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Agriculture, Volume 13, Issue 7 (July 2023) – 191 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): With around 62% of both surface and ground water used for agricultural irrigation in Australia, conserving even a small percentage of this water at the point-of-use, through more efficient irrigation application, can have a significant impact on the sustainability of our limited freshwater resources. The development of a smart irrigation system using the unique L-band sensing facility is initiated to achieve more efficient irrigation on a potato farm, as well as to increase its yield. View this paper
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16 pages, 1827 KiB  
Article
Response of Strawberry Fruit Yield, Soil Chemical and Microbial Properties to Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation with Biochar and Rice Bran
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1466; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071466 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1186
Abstract
Organic materials added to soil create anaerobic conditions that can reduce soil-borne pathogens that reduce the yield and quality of agricultural crops. Anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) requires relatively large quantities of readily available, inexpensive organic materials. We evaluated the impact of ASD with [...] Read more.
Organic materials added to soil create anaerobic conditions that can reduce soil-borne pathogens that reduce the yield and quality of agricultural crops. Anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) requires relatively large quantities of readily available, inexpensive organic materials. We evaluated the impact of ASD with rice bran and biochar organic materials on changes to the soil’s physicochemical properties, microbial taxa, and strawberry fruit yield. We found that the organic materials applied at different dose rates significantly increased the control effect of the soil Fusarium spp. and Phytophthora spp. to 69–99% and 63–98%, respectively. In addition, ASD significantly increased soil organic matter and ammonium nitrogen contents. Strawberry yield also increased significantly after ASD treatment with biochar applied at 10 t/ha, which was positively correlated with increased soil nutrients and a significant reduction in pathogens. High-throughput gene sequencing showed that ASD significantly increased the abundance of some beneficial microorganisms such as Bacillus, Pseudomonas, and Mortierella, possibly due to changes in the soil’s physicochemical properties that favored their survival. We found for the first time that biochar applied at 10 t/ha could create anaerobic conditions that effectively reduced soil-borne pathogens and increased crop yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Management of Soil-Borne Diseases)
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28 pages, 3971 KiB  
Review
Vegetative Endotherapy—Advances, Perspectives, and Challenges
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1465; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071465 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2711
Abstract
Vegetative endotherapy has shown satisfactory results in replacing conventional techniques for crop production material applications, such as spraying or via soil, in trees of perennial species. This review presents an overview of concepts and classifications for existing injection methods and covers applications from [...] Read more.
Vegetative endotherapy has shown satisfactory results in replacing conventional techniques for crop production material applications, such as spraying or via soil, in trees of perennial species. This review presents an overview of concepts and classifications for existing injection methods and covers applications from articles published in the last eighteen years on endotherapeutic techniques. An Excel interactive dashboard with data segmentation and filters to facilitate understanding of the data is provided. The indicators more relevant to researchers and producers, including the tree species evaluated, which were deciduous trees (24%), conifers (11%), ornamental (11%), and fruit trees (54%), are outlined. The most used products were insecticides, fungicides, and antibiotics, which are discussed. Pressurized and nonpressurized technologies were evaluated based on trunk opening, interface, and injection methods. And finally, an approach to good practices in precision agriculture is also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Protection, Diseases, Pests and Weeds)
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46 pages, 2942 KiB  
Review
Agricultural Greenhouses: Resource Management Technologies and Perspectives for Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1464; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071464 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3817
Abstract
Resource management in agriculture is considered a pivotal issue because greenhouse farming and agriculture-related activities generate about 10–29% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. The problem of high greenhouse gas emissions is still unresolved due to the rapid expansion of arable land to [...] Read more.
Resource management in agriculture is considered a pivotal issue because greenhouse farming and agriculture-related activities generate about 10–29% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. The problem of high greenhouse gas emissions is still unresolved due to the rapid expansion of arable land to meet global food demand. The purpose of this systematic literature review was to generate new perspectives and insights regarding the development of resource management and optimized environments in greenhouses, thereby lowering energy requirements and CO2 emissions. This review sought to answer what technologies and inventions could be used to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions through efficient energy-saving mechanisms while considering their technical and economic viability. The synthesis of the findings led to several themes which included energy-saving techniques for greenhouses, systems that reduced unfavorable external conditions and renewable energy systems. Other themes identified regarded energy storage systems, systems for managing conditions in greenhouses, carbon capture and storage, and factors influencing the performance of different technologies to enhance resource management and ensure zero carbon emissions. The findings also revealed various technologies used in the design of energy-saving techniques in greenhouses including proportional–integral–derivatives (PID), fuzzy, artificial neural networks, and other intelligent algorithms. Additionally, technologies that were a combination of these algorithms were also examined. The systems that reduced unfavorable external conditions included the use of insulation panels and intelligent shading systems. Greenhouse covers were also optimized by smart glass systems, sensors, Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems. Renewable energy systems included PV (solar) panels, wind turbines, and geothermal electricity. Some of the thermal energy storage systems widely studied in recent research included underground thermal energy storage (UTES) (for seasonal storage), phase-change materials (PCMs), and water tanks, which are used to address short-term shortages and peak loads. The adoption of the various technologies to achieve the above purposes was constrained by the fact that there was no isolated technology that could enable agricultural producers to achieve zero energy, zero emissions, and optimal resource utilization in the short term. Future research studies should establish whether it is economical for large agricultural companies to install smart glass systems and infrastructure for slow fertilizer release and carbon capture in greenhouse structures to offset the carbon footprint. Full article
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18 pages, 2821 KiB  
Review
Analysis of Hotspots in Subsurface Drip Irrigation Research Using CiteSpace
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1463; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071463 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1465
Abstract
To investigate the research hotspots and development trends of subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) over the past 20 years, this study analyzed relevant literature from the Web of Science Core Collection spanning from 2002 to 2022. The data were visualized using CiteSpace, showcasing the [...] Read more.
To investigate the research hotspots and development trends of subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) over the past 20 years, this study analyzed relevant literature from the Web of Science Core Collection spanning from 2002 to 2022. The data were visualized using CiteSpace, showcasing the publication volume trends, countries, keywords, cited references, authors, and affiliated institutions. Based on 1079 articles, the annual publication volume showed an overall upward trend. The United States had the most extensive research coverage and highest publication volume, whereas China had the fastest growing publication rate in recent years. However, relatively little cooperation occurred among research teams and institutions. Over time, research topics became increasingly diverse, with water conservation and yield increases being the primary research objectives. In addition to improving irrigation and fertilizer use efficiency, SDI has also been applied in research on the safe utilization of unconventional water resources (wastewater and salt water) and the optimization of soil conditions. Among these, aerated irrigation technology—aimed at improving root growth in the rhizosphere—may become a new branch of SDI research. Currently, the main research focus in the field of SDI is the diffusion and distribution of water in the crop root zone, for which Hydrus model simulation is a particularly important method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Emerging Agricultural Engineering Sciences, Technologies, and Applications)
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Water Management)
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18 pages, 561 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Internet Use on the Well-Being of Rural Residents
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1462; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071462 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1505
Abstract
With the full penetration of the Internet, the Internet has had a great impact on the production and life of rural residents. The article takes a rural residents’ group as its research object to explore the impact mechanism. Leveraging data from the Chinese [...] Read more.
With the full penetration of the Internet, the Internet has had a great impact on the production and life of rural residents. The article takes a rural residents’ group as its research object to explore the impact mechanism. Leveraging data from the Chinese Family Panel Studies (CFPS) in 2016, we employ a multivariate ordered logit model as an empirical approach to delve into the various dimensions of Internet usage. By examining different facets of Internet utilization, we aim to assess the effects of these distinct uses on the well-being of rural residents. Furthermore, we investigate the mediating role of social capital in understanding the collective well-being of this demographic. The findings of this study are as follows: (1) The utilization of the Internet yields a positive impact on the well-being of rural residents. (2) Social networks exhibit a significant positive influence on the well-being of rural residents; social solidarity demonstrates a significant negative impact on the well-being of rural residents. Additionally, social trust is found to have a significant negative effect on the well-being of rural residents. (3) Regarding mobile phone access, we identify a positive and significant effect on the well-being of rural residents when mediated by social networks and social trust. In contrast, social mutual aid does not exhibit a significant mediating effect. Among the patterns of mobile phone usage, social network and social mutual aid within the realm of social capital emerge as intermediate variables that affect the well-being of rural residents through Internet usage. However, it is worth noting that social trust does not have a significant effect in this regard. These results contribute to our understanding of how Internet usage and social capital interact to shape the well-being of rural communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rural Development and Agri-Food Systems)
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14 pages, 3388 KiB  
Article
Negative Contrast: A Simple and Efficient Image Augmentation Method in Crop Disease Classification
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1461; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071461 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 724
Abstract
Crop disease classification constitutes a significant and longstanding challenge in the domain of agricultural and forestry sciences. Frequently, there is an insufficient number of samples to accurately discern the distribution of real-world instances. Leveraging the full potential of the available data is the [...] Read more.
Crop disease classification constitutes a significant and longstanding challenge in the domain of agricultural and forestry sciences. Frequently, there is an insufficient number of samples to accurately discern the distribution of real-world instances. Leveraging the full potential of the available data is the genesis of our approach. To address this issue, we propose a supervised image augmentation technique—Negative Contrast. This method employs contrast images of existing disease samples, devoid of disease areas, as negative samples for image augmentation, particularly when the samples are relatively scarce. Numerous experiments demonstrate that the employment of this augmentation method enhances the disease classification performance of several classical models across four crops—rice, wheat, corn, and soybean, with an accuracy improvement reaching up to 30.8%. Furthermore, the comparative analysis of attentional heatmaps reveals that models utilizing negative contrast focus more accurately and intensely on the disease regions of interest, thereby exhibiting superior generalization capabilities in real-world crop disease classification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Digital Agriculture)
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15 pages, 7374 KiB  
Article
Seasonal Abundance of Various Hymenopteran Parasitoids of Leafminers in Beans and Comparative Abundance in Bean, Tomato, and Squash
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1460; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071460 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 889
Abstract
The composition and seasonal abundance of hymenopteran parasitoids of Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess) was investigated on snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), and squash (Cucurbita pepo L. ‘Enterprise’) from 2010 to 2016 in South Florida in [...] Read more.
The composition and seasonal abundance of hymenopteran parasitoids of Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess) was investigated on snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), and squash (Cucurbita pepo L. ‘Enterprise’) from 2010 to 2016 in South Florida in two studies. In the first study (2010–2016), 13 species of parasitoids were collected from the snap bean crop. Opius dissitus Muesebeck (Braconidae) was the most abundant parasitoid throughout the study period from September 2010 to February 2016. Diaulinopsis callichroma Crawford (Eulophidae) was the second most abundant parasitoid on bean in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016. Other parasitoids included Euopius sp. (Braconidae)., Diglyphus begini (Ashmead), D. intermedius (Girault), D. isaea (Walker), Neochrysocharis sp., Closterocerus sp., Chrysocharis sp., Zagrammosoma lineaticeps (Girault), Z. muitilineatum (Ashmead), Pnigalio sp. (all Eulophidae), and Halticoptera sp. (Pteromalidae). In the second study on the comparative abundance of parasitoids in three crops conducted in 2014 and 2016 using bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L., tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) and squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) arranged in a randomized complete block design, bean attracted more parasitoids than tomato and squash irrespective of parasitoid species and years. This information will help in devising a biocontrol-based integrated program for managing leafminers in beans and other vegetable crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Integrated Pest Management Strategies)
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26 pages, 2961 KiB  
Article
National Agricultural Science and Technology Parks in China: Distribution Characteristics, Innovation Efficiency, and Influencing Factors
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1459; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071459 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1488
Abstract
This study aims to analyze the spatial distribution characteristics and innovation efficiency of national agricultural science and technology parks (NASTPs) and identify the main influencing factors on the parks’ innovation and development. The goal is to optimize the allocation of science and technology [...] Read more.
This study aims to analyze the spatial distribution characteristics and innovation efficiency of national agricultural science and technology parks (NASTPs) and identify the main influencing factors on the parks’ innovation and development. The goal is to optimize the allocation of science and technology innovation resources in these parks, promote national agricultural science and technology innovation, and enhance the quality of agricultural development. To achieve this, the paper employs spatial analysis methods and a three-stage DEA-Tobit model to conduct both macro and micro-level analyses. The research findings are as follows: (1) Distribution characteristics: NASTPs tend to exhibit a uniform distribution at the national scale, but at the provincial level, their distribution appears clustered and uneven. Specifically, three high-density areas and two sub-high-density areas have emerged on the eastern side of the Hu line, displaying a decreasing trend from east to west. (2) Innovation efficiency: By excluding the influence of environmental factors and random interference, the lack of scale efficiency (SE) emerges as the primary reason for the generally low innovation efficiency of NASTPs. (3) Environmental factors: Science and technology training exhibits a negative correlation with innovation efficiency in NASTPs. Leading enterprises, income level, innovation support, and demonstration and promotion show positive correlations with IE in NASTPs. To promote national agricultural science and technology innovation and enhance the quality of agricultural development, it is recommended, based on a central-level development perspective, to focus on the layout of the northeast and northwest regions. At the local level, expanding the scale of key enterprise inputs and increasing the demonstration and promotion of scientific and technological achievements are recommended. Additionally, at the NASTPs level, guiding the construction of a national agricultural high-tech industry demonstration zone is advised. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Entrepreneurship and Agribusiness Management)
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20 pages, 9609 KiB  
Article
Simulation Analysis and Testing of Tracked Universal Chassis Passability in Hilly Mountainous Orchards
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1458; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071458 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 953
Abstract
In the process of orchard mechanization, passability serves as a crucial criterion for evaluating the effectiveness of the chassis. To address the adaptability of hilly and mountainous multifunctional work machines to complex terrain, a theoretical analysis was conducted to assess the chassis’ performance [...] Read more.
In the process of orchard mechanization, passability serves as a crucial criterion for evaluating the effectiveness of the chassis. To address the adaptability of hilly and mountainous multifunctional work machines to complex terrain, a theoretical analysis was conducted to assess the chassis’ performance under three key working conditions: climbing, crossing obstacles, and crossing trenches. Using kinematics, the theoretical maximum climbing angle, maximum obstacle height, and maximum trench width were calculated to be 35.8°, 170.4 mm, and 427 mm, respectively. Additionally, the passability of the chassis model was simulated under these working conditions in different soil environments using RecurDyn dynamics software. Post-processing techniques were employed to extract time characteristic curves for parameters such as center-of-mass velocity, pitch angle, offset, lateral inclination angle, and longitudinal displacement, providing valuable insights into how these parameters changed during chassis movement. The results revealed that the maximum gradient for slope climbing was 30°, the maximum height for obstacle crossing was 150 mm, and the maximum width for trench crossing was 400 mm. The prototype was then tested under these theoretical and simulated conditions in the field, and its ability to smoothly traverse slopes with a 35° angle in first gear, climb vertical obstacles up to a height of 200 mm, and pass through trenches with a width of 430 mm was demonstrated. The crawler chassis exhibited stable performance within the design parameters, aligning closely with the simulated and theoretical expectations. Overall, this study provides valuable theoretical insights for the structural design of multipurpose chassis suitable for orchards in hilly and mountainous regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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18 pages, 826 KiB  
Article
Effect of Agricultural Production Trusteeship on Agricultural Carbon Emission Reduction
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1457; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071457 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 891
Abstract
Based on the survey data of five large grain-producing provinces in China, this paper studies the effect of agricultural production trusteeship on agricultural carbon emission reduction by using a propensity score matching method. The empirical results show that the carbon emission of wheat [...] Read more.
Based on the survey data of five large grain-producing provinces in China, this paper studies the effect of agricultural production trusteeship on agricultural carbon emission reduction by using a propensity score matching method. The empirical results show that the carbon emission of wheat reduces by 7.107 kg/mu, with a decrease rate of 15.5% after participating in agricultural production trusteeship. Among them, chemical fertilizers, manpower input, agricultural chemicals and diesel oil, respectively, reduce with rates of 14.2%, 27.7%, 14.1%, and 6%. However, there are differences in the facilitation effects of different trusteeship services, with the best promotion effect of field management services, followed by cultivation, planting and harvest services, and then agricultural material supply services, for which the average treatment effects on treated (ATT) is −6.160, −5.732 and −5.530, respectively. Meanwhile, there are differences in the promotion effects for farm households with different factor endowments. The promotion effect is better for small farm households with one type of agricultural machinery or less, and an operation scale of 7 mu or less. Therefore, in order to better play the role of agricultural production trusteeship in agricultural carbon emission reduction, the government should vigorously support its development and guide more smallholders to choose agricultural production trusteeship. Full article
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14 pages, 1788 KiB  
Article
Developing Fermentation Liquid of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens PMB04 to Control Bacterial Leaf Spot of Sweet Pepper
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1456; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071456 - 23 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1423
Abstract
Sweet pepper is an important vegetable in the world. Bacterial leaf spot, caused by the pathogen Xanthomonas perforans, is a limiting factor that significantly reduces the quality and yield of sweet peppers. The use of chemical fungicides is currently the main disease-control [...] Read more.
Sweet pepper is an important vegetable in the world. Bacterial leaf spot, caused by the pathogen Xanthomonas perforans, is a limiting factor that significantly reduces the quality and yield of sweet peppers. The use of chemical fungicides is currently the main disease-control method for bacterial leaf spot disease. It is important to develop an eco-friendly biocontrol method by using antagonistic microorganisms. Bacillus amyloliquefaciens PMB04 has strong antagonistic effects against pathogens and can inhibit the occurrence of diseases. B. amyloliquefaciens PMB04 has the potential for the development of a disease-control product. Primarily, PMB04 contained a strong inhibitory effect against all isolated X. perforans strains. In the inoculation assay, the severity of bacterial leaf spot disease on sweet peppers was reduced by PMB04 bacterial suspensions. To increase the convenience of field applications in future prospects, the development of the PMB04 fermentation liquid was carried out using different ratios of brown sugar and yeast extract in a 30 L fermentation tank. The results exhibited that the fermentation liquid of the 3-1 and 2-1 formulas obtained the highest bacterial population in a 30 L fermentation tank. The fermentation liquid of the 0.5-0.5 formula was the most stable formula for two different conditions in terms of a consistent bacterial population and sporulation. In addition, the 200-fold dilution of the 3-1 and 0.5-0.5 fermentation liquids revealed the best control efficacy on bacterial leaf spot disease of sweet peppers. Additionally, the results of the 0.5-0.5 fermentation liquid (PMB4FL) with different dilution concentrations also demonstrated that the 200- and 500-fold dilutions had the best control efficacy. To understand the effect of commonly used copper-containing fungicides on sweet peppers on the application of microbial agent PMB4FL, the effects of copper hydroxide and tribasic copper sulfate on the growth of X. perforans strains and B. amyloliquefaciens PMB04 were assayed. The results exhibited that the above two fungicides did not have any inhibitory effect on the growth of PMB04 but had a strong inhibitory effect on the X. perforans strain. In the follow-up control experiment, the treatment of copper hydroxide had no synergistic effect with PMB4FL to control bacterial leaf spot disease. We concluded that the use of the PMB4FL fermentation liquid alone on the leaves could effectively control the occurrence of bacterial leaf spots in sweet pepper crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control for Plant Disease)
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9 pages, 606 KiB  
Article
Assessment of the Chemical Composition and Nutritional Quality of Breast Muscle from Broiler Chickens Receiving Various Levels of Fe Glycine Chelate
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1455; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071455 - 23 Jul 2023
Viewed by 783
Abstract
The aim of the study was to determine the effect of Fe glycine chelate supplementation on the chemical composition and nutritional quality of breast meat from broiler chicken. The following parameters were assessed: fat content, cholesterol content, fatty acid profile, atherogenic index (AI), [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to determine the effect of Fe glycine chelate supplementation on the chemical composition and nutritional quality of breast meat from broiler chicken. The following parameters were assessed: fat content, cholesterol content, fatty acid profile, atherogenic index (AI), thrombogenic index (TI), and hypocholesterolemic/hypercholesterolemic (H/H) fatty acid ratio. The 42-day experiment involved 200 broiler chickens assigned into four dietary groups: the control receiving Fe sulfate in the dose of 40 mg/kg of feed and three experimental groups of chickens supplemented with 40 mg (Fe-Gly40), 20 mg (Fe-Gly20), or 10 mg (Fe-Gly10) of Fe glycine chelate per 1 kg of diet. The results showed no negative effect of the application of Fe glycine chelate on the chemical composition and nutritional quality of breast muscle. Therefore, the advisability of the application of Fe glycine chelates in the nutrition of broiler chickens should be revised. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Dietary Interventions on Poultry Production)
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26 pages, 3800 KiB  
Article
The Efficiency of China’s Agricultural Circular Economy and Its Influencing Factors under the Rural Revitalization Strategy: A DEA–Malmquist–Tobit Approach
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1454; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071454 - 23 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1251
Abstract
In 2018, the Chinese government proposed the Rural Revitalization Strategy with the objective of bolstering economic development, social progress, and ecological protection in rural areas, thereby achieving rural modernization. This paper employs the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) method and the Malmquist index model [...] Read more.
In 2018, the Chinese government proposed the Rural Revitalization Strategy with the objective of bolstering economic development, social progress, and ecological protection in rural areas, thereby achieving rural modernization. This paper employs the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) method and the Malmquist index model to measure the efficiency and changes of the agricultural circular economy in 31 provinces and cities in China from 2017 to 2020. Using Tobit regression, we further examine the correlation analysis in the context of the rural revitalization policy. The study reveals that the efficiency of China’s agricultural circular economy continued to grow between 2017 and 2020. The policy of the rural revitalization strategy significantly impacts the efficiency of the agricultural circular economy. Government financial support has a significant positive influence on the efficiency of the agricultural circular economy. Based on the research findings, we proposed several constructive suggestions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agriculture: Theories, Methods, Practices and Policies)
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19 pages, 2023 KiB  
Article
Spatial Pattern of Farmland Transfer in Liaoning Province, China
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1453; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071453 - 23 Jul 2023
Viewed by 725
Abstract
Farmland transfer (FT) is the key to achieving moderate agricultural scale management in China. Clarifying the spatial pattern of FT is important to improve FT strategies. In this study, the multinomial logit model was used to reveal the spatial pattern of FT in [...] Read more.
Farmland transfer (FT) is the key to achieving moderate agricultural scale management in China. Clarifying the spatial pattern of FT is important to improve FT strategies. In this study, the multinomial logit model was used to reveal the spatial pattern of FT in Liaoning Province, Northeast China. On this basis, the reasons for its formation were discussed, and suggestions were proposed. According to the statistical results, 39.7% of the sample peasant households participated in FT. Most of them live far from the regional core area. Regression analysis shows that the FT in Liaoning Province has a significant “core-periphery” spatial pattern. As the spatial distance between the residence and the regional core area (SDRRC) increases, the probability of FT rises for peasant households. Specifically, the odds ratios of farmland transfer out and farmland transfer in rise by 0.9% and 0.6% on average, respectively, for each 1 km increase in SDRRC. Widespread concurrent business and the increase in FT fees due to imperfect urbanization are the main reasons for the formation of the spatial pattern. We suggest that the promotion of FT requires high-quality urbanization in central cities, accelerating urbanization in medium and small cities and counties, implementing differentiated FT subsidy standards, and promoting new agricultural scale management models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Economics, Policies and Rural Management)
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13 pages, 2451 KiB  
Article
Measuring Pathogenic Soil Fungi That Cause Sclerotinia Rot of Panax ginseng Using Real-Time Fluorescence Quantitative PCR
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1452; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071452 - 23 Jul 2023
Viewed by 857
Abstract
Sclerotinia ginseng is the primary pathogenic fungus responsible for Sclerotinia rot of ginseng, which significantly reduces plant yield and quality. The density of sclerotia in the soil is closely associated with rot incidence and severity. Whole genome sequencing was conducted to obtain fungal [...] Read more.
Sclerotinia ginseng is the primary pathogenic fungus responsible for Sclerotinia rot of ginseng, which significantly reduces plant yield and quality. The density of sclerotia in the soil is closely associated with rot incidence and severity. Whole genome sequencing was conducted to obtain fungal frame maps. The specific primers, q2001F/q2001R, were screened out by pan-genomic analysis using the NCBI database. Recombinant plasmids containing amplicons obtained with this primer set were used as standard plasmids to construct a real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR system. The relationships between the cycle threshold (Ct) values and the soil sclerotium densities were determined by real-time PCR. Real-time PCR had a detection limit of 1.5 × 10−2 g·kg−1 soil for Sclerotinia rot causing fungal mycelium, and the relationship between the density of S. ginseng mycelium n (g·g−1 soil) and the Ct value was n = 10(40.048 − Ct)/6.9541. The detection limit of real-time PCR for measuring soil sclerotia was 3.8 × 10−5 g·g−1 soil, suggesting a sensitivity 100 times that of conventional PCR. The relationship between the sclerotium density n (g·g−1 soil) and the Ct value was n = 10(18.351 − Ct)/7.0914. Compared with the conventional PCR method, the fluorescent quantitative PCR method could detect the population of Sclerotinia spp. in soil more efficiently, accurately, and sensitively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diseases Diagnosis, Prevention and Weeds Control in Crops)
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13 pages, 534 KiB  
Article
Neural Modelling in the Study of the Relationship between Herd Structure, Amount of Manure and Slurry Produced, and Location of Herds in Poland
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1451; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071451 - 23 Jul 2023
Viewed by 707
Abstract
In the presented study, data regarding the size and structure of cattle herds in voivodeships in Poland in 2019 were analysed and modelled using artificial neural networks (ANNs). The neural modelling approach was employed to identify the relationship between herd structure, biogas production [...] Read more.
In the presented study, data regarding the size and structure of cattle herds in voivodeships in Poland in 2019 were analysed and modelled using artificial neural networks (ANNs). The neural modelling approach was employed to identify the relationship between herd structure, biogas production from manure and slurry, and the geographical location of herds by voivodeship. The voivodeships were categorised into four groups based on their location within Poland: central, southern, eastern, and western. In each of the analysed groups, a three-layer MLP (multilayer perceptron) with a single hidden layer was found to be the optimal network structure. A sensitivity analysis of the generated models for herd structure and location within the eastern group of voivodeships revealed significant contributions from dairy cows, heifers (both 6–12 and 12–18 months old), calves, and bulls aged 12–24 months. For the western voivodeships, the analysis indicated that only dairy cows and herd location made significant contributions. The optimal models exhibited similar values of RMS errors for the training, testing, and validation datasets. The model characterising biogas production from manure in southern voivodeships demonstrated the smallest RMS error, while the model for biogas from manure in the eastern region, as well as the model for slurry in central parts of Poland, yielded the highest RMS errors. The generated ANN models exhibited a high level of accuracy, with a fitting quality of approximately 99% for correctly predicting values. Comparable results were obtained for both manure and slurry in terms of biogas production across all location groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Digital Agriculture)
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12 pages, 611 KiB  
Review
Comparison of PCR Techniques in Adulteration Identification of Dairy Products
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1450; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071450 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1956
Abstract
Economic profit-driven food adulteration has become widespread in the dairy industry. One of the most common forms of dairy adulteration is the substitution of low-priced milk for high-priced milk. This has prompted regulatory authorities to focus on various means of authenticity testing. So [...] Read more.
Economic profit-driven food adulteration has become widespread in the dairy industry. One of the most common forms of dairy adulteration is the substitution of low-priced milk for high-priced milk. This has prompted regulatory authorities to focus on various means of authenticity testing. So far, many methods have been developed. Since milk adulteration has been upgraded, which has forced the testing methods to meet the needs of detection, which include DNA-based PCR methods. PCR and PCR-derived methods exhibit multiple advantages for authenticity testing, such as high stability, fast speed, and high efficiency, which meet the needs of modern testing. Therefore, it is important to develop rapid, reliable, and inexpensive PCR-based assays for dairy adulteration identification. In order to provide perspectives for improving adulteration identification methods, this review first summarizes the DNA extraction methods, then compares the advantages and disadvantages of various PCR authenticity testing methods, and finally proposes the directions for improving dairy product adulteration identification methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Product Quality and Safety)
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10 pages, 923 KiB  
Article
Fungicidal Protection as Part of the Integrated Cultivation of Sugar Beet: An Assessment of the Influence on Root Yield in a Long-Term Study
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1449; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071449 - 22 Jul 2023
Viewed by 585
Abstract
Despite the major role of non-chemical treatments in integrated plant protection, fungicides often need to be applied as a crop protection treatment in sugar beet farming. They should be used based on a good understanding of the requirements and effectiveness of the active [...] Read more.
Despite the major role of non-chemical treatments in integrated plant protection, fungicides often need to be applied as a crop protection treatment in sugar beet farming. They should be used based on a good understanding of the requirements and effectiveness of the active ingredients. In 11-year field experiments, the effect that one and three foliar applications of fungicides containing various active ingredients (triazoles, benzimidazoles, strobilurines) had on sugar beet root yields was assessed, depending on various thermal and rainfall conditions. It was found that in eight of the 11 years, foliar application of fungicides increased yields compared to unprotected plants, and three foliar treatments during the growing season were more effective than a single application. The negative correlation of the root yield of fungicidally protected plants with total June rainfall was weaker than the same relationship for unprotected plants. At the same time, the positive correlation between the yield of fungicidally protected sugar beets and average June air temperature was stronger than the same relationship for unprotected plants. The research results indicate the need to conduct long-term field experiments and to continuously improve integrated production principles for sugar beet, especially regarding the rational use of pesticides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Ecological Agriculture in Crop Production)
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26 pages, 1207 KiB  
Article
The Dynamics and Driving Mechanisms of Rural Revitalization in Western China
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1448; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071448 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1695
Abstract
By constructing a rural revitalization index evaluation system and using measurement models and software such as AHP, the entropy method, the BCG matrix, and GeoDetector, this paper quantitatively analyzed the evolution mode and driving mechanism of rural revitalization performance based on the research [...] Read more.
By constructing a rural revitalization index evaluation system and using measurement models and software such as AHP, the entropy method, the BCG matrix, and GeoDetector, this paper quantitatively analyzed the evolution mode and driving mechanism of rural revitalization performance based on the research of 131 cities and autonomous prefectures in western China to further put forward relevant policy suggestions and establish a new framework that integrates “performance evaluation, evolution model, driving mechanism, and management strategy”. Findings: firstly, rural revitalization in western China showed slow development and significant regional heterogeneity, with a coefficient of variation of 0.46 or even higher; secondly, the different dimensions of rural revitalization and development varied greatly, with the order being: thriving businesses (about 0.04) < effective governance (about 0.06) < pleasant living environment (about 0.09) < social etiquette and civility (about 1.0) < prosperity (about 0.23); thirdly, the growth and decline of rural revitalization performance coexisted in the context of rapid development in western China, and the evolution was in diversified patterns; fourthly, there were many factors affecting the change of rural revitalization performance, and different factors exhibited significant synergistic effects with each other, with super-interacting factor pairs having a force of over 0. 7 (maximum 1), including permanent population, urbanization rate, added value of primary industry, and per capita GDP as key factors; fifthly, based on the superposition analysis of the evolution pattern and driving forces of rural revitalization, western cities are classified into 8 types (including external assistance zone, general development zone, general retention zone, general demonstration zone, internal governance zone, important development zone, important retention zone, important demonstration zone) for establishment of a zoning planning and management system and design of differentiated development policies, providing a basis for “evidence-based decision-making” for the government. Full article
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26 pages, 3606 KiB  
Review
Agrivoltaics and Aquavoltaics: Potential of Solar Energy Use in Agriculture and Freshwater Aquaculture in Croatia
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1447; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071447 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2984
Abstract
Agrivoltaics and aquavoltaics combine renewable energy production with agriculture and aquaculture. Agrivoltaics involves placing solar panels on farmland, while aquavoltaics integrates photovoltaic systems with water bodies and aquaculture. This paper examines the benefits and challenges of agrivoltaics and aquavoltaics, focusing on their potential [...] Read more.
Agrivoltaics and aquavoltaics combine renewable energy production with agriculture and aquaculture. Agrivoltaics involves placing solar panels on farmland, while aquavoltaics integrates photovoltaic systems with water bodies and aquaculture. This paper examines the benefits and challenges of agrivoltaics and aquavoltaics, focusing on their potential for Croatian agriculture and freshwater aquaculture. Benefits include dual land use, which allows farmers to produce clean energy while maintaining agricultural practices. They diversify renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions. Solar panels in agrivoltaics provide shade, protect crops, reduce water needs, and increase yields. Challenges include high initial costs and limited accessibility, especially for small farmers. Integration with existing systems requires careful planning, considering irrigation, soil moisture, and crop or fish production. Maintenance and cleaning present additional challenges due to dust, debris, and algae. Policy and regulatory frameworks must support implementation, including incentives, grid integration, land use regulations, and conservation. The location, resources, and crops grown in Croatia present an opportunity for agrivoltaics and aquavoltaics, considering cultivation methods, species, and regulatory requirements. Full article
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11 pages, 305 KiB  
Article
Mathematical Models to Predict Dry Matter Intake and Milk Production by Dairy Cows Managed under Tropical Conditions
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1446; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071446 - 22 Jul 2023
Viewed by 821
Abstract
This study aimed to create an equation to predict dry matter intake (DMI) and milk production and N-ureic in the milk of dairy cows managed in tropical conditions in Brazil. We used 113 observations from three experiments using lactating Jersey, Girolando, and Holstein [...] Read more.
This study aimed to create an equation to predict dry matter intake (DMI) and milk production and N-ureic in the milk of dairy cows managed in tropical conditions in Brazil. We used 113 observations from three experiments using lactating Jersey, Girolando, and Holstein cows. The goodness of fit of the developed equations was evaluated using the coefficients of determination (r2) and root mean square error (RMSE). There was a positive correlation between body weight and milk yield (MY) of r = 0.73. The equation considered DMI to be the most important variable to estimate the MY (r2 = 0.65). Four equations were adjusted to estimate the DMI, where, by a stepwise procedure, the first variable included in the equation was the neutral detergent fibre intake, which explained 92% of the DMI of the cows. However, when the variables BW, MY, and milk fat were included in the equation, there was a reduction of 0.06 in RMSE and an increase in precision (r2 = 0.94). The nutrient intake, milk production, and characteristics prediction equations present satisfactory precision and accuracy for dairy cows managed in tropical conditions in Brazil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animal Production)
16 pages, 1137 KiB  
Article
Productive, Qualitative, and In Vitro Fermentation Traits of Amaranthus Grains as Potential Ingredients for Pig Diet
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1445; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071445 - 22 Jul 2023
Viewed by 792
Abstract
The present work compared the agronomic traits, chemical composition, fatty acid profile, and in vitro fermentation characteristics of twelve accessions of Amaranthus spp., belonging to A. cruentus, A. hybridus, A. hypochondriacus, and A. tricolor, grown in a semiarid Mediterranean [...] Read more.
The present work compared the agronomic traits, chemical composition, fatty acid profile, and in vitro fermentation characteristics of twelve accessions of Amaranthus spp., belonging to A. cruentus, A. hybridus, A. hypochondriacus, and A. tricolor, grown in a semiarid Mediterranean area. Among accessions, Benin and Arizona (A. cruentus) and Pennsylvania (A. hypochondriacus) showed the highest seed yield (on average, 322.1 g m−2), while Taiwan (A. tricolor) and India and Iowa (A. hypochondriacus) the highest thousand seed weight (on average, 0.81 g). Among the species, A. hypochondriacus showed the highest crude protein (16 g 100g−1), starch (51.5 g 100g−1), and soluble detergent fiber (2.03 g 100g−1) contents and the most favorable in vitro fermentation characteristics with the highest short-chain fatty acid (SCFA 52.6 mmol g−1) and butyric acid (20.7% SCFA) production together with the lowest crude fiber (4.93 g 100g−1) and insoluble dietary fiber (12.5 g 100g−1) content. Arizona (A. cruentus) showed the highest level of monounsaturated fatty acids (32.67 g 100g−1), Ohio (A. hybridus) had the highest levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (44.62 g 100g−1) and n6-PUFA (44.21 g 100g−1), and India (A. hypochondriacus) had the highest level of n3-PUFA (0.63 g 100g−1). A. hypochondriacus exhibited not only desirable nutritive characteristics, agronomic traits, and suitability to Mediterranean growing conditions, but also a potential beneficial effect. Nonetheless, it is recommended to run longer-term field trials to confirm these findings and to assess the genotype by environment interaction either with current accessions or others from the wide Amaranth germplasm available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Nutrition and Productions: Series II)
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19 pages, 790 KiB  
Article
Rural Displacement and Its Implications on Livelihoods and Food Insecurity: The Case of Inter-Riverine Communities in Somalia
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1444; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071444 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4331
Abstract
This study investigates the phenomenon of forced displacement in Somalia over the past few decades and its implications for the livelihoods and food security of IDP communities. Employing a mixed-method approach, the study draws on various theories to interpret the complex dynamics underlying [...] Read more.
This study investigates the phenomenon of forced displacement in Somalia over the past few decades and its implications for the livelihoods and food security of IDP communities. Employing a mixed-method approach, the study draws on various theories to interpret the complex dynamics underlying forced displacement and the subsequent loss of livelihoods. The findings reveal that the drivers of displacement have exhibited variation across different periods, encompassing conflicts, droughts, food scarcity, and political intricacies. Notably, the displacement experienced by inter-riverine communities primarily stems from weak institutions, intensified resource competition, disputes over fertile agricultural land, and conflict and food scarcity. This displacement has resulted in a rapid increase in urban populations and socio-economic crises. Primary data substantiates the severe socio-economic challenges faced by displaced individuals. Such historical perspectives and empirical evidence allow policymakers and stakeholders to better comprehend the multifaceted challenges confronting Somalia. The study underscores the agricultural implications of forced displacement, emphasizing the importance of targeted interventions to revitalize agricultural systems, resolve land disputes, facilitate access to vital resources, and enhance the livelihood conditions of affected communities within Somalia and in similar contexts elsewhere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Economics, Policies and Rural Management)
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15 pages, 1238 KiB  
Article
Temporal Dynamics of Biomarker Response in Folsomia candida Exposed to Azoxystrobin
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1443; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071443 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 769
Abstract
Azoxystrobin (AZO) is widely used to prevent and treat fungal diseases in important crops but can also impact non-target organisms, including mammals, amphibians, aquatic, and soil organisms. Collembolans play important roles in ecosystems as decomposers, fungal feeders, and regulators of microbes. This study [...] Read more.
Azoxystrobin (AZO) is widely used to prevent and treat fungal diseases in important crops but can also impact non-target organisms, including mammals, amphibians, aquatic, and soil organisms. Collembolans play important roles in ecosystems as decomposers, fungal feeders, and regulators of microbes. This study aimed to investigate the effects of AZO on Collembola Folsomia candida using a reproduction test and assess biomarker responses over different time intervals (3, 5, 7, 14, and 28 days). Results showed AZO negatively affected reproduction at concentrations of 50, 100, and 200 mg./kg, resulting in decreases of 48.3%, 64.5%, and 81.3%, respectively, compared to the control. Adult survival remained unaffected. The estimated EC50 (reproduction) in artificial soil was 61.28 mg kg−1. Biomarker responses varied with concentration and time. Protein and glycogen concentrations increased with exposure time, while lipid content was affected initially but returned to control levels by day 28. Oxidative stress biomarkers (CAT, SOD, GST, TBARS) indicated AZO induced oxidative stress, intensifying over time. After 28 days, MDA concentrations were significantly elevated compared to the control, suggesting the antioxidant system is overwhelmed which caused damage to lipid membranes. This study showed that azoxystrobin caused negative effects at molecular and population level on non-target species of Collembola. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Agricultural Practices on the Environment)
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16 pages, 4878 KiB  
Article
Study on the Cooling Effect of Double-Layer Spray Greenhouse
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1442; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071442 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 844
Abstract
Greenhouses provide suitable environmental conditions for plant growth. Double-layer plastic greenhouses are often used in many regions to ensure normal crop growth during winter since single-layer plastic greenhouses have poor insulation. However, during summer, the high insulation of double-layer plastic greenhouses, combined with [...] Read more.
Greenhouses provide suitable environmental conditions for plant growth. Double-layer plastic greenhouses are often used in many regions to ensure normal crop growth during winter since single-layer plastic greenhouses have poor insulation. However, during summer, the high insulation of double-layer plastic greenhouses, combined with excessive external solar radiation, can cause high temperatures inside the greenhouse that are not suitable for plant growth and require cooling. In this study, we propose a double-layer spray greenhouse using a high-pressure spraying system that is placed inside the double film that allows for additional cooling capacity during the summer in order to sustain plant growth. A greenhouse platform test was set up to investigate the optimum operating conditions for the nozzles and to explore changes in greenhouse microclimate under different nozzle operating conditions. The results show that (1) the cooling rate increases with increasing water supply pressure, nozzle diameter and spraying time, and the humidification rate is consistent with the change in the rate of cooling. (2) The optimal condition for cooling in this experiment is achieved with a 120° double nozzle with a nozzle diameter of 0.30 mm, a water supply pressure of 6 MPa, and a spraying time of 15 min, which can reduce the temperature by up to 5.36 °C and serve as a reference for the summer cooling of the double-layer greenhouse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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47 pages, 8887 KiB  
Article
Research on the Level of Agricultural Green Development, Regional Disparities, and Dynamic Distribution Evolution in China from the Perspective of Sustainable Development
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1441; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071441 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1137
Abstract
Green development is a concept of sustainable development, aiming to protect the environment and ecosystems while meeting economic development needs. In the field of agriculture, green development has emerged as a crucial pathway for reconciling the conflicts between agricultural development and ecological conservation. [...] Read more.
Green development is a concept of sustainable development, aiming to protect the environment and ecosystems while meeting economic development needs. In the field of agriculture, green development has emerged as a crucial pathway for reconciling the conflicts between agricultural development and ecological conservation. To investigate the level of green development in Chinese agriculture, regional variations, and the evolutionary patterns, this paper is based on the framework of sustainable development theory. This study establishes a comprehensive evaluation system for agricultural green development and applies methods such as entropy-weighted TOPSIS, Dagum’s Gini coefficient, kernel density estimation, Moran’s I index, and Markov chains to analyze the level of agricultural green development, regional disparities, and dynamic evolution in China. The findings of this study reveal that: (1) The overall level of agricultural green development in China is steadily improving, with notable differences in the level of agricultural green development among different regions and provinces. There are significant disparities in agricultural green development between regions, and the overall disparities exhibit a fluctuating downward trend characterized by periods of increase followed by decrease. The regional disparities are identified as the primary cause of the overall disparities in agricultural green development in China. (2) The eight major economic regions in China are experiencing steady development in agricultural green practices, but there are varying degrees of polarization due to different development speeds. (3) This study also highlights a clear spatial positive correlation in the level of agricultural green development in China, with most provinces showing clustering in the first and third quadrants, indicating a “high–high” (H-H) and “low–low” (L-L) agglomeration pattern. (4) The study reveals that the level of agricultural green development in China exhibits a certain degree of stability. Over time, the probability of transitioning from lower-level regions to neighboring higher-level regions increases, and the agricultural green development level in neighboring regions can influence the spatial transfer probability within a given region. Therefore, agricultural green development demonstrates significant spatial dependence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Economics, Policies and Rural Management)
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20 pages, 7418 KiB  
Article
Vibration Characteristic Analysis and Structural Optimization of the Frame of a Triplex Row-Baling Cotton Picker
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1440; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071440 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 761
Abstract
The frame of the cotton picker is exposed to complex and varying loads during its operation. Therefore, conducting research on the vibration characteristics of the frame is crucial. In this study, vibration tests were conducted on the main vibration sources in a cotton [...] Read more.
The frame of the cotton picker is exposed to complex and varying loads during its operation. Therefore, conducting research on the vibration characteristics of the frame is crucial. In this study, vibration tests were conducted on the main vibration sources in a cotton picker at several measuring points on the frame. An accelerometer sensor was utilized to collect the signals. Fourier analysis was applied to analyze the vibration sources, encompassing the excitation frequency and the vibration source-coupled excitation frequency. Modal tests were also conducted to validate the finite element model and determine the natural frequencies of the frame. The results showed that the natural frequencies of the frame, specifically the third-order, fourth-order, and sixth-order frequencies, were comparable to the vibration source-coupled excitation frequencies. To prevent frame resonance, the response surface method was used to optimize the frame. Based on the MOGA algorithm, scheme 4 was identified as the optimal design. Furthermore, fatigue life calculations were carried out to optimize the parts with short lifespans on the frame, thereby enhancing the working performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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18 pages, 325 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Sulfur Dioxide Concentration on Antioxidant Activity, Total Polyphenols, Flavonoid Content and Individual Polyphenolic Compounds in White Wines during Storage
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1439; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071439 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1005
Abstract
Wines represent a rich source of bioactive compounds, especially polyphenolic compounds, which mostly contribute to the antioxidant activity. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) has mostly been used as a preservative in winemaking to prevent oxidation during storage. The aim of this paper is [...] Read more.
Wines represent a rich source of bioactive compounds, especially polyphenolic compounds, which mostly contribute to the antioxidant activity. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) has mostly been used as a preservative in winemaking to prevent oxidation during storage. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the changes in SO2 levels and the influence of sulfur dioxide addition at seven different concentrations on the antioxidant activity (detected by DPPH-2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl and the ABTS Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity methods), total polyphenols, flavonoid content and individual polyphenolic compounds (determined by the HPLC high-performance liquid chromatography method) of white wines during 5 months of storage. The assayed sulfur dioxide concentrations show a decreasing tendency with time, with a final decrease of more than 50% in comparison with the start of the experiment. Between the first and second measurements, the average decrease in sulfur dioxide was 16%. In the following interval, it was found that the maximum decline in SO2 was 26%. The changes in SO2 levels cannot be considered statistically significant. At the same time, we observed a decreasing tendency in the TPC content during storage. The antioxidant activity determined by the DPPH method at the beginning of the experiment ranged from 116.75 up to 270.62 mg·L−1, while the antioxidant activity increased with sulfur dioxide concentration. The AA detected by the ABTS method displayed a decreasing tendency during storage. In the case of the TFC content, we observed a significant influence of sulfur dioxide on the concentration. No addition or addition of high SO2 concentrations negatively influenced the flavonoid content in the samples. During storage, we observed a highly variable content of phenolic compounds in relation to SO2 addition. The most abundant compounds were chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and epigallocatechin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Product Quality and Safety)
17 pages, 5494 KiB  
Article
Elastic Gauge Wheel with Irregular Cavity for Improving Seed Furrow Structure and Seeding Quality
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1438; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071438 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 719
Abstract
The traditional gauge wheel has poor performance in reducing the adhesion to soil and constructing seed furrow, which results in lower seeding quality of the planter. To reduce the adhesion of the gauge wheel to the soil and build a well-structured seed furrow, [...] Read more.
The traditional gauge wheel has poor performance in reducing the adhesion to soil and constructing seed furrow, which results in lower seeding quality of the planter. To reduce the adhesion of the gauge wheel to the soil and build a well-structured seed furrow, an elastic gauge wheel with soil retention groove and irregular cavity was designed in this study. The soil retention groove built ridges on both sides of the seed furrow and avoided the gauge wheel compacting the seed furrow sidewalls. The irregular cavity increased the elasticity of the gauge wheel and allowed the wheel to squeeze the soil on both sides of the seed furrow, which reduced the soil adhesion of the wheel and built stable ridges. Soil moisture content was chosen as the experimental factor for comparative tests to evaluate the soil adhesion and the constructed seed furrow of the gauge wheel with an irregular cavity and the traditional gauge wheel. The experimental results showed that the viscosity reduction rate of the gauge wheel with the irregular cavity was not less than 12.61%. Compared with the traditional gauge wheel, the seed furrow constructed by the irregular cavity gauge wheel had ridges on both sides and less backfill soil, and the soil compaction of sidewalls decreased by 18.16%. The field experiment was designed using the Box–Behnken design. The working speed, downforce, and planting depth were taken as experimental factors, and the soil adhesion of the gauge wheel and the consistency of planting depth were taken as evaluation indicators. The optimal operating parameters of planter obtained by Design-Expert 8.0.6 software were as follows: the working speed was 8 km·h−1, the downforce was 844 N, and the planting depth was 65 mm. The verification test of the optimal operating parameters showed that the soil adhesion mass of the gauge wheel was 123.65 g and the coefficient of variation of the planting depth was 5.35%. This study provides a reference for the mechanized construction method of seed furrow by precision planter and the structural design and performance optimization of gauge wheels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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13 pages, 1175 KiB  
Article
The Preharvest Application of Essential Oils (Carvacrol, Eugenol, and Thymol) Reduces Fungal Decay in Lemons
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1437; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071437 - 20 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1579
Abstract
Lemon postharvest losses are mainly due to the presence of fungal diseases. Current postharvest decay strategies rely on synthetic chemical fungicides; however, consumers are demanding that fruit is free of any chemical residue. The use of new natural alternatives, including essential oils, is [...] Read more.
Lemon postharvest losses are mainly due to the presence of fungal diseases. Current postharvest decay strategies rely on synthetic chemical fungicides; however, consumers are demanding that fruit is free of any chemical residue. The use of new natural alternatives, including essential oils, is emerging due to their potential antimicrobial activity. Therefore, the aim of this work is the elucidation of the effect of carvacrol, eugenol, and thymol, individually and in combination, applied in preharvest. Three different concentrations (100, 500, and 1000 µL/mL) of carvacrol, eugenol, and thymol were individually applied and in combination in ‘Fino’ and ‘Verna’ lemon cultivars. The fungal incidence (mainly Penicillium digitatum and P. italicum) was evaluated weekly for 35 days. Moreover, the main different quality parameters (weight loss, firmness, colour, total soluble solids, titratable acidity, and total phenolic content) of lemons were evaluated at harvest and after 35 days of cold storage. The results showed that carvacrol at the lowest concentration (100 µL/L) provided the lowest fungal incidence with a non-negative effect on the lemon quality parameters during storage, while the highest concentrations and the combination of essential oils resulted in the opposite effect. Therefore, carvacrol applied at 100 µL/L in preharvest could be an eco-friendly alternative to the current fungicides to control lemon decay, while maintaining their optimal quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Preharvest Products Management)
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