to 50 centibars for clay soils.
The tensiometer reading for drip irrigation should be 20 centibars for irrigation in sandy soils and 30 in clay soils. The water should be turned off at a reading of 10 in both soils.
Drip irrigation should be run daily in hot weather, and at least every other day in cool spring and fall periods. The duration of drip irrigation will depend on soil moisture, but a little irrigation every day yields more uniform plant growth than longer intervals between irrigations. Drip irrigation is the application of small amounts of water to the soil near plant roots. It should be used frequently to reduce soil moisture stresses.
It is important to remember that drip irrigation cannot be used to "catch up" on soil moisture. Drip irrigation can be used alone or in conjunction with plastic mulch. Irrigation for frost protection is done with sprinklers mounted above or below the crop canopy. The heat lost from the plant part to its environment is replaced by heat released as the applied water changes to ice.
As 1 gram of water freezes, 80 calories of heat energy are released. As long as ice is being formed, this latent heat of fusion will provide heat. Although there is some risk involved, the advantages of irrigation for frost protection are significant. Operational costs are lower because water is much cheaper than oil or gas used in heaters. Irrigation systems are convenient to operate because they are controlled at a central pump house. In addition, there are multiple uses for the same system; e.
Organic amendments as sustainable tool to recovery fertility in intensive agricultural systems. Bonanomi 2 , R. Scelza 2 , A. Zoina 2 , M.
Growing greenhouse vegetables is one of the most exacting and intensive forms of requires high technology, is capital intensive, and highly productive.
In recent years, intelligent sensor techniques have achieved significant attention in agriculture. It is applied in agriculture to plan the several activities and missions properly by utilising limited resources with minor human interference. Currently, plant cultivation using new agriculture methods is very popular among the growers. However, the aeroponics is one of the methods of modern agriculture, which is commonly practiced around the world. In the system, plant cultivates under complete control conditions in the growth chamber by providing a small mist of the nutrient solution in replacement of the soil. The nutrient mist is ejected through atomization nozzles on a periodical basis. During the plant cultivation, several steps including temperature, humidity, light intensity, water nutrient solution level, pH and EC value, CO 2 concentration, atomization time, and atomization interval time require proper attention for flourishing plant growth. Therefore, the object of this review study was to provide significant knowledge about early fault detection and diagnosis in aeroponics using intelligent techniques wireless sensors. So, the farmer could monitor several paraments without using laboratory instruments, and the farmer could control the entire system remotely. Moreover, the technique also provides a wide range of information which could be essential for plant researchers and provides a greater understanding of how the key parameters of aeroponics correlate with plant growth in the system.
This transdisciplinary study has a three-fold systems approach in evaluating a horticultural technology: 1 horticultural evaluations, 2 economic and resource analyses, and 3 systems engineering analyses, using low temperature storage as an example technology.
Prof Basanta K. Sahu, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, feels that the targets envisioned in the horticulture Cluster Development Programme CDP need to be juxtaposed with the distinct issues faced by the sector. Resolving scale challenges, branding products internationally, setting up of farm and multi-modal infrastructure, ensuring technology integration and adhering to global standards are critical to the success of the programme. Horticulture is one of the oldest and most important components of the entire agriculture system. In the agricultural economy, it has an enormous role in terms of production, productivity, employment, seasonality and value addition.
Log In. The ojective of such a system is maximum profit for the farm. The system you choose should take into account your location, availability of markets, production seasons, and personal interest. This system differs from most extensive crop production systems because land and other resources are used several times a year, rather than for a short, very active period. An important caution is to reduce the intensity of activity to a measured level throughout the year so that you do not experience burnout. Then, select crops that can give you a spread of cash flow and labor demands throughout the year.
indicative of very high rate of growth (Table ). (vi) Unavailability of refined intensive integrated production systems.
Protected horticulture is a highly profitable farming system, offering a major turnover per hectare and providing work for hundreds of thousands of people. Under plastic, crops produce yields that can never be reached in open air. Furthermore, the use of water and fertilizers can be optimised, and the greenhouse cover isolates the crop from insect and mite pests. Nevertheless, intensive horticulture suffers from a bad image with respect to environmental issues, frequently accused of contaminating and abusing water reserves.
Designs and classification of greenhouse 2. Components of green house 4. Environmental factors influencing greenhouse cultivation 6. Media preparation and fumigation 7. Drip irrigation and fertigation systems greenhouse cultivation 8.
There is a pressing need for redesigning agriculture to achieve sustainability and for utilizing modern genetic tools, including genetic engineering, to add nutritional value to crops for the benefit of the diverse human population.
Agriculture accounts for only a small part of gross domestic production GDP in Europe, and it is considered that the overall vulnerability of the European economy to changes that affect agriculture is low 9. The Italian agriculture is highly diversified in terms of its main characteristics, especially between the Alpine and Apennine regions and those of the northern, central and southern regions of the country. This diversification ranges, for example, from the intensive, high productivity farming of the northern regions to an extremely marginal situation in the mountain zones and the south of the country 1. In southern Europe large decreases in yield are expected for spring-sown crops e. The predicted increase in extreme weather events is expected to reduce average yield 4, In particular, in the European Mediterranean region increases in the frequency of extreme climate events during specific crop development stages e. Such movements represent a potential danger to Italy due to the territory orography features and to temporal incompatibility between the movements of the ecosystems and climate change 6.