23 Jul 2014

SEAP Quarterly Newsletter 2014 - 2

In this IssueIPNI SEAP Program Updates
Intensification of Cassava Production in the Philippines through Improved Nutrient Management - Nutrient Expert Cassava
IPNI SEAP Program Updates
- Intensification of cassava production in Philippines
- IPNI photo contest 2014
-Mini-seminar at Wilmar CKP
-Increasing corn farmers profitability through SSNM
- New Cocoa Care program supported by Uralkali and IPNI SEAP

News From the Region
- Palm oil production in Kalimantan on the rise
- Davao eyes oil palm as export crop
- Looking beyond Indonesia's forests for sustainable future in palm oil
- Palm oil: act first, consumer demand will follow
- Indonesia - sales of certified palm oil to hit record high
- Asia is the new Brazil
- Thailand's sugar production expected to increase
- Dark chocolate in demand in China
- Cocoa processors turn attention to Indonesia
- Vietnam's Mekong Delta may toss out rice for corn, soybeans
- Soybean production triples in Philippines
- Philippine farmers 'keen' on GM eggplant
- Indonesia government to boost cassava production

Literature at a Glance
- Sustainable management in crop monocultures
- IFDC Annual Report 2013
- Engage farmers in research
- Climate friendliness of cocoa agroforests compatible with productivity
- Grassland converted to grow cocoa
- Primary forest cover loss in Indonesia 2000 - 2012
- Effect of soil parent material on oil palm yield
- Enhanced efficiency N fertilizer
- Why crop yields in developing countries have not kept pace with agronomy

IPNI SEAP in the Press
-Recent publications and press releases

Upcoming Events
-Scroll down for updates
Cassava is considered the fourth most important crop in developing countries, with over a billion people in 105 countries, including the Philippines, using it for food. The crop is also used in feed, starch, and alcohol production. It is also the cheapest source of starch used in many industrial products such as thickener paste, confectionary flour, binder and stabilizer for many processed food products, pharmaceutical, textile, mining and manufacturing.

The increasing demand for cassava in the world market creates a promising atmosphere for intensifying its production, which could greatly benefit the cassava farmers. This could be achieved by increasing the area planted, use of improved varieties, and through improved management, especially, nutrient management.

Philippines, is one of the countries with potential to increase cassava production. In 2012, cassava yield was 10.2 t/ha, producing around 2.2 million tons. As cassava is one of the crops given least attention in research and development, strategies are lacking to improve its production.

In an effort to overcome this limitation, and in order to increase the yield and profitability of cassava production in a sustainable and ecological manner, the International Plant Nutrition Institute Southeast Asia Program (IPNI SEAP) with support from Universal Harvester Inc. (UHI) and Uralkali Trading (Gibraltar) Limited Singapore Branch (UKT) will (a) quantify the contribution that 4R based nutrition makes to increasing yields sustainably,
(b) estimate the fertilizer demands by an evolving cassava industry,
(c) introduce 4R based nutrition concepts and management practices to participating project farmers and their business partners, (d) demonstrate a process to upscale sustainable nutrition management and
(d) develop, as central part of such a process, a nutrient decision support software called Nutrient Expert ® Cassava for the Philippines.

This software will generate fertilizer recommendations that promote the use of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship. Together with partners from the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB), who will implement the project, key extension agents of government and industry organizations will be trained to deploy the model for cassava growers.

A start-up meeting was held last 22 May 2014 at Edsa Shangri-La Hotel, Mandaluyong City to discuss project implementation protocol, work plan timelines and targets. Dr. Thomas Oberthur, Director of IPNI SEAP; Dr. Mirasol Pampolino IPNI SEAP Philippines Office Manager; Dr. Milagros How, UHI Executive Vice President; Dr. Apolonio Ocampo, Senior Researcher at UPLB together with six professors/researchers from the university and two senior researchers from the Department of Agriculture attended the meeting. Thirty three farmers of different associations and cooperatives from the provinces of Quezon, La Union, Pangasinan, Bohol, Leyte, Samar, North Cotabato, Agusan del Norte, and Zamboanga, also attended the meeting. UPLB and IPNI SEAP gave presentations related to cassava production and the project’s objectives. This was followed by an open forum where farmers interacted and discussed the proposed project.

IPNI believes that specifically improved systems management with adequate crop nutrition provides an opportunity for cassava growers to benefit from strong markets. The project rationale is to provide information and tools that enable growers and the fertilizer industry to benefit from strong markets for cassava and therefore facilitate the effective use of production inputs, and improve the soil quality of intensively managed cassava production systems through the use of 4R Nutrient Stewardship management practices.

IPNI Crop Nutrient Deficiency Photo Contest 2014
The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) is continuing its sponsorship of its plant nutrient deficiency photo contest during 2014 to encourage field observation and increase understanding of crop nutrient deficiencies. In addition to the four nutrient categories (N, P, K and Other Nutrients - secondary and micronutrients), a new "Feature Crop" category has been added, with a focus on Hay and Forage Crops.

If you have a great photo of a nutrient deficiency in a forage crop, now is the time to share it. Contestants stand to win US$300 First Prize and US$200 Second Prize for Best Feature Crop Photo. For the N, P, K and Other Nutrient categories, IPNI is offering US$150 First Prize and US$100 Second Prize. Winners will also receive the most recent copy of IPNI's USB image collection.

“We hope this competition will appeal to practitioners working in actual production fields,” said IPNI President Dr.Terry Roberts. “Researchers working under controlled plot conditions are also welcome to submit entries. We encourage crop advisers, field scouts, and others to photograph and document deficiencies in crops.”

For more information on contest details, click here. Contest ends December 11, 2014
Mini Seminar by IPNI SEAP at Wilmar CKP
IPNI SEAP was invited by Wilmar R & D department recently to present a mini seminar describing its research to managers at its Central Kalimantan Project. Wilmar is one of the world largest oil palm companies with more than 240000 ha of oil palm planted area. 71% of the oil palm plantations are located in Indonesia, 24% in East Malaysia and 5% in Africa. Wilmar operates approximately 83,000 ha planted in Central Kalimantan in an area that was first planted in the 2000s.

Currently, IPNI collaborates with Wilmar on three projects:
1. Best management practice of maximum economic yield in all growth stages of oil palm in South Sumatra (SEA04)
2. Plantation Intelligence to upscale best management practice in oil palm in Central Kalimantan (SEA06)
3. Transferring oil palm plantation best management practices for Southeast Asia to West Africa in Ghana (GBL-53)

The seminar was presented on 11 -12 June during the visit to Central Kalimantan and was very well received by managers who attended both sessions. Attendees from the senior management group included Mr. Lo Koon Wai, Plantation Head, Mr. Gan Poey Guan, General Manager and Dr. Lim Chin Huat, R&D Head. This was a huge opportunity for both the IPNI team and Wilmar managers to communicate and share ideas. The team introduced several IPNI concepts and developments in oil palm research based on the papers below:
  • Palm oil at the crossroads: the role of Plantation Intelligence to support change, profit and sustainability (Dr Simon Cook)
  • Oil Palm Yields and Yield Gaps in West Africa: The Effects of Climate, Soil and Oil Palm Management Practices on Yields in West Africa (Tiemen Rhebergen)
  • Increasing palm oil yields by measuring oil recovery efficiency from the fields to the mills (Christopher Donough)
  • Growth of oil palm seedlings influenced by nursery practices in Malaysia and Indonesia (Christopher Donough)
  • Improving nutrient management of oil palms on sandy soils in Kalimantan using the 4R concepts of IPNI (Christopher Donough)
Increasing Corn Farmers Profitability through Site-Specific Nutrient Management
At the recent Site-Specific Nutrient Management (SSNM) White Corn Wet Season National Review and Planning Workshop held 7-9 May 2014 at Camp John Hay, Baguio City, participants from 16 regional field units of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and other agencies worked to assess the accomplishments and outputs of field trials conducted in the 2013 wet season.

SSNM technology provides guidelines, tools, and strategies that enable corn farmers to apply fertilizers tailored to the growing conditions in a specific season and location by using the principles of 4Rs (right source, right rate, right time and right place). These guidelines, tools and strategies are consistent with 4R Nutrient Stewardship, an approach for fertilizer best management practices that consider economic, social and environmental dimensions of nutrient management.

It was found that grain yield of white corn using SSNM with open-pollinated varieties was 1.3 t/ha higher over the current farmers’ fertilizer practice (FFP) (SSNM=4.2 t/ha vs. FFP=2.9 t/ha). Using traditional varieties, corn grain yield with SSNM was 1.1 t/ha higher compared to FFP (SSNM=3.7 t/ha vs. FFP=2.6 t/ha). This is a great opportunity for corn farmers to increase their profitability using SSNM which will eventually have an impact on self-sufficiency and food security.

Participants also discussed issues and problems related to field evaluation with some recommendations and solutions to further improve SSNM implementation in 2014 wet season.

Fertilizer management using SSNM to increase white corn yield and farmers’ income is a project that was implemented through partnerships with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), DA-National Corn Program, and other partner agencies. SSNM for white corn is an extension of the project “SSNM for hybrid maize”, a project of IPNI SEAP in collaboration with DA-BAR and UPLB that ended in 2011. Data collected from the SSNM white corn project will be used by IPNI SEAP to develop the algorithm for Nutrient Expert for White Corn for the Philippines.
New Cocoa Care Program supported by Uralkali and IPNI SEAP
A new Cocoa Care program is now being supported by JSC Uralkali and IPNI SEAP. As part of their commitment to sustainable development, Uralkali, one of the world’s largest producers of potash, is joining forces with Cocoa Care and IPNI to help improve the lives of cocoa farming families in Indonesia.

The main purpose of this new program is to enhance the yield and profitability of cocoa production systems, facilitate the effective use of production inputs, and improve the soil quality of intensively managed cocoa production systems through the use of 4R Nutrient Stewardship consistent management practices- using the right nutrient source, and applying it at the right rate, at the right time, in the right place.

Over the next 4 years a minimum of 60 farms from around the Soppeng / Bone region will join this program. Before joining most farmers involved in the Uralkali / IPNI program had been struggling to maintain sustainable productivity levels under increasing pressure from pests and diseases with inadequate application of necessary farm inputs.

All farmers involved in this program will receive training in good agricultural practices, toolkits for both the male and female of the farming family, fertilizer & pest management materials for the program duration, support and guidance from a Cocoa Carer – a highly trained farmer who works as an extension professional and where necessary dead or non-productive cacao trees will be rehabilitated or replaced with the best available planting materials. Support programs like these are vital to help cocoa farming families onto a solid path to sustainable cocoa farming and help them to escape the poverty trap.
News from the Region
Palm oil production in East Kalimantan on the rise
Palm oil production in East and North Kalimantan has continued to increase year to year due to the regions’ aggressive expansion of oil palm plantations. According to Etnawati Usman, head of East Kalimantan Plantation Agency, oil palm plantation areas last year reached about 1 million hectares [ha], more than double than in 2008. Moreover, last year’s production of fresh fruit bunches (TBS) and crude palm oil (CPO) reached 6.5 million tons and 1.4 million tons, respectively, up from only 1.6 million tons of TBS and 366,149 tonnes of CPO in 2008.

Source; Eco-Business.com, April 8, 2014
Davao eyes oil palm as alternative export crop
Palm oil has been identified as the next major industry in the Davao Region, more than a year after typhoon Pablo (international name: Bopha) tore through large areas of Davao Oriental coconut farms at the end of 2012. After intensive studies on possible alternative crops, the said crop was considered the best alternative since farmers can already harvest within two and a half years. Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon said that oil palm industry seems to show a high success rate and she hopes it will help the province to recover from the ravages of typhoon making it achieve economic growth.

Source: Eco-Business.com, April 10, 2014
Looking beyond Indonesia's forests for a sustainable future in palm oil
According to the World Resources Institute, Indonesia has as much as 14 million hectares of so-called degraded land, in the form of scrubland, grassland or previously deforested land which can be used for plantation. This option isn’t the easiest to employ — there are legal and technical hurdles, including how to negotiate transfers of rights and ownership over these lands — but estimates indicate that this area could sustain the expansion of Indonesia’s palm oil industry for years to come, without sacrificing more of the country’s forests.

Palm oil is not going away — global demand is higher than ever. In Indonesia, it contributes to infrastructure development and poverty alleviation. But these benefits, over the long term, pale in comparison to the further destruction of Indonesia’s forests, and the effects on climate change that this destruction will have. Many potential solutions to this problem already exist, but they are imperfect, hindered by loopholes, information gaps and
institutional inertia. The public, corporations, researchers and the government all have roles to play in helping to resolve these issues — and to make palm oil more sustainable.

Source: The Jakarta Globe, May 5, 2014
Palm Oil: Act first, consumer demand will follow
In order to achieve a sustainable palm oil industry and tackle the deforestation issue worldwide, actions must be taken quickly and the consumer demand will follow, says Dr Alan Knight OBE. Speaking at the European RSPO conference in London, the Corporate Responsibility General Manager at ArcelorMittal, said that we need to tackle deforestation right away without any questions, urging companies to act.

“Don’t wait for the consumer, and don’t invest in an expensive conversation with them. If you believe in tackling deforestation enough– just do it,” he said.

Source: Cosmetics Design-Europe.com, June 6, 2014
Indonesia - Sales of certified palm oil to hit record high this year
Sales of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) in Indonesia are expected to hit a record high this year due to larger purchase commitments from main buyer countries, according to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a group that promotes the production and use of sustainable palm oil. In the first quarter of this year, CSPO sales rose 48.7 per cent to 506,586 metric tons — a new high on a quarterly basis. This upward sales trend seen in January-March is expected to continue throughout the year.

Source: Eco-Business.com, April 25, 2014

Asia is the new Brazil
A collaboration between Elevance and Genting Plantations Berhad is in the works. Aimed at building a 240,000 MT metathesis biorefinery based on Elevance’s proprietary metathesis technology, it will produce renewable, high-performance olefins and specialty chemicals that can be used in multiple end-product applications, including lubricants, surfactants and detergents. The refinery will be located in the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) in Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia.
As part of the collaboration agreement, GIB has agreed to pay Elevance license and design fees, and Elevance will provide intellectual property rights, knowledge transfer, and technical and consulting services. Elevance will also be exclusively responsible for the sale of all specialty chemicals that are produced at the biorefinery.

Source: BioFuels Digest, July 14, 2014
Thailand’s MY2013/14 Sugar Production Expected to Increase
MY2013/14 sugar production is expected to increase to 11.4 million metric tons, up 14 per cent from the previous year due to a better than expected average sugar extraction rate resulting from favorable weather conditions. This will likely spur sugar exports to around 9 million metric tons. Meanwhile, MY2014/15 sugar production is forecast to decline to 10.4 million metric tons, down 9 per cent from the previous year, in anticipation of El Nino related weather conditions.

Source: The Crop Site, April 23, 2014

Dark chocolate in demand in China and elsewhere
China is in the forefront of the rising demand for dark chocolate, driving up cocoa prices. Some 34 percent of the retail value of chocolate in China comes from plain dark chocolate. Tipped as a major area for growth, industry analysts suggest China represents a huge opportunity however products need to be tailored to fit the market. China's cocoa bean imports has increased sharply from 21,000 tonnes in 2009/2010 to 40,000 tonnes in 2011/2012. These figures are still rising.
Dark chocolate consumption is also increasing in other major markets like Switzerland and the US.

Source: C & CI Cocoa World, March 2014
Cocoa processors turn attention to Indonesia
A US$350 million replanting program in Indonesia which aimed to increase production to around 1 million tonnes has not been successful as earlier anticipated. As Asian economies grow, demand for cocoa and chocolate products is increasing. Barry Callebaut expects the Asian demand for cocoa powder will grow by 5 - 9 percent annually over the coming years. Chocolate volume growth is expected to increase by 4 -6 percent in the same period, much higher than the respective growth rates in other parts of the world. The new cocoa processing facility inaugurated by Barry Callebaut in 2013 in Makassar is ideally located on Sulawesi Island, where most Indonesian cocoa is grown, thereby reducing logistics costs.

Source: C & CI, July 2014
Vietnam's Mekong Delta may toss out rice for corn, soybeans
Agriculture ministry officials gathered to discuss the possibility of switching fields in the delta, the country’s rice basket, from rice to other plants like corn and soy. A report released earlier this year said the world’s leading rice exporter imported more than US$4 billion in corn, wheat and soybean feed last year to raise its livestock.

Source: Thanh Nien News.com, May 13, 2014

Soybean production triples in the Philippines
A record-breaking 5,280 hectares planted with soybean across all regions were noted last year, resulting in a three-fold increase in soybean production from 1,685 hectares in 2012. More than these remarkable figures are the number of farming communities/peoples organizations that have adopted the technology. These findings were highlighted in the Annual Soybean Review and Planning Workshop wherein respective soybean focal persons presented their project results last February 10 to 14, 2014 in Jaro, Iloilo City.

Source: Philstar, April 13, 2014

Philippine farmers 'keen' on GM eggplant
A study contends that 96 per cent of Filipino farmers are willing to shift to a genetically modified eggplant and are willing to pay double the seed price if it means a substantial cut in spending on pesticide. GM eggplant has been genetically modified to resist infestations of the fruit and shoot borer which are considered the most damaging pest, attacking eggplants in South-East and South Asia.

Source: SciDevNet, May 3, 2014

Indonesian government to boost cassava production
The Indonesian government will increase cassava production in 2015-2019 from 18-20 tons per hectare to 30-40 tons per hectare."In the Agriculture Ministry’s strategic plan for 2015-2019, we set cassava as a commodity that will be accelerated nationally," said Pending Dadih Permana, director of Post Harvest Crops at the Ministry of Agriculture. Moreover, he also said that production has to be increased so that Indonesia does not need to import cassavas to meet the needs of domestic industry.
Source: Tempo.Co, May 15, 2014
Literature at a Glance
Sustainable Management in Crop Monocultures: Impact of retaining forest on oil palm yield
Abstract: Tropical agriculture is expanding rapidly at the expense of forest, driving a global extinction crisis. How to create agricultural landscapes that minimise the clearance of forest and maximise sustainability is thus a key issue. One possibility is protecting natural forest within or adjacent to crop monocultures to harness important ecosystem services provided by biodiversity spill-over that may facilitate production. Yet this contrasts with the conflicting potential that the retention of forest exports dis-services, such as agricultural pests. We focus on oil palm and obtained yields from 499 plantation parcels spanning a total of ≈23,000 ha of oil palm plantation in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. We investigate the relationship between the extent and proximity of both contiguous and fragmented dipterocarp forest cover and oil palm yield, controlling for variation in oil palm age and for environmental heterogeneity by incorporating proximity to non-native forestry plantations, other oil palm plantations, and large rivers, elevation and soil type in our models. The extent of forest cover and proximity to dipterocarp forest were not significant predictors of oil palm yield. Similarly, proximity to large rivers and other oil palm plantations, as well as soil type had no significant effect. Instead, lower elevation and closer proximity to forestry plantations had significant positive impacts on oil palm yield. These findings suggest that if dipterocarp forests are exporting ecosystem service benefits or ecosystem dis-services, that the net effect on yield is neutral. There is thus no evidence to support arguments that forest should be retained within or adjacent to oil palm monocultures for the provision of ecosystem services that benefit yield. We urge for more nuanced assessments of the impacts of forest and biodiversity on yields in crop monocultures to better understand their role in sustainable agriculture. Edwards FA, Edwards DP, Sloan S, Hamer KC

Source: PLOS ONE, Vol. 9 (3)
IFDC Annual Report 2013
In 2013, IFDC made significant progress in efforts to increase nutrient use efficiency, environmental protection, resource management, fertilizer policy, gender equity and human health and nutrition- Dr. Amit Roy, IFDC President and CEO
IFDC Annual Report.pdf
Engage farmers in research
Climate change threatens a creaking food system in which harvests are already lagging behind rising demand. A sustainable supply of food hinges on agricultural innovation, but current investments neglect a key area for improving yields.
The next wave of innovation must be at smaller scales. What one farmer can do to boost yield or efficiency is not necessarily the same as for a farmer hundreds of kilometres away with different soil, micro­climate, topology and methods. How well crops and livestock grow depends on the interaction of genes, management and environment. As weather patterns fluctuate, gains in production will depend ever more on innovating in context. Big knowledge flowing from institute to farm must be complemented by local knowledge. Read more...

Engage farmers in research NATURE.pdf
Effect of soil parent materials on oil palm yield
Abstract: The research aimed to analyze performance of oil palm production induced by its soil parent materials. Soil samples were collected from granite soils and basalt soils and were completely analyzed in laboratory. The research results showed that soil properties characters of granite soil is more acid, has very low to low chemical soil fertility and is dominated by sand fraction, furthermore basalt soil is acid, has low to moderate chemical soil fertility and is dominated by clay fraction. Granite and basalt soils are able to produce fresh fruit bunches of oil palm (FFB) 13-18 ton/ha in a year and 19-24 ton/ha in a year respectively. Adzemi Mat Arshad; Armanto, H. M. E.

Source: J. Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare Vol: 4 (10): 20-24, 2014

Primary forest cover loss in Indonesia over 2000-2012
Abstract: Extensive clearing of Indonesian primary forests results in increased greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss. However, there is no consensus on the areal extent and temporal trends of primary forest clearing in Indonesia. Here we report a spatially and temporally explicit quantification of Indonesian primary forest loss, which totalled over 6.02 Mha from 2000 to 2012 and increased on average by 47,600 ha per year. By 2012, annual primary forest loss in Indonesia was estimated to be higher than in Brazil (0.84 Mha and 0.46 Mha, respectively). Proportional loss of primary forests in wetland landforms increased and almost all clearing of primary forests occurred within degraded types, meaning logging preceded conversion processes. Loss within ocial forest land uses that restrict or prohibit clearing totalled 40% of all loss within national forest land. The increasing loss of Indonesian primary forests has significant implications for climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation efforts. Margono, B. A., Potapov, P. V., Turubanova, S., Stolle, F., and Hansen, Matthew C.

Source: Nature Climate Change, Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Climate friendliness of cocoa agroforests is compatible with productivity increase
Abstract: There is increasing demand for agricultural commodities that are produced in a climate-friendly manner. At the same time, in many or most tropical countries there is need for intensification of agricultural production to increase yields and incomes, and this usually requires higher external inputs that may cause additional greenhouse gas emissions. Here we investigate if production methods that have a beneficial effect on the climate (are climatefriendly) are compatible with increased inputs and yields for traditional, shaded cocoa (Theobroma cacao) production systems (locally known as cabrucas) in southern Bahia, Brazil. We use two easily measurable and manageable dimensions of climate friendliness, namely the carbon (C) stocks in the large trees and the C footprint as related to on-farm agrochemical and fuel use. Through interviews and field inventories in 26 cabruca farms representing a range of production practices and intensities, we identify the combinations of management practices, yields, C stocks and C footprints typically found in the region.We find that yield levels up to the highest encountered yield of 585 kg haociated with yields below the regional average. Input-related C emissions increased non-linearly with increasing yield, but eveninput-related emission levels. Cocoa yields responded positively to increased fertilizer applications, provided that other factoe related to large fertilizer applications that did not proportionately increase yields. We conclude that doubling the cocoa output from southern Bahia, where cabrucas are the predominant form of growing cocoa, is compatible with climate-friendly production practices, measured by local standards. We suggest that the presented methodology can be used to identify opportunities for climate-friendly intensification of tree crops more generally, thereby increasing the contribution of commodity production to global climate change mitigation.Schroth G., A. Jeusset, A. da Silva Gomes, C. T. Florence, N. A. P. Coelho, D. Faria, and P. Laderach.

Source: Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Change
Grassland converted to grow cocoa
Farmers in Cameroon have managed to grow cocoa successfully on what was previously grassland. This kind of approach to agroforestry could prove profitable for cocoa-producing countries affected by climate change.

Source: Cocoa World, C & CI, July 2014
Enhanced-Efficiency Nitrogen Fertilizers: Potential Role in Nitrous Oxide Emission Mitigation
Abstract: Enhanced-efficiency N fertilizers (EENFs) have potential for mitigating N2O emissions from N-fertilized cropping systems. Stabilized EENFs contain nitrification and/or urease inhibitors. Slow-release EENFs contain N components that are slowly released with variable release rates. Controlled-release EENFs release N at more predictable rates. The effectiveness of several EENFs in reducing soil N2O emissions from a clay loam soil under irrigated, corn (Zea mays L.)-based production systems in Colorado (2002 - 2012) was investigated. A controlled-release, polymer-coated urea, ESN, reduced N2O emissions by 42% compared with urea and 14% compared with urea-NH4NO3 solution (UAN) in no-till and strip-till environments, but had no effect in a conventional tillage environment. A stabilized urea source, SuperU, reduced N2O emissions by 46% compared with urea and 21% compared with UAN. A stabilized UAN source, UAN + AgrotainPlus, reduced N2O emissions by 61% compared with urea and 41% compared with UAN alone. A slow-release UAN source, UAN + Nfusion, reduced N2O emissions by 57% compared with urea and 28% compared with UAN. Urea-NH4NO3 reduced N2O emissions by 35% compared with urea. A linear increase in N2O emissions with increasing N rate was observed for untreated urea and UAN. Developers of management protocols to reduce N 2O emissions from irrigated cropping systems in semiarid areas can use this information to estimate reductions in N2O emissions when EENFs are used. Policymakers can use this information to help determine financial credits needed to encourage producers to use these technologies in their crop production systems. Halvorson A. D., C. S. Snyder, A. D. Blaylock, and S. J. Del Grosso.

Source: Agronomy Journal, 106: 715-722

Why crop yields in developing countries have not kept pace with advances in agronomy
Abstract: Crop research generates two distinct sets of products: improved germplasm and advances in agronomy - technologies and knowledge/techniques to efficiently exploit the germplasm yield potential (Yp). The success of the Green Revolution was largely due to high farmer adoption of improved germplasm along with subsidized inputs that greatly increased average yield (Ya) from a low base. Although farmers adopted irrigation, fertilizers, machinery and other inputs that changed their agronomy and led to robust total factor productivity (TFP) growth, the Ya remained well below Yp indicating poor agronomy practice. Policies focusing on total production to meet food demand have also contributed to expansion of harvested area at low Ya and low input efficiency (low productivity of land, labor, water, fertilizer or other). Yield growth has since slowed or Ya has stalled at low levels unlike in developed countries where Ya advanced markedly closer to Yp. This paper argues that poor agronomy practice in developing countries is because of farmers' rational perception, regardless of their information needs, of high risks and low returns which do not justify the additional investments in labor and inputs required to systematically practice agronomy. As such, farmers default to low-risk, low-yield practices, even though they would temporarily switch to high-yield practices in low-risk settings, such as in agricultural projects. With poor agronomy practice, there is also little market feedback in developing countries for agronomy research products. Therefore, the potential for agronomy to dramatically increase Ya and productivity remains untapped in developing countries. To increase farmer yields and incomes without enlarging the agricultural footprint at low Ya, this paper argues that the focus must shift from relying mainly on germplasm-driven increases in total production to increasing both Ya and productivity of inputs through effective agronomy practice. This requires creating low-risk, high-return market settings for the average developing country farmer. George T.

Source: Global Food Security, 3:49-58., 2014

New Entries to the IPNI Library
We have also updated our SEAP Reference Database with references dealing mainly with the following topics: oil palm, cassava and cocoa. For a complete listing of these references, please click on the attachment below.
New Entries to RM June 2014.pdf
IPNI SEAP in the Press
IPNI Southeast Asia Program has in the second quarter of 2014 disseminated the following press releases:
  • Newsflash (June): Leaf analysis for yield intensification of oil palm

Click here to access IPNI SEAP press releases.
Upcoming Events
National Oil Palm Smallholders Conference
11 - 12 August 2014
Sibu, Sarawak
6th Palm Oil Asia Summit
13 -1 4 August, 2014
Jakarta, Indonesia
4th Annual World Congress of Agriculture (BIT)
29 - 31 August 2014
Changchun, China
Plant Nutrition 2014
10 - 12 September 2014
Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Heide-Süd Campus, Germany
Tropentag 2014
17 - 19 September 2014
Prague, Czech Republic
Multilocality in the Global South and North: Factors, features and policy implications
18-19 September 2014
TU Dortmund University, Germany
3rd Palm Oil AFRICA
13 - 14 October 2014
Accra, Ghana
APSIM Oil Palm Training Workshop
27 - 29 October 2014
Indonesia (city to be determined)
National Seminar on Palm Oil Milling, Refining, Environment & Quality
3 - 4 November 2014
Kuching, Sarawak
Oils and Fats International Congress
5 - 7 November 2014
Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, Malaysia
Seminar on Oil Palm Mechanisation
24 - 26 November 2014
Bangi, Selangor
Forum on Sustainable Development
24 - 26 November 2014
GAPKI 10th Indonesian Palm Oil Conference and 2015 Price Outlook
26 - 28 November 2014
Bandung, Indonesia
1st International Conference on Asian Highland Natural Resources Management
7-9 January 2015
Chiang Mai, Thailand
International Plant Protection Congress
24-27 August 2015
Berlin, Germany
Moringa Symposium and Congress “Moringa: a decade of advances in research and development”
19-22 November 2015
Manila, Philippines
Deadline for abstract submission: December 31, 2014
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Disclaimer: News from the Region is a selection of regional agriculture-related articles extracted from internet sources. IPNI does not verify, endorse, or take responsibility for the accuracy, currency, completeness or quality of the content in these sites. Due to the nature of this service, IPNI cannot always verify every single news item. Be sure to check with the official websites of the companies, universities, research centers, and government agencies before using any information in the SEAP newsletters or webpages, as IPNI cannot vouch for news items submitted by the public. Links to external websites are included for the sole purpose of providing easy access to the source. The inclusion of external hyperlinks does not constitute IPNI’s endorsement of the views expressed by these websites. IPNI shall not be responsible for any damages caused directly or indirectly by the use of any information or content from within linked websites.

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