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  Subjects -> AGRICULTURE (Total: 780 journals)
    - AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS (80 journals)
    - AGRICULTURE (533 journals)
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    - 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 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: 12)
Advances in Agronomy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Advances in Life Science and Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 14)
AFBM Journal     Open Access  
Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
African Journal of Agricultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
African Journal of Food Science     Open Access   (Followers: 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: 6)
Agricultura     Open Access  
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: 44)
Agricultural History Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Agricultural Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Agricultural Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agricultural Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Agricultural Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Agricultural Sciences in China     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Agricultural Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29)
Agricultural Water Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 35)
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: 27)
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: 7)
Arboricultural Journal : The International Journal of Urban Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Archivos de Zootecnia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
ARO. The Scientific Journal of Koya University     Open Access  
Arquivos do Instituto Biológico     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Arthropod-Plant Interactions     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Asian Economic Papers     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 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: 16)
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: 3)
Australian Journal of Agricultural Engineering     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Australian Sugarcane     Full-text available via subscription  
Avances en Investigacion Agropecuaria     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics     Full-text available via subscription  
Bangladesh Agronomy Journal     Open Access   (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: 16)
Cultural Sociology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30)
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     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: 131)
Economic Affairs     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Economic and Industrial Democracy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Economic Bulletin     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Economic Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 46)
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: 61)
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  [3041 journals]
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Optimising configuration of a hyperspectral imager for on-line field
           measurement of wheat canopy
    • Authors: Rebecca L. Whetton; Toby W. Waine; Abdul M. Mouazen
      Pages: 84 - 95
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 155
      Author(s): Rebecca L. Whetton, Toby W. Waine, Abdul M. Mouazen
      There is a lack of information on optimal measurement configuration of hyperspectral imagers for on-line measurement of a wheat canopy. This paper aims at identifying this configuration using a passive sensor (400–750 nm). The individual and interaction effects of camera height and angle, sensor integration time and light source distance and height on the spectra's signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) were evaluated under laboratory scanning conditions, from which an optimal configuration was defined and tested under on-line field measurement conditions. The influences of soil total nitrogen (TN) and moisture content (MC) measured with an on-line visible and near infrared (vis-NIR) spectroscopy sensor on SNR were also studied. Analysis of variance and principal component analysis (PCA) were applied to understand the effects of the laboratory considered factors and to identify the most influencing components on SNR. Results showed that integration time and camera height and angle are highly influential factors affecting SNR. Among integration times of 10, 20 and 50 ms, the highest SNR was obtained with 1.2 m, 1.2 m and 10° values of light height, light distance and camera angle, respectively. The optimum integration time for on-line field measurement was 50 ms, obtained at an optimal camera height of 0.3 m. On-line measured soil TN and MC were found to have significant effects on the SNR with Kappa values of 0.56 and 0.75, respectively. In conclusion, an optimal configuration for a tractor mounted hyperspectral imager was established for the best quality of on-line spectra collected for wheat canopy.

      PubDate: 2017-01-06T05:49:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.12.006
      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)
  • Vis/NIR spectroscopy and chemometrics for non-destructive estimation of
           water and chlorophyll status in sunflower leaves
    • Authors: Antonio José Steidle Neto; Daniela C. Lopes; Francisco A.C. Pinto; Sérgio Zolnier
      Pages: 124 - 133
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 155
      Author(s): Antonio José Steidle Neto, Daniela C. Lopes, Francisco A.C. Pinto, Sérgio Zolnier
      Vegetation biochemical and biophysical variables are important for many ecological, agronomic, and meteorological applications. Among the main variables, water and chlorophyll are essentials due to directly affect the plant photosynthetic capacity and crop productivity. The objective of this study was develop and validate models capable of estimating water and chlorophyll status in sunflower leaves under progressive water stress, based on the visible/near-infrared region (Vis/NIR) spectral reflectance and chemometric technique. The water and chlorophyll models were adjusted considering the spectral reflectance from the 500–1039 nm wavelengths by using partial least squares regressions (PLSR). In the external validation, high determination coefficient (0.8386 and 0.8097) and low mean bias error (−0.40 dry basis and 0.09 mg g−1) values for water and chlorophyll, respectively, indicating that their predictive capabilities and accuracies of the models were satisfactory. Results showed that spectrometry has potential to be applied as an alternative method in quantifying water and chlorophyll status in sunflower leaves in a non-destructive, quick, and consistent way.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-01-13T06:00:01Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.12.008
      Issue No: Vol. 155 (2017)
  • Automatic herding reduces labour and increases milking frequency in
           robotic milking
    • Authors: Uri Drach; Ilan Halachmi; Tal Pnini; Ido Izhaki; Amir Degani
      Pages: 134 - 141
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 155
      Author(s): Uri Drach, Ilan Halachmi, Tal Pnini, Ido Izhaki, Amir Degani
      The motivation of cows to be milked is a key factor in the utilisation of milking robots. If a cow does not voluntarily attend a robot stall, fetching, that requires expensive labour, is required. This research suggests a new concept, herding all the cows to the milking robot using an automatic herding system (AHS). An AHS was built as a system of slow moving mobile fences controlled by an industrial controller. The AHS herds all the cows to the milking robot. The AHS was used in a commercial farm with two milking robots, and the experiment was conducted for three months. The dairy herd was divided into a reference group (43 cows) and an experimental group (38 cows). The AHS was used only with the experiment group. Milking frequency increased in the experimental group by 45.5% (1.89 milkings d−1 vs. 2.75 milkings d−1), while there was no major change in the milking frequency in the reference group 0.4% (2.38 milkings d−1 vs. 2.39 milkings d−1). Milk yield increased in the experiment group 15.7% (35.65 kg d−1 vs. 41.25 kg d−1). There was also no major change in the milk yield in reference group 4% (31 kg d−1 vs. 29.76 kg d−1). There was an 80% decrease in labour time for fetching the cows to the milking robot in the experimental group (5 h day−1 vs. 1 h day−1) while there was no change in labour for the reference group. The AHS was therefore associated with higher milking frequency, higher milk yield and labour reduction, hence economic benefits are expected for the system.

      PubDate: 2017-01-13T06:00:01Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.12.010
      Issue No: Vol. 155 (2017)
  • A pore-scale model for predicting resistance to airflow in bulk grain
    • Authors: Rong Yue; Qiang Zhang
      Pages: 142 - 151
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 155
      Author(s): Rong Yue, Qiang Zhang
      A pore-scale model was developed to predict airflow resistance through grain bulks. The model consisted of two components: simulation of pore structures and prediction of pressure drop through connected pores that formed airflow paths in the grain bulk. The discrete element method (DEM) was used to simulate the spatial arrangement (pore structure) of grain kernels in a grain bulk. The grain kernels were approximated as spherical particles in the DEM model. Based on the DEM simulations, a collection of tetrahedron units was constructed to represent local airflow paths (individual pores) and these local paths were then connected to form global airflow paths. A flow branching model was developed to predict pressure drop within each local flow path, and the total pressure drop through the grain bulk was then calculated as the sum of resistances of all local paths associated with the global path. An experiment was conducted to validate the proposed model. The results showed that the model predictions were in reasonable agreement with the experimental data. The predicted pressure drop was 12% higher than the experimental value at a low superficial air velocity of 0.013 m s−1 when the inertial effect was negligible, and 17% lower than the measured value at a high air velocity of 0.027 m s−1 when some inertial effect existed.

      PubDate: 2017-01-13T06:00:01Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.12.007
      Issue No: Vol. 155 (2017)
  • Microwave sensing of moisture in flowing biomass pellets
    • Authors: Murat S. McKeown; Samir Trabelsi; Stuart O. Nelson; Ernest W. Tollner
      Pages: 152 - 160
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 155
      Author(s): Murat S. McKeown, Samir Trabelsi, Stuart O. Nelson, Ernest W. Tollner
      Production of pelleted biomass for fuel is an emerging industry in the United States. Moisture content is a primary quality attribute of pelleted biomass materials because it is critical in binding, storage, combustion, and the pricing of pelleted biomass. To produce pellets of high quality, moisture content must be tightly controlled. A microwave system was designed for moisture sensing in flowing bulk material and used to determine feasibility of sensing moisture content in pelleted biomass from measurement of the dielectric properties at microwave frequencies. Samples of pelleted biomass derived from peanut hulls and pine sawdust were used for moisture content determination. Moisture contents of pine sawdust pellets ranged from 5.4%–9.9% (wet basis), and the range for peanut hull pellets was 8.9%–14.5%. At each moisture content, three different material flow rates were tested, and moisture content predictions were compared to those obtained with static measurement. Moisture content of flowing material was predicted by using a permittivity-based density-independent moisture calibration function. Root-mean-square deviations were computed for comparisons between reference moisture content, and predicted moisture contents for both static and flowing materials. Results showed that predicted moisture contents under static and flowing conditions were comparable.

      PubDate: 2017-01-27T17:11:55Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.12.009
      Issue No: Vol. 155 (2017)
  • Engineering approaches for reducing spray drift
    • Authors: Enrique Moltó; Patricia Chueca; Enrique Moltó; Patricia Chueca; Cruz Garcerá; Paolo Balsari; Emilio Gil; Jan C. van de Zande
      Pages: 1 - 2
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 154
      Author(s): Enrique Moltó, Patricia Chueca, Enrique Moltó, Patricia Chueca, Cruz Garcerá, Paolo Balsari, Emilio Gil, Jan C. van de Zande

      PubDate: 2017-02-10T12:37:40Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2017.01.002
      Issue No: Vol. 154 (2017)
  • Spray drift assessment of different application techniques using a drift
           test bench and comparison with other assessment methods
    • Authors: David Nuyttens; Ingrid K.A. Zwertvaegher; Donald Dekeyser
      Pages: 14 - 24
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 154
      Author(s): David Nuyttens, Ingrid K.A. Zwertvaegher, Donald Dekeyser
      As an alternative method to simplify the measurement of spray drift, the University of Turin (Department of Agricultural, Forestry and Environmental Economics and Engineering (DEIAFA)) developed a drift test bench to assess the spray drift risk generated by field crop sprayers. The method is based on the principle that the potential spray drift is directly related to the amount of initial spray that remains suspended in the air after the sprayer has passed. In this study the drift potential of 16 spray boom application techniques was assessed using the drift test bench under indoor conditions using a fully automated spray track and mineral chelate tracers. By comparison with the results from a reference spraying, the resulting drift reduction potentials were compared with the results from three other drift assessment methods (field, wind tunnel, Phase Doppler particle analyser (PDPA) laser measurements). The drift test bench trials confirmed the already known effects of nozzle type, spray pressure and boom height on drift potential but not of nozzle size and application speed. In general, the drift test bench showed similar trends as the other drift assessment methods, although large variations were present and some contradictory results were observed. The test bench is therefore considered a possible alternative for measuring potential spray drift of horizontal boom sprayers, albeit future studies should focus on reducing the sources of variation and evaluating if the methodology is able to test the effects of sprayer speed.

      PubDate: 2017-02-10T12:37:40Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.013
      Issue No: Vol. 154 (2017)
  • Wind tunnel measurements and model predictions for estimating spray drift
           reduction under field conditions
    • Authors: M.C. Butler Ellis; R. Alanis; A.G. Lane; C.R. Tuck; D. Nuyttens; J.C. van de Zande
      Pages: 25 - 34
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 154
      Author(s): M.C. Butler Ellis, R. Alanis, A.G. Lane, C.R. Tuck, D. Nuyttens, J.C. van de Zande
      A UK scheme to enable the protection of surface water from spray drift allows farmers to reduce the size of a buffer zone according to the drift-reducing capability of the sprayer. Recent changes to UK regulations have allowed buffer zones greater than 6 m to be included, providing that 75% drift reduction conditions are used. However, there is an implicit assumption that the level of drift reduction is independent of distance downwind, so that measurements relating to a 6 m buffer zone can be applied to 20 m. An investigation of the relationship between wind tunnel and field data was carried out with the purpose of establishing if drift reduction measured between 2 and 7 m in the Silsoe wind tunnel can be extrapolated to 20 m in the field. A computer-based spray drift model was used to explore some of the factors influencing downwind spray drift to support this extrapolation. It was concluded that spray drift reduction is dependent on distance downwind, but that wind tunnel measurements can be used to estimate this at least up to 20 m downwind. Improvements to the wind tunnel protocol were identified, which will need to take account of how the data will be used in the regulatory process before implementing. Further discussions are needed to harmonise methods for determining spray drift reduction across EU member states, but this approach of mapping the wind tunnel data onto field data is one that should be possible with other methods.

      PubDate: 2017-02-10T12:37:40Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.013
      Issue No: Vol. 154 (2017)
  • An empirical model based on phenological growth stage for predicting
           pesticide spray drift in pome fruit orchards
    • Authors: Henk J. Holterman; Jan C. van de Zande; Jan F.M. Huijsmans; Marcel Wenneker
      Pages: 46 - 61
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 154
      Author(s): Henk J. Holterman, Jan C. van de Zande, Jan F.M. Huijsmans, Marcel Wenneker
      An innovative spray drift model is developed to describe downwind deposits of pesticides applied in an orchard of pome fruit trees (apple, pear). The empirical model is based on 20 years of experimental data of downwind deposits of spray drift for conventional cross-flow spray applications. The model reveals the major factors affecting downwind deposits: wind speed, wind direction, air temperature and density of the tree canopy. Modelling the canopy density of the trees as a continuous function of time is an innovative approach. Canopy density is uniquely related to growth stage through the phenological BBCH index. Observed effects of the mentioned factors on deposits are discussed. Model results and measured deposits show a correlation coefficient of 87%, while covering a range of almost three orders of magnitude. The model forms the basis for risk assessment for exposure of aquatic organisms concerning all edge-of-field water bodies in the Netherlands. Implementation of drift mitigation techniques is straightforward when appropriate experimental data on reductions of downwind spray deposits is available.

      PubDate: 2017-02-10T12:37:40Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.016
      Issue No: Vol. 154 (2017)
  • Eulerian–Lagrangian model of the behaviour of droplets produced by an
           air-assisted sprayer in a citrus orchard
    • Authors: Ramón Salcedo; Ariane Vallet; Rafael Granell; Cruz Garcerá; Enrique Moltó; Patricia Chueca
      Pages: 76 - 91
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 154
      Author(s): Ramón Salcedo, Ariane Vallet, Rafael Granell, Cruz Garcerá, Enrique Moltó, Patricia Chueca
      During pesticide applications to citrus trees using air-assisted (airblast) sprayers, only a proportion of the volume emitted reaches the vegetation and the rest is lost through drift, evaporation, etc. These losses can be hazardous for the environment. Knowing the characteristics of droplets within the turbulent currents around the canopy could improve the application efficiency. In a previous study, a 2D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model to simulate the effect of a citrus canopy on the airflow from an air-assisted sprayer was developed and validated. It considered the first element of the tree canopy as a solid body instead of a porous one. The aim of the present study was to analyse the behaviour of the droplets for pesticide applications on citrus by means of an Eulerian–Lagrangian CFD model. It simulated both the air current from the sprayer fan and the wind and the behaviour of the droplets sprayed. Distance, height, velocity, Reynolds number, temperature, geometric and volumetric diameters at different times were obtained. With these parameters, new variables related to the kinetics and evaporation of droplets were calculated. Simulation results estimated that 44% of the total sprayed volume reached the target tree, 28% reached adjacent trees, 20% was deposited on the ground and 8% was lost as atmospheric drift. The results largely matched an experimental mass balance carried out under similar conditions. The proposed model appears to be an appropriate tool for simulating treatments with air-assisted sprayers operating in citrus orchards.

      PubDate: 2017-02-10T12:37:40Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.001
      Issue No: Vol. 154 (2017)
  • Probabilistic modelling for bystander and resident exposure to pesticides
           using the Browse software
    • Authors: Marc C. Kennedy; M Clare Butler Ellis
      Pages: 105 - 121
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 154
      Author(s): Marc C. Kennedy, M Clare Butler Ellis
      Risk assessments for pesticides and other plant protection products (PPPs) often use models to estimate the exposure of different population groups. These range from conservative, deterministic calculations to more complex simulation approaches. In a recent EU project (Browse) new models were developed including exposure scenarios for bystanders, residents, operators and workers. These were implemented alongside a software interface and included probability distributions to capture the variation of possible exposures within the modelled subpopulations. The software interface was designed to allow users to input either fixed (e.g. conservative) values, for various parameters, or to specify predefined probability distributions for those inputs. Some default choices are available based on internationally agreed defaults for risk assessments. The software can also be run using a batch mode and the outputs can be presented and exported in different ways to facilitate their use in subsequent studies. The probabilistic models for resident and bystander exposure are described. Orchard and arable cropping scenarios are included, for both long-term and short-term exposures. Mathematical details are presented alongside practical information for using the associated software interface for probabilistic analyses. Example outputs are shown and sources of simulation error are quantified.

      PubDate: 2017-02-10T12:37:40Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.012
      Issue No: Vol. 154 (2017)
  • The BROWSE model for predicting exposures of residents and bystanders to
           agricultural use of plant protection products: An overview
    • Authors: M. Clare Butler Ellis; Frederik van den Berg; Jan C. van de Zande; Marc C. Kennedy; Agathi N. Charistou; Niki S. Arapaki; Alistair H. Butler; Kyriaki A. Machera; Cor M. Jacobs
      Pages: 122 - 136
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 154
      Author(s): M. Clare Butler Ellis, Jan C. van de Zande, Frederik van den Berg, Marc C. Kennedy, Christine M. O'Sullivan, Cor M. Jacobs, Georgios Fragkoulis, Pieter Spanoghe, Rianda Gerritsen-Ebben, Lynn J. Frewer, Agathi Charistou
      New models have been developed, with the aim of improving the estimate of exposure of residents and bystanders to agricultural pesticides for regulatory purposes. These are part of a larger suite of models also covering operators and workers. The population that is modelled for residents and bystanders relates to people (both adults and children) who have no association with the application (i.e. not occupational exposure) but are adjacent to the treated area during and/or after the application process. The scenarios that the models aim to describe are based on consideration of both best practice and of real practice, as shown in surveys and from expert knowledge obtained in stakeholder consultations. The work has focused on three causes of exposure identified as having potential for improvement: boom sprayers, orchard sprayers and vapour emissions. An overview of the models is given, and a description of model input values and proposed defaults. The main causes of uncertainty in the models are also discussed. There are a number of benefits of the BROWSE model over current models of bystander and resident exposure, which includes the incorporation of mitigation measures for reducing exposure and the use of probabilistic modelling to avoid an over-conservative approach. It is expected that the levels of exposure that the BROWSE model predicts will, in some cases, be higher than those predicted by the current UK regulatory model. This is largely because the modelled scenarios have been updated to account for current practice and current scientific knowledge.

      PubDate: 2017-02-10T12:37:40Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.002
      Issue No: Vol. 154 (2017)
  • 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)
  • Assessment of spray drift from pesticide applications in soybean crops
    • Authors: Mariana R. Bueno; João Paulo A. R. da Cunha; Denise G. de Santana
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering
      Author(s): Mariana R. Bueno, João Paulo A. R. da Cunha, Denise G. de Santana
      Determining the downwind behaviour of sprays generated by different equipment is fundamental in managing pesticide applications. The objective of this study was to establish spray drift curves for soybean crops (Glycine max) in Brazilian meteorological conditions using different spray nozzles and to compare them with the model coefficients generated in European conditions. The study was conducted in Uberlândia, MG, Brazil, in a completely randomised block design with a split plot arrangement (4 × 20), with 10 replications. The study measured ground spray drift deposits by applications with a spray volume of 150 l ha−1 and four nozzle types: flat-fan standard and venturi – XR (fine spray) and AIXR (coarse spray); wide angle standard flat-fan and venturi – TT (medium spray) and TTI (very coarse spray), at 20 different sampling distances downwind, parallel to the crop line outside the target area, spaced 2.5 m apart. The deposits on filter paper placed on the soil were evaluated using a fluorescent tracer added to the tank of a boom sprayer and quantified by fluorimetry. Three drift prediction models were obtained for the soybean crop, considering the 90th percentile, for the nozzles XR, TT and AIXR, with exponential tendencies for four parameter regression models. The coefficients obtained were statistically different from those of the Dutch Drift Model for cereal cultivation and from those of the German Drift Model for field crops. Drift was reduced by increasing the size of the droplets produced particularly close to the cropping zones.

      PubDate: 2016-11-17T10:35:41Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.10.017
  • Development and validation of a 3D CFD model of drift and its application
           to air-assisted orchard sprayers
    • Authors: Ashenafi T. Duga; Mulugeta A. Delele; Kris Ruysen; Donald Dekeyser; David Nuyttens; Dany Bylemans; Bart M. Nicolai; Pieter Verboven
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering
      Author(s): Ashenafi T. Duga, Mulugeta A. Delele, Kris Ruysen, Donald Dekeyser, David Nuyttens, Dany Bylemans, Bart M. Nicolai, Pieter Verboven
      Pesticides play an important role in providing high crop yields by minimising the risks associated with pests but some of the sprayed product may move beyond the intended target and result in drift. Modelling approaches can help understand the behaviour of spray drift using computer simulations. However, modelling drift from orchard spraying presents particular challenges: (1) the moving spray interacts with the canopy before drifting outside the target area; (2) the vertical wind profile in the orchard is different to neighbouring fields where there is different vegetation; (3) the moving air jet from the air-assistance cannot be ignored because the airspeed of the fan is usually higher than the wind speed. This work presents a three-dimensional (3D) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of spray drift from orchard sprayers that considers tree architecture, canopy wind flow and the movement of the sprayer to calculate sedimenting and airborne drift; thus tackling the challenges listed above. The model was validated against drift measurements from an apple orchard with different nozzles arrangements. The model was then used to evaluate the effect of drift reducing nozzles and fan airspeed on drift. The model predicted that drift reducing nozzles reduced the drifting distance by 50%, but increased near-tree ground deposition. This increase in ground deposition can be avoided whilst retaining the reduction in the drifting distance, by using a combination of drift reducing and standard nozzles. A reduced sprayer airflow can further reduce drift.

      PubDate: 2016-11-17T10:35:41Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.10.010
  • Field-crop-sprayer potential drift measured using test bench: Effects of
           boom height and nozzle type
    • Authors: Paolo Balsari; Emilio Gil; Paolo Marucco; Jan C. van de Zande; David Nuyttens; Andreas Herbst; Montserrat Gallart
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering
      Author(s): Paolo Balsari, Emilio Gil, Paolo Marucco, Jan C. van de Zande, David Nuyttens, Andreas Herbst, Montserrat Gallart
      Because of variations in environmental conditions, spray-drift field measurements following ISO 22866:2005 involve complicated and time-consuming experiments often with low repeatability. Therefore, simple, repeatable, and precise alternative drift assessment methods that are complementary to the official standards are required. One of the alternatives is the use of a drift test bench for field crop sprayers. Previous studies have demonstrated that the drift test bench can be considered an adequate complement to existing standard protocols for field drift measurements. In this study, in order to further improve the methodology and to evaluate the possibility of classifying different field-crop-sprayer settings according to drift risk using a test bench, a series of tests were performed in a test hall. A conventional mounted Delvano HD3 crop sprayer (Delvano, Kuurne, Belgium) equipped with an 800-l spray tank and a 15-m-wide stainless steel spray boom was used. Eight different sprayer setups were tested, involving three nozzle types (TeeJet XR 110 04, Agrotop TDXL 110 04 and Micron Micromax 3) and three boom heights (0.30, 0.50, and 0.70 m). For the drift classification, the reference sprayer drift behaviour was defined as that obtained using conventional flat fan TeeJet XR 110 04 nozzles operated at 0.30 MPa and at a boom height of 0.50 m. The different sprayer setups were successfully assigned to different drift reduction classes, and the results underlined the effects of nozzle type and boom height on the potential drift. The feasibility of the test-bench methodology for classifying field-crop-sprayer drift according to ISO 22369-1:2006 was demonstrated.

      PubDate: 2016-11-17T10:35:41Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.10.015
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