Book Reviews

Global Agricultural Extension Practices: Country by Country Approaches

"Information about the status of country-level agricultural extension is quite scarce internationally, and the material is scattered in various places. As a researcher in extension I often have to rely on personal contacts and grey literature for information on extension systems. The proposed book gives a historical perspective and up-to-date information as to the current status of extension in 12 countries. The chapters cover quite a range of countries, from developing to industrialized, and a wide range of approaches. The book thus provides an authoritative source on global extension practices and will be useful for scholars and policymakers." - Dr. Kristin Davis, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute and Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension: Competence for Rural Innovation and Transformation

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Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century

“The book as the title mentioned addresses many of the future challenges mankind is facing in terms of use of resources, scarcity and sustainability. In 10 chapters investigations or case studies from nearly all parts of the world are presented. Hence the geographic scope is very wide as well as the topics treated. For the reader this provides a lot of discussion points. The editor leaves it to the user to critically review the different approaches and recommendations, for example from organic farming to genetically modified organism.” - Dr. Willibald Loiskandl, Head of Institute, Institute of Hydraulics and Rural Water Management, BOKU-University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences

"Agriculture, nowadays, is challenged in many ways for sustainable food production particularly under current climate change scenery, the consequences of which we are experiencing even in our daily activities." READ MORE... - Nicholas E. Korres, Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Arkansas, AR, USA. Published in the Journal of Agricultural Science, Vol. 7, No. 6, 2015

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Politics, Policy and People: Irrigation Governance in a South Indian State

"The Andhra Pradesh irrigation reform programme started in the second half of the 1990s acquired 'model' status at the international irrigation water/policy level within two years after it its kick off - it had barely taken off. Its success was declared before there had been an opportunity to seriously research the reform's process and impact." READ MORE... - Peter P Mollinga, , MSc, PhD (Wageningen NL), PD/Habil (Bonn, Germany), Professor of Development Studies, SOAS, University of London

"This book give both an overview of irrigation governance and also detailed insights in the realities of irrigation management reforms in an Indian state once at the forefront of international support and attention on participatory irrigation management policies." READ MORE... - Linden Vincent, , Emeritus Professor of Irrigation and Water Engineering, Environmental Sciences Group, Wageningen University

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Controlled Environment Agriculture – Production of Specialty Crops Providing Human Health Benefits through Hydroponics

"This is an edited collection of recent advances of research on specialty crop production through hydroponics under controlled environment agriculture. It includes eight chapters describing information mainly on enhanced production of bioactive compounds, antioxidants and secondary metabolites, light quality mediated metabolites production, and sensory evaluation of hydroponically grown vegetables under controlled environment. The contributor includes nutrigenomists, biotechnologists, physiologists, plant breeder, molecular biologists, botanists, ecologists, environmentalists, nutritionists, and also educationists from Malaysia, Iran, Taiwan, South Korea, India, Romania, China, and USA.

The first chapter reviews the background information on the health benefits of specialty crop production and the phenolic biochemistry in selected crops. It describes different biosynthetic pathways, focusing on where the potential controlling sites may exist mainly on (poly)phenol biosynthetic pathway. It also elaborate information on greenhouse agriculture, hydroponics and different in vitro systems under controlled environment agriculture. Finally it provides ideas towards the development of tailored specialty crops and high valued dietary ingredients.Chapter two address the current practices of plant secondary metabolite production mainly in medicinal plants species, plant nutrient regimen steered secondary metabolites biosynthesis, use of hydroponics as the ultimate tool for plant nutrient management to enhance the quality and quantity of their bio-compounds.Chapter three, briefly reviews the recent advancement on use of LEDs in indoor agriculture. It presents the LED supplemented research since 1990 on photosynthesis, plant growth, biomass production, plant tissue culture, and plant disease control. It also tabulated some common types of LEDs and their potential agricultural applications.Chapter four addresses the spectral quality mediated molecular regulation of secondary metabolites synthesis in medicinal plants grown in hydroponics under controlled environment agriculture.

It overviewed the hydroponic cultivation of several medicinal plants providing pharmaceutically valuable secondary metabolites. It also listed the pharmaceutically important compounds elicited by different spectral qualities. Chapter five extensively reviews the role of brassinosteroids (BRs) as promoter of growth, yield and development, modulator of antioxidative system and secondary metabolites of medicinal plants grown under normal, biotic and abiotic stress condition.Chapter six is an original research and first reported results on influence of priming with S-methylmethionine, known as vitamin U on non-enzymatic antioxidant production such as carotenoid pigment, water soluble phenoloid, ascorbate and glutathione content of lettuce leaves exposed to salt stress through high concentration of sodium chloride in hydroponic solution. The results reveal that priming with S-methylmethionine enhances production of protective antioxidants especially glutathione and phenolic compounds in lettuce leaves grown under high salinity of nutrient solution, increasing health promoting quality of lettuce leaves.Chapter seven is also original research addresses the hypothesis “Do nitrogen level and genotype with different leaf color affect spectral absorbance (330 nm – 8000 nm) and nutritional quality of hydroponic lettuce?” The results showed that absorbance of red-leaf lettuce were significantly higher than green-leaf lettuce at 330 nm – 700 nm. Nitrogen levels did not significantly affect phenol, flavonoid, soluble sugar and ascorbic acid content of both red- and green-leaf lettuce.

The red-leaf lettuce contained greater anthocyanin and NO3-N content in leaves than green-leaf lettuce under low N supply.The final chapter described the sensory evaluation methods for agricultural produce grown hydroponically compared to its soil grown counterparts. General guidelines for sensory evaluation procedures are described stepwise. Agricultural factors such as genetics, pre and post-harvest factors affecting the quality of food are carefully discussed. In this chapter, flow chart of sequencing recommendations for sensory evaluation methodology is also highlighted step wisely. Finally it also reviewed and listed the recent literatures on sensory evaluation of hydroponic produce of different corps.This book presents the current research results on the increasing efficiency and quality of agricultural produce through modification of growing environmental factors, management of hydroponic nutrient solution, and use modern light technology innovations. It covers the reviews and original research on enhancement of growth, yield and also consistent production of secondary metabolites and modulation of antioxidative system in horticultural plants especially in medicinal plants under controlled environment. This book is informative and will be valuable to researchers, teachers and students of biological sciences with interest on producing specialty crops having bioactive compounds providing human health benefits." - Toshiki Asao, Professor, Faculty of Life and Environmental Science Shimane University, Shimane, Japan

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Cotton Fibres: Characteristics, Uses and Performance

“The authors of Cotton: Characteristics, Uses and Performance are to be commended on successfully summarizing all the available technical knowledge on cotton fibre to create the latest go to reference book. For CRDC, as an investor in more than 2,000 cotton research projects, it is both critical and enabling for the future of the sector that nearly three centuries of fibre knowledge has been captured.” - Bruce Finney, Executive Director, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Narrabri

“The history of cotton is inextricably conjoined with technology. It became the preeminent industrial raw material for textiles because it was amenable to the mass production technologies of the industrial revolution. In addition to its superior performance in processing, it was the only natural fiber that could be supplied in quantities sufficient to serve the needs of mass production. While it is no longer possible to provide adequate supplies of cotton to serve all the fiber demands of the 21st century, the unique properties of cotton should enable its continued status as a major fiber. The chemical and physical characteristics of the fibers, along with the purity of the cotton cellulose, make cotton a prime prospect for further technological breakthroughs. This book provides needed insight about the properties and how these may be exploited to help secure cotton’s future.” - Dean Ethridge, Research Professor, Texas Tech University, Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute, Lubbock, Texas

“Currently, synthetic fibers pose the biggest challenge to cotton use and thus to cotton production affecting the livelihood of many millions of small and large-scale cotton producers across continents. Undoubtedly, cotton has its intrinsic value due to its inherent fiber quality characteristics some of which are not even well understood until today. While some of the quality characteristics, though known well, are underutilized there is a need to identify new measurable characteristics of the most used natural fiber in the world. This book carries a wealth of information about cotton fibers’ chemical and physical characteristics. Now cotton is produced with much lower use of insecticides than it was produced over two decades ago. Efforts are underway to minimize the use of other major inputs like fertilizers and irrigation and it is certainly achievable. New technologies including biotechnological approaches have accelerated the process to fix specific targets and achieve them within the shortest time. But, information and sharing are critical to meet such goals. This book is certainly a step forward in the same direction. I very much appreciate the work of Dr. Stuart Gordon and Dr. Noureddine Abidi, whom I have known for many years, the addition of this compendium of knowledge for the current and future researchers in the field of fiber technology.” - Dr. M. Rafiq Chaudhry, Head Technical Information Section, International Cotton Advisory Committee

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Crop Rotations: Farming Practices, Monitoring and Environmental Benefits

“Crop rotation has been in use since antiquity. In the years since much has been learned as to how crop rotation affords beneficial effects to cropping systems. A diverse group of international scientists does an excellent job of reviewing what has been learned up to the current day. Cropping systems from around the world are examined in detail with a considered mixture of soil and plant sciences, entomology, ecology, economics, and social sciences. It is an excellent read for all interested in this important area.” - Professor Donald G. Bullock, University of Illinois, Former Editor of Agronomy Journal

“Crop Rotations: Farming Practices, Monitoring and Environmental Benefits is a timely update to our understanding of how rotation benefits current productivity goals while conserving essential environmental resources of soil, water, air and biodiversity for long term sustainability. The historical perspective and consideration of the agronomic functioning of rotations in large agricultural regions and major cropping systems illustrate the broad application of this practice. At a time when agricultural contributions to climate change are being re-evaluated, this book highlights the benefits of the ancient practice of crop rotation and provides a clear rationale for the continued and expanded use of rotation going forward.” - Dr. Lianne M. Dwyer, Chair of Executive Committee of Agriculture Institute of Canada, Former Science Director and Research Scientist of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

“Crop rotations provide an important degree of biodiversity in contemporary cropping systems. Their role as a systems approach to food production is key, and will be increasingly important as we seek to better understand the biological subtleties of crop plants and their production under field conditions. This book provides an important and timely overview of the situation.” - Dr. Donald L. Smith, James McGill Professor, Director and CEO, BioFuelNet Canada Director, McGill Network for Innovation in Biofuels and Bioproducts, McGill University

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