Tithonia diversifolia is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae that is commonly known as the tree marigold,Mexican tournesol, Mexican sunflower, Japanese sunflower or Nitobe chrysanthemum. It is native to Mexico and Central America but has a nearly pantropical distribution as an introduced species. Depending on the area they may be either annual or perennial. It has shown great potential in raising the soil fertility in soils depleted in nutrients.
Originating in Mexico; research has shown its potential in benefiting poor African farmers.This plant is a weed that grows quickly and has become an option as an affordable alternative to expensive synthetic fertilizers. It has shown to increase plant yields and the soil nutrients of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).
Tithonia diversifolia is 2–3 m (6.6–9.8 ft) in height with upright and sometimes ligneous stalks in the form of woody shrubs. Leaves are sub-ovate, serrate, acute, 10 to 40 cm long, simply or mostly 3-7 lobed, somewhat glandular, and slightly grayish beneath. The leaves of the plant alternate in sides they grow on, which is where the plant gets the name diversifolia.
The large, showy honey-scented flowers cm wide and 10–30 cm long. Flowering occurs in spring, though more profusely during autumn and early winter. Its seeds are spread through way of wind, water, and animals. The seeds are achenes, 4-angled, and 5mm long.are yellow to orange colored, 5–15
This plant was originally domesticated in Mexico and spread to other parts of Central and South America and north into the United States.It was brought over to parts of Africa and Asia as an ornamental plant and has become an invasive weed that is widely spread. It is most commonly found in areas with an altitude between 550m and 1950m. It is commonly found scattered among rivers and roadsides. In Asia and Latin America this plant is also referred to as kembang bulan (Indonesian and Javanese), jalacate (Spanish), buatong (Thai) and dã quỳ (Vietnamese).
While T. diversifolia has moderate drought tolerance, the amount of rainfall that the African subtropics receives may not be enough to support the growing of this biomass.T. diversifolia currently grows in humid and semi humid areas in Africa. However, no evidence was found to suggest that it had been attempted in desert conditions.
Tithonia diversifolia can grow in many different environmental conditions. It has a moderate drought tolerance. mm and a temperature of 15-31 degrees Celsius.It is ideally grown in areas with an annual rainfall ranging from 1000–2000
This plant does not require a large amount of nutrients because it is able to increase the amount of essential nutrients in the soil itself.As a weed it spreads rapidly which allows farmers to obtain large amounts for the use of fertilization.
A study on the use of this green fertilizer on tomato plants shows that this is a useful method to increase crop yields in order to benefit the farmer’s wealth.However, this is not without a serious look at the labour requirements. A different study found that, with maize, the overall labour demand versus the financial prospects is not worthwhile, especially in areas of unpredictable rainfalls.
This same study also found that growing T. diversifolia on farmer land is not as beneficial from an economic standpoint. Instead, it is better to harvest from an off site location and transport to the fields.From this study, fields that received only a P fertilizer yielded an income to the farmer of $50USD/ha. When only T. diversifolia was applied, this income rose to $494USD/ha. The latter results are high, as another study showed an increase of only to $116USD/ha.
Harvesting and distributing this fertilizer over the land by hand is very labour-intensive.The best yields come when T. diversifolia is grown off the land as to not take up growing space. For this reason, when time spent on labour has been factored, this approach may not be beneficial to a farmer.
Tithonia diversifolia can be used as organic fertilizer biomass. The biomass refers to materials that are derived from the plant, such as its foliage, being worked into the soil as a dry fertilizer.Since its use as fertilizer requires high labour, it is recommended for use with high value crops such as tomato, kale, carrot, and maize. For this use, the plant is first grown in hedges around the edges of harvest land. It is important though to keep the maximum amount of growing area a farmer has. The green stems (not the woody stems), leaves, and flowers can be removed from the plant at a farmer selected time, though it is recommended that cutting every 5 months will give a plentiful amount of nutrients in the biomass. The biomass can also be used as a mulch and can be left on top of the soil to decompose into the ground. It has been found that the biomass from T. diversifolia breaks down rapidly and releases nutrients quickly.
When applying the mulch or biomass to the soil, it should be applied at the minimum amount of one ton to every hectare of land. However, the best yield is given when 5 tons/hectare is applied.The downside here is that a lot of foliage is needed to cover a small area of land because it has a high water content. Mixing this biomass with a synthetic fertilizer will bring higher yields. A study found that when applying tithonia with triple superphosphate (TSP) that the yields increased by 220% compared to a control test containing only an inorganic nitrogen fertilizer (Urea). When using T. diversifolia it should be supplemented with a Mg fertilizer as this nutrient is lacking in quantity when compared to other green fertilizers.
Crop rotation is the practice of growing a series of different types of crops in the same area across a sequence of growing seasons. This practice reduces the reliance of crops on one set of nutrients, pest and weed pressure, along with the probability of developing resistant pests and weeds.
Conservation agriculture (CA) can be defined by a statement given by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as "Conservation Agriculture (CA) is a farming system that can prevent losses of arable land while regenerating degraded lands.It promotes minimum soil disturbance, maintenance of a permanent soil cover, and diversification of plant species. It enhances biodiversity and natural biological processes above and below the ground surface, which contribute to increased water and nutrient use efficiency and to improved and sustained crop production."
In agriculture, a green manure is a crop specifically cultivated to be incorporated into the soil while still green. Typically, the green manure's biomass is incorporated with a plow or disk, as is often done with (brown) manure. The primary goal is to add organic matter to the soil for its benefits. Green manuring is often used with legume crops to add nitrogen to the soil for following crops, especially in organic farming, but is also used in conventional farming.
In agriculture, cover crops are plants that are planted to cover the soil rather than for the purpose of being harvested. Cover crops manage soil erosion, soil fertility, soil quality, water, weeds, pests, diseases, biodiversity and wildlife in an agroecosystem—an ecological system managed and shaped by humans. Cover crops can increase microbial activity in the soil, which has a positive effect on nitrogen availability, nitrogen uptake in target crops, and crop yields. Cover crops may be an off-season crop planted after harvesting the cash crop. Cover crops are nurse crops in that they increase the survival of the main crop being harvested, and are often grown over the winter. In the United States, cover cropping may cost as much as $35 per acre.
Plant nutrition is the study of the chemical elements and compounds necessary for plant growth and reproduction, plant metabolism and their external supply. In its absence the plant is unable to complete a normal life cycle, or that the element is part of some essential plant constituent or metabolite. This is in accordance with Justus von Liebig’s law of the minimum. The total essential plant nutrients include seventeen different elements: carbon, oxygen and hydrogen which are absorbed from the air, whereas other nutrients including nitrogen are typically obtained from the soil.
Agroforestry is a land use management system in which combinations of trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland. Agroforestry combines agricultural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy, and sustainable land-use systems. There are many benefits to agroforestry such as increasing farm profitability. In addition, agroforestry helps to preserve and protect natural resources such as controlling soil erosions, creating habitat for the wildlife, and managing animal waste. Benefits also include increased biodiversity, improved soil structure and health, reduced erosion, and carbon sequestration.
Corn stover consists of the leaves, stalks, and cobs of maize (corn) plants left in a field after harvest. Such stover makes up about half of the yield of a corn crop and is similar to straw from other cereal grasses; in Britain it is sometimes called corn straw. Corn stover is a very common agricultural product in areas of large amounts of corn production. As well as the non-grain part of harvested corn, the stover can also contain other weeds and grasses. Field corn and sweet corn, two different types of maize, have relatively similar corn stover.
Cenchrus purpureus, synonym Pennisetum purpureum, also known as Napier grass, elephant grass or Uganda grass, is a species of perennial tropical grass native to the African grasslands. It has low water and nutrient requirements, and therefore can make use of otherwise uncultivated lands.
In agriculture, a living mulch is a cover crop interplanted or undersown with a main crop, and intended to serve the purposes of a mulch, such as weed suppression and regulation of soil temperature. Living mulches grow for a long time with the main crops, whereas cover crops are incorporated into the soil or killed with herbicides.
Fertigation is the injection of fertilizers, used for soil amendments, water amendments and other water-soluble products into an irrigation system.
Miscanthus × giganteus, also known as the giant miscanthus, is a sterile hybrid of Miscanthus sinensis and Miscanthus sacchariflorus. It is a perennial grass with bamboo-like stems that can grow to heights of 3–4 metres (13 ft) in one season. Just like Pennisetum purpureum, Arundo donax and Saccharum ravennae, it is also called elephant grass.
Agriculture in Kenya dominates Kenya's economy. 15–17 percent of Kenya's total land area has sufficient fertility and rainfall to be farmed, and 7–8 percent can be classified as first-class land. In 2006, almost 75 percent of working Kenyans made their living by farming, compared with 80 percent in 1980. About one-half of Kenya's total agricultural output is non-marketed subsistence production.
Upland rice is a variety of rice grown on dry soil rather than flooded rice paddies.
Deficit irrigation (DI) is a watering strategy that can be applied by different types of irrigation application methods. The correct application of DI requires thorough understanding of the yield response to water and of the economic impact of reductions in harvest. In regions where water resources are restrictive it can be more profitable for a farmer to maximize crop water productivity instead of maximizing the harvest per unit land. The saved water can be used for other purposes or to irrigate extra units of land. DI is sometimes referred to as incomplete supplemental irrigation or regulated DI.
Agricultural pollution refers to biotic and abiotic byproducts of farming practices that result in contamination or degradation of the environment and surrounding ecosystems, and/or cause injury to humans and their economic interests. The pollution may come from a variety of sources, ranging from point source water pollution to more diffuse, landscape-level causes, also known as non-point source pollution and air pollution. Once in the environment these pollutants can have both direct effects in surrounding ecosystems, i.e. killing local wildlife or contaminating drinking water, and downstream effects such as dead zones caused by agricultural runoff is concentrated in large water bodies.
A biofertilizer is a substance which contains living micro-organisms which, when applied to seeds, plant surfaces, or soil, colonize the rhizosphere or the interior of the plant and promotes growth by increasing the supply or availability of primary nutrients to the host plant. Biofertilizers add nutrients through the natural processes of nitrogen fixation, solubilizing phosphorus, and stimulating plant growth through the synthesis of growth-promoting substances. The micro-organisms in biofertilizers restore the soil's natural nutrient cycle and build soil organic matter. Through the use of biofertilizers, healthy plants can be grown, while enhancing the sustainability and the health of the soil. Biofertilizers can be expected to reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, but they are not yet able to replace their use. Since they play several roles, a preferred scientific term for such beneficial bacteria is "plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria" (PGPR).
Tephrosia vogelii, the Vogel's tephrosia, fish-poison-bean or Vogel tephrosia (English), tefrósia (Portuguese) or barbasco guineano (Spanish), is a flowering plant species in the genus Tephrosia.
Chrysopogon nigritanus, more widely known by the taxonomic synonym Vetiveria nigritana, or the common name black vetivergrass, is a perennial grass species of the family Poaceae and therefore is also a monocotyledon. More specifically, Vetiveria nigritana is a very thick and tall type of grass that is deeply rooted within the ground and is usually used to protect crops and deter soil erosion. Vetiveria nigritana is also a native species to Africa and is most commonly seen in Nigeria, Northern Africa, Eastern Africa and tropical parts of Southern Africa. In addition, the plant, like other vetiver grasses, has been used in these regions due to its extreme drought tolerance, ability to grow in infertile soil and the fact that it can live under complete submergence. In fact, Vetiveria nigritana can thrive in a very diverse range of environmental and climatic conditions.
Reuse of human excreta is the safe, beneficial use of treated human excreta after applying suitable treatment steps and risk management approaches that are customized for the intended reuse application. Beneficial uses of the treated excreta may focus on using the plant-available nutrients that are contained in the treated excreta. They may also make use of the organic matter and energy contained in the excreta. To a lesser extent, reuse of the excreta's water content might also take place, although this is better known as water reclamation from municipal wastewater. The intended reuse applications for the nutrient content may include: soil conditioner or fertilizer in agriculture or horticultural activities. Other reuse applications, which focus more on the organic matter content of the excreta, include use as a fuel source or as an energy source in the form of biogas.
Seaweed fertiliser is organic fertilizer made from seaweed that is used in agriculture to increase soil fertility and plant growth. The use of seaweed fertilizer dates back to antiquity and has a broad array of benefits for soils. Seaweed fertilizer can be applied in a number of different forms, including refined liquid extracts and dried, pulverized organic material. Through its composition of various bioactive molecules, seaweed functions as a strong soil conditioner, bio-remediator, and biological pest control, with each seaweed phylum offering various benefits to soil and crop health. These benefits can include increased tolerance to abiotic stressors, improved soil texture and water retention, and reduced occurrence of diseases.