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See detailUse of NIR-HIS and dichotomist classification tree based on SVMDA models in order to discriminate roots and crop residues of winter wheat
Eylenbosch, Damien ULiege; Fernández Pierna, Juan Antonio; Baeten, Vincent et al

in EARSeL 2015: 9th EARSeL SIG Imaging Spectroscopy workshop, Luxembourg 14-16 April 2015 (2015, April 14)

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See detailUse of NIR Hyperspectral Imaging and dichotomist classification tree based on SVM in order to discriminate roots and crop residues of winter wheat
Eylenbosch, Damien ULiege; Fernández Pierna, Juan Antonio; Baeten, Vincent et al

Poster (2015, April 14)

NIR Hyperspectral Imaging coupled with SVM chemometric tool is proposed as an alternative method to the tedious and time-consuming hand sorting step needed before root quantification using the soil coring ... [more ▼]

NIR Hyperspectral Imaging coupled with SVM chemometric tool is proposed as an alternative method to the tedious and time-consuming hand sorting step needed before root quantification using the soil coring method. This method was applied to quantify roots under a winter wheat crop. [less ▲]

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See detailTillage as a tool to manage crop residue : impact on sugar beet production
Hiel, Marie-Pierre ULiege; Degrune, Florine ULiege; Parvin, Nargish ULiege et al

Poster (2015, April)

Crop residues and plant cover represent a pool of organic matter that can be used either to restore organic matter in soils, and therefore maintain soil fertility, or that can be valorized outside of the ... [more ▼]

Crop residues and plant cover represent a pool of organic matter that can be used either to restore organic matter in soils, and therefore maintain soil fertility, or that can be valorized outside of the field (e.g. energy production). However, it is crucial that the exportation of residues is not done to the detriment of the system sustainability. Three long term experiments have been settled in the loamy region in Belgium. All of them are designed to study the effect of residues management by several tillage systems (conventional plowing versus reduced tillage) on the whole soil-water-plant system. SOLRESIDUS is a field experiment where we study the impact of crop residue management while in SOLCOUVERT and SOLCOUVERT-BIS, we study the impact of cover crop management. SOLRESIDUS was started in 2008. In this field, four contrasted crop residues managements are tested in order to contrast as much as possible the responses from the soil-water plant system. Two practices characterize the four modalities: soil tillage (ploughing at 25 cm depth or reduce tillage at 10 cm max) and residue management (exportation or restitution). SOLCOUVERT and SOLCOUVERT-BIS were started in 2012 and 2013 respectively. In those fields cover crop management is also diverse: destruction of the cover crop by winter ploughing, spring ploughing, strip tillage (with a chemical destruction if needed) or shallow tillage (with a decompaction before cover crop sowing). Although although the overall project aims at studying the impact of management on the whole soil-water-plant system, here we will only present the results concerning crop production (sugar beet) in SOLCOUVERT experiments. The presented data will include germination rate, crop development (biomass quantification and BBCH stages) weeds population, disease occurrence, pest occurrences, nitrogen uptake by plants, quality and quantity of harvested products.   [less ▲]

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See detailClimatic risk assessment to improve nitrogen fertilisation recommendations : A strategic crop model-based approach
Dumont, Benjamin ULiege; Basso, Bruno; Bodson, Bernard ULiege et al

in European Journal of Agronomy (2015), 65(10-17),

Within the context of nitrogen (N) management, since 1950, with the rapid intensification of agriculture, farmers have often applied much larger fertiliser quantities than what was required to reach the ... [more ▼]

Within the context of nitrogen (N) management, since 1950, with the rapid intensification of agriculture, farmers have often applied much larger fertiliser quantities than what was required to reach the yield potential. However, to prevent pollution of surface and groundwater induced by nitrates, The European Community launched The European Nitrates Directive 91/6/76/EEC. In 2002, in Wallonia (Belgium), the Nitrates Directive has been transposed under the Sustainable Nitrogen Management in Agriculture Program (PGDA), with the aim of maintaining productivity and revenue for the country’s farmers, while reducing the environmental impact of excessive N application. A feasible approach for addressing climatic uncertainty lies in the use of crop models such as the one commonly known as STICS (simulateur multidisciplinaire pour les cultures standard). These models allow the impact on crops of the interaction between cropping systems and climatic records to be assessed. Comprehensive historical climatic records are rare, however, and therefore the yield distribution values obtained using such an approach can be discontinuous. In order to obtain better and more detailed yield distribution information, the use of a high number of stochastically generated climate time series was proposed, relying on the LARS-Weather Generator. The study focused on the interactions between varying N practices and climatic conditions. Historically and currently, Belgian farmers apply 180 kg N ha−1, split into three equal fractions applied at the tillering, stem elongation and flag-leaf stages. This study analysed the effectiveness of this treatment in detail, comparing it to similar practices where only the N rates applied at the flag-leaf stage were modified. Three types of farmer decision-making were analysed. The first related to the choice of N strategy for maximising yield, the second to obtaining the highest net revenue, and the third to reduce the environmental impact of potential N leaching, which carries the likelihood of taxation if inappropriate N rates are applied. The results showed reduced discontinuity in the yield distribution values thus obtained. In general, the modulation of N levels to accord with current farmer practices showed considerable asymmetry. In other words, these practices maximised the probability of achieving yields that were at least superior to the mean of the distribution values, thus reducing risk for the farmers. The practice based on applying the highest amounts (60–60–100 kg N ha−1) produced the best yield distribution results. When simple economical criteria were computed, the 60–60–80 kg N ha−1 protocol was found to be optimal for 80–90% of the time. There were no statistical differences, however, between this practice and Belgian farmers’ current practice. When the taxation linked to a high level of potentially leachable N remaining in the soil after harvest was considered, this methodology clearly showed that, in 3 years out of 4, 30 kg N ha−1 could systematically be saved in comparison with the usual practice. [less ▲]

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See detailAssociations of Wheat with Pea Can Reduce Aphid Infestations
Chevalier Mendes Lopes, Thomas ULiege; Bodson, Bernard ULiege; Francis, Frédéric ULiege

in Neotropical Entomology (2015)

Increasing plant diversity within crops can be beneficial for pest control. In this field study, the effects of two wheat and pea associations (mixed cropping and strip cropping) on aphid populations were ... [more ▼]

Increasing plant diversity within crops can be beneficial for pest control. In this field study, the effects of two wheat and pea associations (mixed cropping and strip cropping) on aphid populations were compared with pure stands of both crops by observations on tillers and plants. Pea was more susceptible to infestations than wheat. As expected, the density of aphid colonies was significantly higher in pure stands during the main occurrence periods, compared with associations. Additionally, flying beneficials, such as not only aphidophagous adult ladybirds but also parasitoid, hoverfly and lacewing species that feed on aphids at the larval stage, were monitored using yellow pan traps. At specific times of the sampling season, ladybirds and hoverflies were significantly more abundant in the pure stand of pea and wheat, respectively, compared with associations. Few parasitoids and lacewings were trapped. This study showed that increasing plant diversity within crops by associating cultivated species can reduce aphid infestations, since host plants are more difficult to locate. However, additional methods are needed to attract more efficiently adult beneficials into wheat and pea associations. [less ▲]

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See detailOptimisation of the Nitrogen fertilisation in the context of climate change
Dumont, Benjamin ULiege; Basso, Bruno; Bodson, Bernard ULiege et al

in Soussana, Jean-Francois (Ed.) Proceedings of the Climate Smart Agriculture 2015 conference (2015, March)

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See detailDoes the production of Belgian bioethanol fit with European requirements on GHG emissions? Case of wheat
Belboom, Sandra ULiege; Bodson, Bernard ULiege; Léonard, Angélique ULiege

in Biomass & Bioenergy (2015), 74

This paper undertakes an environmental evaluation of bioethanol production, using wheat cultivated in Belgium. Cultivation steps are modelled using Belgian specific data. Wheat transformation in ethanol ... [more ▼]

This paper undertakes an environmental evaluation of bioethanol production, using wheat cultivated in Belgium. Cultivation steps are modelled using Belgian specific data. Wheat transformation in ethanol relies on industrial data. GHG emissions of the whole life cycle are calculated and compared with the default values given by the European Renewable Energy Directive. Belgian wheat bioethanol achieves a 5% higher GHG reduction than the one mentioned in the European directive but impact repartition is different with a higher importance of cultivation step in our case. Belgian wheat bioethanol complies with the current sustainability criteria but is also able to conform to further ones. Sensitivity analyses are performed on the importance of N fertilizers and associated emissions known as main important parameters. These analyses reveal non negligible variations and then a range of available GHG reduction when using wheat bioethanol. [less ▲]

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See detail10. Perspectives - 2. Utilisation de l'imagerie hyperspectrale proche infrarouge pour estimer la biomasse racinaire d'une culture de froment
Eylenbosch, Damien ULiege; Fernandez Pierna, Juan Antonio; Baeten, Vincent et al

in Watillon, Bernard; Bodson, Bernard (Eds.) Livre Blanc Céréales (2015, February 25)

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See detail4. La fumure azotée
Meza Morales, Walter ULiege; Monfort, Bruno; Dumont, Benjamin ULiege et al

in Watillon, Bernard; Bodson, Bernard (Eds.) Livre Blanc Céréales (2015, February 25)

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See detail2. Implantation des cultures
Eylenbosch, Damien ULiege; Meza Morales, Walter ULiege; Monfort, Bruno et al

in Watillon, Bernard; Bodson, Bernard (Eds.) Livre Blanc Céréales (2015, February 25)

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See detailLivre Blanc Céréales
Watillon, Bernard ULiege; Bodson, Bernard ULiege

Book published by Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech - Edition février 2015 (2015)

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See detailWildflower strips for crop protection: What do we know ? What should we know ?
Hatt, Séverin ULiege; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULiege; Bodson, Bernard ULiege et al

Poster (2015, January 30)

Wildflower strips (WFS) are known to support the conservation of a large diversity of insects and thus natural enemies (i.e. predators and parasitoids) that can control pests. However, the conclusions of ... [more ▼]

Wildflower strips (WFS) are known to support the conservation of a large diversity of insects and thus natural enemies (i.e. predators and parasitoids) that can control pests. However, the conclusions of studies looking at the efficiency of WFS to control pests are not unanimous. Indeed, the enhancement of pest control seems to depend on (1) the ability of flowers to attract the natural enemies at the right moment and (2) the capacity of natural enemies to migrate into the adjacent crops to attack pests. Therefore, constituting appropriate flower mixes may be an essential lever to enhance the efficiency of pest control. In this context, using functional diversity is promising. To our knowledge, few studies have tested the impact of the functional diversity of a flower mix on insect abundance and diversity and the control of pests. Through this contribution, the insect diversity and abundance found to be associated with the different kinds of WFS and management applied will be discussed, as well as the further research needed. [less ▲]

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See detailInfluence of cover crop management on sugar beet production
Hiel, Marie-Pierre ULiege; Bodson, Bernard ULiege

Poster (2015, January 30)

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See detailA novel sub-phylum method discriminates better the impact of crop management on soil microbial community
Degrune, Florine ULiege; Dufrêne, Marc ULiege; Colinet, Gilles ULiege et al

in Agronomy for Sustainable Development (2015)

Soil microorganisms such as mycorrhizae and plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria have beneficial effects on crop productivity. Agricultural practices are known to impact soil microbial communities, but ... [more ▼]

Soil microorganisms such as mycorrhizae and plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria have beneficial effects on crop productivity. Agricultural practices are known to impact soil microbial communities, but past studies examining this impact have focused mostly on one or two taxonomic levels, such as phylum and class, thus missing potentially relevant information from lower levels. Therefore we propose here an original, sub-phylum method for studying how agricultural practices modify microbial communities. This method involves exploiting the available sequence information at the lowest taxonomic level attainable for each operational taxonomic unit. In order to validate this novel method we assessed microbial community composition using 454 pyrosequencing of 16S and 28S rRNA genes, then we compared the results with results of a phylum-level analysis. Agricultural practices included conventional tillage, reduced tillage, residue removal and residue retention. Results show that, at the lowest taxonomic level attainable, tillage is the main factor influencing both bacterial community composition, accounting for 13% of the variation, and fungal community composition, accounting for 18% of the variation. Whereas phylum-level analysis failed to reveal any effect of soil practice on bacterial community composition, and missed the fact that different members of the same phylum responded differently to tillage practice. For instance, the fungal phylum Chytridiomycota showed no impact of soil treatment, while sub-phylum-level analysis revealed an impact of tillage practice on the Chytridiomycota sub-groups Gibberella, which includes a notorious wheat pathogen, and Trichocomaceae. This clearly demonstrates the necessity of exploiting the information obtainable at sub-phylum level when assessing the effects of agricultural practice on microbial communities. [less ▲]

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See detailDo wildflower strips favor insect pest populations at field margins ?
Hatt, Séverin ULiege; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULiege; Chevalier Mendes Lopes, Thomas ULiege et al

in Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia (2015)

Reducing pesticide use is one the major issues of today’s agriculture. Among other possibilities, attracting and conserving pest natural enemies in agricultural landscapes by providing them habitats is ... [more ▼]

Reducing pesticide use is one the major issues of today’s agriculture. Among other possibilities, attracting and conserving pest natural enemies in agricultural landscapes by providing them habitats is promising. Wildflower strips (WFS) sown at field margins are one of these potential habitats. They are known to attract and conserve a large diversity of insects, as they provide them food resources such as pollen and nectar, as well as shelter and overwintering sites. However, the risk of attracting insect pests at field margins may represent an obstacle to their adoption by farmers. Conversely, it would be interesting if such WFS could play the role of pest trap crops. In an experimental field sown with WFS intercropped with oilseed rape (OSR) (Brassica napus L.), its coleopteran pests were trapped in both WFS and OSR using yellow pan traps between April and June 2014. More than 130 000 Meligethes spp., Ceutorhynchus spp. and Psylliodes chrysocephalla (L.) adults were trapped. Meligethes spp., Ceutorhynchus spp. were significantly more abundant in the OSR compared with WFS when adults emerged and populations reached their abundance peak. Before and between these periods, the few adults trapped were significantly more abundant in the WFS compared with the OSR. Concerning P. chrysocephala, too few individuals were caught for analysis. Results showed that OSR was more attractive than WFS when coleopteran pests were abundant. In this study, WFS sown for insect conservation may neither favour insect pest conservation at field margin, nor be considered as trap crops. [less ▲]

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See detailCREATING PERENNIAL FLOWER STRIPS: THINK FUNCTIONAL!
Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULiege; Hatt, Séverin ULiege; Piqueray, Julien et al

in Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia (2015), 6

In last decades, farmland biodiversity came under large threat. To counteract farmland biodiversity loss and other environmental impacts of intensive agriculture, European farmers can apply Agri ... [more ▼]

In last decades, farmland biodiversity came under large threat. To counteract farmland biodiversity loss and other environmental impacts of intensive agriculture, European farmers can apply Agri-environmental schemes. One of these is the creation of flower strips, a part of the cropping field where flowers are sown or naturally settled. Flower strips are known to increase biodiversity in the agricultural landscape, notably attracting specific insects groups, such as pollinators and natural enemies that can provide valuable pollination and biocontrol services to the crop. However, the plant species composition and management of the strips can have a large influence on the identity and amount of useful insects present in the strips, suggesting the need to develop tailored flower strips to maximize the services delivered. Functional diversity (FD) is sometimes proposed as a promising approach, focusing on plant functional traits rather than plant species itself. Yet, it is not certain that sowing a set of plant species results in the desired vegetation with the desired functional trait composition. Species from soil seed bank or dispersing from neighboring vegetation can settle in the strip, while sown species might not always be equally adapted to local conditions. To test this, we developed seed mixtures with four different levels of FD, based on flower traits, and sew them as flower strips in a conventional arable field. We monitored the vegetation to calculate the FD of the realized vegetation. While the absolute FD values of the realized vegetation were lower than the expected FD values, the realized vegetation showed the same FD gradient as expected from the sown mixtures, indicating that it is possible to manipulate FD in flower strips. [less ▲]

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See detailThe saddle gall midge, Haplodiplosis marginata (von Roser) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae): population dynamics and integrated management
Censier, Florence ULiege; De Proft, Michel; Bodson, Bernard ULiege

in Crop Protection (2015)

The saddle gall midge, Haplodiplosis marginata (von Roser), is a European crop pest whose larvae feed on cereal stems. Severe damage has been observed in some countries since 2010, sometimes after several ... [more ▼]

The saddle gall midge, Haplodiplosis marginata (von Roser), is a European crop pest whose larvae feed on cereal stems. Severe damage has been observed in some countries since 2010, sometimes after several decades without reports, renewing the interest of agronomists and entomologists in this sporadic pest. This review first focuses on the environmental factors influencing the life cycle of this pest and the damage it causes, as larval feeding can induce severe yield losses in the case of heavy infestation. This article also discusses the history of H. marginata outbreaks and hypotheses about its enigmatic population dynamics. This review finally presents the methods currently available to develop strategies for its integrated management. Precise monitoring of H. marginata populations appears to be an essential key to manage this pest and to understand the criteria leading to an outbreak. [less ▲]

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See detailDoes the cover crop residue management affect the soil water availability for plants?
Chelin, Marie ULiege; Parvin, Nargish ULiege; Hiel, Marie-Pierre ULiege et al

Poster (2014, December 05)

Hydraulic processes and soil storage capacity may be affected by the crop residue management. Thus, a better understanding of the spatial and temporal distribution of water as a consequence of different ... [more ▼]

Hydraulic processes and soil storage capacity may be affected by the crop residue management. Thus, a better understanding of the spatial and temporal distribution of water as a consequence of different tillage methods is needed. The distribution of soil water content is basically studied thanks to soil moisture sensors such as time domain reflectometry (TDR) probes. However, this method requires the disturbance of the soil and only provides local information. Comparatively, electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) slightly alters the soil structure. It has been considered as a proxy to assess the spatial and temporal variability of the soil water content. This study aims at assessing whether and to which extent the crop residue management influences soil water dynamics and the water availability for maize. Water content will be monitored from March to October 2014, under three crop residue managements: conventional tillage realized in the end of autumn, conventional tillage realized just before sowing, and strip tillage. A bare soil under conventional tillage will also be monitored so as to better understand the influence of the plant over the growing season. So as to better understand the dynamics of water in the soil-water-continuum, the influence of the crop residue management on the soil structure and the plant development will also be investigated. The soil water pattern will be daily monitored on a surface of two square meters through surface stainless steel electrodes, corresponding to three rows of seven maize plants. Five additional sticks with buried electrodes will be setup to get more detailed information near to the maize row. For each of the monitored zone, two TDR probes will help validating the data. In order to calibrate the relationship between electrical resistivity and soil water content, a dig will be dug, in which a set of four electrodes, one TDR probe and one temperature sensor will be placed at four different depths. Two suction cups placed on each of the monitoring zone will help getting the electrical conductivity of the soil solution. [less ▲]

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