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Agriculture, Volume 12, Issue 11 (November 2022) – 223 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa (yellow passion fruit) is a high-value tropical crop. After three years of outdoor lysimeter cultivation and irrigation with saline waters of 3, 6, and 12 dS m−1, we assessed the effects of salinity, leaf age, and drying method on shoot biomass, leaf antioxidant capacity (LAC) and plant genetic responses. All salinity levels increased Na and Cl leaf accumulation but only the highest salinity decreased shoot biomass. However, no salinity level affected LAC and new leaves had the highest LAC compared to older leaves. Low-temperature (50 °C) oven-dried (LTO) and freeze-dried (FD) leaves had the same LAC. Analyses of twelve transporter genes, six involved in Na+ transport and six in Cl− transport, showed higher expressions in roots than in leaves, indicating a critical role of roots in ion transport and the control of leaf salt concentration. View this paper
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12 pages, 2998 KiB  
Article
Co-Contamination of Food and Feed with Mycotoxin and Bacteria and Possible Implications for Health
by Daniela Eliza Marin, Gina Cecilia Pistol, Cristina Valeria Procudin and Ionelia Taranu
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1970; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111970 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1704
Abstract
Food and feed safety is an issue of great concern for both animal and human health, due to the frequent contamination of food and feed with pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, yeasts, molds, and parasites. The present paper assumes the possibility that a [...] Read more.
Food and feed safety is an issue of great concern for both animal and human health, due to the frequent contamination of food and feed with pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, yeasts, molds, and parasites. The present paper assumes the possibility that a mycotoxin contamination could occur at the same time as a bacterial infection and investigates the effects of such co-contamination, in comparison with the individual effects of bacterial challenge. For this purpose, we have investigated the effects of simultaneous contamination of swine peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (as a model for bacterial contamination) and mycotoxins (ochratoxin or zearalenone) on cell viability, cell cycles, oxydative stress, and inflammation. Our results show important additive/synergistic effects of co-exposure to fungal and bacterial toxins, and that these effects are more important when the cells are co-exposed to LPS and ochratoxin (OTA). The exposure of PBMCs to both OTA and LPS induced an exacerbation of the increase in the inflammation of concentrations of pro-inflamatory cytokines, compared with that of LPS-challenged cells: IL-1β (4.1 times increase), TNF-α (3.2 times increase), IL-6 (3.1 times increase). There was also a decrease in antioxidant defence (i.e., a significant decrease in the total antioxidant capacity and catalase activity) and a significant increase in the percentage of cells undergoing necrosis (24.3% vs. 15.3% in LPS-treated cells). The exposure to zearalenone (ZEA) and LPS led to less important effects and concerned mainly the parameters related to oxidative stress (i.e., a decrease in total antioxidant capacity). The present study provides important data for risk assessment, as the concomitant contamination with bacteria and mycotoxins can lead to a higher toxicity than that which results after an individual infection with Gram-negative bacteria. Full article
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20 pages, 9512 KiB  
Article
Vibration Analysis of a Roller Bearing Condition Used in a Tangential Threshing Drum of a Combine Harvester for the Smooth and Continuous Performance of Agricultural Crop Harvesting
by Shankar Bhandari and Eglė Jotautienė
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1969; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111969 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2149
Abstract
Testing the reliability of the threshing unit is difficult and thus often neglected before the harvesting season, which can result in breakdown maintenance during peak harvesting time in difficult-to-access areas for sensor mounting. In this paper, the vibration analysis of the threshing condition [...] Read more.
Testing the reliability of the threshing unit is difficult and thus often neglected before the harvesting season, which can result in breakdown maintenance during peak harvesting time in difficult-to-access areas for sensor mounting. In this paper, the vibration analysis of the threshing condition of the combine harvester was performed by introducing the bracket for inaccessible locations. The Adash A4900 Vibrio M analyzer (Adash spol. s.r.o., Ostrava, Czech Republic) was used for a vibration signal measurement and the DDS Adash software was used for signal processing. The demodulated fast Fourier transform (FFT) root mean square (RMS) (500 Hz–16 kHz) method was used to evaluate the bearing condition and DDS Adash Fault Source Identification Tool (FASIT) technology was used to evaluate other mechanical conditions such as the looseness, misalignment, and unbalance of the threshing unit of the Massey Ferguson series of combine harvesters. Modal and random vibration analyses were performed on the bracket and components and compared to prevent the resonance phenomenon using the Ansys Software (Ansys, Inc., Canonsburg, PA, USA). The constrained modal analysis of the threshing drum was performed to observe the deformation. Decent results were obtained from the method used. The method was again validated by the tangential threshing test bench and successfully determined the bearing fault condition. The method used is an uncomplicated and effective way of performing the bearing analysis of the tangential unit of the combine harvester. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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19 pages, 9463 KiB  
Article
Model and Method of Fault Signal Diagnosis for Blockage and Slippage of Rice Threshing Drum
by Shuaihua Hao, Zhong Tang, Songbao Guo, Zhao Ding and Zhan Su
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1968; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111968 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1843
Abstract
Rice threshing drum of combine harvester is difficult to monitor and repair the abnormal state in time. When slippage or blockage occurs in the threshing drum, the working efficiency of the threshing drum will reduce seriously, such as the threshing efficiency will decline [...] Read more.
Rice threshing drum of combine harvester is difficult to monitor and repair the abnormal state in time. When slippage or blockage occurs in the threshing drum, the working efficiency of the threshing drum will reduce seriously, such as the threshing efficiency will decline seriously, and then cleaning performance of combine harvester will decline. In order to reveal the vibration characteristics of rice threshing drum under different working conditions and the vibration response state of the drum bearing undergoing different faults occur, the vibration system model of the threshing drum is established in this paper. With the help of the vibration test bench of the multi-stage threshing drum, the vibration signal test of the slippage and blockage of the threshing drum under the belt drive mode is carried out. The results show that the Z direction signal has a vibration peak at the low frequency (25 Hz) when the threshing drum is blocked, the maximum vibration displacement is about 0.55 mm; the Z direction signal signal peak is concentrated at 50 Hz when a slip fault occurs, and the maximum vibration displacement is about 0.184 mm, the fitting effect between frequency and mathematical model is good. The results of this paper reveal the vibration characteristics of the threshing drum under different abnormal working conditions, at the same time provide a theoretical basis for the fault diagnosis of the threshing drum of the combine harvester. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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19 pages, 11833 KiB  
Article
Insect Detection in Sticky Trap Images of Tomato Crops Using Machine Learning
by Tiago Domingues, Tomás Brandão, Ricardo Ribeiro and João C. Ferreira
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1967; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111967 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2740
Abstract
As climate change, biodiversity loss, and biological invaders are all on the rise, the significance of conservation and pest management initiatives cannot be stressed. Insect traps are frequently used in projects to discover and monitor insect populations, assign management and conservation strategies, and [...] Read more.
As climate change, biodiversity loss, and biological invaders are all on the rise, the significance of conservation and pest management initiatives cannot be stressed. Insect traps are frequently used in projects to discover and monitor insect populations, assign management and conservation strategies, and assess the effectiveness of treatment. This paper assesses the application of YOLOv5 for detecting insects in yellow sticky traps using images collected from insect traps in Portuguese tomato plantations, acquired under open field conditions. Furthermore, a sliding window approach was used to minimize insect detection duplicates in a non-complex way. This article also contributes to event forecasting in agriculture fields, such as diseases and pests outbreak, by obtaining insect-related metrics that can be further analyzed and combined with other data extracted from the crop fields, contributing to smart farming and precision agriculture. The proposed method achieved good results when compared to related works, reaching 94.4% for mAP_0.5, with a precision and recall of 88% and 91%, respectively, using YOLOv5x. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Application of Machine Learning in Agriculture)
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15 pages, 3409 KiB  
Article
Designing an Interactively Cognitive Humanoid Field-Phenotyping Robot for In-Field Rice Tiller Counting
by Yixiang Huang, Pengcheng Xia, Liang Gong, Binhao Chen, Yanming Li and Chengliang Liu
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1966; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111966 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1450
Abstract
Field phenotyping is a crucial process in crop breeding, and traditional manual phenotyping is labor-intensive and time-consuming. Therefore, many automatic high-throughput phenotyping platforms (HTPPs) have been studied. However, existing automatic phenotyping methods encounter occlusion problems in fields. This paper presents a new in-field [...] Read more.
Field phenotyping is a crucial process in crop breeding, and traditional manual phenotyping is labor-intensive and time-consuming. Therefore, many automatic high-throughput phenotyping platforms (HTPPs) have been studied. However, existing automatic phenotyping methods encounter occlusion problems in fields. This paper presents a new in-field interactive cognition phenotyping paradigm. An active interactive cognition method is proposed to remove occlusion and overlap for better detectable quasi-structured environment construction with a field phenotyping robot. First, a humanoid robot equipped with image acquiring sensory devices is designed to contain an intuitive remote control for field phenotyping manipulations. Second, a bio-inspired solution is introduced to allow the phenotyping robot to mimic the manual phenotyping operations. In this way, automatic high-throughput phenotyping of the full growth period is realized and a large volume of tiller counting data is availed. Third, an attentional residual network (AtResNet) is proposed for rice tiller number recognition. The in-field experiment shows that the proposed method achieves approximately 95% recognition accuracy with the interactive cognition phenotyping platform. This paper opens new possibilities to solve the common technical problems of occlusion and observation pose in field phenotyping. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Robots and Autonomous Machines for Agriculture Production)
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18 pages, 640 KiB  
Article
Qualitative and Nutritional Evaluation of Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) Meat Production
by Daniel Simeanu, Răzvan-Mihail Radu-Rusu, Olimpia Smaranda Mintas and Cristina Simeanu
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1965; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111965 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3464
Abstract
Polyodon spathula is a valuable species of sturgeon native to North America that has acclimatized very well in Europe. Detailed knowledge of the quantitative and qualitative productive performance of paddlefish meat is of interest. Through this article, we aimed to highlight the chemical [...] Read more.
Polyodon spathula is a valuable species of sturgeon native to North America that has acclimatized very well in Europe. Detailed knowledge of the quantitative and qualitative productive performance of paddlefish meat is of interest. Through this article, we aimed to highlight the chemical composition, cholesterol, and collagen content of fillets issued from paddlefish aged two and three summers and to highlight, as well as the nutritional value, the profile of fatty acids and amino acids, the sanogenic indices and the biological value of proteins for the epaxial and hypaxial muscle groups. The chemical analysis of the fillets by age indicated slightly higher values in summer three, compared to summer two: +5.32% dry matter, +0.89% protein, +41.21% fat, therefore +10.94% gross energy and for collagen by 2.94%; instead, for water, minerals and the W/P ratio the values were lower by 1.52%, 10.08%, and 2.29%. The nutritional assessment revealed that paddlefish has a meat with high PUFA content (approx. 22% of total fatty acids) and good values of sanogenic indices (Polyunsaturation Index = 7.01–8.77; Atherogenic Index = 0.57; Thrombogenic Index = 0.38–0.39; Hypocholesterolemic Fatty Acids = 33.01–41.34; Hypocholesteromic/Hypercolesteromic Fatty Acids ratio = 1.9). Also, the proteins of these fish are of good quality for young and adult consumers (EAA index = 156.11; Biological Value = 158.46; Nutritional Index (%) = 28.30) and good enough for children (Essential Amino Acids Index = 96.41; Biological Value = 93.39; Nutritional Index (%) = 17.45). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Nutrition and Productions)
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18 pages, 6396 KiB  
Article
Plant Disease Detection Strategy Based on Image Texture and Bayesian Optimization with Small Neural Networks
by Juan Felipe Restrepo-Arias, John W. Branch-Bedoya and Gabriel Awad
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1964; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111964 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3245
Abstract
A novel method of disease diagnosis, based on images that capture every part of a diseased plant, such as the leaf, the fruit, the root, etc., is presented in this paper. As is well known, the plant genotypic and phenotypic characteristics can significantly [...] Read more.
A novel method of disease diagnosis, based on images that capture every part of a diseased plant, such as the leaf, the fruit, the root, etc., is presented in this paper. As is well known, the plant genotypic and phenotypic characteristics can significantly impact how plants are affected by viruses, bacteria, or fungi that cause disease. Assume that these data are unknown at the outset and that the appropriate precautions are not taken to prevent classifications skewed toward uninteresting traits. An approach to avoid categorization bias brought on by the morphology of leaves is suggested in this study. The basis of this approach is the extraction of textural features. Additionally, Bayesian Optimization is suggested to obtain training hyperparameters that enable the creation of better-trained artificial neural networks. First, we initially pre-processed the images from the PlantVillage dataset to remove background noise. Then, tiles from images were used to reduce any potential bias from leaf form. Finally, several cutting-edge tiny convolutional neural networks (CNNs), created for contexts with little processing power, were trained on a new dataset of 85 × 85 × 3 px images. MobileNet, which had a 96.31% accuracy rate, and SqueezeNet, which had a 95.05% accuracy rate, were the models that predicted the best performance. The results were then examined using Precision and Recall measures, which are important for identifying plant diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Digital Agriculture)
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16 pages, 6302 KiB  
Article
Vibration Characteristics of Corn Combine Harvester with the Time-Varying Mass System under Non-Stationary Random Vibration
by Yanchun Yao, Xiaoke Li, Zihan Yang, Liang Li, Duanyang Geng, Peng Huang, Yongsheng Li and Zhenghe Song
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1963; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111963 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2020
Abstract
In field harvesting conditions, the non-stationary random vibration characteristics of the harvester are rarely considered, and the results of vibration frequency calculated by different time–frequency transformation methods are different. In this paper, the harvester’s vibration characteristics under the time-varying mass were studied, and [...] Read more.
In field harvesting conditions, the non-stationary random vibration characteristics of the harvester are rarely considered, and the results of vibration frequency calculated by different time–frequency transformation methods are different. In this paper, the harvester’s vibration characteristics under the time-varying mass were studied, and the correlation between vibration frequency and modal frequency was analyzed. Firstly, under the conditions of time-varying mass (field harvesting conditions) and non-time-varying mass (empty running condition), the non-stationarity characteristics of vibration signals at 16 measurement points of a combined corn harvester frame were studied. Then, fast Fourier transform (FFT), short-time Fourier transform (STFT), and continuous wavelet transform (CWT) were used to calculate the vibration frequency distribution characteristics of the corn harvester. Finally, based on the EFDD (enhanced frequency domain decomposition) algorithm, the correlation between the primary vibration frequency and the operating mode frequency is studied. The results show that the mean, variance, and maximum difference of the vibration amplitude under harvesting conditions (mass time-varying system) are 0.10, 26.5, and 1.0, respectively, at different harvesting periods (0~10 s, 10~20 s, 20~30 s). The harvesting conditions’ vibration signals conform to the characteristics of non-stationary randomness. The FFT algorithm is used to obtain more dense vibration frequencies, while the frequencies based on STFT and CWT algorithms are sparse. The correlation between the FFT method and the EFDD algorithm is 0.98, and the correlation between the STFT, CWT, and the EFDD algorithm is 0.99 and 0.98. Therefore, the primary frequency of the STFT methods is closer to the modal frequency. Our research laid the foundation for further study and application of mass time-varying combined harvester system non-stationary random vibration modal frequency identification and vibration control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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18 pages, 17256 KiB  
Article
Developing a Spatial Emission Inventory of Agricultural Machinery in Croatia by Using Large-Scale Survey Data
by Šimun Lončarević, Petar Ilinčić, Zoran Lulić and Darko Kozarac
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1962; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111962 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2049
Abstract
Agricultural machinery has an essential impact on climate change. However, its emission data are often missing, which makes it harder to develop policies which could lower its emissions. An emission inventory should first be developed to understand the impact of agricultural machinery on [...] Read more.
Agricultural machinery has an essential impact on climate change. However, its emission data are often missing, which makes it harder to develop policies which could lower its emissions. An emission inventory should first be developed to understand the impact of agricultural machinery on climate change. This article presents a spatial variation of emissions from agricultural machinery in Croatia. Data on agricultural machinery for 2016 was collected via a large-scale survey with 8895 respondents and included machinery type, location data, and fuel consumption by fuel type. Data processing was conducted to optimize the survey results, and the emissions were calculated using the “EEA/EMEP Emission Inventory Guidebook” Tier 1 method. The research shows that two-axle tractors with engine power 61–100 kW had the most significant energy consumption and were responsible for most of the emissions. The highest total emissions were in counties in the Slavonia region, while counties in the Dalmatia region had the highest emissions per hectare of arable land. Results obtained this way enable policies to be developed that will target specific spatial areas and machinery types. Furthermore, this approach could allow precise spatial and temporal emission tracking. A designated institution which could conduct annual surveys and update the agricultural machinery emission data would ensure emission data continuity. Full article
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12 pages, 634 KiB  
Article
Tyre Configuration and Axle Load of Front-Wheel Assist and Four-Wheel Drive Tractors Effects on Soil Compaction and Rolling Resistance under No-Tillage
by David Rivero, Guido F. Botta, Diogenes L. Antille, Alejandra Ezquerra-Canalejo, Fernando Bienvenido and Mustafa Ucgul
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1961; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111961 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1887
Abstract
Selecting the appropriate tyre configuration and settings for heavy farm vehicles is important to ensure that soil compaction and power loss in rolling resistance are minimised and traction is optimised. This study investigated the effect of front-wheel assist (FWA, ≈75 kN) and four-wheel [...] Read more.
Selecting the appropriate tyre configuration and settings for heavy farm vehicles is important to ensure that soil compaction and power loss in rolling resistance are minimised and traction is optimised. This study investigated the effect of front-wheel assist (FWA, ≈75 kN) and four-wheel drive (4 WD, ≈100 kN) tractors fitted with different tyre configurations (single, dual), tyre sizes and inflation pressures on soil strength (a proxy for soil compaction), and rolling resistance. Single-pass tests were performed on a Typic Argiudoll (≈23% clay, bulk density: 1305 kg m−3) managed under permanent no-tillage. Results showed that average power losses in rolling resistance were 7.5 kN and 5 kN for the 4 WD and FWA tractors, respectively. The average rut depth increased by approximately 1.4 times after a pass of the 4 WD compared with the FWA tractor. The soil cone index (0–600 mm depth) increased from 2023 kPa (before traffic) to 2188 and 2435 kPa after single passes of the FWA and 4WD tractors, respectively (p < 0.05). At the centreline of the tyre rut, dual tyres reduced the soil cone index a little compared with single tyres, but they significantly increased the volume of soil over which soil strength, and therefore soil compaction, was increased. For both tractors (regardless of tyre configuration or settings), soil strength increased to the full measured depth (600 mm), but relative changes before vs. after traffic became progressively smaller with increased soil depth. The power loss in rolling resistance was consistently greater with the heavier tractor, and rut depth was directly related to tyre inflation pressure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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12 pages, 1617 KiB  
Article
Experimental Characterization and Mathematical Modelling of Natural Drying of Apricots at Low Temperatures
by Can Hu, Jie Li, Qiaonan Yang, Xiaokang Yi, Hui Cheng, Chao Xu and Zhenhao Du
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1960; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111960 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1434
Abstract
To mitigate reduced apricot fruit quality due to mildew, browning and sand dust from natural drying under low temperatures and humidity, we determined the characteristics of three different methods of drying (via hanging) and further established their mathematical models. Various comparative analyses of [...] Read more.
To mitigate reduced apricot fruit quality due to mildew, browning and sand dust from natural drying under low temperatures and humidity, we determined the characteristics of three different methods of drying (via hanging) and further established their mathematical models. Various comparative analyses of natural drying by laying apricots in an area of the Gobi Desert, subjecting them to ventilated drying in an air-drying house, and hanging them on trees were conducted. The least and most efficient methods were hanging on trees (302 h) and laying them in an area of the Gobi Desert (>192 h), respectively. The loss rate and the total sugar content were 5.26% and 70.16%, and up to 18.31% and 68.54% for fruits dried by ventilated drying in an air-drying house and those hung on trees, respectively. Fruits dried by ventilated drying in an air-drying house showed the least loss and the best comprehensive quality. Using experimental data from assessments of the drying methods, mathematical models were constructed and fitted to drying mathematical models of seven kinds of porous media. The Wang and Singh model had the best fitting degree, an error value of less than 0.05, and the regression that most accurately explained the drying mathematical model for apricots under natural conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Storage of Agricultural Products)
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16 pages, 3381 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Fresh Weight Prediction of Substrate-Cultivated Lettuce Grown in a Solar Greenhouse Based on Phenotypic and Environmental Data
by Lin Liu, Jin Yuan, Liang Gong, Xing Wang and Xuemei Liu
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1959; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111959 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1767
Abstract
The fresh weight of vegetables is an important index for the accurate evaluation of growth processes, which are affected by factors such as temperature and radiation fluctuation, especially in a passive solar greenhouse. Predicting dynamic growth indexed by fresh weight in a solar [...] Read more.
The fresh weight of vegetables is an important index for the accurate evaluation of growth processes, which are affected by factors such as temperature and radiation fluctuation, especially in a passive solar greenhouse. Predicting dynamic growth indexed by fresh weight in a solar greenhouse remains a challenge. A novel method for predicting the dynamic growth of leafy vegetables based on the in situ sensing of phenotypic and environmental data of batches is proposed herein, enabling prediction of the dynamic fresh weight of substrate-cultivated lettuce grown in a solar greenhouse under normal water and fertilizer conditions. Firstly, multibatch lettuce cultivation experiments were carried out and batch datasets constructed by collecting growth environmental data and lettuce canopy images in real time. Secondly, the cumulative environmental factors and instantaneous fresh weights of the lettuce batches were calculated. The optimum response time in days was then explored through the most significant correlations between cumulative environmental factors and fresh weight growth. Finally, a dynamic fresh weight prediction model was established using a naive Bayesian network, based on cumulative environmental factors, instantaneous fresh weight, and the fresh weight increments of batches. The results showed that the computing time setpoint of cumulative environmental factors and instantaneous fresh weight of lettuce was 8:00 AM and the optimum response time was 12 days, and the average R2 values among samples from three batches reached 95.95%. The mean relative error (MRE) of fresh weight prediction 4 days into the future based on data from the current batch was not more than 9.57%. Upon introducing another batch of data, the prediction 7 days into the future dropped below 8.53% MRE; upon introducing another two batches, the prediction 9 days into the future dropped below 9.68% MRE. The accuracy was improved by the introduction of additional data batches, proving the model’s feasibility. The proposed dynamic fresh weight growth prediction model can support the automatic management of substrate-cultivated leafy vegetables in a solar greenhouse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Robots and Autonomous Machines for Agriculture Production)
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21 pages, 8740 KiB  
Article
Research on Design and Analysis Method of the Double Planetary HMCVT Based on High Efficiency Transmission
by Jiang Li, Yirong Zhao, Zhiqiang Zhai, Bing Han, Yuefeng Du, Lin Wang and Zhongxiang Zhu
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1958; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111958 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1269
Abstract
The hydro-mechanical continuously variable transmission (HMCVT) is the critical component in the transmission system of the high-horsepower tractor. However, different structural layouts have a significant influence on transmission efficiency, especially for the HMCVT with multiple planetary rows. Therefore, the double planetary HMCVT, which, [...] Read more.
The hydro-mechanical continuously variable transmission (HMCVT) is the critical component in the transmission system of the high-horsepower tractor. However, different structural layouts have a significant influence on transmission efficiency, especially for the HMCVT with multiple planetary rows. Therefore, the double planetary HMCVT, which, based on efficiency characteristics, was designed in this study, as well as the efficiency distribution area under different loads, were analysed. First, the method of the single planetary row in structure layout is constructed and redefined, revealing the transformation law of transmission in different layouts. Moreover, the different layout efficiencies and output transmission ratios were derived as the theoretical basis for selection. Then, the obtained transmission and efficiency characteristics were selected as the best combination to design the double planetary HMCVT. The theoretical efficiency and hydraulic power shunt characteristics were analysed with the circulating power, and the influence of circulating power on operational efficiency was determined. Finally, the hardware-in-the-loop system of HMCVT was designed. Herein, a new type of variable load efficiency characteristic analysis method is proposed, which treats the engine and transmission as an efficient whole. The variational performance of the efficiency field in hydro-mechanical stages are discussed under full load and variable load. This research provides theoretical support for efficiency improvements in design and analysis of the multi-planetary HMCVT tractor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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15 pages, 774 KiB  
Article
Virulence Diversity of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. Tritici in Common Wheat in Russian Regions in 2019–2021
by Elena Gultyaeva, Ekaterina Shaydayuk and Evsey Kosman
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1957; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111957 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1444
Abstract
Yellow (stripe) rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), is a major disease of common wheat worldwide. Disease epidemics in Russia have been frequent and destructive, mostly in the North Caucasus. However, over the last 5 years, the significance [...] Read more.
Yellow (stripe) rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), is a major disease of common wheat worldwide. Disease epidemics in Russia have been frequent and destructive, mostly in the North Caucasus. However, over the last 5 years, the significance of Pst has markedly increased in other Russian regions. Therefore, the Pst virulence diversity was investigated in Triticum aestivum in six geographically distant regions of the European (North Caucasus, North-West, Low Volga, Central Black Earth region, and Volga-Vyatka) and Asian (West Siberia) parts of Russia, with strongly different climates, environmental conditions, and growing wheat genotypes. Seventy-nine virulence pathotypes among 117 isolates were identified using the 12 Avocet Yr gene lines (Yr1, Yr5, Yr6, Yr7, Yr8, Yr9, Yr10, Yr15, Yr17, Yr24, Yr27, and YrSp) and eight supplemental wheat differentials (Heines VII, Vilmorin 23, Hybrid 46, Strubes Dickkopf, Carstens V, Suwon 92/Omar, Nord Desprez, and Heines Peko). Only four pathotypes occurred in two or more regions. High variability was detected within Pst populations from Dagestan, Central, North-West, and West Siberia that postulated to form an intrapopulation subdivision of each of them into several subgroups. Most regional virulence groups of pathotypes were closely related, except for several small subgroups of pathotypes from West Siberia, Dagestan, North-West, and Central European regions. All Pst isolates were avirulent in lines with Yr5, Yr10, Yr15, and Yr24 genes. Virulence to Yr17 was detected for several isolates of two pathotypes, one each from the North-West and Low Volga regions. Variation in virulence frequency was observed in other differential lines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Diversity of Wheat Fungal Diseases)
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13 pages, 2410 KiB  
Article
Design of and Experiment on Reciprocating Inter-Row Weeding Machine for Strip-Seeded Rice
by Yu Wang, Xiaobo Xi, Meng Chen, Yangjie Shi, Yifu Zhang, Baofeng Zhang, Jiwei Qu and Ruihong Zhang
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1956; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111956 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2197
Abstract
To solve the problems of high labor costs, a low weeding rate and a high seedling injury rate in the direct seeding of rice fields, this paper presents a reciprocating inter-row weeding machine for strip-seeded rice. The machine uses a combination of weeding [...] Read more.
To solve the problems of high labor costs, a low weeding rate and a high seedling injury rate in the direct seeding of rice fields, this paper presents a reciprocating inter-row weeding machine for strip-seeded rice. The machine uses a combination of weeding wheels and weeding shovels to improve the efficiency of weeding between rice rows. Its reciprocating mechanism was designed and optimized. The simulation model of weeding teeth–paddy soil interaction was established in EDEM. The structural parameters of the weeding teeth were optimized, and the bending angle of the optimized weeding teeth was 55°. A prototype trial production and field tests were carried out. The results showed that the prototype’s inter-row weeding rate was between 80.2% and 85.3% and the seedling injury rate was between 3.5% and 5.1% when the prototype’s working speed was 1~3 km h−1. The faster the speed of the prototype, the lower the inter-row weeding rate and the higher the seedling injury rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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18 pages, 1897 KiB  
Article
Consequences of the Long-Term Fertilization System Use on Physical and Microbiological Soil Status in the Western Polissia of Ukraine
by Oksana Puzniak, Natalia Hrynchyshyn, Tetiana Datsko, Sylwia Andruszczak and Bohdan Hulko
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1955; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111955 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1742
Abstract
The response of soil microbial diversity to long-term fertilization is still not well understood in the context of different soil types. The purpose of this research was to reveal the impact of fertilization systems on soil parameters and life activity of the main [...] Read more.
The response of soil microbial diversity to long-term fertilization is still not well understood in the context of different soil types. The purpose of this research was to reveal the impact of fertilization systems on soil parameters and life activity of the main taxonomic and physiological groups of microorganisms responsible for nitrogen, carbon, and phosphorus transformation. Reported results were obtained in the course of a 55-year-long experiment on fertilization of sod-podzolic soil in a grain-flax-potato crop rotation. Soil sampling was conducted within a 0–20 cm depth in five sites: without fertilizer (C); organic fertilization system, manure (O1FS); mineral fertilization system, NPK (MFS); organic-mineral fertilization system, manure + NPK (O1MFS); and organic-mineral fertilization system, siderate + NPK (O2MFS). Long-term use of various fertilization systems has led to changes in the soil properties. Bacteria dominated the microbial community in all examined areas. Soil fertilization supported bacteria development in all variants, except for MFS, and negatively affected the micromycetes content. A strong relationship between the change of the main soil indicators and the number of microorganisms from the main taxonomic groups was found between the soil pH KCl and the number of micromycetes. The O1FS option had the most beneficial effect on the development of soil nitrifiers and denitrifiers. The O1MFS fertilization system was the most favorable for the development of non-symbiotic anaerobic nitrogen-fixing, cellulose-degrading and phosphate-mobilizing microorganisms. In turn, the least favorable conditions for the development of physiological groups of microorganisms were found in cases of continuous use of mineral fertilizers. Full article
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23 pages, 12356 KiB  
Article
Soil Compaction under Different Traction Resistance Conditions—A Case Study in North Italy
by Kaihua Liu, Marco Benetti, Marco Sozzi, Franco Gasparini and Luigi Sartori
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1954; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111954 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2526
Abstract
Tractive efficiency is essential in tillage operations to optimise traction performance. In this field experiment, the tractor performance was measured under different traction resistance conditions. This study quantified the soil stress, soil bulk density, soil moisture, soil cone index, soil surface disturbance, rolling [...] Read more.
Tractive efficiency is essential in tillage operations to optimise traction performance. In this field experiment, the tractor performance was measured under different traction resistance conditions. This study quantified the soil stress, soil bulk density, soil moisture, soil cone index, soil surface disturbance, rolling resistance and slip rate under different numbers of passes and traction conditions. The actual power used under different soil and traction conditions was collected. Fuel consumption and savings were calculated between uncompacted soil, compacted soil and the permanent traffic lane. The results show that soil stress increases in each location as traction and the number of passes increase. Soil’s physical properties increase, such as the soil bulk density, soil cone index and soil surface disturbance. Additionally, the slip rate increases with traction in each soil condition as uncompacted soil, compacted soil and the permanent traffic lane. The results show that the permanent traffic lane has a lower slip rate under different traction conditions than the uncompacted and compacted soil. Furthermore, the permanent traffic lane has less energy consumption with the same traction resistance. The permanent traffic lane saved 25.50%, 29.23% and 42.34% fuel compared to the uncompacted field in 7.85, 14.71 and 24.52 kN traction conditions, respectively. Our results confirm that dynamic factors such as traction and rolling resistance should be considered in soil compaction research rather than static weight only. In practice, the controlled traffic farming (CTF) system or driving the tractor more frequently on the permanent traffic lane should be considered to improve working efficiency and reduce energy consumption. Full article
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13 pages, 5087 KiB  
Article
Design and Simulation Analysis of a Reverse Flexible Harvesting Device for Fresh Corn
by Hongmei Zhang, Bo Chen, Zhijie Li, Chenhui Zhu, E Jin and Zhe Qu
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1953; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111953 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1410
Abstract
Aiming at the problem of grain breakage during the harvesting of fresh corn, this paper theoretically analyzes the collision process between the ear picking device and the corn ear, and a flexible ear picking structure composed of flexible materials and buffer springs is [...] Read more.
Aiming at the problem of grain breakage during the harvesting of fresh corn, this paper theoretically analyzes the collision process between the ear picking device and the corn ear, and a flexible ear picking structure composed of flexible materials and buffer springs is determined. Combined with a new harvesting method that reverses the growth direction from top to bottom, a reverse flexible ear plucking device for fresh corn was designed. We used the ADAMS software to simulate the ear picking process of fresh corn, analyze the contact force between the rigid structure and flexible buffer structure under different picking claw speeds and stalk feeding speeds, and obtain the optimal parameter combination: the picking claw speed was 2 m/s, and the stalk feeding speed was 1 m/s. On the basis of the simulation, a reverse flexible fresh corn harvesting bench was built, and the optimal operating parameters were obtained from the test: the speed of ear picking claws was 2.11 m/s; the number of ear picking claws was four; the thickness of the flexible body was 4.52 mm; the stem feeding speed was 1.04 m/s; the corresponding grain breakage rate was 0.128%, which was far lower than the national standard (0.5%); and the ear impurity content was 0.3%, which was far lower than the national standard (2%). The results are consistent with the simulation results, proving that the model is reliable. This research achieved the harvest of fresh corn ears with a low grain damage rate, verified the possibility of reverse flexible ear picking, and provided a reference for the research and development of low-damage fresh corn harvesting machines. Full article
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15 pages, 3049 KiB  
Article
Manure Application Timing and Incorporation Effects on Ammonia and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Corn
by Jessica Sherman, Eric Young, William Jokela and Burney Kieke
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1952; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111952 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1894
Abstract
Manure application influences ammonia (NH3) and greenhouse gas emissions; however, few studies have quantified the effects of manure application methods and timing on NH3, nitrous oxide (N2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4) [...] Read more.
Manure application influences ammonia (NH3) and greenhouse gas emissions; however, few studies have quantified the effects of manure application methods and timing on NH3, nitrous oxide (N2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4) fluxes simultaneously. We evaluated surface-applied liquid manure application with disk incorporation versus injection on NH3, N2O, CO2, and CH4 fluxes in central Wisconsin corn silage (Zea mays L.) plots during pre-plant (PP) and sidedress (SD) application windows from 2009 to 2011. Manure treatments were PP injection (PP-Inject) and injection at sidedress time (SD-Inject) to growing corn, along with two incorporation times for PP surface application (within 24 h—PP-1-hr; within 3 days—PP-3-day). Mean NH3 emissions were 95% lower for injected treatments compared to surface application in both years, with larger losses for PP-3-day and SD-Surf. While N2O fluxes were generally low, larger increases after manure application were associated with injection and triggered by soil moisture/temperature changes. Mean CO2 and CH4 were unaffected by manure treatments and influenced more by weather. Overall, injection conserved more available soil N while contributing to modest N2O emission, suggesting manure injection may offer greater agri-environmental benefits on the whole over surface application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimizing Nutrient Management in Cold Climate Agroecosystems)
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18 pages, 5483 KiB  
Article
Design and Experiment of Quantitative Seed Feeding Wheel of Air-Assisted High-Speed Precision Seed Metering Device
by Xiaojun Gao, Pengfei Zhao, Jiang Li, Yang Xu, Yuxiang Huang and Long Wang
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1951; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111951 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1884
Abstract
Aiming to solve the problems of the poor uniformity of seed flow discharge and serious damage of traditional straight grooved wheels to improve the performance of air-assisted maize high-speed precision seed metering devices, a staggering symmetrical spiral grooved feeding wheel with maize seeds [...] Read more.
Aiming to solve the problems of the poor uniformity of seed flow discharge and serious damage of traditional straight grooved wheels to improve the performance of air-assisted maize high-speed precision seed metering devices, a staggering symmetrical spiral grooved feeding wheel with maize seeds was designed. To explore the influence of the spiral groove inclination angle and the length of the staggered symmetrical spiral groove feed wheel on the uniformity of seed flow discharge, the spiral groove length l and the spiral groove inclination angle ρ were used as the experimental factors, and the variation coefficient of the increase in seed, a full-factor simulation test was carried out for the test indicators, and it was found that both the inclination angle and the length of the spiral groove have an influence on the uniformity of seed flow discharge, and the influence of the inclination angle of the groove is more significant. Comparing the force of a single seed in the traditional straight grooved wheel and that of the spiral feeding wheel, it is found that the staggered symmetrical spiral grooved feeding wheel can reduce the damage of seed fertilizer. Through a bench test, the spiral groove length was found to be 50 mm, and the groove inclination angles are 30°, 45° and 90°. The test results show the variation trend and simulation results of the fluctuating coefficient of variation of the seed flow discharge in the bench test. The trend of change is basically the same. The inclination angle of the spiral groove is 45° and the uniformity of seed flow discharge is the best when the groove length is 50 mm, indicating that this structure can effectively improve the uniformity of material discharge, and the variation coefficient of seed flow discharge fluctuation is 3.12% and the seed breakage rate is 0.69%. Through the seeding performance test, it is verified that the staggered symmetrical spiral grooved feeding wheel can improve the seeding performance of the pneumatic high-speed precision metering device. When the metering device runs smoothly, the qualified rate reaches more than 90%, and the leakage rate is reduced to 0%. Therefore, the results of this study can provide a reference for research on uniform seeding, drill seeding and the uniform application of granular fertilizer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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17 pages, 20137 KiB  
Article
Effective Applications of Trichoderma spp. as Biofertilizers and Biocontrol Agents Mitigate Tomato Fusarium Wilt Disease
by Eman F. A. Awad-Allah, Amany H. M. Shams, Amira A. Helaly and Entsar I. M. Ragheb
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1950; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111950 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3752
Abstract
Eco-friendly and sustainable plant disease management employing Trichoderma spp. as bioagents is an economically feasible and ecologically sustainable approach. Therefore, their use in agriculture should be encouraged. The two main goals of the present study were to evaluate the abilities of two Trichoderma [...] Read more.
Eco-friendly and sustainable plant disease management employing Trichoderma spp. as bioagents is an economically feasible and ecologically sustainable approach. Therefore, their use in agriculture should be encouraged. The two main goals of the present study were to evaluate the abilities of two Trichoderma isolates to prevent Fusarium wilt disease, which is caused by Fusarium solani, in vitro and under greenhouse conditions, as well as their potential as biofertilizers to enhance cherry tomato growth and development. The results of a dual culture test revealed that T. viride and T. harzianum are antagonistic against the F. solani pathogen. The antagonism mechanisms include competition for nutrients and space, mycoparasitism, and antibiosis, according to scanning electron microscopy (SEM) findings. Additionally, T. harzianum reduced the mycelial growth of F. solani by 78.0%, whereas T. viride inhibited the growth by 61.2%, 10 days post-inoculation. In a greenhouse experiment, cherry tomato plants treated with each of these antagonistic Trichoderma isolates separately or in combination significantly suppressed Fusarium wilt disease, improved plant growth parameters, increased macro- and micronutrients uptake, and increased the content of photosynthetic pigments and total phenols. In conclusion, effective applications of Trichoderma isolates have the potential to mitigate Fusarium wilt disease, which is caused by F. solani in cherry tomato plants, while simultaneously promoting the growth and development of cherry tomatoes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Protection, Diseases, Pests and Weeds)
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13 pages, 1301 KiB  
Article
Impact of Phosphorous Fertilization on Rape and Common Vetch Intercropped Fodder and Soil Phosphorus Dynamics in North China
by Jiahui Qu, Lijun Li, Peiyi Zhao, Dongyu Han, Xinyao Zhao, Yanli Zhang, Li Han and Ying Wang
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1949; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111949 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1102
Abstract
This study explores the effect of phosphorus (P) fractions, under P addition or not, based on a common vetch-rape model cropping system in alkaline soil. A two year field experiment was conducted at Tuzuo Banner modern agricultural Park in Inner Mongolia, China. Two [...] Read more.
This study explores the effect of phosphorus (P) fractions, under P addition or not, based on a common vetch-rape model cropping system in alkaline soil. A two year field experiment was conducted at Tuzuo Banner modern agricultural Park in Inner Mongolia, China. Two phosphorus levels, including P0 (no fertilizer) and P45 (45 kg·ha−1 P), were performed in common vetch and rape either grown alone or intercropped. We analyzed the changes of the physicochemical properties and phosphorus fractions in the rhizosphere soil. Intercropping enhanced the common vetch and rape yield by 42.05% and 24.91%, on average, compared with corresponding sole cropping on an equivalent area basis. The average land equivalent ratio (LER) was 1.34. Intercropping had a significant AP concentration, of 65.32% and 33.99% at the P0 level, and 62.83% and 36.19% at the P45 level, respectively, compared to that of the sole common vetch and rape. With the application of P, intercropping improved the Resin-Pi and NaHCO3-Pi fraction (61.17%, 87.03% at the P0 level and 96.50%, 41.85% at the P45 level, compared to monocropped common vetch and rape in 2019). The changes in NaOH-Pi and NaOH-Po (except for NaOH-Pi in 2019) showed no significant difference between cropping systems. Intercropping significantly accumulated concentrations of HCl-P, while depleting Residual-P, in 2020. In conclusion, common vetch/rape with the addition of P polyculture stimulated rhizosphere soil P mobilization and had a yield advantage over sole cropping. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Soils)
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14 pages, 1750 KiB  
Article
Effects of High Temperature and Drought Stresses on Growth and Yield of Summer Maize during Grain Filling in North China
by Yue Qi, Qiang Zhang, Shujuan Hu, Runyuan Wang, Heling Wang, Kai Zhang, Hong Zhao, Sanxue Ren, Yang Yang, Funian Zhao, Fei Chen and Yang Yang
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1948; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111948 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3499
Abstract
High sensitivity to climate change has been demonstrated in global maize production, especially the extreme high temperature and drought events. At present, the interactive effects of those extreme event stresses on maize growth at the grain filling stage are less well studied. In [...] Read more.
High sensitivity to climate change has been demonstrated in global maize production, especially the extreme high temperature and drought events. At present, the interactive effects of those extreme event stresses on maize growth at the grain filling stage are less well studied. In this study, a two-year field experiment was conducted to evaluate the compound effects of three stressors (high temperature, drought, and stress duration) at the filling phase on phenological period, grain filling rate, yield component, and yield of summer maize. The precipitation and temperature were controlled by using a rain-shelter systems and a warming system with infrared radiation lamps in field plots. The results indicated the significant influences of high temperature, drought stress, and the interaction on the growth and yield of summer maize. Under the individual factor of drought, compared to normal irrigation (NI), the significant decrease in grain-filling rate for mild drought (LD) and severe drought (SD) were 70.7% and 60.6%, respectively, while the decrease in grain yield for LD and SD were 80.1% and 93.6%, respectively. Under the individual factor of temperature, the consequences on grain-filling rate and grain yield were more severe at high temperature (temperature increase by 4.5 °C) than low temperature (temperature increase by 2.3 °C). The compound of high temperature and drought indicated that the grain yield increase by the compound effects of 3 °C for 5 days under normal irrigation (NIT3D5) and the compound effects of 3 °C for 7 days under mild drought (LDT3D7) were 3.5% and 10.9%, respectively, compared to without temperature stress. The grain yields were reduced by the other compound effects. The preferential temperature (temperature increase by 2.3 °C) promoted maize growth under normal irrigation and mild drought, while high temperature (temperature increase by 4.5 °C) significantly inhibited maize growth under normal irrigation and heavy drought. The warming climate is favorable to maize production within certain limits, and will provide a scientific basis for agricultural disaster prevention and mitigation. Full article
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25 pages, 3301 KiB  
Review
Aquaculture Sustainability Assessed by Emergy Synthesis: The Importance of Water Accounting
by Úrsula da Silva Morales, Marco Aurélio Rotta, Darci Carlos Fornari and Danilo Pedro Streit, Jr.
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1947; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111947 - 19 Nov 2022
Viewed by 2230
Abstract
Aquaculture is one of the protein production activities with the most significant potential for global development. It is one of the fastest growing in recent years, mainly because of its efficiency in transforming feed into meat. However, the increase in aquaculture production raises [...] Read more.
Aquaculture is one of the protein production activities with the most significant potential for global development. It is one of the fastest growing in recent years, mainly because of its efficiency in transforming feed into meat. However, the increase in aquaculture production raises some concerns, especially regarding the proper use of natural resources such as water, which is fundamental in aquaculture production systems. On the other hand, numerous systems, models, and production techniques have been developed and used to manage resources and reduce the negative impacts of the activity. However, it is not known which production systems and management practices are more sustainable, although the development and application of these technologies are crucial and profoundly influence this aspect of production. Emergy is a method that considers the contribution of nature and economy in the creation of the product and service, excluding the strictly monetary character present in conventional economic evaluations, being a model used to measure the level of sustainability in productive systems. In this sense, this study characterized the use of emergy analysis in aquaculture systems and discussed the main applications and potential uses, in addition to identifying the importance of water in the production and better destination of this resource for the economic and sustainable development of aquaculture. The systematic review methodology identified 17 articles using emergy analysis to assess environmental, economic, and social sustainability. The production systems evaluated vary between monocultures and polycultures at different production levels (intensive, semi-intensive, extensive). When all these particularities are transformed into the same unit (emjoule or solar joule), it is possible to compare different scenarios. As a primary resource of nature, water deserves more attention in the emergy accounting of aquaculture systems. It was shown the importance of a more detailed water analysis considering its effective use, impact (alteration or variation in its quality), and flow for a correct emergy analysis as a tool to promote the maintenance of the aquaculture activity over the years, which has in the water its most significant wealth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Aquaculture: Current Perspectives and Future Challenges)
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10 pages, 3122 KiB  
Article
Nitrate Increases Aluminum Toxicity and Accumulation in Root of Wheat
by Yan Ma, Caihong Bai, Xincheng Zhang and Yanfeng Ding
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1946; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111946 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1565
Abstract
Aluminum (Al) toxicity inhibits root growth, while nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plant growth and development. To explore the effects of nitrate (N) on Al toxicity and accumulation in root of wheat, two wheat genotypes, Shengxuan 6 hao (SX6, Al-tolerant genotype) and [...] Read more.
Aluminum (Al) toxicity inhibits root growth, while nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plant growth and development. To explore the effects of nitrate (N) on Al toxicity and accumulation in root of wheat, two wheat genotypes, Shengxuan 6 hao (SX6, Al-tolerant genotype) and Zhenmai 168 (ZM168, Al-sensitive genotype), were used in a hydroponic experiment with four treatments (control without N or Al, N, Al, and Al+N, respectively). The results showed that N increased the inhibition of root elongation and aluminum accumulation in root. The Al-sensitive genotype suffered more serious Al toxicity than the Al-tolerant genotype. Histochemical observation clearly showed that Al prefers binding on the root apex 7–10 mm zones, and the Al-sensitive genotype accumulated more Al in these zones. Compared with other treatments, the Al+N treatment had significantly higher O2, superoxides dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD) activities, H2O2, Evans blue uptake, malondialdehyde (MDA), ascorbic acid (AsA), pectin, and hemicellulose 1 (HC1) contents in both genotypes. Under Al+N treatment, O2 activity, Evans blue uptake, MDA, and HC1 contents of SX6 were significantly lower than those of ZM168, but SOD, CAT, and POD activities and AsA content exhibited an opposite trend. Therefore, aluminum toxicity and accumulation in root of wheat seedlings were aggravated by nitrate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stresses, Biostimulants and Plant Activity)
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15 pages, 11214 KiB  
Article
Design of 6-DOF Tomato Picking Lifting Platform
by Pei Cao, Tianchi Wang, Liang Zhai, Shi’ao Niu, Li Liu and Yinggang Shi
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1945; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111945 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2071
Abstract
The tomato picking lifting platform is the carrier for the installation of the picking manipulator, which directly affects the operating range, speed, and picking effect of the picking manipulator. Based on the six degree of freedom motion platform, this paper designs a tomato [...] Read more.
The tomato picking lifting platform is the carrier for the installation of the picking manipulator, which directly affects the operating range, speed, and picking effect of the picking manipulator. Based on the six degree of freedom motion platform, this paper designs a tomato lifting platform with automatic lifting and automatic leveling functions, which can accurately dock at the designated height to complete the picking operation, and verifies the validity of its parameters and the rationality of the operation movement. First, we analyzed the tomato planting mode and growth characteristics of greenhouse; determined the predetermined trajectory, mechanism travel, and motion form of the lifting platform to complete the lifting process during tomato picking; and determined the basic design parameters of the platform; Secondly, we used SolidWorks to build the three-dimensional model of the lifting platform, and imported it into ADAMS. We used the driving function to complete the dynamic simulation of the virtual prototype of the lifting platform, and obtained the force curve of the electric cylinder and hinge. We analyzed the force on the electric cylinder and hinge of the lifting platform to determine the rationality of the device design. Finally, according to the design requirements and simulation data, we made the prototype of the lifting platform, constructed the motion control system, and carried out relevant experiments. The experimental results show that the maximum rotation angle around the x, y, and z axis is ±10°, the maximum lifting distance is 15 cm, and the maximum load is 50 kg; meanwhile, the average time for the system to reach steady state is 0.309 s, the in-tilt error increases with the increase in biaxial tilt angle, with the maximum error of 1.09°, and the maximum mean square root error of 0.119°, which can meet the automatic operation requirements of the tomato picking manipulator. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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19 pages, 18961 KiB  
Article
Numerical Simulation of Seed-Movement Characteristics in New Maize Delivery Device
by Rui Liu, Lijing Liu, Yanjun Li, Zhongjun Liu, Jinhui Zhao, Yunqiang Liu and Xuedong Zhang
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1944; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111944 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1533
Abstract
The delivery device is one of the key components in ensuring uniform grain spacing and achieving high-speed precision seeding. In this paper, a new type of high-speed airflow-assisted delivery device for maize is presented. The gas–solid flow in the delivery device was numerically [...] Read more.
The delivery device is one of the key components in ensuring uniform grain spacing and achieving high-speed precision seeding. In this paper, a new type of high-speed airflow-assisted delivery device for maize is presented. The gas–solid flow in the delivery device was numerically studied by the coupling method of CFD and DEM. The influence of the structural parameters of the delivery device on the movement of the seeds and the airflow field was analyzed in detail. The matching relationship between the inlet-airflow velocity and the operating speed of the seeder was explored. The results show that the position of the intake seed chamber mainly affects the negative pressure in the distribution area of the mixing chamber. The increase in the shrinkage angle results in the decrease in pressure loss and the decrease in airflow velocity in the delivery chamber. As the diffusion angle increases, the airflow forms a stable straight jet flow and the airflow velocity in the delivery chamber increases. As the ejection angle increases, the bouncing degree of the seed decreases, thereby ensuring the consistency of the seed-ejection direction. The research results show that, when the intake seed chamber is located in the middle, the shrinkage angle is 70°, the diffusion angle is 30°, and the exit angle is 60°, the air-assisted delivery device has better performance. With the increase in inlet wind speed, the seed-ejection speed can also be increased according to a certain proportion, which can meet the requirements of zero-speed seeding and ensure the uniformity of seed spacing, providing a new seed delivery scheme. In the future, if invasive damage to the seed shell is guaranteed to be minimized in high-speed airflow, the new delivery device can meet the requirements of precision seeding under high-speed conditions. Full article
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9 pages, 284 KiB  
Article
Effects of Copper Sulfate and Encapsulated Copper Addition on In Vitro Rumen Fermentation and Methane Production
by Martyna Wilk, Ewa Pecka-Kiełb, Jerzy Pastuszak, Muhammad Umair Asghar and Laura Mól
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1943; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111943 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1877
Abstract
Copper is a microelement crucial for the proper functioning of animals’ metabolic processes. The function of copper in rumen fermentation processes and methanogenesis is not well analyzed. The aim of the study was to evaluate the different types of copper supplement, their rumen [...] Read more.
Copper is a microelement crucial for the proper functioning of animals’ metabolic processes. The function of copper in rumen fermentation processes and methanogenesis is not well analyzed. The aim of the study was to evaluate the different types of copper supplement, their rumen decomposition and effect on in vitro ruminal fermentation as well as methanogenesis. Two different copper additives were used in the experiment: CS—copper sulfate (CuSO4 × 5 H2O)—and EC—encapsulated copper (tribasic copper chloride and copper sulfate enclosed within a polysaccharide polymer coating). A total mixed ration without copper additive was used as a control (C). In vitro rumen fermentation was conducted, and fermentation profile, gas production and methanogenesis were evaluated. After 24 h of fermentation, the amount of copper in the rumen fluid was significantly higher in the CS group. EC was protected against rumen degradation to a greater extent. The type of used copper supplement affects rumen fermentation. However, the effect on methanogenesis is ambiguous. CS supplement increases rumen gas production but does not affect methanogenesis. The obtained results suggest that the EC supplement may reduce the risk of low-fat milk and may improve the economic indicators of milk production. An in vivo experiment is necessary to compare the obtained in vitro results with animal productivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional and Metabolic Regulation of Dairy Cow)
18 pages, 50941 KiB  
Article
Analysis and Optimization Test of the Peanut Seeding Process with an Air-Suction Roller Dibbler
by Yang Xiang, Jianming Kang, Chunyan Zhang, Qiangji Peng, Ningning Zhang and Xiaoyu Wang
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1942; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111942 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1277
Abstract
The air-suction roller dibbler for peanuts is the core component to realizing precision seeding on film; however, the seeds in the dibbler cannot accurately fall into the seed-guiding mechanism during the work. In this study, we stabilized the seed trajectory by adjusting the [...] Read more.
The air-suction roller dibbler for peanuts is the core component to realizing precision seeding on film; however, the seeds in the dibbler cannot accurately fall into the seed-guiding mechanism during the work. In this study, we stabilized the seed trajectory by adjusting the installation angles of the chock block (IACB) and installation angles of the dibbler cover (IADC). We studied the seed-movement characteristics under different IACB and dibbler covers using EDEM simulation software. The separation between the seed and the baffle was obtained for different installation conditions, which were contact separation and noncontact separation. We obtained the best seeding performance when the seed was released from the edge of the dibbler cover in contact with the baffle of the seed separation tray. In the bench test, we obtained the best seed-feeding performance at 48.28° for the IACB, 12.29° for the IADC, and 3.84 km/h for the machine. The seeding pass rate was 95.35%, the missed seeding rate was 2.52%, and the reseeding rate was 2.11%. The field verification test showed that the machine worked well with the combination, and the seeding pass rate was above 92%, which meets the requirements of the single-grain precision sowing of peanuts and substantially improves the operation performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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22 pages, 6076 KiB  
Article
Effect of Aeration on Blockage Regularity and Microbial Diversity of Blockage Substance in Drip Irrigation Emitter
by Peng Li, Hao Li, Jinshan Li, Xiuqiao Huang, Yang Liu and Yue Jiang
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1941; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111941 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1451
Abstract
Aerated drip irrigation is rendered as a new water-saving irrigation method based on drip irrigation technology, which is endowed with the function of effectively alleviating the problem of rhizosphere hypoxia in crop soil, enhancing the utilization rate of water and fertilizer; as a [...] Read more.
Aerated drip irrigation is rendered as a new water-saving irrigation method based on drip irrigation technology, which is endowed with the function of effectively alleviating the problem of rhizosphere hypoxia in crop soil, enhancing the utilization rate of water and fertilizer; as a result, it improves the harvest and quality of crops. However, clogged emitters are important indexes, among others, that pose an influence to the service effect and life duration of drip irrigation systems. At present, the working principle and mechanism of the influence of air feeding on the blockage of drip irrigation emitters remain unclear. Therefore, based on the two gas filling methods of the micro/nano bubble generator and Venturi injector, the dynamic change process for the average flow ratio of an air-filled drip irrigation emitter was studied by the method of emitter plugging test. 16S rRNA sequencing was used to analyze the microbial diversity of the emitter plugs. The results show that the air injection can pose influence on the clogging procedure of drip irrigation emitters, and more importantly, it makes the distribution of blocked emitters more uniform, thus improving the uniformity of the system. Different filling methods have different effects on the blockage of the emitter. Among them, the blockage time of drip irrigation system under the micro/nano aerated drip irrigation (MAI) mode is 5.73 times longer than that under unaerated drip irrigation (UVI), and similarly, Venturi gas drip irrigation (VAI) is close to that under UVI. The filling method changed the microbial diversity of the blockage in the emitter. Among them, the number of operational taxonomic unit (OTU) unique to MAI was 2.1 times that of UVI, and the number of OTU unique to VAI was 1.3 times that of UVI. Meanwhile, gas addition will inhibit the growth of Nitrospirae and Proteobacteria microbial communities and promote the growth of Firmicutes and Actinobacteria microbial communities. Furthermore, the increase in microbial extracellular polymer in the plugging material of the emitter was inhibited and the plugging process of the emitter was slowed down. The research results are of great significance in the disclosure of the clogging mechanism of drip irrigation emitter and constructing the green, anti-blockage technology of aerated drip irrigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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