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    International Women’s Day 2022: Breaking Biases in Science and Agriculture
    (2022) Genga Quintar; Ngunjiri Mercy
    In commemoration of International Women's Day 2022, Q. Genga and M. Ngunjiri delivered a thought-provoking presentation that addressed the critical issue of gender biases within the fields of science and agriculture. The event served as a platform to shed light on the unique challenges and contributions of women in these sectors and the collective efforts needed to break down persistent biases
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    Role of Micronutrients in Improving Climatic Resilience and Future Research Areas for Improving Use Efficiency
    (2020) Upendra Sighn
    In the context of the IFA (International Fertilizer Association) Webinar, U. Singh delivered a presentation on the pivotal role of micronutrients in enhancing climatic resilience and explored avenues for future research to optimize their use efficiency. The webinar, held on October 26, 2020, focused on the intersection of agriculture, nutrition, and environmental sustainability. The presentation by U. Singh underscored the significance of micronutrients in bolstering crops' resilience to the challenges posed by a changing climate. Micronutrients, despite being required in trace amounts, play a vital role in plant growth, nutrient uptake, and stress tolerance. Singh delved into the mechanisms by which micronutrients influence plant responses to environmental stressors, such as drought, extreme temperatures, and soil degradation.
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    Making Fertilizer Blends in Small Batches
    (2021) Wendt John; Genga Quintar; Ngunjiri Mercy
    In this informative training video, Wendt, Genga, and Ngunjiri guide viewers through the process of creating customized fertilizer blends in small batches, catering specifically to trials and demonstrations. The video offers valuable insights and practical knowledge for those involved in agriculture, research, or education. The video begins by introducing the concept of fertilizer blending and highlights its significance in optimizing crop nutrient management. It underscores the importance of tailored nutrient formulations to meet specific agricultural goals, such as enhancing crop yield, improving soil fertility, or addressing nutrient deficiencies. Throughout the presentation, the presentors walk viewers through a step-by-step process, from selecting the raw materials and understanding nutrient content to utilizing blending equipment effectively. Clear and concise instructions are provided, ensuring that viewers gain a thorough understanding of the blending procedure.
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    Micronutrients for better yields
    (2017) Breure Mirjam; Bindraban, Prem S.; Hoffland Ellis; Kempen Bas
    To feed the growing population in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA), yield levels currently attained in small-holder farming systems need to increase. In combination with other agronomic practices, the use of mineral fertilisers is indispensable for closing yield gaps. In SSA, fertiliser recommendations are often national or regional blanket recommendations, that do not take into account heterogeneity in soil fertility, resource availability, agro-ecological zones and/or crops. Furthermore, blanket fertiliser recommendations often only include N, P and K, whereas other secondary and micronutrients can also be yield-limiting. Of the micronutrients, Zn and B are expected to be the main yield-limiting nutrients in SSA soils. Zinc is not only essential for plant growth, but also for human health. A large part of the SSA population is estimated to be Zn deficient, which can partly be attributed to low soil Zn availability and consequently low Zn concentrations in crops that grow on them. The main objective of this thesis is to develop and evaluate models for predicting soil nutrient availability and to increase the understanding of the interactive effect of nutrient availability on yields and nutritional quality in SSA. The focus is on availability of macronutrients N, P and K as well as micronutrients Zn and B.
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    Evaluation of Agronomic Effectiveness of Activated Phosphate Rock
    (2016-11-07) Agyin-Birikorang; Upendra Singh; Job Fugice; Wendie D. Bible; Joaquin Sanabria; V. Henry
    Unlike water soluble phosphorus (P) fertilizers, most phosphate rocks (PRs) are non-reactive in agricultural soils, particularly in neutral to alkaline soils. One innovative and practical approach to enhancing PR agronomic efficiency is “activation” of the PRs with water soluble P (WSP) fertilizers. In greenhouse studies unreactive PR was activated with a modest amount of WSP at a ratio 20% WSP to 80% PR (4:1 PR/WSP ratio = “0.2 Activation”) and evaluated on three soils with varying acidity/alkalinity level (Hiwassee loam – 5.49, Greenville loam – 6.80, and Sumter – 7.57). Rice and soybeans were used as test crops during the spring/summer seasons, and wheat during the winter season. P uptake was determined at three growth stages (4 weeks after planting, anthesis, and grain filling). At maturity, the crops were harvested to determine grain and biomass yields, grain and straw P contents, and to calculate the relative agronomic effectiveness (RAE) of the P sources. Irrespective of the soil, crop and planting season, significant improvement in the agronomic effectiveness of the “activated” PR was observed, with an average RAE value greater than 80%. The combined results suggests that, combination of a modest amount of WSP with PR could be a cost effective means of enhancing P availability in PRs without the soil pH constraint on the agronomic effectiveness of PRs. Further studies will evaluate the effectiveness of the “activated” PRs under field conditions.