Global Journal of Agricultural and Allied Sciences <p>Global Journal of Agricultural and Allied Sciences (GJAAS) is a multi-disciplinary, peer-reviewed (double-blind) international journal published by the Association of Nepalese Agricultural Professionals of Americas (NAPA). GJAAS publishes high-quality original research papers and review articles on various aspects of Agricultural Sciences, including but not limited to Agricultural Ecology; Agricultural Economics; Agricultural Engineering; Agricultural Extension; Agroclimatology; Agronomy/Crop Science; Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine; Applications of Remote Sensing, Geographic Information System (GIS), and Crop Modeling in Agriculture; Climate Change; Environmental Science; Entomology/Plant Protection; Farming Systems and Sustainable Agriculture; Forestry/Agro-forestry; Horticulture; Natural Resources; Plant Breeding/Applied Genetics/Bio-technology; Plant Pathology; Soil Science; Weed Science, and closely related disciplines. Any article submitted to this journal should appeal to readers around the globe.</p> Association of Nepalese Agricultural Professionals of Americas en-US Global Journal of Agricultural and Allied Sciences 2575-1662 Training Center Employees’ Perceptions of the Village Animal Health Worker Training Program in Nepal <p>Employees are an integral part of training organizations. They play key roles in planning, implementing, and monitoring and evaluation of training programs. However, employees’ perceptions of training programs have not been fully studied. Building on professional learning community theory, this study sought to assess training center employees’ perceptions of village animal health worker (VAHW) training in Nepal. Twenty-seven employees took part in a group-administered survey conducted in June-July 2012. Respondents appreciated trainees’ participation in class discussions, availability of class handouts to trainees, and instructors’ facilitation skills. They indicated problems in participant selection, inadequacy of educational materials, and no or limited monitoring and follow-up of training programs. The findings suggest to keep human resources at training centers competent and inclusive, improve the training environments, and pursue programs to sustain VAHW training and associated services.</p> Ramjee Ghimire Copyright (c) 2020 Global Journal of Agricultural and Allied Sciences 2020-08-10 2020-08-10 2 1 1 10 10.35251/gjaas.2020.001 Genetic Variation Within and Among Lowland Switchgrass Cultivars as Revealed With AFLP Polymorphisms <p>Switchgrass (<em>Panicum</em> <em>virgatum</em> L.) has gained wider attention due to its recognition and use as a model herbaceous crop species for bioenergy production. Genetic diversity information in lowland switchgrass cultivars can help to specify cultivars to be used in the breeding programs aiming for hybrid vigor. The objective of this research was to analyze genetic variation within and among five lowland switchgrass cultivars using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. AFLP polymorphisms indicated the presence of high genetic variation within lowland switchgrass cultivars with ‘Alamo’ exhibiting the highest genetic variation and ‘Performer’ the lowest. The Nei’s genetic diversity parameters revealed the lowest genetic distance between cultivars ‘Alamo’ and ‘Cimarron’ and the highest value between cultivars ‘Alamo’ and ‘Kanlow’. ‘Alamo’ and ‘Cimarron’ were clustered together while ‘BoMaster’, ‘Kanlow’, and ‘Performer’ were grouped into the other cluster. In addition, there were clusters with mixed genotypes. The findings of this study can be used to select diverse lines as parents for heterosis and inbreeding studies.</p> Shiva Makaju Yanqi Wu Michael Anderson Vijaya Kakani Michael Smith James Todd Laxman Adhikari Copyright (c) 2020 Global Journal of Agricultural and Allied Sciences 2020-08-10 2020-08-10 2 1 11 17 10.35251/gjaas.2020.002 Maintenance of Non-Timber Plants at Low Heights Increased the Solar Radiation Influx and Understory Vegetation Biomass in Woodlands <p>The vast coverage of woodlands in the southeast United States offers a great opportunity for grazing small ruminants. However, not much attention has been given to utilize these resources well. The objectives of the current study were to evaluate the potential of increasing the a) light influx to the woodland floor and b) understory vegetation biomass by altering the height of non-timber (non-pine) plants. The study was conducted in six woodland plots (0.4-ha each) consisting of southern pines, hardwoods, and numerous understory plant species. The non-pine plants were either left uncut (control) or cut to one of the heights from the ground: 0 m, 0.9 m, and 1.5 m (treatments) in summer 2016. Kiko wethers (8) and Katahdin rams (5-6) were rotationally stocked in the study plots (3 plots per animal species) during 2017 and 2018. Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) data were collected before and after stocking animals and the understory vegetation biomass samples were collected before stocking animals in the study plots. The PAR influx in areas that received cutting treatments increased by 413-1723% when measured before grazing, and by 543-2223% when measured after grazing compared to the control. Similarly, the productivity of understory vegetation biomass was 36-107% greater in the cutting treatment areas compared to the control. The findings suggest that the maintenance of non-pine plants at low heights can significantly increase the PAR influx to the woodland floor, thereby enhancing the productivity of understory vegetation and grazing opportunity for small ruminants.</p> Shailes Bhattrai Uma Karki Sanjok Poudel Bidur Paneru Nevershi Ellis Copyright (c) 2020 Global Journal of Agricultural and Allied Sciences 2020-08-10 2020-08-10 2 1 18 24 10.35251/gjaas.2020.003 Robotic Manipulation for Specialty Crop Harvesting: A Review of Manipulator and End-Effector Technologies <p>This paper reviews recent developments in manipulator and end-effector technologies for the robotic harvesting of specialty crops that include fruits, vegetables, nursery crops, and nuts among others. Quantitative performance measures and general review criteria, including methods of crop detachment and end-effector sensing, are used to evaluate technologies and determine state-of-the-art in the field. Challenges affecting commercial implementation, limitations of current mechanical designs, and best practices are then presented. Results of the review show that, in general, robotic manipulation during harvesting has been limited by lack of system optimization and insufficient robustness to position error accumulated during visual localization. Inconsistent reporting practices have also hampered research and development across the field. At the conclusion of the review, some avenues of future research that could potentially lead to improvements in system performance are proposed. Some of the proposed recommendations include specific horticultural practices, the development of modular, multi-functional designs, and the incorporation of robust grasping techniques used in many of today’s robotic hands.</p> Joseph Davidson Santosh Bhusal Changki Mo Manoj Karkee Qin Zhang Copyright (c) 2020 Global Journal of Agricultural and Allied Sciences 2020-09-09 2020-09-09 2 1 25 41 10.35251/gjaas.2020.004