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  Subjects -> AGRICULTURE (Total: 768 journals)
    - AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS (68 journals)
    - AGRICULTURE (533 journals)
    - CROP PRODUCTION AND SOIL (93 journals)
    - POULTRY AND LIVESTOCK (46 journals)

AGRICULTURE (533 journals)                  1 2 3 | Last

Showing 1 - 200 of 263 Journals sorted alphabetically
Aceh International Journal of Science and Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Acta agriculturae Slovenica     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Acta Agrobotanica     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Acta Agronomica Hungarica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Acta Agronomica Sinica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Acta Biologica Sibirica     Open Access  
Acta Scientiarum. Animal Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Acta Scientiarum. Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Acta Technologica Agriculturae     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Alimentaria     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Agriculture     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Advances in Agriculture & Botanics     Open Access   (Followers: 13)
Advances in Agronomy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Advances in Life Science and Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 14)
Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
African Journal of Agricultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
African Journal of Food Science     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development     Open Access   (Followers: 15)
African Journal of Range & Forage Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Agra Europe     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Agribusiness : an International Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Agricultura     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agricultura Tecnica     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Agricultura Tropica et Subtropica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agricultura, Sociedad y Desarrollo     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agricultural and Food Science     Open Access   (Followers: 18)
Agricultural Commodities     Full-text available via subscription  
Agricultural Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 45)
Agricultural History Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Agricultural Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Agricultural Science     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Agricultural Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Agricultural Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Agricultural Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29)
Agricultural Water Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 36)
Agriculture     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Agriculture & Food Security     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Agriculture (Poľnohospodárstvo)     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia     Open Access  
Agriculture and Food Sciences Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
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: 11)
Agrosearch     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Akademik Ziraat Dergisi     Open Access  
Alinteri Zirai Bilimler Dergisi : Alinteri Journal of Agricultural Sciences     Open Access  
Ambiência     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: 28)
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)
Annals Valahia University of Targoviste - Agriculture     Open Access  
Annual Review of Resource Economics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
APCBEE Procedia     Partially Free   (Followers: 1)
Applied Economics Letters     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28)
Applied Financial Economics Letters     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Arboricultural Journal : The International Journal of Urban Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
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: 7)
Asian Journal of Agricultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Asian Journal of Medical and Biological Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Asian Journal of Plant Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Australian Cottongrower, The     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Australian Economic Papers     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
Australian Economic Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Australian Forest Grower     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
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: 4)
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   (Followers: 1)
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: 5)
Biodiversity     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27)
Biodiversity : Research and Conservation     Open Access   (Followers: 27)
Biological Agriculture & Horticulture : An International Journal for Sustainable Production Systems     Partially Free   (Followers: 11)
Biosystems Engineering     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Biotemas     Open Access  
Boletín Semillas Ambientales     Open Access  
Bragantia     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
British Poultry Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Buletin Peternakan : Bulletin of Animal Science     Open Access  
Buletin Veteriner Udayana     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Bulletin of University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca : Food Science and Technology     Open Access  
Bulletin of University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca. Agriculture     Open Access  
Cahiers Agricultures     Open Access  
California Agriculture     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Cambridge Journal of Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 55)
Canadian Water Resources Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
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: 15)
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   (Followers: 1)
Ciência e Técnica Vitivinícola     Open Access  
Ciencia forestal en México     Open Access  
Ciência Rural     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia y Agricultura     Open Access  
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   (Followers: 2)
Competition & Change     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Contributions to Tobacco Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Corps et culture     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Cuadernos de Desarrollo Rural     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Cultivos Tropicales     Open Access  
Cultural Geographies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Cultural Sociology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31)
Cultural Studies - Critical Methodologies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Cultural Studies of Science Education     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Cultural Trends     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
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)
Developments in Agricultural Economics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Developments in Agricultural Engineering     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Diatom Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Die Bodenkultur : Journal of Land Management, Food and Environment     Open Access  
Dossiers Agraris     Open Access  
Ecological Applications     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 133)
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: 51)
Economic Record     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Empirical Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
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)
Ethiopian Journal of Agricultural Sciences     Open Access  
Ethiopian Journal of Science and Technology     Open Access  
Ethology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
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: 10)
European Journal of American Culture     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
European Journal of Health Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
European Journal of Law and Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 62)
European Review of Agricultural Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
EvoDevo     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
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: 2)
Food and Agricultural Immunology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Food and Energy Security     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Food Biotechnology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Food Economics - Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section C     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Food New Zealand     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Food Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30)
Forest@ : Journal of Silviculture and Forest Ecology     Open Access  
Forestry Chronicle     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
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: 3)
Geoderma     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)

        1 2 3 | Last

Journal Cover Biosystems Engineering
  [SJR: 0.824]   [H-I: 77]   [7 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1537-5110 - ISSN (Online) 1537-5129
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3030 journals]
  • Mechanical vibration transmission and harvesting effectiveness is affected
           by the presence of branch suckers in olive trees
    • Authors: Sergio Tombesi; Stefano Poni; Alberto Palliotti; Daniela Farinelli
      Pages: 1 - 9
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 158
      Author(s): Sergio Tombesi, Stefano Poni, Alberto Palliotti, Daniela Farinelli
      Trunk shakers are among the most widespread machines for mechanical harvesting in intensive olive orchards (300–500 trees ha−1). Harvesting effectiveness is an important issue for this sort of machine because, due to the heterogeneity of the tree canopy structure, vibration transmission is uneven and some branches vibrate poorly. The aim of the present work was to determine if the removal of internal suckers before harvesting could improve vibration transmission and harvesting effectiveness. ‘Leccino’ and ‘Frantoio’ trees trained to free vase and planted in an intensive olive orchard (400 trees ha−1) were used in experiments carried out in 2012 and 2013 in two different orchards. Triaxial accelerometers, placed on tree trunk and on the main branches, were used to measure vibration transmitted to the canopy by two custom-built orbital and multidirectional trunk shakers. On average, harvesting effectiveness increased significantly from 83.4% to 95.6% as a consequence of sucker removal. Maximum acceleration transmitted to the trunk and branches increased by 33.1% and 46.6% respectively after internal sucker removal. These results suggest that internal suckers reduce vibration transmission through the canopy, affecting harvesting effectiveness. Furthermore, the larger the fruit retention force per fruit mass was, the larger was the effect of sucker removal on harvesting effectiveness. These results suggests that sucker removal prior to harvesting is advisable to improve harvesting effectiveness in open vase trees harvested by trunk shakers, in particular when mechanical harvesting is carried out at an early stage of fruit ripening.

      PubDate: 2017-04-10T09:19:37Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.03.010
      Issue No: Vol. 158 (2017)
  • Proactive energy management of solar greenhouses with risk assessment to
           enhance smart specialisation in China
    • Authors: Jieyu Li; Li Li; Haihua Wang; Konstantinos P. Ferentinos; Minzan Li; Nick Sigrimis
      Pages: 10 - 22
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 158
      Author(s): Jieyu Li, Li Li, Haihua Wang, Konstantinos P. Ferentinos, Minzan Li, Nick Sigrimis
      For better time-allocation of stored energy, the solar greenhouse (SGH) is equipped with some storage devices designed economically for local weather: wall storage actively managed with energy-store/retrieve fans and Safety Energy (SE which is a solar collector and fully thermally isolated heat tank) designed for non-regular extreme weather. A proactive energy management process, addressing the optimal energy utilisation through dynamic cooperation of the wall and the SE, is presented in this paper. Based on probabilistic weather forecast and a SGH thermal model, found by system identification, the operation set-points are optimised proactively by minimising the plant probable thermal “cost” and weather-related risk in a scheduling period to take pre-emptory action against potential emergencies. The optimisation is formulated in a two-level control scheme. A master problem optimises the primary (wall-soil) storage operation against the expected weather, and a sub-problem operates the SE as a supplement to the limited wall storage in order to create a better indoor environment. The main task of the slave problem manager is to find the optimal SE operation under probable extreme weather to keep reserves to minimise any risk of severe crop loss. The overall optimisation is solved by a hybrid evolutionary algorithm based on a genetic algorithm. The tests show good potential for energy saving and crop cold stress minimisation, as well as great tolerance to forecast errors for most of the cases in Monte-Carlo simulation. The capacity of the proposed real-world system to implement the tested risk management scheme over web “recommendations” satisfies the need to close the loop of an effective Internet of Things (IoT) system, based on the MACQU (Management And Control for QUality) technological platform.

      PubDate: 2017-04-10T09:19:37Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.03.007
      Issue No: Vol. 158 (2017)
  • Validation of a heat, moisture and gas concentration transfer model for
           soybean (Glycine max) grains stored in plastic bags (silo bags)
    • Authors: Alien Arias Barreto; Rita Abalone; Analía Gastón; Dario Ochandio; Leandro Cardoso; Ricardo Bartosik
      Pages: 23 - 37
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 158
      Author(s): Alien Arias Barreto, Rita Abalone, Analía Gastón, Dario Ochandio, Leandro Cardoso, Ricardo Bartosik
      A two dimensional finite element model that predicts temperature distribution and moisture content of soybean stored in silo bags due to seasonal variation of climatic conditions is described. The model includes grain respiration and calculates carbon dioxide and oxygen concentrations during storage. The model validation was carried out by comparing predicted temperature, moisture content and gas concentration with measured data in field tests. Overall, the model underpredicted grain temperatures. Mean absolute difference was 0.5–1 °C for the bottom and middle layers and about 1.5 °C for the top layer. A slight moisture increase (0.4% w.b. at most) was predicted for the top grain layer while moisture for the middle and bottom layers remained almost unchanged during the storage period. A model of respiration rate of soybean as a function of temperature, moisture content and O2 level was used to predicted gas concentrations in the interstitial air. Average CO2 and O2 concentrations were compared with measured data. As mean grain temperature was below 15 °C for most of the storage period, O2 consumption and CO2 production were low. O2 level was about 19–20% V/V for dry soybean (13% w.b.) and about 16–17% V/V for wet soybean (15% w.b.). Predicted CO2 concentration varied from 1% V/V for dry soybean (13% w.b.) to 2% V/V points for wet soybean (15% w.b.). Though CO2 relative differences were high, the general trends of measured gas evolution were compatible with the simulated ones, indicating that the changes in CO2 and O2 concentrations during storage were satisfactorily predicted by use of the proposed correlations.

      PubDate: 2017-04-10T09:19:37Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.03.009
      Issue No: Vol. 158 (2017)
  • Hyperspectral imaging of spinach canopy under combined water and nitrogen
           stress to estimate biomass, water, and nitrogen content
    • Authors: Martina Corti; Pietro Marino Gallina; Daniele Cavalli; Giovanni Cabassi
      Pages: 38 - 50
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 158
      Author(s): Martina Corti, Pietro Marino Gallina, Daniele Cavalli, Giovanni Cabassi
      This work had the goal to assess the capability of hyperspectral line scan imaging (400–1000 nm) to estimate crop variables in the greenhouse under combined water and nitrogen stress using multivariate data analysis and two data compression methods: canopy average spectra and hyperspectrogram extraction. Hyperspectral images contain far more information than do multispectral ones, which permits discrimination among minute pattern differences in canopy spectral reflectance. A pot greenhouse experiment of eight treatments, from the combination of four nitrogen supply levels and two water supply levels, was designed to test widely varied spinach canopies. Using partial least square regression models, the fresh and dry matter of aboveground biomasses and water and nitrogen contents were estimated from a 76-sample dataset. Both the canopy reflectance-based and hyperspectrogram-based models performed well in estimating variables strictly related to canopy leaf area index (LAI) and geometry, i.e., water content and fresh and dry matters, such that R2 in independent validation reached values of 0.87, 0.65, 0.65, and 0.86, 0.74, 0.72, respectively. Estimation of nitrogen concentration from single leaf spectra hyperspectral images produced a high cross-validation R2 (0.83), as opposed to the poor predictive results produced from canopy scans. This latter result arose from orientation effects due to canopy architecture. Finally, for estimation purposes, image hyperspectrogram compression without spatial information loss produced more encouraging results while considering canopy structure in crop variables than did average canopy spectra.

      PubDate: 2017-04-10T09:19:37Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.03.006
      Issue No: Vol. 158 (2017)
  • Non-destructive determination of carbohydrate reserves in leaves of
           ornamental cuttings by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) as a key
           indicator for quality assessments
    • Authors: Dieter Lohr; Peter Tillmann; Uwe Druege; Siegfried Zerche; Thomas Rath; Elke Meinken
      Pages: 51 - 63
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 158
      Author(s): Dieter Lohr, Peter Tillmann, Uwe Druege, Siegfried Zerche, Thomas Rath, Elke Meinken
      The importance of carbohydrate reserves in leaves for rooting performance of ornamental cuttings is well-known. Especially under environmental conditions unfavourable for photosynthesis, sufficient reserves are indispensable for an undisturbed adventitious root formation and to prevent senescence of leaves during rooting. However, due to time and costs, established methods for carbohydrates analysis are not suitable for implementation in global production chains of ornamentals. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) might be a valuable alternative. To explore the suitability of this technique, NIR spectra were taken from intact cuttings as well as from upper and lower side of detached leaves of chrysanthemum and pelargonium cuttings and partial least squares (PLS) calibration models were developed for glucose, fructose, sucrose and starch in leaves, which were analysed by a stepwise enzymatic-photometric method. Presumably because of a high percentage of cuttings with very low amounts of glucose, fructose and sucrose, calibration models for single soluble sugars and sum of soluble sugars were poor (RCV 2 ≤ 0.5, RPDCV ≤ 1.5), while prediction performance for starch and sum of starch and soluble sugars was quite good (R2 > 0.8, RPD > 2.0, RER > 10). The high number of cuttings with depleted reserves of soluble sugars seems to have been at least partly caused by transportation of cuttings, before NIR analysis, from stock plant facilities in Africa and Latin America to Central Europe. The quite low levels of leaf carbohydrates on delivery at rooting facilities cannot be detected by NIRS properly. Thus, NIRS seems to be more suitable for monitoring of leaf carbohydrates in stock plants to optimise crop management than for assessment of cutting quality before rooting.

      PubDate: 2017-04-17T09:35:21Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.03.005
      Issue No: Vol. 158 (2017)
  • Dynamic performance of a no-till seeding assembly
    • Authors: Galibjon M. Sharipov; Dimitris S. Paraforos; Alim S. Pulatov; Hans W. Griepentrog
      Pages: 64 - 75
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 158
      Author(s): Galibjon M. Sharipov, Dimitris S. Paraforos, Alim S. Pulatov, Hans W. Griepentrog
      Precise seeding depth plays an important role in achieving reliable germination rate and even plant emergence. In no-till seeding, this aim is more challenging due to the inappropriate response of the machine dynamics to harsh soil conditions, such as compacted soil undulations and stubble. In this paper, a sensor-frame was mounted on a no-till seeder, to measure the field surface profiles during seeding operation. Its accuracy was validated by acquiring the profile of trapezoidal bumps with known dimensions resulting in a root mean squared (RMS) error of 7.3 and 8.7 mm for travelling speed of 2 km h−1 and 10 km h−1, respectively. Strain gauges were used to measure the soil reaction forces, on one of the seeding assemblies during seeding operation at travelling speed of 10 km h−1. After seeding wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), the geo-referenced position of each single seed was measured using a total station, to calculate the seeding depth. The correlation between the seeding depth variation and the developed forces showed that the frequencies of 11.8 Hz and 17.8 Hz of the vertical forces, which corresponded to a wavelength of 0.21 m and 0.14 m, respectively, were responsible for the high variation in seeding depth. For the profile impact forces, these values were equal to 10.7 Hz and 20.6 Hz. The corresponding wavelengths were equal to 0.23 m and 0.12 m. The peak value of seeding depth was detected at a frequency of 8.3 Hz with 0.3 m wavelength for both vertical and impact profile forces.

      PubDate: 2017-04-17T09:35:21Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.03.016
      Issue No: Vol. 158 (2017)
  • The contribution of transpiration and respiration in water loss of
           perishable agricultural products: The case of pears
    • Authors: Georgios T. Xanthopoulos; Charalampos G. Templalexis; Nikolaos P. Aleiferis; Diamanto I. Lentzou
      Pages: 76 - 85
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 158
      Author(s): Georgios T. Xanthopoulos, Charalampos G. Templalexis, Nikolaos P. Aleiferis, Diamanto I. Lentzou
      Transpiration and to a lesser degree respiration are two well-known processes of water loss from fresh agricultural products, associated with visual and texture degradation. Neglecting respiration as a water loss mechanism leads to erroneous results at saturation where, although the water vapour pressure deficit is zero and therefore water loss should be zero, on the contrary a finite water loss exists. In this context an experiment was set up to analyse the water loss associated with transpiration and respiration in pears (Pyrus communis L., Kontoula) at 0, 10 and 20 °C and 70%, 80% and 95% RH, as well as the air humidity of the cold storage. The choice of pears was based on the fact that they rank third among the most important tree fruits. The estimated transpiration rates ranged between 0.03 and 0.28 mg cm−2 h−1 for water vapour pressure deficit range of 0.0–0.52 kPa. The mean respiration rates were calculated at 0, 10 and 20 °C as 0.48 ± 0.1, 1.27 ± 0.2 and 3.48 ± 1.1 mL[CO2] 100 g−1 h−1. Quantification of the two sources of water loss showed that, close to saturation (20 °C and 95% RH), the water loss due to respiration accounts for 39% of the water loss due to water vapour pressure deficit while, on average, the water loss due to respiration accounts for 8%, 14% and 23% of the water loss due to water vapour deficit at 0, 10 and 20 °C. These findings justify why water loss due to respiration should not be neglected under certain environmental conditions.

      PubDate: 2017-04-17T09:35:21Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.03.011
      Issue No: Vol. 158 (2017)
  • Evaluation and characterisation of Passive Infrared Detectors to monitor
           pig activities in an environmental research building
    • Authors: Ji-Qin Ni; Shule Liu; John S. Radcliffe; Caitlin Vonderohe
      Pages: 86 - 94
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 158
      Author(s): Ji-Qin Ni, Shule Liu, John S. Radcliffe, Caitlin Vonderohe
      In confined feeding operations, animal activity can affect environmental variables such as indoor gas and dust concentrations, which can have negative impact on animal health and welfare. Therefore, monitoring animal activities is important in research into the environment of animal rearing. In this study, low-cost Passive Infrared Detector (PID) motion sensors were studied to monitor pig activities in the Swine Environmental Research Building, Purdue University, USA. Special functions were programmed into custom-developed data acquisition software to process the sensor analogue output signals and provide real-time, continuous, and quantitative data, which reflected behaviour-related pig activities. Signals from the PID sensors were averaged at different time intervals for data interpretation. Data using the PID sensors demonstrated substantial differences in activity magnitudes of pigs between day and night, which confirmed diurnal patterns of pig behaviours. Short-time disturbance by operational work in the rooms could cause prolonged excitement and activities of the pigs. In addition, the study revealed that pigs were active at different times of the day as they grew up. Pigs were most active between 30 and 100 post-weaning days. Based on the results of this study, PID sensors can be used to assist in monitoring pig activities in livestock production and research into animal behaviours and welfare.

      PubDate: 2017-04-24T09:41:06Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.03.014
      Issue No: Vol. 158 (2017)
  • Influence of mode stirrer and air renewal on controlled microwave drying
           of sliced zucchini
    • Authors: Gennaro Cuccurullo; Laura Giordano; Antonio Metallo; Luciano Cinquanta
      Pages: 95 - 101
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 158
      Author(s): Gennaro Cuccurullo, Laura Giordano, Antonio Metallo, Luciano Cinquanta
      An on-line temperature-controlled microwave (MW) system, based on infrared thermography, was developed for drying zucchini slices. Moreover, the effects of different configurations, including turntable rotation, mode stirrer and air renewal, alone or in combination, on drying kinetics and quality of dried product were evaluated. The combination of stirrer and air renewal reduced the drying time of zucchini slices by about 48% with respect to the basic configuration and by 22% with respect to air renewal only. The lowest oscillation of temperatures about the fixed level (65 °C) was found when operating with the stirrer mode, because of the improved uniformity of the MW distribution. The samples treated by stirrer and air renewal configurations showed less variation in colour: the decrease of brightness was about 19% with respect to fresh samples and the value of global variation of colour, ΔE, was 18. It is important to note that air renewal in MW processing is an almost zero energy-cost option.

      PubDate: 2017-04-24T09:41:06Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.03.012
      Issue No: Vol. 158 (2017)
  • Weed segmentation using texture features extracted from wavelet sub-images
    • Authors: Adel Bakhshipour; Abdolabbas Jafari; Seyed Mehdi Nassiri; Dariush Zare
      Pages: 1 - 12
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 157
      Author(s): Adel Bakhshipour, Abdolabbas Jafari, Seyed Mehdi Nassiri, Dariush Zare
      Weed detection is a complicated problem which needs several sources of information to be gathered for successful discrimination. In this paper wavelet texture features were examined to verify their potential in weed detection in a sugar beet crop. Successive steps in a discrimination algorithm were designed to determine the wavelet texture features for each image sub-division to be fed to an artificial neural network. Co-occurrence texture features were determined for each multi-resolution image produced by single-level wavelet transform. Image segmentation was based on the decision made by neural network to label each sub-division as weed or main crop. Optimisation of the algorithm was tried by investigating two manners of discrimination of weeds from the main crop. Principal Component Analysis was used to select 14 from the 52 extracted texture features. Results demonstrated that the wavelet texture features were able to effectively discriminate weeds among the crops even when there was significant amount of occlusion and leaves overlapping.

      PubDate: 2017-03-07T18:56:51Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.02.002
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Detection of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in individual maize kernels using short
           wave infrared (SWIR) hyperspectral imaging
    • Authors: Xuan Chu; Wei Wang; Seung-Chul Yoon; Xinzhi Ni; Gerald W. Heitschmidt
      Pages: 13 - 23
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 157
      Author(s): Xuan Chu, Wei Wang, Seung-Chul Yoon, Xinzhi Ni, Gerald W. Heitschmidt
      Short wave infrared hyperspectral imaging (SWIR) (1000–2500 nm) was used to detect aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in single maize kernels. One hundred and twenty kernels of four varieties artificially inoculated with a toxigenic strain of Aspergillus flavus in the field were examined. Normalisation and principal component analysis (PCA) were applied on average spectra of each kernel to reduce dimensionality and noise. Combining with support vector machine (SVM) classification methods, the first five principal components (PCs) were used to qualitatively classify the AFB1 contamination levels (<20 ppb, 20–100 ppb, ≥100 ppb) in single kernels without effect of maize variety. Classification accuracies were 83.75% and 82.50% for calibration and validation set, respectively. It was also noted that a general correlation exists between categorical AFB1 content and the first three PCs. Coefficients of determination (R2) of the support vector machine regression model were 0.77 and 0.70 for calibration and validation set separately. A possible distribution map of AFB1 was also made by applying the regression model on every pixel of the hyperspectral image. Moreover, using loading plots of the mutual first three PCs, five wavelengths (1317, 1459, 1865, 1934 and 2274 nm) were selected as characteristic wavelengths. Results indicated that hyperspectral imaging could be used to classify AFB1 level qualitatively in individual maize kernels, however the performance of predicting the categorical AFB1 content still needs to be improved.

      PubDate: 2017-03-07T18:56:51Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.02.005
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Optimum design of an array structure for the grain loss sensor to upgrade
           its resolution for harvesting rice in a combine harvester
    • Authors: Zhenwei Liang; Yaoming Li; Lizhang Xu; Zhan Zhao; Zhong Tang
      Pages: 24 - 34
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 157
      Author(s): Zhenwei Liang, Yaoming Li, Lizhang Xu, Zhan Zhao, Zhong Tang
      Grain loss is an inevitable part of the working process of a combine harvester and is influenced by a wide range of parameters. Since the 1960s researchers have engaged in developing grain loss auto-detection technology. Monitoring of grain loss has been achieved by quantifying grain impacts during occurring over a fixed interval based on the piezoelectric effect. However, saturation phenomena, originating from impact-based measurement principle, occur with existing grain loss sensors when they deal with high impacts rates. There is a need to optimise structure of the grain loss sensors to improve their resolution to meet requirements in rice harvesting. To establish a proper position for the developed sensor, an experiment was carried out on a test-bench in the laboratory using rice fed at different rates. The geometry of the instrumented plate had a significant influence on the performance of the sensor. To analyse the effect of the structure of the plate on detecting performance, a modal analysis and grain collision tests were carried out using different structural forms of instrumented plate. An array structure for the grain loss sensor was proposed which should enhance its reliability by providing further complementary data from the monitoring array. Calibration experiment results showed that the instrumented plate with a length of 150 mm, width of 40 mm, and a thickness of 1.0 mm was the optimum size and could monitor and discriminate rice grains effectively. Field test results showed that the averaged relative measurement error was <3.83%.

      PubDate: 2017-03-07T18:56:51Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.02.006
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • A real-time ultrasonic system to measure wild blueberry plant height
           during harvesting
    • Authors: Young K. Chang; Qamar U. Zaman; Tanzeel U. Rehman; Aitazaz A. Farooque; Travis Esau; Muhammad W. Jameel
      Pages: 35 - 44
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 157
      Author(s): Young K. Chang, Qamar U. Zaman, Tanzeel U. Rehman, Aitazaz A. Farooque, Travis Esau, Muhammad W. Jameel
      Spatial variations in wild blueberry plant height pose a serious challenge for the operator to maintain the optimum harvester picking head height. Harvester head adjustment based on plant height increases harvestable fruit yield and quality while preventing plant pulling. An advanced Ultrasonic Plant Height Measurement System II (UPHMS II) was developed and incorporated into a commercial mechanical harvester. The developed system consisted of three ultrasonic sensors covering the width of the harvester head, a real-time kinematics global positioning system (RTK-GPS), custom built software, and a rugged computer. The custom software acquired and processed the ultrasonic sensing data in real-time during mechanical harvesting. Four wild blueberry fields were selected in central Nova Scotia to evaluate the performance of the developed system. Forty eight experimental plots were randomly constructed within four fields and wild blueberry plant heights were recorded manually prior to harvest. The UPHMS II was tested and evaluated to estimate plant height. The manual plant height measurements were compared with ultrasonically sensed data to ensure the accuracy of the developed system. A previous system (UPHMS I) comprising of one ultrasonic sensor was also tested and evaluated. Results of regression and scatter plots revealed that the UPHMS II was able to sense plant height in real-time more accurately with root mean square error (RMSE) of 1.7 cm when compared with the UPHMS I (RMSE = 5.7 cm). The UPHMS II equipped with three sensors covered the complete width of the harvester (0.91 m), which showed higher accuracy compared to the UPHMS I.

      PubDate: 2017-03-12T22:54:46Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.02.004
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Adaptability to future climate of irrigated crops: The interplay of water
           management and cultivars responses. A case study on tomato
    • Authors: Francesca De Lorenzi; Silvia M. Alfieri; Eugenia Monaco; Antonello Bonfante; Angelo Basile; Cristina Patanè; Massimo Menenti
      Pages: 45 - 62
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 157
      Author(s): Francesca De Lorenzi, Silvia M. Alfieri, Eugenia Monaco, Antonello Bonfante, Angelo Basile, Cristina Patanè, Massimo Menenti
      In the context of climate change strategies are needed towards sustainable agricultural production. The aim of this study is to identify crop adaptation options to face the expected changes in water availability by exploiting the existing intra-specific biodiversity of the tomato crop and accounting for irrigation management and the hydrological properties of soils. The biophysical dimension of crop adaptation is therefore addressed. A study is presented examining an irrigated district in southern Italy. Using as a climatic reference the period 1961–90 and as a future climate the period 2021–2050, a soil water availability indicator was determined by a soil water balance model, at optimal irrigation and at different deficit irrigation strategies, in 23 soil units. For five tomato cultivars, hydrological requirements were determined by means of yield response functions to soil water availability. Cultivar-specific hydrological requirements were evaluated against the soil water availability indicator to determine probabilities of adaptation of each cultivar. These cultivars are not currently being grown in the study area so their potential spatial distribution in the study area was estimated. For instance, with 60% of optimal irrigation, two cultivars were assessed as having probabilities of crop adaptation larger than 0.89, in 90% and 62% of the area. In the future climate, with limited water resources, a proper choice and combination of cultivars, irrigation strategies and soils would allow to maintain the current production system in a large part of the study area.

      PubDate: 2017-03-12T22:54:46Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.02.007
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Effect of fruit location on apple detachment with mechanical shaking
    • Authors: Long He; Han Fu; Manoj Karkee; Qin Zhang
      Pages: 63 - 71
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 157
      Author(s): Long He, Han Fu, Manoj Karkee, Qin Zhang
      Fresh market apples are picked manually around the world. To reduce dependence on seasonal labour and minimise harvest costs, shake and catch harvesting methods have been investigated (no commercialised product). During shaking, certain amount of fruits could not be detached primarily due to insufficient level of transferred energy. The primary goal of this study was to investigate the efficiency in detaching fruit from different locations of tree branches in modern trellis-trained trees. A fruit location index was formulated and estimated to identify the location of targeted apples on a branch by considering the geometric dimensions of fruit bearing twig (twig index) and excited branch (branch index). A dynamic test system was developed to measure the response of fruit under certain shaking modes. The weights of twig index and branch index were optimised with maximizing R 2 of regression model between fruit acceleration and fruit location index. This study indicated that the fruit location has a critical influence on fruit detachment with shaking. Test fruits (‘Envy’ variety) could generally be detached within 5 s of shaking when fruit acceleration was higher than 5 g, and the corresponding fruit location indices were 0.071, 0.06, and 0.061 in three test frequencies. Harvesting tests showed that over 90% of fruits with location index greater than 0.06 were detached under 20 Hz shaking. Fruit quality assessment was not included in this study. The study provided baseline knowledge and information for improving the fruit canopy management practices to obtain high fruit removal efficiency.

      PubDate: 2017-03-12T22:54:46Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.02.009
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Spectral assessment of two-spotted spider mite damage levels in the leaves
           of greenhouse-grown pepper and bean
    • Authors: Ittai Herrmann; Michael Berenstein; Tarin Paz-Kagan; Amit Sade; Arnon Karnieli
      Pages: 72 - 85
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 157
      Author(s): Ittai Herrmann, Michael Berenstein, Tarin Paz-Kagan, Amit Sade, Arnon Karnieli
      The two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch; TSSM) feeds on the under-surface of leaves, piercing the chloroplast-containing cells and affecting pigments as well as leaf structure. This damage could be spectrally detectable in the visible and near-infrared spectral regions. The aim was to spectrally explore the ability to assess TSSM damage levels in greenhouse-grown pepper (Capsicum annuum) and bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) leaves. Several vegetation indices (VIs) provided the ability to classify early TSSM damage using a one-way analysis of variance. Hyperspectral (400–1000 nm) and multispectral (five common bands) data were analysed and cross-validated independently by partial least squares-discriminant analysis models. These analyses resulted in 100% and 95% success in identifying early damage with hyperspectral data reflected from pepper and bean leaves, respectively, and in 92% with multispectral data reflected from pepper leaves. Although the TSSM activity occurred on the underside of leaves their damage can be spectrally detected by reflected data from the upper side. Early TSSM damage identification to greenhouse pepper and bean leaves, that their sole damage was by TSSM, can be obtained by VIs, hyperspectral data, and multispectral data. This study shows that by using sub leaf spatial resolution early damage by TSSM can be spectrally detected. It can be potentially applied for greenhouses as well as fields as an early detection method for TSSM management.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-03-20T08:23:52Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.02.008
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Design and construction of a flexible laboratory-scale mixing apparatus
           for continuous ethylene supplementation of fresh produce
    • Authors: Robert S. Amoah; Sandra Landahl; Leon A. Terry
      Pages: 86 - 91
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 157
      Author(s): Robert S. Amoah, Sandra Landahl, Leon A. Terry
      The design and construction of a laboratory-scale apparatus for generating variable concentrations and flow rates of exogenous ethylene for fresh produce supplementation during storage trials is described. A stock of compressed ethylene in nitrogen (5000 μl l−1) was blended into a continuous flow stream of air and diluted to the desired concentrations. The ethylene and air flow rates were controlled with calibrated mass flow control valves. An empirical mathematical model was derived for real-time variation of both the mixed concentration and flow rate during continuous flow. Validation of the model was performed using fresh sweet potato as a case study where a steady continuous ethylene concentration of 10 μl l−1 was achieved for three months. The bespoke system offers easy-to-manage ethylene supplementation for research.

      PubDate: 2017-03-20T08:23:52Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.02.010
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • A multi-Kinect cow scanning system: Calculating linear traits from
           manually marked recordings of Holstein-Friesian dairy cows
    • Authors: Jennifer Salau; Jan H. Haas; Wolfgang Junge; Georg Thaller
      Pages: 92 - 98
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 157
      Author(s): Jennifer Salau, Jan H. Haas, Wolfgang Junge, Georg Thaller
      Microsoft Kinect systems have already been used for detecting lameness and determining body condition in dairy cattle. A combination of six Kinect cameras was used with the goal of measuring linear descriptive traits. To access the precision of measurements gathered with a fixed installed recording unit, front teats and ischial tuberosities were marked manually in the recordings. Teat lengths and heights of ischial tuberosities were then calculated from the 3D coordinates. Recorded with cattle standing still and walking, teat lengths showed a standard error range from 0.7 mm to 1.5 mm and 1.8 mm–3.2 mm, respectively. The standard errors regarding the heights of the ischial tuberosities ranged between 2.4 mm and 4.0 mm in standstill and between 14.0 mm and 22.5 mm when measured on a walking cow.

      PubDate: 2017-03-27T08:44:53Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.03.001
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Modeling thin layer drying-roasting kinetics of soaked quinoa. Coupled
           mass and energy transfer
    • Authors: Ricardo M. Torrez Irigoyen; Sergio A. Giner
      Pages: 99 - 108
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 157
      Author(s): Ricardo M. Torrez Irigoyen, Sergio A. Giner
      Quinoa has higher protein content (11–16% m/m) and better amino acid profile than most cereals and represents a valuable resource for healthy nutrition. This work studied the kinetics of mass and energy transfer during fluidised thin layer drying-roasting of soaked and washed quinoa, a treatment suitable for preparing a ready-to-eat food. Curves describing moisture content and temperature behaviour with time were obtained for temperatures of 80, 100, 120, and 140 °C and air velocity of 0.8 m s−1. A coupled mass and energy model was proposed to describe the curves mathematically. The model consisted of a pair of ordinary differential equations (ODEs): a transient macroscopic energy balance equation for heat transfer and either a short or a long dimensionless time mass transfer equation. The model was used to determine the effective diffusion coefficient proposed as an Arrhenius function of temperature by utilising the whole dataset. The heat transfer coefficient was estimated from a correlation reported earlier with values ranging from 164 to 179 W m−2 °C−1. The activation energy and pre-exponential factor were fitted using a combined method involving a numerical integration of the ODE system followed by a parameter optimisation algorithm. Values obtained were E a  = 39.9 kJ mol−1 and, D 0  = 2.872 × 10−4 m2 s−1, respectively. Predicted moisture content and temperatures agreed well with experimental values. The present research could be extended to deep fluidised bed models to help optimise existing equipment or design new.

      PubDate: 2017-04-03T09:02:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.03.003
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • Multidimensional analysis model for highly pathogenic avian influenza
           using data cube and data mining techniques
    • Authors: Zhenshun Xu; Jonguk Lee; Daihee Park; Yongwha Chung
      Pages: 109 - 121
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 157
      Author(s): Zhenshun Xu, Jonguk Lee, Daihee Park, Yongwha Chung
      The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viral disease can spread rapidly, resulting in high mortality rates and severe economic damage. To minimize the damage incurred from such diseases, it is necessary to develop technology for collecting and analysing livestock disease data. In this paper, we propose a data cube model with data mining techniques for the analysis of HPAI using livestock disease data accumulated over an extended period. Based on the construction of the data cube model, a multidimensional HPAI analysis is performed using online analytical processing (OLAP) operations to assess the temporal and spatial perspectives of the spread of the disease with varying levels of abstraction. Furthermore, the proposed analysis model provides useful information that generates site connectedness and potential sequential dissemination routes of HPAI outbreaks by applying association rule mining and sequential pattern mining, respectively. We confirm the feasibility and applicability of the proposed HPAI analysis model by implementing and applying an analysis system to HPAI outbreaks in South Korea.

      PubDate: 2017-04-03T09:02:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.03.004
      Issue No: Vol. 157 (2017)
  • An invited editorial interview with Professor Pierluigi Febo, Professor of
           Agricultural Engineering, University of Palermo, on the topic of the
           development of a European dimension in higher education for Biosystems
    • Authors: Pierluigi Febo; Bill Day
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 156
      Author(s): Pierluigi Febo, Bill Day

      PubDate: 2017-03-27T08:44:53Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.03.002
      Issue No: Vol. 156 (2017)
  • Automatic detection of oestrus cows via breath sampling with an electronic
           nose: A pilot study
    • Authors: Francis E.P. Sanderink; Jan Willem Gerritsen; Peter W.G. Groot Koerkamp; Simon van Mourik
      Pages: 1 - 6
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 156
      Author(s): Francis E.P. Sanderink, Jan Willem Gerritsen, Peter W.G. Groot Koerkamp, Simon van Mourik
      To explore the possibility of automating the process of detecting oestrus cows via electronic olfaction, we designed and built an integrated measurement system consisting of a breath sample device, electronic nose, and a diagnosis model. The diagnosis performance, using a data set of 71 measurements on 52 cows in total, was a receiver operating characteristic curve with an area under the curve of 0.86, which had 83% sensitivity and 86% specificity for a specifically chosen threshold value. These results indicate a potential for automated detection based on breath sampling.

      PubDate: 2017-02-03T08:37:37Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.01.004
      Issue No: Vol. 156 (2017)
  • Radiofrequency inactivation of Salmonella Enteritidis PT 30 and
           Enterococcus faecium in wheat flour at different water activities
    • Authors: Rossana Villa-Rojas; Mei-Jun Zhu; Bradley P. Marks; Juming Tang
      Pages: 7 - 16
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 156
      Author(s): Rossana Villa-Rojas, Mei-Jun Zhu, Bradley P. Marks, Juming Tang
      Salmonella persistence in low-moisture foods creates a significant need for effective pasteurisation processes, but conventional thermal treatments for low-moisture products are challenged by long treatment times and insufficient information on inactivation kinetics. Radiofrequency (RF) heating can reduce heating time and inactivate Salmonella without inducing significant quality damage. The objectives were to study RF heating of organic wheat flour, and evaluate Enterococcus faecium as a surrogate for RF inactivation of Salmonella. Temperature profiles and uniformity of the top and cross-section surface of RF heated flour were obtained with an infrared camera, using different electrode gaps, platforms, and different materials that surrounded the sample to make the electromagnetic field uniform. The flour was inoculated with S. Enteritidis PT 30 or E. faecium, equilibrated to a specific aw, and then RF heated for 8.5 (0.25 aw) or 9 min (0.45 and 0.65 aw) to reach ≈75 °C minimum temperature (no holding time); survivors were then enumerated. The best temperature uniformity was obtained using a 90 mm electrode gap, placing small polystyrene cylinders above and underneath the sample container, and using a platform of polystyrene Petri dishes. Salmonella reduction of 7 log was achieved at 0.45 and 0.65 aw at room temperature, while 5 and 3 log reductions were reached for Salmonella and E. faecium, respectively, at 0.25 aw. These data suggest that RF heating has potential as an inactivation treatment for Salmonella, and that E. faecium is a feasible surrogate to validate the efficacy of RF treatments.

      PubDate: 2017-02-10T12:37:40Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.01.001
      Issue No: Vol. 156 (2017)
  • Prediction of mineral contents in sugarcane cultivated under saline
           conditions based on stalk scanning by Vis/NIR spectral reflectance
    • Authors: Antonio José Steidle Neto; João Vitor Toledo; Sérgio Zolnier; Daniela de C. Lopes; Christiano V. Pires; Thieres George F. da Silva
      Pages: 17 - 26
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 156
      Author(s): Antonio José Steidle Neto, João Vitor Toledo, Sérgio Zolnier, Daniela de C. Lopes, Christiano V. Pires, Thieres George F. da Silva
      Mineral contents in the sugarcane juice are important qualitative variables to be used in the development of new products and to establish physicochemical criteria for food processing. The objective of this study was to estimate the mineral contents (K+, Na+, and Mg2+) in sugarcane stalk samples by visible/near infrared (Vis/NIR) spectral reflectance measurements and multivariate data analysis. Four sugarcane varieties were cultivated under different saline conditions in a greenhouse. The spectral reflectance of stalk surface was measured with a portable spectrometer. The juice mineral compositions were determined by a reference laboratory method. Partial least squares regression (PLSR) was used for calibrating the estimation models. The most abundant mineral in the sugarcane juice was K+ (310.01–561.48 mg 100 ml−1) as compared to Na+ (4.63–122.96 mg 100 ml−1) and Mg2+ (6.93–18.78 mg 100 ml−1). During the calibration process, the proposed models presented low root mean square errors (RMSE) for calibration (62.46, 25.70, 2.36, and 0.05 mg 100 ml−1), and for cross-validation (90.08, 30.86, 3.79, and 0.06 mg 100 ml−1) for K+, Na+, Mg2+, and Na+/K+ ratio, respectively. Results were also satisfactory for the external validation with low root mean square error (27.30, 10.69, 0.57, and 0.03 mg 100 ml−1), and mean bias error (−4.45, 6.57, 0.07, 0.01 mg 100 ml−1), as well as high coefficients of determination (0.78, 0.89, 0.93, and 0.74), for K+, Na+, Mg2+, and Na+/K+ ratio, respectively. Spectrometry combined to the PLSR technique resulted in an efficient, quick, and non-destructive method for evaluating sugarcane mineral contents.

      PubDate: 2017-02-10T12:37:40Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.01.003
      Issue No: Vol. 156 (2017)
  • Method for assessing the quality of data used in evaluating the
           performance of recognition algorithms for fruits and vegetables
    • Authors: Rong Xiang; Ying Chen; Jia W. Shen; Shuang Hu
      Pages: 27 - 37
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 156
      Author(s): Rong Xiang, Ying Chen, Jia W. Shen, Shuang Hu
      In studies on agricultural robot vision systems, data used to evaluate algorithm performance, such as successful recognition rates, vary because of various factors. If the variation is too large, representation of the actual performance of algorithms by the data is bound to be poor. Here we present a method for analysing the quality of data used to evaluate the performance of a recognition algorithm for occluded tomatoes based on measurement system analysis. The measurement system included a soft measurement tool (a counting method for the number of successful recognitions), appraisers, measured objects (recognition results of 300 occluded tomato images), the usage method for the soft measurement tool and measurement environments. The measurement system was analysed on the basis of its repeatability and reproducibility. Repeatability and reproducibility were both evaluated based on Fleiss's Kappa values, free-marginal multirater Kappa values and Kendall coefficients. Test results showed that repeatability was excellent or fair to good based on Fleiss's Kappa values and excellent based on free-marginal multirater Kappa values and Kendall coefficients for the three appraisers. Further improvement in the soft type of measurement tool is necessary. Reproducibility was fair to good with Fleiss's Kappa values and free-marginal multirater Kappa values, and good with Kendall coefficients. Large values of measured feature resulted in inferior repeatability and reproducibility.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-02-10T12:37:40Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.12.012
      Issue No: Vol. 156 (2017)
  • On-line fresh-cut lettuce quality measurement system using hyperspectral
    • Authors: Changyeun Mo; Giyoung Kim; Moon S. Kim; Jongguk Lim; Kangjin Lee; Wang-Hee Lee; Byoung-Kwan Cho
      Pages: 38 - 50
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 156
      Author(s): Changyeun Mo, Giyoung Kim, Moon S. Kim, Jongguk Lim, Kangjin Lee, Wang-Hee Lee, Byoung-Kwan Cho
      In this study, an online quality measurement system for detecting foreign substances on fresh-cut lettuce was developed using hyperspectral reflectance imaging. The online detection system with a single hyperspectral camera in the range of 400–1000 nm was able to detect contaminants on both surfaces of fresh-cut lettuce. Algorithms were developed for this system to detect contaminants such as slugs and worms. The optimal wavebands for discriminating between contaminants and sound lettuce as well as between contaminants and the conveyor belt were investigated using the one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) method. The subtraction imaging (SI) algorithm to classify slugs resulted in a classification accuracy of 97.5%, sensitivity of 98.0%, and specificity of 97.0%. The ratio imaging (RI) algorithm to discriminate worms achieved classification accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity rates of 99.5%, 100.0%, and 99.0%, respectively. The overall results suggest that the online quality measurement system using hyperspectral reflectance imaging can potentially be used to simultaneously discriminate foreign substances on fresh-cut lettuces.

      PubDate: 2017-02-16T12:49:22Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.01.005
      Issue No: Vol. 156 (2017)
  • Bag-of-Feature model for sweet and bitter almond classification
    • Authors: Abozar Nasirahmadi; Seyed-Hassan Miraei Ashtiani
      Pages: 51 - 60
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 156
      Author(s): Abozar Nasirahmadi, Seyed-Hassan Miraei Ashtiani
      The use of computer vision techniques in post-harvest processing of agricultural products has increased considerably in recent years due to their non-destructive and rapid monitoring abilities. Image processing, combined with pattern recognition, has been applied in fruit sorting and classification. In this study, a Bag-of-Feature (BoF) model is used for the classification of 20 sweet and bitter almond varieties. Harris, Harris–Laplace, Hessian, Hessian–Laplace and Maximally Stable Extremal Regions (MSER) keypoint detectors along with a Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) descriptor are used in the BoF model. The k-means clustering method is applied for building a codebook from keypoint descriptors. The performance of 3 classifiers, which were k-Nearest Neighbour (k-NN), linear and chi-square Support Vector Machine (L-SVM and Chi-SVM, respectively) were compared using classification results in the model. It was observed that the Chi-SVM classifier outperformed the k-NN and L-SVM classifiers. Using the BoF model, it was possible to detect and classify sweet and bitter varieties with high overall accuracy.

      PubDate: 2017-02-16T12:49:22Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.01.008
      Issue No: Vol. 156 (2017)
  • Automatic detection of curved and straight crop rows from images in maize
    • Authors: Iván D. García-Santillán; Martín Montalvo; José M. Guerrero; Gonzalo Pajares
      Pages: 61 - 79
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 156
      Author(s): Iván D. García-Santillán, Martín Montalvo, José M. Guerrero, Gonzalo Pajares
      A new method for detecting curved and straight crop rows in images captured in maize fields during the initial growth stages of crop and weed plants is proposed. The images were obtained under perspective projection with a camera installed on board and conveniently arranged at the front part of a tractor. The final goal is the identification of the crop rows with two purposes: a) precise autonomous guidance; b) site-specific treatments, including weed removal, where weeds are identified as plants outside the crop rows. Image quality is affected by uncontrolled lighting conditions in outdoor agricultural environments and gaps along the crop rows due to lack of germination or defects during planting. Also, different crop and weed plant heights and volumes appear at different growth stages affecting the crop row detection process. The proposed method was designed with the required robustness to cope with the above situations and consists of three linked phases: (i) image segmentation, (ii) identification of starting points for determining the beginning of the crop rows and (iii) crop rows detection. The main contribution of the method is the ability to detect curved and straight crop rows having regular or irregular inter-row spacing, even when both row types coexist in the same field and image. The performance of the proposed approach was quantitatively compared against six existing strategies, achieving accuracies between 86.3% and 92.8%, depending on whether crop rows were straight/curved with regular or irregular spacing, with processing times less than 0.64 s per image.

      PubDate: 2017-02-16T12:49:22Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.01.013
      Issue No: Vol. 156 (2017)
  • A new methodology for estimating the grapevine-berry number per cluster
           using image analysis
    • Authors: Arturo Aquino; Maria P. Diago; Borja Millán; Javier Tardáguila
      Pages: 80 - 95
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 156
      Author(s): Arturo Aquino, Maria P. Diago, Borja Millán, Javier Tardáguila
      A new image analysis algorithm based on mathematical morphology and pixel classification for grapevine berry counting is presented in this paper. First, a set of berry candidates represented by connected components was extracted. Then, six descriptors were calculated using key features of these components, and were employed for false positive (FP) discrimination using a supervised approach. More specifically, the set of descriptors modelled the grapes' distinctive shape, light reflection pattern and colour. Two classifiers were tested, a three-layer neural network and an optimised support vector machine. A dataset of 152 images was acquired with a low-cost smart phone camera. Images came from seven grapevine varieties, 18 per variety, at the two phenological stages in the Baggiolini scale between berry set (named stage K; 94 images) and cluster-closure (named stage L; 32 images). 126 of these images were kept for external validation and the remaining 26 were used for training (12 at stage L and 14 at K). From these training images, 5438 true/false positive samples were generated and labelled in terms of the six descriptors. The neural network performed better than the support vector machine, yielding consistent Recall and Precision average values of 0.9572 and 0.8705, respectively. The presented algorithm, implemented as a smartphone application, can constitute a useful diagnosis tool for the in-the-field and non-destructive yield prediction and berry set assessing for the grape and wine industry.

      PubDate: 2017-02-16T12:49:22Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.12.011
      Issue No: Vol. 156 (2017)
  • Developing and evaluating a finite element model for predicting the
           two-posts rollover protective structure nonlinear behaviour using SAE
           J2194 static test
    • Authors: Farzaneh Khorsandi; Paul D. Ayers; Timothy J. Truster
      Pages: 96 - 107
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 156
      Author(s): Farzaneh Khorsandi, Paul D. Ayers, Timothy J. Truster
      This research focuses on applying Non-linear Finite Element (FE) techniques to predict ROPS force-deflection curves under the simulated standardised static tests. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J2194 ROPS static standard test was selected for this study. According to the SAE J2194 standard, ROPS must be capable of absorbing predefined levels of energy under longitudinal (rear) and transverse (side) load tests before collapsing as well as avoiding large deformations that infringe upon the driver's clearance zone or leave the clearance zone unprotected. A nonlinear finite element approach was used to predict the response of two rear-mount two-post ROPS under simulated side and rear test conditions for Allis Chalmers 5040 and Long 460 tractors. The ROPS were designed with the Computer-based ROPS Design Program using a bolted corner bracket assembly to simplify the ROPS design process. The recommended FE model (ASTM, C3D10M, 0.01) was found to predict the ROPS performance deflection (RPD) with average error less than 10% compared to experimental test measurements. The FE model predicted the ROPS behaviour under rear loads more accurately than under side loads. The developed FE model based on measured stress–strain curves from test specimens was found to predict the ROPS behaviour more accurately than the FE models developed based on the Ramberg–Osgood material model.

      PubDate: 2017-02-16T12:49:22Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.01.010
      Issue No: Vol. 156 (2017)
  • Combined hot-air and microwave-vacuum drying for improving drying
           uniformity of mango slices based on hyperspectral imaging visualisation of
           moisture content distribution
    • Authors: Yuan-Yuan Pu; Da-Wen Sun
      Pages: 108 - 119
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 156
      Author(s): Yuan-Yuan Pu, Da-Wen Sun
      Drying uniformity is one of the most important indicators in evaluating a drying technique as well as the final quality of dried products. In the current study, three drying approaches (hot-air drying (HAD), microwave-vacuum drying (MVD), and the combined method (HAD + MVD)) were applied to dehydrate mango slices. During the HAD + MVD process, the time required for hot-air drying was determined in terms of colour variations during hot-air drying. With the help of hyperspectral imaging in conjunction with multivariate data analysis and image processing, the moisture content distribution on mango slices subjected to different drying methods was visualised. Results showed a non-uniform drying property for mango slices dried by HAD or MVD individually, where HAD-dried samples had a higher moisture content in the centre but MVD-dried samples showed the opposite result. Drying uniformity was improved when HAD and MVD were combined, which produced dried products with an even moisture distribution. Mango slice samples dried by HAD + MVD showed a porous structure and a high percentage of colour retention. The current study led to the development of an effective combined HAD + MVD technique for enhancing drying uniformity for the industry.

      PubDate: 2017-02-23T13:07:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.01.006
      Issue No: Vol. 156 (2017)
  • Appropriateness of on-combine moisture measurement for the management of
           harvesting and postharvest operations and capacity planning in grain
    • Authors: Hilke Risius; Annette Prochnow; Christian Ammon; Jochen Mellmann; Thomas Hoffmann
      Pages: 120 - 135
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 156
      Author(s): Hilke Risius, Annette Prochnow, Christian Ammon, Jochen Mellmann, Thomas Hoffmann
      Grain moisture content is an important factor for the management of harvesting and postharvest operations and for capacity planning in grain harvest, storage and preservation, and a basis for pricing in grain trade. The advantage of rapid and non-destructive on-combine moisture content determination is set against the disadvantage of lower measurement accuracy. The objectives of this study are to determine the agreement of on-combine grain moisture measurement with laboratory measurement methods, and to assess the suitability of on-combine grain moisture measurement. The appropriateness of on-combine measurement of grain moisture content for the management of harvesting and postharvest operations and capacity planning by maintaining a defined acceptable level of disagreement was also investigated. On-combine moisture measurement (OMC) was compared with two dry-oven methods and two capacitive moisture sensors used in laboratories, in each case for unground and ground grain. Field trials with on-combine moisture measurements and manual sampling were carried out on two farms in Germany in 2014. A total area of 514 ha with 201 manual samples was used for the investigations. The assessment of on-combine moisture measurement indicated that the on-combine approach is suitable for quantifying the variability of grain moisture content. The deviation between indirect laboratory methods and on-combine moisture meters was sufficient to determine the allowable total error that agreed with the defined relative error of two percentage points moisture content. In combination with fuzzy classification of grain moisture measurements, the on-combine moisture meters are suitable for process control and capacity planning for grain harvest and preservation.

      PubDate: 2017-02-16T12:49:22Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.01.012
      Issue No: Vol. 156 (2017)
  • Influence of the speed on soil-pressure over a plough
    • Authors: Michele Mattetti; Massimiliano Varani; Giovanni Molari; Fabrizio Morelli
      Pages: 136 - 147
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 156
      Author(s): Michele Mattetti, Massimiliano Varani, Giovanni Molari, Fabrizio Morelli
      During ploughing work wear is generated by the interaction between tillage tool and soil. Wear rate on tillage tools is mostly affected by soil-tool pressure distribution and it compromises plough functionality during its life cycle. In this paper, a methodology to measure and analyse pressure signals on a plough has been developed and the influence of the speed was investigated. Field tests were carried out with a four-furrow plough and the pressure on 10 different points was measured with tactile sensors. The plough was tested on a silty-clay-loam soil at three different speeds. The analysis of the results shows that pressure signals are close to zero for a range from 14 up to 92% of the travelled distance and short spikes frequently occur. This behaviour can be explained by the granular structure of soil that determines a non-constant contact between the soil and tool in some points. Spike patterns are markedly affected by the speed especially in terms of the number of spikes and their distribution. Moreover, the mean pressure quadratically varies with the speed in mouldboard (MBL) and ploughshare (PS) while on wear plate (WP) no influence was found because this part is parallel to the ploughing direction. The methodology and the results introduced in this paper will be useful for the validation of mathematical models to simulate the ploughing process but also, to improve the comprehension of the soil cutting process.

      PubDate: 2017-02-23T13:07:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.01.009
      Issue No: Vol. 156 (2017)
  • Leaf thickness to predict plant water status
    • Authors: Amin Afzal; Sjoerd W. Duiker; John E. Watson
      Pages: 148 - 156
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 156
      Author(s): Amin Afzal, Sjoerd W. Duiker, John E. Watson
      Plant-based techniques to measure crop water status offer advantages over soil-based methods. The objective of this study was to quantify the relationship between leaf thickness measurements, as a promising plant-based technique, with leaf relative water content (RWC) and assess the model across different species and leaf positions. The relationship between RWC and relative thickness (RT) was determined on corn (Zea mays L.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench), soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.), and fava bean (Vicia faba L.). RWC was calculated as measured leaf water content/leaf water content at full turgor, and RT as measured leaf thickness/leaf thickness at full turgor. Two leaves from the top, middle, and bottom of five plants of each species were collected at 60 days of age. Leaf samples brought to full turgor were left to dehydrate in a lab. Leaf thickness was measured using a magnetic field sensor and water content using weight loss. The RWC-RT relationship showed a distinct breakpoint, which we hypothesise coincides with the turgor loss point. Linear piecewise modelling was used to regress RWC versus RT, resulted in models explaining 86–97% of the variations. The precision was improved by including leaf position on the plant in the model. The piecewise model parameters were related to salt tolerance of the species, which is also an indicator of drought resistance. Generally, the species with greater drought and salinity tolerance had a larger RT at the breakpoint.

      PubDate: 2017-02-23T13:07:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.01.011
      Issue No: Vol. 156 (2017)
  • Comparing predictive ability of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy to
           visible near-infrared spectroscopy for soil property determination
    • Authors: Maria Knadel; René Gislum; Cecilie Hermansen; Yi Peng; Per Moldrup; Lis W. de Jonge; Mogens H. Greve
      Pages: 157 - 172
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 156
      Author(s): Maria Knadel, René Gislum, Cecilie Hermansen, Yi Peng, Per Moldrup, Lis W. de Jonge, Mogens H. Greve
      Soil organic carbon (SOC) and particle size fractions have a practical value for agronomy and the environment. Thus, alternative techniques to replace the expensive conventional analyses of soil are needed. Visible near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (vis–NIRS) has already shown potential for becoming an alternative method for soil analysis since it is faster and cheaper than conventional methods. Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is another cost-effective technique with potential for rapid analysis of elements present in the soil. In this study, the feasibility of using LIBS to determine SOC, clay, silt and sand contents of Danish agricultural soils was tested and compared with the vis–NIRS method. First, country-scale Partial Least Squares (PLS) regression models on soils collected across Denmark (N = 78) were built and validated using independent field samples (N = 54). Secondly, the country-scale calibration data set was spiked with 14 representative samples from the fields and validated with the 54 field samples. Generated country-scale LIBS models exhibited similar and not significantly different (p > 0.05) results to vis–NIRS for all soil properties except a significantly higher (p = 0.0305) predictive ability for sand. Spiking improved the accuracy of most of the LIBS and vis–NIRS models, indicating the importance of similarities between the calibration and the validation data sets. No significant differences (p > 0.05) were found between the LIBS and vis–NIRS spiked country-scale models. Lower prediction errors for most properties were obtained using LIBS, rendering it an equally good or even a more accurate technique for soil properties determination than the well-established vis–NIRS method.

      PubDate: 2017-02-23T13:07:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.01.007
      Issue No: Vol. 156 (2017)
  • Dynamic performance of an evaporative cooling pad investigated in a wind
           tunnel for application in hot and arid climate
    • Authors: Li Rong; Poul Pedersen; Thomas Ladegaard Jensen; Svend Morsing; Guoqiang Zhang
      Pages: 173 - 182
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 156
      Author(s): Li Rong, Poul Pedersen, Thomas Ladegaard Jensen, Svend Morsing, Guoqiang Zhang
      Evaporative cooling pad are widely used in poultry production houses in hot and arid climate to provide an appropriate indoor thermal conditions for animals. Currently, the main challenge of this system is to maintain the indoor thermal conditions stable so that the productivity is ensured. This study used wind tunnel measurements to investigate the dynamic performance of evaporative cooling pad under different control strategies including altering water supply duration which was defined as pump-on time (ranging from 3 s to 120 s) and control time cycle (3, 4 and 5 min), which was defined as the sum of pump-on and pump-off time in a cycle. A cross-fluted design of impregnated cellulose pad with dimensions of 1.8 m × 0.6 m × 0.15 m (height × length × thickness) was used and constant water flowrate of 7.5 l min−1 is applied. The results indicated that periodic pattern of temperature and cooling efficiency was observed due to the setting of pump-on time. Larger variation in air temperature difference between inlet and outlet of evaporative cooling pad occurred when the control time cycle was longer and face air speed was bigger. Supplying water to the pad caused higher resistance to the air travelling through the pad. A relationship was presented between cooling efficiency and a ratio defined by pump-on time, water flow rate, control time cycle and air flow rate. The ratio of water to air can be implemented by the controller.

      PubDate: 2017-03-01T18:29:45Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.02.003
      Issue No: Vol. 156 (2017)
  • Analysis of the incipient motion of spherical particles in an open channel
           bed, using a coupled computational fluid dynamics–discrete element
           method model
    • Authors: A. Bravo-Blanco; A. Sánchez-Medina; F. Ayuga
      Pages: 68 - 76
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 155
      Author(s): A. Bravo-Blanco, A. Sánchez-Medina, F. Ayuga
      The measurement of liquid-induced erosion using CFD–DEM (computational fluid dynamics–discrete element method) models has been studied in detail, particularly in rough pipes. Some studies have provided measurements of the erosion rate in open liquid–solid systems, but there is less information on the incipient motion of individual particles since it is difficult to design test beds that can provide reliable results. This work compares the fluid flow velocity required to initiate incipient motion of a particle predicted by a coupled CFD–DEM model with measurements obtained during an experiment in an open channel under laboratory conditions. The experiment was designed to obtain a continuous flow with a slow and gradual increase in water velocity. The bed was made using two rows of spheres fixed in staggered positions, and a test sphere resting on top of the three neighbouring fixed spheres (i.e. nestling in the space between the surfaces of the fixed spheres). A 50 mm-high spillway gate was located downstream of the test sphere in order to obtain deeper water upstream, and provide more easily monitored and controllable water flows. The critical flow velocity required to initiate incipient motion in the five test spheres of different dimensions was measured by acoustic Doppler velocimetry. The difference in the results provided by the two methods was <5% (i.e. no significant difference). The coupled CFD–DEM model could therefore predict this variable and could be useful for investigating incipient erosion under other conditions.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-01-06T05:49:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.12.003
      Issue No: Vol. 155 (2017)
  • Rethinking environment control strategy of confined animal housing systems
           through precision livestock farming
    • Authors: Sébastien Fournel; Alain N. Rousseau; Benoit Laberge
      Pages: 96 - 123
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 155
      Author(s): Sébastien Fournel, Alain N. Rousseau, Benoit Laberge
      Climate represents one of the main limiting factors of production efficiency. Thermal stress events can cause reduced performance, morbidity, and mortality, resulting in significant economic losses and animal welfare concerns. Environment control in confined animal housing systems is typically based on heat and moisture production rates at predetermined ambient temperature levels measured between 1950 and 1980. This traditional control method can fall short in meeting the true thermal needs of the animals since it does not account for factors now acknowledged as affecting the animal's productive responses to surrounding conditions, such as humidity, drafts, radiation, physiological state, and social interactions. Also, advancements in animal genetics, nutrition, and management practices have led to considerable changes in sensible and latent heat loads of modern livestock buildings. In this context, precision livestock farming technologies (sensors, detectors, cameras, microphones, etc.), enabling the automatic monitoring of environmental, physiological, and behavioural variables, can be used to continuously assess livestock performance and well-being in relation to their environment. An innovative strategy for environment control of livestock buildings could include the analysis of: (i) heat and moisture production rates using the most recent bioenergetic models; (ii) thermal stress through multi-factor animal comfort indices based on some environmental and physiological measurements; and (iii) animal behaviour as a response to changing environmental conditions. This paper presents a critical review of the state of the art of precision environment control of livestock buildings, identifying knowledge gaps, research opportunities, and technical challenges.

      PubDate: 2017-01-06T05:49:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.12.005
      Issue No: Vol. 155 (2017)
  • Discrete element simulations and experiments of soil disturbance as
           affected by the tine spacing of subsoiler
    • Authors: Chengguang Hang; Xijie Gao; Mengchan Yuan; Yuxiang Huang; Ruixiang Zhu
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 April 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering
      Author(s): Chengguang Hang, Xijie Gao, Mengchan Yuan, Yuxiang Huang, Ruixiang Zhu
      Tine spacing is a key parameter for the design of a subsoiler and has a significant effect on soil disturbance, which is a critical performance indicator of subsoiling. In this study, a subsoiling model was developed using the discrete element method (DEM). A subsoiling experiment was also conducted in a field with a loamy clay soil to serve the model development and model validations. In both the simulation and experiment, two V-shaped subsoiling tines were investigated at five different tine spacings (300, 350, 400, 450, and 500 mm), a constant working speed (0.83 m s−1) and a constant working depth (300 mm). The results showed that the 400 mm tine spacing resulted in the highest particle forces in the middle and deep soil layers. The height of the unloosened soil between two adjacent subsoilers increased as tine spacing increased. When the tine spacing was varied from 300 to 500 mm, the undisturbed soil height was changed from 100 to 226 mm in the experiment, and from 79 to 170 mm in the modelling. When the tine spacing was 400 mm, the number of soil particles disturbed in the shallow soil layer accounted for 45.6% of the total soil particles disturbed, which was the least among all the tine spacings. Considering the characteristics of soil disturbance, the tine spacing of 400 mm appeared to outperform the other spacings.

      PubDate: 2017-04-17T09:35:21Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.03.008
  • Characterising effects of management practices, snow cover, and soil
           texture on soil temperature: Model development in DNDC
    • Authors: Baishali Dutta; Brian B. Grant; Katelyn A. Congreves; Ward N. Smith; Claudia Wagner-Riddle; Andrew C. VanderZaag; Mario Tenuta; Raymond L. Desjardins
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 March 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering
      Author(s): Baishali Dutta, Brian B. Grant, Katelyn A. Congreves, Ward N. Smith, Claudia Wagner-Riddle, Andrew C. VanderZaag, Mario Tenuta, Raymond L. Desjardins
      Agro-ecosystem models, such as the DNDC (DeNitrification and DeComposition) model are useful tools when assessing the sustainability of agricultural management. Accuracy in soil temperature estimations is important as it regulates many important soil biogeochemical processes that lead to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The objective of this study was to account for the effects of snow cover in terms of the measured snow depth (mm of water), soil texture and crop management in temperate latitudes in order to improve the surface soil temperature mechanism in DNDC and thereby improve GHG predictions. The estimation of soil temperature driven by the thermal conductivity and heat capacity of the soil was improved by considering the soil texture under frozen and unfrozen conditions along with the effects of crop canopy and snow depth. Calibration of the developed model mechanisms was conducted using data from Alfred, ON under two contrasting soil textures (sandy loam vs. clay). Independent validation assessments were conducted using soil temperatures at different depths for contrasting managements for two field sites located in Canada (Guelph, ON and Glenlea, MB). The validation results indicated high model accuracy (R2 > 0.90, EF ≥ 0.90, RMSE < 3.00 °C) in capturing the effects of management on soil temperature. These developments in soil heat transfer mechanism improved the performance of the model in estimating N2O emissions during spring thaw and provide a foundation for future studies aimed at improving simulations in DNDC for better representations of other biogeochemical processes.

      PubDate: 2017-03-12T22:54:46Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.02.001
  • Radio frequency irradiation treatment of dates in a single layer to
           control Carpophilus hemipterus
    • Authors: Francesco Garbati Pegna; Patrizia Sacchetti; Valentina Canuti; Serena Trapani; Carlo Bergesio; Antonio Belcari; Bruno Zanoni; Ferdinando Meggiolaro
      Pages: 1 - 11
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 155
      Author(s): Francesco Garbati Pegna, Patrizia Sacchetti, Valentina Canuti, Serena Trapani, Carlo Bergesio, Antonio Belcari, Bruno Zanoni, Ferdinando Meggiolaro
      Stored dates require postharvest disinfestation treatment to prevent damage caused by insects feeding on these fruits. Fruit disinfestation can be achieved with different methods, at present fumigation, heating and refrigeration being the most common pest control methods, though there are drawbacks related to product quality, process efficiency and environmental impact. The aim of this study was to define a procedure for disinfesting dates using Radio Frequency (RF) heating. RF treatments were carried out on dates of the semi-dry Siwi variety, artificially infested with the larvae, pupae and adults of the dried fruit beetle, Carpophilus hemipterus. A pilot-scale radio frequency instrument with 3.5 kW nominal maximum power and a frequency of 27.12 MHz was used to perform the experiments. The internal temperature of the dates was measured during irradiation. An insect mortality assessment was carried out both at the end of RF treatment and on the following days. The effects of a 4-, 5- and 6-min RF treatment on different stages of C. hemipterus were evaluated, finding that a 6-min exposure ensured mortality of the larvae, pupae and adults of the pest. No significant alterations in moisture content or colour of the treated dates were evident. RF treatment appeared to be a viable technique for the disinfestation of dates, due to the short treatment time together with the possibility of continuous processing.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2016-12-26T15:33:15Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.11.011
      Issue No: Vol. 155 (2016)
  • Development of an effective sampling strategy for ammonia, temperature and
           relative humidity measurement during sheep transport by ship
    • Authors: Yu Zhang; Allan T. Lisle; Clive J.C. Phillips
      Pages: 12 - 23
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 155
      Author(s): Yu Zhang, Allan T. Lisle, Clive J.C. Phillips
      Ammonia, high temperature and high humidity have adverse effects on animals during long distance livestock export from Australia to the Middle East, but none of these is effectively measured currently. On the basis of data maps obtained on two voyages of live sheep export, this study determined sampling strategies for ammonia, temperature and humidity measurement on the vessel. The difference between predicted high and low ammonia sites on the shipment could be detected with approximately 5 measurement sites of each. Margins of error were determined, which suggested that dry bulb temperature could be measured with 6–8 measurement sites, but even 20 measurement sites were not sufficient to measure relative humidity. For the vessel recorded, considerably more ammonia measurement sites are required on closed decks than on open decks, with less variation for temperature measurement. The number of pens measured contributed more to the variance of ammonia and temperature measurement than the number of sampling locations within each pen on open decks. This study highlights the importance of a suitable sampling strategy to measure ammonia, temperature and relative humidity on board ship during live export.

      PubDate: 2016-12-26T15:33:15Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.11.010
      Issue No: Vol. 155 (2016)
  • Deoxynivalenol screening in wheat kernels using hyperspectral imaging
    • Authors: Jayme Garcia Arnal Barbedo; Casiane Salete Tibola; Maria Imaculada Pontes Lima
      Pages: 24 - 32
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 155
      Author(s): Jayme Garcia Arnal Barbedo, Casiane Salete Tibola, Maria Imaculada Pontes Lima
      The use of hyperspectral imaging (HSI) for deoxynivalenol (DON) screening in wheat kernels is investigated. Experiments were carried out using a new algorithm designed to be simple to implement and computationally light, being largely based on the manipulation of a few selected spectral bands. Initial experimental results revealed that direct estimation of DON content using hyperspectral images is currently unfeasible, but they also indicated that an indirect analysis exploring the correlation between Fusarium damage and DON content may be accurate enough to improve the process of DON screening in the production chain. This motivated the adoption of a classification approach, in which an algorithm, instead of estimating a value for the DON content, classifies wheat kernel batches into two or three categories, depending on the application. The developed algorithm achieved accuracies of 72% and 81% for the three- and two-class classification schemes, respectively. The results, although not accurate enough to provide conclusive screening, indicated that the algorithm could be used for initial screening to detect wheat batches that warrant further analysis regarding their DON content.

      PubDate: 2016-12-26T15:33:15Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.12.004
      Issue No: Vol. 155 (2016)
  • One-pass drying of rough rice with an industrial 915 MHz microwave dryer:
           Quality and energy use consideration
    • Authors: Gbenga A. Olatunde; Griffiths G. Atungulu; Deandrae L. Smith
      Pages: 33 - 43
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 155
      Author(s): Gbenga A. Olatunde, Griffiths G. Atungulu, Deandrae L. Smith
      Microwave (MW) at 915 MHz has potential to achieve one pass rough rice drying. However, optimising processing parameters to maintain the rice quality is crucial. Effects of MW treatment on rice moisture removal, milled rice characteristics, and energy requirements for continuous one pass drying operation were quantified. Freshly harvested rough rice with initial moisture content of 25% wet basis was dried in a pilot-scale 915 MHz microwave dryer. The dryer was set to transmit MW power ranging between 3 and 24 kW during 8 min of drying. During treatments, rough rice was conveyed at bed thicknesses, 0.01, 0.03, and 0.05 m; supplied specific energy was maintained at 450, 600 and 750 kJ kg−1 of rough rice. Moisture removed varied between 6% and 15% points, depending on rice bed thickness (0.01–0.05 m) and applied specific energy (450–750 kJ kg−1). Increasing rice bed thickness and specific energy reduced milling and head rice yields, increased final viscosity of milled rice, but marginally affected rice peak viscosity and surface lipid and protein contents (p < 0.05). To achieve the desired percentage point moisture content reduction (∼12% points) at specific energy of 600 kJ kg−1 and 750 kJ kg−1 of rough rice, 4574 kJ and 5986 kJ were required per kg of water removed, respectively; this translated to 13 and 16 USD per metric ton of dried rice, respectively. The study demonstrated feasibility of one pass MW drying of rough rice; 450–600 kJ kg−1 of rough rice was recommended to preserve rice quality and achieved better energy use efficiency.

      PubDate: 2016-12-26T15:33:15Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.12.001
      Issue No: Vol. 155 (2016)
  • Discrete element modelling of tillage forces and soil movement of a
           one-third scale mouldboard plough
    • Authors: Mustafa Ucgul; Chris Saunders; John M. Fielke
      Pages: 44 - 54
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 155
      Author(s): Mustafa Ucgul, Chris Saunders, John M. Fielke
      In Australia there is renewed interest in mouldboard ploughing to improve crop yields of non-wetting sandy soils. Burying the top layer of non-wetting soil and bringing to the surface soil that has better water holding capacity is beneficial for plant growth. To improve the effectiveness of the ploughing it is essential to: (1) optimise the tillage forces and (2) understand the soil inversion and burial process. Recent studies show that Discrete Element Modelling (DEM) has the potential to predict both tillage forces and soil movement of tillage implements. In this study a one-third scale mouldboard plough was constructed and tested in a soil bin where draught force, vertical force and soil movement were measured. A comparison of the measured and simulated draught and downward vertical forces showed a close agreement. A procedure was developed to compare soil movement, percentage burial of top soil and forward soil movement of the soil bin tests and the DEM simulations. The results showed similar trends and patterns for both the percentage of the top soil buried to various tillage depths and the forward soil movement. Due to the larger than actual spherical particles used in the simulation the forward soil movement was greater for DEM. The DEM showed some particles moving below the tillage depth. This shows that further model development is needed with work recommended to look at using both clump particle shapes and smaller particle sizes to improve soil movement predictions.

      PubDate: 2016-12-26T15:33:15Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.12.002
      Issue No: Vol. 155 (2016)
  • Discrete element method simulation of the hulling process of Jatropha
           curcas L. fruits
    • Authors: Sebastian Romuli; Shkelqim Karaj; Joachim Müller
      Pages: 55 - 67
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 155
      Author(s): Sebastian Romuli, Shkelqim Karaj, Joachim Müller
      Hulling of Jatropha curcas fruits is an important step to isolate seeds from hulls. Physical characteristics of fruit such as length, width, thickness, geometric mean diameter, solid density, rupture force, deformation at rupture point, Poisson's ratio and shear modulus as well as interaction properties such as coefficient of restitution, static and rolling friction were measured. A prototype of a motor-driven huller was developed based on discrete element method (DEM) simulation by applying the Hertz–Mindlin contact model. Optimum upper and lower concave clearance were studied in terms of compressive force occurring in the system. Rotor torque and specific energy input ranged from 60 to 110 Nm and 0.013 to 0.021 kWh kg−1, respectively. The maximum throughput of fruits was 1152 kg h−1. The highest hulling efficiency of 98.8% was achieved at a throughput of 477 kg h−1. Grading of J. curcas fruits to achieve size homogeneity and the removal of stones and sand are suggested as further improvements in the hulling process.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2016-12-26T15:33:15Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.11.009
      Issue No: Vol. 155 (2016)
  • Frequency response of late-season ‘Valencia’ orange to
           selective harvesting by vibration for juice industry
    • Authors: S. Castro-Garcia; G.L. Blanco-Roldán; Louise Ferguson; E.J. González-Sánchez; J.A. Gil-Ribes
      Pages: 77 - 83
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 155
      Author(s): S. Castro-Garcia, G.L. Blanco-Roldán, Louise Ferguson, E.J. González-Sánchez, J.A. Gil-Ribes
      Citrus mechanical harvesting has been investigated since the 1960's. Even though mechanical harvesting could significantly lower production costs, the implementation by the private sector has been slow. The current harvesting technologies detach the fruits with trunk, canopy or branch vibration. For late-season sweet orange varieties which simultaneously bear mature fruit, immature fruitlets and flowers, shaker harvesting decreases the subsequent year's yield. This study, investigated the frequency response of mature fruits and immature fruitlets to determine the optimum frequency range for an efficient and selective harvest. Laboratory vibration transmission tests were conducted with 14 branches bearing 76 mature fruits and 151 immature ‘Valencia’ fruitlets. The fruit and branch response to the forced vibration was measured by several sets of five triaxial accelerometers with a dynamic signal analyser. Three frequency ranges with the highest vibration transmission values were identified for mechanical harvesting lower than 10 Hz. The first frequency range (1.5–2.5 Hz) corresponded best with the most efficient vibration transmission, involving more than 90% of fruit. The second frequency range (4.5–5 Hz) successfully discriminated between mature fruit and immature fruitlets. In this frequency range, 53.4% of mature fruit amplified the acceleration a mean value of 2.2 times, while only 7.3% of immature fruitlets amplified the acceleration with a mean value of 4.4 times. The third frequency range (7–8 Hz) had the lowest vibration transmission value. The frequency response of mature citrus fruits, and their markedly higher fruit mass, were significant factors in efficient selective mechanical harvesting.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2016-12-26T15:33:15Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.11.012
      Issue No: Vol. 155 (2016)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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