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Thursday, August 25, 2016

SEED LECTURE 2016 - TECHNOLOGY TRAINING


THE MULTIFACETED SEED TECHNOLOGY TRAINING: HOW BRIGHT IS THE FUTURE
Mohammed Selamat, M*. And Mohammad, M.L.
Faculty of Sustainable Agriculture, Universiti Malaysia Sabah
*Email : mohd.selamat@ums.edu.my 

This paper discusses the various aspects, uses or abilities of the seed technology training programs for the Malaysian scenario and, to objectively evaluate the future undertakings of seed technology training programs, whether the programs in fulfilling the nation’s mission in building its vission. We need to approach the Seed Technology Training Needs based on a number of complex deciplines in order to fulfill the two important taglines of our Malaysian Agricultural related programs and activities. It has been for more than a decade that we used to uplift the agricultural contributions for the economics of the country by telling the Malaysian citizens and consumers that ‘Agriculture is business’. Along with that tagline we also aspire another closely related tagline, particularly for those engaged in the agricultural seed industry. The tagline of ‘Seed is Business’. Definitely both two taglines are in tendem with Food Security and Seed Security. The discussion will cover only those training related to plant or crop seed categories. Although no efforts are made to discuss the scopes of ‘seed’ as currently defined under the Malaysian scenario where fish and livestock ‘seed’ are grouped under the same seed council definition. Since the aims of either ‘agriculture’ or ‘seed’ are to play the roles as businesses, providing trainings at various levels or categories for seed technologies and agricultural technologies, we must include the elements of trainings, not only supporting the technical aspects of seed production technologies and agricultural production technologies but equivalently important are those elements of trainings on the various aspects of business.



The questions we like to discuss here is, where are we now, after spending four decades organising National Seed Symposia, especially in the seed technology training areas. Do we have enough systematic training for seed technology that can be benefitted or utiliseable by the industry. We have the opinion that it is now very timely that we should strengthen our agricultural technology training syllabus or model and more so the Seed Technology training model/syllabus. We are yet to have a dedicated Institute/centre/Unit in 8ocusing training and education for seed industry sector. The need for a multifaceted seed technology training programs will be elaborated in this paper by referring to some selected models world wide. We will also discuss the currently used approaches to create a business environments which include the agropreneurship, technopreneurship and to relate them to the Multifaceted model for Seed Technology.


Posted by:
M Anem
Senior Agronomist
Hotel Sama-sama,
KLIA, Sepang,
Selangor, Malaysia.
(24 Ogos 2016)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

PRECISION AGRICULTURE - SOME INFO


What Is Precision Agriculture?. The defination of Precision agriculture is a farming management concept based on observing, measuring and responding to inter- and intra-field variability in crops. The goal of precision agriculture is to more efficiently apply a farm’s limited resources to gain maximum yield. A primary method for doing that is to minimize variability of crop health within and across fields. To learn more about precision agriculture, read this excellent overview published by The Economist. Due to its nature, precision agriculture requires a LOT of data to work. The three main types of data include Geo-tagged images, Visible and multi-spectral aerial images taken of fields and over time it needs the drones play. It also include specific equipment performance and a real time feedback or logs provided by sensor-equipped manned and unmanned equipment such as seeders, spreaders, tractors and combines. The ability of management data such as crop yield and other data provided by farm operators. Recently the use of precision agriculture technologies is growing very quickly, globally, as part of the effective technology to increase food production. Developed country currently are the mos user in precision agriculture operated by private sectors, individual farmers and agencies.

Where Do Drones Fit in Precision Agriculture?. Drones are really just a new, high-precision way to obtain geo-tagged images from the air. Compared with other aerial survey methods, drones generate more precise and more frequent data about the condition of crops. This data is used in many ways to improve the performance of a farm’s operation. For surveying fields of less than 50 hectares in size, drones are cheaper than manned aircraft surveillance, manned scouting and satellite imaging. Some claim that the new FAA rules will restrict the usefulness of drones for agriculture, because under the new Part 107 rules in certain USA , all observation and measurement must be taken by a drone that is within visual line of site (VLOS) of the operator. This becomes an issue for fields and farms that are bigger than VLOS. But the vast majority of farms don’t have this problem. According to this report, there are approximately 2.1 million farms in America. The average size is 434 acres. Small family farms, averaging 231 acres, make up 88 percent, meaning that 1.85 million farms can benefit immediately from ag drones.

Drones are used to gather a variety of image-based data about the condition of crops, fields and livestock including data such as plant height, plant count, plant health, presence of nutrients, presence of disease, presence of weeds, relative biomass estimates and the 3D / volumetric data (piles, patches, holes and hills). Normally for livestock operations, drones can be used to monitor the location, status and movement of animals over time with more frequency and at a lower cost than other means. Drone data is used to do farming jobs more effectively and efficiently, including the activity such as Crop Scouting (replace men with drones:, Crop Health Monitoring (it was the biggest ROI by far),
Field Surveying/Scouting (before planting), Nitrogen Recommendation, Yield Monitoring, Plant Stress Monitoring, Drought Assessment. Senescence Analysis, Leaf Area Indexing Activity, Phenology, Tree Classification and more. Usually to take quick action, orthomosaic images generated by drones can be fed into an agricultural program likeSMS by Ag Leader, SST Summit®, FarmRite®, Stratus®, Sirrus®” or other software tools to createprescription maps. Prescription maps inform the farm operator where & what specific actions are needed, such as increasing or decreasing nitrogen spread on trouble spots. Prescription maps can be transferred directly into a precision applicator (sprayer) like a John Deere. This information gethered from various sources. Thanks.

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Pulau Banggi, Sabah,
Malaysia.
(Visit potential estates by FELCRA).

DRONES - For Agricultural Crop Surveillance


THE USAGE of DRONES or UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) for crop surveillance can drastically increase farm crop yields while minimizing the cost of walking the fields or airplane fly-over filming. The application of drones in Malaysia are at initial stage by certain oil plantation sector, paddy area and other selected crops. Using our Precision Vision we can view composite video showing the health of your crops taken by this technology. Among agencies in Malaysia using information of data collected by drones are Department of Agriculture, FELCRA, FELDA and private estate sectors. The Benefits of Drones in the Farming activities are supposed to increase yields for selected crop through improving data provided and the agronomic practices. This technology able to find potentially yield limiting problems in a timely fashion and it able to save time.
While all farmers know the value of scouting their crops few actually have time to cover the acres on foot. Those success farmers at the end return on Investment. Now the existting practice in Malaysia at an average of RM8.00 per acre for a walking visual inspection or an aerial survey to take an image of crop fields, the ROI on the purchase of an aerial helicopter drone can be met quickly. In most operations, the ROI for our drones can be achieved in a crop season or less, leaving you owning a drone that reduces your operating costs and improves your crop yield by giving you the timely information you need for quick management intervention. This article ini "Anim Agriculture Technology" I would like to share information related to the UAV technology in agriculture.

The ease of use of Drones or UAV products can be very complex to set-up and operate, but with our preset standards we allow new operators to have confidence in operating from the beginning. It involves 'Integrated GIS mapping' and draw field borders for flight pattern. It will create Crop Health Imaging. Seeing the true health of your field in a color contrast allows you to see how much sunlight is being absorbed by the crop canopy. The technology such as this are 'Failsafe' therefore it is The Drone Flies Home. As an added safety net with the flip of switch your Precision Drone will return to its original takeoff location. The ability of farmesr and operators to handle the agruculture drones needs tyraining and practices.

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronommist,
Kuantan, Pahang,
Malaysia.
(22 August 2016)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

JACKFRUIT - FIGHT COLON CANCER

JACKFRUIT (Artocarpus heterophyllus) is a tropical fruits that claimed to fight and improve colon cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, recently over 1.17 million people had colorectal cancer in the United States in 2013 and many patients reported in Malaysia. A complicated type of cancer, it is difficult to treat and can develop many other types of complications. However, there is a natural way to fight and improve colon cancer. Jackfruit, something of a delicacy fruit, grows widely in the tropical parts of the world. in South East Asia it is also used for making recipes. In Pahang, Malaysia the jackfruit are groen comercially under Taman Kekal Pengeluaran Makanan (TKPM) or Permanent crop production area with total area of more than 400 hectare. Variety Tekam Yellow (J33) are the most popular variety grown in Pahang with other popular variety such asa Mastura and Subang Chap Boy. Most of the jackfruit produced are for fresh consumption and some are processed for other product. Back to the basic issue, Jackfruit is one of thw tropical fruits tested as a powerful anti-cancer food. In this article you will learn how it can prevent and fight this type of cancer. Writer refer to a report in the http://secretnutritions. com/2016/07/scientists-find-jackfruit-powerful-cancer-killer/
that release recently. This article in "Anim Agriculture Technology" presented this for Malaysian Reader and other readers.


Colon Cancer Prevention are the focus on this discussion. The health benefits of jackfruit are still underway. It is packed with isoflavones, phytonutrients, lignans and saponins. All these nutrients have very powerful anti-cancer benefits. These nutrients in jackfruit can help prevent the harmful free radicals that have been known to develop cancer and many other chronic diseases. About the case of Phytonutrients is to prevent the very initial stage of cancer cell formation. If you already have stomach ulcers, jackfruit can help in fighting them and improving the condition. The unique thing about phytonutrients is that they can be sourced only from plants-based foods. Researchers have identified tens of thousands of phytonutrients and all of them provide lots of health benefits. Researchers are still conducting studies worldwide in order to learn how these 3 phytonutrients help in preventing and fighting cancer. The components of Saponins are also potent anti-cancer agents. According to a study (Journal of Nutrition 1995), saponins show colon cancer preventative properties. There is one more study where these phytonutrients have been found to induce mitotic arrest in the case of leukemia cells. The study also found that it helped in some cases to cause remission.
Saponins were found to react to the outer layers of cancer cells. They bound the cells and prevented their further growth.

Other components discussed are Lignans and Isoflavones. Both these nutrients are phytoestrogens. These components of phytonutrients bind to the receptors the estrogens do. According to studies, these nutrients help in reducing the risk of endometrial cancer. One such study was published by the National Cancer Institute in its journal in 2006. This study covered 500 women who were chosen on a random basis. The group that took the highest levels of isoflavones and lignans from jackfruit and other fruits were found to reduce their cancer rates compared to the control group. Protection of Cellular DNA by the antioxidants in jackfruit help in protecting your cellular DNA against direct damage from free oxygen radicals. It also helps in preventing induced mutations. The anti-cancer properties of jackfruit don’t just stop there. It is rich in fiber. It also has a unique sticky form. Both these properties combine together to work as a great colon cleanser. It helps in removing toxins from your digestive tract. This further helps in reducing the risk of colon cancer. Ability to strengthens Immune System based on the jackfruits are packed with not just vitamin C, but also simple sugars which are considered to help strengthen your immunity.

According to a study conducted on mice, involving the analysis of the immune-boosting properties of the sugars present in jackfruit pulp, the researchers found that jackfruit has polysaccharides that helped in improving phagocytic cell function. These are cells in the immune system. Nutritional Value of Jackfruit. If you want to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer and improve your digestive system, you should start adding this fruit to your diet. There are many more reasons why you should eat more jackfruit: 1 cup of the fruit has 155 calories with only 4 calories from fat. The fruit has very low amount of saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium. It is packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, niacin, folate, thiamine, and riboflavin. Jackfruit has so many crucial minerals including potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese, calcium, zinc, selenium, copper, and phosphorus. It has simple sugars which are great for your health. A cup of jackfruit can supply you over 11% of you daily fiber allowance. But you can never stop yourself at just a cup of this delicious, pulpy fruit.
Jackfruit has also been used in Chinese medicine for eliminating the effects of alcohol. So you have one more reason to eat more of it. This article are as a reference for those seek more information about the jackfruit.

M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
TKPM Ulu Sungai and TKPM Jelai,
Pahang, Malaysia.
(30 July 2016)

Saturday, May 7, 2016

HOW TO MAKE OWN FISH FERTILIZER

FISH FERTILIZER is an awesome product for promoting plant growth. It's high in Nitrogen for growing plants, can be naturally produced, and is an awesome food for microbes! Fungi love this stuff. Fish emulsion is an organic fertilizer. It is a liquid fertilizer made from byproducts of the fish oil and fish meal industry. Fish emulsion is appropriate for many uses in the garden, but is especially useful as a lawn fertilizer in early spring and to feed leafy green vegetables, due to its higher nitrogen content. The NPK ratio for fish emulsion is generally 5-3-3. Fish emulsion is a concentrate, which you dilute with water and apply to your lawn or garden. It can have a strong fishy odor, but deodorized fish emulsion is commonly available as well.

How to make your own fish fertilizer:

1. The first step is to buy fish from reasonable supplier. For that purpose normallya any kind of fish will work. In fact, you might as well use trash fish, or fish discards like fish heads, guts, etc. I like to use whole fishes though as I think that makes for a better product.

2. Second is to throw the fish into a blender to mash it up into little pieces. I cut my fish into 8ths or so and then chuck it into my kitchen blender but I’m a bit of a caveman. If you’re squeamish, buy a separate blender for this, just make sure it is powerful enough, mine is 500W and works fine for small-medium size fishes. Remember, the finer the fish bits, the more effective the fermentation.

3. Than add water. You can use a simple guide of 3:1-3 parts water to 1 part ferment material. 1 roughly 8in tilapia comes to about 500mL when ground up, so I add about 1500mL water.  ALWAYS USE NON-CHLORINATED WATER. Chlorine kills microbes. Simply let your chlorinated tap water sit for several hours, allowing the chlorine to dissipate. I let it sit overnight generally.

4.  If you are using a blender, blend up the mixture. The water helps keep it loose so it blends much better after you add the water.

5. Than add lacto bacilli to blended fish mixture. I use 2tbsp per L. You can use more or less if you want. 2tbsp/L is plenty though. See our lactobacillus recipe for proper preparation and dilution of your lacto serum.

6.  Later add 1/3 parts sugar. This should be 1/3 the amount of fish you’ve added. Sugar will be either molasses or normal cane sugar. Try not to use cane sugar since it is chemically bleached. Raw(unrefined) sugar like muscovado is best. In the Philippines we use molasses because it is cheap, but any glucose source works – syrup, honey, etc. Just use whatever is cheap. Glucose gives microbes energy. Whatever you have access to cheaply, go for it.

7. If using sugar, the equivalency is about 1KG sugar = 1L solution. So if you have 500mL like my tilapia, you want 1/3 of that in sugar. You’d use about 167g sugar, or roughly ¾ cup. The recomended is to blend the whole mixture up a bit. It’s good to have it as fine as possible. Up to you how much you blend it, I blend until I don’t hear so many bones crunching in the blades of the blender.

8. Now you have liquefied fish, sugar, and lacto. Pour this mixture into a container. Loosely cover the container. No need to seal, because the container will explode as CO2 is released by fermentation. You just want to make sure other things don’t get into it. I use a container with a lid and loosely screw the cap on top (just make sure you don’t seal it because it WILL explode).

9. The process takes anywhere from 3 weeks to over a month. How do you know its finished? By the smell. 

10. You know when it’s done when there is no smell anymore. During fermentation there is a nasty smell, but once completed, there will be almost no odor. You can open it, and put your nose right up to it. Take a whiff. Nothing but a faint vinegar smell. Now you know its done. Congratulations! You’ve made your own Fish Hydrolysate!

11. Now, usually I transfer it to a smaller container, usually just a smaller water bottle, just for convenience. At this time, I use a strainer and a funnel to strain the bones and scales out of the hydrolysate. But don’t expect a lot. From a whole 8-10in tilapia, you will only get a little tiny pile of bones/scales. They will feel kind of rubbery, not brittle. Throw these in the compost pile or garden, they are excellent fertilizer and microbe food, already inoculated with microbes!

12. Leave the cap on the strained concoction loose until you see no more little bubbles forming. Then cap it and store it for use as your own natural fertilizer.

Adapted by,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Taman Cendana, Bandar Melaka,
Melaka, Malaysia.

(30 April 2016)

HOW TO MAKE OWN FISH FERTILIZER

FISH FERTILIZER is an awesome product for promoting plant growth. It's high in Nitrogen for growing plants, can be naturally produced, and is an awesome food for microbes! Fungi love this stuff. Fish emulsion is an organic fertilizer. It is a liquid fertilizer made from byproducts of the fish oil and fish meal industry. Fish emulsion is appropriate for many uses in the garden, but is especially useful as a lawn fertilizer in early spring and to feed leafy green vegetables, due to its higher nitrogen content. The NPK ratio for fish emulsion is generally 5-3-3. Fish emulsion is a concentrate, which you dilute with water and apply to your lawn or garden. It can have a strong fishy odor, but deodorized fish emulsion is commonly available as well.

How to make your own fish fertilizer:

1. The first step is to buy fish from reasonable supplier. For that purpose normallya any kind of fish will work. In fact, you might as well use trash fish, or fish discards like fish heads, guts, etc. I like to use whole fishes though as I think that makes for a better product.

2. Second is to throw the fish into a blender to mash it up into little pieces. I cut my fish into 8ths or so and then chuck it into my kitchen blender but I’m a bit of a caveman. If you’re squeamish, buy a separate blender for this, just make sure it is powerful enough, mine is 500W and works fine for small-medium size fishes. Remember, the finer the fish bits, the more effective the fermentation.

3. Than add water. You can use a simple guide of 3:1-3 parts water to 1 part ferment material. 1 roughly 8in tilapia comes to about 500mL when ground up, so I add about 1500mL water.  ALWAYS USE NON-CHLORINATED WATER. Chlorine kills microbes. Simply let your chlorinated tap water sit for several hours, allowing the chlorine to dissipate. I let it sit overnight generally.

4.  If you are using a blender, blend up the mixture. The water helps keep it loose so it blends much better after you add the water.

5. Than add lacto bacilli to blended fish mixture. I use 2tbsp per L. You can use more or less if you want. 2tbsp/L is plenty though. See our lactobacillus recipe for proper preparation and dilution of your lacto serum.

6.  Later add 1/3 parts sugar. This should be 1/3 the amount of fish you’ve added. Sugar will be either molasses or normal cane sugar. Try not to use cane sugar since it is chemically bleached. Raw(unrefined) sugar like muscovado is best. In the Philippines we use molasses because it is cheap, but any glucose source works – syrup, honey, etc. Just use whatever is cheap. Glucose gives microbes energy. Whatever you have access to cheaply, go for it.

7. If using sugar, the equivalency is about 1KG sugar = 1L solution. So if you have 500mL like my tilapia, you want 1/3 of that in sugar. You’d use about 167g sugar, or roughly ¾ cup. The recomended is to blend the whole mixture up a bit. It’s good to have it as fine as possible. Up to you how much you blend it, I blend until I don’t hear so many bones crunching in the blades of the blender.

8. Now you have liquefied fish, sugar, and lacto. Pour this mixture into a container. Loosely cover the container. No need to seal, because the container will explode as CO2 is released by fermentation. You just want to make sure other things don’t get into it. I use a container with a lid and loosely screw the cap on top (just make sure you don’t seal it because it WILL explode).

9. The process takes anywhere from 3 weeks to over a month. How do you know its finished? By the smell. 

10. You know when it’s done when there is no smell anymore. During fermentation there is a nasty smell, but once completed, there will be almost no odor. You can open it, and put your nose right up to it. Take a whiff. Nothing but a faint vinegar smell. Now you know its done. Congratulations! You’ve made your own Fish Hydrolysate!

11. Now, usually I transfer it to a smaller container, usually just a smaller water bottle, just for convenience. At this time, I use a strainer and a funnel to strain the bones and scales out of the hydrolysate. But don’t expect a lot. From a whole 8-10in tilapia, you will only get a little tiny pile of bones/scales. They will feel kind of rubbery, not brittle. Throw these in the compost pile or garden, they are excellent fertilizer and microbe food, already inoculated with microbes!

12. Leave the cap on the strained concoction loose until you see no more little bubbles forming. Then cap it and store it for use as your own natural fertilizer.

Adapted by,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Taman Cendana, Bandar Melaka,
Melaka, Malaysia.

(30 April 2016)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

TYPES OF FISH FERTILIZER

Threre are 3 types of Fish Fertilizers available in the market. Normally the fish fertilizer are processed to FISH MEAL, HYDROLYZED MEAL and FISH EMULSION. This article I would likr to shate the info about this three fish fertilizer. 



(1) Fish Meal:
This fish fertilizer are made from ground-up dried fish byproducts, fish meal supplies nutrients, minerals, and organic matter that condition soil. It’s rich in nutrients but breaks down more gradually than other fish fertilizers, making it a great slow-release soil amendment during planting. Fish meal, or fishmeal, is a commercial product made from fish and the bones and offal from processed fish. It is a brown powder or cake obtained by drying the fish or fishtrimmings, often after cooking, and then grinding it. If it is a fatty fish it is also pressed to extract most of the fish oil
 


(2) Hydrolyzed fish:
Hydrolyzed fish is made by partially-digesting whole fish and fish waste with enzymes. The end product is a sort of compost tea that provides easily-absorbed, potent nutrients, plus amino acids and oils that aren’t present in fish emulsion. Hydrolyzed fish fertilizer is manufactured by a much different process. Basically, 100 percent of the fish product is used for the fertilizer, allowing for more nutrients in your soil and for your plants. A more useful product is obtained from this process, making it more cost effective and longer lasting. There are also more environmental benefits from this this type of fertilizer, as there is little waste and no chemical additives. Hydrolyzed fish fertilizers contain a very low count of N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium), which is ultimately better for the soil. The fertilizer creates no toxic minerals that many high-grade emulsion products tend to have. Seaweed or kelp extract is also often included in the fish fertilizer, which has also been proven to be beneficial to home gardens as well as large crops. The pure economic savings from such a product are worth the purchase, regardless of the more simplified production process and lack of waste. Not only does this type of fertilizer use every piece of the fish, it uses a cold pasteurizing technique that holds all of the most important micro and macro acids and nutrients naturally found in fish.
 



(3) Fish Emulsion:
This is the least potent but most economical form of fish fertilizer, made from the liquid that’s left over after the fish are processed. This liquid fertilizer is used for foliar feeding or soil drenching and provides readily-available nitrogen and small amounts of phosphorus and potassium. Liquid fish fertilizers usually come as a concentrate that you dilute with water and apply with a sprayer, or pour it onto the soil. Fish emulsion fertilizer is made several different ways depending on who is making it. The important thing to know is that fish emulsion goes through two stages of processing. The first stage breaks down the fish parts using enzymes, proteases, or chemicals. Then, and this is the important part, heat is used to break it down further and allow oils and other things like amino acids to be more easily removed. It’s this second stage of processing that makes fish emulsion less advantageous than fish hydrolysate. Fish emulsion fertilizer lacks many oils and proteins that fish hydrolysate fertilizer has in abundance.  
Thanks for reading.


By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Taman Cendana, Bandar Melaka,
Melaka, Malaysia.
(30 Aprol 2016)