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  Subjects -> AGRICULTURE (Total: 764 journals)
    - AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS (75 journals)
    - AGRICULTURE (520 journals)
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AGRICULTURE (520 journals)                  1 2 3 | Last

Showing 1 - 200 of 263 Journals sorted alphabetically
Aceh International Journal of Science and Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Acta agriculturae Slovenica     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Acta Agronomica Hungarica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Acta Scientiarum. Animal Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Acta Scientiarum. Technology     Open Access  
Acta Technologica Agriculturae     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Alimentaria     Open Access  
Advances in Agriculture     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Agriculture & Botanics     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Advances in Agronomy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Advances in Life Science and Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
AFBM Journal     Open Access  
Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
African Journal of Agricultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
African Journal of Food Science     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development     Open Access   (Followers: 14)
African Journal of Range & Forage Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Agra Europe     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Agribusiness : an International Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Agricultura Tecnica     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Agricultura Tropica et Subtropica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agricultura, Sociedad y Desarrollo     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agricultural Advances     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Agricultural and Food Science     Open Access   (Followers: 16)
Agricultural Commodities     Full-text available via subscription  
Agricultural Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 44)
Agricultural History Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Agricultural Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Agricultural Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Agricultural Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agricultural Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Agricultural Sciences in China     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Agricultural Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28)
Agricultural Water Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26)
Agriculture     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Agriculture & Food Security     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Agriculture (Poľnohospodárstvo)     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia     Open Access  
Agriculture and Food Sciences Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agriculture and Human Values     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 48)
Agriprobe     Open Access  
Agrivita : Journal of Agricultural Science     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Agro-Science     Full-text available via subscription  
Agroalimentaria     Open Access  
Agrociencia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agrociencia Uruguay     Open Access  
Agrokémia és Talajtan     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Agrokreatif Jurnal Ilmiah Pengabdian kepada Masyarakat     Open Access  
Agronomía Colombiana     Open Access  
Agronomía Costarricense     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agronomía Mesoamericana     Open Access  
Agronomie Africaine     Full-text available via subscription  
Agronomy     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Agrosearch     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Akademik Ziraat Dergisi     Open Access  
Alinteri Zirai Bilimler Dergisi : Alinteri Journal of Agricultural Sciences     Open Access  
Ambiente & Agua : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
American Journal of Botany     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
American Journal of Economics and Sociology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26)
American Journal of Potato Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
American Journal of Rural Development     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Annales des Sciences Agronomiques     Full-text available via subscription  
Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Annals of Agricultural Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Annals of Silvicultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Annual Review of Resource Economics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
APCBEE Procedia     Partially Free   (Followers: 1)
Applied Economics Letters     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25)
Applied Financial Economics Letters     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Arboricultural Journal : The International Journal of Urban Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Archivos de Zootecnia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
ARO. The Scientific Journal of Koya University     Open Access  
Arquivos do Instituto Biológico     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Arthropod-Plant Interactions     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Asian Economic Papers     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Asian Journal of Agricultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Asian Journal of Medical and Biological Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Asian Journal of Plant Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Australian Cottongrower, The     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Australian Economic Papers     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Australian Economic Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Australian Forest Grower     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Australian Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Australian Grain     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Australian Holstein Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Australian Journal of Agricultural Engineering     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Australian Sugarcane     Full-text available via subscription  
Avances en Investigacion Agropecuaria     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics     Full-text available via subscription  
Bangladesh Agronomy Journal     Open Access  
Bangladesh Journal of Agricultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Bangladesh Journal of Scientific Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Bioagro     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Biocontrol Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Biodiversity     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24)
Biodiversity : Research and Conservation     Open Access   (Followers: 26)
Biological Agriculture & Horticulture : An International Journal for Sustainable Production Systems     Partially Free   (Followers: 11)
Biosystems Engineering     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Biotemas     Open Access  
Boletín Semillas Ambientales     Open Access  
Bragantia     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
British Poultry Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Buletin Peternakan : Bulletin of Animal Science     Full-text available via subscription  
Buletin Veteriner Udayana     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Bulletin of University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca : Food Science and Technology     Open Access  
Cahiers Agricultures     Open Access  
California Agriculture     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Cambridge Journal of Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 43)
Canadian Water Resources Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Capitalism Nature Socialism     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Ceiba     Open Access  
Cereal Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
CERNE     Open Access  
CESifo Economic Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Change and Adaptation in Socio-Ecological Systems     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Chemical and Biological Technologies for Agriculture     Open Access  
Chilean Journal of Agricultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Ciencia & Natura     Open Access  
Ciência e Agrotecnologia     Open Access  
Ciencia e investigación agraria     Open Access  
Ciência e Técnica Vitivinícola     Open Access  
Ciencia forestal en México     Open Access  
Ciência Rural     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia, Tecnología y Salud     Open Access  
COCOS : The Journal of the Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Coffee Science     Open Access  
Cogent Food & Agriculture     Open Access  
Competition & Change     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Contributions to Tobacco Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Corps et culture     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Cuadernos de Desarrollo Rural     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Cultivos Tropicales     Open Access  
Cultural Geographies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Cultural Sociology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27)
Cultural Studies - Critical Methodologies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Cultural Studies of Science Education     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Cultural Trends     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Culture & Agriculture     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Current Life Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Current Research in Dairy Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Derim     Open Access  
Developments in Agricultural Economics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Developments in Agricultural Engineering     Full-text available via subscription  
Diatom Research     Hybrid Journal  
Die Bodenkultur : Journal of Land Management, Food and Environment     Open Access  
Dossiers Agraris     Open Access  
Ecological Applications     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 116)
Economic Affairs     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Economic and Industrial Democracy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Economic Bulletin     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Economic Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28)
Economic Record     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Empirical Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Encuentro     Open Access  
Engineering in Agriculture, Environment and Food     Hybrid Journal  
Ensaios e Ciência: Ciências Biológicas, Agrárias e da Saúde     Open Access  
Eppo Bulletin     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Ethology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
EU agrarian Law     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Euphytica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Eurochoices     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
European Agrophysical Journal     Open Access  
European Journal of Agronomy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
European Journal of American Culture     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
European Journal of Health Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
European Journal of Law and Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 55)
European Review of Agricultural Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
EvoDevo     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Extensão Rural     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Farmer’s Weekly     Full-text available via subscription  
Farmlink Africa     Full-text available via subscription  
Fitosanidad     Open Access  
Folia Horticulturae     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Food and Agricultural Immunology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Food and Energy Security     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Food Biotechnology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Food Economics - Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section C     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Food New Zealand     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Food Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29)
Forestry Chronicle     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Forum for Health Economics & Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Frontiers in Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Frontiers of Agriculture in China     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Future of Food : Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Geoderma     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Global Approaches to Extension Practice : A Journal of Agricultural Extension     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Global Economic Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Global Journal of Agricultural Sciences     Full-text available via subscription  
Hacquetia     Open Access  
Handbook of Agricultural Economics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Heliyon     Open Access  
Hereditas     Open Access   (Followers: 2)

        1 2 3 | Last

Journal Cover Biosystems Engineering
  [SJR: 0.824]   [H-I: 77]   [6 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1537-5110 - ISSN (Online) 1537-5129
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3039 journals]
  • Effect of leaf pruning on energy partitioning and microclimate in an
           insect-proof screenhouse with a tomato crop
    • Authors: Meir Teitel; Hao Liang; Asher Levi; Danny Harel; Hana Alon
      Pages: 1 - 8
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Meir Teitel, Hao Liang, Asher Levi, Danny Harel, Hana Alon
      An experiment was conducted to assess the effect of leaf pruning on energy partitioning and microclimate in a screenhouse with a tomato crop. The experiment was conducted in a flat-roof insect-proof screenhouse, 4 m in height with a floor area of 745 m2, which was ventilated only through the roof. Measurements included global solar radiation inside and outside the screenhouse, net radiation, soil heat flux, transpiration, air velocity and air temperature and humidity. The results showed that leaf pruning in a tomato crop significantly affects energy partitioning in a screenhouse: it reduced transpiration at noon by more than 100%, increased soil heat flux by more than 200% and consequently increased sensible heat flux from crop to screenhouse air by nearly 70%. As a result of leaf pruning, air temperature increased slightly, but vapour-pressure deficit increased significantly. Furthermore, leaf pruning strongly reduced the gradients of temperature and vapour-pressure deficit in the air layer above the canopy at noon, resulting in a more homogeneous environment in the vertical direction. Finally, leaf pruning contributed to a higher air velocity within the canopy, especially at high wind speed.

      PubDate: 2016-09-06T14:14:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.014
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Computed tomography imaging-based bitter pit evaluation in apples
    • Authors: Yongsheng Si; Sindhuja Sankaran
      Pages: 9 - 16
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Yongsheng Si, Sindhuja Sankaran
      Bitter pit is an economically important physiological disorder in apples resulting in serious economic losses. Current visual assessment techniques are not completely useful in evaluating the extent of bitter pit development as they are limited to external symptoms. An X-ray computer tomography (CT) based imaging and associated image processing algorithm was used to assess the number of bitter pits inside the fruit and on the surface of apples. Samples of 40 healthy and 40 bitter pit affected ‘Honeycrisp’ apples were selected from two different field sites, and scanned with CT equipment on 0, 21 and 63 days after harvest. The results showed that the average number of bitter pits increased both on the surface and inside the fruits with increasing storage period. An average of 42–66% pits was present inside the apple fruits in bitter pit-affected apples. In addition, most of the newly developed bitter pits in healthy apples appeared within the fruit. Therefore, the usefulness of X-ray CT imaging as an effective phenotyping tool in identifying internal bitter pit and on the surface in the automated manner was demonstrated in this study.

      PubDate: 2016-09-06T14:14:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.008
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Experimental and numerical investigations to determine the modulus and
           fracture mechanics of tamarind seed (Tamarindus indica L.)
    • Authors: Nitikorn Noraphaiphipaksa; Witchapong Sochu; Anchalee Manonukul; Chaosuan Kanchanomai
      Pages: 17 - 27
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Nitikorn Noraphaiphipaksa, Witchapong Sochu, Anchalee Manonukul, Chaosuan Kanchanomai
      The testa of tamarind seed (Tamarindus indica L.) should be completely removed from the kernel to avoid the risks from tannin and therefore, knowledge of the mechanical properties of a tamarind seed are essential for the removal process. Here, the moduli of the testa and kernel were separately estimated using the reverse engineering method, i.e., a combination of experiments and numerical analysis. The modulus of testa was found to be 1.192 GPa, while that of kernel was 0.506 GPa. Under the quasi-static compression test, the strength of a tamarind seed depended on the direction of loading. For compressive loading in the width direction, the fracture load (105.68 N), deformation to fracture (0.26 mm), and fracture energy (11.69 N mm) of a tamarind seed were the lowest. Thus, the removal of testa from kernel should be performed by applying compressive loading across the width. Cracks on the testa nucleated in the region of the maximum absolute value of principal stresses and propagated normal to the maximum tensile principal stress. Numerical predictions of the location of nucleated crack and the path of propagating crack corresponded to those observed during the quasi-static compression test.

      PubDate: 2016-09-06T14:14:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.021
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Identification of key factors for dust generation in a nursery pig house
           and evaluation of dust reduction efficiency using a CFD technique
    • Authors: Kyeong-seok Kwon; In-bok Lee; Tahwan Ha
      Pages: 28 - 52
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Kyeong-seok Kwon, In-bok Lee, Tahwan Ha
      An evaluation of airborne dust in nursery pig houses is needed because the air quality within the buildings can deteriorate, compromising the respiratory health of both pigs and farmers. Creating acceptable aero-environmental conditions inside a livestock house requires an understanding of the mechanisms of dust generation, which involves a complicated combination of variables. A long-term, intensive dust monitoring study was carried out in a mechanically ventilated nursery pig house to determine the key factors affecting dust generation in different size fractions. The ventilation rate, indoor and outdoor air temperature, number and age of animals, and relative pig activity level were used as independent variables in multiple regression analyses. From our observations and statistical analyses, ventilation was the most influential factor of total suspended particulates and PM10. Vigorous activity among the animals, number of animals, and ventilation were significant factors in the generation of inhalable dust, and ventilation, indoor air temperature, and animal activity were significant factors in the generation of respirable dust. The statistical models identified adjusting the ventilation rate and improving the systematic characteristics of ventilation as effective components of a dust reduction strategy in terms of productivity and economic feasibility. Computational fluid dynamics was used to evaluate the dust reduction efficiency of pipe-exhaust systems during feed supply. According to the simulations, the application of a pipe-exhaust system would improve the indoor air quality of the experimental pig nursery house.

      PubDate: 2016-09-06T14:14:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.020
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Minimising soil disturbance and reaction forces for high speed sowing
           using bentleg furrow openers
    • Authors: James B. Barr; Jack M.A. Desbiolles; John M. Fielke
      Pages: 53 - 64
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): James B. Barr, Jack M.A. Desbiolles, John M. Fielke
      Australian no-till farmers often use narrow point openers to create furrows for seed and fertilizer placement. However, operational speeds are limited due to excessive lateral soil throw reducing furrow backfill and causing interactions between adjacent furrows. This study measured the effects of speed (8, 12 and 16 km h−1) on soil disturbance and tillage forces for five different openers, aiming to evaluate suitable options for high speed seeding. Three straight shank openers, 90° (blunt and chamfered face) and 53° rake angles were compared to two bentleg geometries (45 and 95 mm offsets), in a dry silt-loam field soil. The 53° straight opener showed the largest response to speed, reducing furrow backfill and increasing lateral soil throw (from furrow center). The addition of a double sided chamfer reduced lateral soil throw and maintained 100% backfill at 8 km h−1 but soil disturbance increased at 12 and 16 km h−1. Both bentleg openers maintained 100% backfill and operated with a lateral soil throw less than half the straight openers at 8 km h−1. However, the 45 mm offset bentleg opener had more soil throw at speed. This resulted in reduced furrow backfill and increased lateral soil throw at 16 km h−1 (reaching similar to the straight shank openers). The 95 mm offset bentleg was able to maintain its low soil disturbance characteristics at speeds up to 16 km h−1. The findings show potential for new opener technology to increase operating speeds of no-till seeding operations by minimising soil disturbance and draft, therefore improving work-rate and timeliness of sowing.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2016-09-18T13:31:41Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.025
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Heat transfer during forest biomass particles drying in an agitated
           fluidised bed
    • Authors: Rogelio M. Moreno; Gregorio Antolín; Alejandro E. Reyes
      Pages: 65 - 71
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Rogelio M. Moreno, Gregorio Antolín, Alejandro E. Reyes
      The phenomenon of convective heat transfer between gas and biomass particles during the drying process of fluidised bed material was analysed in order to obtain the heat transfer coefficients between the gas and the particle surface. In order to promote high homogeneity of the particles suspension, the bed was mechanically stirred, to obtain a uniform temperature inside the bed. The results showed a correlation between, the Nusselt and Reynolds numbers, which predicts the surface heat transfer coefficient with a deviation of ±15%, in relation to the experimental data.

      PubDate: 2016-09-11T13:07:09Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.002
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Plant species classification using deep convolutional neural network
    • Authors: Mads Dyrmann; Henrik Karstoft; Henrik Skov Midtiby
      Pages: 72 - 80
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Mads Dyrmann, Henrik Karstoft, Henrik Skov Midtiby
      Information on which weed species are present within agricultural fields is important for site specific weed management. This paper presents a method that is capable of recognising plant species in colour images by using a convolutional neural network. The network is built from scratch trained and tested on a total of 10,413 images containing 22 weed and crop species at early growth stages. These images originate from six different data sets, which have variations with respect to lighting, resolution, and soil type. This includes images taken under controlled conditions with regard to camera stabilisation and illumination, and images shot with hand-held mobile phones in fields with changing lighting conditions and different soil types. For these 22 species, the network is able to achieve a classification accuracy of 86.2%.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2016-09-18T13:31:41Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.024
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Automatic estimation of number of piglets in a pen during farrowing, using
           image analysis
    • Authors: Maciej Oczak; Kristina Maschat; Daniel Berckmans; Erik Vranken; Johannes Baumgartner
      Pages: 81 - 89
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Maciej Oczak, Kristina Maschat, Daniel Berckmans, Erik Vranken, Johannes Baumgartner
      The objective was to develop a camera based monitoring system of the farrowing process in sows. The system, when used in practical farm conditions, should support the farm staff in reducing the problems of mortality in piglets due to perinatal asphyxia and crushing. The experiments took place in the research farm of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, using a herd of 120 Large White sows. Data were collected from sows housed in farrowing pens with possibility of temporary crating. The farrowing process of 8 sows was video recorded and labelled for a period of 6 h before the start of farrowing until the end of farrowing. Timestamps of births of all piglets in the litter were labelled. Images obtained during the experiment were segmented with focus on piglet detection. Three parameters were extracted from segmented images: number of objects detected, area and perimeter of all objects. On the basis of the parameters, a Transfer Function (TF) model was estimated with output variable defined as number of piglets in the pen. The developed model explained 82% (R 2) variability in the training set composed of 5 sows and 81% (R 2) in the validation set composed of 3 sows. Number of piglets in the pen was estimated with a standard error of 1.73 piglets in the training set and 1.72 in the validation set. The potential application of the developed technique is monitoring of start of farrowing, perinatal asphyxia and crushing in piglets.

      PubDate: 2016-09-18T13:31:41Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.018
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Vision-based extraction of spatial information in grape clusters for
           harvesting robots
    • Authors: Lufeng Luo; Yunchao Tang; Xiangjun Zou; Min Ye; Wenxian Feng; Guoqing Li
      Pages: 90 - 104
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Lufeng Luo, Yunchao Tang, Xiangjun Zou, Min Ye, Wenxian Feng, Guoqing Li
      Grapes are likely to have collisions and be damaged by manipulations when harvesting grape clusters. To conduct an undamaged robotic harvesting, this paper focuses mainly on locating the spatial coordinates of the cutting points on a peduncle of grape clusters for the end-effector and determining the bounding volume of the grape clusters for the motion planner of the manipulator. A method for acquiring spatial information from grape clusters is presented based on binocular stereo vision. This method includes four steps: (1) calibrating the binocular cameras and rectifying the images, (2) detecting the cutting points on the peduncle and the centres of the grape berries, (3) extracting three-dimensional spatial coordinates of the points detected in step 2, and (4) calculating the bounding volume of the grape clusters. A total of 300 images were captured in the vineyard and were tested to validate the method for the cutting point detection, and the success rate was approximately 87%. The accuracy of the localisation of the cutting points was determined under outdoor conditions, and the accuracy in the Z and X directions was 12 mm and 9 mm, respectively. The acquired bounding volume of the grape cluster was compared with manual measurements, and errors in the height and maximum diameter were less than 17 mm and 19 mm, respectively. The elapsed time of the whole algorithm was less than 0.7 s. The demonstrated performance of this developed method indicated that it could be used on harvesting robots.

      PubDate: 2016-09-18T13:31:41Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.026
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Grain supply chain network design and logistics planning for reducing
           post-harvest loss
    • Authors: Seyed Mohammad Nourbakhsh; Yun Bai; Guilherme D.N. Maia; Yanfeng Ouyang; Luis Rodriguez
      Pages: 105 - 115
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Seyed Mohammad Nourbakhsh, Yun Bai, Guilherme D.N. Maia, Yanfeng Ouyang, Luis Rodriguez
      In this paper we present a mathematical model for reducing post-harvest loss (PHL) in grain supply chain networks. The proposed model determines the optimal logistics for grain transportation and infrastructure investment by identifying the optimal locations for new pre-processing facilities and by optimising roadway/railway capacity expansion. The objective is to minimise the total system cost, including both infrastructure investment and economic cost from PHL. In this paper we incorporated both quality and quantity PHL during the transportation, transhipment, and pre-processing stages in the supply chain and considers different PHL rates for processed and unprocessed grains. Finally, we conducted a numerical analysis on a real-world network in the State of Illinois and a series of sensitivity analyses to provide insights into the optimal system design under different scenarios.

      PubDate: 2016-09-18T13:31:41Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.011
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Evaluation of bacterial population on chicken meats using a briefcase
           electronic nose
    • Authors: Kriengkri Timsorn; Theeraphop Thoopboochagorn; Noppon Lertwattanasakul; Chatchawal Wongchoosuk
      Pages: 116 - 125
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Kriengkri Timsorn, Theeraphop Thoopboochagorn, Noppon Lertwattanasakul, Chatchawal Wongchoosuk
      A novel portable electronic nose (E-nose) based on eight metal oxide sensors was used for evaluation of chicken meat freshness and bacterial population on chicken meat stored at 4.0 °C and 30.0 °C for up to 5 days. Aerobic plate counts were employed for the total count of bacterial population in term of typical biological analysis. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis of fresh and spoilage chicken meats was presented. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used for pattern recognition and classification. A model for bacterial population evaluation was built by using a back propagation neural network (BPNN) based on sensor responses from the E-nose. The PCA results clearly showed the classification of chicken meat freshness corresponding to different storage days and temperatures. The E-nose with a constructed BPNN prediction model exhibited good evaluation of bacterial population on chicken with high correlation coefficient (R2 = 0.94) and mean square error of 0.016. The results suggested that the developed E-nose system can be used as a rapid and alternative way for evaluation of bacterial population on meats and offers several advantages including fast, portable, low cost, and non-destructive measurement with high relative accuracy.

      PubDate: 2016-09-23T13:40:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.005
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Structured design of an automated monitoring tool for pest species
    • Authors: Monique F. Mul; Johan P.M. Ploegaert; David R. George; Bastiaan G. Meerburg; Marcel Dicke; Peter W.G. Groot Koerkamp
      Pages: 126 - 140
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Monique F. Mul, Johan P.M. Ploegaert, David R. George, Bastiaan G. Meerburg, Marcel Dicke, Peter W.G. Groot Koerkamp
      Pests and diseases in agricultural systems cause severe production losses with associated economic impact. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a sustainable method to limit these losses. For improved implementation of IPM, fully automated monitoring tools are needed to provide instantaneous pest monitoring data and associated real time, user-friendly treatment advice for producers. The application of the Reflexive Interactive Design approach to design an automated pest monitoring tool including an automated pest detection sensor is described with Poultry Red Mite (PRM) as a model target. Three different concepts were designed for the automated mite detection sensor based on a combination of solutions to carry out the key functions. The functioning of the main solutions in the three concepts was tested with live mites to ensure that solutions aligned with the behaviour and biology of PRM in vivo. The best solutions were combined into two different prototypes, which were subsequently tested in the laboratory and on-farm. The most successful prototype of the automated mite detection sensor was situated under the bird's perch, had a through-beam sensor and was able to remove mites from the through-beam sensor area once recorded. Involvement of various multidisciplinary actors, users and varied user networks in the design process was vital for its rapid progress, the quality of the final product and the limited number of set-backs encountered. It is expected that this same design structure, with the addition of an evaluation step, is applicable to the design of automated monitoring tools for other pest species.

      PubDate: 2016-09-23T13:40:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.023
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Method for the characterisation of the mechanical behaviour of straw bales
    • Authors: Mirko Maraldi; Luisa Molari; Nicolò Regazzi; Giovanni Molari
      Pages: 141 - 151
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Mirko Maraldi, Luisa Molari, Nicolò Regazzi, Giovanni Molari
      The use of straw bale construction is strongly on the rise. Despite the need for a deep understanding of the mechanical behaviour of straw bales, there is little research on the testing of single unplastered straw bales and a standard test method does not exist. In this paper, a method able to evaluate the mechanical behaviour of single straw bales is proposed. Force and displacement of the bale in all the three directions was measured in real time without stopping the test; this allowed to best deal with the time-dependent nature of the mechanical behaviour of the bales to be. The test apparatus included a hydraulic press for loading plus digital cameras and a 3D laser scanner for measuring the lateral displacement of the bale. The method was validated by testing six rice bales (three bales laid flat and three on-edge). Results showed that there is no significant difference in the elastic modulus between flat and on-edge orientations. For on-edge bales, string burst was observed, whereas for flat bales no string failure occurred. By using digital image correlation it was observed that straw bales exhibit a typical deformation pattern which is due to the baling process. Measurements also showed that the Poisson's ratio does not remain constant along the longitudinal direction during loading and it is null along the transverse direction. The proposed method can be implemented to evaluate the influence of a variety of parameters and loading conditions on straw bales mechanical response.

      PubDate: 2016-09-23T13:40:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.003
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Effects of the underdrain design on the pressure drop in sand filters
    • Authors: Toni Pujol; Gerard Arbat; Josep Bové; Jaume Puig-Bargués; Miquel Duran-Ros; Joaquim Velayos; Francisco Ramírez de Cartagena
      Pages: 1 - 9
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Toni Pujol, Gerard Arbat, Josep Bové, Jaume Puig-Bargués, Miquel Duran-Ros, Joaquim Velayos, Francisco Ramírez de Cartagena
      The effect of the nozzle geometry on the pressure drop of a sand filter was experimentally studied. Four nozzles were analysed: one commercially produced with a conical shape and three alternative cylindrical underdrains that differed in the location and the number of slots. Experiments in both filtration mode and backwashing conditions for a wide range of superficial velocities were carried out. The results reported a reduction of the filter energy consumption greater than 20% could be achieved by simply modifying the position of the slots above the surface of the underdrain element. The effects of the nozzle were further investigated by means of an analytical model that correctly predicted the pressure drop of the water flow through the filter. The model confirmed that the distribution of the slots in the underdrain was a critical factor for determining the length of the region with a non-uniform flow within the sand. When using the commercial nozzle at flow rates >0.85 l s−1, this region produced the major contribution to energy losses in the filter due to increases in the tortuosity of the water path within the porous medium. From these results, it is suggested that an affordable way to increase the energy efficiency of already existing installations would be to replace the current underdrain elements with new improved designs.

      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:53:29Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.07.005
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • Parameter sensitivity for tractor lateral stability against Phase I
           overturn on random road surfaces
    • Authors: Zhen Li; Muneshi Mitsuoka; Eiji Inoue; Takashi Okayasu; Yasumaru Hirai; Zhongxiang Zhu
      Pages: 10 - 23
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Zhen Li, Muneshi Mitsuoka, Eiji Inoue, Takashi Okayasu, Yasumaru Hirai, Zhongxiang Zhu
      Statistics show that lateral overturns are the most frequent fatal accidents involving tractors. There is thus much research interest in improving tractor lateral stability. Previous research has discovered the effects of various factors on tractor dynamic responses. While these factors have been analysed separately, their relative significance with respect to other factors remain uncertain. Furthermore, the practical limits of what operators can do have not been considered. The present study assumed a possible case that a tractor operator has several spare tyres of different types and service condition. Additionally, the ballast weight, track width, and implement position can usually be controlled before operation. A scale model tractor was thus developed allowing changes to these factors. The model tractor was designated to pass over typical farming road surfaces. Moreover, the tractor lateral stability was evaluated in terms of the roll angle, lateral-load transfer ratio, and Phase I overturn index. Employing the Taguchi method, we arranged experiments and assessed the applicability of the three kinds of indexes regarding tractor Phase I overturn. Results revealed that the roll angle did not well reflect the initiations of overturns. Compared with the lateral-load transfer ratio, the Phase I overturn index had more convincing factorial effects on tractor stability. Further investigation of the suggested tractor configuration supported this conclusion by comparing predicted and experimental results. In practical cases, this approach may provide a reference for engineers to help operators improve driving safety with limited spare parts.

      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:53:29Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.07.004
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • Transpiration and moisture evolution in packaged fresh horticultural
           produce and the role of integrated mathematical models: A review
    • Authors: Graziele G. Bovi; Oluwafemi J. Caleb; Manfred Linke; Cornelia Rauh; Pramod V. Mahajan
      Pages: 24 - 39
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Graziele G. Bovi, Oluwafemi J. Caleb, Manfred Linke, Cornelia Rauh, Pramod V. Mahajan
      Transpiration has various adverse effects on postharvest quality and the shelf-life of fresh fruit and vegetables (FFV). If not controlled, the water released through this process results in direct mass loss and moisture condensation inside packaged FFV. Condensation represents a threat to the product quality as water may accumulate on the product surface and/or packaging system, causing defects in external appearance and promoting growth of spoilage microorganisms. Thus, moisture regulation is extremely important for extending FFV shelf-life. This review focuses on transpiration phenomenon and moisture evolution in packaged fresh horticultural produce. It provides recent information on various moisture control strategies suitable for packaging of fresh horticultural produce. It also provides an evaluation on the role and application of integrative mathematical modelling in describing water relations of FFV for packaging design, as well as, an overview of models reported in literature.

      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:53:29Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.07.013
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • Development of a grow-cell test facility for research into sustainable
           controlled-environment agriculture
    • Authors: Ioannis Tsitsimpelis; Ian Wolfenden; C. James Taylor
      Pages: 40 - 53
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Ioannis Tsitsimpelis, Ian Wolfenden, C. James Taylor
      The grow-cell belongs to a relatively new category of plant factory in the horticultural industry, for which the motivation is the maximization of production and the minimization of energy consumption. This article takes a systems design approach to identify the engineering requirements of a new grow-cell facility, with the prototype based on a 12 m × 2.4 m × 2.5 m shipping container. Research contributions are made in respect to: (i) the design of a novel conveyor-irrigation system for mechanical movement of plants; (ii) tuning of the artificial light source for plant growth; and (iii) investigations into the environmental conditions inside the grow-cell, including the temperature and humidity. In particular, the conveyor-irrigation and lighting systems are optimised in this article to make the proposed grow-cell more effective and sustainable. With regard to micro-climate, data are collected from a distributed sensor array to provide improved understanding of the heterogeneous conditions arising within the grow-cell, with a view to future optimisation. Preliminary growth trials demonstrate that Begonia semperflorens can be harvested to the satisfaction of a commercial grower. In future research, the prototype unit thus developed can be used to investigate production rates, plant quality and whole system operating costs.

      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:53:29Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.07.008
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • An interactive photogrammetric method for assessing deer antler quality
           using a parametric Computer-Aided Design system (Interactive
           Photogrammetric Measure Method)
    • Authors: Miguel A. Rubio-Paramio; Juan M. Montalvo-Gil; José A. Ramírez-Garrido; Débora Martínez-Salmerón; Concepción Azorit
      Pages: 54 - 68
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Miguel A. Rubio-Paramio, Juan M. Montalvo-Gil, José A. Ramírez-Garrido, Débora Martínez-Salmerón, Concepción Azorit
      In the area of deer antler evaluation for trophy homologation, as well as in the obtaining of biometric databases for later analysis in the field of Geometric Morphometrics, different linear biometric tools have traditionally been used. In this study we used two sets of antlers from 29 Iberian red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus) to develop and establish a new photogrammetric technique which creates the 3D model of the antler using a parametric 3D Computer-Aided Design (CAD). This simple and reliable method for deer hunting trophy homologation was compared with the other two more extensively used methods of antler measurement, the traditional measuring tape and the Articulated Arm Coordinate Measuring Machine (AACMM or CMA). The advantage of this innovative photogrammetric method is the use of only two photographs to obtain both the 3D model and the dimensions required for antler evaluation. A procedure was performed to compare lengths and antler evaluation as hunting trophy. The three methods showed similar reliability, although the photogrammetric process using the 3D CAD system was much faster and more functional than both the traditional measuring tape and Articulated Arm methods. Since this method only requires two photographs per individual, it makes possible the study of a high percentage of antlers in the field. This new photogrammetric method has been successfully used in the biometrics area, but it could become a more extensively used method in this and other fields because of its ease of operation, speed and accuracy of data collection.

      PubDate: 2016-08-07T12:59:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.07.012
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • Ammonia concentrations and emission rates at a commercial poultry manure
           composting facility
    • Authors: Lingying Zhao; Lara Jane S. Hadlocon; Roderick B. Manuzon; Matthew J. Darr; Harold M. Keener; Albert J. Heber; Jiqin Ni
      Pages: 69 - 78
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Lingying Zhao, Lara Jane S. Hadlocon, Roderick B. Manuzon, Matthew J. Darr, Harold M. Keener, Albert J. Heber, Jiqin Ni
      Composting facilities are essential parts of most manure-belt (MB) poultry houses in the U.S., but their NH3 concentrations and emission are not well understood. This may affect farm operation safety and limit the development of NH3 mitigation and management strategies. The study aimed to quantify NH3 concentrations and hen-specific emission rates (ER) at a commercial poultry manure composting facility and to understand their diurnal and seasonal variations. Two large tunnel-ventilated composting buildings with twelve 122-cm exhaust fans were chosen as the study site, which received manure from four on-site manure-belt layer barns. The inlet and exhaust NH3 concentrations at the compost building were monitored quasi-continuously for one month per season for two years. Ammonia ERs were calculated based on the NH3 concentrations and building ventilation rates. The average daily mean ± SD of the NH3 concentrations in spring, summer, fall, and winter were 114 ± 20, 144 ± 35, 115 ± 13, and 141 ± 25 ppmv, respectively. Seasonal and diurnal variations existed in both NH3 concentrations and ERs. The daytime NH3 ER was significantly higher than that of night time. These results showed that NH3 emissions from composting facilities are considerably high, and thus mitigation strategies are needed to further reduce NH3 from the whole MB layer facility system.

      PubDate: 2016-08-07T12:59:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.07.006
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • A shadow-based method to calculate the percentage of filled rice grains
    • Authors: Tao Liu; Wei Wu; Wen Chen; Chengming Sun; Chen Chen; Rui Wang; Xinkai Zhu; Wenshan Guo
      Pages: 79 - 88
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Tao Liu, Wei Wu, Wen Chen, Chengming Sun, Chen Chen, Rui Wang, Xinkai Zhu, Wenshan Guo
      Rice grain filling is a critical factor that determines the grain yield. It is important to measure the percentage of filled grains (PFR) in rice production management and scientific research. Current methods to measure filled grain percentage are generally manual, which are all time-consuming and labour-intensive with subjective results. Here, we designed an image analysis-based method to measure the percentage of filled grains using four light sources to generate grains shadows from four different directions. The differences of grain shadows between filled and unfilled grains were found out. The ratio of shadow characteristics to grain characteristics distinguished filled and unfilled grains. The conveyor belt with a vibrating feeder and controlled variable-speed was used to measure batched grains. The maximum measuring speed of the conveyor belt was about 60–100 grains/s, and the proper measuring speed was about 40–50 grains/s. Support vector machine (SVM) identified the unfilled grains, and the percentage of the unfilled grains was calculated for 8 Indica and 8 Japonica rice cultivars. The average false positive rate for Indica rice was 3.85%, and the average false negative rate was 5.44%. The average false positive rate for Japonica rice was 5.11%, and the average false negative rate was 3.54%. All these results indicate that this method is reliable and can be used for fast and intelligent measurement of filled grain percentage. The method shows great potential in improving the efficiency of grains' trait evaluation in crop breeding and cultivation research.

      PubDate: 2016-08-07T12:59:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.07.011
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • Multi-crop-row detection algorithm based on binocular vision
    • Authors: Zhiqiang Zhai; Zhongxiang Zhu; Yuefeng Du; Zhenghe Song; Enrong Mao
      Pages: 89 - 103
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Zhiqiang Zhai, Zhongxiang Zhu, Yuefeng Du, Zhenghe Song, Enrong Mao
      Pathway determination is an important process in vision-based navigation. The pathway is very difficult to determine simply using 2D image processing, because fields are often infested with weeds, and images contain shadows, illumination variation, irregular backgrounds and other unexpected noise. Stereo vision techniques can be used to locate the spatial positions of crop rows for pathway determination. However, the stereo matching of field images is generally time-consuming and insufficiently accurate. To solve this problem, a multi-crop-row detection algorithm based on binocular vision is proposed in this paper. The algorithm is composed of the modules of image preprocessing, stereo matching and centreline detection of multiple crop rows. An accurate stereo matching method was put forward to locate the 3D position of crop rows based on the rank transformation, Harris detector and random sample consensus methods. A new method for detecting the centrelines of multiple crop rows was proposed according to their spatial distribution. The proposed algorithm was validated by comparative experiments. Regarding the proposed algorithm in situations without turnrows, the correct detection rate is greater than 92.78%; for the average deviation angle, the absolute average value is less than 1.05°, and the average standard deviation is less than 3.66°; for the processing time, the average value is less than 634 ms, and the average standard deviation is less than 101 ms. The results indicate that the proposed algorithm can satisfy the requirements of accuracy and real-time execution in field operation.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2016-08-07T12:59:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.07.009
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • Evaluation of oil spraying systems and air ionisation systems for
           abatement of particulate matter emission in commercial poultry houses
    • Authors: Albert Winkel; Julio Mosquera; André J.A. Aarnink; Peter W.G. Groot Koerkamp; Nico W.M. Ogink
      Pages: 104 - 122
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Albert Winkel, Julio Mosquera, André J.A. Aarnink, Peter W.G. Groot Koerkamp, Nico W.M. Ogink
      The present study evaluated the performance of four systems for abatement of particulate matter (PM) emission inside full-scaled commercial poultry houses: a fixed oil spraying system (OSF) inside two broiler farms and one laying hen house, an autonomously driving oil spraying vehicle (OSV) in one laying hen house, a negative air ionisation system (NAI) inside two broiler farms, and a positive air ionisation system (PAI) inside two laying hen houses. The systems were evaluated using case-control approaches. At each farm, six 24-h measurements were scheduled of PM10, PM2.5, ammonia, odour, and carbon dioxide concentrations (the latter for estimation of the ventilation rate and herewith emissions). This paper presents the layout of the systems, compares their performance in practice with that under experimental conditions, discusses improvement possibilities, reports the baseline emission rates of the poultry houses, and discusses the validity of the case-control approaches. The emission reductions of PM10 and PM2.5 were: 60% and 53% for the OSF in broilers (at 12 mL m−2 d−1), 21% and 31% for the OSF in laying hens (at 15 mL m−2 d−1), 32% and 38% for the OSV in laying hens (at 30 mL m−2 d−1), 49% and 68% for the NAI in broilers, and 6% and zero for the PAI in laying hens. None of the systems significantly reduced the emission rate of odour or ammonia. On the basis of this work, emission reduction factors of the OSF, OSV, and NAI have been adopted in Dutch regulations.

      PubDate: 2016-08-07T12:59:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.07.014
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • Modeling intrinsic kinetics in a reactor of corona discharge coupled with
    • Authors: Sheng-ying Ye; Jia-liang Liang; Xian-liang Song; Shu-can Luo; Jia-yong Liang
      Pages: 123 - 130
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Sheng-ying Ye, Jia-liang Liang, Xian-liang Song, Shu-can Luo, Jia-yong Liang
      A reactor that is able to degrade ethylene efficiently inside a cold humid storehouse was designed for the purpose of extending the shelf-life of horticultural products. The reactor generates non-thermal plasma by corona discharge, improves the ethylene degradation efficiency, and controls the ozone concentration with titanium dioxide-activated carbon fibre (TiO2/ACF). To arrive at a rational reactor design, we investigated the intrinsic kinetics of the reaction process. According to the order of reaction, reactions in which ethylene or ozone are involved in the discharge process could be classified into four categories: non-thermal plasma formation, ethylene degradation, ethylene ozonolysis, and ozone decomposition. Therefore, we present an intrinsic kinetics model, which is in the form of an autonomous first-order ordinary differential equation set, combining two dependent variables, i.e., the concentrations of ethylene and ozone. Experimental data obtained for the corona discharge, the corona discharge coupled with an ACF film, and a corona discharge coupled with a TiO2/ACF film proved that the model is capable of describing the concentrations of ethylene and ozone. The rate constants reveal that the intrinsic kinetics as internal mass transport are accounted for. The corona discharge coupled with the TiO2/ACF film increased the rate constant of ethylene degradation (k 2) and decreased the rate constant of ozone formation (k 1). However, it did not obviously influence the rate constant of ethylene ozonolysis (k 3) and the rate constant of ozone decomposition (k 4).

      PubDate: 2016-08-11T13:02:13Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.07.010
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • Test results and empirical correlations to account for air permeability of
           agricultural nets
    • Authors: Sergio Castellano; Giuseppe Starace; Lorenzo De Pascalis; Marco Lippolis; Giacomo Scarascia Mugnozza
      Pages: 131 - 141
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Sergio Castellano, Giuseppe Starace, Lorenzo De Pascalis, Marco Lippolis, Giacomo Scarascia Mugnozza
      Fifteen HDPE agricultural nets were tested inside a micro wind tunnel (0.1345 m diameter) to establish their characteristic air flow rate vs pressure drop curves with velocities >4 m s−1. The air pressure drop through the net was accounted for, with reference to the Bernoulli scheme, by means of the loss coefficient. Experimental results confirmed those available in the literature, in terms of the dependence of the pressure drop on the velocity squared and the net porosity, ε, by means of the function h ( ε ) = ( 1 − ε 2 / ε 2 ) . The influence of the orifice geometry was investigated and an effect equivalent to the increase in net porosity was identified in textile pores with elongated shapes. As with previous studies, the loss coefficient trend was found to fit the product of two functions, one depending on the porosity, and the other on the Reynolds number defined using the pore equivalent diameter. The calculated values of the loss coefficient show deviations from experimental results in the range of 19.9–41.1%. In addition, a new formulation for the loss coefficient, dependent only on the porosity and wet perimeter was proposed. Except for higher porosity nets the simplified formulation, showed the best match with the experimental data. The two formulations of the loss coefficient proposed here were compared with those found in the literature.

      PubDate: 2016-08-11T13:02:13Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.07.007
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • Comparing different methods of using collecting trays to determine the
           spatial distribution of fertiliser particles
    • Authors: Simon R. Cool; Jürgen Vangeyte; Koen C. Mertens; David R.E. Nuyttens; Bart R. Sonck; Tim C. Van De Gucht; Jan G. Pieters
      Pages: 142 - 150
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Simon R. Cool, Jürgen Vangeyte, Koen C. Mertens, David R.E. Nuyttens, Bart R. Sonck, Tim C. Van De Gucht, Jan G. Pieters
      Precise application of granular fertiliser requires the correct calibration of spreading equipment. Currently, the performance of spreaders is assessed by determining the transverse distribution using a row of collection trays aligned perpendicularly to the driving direction. When the homogeneity of the distribution for a given spreader with a given fertilizer is inadequate, the spreader settings need to be corrected. However, because particle deposition is measured in only one dimension, this technique does not provide an adequate insight into the spreading process as a whole. The distribution should be measured in two dimensions, which, due to the large spreading widths involved with modern spreaders, is only possible by sampling the spreading area. In this paper, two different two-dimensional methods to determine spreading pattern were evaluated, each consisting of a sampling method and a matching interpolation algorithm. Both sampling methods use a similar number of collecting trays. Experiments were executed using three commonly used types of fertiliser (CAN (Ammonium-nitrate fertiliser), NPK (Compound fertiliser), KCl (Potassium-chloride fertiliser)) with different physical properties. The resulting spreading patterns were compared with the standard one-dimensional technique. Differences were found both in the application rate and application homogeneity. The results illustrated the importance of using an adequate spreading pattern measurement technique to accurately compare the spreading patterns of granular fertiliser spreaders.

      PubDate: 2016-08-19T13:20:48Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.001
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • A numerical study on forced convective heat transfer of a chicken (model)
           in horizontal airflow
    • Authors: Hao Li; Li Rong; Chao Zong; Guoqiang Zhang
      Pages: 151 - 159
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Hao Li, Li Rong, Chao Zong, Guoqiang Zhang
      Under hot climatic conditions, heat stress of the animal is a general concern in livestock farming. To reduce the heat stress, an important approach is ensuring a suitable air speed in the animal occupied zone (AOZ) to increase convective heat removal for animals. Therefore, the relationship between convective heat transfer and air speed is essential to understand the effects of the airflow speed manipulation, and consequently, the optimal design and control of a ventilation system. In this study, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was employed to study the convective heat transfer coefficient for a chicken. Simulated results were compared with the experimental data found in the literature. SST k–ω model was evaluated on a sphere model first by comparing it to a semi-experimental equation of the convective heat transfer coefficient. Good agreement was found and therefore this numerical method was adopted for further modelling with a more realistic geometric model of a chicken. Three different angles between the chicken trunk axis and airflow direction: 0°, 45°, and 90° were studied as well as various chicken weights of the model. The study results revealed that the angle at which the airflow struck the chicken model was not significant. By testing chicken models at different weights (bird mass of 0.2 kg, 0.9 kg, and 2 kg), larger specific surface (the ratio of surface area to the weight) led to a higher convective heat transfer coefficient. In addition, a correlation of the predicted convective heat transfer coefficients was found between a sphere and the chicken models used, indicating that a chicken can be simplified as spherical model in future studies.

      PubDate: 2016-08-24T13:30:11Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.005
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • Simultaneous localisation and mapping in a complex field environment
    • Authors: Peter Lepej; Jurij Rakun
      Pages: 160 - 169
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Peter Lepej, Jurij Rakun
      The usefulness of image registration techniques in mapping and localising a robot in an agricultural environment by using readings from a laser range scanner was investigated. The proposed approach used frequency domain and correlation. Translational and rotational differences that occur between successive readings of the scanner and that correspond to the movement of the robot were used. The approach was tested on 9 test runs, with a total of 252 m in length, recorded in an apple orchard and in a vineyard. The results were then compared to results from the Hector mapping algorithm. It was shown that the present approach performed very well compared to Hector mapping. On average achieved an 4.24% ± 2.9% error rate and the present approach 0.16% ± 0.1%. Hector mapping on the other hand proved better in cases where rotational differences were looked for, reaching an error rate of 1.69% ± 0.7% in comparison to present approach with an error rate of 4.19% ± 3.1%.

      PubDate: 2016-08-24T13:30:11Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.004
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • Human powered press for producing straw bales for use in construction
           during post-emergency conditions
    • Authors: Walter Franco; Federico Iarussi; Giuseppe Quaglia
      Pages: 170 - 181
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Walter Franco, Federico Iarussi, Giuseppe Quaglia
      The straw bale construction technique is considered one of the most appropriate for the improvement of housing conditions in developing countries and for the reconstruction in post-emergency situations. In this environment, no electricity or other energy sources are available; for this reason, straw bales have to be produced by means of a human powered press. This paper presents the designing process of a manual press, that is a key tool for the objectives introduced above. Following definition of the machine architecture and the actuating mechanism (slider-crank), a design method based on energy considerations is introduced. Given the mechanical properties of straw, described by a simplified linear model, and the maximum work that a human operator can do, applying the designing method, it was possible to obtain the main functional parameters of the machine, such as the pressing piston stroke, and the length both of the connecting rod and of the crank. The method was experimentally validated and a prototype assembled and used for the production of infill bales in the construction of a warehouse in Haiti.

      PubDate: 2016-08-24T13:30:11Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.007
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • Modelling the impact of climate change on pressurised irrigation
           distribution systems: Use of a new tool for adaptation strategy
    • Authors: Abdelouahid Fouial; Roula Khadra; Andrè Daccache; Nicola Lamaddalena
      Pages: 182 - 190
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Abdelouahid Fouial, Roula Khadra, Andrè Daccache, Nicola Lamaddalena
      Irrigation infrastructures such as pressurised irrigation distribution systems play an important role in the sustainability of agricultural production in the Mediterranean Region, with positive effects on the rural economy. However, because of the observed climate trends and the intensification of agricultural practices, the Mediterranean region is identified as one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change mainly in terms of agricultural water demand and irrigation infrastructures resilience. This study analyses the effect of climate change on an existing pressurised irrigation system, considering two simulated future scenarios for 2050s and 2080s time period. An adaptation strategy was investigated using localised loops to increase the capacity of the existing gravity-fed system without affecting farmers' operation flexibility that characterises on-demand water systems. This relatively cost effective strategy showed an improvement in the hydraulic performance of the system under current and future increase in water demand.

      PubDate: 2016-08-28T13:42:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.010
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • The moisture sorption characteristics and modelling of agricultural
    • Authors: Guiying Lin; Haiping Yang; Xianhua Wang; Yanyang Mei; Pan Li; Jingai Shao; Hanping Chen
      Pages: 191 - 200
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Guiying Lin, Haiping Yang, Xianhua Wang, Yanyang Mei, Pan Li, Jingai Shao, Hanping Chen
      The moisture sorption properties of typical biomass samples (tobacco stem, rice husk, wheat straw, cotton stalk, corn straw and rice straw) were investigated under different conditions, and the adsorption kinetics was analysed with pseudo order models. The equilibrium moisture content (EMC) was simulated with different models based on biomass property and adsorption process. Results showed that the adsorption process of biomass can be divided into two ranges: rapid adsorption and slow adsorption process. A pseudo-second order model could better describe the moisture sorption process than a pseudo-first order model. Equilibrium moisture content (EMC) mainly depended on biomass type and environmental humidity. A modified Halsey model provided the best fit to EMC of biomass and this model can be used to predict EMC of biomass.

      PubDate: 2016-08-28T13:42:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.006
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • Quantifying spatio-temporal variation of leaf chlorophyll and nitrogen
           contents in vineyards
    • Authors: Clara Rey-Caramés; Javier Tardaguila; Andres Sanz-Garcia; Mario Chica-Olmo; María P. Diago
      Pages: 201 - 213
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Clara Rey-Caramés, Javier Tardaguila, Andres Sanz-Garcia, Mario Chica-Olmo, María P. Diago
      Precision viticulture requires the characterisation of the spatio-temporal variability of the vineyard status to design the appropriate management for each area. The goal of this work was to characterise the spatio-temporal variability of leaf chlorophyll (Chl) and nitrogen (N) content and their relationship with the vegetative growth in a three ha commercial vineyard (Vitis vinifera L.) using a geostatistical approach. Leaf Chl and N contents were assessed by two fluorescence indices provided by a hand-held fluorescence sensor. Fluorescence measurements were taken along five dates, from veraison to harvest, on 72 sampling points delineated on a regular grid across the vineyard. Shoot pruning weight (SPW) was measured for each sampling point as indicator of the grapevine vegetative growth. Geostatistical analysis was applied to model the spatial variability of leaf Chl and N content and SPW. The spread showed an increase of the variability of leaf Chl and N content during the ripening period, reaching maximum values prior to harvest. The variograms illustrated a similarity of the spatial variability structure of leaf Chl at all timings, unlike N which showed changing spatial variability structures along the ripening period. The Kappa index evidenced a slight intra-season stability for both Chl and N and showed that N could not be used alone as an indicator to delineate vigour management areas. The existence of spatio-temporal variability of key vegetative components was proved and its knowledge is crucial to implement precision viticulture approach such as variable rate application of fertilizers or water as needed.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2016-08-28T13:42:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.07.015
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • Mathematical analysis of compound release during microwave assisted
           retting of flax stems
    • Authors: Gopu R. Nair; Ashutosh Singh; Jiby Kurian; G.S. Vijaya Raghavan
      Pages: 214 - 221
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Gopu R. Nair, Ashutosh Singh, Jiby Kurian, G.S. Vijaya Raghavan
      Microwave-assisted retting was conducted at various power levels (1, 1.5 and 2 W g−1) on pre-soaked flax stems (12, 24 and 36 h). The retted flax stems were dried and the fibres were separated. The amount of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin presented in the flax fibres was established by NIR (near infrared) spectroscopy. Based on the rate of change of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin at various levels of treatments, a kinetic model was developed and the model was validated by analysing the compositions of hemp fibres obtained from pre-soaked hemp stems at various microwave power levels. The rate of change of cellulose percentage in the model fitted with the observed values of cellulose percentage with an average R2 value of 0.87 and an average RMSE (root-mean-square error) value of 0.0130. But in hemicellulose, the R2 value was 0.936 and average RMSE value was 0.0135, and for lignin, R2 value was 0.92 and RMSE value of 0.0181. The rate coefficient for all the treatments was increasing within the treatment limit, which indicated the increased reaction rate with an increase in microwave power. Validation of the model was successfully conducted by analysing the components of hemp fibres at various levels of microwave powers.

      PubDate: 2016-08-28T13:42:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.009
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • Effects of temperature and material on sensing moisture content of
           pelleted biomass through dielectric properties
    • Authors: Murat Sean McKeown; Samir Trabelsi; Ernest William Tollner
      Pages: 1 - 10
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 149
      Author(s): Murat Sean McKeown, Samir Trabelsi, Ernest William Tollner
      The production of pelleted biomass represents a significant emerging industry in the United States. Solid biomass can be formed from the waste products of different natural and manufactured products. In this study, the effects of temperature and pellet material type on the dielectric properties were investigated. The resulting information was used to develop temperature- and material-independent moisture prediction equations. Dielectric properties of peanut-hull, pine, and hardwood pellets were measured at microwave frequencies for temperatures between 10 °C and 50 °C and at moisture contents between 4.9% and 16.0%. Further work was performed in investigating the dielectric properties of pine, peanut-hull, and hardwood pellets to determine whether a “unified” calibration for moisture content might be developed. Results showed that a temperature-compensated calibration for moisture content could be developed for different pellet types with standard errors of calibration between 0.50% and 1.04%. In addition, a unified calibration for pine, peanut-hull and hardwood pellets at 20 °C was developed that provides moisture content for the materials with a standard error of calibration between 0.48% and 0.56%.

      PubDate: 2016-06-26T18:04:16Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.06.002
      Issue No: Vol. 149 (2016)
  • Comparison of CO2- and SF6- based tracer gas methods for the estimation of
           ventilation rates in a naturally ventilated dairy barn
    • Authors: Nadège Edouard; Julio Mosquera; Hendrik J.C. van Dooren; Luciano B. Mendes; Nico W.M. Ogink
      Pages: 11 - 23
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 149
      Author(s): Nadège Edouard, Julio Mosquera, Hendrik J.C. van Dooren, Luciano B. Mendes, Nico W.M. Ogink
      Livestock production is a source of numerous environmental problems caused by pollutant gas emissions. In naturally ventilated buildings, estimating air flow rate is complicated due to changing climatic conditions and the difficulties in identifying inlets and outlets. To date no undisputed reference measurement method has been identified. The objective of this paper was to compare CO2- and SF6-based tracer gas methods for the estimation of ventilation rates ( V R C O 2 vs. V R S F 6 ) in naturally ventilated dairy barns both under conventional and very open ventilation situations with different spatial sampling strategies. Measurements were carried out in a commercial dairy barn, equipped with an injection system for the controlled release of SF6, and measurement points for the monitoring of SF6 and CO2 concentrations to consider both horizontal and vertical variability. Methods were compared by analysing daily mean V R C O 2 / V R S F 6 ratios. Using the average gas concentration over the barn length led to more accurate ventilation rates than using one single point in the middle of the barn. For conventional ventilation situations, measurements in the ridge seem to be more representative of the barn average than in the middle axis. For more open situations, both V R C O 2 and V R S F 6 were increased, V R C O 2 / V R S F 6 ratios being also more variable. Generally, both methods for the estimation of ventilation rates gave similar results, being 10–12% lower with the CO2 mass balance method compared to SF6 based measurements. The difference might be attributed to potential bias in both methods.

      PubDate: 2016-06-26T18:04:16Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.06.001
      Issue No: Vol. 149 (2016)
  • Methodology for designing accelerated structural durability tests on
           agricultural machinery
    • Authors: Dimitris S. Paraforos; Hans W. Griepentrog; Stavros G. Vougioukas
      Pages: 24 - 37
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 149
      Author(s): Dimitris S. Paraforos, Hans W. Griepentrog, Stavros G. Vougioukas
      Structural durability assessment is one of the last stages before an agricultural machine prototype reaches the market. Accelerated structural testing (AST) aims at reducing the time and resources required for this stage. According to existing AST methodologies, strain measurements are used to characterise machine loads under real-world operating conditions, and calculate resulting accumulated fatigue damages. An operation profile is defining the conditions to be monitored but also the target damages of the accelerated testing. Next, rainflow cycles are extrapolated to include non-measured high-amplitude loads. Finally, the machine prototype travels on suitable proving grounds to replicate real-world service loads. The number of laps required to reach the target damage values is the result of optimisation, given the fatigue damages accumulated during each lap. In this paper the above AST methodology was implemented on a four-rotor swather, which is an agricultural implement that drastically changes structure configuration during its working life, depending on its operating mode. Furthermore, recognising the fact that the damage accumulated during each lap varies, automated test facilities were utilised, and Monte-Carlo sensitivity analysis was introduced as part of the AST methodology, to study the effects of damage-per-lap variance on the required numbers of laps calculated via optimisation. When average values were used for lap damages, the total testing time was 1228 h with an acceleration factor of 3.3. However, conservative test design using the 99.9th percentile of the testing time simulation results, required 7.1% longer testing time, leading to a lower acceleration factor equal to 3.1.

      PubDate: 2016-07-01T18:28:50Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.06.004
      Issue No: Vol. 149 (2016)
  • A mobile, in-situ soil bin test facility to investigate the performance of
           maresha plough
    • Authors: Solomon Gebregziabher; Karel De Swert; Wouter Saeys; Herman Ramon; Bart De Ketelaere; Abdul M. Mouazen; Kindeya Gebrehiwot; Jozef Deckers; Josse De Baerdemaeker
      Pages: 38 - 50
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 149
      Author(s): Solomon Gebregziabher, Karel De Swert, Wouter Saeys, Herman Ramon, Bart De Ketelaere, Abdul M. Mouazen, Kindeya Gebrehiwot, Jozef Deckers, Josse De Baerdemaeker
      Ethiopia is well known for its use of an ard plough dating from antiquity – maresha – which fractures and disturbs the soil. However, hardly any notable progress of experimental research on this animal drawn tillage tool in the field has been made. The attendant problems in current practise are soil-maresha interaction, viz., uneven oxen strength along with different pace of walking, uncontrolled implement behaviour, and field conditions. Taking stock of the experimental research on animal drawn tillage tools in general, most of the documented works on the dynamics of the interaction between soil and animal drawn tillage tools tend to rely on trial-and-error based on factors mainly based on experience and cultural context. As such, no research tailored to systematically handle the link between maresha plough and soil bin experiments exists. To this aim, this study developed a mobile in-situ soil bin facility in which the system was calibrated, tested, and evaluated under outdoor experimental conditions, wherein online measurements of draught, speed, and depth of tillage were carried out. The insights and observations gained from the experimentation were discussed and reported in terms of smooth run, overload, cyclic forces, zero speed with minimal force, stoppage, speed measurement with no force, force measurement with no speed, and low speed with low force.

      PubDate: 2016-07-01T18:28:50Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.05.013
      Issue No: Vol. 149 (2016)
  • In-situ plant hyperspectral sensing for early detection of soybean injury
           from dicamba
    • Authors: Yanbo Huang; Lin Yuan; Krishna N. Reddy; Jingcheng Zhang
      Pages: 51 - 59
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 149
      Author(s): Yanbo Huang, Lin Yuan, Krishna N. Reddy, Jingcheng Zhang
      Drift of dicamba onto non-target crops is a major concern because it is highly active on susceptible crops even at low doses. Early detection of crop injury is critical in crop management. A field study was conducted to determine spectral characteristics of soybean (Progeny P4819LL) treated with dicamba. Drift deposition of dicamba was simulated by direct application at 0.05 to 1.0 times of the recommended label rate (0.56 kg [ai] ha−1) to soybean at the 5- to 6-trifloliolate leaf stage, approximately 6 weeks after planting. The canopy spectral measurements were taken at 24, 48, and 72 h after treatment (HAT) using a portable spectroradiometer in the 325–1075 nm spectral range on 3 randomly selected plants within each plot with device optimisation and data calibration. The results indicated that it was difficult to clearly differentiate the dose response of soybean to different dicamba spray rates within 72 HAT. Regardless of spray rates the soybean treated with dicamba could be clearly differentiated from untreated soybean from 24 to 72 HAT through spectral vegetation index analysis with anthocyanin reflectance and photochemical reflectance indices with accuracies at 24, 48, and 72 HAT ranging from 76 to 86%. Simulated dicamba drift injured soybean and reduced its yield by 71 and 90% at 0.05 and 0.1 times recommended rate, respectively. This study demonstrated that hyperspectral remote sensing has a potential in early detection of soybean injury from exposure to off-target dicamba drift at sub lethal rates in the field.

      PubDate: 2016-07-08T23:01:51Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.06.013
      Issue No: Vol. 149 (2016)
  • Experiments and discrete element method simulations of distribution of
           static load of grain bedding at bottom of shallow model silo
    • Authors: Józef Horabik; Piotr Parafiniuk; Marek Molenda
      Pages: 60 - 71
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 149
      Author(s): Józef Horabik, Piotr Parafiniuk, Marek Molenda
      The influences of a filling method, seed size and seed aspect ratio on the radial distribution of the vertical pressure at the bottom of a shallow model silo were studied. Two filling methods were applied: central and circumferential. Seeds of five varieties were used: horse bean (Vicia faba), field pea (Pisum sativum), wheat (Triticum), vetch (Vicia) and rapeseed (Brassica napus). The vertical pressure at the bottom was influenced by the filling methods and seed size. A significant dip in the vertical pressure near the centre of the silo radius was observed in each experimental case except the rapeseed case. Discrete element method (DEM) simulations confirmed the impact of the filling methods on the pressure distribution. The pressure increased with increasing radius for central filling and decreased with increasing radius for circumferential filling. DEM simulations of filling with higher particle kinetic energies produced the greatest vertical pressures near the centre of the silo radius, whereas the lowest values were located close to the silo centre and wall.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2016-07-08T23:01:51Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.06.012
      Issue No: Vol. 149 (2016)
  • Integration of visible branch sections and cherry clusters for detecting
           cherry tree branches in dense foliage canopies
    • Authors: Suraj Amatya; Manoj Karkee
      Pages: 72 - 81
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 149
      Author(s): Suraj Amatya, Manoj Karkee
      To minimise the demand for seasonal workers in sweet cherry production, there is a need to develop automated harvesting systems. The first step in automating a shake-and-catch type harvesting system is to develop a machine vision system for detecting tree branches and localising shaking points in those branches. In this study, an image processing algorithm was developed to detect branches of cherry trees using segmentation of branch and cherry pixels. Firstly, partially visible branch segments within the tree canopies were connected using morphological features of the segments to form whole branches. Then, the positions of cherry clusters in the canopy were used as an indication to detect branch sections that were occluded by cherries and leaves. Different cherry clusters were grouped together based on their spatial location and distance between them. Branch equations were then defined through those cherry clusters using minimum residual criteria. Overall, 93.8% branches were detected in a Y-trellis fruiting wall cherry orchard, with 55.0% of branches detected using only branch pixels and 38.8% additional branches detected using cherry clusters. The method resulted in a total of 12.4% of false positive detection. The results showed that branch detection accuracy can be substantially improved by integrating cherry location information with the location of segments of partially visible branches. This study has shown the potential of machine vision systems to detect cherry tree branches in full foliage season, which is highly promising for the development of automated sweet cherry harvesting systems.

      PubDate: 2016-07-17T15:06:15Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.06.010
      Issue No: Vol. 149 (2016)
  • Stomatal resistance of New Guinea Impatiens pot plants. Part 2: Model
           extension for water restriction and application to irrigation scheduling
    • Authors: Patrice Cannavo; Hacène Bouhoun Ali; Etienne Chantoiseau; Christophe Migeon; Sylvain Charpentier; Pierre-Emmanuel Bournet
      Pages: 82 - 93
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 149
      Author(s): Patrice Cannavo, Hacène Bouhoun Ali, Etienne Chantoiseau, Christophe Migeon, Sylvain Charpentier, Pierre-Emmanuel Bournet
      In greenhouses, reducing water consumption by increasing water efficiency is of high interest. To reach this goal, predictive models of soil-plant-atmosphere water transfer could be helpful. However, such models have been mainly developed for open field conditions, and very few models exist for greenhouse plants grown in pots. Moreover, most of these models were implemented under well-watered conditions, but very few are available under water restriction. The aim of this study is to develop an integrated soil-plant-atmosphere water balance model applied to potted plants grown in greenhouses, to predict plant transpiration under different restrictive irrigation regimes. Implementing such a model requires an accurate estimation of stomatal resistance R s under water restriction conditions. R s is then used in the Penman-Monteith model to evaluate transpiration. To establish the model parameters, an experiment was conducted for sixteen weeks inside a greenhouse with ornamental plants (New Guinea Impatiens) grown in containers on shelves. Well-watered and water restriction conditions were applied. The peat matric potential, radiation, temperature and humidity were continuously recorded, while R s was measured and transpiration was assessed every half-hour from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm 10, 11, 12, 14, and 16 weeks after planting. The resulting model was first validated against experimental measurements during the twelfth week of the experiment. It displayed good correlations for both the instantaneous data and integrated total transpiration. Different scenarios of irrigation reduction (frequency x volume) were tested and the results indicated real potential for water use reduction. Indeed, by reducing water application by 50% and by applying one irrigation per day, transpiration was not affected.

      PubDate: 2016-07-17T15:06:15Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.07.001
      Issue No: Vol. 149 (2016)
  • Agricultural robots for field operations: Concepts and components
    • Authors: Avital Bechar; Clément Vigneault
      Pages: 94 - 111
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 149
      Author(s): Avital Bechar, Clément Vigneault
      This review investigates the research effort, developments and innovation in agricultural robots for field operations, and the associated concepts, principles, limitations and gaps. Robots are highly complex, consisting of different sub-systems that need to be integrated and correctly synchronised to perform tasks perfectly as a whole and successfully transfer the required information. Extensive research has been conducted on the application of robots and automation to a variety of field operations, and technical feasibility has been widely demonstrated. Agricultural robots for field operations must be able to operate in unstructured agricultural environments with the same quality of work achieved by current methods and means. To assimilate robotic systems, technologies must be developed to overcome continuously changing conditions and variability in produce and environments. Intelligent systems are needed for successful task performance in such environments. The robotic system must be cost-effective, while being inherently safe and reliable—human safety, and preservation of the environment, the crop and the machinery are mandatory. Despite much progress in recent years, in most cases the technology is not yet commercially available. Information-acquisition systems, including sensors, fusion algorithms and data analysis, need to be adjusted to the dynamic conditions of unstructured agricultural environments. Intensive research is needed on integrating human operators into the system control loop for increased system performance and reliability. System sizes should be reduced while improving the integration of all parts and components. For robots to perform in agricultural environments and execute agricultural tasks, research must focus on: fusing complementary sensors for adequate localisation and sensing abilities, developing simple manipulators for each agricultural task, developing path planning, navigation and guidance algorithms suited to environments besides open fields and known a-priori, and integrating human operators in this complex and highly dynamic situation.

      PubDate: 2016-07-17T15:06:15Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.06.014
      Issue No: Vol. 149 (2016)
  • Stomatal resistance of New Guinea Impatiens pot plants. Part 1: Model
           development for well watered plants based on design of experiments
    • Authors: Hacene Bouhoun Ali; Pierre-Emmanuel Bournet; Patrice Cannavo; Etienne Chantoiseau; Mathilde Sourgnes
      Pages: 112 - 124
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 149
      Author(s): Hacene Bouhoun Ali, Pierre-Emmanuel Bournet, Patrice Cannavo, Etienne Chantoiseau, Mathilde Sourgnes
      In greenhouses, reducing water consumption by increasing water efficiency in order to fulfil the requirements of sustainability is a challenge. To reach this goal, we need to better understand the water demand of plants. Transpiration is the main mechanism involved in water transfer, which is controlled by stomatal resistance Rs. Predictive models can be used to assess this parameter. However, few models currently exist for greenhouse plants grown in pots. The aim of this work is to develop a model of Rs based on full factorial design (FFD), and to validate it for greenhouse plants at various growth stages. FFD is based on an optimisation process to establish a polynomial relationship between Rs and radiation, humidity, and temperature. To establish the parameters of the model, a set of experiments was conducted inside a 10-m2 growth chamber with New Guinea Impatiens grown in pots. Rs was measured with a porometer under nine climatic scenarios. Once the parameters were determined, the FFD model was validated against experimental data recorded from a greenhouse Impatiens crop, and compared with the Jarvis model. The slopes of the linear regression between measured Rs values and Rs values predicted from the FFD and Jarvis models varied within the range 0.89–1.12 for FFD and 0.45–0.54 for Jarvis. FFD was therefore able to correctly simulate Rs. Its main advantage was to only require few data for its calibration, contrary to the Jarvis model. In a next step, it will be used to predict transpiration rates.

      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:53:29Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.05.004
      Issue No: Vol. 149 (2016)
  • Eulerian–Lagrangian model of the behaviour of droplets produced by an
           air-assisted sprayer in a citrus orchard
    • Authors: Ramón Salcedo; Ariane Vallet; Rafael Granell; Cruz Garcerá; Enrique Moltó; Patricia Chueca
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 September 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering
      Author(s): Ramón Salcedo, Ariane Vallet, Rafael Granell, Cruz Garcerá, Enrique Moltó, Patricia Chueca
      During pesticide applications to citrus trees using air-assisted (airblast) sprayers, only a proportion of the volume emitted reaches the vegetation and the rest is lost through drift, evaporation, etc. These losses can be hazardous for the environment. Knowing the characteristics of droplets within the turbulent currents around the canopy could improve the application efficiency. In a previous study, a 2D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model to simulate the effect of a citrus canopy on the airflow from an air-assisted sprayer was developed and validated. It considered the first element of the tree canopy as a solid body instead of a porous one. The aim of the present study was to analyse the behaviour of the droplets for pesticide applications on citrus by means of an Eulerian–Lagrangian CFD model. It simulated both the air current from the sprayer fan and the wind and the behaviour of the droplets sprayed. Distance, height, velocity, Reynolds number, temperature, geometric and volumetric diameters at different times were obtained. With these parameters, new variables related to the kinetics and evaporation of droplets were calculated. Simulation results estimated that 44% of the total sprayed volume reached the target tree, 28% reached adjacent trees, 20% was deposited on the ground and 8% was lost as atmospheric drift. The results largely matched an experimental mass balance carried out under similar conditions. The proposed model appears to be an appropriate tool for simulating treatments with air-assisted sprayers operating in citrus orchards.

      PubDate: 2016-09-23T13:40:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.001
  • The BROWSE model for predicting exposures of residents and bystanders to
           agricultural use of pesticides: Comparison with experimental data and
           other exposure models
    • Authors: M. Clare Butler Ellis; Frederik van den Berg; Jan C. van de Zande; Marc C. Kennedy; Agathi N. Charistou; Niki S. Arapaki; Alistair H. Butler; Kyriaki A. Machera; Cor M. Jacobs
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 September 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering
      Author(s): M. Clare Butler Ellis, Frederik van den Berg, Jan C. van de Zande, Marc C. Kennedy, Agathi N. Charistou, Niki S. Arapaki, Alistair H. Butler, Kyriaki A. Machera, Cor M. Jacobs
      A new suite of models has been developed for assessing the exposure of bystanders, residents, operators and workers to pesticides used in agricultural applications. The aim of these ‘BROWSE’ models was to improve regulatory exposure assessment by including recent data, and changes in current knowledge and application practice. The new models for bystander and resident exposure focused on spray drift from boom and orchard sprayers, and vapour emissions from treated crops. The structure of the resident and bystander models is reported elsewhere, together with a description and discussion of model inputs. This paper describes model outputs, model validation where experimental data are available, a sensitivity analysis for some model components and compares predictions with other European regulatory models, including the recently developed European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) calculator. Because BROWSE models can simulate a range of scenarios, there is a wide range of possible outputs. When using recommended default inputs, the resident and bystander models predict higher exposures than existing regulatory models. This is because the model incorporates more exposure routes and defaults are based on a reasonable worst case scenario. However, the probabilistic nature of the BROWSE models results in lower predicted exposures than the new EFSA calculator. Validation of sections of the model suggests that it is not overly conservative. Sensitivity analysis of the vapour exposure component showed that the interaction between temperature and vapour pressure, which is not taken account of in other models, can result in lower exposures for higher vapour pressures in warmer climates.

      PubDate: 2016-09-18T13:31:41Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.002
  • An empirical model based on phenological growth stage for predicting
           pesticide spray drift in pome fruit orchards
    • Authors: Henk J. Holterman; Jan C. van de Zande; Jan F.M. Huijsmans; Marcel Wenneker
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 September 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering
      Author(s): Henk J. Holterman, Jan C. van de Zande, Jan F.M. Huijsmans, Marcel Wenneker
      An innovative spray drift model is developed to describe downwind deposits of pesticides applied in an orchard of pome fruit trees (apple, pear). The empirical model is based on 20 years of experimental data of downwind deposits of spray drift for conventional cross-flow spray applications. The model reveals the major factors affecting downwind deposits: wind speed, wind direction, air temperature and density of the tree canopy. Modelling the canopy density of the trees as a continuous function of time is an innovative approach. Canopy density is uniquely related to growth stage through the phenological BBCH index. Observed effects of the mentioned factors on deposits are discussed. Model results and measured deposits show a correlation coefficient of 87%, while covering a range of almost three orders of magnitude. The model forms the basis for risk assessment for exposure of aquatic organisms concerning all edge-of-field water bodies in the Netherlands. Implementation of drift mitigation techniques is straightforward when appropriate experimental data on reductions of downwind spray deposits is available.

      PubDate: 2016-09-18T13:31:41Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.016
  • The BROWSE model for predicting exposures of residents and bystanders to
           agricultural use of plant protection products: An overview
    • Authors: M. Clare Butler Ellis; Jan C. van de Zande; Federik van den Berg; Marc C. Kennedy; Christine M. O'Sullivan; Cor M. Jacobs; Georgios Fragkoulis; Pieter Spanoghe; Rianda Gerritsen-Ebben; Lynn J. Frewer; Agathi Charistou
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 September 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering
      Author(s): M. Clare Butler Ellis, Jan C. van de Zande, Federik van den Berg, Marc C. Kennedy, Christine M. O'Sullivan, Cor M. Jacobs, Georgios Fragkoulis, Pieter Spanoghe, Rianda Gerritsen-Ebben, Lynn J. Frewer, Agathi Charistou
      New models have been developed, with the aim of improving the estimate of exposure of residents and bystanders to agricultural pesticides for regulatory purposes. These are part of a larger suite of models also covering operators and workers. The population that is modelled for residents and bystanders relates to people (both adults and children) who have no association with the application (i.e. not occupational exposure) but are adjacent to the treated area during and/or after the application process. The scenarios that the models aim to describe are based on consideration of both best practice and of real practice, as shown in surveys and from expert knowledge obtained in stakeholder consultations. The work has focused on three causes of exposure identified as having potential for improvement: boom sprayers, orchard sprayers and vapour emissions. An overview of the models is given, and a description of model input values and proposed defaults. The main causes of uncertainty in the models are also discussed. There are a number of benefits of the BROWSE model over current models of bystander and resident exposure, which includes the incorporation of mitigation measures for reducing exposure and the use of probabilistic modelling to avoid an over-conservative approach. It is expected that the levels of exposure that the BROWSE model predicts will, in some cases, be higher than those predicted by the current UK regulatory model. This is largely because the modelled scenarios have been updated to account for current practice and current scientific knowledge.

      PubDate: 2016-09-06T14:14:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.017
  • Probabilistic modelling for bystander and resident exposure to pesticides
           using the Browse software
    • Authors: Marc C. Kennedy; M Clare Butler Ellis
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 September 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering
      Author(s): Marc C. Kennedy, M Clare Butler Ellis
      Risk assessments for pesticides and other plant protection products (PPPs) often use models to estimate the exposure of different population groups. These range from conservative, deterministic calculations to more complex simulation approaches. In a recent EU project (Browse) new models were developed including exposure scenarios for bystanders, residents, operators and workers. These were implemented alongside a software interface and included probability distributions to capture the variation of possible exposures within the modelled subpopulations. The software interface was designed to allow users to input either fixed (e.g. conservative) values, for various parameters, or to specify predefined probability distributions for those inputs. Some default choices are available based on internationally agreed defaults for risk assessments. The software can also be run using a batch mode and the outputs can be presented and exported in different ways to facilitate their use in subsequent studies. The probabilistic models for resident and bystander exposure are described. Orchard and arable cropping scenarios are included, for both long-term and short-term exposures. Mathematical details are presented alongside practical information for using the associated software interface for probabilistic analyses. Example outputs are shown and sources of simulation error are quantified.

      PubDate: 2016-09-06T14:14:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.012
  • Estimation of wet aggregation indices using soil properties and diffuse
           reflectance near infrared spectroscopy: An application of classification
           and regression tree analysis
    • Authors: Bernard K. Waruru; Keith D. Shepherd; George M. Ndegwa; Andrew M. Sila
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 September 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering
      Author(s): Bernard K. Waruru, Keith D. Shepherd, George M. Ndegwa, Andrew M. Sila
      Soil aggregation is critical for assessing soil health; however, conventional aggregation measurement is laborious and expensive. The performance of near infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (NIR) and basic soil properties for estimation of wet aggregation indices was investigated. Two samples sets representing different soils from across Lake Victoria Basin in Kenya were used for the study. A model calibration set (n = 136) was obtained following a conditioned Latin hypercube sampling, and validation set (n = 120) using a spatially stratified random sampling strategy. Spectral measurements were obtained for air-dried (<2 mm) soil using a Fourier-transform NIR spectrometer. Soil laboratory reference data were also obtained for wet aggregation indices (WSA): macro, micro and unstable fractions using two different wet-sieving pretreatments. Soil properties were screened as candidate predictors of WSA using Classification and Regression Tree (CART regression) analysis. WSA were calibrated to soil predictors and to smoothed first derivative NIR spectra using partial least squares (PLS) regression. Key soil predictors were: soil organic carbon and pH water (macro), water dispersible clay (WDC) (micro) and exchangeable sodium (unstable). Full cross validation of NIR PLS prediction of stable macro, micro, unstable aggregates, and for WDC gave RPD (ratio of prediction deviation) of 1.4–2.0. Independent testing of NIR PLS gave RPD = 1.4 for macro and RPD = 1.2–1.0 for unstable and soil predictors. NIR could estimate macro and unstable fractions with moderate reliability, and; NIR was superior over soil properties for stability pedotransfer purposes. Further efforts should widely test performance for a wider range of soil types and calibration strategies for improved geographic transferability of models.

      PubDate: 2016-09-06T14:14:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.003
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