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  Subjects -> AGRICULTURE (Total: 769 journals)
    - AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS (75 journals)
    - AGRICULTURE (524 journals)
    - CROP PRODUCTION AND SOIL (91 journals)
    - POULTRY AND LIVESTOCK (49 journals)

AGRICULTURE (524 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 Agronomica Hungarica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Acta Scientiarum. Animal Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Acta Scientiarum. Technology     Open Access  
Acta Technologica Agriculturae     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Alimentaria     Open Access  
Advances in Agriculture     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Agriculture & Botanics     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Advances in Agronomy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Advances in Life Science and Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 13)
AFBM Journal     Open Access  
Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
African Journal of Agricultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
African Journal of Food Science     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development     Open Access   (Followers: 14)
African Journal of Range & Forage Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Agra Europe     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Agribusiness : an International Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Agricultura Tecnica     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Agricultura Tropica et Subtropica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agricultura, Sociedad y Desarrollo     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agricultural Advances     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Agricultural and Food Science     Open Access   (Followers: 16)
Agricultural Commodities     Full-text available via subscription  
Agricultural Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 44)
Agricultural History Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Agricultural Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Agricultural Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Agricultural Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agricultural Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Agricultural Sciences in China     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Agricultural Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28)
Agricultural Water Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31)
Agriculture     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Agriculture & Food Security     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Agriculture (Poľnohospodárstvo)     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia     Open Access  
Agriculture and Food Sciences Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agriculture and Human Values     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 48)
Agriprobe     Open Access  
Agrivita : Journal of Agricultural Science     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Agro-Science     Full-text available via subscription  
Agroalimentaria     Open Access  
Agrociencia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agrociencia Uruguay     Open Access  
Agrokémia és Talajtan     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Agrokreatif Jurnal Ilmiah Pengabdian kepada Masyarakat     Open Access  
Agronomía Colombiana     Open Access  
Agronomía Costarricense     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agronomía Mesoamericana     Open Access  
Agronomie Africaine     Full-text available via subscription  
Agronomy     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Agrosearch     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Akademik Ziraat Dergisi     Open Access  
Alinteri Zirai Bilimler Dergisi : Alinteri Journal of Agricultural Sciences     Open Access  
Ambiente & Agua : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
American Journal of Botany     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
American Journal of Economics and Sociology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26)
American Journal of Potato Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
American Journal of Rural Development     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Annales des Sciences Agronomiques     Full-text available via subscription  
Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Annals of Agricultural Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Annals of Silvicultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Annual Review of Resource Economics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
APCBEE Procedia     Partially Free   (Followers: 1)
Applied Economics Letters     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25)
Applied Financial Economics Letters     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Arboricultural Journal : The International Journal of Urban Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Archivos de Zootecnia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
ARO. The Scientific Journal of Koya University     Open Access  
Arquivos do Instituto Biológico     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Arthropod-Plant Interactions     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Asian Economic Papers     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Asian Journal of Agricultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Asian Journal of Medical and Biological Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Asian Journal of Plant Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Australian Cottongrower, The     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Australian Economic Papers     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Australian Economic Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Australian Forest Grower     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Australian Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Australian Grain     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Australian Holstein Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Australian Journal of Agricultural Engineering     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Australian Sugarcane     Full-text available via subscription  
Avances en Investigacion Agropecuaria     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics     Full-text available via subscription  
Bangladesh Agronomy Journal     Open Access  
Bangladesh Journal of Agricultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Bangladesh Journal of Scientific Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Bioagro     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Biocontrol Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Biodiversity     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26)
Biodiversity : Research and Conservation     Open Access   (Followers: 26)
Biological Agriculture & Horticulture : An International Journal for Sustainable Production Systems     Partially Free   (Followers: 11)
Biosystems Engineering     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Biotemas     Open Access  
Boletín Semillas Ambientales     Open Access  
Bragantia     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
British Poultry Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Buletin Peternakan : Bulletin of Animal Science     Full-text available via subscription  
Buletin Veteriner Udayana     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Bulletin of University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca : Food Science and Technology     Open Access  
Cahiers Agricultures     Open Access  
California Agriculture     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Cambridge Journal of Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 43)
Canadian Water Resources Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Capitalism Nature Socialism     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Ceiba     Open Access  
Cereal Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
CERNE     Open Access  
CESifo Economic Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Change and Adaptation in Socio-Ecological Systems     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Chemical and Biological Technologies for Agriculture     Open Access  
Chilean Journal of Agricultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Ciencia & Natura     Open Access  
Ciência e Agrotecnologia     Open Access  
Ciencia e investigación agraria     Open Access  
Ciência e Técnica Vitivinícola     Open Access  
Ciencia forestal en México     Open Access  
Ciência Rural     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia 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  
Competition & Change     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Contributions to Tobacco Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Corps et culture     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Cuadernos de Desarrollo Rural     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Cultivos Tropicales     Open Access  
Cultural Geographies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Cultural Sociology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28)
Cultural Studies - Critical Methodologies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Cultural Studies of Science Education     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Cultural Trends     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Culture & Agriculture     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Current Life Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Current Research in Dairy Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Derim     Open Access  
Developments in Agricultural Economics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Developments in Agricultural Engineering     Full-text available via subscription  
Diatom Research     Hybrid Journal  
Die Bodenkultur : Journal of Land Management, Food and Environment     Open Access  
Dossiers Agraris     Open Access  
Ecological Applications     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 123)
Economic Affairs     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Economic and Industrial Democracy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Economic Bulletin     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Economic Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31)
Economic Record     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Empirical Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Encuentro     Open Access  
Engineering in Agriculture, Environment and Food     Hybrid Journal  
Ensaios e Ciência: Ciências Biológicas, Agrárias e da Saúde     Open Access  
Eppo Bulletin     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
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: 9)
European Journal of American Culture     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
European Journal of Health Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
European Journal of Law and Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 60)
European Review of Agricultural Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
EvoDevo     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Extensão Rural     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Farmer’s Weekly     Full-text available via subscription  
Farmlink Africa     Full-text available via subscription  
Fitosanidad     Open Access  
Folia Horticulturae     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Food and Agricultural Immunology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Food and Energy Security     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Food Biotechnology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Food Economics - Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section C     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Food New Zealand     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Food Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29)
Forestry Chronicle     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Forum for Health Economics & Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Frontiers in Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Frontiers of Agriculture in China     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Future of Food : Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Geoderma     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Global Approaches to Extension Practice : A Journal of Agricultural Extension     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Global Economic Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Global Journal of Agricultural Sciences     Full-text available via subscription  
Hacquetia     Open Access  

        1 2 3 | Last

Journal Cover Biosystems Engineering
  [SJR: 0.824]   [H-I: 77]   [6 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1537-5110 - ISSN (Online) 1537-5129
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3038 journals]
  • Effect of leaf pruning on energy partitioning and microclimate in an
           insect-proof screenhouse with a tomato crop
    • Authors: Meir Teitel; Hao Liang; Asher Levi; Danny Harel; Hana Alon
      Pages: 1 - 8
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Meir Teitel, Hao Liang, Asher Levi, Danny Harel, Hana Alon
      An experiment was conducted to assess the effect of leaf pruning on energy partitioning and microclimate in a screenhouse with a tomato crop. The experiment was conducted in a flat-roof insect-proof screenhouse, 4 m in height with a floor area of 745 m2, which was ventilated only through the roof. Measurements included global solar radiation inside and outside the screenhouse, net radiation, soil heat flux, transpiration, air velocity and air temperature and humidity. The results showed that leaf pruning in a tomato crop significantly affects energy partitioning in a screenhouse: it reduced transpiration at noon by more than 100%, increased soil heat flux by more than 200% and consequently increased sensible heat flux from crop to screenhouse air by nearly 70%. As a result of leaf pruning, air temperature increased slightly, but vapour-pressure deficit increased significantly. Furthermore, leaf pruning strongly reduced the gradients of temperature and vapour-pressure deficit in the air layer above the canopy at noon, resulting in a more homogeneous environment in the vertical direction. Finally, leaf pruning contributed to a higher air velocity within the canopy, especially at high wind speed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      PubDate: 2016-09-23T13:40:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.003
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Cross-polarised VNIR hyperspectral reflectance imaging system for agrifood
    • Authors: Nghia Nguyen-Do-Trong; Janos C. Keresztes; Bart De Ketelaere; Wouter Saeys
      Pages: 152 - 157
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Nghia Nguyen-Do-Trong, Janos C. Keresztes, Bart De Ketelaere, Wouter Saeys
      Hyperspectral reflectance imaging using unpolarised light has high potential for various applications in non-destructive quality evaluation of food and agricultural products. However, one of the most important challenges is the existence of glare in the obtained hyperspectral reflectance images due to specular reflection of the illuminating light on the sample surface. Whilst this can be avoided for flat surfaces by optimising the viewing angle, this is not possible for curved food products. Therefore, cross-polarisation has been implemented in this study to block the specular reflection and exclude it from the acquired hyperspectral reflectance images in the 450–1000 nm range. The added value of this approach has been successfully demonstrated for three glossy agricultural products: aubergine and two apple cultivars, for which the quality of the obtained hyperspectral images, expressed by signal-to-noise ratios, could be improved from 1.1 to 3 times depending on the wavelength regions.

      PubDate: 2016-10-04T08:08:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.027
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Energy demand and greenhouse gases emissions in the life cycle of tractors
    • Authors: Edemilson J. Mantoam; Thiago L. Romanelli; Leandro M. Gimenez
      Pages: 158 - 170
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Edemilson J. Mantoam, Thiago L. Romanelli, Leandro M. Gimenez
      Energy supply and global warming are two of the main challenges of 21st century. To produce food to satisfy the increasing world population requires using more assets, more energy and emitting more greenhouse gases. Studies approaching embodied energy into and greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural machinery are rare. This study determined the energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions in the life cycle of tractors. Four tractors with distinct power levels were evaluated: 55 kW (T1); 90 kW (T2); 172 kW (T3) and 246 kW (T4). Life cycles considered were obtained from three different sources. Consumption of the direct inputs used in the assembly phase and of the input used in the maintenance phase were accounted. The results presented higher embodied energy and emissions in life cycle than are found in the literature. The following indicators were determined: T1, 122.7 MJ kg−1 and 5.7 kg [CO2eq.] kg−1; T2, 91.2 MJ kg−1 and 4.2 kg [CO2eq.] kg−1; T3, 85.2 MJ kg−1 and 3.8 kg [CO2eq.] kg−1; and T4, 71.9 MJ kg−1 and 3.3 kg [CO2eq.] kg−1. The hypothesis that more powerful tractors would require less energy and emit less greenhouse gas per functional unit (mass and power) was proved. Tractor (T4) has 313.2% more mass than (T1), but it required 70.6% less energy and 72.7% less GHG per unit mass, or 84.7% less energy and 87.7% less GHG per unit engine power than T1. For further use in modelling, equations were provided to determine energy demand and emission associated with either engine power or tractor mass.

      PubDate: 2016-10-04T08:08:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.028
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Performance of thermal pretreatment and mesophilic fermentation system on
           pathogen inactivation and biogas production of faecal sludge: Initial
           laboratory results
    • Authors: Fubin Yin; Zifu Li; Dongling Wang; Thomas Ohlsen; Hongmin Dong
      Pages: 171 - 177
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Fubin Yin, Zifu Li, Dongling Wang, Thomas Ohlsen, Hongmin Dong
      The performance of thermal pretreatment of faecal sludge and biogas production of continuous stirred tank reactor (TPCSTR) system on faecal sludge was evaluated in the laboratory of the University of Science and Technology Beijing, China. First, the effectiveness of thermal pretreatment on the inactivation of pathogens and the relationship between complete inactivation time and TS were researched. Second, the effect of sludge retention time (SRT) on the TPCSTR performance of faecal sludge was investigated. Results demonstrated that the time it took for the complete inactivation of pathogens (i.e., faecal coliform, salmonella spp., faecal streptococcus) was 60, 60, 80, 80, 100, 100, and 100 min for the TS faecal sludge concentrations of 1%, 2%, 4%, 6%, 8%, 10%, and 12%, respectively. The experiments showed that the TPCSTR process was stable and efficient to inactivate pathogens under the operation conditions (i.e., TS = 8%, agitation speed = 120 rpm, and temperature = 37 ± 1 °C). The highest biogas production of faecal sludge was 453.21 L kg−1[TS] day−1 at SRT of 25 days.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2016-10-04T08:08:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.019
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Discrimination of peanuts from bulk cereals and nuts by near infrared
           reflectance spectroscopy
    • Authors: Satyabrata Ghosh; Puneet Mishra; Siti Nur Hidayah Mohamad; Rosario Martín de Santos; Belén Diezma Iglesias; Pilar Barreiro Elorza
      Pages: 178 - 186
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Satyabrata Ghosh, Puneet Mishra, Siti Nur Hidayah Mohamad, Rosario Martín de Santos, Belén Diezma Iglesias, Pilar Barreiro Elorza
      Adulteration and allergenic food materials are a common problem all around the world. European legislation (EU) 1169/2011/EC requires labelling of food products with respect to the presence of allergenic components including nuts, cereals or any other food products. Therefore, rapid methods for analysis of food ingredients are required to enforce this legislation. Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) being fast and non-destructive could be a candidate technique. Present study investigates the potential of NIRS (896–1686 nm) and chemometrics to classify thirty different cereals and nineteen different nuts based on their spectral signatures. The aim was to perform the specificity analysis for peanuts to detect its presence in various food materials. As a first step, Principal Components (PCs) modelling was used to perform a primary classification. PCs provided a classification of the samples into five major groups as gluten, non-gluten, high fatty acid, high fibre and omega-3 fatty acid. To perform segregation within the class identified as nuts intermixed with oilseeds (high fatty acid class), Partial Least Square Discriminant Analysis (PLSDA) was performed. First two discriminant vectors obtained from PLSDA were successfully able to segregate a group identified as peanuts and pine nuts, from other nuts (almond) and cereals (sesame and flaxseed). However, to segregate peanuts from pine nuts, first and third discriminant vectors were used. Results concluded that NIRS combined with chemometrics is a robust method for specificity analysis of peanuts from different cereals and nuts.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2016-10-04T08:08:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.008
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • An adaptable tillage depth monitoring system for tillage machine
    • Authors: Honglei Jia; Mingzhuo Guo; Haibo Yu; Yang Li; Xianzhen Feng; Jiale Zhao; Jiangtao Qi
      Pages: 187 - 199
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Honglei Jia, Mingzhuo Guo, Haibo Yu, Yang Li, Xianzhen Feng, Jiale Zhao, Jiangtao Qi
      Tillage depth plays an important role in crop growth and should be well managed during cultivation. Herein, an adaptable tillage depth monitoring system, which is provided with a surface-fitting swing arm and an optical encoder to measure the rotation of the swing arm, has been designed and developed. In the paper, the processes of uphill and downhill, which have been divided into 5 stages, are analysed respectively. Moreover, a LabVIEW program that can be employed to adjust the depth measurement according to the pitch angle between the implement and the ground, as well as the inclined angle of the ground, has been established to achieve adaptable measurement on different terrain morphologies. The system uses different models to allow for the variation of the angle and displacement in the process of tractor-implement combination going through the slope, and thus can achieve adaptable measurement of tillage depth. Besides, the tillage depth monitoring system can not only monitor tillage depth in real time, but also display a graphical trace of tillage history. Field experiments have been conducted to evaluate the system's performance, and have demonstrated good accuracy on both regular surface and sloped surface, showing maximal absolute errors of 11.3 mm and −12.8 mm, as well as maximum relative errors of 7.40% and 8.53% for the field experiments respectively. Hence, such a measuring system holds good potential for its application to the current tillage depth monitoring, particularly in the case of covered ground as in conservation farming.

      PubDate: 2016-10-04T08:08:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.022
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Mechanisms of natural ventilation in livestock buildings: Perspectives on
           past achievements and future challenges
    • Authors: Li Rong; Bjarne Bjerg; Thomas Batzanas; Guoqiang Zhang
      Pages: 200 - 217
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Li Rong, Bjarne Bjerg, Thomas Batzanas, Guoqiang Zhang
      Studies on the mechanisms of natural ventilation in livestock buildings are reviewed and influences on discharge and pressure coefficients are discussed. Compared to studies conducted on buildings for human occupation and industrial buildings which focus on thermal comfort, ventilation systems, indoor air quality, building physics and energy etc., our understanding of the mechanisms involved in natural ventilation of livestock buildings are still limited to the application of the orifice equation. It has been observed that the assumptions made for application of the orifice equation are not valid for wind-induced cross ventilation through large openings. This review identifies that the power balance model, the concept of stream tube and the local dynamic similarity model has helped in the fundamental understanding of wind-induced natural ventilation in buildings for human occupation and industrial buildings. These concepts have distinguished the flow through large openings from that of ‘cracks’ (i.e. small openings), which is where the orifice equation is normally used for prediction of airflow rate. More field measurements on the effect of wind turbulence on ventilation rate need to be encouraged, particularly under conditions where the mean pressure differences through building openings are much lower than the fluctuations of pressure differences. Research on bidirectional flow that occurs at openings is also limited.

      PubDate: 2016-10-04T08:08:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.004
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Modelling water vapour transport, transpiration and weight loss in a
           perforated modified atmosphere packaging for feijoa fruits
    • Authors: Diego A. Castellanos; Deissy R. Herrera; Aníbal O. Herrera
      Pages: 218 - 230
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Diego A. Castellanos, Deissy R. Herrera, Aníbal O. Herrera
      In modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), the transpiration of the fresh product and exchange of water through the polymeric packaging are often not properly considered. This paper presents a mathematical model to describe the evolution in water vapour, O2 and CO2 concentrations in the packaging headspace, the weight loss of the product and the condensation of water in a MAP system with perforations. Transpiration was considered as the sum of water transferred out from the product due to the gain of energy from its respiration process and the difference in water activities between the product and the surrounding atmosphere. Respiration was represented using Michaelis–Menten enzyme kinetics. The gas transfer through the packaging and the perforations was described with Fick equations. The temperature influence on these processes was considered to follow the Arrhenius' law. To experimentally determine the model parameters, feijoa fruits (Acca sellowiana Berg) were stored under different storage conditions: packaging type, relative humidity and temperature. The completed model was subsequently validated in a MAP test by packaging fruits in perforated polypropylene (PP) and polylactic acid (PLA) bags for 13 days at 12 °C and 75% RH. Inside the PP bags, a saturated atmosphere (100% RH) was reached and 1.48% of the initial weight in the packed fruit was lost by day 13, while in the PLA bags, an equilibrium RH of 83% and a fruit weight loss of 3.29% were measured. The prediction capacity of the model was satisfactory, with coefficients of determination (R2) between 0.88 and 0.99 for the different tests.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2016-10-04T08:08:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.015
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Compression strength of ventilated corrugated paperboard packages:
           Numerical modelling, experimental validation and effects of vent geometric
    • Authors: Tobi Fadiji; Corne Coetzee; Umezuruike Linus Opara
      Pages: 231 - 247
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Tobi Fadiji, Corne Coetzee, Umezuruike Linus Opara
      Ventilated corrugated paperboard (VCP) packaging is used for transporting fresh produce through a distribution system that requires maintaining a balance between uniform cooling of the produce and mechanical integrity of the package. A validated finite element analysis (FEA) model capable of predicting the compressive strength of two commonly used VCP packages is developed; the MK4 with higher length-to-height ratio and vent area compared to the MK6. The validated model was used to study the effects of vent geometric parameters such as vent height, shape, orientation, number and area on the strength of the packages. FEA results were in good agreement with the experimental results with a difference of 4.7% for MK4 and 8.2% for MK6. The MK6 had higher compression strength than MK4 with a difference of 11% and 17% at standard and refrigerated conditions, respectively. Results showed that the compression strength was lower by 11% and 16% respectively, for MK6 and MK4 packages when stored at low temperature (0 °C and 90% Relative humidity (RH)) compared to standard conditions (23 °C and 50% RH). With an increase in vent area from 2 to 7%, buckling load decreased by 8% for MK4 and by 12% for MK6. A linear correlation was observed between vent height and buckling load with R2 values of 0.8215 and 0.9717 for MK4 and MK6 packages, respectively. Results showed that vent number, orientation, and shape affected the buckling of the packages. Rectangular vent holes better retained the strength of the packages. Irrespective of the vent design parameters studied, the MK6 had higher buckling load.

      PubDate: 2016-10-04T08:08:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.010
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Radio frequency (RF) control of red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) in
           stored rapeseeds (Brassica napus L.)
    • Authors: Daeung Yu; Bijay Shrestha; Oon-Doo Baik
      Pages: 248 - 260
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Daeung Yu, Bijay Shrestha, Oon-Doo Baik
      Absolute and relative mortalities of red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) infesting the rapeseeds of a small (196.3 cm3) and a large (1766 cm3) volumes during radio frequency (RF) heating (1.5 kW, 27.12 MHz) were determined at different end temperatures (30–80 °C) and initial seed moisture contents (5%, 7%, 9%, and 11% wet basis). 100% absolute and relative mortalities of the adult insects were achieved at 80 °C for the small volume of the seeds at all moisture contents (MCs) and at 60 °C and 9% and 11% MCs, and 70 °C and 5% and 7% MCs for the large volume. Over 80% and 96% of the absolute and the relative mortalities of the adult insects were achieved at over 60 °C for both volumes of the seeds. 100% mortalities of larvae infesting the small and the large volume seeds were achieved at 55 °C at all MCs. Germination, major and minor axes, roundness, colour of the seeds and qualities of the rapeseed oil were not affected significantly by RF treatment temperature at entire MCs. Therefore, a complete mortality of the red flour beetle infesting the rapeseeds with acceptable thermal degradation to qualities of the seeds could be achieved at under 60 °C by the RF treatment with a proper design of RF disinfestation.

      PubDate: 2016-10-11T08:14:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.006
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Data estimation methods for predicting temperatures of fruit in
           refrigerated containers
    • Authors: Ricardo Badia-Melis; Ultan Mc Carthy; Ismail Uysal
      Pages: 261 - 272
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Ricardo Badia-Melis, Ultan Mc Carthy, Ismail Uysal
      Improving the capability and resolution of monitoring perishable products during their transportation and storage is essential, but there is a key requirement it is not to increase costs or the number monitoring devices. Currently there lies a knowledge gap in studies on the spatial prediction and mapping of determinant parameters (e.g. temperature) for the shelf life of perishable products. Through the viewpoint of different refrigeration failure scenarios this paper investigates and compares three data estimation tools (artificial neural networks, Kriging and capacitive heat transfer) for improved food safety. Results indicate that using these techniques makes it possible to reduce the number of sensors (through estimation of temperature distribution) within an industrial scale fully loaded strawberry-shipping container, thus reducing the overall commercial cost. Using a set of eight source sensors, an average error of 0.1 °C was achieved, which represents an improvement of 97.14% in regards to the absolute error between the ambient and product temperatures. Even when using only a single container sensor as a source for prediction, with an average error of 1.49 °C there still was an improvement of 62% with regards to the same baseline. This paper demonstrates that the adoption of these technologies not only presents significant industrial value-added potential but also the data obtained can further improve cold chain strategies and reduce product losses through more accurate shelf life calculations.

      PubDate: 2016-10-11T08:14:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.009
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Computational modelling of thermal and humidity gradients for a naturally
           ventilated poultry house
    • Authors: Fernando Rojano; Pierre-Emmanuel Bournet; Melynda Hassouna; Paul Robin; Murat Kacira; Christopher Y. Choi
      Pages: 273 - 285
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Fernando Rojano, Pierre-Emmanuel Bournet, Melynda Hassouna, Paul Robin, Murat Kacira, Christopher Y. Choi
      Natural ventilation represents a strong tool for ameliorating climate and air quality in poultry houses if the benefits of weather conditions can be maximised. To that end, this investigation analyses the impact of natural ventilation on the dynamics of the internal climate of a poultry house focussing on the role played by the outside climatic parameters except wind direction. Experimental data with prevailing North-East wind direction was considered to identify seven periods with at least 4 h of stable wind direction. Three of these periods were chosen as typical examples and used to validate a 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model, to integrate the main elements determining the internal climate: animal heat and water vapour generation, radiative heat transfer, and ventilation. The three periods under analysis allowed us to deduce, from the experimental and simulated data, the influence of all the other external climatic variables (i.e. temperature, absolute humidity, solar radiation and wind velocity) that affected the internal climate. The accuracy of the CFD model at evaluating each of the three periods reached a RMSE of 1.3 °C, 1.2 °C and 0.5 °C for internal temperature and a RMSE of 0.9 g [H2O] kg−1 [dry air], 0.6 g [H2O] kg−1 [dry air] and 0.2 g [H2O] kg−1 [dry air] for internal absolute humidity, respectively. Then, the predictions of the 3D CFD model were analysed, using air residence-time concept to estimate ventilation rates, and also to investigate sensible and latent heat exchanges.

      PubDate: 2016-10-11T08:14:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.012
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • CFD modeling of air flow distribution in rice bin storage system with
           different grain mass configurations
    • Authors: Gbenga Olatunde; Griffiths G. Atungulu; Sammy Sadaka
      Pages: 286 - 297
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Gbenga Olatunde, Griffiths G. Atungulu, Sammy Sadaka
      Poor airflow distribution in grain mass during in-bin aeration, drying and storage may lead to moisture content variations that could be detrimental to grain quality. The effects of grain mass configuration and porosity on airflow distribution inside a rice bin were investigated using three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics simulations and experiments. A finite volume method with porous media formulation was used to simulate air flow characteristics in peaked, inverted, and levelled grain mass configurations for long-grain rough rice with a porosity of 0.55, and mean particle size distribution of 2.94 mm. The airflows through the rough rice masses were simulated for airflow rates of 0.55, 0.825 and 1.1 m3 min−1[air] t−1 [rice]. The model was validated using a bench scale pressure drop system and an actual long-grain rice in-bin storage with peaked grain mass configuration having a capacity of 700 Mt. The results showed that long-grain rice has viscous and inertial resistance coefficients of 9.72E+06 and 36,185, respectively. Non-uniform airflow distribution dominated peaked and inverted grain mass configurations with peaked configuration having the highest restriction to airflow. Airflow at peak positions in the bed were significantly (p < 0.05) lower compared to other parts. The average non-uniformity coefficient (NUF) measured directly from the bin was 34% and those obtained from the model using constant and variable porosities were 19% and 71%, respectively. For inverted scenario, a maximum of 50 t of rice is needed to be removed from the rice storage bin to ensure an airflow distribution with an NUF <50%.

      PubDate: 2016-10-11T08:14:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.007
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Mechanical properties of maize fibre bundles and their contribution to
           lodging resistance
    • Authors: Jiale Huang; Wangyu Liu; Feng Zhou; Yujian Peng; Ningling Wang
      Pages: 298 - 307
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Jiale Huang, Wangyu Liu, Feng Zhou, Yujian Peng, Ningling Wang
      Tensile properties of fibre bundles were estimated according to their location in the stem. The average tensile modulus and tensile strength in the core group of the fibre bundles (4.44 ± 0.28 GPa and 32.35 ± 2.07 MPa, respectively) were significant lower than that in the skin group (10.80 ± 0.62 GPa and 92.65 ± 6.23 MPa, respectively). The large variation of tensile properties can be attributed to the large difference in the ratio of the areas of the vascular bundle sheath and the fibre cell wall thickness. Gradient distribution of bundle stiffness is found along the radial and axial direction of stem. Such gradient distribution increases the stiffness of basal stem; thus it is a key factor of lodging resistance for maize plants.

      PubDate: 2016-10-16T15:48:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.016
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Approximate georeferencing and automatic blurred image detection to reduce
           the costs of UAV use in environmental and agricultural applications
    • Authors: Krishna Ribeiro-Gomes; David Hernandez-Lopez; Rocío Ballesteros; Miguel A. Moreno
      Pages: 308 - 327
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Krishna Ribeiro-Gomes, David Hernandez-Lopez, Rocío Ballesteros, Miguel A. Moreno
      The application of geomatic products in environmental and agricultural applications directly depends on the cost of obtaining these products. This cost is primarily affected by the cost of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and the image acquisition and treatment processes that are conducted to obtain the geomatic products. In this study, a methodology was developed to reduce the cost of generating geomatic products by 1) automatically detecting blurred images in a set of images that was captured with a UAV by establishing a numeric indicator that describes the level of blur in the images for a specific camera setting and by 2) eliminating the need to measure ground control points (GCPs) for georeferencing the final geomatic products with the approximate exterior orientation of the images and control points from existing geomatic products. The time that was saved in performing the manual tasks that were required to generate geomatic products, which are the tasks that strongly influence cost, were decreased in our 40 ha case study by 65–69%, which corresponds to a cost savings of €200–225.

      PubDate: 2016-10-16T15:48:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.014
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • The effect of the disc setup angles and working depth on disc harrow
           working resistance
    • Authors: Zbigniew Kogut; Leszek Sergiel; Grzegorz Żurek
      Pages: 328 - 337
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 151
      Author(s): Zbigniew Kogut, Leszek Sergiel, Grzegorz Żurek
      Horizontal, longitudinal and vertical components of working resistance of a compact disc harrow (CDH) were investigated in a field experiment. Three values of the attack angle (12°, 16°, 21°) and two of the tilt angle (7°, 15°) of the plane of the front discs were used. The third parameter was the working depth measured at the lowest point of discs circumference edge. The dependent variable was the horizontal and vertical resultant component of forces occurring in the three-point linkage system on a tractor. Statistically significant differences in the resistance components were found depending on the disc set-up. For evaluation of soil reaction forces on harrow discs the above resistance components were transformed into components of the unit resistance relating to the units of actual working width and depth. Their dependence on the CDH setting parameters was next examined using the empirical estimation of the regression equation. Horizontal and vertical components of the bearing and the pressure area of the discs were used as independent variables. Values of the bearing area were close to zero and only the components of pressure were used. This model describes the components of the horizontal and vertical resistance as a function of design parameters and disc settings expressed by means of pressure area. It reflects the empirical results with 99.7% accuracy for the horizontal component and in 99.9% for the vertical component of the resistance.

      PubDate: 2016-10-16T15:48:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.10.004
      Issue No: Vol. 151 (2016)
  • Effects of the underdrain design on the pressure drop in sand filters
    • Authors: Toni Pujol; Gerard Arbat; Josep Bové; Jaume Puig-Bargués; Miquel Duran-Ros; Joaquim Velayos; Francisco Ramírez de Cartagena
      Pages: 1 - 9
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering, Volume 150
      Author(s): Toni Pujol, Gerard Arbat, Josep Bové, Jaume Puig-Bargués, Miquel Duran-Ros, Joaquim Velayos, Francisco Ramírez de Cartagena
      The effect of the nozzle geometry on the pressure drop of a sand filter was experimentally studied. Four nozzles were analysed: one commercially produced with a conical shape and three alternative cylindrical underdrains that differed in the location and the number of slots. Experiments in both filtration mode and backwashing conditions for a wide range of superficial velocities were carried out. The results reported a reduction of the filter energy consumption greater than 20% could be achieved by simply modifying the position of the slots above the surface of the underdrain element. The effects of the nozzle were further investigated by means of an analytical model that correctly predicted the pressure drop of the water flow through the filter. The model confirmed that the distribution of the slots in the underdrain was a critical factor for determining the length of the region with a non-uniform flow within the sand. When using the commercial nozzle at flow rates >0.85 l s−1, this region produced the major contribution to energy losses in the filter due to increases in the tortuosity of the water path within the porous medium. From these results, it is suggested that an affordable way to increase the energy efficiency of already existing installations would be to replace the current underdrain elements with new improved designs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      PubDate: 2016-08-28T13:42:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.08.009
      Issue No: Vol. 150 (2016)
  • 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
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 October 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering
      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: 2016-10-11T08:14:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.013
  • Eulerian–Lagrangian model of the behaviour of droplets produced by an
           air-assisted sprayer in a citrus orchard
    • Authors: Ramón Salcedo; Ariane Vallet; Rafael Granell; Cruz Garcerá; Enrique Moltó; Patricia Chueca
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 September 2016
      Source:Biosystems Engineering
      Author(s): Ramón Salcedo, Ariane Vallet, Rafael Granell, Cruz Garcerá, Enrique Moltó, Patricia Chueca
      During pesticide applications to citrus trees using air-assisted (airblast) sprayers, only a proportion of the volume emitted reaches the vegetation and the rest is lost through drift, evaporation, etc. These losses can be hazardous for the environment. Knowing the characteristics of droplets within the turbulent currents around the canopy could improve the application efficiency. In a previous study, a 2D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model to simulate the effect of a citrus canopy on the airflow from an air-assisted sprayer was developed and validated. It considered the first element of the tree canopy as a solid body instead of a porous one. The aim of the present study was to analyse the behaviour of the droplets for pesticide applications on citrus by means of an Eulerian–Lagrangian CFD model. It simulated both the air current from the sprayer fan and the wind and the behaviour of the droplets sprayed. Distance, height, velocity, Reynolds number, temperature, geometric and volumetric diameters at different times were obtained. With these parameters, new variables related to the kinetics and evaporation of droplets were calculated. Simulation results estimated that 44% of the total sprayed volume reached the target tree, 28% reached adjacent trees, 20% was deposited on the ground and 8% was lost as atmospheric drift. The results largely matched an experimental mass balance carried out under similar conditions. The proposed model appears to be an appropriate tool for simulating treatments with air-assisted sprayers operating in citrus orchards.

      PubDate: 2016-09-23T13:40:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.09.001
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